Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Morning Tunes: Reet Petite

This needs (maybe that should be "has") no explanation ...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Classic Video: 1988 Giro's Gavia Pass Nightmare

The video quality isn't so great, and the fuzzy foreigner doing the commentary didn't have the decency to speak American, but this rare footage of the 1988 Giro d'Italia's Stage 14 provides a glimpse of the brutally numbing conditions riders faced that day on the Gavia Pass.

Andy Hampsten, riding for the 7-Eleven squad, topped the pass with Dutchman Erik Breukink and survived the bone-chilling 25k descent that followed. Hampsten finished second that day behind Breukink, but his heroic effort pushed him to the top of the overall standings on his way to becoming the first (and only) American to win the Giro.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Women's Six-Day Race Began In New York City 113 Years Ago Today

The old Farmer's Almanac and other sources say the first women's six-day race began at Madison Square Garden on this day in 1896. But an article in the New York Times archive says the first women's six-day took place in 1895. I try never to argue with farmers. They can be a stubborn lot.

The 1880s and '90s were definitely boom years for track cycling in North America, although watching women battle it out on the pine boards was still a novelty, as the following snippet from another New York Times article makes clear ...
Women on Bicycles:
The Six Days' Race In Madison-Square Garden Opened

Madison-Square Garden was reopened to the paying public yesterday afternoon for another Six days' show. It is a race on bicycles for women and is under the management of William O'Brien. New Yorkers took to it kindly, probably because it promised novelty and excitement. No one was disappointed.

Tony Pastor officiated as starter, and gave the word at 3 o'clock. Twelve expert female riders of the wheel had appeared on the broad pine floor track a few minutes before, and were gliding along gracefully awaiting the opening hour. There were less than 1,000 spectators in the building, and the cyclists did not see many of their sex among them. All the fair contestants were dressed for effect and comfort. Bright colors and natty turbans were conspicuous, and tunics and lights were common. The knickerbockers costume was an exception. There were blondes and brunettes in the group, women of shapely figure, and women who would hardly be selected as models, but all gave evidence of knowing their business and that they meant to race to win.
Yes, track racing was big fun back East near the turn of the century. But the advent of the automobile stunted the sport's growth. This article from The Canadian Encyclopedia lays it out:
The 1880s and 1890s were boom years. Racing on outdoor tracks attracted large crowds and produced many notable performers. The Dunlop Trophy Race, instituted in 1894, ran for 33 years and attracted the leading Canadian and American competitors. The World Cycling Championships were held in Montréal in 1899, and in 1912 the first Canadian 6-day race was held at the Arena Gardens, Toronto. In the 1920s and 1930s, the 6-day race was a regular promotion throughout North America, and lucrative contracts drew the best amateurs to the professional ranks, the most famous being W.J. "Torchy" PEDEN of Vancouver, who amassed a total of 38 wins, a record unbeaten until the mid-1960s.

Early in 1900, the arrival of the automobile diverted public interest from cycling with a consequent drop in attendance at meetings and in membership of the CWA. Much of the enthusiasm generated by cycling was transferred to automobile racing, and innovations that appeared first on bicycles found their way to the automobile. Popularity waned, although competitors and crowds continued to be attracted to six-day races.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Don't Look Now, It's The Infamous "Kansas City Scuffle" Video

After exhausting the vast resources of Oregon Cycling Action with an extensive search of the endless internet, we are able to bring you this invaluable video of the now infamous "Kansas City Scuffle." (Disclaimer: Any similarity to another Midwest product, namely the "Super Bowl Shuffle" by the 1995 Chicago Bears' Shufflin' Crew [pictured] is purely coincidental).

In this video you'll see the feel good hits of the season! You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll see one Jerry-Springer-Lovin' American call it upon himself to try and add a little Versus Network-style extreme fighting 'tude to an otherwise perfectly good bike race. But enough already. Enjoy ... ...

Bigger, Badder USGP of Cyclocross Announces 2009 Portland Dates

The U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross, this country's premiere 'cross series, will return for a third year in 2009 and expand to a fourth weekend.

Along with the races in Louisville, KY, Mercer County, NJ, and Portland, OR, the USGP plans to add a fourth weekend of racing with the Planet Bike Cup in Madison, WI.

The 2009 USGP schedule boasts eight days of professional and amateur racing. The series kicks off Sept. 26 and 27 with the Planet Bike Cup in Wisconsin, followed by the Derby City Cup on Oct. 25 and 26 in Kentucky. The USGP will continue with the Mercer Cup in New Jersey Nov. 14 and 15 before returning to Portland Dec. 5 and 6 for the traditional series finale.

The Portland Cup weekend will start a big month of top-notch cyclocross in Oregon; the USA Cycling National Championships follow a week later in Bend.

Registration Open For Willamette Stage Race

Registration for Arpil's Willamette Stage Race opened Jan. 3.

Pro/1/2 men and pro/1/2/3 women will race five stages, starting Thursday, April 23, and finishing Sunday, April 26. All other groups will race four stages beginning Friday.

Although courses have not yet been finalized, organizer Mike Ripley says he plans for the pro/1/2 men and pro/1/2/3 women to begin April 23 with the 96k Coburg Road Race. The remaining groups will begin Friday with the King Estate Winery Road Race.


Stage 1: Thursday 4/23
Coburg Road Race: 96K, Coburg, Brownsville, crawfordsville, Marcolla, to Mckenzie View Finish (Stage in Coburg Pro, 1/2 and Pro 1,2,3 women only)

Stage 2: Friday 4/24
King Estates Winery: Pro,1/2 135K and Cat 3 Men 135K, all other fields 67K starting and finishing at King Estates Winery

Stage 3: Saturday 4/25
Philomath TT: Philomath HS staging at 9am. This 18K TT will roll you around for some early morning pain and give you a chance to make time on your nearest competitor.

Stage 4: Saturday 4/25
Corvallis Circuit Race: Three miles and 30 or 45 minutes of fast paced action

Stage 5: Sunday 4/26
Alpine Road Race: Staging from Philomath High School, this 96K final stage with nearly 4,000 feet of climbing will test your power and fortitude as big descents and a strung out finish should separate you from your good friends all the way back to Philomath.

Go HERE to register online.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Butler Serves Up 8th Place Finish In Tervuren

Portland's Sue Butler is continuing her stellar prep for the the upcoming World Championships Feb. 1 with an 8th-place finish at the Tervuren, Belgium, cyclocross Sunday. Butler's fellow U.S. National Team rider Rachel Lloyd (California Giant) was second, finishing just behind former world champion Daphny Van den Brand.

In the men's race, Jeremy Powers ( was the top American finisher in 19th. Portland's Molly Cameron (Organic Athlete) finished 1 lap down in 39th. Belgian Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won the race.