Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thu, Oct 30: HealthNet goes OUCH with Floyd

Cyclingnews.com reports on the sponsor replacement of the HealthNet cycling team, to be now called "OUCH presented by Maxxis", and Floyd Landis riding for OUCH in 2009:

Landis, ex-Health Net together under OUCH

After a lot of speculation, the replacement for Health Net as title sponsor of the five-time top NRC men's team is now official – OUCH Sports Medical Center, based in Temecula, California, will take over the sponsorship of the team run my Momentum Sports Group, to be officially named OUCH presented by Maxxis. As well, it is confirmed that Floyd Landis will join the team following the end of his suspension in January of 2009.

Dr. Brent W. Kay, MD, co-founder and executive director of OUCH Sports Medical Center, is the impetus behind the sponsorship. Dr. Kay is Landis' long-time personal physician, and testified at his USADA arbitration hearing. He is also the doctor who oversaw his hip replacement surgeries.

"We are very excited to showcase Floyd's Smith & Nephew hip, to play on the bionic man theme with his return," Dr. Kay told Cyclingnews. "We think it is going to set a precedent about what these joints can do."

As for how the sponsorship came about, as well as combining it with the plan for Landis' return, Dr. Kay said that the pieces just fell into place. "I knew that Health Net was not going to be sponsoring any more, and the opportunity just presented itself, so I jumped on it. I am really excited because I want to help Floyd return and also it is going to help get out message out. We are going to do some seminars next year about joint replacement, not just to the athlete community but also to the general public. "

Dr. Kay is himself an accomplished track cyclist, who attempted to break the world hour record for ages 40-44 in 2006. "I started cycling at age 40; I had done triathlons for twenty years before that, but because of severe arthritis in my shoulder I got into cycling. Shortly after that I met Floyd on a ride near my home."

OUCH is not new to cycling sponsorship, as it was the sponsor of American track star Sarah Hammer for her 2006-2007 season. It also supported the American Women's Track Cycling Fund. Dr. Kay said that currently the plans for a track team are still to be determined.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wed, Oct 29: SF Bay Expo coming next month

From cyclingnews.com:

San Francisco Bay Area Expo and Swap coming next month

The inaugural San Francisco Bay Area Bicycle Expo and Swap, presented by rideSFO, will happen November 29-30 in San Francisco, California. The Expo and Swap will be about everything on human powered two wheel machines and related. Booth space will be available for exhibitors such as bike manufacturers, eco-friendly vendors, bike shops, teams, and advocacy groups. Bike demos, shows and a raffle will be part of the activities.

For more information, visit www.ridesfo.com.



Monday, October 27, 2008

Mon, Oct 27: ToCA 2009

"Thank you for your interest in the 2009 Tour of California. The Sacramento Sports Commission has received your contact information from the AMGEN website and you are now a registered volunteer for the overall start of the 2009 Tour of California!
[...]
We are still looking for willing volunteers to assist the Sacramento Sports Commission with this event so if you are aware of anyone who might be interested please refer them to www.amgentourofcalifornia.com to sign up. [...]"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sun, Oct 26

Today's ride: Pleasanton - Walnut Creek - Diablo North Gate - Junction - South Gate - Danville and back, for a total of 49.3 miles and 334 miles for the month. This is the same route I took on Aug 17, before I crashed in Dublin, about one mile before completing that day's ride; fortunately, no broken bones today.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sat, Oct 25: Diablo #10

This is one of those days where you get up and don't feel like riding but rather sleeping for another several hours. Nevertheless, fearing that I will regret it if I don't go out for a ride, I packed my things and headed towards the usual hunting ground. It was also good to start early, because by the time I passed the South Gate Kiosk on the way down from Mount Diablo Summit, the breeze had turned from refreshingly cool to 85F+.

Today's view from the summit

Not for sale ...



On Diablo Road ...


Fall colors in Danville

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sun, Oct 19: Diablo

Another beautiful day in the Bay Area, so what else could one doing other than visiting Mount Diablo. Today was the ninth time this year to ride up to the summit; and No, it doesn't get boring.

Summit

On the way down, just above Junction

Halloween must be near ... a house in the Diablo Country Club

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sat, Oct 18: Tour de Napa

Our "Tour de Napa" is a semiannual event, where we just focus on wine-tasting and not bike-riding. We usually meet somewhere along Silverado Trail, cycle from winery to winery, and at the fourth of fifth winery stop for lunch, and enjoy sushi and a bottle of red wine.


Today's wineries:

Total mileage: 27.4 miles.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sun, Oct 12: Diablo

2-for-2 in Diablo rides this weekend ... today it was more windy than yesterday, so instead of riding up to the Summit, I took the North Gate downhill and returned via Walnut Creek back to Danville. Part of why I don't like the North Gate route, is that I need to take dreaded Ygnacio Valley Road to get from/to S. Broadway / Rudgear, unless you want to risk getting lost in some neighborhood. If you're familiar with the area, it would definitely be a safer choice.

2008 riding stats (2007 stats in parenthesis) as of 10/12:
#of rides: 63 (68), annual mileage: 1916 (2548), pace: 2446.

The 3000-mile goal has moved far far to the horizon, and I will probably not even reach last year's mileage (2716); however, I hope to catch up a bit during next month's 2-week stay on Maui.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sat, Oct 11: Diablo

The plan for today was to ride Diablo, to make up for last weekend's missed opportunity. The temperature in the morning was a little turn-off, but looking outside the window, having great visibility and clear, sunny skies, I was determined to achieve my personal Diablo Challenge today. It was about 65F in Danville when I started riding, and by the time I reached the summit, the temperature had dropped to 43F. I was the only cyclist at the summit; it didn't really feel cold until turning around and heading downhill.

Today's ride took me 1:13 hours, from the "Hole in the Wall" to the summit, excluding stops at Junction, Juniper and some photo opportunity locations.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fri, Oct 10: Those were the days

Diablo Scott found a cool picture of Mount Diablo Summit:



Those were probably the days where it took a car longer than the current record by riding a bike up to the summit.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mon, Oct 6: Schumacher positive for EPO

Who other than L'Equipe broke the news: Stefan Schumacher from Team Gerolsteiner tested positive for EPO CERA during this year's Tour de France. How much more can we expect from testing the Tdf samples ?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sun, Oct 5: Mount Diablo Challenge 2008

Last year, my goal for this year's Mount Diablo Challenge was "riding Mount Diablo in 1:20 or better on a bike lighter than my current 22-pound Trek". Back in February I bought a new bike, but due to my crash seven weeks ago, I could only be at the event today as a volunteer for Save Mount Diablo.

The day started with driving up Diablo while it was still dark. At South Gate, all traffic was stopped for about 30 minutes due to a fallen tree between the kiosk and the Service Area past Rock City. Once cleared, it had gotten brighter already, so experiencing sunrise on Diablo must wait. The remaining drive up to the summit was uneventful, but the views were rewarding.



Wind chill probably around 40F ...




At 8:30am, the first wave started; 1:10 minutes into the race:



It didn't feel very much later when we saw cyclists in the distance, between Junction and Juniper. Shortly after, the motorcycle escort was seen, followed by a single rider.



And then, a few minutes before we actually expected the first cyclist to pass the finish mark, 24-year old Nate English (ZteaM) from Berkeley, sprinted up the final incline ...



... and finished with a new course record of 43:33.3 minutes, beating the old record by 1:25 minutes (44:58); Nate also won the 48th Annual Mt. Tamalpais Hill Climb on Sep 27.



Nate's team mate, Justin Laue, finished over two minutes later, at 45:51.8:



Christopher Phipps finished third with 47:09.0; last year, the top three finishers were Phipps, English, Laue.

Here the unofficial, overall result (top 18):



UPDATE: Photos and Official results are available now.

Unfortunately, on the way driving down, we came by two accidents; two cyclists had crashed between South Gate Kiosk and Park Entrance. At the site of the first crash, I saw a young woman lying on a stretcher, with Fire&Rescue and Sheriff already on scene; and just a few curves later, another more seriously looking crash, where a cyclist apparently drove into a ditch filled with rocks /boulders. The sheriff I talked to later, said that the young woman broke her hip, and that the young man was in more serious condition; he was later transported back up the mountain to be airlifted out by helicopter. Apparently there were a total of four accidents that day. We wish both cyclists a full and quick recovery from their injuries.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sat, Oct 4

The latest doping news from the professional circuit of cycling:

First the good news:

Now the bad news:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thu, Oct 2

My assignment for this Sunday's Mount Diablo Challenge was changed to duty at the Summit, which will actually be more fun: zooming up with the NeverFollow vehicle, seeing the sun rise, enjoying the view, hanging out until noon, driving down, saddling the bike, and then doing my personal Diablo Challenge that day. If it is not too cold in the morning, I might decide to ride my bike up to the summit before everyone else, but this means leaving Athenian School at around 6am. In any case, it will be a fun day.