Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fifty Miles and a Sprint!

Climbing out of the Rock Creek Valley.
Rock Creek Valley arrives after treacherous pot holes, and energy sapping hills like only The West Hills can provide. When 9 people set out to work together to get there, the adventure is intoxicatiing.

Skyline Blvd. traverses the crests of the NW Tuality mountains. Over the years, sub-urban development has turned rural nature into public
Griffin and his Dad.

Loreful, though this old training road is, it is also now infested with cars. This neighborhood is known for its many cycling casualties. Statistically it is the lone rider dutifully tucked over in the gutter at on the edge of the road who gets knocked out by a passing truck mirror like the slowest gazelle get snatched up by the hungry lion.
John Hilde lives for Skyline.
Cyclisme tradition and self preservation lead the team to form up our paceline to protect us from automotive predators like circling fish defend against sharks. Arguably the defense works not too effectively, but the team van adds another layer of deterence.
If racers saw what we see in the rear-view mirror, they might be shocked  by how fast drivers fly up behind.
Between vehicles of different size, shape, and speed, the tension on those roads is palpable.

So the question begs to be asked, "where does an inner city cycling  team go to get 50 miles and a sprint?"

Brendan and Ryan separate themselves when the road ascends.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Indian Summer Speed

Kinnell is okay.
Bicycle racing
in Portland, Oregon
is easily all consuming.
The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association's schedule runs nearly year round. Choosing one's battles helps set a racer up to maybe win a few.

Following Word-RCB's State Championship victories at the end of the road and track season, The Team had a decision to make. Do we race cyclocross, or do we go back into the wood shed and practice what we do?

Fergus looks back.
Given the Cyclisme tradition of pacelines and road work. The decision was not difficult. Riding together on the roads around Stumptown feel like a vacation.

"Miles my with my friends feels good" says the old man of the road Tim Bergmann.
"Yeah." say's newly arrived Team Captain Fergus Kinnell. "I like it.

Jaden and the young guys.
Captaincy has both daunting responsibility and satisfying privilege, but on a team it needs to be cultivated just like athleticism.
Practice events give the team the chance to cultivate their synergy and team dynamics.

In practices new racers get a chance to watch Captains and learn without the distraction of race day survival.

Brendan likes it fast &  uphill.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Blood!

Sprint finish in Hayden Meadow.
Robin, Tony, and Fergus fraternize.

Norberto is a powerful addition.

End of Summer is typically a time when cyclists of all styles reach good form.
Some who are coming up, but have not been racing need only a nudge to embark on making top flight goals.

Such was the case with our three latest recruits. Tony, Norberto and Griffin. Each of them awesome, they are thrilled to find the benevolence and skill represented by The Word.

Paceline home.
Norberto, and Griffin are High School students, and Tony is married and a father of two small children, but one thing they all share is riding in a paceline thrills them.

While our Captains are fired up for a great season in 2015, they have yet to shake the fatigue from 2014's big Oregon Cup Individual Time Trial success.

New riders with such fresh motivation inspire the veterans.

Sunday at 10am is a big hit!
No matter how hard trainers train, a train can still derail their training.

Monday, September 08, 2014

OBRA Championship Jerseys

The Holy Grail
Every year Oregon Bicycle Racing Association features key racing events where the winner gets double points in the BAR, and also the right to don a special "OBRA Champion" jersey.
A racer can win a jersey in the discipline of their choice and in the division they qualify for.

This year, three Word-RCB racers won a total of six OBRA Jerseys.

Gillian Bergmann

Seventeen year old Gillian Bergmann set out to win the Oregon Cup Individual Time Trial Seriess in her Junior Womens' age division, and did.
Months before, she stepped up her riding miles, and worked hard in the weight room to prepare.

A bi-product of her diligence and hard work is she also attended and won the OBRA Junior Track Champs at Alpenrose, the TT Champs in Peoria, and the classic OBRA Hillclimb Championship held at Government Camp.

More than just championship on the bike, Gillian brought great honor to our organization by becoming an iconic mentor in the elementary school cycling culture at Blazer Boys and Girls Club.

Jaden demonstrating cleen and jerk.
One of her more casual yet major accomplishments for Cyclisme Racing Programs happened when she introduced a younger Wilson HS classmate to the team. His name is Jaden Salama, and in the space of a year, his athleticisim transformed.

Working in very much the same weight room, plyometrics and road miles regime as Gillian, Jaden got faster.
Pursuing the Oregon Cup Individual Time Trial Series in the same division as Alex White, Jaden found a friend and a fast champion to pursue. Finishing in second place behind Alex most of the series, and in in the Oregon Cup Individual Time Trial Final GC, Jaden was always gracious and supportive of Alex and The Team.

Joshua is a good student.
Jaden was also a key mentor supporting the kids at Blazer Boys and Girls Club, especially in the weight lifting instruction of young Joshua Morris. Practicing a variety of lifts centered around the cleen and jerk, Jaden bacame stronger.
It paid off too. His improvement was especially evident when Jaden made a huge crowd pleasing attack at the Oregon Junior Track Champs. Taking only one of the older 17 year olds with him, he was just nipped at the line, still winning the 15yr old championship.
Developed as a well rounded cyclist, Jaden also climbed from Government Camp to Timberline in 40.37 to win the 15 year old division OBRA Hillclimb Championship.

Dan "Double D" Dhounau is a 50 year old Harley Davidson motorcycle mechanic who came to the team when we discovered him doing laps at Alpenrose in 2010. Double D is a quiet mild mannered individual who has a great sense of humor, and always stands ready to be of service to the team.
It was his discovery and repair of an overly tight hub cone that allowed Jake Hansen to explode into the 2011 Nationals Points Race (lapping the field)  after a confusing lack luster performance in the Omnium. Jake had been racing with brakes on until "Double D" rescued him..
Double D and Hilde on rollers.
This kind of integrity and discipline have made Double D a beloved team leader.

Dan has worked on something new every year and his prowess has progressed. He won his first OBRA Bronze Medal on the Track in the Master's 500 last year.
This year, in the early season, he lifted weights to build strength, and rode rollers to improve legspeed. With improved legspeed and power, as well as an improved aero position, Dan won OBRA Track Gold in the Cat 4, 4k Pursuit.

Monday, September 01, 2014

White on White.

Alex White.
Champion Racer Profile
Photo and profile
by Tim White 
Alexander “The Great” White
What does it take to make an overnight sensation?
In case of new Oregon Time Trial Cup Champion Alex White it’s taken years of dedication and training. Even before his first time trial race in 2010 Alex had fantastic endurance. He was doing century rides on his own bike at age 9 and earned the moniker of the Century Kid” on the 100 mile version of the Vine Ride for being the youngest participant under his own power on the ride. It was on these rides his focus first showed through.
Alex has always had the kind of tough that it takes to endure on the longer time trials. In 2010 he took part in his first triathlon, and before the end of that first summer he was only 1 second behind first place to a competitor 3 years older. That was all it took for him to decide to go after the sprint distance races. Then 2 years later Alex took on the Olympic distance triathlon. He captured the Tri NW under 15 age group championship two years running before setting his sights on the time trial cup series.
Alex brought the same focus & dedication used to win the Olympic distance triathlons to his pursuit of the TT Cup. When other people were celebrating the 4th of July, Alex insisted on training at Wildcat Mountain so he would be ready for the next race. Alex has the aerodynamic form, mental focus and endurance to grind away the competitioIn addition to being a champion racer, Alex was a 4.0 GPA student at the Creative Science School and will be soaring as a LaSalle Prep Falcon starting fall 2014. Not only adept on two wheels, Alex is a skilled unicyclist, a skill he learned with Circus Cascadia, a Portland based non-profit he has spent the summer volunteering with to bring clowning and laughter to Portland youth.

A true renaissance cyclist, Alex has earned his place as the Great White on WORD RCB-by Cyclisme.