Wear a helmet. Ride at your own risk. Obey the rules of the road. Bring a pump, tube and tools. Be courteous towards your fellow riders and the public.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sacramento River Ride World Championship - 2014

Grab your popcorn! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014
Sacramento River Ride World Championship is ON!

The long course IS BACK! 

River Ride World Championship route, notes and FAQ

What: River Ride World Championship
When: Leaves at 10am
Where: 2419 K st Behind City Bicycle Works (in alley)
Why: For a shot at immortality
How: By crossing the finish line 1st in a SAFE manner


Q. I want to participate, what do I do?
A. Show up at the start a few minutes early to hear the route and get told not to cross the center line, run red lights or do stupid things that can injure yourself, other riders or break the law.

Q. What is the "center line?"
A. It is the long yellow line down the center of the road. In the United States we ride on the RIGHT SIDE of it. If you ride on the left side of it you endanger other riders, cars passing, cars coming forward and yourself. If you do cross it, simply "U" turn and ride the direction of the lane you are in and disappear into the sunset.

Q. What if I come up to a traffic signal and it is red and there is a group ahead of me, or I am in a group off of the front of the pack?
A. You come to a complete stop, put your foot down and wait for it to turn green before proceeding.

Q. How do I get the win?
A. By not crossing the center line, obeying traffic lights, riding in a safe manner and crossing the only sprint on San Juan 1st.

Q. What do I get if I win one of the other sprints on the route?
A. You get to look silly because on this ride there is only one sprint, the one on San Juan.

Q. What is the route?
Warm up:
Start in the Alley behind 2419 K street. Head west and make a right on 24th st. Left on C st. Right on bike trail between 19th and 20th street. Exit bike trail on Northgate Blvd - head North. Left on Garden Hwy. Pace picks up after the I80 over pass.

Fast part:
Continue Garden Hwy. Right Elverta. Right Metro Air Parkway. Right W Elkhorn Blvd. Left Power Line. Right Bayou. Right Airport Blvd. Right and loop around Crossfield. Left N Bayou. Left Garden Hwy. Left Power Line. Right Bayou. Bayou becomes El Centro Rd. Right Del Paso Rd. Left Power Line. Left Garden Hwy. Left on San Juan Rd.

On San Juan.

Good luck River Riders!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Congratulations to Chuck for winning his final River Ride! Punk.
If you didn't know already, today was Chucks final river ride. That doesn't mean we can get lazy and slow. We must continue with what he has taught us, to be savage unrelenting weaklings. No but seriously, Chuck has made us all better in some way or another and I for one really appreciated all the beatings. So lets continue to keep the River Rides interesting but most of all as safe as possible.
Farewell from all of us River Riders and best of luck at the races!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Evening River Rides Begin March 10th!!!! - Monday River Ride 5:30

Well, its that time of year again!  With the time change on Sunday March 9th, we will have enough time to do River Rides on Monday March 10th.  Sunset will be at 7:08 pm, so bring a blinky light for your ride home.

Monday North 5:30 Description

Tuesday South 5:30 Description

Thursday North 5:30 ride Description

Note: Routes may be shortened.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The return of Retro Rick - Time constrain your Dino Mojo


You've heard about Dino Riders?  Yep, those guys and gals whom talk in terms of years ago, sometimes wear wool, ride steel, post ancient race photos, ride epically but finish up in time to eat, drink, and tell war stories  epically too.  You think you're a Dino or maybe you just wanna be a Dino?  Well, there's nothing to stop you cause it's just a matter of attitude.  Yes, if you got attitude, you're a Dino.

So just how Dino are you?  Well, we all know, reptilian Dinosaurs lived during the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods.  Over time, early Dinosaur species evolved from primitive (Triassic) forms to advanced forms (Cretaceous) until that pesky asteroid changed the game at the end of the Cretaceous.  Homo Sapien Dino riders also follow that reptilian progression, we were primitive at the outset but advanced systematically so we can assign relative ages to ourselves.  Since everyone understands the reptilian Dino timescale, we'll just lift if for our own purposes.  So if you've bought into Dino and are interested in finding out just how primitive you are, read on:

Triassic Dinos (early,  late)

Early Triassic epoch Dinos built machines that allowed them to power them while riding.  Up to this time, wheels were used in machines that were either pulled or pushed by men or beasts (Permian power).  These wooden machines, referred to now as bicycles, used iron tires and Rube Goldberg drivetrains.  Comfortable saddles were well a few million years off.   Dinos who grew up riding these bikes are extinct unless they're frozen in Siberia.  But fossil bikes from this epoch are on display at the Davis bike museum.

Iron replaced wood during the Late-Triassic.  Late Triassic Dinos rode metal bikes with one really large, direct drive front wheel, one small rear wheel, and solid rubber tires.  Comfortable saddles were still a few million years off.  These bikes were tall (affording greater views) and fast so mid-Triassic Dinos took up racing for fun instead of survival.   Late Early Triassic Dinos are extinct too unless they're frozen in Siberia.  However, living Dinos use bikes from this epoch during special events like Tweed Rides.  Watch a Tweed Rider fall from one of these bikes and you'll understand why Late Triassic Dino's are extinct.

Jurassic Dinos (early, middle, Late)

Early Jurassic Dinos rode metal bikes with equal sized wheels, chain or direct drive, single fixed gear, and solid rubber tires.  Bikes now look like today's bikes.  Early Jurassic Dinos road for transportation, sport, and fun.   Early Jurassic Dinos are extinct unless frozen in Siberia

Middle Jurassic Dinos rode all steel bikes that used air-filled tires and chain drivetrains (elliptical chainrings debut too).  Gearing systems incorporated freewheels, internal and external shifting systems, as well as traditional fixed gearing.  Frame shifters dominated although some handlebar shifter systems were available.  Toe straps and clips, nail on cleats, narrow saddles and crude helmets also define the Middle Jurassic epoch and are common in the fossil record.  Good bikes and accessories were European (Campagnolo, Stronglight, Zeus, TA, Nervar), and Dino legends sprang up about which frame builder shaman had the most mojo.  Dinos clothed themselves in wool and were weight obsessed (some drilled holes in their bike parts and frames).  Many older living Dinos are from this period.

Invasive Japanese component companies (Japanolo) ushered in the Late Jurassic.  These companies tried to compete with European component manufactures by copying their parts.  Also, hard shell helmets, high-performance clincher tires, elliptical chainrings (again), and crude index shifting systems also define the Late Jurassic.  Late Jurassic bikes were made of aluminum, titanium, plastic, and carbon too.  Late Jurassic Dinos are relatively common and some are still pretty fast.

Cretaceous Dinos

Early Cretaceous

Clipless pedals, index shifting (an early electric form too), cassette gears and widespread hardshell helmet use ushered in the early Cretaceous.  Steel as a framebuilding material devolved into a cottage industry.  The late Cretaceous saw two copy cat Japanese component companies become extinct while the Japanese company that did things its own way thrived (if you're thinking Shimano, you get a gold star).  As an invasive, Shimano even displaced the premiere Euro company (two stars for guessing Campagnolo) on the European pro circuit.  Many Early Cretaceous Dinos don't know what toe straps,  nail on cleats, wool shorts, or frame friction shifters are. But elliptical chainrings reappeared again.     Carbon as  framebuilding material makes inroads.  Hiring a coach, especially by riders who started riding late in life becomes popular.  Hopefully, many new Dinos will be recruited from this period.

Mid-Cretaceous (We're more or less in this period now)

Carbon dominates as a frame, component, and wheel building material; frames, wheels, and accessories incorporate aerodynamic designs.  Cassettes are often confuse older Dinos because they have twice the gears that were available during their heyday.  Bikes do not need addition lightening but elliptical chainrings reappear again.  Reliable electric-powered shifting systems are introduced and priced for the masses.  Pro-bikes cost as much as a good used car (gee that's like it was in the mid Triassic).   But "Old school" bikes, clothes and components are available as part of a boutique industry (they cost as much as a used car too).   Hiring a Coach is a must do.  Hopefully, many Dinos will be recruited from this period.

Late Cretaceous

Well this epoch is reserved for riders who will start riding in the future using bikes and equipment that us existing Dinos can hardly imagine.   Future Dinos will have to be from this period because the only way to move into the Tertiary is to have another pesky asteroid hit.  If that happens, there won't be any more Dinos, just birds.

Well, hopefully you've been able to find yourself a spot in the Dino timeline as described above.  If you need further information, visit the bicycle historical center in Davis, CA, and visit the Dino Website (a wealth of Dino history, photos, sea stories, and it has an event calendar).

"Retro" Rick Humphreys PG #4304

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stuart Thompson - 1997

Growing up in Southern California, I was a distance runner, specializing in events from 1 to 3 miles.  My mile time was 4:26, and my 3 mile time was 15:05.  But I used to watch the Tour de France on television in the mid-1980s, and always loved it.  So, in 1997, at the age of 30, I decided to take up cycling, mostly because it related to the sport that I most enjoyed watching on television.  About a month after buying my first racing bike, which really wasn't much of a bike, I discovered the river ride, by accident.  I was out riding in the area one Saturday morning and saw the group, and tried to tag along. I wasn't able to keep up from more than the warm-up, but I loved how large the peloton.

Being a newbie in that group was really something you never wanted to be, but everybody had to start at some point or another.  Although almost no one wanted to be caught talking to a newbie, there were a few other guys at the back of the pack who seemed reasonably friendly.

So, I was hooked. Every Saturday I would show up and try to hang on to the pack as long as I could.  Each week I managed to stay with a pack a little bit longer, but I never made my way beyond the back of the pack, for the most part.

I was glad to progress, if you could call it that, from a Cat 5 to a 4.  Some of my best friends at the back of the back, at that time, where Kirt Mason and Andy Gomez.  Actually, those guys were pretty solid riders, at least in my opinion, and they had the strength to mix it up on occasion, including with some of the more decent riders in the group.

The warm-up portion of the ride was, of course, for a rider like me, one of the more enjoyable parts of the ride.  I was able to hang on, because it was only warm.  I enjoyed talking to Jason about Pro cycling, even if I was sure that I wasn't following unwritten protocol by talking to a well-established rider like him.

My friends and I greatly enjoyed watching the faster riders in the group, and we tried to emulate them as much as we could, of course.
Some of the most interesting riders to watch during the rides included, of course, John Brady, Chuck, Chad, Chris Baumann, Mike Sayers, Jason Brown, Vince Gee.  One of My friends knew many of those guys much better than I ever did, and often had stories to share about their amazing feats of strength and occasional misadventures on a bicycle.   Whether all of the stories that were shared with me were true or not, I can't vouch for sure, but I certainly believed them.  Some of the stories centered around the massive gears that Brady used, or how Chucky could solo outfront even in terrible conditions.  I myself witnessed some of these events, so I know that there was at least a grain of truth to much of the legend it made its way to those of us at the back of the pack.

I liked to see the teamwork that took place on the rides.  For example, during the Sierra Nevada year or years, you might see Chuck go out on a breakaway, or Chris Baumann, only see to see the Peloton catch those guys in the last half-mile, all the while towing to the front the eventual sprint winner John Brady.

I would roughly estimate that I was able to do 40 to 45 of these weekly rides each year for approximately four years.  If the ride got rained out on a Saturday, it actually made me more than slightly depressed for that week.

After we passed Chevy's restaurant on the river, I sometimes liked to solo off the front, just to see if I would ever get a reaction, but I usually didn't, because, let's be honest, who really cares about a category 4 rider, because you know that they're going to come back to the pack very quickly.  However, on occasion, I might have the good fortune of finding others wanting to break away at the beginning of the ride.  Would always try to do at least my fair share of the polls, even if it meant that I would get dropped sooner than my quixotic breakaway companions.

One of my favorite memories of the ride was one foggy morning when Julie Young, who then rode for Saturn, had come out for the ride.  I had gone to the front by myself, even though I'm sure that most people didn't notice, and those who were paying attention at the start would pretend not to notice a rider of my nominal ability.  On the particular day that I remember, Julie also decided that she wanted to get the ride going early.  She actually didn't seem to mind that I tried to work with her.  Remember latching onto her wheel and trying to hang on, even though her totally aerodynamic tuck left me still almost fully in the wind, or so it seemed to me.  She was nice enough to let me take a few turns at the front, and after awhile the peloton noticed that we were managing to stay away for perhaps a mile or two.  We knew that we were being chased, but we did not want to let the pack catch us too easily, so we started trying to stay away.  Anyway, despite her strong riding, which was probably just normal tempo for her, we were caught within what I'm sure was still a relatively short distance.  but being in that brief break away helped me the name in the pack all the way to the County Line Sprint.

Well, it was a true privilege to be part of this group for at least a few years, and even though I got taken down by someone's dropped water bottle during a brief 2010 return to the weekly peloton, I still think about getting back out there someday.  Maybe I will.