Pescadero Coastal Classic Road Race

by: Adrien Costa (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development Team)

I’ve been looking forward to being able to do the Pescadero Coastal Classic Road Race for a long time now. And since it wasn’t conflicting with road nationals this season, I got my first shot at it! I train on these roads; I know them like the back of my hand and was really going for a good result here.

My Slipstream-Craddock teammate, Zeke Mostov, and I had planned to simply play it cool for the first half of the 100-mile race, biding our time before starting to inflict pain closer to the end. The race started in a light mist, attacks flew from everywhere, with Colin Daw (Fremont Bank), Phil Mooney (Jamis) and a Cal Giant rider making some big moves early on. The first significant break of the day formed about one lap in, with Roman Kilun (Mike’s Bikes) and Taylor-Bertrand Barrett (Marc Pro Strava) building up a good advantage.

Costa (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development Team), Aiken (Bear Development), Kilun (Mike's Bikes): Men's P1/2 Pescadero Coastal Road Race

Costa (Slipstream-Craddock Junior Development Team), Rosenthal (Mike’s Bikes) and Aiken (Bear Development Team): Men’s P1/2 Pescadero Coastal Road Race
Photo Credit: Alex Chiu
http://acaurora.smugmug.com/

On the second of four ascensions of Haskins Hill, I pushed the pace to bridge to the break, gaining a little time. However, Tim Aiken’s (Bear Development) insane descending skills brought me back into the fold very quickly. I tried another attack on Stage Road, railing the descent  which caused another split in the peloton. Eventually a group of 6 containing myself, Aiken, Logan Loader (Cashcall), recent Mt. Hamilton winner, Shawn Rosenthal (Mike’s Bikes) and another rider. We hammered up the second climb right after the downhill and caught the leading duo with one lap to go after some solid collaboration on the flat.

Things then deteriorated quickly, with Aiken and Loader suffering and Rosenthal saving his legs, allowing Roman and Taylor to get away again. After trying to attack the others, I resigned myself to stupidly sitting on the front and pulling them back a few miles later. By then, all anybody was thinking about was the final climb, and after some typical cat and mouse, a chase group of about 10 caught us. Phil Mooney–being a beast–immediately started attacking, with counters from Strava and Mike’s. Regrouped now, we headed into the final ascent of Haskins. Roman set a hard pace for Rosenthal, who cramped in spectacular fashion right as Roman pulled off.  Seeing this transpire around me, I  told Zeke to set hard pace, as I knew I wanted the climb to be as sustained as possible to play in my favor.

Right at the end of the steep section, I looked back at the pained, sweaty faces of those remaining, stuck it in my big ring and took off. I rode the last kilometer as hard as I could: my heart beating at a million beats per minute, constantly telling myself “easy, easy, easy”; not wanting to blow up,  not being able to turn the pedals over. I could hardly believe I’d pulled off the win as I crossed the finish line, hands held high, nobody else in sight.

Zeke still managed a very strong 5th after his amazing teamwork, especially considering he’d won the state TT champs the day before! A great weekend for both of us!

Costa Solos for the Win

Costa Solos for the Win
Photo Credit: Alex Chiu
http://acaurora.smugmug.com/

Mt Hamilton Road Race by Shawn Rosenthal

Mike’s Bike’s rider and winner of the Men’s 1-2 race, Shawn Rosenthal, takes us through this NorCal Classic
Mt Hamilton.  It’s a hill.  In fact, it’s a really big hill.  The kind you pop your ears for on the way down.
Mt Hamilton Road Race by Shawn Rosenthal
This year we were treated to weather that makes arm warmers and a wind vest worth their weight in gold.  I am pretty sure we would have made it up 30-40 seconds quicker had it not been for the extra gallon of water we were carrying, from all the heavy mist.
In years past, the pace up the climb has varied from “Ok, this is manageable” to “My eyes are bleeding.”  This year leaned more toward the latter than the former.

Mt. Hamilton Road Race – Northern California Masters District Championships

Words:  Josh Dapice

The Northern California 35+ masters fields split up into five year age groups last Sunday to vie for district honors on SJBC’s 60 mile classic, Mt. Hamilton.  Mt. Hamilton is known primarily for the main 15-mile climb, but experienced racers will tell you that the climb merely sets up the rest of the race.  It’s a humdinger any way you ride it and this year promised rain and plenty of wind.  Below are accounts of the 35-39 and 40-44 races, in reverse order (age before beauty and all that).

Mt. Hamilton Road Race - Northern California Masters District Championships

Mt. Hamilton Road Race – Northern California Masters District Championships

The 40-44 race featured a stacked field including national champion Matt Carinio (ArtsCyclery.com), defending 2012 champion Chris Phipps (ThirstyBear), Andres Gil (Michael David Winery), and Chris Lyman, Dan Bryant, and Nate Parks, all of Folsom Bike.

The race started off with Greg McQuaid (ThirstyBear) feeling frisky and setting a hard tempo for the first 25’ section of the climb.  Nate Parks followed and surged into the next section of the climb, stringing out the field and dropping several riders.  Starting the last (and steepest) 10K of the climb Ken Gallardo (ThirstyBear) set a hard pace along with Todd Bell (Morgan Stanley).  Phipps soon made the inevitable attack and took the KOM with a 45-second cushion.  Following the descent he was joined by Jason Boynton (Folsom Bike), Andres Gil, and Scott Bromstead (Barclay’s Racing).

These four took a 30-second lead on a chase group of six which included Gallardo, 2 Folsom Bike (Parks & Bryant) and Carinio.  Working together in the headwind their advantage grew to over a minute by the feedzone climb where Bromstead dropped off.  The relentless headwind blunted any attacks in the final run-in and the race came down to a sprint.  Gil showed his sprinting class and won with Boynton 2nd and Phipps 3rd.

Dan Bryant attacked out of the chase group for 4th with Carinio winning the sprint for 5th, rounding out a national caliber results sheet.

Special thanks to Chris Phipps for this report.

Men’s 35 – 39 M123

Words: Josh Dapice

The 35-39 Nor Cal championships tend to attract small but elite fields and this year was no different.  I was hoping to improve on last year’s 2nd place, but realized nothing would come easy.  With last year’s champ, Jesse Moore, absent, Jeromy Cottell (Specialized), Jan Weissenberger (ZIPZ), and others looked tough.  Unfortunately Jeromy crashed a few days before the race and withdrew, leaving a more open race.

Mens 35-39 M123 Podium

Mt. Hamilton Road Race – Northern California Masters District Championships

Our day started off cold and rainy like everyone else’s.  Matt Adams (Mike’s Bikes /InCase) set a very hard pace up the first part of the three-part climb.  Jason Benford (GigaOM) took over on the second part.  I took the lead on the third part of the climb, hoping that Weissenberger (and his sprint) would drop back.  No luck.  While I grabbed the KOM, Weissenberger and Jacob Berkman (Mike’s Bikes / InCase) were right behind me.  Weissenberger, especially, was climbing well.

Weissenberger led the descent while Berkman gradually dropped back.  I caught Weissenberger at the bottom and we rode through the ten-mile flat section together.  I spent some time trying to figure out how I was going to beat Weissenberger, but didn’t come up with any good ideas.

Through the feed zone I realized I had to test him and I pushed the pace.  He started to sag a bit and I kept it up.  Finally, I noticed him start to fall behind.  I gave the rest of the climb all I had.

I knew that from the top of the last hill I had 40+ minutes to the finish, but realized that Weissenberger could easily catch me at any time.  I put my head down and prepared for some one-on-one time with the stem.  While I was hurting at the end, I had a chance to enjoy my win and celebrate with the moto ref who had kept me company.  Weissenberger finished second while behind him Neil Bartley (ZIPZ) was threading his way through the field to take third.

I also had a moment to think of Jonathan Eropkin (Safeway), 3rd place finisher at last year’s 35-39 district championships and one of Northern California’s top 35+ all-arounders.  Jon spent the last week in the hospital being treated for blood clots in his lungs and legs.  Jon’s a favorite on the Northern California circuit and I know that I speak for everyone when I say that I look forward to seeing him back in 2014.

Cross Pollination

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Cross Pollination

By

Jason Harrod

I don’t know about you but I am a friggin’ magnet for honey bees.  They find me like I have some kind of StingMePlease GPS implanted in my body … or maybe it is something I emit when I perspire, a bee pheromone so to speak.  Whichever the cause, the effect is a painful one.  In all honesty I get stung about 20 times a year.  I just guess it is a good thing I am not allergic; if something good can be gleaned from getting stung a gazillion times.

 

Last week in NorCal we were blessed with some Spring time weather: sunny, 70’s, a slight breeze.  I took full advantage of said sunshine, and used a couple of my vacation days, to put in a mini training camp of my own.  Let’s call it ‘Old Fat Guy Who Thinks He Can Ride’ camp.  Whatever the inspiration and motivation, I did get five solid days of 50 plus mile road rides in, it felt good to be that kind of tired.  Back to the honey bees.

 

So there I was J.R.A. – just riding along – and whack.  One of those drones gets sucked right into a helmet vent.  How do I know?  Trust me, I am a seasoned veteran.  I am that guy you see out on the road, cruising along, who all of a sudden locks up his rear brakes, skids to a stop, starts waving his hands about him like a airport traffic guy or some sort of deranged Ninja fighting invisible foe, rips off his helmet and starts frantically trying to get what appear to be a million imaginary bugs out of his hair.  Yes, that is me.  That is my M.O.  Having looked like a Neanderthal on more than 10 occasions from taking a honey bee to the head, rear end first, I now try to avoid getting stung at all cost.  So there I was J.R.A. – just riding along – and whack.   And I’m flapping and freaking and ripping off my glasses and helmet all for … false alarm.  Dang cricket.  And back to spinning.  I mean this now, not two minutes later … whack.  Right in the vent, and this time I can hear the buzzing, almost feel that dudes little fuzzy feet on my bald spot and then, BAM.  Stung right on the top of the head.  The swelling is immediate.  I can feel the chinstrap on my helmet tighten and constrict around my throat as the swelling on the top of my head acts like a hydraulic jack, quickly rising and lifting my helmet off my head.  I remove my lid and feel around for the stinger.  All clean.  I rub the wound and the pain itches like crazy.  Oh well, back to the ride.  I near the first of many climbs and unzip my jersey to allow cooling, the breeze to ruffle the bear-like fur of my chest and … BAM.  Another one of those suckers slides right into my jersey opening and around the back and WHACK – second sting in five minutes.  Dang it.

 

Now most rational people might have turned around and gone home at this point.  Not me.  I like the ride too much.  These bees are a problem for me … for sure.  I decided to employ science to determine the reason I am so attractive to the Apis mellifera.  And honestly, I have nothing.  Well, not nothing, but nothing scientific.  The reason these little critters adore me so can be only of two reasons.  They either love my navy, yellow and white kit … or they love the way I stink.

 

More of his columns here:

PrimeTime Cycling Team win Cherry Pie Criterium!

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PrimeTime Cycling Team scores victory at M35+ Cherry Pie Criterium debut  2/10/2013

 

The 2013 Cherry Pie Criterium was the date we targeted as the debut of the PrimeTime Cycling Team. Many hours of planning, development, and work have gone into putting together the launch of this new team. With a 3-year plan to become a top professional cycling team, it includes a unique content initiative with the intent of showcasing the PrimeTime Cycling Team in mainstream media to give fans an inside look at the sport of cycling.

The first step in the development, was to create a core group of Masters. For 2013 the roster includes: [Read more...]

Cherry Pie Criterium: Pro/1/2

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Cherry Pie: Pro/1/2

By Adam Switters (Mike’s Bike)

 

Cherry Pie criterium is usually considered the start of the racing season here in Northern California and it didn’t disappoint this year. Among the 100-or-so registered racers were big squads from Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase and Marc-Pro Strava.  Also included were former winner Logan Loader (CashCall), Fast Freddie Rodriguez, a host of Cal-Giant riders, and 5hr Energy pro Nate English.

For the last few years the race has alternated between sprint finishes and breakaways, so teams came prepared for any situation. The race started with the all-too-familiar smell of brake pads against carbon wheels as riders bombed down from the start line into the first corner, and it wasn’t long before Marc-Pro and Mike’s Bikes had riders up the road. Around 20 minutes in, I found myself off the front with Chuck Hutcheson, Nate English, and Fast Freddie. 8 more riders bridged up including my teammates Daniel Holloway and Eric Riggs, Marc-Pro’s Jonathan Teeter, Specialized Master’s Mike Sayers, Great Britain’s Simon Holt, junior Jack Maddux, Clif Bar’s Eric Losak, and Cash Call’s Logan Loader. It was a stacked break for sure. [Read more...]

Bags, Boxes and Bottles

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Bags, Boxes and Bottles

Bj Jason Harrod

 

Wow.  I just made through the madness that is my life surrounding the holidays and after.  What is the ‘and after’, you ask?  Birthday madness at my house; four of them in eight days.  All done now, though, and it is high time to turn back to the bike.  I am in dire need of shedding my winter coat so when spring arrives with its flourish, its flowers, its sunshiny days, I am ready to embrace the longer, warmer days and spend some quality time training in order to get fit enough to maybe, maybe, even race a crit or four this season.  Maybe.

 

I am not a road guy by nature.  In fact, I ride the road because of the simplicity of the bike, the fact that as soon as I roll off of my driveway the route begins and because it allows me to control the ride better.  In a perfect world I would ride three days on, one day off, and two out of the six rides would be on the dirt.  But I rarely get my way as there are the kids, their sports, school, wife, coaching, blah, blah, blah.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it all and would not have it any other way … really.  But, as I have mentioned a time or thrice, I am a list guy.  Today I made my list, my list that outlines the way back to fitness.  For me at least.  Wanna hear it?  Here it go.

 

First of all I try not to make my lists to specific, as my schedule can change from day to day, even hour to hour.  For the ride portion of the list, I aim for a minimum of four days a week on the bike, a maximum of six, six being ideal.  The rides themselves would ideally be one medium tempo, one long slow one, one short effort – likely on the dirt.  Rinse and repeat.  Then there is the diet.  I am not a dieter but I do find that keeping it simple is the easiest thing for me.  Basically, if it comes in a box, a bag, or a bottle I do my best to avoid it.  That certainly does not mean I abstain, though I do try to keep those items as far from my mouth as possible.  Water – drink lots of water or litz of izer as this one cat I know calls it.  Sleep.  I try to sleep as much as possible.

 

This is by no means a blueprint for fitness but knowing me, my habits, and my body I find that after two weeks of these types of behaviors I can see the difference in the mirror and feel the difference in the way my clothes hang.  Well, I must be off to eat something that likely comes in its own wrapper, is a lean protein, or comes ready to eat from the mother earth.  And let’s not forget to drink litz of izer.

 

Images-NorCal Tops California State Cyclocross Shootout

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JAN. 20, 2013, BAKERSFIELD, CA. By Phil Beckman/PB Creative — Score one for the northerners. For the first time in the three-year history of the Nor Cal vs. So Cal California State Cyclocross Championship, the historically strong skills of the riders from “up state” were able to overcome the superior numbers of those from “down south.” A change in the points structure at the 2013 event, held once again at Hart Memorial Park in Bakersfield, California, helped level the playing field on a lovely, dry day.

 

The numbers don’t lie. The final score had the North with more points — 310 to 233 —and more than twice as many individual class championships: 11 to 5. There had been quite a bit of friendly social media smack talk going on between the two groups leading into the event, but everything was cool during and after it was all over. Nobody got stabbed in the neck.

 

The Elite Men’s race finally sealed the deal for Nor Cal, as Santa Cruz natives Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant/Specialized) and Aaron Bradford (Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster) were unstoppable on a long, fast course punctuated by several brutal run-ups.

[Read more...]

Idiosyncrasies of a Cyclist

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Idiosyncrasies of a Cyclist

By Jason Harrod

I have a hard time believing that the root word of idiosyncrasy is not idiot.  Really, it seems to me that there is a lot of mumbo jumbo involved with the routines in general, not to mention those of a cyclist.  My routines are ingrained in me and happen without my even noticing them.  But to others my ritual when kitting up must look like some kind of demented rain dance, as was pointed out by nine year old.  First, let’s take a look at the definition of the word:

IDIOSYNCRASY – noun – \i-dē-ə-‘siŋ-krə-sē\

1 a : a peculiarity of constitution or temperament : an individualizing characteristic or quality

   b : individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food)

2: characteristic peculiarity (as of temperament); broadly : eccentricity

 

Now that we have that straightened out, I am going to make a list of just a mess of my peculiar, eccentric idiosyncrasies.  Want to hear em?  Here they go:

  • Socks – they go on however they come out of the drawer – inside out, right side out, mismatched no worries – that’s just how I do it.
  • Shoes – right one on first … always … booties too.
  • Arm and leg warmers – left ones on first … always … and logos must be pointing out.
  • Matching kit a must.
  • Gloves – all paired in a Crown Royal velvet bag – except for the ‘go to’ pair which reside on the box of Gu so I remember to grab a few just in case.
  • Old kit gets paired with old kit and new with new.
  • Patch kit and extra CO2 go in the middle jersey pocket, hand pump on the left of the patch kit, CO2 pump on the right – all in the middle pocket.
  • ID, money, Tamarancho pass, lens cleaner and cell phone all go into a ziplock bag and in the right rear pocket but only after the middle pocket is loaded and ready.
  • Left rear pocket is for food stuffs and vest if needed.
  • Tire pressure – rear tire always gets pumped up first, then front.
  • Rolling out of the garage – bike leans against rear of my truck, points north while I close garage door.
  • Rolling into the garage – same deal but bike points south.
  • Never ever mention or think about ‘getting a flat’.  I sometimes fail here and in that case a prompt double knuckle knock on the top tube and then the helmet can remedy.
  • Never ever mention or think about ‘crashing’.  I sometimes fail here and in that case a prompt double knuckle knock on the top tube and then the helmet can remedy.
  • Water bottles – I always leave an inch of water in the bottom of the first so when I crush the second one I have a little backup … just in case.
  • Oh, and they never get anything but water put in them and they never get washed.  I like my bottles seasoned.
  • Each of my three sleds have their own sled specific bottles.
  • Saddle – Fizik Alliante – the only gear for my rear.
  • Speaking of rear – chamois cream?  I use Noxema for that tingling freshness.
  • I always blow the snot from my beak over the left shoulder and plug each nostril with the right thumb knuckle – big nostrils.
  • Lastly – all boogers go on the right sock.  Simple.

 

I could go on forever but I don’t want you to think I am a weirdo – even if I am a weirdo.  How about you?  Any good, quirky, or just downright disgusting idiosyncrasies you would like to share?   Comment away.  You have my totally divided attention.

Class is in Session

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Class is in Session Starting January 5th with the Early Bird Criterium Training Series

By Chris Lyman

 

Tales of Cat 5 misadventures are voluminous enough to fill blogs faster than Google can build data centers. This is especially true when it comes to the weekend circumnavigation of an office park, with 50 comrades bumping bars as if steaming towards the finish line on the Champs-Élysées.

 

Thankfully, in the 1990s, Northern California promoter Velo Promo and a handful of highly qualified coaches set out to create a skin preservation program. The Early Bird Criterium Training Series was born and has since taught countless new riders about pack bike handling, race tactics and generally how to conduct themselves in a safe and civilized manner.

 

This year, five directors—Laurel Green, John Cheetham, Matt McNamara, Dan Smith and Larry Nolan—are putting the final touches on 2013’s clinics and training events, scheduled for January 5th, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th and February 3rd..  Directors set a weekly curriculum and catch up racers who may have missed the previous week(s).  They also coordinate 70+ volunteer leaders (folks comfy instructing 50 or more racers) and mentors (those helping smaller groups of racers) who help make the series possible.

 

I remember attending an EB Crit to get my final Category 4 upgrade point as a soon-to-be former triathlete. Even as a newbie I recognized the World Champion stripe-bedazzled jersey on the imposing figure of Larry Nolan, who was riding along mentoring the action.

Larry Nolan

Larry Nolan

 

For those who don’t know Larry, he’s earned 14 Masters Track World Championships and needs a storage unit for all of his Masters National gold medals. I still laugh with Larry about that day because just two years later we ended up as teammates, and I was able to absorb much more knowledge from him about how to how to race a bike.

 

Back to today, or perhaps January 5th, Larry & co. will be back at it, offering a helping hand to those new to the sport and/or wanting to improve handling & race skills. If you missed it the first time, mentors include a WORLD CHAMPION with double-digit titles to his name – someone who can teach most any of us a thing or three about bike riding.

 

Early Birds are just $15. They kick off January 5th with an evening clinic at Palo Alto Bicycles and introduction by Jim Ochowicz. Outdoor action commences January 6th at 8:30am with numerous category events taking place throughout the day.  Cat 5 participants receive 1 point per training race and .5 points for each clinic. Cat 4s receive .5 points for each clinic that they complete.  Details and registration information at http://www.velopromo.com/ebcr-ent.htm.

 

Now, since not everyone lives in Northern California and is able to attend in person, Larry was kind enough to proffer a few tips and suggestions as we head into race season.

 

Larry’s tips and facts for the new racer

–       Early Bird mentoring starts with group drills.  Presumably a friend proclaimed how strong you are and that “you should race.” Congratulations!  We’ll help you get more comfortable in a group, but the Early Birds should not be your first group ride.

–       A 75-minute clinic is not enough time to get you race ready.  Best to continue to learn and develop race skills from teammates, friends, coaches and by attending other clinics outside of EBs.

–       On the road, protect your front wheel.  Assert your position in races.  Do not race passively or aggressively.

–       Be humble and never pretend that you have all of the necessary skills to race through a corner at 30 miles per hour, shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers.

–       The 2013 Early Birds comprise five weeks of “training races,” which is to say that no one tracks your finish placing.  Therefore there’s no need to sprint at the end for a result.  Practice your sprint in your training and if you’re not yet a fast sprinter, then continue to practice and observe how others go so fast.

–       Come back to the Early Birds years from now when you’re experienced and ready to help others.  There really is no greater feeling than giving back to a sport that gives us all so much.

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