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Event Recap

  • Jul 18 2014

    My Race on a Brompton [@ BUSC 2014]


    Perennial Cycle has been the host of the Brompton US Championship for the past two years. Meeting all of the racers has made me want to participate, despite the fact that I'm not a racer (I must be a competitive commuter). This year BicycleSpace, a shop in Washington DC, hosted the event which gave me the opportunity to do this. Perennial Cycle has a lightweight, speedy demo Brompton that I rode quite a bit last summer. I felt this S2L-X would be a great choice for the event, so a few weeks before the race I started putting some miles on the bike with my sights set on losing a few pounds as well as getting in shape (I was taking my cues from Spencer Morse who is one of the strongest Brompton racers I've seen).

    busc7out on an extended morning ride to work before heading to DC

    I got in the best shape I can muster (I'm a 51 year old realist) and did in fact lose the 5 pounds I was aiming for. I made some tweaks to the bike, but didn't bother up'ing the gearing as the 7% reduced gears were pretty much all I could handle. Race day brought on a sickening mix of heat and humidity. This was certainly an edge up for me having been raised by two South Dakotans that were raised during the depression. They happened to be Norwegians as well, which meant that until it hit 100° the temperature was never mentioned and then only in a neighborly fashion ("I sure hope it´s not so hot that the day lilies droop..."). I happened to be standing with my bike near Jordan as he called out for the racers to start lining up their bikes, so I went right up and set my folded bike in the front row.

    DSC_9469f turning on my camera before the race

    I envisioned myself running up and quickly unfolding my bike and heading out first, but running up the lanes with a lot of people was challenging to do without crashing. I patiently worked up to my bike and methodically unfolded it and hit the road with probably less than 20 people in front of me. All good.... Up and riding, feeling good on the bike with the seat height correct and even straight : )

    busc5Racing to my bike at the start

    The first half lap was a big loop through and around a couple of RFK Stadium parking lots. By the time I finished this section I was past almost all but the speed demons. The next section was cobblestone that wove through Congressional Cemetery. This started with a fairly steep climb and by the time I got to the top of this I could see a group of four racers that were in the lead. At this point I passed the last person other than the lead group and saw a big strong rider pulling up behind me. It was Peter of NYCE Wheels and I smiled and mumbled something incoherent. He drafted me for a moment, but was quickly moving past me nodding for me to grasp his draft. I managed it for all of about 10 seconds and then yelled "good luck" to him and in a flash he was gone. With the first of my 3-1/2 laps completed the race was feeling pretty lonely. Not a great feeling being that I had envisioned working with someone to break the wind with, but before the second lap was completed I had a lone rider ahead. I caught and passed him (Alex) for a while and then he caught and passed me, and this back and forth went on. At about lap 2-1/2 Alex and I caught a rider that had been holding with the lead pack, but now the heat was getting the best of him and he was dragging a bit. Alex and I passed him and continued our cat and mouse past lap 3. With about a mile left in the race I passed Alex for the last time. The heat must have worked him down, so I crossed the finish line in fourth place thinking I was done, but got no signs from anyone and I just wasn't 100% sure if I had done all the laps (duh). So without even thinking it over I went on to do one more lap. I feel pretty silly about that, but it just points out is how unseasoned a racer I am.

    busc6these are all the BUSC 2014 racers that were at last year's BUSC in Minneapolis

    The weekend was super fun and while I loved being part of the actual race, I have to say that all the weekend's events were an absolute blast. Being with a group of Brompton superfans is a ball : ) Friday night at the British Embassy, Saturday's Brompton Urban Challenge, and Sunday's Championship race were all great fun to be a part of. If you have a chance to participate in the Brompton US Championship in the future, I'd highly recommend it. While my post talks about the race in a competitive tone, the majority of participants are out to ride with a large group of politely paced racers that are all connected by there lovely Brompton Folding Bicycles.

    Here are some links regarding the weekend: -my pictures on Flickr -gallery by Amy Ta -BicycleSpace's recap (with event video) -Washington Post article and video about BUSC 2014 -Brompton US Championship website


  • Jul 23 2013

    Brompton Riders are Truly Awesome Racers!

    busc2013_ 1 - Version 2 As the organizer of the Brompton US Championship (BUSC) 2012 & 2013 I can tell you that Brompton Riders and racers are extremely good natured individuals able to go with the flow. This year's event was truly spectacular in every way. The representation of participants created a map with dots from throughout the country. Thanks for that! Multi-Modal Ride: Saturdays 30 mile spin led us through a wide variety of obstacles due to a major storm, but we all wore smiles throughout the cyclo-cross-like obstacles. Lunch alongside the great Mississippi with a group of Brompton riders was a lovely experience followed by a ride to the Northstar commuter train that easily held out folded Brommies and brought us back to Minneapolis just in time for the next ride. Multi Modal Ride - BUSC • 2013     Urban Explorer Ride: This 10 mile urban loop was designed to give the out-of-towners a chance to ride a wide variety of paths and shared roads with a few sights fit into the mix. Thanks to being shut out at the Guthrie (touristy stop) due to an anniversary party we had enough time to ride to one of Beez Kneez urban hive's and being that Kristy (the Queen Bee @ Beez Kneez) was on our ride she gave a tour of the hive and had some Q & A about bees. busc2013b_ 14 We headed back to the shop for a powerless party (power got knocked out for the entire weekend due to Friday's storm) and being that the sandwiches were to arrive from a place that also was without power, we had to come up with a plan B. Pizza is the answer! busc11 Dewi Sant is a fabulous band that we had scheduled for a show. Being that they knew we were without power, Michael Morris (the lead of the band) decided to come up alone and give an unplugged performance for us. Without light in the shop, we had the entire party and Michael's performance out back. He put on an awesome acoustic show for us. Thank You Michael! Sunday's Race Day was filled with huge smiles, great looking people wearing their very best, fast folds and an amazingly spirited bike race. The competition was fiercely battled and in the end there were no fewer smiles than at the start. This event and all of the BUSC participants have touched my heart in a very special way and I am sure to never forget BUSC • 2013! Thank You fabulous employees, sponsors and especially to those of you who came out and participated in this wonderful event. Here are a few pics of the events: Brompton US Championship Details: BUSC•2013 Podium Folding Competition Champs BUSC•2013 Treble Honors BUSC•2013 Flickr Set (lots of fun pics!)
  • Oct 03 2012

    What Would You Carry?

    With Saturday set to end with the giveaway of a Yuba Boda Boda, the big question on everyone's mind started with a hypothetical: "If I were to win tonight..." Would my life change? What would I do with a cargo bike? Thus, we set up a photo booth in the shop with a racing-green Bullitt by Larry vs. Harry and asked you to share with us, "What would you carry?" An animated slideshow of Calhoun Cycle customers sharing what they'd carry if they had a cargo bike like the Larry vs. Harry Bullitt pictured. Some of you were inspired by your favorite food or drink. Others were led by love. Our younger shoppers offered that they might carry notebooks or books... even the family dog. Nick, from Rock-It Bicycle Delivery (and proud owner of a Clockwork Bullitt), responded with a question of his own: What wouldn't I carry? Click here to view these photos at your own pace in our Flickr gallery. Thanks to all who stopped in our What would you carry? photo booth.
  • Jul 06 2012

    Riding the Powderhorn 24

    Riding the Powderhorn 24 Riding in Minneapolis' Powderhorn 24 bike race stands out as one of the most fun events I've been involved in by bike—ever. The field of riders is men, women, teams, solo riders, unicycles, recumbents, road bikes, touring bikes, folding bikes, fixies, single-speeds, etc, etc. All riding together... for 24 hours. The wide range of cyclists and wheels big and small all riding together made a bit of a party out of it (to say nothing of the hundreds of people camped along the Greenway's start/finish area). Trapped together in the maze of the Powderhorn neighborhood, we all shared an intense need to keep going and going and going. Minneapolis bike culture at its best! Calhoun Cycle owner Luke Breen rides his recumbent in the 2012 Powderhorn 24The route was simple, or so it seemed. There was about a 5 mile loop that started and finished on the greenway. The loop (or lap) was a fairly straightforward ride that made a rectangular pattern out in the open streets (not a closed race course) around Powderhorn Park. The lap had 4 checkpoints that you had a hole punched on your lap counting card that we were all wearing as necklaces. If you missed a checkpoint, the next checkpoint would not give you a punch and this way it was obvious that everyone was hitting all checkpoints every lap. When I signed up I didn't pay attention to anything beyond it being a 24 hour ride. Upon learning about the checkpoints I thought it was something a bit different than I imagined and I considered bailing out, but thanks to peer pressure (I signed up with a friend whom I had done a 24 hour ride with once before) I kept my doubts somewhat in check. After finding out we wouldn't just have our laps counted, we'd have bonus checkpoints throughout the 24 hours within a mile of the route, I worried we were on the verge of a potential disaster. Truth: the last 24 hour ride Derek and I did together led to us making some irrational decisions starting at about 14 hours in and were pretty much completely delirious for the last 8 hours (and that was a simple ride to Duluth and back!). The roll out with a few hundred spectators cheering the couple hundred riders was exciting and we quickly got into a rhythm and discovered that even with all the stops, we were able to keep up a decent pace and within a couple of laps we had a route that was making sense to us. An hour in and we had over 15 miles under our belts and then we get handed a manifest with our fist 5 bonus stops (each with 2 hours windows to stop at them). The bonuses forced us to start thinking beyond the laps. We had to go to a Beehive where we added antennas to our helmets to turn us into bees (worker bees, for sure), did a karaoke stint to Rocket Man, raced through a little obstacle course on a tiny kids bike, rode a lap on a Nice Ride, did yoga, played out a bit of an operetta (I was Crete, stirring up the seas), tried a little bike polo on my recumbent, wrote a Haiku, learned about in-season veggies at the Midtown Farmers Market, etc, etc. Phew! The bonus (!) of the bonus stops was that they kept us sane (though they were mostly doing things that took me out of my comfort zone) and the constant encouragement and socializing with other riders kept up our pace and sometime Saturday morning we had ridden a double century and a triple seemed do-able. How cool is this, eh? Things continued going smoothly for us and while we didn't make the triple, we did end up clocking 275 miles over a total of 51 official laps. The final lap was glorious in that the "race" was over and all the riders were content with simply finishing off the lap (only full laps were counted) and celebrating an amazing accomplishment. Thanks to all who came out to cheer us on, to the organizers and volunteers of the Powderhorn 24, and to our fellow riders! Post-race group shot from the Powderhorn 24. A crowd of participants pose with their bicycles on a hill along the Greenway in Minneapolis Here's some video that I shot:

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