Friday, February 27, 2015

...and we have a new WNS Race Director!!

A big thank you to Alan Oickle for stepping up and offering to be the new RD of our 5 WNS events!

Thank you very much Alan!  We look forward to seeing what you come up with.

If there is another club member out there that was considering doing this as well, you help is always appreciated, so don't hesitate to get a hold of Darcy or I.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Night Series... race director needed.

Club, with Mike's move to Dallas, we have lost a very active, long standing, and involved club member. One thing Mike did the last couple years was head up our club's commitment to hosting 5 of the 15 Wednesday Night Series events. It would be great if someone took this over, so the series continues smoothly and as awesome as ever.

What would be required:

Not a huge amount of time commitment. Essentially, you need to be around for 5 Wednesday evenings and come up with a few fun courses or races that you would have liked to compete in yourself. You will have lots of help with course ideas from guys like Darcy, Tom, Ernie, and Dennis who have raced this series in the past and know what works. The races are pretty casual in terms of their time commitment. If you decide you would like to host a 10mile TT say on one of the Wednesdays, you simply post the route and the meeting point on the WNS site on Monday night with the request for how many volunteers you'll need (typically two). Then on Wednesday afternoon (around 2pm) you look at the weather forecast and ensure there are no tornado's rolling into town. If the weather is suspect, you post a 'its a go' or 'its a NO go' post, at your discretion, and everyone will respect your decision. Then you show up with a few sheets of paper and your stop watch on your phone. You organize your volunteers and start the event. Everyone thanks you after and you head home smiling that you contributed to Alberta Cycling.

If you are intimidated with coming up with 5 events, don't be. You will have lots of help and suggestions. We just need someone to say they will take the lead on this.

The Crankies will do the first set of 5 I believe, we typically do the second set, and then hopefully another club will step up to host the next set of 5.

Let Darcy or I know if you would like to help.

Thank you,

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sebring 24 hour bike race report

I’m not sure exactly why I came back to Sebring, Florida to do the 24 hour race again, after last year I thought maybe I would come back and just do the 12 hour. Anyway I signed up for it early in the year and tried to get in a few long rides to get ready. Last year my biggest problem was trying to stay warm during the chilly central Florida night. Nothing that 5 layers couldn’t solve and paying better attention to hydration and electrolytes.

Race day started at 6:30 AM and about 5 degrees C. Light to moderate wind from the north. It was sunny all day so the 15 degrees C seemed warm enough.

I entered the 24 hour draft legal race, the other race was the RAAM qualifier with no drafting. Most of the fast guys entered the RAAM qualifier. 400 miles in 24 hours needed to qualify.

I managed to get into a nice pack of about 10 riders for the outbound 50 miles headed north into the wind. I lost the pack at the 50 mile aid station and spent the rest of the day solo. 

Finished up the first 100 miles in about 5:25. Then onto the “long loop” around Sebring, 8 times 11 miles and then onto the race track just before 6:30 PM. NASCAR bought the track last year, nice guys, they continue to donate the track once a year for the bike race. Silverstone in England charged 100,000 something for a fondo over there.

Lots of loops around Sebring race track (42 total) and into the night, got a bit cold again and the layers went on. At 19 hours into the race I stopped in the pits to see the timing print outs. I was surprised to see I was 15 miles behind the leader and 25 miles ahead of the third guy. At that point I thought I would just go back out there and ride as hard as I could for a few hours to see if I could catch him. I dropped back into the pits 2 hours later and saw I was on the same lap as the leader so I had to go back out and find him and pass him. Never found him and found out when I crossed the finish line that he had dropped out of the race a few hours back. So I logged 352 miles, 50 miles ahead of 2nd place. Here is the Strava file.

In the RAAM qualifier, Marko Baloh had clocked a new Sebring record of about 520 miles beating the old record by 18 miles. It is very impressive to see those guys riding in time trial mode, not stopping, and getting bottle hand offs for 24 hours.

Another good lesson is to always use a rental car for support for a 24 hour race. What a disaster zone! Good luck Enterprise cleaning that out. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 Clothing, final update!

OK, finally everything is up and available to order from Champion!  Whew, that was a little more involved than I had planned for and hopefully their front-end user interface will get a ton better with time, but we are now good to go and order everything I recommended.

All the women clothing is now available. This is the Bella Shorts and Jerseys.

The clear rain jacket (which is essential if you are heading to Oliver) is available. The Repel jacket is crazy expensive, so only order if you are looking for a specific piece of equipment.

Remember, make sure to first use the LEFT login screen to login with: speed and the password: theory

Then you make your profile and can order.

Here is the link with detailed instructions to order.

Remember, you have to be a CURRENT club member to order clothing. Follow this link to register.

I apologize for Champion's horrible horrible front end, but I am hoping it improves greatly over time, like their clothes did from when we first started with them like 7 years ago.

Thanks guys, and see most of you soon,

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Clothing Update. (UPDATED Thurs evening Feb. 12th)

I have been having a few questions about the clothing order and this new method Champion System has implemented.

Women's shorts.
I have asked Sean from Champion (our contact) why there aren't the standard shorts and bib shorts offered on the sale site, only the really expensive Razor model. He said that is an error and he will add it soon, so I will update here when that happens.

[Update] :  They are currently creating the the proofs. So I am going to get them to extend the deadline out so that this is possible.

Your a new member, or new cyclist.... the choices are overwhelming!!
Looking at what is offered through inexperienced eyes would be tough. On Monday I will post a 'The Essentials' list so you know what you need and what is 'extra'. So hold off if you are unsure and I will let you know on Monday.

Essentials for Men:
To race an ABA race or to show that you are part of the club in the Wednesday Night Series, you will need at least an STC jersey. The CS Tech Short Sleeve Jersey is perfectly fine. A lot of the club has gone with the Airlite Short Sleeve Jersey since the material is a little lighter and it is cooler on warm days. I have the 'Summer' jersey and really like it for hot days and it is really light. So get at least one of those. The 'Edge' stuff isn't really worth it. The 'Razor' line of jerseys are OK, but I don't think super if this is your first couple of jerseys. They are more 'race' type jerseys since they are quite tight and I think the pockets are a little smaller. I have some 'Razor' ones, but they aren't all I wear by any means.

Most guys wear bib shorts. The CS Bib Shorts are perfectly fine as long as you get the 'Silicon Gripper' upgrade. A lot of people have liked the longer distance chamois. The 'Edge' stuff isn't worth it. The Summer ones are quite thin and I would suspect wear out more quickly. The Razor bibs are OK, but they are quite compressiony and shouldn't be your only shorts. These would be shorts you order after you know what you want more. I have a couple pair of these and they are good, but it's not like I don't wear the regular bibs anymore or anything.

Vest or light jacket (optional):
A lot of people like vests. The 'Windguard' vest DOES NOT have rear pockets, which really sucks. Get the 'Intermediate Vest' so you still have access to your nutrition and now you have 6 pockets if you are on a long ride! I have the 'Thermoshield' Vest and I use it quite a bit and it has pockets too. I find with this vest, it is quite usable for Calgary, since it really isn't really hot for very long.

As far as jackets go, I really like my Thermoshield jacket and it has rear pockets as well. There are a few other really expensive options, like the Repel jacket, but I'd hold off until you are a more experienced cyclist and you know exactly what you want. That would be a lot of money to spend and maybe you find you don't use it that much. I have the Repel one and it is awesome, but I got it when I knew exactly what I wanted and what I would use.

One really really useful piece of clothing is the Clear Rain Jacket. you can pack this in your jacket rear pocket and pull it out whenever. I never ride without at least this jacket...ever. It is no big deal to stuff in your jersey rear pocket and pull it out if the weather turns.

Women's Essentials:
Everything is the same as the men, however, get the longer distance chamois for sure.  Most women prefer Shorts as opposed to Bibs. So only get the bibs if you know that you want them, otherwise, if you are fairly new, shorts instead of bibs are good for now.

Feedback from our women are that the 'Razor' shorts aren't flattering since there is a tight seam that runs mid inner thigh.

Ask any questions as comments here, since I am sure others are wondering the same thing.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Road Racing -- A "Lifestyle" Sport: 2015 Edition

Originally posted back in January, 2011. In movie terms, it's time for a "reboot". 

Huge thanks to Trev and Speed Theory for a great AGM last night. As a follow-up, I've got a few tips for all the new racers this year.

On the Alberta Bicycle Association website, road cycling is described as a "lifestyle sport":

Road cycling is best described as a lifestyle sport. It satisfies those who crave competition, it provides camaraderie for those looking for something to belong to, it provides immeasurable health benefits and, by travelling to races in scenic locales and exploring the countryside on training rides, it provides a means to experience the world.

Here's what else is meant by "lifestyle sport":

1. Your disposable income just got disposed of. Say goodbye to your savings and hello to a new lifestyle lived on the edge of insolvency. Between club fees, kit, race license fees, race entry fees, getting to races, accommodation at races, food, bikes, wheels, spare wheels, TT wheels, regular helmet, TT helmet, spare helmet, shoes (road and mtb), and so on, you'll spend equal to the GDP of some third world nations.

2. There's no such thing as too many bikes. So, you try out this road racing thing on your 2004 Specialized Allez aluminum, entry-level road bike and have a good time. After a couple of races, you notice that everyone else seems be riding a bike nicer, lighter, and faster than yours, at least that's the excuse you're using for finishing in the back third in all the races. (I have different excuses now.) Then, the dude doing the bike weigh at the (late, great) Prov. Hill Climb Championship comments on your "tank" as he calls his buddy over to help him get your bike up on the hook. So, you start thinking maybe it's time for new carbon road bike, so that's one trip to the LBS (local bike shop). Then, you notice that everyone winning the ITT's has a totally tricked out P3 with wheels worth more than your car, so maybe you should invest in a TT bike, disc wheels, TT helmet, and skinsuit to improve your times. So, you head down to the LBS again. Then, fall rolls and you take up cyclocross. So, you show up to 'cross race with your old mountain bike, look around, and realize everyone else has an actual cyclocross bike (with a "B" bike in the pit), and about 18 different sets of wheels. So, that leads to another trip to the LBS. Then winter comes and you start looking at fat bikes...You're going to need an annex to your house to store all this stuff.

3. Are you a single guy? You'll (likely) be staying that way. The only sport more male-centric than road cycling is UFC. Here's what the gender breakdown of a typical road race looks like: 125 guys in four different categories and about 15 women. If you've joined a cycling club looking for romance, you're in the wrong place (or the right place, depending on perspective). Try triathlons. So, your next date will probably with a non-cyclist. This leads to problems, because she'll expect you to pay for dinner and your credit card is maxed out because you just bought that P3 with the disc wheels. (Or, convert her to cycling. That works, too.)

4. You'll be "travelling to races in scenic locales". Mainly community halls in places so obscure Google Maps is no help to you. If you're thinking all our races are like the Tour de France, with millions of adoring fans lining the road, a caravan of team cars, and TV cameras, be prepared for disappointment. The fan base consists of a few people in the feed zone (for example, your lovely wife, who is wondering why she's burning a perfectly good Sunday morning to sit in a lawn chair for three hours to maybe hand you a bottle) and lots of cows.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tonight's the last night to register for the Crankmaster WNS Awards night and fun race!

Club, the Cranky's are putting on their fun social evening this Sat night and they are incorporating a fun indoor Computrainer race just before hanging out. Make sure to register tonight so you don't miss out. Then we'll hang out and the Cranky's will do their WNS Awards night which is always fun.

Follow this link and register!


Winter Racing is about to start!!!

Just a heads up to anyone looking to do a little racing on the Mountain Bike or Fat Bike.  ABA now has 3 races scheduled for Feb and March.  Time to get your ABA licence!!


Stephen's race report from the Gila Monster 300km, Jan 31st 2015

Here is Stephen's report from his latest rando ride with Paul and I!


Full Calendar