cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

December 2006
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Racing Roundup - CCCP 2006
Filed under: rides, photos, cyclocross, video
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:24 pm

Race #5 of the Bay Area Super Prestige Series of cyclocross went off last Sunday south of San Francisco.  It’s called “CCCP” which, logically enough, stands for “CycloCross at Coyote Point”.  I’d last been here in 2002 - it’s a fun course, though with comparitively long laps and a fair amount of running.  After the Golden Gate Park race a few weeks ago, it was nice to feel relatively good on the course rather than just wanting to pull off to the side and sit down.  Feeling good doesn’t necessarily correspond to division-winning performance.  But, I didn’t get lapped, actually had folks to target for most of the race, kept reasonably upright and felt merely clumsy at the worst moments.

The Quickbeam was the only singlespeed in my division (more on that in a bit) and despite my whining earlier this week, I didn’t worry about the weight of the bottom bracket or swapping out the friggin’ rim strips and just run it as it sat.  The whole bike-weight-conciousness stuff is a demeaning and fundamental sickness, so I just cleaned everything up and run what I brung.  (Certainly, it would help my credibility on that point if my race results landed me somewhere other than bottom third, but I’d make the argument that actual, regular race-training would be a better use of my time than quibbling over a few grams here and there.)

The race organizers had shaped the course a bit differently than the last time I was there. Wisely, they started us up the wide paved road, to let all the fast fellahs get away from the speed-impaired folks. The roadway climbed a bit to stretch things out, then headed up a reasonably broad path on dirt underneath towering eucalyptus trees. If you’ve spent time on California trails, you know that eucalyptus means two things - oily bark and gumnuts. The gumnuts are conical shaped - kind of like the Apollo command modules.  They are the evil ball bearings of the forest, with a pointy end.  Someone about halfway back in the bunch made that discovery and dumped it in the first chicane, so we were off and running early.  The soil was very soft and loamy stuff, more furrowed at the top from the two previous races.  During the practice laps, I could get through it by carrying momentum.  The momentum meter was now pegged at “0″, so I kept running until we topped out at the pavement. 

Back up and on it, we circuited around the outside of a parking lot, and then headed back under the trees. The race team had laid out what looked a bit like a small and large intenstine diagram on which descended a bit, then headed up for a final drop through the trees down to the beach run.  Although some fast folks rode this part (in the Men’s A Race - getting an impressive gap on the field during the first lap), they brought you into it through a couple of switchback turns, so momentum again dropped where the sand was the deepest. It’s a bit of a judgement call as to when to put the bike back down and hit the gas again, and I certainly played it safe - chugging along by foot. It felt long the first time and it just seemed longer each run through. 

The next bit was dead flat and straight - paralleling the water on a paved path for 400 yards or so, then making a hard left through the gravel and then shunting off to the right to follow the spine of some topographical anomolie which included a down-up which kept stalling me. It then continued through rather soft ground, through another gratuitous intenstinal section.  This was one of the harder mental areas on the course for me, as the
back-n-forth through the soft ground just sucked the will to live right
out of that fickle mistress, momentum.  Out of the last kink, you tried to pick up speed on the pavement again before heading to a double barrier, then back onto paved paths skirting grassy fields to the finish area. 

The first-lap roadway was replaced by another double barrier, then a short double muscle-up to the place where the rider skidded out at the beginning.  We ended up doing 4 circuits in our race, with the winning time of 36:40 meaning the pace was right around 9:10/lap.  I was about 4:43 back. 19th overall. On the third lap, I heard a voice state, “Tarik Says Pedal Faster”, which may become my new cross mantra.

The only place in which I’ve missed gears was the long straight bit.  Winding it up the best I could just wasn’t enough to stay stuck to the wheel of the guy ahead of me.  With that in mind, the question becomes, “what if?” Well, “if” I could’ve held my same pace for another couple laps, that would’ve put me at the towards the end of the Single Speed race. Just to keep it in perspective, the winner of the One-Geared finished 7 laps in 58:58, which means his lap times came through in the neighborhood of 8:25.  Nice neighborhood.  I think I’ll continue to hang with the old guys for a bit…

Lots of good photos up already, mocking my measley offerings this time  - I’m amazed by the quantity that bikeguy put up on Smugmug.com - if you view the video my wife shot, I think you get a glimpse of him and his smokin’ camera as I run past on the beach the first time. The two shots on the beach (above) were taken by him at the same time as the vid. Also the three below of one slow guy and two fast fellahs.

Slow Guy -

Fast Fellah #1 - Mark from Rivendell -

Fast Fellah #2 - Bob from Rivendell -

my photos of the Men’s A & Singlespeed race on Flickr
video of my race  photos of my race
acyee’s photos on Flickr
lhaughey’s photos on Flickr (Pilarcitos 5)
bikeguy’s photos on SmugMug.com

Update - Found more photos:

larryrosa’s photos on Smugmug.com
morgan’s photos on wooljersey.com
chris_rocket’s photos on Flickr

News Wire Feed
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 1:44 pm

Kudo’s to the Napa Valley Bicycle Coalition:

Napa Bicycle Coalition Receives $60K Grant

NOVEMBER 30, 2006
NAPA, CA (BRAIN)–With unanimous voter approval, the Eagles Cycling Club of Napa Valley voted to give a one-time grant of $60,000 to the burgeoning Napa County Bicycle Coalition during their November member meeting.

“I didn’t know if we would generate the votes to give the coalition the money or not, but after much discussion, members felt this was the best way the Eagles Cycling Club could serve the community,” said Eagles member Bob Hillhouse.

The Napa County Bicycling Coalition (NCBC), a bicycle advocacy group representing cyclists of Napa County and a member of the Thunderhead Alliance, plans to hire an executive director.

“An executive director will help the Napa County Bicycle Coalition move forward and be taken seriously by county planners and business leaders. There is a point where a professional is needed to help out a grass roots movement like this and the Eagles Cycling Club has made it possible for the NCBC to take that next step,” said Lou Penning, NCBC chairman.

The NCBC has participated in advocacy for various bicycle related Napa County projects, including Lincoln Avenue Bike lanes, the Measure H bicycle elements and Safe Routes in Schools, among others.

…and if someone knows where their website is, lemme know. The closest I can find is the reference off the Eagle Cycling Club site. Maybe that’s what some of the grant money will help develop. Best of luck gang - that’s nice country up your way!


Lance getting dirty:

Lance Armstrong to Race in Leadville Trail 100

DECEMBER 01, 2006
AUSTIN, TX (BRAIN)–Lance Armstrong is going to race competitively on two wheels once again, but this time it’s going to be on a mountain bike.

“The other bit of a challenge I want to do is a bit crazy,” said Armstrong, during the recent grand opening of the latest signature 24 Hour Fitness Lance Armstrong Sports Club in Austin, Texas. “It’s a mountain bike race in August held in Colorado called the Leadville 100. It’s about an eight to nine hour mountain bike race, mostly on single track that very few people do and even fewer finish.”

The race involves more than 11,000 feet of climbing over the 100-mile course at altitudes between 9,500 and 12,600 feet. Armstrong’s interest in the race was sparked by his coach Chris Carmichael, who raced the Leadville 100 this year for the first time.

“I told Lance that he needed to do Leadville,” Carmichael said. “That (New York City) marathon was nothing compared to slogging it out on a mountain bike for nine plus hours at altitude and in the rain. I guess I got him to accept the challenge.”


Kona lets you buy the AfricaBike, but you should buy two so they kick one down where it’s needed:

Kona Makes AfricaBike Available to Consumers

DECEMBER 01, 2006
FERNDALE, WA (BRAIN)–Based on high consumer demand demonstrated during the Botswana launch of Bicycling magazine’s BikeTown Africa last year, the Kona Bicycle Company will make the AfricaBike available for sale to the general public through Kona retailers, and starting in January, direct to consumers through www.konaworld.com.

In addition, Kona unveiled the new 2for1 AfricaBike sales program. For every two AfricaBikes sold worldwide, Kona will donate one AfricaBike to Bicycling’s BikeTown Africa project or to other non-profit and non-governmental organizations whose missions include helping to improve the quality of life in sub-Saharan Africa.

The AfricaBike was designed as a rugged, effective means of transportation that could handle all of the unique social and environmental challenges of Africa. The AfricaBike will be available in two versions: the original single speed design ($275), and a 3-speed version ($325) with an internal Shimano 3-speed hub.

To learn more about Kona’s AfricaBike, visit
www.konabiketown.com and www.myspace.com/africabike.


In more local news, the 5th and final cyclocross race of the Bay Area Prestige Series went off Sunday - the CCCP (Cyclo Cross at Coyote Point) took place under beautiful (albeit non-cx) weather, featured a reasonably long circuit with a pretty good variety of topography and surfaces (80 yard beach runs are always fun), with excellent organization and a highly supportive crowd.  I thumped along on the Quickbeam, running my single gear in the age-group B race. Felt better this time than SF a couple weeks ago, and had fun duking with the guys who were going at my pace. Results. More updates and photos links probably tomorrow.  But, the clear and happy thought;

We are darned lucky to have such a high-quality series in our area. 


Next year, I start running much, much earlier…