Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Newsletter - July 30, 2008

In the area of cool CCCP news, BICYCLING Magazine sent a photographer yesterday to take photos of CCCP's Tuesday night Women's ride for their feature in the back called Finish so look for it next month.

Great ride with perfect weather this last Monday with some 40 riders showing up. The Shipyard Summer Ales, Tiki lamps, hot dogs, Chex Mix and cool new bamboo fencing after the ride provided by this weeks Monday host Richard Hutchins were sublime. Russ Boisvert expressed concern that Richard was upping the ante for post ride entertaining just be fore Russ' turn to host this coming Monday. Have no fear, Russ, as long as the there is cold beer (oh yeah, and a nice red for Dana) no one will even notice. Don't forget that Forest Garden is our baseline for decor! (Rick Goduti and Shannon will host the week after that.)

So here is the plan for Thursday, a new, but actually old route for the ride that I have come up with. It is about the same distance, 37 miles, has plenty of climbing, much less traffic and fewer traffic lights, most of the same route including Dutton and a safer descent off of Blackstrap. (Regroups at top of Field Rd (brief), Cumberland Fair Grounds on Blanchard Road.)

Check attached map, but primary differences from original Thursday route is that we turn left off of Blanchard onto Skillins Road from Blanchard going out and coming back we take left off of Blackstrap down Mountain Rd instead of coming down Blackstrap. As usual, caution and group safety are strongly urged on this descent and especially the turn onto Brook Road.

Kris is planning on a 50+/- ride Sunday morning (8/03) at 10am from the shop . Drop him an email if you are interested.

Lastly, since Mondays and Thursdays have become so large and popular, we need to make a greater effort to ride single or double file, especially when leaving and entering Portland, while on major roads (Ocean/Rte 9, Baxter Boulevard, Main Street & Greeley Road in Cumberland, even Blackstrap and especially whenever someone yells "Car Back". Last Monday a cop was sitting right at the light as we entered Cumberland off of Tuttle. Despite yells of car back we were often 3 abreast through town with him following us the way through town and all the way down Greeley. He gave us a warning when we reached Middle Road, as did another less polite driver a mile or 2 later.

It does not help the image of clubs, or cycling in general, when taking up the road on group rides. If we all gently remind each other now and again, we will allow cars to pass and we will all be safer.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sunday Coffee Ride at 8AM


Greg and Russ, after a day in the Whites on Saturday, are leading a coffee ride to Yarmouth on Sunday morn. Start time is 8AM, from the tennis courts at Payson Park, Portland. After the Yarmouth stop, any or all or none of us can decide to continue riding farther [but maybe not faster], or returning to Portland. This is an ideal ride for our Urban Epic riders, or anyone recovering from a long Saturday ride in the heat and sun.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Urban Epic Cheering Squad Needed

As many of you might be aware, the Urban Epic is taking place this weekend. Many of our fellow riders are participating in this event. I propose we gather at Back Bay Bicycle at 7am to ride to the East End and set up shop along the route to cheer our comrades on!

The race kicks off with the swim at 7am. That should hopefully give us enough time to get to the East End. If not, perhaps we should set up closer to the Boulevard to watch the riders pass.

Please chime in and let me know what option you prefer. Be sure to wear your club kit so we’ll be noticeable to our friends!


Yarmouth Clam Festival Race

Some of the club members rode to the Yarmouth Clam Festival Sunday to watch the bike race.

Along the way we rode with a nice young man from Boston by the name of Colin who was headed to the race to participate. He had stayed in Portland and was on his way to the race when he came upon us in Falmouth. He rode with us from Falmouth to Yarmouth and we felt priveledged for his company and we hope he felt the same.

During the men's race there was a phenomenal solo break on the main field for many laps. He was a professional bike racer from Kelly Benefit by the name of Justin Spinelli. His finish was quite impressive and as you can imagine he won the race, and by a significant margin.

(Start line photo.)

Click here for more photos and here for video.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday Morning Coffee Ride??

Several of us on the Sunday ride to the Yarmouth Clam Festival Bike Race thought about making a trip to a coffee shop via bike on Sunday mornings a routine affair.

So we ask you: Would you have any interest in this event? We'd leave the shop at either 7:30 or 8am and ride someplace for coffee. We don't have to make it a long or hard ride. We can vary the coffee stop location and worst case we just go to Maine Roasters Coffee in Yarmouth. Another nice spot is to go to Scratch Bakery at Willard's Square, though this is best on a sunny day as there is no seating inside. Suggestions for other coffee spots are welcome.

So chime in and let us know your thoughts.


Sunday, July 20, 2008


Stage 17 of the 2008 Tour de France on Wednesday could very well decide the winner of this year's Tour.

Two years ago this mountain top finish was included in the Tour. Who can forget the face of Frank Schlek as he crossed the line alone? Can he repeat and claim the stage win at the top of Alpe d'Huez again?

Wednesday evening there will be a group of people gathering for drinks and to watch this epic stage of the tour at Rivalries. Come join us - but no spoilers please. If you find out the winner early in the day, please keep the news to yourself as others might not know.

ADDENDUM: Meet at Rivalries at 8pm. That's when the coverage starts!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Conway Ride Photo

Al and friends had a great day for the ride in North Conway, which included Bear Notch. Below is a picture from the top:

David Reese, Jody King, Erich Reitenbach, John Cannon and Al Carp.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another Saturday Ride

CONWAY RIDE: it's going to be about 40 miles although I may be able to convince some folks to do a few more. The 40-miler starts at the old High School in Conway Center and goes up the Kancamagus for about 8 miles or so to Bear Notch Rd. We climb Bear Notch and come down into Bartlett for a quick regroup and snack at the store there. We then head back to Conway on West Side Road by Echo Lake and Cathedral Ledge. If I can convince the powers that be, we can add in the climb up to Crawford notch from Bartlett for an additional 30 miles (the last ¼ mile is at 13% grade, or hors categorie for TDF junkies).
If anyone is interested, we’ll be leaving at 6:30AM Saturday and will get back sometime in the afternoon. We plan on having a lunch feast after the ride inConway. The ride is at your own pace. There will be a couple of hammerheads, but mostly “B” riders having a relaxing day of it. We plan on having 10-15 people go.
For those who want to go, just email me back at ASAP. We are working out transportation/carpools so we need to know totals.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Upcoming Events

Next Saturday, July 19th, I will be joining Shannon Bryant from SMCC to lead a Special Women's Ride from Biddeford to Cape Porpoise. We will depart from Clifford Park in Biddeford at 7:30 and stop for breakfast at the Wayside Restaurant in Cape Porpoise. (Cash only - they do not accept credit cards.) You can check out the route by clicking here. (Keep in mind that the original start was from UNE and you should plan on approximately 7 additional miles.)

This ride is for all riding abilities. Road bikes are recommended but hybrids also welcome. Please be prepared to ride at 7:30 by pumping tires and filling water bottles the night before.

For more information, or to RSVP, please email me or call my cell (207-776-1453). Feel free to pass this information on to any women you know that might be interested in riding.


Next Sunday is the Yarmouth Clam Festival Bike Race. I'm planning on riding by bike to watch the race (weather permitting), which starts at 9am. Last year we had several of us from the club that rode to the event. If you are interested in joining me, let me know. We'll leave from Payson Park at 7:30 sharp. (Meet at the little league parking lot.)

Last year a few riders enjoyed the blueberry pancakes at the Yarmouth Clam Festival in the morning prior to the race start. You might want to bring some cash to experience them for yourself.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TdF - Stage Six

Ahh, now we are talking my kind of stage. We are finally heading up into the hills. (We would call them mountains around here.) So, once again, below is the profile and map for Thursday's stage. The predictions should be entirely different this time around and the uphill finish should make it very exciting.

What say you? How about predicting the stage win and your predictions for the next yellow jersey recipient?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TdF - Stage Five

Another day for the sprinters? It looks like it. It's also the longest stage of the Tour. Will there be a break succeed like Monday? Do you have a pick for the stage win?

Monday, July 7, 2008

TdF - Stage Four (ITT)

Pan Flat! Yes, that's the course for Tuesday's individual time trial. Come on - go out on a limb and predict the stage winner. What have you got to lose? No money wagered and think of all the bragging rights you'll enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tdf - Stage Three

Well, the Tour is well underway. Monday will be a flat stage and should be a great day for the sprinters. Below is the profile and the map. Any predictions??

If it's a small crowd on the MNR I'll presume everyone is home catching up on the Tour. Enjoy!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dispatch from the North

DISPATCH FROM THE NORTH- How to ride the forests of Canada, get lost and get invited to block parties.

After a day and a half of being intimidated by urban traffic and Montreal’s somewhat confusing street scene, I finally ventured out on the Madone this Saturday morning. Montreal was ready for me, now I was to see if I was ready for Montreal.

I had spent too much time obsessing over bike maps, internet sites, and bike guides, and I was faced with hundreds of options. I decided to ride a metric century [100 kilometers or 62 miles] in deference to my Canadian hosts, and I also wanted to limit my time on the bike to 4-5 hours; I also wanted to get off the island of Montreal, then ride on the next island north [Laval], and then wanted to ride on the mainland [just north of Laval]. I also wanted to ride some of the Route Verte [the Green Route], a recently developed 4,000 kilometer bike way, centered in and around the Quebec Province. My exact course was to be determined in route.

As it was, I left the hotel lobby in the Old Port section of Montreal around 9AM, and didn’t return until around 4PM. My final mileage was 72 miles, a little over a metric century and my average was hovering around 15 mph. My slow pace was a factor of about 15 to 20 miles of urban riding [constant stop and go], about 40 miles of bike path riding [speed limit is 20 kph or 12 mph] , getting lost innumerable times [requiring a lot of map consultations] and, finally, deciding to take this at a touring pace and savoring all the sights.

I crossed Montreal from South to North via bike ways. Most Montreal bike ways have barriers, separate curbings, and even separate crossing lights. The urban system is very well marked and signed. As I approached the Riviere Des Prairies [north Montreal], the street system became confusing, the signage poor, and I got lost. I crossed the Riviere Des Prairies at Pont Pie-IX. But I needed assist from another rider to cross this bridge to Laval, and he then led me thru a maze of ways to get me back on course to the Green Route [Route Verte].

I biked the island of Laval from South to North almost entirely on very flat and well maintained bike paths. The paths are open from mid April to mid November, and striped down the center. I crossed over to the mainland, and away from both islands, at Bois-Des-Filion. In the woods of Filion I got lost; yes there was a mountain biking path in the Filion forest and I found it, or it found me. A very nice women hiking the Filion woods, speaking only French, invited me to a block party; I had passed some tents and loud music, before entering the Canadian forest. She pointed to her watch [11AM], and I understood the party was just starting, and it was “free”. I explained that I was lost; “Je suis loste”. I then asked her in broken french if she rode bikes, and could she lead me out of the Filion forests. She hiked off in a huff--she wanted to party, not take up road biking. I then decided to ride an east-west highway, Route 344, which follows the north shore of the Riviere des Mille Iles, to Saint Eustache. I wanted to cross the Riviere des Mille Iles, back to Laval, at the Pont Arthur-Sauve [a recommended guide book crossing].

The crossing was made and I got lost. I now have intimate and detailed knowledge of a small maze-like neighborhood concentrated around Rue Seguin and Rue Corteau. If you ever need I guide through that section of North Laval, I’m your man. I eventually reconnected to the Route Verte and got off Laval, and back onto Montreal by taking an old converted rail Pont [bridge]. The ride back in Montreal sent me through all sorts of parks, neighborhoods and even past the site of the International ten day jazz festival. I would be lying if I didn’t confess to getting just un petit loste. At one point Mount Royale was directly in front of and over my handlebars; my hotel destination was in the opposite direction; I corrected course. The last mile to the Old Port hotel was delayed by traffic streaming into the Old Port area for tonights fire works display. All summer long [on Saturday evenings] Montreal is host to international fireworks competitors

A couple of asides. Canadian riders just do not acknowledge each other as we all seem to; with a wave of hand, a head nod, etc. The closest I came to an acknowledgment was a wide mouthed smile from one on-coming rider. It may have been a not so subtle response to my riding with a map clenched between my teeth.

I saw no evidence of group rides, or group riders. I was admittedly on bike paths.

Ruth saw a Montreal bike cop chase down a taxi driver for failing to yield to cyclists.

Sunday morn will be an urban bike ride to Mount Royale, then along the canal system, then to the old Olympic Park, and/or rides to the South shore. My bike time is limited on Sunday morning, and I’m certain I’ll find time to get lost.


TdF - Stage Two

The Tour has started. I won't spoil it here for those of you who might not have caught up on todays action in France.

However, what I will do is post the information on tomorrow's stage and ask if anyone wants to take a stab at predicting Sunday's Stage Winner in Saint-Brieuc?

Other than the stage winner, do you predict a change in the yellow jersey? How about a change in the green jersey? (Trick question??)

Furthermore, how did you like the outcome of Saturday's opening stage? Did you miss the prologue or are you happy with a stage race for the opener of the Tour?


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Women's Ride

Many of you know I don't care to ride in the rain. But since I'm leading the women's ride, I'm kinda obligated to show up if 1.) I haven't canceled the ride 2 hours prior to the start due to weather, or 2.) it isn't raining at 5:30. Such was the case tonight.

I would have been happy to go home knowing rain was moving into the area. But the women that showed wanted to ride so we rode. On the way home it finally rained. I was just thankful we didn't have 48 miles to go in the rain, and it was only about 8 miles.

As we approached Portland the sun started to come out. The perfect ending to a nice ride:

The biggest reason I don't like riding in the rain is cleaning the bike after. What a mess!

If you know of any women who are looking for some social group rides, just for women, send them to the shop at 6pm Tuesday nights. We have a nice core group of women that continue to show week after week.


Fitchburg Longsjo Classic

Hi All,

We are planning a trip to Fitchburg, MA Saturday to watch the circuit race of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. If you are in town you might consider joining us. We’ll have room in our car for one other person or perhaps we can caravan or meet there. Email me if you are thinking about going. It should be a great event and a chance to see some of the top continental racers in “our back yard”.