June 30, 2010


I read my teammates posts, describing the heat and humidity, and wonder when do I get my chance? It is almost July, summer began a week ago, and yet it is like fall here in the Northwest. I do overheat in warm weather and should feel fortunate with the cooler temps, but I wanna sweat a little....
Last night was my 7th Pacific Raceways of the year. It was another cloudy, blustery and cool evening, causing me to wear an undershirt and armwarmers. We went down the S turn, my least favorite course, but one I need practice on so I raced. It is the opposite of my favorite course. It is a counterclockwise loop that started on the flat, then swung around and down a steep ramp before entering a steep s shaped section with two good turns. It requires technical skill. Once out of the S turn you start a long rolling climb back to the flat. I always hang off the back on the descent. The race started rather slow which was nice but soon picked up.
I hung on for 1/2 the race, then got dropped on the descent. So many riders got dropped from all 3 races, riders were all over the course. I felt happy that I finished as many opted to ride the shorter escape route rather than the S turn, but I did the whole course for the whole hour.
A crash did occur early in the S turn in the Masters race when something happened ahead of us in their break away (3 riders). We did not see it happened but came upon it while flying thru the S. Never good to see but I think the riders were okay. Cars race down it too and the road had extreme tire wear from where they braked.
Anyway, just 3 more needed to qualify for swag!
Come on warm weather!
Happy early 4th to all.
Ty 9aka Saddledancer)

June 28, 2010

A Race and a Tow

Yesterday was the Boston Harbor roadrace in Olympia. I raced the Masters C event in the afternoon, which allowed me to flake in the morning. I almost did not go but my girlfriend helped persuade me as it was a nice day. Only 35 or so riders rode the 30 mile rolling course. I liked the small field as the road was very narrow. We rode 5 loops of a 6 mile course that had 2 good short descents and then lots of rollers, with one short climb (but long enough to hurt at effort) just before the finish. I rode at the back as usual and felt stronger each lap til the start of the 4th, when I was almost dropped on the climb. I did get back right before the start/finish and felt fine for the last 2 laps, even moving up and back at will. The finish was fast as we all flew up the hill. By the top, and with 1k to go we had split into several groups. There was a lead group of 7 or so then a few more than me and a couple of others. I joined the 2nd group and was able to sprint strong, finishing around 20th I think.
It was a great race and my girlfriend attended and videotaped the finish.
The drive home was actually in a tow truck as my truck died in the parking lot:( All things considered it was a very nice ride home. The beer and burger sure were tasty:)
I have done 4 sanctioned road races this year, 3 timetrials, and 6 Pacific Raceways series, the most ever for any one year. I have not had any mechanicals or crashes and have finished every race. I am so grateful.
I will be out of town in August so will miss the Crystal Mountain Hillclimb, a first since 2005. Oh well, girlfriends come first, especially one as supportive as M.
All the best to my teammates.
Ty (aka saddledancer)

June 23, 2010

Just Once This Year

One of the routes on the Tuesday night series at Pacific Raceways in Kent is "Up the S," a nice 2.5 mile or so loop with a good flat section, a gorgeous downhill section followed with a short and oh so sweet climb. The climb makes it the least popular route (but my favorite), and due to its unpopularity is only raced once a season.
The weather finally cooperated last night-partly cloudy with mild/slightly muggy conditions. I was so excited to race the route and couldn't wait to get out there. Due to a woman's race I could only pre-ride the course once and realized I really wasn't ready for the climb.
Only about 30 riders raced the 4/5s . We were to race for about an hour, or 12 laps or so. We stayed together for the first 5 laps and then things began to break apart. My legs felt okay on the climb and I had no problems on the flats and descent, but I started having some sort of throat issue on the 5th lap, couldn't swallow and felt like something was caught. By the time I got that resolved I was off the back on the descent leading to the climb. I never got back and ended up struggling with another rider for most of the remainder. I did get to ride a lap with the 1/2/3s and then a few laps later with the Masters. I glot blown away on the climb by the 1/2/3s but easily hung with the Masters so my legs were okay.
Overall I was a bit disappointed in my performance but was quite happy to finish. The three races were all blown apart some with riders scattered all over the course so I was not alone. Plus I have done six of the required 10 so I am getting there...
I get to ride my single speed cross home from work today (about 20 miles) so can't wait for 4:30 (10 more mins)!
All the best to my teammates
Ty 9aka Saddledancer)

June 22, 2010

TriItNow Father's Day mini-Tri

I competed in my first triathlon in over twenty years this past Sunday, albeit a mini-tri. It was a 175 yd swim in a pool time (trial-like start with swimmers going every five seconds), followed by a four mile bike and a 1.4 mile run. The swim is always my weakest event and this was no exception. I finished fine for me but am sure I lost quite a bit of time to the good swimmers. But what I lost in the swim I made up on the bike and the run. I entered the water 30th out of 60 competitors and ended up being the fifth racer to cross the finish line. My time was good for fourth overall. If I ever get to the point where I could become a stronger swimmer I just might become dangerous.

June 21, 2010

I went to the dark side. I have always enjoyed time trial races, but avoided the temptation to bite the bullet and buy one of those crazy looking, fragile looking TT bikes. Well, that ended when I just thought a road bike was too much of a disadvantage. But there's no way I'd buy one of those teardrop helmets. No way. Well, that ended too. In for a dime, in for a dollar.

I did the second in the Bong Rec. State Park series up in Wisconsin, the "Bong & A Half" 30k time trials. My goal was 23 mph average, and did 23.9 mph on this pretty flat course. Some small rolling hills, but nothing to complain about. I'm really getting comfortable with this position, and can't wait for my next short but violent effort.

June 16, 2010

Church Creek TT

I raced in the Spring Church Creek TT in Cambridge, MD on June 5, 2010. I was hoping to set a new PR for the 40K course. Cambridge is on the MD's eastern shore, bay side and extremely flat. The major challenge on the route is the wind. This year offered the additional challenge of heat and humidity. This was my third attempt at this TT. I rode a 1:07:23 in 2007 and 1:08:34 last year but alas, a PR was not in the cards this year. I ended up with a 1:08:01 by the official clock but the 1:07:59 on my iBike looks much faster! Maybe next time for the PR.

I think the pic is at the start of the TT because my tongue would have been much farther out of my mouth at the end.

June 15, 2010


I recently was watching a DVD of the 2008 Giro de Italia when I heard Phil Liggett say “Because anybody that goes away on a motor track like this is either an idiot, or really believes he can win.” He was commenting on an early stage that finished on an auto track, one a bit like the Pacific Raceways course I ride most every Tuesday night from March through August as part of the Budu Racing series. And to paraphrase Joe Parkin, "if you attack when planned you have attacked too late."
Tonight was my 5th Pacific Raceways of 2010 and the 13th of the series for 2010. The course was the flats again, but with points per lap starting with the 2nd lap. This meant a fast race. The weather was iffy, and it poured en route to the race. The course itself was dry but big dark clouds were approaching as we started our 55 minute race. Drops fell for the first 2 laps and then the rain held off for the remainder of the race, though the clouds looked very threatenimg. It poured on the drive home so we hit a perfect window for a change.
Anyway, my intent was to stay at the back as I am not a crit racer and use the flats course as a workout. 3 other teams (Starbucks, Old Town Cycle and Cycle U) were well represented, and I thought they would control the race. I had thought of attacking at some point (as I always do on the flats), but wanted to wait until the last third of the race. Before I knew it, I was moving up throught the right side of the field with about 20 mins to go at the start/finish line when I found myself attacking and moving away. My legs had just gone without any thought. I eventually looked back and saw one rider from Old Town Cycle trying to bridge. I had a good gap and decided to ease up to let him join me. We worked together for a few minutes but I did not have the legs to stay away and I could see the field coming back. I let my partner go away and tried to hold the pack off. But to no avail. They caught me then soon caught him. It took everything I had to catch the back of the train as it went by but I held on for a few more laps. I finished near the back but again was quite happy with my efforts. I think I did both Liggett and Parkin well.
Ty (aka Saddledancer)

There is No Education Like Adversity

1st race of the 2010 season (WORS #4 Sunburst Showdown) for me due to knee issues from July, 2009 and my only expectation going into the race was to finish and remain in the Comp Cat 2 category, which I did.

I truly did not expect for it to be such a struggle to cross the finish line. A leadout crash, a 2nd lap broken middle chainring, and a 3rd lap broken chain had me wondering if I was going to be able to finish. I did, although easily finished with my worst result ever. Special thanks to my family and friends to cheer me on as I 'brute forced' and survived this race. Next up WEMS #3: 12 Hours of John Muir and a 3 hour solo race for me.

Felt great to race again and despite the adversity, I still had fun!

Joe Riesberg

June 13, 2010

Still Single

Today was the inaugural 9.5 Mercer Island TT, actually part of the Washington State Senior Games. The race was open to riders over 40, and due to issues with the island's council the entrants were limited to 80. Fortunately I entered a few months back so had a spot. There were 10 riders in the Men's 45-49 category, and I was the 4th to go in that cat. We started at 1 minute intervals on a good downhill. The course then climbed briefly, then rolled and was generally downhill until a good short climb. The course then serpentined for a cpl of miles before the finish. I had ridden the course 3 times on my single speed and once (yesterday) on a geared bike. The route circled the west, south and east ends of the island on a very smooth and fun road. A mecca for local cyclists. I knew the course well and wanted to race the single speed. So I did.
It was a beautiful day. The weather had been quite wet and cool for May and the start of June, but turned better on Friday afternoon. Yesterday was just gorgeous. Today was not as nice but was very good for the race, at least for me-mostly clear, light wind, and 60 degree temps.
I started strong and rode strong the whole way, seeing very little vehicular traffic. The police were very kind and polite and I waived to, and thanked all the ones I saw directing traffic.
My minute guy never caught me and I never saw another racer. The finish was a bit anti-climactic as I got caught behind 2 cars having to slow due to a weekend rider. I was not able to sprint or finish strong and had to settle for coasting the last 100 meters or so.
In any event I clocked 26:21 for 9.5 miles on an undulating course on my single speed. I took 8th out of 12 for the Mens 45-49. I believe I was the only single speed. I am quite happy and satisfied.
All the best to my teammates and Evan.
Keep the rubber side down,
Ty (aka saddledancer)

June 9, 2010


I have to have ridden 10 Tuesday night races in the Pacific Raceways series, held from the end of March through August, to qualify for the swag giveaway on the final night. That is my real goal this year. Not to win, place or be a real factor. Just to do the 10 so I can get a free pair of socks, or fenders, or jersey-just something!
Washington has had a very wet year so far-approximately 62 days of measureable moisture. Although I train in the rain and snow, I do not race in the wet. I am not a pro, am not paid to race, do not have a lot of confidence in my abilities in wet, slick, racing conditions, and just don't want to race in the wet. But last night I did.
I had only done 3 of the first 10 Pacific Raceways series, all because of the weather. I knew I had to start showing up to get my 10. Yesterday started very nice, and my hopes were high. We were to race the flats. By the time I showed up an hour early, the clouds were back in earnest. The prediction was for a lot of rain around 10pm, but this storm arrived early. I started in the 4/5s, and we were to race the flats for about an hour. The first 30 mins were dry, but I could smell the rain coming. I did move to the front on 2 of the first 4 laps, not attacking, but bringing an attack back on the 4th lap, staying in 3rd position for most of the lap pulling the pack along. Soon after the rain drops began. They told us at the start that the course would change to "down the escape route" if it started raining, as the flats became very slick and dangerous (the drag strip we raced on became an ice rink in the rain). With 3 laps to go, at around 40 mins of racing we were directed down the escape route. I stayed well off the back down the ramp, but easily worked my way to the top 1/2 on the rollers that followed. I was very happy to finish as it began to pour with 2 to go. Now I have down 4 of the 10, so I am at 40%. I am relatively confident I can get 6 more in as there are 11 races left. It can't rain every Tuesday night, can it?
The team was well represented as coffee was given away as primes for all 3 races. Thank you Evan! There is also team stuff to give away as swag at the end of the series. BUDU Racing, the organization that puts on the series, was quite thankful for the goodies. So was I.
I have a tt on Mercer Island on Sunday as part of the Senior Games and am riding my single speed. Speaking of singles, a guy raced one last night in our group and did quite well.

Side note-any suggestions on how to lessen/dampen the vibrations in my Sibex titanium cross forks? I just put them on a new Lynsky/Scattante ti cross frame and they vibrate horribly on steep descents. Someone suggested dampeners. Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you and keep the rubber side down.

Ty (Saddledancer)