TBT - These roads should all be familiar, as well as most of the faces. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Half of the starting field in the 60+ race at Hammerfest this year was VC; Frank Kurzawa, Mike Haney, Joe Haas and John Bartle. Could we prevail over the other four riders on three different teams? Our competition proved to be Charlie Johnson and Val Lincecum of Southwest Cycling Club Racing (SWCC).
The Men’s 60+ race was combined with both the Women’s Open and the Women 3/4 races, so it was a cozy pack of about 20, of mostly Austin riders, that set out on the Saturday morning hill climb stage in a light wind. The pace was steady, with each group respecting the strategic moves of the other group; that is, until the route got seriously steeper and the lone Tulsa Wheel’man’ woman attacked. Frank went with her and Charlie Johnson and John Bartle settled in with three ATC women chasers who kept the leaders within striking distance. The battle was on - a battle against Mt. Hood - resulting in a group of five making the final approach to the McDonald Observatory Visitor’s center, which was the men’s finish line. (The Women Open race finished at the observatory itself; one mile...more
Saturday 11/08/2014 - Grande Fundillo Grand Fondo, 13405 Immanuel Road Suite 1A Pflugerville TX (just off Howard Ln. on Immanuel immediately on your right, look for the Blue Castleberry door), 7:45amroll-out.
Loop 1 will be 97 miles out North of Walburg & back; Loop 2 will be 54 miles out to Elgin & back on roads that I know well as I may be brain dead by then! The plan is to do the first loop and then grab some food before rolling out for loop 2. Everyone is welcome to bring what they want to eat and put it in the fridge, we have microwaves, rest rooms, etc. that you can use. I would like to keep the lunch break as short as possible.
I think that it is critical that we keep the effort steady as the surges kill peoples legs on long rides (plan on 18 - 19 mph).
There will be no beer after the ride (unless you want to bring some) as Rogness Brewing will be closed.
Here are a couple of new kit designs in the works for 2015. These designs have been updated since the ones displayed here in July. Carey Jung talked about the switch to a new clothing vendor, cost estimates, and status in the July meeting. Here is a link to the slides he presented at that meeting. The one with the stripe is the one that is the "winner" from our recent survey of the membership and that we will be asking our designer to work from toward a final.more
Our September meeting will be this Monday, the 8th. at Mellow Johnny's from 7 - 9 PM. Join your fellow club members for a little pizza and drinks while enjoying the shop's 20% discount on merchandise and hearing various reports, stories and the latest on the cyclocross season. Your rider reimbursement checks will also be available. So come on down - and ride your bike.more
While I'm not generally big on writing race reports, I thought I'd write this one to introduce VC riders to Ultra Marathon Cycling. After a total knee replacement several years ago, I decided it was time to give up my not-so-promising Cat 4 racing career. Then last year, a friend asked me to register for a 200 mile ultra marathon race with him- the No Country For Old Men 200 mile solo. He bailed, I rode and was hooked.
Ultra marathion cycling races come in many formats- generally 200 mile and 400 mile routes or 12hr or 24hr timed events. 500 mile and above rides are also becoming more popular with the Race Across America (RAAM) being the best known. Each race is based on elapsed time- ride as far and as fast as you can, minimizing time off the bike (including for sleep). The primary challenge in these events is balancing nutrition, hydration and electrolytes while riding in mostly in the endurance power zones with forays into tempo and above. Races at 400 miles and above add sleep management / depravation. Races can be ridden solo or by teams of 2, 4 or even 8 in some...more
It is time to submit your request for reimbursement for race and ride entry fees from the first half of 2014. Qualifying events include races or rides in which there was an entry fee, and in which you wore the 2014 jersey. To request reimbursement, fill out the form linked below, and send it back to John Bartle (directions are included in the form). For more details on the reimbursement program, check out the program description on the "About" section of this webpage.more
Here is a short video of the 1400 Miles ride that Davis Tucker spoke about at the June 2014 Violet Crown Club meeting. "Pushing Cadence," a short documentary film, that tells the behind the scenes story of 1400 Miles. A Bike Ride from Austin to Denver to start the conversation between stubborn men about getting checked for prostate cancer. Joine the ride. 1400Miles.commore
The second annual Jester King Brewery All Clubs Ride is Saturday, June 7th, 8:30 a.m. (Not to be confused with the King of Jester time trial that took place 2004 - 2006).
It’s free and everyone is welcomed. The ride starts and finishes at the Jester King Brewery (13005 Fitzhugh Road) and is an out and back on Fitzhugh Rd. to Johnson City, about 50 miles. No cost for the ride however riders may want to stick around afterwards to buy beer and pizza.more
Well the race lived up to expectations. I rode the Gran Fondo New York which took place on Sunday, May 18, with 3,000 plus riders who came from all over the world. The 100 mile route included 8,000 feet of climbing. Fortunately, I was prepared - meaning I put in some long miles and rode hills to prepare myself for the race. It is hard to get in 8,000 feet of climbing in Austin. Best I could do without going to extraordinary lengths was 4,300 feet on a single ride.
This year's Gran Fondo New York winner, Gabriel Corredor from Columbia, completed the race in 4 hours 21 minutes. By comparison, I did it in 5 hours 45 minutes, which put me 325th overall and 19th out of 162 riders in my age category.
The race started on the George Washington Bridge in NYC. Racers rode into New Jersey and then headed north through Palisades Park on a route that included part of the Hudson River Valley. Turnaround point was the top of Bear Mountain which was 4 miles of climbing at an average grade of 6% to get there.
It is a beautiful area of the country and Sunday's weather was...more
Holy smokes that was a hard stage race! But lots of fun - not only the racing but also the road trip to/from, the pre-riding, and all the times between races. Bryce Billing, Carey Jung, and I drove out there in Carey's 32' RV towing his Honda Element against ridiculous headwinds and head/crosswinds. I'm talking 35-40mph sustained! It made for quite the rodeo. Carey did the lion's share of the driving with Bryce providing some relief. I was stressed out just watching them pilot the rig! It took us about 12 hours to get to Silver City on Sunday. We all stayed in the RV that night and then set out for some pre-riding on Monday. After the pre-ride, Bryce and I went over to our host house for the week. Our hosts, Patrick and Eileen, were great! They're a really nice couple and enjoy keeping up with "the Tour." Patrick is a cyclist (not a racer) and loves riding the mountains and cooking. We had some really good meals with them! Eileen also entertained us with some Irish fiddle our last night there. Great times! I highly recommend putting your name in for host housing...more
Saturday morning San Jacinto County near Lake Livingston. Mike Haney executes a perfectly planned race to take the first place trophy in the 45 mile roller road race at Coldspring - and finished in the top 10 in the combined 50/60 field.
A field of about 40 started off in ideal conditions; after two neutral miles the pace picked up with several moves off the front, but nothing stuck. Riders were paying attention, but after the first climb of three up the finish hill the effort continued over the subsequent rollers, splitting the field in two. The pace varied, one of two racers came back, one or two got dropped. Mike lined up on the last 60+ racer of the survivors and came around with 200 meters of heart-busting hill to go. Kudos!more
Borrowing a line from Delbert McClinton, I had a real good time. Went with my old buddies and fellow 60+ guys John Bartle and Rick Hall. After the race was shut down due to wildfires two years in a row, and was not promoted last year, turn out was much lower than it used to be (only about 100 total), so a number of categories were combined. We 60+ guys did not mind racing with the women. First stage from town to McDonald Observatory sorted out quickly when we hit the big climbing. Bartle, Bain, and John Gordon climbed away, with Gordon first, Bain second and Bartle third. I was 4th, Rick 5th, and a strong, lovely woman from Mexico finished with us. Our finish was just before the last several kilometers of 12 - 14% pitches, which was both disappointing and let me beat Rick in the sprint rather than trying to stay with him up the hardest climbing.
The afternoon's stage was another RR - only 18 miles, mostly flat, but straight into 30 mph headwind with gusts to 40 mph; took an hour and a half of hard riding with good cooperation amongst the old guys while the women sheltered...more
Plan is to roll out from the Shiner Brewery at 8AM Friday May 2 headed to Austin, then do the Shiner GASP back to Shiner for beer and bratwurst Saturday. The GASP rolls out from the MET Center at 7AM Saturday May 3.
Anyone interested in one or both days please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We have a good group going for Friday, about 15 people, but could always use more. Since Saturday is a large T-shirt ride there is always someone to ride with.
Also, we are in need of drivers as we currently have more spots than cars so anyone interested in driving would be greatly appreciated.
Here is a photo of Violet Crown's 1990 jersey (the Lightning Bolt) held up for the camera by Tom Paterson at the start of the Rosedale ride. Quite different from the club's more recent jersey designs also shown in the photo. Members of the club were encouraged to wear the 1990 jersey at the ride in memory Bill Reams. It was Bill's first VC jersey.more
The headliner for April's monthly VC meeting was Cary Jung's Gray bike. Nothing like bike technology and beer to get a good discussion going with this group. Cary's show n' tell included a rundown of the bike's parts and accessories starting with the Hong Fu Bike frameset he ordered direct from the manufacturer. The bike includes an electronic Dura-Ace 9000 groupset, a power meter, and a Fulcrum Racing Zero Ltd set of wheels. Cary provided a detailed printout of the parts, where he purchased them and the costs. Nelo's did the build and fit. Cary talked a lot about the groupset's electronics: getting it set up, the features, and getting used to it. Great meeting!more
Much loved husband and father, friend, talented engineer, enthusiastic cyclist, racer, winner, club-member, teammate, former officer, wit, and all-around great guy.
Bill, a long-time Violet Crown member, passed on Sunday, March 9. He is survived by his beloved wife Linda, two wonderful children, Rachael and Ryan, and countless friends in the Austin and Denver cycling communities. Bill and his friend Ted Dunbar originated the B&TETA—Bill & Ted’s Excellent Training Adventure, now known as the Bagel Ride—in the ‘90s. He was an accomplished racer and an energetic Violet Crown officer. Many of us remember his daily Tour de France 'lanterne rouge' recaps with a laugh. Bill was a brilliant engineer, holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech. He owned or shared approximately twenty patents for electronic inventions. When Bill weighed in on any technical discussion about bicycles, people listened. He will be missed.
He was a good man.more
There were 40 plus Violet Crown Club riders at the start of yesterday's Rosedale Ride. It was perfect weather for the event and a good ride. Just before the ride, Immediate VC Past President, Andy Austin, talked to the crowd about Violet Crown's long history with the Rosedale Ride. He mentioned that Bill Reams was an officer of the club when VC riders Kenny Lloyd and Richard Whittington along with their friend Al Godfrey first organized the ride 20 years ago. Bill participated in many of the Rosedale rides over the years. The large turnout was due in part as a show of support for Bill's family. We are all saddened by the passing of long-time fellow rider and friend, Bill Reams.more
by Kurt Bauer
My friends - of the many reasons we love our sport: wonderful memories, friends close as family, good health, and chief among them, the opportunity to swap racing tales and tell stories. To that end, I humbly submit the following story from my years riding and racing with the Spring City Cycling Club of Huntsville, Alabama, one of the oldest clubs in the Country, dating back to the 1890's. Through the 1980's and early 90's I was Club President, Rides Captain, Race Division Director, one of the leading endurance/distance riders in the region, and a bicycle shop owner. The story is about the early years of Jim Copeland, one of the more successful cyclists in the U.S.
The Racer and His Mom
His Mom was some kind of Hippie we’d heard - and worse, they were yankees. Moved down to Huntsville, Alabama from New York we’d heard. But we’d also heard from his high school coach, one of our Cat 2 racers and a well respected rides leader, that he was damned fast on the track team and had toasted everybody at the regional 5K race. He wanted to start riding with us – we’d...more
Get an extra helping of cycling fitness at the upcoming Texas Cycling Challenge scheduled for March 8. You can choose one of four distances: 60 -, 120 -, 200 - or 400 -miles. According to Pam LeBlanc’s article in the Statesman, “those who complete in the 400-miler qualify to ride in the real RAAM,” (Race Across America) which goes from California to Maryland. It starts on June 10. You can learn more about the Texas Cycling Challenge and sign up for it on the Race Across America Texas web site. Here is a link to the Statesman article about it (for subscribers), “Organizers of Race Across America to stage Texas Cycling Challenge in Marble Falls,” by Pam LeBlanc.more
Here is an interesting article on Brian Riley who lives in Allandale, written by Clair Melton. It includes a number of great photos from his racing days. (This one was taken in 1999). It all started in his hometown, Portsmouth, England. According to the article, "As part of the Velo Club San Raphael, Brian raced Cat 1 at numerous BLRC-sanctioned single-day and stage races in the southern part of England and in the London area, almost always placing in the top three, and often winning." Read the whole story here.more
It was a great day for the Jester King All Clubs Ride last Saturday, an out-and-back along Fitzhugh Road from Jester King Brewery to Johnson City. The ride was organized by the Steiner Ranch Cycling Club. Although windy, the temperature was ideal for a scenic ride in the hill country, if that's what your were looking for. Of course, some were feeling a bit more spirited and knowing the first 3 riders back to the brewery got a free Jester King t-shirt set a pace less conducive to sightseeing.
There was free pizza for most of the 70 riders who returned before free was gone. And of course, the ride was at Jester King Brewery, maker of some of the finest beer around. The beer was available for purchase following the ride. The ride was not without incident however - TURKEY VULTURES! - read more here.
The three riders who went home with a free t-shirt are shown in the above photo, VC members Weston Giunta and Don Bergman bookend former VC member Bertram Jernejcic. Be on the lookout for this ride next year!more
Greetings! I have volunteered to be the Advocacy Director for the Club and will provide updates to the Club on the goings on of the state of Bicycling in our fair city.
It’s a great time to be a cyclist in Austin! If you have ridden with me, then I’m sure you’ve heard me speak of the South Walnut Creek Trail (SWCT). The trail runs mostly parallel to Hwy. 183 on the east side of town. The 10’ wide, paved trail is scheduled for completion later this year, but currently has about 5 miles that are open now.
Access to the SWCT can be gained on Jain Ln. at the southern terminus or on Loyola, currently the northern terminus but when complete will run to near the intersection of Daffan Rd. and Johnny Morris Rd. To access the trail at Loyola, take the paved driveway to the Rugby fields just east of Walnut Creek on the eastbound side of the street. You will see the trail down to your right. Access can also be gained at the East Side YMCA at Hwy. 183 and 51st St. The trailhead is on your right as you pull into the parking lot. This is a beautiful trail and currently has very...more
by Kurt Bauer
On one Freewheeling ride some time back I was positioned in my usual spot – right off the back – and Hindoo had eased up to see if I was still there. We were chatting about jersey designs (it was that time of year) when an old pickup whose rusty bodywork seemed to be held together by NRA stickers blared past the group on the left. The truck’s occupants made derisive hand signs at us, and we, being old farts on bicycles, made impolite gestures back and verbally punctuated our contempt with various Anglo-Saxon anatomical, reproductive, and digestive terms.
This non-incident shifted the topic of our conversation a little, and Dave told me that he had always thought we needed to include the sublimated image of a holstered pistol emerging from one of the jersey pockets in our club design, less as a provocation than as a symbol of camaraderie with our fellow rural and suburban road users. That wasn’t exactly how he put it, but that was the gist. One or two riders overheard and piped up with suggestions for designs that included shoulder-holsters and bandoleros. Then the...more
Monday February 3rd. is our regular meeting at The Flying Saucer in the Triangle. Arrive at 6:30 for food and drinks (for purchase), 7:00 for "business".
This month there will be a presentation by John and Norma Bandy, long time VCers and owners of Austin Holistic Health, chiropractic and body work.more
Race reports can be very self-serving. “I am a bad ass because I suffered in the rain and mud while you watched football on Sunday.” The truth is it can be really fun. Even those of us towards the back have our own reasons to be there and our own little week-to-week battles. It beats Fantasy Football and it provides great entertainment for those who like to drink beer and yell at people riding and carrying their bikes in the cold and mud.
Sunday morning dawned dark, wet, and cold. The good news was that the rain and clouds kept the temperatures above freezing. The bad news was I did not want to get out of the car.The Woodlands course climbs and descends on an old landfill and features several off-camber turns through the trees or down the hills. There is a good variety of climbing sections to recovery sections that meander up and down the hill that now hosts a Frisbee golf course. The recovery sections were twisty and challenging but still provided a respite which Saturday’s course never seemed to offer. A few wet clay sections keep things very interesting but...more
It’s worth a drive to Waco to ride a Kevin Fawley designed CX course: up-hill 180 right after the start straight, slanting section leading to a steep off-camber, asphalt section through the finish line, a fast sloped grass section, sweeping bend, U-ye, followed by a grip-your –bars- then your brakes to be spit out onto the low part of the circuit which is exited by a genuine bike over the shoulder run-up – and that is less than half the course. It was not overly technical, i.e. twisty, but there was plenty of room for mistakes, especially with increasing pace – as I was later to demonstrate (demonstrate mistakes, that is, not so much increasing pace).
The race fortunately did not start in the downpour that was experienced during the drive but the wetness made for a rapidly slickening parcours. The corners soon developed ruts and what was solid caliche became a sticky matrix of goo that required some determination to get through.
The 60+ race, this time, had their own start. The quip on the line was that all but one would be on the podium and fourth place was not too...more
by Kurt Bauer
So the story as I first heard it went something like this: In 1967 the Brit blues-rock gods Cream (Jack Bruce, bass/vocals; Ginger Baker, drums; Eric Clapton, guitar/vocals) had arrived in Manhattan for a string of gigs. They were scheduled to hit the studio in a few weeks to record their second album. During sound checks, Baker and Clapton were chatting about a shared interest --- cycling.more
by Kurt Bauer
A Short History of Mangia Chicago Stuffed Pizza and the Violet Crown Sports Associationmore
I thought I would send in a little report on Bend, Oregon.more
The Violet Crown Sports Association
P. O. Box 6815
Austin, TX 78762