Saturday, January 25, 2014

January 25, 2014 - Ride Report in Pictures

Ah yes, nice mild Saturday afternoon in January

10 of us made it out today for about 3 hours riding

We stayed together for the most part

Lots of riders out today

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 Club Registration is LIVE !

Team, the link for the 2014 Club Registration is now live!

We will be announcing when the AGM / Party will be soon, as well as our first round of clothing orders.

For now, register for the team so you are up to date when with AGM and clothing orders come.


Melbourne Road Bike Tour

It’s 5:58 am and I’m pedalling towards a twinkling cluster of red lights stopped in the distance, like an almond-shaped Christmas tree on its side. I arrive at the back of the group, and in the brightening twilight I see about 60 riders, some in green/yellow Australian national team kit – possibly here for a cool-down ride from road nationals the day before in nearby Ballarat. The forecast high for today is 41 C, so any long rides would need to start now.

A few of the riders look curiously at me in my team skinsuit and my rented road bike festooned with more wheel and frame reflectors than a kid’s bike from Canadian Tire. I ask the guy beside me how long the ride is today. He’s distracted and vaguely irritated, like someone trying to concentrate before the start of a big race. Then I realize nobody else is talking - no idle chit-chat. These guys are here to ride.

I look at my watch: 5:59 am. A few moments later, somebody’s watch alarm goes off - and like a race start whistle - everybody clips in. No waiting for stragglers in this group. The pace ramps smoothly until I feel like I am hitting the red zone. I look down: 49 km/h on level ground with no wind. It was my worst nightmare come true – I was riding with 60 other Trev Williams’s.

The initial section of the route takes us South from Melbourne on the Nepean Highway, a major artery complete with traffic lights and intersections, similar to Macleod Trail in Calgary. At this time of day there is little traffic in our direction, as the bulk of the traffic is heading North towards Melbourne. We approach a traffic light and it turns yellow. Several riders yell “rolling!” and we continue through, at nearly the posted speed limit.

At the next intersection, one of the front riders barks “Light!” as it turns yellow within 20 metres of our approach. I tense up and grab my brakes to avoid colliding with the rider stopping in front of me, instinctively squeezing harder with my left hand for maximum stopping power. My rear wheel locks up and squirms, because of course the front and rear hand brakes are reversed in Australia. After that event, riders leave a bit more space around me.

After only 10 minutes (and already 8 km) in the red zone, I start fading to the back of the group, and then I was alone. But that’s ok, because I soon find out that there are literally *thousands* of riders out every morning, so you will always find a group riding at your speed.

I reach the turnaround point at Mordialloc, and continue back North to Melbourne on Beach Road. Beach road, as the name suggests, follows the beachline with breathtaking ocean views. It has fewer traffic lights and has good pavement, but it does have a number of parked cars, pedestrians crossing over to the beach, and curb bulbs. As I travel north, I see countless groups of riders heading south in the other direction. Some are tightly-formed teams of 20-50 riders in full matching team kit, while others are a mix of teams like the group I’m riding back with. Got tri bars? No problem. I saw groups of 10-15 riders with tri bars riding together like they were pros. Actually... they probably *were* pros.

The entire scene is hard to comprehend. Imagine all of Canada’s road bike riders, on one road from 6 to 8 am, every day of the week. The entire left lane (curb lane) of the road in both directions is completely occupied with groups of riders like it was a tightly-bunched road race, except it’s not a road race – just a normal weekday morning with rush hour traffic.

It's ok to ride 2-up in Australia, but you can't turn on a red light. Riders actually follow the rules of the road here.

Having so many riders clog the roads has certain side effects. You don’t wave at passing riders like you do in Canada. That would be like being in a car and waving at other motorists. Also, don’t expect people to ask you if you need help. After I double-flatted on some broken glass, replaced my front tube and rode nearly 10 km to the nearest bike shop on my flatted rear aluminum rim (it’s a rental bike) in the rising 36 C heat, nobody – not one person – asked if I needed help. If you need help, you gotta ask for it.

After spending a week in Melbourne, it’s no surprise why Australia cranks out so many good road riders. If you get a chance, you should really check it out.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good to be out on the road

Dan, Rob, Glenn and I got out for a nice ride this morning in the Springbank area. A little chilly at the start and it warmed up nicely, not much wind. Let's hope it's the start of the riding season!

I think Harley had a ride going in the NW as well.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ride Saturday Jan 18, 2014 - Details posted in training ride forum

Maybe we can get out for a couple of hours on Saturday for a ride. I'll update this post later in the week.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Saguaro Lake 200km Brevet

You should have seen them on Maderia the next day!
It’s that time of year when a few Speed Theory members, friends and family head to Arizona and put their very early fitness to a test with the hard men and women of the Arizona Randonneurs.  I arrived in Tucson Boxing-Day 2013 with Paul and Trev showing up on December 31st just in time to party for New Years.  It just so happened that my three daughters and wife Elaine were in town which lead to a much more aggressive New Year’s Eve celebration than originally planned.  Let’s just say that we could confidently out ride the three twenty-year-old girls but we were no match on the party front.  This made for a very tough 120km ride to Maderia Canyon the next day.  We felt better on the 100km Kitts peak ride the following day and had fully recovered for out Gates/Star pass ride on the Friday before we headed up to Scottsdale. 

Packed for the trip to Scottsdale

After a big breakfast we headed over to the start and were welcomed by Carlton and Mike at sign-in. I had the great pleasure of riding with Mike on my Ontario 1200km brevet last year and have ridden with Carlton, one tough bastard, on a number of the AZ events in the past.  Unfortunately they had pre-road the course and were the key organizers on the event and therefore would not be riding with us.   It was warmer than expected; no long gloves required and we headed off with the other sixty riders at 7:30AM sharp.

There were a number of familiar faces from previous AZ Rando rides; Steve Atkins, Roger Peskett, Dick Wiss and Tom Baker but to name a few.  Another Canadian rider from Vancouver, Steve Barbauk introduced himself at the start-line and looked like another welcome addition to the Canadian train although a mix-up at the first control had him chasing all day.  There was another Canadian connection at the start; we noticed a rider on a bike made by local Calgary company Cycles Toussaint the rider was from the Sedona Arizona area.  

Stephen and Trev cruising down Dynamite Rd.
The pace was fairly reasonable off the start with fifteen or so riders separating from the main group.  With the first hills on Dynamite road the intensity went up or I should say Trev brought the intensity up and things came apart.  As we came to the first control we were waved into the Shell station to have our card signed while unbeknownst to us others had their card signed by the volunteer on the road.  We were in and out of the control in a heartbeat with young Daniele joining us but no Steve B.  Apparently Steve got mixed up in a group of riders that weren’t in the event and we were long gone by the time he realized his mistake.   To our surprise we could see three riders down the road. We thought that we had gotten sloppy at the control and missed rolling out with these guys.   We worked hard and it took quite some time to bridge.  Not surprising, as Steve A. and Roger were in the group with Kurt (the bulldog) Smith a new rider to us who would garner our respect through out the ride.   Trev rolled right by the riders with a few pleasantries then we were off with Kurt leaving his group and jumping in with us.  

As we hit the longer hills in the Saguaro Lake area young Daniel dropped off and even though we would drop Kurt on the hills he always turned up a short time later.  Kurt had local knowledge as he trained in this area and was able to give us local colour commentary.  We thoroughly enjoyed the scenery in and around this part of the ride.  Although we had coupons for lunch at the Subway Control we elected to skip the wait and keep rolling.  Trev had one of his hardest pulls after this control and I looked forward to my turn up front so I could rest.  I believe I also muttered a few unkind words.    We then hit my kind of hills, long and steady, so up front I went where I stayed for the duration of the major remaining climbs.  Trev then did another massive pull on the downhill and through a number of rollers, which saw Paul flagging a little from poor nutrition.   We weren’t far from the last control and once Paul was fueled up (V8 juice, who would have thought) he was back and bad.  We would see Kurt the last time at this control as he rolled in just as we were leaving.  We pounded back to the finish having to keep a keen eye on the navigation and unfortunately stop at a lot of stoplights.  We couldn’t buy a green light. 

We rolled into the finish in 6:57 having travel 206 km’s, climbed 1,863 meters at an average moving speed of 31.6km/h with 26 minutes off the bike or stopped.  All of this under beautiful Arizona blue skies on a well-organized brevet.

Just because we could we put in another 90km day out to Bartlett Lake and back the following day.  Very beautiful ride with lots of climbing, legs are officially baked.

This was the first event organized by Carlton van Leuven as the RUSA Regional Brevet Administrator and it came off flawlessly.  It appears that the mantle has been passed from Susan Plonsky into very capable hands. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Registered Members

2014 STC Members!

Susan Emerson
Darlene Forestell
Emily Jobson
Jennifer Joss
Marie Michalski
Wendy Powell
Erin Ruttan
Tanya Salomon
Marilyn Taylor


Dan Alboiu
Paul Anderson
Jay Bachman
David Baker
Brian Banderk
Dave Banderk
Blake Bartlett
Dennis Bland
Harley Borlee
Charles Bougie
Scott Bratt
Patrick Brick
Ernie Cosman
Ken Crockett
Rob Crooks
Chris Devries
Justin Fortner
Mike Healy
Keith Ingstrup
Jeremy Kitson
Carl Lapointe
Erik Loewen
Jeremy Luntley
Kevin Mcclelland
Peter Mccrory
Mark Michalski
Carl Miiller
Kevin Noble
Alan Oickle
Darryl Parry
Simon Spanswick
Nelson Whitmore
Trev Williams
Todd Wilson





Full Calendar