CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter


RIDE LEADER NOTES – Ride Free or Die
TURNING THE CRANKS – Parlez vous le Tour?
TEAM NOTES – Cold day at Pacific Crest Duathlon
SHOP NEWS – Specialized Demo Day; New Ridleys in stock
SURVEY – Tour de France Excitement



Ride Free or Die

by Roger Colwell 

In this great land of ours, we are blessed to have choices, including the choice of how to spend our money and how to pursue leisure. Thankfully, you have chosen to include Sunset Cycles in that pursuit, which feeds the lifecycle of commerce and the love of all things bicycle.

Many have made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy these choices and a life filled with abundance. It might be a stretch to draw a straight line between our nation’s many battles to preserve freedom and a 30-mile ride through Washington County, but I believe it’s safe to say that our relatively comfortable life–one upon which we can reflect during many hours in the saddle–are due in no small part to the service of others, including those with whom I had the privilege of serving in the Air Force.

So, as we reflect upon our July 4th holiday last week, which celebrates our country’s history and rich legacy, I’m thankful I was able to celebrate in my own way with a bike ride as a small token of thanks for the blessings I enjoy every day.

You don’t have to wait for the next Independence Day to do the same. Create fireworks of your own with a heart-pounding ride as you celebrate your own freedom to pursue your own dreams.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, indeed.

Thank you again for choosing Sunset Cycles, a.k.a. “Beaverton’s Bike Shop,” for all of your cycling needs.



Parlez vous le Tour?

We know who you are. You’re up at 5am every morning for three weeks to catch the live Tour de France broadcast, chomping on croissants and downing massive cafe au laits as you curse the ill-fated attacks and cheer on your favorite riders. With 15km to go, you’re a raving lunatic, jumping on your couch, screaming as Liggett talks about “donning the mask of pain,” as the family and neighbors are dialing an intervention hotline.

As long as you’re being fitted for a yellow straightjacket, you might as well brush up on a bit of the race’s native language to impress your casual cycling friends and keep the men in white coats away until the third week of July. Here are a few (lesser known) key TdF phrases to throw around on your next club ride:

à bloc   riding all out, as hard and fast as possible

la bonification   bonus points

changer d’allure   to change pace

chasse patate   riding between two groups (literally, “potato hunt”)

contre la montre   time trial

une crevaison   flat, puncture

la danseuse   standing up

un échappé   breakaway

la flamme rouge   red marker at 1 kilometer from finish

la Grande Boucle   literally, “the big loop” – the race’s informal nickname

un grimpeur   climber

un pneu crevé   flat tire

prendre la tête   to take the lead

un rouleur   smooth and steady rider

s’accrocher à   to cling, hang on to

une voiture balai   broom wagon



Each month in CHAINRINGS, Sunset Cycles previews another great Washington County bike ride. With the varied terrain available in our area, each ride is certain to be a winner.

Our ride rating category is simple, ranging from one CHAINRING (easiest) to five CHAINRINGS (most challenging). Here’s the criteria:

One chainring: Flat ride, minimal climbing
Two chainrings: Rolling hills, short climbs
Three chainrings: Moderate hills, possibly some short, steep climbs
Four chainrings: Challenging terrain with numerous, longer climbs
Five chainrings: Very difficult terrain with numerous, steep, long climbs

This month’s ride: Summer Meander


This ride is kinda’ like summer in the Northwest: It starts slowly, ramps up the heat in the middle, and finishes gradually with a long, slow runout at the end. Perfect for a summer afternoon!

Here’s a link to full route directions and map.



Sunset Cycles Team member Greg Kempthorn weighs in this month on his experience at the Pacific Crest Olympic Duathlon (28-mile bike, 10k run). Here’s his unedited, full guts and glory report:

“This weekend was a little on the cool/breezy/wet side for sure. I was really glad I did not sign up for the Saturday events. They modified the 1/2 iron guys to do the Olympic distance bike course (28 miles) because of snow and ice on Bachelor. We were spoiled in comparison.

Well, I decided pretty much last minute to do the Olympic Duathlon (28 mile bike, 10K run).  As I said the weather was pretty bad.  Fortunately it was OK for our Sunday racing.  But still everyone had gloves on (which you rarely see @ a triathlon).  The bus trip was great and lots of nerves thinking about the upcoming race.  We arrived to Wikiup about 7:30 and began the check in process.  I looked out at the lake and was REALLY glad I chose to do the duathlon.  I heard that there were many cases of hypothermia Saturday with the 1/2 iron guys.  Even though you have a wetsuit, it is still really cold there.  We were scheduled to start @ 9am.  So I began to do my warm up around 8:15 consisting of a two mile run.  I was feeling pretty good considering I had not run much for a month or so.  When I got back from my run, I noticed that the bike line was already 85%.  I managed to negotiate a closer starting place to avoid potential passing issues, etc.  So off I go.  It was cold, but not that bad.  I was a little concerned about the moisture on the road. But that proved to be a non-issue too. What caught me off guard, and I should have known better, was the fact the first 14 miles was rather hilly.  Not that I would have trained differently, but the last two times I raced there we did a different course (generally flat). Well I had no idea when these dang hills were going to end!!  finally it seemed like about mile 14 we started getting a lot more descents,  then eventually back to the roads I remembered from two years ago.  What a relief.  Especially knowing a 10K is coming and I have not run 6 miles in many weeks.  So, you just really have to listen to your legs and make sure there is some left in the tank.  A couple guys went by me on the bike like I was standing still (one of them DNF due to exhaustion). My wife said he came on off the bike and just sat down and took off his helmet looking tired.  My temptation was to try and match them, but knew to ride my race.  Anyway, felt pretty good the whole ride @ 21.3 mph average.  Was hoping for a faster split, but elevation and cold air made it tough.  Sean Campbell who is also 45 and usually wins this race every year averaged 23.8.  Well the transition finally came, dismounted the bike and had a 150 yard run or so on the grass to T2.  Transition went smooth and off I went.  My family was waiting for me about 100 yards away.  Just when I got to them, my 11 year old daughter yells “dad, you got passed by two girls!”  It was so funny I just started laughing.  My wife got a picture of the big grin.  Normally, I look like I am in pain at this point.  So, I owe it to my daughter for taking the edge off :).  I was still feeling relatively comfortable.  Still just kinda holding back a little and just wondering when the piano was going to get placed on my back.  Well I was relieved to see the first mile go by and still feel pretty good.  Back of my mind was the “getting chicked” thing my daughter reminded me of.  Each mile went by with a big relief.  About mile 4, I saw her, you know what I mean, like well do I want to get chicked? or up the pain threshold and avoid that possibility?  Well, if you know me, I decided to up the tempo.  The last mile was excruciating.  Past her with about a 3/4 mile to go.  I realized she started well ahead of me on the bike. So, technically I did not need to pass her.  But, but, my daughter may have never let me live it down!  I had no idea I was averaging 7:23 miles.  The last mile was well under 7 minutes.  As far as my ribs go, they felt fine.  However, I still cannot do a sit up without pain.  Knee felt OK too.  Just a little pain, but not much.  Well when it was all over, I ended up 8th overall out of 180 or so, 2nd in age group.  A 9 minute PR! considering the hills.  Next up is the Hagg Lake Olympic Duathlon (two laps).  I am not sure the ribs are quite there for short track yet.  Pulling/balancing on handle bars still hurts.  But really want to get out there.  I wanted to mention we came back through Sisters.  And I wanted so bad to go ride the cursed Sisters Stampede course again and get the final word.”



Stay tuned for details on an incredible one-day Specialized demo, coming soon to Portand where you’ll get to ride Specialized’s latest road and mountain bikes. Take any bike for a spin and test models against one another to find the bike that’s right for you.

Look for special blog and Facebook posts by store owner Roger Colwell as he heads to the annual Specialized dealer event in Utah later this month. Roger will give you an insider’s look at the newest rides from Specialized coming soon to Sunset Cycles.

New Ridleys will be in stock at the end of July. Get a jump on the cyclocross season now with a bike that has carried the world’s best ‘cross riders to the podium for years (and also has a Stage 4 Tour de France win under its belt this year!).



Speak, oh ye denizens of the Sunset Cycles world! Give us your opinions on this month’s question…

The Tour de France has held a few surprises during its 2012 edition, including some spectacular crashes, some time trial surprises, and thrilling sprints.


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About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

One response to “CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter”

  1. Dan says :

    Darn, link to the WashCo ride isn’t working for me. Is the route ‘public’ or is it hidden somehow?

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