Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New Challenges: Trans Rockies

Well, I've done it. I'm officially registered for Trans Rockies. If you're not familiar with it, it is an epic seven day mountain bike stage race in the Canadian Rockies (www.transrockies.com). A typical day is 100k plus and five or more hours in the saddle. Why the hell would I want to do this considering I haven't raced a mountain bike in years? Well, why not. It gives me an excuse to get back to the dirt and put on mega miles all the while continuing to race in preparation for what surely will be my hardest physical challenge ever. Should be fun or at the very least an adventure.

Happy riding, rich

Root 66 MTB Race

Yesterday was the fast Winding Trails, round 3, of the ROOT 66 MTB series.
With 9 team members racing, some valuable points were scored and some fast times posted. If you have not been to this venue, it is not very technical, all big ring riding. Therefore it brings out some fast road guys who you will not see the rest of the season.
A couple of the newest members were the ones that scored some good points. In the Expert 12-34 Jen Strasser placed a solid 4th while Tate Colbert came in 3rd in the Sport 18-29.
Craig Mello continues to have top 10 results with a 7th in the Sport 40-49. Shawn Mottram came back to racing after a long winter off the bike and a separated shoulder during cross season with a 14 spot in the Exp. 30-39.
Schachte and Martin had a lager then normal Exp. 50+ field but pulled out an 8th and 11th.
J.C. gave the Open Single Speed s shot again and came in 10th, while our regular podium finisher, Susan Lynch, came away with 2nd place.
But the real story of the day was losing J.C. bike off the back of Ray’s vehicle while going 70mph on interstate 84! The angels were watching over us when this went down while traveling in the middle lane. After slowing down and being almost a ¼ down the road, we pull over and it is lying in the center lane with non-stop traffic. J C running back to retrieve his rig how in the world do you go out into freeway traffic to get it. Still no one hits it but they are not stopping either. Finally traffic stops, he gets it and we are back on the road. No damage to speak of.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Myles Standish

Union Velo's GERRY O'CONNELL wins the field sprint for second place in his very first Cat. 5 race. But then gets relegated for elbowing a rider that was crashed into him. I saw the whole thing and it was a bogus's call by the officials. I have to give Gerry credit for staying upright on his bike and for the great show he puts on during the race. Great race Gerry better luck next week.

Check out this cool picture of Gerry with the other guy crashing across the finish line.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Union Velo presented by RINET Company mountain bike team kicks off the 2008 season.

Saturday saw the first round of the Root 66 Mountain Bike Series. Judging by the turnout it looked like most folks thought that the weather was going to make racing to much for some. Hey, this is mountain biking, bring on the rain.

The weather turned out to be fantastic, 75 sunny degrees. Some new faces showed up in new categories and the Union Velo presented by RINET Co. Team had a good day.

In the Expert class J.C. gave it a shot in the ultra competitive (stupid fast) Expert Single Speed class and came away with a decent 5th place finish. This was a 20+ mile race!!! 

Ray Martin moved up to the 50+ plus Experts and placed a solid 5th behind Schachte’s 4th place spot. Schachte was again aboard the Single Speed going against the multi-geared machines. 

Susan Lynch came away with a great 2nd place finish. She has not lost anything over the winter, thanks to visiting the gym before 3 hour mountain bike rides.

Sports went out later and Cheryl, (give me pain) Payne picked up right off were she left off last year with the top spot. And she was sick most of the year!!!!!!!!

New teammates Craig Mello, long time Union Cycle customer/ fine bike collector, placed an excellent 3rd in the 40-49 aboard his Superfly new machine and newbie, Tate Colbert came in 5th in his Sport debut with the juniors. Nice job men!

The first race was a success, everyone finished in the top 5 and had a great day. Looks like we will have a very promising season. Watch out for some more new racers in the coming races. Our next race for everyone will be Winsted Woods on Sunday April 20th.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Union Velo presented by RINET Company Hits the Mountain Bike National Calendar Races

As for the rest of the mountain bike team (me). I opened the season at the Tsali AMBC race in Bryson City, NC last weekend. This is one of the southeast's biggest races and part of the AMBC national series races. I traveled down there with a group of four of my team mates from the Lees-McRae College team. The conditions looked horrific, our preride on saturday involved several inches of rain, no visability, skipping chains, and a split up group. We finally got back together eventually in time to freeze while we washed our bikes, changed, and got back in one of my LMC teammate's van. We like to call it the Vantasy.

After we got back to the cabin, thanks to LMC, we ate about 600,000 calories and hit the sack for the next day. We had to get there early to plead with the officials because I forgot my license and Sean (cat 2 on the road) had to get an upgrade from sport to expert. The conditions were perfect, sun was out, it was hot, the track was dry and super fast. I still didn't have my newSID yet so I had to use my rigid fork. That turned out to be a little much for 35 miles of fast singletrack with lots of roots. The race was hard, and long, about 3 hours. Randy and Aaron both has a tough race in the Pro/Semi Pro group, Randy had to abandon after running out of water and Aaron broke a chain. Sean also ran out of water but suffered thru to get 6th in expert while I straggled in for 10th out of the 25 in our group.
This weekend I am headed to The Sea Otter Classic in Monterey California with 4 teammates from LMC. I am going to race the Super D and XC race. Should be a fun trip and a good chance to see some of the national competition that well be seeing at Mt. Snow in July. Luckily I got my SID from Rick on and the new bike is ready for this season thanks to all the help from RickSRAM, and Mavic.

Check back soon for some updates from Sea Otter