There are Mountains in Virginia, Gunnison Growler

29 05 2015

 

 

Matt B riding in the Blue Ridges.  Getting some East Coast climbing in prep for Leadville.

Matt B riding in the Blue Ridges. Getting some East Coast climbing in prep for Leadville.

Mud was the theme at the 2015 Growler.  Survival was the name of the game. Disco and Mike celebrating not dying.

Mud was the theme at the 2015 Growler. Survival was the name of the game. Disco and Mike celebrating not dying.

Not everything came out on the other side.  A casualty of the mud and muck.  Mike's cracked frame.

Not everything came out on the other side. A casualty of the mud and muck. Mike’s cracked frame.

Mike grunting it out and looks dazzling in his fancy threads.

Mike grunting it out and looking dazzling in his fancy threads.  Photo from Dave Kozlowski. 

http://www.davekozlowski.com/Cycling/Original-Growler-2015

Disco flying the Alchemist colors on the podium.  Way to go Stuart!

Disco flying the Alchemist colors on the podium. Way to go Stuart!

 

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18 Hours of Fruita, Sub 5 Century Record

12 05 2015

Huge effort at the 18 Hours of Fruita from the Alchemist contingent.  Drew, Toni, Laurie, and Tyler were down there putting the hurt on the competition.  Deb was racing with RMR and Jon P was there to help support.  Reading Drew’s race report makes me nostalgic of our 24 Hour Nationals efforts in the Springs a few years ago.  That kind of effort is lonely, and hurts so bad.  But in the waning hours, Drew and I rode the last two laps together, and it was the only two laps that I enjoyed.  If it wasn’t for his company, I wouldn’t have knocked out those last two and snuck onto the podium.  Wish I could have been there with you this time, Drew.

Looks like the 2nd annual Sub 5 Century was a huge success.  20 riders to start!  Great job everyone.  Thanks to Mike W for organizing.

Fruita

Drew, Toni, Tyler, and Laurie went down to Fruita for 18 hours of pain. Huge effort from all. Toni (3rd), Laurie (Second), Drew (Second). Tyler, need your race report. Congrats on the Podiums!

Drew 18 hours of fruita podium

18 Hours of Fruita – round & round & round we go ……. Two years ago after winning the overall event I told Jeff I was not going to ever race the 18 Hours of Fruita again. It’s a great race, fun course that is all single track and a perfect venue for camping. Why not go back? Hmmmm. Now I remember – because it is very hard & hurts a lot. Well memories & pain fade as I age and we headed back this year. The 7 mile course is fun to ride. It is pretty much all single track which sounds great until you put 200 people on it trying to race. Oh – did I mention that it is dark. The race starts at midnight which is awesome and challenging. Single track probably makes for better riding than it does racing. Laps 1 & 2 are absolute chaos but things settle down then & people are really nice about passing. Being solo riders we end up riding pretty slow & have a lot of experience at getting passed. Alchemists Laurie Stanton, Toni Geer & myself all raced the solo event this year. Laurie put in some great laps to place 2nd overall with 14 laps and 102 miles. Toni was just behind here in 3rd. I rolled in 2nd overall with 25 laps, 182 miles, 10k vertical and one lap down on the winner. Laurie rode a steady pace for 12 hours knocking out lap after lap. She needed a break at noon & took a quick nap. Revitalized, she put in a couple more laps. Toni took a different, planned strategy. She rode two quick laps at night & went to bed. At 6 AM she got back on the bike & rode 10 hours. I started with even paced laps not ever digging too deep. I worked on riding smoothly and working the turns to maintain speed. I never sat down in our feed zone & tried to keep stops for feed & maintaining my bike to 3 minutes. We were riding solo/solo – meaning we did all our own feed & bike work. I was pretty cooked by 24 laps & Jon Pulley came on by to coax me along on my final lap – a life saver. After 25 laps I knew every turn, stick, rock, rabbit & dust particle out there. OK – I’m not going back solo again. This is a great race for teams. Lets get a few more Alchemist teams out there. I’ll provide support. Drew

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Toni on the Podium. Laurie, where were you? Need to show up to collect your hardwear next time.

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Gearing up for the Hundo!

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20 guys deep in the paceline

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Working together for the Sub 5

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From Mike W: There were some fast dudes out there. We started with 20, 15 finished. We were over 15 mins faster [than last year]! For the most part, the random mix of people worked pretty well. There was a bit of surging and occasionally some splitting of the group. For the most part it came back together with a little neutralization. All in all, a great way to spend a Sunday morning!

 





Europe in Style

3 05 2015

Mike S.  went to Europe with Laura last spring.   They were sporting the alchemist colors, and showing those Euros Whassup!  Looks like a fantastic adventure.  Thanks for sharing the photos, Mike!
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World War one memorial in Belgium

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On top of the Muur

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standing outside the chapel on top of the Muur

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We met Roger De Vlaeminck (Mr. Paris-Roubaix). He is friends with the owner of a small bike shop near Gent (PDG bikes) and was just randomly hanging out there when we went in to pick up the Bike that Laura had rented. Roger still holds the record for the most Paris-Roubaix wins at 4. He also won other monuments like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Milan San Remo and the Tour of Flanders. It was pretty awesome to see such a famous Belgian hanging out in the small bike shop (I guess it would be like seeing Lance Armstrong at your local bike shop). For anyone thinking about going to Belgium, PDG bikes was a great place to rent. The owner, Peter, only charged us 30 Euros for renting the bike from Friday to Sunday, and it was a brand new bike.

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At the start of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders).

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Typical country scenery at the Ronde.

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At the Paris-Roubaix just before entering the Touree d Arenberg (aka forest of arenberg). This was our first sector of cobbles of the day and it was also the roughest. We would not be smiling for long.

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A sector of cobbles about half way through the ride. There were quite a few people riding mountain bikes (they were smart).

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Laura finishing the last five-star sector of cobbles, the Carrefour de l’Arbre. This is often times where the pro race is decided because it is 15 km from Roubaix.

 

 








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