Thursday, September 24, 2009

Night ride and Cross

How awesome is this, Tomac style bars and everything? Apparently the penguin led the climb on the first lap!
photo stolen shamelessly from Bones Get Broke.

The riding conditions are still just about perfect out there. I went for a ride at the Dump on Tuesday and it was pure joy, with a sprinkle of pain, like always. I rode with Kevin Koetke, who's a real estate agent, and a stellar mountain biker. We just happened to show up at the same time at the parking lot, so we thought we might as well ride together. He led me on some punishing climbs and showed me a few new lines that I've never tried before. For example Kevin rides UP the rolldown on crazy horse. That's the cool thing about riding with new people. Everybody has their own favorite trails and stunts and seeing lines that other people take opens your eyes to new possibilities within the bike park. It's amazing after all these years of riding in the relatively small park, how there are still new lines to tackle and stunts to brave, and even whole new trails, hidden from view. We had a good ride even though riding with lights again takes some getting used to.

Yesterday, Me and Mitch made it out to Cyclocross as well. This time it was held in a park in Cordova bay, just off the Lochside trail. This track suited us much better. It was short (3 min laps) technical and did not have any obstacles that required you to jump off your bike and run (we're not very good at running). My bike held up a little better this time as well. But I changed the gearing slightly to tension the chain properly which eliminated the ever so annoying chain skip that was going on in the last race. This made for a fun race, and the technical part through the woods was awesome, at least for those of us who are mountain bikers at heart. I held my own trough the woods but had a hard time keeping up on the flats, so I tried to focus on having a smooth ride, that is, not to crash. I would pass people in the woods where the technical sections would take out riders en masse, tha carnage was fantastic! But then the same people I passed on the singletrack would pass me on the flats. As per usual Mitch did quite a bit better and finished several spots up ahead of me. Cyclocross is painful, but oh so much fun!

The Single Speed World Championships took place this weekend as well, this time in Durango, Colarado. It is always fun to check out the pictures from those races as the attire is usually somewhat creative. Check it here:
and an article in Dirt rag here.

photos here.

The Captain Ned Overend came in fourth, at the tender age of 54.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Underground" Cyclo Cross

Me and Mitch made it out to the Semi unofficial but at the same time very official cx race last Wednesday. These race series are hosted by Trek Victoria and even though they are pretty casually organized, you are required to have a racing licence or pay for a licence and club fee to enter. This time the race was held in the proximity of The Commonwealth centre. Close to 50 people showed up and then made their way down to the course which had been put up behind a school nearby. Then everybody rode a practice lap and then got ready for the start. Well, everybody except for me. I had done some minor changes to my bike before the race and one of these was to go to a smaller cog in the back for a slightly heavier ratio than the one I use on the mountain. I did not shorten the chain, thinking the chain tensioner would handle the extra chain slack. As I found out, this was not the case. And so I resorted to shifting the tensioner from pulling down to pulling up. The chain was so long that this only made things worse, so half the way through my first lap (other racer's 2nd lap) I switched it back again. Surprisingly it seemed fine after that. Mitch did better than I did and he finished somewhere in the upper region of the group. The racecourse was not overly technical, but it was long and hard. So even though I raced one lap fewer than everybody else I got a good workout out of it and had a blast. We'll be sure to turn out for the rest of the races in the next few weeks. Again CX has proven itself to be an excellent form of racing even if slightly excruciating!
See pictures at Jamies Flickr account

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First Canadian to win a stage in The Vuelta...ever!

Ryder Hesjedal took a stage win last weekend in the Vuelta a Espana. That is the first time a Canadian rider to take a stage victory in a grand tour since Steve Bauer's 1988 stage win in Tour D'France. That puts Hesjedal in a very exclusive club of Canadian grand tour stage winners and is sure to have an impact on cycling in Canada in general. Hopefully, Ryder's voice will be heard more clearly, as the Victoria local is one of many that has spoken out about the closure of the Juan De Fuca Velodrome, and one of many riders that has been prominent this year that has trained a lot on the track. If Ryder's achievement changes anything in the matter of the Velodrome in our town, remains to be seen but certainly this will be a positive thing for the city and the training that is available here.
Congratulations Ryder!

Tonight is one of the last Road rides this year from the shop. As always, show up at the shop at around 6pm. It should be a quick ride this night.

Tomorrow is the weekly night ride which has mostly consisted of me and myself in the last few weeks but if anyone wants to come out you're welcome to join. I'll be at the parking lot at 7 pm and unfortunately darkness is upon us, so bring good lights if you're coming out.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Geoff Kabush is a demigod. He showed up for last years Juan De Fuca race.

Cross season is upon us and I still don't have a Cross bike. This is hardly an excuse for not showing up for races, at least not here on the Island. The Cross on the Rock series is a very laid back affair, and you can race your chopper bike with coaster brake if you want to, although you'd be unlikely to have any sort of succes on such a contraption. However, mountain bikes don't make unusable cross machines and I have the Cannondale SS to race on. I have done one CX race in my life and that was on that particular bike, so I might as well continue riding that untill I get the cross bike. So I'll be switching back to 1:2 gear ratio and throw on some new bars, and presto!> cross bike. Nevertheless, I'm hopeful that I can get a race or two in on an actual cross bike. Hint hint.

Dave Shiskoff the Vegan powered racer is doing cross clinics on Saturday mornings over the next couple of months and he's urging everyone to come out and practice their cross skills. Dave is putting this on for free (how wicked is that?) so if you're not doing anything on Saturday mornings I'd check it out. Unfortunately, us bike store employees have to show up for work on Saturdays.

Hope to see you out there on the cross circuit.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Peaty wins and riding in Iceland

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Halldor Gunnarsson <>
Date: Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 12:00 PM
Subject: Peaty wins and riding in Iceland

Not much to say this morning so I'll post a couple of videos instead.
Steve Peat took the gold after a few years wait, proving to the young pups that he's still The Man.

And then some mountain biking in Iceland!!!

<p><a href=" ">Icelandic Mountain Biking</a> from <a href="">Joe Schwartz</a> on <a

Posted via email from Halldor's posterous

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Alleycats, birthday partys and Pro riders take on Iceland

Shayne rocking the Jordan
Mitch hates riding his bike
Justin's tri-suit comes in handy once again. Andrew in background
Group Shot at King George Terrace
We watched Macaframa at the shop after the race.

A group of us went out for an alleycat/birthday party on Friday. The Alleycat started from Capital City Cycles where the birthday boy works as well as owning the shop. Me, Justin, Mitch, Shayne(still recovering from injuries) and Andrew (still recovering from injuries) showed up for the race. We decided to race as a team and enjoy each others company while riding between points and so off we went. The race was a lot of fun as always, and just about the right length. It took us about 48min to ride the course if memory serves me right, and we came in 8th place as a group. Which is alright I suppose, especially given the broken wings on the team, not that they had much trouble keeping up, but it's an excuse anyway. Here's a rough map of the course, although we took a slightly different course.

View Larger Map

Also Check out Matt Hunter's Blog, he's been riding in Iceland lately with, Andrew Shandro, Joe Schwartz, photographer Sterling Lorence, and writer Mitchell Scott. Their Guide in Iceland is an acquaintance of mine Magne Kvam. I've been seeing Facebook updates from him and he seems super stoked on the riding they've been getting in.