Race Report: 2012 Crusher in the Tushar, The Movie

07.16.2012 | 6:50 am

jacket.jpgA “The Pre-Order Ends Tomorrow” Note from Fatty: After the rainy race I just did, the FatCyclist gear item I absolutely positively must highlight today is the windshell jacket. See, on the day of the race we were looking at 60% chance of rain, for the whole day. And in fact, when the race started, it was raining, and pretty windy too.

But I didn’t want to wear a full-on waterproof rain jacket on a day that — even when rainy — was still going to be warm. So I went with my FatCyclist windshell jacket over short sleeves and arm warmers.

And it was the perfect combination.

I started the race wearing the jacket. About eight miles into the race, the rain stopped and — without having to stop or even slow down — I was able to strip the jacket off and stuff it into my jersey pocket.

Later in the day when the rain started again, the jacket went on. And then came off again.

So is this a rain jacket? No. It won’t keep you dry in a full-on downpour. But it’s definitely rain-resistant. I can vouch for that. And it’s great for wind. And since it has a zipper that goes up as well as one that goes down, you can easily unzip from the bottom when you need to get to stuff in your jersey pockets.

If you don’t have a wind jacket, you need one. And this is a great one to get.

2012 Crusher in the Tushar, The Movie

Evidently, I’m very susceptible to peer pressure. I say this because last year after Grizzly Adam and Ski Bike Junkie went on and on about how much they loved the Crusher in the Tushar, I decided I had to do it.

This in spite of the fact that this course — due to its unique mix of pavement and high-mountain dirt roads — is designed for a kind of riding I don’t have a ton of experience in.

And by “riding I don’t have a ton of experience in,” I mean “no experience whatsoever.”

But, gamely (and by “gamely,” I mean “lamely”), I got a Specialized TriCross Elite Disc Apex Compact, knowing that I definitely defintely wanted disc brakes for the monstrous 4000+ foot washboarded descent that is the centerpiece of the race.

Unless it’s the two 4000+ foot climbs that are the centerpieces of the race. I dunno. How many centerpieces can a race have?

Wanting to run at a lower pressure than tubes would allow, I asked Racer to swap out the stock rims with Stans Notubes 340s. He also put on some knobby Hutchinson tires, so I (hopefully!) wouldn’t slide out all over the place.

So check out the bike, sitting warm and cozy in my hotel room, just an hour or so before the race begins:


In particular, check out the cockpit of this bike:

IMG_5282 - Version 2.jpg

It looks a little busy, what with the race plate and the extra brake levers, but I’m actually showing off some pretty awesome stuff the good folks at AceCo Sport Group sent me. First, the K-Edge Computer Mount for Garmin Edge:


I loved how solid this mount locks the computer in place, and centers it just in front of the stem, so you don’t have to look so far down to see the computer. In my case, this was a bad thing, because it meant that I had way too easy a time noticing that I was, once again, climbing at 2mph.


The thing I was really excited about, though, was that I just got a GoPro HD Hero2 as my new helmetcam. I didn’t want the weight of a camera sitting on top of my helmet for the whole ride, though, so I mounted it with a K-Edge Go Big Pro Handlebar Mount:


I then set up the GoPro to film upside down, as well as to do one-touch filming, where the camera begins filming as soon as you turn it on. That way I could conserve battery power during the ride, but not have to take extra steps when I wanted to film. Turn the camera on to start filming, turn the camera off to stop filming. Easy.

The Movie

Okay, with all that out of the way, how about I show you the movie? I’ll embed it below, but really recommend you watch it over at the Vimeo site, where you can see it all not-shrunken-down-like. For the lazy among you, though, here it is:

I captioned the thing pretty much to death, so it doesn’t just seem like a bunch of random bike-riding video sequences.

I love the image quality of the GoPro, and am really digging how easy it is to start/stop filming with the handlebar mount (especially when I run the resultant video through image stabilization); I’m going to start using this in combination with a lot of my rides.

So expect more video from me soon.

PS: Tomorrow, I’ll begin telling the story of the race in excruciating detail.


  1. Comment by Fat Cathy | 07.16.2012 | 8:00 am

    Nice cross bike. Now you will have to do some cross races!

  2. Comment by MattD | 07.16.2012 | 8:13 am

    How’d you manage to flat on a brand spanking new tubeless setup?? On one of the on-road sections, no less!

    I’ll explain tomorrow. – FC

  3. Comment by Kevin | 07.16.2012 | 8:18 am

    @MattD I wondered the same! Guess we’ll have to wait for the excruciating detail tomorrow…

  4. Comment by Jeff | 07.16.2012 | 8:30 am

    What do you use for your video editing (stabilization) software?

    iMovie. – FC

  5. Comment by Jared | 07.16.2012 | 8:48 am

    That water bottle definitely had it out for you!

    I bet it was jealous of the Hydroflow bottles.

  6. Comment by NYCCarlos | 07.16.2012 | 8:49 am

    I came here to ask the same question MattD did. I was under the impression it was darn near impossible to flat on tubless wheels.

  7. Comment by cece | 07.16.2012 | 9:09 am

    Great video! Loved it! Can’t wait for the race report!

  8. Comment by Superstantial | 07.16.2012 | 9:58 am

    Wow, you have terrible taste in music ;)

    I know. – FC

    Looks like a great race, I can’t wait to read more. I really want to do one of these ultracross races once my child gets a bit older and more independant.

    How did you like the mechanical disc brakes?

    Worked great for me. Really saved the day for me a couple times. – FC

  9. Comment by NW Biker | 07.16.2012 | 10:02 am

    How’s you like the Tricross? I love mine! But mine is set up to be a docile road bike with fenders and lights and such, for riding in the rainy Oregon winters.

  10. Comment by leroy | 07.16.2012 | 10:27 am

    – Unsolicited Product Endorsement–

    I rarely endorse products. Partly because that could undermine my public persona of an important person of much gravitas.

    And partly because, as my dog points out, (a) no one asks for my opinion, (b) no one cares, and (c) gravitas doesn’t refer to one’s physical weight.

    The Fat Cyclist wind jacket is one of my favorite bike garments, it is versatile, comfortable and portable like FC claims. The two way zipper is especially helpful for regulating temperature and for undoing the bottom to reach your jersey’s back pockets.

    But what I really want to praise are the Twin Six bibs. As a semi-professional smart ass, my bottom is particularly sensitive. I have been field testing an old pair of Fat Cyclist bibs and a newer, high-priced pair of Assos bibs in hot, humid weather in the deep South over the last two weeks. The old Fat Cyclist bibs are “almost” as good as new bibs costing almost three times as much. (And by “almost,” I mean absolutely no problems, but after a season or two, an old chamois isn’t quite as plush.)

    For me, this is welcome news. My legs and lungs recover much faster than my bottom.

    As for the Twin Six jerseys, I’ve always liked their designs and the quality has gone up steadily over the years (not that the quality of the FC jerseys wasn’t good to begin with). I ordered a Twin Six classic jerseys this Spring and the deep color and soft material are very nice. And of course, it’s comfortable.

    As for Fat Cyclist gear’s magical weight loss properties: At the risk of TMI, my oldest FC jersey is XL. My second oldest FC jersey is L. My more recent jerseys are all M. And when field testing bibs in the land of BBQ, fried okra and Coke icees, that’s no small feat.

  11. Comment by pll | 07.16.2012 | 10:46 am

    Cool video and bike. You should post an “after” picture of the bike, looking like a proper cross bike (with mud!).

    Elsewhere, I saw videos (here is one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH50nWaGg4s) that overlay the information of the GPS, so one can see the degree of suffering: heart rate, how steep a climb or descent is. I asked what the person used and she used DashWare (http://www.dashware.net/). I have no GPS, nor any camera, or any affiliation with DashWare.

  12. Comment by ClydesdalePilot | 07.16.2012 | 11:49 am

    I’ve been off the bike for a week (was in San Diego for Comic Con) and I’ve eaten so much crap during the week I am a bit afraid of getting back on the bike. But seeing awesome GoPro footage usually kicks me into doing it. So thank, Fatty. Now I want to go ride my bike.

    PS- How much did the GoPro mount cost? Thinking about getting a handlebar mount for mine.

    The handlebar mount is $59.99 and is available from the manufacturer here. – FC

  13. Comment by Bill | 07.16.2012 | 12:08 pm

    Great video Fatty ;) Still can’t believe you flatted on Stan’s – guess I will come back tomorrow to read how!!! Way to draw us back – you should do radio!

    GoPro is on my birthday wish list now!

  14. Comment by Jacob | 07.16.2012 | 12:26 pm

    You know what’s funny (besides the captions)? Because of something about the angle of the camera (I guess being on the bike), it makes EVERY section of road look really flat. That downhill where the people in front of you are are lying flat for aerodynamics and flying downhill? Looks flat. You know that section where the guy is walking his bike because it’s so steep? Looks even flatter.

    I wonder if a setup that kept the camera level to gravity and not to the angle of the ground if that would help it look more true to the experience.

  15. Comment by Jeremy | 07.16.2012 | 12:28 pm

    Apparently one must always be wary of water bottle assassins.

  16. Comment by Geo | 07.16.2012 | 1:11 pm

    I note at 44 seconds into the video you run a stop sign with no apparent attempt to even touch the brake handles.

    Local authorities have been notified. Expect your citation in the mail shortly.

  17. Comment by Louutah | 07.16.2012 | 1:13 pm


  18. Comment by DavidV | 07.16.2012 | 1:56 pm

    Good call on the disc’s. Especially with it being wet like that. I can’t imagine some of those turns on with canti’s, knowing if I miss the turn I’m off a mountain!

  19. Comment by Paul Guyot | 07.16.2012 | 2:38 pm

    Nicely done.

    Looks like glorious suffering.

  20. Comment by LidsB2 | 07.16.2012 | 4:20 pm

    So how did you score the #2 plate with a last minute sign up? I too dig your new Tricross steed. Very nice! The race seems to draw a broad spectrum of bike choices. What would you guess the percentages would be between cross, hardtail, rigid, full suspension etc? I know, I’m geeing out here, but I can’t help but ask these questions!

    I actually was the very first person to sign up, and race bib #1 was reserved for the winner from last year. But your question of how I got race bib #2 is still a good one. The answer is that I mistakenly was put in the Pro category, and since I was — as I mentioned — the first person to sign up for the race this year, I was given bib #2.

    I’d say about 50% of the racers were on cross bikes. 40% on hardtail, 10% on FS. I didn’t pay enough attention to others’ bikes to notice rigid/front suspension, but I think the course would benefit from front suspension. Next year (yes, next year) I think I’ll ride a hardtail. – FC

  21. Comment by LidsB2 | 07.16.2012 | 4:21 pm

    That’s “geeking” out….nerd.

  22. Comment by AKChick55 | 07.16.2012 | 4:27 pm

    Can’t wait for the ride report and to see how you liked your cross bike. :) So jealous of the disc brakes! Also, I had already ordered the wind jacket. The one item I really wanted, but I also had to have new bibs and jersey – they were just too cool. Now I’m working tons of OT to pay for everything. Thank you to Twin Six for the generous gift certificate that helped cut the costs down a bit. Can’t wait to get the new gear. Hopefully, it won’t be too cold in September and I can test out the jacket. And we’ve had WIND this summer. It’s usually blowing at least 15mph steady with high gusts. Uck.

  23. Comment by AKChick55 | 07.16.2012 | 5:00 pm

    Hey, the LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis photos are posted!!! Very dismayed to see my big head overwhelmed The Hammer’s in several of the photos of our team at the dinner on Saturday night. :( #FAIL Here’s the link: http://www.kreutzphotography.com/Photo_ViewListSub.asp?DID=24&FID=7281&GID=1645&IMG=1&PAGE=1&PWD=&SRCH=&TYP=PUB

  24. Comment by AKChick55 | 07.16.2012 | 8:49 pm

    Just watched the video. It was awesome. I think you post more video (probably super time consuming to edit, but you do such a superb job!). I LOVED the captions. The one about not stalking the Honey Stinger lady and taking 5 minutes to get to that guy and pass him were really funny. As was you filming the guy filming you. I hate climbing and yet your video makes me want to do that race. However, living and training at sea level, I think I’d probably die from lack of oxygen.

  25. Comment by AKChick55 | 07.16.2012 | 8:49 pm

    Crud – that should have said “I think you should post more video…”

  26. Comment by davidh,marin | 07.16.2012 | 11:41 pm

    Bravo Fatty!! I hope you’ll consider coming West again next year and join us on the ‘Death Ride’.

    MattC (fomerly known as Pat Schleck)and GregC said we were ‘nuts’ to try the ride on a tandem…now I understand why. While we only knocked off Monitor, both sides, we did cover 58 miles and 7K feet of climbing on a fairly warm day. Hey Sasha come join us too!

    Ran into YannB who summitted 4 peaks, about 12K in climbing and 88miles, with no recurrance of his Davis Experience. Here’s a little teaser I found from 2010 of the 3500 9 miles descent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwrel&v=XL_ar4u2d38&NR=1

    Then you turn around and climb back up. 8% avg grade for 10 miles. Elden I see your slow climbing speed and offer you our own tandem speed of 3.8mph.

    Think about coming out, it’s a gas! We’ll be there next year and 5 peaks are the goal.

  27. Comment by davidh,marin | 07.16.2012 | 11:42 pm

    link to elevation profile:

  28. Comment by Kent E | 07.17.2012 | 6:42 am

    Great job by all three of you! Just watching the climb made me cry.

    There was a guy in the results that was on team Audi.

    Yeah, the (very weak) joke was that this guy, who was wearing an Audi kit, said, “Howdy.” Which rhymes with “Audi.” Ha. – FC

  29. Comment by Cheap BMX Parts | 07.17.2012 | 8:15 am

    The bike is so nice.
    And I like the the videos of the bike racing.

  30. Comment by Brandon Banks | 07.17.2012 | 12:48 pm

    pure, unadulterated, awesomeness!

  31. Comment by rich | 07.18.2012 | 9:38 am

    what a fun video…almost made riding uphill in the rain look like fun….(almost)
    thanks for sharing that!

  32. Comment by Carl | 07.19.2012 | 3:27 pm

    It’s a shame the video flattened out the terrain.
    I would have liked to hear the suffering as opposed to the music!

    Yeah, I am going to try to learn more and get better and filming POV so that the pitch of the terrain comes through. I don’t know how easy that is to do, though — if you look at the video for the Tour de France, even their hardest climbs look flat too!

    As far as audio, replacing it with music was my only option. The sound you hear in the final few seconds as I’m rolling up to the finish line is the only sound there was for the whole video. I kinda think this might’ve been a side effect of where the camera is mounted — right to the handlebar, so the road vibration gets directly transmitted (via aluminum!) to the camera, completely overwhelming any other audio.

    I’m new to this, lots to learn (and it’s a fun process)! – FC


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