Jeremy Powers Wins Cyclocross Stampede, UCI3 Cyclocross Festival Day 1. ©Mitch ClintonJeremy Powers Wins Cyclocross Stampede, UCI3 Cyclocross Festival Day 1. ©Mitch Clinton

Jeremy Powers, a gracious champion. © Mitch Clinton

As Cyclocross Magazine contributor Dave Drumm is quick to point out, both the holidays and the end of cyclocross season are good times to reflect on the past year and to thank those who helped to make it possible. This week’s Gut-Wrenching Mechanical Mondays feature is decidedly low-tech, but it just might be our best bike tip yet.

This is the fifth installment in our weekly series of from-the-crew-pits tips. Some will be straight-forward, others more involved, but they’ll all help you to keep your cyclocross bike humming smoothly along. Catch up on week four’s personal pressure gauge round-up here.

by Dave Drumm

Now that the 2009 domestic cyclocross season has come to an end, we shift our focus to the 2010 race season. It may seem a bit early to be thinking of such things, but this week’s tech tip is absolutely going to help you make 2010 your best season ever! It’s universal and applies to the most seasoned of Elite racers, local club riders, juniors and beginners.

Cyclocross is a demanding sport – it demands a great many things from our bodies, bikes, families and wallets. Anyone who races knows you can’t do it alone. We all get help from someone, whether it’s the sponsor that overnights a new helmet to you after you’ve crashed, the shop mechanic that glues up your rolled tubular in his personal time so you can race on Sunday, the shop owner who extends you a discount on parts and labor, or the parent that drives you to the races every weekend. There are many people out there that help keep you rolling through the season and many go unnoticed, without thanks. One thing you can do to ensure that you have one of the best seasons ever is to take time and acknowledge those that have helped you this season. Send a thank-you note to your sponsors. Go down to your local bike shop and thank them for their help. Appreciation and acknowledgment go a long way.

I owned a small bike shop in Western Massachusetts. One day in August of 2003, a young man named Jeremy Powers came in looking for help. He needed frames for the upcoming season.  I knew little of Jeremy back then, he was just getting going on the cyclocross scene. He was kind and not asking for a hand-out; he was looking for any help I could provide. I set him up with a pair of frames at my cost and helped him get his bikes setup. I thought that would be the last I’d see of him.

During the course of the season, I would occasionally see Jeremy at the Verge New England races and he always made a point to come and talk to me. Jeremy had an amazing season and wound up going to the World Championships that season. Around January of 2004, I received a postcard from Jeremy expressing his thanks and appreciation for helping him. I have never forgotten this and the postcard still hangs in the top of my tool box.

I have seen Jeremy at races around the country every year since then and he still makes an effort to see me. He is one of the few racers of the many that I have helped over the years who appreciate and thank those that make what they do possible. Sure, he is an incredibly talented bike rider but, honestly, who wants to help someone – no matter how good they are – if the time and effort  goes unrecognized and unappreciated? If Jeremy needed anything from me now, I would help him in a heartbeat because of his simple gestures of gratitude.

So, if you want to start having the best season you have ever had, start now by thanking those who help you keep your bike rolling, get you to the races or give you the time off to do what you love. A little time and heartfelt appreciation will help ensure that your sponsors, at every level, will still be there when you need them.