Archive for the tag 'bike'

menko

Race Report: Surf City #1 Aptos HS

Event: Surf City #1
Location
: Aptos High School
Date: 10.13.2013
Category: Masters 35A
Teammates: Bill Sans (45A), Frank (55A), Shawn, Chris and guest appearance by Justin E
Place: 4th
Weather: 65 degrees, sunny
Tires: Tufo Primus Flexus, 23 psi F/R
Data: 177/184 bpm (avg/max), 205 avg watts (http://www.strava.com/activities/88929061)

Once again, I HATE the hills.  Photo by Steve Anderson

Once again, I HATE the hills. Photo by Steve Anderson

The highlight of this race honestly was the transport to and from Santa Cruz, as I got to know Frank M. who was doing his first cyclocross race ever.† He graciously volunteered to haul me and all my gear and even brought the requisite post-race beverages.† Iíd never done the Aptos HS event, so I was happy to have a little extra time to make some circuits of the course and figure out what lines work best for me through several of the course ďelements.Ē

The course itself is an interesting combination of several types of terrain: sand, grass, gravel and pavement.† It includes some pavement based zigzags that lead you around a baseball field, then up a very steep set of 4 steps into a run up which pegs the heart rate and brings on the

puke.† Then you do a short climb, high speed road descent and drop into a sharp left hand curb/ramp throu

gh a loose sandy corner that escorts you into the woods.† A few single tracks later and you hit a downhill ďPoop ChuteĒ which is a 30Ē wide track with 1-2í dirt walls and about 2Ē of wheel-grabbing sand thatís just itching to take your front wheel and bounce it into the sides and send you head over heels.† If you happen to survive that, then you do a few more twistys,

Just putting one foot in front of the other.  Photo by Cyclemasters of Turlock

Just putting one foot in front of the other. Photo by Cyclemasters of Turlock

head up a 30 second road climb, and make the final uphill run into the finish line.† Basically a course with a lot of on-and-off the gas, but a few strategic rest spots to help me make 50 long minutes.

I learned from my mistakes the previous day and lined up on the front row for the uphill start.† I was about 9th to the first corner, and quickly glued myself to the wheel in front of me and took every opportunity to pass.† Adrenaline pumping, we worked our way through

some off-camber gravel turns, through the grass and into the

the 4 step lunge/run up was not my favorite

the 4 step lunge/run up was not my favorite

first run up. †I found myself behind Don Myrah and used my B line to go around him moving up into 5th or 6th before the downhill.† My goal was to get in front of as many people as possible before the Poop Chute, to limit the odds of a pile up.

Unfortunately, Brock Dickie had something go south on the Poop Chute and as I came up on him he had both feet out and was valiantly trying to keep himself from going head over heels.† I squeezed by and motored on until the first climb.† Myrah came around me on the climb and I was content to sit on his wheel.† As we approached the start finish, the only rider in front of us was Justin Robinson.† I honestly have no clue how this happened, but thatís cyclocross for you.† I spent the next two laps trying my best to hang on Donís wheel.† If the course was pointed down, I had no trouble.† Every time it went up, he would open a gap that I had to close.† This lasted for two laps as we slowly reeled Justin in and finally Don just ejected me on the climb and that was the last I saw of him.† I spent the next 30 minutes riding by myself until, yet again on that darn climb, I was passed by Brock Dickie.† Brockís a good friend and I was glad to see him getting back up there after his mishap, but it also pissed me off to be getting worked over by everyone on this damn hill so I dug deep and reattached myself to him on the start finish line.† That last for the next lap until I had a little bobble in the sand and he opened a 3 second gap.† That was the last I saw of 3rd place.

With my hopes of taking home $20 in gas money, I desperately tried to hold onto 4th place and willed my very tired legs to go.† Alan Coats and Basil

Moutsopoulos were rapidly closing the gap and finished only about 15 seconds behind me.† Just like every other race this seasonóI start out strong, then fade my way to the finish.† I am literally finishing on will power alone, so hopefully the fitness will catch up sooner than later!† Still progress is being made, Iíve progressed from 20 minutes up to about 30 minutes, so hopefully in another month Iíll be able to give it gas and actually speed up the last lap instead of slowing down.† Still January is getting closer, but still a ways off, so Iím pleased with the progress thus far.† Up next is two weeks of non-cyclocross training to try and

recuperate the sore elbow tendons.

Held on for 4th

Held on for 4th

Event: ProCX Lion of Fairfax
Location
: Foothill College, Los Altos
Date: 10.12.2013
Category: Masters 35A
Teammates: Murray
Place: 4th
Weather: 65 degrees, sunny
Tires: Tufo Primus Flexus, 23 psi F/R

First lap was all about moving up.  Photo by Steve Woo

First lap was all about moving up. Photo by Steve Woo

Friday morning, I still havenít registered and Iíve got that familiar sensationóit starts as a sort of itch, then becomes a distraction, until I find myself wondering exactly how much time it will take at 9pm to prepare my cyclocross gear for a race on Saturday.† Yet, the adult in me kept fighting that urge, reminding me that the last two weeks since Candlestick have been rather painful and what I really need to do is rest my elbow or risk the season.† But then I read the race description again, and before I knew what was happening my inbox had a registration confirmation for Saturdayís Lion of Fairfax in Los Altos.

I lugged all my junk over to Erikís house for transportation, threw my road wheels on, and caught the PV ride on Saturday morning.† I told myself it would be a few ďleg openers.Ē† It turned out more like leg burners as I struggled through several pulls at the front figuring Iíd better get a good workout in case I got wise and bailed on the race. Arriving at the PV compound I found several guys warming up and coming in from earlier races, covered in mud and looking utterly spent.† I knew then, I was doomed and would never ben able to resist racing.† I jumped on my B bike for the first time this season shod in mud tires to pre-ride the course that had been watered

down to create mud since weíve had no rain.

It was a first class course featuring European-style hill traverses with off-camber turns, quick descents, and lots of 180s.† Add in a run up or two, a little mud, some loose wood chips and adoring fans and you have yourself a fantastic race experience. I especially appreciated this one as the zig-zag downhill traverses were one feature in Louisville that we donít get a lot of practice on out here, and I definitely have room for improvement there.

Lining up for the start I was a little late and ended up 3rd row, which I wasnít too worried about as I thought it would give me a chance to practice not blowing up the first lap since we had a full 60 minutes on tap.† We accelerate and enter the most dangerous moment of the whole raceóthe funnel from the road to a narrower trail over a drainage culvert and some barriers.† I was bandied about by some rather large individuals, but took my time and just picked some inside lines on the 180s and moved up into about 12th place.† We did a triple barrier that dumped us onto a sidewalk before a sharp left uphill turn.† In the pre-ride I was able to get up this no problem, IF I had the right approach.† I watched many others biff it, and knew this would be a trouble spot.

I lined up on the outside of the corner up against a large metal fence, and started seeing in my peripheral vision a rider trying to come up my right side.†† He was breathing heavily and probably fully juiced with adrenaline, and I knew without a doubt that if he got alongside me, we were going to crash on the left-hander.† I began closing the door and his bars made contact with my hip.† Some rash insults were exchanged, and I believe I replied ďyouíre not getting by.Ē† Credit Larry Nolan who taught me a valuable trick to defending your position on the bikeókeep the other riderís bars behind your hip and they cannot lean on you easily.† Iím a little guy that can easily be pushed, but put his bars versus my ass and I will win every time.† I went in hot, people goofed, and I passed 3 or 4 guys on the outside line.† I never saw the guy who was challenging me, but he was left behind as we hit the pine-tree branch alley as I passed more riders and started to create a gap on the riders behind me.

slow motion pain after the tricky little technical climb.  Photo by Steve Woo

slow motion pain after the tricky little technical climb. Photo by Steve Woo

The rest of the lap was spent trying to work my way up through traffic.† I always spend my pre-ride checking for obstacles and trying secondary lines with the intention of using them when

forced off the main line.† That way I can have a few unexpected places where I can pick a rider off when they arenít expecting it.† On the back side we hit the climbs and I knew I was going to have a really hard dayóother riders just stood up and rode away from me.† Mentally I repeated over and over again to take it easy and stay within my limits as it was a long race. I knew if I tried to gas it and stay in contact, Iíd never finish the 60 minutes.† Through the parking lot there was a huge number of supporters from Madelyn Swanson on the exit, Ray Alvarez on the turn, Erik Salander all through the zone and many other racers cheering us on.† That was awesome as I really needed the boost.

After a few laps the breathing behind me ceased and I was alone.† Murray and the leaders were ahead of me, and I reeled in one rider named William (I later met him), and we dueled it out for quite some time.† Sadly for him that dreaded hiss of escaping air came from behind me and he was out of contention.† I will admit that I was relieved as he was working me over pretty good!† This was maybe half way through the race and was the last I saw any riders until I started catching lapped riders.† For the rest of the race it was a balance of managing my efforts, keeping the bike in line, and making sure nobody caught me as I started lagging.† Through the start-finish Erik told me I was in 4th place, but I hadnít seen anyone ahead of me for quite some time, and I kept seeing flashes of Alan Coats and the 45+ leaders as I went through the zig zags.

At 45 minutes, every muscle in my legs begged me to stop.† Ray said something to me and I replied and he said ďyouíre not going hard enough if you can talk.Ē† I didnít have a chance to say it wasnít breath I was needing–it was a lactate drain to relieve the burn in my muscles.† Had Erik not started supplying us water during the last few laps, I would never have finished. Chris Cowartís daughter also gave me a lavender scented wash cloth hand up, which was much appreciated on the backside of the course.

I hated this hill climb.  Really hated it.  Photo by Steve Woo

I hated this hill climb. Really hated it. Photo by Steve Woo

At 48 minutes I came across the line and saw the first lap cards Iíd seen all raceóand I almost cried when it said ď2Ē instead of 1!† I buckled down and did what I could, and limped my way through two more laps by finding my mental happy place and blocking out the pain.† In the end, I finished 3 minutes down in 4th place, but heard the great news when I finished that Murray had notched his first win of the season.† I was happy just to cross the finish.

Lessons learned: a good pre-ride is a gift: finding the 2nd lines for the first lap and identifying potential flat tire obstacles is key.† Starting from the front is a lot easier!

 

 

 

Event: BASP #1
Location: Candlestick Park
Date: 9.29.2013
Category: 35A
Teammates: Murray Swanson, David Collet
Place: 6th
Weather: dry, 65+ degrees
Tires: Tufo Flexus Primus, 23 psi F/R

it gets lonely when they leave you behind

it gets lonely when they leave you behind

Have you ever noticed how much crap you seem to bring to cyclocross races?† Even with a well-versed packing system, Iím still spending nearly an hour getting all my gear together, selecting the variety of gear and clothing Iíll need, and making sure I donít forget anything important.† One of those items happened to be my son Mattheus, who was out for his first cross ride this season.† Iím probably the only racer who was up at 8am making mac and cheese, packing soccer balls, extra clothing and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. †Not your usual cross race gear, and forgotten was a cowbell, beer or anything you would imagine bringing to the BASP races! †Such is life, and its great to be sharing the day with my boy and having fun in the process!

I spent much of the week on forced rest because I struggled to find time to ride so I came in well-rested but also a bit de-tuned.† I was lucky enough to get a single preview lap of the course and saw multiple people with slashed tires from the sharp rock sections.† Out came the sound ďwaaaaahĒ sound of the air compressor to bump the tires up to 23 psi to give me a little added protection.† About 20 minutes on the trainer an hour before the race constituted ďwarm-upĒ as I went over and watched Matty participate in the first BASP kidís cross race.† He wasnít impressed with the course or its length, which worked out great as he said ďI want to race juniors and have some real barriers!Ē† So we have some of those adventures to look forward to later this season!

 

Basp#1 2013 rear

Moving up with David Collet hot on my heels on his way to 3rd place

Anyway, the actual race was pretty uneventful.† My goal for the race was to simply avoid any self-inflicted mistakes and try and ride smoothly.† I got a 3rd row callup which put me about 20th into the first turn.† This saved me from a lot of the mass chaos that ensues behind you in 30th-60th, so I quickly picked off guys on the alternative lines I had ridden during practice and moved into the top 10.† I found myself on Alan Coatesí wheel which was a great place to be as we wove our way up, right until we hit the barriers on lap 2 and he bunny-hopped and opened a gap.† I never closed it.† Just before the wheel pit a rider in front of my stabbed his wheel into some loose sand and did an acrobatic maneuver over the bars that was a slow-motion cartwheel.† Steering for all I was worth to try and avoid getting entangled or being slowed down I was super fortunate to just barely skate around him. David Collet came around me somewhere around the 10 minute mark and powered his way up to a 3rd place position.

Eventually I made my way into 7th position on Brock Dickieís wheel and we raced together for some time.† I felt good technically but by 25 minutes in I was starting to lag a bit as my heart rate would spike on the run-up or other long sections and Iíd have to back off to avoid making any handling mistakes in my hypoxic state.† Eventually I lost Brock with 2 to go and ended up 6th after Murray had to drop back due to a flat.† The unusually short race didnít give me much time to try and catch anyone that was fading, but it also didnít give me much time to fade and be caught.

much of the course was dry, hardpacked dirt with a little sand in corners.

much of the course was dry, hardpacked dirt with a little sand in corners.

Overall I am consistently staying in the top 10, but have a lot of improvements to be made in the next 6-8 weeks if I hope to move up onto the podium at the bigger events.† But thatís a big improvement over the last 18 months that have been nothing but injuries and setbacks that havenít seen me able to return to form or even race, so Iím happy to be out there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

menko

Race Report: CCCX #1 & CCCX #2

Event: CCCX #1 CCCX #2
Location: Fort Ord, CA
Date: 9.14 & 9.15.2013
Category: 35B (Sat), 35A (Sun)
Teammates: Jason Bradeen, Chris Cowart, Murray Swanson
Place: 1st/5th
Weather: Dry, 75+ degrees
Tires: Tufo Flexus Primus, 21 psi F/R

opening a gap on the singletrack

opening a gap on the singletrack

After a long road season filled with little racing and very little luck going my way, I finally arrived at my first two cyclocross races of this season.† I spent the entire off-season hoping to heal the wounds of last year and have a injury-free season, but my lack of road racing has brought me into the cross season a bit lower than previous years, but the goal for this weekend was simple: shake the

bike down, start regaining confidence in my skills, and practice flaying myself without falling off my bike in a lactate-filled haze.† The fields were small and the courses technical, so I simply rode as hard as I could, blew up, and then hung on.† The skills still felt a bit rusty, the fitness a bit lacking, but on track given

some hard work planned over the next two months.† Negotiating the hardpack and sand on Saturday left me with a brown racing stripe from a few close calls, but I started to feel a little better on Sunday.

My biggest takeaway was a pile of poison oak on both legs, despite using Tech nu.† New item added to equipment listóportable shower.

 

alone and suffering

alone and suffering

trying to hang on

just eeked my way onto the podium
just eeked my way onto the podium
menko

2012 CX Season Start

Race Report: 2012 Bay Area Super Prestige #1:

Welcome back to the pain!

Event: BASP #1
Location: Candlestick Point
Date: 9-30-12
Category: 35+ A
Teammates: Murray, Travis, Reto
Place: 22 of 47
Weather: Dry, 80 degrees, Sandy conditions
Tires: Tufo Flexus, 25 psi F/R

Chasing, photo by Tim Westmore

This was my first race of the year and I was carrying a high level of apprehension about my own readiness coming in. To say I’ve been waiting for this day for 11 months is an understatement.† The “off-season” took on a new meaning as I was forced off my bike from complications of my surgery in December 2011.† I had gained 5 pounds, lost muscle and fitness, and generally didn’t recognize myself as a cyclist when I looked in the mirror.

This year has been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, and faced with the prospect of racing, an unfamiliar feeling crept over me–fear.† To test oneself against your peers is part of racing, but I knew my fitness and endurance were shaky, and I was ready for the season to unravel in front of me as I was ejected out the back.† Unable to ride much this year, I have been working on my technical skills to see if I could hang.† Race day did reveal a lot about my season, but it proved to have answers to different questions.

Start position as always is critical, and without a call up† I was lined up on the 5th row and in decent position.† I was nearly caught up in a tussle 50 feet after leaving the gate, but luckily I was able to avoid it and found myself sitting about 20th come the first turn.† I was redlining as always, but in the back of my mind I was trying to remind myself that I only had a few minutes of fitness in that zone, and then the race would come crashing down.

Hill was much easier to get up this year. † Photo by Tim Westmore

Through the first half of the course I tried to settle in, pass at every opportunity, but also not be too impatient.† Then Reto stormed past me after the first set of barriers and I was infected with an equal amount of zeal to pass these guys.† This would prove to be my undoing. We hit the first run up the hill and as expected there was chaos and I simply shouldered the bike and ran around the stumbling bits of steel, carbon and flesh.† Picked a few more off and I was sitting about 12th and feeling like I could possibly hang on for the rest of the race if I just settled into a pace I could maintain.† Every corner I was on a wheel I felt I could go faster, and so I kept looking for places to pass.

Unfortunately, on the last little drop before you hit the road on the backside I took an inside line and

attempted to pass another rider.† He suddenly swerved into me, forcing my front wheel into some bushes that decided it was a great time for me to fly off my bike.† Over the bars I went, landed in a tuck and hopped right back onóonly to endo in the sand when I realized my chain was off. †I pulled to the side and tried to start rolling my bike, only to have the front wheel suddenly stop.† Apparently it was run over or wrenched, because a section of tire was separating from the rim.† At this point I summoned some mighty curses that made my glad my family was at the start/finish and I shouldered the bike and ran the last section of the course.† I watched as every rider in the field rolled past me and I wondered if I could possibly run it all the way to the pit.† I knew at once, my race would be over.

Navigating the downhill sand snarl. Photo by Tim Westmore

Instead, when I hit the pavement, I put the bike down, pushed the chain catcher out of the way and prayed the tire would hold for the rest of the race.† An eerie silence surrounded me and then I got the pity cry ďGo PV!Ē from a random person on the back stretch, which confirmed I was way behind the rest of the field.† I just channeled the frustration and rode as fast as I could.† In the end I was able to slowly pick off riders and finish the ride in 22nd.† This earned me several nice brews, so life was good.

Thanks to all of my teammates and supporters out there, because I surely would have bagged this one if you werenít out there shouting me on.† Hopefully next time will work out better.

 

 

LESSONS RE-LEARNED

  1. BE PATIENT: races are long, first lap you donít have to pass everyone.† Risk vs. benefit
  2. SELF-TALK: keep repeating your race goals.† Race smart.† Keep efforts in check
  3. AREAS TO IMPROVE: 30 second bursts w/repeatability
  4. CROSS IS FUN: the people matter, enjoy the community

 

 

 

 

Event: Santa Cruz Triathlon Relay (bike leg)

Date: 09.25.2011

Teammates: Team Not Related Johnsons (Camille Johnson,/swim, Jay Johnson,/run)

Time: 58:48

Distance: 24.5 mi

Weather: Sunny, overcast/ low 6os

Power: 222w/549 (Avg/Max)

HR: 178/183 (Avg/Max)

Avg speed: 25.0 mph

Gearing: 50-34, 11-23

Place: 1st Coed Relay/3rd All Relays 2:10 (Results: http://bit.ly/oy5Ma9)

First offóno I have not been body-snatched and replaced with a hill-avoiding flatlander diesel engine. Its still me! But last week before Folsom the owner of my borrowed Cervelo P3C TT bike invited my wife Cami and I to do a relay with him at the Santa Cruz Triathlon. I figured if the guy who owns the bike invites me to ride it in a relay and heíll run, how can I say no? And truth be told, I sort of enjoyed the race against the clock at Folsom even though I was out-classed by my M123 competitors by a significant margin. But that was a short 11 mile TTóand this one was 25 miles. I was ready to see what I could do.

The Santa Cruz Triathlon course starts downtown, winds its way through the western edge of Santa Cruz by Long Marine Labs, then heads out on Highway 1 to Davenport, does a quick turn around and comes back. The course has a lot of little rollers, none super steep but definitely not flat, and the wind usually blows towards the North, making the return leg to town hard. I have many memories of hammering out with the UCSC club on Highway 1 only to turn around and limp home because of the wind.

My wife Cami rocked the swim and was only preceded by a few other relay swimmers, so I knew we were in good position. I honestly was worried I was going to give up quite a bit of time, as the dudes who were lined up in the relay gates looked more like Ross Tinline and Mark Slavonia than yours truly, and I knew that could be a problem for me! I strapped on the timing chip and proceeded to run about 1k uphill to where we were actually allowed to start pedaling our freaking bikes. It was silly but they didnít want people to mount before a hill, derail their chains, etc. Luckily all that cross practice remounting with Clark a few weeks back translated to the TT bike, so I think I was the only guy with both feet off the ground doing the flying mount onto the TT bike. Adrenaline makes you do silly things sometimes.

My goal for the TT was to break it into 4 segments, and hold a nice steady tempo and ramp it up in the 3rd and 4th legs. But most importantly, I wanted to keep my starting wattage under control so I might just finish this thing without exploding. What I didnít count on was the fact that relays started last, so I spent the entire thing passing bike after bike after bike and making sure I didnít get taken out by someone randomly sitting up or swerving or by the traffic whizzing by on Hwy 1. The upside was I felt really fast passing all these people, and was forced to keep my eyes on the road ahead which helps with that aero helmet. But at some point I recognized that the dude wearing high tops riding a mountain bike might not really be in the same class as I was. But I took solace anyway ūüėČ

The ride is pretty boring, the wind wasnít too strong, but at some point I was going about 35mph downhill and getting blown about which brought on some pucker factor, but I figured I couldnít let my team down and forcibly relaxed my arms and shoulders and stayed in the TT position. Corners and turn arounds were the most scary as I was flying through them and felt like I was playing Frogger or something as I had to swerve around the other riders. But in my head, I was loving the challenge and it motivated me to go harder.

Playlist for the first 3 segments: Soul Asylum ďRunaway TrainĒ

Runaway train never going back Wrong way on a one way track ?Seems like I should be getting somewhere Somehow I’m neither here no thereLittle out of touch, little insane Just easier than dealing with the pain

Not the most motivational of tunes, but its what was sticking and I went with it. Then on the last segment, the Doors blasted their way in as I started to ďBreak on ThroughĒ for the last 5 miles. The mind is a funny thing when its blocking out the screaming pain in your legs. As I was approaching Santa Cruz, I ramped up to 250 watts, and immediately my pedal stroke felt forced and unsmooth. I kept imagining smooth circles and powered on.

The last part of the course winds through town and goes to a little turn around to extend the distance, and this was a major slow down as I had to navigate turns and other riders that were riding 2 and 3 wide on both sides of the single lane road. Thoughts of T boning or head-ons while in the bars flickered through my brain, but I told them to HTFU and go faster.

The final straight goes right above the boardwalk and back down the hill. I imagined I was in the TDF and carving the curves but instead of motoring across a finish line, you have to come to a stop, dismount and run down the same damn hill. I flew in, did a cross step through (hard to do on the TT bike with the damn bars in the way) and caused the volunteers to have a heart attack that I was going to crash. But no such luck. I cruised into the transition zone and apparently passed the other teams out on the course, because I was the first relay bike in. After dismounting I underestimated the weakness of my adductors and suddenly found myself squatting to take of my shoes and falling over because I couldnít stand back up. It was quite graceless and undignified, but such is life.

True confession: I really enjoyed doing the TT. Its pure and painful, but also brings out the best in me. I can hardly walk or sit from the nerve pain, but I will be doing more TTs in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Strava segment: http://app.strava.com/segments/770746

menko

A few good days on the bike

For their last field trip of the year, the cub scouts got to learn some bicycle safety and do a group bike ride together. Matty quickly decided he was going to race everyone, and faster than I could even get the camera out, he was gone.

And besides learning how to pass safely on the left, they somehow found every…single…puddle and bit of mud so that they were covered in seconds. Who can blame them, its a blast!

Add this to the bike fun we had yesterday as I chased Matty around an office park, and its been a good several days on the bike

menko

Suffering at BASP #3: Sierra Point

111310BASP#3-2480

111310BASP#3-2480,
originally uploaded by Paul Doran.

This was probably the hardest cross race I have done this season. The course was perfectly constructed to reveal all of my weaknesses–bumpy conditions that I can’t sit down for, and nice long, flat straight-aways on the road, with hairpins at the end. Everyone else was pleased to have these road sections to power and pass on, but all I could do was hang on and take a better line through the corner. Got dropped a few times on them. Why do I race road at all??? It does beg the question…

BASP3_IMG_0397

menko

Cycling is taking over the world

As I was walking in to work today, I came across this incredible piece of transportation. I have never seen anything quite like it, and thought it needs to be shared. I unfortunately did not see the student who rode this bike in, but I have a feeling they are in the Art/Design class in the IC. Who else would come up with something quite this spectacular.

menko

Vitus rides again!

Vitus rides again!

Vitus rides again!,

While my cycling career is long behind me, I stumbled across a surprisingly powerful reminder of my early daysómy first racing bike! The 54cm black Vitus 979 Duraluminum that I bought back in 1988 has been under the tendor care of my brother Pieter since about 1991 when I upgraded from that frame to a carbon version, the 990 (that frame met an unfortunate end in my sophomore year in the San Luis Obispo Road Raceóthe A field had a high speed crash which found me boxed with people falling across my front and rear wheels. The frame cracked in 4 places and the wheel tacoed). When I visited Pieter in Colorado, the Vitus was a nice piece of wall candy, but he wasn’t riding it. I packed it up in a box and shipped back to Redwood City, hoping that after nearly 20 years, I could ride it a bit again, with some modifications. I purchased an upright stem and flat bar setup, and immediately set off on rehabilitation. However, I find that not having STI shifters is sort of disconcerting, but I’m not converting to a single speed simply because I need the gears for pulling up the hills. As you can see by these pics, its almost ready to go! Some of my old racing stickers that Esteban Chavez and I put on back in high school are still attached, albeit a bit ragged. I think I may debadge it entirely and run it stealth. I still get that rush of adrenaline when I hop on it! Its amazing that after all this time, simply hoping on that race bike gets my heart pounding!