Monthly Archives: June 2008

New mountain ride

Picked up the new mountain bike today from Mike at East Coast Bikes, who really hooked me up with a deal on a close-out 2007 Trek Top Fuel frame. Yes, that’s delicious carbon fiber lightness. I moved almost all the parts from the old, cracked K2 to this frame and will have to slowly upgrade.

Plan to christen her on Sunday and get my position dialed in. This redhead is going to be a fun ride.

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$100K for a bicycle?

Yes, way.

This dude in Hampton found the old Schwinn Sting-Ray at Seashore Bike & Fitness. In researching it, he found it was one of the first ever built and started getting offers from as far away as Japan for it, including one for $100,000. However, he wants to donate this piece of Americana to the Smithsonian. Read all about it (at I’m loathe to admit) here.

Addendum: The Pilot got something up with better photos here.

Finally and goodbye

I finally made it all the way to the end of the Tuesday Night (Great Bridge) World Championship ride. It was a killer night. All of Team LeBleu came out for a send-off for Bender, who’s had a rip-roaring season for them. I was just starting to get to know him, but he’s a cool, very fast customer who’s now left the Navy after 10 years as a pilot and is driving west to Berkeley to get an MBA on a full-ride from Power Bar. How cool is that? He’ll certainly be missed. I wish I’d rode with him more often. That which does not kill me would have made me stronger.

The blue team certainly ramped it up and let it rip Tuesday. Dinterman, GeneR, KeithJ, Harlan and others I don’t know all hit the gas hard. And Bender hit it harder than most. There were times I was cross-eyed trying to hang on. At the end of the ride I rolled up 46 miles in 1:45, averaging about 26.5 miles per hour.

Good luck, Jim. Enjoy the left coast and finding your inner treehugger.

A record setter

After a year of knocking on the door, Ellie broke a swimming record at our club. She’s been close to the 25-free time since last summer, but she put her name on the board thanks to a relay. She and three other 10-and-under girls rocked a 100-free relay in 1:10.09 on Saturday. That time knocked a quarter second off a 9-year-old club record held by the daughter of our head coach.

This group of girls has the potential to carve more time off that record. All four swim sub-18 second 25s and Ellie and another girl are both close to going sub-17.

Millie also swam her first swim meet on Saturday. She swam the first leg on a 100-free mixed relay that was in fourth until the boy swimming the anchor leg refused to swim and they were disqualified. Then she swam a 25-free in 49 seconds, winning her heat and coming in 11th overall, which was awesome. Unfortunately Audrey needed to go potty right then, so I missed her swim. I was bummed, yet thrilled that she did so well.

Powering to Peking

I know, I know, but Beijing doesn’t allow alliteration.

Check out this video of 17-year-old Taylor Phinney powering to a new junior world record in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit (basically a time trial) at LA’s velodrome:

The kid is flying. He is the product of good genes, son of Davis Phinney, the 7-Eleven team sprinter who remains the United States winningest bike racer, and Connie Carpenter-Phinney, a teenage Olympic speed skater turned collegiate national champion rower turned gold medalist bike racer.

The younger Phinney has already been tapped to ride in the upcoming summer Olympics, so more gold may be forthcoming for this family.

Wish we had a track like that around here or anywhere near here.

Keirin again

I want to do it again. As part of the Langley Speedway Challenge on Sunday, I rode in a multiple-race track omnium in the morning. I had a blast even though my results were just okay. Thanks Fat Frogs Racing, which organized the race.

I set up the Langster with 54×16 gearing and hoped for the best. (Photo from Trevor Weiland’s gallery.) The event kicked off with a 200-meter flying start time trial. A slight rain fell and I approached the start line conservatively, worried that the race track might be a little slick. My rear wheel skipped out twice and I posted one of the slower times in our group of nine. That was followed by a 10-lap scratch race. I made the first selection into a group of five, but only finished 4th.

Next up was the keirin – which involves being paced behind a scooter that drops off with a lap to go, followed by an all-out sprint the line. They lined us up in reverse order of our race numbers, so I was stuck toward the back. I creeped up on the outside and got a good jump when the scooter dropped and pushed all the way to eke out third. The mystery race, which could be anything from two to 10 laps, came next – just wait for the bell and go. I think I got another 4th there.

Then came miss-and-out, where the last guy across the line each lap gets pulled until there’s three left to race. This is perhaps the most tactical race and, oops, I messed up big time and was the second pulled. I had all kinds of sprint left in the legs and just miscounted the guys around me. Embarassing too, because some of my Tripower people had started to show.

I made up for it some in the keirin final, where I started third by virtue of my earlier finish. I had to bust a gut to get around the UVA racer who started in front of me and score second. At least it paid out $20! The Hilton racer who took most of the events went home with $120. Dang.

By the end of the morning I’d run at least 15 long, hard intervals through my legs, but I still had another race to go – the Cat 4 just four hours away. Fortunately the sun wasn’t too bad and the other races were fun to watch. Michele brought the girls over even though she was sick. Kevin shot us:

Ellie even raced the junior race, her first this season. She didn’t seem to into it until about halfway through the race when she perked up and really started pushing. In what was the largest junior girls field I’ve seen, she finished 8th and I’m proud of her.

Ellie enjoyed herself even more because she got to hang out with Sara, the daughter of one of my Tripower teammates, while I raced.

My race wasn’t pretty. It started superfast. We went almost 30mph for 10 laps but finally settled down. About midway through the officials rang the bell for a $100 prime and I shot out of the group immediately, hoping I could get a gap and discourage chasers. Two came after me and I’m told it took them half a lap to catch me, then they sat on until the line where one came around me and took it by about a wheel. Bummer. I was really gassed after that. Thankfully my teammate John nursed me back into the pack and I rested on his wheel for a while. Even though I was tired, I was hoping for a good result. The final laps got real sketchy. Still I was well positioned going into the bell lap but got pushed outside on the first turn and a bunch of people came inside me. I jumped back inside just as the winning move shot around the outside and I was done, I had little left and don’t really believe in sprinting for 15th place. I think I finished in 19th.

The crit was fun, but the track racing was a blast. I’d like to do it again soon. I wish we could get a monthly series going. I’d do it. Unfortunately, I can’t make tomorrow’s GFTL race, where there will be some track racing. Ellie’s and Millie’s first swim meet is in the morning and I don’t want to miss it.

Another busy week

The past week or so has been more than a bit nuts. Last week was the last week of school for Ellie and Millie and both had graduation events – El from elementary school and Mil from pre-K. I’m working on a video for those that Michele and I shot with our new video camera – a Canon FS-100 – which uses flash memory and is quite tiny. We’ve been quite satisfied so far, but will need to get an external hard drive for the Mac because the videos gobble memory.

On Father’s Day, I had a full day of racing at Langley Speedway, including a track omnium in the morning and my Cat 4 race race in the afternoon and El also raced the juniors. Unfortunately Michele was ill overnight and spent most of the day in bed. She’s only now starting to feel better.

She’s been extraordinarily busy what with the end of school, the start-up of the summer club swim team for which she’s one of the organizers and just managing three kids. I really am blessed.

We’re also fortunate that she can even stay at home. It isn’t easy – we’re falling behind a little more every month, but it’s only a little and I believe it’s manageable. If it weren’t for the biking, we’d probably be ahead of the game, but then I’d have gone off my rocker. It really keeps me sane, centered and healthy.

Look for the video and more on Sunday’s racing soon.