Half Fast Velo

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Belated Barton Blog - A Huffy Story

Before I forget this ever happened...

The course was amazing. Nice roads with spectacular views of the mountain. It was awesome to be in the peloton, for a couple of laps, seeing my teammates doing well. 

I managed to stay with the pack on the first lap, just barely. After tootling around the course, just as someone in the pack suggested, hit the brutal, stair-step, crushing little hill, harder on the second lap, gapping me off.

A couple of us joined forces and made it back by the highway turns. Getting as low as I could, tucked into the groups that was rolling a little more steady.

Somewhere on the north side of the course, a couple of fast guys got off the front and we did a bit of chasing. I took one turn as we brought them back and slowing down the peloton before the climb. My race legs are not ready for sprinting up that hill and off the back I went. Chasing the peloton till we hit the hill again, that was it.

The rest of the laps was me taking major pulls in small chase groups, getting a bit better at the accent. Riders would get swept up along the way. Most dropped off. Saul said, "Hi, bye". I was sorry to see him go, since he had done so well. Some chasers tried to distance me on the climb, only to be caught on the windy false flat. I didn't understand the cat 5 thinking. One guy, Greg from Seattle, made the choice to hang with me, giving a few much appreciated turns at the front. He couldn't understand how I could be so strong on all the course but the hill. How about over weight? On the windy false flat, we motored (no motor) by two Woman Racers, and I hear, "click, click", and they jump in line and hung at the back for three laps. No talk, no work, no worries.

Our last time up the hill was brutal! It was hotter. The wind was stronger. None of us four, me, Greg and the two passengers, wanted to get dropped(ok, I didn't want to get dropped) with a K to go. At the top, I geared up and put distance on the three before the last turn and flew solo to the finish for my 14th place.

The ride back to the car was hell till I caught up with Greg and two Olympia riders. They were joyous from the young woman victory. Up lifting...

Chatting with friends about their race experience in the breezy park was super nice. The hungry drive home was a fight against cramps in my accelerator foot and leg. Had to decline a BBQ invite for a quite home cooked meal with the sponsor.



King's Valley

Forecast said sunny and warm. It wasn't sunny or warm but dry and cool isn't all that bad. Maybe I was getting greedy after the perfect weather in the Gorge the week prior. Or maybe I'm getting soft with all of that garage riding this winter. I digress.

Team Audi definitely wins the prize for the most racers in the 3/4/5s this year. Five in all for this race and they're all pretty strong. Hutchs from Bend had 2 strong guys. Then Jake Van Duering from Monster Media, Rob Angelo from EVO, and Greg Steele (this guy is freakishly strong and dangerous in a group. Wade or Ken, care to chime in here?). 

It turns out that sitting up to take a bite from your very dry granola-like energy bar at the same time several people attack isn't such a good idea. Most of the guys around me must have thought I was about to blow chunks from the sounds of my dry heaving. That's how lap 2 started for me.

Wade and I tried to initiate or get into a break several times this lap. I got out with a few strong guys in the head wind and we had some space but it wasn't to be. Then Wade hit it hard on the first hill after the right hand turn leading into the finish and put a hurt on those of us sitting back in the pack.  He had a gap for little bit then I guess he felt bad for the rest of us and slowed things down a bit.

We regrouped, did the finishing climb then the descent back to the flats. One of the Hutch's riders went out again. Nobody was reacting and he was getting some space. I was sitting somewhere in the middle third of the group and decided to give it another go. I passed the leaders in a full sprint and joined up with the leader pretty quickly. 2 more guys joined us and we had a break. This was the beginning of the last lap. HFV, Hutchs, Audi, and Greg Steele (again, freakishly strong and dangerous) in the break.

A few miles later we were joined by another Audi guy. I ride with three of these guys that were in the break on Tue Wheelmen rides and I thought we'd have enough fire power to make it to the finish. But team tactics [he says with a hint of sarcasm] got in the way.  Some jackass from Team Audi decided to chase us down single handedly and we got caught with about 4ish miles to go. 

We got to the final climb and I didn't have anything left once the front group kicked it up in the last 800. Wade left me behind, stayed with the leaders, and finished strong with a 5th place finish. 

No sitting in for HFV riders Sat. And it was a bummer to hear that Saul's chain didn't cooperate with him during the race.

Between the Gorge Roubaix and Kings Valley, 2016 sure has been a lot of fun. 

Wade or Saul, did I miss any juicy details?


Kruger's-The Singlespeed Swirl

I wish I could say that I felt super or that I had slept great, or ate heartily the night before, or even that the dawn had broken clear and bright. Instead, it was kind of the opposite. I was dragging from racing hard out at Corn Cx the day before, getting home later than anticipated, doing the usual gamut of chores, barely snagging a semblance of dinner, and then tossing and turning all night due to a variety of reasons. Not to mention it was 23 degrees at my house!!  Cripes!

6 a.m. had me loaded up, and rolling out with tent and rack with just enough time to get there, set those up, register and maybe get a pre-ride in before my first race? 

The drive in was a little dicey on the Fremont bridge and headed out to Sauvie’s with frozen fog. Oh yeah. This was gonna be a cold one. 

At the registration table I confused the poor woman to death by trying to register for not one, but TWO singlespeed races AND Master B’s. YES, I do already have all of the numbers I need. Trust me, I have actually done this before. It’s going to be ok.  I’m pretty sure.

After getting the tent and rack offloaded and basically set up (ish), I get ready to go check out the course (somewhat).  I did maybe a half of a lap.  I noted that I wanted to go high left at the right hand corner off the farm road after the barrier section.  Hang onto that tidbit, it comes into play again.

Whelp, race time. My hands and toes are already frozen.  Here we go.  Women’s SS first.  Smallish herd of us standing around clutching our torsos.  Beginner men behind us looking like they wanted to appear fast and confident.  Hope nobody notices the upside down numbers. 

And we’re off.  First lap I was in third place and actually noted out loud how incredibly bumpy the ground was (frozen).  We got through the barrier section, up the farm road, and like an idiot, I followed Jericho’s line into the corner (she went right).  Cursing myself as to WHY I did that we bobbled and bungled our way through that mess. At some point she got caught up in the muck and I made my way through it. I was in second for the time being but I knew she was strong and fast and I would have to work hard to keep it that way.  Someone yells “wipe your nose! You’ll go faster!”  This was such a theme for the day.  I think I got dehydrated from my nose running all day. 

Most of that race was a blur.  I remember feeling really good and feeling like I was getting some speed up.  I suddenly realized I was catching Mari (second place) and that with each lap I would sometimes get real close and then she would pull away again as I would get hung up in traffic.  The beginner men provided me with great internal dialogue entertainment.  They would come flying by me on the gravel road where they had the ability to go faster because they had more gears and I was spun out.  Then we would hit the mud/grass/technical stuff and they would stall out.  Or, as the race rolled on and stuff started to thaw and get slippery, and their confidence got stronger, they would hit the mud too fast and totally slide out, leaving me a nice clear path.  Welcome to cx boys.  Nothing ever stays the same!

It was a fun race and I left nothing out there.  Mari raced hard knowing I was hot on her tail and I raced hard trying to reel her in.    Race 1 done!

Damn my toes are cold!

Time to line up for race 2.

Found the SS guys already lined up at the front. Shoved in with them.  I planted myself right next to Spears.  I told him about the corner.  Had told Seth too.  Couldn’t catch Ian’s eye to tell him.  Oh well, I tried.  And we’re off again.  They didn’t drop me RIGHT away.  At least there was that.

So tricky course officials, made a change to the course between the two races.  After the fabled corner (high left) we had hooked a quick left and then another left.  Now we did the left but at the top went right.  I get to the top and nearly cannot stay on course due to the fact that I’ve been “trained” to go left.  BRAIN NOT WORKING!  I got over it, but it was funny how it took me a couple of laps to break the 5 lap habit I had from the first race.

I can’t remember if it was the first lap, or the second, but going over those tall and 6, did I mention there were 6! barriers, the crowds under the tents start hollering at me because they realize I’m back out there again.  They are talking to me, I’m talking to them, I’m carrying my bike, I have frozen feet and can’t feel my toes….I’m sure you can only imagine.  Yup, I tripped. Took a total face plant right over the third barrier.  Popped right back up, laughing.  They asked if I was ok, saw I was laughing, noted I wasn’t bleeding, “Nah, just a flesh wound!” and off I go again.  Must pick feet up more better. 

The rest of the race I was just enjoying hammering away and being part of the mix.  Towards the end I spotted Spears up ahead.  I thought if I had another lap to go I could catch him because I was really catching him on the uphills and then he would drop me on the downhill bits.  But alas, we got the flag and I finished just 20 feet behind him. 

I rolled back to the tent to rest up for one race and get ready for Master B’s. 

After a few minutes back at the tent, I discover that the front tire on my SS is completely flat. How did I manage to finish two back to back races and not have a flat until I got back to the tent??  Wow.  Lucky.  But now I need to change that out because I really want to ride the SS again for the next race. 

I think I actually got muddier changing out the tire than racing. And cold.  Good grief it was cold!!

Now that I was all cooled down and had lots of lactic acid built up, it was time to go do the last race of the day.  Master B’s.  Most everyone was in this race.  This was going be fun.  I would just be fodder for everyone to lap and heckle.  Which was ok by me.  Just remember to pick your feet up!

Lined up. Shivering like mad.  And we’re off.  That first half lap hurt.  But I did my best to keep Seth in sight. And he would yell back encouragement.  Finally things seemed to warm up and I managed to catch up to him. Like a little duckling I stuck to his wheel as best as I could and just followed his line.  Huffy, Paul, Mack, I remember them all passing me.  After a couple laps Seth and I were navigating the really slippery hillside and we both ended up shooting off the side of the course in opposite directions. He started walking. I refused to give in.  I got back on and started pedaling.  I yelled back to encourage but he seemed to be done.  Another lap in, I saw him behind me and yelled back for him to “get his butt up here”, at which point I was admonished by someone on the sidelines saying “he’ll never catch up to you, just keep going”, to which I replied “yes, but I can still heckle him”. 

I was having fun and in my groove.  Picking my toes up and actually starting to catch some guys again and pass them.  Some of them were really sweet and giving me serious props for being out there and especially for being on a SS. 

I can’t say I was sorry when they waved the flag though.  Three races was 26+ miles of that loop. And I was kind of getting dizzy. 

I don’t know. Some days, the conditions are just right, the stars align, and in spite of everything else, you have a damn good day.  Often the damn good days are just because you’re hanging with good people, doing something you love. 

It’s been a fun season with ya’ll and I can’t wait to do more!  Thanks for everything team HFV!


-Carly Heron

Gravel in Yer Eye

So we all line up in the crazy warm 60+ degree crazy winds of the morning. It was a start time of 6 a.m. KT, bless his soul, had gotten up and made us sausage and pancakes. It was still dark at 6 and I was a little concerned about how we were going to see in the dark since we hadn't brought lights.  Anyway, much screwing around with last minute stuff only for KT to realize he had brought the wrong shoes, so he took Wade's truck and raced for home to get his other shoes while we did last minute potties, etc and lined up to start.  We all ended up going in the bushes since the porta potties were 100 yards away and possibly around a fence, (nobody could tell). The fastest way over there was across a ball field.  But having seen puncturevine everywhere....not this chicken. no way!  So we line up to start, getting dust blown into our eyes every few minutes with the massive gusts of wind wondering just WHAT was in store for us, if this was the start.  They had a police escort to lead us through town which was actually pretty cool.  Sort of a neutral roll out and a visibility thing.  Right away I ran into a guy from the tri club and chatted with him for a second. Then I spotted Pat from team Lazy Tarantulas and talked to him a bit. He is good friends with Tom and Cassie (for ththose who don't know,  Tom is my mechanic/ bike builder) I told him they were there.  Right about then Tom came whizzing by us into the pack.  He had gotten a late start due to trouble with this contacts.The peloton was 66 deep (ok 65 given that KT still had to catch up) but they were rolling fast.  For some reason the pace was fast. Really fast.  And at mile 14 I decided fuck it.  I wanted to finish the race and at that pace, there was no way in hell. So I dropped off and started doing my own ride.  We hadn't even hit gravel yet.  Once I backed off and started doing my own pace, I settled in and started to realize all of the things I had forgotten.  Chamois cream, inhaler, tube with endurolytes and excedrin and naproxen.  I was a little pissed at myself but there was nothing I could do at that point, so, ride on.  The wind died down once we got up into the forest and were climbing.  The gravel started at turn two, about mile 18.  It was really nice gravel.  And we just climbed, and climbed and climbed to the first aid station.  At about mile 22 ish.  I would see and pass Pat and some others sometimes and then they would pass me at the aid stations, etc.  At mile 38 the Garmin said off course but there was nowhere else to be.  And I could see bike tracks in the road (gravel) and eventually got to a turn and one of the route signs were there and someone offering water, so all clues that I was still on course in spite of Garmin.  I carried on.  It became pavement, I kept thinking I would run back into the course but then turn away again.  Finally about mile 45 I was back on course and hurtling downhill on pavement.  Saw a sign for bear springs or something, then at the next moment saw a large black animal out of the left eye on the side of the road, did a quick double take, and saw it was acutally a cow.  Ha ha.  Hungry, where's the next aid station?

Down to hwy 26, into the horrid headwind for a mile or so, and left towards Big Prairie.  At that point, my half of a banana at the first aid station was done and I was HUNGRY. The people there were so excited to see me.  Cheering and jumping around.  The kids grabbing my wàter bottles and filling them.   Then it started raining.  They pulled a pop up tent over on top and I stood there and ate all kinds of food while someone else patiently held my bike and I talked to the organizer about the garmin off course thing.  Then KT showed up there and Pat.  Pat pulled out at that point.  I rode on knowing KT would catch me, and a few minutes up the road, he did.  He said, "you're moving right along."  I said, I may be the last one in today, but I intend to make sure they don't have to be out here ALL day!  He laughed and said there were still another dozen behind me.  So he and I rode in the pouring rain together for a while.  Climbed quite a bit, some fun descents.  I got grit and gravel in my eyes because my glasses fogged up when I put them on, but this wet stuff was....foreign.  At the top of that big climb he turned and took a cutoff so he would go down to the 4th station and miss the big climb in the middle.  It was nice to have him to ride with.  And it had stopped raining half way through so we weren't miserable.  On I rode.  Chasing two guys I had seen earlier in the day.  they were clearly riding together, in the same kit.  I would catch them on downhills, and uphills, and they would drop me on the flats.
I finally caught up to them at the third aid station at the top of the big climb.  Where the signs said 7 miles to Mitchell and 40 miles to Prineville.  They had again, great people, lots of good food, and downhill.  Me and the boys rolled out, I just was with them by chance.  They were saying they had just done this on a whim. They were from CA, bay area, crit racers.  This was HARD.  But they were fun.  So on the gravel, they certainly took differrent lines than I did, but they were still pretty good bike handlers.  Then we got down to pavement.  They were soooo happy.  until we hit the frost cracks.  Those were AWFUL.  They were so sad.  I wasn't TRYING to draft, I just kind of ended up drafting because we all were together and going about the same speed.  When I realized they were taking turns and actually checking to see if I was still on, I piped up that I was happy to take turns, etc.  They said sure.  So I helped pull.  It was windy and rolling.  And frost cracks.  So on we rolled.  Until we got to the last BIG climb of the day.  It was on pavement, but poor Patrick cramped and just popped. He was shelled and done.  I tried to pulled them, but he couldnt do it.  We caught another guy who was hurting.  I tried to pull them all but nobody could hang on.  So climb I did. And climb and climb and climb and omfg.  I finally stopped and just stood up and said, are you kidding me?  and started climbing again.  And then started descending and descending and descending and .....you get the idea....finally the rest stop popped up.  And oh blessed joy, this one had a potty!!  I had to make like a bear in the woods at like mile 37 earlier in the day so I was overjoyed to have a real potty.  And oh the spread they had!!  I knew I was hungry, but when I saw the maple bars with bacon....and when it hit my mouth and I actually DROOLED on myself....it was embarassing.  But I hung out and waited for Rob and Patrick to see if they wanted to work together to get back through the last 20 miles of uber headwind into town.  And ate a jelly filled donut they had cut apart and put PB into.  because you know, protein.  :)  They showed up, fumbled around for a bit and finally decided to bail at that point. so on i rode alone.  Once I got out to Hwy 26 I think it was like 10 miles to Prineville.  Those were some of the hardest 10 miles I have ridden in a long time.  15 mph into headwind that suddenly slams you down to 11 mph.  just miserable.  One guy showed up and we tried working together for a little bit.  But I finally shelled off the back.  It  was too much.  I actually started feeling nauseous.  My left shoulder had been screaming at me since 20 miles ago.  My left foot was numb, I had had a headache for maybe 70 miles. I was just done. so uttlerly done.  I had many discussions with myself.  I was riding from tree clump, to barn, to hill side, to curve in the road, where each thing might provide, if not shelter, at least a change in the wind.  I finally started having the "what would be so bad if I just had KT come get me for this part of the ride discussion with myself."  Then, I had the thought, there was only one other woman. what if?  What if she bailed, took a shortcut, had a mechanical, had whatever....what IF I am the only woman to finish and actually won by default and didn't qualify because i pussed out at this point?  Suck it up, pedal on.  And I did.  And I rolled up and crossed the finish line and people cheered and clapped and suddenly there was my team all standing in this big manly male line to grab little shelled weak dirty tired limp me as I fell off my bike across the finish line.  KT scoops me up, they all cheer and high five me and pat me on the back and rush to get me cold water and ask what I need, take my bike, escort me to the truck.  They were awesome.  

It was a really great weekend with some good guys.  And yeah, I'd do it again.

-Carly Heron

The Birth of Jake's Machine

It all started when I reached out to Kyle for some tips on how to reupholster a saddle. My interest was piqued when I saw a saddle my dad somehow scored at The Oregon Hand-Built Bike Show. Kyle offered to meet up one evening the following week and was super kind in giving his secrets away. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from him when I showed up. Who was this guy that calls his company Machine and what does he do that separates him from the other frame builders? As I sat across Kyle, who had an impish grin, I deduced that he is one of those rare guys who happens to be good at everything he tries. Yet he was more than just that. I quickly learned that he is not satisfied with being just good as he will work on his craft until it becomes great. The rest of that night was spent learning about architecture (a subject I have always been interested in), learning about his welding, and talking about CNC machining, a subject I am studying.  We also talked about woodworking as I work in that field designing kitchens and providing machining for contractors. The most amazing thing, however, was how he was able to relate everything he has learned into bikes. I learned a lot about bicycles that night and I decided that I would become a thorn in Kyle’s side. I wanted to learn from himalthough I had no previous knowledge in welding or metalworking at all.

Flash-forward to Christmas time and I was somehow able to talk all parties into the fact that not only will I be riding a Machine, but that I would be involved in the building process from the planning phase to the final wrap of the bar tape. Being charismatic and young enough, I was able to get the materials necessary to start this venture from my father. Over the next couple months, I met with Kyle every Friday and slowly worked on my frame with Kyle always guiding me and teaching me that everything you do is important. I learned that it is imperative to treat every step like it is the most important step and I think that this is where Kyle really comes into his own. He labors over getting everything just right in order to turn the end product into a beautiful Machine. Each step has to be carefully thought out and then meticulously executed to insure a perfect end product. Because of this, I felt guilty at first about not knowing how much time and energy goes into creating a bicycle, but overtime I became more confident in what I was learning and always looked forward to each Friday. Slowly but surely, my frame started to take shape. Not only was I learning how to create it, but I was also inadvertently learning what it was like to take pride in your work and to strive to be precise. I think that is how Kyle thought of Machine Bicycle Co., because he is focused on creating the perfect Machine for each and every one of his customers.

After a couple months of meeting once a week, my bike has gone in and out of powder coat.  Powder coating a frame is important because it provides a durable base layer to protect the frame, as well as providing a blank canvas to design on. Kyle and I spent the whole day brainstorming ideas on how the bike should be painted to perfectly reflect myself.  I ended up deciding that I wanted Kyle to paint it to what he thought would fit my character because I wanted to get a work of art that will reflect me from an unbiased person. When all was said and done, I returned to his workshop and I was stunned. There it was, hanging on the park tool work stand. It was painted with a beautiful matte grey, blue, and white and had little hints of neon orange to make it stand out. The bike looked fierce, fast, and playful, almost begging to be ridden at that very instant. While rested, the bike looked like it was in motion. I knew that Kyle had put forth all his effort in reflecting his view of me.

The first ride was amazing. Never have I felt a bike to be so responsive and comfortable. It truly felt like an extension of my body and I never wanted to get off. But a steep climb up Witham Hill in Corvallis convinced me that it was time to head back homeand wait until the next day to keep the adventure going. I believe part of Kyle’s nature has rubbed off on me over time. At first I noticed that I started to care more in making sure my work reflected my best efforts. Then I noticed that when I started to ride, I was riding harder than I normally rode in the past. By the end of our project, I not only got a bike, but a stronger work ethic.

I want to take this time to thank Kyle’s beautiful family, Emily and Ruby, for making me feel comfortable in your home and sharing Kyle with me. I also really want to thank Kyle for taking a lot of time out of growing his business and his family life to put up with me. What you helped me create is truly wonderful and will always be special every time I ride my bike. I still haven’t finished that saddle.

New Web Site!

Welcome one and all to the new Half Fast Velo website.  Thanks to Jake Witty for your hard work and perseverance dealing with the herd of cats in getting this site together.

Thanks to all our sponsors for their generosity in making it possible for a group of aging cyclists to get together to ride our bikes, support  several good causes a year, and play in the mud!  Cycling truly does make you feel young!

More to come soon!

The Noob Chronicles

First Race: Battle at Barlow – Sept 28, 2014

I hadn’t raced CX for about 13 years so I wasn’t exactly a true rookie but it has been a while since I stepped up to the line.  I borrowed my brother-in-law’s Specialized CX-2, added some Schwalbe Super Swan clinchers and I was good to go.   The promoter’s instructions on getting there were pretty good but I still managed to miss two turnoffs looking for Barlow High School.  The turnout for the race wasn’t overwhelming like the Crusade series, so parking was easy, just a few feet away from the team tent.  Mike K and his family were there all set up and ready to go.....it was great to have Mike there to talk about this race and CX in general… lots of good advice.  I had yet to figure out the mysteries of clincher vs tubular, tire pressure, single-speed, flat bars, don’t ride through the finish line, where do I put my number, all that stuff.

More HFVer’s showed up:  Shane, Mike H, and Wade were there, and Phillip made a special appearance when he would rather be watching football, because it was my maiden voyage and he wanted to support me in the master C’s.  Thanks Philly!   Ninkrossi was just the day before, so that was the big event for most of the HFVer’s.

The weather was cool and foggy, but the pitch was dry by CX terms.  The course is actually pretty easy with one nasty little hill that you run down, then the famous run-up made up of railroad ties.  Other than that, just some off-camber in the grass, and some pretty bumpy straights due to the dry summer.

Clydesdales were up first after the beginners, so I watched Shane and Mike H battle it out for the top spot.  

For a noob any course looks difficult and it feels like everyone is going way too fast.  I took a partial warmup lap and was amazed at how fast people were taking the turns in the woods, and this was just the practice!   I decided to race the Master C’s since I was pretty much a beginner and Phillip was also riding this category.  I opted to start at the back with the punters and saw Philly up ahead pushing his way into the middle of the scrum.  

It seems that in CX it takes some pretty good bike skills and a big engine to hump around that course for 45 minutes.  Well, I had neither, so I bounced around at the back of the bunch just learning how to not chicken out on the tight curves and off-camber.   I did manage to pass Phillip and it was great fun to shout at him while we rounded the 180’s in the grass.   In Philly’s defense, he does have bad knees and that gnarly downhill did him in on every lap.  I think he said something like “ I’m never riding this @$#$%@ course again!”  I also fell down a couple of times on this little tiny hill that I could not get up without hopping off or falling off….good thing I was in the back of the Master C’s.

I got a laugh out of the hecklers on the railroad tie run-up when I shouted, “I thought this was the easy part!”.

Mike K was at the top of the run-up and it was fun to hear him yelling when I came by.  

I came in 51st out of 67 ( 76.1% ) so at least I wasn’t last.  Philly came in about a minute back in 54th place.  Like I said, that run downhill and up the railroad ties did him in.

Things I learned:

1. The start line is not always near the finish line.

2. Don’t ride through the finish line before the race.

3. Checkered flag doesn’t mean you won, it means you’re done and get off the course.

4. Your race number is good for the entire season.  (running events, take note.)

-Mack Stilson

"Hey mom look, no hands!"

Phillip Wiant going over endo into the sand pit

Hard day out there today. The course was much more challenging than anything else I have been on this season. A longer climb and well designed up and downs around the trees made it really challenging and loads of fun; some nice flat sections where I could pass people who were gassed from the hill climbing. I had a bad crash. I thought I could bomb through this sandy section at the bottom of a quick fast pitch and pass the guy ahead of me, but my front wheel planted in the sand, I endo'd and landed squarely on the top of my head (broke my helmet). I have a very stiff neck but think I'm going to be fine.
I hope Hallk is OK - from what I hear, he had it worse than me.

Great to see everyone out today! Beautiful venue, challenging course, beers and team mates.

Who could ask for more!


Cherry Pie Masters 4 Road Race Report...

...Or Lord of The Rings Trilogy?

A weak drizzle fell from a sky of umber darkness, softening the jagged chaos of the world beyond. He rode in ferocious bursts, punctuated only by countless reclamation by a pack bent on proving that persistent mediocrity is match enough for inconsistent flashes of tactical genius and pure audacity. He attacked again and again because like Sisyphus he had to...because he could…because it gave him pleasure to spite the Gods of Complacency.

The panache was present but sadly the speed came fitfully, at first; it had been so long since he had cared to thwart the will of the peloton. Eventually he loosened up, remembering his way, and the pedal strokes flew from his legs like cast-off dreams of what-could-be and what-is. Soon the events of the not-so-distant past were flowing freely and the story of the last days took shape…the minutes slipped by…the clouds reluctantly loosed the grip and blue skies welled forth.

Content for the while to sit in the beguiling warmth and nervous comfort of the pack he plotted and schemed  for the last escape. With 3kms to go it was only the shriek of alloy and the dull rasp of carbon fiber shattering on the bitumen that jolted his senses back from the torpid lull. As quick as Witty scarfing a doughnut, ripples of carnage spread across the roadway as a twisted testament of disposable income scythed through the latter half of the pack, cutting down weak, slow or unfortunate souls. With no time to heed the tortured cries of the wounded he launched in pursuit of the bastard fiends who saw opportunity for cheap glory…cursing his ill-fortune to have been caught at the wrong end of things.

A tale of great daring and bold courage oft-times falls short and this is one of those times. For all the screw-turning and pain-cave visiting he could only claw his way to 8th. Thus ends the recounting of the Master 4’s race.

-Donovan Grabowski

Joy of Tubulars...

...Or How I Spent My Thursday Evening.

So I loaned my 'cross bike to my neighbor, since I was out of town for the Estacada race. I mentally debated swapping the race wheels for the old clinchers, but thought, nah, Chris isn't going to crash, and the tubies have better traction. So I was surprised to learn he'd flatted both tires during the warmup. Fortunately Witty was able to help him find some spare wheels and he had a good race anyway. I checked the tires, and saw that Chris had somehow found a very sharp implement on the course; the front had a quarter-inch slash through the tread and a hole through both sides of the tube, and even a little shiny spot on the inside of the rim where it had gone through. The rear was sliced completely across the tread and the tube was sliced completely in two. I think Chris did his warmup at the Estacada drive-in, and ignored those "severe tire damage" signs.

Looked like a trip to Bill's was in order.

5:15: Get home from work with my new tires, two tubes of glue, and a beer. First admire, then curse, myself for the excellent job I did when gluing the tires on last time. Blister appears. Take drink. Start to apply glue, then remember the latex glove trick. Latex gloves are nowhere to be found in garage; has Martineau been in here? 

5:20: Apply glue to first rim, smooth with index finger, set aside to dry. Repeat with second rim. Quickly try to wash cement off index finger with hot water and soap, to no avail. Curse you, Martineau! Take drink. Hold beer bottle down with left hand to get index finger unstuck.

5:35: After 15 minutes, apply second coat of glue, careful to use same index finger. Take drink, careful to keep said index finger off bottle. Feel good about remembering that. Tell wife you'll be there in a minute when she says dinner is ready.

5:40: Carefully slip first tire on at stem and start working onto rim without getting covered in glue. Quickly realize it ain't gonna happen. Get tire mounted, both hands covered in glue. Repeat with second tire, this time also getting glue on pants, shirt, couch, and cat. 

5:50: Take drink. Ask son to hold beer bottle while you remove hands. Remind him, too late, not to touch it where there's glue on it. Carefully, using elbows and knees, pump up tires and set aside to dry.

6:00: Tell wife you'll be there in a minute, after you get glue off. Try mineral oil, alcohol, boiling water, and vigorous rubbing, to no avail. Come to dinner table with hands virtually covered in tubular cement, which is black by this time from all the home remedies you've tried to remove it with. 

6:15: Eat. This is fun. Suffice it to say that I looked like Edward Scissorhands by the time dinner was over. The kids were asking me to pass stuff to them just so they could laugh about it getting stuck to my hands.

6:30: Try to find the tube of cement to see what it says about cleanup. Find it stuck to back of left arm. Remove it and read, through the arm hair that came with it, that petrol may be used for cleanup. Gloat that you're smart enough to have that in the garage, unless Martineau took it when he stole the rubber gloves. Using ankles and chin, pour gasoline over hands. Make mental note: next time, have someone duct-tape the cat's mouth shut before applying gasoline to cat-hand interface; he doesn't like it.

6:45: Marvel at how well gasoline removes glue. Get fresh beer. Make sure son has not run off and drunk the one stuck to his hands. For the remainder of the night, wonder what you can use to get the gasoline smell off hands.

10:45: Try to remember how much Cameron was selling those clincher tubulars for.

See everybody in Bend.

Cougar Bait