Monday, October 22, 2007

Rollers 101 Returns to Dishman!


Rolling at the nexus of "inner city youth," Fiona
Grahm found herself off the front where the pugilist
meets the cyclist. Thursday evening. On the Rollers,
in a hallway.

Pursued by a rider named Armstrong, she pedaled with
one leg and no hands, yet her lead went unchanged.

Such was the case when the BBC prodigy Fiona Graham
shared the glory of roller riding with Golden Gloves
Champion and undefeated pro boxer, Cedric Armstrong,
at the Knott Street Boxing Gym, Thursday night.

"I came to help other kids learn to ride the rollers,"
said Fiona, "I never thought I would teach a pro

OBRA clergy of all cloth were lending a hand in the
central hallway of the venerable community center that
is Dishman, when Rollers 101 commenced at 4PM.

Cat 3 phenom, Carl Choltus shared his carbon fiber
ride with a boxer named Jose'. Meanwhile, Sasha Lasey
pumped up the tires for lanky middle schooler, Adam
Mobutu, while big Kierin bumper, Chris Deardorff
adjusted the wheel base for 12 year old Janesha Sims.

Dr. Tony Ohotto built a stationary rig for the
smallest BMXer, while Dr. Jeff Gerwing pushed tour
CDs, found lost alan wrenches, and passed out water.
(or lost alan wrenches and passed out from no water)

Lilliane Gerwing and a little seventy year old man sat
on the bench nearby reading "Major Taylor."

The community center Director was so impressed, she
offered us another 8 weeks on the spot.

Rookie Dave Wingard showed up in his work clothes just
in time to clean up and carry rollers to the car.

Tim Bergmann and his daughters were waiting at the
Green Onion when we all arrived for dinner.

Now, I am not saying that cycling is going to become
bigger than boxing, but if it did, it might be because
of "Rollers 101" at Dishman Community Center, on
Thursday Nights.

Thank you everyone!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Alpenrose Cross Crusade photos

These photos are courtesy of Bob Libby

The New Bike

So here it is! Kona Major Jake, Alpha Q fork and post, FSA stem, King headset, Ultegra/DuraAce shifting, IRD brakes, DuraAce/Mavic tubulars, Tufo Elite 34 tires. About 17.5 lbs.

Thanks to everyone who put the deals together to make this happen.


Alpenrose Cross Crusade

Here's Chris Cross' race report:

It was a good race and a bad race today at Alpenrose. I lined up
front and center. It's nice to race Masters A since the field size
isn't crazy huge and we lined up only 10 minutes before the start.
I got a good fast start and headed into the first dirt in a
comfortable 5th. I lost some places during the first lap, but was in
the lead group in the top 10 after the first lap. Things went well
for a while. I was gaining time climbing out of the parking lot, but
losing time going to the bottom of the parking lot. Gotta work on

Somewhere in the middle of the race (25 minutes?) while descending
behind the velodrome, an angry bee decided to land on my left thigh
and start stinging. I was in full speed descend mode so there was no
way I was going to let go of the bars to swat the bee so I had to
rely on cussing and trying to blow the bee off. Neither worked. I
wasn't able to get rid of the bee until just before the pits.

Later while railing down the off camber left hand corner before the
big runup, I washed out and flew over the bars. I landed hard on my
head and shoulder then flipped and slid off the course. It took a
little bit to take inventory of myself to make sure I wasn't
injured. I was sore and shaken, but ready to go on. My bike was
not. I rolled the front Tufo off the rim. (overdue for a regluing
job that was already scheduled to start tomorrow). I didn't have a
rolling bike and was 50' PAST the pit. I shouldered the bike and ran
all the way through the velodrome, past the 6pack, behind the
buildings and down the descent to get back to the pit. Running with
a bike on pavement in Sidis is not recommended. It's way slower than
riding. I got lapped in that time.

At the pit, I got the new bike and was happy to be pedaling again
after all that running. The next time I rolled up to the bottom of
the runup I washed the front wheel out AGAIN and flipped over the
bars. No damage this time so I got back on and kept going. The
last time I rolled past this section I was much more tentative and
had no issues. I ended up much closer to the back of the field than
the front.

After the race, I took inventory and here is the damage: Forehead –
Bruised and scraped. Left thigh – swollen with bee venom. Atmos
helmet – destroyed. Tufo flexus – off the rim. A bike shifters –
twisted. A bike front brake – cable damaged. B bike shifters –
twisted. B bike handlebars – twisted. Nothing that can't be fixed
by next week!

All said it was a terrible finish after a good solid start. When I
put it together, I'll do well. Hopefully top 10.

It was cool to see so many Cyclisme and Yakima guys out there. The
crowd was huge. I heard something like 985 riders signed up when I
was warming up.


And here's Brotha Corndog's:

Brotha Corndog's race report does not involve any dangerous creatures nor over-the-bar excursions.

Rolling around before the race I'm concerned that my 2:1 gear ratio on the single speed will be too low on a fast and tacky course. After a false start we're off in a cloud of dust. OK, OK no dust as it was on pavement but there was mental "dust" from the lovely smell of cow excrement on the back side of the course. I went fast there because of the stink. I cheered GreGobrian at every turn where he would be coming towards me on a section where the route loops back on itself. He felt to be "in range" yet the distance wasn't perceptively closing. We played cat & mouse over a few laps and ran the six pack side-by-side which was pretty cool. Shortly thereafter we split on the steps as we were essentially still side by side. OK he was ahead but I was happy to let him pull. I chose the right steps while Greg went left. In front of me was a tiny junior carrying his bike rather slowly. I had little choice but to wait calmly as he summited the mountain. The day I barge some little kid is the day I stop racing. Now Greg is long gone and I get to cheer him on again as he is around the next switchback as I approach it. Coming into the velodrome I try the move where you pop onto the banked track for a better line heading to the infield. Swell idea until I eat it on the cement. Nothing big but I'm certainly not rolling forward. I spring up and remount, losing perhaps one place.

It's not easy to suffer for one lap and yet it *is* easy to suffer for one lap & I turn on what gas I have left. After the long downhill there's a gently arcing right hand uphill that has a really good line if you stay right. I come up on GoBrian at that spot and hit it passing him and one other guy. It was a spot that felt smooth and good and essentially is the kind of moment that makes me like cyclocross. I looked forward to this section every lap. So much of cyclocross is kind of binary where it's either dead easy ridable or just not. And then there are sections that are so slippery and tight that it seems like there's little speed difference between someone with basic bike handling skills and pro-level technique given equal horsepower.

Then the only thought left was, "Dude [yes I duded myself], in five minutes the suffering ends." so I just buried it to the line.

It was a clean fun race. So clean, I put the bike away & did nothing to it. The traction was tasty and the usual bumpy crap section next to the parking lot was muted due to the soft earth. I'm usually don't really groove on this venue but it was really great today.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cyclocross starts, and summer memories

Cyclisme had sweet success in sweeping the Sport 40+ category at the PIR ShortTrack series this summer. I actually pulled out my first bike race win ever in the final race. I'm sure it helped having teammates right behind me, but I'll take it!

The podium from left to right is Tony (2nd), Chris (1st) and me (3rd). This was a really fun series, and I'm pleased with my ability to ride it cleanly this year. Last year I think I crashed in just about every race. This year I had a couple sketch moments on the big motocross whoops while at speed, but managed to keep the rubber side down. Kris said there will be a Master's Expert cat next year, so we'll move up to that to dodge the "sandbaggers" call.

Cyclocross season started with a whimper (for me), then got a lot better. The previous entry about Kruger's Kermesse doesn't do justice to the level of suckness I felt on the bike. I trained, ate right, was well hydrated, and just could not stay latched on to a group. Charlie dragged me back up to the lead group, and I started to blow just a couple of minutes later. Oh well, the venue was great and I'm looking forward to it next year.

Hood River Cyclocross Classic:

The next race, and actual first 'cross race at Hood River went really well. Jeff was sick, so it was me and Tony lining up for the Master's B. I got a good start, and led for a lap or two before having to settle in 6th wheel or so for a strong finish. I ended up in 5th, and Tony was in the top 10 as well. The course was dry and fast. I rode clean, while Tony managed to entertain the crowd with s spectacular barrier crash. My new bike worked flawlessly, and my special ability to nail each and every big rock and root proved once again that racing cross in tubulars is a mandate for me. My Tufo Elite LPS set-up has just been killer. I hear a lot about hot the Grifos are so much better in the mud, etc. but I'm happy with the Elites (more on mud coming up).

Darren had a killer hole-shot start in the beginner race, after the previous day's hot start practices at Irving Park.

Major News was Liliane racing her first 'cross race in the womens field at Hood River. We gave her lots of verbal Cyclisme encouragement through the downhill switchbacks. A post race interview showed that she"liked it", and "had fun". Another 'cross convert.

Chris rode in the Master A group at 2:00 pm, but by that time I had reached the kids limit and we were at Charburger in HR, wolfing down the grub.

Battle At Barlow:

Last week was the Battle At Barlow. The weather reports showed lots of rain, so I made a dash to GI Joes at closing time Saturday to buy a pop-up canopy. I can't believe I raced in the rain for 3 years before doing this. A dry space, with chairs, dry cloths, etc made a huge difference. I met up with Big Dave before his 1st cyclocross race ever. Dave was in a slight panic 5 minutes before his start time, and asked if I had a spare helmet. I loaned him mine as I relayed my story about driving 2 hours to a MTB race, finding that I forgot my shoes. Dave had fun (I think) in the mud, exclaiming it was way harder than any MTB race he'd done.

Jeff and I then pre-rode the course to find mild 6" deep mud, ruts, and soggy slippery grass. We watched part of the C's race, then warmed up a bit and lined up front row. Tony and Charlie were also in the field for this race. I hammered the start and ended up 3rd wheel into the first turn. Jeff hammered the ground near the start and lost a few positions. I was able to pick good lines and stay upright. This race was really about not going down or having to even dab in the mud sections. The slight uphill rises were for me a 38x25 slow grind, while getting bounced left to right by 2' or more at times from the deep ever-changing ruts. Tony caught and passed me to move into 3rd place with 2 laps to go. I honestly gave all I had and could not close the gap to him. I went back and forth with another guy, and finally gapped him after an uphill slog and thew slip& slide flat area in the orchard where I geared up and busted my lungs. I finished 4th, and Tony was 3rd! Charlie was riding his singlespeed, with a bigger gear than he needed, and suffered accordingly.

1st two race take-aways:
RIDE CLEAN. Dabs and crashes in the mud are time suckers.
DRY SHOES. Warming up and pre-riding, then changing into dry shoes & socks for the race was a nice little boost (thanks to my wife, as I stole her shoes for my pre-ride).
CANOPIES ROCK. Next we'll bring the propane heater and a burner for hot soup, etc.

Tomorrow = Alpenrose = Game ON