Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 El Roble Bike Marathon

Unless my record keeping is off this would be the thirty-eighth year of El Roble's Bike Marathon, the twenty-four hour ride that raises funds for the Red Cross (actually, I am not sure of the beneficiary. In years past it has been the Red Cross, while last year the students raised funds for the Foothill Family Shelter, and did not hear who funds would be donated to this time around). Students who participate, as either riders or counters, must meet certain academic requirements, take part in practices, and be ready to move on to high school next year. The Bike Marathon is a goal-oriented endeavor, on multiple levels, fosters a sense of community and, rightfully, a corresponding sense of accomplishment.

Students alternate with an hour of riding followed by one to rest, from noon of day one to noon of day two. I took a peek at the lap board where I noticed a familiar name, a family well recognized in local cycling circles. Over his first three hours of riding he was spinning laps at greater than sixty per hour, or more than one each minute. Several students were matching those numbers, or even better, one even tallying seventy-five laps in one hour.

However many laps riders end up with at the end of the marathon, everyone has managed a good start. I may not be there to see how it all ends, whether records are set, hear how many pizzas were consumed, but congratulations to all the students, the teachers and administrators who organize, and the parents who give up a nights sleep. Ride hard and have fun doing it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cycling Claremont: Bud's on the Bikecentennial in 1976

I am a Claremont transplant, though the move to this Los Angeles County outpost did take place twelve years ago. That is long enough to remember the old Bud's Bike Shop. Not the original, perhaps, but a more recent incarnation, a later owner, but enough continuity, some connection to that venerable institution. Well. At least the name was the same. 

So, I was reading through an issue of Adventure Cyclist, the August / September 2014 issue to be exact. I am that far behind in my magazine reading. 

I was reading the caption accompanying a photo essay and noticed, especially, the part that read: "… the Shimano / Bud's Bike Shop-sponsored van roamed east and west along the Trail that summer…" Hmm, I thought, and took a closer look at the photo. Could it be the Bud's of Claremont? Sure enough, there on the side of the van was a sign reading "Bud's Bike Shop. Claremont. Alta Loma. Covina." How cool is that? Though the photo seems somewhat familiar, I don't believe I was aware that Bud's was involved in that great trans-country ride during the bicentennial year. A little Claremont cycling history. The question: Who is that mechanic? What kind of stories could he tell of that year?

Update: Thanks to a little helper called email as well as some loyal readers who, though they would prefer to see this piece of work revert to its old 'Claremont Cyclist' moniker, continue to check in, I have a few additions. By 1976 the original 'Bud' Day had retired - Bill McCready was running the Claremont store, with his brother out minding the shop in Covina, and Peter Boor taking care of business in Alta Loma. The photo, by the way, was taken by Dan Burden.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Upcoming: The 55th Nevada City Classic

Still a long ways out, maybe too far to give it much thought yet, but anyone from the southern part of the state heading up to challenge the Nor Cal racers at the Nevada City Classic, the second longest running race in the nation? The race website notes that the NCC will, once again be race #2 of the Sierra Historic Omnium, but clicking the link only brings up information from 2014. Hopefully that will be resolved soon. The combined $23,000 purse last year was certainly a nice pot sweetener. Nor Cal ruled the roost, but perhaps that is to be expected, seeing as how the race is run on home turf, or course, as the case may be. Still, it would be good to see a widening of the competition, a return to a scenario when riders came from across the country to challenge themselves, and one another, along Nevada City's hilly, historic, downtown streets.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Blues: A Little Gift

Oh look! Another little trailside present. Old Man Coyote collects those, you know. He hoards them. Stockpiles. There is a war coming. They will be his weapon of choice, Unleashed, little stink bombs will rain down upon the heads of those who befoul his home. Mark my words. He is the Trickster.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

SoCal High School Cycling League at Vail Lake: SoCal Finals

When covering the first race of the season held at Vail Lake I made special note of the roar that rises and reverberates up into the canyons from the start area when another race takes to the course. There is nothing else like it in the local racing scene. From the first race to the last, that cacophony was undiminished. Though perhaps not quite as loud, a similar boisterousness greets racers all along the course. Even the furthest reaches saw the faithful gathered across ridge lines and snaking along the trail down slopes, ready to yell encouragements, shake cowbells, applaud and cheer (favorites not withstanding) every rider who came through whether they were grinding over rocks, sprinting through the dust, running, or even walking their bikes up one of the painfully too-steep climbs. It is as good as it gets, pure passion for the sport and the competitors.

The Sunday races at Vail Lake may have been the final ones of the SoCal High School League season, but it certainly looked as if everyone was racing just as hard and competitively as they did at the first race of the season. And no wonder. For many there were still top placings on the line - take the girls varsity race for instance, where a win by Madeline Bemis gave her a share of the season's championship title, tied with Geraldine Guerrero.

Even for those further back in the point standings there was plenty of opportunity to contribute to the team competition, and so everyone, no matter where they stood in the rankings were digging deep to pull out their best efforts for the common good and glory. 

Congratulations to all this years So Cal champions and podium placings:
Girls Division 1 & 2 Varsity: 1st Madeline Bemis (Corona Composite), 1st Geraldine Guerrero (San Diego Composite, 3rd Danielle Emter (Trabuco Hills HS), 4th Karina Fuentes (Redlands East Valley), 5th Hanna Binder (Tustin HS)

Girls D1 & D2 JV: 1st Gwendalyn Gibson (Ramona HS), 2nd Kayla Nelson (Trabuco Hills HS), 3rd Haley Peery (Woodcrest Christian HS), 4th Dee-Anna Lopez (Crescenta Valley HS), 5th Tara Neuville (El Toro HS)

Girls D1 & D2 Sophomore: 1st Alexis Vitale (Temecula Valley Composite), 2nd Jordyn Watkins (Redlands Adventist Academy, 3rd Michelle Cabanas (Foothill HS), 4th Sidra Aghababian (Calabasas HS), 5th Elyssa Espino (Yucaipa HS)

Girls D1 & D2 Freshmen: 1st Micah Mason (Tehachapi HS), 2nd Meade Plum (Mono Inyo County Home School), 3rd Destiny Arce (Redlands East Valley, 4th Aubrey More (Yucaipa HS), 5th Hayley Richards (Murrieta Mesa HS)

Boys D1 & D2 Varsity: 1st Evander Hughes (Great Oak HS), 2nd Daniel Johnson (Independent), 3rd Jason Rowton (Crescenta Valley HS), 4th Jaron Cappos (Ramona HS), 5th Imeh Nsek (Corona HS)

Boys D1 JV: 1st Trevor McCutcheon (Great Oak HS), 2nd Ben Bennett (Foothill HS), 3rd Matt Wennerstrom (Newbury Park HS), 4th Kahlo Chitraroff (Murrieta Mesa HS), 5th Bradley Murrill (Beaumont HS)

Boys D2 JV: 1st Mikael Rodgers (South Orange County Composite), 2nd Ama Nsek (Corona Composite), 3rd Samuel Smith (Righetti HS), 4th Steven Nadaskai (Mission Viejo HS), 5th Caden Gruber (Corona de Mar HS)

Boys D1 Sophomore: 1st Cameron Joye (Great Oak HS), 2nd Trevor Hunter (Foothill HS), 3rd Joshua Dupree (Beaumont HS), 4th Justin Hurdle (Newbury Park HS), 5th Ian Bowden (Newbury Park HS)

Boys D2 Sophomore: 1st Thomas Fuller (Redlands Home School), 2nd Alex Nelson (Redlands Composite), 3rd Parker Arnold (Trinity HS), 4th Ulises Arce (San Diego Composite) 5th Cristopher Martinez (San Diego Composite)

Boys D1 Freshmen: 1st Jake Chromy (Independent), 2nd Jonah Sanchez (Murrieta Mesa HS), 3rd Blaise Janssen (Yucaipa HS), 4th Christopher Polvoorde (Hemet HS), 5th Parker Burgett (Great Oak HS)

Boys D2 Freshmen: 1st Jack Fitzpatrick (Corona Composite), 2nd Weston Giem (Valencia HS), 3rd Travis Claypool (Murrieta HS), 4th Jonah Dinger (Redlands HS), 5th Dakota Greer (Rim of the World HS)

Congratulations also to the team champions - Crescenta Valley High School in Division 1 (19688 points), and Corona Composite in Division 2 (10632 points). Rounding out the podium were Great Oak High School and Newbury Park High School who were engaged in a terrific competition for second; only eleven points separated them at the end - 19139 to 19128. In Division 2, Redlands Adventist Academy and San Diego Composite were nearly as closely matched as their Division 1 podium counterparts, being separated by only fifteen points - 9595 to 9580.

I think everyone will agree - it was quite an exciting season, and to everyone going on to challenge the Nor Cal schools at the State Championships - good racing!

One hundred eighty-five photos in the Flickr album for this one.

The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another Bonelli

Not 'another' as in yet again, mind you, but rather as 'different'. The usual blue-sky dome has been replace the past couple of days with a complex palette of greys, everything from a deep charcoal to an almost but not quite white. Cotton candy spinning around in those little carnival cookers, but someone forgot to add in the pink or blue food coloring. Imminent was a long procession, one pedal stroke following another, but little else. Rain seemed to be coming, though it was certainly not imminent during the morning hours. 

Hurry is a better word for this morning. It was seen in the Sheriff's helicopter taking off horizontal along the ground, a slight forward tilt to the rotors, before making a vertical leap. Birds were in a hurry flying maneuvers, along the stalk-tops of shoulder high dry grass, in their search for a morning meal. Or maybe it was simply play, aerial tag before being forced to hunker down. The fisherfolk on the lake, the party makers in Picnic Valley, the great encampment of scouts on the East Shore all exhibited some sense of hurry, of lets get things going before it is too late.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Upcoming: Weekend Music, Aerocats, and More

The only outfit in Claremont messengering and making deliveries by bicycle (Go Getter Deliveryjust can't get enough of riding (like many of us) so they are holding a little race (Aerocat). Join at the Facebook event page to keep up on all the necessary information.

But first, this Friday and Saturday. Couldn't make it to Coachella this year? Never fear, the Kohoutek Festival happens this weekend at Pitzer College. I stumbled upon it last year, and have been awaiting its return ever since; this year I will find time to be there with intent. Set times for all the bands are, again, on the Facebook event page. Now that I see the band list,  I recognize the name Spazzkid - Mark was a regular on many of the local Psycho-list rides a few years back before following his musical passion.

Also this weekend is the final regular season race of the So Cal High School Cycling League, the Southern California championships ahead of May's NorCal - SoCal State Championships. The race is at Vail Lake, for the second time this year. I will be there Sunday.

And finally, next week (Thursday thru Friday) is the annual El Roble Middle School Bike Marathon. You already know it is a great opportunity for the students there, whose efforts raise money for the Red Cross during their 24-hour riding marathon. Best of luck to all the participants. Ride hard and have fun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Bud's for You, 22 April

Alright. So, for everyone other than Patrick C (in case he happens to be checking in), this weeks Bud's crown goes to the rider from who, with picture perfect sprinting form, put all challengers to rest. The Spy/Giant rider made it close for a good long while. The effort, most any other night, might have been enough for glory, but not this night.

With that out of the way, and for no one other than Pat, the claimant to tonights Bud crown goes to, yes, you guessed it - the Incycle / Full Circle rider whose name I failed to get. Nor did I manage to snap a photo. You know how it is sometimes, you hear the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, and then they are gone. Just quickly fading sound and a flash of color to mark their passing.

Of course, if you want a third option, these two ladies put in quite a sprint before the bunch ever came into view, the pre-game, race before the race:

Wacky Wednesday

I suppose I should feel somewhat grateful for the apparent, and rare moment of equality. I mean, if bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades are prohibited at least, this time, so are motor vehicles. Yet it perhaps begs the question - who exactly is this parking structure intended to serve? And, why indeed is there a motorized vehicle in there?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dog Bike

If dogs pulling a sled make it a dog sled, I guess dogs pulling a bike make it a dog bike? These two dogs were well heeled and disciplined, as you might expect sled, or bike, dogs to be. But, the following day I saw the team again with an addition - a smaller dog on an extenda-leash stretched out clear across the path. I hate those things - extenda-leashes I mean, not dogs; one of the banes of my cycling existence. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Blues: Sudden Stop

This could have quickly taken a bad turn - I mean, one worse than it already looks. That is one sharp-edged stump sticking out of the ground. This was the second of two run-ins with the old oak tree that occurred, during the pro women's short track race at Bonelli Park, a couple weekends ago. A downhill turn with tenuous surface, combined with just a little too much speed was all it took to send the two on an off-course trajectory. No harm seemed to be done though, as they both picked up, untangled, and carried on. 

The course maintenance guy came along after this and rammed the stump a couple times with his 4x quad, but it wouldn't budge. Unsuccessful at that, I believe he took off in search of some dynamite.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mobbin' Monday's 2015 Temple Criterium

the women's leaders lean into turn one

a lot of people placed their bets on the elite level roadie, but...

at the end only two contested the finish sprint for 1st and 2nd

I did not really expect to say such a thing for another ten, maybe twenty years. "I was the oldest one out there" was never more true, that is until the dude with the long white beard rolled through, the race attracting his attention and impelling him to turn around to check it out. You know what though? I finally figured out what that saying actually means - it really has nothing to do with a sense of place, or feeling out of place. Rather it simply means that there are a ton of people from my generation (and I say that meaning that most of those 'kids' out there today, could be my own kids, at least age-wise) who are missing out by adhering to whatever norm society says we must age by. This stuff, not some shot of toxic stew or surgeons' knife, keeps me young, and so I will keep doing it.

In case you didn't know, the Temple Criterium was raced on track bikes - fixed gear, brakeless, and with the right pair of legs powering them, you knew it would be fast with no let up. The speed in fact seemed to get progressively quicker; I attributed that to the fact that there were many capable pairs of legs. There were two separate races, one each for men and women, each going for thirty minutes plus five laps. It didn't take long for the fields to begin to shred. While the leaders in the women's race pretty much kept together, the men's race had several breaks over the course of their thirty minutes. At the end, that one came down to a sprint between two, with a ferocious field sprint for third more than a few seconds later. A good race, in an interesting setting (I had never been around there before). Congrats to all the competitors, to Mobbin' Monday for hosting, and to all their sponsors for putting up the goods for primes and podium placings.

Mobbin' Monday already posted the winners list up on their website, but I figure something is missing if I cover a race and the podium list is not shared, so:

Mens race:
1st, Cameron Bond (FixFixie)
2nd, Brandon Jones (Aventon Factory Team)
3rd, Roberto Roman (Team Zero Miedo)
4th, Ronnie Toth (PAA)
5th, Shawn Langwell (Walmart Cycling)

Womens race:
1st, Asia Morris (Engine 11)
2nd, Cora Colasuonno (She Wolf Attack Team)
3rd, Ginger Boyd (Pink Rhino Racing)
4th, Martha Mauricio (She Wolf Attack Team)
5th, Melissa Ortega (Mobbin / Unknown)

And now: There are 137 photos in the Flickr album. Click the link and go man go.

The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to Wear a Cycling Cap: Vjatseslav Ekimov

After that red jersey wearing, barrel-chested, wooly-bear of a racer for the Soviet team from the film American Flyers, the guy who looked like he should be holding a Hawken flintlock and wearing leather rather than a mussette and lycra, the guy whose name was Shostakovich or something like that [Belov], Vjatseslav Ekimov (aka Viatcheslav Vladimirovich Ekimov, aka Eki) is likely the best known Russian cyclist of all time. How do I know that? In 2001 Vjatseslav was awarded the title of Russian Cyclist of the Century. Here in the States, though, he will probably be best remembered as one of Lance Armstrong's most trusted and useful lieutenants...

Excuse the intermission there. I don't normally do things like that, but I had a sudden urge for a corn dog and lemonade.

Back to the story. Ekimov was born in 1966, and began his professional career in 1990. HIs palmares of impressive wins began before that: In 1988 he won the Team Pursuit gold medal at the Summer Olympics. Before focusing on road racing, Ekimov would add two more monumental victories on the track - the World Individual Pursuit Championship in 1990, and the World Points Race Championship in 1991. When he retired from the sport in 2006, Ekimov had accumulated stage win in both the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, at the Tour de Suisse, Criterium International, Paris-Nice, as well as overall (GC) victories at the Three Days of De Panne (1996 and 2000), the Tour duPont (1994), and the GP Eddy Merckx (2000). He also claimed a 4th place finish in the 1995 Paris-Roubaix and 3rd in 2003. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics Ekimov won a second gold medal in the Time Trial, and then picked up a third Gold Medal four years later in Atlanta (again in the Time Trail) when the apparent victor, Tyler Hamilton, was stripped of this win following his admission of doping in 2012.

Ekimov began his professional career with the Panasonic team, for whom he raced between 1990 and 1992. Thus the photo above is from early in his career. Even without that knowledge, however, you would probably have guessed that winter cap predated the mandatory helmet rule. Ekimov has remained involved in the sport following his retirement in managerial roles of top-level teams.

"I'll never learn how to rest without a bike. It takes a great deal of effort to make myself put it aside for a couple of days, but it does me absolutely not good - I feel that something is missing."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This Bud's for You, 15 April

I have said it before, and i will say it again (right now in fact), that Michael F is a fount of cycling stories and lore. I mean we all have stories, but Michael has Stories. When I arrived at the median in time for the finish, he was there talking to senor Meza, the senior Rigoberto, also father of Miguel and Ruben. Michael speaks a little spanish, which is a little more than I do and which, in turn, left me plucking a word from the air every once in a while at best. Luckily he got tired of me standing there pretending to understand what was being said, and switched to english. This was good for me, but not so good for Mr. Meza, who was now left outside, listening in. Fortunately our little dilemma was resolved by the peloton coming around the far turn.

And a big bunch it was this evening, maybe the largest of the year. And maybe even more significantly, there was no breakaway ahead of the charge. The sprint went curb to curb and, if I am not mistaken, the Incycle rider led from the get-go all the way to the line. The Bud's crown this week is for you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Cycling Claremont: The Gallery on Berkeley

A few exhibits have come and gone at the Gallery on Berkeley since I last posted one of them. The current freshet of color has a bit of a Spring theme - I base that entirely on the "Happy Spring" sign, rather than any dominance of Spring related art. I really like the aesthetics of that big sun; it is vibrant, yet with the cool blues and violets it is not oppressively hot. Hopefully a few more months before we reach that stage of the year. Free art, ride, or walk, on by and enjoy it.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Blues: Blue Train

photo by the author, from the US Cup short track race at Bonelli Park, Sunday 12 April

Unlike racing on the road, if you were to compile a list of most important aspects leading to successfully winning or placing in a mountain bike race, teamwork would likely not make the top five. Perhaps not even the top ten. Things such as equipment, handling ability, and familiarity with the course, are more likely to fill the top spots. 

It may be due to the size of the squad, or the fact that they are able to attract and hold so much top talent, but the Luna pro women's team, regularly present an interesting exception. That blue train, led on this lap by American champion Georgia Gould, looks a whole lot like teamwork to me. Excusing the fact that a lone Trek rider managed to infiltrate the line (fourth spot) but, it would take some extra effort and, possibly, some extra fancy riding to move around those four. The tighter and more technical the course, the more difficult it would become. The advantage is clear, use it or loose it.

Blue: A color, a mood or emotion, a genre of music. Tune in each Monday for another installment of the Blues, with a cycling twist. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Henderson Wins Day Two of the US Cup, Bonelli Park

The Cat 3's and 2's had their day to race cross country (XC) while the pros, both women and men, moved on to the short track.

I'm not sure where these guys (and the three more just behind them) were in the race, but they were chugging up this hill clearly focused on a sprint finish.

Gould and Henderson

Heading down the hill for the final time, Jenny Rissveds held a lead over Georgia Gould and Rebecca Henderson. Rissveds carried a little too much speed down onto the grass, though, and in a heartbeat was taken out of the competition for the finish. Gould then, looked to be in position to repeat as champion, having won on the same circuit last month. Instead, with a strong finish Henderson, from Australia and racing with the Trek Factory Racing team, swooped in and overhauled the American champion for the win.

Rebecca Henderson ahead of Catharine Pendrel

The short track events capped a second day of inspired racing. A smaller Flickr album this time, of only sixty-six photos, starts off with a lakeside vantage of the Cat 2 race before moving on to the pro women's short track race.

The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know with a race number and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.


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