Monday, October 29, 2012

Compton Wins 2012 Plzen CX World Cup, Leads Overall Standings

Plzen, Czech Republic (October 28, 2012) — Building on her second-place finish a week ago, Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Cyclocross Collective) earned her first UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup win of the season on Sunday in Plzen, Czech Republic. Another American to climb the podium was Logan Owen(Bermerton, Wash./Team Redline), who rode to third in the junior men’s race.

Elite Women’s Race

Compton managed to overcome a late crash in slick, muddy conditions to take the win 15 seconds ahead of British rider Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team). The victory moved the current USA Cycling women’s elite cyclo-cross national champion into the top spot of the women’s overall world cup standings, where she leads Sanne van Paassen (NED/Rabobank Women’s Cycling Team) by 10 points.
The elite women’s race also included four other Americans. Kaitlin Antonneau(Racine, Wis./ Cannondale p/b came in 18th, Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo./Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) took 21st,Maureen Bruno Roy (Arlington, Mass./Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) finished just two places behind her in 23rd, and Christine Vardaros(Wyckoff, N.J./ BABOCO Cycling Team) crossed the line in 28th place.

Junior Men’s Race

Improving on his finish from the previous world cup was Logan Owen (Bermerton, Wash./Team Redline), who claimed the third spot on the podium in the junior men’s race after taking fifth a week ago. He crossed the line just under two minutes back on winner Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands). American teammate Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) finished 13th.

U23 Men’s Race

Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Team Rapha-FOCUS) earned the top U.S. finish in the men’s U23 race, finishing 13th. Cody Kaiser(El Dorado Hills, Calif./California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) took 28th.

Elite Men’s Race

The final race of the day was a tough one for the American riders. Jonathan Page (Northfield, N.H./Planet Bike) was the only U.S. finisher, coming in 32nd behind race winner and current world champion Niels Albert (Belgium/ BKCP-Powerplus). Crashes and mechanical issues kept Jeremy Powers (East Hampton, Mass./Rapha-Focus) and Timothy Johnson (Middleton, Mass./ Cannondale p/b from completing the race.
Plzen, Czech Republic
October 28, 2012
Compton conquered the muddy course to take the win.
Compton conquered the muddy course to take the win.

Elite Women

1. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Trek Cyclocross Collective) 0:41:18
2. Helen Wyman (Great Britain) +00:15
3. Nikki Harris (Great Britain) +00:29
18. Kaitlin Antonneau (Racine, Wis./ Cannondale p/b +03:50
21. Amy Dombroski (Boulder, Colo./Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) +04:58
23. Maureen Bruno Roy (Arlington, Mass./Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) +05:26
28. Christine Vardaros (Wyckoff, N.J./ BABOCO Cycling Team) +07:15

Junior Men

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) 0:42:21
2. Quinten Hermans (Belgium) +01:12
3. Logan Owen (Bermerton, Wash./Team Redline) +01:58
13. Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team) +04:12

U23 Men

1. Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) 52:20
2. Wout Van Aert (Belgium) +00:19
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) +00:34
13. Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Team Rapha-FOCUS) +02:56
28. Cody Kaiser (El Dorado Hills, Calif./ California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized) +05:28

Elite Men

1. Niels Albert (Belgium) 1:08:26
2. Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) +00:36
3. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) +00:45
32. Jonathan Page (Northfield, N.H./Planet Bike) +06:29
DNF – Jeremy Powers (East Hampton, Mass./Rapha-Focus)
DNF – Timothy Johnson (Middleton, Mass./ Cannondale p/b

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gas Sucks: The No Driving Challenge

It started as a question; I thought, I wonder how difficult it would be to give up my van? In my mind I thought it can’t be all that difficult. I mean I live close to just about everything I need, and I work only 3 miles away from my house. So, the commute won’t be too bad.

The excuses started as fast as the idea entered my mind. How will I get my daughter to school (it’s not fair to her to make her walk just so I can prove a point is it)? How will I get to the upcoming medical appointments, they are all the way across town? What about the extra time involved? I mean as a business owner I don’t have time EVER. Maybe I am being too selfish I still get to go for a ride once a week.

The pros and con list went on for a few days, each one of which I had commuted by bike. I drove my daughter to school but I rode the bike to work. On a whim, I asked my 11 year old if she would mind riding our tandem or walking to school with me. With excitement and a face only a father could love she put her hands up to give me a high five and looked me strait in the eye and said "that sounds awesome." AWESOME, really?  "Oh yes dad I think that would be fun." Well then it’s settled we will get up early tomorrow and make it happen.

For those of you with pre-teens, especially a girl, you know that taking their sleep time so they can go to school is like passing a stone, its usually followed by a lot of sweat and yelling. She actually went to bed 10 minutes early. Yes I still don’t believe it.

It dawned on me while I was settling down for the evening that I haven’t had the tandem out of the garage in over a year. I got dressed again and went to work getting her ready for the debut trip; I got to bed around 12:45.

6:30 came real early. I almost canned the idea and went back to bed but I forced myself out of bed and down the hallway to get her up. As proof that you never know what to expect, she was already awake she looked up at and said "we are late we were supposed to be up 10 min ago." HAHAHAHAHAAH okay let’s get going I’ll go get breakfast read and pack you lunch, you get your chores done. I’ll tell you now, MORNINGS at our house are not the smoothest things. But we pulled it off without a hitch and hit the road exactly on time.

The ride to school was one of the coolest things to happen to me in years. I have been driving my daughter to school for years and I can’t remember us ever having a conversation as cool as the one we had on the bike. I mean we would listen to KUIC in the AM to see if they would play our commercial and get stoked when the trivia question of the day would come on.  We talked about a ton of things from how long my hair was getting and how I was going to cut it when we donated it, to how she was doing in math.

We pulled up to the school and I dropped her off, she was soon the center of attention as all her friend came up to see the unusual bike. She reached up gave me kiss and handed me her helmet, than out of the blue she asked can you pick me up too PLEASE? Without thinking I agreed.

It’s been about 10 days now and the van sits there. I have managed to take her to school and pick her up almost every day. I, however, have not driven a vehicle since that day. I made it to all my appointments, work, shopping, everything. I even picked up dinner on the way home from work one night. Here is the interesting part my morning commute to work is only about 9 ½ minutes on the bike it was 10 in the car. The ride to school takes about 8 minutes it used to take close to 12 because of traffic which we buzz rite by (by the way she laughs at that every time we do it). I have concluded that the shorter trips are actually faster by bike and a lot more fun. So we will see what it is like with the upcoming challenge RAIN! Keep your fingers crossed this should be fun!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Let Velo Wrench help! 

If you make that cycling purchase here anytime between now and Christmas we will store your purchase here till 2:00 on Christmas Eve, so you don't have to worry about your gift being found out. Can't decide what to get that cycling enthusiast? Let them decide with a gift card from Velo Wrench.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Free Clinic

Next Beginners FREE mechanic Clinic will be Friday night the 30th of November, class starts at 7:15 PM.

This popular intro into mechanics covers tire changing, bicycle nomenclature, derailleur adjustment in between tune ups, proper chain cleaning and maintenance, on road emergency repairs, and proper bike lubrication. We end the class with a Q&A session with our master mechanic. Snacks are provided. Class is limited to the 10 students and is a prerequisite to the intermediate mechanics course. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Life From The Seat Of a Bike (continued)

Rejected and resolute I am off on my own.  I found a route around my house just at 8 miles this would be my training grounds. I went to the sports store after reading several articles about material wicking and how the moisture is pulled from the body and dried before making the wearer wet, keeping the skin dry is apparently very important to comfort. So I bought myself a pair of under armor shorts and a thin pair of running shorts to go over it. Like I said no way I was going to be seen in spandex. Complete with my new riding clothes I went for a ride. It took only one hour and twenty minutes to complete the 8 mile ride. The materials worked, I was more comfortable but let's just leave it at that BUTT.  Well the butt hurt so three days off the bike. 

Ride # 2 went about like ride one with only one exception, I saw another rider on the road he was much faster and disappeared as fast as he showed up. (More about him later). Yes, the butt hurt again and yet another 2 days off the bike. 

Still unwilling to go into a bike shop, I would research the problem on the internet and see what I can do. So now with the knowledge on what to do for the issue I am forced to go to the store and buy a seat and some new shorts, it took three stores to get a dang pair of shorts and a new seat.  I was overwhelmed at how stuck up the sport seemed to be, being fat and getting help in a bike shop seemed to be difficult at best.  (More fuel) 

Armed with my new seat and a pair of those crazy spandex shorts I was off for day three. What a difference a day makes. I had my first successful ride felt great and I almost caught that guy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Velo Wrench Tune Up Punch Card

Now available at Velo Wrench Bike Shop...a tune up punch card! That’s right, we want to reward you for your loyalty. 

After your 3rd paid tune up, your 4th one is FREE plus you get a free gift!

Come buy and get your free punch card anytime. 

Or if you’re like me, and you have several bikes in your garage and will use several tune ups a year, prepay for your tune ups and get an extra discount off the regular price of $69.95. You pay only $60.00 each for your tune ups and you still get the full tune up including the famous steam cleaning and frame waxing.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cyclingnews Cyclo-Cross Week: An introduction

USA Champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus)
USA Champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus)
As the road season winds down and the autumn leaves wither and fall, those smitten with two-wheeled pursuits turn their attention to the sport of cyclo-cross. Once seen as a somewhat crazy but fun way to get in some off-season training when the weather turns bleak, cyclo-cross has now become a serious sport with many calling for it to be added to the Olympic programme.
Cyclingnews will be running a number of cyclo-cross themed articles this week, including tips on how to get started racing cyclo-cross, how 'cross is evolving in the USA, the challenges in globalizing the sport as well as guides on the major race series. But first, where did 'cross get started?
The beginning of cyclo-cross
Cyclo-cross evolved in the primordial cycling soup that was France at the turn of the 20th century. The first French 'cross races pre-dated the first Tour de France, but they share a common name: Géo Lefèvre.
Not only did Lefèvre hatch the plan for the first Tour de France together with Henri Desgrange, but he is said to be responsible for organising what was then called cross cyclo-pédèstre at Ville d'Avray in January 1903.

The first 'cross races shared little resemblance to what we now see: rather than wind through a tightly regulated course in a field full of man-made obstacles, the first cyclo-cross events looked more like a mix between mountain bike cross country and an urban assault. Riders navigated dense woods, stream crossings, hopped over natural barriers such as chest-high fallen trees and hauled their bikes up the church steps.
Over the years, the sport evolved into a more consistent format which is described by the UCI as such: "Cyclo-cross races last approximately one hour. Races are held on technical and hilly circuits of 2.5-3.5 km. Cyclo-cross provides a real education in cycling as it requires accomplished bike handling skills and unfailing physical fitness. Competitors have to carry their bikes over some sections."
France was the first country to adopt 'cross and hold a national championship, and when the first world championships were held in 1950, it was a Frenchman, Jean Robic, who claimed the gold medal. The sport then spread to Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
France won the world title for the first nine years before Italy and Germany took over dominance. Although they rule the sport now, Belgium didn't produce a world champion until 1966 - Eric De Vlaeminck. He would go on to win seven. The USA first held a national championship in 1963, but the concept did not catch on until 1975.

If one looks down the names on the podium of cyclo-cross history, it is clear that the sport is less international than it once was: what used to be a healthy mix of German, Swiss, Italian, Czech, Dutch and Belgian names has become dominated by Belgium. Since 1998, the country has taken three-quarters of all podium places in the elite men's fields, and has won 11 of the 14 world titles. Earlier this year, Belgians occupied the top seven spots in the men's race. Later this week, Cyclingnews will examine why this is the case.
The race calendar
Belgium also hosts two of the most lucrative race series: the Superprestige, which began in 1982 and the GvA Trofee, first organised in 1987 (to get a new name this week). The UCI got on board with the concept, and launched the World Cup in 1993. These days the World Cups are obligatory as the massive points garnered in the races give the riders the best starting positions at the world championships.
Inside Belgium, tens of thousands of people attend races, braving rain, mud, ice and snow to cheer on their favorite riders. They have highly organised supporters' clubs and wear branded clothing as they swill beer, chow down on frites and yell words of encouragement. It's a big league sport, second only to road cycling and football.
But outside of Belgium, the sport is quickly catching on on a more grassroots level: in the USA a typical Oregon race has upwards of a thousand entrants in the various categories. There are three major race series in the USA: the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross, the Shimano New England Professional Cyclo-cross series and the Verge New England Cyclo-cross series, all made up of UCI races and amateur racing series in every region of the USA.
In the UK, cyclo-cross is also catching on, with the professional National Trophy series as well as numerous local race series. Canada also boasts an ever-growing 'cross scene, and there are UCI races across the globe: in Denmark, Japan, Finland, Slovakia, Serbia, Poland, Austria as well as the more traditional 'cross countries, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Luxembourg and of course, Belgium. You can find ourcomplete 2012 cyclo-cross calendar here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

2013 Team Velo Wrench Race Team and Club

We are finishing out drive for membership to the 2013 Team Velo Wrench Race team and club. All interested parties should contact Vince at the shop by the end of the week so that you can be included in the first meeting.

Who is eligible? Anybody who wants to learn how to race or ride we have levels to the team so that you can find your perfect place.

Want to learn how to ride a century (100 mile) bike ride? We can help with that. Interested in racing? We can help with that too.

You will receive insider discounts and other team benefits the more you do the more you get. Even if you just want to ride a bike with a great group people this may be the place for you.

We look forward to hearing from you! 707-451-4706

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Great Local Event: Vacaville Kid Fest Is Sat, Oct 6th, Andrews Park

Vacaville Kid Fest was started in 1999, when an idea was born to create a "Children's Festival", a place where families could come and have a day of activities with their children at very little or no cost, and also have the opportunity to learn about many of the services and resources that were available to children and families. We adopted the theme "For the Child in all of us".

A group of City of Vacaville representatives, ranging from business owners and managers, nonprofit groups and media people were approached with the idea and met it with enthusiasm. And thus, Kid Fest was born.

The first Kid Fest Core Committee consisted of Shauna Manina, Meaghan O'Neill from Vacaville Police Dept., Linnea Dischinger from Vacaville Fire Dept., Todd Grames and Suzanne Green from Community Services Dept., and Reggie Hubbard from Housing & Redevelopment Dept. Other business people from The Reporter, Downtown Vacaville Business Improvement District, and others all committed to the vision of a day of low cost or no cost activities, free resources, and fun.

Our first event in 1999 had 1 stage and 40 booths, with everything from food, crafters and merchandise vendors, a wide range of social service and community nonprofit groups, free children's games and entertainment, bounce houses, and a very strong focus on child safety and health. From the beginning, a large component of the event has been the presence of Vacaville Fire and Police Depts., with their equipment displays, children's fire muster, and safety information.

By 2001, there were 2 stages of entertainment and over 120 booths participating in the event. The committee members have changed over the years, but the event has continued, and become part of the fabric of what makes Vacaville a family oriented community. The focus remains on child and family safety and health.

See more about this wonderful organization at

See you there!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thursday Night Ride Canceled

Velo Wrench Bike Shop's Thursday Night Ride has been canceled for the season. However, our Saturday Morning Ride will continue until the weather turns. 

Saturday Morning 10:00 am - B/C/D Group

Pace is determined by group at beginning of the ride. This ride will be led by an experienced Grass Roots Team member and will be a NO DROP ride. We will depart from Velo Wrench Bike Shop at 10:00 sharp. As with all rides, we will have a brief ride description, route description and safe briefing prior to roll out.