1. Please Help Katy & Tim

    Help bring Allie home to Hawaii.

    On Monday, September 2, 2013, Katy and Tim unexpectedly lost their beloved Allie, who had just turned 14 years old.  While we will never understand why a tragic event like this could happen to a young lady full of spirit and spunk, we will have her memories that each one of us will carry through time.

    No parent expects to lose their child at such a young age, which means the financial burden can be quite extensive. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, please help to defray the cost of bringing Allie back to Hawaii by contributing here.  Any and every amount helps!

    http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/bringing-allie-back-home/86474

  2. Farewell Allie

    We will be saying goodbye to our sweet Allie on Tuesday. We welcome all those who would like to bid her farewell and share memories.

    Tuesday, September 10th, 5PM. Allie Rotondo memorial service in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland CA. The Grove where the memorial will be held is located within the upper part of the park off of Skyline BLVD near the Big Trees trail. To get to the Grove, drive up Joaquin Miller Road till you hit Skyline BLVD. Turn left at the light onto Skyline and continue for about a mile (google map:http://goo.gl/maps/WDsqJ). Big Trees trail is located on the left side. Park along Skyline. Follow the signs towards the left side of Big Trees trail down to the grove.

    After the memorial, please join us for a potluck. Bring a dish and drink to share with friends. 3370 Brunell Drive, Oakland CA 94602, located just a few miles from the memorial site.

  3. A trunk full of Anthony G’s donated bike goods and a super stoked rep from the NorCal High Mountain Bike League.

    A trunk full of Anthony G’s donated bike goods and a super stoked rep from the NorCal High Mountain Bike League.

  4. Anthony G Donates Bike Goods to the NorCal High MTB League

    How cool is this team? Team-member Anthony Giammona noticed he had a lot of bike parts he no longer needed but still had life in them. Rather than pawning off the parts on Ebay or Craigslist, Anthony thought the NorCal High Mountain Bike League could make better use of them. Anthony collected additional parts from fellow teammates and was able to donate 14 shopping bags of bike goods, several wheels and even a whole bike! Way to go Anthony. Our team members rock on and off the bike.

  5. Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge track racing in Portland OR

    I have been racing on the track at Hellyer Velodrome since 2008. Since I started racing I have had a few race goals. I managed to knock two of them off my list this weekend. 

    The first goal was to race at Portland’s Alpenrose Velodrome. Whereas Hellyer is a big, open track with smooth corners and fast lines, Alpenrose is short, steep, bumpy and idiosyncratic. The banking is so steep it took me an hour of practice before I stopped worrying about falling off, but I got used to it quickly once racing started and came to love it by the end of the weekend.

    I achieved my second goal during the Masters 40+ Points race. The race was 60 laps of the 1/6 mile track and every 10 laps officials rang a bell for a sprint. The top 4 people across the line on the sprint lap won points, and at the end of the race the person with the most points was the winner.

    I started cautiously since this was my first race, but pretty quickly warmed up to the track and the competition. With 20 laps to go a couple guys rode away from the main field. I didn’t attack hard, but accelerated a little. I looked back and to my surprise no one had followed me and I had a 25m gap. I decided to go for it and hit the gas hard.

    The next time I looked around I had a half-lap on the rest of the field, and pretty quickly after that I had 3/4 of a lap, but then things got HARD. The pack started to speed up a bit and I spent several laps with the back of the group in sight, but unable to close the final gap. 

    I ran through some mental arithmetic- 16 laps to got meant a little under 8 minutes of racing. Could I hold on that long? I had to try! I had put too much work into the race to get caught.

    Luckily for me the group slowed down again and I was able to catch up. I had now lapped the field, which meant I gained 20 points and jumped immediately into the race lead! This was my second goal- I have tried to take a lap on the field SO many times, but I had always been caught before.

    I still wasn’t sure how much of a lead I had and with double points on the line for the final sprint I knew I had to make the top 4 across the line. A friend was in the race with me, so I asked him for help.  He agreed to give me a leadout and I came across the line in 4th place- good enough to seal the win!

    For the effort I won $60 and a great feeling that lasted all weekend. The extra plus was hearing the announcer talk all weekend about the out-of-town guy who showed up and caught the locals by surprise. Great weekend and great fun bike racing!

    Glory to the Mouse!

    Holy sh*t! My first ever race at Alpenrose and I took a lap and won the Master's Points Race. #bikeracingrocks

  6. Sole survivor

    Sole survivor

  7. Before the flat…

    Before the flat…

  8. California Gold

    California Gold

  9. Expensive beer holder

    Expensive beer holder

  10. State Championships, Kirkood California

    Went up for the Sierra Cup #4 Mountain Bike Race at Kirkwood Sunday which was the State Championship for Cat 1.

    I was the only person signed up until the last few hours of online registration, at which point a guy from Truckee added his name (doh, almost won!).

    Since Kirkwood is at 7800 feet, I figured I would have a tough time against him since he lives at altitude.

    On the start line, I saw the guy and recognized him from the Peavine race where he dominated, so I figured I was racing for second.

    A guy named Ray also signed up “day of”, and he beat me at Peavine that day too, but I usually can get him, so maybe I won’t do the podium/DFL combo again!

    On the first long climb to 8,200 feet, “Truckee” is way up with the group of younger Cat 1’s and I bid him farewell and battled with Ray and another guy at the back of the group.

    By the top, Ray and the other guy had fallen back and I figure I’m in second (not 100% sure there are no other 50+ riders who did “day of” registration).

    Half way through the first of four laps, there is Truckee walking his bike! I figure I am probably in first now and with Truckee having a LONG walk, could likely pull off the win and get the much coveted (by me anyway!) State Championship jersey.

    The course was really hard with a lot of technical sections, some of which I could ride some of the time, but a couple I never cleaned. I heard a helicopter on my second lap, apparently they had to air lift an injured rider to the hospital. I was just trying to stay upright and survive, but was pretty sloppy on some tricky bits. I crashed a couple of times but managed to stay on my feet while my bike fell from beneath me. This course had everything, a tough, loose rocky creek crossing, rocky/power climbs, many sketchy corners of moon dust , a 2’ drop,  sharp rock/moon dust combination descents (not a personal favorite!) and enough sharp edged rocks to threaten your tougher tires.

    On the forth lap, I got through every tough section thinking, good, won’t have to survive part that again, then on a rocky, moon dust descent, I felt that terrible feeling of a rear wheel flat!

    Damn the race gods, why me! I rode on in denial since there was still some air left in the tire, but soon realized the low tire was no match for the sharp rocks and technical descents. I had about three miles to the finish and I figured Ray was not far behind and maybe Truckee was even coming back. I decided to run the rocky parts and ride where it was smooth, but that part of the course was almost all rocks. I finally gave up and decided to put a tube in the tubeless tire.

    I got the tube in, but my pump was not inflating the tire, grrr, WTF?! I had not used that pump in a long time, and I was cursing not carrying a CO2 inflator. I finally got some air in the tire (all the while looking back to see if Ray was coming) and started installing the wheel on the bike and all of a sudden the tire burst from the rim with the tube bulging out everywhere! By some miracle, the tube didn’t blow up and I re-seated the tire bead and inflated it with less air so it wouldn’t blow the tire off again. So I was back to running the rocky sections where I would surly pinch flat, and riding where the trail was smooth enough. I could not sit down if there was any bump in the trail at all, and rode with all my weight over the front wheel while standing. I finally got to the last section near the parking lot and rolled down a little steep, bumpy downhill to gravel combination that I thought would take out my tire, but it was right at the finish, so I just went.

    When I finished, there was Ray, saying that he flatted, then gave up because it was so hard with the elevation, and I was the lone finisher and state champ!

    So thanks to the race god who smiled on me (but made me pay for it!) and the 25 people who can rip my legs off for not showing up and gifting me the jersey.

    That course was gnarly and the elevation a killer, but neither of those things slowed Daniele, who was way faster than me even with an injured shoulder! Hats off to you dude.

    And in a good case of irony, I won a CO2 inflator in the raffle!

    Earned that PBR!

    Dane