Friday, April 27, 2012

New England Disabled Sports

We ride our bikes for so many reasons.  Most often, selfish reasons.  Later this summer, I'm joining 5 others and riding my bike from Boston to Montreal to raise money and awareness for New England Disabled Sports.  It's a really long distance (further than I've ever ridden at one time) and I'm sure we'll be challenged physically, mentally, emotionally, and probably in ways we haven't even considered yet, but it will be nothing compared to the challenge that those living with disabilities have to overcome every day.

Most of us don't even think about how fortunate we are to have the physical and cognitive abilities to enjoy a daily bike ride.  New England Disabled Sports strives to bring the same joy we've all experienced to those who would not otherwise be able to.  Through financial and material support, their members can enjoy biking, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, and numerous other outdoor activities.  What better way to give back to others than to enable them to share in our passion(s).

I'll have more to share about our specific adventure to Montreal, but in the meantime, head on over to bikereg and
  1. buy a Washington Square Tavern cycling kit
  2. buy some Mad Alchemy chamois cream
  3. donate directly to New England Disabled Sports
All proceeds are going to New England Disabled Sports.  And go quickly because the order will be closing in early May.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ronde 3.0 interview with Quad Cycles

We asked the fastest team on the day to tell us more about themselves and their experience: 

Tell us more about yourselves.  Where are you from? 

(Charles Wescott) I came to Cambridge for grad school and never left.  By this time, I've been here long enough that I've earned the right to drop my "R"s and use the phrase "wicked pissa" whenever I feel like it.
(Michael Good) I'm a middle-aged suburban dad from Wilmington. I have three kids ages 17-22. I love riding and racing bikes. I started in racing mtb's in 1997, it will always be my first love. Since then I've branched out into some road racing and a bunch of cyclocross.
(Kurt Johnson) I myself am also A middle aged dad of two.  A 12 and a 30 year old and grandfather of a four year old.  I started riding mt bikes in 1995 after quiting smoking butts for years, I started racing the following year and got hooked.  A couple years later started cx racing and a little road. When my son turned five we dabbled a little with bmx.

What type of riding do you do most often? 

(Charles Wescott) For me, every ride begins and ends with a running of the gantlet on Mass. Ave.; so the type of riding I do most often is "sketchy".  I've got road, mountain and cyclocross bikes, and a fixie, and I try to keep all of them exercised.
(Michael Good) I try to mix my riding up to keep it as fresh as possible. A great week would be five different rides on five different bikes.
(Kurt Johnson) My passion has and always will be endurance riding and racing from
ronde style to 12&24hr racing.

How did you learn about the Ronde Rosey?  

(Charles Wescott) I have no idea.  The Ronde is a legend.  This is kind of like asking someone how they first learned about Santa Claus.  It's just something you know.
(Michael Good) I first learned of the Ronde shortly after the first one. I can't remember how I found it but I read Rosey's blog. I absolutely loved the idea of it and was determined to get on a team the following year. Which I did riding with the NEBC team last year. 
 We scouted the course back in February and were so beat that none of us wanted to ride it again for over a month.  You guys rode the whole thing twice in 5 days!  How did you pull that off? 

(Charles Wescott) It's all about motivation.  We did it for the children.  We did it for the honor.  We did it for the glory.   But, mostly, we did it for the beer.
(Michael Good) We rode the entire course together on Tuesday. I was on vacation, Kurt had the week off between jobs and Charles had the day off. We love this kind of riding. We do cx rides as a regular part of our routine. We were excited to see and learn some new riding areas to ride our cx bikes on. 
(Kurt Johnson) The prep for the Ronde began long before we knew we were gonna ride it for sure like MG said we do at least one long mixed ride a week on our cx bikes. We came out and rode a little of it in February or at least what we thought was parts of it then we rode the course on the tues
before the ronde, myself I'm the navigator so I rode a couple of the sections after that.

Besides pre-riding the course, did you take any additional steps to prepare?  

(Charles Wescott) I watched "Smokey and the Bandit"  a few days out so I could go into The Ronde at the top of my game, mentally.  I knew Chip would be on our tail with the tenacity of Beauford T. Justice, so I needed all of the psychological preparation and focus I could muster.  During the Ronde, Kurt was definitely the Bandit, while I was Snowman.  If I crossed my eyes and squinted, Michael kinda looked like Sally Field.
(Michael Good) To mentally prepare myself for the challenge of the Ronde I went north to the White Mountains on Thursday and spent a day alone riding notches and passes in a hail storm. The Ronde was a piece of cake after that 
(Kurt Johnson) As for prep nothing different then if I was gonna head out on A long ride

What would you recommend to other teams or first time teams? 

(Charles Wescott) Take that strip of bacon Dana offers you and put it in your pocket for later.  Pre-ride bacon isn't everyone's idea of a gastrointestinally good time; but you'll want it by the time you get to Concord.
(Michael Good) My recommendation to other teams would be to take advantage of any and all information that is forthcoming from you guys. It's a long ride and could be a very long day if you don't pay attention. 
(Kurt Johnson) Advice for other teams if a team passes you and you know they know where they are going don't bitch about it grab A wheel and hang on :-) 
And prepare for an event study the map write down the street names 3 or 4 times (ask erica @RSC she watched me do that the tues morning we rode the loop).

We tried to hang on during the Tuesday pre-ride

What was your favorite section of trail?  

(Charles Wescott) The railroad bed.  It looks simple; but you can get going fast enough that serious injury will result from sloppy riding.  I left a quarter-pound of butt cheek on the railroad ties.
(Michael Good) My favorite part of the course was the technical section that was most mountain bikey. I believe that it was just after the long road climb up out of Wellesley. It ended with the sharp drop right into traffic if you weren't careful. Roots, rocks and off-camber sections played into our strengths.
(Kurt Johnson) My favorite section would be the same as MG, the best part was we passed a few teams going into that section and when we came out none of them were behind us, I was shocked I thought for sure some of the young guns would of tagged on and followed us shit we are olds guys.
How about your least favorite? 

(Charles Wescott) Watertown.  No rural forested trails, yet not urban enough to be amusing.  Watertown is just an obstruction between the excellent trails of Rock Meadow and the beer waiting at the finish.
(Michael Good) I don't have a least favorite part, it was all great.
(Kurt Johnson) My least favorite section, Umm fat old guy cliff rd or page rd.  Either one you chose not really it all was good.
Rumor has it you guys host a trail/road event as well.  Can you tell us more about it? 

(Michael Good) Kurt and I put on an event two years ago. We called it The Amazing Bike Race. It was inspired by the tv reality show Amazing Race and Rosey's Ronde. I had this great idea that we could do an event like the Ronde and incorporate non-biking challenges into it. So in a 60 mile mixed terrain ride we had the teams stop twice. Once at 20 miles and then again at 40 miles. There they had to perform a task successfully in order to keep going. They were given a choice of a mental challenge or a physical challenge. For example; a cycling related crossword puzzle or a team relay carrying a metal spoon with an egg on it thru cones on your bike on grass. The concept was awesome. Unfortunately is was poorly attended and a ton of work. We said we would do it again but it hasn't happened yet.
Last question.  Will you be back in 2013 to defend your fastest time?

(Charles Wescott) We'll be on it like cops on donuts.
(Michael Good) Not only will we be back, I bet you will see us out there soon riding some of those areas again because it was so much fun.  Thank you for doing this event. Too many people sit back and expect the fun come to them, not enough create the fun. You guys are "The Fun Creators!"
(Kurt Johnson) Of course we will return for another Ronde you guys put on a hell of an event, don't change a thing.  Well maybe the course.  A little more woods would be cool.

Thanks guys!  We're looking forward to showing everyone even more new trails in 2013!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ronde 3.0 Strava segment winners

I mentioned in a previous post that Strava offered up prizes for the segment winners on our route.  Here are the fastest men and woman on the day:

Lincoln Rd:

Men's winner: David Wilcox
Women's winner: Mo Bruno

Weston Railroad Bed:

Men's winner: Curtis Boivin
Women's winner: Mo Bruno

(Surprise segment) Concord Lexington rail bed:

Men's winner: John Bayley
Women's winner: Mo Bruno

I'll get in touch with these three gentlemen and lady to deliver their free 6 month Strava subscriptions.  Nice work everyone and thanks again to Strava for the donation!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ronde 3.0 recap 2

Some of my pictures:
Team Awesome exiting Cutler Park
Weston railroad bed

More of the railroad bed

Hands are worked!
PPPPPP: The "winners"


Very slick


Just a typical Sunday outside The Washington Square Tavern

Cool moto style cue sheet holder

Trippy anodizing

And room to spare

Hands down, classiest bike of the day

Other's pictures and stories of April 15th:

From Matt O'Keefe:

From Stampede:

From Mike Wissell (don't worry, only he was harmed during the writing of this recap):

From Chip:

More from Chip:

From John Bayley:

From Team Awesome:

I wish I had known the full story while he was at the race:

More great writeups, this time on cxmagazine:,+cycling,+bike+racing,+veldrijden,+cyclo-cross

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ronde 3.0 recap 1

Where to begin?  Thank you to everyone (135!) who took part in the third edition of the Ronde Rosey on Sunday.  The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and judging by the amount of smiles, beers, and burgers consumed at the finish, I'd say even those I didn't speak with had a good time and earned the finish line rewards.

I hope people also enjoyed some of the new trails we incorporated this year.  Given the mild winter, it's been really fun exploring and finding some previously unknown gems and we were happy to share them with everyone.

On to the thank you's
  1. Washington Square Tavern:  For the third straight year Gerry has opened his restaurant to us all.  Huge thanks to him and his staff for tolerating the chaos that we cyclists bring.
  2. Chip Baker and Matt Aumiller (he doesn't live on the internet, apparently):  These two helped scout and mark the course, drum up excitement, round up raffle items, and then crushed it with their teammates.  They were just as big a part of the preparation as I was and without them, this event does not happen.
  3. Cafe Fixe:  They were kind enough to donate the coffee to help everyone start off as caffeinated as possible.  Plus, the owner is in to bikes and a great starting point for various weekend group rides.  Thanks Fixe!
  4. Hammer Nutrition:  We reached out to Hammer to see if they'd donate some products for the event.  They went above and beyond, donating a ton of gels, Heed energy drink, and electrolyte tabs.  Hopefully every team was able to make use of their allotment.  Judging by the speeds, I'm pretty sure the gels helped keep people moving despite the heat.
  5. 47 brand:  Last year they invented the Ronde branding and made some sweet hats.  This year they raised the bar with new designs.  Bob and Ryan also made the awesome blue Zanconato hats that I've been proudly wearing/sharing the last few years.
  6. Lazer:  They came through with some great jerseys, a belt, shirts, hats, and glasses for the raffle.  Plus they protect my head every time I get on my bike.
  7. Ride Studio Cafe:  Coffee tastings, free coffee cards, race day tune ups, all kinds of good stuff from the folks in Lexington Center.
  8. MM Racing:  Matt and Mo are corner stones of NECX so it is always an honor to have them at the Ronde.  They showed up to race, no doubt about it, but they also brought great raffle items including a set of brand new Grifo tubular tires and a special edition Cat Eye wireless computer.
  9. Newbury Comics:  I didn't get to inspect the Newbury raffle bags, but judging from year's past, Roger's crew always adds great stuff.
  10. Derek Griggs:  Derek donated a really sweet Ortlieb backpack and some Ryder sunglasses.  Thanks Derek, but I wish I had won that bag!
  11. Mad Alchemy:  Pete makes the best stuff on the planet, bar none.  AND, he gives generously to NECX.  Thanks for the sparkle Pete!  Oh, and those socks, man I love those socks.
  12. Strava:  There are still prizes to be awarded thanks to the folks at Strava.  Make sure you get your ride info uploaded by Tuesday (4/17).  The fastest male and female riders on the railroad tracks and on the dirt Lincoln Road will win 6 month premium subscriptions.
  13. Firefly: Thanks for the sweet t-shirts and high end water bottles.  And, did anyone else notice the Di2 road/cx machine Jamie was riding?  So trick and probably perfect for the course on Sunday.
  14. Cyclocrossworld/Todd Prekaski:  I'm not so sure my mom loves cyclocross but the t-shirts from these guys were appreciated
So what does this all mean?  How about $2200 for Bikes Not Bombs!!!

Also, I'd really like to hear from all of you that took part.  Post your recaps, links to pictures, or links to your story in the comments.  How many flats did you have?  How many derailleurs did you lose?  How many wrong turns did you make?  What was your favorite part of the course?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ronde 3.0 critical details and more course info

First of all, thanks for the overwhelmingly positive reaction from so many of you.  The ride is officially full(er than I expected).  I'm looking forward to you all enjoying nearly 70 miles of tough riding on Sunday, all in the name of charity.  I've heard rumors of a little complaining but I'm sure those who are complaining are just doing so because they are scared, not because they plan on bringing any negative attitude on Sunday.

Here are some important details for Sunday.

1.  All riders must show at the Washington Square Tavern by 8am for instructions.
2.  All riders have to print out the waiver and sign it before the ride.  We are NOT going to have these on site, so print in advance.  No waiver, no ride.
3.  Instead of waiting for others to hold their hands and show them the way, a group of Quad Cycles riders tackled the route on their own.  They got it mostly right, with the exception of the trails around Walden Pond and leading to Rt 2.  I marked a better route there this week.  If you want to see their gps info, go here:  If you're taking Kurt's hard work, be sure to buy him a beer after the ride and perhaps a burger too.
4.  We'll have a support vehicle in Concord, armed with a bunch of Hammer products.  But, if you don't make it there by 1:30, you need to find Mass Ave and take the pavement back to Brookline.  Otherwise, you'll miss the beers, raffle, and fun (and probably be pretty unhappy).
Route specifics:
  1. This is NOT a closed course.  There will be cars (obviously) on the roads and other trail users, including dog walkers on the trails.  Be respectful.  Remember there might be 100+ others following you, so don't ruin it for the rest of them.
  2. I've ridden most of the trails already this week and marked them with pink ribbons.  
  3. There are A LOT of sticks down on the trails.  These sticks can very easily rip your derailleur off.  Consider yourself warned.
  4. Even though it has been very dry this spring, there are still slick bridges.  No need to risk crashing on a twisty bridge.
  5.  There are some portions of the route that are NOT well marked.  They are:
    1. The route from the Tavern to Skyline Park.  Research it, figure out how to get yourself to Brookline St and Skyline Park
    2. In Bedford, after the old rail trail, you'll turn left towards Page Rd.  Again, research it.  I was not able to spray all of the turns there.  The GPS files will take you the right way if you're following them
    3. Once you finish the trails and come through Belmont Ctr, you're on your own to get back to Brookline.  It's not that hard, but research it in advance.
  6. Tristan Schneiter with Geekhouse made a cue sheet for those relying on old fashioned paper.  I am not going to print these, but you can.  Fair warning, the mileage will be slightly off, but the road naming will help orient those who need it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ronde 3.0 important details and waiver form

Important details for Sunday:

1. Show up with your waiver printed and signed in advance: waiver

2. Show up with $10 cash for entry fee
3. Show up with a helmet, multiple tubes, a mini tool, ID, money, and food
4. Parking is limited in the area so either carpool, or ride over.  You can leave a small bag securely at the Tavern if needed
5. First teams leave at 8:15.  All teams need to be at the Tavern by 8am to hear critical route instructions

I've ridden much of the southern half of the loop yesterday and today.  It is supremely dry and one could get by with a big (28+) commuting tire, though I still suggest cx tires.

The trails are marked with pink ribbon, the roads are spray painted with "R" and an arrow indicating turns.

I'm working on a cue sheet, but mileage will not be 100% so you'll want to rely on the route markings primarily.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ronde 3.0 Strava collaboration

We already shared a link to the course via Strava.  Now the kind folks at Strava have joined in to provide prizes for the fastest segment riders on April 15th.  We have 6 month premium membership rewards for the fastest male and female on the following segments:

  1. Railroad bed
  2. Lincoln (dirt) road
We were out there today to mark the start and finish of each of these segments, but we suggest you study them a bit in advance if you plan on going for it.  A word of caution about the railroad section.  In addition to a few road crossings, the areas where you'll cross over the tracks can be slick.  If you crash and burn, you won't get the Strava award, so be safe first, fast second.  Also, you'll have until Tuesday the 17th to get your data loaded to Strava and then we'll mail the rewards.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ronde 3.0 team list

Sign up is closed

Here are the teams and the start times
  • Everyone needs to arrive by 8am to hand in waivers and $10 cash per rider
  • The route is being well marked this week
  • Cue sheets with rough directions will be available too

30 teams

If you're not on the list for 2012, be sure to watch here for an opportunity to join the ride in 2013.