Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Here are a few thought starters
I will actually learn how to do a recovery ride
I will actually do some stretching this year
I will learn how to have a conversation that doesn't eventually turn to cycling (though I'm not sure why)
I will subscribe to Cycling.TV
I will follow races more races than just "Le Tour"
I will race more
I will thank volunteers
I will volunteer myself, or provide one
I will read any post that Slayer Dan puts up
I will actually practice bike handling skills
I will pin my numbers on so they don't flap in the wind and irritate other racers
I will give myself up for a team mate, and trust he/she will do the same for me
If Trev is my coach I will do what he says, not more, not less
I will make every effort to have more women racing
I will never, ever get on Godfrey's wheel, it's pointless, no draft!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Christmas is almost here, and some ST members might need to drop some hints to loved ones for some last-minute stocking stuffers. May I suggest a copy of Bike Snob: Systematically and Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling, as an ideal choice for under the tree. In this fine volume of satire and wit, the author Eben Weiss explains to cyclist and non-cyclists where cycling and cyclists have it all together and where we have wandered off the straight path. For example:
"bicycles do not have souls. I don't care if was hand-crafted beneath the wooden boards of a velodrome by a master craftsman who was standing knee-deep in a pool of chianti while Fausto Coppi himself was doing laps overhead. That bicycle does not have a soul. Riders have souls; bicycles have wheels, and pedals, and occasionally cool paint jobs." (p. 144)
But, the most useful section of the book might be the chapter titled "A Brief Guide to Etiquette for Non-Cyclists", especially the section headed "Don't Ask Us If We're Going to Ride in the Tour de France":
Organized charity rides are a good thing. They raise money for a cause and they provide an opportunity for cyclists who might not ordinarily ride in a large group or go particularly far to do so with support and guidance. However, the negative aspect of the charity ride is that non -cyclists see them and assume that they're races~even though actual bike races involve riders in tight formation traveling at very high speeds, and charity rides are composed of people in sweatpants and pinnies scattered all over the road and barely pushing 14 mph. A charity ride has about as much in common with a bicycle race as a game of kickball has with a major league baseball game. Still, when people see lots of people on bikes they think it's a race, and no amount of arguing, insisting, or photographic evidence will convince them otherwise.
And since anybody can take part in a charity ride, and since people think charity rides are races, naturally people also think that any cyclist can take part in the most famous bike ride in the world, the Tour de France.
The Tour de France is the most elite road race in the world, and only the top professional teams are invited to attend. And even if you're on a top professional team that's been selected to ride the Tour, your director still has to select you for the Tour squad. Nonetheless, there's not a cyclist alive who hasn't been asked by a non-cyclist if they're ever going to ride the Tour de France. I was once asked by a friend if I was going to ride the Tour de France, and when I laughed and replied "No," she scolded me for my bad attitude and told to think positively or else I'd never make it.
Nobody asks their friend who plays pickup basketball if he's going to be in the NBA All-Star game. But for some reason, people don't understand that professional bike racing is like every other professional sport in that it's highly competitive and the athletes are professionals. If the person you're talking to is not highly paid to race his bike full-time he's not going to be in the Tour de France. Instead, look for him at the local criterium peeling his face off the asphalt along with the rest of us. (p. 211-212)
I actually had a conversation almost exactly like that a few weeks ago over dinner with some friends...
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
The four heats consisted of groups of six pedaling as hard as they could over the 20.12km course, with an absolutely brutal hill at the end. The first heat and second heats were won by Chris Hooper and Jill Parnell in very convincing fashion. Mark and Wayde dueled to the very end of the third heat with Wayde winning by 3 seconds. After a 'slow' start Frank gradually pulled away and demolished the field in the big boys race.
If you're not feeling enough pain on your weekends, or you're just bored, this is definitely where you should consider spending some time.
URC #4 is tentatively scheduled for Jan 15th so keep an eye on the blog in the New Year as the spots will fill up fast! Be there or be slow in the spring!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
It has been a totally amazing experience to race with Speed Theory here in Calgary. From my first bike race ever, the Crankmasters' Moment Of Truth, when I met Trev and decided to join the team, to now, has been an awesome experience, and I want to thank every one of you with whom I raced, trained, got pumped up with, and hung out with...all that has been a huge part of why it's been so fun.
So many memories from the last three seasons of racing. A few standouts:
- Definitely seeing the ST crew for the first time at that Crankmasters TT, all cheering each other on, and thinking, I want to be part of that!
- Meeting Stephen on a cool-down ride after my second race. I was nervously riding in a double-paceline and he said "Buddy, you have to get used to riding close in a group" and he put his arm around my shoulders. I freaked out! haha He and I got in a three-man breakaway in the next race.
- Learning new pain thresholds at many Tuesday night crits and cross with German, Bayly, Carson, and lots of others
- C4 Wednesday night series races with Trev, Stephen and Alex (OMG, I'm in a break with cat 2 racers!)
- Lots of KOM battles with Wooley and Welchie, and the associated trash talk
- 300km randonneuring ride/race with Stephen and Trev in Tucson, and bonking with 100km to go
- Training camps in Victoria and Penticton (IMC course followed by Apex! Mt Baldy! Wheelers ride!)
- Epic rides with Stappie, Keith and other hard men...always involving at least 6 hours in the saddle and lots of gravel
- Banff bike fest - living and racing like a pro for 4 days, every year
- Nationals! with Trev, Godfrey, et al
And so many others.
Of course a big thanks to the Speed Theory gents, Jared and Paul, for both the direct support, and indirectly by providing the foundation for the team.
Far out - can't believe I'm trading the desk for the saddle next year! A solid winter of training, then off to Montreal late winter some time. Hopefully I'll learn French before I starve to death - although regardless, without my fat IT paycheck, I foresee lots of canned beans in my future... Lots of time to see you all before I leave, but after that, hopefully I'll catch up with a bunch of you at Nationals, or any time you're out east. And I'll be sure to get in touch when I am back in town down the road.
Pedal hard, and keep the rubber side down.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Races started early on Saturday morning, with the Master Women and Master C men starting at 9am. It was cool, dark and frosty which did nothing for motivation just to do the warm up! But it was the day we had all been waiting for, so it was time to find some. By the time the race started, the ground became soupy, adding some technical factors into the race course, which makes it my kind of course! Most people had watched the You Tube video of the course, and most were disappointed with what we thought would be handed to us on race day. Much to our surprise, it was nothing like the video and ended up being better than expected. It was still not nearly as fun as the courses we are used to, but I think this goes to show why Alberta did so well out there. Ours are definitely tougher. There was one section in particular that had a ton of twists and turns that went up or down the slope. When looking at it from a distance, you could see that ZM Cycle & Fitness (the race organizers) had incorporated their logo into the course, and it was the shape of the Z and the M. They only used blue tape in this section and yellow on the rest of the course, so it was quite clear that this was what they did! People struggled in this section with all the steep ups and downs with twists and turns, which made it my favorite part of the course. There were also a couple steep hills that people either had to run or ride, depending on the time of day and if it was greasy or tacky. My race was shorter than the normal 40 minutes, and was 35 minutes which meant going even harder than normal. It was a large field of around 17 women at the start line, and not knowing who you were lining up with made it even more exciting, which made it even more important not to miss your call up. I am so glad I didn’t miss mine, as the start was fast, uphill and fairly narrow. My goal for Nationals was a Top 5 finish, and I achieved that goal with 4th place. Keith B and Charles B were in the next group at 10am and they had strong races as well in a large field of 55 racers at the start line! We were then able to enjoy the rest of the day in the sunshine watching the rest of the races, and cheering for Alberta.
Sunday was a regular Ontario race, same venue and course, called Nationals Revenge. The energy was pretty low, as everyone was coming off of a Nationals high from the day before. Alberta still managed to get revenge and saw many back in the top 10 and on the podium. The women had a smaller field of 7 racers, and I got my podium finish of 2nd place, and a really cool Silver medal. I also got my choice of a prize…a bike pump or a light fixture (??????) It was almost like they realized last minute they didn’t have enough prizes and stopped at Home Depot on their way to the race that morning. Results can be found here
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have to say this was by far the best race of the season, just because of the energy and fun that was buzzing at Shaganappi Park on Halloween Day. Terrascape Racing did a fantastic job at organizing another fun race, which seems to be getting bigger each year. It was so cool to see so many costumes out, the women’s field in particular. I think it’s safe to say that if you weren’t dressed up, you felt out of place. Which is funny since I worried I would feel out of my place by dressing up. Lucky for me I didn’t worry too much, as my Strawberry Shortcake costume got me best dressed in the Women’s category, and a $25 gift card to a local shop. With 21 women at the start line, it was the largest number of women I have seen yet a cross race. Thankfully, my points in the series earned me my first ‘call up’ on both days so I didn’t have to work my way through the large field of women on either day. Marcy was dressed up as a zombie, as was Thomas. Jennifer R was Wonder Woman, and Tanya H was a Cross racer in a skin suit. Tanya earned the special 11th place jersey which had special meaning to Jeff Neilsen of Terrascape, and saw that the 11th place finishers in each category received their jersey.
Of special note, Katy Curtis schooled the boys again in Expert with a 2nd place finish, and this time showing them that a skinsuit doesn’t always make you faster, but perhaps a Tim Horton’s uniform does. Pepper Harlton held them off as well with a 4th place finish. Also in the Expert category, there was a little tomfoolery with CP Walsh and Tim Brezsnyak putting on a performance for the spectators who were enjoying beer and chili on the sidelines. In the Elite field there were a few people dressed up as well, showing everyone that even the fast guys have a less serious side to them. We had an Elf, a non-breathable 3-piece suit, and the best costume of the day, was a robot made out of a cardboard box and miscellaneous items found at Home Depot. The fact he even raced in it earned him props, and not only did he get best costume, he also got the Big Air prize in that category.
Great way to wrap up the season of ABA races, and the last ABA race is the River Bend Cross Madness in Red Deer put on by CABC. Tech guide is found here: http://www.albertabicycle.ab.ca/uploads/files/Red%20Deer%20Cross%20-%20Tech%20Guide%20-%202010.pdf
Awesome photos courtesy of Bill Quinney can be found here:
This weekend Keith Bayly, Charles Bougie and I are Toronto bound for Cyclocross Nationals competing in the Masters categories on Saturday as well as Sunday’s UCI race. Stay tuned for a Nationals race report!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The 2010 Cyclocross season in
The lovely and talented Pam (tlatP) came and marshalled a corner for me Saturday morning while I raced Sport. Keith’s Montgomery Jr High course packs a tonne of tough into a very confined space. There are very few flowy parts, lots of tight, technical turns, sidehills transitioning into 120° uphill corners, the requisite barriers, a 3 kilometre long set of concrete stairs and The Hill. The Hill rises about 4 metres at an angle just under vertical. There is about 60 metres of flat in front of it to build momentum. I don’t think anyone rode it successfully until the Elite race, where about ¾ of the field made it up consistently. That’s just unfair. The Sport group got to race it all with a patchy layer of frost on the ground, just to add to the challenge. Memorable bits were when I nearly bunny-hopped the dude lying clipped in in the middle of the tight uphill corner on lap umpteen, Thomas upgrading to Expert with his strong race and Darcy body slamming in the flat near the pits. (I didn’t witness Darcy’s styin’ move, but I hear it was epic.)
I got to take over tlatP’s corner for the subsequent races and learned lots by observation. Katy Curtis (3rd) and Pepper Harlton (4th) did serious damage to many egos in the Expert race. Shawna (6th), Jenn (9th) and Marcy (14th) flew the Speed Theory colours proudly in a sizeable women’s field. At least one of the women produced an expert and graceful snot rocket just after climbing The Hill. Were I not a happily married fella I would have lost my heart to her for that single demonstration of biking prowess. I later learned that I never want to race in a field that includes Shawn Bunnin. After the first lap, he rode away from a big number of strong Elite dudes and just kept adding to the gap throughout the race. Keith manfully held him off from lapping him at the end. His reward was another lap.
Saturday was such fun that Sunday could have easily been a letdown. It wasn’t though. Terrascape put on a great race in a cool little park in Shaganappi. This course was more of a power course with lots of wiggly/flowy straightish sections, the Big Air bump and most notably, the Knobby Gobbler. The Knobby Gobbler is a segment with a steep runup through pocket gopher bumps followed by an immediate remount and descent into a short section of singletrack uphill with a fine layering of pea gravel. I think this is where I did most of the crotch damage. On the upside, my style points for remount at the hill top increased with every lap. I lost about 10 placings on the first lap by overcooking a 180° corner and getting caught up in the barriers. Over the next 5 laps I managed to claw back about 5 placings before strategically overtaking my last competitor on the low side of a climb into the volleyball court. That felt good. Sadly I didn’t finish 11th (special prize placing), but Harley did, so that’s cool, and I did finish ahead of one of my team mates so I have minor bragging rights.
I got to see the start of the Women’s race before having to head off to a hockey game (I hope someone enjoyed my beer and chilli). It was a spectacle. 21 women started, with about 18 of them in costume. Linda Green’s horse was neighing and bucking throughout the starter’s instructions and she wasn’t even shushed. I left during the second lap without observing any of the enticing behaviour I’d witnessed the day prior, more’s the pity. Can anyone report on the remainder of Sunday’s racing?
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Shawna did a great job summarizing the weekend's 'cross in Edmonton. I have to say I don't have much to contribute to the write-up: I was at the tail end of the sport races both days. However, I have a problem: I accidentally left my race gear backpack at Gold Bar Park. The fine folks at PRW found it, so it's accounted for in Edmonton, but I'm here in Calgary. So:
1. Are any ST folks heading to Edmonton this week? If so, could you pick it up for me?
2. Do any ST folks have friends or family coming to Calgary by the weekend, and would they be willing to act as a courier?
3. Are there any non-ST racers from Edmonton reading this blog (since the entire ABA seems to read our blog) coming down for the the Brian Kullman and Beans 'n' Barley races that could bring it with them?
If possible, I'd like to get it back for the weekend, as my race numbers (along with other needed bike stuff) are in the bag. If you're able to help out, please contact me at dgullacher[at]hotmail.com and we'll work on the logistics with Pedalhead Road Works.
Sunday morning we were greeted with typical Cross weather with a rain/snow mix. Pedalhead Road Works hosted the race at Goldbar Park in Edmonton – home to an excellent cross country ski trail system. By the time the course was open for preride, the precipitation was out of the air, leaving the course wet and a little mucky. This was an awesome course, with lots of flow. There was loads of climbing/descending in a section that was suited for mountain bikes – definitely my favorite part of the course. Two sand pits, and lots of fast corners. In the Women’s race, I had my first experience with staying on a wheel and using tactics, making it a really fun race. The only other Speed Theory racers besides me were Darcy G and Chris Hooper. Darcy and I both managed to take advantage of the only spot on the course that wasn’t taped in our races, and kept going straight, instead of turning left. After I went through, they realized it should be taped so I didn’t have to make that mistake twice, as I’m pretty sure I would have.
Despite the chilly temperatures, it was an awesome weekend of racing. This weekend is the last of the Calgary races, which are sure to be highly attended. Saturday is our very own Speed Theory race (Tech guide is found over to the right), and Sunday is the Beans N’ Barley Halloween race, hosted by Terrascape Racing – costumes are highly encouraged!!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
It Is now over for another year, and I’ve shed my small tear of sorrow.
For those of you unaware of this series, it’s a weekly (weather-dependent) gathering of fools and friends that runs from early-September to mid-October. It’s facilitated by Keith Bayly, who organizes it all and sets interesting, unpleasant and challenging courses in parks scattered around
Two groups go every night, sandbaggers (B’s) at about 6:00, and masochists (A’s) at about 6:30. If you win the sandbaggers race, you have to go to the masochist’s race in following weeks. If you ride the masochist’s race you’ll typically have the pleasure of getting totally chicked by Katy Curtis.
The vibe is remarkably mellow. Most of us (sandbaggers anyway) are aware of our limitations and try to stay within them. People crash. Other people stop to offer assistance or mockery. Crotches are damaged in high-speed mounts. FUN! My average speed in these races is typically about 17 km/hr. It’s astonishing how hard it can be to ride that slowly.
Last night’s race was an unusual format, but awesome (well, not awesome literally, but awesome in a kind of Awesome Chile kind of way). Keith set out an oval about 70 metres long. We rode circles as a devil-take-the-hindmost race. The last 3 riders were pulled every 3 laps until 5 were left. Matt Joss rode off the front for the entire race and stayed away to earn his upgrade to Masochist. I managed to hang with the top 5 and got to follow wheels with Matt up ahead. I still couldn’t jump past my group in the finale, but managed to generate a fine rattling cough after I was done. I have no idea what happened behind me with Jennifer, Darcy, Shawna (and others?), but I assume that they were kicking ass until the mechanicals. Thomas, Charles, Rick and Ian contested the Masochist’s race where Thomas hung in almost right to the bitter end. The gap got him.
After the A race, Keith invited everyone left to one more go in the reverse direction, pulling one rider every lap. I didn’t hang around quite so long there, but I think I got pulled after Matt, so ha! A grand night.
Keith deserves buckets of praise (and beer) for the immense efforts he put into making this series happen. I doff my chapeau to you sir.
If you’re interested in checking out this crazy scene, I heartily recommend you attend the Speed Theory produced Brian Kullman Memorial race on October 30th. Even better, let Keith know how much you want to help pound stakes and
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday Oct 17th was the Remington Development’s Cross for Kids CX race put on by our friends of Midweek Mayhem. To all you folks who were first time CX racers, this is what you can expect of a Keith Bayly course - lots of tight cornering, sketchy descents, forced dismounts, bits of sand, and technical climbs. Do not expect anything less. In my opinion, COP is definitely the best venue we have for CX racing with so many different things to do with a course. I also believe, the night before the race when temperatures were dipping to zero, Keith must have went to the section after the barriers and poured a bunch of water there to create a nice little ice patch that would force riders to think about which line to take, or be prepared to be forced ‘off’ your bike…something he strives for in any course design. It was placed perfectly in a spot that didn’t see sun for the entire day, affected almost every racer and became the viewing spot of choice for many spectators.
Huge props already went out to Thomas for his exciting sprint finish which gave him a 3rd place victory. I’m glad I got to see the start of the Sport race, because it definitely had the largest field of 50 guys. Thomas made the best move by being in the front, and staying in the front, the entire time. He even helped drag around the racer who got 2nd. Awesome job to all the Speed Theory racers!
In the Women’s field, numbers were down slightly from previous races, which would definitely have something to do with the lack of Edmonton racers as a result of the Saturday race being cancelled. The start of the race was fast, and became furious in a hurry, when there was a slight pile up at the icy off camber section that took many down throughout the day. Despite several warnings from many about which line to take, I realized too quickly that I took the wrong line when I went down, and had another racer crash into me. 2 racers, 2 bikes all tangled up, causing everyone else to put a foot down and try to get around us. I was last to get up, only to see my shifter twisted sideways, and my bike unable to roll with a messed up derailleur and chain stuck somewhere in the drivetrain. Bike over my shoulder, I started making my way in reverse of the course direction to go DNF. Andrew T with Bicisport was standing by the barriers, and he offered his help, even though my decision to DNF was already made. After messing around with it for what seemed like several minutes, despite my DNF requests, he had me back out there. Thanks again Andrew! I now had to redo the barriers, and the section that got me in this mess. At this point, I was certain I would get lapped, but somehow, I dug deep and started catching people. It caused some excitement amongst the spectators, and I had someone tell me after the race I was like Ms Pac Man out on the course. While I felt disheartened about how things unfolded, I am so glad I got to experience what it’s like to be that far behind, and see what I was capable of. Of all the races we have done so far, this was by far my favorite course.
This weekend Provincials are in Devon on Saturday, and PRW Super Prestige is at Gold Bar Park in Edmonton on Sunday. Tech Guides are available here:
Devon Provincials Tech guide
PRW Super Prestige Tech Guide
Monday, October 18, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Speed Theory had great representation at the Dark Knight and Oval 'Cross races held last weekend at COP. The CMC/Bow Cycle crew laid out some fantastic courses, and good times were had by all. Of special note is Matthew Joss' 2nd place, Darryl Parry's 7th, and Shawna Donaldson's 10th in group C at the Dark Knight. On Sunday, Thomas Yip came in 7th and Matthew Joss in 1oth in the Sport class, and all the women did awesome in their race.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I was in Lake Tahoe this past weekend competing in three days of racing. About 10 years ago the weekend event started as the Lake Tahoe Marathon. Over the years the organizers kept adding events. The combinations are now almost unlimited, you can do back to back marathons Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you wish, you can do a triple marathon straight through, a “super triple marathon” (Marathon Friday, Marathon Saturday, Ultra Marathon Sunday) if you want. For the multisport types they added swimming, kayaking and bike racing events. So you can do many combinations of events. Being the multisport type, I entered a 1 mile lake swim on Friday, the Around Lake Tahoe Bike Race Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. A good solid training weekend I thought.
Friday’s swim was uneventful, the 14 degree C water in Lake Tahoe freaked out many of the Southern California people, having swam in Two Jack Lake 9 degree water a couple of weeks prior, it felt balmy to me.
On the menu for Saturday was the Around Lake Tahoe Bike Race. This was 73 miles, and about 400 “racers”. I would guess about 100 of those were regular road racers from elite to cat 5. The road was virtually closed and we had California Highway Patrol escort. The race started fast and stayed that way, at least at the front anyway. There was an early selection and about 50 racers established the lead pack. This pack stayed together until the first big hill where a couple of packs were formed. I managed to stay with the second pack for the entire race and finished with a decent placing. I was not sure how I would handle the elevation which ranged from 6200 feet to about 7800 feet. My lungs were burning within the first five minutes so combining the elevation and the modest 3600 feet of climbing it was a hard day. For some reason, I think the fact that I am old and had a finish time under three and a half hours (3:11) I received an award. I was decked out in 2009 vintage Speed Theory gear, including booties and arm warmers and a couple of dudes said the gear really stood out and was voted “best kit”.
The Sunday half marathon was a disaster for me. I cramped up early and spent most of the race with the walkers and “runners” with cameras posing at every view point asking their fellow “racers” to take their photo. They also stopped at every mile marker for a similar photo op.
Another highlight of the weekend was the royal straight flush I was dealt in the poker room at Harveys Casino on Sunday night which paid for the trip.
If you are looking for a getaway weekend with some racing give Lake Tahoe Marathon weekend some consideration. It was by far the nicest and most challenging bike and run event I have ever done. Check out www.laketahoemarathon.com
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
For the remainder of the Cross season, Edmonton and Calgary will alternate weekends with doubleheader action, so next weekend Calgary is home to the best races of the season that should NOT be missed. Saturday is the Dark Knight race, which is the BEST race of the Cross season. Sunday is the Oval race, and both are held at COP. Pure Cross Bliss.
On that note, I am CROSSING my fingers that I will be able to make it to Edmonton this weekend, but a wisdom tooth extraction this afternoon is going to dictate this decision. If Dr. Torture is willing to inject a little extra freezing into my quads, this could be a very good race weekend. Although, bleeding out on an Edmonton school field after an intense section of barriers might not be a good idea either, but the stories that are generated from Cross racing is what it’s all about.
For more information, registration closes tonight at 8pm for School of Cross tomorrow, and tomorrow night registration closes for Hop n Hurl on Sunday.
Dig out your cowbells, because everyone NEEDS MORE COWBELL!!!!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I want to let everyone know about registration for the Gran Fondo 2011 (Sept 10, 2011), which opens on Monday, September 20 at noon. This event was amazing this year - a spectacular 122 km ride up the Sea to Sky highway from downtown Vancouver to Whistler. The spirit at the start line (7am) was awesome! One lane was closed for the 4000 registered riders. There was a men's and women's Giro (competitive) event, which started 10 minutes ahead of the Fondo riders. There were 26 women in that, and over 100 men (good job Ian, Lockie, and Charles). First place purse was $3000. Wow! Anyone interested in the Giro can sign up closer to the time, but the Fondo sold out within days so I thought I'd let everyone know about it.
I won't miss it next year. I'll probably ride in the Fondo event, but to spice up the competitive aspect a little bit, there is a team competition within that. Teams are of 5 riders and can be single gender, or mixed. There were 11 women's teams this year, and about 60 mixed teams. I'm wondering who might be interested in riding in the team event. I admit it's not a cheap bike ride - $225 registration fee, plus whatever expenses you have getting to and from Vancouver.
If you are interested, check out the website: http://www.rbcgranfondowhistler.com/.
Oh, and if you're totally dedicated, and maybe a little bit crazy (yes, I mean you Rundle Mtn riders), you can hightail it to Revelstoke immediately after the Fondo to arrive in time for the hill climb the next day.
Lots of points in the last few races (150 points in the Provincial ITT - wow!) pushed Speed Theory to second place overall. I think we were in 5th place mid-season. Congrats to ERTC for a solid performance!
Here's the top 5 results for the Excel-challenged:
ERTC - Revolution 1074
Speed Theory 917
Team H&R Block 702
Great job everyone! Participation does count!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday was the 1st (now annual) Kootenay Krusher – a 50km singletrack mtn bike race at Nipika Mountain Resort. If you are not familiar with Nipika, outdoor enthusiasts should be. www.nipika.com Nipika has so much to offer year round. Lyle and Dianne Wilson have created an outdoor haven on their 1500 acre piece of land with kilometers of XC ski trails and sweet singletrack mtn bike trails. Lyle, a former Olympic XC ski coach, has taken the opportunity to start up this new race, and plans to continue it for years to come. About 100 racers took to the start line under chilly conditions Sunday morning with a 10:15am start. With dark clouds looming about in the sky, racers took off for a 50km epic day. I have never seen so much carnage mtn biking as I did on Sunday thanks to slippery roots and trails. During these difficult 50km, I came upon a few crashes, one in particular I had to stop on a sketchy, steep descent and help a girl who was trapped under her bike, and I couldn’t tell which were her limbs or parts of the tree. I got her bike off of her, and luckily a marshall was set up not too far away due to the nature of the trail. He heard what was going on and came to the rescue. I was able to carry on, and she apparently was able to finish the race so her injuries weren’t too bad. At that point, a girl caught up to me and we ended up pushing the rest of the 23km we had left together. We met up at the right time, as both of us were getting mentally wounded because of how rough the course was. A lot of hike-a-bike, and not a lot of flow beat up our bodies and minds pretty good, so that 23km seemed so far away. For both of us, meeting up turned into a hammer ride, overtaking the mentality of a race. About 200m from the finish line, she asked if I was in her category, I was, so we turned it on for a sprint finish. I rarely race with camelbaks, but because I wasn’t familiar with the course setup, I figured I was better off to wear it. My reasons for disliking them have been confirmed, because while I was taking the sprint, the nozzle rubbed off on my leg, and poured cold water all over my leg and shoe causing my leg and foot to instantly freeze up. I tried fumbling with it, and she caught me, taking 4th place, leaving me in 5th, with exactly 3 seconds between us. I didn’t think a sprint finish was possible in an endurance mtn bike race, but anything is possible…including a camelbak mucking up your sprint finish.
This was a very well organized race, at a great venue with such a fantastic job at designing the course…races like these take loads of work and they appreciate every minute of your enjoyment out there. I enjoyed it a lot, and I will be back next year!! Thanks Nipika and thanks to the volunteers!
Next up is this weekend’s Bow 80, the last ABA sanctioned Mtn Bike Race, if winter doesn’t have its way and force a cancellation.
Furious3 is a 3 day multistage mountain bike race hosted in beautiful Fernie, British Columbia. Furious3 Fernie is a race that caters to many different types of riders. Whether you need a warm up or training race for the one of the longer races, a shorter race to have a taste of multi day competition or you just don’t have the time or the money to invest in doing one of the longer multiday races then this is the perfect option for you.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday Night: Drive to Revelstoke, with the added bonus that we (Mike G. and me) can catch the entire Stamps-Esks game on the radio (for the under 25 crowd, "radio" is like an iPod, but someone else picks the playlist). Find the Cheeky Beaver Chalet, and most importantly, find the Village Idiot for apres-drive refreshment. Ask Mike about the dude with the drullet...
Saturday: Contrary to weather reports, Saturday is partly cloudy, warm(ish), and not windy. Do a 20 km easy spin, eat, pre-drive the course, watch Michael help a young guy install value extenders on his new 303s (the guy wound up in 3rd) and watch Napoleon Dynamite. For supper, we head down to the Woosley Creek Cafe, a really nice place that serves fantastic food. The ambiance was great, and it looks like the place for a candlelit romantic dinner. We weren't interested in a romantic dinner: Mike ate his food, I ate mine, and we made it quite clear to the waitress that we were NOT sharing a dessert under any circumstances...
Sunday (Race Day): Environment Canada nails the forecast. Rain, rain, and more rain. Drop bags at the start, head back to chalet, and ride back to start. The race is straightforward enough: ride uphill for 27 kms and hope to pass more people than pass you. After riding for ten minutes I didn't even notice the rain: I was too busy trying to breathe. The course is fantastic, with a nice, steep ramp right at the very end. Think five Norquays stacked on top of each other, with no letup at the top. Get into the chalet, find warm clothes, watch Jeff Perron from RMCC shake to death in front of the fire, and shuttle down. Clean up, back to the Idiot for awards, and then drive home.
Now for results. Remember, it's business; it's not personal:
Darcy G: 1:31.33 (25th overall, 17th in age group)
Mike G: 1:32.41 (29th overall, 20th in age group. The wrong age group... )
Carlos S: 1:37.35 (35th overall, 11th in age group)
Kailee B. 1:45.17(42nd overall, 3rd in age group. PODIUM!!!!) [Note: Kailee's the only ST who actually won money.]
Oh, and Kailee's chauffeur finished in 1:17.68 for 7th overall and 5th in group.
It was a great race. Good atmosphere, great town, and fantastic accommodations. Give this race a go next year if you fancy your racing with 1600 metres of elevation gain.
Friday, September 10, 2010
This is really sad because Alberta has so few masters category races as it is. Attendence at the Stampede RR was down this year as well.
Considering that the Speed Theory club alone has 50 masters-category riders in the membership, I pose this open question:
Why do you think there are so few people signing up for masters races?
Is it because of the weather? Schedule conflicts? Don't like the course? General lack of interest?
As we would know, it takes a lot of effort for Crankmasters to put on *two* full road races each year. I know Crankmasters is going to debate at their next meeting if there is really enough interest to have these races. If they can understand why people can't attend, maybe they can address those issues for next year.
Too bad... the Crankmasters races always had great door prizes after the race.