I posted last winter about “
What’s best” - some blather about passing cars while commuting to work. I was wrong. It’s been a full week and I’m still on a mini-high about what’s REALLY the best: winning my first Cat Pro/1/2 race. 5 years as a Cat2 with sparse results, but never a win. It’s been season after season of training - mostly by riding the 20 miles to and from work. Finally!
Too bad I didn’t zip the jersey. Thanks to Amara at wheelsinfocus for capturing the moment.
note: Gina directs the Wines of Washington women’s team, organizes them into Bike Hugger- sponsored composites for the big National Calendar races, and has been racing in the Northwest for as long as anyone can remember. We asked Gina to report on the team’s progress and what’s next on the calendar — Byron
Whew — Mt Hood Cycling Classic is done. What a relief which is sort of hysterical when you realize I was sitting in my office every day while the rest of the Bike Hugger gals were out there baking their brains. Sitting in ones office knowing everyone else is racing is actually harder than you think it should be. Fortunately for me cell phone coverage was decent & I got semi regular road race updates from Eric when he wasn’t too busy coaxing the gals to work, catch on, to sit in & everything else that goes on in the team vehicle.
For those who haven’t looked the Wines of Washington/Team Bike Hugger gals held their own just fine and dandy against some stiff competition. Our results
7th Overall in GC
13th Overall in GC
2nd Team Overall GC
2nd & 8th Place Stage 1
7th & 11th Stage 4
10th Stage 5
Really — those aren’t shabby numbers when you realize everyone on this team is working full time and has a full family life. It’s pretty darn impressive to see local Washington and Oregon riders going head to head with a number of the National Big girls and see them do just fine.
So what’s next — well Nature Valley Grand Prix is next on the docket. This time the kits we’re wearing will be the familiar colors of Team Group Health of Seattle fame. For those who aren’t familiar with Team Group Health aka Sound Velo it’s a women’s only team in the Seattle area. They’ve been instrumental to the growth of women’s racing in the Pacific Northwest and have developed many riders of which 3 will be racing NVGP along with some of us semi-regular bike hugger gals. It’s truly a great partnership and great opportunity that Team Group Health has offered to us. Better yet I finally get to come out of my office and actually race versus coordinating race funding, mechanics and assorted sundry stuff that goes into getting a team to a bike race. Whew — racing my bike at NVGP almost sounds like a vacation versus what I’ve been doing while the gals have been racing.
I will be blogging on the team blog so stay tuned. Racing begins June 20th with a prologue crit. Not sure what a prologue crit feels like but my guess is 150 gals who are primed for a 5 day stage race will make it one heck of a fast crit.
After that we’ll be at Cascade (no I won’t be there, I avoid any race that has minimal oxygen in the air aka above 3,000 feet). From there — hopefully Tour De Toona the big momma of all women’s racing in the country. Toona is the only stage race where the women’s race is the premier event and the women race the exact same distance as the men do. It’s by far the hardest race I’ve ever done, but for some insane reason I hope to get back this year to settle up a score with a couple hills that really hurt last year.
On Tuesday June 26th from 5:30 - 7:30 PM, join The CBC Action Fund (an affiliate of the Cascade Bicycle Club) Senate Transportation Chair Ed Murray (invited), Council Transportation Chair Jan Drago, and Councilmember Richard Conlin for a happy hour and fundraiser at the Pike Brewery and Pub.
This is a”mini velo” type bike I saw in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. In Japan, Mini velo bikes include anything with small wheels, including Moultons, Bike Fridays, and a whole host of Japan only bikes, but not exclusively folding bikes.
Just a few more days till my homeboy and me jump a bullet train for Kyoto and attempt to ride back through the mountains of central Japan. Currently enjoying not working in a bike shop.
So my group was walking the streets of Tokyo after finding the Tsukumo Cycle Sports bike shop, home of Kalavinka Cycles. Kalavinka bikes are known as top notch keirin bikes.
Anyways, we were walking along when I saw a Bianchi Mini Velo 9. The Japanese have this thing for bikes with really tiny wheels, but there is a subgenre of bikes that look like regular road racing bikes but have 20-inch wheels.
Here’s an example I found. It’s an aluminium frame about 52-54cm size, with downtube shifters. Looks like fun, but I’ve never ridden one.
Though I could have easily ridden this one. Check out how the only thing keeping this bike from being lifted is the feeble lock around THE BRAKE HOUSING. Bike theft isn’t the problem it is in other countries, apparently
Wanna get a bike shop mechanic to do a spit take, say, “hey the new Trek Madone has got precision fit socket technology!” Some may just spit their coffee right out their nose, laugh uproariously, shake their head, or remind you of that year the Madones used Klein’s bottom cup design on their forks and how that didn’t work.
Same thing when talking to a guy like Bill Davidson who can prove he’s seen it all before in the industry, by showing me a 1985 Magic Motorcycle external bearing bottom bracket design – referred to here in an FSA article from 2004. “But hey, you can just press those sockets in by hand, according to Zinn! “Righto!” according to the mechanics.
All for technology here at the bike hugger, we’re also skeptical of precision anything when it comes to headsets and bottom brackets. Well, at least the old-school mechanics we know are. Whom btw, also didn’t trust Mavic’s Heliums or the Krysiums, which revolutionized the built-wheel market.
A topic for another day is square v. compact frame design. As I said to our friends at Novara yesterday, “taking a 1/2 pound off a square bike would’ve been an even more impressive achievement.”
Taking another tact on the utility bike is the Yuba Mundo. I hadn’t seen it before and was tipped by Ben Sarrazin who, according to his bio on Yuba’s site, worked for several years with Xtracycle. Props to the straightforward design, and for building a bike to, “to carry things, to ride anywhere.”
Filed under Stupid is the back-to-back recumbent seen below. Contrast that with this “amazing” video of motorpacing at 110 mph and then back to stupid, we have the sideways bike. Then there’s the Cobra in Malorca, which is def amazing.
Cascade Bicycle Club counted more than 19,000 cyclists on Starbucks Bike to Work Day setting a new record for Seattle. The Group Health Commute Challenge also shattered expectations with more than 7,500 riders commuted an astonishing 997,830 miles. According to Cascade, that’s nearly a million pounds of CO2 saved. Not only that, but think of all the stress relief of not sitting in traffic.
Jet-lag has me waking up hella early and collapsing at 9:30 at night.
Today Angelo, Katherine, her Japanese bf, myself, and maybe our friend Min will go to this festival at one of the temples just south of the Imperial Palace. The big hook is that this the one time when the yakuza walk about with all their tattoos displayed. Other than that i have no idea what it’s about. Hopefully after that we can visit a bike shop with a bunch of keirin stuff.
Talking about tattoos and yakuza reminds me that i might have a problem on the bike tour…I was hoping to visit an onsen (hot springs) on the way, or at least try a public bath house (by the way, it’s a VERY different cultural role here compared to the united states). However, I have several tattoos, and tattoos are associated with the yakuza in japan. And yakuza are frequently barred from public baths. Still, the fact that i am an incurable gai-jin (slang for “foreigner”) might quell the idea that I am a Japanese gangster, but we’ll see.