The uber-prestigious Vicious Cycling Gran Fondo series hit its midway point of the season with the popular Leavenworth round on May 21st which was, coincidentally, the first genuinely hot day in what seems like an eternity. In fact I tried Googling “last blue sky day above 75 degrees + Washington” to find out when exactly we’d last seen the sun and felt its warming rays but got a “Search Failed! Out of Memory Error”. Continue reading “Inside GFL”→
That’s what we’ve got in store for us as the Clement Gravel Fondo Series Presented by Sage Bicycles goes for a little ride in the hills of Leavenworth this Sunday. As of two weeks ago there was numerous patches of snow across the road in the trees at the top for the first climb. Some were rideable on the edges, some not, but none of them where very long. We feel that there is a pretty good chance there will still be some white stuff come Sunday, hopefully not too much. Although with a forecast of 80+ degrees and sunshine a little snow may not be a bad thing! Bring on the adventure!
We’ve pretty much given up on spring and are now waiting for summer (so we can complain how hot it is). Last weekend at the Squilchuck Chainsmoker mtb race we had what some would call a classic pnw “spring” day -if you don’t like the weather just wait for a few minutes, it will change -rain, snow, sleet, sun, more sleet, then finally we finished with some more sun. The trail system up there is so rad, hats off to Matt Rose, Dave Dunnel, and the whole Evergreen Central chapter for the outstanding work. As nasty as the weather was the trails held up great. Already looking forward to the next opportunity to get back up there!
It has been one heck of a winter. We’ve been snowed out/frozen out of all of our gravel faves for months now. All things considered the county has been doing a good job keeping the “important” roads open. Unfortunately there is a 1 mile section at the top of Baird Springs that has been deemed unimportant. Time for VC to get creative! Continue reading “The Winter That Won’t Quit and GFE”→
After an extended hiatus in which the quiver of bikes in my garage were becoming more of a nuisance than a boon requiring the laborious re-arrangement of tools & toys every time I needed to use the table saw Vicious Cycle finally re-surfaced again with the season ending GF Winthrop. And while none of Jake’s races could be labeled as “easy” – I would definitely caution against that – the GF Winthrop is a prime candidate for the title of “hardest”. Ninety miles is just never going to be a stroll in the park. Factor in 11,000 feet of climbing/descending and the difficulty goes up exponentially. And then, for the most part, ban the guy who invented asphalt surfaces and you have a pretty epic ride on your hands. Continue reading “GFW With Brig”→
The Ellensburg Gran Fondo is the most recent addition to Vicious Cycle’s quiver of gravel classics with just its 2nd addition taking place this past Sunday. Each arrow in this quiver has its own distinctive personality which contributes to the dynamic of how the race unfolds. I mean ride, how the ride unfolds. It’s not a race remember we’re all out there just lollygagging around after all. GF Ellensburg’s particular feature is the long undulating road section off the start before anything serious happens. The first big obstacle, the climb out of Cle Elum, is over an hour into it whereas in GFs Ephrata, Leavenworth, and Winthrop you get clobbered like a baby seal with something onerous that blows the group apart within minutes after the start. Continue reading “GFEburg ride report by Brig”→
Last year’s GF Leavenworth was the debut outing for my new Norco Threshold and my first crack at going tubeless which ended badly when both tires blew out in a shower of sealant before the race even began. Back in went tubes. But this year I was again convinced to try tubeless for Leavenworth and shelled out some pretty serious coin to get professionally set up with some Schwalbe G-One tires. They looked pretty sweet – my main criteria for judging just about any bicycle or accessory – so I eagerly took it out for a short test ride and naturally punctured immediately and the sealant proceeded to work about as much as Frank Benish and Joe Martin combined, ie not at all, despite repeated inflations. Grrrr. As usual what functions flawlessly for everyone else doesn’t seem to apply to me. The night before the race Evan stuck a plug in it and I wheeled to the start line the next morning holding my breath with zero confidence in my tires and 2 tubes in my pocket for insurance. Continue reading “Riding with Brig at GFL”→
Why do we do it (mtb races), why xc? It would seem the GF’s have the potential to be more profitable, any financial adviser would tell us DUMP THE FTR! Sometimes we ask ourselves the same thing… But it’s an easy answer: it’s who we are, we love it. XC is the purest form of bicycle racing, you gotta be a DHer and a roadie all in one. You gotta have the whole package, skillz and fitness. We know you have a lot of choices, and weekends are a precious commodity. We appreciate every one of you who come out to our events. We work hard to keep them fun, and fresh. Perfect example is the Chainsmoker coming up this Saturday. Great mix of new and old, flow and tech, banzai and grind. Yep we love this xc thing, and the FTR is here to stay. See you at the ‘chuck this Saturday.
It’s been a long winter but it’s finally time. GFE is THIS Sunday and they start coming at you pretty fast after that. A couple of us got out for a pre-ride a few weeks ago. It was basically our first time on the course since last year. Everything looked pretty good. No snow, not really even any mud to speak of. It was about as nice a day as you could ask for, blue skies and a nice breeze pushing us home from Palisades. Looking forward to seeing everyone this Sunday, weather is shaping up to be decent. Better than last year anyway!