Hell Ride Report 5/14/2013

Another Tuesday, another Hell Ride!
Other than a 9 MPH headwind up Birdseye, Monday was a perfect evening for the Hell ride.
Not long after departing Spring Meadow, we were passed by an officer of the law that was clearly impressed by our tight, single-file line . . . good thing he didn’t see us later on Lincoln.  It was an uneventful ride for most of the Birdseye hill.  As we approached the last rise, John took the initiative to push the group and I was the lone rider to jump, subsequently riding his draft until 500 meters before the finish, at which point I pushed ahead and took the win, followed by John and Joe.
The group collected at the fire station – the porta-potty is back – and prepared for the second leg.  This too was a fairly uneventful section until 750 yards out when I decided to push the pace and head out into the cross wind alone . . . in retrospect, I was a bit too ambitious, allowing John to catch up just before the line.  I didn’t see who followed John because I was gasping for air  – and didn’t expect to have to write this summary.
The final section was fast and quiet with the wind behind us.  Randall accelerated away about half way down the third leg and the rest of us watched him go.  John decided to sprint the gap and I did my best to catch the two of them.  Not long after, the group was back together.  As we approached the short hill at the end of the leg, I took advantage of Steve’s draft and accelerated around his left side and took the win with Joe following.  Again, the need for oxygen was greater than my curiosity about who came in third.
The ride from there to the Libation Station, which is normally at a “conversational pace” seemed more like a fourth leg.  We regrouped at the Libation and took a nice relaxing ride back into town.  The wind was calm the whole way back and it turned out to be a fabulous evening for a “Spring” ride.  You really should be there next week!
Riders this week included John, Randall, Steve, Drew, Mark, Paul, Byron, Joe, Chris, and me.
Have a great week,

Hell ride report for 5/7/13

Hell ride report for 5/7/13

With slightly warmer weather in the forecast for this week’s Hell ride 🙂 I decided to indulge in the fun.  I arrived and Robert Ray, Joe Hamilton, Jesus Salazar, Byron Deford, Randall Green, Buck Rea, and Drew Malany joined me to be the brave ones for a ride in some good old wind.

We headed out with a head wind.  A little confusion insued with our inability to rotate in a paceline or understand what clockwise means.  We got that figured out and started to rotate just in time to wait 5 or 10 minutes for a train.  We waited for some cars to pass us and off we were again.  Tempo was set up Birds Eye.  Several riders took turns with pulls including a huge effort by Drew.  Near the end Buck set down a good effort into the wind to nearly get the sprint.  I came around him with 100m to go and nipped him on the line.  It looked like Randall brought up the rear with third.

We regrouped at the top for the dash down the hill.  We had some difficulty figuring out we did not own the road and nearly had an incident with a vehicle when someone did not hear car back.  We all survived though.  Pulls were shared between Robert, Jesus, Drew, and Joe.  Drew made a great effort for the uphill sprint into the wind but I came around him with 100 to go to nip him on the line.  I believe Joe came in for a very nice third on that one.?

We rolled out almost immediately for our third segment.  I attacked soon after the railroad tracks and soloed off the front.  I could not tell who brought me back in but it looked like a good group effort.  They got me about a mile before the sprint where Randall immediately launched a counter attack.  Good effort was put forth in chasing him down. I launched another counter attack at the base of the hill where I won the third sprint, Drew in second, and third to Buck I think.  Help me out on that one.

We met at Libation station and put one more Hell ride in the books.  Thanks for coming out.





Hell (froze over) Ride report: First Hell Ride of 2013

Seven hardy souls kicked off the 2013 Hell Ride Tuesday on a cold and windy evening.  Randall, Joe H., Robert, Mark S., Chris, John, and Josh set off from Green Meadow Lake promptly at 6:00 into a hardy headwind blowing in from the northwest.  Temperature was something south of 38 degrees, and looking west, it appeared we were headed into a blizzard.  The group developed a nice rotating paceline after the first tracks, which made the wind tolerable.  After the second set of track, Josh decided the best way to warm up was to attack off the front.  Apparently he was the only one who thought that was a good idea, and everyone else sat in and let him go.  With the wind, it wasn’t long before the group was together again.  At the base of the Birdseye climb, Josh and Joe decided to turn the screw a bit, and the group started to come apart.  Joe, Josh, Randall, Mark, and John stuck together.  At some point Randall popped off the back while  Mark and John were happy to sit back and let Joe and Josh battle the wind.  At the top, having done no work, John jumped and took the sprint, with Joe second, and Josh third.


After a short respite, the group headed out on the second leg.  The wind seemed to be building.  John, feeling guilty for having taken advantage on the first leg paced the group down to the Silver Creek crossing, where Joe, Josh, and Randall took off.  From the distance, it looked like Josh took Joe on the sprint, with Randall third.  Randall tried to explain what happened, but his cheeks were too frozen to talk.


After regrouping, it was time to head downwind for a change.  After hammering into the wind for two legs, it was almost silent (and warm) do run with the wind.  The group stayed together and sailed down the third leg with Robert doing most of the pace setting.  At the finishing hill,  Josh started his sprint a little too early, and John was able to come around him at the finish.


The group spun into town with snow squalls all around.  While it was cold and windy, the snow stayed away for the entire ride.  All in all, it was a pretty nice evening.  Hopefully it will be a little warmer and calmer next week, and we will get more of the team out there.


Happy trails.



Last Hell Ride Report: 8-28-2012

Last Tuesday was the final Hell Ride of the season. I made it that close to not having to do a report all year, and for good reason given the quality of the reports sent out this year by Byron, Drew, and many others. Since I am without such creative writing skills, this writeup will be a little more on the minimalist side.

We had a remarkable turnout for the final ride, on what was probably one of the nicest days of the year. Winds were out of the east (yes, east), which made the ride a little different from the usual west winds we are used to.

Rebeca started out at a little before 6 for the B ride. Drew, Josh, Byron, Steve, Robbert, Randall, Jesus, Cory, Elizabeth, Rick and myself (I think I have everyone and I have the names right – sorry if I missed) were rolling out of Spring Meadow right at 6:00 when Mark rolled in. Being the ladies and gentlemen we all are, we patiently waited for Mark as he got ready to ride. We finally got on the road at about 6:15.

As noted, winds were out of the east, making the first leg faster than usual. Everyone stayed together (I think) until Josh started to push the pace on the Birdseye Hill, which caused a split in the group. I stayed with Josh, with Drew and Jesus trying to bridge the gap. Josh and I hit the final climb to the finish before the chasers could close it down. I was able to just get around Josh at the finish, with Drew and Jesus finishing just behind us.

On the second leg, everyone initially seemed content to sit in and take it easy. That is, until Mark and Steve tried a dig just before we crossed Silver Creek. That had the effect of kicking the hornets nest, and it was game-on. The group was able to shutdown the Mark and Steve attack, but then it became a game of wheel-catching, with Josh, Drew, Jesus, and Rick all making moves. Rick made the final move to the finish, but I was able to sneak around just before the line, with Josh just behind.

The third leg was unusual in that it was into the wind rather than being the super-fast down-wind leg it typically is. There was too much wind for anyone to get away, so everyone sat in. We tried to get a rotating pace line going, but it never took hold. As we approached the final sprint point, things started to amp up quite a bit. No one really made a move until Steve unleashed an attack around the group with an acceleration I have not seen from him all year. Unfortunately, Steve went a little too early, and as he faded at the top of the hill I was able to come around. Steve took second, and I believe Byron was third.

Afterword, Byron hosted the riders at his house for some frosty beverages and good eats.

Well, that’s it for Hell Ride 2012. I look forward to seeing everyone out again in 2013.


7-17-2012: Tour de Hades Ride

Welcome race fans to the 11th stage of the Tour de Hades, this is Lil Phigget and Shaul Perwin who will be calling tonights contest. Tonight’s participants include Mark(Van den)Brooke, John(Thiebo)Tietz, Scott (Cavendish) Herzig, Robert (Sky) Ray, Byron(Boasson Hagen)Deford, Drew (Hoogerland) Malany, and Adien (Van Garderen) Reed. It is absolutely brilliant weather on the course with a balmy 85 degree temp and minimal winds out of the west. The race begins near the Chateau GreenMeadow a massive building erected during the late 90s and has withstood the elements and houses some of the best golfers in the Queen city. The riders are out of the starting line and are readying themselves for the team time trial.  They look as though they have been riding together for years and are reminiscent of the US Postal team of years gone by. Past the second set of tracks now and it looks like pure pandemonium has hit the peleton. Sky Ray has attacked the group and is turning the screws and applying pressure like no other. He takes the lead and carries it over the Cote du Marketplace. However this is short lived as the peleton applied a phenomenal chase and brought him back. That was a gutsy move by Ray but the peleton never panicked. Next across the flats to the base of the Cul de Birdseye one of the longest climbs in this year’s tour. First to hit the climb is Herzig who made a brilliant move to pass Tietz and take the lead. Next Brooke attacks and brings Malany, Deford and Reed along on his wheel. Next Herzig kicks again trying to dislodge the group and put time between him and the group.Only lasts for a short time as Tietz and Brooke are able to bridge the gap and hook on to the wheel of Herzig. Looks like Herzig, Teitz and Brooke are in this to win and are in a truly elite group of riders as we near the top on the Cul. Slight downhill now and the racers are hitting speeds of up to 47 kph. First to the lead is Herzig with Brooke and Tietz hot on his wheel. Next Brooke launches a massive attack and is the first across the finishing line with Tietz second and Herzig third. Second leg of the race starts with an enormous downhill that is very technically challenging and Im sure we will see some of the riders taking chances on these corners, Shaul. Looks as though the entire peleton has survived this most treacherous portion of the ride. Look Shaul there goes Tietz in a one man breakaway with one of the most violent accelerations I’ve seen in this year’s tour. He just rocketed past the other riders and is stealing away. Just when you think that the peleton has given up, out flies Herzig with an acceleration of his own and bridges the gap. Now with this two man group they will undoubtedly work together to keep the peleton away. Here we are near the finishing line for leg 2 and the two man break-away is riding neck and neck. You can see in Tietz’ eyes he is on a mission to sweep this stage. First across the line, Tietz, in a photo finish by several centimeters followed by Herzig. The race for third the still on. Van den Brooke and Sky Ray battling it out for third, Ray is right on the wheel of Brooke just waiting for his opportunity to pounce. There he goes with 200 meters to go. Brooke is accelerating to keep up with his move and looks as if he is going to keep the lead and finish in third. On to the last and final leg of tonight’s epic battle, the Cul de Scratchgravel. This portion of the ride ends on a classic up hill finish that punishes the riders with an almost 10% grade. From the beginning, this year’s wearer of the white jersey Aiden Reed took off showing his young and aggressive style of riding. The peleton wont let him go too far before they have to attack and reel him back in though. Down the steeps to the BigRedBarn and Boassan Hagen Deford is pacing the group and looks to be in winning form this year. Brooke has launched an attack wheeling around Deford through the rolling hills that surround the Cul de Scratchgravel. First to the base of the pass is Tietz, followed by Brooke, Ray and Deford. Once again Van den Brooke launches an attack that was just a brilliant move. Ray had better kick again if he is going to keep up. Nearing the top it looks as if Malany, Reed and Tietz have cracked and are unable to keep up with this tremendous pace. Deford, Ray and Brooke are shoulder to shoulder with a little nudging happening between them. You know Phil, the judges are not going to be happy with this move and undoubtedly will review this to see if Brooke cut off Ray at the finishing line. From my review Lil, it appears like Van Den Brooke kept his line and took first, Sky Ray second and Boasson Hagen Deford third. Wow Shaul that was some brilliant riding in this year Tour de Hades. Hope to see you here for the next stage.

Gran Fondo Kootenai Ride Report

Short version –
4 Team Great Divide riders: Mark and Wendy Brook, Randall Green, myself (and Fran for support).
Field: about 24 (men and women).
Day 1: 76 miles, 4,700′ vertical gain. Group split at first big climb. @ 2nd big climb 3 riders out front- Mark Brook, Robert Ray and Matt Lavin (Bozeman Masters). Gap at the top of the climb allowed Mark and Robert to finish 1,2 by a good margin.
Day 2. 97 miles, 5,900′ vertical gain. Group split at first big climb (different than day 1). @ 3rd rest stop before 2nd big climb lead group of 3 (Mark, Matt and Robert) got caught by Rich Greaves (Kalispell). Robert and Matt (Bozeman) got a gap on second climb and powered home to finish 1,2.
“Winners”: day 1: Mark B; day 2: me; Overall, me – and all that rode the course.
Analysis : great routes, scenery, very little traffic. Can’t say enough good things about the riding in the area. Well supported and put together. Stay in Eureka at the High School (gym or campus outside camping) nice – vegetarian options for meals. Long drive to start/finish (about 5 hours).
Weather: slightly challenging on day 2 with some rain – too bad it came just in time for the descents, although the 2nd descent can be taken at high (>>>) speed, even in the rain.

So do it again? YES!


Hell Ride Report 6-12-2012

Under skies that our mother’s never would have let us leave the house in, 17 riders showed up for the Hell ride this week. After winds that had us bracing to keep upright in the parking lot and a very brief rain shower, the skies parted, the sun came out, and it turned into one of the nicer evenings we’ve had in a while. The ride started out as usual with a nice warmup/ paceline practice as we headed out Birdseye.

As we crossed the second set of tracks, everyone was in a fairly mellow mood and no one gassed it up the first hill. I think we were still bracing for the wind to come back and beat us into submission! As we approached the bottom of the first climb the usual suspects started ramping the pace up a bit. Halfway up the climb I found myself fourth wheel and feeling good. Another hundred yards later I ran out of gas and started my Cipollini impression. Soon the second group went flying by and I still had nothing, so resigned myself to just spinning up to the top. Rumor has it that Scott Herzig took top honors followed by John Tietz, and Bozemanite Kevin Jacobson.

After a few minutes recuperation, we headed out again for round two. Everyone kept together until the second to last roller when Sarah Slanger (yeah, you read that right!) got a gap on the rest of the group. The peleton was a little bit slow to react and get organized, but finally did and reeled her in just as we reached the last dip before Lincoln road. From there it was a mad dash to the sprint line with Scott, Mark Brooke, and John taking top honors.

Round three saw us off at a brisk pace. I thought about taking one of my usual hopeless fliers, but common sense prevailed and I stuck it out in the main group. There were a few small attacks, but nothing serious and we hit the bottom of the hill all together. I thought maybe I’d saved enough energy, but apparently not enough. I just missed the podium behind (you guessed it) Scott, John, and Kevin.

A big thanks to everyone who showed up, and especially to Robert who volunteered to ride sweep.

Steve Field