Saturday Morning Ride Updated Start Time

PVCers and ALL

In efforts to increase the safety of the peloton, pedestrians, traffic and all; the SMR will depart sharply at 7:00 am for the Peak Summer months of July/August starting THIS SATURDAY, July 1st. This is inclusive of both the men’s and women’s rides.

I was contacted by Scarborough Police Officer Peter Nappi who controls the Prouts Neck Area (and also has a bicycle repair kit in the cruiser) with concerns of having the peloton going through there at the time that we do. The concerns presented are that we are a large pack of riders (40-80) and it is the same time that things get going out there at Prouts, i.e. tennis, golf, kids on bikes walkers, etc…

This is the ride we all look forward to every week and I will continue to work with the local towns to keep this ride as safe as possible for everyone … riders, walkers, runners, motorists, etc… We appreciate that Scarborough PD reached out to us to make a suggestion and are willing to work with us to ensure safety for all. They, as well as many others, love to see us parade through their town. But Safety FIRST! Let’s all ride smart!!!!  Thank you for your understanding. See you at the start this Saturday, July 1st, 7:00am.

Please spread the word!!!!!!!!

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2017 Cyclocross Nationals Recap

By Paul Weiss

We had a good crew from Maine at CX Nationals this year since it was so close to home, and folks are just really getting excited about cyclocross. The sport seems to keep growing by leaps and bounds, and it is funny to see both the Junior and Master fields overflowing with participants.

The Hartford Course was in a small park on the shores of the CT river. The area features some fields, a large earthen levee that was about 40 feet high and some small woods trails in the river bottom mud. Part of the course went through a gazebo and playground.

I went all out this year. I mean I love CX, but this year I went a little overboard with racing. I essentially raced more days than most pro racers. In retrospect, I over did it. Racing every weekend since the end of August has cost a lot in terms of free time, training and money. I set out to do the whole schedule for New England. Pretty much all weekends except Labor Day, even a midweek race. It was important to me to try to get on the Hartford course earlier in the year, which I did. The national course, while not following exactly, was in a lot of the same terrain.

With 2 weeks after the last Connecticut snowy races in Bethlehem and New Haven, I felt pretty good about having raced 2 full days in snow and then got some training days in on the road with snow. I knew Hartford could dish out some snow and ice. But the conditions early in the week at nationals looked like frozen mud to slippery mud. Changing fast each day. If you have not seen the video of the large slip and slide hill (that they eliminated later in the week) check it out here.

I got on course on Thursday, and things were in really descent condition in that all the mud was solid as a rock. There were a few good lines on the course, but really hard ruts that they had made some attempt to smooth with a ATV. Then it started to snow late in the evening, and I knew my race was going to be hard. The next morning it was those same frozen ruts but you could not see them because they were covered in a few inches of snow. This made the early races really difficult to say the least.

Brian Cole raced in the AM and ripped a derailleur off his bike. These frozen ruts could flat a tire in an instant. By the time I was set to race, the conditions had changed to surface mud. I got on the course for several lap,. and it was treacherous. Now the frozen ruts were not visible, and the snow was melting enough to make all sections of the course slippery beyond belief.

I lined up just after noon and was ready for a good technical race. However, this was a bit more. I love racing in snow, but ice and half melted frozen ruts are another thing. This course was a bit scary in that a fall on this stuff could break your wrist, arm or leg. No joke. We raced off the line and across the first turn, and it was going well. Into a straight away by the pits, I immediately hit a hidden lengthwise rut that took me out like I was not on a bike! Flat down, hard ouch. Got up and tried to see both the bike and me, both were ok, but a bent shifter had to be fixed.

Getting back on the bike, I was off the back of the pack, who were now going into a long diagonal off camber run-up that you could ride on the bottom for a way or along the top. It was really a hard run with mud, ice off camber. The big downhill caused everyone to pause a bit since it required leaning away from the hill, and an off camber turn then braking enough to not get caught in the exit ruts. Pretty scary for some folks since you could really injure yourself on the flat at high speeds. I negotiated that hill well, but it was the woods section after the pits that were probably the second most difficult.

The frozen ruts in the woods were unbelievable. It looked as if they raced hundreds in the mud and then left all ruts to freeze solid. Just the width sometimes of a 34 c tires. It was really hard to negotiate the small uphill’s and tight turns in the woods. Many spilled or ran their bikes here, but even running was dangerous. An ankle twist was very easy. I was glad to be wearing my Lake high ankle winter boots for both support and warmth.

A few laps in and I was still off the back. This course had no place to go really hard, and it was truly a course of attrition. The person who made the least spills and recovered fasted would win. There are so many places to have slip ups. Even the pro field experienced the same thing. I ended up having one other dump in the woods that caused another loss of time that really put me back. I ended up finishing way in the back ¾ of the pack. On the last lap, the leaders came through and started lapping the back of the field.

In retrospect, it was a fun experience but not what I had planned for. The conditions made the course more challenging than I had expected, plus the goal of not getting injured again. I had several injuries this season and did not want to repeat. Luckily I didn’t. I also saw the great advantage disk brakes could have offered me on parts of this course; my carbon rim brakes did not work well on the frozen downhills and mud.

The really good things was that I got the best hotel room, within a short 10 minute ride of the course. This made the post-race cleanup easier. It was so easy that Hank Pfeiffel and Troy Barry hung out there and kept warm before Troy’s race.

PVC had some good racing that day including: Nathaniel Smith, Brian Cole, Adam Lampton, and Chris Darling. It was great to see most racing! It was a fun season but I am glad to be on skis now! I look forward to the PVC racing team next season!

Here are some images:


chris-runningChris Darling goes faster running a turn

 

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Allen Starrett in a tight turn. He did a great race!

 

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Troy Barry (center, upright) on the line with Adam Myerson the eventual winner.

 

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Chris, Fergy, and Paul after racing.

 

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Adam with frozen bike

 

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Paul and Adam post race

 

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What a bike looks like with freeze-dried mud.

 

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Hartford skyline over course on CT River.

 

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My friends from West Virginia including master racer Gunnar Shogren

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PVC Social and Annual Meeting on March 1 2017

Spring into the 2017 cycling season and attend PVC’s annual meeting and club social on Wednesday, March 1 from 5:30-7:30 PM at Easy Day in South Portland. Re-connect with friends, talk smack about the coming weekend’s first SMR of the year, and enjoy complimentary food and beverages. Mostly social, the Leap Day event will also include some club business in the form of our annual meeting. We’ll be brief. Oh, and there will be really cool door prizes for attending members.

Haven’t renewed your membership for 2017? Renew here.

RSVP to president@portlandvelo.com or on Facebook.

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CX End of season update before Nats.

2016-17 CX update by Paul Weiss

Last weekend was a good way to end the racing season before Nationals in January.   Saturday was an epic with over 6 inches of fresh snow in an orchard in Western CT.   I do not think that the promoter was ready for the race since they did not clear the course at all (not that you would clear it that much, but at least a little).   We had to try to ride in the fresh snow.   Luckily I got in the night before since the driving was really bad.   I got a single lap in on the course, which was just about unridable.   Not sure how much that helped me but, off I was to line up with high winds, blowing snow and lots on the ground.    We all lined up and some were off on their bikes and other decided to run from the start line.   You could only ride the flat or downhill parks, and even some of those were unridable.   The course had been shortened since I warmed up on it since the conditions were so slow.   We were to ride 45 minutes.   The course went through an apple orchard and then through some corn fields, with a few hairy descents.    Here is what I learned:   carbon wheels and caliper pads do not work in the slightest in wet snow.   I had to descend these sections, with skiing skills, like aiming for deep snow to slow down!   Folks were even running the downhill now.   Well just to say this was a unique race, I ended up running about 75% of the course, as did most riders.

Sundays race in a city park in New Haven was better in that you could ride the whole course even though the snow was still melting off.    It turned out to be a muddy adventure with one kind of difficult downhill (no brakes again).   Survived that descent each lap and did a reasonable race.   This race was really helpful to get the snow and ice racing skills ready for Nationals.  So very glad to have done it.   That was the last of I think close to 30 races this season, starting in August just about every weekend but labor day.   It has been a mixed season with some significant injuries that caused a lot of issues with training and performance, however, it was a lot of fun.    I won all kinds of money, gained great notoriety and look forward to driving my new race car that I won……..ok I will keep trying. Really, I did a few races I was proud of, that will keep me motivated for next season!

I look forward to Nationals in Hartford CT in a couple weeks.   We should have a pretty good PVC and Maine turnout.   I will race on Friday in the Master’s and will stay the weekend to watch the Junior and Elite races.   It will be nice to just watch someone else race for a change and then look forward to a good ski season!

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The March Farm Cyclocross, see how some are riding and some running…for the whole course….

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Getting Ready for the Elm City Cyclocross in NH CT.

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Post race mud and enjoyment at Elm City CX.
Happy Holidays and New Year,  Paul Weiss

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PVC Race Team 2017 Program Announced

On Wednesday, November 16,  PVC announced its new race program for 2017. Approximately 30 members of the club were in attendance, as race organizers Ted Darling, Linda Braley, Paul Weiss, Kevin Woodhouse, and David Brink outlined the program.

Interested members will need to (a) renew/become a member for 2017 and (b) complete the online form indicating the races in which you will compete by January 31, 2017. (Note that there is a 5 race per discipline minimum for each discipline in which you intend to race).

The program objectives are identified as follows:

  • Support PVC racing across 3 disciplines
  • Promote local racing and races
  • Build comradery among team members

To participate, the following requirement are indicated:

  • PVC Member in good standing
  • Commit to 5-race minimum in each discipline in which you wish to compete as a PVC team member and take advantage of team member benefits (below)
  • Race exclusively for PVC during for 2017, including wearing the PVC team kit while racing.

Team member benefits discussed included the following

  • Reimburse for committed races at 100% (limited to priority races identified by the team (see lists to follow)
  • All other races reimbursed at club rate ($20/race)
  • Group training
  • CycleMania Equipment sponsor benefits
    • Priority Service @ CycleMania
    • %30 Off 1 Bike*
    • %50 Off Team Helmet TBA
    • %50 Off Stages Power Meter
    • 2 Free Tires (up to $75ea)
    • 10 Free Tubes
    • All Bikes and Helmets will need to be submitted and Paid in full by January 31st (and cannot be ordered during the season) to assure delivery in time for the season. It would be great to get the Stages order in at that time as well but we can do Stages orders in-season.
    • *Bikes will be Trek and capped @ a 10 bike total for the Team

The Mountain Biking program was identified as follows:

Leader: Kevin Woodhouse, kevin_woodhouse1@yahoo.com

  • Fat Tire Classic, CT (April)
  • Weeping Willow, MA (May)
  • The Pinnacle, NH (June)
  • Bond Brook, ME (June)
  • Statham Hill Festival Race Series, NH
  • Carrabassett Backcountry Challenge, ME (July)
  • Boston Pro XT, MA (July)
  • Titcomb Mtn, ME (August)
  • NECS #6 – Treasure Valley Rally (August)
  • Bradbury 12 hour Challenge, ME (August)

 2017 PVC Mountain Bike team

 There are about 35 trail races in New England each year starting in April and ending in October.  These races range in both difficulty and length and are great for beginners as well as experts.  The PVC Mtn bike race is targeting these 10 races in New England that represent the full range and level of difficulty offered.   With the importance of supporting local races, this list emphasizes those races held in Maine.

 The Road Racing program was outlined as follows:

Leaders:

Linda Braley lsbraley@yahoo.com
Jane Monaghan wojanedesign@yahoo.com
Ted Darling tdarling@vontweb.com

The following races will be prioritized based upon rider interest:

  • *Scarborough Crit series, Scarborough, ME (April-May)
  • **Maine TT series, TBD (maybe a PVC TT ?)
  • Quabbin, Ware, MA (April)
  • Myles Standish, Plymouth, MA (May)
  • Tour of the Battenkill, Greenwich, NY (May 7)
  • Ken Herrod, Harvard, MA (June)
  • Purgatory, Sutton, MA (June)
  • Fitchburg Criterium, Fitchburg, MA (June)
  • Yarmouth Clam Festival, Yarmouth, ME (July)
  • Tour of the Hilltowns, Windsor, MA (July)
  • Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Club Criterium, Lewiston, ME (August)
  • Concord Criterium, Concord, NH (August)
  • Witches Cup, Salem, MA (August)

*You may use two (2) Scarborough Crit Races against your minimum race commitment.
**You may use two (2) Maine Time Trial races against your minimum race commitment.

The CycloCross program was outlined as follows:

Leader: Paul Weiss, weissp@me.com

  • White Park, CX, NH (September)
  • Suckerbrook CX, NH (September)
  • Gloucester VERGE CX MA, 2 Day (October)
  • Downeast CX, ME (October)
  • Casco Bay CX, ME (October)
  • Orchard CX, NH (October)
  • KCX VERGE, CT  2 Day (October)
  • Northampton VERGE MA, 2 Day (November)
  • NBX RI, Day 2  (December)
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PVC Cyclocross 2016-2017 Update

The season started at Blunt Park in Springfield MA in August and is now at the heart of the season in November. Working towards the US National Championships this January in Harford CT. PVC has had some great races, some good races and a few really bad ones, but it has been really fun and great to get to see so many courses across New England.

PVC has been floating some racers over the season and most show up at our local races at Pinelands, Casco Bay, and Orchard Cross. It has been fun to run our weekly cyclocross camps and also race with those folks on the weekend. We had 2 Juniors train and race with us, women, as well as some old masters.  We even have some new folks trying cyclocross for the first time. PVC Racers include: Brian Cole, Chris Darling, George Bennington, Paul Neihoff, , Eric Larsson, Adam Lampton, David Beneman, Jeff Doughty, Greg Bartick, and Paul Weiss.

To see the results from all our team members click on this link for PVC Results.

It has been a long season, 22 races thus far. One fun weekend was at the Verge series races in Northampton MA. Two days of full on racing with the best racers from throughout the northeast. This race has grown so much over the 23 plus years of existence. It was the largest race in North America this past weekend.

The field Paul Weiss normally races in, the Masters 45+ was full with over 100 racers. Crazy start each day with a sprint from the gun and a giant field funneling into the serpentine course. First laps culminating in an arduous run-up with a bike over your shoulder and other riders stepping on your feet.

He had a really good race and moved up from somewhere in the last row to the top 1/3 of the field. Sunday He felt a bit slower but still a good race despite losing a lot of time to 2 crashes off the start line, one after another. Good to not go down in either. Also great to have a technically flawless race, this despite some really tricky technical sections of difficult descents and steep run-ups.

PVC is looking forward to the colder races and to race the season out to the end. The season is long and fun and we want to congratulate those that have given it their best. It has been impressive to see some of the best racers in New England right here from Maine.

What is left on the menu for this season?

PVC Double loop
Shed Park CX Lowell MA
New England CX Championships, Fitchberg, MA
NBX Verge, Cranston, RI
Ice Weasels CX, RI
March Farm CX, Bethleham, CT
Elm City CX, New Haven CT
US National CX Championships, Harford, CT

Brian Cole Ready to race at Northampton Cycle-Smart International, CX Verge Race 11/13/16.

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Chris Darling is in the same peloton as Brian, and ready to race!

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Paul Weiss Racing Hard

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Jeff Doughty at Quad Cross

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Paul Neihoff at White Park

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Brian Cole, Chris Darling, George Bennington and Paul Weiss at Craft Gran Prix of Gloucester

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Adam Lampton at Casco Bay Cyclocross

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Here are some photos from Casco Bay of Chris Darling, Paul Weiss, and George P Theall taken by Jennifer Battis

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Here are a few of Eric Larsson, Paul Neihoff, and Greg Bartick from Orchard Cross at Applefest Farm taken by Katie Busick

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PVC Member Survey Results

PVC Member Survey Results

In mid-September, PVC surveyed its members in order to understand and better serve their needs. More than half of our active membership responded, and we are quite pleased with the overall results and the terrific feedback and suggestions. Over the next several months, the PVC board of directors will be evaluating the results carefully and taking steps to improve the club based upon that feedback.

We have published the complete survey results here for your review.

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