Thursday, September 17, 2009

Labor Day Fun!

I've attached a couple photos from the OSM/Knapps MTB outing with myself, Matt Perry and Mike Abbott on Labor Day.

We enjoyed 5000' of climbing, AND descending :-), doing 26 miles in just under 4 hours, which is an interesting contrast to a typical lake ride with 3000' of climbing over 65 miles in just about the same chunk of time.

Ride On!


My Last Race Report of 2009 (I think!)!!! from Sept 9th

Hi all!

I know you were all wondering why I was absent from the weekend and holiday rides...but at least I was riding my bike! I went to the Bay area for the weekend to do some visiting and riding, and a little bit o racing, too. Saturday was dirt (mountain, on a retro NO suspension mountain bike...), Sunday was a little warm up ride, and today was il Giro di San Francisco, a fun little crit held near fisherman's wharf.

And contrary to most San Francisco weather, today was beautiful, with not a cloud in the sky, and warm temps! It was a great day for a bike race.

About 18 people toed the line for my race, which was a straight W3. I recognized some of the folks from various races of the past, and knew there were some strong girls in attendance. I was the only so-cal
representative. The course was a 6 corner L-shaped course. The pavement was a bit bumpy, but it was a fun course, one little power bump, 2 downhill turns, and a wide safe course.

My race started pretty mellow, but there were lots of primes so things went crazy early. Having no teammates, I was just patrolling the race, sitting around and not doing too much. I went for the Rudy Project
glasses prime....but alas some girl decided to nearly take me out, and I had to sit up. It had the effect of making me angry...and I continued to be angry every time I had to brake in those downhill turns!

People were getting too excited about sprinting, and there was some sketchy behavior. I ended up not really worrying about the primes, just about not getting taken out. Anyway, partway through a girl got a little gap
but no one seemed to be worried so I just sat. Sure enough, she couldn't hang, and got swooped up 2 laps later. With 3 to go, a few people tried some attacks, and it was easy to cover everything.

Then the NorCal series leader attacked, and she looked strong. I went, and quickly got her back. I sat on with 2 to go, and when the pace got high, I noticed people hurting. Surprisingly, my legs were just waking
up and I felt really good. I decided to go for it. I was third wheel around the 1st downhill corner, and then on the last corner, I opened it up and took the inside line hard. Second wheel attacked, but since I was inside, I had a clear line, and I just stood up and went around her and never looked back. Just like SLO, I was still accelerating over the line (only this one was slightly uphill).... I kept it on full gas, waiting to see someone challenging, but it never happened, and I won!

After the race, I was chatting with some of the racers, who I must say were all very friendly and nice. I asked one girl how she did and she said she finished third. Then she quickly added, "but I was WAY behind you....when you went it was like I was standing still". I guess I won by 3-4 bike lengths. I would have done the 1-2-3 race, but I had a 5.5 hour drive ahead of me, and I needed to get on the road.

Anyway, I am now declaring my road season OVER! I didn't race too much this year, but I am thrilled with the way things have ended up. A couple easy weeks, and then it's on to CYCLOCROSS!!!!!! Bring it on!

Happy Labor Day! I saw a couple of Echelon riders up there, as well as

Aaron Long. I left before his race so I don't know how he ended up.

Jeannette Candau of Echelon (who just started racing this year, and bought my old race bike...) won the W4 race in grand style as well, so the locals showed those NorCal folks we are strong!



Ironman Canada (Aug 31st)

Team Chicken:

Congrats on what sounds like a good day of racing in extreem conditions.

Here is my "late" race report from Ironman Canada - conditions were not much better here: 33 degrees (let's see that's 33 x 9/5 + 32 = about 92 degrees), 112 mile time trial in about 5:50, slow marathon in about 4:20, 11:46 overall (that's a long time to be out in the heat), good enough for top 15% of my age group.

Thanks to Chicken Ranch and Fastrack for all the support and help this year. I am looking forward to another good year to come. May be I will get brave enough to try a bike race again?

Keep riding and stay safe!

Lee "Tri Geek" Carter

Sis-f'in-hot (Aug 30th)

So... you know you have been blindsided by the "curse of the oily chain" when even your reading material focuses you on the obscenity and obsession generated by riding and racing (albeit feebly in my case) bicycles. A friend who has cycled various continents and worked as a bicycle messenger suggested a book to me recently titled "Need for the Bike" by Paul Fournel. The book is a retrospection and confessional of sorts which takes a cyclocentric view of the world from atop the saddle. It doesn't hurt that the author is a member of a French avant garde writing group and cultural attache to the Egyptian embassy, which is to say that it is no sentimental journey, but a philosophical and economically written piece of literature. Where my knowledge and experience of biketopia is narrow and recently convened, he has the advantage of springing from the womb with a chainring mark on his leg and a silver down tube shifter in his mouth, following his cycling father on long rides out from their village in France as a boy, which brazes his fate to the spinning pedals. Heroes of his childhood are now cycling legends and his years are marked by frames and groupsets, each recalled as mile posts on the path of an exquisite journey to a "self" shaped by riding a bike for its simple, profound pleasure. But I digress. I had been struggling to come up with an appropriate way to describe the experience of "Sis-scorch" on Saturday and, of course, this book had it in spades. How else to describe the unconscionably brutal meeting of 110 degree heat, asphalt and a bike race than to say I met the "Witch with Green Teeth" (le bonk) up close and personal. Some from our fool hardy group fared well: Nick "Platinum No More" Davis broke away in a group of 6 (down to three at the finish) to get second in the 5A group, Matt "Soon to be Platinum" Perry charged out from the 4's in a break to get 3rd, Paul "my bike is gold so there is no Platinum joke here" Donahoe sashayed his way to 12th. Mike Abbott clocked his first road race at 19th and I was 20th, although I am really not sure any of it happened as much of the 2d lap seemed like a mirage/dream, nearly puking, heart attack inducing slog through gelatin thick air on concrete tires or, to be economical, like I met the Witch with Green Teeth......

David Jurist

Stumpgrinder Update! (from August 25th)

With all due respect to Kimberly and Chicken, I must say that there might
have been a more enjoyable way to spend your Saturday....... You could have
made the short trip to enjoy Mike Hecker's Stump Grinder Dirt Club XC race
in Los Olivos.

Since Hecker is still working on perfecting his marketing techniques, the
numbers were low enough to allow all cats and ages to go off in one mass
start. Yes, Pro through beginners of all ages went off at once, staged in
descending order of Cat. This led to the only real downside of the event,
because the dry conditions and big field size meant things were crazy dusty
for the first mile or so. There was a long stretch where I couldn't see
anything except Fastrack's back tire and I was just hammering ahead on faith
(thanks for not running us off into a ditch or a bull by the way, Dave).

Other than the pig-pen effect on the start, the event and weather were
nearly perfect. The laps went opposite direction on much of the usual
Firestone course, with each loop being just over 8 miles and 900 feet of
climbing. It was about 50/50 fireroad vs really fun well groomed single
track. There were a few fun new sections thrown in that I had not ridden at
previous events, but it all seemed new in a way, due to the backwards
effect. Beginners did 2 laps, sport class 3 and Experts/Pros 4 laps.

We had 4 + 1 Chickens all racing Sport. We made a show of force hanging
pretty well together for much of the first lap before Fastrack and Nick
Davis eventually dropped Iron Mike Abbott, Big Rob Higgins and myself like a bad habit toward the end of lap 1. (BTW - Nick Davis, the +1 Chicken, was looking good in CR colors now that his signing by Chicken has been approved by the league commissioner)
Not far into lap 2, Iron Mike did his best Alberto Contador impression,
leaving his embittered domestiques, Rob & I, in the dust to fend for
ourselves half-way up a wind-swept Col.....

In the end, after 24+ miles and 2700 feet of climbing, the Chickens put up
some respectable results. Two of us even came away with prize money (at
least enough, or maybe nearly enough, to cover a Tri-Tip Ranch Burrito).
Rob, Mike and I did cap off the race-day with lunch and refreshments back at
Cody's in town by about noon, priceless!

RESULTS (from memory)
Sport 40+
Big Rob Higgins - 8th
Iron Mike Abbot - 5th
Fastrack Lettieri - 4th
Nick (don't call me Platinum) Davis - 3rd - prize $

Sport - under 40
Paul (Formerly Freeride) Donohoe - 2nd - BIG prize $, see attached

I strongly encourage anyone who can possibly make it (even if you've never
raced MTB before) to come out to represent Team CR at the Stumpgrinder
Summer Race Series Final on Sept 12. ( )
A cool $35 entry fee and no racing license required. I'm not trying to be a
shill for Hecky, but rather this is the type of low-key event that I'd
really love to see thriving here locally. The racing was tough, fun,
cheap, near-by, on-time, good humored (and nobody got DQ'd, not even Rob).

Ride On!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What do you think?

One of the local blogs posted a picture of a cyclist hogging the road. Check it out! I personally know the corner and it is a tough right turn that if traffic is clear I usually ride in the middle a bit to make a good turn. This is a ridiculous attempt to incite a bit of road rage if you ask me.