Tuesday, October 11, 2011


No, no, no, I am not moving locations as in physically, I am moving my blog to a new domain.  So from now on find my blog at SacCyclistScott.com.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Ride

Well that is two 100 milers in a week.  Saturday I did the Folsom Cyclebration Century with some friends from Cycle Folsom.  Unfortunately I still don't have my road bike back yet, so I did the ride on my cyclocross bike, which isn't bad, it just isn't as light and "fast" feeling as my road bike.  Still waiting on SRAM to get by brake/shifter lever replaced under warranty, maybe this week.  Here is the elevation profile of the ride:

The ride guide says 8400 feet of climbing, but my Garmin showed 7070 feet at the end, but I don't really place much stock in the accuracy of either of them, any way it was a lot of climbing.  I started at 7 AM with Mike Lemberg, a fellow Cycle Folsom rider that I have ridden with three or four times and know that he is pretty strong and we would be able to ride together most of the day.  We started behind about 30 or 40 people, but pretty quickly realized that they weren't going to be moving very quickly, so we passed the very large group and slowing began picking off riders that had started before 7 AM, the first rest stop was at about 15 miles and by then we had picked up a self professed "wheelsucker"  who we came to find out was named Tracy.  Tracy is a lapsed cyclist that just came back to riding after being a runner for 20 years.  We only stopped for a few seconds at the first stop, seems kind of crazy to stop after only 15 miles unless you just happened to forget to bring anything to eat or drink.  Tracy, Mike and I worked pretty well together and by the second stop were in the "lead", not that this really matters in a century event, unlike a gran fondo type of event where they actually have a mass start and everyone has timer chips.  But we continued to climb and work our way to the turn around point at the Bear River campground at around mile 55 or so, in other words right at the base of a nasty little climb.  We did eat some pb&j and fig newtons at that rest stop before heading back.  Funny thing, the elevation map above doesn't do the climbing justice, with the max gradient shown on there of only 5 percent it doesn't seem bad, but Baxter Grade between miles 29 and 32 has pitches of 15 to 18 percent and actually averages in the 8 percent range.  I don't know how mapmyride does their averages on the elevation maps, if you do a map of the climb of just Baxter Grade you can see it, but when they do it over any greater distance you don't get a good feel for the steepness of it.  On the way back Tracy struggled a bit, but we waited every once in a while and he would make it back.  Mike and I stayed together the whole ride practically, I would drop Mike on some climbs, but not by too much and I would wait for him at the top, but he rode strong the whole way.  I pushed a bit at the end up the Folsom Crossing Road climb and rode in to the "finish" by myself.  Pretty anti-climatic as there isn't a "finish-line" and no official timing.  I did the ride in under 6 hours and that included some loop backs to make sure I hadn't lost Mike and Tracy on some climbs, I think it would be around 5:45 if there was an official time, but it was 5:56 with my circle backs. 

Just a funny, but not so funny is this bit of cyclocross from Star-Crossed this weekend:

So Joey's o.k., but I think Joey launched!  @neilroad had a rather interesting conversation with @AdamMyerson about this on @TourChats tonight, it was too funny. 

Folsom Cyclebration had both road and cyclocross as part of the festivities this weekend.  I didn't race in either.  The reason I did race road is because I haven't raced all year and I am just too scared to ride I guess.  I would have done the cyclocross after the century if the Mens' B 35+ had been later in the day, but I was still riding when my category went off.  I did see a bit of the women's race, and realized I haven't practiced any dismounts, except for Wednesday.  My first race is supposed to be this coming weekend, but I don't know what the family has planned.  I have to travel to SoCal to look at a hydropower plant/dam this week, so I am not going to have too much time to work on the dismounts, but who knows.  We'll see.  Until next time!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nearly CX Season

Well cyclocross is starting in Northern California, I am sure there was a race today, but not really into it yet.  Several weeks ago we went camping at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County, beautiful place.  I did a ride out along Tomales Bay and on out to Point Pierce, beautiful rollers all the way out.  Just as I got back to the campground my right(rear) shifter just quit working, every time I shifted it when down the cassette until I was in my biggest gear.  Luckily it was the end of my ride so I went to the small chainring and ground it out up to the campground.  When we got home from camping I took the shifter/brake lever off and it shifted through the pawl just fine, but as soon as you put any kind of load on it, it wouldn't engage the pawl and thus no shifting, crap!  The lever is less than 2 years old so I dropped it off at IKON Cycles to send it back to SRAM to hopefully get it repaired/replaced under warranty.  That was two weeks ago and haven't heard anything yet as to the status, but I hope to hear something soon, if I was riding the Echelon Gran Fondo next weekend I would be really bummed, but I don't think I am bothering with it, so oh well.  I have been riding my cyclocross bike as my everyday bike, just put on some of my road wheels and add some bottle cages and away we go.  I am really hoping that my shift lever is fixed under warranty, I don't want to come up with four or five hundred dollars to replace this one, and there are some rides I would like not to ride the CX bike on, especially because my saddles are so different and the change has really made things a bit tender, as I am sure most cyclists will understand.

Well on to the next topic, Chris Froome, wow, what a great ride in the Vuelta!  Really wish he could have taken the 13 seconds from Cobo today, but the stage today really didn't have the kind of punch that Froome needed to get the time.  He did try for the intermediate sprint and the time bonus, but it appears that after the stage had started they changed the location from that in the race book, but even Chris admitted he had heard the change and just sprinted for what he thought was the intermediate sprint, but it was the 20km to go banner, oh well.  Froome really did earn the 2nd place though with the great TT ride and then the great mountain stages and a mountain stage win!  I am sure he is the first "African" that has won a grand tour stage, although born in Kenya he is more of a regular Brit than an African, although I don't remember which he considers his "real" home, there was an article in CycleSport America within the last two years about Froome and when he got signed by Sky from Barloworld. 

Phillipe Gilbert, WOW, he has had such a great season!  With the win on Friday he takes over the UCI #1 ranking from Cadel Evans and both will be on BMC next year.  Makes me want to get a BMC team kit, although Garmin remains my team of choice, BMC is making it difficult to be "faithful" to just one team.  I have never been much for HTC-Highroad/Columbia, although what they have done over the past five years since taking what was left of T-Mobile and racking up the most wins of any professional team and have a lot of respect for the riders and the team, they just haven't ever been my favorites.  I read Cav's book "Boy Racer" recently and it was a good read, and a lot of his personality in the writing.   I am looking forward to reading Cadel's book and David Millar's book soon as well.  Seems like a lot of riders writing books now.  I also read Joe Parkin's books while camping at Van Damme State Park about two months ago.

Well tomorrow looks like somewhere between 70 and 100 miles, don't know yet what I am going to feel like riding.  I do know that I am not going to drive to Folsom for the 40 miler that the Cycle Folsom guys are doing, but I think I will ride up and do the 40 with them and that puts me at 70 miles after finishing that and then another 30 miles home.  The problem comes from the fact that the 30 miles home will have at least 15 to 20 miles of headwind, but the winds really aren't too bad most of the time, but they seem to be picking up more now that we are headed into fall.  I guess I'll just have to see what tomorrow brings.  Until next time!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Curmudgeon, what me?

Ok, I guess I am pretty set in my ways, I have certain things that I consider good etiquette when riding, several of which were violated today.  First I would like to say I do like riding with other riders, the problem comes when I am joined by other riders who don't let me know they are drafting me.  Now I don't mind other riders catching a draft, but when I don't know that they are there they are they are at risk for me doing something stupid and me crashing them or vice versa, or even worse I could let loose with a snot rocket and totally cover them!   When I catch a rider when out on a training ride I usually don't end up drafting them, usually I catch them and then pass them, although I usually say on your left and pass on their left and leave them plenty of room so they don't end up getting spooked by me riding by.  But if I do choose to draft I say, "on your wheel" or "do you mind if I sit in" and make sure I get a response otherwise I don't know if they truly know if they know I am there.

Now the same guy that ended up drafting me nearly took me out at a stoplight, several miles prior to the whole drafting thing.  I was slowing, anticipating the light to change and suddenly a guy zips by on my right at we approached the corner, no warning no nothing, luckily I wasn't turning right otherwise we would have been a tangled mess.  I don't know what possesses people; cyclists, drivers or pedestrians to do really stupid and risky things, but I seem to run into what I consider more than my fair share.  Yesterday I was close to the end of my training ride and was coming up a small rise that was also on a corner and what should I see but a teenage girl riding no-handed with a cell phone in her hands apparently texting and drifting into my lane.  Of course her attention was not on the road ahead, but her cell phone, my screaming of "hey, hey, hayyyyyyyyyyy" seems to wake her out of her texting reverie just in time to avoid a head on collision.  My only thought was that she probably didn't learn anything from the incident and would end up one of those teenage drivers that gets killed trying to text and drive.

This leads me to the last item for which I seem to have a curmudgeonly attitude towards, riding in traffic with headphones on.  Why would anyone willing inhibit the ability to hear everything around them, especially the large car or truck about to hit them?  I like to listen to music, but I don't think that riding on a busy streets or places where you need to be able to hear to keep from getting hit or responding to other riders is a good idea, yet I see a lot of riders with headphones on.  Not just in one ear, but both!  I have even see guys put in their headphones during a group ride.

Well on to a more positive subject, Thor's win today on Stage 13!  It was great seeing Thor not only make it up and over a big mountain, but to break away and chase down Jeremy Roy and go on to win! I hope that Thor stays with Garmin-Cervelo for the next season at least, but it seems like there are a lot of rumors about Thor moving to several teams.  Well I am rooting for Tommy D and Cadel Evans for GC.  It would be great for Tommy D to finish top 5, but tomorrow will tell who has the ability to take control.  I think that the Schlecks will attack and I am all for Andy or Frank finishing on the top step, but I am really hoping Cadel gets the win he has been working so hard for.

Got to get to bed, 70 miles and about 7,000 feet of climbing for me tomorrow, then home and watching the Tour!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tour de Crash!

Well on Saturday I went out for a ride to Sutter Creek, I ended up with 92 miles and near 4,000 feet of climbing. Seems like I just ran out of gas in the last 30 miles, not a bonk or anything, just didn't feel that great.  I guess the heat didn't help too much.  Next weekend we are going up the Mormon Emigrant Trail/Iron Mountain Road from Sly Park up to Kirkwood, it is only 70 miles, but it is about 7500 feet of climbing, of course the climbing is pretty much in the first half and then just downhill.  Going to be tough going.

What a day in the Tour de France, Stage 9 was just crazy.  First with Contador getting flicked off the road all by himself and then the big crash about half way through the stage.  Jurgen Van den Broeck, Dave Zabriske, Fredrick Willems and Alexander Vinokourov all abandoning due to broken bones. Vino looks to have a career ending injury, all the rest with pretty bad breaks.  Hopefully all will heal fast, Dave had been doing so much work for Garmin-Cervelo, I know he will be missed.  The break with Tom Voeckler, Jonny Hoogerland, Juan Antonio Flecha, Sandy Casar and Luis Leon Sanchez looked to be going all the way to the end until a French media car drove right into Flecha who, when he when down took out Hoogerland who flipped into a barbed wire fence.  Voeckler did slow down and wait until he got confirmation that the Flecha and Hoogerland wouldn't be able to get back into the break.  Voeckler of course worked his ass off to get the break to the finish in time for Voeckler to get into the yellow jersey.  Sanchez had the sprint for the stage win, although that thing he does in memory of his brother who died is kind of weird or strange or something.  Seems like riders have to have some sort of gimmick finish line ceremony any more, what happened to the simple victory salute?  I don't mind riders doing the more elaborate things, I just wish I knew what the heck they meant. 

Well at least tomorrow is a rest day, and I am sure Flecha will be back on Tuesday, Hoogerland I am not so sure.  I hope the Hoogerland makes it back, but after seeing the photos of how torn up he was after the crash I wouldn't be surprised if he called it quits.  He and Flecha did finish the stage, and the ASO did award both of them the spirit award for their courage in finishing.  The driver have any recognition that he hit Flecha or so it seemed.  I am sure the driver didn't mean to hit them, but the fact that the driver didn't appear to have the riders interests in mind and wasn't following the protocol for passing riders in the peloton was just unbelievable.

Time for some sleep now, until next time here is to wishing all the riders that were injured in all the crashes today a quick recovery! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another weekend is upon us!

Wow, another week gone by.  The first week of the Tour de France, and what an exciting and dangerous week it has been.  My favorite team Garmin-Cervelo has had a spectacular week with wins in the team time trial (Stage 2) and Tyler Farrar's sprint win on Stage 3.  Thor Hushovd has been in yellow since stage 2, so all in all a great TdF for Garmin so far.

Just a crazy week of crashes though, and so devastating to both Radioshack and Quickstep.  Jani Brajkovic is out with a concussion and broken collarbone, and now Chris Horner is questionable with the crash today where he sustained a broken nose and a concussion.  Even of Chris continues he is now over 12 minutes down after being up in 13th at around 10 or 15 seconds back.  Levi Leipheimer has had several crashes now, losing over a minute yesterday and now an additional three minutes today.  Quickstep has lost Tom Boonen with his retirement from today's stage and Sylvan Chavanel, the current French champion hurt.  Bradley Wiggins from Sky Procycling is out with a broken collarbone and for Sky he was their hope for the General Classification (GC), but Sky does have quite a few others that can get some stage wins.

Tyler Farrar winning Stage 3 of 2011 TdF
I am not sure why so many crashes this year.  The roads don't look any more narrow than the past, but the peloton has seemed to be more nervous than the past and the wind direction changes seem to have played a part, at least in today's stage.   Riders are taking more risks trying to get through small gaps for no real benefit, it is like they want to be around their team regardless if they are working at the front or not.  One of the reasons I haven't returned to doing more races, besides being so busy, is that since I have had so many years since I have had a racing licence I am considered a Cat. 5 rider.  In road races it is hard enough to be around a bunch of guys who have no real experience riding in a pack of more than 10 riders, let alone a criterium with a 100 rider field and guys trying to stuff each other into corners.  After seeing all the crashes in the Davis 4th of July Criterium that I was a corner marshal for, I really don't have any desire to ride criteriums.  I thought the Pro 1/2 race was pretty good with no pileups and generally pretty smooth riding, at least until the final sprint where a rider from Yahoo! was clipped and sent spinning.  It was rather interesting in that midway through the crash he managed to stand up, unfortunately he had so much momentum he continued into the barriers without his bike.  He appeared to be ok, but shaken up.

Even doing group rides there are so many sketchy riders and people who are "experienced" but really have no concept of pack riding and being able to draft properly.  I have been lectured by several riders that I need to ride directly behind the rider in front, nevermind the fact the wind is head to cross or cross and if I ride directly behind I am actually getting very little draft.  I know we can't ride echelon in traffic, but I tend to ride where the actual draft is, not just directly behind.  Also, so many riders can't rotate though a paceline without hammering as soon as they are on the front.  If you are trying to attack, attack, but if you want to ride as an efficient group pull though easy and just match the pace, if you want to increase the pace, but stay together, slowly increase the speed.  And one more pet peeve, when you stand up when climbing please don't throw your bike backwards, as you stand you do it at the top of the pedal stroke so you don't shove your bike back into the rider behind you.  Ok, I am done bitching for the night.  It isn't like I am not guilty of some piss poor bike handling, everyone has lapses in concentration and most don't have devastating consequences, but I think in general everyone could do with some bike handling drills and nothing beats cyclocross for building some handling skills.

I am looking forward to watching the 8th Stage of the Tour tomorrow after my ride, I am going out for a ride to Sutter Creek with a couple of thousand feet of climbing to make things fun.  Just riding by myself tomorrow, I haven't felt like I was going well at all this week, and haven't done my usual hours,so hopefully I am up for the ride tomorrow.

 I am sure that tomorrow will calm the nerves in the peloton and the number of riders who are able to follow the lead will be reduced considerably.  I don't know if Garmin has any riders that are going to go hard for GC this year.  I am still hoping that Chistian VanVelde, Ryder Hesjedal or Tom Danielson will be able to ride into the top 10.  Cadel Evans looks to be headed to a podium if he can keep up the pace in the mountains.  So far Cadel looks pretty good and it seems to be his year, at least if he can stay out of the chaos.  Trudi got the podium flowers from Cadel when he won Stage 4, I don't know if Trudi is the soigner that works with Cadel, but that is pretty cool.

Time to get some rest for tomorrows ride, ride hard and stay safe!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Davis 4th of July Criterium

Well I guess I am becoming a professional corner marshal, I have corner marshal duties tomorrow at the Davis 4th of July Criterium.  Going to be a hot one, forecast is for 104 degrees F, wish I was racing, but I guess that wouldn't be a good re-introduction into mass start racing.

Going to miss stage 3 of the TdF, but the DVR will capture what I don'g get to see before I leave in the morning.    Stage 2 was great!  Glad to see Jonathan Vaughters and Garmin-Cervelo finally get a stage win, hopefully the first of many!  The first 5 teams were so close and BMC seems to have been inspired by Cadel's closeness to getting the yellow jersey.  I am looking forward to seeing some really good racing in the next couple of weeks.  Stage 1 was a rather interesting result with the spectator determining the result.  I would say Karma if it had just affected Contador, but so many others are starting at such a deficit.  Time to get some sleep, tomorrow is going to be a long day!  Have a safe and fun 4th of July!