Group Rides

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

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Basic paceline rules

There are some proper techniques and things to be aware of when you're riding in a paceline - multiple riders in a line working together to reduce drag from wind and to ride faster. One of the most important rules to follow is to maintain the same speed when it's your turn to "pull" at the front. It's instinctive to try and push a little harder but if you increase speed too quickly you can fracture the group making it harder for others behind you to catch back up.

The following tips are from Bicycling magazine:

KEEP THE PACE The number one mistake riders make is picking up speed when they get to the front, says Ignosh. "Some guys just want to show off; others are well-intentioned—they just aren't in tune with their effort and feel like they're supposed to take a pull, so they pull." As you're riding through the line, pay attention to the group's average speed and effort. When you get to the front, do your best to maintain those levels. The goal is to keep the pack together, not blow it apart or shell riders off the back.

MICROADJUST It's nearly impossible for everyone to put forth equal amounts of effort, especially on undulating terrain. You need to make adjustments along the way to prevent what Ignosh calls the Slinky effect, where the line alternately bunches together and becomes strung out, with big gaps. "It's better to make two small undercorrections than one big overcorrection," he says. "Think of it like driving: You don't slam on the brakes, then hit the gas; you moderate your speed." To do that in a paceline, try one of these techniques: Soft pedal: If you feel like you're getting sucked into the rider in front of you, take a light pedal stroke or two to adjust your speed accordingly. Air brake: An easy (and safe) way to trim speed is to sit up and catch some wind. It'll slow you down a notch without disrupting the rhythm of the line. Feather brake: Gently squeeze the brakes while continuing to pedal. You can scrub speed while shifting up or down as needed to alter your pace.

DON'T STARE Focusing on the wheel directly in front of you is a natural instinct when riding in a line, but it gives you zero time to react should something go awry. "Keep your head up and check about 10 meters down the road," says Ignosh. "Look through holes in the leading rider—over his shoulder, under his arm or through his legs—and ride proactively instead of reactively. This will help keep the line moving smoothly."

EASE OFF THE GAS Rather than accelerating when you pull, try to ride in the line at a steady pace and decelerate as you pull off and drift to the back. "This provides the right work-to-recovery ratio without all the punchy surges that tend to blow the weaker riders off the back," says Ignosh.

SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE Pacelines are designed to share the workload, so limit your pulls to a few minutes to stay fresh and give other riders a chance.

CONSERVE ENERGY If you feel tired, sit out a few turns until you're ready to take another pull. Simply open a spot for riders to rejoin the line in front of you, or come to the front and immediately pull off and drift to the back. You'll do the pack a favor by staying with them rather than working yourself into the red and falling off the back, which makes the group slow down to let you catch up.

Group Rides 2010

It's almost group ride time in Ellensburg for 2010. Two different groups will combine this year to hopefully create long term viability for group rides in the Kittitas Valley.

We will work toward three different rides this year including a regular evening ride, a weekday afternoon ride and a longer weekend ride. The latter we'll combine with a social function - The Tav, Palace Cafe, etc. after the ride. If there's time after the evening ride we can include the social function as well.

The regular weeknight ride will start on Tuesday, April 13th at 5:30 pm and will consist of a more regular route. Early rides will focus on group safety and pace line techniques. We'll try to start out into the wind so the finish will be with a tailwind.

Please join us on April 13th at the Recycle Bicycle Shop in Ellensburg for some comradery and fun riding.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Early season road conditions

The nice spring like weather the first part of March has allowed for some nice riding on the local roads - almost 200 miles worth. I thought it might be a good time for a early season road report:

  • Hwy 97 - the shoulders are nice and clear - good riding there
  • Look Rd - the shoulders coming off Alford are a little dirty thanks to PUD putting in some new telephone poles. There is also a fair amount of debris between Brick Mill and Sanders heading south from the county trimming the trees and brush in the ditches
  • Parke Creek out by Kittitas was super clean this past Sunday and a real nice ride
  • Other than that most of the roads in the area are typical chip seal with a lot of accumulated loose rock and sand close to the edge of the road - stay off those areas.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Swap meet fun

This past Saturday was the Cascade Bicycle Club swap meet in Seattle. Last year was my first time attending one of these "glorified garage sales". I had so much fun in 2009 there was no way I was missing this years event. Besides, I had a few things I was looking for.

Three of us came from Ellensburg and we arrived about 8:20 am - forty minutes before the doors opened. We were about the same distance back this year as last. Once the doors open it's everyone for themselves and is an absolute mad house. Bumping and pushing your way through to look at parts. clothing, bikes, etc. This intensity lasted for a good ninety minutes and then it started to settle down. The weather was fantastic with partial sun and no rain while we were there. Overall, it was a fantastic time.

So, you might ask, what did I come home with. Here are the parts I had on hand for a new build.

I apologize for the photo overlap. I didn't get these downloaded onto my computer first so they are linked to a website photosharing site. Click on the photo to see the entire image.

Mavic GL330 tubular rims
Sachs Aris 12-24 7 spd freewheel
Campagnolo Super Record 53-39 crankset
Nitto Technomic stem
SRAM PC830 chain
Campagnolo Super Record shift levers
Campagnolo Super Record brake levers
Simplex SX630 rear derailleur (from one of my other bikes)

CTA handlebars with lion engraving found on Peugeot bikes

Results of the "treasure hunt"

1977 or 78 Peugeot PX-10 frameset
Modolo brakes
Forte CR150 ti pedals
Campagnolo front derailleur (unknown model)
Continental Sprinter tubular tires
Used full zipper jersey for those hot days or hill climbing
Brake shoes

Some of the crowd