Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jason Lapierre Video and Team Spotlight

Not a moment too soon! Perhaps as we all contemplate a winter of sitting on a trainer in the basement we can watch THIS VIDEO and feel a bit more pumped about racing for the best team in the world (except Quick Step). It's not quite Steven Spielberg but I'd say it's pretty close.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Around Lake Tahoe Bike Race

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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

One more big club ride !!

Hey guys,
Group ride (no drop rule): Wednesday evening, 6:00pm, Extreme Bean.

I would love to get a ton of people out for one last massive club ride before the snow flies. We have our BBQ coming up (Oct. 15th), but it would be great to ride with some/all of you before. This would be an opportunity for me to hear your thoughts on the club and how it could get cooler.

I plan on refocusing the club next year on our riders, group rides, skills sessions, grassroots building, team building, and atmosphere. I think, even though all the races we hosted were totally great, we will host only 2 races next year; the Praire-Roubaix (which in my opinion was the best race of the season for atmosphere) and the the JayLap Omnium (hopefully as part of an Alberta super week coupled with the Tour de Bowness, and Midweek Race). This will ensure our club members have more time for what our club is great at and known for - training and learning to race as a team! This will also open up opportunities for other teams to take an active role in race hosting, which is good for the community.

Let's meet on Wed. evening at 6:00pm at the Extreme Bean. We'll do a moderate loop and will focus on keeping everyone together. I would like to film some of it for some team promo stuff and team skill building next spring, so if you can make sure to wear your Speed Theory Cycling kit, that would be great.

Any non-club members who want to join us (for the ride) are completely welcome. If you are interested in joining Speed Theory Cycling next year (and have an ABA license) then come out and meet some of our riders. If you are part of another club and want to host a race next year, come out and I will let you know how we can help you get started!

Wednesday evening, 6:00pm, Extreme Bean.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Cross of Pain!

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for!!!! Cyclocross season is kicking off this weekend, and with that yellow thing that has shocked us all by appearing in the sky, Edmonton is the place to be. How often does anyone say that? Edmonton is home to the first double header cyclocross races of the season. School of Cross brought to you by ERTC is on Saturday, and Hop n Hurl which is put on by Hardcore Bikes is on Sunday. While Edmonton seems like a long drive for cyclocross racing, one has to put into perspective the amount of fun that is going to be had, to make you forget about the mind numbing QE2. It’s not just about YOUR race it’s also loads of fun being a spectator. Besides crits, these are the most spectator friendly bike races to watch, probably more so than a crit. What other race do you get to see racers for the majority of, with loads of action taking place right before your eyes, like jumping barriers either still attached to bikes, or with bikes on their shoulders, running or riding through sand pits, and lets not forget the smiles trying to mask the pain written all over their faces.

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.

Hop n' Hurl Tech Guide

Dig out your cowbells, because everyone NEEDS MORE COWBELL!!!!

Cross Country Races throughout winter.

Guys, make sure to remember about the CalgaryRoadRunners' totally awesome XC running series over the winter. These races are less about running and more about extreme bursts of pain, which makes them absolutely perfect to keep that edge over winter. Honestly, don't worry if you are not a runner for these races, sure you may be beaten by a lot of the runners, but think of it as a challenge. I always recommend doing some solid high intensity at least every two weeks throughout the deep dark winter (especially if you are a masters athlete) and these races will get you motivated to hurt. Quite a few of our members regularly come out for these so you be around some familiar faces. They are $10 and you get as much free stew and dessert you can eat at the end. Talk about a deal!

The courses are absolutely ridiculous in their terrain (thus not catering to pure runners), which makes for a perfect lesson on pain tolerance and management. Which, as you know is what cycling is all about. Bring extra clothes and race as hard as you can!

The first race is the River Park Classic XC on Oct 2nd and gives you the opportunity to race through the Elbow River !! .... twice !! When do you get that opportunity? Come join the fun, and then cheer on your team at the Dark Knight that evening.

Also, these XC races have a fun kid's race just prior to the adult race so the whole family can come and enjoy. The kids love watching their parents race through the Elbow since they don't get to see their parents doing ridiculous things like that that often!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Dark Knight !! Oct. 2nd evening.

Calgary's only night time cross race is coming up and it is time to plan to compete or go watch! Ed puts on an exciting event and the party atmosphere is always high. On Oct. 2nd evening, plan to be watching the racing by at least 8pm at COP. The course is alway cool and if you haven't watched Cross before, then this is a great one to start. I took Jaya to this when she was only 2 and the free glowsticks and crashes kept her enthralled the entire race! If a race can keep the attention of a 2 year old for over 60min, just imagine how cool it is :) So there is no excuse not to show up, cheer for your team mates, and enjoy a truly unique sport that most of Calgary doesn't even know exists!

This event is spousal friendly since it is high action for 2 hours, and then you can take your partner out on the town after that.

More info can be found on the ABA website.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gran Fondo

Hi all,
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:
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.

Road Cup Team Results

They are up on the ABA website, available here.

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
Juventus 871
Team H&R Block 702
Bicisport 605

Great job everyone! Participation does count!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kootenay Krusher - 50km Mountain Bike Race

As the ABA mtn bike race season comes to a close, this past weekend I participated in a few non-ABA sanctioned races. Saturday I participated in the Corporate Challenge mtn bike race at COP, and helped two of my coworkers get a taste of what it feels like to win a Gold medal in a mtn bike race…even if the competition is not part of the ‘race’ community and you almost feel a little out of place. The people I work with would disagree. I have never done a race before and had the announcers tell me I need to ‘slow down out there’ Isn’t this supposed to be a race?

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. 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 Mountain Bike Stage Race

The Furious3 Registration will open at 12:01 am this Friday September 17, 2010. Only 200 spots are available at this time.

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

Speed Theory's Excellent Revelstoke Adventure

Four Speed Theorists made the long drive to Revelstoke for the Mt. Revelstoke Steamer Hill Climb. The trip was truly epic. Here's one play by play:

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.

Team 2010 Race Photos!! and Team BBQ

Guys, as you have seen throughout the season, Mark Kay, the photographer, usually attends our races and starts clicking as soon as the action starts. He has an eye for some great shots and I know a lot of our team as purchased photos from him over the years.

This year, I was clicking through the photos and there are a ton of great ST Cycling shots! I contacted Mark and we have set up a 'team order'. I want it to be fair for everyone who raced.

Here is the deal! Everyone from our club can browse the photos and the club will pay for ONE photo of you in 8X10 size. This is going to be a solid expense to the club, but I think it is a neat kickback for the people that raced and it is always nice to have a quality shot of yourself racing. You can make it your family Christmas card handout. :) If you want more than one photo, then no problem, but email me and tell me how many more of yourself you chose and I will tell you how much you owe.

Please make this painless for me. :)

Here is the procedure:
1.) Follow this link and type in 'speedtheory' for the password.
2.) Browse the photos.
3.) When you choose the one you want, 'Add to Favorites'. (If you chose more, add them and then email me)
4.) You are done. I will collect the favourites and pay for them.

I am doing this partly to save myself some time too, since I like to have great shots of our riders for blog posts and the banner. This way, you guys find the wicked shots of yourself without me filing through a million photos. I'm learning eh? !! Delegation!

Have fun with that. I have already chosen mine.

Also, let's have a big 'End of Season BBQ'. The team usually does one without kids and then one with kids. Last year we did a team Halloween party that included the kids, which worked out really well. So let's plan and make the 'Without Kids' party (read: Team pays for beer and wine and food) super soon. I will give you guys enough advanced warning to find sitters and designated drivers. Anyone have any cool ideas for the BBQ? Tom Kenny's was fun last year. Email me with ideas.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Masters Provincial RR Cancelled

Crankmasters had only 25 people signed up as of this afternoon. That's not enough to justify the number of volunteers, ABA officials and hall rental required for a road race. They really need 50 racers to make it happen, and to double the number of entries in 24 hours seemed unlikely.

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.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Darwell ITT

Congrats to Dennis for 1st place Cat 1/2 and second fastest overall time at Darwell TT (formerly Cloverlawn) last weekend.

Results: here

Racing this Weekend

A few races are on the menu this weekend including the Banff Triathlon and the Provincial Masters Road Race.

The Banff Triathlon might be something to remember, the water temperature in Two Jack Lake is apparently around 10 degrees C and won't get any warmer over the next few days, might literally be breaking ice on Saturday morning. The bike is 2 and a half loops of the Minnewanka TT circuit and the run is through Banff town.

The Provincial Masters Road Race is Sunday.

Mount Revelstoke Hill Climb is also on Sunday.

Who else is racing?

We're all the same.

Michael and I met up in Banff on Sat morning and rode out to Castle Junction where we met Paul and Marilyn and proceeded to Radium and back. Michael and I had just connected with Highway 1A and were just passing the MuleShoe campsite when we saw a cyclist in the distance. Both of us were well aware we were going to be late for our planned 9am meeting at Castle Junction with Paul and Marilyn so we were taking short pulls and not going easy. We passed the cyclist like he was standing on the side of the road. I noticed he had big hiking boots on, big flowy Goretex rain pants and jacket. His big hood was up over his head and his helmet was perched on top. He had cheap plastic toe cages, but the buckles weren't done up. Probably because of the hugeness of his hikers. He also had a backpack.

I thought to myself it was pretty cool that this dude must be riding out to Johnson Canyon or one of the hikes along the 1A. Anyway, when we passed him, I was taking my pull. I was crouched down over the handlebars and riding a solid tempo. A few minutes later, I wave Michael through and start to come around. I did a double take when the hiker was tight on Mike's wheel !! He skillfully dropped back so I could slot in in second. Just the smooth way he did that I knew he was an experienced cyclist and I didn't really have to worry about his skills.

Michael and I came to the first of the hills along the route and laid it down pretty good. Michael's coach had told him to 'hit every hill like it was an interval' so we did as prescribed. At the top, we rolled up into a big gear. I thought it was too bad there were these hills or our hiker friend would have had a draft to his trailhead. ... ... That's when I heard the familiar 'click click click' of gears behind me !! The dude was right there !! Awesome!

Anyway, Michael upped the pace and we traded pulls even harder to the second set of climbs. The hiker was a shadow, skillfully ensuring to stay in our drafts while we pacelined.

At the summit of the next climb, there was a car parked at the side of the road. We followed the aim of the camera lens sticking out of the window and there was a MASSIVE grizzly sitting just to our right as we rolled by. Pretty cool.

Nearing Castle Junction I slowed up and waved the hiker up beside me. I could barely hear myself yelling to him over his billowing rain gear.

Turns out he is a Danish fellow here to see the sights. He rented the junker bike in Banff to ride the 1A to Lake Louise and back and see everything in between.

Us cyclists are funny. When there is a draft to be had, speed to be had, and a quicker time to our destination, I am not sure many of us would pass it up. The dude didn't even see the grizzly !! He was so intent on sticking to a wheel !!

I would have done the same thing in Denmark!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

City of Calgary pathway survey

As a cyclist in this city, you can choose to ride on the road and risk incidents like Dennis, or take the pathways, and risk encounters like "Reinier vs. off-leash-dogs, July 2010" (ok, perhaps less publicized, but still traumatic.)
Either choice has it's hazards.

If you have not already completed a pathway survey, either online or with surveyors on the path, please do so. The deadline for this is September 17th.

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