[12 May 2009 | No Comment | ]
SoMo TT 2009

Here is a lesson…never judge a race by its title. For some thirty years I’ve been driving by that big brown pile of rock just south of Pumpkinville (also known as Phoenix) and never gave it a second glance. Most of you who know me also now of my disdain for the eastern most suburb of Los Angeles that is the Phoenix area. My normal routine is to travel through the valley before dawn, hence avoiding the blight altogether. I’ve lived in L.A.. No thanks. I’ll take the dusty cow town of Tucson any day. Although Phonecians’ think of Tucson as just a collection of stash houses, I need real mountains, and a lot fewer people! So, when the South Mountain TT rolled around, and since it is one of the few races in Arizona I haven’t covered, I thought I’d hold my nose and go see what it was all about. Well, I was in store for a very pleasant surprise. Great course, great scenery and a great race put on by a dedicated club, Team Vitesse. First class all the way!

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Cycling, Photoshop, The "Bin" »

[10 May 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
The Ultimate Bike

Well, maybe I wouldn’t want to descend on it! This is from the Tucson Bicycle Classic, circa early 2000’s? Scott Price (Landis/Trek) and an unidentified rider sprint for the “King of the Mountain” bonus atop Gates Pass. Thought I’d have some fun with Photoshop since I was new to “editing”. It came out much better then I had originally thought it would. I remember the toughest part was adding in “body parts” that were hidden by the bike frames. Had to clone the visible foot, reverse it and stick it on the other leg. But what I really liked was the detail on the shadows. I had to edit out the frames there too!

Bike Racing, Cycling, Sports »

[6 May 2009 | No Comment | ]
Scottsdale Grand Prix – 2009

The full day of racing saw plenty of action. Numerous breakaways took advantage of the corners to get out of sight of the chasing peloton. That’s a big advantage over the more open course the Grand Prix previously ran on. Here you could jump, dive into corners and get out of sight of the chasers. Out of sight equals out of mind. Well, for a while anyway. With the riders pushing over 25mph the laps were in the one minute to one fifteen range. So that half a lap lead really wasn’t a cushion you want to settle into. Thirty seconds can disappear quicker then an ice cube on a Scottsdale sidewalk in June!

Bike Racing, Cycling, Sports »

[23 Apr 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Retro Rides – La Vuelta de Bisbee 1992

The Crit started in front of the Old Stock Exchange in Brewery Gulch and made a hard, steep left up Taylor Ave., just past the park. I have no idea what gears they used, but a mere mortal would have trouble even getting up this little bend, let alone at speed and in the middle of a group of riders. But this was just the little “sting” that would lead to Clawson Ave. and the climb past the school house. The climb isn’t long, maybe 100 meters or so, but it’s a killer, and especially so after a dozen laps of serious racing. You can see the hill as soon as you take the right turn onto Clawson, giving you a couple hundred meters to think about it.

Bike Racing, Cycling, Sports, Tucson »

[2 Apr 2009 | No Comment | ]
Colossal Cave Stage Race – Day 2

The Road Race course is very familiar to almost any cyclist in Tucson. It’s the eastern most “escape” from the creep of the little pink rooflines of progress. When you head east on a ride, weather it’s the fast guys from the University or weekend warriors, it almost always includes Old Spanish Trail out towards the cave. How far you get on the journey, maybe just the general store or Loma Alta, depends on your reason for riding. The serious riders loop over the top of Pistol Hill and through Vail for a 100 mile training ride. Those among us who fear lactate just enjoy the gradual climb up to the cave and the fast decent back to the store.

Bike Racing, Cycling, Sports, Tucson »

[2 Apr 2009 | No Comment | ]
Colossal Cave Stage Race – Day 1

Every year around this time I hear the same thing. “It’s probably the last time for Colossal Cave.”. Yet, each season it remains the eastern anchor of racing in Tucson. Refusing to accept the fate of other races that succumbed to “urbanization”, Colossal Cave EXPANDED into a three day stage race, scored in the Omnium format with points, not time.

Bike Racing, Cycling, Sports, Tucson »

[11 Mar 2009 | No Comment | ]
Tucson Bicycle Classic 2009 – Stage 3

The 23rd running of the Tucson Bicycle Classic ran from the 6th thru the 8th this month. It’s always good to see TBC in action. I wasn’t able to make the first two stages, but trekked out to the eastern foothills of the Tucson Mountains to watch the Anklam Circuit race unfold.

The circuit race covers a 9 kilometer course that undulates with the foothills terrain. With an elevation gain of 100 meters per lap, the 5 to 9 laps add up to a good chunk of uphill…..at speed.

Bike Racing, Cycling, Sports »

[20 Feb 2009 | One Comment | ]
Valley of the Sun 2009 – Stage 3

The 17th running of the Valley of the Sun took place over Valentines Day weekend. This is the first stage race of the season in Arizona and usually brings out the top talent in the southwest. Team kits you usually don’t see (Rock Racing, Bissell, Ouch) line up for three days of racing around the valley. It’s a well organized event put on by the White Mountain Road Club (aka Landis/Trek), with a Prologue on the west side of town, a road race well south of town and the crit.