Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes we can!

I'm extremely excited about our new president elect. I'm excited about the direction that America is taking and I'm excited about the next 4 (8!) years. But, enough about that.

On Sunday November 2nd the Cyclocross Crusade hosted the 6th cross race in the cross crusade series at Barton Park. I did something different this week. I got a ride to the from a friend and team mate of mine (thanks Patrick). He has been double headers each weekend (Single speed and then the A race). Since I was heading out with him on his schedule, I decided to do the same thing. The advantage of this, is being able to do a series of warm up laps on the course (legally) at race speed.

First race, first bike, first set of muddy clothes

We got to the race, registered and drank a quick cup of coffee at the Chris King booth. I lined up for my first race of the day (Single Speed) and with very little starting pressure I was off. I have to admit that I had to hold back a bit to keep from going all out knowing I had another race an hour later. 5 laps and 15 miles later the race was over and I was finished in 22nd place. Not bad.

60 minutes later, I'm lining up for the Master A race feeling tired and really wishing I was spectating with a big cup of coffee (or beer) and a rain coat. I get a call up from my 12 place finish a week back so I'm starting at the 2nd row which is nice. The starting bell goes off and the group is off. It's like a deja vu from just an hour earlier. My legs are screaming at me, my heart is ramping up and i'm not feeling particularly confident in my abilities. A lap goes by, then another, then 4, 5, and 6 mores... I start feeling better as I complete each lap and the cheering fans are keeping my energized. Bill in particular is doing a steller job... "Dan - you are in the top 15", "Dan you are in the top 10" etc.

Last lap, the guy I'm battling it out with starts pulling away. I just don't have the oompf to keep up and he pulls away. I pull in shortly behind him and await the results. 8 laps & 15 miles later, I'm in 8th place. My first time cracking the top 10 in an A race (master A).

Race #2

Total stats for the day:
  • 13 laps
  • 35 miles
  • 1 hour 55 minutes of racing.
  • 2 (super) dirty kits.
  • 2+ hours of bike cleaning (2 bikes)
The mud, the rain. Barton Park.... It used to be one of my least favorite courses, but now... I'm not so sure!

PIR next...

Monday, October 20, 2008

My almost top 10

Cross Crusade #3
Rainier Oregon
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well I thought I did it... As of last night, the results from the race showed me in 10th place (my best ever in an A race (cross crusade or otherwise). As of one day later, the results have been revised and it looks like I've been bumped down to 12th. Oh well, still my best placing in a cross crusade race. Just not as impressive as a top 10.

Enough of that, on to the race. It was out in Rainer Oregon, a small town about 45-60 miles west of Portland. For yet another weekend, we enjoyed freakishly sunny weather for race #3 of the Cross Crusade series. It was another big day - over 1100 competitors for the event.

It started out cold and then got rapidly warmer as the 2:50 race approached. I couldn't figure out what to wear - long sleeve skin suit or short sleeve jersey. I finally went with the jersey and was glad that I did as it was warm and there was a huge climb.

More about the course (and the climb). It was a really fast course and long by 'cross standards 2.3 miles per lap. I did 8 laps which equaled abit over 18 miles in 1:07. Most cross races are in the neighborhood of 12-14.

I had a pretty good start (no call up but still relatively close to the front). Race start and we are off. All 70 or so of us struggling to get pole position as we take a sharp left turn up the hill and onto the 'real' course. Up the hill to the top, a sharp left into the single track: bunny hop, skip, jump, barely holding on over the bumps and jumps. Then down the hill fast past the tent and into the meadow. Over the first barrier, through the woods and back on to the school grounds where we hit the 6 pack. After that it is a quick downhill which leads to the bottom of the the hill.

The hill is the game changer. The race is won or lost based on this hill. It starts at the lowest point of the course and goes all the way to the top. Fans on both sides, screaming, clanging cowbells. A wall of sound and encouragement. I pick the less traveled line and pass a couple of riders and power up to the top past the OBRA tent. This trend continues on each lap (my hill training apparently has been paying off) and I gain position as the race continues.

I feel my pace pick up on each lap, but on lap 7 I start feeling the tell tale signs of my legs cramping up. I start using all my mental & physical tricks to keep my mind (and quads) from cramping into a massive charlie horse. I go past he OBRA tent and hear 1 more lap. I can do one more lap...

I throw down the hammer and push through the last lap blowing through a couple more guys and getting passed by a couple. I finish in what apparently is 12th place, my best crusade A+ race so far.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So I offended some zoobombers...

with my last post.

Guys & Gals, I'm man enough to admit I made a mistake. The first one being, I tried to be funny, the second one, is that I didn't actually realize anyone read this thing. Now my post has been put up on the Zoobombers forum. The sad thing, is that it makes me and my team seem like a bunch of dicks, and we really aren't. We are all nice guys and girls (and we come in all sizes). The whole event (the roller race) was such a hilarious and over the top spectacle (but admittedly fun), that it warranted humor to describe it... Alas, like the maligned governor from our 49th state, you didn't find my attempt at humor particularly humorous. I thought the time line was funny (as did some of you based on your comments on your own site), but I offended a couple of you, so I went ahead and edited the 'offensive' parts out.

I like bikes, you like bikes, let's leave it at that and I'll see you at the next roller race. Maybe I'll wear the spandex 'bro' next time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rapha Roller Race

Can this picture be any more ridiculous? "New Kids On the Bike"... Embarrassing to say the least.

Last weekend, Cyclepath Racing was invited to participate in the Rapha Roller Race as part of the Oregon Manifest festivities.

More info on the race over at bikeportland

I was one of the guys on the team that opted to do the race. Gant, one of the other guys did a great write up that I am going to paraphrase below.

5:34 p.m. We get a late scratch. So we're down to Folske, Porter and Endo, but a quick call to the shop and Hutchins is on board. The guys a gamer. Love it. But all he's got to race in are jeans and a Cyclepath Racing wind vest. Turns out he is the best dressed in our group. Damn, where's Herr when you need him? We will appoint Herr creative director next year in charge of getting our team some proper costumes.

5:52 p.m. The organizers give us an orientation, which some teams, like the ones who have been drinking since noon, need more than others. We are sized for bikes and given
the general format from the organizer. It's also our only chance to spin the little gear on the bike and get an idea of what we've gotten ourselves into.

6:18 p.m. We get the last beer at the beer tent across the street at the Manifest show. The four of us share it and head up Broadway to 7-11 for a six pack.

7:01 Back in the riders holding pen, know also as the "Green Room" and it's all nervous energy now. Teams are huddled together, sizing each other up, trying to look deep in
each others eyes to see if one among us knows the secret to flailing their legs the fastest over 500 meters. Actually, it's more like a Portland cycling frat party, which is to say a really weird frat house.

Team Zoobomb is clearly (acting) the drunkest and exposing more skin than some of us might like to see. The de facto leader sports a badge, police hat, fanny pack, sparkly, blue short shorts and a matching sports bra. "Hottie Patrol" is scrawled on his bare shoulder.

A Veloshop rider sports white underwear over her cycling bibs, a white wig and a riding crop which she is not afraid to use on anyone passing by.

There's also Team Sabotage in full Beastie's period outfits, The River City chicks... hair everywhere. Team Beer is there of course. They seem to be communicating mostly in mono syllables and hand gestures. They cheer loudly at the slightest provocation. Many other good costumes but this is a good representative sample.

7:16 I can't handle the anticipation so I hit the massage table for a quick rub down. Seriously, they had two massage therapists there for the riders.

7:42 A rider from one of the teams seems to be taking a "nap".

8:12 It's go time and Porter is up in the first round. He gives it the gas on the blue bike, but it's not enough to fend off sudden death.

8:35 I'm up and just get my ass handed to me. I'm also on the blue bike, so Porter and I are pretty sure the blue bike is shite.

9:07 Xterra National Champ Folske rocks the helmet cam and fights the good fight. The best Cyclepath showing so far, but alas, second place isn't enough to advance.

9:29 Hutchins, a self-proclaimed expert at races under a minute, shows he isn't bluffing and takes round 16 with ease. A great ride and restores Cyclepath racing street cred.

Joshua moves on to the Semi's and is knocked out. Bummer...

Megan and I leave to get some beers and dinner at 5th Quadrant and call it a night.

One of the team Sabotage riders from Seattle won the Signal Cycles frames. Nice work... Those frames are sweet.

For anyone reading this, this is satirical... No offense intended.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Alpenrose: Cross Crusade #1

Thanks Kalin for the picture (I'm in the middle)

The first Cross Crusade race came and went in 'perfect' cross conditions. Rain, mud, puddles. Excellent! The forecast called for it to be partly sunny, thankfully, we never saw it.

But first... The day began with normal weekend duties - breakfast, nagging my daughter to do her homework, house cleaning, etc. My daughter had a classmate's birthday party at the SW Community Center which is very convenient since it was only a bit more than a mile from Alpenrose. So, after 'dropping the kids off at the pool' (literally, not figuratively), I rode off to Alpenrose to get registered and warmed up.

When I got there, it wasn't raining, but the course still looked slick but not to bad. I warmed up for a bit and tried to get the skinny on the course from my team members that were done racing. The course turned out to be very similar to the ones in years past.

At about 2:30 I decided to head to the starting area. Big mistake, there was already a huge group lined up. I typical Dan fashion I took my space at the back and waited. It was about this time when the rain started coming down.

The starting whistle went off and I was off with the group. I managed to pick up quite a few places until I hit the single track when my wheel went one way and my handlebars went the other (loose stem). I banged it back in place and was back. As I rode by the Cyclepath tent I called out for some tools for the pit. Bill obliged and met me there on the next lap. (Thanks Bill)

The rest of the race consisted of me trying my hardest to move up from pretty much dead last as the conditions degraded more and more. Each lap getting more slippery than the previous. I crashed once (slow motion going around a corner). I ended up completing 7 laps and seemed to be getting faster with each lap. I managed to pick off some riders that wanted to beat but definitely did not end up where I wanted to be. I finished at 30th place (out of 78 guys). Not bad, but not fantastic. Definately some work to do for next week (such as getting a better starting place).

The race was way more fun than the race last weekend. The race last week was so hot and dry. The weather was definately a fun factor this week.

On a side note, this race broke last season's record. 1,267 racers showed up to compete. Awesome. This could be a national record I would think.

PS - if you click on my name in the OBRA results, it is not me... There is another Dan Porter out in OBRA land...I wish I could see his picture.

Not Me: (the two results: Alpenrose & Barlow are mine though)


Friday, October 03, 2008

Looks like some good weather for cross!

Weather as of 9:30 this morning. Alpenrose should be nice and 'soft'. I hope my bike is fixed!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Battle at Barlow

This was at least the 3rd year in a row that I've raced at the Battle at Barlow. I'm pretty sure I raced it back in the day when it was still a cross crusade race as well, but I do at least know I've raced it the past 4 years anyway.

My whole point in this 'history' lesson, is that it was as hard as I have ever remembered it. Possibly because it was so hot and dry, possibly because it was just really fast and possibly because I was riding without a rear brake for the entire race...

During warm up, the bolt on my rear brake loosened itself and managed to swing into the wheel... Thankfully, my wheel was spared any damage... Unfortunately it ripped of my right rear cantilever post...

What's missing from this picture?

In case you can't figure it out

Back to the race. After 20 minutes I was wishing it was over, after 40 I felt like I was moving backwards at 60 I was done. I ended up in 13th... A place higher than last year, though I am unsure of how accurate that is as a big part of the field was racing in the open As as opposed to Masters. All in all it was a good race, but I will be thankful for the rain.

As far as the bike goes, it is a steel frame and I have an appointment to get it looked at/fixed. I'm hopeful it will be fixed by this Sunday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's in your (cross) bag?

Part 2 in the 'series'... This one cyclocross related vs. mountain bike related...

First cyclocross race of the season is coming up, so I thought I'd review the pre-race ritual I personally go through. I like to do this the night before so I'm not running around like stressed out crazy man the day of the race. First of all, I want to make sure my bike(s) are in working order the day before the race. There is nothing worse than last minute bike fixes. Also riding a 'just fixed' bike in a race isn't always the best idea either.

After I have gone over my bike(s) to make sure each one is working properly I then move on and spend some time putting together my "race bag". My "race bag" begins with the basics: race license, helmet, jersey, shorts, socks, gloves, shoes, etc. With the basics packed I then consider the weather and other gear I will need to make myself the most comfortable pre-race, during the race and post-race. My list would look something like the following:

  • Helmet
  • Shoes
  • Cycling cap
  • warm (winter cycling) cap
  • Rain jacket (waterproof)
  • Rain pants (waterproof)
  • Base layers to wear underneath
  • Long sleeve jersey (or Skin Suit)
  • Short sleeve jersey
  • Arm warmers
  • Knee warmers
  • Socks (2 pair)
  • Gloves to suit the weather conditions. I usually like to bring at least 2 pairs... It's always nice to start a race with dry socks & dry gloves... The preride can soak your first pair pretty quick.
  • Glasses with different lens options (this is optional for me. If the weather is bad, I typically don't use glasses and just pull my cap down)
  • Race towel for cleanup post race
  • warming cream for legs (this is a new item for me this year)
  • Chamois cream (i'm actually really liking the DZ Nutz product, btw)
  • Pre race food
  • Post race food
  • Water
  • towels (body & bike)
  • Towels
  • Post race clothes (apre race)
  • Tools, etc.
  • Beer (if allowed at the vendor). Nothing beats a cold one after a hard race... Unless of course it is 32 degrees and sleeting...

With my "race bag" packed and ready to go I like to make sure I have good directions as to where the race is happening and the race times of each category. Generally, I typically print off the race flyer from the Internet and stick it in my bag as well. It's nice to have to be able to refer back to it while you are at the race if you need to check race times etc. Also, I like to set out my water bottles and food stuffs that I will be needing as part of my pre-race and post-race.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kruger's Kermesse Farm Crit Series: Race #3

I did my first 'cross' race of the season this past weekend. In actuality, it wasn't a cross race it was a Farm Criterium or "Kermesse". Basically a dirt crit on gravel and dirt roads in and around Kruger's farm on Sauvie's Island. It was the 3rd and final race in the series (I missed the first 2). The only thing that really made it 'cross' like was that I was on my cross bike, it gave me 'cross BAR points and it was on dirt. There were no barriers, run ups or even changes in tempo. It was basically full on 100% for 60 minutes.

There's me in the middle (3rd from the left)

I raced in the Master A category and ended up doing fairly well. I led for some of the race and then was pushed back to 3rd then 4th place as my energy levels started dipping. I rode alone for a couple of laps just trying to stay ahead of the main pack of riders. My saving grace came when Sue Butler (local female racer extrodenaire) came up (the women As ride at the same time as the men in this particular series). I jumped on her wheel and basically rode with her (trading pulling duties) until the end of the race. This helped put me back in 3rd place (final result) however I was not able to catch up with #1 & #2. I'm pretty happy with the 3rd place finish, though, it's not really as impressive as it seems as the field was way smaller than a normal race. It was a good practice race though and gave me the confidence that I can push a high output for the full A race.

After the race was over, there was a ultra team relay. Cyclepath fielded a team so I did lap. We ended up in 2nd to River City. We had them at the beginning, but alas it wasn't meant to be. Close, but no cigar.

Simon (in the blue & white stripes) jamming to the band

The family came out and watched, but left after my race so I got to do a warm down riding home. All in all a great day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

aaahhh, SNAP

You know what sucks? Being half way through a 27 mile mountain bike ride and having your seat post bolt snap. Yeah, that sucks...

I was doing a night ride this evening with teamie Nelson. We were in Forest Park and almost to firelane 5... I was on my single speed. I briefly sat down and SNAP.... suddenly no seat. I looked around on the ground and found my seat and seat post components. Apparently the bolt snapped.

At that point, my options were to either turn around or proceed. We were almost to FL 5, so I opted to press on to at least enjoy the short fun part of the ride (the only legal single track). We did opt to return back after FL5 though instead of pressing on. 9 miles later my legs were screaming. on the way home I stopped at Nelson's house and we jimmy rigged a bolt into the seat post clamp. It was loose but at least got me home.

This is btw the best time of year to be night riding...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Gear combinations

Like every other crosser, I constantly debate gearing choices. I've been debating the single ring thing for quite some time now but have been convinced otherwise by the guys at the shop. My problem, is my bike was designed around a mountain crank, so only a really small inner chain ring works.

I currently run a Ritchey WCS crank with a 34/50. The 34 is just to small and the 50 is to big for most courses. Basically, I end up staying in the 34 most of the time and end up spinning a whole heck of alot.

I'm not sure why I didn't think of this myself, but I was reading Brooke's blog the other day where he was discusses his gear choices and it hit me... instead of going single, why not compromise and put a smaller ring on the big side. I went and picked up a 44 today (I have a 46 & a 48 in my parts bin) so I have a variety of combos to experiment with.

I think the 34/44 is going to be a good combo. I really doubt I will need to drop into the 34 much anymore as the 44 will suffice for almost all courses.

Thanks Brooke.

Tis the season

I took a ride in Forest Park today at lunch... I saw almost as many cross bikes as mountain bikes....

'cross season is in the air!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Helmet Pads

I've never understood why when you spend 100 -150 on a nice helmet you don't get a second set of pads. Unfortuanetly, I'm a bit of a sweat hog, so I stink them up pretty quickly. Plus, with 'cross they can get muddy and beat up.

I have this:

And I needed this:

I emailed Bell, and they kindly sent me a replacement set. No charge!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Preliminary Cross Crusade Schedule up!

The preliminary cross crusade schedule is now up. Looks like a good one again!

Season opener at Alpenrose, then Wilsonville (I missed it last time around). Rainer which I heard was one of the best courses out there, a DOUBLE weekend in Astoria, the venerable Barton Park and a couple of TBA venues...

Hornings, Estacada and Hillsboro are all missing. Based on all the new construction out there, I am not surprised that Hillsboro is out. I've always liked the close proximity. I'm surprised that Estacada isn't there. I hope it is one of the missing ones though, as it is my favorites.

Also missing are the two USGP races in December. PIR maybe?

October 5 Crusade Series Race 1 Alpenrose Dairy
October 12 Crusade Series Race 2 Wilsonville
October 19 Crusade Series Race 3 Rainier High School
October 25 Crusade Series Race 4 Clatsop County Fairgrounds
October 26 Crusade Series Race 5 Clatsop County Fairgrounds
November 2 Crusade Series Race 6 Barton Park
November 9 Crusade Series Race 7 TBA
November 16 Crusade Series Race 8 TBA

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tahoe 2008

Got back from a week in Tahoe a couple of days ago (ok, it was a week ago).

I got some good rides, hikes and in general family time.

Helmet cam to follow..

Here is a couple of good shots that summarize the week:

The kids on a family ride

At the top of Mr. Toads. About ready to descend 3K... The lake is in the distance.

Simon and Dad - out for a 'big' ride.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Be careful out there

My wife was hit by a car last night while commuting by bike home from work. Thankfully she wasn't hurt (other than a few scratches & scrapes. Neither was her bike. She was however a bit shooken up (obviously).

Basically, a car decided they wanted to park and pulled into the bikelane without looking. She bumped and rolled over hood. Thankfully it was relatively low speed but could have been worse.

Please be careful out there, both on your bike and in your car.

We all just want to get home to our families safetly.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Short Track #5

Portland Short Track #5
Portland International Raceway
SS category
July 21, 2008

Again, I'm tardy in publishing this race report as I've had a ton going on with a really busy work schedule, and our upcoming vacation.

I had an almost perfect starting position and a good (not great) start. I made it into the first corner with the top 10 guys and mananged to stick with this group for the rest of the race, working my way up to a finishing placement of 4th (out of 54 folks). The course as usual was different than the previous weeks. The organizers added in a couple of logs and even a stretch of pavement(!). Fun times.

This is my last STXC of the year and probably my last race until 'cross starts so I'll do a quick recap:

#1: 3rd place
#3: 18th place
#4: 6th place
#5: 4th place

As compared to last year...

#1 22nd
#2 10th
#4 8th
#5 8th

Whoah - in a good way. Same as last year 3 top 10s, but in reality the competition was harder this year and I placed higher in each of the races. My best 3 races this year placed higher than my best all around last year.

I am bummed to miss the final race, but I should be having fun regardless :).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Short Track #4

Totally late post, so I am not going to create a lengthy description....

New Course
SS category
# of Riders: 43 riders
Final placement: 6th place

Cool picture:

The guy that took 1st in the race also races for Twin Six. His first race in the series. Nice work Jeff!

I followed up with the Twin Six guys and apparently he is also a good cyclocrosser so I am sure we will see more of him this fall.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Doper's Suck

It just never ends, does it?

The Grand Tour was rocked again today when Riccardo Ricco was busted for doping. Word on the street is that he was caught using a new generation of EPO that apparently release over a long period of time.

I think my friend Bryan summarized it the best:
"Now Riccardo Riccò is out for suspected doping. Between him, Moisés Dueñas, Manuel Beltrán, Christophe Moreau mysteriously pulling out in stage seven, and more likely to come as the list of 20 riders with “abnormal” values get subjected to more scrutiny, it’s starting to feel like déjà vu all over again.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m a little reticent to pump my fist for any rider these days…as it feels like only a matter of time before they are caught doping."

No shit, brotha. Seems like groundhogs day all over again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tabor #6: Final Race

July 16,2007
Mt Tabor Park

Summer must truly be midway because the annual Wednesday Night Mt Tabor race series came to an end last week.

The final race was pretty typical of all previous races that I have reported on. I had a good start, I pulled the field much of the time, I was involved in a full on uphill sprint on the last lap, I crossed the line and felt like my heart was going to explode. Good times.

I ended up taking 4th place, but due to a technicality, the winner was DQ'd because he forgot his # or to sign in... So, I actually ended up in 3rd.

So for the series, out of 6 races my results looked like this:

for a points total of 236 (or 4th place overall). Not bad I guess since this was 4 out of 6 races.

On a side note: Here's a shout out to Cylepath Racing Teamie John Browning for the 1-2 punch, winning both the Senior Men and the Men's master (40+) race serie(s). For those of you following at home, that is 2 separate races each night!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Short Track #3

Short Track #3
Portland International Raceway
July 7, 2008

Wow, that was hard. Dusty, sweaty, bumpy, hot and hard. I'm not sure yet how I did, but I know it wasn't particularly well.

I broke the 1st rule of Short Track (no, it is not not talking about Short track). I had a bad start. Not just a bad start, but a horrible start. I was out pre-riding the course and doing a bit of scouting when the rest of the field was lining up. When I finally dragged my sorry butt over to the start line it was already 3 deep. Nice.

Race started and based on my excellent starting position I new I had my work cut out for me. I went as aggressive as possible and muscled my way on up. Unfortunately, as soon as I was gaining ground I lost my chain on the top of a crest and spent what seemed like an eternity getting it back on...guess I should have checked that ahead of time...

By the time I had it back on, the majority of the field had passed me, thus I spent the rest of the race trying to make up time. I'll be lucky if I placed mid pack.

On the bright side, it was still fun, but a hard fun.

Update: Looks like I placed 18th out of 54. Not great, but not as bad as I thought under the circumstances.

Also, looks like my new nemisis at Tabor this year took first. Darn 19 year olds..

Monday, July 07, 2008

West on 5th

A good friend of mine who lives in Austin created this video. His wife is the star.

Anyway, it totally captures the essence and fun of riding a bike.

Tabor #5

Surveying the course. (New Kit)

My posts are starting to bump into each other... I wait until my next race until I am forced to report on the last. Not very exciting reporting to say the least....

Tabor #5 was much like Tabor #3 (I missed #4 due to my wonderful wife's birthday). I raced fixed as usual and the field was a bit smaller, but all the leaders were there so I knew I would need to race smart again by not making a break
when the leaders were going slower than I wanted to. I stuck with
them and did my share of pulling until the final lap when the
lead guys attacked. I hung on for dear life and took home the
bronze. Hey, at least I paid for my race fees!

Best Part of the race was my cheering section:
"Go Daddy, Go!"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Portland Short Track Racing #1

June 23, 2008
Portland International Raceway - infield
Single Speed

I knew it must finally be summer as I rode my mountain bike from downtown in the summer evening sun out to the race track. A beautiful evening with sun shining and the crowds of cyclists all around (roadies on the race track, mtn bikers on the infield). This is my 3rd season racing SS STX and I definitely have something to prove. Last year I did a couple top tens, but for the most part I had a pretty mediocre season. My first race in the series last year resulted in a crash.

If I've learned anything from 'cross, it's that a good crash is critical to a good finish. I took that to heart and got a good starting position on the right side and after the starting bell I took off and took the hole shot. Next thing I knew, I'm with the lead rider - Weaver - the series winner for the past 2 years. Although he was going fast, it didn't fell like I couldn't at least hang on, so I went for it.

A lap later I'm still sitting in 2nd when another guy comes screaming around me. I wasn't sure who it was so I returned the favor on the whoop dees and went around him. We did this a few times until he (ended up being Butler) put the hammer down and him and Weaver started pulling away.

I kept up my pace and ended up the race in 3rd place. My best result in a short track race in 3rd place our of 48 riders. (Big Group!)

Update: Video of Monday's race. All Categories including Kiddies

2008 Short Track Series - RACE 1 from Scott Barker on Vimeo.

On a more somber note, mid way through the race a fellow racer (30 yrs old) collapsed from a cardiac arrest. More info on this at Scary stuff, but as it turns out the first responders did all the right things and the fellow is going to be just fine.

Lucky Tabor #3

June 18th
Mt Tabor
Portland, Oregon

I missed the previous weeks race due to travel issues, thus I was fired up to race this week again. I noticed in the last weeks race that the same kid won the 1st and 2nd race so I planned my strategy... At all costs stick with Walton...

Anyway, the fixed gear category had ~23 starters. One of the larger of the fixed gear races I've been to.

Back to race - race started as normal - quick as all hell sprinting up the hill and around the first corner to the downhill. I was hanging with lead group of about 5-6 guys going down the hill. As opposed to race #1, I opted to not try for a lead out and instead held back and let the other guys do the work. This paid off by allowing me to save energy - while at the same time tiring the guys leading out. By the end of the 2nd lap I was sitting in 3rd place in a group of 4 guys.

Going into the final stretch of the 4th lap I made my move and pulled to the front. The other 3 guys had the same idea, and 2 of them pulled in front of me. The 3rd tried and I held him off until the end. Ended up taking 3rd and bringing home the bacon. (Cash payout for the top 3!)

I'm missing the race on the 25th (tonight), but I should be back for #5 next week. Let's go for the win!

PS - first race in the new kit. Hotness!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tabor #2

Didn't race. I got back home from Texas (work related) an hour later than I had hoped and didn't make it back to my house until after 4. I still planned to make it until I walked in the door and found that my daughter was feeling under the weather. I opted instead to go to the playground with the boy.

Anyway, I hope the race went well. I am looking forward to seeing the results.

Until next week.

PS - Driving in Dallas is awful. The city is like a spiderweb of freeways with the city like a cocooned fly with all of it's blood sucked out.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mt Tabor #1

The first in this summers series of 6 races occurred on June 4th 2008 at Mount Tabor. For those of you that have not read my past years race reports, Mt Tabor is a dormant volcano in SE Portland. Each summer there is a mid week race series. It's basically a crit with multiple laps that are either climbing up or going down. All in all a pretty hard race.

I raced in the fixed category. There was a pretty sizeable group of 19 riders. The group basically stayed together vs. there being any major breakaway by any riders. I felt strong and pulled the group for the first and final lap. Unfortunately, I dug a bit to deep and couldn't maintain my pace for the final climb to the finish. I ended up in the lead group taking a solid 5th. Not great as I have a goal of a top 3, but acceptable especially after racing just 3 days ago.

I finished the race and tasted lunch (blech) before doing a recovery ride home.

Until next week!

Falls City Firecracker Presented by Cyclepath

Sunday June 1 2008
Falls City Oregon
Single Speed

The promoters were serving pain by the cup and I was drinking it by the pitcher. This is a great mountain bike race and one of my favorite of the year. Half Fast Velo (another local team) puts on the race and Cyclepath is the primary sponsor. It takes place in Falls City at the Black Rock Freeride area.

I awoke in the AM to pouring rain and the sinking feeling that it was going to be an utter slopfest. As I loaded the car and headed to the pick up point for the carpool down I was really feeling a sense of dread about the weather. Thankfully, as we drove south, it dried out and by the time we were in Falls City it was perfect.

The race was billed as 80% single track which in my opinion was pretty accurate. The course itself was a multi-lap format where each lap was about 4.5 miles with 1400 feet of elevation gain per lap. Basically, each lap consisted of a prolonged uphill grind up single track and fireroad and then a bombing single track & fire road descent. The promoter of the race did incorporate some routes that had ladders and drops into the course which did add to the excitement. It also pushed my rigid single speed to it's limit.

The race start & finish was midway up the fire road climb which resulted in both the start and the finish being on a hill (nice...). At the starting gun, I took off from the very back of the pack. I spent the first part of the climb working through a mass of bodies and was towards the front by the time we hit the first single track section.

By the time I made it to the top and the beginning of the downhill there were about 4-6 guys ahead of me. I picked a couple of them off on the descent and all but one on the next climb/descent combo.

Ended up finishing the race in 2nd place. The 'other' guy was Nelson Snyder. A Cyclepath Teamie and my copilot on the drive down to the race. I can't say I am disappointed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Cyclepath Racing Press Release

Cyclepath, the premier custom bike shop in Portland, is proud to announce the launch of Cyclepath Racing. Proprietors Bill Larson and Joshua Hutchens are excited to have a group of dedicated local riders racing together under the Cyclepath Racing banner. While the shop will continue its tradition of support for other OBRA teams and riders, the new squad will represent the shop directly at OBRA events and beyond. With a range of talents and focuses, the team will be competitive across a range of different races.

Cyclepath Racing is:

John Acevedo
John Bravard
John Browning
David Diviney
Gant Enderle
Grant Folske
Ian Leitheiser
Dan Porter
Aaron Sander
Nelson Snyder
Christian Tresser
Patrick Wilder

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Cyclists

Instant Classic... Ever feel like your friends are like this?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Angel Bike

I totally stole this picture from I had too. It is just so perfect.

Look closely at the picture of the bike crushed by the minivan. The bike angel arrises from the destruction. Although the bike was destroyed, no humans were hurt.

Friday, May 16, 2008

This makes me laugh

Kermit on a fixed gear

Thursday, May 01, 2008


It's a crappy screenshot, but I just realized that I had hit 2500 miles + 184 hours of riding on Velog. This isn't to say that without Velog I wouldn't have rode that much, but using it has forced me to record it. It has been a great training device. I haven't recorded every single mile - not junk miles (ie riding around doing errands and such) but it has included commuting, training rides and racing.

If you haven't checked it out yet, do it. While you are at it, join one of my groups.

I love velog.

Weather, oh how I hate thee

Rain, with a side of crappiness (well, maybe Sunday will be nice). So, I've been avoiding this post because so many others have been bitching about the weather on their blogs: see here, here, here, etc. , but this is killing me. I've been on rides where I have been rained on, hailed on, snowed on, and then 5 minutes later the sun comes out and taunts my shivering hypothermic self. All of this in April. It's now May 1, and I keep hoping the weather will get better, and bam the weather forcast comes out and it is rainy for the forseeable future! Arggh.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Bike

Scott CR1. 17.2 lbs with pedals

The new bike is done. I've been out town or the weather has been so poor that I haven't really been able to ride it since I picked it up, so I've only had a chance to do a couple rides. So far so good though. Carbon has a different feel than steel or aluminum, that is for sure, as does Campy. I've never ridden either.

Once again, the guys at Cyclepath did me right, as did my family members with their generous birthday gift certificates to the shop for my recent birthday.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I've been in Indianapolis, Indiana for work for the past 4 days which prevented me from being on the bike. Commuting or otherwise. I had been riding the bike in the hotel gym as well as some weights, but it is just not the same. To make matters worse, It was unseasonably gorgeous in Indy. If I was a sales guy and I traveled alot, I'd definately need to get a breakaway.

I was definately excited to get back in the saddle again this morning for my usual Friday AM pre work workout. Did a nice 18.5 miler up and around Mt Tabor this morning.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What's in your bag?

I had my first race a week ago and as I was packing up my 'race' bag I got to thinking about the lists that I typically make, and the prep that I do the night before the race. I thought it might be interesting to construct a list - What's in your bag. Note, this is mountain bike specific and it assumes you are driving to the race venue. It also assumes that weather conditions are unknown. I typically take a much more abreviated list of equipment to races/rides that I ride to.

Clothing, etc.
Short Sleeve Jersey Long Sleeve Jersey
Bib shorts
Bib knickers
Arm Warmers
Knee Warmers
Gloves (2 pairs) Glasses
Socks (2 pairs)

Food, etc.
Pre race energy food - clif blocks, clif shots, clif enery drink
Post race recovery food/drink - clif recovery and/or promax bars
"Real" Food - Sandwiches, Fruit, etc. for after the race
Water bottles (2-3) pre, during, post

# plate
Racing license
Prefilled out Waiver
Chamis Butt'r
Diaper creme (don't ask, but it helps)
Baby Wipes
Embrocation (not for summer races)
Zip ties
Safety Pins
First Aid Kit (minor)

Spare tubes
Chain lube
various plastic bags for dirty clothes, shoes, etc. Changing Kilt
3+ Towels of various sizes(for cleaning body, bike, etc.)

So, what's in your bag?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's coming....

New bike.....


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hornings Hustle Season Opener

April 6th 2008
Hornings Hideout
North Plains, Oregon
Single Speed

"The race that was won by the guy who could push his bike the fastest". A bit of a joke, but only half way. Seriously, though there was a ton of running/pushing the bike. This race was more cross race than the past 2 cross races I've done out at the same venue. It was a mud bog suffer fest.

Photo (Oregon Velo). Mid way through lap 1.

The race started neutral (meaning everyone starts slow until a point on the course). We hit the single track and it was a bit of a cluster. The race started heating up about midway 1 mile into the first lap and I started to take the race serious to try to make up lost ground from my horrible starting position at the "neutral start".

Photo #2 (Oregon Velo)- Weather heating up -lap 1

We did 3 laps, each lap was about 5 miles each (total race time on the odo: 1:56). Each lap was progressively harder with the 3rd taking me into the pain cave. It started raining towards the end of the second lap and made the mud that much deeper and thicker.

This was a muddy race. I think this was lap two:
Muddy Dan - Oregon Velo

Good times. A good early season race, but in case you haven't gathered, it was MUDDY. I was thankful I was running single speed, as I didn't see the drive train issues I saw others having.

Oh, I got 4th place. Not a bad start to the 2008 season.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I got home from work on April 1st to find a package sitting on the front porch. It contained my 08 goodies from Twin Six. Good stuff, some of my favorite so far. The jersey is sweet, the socks are sweet, the t-shirt is super sweet (probably my favorite t-shirt now). It's funny, I get periodic orders from T6 (both purchased & comped) and each time I think I like the new stuff better than the last.

I pimped out on my ride today and wore the new jersey, socks and carried a new water bottle.

Socks - 'nuff said

t-shirt - what would Jesus ride?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Upgraditis: A terminal condition, the main symptom of which presents as the insatiable desire to upgrade. Ex: I have a perfectly functional cross bike, but I really really need that carbon fork, handlebar, etc.

I know it is only spring, but I’m already thinking about how to upgrade my ‘cross bike for the coming season. First off, I need to get some minor frame damage taken care of. Once that is done, I’m thinking about a variety of ways to really pimp out my Kelly. I’d love to hear peoples various perspectives.

My upgrade options look something like this:

1) At the very least I will need to replace my right side STI. This isn’t really an upgrade – it’s more like necessity. Part of the perils of cross racing. In all honesty, It still functions, but barely, and not in a way conducive to racing. I can do one of two things. Replace it with a new 9 Speed STI and call it good, OR replace it with a SRAM Rival setup. PRO: SRAM is PRO. SRAM is also rebuildable. CON: This of course would require new a new front and rear derailleur and a new 10spd cassette.

2) I’m thinking about going single chain ring up front. Because of limitations to my frame (it was designed around mountain bike components), I can only run compact cranks. The problem with, is that the little 34 is a bit low for most ‘cross courses, and I very rarely put it into the big ring (except on those rare courses like Hillsboro). This means that I spin like mad most of the time. Ideally, I’d like to put a bit bigger of a ring up front and call it good. PRO: 1) My cadence would balance out over a majority of courses, I’d lose a bit of weight (single ring), no front derailleur, etc., If I do upgrade to 10spd (item #1 above) I’d only need to by 1 shifter. The left side brake is much cheaper (and lighter) than a true STI. CON: Not quite as versatile on the road. (Currently my ‘cross bike is also my road bike, though, I am thinking/planning on getting a road bike this year as well.

a. OPTION: I could just replace the right side STI (with another Ultegra 9spd Option) and still go single chain ring.

3) Fork: Upgrade the Kelly Steel fork for a carbon one. Unfortunately, my options here are limited as I have a 1 inch steer tube. My choices basically consist of either a Winwood Dusty (828 grams) or a Wound up (682 grams). The price of the Wound Up is cost prohibitive and the Winwood doesn’t really save me that much over my Kelly Fork (861grams), which has been claimed by some as one of the best steel cross forks out there. PRO: Carbon is sexy. CON: My steel fork is pretty sweet as well and not that heavy… Thoughts on this?

4) New bars – Sadly, the bars on my bike are pull offs from my previous bike. I used them along with a stem as a way to save a bit of money (I’ve replaced the stem with a Ritchey WCS). My thought is to upgrade the bars to a Ritchey WCS aluminum version (actually lighter than the carbon and about 1/3 the price). PRO: If I’m going to change the STIs anyway (which will require new bar tape), I might as well go all out and replace the bars at the same time.

Monday, March 31, 2008


I celebrated my 36th birthday today, thus no longer being the youngest age in the Masters A group. – Being that it is Monday, I celebrated the bulk of it at work. That being said, the stars aligned today and I had a break during a period of time when it wasn’t raining, hailing, or snowing (yes it has been a weird spring in the Pacific Northwest). Actually, it was quite pleasant and sunny during this time period. I got some new fenders the other day and installed them on my cross bike last night, so it was nice to do the climb to skyline with gears. (Besides the fact that my fixed gear rear wheel is all wonky and I have a new wheel on order.)

Long story short, I celebrated my birthday by performing an act that is ageless. Just me and my bike. I may be getting older, but damn it, I’m not letting something like age slow me down.

Life is great.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It's been a while between posts. I guess it is that time of year in the middle/end of winter where not much is going on. I haven't yet started racing (won't happen for another month) and have basically just been struggling to get as many miles in as possible during these dark days.

On a related note, I was invited to join a new Cyclepath Racing Team ("CPR"). This is a bit different than the existing team as it will apparently be a bit more focused on results and will be a smaller group of guys/girls. We will also apparently be getting a new kit. Members are currently being recruited from other Cyclepath supported teams (only a few of us from the old team are joining the new one) and there is not really a specific focus on one discipline or another.

I'm pretty excited, as this was actually one of my goals for 2008 (still to be published). I was hoping to take a core group of guys from the team and make it more "team/results oriented". Basically something that I need to take it to the next level.

Enough chit chat- the rain has stopped, time for a ride.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good bye dear friend

Last week we sold the "cookie bus" our 2001 VW Eurovan Westfalia. The family had lots of very fine memories with the car and I am admittedly having some sellers remorse. This car was a great machine for camping, bike racing, hauling the kids etc. Nothing else quite like it. Actually, I can't believe I am doing a blog post on it. I guess it is just that kind of car.

The main problem with it, was that although it was a 7 passenger vehicle, only 4 of the seats (2 of which are the driver/front passenger seats) have shoulder straps, and thus carrying extra kids (that require boosters) is impossible.

Alas, the purchaser was extremely happy and I know that they (it was a family) will create new memories.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Training while sick

It can be done, but is it worth the risk?

Many of us, me included, feel a psychologically need to exercise that can often lead us to make poor decisions regarding our health.

I try my hardest to tell myself that it's ok to take a break, but I get so anxious about it (which is crazy, since this is technically the "off season" anyway).

Case in point. last week I was fighting an upper respiratory "head cold". We had a break in the weather last week and I wasn't feeling great, but I thought I was feeling 'good enough'. Plus, I figured I could sweat it out. Unfortunately, my plan backfired and I'm only now starting to feel better.

Everybody is different, but I think for me as long as my cold is in my head and I work out inside (lightly) I'm usually ok.

I found some pretty good tips here.

New Wheels...

I 'commissioned' Cyclepath to build me some new wheels for my 29er. They were just competed and I brought them home tonight... I can't wait for it to dry up so I can take them for a spin.

Specs are as follow:

Paul Single Speed Disc Hubs
DT Swiss Champion Double Butted spokes
Stans ZTR 355 rims

1800 grams (w/o tires, rotors or a SS freewheel)

My old wheels are actually not SS specific. I'm going to save them for a future project (disc brake cross bike maybe????)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sheldon Brown: Rest in Peace

I just heard the news that Sheldon Brown passed away last night from a heart attack.

Brown was something of a living legend in the cycling community (especially to bike nerds such as myself), known mostly for his website that was packed with vast amounts of bike information. Although I didn't know the man, I've used his resources (on his website) quite extensively. He's a giant in the cycling word, and will be missed.

Here’s the message about his passing as posted to

“Dear…friends and customers,It is with heavy hearts that we convey to you the news that Sheldon Brown has passed away. Our thoughts go out to his family at this time. The cycling community has lost one of it’s most passionate members.”

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Twin Six 4 Day Sale

M friends over at Twin Six are having a 4 day sale - with 10% of the proceeds going to a good cause (Jenny's Light). More info on their website. Just click the link below:

A great time to pick up some cool cycling duds at very reasonable prices - and support a good cause.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The indignity of using bicycles in marketing

There's been a bunch of chatter around the bikey blogosphere about this particular advertisement:
There are so many problems with this advertisement, that it's hard to start:
  1. Is this a bike ad or a car ad?
  2. They are using bike Polo to sell an SUV. Bike Polo? I can't think of a sport where the typical players would disdain a giant SUV more.
  3. The family in the picture insinuates that they are all out playing Bike Polo... "Hey Dad, Let's go play a family game of bike polo!" "Sure son"... Gee Dad, when did you get so cool.
  4. The bike picture of the SUV itself is so small compared to the rest of the ad.

The next advertisement is actually right on the mark, and I like it quite a bit. This is the correct way to integrate bikes/bike culture into an ad.

Way to go, Kaiser.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Monday, January 07, 2008

So not cool

Warren John Wilson, 52, faces a single felony count of vandalism, police Sgt. Linda King said Friday.

King said nearly 50 holes measuring about 1 foot by 2 feet (30 centimeters by 60 centimeters) have been found since June along a trail at Laguna Lake Park, and in some cases attempts had been made to hide them from cyclists. She said some riders went over their handlebars after hitting the holes, but none reported major injuries.

Detectives watching the trails questioned Wilson, who said he had nearly been run over by a mountain bike rider and began digging the holes in retaliation, King said. Source:

Kiss my knobby tire Mr. Wilson.