Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Prepared for Glory

Joshua after.
Joshua starting Piece of Cake Saturday.
Pursuit grupetto.

Oregon bicycle racing road race

Piece of Cake 

was in Hubbard near Canby this year.

This Willamette Valley version is an Oregon Spring Classic.

this April race is flat and short, a technically easy course. Just right for the start of the season, this race has great Lore at Cyclisme Racing Programs (see here)
Sandwiches from the hood.

For the Juniors, who only did one 13 mile lap, it was mostly true to tradition.
But, some scary fast descending right at the beginning, shaped the group dynamics along  the long windy, subtle grade of the rural ascent back to the finish complex in Hubbard.
Two groups organized after a split along age divisions on the early descent.

On the descent, Joshua fell back to the second group and organized a paceline. At the finish line Joshua sprinted the gruppetto for a close second. Sixth place over all. A score in the OBRA JUNIOR BAR.
Rural yoga.

Because of some strong moves, and apparent character, Joshua earned a lot of respect out on the road. He made fast friends in the parking lot too.

Fatigue was not a big deal after for the 12 (almost 13) year old after the 13 mile event. He even road a couple of miles after the race to cool down, and find a nice dry spot to do yoga.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Joshua Morris Debuts

Relief of accomplishment.
Winning Jack Frost

After years of training and racing, a kid grows up.

Saturday ride featuring breakfast by the fire, is the funnest part.
In life, what we have accomplished seems to shape who we are. Who we train with and how we train helps us create what we want in life. It gives us the resources and the direction we need.

Joshua Morris wants to be strong and helpful to his family. He also loves to laugh and play and have fun. Growing up, after years of attending individual Time Trials, Joshua finally won this locally famous Season Opener Jack Frost TT in the grandest style - by over two minutes.

This totality of strength, form and charisma arrives following years of hard fought victories at best. But this year, early season training, often in the rain, led to a strong and confident performance in a healthy field.

Fast protection for Joshua.

Rain or shine, the Saturday ride ritual has been a social staple for Joshua over the years. Moreover, a two time Champ of the Oregon TT Cup, entry level as it is, Joshua was made ready finally, to demonstrate journeyman  prowess at JF.

Joshua's training has been multifaceted. He  has spent quite a bit of time out on the Alpenrose velodrome. Two years ago he attended the OBRA Track Camp introduced by Stephen Beardsley (see here)

In the Lore of Cyclisme, Joshua is connected to a pantheon of luminaries, especially in and around the Boys and Girls Clubs utilizing our special ops mentorship unit: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

It was their programming of "Roller's 101" that discovered Joshua  Morris years ago. While the original Four are pictured below, it was the work of four who followed, that perfected the programming at Blazer Boys & Girls (please see the ordered chaos here)

De' Shaun Lee, Naiqwan Pellman, Marquell Brown, & Jake Hansen.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Investing in a Junior!

Mateen pulls through and falls back.
Aero and off the front.
Speed follows FORM.

Mateen Ritchie, a freshman at Jefferson HS,
Mateen chases back on to the pack.
is training to be a bicycle racer.

Mateen started with b.i.k.e. as a little kid. (see here)
Adjusting Mateen's front derailer.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Crepes, bon jour!

Famous kids' mentor, Ken Legros.

Keeping it FRENCH.

Park Place Cafe serves crepes and espresso.
A bike path starts the ride.
Our hotess et animateur is the owner Gisele Elkhal. With fond memories of life as a cycliste herself, she and her son's shop are a fabulous find.

A great ride starts with a great meeting spot. We changed ours to the Park Place Cafe out in the Rockwood District to make a push out in to Larch Mountain and the Bull Run Valley.

Our junior chases on.

Well positioned 
a short distance from the eastern edge of Portland's Urban Growth Boundary, the cafe sits directly on a tributary path of Portland's bigger bike path system. Dumping the team out on 201st and Halsey, the path makes easy ride direction for our guests.

Portland traffic has become so dense, that it is a real asset to move our start out toward the edge of town.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chasing Chuck

The car window reflection says it all.

Getting more than we bargained for...
Last Sunday's ride from Troutdale marked a milestone in the Lore of Cyclisme Racing Programs.
For over three decades, the Sandy river valley has influenced our bicycle racing program.
Last Sunday the road to Lolo put a man on our Barlow trail, who was a much stronger rider than we bargained for.

Cyclisme Racing programs  attempt to mind the wind in pacelines with benevolence, good form, simplicity and team.
Rolling up stream on the Sandy river we always try to offer a draft to the people we fly up upon the road.
It's not easy pull off though.
Typically the car in the lead approaches the unwary lead cyclist first. That is what happend to Chuck.
 Varoom, errrhg!
Carnage on the first climb.
"Hey man, you want to ride in the draft of my cycling team coming up behind you?" I ask as he turns his head to the sound of the car next to him.
"Boy, do I!" Chuck said matter of factly.
I did a bit of a double take to examine his sincerity and said,"Okay, I will let them you know. You just pop on to the back when they come by."
"You bet!" Chuck reported back, nodding knowing approval.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's in a bike?

Leadership and academic strategies abound for raising children growing up through the modern American malaise.

11yr old Josh Morris of BIKE LAW schooling a 45 yr. old NIKE exec.
Well balanced,  and resilient high school graduates are the holy grail of parents and teachers alike. But a child's personal choices are the specter of unknown probability in our search for quality citizenry.

Many would say, "all youth are at risk today, and not just those living in the inner city." Drugs, violence, crime, and video game lethargy are but a few of the modern phenomena that invade the idle moments of a young person's life. There are no guarantees that a perfectly balanced, well adjusted person won't make a bad choice.

When we think back over our lives, how many gifted and talented children with kind parents, from privileged backgrounds have gone out into the world and made catastrophic choices?

Some people however, learn to transcend their set-backs in life. You knock em down, they get up. You lock em up, and they get out to become President of their country. Some people become  highfalutin celebrities, but stay grounded, and humble.  What is that? Why do they choose the way they do?

Tristan Young
 I don't know.

But I do know...
Bicycle riding improves the statistics.
Bicycle riding puts the young perspective on the happy side of life. The hopeful side of life. And it adds the well received patina of aerobic athleticism to a young person's attributes. Energy to perform easily, as well as societal good looks for others to shape their impressions, give a teenager confidence.

Bicycles teach best life practices through discipline and freedom.
Kids pedal through their anger, and frustration, but are restricted to good form by their pedals' crank arm length. 
Goals are like bicycle driven destinations, there is just no way to get out of powering up the watts required to travel the distance to the desired destination.

In twenty five years of coaching bicycle racing, I have come to believe laughter is one sign of something good going on. Interspersed with episodes of extreme oxygen debt,  the laughter helps shape a good strong person. Compassion is one outcome that deep breathing and team work, when combined, seem to promote.

A bicycle's pedal stroke is also an excellent coach of  Good Form as a concept. Regular Saturday practices with the Team are an excellent coach of Benevolence and friendship.

One of our students challenged by our weekly team ride is 16 year old Tristan Young, of Beaverton, Oregon. Tristan arrived with a  passion for cycling, but without much of an outlet. Tristan is challenged by traffic filled roads, and by his learning style. Tristan has Autism. Today Tristan rides in a paceline with others in traffic, and competes in Oregon Bicycle Racing Association events. He became the Oregon Cup Individual Time Trial Champ for his age division in 2016.

Tristan says, "It's hard to focus when I really just want to do some thing, but then I remember i have to listen." Tristan adds in regard to cycling practice, "little things bother me when I am out and about during Practice."
He lists: "if my bike is not working like I want it to, or my mom wants me to put on sunscreen, or there is too much going on in the pack on the street, it bothers me."

Tristan takes this weekend challenge on, recovers, and is strengthened for daily life at his high school during the week. Of late, Tristan has been "mainstreamed" and gets his education in regular public school class rooms.

Tristan needs a village. Cycling has given Tristan and the other children on his team a safe social circle to perform in.
For example, Tristan's efforts have been noticed by caring adults in the cycling world. People in the Portland area like Bob Mionskie who rode for the National Team, and Dave  Guettler, Owner of River City Bicycles, have come together to level Tristan's playing field by supplying him with professional equipment to pursue his goals. (see here)

Water fight.. on a hot day? Really?
For kids like Tristan the bicycle is more than just a toy. The bicycle is a passport to a language of laughter describing what happiness feels like. His bicycle offers a vision of how he wants to shape his happiness with the help of others. Simply his bicycle clues him in on how much strength is required to get there. The bicycle is his passport, his teacher, and his friend.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Secret Team


Joshua off the front!
Arrival at the confidence, speed, and prowess required for a bike racer to train well, is elusive. Racing safely is predicated on the success of training.

How do cyclists get to be race ready?

In part, the requirement is clear goal declaration. By stating out-loud to others that we want to be fast, and maybe win the State Champs at that, is how we get locked in to our goals.

Clearly stated goals help others to get involved in a positive way.

New Talent get a lot of misleading information from other good looking - seemingly accomplished competitors who talk loud and fast with nebulous, if not destructive intentions.
Racers find a clear path from a trusted coach. Using honest and knowledgable feed-back is a sure way to add depth and clarity to the goal-oriented racer's training path.
Dubble D - there for Jake in '11. There for WORD in '17.

However, coaches are challenged by beginners who don't know yet what their options are for goal making.
Coaches suggest the options, but racers must hear the voice of wisdom.
Sometimes a new person who in the moment wants to be in our practice, will then in the next week wax unsure.

Ironically, confidence comes most easily from the crowd. The team dynamic.

This year our team had many of the same building blocks as so many successful Cyclisme teams in years before.
They enjoyed a "Rocky Rabbit" traditional winter road ride promoted weekly, so a larger group could train together working on the general tactics of road racing. But this year, finding a quorum of participants who had the confidence and clarity to show up week after week, without break for 6-10 weeks, was impossible.

Cobbled together with intermittent appearances, the group improved anyway. Maybe not at the rate the most competitive OBRA Teams do, but small improvement for some was more encouraging and useful than for others.
Finally, near the end of 2017, some of the interested found a place to showcase their improvement in racing's "low lying fruit" individual TT competitions out at the velodrome called "PVC TT's" on Tuesday Nights. Low and behold, they even found some old Cyclisme Leadership out there, waiting ready to serve.
Dan Dubble D Dhonau had been honing his individual TT program for more than a few years. When our 2017 graduates of the Winter Program arrived as a gaggle at Alpenrose Velodrome, Dubble D looked up, smiled, and decided to really train. He made a voiced goal.
His clarity led our success. And though we got ready to race about the time the racing season was over, at least we got ready.

The preparation will only prepare us for next year.