Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lots of random bits...

Wow, there is lots to cover right now and I don't even know where to begin...

1) Saturday morning, very early, my wife and kids and I will be joining my mother, step-dad, uncle and aunt for a two week vacation in Italy! My younger sister, not the youngest sister, is getting married in Naples Italy. We're flying in to London (yeah, I know) on Sunday morning. My wife and I are then leaving the kids with the family and jumping onto a second plane and flying into Dublin Ireland... yep, Ireland... Dublin- the home of Guinness. I can reasonably safely assure you that I will not be going to bed sober that night. My wife and I will have two nights in Kilkenny before rejoining the rest of the family in London and flying to Italy. We'll be taking the train from Rome to Naples and then staying in Naples for the wedding and then heading off to see other parts of Southern Italy before returning home. WOW!

That means a couple things; A) I won't be blogging very likely for two weeks. Please don't go away and find some other bike blogger to love. I'll be back and I'll have lots of good pictures, B) I won't likely be riding my bike for two weeks. Well, I definitely won't be riding MY bike for two weeks. I might try to rent a bike over there and see the city (whatever city), but I won't be taking my bike. I owe my wife a bike-free vacation... even if it is Italy.

2) The guys on the A&F/ Inferno team keep racking up the wins, those sweet little fellas...

Ryan Gamm (to the left of the picture), my little pocket-rocket buddy, pulled off another win for the year. On top of it, for somebody who keeps saying "I'm not a sprinter", he won the race in a sprint from a breakaway... but he can't sprint... on top of that, the break had lapped the field!

Jimmy MacDonald, the new elite junior recruit, won a road race the very next day with much the same sort of tactic. (No photo available yet.)

Have I got a great team here or what? I just love them...
( I have to throw out a little love to Dave Tingler, who picked up his own first race win a little while back. Dave is a team supporter and staff member who rides for Savage Hill. Dave got his very own race win and got to do the podium gig- Kudos brother!)

3) Fritz at Cycle-Licious had a cool video post the other day of a six-minute trackstand during a sprint race at a 6-Day event in Europe. I commented on the post because I loved the video and remembered reading about that particular racce when it happened (maybe two years ago?)...

Anyway, Fritz suggested I cover the topic of doing a trackstand during a Sprint race and what it is for, for those who might not be educated on the topic... so here goes...

Riders in a Sprint race are only obligated to maintain a "walking pace" for the first few laps (depends on the size of the track and number of laps in the race). In a three lap race, the walking pace rule would apply to the first lap. After that the riders can go whatever pace they want and that's when you see the familiar cat-n-mouse tactics that you've probably seen in a Match Sprint race- where riders do trackstands or otherwise try to move the other rider around.

You might decide, if you are the rider in front, that you want your opponent to be the rider in front, forcing them to try to control you. Or maybe you just want to play with their head and get them guessing. Normally, due to the fact that the track is flatter in the straights, the riders will roll to a stop and begin their stand on the home or back straight. However, I have seen a few in the turns where the banking is steepest- this is usually done to really mess with the other rider's head because it shows you are not afraid to slip and fall down the track to control the race... or that you are mentally unstable, whatever. The idea is usually to either force the other rider to retake the lead or to force the sprint to start from a standstill.

Personally, dark confession time, I can't do a trackstand to save my ass. Yes, I said it- I really stink at trackstands. I normally just try and hold it for as long as I can and hope the other sprinter is worse at it than me or that I can catch them snoozing and go ahead and jump the sprint. I have used the tactic many times myself, but it is normally to push the other sprinter up to the boards and wedge them in so that I can dictate when the sprint will start- as opposed to forcing them to take the lead with a long trackstand. Last year, during National Championship Qualifier races, I beat the then-reigning State Sprint Champ by doing exactly that; I rolled the pace up just a little and then pulled up to his bars and came to a near stop as we were about to exit turn two. He had to react by stopping hard and when he did, I jumped for the line and won the sprint by about a wheel. It was the only chance I had because he was far faster than me. As it was, I put a really big gap into him when I jumped away, but he closed it and nearly overtook me at the line. I got lucky (and then went on to lose the rest of my sprints that night because my legs were cooked).

So now you know more about trackstands than you might have known... maybe.

4) Spy photo just for you- my people;
Here it is... the Speciale Fixed. As the name implies, it is a fixed gear bike. Flip-flop hub has a 15t fixed cog (with lock ring of course) and a 16t freewheel. It comes with both brake levers and a front brake. It also has two sets of water bottle bosses and rear brake cable guides along the top tube. The rear drop outs are modeled directly after the vintage Campagnolo track dropouts- complete with "brev. Masi" stamped in the dropout along the curve of the dropoout socket. Sealed bearing track hubs (complete with good track nuts) with 100mm front spacing (d'uh) and 120mm rear spacing. The geometry is in between a road bike and a track bike so it makes a great intro-to-track bike or a superb winter fixed gear training bike... or the coolest messenger bike you've ever seen. Talk about "street cred"... full chromoly frame and straight blade fork.

Ok, I'll give you a few minutes to wipe the slobber off of your keyboard... stay tuned, there will be more to come...

Tim

15 comments:

Phil said...

Oh you shouldn't have shown us that, too sweet for it's own good, and old school decals as well.....!!

Safe flying and 'ave a luverly 'oliday guv'nor.

We'll still be here when you get back.

Damian said...

Orange fixie!!

Wants it we does!

James said...

Tim, I have rented bikes in Europe several times. It is a lot easier than flying with one (unless you have a foldable). I would suggest that you stay away from fast road bikes and rent a clunky black single speed city bike complete with fenders and a chainguard. Yeah, they are slow, but the upright position is great for sightseeing (plus you can hold your beer). My wife and I have ridden many slow miles on bikes like those over the course of an entire day. To me, it really adds to the experience. Have a great trip.

By the way, I love the orange track bike.

stupid said...

I have to say "WOW... NICE!"

No to save up my pennies to get hold of one.

Donna Tocci said...

Safe travels to MasiFamily!!!!!!!

Fritz said...

Orange and blue rules, Masi. I love that thing. I was just talking with somebody this morning about painting my fixie orange and blue.

Thanks for the education about track racing.

iruntheteam said...

Sweet pic. And, Ryan not only lapped the field, but lapped the break, too . . . by himself. Sweet!

Nice bike, too. Hek wil want one for sure.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Masi cousin will have to trade in his special fixie. Tell cousins H & S hello and good luck from S & M.

Mack Collier said...

Tim enjoy the vacation! Wonder if they have any good pasta over there? ;)

haggisman said...

so you can't blog from Italy?
Take your time there...stay as long as you like

Ann Handley said...

Have fun -- I miss you already.

Not shocked that you're heading to the Land of Guinness....you being a Beer Church pastor, and all.

Have a blast. See you soon.

cherry broken said...

awww, masiguy cybered me. he gave me some luv.

mwalimu said...

Gammer the Hammer is sweet, but not as sweet as that new fixie...it's been a long time since I looked at a stock bike and said, "Damn...somebody was thinking."

Enjoy Italy...then we can talk more about that fixie.

-R2

annie said...

OK, now you're back, spill it. When can we have the orange bike? I just made it into my desktop wallpaper. No, really, I did. Can I order one now?

wehyroeujel said...

Tim

Again, when will these be available and what will they retail for? You are kicking some serious butt coming up with this and the cross bike. Great job, you should get a raise.