Monday, August 31, 2009

Carnation Farms circuit race report.

This was the 3rd and final race of the Lake Washington Velo series and almost the last race of the road season.
I got there very early to set up because my team was running this event. I helped to set up all of the BIKE RACE AHEAD signs. It was a bit cold and wet and many of the corners looked sketchy.

It was a 5ish mile circuit and we did it six times with a sprint for series points on the third lap. It started out funny when someone crashed before we left the staging area. From my preview lap on the back of the truck I knew that there was no place to pass except the corners and just squeezing between people so I tried to stay at or near the front for the first couple laps until the first sprint. For the sprint it started to get fast at about 1k to go and I was able to move up pretty easily and found a wheel but he was going too slow and Karl(he has a sprint jump like star trek warp drive) opened a huge gap I tried to chase him down and one guy from Cucina was on my wheel and passed me before the line. I got third in the sprint.

Immediately after the sprint it felt like people were attacking and I had to hurry and catch my breath and force myself to stay near the front. ouch. There were a couple crashes during the latter laps and they kind of broke up the field a little bit. Luckily I was not behind or involved in any of them.

The final lap people started to look at each other but nobody really did anything until the final turn. I took the outside line starting about 20 back and started leapfrogging wheels as they were slowing down. The very last one was a close call, I barely missed hitting it by an inch and tried to go around him at the last second. I just missed winning by inches. I took third, my best result of the season.

Kira took this amazing picture of the finish. Nice work!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tyler gets his win

Tyler Farrar did what a lot of us knew he'd do if he didn't have the Columbia/HTC train in his way, and that is: win a Protour sprint handily. In this case, it was the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Germany.

Here's a video of the last 2.5 kilometers:

And here's the VeloNews article.

For the record, the Columbia/HTC train was in this race, but for whatever reason they didn't get it together enough to disrupt the other sprinters. Advantage Tyler.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Star Crossed is filling up fast...

Hey all - if you're going to participate in Star Crossed this year, you should get on it. Pre-registration is filling up fast (the Master-4's have already sold out).

Register at

I registered for Master-3's on the off chance that I can make it up to WA that weekend. If I can't, well, I'm out $20 - but it's worth that much to reserve a spot just in case...


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Memorial Ride for Jose on Sunday, August 16

From Jose's CaringBridge site:

The following is a note from Travis Dykstra of Jose's cycling team, regarding the memorial ride in honor of Jose this Sunday, August 16 at 2pm. All are welcome, and the ride will take us along Lake Wa. Blvd, around the south end of the lake, and back across I-90.

Hey Folks,

It has been nearly a month since our friend and teammate, Jose Hernando was hit on LWB on July 17th. This coming Sunday, August 16th, we would like to invite everyone to a no drop memorial ride around the south end of Wa. We will meet in front of Perts Deli in Leschi at 2:00pm where we will pass around a collection bottle to help out his wife and children. We will role out at 2:30PM and ride south on LWB to the scene of the accident where we will lay some flowers and take a moment of silence before continuing on. Details are posted on our website as well at www.supersquadra.comLake

I like to thank you all again for the thoughts, prayers and notes over the past 3 weeks. It speaks volumes to the closeness of this community and was very much appreciated.


n honor of Jose, his cycling teammates are putting on a memorial ride this coming Sunday, August 16th. The ride will begin at the Starbucks in Leschi (on Lake Washington Blvd) and will go around the south end of Lake Washington, across I-90, and arriving back at Leschi. The specifics are below. We hope you can join us.

Here is our general plan for Sunday the 16th. 2:00 – Meet at the Starbucks in Leschi 2:30 – Roll out heading South on LWB 2:45ish – Stop at the intersection for a few minutes. We’ll have a 1 minute moment of silence for Jose 2:50 – Continue around the south side of the lake 4:30-5:00 – Arrive back at Leschi

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Be Here, Now

Sometimes I''m amazed at how absent-minded & stupid I can be when it comes to bike mechanics. I get in the garage and I'm thinking about work. Just really not all there.

My latest adventure was ruining a perfectly good crank set. I was replacing a chain ring on a Pake 130mm BCD crankset, and the new ring was just small enough that I couldn't work it behind the spider arms, so I had to remove the crank arm. Easy enough. It was a tapered crank, so I reached for my usual crank remover, but I couldn't find it. Then I noticed a spare one I had bought awhile ago, and pulled it off the board to use it. It threaded on OK. But then it bottomed out, and no matter how hard I levered it, it wouldn't start pulling the arm off the spindle.

This is where it gets really stupid.

Instead of backing it off and trying to figure out why, I reached for a cheater bar.

Stupid enough for you? Wait, there's more.

With the leverage of the cheater bar and the crank arm, I still couldn't get it to budge, so I reached for a second cheater bar to slip over the crank arm.

And sure enough, the additional leverage got the puller rotating again. And thus I managed to repurpose a perfectly good crank puller as an efficient thread-stripping device.

The puller I was using was for Octalink, not tapered cranks. The wide (22mm) pad bottomed out against the inside of the crank arm, not against the spindle, and any additional force went into pushing the threads out.

Well, if there's a bright side to this unremittingly grim story, it's that I got to use an automotive ball joint remover to remove the crank arm. Not pretty, but it worked. (See? Cars are good for something!)

Oh, and there's a rumor circulating that you can remove a stripped crank arm by pouring boiling water on it, causing the crank arm to expand just enough to be pushed off the spindle. Yeah, right.

Besides, I like bashing things.