Monday, May 31, 2010

Sisters Stampede Report

As mentioned in my previous Blog, Sisters, OR is small rodeo town.  So what better way to kick off the start of a bike race than with a leadout from a cowboy on a horse.  Heaahh!

                                    Photo Courtesy:  Oregon Velo

The start of the race meandered through several miles of doubletrack and even included a creek crossing :).  Then, after crossing a fireroad the fun began.  The Pro/Cat 1 riders would do 2 loops of the upper loop which consisted of nothing but fast, rocky, loose singletrack... and an occasional view which I happened to sneak in.
Matt Russell and I were riding in 4th and 5th place from the get go.  We were on the heels of Sheppard, Thompson, and Nichols but after 30 min slowly began to loose their wheels.  Matt and I stayed together the entire race until the final 8 miles; Russell made a wrong turn and did an extra loop of the top section :(.  I tried to yell to him but he didn't hear me.  It was a crazy intersection where some riders had to go left and others straight.  Needless to say he wasn't too happy after the race, but he was riding very strong.

With about 4-5 miles left in the race, the course hit the "Eagle's Nest" section, which was a fairly steep and very rocky section.  With several switchbacks in this section, I could actually see the 3rd place rider (Nichols) just ahead of me.  This gave me a little extra boost to push a little harder.  I thought I could have closed the gap and caught him but I never did.  I finished in 4th, 30 sec behind 3rd and almost 5 minutes behind Sheppard who won yet another race.

Considering this was the first mountain bike race in Sisters, OR I would have to say that it was a huge success.  The turnout was great (roughly 45 Pro/Cat 1's and over 300 + total), and post race activities that pleased all.  The only glitch in the race I observed was the upper loop that the Pro/Cat 1's did twice and other did once.  On the 2nd loop we were having to pass numerous riders who started later in different classes.  Lots of bottlenecking and some frightened riders.   I think it would be best if we didn't do that loop twice or added some additional section/s so that on the 2nd loop we wouldn't have the chaos that we did this year.  The winning time was 1:45:36 so it is definitely a course that could add some additional mileage/time.

Cateye MSC-HR20 Statistics:
1:50:36 Race Time
1475    Calories Burned
23        % of Calories Burned from Fat
180      Max HR
165      Avg HR

Here are the top 5 overall:
Pro Men
1. Chris Sheppard  1:45:39.4
2. Ben Thompson 1:46:36.8
3. Brett Nichols 1:49:54.3
4. Sloane Anderson 1:50:35.5
5. Steve Carwile 1:52:14.1

Friday, May 28, 2010

Racing through the Holiday

This Sunday will kick off a new race in Sisters, Oregon... the Sisters Stampede.  If you have never been to Sisters, just know that it's a very small town that hosts a rodeo every year.  The rodeo may be small in stature, but the turnout is enormous.  Believe it or not I have yet to go, but each year it's on my list of things to who know maybe this year will be the year.

Anyways, back to biking right.  The course will travel over the recently revised Peterson Ridge Trail consisting of one loop of 35 miles ( I believe).  The course will offer exceptional views of the Three Sisters mountain range (probably the best views in Oregon), not that I will have time to soak them in, and should be mostly singletrack.  I say should because I have not had the opportunity to pre-ride the course.

The race starts and ends at the Three Creeks Brewery... :-).  I know what I'll be doing for my warm-up and cool down.  Lots of festivities happening post venue including the Moon Mountain Ramblers,  always a local favorite band, and I'm sure some sampling from the brewery.

This race will be the first race on the new BMC FS01 frame which I swapped parts from my other bike.  I can notice the added stiffness and lightness to the frame compared to my '08 version of the FS01.

The frame is nearly 100% carbon, including the dropouts.  It utilizes a bolt on front derailleur tab (aluminum), and a threaded bottom bracket sleeve (aluminum).  The headtube is a bit beafier, and the cable routing is the cleanest I have seen.  I've decided to run the Ergon GA1 grips for the Sisters Stampede race.

With all the cold temps and rain we have had lately, the trails are in prime condition.  Usually at this time of the season the trails are very dry and dusty.  These are the kind of conditions all "off-roaders" hope for.  Temperatures are supposed to rise into the 70's for race day, so there should be plenty of smiles all day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Threshold TT Test Results

Well unfortunately I wasn't able to get my Power Tap working and couldn't find a sole to loan me a hub to use for the test.  So, although the Test was successful in gauging my fitness I was only able to get HR data form it.  I did the test on a popular road in town, Skyliner Rd, which is a 10 mile road that leads to a dead end.  The road averages about 4% gradient and only has a max of 6%.  The road is utilized for many local TT races and even for the Cascade Cycling Classic TT Stage.  The road surface is not the greatest, but traffic is minimal and close to home.

Without much experience riding TT's, I'm not one to know how to properly pace myself.  Although I conserved some energy in the beginning (2-3 minutes) before dropping the hammer, I always seem to just about blow up after 15 minutes.  I don;t know the "sweep spot" at what point I can work hard enough yet still hold some fuel in the tank without running out of gas.  I will certainly be doing some more of this as preparation for the CCC Stage Race in July.

My results form the test are the following:
     20 Min TT Test
     179 Max HR
     167 Avg HR

These #'s will provide useful information nonetheless and help give me some accurate HR Zones to train from.  I hope to get my Power Tap working again soon so that I can find out how much wattage I am generating. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010


What is everyone's take on the accusations from Floyd Landis today?  How do you think those that contributed to his Floyd Fairness Fund feel?

Another sad day in cycling and it appears that this will go on for many more years.  I cannot imagine if it is ever proven that Lance was doping.

Let me know your thoughts on all of this.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Threshold Test

To gauge where my fitness is at I will be doing a 20 minute TT Test this week.  I am currently in a  recovery week so I have not done any hard efforts yet; trying to let the body recovery from the last few weeks of hard riding/racing.  My power tap hasn't been working lately so I am hoping that I can get it working by the time I do the test.  I will post the results from the power meter if I can get it working by then.
I am guessing that I will produce an avg of 320-350 watts for the 20 minute test.  If I do more than that I will be happy...if I do less than that I will be disappointed.

I'm not one to ride with an IPod in my ears very much, but you can be assurred I will have the tunes jammin', something fast and heavy.
How much watts can you produce in a 20 minute test?  Share your power data mates.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Thaw report

Well there is no report to report, Spring Thaw didn't happen for me this year.  Was all set to load up the caravan with Sheppard and Thompson at 4am in the morning Sat, but decided to pass on the 4-hour drive.  I find it hard to justify these days spending the whole day traveling  only to do a 1.5 hour race, even though this was a race I was looking forward to. 

So instead of doing the race I was able to get in a solid block of training over the  weekend with a race-effort ride on Sat to simulate the Spring Thaw.  On Friday I headed to McKenzie Pass to do some hill repeats.  Not knowing how far I would be able to go due to the road still having snow, I decided to go as far as I could and then repeat that time 4 times.  So I did 4x20x10 (4 sets of 20 min steady state effort with 10 min recovery in between sets.  McKenzie Pass is one of the more scenic and remote climbs around Central Oregon.  And for this year the Cascade Cycling Classic race will be adding this stage back in again.  The race will ride the back side of the pass; which is very similar to any Grand Tour mountain stage...lots of steep gradients and many, many switchbacks with a mountaintop finish.

Sat I did a simulated race effort mixing in trails from North Fork, South Fork, Tumalo Creek, and Skyliners/Tumalo Ridge trail.  The goal was to get in more climbing and lots of rollers.  I wasn't able to get as high on the North and South Fork trails as I thought I would (due to snow), but the other trails were ok.  Max HR during the ride was 181 and avg HR was 144.  It's always hard to push yourself as hard as you would during a race, but I can honestly say I felt as though I was racing someone today.

On Sunday, I wanted to get in more climbing so I rode up Century Dr. towards Mt. Bachelor to the Sunriver Cutoff Rd.  Then I rode down to Edison Sno-park before turning around and riding back up to Century Dr.  Without pushing too hard on the pedals I was able to keep the HR at an avg of 129 bpm and only reached a max of 161. 

By the time I got home I was able to catch the final 8k of the Tour of California race on and see Cav light it up once again.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Something cyclists rely heavily on, or just simply enjoy.  When I moved to Seattle, WA back in 1997, I slowly became a coffee addict. Now, I can honestly say that I am a coffee snob.

There are many coffee roasting companies in Bend that offer unique beans from other countries.  Some even offer direct-trade coffees.

My local favorite place to stop in and have a cup of coffee is Lone Pine Coffee Roasters.  You won' t find anything else brewing in my machine at home either.  Located in downtown Bend in an alley off of Minnesota Ave, their small cafe/roasting facility is a relaxing place to go for your caffeine buzz.  Check them out online and buy some for won't be disappointed.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Giro d' Italia - Stage 7

                          The start in Carrara, Italy   Photo: © Roberto Bettini
This will go down as one of the all-time best days of racing in cycling. If you didn't see this stage, you will have to rent the dvd once it is released to understand what I am talking about.

This day of racing brought images of the early days of racing...back during World War I when the riders had to race on dirt roads and wear their innertubes around their shoulders. The only thing missing today was the tubes around the riders' shoulders. With commentary from Sean Kelly, he provided interesting advice on race tactics and shared his days of racing the tough one-day classic races.

Photo credit © Sirotti

With lots of carnage and mud, this was a true test of how tough a rider can be. With the pink jersey going down in a crash with about 30k to go, a group of 7 riders (including Vinokourov) attacked and build a descent gap. Cadel Evans was in a small group behind and then the Maglia Rosa jersey group. Evans, with his exceptional bike handling skills (former World Cup mountain bike racer), was able to pull back the lead group.

 Photo by Graham Watson

With their jerseys and faces covered in mud, Evans, Vinokourov, Cunego and a few others were in the lead with 5k to go to the finish. With the final few K's of the race going thru a small village and a short section on cobbles, Evans lead the group taking some risks. On the final 100 meters, Evans (wearing the World Champion jersey) lead the group to the line. Would he go on to take the victory?
I don;t want to spoil the result for you, so you will have to watch the race for yourself.

A great way to view races is
Stage 8 should make for another great day of racing considering it will be a mountain top finish, and that the GC is now wide open. You won't believe who is in the pink jersey right now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Next On The Calendar

Next up on the schedule is the Spring Thaw race down in Ashland, OR. This is a race I have not done in 4 years so I am looking forward to it. The race is also serving as a Kenda Cup Qualifier, so their should be another strong field on hand.

The race course doesn't necessarily favor one specific style of riding, although it does favor the strong climber and descender. It begins with an 8 mile climb (mix of fireroad and singletrack), then several miles of rolling terrain, and then finally a fast 8 mile descent which is pretty technical. I've seen lots of guys in the past who normally ride geared bikes switch to singlespeed bikes for this course.

The course climbs to a higher elevation as it climbs up Mt Ashland and there has been issues of snow in the past, but I don't foresee that being a problem for this seasons version. The course should be in prime condition and the weather for the weekend looks to be in the 70's, so all in all it should make for a great day of riding.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cascade Chainbreaker race report and pics

Every Mothers Day in Bend is the annual Cascade Chainbreaker xc race.  The race is held on private land just above Shevlin Park.  Each year the race draws more riders from all over Oregon and even out of state.  Somewhere near 400 competitors toed the start line on Sunday.

While setting up the ProAir booth had a few  people stop by asking questions and some that use the product already.

This years' version saw once again a very stacked Pro Men's field, with names such as Chris Sheppard, Ryan Trebon, and Carl Dekker looking to take home top honors this year.  The course was the same as last year with a few new singletrack sections added in.  The start begins on a fireroad for roughly 2 miles before reaching the very dusty and loose singletrack during the "start loop" for a total of 5 miles before actually beginning the first of 3 laps to be completed.  Winning times of this races have typically been around the 2.5 hour mark, and this year would be no different.  I have to say this this is one of the tougher xc races out there due to the constant undulating terrain, technical rocky sections,  and endless switchbacks.

Me and Matt Russell heading out on the first lap

 Navigating through the infield section of the course

Trebon and Sheppard dukin' it out going through the infield section

I wasn't feeling 100% fresh today after riding for nearly 90 miles on the road Saturday.  However, neither were most other riders as some had done the new Bend Don't Brake RR on Saturday too.  Going into the first singletrack section I was in 5th position behind Thompson.  I would hold onto this spot until we went thru the start if the first lap where I began to fall off the fast pace.  It's amazing to think that you are killing yourself going as fast as you can, yet there are others just pulling away.  Once we reached the first doubletrack section I was with Matt Russell and we were still within vision of the lead group.  We tried to close the gap but our efforts failed and would continue to ride together for another 4-5 miles or so.  By the time we finished the first lap I was still holding on to 6th place but losing time to the leaders (about 7 min).  For the next two laps I got into my race tempo pace and settled into a rhythm.  I was passed by another rider (Bruce Cole-Baker) midway thru lap 2.  Towards the end of lap 2 I was beginning to feel a little better and the legs started to feel alive, but that only lasted a few minutes before feeling very heavy again.  I passed Matt Russell on the final lap who was having some cramping issues (and later would break his derailleur and drop out) and could see Bruce ahead of me but could not close the gap.
 Trebon leading Sheppard through the start of the final lap

After 2:41:00 in the saddle, I crossed the finish line in 9th place.  I always think this race is going to get easier, but it seems like it gets harder each year.  Trebon eventually would win the race with Sheppard close behind in 2nd and Dekker in 3rd.  Ben Thompson rode solid for 4th.  Full results listed below:

Place Number First Name Last Name Team Time

1 357 Ryan Trebon Kona 2:25:17
2 374 Chris Sheppard Rocky Mountain Bikes 2:25:27
3 364 Carl Decker Giant 2:27:40
4 372 Ben Thompson Trek Mtn Co-Op 2:29:39
5 377 Brig Brandt Hutch's Bend 2:32:46
6 358 Omer Kem Jamis 2:36:04
7 315 Bruce Cole-Baker Sunnyside Sports 2:39:36
8 190 Timmy Evans Rebound Physical Therapy 2:40:29
9 302 Sloane Anderson Pro Air 2:41:00
10 365 Justin Finn Spooky Cycles 2:42:16
11 378 Jonathan Myers Team S&M 2:44:54
12 312 Scott Bradway Team S&M/Sellwood Cycle Repair 2:46:34
13 376 James Ceccorulli Portland State University 2:47:34
14 337 Bruce Rogers Hutch's/ClearOne/Bend Dental 2:50:01
15 193 Damien Schmitt Sunnyside Sports 2:52:19
16 347 Matt Fox Sunnyside Sports 2:53:21
17 335 Ian Eglitis 2:53:45
18 369 Bear Perrin Pistis 2:56:57
19 370 Bill Warburton Therapeutic Associates Cycling/GENR8 3:01:07
DNF 323 Matt Russell DNF
DNF 353 Tommy Tuite Bike Tires Direct DNF

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bike Shops

I thought I would list my recommendations for local bike shops throughout the US.  In most cities, there are several shops to choose from and at times can get a little overwhelming.  You may be thinking how different can one shop be from another.  Trust me they area ll different in their own way.

While traveling across the US competing in bike races as well as living in different part of the country, I have had the opportunity to visit several bike shops.  Most of my experiences have been  very good, but I have had some unpleasant experiences as well.

I've decided to list my favorite (and recommended) bike shops to help those in search of a quality shop to make shopping for a bike/parts, or servicing a bike an enjoyable experience.  For each shop listed you are almost guaranteed to meet the owner/s of the shop during your visit, something I felt was valuable.
The bike shops are listed in no particular order and I tried to list one for each region of the country.

1.  Northeast - Pure Energy Cycling (
2.  Midwest - Roll: (
3.  Northwest - Pine Mountain Sports (
4.  Southwest - Oro Valley Bicycle (

The factors that I took into consideration when choosing my favorite shops were customer service, price point, location, quality of work (service), and turn-around time on tune-ups.  I'm sure their are many other great bike shops out there, and many of you will have you favorite shop/s for one reason or another.  However, if you are still in search of a shop or are near one of these shops during a vacation or your next bike race, I highly recommend you pay them visit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Team Kit

My new cycling kit arrived last week and looks pretty damn sharp...thanks to Joanna Larsen for her efforts on the design and the guys and gals at this company.  It's plain and simple yet markets the branded product very clearly.  The colors of the kits encompass that of Teva's product image.

With the Cascade Chainbreaker race approaching this weekend in Bend, I will be setting up a booth with banners.  Look for the ProAir/HFA logos as I will have lots of information to hand out. If you have asthma or know of someone who does, I encourage you to stop by.

I should have some pics up soon of the new kit.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Webcyclery Movie Night

On May 18th at 9pm, Webcyclery will be showing the movie "Ride the Divide" at McMenamins Theatre in downtown Bend.  There are only a few locations where this film will be shown, so get your tickets now.

Check out the trailer if you need more motivation:
Ride The Divide

Monday, May 3, 2010

Saddle Sores

...are not something any cyclist enjoys. I won't go into graphic details, or come close to sharing the same pain that Ben Day encountered (read story if you haven't heard) but they are not pleasant and can affect your riding in more ways than one.  I have recently acquired one and I can honestly say this is one of the worst saddle sores I have had.  I have been soaking in warm water with Epsom Salt to help reduce it so that I can get back on the bike soon.  In the meantime, my arse won't be seeing the saddle anytime soon.  Just to let you know how bad it is (ok this isn't graphic) I have to keep my weight shifted to the opposite "cheek" while sitting.

I'm hesitant to pop the thing, as I don't want it to get infected.  If anyone has any experienced advice, please share.