We asked Speedvagen team racer, Jeff Curtes, to tell us about how CX Nationals went for him. What we got was a tribute to family, friends and the bikes that bring them all together. Words by Jeff Curtes. Photos by Joe Curtes. Clean-ish bike by Mike Curtes. Riding bikes has always been something I've done with my two brothers, Mike and Joe. In the early days, it was BMX...Mike was the leader, Joe was the fastest. I was always somewhere in between. As the years passed, the bikes changed but our passion and shared enthusiasm always escalated, and we did our best to never grow up.
From racing mountain bikes in Wisconsin to hammering Tour routes in the Pyrenees, my best times on the bike were always shared with Mike and Joe. 'Cross continues on the same track, there is nothing and no one that I can think of that better exemplifies the spirit of Speedvagen than the family affair that the Curtes' bring to every race. With seven Vanilla/Speedvagen's in our Garage864, we love these bikes like family.
Although I've been based overseas for the past few years, I was fortunate enough to be able to sneak in about 15 international cross races, and Mike joined me on the Japan Speedvagen Team trip). I bookended my season starting with Portland's Cross Crusade opener and ending it with Nationals in nearby Verona, Wisconsin where all three of us raced the SS event on our Vanilla's!
My last race of the season, which was probably my worst result, was the most special. What could be better than a mud romp hell tour course, no sleep, frozen hands, and completely blown out legs from the week's 4 previous races? Well, having my brother's there in full support...Mike in the pits keeping my SV's clean and ready, Joe chasing, beer in-hand, cheering, and shooting from just about every part of the course, keeping me stoked. It was epic.
While I'll miss my brothers support at Worlds next month in Louisville, KY, I'm stoked to see my Speedvagen family from Portland and Japan out there representing, cheering and spreading the love!