Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ready to Watch the Tour with NBC Gold Via Roku

A few days ago, I posted a link to the Bicycling Magazine article detailing ways to watch the TdF which I probably half-read. I did not see a way to watch the Tour seamlessly on TV without buying satellite or streaming from another device. Finally, Jeff referred me to NBC Sports Gold. Here’s how it works: You pay a $29.99 for a full year of cycling coverage. After you pay for the coverage, you go to the add-a-channel menu on your Roku or similar device, add and activate the NBC Sports Gold channel, and you are good to go.


Protecting Gravel Tires from Cuts - Cyclocross Magazine

Grizzly bear kills cyclist riding forest trail in Montana |The Guardian

GCN: Tour De France 2016 Preview Show


Monday, June 27, 2016

Gravel Cyclist: Dirty Kanza Recap

I do not have any first-hand knowledge of Dirty Kanza, but I have never doubted its fearsome reputation for both distance and difficulty. The mud, rugged roads, and difficult conditions shown in this video provide very graphic evidence to support that reputation.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

First Fish Creek Ride of the Season

Joe and I enjoyed absolutely perfect conditions for a mixed road and gravel Fish Creek ride this morning (Snow Creek Butte Road, Baker Draw, Warm River).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Seventy-Five Years of Cycling - The New Yorker

From Dawn: Spinderella 2016

Sat. June 18, Kathy Holyoak and I rode the 70-mile option of Spinderella in Pocatello. The course is fairly scenic, winding through spruce-covered hills, sun-dappled meadows, and sleepy farmlands as it parallels the interstate heading south. 

At the Marsh Valley High School supported feed zone, we encountered the student council dressed in tutus and princess crowns. A large man wearing a pink tutu over long johns identified himself as a special ed teacher at the school and said to me, "This is a great idea. I think I'll put on one of these to raise money for my classroom supplies! How hard can it be?" 

Obviously a volunteer who'd just shown up that day. I wanted to tell him that an event like this took a lot more work than people realized, but instead I smiled and said, "Yep! It sure would be a great way to raise money!"

This women-only ride is fun and well-organized,so someone--presumably not the special ed teacher--had really gone to great effort to make it work smoothly. There was an army of volunteers and turns and traffic stops were marked and staffed. 

At last year's event, however, I blew out a sidewall and was aided by a rather inept group of men from a local bike shop. They were eager to help, but failed to bring along any wheels for a woman's specific bike. They had plenty of larger wheels. They did allow me to take a loaner they were carrying, but it was a giant Giant and I felt like I was riding one of those old-fashioned bikes with the cartoonishly-large front wheel you see in print ads (penny farthing-ed) . Then, 1.5 miles from the finish, I had to sit on my bike and wait 10 minutes for a slow train to roll by. Not the best first-time experience. 

This year went much smoother. The only hitch was a SE headwind on the way out which was channeled by the hills into a NW headwind on the way back. Awaiting us at the finish was a generous pork and chicken burrito lunch and some bored looking princesses there for the photo-op.

One of our male friends said, "What's this thing with women-only rides? If men tried to have a men-only ride, we'd never hear the end of it."

He has a point.

But if he could see the glitter tattoos, the helmet streamers, and the sweaty Disney Princess volunteers, face-down in the shade, he would realize that there is a kingdom's difference between a themed-ride like this and a more serious cycling event. 

But most of the women are there just to have a sunny, well-supported ride in the company of other women. No need to be jealous of the tutu, guys.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Epic Route for Ultimate Challenge 2016 Saturday August 6th

If you have always wanted to ride the Ultimate Challenge, this may be your year. The route for 2016 was announced this week. It is essentially a repeat of the absolutely superb 2013 route which features the epic Guardsman-Big Cottonwood-Little Cottonwood finish.
(Update: I am adding a comment to my route description above: The finish is truly outstanding, but I am not a big fan of the start, particularly given the early morning departure of the Ultimate Challenge. It can be a long, cold descent from Snowbasin. There is no logical justification for the start other than marketing the idea of resort-to-resort. However, on balance, it may still be better than a lower start which adds extra climbing).

The Queen stage from Snowbasin Resort to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort returns! Similar to the 2013 version, the race will leave the world-class Snowbasin resort descending Trappers Loops into Morgan and Summit County and begin navigating through the narrow, twisting rural roads. Riders then conquer Guardsman’s Pass from the Park City side; a 7-mile climb that ascends 2800 feet of steep and variable road conditions. A very technical and fast descent down Big Cottonwood Canyon gives the riders a few minutes to catch their breath before they tackle the legendary climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon, as the race will finish on what is one of the hardest stretches of raced road in the United States: climbing over 6,000 vertical feet in the last 35 miles before the finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

From Shae: Targhee and Teton Pass Hill Climbs

Targhee Hill Climb • Saturday, July 30 2016

Teton Pass Hill Climb • Sunday, July 31 2016