Archive for December, 2005

Stolen: red Fisher MTB recovered

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

[Posted by reader “Rybart”]

My 2006 21″ red Gary Fisher X-Caliber hardtail mountain bike was stolen from an office downtown on 12/28. I hadn’t even owned it five months!! The serial # is WL3317996 and can be found underneath the bottom bracket.

You get a $100 finder’s fee and tonnes of good karma if you find it. Please call 503-705-6482 if you have any clues for me.

Trek Portland arrives

Saturday, December 31st, 2005
the new Trek

Yesterday I got a call from one of my intrepid correspondents (thanks Dat!) that the downtown Bike Gallery has just received shipment of the very first Trek Portlands. Today I went down to investigate and sure enough, they’ve got two of them (a 52 and 54 cm) already in stock and they expect more to arrive soon.

They look pretty much the same as when I first reported on them, the major difference is that they now have a triple chainring instead of a double compact. Mike (the sales guy I spoke with) said they did this to speed up delivery.


Report: Hooglede-Gits World Cup and 10K Fun Run

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

Be very careful what you wish for. I prayed for a good old slogger, but somebody upstairs took me a little too literally. After Loenhout’s 1 in 1,000 high-speed ‘crosses (easily the fastest I’ve done), the pendulum swung way back to make Hooglede the 1 in 1,000 slow-speed ‘cross (easily the slowest I’ve done). Consider some stats. Even though the lap was long at 3.2k, we only raced 6 laps, with Nijs going over an hour. (Under normal conditions, we’d have done 8 or 9–still a long lap.) The other Sven was 14th at over 4:30min. down. I was 36th at 11:03 down. Retarded….There was so much running. I dismounted over 10 times per lap, probably running at least 4min. per lap, and on average each lap took me just less than 12min. (That’s right, I was almost 2min. per lap slower than the leaders.)

The difference between riding or running this ridiculous muck–a simultaneous mix of exceedingly slick and sticky mud and grass–was a lot of power. I like to consider myself a specialist in this type of shit, but it was too much for me. I just couldn’t get the traction I needed to move forward on the flat sections. Sure, the tire selection I had at my disposal was not choice, but I wasn’t the only guy in that boat. No excuses….At the end of lap 2, I separated myself from those close (which, interestingly, included most of the Americans, like Wicks, Baker, Gallagher, and Powers, plus a Slovak rider; at this point, Trebon had all ready crashed out, and Wicks was about to do the same; Page didn’t start due to injury), and I was then by myself.

I could kinda see some riders up ahead, but looking forward was made difficult due to the rain and mud splatter, the treacherous–even dangerous–course conditions, and the huge crowd. I was shocked and disappointed to hear that I was only in 38th place at this point. I figured I was in the top 30 for sure, having passed VanNoppen and some others. I guess my start was pathetic. Anyway, I shook it off and decided that I had 40min. to move up, the conditions perfect for just that. But I didn’t. I just couldn’t seem to get any momentum, just doing my own thing lap after lap. When alone, it’s hard to change your habits: you get into a rut, so to speak. Without other riders around, your lines and decisions are not challenged, so you lose the forward-thinking mentality. Normally, I’m all right when dealt this hand, always able to think in fast-forward. I just failed today. I only moved up 2 more spots, both due to abandons….

Even though I was the first U.S. rider and probably locked a spot on the team, I’m left far from satisfied. Athletes have to live at once in the moment and think and plan for the long-term. Today, I feel like I should have at least beat the 4 guys who were less than 1min. ahead, and I should have absolutely stayed within 8 or maybe 9 minutes down. Oh well….Baker and Gallagher finished on the lead lap, but since they were “on the second page” their real times were not recorded: they were given the same time as the Slovak who was behind me. I don’t think they were any more than 1min. off my pace. Powers just got doubled….’Twas a tough couple of days for the top U.S. ‘crossers. Page is out for 2 weeks due to an injury he sustained Thursday at Middlekerke, where he finished 3rd in a small C2 race. Trebon crashed on the first lap today, injuring his elbow and shoulder. Wicks crashed on the 3rd lap, dislocating his pinky finger.

I had a good one, too. On the third lap as I narrowly closed on a few guys, I got sideways at a mud-to-brick transition, t-boning a huge steel barricade at maybe 20mph, knocking it and spectators over. Yes, I damaged my bike and my body. Since it was so cold, my hand made it through the race but is now nicely sprained. Sweet!…As usual, Jeremy had a nice way with words to sum-up the day’s events: “I gotta start going to church again.”…Well, I gotta go. Another day I will tell of the false start, my first drug control piss, etc.

Tomorrow, I’m racing at the GP Sven Nijs in Baal. It’s a GVA and Cat.1. That’ll be my 5th race. Like the others, it’ll be on live TV, and it’ll be huge. There’s a small C2 in Luxembourg tomorrow as well, but that will not attract many (if any) of the big guns. Monday will mark the first comparatively small race we’ll do, and Wednesday will be similar. Both are C2’s, but they’ll be well-attended. Last year I was able to finish in the top 20 of both, so we’ll see….

Memorable moments of 2005

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Here’s my list of news and events I remember most from 2005:

And that’s just off the top of my head. What do you remember most?

CCC announces bike safety grants

Friday, December 30th, 2005

The Community Cycling Center has funding through the Oregon Dept. of Transportation for grants up to $5,000 for “innovative and creative” bike safety programs that “incorporate a strong educational element.”

Applications are due Feb 23.

For more information or to receive your application packet, contact Jen Robinson with your name, name of your agency/ organization, full postal address, phone number, fax number, and e-mail address.

Tribune recaps fallen cyclists

Friday, December 30th, 2005

In today’s Portland Tribune, Jacob Quinn Sanders profiles the four cyclists who were killed on the streets of Portland in 2005.

…even in bike-mad Portland, it can be easy to forget those riders once had names, faces, friends and families. Aside from the memorial rides organized in their honor, there is little public accounting of who they were.

These are their stories.

Read the full article…

Polo players need bikes

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

I’m a huge fan of bike polo. I played once this summer and it took about a week for my grin to wear off. Now I get word from Dabby that they’re running low on polo bikes. The problem is that they’re very hard on equipment and the bikes they use are modified specifically for polo. Six bikes are needed to play and currently they’ve got only 5.

I’ll let Dabby fill you in on the details, in his usual style…


Bike Bulletin January 2006

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Brought to you bike Shift to Bikes.

Filmed by Bike IV, a festival of bike-themed movies in April 2006, is calling for entries of bike-related film shorts of 8 minutes or less. Deadline for entries is March 15, 2006. Proceeds from Filmed by Bike IV will fund the Shift Multnomah County Bike Fair, a one day carnival of bicycle mayhem and music in June 2006. www.FilmedByBike.org
Contact: filmed@riseup.net


Shift Bike Bulletin

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

Just a heads up that from now on I’ll be posting the Shift Bike Bulletin. The Bike Bulletin is the bi-monthly comprehensive listing of local bike events put together by Shift to Bikes.

Besides wanting to keep you informed, I’m posting the Bulletin because in it’s current form (on an email listserv and a web page on the Shift site) it doesn’t have its own RSS feed. Chris Smith over at Portland Transport was particularly interested in this so he can add the feed to his new bike blog aggregator site, The Portland Bike Channel. So if you already subscribe to this site you’ll get the bulletin automatically, but if you’d like to subscribe only to the Bike Bulletin feed, plug this address into your feed reader.

BTW, Shift needs a volunteer to take over the Bike Bulletin duties. If you want the inside scoop on all the bikey happenings and want to help out with this important role, contact bikebulletin[at]shifttobikes[dot]com.

Report: Loenhout GVA (C1) ‘Cross Criterium

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

We just got back from the Loenhout GVA, and all our guys in the elite race finished it up. The course was spectacularly short and fast due to the cold (-1C = 30F) and dry conditions today. ‘Twas a 5min. lap, and we did 12 of ‘em, averaging I think over 20mph. There was a big crash at the start, and I just barely got caught up in it. I tried to go wide, but another rider came wide, too, and just sandwiched me into the fence. Then I got rear-ended. No, it wasn’t as fun and erotic as it sounds. Anyway, I extracted myself quickly after watching the top 30+ guys ride away, including all of our guys except Mr. Powers, who was just behind the crash but not in it. I quickly hooked up with him, and boy did we chase. Jeremy said later that he knew he’d get there if he was with me–I think that’s a nice compliment. After one lap we were still not there, but at the end of #2 we were close. When I turned onto the 400m-long (at least) finish straight, I could see Aphrodisiwicks (who’s so easy to spot) and Roger Hammond (similarly easy to spot for opposite reasons) up the road by 10sec., so I made it my goal in life to get there. Enter my best moments in the race. I checked to see that Powers was on my wheel, ignored all else, and put it down.

Not every day does somebody like me get to chase down in one pull a guy who has finished on the podium at Paris-Roubaix. (After the race and reliving another similar effort, Jon Baker said that following me on the pavement was “like riding behind a derny”–another nice compliment from a peer, me thinks.) But those efforts were hard on me. The rest of the course requires speed and power, too, but quickness was also key. I was not able to capitalize on my strengths; instead, I was ultimately hurt by them.

As things turned out, there were 13 of us split between 2 groups never more than 8sec. apart for the last 8 or 9 laps. Hammond won that first group, finishing 34th at 2:52 down. Thankfully, Powers actually put my strength and then a whole lot of his to good use, stayed with that group, and finished 36th overall. My group of 7 turned onto the finish straight 4sec. after those 6, and Jon Baker got 2nd in that sprint to finish 40th, with Wicks at 41st (or 42nd), still 4sec. back. Most of the rest of us kinda sprinted for a while, but I just rolled in today, hitting the pavement last of the bunch and finishing there, in 45th, losing 30sec. in the process. I was strong, but I had to use it early to get in the race, often to chase, and throughout to close gaps. I just wasn’t good enough to get away or bridge to the next group.

I don’t favor tight crosses that are decided by seconds, as most of my friends know. I don’t really struggle with them; I just don’t have the skills to beat out guys in such fast and tight conditions. I’m there, but that’s the problem: I need to be in front by a couple of seconds on a day like today. Admittedly, I was tired and frustrated by the finish….

We’ve had very easy conditions thus far. Today was all gas all the time, but I still think it was, relatively speaking, an easy-ish race. I mean, we were barely a half-lap down but racing for 40th. It’s cool to be only a half lap down, but the joy is quite tempered by being in a 13 man group racing for 34th place! Yes, this weather is cramping my style. Too many guys are left standing in the races. I will pray for rain, and I promise I will not complain if said rain causes me trouble. I’ll also work to improve my accelerating and sprinting….

Today, I felt good, like I think I should be feeling. I think I’m better than last year, and that’s my goal. However, my finish places in 2 of 3 so far have been worse than last year. That said, I’ve been closer to the front in 2 of 3, coming up short in the one I stacked in. We’ll see. The World Cup on Saturday is my main goal, and I plan to actually put it all together that day. Again, we’ll see….Barry had been in that first group I keep speaking of until he broke off his seatpost on the BMX humps. He tried to carry his carbon shard and seat away by hand, then by stuffing it in his jersey, and finally by biting into the seat, which he later said tasted pretty good. I went by him but drifted to the back of my group (which slowed it down because–no surprise here–nobody really pulled that hard. So, we went by the pit, and I could see Barry take a pit just 5sec. behind us. He made it to us by the finish straight, and then he jumped up next to me and we both went to the front. Sweet! I love riding with Wicks in crosses, but I think today he had stuff to put him in front of Hammond’s group. No, he for sure had better stuff. He should have been in the top 30. Last year, he and I finished, I think, 28th and 30th here under much more favorable conditions, if you know what I mean….Ryan finished 16th after fading to 28th after the very large front group crashed late in the first lap. He was only 45sec. down, and I heard he nearly pulled off a move that could have had him in the top 10. He’s fast….Nijs is even faster. He was taken out in the same crash I guess, and nearly went out of the top 20. He methodically passed one guy at a time and eventually won.

All that brings me to the quote of the day: “At this point, Sven can miss the start, get a flat, go into the pit and have sex with his wife, and still win the fucking race.” Yup, Jeremy Powers is a funny kid. Did I all ready say that I love the guy?!..Well, that’s probably enough, what with the swearing, so I’ll go to my room now. Perhaps I’ll write a rest-day journal tomorrow if Newter lets me (and helps me) use his computer, again. –Erik