Get stoked because the Fat Tire Revolution is revved up and ready to roll! We will kick it all off with the infamous Beezley Burn where we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary with a nod to 2005 and the course that started it all. (more…)
Once again the Gran Fondo Ephrata has lived up to it’s name. This ride has a pretty rich history of foul weather and suffering, the fact that last year was as nice as it was should’ve been an indication of what was coming. (more…)
With just one week to go before the big ride I tagged along for a “team” ride with VC boys on an abbreviated Gran Fondo Ephrata course. The idea was to hit the first couple climbs at race pace -even though it’s not a race- (Norton and Baird) then bomb the Baird descent, all the while keeping the group together. Part way down Baird we turn left toward Quincy and did a Palisades like paceline back to Ephrata. I feel like the take away lesson from today’s ride was don’t be such a roadie. Chill out, ride with your friends, and enjoy it, that’s really what it’s all about.
Conditions as of March 7 were good. Everything is dry, even a little dusty. Norton was recently graded, but it’s still okay. Baird is in great shape, places are packed almost like pavement, fingers crossed that it doesn’t get graded between now and then. The weather was awesome, sunny, 60 degrees, and not much of any wind to speak of. Forecast is calling for a chance of rain mid week (which would be great for the course), but otherwise warm and dry.
Note: Don’t forget to charge your Garmin!
We are sorry to say it but the White River Remix scheduled for June 27 has been canceled. Its too bad, because it is such a rad place too… big gnarly climb, bomber downhill, old school mtb racing at it’s finest. Also a great venue to hang out, camp, and ride even more rad trails the next day. Unfortunately though, we get our lowest numbers at this event. It has been a break even affair at best. Add to that the fact that NWEpic Series has changed the date of Capitol Forest from late Aug to, you guessed it, June 27 and there’s just no way it can survive. Again, sorry folks, hope to have a strong showing at FTR this year and come back swinging next year!
With Gran Fondo Ephrata filling up so fast we are often asked why the limit of 200. This is a question we’ve had to ask ourselves lately too. Sure 300 or 400 would be great, more money, more happy customers, win-win right? Believe it or not this limit is not set by any agency, this is our own limit set by us to maintain the integrity of the event. What the hell does that mean? It means 200 is the most we can handle: SAG, aid stations, meals, etc. (Hint: volunteers are the backbone of events like these. Want to see them flourish, get involved). It means these rides are supposed to be epic, rugged, REMOTE rides. You’re riding through some pretty spectacular terrain, in the middle of nowhere, that’s what this is about, not how many people I can sell an entry to. It means that these rides are HARD, and intended for experienced cyclists. We don’t want Mr weekend warrior showing up on his sweet gmc denali road bike because he heard gravel is the new road (although it’s true). One of two things will happen: he’ll fail miserably, and/or crash and we’ll have to scrape him off the course and haul him back, or worse yet, he’ll insist upon finishing, and we’ll have to babysit him until 9:00 at night when he finally finishes. Our number one priority is our participants. If they’re not happy and stoked with what we’re doing then we’ll do something else. Maybe ping pong.
After the snow from last weekend followed by a warm week, our Saturday group opted to stay out of the hills again. The plan for today’s ride was a big loop south, through the Crab Creek area. Despite the dreary conditions we had a strong group of six. The ride was supposed to be about 85 miles. We set out with a great pace on Dodson road all the way down into Crab Creek. This is a cool area that I haven’t explored much. We figured it was a good time of year to be there because the gravel road would likely be sandy and not much fun in the summer. There were big basalt cliffs almost like Palisades, with a lot of bird life around the water. This was pretty much the highlight of the ride, from there it was onto Beverly Burke road and a 12-15 mph slog the rest of the way back. I’m not sure if the wind shifted directions slightly or it was a slight up hill grade, or we went too hard on the way out… or all of the above, but it sucked. The only thing that got me through was knowing we would stop in George for lunch. Ahhh but that was not to be. Nope, not for this cowboy, by the time I got there I could see I didn’t have time and would have to skip lunch, leave my buddies, and keep truckin’ to make my [wife imposed] deadline. The tentative plan was my lovely wife was to pick me up 15 miles south of Ephrata on her way home from kid’s bball game to save time (and my legs). I messaged her to confirm I would make it there right on time, knowing that I would have to go hard to pull that off. Easier said than done 80 miles in. As I get to the pick up point I am right on time, only to find that my lovely wife is not there. My choices at this point were either to continue the final 15 miles home or curl up and die. I could’ve went either way but I opted to continue. It was slow going, I was cramping bad and crabby. Just outside of town, low and behold, look who decides to show up, my lovely wife. I had just hit 100 miles. I tried to gather my jumbled thoughts and explain why I was crabby, but it just didn’t quite come out as it had played out in my head earlier. She took me home, made me a giant sandwich and chocolate milk and I forgot I was crabby.
The Festive 500 is a Strava challenge that was cooked up by our friends at Rapha to ride 500k from December 24-31. It doesn’t sound that bad on paper… it comes out to approx 40 miles per day, much less if you do a big ride or two (or three). But it is harder than one would think. I did it last year and remember feeling like it was all I could do just to keep up. Not to mention if we actually got real winter weather (not complaining). I’ve been looking forward to the Festive 500 for awhile now, studying maps, planning routes, scheming. On Dec 23, the night before it begins (in classic Jake Maedke style) I was servicing bikes and came across a nasty crack in my carbon cx bike. That brought my excitement level down a notch, now I will be riding the entire 500k on my winter bike which is a heavy turd bike that is fine for commuting around town but not very enjoyable for long days. Then I notice that the tubeless road tire that I had planned to run was looking like it should’ve been replaced about 400 miles ago. All of the time I had to prepare and I wait until the night before… kids there is a lesson to be learned here. (more…)
Awhile back a few of us decided to keep riding through winter. Other than the bitter cold, snow, ice, and lack of daylight, we could thing of no reason not to do at least one substantial ride per week throughout the winter months. Even though it’s not even winter yet it has been wicked cold all week so this was as good as anytime to get this thing started: our first official unofficial winter Saturday ride of the season. (more…)
Okay folks, here it is, our very preliminary 2015 schedule of events. Have a looksie and let us know what you think. Nothing is set in stone yet, but this is the way things are shaping up.
tentative 2015 Vicious Cycle Events:
March 15 – Gran Fondo Ephrata
March 28 – FTR Beezley Burn
April 12 – Gran Fondo Goldendale
April 25 – FTR Beacon and Legs
May 16 – Roslyn Rush
May 31 – Gran Fondo Leavenworth
June 6 – Bike and Brews
June 20 - Gran Fondo Ellensburg
June 27 – FTR White River Remix
Sept 27 – Gran Fondo Winthrop
We are thrilled (and maybe even a little surprised) at the reception of our Gran Fondos. We realize these are not easy rides. Then factor in weather and other variables and they’re downright epic. But this is what it’s all about! You will notice a new one in Ellensburg which is going to be right up there with Leavenworth. And we have moved GF Winthop all the way to Sept. This could be a big gamble with all the cx going on, but fall in the Methow is unreal!
We (I) would love to add to FTR. And we actually had two new venues that we had hoped to slip into 2015. But our FTR numbers just aren’t quite there to justify it. 2014 was a step in the right direction, but we’re still not quite there. Rally the mtb community and lets get this thing going so we can grow it!
This is one of my favorite times of year. There’s a ton of cyclocross to be had, which is great fun, but even better (sorry) is the amazing mountain biking! The small window of time when the high country is clear of snow, often only a couple months. I’ve had this particular ride on my short list for a few years now. So Friday evening when I saw the opportunity to con my friends into it (after a couple beers) I jumped on it. Sunday morning we all piled in a rig and hit the road! (more…)