Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Weekend Rides & Challenge Sign-ups

Since it's Thanksgiving break for TAS teachers, I've got some rides planned for the next few days:

Wednesday 5 am @ TAS Bryson Ride
Thursday 6 am @ TAS Triple Crown Challenge (4ish hours of fun- see profile below)
Friday 1:30 pm @ TAS Flat Coast Smash (either return on the coast or up Jinshan)
Saturday Rest
Sunday 7:30 am @ Sean's Shop to ride with the boys...

Triple Crown Profile

Let me know if you'd like to join up...

I'm bringing the December 2nd Challenge Ride sign up into Sean's tomorrow evening. So far, it's me, Ron, Bills, Leon, Simon, and Chris. We've decided to ride it as a group. More are welcome- registration is free and food is provided. It'll be about 180 km, assuming we turn off at Tamshui. Just sign up by November 25th...

The December 10th Yangmingshan Challenge sign up sheet is at Sean's. Cost is 500 NT.

Hope to see you out in the hills!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Alishan Race Results

Leon, Bill, Bill, Ron, and I traveled down to Chyayi this weekend for the final competition in the Taiwan Club Championship series- the race up Alishan.

Leon, Ron and I were racing with Sean's Columbus Team, while Bill and Bill were racing for Howard's Spinning Team. For some reason, Howard signed the Bills up in the Elite category, so they ended up wearing #1 and #2 (out of 1165 preregistered racers). Undaunted, they led the group of under-35's and professional riders in the first wave to up the mountain. Five minutes later, Ron, Leon and I and the rest of the 35-and-overs and women joined them on the climb.

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect race day, weatherwise. It was warm at the start line, sunny on the climb, and cooler as we ascended. The views (when you could enjoy them) were spectacular.

The Bills and Ron and I were content to race up the 65 km hill at our own pace. We enjoyed overtaking riders from our respective age categories, but we weren't out for a victory. Leon, on the other hand lined up behind Morris, the e-Ma Team rider whom he had beaten once at the start of the season but who had got the better of him since. At 56 kg of sinewy muscle, Morris was a fearsome opponent. He surged ahead of Leon numerous times on the first half of the climb, but Leon always managed to ride his way back onto his wheel. During the second half of the climb, Leon took over the pace making and led Morris and a small group of under-35's up to the finish. In the final sprint, Leon held off Morris to take the victory in the M40 category.

Leon and Morris sprint to the line

Leon's time up the hill put him in 22nd overall, 10th fastest non-Elite rider. A very impressive performance!

I managed a podium placing with 5th in M35, some consolation to finishing almost eight minutes back of Leon. Results are available here:

Age Group

Leon takes the M40 podium

Bill, happy to finish on the M35 podium

The Alishan race will be held at the end of August next year- I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a challenging ride in some beautiful mountains.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Challenge Ride!

The information for the December 10th Yangmingshan Challenge ride is in a previous post (see below). I gave Sean my 500NT last week and signed up. If you haven't done so yet, get down to Sean's and register!

In the meantime, I've found out about another challenge ride through Taipei County on Saturday, December 2nd. Information and registration form (in Chinese) is available here.

It starts in Banchiao and can be done as either a 160 km circuit ending in Tamshui or a 200 km circuit ending back in Banchiao. This sounds like a long way, but much of the ride is flat.

Ali was kind enough to find an English map of the starting area and a translation of each of the districts on the ride:

The start line is near the Xinpu MRT station. The ride then heads east along Highway 106. Here are the route names translated:

臺北縣縣民廣場-tai2 bei3 xian4 min2 guang3 chang3

板橋-ban3 qiao2

中和-zhong1 he2

新店-xin1 dian4

木柵-mu4 zha4

深坑-shen1 keng1

平溪-ping2 qi1

雙溪-shuang1 qi1

貢寮-gong4 liao2

福隆-fu2 long1

澳底-ao4 di3

龍洞-long2 dong4

瑞芳-rui4 fang1

八堵-ba1 du3

大武崙-da4 wu3 lun2

萬里-wan4 li3

金山-jin1 shan1

石門-shi2 men2

三芝-san1 zhi1

白沙灣-bai2 sha1 wan1

沙崙-sha1 lun2

淡水-dan4 shui3

關渡-quan1 du4

八里-ba1 li3

五股-wu3 gu3

泰山-tai4 shan1

樹林-shu4 lin2

新莊-xin1 zhuang1

板橋-ban3 qiao2

臺北縣縣民廣場-tai2 bei3 xian4 min2 guang3 chang3

The entire route is 200 km, but riders can opt to finish in Tamshui after 160 km. I believe I will do that...

Registration is free but must be completed by November 25th. Please let me know if you need help registering.

I'm off to the Alishan race tomorrow afternoon with Leon, so I think I better go get some sleep...



Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hill Climb Results

The foreigners made a good showing at this morning's 4 km Elspeth's Hill Climb. Harry, Curt, Chris, Duffy and Michael were all out for their very first bike race.

The M30, M40 and M50 categories all started out together promptly at 9:00. Despite crashing in the first 50 meters, Michael managed to power his way back to a 3rd place finish overall, 2nd in M40 with a time of 12' 44". Harry was just behind in 5th place overall, 4th in M40 with a time of 13' 01". Chris took home the Candadian Cup by powering ahead of Curt in the second half of the race. His time of 13' 53" placed him 4th in M30, while Curt's 14' 36" placed him 5th. Duffy finished just out of the placings in the very competitive M40 division with a time of 15' 13".

Henry stands in for 1st, Michel takes 2nd, Yamada 3rd and Aussie Harry 4th.

The Battle for the Canadian Cup: Chris in 4th and Curt in 5th.

Leon and Bill followed the boys in the Elite category race at 9:20. Looking around the peloton, it was clear that most Elite riders were in their twenties; Leon was certainly the elder statesman in the group. After the jackrabbits blew themselves up, Leon took over the pacemaking at the front. His surges devastated the group (Henry later commented that there was just no way to keep on Leon's wheel). Before long, it was just Bill and two Hsinchu boys hanging onto the Leon-train. In the final sprint, the wheelsuckers prevailed, with the two youngsters beating out Leon and Bill. Still, both were more than happy with their sub-eleven minute times: Bill with 10' 48" and Leon with 10' 54".

The winning time was 10' 36". Bill and Leon took 3rd and 4th fastest times on the day.

A beautiful morning, a quick race and a post-ride Starbucks- what more could you ask for?

Hope to see more riders out there next year!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Riding, Racing & Challenges

It's been a very nice and dry week for riding. Chris, Rock, Mike and I have been out scouting out Sunday's race course a couple of times, and Chris and I met up with Ron and Bill for a ride up into the hills on Wednesday morning.

My ride Saturday will be brief. I'm not sure where and when I'll head out. I think Bill is going on his normal 5 am from TAS 100 km.

Sunday is race day. Duffy, Chris, Michael, Leon, Dave, myself and hopefully others will be meeting at Elspeth's bridge (see Google Earth link at right) for the 4 km hill climb. It's a great informal local race, complete with mountain bike categories. The times to beat from last year are here. Registration starts at 8:15, and the first race heads out at 9:00. Should be a blast!

Next Saturday, Bill, Ron, Leon and I are heading down to Alishan for the last club race of the season. I believe it will be about 75 km, mostly uphill. Should be fun!

Registration for the December 10th Yangmingshan Challenge is available now at Sean's shop. I signed up this evening. Entry fee is 500 NT.

Hope to see you out in the hills!


Friday, November 03, 2006

Weekend Rides

What a wet week of riding! As the weather worsens, it becomes more and more important to have riding partners to stay motivated. I know that if I wasn't meeting Bill and Ron this morning and Wednesday, I probably would have rolled over and gone back to sleep. This morning's ride up to the Saddle was a bit wet, but with Rock, Chris, Bill and Ron grinding up the hill with me, I hardly noticed the weather.

Don't forget- the 4 km hill climb is this coming Sunday, November 12th. You can sign up on the morning or you can pre-register at Sean's shop.

The big December Yangmingshan Challenge ride is coming up, too. The date is December 10th...

My rides this weekend:

Saturday @ 6:30 am (wrong time previously posted) from TAS. Rock and I will practice on the hill climb course and then maybe do the Satellites. Chris will be there if he's not soft. We'll finish on the Satellites or somewhere similar, aiming to be back by 8:45ish.

Sunday @ 7 am from TAS. Weekly Helen's ride. Coffee if weather is suitable.

Hope to see you out there!