Saturday, December 29, 2007


We, at Sunnyside Sports, like to shovel snow, or at least we are good at it. In the photo above you can see our sidewalk and the one across the the street. We are the best in town, we have an award to prove it. We always have been. Not just our sidewalk, but our parking lot, our neighbors sidewalk even our alley. We prefer to hand shovel but a few years ago we bought a big snow blower. It has a light for night work and heated handles. It only comes out with 6 inches or more snow. For us it is sport. Why not? It should be done. People walk by our place whether it snows or not. It is the law, it is the right thing. Our parking lot is on the north side of our building. It becomes an ice rink if we do nothing.
The other sidewalk across the street I do not understand. How can one run a business and not shovel snow. Don't people get sued for much less? Don't people like to be good neighbors? Don't they want our award? Haven't they heard of the sport of snow shoveling? I guess not.
Sunnyside Sports
Your bike ski and snow shoveling experts

Friday, December 21, 2007


Today is my 57th birthday. Not really a milestone but it feels good anyway. I haven't minded getting older so far. I still mountain bike, nordic ski, race cyclo cross,. split firewood and go to bed early. Talking about cyclo cross brings up an unusual situation. On Jan 1st I will have been 57 for around 10 days, but my racing age for cyclo cross will be 59. What is that all about? Well the 2008 cyclo cross season ends in 2009 (worlds are in February of every year). When I turn 58 I will then be ready for the 60 year old group. I am not sure if ageing two years ahead of time is a good thing or not. Just a weird thing that happens in the bike racing world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I have lived in Bend since 1974. We moved here because of work (US Forest Service) and cross country skiing. Back then there were not many places know for cross country skiing. There were no trails at Mt B or Meisner. But there were trails at Skyliners and at Swampy Lake. No parking at Swampy though. Anyway I was a self taught skier. Soon though there were clinics being offered at Mt Bachelor and I took as many as I could. Then skating started (early 80s). I didn't really get skating, but a few lessons from my friend Joyce and it started to click. I started to race and when I was told I looked very smooth and efficient I felt like I had arrived. This was more important than winning for me. I love the technique. I watch other skiers, videos of races and listen to the best skiers around about how to ski.
I have been coaching skiing at Mt Bachelor since 1993 now. On a normal day when I ski over 50% of the skiers I see have taken lessons from me. It makes me proud. These are the skiers, who want to look smooth and be efficient. These are the skier you see that are using the V2 technique most everywhere. I would like to think these are the better skiers.
This year I have 6 in my class. Not as many as other years but a great number for teaching. We are doing six skate classes in a row. After three classes we have not touched on anything other than V2. Next week we will expand. I will use the V2 to start the V1. If you are out skiing you will recognize my skiers. They are masters, they are smooth and they are using the V2 technique.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This is my "spin class", 35 minutes twice a week. No travel time, no money out of pocket, my own choice of music. For me training is a private affair. I love long slow group rides with my friends but for intervals and strength I like to be alone. My cross season ended last weekend and now I am starting to train for next years cross season. What! No off season? Well no. A few years ago I started to train with Justin Wadsworth. He helped his wife Beckie Scott become one of the best nordic skiers ever (for sure the best from Canada and North America). The theory goes like this (I am simplifying this) just get stronger. So that is what I do. I do the same type of workouts 12 months a year. I don't get "burned out because I don't spend endless hours on the bike leading up to the season. As Carl Decker told me I have years of base. So every week I lift weights, I do intervals, I do distance. Never over 10 hours a week, lots of time less. I stay strong. I could ride a century and day of the year if the weather cooperated. I could do a mountain bike race tomorrow if there was one. I am not bragging, I am just trying to explain. It is worth staying in shape, it is healthy, cost effective, and even fun. When I go out with my friends I am never in a hurry or do I want to go hard to get the good workout in. I do all that on my own. My intervals take me 35 minutes that is all, weights take a little longer. This is the time to stay in shape and keep all that fast cross racing in the blood, the legs, the brain.
Times have changed since the 60s. Then racers took time off in the winter. Then took months to get back in shape. There is no reason for that. Stay in shape 12 months a year. You can Nordic ski, run, do what ever just don't loose what you took all year to get.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Kathy and I do not do Christmas. We have a few reasons, for me my birthday is the 21st of Dec and that being the first day of winter is more important to me. Two we do not have children so no pressure there. Three, I work in retail and I get pretty tired, not of customers but just from working really hard. I have no problem with Christmas other than the commercialism which has totally taken over the Christmas spirit. The day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday because for much of the US it is the day retail stores go into the "Black" on that day. I could go one about what is wrong with Christmas but really why should I. Lets talk about what is good about Christmas for me. It is giving away bikes to kids. We help with a program called Kids on Bikes. This was started by four of Sunnyside Sports customers, Paul, Karen, Shirley and Byron. These are not only customers but good friends. This year we are going to give away at least 100 bikes to kids who would not normally get bikes. Is that good or what? So I do Christmas after all don't I. I hope when you think of Christmas you think of giving. Not just stuff to your family and friends but to people in the world who truly are in need. That is what the Christmas spirit means to me.
Sunnyside Sports
A bike and ski store in
Bend, Oregon


My cross season is over for the year. It was maybe the most fun I have had racing ever. I am not sure why, I have had other years I have enjoyed. I think as I get older I put less pressure on myself, added to that is I train smarter and am in better shape now than in years past. We had some great courses this year. I remember the slick slidy mud in Rainer, the barns in Astoria, the course I liked the least was so wet and muddy (Hillsboro) that even that was fun. The USPG races were the highlight. Very wet, very muddy and lots of twists and turns.
Tomorrow I start my other job for the year, coaching Nordic Skiing for the MBSEF. Nordic skiing is also a lot of fun, though in a different way. For me it is best when the snow groomed to perfection. The opposite of cross. I like the movement in Nordic skiing, weather it is skating or classic. It is very dance like, with a lot of strength added. I don't race anymore, not because I don't like to race, but because I would rather enjoy the movement and not feel pressured to do intervals when it might be good day for a long ski.
When I coach I always emphasise the beauty, the gracefulness and the joy of being in the snow. You can do this whether you race or not. Sunnyside Sports in Bend just got the latest issue of Master Skier. Some of you know this is not my favorite magazine. I was looking through the latest issue and did not see an article on is Nordic skiing enjoyable until the last page. If you were to give this magazine to a friend so they would get a feeling of what Nordic Skiing is all about they would think it was hard, work, confusing, difficult etc etc etc....
Well that is not the case. Nordic skiing is non of those. It is about grace, smoothness and the joy of sliding in snow. It is about propelling yourself up hill in order to fly down the next downhill. There is nothing more fun (except maybe a muddy cross race). Make sure you tell your friends about the fun and not the confusion about Nordic skiing.
The photo above is what cross racing is all about. It captures what I feel more than any photo of a race that I have seen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Cyclocross has what is called The Pit. In it are all the spare bikes for all the racers. In a low key race (all of the Cross Crusades for example) I put my spare in The Pit and if I need it I just exchange it myself. This happens when you have a flat, broken derailleur or just a full muddied up bike that has quite working. In the photo above you see my Pit crew from last weekend's USGP race, Karen and Robin. It is cool to have a Pit crew. They hand you the bike, take the old one and clean the old one. If you look closely you can see hoses and buckets. The bikes were filthy this weekend. Our team doesn't have professional pit personal. It is for teammates to help one another. On a warm day this is not a problem, this weekend it was tough. We raced, got wet and then tried to get warm and then we went to the pit. Not only was it raining but we also had to hose off the bikes. It was wet and cold. I needed Karen and Robin both days and they were there waiting for me. On the first day I flatted, lost one place on the way to the pit and held on to second. The second day my shifting just plain quit working. Once the again there they were with my clean bike. Oh joy. I have had Pit helpers in most of the national races I have gone to (6 times) and once, when I traveled to Great Britain to do the worlds hardest cross race (The Three Peaks) , my friends from Scotland drove down to Yorkshire just to help me. Having a Pit crew is great.
I have pitted for most of my friends also. Sometimes they use my bike even. It is a great feeling to be able to help someone keep going in those kind of conditions.
This last weekend I kind of messed up. The Pit was located in the middle of the course with two different entrances. So we had to keep going from side to side. I had three teammates in the race, and I love to cheer my friends on . But when you are in the Pit you need to keep track of your man. I lost track of Damian and was on the wrong side when he came in. I was too busy being a fan and not taking care of business. He wasn't winning and in the big picture not much harm was done. But cross in not about the big picture it is about the moment, and having teammates and people you can count on. I felt really bad, Damian was upset ( I would have been also). He wasn't really mad at me just upset that in the middle of a race he had to stop and find me. Once you enter the Pit you have to get a new bike or get DQ'D. The next day went much better, we did lots of flawless exchanges and now I feel better.
I am a professional mechanic and doing things right is important to me. I messed up but I did learn something and now I will be a better Pit person. Life goes on.
Sunnyside Sports
A Bend Bike Shop

Monday, December 3, 2007


What to do on a rainy, cold, windy day? Susan suggested work. Not bad really. Lots of stories, the wind blew open the front door of the store and blew over one of our clothing racks. No harm done but fun to watch. Besides work, what to we do? Skiing is out. Why? Well because it is rainy and not snowy, even in the mountains. Football? Not for me, I am more of a doer than a watcher so no football. Kathy likes garden planning, writing and playing the piano. All good choices, in fact I am writing now.
But for me what is best are two things that I love. One is cross racing, and we had wet and windy one this weekend. It was epic for sure. I got to race, help out my friends, watch the pros race and generally get very tired and happy. It started with a long drive to Portland on Saturday morning. Snowy, icy roads, and dark, but no traffic. We pulled in with an hour and one half to spare. It was spitting snow and I told Karen and Robin to just get ready and I would take care of the tents, the heaters etc. They got down to business while I readied the camp. Fortunately Jon, Sami, Jim and Damian showed up to help. They had a great races. Karen was third and Robin fourth. Maybe Robin's best race ever. Then it was Jon's turn, he ended up 5th in the single speed and was quite happy. My race was very competitive. We had to start at the same time but behind all the 45 + guys. I passed at least forty of them. I was in the lead when I flatted managed a great bike exchange and ended up second.Jim, (one of the 45ers), ended up a credible 6th. The rest of the day we spent helping Mike who had a great race, Sami, who's bike blew up, Ben, who's bike also blew up, Jimmy who had a great, but cold race and Damian (who I did the world's worst bike exchange). We got back to the hotel, wet cold and happy. We were too tired to go anywhere so we ate at the hotel and went to sleep at 8:30. Other than the front desk calling us at 1:00 am to tell us to be quiet it was a quiet night.
Not to bore anyone day two was more of the same, I was second again. the course was more fun and my bike exchanges improved. Mike had a stellar race (his best all year). We managed to get all the tents, heaters etc into all the cars and the very wet and windy drive began. We thought we were going to loose the bikes from the top of the cars. We didn't we are home. For some of us this is the end of cross season (Jon and Sami are off to Nationals in two weeks).
This is where I start my other activity. Reading by the fire. Only cross is better and then not by by much. It is bonus to have kitty on your lap. Warm and comfortable. Not much to describe here. A chair, a fire, a kitty and a good book. I like them fat and long (as the photo shows).
Thanks for reading, I will be blogging about skiing and other things until bike season starts again.
Sunnyside Sports, Bends oldest bike store.

Friday, November 30, 2007


This is a difficult subject to write about, I race for lots of reasons, many of which I can't explain. I do not race to win, though I start every race with that intention. I am proud of my successes but they are for me, not for my team or my family or my friends. I like to share to race stories with my friends and family but I do not like to talk about my results. I have a bicycle shrine in my garage. It started as kind of a joke, but has morphed into something that is important to me. There is a photo of my friend Kent Mills, who taught me about true friendship and who passed away last year, there is a shrine to Luis Ocana, the Spanish Tour winner who committed suicide in 1994, and there are most of my medals that I have managed to collect in the last 30 years. Damian saw my medals the other day and mentioned that he hadn't won any, I reminded him that indeed he had. I keep my medals for a reason. It is because of all the 1000+ cyclocross racers that come out every week, most who have not won any medals ever. Those of us that win owe it those who haven't to honor what we have won. If Steve Lacey hadn't been 4th my 3rd would have been empty. It is those you beat who we owe our victories to. If you finish third and tell everyone how bad a race you had you are dishonoring all those who did not win a medal and gave it their all.
I train very hard for cross. Every year when I start the first cross race I have no idea how I will do. There are usually four or five new 50+ guys who are very strong. This year at Alpenrose I was 6th in the first race and I felt like I had gone well, and was very happy with that result. I knew then that I had my work cut out for me to even think of finishing in the top 5 for the series. The next race I was 5th, then my form seem to improve and I was 3rd and then 2nd. I had a couple of off weeks and managed to hang on to 3rd the State Championships giving me a 3rd for the series. I am not the strongest guy out there, Dave Zimbelman (who did not race this year is far stronger), Dean Lucas (who got injured in the 2nd race end was out for the season) is a former National Champion. I have never beat Steve Yenne when he was fit. I was still proud of my third because in racing it is not who is not there that counts but who is there. I know next year the challenge to finish on the podium will be even greater, I don't wish injuries to anyone. I would rather have finished 4th than have Dean break is hip. But those of us who are racing have to remember that to finish on the podium or to win is what our goal is, but it is only worth something if your opponents are there to give battle. It is to all of them I dedicate my victories and successes. Not to lord over them but to give genuine thanks.
Sunnyside Sports

Monday, November 26, 2007


I think everyone has hidden talents. I am a bike mechanic who also is the owner of a bike store. Those talents are not hidden. In fact I am not sure they are talents, after 30 years of working and owning a bike store we are forced to learn things all the time. Mine has been trial and error. Racing a bike is not a hidden talent for me either, I write about it every week, I have World Championship medals on display at the Sunnyside and we tell race stories at work everyday.

One of my hidden talents is making pies. I love to make a pie, and yes it is from scratch. Pie crusts are the key to any good pie. Many people think pie crusts are hard so they just don't bother with a good pie. For me pie crusts are easy. It comes from a couple of things. When I was 14 I spent the summer at my Grandparents in Northern Montana. They owned two diners. These were the real thing made out of stainless steel and vinyl. No booths just bar stool type chairs at a curved counter. My Grandfather made pies every night. They also bought pies at the local bakery so they would have enough for the day. He could not make enough pies for the demand. Of course the locals always would ask for his pies or would come in early enough to make sure they would get a piece. Watching him make pies made me realize how easy it was.

Later in life Kathy and I started to watch Masterpiece Theater on Public Television. One of the first shows was about a large household in London the head cook (Mrs Bridges) was always making some kind of pastry. If an actress can make pie dough why not me. I had a few disasters, I seem to remember one pie crust getting thrown against a wall. Now a days it is just routine. If you want a lesson let me know. The trick is cold butter, good flour, not being afraid to use enough water and a Cuisinart. These are my last two pies. Kathy does the fancy decoration, one of my hidden talents is not artistry.


Saturday, November 24, 2007


How many of you look at World Cup Cyclocross results. In the last race there were 47 starters in the Pro men's race. It is a big deal in a World Cup race to have a good start position. The same goes for the local races, but with one big difference, we have twice as many starters in some of our races. In my race, the famous 50 to death category we had 40 starters at the State Championships. The beginners had over 60. So the beginners have a harder start than a World Cup Race. I am not complaining about the groups, Cross Crusade spends a lot of time trying to equalize the group size, and at the same time not turning anyone down. This is what makes the Cross Crusade special. I am just saying that our races have bigger fields than the pros and it is important to give ourselves kudos for dealing with such big fields. My race had more starters than the A race. Most of the categories the racers are lining up 30 minutes before their start. There is a reason for that, with 100 starters if you don't start in the front you don't win. It is part of the deal. I hear some complain about the early line ups, but that is the most important thing, after training, it is even more important than warming up.
I have to say how polite everyone is in the 50 + category. We do not have call ups, but the front row is always available to fastest guys, without complaint in my experience. Just another aspect of cross.
Sunnyside Sports

Friday, November 23, 2007


If you read the next blog you will see that Susan has written in Sunnyside Sports a bunch of times. The reason is she is trying to get Sunnyside to a get a better Google rating. So the question is my blog an ad or a blog. Well the truth is it is both. Sunnyside Sports is my family, my life, just about everything me. That doesn't take away anything from Kathy my kitties or my home life. Coming into our store is like my blog for a lot of you. It is a place to spend money like any other store but on the other hand it is a place to visit with friends, talk about bikes and skis and tell war stories. So the truth is I will not try to sell anything on my blog but I might show some links to our store. Like Sunnyside it will be a place to tell stories and talk about life.

Sunnyside Sports Internet Pitch

Hi, Susan here. My Google search expert says that more links we have on-line to Sunnyside Sports, the higher the Google-search ranking will be. I'm all over that, so please excuse me while I link Don's blog to Sunnyside Sports. That's Sunnyside Sports in Bend Oregon. To Repeat: Sunnyside Sports is Don's bike store.

Special Offer: I will give a $10 gift card to Sunnyside Sports to any of you other bloggers out there who will show me a Sunnyside Sports link on your blog.

Yours in organic searching,

Susan B.,
Sunnyside Sports

Monday, November 19, 2007


As most of you know I love Cross. I think it is the little kid in me. The muddier it is the more fun it is. Yesterday was a miserable day except for us crossers. We got to the Hillsboro Stadium in Hillboro and it had been raining for days. They were just setting up the course. I don't think they knew what kind of bogs they were sending us through. I pre-rode the course and realized this was not for me. Lots of straight on pavement and gravel, no real cornering in the mud, one high speed dismount, at least two run ups. Everything I am don't like. I started pretty good 5Th or 6Th and waited for things to fall out. The first lap I rode everything but the two runs ups and the barriers. When Ron Passed me running somewhere in the middle of the race I realized that I had better get of the bike and run like hell. So I did the last two laps. It paid off and I was a very close third. Steve was a second behind but I had been closing in on Joe who was second. My change from hating the course to loving the mud was the small difference. The photo above taken by Chris doesn't do the mud justice. Yesterday, when I was in the midst of my final sprint (for me a sprint starts with at least one lap to go) I heard some new voices, Damian, James and Veronica. They rushed to get to see me race. The extra support they offered helped me keep the edge, and whoever yelled at me to sprint even harder at the end I owe my bronze medal to.
I also owe my medal to all the other the racers in the 50 to death category. It is more fun to race with competitors around for sure. I collect my OBRA medals because they are a tribute to my hard work and to all the other racers and their hard work.

This other photo is is of Chris Sheppard. He is sponsored by Santa Cruz (not a bike we sell) but he comes to us when he needs a hand. He appreciates us, in fact he put our name on his bikes. How cool is that? Barb built him some wheels the other day and he came in saying he didn't sleep at night thinking about his wheels. This guy is an old pro and he still gets excited about wheels. It makes it worthwhile.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


It is Oregon style. I am not going to write anti USA Cycling, but just positive things about Oregon, OBRA and Cross Crusade.
This week we had our normal racing at Estacada Timber Park. I have been racing here for ever it seems. I have had my best and worst races there, this week was below average performance wise, way above in fun. Not just because it was Single Speed worlds. It is fun because all my cycling friends in Oregon show and we get to race, and visit. The weekend started out great in that Kathy and I went to the Opera (Cinderella) in Portland. It is a great Opera and was a great production. Had a good meal, a trip to Powells and a quiet hotel room. Got to the race at 7:30. Lots of time to warm up. I raced. Finished 7th. Not bad not great. After the race my friends start showing up. They don't like to leave a 4 am to see me race. Can't blame them. They all ask how I did. I help them get ready and then I yell myself hoarse. We had a bonus this week we had SSWC after the A race. Most of the fast guys raced the A race and then they put on some crazy outfits, and raced again. They were going against a few guys who saved themselves just for the SSWC.The start was great, they called everyone up, according to their tt time, and just when they were going to start they had everyone turn around so the slow guys started in the front row. Adam Craig, Ryan Trebon, Carl Decker and Barry Wicks formed a group way in front of everyone. They were taking advantage of the tequila shot short cut. I think Carl finally succumbed to the alcohol. At the finish I was at the bottom of the hill, Adam was out front but I heard from the people on top that they pushed each other and Barry ended up winner. All I could see was beer flying and the crowd going crazy. It was a great crowd. For those who read my blog you will know this was WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP #4 for the year. It wasn't planned. It was fun.
After the race I needed a ride home as Kathy, who has been watching me race for 30 years, went home early. For her seeing two WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP races in a year was enough. I don't blame her. Anyway Joanne and Karen offered to take the tent, and me home. I thought the fun was over and I would drive and they would sleep. But no, the fun, the laughter, the plane old being happy to be alive continued for three more hours. I am not sure what we laughed about, mostly ourselves, think. Cross is fun in Oregon. Next week I hope to go faster. maybe be ahead of a few more, but mainly I plan to have some fun. Why not.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


What do bankers do on their days off, hang out at a money mint, count cash at home, loan money to their children. I think of myself as a bike mechanic (in England that is a Bicycle Repairman). I do more than that of course, I am not sure what, but being part of Sunnyside for the last 28 years I and we have had to learn a lot more than how to fix bikes.
But on our days off we still ride. Mike and I went and rode up the N. Fork and down flag line on Tuesday. We left at noon. The whole time it felt like the sun was going down. The temperatures ranged from under freezing to 70F. The trail was dusty to two feet of snow. The climb was firm the downhill was awesome. Maybe the last time I will get up that high this year. It was the best.
That morning we had an Atomic Ski clinic. Most of our clinics are done by the local reps. They do a great job, they know their product and we learn quite a bit. With Atomic though we get Justin Wadsworth. He was one of the best US skiers in the 90's.Now he is the US World Cup Coach. He is married to Beckie Scott, the best Canadian and North American skier ever. He knows Nordic skiing. We get him to give us our clinic. The bonus was we got his 7 week old baby Teo also.

Today the whole staff got up bright and early for a morning bike ride. This was in lieu of our monthly meeting. Like I said Is this good or what.

Monday, November 5, 2007


It is easy to write a blog when your race goes well and you are feeling good about the weekend. This last weekend it was not so good for me but others on the team had a great time. I will start out with the good. Living in Bend we have an opportunity to help out some pro riders. It is fun a challenge and a bit of a worry knowing what you do could have a bearing on how the athlete does. I had to fix some skis for Justin Wadsworth a while back and though I was sure I did a great job, somehow a pair of skis failing in a world cup race as opposed to a day skiing at Bachelor seemed more important (the skis did not fail). We are a big proponent of tubular tyres at Sunnyside Sports for Cyclocross. We have been gluing them on for a number of years. A few years back TUFU came out with some gluing tape. We used it, figured out how to use it. This was by trial and error (on our own equipment) and of course by talking to Vladimir the head of TUFO North America. Some of the pros in town come to us to have us glue tyres on. Now tubulars will roll. Anyone who has seen the video of Joseba Belocki crashing if front of Lance Armstrong will know that. But a well glued tubular will only fail in the most extreme conditions. Probably after a clincher will fail.

Carl Decker came to us last summer and asked us to glue his tyres on. I asked Mike if he would do it and he said fine. They are Shimano Carbon wheels and one has to sand the rims, put a thin layer of glue on, put on the gluing tape. Put a thin layer of glue on the tyre. Mount the tyre. Carl has been racing on these wheels all season. His teammate had a problem, and Carl came up to Mike and asked him if he sanded the rims first. Mike said yes and got a high five. That is the good. We Mechanics at Sunnyside take pride in our work. Chris Sheppard won yesterday with wheels that Barb built and I glued. I was proud.

The Bad. My race sucked. I took off fast and decided I could win this race in the first corner. I was the first person to take the inside line all day. A great line but not at the speed I was going. Down I went, cut up leg (THE UGLY) and a bent rear mech (what they call rear derailleur in Great Britain). I managed to get back to fourth but then I shifted the mech into the spokes. This was after chasing for almost two laps. I was done.

After watching all the other races I realized this was a course for patience. I had none. I paid the price. Oh well we have next week coming up.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I forgot you can come in see Aaron's jersey, plus lots of other historical paraphanalia in our store.

The next Boulder ?

People say Bend is the next Boulder. I have never lived in Boulder though I used to visit there in the early 80s. What Bend is a great place to live if you like the outdoors. I first came to Central Oregon in 1969 to work for the Forest Service. After a couple of summers we moved permanently in 1974. We wanted a place to nordic ski and Bend seemed like the best place. Even back then we had Olympic and Olympic hopefuls living in Bend. People like Jay Bowerman, Mike Devecka all those Meisner siblings etc. Soon after that we had the Dan Simoneaus, the Rich Gross's, all living in Bend. We are used to high level athletes living in Bend. It is a great place to live if you like the outdoors.
This fall we have a newcomer to Bend (well almost he lived here before he became a pro bike racer). Aaron Olson is his name. He is from Eugene and the last few years has been racing in Europe with Saunier Duval and T-Mobile. He was third this year in the Tour of Ireland and finished the Giro d Italia. He is also a super nice guy. The other day he came in the store and asked how my racing was going and then gave me a signed T-Mobile jersey. If that isn't good what is. The jersey is also cool. When you are a real pro the Jerseys have your name on them, the bag has your name on it. Even the size tag has Olson on it. OK I am a nerd, I love cycling, I love the stories. Bend is not the new Boulder it is a grown up Bend (maybe too grown up).
The next time I will talk about some more local pros.

Monday, October 29, 2007


My Mom calls it nutty cycling. When you are 56 years old and your mom still thinks you are a kid life is pretty good. I wasn't going to go to Astoria for this years Halloween race. I don't really party (beer and I do not get along). So for me the real party is the race . I am not much of a costume guy either, but I love everyone else's costumes. Last year I realized the girls (women) did the slinky lingerie much better than the guys. We had a few this year who really let it hang out. Eye candy for the guys. Why not? My favorite was the cloths line. Bridgette and Dani actually rode with a cloths line between them. It was fun.
Some of you know I have been training with Justin Wadsworth the last few years. He has been a great help. My training this time of year consists of weight training (once or twice a week) intervals (at least twice a week) and racing(once a week). I try to train for a specific event this year state championships) so the weekly routine is pretty intense with no real rest for the normal cross crusade races. I like to do well but I like to look at the big picture. This last week I did what we call a block of intervals. It started on Friday with a 4,5,6,7,6,5,4 set of intervals, rest on Sat, race hard on Sunday, two sets of 4X4 intervals on Monday (one in the morning and one in the afternoon, rest on Tues, one set of 6x5 intervals on Wed with weights in the afternoon. Then 6x4 intervals in the morning and 4x5 in the afternoon. Rest on Fri and Sat. So I should be tired right. No I felt fantastic on Sun and other than a bobble in the first minute I rode my strongest race in years. It is a wonder what a good coach and a healthy body will do. I was ready for an off day. Sorry for all the interval details.
I had a great time cheering all my friends and teamates at the race yesterday. I was exausted by the end of the women's race and I still had one race to go. Instead of running around I just camped out in one spot and screamed the whole time. It helps to have the custom Sunnyside Sports cow bells(provided by Pedros and Damian).
The other thing that happened this week is I did not drive. Damian took me over the day before in the Pedros flower van. We shared a motel, I slept in, (that could have helped my race). If it wasn't for Damian I would not have gone. Thank you so much.
I would be remiss if I did not mention Brett Jarolimek. I did not really know Brett. I met him for the first time at Alpenrose, he parked near us. We talked a bit. He,like me,loved cyclo cross and cycling. I usually cheer for his competitor in the single speed race but I cheered for him also. I was touched by the things Brad and Rick said the begining of the silent lap. The reason I cross race is it is fun but it is the one time I get to see all the cycling friends I have made in Oregon in the last 30 years. No other venue brings us all together. It is a 8 week long celebration of what we all love. It is hard to loose one of those family members. Till next week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

One day later

Well we made to the Cross Crusade Race in Rainer all right. Chris slept in (smart man) but Emily and I left at 4:00 am and arrive at 7:40. 2o extra minutes for me. The course made the drive worthwhile. It was 2 miles long, with long climb, a long descent and some tricky corners. How good is that. I first couple of laps I was tentative on my attacking and I made one mistake on a tricky corner. After that I got going again and really pushed myself to the limit. I ended up a strong 3rd catching 2ND with first and Steve Yenne no where in sight. There were no barricades (rumor has it were worn out). I could ride all the steep stuff so I could rest my arm let it heal a little more. I love the muddy corners were you can do a controlled drift.

I drove over with the charming Emily and we discussed everything from astrology to cyclo cross worlds.

I will miss the race in Astoria next week. Just too far (as if Rainer wasn't). I had another bonus this weekend: last summer at Pickett's Charge mountain bike race I ended up 4Th. I good result considering how strong everyone is in our group, but I was bummed because Robin and Julie had come up with the most awesome medals, and I didn't go fast enough to get one. I learned later that summer that the winner of our category (50 to death) was only 49. So I ended up with one of those beautiful medals after all. I will hang it in my bike shrine. I have posted a photo of the medal and of some action on the Rainer race course.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I am at work on Sat and I just realized I need to leave for tomorrow's cross race in less than 11 hours. In that time Chris and I need to finish work (2 hours), go home, put on my snow tires (the car), eat dinner, sleep 8 hours, drive 4 hours sign in warm up and race. Is there enough time? I don't know. I will try. I had a good training week and feel like I am ready. I can now lift my bike on my shoulder which could come in handy. Time to go.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Yesterday was the second Cross Crusade race this year. Brad and company have been getting record turnouts. They deserve the credit for this. There are other states, bigger than Oregon.
These races are hard, lots of competition, and fun. I drive three hours one way every week to attend. Next week it will be 4 hours. I will not make to the 5 hour one as we all have limits.
Yesterday was remarkable in many ways but the two that got to me was how many women raced. I have posted a photo, the other is once again I find my self watching Adam Craig winning, smiling and showing off his Single Speed Worlds Tattoo.
I was talking to Eric Tonkin, long time Portland Cross racer, about the competition. I thought it was getting better every year. He is one of the best and has a different perspective, and then I reminded him of Adam being National Mountain bike Champ, and Ryan Trebon, if he wasn't in Europe could also be here.
I think last year 5 of the top Americans in UCI points raced in Portland while the UCI race in the Midwest had to go on without them.
Cross is where it is at in Oregon. This is not just for the winners. The reason we have so many is the venues and the fun that the promoters of the Cross Crusade provide.

Monday, October 8, 2007


It was the first Cross Crusade cyclo cross race yesterday. There were 1078 riders. It was huge. There were lots of Bend people there and again the Sunnyside team showed a big presence. The main thing about cyclo cross is how hard it is and how fun it is.
My day starts at 3:45 AM. I get up make juice get my food ready load the bikes etc pick up my passengers (yesterday it was Chris Corno from the store) and try to be on the road before 5:00 AM. At six I have a simple breakfast of two hard boiled eggs (I like protein). This usually happens around Warm Springs. I can tell if I am making good time when the auto two hour notice shows up on the cars computer. If I past the Mt Hood information center then we are doing well.
I usually get to the venue around 8:00am. This gives me one hour to check the course and warm up on my trainer. I like to do three three minute efforts building up on each one. This takes 15 minutes and I need to be at the start around 8:50. Not much time. I like it that way so I can concentrate and race. When I am done with my race (yesterday I think I was 6th) I wash up drink a recovery drink, eat some yogurt and then relax. I wait for my teammates to show up, make sure they have everything they need. I try to watch every race, I take some photos and shout myself hoarse.
Every week I come home thinking I may be getting a cold.
Between races I visit with friends and tell war stories.
That is how the next 7 Sundays will go for me. I have posted a couple of photos of the race. If you are a bike racer you need to do a Cross Crusade Cross race.

Friday, October 5, 2007

BEND IN 2007

I I have lived in Central Oregon since 1969. I have seen a lot of changes. When I moved here the population was 12,000, now 75,000. Then no mountain bike trail, now hundreds of miles. Then 4 bike racers, now .... Not all bad things have happened with more people. I great library, lots of good places to eat, and, as you can see in the photos, we have lots of professional bike racers living in town. In this photo, of the local thurs night cross race we have a couple of Sunnyside Riders and a fellow dressed in Pink. One of the spectators asked why anyone would wear pink. Well, I pointed out that is Aaron Olson of the T-Mobile team. Recently returned from Europe with a podium (3rd) finish in the Tour of Ireland. In the other photos you can see recently crowned SSWC and current mountain bike champion Adam Craig, and his team mate, 2nd in SSWC and 5th ranked American mountain bike racer, Carl Decker. Of course Carl is no new comer to Bend. He has been here since around 1980. He started racing the same year I did. He was around 10 and I was 33. Bend is a great place to live if you like bicycles.

Monday, October 1, 2007


It just seems like a few days ago it was August and I was headed to Scotland. Now the month of September has passed and we are into October.
I was out on my new Trek Cross bike yesterday in the rain and remembered once again October is the best mountain bike month in Bend. The trails were sweet. It was a little cold but it was worth it. I did get a pinch flat. It is easy to get going as fast as the mountain bike and then hit that one rock.
Cross season has started and the team is doing well.
Robin Laughlin was third in the master women. She said she loved the mud. Mike Schindler was fifth in the master 35 + men. Excellent result. The cross crusade starts next week, I hope to start my season then.
I was in the store today and noticed a stars and stripes painted bike. It was Adam Craig's Super D Giant. Great paint job. It is fun to work in a bike store. No photos this time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I am back home from Scotland. What a great time we had. I managed to get many good rides in. The most epic was up to the top of the Cairn Gorm. There was some walking and hiking, lots of riding and great views. It was so misty that we had to get out the compass to find out witch set of Cairns to follow.
The photo above is from that ride. You can see a lot of rocks that were hard to ride over.
Now that I am home I am trying to get ready for cross. Last night I did a cross clinic with Bart Bowen. We worked on mounts and dismounts and some high intensity cross practice. There were around 20 people attending. Above is photo of Robin Laughlin working on barracades.
Last week at Hood River the Sunnyside Team did very well. Karen Kenlan won her race, Mike was leading when he flatted but still managed a top ten finish. I won't list everyone but you check results at the OBRA web site. I will try to post this twice a week and keep up your interest.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Week in Scotland

After watching Mountain Bike World Championships and spending a week in the Highlands of Scotland we have settled into the Borders with our many Scottish friends. The highlights have been the Castle of Tantallon, on the Eastern Coast of the Borders with a great view of Bass Rock. We were also able to stay in a Caravan (we would call it a trailer) on the Coast for a couple of days. This was the perfect British holiday.
Yesterday we went to Dunbar, the birthplace of John Muir. He moved to Wisconsin when he was 12 but never forgot his natal home. I think what is most interesting is that if would come back to life and visited all the places he loved and lived Dunbar and the surrounding area would be most like when he was alive. His house has been converted to a museum (just a few years ago). Until recently John Muir was almost unkown in his native country. Amercans would come over and ask to see or visit his birthplace and the locals would have no idea who he was. That is changing as there is Park a long distance walk and a Museum with his name on it.
I be home in a couple of days but I will keep Scotland in my heart ready for the next visit.

Friday, September 14, 2007

With my friend Mary McConnelog

The Scotland Report

It was a great experience to be at the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships 19 hears after the first NORBA worlds and 17 years after the first UCI Worlds. As far as I could tell there were only two riders to compete in both races,Thomas Frischknecht and Bend's own Carl Decker.
Thomas was 2nd in 1990 and 30th today (though his teamates were 2nd and
3rd) and Carl was, I think 16th in 1990 as a jr and 69th in this version.
The course was fast and furious. Though Scotland is known for its rain and techicnal conditions this course was entirely man made with mainly some steep rocky bits, but as Mary McConneloug described it it was like a bike path. It was chalenging in that it had lots of climbing and twisty downhills.
Watching the race was amazing and there was a helicopter flying over head filming and we got to watch on a big screen telivision the complete race.
This is something we could look into for Pickett's Charge next year.

The strength of Julian Absalon (riding an ORBEA) was unstoppable in the men's race. Adam Craig was the first North American in 22nd place. Adam, I am sure would have liked a more natural trail with mud and roots. He still did well and put him in top postition for the Olympic team for next year.
Mary being the second American has done the same for herself.
I talked to Mary after the race and as always she said kind words of her time in Bend and promised to visit. She felt she had an ok race and had nothing but good things to say about Scotland, even though they had dummied down this course quite a bit.