To quote from Jeremy Dunn of Embrocation Cycling Journal as he described the 2010 Rapha Gentlemen’s Race in Connecticut this year “The trick to enjoying a great Gentlemen’s Race does not lie within the prize list. You will not be able to find it in the team car or over the official race radio, no matter how hard you are listening. The trick to having a good Gentlemen’s Race lies with the company you keep.
For this task, we can only provide the framework, you know, lead by example. But this is mainly because we like to ride with our friends. We can only say “ride with your friends, stay with your friends, finish with your friends” so many times before it becomes an asinine recitation that falls on dead ears. At the same time we also try our best to practice what we preach …”
The 2010 NW Edition of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race is in the books. Reflecting on the day yields visions of gravel, punctures, and heat. Unfortunately even after all of the training and preparation the day did not yield the result that any of us would have wanted at first blush. Riding your bike over miles and miles of gravel on skinny tires in extreme heat takes your expectations and throws them in your face. As such only 7 of 28 teams managed to finish the race. However, after deeper reflection what we’re left with is the experience and the memory of 168 amateur cyclists attempting a ride that can best be described as adventurous and at worst a little crazy. It can also be said with certainty that 6 of those 168 riders rode as friends, led by example and behaved like Gentlemen.
What a stellar day we had in the North Cascades yesterday. From Marblemount to Mazama and back again added up to about 150 miles and 11,000 feet of climbing.
Dennis, Amy, Greg and Chris got an early start on the day and rolled out of Marblemount at about 8:30am for the first leg. Hwy 20 going east has more feet of climbing than west but it is more gradual with most of the elevation being spread over 40 miles and sustained climbing up Easy, Rainy and Washington Pass over about 22 miles. After about four and a half hours in the saddle, and a great descent, we rolled into Mazama for a well deserved lunch break. After loading up on food and fluids we were back on our machines for the return.
Once we headed out of Mazama we had the wind at our backs which was a blessing from an effort standpoint but made for some very hot work at the beginning of the climb with temps close to 95 in the valley. A quick stop to soak in a stream brought everyone back to life and then it was up, up, up to the summit of Washington Pass. From there life got a bit easier with a fairly steady descent to Newhalem after which tunnel vision and the pace line started to bring us back to our starting point and dinner.
Many thanks to Dennis for organizing the ride and for picking which of the five Starbuck’s in Quilcene, WA to meet at. This was a perfect prep for the upcoming Gentlemen’s Race as distance and elevation were probably slightly greater. More importantly however this ride was a reminder of how fantastic it is to be able to spend a day on your bike with friends especially on one of the most scenic stretches of road in the US. Truly a memorable day.
Five of us from Motofish Racing played hooky from a day of work to head up to Mount Rainier National Park and do a little training for our upcoming Rapha Gentlemen’s Race. Clive, Dennis, Chris, Greg and Amy spent the day going up, up, up on the roads in the park and freezing on the way down. Outside of the climbing the story was the weather which while it looked promising early on deteriorated as the day wore on to the point of a downpour on the way out.
However, without complaining too much, the real story was the climbing. Steady grades at 6%-7% for 10 miles at a time (with a category 1 climb mixed in there) made for steady work that you just don’t get around the city. Fantastic views, a great lunch and lots of laughs made for a great day despite the rain and cold. At the end of the day we picked up around 7400′ in 70 miles.
Motofish Racing’s rapha gentleman’s race squad set out for the first group training ride this past Sunday. The day awoke cool and grey. Unfortunately, not a big surprise considering our crappy spring this year. The plan: to ride 83 miles w/ 5000 ft climbing, throwing in a few dirt roads. Let the adventure begin! We found good conversation, manure laden roads, dead ends, dirt, rain, gate jumping, slippery ass tar….it was a good day! (Except for The Boss laying his bike down on Union Hill). Based on last year’s Rapha ride…a successful training experience.
Motofish Racing was pleased to receive an invitation to participate in the Rapha Gentlemen’s Race this summer in Oregon. After photographing the race last year we caught a glimpse of what a spectacular event it is and are really looking forward to participating this year.
In short the ride is an unsanctioned and unsupported team ride of 130-150 miles with approximately 10,000 feet of climbing. Teams of six are seeded according to ability and must finish as a group. Greg, Chris, Clive, Dennis, Sabrina and Amy will be riding for MFR.
More words and imagery from last year’s race can be found here at Rapha
Motofish Racing team members, Clive, Dennis, Angie and Chris headed over to Bainbridge Island for the 2010 Chilly Hilly. It is a pretty amazing spectacle to see so many cyclists in the same place. Every cyclist stereotype was represented; paper jacket STP guy, hipster fixie dude, red sock sandal guy, hardcore commuter helmet condom lady, jean and sneaker kid, ad infinitum. MFR was, I’m sure, a stereotype in someone else’s list but regardless it was great to be out amongst the mass of Northwest cyclists enjoying a 33 mile loop around Bainbridge Island. It was mentioned during the ride that with the exception of the Baker climb on Bainbridge it really should be called the Chilly Lumpy. We’re also pleased to report no crashes and everyone’s person and bikes returned undamaged which when you realize that there were approx. 5000 cyclist all in one place is pretty good. All in all a great day and a very good way to kick off the Spring season!
MFR’ers Chris, Greg and Sabrina went out for a 70 mile spin this past Sunday. Highlights included great weather, two climbs up Lakemont (Newport Way to 164th and Montreux) and a foray onto some dirt at Tiger Mountain. A beautiful day to be out for sure!
Our new race/apparently rain bikes went out for their first spin today. Pretty typical ride – out into the valley, saw some bubbas in pickup trucks, got rained on and Chris got a flat. However what wasn’t typical were the bikes; the BMCs are fast. On descents they hold their line and are rock solid and on the flats. The power transfer is noticeable and they seem to hold their momentum and want to go faster. Greg said he felt the added three pounds from his Helium but after riding his Raleigh CX bike for a couple months Chris thought that 18.5 pounds felt like nothing. The Ultegra 6700 is buttery and precise as well. Fits felt good – so thanks again to ZD for getting us nice and dialed in. Looking forward to many more rides!
Today’s MFR Team ride left Leschi, headed around Mercer Island, went up and over Juanita Hill, down Lake Sammamish, over Lakemont, went up and over Montreux and finally wound back to Leschi via I-90. All and all 70 miles and 5000 feet of climbing (according to Garmin). The sun never showed as expected and we had a bit of rain but it was a great ride nonetheless with the hurt coming at mile 50. Right before mile 50 we had a little break for some fuel – NOS and a bagel. Sounds about right.