Monday, October 27, 2014

Wind, rain, and pacelines.

Joshua is a blueberry dynamo in his full rain suit.

Dark skies, and an early morning rain storm inspired many not to show up, but those who did, had a grand time!

Jaden and Bergmann are on radios and keeping all well.
Balmy air on an inner city route made for perfect  conditions.

Beginners and State Champions alike enjoyed a brisk crossing of town. From River City to the Eastmorland Park sign, Portland's inner-SE side was traversed.

Lara Gifford pulls through to the front.
Riding close together, and pulling through on the lee-ward side, then falling back on the windward side were the orders of the day.

Little Joshua and new commuter Lara, had been practicing in the wind just the day before.

They did a great job of demonstrating their power and prowess in the more advanced ride the next day.
Lara and Joshua on Piedmont Bluff the day before.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Speed, unbridled!

Jason Skelton puts the death blow to the race.
Practice is usually a place to implement some of your skill, then return home before you are so tired you get sick. I often ask:
"What do you want to win? Practices or races?"
They usually answer "races!"

Thinking behind all this, is development comes safely when you practice within your abilities. Inevitably, even the conservative trainer finds themselves out on the edges of pain, and traction speed. As strength improves, skill follows suit.

Reasonably it works within the context of commuters who make race goals and rehearse them on the weekends.

Three off the front, shatter the field.
Recently however, the stakes have risen. Real racing has become one of the practice activities, and a go for broke, devil may care ambeance has permeated the scene. A real race peels your skin back and leaves dust where your heart once was.
Recovery takes days.

Out in northern most Portland's Hayden Meadow, Bob Mionskie showed us a two mile loop. Just two miles is palatteable to anyone. But three times in a row, climbing two hundred foot climbs each time, it bites you like a shark.

"On your mark, get set, GO!" are the mystical words that change everything. Now when you a wheel, the party is over. You are toast.

Everything seems to happen quicker when the racing is real.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Educating Joshua

Joshua Morris in the pack.
Development of bicycle racers at Cyclisme has always included a wholistic list of details. Mind body, and spirit all must be given ample attention in the activities Cyclisme cycling programs offer.

Coach Morris has a willing student.
Cindy and Dell debuted on the tandem.
Children are taught to read and write. Youth are expected to coach and mentor, and adults are led to serve the community in the fullness of their skill set. These supra-cycling elements build the team up in a way that is often vexing to an opposing peloton wondering how to come around our lead out.

The Gerwings watch as Elena pursues cycling.
Early this Sunday, our team event was improved by the attendance of our youngest, and most motivated team member, Joshua Morris. We were having something of a homecoming event featuring the visitation of famous members of yesteryear, The Gerwing Family.

Starting with breakfast at GRAVY, the group enjoyed a mega portion breakfast and laughter. Afterward, the group sauntered down to THE FRESH POT. Joshua got his carbon fibre bike out and rode it up and down the sidewalk. Little Elena Gerwing tried to keep up with Joshua on her tiny wooden stride-a-bike.

Preparing to sprin
She was thrilled to be playing on her bike under the adoring gaze of so many cycling fans. Joshua lent his cycling expertise graciously. Elena was all smiles.
Nurturing plants.
After lattes, it was down to Swan Island for speed work. Joining up with Robin Jacobson and Texas Lawton, the group gained enough strength to take on double digit mileage.
One would think when the paceline began to roll in earnest, little Joshua would drop away, but Joshua is not built that way. He is determined to perform well amongst his teammates everytime. Time and time again he came to the back of the pack and renewed his resolve to pull through to the front.

Finding strength and shaping character, Joshua empowers his teachers when they nurture him.

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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

All power to the people!

Weekend of Championship!

Double D and Jaden prepare to  become State Champions.
Mike Murray says, "move left."

Summer heat and a dockett full of events made the 2014 Senior and Junior Track Championships tough.

But with training, fitness, and good humor, Word RCB brought home a bucket of gold, bronze, and silver.

Lunch and snacks and cool drinks under the big tent kept everyone topped off and ready.

Double D was awesome as he did the mechanics for everyone. Pete Kirby made sure everyone had over 100psi.

Mike and Candi Murray of Oregon Bicycle Racing Association promoted and Officiated the racing.
Robin and Gillian raced the 500m and the 3k
Racing in Senior Women's Events as well as the Junior Omnium, Gillian Bergman donned Silver and Gold respectively. Her Team-mate Robin Jacobson raced the Cat 5s for Silver. Using a super easy gear to warm up, then shifting to a new high legspeed racing gear, she set a new personal record for herself in the 3k.
Pete Smith, Double D, Tim B, and Fergus in Pursuit.
In the Junior Boys Omnium Scratch Race, Willy Campbell pushed the field up track as Jaden soon attacked over the top. Willy won Silver in his division for the effort
Jaden Salama, Tim Bergmann, Fergus K, and Double DD raced the 1k, and the 4k.
Pete Smith joined Tim, Fergus and Double D to race the 4k TEAM Pursuit, as well.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

To vie is not to rival!

Approaching the twilight of a season in which the pace of the race calender has been casual, if not leisurely when compared to the intensity of Squadra Cyclisme years past, the display of athletes and athleticism in last Tuesday Night's Masters/Juniors was  as classy as anything inThe Lore.

Moreover, the Team Morale was high, as everyone was happy to see one another, and ready to put the hammer down on the competition. With so many big name racers out of town or elsewhere on Portland's busy Tuesday Night, Cyclisme speed took the event in just about every category.

Word RCB was the life of the show with the only pop up tent (presented by River City) on the infield, and a bigger turn out than Portland Velo and Half Fast - who normally rule the event.This time they were very kind hosts, who got in step with our noisy example by calling out times for all to hear. Then finally there was our race winning prowess. With all of the Juniors cheering, and our many coaches coaching, we made the neighbors think it was an international event.

The format was two events. 500m and 1k.
Listed below are the racers and the times of the "Word RCB, by Cyclisme".

Cindy Campbell   56.13
Willy Campbell    51.78
Robin Jacobson   51.49
Alex White          49.48
Gillian Bergmann  47.62
Dan Dhounau      44.27
Tim Bergmann     43.20
Fergus Kinnel      42.86
Jaden Salama       41.60

1 Kilo
Cindy Campbell   154.52
Willy Campbell    153.68
Robin Jacobson   144.11
Alex White          140.30
Gillian Bergmann 139.83
Tim Bergmann    130.23 then 130.62
Fergus Kinnel      127.55
Jaden Salama      127.52
Dan Dhounau      127.27

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lantern Rouge at Blue Ribbon

Captain Kinnell led new guy Nick.

Cyclisme signed up
and competed in three divisions of the Blue Ribbon Omnium, Sunday.

Cyclisme's participation marked Word-RCB's debut to 2014 OBRA track racing.

Saturday night track practices have been competitive, but actual OBRA racing was much, much more competitive.

Pack driven lawlessness seemed to be the order of the day. Chaotic high wall antics were often either too slow, or too fast, but tactically confounding.  Great skills were exhibited by all our Cyclisme racers as they held on to the tail of the tiger that was track racing at Alpenrose, Sunday.

Contemplating the competition.

Vast schooling was administered in the engagement. Plummeting into the speed of the Alpenrose cycling scene as of mid June 2014, four hearty souls free fell with poise and periodic promptness.

Gillian was able to go head to head with cat 1/2 women, including her old pal Hanna McDade.

Cindy Campbell pin's on Willy's number while Gillian Bergmann looks on.
Willy Campbell (13yrs old) was put at the mercy of Keegan and Kent's old whipping boy Killian Bailey. Eighteen years old now, Killian had such a turn of speed, his form seemed better suited for national caliber competition. Sleek BBC Juniors chased him with no hope of success.

Team work was implemented in the Cat 4/5 men when Fergus and Nick slung the Cyclisme bazzooka into combat. Both men scored a second place point each in the second race, a Tempo style (point a lap for 2nd and two points for first) Points race. Super Cyclisme speed strung out the pack a few times when Nick and Fergus found their way to the front and went for it.

Cindy Campbell did an awesome job of presenting race support with great nutrition set up in the shadows of some elm trees over Corner 1.

Pure and simple, Cyclisme Lore was honored by the bearing and poise our Team exhibited in their 2014 Track debut.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Marathon Martine makes for America!

Stevo takes off!

Steve Martine attended grammar school all the way through college right here in Portland, Oregon, but after he married a hot blooded woman named Lena, warmer climes would forever more be his home.

A student and master of the camera, Steve is a photographer by trade. He has taken photos at the behest of such notable names as Diana Ross, and Vice President Biden, and for such reputable institutions as the New York Times and National Geographic.

Reunited with the team that loves him.
Steve raced with Tim Bergmann  and myself on the PSU Cycling Team. Steve was a sprinter then. Today he is a man of big endurance and brick-wall strength.

Back in the 80's we all worked together on the school paper, The Vanguard. In those days he was a college news photog who used an antique system called "film."

Today he flys all over he world to take pictures with digital cameras that cost as much as a house, with an entourage of people like a small army. His career has him always on the go. From Bangladesh, India to London, England, from the beaches of the Bahamas, to the Mountains of Montana, Steve's camera is his ticket to ride.

He returns to the North West this time, to ride a bike, only. His focus is infused with a steely resolve that no one can shake. He suffers no distraction. He is getting ready to ride four thousand miles. Steve is here just to kiss his mama before he embarks on the Trans America Bike Race.
Fired up and focused.

Florida flat land sickness  had him wanting to acclimate to climbing during his few days in town. He starts early in the morning while visits to family and friends attempt to fill his vacation calendar. In Florida, a bridge over a bayou is called a climb. He needed to get something in his legs that foretold the intensity of Rocky Mountain slopes.

5000 feet of climbing Sunday with Bergmann and the boys of Cyclisme were just what the doctor ordered. Up at 5am, Stevo grabbed a solo warm up of 2000 feet of climbing up to Council Crest via the team's special traditional ultra steep goat path, called Paris-Roubaix for it's wild rough-road ride and adventure to temple busting asphyxiation.

Inside the ranks of Cyclisme racing programs Steve's reputation precedes him. When Steve arrived at COAVA Coffee Shop, Steve was met with awe and admiration. He and Tim Bergmann hadn't seen each other in three years.

After a few miles in the saddle, it was like old times.

Stevo left today along a little known back woods path to Astoria and will begin riding back East day after tomorrow. To follow his ride, go to

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pie Our Squared

The Brownsville Seven
Cindy, Robin, Sharon, and Gillian.


held i
May 17th, 2014.

Arriving early
a contingent from Portland met up with a pair from Scio, forming two teams for the technology free "Eddy Division." 

Eddy Merckx is the Belgian demi-god for whom the Eddy Division recalls old school toughness. Riding on regular road bikes with no aero bars, aero helmets, or special wheels, Cyclisme practiced the team tradition of the paceline one more time, for OBRA.
A team of women and a team of men warmed up and rode out of Pioneer Park to put their wheels on the official's start. Concerns of disparity in the strength brought on in earlier practices dissolved as everyone proved to be equally matched and ready to work.

Ridden on 23.8 miles of fairly flat terrain the women finished in 1:23:14, and the men in 1:02:38.  Approximately 19 mph and  23 mph respectively. Muscled with grit and good form, and only one brief departure from the course, it was all in good fun.
Fergus, Logan, and Tim.

Rolling with a leeward paceline most of the time, they adjusted for wind conditions and the relative strength of their individuals. Strength pulled longer while others hid low, in the lee of their team mate, hoping to recover that next little bit to put forth, out in front - in to the wind. Green and black Cyclisme jerseys flew across the Wiilamette Valley like sails on a cyclone.

Exercising the team tactics they'd practiced in the weeks and months before, 
they won 
Pie and Glory.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Champoeg Easy

Squadra Cyclisme Unfolding.

revived an old trick
and got some new treats
by riding the old Bannana Belt Course Saturday.

An ideal middle district for our folks from Portland as well as our new teammates, Sharon and Logan Trammell from Scio.
Champoeg Park is the famous site
where Hudson Bay Trappers,
Yoga in French Prairie!
farmers and native Americans met for annual "Gathering."

The Newly Wed Trammells.
Smooth paved roads, as well as a Gorge Roubaix style unpaved road, feature both flat terrain and rolling hills.

In a triangle from Donald to St. Paul and then to Champoeg Park is the historic area named the "French Prairie" by the early trappers who settled there in the the 1800's. French Prairie is the perfect cycling-team training ground
one hundred years later.

Expansive views, clean shoulders, and easy pacelines.
Cycling rural Willamette Valley Saturday was especially exciting, as no cars were on the road on a beautiful sunny 55 degree winter day.
Traveling to the practice added the training benefit of the rigors of just showing up, as most races are at least a half hour away.

Because there were no traffic lights and almost no stop signs on the route, the rolling was consistent for the whole riding time.  That feels very different from rides in the city. Similar though it is to race day in the world of OBRA racing.