Thursday, March 27, 2008


......although the weekly Wednesday night World Championship ride may seem important to y' ain't.

So, if you gotta Zanoli someone during the Wednesday night Worlds, take an easy pedal stroke and breathe. Don't wanna cause a tumble, if possible. Keep it cool, keep collected.

(Zanoli??? What the?? Michel Zanoli was a Dutch professional cyclist who won the Junior World Championships as a kid. He was also known as the guy who punched Davis Phinney during the 1992 Tour du Pont - as well as a photographer - getting himself fired from the Motorola team for it. He later died at the age of 35 of heart failure, and was also suffering from deep depression at the time of his death. So, there you have it - factoid of the day on one, Michel Zanoli.....RIP.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gotta check it out.......

......Olaf's NorCal Cycling News webpage........too cool. Can't wait to check out his new Crit bike - he was riding his time trial rig at the Norlund Criterium in Santa Rosa last month (that's the Fetish Cycles bike above).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

24 Solo.......

Oh man, what guts this one takes.

So, the other night I had a chance to view the "24 Solo" DVD. My friend, James Plummer, recommended this movie to me last year, but I never got around to watching it. Well, I'm glad I finally did - those guys battling it out in the Solo 24-Hour division are just........insane. Talk about death-on-a-stick - ouch! It was painful just to watch them. Craig Gordon and Chris Eatough.......well.......they're just not human.

The last two years, I have been fortunate enough to race on a great team in the annual 24 Hours of Adrenalin race at the Laguna Seca Raceway. But clearly, I was one of the weaker dudes on our 5-person team. I was there to race, yes.......but I was also there for the experience(sorry Mike Ricks - I know that sounds goofy!!). And, although I won't get a chance to go back this year, I'm hoping to get back there again next year, if possible. It was just too much fun - although it was filled with pain and agony!

24 Hour off-road mountain bike racing - brutal, but worth it(especially in the team division!!). I would say to definitely give it a shot. You won't regret it - first you'll regret it......but then you'll be glad you did it!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stupid bike lust......

......and, on all days, it presents itself on Easter Sunday. Crazy. Don't know, just diggin' on this Cervelo R3 for some reason. And it can't be because Cancellara won La Primavera yesterday......looked like he was ridin' a Soloist. Still, there's probably a connection in there somewhere.

So, hey, how'd Copperawfulness go yesterday????

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Complete and total bummer...... word last night that local rider/racer/stud, Steve Vickery, had an accident out on a training ride yesterday on his time trial bike. He went down and ended up breaking his collarbone and 4 ribs. Nasty ouch on that one. Hoping for a super speedy recovery Steve - let me know if you need anything. Total bummer.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Le Tour......

So, the organizers of the Tour de France this morning announced the 20 teams being invited to this year's race. Glad to see Slipstream in there - who knows what their chances will be, but I know they'll be highly motivated in that race. Talking to Tommy D. this past off-season, he was very anxious to prove himself in the 2008, we'll see what happens.

After viewing the list of teams invited to this year's Tour, I was a little disappointed. For me, the Tour is about having the ultimate competition in cycle racing. It is the premier stage race in our sport. So, with that said, why only 20 teams? Milan-San Remo expanded their field to 25 teams for this Saturday's La Primavera. Seems the Tour could do the same thing - besides inviting Astana (who should be in there regardless), I'd like to see Skil-Shimano in there too with their great climber Clement Lhotellerie. Who knows what some of these "wildcard" teams could do in a race like the Tour de France - remember Barloworld last year???

If it were up to me - and thank God it is not (what a mess that would be!!) - I would invite at least 25 teams to the Tour......more if possible. Let them hammer it out and see where the dust settles at the end. I don't know - maybe trim it down to 8 riders per team instead of the current 9. Yes, I know - a logistical nightmare any way you cut it. But hey, this is the premier cycle race on the planet - let's find out who REALLY is the best out there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I was watching some coverage last night of one of the past Tours de France......think it was '04 or '05(uh.....maybe I should rephrase that - 2004 or 2005!) and Paul Sherwen was talking about how cycling is a "team" sport. The teammates of a leader in a race like the Tour protect him, surround him, set him up for good performance, etc. In short, in the Tour, they work for him.....their team leader.

Well, on our level, we still work for our team and our designated leader for a particular race. But I have to tell you, that's only a portion of it. We spend a lot of time on our bikes - many times alone. It's hard to imagine that cycling can be a team sport. But, when you get to a race, event or some big ride with your teammates there........I don't's like a feeling of relief. It's like you have some family there.

I love being on a team, even though I race about as much as my newborn niece. Still, it feels good to go to a race or a ride and hang out with the "family"........our team. I'm one of those people who really enjoys helping out my teammates at races - pinning numbers, making sure they have everything, looking out for their well-being, etc. It provides a tremendous feeling of, in that respect, it's for selfish reasons I do it! Obviously, it goes beyond that though - I like hanging out with them, getting to know them, making new friends and talking about the thing we all love - cycling. And although we're out on the road alone many times, it's a great feeling knowing that we have some teammates waiting for us at the finish line - to share battle stories, unusual things going on with our bikes, and just the day-to-day stuff going on in our lives. They're not just teammies.......they're friends.

Enjoy the day out there today - looks like a perfect day for a ride........alone or with your teammates!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Does it REALLY matter.......

So, this morning I had the opportunity to read a little tech report article on about the new Trek Madone 6.9. Obviously, this is truly an incredible bicycle - just a dream machine for many riders out there - insanely light, state-of-the-art and all that junk. You know, one of those bikes that makes cycling fun for many riders. But, when you read the article, you really come away thinking that this is a "too much" bike.........that the Trek Madone 5.2 is probably the better option for most cyclists looking for this type of bicycle. And when you look at the price difference between the two($7,700 vs. $3,680), you have to wonder if all those extra thousands of dollars in the 6.9 are worth it. For some, yes, it is - and they'll pay what it takes to get the best......for them. Maybe it's a mental thing.......maybe it was a dream to ride such a piece of state-of-the-art carbon........maybe just bike lust!

I know that, for me, I have always had a "thing" for Moots. But, in reality, although I like to look at all my bikes as pieces of art(even when they're dirty, greasy, messy looking things!), it's all in how you use them. Will you have the same experiences on this bike compared to that bike?? Maybe, maybe not. But it's all in how you use them. A bike is a really really fun thing to admire - I swear, I can't tell you how much time I have spent in my life just staring at beautiful bicycles. However, in the end, bicycles are meant also to be ridden.

So, who cares if you get the $12,000 wonder bike of the year, or the $200 Ebay special - just go out and ride 'em!! (Like I have to tell YOU guys that!!).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Giving it a shot.......

So, I had the opportunity to go check out the Land Park Criterium on Saturday in Sacramento. Brought back many old memories and good feelings associated with bicycle racing. The Land Park Criterium has been going on for 34 years straight - just an unreal number. Shows how active that Sacramento racing community is - and great to see.

The picture above is from the first race of the day - the Elite 5s........or, as I call them, the Senior 5s. Standing there taking pictures of the event is not quite the same as being on that Start Line with the morning shadows in front of you, and the cold nervous energy pounding through your veins. Still, part of me was glad to be taking pics!

But, in the end, I wanted to be out there again.......just giving it a shot. Many good memories from this race years ago - back when it was the Camellia Festival Criterium. Glad to see it's still going on - but even more glad to see racers still racing it. Yep, even with all the trouble going on at the "high end" of cycle racing, the sport still lives an active and healthy life in the true ranks(as evidenced in the pic above).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Who was that???

So, last night I had a chance to read the latest issue of Road Bike Action magazine prior to hittin' the sack. There's an article in there about people who slam their stems all the way down and love it, and those who use spacers below their stem and a riser stem to get a more upright position on the bike. This got me to thinking - the article essentially pointed out that most professional riders are slammers.....that stem is as far down as they can get it. And how some, uh, bike enthusiasts have an inch or more of carbon spacers in there to raise that stem up a bit.

Well, let me tell you some inside information about those bike enthusiasts. It use to be much worse back in the day, but not as much now.........although I still see it now and again: You have your "racer-type" ride one night a week. A guy shows up to the start of this racer-type ride on a road bike with triple chainrings, an inch and a half of spacers and a stem with a bit of a rise to it, spd mountain pedals with mountain bike shoes, hairy legs and maybe even a mirror attached to his helmet or eyeglasses. Some of the racer guys there might think......geesh......this guy is a "Fred". And worst, maybe even roll their eyes and wonder why in the world he would even bother showing up for "this" ride.

Well, I'll put it to you this way - don't discount the "Freds". Some Freds I know ride.......a lot!! As in, they put in more time on the bike than most of us........combined! Many times, they ride in conditions that people fear - cold, rain, wind, dark, very early mornings, late at night, in snow, etc. They have a will that won't give up during the most intense and discouraging moments on the bike. They have stories to tell you about rides that will leave you in disbelief. And......many of them.......are friggin' FAST!!!! Their time on the bike shows time and again that they're lean, mean, riding machines - and they could whoop most of us time and again out there on the road. They might be riders we've never seen before, unknown riders who have absolutely ZERO desire to even think about entering a race - no no, they ride because they love it. They love the bike, love the riding, love the outdoors. And, they're the real deal. No shaved legs, no $7,000 wonder-bike, triples forever, hairy legs and mountain shoes. So what - they're riding.

So, the next time you see a "Fred" out on one of your racer-type rides or out in training, give a shout out or a wave, and treat them with respect and encouragement. Those are the people out there who show us the true meaning of riding our bicycles.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Questioning Carbon.......

So, last night I was thumbing through some pictures on Flickr and ended up coming across this picture put up by cycling stud Alden Tanaka - Click Here! Made me sorta cringe to look at it. Then, this afternoon, my friend Paul Stephens from the Infovista Team sent me this picture he took of Chico Corsa's Ben Bryant's Giant. Ben, who was riding in our own Bidwell Park last summer - just warming up for our Wednesday night Fast 50 ride - had a tree fall on him! Luckily, Ben was okay - he had some cuts and bruises, but was okay for the most part. His carbon Giant, on the other can see it in Paul's picture above. Just nasty. And a bit scary too.

Then, top that off with Ed's accident with his carbon forks breaking cleanly in half on his Trek Madone after hitting a, I don't know........startin' to make me a bit nervous. I love the feel of my carbon bike though - and I love how it rides. Just silky smooth fun. Still, makes me wonder sometimes.........

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's how much.......

Hey, not sure if you've noticed, but gas and oil prices are spiking this month. Oil hit $110 a barrel today before closing at $109.92.......and gas prices in Hawaii and California are currently the highest in the nation, and rising. Some analysts are expecting gas prices to hit $4.00 per gallon by June.

So.......needless to tell all of you this stuff......this is a great time to commute by bike if you haven't already........or if you've taken a break and want to start up again. But, just as important, it gives us a great selling point to give those folks who might be contemplating a better way to get around town.

Anyway, enough preachin' to the choir for one day - let's go ride!!!

Damn it...... bike lust is starting to take hold. I have such a problem........

To Crit or not to Crit.......

.....still a little foggy about that one. Still, I'll hopefully be shootin' some more pics on Saturday at the Land Park Crit. Hope to see you guys out there!

Monday, March 10, 2008

And then reality sets in......

Saturday, March 08, 2008

This morning's Cohasset Hill Climb Time Trial........

We had great weather for this morning's Chico Corsa Cohasset Time Trial - and 45 riders took full advantage of it to take part in this grueling effort! Thank you to everyone who came out to ride, race and help out. A HUGE thank you goes out to Jeff Ochs, Kirsty Ochs, Jemma Ochs and Geno Gruber for helping with registration, starts and timing for this event - without your help, this event would not have happened. So, Thank You!!! We will do the Chico Corsa Cohasset Time Trial again in September - so start training now to see if you can beat your time! Last September's results can be found here:

Okay,'s results:

1. Tyler Honeyman 20:46
2. Mike Cordova 21:53
3. David Kyle 22:01
4. David Albrecht 22:07
5. Roy Steves 23:07
6. James Plummer 23:11
7. Rob Bishop 23:39
8. Jeff Galland 23:46
9. Dan Weintraub 24:32
10. Charlie Dawson 24:42
11. Greg Watkins 25:16
12. Kim Agur 26:07(1st Place Woman!!!)
13. Teresa Kludt 26:27(2nd Place Woman!!!)
14. Andy Tautges 26:44
15. Jeanne O'Regan 26:50(3rd Place Woman!!!)
16. Nathan Younie 27:29
17. Gabrielle Walters 27:37
18. Alex Roberson 27:57
19. Phil Weintraub 28:03
20. Tom Embree 28:05
21. Denny McKenney 28:17
22. Kathie Thornton 28:29
23. Elizabeth Brent 28:51
24. Christa Ritchey 29:20
25. Jay Rawlins 29:21
26. Stephanie Marshall 29:22
27. Christian Griffith 29:24
28. Bill Bergmann 30:05
29. Steve Vanucci 30:10
30. Janine Rood 30:34
31. Susan Plummer 30:55
32. Jerry Molnar 31:00(tie)
32. Kellie Grandstaff 31:00(tie)
34. Jenn Gruber 31:05
35. Sue Kamrar 31:22
36. Dan Dominguez 32:24
37. Jay Coughlin 32:30
38. Sandra Barton 32:32
39. Renee Fiack 32:39
40. Christine Bergmann 33:17
41. Mary Ann Bachus 35:10
42. Dave Withrow 35:47
43. Neal Bord 42:45
44. Margaret Bomberg 51:28
45. Ken Gelatti -- Flatted.

Thanks again to everyone! Chico Corsa will be doing the Honey Run Road Time Trial in May - and get ready to start up Chico Velo's Thursday night Time Trials in April! Hope to see you all out there!!

Friday, March 07, 2008

No bike lust this time around.......

.......I've turned whacko and now I have shoe lust!! Crazy cycling stuff. Don't know.....these shoes just have me hooked.

OH - yeah, the 'Nago sittin' there is pretty nice too!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's not the 7-pound bike that amazes me.......'s that the Dude is puttin' in 1,000 kilometers a week on it! 600+ miles per week on a 7-pound bike for a 150 pound Dude. That's some crazy crazy goin' on there.

Give 'em an inch.......

......and they'll take a mile.

Actually, that wasn't quite the case in the 1984 Olympic Road Race between the two guys in the pic above - Steve Bauer from Canada(leading) and Alexi Grewal from the US. Alexi, shockingly, outsprinted Bauer to the line to take the gold medal.......essentially shocking the cycling world. Bauer was known as one of the fastest and most savvy sprinters on the racing scene.......while Alexi was known as a fierce and competitive climber. Grewal had been working diligently on his sprint leading up to the Olympic Games though......and it showed during the final sprint to the line.

But, as it turned out, Alexi had sort of interesting personality. Spitting on cameramen, outrageous outbursts towards the media and other riders, and just overall obnoxiousness. Some would say that he never lived up to his true potential, but his health never allowed him to have the type of racing career he expected of himself. Still, he was a great rider, although a little odd.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


So, the other day I had the opportunity to read a blog entry from a well-known cycling coach. As I read it, I understood what he was saying........but the last paragraph really had me shaking my head. Wonder if a guy like Bill Belichick thinks the same way. Doubt it......but who knows? Just seemed so.......I don't know......disconnected.

I was extremely fortunate to have a coach when I first started out bicycle racing as a kid. Local Chico racing cyclist and bicycle enthusiast, Dave Welch, took myself and my best friend Brad Curd under his wing to teach us the fine and unwritten aspects of bicycle riding/racing. We were both about 12 and 13 years old at the time - riding with the Chico Velo Cycling Club. The coolest thing - he would ride with us constantly. He would show us first-hand how things were done, how to train, how to drink from a water bottle, how to look at the road ahead - the million little things you need to know while out on the bike. And he did it free of charge - he volunteered his time to help out a couple of young inexperienced riders/racers. It made a huge impact on both of our lives.

I see coaches out there now who are charging an arm and a leg for services(like the one mentioned above). Or worse, inexperienced coaches not only charging for coaching services, but trying to get you to buy products as well. It's come to a time when some coaches will never meet their clients face-to-face. Yes, I know - maybe that isn't a mandatory thing nowadays with such technology at our fingertips. Still, I wonder if it is worth it. Probably, yes. But, it's up to the individual, I guess.

One thing I can say about my old coach is that he was very motivating. He made me WANT to ride - to ride more, to experience more out on the bike. And that was probably one of the biggest assets of having a coach. There are some local coaches here in Chico who have that ability too - not necessarily certified coaches......but coaches who just help you along and make you want to ride more, to have fun, to keep things in perspective. Invaluable, I'll tell ya - just worth it.

Anyway, enough for the Wednesday bloggin' - go Ride Your Bike!!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

How to ride a Century........

So, through the years, I've seen a lot of magazine and book articles on how to ride a bicycle Century ride - you know, a 100-mile ride(or a metric Century - 62 miles). These are great articles - how to eat, how to train, how to hydrate and so on and so forth. Great stuff - very valuable information. And Century rides themselves are HUGELY popular - some events here in northern California reach their field limits(which can be anywhere from 300 riders up to 3,000 riders or more) in a matter of a few days. And for good reason - these rides are FUN - and they provide some of the most epic riding you will ever do. I've done quite a few myself - both fully supported(like, foot massages at rest stops) no support even if you wanted it.

Well, after helping out with a few Century rides this past year - as a ride director, volunteer, registration guru, sag support driver, clean-up crew, etc. - I have a few suggestions too! Just some things to keep in the back of your mind when contemplating your next Century ride - or your very first Century ride! Just a few helpful hints.

Okay - here goes:

1. Know where the Century is located. For instance, if the Century starts and finishes in Sacramento, it would make sense to go to Sacramento to ride this particular Century - not San Francisco or Santa Rosa or San Jose. It helps if you know where the Century starts and finishes - then plan accordingly. I find that using can help with this at times. So, if the start and finish is in Sacramento - go to Sacramento for this Century.

2. Don't make the Century your first bicycle ride in 6 months - or even better - a year. It's best if you've ridden a bit more in the 6 months leading up TO the Century........rather than making the Century ride your first ride back in 6 months.........or a year. And don't make the Century bike ride your very first bike ride......unless you like to which case, this might be a great idea to have as your first ride ever!

3. Sag support - if there is any - shouldn't be expected(even though there will most likely be sag support).........and if it is expected, don't expect a limo to pick you up and bring you directly to your car. Many sag vehicles will have you riding in the back of an open air pick-up truck with your bike thrown in - and if you're lucky, it'll be in the back storage area of a crowded U-Haul truck with hardly a place to put your bike or your body. And this might usually be after a wait of an hour or two.....or three.

4. If you are registering for your event on the day of the ride, bring something to use for money - You know - cash or check or credit card......or something to barter with, etc. I find this is always very helpful.

5. For those riders who have ridden in multiple Century rides - especially in the same general area - it may help to know which Century you are riding. For instance, if you are riding in the Party Pardee Century(a VERY popular northern California Century ride), well that means that you are NOT riding in The Death Ride or the Mt. Shasta Summit Century that day. It means you are riding Party Pardee that day. And, to help you further, ask the nice folks at the registration/check-in desk to verify which Century you just entered.

6. And, of course, all the great and useful magazine, web and book articles on riding a Century: Don't make the Century ride your first ride on a new bike, using new equipment, new clothing, new shoes, etc. Always try this new stuff out first in training/riding. Have your bike in good working order PRIOR to showing up to the Century. Ride your bike - you know, like, ride - it helps to ride your bike before entering a 100-mile bike ride. Don't overestimate your ability - or underestimate the course. Be prepared. Look at a map of the ride - study it a bit, and keep one with you on the ride just in case. Don't start late - so, if starting time for a 100-mile ride is 7:00am......don't start the ride at 9:30am - you may miss all the goodies at the rest stops.......not to mention, you might not get back before it gets dark(and miss sag support to boot!). Expect ALL weather conditions - from wind to rain to snow to heat to humidity and on and on - check the weather report(, and bring appropriate clothing. Riding in the wind is mental, just as much as physical - bear down, ride steady, and set your own pace - the wind plays with everyone out, play with it! Ride the right kind of bike - like.....This One.......not That One. And, of course, all the other great and useful tips on riding a Century bike ride.

I'll tell you the one big secret though that separates the.......uh......."good" Century riders from the.......uh........"others". And here it is - Ride Your Bike. I can't tell you how big of a factor this is in Century riding. The riders who actually ride their bikes on a regular and consistently solid basis leading up to the Century usually end up experiencing all of the joys, the fun challenges, the epic scenery, the awesome rest stops and cool volunteers and on and on. They take it all in, riding this hard and sometimes unforgiving bike ride - and leave with a huge sense of accomplishment and well-being. And they're ready to do it again next time. They just ride. So - go Ride Your Bike!!!