Thursday, July 31, 2008

4 Tour de Cattaraugus Area 7 : Portville and Around


Our gang got together after work hours to ride a fast one to Portville and around, crossing slightly into PA and back up.

On way back to Portville, we took the a nice gradual climb known as Lillibridge Road. For all the feminine sweetness contained in its name, this one becomes a bitch towards the end when the road is unpaved for a half mile or so.

But we could take that just to get to the top, where the views of Haskell flats and Lake View Terrace were gorgeous.

The custom among riders here is to bring beers along on the bikes, get to the top of Lillibridge and chug a few down.

The merry descent on the steep downhill that follows is always a fun thing to experience.

Just keep tabs on the brakes though!

Left to right : Ted Branch, Mike Higgins and Tim Maxon

Ted remarks sarcastically how he hit 300 miles on his cyclocomputer at the moment the shot was taken, with 15 miles/week all season & Mike cheers for him on the right

Views while climbing Lillibridge

The top!

Wait, somethings! Standard victory salute

Nice bikes for everyone...just got to work on ourselves now. :)

Showering in the sun...rock on! On top of Portville and surroundings (~2000 feet) You better sweat or you'll chill here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

3 Kurt Kinetic Releasing 911 Trainer

I got word on a new Kinetic Trainer called 911. Here's what Kurt tells me :

"Nature Valley Grand Prix fans and athletes alike got a sneak peek on the streets of Minneapolis of the newest release from the Kinetic R+D center: the 911 trainer. So named for its ability to store a rider’s energy as easily in a third world village as a summer power outage, the 911 stores energy in an accompanying rechargeable power pack. In tests, two hours of constant riding generated 1000 watts of power, or enough energy to power the average home for half a day. The 911 is expected to ship this fall with applications from camping and recreation to international aid relief."

Power storage device built into a trainer. Innovative business idea? Maybe. Ride your bike while saving that energy you put in for another need?

We've probably seen many of these devices in one form on another but I haven't heard of any commercial devices.

Anyway, here's an article about Kurt Manufacturing Company from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Kurt Manufacturing division becoming hub for bicycle trainers

by John Vomhof Jr. Staff Writer

Kurt Manufacturing Co. Inc. didn't plan to enter the cycling industry, but now its Kinetic cycling division is one of its fastest-growing units.

Kurt, a $125 million contract manufacturer based in Fridley, was making bicycle trainers -- devices that attach to standard road bikes to hold them in place, allowing cyclists to ride them indoors similar to a stationary bike -- for Cycle-Ops, when the bike maker went bankrupt in 1999. Left with $150,000 in inventory and tooling, Kurt decided to branch into the cycling business on its own.

Kinetic has since established itself as a leading brand for bicycle trainers. Sales for the division have grown from $1 million in 2004 to $3 million in 2007, and the company expects to hit $10 million to $15 million within five years.

"Even though the cycling industry as a whole is flat, we are continuing to grow and gain market share, cannibalizing on the competition," said Paul Carlsen, division manager for Kinetic.

Kinetic trainers are sold in 1,500 to 2,000 bike shops nationwide. The company's top-of-the-line trainer, the Rock and Roll Pro RU, sells for $669, compared to $200 for some competing products.

Avid cyclists are willing to pay a premium for a better riding experience, said Carl Gulbronson, industry consultant for Kinetic. "If somebody buys a $69 bike at Target, they aren't going to buy our trainer."

Kinetic makes fluid trainers designed to replicate an outdoor ride. The back wheel of the bike rests on a roller filled with fluid.

Kinetic's leak-proof design separates it from the competition, said Pat Sorensen, president of Bloomington-based Penn Cycle & Fitness, which runs six bike shops throughout the Twin Cities. Kinetic trainers are by far the best-selling trainers at Penn Cycle & Fitness, he said.

"All of our people sell them with great confidence, knowing that they're not going to have problems with them," Sorensen said. "We sold another brand that also makes a fluid trainer, and we had a number of those that have had leakage problems."

Kinetic trainers come with an unconditional, lifetime warranty.

In addition to trainers, Kinetic offers various related accessories. The Kinetics Power Computer, for example, calculates a rider's power output in watts. The company has about a dozen other products under development, including the 911 Trainer, a device that will capture the power a rider generates, storing it in a power pack that the rider can then plug electronics into.

Another key focus for Kinetic moving forward will be international sales. Currently, less than 5 percent of the company's sales come from outside North America.

"Just by hitting Europe, we can double our business," Gulbronson said.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

6 Angelina Jolie and the Colnagos

Whats the connection, you ask?

Here's something I picked up - An article in Pez Cycling by Charles Manantan, dated Dec 23, 2003. Mr. Manantan was doing a side to side comparison of the Colnago C40 with the C50 series, and somehow he couldn't make up his mind about which one was better. You can read the original article here.

Anyway, so he finished his assessment and finally wrote in the end :

"So all in all the C50 is a little nicer than the C40. It’s not hugely better, but the performance boost is noticeable and, with the new tubes, head and stays, it warrants a new number. That seems like light praise for the C50 only because the C40 is so sweet! It’s like determining whether or not 20 nights would be better than 18 with an enamored Angelina Jolie when just one is more than most of us deserve."

Whoaa whoaa.... hold it! Where did nights with Angelina Jolie pop out from? We were comparing bikes a moment ago, weren't we?

Wow.... if Brad Pitt were to read this now, I guess he'd knock your cycling socks right out, Mr. Manantan. Forget about 18 nights!

Monday, July 28, 2008

5 Tagged With Additional Questions

I was notified that The Fat Cyclist responded to my Six Random Things About Me post, in which I blatantly tagged him. I guess in the end he mercilessly tore apart the whole plague that is the tagging phenomena and chose to devise his own intelligent questions, which he answered himself first.

And then he sneezeth and James @ Bicycle Design, among many, caught-eth the cold. The epidemic has been passed on to me.

Anyway, the questions are very bike related and since these two gentleriders chose to put their effort into answering them, I might as well too.

Here goes. Music first right? Ready..?

Q. If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?

A. I like my bike with a no nonsense traditional top tube. Sloping tubes feel like they've just broken their back to accommodate me. I'll get any bike with a proven geometry and lets me achieve my goals. Okay, I'm getting too philosophical here. Colnago has been something I've always wanted to try. I respect the name, their ISO Certification, their proven geometry...why else would they have the same specs for every bike? It feels good to be part of a long tradition, doesn't it?

Q. Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

A. I ride plenty of miles, and if I had a choice, I would have a "stable" of bikes...50...maybe 100 of them for each occasion, to ride on my whim on any day I like. Life is all about balance. I guess you could dream all you want, but you have other priorities as well.

Q. If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

A. The Stelvio Pass in Italy. Gorgeous and painful, its like sex and death.

Q. What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life?

A. Elden The Fat Cyclist. No... but I'd ride my favorite bike all my life. You did provide tools, grease and lube for maintenance, right? Non problemo, chico!

Q. Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?

A. Road for now and sparsely into mountain biking, whenever I can. I'm narrowminded now?

Q. Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.

A. I feel its for older folks. Maybe when I become 50, loose a couple of disks from my back, and my ass cant take a saddle this long and this wide, I'll think about it.

Q. Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?

A. I definitely don't want to tarnish my image, be it doing a triathlon or strangling myself with Fluoride and bleach, the last things I want sitting in my mouth before I die.

Q. Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?

A. Thats apples and oranges for me. Do you ride your ice cream? Yuck, don't even hint at your weird fetishes.

Ok here, suppose you gave up on ice cream and chose bicycles. Suppose I gave up on bicycles and stuck with ice cream. Then we can trade whenever we please. Fair enough?

Q. What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.

A.. Sweet Mary, its asked all the questions, thank you very much!

Q. You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?


1. Dismount the bike, and give a speech to the bear on the health benefits and efficacy of cycling, rather than just crawling about on all fours, wasting energy.

2. Throw him my Cliff Bars. Don't tell me bears don't like the best bike food in the world. Who knows, maybe the bear would get into cycling after his experience...

3. Do a wheelie and pretend to be a horse.. a weird mutant horse to say the least.

If all fails.... ,

4. Take dog spray and apply it in my eyes so I wouldn't see my limbs being torn apart (thanks Blue).

Q. Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.

, Ron, and Ron. These are 3 bloggers I know very intimately. Ooops, looks like all of them answered the above questions at once.

Now that was pretty darn neat wasn't it?

Tagging plague closed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

5 Tour de Cattaraugus/Alleghany Area 6 : Olean-Wellsville


The Tour de France is once again over with a great win for Sastre, the oldest winner in the race's history.

Well, it'd be shame if I were to have sat down and watched the final stage this morning...

...since my magnificent Tour de Cattaraugus must go on!

Like a hen proudly ruffles her feathers in the morning, I donned my Lycra suit at 8am for yet another ride in the Tour de Cattaraugus series.

Ok, this is not to say I'm a chicken.

Don't even go there...

Well ok, so I didn't plan the ride very well and had no intention of riding for practically half my day. But whatever...100 miles is 100 miles.

I heard though some friends that there were some majestic hills out in the east in no man's land.. hence I decided to exit Cattaraugus, enter Alleghany, exit Alleghany...enter Pennsylvania, exit Pennsylvania...ok, I'll shut up.

Quick recap : Areas 1 through 5 covered prior to this ride is documented here.

So, here is Area 6 below, route and elevation for a saddle time of 7 hours. Red arrows indicate starting, blue indicate turning back and trying to get the hell home (without a map :) )

The ride is basically me trying to go from Olean to Wellsville through Bolivar and Alma. South Bolivar had some of the best country roads and scenery I've ever seen in my life and Alma Hill Road in Alma NY was a grinding climb up to the highest peak in Alleghany, standing proud at a little over 2500 feet or 760 metres at the highest point.

As I climbed Alma Hill, I passed acres of Maple syrup trees on both sides and my host on top of the peak was a lonely AT&T Tower.

And not a single good looking human female in sight!

After the sweet downhill at a conservative speed, I rode to Wellsville NY and did some local suckers - some very steep climbs - all paved thankfully. Here are the conquests of the day :

Pictures :


Long road ahead

Golf course?


Very nice country..

Wanna sprint, huh?

Nice roads...


Wonder what this plant makes..dairy?

Cows doing their things


NY-PA Border

Humanity's common language - Beer!


Road to Alma (one of the best paved roads I've ever seen)

So which one of this is Alma Hill...hmm...

Nice to know...yohoo, anyone in there?

Dead as a dodo...

Time for lunch

in front of the Alma Pond (that's what locals call it..)

Some red indian red necks were here 2000 years ago


Aaah, shying away are you, my bike?

A little unsettling to watch this hanging over your head during lunchtime..

Might as well take a dip

Bet that house is there's no one living in this house at all!

Alma Hill road

Beginning section

Grind time

After the climbing, the road this the peak?


There..! I found you, you little crook...this tower communicates with aircraft, not cellphones (I had no damn signal!)

Now thats what it should look like!

Being on top of Alleghany sure feels good (there's a
good chance this might be the top of South West New York)


Petrolia on my left, pretty sights downhill on my right


The country part of Wellsville...

City part

Smile no...don't give me the finger...

Main street

Going up Rauber Hill... with 80 miles in the legs, this one was a hard grind

On top of Rauber to Voorhees
Voorhees Hill....last one of the day

Time to head back home and blog about this !!! 40 miles to home... on the 417 highway, in 80 degree temp with a headwind all the way. You must learn to stop bitching...

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