Back in August I was getting ready for my last clinic in San Francisco when I received an email from a guy named Daniel Duane. He wanted to get into the clinic that I was putting on that weekend. I was already at maximum capacity and didn’t want to take on anymore people, but the name looked familiar. I looked him up online and my suspicion was confirmed. It was Daniel Duane the writer as opposed to Daniel Duane the plumber or some other Daniel Duane. I emailed him back and said that I would “reluctantly” let him into the clinic. All the while the hamsters were spinning in my head…wondering what he was up to. Well, he gave it up pretty quickly and told me that he was writing an article for Men’s Journal magazine. Turns out he is a contributing editor. It also turns out that this is the one magazine that I have a subscription to. Amazing in this day and age of the internet. I confess, it was a gift. I would never subscribe to a magazine.
Daniel said that he was writing an article on cyclocross from a novices standpoint and that he wanted to take a clinic, get some advice and then enter a race. I suggested that he look into the Portland scene, since it was one of the biggest in the country. The SF Bay Area rocks, but Portland has the numbers and it just so turned out that Alpenrose was coming up – a classic course. So Daniel showed up with 15 other eager students and we hit all the basics. Now Daniel differed a little from others. You see, Specialized set him up with a nice carbon cross bike, complete with SRAM hydraulic disc brakes. This looked good at the time (see latest recall) and even I was a jealous…just a little bit.
Daniel is an athlete and picked up most of the techniques pretty quickly. As a cyclists he was nails, but as a cyclocrosser I think he was a little humbled. It is harder than it looks. In my years of teaching I have found that adults tend to over think a little and be more conservative when it comes to learning a new sport. Cyclocross was no exception. The day was a perfect fall day for California – 90 degrees and hot. We had a great time and he said he would be in touch. I didn’t cross my fingers because anything can happen in journalism.
Daniel Hitting the Barriers
But true to his word Daniel gave me a ring the next week and picked my brain for more information about cyclocross. Then a couple months later he called me again and told me he had been up to Alpenrose for the race. In true Portland fashion it rained and conditions were perfect – muddy, sloppy and downright silly. All he could talk about was how much fun he had. The true cross experience…. Later that week I spoke with an editor from New York City. It is interesting talking to someone about cyclocross that has no idea what it is. The guy didn’t even ride a bike. I related it football, threw in a New York accent (my parents are from there) and he felt right at home.
More waiting followed and I received my copy of MJ’s in the mail in November. Sure enough the article was in there. My wife was more ecstatic than I. CX Nation was mentioned twice. It felt like a let down until she explained to me that in her business (wine industry) they pay people to write about them and get nothing. I felt a little better. The main thing though was that the sport of cyclocross was getting some press and that was the best part. Now people might see what a great sport it truly is.
A huge thanks to Daniel for putting it together. You did the sport proud…and I think we might have a convert in him. A link to the article…. http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/the-rise-of-cyclocross-20131203