Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lilac City Twilight Crit is looming -- it takes a mountain

In my navel-gazing, self-indulgent state of late I have continued to put off mentioning this event.

And that's stupid, because, I've actually wanted this to happen for  along time. A long time ago I alluded to this idea because someone (who is *not* in SRV) offered up the idea of "downtown crit" to me... I see this kind of stuff forming and bubbling up and I turn on my heel and run the other direction. I had the same reaction with Bill Bender pitched SpokeFest years ago at a BAB meeting. I told him, in my nicest way, that "no way. Never in Spokane."

In short: it turns out that I'm the lazy bastard "idea guy"  (not to mention the token naysayer -- a charming combo)... Irony has come full circle.

So -- I really should do something beyond just post this cry for help from Alan "I actually do stuff. And I race" Jacobs.

And so should you.

Without further ado:

The Lilac City Twilight Criterium (Saturday, September 8) is the finale of the 2012 Inland Road Race Series presented by Larry H. Miller Downtown Dealerships and Spokane Rocket Velo. The crit will thrill racers and spectators alike as we fly through the streets of the vibrant heart of Spokane.

The long-awaited return of the downtown criterium is happening this year thanks to the hard work and support of the City of Spokane, the Downtown Spokane Partnership, Visit Spokane and all of our other sponsors. The event kicks off a weekend of bike-centric events with Spokefest—Spokane’s largest bike-related event—happening the very next day.

We need a mountain of volunteers to pull this race off. If you're able to help--even for just a couple of hours before or after the race--we greatly appreciate it. We promise to make it worth your while: free food, t-shirts, races, forced upper-body workouts. Click here to read what positions are available. To volunteer, call or text Alan Jacob at 509.270.8347 or email .


What's in it for volunteers:

  • All volunteers receive a volunteer t-shirt
  • All volunteers receive free hot coffee compliments of Roast House, a local Spokane roaster
  • All volunteers receive a bag of freshly-roasted coffee from Roast House
  • All volunteers receive free snack foods and drinks
  • Any racer who volunteers during the Inland Road Race Series receives two points towards the series total
  • Any racer who volunteers twice or provides two volunteers at any time during the season receives one race entry fee waived

Volunteer Details:

1) Saturday, September 8 with morning, afternoon, and evening positions available.

2) Downtown Spokane, Riverfront Park. Spokane Falls Blvd between Howard and Stevens .

3) Approx. time commitment: 2 to 4 hours depending on the position. It is encouraged and appreciated if you're able to sign up for multiple positions (just as long as the time commitments don't overlap.)

4) While we accept any volunteer who can do light to medium lifting (~20 to ~50 lbs) we prefer volunteers ages 18 and older. Some position MUST be staffed by a person at least 18 years old.

5) No prior experience is necessary. All volunteering duties are very easy to understand but also very important do to correctly. Adequate instructions for all volunteers will be given before the race begins.

6) Volunteers should print, complete, sign, and bring the USA Cycling Volunteer Release to the SRV trailer. In the "Type of Activity," simply write, "assorted volunteer duties."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Big changes are afoot at the Speare house. Liza has a new job. I am shifting my status at work to vendor so I can go back to school. Yow.

So not much to carry on about on the bike front at the moment. I'm not feeling the burn for CX this year, but maybe that will come as this transition settles out.

A few bikey bits:
Shogun in river mode. City mode looks the same minus the pole and one bucket pannier.

I've been riding the Shogun for all city riding over the last couple weeks. It's mostly perfect. I'll be commuting (mostly by bus) to Cheney in a few weeks. I plan on using the Shogun and the Bridgestone Hack as my main campus daily drivers. When I can swing the ride home, I'll take the 747or the Elephant.

Speaking of Elephant.

Here's a recent bike Glen finished. I friggin love this bike. I love the color scheme and the fact that it's rolling 26" (559!) wheels on an "average" size frame. Man I love this bike. This is before the Tubus Fly and hammered Honjos go on and the black bars are swapped for silver.  I'll try to get a shot before the customer comes for it next week.

One point of school/job shift is to manage summers off to optimize river time. Life's too short to work all summer. We'll see if I can pull that one off....

There's a nice, mostly flat dirt road out-and-back between our place on the Kettle and my uncle's place about 8 miles away. That makes for a nice cruise. The Legolas isn't making weird sounds anymore since I replaced the front wheel.

Anyway I guess the point of this post is to inform you that you should lower expectations even more than normal for blog content...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Long distance miracle food?

Sometimes I have a really hard time with food/stomach issues on long "event" rides. The Midnight Century was particularly frustrating in this regard this year.

I just read this on a cycling mailing list:

On the subject of general “fueling”, I’d like to throw in my 2 cents. Boiled potatoes. My stomach won’t allow me to each much food while riding and not at all when running.  But a lightly salted potato, eaten over the course of 50 plus miles (if a century, take two), works great for me.  Potatoes provide some carbs and are very easy to digest.  This has become my miracle food, along with Gu, Nuun, water, dried figs or dates.

Damn, I don't know why that speaks to me so clearly, but that sounds like a good idea.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review Redux: MSR Fast Stash 2

No pictures here. Lots in my initial review, which was luke-warm.

I'm changing my tune. The Fast Stash will become my go-to basecamp tent from now on.

This is a rocking tent. I used it for two weeks up at the river.

During that time we had a freak rain fall that dumped nearly 3 inches(!) in a single night. To hit 3 inches, we're talking about huge volume rain drops in huge volume coming down the majority of the night. I was dry. The tent held up beautifully.

As a side note, the light show that went with this storm was phenomenal. I wish I would've taken video. It was like a bad horror movie -- totally overdone: with multiple flashes of lightening every minute and deafening cracks of thunder. At first it was terrifying, but after 20 minutes or so, it became awe-inspiring.

The money piece was the next night. A crazy windstorm. This was 100+ MPH winds. Really.

Here's documentation.

As trees cracked and fell over just a few hundred yards away and as the mosquito tent/shelter buckled and blew over, this tent just hunkered down and held its ground.

Amazingly, so did the REI 4 person Hobbitat, though I would not have wanted to be in it as it leaned and contorted in the wind.

Anyway. I still think the Fast Stash 2 would be a squeeze for two, but it after experiencing these these events with this tent, I would say this tent is worth having. As noted, it's a perfect basecamp tent for one.

That's all I got.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Perfect summer mornings

These are the mornings you will be dreaming about in February. Get out there!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Freaky broken axle

That explains some weird noises I heard as I bombed off the South Hill into downtown this morning.

The fork on my Legolas was bent for a few months after getting Eberlized. Glen noticed it right away. Of course I ignored it.

Glen recently straightened out the fork when he got a hold of this bike for a day. But it appears the damage was already done.

Time to ponder a different bar setup?

Maddie says she wants to  ride this bike forever.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nice ride


After pondering my experience on the Midnight Century for the last week, I've come to the conclusion that it was about the lamest ride I've taken in a long, long time. I had psyched myself out of the ride a few days before the event by resigning myself to the idea that since I'd not been riding much, the MC would just suck.

That's no way to prepare for a ride. Even if I had maintained the same training schedule of beer and no riding, at least I could've approached it with a better mental attitude. And I did try that. But not that hard. My thinking was just that I would back off and enjoy the ride, no matter how long it took me. But I just couldn't back off. So I pushed too hard. And I didn't enjoy it in either case.

Until this year, the MC is the highlight ride of the year for me. Ever since finishing it the first time four years ago with Jake and Jonathon -- which was a fricking awesome ride -- I decided to make the MC my centerpiece ride of the year. I think that meant: be in good shape and go fast and enjoy it. But really, it should mean: be in good-enough shape, find your pack of friends that are riding a good pace, and enjoy it.

In any case, my miserable experience with the MC last Saturday night has left me with an undercurrent of frustration around riding, which quickly descends into angst, since I barely have any identity outside of riding. Aside from a couple trips to the store and downtown, I've not really ridden a bike much in the last week.

I begrudgingly took a ride this morning and was surprised to find how much I really enjoyed it. I took a nice 30 mile spin with some moderate climbs and good gravel roads and the more I rode, the more I enjoyed it. I went alone and I went at a pace that made me happy, which I think has evolved over the years to something that *just* gets my heart rate going -- and then I maintain that -- with pushes on the hills to maintain cadence.

When I got back into cycling years ago as an adult, the part of cycling I loved was just getting somewhere. Look at the first year or so of posts on this blog -- that was the tail end of those years -- I'd pack all sorts of shit on my bike and just set off and tool around. It was nice. But since then, I've found a lot of joy in learning how to climb and how to descend at speed and how to really push myself. And though I've never been at all competitive in any of the racing I've done, it's super easy to get carried away with the performance part of cycling.

There's a balance for me: by being fit enough to hang with the faster people I like to ride with, I can thoroughly enjoy any of the riding that I've done in the past. Right now, I'm too beered up and rivered out to be at that place, but as the daily commute winds back up soon, and summer mode burns off, I'll be back to where I want to be.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Midnight Century 2012

That was hard. Since I've not ridden much over the last 3 weeks, I expected hard. But that was pretty brutal.

I have two lame pictures. Hank was there with his fancy super camera taking pics, so I'm hoping we'll see a write-up  on his blog with better pics. And I saw Pat taking some phone pics too.

First on is pre-rollout. That's Tom McFadden in the yellow. He blazed it again and set a new record with Tom Rice and finished in 5:15.

This ridiculous picture is the top of Bruna.

We doubled the turn out again. I counted 48 riders about 3 minutes before we rolled out. Lots of finishers too.


Here's all the unofficial times. Please leave a comment if you're not listed and want to be or if I screwed up your name/time/etc.

Bill Bloom and Coffee Joe are creating a letter-press finishers poster -- so if you want one, get your time to me.

Tom McFadden 5:15
Tom Ryse 5:15

Jake McBurns 5:48
Bill Bronson 5:48

Tom Hungerford 6:16
Eric Ross 6:16

Eric Erikson 6:47

Dale Cook 6:34

Joseph Yacker 6:51

Sarah S 7:10
Andy L 7:10
Cody G 7:10
one other? 7:10

Dan DeRuyter 7:14
Will Stone 7:14

Cody Gamble 7:15
Daniel Addington  7:15

John Speare 7:25

Rick Cadwallader 7:30

Jess Troyer 7:34

Justin Becker 8:00

Greg Schauble 8:10
Jeff Donovan 8:10

Sean McLaughlin 8:15
Blake Longacre 8:15
Dan Garrett 8:15
Rheanne Garrett 8:15
Jeremy Tanner 8:15

Craig Hill 8:20
Chris Stein 8:20

Hank Greer 8:24
John Greer 8:24

David Goode 8:25
Cassandra Goode 8:25

Simon Hartt 8:30
Pat Rick Sullivan 8:30

Doukhobor 8:40

Brian Kelley 9:10
Bryan Rennick 10:03

Ben Bray 11:14

Peter Michalowicz 11:49
Need info:
Bryan (with green Elephant)
Bike hub guys
Steve Sanders

Glen Copus - Dunn Road
Pat Sprute - 32nd Ave
gNate -Liberty Lake
Steve - Bike Hub - 32nd Ave
Jason Oestreicher - Liberty Lake