Archive for July, 2010

Niklas Group Tour de Bowness

Posted in Racing, Road on July 26, 2010 by bikealberta

Provided by Bow Cycle

Yes, the 2010 Niklas Group Tour de Bowness is coming up! Join us from July 31st to August 2nd in welcoming some of the best cyclists Western Canada has to offer. With over $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs as well as the Provincial Criterium Championships, we expect some exciting racing all weekend!

Visit www.tourdebowness.com for full details.

NEW TITLE SPONSOR FOR THE TOUR

Bow Cycle & Sports is excited to announce the addition of the Niklas Group as the Title Sponsor of the Niklas Group Tour de Bowness!

Niklas Group specializes in creating multi-family and single family homes in Calgary’s most desirable inner-city locations. Niklas Group strives to exceed client expectations by focusing on quality, style, location, and unique features in each and every one of their developments. One of the most prominent examples is Casel on 17th.  This site is a mix of retail and residential creating a dynamic and forward thinking project.

Niklas Group is the sponsor of Team Niklas, a Calgary cycling team. The team was created by company founder Joel Goralski in order to promote the cycling lifestyle, and in turn help increase the Niklas brand awareness in the community.

For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.NiklasGroup.com.

Of course, we cannot do this without our other Sponsors – The Bowness Business Revitalization Zone, Impact Magazine, the Bowness Mainstreet Subway, Salt & Pepper Restaurant, Oakley, Servus Credit Union, Hexters, Specialized, OGC, Scott, Shimano, Kona, Norco, Cycles Lambert, Bow Cycle & Motors, and Canada Olympic Park.

If you require any additional information, please feel free to get in touch with me via the below mentioned contacts.

Sincerely,

Bob Grunewald

Race Organizer

p. (403) 202-4359

e. bobg@bowcycle.com

Calgary tour de nuit Society Update

Posted in Bicycle Commuting, Bike Clubs on July 16, 2010 by bikealberta

The Calgary tour de nuit Society has written the City of Calgary, Transportation Department to ask them to kindly review who they have invited as stakeholders to a new cycling stakeholder committee. This committee was set up as a result of Alderman McIver’s attempt to introduce a notice of motion for a Road Diet on 5th and 6th Ave SW through the heart of downtown Calgary and then the subsequent resubmission of the pathway speed/safety study by another alderman in the political horse-trading that followed.
This tour de nuit legislative initiative represents the first time a cycling group has had input to the municipality’s agenda. In 2006 Council defeated a proposal for a bike station and in 2008 it defeated a proposal to study a Montreal-style bike rental program.
CtdnS would like to ensure that the following cycling stakeholders are represented on the committee:

The Alberta Bicycle Association
The Alberta Triathlon Association
The Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance
The healthcare sector
Calgary’s independent bicycle dealers
Business revitalization zones
Inner city community associations (specifically transportation specialists)
Personal or triathlon trainers or cycling coaches

The Calgary tour de nuit Society issued invitations to one or more representatives of each of these stakeholder groups encouraging them to ensure that their constituency is an integral part of this process. CtdnS set out our objectives with the legislative initiative launched in the winter and detailed what the Transportation Department was attempting to achieve by establishing the stakeholder committee. The goal of the Calgary tour de nuit Society is to raise the mode share of people who travel by bicycle — more people cycling more often.

Bikeridr’s 2010 Edmonton Canada Cup

Posted in Cycling Bloggers, MTB, Racing on July 13, 2010 by bikealberta

Provided by Ken Hurd

Canada Cup race weekend began rather ominously… Driving up to Edmonton we ran through one of the worst rainstorms I’ve ever had the displeasure of traveling through. The effects of the storm on my mood were amplified even more by my apprehension of what all this rain was doing to the course!!

Sadly, my fears were realized Saturday morning when I met up with Sheldon and Gord, to pre-ride the course. I would say optimistically that 1/3 of the course was ‘walkable,’ another 1/3 was super greasy and sketchy, and the last 1/3 of the course was ‘manageable.’

Needless to say we weren’t exactly feeling ‘race ready’ after our pre-ride. Amongst the riders we ran into speculation was flying as to whether or not the course would dry up, or whether it would be a mud-ridden suffer fest.

Come race day, however, I would say the conditions were damn near perfect, with upwards of 85% of the course being nice and tacky, and the rest either requiring a very careful line selection, or a quick muddy run. To be honest, I couldn’t believe the course dried up as well as it did.

Despite what great shape the course was in, I was in for a slightly ominous start to my race as well… Not used to the clockwork-like organization of Mike and Evan, when I finally decided to grace the start line with my presence (15min prior to the start) I found that everybody had already assembled and that names had already been called… Gulp!

I found myself on the ass-end of by far the biggest racing category of the day (59 riders) and could hardly see Smart and the rest of the boys up there in the front row!

…read more [here]

2010 Edmonton Canada Cup Results

Posted in MTB, Racing, Results on July 12, 2010 by bikealberta

Photos by Brad Chisholm

The full results from yesterday’s great racing can be viewed [here]

More photos from the event can be viewed at Dave Roberts’ flickr [here]

Edmonton Canada Cup Husky Featured Riders: Gabor Csonka & Bogi Gyorfi

Posted in Cycling Bloggers, MTB, Racing on July 8, 2010 by bikealberta

Our Husky Feature racers of the month for July are the husband/wife duo of Team Bow Cycle Gabor Csonka and Team Spin Sisters Boglarka (Bogi) Gyorfi. Outside of Gabor’s iconic hot-pink, rigid single speed, the couple is probably best known (and admired) for pulling the whole family together for most of their races. From serious racing roots in Hungary and the Midwest to training, racing, working full time and managing two energetic young kids – we get a brief glimpse into the controlled chaos of their lives!

Gabor Csonka

You’ve been racing for a number of years (including at a professional level in Hungary) – When did you first start racing, and how did you get started?


I started in 1992. I picked up a 12 month loan to pay for my first MTB, (an orange Scott Peak with Shimano 200GS!). The guys in the shop convinced me to try this weird muddy bike race on the weekend. They even give me some VHS tapes with Overend and Tomac and others racing the world cup. So I did try the race, crashed hard many times and finished 2nd behind the series leader back then. Later I joined the local MTB club and started to race the national series.

I notice that you’ve raced road, triathlons, duathlons, mountain bike races and running races. I would imagine that mountain biking is your focus?

MTB is definitely my love. All other races I did for training, or just to try it out. The MTB training/racing is way more fun (for me) than running, or even road riding. Icing on the cake is the people; I find the MTB racer community a lot friendlier and laid back than competitors in other endurance sporting events. The best place to find good friends.

You have a family, you have a job, you have two kids… What’s the secret? How do you find time to balance these with training and racing?

Oh man… I think I am still looking for the balance there… Last year was the first year when I raced while having two kids. It was kind of fun as I was getting faster each race, without much training. This year I tried to follow my old training plan, but in about 3 weeks into it I realized I cannot devote that much regularity to training. My training is rather ad-hoc, whenever I have and hour I go out and try to hammer. It got me where I am, but it will be hard to get significantly faster. Next year my kids will be bigger and if work permits I will be able to train more. I also commute 50k / day since October. I think it helps a lot to get some basic miles in.

I’ve seen you at marathon/enduro events as well as shorter sprint races; what is your preference? Why?

My preference used to be the shorter XC races. Recently I have done some marathons, and I am learning that my body is reacting better in the longer/slower races. It is probably the result of daily commute (slow) and lack of quality high intensity work in my training. The goal for the next few years is to get faster in the XC races.

You’re probably most recognized for not only your iconic pink bike, but also for the fact that it’s both a single speed and a rigid set up. I’m sure many of our readers (and those watching you race) will simply ask… Why?

Who’s got time to clean those cassettes, derailleurs and suspensions?

For the long answer I give you my history of single speeding:

Single speeders are nuts – this is what I thought 7 years ago. Later I raced against our single speed world champion Jesse Lalonde, who almost always beaten us (midwest elites) on his rigid, SS. Then I built up a rigid SS for winter riding ONLY(because single speed racers are still nuts). Then I started enjoying it. Then I figured it makes me train harder on the hills, so I used it for training in the summer as well. Then I started comparing my speed on SS vs my speed on my geared hard tail. I was not much slower on my SS and had way more fun. Then I was converted. Fun takes priority over results – with some exceptions.

How has this season been going so far?

Pretty good. I am faster than then last year and slower then next year I hope.

I notice that you’re in the process of overcoming a slight knee injury – Any advice you can give other racers in staying healthy and injury free on the bike?

NEVER ignore it. My problem is minor, but it started about 10 years ago. I ignored it and my body did the best to adjust to the problem so I kept riding and running with fairly small pain. As a result my bio mechanics are quite screwed now. One of my legs are way weaker than the other and some muscles are way too tight or weak. Good news I can fix it, the bad news I should have done it 10 years ago. I would be faster and healthier. The other advice is to find the right doctor. Someone who works with athletes. They will understand your goals, where general practitioners or most chiropractors will not. I used to see a chiro – not much help, they kept telling me to rest and ice. Now I am visiting the Chiropractic Performance & Sports Therapy Centre in Calgary and it makes a lot of difference. These guys work with Olympians, they understand training and racing and they will want to make you stronger – not just cure your pain. And at last: just don’t get injured.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Bogi Gyorfi

A competitive downhill skier, kayaker, orienteering runner, mountain biker, triathlete and mother! Is there anything you don’t do?


Yeah, i do not work 🙂

I am so fortunate to stay home with my kids. I think this is the only way we can keep up this active lifestyle. If I stayed at my profession, I was a gymnastics coach, we could not arrange riding , racing times for sure.

I know that a family can have a profound impact on a persons athletic endeavours (especially a woman’s), what advice would you give to other women wanting to keep their interest in sports, but also interested in starting a family?

After many years of training and racing there is time to try different things, like raising kids… Which is the most challenging thing i have tried so far. After I have reached some of my athletic goals and was not going to go to Olympics… 🙂 I was ready to have family.

It was a totally different life for the first year, a nice change from the athletic scene. It is interesting how our perspective has changed after having kid… Life just got real and full. We both became whole persons as parents.

After the baby years off course the desire to get back in racing is natural for both of us. I think everyone who loves competitive sports understand the craving for that adrenalin rush. Life is different now but during a race I feel the same…. Of course before and after is a gang show with kids.

I think everyone can do it just matter of willingness. It is hard to drag out the whole family… Packing snacks, diapers, bike tools…. Oh I forgot to eat before the race, almost late for the start… Going hard… Race is over, kids eating my after race meal, let’s cheer for daddy, go for a nap…

But everyone loves it even the kids seem to enjoy it and hopefully grow up wanting to do something similar.

Outside of a few races last year this appears to be your first year back racing seriously, how are you finding the return to racing?

Seriously? There is no such a thing any more… Still no training just riding… No training plan, just trying to do whatever fits in the week… No race preparation, just barely making it to the start line.

Even it is not serious I found myself getting back to my racing shape and enjoying my racing a lot. I think I would not even like to train more or race harder, I am just happy to have fun and be around other bikers.

I just wish some more families would come to the races.

How does the racing and racers in Canada compare to the Midwest, or Hungary?

Back in Hungary I was just getting introduced to the sport following Gabor and only 2-3 other girls had MTB back than

In the Midwest we were part of the WORS (Wisconsin Off Road Series), which is the best organized 12 races in one season. With average 800 people it was super fun and verycompetitive. In a good way of course, our biggest rivals became our best friends after camping with them at the races every other weekend.

We were surprised that the MTB races are so small on numbers in Alberta. We think it is because there are so many fun trails and riding, hiking, scrambling, etc. that the people find more fun playing out there than racing. In the midwest there is nothing to do just racing… 🙂

You don’t share your husbands love for rigid pink bikes? I half expected you to be rocking a blue fixed hard-tail this year 😉

Unfortunately i am not strong enough to pedal in one gear… I have a SS bike and tried at the muddy Giver8er course since I did not wanted to wreck my nice bike.

Actually it was the first time I understand why Gabor does it. It is pure, and fun in a way. I was really proud that I could do it. I will do it again if it is muddy!

I’ve noticed both your children on bikes at many of the races, is it a forgone conclusion that they will one day join the race scene?

That be great to be able to bike with them when they get older. If i had a bike dream that would be that we could do TransRockies as a family. But off course it will be their choice. I just like them to do something what they enjoy and will keep them out of trouble…

Early Registration for the Canada Cup Ends Tonight

Posted in MTB, Racing on July 4, 2010 by bikealberta

Provided by Alberta MTB Racing

That’s right, Alberta MTB Racing is pleased to announce the Early Bird Draw prize contest. The contest is for everyone who registers for the Edmonton Canada Cup on or before July 4, 2010.

Here is the deal: If you register online (via Karelo) before 9pm on Sunday July 4, 2010 you will be automatically entered to win a Garmin Edge 500 GPS courtesy of United Cycle. That’s right, we’re giving away another Garmin worth more than $500! And all you need to do is get your registration done early.

We will draw for the Garmin after 9 pm on July 4 and announce the winner on our website (www.edmontoncanadacup.com).

Sign up now [here]

Husky Featured Rider: Bridget Linder

Posted in Cycling Bloggers, MTB, Racing on July 1, 2010 by bikealberta

Leading up to the 2010 Edmonton Canada Cup, each month from April on, we’re going to be highlighting one feature racer, getting their thoughts on the upcoming 2010 Edmonton Canada Cup, plus any insights they have in general on riding and racing in Edmonton, Alberta and across Canada. No matter if you’re a seasoned vet, or new to the mtb scene, these Husky Feature Racer articles will worth checkin’ out!

Our Husky Feature racer of the month for June, is none other than team Hardcore Bikes, Bridget Linder. If you’re from Edmonton, you’ll likely recognize Bridget as she’s been sporting that iconic Hardcore green for number a years now in the women’s elite category. In this article she talks about her very first race, what’s so great about riding in Edmonton and balancing her racing goals with ‘real life’. Here we go:

Let’s start out with a little history on how you got into riding and racing. What’s the Bridget Linder Story?

I dabbled with mountain biking when I was in high school growing up in Kamloops. Unfortunately, sometimes I feel like my time in Kamloops was wasted. Maybe not wasted, but it was definitely spent doing other things like basketball and volleyball. I rode a bit, but my friends that rode were spread out across the city and I really didn’t get out much. Prior to Uni, I sold my bike, bought a cheap four-wheeled vehicle complete with a combustion engine and moved to Calgary. My passion for cycling remained but I didn’t own a bike or have any friends that rode. After a year or two without a bike I caved and bought a sweet used Rocky Vertex with a Mag 21R and Kooka cranks. I credit any of my technical descending skills to using this oversized (19”, I ride a 17”), under suspensioned bike as a shuttle bike during my summers home in Kamloops. Unfortunately, this didn’t help my climbing!

Fast forward to the day I met my husband… I think Dave fell in love with my Kooka cranks before he fell in love with me. Dave loved cycling and had been mountain bike racing for a few years before we met. Dave was my “in” to mountain bike racing, which was something I’d only dreamed about before meeting him. With a new riding partner/racer (and much more) I had finally found my way into the sport.

Do you remember your first race?

My first race was the 2002 CAUSE Canada Race for Human Rights. This seemed like an ironic first race. It was snowing, muddy, freezing and the most painful racing experience of my life. My V brakes lasted one lap and I broke my rear shifter while trying to shift with my fist because my fingers had literally frozen solid. I would say I’ve never been happier to finish a race, but it was my first, so all I can say is that I was ecstatic to finish, and only mildly hypothermic.

I knew that everything would be easier compared to this first race experience. I continued to recreational racing over the next couple of years until I found myself unexpectedly upgraded to Elite and completely out of my league. I retired. Saying “I retired” makes it sound like I gave up, what I did was recognize that I needed to ride more to compete at that level.

Dave and I moved to Edmonton almost three years ago. We hooked up with Hardcore our first summer here. I went out to volunteer for the Hardcore Devon Dust Up and ended up racing on Karen Martins hardtail. After my two years off I was hooked again and decided it was time to put in a solid training effort. Living in Edmonton and riding with Hardcore enabled me to bring my cycling to a new level. Before, I had no idea that it was possible to live in a city AND have wicked singletrack minutes from your doorstep. I used to be a weekend warrior and now I’m out at least four times a week, work and weather permitting. I credit Edmonton, its amazing cycling community and the passionate cyclists at Hardcore with any improvements I’ve made over the last couple years.

Sounds like you ride and train quite a bit, so how does it fit into your life? How do you manage your racing goals?

I love riding. I would love to quite my job and train and race. Unfortunately, as everyone knows, reality bites sometimes. Currently (as if that will someday change), I train around my full time job as an environmental planner. This is a really busy year for me and I don’t have the time to get as many training hours as I did last year. Then again, last year I was training for triathlon, which required a lot more time. I had a plan for this year that seems to be crumbling but I’m trying not to stress about it because that will just bring me down. You have to be flexible and adjust your goals as the season and life progresses. I was hoping for top 10 at Edmonton Canada Cup and top 15 at Nationals but it all depends on who shows up. In my dream world I wouldn’t be more than 10 minutes back of the leaders in Canmore but right now, with my slack training, it seems like a far off dream. The Edmonton Canada Cup course was so great last year that I think it will attract more competition so top 10 may be a stretch.

I have to ask here, what’s it like racing against Pepper, and that cyclo-cross bike of hers?

Haha. You’ll have to ask Pepper about her CX love affair. For me, I love my CX bike and I love CX racing. I really love it. However, when it comes time to mountain bike race I like to use the right tool for the job.

You mentioned the Canada Cup course, so what was your experience at last year’s Edmonton Canada Cup?

Last year it was HOT, I mean it must have been over 30C! I was there way too early cheering and felt drained before the race even started. It was the first time I had ever trained and peaked for a race so I wasn’t sure what to expect. In the end I was satisfied with how the race played out but it left me pumped to go at it again in Canmore. It was a surprisingly small field last year, but as I said before, I think that’s going to change this year.

My absolute favourite part of the race was passing men on the 2pm drop. Oh sure, they passed me again soon afterwards, but passing men at all, let alone a technical section, doesn’t happen very often for us women, so I basked in the ‘glory,’ albeit briefly. I have to admit, I’ve only looked at the 2pm drop this year, I’m not sure I feel as confident as I did last year (i.e., it makes me nervous).

My least favourite part of the race was when a back-of-the-packer from the men’s race thought that his race was more important than mine and ran me off the trail in a narrow section. One of the realities of women’s racing is that it is always second string to men’s.

I think it is fantastic that any city can hold a mountain bike race in its core. It is even more fantastic that it is the city in which I live. It’s unbelievable and I think that it is easy for alocal to take it for granted. I admit that I was skeptical about river valley riding before I moved here from Calgary. This skepticism is prevalent among non-Edmontonians and I think that’s why there was a lower turnout for the Edmonton CC than the Canmore CC. Canmore is associated with the outdoors and mountain biking and Edmonton is a city with river valley paths, at least that’s what people think. After last year’s race people’s perceptions will have changed. I’m optimistic, I think this is going to be a bigger turnout and hopefully will bring in more local spectators to come see what this sport is all about. Having an easily accessible race enables all types of people – including youth and families – to spectate and potentially recruit new racers for the future.

Keeping on the topic of women’s racing then, what’s your opinion on the local Women’s MTB scene?

We’re pretty thin on women’s mtb racers. The trick is hooking them young. It’s great to get into it later in life, but I think to really develop the sport and competition it helps to at least be exposed to it at a younger age, for instance, in high school. The Catch-22 is that to attract youth we need more women mountain biker role models.

The other problem is that mountain bike racing is expensive. I’m not even talking about the bike and equipment – I’m talking about licensing, race registration, and travel. I think local grassroots events like Hardcore’s Fat Tire Tuesdays are fantastic for the sport, for women and men. It’s a low-key, inexpensive ($5) way to try out racing. The only problem is that you still need ABA insurance so people, even the newbies, need to plan ahead and join a club.