Dr. Lenny Lesser featured speaker at Jan 4 Club Meeting

Happy New Year! The first club meeting of 2016 will be held on Jan 4 at 7:30pm at the Belmont Sports Complex. Our featured speaker will be physician (and Pen Velo racer) Dr. Lenny Lesser. Dr. Lesser currently practices Pediatric Urgent Care at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and teaches Family Medicine at UCSF. The title of Dr. Lesser’s talk is “Nutrition for Life and Cycling” and will cover:

  • Tips for healthy eating in everyday life
  • Behavioral tricks for eating well
  • What to eat before/during/after riding
  • Controversies in cycling nutrition
  • Review of Lenny’s favorite foods for training and racing
  • Q&A

This is a timely topic for many of us who will be starting our road racing season in the coming weeks, as well as those of us who simply want to resume healthy eating habits after the holidays! All club members and prospective members are encouraged to attend.

NCNCA Racers Open the 2016 Season at San Bruno Hillclimb

The 2016 NCNCA road racing season opened on Jan 1 with the San Bruno Hillclimb. Racers turned out in force to enjoy the dry and sunny (albeit chilly) conditions. Thanks to the riders, the NCNCA officiating crew and most importantly our PV volunteers for making this year’s event a big success!

Click HERE for links to event photos.

Click HERE for race results.

Dr. Andrew Horvai Featured Speaker at Dec 7 Club Meeting

The next monthly club meeting will take place at 7:30pm on Dec. 7, 2015 at the Belmont Sports Complex and Conference Center. All PV members and prospective members are encouraged to attend. The featured speaker will be PV athlete and board member Dr. Andrew Horvai. The title of his talk will be “Exercise Induced Cramps: Why do I get them and what can I do about it? – Separating Fact from Fiction”. His talk is sure to be of interest as most of us have experienced painful muscle cramps while riding and have probably found the information available in the popular media to be confusing and often conflicting.

Dr. Horvai completed his undergraduate studies in biology at UCLA, then completed both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at UCSD. He then completed an internship in General Surgery and a residency and fellowship training in Pathology at UCSF. He is currently Professor of Pathology at UCSF, specializing in musculoskeletal pathology. He is also currently an at-large member of the PV Board of Directors and races both road and cyclocross.

This month’s meeting will be preceded at 6:30pm by a kick-off meeting for the 2016 Pen Velo Racing Program (PVRP) for all members and prospective members interested in joining our race team.

And the awards go to…..

AwardsPen Velo celebrated another successful racing season with a year-end banquet at Angelica’s on November 14, 2015. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Bill Fallis Award, in recognition of both athletic achievement and service to PV, to co-winners Erik Salander and Nate McKitterick.

The following annual recognition award winners, as voted by the PV membership were also recognized:

Rider of the season (male): Erik Salander
Rider of the season (female): Yvonne Walbroehl
Most inspirational rider (male, racer): Murray Swanson
Most inspirational rider (male, recreational): Dave Kristofferson
Most inspirational rider (female): Madelyn Swanson
Most improved (male): Shawn Becker
Most improved (female): Cindy Mike
Best teammate: Heidi Fraser
Volunteer of the year (male): Ken Salvail
Volunteer of the year (female): Yvonne Walbroehl
Best new rider: Emmett Smith
Comeback of the year (racer): Bill Brissman
Comeback of the year (recreational): Matt Reiter
Best race report: Justin Eatinger

In addition, Jeromy Cottell was give the special Cycling Savior Award for his leadership in taking over the popular Beat the Clock TT Series.

Congratulations to everyone!

Matt McNamara Joins PV as Team Coach; Clark Natwick Retires, receives lifetime PV membership

coachmattWe are pleased to announce that Matt McNamara of the Sterling Sports Group has joined PV as our new team coach. Matt comes to us with a B.A. in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado and 20 years of experience in coaching and team management. He is a USAC Level 1/Elite Coach with power certification, a USAC certified skills instructor and helped to develop the curriculum for the USAC Beginner Racer Program. He is known to many racers in the NCNCA district as one of the co-directors of the Early Bird Training Series (the Early Bird Crits). He is also a contributing author for PezCyclingNews.com’s product reviews and its “Toolbox” section which deals with current research and coaching trends in endurance sports. Check out his most recent article documenting his experience at the Taiwan KOM Challenge. Welcome aboard, Coach Matt!

mg32285baspMatt will be building on the successful PV Racing Program developed by retiring coach Clark Natwick. Clark has been involved with PV for over 20 years, starting as an athlete and also serving as a board member and president prior to his 16-year tenure as team coach. However, Clark will not be leaving the PV family – he is being recognized for his many contributions to the success of our club with the first-ever lifetime membership in Pen Velo. Clark brought to PV a wealth of experience both as an athlete (10 national championship medals) and as a coach (USA Olympic Training Center, USA National Cyclocross Team, USA National MTB Team). In 2012, Clark made a brief comeback to competition as a masters athlete racing in Pen Velo colors, earning two NCNCA District Championships on the track and a bronze medal in team pursuit at the USAC Masters Track Nationals. Under his guidance, Pen Velo athletes achieved numerous team and individual awards on both the regional and national level. Thanks, Clark, for your service to PV and best wishes in your future endeavors!

PV Road Racing Success Recognized at NCNCA Awards Banquet

Pen Velo was recognized for a highly successful 2015 road racing season by the NCNCA at its annual awards banquet on October 17, 2015. Best All-Around Rider (BAR) Awards went to Erik Salander (M55+ 1/2/3/4) and Chris Levins (E4 – Spring). Erik was also recognized for his contributions to NCNCA as Results Coordinator with the Outstanding Volunteer Award. Additionally, Helen Casabona was recognized by the NCNCA Women’s Committee for finishing in 4th place in the 2015 Women’s Series. This was despite having her season cut short by injury. Topping it all off was the trophy for 5th Place in the Overall Team Points (BAT) Competition, rewarding a lot of hard work, training and outstanding race results by the entire team!

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In addition to the NCNCA awards and recognition, the following individual and team accomplishments are worthy of an honorable mention:

M35+ Cat 4 BAR (Fall) 5th place – Marco Constantino
M45+ Cat 4 BAR (Fall) 5th place – Mark Massey
W35+ 1/2/3 BAR 4th Place – Helen Casabona

E4 Team – 5th place
M35+ Cat 4 Team – 2nd place
M45+ Cat 4 Team – 3rd place
M55+ 1/2/3/4 Team – 2nd place
W35+ 1/2/3 Team – 3rd place

Dr. Dave Kurzrock Featured Speaker at Oct. 5 Club Meeting

Have you or your cycling buddy ever felt a flutter in your chest while riding?  Did you ever wonder why a number of pro cyclists needed to be treated for heart problems – including the forced retirement of a two-time world cyclocross champion? Some of you may have seen the recent Velonews article discussing this important issue.

Please join our next PV Club Meeting when we will have club member and cardiologist Dr. Dave Kurzrock speak to us about the impact of endurance sports like cycling on the risk of developing an irregular heart beat.  The session will be moderated by PV’s very own Dr. Lenny Lesser who is a research physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.  At the session you will learn:

  • What is Afib and what are its potential complications for your health?
  • What level of cycling activity could lead to an increased risk of Afib?
  • What you can do to prevent an increased risk of Afib?

The meeting will take place at our new meeting location, the Belmont Sports Complex and Conference Center at 7:30 pm on Monday, October 5, 2015. All club members and prospective members are encouraged to attend this meeting. Our friends from Alto Velo, the Western Wheelers, and The Over the Hill Gang are also invited.

RKO Championship Weekend

Pen Velo found both individual and team success during the Red Kite Omnium Championship Weekend in both the Red Kite Omnium Finale (Sept. 5) and the NCNCA Masters District Criterium Championship (Sept 6).

Day 1:

The Red Kite Criterium on September 5 was the final event of the Red Kite Omnium, a series of road, time trial and criterium races that started in February and continued all season long with both individual and team competitions. There were some exciting individual performances for PV in the RKO Finale. The day was highlighted by Bill Brissman (assisted by a strong team) taking two 10-point primes and finishing in 5th place in the M55+ 3/4 race and protecting his narrow lead in the overall omnium in that category. Alex Jonas suffered a last-lap crash that cost him 2nd place in the E4 omnium. Despite having to walk his bike across the line after the field in the finale, Alex still finished 4th in the omnium. Thanks to contributions from many teammates over the course of the season, Pen Velo swept the master 3/4 team prizes as well as taking the best team prize in the 55+ 1/2/3 category.

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Day 2:

Day 2 was the NCNCA Masters District Criterium Championship, and it was a day for the PV Women’s team to shine. The PV women were represented by Sara Stearns, Heidi Fraser and 3-time district crit champ Norma Hilton. All three competed together, but in different age groups in the combined women’s 50+ race. All three put in strong performances, with Heidi animating the race with repeated attacks, Norma and Sara claiming Bear Jerseys in their respective categories, and Sara claiming a prime.

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Beat the Clock TT #4 – September 5, 2015

Good news! A date has been secured for the fourth and final event in the 2015 Beat the Clock TT Series! Changes to the NCNCA racing schedule made it necessary for us to postpone the TT event scheduled for July 11. It will now be held on Saturday, September 5 – just in time for those wanting to tune up their TT engines before the USAC Masters National Championships. Registration is now open. Click HERE to sign up.  UPDATED: Proceeds from this event will go to support Ed & Kim Perez as Ed is battles pancreatic cancer. Kim is a long-time PV member and generously volunteered her time to help with Beat the Clock for many years, so please help them out if you can.

Teamwork nets double wins for PV at Central Coast

Teamwork by PV racers paid off handsomely at the Central Coast circuit race on August 2. Seven PV racers competed in the combined 35+ cat 3/4 and 45+ cat 3/4 races and with a smart race plan and solid teamwork, PV came away with wins in both categories. Enjoy this slide show of photos by Jeff Vander Stucken and read Menko Johnson’s race report below!

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Race Report by Menko Johnson

After a great time getting back to racing last weekend, I was eager to give it another try so I signed up for the 35+ cat 3/4 race at CCCX Seaside.  The course is a 2.5 mi out and back that has a few small rollers with wind blowing in your face one direction, and at your back in the other.  The finish line is on the uphill section into the wind, making it quite a challenge.  As we lined up, I saw many sets of calves bigger than my head, and knew I would have no chance at all if we left it to a sprint.

Strategy for these combined category and age group races is really intriguing.  Because the 35s and 45s race together but are picked separately, it adds some complexity to breakaway situations because its difficult to know what categories are up the road, and cooperation can be impacted by that composition.  One group may be hanging back for a sprint and won’t contribute to a chase, while the other may have a break up the road and have to chase.  Before the race, Erik said that in the previous race a solo attack from a 55 rider prompted a 45 rider to bridge, and they rode away together and stayed away.  I felt this would be the best chance for me as well and figured I’d wait until 3 to go and make an a go.

PV had a large contingent in both races with Lenny, Phil and myself in 35s, and Erik, Tom, Steve and Markus in the 45s.  This was ideal because then we effectively had two teams working together and I simply talked with Phil and Lenny quickly to keep it simple—“nothing with any 35 gets away without 1 of us in it.”  With such a non-technical course, it was very easy for people to sit in and save energy while those out in the wind worked hard.  The first 2 laps there were some half-hearted breakaway attempts but they always came back.  PV was very active with Tom, Erik and Phil each putting in efforts to stretch things out and test the waters.  I sat back and watched to see who reacted, and started memorizing who might be my biggest threat while watching how things happened on the headwind and tailwind.  Making sure nobody took me out in the corners was about as exciting as things got.

The race was pretty uneventful until Markus decided he’d had enough of this and literally just accelerated away from the field. (VIDEO 1 at 15:30)  This was the key move of the race, because it allowed all of us to sit in and do zero work at the front, and reveal who cared enough to try and chase.  As it turns out, Markus was away for a good 15 minutes solo as we would close but never close and then it would open again.  Eventually Erik also went and was able to successfully bridge to Markus.  Now PV had 2 guys in the 45s off the front.

Phil rolled up to me with about 25 minutes left and I told him to cover anything that comes up his side, and I would do the same on mine.  The group at the front was slowing, and you could hear the gears clicking behind and riders prepared to make a jump.  A blur up the left side was all I saw and Phil was like a racehorse bounding out of the gates, immediately gluing himself to the rider trying to get away.  I am also accelerating as fast as I can, but waiting for just a moment to have someone come around me to pull me up.  Big calves responds, and I glue on and don’t pull at all.  We herd into the corner and so starts the 2nd half of the race.

I hear some tanging of equipment and screeching behind me, and I make a split second decision to try and bridge up to the break.  Luckily Tom was just in front of me, so as I attack he latches on while successfully preventing anyone else from getting onto his wheel (VIDEO 2 – 00:12).  I put my head down for 30 seconds and give an all out effort that spikes my HR up to 193 bpm before we hit the top of the roller.  I look back and see Tom and Markus on, and I desperately beg for help.  Poor Markus, spent from his efforts, pulls through and falls off the back as I do 400 watts in Tom’s draft to hold on.

As we’re heading downhill I can feel we can’t go as fast as the chasers, and wonder if this was a bad idea as we’re still going to see 3 laps to go and only have a few seconds gap at the turn around.  But Tom is strong and I figure we have to put in two hard laps and keep our gap before they give up.   With Tom next to me, I try and just push as hard as I can on the hill sections, and let him pull on the flatter sections where he is faster.  One lap goes by and the gap is still probably only 5-10 seconds.  As we make the turn around, I accidentally put a few bike lengths on Tom and he mentions that perhaps I would be faster by myself.  “Hell NO!” and I just tell him to hang on.  My mind wanders as my body screams at me and I’ve never been happier to have a teammate there to keep me going.  We keep going and finally the elastic stretches, and then breaks.  The chase loses a rider and drops to 3, and we can see the gap opening. At 18 minutes in, we’ve got the race-winning gap and just have to keep the gas on until the top of the hill to make sure we don’t give it up.  We come through the last corner to cheers all around from our PV cheering section, and Tom and I finish side-by-side with the biggest smiles we could muster while trying to recover our breath!  It was one of the most satisfying days of racing I’ve had in a long time, and it was just like we were back at training camp in January pushing each other, but this time the reward was much sweeter!