Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Guardian: Planning to Cross Antarctica by Bicycle

The most interesting thing to me in this interview is the AWD system.

From Joe Hill: High School MTB Team Assistance

Here is a message (a plea if you will) that you could post on the blog with information about how people can help, if willing, with the High School MTB Team.

I am slated to be the head coach, and I have a volunteer to be the team director in Lori Merrill who has a son on the team, but I am in need of assistant coaches, and more than that I need ride leaders or general volunteers.

NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) requires that when we go on rides we have a ratio of 1 adult to every 6 athletes.  It appears that we may have as many as a dozen kids on the team.  It would be extremely beneficial to the student athletes, as well as to myself as the coach, if I can get at least 1 or 2 adult helpers at each practice/ride so that we can have an adult at the front of the group leading the way and making sure all of the correct turns are taken on a trail, and then one adult at the back of the group to act as a sweeper.  Hopefully this way we can keep everyone together regardless of skill or speed, we can increase safety, and we don't have to waste time because someone got lost.

My goal is to enlist the help of more ride leaders than we need so that it becomes easier to schedule who helps when.  Practice will be held weekly, and sometimes twice a week, and I will need the help of 1 or 2 people per practice, but if more than enough people are able to help then hopefully I don't need to bother people about it more than once every two weeks.  Also we have a great deal of experience from many individuals in our local group and it would be awesome if the kids had a chance to learn from all of them.  I certainly do not feel that I am one of these individuals that have a load of racing experience, so I am depending on the help of others to instruct these kids.

Practice can legally start in the month of July, which is tomorrow.  Realistically I won't be able to get things going until after Crusher, July 11th.

If people are interested in helping, I need their email (call or text Joe at 208.339.1120, or email ssbikesnboards@gmail.com) so that I can "invite" them to Pitzone, which is the registration program that NICA uses to keep everyones profile information organized.  Once I send them an invite there is a small registration fee ($25), they perform a background check ($22), and they require that each individual watch a video about concussions and answer some very obvious quiz questions.  The video and quizzes might take an hour total, maybe more like 30 mins if I remember correctly.  After those things are completed you are registered with NICA as a general volunteer and are approved to begin officially helping with practices.  I'm still learning about further training from there to become ride leader, assistant coach, etc. but it may involve attending a webinar... I'll get back to those interested.

The end goal of this program is to help more kids get on bikes to have fun and hopefully help them begin a healthy life long activity.  There's no doubt in my mind that we have the resources in this community for this to be a very successful program.

Joe Hill
Sled Shed Board Shop
Sticks n Stones Biking and Climbing

Monday, June 29, 2015

VN: Andre (The Gorilla) Greipel Raps About the Tour

I think this is pretty funny and all in good fun, but I would suggest respectfully to Mr. Greipel: "Don't quit your day job".

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Deal of a Lifetime

As those of you based in the Rexburg area know, Jeff Hancock has been working hard to organize and sponsor a team for this year’s Lotoja. The title sponsor of the team is the Teton Cancer Institute with additional sponsorship form Kelson and Sticks & Stones. Of the numerous team kits that we have been through over the years, the high-end DNA kits are head and shoulders above any competition. Here is the good news for everyone who will not be riding on the TCI team. TCI is willing to subsidize half of the cost of the kit for other local cyclists who would like to buy a complete kit or any individual pieces.

Jeff and DNA have set up a web store which you can access here: http://www.dnacycling.biz/tci/
The login page shows the status of the order. Click on “order now” to see individual items and their prices.  Keep in mind that this kit is a race fit and will generally run a size smaller than non-race fit cycling gear. Our plan is to keep the web store open for about 2 weeks. Following that, the order will go into production with an anticipated turnaround time of 8-9 weeks.

This is an outstanding opportunity to get rock bottom prices on a top quality kit and to do a iittle public relations work for a very generous sponsor of local cycling.

The Dark Jersey is In

If you pre-ordered a dark S&S jersey, you can pick it up today at Sticks and Stones. The jersey looks great. Joe ordered a few extras, but they have been going fast. As of right now, there are two remaining, a medium and an XL.              

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Photo from Sawtell

I am aware of at least four group rides that Upper Valley cyclists participated in yesterday. There were probably more. I passed Bruce Baxter leading a group of cyclists on a century somewhere near Caynon Creek as I was driving to Driggs very early yesterday morning.
I met everyone in this picture as well as Brian and Daniel for a ride in the Island Park area which culminated with a climb of Mt. Sawtell. The two best words to describe the summit were cold and windy as you can probably discern from the photo. Sawtell is unique among local rides in that the final mile or so bears a striking resemblance to the climbing that makes people dread the Crusher.

From Dawn: Spinderella

Spinderella 2015 took place yesterday in Pocatello, this all-women ride starts at Ross Park and generally makes its way south toward Arimo and Marsh Valley.  It is a rolling course with lots of small ups and downs.
I rode the 70-mile portion which took me far too long.   Sometimes women's sponsored rides are unhurried--colorful, noncompetitive, and stocked with enough snacks at the feeding zones to supply an invading army for days.  I also blew out a tire at mile 64 and finished the ride on a sweet new Giant road bike supplied by the crew support Barries out of Pocatello.  It was a good day to be on a bike in an area that is so rider-friendly.  

From Bikerumor.com: Bicycle Kung Fu

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Just in Time for Father's Day: Leatherman Tread

Maybe you have seen this thing online already. I have not seen one in real life, but I am curious to do so. Each individual link of this Leatherman bracelet contains individual tools like screwdrivers and hex keys. A main emphasis of the marketing is that it can be carried through airport security. It is not inexpensive ($220) and I have my doubts about a wearable Leatherman as a fashion statement not to mention the potential comfort issues of wearing an entire toolbox on your wrist. But I have to admire its obvious appeal for gadget obsessed individuals such as myself. The tread is initially only being offered online direct from Leatherman and by Cabellas. It is scheduled for general release in August. http://www.leatherman.com/tread-425.html

Friday, June 19, 2015

From Brian: Group Discount for Rebecca's Private Idaho

Rebecca's Private Idaho was the best thing I did on a bike last summer. It is a great event; big, fun, and well organized. It appears that RPI will be offering a group discount available through Kelson. If you are interested in the group deal, please contact Brian (kelsoncycles@yahoo.com) for additional details or to sign up. This is short notice, but Brian needs to hear from you by Monday. 

From David Lingle: A Link to Some Lemhi Valley Century Ride Photos

Thanks again to everyone who worked to organize this event. These photos show the unique and beautiful scenery of the Lemhi Ride.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Little Kelson Bike Reunion

I took this picture at Brian’s new shop a few nights ago. Courtney Boice is making a documentary/promotional video about Brian and his bikes. Courtney rounded up a few of the bikes pictured here for use in the video. The variety of bicycles in this small sample is pretty impressive. It includes steel, titanium, carbon, combination-material frames, road, gravel, fat bike, etc, in a variety of sizes and colors. In contrast to many other custom builders who tend to specialize in fairly narrow market niches, if you can imagine a bicycle or wheelset, Brian can build it. http://kelsonbikes.com/

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lemhi Valley Century Ride

We have always had a great time at Lemhi and today was no exception. The organizers put a lot of effort into making this a quality event. The logistics are a little complicated with the start in the middle of nowhere and the finish in Salmon (one hundred miles from the middle of nowhere), but in spite of that the event continues to grow incrementally year to year with just over one hundred participants today split between the century and the metric century.  Dawn and Kathy opted for the metric this year. Jeff, Ryan, Jason Summers, and I did the century.
We battled headwinds all day today, particularly in the first half of the ride, but we were able to mitigate that with very cooperative riding. Other than the wind, the day was practically perfect. We saw quite a bit of wildlife along the way: deer (including a fawn), antelope, coyotes, sandhill cranes, and assorted small mammals. We were rewarded along the way with homemade cookies at the aid stations and tacos at the finish.

Tony at Boise 1/2 Ironman

Congratulations to Tony on another very solid triathlon. Thanks to Lana for the pictures.

Friday, June 12, 2015

From James Helfrich: Mavic Tests New Ksyrium Allroad On Idaho/Wyoming Border

I was pretty excited to see this video. It looks a lot like the Fish Creek ride Saturday.

Update: Looks like their crew took them a couple of places well known to us here.  The sign with "no motorized vehicles" is on the Rails-to-Trails near Felt.  Later there's footage on the Flagg Ranch (Reclamation Rd.); one shot of them crossing the dam at Grassy Lake Reservoir and another in the meadow south of Moose Lake.  Looks like they also spent some time on the Jackass Meadow Spur as you can see them turning back onto Reclamation Road at one point.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Guardian: Lance Armstrong's Latest Interviews Deconstructed

Schwalbe Easy Fit Tire Mounting Fluid

I first read about this stuff in one of the magazines, probably VeloNews.  Joe was able to get a bottle for me and I have used it for a while to install tubeless tires.  Maybe I have even mentioned it in the blog. If you have ever worked with tubeless, you know how tight the bead is and how difficult the installation can be. The traditional method is to utilize soap suds and water. This is so much easier. It is generally not a big problem to mount non-tubeless, but it would be pretty handy to have some Easy Fit around for the installation of any tire with a tight bead.

Teton Gravity Research: unReal the MTB Movie Trailer

GCN: Top Ten Riders to Watch at the Tour de Suisse

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

GCN: Is Compact Gearing Faster than Standard?

This is pretty interesting to me, since like many of you, I have been a participant in substantial evolution in the gearing of bicycles. As was the custom of the day, I originally rode the Thousand Warriors (later Ultimate Challenge) and similar events with a standard 52-39 crankset and a 12-25 cassette for a final low gear ratio of 1.56. It was not uncommon for riders of the day to use a 11-23 cassette with a standard crankset (lowest gear ratio of 1.7). Eventually, some of us splurged on 12-27 "climbing cassettes" (lowest gear ratio of 1.44). Currently, my road and cross bikes are (correction: Only the cross/gravel bike is 11-32, road is 11-28. I should fact check myself better). cross bike is set up with a 50-34 compact crankset and 11-32 cassette (for a low gear of 1.06). For a real climbing ordeal like the Crusher, a lot of people are going lower than 1:1
Going back a little farther in the history of cycling, there is considerable speculation that Bernard Hinault ruined his knees by following the conventional wisdom of the day to push the highest gearing possible on climbs. 
When it comes to riding steep climbs, I am going to paraphrase Burke Swindlehurst, former pro and organizer of the Crusher, in advising against bring a knife to a gun fight.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fish Creek via Snow Creek to Baker Draw

The Fish Creek Road, constructed to accommodate a now largely defunct logging industry, has long been a staple for local riders. It features an abundance of climbing and minimal traffic. Starting from Warm River, the Fish Creek Road is about 25 miles to the end of the pavement (continues on gravel to Big Springs) with the option of adding Baker Draw, about a ten mile down-and-back spur, making a total distance of 50 to 70 miles (70 to 90 if you start from Brian’s house).
One of the toughest rides of my life was many years ago when Scott Wood and I rode the Scenic Byway loop (Ashton Hill, Harriman, Mesa Falls) plus Fish Creek and Baker Draw for a total of 120 miles or so. It was a hot day, midsummer, and we ran out of water hours before the end of the ride. In recent years, we have ridden more Fish Creek variations than I can keep track of. These rides have evolved due to a couple of things: Brian’s extensive exploration of the area and the use of gravel bikes which have allowed us to take advantage of the many unpaved roads in the Ashton area. We have discovered that it is a lot more fun to ride down Baker Draw and to continue on gravel than to turn around and climb back out.
Saturday’s ride was a loop starting and finishing at Bear Gulch, with a gravel departure from the Fish Creek Road on the Snow Creek Road and the Snow Creek Butte Road where the two group pictures were taken. The “action shot” was taken rolling in to the top of Baker Draw. We completed the loop on gravel and finished along Warm River. I am showing a distance of just over 58 miles and a travel time of a little under 4 hours. Realistically, my participation may have been the rate limiting factor of the ride yesterday since everyone was riding pretty strong. Most cyclists interested in the version of the loop we did yesterday should probably plan on a minimum of four hours.
Also yesterday, John, Shae, and Brian Bell returned to Pocatello to tackle the big climbs there. They posted a photo on the Rexburg Cycling Facebook page. Thanks to Joe for these photos and to Jeff for the maps and technical information.

Friday, June 5, 2015

I Just Completed the Low-tech Registration for the Lemhi Valley Century Ride

Here is how it works:  You print off a PDF file, fill in the information, and send in the form.  The event is one week from tomorrow, so if you are thinking about doing it, the time to send in the registration is now.  In the past, they have been willing to accept event day applications, but you may need to phone and make arrangements if you procrastinate until the last minute. The registration is only $45 and includes a T-shirt (while supplies last), fully stocked aid stations, and a meal at the finish.  This year they are promising a “taco bar buffet” which sounds a little suspicious, but based on the quality meals of years past it will undoubtedly be good. Lemhi Valley is a very laid back event and absolutely non-competitive.  It is fun to stop at the aid stations in the tiny towns that line the valley.  If your season is built around racing, this provides a welcome change-of-pace.  In addition to the century ride, a metric century is available.



Bernard Kerr: First Whistler Shred of the Season

This unique camera-on-rider video was featured today on bikerumor.com.  Mr. Kerr is riding fast with a substantial amount of time spent with his hands off the handlebars.  This is another video which should include the disclaimer: kids don’t try this at home.

Bernard Kerr: First Whistler Shred of the Season from Pivot Cycles on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Clint and Intermountain Live Well Dominate Bikes4kids Stage Race

Image courtesy Intermountain Live Well Cycling Team

Congratulations to Clint Mortley who placed second in the criterium and the road race and won the GC in the Bikes4kids Stage Race which took place on Friday and Saturday.


Here is some commentary from Clint's Facebook (used by permission)

Great day for the LiVeWell boys at Bikes4kids stage race. The road race was a windy meat grinder with Darren Goff off the front solo for 50 miles when he was caught by Bryce Young and Wilcox, Jared and Will. I was able to bridge solo the last 20 miles and caught everyone except Bryce who was killing it solo. Bryce won the road race solo with me 20 seconds back in 2nd and Gilbert Ducournau 4th. The last stage was a 9 mile TT but nothing changed GC and so we went 1-2 as a team in the overall for the weekend! Great to see everyone come together, race hard but most importantly have a good time.

Cyclingnews.com: Kristin Armstrong Eyeing Third Olympic Gold