September 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Through suffering, not in any true peril, but for the sake of seeking one’s personal limitations – however humbling but necessary it may be to the improvement of one’s character and fortitude – this image captures the overwhelming disposition of my past weekend of bicycle racing. Played 3rd fiddle both days to strong men: Michael van den Ham and Dustin Andrews. Well done, gents. Thanks for keeping me honest.

Thanks to Gord Brenner for the photo as well.

#sufferfestishere #HotSauceCycling #cyclocross

September 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

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“IT’S FRIDAY!”

‪#‎UncleRico‬ ‪#‎fbf‬ reminiscing over that time I won UCI SpookyKross in California. Hopefully not my last pro win. Working on that this weekend with back to back racing in Edmonton’s Jim Horner Gran Prix and Hardcore’s Hop n’ Hurl. I’ll be there all sauced up – shirts and caps equiped. Come scoop one for $20 and help me race in Europe!

‪#‎crossishere‬ ‪#‎HotSauceCycling‬ ‪#‎cyclocross‬

September 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Enjoyed a coffee this week with the owner of Perchworks — Michael Holowack. Keep an eye out as we’ll be collaborating on a couple custom Hot Sauce ‘cross racing saddles TBD.

Check out his work and up your game with one of his custom designs today. Because it’s not always about how fast you go, just as long as you look good doing it.

https://twitter.com/perchworks

#crossishere #HotSauceCycling #cyclocross #yyc #yycart #yycbike

September 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

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September 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Bici ‘Cross in Airdre, AB last weekend.

Photos thanks to Masa Higuchi.

Viva CrossVegas // Boulder’s Elevated Ass Whooping // Bring on the Montage

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Old Man Winter cast it’s premature shadow over Calgary’s landscape one week ago, locking his icy shackles around the city’s appalled but not surprised inhabitants. Like any man with a ticket to ride, I placed my bet and fled the country aboard a plane to warmer climate paired with the bright, obnoxious lights of Las Vegas, NV. Trading in my day job for a week to play my superhero alter-ego: ‘Hot Sauce’ the Bike Racer – albeit my only crime to fight was a personal battle – climbing once again out of the depths of UCI pack foddery while simultaneously destroying the self only to let recovery take hold so that I may come back stronger, faster, more resilient to fatigue. Layers, my friends – bike racing is all about layers.


Upon reaching the infamous ‘Strip’, I took refuge from most of the standard debauchery with my wife, Aimee, who was good enough to acompany me on the first half of the week away from Real Life. But then again, what is Real Life when you feel most alive spending your time away from it?

CrossVegas is the most notable UCI race on the calendar. It brings all the heavy hitters from across North America and more recently, we have been graced with the presence of pond hopping icons: Sven Nys, Mr. Cyclocross himself, as well as a hoard of other Belgians and UCI’s #1 ranked rider in the World, Lars Van Der Haar from Netherlands. Essentially, CrossVegas brings all the boys to the yard – all vying for their chance at glory and fame, but for most of us, a thrashing from our adorned giants of the sport and beer showers from a few idiodic fans are largely what we received that night as a disturbing and misguided consolation.

Lining up with these proficient bicyclists I couldn’t help but curse to myself; this time rather than starting beside them in the thick of things, I was beginning once again at the back. Without any UCI points, as I took most of last the year off from UCI racing, I am starting again at the bottom of lucks barrel – drawing numbers out of a hat which determine start position behind all ranked riders. Working through traffic can be treacherous to get to THE race, but it is a necessary evil if I hope to elevate my riding status from underdog to contender.

Race reports are boring, so I won’t dare risk losing your limited interest in my pedaling woes. I will only say that after the fantastic crash of lap one – where coming off an embankment I rode right into an overeager fan leaning over the barricades trying to snap photographs of us. I rickashaded off the husky fool into another spandego thus taking out a fellow competitor and watched in a fetal curl what was left of the field ride over or by me. I remounted quickly and led chase, picking off riders but never getting back to THE race, my race, being that pocket of riders you know you’re capable of racing with and a few you aren’t but try like all Hell to anyway. If we always knew the outcome, would we even bother to see it through? This is where I live with regard to bike racing – I see distant glimmers of what could be, like most of you, I dream of bigger and better, the elusive carrot, always just out of arms reach – but we must remember that whether one fails or succeeds expectation, it is in the doing and the will to continue even when the doing goes poorly that counts. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

After a blurry Vegas experience – not from an overconsumption of alcohol but from racing at 9:30pm, getting back to the hotel at midnight, enjoying a casual chardonnay or two (they didn’t have cider and I can’t drink beer, please judge me) with Aimee and sponsor, Rob Pryor of SRI Importing and his girlfriend Shelley, then packing up both bikes, and finally coming down from my caffeine high to polish off a necessary 3am in room burger and milkshake – I slept for four hours before waking once more to climb aboard a flight that would take me within a short drives reach to the quiet elevated mountain city of Boulder, CO at 5430 ft.

Try as I might, the elevation here kicked my ass about as much as many of the riders around me. It’s difficult not to be discouraged when you know your limits and are not riding within them – but I also think my road back to race fitness will take more time to develop. *Insert cheesy motivational quote here*. I wish this period of my life could be turned into a montage like the movies, it would involve me racing my ass to victory, shadow boxing, and pounding dairy free protein milkshakes – maybe not that last bit. The US Open of Cyclocross and Boulder Cup involved two very difficult days on the bike, eating humble pie but also trying to reap as much experience and fitness as I could from the UCI races I flew across a continent to attend.

Currently I’m flying back to YYC to resume Real Life. But more importantly, I’m getting back to my wife, Aimee ( #barf ), my bicycles and trails that are familiar to ride and train on, as well as family, friends and the community surrounding me that continue to show their unwavering support to help me turn this two wheeled dream into my reality. My aspiring Real Life, if you will. You know who you are and I can’t thank you enough.

Yours in bicycles,
HS

#CrossisHere #HotSauceCycling #cyclocross #yyc #CrossVegas#BoulderCup #usopenofcx

Oh, Bike Racing…

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

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You silly, expensive sport, you.


#UCIopenofCX #BoulderCup #Lesigh

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