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Wheelsport Rides, Bike info, etc => Weekly team rides => Topic started by: shafer3 on January 01, 2010, 03:41:11 PM

Title: Ride summaries - 2010
Post by: shafer3 on January 01, 2010, 03:41:11 PM
2010 ride summaries can go in here!  Maybe we'll break this up by months.

Chris H.

Title: January 2, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on January 12, 2010, 02:00:36 PM
What a super day for a New Year's Ride! Joining us was Christian, John W., Tom F., Ron, Kurt, and myself.
A strong wind was blowing up from the South, so we decided to do the Puyallup loop. Roads were wet and the fenders were quite necessary. We proceeded down West Valley at a moderate clip gradually increasing the speed to about 19. Kurt took over and did a very good job pulling into the wind. John was ahead at one intersection and Kurt almost went down trying to clip in and not hit John.
At Little Italy, Christian was pulling and headed up the hill. I went to the back and Ron sprinted off on a solo breakaway. John and Tom carried on a conversation and Kurt tried to pursue Ron. I slowly moved up and finished the climb right behind Kurt. On the way down, John had a pinch flat that blew his tire right off the rim. Pretty impressive!
Repairs made, we cruised on into Sumner, made a right and I dropped my water bottle. Going again, we proceeded at about 18 on across the bridge and onto River Rd. Instead of climbing Puyallup hill, we went straight through Puyallup and into Sumner.
Town signs were at a premium this day with Ron taking two, Marshall two, and John two. Ron might have another but he cheated because he knows all the signs. Christian obviously doesn't because going up River Rd. he started his attack about a mile before the sign.

After a quick coffee at Sumner, we headed back with the Tom Frank promised tailwind. This time he was right. Kurt started the first pull and got us up to 25 never slowing. Not bad for the new guy riding the "bait bike!"
John did a nice pull up the Interurban and everyone held on pretty well.
Kurt did the most amazing job of the day and truly impressed us all. He fell off a bit at 26 but all things considered, he rode a great ride. Kurt offered to buy us all coffee but John told him he did it last week because he was celebrating his 5,000 mile year. Kurt said that he rode 6,000 this year! oops! That should be a beer at EBB!
We arrived back just as the rain started to fall. 41 miles @ 17.1mph. Nice winter pace.
See you next time and at the meeting on the 18th at EBB!

Title: January 09, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on January 12, 2010, 02:03:44 PM
This ride consisted of Christian, Little Ron, Tom F, returning guest rider Kurt, Dave B, and me.  When Dave B arrived, Tom introduced himself to “the new guy” - Dave.  Dave it’s great to have you back after the volleyball season.  Let it be known that his team of girls ended up sixth in the State!

The cloudy sky was beginning to clear to beautiful sunshine as we left the parking lot.  Tom called out to Ron to let him know that we were leaving.  Ron was busy doing his typical parking lot circles while the rest of us got ready to ride.  Easy pace on Russell road to the Interurban trail north.  Tom took the first pull up the trail. 

At Southcenter, we left the trail and shifted over to the road and continued on Interurban toward Alki.  Christian was on the front.  The pavement on Interurban, northwest of the 405 is really rough.  I think we have all gotten used to Christian’s rattling fender.  It was especially loud as we bumped along.  Then there was a loud crack and assorted ugly sounds as Christian’s fender broke loose and folded over on itself.  The damage was surveyed, and Christian opted to turn around and limp back to his car.  The fender was suspended only by its backstays and appeared to float in space like a bird in flight above the back wheel. 

The remaining group continued on toward Alki.  As we approached the South Park sign, I jumped out for the sprint with perfect timing until the signal turned yellow.  Tom immediately pronounced that I would be “relegated to the back if I ran the light.”  Since the cross traffic was already beginning to move forward…I demonstrated my braking ability.

After coffee at the bakery we reversed the route.  Kurt, Tom and Ron, all took some really nice pulls this day.  Kurt and Ron continued on the Interurban trail when we made the turn toward Russell Road Park.

The stats: 42 miles @ winter pace. 

See you next week.

John W.

Title: January 16, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on January 18, 2010, 11:51:30 AM
What an outstanding ride! A little cold at first but no rain and an excellent turnout.
We had 9 riders this day including: John W, Dave B, Chet, Christian, Tom F, John McKain, Kurt, Ron and myself.

We headed to Renton for a Leshi loop. Tons of bikes were out and several teams on training rides. Its always fun to see large teams and they almost always wave and speak to us as we pass.

Our pace was moderate all the way up the Interurban Trail and through Renton. John McKain came out to see what all the fun was about on these Saturday rides. What a great rider and a lot of fun. Hope you come back again.

Rainier Ave. was a little faster and Dave B won the townline sprint into Seattle.
Up the hill toward Seward Park, we broke into two groups. John W and I stayed back with Dave awhile but decided to try to close the gap to the lead group. Chet, John M, Ron and Tom were going hard and Kurt dropped off. John W and I pressed on and rolled into the park right behind the leaders. Chet was KOM on that one.
On around the lake we rolled easily and Chet finally broke away toward the end, several of us in tow.
A coffee was in order and back on the road to Seward. A gentleman we met at the coffee shop approached the group and called out "on your right." I was last in line and this gold Colnago started around me. Well, I thought, if you're going to pass me you've got 8 other guys to pass as well and then you'll have to pull.
I said "nice bike" and we dropped him.

Chet and Ron were circling overhead and joined back on. At first I thought Colnago was back but it was Chet.

Dave B and I took a shortcut up out of the Park to avoid the steepest part. In the end, Dave was #4 on that climb.

Dave, Chet, Ron and I proceeded onto Rainier slowly for the rest to catch on. Once they did Chet and Ron attacked and gapped the group. Dave B and I got on behind Tom while John W, Christian and Kurt chased down the breakaway. Tom flatted and John M couldn't get the rest to stop.

Repairs done we caught up in Renton where the team was waiting.
Back on the Interurban Trail we went South at 19-20 in a double paceline, Tom and John M up front and Kurt and I right behind. When the leaders pulled off to the outside, Kurt, who for the first time, was actually on Tom's wheel, didn't go up the center but tried to go wide. With no room, he ended up trail riding off the trail. Had this happened 50 yards up, he would have gotten a bath in the flooded ditch. A little excitement is good.

No crashes, no damage.

Tom flatted again and rode it on in.

Back at the parking lot, the sprinkles started. Good ride. 40 miles.

I look forward to seeing everyone Monday, 7:00pm at Elliot Bay Brewing in Burien.


Title: Re: Ride summaries - 2010
Post by: AZRIDER on January 23, 2010, 11:15:23 PM
Anyone ride today?

Title: 01/23/2010 - Ride Report – Sprints
Post by: John W on January 26, 2010, 09:40:07 PM
It was about 42 degrees with misty rain falling as I drove toward Russell Road Park.  Thoughts of a solo ride disappeared when Dave B and Tom F drove into the parking lot.  “Where is everyone?”  “Should we call them names in the ride report?”

The three of us headed south for the Puyallup loop at a nice easy pace.  Tom was on the lead to take the first city sign in Pacific un-contested.  As we passed the sign, I was thinking that with just three of us, there wouldn’t be any sprints…

A couple of pull rotations later, Dave is on the front.  Suddenly, he is accelerating dramatically.  I’m thinking, this is a little out of character for Dave…oh, there’s a sign.  A mile or two later, he did it again!  Years of Wheelsport experience seems to give Dave a huge sign location advantage

Left turn, right turn, onto River Road and I’ve got the pull.  This sign is mine!  At this point of the ride, we had not been above 18 mph.  My strategy is to pick up the pace starting about three quarters of a mile before the sign.  Tom may chase…but not Dave.  At 26 mph thinking, “Tom would have been next to me by now if he was going for it.”  I’m cruising the last 100 feet or so, when I hear “(indistinguishable comment…..Dave!”  Dave flew by…shocked, I hit the gas…this isn’t happening!  I’m one gear too low, without enough time/distance to shift.  Spinning very fast and closing the gap…this is going to be close!  Dave by a Tire!!!  Super effort Dave…Congratulations!

Dave looked shot and dropped back like he was tied to a post.  We crossed the bridge and continued through Puyallup on the flat route. 

At the freeway exit before Sumner, I very slowly drifted across the intersection on the shoulder.  Dave and Tom stopped and then proceeded slowly when the light changed.  What are they waiting for?  The two of them sat back and waited for me to coast through the Sumner sign at the bottom of the hill before catching up.  Then Dave rides up and announces, “since you ran the light, the rules committee has relegated you to the back…I took the sign.”  Whatever…   

That’s Tom one, Dave four, but who’s counting?

Tom is next to me after the light as we approach the Pacific sign.  “Are you going to go?”  “Thought I’d let Dave go by and get it.”  He obliged.

Up the Interurban toward Kent, Dave drops back.  Time to mess with him.  “Those sprints have you tuckered out big boy?”  “Cracked me like an egg.”  “Learn a lesson here?”  “Yep, don’t waste energy pulling, save it for the sprints.”

Dave shot across an intersection in Kent in front of oncoming traffic.  Tom and I decide not to tempt the grim reaper.  The rules committee quickly decided that Dave should be relegated for the last sign.  He protests that it should be the next sign.  Tom cited the Kent Rule: in the event there are no more signs, Dave is stripped of the last sign.  Works for me.

This ride was 41.5 miles at winter pace.  My maximum speed while being schooled by Dave - 28.5mph.

See you next week.

John W

Title: January 30, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on February 01, 2010, 09:02:32 PM
Well, it was wet. And it remained so all day. Perfect Northwest riding weather.

We rode to Renton, toward Seward Park, around the lake, up Lake WA Blvd, to Mercer Island, across all the trail switchbacks, back across I-90 bridge, over to Coulon Park, back to Renton, past Boeing, onto Interurban Trail and home.
Christian, John W, Ron, Tom F and I made up the WCT team.

Since Christian's aluminum fender broke, he now sports an SKS plastic fender sans courtesy flap. He likes to ride in #2 position. This thing shoots out a spray about 10 feet and therefore our pacelines were a bit skewed.

Trying to keep the speed moderate, Christian pulled up to Seward Park. Nice job.

From there, however, John W decided he'd pull at a good pace. Christian in tow. I caught them after several miles with Tom and Ron on at around 25. Exhausted, I was greeted by massive water spray. With no wheel to latch onto, I dropped back.

Up Lake WA Blvd, I was gapped by a hundred yards but caught by the top.

Back across the bridge, we made it to Mercer IS for a coffee at Tully's.

On the return, Christian flatted by Coal Creek Parkway. Tom F aired him up and we began our cruise to Coulon on the trail. Slow leak.

A mountain bike rider with a roadie in tow was trying to drop us on the trail. We later caught this duo going up a roller toward Coulon Park and I almost hit them as we flew by with 10mph advantage.

We only had to stop once more for Christian's tire.

In Renton, I got boxed in by a Honda Fit at an intersection while everyone else took off. Did they look back to see if the group was on? No.

I sprinted forever and finally caught on at a bollard entering the trail. 

Once on the Interurban Trail, I was in a bonking situation. I shouted out "STOPPING" and that I had bonked. Clif Bars were thrown my way. One landed on the ground and Christian put it in his pocket.  I ate one and we rode off back to the lot.

No crashes, no damage. Ron won one sprint, Tom and John won the others.

Great ride. About 43 miles in less than record time but wetter than expected. Great fun. Super ride guys!


Title: February 6, 2010 - Ride Report - Bonked
Post by: John W on February 08, 2010, 12:49:06 PM
62 degrees on February 6 in Seattle. 2 feet of snow in DC. Here, we're doing a WCT bikeride!

Our team today is Chet, Tom F, Christian, John W, Dave B, Ron and myself.

Dave asks for Alki. With a light tailwind, we proceed North. Tom on his new Kestrel, has us going up Monster Hill. I don't think this was what Dave had in mind. I led out the climb but was passed by Tom and Chet. Soon Ron sprinted around. The road rises up at a point around 18 degrees. Ron shot back behind me and John. KOM was Chet followed by Tom, myself, John and Ron.

The downhill was a different story with Dave leading the way. We traded pulls to Alki at a moderate clip. Low 20's.

After a break, we returned in a nice paceline, gradually picking it up. Chet had a nice pull followed by Christian. Then Tom took over and after a small rise on Marginal Way, ran us up to about 26.
Christian fell off the back in a serious bonking situation. When I bonk, I am totally finished. Christian, on the other hand, can spin at 84rpm in any gear. No stopping. For anything. Including stoplights, stopsigns, intersections, etc. Soon, the bonking guy had dropped us all! He dropped us up McAdam as well. This is how you bonk...off the front.

I hung back with Dave who had bonked as well. Instead of jumping on the Interurban Trail off West Valley, he did the climb up the overpass over Grady Way. This added a few extra miles but another hill was welcome. Dave insisted! On the Trail, we were confronted by a headwind keeping our progress to 18-19 mph. Dave and I pressed on and arrived back home sometime after the others.

Well, the ride became fragmented but everyone did their best under the circumstances.

Chet won KOM and all the townline sprints he wanted. Best rider today was Tom who climbed well, pulled strongly and talked most of the way. He even sang a Stevie Wonder song going up McAdam while Dave was on the ropes.

Chet is always a great addition on our rides. When Chet shows up, everybody has fun. Dave and I rode 45 miles @17.2 average.

Super ride everyone and great fun. Thanks to all who made this a great WCT day.


Title: February 13, 2010 – Ride Report – Mud ride
Post by: John W on February 16, 2010, 05:19:01 PM
A light rain was falling as Chet, Christian, Tom F. and I set out for Victor Falls.  As we left the parking lot, Christian said, “I didn’t lock my car” and circled back to handle it.  Tom and I continued toward the Interurban at warm-up pace, Chet stayed behind.  At the trail, all were back on.

The usual Saturday morning banter ensued as we traveled south…real estate short sales, global warming, fenders and buddy flaps.  After drenching all of us last time it rained, Christian’s bike is now sporting his nice leather buddy flap.  The flap that was on the fender that he bent in half a few weeks ago.  Chet’s rain bike does not have a flap, thought the fender extends down lower than most.  On the wet trail at warm-up pace, he was producing a very modest, a nothing to get excited about spray.

In Pacific, I pulled off a Dave B style sneak attack around Tom to win the sign.  Chet is still clueless about sign locations…this is good!  The rain had died down to an occasional drop or two.

Through Sumner, up the hill, and right turn onto Orting Hwy, frankly I don’t know if it’s really called Orting Hwy, but that’s what I call it.  Shortly after rounding the corner, I went to the back.  Chet took the pull, followed by Tom and Christian.  As Chet set a comfortable pace, every once in a while I felt very large raindrops hit me.  “Funny, it doesn’t look like it’s raining.”  A couple of miles later Tom dropped from the second spot and went to the back, muttering something about Chet throwing mud.  Christian didn’t last long in the second spot, and then it was my turn.  Mud was flying!  Chet’s speed and fender configuration were perfect at picking dirt up and flinging it!  At a signal, I took the pull to get away from mud boy.  Tom tried a sneak attack at the Sumner sign, but jumped too late.  I just smiled.

The ride back to Russell Road was uneventful.  The Pacific sign was mine, since everyone else ran the red light and suffered relegation. 

At the parking lot, Tom, Christian and I looked like we had been on mountain bikes in the mud.  Our jerseys were Wheelsport brown.  I don’t think Tom realized that his face was just covered in mud…and I didn’t tell him.  Chet’s WHITE jersey was pristine, not a spot on it.

We had fun!  41 miles, winter pace. 

See you next week.  Guest riders are welcome.

John W.

Title: Re: Mud ride
Post by: John W on February 17, 2010, 12:27:17 PM

Ok, ok I’ll fix my mud slinger. When I read the part about Tom’s face being totally speckled with mud (it did make his teeth look whiter), I cracked up. It’s funny I was thinking the same thing when we finally stopped. “Boy, Tom’s face looks a mess, I wonder how that happened?” Then I turned and checked out you and Christian, I was wondering if we had been on the same ride. Just think what Tom said when he finally looked in the mirror, “Damn, Chet!’ And you were right. My jacket was so clean I don’t think I even had to wash it.

Thanks for a great read. I also noticed your final tag. “Guest riders are welcome.” Are you sure you didn’t mean, “Certain guest riders are welcome.”

Thanks again for putting up with me and my spray,


Title: February 20, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on February 22, 2010, 02:37:48 PM
You couldn't have a better day for a bike ride, especially in February. We decided to go up to Mercer Island for a little climbing and to see all the other bikes out.
Eight were in attendance including: Chet, Tom F, John, Christian, Kurt, Ron, myself and new-guy Chris. John invited Chris to join us. He is an excellent rider and quite strong.

Much of the ride North was in the 18-19 range, with John and Chet up front in a double paceline of sorts.

I had planned on hanging back on the climb to Seward Park but a guy on a Bianchi commuter bike wouldn't let me pass. Tom wanted to see how many rec riders we could take out today, but this guy was determined.  I had to step it up since Tom had announced our mission statement. I ended up second at the top behind Chet. The Bianchi was taken out.

Around the lake, Ron had a nice pull and then we began the climb up Lake Wash Blvd. This time I stayed back and let Chet do his thing.

The bridge was a little congested with runners and bikes but we made it across without much drama.

Christian took over the lead and we hammered to Tully's on Mercer. Very fun and a pretty decent team effort.

Christian lead out again back across the bridge keeping the group together.  Kurt took off a few times since he had a caffeine fix and Chet flew up to reel him back in by the back of his jersey.
We rolled past Coulon and into Renton travelling South on Oaksdale. John got up front and picked it up to 26 or so.

Back down the trail and to the park our ride was uneventful for the most part. Great job everyone. Especially new-guy, Chris.

Ron won one sign, John another. Chet was KOM. We rode about 43 miles@17mph.

Hope to see everyone next week!


Title: February 27, 2010 - Ride Peport
Post by: John W on March 01, 2010, 01:10:53 PM
The outside temp gauge in my car said 61. Not a cloud. Wow! We're in paradise!

Don't need no stinkin' fenders. Tom, Dave, John, Ron and I headed out for the Renton-Maple Valley-Black Diamond-Auburn loop.  Nice and slow up the Interurban Trail to Renton and up the Cedar River Trail.
Dave is on his old steel fender bike. A classic.  Tom and I have no fenders. John kept his Race Blades on because the roads were wet. Ron kept his rear fender only. As it turned out, Dave, in his wisdom, had the right bike.

I pulled up the Trail and picked up the pace to 21 into a slight wind. Going to the back, I noticed that Dave was starting to falter while the others carried on. I pulled ahead of Dave and we motored on while the rest motored away, occasionally looking back to watch me work.
On one street crossing, a car turning right laid on his horn on 169 and kept it steady all the way through the crossing, never slowing. I sprinted across as did Dave and we escaped a certain hit and run. I didn't know Ford's also had runaway acceleration. Looking back, I saw it was an old man and his wife! I think he was showing her he could still keep a firm foot on the gas!

Eventually, we caught the group and headed up Witte Rd. Here, I got a little lesson from Tom. He picked it up the hill and I held on with Ron behind. Soon, Tom pulled off and I held the pace past the steep part and blew up. I kept it together and made the top behind Ron and Tom. At the light, I commented to Tom that he killed me on that hill. He said that when he pulled off, he realized he was going too fast but I kept the pace. That's why I blew before the top. Lesson: when Tom pulls off on a climb, slow down! And let him pull again!

By this time the raindrops had turned to rain. Nice and steady.

The Witte Rd. ride was a bit slow but we made it to Kent-BD Rd. Instead of the left to Black Diamond, we went right to get back. Tom wanted to hit the rollers on our left before Hatchery Hill, so he and Ron hammered them out.

We went on to cruise down the Hill. John pulled and Dave and and I coasted. By the bottom, Dave kept coasting and John kept pedalling.
Just as if we planned it, the entire group of 5 met back up in Auburn.
We rode up the Interurban into Kent. By this time, I couldn't have been wetter, or colder, or more covered in mud.

Stopping at the Washington Ave. James intersection, a guy in a red pickup pulled alongside and began to cuss me out because I was riding my bike. I was in his way.  Running out of insults, he finally called me a homo and spun his tire as he turned right. One day, I too will have a pickup truck so powerful that it will spin its inside tire on wet pavement! Amazing!
This was a great ride. Lots of fun and a bit of drama.

We rode 47.3 miles @17mph. Surprising average, really, but we were running 25 down K-BD and similar down Hatchery Hill. I couldn't see a thing!

Sunday, 7:30am, was the final HIT session in John McGraw's garage. 13 weeks, twice a week. My third year. Thanks to John and the other 11-12 super riders who made this program a great success.
Also, Sunday ends the Winter Olympics. Congrats to my former speedskater from Jefferson City, MO, Bruce Kohen, whose custom short track boots were worn by 8 time Olympic Medalist, Apolo Ohno, and appear on the cover of the Feb. 22 edition of SI.  Pretty cool.

 We're assured of at least Silver in hockey. Maybe Gold.
Go Team USA!!


Title: March 06, 2010 – Ride Report - Browns Point
Post by: John W on March 08, 2010, 05:05:21 PM
The day was beautiful, temperature 44 degrees with a forecasted high of 60.   I arrived at the parking lot at a 9:45, thinking I would be the first to arrive.  To my surprise there were already about six riders getting ready or doing circles in the parking lot.  Within a few minutes there were twelve of us assembled for the ride.  The regular riders were Christian, Tom F, Thien, Little Dave, Big Dave, Rod, Ron, Chris and me.  We were also joined by two new guys, Dave who evidently rode with the group in the past, and Mark who found us by surfing the net and the WCT site.

We may need a team rule: No more guys named Dave.  Big Dave, Little Dave, and now Middle Dave!  This Dave thing is getting out of hand!

Rod, who has lost a lot of weight and now, has a lean chiseled look, pronounced “I’m out of shape and feeling weak.”  He was selling, but nobody was buying.  After the obligatory restroom stop, we set off to do the Browns Point Loop. 

Down West Valley at around 21 mph, the pace line started to settle in with Middle Dave and Tom setting the pace.  I was maybe halfway back in the line as we approached the first City Sign.  Rod flew by with Little Ron on his wheel.  Rod glanced back and seemed to ease off ever so slightly; Little Ron pounced and won the sign.  Rod said he never saw Ron on his wheel.  Don’t just look over your shoulder…ya gotta look down!

Peasley Canyon - KOM to Tom and Ron.  Over the freeway and as we made the right at the Marie Calendars there was a big hole in the road.  There were bricks inset in the pavement to form a cross walk at one time…now there is a wide hole across the entire right lane.  As I hopped across, I wondered about if anyone would flat?  A block later, Mike did.  Repair made and onward.

Rod led down one of his favorite sections at 25 mph   Right turn and down through the curves.  Big Dave shot by and maintained the lead to the left turn.  As we climbed through the rollers everyone went at his own pace.  KOM went to the break away group of Tom, Ron, (new guy) Mark and myself.  We all rolled into the Restaurant parking lot together.  In just a few minutes everyone arrived.  A couple of guys took cell phone pictures and we were off.

Again, Big Dave led down the hill.  We took a brief water break (and final stop) at the Truck stop.

As we turned onto River Road, I figured that the Puyallup sign would be hotly contested.  All of the sprinters had moved to the front of the pace line.  Tom, Rod, Thien and Little Ron, were all there.  At the bridge/stop sign I took the opportunity to move to the front.  As I increased the pace, I decided not to participate in the sprint, but to make sure it was launched from a fairly fast pace line.  We motored up to a steady 25 mph for the two miles or so before the sign.  At about 100 yards before the sign the sprinters went by…doing maybe 26.  It was like slow motion…Ron was tucked in behind one of the larger guys and you guessed it, snuck around and got the sign by a wheel.  Look down!

Dave B & Christian opted to stop of coffee in Sumner.  The rest continued on.  My seat slipped just as we turned onto West Valley.  Mike stopped and offered a tool, repair made.  We were now a few minutes behind the group.  Can we catch them?  Soon Little Dave appeared, waiting for us and running out of gas.  Dave and Mike opted to slow down, I continued on.

Back at the parking lot, there were happy sounding complaints of cramping legs and bonking.  Thien said the group had an average of 18.9; mine was 18.6 for 49 miles.  Pretty quick pace for the first week of March, it must have been the sunshine and warm air…ah, spring must be here!

Chris, Mark and Middle Dave all had good strong rides. 

Hope to see everybody back next week…

John W         

Title: March 13, 2010 - Ride Proport
Post by: John W on March 15, 2010, 10:22:22 AM
We're getting some pretty good turnouts for our Saturday rides. This day we had up to 11 riders including one added during the ride. One returned early. WCT consisted of: Dave S, Dave B, New Dave, Mark, Thien, Kurt, Ron, Tom F, Christian, John W, and myself.

The route was the Puyallup loop with optional Little Italy climb. Four of us chose not to do the climb and carried on down West Valley.

A pretty decent headwind all the way South kept us working hard. I pulled us up to 20+ but it was difficult to maintain. At one point I saw 16 on my speedo while on back.

The climb up Puyallup Hill was broken into a couple of groups but we all made good time. The downhill to Puyallup was lead by Dave B, the rest struggling to keep him in sight.

We ran into a St.Patrick's Day fair and dog show downtown which made our progress very slow. No fast average speed today.

The return was nice and fast with a good wind at our backs. Finally! New Dave took a few nice pulls as did Mark through the industrial section. I caught a breakaway led out by New Dave going 30+. Nice effort.

Sprinkles began in Pacific which turned to showers by the Interurban. Speed was moderate in the rain but when it let up Mark went to the front and led out a drag race from track to track and corner to corner. I think he didn't want to get any wetter!

This was a great ride and a lot of fun. Ron was our sprinter of the day getting the Mark Cavendish Award. We rode 45 miles @17.5mph.

Great time! Thanks to everyone for a great ride.


Title: March 20, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on March 22, 2010, 01:17:41 PM
First day of Spring and a beautiful day! A little nippy at first but we were all shedding layers as the temp and tempo rose.
11 riders left the park for the Gorge loop: John W, Christian, Rod, Ron, Thien, Mike, Mark, Tom, Chet, Chris and I made up WCT on this ride.
Our ride went down 259th to Green Valley through Auburn, toward Flaming Geyser and up Hatchery Hill. Thien, Ron, Chet and Mark took off first. Tom jumped on with the leadout.  I held a good pace but got passed. Soon, I caught John and got on his wheel. The freighttrain reeled in Thien, who jumped on, then Rod and Ron, the"bee." We pulled in right behind Chet, Mark and Tom. Whew. Good job, John.

Way too many clothes. I put my vest in my pocket and off we went to Black Diamond.
The pace was fast but we all stayed together. At B-D, the Bakery Road was all torn up so we went to the gas station. More clothes came off. My pockets were overflowing.
On toward the Gorge and up the hill we stayed in a double paceline for a bit until the downhill to the Gorge. We spread out across the road but no cars were passing. Up out of the Gorge, we broke up into several groups. The lead was Chet and others, follwed by John. Christian and I brought up the rear at an easy pace.

John's seat slipped on him a few times so he had to stop to tighten it. That's the '09 Tarmac Pro. They fixed that on the '10 model.
The rollers were fun, as always, but not too fast. Soon, we got up to speed and flew back down to Green Valley Rd.

Stopping, I had to re-arrange my pockets and finish a mouthfull of Clif Bar. As I rode up to the group alongside the road, all took off except Christian who was not yet prepared to leave.  The rest were chasing down some fast lady riders going our direction.  I stayed with Christian and we made our way back, past the meat market and onto Auburn B-D Rd where we regrouped and headed home.

On Green Valley Rd, Rod took the pull of the day, running somewhere between 21 and 24 the whole way back. Wow! Super job, Rod.

Great ride everyone. Ron won at least one sprint, Rod another and John one uncontested. Don't know who was KOM since I wasn't near enough to report. However, I'm going to give it to Chet anyway. He's a super-strong rider and a great addition to the group. Funny, too!

Most improved riders are Tom and Rod. Newbies Mark and Chris were very strong. Mike was right there all day. Super!

We rode 52 miles at 18.7mph maybe 19.1. Maybe a bit less.

Thanks to all who made this a good, fun ride. Great job everyone!


Title: March 27, 2010 - Ride Report - Chasing the Rabbit
Post by: John W on March 29, 2010, 04:45:38 PM
Hazy sky, mid-forties and predicted mid-sixties forecast, greeted Dave B, Chris, Christian, Tom, Thien, Rod, Little Ron, and myself.  Pre-ride conversation sounded like we were heading to Cougar and/or Tiger mountains for some climbing.  Ron and Tom lead us toward the Interurban Trail.  Once on the trail, Tom announced an amended ride plan, north to Coulon Park, I-90 to Mercer Island, around the south end of the island, over to Leshi for coffee, then back on Rainier Avenue.

Over the last couple of months Christian has taken up a program of drinking large quantities of water for the health benefits of it.  As we tooled up the Interurban, Sir Peesalot requested a break at the first opportunity.  We stopped at Jack in the Box.  During the stop Christian managed to recruit two guys Jym and Doug, who had also stopped, to ride with us.  Jym is from Tacoma, Doug from Bellevue.  They were on a limited time schedule but expressed interest in riding with us in the future.  They rode with us to Coulon Park before turning around.

As we headed north from Coulon on the trail, I anticipated a sprint for the Bellevue sign, which would be the opposite of the southbound Renton sign.  I accelerated up a small rise from the back of the pack only to realize that there is no Bellevue sign.  Evidently, Bellevue isn’t quite as proud of itself as Renton is…

We beat ourselves to death crossing over the wetlands on the bumpy elevated trail.  Dave B. decided to travel straight across Mercer Island while the rest of us went around the south end.  The curvy road and quick pace (21 to 25 mph) made for a fun stretch of riding. Christian dropped off at the south end of the island and commented later that it’s a long up hill climb by yourself.”  Everyone agreed that it felt like its all uphill.

After meeting up with Dave at the Leshi coffee shop we headed back.  On Lake Washington Blvd, south of I-90, Tom was on the front followed by Rod, and myself.  In the distance, maybe a mile out, was a solo rider going fast.  Tom had a rabbit to chase.  Tom cut the distance in half, Rod got to about 100 yards, I picked up the pace slightly and got to about 40 feet when the rabbit looked over his shoulder, gave me a ‘This isn’t gonna’ happen” look, stood and sprinted off.  I had a decision to make, go get him, stay here and slowly burn him up, or let someone else take him.  (Side note: ask little Dave how it feels to have the WCT chasing you down.)  This is a group ride; we stay together, so I pulled over to let someone else get him.  Christian was on my wheel and clearly didn’t want to pass anything, except maybe water.  Nobody went by…I backed the pace down one mph and held it steady pacing the rabbit.  Moments later, Tom and Rod came from the back of the line, I jumped on and the WCT ate the guy for lunch.  He was clearly not happy, at the Stop sign/right turn; he sprinted by and up the hill…

Tom took the Renton sign on Rainier.  Excellent un-sung pull of the day awards go to Ron & Chris.  Thien and Dave B. are both returning to summer riding shape…look out!

52.2 miles, mostly winter pace.

See you next Saturday!

John W.

Title: April 3, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on April 05, 2010, 12:44:36 PM
Although we had a rather light turnout with 6 riders, all got a good workout.
Tom F, John, Christian, Ron, Kurt and I headed South to do the Puyallup loop.

We wanted to go down the Trail but doubled back to go down West Valley. All had fender bikes except Tom who was on his Kestrel. Wet but no rain.

Travelling South, we encountered a nasty headwind that blew a bit from the side. No hiding. Just a lot of work. We traded pulls keeping it in the 18-19 range. 

The trip up River Rd was tough, John beating out Ron in the sprint. Word has it that 28mph will do it. I latched onto Tom's wheel and tried to echelon off to his right but he kept it too close to the shoulder. We still ran about 22 until the bridge.
Soon after, Tom flatted and we stopped the train. Several complained that they were suffering a bit today. My legs were lead.

Up Puyallup hill, we kept it easy as again, we had a headwind. I fell off the back unable to make my legs go around or my old trusty Trek go forward. I don't know who won the climb but suspect it wasn't a race. Maybe it was Kurt.

We flew down the hill into Puyallup and grabbed a quick coffee at Forza's.
The return was pretty uneventful and our nice anticipated tailwind died out completely.

It started to rain as we pulled into the parking lot. John won 1 sprint, Ron another and Tom the third.

We rode a total of 45 miles @17.3.

Very good job everyone.

Happy Easter!

Title: April 10, 2010 - Ride Report - Easy Cougar Mountain
Post by: John W on April 12, 2010, 01:25:53 PM
Chris, Christian, Kurt, Ron, Tom, Emile, and I assembled for this ride.  Tom suggested his “Easy Cougar Mountain” route.  Christian said, “Lead the way.”  A strong wind from the north had all the flags in the area stretched out as we battled up the Interurban at 16 to 17 mph. 

We took a brief stop at Coulon Park before continuing north and across the 405 by the Denny’s.  Left and up to the Shell Station - where we took shelter from the lighting storm during last year’s Livestrong Challenge.  Emile said, goodbye and turned back. 

Our route wound around and up past the Newcastle City Hall, continued up around the golf course, and then up to Cougar Drive or Way, or what ever it is.  Right turn and up.  We’ve been doing lots of up, not brutal up, just lots of up.

We re-grouped at the top of the hill by a school.  Tom said we would descend via the two and a half mile Zoo Hill.  Away we went.  I followed the group and quickly passed Ron and was gaining on the Tom when it felt like I went air-born…Whoa, this hill has some large bumps and ruts that are scary at 45 mph!  Touch the breaks and keep it under control.  There was a sound ahead that Tom later described as the call of a Yellow Bellied Warbler.  The real cause of the sound…Christian had excess grease oozing from his freshly greased hubs…running down a spoke and onto the wheel rim.  Nice...

Chris led around a sharp left, Christian and Kurt followed riding abreast.  Christian appeared to slide on some gravel, Kurt went wide and slid off onto the dirt shoulder.  He appeared to have recovery well in hand.  As I negotiated the turn and flew by, Kurt was obviously not in control yet.  He continued riding down into the bottom of the six-foot deep ditch.  He stayed up, finally rolling to a stop in the muck at the bottom.  Nice save!  No damage, no injury.  Ron flew by wishing he had a camera…it would have made the highlight reel. 

Ron started to bonk, a quick Clif Bar and on to Factoria.  Tom bought coffee for all because he had a Starbucks gift card he wanted to use up.  Thanks Tom!  Let it be known, anyone wishing to use up a gift card is strongly encouraged to ride with us. 

On the ride back to Russell Road, we were driven by the flag flappin’ tailwind…

The stats: 46.2 miles, 16 mph average, and 2748’ of ascent.

See you next week.

John W.

Title: April 17,2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on April 19, 2010, 12:05:08 PM
Marshall, Chris, Chet, Tom, and I assembled for the ride.  Marshall suggested the Cedar River - Black Diamond Loop, and away we went.  As we approached Renton, Marshall announced that he was not feeling well and was turning back.

Tom, who has been in the mood to climb hills lately, suggested that we change the ride to his Easy Cougar Mountain route.  All agreed, and so we picked our way through the streets and every red light in Renton, on the way to Coullon Park.

After a quick stop, we headed north and over the freeway and up the hill.  Chet took the early lead and kept it to be KOM of this ride.  We encountered a few raindrops, but certainly not enough to justify the fenders I was sporting.

There was a dramatic increase in the numbers of other riders on the road this week.  Folks must be training for the STP.

Heading back down the Lake Washington Trail, Chet picked-up the pace…he’s learning where the signs are, meaning the days of easy sign wins might be over.  Chris went after him and the sprint was on.  Chris closed a good-sized gap, but at the sign it looked like Chet by half a bike length.  Tom and I enjoyed the show.

Chris picked-up the Kent sign near Ikea.  I peeled off the group a little early to head home.  If Marshall goes home early, I have to ride home.

It was an excellent ride, estimated group distance 46 miles, 16+ average, and 2750 ascent.

See you next week!

John W.

Title: 04/24/2010 - Ride Report - Crash
Post by: John W on April 26, 2010, 12:22:32 PM
Rain bikes were the machines of the day.  Tom, Ron, Thien, Chet, Ryan T, and I, set off into brisk headwind to do the Brown’s Point ride.  Riding south on West Valley the speeds were mainly in the 16 to 18 mph range.

Ryan led up Peasley Canyon, followed by Chet and Ron.  KOM honors are unknown to me as I was the last of this group of climbers.  We re-grouped at the top and continued.  I led the Pac Hwy section and found myself waiting for traffic to pass by before taking the left turn lane.  What was I thinking?  It was a VW bug…Chet and I later agreed that we could have dropped him at will.

Ryan led the fast stretch through Federal Way.  At the 7 Eleven, he flatted.  As Ryan worked on the tire, Thien asked, “How bad is the flat?”  I pointed out that there are basically two types of flats, one where there is no air in the tire, and another where there is seriously no air in the tire.  Ryan commented that it’s like being sort of pregnant.

On to the Cliff House for a brief stop.  Down the hill and onto the flats at speeds approaching 30 mph.  As we bled the speed down to around 23, Tom took the lead for a strong pull into the ever-present headwind.

At the first set of railroad tracks my personal disaster happened.  Riding at the back of the line, I moved left to straighten out my crossing of the tracks.  Suddenly I realized that a car was very close to my left.  A little hop got me over the first rail.  My second hop missed, the front tire hit the rail, slid to the right, wrenched the bars out of my hands and down I went.  Somehow my right shoulder hit first and I felt my collarbone break.  Then my head hit the pavement.  The helmet did its job and took the impact. 

All stopped and we debated what to do.  Knowing that my wife would be in Seattle, I agreed to wait while the guys sprinted back to get a car and come get me.  Ron stayed with me.  I also heard the reassuring words: “Your bike is Ok.”  Whew, that’s a relief!

After a while a couple of motorists stopped and offered aid.  One family, in a big pick-up; (Jerome, Trisha, and their young son Jerome Jr) offered to drive me back to Kent.  By this time the macho part of me was being taken over by the part saying, ‘Get to the hospital, they will make it feel better.”  Ron opted to ride home solo.

In transit, I called my wife to meet me in Kent…the pain was really getting intense.  At an intersection, another pick-up with a large trailer cut us off.  Jerome said something to the effect of, “Just crowd in on me.” I couldn’t help saying, “Guys in big pick-ups.”  Trisha really laughed.

Jerome and Trisha waited at Russell Road with me until my wife arrived.  They are truly angels among us.  I found out that he was also a volunteer firefighter and trained as an EMT.  My wife left a note for the guys letting them know she had picked me up.  Chet called my cell as I was walking into the Emergency Room…Wow you guys really flew back!

The excellent staff at Valley Medical confirmed that my injuries are limited to a broken collarbone and some minor cuts and scrapes.  The pain management measures are really helping.  My arm is in a “shoulder immobilizer,” which is medical speak, for “a special type of arm sling.”  I’m thinking it means expensive.  Accordingly, I’ll be off the bike for a few weeks. 

Sunday I was really sore, this morning I’m feeling somewhat better and plan on a short day in the office.   

A heart felt thanks for everyone’s concern and kindness. 

By the way, one handed typing is really tough.

See you soon.

John W.

Title: 05/01/2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on May 03, 2010, 07:14:38 PM
Chet, Tim, Ron and I made up our small but great team this day. Looking for an easier ride, I suggested Flaming Geyser. No protests, we headed out. Our main train leader was Chet who needed a bit of a workout. Everybody traded pulls the whole ride. Chet doing the most work.  As usual, we had a headwind going and coming. At least the return was downhill! Well, sort of.

Ron won all the sprints, (2), because Chet doesn't know where the signs are. We're not telling! Good thing because he was on a slower bike than his Scott.

For those who are wondering, John is doing well all things considered. Prior to my trip to CA, we developed a training route for him for RAMROD. The ride is down to Geyser and up the long hill after the bridge. Back down halfway and up toward 169. Back down to the bridge and right up snake hill to 169.  Back down and up to K-BD road. John did this training ride once before his crash. 3700 ft of climbing. He called it the "Cloverleaf." Pretty quaint. Maybe we'll do it on a WCT ride someday. Everyone wishes John a speedy recovery. 
We rode 37.5 miles today @ 18.7mph ave. Glad to have Tim join us after a time off. Hope he returns again soon. All WCTer's welcome!!

See you Saturday.


Title: May 8, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on May 10, 2010, 12:05:10 PM
Saturday was one of the most beautiful days this year for a bike ride. Clear, cool and very little wind.

Christian, Tom, Chris and I started out to ride the Gorge but went up "twisted sister" hill to 169, Black Diamond Bakery instead. Everyone shared pulls along the way keeping the pace at 21-22 along Green Valley. Chris won all townline sprints with a great showing of surprise jumps and top speed.

We chased down a couple out of B-D and once we caught them Chris's chain fell off. We regrouped and caught them again passing at 24 and picking it up to 26+.   
Down Hatchery Hill we kept up the pace as best we could. Avoiding the nasty ruts and cracks we made it into Auburn. Excellent pacelines and leader transitions made this a fast yet non-strenuous effort. The absense of massive headwinds helped as well! The final climb of the day I pulled off on top with a cramping left leg. Good thing I got a jump because Tom and Chris were right on me.

Too bad more teammembers didn't make the ride today. All were missed. Great day, 44.5miles @18+mph. No incidents, drama or funny stories to report.

Title: May 15, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on May 17, 2010, 01:23:55 PM
Joining us were Tom, Thien, Ron, Rod, Christian, Tyler Beck and myself. Tyler hasn't ridden with Wheelsport for several years.

To celebrate Tyler's return, we decided to ride Cougar Mountain, climbing a total of 2375 ft with about 3 hours on the bike. Tyler hung in there pretty well. Great to have you join us, Tyler.  I blew up on the final climb but made it. The "cloverleaf" rides on Sunday and Wednesday out of Flaming Geyser have helped.

Thien was KOM, Tom right in there with Ron. Rod always in the mix. Thien won some sprints as did Tom. The Renton sprint started off way too early but it was a sight to behold. Tom, Thien and Ron were battling it out as if their lives depended on a win. Too bad they misjudged the sign location by about 100 yds! Great effort.
Someone on a blue bike passed me at one point so I jumped on his wheel at 23. He was trying to drop me and he gave me the "look." I passed him up the hill toward Renton. So did Christian. He may have been fast but he wasn't Wheelsport fast.

Coming down Oaksdale we turned on 196th to cross over to the Trail. Tyler was gone. I waited for him but he never showed. Must have taken a different route home, I hope.

Great ride. Everybody got their money's worth today.

See you all Tuesday night at Elliot Bay Brewing, 6:30pm! Prospective new members welcome.


Title: May 29, 2010 - Chris Hanson Farewell Ride
Post by: John W on June 02, 2010, 12:57:18 PM
As you know, the weatherman changed the forecast to include rain in the am. Even though Chet blamed me, it was truly the WeatherChannel's fault. All that said, we had very little rain on the ride. I was wet from sweating under my rain jacket but not from rain.

Joining us was Chris Hanson, Tom Broznowski, Chet, Christian, Mark and his daughter, Madison, on a tandem and myself.  Tom has the nicest commuter bike I've ever seen which also has the brightest taillight. It makes one of those Planet Bike lights look like a flickering candle. 

We headed South on West Valley toward Sumner in a strong headwind. Generally, we kept the pace easy but gradually picked it up to the low 20's. Some had fenders. Some didn't. 

Toward the end of the southbound ride, Chet pulled to 22+ putting some of us in a bit of stress.

At the coffee shop, Mark and Madison returned home after a job well done. Great effort Madison! You're a real trooper.
The return gave us the tailwind we deserved as we rode our normal route through the Sumner industrial area, into Pacific and onto the Interurban trail.
There was one townline sprint into Pacific that was won by Christian. Chet went after him last minute but from my perspective, his effort proved futile. Christian by half a bike.  Nice try though! Had the sign been 20 ft further Chet would have taken it. By about 20 ft! He has a nitrous pack. A train blocked one of the crossings on the trail so we had to pick up and carry our bikes across. Hadn't seen this before. 

Thanks to everyone who came out today to say goodbye to Chris, who is moving to Italy for a couple of years to work on the 787. Have a great time. Wheelsport of Italy sounds great!

We rode just 30 miles at a moderate pace. Very fun ride.

See you next time.

Have a great Memorial Day!


Title: Re: Sat. ride (05-29-10)
Post by: John W on June 02, 2010, 01:01:16 PM
One of these days I'll try to figure which sign is which or ignore them altogether. I swear you guys keep changing their location or the rules. Is it possible to have a 1K, 500 meter and a finishing kite? I'm hopeless trying to figure it out. Where's big Dave? At least he'll give me a heads up. It's was great to see Tom (it's funny how you can not see somone for years and pick up as if it were yesterday) and Chris was great to talk to.
Stay healthy,
Bewildered in the south and damn glad it's a no drop ride or I'd be truly be forever lost.

Title: Saturday, June 5, 2010 Ride
Post by: John W on June 07, 2010, 02:48:07 PM
Brown's Point today. 49.3 miles, 1789 vft climbing, ave 18mph.

WCT consisted of Chris, Rod, Tom Frank, Dave Bachman, Chet, Christian, Mark and Madison on the tandem, and myself.

We had a little tailwind southbound. Chris led out and picked the pace up to 18 or so. South on West Valley, we ran in the low 20's. Peasley Canyon was led out by Chet, Tom, Rod and Chris. Chris contested the lead from time to time. He'd pay for that effort later.  I was position 5 followed by Christian, the tandem and Dave. All hills were like this for the most part. The fast decents and corners were nearly the reverse order.

Most of the Dash Pt Rd was in the 30's. Somewhere, I hit 41.

The climb up to Brown's Point was as previously described. However, if you think there was a long wait for the big man, you'd be wrong. Dave pulled in seconds after the lead group. The tandem just ahead of him. Maybe 120 seconds or so but truly amazing.

Leaving Brown's Point, Chris led out for a minute until the tandem started to wind out. OMG, here we go again! 35+! Christian said, "get the tandem's wheel!" Well, with Dave coming down at me, I let it go and got onto Dave's wheel.

Most of the way back was 25+ in the flats. Tom, leading, Christian, then me, pulled to 28+, gapping Christian. I bridged the gap and passed. Pretty fun but I was a little tired.

Tom did it again on levee Rd and I held on for the most part , Chet on my wheel. Bragging a bit on myself but if not me then who? The return up West Valley was a bit windy and the team was suffering by this point. All our townline sprinters and KOM's were a bit tired except for Chet, who was looking for a workout. He kept it at 22 into the wind and they were dropping like flies. How I managed to keep on his wheel I'm not sure except that I cruised the climbs and watched the sprints.

We regrouped several times and Tom took us for a tour through an apartment complex and back onto the Green River Trail which is now about 4 inches wide due to the sandbags. My prediction is we'll never get a flood and the bags will be there at least 10 years.

I couldn't keep track of the sprints but saw some good ones. Rod took off after Chet but didn't catch. Dave contested several but came up short. Chris stole one or two as did I going into Kent. We called that a "clip-in" sprint; 50ft from the stoplight.

Clearly, Mark and Madison were outstanding on the tandem. Rod, who used to be "Big Roddy" is fit, fast and light. Dave, though still big, is most impressive and most inspirational. That new Campy Veloce "ultra-torque" crank will soon learn what its name means!  Tom was the best at pulling to high speeds. Chet was KOM and pulled us all back into the wind. I felt good about this ride, not killing myself and making it back to write this report.

Thanks to everyone who joined us on this glorious Northwest WCT day. Very fun ride!


Title: June 12, 2010 - Ride Ride Report
Post by: John W on June 14, 2010, 01:51:53 PM
0 percent chance of rain. High upper 70's. Is this summer?  10 riders for the WCT ride: Rod, Ron, Kurt, Chris, Mark, Dave B, Dave, Tom F, Christian and I. We talked about the Gorge and everyone seemed to like that. However, we went North through Renton to add a few miles.

Chris led out a pretty fast warm-up on the Interurban. Someone flew by me on my left in the drops. Missed me by inches. Ron took off after him and I began the pull to catch. Ron caught and dogged him for awhile as we bridged the gap. We passed him and Ron jumped on, the lone rider as well for a while but he was finished.

Through Renton, we got on the Cedar River Trail to head to Maple Valley. Bikes aren't well liked on this trail and some old man tried to bat us with his hand as we went by. Rod had to move over to avoid him.  Probably not a WCT route for the future. They're trying to lower the speed limit to 10. They even have a radar speed indicator on the trail lying on its side. It flashed 17 when we passed. If they had walkers and joggers use he left shoulder like on the American River Trail in CA, they wouldn't have this problem of cyclists vs walkers. Regardless, we kept a brisk pace on the trail and Dave B started to come off. I went back to pick him up and we stayed together.

The climb out of the Trail to 169 was fought out with Ron on top.

On to Witte Rd. we soon ran into Maple Valley Days road closure and the end of the parade. After we made it through, Kurt flatted.
A long repair was made and we were off. Kurt was concerned because he had no tread left. Cord showing. He wanted to go home. Didn't know the way. Onto Kent Black Diamond Rd. and into town, the group kept going up the hill to 169. Dave B said he was through and going to the bakery. I decided to join him and caught the group to let them know. Kurt decided to go with us so the group officially fractured at that point.

After a brief rest, the three of us rode down Kent B-D Rd. to 218th and down to Green Valley. Guess who won the downhill? Kurt wanted to pull the flats and we couldn't get him off the front. I got him off once and he returned a few minutes later. We were running 21-22. Fast enough into a headwind. Through Kent and back to the parking lot, Dave and I were pretty spent. Kurt pulled off early to ride home.

The main group pulled in 20 minutes later. The Gorge added about 10 miles to the route: they did 61 and we did 51.

Mark won the climb out of the Gorge and the return was a blistering pace according to Christian. He said he heard whimpers coming from some riders on the rollers. The overpass on Greenvalley Rd. broke up the pack.

Super ride everybody. Thanks for coming out.

Keep in mind upcoming events:

Joe Matava, July 4. John McKain still needs corner marshals.

John McKain RAMROD ride July 8.
Emerald City Lights Bikeride, July 10, Kent.


Title: June 19, 2010 - Ride report
Post by: John W on June 21, 2010, 12:56:35 PM
I know you like ride reports, so here it goes.

Got to the meeting spot a bit early just in case I needed to throw on a rear fender. When I left home the day looked promising, but the closer I got to Kent the worse it looked. The roads were all wet by the time I parked. On goes the rear fender (I'm not that fond of the squeaking front fender I have). Before long Tom and Christian show up followed by Kurt on his bike.

Tom says we're headed to the Cougar Mountain loop and we head out while it's raining. A few minutes in and I'm wishing I'd brought my booties, it's both wet and cool. Tom and Kurt are side by side on the trail ahead of Christian and I when all of a sudden Tom eases up and says he's calling it a day (mind you, we haven't been gone more then ten minutes and he's calling a mulligan. I thought Tom was supposed to be the "Chuck Norris" of this group. Apparently not today.)

Tom turns to go home and we catch up to a women getting ready for the Coeur D' Alene triathlon. Kurt spends most of the time riding and talking to her (hmmm!) while Christian explains to me Cold War secrets and other helpful training tips.

Before we could even get close to warming up, there's a one man pile up just past the nasty RR Xing. After being right next to John when he went down, all I could think was "collarbone". After we helped withdraw the guy from the pavement and collect all of his body parts, (apparently he had everything in working order) we where off again.

Soon we're back to the three of us and now headed to Lushi via Rainier Beach and past the Renton Airport. Without Tom letting us know which way the wind was blowing by watching the planes land at SeaTac (because you know he lives right next to the airport) we would have been lost (don't tell Tom, but I peeked while we rode past Renton Airport). So with the wind we rode.

We stop at Seward Park for a quick break and then head north on Kurt's wheel. It's not until I-90 that Kurt relinquishes the front of the line. We stop at Leshi for another quick stop and our turn around point for today.

South we head trading pulls into the wind. I'm surprised how few cyclist there are today (maybe just too crappy out). By the time we get back to Rainier Beach we need to stop. Christian's rear tire has a slow leak that requires a tube change. Luckily we're at a covered bus stop so I can watch Christian fix his tire in the wet.

Somehow Kurt and I got on the topic of other activities we do and I mentioned I have someone that helps me with my core stength. And that this person works me so hard that I would love to get my hands on his neck if I could only lift my arms high enough. Kurt says he feels the same way, staring at me (hmmm!).

With Christian up and running, we wind our way home taking the last few miles rather easy. Even though it was wet and wacky we were really close to 40 miles and by the end of the day, still in one piece.
Thanks again for letting me ride with the group and tell John W. to hurry up and get healthy,

Title: June 26, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on June 28, 2010, 01:49:09 PM
Thanks to everyone who turned out for the ride. Our 9 riders were: Chet, Thien, Ron, Dave B, Chris, Ryan, John McKain, John and Marshall.

This was John W's first WCT ride since his railroad track get-off 6 weeks ago. We did a route that crossed lots of tracks so verbal notifications were abundant and loud!

The route was Game Farm- Puyallup loop. My warm-up was a return to the car to lock it. Chet followed me and led me back to the group @ 22 mph.
Once together, we made it through Kent and onto Green Valley Road to Auburn. That sign was Ron's, Ryan in pursuit.

Too many sprints to remember this ride. Ryan led out a few times and I goaded Thien to go after him, which he did, successfully. Great job, Thien! Ryan also broke away on River Road, John W and I in pursuit. However, Ryan wasn't going for the sprint. He pulled into a parking lot for a bathroom break!  John McKain and Dave got ahead of us.

Onto Puyallup hill, the group began a strong pace to the top but soon fell apart. I dropped back to ride with Dave but he never appeared so I caught John W's wheel and we cruised up at a moderate pace keeping Chris in sight. Reports at the top of the climb were that John McKain, Ryan and Chet arrived together, followed by Ron, Thien, Chris, John W and me then Dave.

Some of us waited at the top for Dave and off we went. The huge downhill into Puyallup is Big Dave's domain and as we passed the lead group, I announced that they should get ready to be dropped. Ryan jumped at the challenge and beat the lights to stay ahead. On the screaming fast downhill, Dave passed a truck.

Puyallup was a drag race with Ryan out front and Chet, Thien, me and John M hammering to close. 

We regrouped and worked through the industrial section of Sumner. Chet led out and brought us up to 24+.
Back through Pacific there were numerous intervals and sprints for signs, banners, cracks in the pavement, you name it. Trying to confuse the ride reporter. It worked.

We stopped for water and food in Pacific and then got on the Interurban. Ryan went to climb Lakeland Hills.

The trail included many more surges and sprints.

Great ride and a lot of fun. Good interval workout.

Sprinters were: Chet, Ron, Ryan, Chris and Thien.

Most impressive: John McKain was very strong, took some super pulls and climbed with the lead. 
Best competitor goes to Chris and Thien. Chris is always ready for a challenge and Thien goes for all the breakaways even when his chain falls off. Twice.

Most determination? Well John W could get that award for his successful post-crash comeback but Big Dave edged him out for passing the truck on the downhill.
Best sportsmanship goes to Chet for helping make sure the group stayed together.

The ride was 51.5 miles @17.2mph. Everyone did an outstanding job.


Title: July 3, 2010 - Ride Report - Mechanical Malfunctions R Us
Post by: John W on July 06, 2010, 01:44:13 PM
"Mechanical malfunctions are us." Eight happy Wheelsport riders left the lot for a Game Farm-Victor Falls Route. Those riders were: Tom F, John W, Chris, Thien, Rod, Ron, Christian and Marshall.

John W forgot his water bottles. That sorted, off we went. Mechanicals started on the climb up Lakeland Hills. Thien's chain fell off but Christian's wouldn't shift and it was chain-sucking. Took awhile but we finally were underway up the hill.

We regrouped at the top and started our downhill. This is where the real fun began. I started picking off riders one at a time but had a car in the way. At 48mph, he signalled a right and brakelights came on. I had a 3 foot gap on his left and touched the brakes. Then the wobble started. Release the brakes. Wobble gets worse. I grabbed the top tube with my knees and nailed the brakes. Rod and John are blocking the road behind me and watching the show. My bike's in a death wobble that won't stop until: a. It bucks me off or: b. It stops. I'm thinking that the slower the better for a high-side get off. The moment before the inevitable, I plan on throwing it on its left side for a low-side crash. She bucks like a bull all the way to a dead stop. I yell out that my wheel has broken. But after a quick survey, nothing is wrong. I'm in the middle of the road and walk to the side. Someone says Tom is far behind. On his arrival, he explains that his bike has done exactly the same thing! This is the downhill from hell. Rod said he thought I was having some kind of seizure.

I'm a little gunshy but climb well out of the falls. The downhill leaves me dropped. We then ride onto Sumner for a coffee.

I leave my water bottle at Starbucks and Thien breaks a spoke. Tom makes an illegal adjustment and off we go. Thien is going for the sprints. A car turns in front and he brakes and swerves, shattering about 5 more spokes like glass. Funny thing is that Thien had yelled out to his leadout group to drop the rest of us.
Tom will go back to get him in the van.

We made it back to the parking lot, after Christian's chain fell off on 4th Ave. His rear tire was flat when I loaded it on the bike rack.

Perfect day! No rain. No wrecks! Everyone home safe. A bit hairy ride. I don't know what Tom is going to do but my bike is going to Ric at CT Monday for a check-up.

We rode 43.67 miles@ 16.9.

Chris got 4 signs, John got 2, Rod got 2, Ron got 1. Thien got 1.   Great job WCT riders!!

See everyone bright and early in Burien for the crit. It will be awesome!!

Next Saturday is the Emerald City Lights Bikeride from Kent. We'll meet at 9am Russell Rd Park and go into town to start the ride. 60 miles. Register online @ emeraldcitylightsbikeride.org. For $15 or day of ride for $20. Funds go to feed locals who can't buy food.


Title: Re: Ride summaries - 2010
Post by: Tom Frank on July 11, 2010, 09:37:17 AM
Is anyone interested in doing Sunrise on Thursday 7/15?

Title: July 10, ECLBR, Kent Cornucopia Days
Post by: John W on July 12, 2010, 09:13:08 PM
Thanks to everyone who turned out for the ride. We had great participation with a total of 16 riders.  Gordy, Zach, Jeff, Sam, Bob, Tom B, Tom F, Mike, Dave S, Dave B, Chris, Thien, John W, Kurt, Marshall and Brian.

We rode to the start at Unionbay, 72nd and 212th, to register and get photos taken. A lady rode up and stood in with us not realizing we were all together.
There was a routing problem through Renton but we dismissed that and just rode down 169. Police were giving out tickets to "speeders" going over 10mph on the Cedar River Trail. An 11mph speeding ticket might be the first ever. Worth a lot on ebay. Should have gone for it. 

Pretty nice paceline down 169 and Bob went to the front to pick up the pace to 23+. He did it twice. I had to dodge a steel cable lying on our part of the road and almost took someone out behind me. The pace quickened and several of us took pulls. Rollers started to fracture the group, Big Dave finally came off after an amazing effort.

A regroup was announced for the light in Maple Valley but was largely ignored.
I waited for Dave and we took an alternate route up Witte Rd. This added 4 miles but was better suited for the day. We worked on into Black Diamond and met up with the group at the scheduled stop. Several WCTer's had gone on their way to Lake Tapps.

Back down 169 to 416th. Nice rollers and pretty good speed. The steep climb out of Black Diamond left us fractured again but we regrouped at Kamm's Corner.
Onto 416th we kept it at 21+.

The race on the rollers prior to the Flaming Geyser downhill was fun with Thien, Chris, Kurt and I mixing it up. We rolled into Flaming Geyser stop together where we met up with Tom B.

Back onto Green Valley Road, we had some of our best pacelines of the day. Newby, Brian fell off the back right away. He had finally spun himself to exhaustion, never using his big chainring. Super effort Brian. Did anyone tell him to shift? We passed many ECLBR riders and a few jumped on the train for awhile.

Through Auburn, Dave B missed the light onto the Green Valley Rd and couldn't bridge the gap. Mistakenly thinking all were back on, we proceeded at 21-22. 
The last sprint into Kent was won by Thien. I was right behind him but couldn't catch.

Back at the parking lot we all were a bit spent. John W and Thien rode back up East Hill to home.

At this point I realized we were missing 2 riders. Dave rolled in shortly but Brian wasn't back until I was driving away.

Great ride. Lots of fun to get everyone out. WCT jerseys everywhere. Very cool! Thanks to Patricia for putting on another great event. It appears her first Kent Cornucopia Days ride was a success.
We rode 64 miles which included a Witte Road diversion adding 4. Average speeds varied from 17.2 to 18.6. No mechanicals, drama or injuries.  Good to have Dave S and Mike make a successful comeback. Thanks again to everyone who made this a great day.


Title: July 17 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on July 19, 2010, 11:23:10 AM
We had a respectable turnout of 8 riders: John W, Chris (newly signed  member and truly great guy) Tom F, Thien, Chet, Dave B, The Other Dave, and Marshall.
Thien was wearing his bicycle helmet when he drove up in his car. He's ready to race! Or scared of his own driving! Good thing Big Dave showed up late because Chris's rear tire was flat and extra time was needed for the master mechanic to reveal his skill. Wheel back on I walked over to inspect and then, bang!! I thought, "Oh my God, now they're shooting at us!" It took about 3 WCTer's to make repairs and off we went for a Mercer Island loop, avoiding the STP riders.
Northbound on the Interurban, our initial pace was in the low 20's due to a tailwind and Chris's strong leadout. Through Boeing and up the little climb which put us onto Rainier, we passed a few tandems going the other way.

The climb toward Seward Park fractured the group. I stayed back to keep Big Dave company as we watched the pack gradually pull away, The Other Dave just ahead. I told Big Dave, "Look, we're not dropped, we're just gapped!" We went around a corner and then I had to announce, "OK, now we're dropped!" Oh well.  A tri rider overtook us near the top but we almost caught her at the park.
Lake WA Blvd was pretty quick once we all got together, John W taking a final, long pull at speed.

The climb up fractured us again, KOM contenders, Chet, Chris, Tom and Thien leading out. This gave Dave and I a chance to plan our strategy for the downhill sprint.

Onto the trail, we proceeded to Mercer. Dave wanted to go on to Tully's. Chet and I joined him on the trail. The rest took a loop around the Island. Reports are that Thien and Chris raced on around with John and Tom pulling the main field. Chet, Big Dave and I had a nice paceline going to Coulon, passing all the rec riders on the climbs! "Ride on the sidewalk where you belong!"

We all regrouped at Coulon Park then made our way South through Renton. On Oaksdale, Chet lead out a breakaway with Thien, Chris and Tom. I sprinted to bridge the gap running 25+ into a strong headwind. We held a steady pace at 23 all the way to 180th. The main field arrived shortly.

A clip-in sprint to the Renton sign across the street was anticipated. I clipped in right away but Chris couldn't make it happen. Spinning madly across, I got edged out by Chet by inches.

The climb up the 196th overpass was another race with Chet, Thien and me in that order.

Easy spin back to the parking lot ended this very fun ride. Great job everyone! The full Mercer ride was 50 and the shorter "Tully's" ride was 42 miles. No incidents to report and no headbutting. No downhill sprint for Big Dave, either. Maybe next time. 

A personal note: My nephew, Nick, made 132 miles on the STP today. Tomorrow will be cake for him. Go Nick!   


Title: July 24, 2010 Ride Report - Gorge
Post by: John W on July 26, 2010, 05:01:32 PM
Chris, Chet, Christian, Little Dave, Medium Dave, Mike, Ron, Thien, Tom, and I gathered under a beautiful blue sky with 70+ degree temperatures for this ride.  Tom suggested his “Easy Cougar Mountain” route.  Christian commented that he is riding a 12/21 cassette…a temporary fix for his recent mechanical problems… so he might lag off the back when we hit the steep hills.  I suggested the Gorge.  Christian nodded, Tom pointed out that we would have a head wind on the way back.  I replied that we always have a head wind, no matter where we go.
We proceeded toward the Gorge at typical warm-up pace.  Chris sprinted uncontested for the Kent sign at the 277th overpass.  Christian jumped very early for the Auburn sign.  Chris blasted after him; Ron followed two bike lengths behind.  Chris picked up the sign.

I took a pull through Auburn; Chet took the pull after the bad tracks and led us safely past the Jim B rut.  He remained on the front and with a little help from Chris and Ron, led us up Hatchery Hill at 19.1 mph.  The pace line was excellent!  Most arrived at the top as a group, and the stragglers were with us in moments.

Good speed and tight pace line to Black Diamond, where Christian and Middle Dave opted to peel off.  We took a refreshment stop at the gas station.  Chet must have been feeling good since he led the climb out of the gorge.  Again, the speed was just right to keep the group together.

At the turn onto Green Valley Road, a friendly voice came from a small pick-up truck.  It was Bob Kaye.  Good to see you Bob!

On Green Valley, we found the head wind, which was stronger than normal due to the rising temperature.  I took the first pull at about 21, hoping to time my move to the back and avoid pulling the few stretches where the wind really howls.  The plan worked perfectly, except when we arrived at one of the bad sections, I was number two behind Ron.  Riding behind a guy half my size isn’t much help.  Thien hollered, “Ron, 25 mph!”   This isn't going to happen.  Ron accelerated to 22 and quickly realized that his “push” had disappeared.  Ron took a quick look over his shoulder, and was back to 21.  I’m smiling.  Thien, you want 25 into the wind?  You get up here and pull 25!
As we passed the Auburn Golf Course, Chet was back on the front when he suddenly pulled off and then dropped off the back…cramps…both legs frozen in pain.  Mike and I dropped back with him, the rest of the guys unaware of his plight continued.  After standing still on the pedals for awhile, Chet was able to continue.  Later at the parking lot, Chet explained that warm weather can really get to him.  Thien, “Ah your Kryptonite!”

This was an excellent ride, 51 miles, 19 mph.  Superman Award to Chet, for huge pulls. The Sprinter of the Day – Chris.

On a personal note: Thanks to all of you for the support and encouragement as I recover from the crash.

John W.

Title: July 31, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on August 02, 2010, 01:00:55 PM
A bit cool for the end of July but a great day! 8 riders: Jake, Chet, Thien, Rod, Ron, John, Big Dave and I headed North to Alki.

Up the Interurban Trail, up McAdam and to the last bit of the Green River Trail, we all stayed together, for the most part. I dropped back with Dave for the McAdam climb where he easily managed a 15+ pace. Very decent. Jake likes to take long pulls on his tri bike and spooled it up to the mid 20s into Southpark. Dave went around the group and led through town.

As everyone knows by now, Rod hadn't ridden in 2 weeks, had been sick, etc. He held on pretty well with all the hotshots going into Alki, Jake on front at 30. I watched back with Dave as they grew smaller in the distance. John came back to give us a hand and we pulled into Alki Bakery.

Thien wanted a warmup so Dave led us up Admiral Way, dropping down under the bridge in W Seattle. Going down Interurban, we hit every stoplight. Another race ensued as I watched riders get popped off the back. On the trail, Chet led out gradually picking up speed to 21 or so. Jake tried to pass Chet on the left, but it wasn't happening. Side-by-side down the Interurban trail, the rest of us in tow. Faster and faster. I moved to the left and Dave pulled alongside, "do you see what's going on up there?" Dave asked. Well, it was very intertaining to say the least. Good job guys!

Back into the lot we finished with 43 miles.
Nice ride everyone. Thanks to all for coming out.

Easy ride Sunday, Aug 1, from the Whistlestop Alehouse in Renton at 9am with John McGraw. This is a social paced ride, no big chainrings, around south Lake Washington. I hope to see you there.


Title: August 7, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on August 09, 2010, 08:41:11 AM
A little rain to start but perfect temp. Chet, John McGraw, Christian, Dave B, Ron and Marshall made up the group for the Puyallup loop. Chet had the only fender.

We proceeded South on Westvalley dodging the massive ruts and holes. John took a few strong pulls to warm us up for what was to come. Everyone took a turn up front making for great pacelines.
On River Rd, Ron took off, John in pursuit and passing. I took off to join in, hitting 30+ and finally catching John's wheel. He held it around 28 into a stiff headwind. I peeled off, Ron passed and I waited for the main group, led out by Chet @25 to the bridge.
Up Puyallup Hill, John, Chet and Ron stayed together, I rode in back with Christian and Dave right behind.
Down Puyallup hill, all were fearing Big Dave's speed and he didn't disappoint. However, near the bottom, John found a cooperative Ford Explorer to motorpace and he dropped us all.

Puyallup was teeming in traffic and it took awhile to maneuver through town. Once out and onto Sumner at a moderate but consistent pace.

John's second burst was on the long straight through the Sumner Industrial Park. Again, I held on at 30 for a while but didn't have the legs for it.

John, Chet and Ron pulled away. We regrouped in Pacific and cruised back home, up the Interurban Trail. This was a very enjoyable ride, nice pacelines and several good efforts.

Ron, aka "mosquito" won most sprints but almost got taken by Chet while hewas sleeping on one Puyallup sign.   

Thanks to everyone for coming out.

Sunday, 9am at the Ram, Kent Station, social paced ride. John McGraw calls this one the "Ramride." Hope to see many WCTer's there. You too, Jan! John said that heavy rain cancels but it's still on if like this morning.
August 21 is the Hillclimb Time Trial at Crystal. Get with Race Director Christian Olsen if you haven't yet signed up to volunteer.


Title: August 14, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on August 16, 2010, 01:40:44 PM
Mark, Dave S, Dave B, John, Thien, Ron, Tom F and I were today's WCT. The route was Tom's Alki run, the hard way!

We climbed up 228th and then hit every little city along the way. It is impossible for me to accurately describe the route. We rode through Seatac-Burien-Whitecenter-Seattle-Alki.

Beautiful scenery along the waterfront.  Lots of climbing but nice cool breezes prevailed.

Dave B liked that 228 warmup climb and wanted more. On a long downhill, he had an SUV turn left in front of him @40mph. The guy stopped at the last minute giving Dave a small exit strategy. Close one for sure! Later, I caught my front wheel in a rut which yanked the bars from my hands. Lucky I didn't go down.

The climbs were contested by Tom, Thien, Ron and Mark. Mark seemed strongest. Ron, Dave B and I rode around the Alki lighthouse and all arrived at the Bakery.

The return was pretty fast, John pulling at 25-27. On the flat stretch out of Southpark Thien got us up to 34+. I held on but as people started falling off, gaps opened and I hit 35 at one point trying to bridge. Ahead, the leadout of 4 fanned out across the road as they slowed. Good move. Should I mention we had a tailwind?
I rode 45 miles and climbed 2000 vft. Not bad. I got these really cheap bottles that shoot out of the cages over tracks. I even caught one on the fly.

Good job everyone. Pretty warm day but beautiful.
I hope to see all of you at the Hillclimb TT next Saturday. There will be no Saturday ride from Russell Road Park.


Title: August 28, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on August 30, 2010, 02:19:56 PM
Thanks to all 10 riders who came out for the ride: Chet, John W, Dave S, Mike, Chris, Tom F, Ryan, Ron, Marshall and new guy, Brian.
Cougar Mt is a good ride for a first-timer and for Chris's comeback! 10 makes for a good double paceline and we headed North up the Interurban Trail, through Boeing, past Coulon Park and over to Bellevue.

A few hotdogs sprinted out after stops and turns just to warm-up for the climbs.

At the top of the short steep climb at Coal Creek, Ryan had stopped, everyone else proceeding. He told me we weren't all together. I counted heads and, sure enough, someone was off. Brian. I went back and saw him coming. When he arrived, he asked how much further was the ride. I told him about 45 miles total. Although he wanted to go back, I said I'd stay with him for the rest of the ride. Ryan motored on by and caught the field. I rode with Brian keeping the group in sight.

I knew we had one more big hill but everything was down from where we were. Missed the Cougar Way turn. We rode down to Lakemont and turned around back up the hill. Right on Forest and back to Coalcreek.

We all met at Factoria Starbucks.

Ryan took off for home and the rest of us worked together very well on the return. On the rollers back to Coulon, a heavyset fellow with bad form and earbuds, gave us a pretty good rabbit. Up the hills he was amazingly strong but we finally caught and passed him, fracturing our group in the process.

The return was pretty quick but very fun.

Great ride everyone. Thanks to Ryan for stopping for the dropped new rider. I think Brian will be back.
The Cougar group rode 47 miles, 2500 vft @16.1. The Lost Lakemont group rode 44 miles, 2100 vft @16.
Chet and Ryan were KOM's.


Title: September 4, 2010 - Ride Report - Flaming Gyser
Post by: John W on September 05, 2010, 09:16:33 PM
Light turnout but great ride. Only 4 managed to make it but it was a good 4! John W, Chris, Ron and I headed out of the wet to Flaming Geyser.

We met another group of 4 at the Central-259 light. Thinking they might want to join us, Chris ran the red and took off like a rocket. When the light changed, John led out at 18 then smoked up the little hill at 20. This wasn't nice but if they were still on, I figured we'd all get dropped bigtime. They weren't on.
We caught Chris and headed down Green Valley @22. Auburn sprint was John's.
Going toward Geyser, we were confronted by a stiff headwind but by trading pulls consistently, we kept a reasonable pace of 22-23.

Yes, it's true, Ron took his turn pulling all day and did a super job We rested at Geyser hoping for a fast tailwind but as normally happens, the wind shifted giving us a worse headwind going back. Thank God it's downhill!

 We considered going onto the Bakery but nobody bit on the idea.

John pulled out bringing us to 21 and we continued changing leaders. We saw the group of four riders heading toward Geyser 20 minutes behind us. My turn and I saw 24 and backed it down to 23. Comfortable but tough into the wind.
Back into Auburn, Ron jumped for the sign but it was gone. You can't win a sign if there isn't one! He would have though.

Keeping a steady pace, I moved off the front before the climb to the Kent sign. This is my sign! John on front, Ron, Chris, me, we cruise the stop and head up the hill. I cut left but so does Chris. I go right and Ron goes left. I'm blocked. I'm in my 53x19 and pour it on through the middle. In the drops, standing 53x18, 17, false flat @25mph. One more little rise. Ron is on my wheel and then shows me his front wheel @25+. He goes by and I sit down. Fastest I've done that before. Probably Ron, too. Ron wins.

At the end of the day, John got 3 signs, Ron 1. I don't think Chris got one but he was close several times. Its all about timing! Frankly, some sprints were a little weak today but respectable. 

The race to the parking lot wasn't weak, though. Chris led out numerous stoplight efforts with a motorpace behind a Dodge Magnum SRT-8 as a finale! Whew!!

Really fun but short 37 miles @ 20mph ave.

 P.S. September 11 is the Emerald City Lights Bikeride out of Auburn Game Farm Park. Wheelsport riders can meet there for a 9:00am departure. This is the one with the really good baked potato feast at the end. Let me know if you are planning on that ride. Register www.emeraldcitylightsbikeride.org for a great time.
 P.P.S.  Those of you who are interested in an easy paced social ride, meet tomorrow, Sunday, September 5, 9:00am at 272 Restaurant in Covington. 2 hour ride- refreshments/lunch after. John McGraw is our ride leader.


Title: 09/11/10, Emerald City Llights Bike Ride
Post by: John W on September 13, 2010, 03:15:46 PM
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Emerald City Lights Bikeride. Thanks to Patricia Hansen for doing an outstanding job organizing it. We had three WCT groups:
Bob and Sam at 8:00am; Chris, Tom F, John, Ron and I at 9:00am; Christian, Janice and Samuel at 10:00am. That's a great turnout. Congratulations!

It was a beautiful day, cool, sunny and little wind. No rain! As soon as we got onto Green Valley, our front man, Chris, started picking up the pace. Next thing, we're doing 23+. Then John @24.  I tried in vain to pull the speed down to 21 for at least the warm-up. So did Tom. What was I thinking!

By the bridge before Geyser, Tom and I stopped to remove jackets and then do a moderate climb up the hill for a warm-up. After that, all was good for us both.

We couldn't find the pit stop in Black Diamond, everyone leading down streets as if they knew where it was. We found it heading North on 169. Oh! That's where it was all along! According to the attendant, we were the last of the 65 milers to arrive and the ones before us left out 30-45 minutes ago. We passed that group and several others before Enumclaw. We were hunting rabbits all day!

We made a large loop out of B-D which took us Southbound. We zigged and zagged around and made it to Enumclaw. Another pit stop where we met up with two guys, one on a fixie. They had done 44 miles already missing the B-D pit and going to 4-Corners!

The ride out of Enumclaw was pretty quick down to Mud Mt Rd. and toward Auburn. Rabbits were caught and passed including the fixie and his pal. Chris picked up the pace once again and the fixie group hung on all the way back to Game Farm.

Christian, Janice and Samuel jumped on at Auburn and the race was on.

Really fun ride and pretty intense at times. Chris won all the sprint signs. Great job, Chris. You looked great in your new Wheelsport jersey!

Our mileage was 65 @19mph.
I will be notifying all WCT members about our meeting tentatively scheduled at Elliot Bay Brewing Monday, September 27, 6:30pm providing we can get it arranged. I'll confirm the date as soon as possible.


Title: 09/11/10 - Regular Saturday Ride, Russell Rd
Post by: John W on September 13, 2010, 03:23:12 PM

Because I'm not a huge phone user but only use it when I need it, meaning: it's usually off unless I need to make a call or send a text. Well I didn't read your text till 9:50 while at russell road. So I knew I missed the 9:00 launch. Luckily I had a backup plan. I brought two bikes and an extra rider (my 20 yr. old son Karsten).

Since there wasn't anyone to suggest Cougar Mtn. or any other place to ride, or which way the jets where landing at Seatac we felt compelled to head north (because sticking around this neighborhood would definitely get us lost). So we waited to see if anyone missed your earlier memo about the 9 am ride. Nope, so we cruised to Renton airport, up the east side, around the top end of Mercer Is, past Rainier Bch HS back to the airport and finally to the car.

Karsten usually runs but will get on the bike if his class load allows it. He's at CalPoly in either aerospace engineering or physics. He actually is pretty smooth on the bike, loves challenging himself on the hills but he's still getting used to quick downhill, corners and tight quarters. So over all we had a great ride. Maybe I'll be dragging him out for some more rides on Saturdays. I've actually sent him your team Scott to use this year at school. I hope it sees a lot of riding opportunities. I might see you in a few weeks. I'm moving my two boys into college in CA.

Stay safe, CJ

Title: 9/18/2010 - Ride Report
Post by: John W on September 20, 2010, 10:15:59 PM
Hello WCT'ers,

Saturday was a perfect day for a bike ride! Only 4 WCTer's showed up: Others were thinking rain. Well, no rain, sun and mid 70's!  Riding were Tom, John, Ron and I.
I brought my rain bike just in case and requested an Alki run due to my bike's lack of hillclimbing prowess. No Cougar "training rides" please!
Plus, I knew Alki would be beautiful and I got a Starbuck's card!

All agreed and we headed North up the Interurban to Tukwila and over to Boeing. Nice easy pace. Tom directed my lead from behind, "turn left...turn right." Next thing I'm staring up so-called "Monster Hill." Great. It's not too long but quite steep. I hung on with the lead group but I definitely maxed out the heartrate!

The rest was pretty straightforward to Alki with 21-23 speeds. Southpark was preparing for a parade and the cops allowed us full access of the closed street. 4 man Wheelsport parade in Southpark!
The rest of the trip was uneventful with the group staying together very well.

Used the Starbuck's card for a coffee and a roll. The view was amazing!

I pulled out of Alki nearly to the West Seattle Bridge, slowly picking it up to 22 max. When I pulled off, the pace quickened about 2 mph when I got back on.

Under the bridge and to Hwy 99. Someone decided to avoid the Southpark parade and stay on 99. This gives a new meaning to "playing in traffic." Trucks passing you 4 feet away at 75mph is exciting, especially when you're dodging gravel strewn all over the shoulder. Avoid that route in the future.

We exited, made a few turns and headed toward Burien up Des Moines Way hill. Not too steep but several miles long. The shoulder is literally paved in broken glass for miles! Avoid that one, too.
John led out in a relentless effort and after awhile, I got a nice cramp in my calf. I pulled out of line to recover which cost me about 100yards. I couldn't quite catch but got within 20 yards by the top.   
We went down a few hills, turns and hard accelerations. At this point, I indeed lost the group which continued on through a green light at 99 which I missed.
However, Ron saw my predicament and waited for me past the light.  Nice downhill into Tukwila, 30+!
Once through Tukwila and on the trail, we rode back in two groups of two for a while: Tom and I back with John and Ron out front. I lost a bottle over the bridge but the leadout twosome waited at the 228th intersection.

We rode in together to the park after 44.9 miles @17.4 mph. Pretty good ride and an absolutely beautiful Northwest summer day. Great job!
On a personal note, I have accepted a position with a company located in St. Cloud, Minnesota starting October 1. I will be relocating there and securing temporary housing. My family will join me in the spring after my daughter graduates from high school. Hopefully, we can sell our Seattle house then and I can buy one in St. Cloud. In the meantime, I plan to return from time to time to see my family. I may even get in a few rides!

Therefore, this coming Saturday's team ride will likely be my last for some time and Monday's team meeting at Elliot Bay Brewing will conclude my duties as president of Wheelsport Cycling Team.

I have truly enjoyed my tenure with Wheelsport and hope my efforts have been of some benefit to you and the sport of cycling.

Since Saturday, September 25 will likely be my last Wheelsport ride, I am calling it "Marshall's Ride," 10:00am from Russell Road Park. This is to be an easy-paced ride to Leshi and back. Everyone is invited. The more the better! Heavy rain cancels.

Our team meeting is Monday September 27, 6:30pm at Elliot Bay Brewing.
See you there!

Marshall Herron
President, Wheelsport Cycling Team

Title: 09/252010 - WCT Ride. Meeting reminder: Monday, 09/27, 6:30pm
Post by: John W on September 28, 2010, 01:36:44 PM
Thanks to those who came out to Marshall's last "official" WCT ride. Chet, John, Tom F, Chris, Ron and I made up today's WCT. Christian and Janice came down to the start to see us off while on their way to Sequim. The weather today was perfect.

The plan was Leshi although we never got that far. Chet led out up the Interurban Trail at about 21mph with a light tail wind.

We made the right past Embassy Suites and through the Boeing lot. Dodging speedbumps as usual, we proceeded North. John behind me, the rest ahead. Around the first speedbump, past the gate, a loud noise echoed through the trees followed by a huge crash. John had caught his rear wheel in a rut, speed wobbled, and the bike pitched him off!  John landed on his right shoulder, the same spot that previously resulted in a broken collarbone. Good thing he's left handed! The rear derailleur cage was lodged in the spokes so Chet tried a few "adjustments." The rear tire exploded right in his face! KABAAM!!! I'm thinking, "thank God this is my last ride!"

John had rolled the tire off the rim and it had a delayed explosive pinch flat. A tamdem couple  stopped to see the mayhem.

I repaired the flat and Chet got the cage moved back so we could proceed to Center Cycle. "You've now got 3 gears. Don't shift!"

At the shop, Dave took care of the problem and installed a new rear derailleur hanger. Some guy said to me that we shouldn't have bent it back. I replied that it was done so he could ride it here.

Repairs made, John couldn't continue because of shoulder pain so Chet rode back with him and ferried the bike home by car.

With only four of us left and a good deal of time lost, we modified the route to Seward Park, Chris led us out. He sprinted from every stop but we stayed on. Up Rainier Avenue, we kept it at 23-24. Great job Chris! He won the sprint, too, closely contested by Ron.

Up the long climb to Seward, Chris jumped again so Ron and I bridged the gap, Tom on my wheel. By the top, Chris didn't see the sign so I rolled past and showed him the sign he just lost.  We ate at the park and then Chris flew up the hill, dropping us all. Ron was in hot pursuit while Tom and I were back discussing the car he bought his son, an old Honda with a new engine.

The return was smooth and easy and we rode back to the scene of John's crash to survey the damage to the road. The last leg Chris motorpaced a city bus to over 35. I'd give him credit for the headwind but there wasn't any behind the bus!

Although we only rode 34.5 miles at a 17mph average the ride was quite eventful. Thanks to all who attended. I'm very sorry about John's crash. Thanks to Chet for getting our wounded teammate home. You're a first class guy!

I have truly enjoyed riding with Wheelsport over the past several years and will miss all the excitement. I'm sure my "last ride" won't be forgotten soon!

I will be returning from Minnesota during the winter and hope to join the team on a few rides. 

Monday is our meeting at Elliot Bay Brewing, 6:30 pm. Stop by early for a cold one!Thanks for your support. Ride safe.


Title: October 2, 2010 - Ride Report
Post by: ckaiz on October 02, 2010, 05:40:41 PM
Small turnout today – we had Tom F, Rod, Brian, and myself. Tom & I decided much to the dismay of Rod to do the Browns Point/Dash Point ride. Rod stated he hadn’t been on the bike for over a month and would be a hurtin’ unit.
Bathroom stop and we were off – Short warmup time and off we went down Valley towards Peasley Canyon. Up Peasley the group fractured – we regrouped at the Arco and after some stretching lessons from Rod we had a nice quiet ride to Browns Point. The first real nice downhill Rod and I tried outdoing each other at 38+. Bottom of the hill and climbing up towards Dash Point there was a zebra stripped rabbit (Chet I honestly thought it was you) and I went on the hunt. I picked him off and Tom wasn’t far behind. As Tom and I eased off – here he comes and rips past us….Tom jumped on it and we were chasin him down the hill.  I slipped by Tom for the Pierce Co. sign and 200yds later picked up the Dash Point sign. The zebra stripped rabbit took a quick exit stage right…apparently not wanting any more of the WCT clan! We regrouped at the Cliff House pulled off our warmers and headed out for our return home.

Down the hill we discussed our route home and made a modification….yes Rod we actually did take a few miles off. Made a left at Taylor, continued across I-5 into Fife. Continuing on Valley into Sumner…..deep off the back  Super Rod….bolts for the sign – I couldn’t get off Tom’s wheel in time and Super Rod had the Sumner sign by The Old Cannery.
We decided to go through the warehouse district in Sumner and go through Pacific to avoid traffic/horrible road conditions on Valley.  Pacific sign in sight Tom and I both take off hard for it- I had him by a wheel and Tom mumbled something about gearing….???
After having a tailwind our whole ride, we finally found our headwind on the Interurban – we decided to back it down after having an 18.7 average up to that point and take a relaxing ride back to the parking lot.

48.6 miles – final average 17.0 –

Great ride…Chris had 3 signs Super Rod had 1 brilliant uncontested sign – Tom thanks for sharing pulling duties with me today – See ya next week!


Title: 10/09/2010 - Ride Report
Post by: ckaiz on October 10, 2010, 10:34:44 PM
3 braved the rain.....Chet, Tom & Chris showed up and decided to get a few miles in. I picked up some cheap fenders and they stayed in the truck - destined to find themselves back on the display rack at the bike shop.
We decided on a Victor Falls ride and headed out via the trail towards Sumner. We began encountering some raindrops and pushed on. Heading through Pacific the rain picked up a bit and by the time we hit the Sumner city limit signs we were in a pretty good downpour. I sprinted for the Sumner sign, and Chet decided a left turn was an easier option to pick up the "other" Sumner sign. I guess if Tom would have turned right......we all would have had a sign. Over the tracks and through the warehouse area and the decision was made to head back north and get outta the rain.
A moderate pace to the Pacific sign - and Chet edged me out by a tire... Back on the trail we had a nice convo and avoided any mechanicals/crashes on the wet day.
As always great ride, weather wasn't ideal but oh well thats the PNW for ya -

24 wet miles 17 mph avg.

Tom, Chet thanks for showing up and dealin with my spray


Title: 10/16/2010 Ride Report
Post by: ckaiz on October 17, 2010, 12:08:58 PM
Another light turnout - you guys afraid of some sunshine?
4 dedicated riders turned out today for a wonderful Fall ride - Tom, Chet, Ron & Chris
45 degree start so everyone was layering up - decided on the Mercer loop and headed out. Wishing I had another layer on.....

Chet & I took the lead as we headed north on the trail. We passed "John's Landing" and motored up through the city. Dropping down onto Rainier Ave. we got passed by a rabbit - let him go and we had a nice paceline going up to the Seattle sign. I had Ron on my right and as he jumped I did as well. Nice sprint but I edged him out for the victory - back to the paceline Chet decided the rabbit had been in front of us far too long and went after him. Ron, Tom and myself stayed back and took it easy going into Seward Park. Pealing layers off at the park we jumped back on and headed north to I-90.

Tom took the Renton sprint in an amazing display of pure speed...and totally wasted from our efforts to catch him we coasted into Coulon for a little break. On our way in we noticed a Fire Truck and group of cyclists on the side of the road. I was trying to see what had transpired as Chet pointed out that one of riders frames had seperated at the head tube....NO BUENO!!!

Coulon back to the trail we had a respectable pace going and then Chet dropped the hammer....25,26,27 hold on I think we found our tailwind!

Great ride - just under 2.5 hours 42.8 miles and with that last push from Chet we had a 17.8 mph average.  ;D

Title: Another look at 10/09 & 10/16 Rides
Post by: John W on October 18, 2010, 10:12:35 PM
Thanks for the update and the great report. Chris has been writing a report but it looks like he hasn't been sending it to you, one of the three guys on the ride! Not real sure how that happened since I included you on my Wheelsport email list.  So, I'll forward this to him and John so they get your address.  Keep up the great effort and thank you for your support!



From: Chet
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2010 05:26:37

Subject: Rides

Marshall, i don't know who's doing the rude reports now. I've been to the last two weekends. Two weeks ago the ride turned out to be Chris, Tom and I. We knew we were going to get wet eventually, so we headed south, into the eye on the storm. We got about 45 minutes till we got pelted by the rain. We made a u turn and headed back. It made for a short wet day. The only noteworthy event was Tom's specific details to Chris of how to buy fenders on line (the minute he got home) and how to attach them on  your bike in less then 45 seconds.  Amazing dialog from my view point. Drove home wet.

This week Chris, Tom, Ron and I made the ride. Cool but beautiful day. Chris called Mercer Island loop (hoping Tom wouldn't suggest Cougar mountain again). The wind, out of the north (because the planes are landing from the north according to someone that lives near the airport), Mercer Island was the choice. The breeze kept our speed in check and the constant ticking from Chris's bike was driving everyone nuts. Tom was taking a little longer to warm up today. We started to regroup as soon as we near the lake blvd. While waiting for Tom, a rider blew past Tom and the rest of us. We grabbed Tom and moved toward Seward. I knew we could grab the flyer up the road. Yet we sat up a few times before the rise to Seward. I knew we'd regroup at the park and paced up to rider on the fly. Reached him up the last rise and waited for everyone else on the downhill. Quick stop and over I-90 and the northside of the island and down to Renton. Just before the park by the airport we saw a nasty bike mishap on side of the road. There were three guys with neck braces and what looked like a Look frame broken right behind the head tube, We kept our fingers crossed the rest of day. The rest of the ride was with the wind and uneventful thankfully. I hope you find a couple of riders that you can match up with and please stay in touch.

Title: 10/23/2010 - Ride Report
Post by: ckaiz on October 24, 2010, 09:53:35 AM
I met Ron at his house and we rode together to Russel Rd. Park - we met Tom there and after mulling the weather patterns headed north. It had rained pretty hard from Ron's to the Park....but once we started north it ceased. Pretty uneventful ride to Coulon 3 abreast on the trail having good convo.  As we approached there was a pretty large team heading out. Stripped off raingear and headed back south -

We sat at the traffic light for quite a bit then if finally went green....clip in Kent sign ahead Ron and I tried for it - Ron had much better traction than I and won the sign valiently. Tom was still trying to get his bike going - a bit heavier than his carbon....

Good paceline thru the industial section of Kent - up and over the train tracks Tom said c-ya and we parted ways and headed back to Ron's - we were picking off SMT's (slow moving targets) along the way. Rolling through Pacific Ron leaned over and said ..."sprint sign" and got the overgrown Pacific sign! DANG!! We rolled into his 'hood and I was about to call it a day when he suggested we do another 8 into Sumner and back ---- we lightend up our load and headed into Sumner. He forgot about the Sumner sign around the corner and I finally had my sign for the day. Loop complete stripped off gear and headed home.

Ron/Chris 50 miles 16.8 avg
Tom ???

Wish we could get more folks out on these rides - we keep telling the same stories & lies each week. Need some new ones to tell.

See you next week!


Title: 10/30/2010 - Ride Report
Post by: ckaiz on October 31, 2010, 03:24:40 PM
Ok so we have NO FAITH in the ability of our weather forecasters!

Tom, Ron & Chris braved the elements again this week. Chris showed up with some new additions to his fenders.....so close but yet so far away from a perfect product. After heading out of the parking lot with a 41 degree and "light" rain - the "additions" to Chris' fenders were so obnoxious Tom said "did you put a jake brake on that thing?" Ok so another mod is in order....

We headed out towards Flaming Geyser - not a mile into the ride we were turning onto the Interurban when i thought Tom said go straight....Ron had slowed to turn right. Well we all know wet roads you don't stop well - i slammed on my rear brake (like it was going to do anything anyway) and kicked my left foot out to stabilize and slide to a stop. Whew....little bump into Ron and no harm done to either bike & i even stayed upright - Tom hollered out NICE SAVE and we headed down Interurban. Our ride progressed as did the rainfall - we held a real nice pace going out to the 4way stop before Flaming Geyser turned around and caught a slight tailwind and we were motoring around 20 mph back into Auburn. Ron broke off and headed for home, Tom and I continued back to the parking lot.
We ended up with just over 35 miles and a 17.7 mph avg - Weather was horrible, but as always good company riding and now I can steal some of the kids' candy tonight and not feal guilty about it. Great work Tom & Ron - See you guys next week!


Title: 11/07/2010 - Ride Report
Post by: ckaiz on November 07, 2010, 09:12:33 PM
Alright, I know all of you are wondering, "who actually met for this Saturday's ride?". Anyone with any measurable IQ would have stayed home or gone to the coffee shop. Well, damn the weather gods and I had to see if my winterized bike was in order, if my newly purchased Hydro Sidi's actually were waterproof and I hadn't been to a group ride in 2+ weeks. I got to the usual meeting spot early about the same time as the heavy mist. I noticed a company pickup in the same area wondering if was Brian (I've only ridden with Brian once or twice so I wasn't sure what vehicle he drove). Reclining my seat I waited till 10 to see if anyone would actually show. I finally saw a head in the truck and checked to see if it was actually someone for the ride. Turns out to be Brian and he's actually up for going in the rain. He does have a prerequisite, because he's just getting back into shape, that the ride should be flat. Boy, I don't know why you guys put me into this kind of situation. I know the Kent area like I know Timbuktu (zilch). Thinking quick I choose north (closer to my known riding area) and offer up Leshi and back. Brian agrees and off we go into the wet and wind towards the trail and by John's secondary crime scene "the rut" and up and over to Lake Washington Blvd. There aren't too many riding this morning as we head north. Trying to keep a moderate pace I have Brian tuck behind me and head towards Seward Park and up towards Leshi. About half way towards our turn around, Brian gets a little flat, so we pull into a marina and use it for a quick feed zone and our new return point. Brian was wearing wool socks with his cycling shoes but he didn't have any booties and I think his toes were swimming and cold contributing to the U turn and getting him back sooner the later. Climbing out of Seward felt great, cause Brian let me go and as we regrouped heading towards Rainier Beach. We pass a bunch a number of riders headed the other way. There had to be one big group ride broken up into 4-5 packs, all wet (what were they thinking riding on a day like today). I kept Brian on my wheel and we headed home. Actually the rain stopped about half way home. I have no idea how far the ride was (being the tech geek that I am, sans computer) but Brian mentioned that we where out for 2 hours and I think he said 32 wet miles. I felt bad that Brian's feet got wet and cold and that he had a headache most of the ride (it might have been my company). On the other hand I can state that the Sidi's really worked (I didn't trust them totally so I threw a pair of wind covers over the top), good combo. I also brought a second set of gloves, which came in handy in the later part of the ride. I hope Brian finds a pair of booties soon. It should make his wet days easier. As a whole, smooth ride and still in one piece. A good day!


Title: 11/13/2010 - Ride Report
Post by: ckaiz on November 14, 2010, 10:22:59 AM
45 degrees, no rain, and the 4 horsemen Chet, Tom, Brian & Chris –

Tom was contemplating which direction the planes were landing while the rest of us were getting dressed and our bikes set up. But instead of which direction they were landing he settled for…..if the rain comes in we should go south, that way we can ride north and be ahead of it. I like your thinking Tom!

So we opted for the Victor Falls route and headed out. Lots of leaves on the ground and the pavement a little wet made it precarious to navigate some sections of the trail and the RR crossings. We motored out and had a nice warmup pull into Pacific. Everyone taking their turn in the front pulling.  Chet and I were chatting as Tom and Brian surged ahead for the Pacific sign. I think Tom had Brian by a wheel –

Through the Sumner warehouse zone the roads are super rough, and I started hearing some noise on the back of my bike. We stopped and I made some adjustments, good place to pull off our 3rd layers as well. As we rolled through downtown Sumner I still heard that dang noise….Tom said – it’s been doing that all morning I just didn’t say anything to ya. I pull off on the side and tell them I’ll catch up. Adjust my rear fender and brake pads and jump back on. Chet had waited for me and we caught back up in no time.

We had a history lesson from Tom while making the turn at the Daffodil fields about the crazy house and which room was his. Ok, ok, so Tom didn’t have a room there…..

Up the hill to McHutchin and down to the grange on 162 we went – once on 162 we had one heck of a tailwind and Chet was pulling hard up front. He finally dropped and I took a pull…well it was definitely not as strong of a tailwind….it was just Chet. Back through Sumner and to the trail we had a nice 18-19 mph pace that carried us back to the parking lot.

Kudos to Brian – he’s really starting to get his endurance and stamina! Nice job Brian!!

Tom – pacific sign / alderton sign
Chet – Sumner sign (mom would have been proud) pacific sign

Excellent ride – 40.5 miles 17.6 avg

See you guys next week.


Title: 11-20-10 Ride Report - Wind & Flats
Post by: John W on November 22, 2010, 12:52:50 PM
Overcast and 40 degrees, winds at 20 mph with gusts to 28 greeted the four of us this day.  Tom, Chris, Ron, and I headed north to Alki, mostly running 16 to 18 mph depending on the wind.  At one point with Tom on the front we were hit with a wind gust that knocked our speed from 17 to 13 in an instant.  Wow!
As we approached the West Seattle Bridge we were joined by another rider.  I was on the front at the time, but I could just make out Tom’s voice over the wind.  Tom talkin’ it up in a pace line?  How unusual…Tom later mentioned that the pick-up, rode with WCT many years ago.

As we fought our way toward the point at Alki, Ron took a two or three stroke pull and was given grief by everyone as he went to the back of the line.  The new guy took a really strong and long pull toward, and around the point.  Great job!  Once around the corner, wind at our backs, we all suddenly felt strong.  The pace quickened to 25-27 all the way to the bakery.

The Alki Bakery is Closed!!!  White paper covers the windows  – Closed!  There are notes on the door by customers lamenting the “loss of a community gathering place” and “now we’re stuck with corporate coffee.”  Just as I sat down with my “corporate” coffee, Ron said that he was starting back, and will be riding slowly – cold and not feeling well.  We sat for a few minutes, gulped down the hot coffee and followed him.  (Our picked-up rider had continued on since he lives in the area.)

Pulling into the head wind toward the point at 16, I began thinking this is really tough going…oh, I have a flat.  Repairs made and off we go.  Under the bridge and down the road…I’m dropping back, legs must be weak from not riding…no, I have a flat.  We take shelter from the wind in Jan’s parking lot.  Good thing I carry two tubes/CO2.  #!%@ - pinch flat while filling tire.  Tom offers a tube & CO2.  Repairs made and off, with the wind pushing us to 25ish.  South Park, across the trail bridge, along the Green River toward Interurban…I’m falling behind again.  #!%@ - flat number three!  Chris has a flat too.  I patch my tube while we discuss if we have enough CO2 to get at least one guy back to the cars.   

Repairs completed and toward the cars.  Down the Interurban trail, I drop back again.  This time it s the result of two months off the bike.  I’m a little out of shape.

As Tom is leaving the parking lot, he announces that the temperature in Seattle with the wind chill, is 25 degrees.  Good thing we had the wind behind us on the way back!

43.4 miles, 17 mph average.  Even with the flats I enjoyed the ride, it’s good to be back on the bike. 

Today when I took my bike out to inspect the back tire for glass, the front tire was flat with a sidewall cut…put me down for four “on the road flats” in a single ride.  The back tire was riddled with glass…

Hope to see you next week.

John W

Title: 11-27-10 Ride Report - After the Big Snow
Post by: John W on November 29, 2010, 09:59:51 PM
Five, count-um, five, hearty souls of the WheelSport team showed up to ride Saturday.  SeaTac and the Kent Valley were fogged in.  There was no discussion of which way the planes were taking off...they weren't.  Tom, Ron, Chris, Mark and I headed south on the Interurban Trail.  The temperature was 34 degrees, and we were intent on avoiding the busy streets that had been heavily sanded.  I wanted to avoid streets where we might find glass or metal shards from tire chains...no more flat tires!  We also wanted to avoid any hills that still had snow and ice hazards.  The route would be the Puyallup flat route.
Shortly after we started, I asked Ron if he knew he had his jacket on backward?  "The zipper is supposed to be in front."  He explained that he wanted the windbreak affect across his chest, and the ventilation of having it mostly un-zipped down his back.  I thought he was too shy to ask one of us to zip-up his dress...I mean jacket.
Three minutes later, Tom said "Hay Ron, the zipper goes in front!"  Later, Tom exclaimed that the (red, white, and blue) backward jacket made Ron look like Captain America.  It did.
Chris is taking pride in his developing knowledge of the City Sign locations.  He battled both Ron and Mark, and won the honors at most of them.  At the Sumner sign, the three of them went straight...battling for the sign.  Tom and I turned left, following the standard route.  Since there is a sign around the corner, Tom declared me the winner since the speed demons were off course.  Tom and I discussed weather that sign should ever be contested since involves a left turn.  On a cold slippery day...it could be really bad.  Two turns later, the speed demons joined us. 
The only sign I contested was the Puyallup sign on River Road   I took off really early, about a 1/2 mile out and from the back of the line.  I was hoping to fly by and get away without anyone on my wheel.  Thinking, if I can hold 28..and then punch it to 30+ just before the sign, this might work.  Did I mention it was in the low 30's?  The air was really heavy, there was no punch left in my legs.  Chris had caught my wheel and snuck past to win by a wheel.  Nice job Chris!
Ron used his local knowledge to pick-up a sign before we stopped for coffee in Sumner. 
On the return trip, Tom seemed to be enjoying the caffeine based energy.  Nice pull.  Mark also took several long strong pulls.  Ron - the four stroke wonder, took a five stroke pull...excellent!
Mark flatted on the Interurban Trail.  Repairs made and back to the parking lot. 
Another fun WheelSport ride.  43.4 miles @16.3 mph average, 39 degrees at the end of the ride.
Mark your calendars.  WheelSport meeting on Monday, December 13th, 6:30pm at Elliot Bay Brewing.  Time to renew your membership, place clothing and equipment orders, plan our sponsored race events for next year, and discuss some ideas for Full Team Rides.
See you next Saturday.
John W

Title: 12/4 Brrrrr ride
Post by: ckaiz on December 07, 2010, 08:10:38 PM
….sorrry for the late post!

I met Ron at his house and we rode up to the parking lot together – we met John & Tom and headed out on the Leschi turn. Frigid….man o man was it chilly! Had a decent headwind heading north, but it made us work harder and thus we stayed warmer.

Pretty quiet ride up to Seward where we stopped for a bathroom break and saw a slew of people who were attending some kind of run/walk event. John and I noticed they were all wearing the #1???? I guess they all signed up at the same time.

Heading out of Seward we were still battling a headwind and opted to just head straight into Leschi – Ron came off my wheel and dashed ahead for the sign. NOTED RON!!! I’ll get you next time! Coffee at Perts was pleasant, warmth was oh so welcome. If you ever stop in there try out the Pert bar – DLISH and loaded with sprint worthy calories.

We gathered our things and put our butts back in the saddle. John was talking with someone – does he really know everyone? Out of the city and the wind finally at our backs,  John took a enormous pull and carried us back to Seward, climbed the hill and we were on our way home.

Funny things happen around Tom, he noted that once you clip out for a stoplight it will turn green. I tried this theory and apparently you must be at a complete stop for it to happen. We split off at the Ice Dome – Ron and I headed back to his house and completed our ride.

Ron/Chris 60 miles 17.2 avg
Tom/John 40ish miles 17.2 avg

Signs – Ron blew us all away and took all but the Seattle sign

Strong ride – no rain – no mechanicals – just tired legs

See you guys next week!


Title: 12/11/2010 - Ride Report - After the office party
Post by: John W on December 16, 2010, 05:23:26 PM
My car is in the auto body shop as a result of the big snow storm a couple weeks ago.  It was hit twice while parked.  The good news is that both parties stepped up with their insurance information.  Since my bike would not fit into the rental car, I rode down to Russell Road Park.  The weather forecast predicted heavy “pineapple express” rain in the afternoon.  Maybe I can beat the rain…

When I arrived at the park there were cars everywhere.  Not a parking space to be found.  The annual Kent fun run was underway.  Chet cruised through the parking lot looking for a space.  Good luck!

Chris and Ron rode into the lot, followed a few minutes later by Chet.  After assisting a young lady who had gotten her car stuck in the mud, we discussed where we should go.  I commented that I was not feeling particularly ambitious as I was tired from a busy week.  Ron followed with, “We had our company party last night.”  Is that code for: “I had a really good time, and am paying for it today!”?

Chris led out of the parking lot toward the Interurban.  As we approached the trail, Ron kept suggesting we head south.  I quickly realized he was indicating we should ride toward his home.  Chris clearly didn’t hear him and headed north.  Ron’s protests were also not heard.

We were on our way to Leschi.  Chris and Chet did most of the work.  At the Seward Park restroom stop, Ron suggested turning around.  Chris said, "We’ll turn around at Leschi."  Ron didn’t say much as he immediately continued toward Leschi with Chris on his wheel.  Chet and I stood there for a few moments rather dumb founded.  Chet was making a clothing adjustment and I was enjoying a quick drink from the water bottle.  They had left us standing there.

It didn’t take long to catch up, and the four of us motored toward Leschi.  The scattered rain drops were increasing and the road was now wet, time to slow down for the conditions. When we arrived at Perts, Ron immediately announced he was heading back.  Chet looked at me and said he would go with him.  Chris and I took a few minutes to eat something before heading after them.  As Chris and I approached Rainier Ave, there they were, apparently waiting for us.

Ron sprinted for the Renton sign, Chet went after him…don’t know who won, sorry.

Chris rode next to Chet, in the junk, down Oakesdale Ave and big surprise – flatted.  He then showed us his tire changing skills using only one tire tool.  As the verbal abuse ramped up, he explained that he never gets flats.  Chet and Ron both handed him another tire tool which didn’t seem to help.  The more Chris struggled, the more intense the abuse got.  Did I mention that at precisely this point the “pineapple express” really got going?  More abuse!  Repairs made and we are on our way. 

Chris and Ron continued south, I accompanied Chet to his car.  Chet gave me a beanie hat, celebrating the 35th anniversary of his Super Jock & Jill store.  Thanks Chet!  He had a pile of them for everyone that showed up this day...snooze and loose.

Chet offered to give me a lift home, which I declined since it’s the opposite direction for him.  It poured as I rode home, my glasses fogged up, the road was covered with puddles, and it was good to get home.

Over all it was a good ride, 40 miles at 17 mph.  My total ride about 55 miles.

See you next week.

John W.

Title: 12/18
Post by: ckaiz on December 18, 2010, 01:50:34 PM
….ominous clouds and wind must have been the reason for the empty parking lot this morning.

Showed up and waited until 10:10 – gave me time to catch up on emails and to listen to John Clayton. Nobody appeared and I rolled out of the parking lot and headed for the trainer in the garage.

I’m glad that John and I discussed riding while chatting about our insurance policy one day, as it has lead to many new friendships and gotten me back into a sport I’ve always loved.

May 2011 give us many beautiful sunny Saturday rides!

Best regards,


Happy Holidays – I’m sure the next ride won’t be until the 1st of January – if anyone is interested in a Saturday Dec. 25th afternoon ride let me know.

Title: Re: Ride summaries - 2010
Post by: Tom Frank on December 18, 2010, 09:46:54 PM
Power out in Des Moines...Had to ride my trainer to light up the light bulbs in house.

Tom F

Title: Re: Ride summaries - 2010
Post by: Tom Frank on December 18, 2010, 09:53:08 PM
A good ride for 1/1/2011 is the new years day ride...starts under the I-90 bridge on the east side of mercer island. I have always parked at Coulon Park and met the(large) group at 12:00 noon.
Tom F.

Title: Re: Ride summaries - 2010
Post by: ckaiz on December 22, 2010, 09:24:54 PM
sounds good Tom - anyone else interested?