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Month: July 2009

Red Door Sprints Results (072909)

Red Door Sprints Results (072909)

The event at the Red Door in Fremont is one of the final four, and what better way to celebrate than to award a bike for the winner of the evenings races?

The Red Door event took place on what was apparently the hottest day on record for Seattle… EVER.  Temperatures in the day were reported at 110 degrees in West Seattle.  This weather is foreign for many people in Seattle, where air conditioning seems like a silly thing to install in a bar.  22 people, myself included, raced last night at the Red Door, where a crowd of onlookers gave shouts of encouragement and were generally impressed with the setup.  A good amount of bar patrons, as well as bar employees took to the saddles, most in grudge matches.

Qualifying times

  • Chris G.  28.033
  • Chuck M.  30.565
  • Kyle J.  30.194
  • Nouela J.  29.795
  • Rana L.  32.083
  • Brian G.  25.188
  • Kevin A.  25.295
  • Whit  26.158
  • Koos K.  26.802
  • Monica G.  30.455
  • Ponch  25.503
  • Karl A.  26.011
  • Felix N.  24.443
  • Jill T.  32.386
  • Danny N.  26.888
  • Matt C.  34.371
  • Greg K.  25.1
  • Kevin H.  28.963
  • Lucas W.  28.033
  • Brian J.  31.749

The top 4 men competed in round 2 to see who went to the finals:

  • Felix N. 23.837 vs.  Brian G.  24.66
  • Kevin A.  24.547 vs.  Greg K.  25.291

The women’s final brought Nouela and Monica to the bikes, with Nouela coming in first with a time of 29.563.  Monica was right behind her with a 30.491.  Nouela took home some custom wrapped Soma “Major Taylor” handlebars wrapped by none other than “The Wizard” Devin, at Wright Bros. Cyclery.  Also attached was a gift certificate for labor on a wheelbuild.  Nice job.

The men’s final brought the ongoing rivalry of Kevin A. and Felix N. to a head.

Felix finished less than a half of one second in front of Kevin, winning the grand prize, a fixed gear bike!

Final Standings

Men

  1. Felix N. 24.155
  2. Kevin A.  24.603
  3. Brian G. 24.66
  4. Greg K.  25.291

Women

  1. Nouela 29.563
  2. Monica G.  30.491

You can find us out again on August 8th.  We’ll be at the Tour de Fat afterparty at Brouwer’s in Fremont.  There will be TWO BIKES to be given away.  One to top men’s, one to top women’s.  Every body get spinning.  To enter is free, but of any event that I expect to be busy, this will be the one.  Get there to sign up early.  There are only 42 spots available.
Thanks for playing.

Polo heads: North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championship

Polo heads: North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championship

If you play polo, you probably already know that the North American Championships are coming up next month. The Championships will be in Seattle, and the winning team will be flown to the World Championships by Brooks of England.

The organizers have put together what is looking to be a superb event, with an impressive list of sponsors, and of course a slew of great matches. Seattle is home to some of the strongest polo players in the world, and has a good chance of winning the trophy at this year’s Championship

Saturday August 8th: Seeding matches will start at 10am SHARP at Magnuson Park

Sunday August 9th: Double Elimination Tourney starts at 10am SHARP at Magnuson Park polo courts

nahbpc_080809

If you don’t play polo, come down and see what all the kids are talking about. The matches are fun to watch, and it’s free to spectate.

Please, no alcohol containers on site. Drinking out of a water bottle is way better anyway.

Book review: A Dog In A Hat

Book review: A Dog In A Hat

It takes me a while to read books.  I usually have about 10 books that I look through at a time, and around 3 that I’m reading seriously.  I just finished “A Dog In A Hat” by Joe Parkin today, as it was too hot to do much else, and I’ve got to say, I was impressed by it.

You may not know Joe Parkin right out of the gate.  He didn’t win the Tour de France, heck, he never raced the Tour de France.  This frank, insightful, and very engaging memoir follows Joe’s life as he made the leap, beccoming a professional bike racer in Belgium.  His story is one of a second tier professional racer, and you can get the gritty, mud and sweat filled taste of racing within one of the most respected racing countries around the globe. It is a sometimes shocking glimpse into a drug riddled sport, filled with deception, betrayal, spandex, and deceit.

It takes a certain type of person to race bikes professionally.  I don’t personally know any professional cyclists, but from memoirs and stories I’ve read and heard,  it is unlikely that I would be close with any of them.  For one, professional cycling takes up so much of ones time, that they are wholly dedicated to it, and it’s unlikely that we would travel the same circles.  It reminds me of the song “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be Cowboys”

“They’ll never stay home and they’re always alone, even with someone they love”

And, well, sometimes they can sound a little cocky, full of themselves, and little bit like a prima donna.  This doesn’t prevent me from being fascinated by the sport of cycling, as well as the riders.

A Dog in a Hat is one of the better books I have read regarding racing, and I enjoyed an American’s perspective on European racing.  I found out a lot about Belgian racing, and it is pretty gnarly.  Kermis racing, new to me before, sounds like a blessing and curse.  I can’t help but envy the folks in Belgium, who have so many opportunities to watch racing in their daily lives.  The racers give their all for prizes equaling what a mid sized alley cat might offer. I have a healthy respect for people that push their bodies to the limit, it order to excel in their sport.  Cycling and doping can often be found in the same sentence, and are rarely found without the other in an article, or even paragraph.  Joe’s stories of people’s concoctions, various ways of getting a jump on the  competition, and the sometimes comical outcome is well written, and definitely worth the read.

Last I heard, Joe Parkin is now a reviewer for Bike Radar, and I look forward to his expertise and writing style in the future.  Great job Joe.

vp_dog

“A Dog In A Hat” 2009 Velopress $21.95

Rebel without a Cog

Rebel without a Cog

The other day I got the opportunity to race for the first time in a long while, and honestly, I wasn’t up to the challenge. Rob K., one of the masterminds behind the Seattle West Side Invite, held the 3rd (semi)annual Rebel without a Cog race. As I was expecting to spend the afternoon with my lady, I had prepared a nice lunch, and came down to the race start at Pier 62/63, ready to be dispatched to one of the checkpoints. Feeling like one of the hottest days of the year, I was more than content reading a book at a checkpoint, meeting up with Melissa later in the day. Rob, bless his heart, made sure I was taken care of, and got me to race, wanting to bring me a taste of my own medicine, or some such thing. So that was that. Maybe I should have abstained from alcohol the night before. Or eaten more than a little sandwich. Oh well. Put on the game face and let’s do it.

Kevin and I planned to ride together, but he got a little tied up at the start. I headed up to the Capital Hill checkpoint on the heels of Malik, Zach, and Ryan K. They took off, and I waited for Kevin there. We rode together, making good route choices, and somehow staying ahead of the pack. After a few checkpoints I checked with Kevin as to when we were going to head downtown.

“You haven’t gone there yet?” he asked.

Crap.

“Sucks for you. You better get there”

Double crap.

At that point, not knowing the city, and already past what would have been a decent place to turn around without much lost time, you could say that I gave up. Sure. I could have faked it. Being an unmanned checkpoint, I could have just written down the answer. But that would be wrong. We got to the finish, and just as people thought they were done, Rob was there, with a big ol’ grin and a phone book.

“Bring this to Ali, and have him- sign the front of it.”

Kevin had a flat, and I couldn’t place, so I gave him my wheel. He’d have done the same for me. Well, not really, he probably would have just let me patch it. It is a race, afterall. After the racers returned from Ali’s boathouse, they were dispatched to PJ’s bike shop… twice, then across the water to talk to Danny V. By the time that they got back, all were beat. Those that didn’t get back in a reasonable amount of time, were just let off the hook.

Rob brought us a keg of good Elysian beer and we did our best to kill it. With about a third left, I decided that I should just carry it to David’s house. That was interesting. I have been borrowing John V’s Freight Baggage backpack- and I thought it would be perfect. I have to say that if it was a half an inch larger, or a large bag, instead of a medium, it would have fit all the way in. It didn’t, but I still got it there, somehow. I was pretty damn proud of myself.

All in all, it was a great race, and good times. I get stoked when people put on alleycats. It gives me a chance to get to know the city better, and to see other people’s race ideas in action. Keep it up!

For the standings, all I can remember is the top 3 men and top women’s. If anybody else remembers, let me know! This was Kevin’s first win, and it was much deserved. Way to go buddy.

  1. Kevin MWA
  2. Coomer
  3. Ryan McMinn

First Woman: Rana L.

Seattle! Support the Missing Link! (rant included)

Seattle! Support the Missing Link! (rant included)

If you have fallen due to road conditions in Ballard, chances are that it took place along the “Missing Link.”

Cascade Bicycle Club has been battling with Ballard Industrial businesses, Ballard Industrial Associations, and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce to determine the fate of the “Missing Link” which runs from 11th Ave. NW to the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks.

After much delay by these organizations, the Office of the Hearing Examiner announced on June 9th 2009 it’s decision in favor of the completion of the Missing Link.

Cascade found out July 15th that they were being sued, along with the City of Seattle by the same organizations against the completion of the trail.  Please sign their petition in support of the Missing Link.

missinglink

SIGN THE CASCADE BICYCLE CLUB PETITION HERE


AND NOW FOR THE RANT…

At this point it looked like all was going to be fine, the trail completed, and the Burke Gilman would be a safer trail to ride. That of course would be too easy, and the Industrial sector decided to pull some punches and do exactly what they speak so poorly of… That’s right, they decided to:

stand in the way of progress.

Law and politics are not foreign to Industry, they are often involved with legislation, or lawsuits when a group is standing in the way of what they view as “progress.” Whether it be logging, drilling for oil, or Walmart constructing a store over farmland in order to sell wares made oversees at a price so low that it puts local stores out of business. But I digress.

What would the completion of the Missing Link bring to Ballard?

  • Safe routes for ALL users.
  • Promotion of human powered transportation.
  • An increase of foot traffic by local businesses, increasing local revenue.
  • Increased access to Ballard attractions.

Eugene Wasserman, president of the North Seattle Industrial Association says:

“We’re not anti-trail”

“The city’s decision is just another example of the Seattle Department of Transportation not treating people equally.

Thank you for clarifying that you aren’t anti-trail Eugene, I’m sure that you are really just trying to teach the city a lesson, and show them that treating people unfairly is not the way to go.

I do appreciate Mr. Wasserman and his attempts to lobby on behalf of the blue collar person.  From the little I know of Mr. Wasserman, we would probably agree on many issues. I fished commercially for 8 years, and have grown up blue collar. I think it’s tragic when the increase of yachts and pleasure boats threaten the number of boat slips available to people that work on the water. I never got a college degree, and believe that there are many things that I’ve learned in the workforce that could never have been taught to me in school. I don’t plan on working in one of the “mirrored-glass biotech parks” that he dislikes, and sees so many Seattle residents employed at.

I do however believe in bicycles. Cycling is most definitely NOT a decidedly white collar form of transportation.  I think people that walk are great, and this is where Eugene Wasserman and I have a difference of opinion.

A blue collar worker, in this day and age, doesn’t necessarily work 14 hours in a coal mine, drive home in his beat up Ford pickup, open a can of Coors, eat whatever his stay at home wife has cooked him while his 2.5 kids play at his feet and he watches football.

Sure it’s out there. But it’s not the only thing going on. For one, his wife (or his gay partner) may have a job as well. There may not be kids in the house. And you know what? He may not own a car.

As technology brings us tools that enable us to work smarter, not harder, the lines between service jobs and blue collar jobs are being blurred.  No longer are there fishermen headed to sea in oilskins and cotton (if any) gloves. Of course, there are still jobs that require manual labor, thereby defining them as blue collar. If what you want is the manual labor, maybe you should lobby against the use of hydraulics in industry, or ban the use of snow plows and give everyone a shovel in the winter.

Some things that the City of Seattle does affects blue collar workers more than others. Increasing taxes, and charging more for garbage pickup, water fees, and electricity are some of them.  Putting in Bicycle lanes so people can get to work safely or get some exercise on the weekends without constant fear of breaking themselves, or their bike on dilapidated train tracks is not anti-blue collar.

So that’s what I think about that. If you are still reading, and you are interested in having the city transform this little chunk of industry-torn Ballard into a safe place to walk, bike, AND drive, then you should head on over to Cascade Bike Club, sign their petition and stay active.

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Bicycle Film Festival Seattle dates

Bicycle Film Festival Seattle dates

It’s moved around a bit, but the dates for the Bicycle Film Festivals Seattle stop have been set for September 11-12.

This will be the first time that the Bicycle Film Festival has come to Seattle.  Stay tuned for updates.

Let’s make Bike Party!

bff

Sprints results (072309)

Sprints results (072309)

Another 42BELOW sprints, this one taking place at the Ballard Loft, bringing together a diverse group, with many bar patrons hopping on to see what it was all about.

Rana L. took first in the women’s bracket, with Melissa C coming in second

For the men, John V took first place, with Max S coming in second, Robyn S in third and Brian G in 4th

Qualifying times:

Men

  • Robyn S. 25.034
  • Koos K. 26.558
  • Brian G. 25.337
  • Max S. 24.936
  • Bubba 27.075
  • Dan Murphy 30.731
  • Dan Murphy (0316) 28.048
  • Tall Bryan 27.141
  • Whit 26.306
  • James L. DNF
  • Anthony K. DNF
  • Andrew S. 32.185
  • Bryon R. 29.947
  • Gary D. 31.638
  • John V. 24.498
  • Will M. 27.247

Women

  • Lisa T. 35.302 (left after first round)
  • Melissa C. 39.003
  • Rana L. 35.442
  • Kristin R. 83.128
  • Tanna 70.457
  • Alicia 37.058

Semi Final

  • Max S. (24.642) vs. Brian G. (25.535)
  • John V. (23.711) vs. Robyn S. (24.873)

Finals

  • John V. (24.088) vs. Max S. 24.476
  • Rana L. (32.387) vs. Melissa C. 36.894

The next sprints will take place at the Red Door in Fremont- and a 42BELOW bike will go to the winner of the night!

Sign up at 7:30- Race at 8.

42b-bike

Cyclists in Ballard hit with blow darts

Cyclists in Ballard hit with blow darts

Unbelievable. Two riders were hit with blowdarts on Monday evening in Ballard, from a moving car. What the hell is wrong with people?

Amy sent this on to me, and it can be read at Myballard.com

Around 6 p.m. on Monday, Avram says he was hit by a 4-inch blow dart while crossing the Ballard Bridge. He sent us this email:

I was riding on the east side bike lane, heading north. I heard a little “pop” sound then felt a sting. My first reaction was that it was a rock that had been run over and shot out at me. It kept stinging so I reached down and felt the dart sticking out of me. I pulled it out and once I realized what it was, looked ahead at the cars to see if I could tell which car it was. Unfortunately, there were too many and by then they were well ahead of me. I stopped once I got to the end of the bridge to make sure I wasn’t bleeding, then rode home and called police.

Avram says he went to the ER and received a tetanus shot. He sent us this photo of the dart next to his remote control to provide some size perspective:

Update: “I was also hit with a dart in Ballard,” says “Mksprout” in the forum, explaining that it happened while riding on 8th Ave. between 50th and 51st, also on Monday evening. “I have reported this to the police and encourage others to do the same,” Mksprout says.

Not sure what type of person thinks that blowdarts are an acceptable form of hazing, but, at least for me, it freaks me the hell out. Bloodborne pathogens are not something to be messed with, and when you get stuck with a needle of an unknown origin, shit is real.

Thanks to Amy for sending this on, and bikes beware- be on the lookout, especially in Ballard- if you see anything like this, report it to the police. Even though you may be more tempted to do something like this:

Let the police do what they do.  U-lock justice is tempting, but generally not a good idea.  Ride safe.