MADERA STAGE RACE

March 31st, 2011 Comments off

March 12 -13, 55+, 1,2,3,4

by Paco Lindsay

The first race of the season for myself, along with two other 55 Plus men on the team, Edgar Leano and Paul Gossi was the Madera Stage race.  First stage is a 45 minute crit.  Being literally my first hard day on the bike since October, though having XC skied along with some XC races, it felt strange to be asking the legs to go hard. At times my heart rate was low, but the watts could not go up and the legs were not there. What was I thinking? We all finished the crit in the pack sprint.

Next up in the after noon was a 10 mile TT.  For myself, after one mile, went “Not today”.  Legs were in revolt from the crit, so rode it at a pretty low heart rate figuring at Sunday’s road race Paul would be sitting high up in GC so would have to work. It turned out Paul won the TT so he came out sitting 1st in GC.

The Road race was pretty active, with Edgar, Paul and I staying up at or near the front for the first two circuits.  On the last lap one rider got up the road and just as we were going to chase, the cat 1-2s passed us, making us neutralize for a few minutes.  By the time we got going again the rider was totally out of site.  Now we really had to motor as with that big of a lead, Paul’s GC win was out the window, as well other teams had an interest to chase.  After some hard miles of chasing the lone rider could be seen again. If you know the Madera road, the “Paris Roubaix” section is on the back side about six miles from the start finish line.  Just as we were coming off the worst section, I was in the back with totally dead legs and I see a bike fly in the air and riders hitting the deck. As I rolled by I saw Edgar in pain along with another good friend, Paul Chuck on the ground with a shattered helmet. Since my legs were shut down, I stopped to help. Of six down all but two got going leaving one guy with a broken bike, and Edgar.  Edgar had a good cut on his hand, had very sore ribs and a cut tire.  I tried to get the tire going with a “Gu wrapper boot” but it was too big of a cut and blew up that tube.  Finally an official follow car showed up, patched up Edgar’s hand and we got a wheel change so we could ride in. Found out Paul had come in decent in the sprint finish and had won the overall GC. A great job done by Paul, in his first 55+ race (yep we all keep having birthdays).  I see a lot more win’s coming for Paul.  Edgar was bruised up, but no broken bones.

SNOWSHOE THOMPSON CLASSIC RACE

December 30th, 2010 Comments off

The annual Snowshoe Thompson Classic Race at Auburn Ski Club is never at a loss for drama, it seems. It’s traditionally the first “major” of the season for the Far West Nordic Ski Division, combining the first Junior Olympic qualifier, Fischer Cup points, a holiday crowd full of fast older juniors and seniors back to visit family, and of course, traditionally challenging Sierra snow conditions for classic waxing.

Rick Reynolds

Fortunately, the Boxing Day race date (that’s the day after Christmas for you south of the Canadian border folks) was fairly straightforward in its conditions, but never easy. Glide wax was the classic Sierra condition: new snow falling overnight in the mid-to-upper 20’s, with warming and glazing in the morning, leading to an easy pick of HF8 and FC8X (in its various forms, depending on your mood and application selection).

Grip wax, on the other hand, was a little bit more of a moving target. Because of the number of racers on the course, warming conditions (but still snowing), and a 2-lap race for most of the competitors (leading to glazing tracks), it would be a danger to try to wax strictly for the temperatures, which would have led to a VR45 range. Warmer waxes were tried, some covered, some not, with the majority of competitors ending up in the VR55 to VR60 range, with varying results depending on their ski flex and classic technique. But it was still an improvement in conditions over many a past SST event, when waxing has often been even more challenging.

For the second year in the row, and to no one’s surprise, returned local Matthew Gelso — formerly of the University of Colorado and U.S. “B” Team skier — sped to a runaway 1 minute-plus victory in 27:10 over former Truckee High skier Russell Kennedy. Kennedy, currently living in Canada and training with the Canadian teams, was also over a minute faster than 3rd place Austin Meng, a senior at the Sugar Bowl Academy.

Laura Stern

The women’s race winner was also no surprise, as Beth Reid of Palo Alto won her division with a time of 32:23, 30 seconds ahead of XC Oregon’s Stephanie Howe. Judy Rabinowitz, along with Reid another former Olympian, was third, 2 and a half minutes back. One competitor who might have given Reid a race for her money was her daughter, junior skier Joanne Reid of the University of Colorado. But because of the Junior Qualifier division, the younger Reid elected to race in the 5K distance, and won that one overall with a time of 15:24. First in the Men’s 5K, and second overall, was Truckee High’s Jackson Rohlf.
Full results are available at:

http://www.farwestnordic.org/raceresults/results20102011/asc_snowshoethompson10.html

A complete photo gallery is online from MacBeth Graphics:

http://macbethgraphics.smugmug.com/NORDIC-RACING/Nordic-Races/SNOWSHOE-THOMPSON-2010/

Mark Nadell

Categories: Nordic Ski Racing

WE’RE SKIING!

November 25th, 2010 Comments off

With all of this incredible new snow in Truckee/Tahoe, we’ve gotten off to the best November start in memory. (And the fact that some of us are getting old means that we have lots of years of experience, but that’s balanced by the fact that our memories aren’t what they used to be.

Here’s  a shot  from yesterday’s “Pre-Opening” ski at Tahoe Donner. With Tahoe Donner opening on Thanksgiving Day, Royal Gorge the next day, and Tahoe Cross Country over at the Lake having opened earlier in the week, it’s definitely time to scrape off the summer wax, put on a coat of colder powder glide and/or some Extra Blue for you striders, and get out there and ENJOY!

Peter Taylor enjoys the perfect tracks (on top of 5 feet of new snow) in Euer Valley

High Noon Aspen, Peter Taylor

Categories: GENERAL POSTS, SKI REPORTS

TOUR of CALIFORNIA COMES TO TAHOE!

October 9th, 2010 Comments off

The Host Cities were just announced for the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, and Lake Tahoe will be PROMINENTLY featured in the first two stages. The first stage will start in South Lake Tahoe and the racers will travel 1 and a half times around the Lake, finishing at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort. Stage Two will begin in Squaw Valley, go through Truckee, and then up and over Donner Pass before heading down for a finish in Sacramento.

Check out the Press Release: Click Here!

Paco’s Race Team was featured in the video promoting the Lake Tahoe stages. Check out the video: Click Here!

Categories: GENERAL POSTS

Everest Challenge Road Race

October 3rd, 2010 Comments off

What possesses some individuals to push the limits of physical intelligence is a question I had to ask myself. 4 members of the Truckee Bike team (Rick Reynolds, Debbie Hakansson, Dave Montgomery and myself, Dan Warren) participated in a bike race known as The Everest Challenge. So called because of the 29,035 feet of climbing in 2 days of racing that it accomplishes. It is known as the undisputed most difficult two day race and ride in the USA with categories for USA Cycling racers and a public “fun ride” category.

Dave, Rick, and Dan in the Owens Valley

I had not done any training specific for this race but I had done some long climbs and had ridden Donner Summit in under 18 minutes on several occasions. I was ready, but the more I read the course descriptions the more it scared me. Rick was nice enough to go down weeks before to do some reconnaissance rides and came back saying he was scared.  Great, now I’ve got those cold sweat fears that make one question other options. Still, I convinced myself that it couldn’t be that hard and reflected at the Donner Summit climb as a gauge of 3.1 miles, 1000 feet of climbing at an average of 6.4% grade. Just to set some fear and make you shake out of your cleats the last climb of the last day is 21 miles long with 6160 feet of elevation gain, the last 3 miles average over 10% and tops out at over 10,000 feet in elevation. And this is on the easy day!

The start line is like a grocery store milk aisle: you know, 1% fat, 2% fat, riders with legs that look like a road map of Europe with skin that has so little fat that you can see every vain running up and down their legs.
This group could seriously skew the obesity stats in America. I’m running about 8lbs heavier that my young fast racing days but keep thinking that this is an advantage in some mysterious way.

The morning starts out in the low 40’s with Rick, Dave and myself in a category leaving an hour after Debbie’s 6:30am start. We wind our way through high desert cattle country with the smell of early morning dew on sweet smelling sage. As the sun rises the rabbit brush is in full bloom with its yellow flowers glowing as curious cows look at the strange spectacle that is taking place. The peloton, about 55 in our group, is in no hurry as we have about 8 miles of rolling terrain before we start up the “warm up climb” of 22 miles and just under 6,000 feet of climbing. This climb goes up the highest paved road in the Sierras topping out at 10,250’. As we start the climb the pace is stiff and I stay with the lead bunch as it sheds riders until there are about 15 riders when I decide that it is a long race with a lot of work ahead and slow down to save energy. Rick is ahead of me and Dave behind, as it will stay for the remainder of the day. When we hit about 9,000 feet in elevation the fall colors are putting on a spectacular show with some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. Crystal clear alpine lakes lined with golden aspen trees and 14,000’ granite peaks speckled with snowfields as the back drop.  As we start the second climb the temperature has really heated up and as beautiful as this climb is the tall narrow granite canyon is just reflecting the heat right back to you. The sweat is really starting to pour as I look up the canyon with what looks to be one of those 14,000’ peaks as my objective.

The climbs are long, steep, and hot.

A quick descent and a few miles across rolling terrain. We pass by the start line and I see riders stopping and loading their bikes on their cars. I struggle with the option but keep going. The start of the last 20 mile long climb to South Lake. The temperature is in the high 90’s and there isn’t a tree in sight. I set a slow pace and am starting to not feel so well. The heat, altitude and the need to drink large quantities of fluids are taking their toll. My normal training rides rarely last more than 5 hours and I may drink two to three water bottles of fluid. Today I have already drank 20 bottles of fluids and have another 10 miles of climbing. I have stopped racing and am barely riding; the climb is taking its toll on other riders as I see what are normally formidable racers, who prefer the pace being 28 miles an hour, now sitting on the sides of the road with distance defeated looks on their faces. This climb is humbling some of the best athletes in North America. After a section of 10% grade that last about 4 miles I am convinced of two things. There is no way I will be able to get on my bike tomorrow and that a quick gunshot would be a less painful way to end this day. Everything is hurting, my feet hurt, my hands, helmet, shoes, glasses, even my hair has become an issue.  My stubbornness keeps me going and I’m thinking that I am going to finish when I realized that some sadistic race planner put in a couple of sections of 15% grades near the finish. My mind now floating in that limbo between the living and  death as visions of gothic creatures are spinning around my waiting for my demise. A rider passes me on a short flat and then around the corner another 15% grade. I see the frame of a normal cycling gladiator dismount his bike, take off his shoes and start walking as I crawl past him wondering if his option is the better one at this point. Finally, the top and the finish line. A great refueling stop scattered with salt incrusted athletes trying to realign their vision. Great quesadillas as I go for a hand full of olives because my body is craving salt. 102 miles and 15,465 feet of climbing now behind me and a quick ride back to the start line.

An evening of reminiscing of the day’s events, some good Mexican food for dinner and a restless night of sleep, and we are at it again the next morning. Hearing that some of the riders were taking up to 25 salt (electrolyte) tablets during yesterday’s race made me decide to take some during today’s race. A body gets to a point where you can drink as much fluid as can but without the electrolytes to balance the water intake your body will stop absorbing fluids and you will end up bloated with a belly ache and heat stroke. I was walking that line yesterday and didn’t want to fall over the edge today.

The morning starts in the upper 40’s again but the first climb comes after only a couple of miles and is steep and hot. It is listed at only 9 miles long and an average of 8% what it doesn’t tell you is that the top 3 miles are not steep at all and that you have a section of about 4 miles at about 12% grade. A good wake up call for the morning as Dave and ride together and are joined by several members of the Wells Fargo cycling team. We leave the Sierra Nevada range on a fast exposed decent and we head across the valley to take on two climbs in the White Mountain Range. The second climb of the day is Waucoba Canyon. This is the easiest climb of the two day in terms of length, total climbing and steepness but what it doesn’t take into account is that this is a fully exposed true desert experience. It is so dry there is hardly any sage brush growing and the landscape is more moon like with bare rocky terrain and roasting temperatures in the 90’s. I start seeing riders stopped at the sides of the road succumbing to the glaring heat. Not normally this hot, we are racing in a record breaking heat wave with Los Angles reaching 113 the day before. I am happy to have Dave as company as make our way up this climb. I take on extra water and electrolyte tablets at the top of the climb and start down. As we make our way past the start line and the beginning of the race’s last climb, the thermometer is flirting with the 100 degree mark. The true caliber of this climb sets in when I pass the 4000’ elevation sign knowing that I need to climb to over 10,000’ before I cross the finish line. Hot, dry, long, steep, call it what you like but I am feeling better today on this last climb than on yesterdays last climb. Half way up I pass a water stop and load my jersey pockets with ice and top off my water bottles. The cool ice on my back is a great relief and helps me carry on up the climb. The last 5 miles start taking its toll on the racers as I start to pass the carnage of exhausted racers stopped or walking. I’m lacking strength but my motor feels pretty good as I push on. I am ready for the short sections of 17% grade but it starts to feel like the finish line will never come; just around the next bend or top of that little rise. My optimistic mind is starting to make me frustrated at the finish that seems like it will just never come. Finally it is there and a huge relief of an accomplishment that was questionable at so many points.

Food and rest at the top for a while and then with a smile I look forward to the ride back down as it is steep fast and technical. Just the way I like it. It is like riding into a blast furnace with single digit humidity my eyes  feel like they will dry open and my skin will start to crack from lack of moisture. On the ride down I meet up with Jenny, one of the riders on the Wells Fargo team, finishing up her second time at this event. Jenny told me that she had tried to tell other riders on her team what to expect but her message wasn’t quite sinking through to them. I can’t agree more. This is a race where the first time you do it you experience it. But racing it was something that needed to left to a second or third attempt. I could ride Donner Summit 29 times in a weekend but it would never get me ready for this. The steepness, the duration of time climbing, the altitude, and the heat are factors that take a large toll on you. I found that something that I missed on both days was that my fluid and food intake were off. The first day suffering from lack of fluid and the second day succumbing to lack of power because I hadn’t eaten enough. Lesson learned.

Debbie honors us with a 4th place in her category, Rick gave us a top 10 with a 9th place, I rolled in 26th and Dave right behind with 29th. Congratulations Truckee bike Team for the strong showing at an event that just scares most racers away.

Would I do it again? Last week it was a definite “No” this week I am in the maybe thought, How soon the memory forgets the bad and reflects on the good.

This guy was chasing me up the last climb but he couldn’t catch me, Ha!

Categories: Road Bike Racing

Reno Wheelmen Criterium Championships

September 3rd, 2010 Comments off

August 31, 2010
By Dan Warren, Paco’s Truckee Bike Team Rider

A perfect evening for a bike race, clear skies, mild temps and light winds. Jordan McElroy, Paco, Doug Gonda and I lined up to represent the Truckee Bike Team for the final twilight race of the year. Our pre-race strategy was like it is for most races when we kind of look at each other and ask around to see who is feeling good. Jordan, Paco and I have some fatigue from Sunday’s ride on the Corkscrew.  Jordan and I talked a bit about an early race break away attempt but we needed to see how the race would unfold before we stuck to a plan. For a change we had a neutral first lap, Paco moved to the front and set tempo to let the pack know who they would have to contend with for the rest of the race. Lap two was a cash prime lap and Jordan told me he wanted it. It usually takes me about 10 minutes of racing before I feel like I can give a 100% effort but I thought I would tag on Jordan’s wheel to see where it leads. As we went around the last turn into the finishing straight Jordan steps on it with me on his wheel. A red haired junior racer flies by on our right side and a couple of others are coming up on our left, I jump out from behind Jordan and try to catch the junior but can’t seal the deal. I’m thinking that this kid has a good sprint and I should keep my eye on him.

Paco leads it out. Photo courtesy of Thomas Compton, Alpenglow Images.

The race rolls along with a few attacks being made but nothing sticking. A pizza prime rings about half way through the race, I’m hesitant and come through the last turn in about 12 position when one rider takes off. I hesitate but then decide to go. I need to feel how my strength is so I try to close the 30 yard gap that I gave the other rider but he gets me by a bike length at the line. Feeling good and getting better and because I didn’t give it all up in the sprint, I decide to keep going. The other rider grabs my wheel and I put it down for the next lap. We get about a 10 to 15 second lead as I flip my elbow to let the other rider take a turn at the front. As I ride behind him I can see he doesn’t have the moxie to keep a high tempo so I hit it again to increase the pace. After 2 and a half laps my motor can’t keep it up and as I drop behind my break way companion the time gap falls until we are caught. As we are caught several riders are trying a counter attack that is stringing the pack out and it makes it hard to get my heart rate down so I can accelerate to get back in the pack. I settle in and try to recover when a lap latter I see Frank and another ride make a vicious attack. I’m sitting in about mid pack and see no others go but am not quite rested from my earlier attack. I can’t wait thinking that this might be “the move” so I give it my all to bridge up to them. I make it up to them and they are setting an amazingly fast pace that is just killing me. This was the break that was going to stick but my earlier efforts are causing me to feel like feeding prop at an alligator pit.  After 2 laps my legs are screaming so loud it is making me deaf and I realized that I probably couldn’t hang on much longer. I was just prolonging the inevitable drop so I drop off and get absorbed by the pack. I need to rest and I know that Sundays ride on the cork screw was wearing on my, Paco’s and Jordan’s legs so I’m thinking a race for third might be my future. Paco had different ideas and went to the front and started to try to motivate the pack to chase. I am happy to sit in the pack and recover and decide to stay in conservation mode. A prime bell with 4 laps to and Doug decides to go for it. The Pack just sits thinking that the two riders out front will pick up the prize but the thing that they and I did not hear was “pack prime” Good job Doug on picking up the prize and staying alert.

Jordan and I talk and he is going to lead me out for the finish so I get on his wheel for the ride in. The pace is not bad with some in the pack still trying to catch the two breakaway riders with the margin closing every minute as fatigue sets into their legs. Just like in the Tour you start to wonder if the sprinters were going to catch the break away or did the chase start to late. Penultimate lap and Jordan and I are sitting near the back of the pack. I worry because I’ve been in races were the last couple of laps are at 30+mph and if you are in 25th place getting to the front can be almost impossible. Not tonight, the bell rings to signal the final lap and the pack slows up and bunch, everyone starts looking at each other to see who will lead out. Another pitfall you can fall into is ending up at the front way before need to be and I had already told Jordan to not be at the front until at the most a half a lap to go. All of this when bam! Like it had been scripted Paco grabs the lead with Jordan on his wheel and me on Jordan’s. Where is the camera when you need it? Three Truckee bike team riders at the front stringing out the group of quivering prognosticators that are fighting for dust sucking honors. Paco swings off with about a half a lap as Jordan pushes into the head wind with me nailed on his wheel. As we pass one of breakaway riders he looks like he went to the bank to cash out everything he had, used his overdraft protection and still got left on the side of the road. So close.  We come around the last corner and I’m yelling at Jordan to give it his all but he can’t drop into is small cog and is spun out, I know our speed isn’t high enough but we are still too far out so I stay on his wheel probably just a little too long because the red haired Junior comes around on my right and another riders up on our left. I take off after the junior but had given him just a little too much real estate advantage as we near the finish I am gaining on him but can’t catch him. I pull back a half a bike length on the rider on the left and at the Finish line the Junior passes just passes Frank, as I throw my bike across the line about a bike length behind Frank and I hope inches ahead of the rider on my left.

I talk to Doug after the race and he said that the sprint was going about 37mph.  Figures, as it is every year with me just as my sprint, climbing and riding are up to competitive levels the season is over. Then off to Nordic skiing to that I can suffer like a dog until I peak for the Mammoth Marathon.  What I can say is that it is so much more enjoyable to ride races with a team than not. It reminded me of the old days of the Tahoe Sierra Cycling team. I can’t wait until next race season.

Categories: Road Bike Racing

Reno Wheelmen Twilight Criterium Championship Race

September 3rd, 2010 Comments off

A perfect evening for a bike race, clear skies, mild temps and light winds. Jordan McElroy, Paco, Doug Gonda and I lined up to represent the Truckee Bike Team for the final twilight race of the year. Our pre-race strategy was like it is for most races when we kind of look at each other and ask around to see who is feeling good. Jordan, Paco and I have some fatigue from Sunday’s ride on the Corkscrew.  Jordan and I talked a bit about an early race break away attempt but we needed to see how the race would unfold before we stuck to a plan. For a change we had a neutral first lap, Paco moved to the front and set tempo to let the pack know who they would have to contend with for the rest of the race. Lap two was a cash prime lap and Jordan told me he wanted it. It usually takes me about 10 minutes of racing before I feel like I can give a 100% effort but I thought I would tag on Jordan’s wheel to see where it leads. As we went around the last turn into the finishing straight Jordan steps on it with me on his wheel. A red haired junior racer flies by on our right side and a couple of others are coming up on our left, I jump out from behind Jordan and try to catch the junior but can’t seal the deal. I’m thinking that this kid has a good sprint and I should keep my eye on him.

The race rolls along with a few attacks being made but nothing sticking. A pizza prime rings about half way through the race, I’m hesitant and come through the last turn in about 12 position when one rider takes off. I hesitate but then decide to go. I need to feel how my strength is so I try to close the 30 yard gap that I gave the other rider but he gets me by a bike length at the line. Feeling good and getting better and because I didn’t give it all up in the sprint, I decide to keep going. The other rider grabs my wheel and I put it down for the next lap. We get about a 10 to 15 second lead as I flip my elbow to let the other rider take a turn at the front. As I ride behind him I can see he doesn’t have the moxie to keep a high tempo so I hit it again to increase the pace. After 2 and a half laps my motor can’t keep it up and as I drop behind my break way companion the time gap falls until we are caught. As we are caught several riders are trying a counter attack that is stringing the pack out and it makes it hard to get my heart rate down so I can accelerate to get back in the pack. I settle in and try to recover when a lap latter I see Frank and another ride make a vicious attack. I’m sitting in about mid pack and see no others go but am not quite rested from my earlier attack. I can’t wait thinking that this might be “the move” so I give it my all to bridge up to them. I make it up to them and they are setting an amazingly fast pace that is just killing me. This was the break that was going to stick but my earlier efforts are causing me to feel like feeding prop at an alligator pit.  After 2 laps my legs are screaming so loud it is making me deaf and I realized that I probably couldn’t hang on much longer. I was just prolonging the inevitable drop so I drop off and get absorbed by the pack. I need to rest and I know that Sundays ride on the cork screw was wearing on my, Paco’s and Jordan’s legs so I’m thinking a race for third might be my future. Paco had different ideas and went to the front and started to try to motivate the pack to chase. I am happy to sit in the pack and recover and decide to stay in conservation mode. A prime bell with 4 laps to and Doug decides to go for it. The Pack just sits thinking that the two riders out front will pick up the prize but the thing that they and I did not hear was “pack prime” Good job Doug on picking up the prize and staying alert.

Jordan and I talk and he is going to lead me out for the finish so I get on his wheel for the ride in. The pace is not bad with some in the pack still trying to catch the two breakaway riders with the margin closing every minute as fatigue sets into their legs. Just like in the Tour you start to wonder if the sprinters were going to catch the break away or did the chase start to late. Penultimate lap and Jordan and I are sitting near the back of the pack. I worry because I’ve been in races were the last couple of laps are at 30+mph and if you are in 25th place getting to the front can be almost impossible. Not tonight, the bell rings to signal the final lap and the pack slows up and bunch, everyone starts looking at each other to see who will lead out. Another pitfall you can fall into is ending up at the front way before need to be and I had already told Jordan to not be at the front until at the most a half a lap to go. All of this when bam! Like it had been scripted Paco grabs the lead with Jordan on his wheel and me on Jordan’s. Where is the camera when you need it? Three Truckee bike team riders at the front stringing out the group of quivering prognosticators that are fighting for dust sucking honors. Paco swings off with about a half a lap as Jordan pushes into the head wind with me nailed on his wheel. As we pass one of breakaway riders he looks like he went to the bank to cash out everything he had, used his overdraft protection and still got left on the side of the road. So close.  We come around the last corner and I’m yelling at Jordan to give it his all but he can’t drop into is small cog and is spun out, I know our speed isn’t high enough but we are still too far out so I stay on his wheel probably just a little too long because the red haired Junior comes around on my right and another riders up on our left. I take off after the junior but had given him just a little too much real estate advantage as we near the finish I am gaining on him but can’t catch him. I pull back a half a bike length on the rider on the left and at the Finish line the Junior passes just passes Frank, as I throw my bike across the line about a bike length behind Frank and I hope inches ahead of the rider on my left.

I talk to Doug after the race and he said that the sprint was going about 37mph.  Figures, as it is every year with me just as my sprint, climbing and riding are up to competitive levels the season is over. Then off to Nordic skiing to that I can suffer like a dog until I peak for the Mammoth Marathon.  What I can say is that it is so much more enjoyable to ride races with a team than not. It reminded me of the old days of the Tahoe Sierra Cycling team. I can’t wait until next race season.

OUR SPONSORS

August 31st, 2010 Comments off

PacosXC.com

Paco’s Truckee Bike Team is proud to be affiliated with the following organizations:

Tahoe Forest Hospital
Tahoe Forest Hospital Health & Sports Performance Center

The Tahoe Center for Health & Sports Performance mission is dedicated to restoring and optimizing your health and performance. Whether you are a first-time exerciser, a weekend warrior, senior citizen, recovering patient, elite athlete or just looking to improve your overall health, we can customize a program for you.

As part of the Tahoe Forest Health System, we offer services that include a sports performance center, an athlete training center, physical therapy and rehab services, a fitness center and integrated health services. Our combination of services has a wellness and education focus for our clients, patients and participants. Located in Truckee, California we offer services to members of our community but also to individuals traveling or visiting the Lake Tahoe area.

Truckee River Winery

Truckee River Winery

Truckee River Winery is located just 20 minutes from the majestic Lake Tahoe, minutes away from Northstar, Squaw Valley and downtown Truckee.

Truckee River Winery was established 21 years ago with the vision of sourcing quality grapes, bringing the fruit to Truckee in order to take advantage of the high elevation and cold temperatures, to naturally cool the fermentation and slow down the barrel aging process. Thus becoming the highest and coldest winery. Our focus from the beginning has been to produce hand crafted wines with great structure and finesse. Our award winning Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir is the winermaker’s pride and joy. Come and visit our new tasting room and enjoy all of our unique and distinctive wines.

Truckee River Winery

Truckee Tahoe Medical Group

We specialize in comprehensive primary care, from birth to elderly. We would like to be your family’s medical provider. We will take care of you if you have a strep throat or need to be in the hospital, if you need stitches or break a bone. We will help you treat your diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression. We will be your consultant to prevent diseases and keep you and your family healthy. No one does more for your health.

Categories: TEAM SPONSORS

Boca Road Race Championships 2010

August 26th, 2010 1 comment

Boca Championship Road Race
August 24, 2010
by Dan Warren, Paco’s Truckee Team Rider

Ah, the last Boca race of the year. A pleasant warm evening with little wind greeted the cyclist who have shown up to brag for championship rights for the year. I was sorry to see that only Peter Taylor, Jordan McElroy and myself were representing the Truckee / Paco’s bike team but we knew we would represent well. Peter, by reason of superman genetics, was relegated to race with the A’s while Jordan and myself were 2 of about 25 B’s that left the line. A funny note is that a young man with very high esteem rolled up to the start line of the A group wearing some basketball shorts and no shirt. He told Rich that he wanted to race with the big boys, Rich told him that the “big boys” raced in the C group but the fast ones raced A’s. So he left with the A’s. He didn’t do too bad for the lead B group didn’t catch him until after the last climb on the way back.

Back to the games. The B group rolled out to a lazy start, almost too slow. Jordan and I rode in the front 5 to keep an eye on the others but by the time we got about a mile into it I had enough and decided to try to liven up the race a bit. No one came and no one chased. Ah crap, now I’m out here alone in time trial mode. My legs were still a bit tired from Sundays 100 mile time trial but I put my head down and rode hard. Jordan stayed at the front and rode on the wheel of anyone who tried to chase. I made it to the bottom of the Dam climb before I slowed knowing that the group would eat me up. As we started the climb I just hoped that the 30 seconds of rest I just had would get me over in a group that would stay in contact with the leaders. Up ahead I saw Jordan at the front putting the hurt on all challengers while I was suffering in my own personal purgatory of trying to climb and recover at the same time.  Half way up I felt better and passed about 10 guys and latched onto a group of 3 not too far behind the leaders of the climb. We managed to ride hard and catch the lead group just before the turn around. In the process we passed Jordan who looked like he had been gut punched and was challenging the snails for drafting privileges. I hoped he was okay as he was still riding. After the turn around and as we neared the dam Jordan rejoined the lead group and said that he blew chunks on the climb,  was trying to recover and had cut back early on the course to join us before the turn around. This meant that he was out for the sprint and I was going to have to sprint for Truckee Bike Team honor. I was still a bit tired from my earlier efforts and the group was riding very defensive so it was a good time to hang back and rest.  I did put in a bit of a dig after the Dam turnaround but everyone was still riding strong. They had patched the gravel on Stampede dam so the ride back was nice and I started to look for the strong riders to lead me out for the finish. As we got into the canyon Jordan asked me if I would like a lead-out for the finish. I said “yes” and got on his wheel. I thought that this will be interesting to see how it plays out but I will trust him and stay put until the end. As we went through the canyon there were a few accelerations that picked up the pace and Jordan and I faded towards the back, In my mind I wanted to be closer to the front but my team dedication said to stay on his wheel. About a mile and a half out there was a slight slowing in the pack with two groups of two trying their luck just slightly off the front. Jordan quickly maneuvered through the pack as I bumped off anyone who was trying to grab his wheel. Jordan accelerated up to the two who were just off front and I thought that he was going to sit on their wheel for the ride in but he kept accelerating with me tagged on his wheel. From just over a mile out Jordan was pegging the pace at around 30mph and simply strung out the struggling prognosticators who thought that they had a plan to win. I thought, “this is way too far out to do this and I’ll be left to dry in short order” but Jordan just kept it pegged like he had the throttle rolled all of the way back on his moto, he never slowed until we got within 250 meters of the finish. Amazing effort! I had started to come around on Jordan’s left when the rider that was on my wheel was trying to come around on my left. Jordan did a great job of riding straight up the center of the road and I had to decide if I was going to block the entire left side or be a gentleman and stay tight on Jordan’s left so I didn’t push the other rider over the center line. The Gentleman racer in me won out but was not able to outsprint him at the end.  I was able to back off near the finish and take second because third was so distant. An Awesome lead out that left others gasping for air like a 300lb linebacker after running 50 yards. After the finish and talking with other racers they said it was all they had to stay single file into the finish just hanging on the wheel of the rider in front of them. No squirrely scary centerline crossing pack sprint tonight.

Next week the Crit Championships and I hope that I can return the favor.

Tour de Napa Valley, 2010

August 25th, 2010 Comments off

TOUR de NAPA VALLEY
August 22, 2010

by Dan Warren, Paco’s Truckee Team Rider

This tour began my long cycling history when my Father pressured me along on this tour in 1976 when I was 16 years old. There were no 30 or 60 mile options, just the whole enchilada of 100 miles; this is one of the reasons that they were called century rides for a long time. Back in the day the tour finished by going up Oakville grade at about mile 85. For those who have not experienced Oakville grade it is one of the toughest and well known climbs in CA. Oakville grade rises something like 800’ in about a mile. 18% average with pitches to over 20%. Hard to believe the pavement will stick sometimes. My bike was a old steel bike with 54X48 steel cottered chain rings and  14X34 five sprocket freewheel. The only aluminum part on the bike may have been the “safety lever” brake levers. I rode this beast in the Davis Double century a year later. Praise the carbon gods for bringing us out of the steel age.

I started this year’s ride started at about 7:15am with a mandated time window to leave between 6 and 8am. The 100 milers would start on a different route than the others and then meet up with them latter. It was a nice high fog morning similar to the fog they have been having all summer in Napa. The high fog keeps it cool without sticking to your glasses and keeps visibility good.

I rolled by several groups of riders on my way to Mt, Veeder and the first climb of the day. I was just warming up so my speed was not much faster than most but as soon as the grade hit about 3% riders were dropping into their small chain ring and starting to crawl along. I was feeling good and picked up my pace as the incline neared 10% but weaving my way through riders became a challenge at times. I respect anyone who challenges a 100 mile ride but when you are stopped at the side of the road looking at your map or walking on the first climb you should evaluate your level of ability. Near the top we broke through the fog with great views of a semi foggy scene with hills, trees, vineyards and old barns framed for perfect photos for those who would stop to do so. A bag pipe player greeted us at the top was playing taps, or some similar tune as his pipes squawked out the cacophony of fingernails on chalk board music. He had a large group of riders, who were exchanging stories of the blood spilled on the first obstacle of the day, resting before heading off again. I was feeling real good and flew over the top and started down the back side. Not a terribly technical decent but there are a couple of surprise sharp corners, very rough pavement and 12% grades. Again there were riders who were white knuckling it down the road at speeds that were slower than my climbing speeds. I was afraid that I might be scaring them as my Specialized Tarmac was performing flawlessly on the rough pavement and made me feel like I had suspension working to my advantage. A few riders would hang with me on the straights but no one was close to keeping the same cornering speeds that I was able to hold. It is great to be on a great bike.

The first rest stop of the day was at Don and Joanne Inglis’s house. The Inglis’s have a long cycling history and include their son Curt Inglis who makes custom frames. As well as being first class Bocce ball players on the famous “Rigatoni Rollers” Bocce team. I have had the pleasure of rolling a ball or two with them in the past.  I took on some fluids and headed off. After about 3 miles I met up with 3 other riders and we started working together. Once we turned north onto Silverado Trail with a super wide shoulder and perfect, smooth pavement one other rider (a young 20 something racer from Folsom) and I got into time trail mode and dropped the other two. We rode very hard up to the next rest stop. He needed to stop but I was good so I turned back onto the main route where I instantly grabbed a train of about 6 riders starting up a small hill. They were moving fast and it took a bit of effort to grab the end of the line but it was nice to sit on once I did. We had some slightly rolling terrain for a couple of miles and there were 3 guys from the same team and a couple of others in front of me. We were scooting at a fast pace when I heard a voice that I didn’t expect come from the front as the person setting the tempo pulled off. There was a skinny little blonde girl, no wait, a petite blond lady, that was driving the train. She dropped back a couple of spots, took a couple of minutes rest and then went back to the front and put the hammer down. Not wanting go faster or to get  involved in the Reindeer games I held back as we started the next climb of the day up Childs canyon. It starts out very gradual and then gets steeper ¾ of the way up and then graduals out again. Nothing over 7% I would guess. As the road tipped up and the pace stayed high we lost a couple of riders until I was sitting at the front, not wanting to hold up the train I put in my best effort and kept the pace high. Lucky my legs were feeling good and the low elevations gave plenty of air to breath because I never came out of my big chain ring and kept the hammer down hard.  As we went through the steeper section the blonde girl and one of the team riders were still with me with the team rider starting to struggle when……The blonde girl attacked. No way was I able to keep up and the other rider was now about 6 lengths behind me. As the pitch lowered she slowed down and she waited for us. He gave the comment that it was nice of her to wait and they discussed to meet the rest of their team at lunch. The three of us continued on at a high pace. Every time there was an incline she would put in a voracious attack that I couldn’t match. I finally asked the other rider, “who is that girl” He responded with, “a friend of mine” I felt like Inigo Montoya when he was sword fighting with Westly.  On the flats the other rider would occasionally attack when we would get a couple of riders who would try to tag onto us. His attacks were probably about 32mph and the blonde girl and I were the only ones able to answer. This was race pace riding as we would all push it hard. The only place I was able gap them was on one short downhill with a couple of technical bumpy corners but they came right back when the road went straight. Again, I love a good bike on a sharp turn.

As we came close to the lunch stop my two riding partners stopped to wait for their friends when I realized that they were out for a training ride and I still had about 50 miles to go. I went way too fast for the first half.

A quick bite and some fluids for lunch and then up Ink grade. I usually love this climb but my earlier efforts made me pay a bit. No one to tempo with on this climb as the crowds pace slowed to that small triple chain rings slowness. This climb was ridden with the 100 kilometer group and if I ever thought the first big climb had casualties this one was taking its toll on the riding masses.

I was able to keep a high pace but pushing to the next level was not going to happen. I flew through the rest stop at the top as I never enjoying the lactic acid burn after a stop on tired legs. I met up with a couple of 200lb riders who made a great draft for the long straight decent back into Napa Valley. A quick water stop in the Valley at the next rest stop and I was hoping for a group of fast strong riders to latch onto for the ride in the flats back to the start. All groups are now on the same route and I saw all kinds of riders. Mountain Bikes, fitness bikes, kids on attach a bikes, kid trailers, Plus sized riders, plus plus sized riders and lots of rear view mirrors. As normal an afternoon head wind was blowing up valley and the temps started to rise. One rider latched onto my rear wheel and was quite happy to stay there for the 10 to 15 mile run into the finish. We passed group after group on our way with no one wanting to increase their tempo to hang on. I certainly didn’t feel like my pace was blistering but I guess it was fast enough to keep others from jumping on.

I rolled into the finish area in 5 hours (20mph average)  and was feeling good that I was able to finish in such a good time even know I was never in a large group and spent most of the ride solo or pulling at the front.

About riding in Napa. I grew up there and can go on and on about all of the great road riding but during this last trip I took advantage of a neat feature that you have in Napa. There are 22 different climbs out of the Valley and most start within a couple of miles of the base from the other. This allows you to ride a lot of different climbs back to back without riding much in-between. On this last trip I rode one day with 5 different climbs all more difficult than Donner Summit and pitches up to the 20% range. At one time a friend and I had plotted to all the climbs in one day. We figured about 220 miles to finish all 22 climbs. We never made it. I think we got about 12 of them done before we gave it up. Now I am too smart.

The Redondo Beach/Palos Verdes “Donut Ride”

August 10th, 2010 Comments off

by Mark Nadell

On a trip to L.A. this summer, I had the opportunity to participate in a semi-organized training ride that leaves on Saturday mornings from Redondo Beach and travels into the hills of Palos Verdes along the L.A. South Coast. For a country-boy rider from Truckee, it was a bit of an eye-opening experience….

There are many variations of the “Donut Ride” in Palos Verdes, as there are quite a few options and loops from which an industrious cyclist can choose. I had heard about the ride before (and had ridden most of the terrain myself the year before), but I decided to see what kind of group rides the local race circuit crew participate in down there. The “official” start was Saturday morning at 8 am, meeting at the Starbucks (where else?) on the Pacific Coast Highway and Avenue I in the south end of Redondo Beach. I had no idea how many riders usually participated, so I was pleased to see a nice-sized group of around 20 riders standing around on the street appear as I turned the corner. Then, I looked across the street, and there was a group about DOUBLE the size of the first group I saw. So we headed out, over 60 strong, at a nice, brisk warm up pace.

As the group strung out, I realized that there was quite a distance between the leaders and the back of the pack (ie., me), over 20 seconds of time riding at a 25 mph clip. And this group didn’t just ride single-file. No — they took up the ENTIRE road. When there was 2 lanes of traffic, they took up a full lane. If there was only one lane of traffic, well, they took up the entire street. I’m sure they piss off quite a few of the local drivers down there.

As the group heads south and then east along the peninsula, more beautiful ocean views come into sight. But it’s kinda hard to admire the scenic when you’re concentrating on keeping attached to an accordian group that size, so it was pretty much full concentration. After a couple of scenic jogs on some side roads, we were on the main highway, Palos Verdes Road South, rolling up and down the gentle hills at a pretty good pace. Soon, Point Vicente came into view with its beautiful lighthouse, and Catalina Island peeking up across the channel.

Pt. Vicente Lighthouse

Then, it was time for climbing. Luckily, Sierra Nevada training kept me in the middle of the pack, so I didn’t have to worry about getting dropped as we climbed up Palos Verdes Drive East to crest out around 900 ft, where the ride re-groups, takes a water break, schmoozes, etc. And there were so many other folks stopped up there, it was impossible to tell who was who from what riding group. And they were mostly serious riders; I’d say a 10 to 1 “shaved vs. hair” ratio (I felt quite hirsute). From there, the entire group splinters into many smaller sections, and start a long descent down the other side to the junction of Palos Verdes Drive North, where it was time to turn around and re-trace our steps to the previous high point. Another splintering occurs, and many of us turn right and climb up Crest Road (another 500 feet or so) to the top of the hills where the huge “golf ball” radio tower looms. Another re-grouping, and then a wicked-fast descent all the back to the ocean bluffs.

Here’s where it got a little nasty. The final turn back onto Palos Verdes Drive South is more than a little tricky, and for those few of us “off the back” and timid, it was quickly evident that the main group (now about 25-strong) wasn’t about to wait for any stragglers (as in myself and a couple of others a hundred yards back). It was “game on,” and that meant a ridiculously difficult bridge back up to the peloton, one that probably wouldn’t have been successful except for the fact that we managed to wedge a few automobiles in between us and the main group, and then we were able to “leap-frog” the cars back to the back of the pack. Whew.

Another 5 or 6 miles of “holding on for dear life,” and it was time for the final variation, a climb of around 800 ft up into the Palos Verdes Estates residential neighborhood. A final pause to re-group, and then a cruise back down to Redondo Beach and a well-earned cup of coffee at the Catalina Coffee House. It’s always amazing how a flock of 60+ riders can kind of ooze back into the roadways one at a time, until all that’s left are a few lone cyclists heading back home to continue their Saturday activities.

A reasonably accurate map of the ride is here:



Mark

District Championships 2010 Diamond Valley Road Race

July 27th, 2010 Comments off

The Paco's Truckee Bike Team Girls (plus Truckee's Jonathan Laine)

We had a good sized group of women at the start and all together until the first climb where it broke apart. I got dropped from the lead group on the second climb of the first lap. Six or seven women got away and I was alone for a few minutes until two women caught up with me. When I suggested that the three of us work together they said no, more were coming, let’s wait for them. Three more caught up to make 6 of us but no one wanted to work together. It was crap. One or two of us would take a pull, and NO ONE would pull thru. In my vast experience of two previous races, this had never happened to me before. It is supposed to be a race! We continued like this for the rest of the race, dropped one rider and five of us sprinted for the finish. Of which I finished fourth. I am not a sprinter. Oh well. The lead group had 4 in my age group and I was outsprinted by another 50+ women in my group so my placing was 6th. Margie and Carol were in a much more cooperative group and had lots of fun and finished strong in 3rd and 4th respectively for their age group. Their details will be included in their race reports which I am sure will be along shortly.

Debbie Hakansson

A Paco rider at a mountain bike race, report from Dan Warren

July 1st, 2010 Comments off

Reno Wheelmen Thursday night Mountain Bike Race.

I had the pleasure of racing the last RW mountain bike race out at Keystone. I had never been out there and it has been several years since my last mountain bike race so I was questioning my bike set up and tire selection or even if I should race. Although I love to mountain bike I have never much liked MTB racing because it is usually and short sprint from the line to a single track where all of those who just sprinted slow down so you are left sucking dust and trying to pass for the next two laps. This course was by far the best race course that I have ever been on. 31 racers for the A,B & C groups riding 1, 2 or 3 laps about 4.5/lap with 600 to 700 feet of climbing per lap. I wanted the workout so rode A’s. We started out up a gradual climb for about a mile and a half on a nice open fire road, the pace was good but not killer and I sat at the back to get a feel for myself and the other riders. Halfway up about 3 riders got gaped and I rode up to the field just to see Conrad Stoltz in his very nice and fast looking full Specialized team kit and matching bike riding with no hands, it then start to splinter as we got into small chain ring terrain.  The top part of the climb was steeper and turned to single track but still very rideable. A couple of B racers caught me and passed near the top as we started the decent. It was 2 miles of the most fun swoopy, fast, smooth trail I have been on in a long time. High speed handling skills were required as we headed down through the still blooming wildflowers. There was one section that tempted me to break just because I am not used to 30+ mph on single track. At the end there were coolers full of beer and prizes for everyone. I ended up getting 4th in the “A” group which was an unexpected surprise because I have been struggling with my climbing this season. Good time, good people, good experience.

RW crit June 29, 2010 a perspective from Dan Warren

July 1st, 2010 Comments off

Tuesdays night Reno crit was the strangest “B” race that I can remember. It started out very slow so on the second lap I attacked to try to motivate the field. Not normal for me, I usually like about 15 minutes of tempo to get warmed up to the pack. Shortly after the pack started to reform Jordan attacked and was joined by a couple of other riders. I jumped into a defensive roll and went to the front to sit on and slow the tempo down. The break got a good gap fairly quickly and there were only about 3 riders that would try to put in efforts to bring them back but they got discouraged because they would put in a hard half lap look behind them for the next rider to pull through and I would just smile at them and slow the pack down. About half way the race Rich Paul finally started yelling at the pack that the Paco’s riders were blocking and that they would have to work together to bring the break back. I sat up and yelled at the riders that I was the Paco rider doing the blocking then attacked just to confuse them. Doug and I rode at the front for quite a while keeping things slow but I was ready to stop riding so defensive and talked to Rick Paul about bridging up to the break together and leaving the pack behind but he said that he was kind of tired from all of his attempts to bring the pack back up to the break. A lap latter was a prime lap and Rich asked how my sprint was. I told him not so good right now and I settled into about 5th in line. Going into the last right turn Rich tells me to get on, so I jumped on his wheel and he and I gapped the pack and allowed me to take an easy Prime. I stared to ride tempo after the Prime and no one tried to pass me and I was going slow. Doug took advantage and rolled off the front. I sat up a bit more and tried to look big so that no one would want to come around and strangely enough only one person did and went up to Doug as they continued to increase their gap. As we got to the end of the race Jordan’s group caught the pack with about a lap to go. I don’t ever remember a B race getting lapped by a breakaway group before but it happened tonight. Doug’s group was still about 20 seconds ahead. I was looking to get a good hard finish to the race and after Jordan’s group rode past the pack I sprinted with a half a lap to go just to see if I could hold out to the finish. I quickly caught and passed Jordan’s group caring quite a bit more speed than they had which caused confusion with them and caused them to chase while Jordan sat on. The non inspired pack just sat back and watched and put no impetus into the sprint until the final 200 meters by which time we had all crossed the line. Strangely slow B’s that usually chase down anyone who burps made for a different kind of race.

Chico Stage Race 6-26,27

June 30th, 2010 Comments off
Hello All,
Let me start by saying that I”m not good at this stuff, ( hayseed background) with practice I”ll  get better.
Chico stage race was my latest race and because of WA commitments felt happy to race the road race. Good hardman race, with rollers,wind,HEAT,4 mi of dirt per lap and all that within 90 mi. At the 50 mi mark we were 8 remaining of a 25+ start field. 2 brothers from the same team were out front with a 1.50min lead , Jan Elsbach felt the need to organize a chase and we brought the break back to 50sec, I told Jan that we were frying ourself  and that we should let them “cook” themselves. I came off the back at the 65 mi mark and at the 82 mi mark pasted Jan and one guy from the break lying under a awsome  Canyon Oak.
Bubba said the brother pair were a strong threat and so Jan was correct to chase, except, never forget the heat.
Some folks may not enjoy this type of racing(for good reasons). I would do it again.
10th place. Next year i will not ride 50 miles the day before.
DM

Burlingame Criterium 2010-06-27 45+, 55+, 65+ combined

June 29th, 2010 Comments off

Really well run event…over 700 kids took part in a “race” around the course…had the older 3 in there.

My race (Masters 45+) was a generally reasonable multi-corner affair…fast steady pace from the gun…greasy off-camber corners, barricades, lots of people, etc.

Was doing fine until…I saw this guy almost take out a guy as he tried to get from the middle of the pack to the outside without looking around. A few laps later, I was “that guy” when he did the same thing…or so I am told by many who were behind me…I ended up laying on the side walk (this was a straight part of the course!) somehow missing a fire hydrant and then a parking meter. “Lucky” I suppose to have escaped with only road rash…part of this sport that I’ll really wasn’t missing after all these years!

Anyway, don’t know what the ref did after I and many others told him of the guy’s dangerous riding. He is an extremely strong guy…road away from the field at Pacific Grove. He was listed next to last in the field on the USA Cycling results page…so not sure what happened.

After the race he completely denied everything…wow! Anyway, might be someone to beware of…kinda of a loose (and big) cannon.

Bike is OK I think…need some new tape, shorts, jersey, and my left speedplay pedal has a bit more corner clearance now.

By the way, in a pinch, a disposable diaper with the elastic and velcro cut off coated with neosporin works well for a while as a large road rash bandage.

I’ll be back.

Take care,
~david

SUMMER SOLSTICE RIDE 2010

June 28th, 2010 1 comment

Ride Report by Dan Warren….

Summer Solstice “Century”
Riding “The Crucible” 140 miles and 14,000 feet of climbing

On Thursday June 24th I asked Paco if he was going to ride the Summer Solstice ride. Paco said that he was on the fence and would let me know. Now, I have only heard stories and read information about “Paco’s” ride and it had always intrigued me the only problem I had this year is lack of long rides and consistency in training. In fact after I started riding I realized that the longest ride I had done this year is around Tahoe. Not much of a challenge there compared to what I was about to get into.

Paco and Dan enjoy the great roads and minimal traffic on the Solstice ride.

Saturday Paco, August Teague and myself started out of Quincy at about 8am, a bit later than the rest of the Crucible riders but Paco assured us that it was not a problem. Frankly I was very worried about my lack of fitness for a ride of this caliber and my lack of training miles. Paco may not have noticed that, for the first half of the ride, every pedal stroke I took, shift of gears or motion on my bike were very deliberate and intended to maximize my energies. Paco was great through the ride, giving August and myself blow by blow descriptions of the course preparing us for what was ahead as we rode along.


We rolled over the first small climb and my legs were feeling good as Paco was describing the next climb that climbs 2000’ in 4 miles — not quite twice as steep and twice as long as Donner summit, but coming close. August was climbing better than Paco and I so we let him drift off the front but we all were at the top within 2 minutes of each other. I have to say that this was one of the best climbs I had ever been on. We were passed by 2 cars the entire way, great views and perfect pavement not to mention a bit challenging. They had just opened this pass last week so we had snow banks along the road for about 6 to 8 miles. A great easy downhill to LaPort for a quick food and water stop, great roads and a rolling downhill to Forbestown and lunch. A couple of miles before Forbestown as we entered into “meth lab” country, Paco breaks a front spoke going uphill on brand new pavement. Paco goes from being the human bullet on the downhills to more of a more cautious speed. (Anyone notice that Paco leaves no draft going downhill?)

From lunch we continue down to Lake Oroville and our lowest point. August and I are talking and Paco has scared the both of us with stories that most riders blow right after heading up from the Lake. I keep thinking that my miles are numbered and try to ride as efficiently as I can. I had notice that we were moving at a speed a third to twice as fast as the rest of the riders thinking to myself, “What do they know?” We continue on in racer fashion. As we start along the lake I am noticing that it is a lot hotter than I have felt at any other time this year realizing that the hottest weather I have ridden in is about 68 degrees, Um, wonder how hot it is today. As we start up hill there is a light wind blowing at our back, not the kind of tail wind you like because it is going the same speed that you are and now the sweat and heat are getting almost painful. Our little group starts splitting up with August rolling ahead of me and Paco starting to slow down. I’m fine with the 6% pitch we had been going up but then is starts kicking in with 10% to 15% pitches. I roll into the Berry creek stop #6 and pour water over my head, realizing that the heat was affecting my performance. August was there and looking good. A bit of time passes and Paco comes in and I thought that I was going to have to call an Ambulance. The heat hit Paco hard and he looked in pain. August and I hung out with Paco for about 5 to 10 minutes and made sure he was drinking and refueling. Paco was unsure about how he was going to feel but soldiered on with us but quickly fell off pace. I was feeling pretty good after the long stop and cool off period and was climbing at the same speed as August. When we reached stop #7 we met up with Carol and Colleen and chatted briefly with them before the four of us headed out thinking that Paco might have grabbed a sag.

August and I were climbing together briefly and then I just started to implode. 15% grade in the full sun, no wind, and my motor was overheating. I struggled for a while even thinking about just getting off and walking I was feeling so bad. Legs felt good but the engine was just telling me “death would be an easier option,” at least I now know why the promoters wrote that on the poster. I knew that I had been drinking enough, feeling bloated and nauseous so I started to think that electrolyte imbalance was my problem and my body was not absorbing the water I was giving it. I remembered that I had grabbed some sports beans at the last stop, I have always kinda laughed at the thought of a “sports candy” but I needed to try something. 5 minutes later I started to feel better. The beans worked! Rest stop #8 is higher in elevation with much cooler temps so a quickly loaded up with Gatorade and when August had already come and gone I figured that he was a long ways up the road and I might be riding solo for the last 50 miles. I started to feel real good so I started to push my pace harder than I had for most of the ride.

I came across stop #9 where August was fueling up after he said that the heat had started to catch up with him. I was feeling so good I didn’t stop and August and I were riding together once again. We rode with snow on the sides of the road for about 15 miles rolling along at a cooler higher altitude before we started to lose elevation. A gorgeous ride from Bucks Lake down through Meadow Valley with fast smooth roads, we were riding at a pretty good pace but both of us right on the edge of popping. About 5 miles from Quincy my shoulders started to cramp, my butt got sore and I was ready to call it quits but the roads were easy to ride and I was almost there. As we rode into Quincy I realized that we were riding into west Quincy knowing that there was a hill between East and West Quincy, about the size of an overgrown overpass but in my worn out mind it was looming like Mt Everest. Luckily the ride went around the hill but when we got to the other side there was no sign to show you where to go. I had to convince August that even know there was no sign I was positive we were coming into the fairground from the back side. Lucky for me I made the right turn.

August jumped into Paco’s van to head back to see if he wanted a ride. I stayed and stretched out my shoulder and stuck my head under a faucet. Paco ended up riding in with Carol and was looking a lot better than at Berry Creek when he came in. August and I started a little before 8am and finished a little before 5:30. August was talking to someone at the finish and he said he had been riding faster than everyone else until we came flying past. It is probably the most beautiful ride with the best pavement and fewest cars that I have ever been on. Only the “Terrible Two” has been harder but I rode that in 1981 when I was 19 years old on a 22lb bike with 42X21 as a low gear and toe straps that would just about cut your feet in half after 5 hours. It had taken me 18:30 and I had ridden the Davis double century a few weeks earlier for training. Not exactly comparing apples and apples. Lack of miles and the fact that it was 30 degrees hotter in Oroville than any weather I had ridden in made me pay some toll. I had turned my Specialized Tarmac the day before and it performed flawlessly and I am riding on the Specialized Pro road shoe with the nice roomy toe box toe and I didn’t get foot burn like I have in the past. Sunday my legs felt good but it took me until about noon to get my fluids and food back in balance. August had plans to ride Gold lakes Sunday, I would have hurt myself trying to do that, so instead I rode my unicycle about a half mile and mowed my lawn. Will I do it again? Time makes pain go away and stupidity arises again.

Dan Warren

Categories: Road Bike Reports

Pescadero Race Report: 6/19/10

June 21st, 2010 Comments off

Race report: Pescadero 55+, racing with 45 4/5

Report by Peter Taylor:
Cool day but dry. Paco and I are in the field. Morgan Stanley has 5 or so racers in the field including multi-time national champion, Mark Caldwell and his equally strong teammate, Steve Archer. 47 miles 1.7 laps for us. All I can think about on the first lap is how much I need to pee. Even tried on the bike to no avail. Maybe when I was 25. Eventually, managed to put that urge behind me and turn to racing. Things didn’t really heat up until 17 miles to go or so when Jamie Willin, riding without teammates, is joined by Steve Archer on a short climb and a fairly hairy descent. I wasn’t willing to endure a repeat of Mt Hamilton so I didn’t join them (should have). They open a 30 sec gap or so and I eventually recruit 3 or 4 riders willing to lead a chase effort. Mark C sits in the whole way. Steve A as is turns out is letting Jamie do the majority of the work who foolishly does so. I do most of the work to get us back (Paco admits he sand bagged instead of helping out) to within about 5-10 secs with the 1.6 mile climb to the finish. Mark jumps and several of us hang on. Jamie predictably implodes after 400 meters and soon it is down to 4 of us chasing Steve A who maintains a tantalizingly close advantage. Mac Carey leads the chase group, Mark on him, myself and a 45 4/5 rider in the paceline. I’m going about as hard as I can given my prior efforts. 150 meters from the finish Steve has a secure advantage, Mark sprints, I follow only to be cut off by the 45 4/5 rider I spite of my screams at him. I wouldn’t have taken Mark today anyway. A good 3rd was about what I expect given their team tactics. Maybe we need to recruit Jamie to our team.
Paco was a strong 10th keeping the leaders in sight until near the end.

Report by Paco:
Held near Half Moon Bay, this is one of those California ‘must do’ road races because of it’s beauty as well a course that races great: unless you hate climbing. Peter and I were there to wear the team colors in the 55+ field and to try and get Peter the win for a second year running. Morgan Staneley had the usual stacked team, plus some other teams came with power. We were racing 55 +, but also racing with the 45 + 4-5′s, so an unusual field mix with a total of seventy racing. Knowing we had to do Haskin’s Grade twice (Finishing on it the second time) I had a little bit of apprehension. My goal was to finish as high as I could, also being on the final ascent to the finish with the lead group (Unless a small break with Peter got away). As well, if I needed to lend a hand to Peter if I could. First time up this climb, Peter and about ten others had a slight 25 meter break over the top. I was leading a pack down hill so drifted to the about third spot figuring I never chase down my own team mate. Before the bottom we were back in and other riders from behind who were dropped kept showing up, until the field was back up to about 40 riders.

Lap two, the first climb out of Pescadero did not seem too hard but I noticed that we shed a lot of riders. Towards the top I saw two off the front and saw that Peter was not one of them. It looked like one was a Morgan guy. Oh Boy I thought, here it comes! On the decent, I was mid pack to the back and with enough riders showing their lack of race decending skills, I came off the decent with about six guys and had to motor hard for about a half mile to get back in the charging pack, which was now about 25 riders. I saw the two up the road. Peter and three/four other guys were working hard to bring us up to them. I made a call that we were reeling them in, so I decided to stay about mid pack to watch Mark Caldwell and his team mate who were together and talking. In case they did a total counter attack, I was prepared to go with them. In hindsight, I should have changed with Peter and worked chasing, and let Peter cover, but I did not. One of those calls you have to make during a race. I give myself a high grade for reading the situation, but a D for teamwork and stradegy execution. Going into the finishing 1.6 mile climb, my friend Paul, from Morgan S. and myself got chopped off by some others who were shutting it down. I buried myself to get on with Peter and the lead group, Paul missed out. With 1.5 Km to go, Peter and the first group were only about 30 meters up on me but then all heck broke loose and they were launching it. I tried one more huge pull and nearly blew so brought it in, with a few of us slugging it out for the next spots. I got 10th in the 55′s, and from the guys I came in with from the 45′s4-5, looks Like I hit 15 or 16 over all. Peter got third against two Morgan riders. Again I should have played the loyal team mate in the section before the finish climb to reel in the two, but after all these years, one can still arm chair quarterback all day long. Have to admit it was a fun day of racing!

Paco’s Bariani Road Race report

June 17th, 2010 Comments off

This is another one of those great early spring Nor Cal road races. Consider it for next year! Areas that will be dried out brown come late May, but now green, with streams running, happy cows, and blossoms every where. Mike Alber and I lined up for the 55 plus old guys along with about fifty-six others. Nice to have a decent sized field. Only wish Peter Taylor could have been there.

Essentially Dunnigan Hills (an Aug Nor cal race in the same area), with hills through out (or bumps) and not the boring flats of Dunningan. Four ten mile laps. A good sized field for the 55′s, just shy of sixty riders. I felt real good, so cut no deals with Morgan Stanley or with Web Core, as I wanted to be free to roam. First lap stayed in the top ten, or on the front the whole time. There is a KOM on each lap. Getting up to it on lap one, I felt good and went for it, but Mark Caldwell nipped me at the end.

Second lap, I pulled back into the pack, since I figured nothing would go. Nothing went, but what a different show in the back. Up front all were tight, knew how to ride. In the back, guys yelling “watch out” or the insipid century mantra “Braking”, “Slowing”. Tap a guy up front they understand, do so back there and they nearly have you arrested for assault. So on the second KOM, I canned the rear and went up front.

On Lap three I tried a lot of hard pulls on some of the bumps or worked with the Morgan guys to try and bust things up. Nothing went for long, and then a Web Core guy who had never been up front countered on one of our moves and was off the front alone, but dangling 75 meters in front before the KOM. ON the third KOM I was covering Mark Caldwell. Over the top we were about fourth and then he gave me a gift, and I blew it. He looked at me and nodded his head up the road. Essentially that meant “let’s keep rolling”. I sat there like a rookie and contemplated it for
a few seconds then went, but missed his wheel. I buried myself for about one minute in no man’s land and could not catch him. Then he and the Web Core guy teamed up. (Later he said he wanted me to help with the work for the last lap knowing I was not a threat for the sprint and that I was riding good that day) So I fell back to the pack.

Web Core and Morgan were trying to tie up the front already, so I went right to work, trying to muster guys to work. One Taleo guy and one Wells Fargo guy helped a lot, but hardly anyone else: or someone would do the rookie dumb s–t move of attacking off the front and then being rolled down in a few seconds. If only that
same energy was used as a good turn at the front. If we backed off a tad, then Morgan and Web Core would try to settle it down. I killed myself at the front a few times, and the two were only 15-20 seconds in front, but no one would work hard besides us three (Or could work?, as one guy told me later). Also the Morgan and Web Core guys were massed on the front but of course not helping and disrupting things, all very fair and part of racing.

On the Last KOM, I tried to separate from the group, but JD and Brian of MS and some Web guys covered me and of course would not come around, and no one else seemed interested in making an early escape to the line for third, with only one and a half miles to go. So I drifted to the pack and rode in safely the last section to the finish, getting about 27th, given my no sprinting ability.

Real fun day. Just can’t believe I let Mark ride off. Still kicking myself. I know better. The worst thing that could have happened is either I would have been ridden off his wheel, or worked over in the break and gotten dropped, and ended up back where I did in fact end up.

Paco

RACE REPORT

June 17th, 2010 Comments off

On the Team? Did you Race? Then post us a great race report, with pics, tactics, results, and more!