CX season is still hanging on. With races finally getting some epic conditions. Lutherwood and yesterday's WA State Champs were fine examples. Ridiculous amounts of mud. There's still the USGP in Bend, and a couple of Cascade Cross series races to go. So keep on riding! Well folks, 2012 is coming to an end. According to some, the world will end first. If it doesn't, donkelope bikes will be increasing prices starting in 2013. As we all know, everything is more expensive(especially silver!). So here's the deal: throw down a downpayment before january, and you'll get current pricing. You won't get your ride 'til 2013, but it won't cost quite as much.
Undercurrent Clothing constructed the jerseys. Randi Jo Fabrications constructed the caps and did the embroidery. They turned out great! Thanks to those ladies. To get ready, I felt we needed to do a ride that would mentally prepare everyone for the worst. Two weeks before the event, the team, minus Craig(too busy winning CMWC, again!) went on a death march of a ride. It was pretty much the hottest day of the year. I didn't plan it that way, but I wanted to emulate what we might run into on race day. Brian, Mike, Sally, Patrick and I left HQ and headed south down Chuckanut to get started. There were gravel sections starting with Wood Rd. Up and over Barrel Springs to get to Nulle Rd. Then up Manley Rd(serious gravel). Up Samish then a right turn on Galbraith Ln to ride up to the Mullet/Keystone section of road. It was funny to see the mtbers look at us on our road bikes. Down to Sudden Valley, and up Lake Louise. Rode around Lake Whatcom to Northshore, and on to Y Rd. Turn right at gate/shack to tackle Stewart Mt. That is one of the best climbs around. And with stunning views of the Nooksack and Baker et al. Bomb down some steep, loose gravel to take a little rest at Everybody's Store. The place was rockin' because it was so hot out, all of the river floaters getting ice cream. We all bought some sausage and water. Head out toward Deming, then to Nugent's Corner. Cedarville to Noon Rd. Up Britton and back to the lake. Some ride ending gravel in Whatcom Falls park, and back to beers at HQ. 85mi with over 6500' of climbing. Most of the climbing was 12%+ gravel. Everyone did well. I felt we were ready for the RGR. As the race day approached, I was scrambling to make sure we were comfortable. I was also in the middle of organizing the 10year celebration party. Mike and I drove down to Seattle to pick up Craig and Patrick. Sally would catch a ride with Brian. We then had to deal with some of the worst traffic I've seen on I-5. We left B'ham at 11am, and arrived at the condo about 7pm! I guess no ride tonight. Oh well, let's get dinner and "a" beer. Food and many beers later, we went to the bar that the rest of the racers/organisers were at. Stayed late enough to be the last team out, and Gerben(man behind the race) to buy us a round. Thanks! It didn't end there. Because there was a little bike work to do, and a foosball table! The night went on with more beers. I was hoping this would work out in our favor somehow. Woke up cloudy, and started making b fast. One by one the team awakened. I think we all felt the same. Not great, but eager to ride and get this thing underway! The day before the weather was pretty hot and sunny. Race day we were met with overcast and mid 60's. Perfect. We were the 8th team to leave. 7:51am. The route definitely wasn't as tough as 2011. Not that it was easy, but the weather and lack of gravel made the average speeds higher. Start out with a 10 mile decent down 26. That will get the average speed up! Lolo Pass was the first climb. Beautiful secondary roads. There was one section of gravel on the decent that was about 30 feet. No big deal. But at 35-40mph the washboards were brutal. Lost bottles, broken spokes, crashes, hard crashes. That thing should've been marked somehow. We escaped with some hoods moving and one body down, nothing serious. The roads from Lolo to Sandy were awesome! We even saw llamas, or were they alpacas, getting it on. It was right by the road, just as we were riding by. It was ridiculous, much laughter and hollering. Just as I predicted, when we arrived in Sandy, there were teams everywhere. We got all snacked up and headed out. Our plan was to ride together the whole time. We hit the 3rd big climb feeling fine. Just as we caught up to a team on the climb, one of their riders dropped his chain. And their team didn't really wait up and it started to splinter. We were just keeping our steady pace. Two of that teams riders attacked!? Then looked over their shoulders to notice the rest of them wasn't there. They looked peeved, it was funny to watch that unfold. The imploding of a team. At the time I was confused to why they were riding like that. It makes sense later. The decent was sweep and fast. It was a lollipop loop. When we hit the "stick" part, we started seeing a ton of teams climbing. This whole time we thought that there were at least one if not two teams in front of us. We kept cruising, eventually needing one more stop before the last climb back up to Gov't Camp. Boom! The Strava folks had a little aid stop/checkpoint. We were refueling and dewatering when we were told we were the first team through. What!? This was at mile 90. It was time to get going. There was a mountain of beer that went to the first team to cross the finish line. Motivated and stoked to be leading. Up the final climb we went. Highway to back road to secondary road to gravel(finally). I would have felt let down if there wasn't any gravel. A little nervousness set in when trying to figure out the gps. On the map screen it looked like we were going to ride another lollipop loop. That would've been another 30 miles. But the profile and the mileage followed what the que sheet said. After a beer hand up, the climb not being as steep, and getting to the lake, we figured "this is it, we're almost done. And in first place!" Trucked up to Gov't Camp. When turning off of 26 we had our first flat of the ride. Fuck it, ride it in. We crossed the finish line first! Ate snacks and tapped the kegs. I don't think ANYONE thought donkelope bikes would do that. But we did. We ended up with the 5th fastest time, and were the only team Rivercity didn't pass. We celebrated and made a big production out of everything. I guess steel bikes, plain black shorts and wool jerseys can still get it done.
Le Tour always makes July fly by. This year's edition was a pretty good one. Now we're heading into August and the calendar is filling up. Donkelope was invited back to the Rapha Gentlemen's Race. This year it's on and around Mt Hood. I'm sure it will be brutally painful. The roster has a few first timers, Sally, Mike, Brian. And some returning vets, Craig, Pony, and myself. There will be a full report and photos to share. 2012 marks 10 years for donkelope bikes. So there will be a celebration August 25. Thanks to everyone that has supported through these years. A big thanks to Tim for designing the flyer.
Even though the weather doesn't feel like it, it's July. And that means le Tour! Head on down to the Mount Bakery to watch live coverage, eat pastries, and possibly win some stuff. Vince and his employees put out a lot of energy for this. There are giveaways daily. Coffee and pastries, full breakfasts, TdF tees, and even some donkelope gear. Stop in and support this event! Another great event is coming up this sunday, the Bellingham Criterium. Right downtown, around City Hall and the Library. It's bike racing mania this weekend!
Here are some pics of Tim and his BFF Cycling cx racer. It has internal brake routing, extended seat tube, and True Temper S3 tubing. Lots of clearance. The Mount Hood Classic was a couple of weekends ago. What a beautiful, yet hard as hell, road race. The unrelenting wind definitely leveled the field. You know it's windy when you have to pedal, hard, downhill. Excellent routes and well organized people make this race worth doing. My reasons for doing this race are the bomber downhill on secondary/forest roads and the crit in Hood River. Rad. Stay tuned for details about a 10 year celebration! Looking like August 25th will be the day. Long, gravel road ride. Social ride in the afternoon. And a party at HQ.
Just received a report from Chelsea and Eric, on their bike tour in France. I built Chelsea a touring set up earlier this year. "Bonjour ma famille et les amies! ;) > We camped last night by the Seine and rode out early for a good long day. > We meandered through beautiful tiny towns with wheat and sunflower fields separating them. It was like traveling along a string of pearls, each town the most darling place i've ever seen. The wheat fields linking them cleansed the palette to take in another quaint gem each time with fresh amazement ! > 130 kilometers later we arrived in Auxerre for a good night sleep, rich meal and an evening walk around the medieval hillside city along the Yonne River. I am the navigator for our journey and having a great time planning the routes. The amount of bike paths available is impressive and it appears that there is a path along the Yonne that will take us nearly all the way to Vezelay. We hope to arrive by late lunch, enjoy the town and stay for the evening. > More story from further south ;) > Gros bisous, > Chelsea & Eric
Bike to Work Day is getting near! This day is such a celebration day here in B'ham. Right up there with the Ronde van Vlaanderen and May the Fourth. At least in my book. And the best place to be this friday is the Hub Community Bike Shop. Get your bikes polished up and hope for good weather, it'll be a great day on the bike.
My fave bike race of the year, Ronde van Vlaanderen, is sunday! But before that bit of awesomeness, there's a little ride I organize called the Ronde van Whatcom. I try to emulate the real deal. Plenty of short, steep climbs, and some unpaved sections. Not quite the same as Belgium's premium cobblestone roads, and the ride isn't as long. This year the planned route is about 92 mi. And we're supposed to have some not so nice weather for it. That's how it's been the last 2 years for this ride. The ride starts and finishes at H.Q. With breakfast at the Mount Bakery, mmm waffles.
The Seattle Bike Expo was pretty much the same as usual. Hang out with friends I don't see often enough, talk bikes with lots of people, and ride around the city in bad weather. It was cool checking out the vintage bike display. Beautiful machines. Coming up the first friday of April is the Art Walk. Kelly Hoekema will be showing her creations here at donkelope HQ. I know we're not downtown, but head on over and say hello.
It's been a wild winter. Not much riding, but lots of bike work. The last couple of months were a bit stressful. My super, awesome lady, Kelly, was diagnosed with melanoma. After two surgeries, and some treatment, she has been cleared! Massive relief. Life is fairly fragile, so try and live it up. Thanks to everyone who gave support. The Seattle Bike Expo is just around the corner. I won't have a booth this year, but will have 2 bikes in the Swift Ind booth, to show off there sweet bags. The classics season is starting to ramp up. This year's Ronde van Whatcom will be on saturday march 31. Send an email or give a call for more info. I'll try and post a flyer soon. Also coming in april is Pedalers Fair. A new event to celebrate handmade bikey goods in WA.
Ahh, cx season is finally over for me. It was a good one. I'll try and catch up since last posting. Thriller Cross was awesome! Lots of people dressed up for the occasion. There were 2 shortcuts. One was a beer/push-up, and the next was a skinny. Both provided plenty of entertainment, as well as shaved significant time from the lap. Then a party at donkelope world hq followed that night. A fire, winter brew, brats, and The Cup was put to good use that evening! Speaking of cups, there was a little friendly competition at the MFG and SCX series between single speed teams this year. The teams were HODALA!(the team I'm on), Alki-Rubicon, and Stanley. The "prize" was the losing team had to wash the winning team's bikes. In bikinis. The other losing team had to serve us beers. It was great. Next up was the last race in the Cascade Cross series, and everyone's fave, Chiller Cross! This year, two of us B'ham crossers had an idea. Tim(BFF Cycling) and I thought a flyover would be awesome. A couple more beers and slices of pizza, and we were motivated. Plus Ryan said he would help pay for a hefty portion of it. We had bigger plans on how it was going to look, but time was an issue. Even with transporting issues, we managed to get it finished. Just in time. Riding it was rad! A big thanks to Tim, Ryan, and everyone who helped set that beast up. I'd like to end this post with a huge birthday wish to my sidekick and best buddy ever, Rastus. Love you Bubba.