CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE:
RIDE LEADER NOTES – Dog Days of Summer
TURNING THE CRANKS – Looking Forward to Fall
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – Wheatland Sizzler
TEAM NOTES – Salem Short Track Cross Country Report
SHOP NEWS – Specialized Demo Day A Great Success
SURVEY – Opinions on Cyclocross
RIDE LEADER NOTES
Dog Days of Summer
by Roger Colwell
The forecast is in: Days on end with high temperatures in the 80s and 90s, and not a cloud in sight. I can see the heat rising off the dark country road and can feel the sweat rolling down the back of my jersey. My once cold bottle is lukewarm…and almost empty. And I still have 30 miles left to ride.
Ahhh. Life is good.
During the darkest, wettest months of the year, these are the days that we all dream of. The days when choosing our riding kit is simple, and our choices are reduced to fun ones: Where to ride, and how far. Perhaps you’re a relatively new customer at Sunset Cycles and haven’t fully caught “the bug” yet. Well, it’s time to pump up your tires and head out onto the road or trail and feel the wind in your face, because it doesn’t get much better than this.
Soon enough, we’ll be pulling on the arm warmers, then mounting the fenders to the frame, then looking lovingly at our indoor trainers as the rain blasts against the windows. Until then, It’s time to get out there and take advantage of the stellar weather as much as you can, because as we all know, a good thing like this can’t last forever.
Dog days of summer? No way. Despite the heat, I prefer to refer to them as “PRIME TIME.” I invite you to embrace the heat, too, and ride like there’s no tomorrow. When your bottle is empty, stop on in to either of our shops for a cold refill and let us know how else we might be able to help you squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of your summertime riding.
Thank you again for choosing Sunset Cycles, a.k.a. “Beaverton’s Bike Shop.”
TURNING THE CRANKS
Looking Forward to Fall
Even though it’s only early August, fall is (gasp) just around the corner. With the cyclocross season looming, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about how you might upgrade your steed for the challenges of autumn.
A great place to start, if you’re in the market for a new ride, is with a look at the new ‘cross bikes from Ridley. Whether you’re aiming for the podium on the carbon X-Night, want a better look at the carbon X-Fire with disc brakes (available with Di2 electronic shifting), or like the idea of the aluminum X-Ride (also with disc brakes), Ridley has you covered. Look for the newest models in our stores within the next two weeks.
Speaking of disc brakes, regardless of the brand you choose (for example, Specialized’s Crux Comp ‘cross bike comes with disc brakes), you’ll start seeing more and more of the technology within the ranks of road bikes. Precise control, stopping power, safety, and consistency in all weather conditions all point toward this stopping technology as the wave of the future. Ask us in the shop for a demonstration, and feel free to take one of our disc brake-equipped bikes for a test ride.
If your upgrade is of the round variety…that is, wheels and tires…you can’t go wrong with the Specialized Captain CX 2BR tires ($55) or a new ECX ‘cross wheelset from Rolf Prima. While the latter is obviously going to be more of an investment, sometimes just a new set of rubber on your bike can make you feel like a world champion. Your tire upgrade might take the form of switching to tubeless. Talk to any of our trained technicians for a primer on why this might suit your style once the barrier hopping and mud slinging commences.
Stop in and talk to us about other ways you can improve your riding as we look forward toward cyclocross season.
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH
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: Wheatland Sizzler
RATING: THREE CHAINRINGS
Longer than most of our routes (hey…it’s August, baby!) at 70 miles, this gem of a ride takes you south of our Beaverton store, through Newberg and St. Paul, then westward across the Willamette River on the quaint, but effective Wheatland Ferry ($1 crossing fee). Heading north on the return trip, grab refreshments in Dayton before riding through Newberg and back to Sunset Cycles. Two big climbs: One starts just 5 miles into the ride while the other smacks you in the forehead at mile 57.
Sunset Cycles Team member Dan Anderson shares his experience at the Salem short-track cross-country MTB race. His unedited report:
“I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go down to Salem to check out this series, but when Peter said he’d been down there a bunch, I said I’d go ahead & buy a season pass. We met up & drove down together.
We were both on the fence about which category to race in (between Cat 2 Men or Cat 3 Men). I raced Cat 3 once at PIR this year, and then immediately moved to Cat 2 35-44 so I could get away from all the crazies and to join a smaller field on the track (not because I was killing it in Cat 3 or anything). But then as I raced Cat 2 I started to realized that while I was fast enough for Cat 2, I just wasn’t really controlling my bike well enough to be there. I was getting passed in corners, and felt like I was constantly on the verge of sliding out or flying into the bushes. And frankly, it caused me to lose a bit of confidence in my ability to ride off road at all. SO….we both decided to race Cat 3 & see how it went.
We made it there in time to get our plates and get in a some course pre-riding and some laps in the parking lot, and when they called out 5 minutes until our start I headed straight for the start line & got a great position. It’s a short straight away with a loose dirt right-hander around a small football field, and I’m 3rd from the inside corner, front row. Peter was warming up in the middle of riding the BMX section of the course, so he wasn’t able to get such a nice spot (more like DFL). There were two younger guys on the very inside position riding DH bikes, and I knew I’d be able to get in front of them quickly to take the inside line around the first corner.
The race started and sure enough they are soon eating my dust (literally). Since I was able to clip in quickly (hooray for stop-and-go commuting) I take the hole shot and hold the first position for the first quarter of a lap. We get to the first set of 180 turns, I overshoot and am passed by 4 or 5 guys. Manage to hang onto their wheels for the remainder of the first lap, and just as we come around the starting line again and I pass the lot of them in one move. I was really surprised how easily they let me move by. I stay in the lead now for about a half a lap when suddenly one of them bursts past me and takes a good 50-yard lead on me. At this point I figure I’m racing for 2nd, but I just focus on keeping my speed up & taking good lines, thinking maybe he’ll tire out or something. It’s not much later that he does, and I blow by him on a grassy uphill section and keep pounding away on the pedals to discourage him from giving chase. Next thing I know I’ve built up a pretty good lead on him — he’s not even close enough to sprint up to me anymore. Look down at my watch to see how much time has passed. EIGHT MINUTES! Crap, I looked at my watch too early.
Now it’s just a matter of hanging on, taking good lines, trying to increase that gap. Eventually I get far enough up that I’m nearly half a lap ahead, and have lapped a few riders. I finish out first, and immediately start looking for Peter. He has crashed his CX bike in the last set of BMX whoops and taco’d his front wheel! Ugh. He’s banged up a bit, but luckily doesn’t seem too bad off other than having to take a DNF when he was racing in a pretty good position (around top third I think). And it sounds like he’s been looking forward to building his first wheel for some time now. Anyone got a spare rim? We stick around a bit to see the Cat 2 guys, where I’ll racing next time, and they look considerably faster. Especially the top few guys in the group, who look like Cat 1s to me, ha ha.
Anyway, it’s a pretty cool little track. The huge banked turns on the BMX course are awesome. The small race fields are great (we had 27 in our heat, compared to 117 in the Cat 3 at PIR this week). In retrospect, maybe I should have raced Cat 2 instead of running away with the Cat 3 race, but the #2 guy behind me finished 3rd/3rd/1st in the same category last year, so at least I prevent him from winning again, ha ha.”
A warm morning greeting the dozens of cyclists who showed up last weekend at the corner of NW Skyline and Germantown Roads to test ride the 2013 lineup from Specialized. Sunset Cycles was on hand to demonstrate the new Venge, Roubaix, Tarmac, Ruby, and Amira models, and the comments from riders were extremely positive on the handling and features of every model. A few photos:
Speak, oh ye denizens of the Sunset Cycles world! Give us your opinions on this month’s question…
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