Triathlon is in full swing in the Northwest. Congrats to the Cycle University Triathlon team. Everyone did a wonderful job. Also If anybody is interested a group of triathletes/runners have been meeting at Redmond watershed every wednesday at about 5:45pm. If you can excape from work a little early head on over.
Track racing in the Northwest begins to hit a peak in late July. National caliber events--such as the FSA Grand Prix in Seattle and the Portland based Alpenrose Challenge--lure out the fastest track racers in the USA and Canada with prize lists boasting upwards of $15,000.
After returning from a hard education of track racing in Europe through the winter, Coach Adrian and I raced the track full-time last summer--including the FSA Grand Prix and Alpenrose Challenge, as well as multiple other Nationally ranked races--with the specific focus of crushing the Madison (which is an event consisting of multiple two-man teams and involves complex tactics and pure endurance).
Our ambitions were often met with big wins and healthy pay-days. But, there were also numerous disappointments, such as a second place in the Madison on our home turf at the FSA Grand Prix, losing to a team we had beaten both at the Alpenrose challenge and at the larger event, Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minneapolis. There was also the time at Alpenrose Challenge when I missed breaking the track record in the Pursuit by a mere second. This record has not been broken since the 80s.
This Summer much has changed. Adrian will be out of town for both races, choosing to focus on pursuing his goal of professional road racing, and thus putting track racing on the back-burner. I have chosen to do the opposite and focus solely on the track, yet real life has crept up on me and my usual free time to train for the track has been filled with work obligations and worries about paying off student loans.
Track races season culminates down in L.A. in early October at National Championships. Will Adrian be rusty at the Madison from missing very important races? Am I going to be able to keep up my high level of fitness from past years?
There are a lot of unknowns and variables this summer, and this will undoubtedly add to the suspense of how Adrian and I are to defend our reputations as two of the fastest track racers in the USA. I will keep you posted with inside perspectives from all the upcoming races. Stay tuned.
In the meantime: Come see the races for yourself!!!
-The Seattle FSA Grand Prix is at the Marmoor Velodrome July 25-26. There will be festivities, a beer garden, and events for kids, as well as insane track racing action! -The Portland Alpenrose Challenge is July 17-19.
Youth from the Major Taylor Project are gaining momentum as they train and prepare for the much anticipated Seattle to Portland bike ride. Flying Wheels was seen as fun-filled preparation day for the youth focused on completing the S.T.P.
During the week the Major Taylor youth, with the guidance of program instructors and volunteers, bike together on scenic training rides. Through the course of these rides the youth learn fundamental bike maintenance and proper riding safety. On the weekend the club ventures out on longer, more epic rides that explore areas of Seattle many Major Taylor youth have never even seen before.
Danielle Rose, an instructor and coordinator for the Major Taylor Project tells her story of Flying Wheels:
"On Saturday, June 13th, thirteen youth ages 14-18 from the Major Taylor Project at Global Connections High School and the YES Foundation of White Center joined 3,000 other riders for Cascade's Flying Wheels Summer Century. The students arrived at the Velodrome at 8:00am and looked nervous and tired, faced with the day's ride ahead of them. Most were signed up for the 45-mile loop in preparation for the upcoming STP ride. One of the youth who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, on only his second day riding with the Major Taylor Project and using a hand cycle borrowed from Outdoors for All rode the 25-mile loop. He plans to ride the STP, if Outdoors for All has a hand cycle available for him to use.
During those 4-hours, the students seemed affected by the transformative effects of pursuing a long and challenging ride. When the group congregated in the parking lot at the end, there were many friendly volunteers and fellow riders to thank for their encouragements along the way, and stories to share of near misses and endless hills. The most commonly asked question at the end of the day? When are we riding next?! Now the group is training intensively for STP, with 10 youth signed up, and 6 more possibly joining us, we're going to have a big group. Thanks to all of the riders in advance who will cheer them on as they work towards their biggest riding accomplishment ever! If you'd like to volunteer or donate, please let us know."
I am writing this race update for Adrian since he is currently recovering from a long weekend of racing by taking a nap. Somehow, for some odd reason, he has been napping for three days straight.
Last weekend, in Baker City, Oregon, racers competed in a regionally prestigious stage race, The Elkhorn Classic, which is known for its uncanny ability to predict the next up and coming Pro Northwest rider. For the past five years every winner of this grueling three-day/four-stage event has landed a large Professional Contract for the next race season.
From the start Adrian lead the race after winning the opening Time Trial by a solid margin. He held this lead all the way to the last day, a day full of unexpected drama.
The last stage of this event usually consist of a 105mile road race which ends in a brutal 10mile climb to the finish. Yet, this year, despite the spell of sultry summer sun the Northwest has had, the morning of the final race in Baker City began with 30 degree weather and a snow storm. The official referees of the race decided for the safety of the riders to shorten the race to the last 25 miles.
This put Adrian at a serious disadvantage. His skill set as a racer is best suited for long, hard-man races, not pure climbing. And now he was forced to jump straight into an epic climb without the ability to tire out his competitors in the previously planned 90 miles leading up to the climb.
The final results of this race are still not decided upon as the official results have not been publicly announced.
Here is a first hand account from Adrian of the final moments of the race:
" I think I won? I finished in the front group of about 5-10, one guy won solo by I think 30-40 seconds and I had 54 seconds on him at the start of the stage. I also crashed 1k from the base of the climb and rode the whole way with my bars twisted to the side and my front wheel rubbing."
Let's knock on wood and cross our fingers for Adrian...
Here is a sneak peak at a part of Adrian's race resume--don't tell him I showed you!
Cherry Blossom Classic Stage Race
1st, 8-Mile Time Trial 1st, Columbia Gorge Road Race 1st, Volunteer Park Criterium
1st, Frostbike Time Trial
1st, Icebreaker Time Trial
1st, Carnation TT Series #2
1st, OSU Collegiate A Road Race
1st, UW Collegiate A Criterium
2nd, Brad Lewis Memorial Criterium
3rd, Athens Twilight Crit
3rd, Computrainer Grid Qualifiers 3rd, Carnation TT Series #1
5th, Stage 4, Mt. Hood Cycling Classic
11th, Stage 2 Tour of Walla Walla Stage Race
2nd, Wilson Hollow Time Trial 3rd, Waitsburg Road Race 2nd Overall Collegiate Road Nationals
Cycle University is an endurance sports coaching company with 2 retail bicycle shops founded by former pro cyclist Craig Undem based in Seattle, WA . Cycle U is run by experienced professional coaches focused on providing athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and hobbyists with the proper education, training and equipment to empower self improvement and personal excellence. Whether the focus is recreational, advanced, or professional level, the education and processes crafted by Cycle University provides the knowledge, practice & expertise to improve your athletic performance.
Services include: athletic coaching, bike fitting, fitness testing, skills clinics, private lessons, indoor InCycle classes, bootcamps, coaching consultations and teams for Triathlon, Cyclocross, Road, Non-Racing Performance and MTB.
We also have 2 full service shops that sell Specialized and Felt Bicycles along with a full array of gear and clothing.
Going strong since 2004.
Cycle U's Mission Statement
It is our mission to significantly help people become healthier, stronger, safer, and faster, by using science, as well as our experience as coaches, experts and educators to maximize health and performance. We commit to make our community a healthier and better place through endurance sport.