On Thursday Fergus @awefull_sf and I are flying to Tulsa to represent @britesport in the cat1/2 race @tulsa_tough . @7vchvry will be looking for some results in the cat3 race. Will be updating from the road! (photo: Rene Palileo) #gigaomaropistachios #britesport #tulsatough #latergram

Mt. Hamilton Classic 

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I’ve wrote it once and ill write it again. I’m not a descender. Never have been. Maybe one day ill take the time to really kill at bombing down hairpin turns but for now ill be grandma and live on my brakes.

I’ve never rode this area or Mt. Hamilton before. The weather was a heavy mist at the start which made this unknown territory a little more dangerous. I only was given brief descriptions from messenger Prince Jaffa (GigaOM/BRITEsport) and my teammate Dave Mesa (Team Chica Sexy). BUT once at the top of Hamilton the heavens opened up and it was sunny but still a decent head wind for the rest of the race.

"The start is a grueling false flat to a category two climb for six and a half miles." The field I think was 40? It could’ve been more or it could’ve been less. I was top 20 the first ten miles of the race. Really keeping my legs fresh for the epic EPIC official climb of Hamilton. 

There was a crash at the beginning of the switch backs that separated the group I was in from the now peloton. The pace blew the fuck up once the crash was heard at the front. It felt like there was cement in my tires as I struggled to hang on to the break. 

At the top of Hamilton there was a KOM. So that was the incentive for the whole group I was with. Constant attacks ON THE BRUTAL CLIMB?!? Oh yeah it happened. I was dying and these dudes were relentless. I came in with the stragglers of the group, maybe 12th? I really didn’t give a fuck. Just getting to the top and tossing my vest to an official was the only thing on my mind. Not the seven mile descent that awaited me half a mile from the crest of the Hamilton.

SO! Vest was ditched. Big chainring was shifted into and brakes were given all the attention. I was watching my line and congratulating my bike on every successful turn knowing there were still six miles of this shit!

MADE IT TO THE BOTTOM! Along with three other riders. We had to bridge back up to the group. So we pace lined. Squadra, Santa Clara, Specialized jr, R4r-Make a wish, and team Chica sexy. We all worked perfectly to catch up to the group. Maybe the best part of the whole entire race!

Juniors SUCK!!!!! I know I’ve written it before and I will stick to it. The only acceptation is  Raul from SJBC. Your cool dude. All the other ones SUCK AT LIFE!!

Once our small group caught back onto the group it was for I wanna say 40ish miles stop and go the rest of the fucking race! Tommy Lucas (Bear development) YA FUCKING SUCK THE MOST! Every attack anyone did this kid was stuck on their wheel and never pulled through. Never did any work. And I know that’s perfect in some race edict. But it’s just bad fucking form in my book. Also others in the group were annoyed as shit.  Sean McElroy (Specialized Jr) YA SUCK TOO!! You don’t coast up hill!!! The whole race that’s all you did. 

I know all juniors have tons of energy and they sprint,climb,descent better than most professionals but they lack respect for others outside of their team. Rant over… Almost.

5km to go! The pace ramped up and slowed multiple times after we had passed the 5km sign. We had hit a little kicker and I had great momentum to blow past the front of the group but the leaders again hit their brakes!! So at the top of my lungs I yelled ” FUCKING GO!! This is a bike race!! Aren’t you supposed to go fast at 5k to go?!?”

So I took off then finally the pace kept going. Was that out of line? Naw.

I did get caught but the motion stuck that all these lame ass juniors and others that didn’t want to work needed to keep pushing the suffer card! It’s bike racing! Not a leisurely stroll through the Alameda county side. 200 meters to the line everyone took off. I was in a good position but still had plenty of gas in the tanks. I rolled past the line 10th outta the group of 13 that was in the group.

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I am sorry for ranting about such a stupid subject. I paid 40 bucks to race and what I got was bullshit riding by immature grommets. This has been the best course I’ve raced all season! And I had bad company. Dave and i stuffed ourselves full of Indian foods/deserts after by the way.. Made our days.

Thanks again for all the support. Sorry that I’m a bitter old Cat 3.

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BOOM CHECK THEE RIDE! STRAVA
Watch on mostvillain.tumblr.com

BRITEsport 2012 team camp

Gabe Morford

San Rafael Twilight. Yeah it was fast, but not unbearable by any means. I even got into a nice little groove, but just ran out of gas. I guess this wasn’t the easiest race to do as my first race back after crashing in Tulsa. Onto more intensity these next few weeks. I was super stoked our team lined up 4 dudes, and we had so many cheers out there, so thanks! A whole mess of my family came from a couple of hours away as well. I was so pumped to see them at the start line! This race is a blast and I can’t wait to do it next year. These last two months, bike racing (and training) have been of little priority, even though I wanted to focus so hard, but family and life matters rise to the top when things get real. I’m hoping to move on from one of the rougher times in my life, and continue on…

I definitely haven’t had the smoothest transition racing in the P12’s, but I’m not too discouraged about it. For myself, I know I’ve just had a lot to deal with off the bike, and I know what I’m capable of when I have that time and space to focus. Whatever the case, I’m still having fun riding and racing my bike. Thank you to all my people always loving and supporting.

(Photo: Bernard Orencia)

Red Kite Crit #3

Well poor planning by myself and my team mate Dave Mesa. We left the city and i took a wrong exit so i missed the only race i had signed up for. the cat 2/3 race.

Dave signed up for the P1/2 field and it was really rad to see him make strong moves and keep the group guessing! Such a powerful dude and glad to be on the same team. Rainier Schaffer(Mikes Bikes/Incase) and Joe Ison (BRITEsport/ Gigaomaro pistachios) were drilling also. Kudos to Joe for racing the 2/3 then jumping straight into the p1/2s. After briefly speaking with him he had said he felt better in the p1/2 race than the 2/3! ha damn

But just watching the P1/2 race the Strava team had the whole race on lock! Two of their racers worked the front of the peleton and one guy Craig? killed it on a pretty much entire race break until bell lap. Thats where he was caught and Dave McCook took the win.

One day i hope to be a 2 and really put my legs through the wringer! But for now im content on learning the moving and shaking of the Elite 3s.

Watch on stortstorts.tumblr.com

So i was thee stud in the Purple kit.. it has a ladys face on the butt.

I was doing really well until the fucking crash. But i caught up to the group and got 17th outta 60 something racers!

San Dimas Stage Race 2013 - Cat 2

This was the first year for me doing San Dimas. Now it wasn’t exactly ideal for me to do this stage race, especially because I was coming off a super easy rest week/ traveling, but I had been thinking about it for quite some time, and I wanted to go for the experience. I was kind of nervous about my form or lack thereof, coming into the race. I had only done two races prior, and so regardless, this would be some good races to get into my legs to use as build up for April and May. My only fear was that the competition in the 2’s would be hot and heavy, and thus I would be suffering that much more. Every cat2 looking for upgrade points would be there with an appetite. But alas, it was alright!

Stage 1 - Uphill TT

Even though I have made some huge strides in my climbing, for whatever reason, I just don’t go uphill that fast… at least when compared to others. I’m getting there though… Pair this concept within a time trial format (which is also not a strength of mine) and you have a stage that I could do well in, on a very good day. This day was not a “good day,” and I would keep things in perspective to focus on the road race and criterium. The 4.25 mile climb up GMR was tough, although not surprising, as Jason and I were able to recon it the day before. I want to come back sometime soon and ride up there, as the roads are nothing short of spectacular. Jason rode a good TT and ended up 11th among the cat 3’s. I was 62nd of 79 starters. The good news is that I know I can do much better than that. Next stage please…

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(Photo: gmrrunners.com)

Stage 2 - Road Race

Actually, it was more of a circuit race. 8 laps of a 7 mile loop inside Bonelli Park. It was warm out, and luckily I had Connor to work the feedzone for me. Great opportunity for a teammate shootout - Connor was shouting time gaps, words of encouragement, and of course giving me bottles - Thank you Connor, those things went a long way!

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(Photo: Deanwarrenphotography.com)

It was a lumpy, fast-ish course with a power climb, but with enough spots to recover. Our 56 miles cruised by in 2hrs and 20 mins. Going into it, I was trying not to let that climb bother me too much. I had heard different things, but all that didn’t really matter. After talking tactics and strategy with Peter (my coach) and Connor, I focused on my main goal for the race — be within the first 10-15 guys at the start of that climb. That way, even if I started to fade, I could recover mid-pack, and not be at the back. If I started mid-pack or near the rear of the peloton and started to lose contact, I would probably get dropped and my race would be over. The first 3 times up the climb, I big-ring’d it, but the rest of the laps I decided to climb in the small ring, and it ended up being easier. As tough as the race was, I actually felt better each time we crested the climb. With a bit of focus, it wasn’t too difficult to be near the front of the race, and just surf wheels all the way to the top. I think the tougher part was actually the descent because everyone was going full gas once we crested the climb, and then onto the long finishing straight. As for how it played out, the race was kind of straight forward. The only disappointing part was me not being able to stay with the main selection on the final time up the climb, and therefore no chance at the final sprint. I think this is from my lack of form though, so I wasn’t bothered too much. It’s funny that once I solidified the mentality of riding at the front of the race with the race leaders, it was actually kind of easy in that I didn’t have to expend extra energy. Does that make sense? It does to me. (pardon my inner dialogue) I think I rode a pretty solid race, and was pumped to race the criterium on the final day.  Finished 41st of 66 finishers, with 1 person not making the time cut and 7 DNF’s. That was good enough to bump me up 12 spots on GC… not that it mattered much. The Bear Dev Team displayed their strong riding, winning the stage and getting 3rd as well. Hats off to them! 

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(Photo: rjagc.photoshelter.com)

Stage 3 - Criterium

I guess anyone who knows me knows that I like crits. Not sure what it is about these kinds of races, but I think I have a knack for how to navigate them for the most part. They’re fun! (all my teammates are probably shaking their heads right now) I was looking to this final stage as one last opportunity to get a result, and it would be my best chance. I got in a good warm up, and the legs were feeling good. My plan was just to stay up front and avoid any sketchiness, and things went to plan for the most part. The slight uphill section through the neighborhood was pretty cool and the course suited my strengths as a rider. Fast forward to 4 laps to go, and as we were coming into the start/ finish, a rider brushes up against me and got close enough for his spokes to trim off the buckle of my right shoe. Blast!! I lost focus for a split second because of this slight mishap, and that was that. I lost a couple of places as I assessed the situation, and decided I would keep racing as long as I felt it was safe. I regained focus and didn’t give up, and decided I would finish those last 3 laps as best and safe as I could. I was really bummed I didn’t get a chance at the final sprint, but that’s bike racing, no? There will be many more opportunities, and I was glad to have finished San Dimas with my form on the up and up. I still finished with the main group, 29th of 64 starters, and one and a half shoes. Congrats to Travis Lyons of Team Mike’s Bikes for finishing 7th. It was fun racing with you this weekend. 

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Final GC - 44th of 64 racers. Nothing to write home about results wise, but I definitely went home with a good race experience and some good mental confidence. It was nice to race in a cat2 only field, and I’m sure we all wish there were a couple more races like that. 

Shoutout to my friends Chcuk and Ryan from Allegiant Air cycling, for letting me room with them. We were all friends before bike racing, and it was great to catch up with them and hang out in between the racing. Thanks also to Jason and Mari-Paz for the carpool. Good times on the road! 

A big thank you to all the organizers and volunteers of San Dimas Stage Race. Like my coach pointed out, alongside Cascade, SDSR is a pretty PRO event, and it didn’t disappoint. Everyone involved was organized, helpful, and friendly, and I look forward to doing it again next year, and hopefully with a bit more form :)  

Aaaand our sponsors! Giga-OM, ARO Pistachios, Baia Pasta, Whole Athlete, Dan Tian Wellness, Elemental Herbs, De La Paz Coffee, Justins Nut butter, Lazer Helmets, Focus Bikes, and Fresh Air Bikes. Big thanks to Travis for the help with sorting out my wheels before the race, and for keeping the team moving with our awesome Focus Izalco’s. The bike rode extremely well in every stage this past weekend, and I couldn’t be happier. 

Thanks for reading.

Onto the April races!

-Joe

Knights Ferry Road Race

(v.2 - I had written this race report late last night, and then somehow accidentally deleted it. womp, womp.)

For me, the first race of the season is always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. You just want to get out there and get the first race in, test the legs, and see how your fitness (or lack thereof) stacks up against your fellow racers. My coach and I agreed Knights Ferry would be a good first race to do because it’s early in the season and it’s usually a smaller turnout. This would be my first Road Race in the P12 as last year I only did a handful of crits once I upgraded. I was stoked to have Kevin there as a teammate, and it would be only his 2nd race as a Cat2. N00bz. 

I felt pretty good coming into the race. Training had been on point for the most part, and I had been focusing a lot on maximizing recovery whenever possible. In hindsight, I think Kevin was pretty much on the same page as we chatted during the first part of the race. Throughout the race we both raced strong up at the front, which was the main goal of ours. Communication was something we wanted to work on as well. Granted it was easier to find each other in a field of 22 or 23 riders, but still, it was good practice.

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(Photo: Ronald Mariano)

The “highlight” of the race was the 3 man break that got up the road and ran the gap up to about 3 mins or so. For a while there, the peloton gave up the chase, and we were riding recovery miles. We almost stopped a second time for a nature break… I think maybe at about 20km to go, the time gap started to come down slightly, and the chase began in earnest. I kinda felt bad for the 3 guys in the break as they had been working so hard to stay out in front, only to get caught within the last kilometer! I remember seeing them in our sights at the 2km marker. Later on at registration, the Fremont Bank rider who was driving the break said he got caught at 100 meters! Heartbreak… Matt and Scotty from Fusion took some nice pulls at the end to reel that break in. Nice racing with you dudes!

Right before that 2km marker to the finish, Kevin and I decided we would both just try and go for the finish since neither of us knew how much we had left. Doing what he does, he attacked at 1km to go, and I just followed all the surges as much as I could. I managed to hang on for 10th and Kevin finished in 16th. That uphill finish was a lot tougher and longer than last year’s where it finished coming from the otherside of the hill. Overall I was pleased with our representation at the front of the race, and Kevin and I had lots of fun racing. A word about the e3 field: Jaffa and David worked their butts off and Naveen was able to win the field sprint for 3rd. Good job guys.

Some things of note:

-This was the first race where I tried out racing with no drink mix, and strictly water + eating raw bars. I was a little hesitant at first because it was a longer race (86 miles), but I tried it anyway. Great success I would say… this time at least. No cramping or gut rot.  

-The jersey/ goretex windproof baselayer combo was on point. I didn’t have to deal with a windvest, and I didn’t overheat nor did I get too cold.

-Racing my Focus Izalco for the first time was awesome. I had already logged a bunch of miles on it, but racing it was going to be a different story. It was super solid and stable throughout the race and over the rough roads, and stiff as a board during hard accelerations. Oh, and it happens to match our kits too!

-An apology to the SJBC kid who’s feed I messed up. I tried to go for a bottle that wasn’t mine, and ended up knocking it out of his dad’s hand. My bad.

-What better way to start recovery than to munch on some ARO Pistachios!

A big thanks to our sponsors for helping us get going this season: GigaOM, ARO Pistachios, Fresh Air Bicycles, Dan Tian Wellness, Whole Athlete, Focus Bikes, Lazer Helmets, Baia Pasta, De La Paz Coffee, Elemental Herbs.

See you at Snelling.

-Joe

After a long long hilly day in the saddle…on the BRITEsport Vision quest…i had to celebrate with some of these…

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seeing as my life is devoid of a “future phone” and my garmin file decided to flip me the bird…this is all i have to show for my efforts…and really is there anything better these - almond milk/banana/chocolate chip pankakes!!!

My Vision Quest Theme - “I cut my mind on a jagged sky…” 

Thanks Benford, Zach, Naveen, and Cameron for the good times.

Now that my season is coming to a close, I gotta give some love to our sponsor @freshairbicycles for giving us such great support throughout the season w/ our @focusbikes . On Monday at the #girodisanfrancisco I raced my #izalco pretty much how it comes off the shelf (aside from my power meter) and it was super solid. The typical rough/ pot-holed streets of San Francisco were no match for the bike! Photo: @erikakali #britesport #gigaomaropistachios #focusbikes #lazerhelmets

Slowing it down at the front so that David can maintain his solo break.

It almost worked to how we planned it. I tried covering all the dangerous moves, but one guy managed to bridge up to him on the final lap. After being off the front solo for 3.5 laps, David had no pop left for the two up sprint, and came in 2nd. Awesome effort, and great for the team. It was great to be able to help David get a result. He’s been riding strong all year, and it’s very cool to see. 

Be sure to check out www.britesport.com for a full race report from David, coming this week.

Time to get back on it.

The writing, that is…

I think I’ve found some motivation to get the blogging back on a regular basis (keeping my fingers crossed) complete with race reports (which will be reblogged on the britesport.tumblr.com page), training photos, and all around PRO peloton flicks too. To kick it off, I’ll start with a brief summary of Cat’s Hill criterium this past weekend. 

As I told my teammates after the race, there is not much to report, therefore the brief-ness of the race recap. I knew it was going to be hard, but I don’t think my legs or HR knew what was coming.

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Rainier’s special pre-race blend.

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Yes, I only lasted approx 18 mins, and I most certainly expect more from myself so I was disappointed, but sometimes you just get it handed to you. Just the reality of racing in the P12’s. On the way down to the race, Rainier told me this was one of his favorite races, and after doing all of 18 mins of it, I realized that the course was BAD ASS. You have that WALL of a climb at 23%, and then the screaming descent on the back side before the final corner to the start/ finish. I’m hoping to come back next year and actually race Cat’s Hill, not just be another body out there :)

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(Photo: Sandi Burgar)

A shoutout to all my new followers in the past couple of months. Thanks! More soon….

-Joe

Merco Cycling Classic 2013

By Jason Benford

This past weekend was my first go at a stage race.  It just so happened that I picked one of the longer stage races (4 days) and harder events (M35 1/2/3). Since the first stage didnt start until 10 am, I drove out early in the morning.  I will keep each report as brief as possible, since there were four big days involved.  

Stage 1 was the hilliest course and I actually really enjoyed the 5-7 min climb.  But, on the third time up it a small break of 15 went ahead and cleared the top by 10 seconds or so.  That 10 seconds quickly turned into 30 seconds, and then quickly to two minutes.  Everyone left in the second group was determined not to chase because they all had team mates in the break.  That was the end of the race.  We rolled in at a slow pace and 5 minutes behind the lead group of 15.  Frustrating but also got to see how team tactics really work.

Stage 2 was the time trial and my first one I have ever done.  I have been practicing frequently on the TT bike and it showed on that stage.  I still have lots to learn about time trials, but I did see some positive signs.  The TT course was a great course that was 6 miles out and 6 miles back, with a small hill on the middle.  

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(Photo: Alex Chiu)

Stage 3 was the downtown crit and probably one of the hardest races I have ever done.  From the go the pace was super fast and I found myself hurting and towards the back.  After 10 mins or so I was able to move up to the middle pack and finally get into a groove and feel better.  With 3 laps to go the pace really picked up and I was lucky to stay on and finish in the main group.  Really fun course that was flat, lots of turns, and very bumpy.

Stage 4 was the final stage and the longest race of the event.  It was 96 miles of as David Bangor put it, “Snelling on Steroids”.  It uses a lot of the same roads as Snelling, but with a few more hills and risers.  The first two laps were pretty mellow, then the pace picked up and breaks were trying to form durning the past two.  Two riders stayed away through the finish and the remaining field geared up for the sprint finish.  I was able to get pretty good position and crossed the line in 25th.  

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(Photo: Ronald Mariano)

Overall GC was also 25th place.  It was a huge learning experience and also a great time.  I met lots of new friends like Kurt and Matt from Squadra SF. We roomed together in Merced and had a great time.  This race also boosted the motivation for the rest of the season.

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