There, and back again…

…a cyclists tale.

Way back when, I started riding a bike as an easy way to make the monumental commute from Sacramento, CA to Palo Alto. It was a 7 mile bike ride, to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor train, to a bus, to another train. I did it 3 days a week on average. The bike was a very practical thing, and I had a very practical bike.

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The winter of my discontent

“Oh c’mon. Work can wait an hour. Ride across me! You’ll love it!” — Golden Gate Bridge Siren Song

It has been a tough month. Well, tough couple of months. Many of the readers can understand the impact a lack of bike riding can have on an avid cyclist. When I should have been basking in my new bike glory, I’ve instead struggled against a series of both planned and unplanned events that seem like a sinister conspiracy to keep me off the bike.

It all started when the office of my day job moved.

The old commute was 10 miles one way, across beautiful scenery that encouraged me to add even more miles – just for fun. Without even “training” I was on the bike over 100 miles every week just in my commute. It made doing even more rides not only easier but also more enjoyable. Cycling can be funny that way – the more you do it the more you want to.

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2016 Seattle To Portland Ride Report

While I’ve talked a lot about the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride in the past, I unfortunately wasn’t able to make it this year. Luckily David Bussey did – and completed it in one day. David is a long time friend of JustAnotherCyclist.com, and was also one of the core members of the VeloReviews online cycling community. I’m excited that David agreed to share his experiences from the 2016 STP.

STP where virtual meets reality

By David Bussey

The decision

I ride with a group of guys with an interactive online cycling “game” called Zwift, where you ride your bike in the game, and as you pedal faster thru ant+ speed or power meter and cadence your in game rider rides faster.  This game launched beta in late 2014, I got an invite approval in April 2015, still early in the process. This group of riders races together, does 62 mile weekly endurance rides, and we use an audio app that lets us in essence have “race radio”.  We have gotten to know each other but not IRL (in real life).  Well, late in 2015 we began talking about getting this group to meet up for a ride, maybe STP [Seattle to Portland]. Some had done it in prior years some (myself) had not. We decided to give it a go, and to do the 205 mile ride in one day. What? Keep reading →

Cascade Bicycle Club, Washington Bikes merge

Cascade Bicycle Club merges with Washington BikesWashington State centered Cascade Bicycle Club announced a merger with Washington Bikes in an email to members on Tuesday, Dec 8. A press release on their website shared the same information. The new, merged organization is now being billed as the “…largest statewide advocacy organization in the nation.”

At the decision of both organization’s boards, as of Jan. 1, 2016, Cascade Bicycle Club will be the name of the 501(c)(3) tax-deductible wing, focused on education, diversity and inclusion programs, most of the signature events and advocacy work. The organization’s 501(c)(4) arm, to be called Washington Bikes, will address statewide policy and outreach, selected statewide events and activities, and candidate endorsements.

Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes merge to form nation’s largest statewide bicycle nonprofit

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Seattle to Portland: The world’s best group ride

STPAs someone that has ridden group rides in a grand total of 2 different states, I feel uniquely positioned to have an opinion on the best group rides of the entire planet. It is from this perspective of decades of experience and miles of riding that I can say with absolute authority: The Seattle to Portland ride from Cascade Bicycle Club is the absolute best group ride, anywhere, ever.

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Tapering for the big event

No... Not 'tapir' - taper.
No… Not ‘tapir’ – taper.

It is a frequent mistake of many cyclists – overtraining. No where is this more true then the weeks leading up to a big event. I’m right there, right now. In two weeks from today I will have just finished the Seattle to Portland ride. That means this is prime time for me to think about tapering, and how that impacts my training schedule.

This year my training schedule had a bit of tapering forced upon it by a mechanical failure on a training ride. With my primary road bike in the shop a lot of my recent training rides were skipped, or switched completely different style of bike. But for most, the tapering process should be a lot more deliberate and planned. And no…. riding less is not going to undo all the hard work you have put in in the saddle. Keep reading →

Everyone needs to do a solo century

bridge
Crossing the I-80 / Carquinez bridge.

The Century is often the benchmark for amateur and recreational cyclists. Often taking the form of fund-raising charity rides or hosted club-run rides, they often feature food, music and expo-like activities at the end. These full day events are, as they say, all about the bike. You are surrounded by fellow cyclists (or sympathetic family supporters of fellow cyclists) and the camaraderie is palpable.

However, there is a ton of benefit – both training and mental – in doing longer rides such as this on your own. For me personally riding with other cyclists definitely improves my performance. I find myself pushing myself just a tiny bit more when the guy in front of me starts to gap me, or when fellow riders are on my wheel. I have the opportunity to slip onto someone else’s wheel for a bit of respite while still maintaining pace.

When you’re out on the road on your own, however, those options don’t exist. It is you, your bike, and the thoughts in your head. Keep reading →

Route change for Seattle To Portland

This year’s Seattle to Portland bicycle ride – put on by Cascade Bicycle Club – is just around the corner. I’ve mentioned a couple of times how much I love this ride, and I’m really excited to be going back again. This year, however, will have a slightly different route this year.

They’ve just announced via email to registered riders that this years route will not take you through US Military property at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Keep reading →

Levi’s GranFondo causes crashes … of servers.

Levi’s GranFondo spawned a significant crash before the riders even made it to the start line.  This wasn’t bicycles piling up, however.  Instead, the popularity of the ride apparently resulted in a significant outage on the first day of registration as folks rushed to ensure a place in the hugely successful event.  Despite having reportedly “planned for several times the traffic from 2010’s registration opening day” folks were unable to register, and the registration system was taken offline and postponed.

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UPDATE: Seattle To Portland 2011 Registration

Based on the number of folks that are reading my previous STP 2011 story, a lot of folks are already interested in the 2011 ride.  And with the amount of interest, it looks like we’ll all need to stay on top of this to ensure we can register.

Cascade Bicycle Club has changed the dates slightly from their original announcement:

Online only event registration opens at noon on Monday, Jan. 10 exclusively for Cascade Bicycle Club members. Event registration opens at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1 to the general public.

It is interesting to note, however, that their website still doesn’t seem to list the STP ride on applicable calendarsLast time was a blast – can’t wait for this year.