Little pause on along the coast on last Saturday's ride with Kelly Benefit's Scott Zwizanski. We raised money to support World Bike Relief and had a good day on the bike. Never know how many days this good we have left.
Sep 29, 2009
Posted by MJR
Sep 18, 2009
Posted by MJR
Kelly Benefit Strategies rider and winner of the 2009 Vuelta del Uruguay, Scott Zwizanski will host a benefit ride for World Bicycle Relief from the shop Saturday, September 26th. We’ll roll out at 8:00AM. The plan is to do a road loop somewhere on/around Mt Tam that will finish before noon (because Woody needs to open the shop).
Scott’s charity of choice, World Bicycle Relief has a mission to provide simple, sustainable transportation as an essential element in disaster assistance and poverty relief. Founded by SRAM and Trek in 2005 as a response to the need for transportation in the wake of the Tsunami in Southeast Asia, World Bicycle Relief has been embraced by a wide range of cyclists and others that hope to make the use of a bicycle for sustainable transportation possible.
World Bicycle Relief is headed up by FK Day of SRAM and has made tens of thousands of bikes available in developing economies. We’ve worked with a number of programs in Africa and World Bicycle Relief is by far the largest and most effective. Last year 81% of their total revenue went to direct program costs and they train one bicycle mechanic for every 50 bicycles distributed—so the bikes they have in the field aren’t sidelined due to a simple mechanical like a flat tire.
Scott and his KBS teammates are raising money to donate to World Bicycle Relief and, as part of their donation, they will make a trip to Zambia where they can help the cause and see first-hand what the needs are in that part of the world.
Please join us for the ride. If you can make a donation, great. If you can’t then just enjoy pedaling with a good group.
If you have a minute, check out the WBR program.
Sep 15, 2009
Posted by MJR
Got two good rides in on a Parlee Z4 this past weekend north of Truckee out in the Sierra Valley. All-time scenery (saw an eagle and three hawks on Sunday’s outing), beautiful climbs and some serious action for the Forest Service fire fighting teams in the area thanks to a fast moving lightning storm.
If you’ve seen a Parlee in person you’ll probably agree that, when compared to the shapes of a typical Pinarello or the bold colors usually found on a Pegoretti, the unadorned round tubes and minimal decals give the Parleee a simple, if not austere look. A nice departure from the NASCAR feel of many of the bikes that come into the shop these days.
Unlike other Parlee models, the Z4 is not available with custom geometry. After well over a decade of working with carbon Bob Parlee and his team feel that they’ve got a good sense for what most riders want in a standard carbon frame (tube diameters, wall thicknesses, geometry, ride quality, etc.) and have pulled all of that together in the Z4. Hop on one and you’ll probably agree, that Bob knows how to make a great riding bike and that most of us simply don’t require a custom fit. Despite being Parlee’s lowest cost frame, the Z4 has incredible finish quality: No rivets holding the thing together, no clunky joints or grossly oversized/oddly shaped tubes. Just a clean, round tubed bike that riders with a traditional bent will absolutely appreciate.
A demo bike that had been sitting around the shop, the Z4 that I took out was mostly built with Campy 10-speed and a pair of new Campagnolo Eurus wheels with 2-Way Fit tubeless technology. I pulled off the Fizik Antares saddle and replaced it with a trusted Sella Italia SLR, not so much because of the shape or level of comfort it promised, but because it was one of their special orange demo saddles. Woody was kind enough to point out that my ass would easily cover the entire saddle while riding, yet the orange on a black-and-blue bike was not happening for me under any circumstances. While I’ve got Fizik on the brain, I’ll mention that if you are intending to use their bar tape (as was found on the Z4), make sure you’re a rider that likes to wear gloves. It has an almost Benotto Celo-like sheen to it that renders it super slippery to bare hands. If you’re not going to wearing some kind of hand protection, stick with Cinelli cork tape or something similar.
Although Chad has a 12.3-pound totally rideable Parlee sitting in the shop (for a cool $17K), the demo bike must’ve hit the scales at about 15-lbs with absolutely no effort to make it light. Pretty good considering this was a budget race bike.
Regardless of weight or the color of the saddle, the best thing about the Z4 was the overall ride quality. Waterford used to have a German word that neatly captured the idea (that now evades me), but what I’m trying to get at is that the Parlee felt totally harmonious and of a single piece. First bike I’ve been on for awhile that was incredibly light, but rode as smoothly and confidently as my 1990’s Bob Jackson or an old Colnago Masterlight. Super enjoyable bike to be on, definitely one that I could ride every day and be stoked about. For me, it probably wouldn’t be worth upgrading to a Parlee model with custom geometry, but it you don’t fit neatly within the bell curve, it’s nice to know that you can.
One thing you’ll definitely want to know about the Z4 is that Parlee has cut the price from $3450 to $2900 and added an Edge Composite 2.0 fork (the price also includes a headset and carbon front derailleur clamp). Parlee also offers an extensive custom color and graphics program for the Z4 with at least 15 different options.
If you’re interested call the shop or check out the Parlee site!
Sep 14, 2009
Posted by MJR
In the kick-off of the Northern California cyclo-cross season, the Above Category Junior squad left little question that they'll be the team to beat with a win and five total riders in the top ten spots. The race at Negro Bar State Park near Folsom was one of the first of 13 events at Folsom's Cyclebration bike festival which took place over the course of the weekend.
With an early fall storm threatening, AC's Spence Peterson, the current Junior National Cross Country Mountain Bike Champion, cruised to victory in the Men's (that's people over 18) B Category. Following Spence's lead AC riders accounted for four more places in the top ten, including: Alex Howard in third spot, Bob Siegel in fifth, Sklyer Taylor in eighth and Jack Keane in tenth.
AC's Julian Eisen crushed the Junior field while Jack Keane doubled down after his B Race top-ten for a second place.
In the Women's B Race Meg Siegel, riding her first ever cross event, slotted into fourth and AC dad Rich Siegel claimed 16th in the Men's B field.
Follow this link for a gallery of pics from the weekend's outing.
Next weekend, look for a proper season kick-off on Sunday, September 20th with an AC cyclo-cross skills clinic taught by the man, the myth, the cross legend Clark Natwick. Skills camp begins at 1:00PM sharp in Mill Valley (location TBD) and there'll be a proper Taco truck dinner for athletes, our families, AC shop crew and elite team later in the afternoon. Please call the shop for information.
The AC Junior team is sponsored by: FOCUS Bicycles USA and Edge Composites.
Sep 11, 2009
Posted by MJR
AC Junior racer and Stinson Beach’s own Bjorn Fox spent his summer vacation punching tickets in his family’s native land of Sweden. Not only did Bjorn win the Swedish National Road Championships, but he was selected to be attend the Swedish National Cycling Academy, a program that combines academic studies and an emphasis on racing bikes. We can only imagine that the structure and knowledge he’ll pick up in Sweden will push Bjorn to even greater heights.
After some incredible success racing cyclo-cross in Northern California last year, word from Bjorn’s family is that he’ll return to the states in December to race the Portland USGP and the US National Championships in Bend.
We’re hoping that when he comes, he’ll bring a signed jersey from Swedish compatriot Emilia Fahlin.
Labels: Emilia Fahlin; Above Category ·
Sep 4, 2009
Posted by MJR
School's back in session, a new fleet of FOCUS cross bikes has just been built and the annual allotment of Tripel has bee packed into the back of the AC Sprinter. That can only mean that the AC team has locked into full-on Erwin Vervecken mode. Led by our posse of top junior riders and coached by AC's Craig Upton, the team has locked into heavy training mode for the upcoming cross season.
If you'd like to log a few miles with the guys, we're opening the Wednesday afternoon ride to the public. Most of the time it will be a road ride and it'll rollout on at exactly 3:30PM. Expect a few hours of good tempo riding in the hills of southern Marin. Later in the fall there will most likely be some cross riding in the Headlands.
If you need more info check out or stream on Twitter, call the shop or drop us an email. Look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!