Monday, July 29, 2013

BUSC 2013 Sunday Recap: Folding Contest

The Brompton Folding Competition took place after the Championship Race.  Groups of 10 competed eliminator-style until only one remained.  I was in the second group of ten, still not quite recovered from the race (excuses).  I wasn't comfortable with the way my bike folded because it wasn't as stable with my rack removed (again, excuses!).  I was eliminated unceremoniously in the first round.  However, this did allow me to focus on taking a bunch of video!

My friend Todd was in the next round.  He kept going...and going... and going until the was the last man standing!  Here's his progress thoughout the competition:

Todd's opening preliminary round

Second preliminary round

Third preliminary round (knocking off Beckie Alexander, the women's race winner)

Todd head-to-head with our good friend Melissa

Finals - opening round

Finals - Second round

The last three

The Final

Folding contest podium
Animated GIF that Google+ automagically made for me.
And here are some notable duels that I really enjoyed:

Bryan loses after some friendly smack talk towards Francie.

Ross, a Brompton rep, throws down the gauntlet against Spencer, the men's race second place finisher and the US representative to the World Championships.

Friday, July 26, 2013

BUSC 2013 Sunday Recap: Race Day

Raceday also began by waking up to a little bit of rain.  Not too bad though.  It was going to be a decent day to wear our required suit jacket and necktie.

As Todd and I left our hotel we saw Kevin, a rider we had met the previous evening.  He was already starting to ride before we had cleared the front doors, so Todd and I hauled ass to catch up to him.  After we caught up to him, we rode together to Lyndale Ave. & 34th St., the location of the race.

When we pulled up to the race, it was nice to see a lot of the familiar faces that we saw a day earlier.  We also met a lot of new people, mostly locals.  All told there were about 55 riders in the race, every one with a big smile on their face.  The spectacle was truly grand and a sight to behold.  We all gladly posed for pictures while we waited for the race to begin.  The race was kinda formal in that a race official was brought in to oversee the event, but also kinda informal since we didn't have timing chips on our numbers.  The only really important finishers were the top three (video was being taken in case replay was necessary).

If you are unfamiliar with the Brompton Championships, allow me to clue you in on the key points:

There is a Le Mans style start... our folded bikes are placed in a grid before the start of the race.  When the race starts, we have to run to our Brommies, unfold them, then get going.  I'm not sure if foot speed or unfolding speed is more important… they are probably equal.  Probably the most important thing is to try to break out of the grid quickly, doing your best to get around riders who are slow to unfold or are just slow.

Once you get going, it's pretty much like any other bike sprint.  Hang with the peloton if you can, then sprint at the end.  This race is six miles long… six one-mile laps.  Twelve turns.  It's easy to lose track of which lap you are on.  Here is my video footage that I put up in an earlier post.

I felt that I did pretty well, considering that I had a pulled hamstring two weeks prior and that I rode about 45 miles the day before (excuses, excuses!).  Here are the winners of the race!

The winners of the Best Dressed category was announced after the race:

I had an absolute blast doing this and can't wait to do it again!  

This is the summary of my race data:
startedJun 23, 2013, 10:06 AM
route06/23/2013 Minneapolis, MN
ride time20:02
distance5.98 miles
average speed17.90 mph
fastest speed25.31 mph

Click here for my complete ride data.

Racing Green is a really popular color.
Raw Lacquer, while greatly admired, was not very common.
The two-tone Brommies are awesome.

Here are other blogs about the race:

A Curious Endevour
Why I Ride
The Gear Junkie

Thanks again to Calhoun Cycles for their hospitality!  If you were at the race and have any photos, please share them at the BUSC 2013 Flickr page!

The next post will be about the folding contest.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

One year and counting...

Today is my one year anniversary with my Brompton that I picked up at Portapedal!  By this time I should have came up with a pet name for it, but alas I haven't (I should probably use ODB...Ol' Dirty Brompton).  Of course I celebrated by riding the ODB!  I explored the new separated bike path down Harrison Rd., which is a part of the expanding Tucson LOOP system.  Parts of it had a bunch of mud due to our recent flash flooding, but it was a minor inconvenience.

It's been a great year, meeting great people (both virtually and in real life) and having great adventures.  I hope to do a more comprehensive post about my year and have it up on another famous site.  I'll keep ya posted.

Monday, July 8, 2013

BUSC 2013 Saturday Recap: Multi-Modal Minneapolis Ride and Taking the Scenic Route

The 2013 Brompton US Championship this year was quite an interesting event. I had arrived to Minneapolis with Todd (of MetroGnome Music) on the Friday before the BUSC, did a week-long tour of the Midwest before returning to the Twin Cities.  

The first interesting event happened prior to the start of the BUSC festivities.  We returned our rental car on Friday, hoping to take advantage of the excellent public transportation system in Minneapolis (which we did).  Our first destination after dropping the car off was to the famous Matt's Bar for the "Jucy Lucy" (a cheeseburger where the cheese is melted inside two beef patties, like a jelly donut).  We didn't make it out to Matt's that day (we had to wait until Sunday).

As we stepped off the blue train, it started sprinkling.  After 5 minutes of walking the sprinkle turned into a massive storm.  Actually, it was more like an EPIC storm.  Large trees were knocked down and breaking cars and houses.  Electricity was knocked out west of the Hiawatha highway (which includes Calhoun Cycle).  This pretty much ended our Friday.

Saturday began with us cycling to Calhoun Cycles and picking up our registrations.

It was nice to see all the different styles of Brommies that converged at Calhoun.

Unfortunately, the electricity was still out from last night's storm, and would remain so for several days.  

The first ride of the day was a multi-modal trip out to Coon Rapids Dam.  The trip was about 25 miles or so.  We witnessed a lot of destruction that was caused by the previous night's storm… we had to dismount a couple of times to climb over trees that had fallen on the bike path.  

Eventually after a fun ride we got to the dam and had lunch.

After lunch we took the Northstar Commuter Rail back.  It was prime Brommie posing time!

We returned to Calhoun Cycles for a little bit of a break before heading back out.  The afternoon ride took us to the Stone Arch Bridge and Guthrie Theater.

We were expecting to be able to use the restrooms at the Guthrie, but unbeknownst to us they were closed for a rare private event.  We also got to ride a bit on the Midtown Greenway and learn a little bit about the Beez Kneez.

When we returned we were treated to pizza, a concert by Michael Morris of Dewi Sant and a raffle, where I won a little mini-bike bag and a pair of WoolieBoolie socks.

Here are some other blogs that have recaps of the day:

If you were at the BUSC and have pictures, please share them on the BUSC flickr group pool.

I'll be doing a recap of Sunday (Raceday) as well... hopefully it won't take me as long to post it!