Monday, June 25, 2012

Pescadero Makes 50

Beautiful day for a race in Pescadero. Clear skies and cool temps, but not too cold or too warm. At the starting line, no one was wearing any extra clothing except Michael Hernandez who had a long sleeve wind jacket on.  I joked that I would attack when he started to take it off & the race ref told the whole field to do the same.  The field had 57 starters with 37 1/2/3s and 20 4s.  This was the first time that they combined the 35+ 1/2/3s with the 35+ 4s, but the 4s lined up at the back and for the most part just rode their own race since they were picked separately. 

The IronDataThirstyBear squad was the best represented with 4 of us.  Joining me were Ken, Brenon & Greg.  Safeway was 3 strong with Martin, Theobald & Glerum, with several other teams with 2 such as Pen Velo & Arts as well as many strong individuals. 

We didn't wait to start racing, and as soon as the neutral ended the attacks started with Marcel Appelman (Appel) from Dolce Vita trying to get something going before the climbing started.  But there were too many others willing to go, so it was just a fast series of attacks up to the sprint prime taken by Jan Weissenberger (Gnar!).  The 4 of us stayed near the front and were taking turns jumping on everything.  By the second climb on stage I took a look back and saw the field all strung out with guys already getting dropped (cool!)

The attacks didn't stop on 84.  I went with Jan on one, but we were quickly chased down.  A few minutes later Jan gave me the "let's go again" look, but I shook my head knowing that we'd get chased down, so he went solo and no one did anything for a while.  Poor Jan was just riding by himself about 20 sec up the road before a few guys went to bridge.  I think it was Theobald (Safeway) who went next with Brenon on his wheel.  A couple minutes later they were joined by Josh Dapice (Kryki) and Robert Britt (Studio Velo) and the 5 of them were off and building their lead with no one chasing too hard.

We were given a time split at the end of the feed zone of 1 minute.  I told Ken that I thought I could bridge up on the Haskins climb, so he went to the front and led the pack through the first 2K of the climb at about 600 watts (at least that's what it felt like).  This pretty much blew up the race and by the top of Haskins I had caught the breakaway 5 with Matt Carinio (Arts) and Jeromy Cottell (Pen Velo) joining me.  The lead break was now 8 & we were the only team with 2.  Our group worked together nicely & this looked like it would be the race, but by the time we got to the stage road climbs we could see what was left of the pack about a minute back.  Brenon drilled the twisty descent to 84 with the 7 of us in tow, then as we started our pace-line again, I could see a 3 man group with Dan Martin leading in his distinctive Canadian National Champ jersey, slowly pulling us back.  I couldn't tell who was with him and had no idea that Ken was one of the 3. 

The 3 of them caught us about a half mile before the turn to the feed zone and a demoralized Josh Dapice says to me "they all caught us again" (see Hamilton results).  But I told him that it was only 3 and that we were now 11.  Josh set a hard tempo up Haskins the 2nd time & we broke into a few pieces, but everyone was able to rejoin before Stage except Jan & Trevor White (Squadra) who had bridged with Dan & Ken. 

For the final lap, we had 3 of 9 so things were looking pretty good.  Cottell, Britt & Martin all tried attacks, but Brenon & Ken took turns at the front bringing it back.  At one point on 84, Cottell attacked, then I chased & countered solo, but Martin pulled the field back to me. That was dumb, I know & Ken scolded me and told me to just sit in until the final climb.  They did an amazing job of keeping it together until we hit Haskins, at which point I sat behind Carinio & Dapice until the 2K to go mark, then launched a 30 sec all out attack to get a gap.  I probably went a little to hard, but I had a gap & it looked like no one was bridging up, so I put my head down and rode as hard as I could to the finish to win here for the first time! Dapice held on for 2nd, which I was happy to see since he was in our all day break that got caught 1K out at Hamilton & Nick came in next for third.  Ken & Brenon held on for 8th & 9th.

I was very happy to see Greg outsprint Appel for 10th (even though Appel is a good friend).

All 4 of us in the top 10!
Great race guys and thanks!

Also, just figured out that this race was my 50th bike race win since I started in 2005 with the Mt. Tam Hill Climb (35+ 4/5). Wow, time flies!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

MASH SF Twin Peaks TT!

The MASH SF Twin Peaks Time Trial was a very unusual event. Being an underground alleycat race I normally never hear about these, much less participate in them, but the rumor of a hill climb time trial in my own back yard caught my attention, especially when I heard there was $500 cash for first place. When I first saw a tweet photo of the race poster I was disappointed that it was a "fixed gear only" event, but then later heard that it was open to geared bikes and that Incase was putting up $500 cash for first fixed AND $500 cash for first geared, game on!

As is the case with alleycat races, the format & destinations are not known beforehand and the course is generally any way you want to go, so area knowledge is very important. I did some course recon on Wednesday & Friday from the MASH SF store on 14th & Sanchez to the top of Twin Peaks and was convinced that 14th to Roosevelt was the much better route than Sanchez to Market to 17th Street. I showed up about an hour before the start with teammate Greg McQuaid & Jacob from Dolce Vita who had a couple teammates there too. Also there though was Keith Hillier from MarcPro Strava who had found out about the event from my tweet a few hours earlier (D'oh!). In total there were only 12 of us on geared bikes (the freaks) and about 45 on fixed. It was kind of funny how different we looked. Us geared riders in our dorky corporate spandex & helmets and the hipster fixed gear messenger crowd in cotton shorts, t-shirts with lots of tattoos & piercings. But everyone was real friendly (I think they were all drunk) & it was a great atmosphere.

There was no entry fee, no entry form, just a waiver we all had to sign about 15 minutes before the start where we were given a manifest of the qualifying procedure. This consisted of a 30 min period where we were to ride to Buena Vista Park, a 300 ft climb & back to the start as many times as we could in 30 min taking any route we wanted. At both the top and the bottom we had to have our manifest stamped. The top 8 & any ties in both fixed & geared would make it to the final. Any fixed gear riders with a hand brake were given a 1 stamp penalty, just thought I'd mention that even though it didn't affect us geared riders.

To make this even more *fun* though, the guys stamping our manifest at the park were sitting about 20 steps up from the road, so we had to dismount, run up the stairs, get our stamp & run back down the stairs (all in cleats mind you), then jump back on the bikes for the descent. This really started to hurt after the 3rd hill sprint.

And so, as advertised, we were off at the stroke of 2PM with a mass start of fixed riders starting first and the geared riders starting 1 minute behind.
We started off blazing fast & I was about 5th wheel, but about halfway up I moved into the lead when it got steep & I was the first to reach the park in the geared division, but very slow to dismount, run up the steps to get my stamp and run back down & Keith Hillier was right there. He passed me on the descent then slowly pulled further & further ahead on each round trip up & down the hill. But this was just the qualifier & I was safely in 2nd with a big gap on 3rd so I backed off to save something for the final. The whole time though I was moving through the fixed gear field and was amazed at how these guys took the climb often hanging onto cars and the steep (15%+!) descent often removing both feet from the pedals and using both of them against the rear wheel as a brake!

At the end of the 30 min qualifier, Keith had 6 round trips (12 stamps) and I had 6 trips up & 5 down (11 stamps), so I was safely in the final with Greg (10 stamps), Jacob, Joe & Appel. We angered more than a few drivers & the SFPD showed up at exactly 1 min after the 30 min qualifier. But everyone told him we were done & he said "OK, just be sure to follow all the traffic laws" and drove off.

While the organizers tallied our manifests to see who made the final, Los Compadres taco truck pulled up and gave away free tacos to all participants & spectators. I think us geared guys (the freaks) were the only ones who did not take advantage of this.

So, onto the final! This time trial would be a mass start with all geared & fixed finalists starting together, except those fixed riders with brakes were given a 10 sec penalty at the start. Also, this time we would be going all the way to the vista point lot at the top of twin peaks, a 1.9 mile 700 ft climb. We were off & 4 fixed riders took the lead & I followed in the draft until it started to get steep & they started doing the paperboy, so I went by 3 of them, but one guy was still grinding away up ahead. As we approached Castro with a green light I could see the pedestrian signal counting down, 5-4-3-2-1, so I put in a sprint & hit the intersection just as it turned yellow and was across safely. I took a quick look back to see that no one else had made the light, but Keith ran it anyway, not wanting to let $500 slip away due to bad luck, so I pressed on with full gas hoping to open up enough of a gap so that Keith would lose sight of me and not know which way to go but he kept me in sight all the way up & I think I had about 20 sec when I reached the checkpoint. This one was a bit stressful though since the lot was crowded with tourists & it took about 10 sec for me to find the official stampers, but I got my stamp & left just as Keith was coming into the lot. I took the descent fast, but was worried about the 3 stoplights & 8 stop signs between me & the finish, but traffic was light & I made it through Clayton & 17th quickly and was on to Roosevelt with only the stoplight at Castro to worry about. Of course, it was red, but as I slowed to almost a stop I could see it was yellow in the other direction & no cars were coming, so I went through and onto the finish with a total time of 14:12.

I took a look back and Keith came through about 20 sec back. He told me he had taken 17th on the way back & it was sketchy (no shit!). Joe Mulvaney (Dolce Vita) was 3rd & Greg was 4th. The first fixed rider was a kid named Kyle & he was only about a minute back and came screaming through the line at about 250 rpm. There was some controversy in the fixed division as the top 2 riders had taken a shortcut up to twin peaks by running up the weeded hillside instead of riding up the switchbacks. I think one of the riders didn't take his bike with him, but no one was DQ'd or relegated for crossing the centerline.
The awards ceremony was real quick & I got a big ol trophy, some cash and an Incase messenger bag, not too bad!

Thanks MASH SF & Incase!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

PFSD #1 for 2011 is Friday March 4 at 5PM

Time to dust off the TT bikes & aero helmets & get ready for Polo Field Smack Down (#PFSD) #1.

Meet at the polo fields at 5PM for a short warm-up. 1st rider goes off around 5:20.

Same as always, 15 laps, 10.3 miles & Pez prizes for several categories!

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Team for 2011 - Only 50 days until San Bruno

I'll be joining some good friends on the Thirsty Bear/Iron Data (or is it Iron Data/Thirsty Bear?) team in 2011. More to come soon.

As for training, I haven't been doing too much, especially on the actual bike.
I'm trying to run again, but that get slower & more painful every year.

I plan to start teaching at M2 again soon too, probably the long Monday night class.

I better get on it though because the San Bruno Hill Climb is only 50 days away and I see from Strava that my competition has been putting in plenty of miles.

Friday, October 8, 2010

PFSD #6.0 Report & Results

September 29, 2010

Only 5 riders showed up for the 6.0th edition of the Polo Field Smack Down (PFSD). It's the end of the season & this could be the last PFSD for a while, since there is heavy construction going on in the polo field area and the track is closed.

So, at long last here be the results: Distance: 15 laps, 10.30 miles (and all 5 riders are on STRAVA!)
Name | Team | Div | Time | Speed | Aero Equip | Notes

1) Chris Phipps | Morgan Stanley | 35+ | 23:01 | 27.0 | S | 35+ Winner
2) Jacob Berkman | Mission Cycling | Cat 3 | 23:27| 26.4 | C, H, S | Cat 3 winner
3) Marcel Appelman | Mission Cycling | 35+ Cat 4 | 23:37| 25.8 | none | 35+ Cat 4 winner
4) Joe Mulvaney | Mission Cycling | Cat 5 | 24:15 |25.5 | none | Cat 5 winner
5) Jared Hudson | Mission Cycling | Cat 4 | 25:07 | 24.3 | none | Elite 4 winner

Notes on aero equipment:
B = TT bike (not incl. aero wheels)
C = Clip-on Aero bars
D = Rear Disc Wheel
H = TT Helmet
S = Skinsuit
W = Aero Wheels

There is now $40 up for grabs from the promoter for beating the course record next time. If there is a next time.
May not be another one until 2011.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

PFSD # 5 report & Results

September 15, 2010

End of season burnout? Resting for Tam? Whatever the reason, a record low of only 4 riders showed up for the 5.0th edition of the Polo Field Smack Down (PFSD). It was cool, overcast & windy. We did see a new winner though with Jacob Berkman from Mission Cycling taking both the overall and Cat 4 Pezies.

Here are the results: Distance: 15 laps, 10.30 miles
Name | Team | Div | Time | Speed | Aero Equip | Notes

1) Jacob Berkman | Mission Cycling | Cat 4 | 24:02| 25.71 | C,H,S | Winner!
2) Justin Ching | Roaring Mouse | Cat 4 | 26:34 | 23.26 | None
DNF) Daniel Vigil | Mission Cycling
DNF) Chris Phipps | Morgan Stanley

Notes on aero equipment:
B = TT bike (not incl. aero wheels)
C = Clip-on Aero bars
D = Rear Disc Wheel
H = TT Helmet
S = Skinsuit
W = Aero Wheels

Well, is it time to pull the plug on PFSD for 2010?
Heck no, I can't end the season with a DNF, so there will be a PFSD #6.0 on September 29!
Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

PFSD #4.0 Report & Results

Only 6 riders showed up for the 4.0th edition of the Polo Field Smack Down (PFSD) despite clear blue skies & a record high temperature of 75 degrees for the start & there was hardly any wind for once. End of season burnout or maybe everyone was at the beach?

Here be the results: Distance: 15 laps, 10.30 miles
Name | Team | Div | Time | Speed | Aero Equip | Notes

1) Chris Phipps | Morgan Stanley | 35+ | 22:36 | 27.35 | S | 35+ Winner
2) Jacob Berkman | Mission Cycling | Cat 4 | 23:11| 26.66 | C, H | Cat 4 winner
3) Dan Vigil | Mission Cycling | 35+ Cat 4 | 23:12| 26.64 | C, S | 35+ Cat 4 winner
4) Adam Hodes | Tieni Duro | Cat 2 17-18 | 23:40 |26.11 | S | Junior Winner
5) Jim Sallee | Zeitgeist Racing | 45+ Cat 4 | 28:24 | 21.76 | none | 45+ Cat 4 winner
DNF) Marcel Appelman | Mission Cycling | 35+ CAT 4 | DNF | 0.00 | W |

Notes on aero equipment:
B = TT bike (not incl. aero wheels)
C = Clip-on Aero bars
D = Rear Disc Wheel
H = TT Helmet
S = Skinsuit
W = Aero Wheels

There is now $30 up for grabs from the promoter for beating the course record next time. If there is a next time. With school starting next week, the Polo Field is likely to be inundated with with kids & parents going to & coming from lacrosse practice & games on the field.