Group Rides

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Great Group Ride

Group rides are continuing in the Ellensburg area on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 pm. We leave from the Recycle Bicycle Shop on Main Street. Please feel free to join us. Today's ride was approximately 22 miles with a 17.9 mph average. We have riders of all ability and you will almost always find someone who will ride with you.

Here's some photos from today's ride:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Glad we don't have to climb those hills

Watching today's stage of the Giro d'Italia today I was struck by the extreme fitness of these professional riders. Sure there are a lot of doping issues. While I don't like the doping I do completely get why it's done. In what other sport do athletes push themselves past the brink of exhaustion day after day for three weeks.

I like climbing hills but the steepest ones I've done around here hit 11% gradient or so. shows Hungry Junction Road as peaking at 19%. I don't think that's accurate. What is accurate is that hill is very steep, yet also very short.

In today's Giro stage the riders had to conquer to Category 1 climbs, with gradients often in the 8-10% range and averages in the 6-7% range, and one Category 2 climb. After that it was 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) that gained 4,000 feet of elevation. In comparison, the I Made the Grade ride in Clarkston WA climbs just about 2,000 feet in the same distance. The peak gradient on this climb today was 22% with a 6 kilometer stretch that average something like 15% - and the winner, Ivan Basso, did the vast majority of it sitting in the saddle! There is not a ride in the Tour de France that compares to the brutal nature of this one - they may be longer, but not as consistently steep.

The pros did change their cranksets to a compact double (probably 50-36 or 50-34) gearing up front and a cassette in the rear where the large ring was maybe 27, 28 or 29 teeth.

Hats off to Ivan Basso - I was very impressed today.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Farrar gets another win

Today's stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia brought Wenatchee's Tyler Farrar his second win in the race this year. Farrar made a masterful move coming into and out of the last turn with 250 meters to go and blasted his way to an easy win. Let's hope there's a few more wins in the next couple of weeks. Farrar currently is wearing the red jersey of the points leader for the race.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mountain biking in the area

I am participating in the Round and Round 24hr mountain bike race on Memorial Day weekend and have borrowed my dad's Klein Pulse Comp mountain bike to get some work in offroad.

Going back to my youth I've never been interested in dirt riding. Initially it was the BMX scene - I never got it. Then in college the mountain bike thing was just starting to appear. Again, I had more fun on a road bike and just didn't have the interest in offroad riding.

After riding the past week and a half I'm afraid to admit I may be changing my outlook toward mountain biking. I live northeast of town and have ridden Schnebly Canyon (really rough, don't recommend it), Coleman Cr. Rd (fairly rough, but manageable - the waterfall through the rock cliff is pretty cool) and Naneum Canyon. This is by far the nicest road of the three and takes you back quite far into the Naneum State Forest.

I've yet to do any trail riding or anything really technical - I'm a rookie at this.

So, I'm going to have to start talking to more folks about mountain biking in the area to provide more information. I've heard the Taneum area has nice rides and there's always the Umptanum to Wenas (Selah) ride that you can find on If you see me around town and like mountain biking, help me out and give me some ideas to post here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A fun ride to do

If you're looking for a fun ride to do in June check out the 30th edition of the I Made The Grade in Clarkston WA. While it sounds imposing the event is well organized and the views at the end are spectacular. And, heck, $20 including a t-shirt is not a bad deal at all.

Giro d'Italia - bring it on

The 2010 version of the Giro d'Italia started on Saturday. If you get your television broadcast "over the air" with an antenna then tune to Universal Sports, channel 23-2 to catch daily broadcasts.

Congratulations to Wenatchee's Tyler Farrar in winning Stage 2 today in Holland in a sprint. Tyler is looking really strong this year and his Garmin-Transitions team had a great lead out for him to set up the sprint.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Vintage projects galore

I was lucky to obtain a mid-1960's Gitane road bike frame this week and have started the clean up. There are very few bikes around this old and while it's not a top of the line bike it should work nicely as a town bike or on the indoor trainer during winter.

It's tempting to try and put it back together as originally spec'd but I'll need work on that later. The original Simplex Prestige rear derailleur cleaned up fairly well and has a date code of 1968 on it. The paint is pretty rough and I'll work on some touch up if I can find a close match to the paint color. Hopefully, I can get it to pass the "10 foot test".

Here are some photos:

After a little frame clean up.

The left side crank arm and pedal before cleaning the rust

The left side crank arm after cleaning (before polishing)

Right side crank arm/rings before cleaning

Right side crank arm/rings after cleaning (before polishing)

The pedals will be challenge. They'll need to be taken apart and the bearings repacked and then the rust cleaned off as well. There are various methods to take off the rust. Today I was just using 0000 grade steel wool with a little WD40 on it.
Stay tuned for further updates.

Monday, May 3, 2010

When will the hurricane stop?

We're used to a lot of wind in the Kittitas Valley - 10-15 mph is pretty normal. But, I'm not sure I can remember so many days of 25 mph or higher. It's been consistently at that pace for 8 days now with no end in sight.

Our group ride last Tuesday was a tough haul out into the wind - where you're travelling 9-11 mph into the wind and 30-35 mph with it behind you. In some ways conquering the wind is as rewarding as climbing a long hill. The only problem is mentally the wind just wipes you out. You try to stay positive and it just eats at you pedal stroke after pedal stroke.

Unfortunately, we have to train in it. Shorten up your ride and treat the wind as a "friend". Just like climbing hills it can make you a much stronger rider. And, think about it, at least you are not riding in the rain of western Washington.

And they still don't learn

Reports again today of three more riders snared in doping scandals. Such a shame. It's so hard to sometimes remain positive in this sport where so much of the news can be negative. But, I'll keep watching.

The real disheartening news was one of the riders of the BMC suspended earlier in March for doping with EPO. He readily admits it in this article.

Then to read an article in the latest issue of Bicycling magazine that more top level amateur racers are also doping and they're not on a professional contract and making money while riding. What's the point in this situation? I love competing but my long term health takes priority. In fact, I ride to improve my health not destroy it.

I remember back in my "bodybuilding" days receiving a order form for steroids in the mail from Canada. Was it tempting? Sure thing. Did I fall for the trap? Heck, no. I turned that form over to the DEA.

The point is there can be a benefit to doping - but it's usually only short term.