Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Wow - another sad set of news! We were just out on McEwen on Saturday. My sincere condolances to Mark's wife and sons.



Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mellow rides with Touchstone riders, non-training ones.

Hey Folks,
Some of us have been getting together lately, mostly in the East Bay but it's negotiable every week, we were doing Sundays opposite the scheduled rides. Most were a fun strong pace but not specific on training zones, it was partly social, partly seeing the great Bay Area, partly getting in the miles and having fun in the process. Food was a definite stop, during, after or whenever. BART is our friend and used to make the ride manageable. So far we've ridden out to Danville and out Tassajara, done Morgan Territory behind Mt.Diablo, taken the fabulous McEwen loop, who knows where we will head next. You are welcome to come join, we look at the ride as being a no-drop but may break up into different paces and take good rest stops so don't be discouraged but be prepared to paceline, we like to work together for good speed. Got any ride suggestions, let us know, post here, or email some of the main culprits in this mayhem: Jess, Brian, Mark, Himgan, Elmar & others will probably make you glad you came along.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sunday Ride - 11/9/08 - East Bay!

A couple of us are interested in a 3-hour ride Sunday morning. Meet at Claremont Peet's (2916 Domingo Ave, Berkeley) at 9:15am and we'll depart at 9:30. Exact route to be determined but we're interested in heading east in search of flatter roads. It's possible this may be a one-way adventure with Bart back. One idea being considered is riding out to Livermore/Dublin via Lafayette, Danville, and Tassajara Rd. (40-miles w/ 55-mile option). Pace won't be super quick, but probably steady with limited stops. Please post if you're planning to ride with us. Thanks!!

Click here for possible route.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SF Bike Expo!

Mark your calendars... November 29-30th




New registration procedure for the 2009 Tour of the California Alps - Death Ride, event date - Saturday, July 11, 2009.

On December 11, 2008 and January 14, 2009 registration will open on a first come first served basis.

1,000 available entries will be available on December 11th and 1,800 available entries will be available on January 14, 2009. Register, pay your entry fee and receive your confirmation the same day, no selection process, no waiting! Stay tuned for the link.

We will once again partner with The Active Network the leading on-line event registration company.

Helpful Hints for Registration Day:

*Event entry fee - $95.00 (this will include your postage fee for your registration materials to be mailed to you before the event)The active.com processing fee will be your responsibility.

*You will not be required to have an active.com user profile to register for the 2009 Tour of the California Alps - Death Ride.

*Declined credit cards could decrease your chances for a confirmed spot. You are not considered registered until your credit card payment has been processed.

*Make sure that your email address will accept the confirmation email from active. We have experienced problems with spam and bulk mail folders in previous years.

*The organizers of this event have a strict no refund policy. This will include duplicate registrations. Duplicate Registrations are transferable. Please refer to www.deathride.com for complete details.

Mark the dates on your calendar - don't miss out on this early registration procedure!

Alpine County Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 265
Markleeville, CA 96120
(530) 694-2475
FAX (530) 694-2478

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sat Mines Rd ride 50 mph

This is the annual pre-Halloween ride out Mines Rd. to the Junction Cafe and back. 50 miles. Starts and ends at the pumpkin patch on Mines Rd. (Better to park on the road pulloffs, not at the patch itself to avoid a ride on dirt.) To get there, take the North Livermore Avenue exit off 580, go south through Livermore about five miles, turn right on Mines Road, go 1.4 miles to Joan's Farm. Map to the start at http://www.joansfarm.com/. 9:30 start. Jenn: 510-861-6654

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Club Revival?!

Revival Ride Update: 9 Touchstone Riders showed up for Saturday's club ride in Fairfax (10/18/08); 6 of them featured here at Biketoberfest. We cut the ride to 40 miles in hopes of getting to the brews sooner than later.


With the races finally over, Biketoberfest seems to be the perfect time to kick off the fall season with some mellow rides. All riders welcome to join in on a casual road ride (approx. 40 miles; consistent pace with limited stops) this coming Saturday, culminating in time to for some beer tasting, music, and food at Biketoberfest in Fairfax.

When: Saturday, October 18, 2008
Where: Riders will meet at Fairfax Coffee Roastery (4 Bolinas Road, Fairfax) at 9:15am (earlier if you need your java!)
Roll-Time: 9:30am sharp!!
Route: TBD but will head north toward Tomales Bay. Plan for 40+/- miles! Bring money for potential bakery stop.

Biketoberfest Info: http://www.biketoberfest2008.org/

Hope to see you all next week!!
Gary, Brian, Amy & Jess

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wanna Climb Some Hills?


Senor Rossi sent this to me today and I thought it looked pretty interesting. One could easily make this part of a longer ride, and actually having someone time you is a bonus. It's open to all ability levels.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chileno Valley Cycling Classic! Sept. 28!

This ride, which benefits the NorCal High School Mountain Biking League, is limited to only 100 riders. The Ride will start and finish at the Baumann Ranch in the heart of Chileno Valley near Petaluma, California. Fully stocked aid/rest stations will be positioned throughout the course. Upon returning from your ride, participants will be greeted by the “Chileno Valley Feast.” The post-ride party, with music, gourmet garden dining, and prize drawings will continue throughout the afternoon.

There is a special half-price fundraising deal to encourage participation in this wonderful road ride that will benefit mountain bike teams at more than 24 high schools.

Adult fundraising minimum is $250
Student fundraising minimum $125

Sign up this week and adults need only raise $200, and student need only raise $75 to join all this fun!


Please help us spread the news!

> Discounted minimum fundraising includes...
> A commemorative event t-shirt
> Clif product and other treats at the amply stocked aid stations
> Road support throughout the course
> Post-ride massage
> A ticket to the Chileno Valley Feast
> A tune up or bike fit at The Pedaler
> Post-Ride Party features . . .
> Music by the Bluebellies, a local stand out band
> Proman Women's Cycling Team
> Gourmet dining in a garden setting
> Beverages from Marin Brewing Co.
> Straus Creamery Organic Ice-Cream
> Awards for the top fundraisers - includes:
> Specialized bike
> Swobo bike
> Giro helmets
> Gift certificates to top notch restaurants and shops

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunday Streets Sunday!! Car-free! 9/14

Come ride a 4.5-mile stretch of road from San Francisco's Chinatown all the way around the Embarcadero and then south to Bayview -- CAR-FREE!!!

This is Sunday, between 9am-1pm, bikers, walkers, kids, dogs, etc will be able to experience what it's like to be in the middle of the road on streets typically fraught with car traffic.

More info: http://www.sundaystreetssf.com/coursemap.html

Media coverage from Sunday Streets in August: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/31/BAC212M16J.DTL&hw=sunday+streets&sn=002&sc=925http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/31/BAC212M16J.DTL&hw=sunday+streets&sn=002&sc=925

Come out and play!

Friday, September 5, 2008

First CX race of the year 9/6

I know, its way too hot and dusty to be cyclocross season, but this is norcal, and the season officially starts tomorrow with this race in livermore:


dust off your cross (or mountain) bike and come on out...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday (9/4) ride

Hi - I'll be riding with a few coworkers after work if anyone is interested in joining. Meet at Domingo Peets at 6 PM or at Vine St. Peets at 6 PM (route TBD later). Routes vary, but we usually go for 15-20 miles. Let me know if you are interested by emailing me: berkeleygal at gmail dot com. Hope you can join! It's a beautiful day!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Please Read!!! Bike Club Changes

Greetings Happy Cyclists,

Thanks much for all the emails about the status of upcoming rides, questions about where all the riders are, etc.

In hopes of promoting more self-organization among riders, we are opening this blogsite to those wanting to post your rides--after work rides, Sunday morning rides, Saturday afternoon rides, early riser rides before work (if you like that sort of thing). Hopefully, this will allow for more flexibility among everyone's schedules, which has been the primary factor for low club ridership over the last few months. During this beta-testing period, from now thru the end of September, we will temporarily suspend the scheduled Saturday morning rides to see how this new format works.

**This site is open to posts related to mountain biking, cyclo-cross too!

The only catch is that Blogger only allows 100 people max to be "authors." If you're interested in contributing to this online community, please send an email to touchstonebike@gmail.com with "Request to post on Blogsite" in the subject line and an invitation to join will be sent to you.

We encourage you to use the route sheets listed on the right sidebar and invite you to submit new routes to touchstonebike@gmail.com, which we can add to the list. This site will continue to be moderated and questions answered.

Keep riding (and riding safe)!

Touchstone Bike Club

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Saturday East Bay Ride - 8/9 - Anyone??

Riders -- Anyone interested in riding short Saturday morning, starting at Claremont Peet's (Domingo Ave.)? Gotta take it easy. Possibly Redwood Pinehurst, could do longer if knee does well. Can meet at 9:30 (or earlier if you like). Let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

See you Saturday! 7/19/08 All-Club Ride & BBQ

Don't forget!!! The All-Club Ride & BBQ is this Saturday, July 19, 2008.  Like last year, we will be doing this in conjunction with the Bay Area Outreach Program's (BORP) Kick-off Ride for REVOLUTION 2008.  There will be rides for everyone!  Last year, we had over 50 Club riders participate, including many from Sacramento Pipeworks and Mission Cliffs.

**SPECIAL: Touchstone Climbing, a long-time sponsor of BORP's young athletes and Integrated Cycling Program, will sponsor the first 20 Touchstone Club Riders who register for this year's REVOLUTION (October 4, 2008) with a $150 sponsorship toward their fundraising goal! In addition, Touchstone will cover the entry fees for additional riders beyond the first 20.

RSVP: mike@borp.org or (510)849-4663, x. 313.

Date: Saturday, July 19, 2008
Time: 10am (rides depart); 1pm BBQ
Location: BORP Bike House, 80 Bolivar Drive (in Aquatic Park), Berkeley, CA
Ride Info: We will have 35- and 50-mile route options.  All rides are NO DROP!!!
RSVP for BBQ: mike@borp.org or call 510-849-4663, x. 313
About BORP: www.borp.org

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kurrle Podiums at the Death Ride!

Hail, lighting, rain... doesn't stop the Death Ride. Neither do some festive fans, but you might just have to stop for some pictures, I couldn't resist.

Truth be told, no one really podiums at the Death Ride, but hats off to anyone who can finish all five passes. Along the way you get lots of support, closed roads, and a chance to be part of a cycling classic.

More stories and pictures to come! Congratulations to all Touchstone Riders.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Death Riders: Keep on Chugging!

A quick good luck to the Touchstone Death Riders who will be tackling the classic, 5-pass beast of a 200K on Saturday.  We look forward to the stories and photos.

  Gary Buchanan
  Chris Kurrle
  Chuck Carlson
  Himgan Wibisono
  Andrea Pezda
  Marty Kaplan
  Bob Boggs
  Katherine Ruiz
  Amber Park
  Jim Knight

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July - August 2008 Ride Schedule

Saturday, 7/12/08 – Marin
Stinson Beach Loop (55 miles; sustained climbs, fast descending)
Levels 1 & 2
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM

Starting Place: South side of the GGBridge at the circular planter in front of the Snack Shop

Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 7/19/08 – East Bay
All-Club Ride and BBQ!

Levels 1, 2 & 3! RIDE DETAILS TO COME!
Meet Time: 9:45am; Roll Time: 10:00
Starting Place: BORP Bike House, 80 Bolivar Drive (in Aquatic Park), Berkeley
BBQ: Grill time is 1pm (RSVP REQUIRED! Email touchstonebike@gmail.com)
**Hosted by Bay Area Outreach Program.

Saturday, 7/26/08 – Marin
Nicasio Tomales Loop (57 miles; rolling hills and one climb)
Levels 1 & 2
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM

Starting Place: Small town of Nicasio -- near first base of baseball diamond

Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 8/2/08 – East Bay

Zoo Loop (45 miles; hilly with some steep climbs) Meet Time: 9:15am; Levels 1 & 2
Roll Time: 9:30 AM

Starting Place: Peet's on 2916 Domingo Avenue (in front of Claremont Hotel)

Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 8/9/08 – Marin
Alpine Dam Loop (55 miles; sustained long climbs, fast descending) Levels 1 & 2
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM

Starting Place: South side of the GGBridge at the circular planter in front of the Snack Shop

Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 8/16/08 – Peninsula
Woodside Pescadero Loop (56 miles; sustained long climbs, fast descending)
Levels 1 & 2
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM

Starting Place: Intersection of Edgewood and Canada Roads off the 280 South

Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 8/23/08 – East Bay
McEwen Loop (48 miles; hilly)
Levels 1 & 2
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM

Starting Place: Intersection of Wildcat & San Pablo Dam Road

Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 8/30/08 – Marin
Stinson Beach Loop
Levels 1 & 2
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM

Starting Place: South side of the GGBridge at the circular planter in front of the Snack Shop

Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Zen and the Art of Riding a Double Century on Minimal Training - Alta Alpina Double Test Ride

I’m not sure how that email invitation found its way into my inbox, but it sure sounded enticing: ‘test ride a new double century for the Alta Alpina Cycling Club!’

The course would be the Deathride in reverse for the second half plus another 3 passes, 70 miles, and 5000+feet for the first half. More elevation gain than the Devil Mountain Double or Terrible Two. Altitudes ranging from 4700’ to 8700’ – spectacular alpine scenery, beyond comparison.

Last year it would have been easy to say yes in less than a heartbeat, but this year was different. I’d been racing and putting in two hours of intervals plus a 50-60 mile race or road ride on most weeks. I had only done a handful of rides that would normally be considered on the shorter side of long distance training rides. A very windy New Year’s Day ride with Tom Milton and the LA Wheelmen, a couple of rounds on the Sweet Terrible One, including one where HW kicked my butt up and down the hills. Then there was the hotter than hell Mt. Diablo crawl on the day of the Davis Double. Not much distance training beyond that.

Last year 50 miles was truly a short ride and it had to be well over a century with a bunch of climbing or headwind for me to consider it long. Now 50 miles was a long ride and 100’/mi felt like a real workout. Any sort of wind in my face left me looking for a draft. Sadly, I felt more at home powering a roller at max. effort than slogging it out all day.

Would this lack of training (avg. 5.5 hours per week since March) suffice for what promised to be the hardest of all double centuries? Two weeks of lead-time wasn’t enough for any serious training and even the race training I had done earlier had tapered off since my last race, a 30-minute criterium in May - the antithesis of long distance cycling! I wavered back and forth until Tuesday before the actual event and committed with a heavy heart. Knowing that this was a test ride, where one could do as many or few passes as one liked without the specter of “DNF” hanging overhead certainly helped in my decision.

The drive up to South Lake Tahoe was uneventful, which was good since I had serious concerns about the ‘Duckling’ making the distance. It is a Honda, but it does have 250K miles and a bad vacuum advance… At the motel I promised myself some early sleep, only to stay up late in order to watch ‘300’ – even at midnight there was no sleep as I could hear my next door neighbor through paper thin walls. Forgetting ear plugs came at a price.

3:30AM: I start slathering on copious quantities of sunscreen, while simultaneously devouring a couple of whole wheat bagels, milk, and water. Out the door at 4:10AM I make it to Woodfords by 4:50 and am happily rolling along in a random group of six by 5:04AM. It turns out that group contains Peter Burnett and Graham Pollock. I had done a bunch of DBC brevets with Peter and we both started PBP in the 84-hour group and finished around the same time (Peter rode a fixie!!!). I rode in the lead group with Graham on last year’s SFR 400k and also knew him from some of the doubles. Both can hammer for endless hours and I knew my day would be long enough even without trying to stick with them…

We approached Kingsbury grade in the glow of a beautiful sunrise over the Nevada mountains to the East. It’s a quite manageable mountain, with sustained climbing in the 6-7% range. Midway, Peter pulls ahead and Graham flats. I continue with Nick, who’s riding a single speed. At the top (Daggett’s Pass) we check in at the rest stop and start back down the hill. Going 45mph I catch a gust of wind in my bladed Ksyriums and the front wheel wobbles like crazy. I brake on the rear, but gripping the brake makes things worse. I imagine impending doom. Ease off the bar, out of the saddle, gently brake again. Pinch the top tube. After a few eternities and passing the center line the wobble stops and I gingerly continue. Slow descents are in order for the remainder of the ride. At the bottom of the hill I stop and get rid of arm and knee warmers, dropping and breaking my sunglasses in the process. Ahhh, that’s what the extra wraps of electrical tape on the handlebars are for…

Graham is back and we hit the Emigrant Trail rest stop on our way to Luther Pass. The rest stops are simple, but effective, stocking bagels, delicious cookies, bananas, and Cytomax. Going up the hill toward Pickett’s Junction Graham slowly pulls away from me and I pull away from the single speed. There will be no chasing on my part today – I’m just trying to survive and finish. Every rider has to ride at his/her own pace. I feel the lack of sleep and the altitude. My eyes have that hollow burning feeling and I’m tired. I know these feelings come and go throughout long rides, but it’s always more fun to ride on a high than on a low. The gap to Peter has grown and continues to do so with every subsequent pass.

Luther and Carson go by in a blur before I head South on Blue Lakes Rd. – It’s a bit of a false flat, but the scenery is beautiful. Lush, green meadows with granite rock outcroppings and colorful flowers. One could almost be deceived into thinking that we’re not having a drought. There is a bit of a climb, but it’s really benign. After the rest stop I turn around and head back, ignoring the ominous 9% grade (uphill) sign and settling in for the long downhill to the lunch stop in Woodfords.

At lunch I briefly consider calling it a day. It’s hot, relaxing, I’ve just cowed down a huge turkey sandwich, and the car is right there. It takes a few moments to get a grip on my vagrant thoughts and I retrieve the front light from the Duckling. Even with long daylight hours I may not finish this one before dark. The approach to Ebbetts is feels long and hot, but the climb is merciful. I go down the backside and hook up with Dan and Reve at the Hermit rest stop. After riding by myself since before Pickett’s this is a welcome change. The pace is benign and for the most part (I consistently got dropped on the downhills) we stay together.

The West side of Monitor is a bit of a bear. It feels so much easier at the start of the Death Ride, when one doesn’t have over 14,000’ of climbing and 150+ miles in one’s legs. We crawl up the mountain and despite Dan’s promises of calming winds I get pummeled going down the East side. We briefly stop at Topaz and head back up the hill. Last pass - this ride is in the bag! Wow, there’s a rider coming down and a few minutes later another. It’s the couple with masks over their faces (supposedly that helps with humidifying the air you breathe in prolonged dry conditions – I’d rather cough a bit for a few hours). Good for them! We thought we’re the last ones. Reve smells the summit rest stop and takes off, Dan and I pose for a SAG video. We near the top at dusk and head for Inge’s RV at the summit. Cup-O-Noodles makes a wonderful meal and we stretch and relax in the RV. There’s no hurry…

The final big descent is uneventful. It’s cool, but my Ziplock knee warmers and a borrowed jacket do the trick. There’s still a bit of wind, but Dan and Reve aren’t hammering down the hill and are blocking for me. We’ve got SAG lighting up the night in front of us and are homeward bound…

There were 39 riders who participated in the test ride and 8 of us who finished all 8 passes. Peter came in around 14 hours (a bit less I think), which is an amazing ride considering the distance, altitude, and elevation gain. My Polar stats showed: 198.1 miles, 20161 feet, 14:37 ride time, 17:09 overall time. IMHO this ride is significantly harder than the Terrible Two and harder than Devil Mountain. I haven’t done the Everest Challenge, but even that doesn’t approach anywhere near the single day elevation gain or distance of this double.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Club Ride Info - 6/28/08

Saturday, 6/28/08 - East Bay
McEwen Loop

Levels 1 & 2
48 miles (hilly with short and steep sections on McEwen Rd.)
Meet time: 9:15am; Roll time: 9:30am
Starting place: Intersection of Wildcat and San Pablo Dam Roads (park in dirt lot or take Bart to Orinda and ride 2 miles to start)
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Club Ride Info - Saturday 6/14

Sonoma Coast - King Ridge Century
Levels 1 & 2
109 miles - sustained climbs, fast descents, and coastal tailwinds (I hope.)
Meet time: 8:15
Roll time: 8:30
Starting place: Tomales Bakery
Leader: Gary
Cell: 415-987-6440
There will be a 75 mile option and a 42 mile option marked on the route sheet.
If anyone is interested in leading one of these shorter distances, please post.
Also post if you are looking for carpool partners.

Levi's King Ridge Loop

Google Map Route

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Club Ride Info - 6/4/08

Mt. Diablo Walnut Creek Bart (full ride return optional)

Levels 1 & 2
60 miles (w/Bart); 80 miles (full ride)
Sustained climbs and fast descents.
Meet time: 9:15am
Roll time: 9:30
Starting place: Peet's at 2916 Domingo Ave. (across from Claremont Hotel tennis courts)
Leader: No leader.  Post if you can lead.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Club Ride Info - 5/31/08

Saturday, 5/31/08 (Peninsula)

Woodside Pescadero Loop
Levels 1 & 2 (pace will be steady)
56 miles (difficult and sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am
Roll Time: 9:30am
Starting Place: Intersection of Edgewood and Canada Roads off the 280 south.
Leader: Amy Padula (padulaville AT gmail DOT com)

Black Sheep Adventures: 7-day Bike/Hike Tour!

Are you looking for a challenging week-long bike tour?  Black Sheep Adventures is offering another epic California Bike & Hike Tour in early August--its fourth since 2005.  This year's 7-day trip starts near Chico and rolls up to Oregon before heading back to Redding.  Once again, they are including daily hiking options so non-cyclists can join the fun.  Road bikers will relish the chance to pedal close to 500 miles with almost 30,000 feet of elevation gained and lost in this incredible week.  You'll pedal past pastoral lands, stunning water views and towering mountains, including the majestic, snow-covered Mt. Shasta.  This year, your rest day will include a day of whitewater rafting on the Upper Klamath River, "best whitewater on the West Coast!"  

For tour details, visit: http://www.blacksheepadventures.com/epic-08b.pdf

To see a slideshow of last year's Epic Tour through the Sierra Nevada and around Lake Tahoe, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTOv1hrjr9A

Questions?  Call Fred at 415-462-0316 or email fred@blacksheepadventures.com

TOUCHSTONE SPECIAL:  Book by next Tuesday (June 3) and save $100!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saturday Ride 5/24

Not sure if there's a ride planned for this weekend, with Memorial Day, but I'd be willing to lead one to Diablo, leaving from Domingo Peet's. Ride or BART back option.

Jenn (510-861-6654)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Club Ride Info - 5/17/08

Saturday, 5/17/2008 - East Bay
Three Bears
Levels 1 & 2
48 miles (Hilly with two sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Peet's on 2916 Domingo Avenue (in front of Claremont Hotel)
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Crit Survival - EBC

The EBC crit in PTown is a short affair, 30 minutes, on a course that’s approx. 0.8 mi long, flat, smooth, with three ninety-degree and one gently curving corner. After a couple of squirrelly warm-up laps in the 22-23mph range, the pace picks up and we’re consistently cruising along at 26mph (for all those really fast guys who’re laughing, remember that this is Cat5). By the third lap any ambitions (hey, even skinny climber legs have dreams) I may have had for the race are gone and am in survival mode, desperately trying to find a wheel that doesn’t twitch and can actually hold a line in the corners. Unfortunately the good wheels have their own problems and share my predicament. I try the top third, the middle third, the rear third, the left, and the right side to no avail.

At Madera the pack felt fairly consistent, smooth and friendly (everyone wanted to move on to the next stage), here it twitches, intermittently, randomly. Riders are cutting the corners 4 or 5 across, but at different angles and vastly different speeds. Russian roulette comes to mind! I decide I’ve had enough and skirt the side of the pack for a brief moment. Wow, there is a lot of wind out there, better get back in the draft. I long for the days when I would have been dropped after the second lap.

There are no attacks and the speed doesn’t seem fast enough to string the pack into a single or double line. With two laps to go the pace picks up, we’re now averaging low to mid-28mph, still bunched together – it is scary. On the 3rd turn a guy from POM FD loses control just to my front left. His right foot unclips and he skates his cleat around the corner, MTB downhill style, while his front end wobbles like crazy. Miraculously, the ensuing crash that flashes through my mind doesn’t happen and he pulls it off without taking out anyone to his left or behind him. Last lap - we’re hammering the back stretch, now doing 30mph. One more corner - sparks are coming off a pedal to my front right, but there is no crash. I finish 31st of 47 and am happy, once again meeting my top three goals: 1.) stay upright, 2.) finish the race, and 3.) don’t finish last…

Congrats to Vanessa on a smart race and awesome finish (2nd Cat4, 3rd overall) in the women's 3/4 race. Seems like they had similar problems, but didn't walk away unscathed - there were two pretty hard crashes!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Club Ride Info - 5/10/08

Saturday, 5/10/2008 - Marin
Stinson Beach
Levels 1 & 2
55 miles (Two sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: South side of the GGBridge at the circular planter in front of the Snack Shop
Leader: Juliann Chen

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Zoo loop ride -- I'll lead

I'll lead the zoo loop ride on Saturday. Meet 9:15/roll 9:30 from Domingo Peet's. Go team!
Jenn (510-861-6654)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Club Ride Info - 5/3/08

Saturday, 5/3/2008 - East Bay
Zoo Loop
Levels 1 & 2
45 miles (Hilly with some steep climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Peet's on 2916 Domingo Avenue (in front of Claremont Hotel)
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Club Ride Info - 4/26/08

Saturday, 4/26/2008 - Peninsula
Woodside Pescadero
Levels 1 & 2
57 miles (Difficult sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Intersection of Edgewood and Canada Roads off the 280 South
Leader: Gary (see posted comments for any ride updates)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Race Team Reports!

If you're at all curious about what's it like to race, you can get the downlow at the following team blogsites:

Pro Women: http://www.touchstonecycling.com/Site/Welcome.html
Women Cat 3/4: http://touchstonewomenracers.blogspot.com/index.html
Men's Cat 3/4/5: http://touchstonemenracers.blogspot.com/

Happy reading!

Club Ride Info - 4/19/08

Saturday, 4/19/2008 - Marin
Nicasio - Tomales Bay Loop
Levels 1 & 2
57 miles (Rolling profile with one notable steep climb around mile 45.)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Small town of Nicasio -- near first base of baseball diamond
Leader: Himgan. Please check comments for any ride updates. Thanks!

Inexperienced at Madera

Cyclists from every corner of the globe share a deep appreciation for the Grand Tours, no matter how dope ridden they may be. The challenge of competing in a long stage race day after day and in different events is one that requires incredible fitness, skill in a variety of cycling disciplines, an extremely high pain threshold, and mental fortitude that would make Yoda proud. I had done the day after day (and night after night) thing fairly successfully, chugging through the French countryside during PBP, half comatose with a cadence of sixty something on the endless rollers of Brittany, powered by a fairly constant recovery heart rate that would spike to LE on a hard effort.

A stage race would be different: shorter, more intense, and varied. For the graying, lowly Cat5, a ‘Tour’ of anything is out of reach, but there is the Madera Stage Race, a two-day event in the Central Valley of California that has all the basic ingredients: criterium, time trial, and road race.

The Criterium: admittedly, I have an aversion to crits. Seems like every crit I’ve ever watched (and there’ve been quite a few) involved an ambulance at some point. Aversion breeds avoidance, thus the Madera Stage Race Criterium turned out to be my first crit. We all line up, but the race is running behind schedule. Instead of worrying about the beneficial effects of my ‘sophisticated’ warm-up behind a parked trailer truck evaporating with time, I start talking to the guys right next to me. Amazingly they’ve both climbed before, one at Pipeworks, and pretty soon we’re passing time reminiscing about routes at Lover’s Leap. Who needs warm-up anyway?!

The crit is pretty basic: 40 minutes, flat, wide, smooth pavement, four corners, one bumpy railroad track, and a good dose of speed. It’s a great first crit: for the most part people hold their line and look out for each other. Riders shout, point, motion, and pat, mostly in a friendly way. The Juniors are pretty solid, the pace around 25mph. The pack stays together, the surges out of corners are forgiving, and there’s always a bit of a rest on the East side of the loop. I sit in and get sucked along. A few riders duel for time bonuses, but the pack stays together – there are no breaks. Everyone seems content and acutely aware that this is just one stage in this race, a stage that will give most riders the same time at the bunch finish. On the last lap I’m somewhere around 15th and contemplating moving up. It would have been easy to jump five or six spots on the inside between the railroad tracks and last corner, but at what cost? My lack of experience left me wondering and I stayed conservative, easing up, eating wind, and getting passed on the way to the finish line. One down, two to go.

The Time Trial: this was my third weekend of racing in a row. Sometime between Orosi and Ward’s Ferry, I won an eBay auction for a ‘TT bike.’ It was cheap, the dimensions seemed acceptable, and I would finally reap the benefits of slicing through the wind, instead of wrestling with it. If only the darn thing would just show up at my door step. Emergency email to fellow Touchstoners – no replies! None! Panic!!! Riding my Roubaix without aero bars would vanquish the slicing wind dream – not acceptable! Putting clip-ons on the Roubaix would surely doom me to instant carbon handlebar failure (insert picture of Hincape eating dirt instead of winning Paris-Roubaix - fine it was the aluminum steerer, not carbon bars, but you get the picture) – not a good option, but worth consideration. Take my wife’s bike and put clip-on bars on her aluminum bars – hmmm…. That might work, but would be a bit crunched. I rotate for a day (a few days before Madera) and the magic ‘TT’ bike shows up in the afternoon. It’s beat and has been crashed, has a road geometry, but works for the most part AND comes with an aero helmet that would make fans of Styx and Foreigner proud. Ken (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!) from Touchstone/Wrench Science fixes the thing as best as possible and I take the new beast for a spin on San Pablo Dam, the only ‘flat’ real estate nearby. The front end feels worse than a jackrabbit running from a coyote, but it’s an individual TT, so I’ll only hurt myself. Toward the end of my six-mile test ride the bike quiets down and I feel more comfortable. I walk away with a couple of distinct impressions: my heart rate is a good 20+ beats lower for the same speed and in corners I dearly miss the brake/shifter combo of my road bike.

It is hot at the Sharon TT, just East of Chowchilla, CA. My Polar HRM reads consistent temperatures in the mid- 90’s. I may not have any TT experience, but I’ve learned to suffer in the heat. The Terrible Two in 2006 was hot, well over 100 degrees on Skaggs, and I was in fair shape while the glassy-eyed lined the side of the road. Riding in 90+ degrees for 7 or so hours on the 2007 Devil Mountain Double was much, much harder, but I still managed to get to the finish… I sacrifice the planned warm-up on the trainer for a horizontal spot among the shade provided by nearby almond trees. Only a handful of racers chose to warm-up on the trainer.

Fifteen minutes before my 2:16pm start time I head out on the road for a quick spin that includes a couple of 30-second accelerations. Not ideal, but it’ll have to do. At the start I put a foot down, opting for security over the jump provided by having both feet clipped in and someone holding on to my seat. The start is slow and discouraging, 21-22 mph, but then I get more comfortable and cruise along at 24-25 mph, passing my 30-second man at about the 4 mile mark. It’s Dean, the guy from Pipeworks, a nice fellow and very solid wheel. He’s out there with no aero bars, riding his hoods. ‘Get in the drops man, get in the drops.’ My right pedal unclips as I hit one of the many grooves running across the road with a jarring thud. I turn the second corner and suddenly confront the wind. Things slow down, but the legs are still fine and the heart rate is steady and right where I want it. Unfortunately my minute man is nowhere in sight, on the other hand I’m not getting passed either. My ten miles are up - Two down, one to go…

I had not been sick in a long time, but the Tuesday before Madera I started getting a scratchy throat. By Thursday my sinuses felt ready to explode, during the pre-ride on Friday there was ‘stuff’ coming out of my nose, Saturday I lost my voice after the time trial, and by Sunday my chest had joined the party.

Before the road race I ask Pat for sage advice. She diplomatically disagrees with my last minute desperate acclimatization technique (keeping the windows up and AC off during the half hour drive to the start) and thinks that shade and no trainer is the way to go. Find out who’s right around you in the GC and memorize their number. I head off to seek shade at the results table and find out that going into the road race I’m 13th in the GC and that there are 37 riders (of 46?) left. Sweet! Despite the exploding head and oozing nose and lungs, the legs feel fine. The crit and TT didn’t take that much out of me. The goal is top 10 in the GC!

The Road Race – after another fairly lengthy wait at the start we promenade up to the actual race. Three 17-mile laps (actually a bit shorter). It is immediately apparent that the pack stability experienced during the crit is gone. Riders are in and out, the pace surges and slows, and this is just the promenade. Four minutes into the actual race there is a crash in the middle of the field. On a flat section of road, cruising along at a relatively moderate speed! The pack stays jittery for the remainder of the lap and we all curse the stretch of rough road, the ‘cobbles.’ It’s not continuous, but it goes on intermittently for about 4 miles. There’s little cohesion in terms of what to do. Some are out of the saddle, some on. Some are pedaling, some are not. Some hit the ruts and potholes head-on, others jerk the wheel at the last second. It’s no fun… Out of the crud and into the rollers. I’m surprised at how the pack slows at the first big hill, are they saving their legs or are they shot? Most likely a bit of both.

Our group is still well together and settles down a bit on the second lap, until we hit the cobbles again. Attack! The guy comes from somewhere in the back and bounces around on the left side. We watch him move to the front and start accelerating. He gets a small gap, which gets closed quickly. One hard minute and it’s all over. Suddenly I can barely turn my cranks. I look down to see if I’ve flatted. It doesn’t seem like it, but I can’t look too long. I slow, the pack keeps moving. I stop, the pack grows distant. My front left brake pad is stuck to my wheel. I open up the calipers and start riding again. Note to self: you can kiss that top 10 GC spot goodbye. Addendum: when you flat the cranks still keep turning. My inexperience becomes crystal clear as I chase across the rest of the cobbles. Getting closer. The big roller gives me another opportunity, but I’m still down 60-70 yards by the time the tail of the pack crests and done by the time I get to the top. It’s a familiar situation: time to sit down and pick up the pieces…

I catch the first guy, Eddie, at the very end of the 2nd lap. He’s pretty done, but with some encouragement and persuasion he agrees to work with me. We’ll do 20-30 second pulls, going at our own pace. We stay together and catch another rider half way through the lap. He’s in a bit worse shape, but contributes some short pulls. Finally he complains of back problems and drops off on the cobbles. The Pro/1/2/3 women pass us. Ouch! I see a blur of four Touchstone jerseys! We pick up a group of three just before the rollers and one more on the big roller. They have a hard time staying with us and drop back a little, but not too far. The finish is near. I really appreciated Eddie’s efforts on this last lap and decide we should go across the line together. However, I don’t want the rest of the guys behind us to beat us. As we crest the big roller, they’re nipping at our wheels. One last roller - a rider passes us. Eddie tells me to go for it and I put the hammer down…

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Descending Mt. Hamilton

For those of you that haven't done it, coming off the top of Mt. Hamilton in to San Jose is a 20 mile downhill, with two little bumps to slow you down along the way.

The TRUTH about Sierra

I like hills, BUT this thing is a real butt kicker. At mile 73 and temps in the high 80's with no shade, this thing was a real treat. A special thanks to Chuck for sandbagging us!

The real stats:

Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1795'
Average Grade: 9.4% (1st half, 10.4% - 2nd half 8.5%)
Max Grade: 1st half, 14.9, 2nd half 14.1

To put this in perspective, here are the stats on Old La Honda...

Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1302'
Average Grade: 6.8%
Max Grade: 12.9%

Best of luck to Himgan who will hit this hill in two weeks during the DMD at mile 155 with around 15'000 feet of climbing already logged on his legs! Just remember, "It's not that bad"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

60-mile alternate Sat ride

An alternate ride for those with constraints that prohibit Chuck's great Mt. Ham ride. Meet at Domingo Peet's 9, roll 9:15 for a hilly 60-mile route that goes up Tunnel, out Redwood to Castro Valley, over Palomares and Calaveras, then loops back to Fremont BART for a free ride back to Rockridge. Should be back home by 4pm, if not earlier. note to people who came on last week's ride: this one reall is 60 miles. Not, um, 80.
Jenn: 510-861-6654.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Club Ride Info - 4/12/08 (Note 8:30 roll time!)

Saturday, 4/12/2008 - East Bay
Hamilton Century Loop (w/ 50-mile out/back option)

Levels 1 & 2
105 miles (Death Ride Training! Sustained climbing w/ 8,000 vertical feet.)
Meet Time: 8:15am; Roll Time: 8:30 AM
Starting Place: Livermore Peet's (152 S. Livermore Ave.); Park in the neighborhood streets behind Peet's.
Leader: Chuck (chuckATsannaDOTcom). Please read detailed comments from Chuck below!

April - June '08 Ride Schedule!

Saturday, 4/12/2008 - East Bay
Hamilton Century Loop (w/ 50-mile out/back option)

Levels 1 & 2
miles (Death Ride Training! Sustained climbing w/ 8,000 vertical feet.)
Meet Time: 8:15am; Roll Time: 8:30 AM
Starting Place: Livermore Peet's (152 S. Livermore Ave.); Park in the neighborhood streets behind Peet's.
Leader: Chuck (chuckATsannaDOTcom)

Saturday, 4/19/2008 - Marin
Nicasio - Tomales Bay Loop
Levels 1 & 2
miles (Hilly with short and steep climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Small town of Nicasio -- near first base of baseball diamond
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 4/26/2008 - Peninsula
Woodside Pescadero
Levels 1 & 2
miles (Difficult sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Intersection of Edgewood and Canada Roads off the 280 South
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 5/3/2008 - East Bay
Zoo Loop

Levels 1 & 2
miles (Hilly with some steep climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Peet's on 2916 Domingo Avenue (in front of Claremont Hotel)
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 5/10/2008 - Marin
Stinson Beach
Levels 1 & 2
miles (Two sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: South side of the GGBridge at the circular planter in front of the Snack Shop
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 5/17/2008 - East Bay
Three Bears

Levels 1 & 2
miles (Hilly with two sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Peet's on 2916 Domingo Avenue (in front of Claremont Hotel)
Leader: Please post if you can lead.

Saturday, 5/31/2008 - Peninsula
Woodside Pescadero

Levels 1 & 2
miles (Difficult sustained climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Intersection of Edgewood and Canada Roads off the 280 South
Leader: Amy Padula (padulaville AT gmail DOT com)

Saturday, 6/7/2008 - East Bay
Mt. Diablo Walnut Creek Bart (Full ride return optional)
Levels 1 & 2
miles (Sustained climbs and fast descending)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Peet's on 2916 Domingo Avenue (in front of Claremont Hotel)
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 6/14/2008 - Sonoma
Kings Ridge - Annapolis Century
Levels 1 & 2
Details to come…

Leader: Gary (garyATmindspringDOTcom)

Saturday, 6/21/2008 - Marin
Alpine Dam Loop

Levels 1 & 2
miles (Sustained climb and fast descending)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: South side of the GGBridge at the circular planter in front of the Snack Shop
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Saturday, 6/28/2008 - East Bay
McEwen Loop

Levels 1 & 2
miles (Hilly with short and steep climbs)
Meet Time: 9:15am; Roll Time: 9:30 AM
Starting Place: Intersection of Wildcat & San Pablo Dam Road
Leader: Please post if you can lead!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Club Ride Info - 4/5/08 - Napa!

(Level 2) For those looking for a new adventure scouting out a new ride in Napa, Jenn Kahn's you're leader. Starts in Napa, climbs Dry Creek and descends to Glen Ellen. Headsnorth on Sonoma Mtn and Bennett Valley towards Santa Rosa. Return viaCalistoga/St.Helena/Spring Mtn Rds, and finishes on the SilveradoTrail. There are 2 substantial climbs and will be around 60 miles.

Meet at 9:30, roll at 9:45, from the Soda Canyon Store and Deli, corner of Silverado Trail and Soda Canyon (between Trancas and Oak Knoll, just northeast of downtown Napa).

Weather looks fine for now...check Wunderground.com for "Napa, CA." Rain or 30% chance of rain will cancel ride. Questions: call Jenn's cell: 510-861-6654.

Riders encouraged to carpool!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cat 5 Men - Strong at Orosi

Seems like in the past Orosi’s been good to Touchstone riders: Pat won there, Markham and Craig S. also fared well. This year it was the Cat 5’s turn.

Chris K. and I drove down to the metropolis of Visalia (would you believe wine bars and chique restaurants with $25+ entrees on Main Street) on Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel, and rode one lap of the loop course, a whopping 30 miles (more than I rode all week).

Seems like Orosi’s got a bit of a reputation. A Google search will turn up reports of sustained climbing and ‘hardest race in the district!’ During our reconnaissance ride we focused on the beauty of our surroundings: mainly the vast fields of flowers, which marked various stages of the ‘hill’ – yellow on the bottom, white near the top. Huge bulls were strutting among the oaks, decomposing granite boulders dotted the landscape, the sun had a late afternoon glow, and we knew the leisurely pace would be far removed from the pain we anticipated for race day.

The course has a flat promenade to a left turn, another short, flat section, and then kicks up to a gentle grade (mostly 4-5%) with some relief and a few steeper sections for a little over five miles. Then there are some more bumps and rollers, until the high point around 12 miles, followed by more bumps and rollers with a gentle downhill trend. Much of this section is bumpy and has gravel and sand on it. With tubulars and a Specialized Roubaix it didn’t feel all that bad, but it was certainly the most technical section of the race. Eventually one turns right on Boyd, goes through more rollers (with a downhill trend), until finally descending steeply on a narrow road which is flanked to the East by a spectacular view of orchards on the valley floor below. Climbing, bumps, gravel, and every thing else – this was a varied, fun, and spectacular course!

We went for dinner at some Italian place in town and I assured Chris K. and our table neighbors that I would indeed be able to finish the rather large Calzone in front of me. Know this – it’s the little skinny guys who can eat massive quantities of food and still walk away from the table! Needless to say I had to finish off with Chocolate Mousse, but unfortunately forsake the port. We rolled back to the hotel and did a quick rear derailleur adjustment on my bike. Seems like I have somewhat of a reputation of pulling up to the starting line at races with a maladjusted rear derailleur, leading to later fiddling with the barrel adjuster when I should be thinking about my legs going soft and my heart and lungs evacuating!

Sometime during the night Justin joined us to complete the trio of Cat 5 Touchstone starters. We awoke way too early, ate breakfast, and headed to the start at Orosi high school. Dustin and I spent 15 minutes on the trainer, while Chris K. opted to be chased by the local dogs instead. The race started late, which facilitated two more bathroom breaks. Finally we’re off, but as soon as we’re a couple of miles into the promenade people are pulling off into the orchards. The main group turns the corner and the race is on!

The flat part is benign, the group in a forgiving mood. The orchard stragglers (including myself) catch back on, the hill kicks up - the pace stiffens a bit, but remains manageable. I suck wheel, until I realize that the guy in front of me is hyperventilating. Primal instinct tells me that I ‘Must go find new wheel!’ Move up, but stay out of the wind. The hill goes on a bit, which is a good thing. I figure I eat too many Calzones to be a ‘real’ climber, but the fact is that I enjoy climbing, thus the longer the hill the better – grind it out! A carpet of white flowers appears, the worst is over. Looking around it becomes apparent that there’s been quite a bit of carnage. We’ve decimated the field by over a half and eight riders remain in the lead group. The three Touchstone jerseys are there. We stay together for the remainder of the lap and the start of the hill on the second lap. About two thirds of the way up I’m in 4th place, Dustin is right behind me, and Chris K. decides to make his move in the front, ratcheting the pace up another notch or two. I sense impending doom, the transformation of legs to noodles, and wave Dustin through: ‘if you can hang with them go for it, if not wait for me.’ He gives it a spurt and pulls away, but doesn’t quite latch on to the three in the front. Another guy passes me and pulls away, there are two more behind.

I reach the top and recover a bit, mindfully trying to keep some sort of pace. Looking around I see a guy from Simply Fit chasing me. He pulled us through the flats on the first lap and has legs the size of tree trunks! I hear his shifting problems on the last steep bump and give it all I’ve got. He’s gone. Hammer, hammer, hammer. I’m resigned to riding the remaining 25 miles on my own and taking sixth!

A couple of miles later Simply Fit is back - the man’s a moose. I’ll work with him (suck wheel) and let the tree trunks kill me at the finish, taking 7th. Fine, (in my mind) it’s settled! However, the race has a different agenda. We catch the last guy to pass me on the hill AND, surprisingly, one of the three riders from the lead group. Cool! Chris K. is in line for 1st or 2nd! We drop the former lead group rider on the steep descent (no time to look at the pretty orchards below this time around) and Simply Fit starts pulling us through the flat. We catch Dustin, who’s struggling a bit. I give him a pat and he hops in the back. Simply Fit pulls, and pulls, and pulls. The pace is strong and steady. We round the corner and head toward the finish and he’s still pulling. I’m amazed at the fact that he’s so damn strong and that he’s willing to tow us to the finish. I figure the tree trunks are just getting warmed up for the sprint and tuck in behind, watching his every move.

Wow – what just happened??? We’re 100 yards or so from the finish. Simply Fit blows, slows, and pulls off. I see the other guy (FastTrek?) come around from behind me on the left and watch Dustin pass him further over to the left! Everything is in slow motion. I hear Chris K. scream! It’s over! Chris K took 2nd, Dustin 3rd, and I finish 5th Touchstone likes Orosi!

Sunday ride 3/30

Another Sunday ride, on account of Saturday's rain. Meeting Domingo Peet's at 9:30. It'll be a decide-and-ride, depending on weather and who shows. One option: Pig Farm counter-clockwise (~50 miles) via Pinehurst, Reliez/Alhambra Valley, Bears. Could also do an out-and-back to Diablo junction, if the weather improves. Jenn

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Club Ride Info - 3/29/08

Saturday, 3/29/2008
: Alpine Dam Loop
miles (Sustained climb and fast descending)
Leader: Noleader. Please post if you're planning to ride anyway maybe you'll convince others to come along...
Meet time and place: 9:15am at the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge in front of snack shop. Roll time is 9:30am.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Little More Mellow...

Not as scary as the other video... Link

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Toys

So my mom bought me a little "action" camera for xmas. This was the absolute first time I used it. Sorry about the image quality, the bar mount for the thing isn't so hot. Next time I'll try the helmet mount.

Oh, the guy in front of me is Mark Nielson. He ended up passing the on coming car on the far left shoulder.... Yikes! He was having front brake technical issues.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sat 45-mile ride

Not to siphon anyone away from Chuck's century (which I'd be doing if I could...)
I'm doing a shorter ride on Saturday (~45 miles) from Domingo Peet's (opposite the Claremont Hotel). Meet 9:15, roll 9:30. Route is negotiable, but I'm thinking something like Tunnel + Pinehurst or Redwood + Lafayette + half or full Happy + Wildcat. Should be scenic and warm, and will get you back to the start by 1-1:30pm depending on route.
Email to confirm would be great: jenn_kahn@wired.com. 510-861-6654 with q's.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Club Ride Info - 3/22/08 - Earlier start time!

Saturday, 3/22/2008
East Bay: Del Puerto Canyon Century
100 miles (Includes lunch stop at mile 50 in Patterson. About 4,000' of climbing)
Leader: Chuck Carlson
Meet time: 8:15am; Roll time: 8:30am (EARLY!!)
Meeting spot: Livermore Peets (152 S. Livermore Ave.); Park in the neighborhood streets behind Peet's.

Post your questions or email chuck directly. Chuck is a long-distance specialist with many a Death Ride under his belt.

Memorial Ride

A few Touchstoners went down to participate in the Memorial Ride for Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson, led by their respective teams--Third Pillar and Roaring Mouse. It was an amazing display of support from the cycling community at large--bike commuters, racers, recreational riders, families. It's estimated that there were at least 1,000 riders who rode to the fateful site on Stevens Creek Rd. Here are some photos...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sunday ride 3/16

I'll be doing the Morgan Territory loop (~55 miles) on Sunday. Plan is to meet at Walnut Creek BART at 9:15, roll at 9:30. Come enjoy the sunny part of the weekend! Jenn: 510-861-6654.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Memorial Ride -- 3/15/08

There will be a memorial ride for Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson led by Roaring Mouse Race Team and Third Pillar Race Team. Details can be found here: http://ncnca.org/

Club Ride Info - 3/15

Saturday, 3/15/2008
: Stinson Beach
55 miles (Two sustained climbs)
Meet time/spot: 9:15am south side of the Golden Gate Bridge in front of the snack shop.
Roll time: 9:30am
Leader: Need leader

Monday, March 10, 2008


Just found out that Matt Peterson (of Roaring Mouse) and Kristy Gough were killed in a head on collision with a sheriff, who crossed a double yellow center...


My condolences!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Club Ride Info - 3/8/08

Saturday, 3/8/2008
East Bay: Mt. Diablo Walnut Creek w/return via Bart (Walnut Creek station)
miles (Sustained climbs and fast descending)
Leader: Need leader
Meet: 9:15am at Peets on Domingo Ave across from Claremont Hotel.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Death Ride Lotter Registration ENDS 2/29!!

If you're wanting to do the Death Ride this year (July 12), the registration for the lottery ends this Friday! Visit http://deathride.com/registration.html. Only 2,800 lucky riders will be drawn on 3/12/08 to ride 5 mountain passes and climb over 16,000 vertical feet (yes, in one day). Touchstone riders encouraged to post a comment if they are selected and want to find others to train with...it's much easier as a group!

Club Ride Info - 3/1/08

Saturday, 3/1/2008
: Woodside Pescadero Loop (brief water/snack stop at Pescadero general store)
miles (Difficult & sustained climbs)
Meet time/place: 9:15am at the intersection of Edgewood and Canada Rd off the 280-south.
Leader: Need leader. Please post if you can lead ride. Route sheet available on side bar.
**Rain or 30%+ chance of rain cancels ride.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Club Ride Info - 2/23/08

Saturday, 2/23/2008
Marin: Paradise Loop
36 miles (A few easy climbs but mostly flat; good spinning)
Meet time: 9:15am, roll by 9:30. Southside of the Golden Gate Bridge in front of Snack Shop.
Leader: Need leader -- Post if you're willing to be leader!
**Rain or 30%+ chance of rain cancels ride. http://www.accuweather.com/ "Sausalito, CA."

Photos from President's Day ride to Coleman Valley.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Presidents' Day Ride

Touchstoners: Anyone else looking for a Monday ride? I'd like to get out. Marin's one option (a swing through Pt. Reyes Station or Coleman Valley to catch the ToC), but local (from Berkeley) works too. Interested contact Jenn: jenn_kahn@wired.com.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Club Ride Info for 2/16/08

Saturday, 2/16/2008
: McEwen Loop
48 miles (Hilly with some short, but steep climbs)
Leader: We need a leader! (If you can lead, please post a "comment"!)
Meeting spot: Intersection of Wildcat Canyon Rd and San Pablo Dam Rd. (Orinda Bart station is just 2 miles down the road.)
Time of departure: 9:30am-sharp!

**Please post "comment" if you'd like to lead the ride, carpool, etc.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Peloton is Coming! - Tour of California 2/17-2/24

The pro tour riders will be riding the Bay Area roads in less than 10 days! They are even adding a Women's Criterium on Feb. 18 in Santa Rosa. Check it out: http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/

House of Pain

Another option for a ride this Saturday in addition to the Nicasio club Ride.

Day: Saturday

Time: 08:55 AM

Meet: Park-N-Ride on Rudgear, right off Danville Blvd./Rudgear exit on 680

There isn't an official description for this ride, but here's one that might give you some idea:

Typically 10-30 riders, mostly racers or riders who can keep up with racers. Just under 60 miles, out to Livermore up Collier Canyon/Vineyard & back. Fast-paced ride, with one re-group point at the Livermore gas station. Finishes around 1pm.

Map and profile (courtesy of Chris Kurrle's Garmin) 

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