Monday, February 03, 2014

Champoeg Easy

Squadra Cyclisme Unfolding.

revived an old trick
and got some new treats
by riding the old Bannana Belt Course Saturday.

An ideal middle district for our folks from Portland as well as our new teammates, Sharon and Logan Trammell from Scio.
Champoeg Park is the famous site
where Hudson Bay Trappers,
Yoga in French Prairie!
farmers and native Americans met for annual "Gathering."

The Newly Wed Trammells.
Smooth paved roads, as well as a Gorge Roubaix style unpaved road, feature both flat terrain and rolling hills.

In a triangle from Donald to St. Paul and then to Champoeg Park is the historic area named the "French Prairie" by the early trappers who settled there in the the 1800's. French Prairie is the perfect cycling-team training ground
one hundred years later.

Expansive views, clean shoulders, and easy pacelines.
Cycling rural Willamette Valley Saturday was especially exciting, as no cars were on the road on a beautiful sunny 55 degree winter day.
Traveling to the practice added the training benefit of the rigors of just showing up, as most races are at least a half hour away.

Because there were no traffic lights and almost no stop signs on the route, the rolling was consistent for the whole riding time.  That feels very different from rides in the city. Similar though it is to race day in the world of OBRA racing.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Aerodynamic Success

Early season training is the time to review what the team needs, and find it. In winter time you have to find what you don't have. Motivation? Speed? Fitness? Skill?

Usually it comes down
to a nebulous commodity
Robin returns to fast form
called "base miles."Valuable to almost anyone any time, good base miles are supposed to be a bit slower, more sensitive to how you are responding.

Races, of course don't care one little bit how you are responding. Races hurk and jerk and suddenly sprint full speed for a half an hour. Base miles help train a system that endures the wiles of a race.

But alas base miles train you to be slow. Let's face it, if you spend six hours a day riding your bike at twenty miles an hour over a hundred miles, you will be a muscly fit fox, but you won't win the Jack Frost Time Trial.  Twenty nine miles an hour even on just a twelve mile course, requires you to be comfortable riding twenty nine miles an hour - for at least 20 minutes.

Hilde is hungry.
Becoming ready for Oregon, or OBRA, or whatever racing peloton is yours, means training to go fast for long and short intervals, in all sorts of conditions and terrain. And the reality of scoring points, at least in OBRA is in a large part, about showing up.  

Espoir Denzell Lall, and 15yr old Jr. Jaden Salama.
Show up for the right event, with the right bike, and do the right thing - that 's winning.

Showing up starts today, on the scheduled winter training ride. Team strength helps you show up. On this day, tires, derailers, and winter gloves show themselves for the lies they really are. Today they get replaced. Sometimes the strength of The Team is needed merely to shop in a bike shop.

OBRA Medalist Fergus Kinnell teaches tire repair.
As the team gets ready, they see some of the competition out on the road. Then they all better understand the nature of our racing community. Oregon is a classy place to come up in this particular decade. Like the talent bloom of Detroit in the Seventies and Eighties, I-5 is a pretty amazing place to practice bicycle racing in 2014.
This weekend from Sauvies Island to City Bikes, twelve cycling athletes were an important part of this phenomenal time and place.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Juniors Saturday ain't just for Kids!

Happy Holidays from the wet and cold streets of Portland,

Building kids' teams requires adults too!

Saturday rides have a bit less volume.
Slower, and easier, they are actually the best place to work on speed and race readiness. On Saturdays we can slow down to a stop and recover before we really go fast.
Sunday rides are tough.

On Saturdays we can stop to organize timed trials of any distance.
Even the adults benefit from that. Going full speed for the first time this season, always reveals bike stuff and body stuff that needs work.

Last Saturday we set up a .7 mile course heading West on Steele. It was surprisingly long to everyone who tried. Flying up over the knoll out of the mist came disgruntled contorted faces.

Time Trial Practice races shocked folks out of their misconceptions before Race Day at Jack Frost.

Vince C. likes easy race training.
Sunday Rocky Rabbit team paceline-style big distance training rides don't always bring the whole message.

Getting ready for racing is hard to do when not training with your race division. Sunday featuring adults, women and men from three or four OBRA/USA Cycling Divisions, give folks a chance to learn how to just hold on.

As Sunday events start at River City, Saturday events start at Backpedal.  Bike shops also require some know-how to navigate in.
Veteran of Cyclisme Lore, Dave Wingard, enjoys helping Kids with their bikes.

Saturday gives the Juniors and adults alike, a chance to focus them selves on getting fast.

Their equipment, and their relationship to this special group that emphasizes benevolence, good form, simplicity and team, becomes a Saturday adventure.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Race of Truth

AEROMAN is aerodynamic.

TT means Time Trial
By Tim White
and that means racing against the watch.

Time trialing is a very specialized cycling discipline. 

Often at the pro level, racers who are battling hard for the GC can either be made or broken with an individual time trial.
In the Individual Time Trial it's about individual effort, no drafting, just what you can do against the clock, and since we are often pushing for a high speed long term "schedule" at the velodrome, the TT is a wonderful way to practice sustained high schedule.

When my son Alex and I got started with racing anything other than cyclocross, the TT was the first discipline we tried because it seemed the safest. Afteral you race alone.

Racers start at staggered intervals often 30 sec or 1 min apart from each other. Courses have minimal local traffic, so on the whole, I think the Individual TT is one of the safest forms of cycling out there.
It doesn't take a fancy TT bike to race successfully either. (though it REALLY helps) 
There is the "Eddy Category" (named after the Belgian Superstar of the 70's, Eddy Merckx) where you use a regular road bike, no aero gear allowed. Or if you can get clip on aero bars, then get a shorter stem with a negative slope and you've just converted your road bike. 
You must get a shorter stem to protect your LATISSIMUS DORSI including the Fascia-Thoracolumbar fascia Pelvic Bone-Iliac crest; Insertion: Humerus- Intertubercular(bicipital) groove, or even more importantly the ERECTOR SPINAE- the three columns of muscle lying in parallel along the spine including SPINALIS-most medial, LONGISSIMUS-intermediate ILIOCOSTALIS-lateral. 
Injuries in these muscle groups are VERY uncomfortable, and can destroy the first part of the race season. Ask Ian Connors how these injuries feel.
By using a 1cm SHORTER stem than your normal road stem, you will protect these muscles as well as create a very drivable aero position.

Racing the 2k TT at Alpenrose Velodrome
After we learn to drive our Aero-Bars in the Individual circumstance, we can apply it to the Team event. Team TT events include the TTT and the Team Pursuit at the velodrome.

I'd like to volunteer my joy, zeal and desire to improve in the TT to The Team as we start working on getting our bikes and bodies prepared for a team time trial capability. All the work we do with pacelines will have served us well when we want to give a TTT practice a shot. But first we need to get comfortable riding aero bars our own.

We can make this a scoring strategy as well as a personal goal set with the annual OBRA series competition just for Time Trialing:

2013 TT Cup Calendar – Subject to Change
Date      Event       Location     
February 24  Jack Frost TT    Vancouver, WA 
APRIL 5th  As the Raven Flies   McMinnville, OR 
April 20th  PIR TT     Portland, OR 
May 25    As the Raven Flies 40k  Corvallis, OR 
June 14   Mary’s Peak Hillclimb   Philomath, OR
July 13    Wildcat Mountain Uphill TT  Estacada, OR 
August 9th  OBRA TT Championship   Peoria, OR 
August 10th  OBRA Hillclimb Championship  Government Camp, OR 

Please contact me (Tim White) either by email (DOPPELGANGER_PRIME@YAHOO.COM) or phone (503-977-2212) if you want to get any advice about gear or fit for TT racing.

Strategy: We have several months to get ready still, but lets start thinking about it and working on it. Junior entries are usually pretty slim at Raven so it would be a good race for them to target along with Jack Frost to get any kinks out.

Tim White

Monday, November 11, 2013

Redundant, Redolent, Rad!

Gaining some real stories to tell, Gillian is.

East Moreland Park has produced two fast new sprint stars in John Hilde and Fergus Kinnell.  Both have emerged to take a win each in the last two weeks.
Fergus is getting ready.

Rolling up and out on Pine Street runs the team through Belmont and Hawthorne districts.

Turning back down toward the city on Clinton sends you to Brooklyn and Ladd's.

Social columns out.
A paceline is called through the industrial area by Reed College to set up the sprint for Eastmorland Park.

Climbing up Rex through Flavel Drive takes it all out of you.

Sunday may have been read from a script lately, but Rocky Rabbit looks easier for the whole team now.
Willy just catches back.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Pacelines getting faster in the wind!

Pacelines in the wind are making folks strong.
Pace - Line!

Summer is over and the fall leaves are on the ground.
With most of the NW Peloton consumed by cyclocross, Word-RCB is rolling easy on the road.

Gillian is the new star of a motley crew.

Juniors Willy Campbell and Gillian Bergmann are getting to roll with the elder men and getting very strong as a result.

Willy C fits in.
Training rides to Portland outskirts allow the team to groom the training to their weakest skill. By adjusting the paceline to best defeat the wind, echelons form and valuable experience is gained in a part of the year when we can afford to roll slow.

Discerning minds work better with hot drinks.
Entry level teams rarely get to practice cross wind echelons.

Gillian Bergmann is doing some big rolling this year.
People had to get used to the new way of moving into the wind. I wish I got some photos of their effort to run echelons. But it was a real accomplishment. Spread across the road they finally made cross wind echelons Euro-style.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Magic and Measure of the Lore!

A team called WORD-RCB
Elders have helped the Juniors understand what it takes.
A little sunshine on dry leaf lined roads make Fall magical in the hearts of bicyclists training to be racers.
Anyone else on the street needed a coat to be out, while  Cyclisme racers were peeling off layers. In the Sunday afternoon warmth they buzzed across around town.

The fifth week of sprinting to the East Moreland Park sign is changing people.
With wind out of the west by north west, it was easy to roll up the soft climb of Pine Street east to Laurelhurst Park. Softly downhill into the wind across the Belmont, Hawthorn, and Division boulavards with all their shopping bustle.

People turned to look to see the diverse pack so well organized breezing bye. It seemed our effort made their day a bit more exciting.
Wise and Funny Ken Legros.

 Certainly the group was heading for something more exciting.  East Moreland Park has become a testing ground for this winter training sprinter's team.

After death defying counter traffic insurgence on the part of our most innocent babes and their responsible elders, the paceline set up to become cagey, then tactically pointed.
Brilliant and Fast Gillian Bergmann.

The run up to the sign is both the pretense of maintaining the paceline and looking for the attacker coming any moment. Waiting and going combine and become one in the moments leading up to the full speed run uphill to the finish.