Group Rides

Join us for evening indoor training rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm at the Recycle Bicycle Shop in downtown Ellensburg.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Finding a local ride

If you have been struggling to find a new route to ride for your training check out Map My Ride .

Each of our group rides has been mapped and there are several other riders in the area that have created routes also. You can search by zip code and bike ride to locate a good selection of options.

Giro d'Italia

For those of you who get your television via over the air antenna, and who have the digital converter box, you can watch each stage of the Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy) on Universal Sports - channel 23-2.

It's been an interesting race so far with 11 stages to go. Narrow streets, steep, windy mountain descents and sustained breakaways make for some interesting t.v. Even if you haven't watched a race before, and think it would be boring, it's amazing how much strategy is involved. Which team is going to push the pace for their big star, who is going to be told to sprint ahead for a breakaway, when do you actually break and the strategy of setting up for the final sprint to the finish line.

Thursday will be one of the most interesting with a 61km (37.9 mile) individual time trial over some pretty rough, hilly terrain. This is each rider against the clock and it has the potential to break the overall standings wide open.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The feel of vintage steel

I've spent this past week riding my 1984 Gitane Sprint, Vitus 788 lugged steel frame bike. It has been such a pleasure, especially since I've gotten the fit dialed in a little better, that it's hard to describe.

I spent a lot of time from the summer of 1985 through 1996 riding my 1984 Peugeot PSV10 over all kind of terrain and learning to love the feel of a French racing bike. The Gitane brings back many, many memories of those early days of my cycling life. As I described on the forums, the ride feels visceral compared to the 1997 Bianchi that I have had as a primary bike for the past 12 years. The handling is crisp, almost twitchy, yet precise. The bike inspires such a confidence that you cannot help to become a better rider.

In some circles my bike is considered vintage. In others, it's considered old fashioned with it's 6 spd freewheel and downtube friction shifters. It's amazing how fast I switched back into friction shifting from indexed. I rode the bike for about 90 miles this week and when I started I was glancing at the freewheel when shifting to ensure I was hitting the right gear. Now, it's all by feel - the shifting is quick and precise. The freewheel hums as the bike just glides along the country roads.

I've added my Scott clip on aero bars from the early 90's - some might say it's a "cheesy" look, but it's the first time I've been comfortable using them so I'll keep them on for now.

Group rides = fun

The goal of our group rides was to provide a way for cyclists in the area to meet and enjoy each other's company while riding. For the most part the rides have been on fairly flat courses with moderate wind - a luxury for Ellensburg. I missed one weekend's ride due to my wife's participation in the Bloomsday run in Spokane and, I have to say, I really missed it.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to add a little hill climbing to our ride. Although, this ended up being a little more than a little climb, it required some good effort for about 2 miles. At the steepest part I was up off the saddle in the 42-21 and 42-24 gears. Those in the group with a triple chainring set up didn't need to stand but definitely had to drop into the small ring.

The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after climbing a good hill is like none other. Besides, coming down was an absolute blast for me - not so much for the others. Let's face it, I'm somewhat aggressive on hills - both up and down.

The approach - you could see it for a couple of miles

Going under I-82 - the steepest portion

The Kittitas Valley - what a view

The day was not completely without incident as two of us experienced flats with the rear wheel on the way back up Canyon Rd. Two tubes later (one with an insanely long valve stem) and we were rolling again.

Next week we'll be back to a flatter course (for those not doing the Crime Stoppers ride in the canyon) and hopefully the weather will continue to be perfect.