About a month after riding across America with Bike and Build, I stumbled into Tativille, where there was much excitement over this type of racing called “cyclocross.” Having been a pure road racer for 4 years at that point, I found talk of knobby tires, grass courses, off camber turns, and barriers to be rather bemusing, but being a good sport, I agreed to give it a try if someone loaned me a bike. 24 hours before my first cross race, my friend showed me a dismount and remount, and I was flabbergasted. You get OFF the bike, WHILE you’re still MOVING?! This went against all my ingrained perceptions of bike possibilities, but I didn’t have time to get nervous, only a sense of, exclamation point, what did I get myself into?
5 laps of racing in the hot Chicago summer wearing an all-black wool kit, dehydration, one crash in front of a barrier, somehow finding myself back in the saddle every time I ran through barriers, and a 6th place finish (out of about 15 finishers) in my first CX race ever, I was HOOKED.
The only reason I was able to fall in love with CX Racing in the first place is because of the Pink Bike, and I’m sure there are many other people out there who would love CX as much as I do given a chance to try it. In the spirit of paying it forward, and a generous frame donation from Arley Kemmerer, I gathered a whole bunch of parts from more generous friends, and Rock Souperprestige was born.
Why Rock Souperprestige?
The old folk tale, “Stone Soup,” involves some travelers that enter a village with an empty pot, and ask for some food. The villagers aren’t interested in helping, as they were in the midst of a drought, and food was hard to come by. The travelers thus filled their pot with some water from a swift, clear stream and some river stones, and built a fire underneath it. While they were stirring the water, a curious villager came by asking what on earth were they doing. The travelers replied that they were concocting stone soup, a true delicacy from their country, but it’s missing a little vegetables. The villager happens to have some carrots, and hands them over. Another villager comes by inquiring, and this time the travelers mention the soup is doing great but just needs some garnish. This villager contributes some basil. This continues, until a delicious soup does indeed come together, and the travelers and villagers share in their creation.
As for the rest of the name, the Superprestige is a season-long cyclocross race series that occurs in Belgium and the Netherlands, arguably the place where Cyclocross was first born. And with a slight change from “Stone” to “Rock,” we give a nod to one of Philly’s greatest cult heroes, Rocky Balboa! This bike is for you underdogs out there, you unlikely heroes. Cheers ❤