Don’t forget: this weekend is the annual CBRC picnic! For those so inclined, feel free to join us for a little pre-picnic cyclocross practice. We’ll rally at the pavillion with bikes and shiny, tight clothing around 10 am.
Sunday, August 22, 2010 from noon to 5 pm at the Bethlehem Town Park at the Bethlehem Cup cyclocross Pavilion. Swimming at the town pool included. Picnic will be catered. Please bring family and friends and celebrate the end of the road racing season (and the start of cyclocross) with us!
Racing season is in full swing. If you’ve got a good result, bad result, or just plain hilarious result from the first few weeks of the season email them my way and I’ll post them up here. The same goes, going forward – if you race, send me a report of your glory and I’ll post.
First up is Tim Leonard’s adventure at the Ramble Around Prattsburgh a few weeks back. Enjoy…
Scene Racing – The Ramble Around Prattsburgh
First of all, no, I didn’t misspell Prattsburgh meaning to write Plattsburgh. Prattsburgh is a little gem of a town/village in the heart of the Finger Lakes with the most gorgeous dirt roads emulating from it. Well, most of the time they are dirt. Saturday night, somebody snuck in and covered the entire 32-mile course with an inch and ½ of oily peanut butter ……and in a promise that this will be my last reference to Battenkill, the course at The Ramble Around Prattsburgh is the opposite of Battenkill. Instead of ¾ road and ¼ dirt, the surfaces are reversed with the dirt sections being much, ah, “natural”. Also included for our pleasure were sections of cow paths and single tract, you know, that ribbon of a trail through the woods laced with rocks and roots and trees to crash into.
So, the first decision is what rig to bring down there. Road bikes are definitely out, so the choice comes down to a mountain bike or a cyclocross bike. Each has its’ advantages and disadvantages in a race like this. The mtb rigs handle the single tract and with its’ suspension, downhills better, but the cx bikes manage the road sections and smooth dirt better. Since I am not a very good mountain biker, (in fact every time I get on that bike I get injured) I opted for the cyclocross rig. The next critical decision is what tires to run and at what pressure. . I quickly looked at the forecast the night before, must have clicked on the wrong city, maybe Plattsburgh, but the forecast was for no rain. Ok, that makes it easy. I chose my not so aggressive Maxis Raze clinchers and filled them to 60 lbs. I was gonna smoke those mountain goats on the road and dirt.
On Sunday I awoke to a dry and pleasant morning….. but, as I started to approach the Finger Lakes Region, the weather started to change, to first a sprinkle and then a downpour. As I approached Prattsburgh, I looked into the fields and they were covered in mud. I had chosen, for sure, the wrong tires and maybe rig. Too late now. ( ok, I’m usually much more prepared than that bringing along a couple of different wheels, but I had just gotten in the night before from Florida)
I found a good parking place, registered, and then chatted with my Ithaca friend, Ernie Bayles as we tried to get ready and stay dry and warm. We both agreed, this was going to be an epic day.
Ok, to the race. We all assembled at the starting line and as I looked around, I noticed that there were about an equal number of mountain and cx bikes. I horn started the race and off we went follow a motorized dirt bike on a not so controlled start. Dirt bike, what does that mean? We were soon to find out. After circling town crit style we headed up a lonnnnng gradual hill that I remembered from two years ago. But, this year they change things up a bit. Instead of climbing this long hill to its’ summit, ¼ of the way up we took a right, into the woods on some pretty knarly single tract covered in mud, roots, rocks and big trees to crash into. Yes, today was going to be different. I don’t know how, but I made it out of there on the road again without too of an incident. (I was pushed off the trail by an approaching mountain biker). So, now began the lonnnnnng climb again. It was on this climb that I paid for all my sins and excesses in Florida. That singlespeed Surley was no help at all on roads like this. Oh, as I mentioned before, this was not a dirt road I was on, it was a mud road and my wrong choice of tires and pressure was now becoming evident. I was fishtailing all over the place. Ok, I’ll cut to the chase. literally!. I got spit off the main group on this climb and spent the rest of the race chasing groups. (Sound familiar, story of my life, it is so agonizing to see a friend like Ernie just ride away and there is nothing you can do about it so you look for other objectives, maybe I can catch that mountain goat that pushed me off the trail and let him eat some of my mud.)
So I chased on, on the soupy mud roads, sometimes diverting into the woods, down a cow path, past Amish Carts. For every big climb, there was an equally big descent, on mud. And that’s what makes this race so hard. In a road race you can rest on the descents. Not here, one mistake or slip and you are history. It is just as tiring going down. This is the way it was for the first 1 and ½ hours and then we hit the WALL. This mud hill was 20% and there was no way I was going to climb this in the saddle with the gearing I had. I stood up and stared spinning and had to dismount and walk like Paul Sherwin on the Koppenburg at Flanders. I was humbled! I never walk a hill, I’m too proud. But this one defeated me. (Later I found out that nearly everybody else had to walk also) After the wall there was another 45 minutes of ups and downs and relief as we headed back out on road, yes asphalt, mother asphalt, for what I thought would be a beeline to the finish. But these course designers had one more trick up their sleeve. Just before town, (I was with the first female, who had run a half marathon the day before so please excuse me “I’m a little tired”) we were guided left into a field and then into a creek bed. Being the gentleman I am, I motioned for the lady to go first. (All right, the water was almost axle high and I had no idea what “lie beneath” – I wasn’t going to be the one to find out what lurked in those depths. She was the one that was going to make some money, earn it) So, she plowed through the water, didn’t hit anything as I followed her track. We finished together on Main Street some 2 hours and 40 minutes later, I, looking like George Hincapie in that famous Roubaix photo (see attached pic). Pretty neat! I was totally wasted only to realize, that in my haste, I forgot my recovery drink. Will ice cream do? I thought so. Cherry Garcia.
I don’t have results yet but I do know that buddies Ernie Bayles and Mark Speranza finished first and second in the 50+. I’m pretty sure I finished out of the money. I didn’t stick around as I was pretty tired and it was raining.
So, for you enduro types, mark this on your schedule to do next year and remember, it’s Prattsburgh, not Plattsburgh.
CBRC VP Liz Lukowski and Paula McConnell, two local women actively involved in cycling, create and plan VeloHello, the Capital District’s Girl Meets Bike Event to encourage women to try road, urban or mountain biking.
Albany, New York, April 23, 2010 – - Liz Lukowski and Paula McConnell, two local women passionate about cycling, are as different in person as their bikes are on the road. Liz, a fast road and cyclocross racer, and Paula, a “cargonista,” or cargo biker, often wonder why women are not well-represented in the sport of cycling. So rather than complaining, the two women decided to break down the barriers that keep women away from bicycles and created VeloHello, the fun, informative and woman- friendly cycling event. Kicking off Friday, April 30 at the Downtube Cycle Works in Albany with a fashion show, mini-workshops and party, the event continues on Saturday, May 1 at the Boor Sculpture Studio on the University at Albany campus with workshops, a glamour photo-shoot (with bike) and much more. Sunday will close VeloHello with an opportunity to participate in the Saratoga Spa Criterium.
“Biking with the ‘boys’ is challenging and fun, but sisterhood is nurturing and inspiring. I thought it would great to create an event, and hopefully a movement, where women can connect in a powerful way through cycling,” explains Ms. Lukowski. The local cycling community have long recognized this need and have stepped up to assist. “We could not have pulled this off without the help of the Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club, Albany Bicycle Coalition, Team Luna Chix New York, and especially the Capital Bicycle Racing Club,” said Ms. Lukowski. The two women were fortunate to find many sponsors in the bicycle industry that agree and that have offered support. Terry Precision Cycling, The Downtube Cycle Works, Planet Bike, Go Girl, Bern Helmets, and many others are sponsoring VeloHello and the mission of “Girl Meets Bike.” Ms. McConnell, an employee at the Downtube Cycle Works, is amazed at the overwhelming response from her colleagues locally and across the industry. Ms. McConnell said, “We even have an invitation to take VeloHello to Chicago!”
VeloHello, The Capital District’s Girl Meets Bike Event, begins Friday, April 30, 2010, at the Downtube Cycle Works in Albany, New York with a party from 6-9 P.M. The cocktail party will feature product giveaways, a fashion show, a bicycle fit demonstration and several mini-workshops on cycling skills. There is no charge for the Friday evening event. On Saturday, May 1, 2010, The Art Department of the University at Albany will be host to workshops in bicycle mechanics, mountain, and urban biking; and a glamour photo shoot highlighting the participants and their bicycles. Racers from CBRC will be teaching road racing skills and leading a practice ride. A bag lunch and product samples will be provided. The fee for the Saturday events is $30.00; registration is required. Women who are interested in participating in the Saratoga Spa criterium are eligible for a discounted registration fee of $15.00. For more information, please visit www.velohello.com.
Space is limited, so register now!
Kits are in! With only a few minor oopsies (which I’ll straighten out ASAP), I have the clothing you ordered if you placed your order before the January 29 deadline. Orders placed after that time will be bundled with the next order, which we’ll probably place mid-summer. Note that, just like last year, socks and caps will be slightly delayed, as they are produced separately. I’ll keep you updated.
I’ll be distributing kits on Wednesday night before the “smackdown” ride for the next few weeks (except next week, when I’ll be doing so on Thursday, April 22, at the Park & Ride in Delmar). I’ll plan to arrive around 5 pm. If you can’t make it in person, please let me know in advance if you have made arrangements for someone who is riding on Wednesday to get your stuff.
IMPORTANT, LATE-BREAKING ANNOUNCEMENT: we are doing a second clothing order starting right now (instead of late June as we had planned). Deadline for this one will be Monday, May 10. That should leave enough production and shipping time so that those who missed out on the first round will have new kits before (or at) Balloonfest. If you missed the first deadline and your order didn’t make it into the first shipment, you’ll be all set in the second order. If you want additional stuff, head to Bikereg any time in the next three weeks and go nuts.
Our goal is to improve the fitness, skill and teamwork of our members, at continually higher levels of competition, and to promote camaraderie and the growth of the sport of bicycle racing throughout New York’s Capital Region.
Felt is the maker of the world’s most aerodynamic time trial bike, the DA, and produces a full line of road racing bikes, cyclocross bikes, mountain bikes and fitness bikes. Having started out as a custom frame builder for elite cyclists and triathletes during the early 1990s, Felt has a long history of supporting racers with the most high tech, high performance equipment available.
Along with supporting CBRC in 2010, Felt also sponsors the Garmin-Transitions Pro Tour team, and a number of elite triathletes and mountain bikers.
CK Cycles has been a mainstay of the Capital District cycling scene since the early 20th Century. Originally located in downtown Albany, the store moved to its present location on Central Avenue in the 1960s, when it became the first Schwinn Concept store in the United States. CK has a long history of supporting racers in all disciplines and every ability level, and presently carries high performance equipment from Felt, Mavic, Giro and a host of other performance brands. Famous for his mechanical prowess, store owner Jeff Pepper is happy to be supporting CBRC as it campaigns for glory through the 2010 road and cyclocross seasons.
For more information on the team support package, please contact me at email@example.com.
If you haven’t already placed your clothing order, please be sure to do so by this Friday, 1/29.
Go to bikereg.com now to renew membership and order clothing: http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=9712
Anything you order by Friday will be here mid March. If demand necessitates it, we’ll do another order in the Summer for cross clothing, but there’s no guarantee that that will happen if we d0n’t have enough people placing orders. To be safe, I suggest ordering whatever you think you may need for road AND cross season before this Friday.
If you have any questions shoot me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
These rides are not organized by CBRC or any other cycling organization. None the less, I would like to remind everyone to engage in safe riding practices. Defensive riding can be the difference between a nice ride and a tragedy. Especially in winter riding scenarios where drivers do not expect to encounter cyclists, it is absolutely critical that our groups ride in as safe and as predictable a fashion as possible.