Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tuesday Night Show


Five time National Champion Zak Kovalcik inspires a Junior.
Traditionally the Masters/Juniors Individual Time Trial Night, the 2018 Portland Velodrome Committee authorized Tuesday Night Time Trials, Pursuits and Junior Scratch Races for a Junior Track Cup Series.

Typically the least attended race night on the Summer Track Calendar, promoters offered Scratch racing to create another pipeline of development to Mass Start Racing. Authorities felt Masters were not interested in Scratch Racing.  2018 Promoters dutifully acquiesced, despite months of promotion.


Despite the loss of Masters Scratch racing in 2018 on Tuesday Nights at Alpenrose Velodrome, spirits soared with a surprise visit from Five Time National Champion Zak Kovalcik who came out to see how we do, (and show us how it is done with a casual 36.47 in the 500m)

Kovalcik a long time bicycle messenger rose from the beginning ranks to reach the very highest levels of international racing. Famous for wild last minute,  come from behind chases, he is considered to be one of the gutsiest endurance track racers in America today.

Out at the track on the Tuesday night, quiet night at Alpenrose Velodrome, Zak was the star of the show. Laughing so loud, one could hear his location up on the track wall, hidden in the porta potty, or even from way up in the parking lot. His charisma was firing up all sectors of the promotion.
He even stopped to help juniors fix their bikes!


Zak seemed to be thrilled to be back.  He was back where Coaches like Brian Abers had made a big difference in his life. Back at Alpenrose Velodrome, where Zak once set the unbroken  Ten Mile Track Record, in a  Scratch Race.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Moving on Track

Bicycle racers, Josh Morris and Mateen Richey were discovered as 3rd graders in an after-school, community center cycling program at Blazer Boys and Girls Club.  (see here)

Elder High School age teenagers like Kent Ross, ran the program and could spot the young talent easily. As little children, Josh and Mateen loved to ride their bikes, and it was apparent. (see Mateen coached by Kent here)
Very little has changed. Despite their super motivation, Joshua and Mateen's training regime, and developmental arch has been kept gentle by some standards. Josh and Mateen's coaching staff decided to limit their racing to the individual OBRA events. Growing their big time race savvy slowly, they stayed safe and motivated.
Reunited, as taller people.
Pack racing was practiced in team practices. Fun little races kept the key lessons coming.
Individual Time trials don't teach a ton of pack savvy, but they improve power and legspeed. More importantly, they teach one how to handle themselves in the parking lot, and at the registration table.

Once the Individual Time Trial racing was learned, they were transformed to stronger students of speed. They were ready to graduate to higher challenges. Our velodrome was the perfect University.
Alpenrose Velodrome can be a daunting spectacle for new comers, but our Juniors who practice mass start events on Saturday evenings, are familiar. Having raced publicly only as individuals, until recently, our Juniors were finally ready to not crash out the whole pack.

The OBRA Junior Track Camp, promoted for OBRA by the team PDX Devo, was a perfect place to enter the public eye in Track Racing. After months of road riding and easy gear (72 inch) track practices, Cyclisme ramped them up quickly over four weeks to larger gears. ( 76, 81, 84 inches )

When Josh and Mateen stepped out to participate in the OBRA Jr. camp, their results were top notch.
Great Coaches made quick use of their skills as examples.

Making friends and riding at the front, our guys were well prepared for the foray into pack racing and public life.
Our guys spent all their strength to learn new tricks at the camp, then entered their first Thursday/Friday mass start events.
There Mateen reunited with his old coach Kent Ross, now an ex National Collegiate Champ.
Then the next day, Josh and Mateen entered the Blue Ribbon weekend track omnium promoted for OBRA by Coach Phil Saunders of the team, BBC, and WON STUFF!

Tired, but fast enough. Life is good,

Monday, June 11, 2018

Focused on Fast!

Joshua Morris reflects on his 8.4 mile Time Trial



Aerodynamics play a big role in cycling, but especially the Individual Time Trial!

The Oregon State Champs on the road side of this event showcased just the kind of warm windy open roads that require strict attention to aerodynamics.

Podium debut.
Hard work however, plays the biggest role of all.

Joshua Morris has been working on is aerodynamic position for years. This year he pedals while in the aero bars, pretty fast, comfortably. Hard work is paying off.

Mateen Richey is just starting his individual TT career, yet in his first TT State Championship, he was called to the podium to receive the Bronze Medal.


Suffering hard work in training payed off in racing. We are happy about it.

After the race in Brownsville, Oregon in the morning, training continued. Moving north toward home, we stopped to swim at  the Dallas Aquatic Center. Then we had a half kilometer running race, that Sarah Benenate won barefoot.
Following a second lunch, we pulled over for a basketball court to work on Mateen's left hand shot.
Mateen is fashioning himself to be a High School basketball player.

b.i.k.e. is helping him pursue that dream.

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.

Traditionally,
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 Richey, 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.