Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No Gifts.......

Working in the cycling field definitely has its advantages. But, like any profession (if that's what ya wanna call it), there are downsides too. Besides getting almost no money, you also catch a lot of grief from participants and the public alike. I'll tell you one thing though - it is NOT a thankless job. I was lead to believe, through the years, that being a promoter of cycling events and putting on little cycling fiestas was one of those thankless jobs. Okay, so, yeah - maybe there are a few migraine problems here and there with these things. But I'll tell you what - for every headache I encounter, I have probably half-a-dozen very sincere "Thank Yous" coming from my fellow riders. That, to me, makes it all worthwhile. Sure, I get the complaints too - but the "Thank Yous" really help in taking the sting away.

So, forget what Hinault said to Armstrong about the "No Gifts" thing - give the gift of a sincere Thank You to your local and not-so-local cycling promoter/director/volunteer, whatever they may be doing to help.

Okay, 'nuff Tuesday blogages.........the weather is nice......go ride your bike!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008


.....things just ain't ideal.

So, this last Saturday, our team - Chico Corsa Cycling Club - had a little event just southeast of Chico called the Messilla Valley Circuit Race(see results below). The race was 10 laps of a 3.5 mile long circuit, with 310 feet of climbing per lap - so, a 35-mile race with 3,100 feet of climbing. The one problem though - we started the event at 10am on one of the hottest days in May! Egads - it was some warm warm out there on Saturday! Still, we had 30+ riders show up to take part - I was thinking maybe ten riders would show - but was VERY stoked to see so many show up.

One thing I noticed though - since I was on the sidelines keeping track of laps for everyone in both races and able to see the happenins out there - was that mentality played a HUGE role in this one. I'll tell you, anything can happen in a race. One lap you're down and thinking of quitting.....next thing you know, you're up with the leaders because people DID quit! If you think you're hurtin' - it's more than likely that the person next to you(or behind you or up ahead of you) is hurtin' just as much, if not worse. But keep going!! Well, if you can(sometimes bailing out is better for your health!). The will to finish - it kept attrition at bay for many and hopefully made them a much stronger rider. In racing, sometimes conditions just ain't ideal - it can be hot, humid, wet, cold, rainy, snowy, windy, lousy roads, lousy timing, lousy course, whatever. It's the riders that don't let these factors get to them that seem to have some good solid successes out there. They just go out there........and ride.

Anyway, 'nuff Monday blogorama - gotta get some work done. OH - yes, the results of that little Circuit event thing we did on Saturday:

"We had a tremendous turn-out for this morning's Circuit Race......but, unfortunately, we had tremendous temperatures too!(Sorry about that - my fault! We'll start next month's Circuit Race at 8am or 9am instead of 10am). Attrition played a HUGE role out there today - it was really tough to keep going around that circuit with the temps rising and the undulating circuit. Still, there was some brutal competition out there in both the "A" Category and the "B" Category - lots of racers in both events! I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent turn-out - thank you so much for coming out and suffering.....er......uh.......taking part in such an epic event! Great job to all of you. We will do this one again in June, so start preparing/recovering now!

A HUGE thank you goes out to the water crew out there during the race - including Caryn Jones, Benjamin Bryant, Mike Castaldo, James Plummer, MJ and everyone else who tried to keep the survivors moving and spraying them with water - your help was GREATLY appreciated by all - thank you so much! Next time, I'll bring 3 10-gallon containers of ice water. Also, if you lost a water bottle out there, let me know - I seem to have collected a few more than when I left the house this morning.

And - quick work by Tim Creswell who fixed his flat FAST right before the start......and Jeff Galland for fixing his snapped chain right before the start. That was some quick work!

Okay, now for the results - Congratulations to Elizabeth Brent and Mike Ricks for winning the Messilla Valley Trophies this time around -


Category "B":
1. Elizabeth Brent 1:57:32
2. Teresa Kludt
3. Renee Fiack
4. Jeff Ochs
5. Kim Agur
6. Walt Schafer
7. Grace Twedt
8. Jeanne O'Regan
DNP(Did Not Place): Preben, Bill Brent, Gabrielle Walters, Lisa Martens, Mike & Janine Rood(on a Tandem), Jenn Gruber, Sandra Barton, Christa Ritchey.

Category "A":
1. Mike Ricks 1:32:47
2. CJ Humphries
3. David Albrecht
4. Rob Bishop
5. Alex Blease
6. Ryan MacDonald
7. Janeen Thorpe
8. Mike Thorpe
DNP(Did Not Place): Kyle Hughes, James Plummer, Colby Elliot, Jeff Seyfried, Mike Castaldo, Benjamin Bryant, Tim Creswell, Jeff Galland.

Monday, May 12, 2008

For the love of.......

.....bike camping!

So, this past weekend, myself(above) and three of my buddies decided to go for a bike camping trip.....my first time ever bike camping. And let me tell you - it was a BLAST!!! Trying out new types of riding, equipment and so forth is really inspiring......and fun too! And now, I'm hooked - can't wait to go bike camping again. Of course, my next new cycling experience has to be Hernando's Monday night track training down at Hellyeah Velodrome. Only glitch is that the track is 4 hours away from my house......might make for a long Monday, but who cares - it's cycling! Heck, maybe I'll just bike tour on the way down and back - and make it a multi-day multi-riding trip.

Anyway, bike touring/camping is hella fun. And, believe it or not, the racer-dudes back in the day use to use this type of riding for training. Think about it - loaded touring bike weighing 35+ pounds, riding anywhere from 40 to 100 miles a day, for days on end. Geesh......brutal. But, most importantly, it is FUN! This past weekend had to be one of the most enjoyable experiences ever out on a bike for me.

And that's the thing - I was a little apprehensive at first(sorta like the velodrome), but once I did it.......I was hooked. It was just too much fun, and I felt like I was really living. Definitely satisfying.

Enough Monday blogage - this week is Bike Week!!! Go ride!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Okay, moving on.......

What a week. Lots of drama, crazy drivers, two local riders getting shot at with pellet guns, angry phone calls from irate motorists.....makes me wonder sometimes how in the world things got this way. It's just people......being people......I guess.

Whenever things seem to be going sideways or haywire and such, it's always a good idea just to go back to the basics. In this case, for me at least, it's just riding my bike. Felt like some negativity had been built up on my brain this week, so needed to unload it this morning with a little cycling jaunt around the north ends of Chico. You all know what I'm talking about - getting out for a solo spin to clear your head.......it's like a brain massage. A much needed vacation - although brief - but still, the cycling does your mind and your body some serious good.

So, time to move on and keep pedaling. Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling! Or something along those lines........it's a Dory thing.

Yeah, I know.....my mind is toast.

OH - almost forgot - the pic above is of our local cycling studs David Kyle and Kevin Speacht during the Team Chico Cutty Series ride back in December. Kevin is leaving here pretty quick for a little ride up north. Good luck Dude!! Kick bootie!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

If it's not one thing.......

.....it's another.
Had this lovely gentleman here in Chico honking at the riders to get the "f**k" off the road after tonight's Fast 50 (our local Wednesday night World Championships)......then proceeded to weave back and forth all over the road, going fast then slow, almost ramming my rear bumper three times....then yelling at me to speed up(I was doing 35 in a 35 zone). So, being the smartass I can be at times, I pulled my trusty beat-up old digital camera out and took a couple photos of him(you can see the one where he's giving me the one-finger salute!). Anyway, all I could do was laugh - and the more I laughed, the angrier he seemed to get. Figures.
So, called 911. He was about to kill someone out there - if it wasn't me, it'd be someone else. He eventually sped off down the Esplanade doing 50mph, at least.
In any case, I will always have the pictures to remind me about all the nutcases out there on the road(as if we need to be reminded of that fact!).
OH - yes - almost forgot - It's a white Ford Explorer with license plate number 3DBY236. The driver is VERY fond of the, uh, "F" word(no no, not Felt or Fetish Cycles.....that other F word you'd use when someone pinches you in a turn). And I think he may have missed a few fluoxetine doses this week. Either that, or he was partying at Scotty's.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Leave it at the door......

We had our twice-per-month practice criterium tonight out at the Chico Airport. We like to do these things to get some Crit practice in, do a little speedwork, get the feel for the cornering in a paceline/pack and most of all.....just to have fun.

But, as in all "racing" and life in general, some riders have to show up with an attitude. Nope, they can't leave it at the door.......they've got to bring their grumpiness and snobiness with 'em. Geesh.....gimme a break. These fine folks are just out here to practice a bit and have a good time. Leave your attitude at the office. Yes, there are gonna be beginners out there - so, if you don't like ridin' with them, move up a category! I'd be surprised if that rider you chastised tonight will be back again........and thanks a lot for that.......you're doing just great things for local cycling(and cycling in general) by pulling that attitude card. Congratulations - brilliant job!

Next time, shut up or stay home.

Okay, enough with the Tuesday night rant.