mid-december, and it's been a long cold winter already. but things are heating up on the iowa and mid-west cycling scene. there have been some changes in long-time alignments and affiliations of riders, teams and bike shops across the state, most notably the signing of former bike burlington rider, and 1998 iowa rider of the year runner-up, jason mccartney with team csc.
locally, the new all9yards/bikeworld racing team got together recently for some publicity photos, shot by new photog hot shot steve fry. the numbers have swollen during the off-season, with both the elite men's team and the women's teams showing the greatest increases. also new, as can be seen above, is the number of riders sporting facial hair. whether the beards last until snake alley remains to be seen. but what it does reflect is the hardy nature of this lot, shunning windtrainers for the brisk elements, rolling up tough guy points at a record pace.
[trivia quiz: what junior won both the junior and cat 1/2 events at snake alley in 1998?]