A big cold hello to everyone and welcome to the sixth Boure newsletter. Winter appears to have settled in across the nation with a vengeance. We have noted it from customer comments and the general slow down of the cycling world. To help everyone get excited about the eventual return of riding weather, we have highlighted several items for your pre-spring mind set.
As always, if you have special timing needs when you place an order, make sure we know what they are and we will do our best to meet them or will communicate with you if there is any issue that arises. We have some new items to announce and hope that you will find these and our winter tips of interest. As always we encourage one and all to write with suggestions or comments regarding this newsletter.
1. We digress and report on the Boure Bike Week,
2. Ned has some skills tips as you finish winter and think about Spring,
3. We are taking applications for the Boure product development team,
4. Additional product refinements and a new catalogue,
5. What's Happening in Durango? SNOWDOWN!!,
6. The Opinionator has opined!
1. OK, so we messed up, we're sorry and we will try not to do it again. We completely left out a report on the Boure Bike Week that happened back in late September, so here it is. First of all the weather cooperated nicely with crisp mornings and moderate days, as you would expect at elevation and at the height of the color change in Colorado. The mountains did not disappoint and provided us with the typical golden Aspens and bright orange scrub oaks all on the dark green background of the well know coniferous trees. The turn out was very nice, for our first event, and dominated by locals and a few close friends. You may have seen a mention on the RoadBikeRider.com newsletter by Fred Matheny who was nice enough to join us for one of our longer rides on the day that Drew had everyone over to his house for a lovely dinner and social gathering. We averaged 10-12 riders each week day and were astounded with 30-50 riders on the weekend days when we had great representation by the Durango Wheel club and other local cyclists. We had regular visits by some of Ned's playmates like professionals Frank Mapel, Todd Wells and Tom Danielson. While the pace was often brisk, the attitudes were left at home and everyone had a wonderful time. As promised, Wade struggled at the back while vowing to be in better shape for 2004. Oh yes, he also wants to thanks Hal and Michael for dropping back to give him moral support and conversation, when they could have been pushing the pace at the front. A special kudo to Rich Donley, who made every ride and every mile all week, he is given General Classification Championship for shear perseverance and guts, with all rights and privileges thereunto appertaining. In all, well over 350 miles were covered with over 20,000 feet of climbing. We learned a couple things, like; a strong group likes to test each other and that next year we will plan for a day or two off and a few lighter days. We will also plan to break the group into smaller groups of similar condition and pace so the guys at the back with Wade aren't so thrashed trying to keep up. Special thanks to brothers Little Big Ike and Big Little Ike, our friends who ventured in from Moab and Tucson, respectively. From what we can tell, Big Little Ike parlayed his strenuous efforts (apparently he hadn't been riding at all) into a training program that included the Tour de Tucson and has led us to reconsidering him as Tall Little Ike. Another mention to Kevin and Julian "Spunky Monkey" for coming out to represent California, your state's honor was nicely upheld. Who knows, that week may have even gotten Kevin engaged! Best wishes to Kevin and Carrie! The last thing we learned was that those of you who didn't make it missed a great week of riding and friendship building and even getting to meet a few cycling legends. We heard that there was some discussion traffic on the Serotta web site about a planned group of devotees who are going to come en masse this fall and we welcome them with open arms. To one and all, do your best to come this fall and then you'll be able to say, I know Bicycle Bob!
2. Asked for some more plums from the head of Ned. He suggested a short skills drill practice that helps all types of cyclists:
Slow Speed Skills
The ability to balance your bike at very slow speeds translates into improved bike handling skills for cyclists.
A great way to get the hang of riding through slow, tight turns is to ride in circles. You can even practice this in your driveway or yard. This tight turn drill is a precursor to learning a track stand and it is a lot more fun. At first, you may want to do this drill with your feet unclipped.
The challenge is to make the circle as small as possible. This requires riding really slow and even using the brakes. The handlebar may be turned so much that you can't make full pedal strokes because your knee or foot will hit. The solution is to ratchet the pedals, making partial strokes. Do this smoothly and gently because too much force will push the front wheel and widen the circle.
It takes lots of balance to turn very tight. At times you'll be almost at a track stand. Go clockwise. Go counterclockwise. Learn to make a smooth, tight transition from one direction to the other.
Even though I've been riding for many years, I still practice this simple drill. In winter, for instance, I'll back the cars out into the snow and ride laps in the garage with my son. He's on his BMX bike. We set up an obstacle course and chase each other. We make a contest of seeing who can turn the tightest. It's fun, and it definitely translates to staying relaxed and in control when real world situations require active balancing.
For additional fun and to include some riding friends. Try a "Slow Race", mark out a very small square box on the ground with chalk, it should be a tad longer than a bicycle. Start bigger and move down as you get better. Have two riders parallel in the box and have them mount their bikes at the same time and the first one to fall or leave the square looses. If you fall down a lot or fear being knocked down, perhaps the riders should be in separate squares. Wade has seen an excellent track stander jump his bike till he faced the other rider then push the other rider over from the side. You can decide if that is legal or not in your race. Or borrow a page form motorcycle events and make several adjoining longer tracks, maybe 20 feet long, about a foot wide. Everyone starts at one end and the last one to the other end wins. If you go sideways out of your lane, you are disqualified.
All of these things are fun and help your handling capability whether you ride Mountain bikes, road bikes or any other kind of bike.
3. We have decided to enlist the help of a group of Boure enthusiasts to help us refine and develop our product line. The work will be extensive and the pay non-existent but, you may get your name on the Internet and your butt may become our archetype. We want to start by having you fill out a questionnaire that will help us dial in our sizing and temperature charts. Eventually, we expect that you will have an opportunity to try new products and provide input for your fellow cyclists. If you passed up the Peace Corps and always wanted to go back and work real hard for the good feeling of helping your fellow man, this is your bicycling equivalent and chance to exorcise your personal demons by helping all of us out. If you are interested please email Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get back to you. If you print these instructions out, please remember to commit them to memory and eat the paper within five minutes, if nothing else, we guaranty you a satisfying bowel movement as a result.
4. Drew continues to perfect our lines of clothing. We have recently introduced a new Elite Thermo jersey made of the well received and versatile SuperRoubaix IP fabric we currently use for our ELITE Thermo tights. Designed along similar lines to the THERMAL Jersey, the fabric is a tad more wind resistant and we have added full sized pockets to the rear. You can find it at http://www.boure.com/6504.html. To reflect these and some small pricing changes, we are working on a new catalogue for the beginning of April. And as always, the most current source for everything we offer is always online. If those pricing changes have you scared, see number 6 below to help out.
5. Every year at the end of January in Durango, we enjoy a special week of winter celebration. The Snowdown Festival includes waiters racing with trays of drinks, skiers pulled behind horses, an adults only Follies Show where fun is poked at well known locals, a nighttime lighted parade and other craziness. For the cyclists, Russell Zimmerman owner of Durango Cyclery, put on their 15th annual indoor roller race. It is a fun event where cyclists see how much distance they can make on identical rollers over a 15 minute span. The riders will mount their trusty steeds and ride at or near their aerobic threshold while the observers mill around a foot or two away watching and discussing their progress. In the past, it has been a two up blind competition and this year for the first time three riders will be able to see their competitors progress on a TV screen in the room. It is a surreal scene for all involved. While it takes an excellent rider to win, some consider more than two or three wins to be a sign that you may need some serious psychological counselling. As you might expect, Ned has been a past winner as has John Tomac and Julie Furtado. Notables who have not won have been Bob Roll, Myles Rockwell and Lisa Muhich. Greg Herbold has the current record for "No Show" and while we can't confirm that "HB" ever actually registered, we do have records that he consistently fails to show up. Recently, Ivan Unkovskoy has been dominant for several years (he is the one who beat Bob Roll, years ago) and after several wins, we all wonder who will take the title away from him for more than a year at a time, also there is the whole psychologic test aspect.... Just so you don't think this is strictly a drinking festival, most riders wait till their 15 minutes are over to drink and the current record is over 10 miles in that 15 minutes! Do the math, at over 40 mph, that is cranking really hard and fast, just try it sometime. This year's result were special as they put the new video system to the test under real race conditions. Unfortunately, the speeds attained were too great for the technology and the entire race became nearly a dead heat. Wade didn't know this as his group went second and the three riders were within a hundredth of a mile for the full 15 minutes. Likely due to being closer to the technically allowed maximum speed (read "slow"), Wade was the race leader for 2/3rds of the evening, until the "official results" were declared invalid. We will never really know who won this year although a ride of over 10.3 miles was made on one person's personal cyclometer. It was a great night and the technology issues will be worked out as the format was super fun until the limitations were realized.
6. Our good friend and well known local cyclist Jim Sher, the "Opinionator" has opined on another Boure product. Jim has stated that the new long sleeve wool base layer is "the best shirt he has ever owned". As you see this isn't just saying the best base layer but the very best shirt of any kind, he has owned. We suggest you try one if you have a "warm base layer" need at http://www.boure.com/8454.html. Jim uses his for cycling and cross country skiing.
As always, if you have special timing needs, let us know and we will do our best to make sure you and your loved ones are taken care of.
Again, we wish you all the very best, and please let us know how we can help make your cycling more fun,
Ned, Drew, Wade and Laverne