Category: news

Andrew Hsu Named PV Advocacy Director

We are pleased to announce that Andrew Hsu has taken on the new role of PV Advocacy Director!

Many of you know Andrew’s longrunning commitment to club as the former PV President, super cyclist, and overall awesome person.  What many of you might not know is that Andrew stepped down as PV President in order to pursue his passion of bicycle advocacy, joining the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Board.  The position of Director of Advocacy is a natural fit for Andrew to expand his passion and help PV’s voice within the community.

Also, a special thanks to Bill Brissman (280 bike trail), Dave Kristofferson (Canada Road paving), and Bill Fallis for working diligently behind the scenes to make this long overdue position happen.

And thanks, of course, to Andrew for accepting this new position.

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!

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

Clark Natwick, Murray Swanson named Lifetime Members of PV

It was announced at the annual club banquet on November 11 that two longtime Pen Velo members, Clark Natwick and Murray Swanson, were recently honored with lifetime membership in the club. Clark retired after 16 years as team coach in 2015. Murray recently returned to his homeland of Scotland after a distinguished tenure as a masters road, MTB and cyclocross racer with PV. Now both will remain a part of the PV family for a long time to come.

Clark joined PV in 1995 after a distinguished career as a road, mountain bike and cyclocross racer at the elite level. He served as club president for three years, then as team coach for 16 years, retiring from that position after the 2015 season. 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.

Murray Swanson joined PV in 2002 at age 35. He started racing soon after that, winning such races as the Burlingame Criterium, Wente Road Race and the Sea Otter Classic cross country MTB race. Murray truly distinguished himself as a cyclocross racer, winning his first B race and going on to win over 30 races going head-to-head with some of the best masters talent in the country as well as scoring top 10’s in elite races against the “young guys”. But Murray’s proudest accomplishment in cycling has been teaching intellectually disabled daughter Madelyn how to ride in four different disciplines and watching her love for cycling and her Pen Velo teammates develop. Since his return to Scotland, Murray has won his first three veterans cyclocross races wearing PV colors.


NCNCA Opens the 2017 Road Season at San Bruno

Over 130 racers rang in the New Year with Pen Velo at the traditional NCNCA road season opener, the San Bruno Mountain Hill Climb. Mother Nature gave us sunny skies and moderate temperatures, and our PV volunteer crew showed up in force to make it a safe and successful event. Thanks to all the racers who came out and joined us for a wonderful morning. Many thanks also to the photographers who came and documented this event!

Click HERE for photos by Katie Truong

Click HERE for photos by Alex Chiu

Click HERE for photos by Craig Huffman

Results have been posted online – click HERE.


New Kit for 2017!

Pen Velo will be sporting a brand new uniform from a new sponsor in 2017! We are excited to have Castelli as our official uniform suppler for the coming season. The new, brightly colored kits should be very easy to spot on the local roads and trails. Santa came early with the first shipment of the new kits, just in time for the holidays!


Brand new kit for 2017!

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’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

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!