Tuesday, October 30, 2007

drafting cartoon


I think something that would help everyone here, regardless of experience, would be the sharing of routes. Perhaps we can urge everyone to map their favorite routes on some place like www.mapmyride.com or similar website? If anyone has a preferred site for routes, please pass it on, so we can all contribute.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My List of What to Bring to a Race

Since I just added my clothing temperature guide, I thought I'd add the other list I keep -- what to bring to a race. I like to pack the night before and double check in the morning.

-Race clothes, including shorts, jersey, skin suit, arm and leg warmers, socks, gloves, rain jacket
-warm up and cool down clothes - jacket / tights
-bottles for warm up / race / post race
-food pre-race / race / post race (I always pack food because I don't want to be scrambling to find some place open when I should be warming up -- I've learned that lesson too many times.)
-HR monitor / strap / computer
-trainer (plus front wheel prop and iPod)
-cash / checkbook / phone / wallet / keys
-spare wheels
-race flier / map / directions

HPTT 29 October

The weather and wind was a little more forgiving this week, resulting in a doubling of the field and some excellent times. There were no crashes, one mechanical, and we had our first three women riders!

  • Tim Z. wins the most improved award. Not only did he drop 100 seconds in one week, but he rode one spoke down after breaking his rear Rolf last time. Tim's wins a packet of Jelly Belly Energy beans.
  • Brian H. came out for the first time and posted an absolutely ridiculous time of 12:16. He wins the Course Record award, one packet of chocolate Clif Shot.
  • Paige C. set the women's Course Record this evening! She wins this week's Grand Prize, a pair of super comfy Woolie Boolie cycling socks: just in time for winter.
  • Claus L. tore up the course on underinflated 32c cyclocross tires, resulting in a pinch flat towards the end of the course. Claus wins the Pity Award, and his prize is a free Kenda tube and flat repair courtesy of TATI.
Thanks again to Devon and Aspen for timing expertise and traffic management. One of these days we'll get them to ride. See you next week with your lights and ride buddies! If it's really cold, I have an excellent secret prize to give away... and don't forget about the 3PM warmup ride every Monday before the trial. We'll cruise the entire length of the path at a casual pace as usual.

Name or Alias M F Total
Brian H. X
Tim Z. X
Noah C. X
Paige C.
X 15:38
Phil S. X
Dan H. X
Grant X. X
Tony C. X
John R. X
Jesse W. X
Zac L. X
Jeffrey H. X
P. Myers X
X 17:44
James F. X
Maris G. X
Brad X
Bruce X
Claus X
Ari E. X
Jeff N. X
Katherine M.
X 17:25
J. X

So, what are you wearing?

This is a question going out to those riders who have some experience with riding in the winter. I was wondering, what would you wear if the temp was between 50-40 degrees, 30-40, or sub 30? How about if it's windy?

I guess the question rotates around set-up: do you use a short-sleeved base-layer with arm & leg warmers, or are you decked out in a full body fleece suit wrapped in a neon yellow windbreaker? Describe what you would wear given a couple of weather scenarios and riding situations.

Any other advice would also be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

bombproof tires

The Schwalbe Stelvio Plus tires are the most puncture-resistant, durable tires I've ever used or heard of. I've used mine for over 9 months now, non-stop, rain or shine, dry or wet, not even checking their surface for bits of broken glass or debris, and I've only had one flat. One. And they still have plenty of life left: I'm planning on riding them for another winter.

They're not light tires (300+ g), and they look like 25c, rather than the 23c they are. And they're a bit pricey, for a training tire, but worth every penny. And you might be able to get them for a reasonable price at Tati (I think he's carrying the full Schwalbe line).

You can buy a "glamorous" version, the Schwalbe Ultremos, as durable and puncture-resistant as the Stelvio Plus, but much lighter and faster. Some people claim it's the best clincher out there right now. But those sell at a "glamorous" price.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of my Stelvio Plus (no pun intended).

start line

More than once I've felt the urge to share riding tips, product recommendations and funny stories. Some other times I just had a question about training, or about cycling products. And I never did it because I didn't want to clog your e-mail inbox with my nonsense. UC Vélo Café is the place to do those things. Tell us about the time you saw an eagle while riding the path, share those tips about protecting your knees and unbrained Belgian riders, have a conversation about the right tire pressure for cross bikes (you can have a "conversation" using the "comments" feature of any blog post), and go on a rant against Critical Mass. I've posted a couple of things to get started.

If you wanna keep using the e-mail list for one of those things, or to announce a sale or product giveaway, or to make time-sensitive announcements, by all means, do so. Just remember that some messages could be posted on UC Vélo Café instead. Apart from not annoying people with your e-mail conversations, the blog is useful because all the postings are stored, so in the future you'll be able to retrieve that recommendation you read months ago about an indestructible pair of tires.

Those who join can post to the blog. The rest of the world can post comments and read the blog, but not post new entries. All UCVC members are welcome and encouraged to join the blog. All you need is a Google account (sorry, Google's "Blogger" is hosting the blog, and they have their conditions...). People can join UC Vélo Café only after receiving an invitation from the administrator. UCVC members will receive one in short.

For former members of the club (the Megans, Todds, David Morrisseys, Kents, Craigs,...): I know you keep "watching" us through the e-mail list. You're living legends around here and we'd love to have you visiting and contributing to UC Vélo Café. If you wanna join, send me an e-mail and I'll have Blogger send you an invitation.

Just a couple of words of caution. First, beware that the entire world can read what you write. So please be civilized: criticizing is fine, but please no insults, back-stabbing, gross stuff, etc. As a rule of thumb: don't post anything that you wouldn't dare saying in person or showing in public (please no pictures of saddle sores, especially yours). Second, write about cycling, bicycles, riding, bike racing, bike commuting, your last triathlon, etc. In short: cycling-related stuff. We don't wanna hear about your evil thesis adviser, or your claim that American beer is better than the Belgian stuff --we all have problems. The administrator won't watch the blog closely. It might decide to edit or delete posts or comments if things get out of hand, but only after careful consideration.

May UC Vélo Café never see the finish line.

hilarious poster

It's posted permanently on the right margin of the blog, but it's worth looking at it up close to appreciate its hilariousness in full.
Ladies: don't drink this coffee...