Road Race: Vance Creek RR (Elma, WA)

Vance Creek Road Race

Elma, WA

Date: Sunday, April 29

Location: Vance Creek Park, Elma, WA

Course Description: 12.8 mile loop that starts flat with rollers in the first 2 miles with a 1 km climb at 5 miles. The course then turns downhill to flat twisty farmland. Perfect for the all-rounder.

Cost: $20 race day, Pro 1&2 $25. Day of race registration only. USCF license required to race. One day license for category 5 men and 4 women is $10 and available at the race. To race in category 3 races and above you must have an USCF annual license ($60) which can be purchased at only (not for sale at the race).

Prizes: Cash/Merchandise

Registration: Registration, Parking, Starting Line, Awards are at Vance Creek Park. Registration opens at 8:00 AM.

Race Numbers: WSBA numbers will be used and can be purchased at because numbers won’t be for sale at the race. Rental numbers will be available at the race for a $10 rental fee (of which $5 is refundable). For out-of-state riders there is no fee to rent a number just a $5 deposit. Number on your left side. (Not on top of your back please)

Race Schedule:

Morning Races:
9:30 – 4/5 Men, 43 Miles (3 1/2 laps), Prizes 3 Places
9:35 – Masters, C/D, 43 Miles (3 1/2 laps), Prizes 3 Places
9:40 – Women, 1-3, 43 Miles (3 1/2 laps), 30% of Cat 1-3 Entry Fees 5 Places
9:45 – Women 4, 30 Miles (2 1/2 laps), Prizes 3 Places

Afternoon Races:
1:00 – Pro 1-2 Men, 78 Miles (6 1/2 laps), 30% of Cat 1/2 Entry Fees 5 Places
1:05 – 3 Men, 69 Miles (5 1/2 Laps), 20% of Cat 3 Entry Fees 5 Places
1:10 – Masters A/B, 69 Miles (5 1/2 Laps), Prizes 3 Places

Notes: Promoter reserves the right to combine or split races based on the number of riders. All races start at Vance Creek Park.

Directions from Seattle: Go south to Olympia at take Exit #104 off I-5 to Hwy 101 (to Ocean Beaches/Shelton). Follow 101 for ~6 miles to exit marked Hwy 8 to Aberdeen. Follow Hwy West to Aberdeen/Elma. Take second Elma exit, turn left at Stop Sign. Take the 2nd right. Follow signs to Vance Creek Park. (~500 meters)

Directions from Portland: Take 1-5 North and follow it to US 12 West Exit 88-B toward Aberdeen/Tenino. Turn onto US 12 West and follow it to Elma (approximately 26 miles). At Elma turn left to stay on US 12 West. Take the next Elma exit which is a ½ mile and turn left at Stop Sign. Take the 2nd right. Follow signs to Vance Creek Park. (~500 meters)

Other Information: Masters A/B (Age 30+ cat. 1-3) Masters C/D (age 30 cat. 4-5 and age 50+ all

Warm Ups: Please minimize warming up on the course.

Contact: Jack Brodhead at or email Dave Wamsley at for more information.

Official Flyer

Olympic Cycling Classic

I just found out about an interesting ride… two metric century routes up on the top of the Olympic Penninsula. Here’s the details from the flyer, and more info is available at

Roosevelt and Stevens Middle Schools’ Parent-Teacher Organizations will host the third annual

Olympic Cycling Classic…

Altitude with Attitude.

The century/metric ride through the foothills of the Olympic Mountains and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca – a 6,500-foot elevation gain – is not for the faint of heart.

Don’t forget to bring your family to the 8-Mile Family Fun Ride beginning at the City Pier following the waterfront trail to Ediz Hook. With its view of Port Angeles and the harbor, it is geared to riders of all ages.

All proceedes go to the combined schools: Roosevelt and Stevens PTOs.

We send our sincere thanks to all the riders who participated in our inaugural event, and extend our invitation to join us for another cycling and site-seeing adventure!

Fun practice racing Tuesdays at Pacific Raceways

Yesterday, I went to my first Pacific Raceways Road Race. Every Tuesday from yesterday, April 3rd, until August 28th, at 7:00 PM (and sometimes 6:30 PM for women & juniors) is a race along the Pacific Raceways course down in Kent. This is about a mile-long loop on a good surface, blocked from most wind. The races are timed, meaning the approximate race time will be stated (last night it was 30 minutes), and a few minutes before the time is up they put up a sign for 2 laps remaining, and on the next lap it’s the last lap — meaning first person across wins the prize! Last night it was $5. Racing for gas money.

There are three groups – Cat 1-3 Men, Master’s Men, and Cat 4-5 Men. I was in the Cat 4-5 Men, naturally, which was maybe 50-odd people. On nights with no women’s / juniors courses (every other week) the women and juniors race with Cat 4-5. For the most part, this race gives people great practice in racing — the pace is fast (25-30 MPH), and attacks and breakaways are shortlived. Teammates will chase each other down, happily. Again, these are fun practice races, not officially sanctioned USCF races.

There are a couple of different courses they’re able to run. There’s the flat course, which is just around the oval. There’s counter-clockwise with the escape route, which adds a big, steep downhill followed by a gradual uphill. There’s clockwise with the escape route, meaning there’s a gradual downhill followed by a big, steep climb. And finally there’s clockwise and counter-clockwise with the S turn, although I’m not sure what that entails.

I’m going to try and head down on some (most?) Tuesdays and get in some good practicing. It’s fun, it’s low stress, and it’s great for learning how to handle the bike in fast conditions. Plus, you can do some really crazy stuff and get away with it. For example, last night I sprinted about half a mile from the end, as I had an opening and momentum and wanted to see how long I could keep it up. Turns out about a quarter of a mile, which sucked for me but gave the guy behind me the win. Maybe someday he’ll give me a ride with all that cash he won.

Here’s a quick map of the Pacific Raceway courses (blue = flat, red = escape route, and green = S curve). Best when viewed with the Aerial option vs Road. Here’s the schedule.

Pacific Raceways course

Sunday STP Training Ride

Sunday Elizabeth and I went for an enjoyable ride up and around the lake to Redmond and back. To clarify, it was enjoyable for me, Elizabeth was pulling Emmett in the trailer and doing a fantastic job up and down the hills that become meaningful when you are hauling an extra 40lbs + two extra tires of friction. The weather for the day was cold and cloudy, but fortunately the worst it got was a minute of light sprinkles. The headwind held up long enough to be a glorious tailwind that pushed us home. Emmett was a trooper and just had a great time eating trail mix which mysteriously consisted entirely of M&M’s while all the peanuts and raisins ended up on the floor of the trailer.
I wish I had complete data for the trip, but apparently I forgot to turn my watch on in Bothell and the last leg of the ride was lost. The total ride was 18 miles out and 18 miles back for a nice 36 mile trip. That said, I think I will add one more layer of clothes if the weather remains at 42 degrees.

Your humble scribe,

Tour de Dung #3 (Sequim)

A week after a strong finish at Tour de Dung #2, I was back up at Sequim for Tour de Dung #3, the third and final race of the three race series. This week, I was focused on helping out some teammates in the overall. Most road races are single event affairs, where the first rider across the finish line wins..Race series, on the other hand. are multi-day races (typically on the same course) where there are victories for both each individual race as well as overall across all the races. In a series, the first races set up riders who can take the overall; subsequent races tend to be about getting those riders who have a shot at the overall to the podium.

After two of the three races in Sequim, two of our guys, Mike and Duane, were #1 and #3 in the overall standings, and three riders from Hagens Berman were #2, #4, and #6. Thus, the goal for those of us who came for race #3 was to help Mike and Duane get to the podium. The HB guys had pretty much the same strategy for their riders as well. It turns out in cycling there’s both an offense and a defense. The offensive strategy is simple: have the team (save Mike and Duane) pull for the key riders until the final sprint at the end of the course, then let the key riders (who should have plenty of gas) sprint and take it. The defensive strategy is a bit more subtle: keep the HB guys from placing by enabling other riders (even other HB riders) to win. Today, we applied a bit of both.

The first lap of the four were relatively slow. The wind was stronger than last week, the field was smaller, and the two biggest teams present (Wines of Washington and HB) were content to conserve energy. On the second lap, the HB guys started testing the peleton to see if they could make a breakaway stick, which is something that would be tough given the wind. Testing the peleton means putting a bunch of riders towards the front and trying to create a gap, which then turns into a full-on attack if the gap isn’t closed quickly. This is where having a large team presence helps. Towards the end of lap 2, Steve, a fellow WoW rider, and I were closing those gaps. This meant that we’d take our turns pulling at the front to slow down the peleton and ensure that the pack was with the front riders. In other words, we’re taking it for the team. Oof!

About a third of the way through Lap #3, one of our riders, Geoff, who wasn’t really in the running for overall, had a lazy breakaway – he was out in front by 100 feet or so. A random HB rider (not one in the running for overall) and 3 other random riders pushed out to join him, and then they were off on a breakaway. At this point, with a WoW and a HB rider in a breakaway, the remaining team members of WoW and HB were content to let the breakaway go and not give chase. This lasted for a full lap, until the HB rider who was #2 asked Duane (#3) whether we were content to let the breakaway win. Duane looked at the guy and said, “yup!” We knew the points, and if the breakaway stayed, Mike would take the overall as we’d deny points to the other HB riders in contention.

At this point, the HB rider told the rest of his team to get in the front of the pack and chase for the final 3/4 of the final lap. They did, but Duane and Mike just sat on their wheels while they did. Then, as they closed in on final sprint 200 meters from the finish line, Duane and Mike were able to ride around the tired HB riders, finishing behind the breakaway but ahead of the other riders in contention. Hello podium!

As for me – I lost a lot of gas pulling in lap two. Heading into the 5 mile straightaway into the tailwind, the HB and WoW guys at the front poured it on, and the pack started to stretch out and disintegrate. I was towards the back in a small group. We started working together in a paceline, and picked up other stragglers ahead of us who had also popped off the pack. I and Greg, another WoW rider, finished out the race with a pack finish (for whatever definition of the pack was left). Also along the way, we did manage to lap the women (again), but unlike last week we weren’t lapping them as a big pack at the end, so there weren’t any problems.

All in all, another good race. This was much more painful than last week, but that’s OK. I wasn’t out to win, just help the team win – and I’m happy to say, mission accomplished!

Next up: rest week over Easter, and then some rides with PPTM to build up some endurance miles.

Update 4/4/07: Results are online. Apparently, my lame-ass finish was good enough for 19th place. I need to learn how to count the field better… apparently, the field started at about 30-40 people, and looks like all of 20 or so finished. That wind is brutal!