Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dirty Pictures: Nishiki Road Compe...

From the top of its quilted saddle to the bottom of its flat tires, this Road Compe needs some special loving. I have shown you what Dale and Sam, at the Claremont Velo, did when a green Nishiki Road Compe came into their hands back in December 2010. I am looking forward to seeing how they crank this out. That is, unless some c & v fanatic snatches it up as a project of their own. So much potential in the right hands.

classic head badge and dual paint scheme

that Japanesque font of the word Nishiki, so apropos

from the Naples Cycle Shop, Long Beach

cranks and rings are in good shape

the Suntour drivetrain

the whole enchilada

quilted saddle - too bad it is in poor shape

Friday, March 30, 2012

Quick Friday Morning in the Village...

I like listening to a good banjo pickin' from time to time, and that is exactly what I got this morning. While I finished off a bagel conEGGtion (on an egg bagel with sausage, if you must know), and cup of Italian Roast from 42nd Street Bagel, I got to enjoy a few picked tunes. Naturally, as long as I was settin' a spell, I also took a few photos of the cyclists passing through the intersection of Bonita and Yale. Not at all a bad start for a Friday.

look close, you will notice his glasses match the orange rims

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Not Every Day...

that you see an alpaca being taken for a walk in the park. Seen at Encanto Park, Duarte.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quotable Links: Irresponsible Father...

Normally Friday would be my day for quotable links, but this one is just so infuriating, I couldn't wait. Yet again we have a story highlighting the great disparity of attitudes toward cycling in general, and cycling as a form of transportation, in particular. It is a familiar story in motor-dependent North America, and I suppose the reason I was shocked by it, is due to its location - Spain. I always thought continental Europe to be a little more ahead of the curve in terms of bicycle transportation. In larger Spanish cities we see civic efforts to encourage the mode of mobility; I guess in the more suburban areas there is still a way to go. Sounds all too familiar. In anthropology, when I was in school, students would become familiar with the idea of universals - similar beliefs and practices which could be seen in cultures around the world, such as the belief in a creator. Perhaps the disparity in the belief of the bicycle as a viable means of transportation is a universal. Anyway, the quote:

"Oliver... has been taking his kids to school... by bicycle since they could sit upright... The story ends - well not really ends - with the police taking his personal data and telling him that they would prepare a report for the City Council and another for Social Services - claiming him to be an irresponsible father."

You can read the whole thing here. Be sure to check out the additional links at the jump, especially the one to the city council of the municipality in question, where you can express your own displeasure.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Redlands Bicycle Classic 2012: Paracyclist Prologue...

Quite a number of the racers were injured military veterans, racing with the Paralyzed Veterans team. It is great that cycling, in one of its many forms, is allowing these men and women to carry on an active and competitive lifestyle.

My intentions were good. I thought I could have this done a couple days ago, but had to settle for a Monday afternoon posting. Thirty-one racers competed in the para-cycling competition during the 2012 Redlands Classic. I was there for the prologue portion on the first day where climbing those steeps required an extra degree of grit and determination; remember these athletes do not have the advantage of multiple bike positions - there is no getting out of the saddle for a little extra umph when needed.

Fermin Camarena

I know there was a former world champion in the race but, regardless of the rainbow stripes,
I did not get her bib number, so am not sure if this is her.

Like the bicycle racing we may be more familiar with, para-cycling is governed by both national and international rules and regulations. Categories of racers are based upon physical disability - vision impairments or blindness, amputation, spinal cord injury, neurological disorders, for instance, as well as type of cycle - recumbent, handcycle, tandems, and of course, the sex of the racers themselves. There were no tandems at Redlands, so the competitors were either on recumbents, propelling themselves with their legs, or handcycles, using their arms and shoulders for power. No small feat trying to get up those stepped hills when you are flat on your back, a few inches off the ground, turning the cranks with just your arms, I am sure. More photos are here.

This racer was doused with cold water - he asked for it. Glad I could oblige.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

An Post Ras: 60 Years in 60 Days...

The history buff that I am, the series about the history of the An Post Ras (Tour of Ireland) has been an enjoyable and informative read thus far. The race is celebrating a bit of an anniversary (60), and are doing so with a post a day, covering 60 years in 60 days (when they started the series it was 60 days to the start of this years edition of the Ras).

the 1957 team from Cork, G. Rea, W. O'Brien, T. Scanlon, D. Barry, D. Nooman

You can follow along on Facebook where, of course, you get notification of each new posting, or at the An Post Ras website.
Check it out for your daily fill.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stuff Someone Said: Jose Maria Jimenez...

By now you may be well aware of how I continue to use a written journal to document the happenings of daily training rides. I have long supplemented these with apropos quotes by more famous personalities in the sport, and thought it might be worth sharing some of these here. This month's quote comes from Jose Maria JImenez, the superb Spanish climber, who died far too young (2003), while at the peak of his career:

"Attack, and attack hard. If I don't do that then I feel like I've blown it, that I'm just wasting my time... What's the point of being a cyclist if you don't do that."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Press On Regardless...

It has been a long time since last my legs were this sore and knotted.
They were tight for the entire Psycho-lists ride this morning and in hindsight
I clearly pushed them too far.
Funny, though, there always seemed to be one rider ahead of me; then there were times
with an additional one or two more in between.

I did the only thing I could do, really.
I pressed on.
Thanks Mark. As much as anything, I think your jersey kept me pressing on.

Redlands 2012: The Men's Prologue

Fastest man, Phil Gaimon (Kenda / 5 Hour Energy)

Okay, so I will start putting up photos of the men's prologue, but they will come up in fit and starts as I find time during the day. Slideshows will be grouped by team. Eventually they will all be done.

Bissell Pro Cycling
BMC-Hincapie Development Team
Bontrager Livestrong
Cal Giant Berry / Specialized
Cash Call Mortgage
Champion Systems / Stans / CRCA
Competitive Cyclist
Eclipse / ATS
Elbowz Racing
Full Circle Cycling / Pure Gear
Garneau Quebecor Norton-Rose
Hagens Berman Cycling Team
Jamis Sutter Home
Jelly Belly p/b Kenda
Juwi Solar Cycling
Kenda / 5 Hour Energy
Landis / Trek
Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
Simple Green - Bike Religion
Spy-Swamis Development Elite Team
Stage 17 Racing
Team Exergy
Team Type 1 (development)
Wonderful Pistachios
XO Communications p/b Cisco

Cousin It is a race fan

whatever it was, i didn't do it

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Out of the Saddle: 2012 Redlands Women's Prologue...

The ladies of the SC Velo/Empower Coaching Team, all pictured below within the final 500 meters of the Redlands Bicycle Classic prologue, show differences in riding style at the end of the course. Ha, you say, and you would be right. That is far too simplistic - in the saddle, or out, using aero bars, or somewhere on standard road bars, depends where along the course you happen to be. Generally tending upward over slightly more than three miles, a profile of the course looks like a series of steps, with the largest and steepest one there to aggravate the racers at about the 600 meter to go mark.

Jenny Rios

Lisa Campbell

Beatriz Rodriguez

Never having attained pro or category 1 status, I never had the opportunity to race this course, but judging the often heavy breathing, I am not sure aggravate is the right word to use. Maybe torture would be better. Anyway, most people attack those short steps out of the saddle, and then stretch out on the short, flatter sections in between on their aero bars, the drops, or even on the brake hoods. I don't think I could use aero bars on this course. Constantly shifting on and off of them in response to the shifting gradients might shatter any rhythm I would have hoped to attain. That probably just shows how much more talent the racers out there today have than do/did.

Priscilla Calderon

Amber Gaffney

That said, it was nice out there today, warm, but not too much; a slight breeze seemed to be at the racers back. Judging by the way some of them charged by, even at the top of the steepest step, I was expecting some fast times. Speaking of which Megan Guarnier of Team Tibco blazed to the fastest time of the women at 11 minutes 19.41 seconds. Second was Amber Neben (Specialized Lululemon), 6.39 seconds slower. Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) took third at 9.25 seconds back. 

Photos from the men's prologue will be up, probably tomorrow, as well as photos from the hand-bike racers, who preceded the men and women pros. The Redlands Bicycle Classic, the oldest running stage race in Southern California, dating back to 1985, runs through Sunday. Check their website for information on all the upcoming action. As for the SC Velo women, Amber Gaffney finished best, with the 17th fastest time, just over 37 seconds behind Guamier, good position going into the road race and criterium stages.

Joy Duerkson

Holly Breck

Slideshow of photos can be seen by clicking here. The photos are not in order of start, but are grouped by team and , since I often took multiple photos of each rider, I narrowed things down by selecting the best one of each. Easier to check through that way.

fastest woman on the day, Megan Guarnier (Team Tibco / To The Top)

Funding the Commentator...

You may have already seen something about this, read about it somewhere - it has been abuzz in the cycling world lately. The Commentator. I will let you click here, where you can read about the project, watch a little clip, contribute, follow along. It sounds great - a new film about Paris-Roubaix, and Jorgen Leth (film maker of A Sunday In Hell), the iconic film about the race. A quite respectable crew has been lined up for the production, and you can assist by contributing. But, they are into the final day of the Kickstarter campaign, so if you are going to do it, do it quickly.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bikes in Film: Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids...

A week, maybe two weeks, ago my son discovered we were picking up a new channel over the airwaves. It was a Tuesday night, what this station is calling Fat Tuesday. Why? Because they are showing that old Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids cartoon from the 1970s. It was one of those Saturday morning shows that my brother and I would watch on occasion. Anyway, we had last night's episode, called Justice Good As Ever, (you can watch the episode by clicking) on and watched intently because the story revolved around Rudy and his new bike, and concluded with a bike race vaguely reminiscent of Breaking Away. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was not your average '70s cartoon, it always had a social message, or multiple messages woven into the storyline. You could pull several out of last nights episode including honesty, cheating, watching where you are driving, and even bike maintenance (doing the job right the first time). All the usual Kids were there (and Bill Cosby), including Dumb Donald with that pink stocking cap with eye slits so he could see. Hey, hey, hey, what a trip down memory lane. I know, that last part should rhyme.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2012 San Dimas Stage Race, Stage 3 continued...

So, today I wrap up the 2012 San Dimas Stage Race with everything from the third stage not covered yesterday (if you missed it the stage 3 women's race had its own post):

Malcolm Hill may be a helluva strong racer but I don't think even he, winner of the yellow jersey in the Masters 55+ race, would attempt it during competition. His race was over when I arrived, and the 55+ers were taking a victory lap. There are some photos of them cruising the course, and podium shots here.

I only managed podium shots for the Cat 4 and Cat 5 racers, such as this one of Adams Avenue Bicycles team racer, Brandon Jones, Cat 4 winner of the 3rd stage Criterium. Slideshow of those podium shots is here.

In the Masters 35+ race, if you were not part of the Monster Media Racing machine it must have seemed, at times, as if you were completely surrounded by them as they worked to control things for their team, and coincidentally race leaders, Christopher McDonald and Chris Demarchi. Slideshow of the 35+ race is here.

Greg Leibert seems pretty satisfied with his victory in the Masters 45+ race. It is becoming habit for Leibert, as he visited the podiums' top step in 2010 as well. Slideshow of the race and more podium shots is here.

Velo Club La Grange rider Erick Sobey earned the right to celebrate by being first across the
finish line in the Cat 3 race. Slideshow of more, here.

That is some fancy racing machine she rolled out for the kids races.
More photos are here.

It is rare that the Cat 2 racers get a race of their own, usually being grouped with the Cat 1 and Pro racers. It is also rare that you see the wearer of the King of the Mountains Jersey winning a sprint, but that is exactly what Alex Darville did. Slideshow of more photos is here.

There is a lot of Kenda red protecting their man, Andy Jacques-Mayne at the front of the group in the mens professional/cat 1 race. They were rewarded with the overall victory. Slideshow here.

Finally, a little recognition for the organizers and volunteers, everyone from those who are visible -manning the barricades, roaming the course, sitting at tables - to those who are unseen, readying the course in the dark hours of the morning, or tearing it down when everyone else is long gone. The race does not go on without them. I talked for a little with a woman who, with her husband, were hosting one of the women's teams at their home for, I believe she said, the fifth year. It was something they looked forward to each year, and I am sure the teams and riders, many with minimal budgets, must be very appreciative of all the host families who open their homes, prepare their food, etc, during the course of the weekend. A slideshow of misc. photos can be found here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

San Dimas Stage Race 2012, Stage 3: The Women...

The women's pro/cat 1-3 contest was the penultimate race of the day, and proved to be well worth it for all those spectators who came out of the woodwork, or wherever they could find shelter from the cold, to watch the professionals and top amateurs go at it. The ongoing sky battle between sun and clouds took a turn in favor of the clouds during the women's race, becoming a little more ominous, the wind increasing, but other than a few drops, no real rain fell. As a result we got to witness pure racing action without distraction. 

Kristin Armstrong (yellow jersey), Clara Hughes (green jersey) lead out at the start

Race leaders and other notables were called to the front of the line, the whistle blew, and the race was underway with Kristin Armstrong, Clara Hughes, and Pascale Schnider leading out from the start. After, at best, a couple laps of riding together, a five rider break went clear. A little more time and the final selection of four was determined as one rider fell off the pace. The quartet was a strong group, perfectly capable of staying away for the duration; the only question was, would the peloton let them, or was there enough strength, and will, left to close the gap. With four strong teams represented in the break, it seemed unlikely that the gap would disintegrate.

the break is away, with Pascale Schnider driving at the front

Kristin Armstrong worked to control the field for Schnider...

while Clara Hughes did the same for Teutenberg

At one point the gap did start to fall, but then the four leaders - Pascale Schnider, Ina Yoko Teutenberg, Anne Samplonius and, Jade Wilcoxson, most likely with a little help from their teams behind, began to widen the gap again. I never did see any real serious attempt to bridge up. I attribute that to teamwork in the main field. With teammate Schnider in the break, Armstrong and the Exergy Twenty12 women were working to control the field. The same could be said of Teutenberg's teammate, Clara Hughes and the rest of the Specialized lululemon team. Throw in the NOW and Novartis for MS teammates of Samplonius, and the riders of Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies working in support of Jade Wilcoxson, and you eventually realized it was a four woman race. 

The lead four near the top of the course...

with the peloton spread across the road as they climb up.

the break of four, led up by Wilcoxson, followed by Samplonius, Schnider, Teutenberg

Anne Samplonius

Ina Yoko Teutenberg

Jade Wilcoxson

Pascale Schnider

I post this one because it came out especially crisp,
though I am not sure of the name of this Team TIBCO rider.

Late in the race, and with the four leaders assured of victory, NOW and Novartis for MS rider, Olivia Dillon, the 2010 Irish National Road Champion, attempted to get away from the peloton. She managed two or three laps of solo effort, before being brought back into the fold. In the end, Ina Yoko Teutenberg proved the strongest, outsprinting Wilcoxson and Schnider, with Samplonius two seconds back. Optum rider Joelle Neumainville won the field sprint eighteen seconds behind the leaders.

What did this mean in terms of the General Classification competition? Well, Kristin Armstrong held on for first overall and is thus the 2012 SDSR women's champion. Clara Hughes finished second, with Joelle Numainville third. In the Sprint competition (green jersey), Kristin Armstrong again finished on top with 70 points, Ina Yoko Teutenberg was second with 50 points, and Clara Hughes was third with 40 points. Clara Hughes won the KOM with 60 pts, ahead of Armstrong (50 pts) and Numainville with 25 pts.

Olivia Dillon going solo

the quartet cross the line with one to go

the only shot I could manage of Teutenberg winning. Bloody photographers - the competition for position to get the shot is almost as fierce as the competition for position in the sprint; lets see how much of the road we can take up, and how close to the line we can get. Ugghh.

Even though the women get the feature post for the 3rd stage, it does not mean that I don't have a lot from the other races of the day. With a little luck they will be up sometime tomorrow.

Finally, yes there were other teams represented in the race. If you click here you will be taken to a slideshow of other photos where there are pics of racers from SC Velo/Empower Coaching, Vanderkitten-Focus, FCS/Rouse p/b Mr. Restore, Primal/MapMyRide Women's Racing, Helens, Velo Club LaGrange, and others.
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