Category: events

Bike to Work Day – May 9

This Thursday, May 9, is Bike-to-Work Day all over the Bay Area. Bike commuting is good way to build/maintain fitness and is good for the environment, too! We encourage both new and experienced cyclists to take the opportunity on Bike-to-Work Day to try bike commuting – or keep at it if you’re already a veteran bike commuter. The local bicycle coalitions and corporate sponsors make it easy by organizing “energizer stations” all over the area, where you can grab a snack as well as get information about bike commuting, and perhaps a little schwag!

Links to Bay Area Bike-to-Work Day information:

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties)

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (San Francisco)

Bike East Bay (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties)

Other Bay Area Counties

Bikes and Brisbane!

This article by Matt McNamara originally appeared in the April 2019 Edition of the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce Luminary newsletter

Cycling fans, mark June 22nd on your calendar! The 2nd Annual Peninsula Velo Brisbane Criterium is coming back to Sierra Point for another full day of fast paced race action! The race is held on a short course along Sierra Point Parkway and Marina Drive by the Brisbane Marina, that packs 8 turns into each 1-kilometer lap. Each race lasts 40-70 minutes and there are 10 different races throughout the day, starting at 8am.

At first glance it may not seem a logical combination, bikes and Brisbane. But truth be told the City of Brisbane has long been a friend to the competitive cycling community in Northern California. Perhaps you read the recent Luminary story on the January 1st San Bruno Mountain Hill Climb, an annual tradition for the last 35+ years, also hosted by Peninsula Velo. That is just one of the quality race events that have been held over the years in and around the city.

In the early 2000’s, Brisbane was host to two stages of the highly regarded Pilarcitos Stage Race and several of those same courses continued as standalone events promoted by Tom Simpson and his crew at Pilarcitos Cycle Sports. The Ronde von Brisbeen – a play on a legendary Belgian race known as the Ronde van Vlanderen or Tour of Flanders – was a short, but punishing circuit, that climbed up South Hill Drive, then plummeted down Valley Drive, easily hitting over 40mph.

Mr. Simpson is perhaps best known in the cycling community for his long-standing Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross Series. The queen event of that 5 – 8 race series was always “The Night Race” held at Sierra Point on one of the last undeveloped parcels of land out by the Marina. Every November a cadre of several hundred enthusiastic racers would descend on the parking lot and bumpy dirt field to engage in the madness that is cyclocross. Think steeple chase meets mud bath! Flood lights were brought in to illuminate the course, teams and clubs would build elaborate areas with lighting and BBQ’s, catered tacos and live music. It was truly an event!

The other standalone event that was routinely held in Brisbane – The Sierra Point Criterium. From 2004 – 2011 Pilarcitos hosted a technical and demanding race on a short 1-kilometer course with 8 turns including a 180-degree u-turn at the same Sierra Point venue as The Night Race. Last year Peninsula Velo resurrected the race and over 225 riders came out to give it a go!

Hoping to build on that momentum, the race is back for 2019 with a similar format of “primes” every couple of laps to keep the pace high for each category. Race Director Matt McNamara noted that a prime (pronounced preem) is a prize or award at the end of an announced lap. Cash is king when it comes to primes, so the race is nearly all cash based for every category. The crowd prime is a favorite, just drop some dollars in the bucket at the start/finish and watch ‘em go! Another unique element, according to McNamara, the 501c3 Prime. “Starting with a donated purse of at least $100 in each category, we aim to let the winner of the prime choose which local 501c3 they’d like to donate to, then we write a check in their name for the donated dollars.” Interested in supporting a 501c3 prime or another element of the race? Contact McNamara or Peninsula Velo. It’s a great way to get your company’s name in front of a good cause or just do something cool that helps your neighborhood.

The 2019 Brisbane Criterium will be held this year on June 22nd. There are 10 different categories of racing on offer for riders across ages from 18 – over 55. Both Men and Women enjoy equal prize money in all categories and the racing is fast and furious thanks to numerous primes on offer. Races range from 40 – 70 minutes in length depending on experience level. The top Women’s Pro race is set to launch into 50 minutes of racing at 11am, while the mens Pro field rounds out the day with 70 minutes of high-paced action starting at 4:30pm. To learn more about the event, including volunteer and partnership opportunities, visit Peninsula Velo online at

Call for Volunteers! Ryan’s Ride and Brisbane Criterium

Now that spring is in full swing the days are long, the bike rides are longer and there are century rides, gravel grinders and bike races just about every weekend! It is also that time of year when we call upon the Pen Velo membership to “give back” by volunteering at two of our biggest events.

The Ryan Phua Memorial Kids’ Ride (June 9, 2019) is a unique athletic event for children 12 and under which raises money for cancer programs in our community by collecting pledges for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Pen Velo has supported this event each year since 2004 by providing volunteers for setup, course marshaling, tear down as well as some pre-event activities. Ryan’s Ride is in its last year this year – let’s help it go out on a high note! About 50 PV volunteers are needed.

The Brisbane Criterium (June 22, 2019) is a fast-paced race held on a short course on Sierra Point Parkway and Marina Drive near the Brisbane Marina. The same course had previously been used as a part of the Pilarcitos Stage Race in the early 2000’s and the Sierra Point Criterium from 2004-2011. PV resurrected the race in 2018 with over 225 racers coming out to give it a try. It was such a success in its first year that we will again be hosting the race in 2019. About 105 PV volunteers are needed to put on this event.

REMINDER – All PV members in good standing must volunteer for at least one club event or position each year (see Club Rules). Volunteering at either (or both!) of these events will meet your volunteer obligation for 2019.

To volunteer, go to and sign up!

If you have any questions about volunteering please click HERE to contact us.

2019 San Bruno Mountain Hillclimb – It’s a Wrap!

Many thanks to the 124 racers and countless volunteers for joining us for our annual New Years tradition on San Bruno Mountain. The fastest time of the day was 15:09.39 by Andrew Holmes, an E5! Congratulations to Robert Pasco (M 55+ 1/2/3) and Courtney Nelson (W 3/4) for breaking the course records in their respective categories!

We rolled out some new technology with our timing flow, and unfortunately, there were some kinks. We very much appreciate the patience that everyone showed as we worked through those issues, and as a result, we made some final adjustments to times after the event. Updated results can be viewed at

Best wishes for 2019, and we hope to see you all at the Brisbane Criterium! (We have some special things planned…stay tuned!)

Timing results:

Course records:

Event photos by Katie Miu

Podium photos by David Siler

Video by Stan Tsang

Pen Velo to host traditional NCNCA road season opener!

We at Pen Velo are wasting no time in getting the NCNCA road racing season underway with the 2019 San Bruno Mountain Hillclimb! PV will again be hosting this traditional NCNCA opener on New Year’s Day.

What better way to get a head start on burning off those excess holiday calories than with a short trip through the pain cave on January 1? The first group sets off at 10:00AM – not too early, so no excuses for you late-night revelers! But no worries, you’ll be home in time to watch the Rose Bowl.

Click HERE for online registration and HERE to view the official race flyer. Online registration closes at 11:59PM on Dec 29, 2018.

NOTE that all juniors race together, but boys and girls will be picked separately. So junior girls – please come and race with us!

1974 San Bruno Mountain Hillclimb (photo by Fred Kornahrens)

Fancy yourself a climber? There’s an additional $200 in prize money for anyone who beats the current course record (14:20 for men, 16:34 for women) and an additional $50 for anyone who beats the course record for their category. 

Interested in volunteering? There are still a few volunteer positions open – click HERE to volunteer.

First time racer? This is a great event to get started in bike racing and can provide a good measure of your early-season fitness. How do you prepare for this race? Check out this video by current men’s course record holder Nathaniel English (, offering a lot of helpful pointers on preparing for this or any other hillclimb race.

See you on January 1!

A Great Day of Racing at Brisbane!

With 244 riders taking the start in 11 different categories, the Brisbane Criterium was a great success in its first year. Thanks to all the racers for trying out this new race. Congratulations to Race Director Matt McNamara and a small steering team who put this race together in just a few months time. None of it would have been possible without the crack crew of about 75 PV volunteers, several of whom where there all day long!


Photos by Katie Miu

Thanks for Coming!

PV Bringing Crit Racing back to Brisbane!

Sierra Point parkway and the Brisbane City marina will once again reverberate with the sounds of speed and competition as the Brisbane Criterium roars into the bay area on Sunday July 15th. Long the home of the legendary “Night Race” cyclocross event, the Sierra Point circuit offers 5 corners and plenty of speed over its 0.4 mile loop. Racers in eleven different categories face a flurry of primes and prizes throughout the day with the first race kicking off at 8:00am and continuing until the Pro1/2 Men take the start at 4:30pm.

Peninsula Velo, promoters of the event, set out to build a classic neighborhood race that harkens back to the days of old – pure street racing on a great course with maximum cash on offer, great spectating and lots of opportunities to race, cheer, or simply support local racing. Athletes will compete for over $1700 in cash and prizes across all categories. Event entry is only $35 online via, or $50 on site the day of, and races are arranged so that most competitors will have the option of an additional race (or two) for only $15 each. Race director Matt McNamara noted  “This course and the City of Brisbane have a rich cycling history and we wanted to do something to honor that by focusing on back-to-basics racing that is local, convenient, high quality, and fast as heck!”

Among the novelties on offer is a VIP area for teams that register at least five riders in total for the day of racing. VIP Teams will get a free 10’x10′ team area and 2 parking spots next to the course. According to McNamara other highlights include “a swath of primes like the always popular “Crowd Prime”, a novel  “Racer” Prime, where riders can lay some cash down on themselves, a “Team Prime”,  and the innovative Charity Prime – where all dollars are donated to a local organization of the winners choosing, and that’s just part of whats in store. We’re running a wheels in/wheels out pit in the old school style, while the podium for Brisbane will be 3 deep in each category, as it should be. The winner in each race will be taking home a custom designed Castelli jersey, commemorative certificate,  and a free entry into next years race. We look forward to seeing you out there on July 15th for the Brisbane Criterium.”

For more information:  visit us online: or call Race Director Matt McNamara at 408.891.3462

Beat the Clock Back in 2018!

After a one-year hiatus we are pleased to announce that the Beat the Clock time trial series on Canada Road will be back this season. Our first event will take place on Saturday, February 10, 2018, which is coming up pretty shortly! For more information about Beat the Clock as well as course details, check out the event website HERE. UPDATE: Registration is now CLOSED. Rider start times posted HERE.

The PV Women’s Team at a 2016 Beat the Clock event

For the uninitiated, Beat the Clock is a fun, low-key time trial series which allows cyclists of all abilities to test their speed and skill on a 10-mile out-and-back course on Canada Road. A portion of the proceeds will go toward funding the Bicycle Sunday program run by the San Mateo County Parks Department. This program closes the north end of Canada Road every Sunday, allowing people of all ages to cycle, walk, run, skateboard, skate-ski or participate in almost any non–motorized activity (ball and Frisbee sports excepted).


New Year’s Day Tradition Opens NCNCA Road Season

PV opened the NCNCA Road Racing Season with the traditional San Bruno Mountain Hillclimb! 123 racers started 2018 off right with a short, but intense climb to the summit of Radio Road. Despite an auto accident on the race route in heavy fog just 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, the racers were able to make their way past the fog to the sunny summit without incident. Thanks to everyone who came out to race and also to our hardy crew of PV volunteers for making the event a success!

Race results

Please support our race photographers by buying their photos!

Katie Truong’s Photos

Alex Chiu’s Photos

Registration open for 2018 San Bruno Mountain Hillclimb

Pen Velo will again be hosting the traditional NCNCA road season opener, the San Bruno Mountain Hillclimb, on January 1, 2018. Get a head start on burning off all of those excess holiday calories and join us on New Year’s Day for a short trip through the pain cave – just enough to whet your appetite for the full season of racing yet to come. The start time for the first group is at the almost-civilized hour of 10:00AM – not too early, but early enough to get you home in time to watch the Rose Bowl…

Online registration is now open – click HERE to register.

Click HERE to view/download the race flyer.

This race depends on volunteer course marshals and registration staff – click HERE if you can help.