Monday, December 22, 2008

Great weekend for Sheila Moon racing

The last racing weekend of 2008 was a good one for the Sheila Moon racing team.

On Saturday, I grabbed my first podium of the year at Livermore, finishing 3rd in Men's 35+ Bs:

On Sunday, we fielded 5 racers, with Sam Bell taking the honors with a straight up win in Women's Cs:

Emily McLanahan had her best placing of the year, with a second in Masters Women:

The rest of us didn't podium, but May Woo was one spot off in 4th, in her longest race of the year.

Ted Ketai raced a category up, and didn't fare so well, and I chose the wrong bike. A singlespeed was the wrong call for a course that had a significant portion of fast, flat running track. I was hoping the course would be muddy enough that I could laugh at the racers trying to shift their filthy drivetrains, but instead spent much of the race spinning my legs off as the guys with gears just rode away from me.

On one lap, I led Ted down the one fast downhill:

Sam won her race by almost a minute, and was extending her lead by about 20 seconds a lap over the last couple.

Emily had a great race. Her first as a masters racer:

The course had a tough run up. On the first lap, I beat some guy up the first part of it, only to have his bars tangled in my back wheel. My reflex was to run fast, so that maybe I could pull him up the hill at my speed, but after a couple seconds, I realized that would probably be counterproductive, so I slowed down enough to let him untangle us. Every lap afterward, I made sure to get clear of other racers as I hit the run:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Protective Equipment

As I mentioned, I had a pretty nasty crash last month at one of the Central Coast Cyclocross races.

I am still not sure why I crashed (no one saw me start to go down), but I ended up going head first into a fencepost, knocking myself out, and getting airlifted to the hospital. Through a combination of luck and good equipment, though, I was back on the bike within days, and raced again two weeks later.

My helmet, a Bell Sweep, took the brunt of the impact. The straps were gray when the day started. They ended up a dark red.

My sunglasses, Tifosis, ended up with both the frames and the leses sanded pretty thoroughly. Better them than my eye, though! Tifosi is a team sponsor, but these glasses were not team-issue. I actually bought them--and even paid full store price--because I've been pretty impressed with the quality of their shades. I'm even more impressed now that they gave their life for my vision. Now if the company would just figure out a way to keep me from losing my sunglasses, I'd be completely happy.

Here's a sketchy picture of the fallen soldiers:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sheila Moon riders make mark in Livermore

The Livermore series is one of the small cyclocross series scattered around the Bay Area. The races are generally small but well-run, and the courses make the most of what they have to work with.

Three of us headed out this weekend to ride the second-to-last race of this year's series. The day was pretty successful.

This year's Most Improved rider, Kathryn Aaker, scored her first career win in the women's Bs.

Our newest rider, Sam Bell, took 4th in the Cs in her second cross race ever!

My race was somewhat less successful. I managed to grab the wheel of Cycling News columnist, former national team member and Sheila Moon employee Barbara Howe, who was slumming in the men's B race.

We rode together pretty much the entire race, slowly clawing our way into the top 5. Just before the final barriers, the two of us were closely followed by two other guys. Barb swung wide to let me come through (since a top 5 in 35+ B men obviously means more to me than to her). Unfortunately, I managed to catch a course stake with my pedal and pulled it out of the ground trying to free my bike. I came through the barriers still at the front of our group, only to realize that my struggle with the course marking had pulled my chain off my cranks. I ran the last 10 yards, but watched Barb and the other guys ride past me, and ended up a disappointing 7th.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Coyote Point Pictures and report

Julie hands Kathryn her winnings

The big news from the conclusion of the Bay Area Superprestige series was Sheila Moon rider Kathryn Aaker getting 4th overall in the Women's B class. Kathryn was forced to miss a race, but if she'd been able to make all of them, she'd have been in contention for the overall victory.

Fast Arena

Arena Reed picked up 7th in Women's B as well, finishing just off the podium.

May turns the corner

Props also to Moonie May Woo for her Series 10th in Women's C.

Moonies coming and going

Also finishing strong in Women's C were Emily McLanahan (heading right) and new teammate Sam Bell (going left).

Others rocking the flowered skinsuits were:

Davin runs
Davin Pukulis, in Men's B

Ryan charges ahead
Ryan Henbest, Men's B

Ted Ketai, Men's C

Beach run
And yours truly, in Master Men 35+

My race went like this:

My first race after a nasty crash two weeks ago. I had been feeling pretty sluggish as part of the aftereffects of the crash, so I didn't push the lineup. Which meant, of course, that I ended up 40thish out of 50 or so at the start. They called up 20 deep, which didn't help matters, since I'd missed 2 races this year already.

The course is my favorite, I think, with a big climb (and the corresponding bumpy descent), a fair amount of twistiness in the woods, a bunch of paved flat stretches, and the much-famed beach run.

I actually started pretty well, in fact, picking up a couple spots on the paved start and another 5 or so up the first climb.

For each of the next few laps, I clawed my way up a few places, til I was in the low 20s with a lap and a half to go. I was right behind Tim from Roaring Mouse, who's something of a benchmark for me, and I was excited to get around him. At the bottom of the big downhill, though, one of his teammates who was leading the 45+ field jumped in between me and him. On the following stretch another of his team mates from the 45+ got in between as well.

So I came off the beach run with 3 Roaring Mouse guys about 20 meters ahead of me. Over the long flat paved stretch, I pretty much buried myself to get up to their group, and just got there for the turn back onto the grass, at which point, of course, it was not that helpful any more. After we got through the barriers, I saw Tim untangling himself from the course tape on a flat, straight stretch (I found out later that he had given a team mate a push and ended up knocking himself off the course).

I was feeling pretty good at this point, as I was ahead of Tim, and I'd been riding a pretty smooth race up til then with only one lap to go.

It may not surprise you to know that this is when things started to go south.

I first crashed on a slow-speed off-camber left following a sharp down-hill. Didn't lose a place, but it didn't help. What really hurt was when I came off the beach onto the pavement and just, well, fell over. I recovered well and got right back up, but the damage was done. Tim had gone past. To put the final spike in the race, I managed to blow an easy off-camber uphill, and let another guy go by.

Considering my tentativeness at the beginning, and my terrible start position, I should be happy with a 23rd of 51. However, given how much I like the course, and how well I ended up doing, considering my crappy start, I am definitely feeling like this was a missed opportunity...

Still, at least I left this race under my own power!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bay Area Super Prestige #5 - Coyote Point

the fifth and final super prestige race of the season was at coyote point this weekend. we went out in force and not only raced, but nourished our fellow racers with nothing else but BACON HAND-UPS. oh yeah, we had some cyto-beer and clif-beer to give out as well. racing makes you thirsty and hungry.

SPECIAL THANKS: to DUBSTEP DAVE at BIG SWINGIN' CYCLES who got emily's bike back in shape when we thought it couldn't be done. your tireless dedication to our team has made a difference, thanks man!

check out this short video may WOO! put together of the day's fun:

Pilarcitos Cyclocross 2008 - Race #5 - Coyote Point from May Woo on Vimeo.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bay Area Super Prestige #4 Golden Gate Park

the whole crew, and the whole city it would seem came out for the annual golden gate park cyclocross race. this one is my favorite one each year. it's right down the street from our house and the number of casual fans that come out is amazing. let's watch and see some highlights:

Pilarcitos Cyclocross 2008 - Race #4 - GGP from May Woo on Vimeo.

as usual, the fantastic video highlight reel is from our very own MAY WOO!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Appitite Seminar 2008! YUM!

so real bright and early this thanksgiving, the Pink Lidded Wonder and I, johnny b. and wendy-bird and little taco all went out on the annual thanksgiving ride in fairfax to do the pine mountain loop. we met up with our local fav's nick f., and hooked up with our own steve papa-lok and i-boy, joie and a whole host of villainy met us up on the climb. it would seem that if you ride a bike regularly in marin and or SF, everyone you knew was on this ride, as usual.

here are a couple of photos:

john checking taco
up top of pine mountain
nick and i

after this we went to Emily's mom's house and demolished a whole turkey and a giant ham.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bay Area Supersprestige #3 Report: Sierra Point

Not my bestest day ever. This course is (as we say in the Bay) hella flat. There's like one section that's 10 feet higher than the rest, and the course gets routed over it as much as possible, but 90% of the course is a very bumpy pancake.

I came in thinking I might race both Masters Bs and singlespeed, so I had two bikes. Before my masters race I stashed my SS in the pit. I had an OK 3rd row starting position, and avoided the opening crash. I started to claw my way up through the pack very slowly. Unfortunately, on the third lap, I realized that my rear shifter had broken, sticking me in the small cog. Flat the course may have been, but 38x11 was a little high, I think.

Fortunately, I had another bike in the pit. Which, as it turned out, was undergeared for such a flat course. I spun like mad for the rest of the race, ending up 40th out of 60-something. One thing the race did do, though, was cure me of wanting to race singlespeed on the course. So I hung out and heckled for the rest of the day.

I think the highlight of the day for me (other than teammate Barb Howe winning the women's race) was the debut of our ridiculous new skinsuits:

Sheila's really outdone herself this time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The Sheila Moon team sent four people to the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships in Portland last weekend. Unfortunately, we only sent three singlespeed bikes, but we still made a successful showing.

Saturday was qualifying day. It was also really wet. We met in the intermittently pouring rain at the Chris King HQ, before setting out on a half-hour ride to the Time Trial site. The Time Trial started at an intersection of a couple fire roads, which got muddier and muddier as the day went on. The climb to the start warmed me up really well, but as I waited for the thing to kick off and for my start time, I got cold. By the time I started, I was frozen, and my performance showed it. The time trial started out as a 7 or 8 minute climb up a wet fire road. It was a pretty consistent grade the entire time, which was unfortunately just in between sitting and standing comfortably for me.

After hearing so much about last year's Tequila Shot Shortcut, I was thrilled to find someone handing out tequila at the top of the climb. I eagerly accepted the capful of liquor, only to be sent off along the main course, 15 seconds later and a half-ounce of firewater warmer. The downhill from here was advertised as really sketchy. The organizers even gave us 10 reasons why we should take it easy on this part. It was certainly slippery and twisty, but I don't think it was that dangerous. I managed to eat it on one turn, but popped back up with no real damage or time lost.

There were volunteers stationed along the side of the trail warning of sharp turns or whatever. At one point, one of them cautioned of big rocks coming up--pinch flat risk! I girded my loins, ready for a slick, nasty series of rocky drops, something like you'd get at Skyline (or on Alabama Street coming down from Bernal Heights). I was amused to find that the scary, rocky part was like 3 rocks, one of which was kind of pointed. I guess they have mud, we have rocks.

I finished kinda strong, after finally getting warmed up. I almost caught the guy who started :30 in front of me, and felt pretty wrung out at the end (not to mention pretty muddy).



and Jason


went later, and both felt pretty good about their run.

After a lunch at Rogue Brewpub (chipotle ale: yum!) and a shower, we eventually hit the party at Vanilla bikes, only to hear "last chance race starts in 5 minutes!" I quickly checked the morning's results and found I was 121st for the time trial. Since only the first 100 qualified, I realized I needed to do the last chance alleycat. I hadn't brought a bag or clip-in shoes, but I was able to borrow a pair of shoes (thanks, Tristan!) and got ready to tag along with Jason (who also hadn't qualified) for the race.

Out of towners were given a 5 minute head start, and we took the opportunity to head to the top of Mt Tabor, which was the first stop. We made it without much incident (although Jason had some trouble hauling his Big Dummy up the hill), right behind the first clump of folks. On the way down, Jason had somehow sussed out a dirt path which we bombed down, saving a good couple minutes over the paved way.

With little incident (just some getting lost and misreading the map) we got back to Vanilla in time to be the second and third out-of-towners to finish, and were assured we were in. We then did some damage to the keg, and then headed home for the night to get ready for the following day's madness.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bay Area Super Prestige Race #2 - Candlestick Point

Check out these fresh videos that May Woo!Woo! made from our race this weekend. One of our A's men, Stephan, broke his collar bone this week and is out for a month! Heal fast buddy! Spephan's injury means our three Men's A's are all on the Injured Disabled List right now...
Check out Brain from Lost Coast Brewing jump the barriers too!

Pilarcitos CX 2008 - Race#2 Candlestick - Men's A, SS, and B Racers from May Woo on Vimeo.

Here's Kathryn and Arena on their way to matching 4th and 5th place finishes! They totally cream the field going for the hole shot!

Pilarcitos CX 2008 - Race#2 Candlestick - Women's A and B Race from May Woo on Vimeo.

I'm still stuck in the pit nursing a shoulder separation, so I did my part by serving up 20lbs of smoked BBQ pork sandwiches and 13 gallons of hot spiced cider. See y'all at the next race... the NIGHT RACE.

Here's Jeremy and Derrick have a pre-race carb drink:
handicap parking only.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spirit of Surf City Cyclocross race in Santa Cruz

so the yearly Halloween race went down this weekend in santa cruz. it was a blast as usual. our ladies turned in some fine performances as did our higher ranked men. stephan was faster than lightning and arena grabbed the hole shot like nobody's business. we had our saint louis contingent chris & carrie come out and they were stellar as usual too, despite a woman at the start line toppling over onto them and knocking them both to the ground right at the start of their race. davin was all smiles for his race and one of our men's A's riders chris twisted his ankle before his practice lap and had to sit out; bummer. although kathryn didn't race, she was dressed up like an angry bumble-bee and her tagline was "i punch bee's in the face!"
here's a couple of video clips:

Surf City Cyclocross Women's start from daten on Vimeo.

Arena gets the hole shot! from daten on Vimeo.

Luna Moon, Taco and random dog from daten on Vimeo.

chris & carrie
john and taco.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bay Area Super Prestiege #1 - McClaren Park

everyone was fired up for the first big Pilarcitos season opener at SAn Francisco's McClaren Park. What a surprise it was, after a week of 80 degree temperatures to be able to see your breath all day long. it was really cold out there! i wonder if it even made it to 50 degrees. lot's of peeps were shivering and huddling together to stay warm. it didn't really matter though, we still killed the whole keg and blew through a case of smoked brats. we even made a good showing in the race for our team! here's a couple of videos. one is the men's A's and singlespeeders and the other is the men's B'tards.

2008 Bay Area Super Presitege Men's A's and Singlespeeders from daten on Vimeo.

2008 Bay Area Super Prestige #1 Men's B from daten on Vimeo.

super relaxed.

a much better video that anything i've ever done by May Woo!

Pilarcitos Cyclocross 2008 - Race #1 McLaren Park from May Woo on Vimeo.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Medals for Moons --- Emily & Arena Podium at LARPD

This was my first cross race ever and I wasn't dfl! It was a lot of fun. Thanks to May Woo for motivating and the photos!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


so it's not just an urban legend!

biksnob n.y.c. is always throwing the term 'Pistadex' around.

someone very clever made it into a reality, with hilarious results...

it's even an iPhone ap.

words fail me.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Podiumed!

Okay okay, there were only 5 people in the Masters 35+ B category at today's Livermore cross race, but I came in fourth and got to stand on the podium!  The course was non-technical, fun and pretty flat -- lots of twisty serpentines in the grass and plenty of deep mulch.  They got us on and off our bikes a couple of times with a pair of standard in and out barriers as well as a natural set of log barriers at the end of the far loop.  There was a decent sized crew out for the first cyclocross race of the season.  

Overheard at the start line of the Men's B, Master As and various and sundry other male categories just before the group took off:  9 year old little girl to her mother in a perfectly matter of fact manner, "Do people die doing this?" 

Come out and play next weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Single Speed Worlds... WOW!


the event curtis inglis of retrotec bikes/inglis cycles put on, the SSWC'08 was FANTASTIC!

i took the team up for the day and i've got to tell you, it was one of the most well run, well planned events i've been to in a long time. way to go curtis!

the ever fabulous sheila moon rocked the whole event in the newest skinsuit design and it looked like it needed a battery pack to be that bright. it was so bright, that when she rode by, sunshine seemed to follow her. barb howe was hot on the men's leaders heels in her new kit too. way to go barb and sheila!

we had a couple of other racers entered- johnny b and jason. those guys crushed it too. great job. i had to sit on the sidelines and heckle due to a lingering injury, but not to be bummed out, we kept heckeling the racers in a difficut technical section. my cameras memory card went haywire, so sadly i don't have any video to show this time. i'll get that fixed ASAP.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pine Mountain first impressions

We recently received our Marin Pine Mountain singlespeed 29ers. The main portion of mountain bike season is pretty much over, so it's kind of a little late, but there was an, um, unofficial race in one of the local parks last week, so I figured it would be a good chance to give the bike a try.

In the spirit of preparation, I got my hands on the bike for the first time ever at roughly
5:50 for a race that was supposed to start at 6. I threw on my Candys, got the seat pretty much right, and called it ready to go.

And waited around for half an hour or so.

Once the race got started, I paid for my (lack of) preparation. I managed to end the Le Mans start in the top third of riders, only to have the bars come loose within the first two minutes of hard riding. Once I fixed that problem (being extra careful not to over tighten the carbon bars), I spent the rest of the race riding around, picking off the stragglers and trying to get a feel for the bike.

Let me say that at 5'5", I think even the smallest Pine Mountain may be too big for me. Once I am on it and going, it rides pretty well (although it's maybe a bit horsey), but getting started on a bike with basically no standover clearance and a highish bottom bracket takes some doing.

The bike will ride over anything, though. I rode with the shock half locked out, and pretty much just rode over things. Big logs, steep banks, large steps: none of that fazed the bike much.

The jury, for me, is still pretty much out. I am excited, though, to do some more testing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

last night i was wandering around in thefog in golden gate park. i heard a terrible rukus and it sounded like it was coming my way! i whipped out my trusty pocket camera and took cover in the bush. what did i see?

soil saloon first lap - barrier from daten on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good race, bad result

Howell Mountain's a well-run race on pretty good trails. It's well-supported and marked. I had a new bike that was pretty well-wired in.

None of those things helped me on Sunday.

I'd been feeling sick all week, and it turned out that any time I went over 80% I could not recover. Which makes it hard to race mountain bikes. I even managed to crash, and bruised my ribs pretty badly, which made it pretty hard to maneuver the bike through the twisties.

Once I resigned myself to not having any top end, I had some fun riding the course. I stopped and helped one guy whose pump was broken, I got out of the way of people who were trying to pass me, and generally acted like a good citizen.

I guess that everybody has a day like this--what they call "un jour sans" in the Tour--but I've never had one before. And I hope not to have one again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

notes from the howell mountain challenge

this weekend the sheila moon / big swinging' cycles MTB team went to the howell mountain challenge in angwin california. it's the same place as the napa valley dirt classic, with a slightly different route.

i'm still on the DL with a seperated shouler, so i hiked it out to the middle of the course where the three big ravienes are. i scoped the three of them out and decided that the middle one was the best to shoot a few short videos from. i'm using a point and shoot camera, not an actual video cam so don't get too excieted.

in no particular order here are some of the better ones:

SASHA X from daten on Vimeo.

LUKE!!! from daten on Vimeo.

the Pink Lidded Wonder from daten on Vimeo.

some vids of peeps not on our team:

Leader - has on a WTB jersey... from daten on Vimeo.

Menso first and ? from daten on Vimeo.

MO! fast in, fast out! from daten on Vimeo.

megan lets go of the brakes at the top and rolls from daten on Vimeo.

i'll put more up later.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Riding for fun

It's kind of a dead time between races, so a few of us went on a casual ride from Sheila Moon world headquarters to Oakland's Chabot Park and back. There were about a dozen team members and friends.
Team members: me, Kathryn, Arena and Jason

Friend of the team Kelleigh and our eponymous leader Sheila Moon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

100 mile mixed terrain enduro!

this past weekend i hosted my first (outdoor) ever bike race. i went with my favorite format: the enduro. enduros are usually a long distance on/off or off road race where racers encounter more than just a few challenges. the route was figured to be about 100 miles long so i advertised it as such. the route was strung together from many of my favorite rides.

the route: we started at the polo fields in san francisco's golden gate park and then hit a series of three check points in SF. the first check point was roaring mouse cycles. chris, the owner of the shop, had generously donated a nice lemond poprad cyclocross frame and a pair of chris king headsets to give away as prizes. we had a professional photographers maribeth and jeremy harris on hand to shoot the racers portraits here while they were still fresh and smiling. from there the route went to the university of san francisco where there is a staircase that goes down a couple of hundred feet changing direction several times on the way. after that, the racers went to the private residence where the finish line had been placed so they'd know where the post race BBQ was to be held. at the last check point they were given a new set of maps that detailed the rest of the route.

next they headed out across the golden gate bridge into marin county. i don't want to bore you with a blow by blow description of the route. i'll just link you to the forum posting where everyone posted their photos and thoughts.

i learned a lot from holding this event and about the proper planning that goes into it. i'm excited thinking about the next one and have already begun to put it together.

i'm going to call it "Murphy's Law: Moto-Rando II -
Grey's Revenge".

blog blog blog!

Morgan here.

I just got back from a nice reverse Paradise Dr. Loop in the morning, with a perfectly timed bonk which set in about 6 blocks from home. 3 hours riding in the fog with no sunblock is a nice way to start a lazy workday.

Excited to ride the new team bikes soon!

Also excited about the abundant oxygen down here at sea level after wheezing my way up Sierra Butte at Downieville!


This is the blog we set up to keep all of our friends/fans/rivals up to date on our adventures!

It was difficult to keep everyone updated when there were six or eight different places peeps had to look to find it all. With one stop here, you can see what we've done and what our plans for our next crazy outing are.

The atmosphere varies so much from team to team in cycling, we wanted to be able to include all of what we do in spot so you can decide... are we crazy, or just plain nuts?