cyclocross

January 5, 2010

Tunes For the Road – Bike Sound System Reviews

Pacific Pedaling as Team DEVO for a misty morning race. Thanks to Grimace 2/9 for the photo!

Pacific Pedaling as Team DEVO for a misty morning race. Thanks to Grimace 2/9 for the photo!

Last year at Astoria, we needed some tunes for our bikes. We were rolling out as Team Devo and wanted a soundtrack to go along with our smashing costumes. Normally if I’m listening to any kind of music riding, it’s with an ear bud in my right ear, turned down, so I can still hear traffic with my left ear. I don’t do that all the time, but occasionally I will to help keep a rhythm.  However, for the Astoria race, we needed tunes we could share with everyone, so I had to hobble something together that could withstand the terrain of the course, be loud enough to blast out, and not keep me from being able to dismount for barriers. Here’s what I came up with:

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Needless to say, it’s a little on the ghetto side, but it worked. (Thanks Ira for a beautiful matching rack for my bike!) Anyway, if you don’t want to bungie your tunes to your bike, you can check out this review in the NY Times of sound systems made specifically for bikes. Thanks to Jonathan Maus for tweeting it this morning. (PS – my makeshift system ROCKED! Crack that whip!)

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December 30, 2009

Holiday Season with the Pacific Pedaling Gang

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2009 was such a great year for PacificPedaling.com and for the Pacific Pedaling team! I’m still working on an end of the year wrap up, but there’s so much to go through that I need a bit more time. However, I did want to post a few notes and photos from the Pacific Pedaling end of year wrap up and Christmas party. First off…click on that photo above. I mean, yeah, every team can try to go out and get some sweet kits, but how many have custom ceramic coffee (or other beverage of choice) team MUGS made?! Go on, click on the picture to see it in all it’s glory. Our very own Martha Paulus made those for all the riders on the team…so stinking cool. One of my favorite moments of the night came when I said something like, “wow Martha…you MADE these??” Martha says, “well, yeah…I *am* a potter,” matter of factly. Guess you had to be there, but my wife and I are still laughing about it. Sorry, these aren’t for sale.

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Another favorite moment came when the team showed off their presentation of the Pacific Pedaling team edition framed jersey and photo art. Click on that baby too and take a gander…it really is an impressive work, and I was overwhelmed by such a cool gesture and gift from the team. I also left the night with a sweet Tissot jersey (Tyler knows my watch brand all to well) and super cool leather and canvas bike bag…perfect for the Ira. Again, way too generous guys…a million thanks!

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I swear I say this about every other post, but I don’t know how we could have asked for a better group of riders for our inaugural season. In addition to the amazing times riding and racing together, I just flat out dig hanging with these folks, their spouses and their families. It’s a good thing we actually ride sometimes, or I’d spend way too much time eating and laughing with them, and growing exponentially. Martha, Tyler, Ellen, Pat, James, Dave….you are just good folk, and you give cycling a good name. I’m looking forward to us all representing in 2010!

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year from PacificPedaling.com!

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November 12, 2009

SSCXWC 09 Energy Dome + Thunderdome = Good Times

Ellen rocking the DEVO kit for the SSCXWC race to close off the crazy weekend!

Ellen rocking the DEVO kit for the SSCXWC race to close off the crazy weekend!

Editors Note: This is the second of our Pacific Pedaling lady racers reports from the past weekend. Thanks to Ellen Miller for contributing this wrap up report. Be sure to also check out Martha’s report just before this one too! Thanks ladies! Some of my favorite shots here, and the full couple hundred on our Flickr page here.

To start off my inaugural blog/race report I would like to give huge ‘props’ to our team owner/director sportif, Paul Lopez. He has been the most amazing support this entire year. The beauty of this team is that it is a gift from Paul, his business, and his family for some local Salem racers to have fun. There is no need for glory or payback, just have fun. Also, big kudos to Pacific Pedaling rider, Tyler Jackson for his 2nd place finish Sunday in the Clydes…way to go Tyler!

Tyler making quick work of the long muddy uphill barriers.

Tyler making quick work of the long muddy uphill barriers.

This last weekend with the rain, mud, and wind Paul was there with his trailer, heaters, delicious hot pork rib sandwiches, and even a handmade Roland keyboard to complete my SSCXWC Devo costume! Paul, thank you for everything!

Transitions are always a challenge in my life. On Sunday at PIR I assumed that many racers would be participating in the A race and the SSCXWC, so I planned on making it work. “Staging for SSCXWC at 345” they announced, but our race didn’t even start until 315. This was going to be interesting.

The Drum Corps kept the beat pumping for riders and fans all afternoon long.

The Drum Corps kept the beat pumping for riders and fans all afternoon long.

As we waited for our whistle, we chatted among ourselves to see who was in for both races. Kari from Velo Bella rolled up next to me and mentioned that she planned on doing the SS race but was sad that her pink sparkle boots didn’t pass the run-up test. I later found out she won the women’s SSCXWC. Congrats Kari, hopefully you will find an occasion to wear your new yellow sparkle bikini with your pink sparkle boots.

I was having a ball racing the Cross Crusade course. The course was a perfect combination of fast stretches, deep mud, greasy corners and silly, slippery off camber sections that even made the fastest A’s humble. When I began my fourth lap I glanced at my watch, 350pm, yikes! I b-lined it back to the van and with Pat and Paul’s help got taped into my Devo kit and I was off to the SSCXWC staging area.

Throngs of fans covered the hillside next to the muddy barrier runup and the tricky off camber corner.

Throngs of fans covered the hillside next to the muddy barrier runup and the tricky off camber corner.

I made it just in time to throw my bike in the pile and find the ladies lined up in a pretty little row. For some reason the women were staged off to the side away from the circle of men. It kind of made me feel second class. The start was a Le Mans start where everyone had to run to their bikes and then jump on the course. We were given the wave by Potestio’s magic wand and the race was on.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t that chaotic to get onto the course. We were definitely in a traffic jam, but it was a fun kind of jam full of heckling and laughing. After the first barriers, run-up and off camber section we were already spreading out. Much to my delight, I realized I was riding next to Trebon. Much to my dismay, as soon as I noticed him I hit the fence and rode it like a cheese grater. I am a total star struck kind of girl. After I recovered, I was determined to stalk him for the first lap. He was obviously taking a joy ride approach to this race. I followed him, listened to others heckle him and even saw him put his foot down on an easy corner. Then I got distracted by a bacon hand-up, mmmm bacon. It was fresh off the skillet and delicious. Thank you bacon hand-up boy! I got back on track to chasing Trebon and then quickly lost him to the stripper bus. I was very torn about this short cut. Although I do not wish to condone behavior that leads to misogyny, I also have a serious case of FOMS (fear of missing something). I forgot my dollars. I had no choice.

Fans and ruffians climb onto the Thunderdome to 'encourage' riders passing through.

Fans and ruffians climb onto the Thunderdome to 'encourage' riders passing through.

The course was completely annihilated by the rain and the thousand racers earlier. It was a blast just playing around with different lines and heckling each other. There was never a good line for the run-up after the off-camber section and the cheese grater fence. I felt like every time I was on that run-up I was looking up some guys skirt in front of me or some mud stain up someone’s briefs. Fortunately, the Lanimal was at the top of this section with some refreshments.

On every lap the crowd was awesome, setting up jumps, making noise in any way possible, yelling encouraging words and yelling discouraging words. The energy in the Thunderdome was pretty cool. You couldn’t wipe the smile off your face for the whole lap after going through there. If you could bottle that, I would never need a Hammer product again.

Fire jugglers entertained the Thunderdome crowds.

Fire jugglers entertained the Thunderdome crowds.

Just as soon as I noticed that it was getting dark, the race was over. Even though my Devo pants had become Devo chaps at that point, I wanted to keep going. The next lap I was going to try to ride the high ridge versus the low puddle, I was going to try to get air on the jumps, I was going to find a dollar in the mud and see what was in that bus! I guess the moral of my story racing cross this year is you never know when your last lap is going to be. Ride every lap like it is your last.

Thanks to everyone who made Sunday at PIR such a fabulous day. A special thanks to Dani Dance and crew for hosting SSCXWC.

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November 9, 2009

PDXCross Knocks Out Killer Shots at PIR….Again!

Pat working a tough, muddy off camber section at PIR. Photo copyright PDXCross.

Pat working a tough, muddy off camber section at PIR. Photo copyright PDXCross.

We had a HUGE weekend of racing with OBRA Cyclocross Championships here in Salem on Saturday, Cross Crusade #7 at Portland International Raceway in Portland on Sunday, and wrapping up with the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships to wrap up the day. Whew! We have some great race reports and TONS of photos starting tomorrow, but for today, check out some cool shots from PDXCross. James gets another 15 minutes of fame, and this time Pat gets in on the action too, pictured above.

James bombing down the crazy muddy off camber crash zone. The crowd roared when he flew through. Photo copyright PDXCross.

James bombing down the crazy muddy off camber crash zone. The crowd roared when he flew through. Photo copyright PDXCross.

I was shooting over at the run up and heard the crowd explode and then saw James come out the other end of the off camber mud pit. I figured he either crashed hard, or bombed the corner…sure enough, he kept the bike upright and pleased the crowd.

Be sure to hop over to PDX Cross to see complete photo wrap ups from the weekend races.

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November 4, 2009

Favorite Photos and Recap from Cross Crusade 6 in Astoria – Costume Day

Pacific Pedaling as Team DEVO for a misty morning race.

Pacific Pedaling as Team DEVO for a misty morning race. Thanks to Grimace 2/9 for the photo!

Forget the podium. Forget coverage in a real life publication. Forget bringing home cash or medals. I’m not sure I’ll be able to be any more proud of our team than when we rolled around the course at Astoria as DEVO, complete with booming DEVO soundtrack strapped to the back of the bike. Thankfully, there are enough ‘old folks’ still racing to know DEVO, even though I did hear someone say, “I brought it up on my phone, apparently they were a band from the 80’s.” Yes! (Thanks to Grimace 2/9 for his Flickr photo above.)

Sunday was truly out of control. A lot of fun, and a day that would end up stirring up controversy about how much fun is too much fun, especially at the expense of those who were the recipients of boos, catcalls and mass amounts of all kinds of bottled liquids flying across the gauntlet of barriers. This being my first Halloween cross race, I had no idea what to expect, and the day lived up to the hype. Hundred, and hundreds of racers dressed up in every outfit imagineable, and some you wouldn’t want to imagine. Guys making SPD compatible high heels, and some who dared to wear complete furry outfits. Team DEVO lost the costume contest to a chicken, but I’m pretty sure the photo above will warm the hearts of many, as it has mine.

Couple hundred photos from Sunday on our Flickr page – click here. And just a few of my favorite shots from the day below. And yes, there are two of the robot below…Rasca had me laughing all day long.

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October 14, 2009

Rainier Wrap Up – Cross Crusade #2

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Although a series of unfortunate events the morning of the race kept me from making it to my race on time, it was a great day for racing for the rest of the Pacific Pedaling team, and the hundreds of other racers that turned out. The course was dry and dusty, adding to the fun of the epic hill climbing. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day (click for full size.)

You can find all of the nearly 300 shots from the day on our Flickr page.

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October 6, 2009

Alpenrose Cross Crusade #1 Photos Now Online at Flickr

Pacific Pedaling rider James Cloyd killing it over the barriers at Alpenrose.

Pacific Pedaling rider James Cloyd killing it over the barriers at Alpenrose.

After a full weekend of racing two cross races, Heiser and Alpenrose, both part of my first cross races ever, I’m still behind on writing up reports. However, I wanted to get up these 300+ shots from Alpenrose.

No time to edit, so just enjoy the full shots. Feel free to use them for your personal use, but please give credit back to pacificpedaling.com if you do!

View them at Flickr – click here.

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October 5, 2009

Heiser Farms Pumpkin Canon Video

Heiser Farms Pumpkin Canon – Willamette Valley Cyclocross Series from nwduffer on Vimeo.

I still have a race report to come, but wanted to get the photos out (posted yesterday in the previous post) before heading up to Alpenrose, and also wanted to export this quick video for anyone who hasn’t been able to make it out to Heiser Farms to race.

On top of being a fun, cool course to race on, the venue is especially family friendly during this season with a great Pumpkin Patch, with plenty of activities for the little ones. Of course, not only do the kids like the pumpkin canon, but the adults do as well. This year, a new canon was added to the arsenal, and both of these babies shoot over 1500 feet at 80-90 psi. Check out the video to see one in action. The second half of the video shows a long bomb shot, and the landing is hard to see…just had my DSLR with me, but watch for the tuft of pumpkin blast at near the back of the mowed corn field, off to the right of the target.

Read more about the canon on the Heiser Farms website.

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September 30, 2009

Out With The Old, In With The New

My Dominators the way I've been used to riding them this year.

My Dominators the way I've been used to riding them this year.

Guess I’m gonna have to get used to riding with these babies. Looks like rain on Saturday for the Heiser Farms race…my first real cross race.

And the Dominators with the new spikes in them. Always something new to learn....

And the Dominators with the new spikes in them. Always something new to learn....

Three days left….off to pick up my bike today….

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September 28, 2009

Feels A Bit Like Bike Finals Week!

Quick iPhone snapshot of Portland builder Ira Ryan holding my custom cross frame.

Quick iPhone snapshot of Portland builder Ira Ryan holding my custom cross frame.

This is going to be a bit of a crazy week here at Pacific Pedaling. In addition to crazy work and home schedules, there’s a lot going on heading into the first weekend of cross racing. I’m dropping off some parts to Ira Ryan to finish wrapping up my custom cross frame in time to get a couple days of riding in before my first cross races this weekend. I hate to post such a crummy photo, but I only had my iPhone with me the day I popped in to take a look, but I’ll post some soon, I’m sure. It’s hard to tell from the funky photo above, but I used the same paint codes as my wife’s restored 78 Ford pickup:

Speaking of racing this weekend, I’m still officially in doctor prescribed ‘time off the bike.’ It was suggested that I stay off for a full week, but I couldn’t quite give it up completely, so I did my commuting riding and just kept spinning, and laid off the running and leaping stuff for a few days. Gotta get back at it this week though…I know I have no idea what I’m in for this weekend. Also looks like we’ll have some rain both days at Heiser and Alpenrose, so it should be at least a taste of some cold and slippery riding.

Aside from the previously mentioned time of the ankle, I’d been having some decent days of skills practice. I built some portable barriers (post soon) and have found a lot of great places to practice different skills in the Keizer Rapids park – dismounts, barriers, run ups, stairs, descents, gravel, dirt, sand, grass and what not. I told James last night that I still haven’t done a ton of off camber cornering, and I know that will be my weak point going into the weekend…well, that and just being slow in general. If everything comes together this week, it should be a fun weekend.

After hours I’m working on wrapping up the 1963 Aristocrat trailer and hope to have it for the team where space allows on cold and rainy days! Also, this is the last week of the Bike Commute Challenge for the month and I’m proud of everyone at the office who has taken on the task of replacing at least some of their car commutes with bike commutes to work!

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