Rider Diary: Monarch High Cross 2011

Monarch High Cross

The race this weekend, Monarch High Cross, was a good race. I had a good start, and by the first turn I was in second, only behind my teammate, Torin. He led into the sandpit. We both ended up running three quarters of the way through. We rode together for a while, and then I passed him. When we got to the first barrier, I ran my bike, but Torin tried to bunny hop it. He hit his back wheel hard, and I was surprised he didn-t flat. I passed him back in a few turns. After the race he said that he had blown up right then. I ended up towing him around until the short run-up. I think that I gained time on him there and he couldn-t close the gap. At the start/finish, I went almost all out there to keep him from catching me. I rode the whole sand pit, so I was happy. Then I carried my bike over the horseshoes backstop. Then there was the death spiral. When I was a little more than halfway through, I saw Torin coming into it. I hit the gas and railed the rest of the corners. Then I went over the barriers and the sidehill that felt like it was at a 45 degree angle. Then I came around the last corner, and won the race.

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Rider Diary: Salida Road Race 2011

Salida Road Race

I looked at the clock on my bike computer, and it said 5:58.- There were 11 minutes to my start, so I rolled over to the start/finish line, and there were all the juniors, standing in a large group, waiting for the officials to line us up.- We were directed to the start, and after what seemed like forever, we started.- The officials had told us 1 lap, instead of the 2 the flyer had said.- We formed a pace line with an Amicas- kid at the front.- He was there all the way to the feed station, where another kid attacked, and I thought that we could catch back up if we could have a high tempo.- We turned the right hand corner that would take us up the hill.- We rode hard to the left hand corner that meant we were heading into the neighborhood.- I looked back and saw that there was an Alpha kid, Birgit Morris of Two Rivers, the Amicas- kid, and myself.- I was happy but amazed at the reduction of the field.- We were still chasing when we got to the first stair step.- He had a 7 or 8 second gap when we were past the steep section.- It flattened out for a while, but there was still a small grade.- The Amicas- kid was still on the front, powering away.- There were two small downhills, but they were short and were meaningless except for catching your breath.- Then there was a left turn that led you even farther up the mountain.- There was a 30-45 second uphill, and I attacked on it.- I had a 5 second gap going into the gravel, so I was good.- The Amicas- kid bridged up to me on the descent, but that was fine.- It was a breakneck descent, and I was using my 53-11. (DISCLAIMER-I have 650 wheels).- We had a small gap on the Alpha kid, but he probably could close it.- When we got to the bottom, the Amicas- kid had caught us.- We worked together on the flat, twisty part before the finish.- On the last 90 degree corner, the Amicas- kid went into it with way too much speed, and he skidded and went all the way across the road.- Then the two of us finished in a sprint, and the Alpha kid won it, but I didn-t care, I got third.

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Rider Diary: Road Nationals 2011 by Cade Bickmore

Last month I participated at the USA Cycling Road National Championships in Augusta, Georgia in the Junior Men 13-14 along with teammate Jacques de Curnou and my brother Torin who raced in the Junior Men 10-12.

JM 13-14 USA Nationals Criterium

We drove out there so we could bring our camper trailer and a lot of bikes. Jacques and his family drove out separately. -We left at 9:00 pm on June 19 on our 30 hour drive. -We took some breaks along the way including a stop in St. Louis where we got to see the Arch both at night and in the morning and got to go in it. -It was pretty cool, and at night it had lights shining like spotlights in a way that made a cool shadow in the air (yeah, that is how humid it was). -Finally after 28 hours of driving and being on the road for 2 and a half days we arrived in Marietta, Georgia at a friends house where we stayed the night then left at about noon the next day where we made the final 1 and a half hours of driving to get to Augusta.

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Rider Diary: Wildflower Rush 2011 by Eric Brunner

The Wildflower Rush was a race I did on the side of road racing because otherwise I wouldn-t race for three straight weekends. I had been thinking about doing some mountain bike racing this summer, and when my friend-s family invited us to stay at their house in Crested Butte, it was the perfect opportunity.

As the U14 Junior Men jostled for position to roll out to the start line, the official announced that the start wasn-t until 12:46, sixteen minutes later than posted. I rode off to get in a little more warm-up. However, most people had stayed and I ended up against the barrier with a folding sign in front of me.

When the whistle sounded I clipped in quickly and was about third going into the first corner on the road. After a fast section on the road there was a steep dirt road. Several riders passed me, but I passed most of them before the start of the single track. My extra warm-up had paid off. I was in fourth when the rider ahead of me had to unclip on a technical section. I passed him and soon caught second place, who had gotten the hole shot. It turned out he had gone out too hard and I passed him as soon as I could. The leader, Jake Yakkle, had sat up and I recovered on my way to catch him. Since we were going slowly, I was afraid we would be caught and I passed him as soon as possible, when he tipped over.

I led the race for a while, making accelerations to try and drop Jake. He slowly faded until he was about twenty or thirty seconds behind. However, he still had something left in the tank and caught up to me on the downhill just after the top of Paradise Bowl. I consider myself a good descender, but I guess I-m just a roadie. I was absolutely flying to try and lose him, but he stayed with me.

At the bottom of Columbine Hill, where the Super-D and Cross-Country courses merge, Jake made a dicey pass, cutting way inside the course marker. At that point, I knew it would be super difficult to pass, and I was right. Again he cut a switchback, but I didn-t want to do the same thing because it would be bad sportsmanship and I would risk being disqualified. I was right, I couldn-t get back around him and I came in second.

They say second is the most disappointing place, and I agree. On the podium, my disappointment turned to satisfaction because there-s always room for improvement, and this is just the start.


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Rider Diary: 2011 Candelas Circuit Race by Nolan Brunner

The official announced the JM 10-12 category, and because that was mine, I rolled up to the start. Trevor Way and Peter Whitsel were the only other people who could beat me, so I thought that it wouldn-t be such a hard race, like responding to attacks and they weren-t great climbers so I could probably attack and drop them. The official warned us that there were 30 seconds to the start. I focused on the road ahead. I waited for the official to say 15 seconds, but he didn-t. He said -Riders ready? Go!- I got the hole shot, and I dragged everyone behind me. We got to the first flat, and I looked back and there was no one there. I let them catch up, and then I pulled. I hopped on the back, and let everyone else do the work. I got to the front, then I didn-t care if the pack could keep up or not. Peter was behind me and he fell off, so I was in the front. I increased my lead over the pack in the last, steepest climb. I passed under the finish line, and I saw Peter and Trevor were pretty far behind. I thought they would gain time on the downhill, but not catch me. I threw it in the big ring and hammered on the pedals. I got to the first flat going pretty fast, and when I got to the bottom, I still had a 40 foot lead. I knew that gap would get a lot bigger on the climb. I went a little too far to the inside on the turnaround, but that didn-t matter. I started up the first little climb and I probably increased my lead by about 5 seconds. When I got to the big, last climb, I decided if I wanted to win, I needed to go pretty hard on that hill. I did that, and I won! After I finished, I looked back and saw that Trevor and Peter were pretty far back.


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Rider Diary: Rabbit Valley Rally 2011 by Garrett Gerchar

In this race I competed in both events the time trial and the cross-country.- In the TT I placed 2nd out of cat 2/3 riders 15 to 18.- I was the last to go off witch was kind of nice because I didn’t have to worry about anyone passing me.- I passed four people on the semi flat single-track section they where nice and pulled to the side so I had no problems.- Passing them I had one problem when I hit some rocks and my clips came loose and I got flung off my seat and landed on the very end of it “OUCH!!!”- The next problem I had was on the fairly technical decent.- I passed two people here; the first was nice and pulled to the side, the second was a different story.- I came around a corner and tried to pass on the inside and he kind of cut me off sending me in to a really rocky part, but after that he pulled over like the rest.- I then I was on to catch the fifth.- We finished the decent and then had to hit the pump track section of the course.- I gained a bunch of time on this section and from what I heard I was about 15 seconds behind the guy right in front of me. By the end I was probably only about 5 or 6 seconds behind, so considering we started at a minimum of 30-sec apart I had gained a fair bit of time. This was a fun race but need to tighten my cleats.

Now in the XC course I was going off with the Cat 3 15-18, and the Cat 3 19-22 racers.- The start was pretty crazy, and for the first couple hundred feet I was behind Jacob then I passed him and was in the lead.- I was in front for a fair bit of time on the road until a 19-22 racer passed me.- I jumped on his wheel and he pulled me for a little bit. On the first hill after you turned left and started to head toward the single track, the 19-22 rider and I crested that hill and there were a bunch of cattle just grazing on the trail.- As we started riding down they started galloping away in front of us.- It was kind of like what you see in the nature films with cars chasing the wild boars or something. It was really cool but we kept cruising. We finally get to the single track and we crest the first hill and down to the next really sandy one and he gets off and so do I.- I was able to run past him and kept riding up the next hill. Curtis then catches us and he also passes the guy I was following.- Curtis and I then start the little descent and come to the crossing of the roads and start up the next hill.- With Curtis still closely behind we start down the road descent and I see this guy running along the trail, so I say “on your right” and he moves over.- As I’m going around him, I notice he-s the course marshal, and then he starts yelling, “you missed something, did you do the whole course?- and yes we had done the correct course so far.- So I continue the descent and reach what I thought was the end of the Lolly-Pop.- So Curtis and I did another loop of the Lolly-Pop.- I start the ride back to the finish way in front of the pack.- I was still pounding it as I get back to the course Marshall, and he tells me that where he was when I first passed him (which was basically very near where the start was) is where I-m supposed to do another lap.- I tell him that everyone is doing the two Lolly-Pops up where I turned around and so he’s like OK.- I continue going where he told me to do a second lap, but then he calls me back and tells me to just finish.- I ride to the finish and have a 56-min time which got me a first place “WooHoo”, but only because every Cat 3 men rider in our group did the wrong loop.

Garrett Gerchar

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Rider Diary: Cheyenne Mountain 2011 by Garrett Sczechowski

This race did not exactly go as planned. I had only ridden my bike 3 or 4 times before this race and I was tired from a lacrosse game the day before. The course was quite technical, one of the most technical courses I have ever raced on. I was not ready for it, and the lack of a pre-ride did not help me in the long run. From the get go I was not feeling great. My legs felt tired and heavy. I did my best to keep pace with those in front of me. On the last lap I had a pretty bad crash and ended up a little ways down the edge of the trail stuck in a tree. I got cut up pretty bad and the rear disc got bent. From there I just went for finishing the race in one piece. While the race did not turn out exactly how I wanted to ride it I did finish it, which is always important for me.

Garrett Sczechowski

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Product Review: DA-7400 by Nolan Brunner


Welcome to SpotOn! Spot is my nickname, and Nolan is my real name. This is my column for equipment advice, junior racing and any question you have that is cycling related. You can send me questions through the link on this page.

My first subject will be Shimano Dura-ace 7400 shifters. These are advantageous for a young padawan (me) because their shorter inner lever allows kids with small hands to reach the levers without going into their drops. Sadly, they started making them twenty years ago and haven-t made them for 10 or more years. Mine are still going strong after a lot of use. They-re older than me, which isn-t very common. They are often available on Craigslist or EBay and adults you know may have a set (or full group) that they don-t want anymore. They are compatible only with DA 7400 8-speed rear derailleurs. They were the first shifters mounted on the handlebars that were mass produced.

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Race report: Fruita 2011

Fruita 2011 Start

There was great racing had by all this week-end in Fruita. -The Cat 3 boys swept the podium. -Dominique was gracious enough to take 2nd due to a technicality. -Ksenia dominated the junior women’s field. -Lindsay took 2nd in a tough Cat 1, 15-19 field. And Quade and Garrett S. got in some good training races! -We even saw Cassidy on his new cool bike hammering the Junior men’s field. -The coach learned to ask more questions about the

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