Category Archives: Rides

Contender Bicycles Cyclocross Skills Clinic

 

Thursdays, beginning September 18, 5:30-7:30 pm, thru October 16 (5 weeks total).

Location: Sugarhouse Park, Salt Lake City. 2100 S. 1500 E.
Schedule: Meet at the NW Corner of the Park. See map on Page 2. Barrier Practice for 30-60 minutes, followed by anti-clockwise laps around the park
perimeter.

All-inclusive Fees for the entire 5 weeks:
• USA Cycling License Holders: $20 unlimited pass
• Non-licensed Riders $15 one time + $10 each additional day
• Registration online ONLY. You must register for your first clinic!
https://www.bikereg.com/contender-cyclocross-skills-clinic

Fees partially cover the cost of the permits (USA Cycling and Sugarhouse Park), insurance for all riders ($1/rider/day), and the $10/day/rider one-day license fee for non-licensed riders. Do the math. No extra charges, no refunds, no profit. Licensed Riders must sign in each week, one-day license required each time for non-licensed riders.

Goals: Learn something about cyclocross technique; how to go over barriers, run up hills, and ride a skinny-tired bike off the pavement. Local ‘cross gurus will lead the clinics and distribute nuggets of wisdom. Cyclocross or Mountain Bikes are welcome.

Rules: Bikes are absolutely prohibited off-pavement anytime except during the clinic! Violation will result in us losing use of the Park. This is a promise. Do not ride on the grass except for Thursdays, during the clinic. Clinic participants are expected to police themselves.

Need more information? Email crossdoctor@gmail.com.

Minimizing conflict with other park users. The time of the clinic is one of the
heaviest used times by runners, and runners use the same perimeter trail as for the
cyclocross clinic. We must minimize conflicts with runners . First, the cyclists have to
be aware of the requirement to be good citizens, second, the cyclists will give the right away to runners on the trail.

What does this mean to you, the bike rider? Don’t annoy the runners! If there is some encounter, apologize. Give them a wide berth and politely announce your presence. Don’t ride your bike around Sugarhouse Park outside the clinic times. If you see someone else doing this, explain to them the ramifications of their actions. Conflicts between cyclists and runners could cause us to permanently lose the Park.

Cycling Crazies and Tour Toes- It’s Tour of Utah Time! (VIDEO)

Cycling fans, let’s get real.  Utah’s roots in bikes and bike racing run deep. So it’s no wonder the Tour of Utah is a big deal a really big deal to all of us crazy cyclists that call Utah home.

I’m here to rally the troops. I’m here to insight a movement of pure cycling super-fan madness. Let’s paint our faces. Let’s lose our voices. Let’s wear weird costumes. Let’s have questionable amounts of our bodies visible in said costumes. Why? because we all know the second best thing to actually riding in a tour is standing on the side of the road with no shirt and a red clown wig ringing a cow bell like the cow has a gun to your head.

I think we’re off to a good start with this: Our good friend Martin Cole decided to show his TOU fever by painting his frickin’ toes!

This is what I'm talking about! Pretty sure where these toes go, the party follows

This is what I’m talking about! Pretty sure where these toes go, the party follows. Well played, Martin.

But I want to see some of this too:

El Diablo would be a solid addition to our TOU

El Diablo would be a solid addition to our TOU

And definitely a bit of all this:

Obviously this needs to happen in the TOU.

Obviously this needs to happen.

Questioning this man's taste? Don't. He's spot on. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Questioning this man’s taste? Don’t. He’s spot on. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

 

These young men are a prime example of perfect TOU attire. Well done, little sirs.

These young men are a prime example of perfect TOU attire. Well done, little sirs.

we applaud these gentlemen for their commitment. A prime example that you don't necessarily need to show skin to prove your cycling fandom.  But isn't their a part of you that's thinking this wouldve been funnier if the dude's were shirtless? Yep. Us too.

We applaud these gentlemen for their commitment. A prime example that you don’t necessarily need to show skin to prove your cycling fandom. But isn’t there a part of you that’s thinking this would’ve been funnier if the dude’s were shirtless? Yep. Us too.

Now, we definitely don’t want to see any of this:

 

But hey, if the great Jens Voigt says he loves us, then we know we’re doing something right:

“I’ll never forget my first day in Utah. I was still jetlagged—yes, I am pretty good at that— and on Stage 1 I have to go to the front with Joost Posthuma and a couple of Garmin riders. I still hadn’t adapted to the altitude and finally on the last climb I just blow. I mean it was a spectacular detonation! So there I am dead last going up this climb. I couldn’t even hold the wheels of the sprinters. I just wanted to find a ditch to crash into until an ambulance came and picked me up. But the fans kept yelling, “shut up legs,” and they just cheered me up. So I kept the faith. That is real fan support.” -Jens Voigt in Bicycling Magazine on his experiences in the TOU.

We’ll see the racers up here in Salt Lake this Saturday, August 9th for stage 6, the ‘Queen Stage’ -where the racers will be suffering climbing up Emigration, Big Mountain, Guardsman and then finishing in Snowbird. It’s a little over 12,500 ft of elevation in 107 miles. Which also means it’s a little over ridiculous.

You can get a spectator guide or download the official Tour of Utah mobile app HERE.

And I better not be the only one out there in a speedo.

53_20140727_©BrakeThrough-Media_3S1A1360-659x440

2014 Tour Wrap Up: Nibali Didn’t Crash (But He Also Won)

 

Vincenzo Nibali, stepped down from the podium in front of the Champs-Elysees on Sunday a champion.

He had lead the 2014 Tour for every single stage less two, he’d won four of it’s 21 stages, and his lead of 7-minutes and 37-seconds was the biggest margin of victory held in the Tour since Armstrong’s win (now officially not a win) in 1999. Nibali is also now one of only a handful of riders that has won the Giro, the Vuelta and the Tour –all three of the Grand Tours.

Regardless of all this, some look at Nibali’s win as simply a result of better rider’s bad luck with crashes and injuries early in the Tour.

Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour in 2012 was passed over by Team Sky because they wanted to focus on Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour winner. When Froome crashed out along with Alberto Contador, it was suggested that Nibali was just the best of what was left in the peloton.

However, even before their unfortunate crashes, Nibali had a two-second lead on Contador and Froome after he won Stage 2. When Froome crashed out in Stage 5, Nibali put more than 2 minutes between himself and Contador. When Contador’s unfortunate crash occurred on a downhill in Stage 10, Nibali went on to win the stage as it climbed to a ridiculously steep mountain finish atop La Planche des Belles Filles. Nibali then went on to win two more mountain stages across the Alps and Pyrenees.

It’s pretty obvious that Nibali didn’t simply ‘slip’ into a spot made empty by the unlucky crashes of some talented riders. The Italian is a true talent himself. Maybe now he’ll get some respect.

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Point is, we’re excited to see him next year. Complementi Vincenzo Nibali!

The Tour’s official website popped out this little video highlight reel of the 2014 Tour. Take a look:


EN – Best of 2014 – After the race by tourdefrance

Paris-Roubaix:The Guts, The Glory, The Grime

hincapie

Think you’ve survived something as nasty as Paris-Roubaix? Read our blog about the classic race, and tell us your story. There will be Contender goodies involved for the best tales! Keep reading for details….

In 1896

When two textile manufacturers wanted to organize a cycling race from Paris to the new velodrome they had just built in the small, rural town of Roubaix, they had a journalist ride the route to see what the course and conditions for the race would actually be. The hope was that the journalist would enjoy his ride and recommend his paper help promote the fledgling race. As the story goes, when he finished his ride, the freezing temperatures, the howling wind and the apocalyptic rain had done him in -he was convinced that not only was the route a nightmare of mud, bad roads, and barbarous conditions, but that sending a group of racers on these same roads would be ridiculously dangerous. 

Now, I’m not a huge steward of history but I’ll say this: if some guy (who, by the way went on to be a deputy organizer for The Tour) decided in 18-friggin’-96, the same era that had Jack the Ripper, Polio, coal-covered child laborers, and doctors that still used leeches for bloodletting (!), that a bike ride was too dangerous then you know it was pretty gnarly. 

Half the riders that signed up for that first Paris-Roubaix decided not to show up.

But they ran the race anyway. It was a huge success.

And That’s Kinda How It’s Stayed

The only time the race was shut down was during the two World Wars. In 1919, organizers decided to survey the route to see if any of it had survived the shelling of the First World War. What they found, they said, were road conditions that could only be described as “hell”.

But, again, they ran the race anyway. And It garnered it’s famous name: The Hell of The North.

kelly roubaixfotowww.pariroubaixchallenge.fr

Fast-Forward About Another 100 Years

Paris-Roubaix is a spring classic; a test of the stupidity  endurance and fearlessness of riders stupid brave enough to face it’s mud, grit, weather and cobblestones.

And we love it! We revel in the ridiculous idea of having to race on some of the worst roads in Europe. It makes you giggle. It seems so hard -so dumb- to subject you and your butt to conditions so purposely bad- but there’s a strange attraction to it. There’s a bizarre affinity attached to events where everyone involved agrees that what they’re doing is probably a bad idea, but they’re going to do it anyway. Why? Because, dammit, other people will think you’re crazy and it’ll probably make a good story. Call it evidence of the unyielding human spirit. Call it our need to push and test the boundaries of what we can suffer. Call it something dumb you and your friends decided to get together and do.

paris-roubaix preproads

Call it something nasty under your breath.

The Point is, We’ve All Done Something Similar

We’ve all decided, for whatever reason, that we are going to undertake some misadventure with full understanding that it could possibly be the worst thing we ever decided to do. But hell, you’re friends are doing it, and you don’t want to be the only one left out. So you’re in. All the bloody way in.

In recognition of Paris-Roubaix this week, we thought we’d ask all of you to give us your most courageous, near-death (or near near-death) stories.

We want stories that revel in the wreckless abandonment that has engulfed us all at one point or another in our sporting careers. We want the stories that your significant other hopes you don’t tell at get-togethers because it just proves that they married down. We want the stories that are marinated so unabashedly in poor decision making that letting your cat prep your taxes is a comparatively good idea. Yeah. That’s what we want.

Here’s One To Get You Started

Mine has to do with a (seemingly) sunny Saturday in February about ten years ago and my friend’s idiotic attempt to get some winter ya-ya’s out and a whole bunch of early season miles in. Truth be told, I was just as eager to ride after 3 months of winter as he was. We decided to ride out to Provo Canyon (where we would end up hiking our bikes through more than 6 miles of snow drifts), into Heber where the sun quickly disappeared, then Park City; where it actually began to snow. By this point, we were out of daylight because of the time we had lost hiking up most of Provo Canyon with our bikes on our shoulders. We had no choice (because hypothermia was setting in and we just wanted to get the #%$! home) but to hop on I-80 and be done as fast as possible. I remember calling my mom from a 7-Eleven in Jeremy Ranch, letting her know where I was, what I was about to do, and that if I didn’t come home this might be the reason why.

I guess we could’ve stopped, stayed at the 7-Eleven and had someone pick us up. But we didn’t.

We saw the snow, we saw the semis shooting up huge rooster tails, we knew we’d be dodging black ice and we decided to do it anyway. We hopped onto I-80 and cruised down the canyon. It was one of the scariest, dumbest things I’ve ever done.

 

So what’s your story? Leave it in the comments and if we love it, we’ll post it! When you post it, look for an email about some Contender goodies heading your way!

Hope you watched the 111th edition of Paris-Roubaix this morning!

 

 

Wasatch Fall Colors as seen from the Bike

Fall is a great time of year. The heat of Summer has subsided, the cruel and bitter bite of winter is still a ways away, and people are generally in good spirits during this transition period. Rewind a few months ago when we all were burnt from the sun and were forced to evening and morning rides. Now fast forward to a month and a half when that first sharp snowfall hits and we’re cold, wind blasted, and have on-set depression from impending holidays. I for one have a family who’s adapted the trend of giving massive amounts of Lowe’s gift cards as presents. But hey I’m not complaining I’ve fixed my toilet four times over with that store credit. Enjoy the fall because it won’t be here forever.

Gaurdsman’s Excellent Adventure

We made it to the promised land. Was it easy? No. Did we lose some people along the way? Possibly. Did a lot of people lose a lot of respect for me? Pretty much everyone, but we did it baby! Here’s what went down.

Ready for lift off

Check out Mike from Lazer helmets feeling the love at 8600 feet above sea level.

In case you're wondering... Grif has been here before

No Guardsman ride is complete without bicycle fixing. While Tim ponders much deeper issues

Gaurdsman Group this Sunday 8am UPDATE!

We’ve got a 7:30 leader. Grif is heading out then from the store so if you want to get a head start on the 8am group he’s your man.

As most everyone knows it’s summer time in the Salt Lake and that means ride time. All week the talk has been building about the ride so here’s the skinny. Gaurdsman loop. Starting at 8am (as of now, will update if time changes) from the store. The ride is about 80 miles and will take every bit of 5 and a half hours ride time, and of course uphill will be the main dish. There’s a convenient store stop in the middle. Nervous about the pace? I suggest to those wanting to ride the big Cottonwood section at more of their own pace to leave from the store at 7:30. No word yet on who’s leading this group but the option is there. Any questions? Post them I’ll answer every one of them.

Be there or be square

Gaurdsman Pass Ghost Protocol

As everyone knows Salt has great rides out there but to me the Gaurdsman loop is the tops and I’m pretty sure I invented it. Well that may be up for debate but the idea remains. We set out as a group to give it a go. We had a newbie to the ride as well. I’m glad to say five and half hours, a soda and snickers bar later we completed the run. We were like the Conan of riding. We came, we saw, we ate junk food.

And the dirt begins...

 

Omar didn't know what was in store for him

We considered cow tipping, I blame this on the heat

There will be more attempts this summer so if you want to call yourself a Gaurds-Man (or woman) keep an eye out on the blog and be ready for the next one.