Monday, September 15, 2014

Cyclocross prep work.

Ok kids, you missed a good one this weekend.  Saturday morning the Sagebrush cyclocross series kicked off with a clinic run by some of the regions top riders, followed up with building a new course for this coming Saturday's season kickoff race.  I took a bunch of pics for your pleasure.  However, I'm not going to reveal all the race winning knowledge they imparted upon us!

The group working on dismounts and remounts above the previous lesson on how to ride slippery side hills.

Once you have the running dismount....let's add barriers and split second timing to the mix!!

Nick (yellow helmet) makes it look smooth and easy!

Barriers aren't it's a dismount, shoulder the bike, run the stairs drill.

If all these drills weren't enough for you (and it was hot) were cordially invited to meet up in the parking lot after a lunch break to go dig, rake, scrape, pick, and manually remove rocks, dirt, and goat heads for next weeks course!  Being a glutton for punishment (and having no real plans) I foolishly agreed!

Having raked the previous 1/4 mile of course....picks were employed to dig out the lead in to the first run up.

Yeah, this isn't a photo shopped perspective....the picked out trail leads into a "run up" (as in no one can ride this incline) that goes pretty much straight up the rockiest hill you can find!

A look back down for perspective.

The red outline shows the rough shape of about 1/2 the course.  Every inch had to be racked, cleaned of goat heads, cleared of brush (the dotted line) and otherwise made rideable!
Three hours later the course had been beaten into shape.  It was goat head tested by several dogs (dog paws are magnets for goat heads)!  The 10-12 dusty, tired workers gave it an official one finger salute and officially called it a day by cracking open a beer....Ok, so that's what I did.

Any way you look at it, it's a completely awesome new course that is going to beat the tar out of even the best riders out there!  So join us next week as a rider or spectator to see all the spectacular misery this course will inflict!

Here's a complete overview of the basic course.

Verdi Loop Night ride....well, kinda.

This was the route I took home last night from a house warming party out in Mogel.  Basically, it's a portion of the Verdi loop.  I had the advantage of driving out in the car with Wifey.  However, she headed out a bit early because she has been power working (20 hours) over the weekend and was ready for bed.  I stayed on to enjoy the home brewed hard cider and company.  Fortunately, this problem had been anticipated and I had strategically stashed a bike in the back of the car for the trip home.  I ended up departing about 8:15 just as it was going from dusk to dark.

Fortunately there are really good bike lanes along the entire route.

It was actually fun and relaxing to do a solo night ride.  The bike lanes are great in this section and with good front and rear lights and light traffic it's kind of a zen ride.

A blurry picture that illustrates you are definitely riding in a non-lighted area.  A good front (and rear) light makes this a non-issue.
Good light or not...there are some really dark areas out here.  However, the bike lane makes it a little better.

And just so you don't feel alone while riding at get to pass this other rider every 1000ft or so!
So don't let the early darkness keep you from sneaking in that late evening ride.  You might be surprise how enjoyable it can be!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sagebrush Cyclocross time!!

Click here to link over to the Sagebrush Page.
The official calendar starts off this weekend with a riding clinic and some trail building at the newest course location (the Reno Dam).  Even though it's a race series, it really is just a fun set of events with a really friendly (family) feel.  I'd never entered a bike race in my life prior to last year and I ended up having a lot of fun both riding, helping with the course layout, and just meeting some great people.  So if you've ever remotely considered racing this is the perfect way to give it a try.  Hope to see you all out there this weekend.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

4th Street and Prater Corridor is going to be getting some bikey (and bus) improvements!!

This project has been in the works for a couple years.  Basically to give 4th St. / Prater way corridor a remake with complete streets in mind and improve bus service along the route.  The planning has been done and public input was conducted (on mass)....but the funding for such a large project kinda left it swinging in the wind.  I just came across the article below over on KTVN's page, which says the grant $$$ have come in and we'll be moving forward on the project!!

Congrats to all the hard work by the RTC!!

RTC Receives Grant To Improve 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor Transportation

Posted: Sep 09, 2014 11:34 PM PST Updated: Sep 09, 2014 11:38 PM PST
Regional Transportation Commission Media Release:

Reno, NV (September 9, 2014) – The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County was notified it will receive $16 million for transportation and transit enhancements for the 4th Street/Prater Way RAPID Transit Project in Reno and Sparks. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a major role in securing the funding from the US
Department of Transportation under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

The RTC 4th Street/Prater Way RAPID Transit Project will better connect downtown Reno and downtown Sparks and revitalize the 4th Street/Prater Way corridor. The project will extend the RTC RAPID service to the 4th Street/Prater Way Corridor between RTC 4TH STREET STATION and RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA transit terminals. Four new all electric buses will also be purchased to serve this route. The improved transit service will create ladders of opportunity for the financially disadvantaged, connecting people to employment centers and educational institutions.

“This funding is critical in moving this project forward. When it begins, the new transit service will link people to nearly 39-thousand employment opportunities in the area already served by RTC RAPID transit and improve mobility access in the corridor for everyone,” RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson said. “We very much appreciate the support from our congressional delegation and Senator Reid's leadership as well as the support from our community partners,” Gibson added.

“Investing in and further developing Nevada's infrastructure will create jobs and promote economic growth, said Reid. “I am pleased southern and northern Nevada have been awarded more than $29 million in TIGER grant funding, which will allow us to update our transportation network,” said Senator Reid. “We must be able to meet the demands of the ever-increasing amount of travelers coming to our state. I remain committed to improving transportation in Nevada and will continue to fight for federal funding to improve our roads, bridges, highways and other infrastructure needs.”

“Congratulations to the RTC for being the first to bring a taxpayer-funded grant of this kind to Northern Nevada,” said Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-2). “At a time when our regional economy is poised for big things, these funds will help to grow transit options between Reno and Sparks,” Amodei added.

The project includes features to accommodate all modes of transportation. There will be wider sidewalks for pedestrians and dedicated bike lanes. The project will support businesses – many of which are taking root in historical buildings. As part of the project, RTC partnered with the University of Nevada, Reno and Nevada Humanities to
chronicle the stories of long-time residents of the corridor. Information on the rich history of 4th Street and Prater Way, which contributed to the early growth of the region, may be viewed at:

Planning, preliminary engineering and environmental clearance for the project have been completed. Final design will be completed in December 2015, and construction can begin as soon as early 2016.

More information on the project may be found at:
Letters of Support for the project were sent by: US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the City of Reno, the City of Sparks, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Nevada Department of Transportation, The Chamber, Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living, Northern Nevada Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, University of
Nevada, Reno, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency, Washoe County School District Police Department, Truckee Meadows Tomorrow.

In addition to the funding for the 4th Street/Prater Way RAPID Transit Project, $13.3 million dollars in TIGER funds will go toward upgrades to the Flamingo corridor in southern Nevada.

Evening Grocery Run.

The straw that broke the camel's back....

Nope, I'm not talking about slogging this loaded bike up the hill.  I'm talking about why I had to go to the grocery store last night.  I was out of milk bones and was not willing to break the news to the boarder collie.  So off to the store we go.  Of course the remainder of the load is all stuff for me...but she doesn't know that.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

And......apparently the perfect weather for flat tires!

Note the look of dismay in his eyes....I definitely have that!

Ok, I left my office just over 16 hours ago.  I'm back.  While this alone could be considered depressing, it's not what has me slightly annoyed.  It's that I've had THREE flat tires since then!  Now for the record these 3 flats include a set of mountain bike tires with stan's no tube setup, a traditional tubed tire, and a "puncture" proof kevlar tire with Mr. Tuffy tire liners!!

So there you have it....there is no tire God.  You will get flats if you "Ride in Reno".

I am now the proud owner of a tube pile!!

I'm calling BS on this one in any shape or size! 

On a more serious note.  The Stan's no tube setup has been working pretty well.  I pump them up once every two weeks or so and add a bit of stan's once a month.  I don't know what I hit yesterday, but it drained two ounces of stan's fluid out onto a puddle on the ground in about 20 seconds.  I know it was two ounces because I had added two ounce the night before.

I was lucky that I always pack an extra tube however, or I would have been calling for a ride.  It was a super messy adventure, but I was able to throw a tube in the tire and ride the rest of the way home.  Of course I had another puncture by the time I got home (or perhaps someone didn't check the slimy tire insides well enough to remove the offending sharp object)....but I made it to the driveway still riding!

I was slightly dumbstruck when the Xtracycle with Tourguard Kevlar tires and Mr. Tuffy strips flatted out on the way to work.  I didn't find the offending sharp thing when I patched it....but I'm counting it as a bad things come in threes issue.  I'm sure I'll be flat free for months.

***I immediately take back my last statement....I don't want "flat" karma coming my way!!***

So anyways, watch out of the pokey stuff out there if your riding in this great weather.  I'm officially going to be weaving all over the bike lane to avoid anything that even looks remotely sharp!