One Lap of America at BMW Performance Center May 2

Next Monday, May 2 the BMW Performance Center will host the Tire Rack One Lap of America.  This is a modern, real-life version of the movies Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit II.  The rules have changed significantly from the days when racers would illegally bomb across the country at break-neck speeds on public roads, but the action is still fast and furious on the track.

Entrants travel in street legal vehicles from track to track at legal speeds, while performing time trials at various venues around the country. They have a certain amount of time to make it from course to course, but it’s “go as fast as you can” when they drop the green flag on the closed race tracks.  This event is great, as you can actually talk to the drivers of these beautiful machines.  You can visit with them and check out their cars before they do their performance runs.  These are all street cars you can buy at your local dealer, so there is a strong connection between you and what they are doing on the track.  Come on out and check out the action.

Our cycling friend (and race driver) Mike Renner will be participating in this year’s race in a BMW 335D in the alternative fuels division. Don’t be fooled by the “alternative fuel” class, as they still manage enough go on the green juice to smoke the tires on a full-sized luxury sports car.  You won’t want to miss this fun.  Cars should start arriving around 3:30pm with the first timed runs beginning at 5pm.  Between 5-7pm you should see about 75 cars in various classes attempt to master the BMW Performance Center track.  The event is free for you and the family, and food and drink will be available for purchase.  I went out there last year and shot some video during the demonstration laps. Fun stuff:

Stars & Stripes Challenge pb Amgen May 29th

If you’re looking for an awesome cycling event for the entire family, you will want to make your way to Greenville, SC for Memorial Day Weekend.  In between the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championships on May 28 and the Road Race Championships on May 30 is the Stars & Stripes Challenge presented by Amgen.

 

 

The Stars & Stripes Challenge pb Amgen is a fundraising ride on May 29, 2011 to help in the fight against cancer. It was started locally in Greenville and has since grown to one of the most successful events on the cycling calendar.  This year, we’re expecting thousands of cyclists to participate and ride on some of the same roads frequented by George Hincapie and many other top level professional cyclists.  Start/Finish will be at Gateway Park in Travelers Rest, SC located right along the Swamp Rabbit Trail that connects downtown Greenville with northern Greenville County.  This is the ideal location to launch some of the most beautiful rides in Upstate South Carolina.

 

 

The event was originally started by the Palmetto Peloton Project, a passionate group of cyclists in Greenville that understand that everyone’s lives are being touched by cancer in some way.  They wanted to create non-profit events that raise money for our local community and make real impacts in the fight against the disease.  Funds raised by the Stars & Stripes Challenge benefit cancer research, outreach and advocacy right here in Greenville and across the nation.  To date, the P3 organization has raised more than $1 million for the selected beneficiaries!  That’s real impact indeed.

 

Raise $500 for the cause to get one of these beautiful Hincapie jerseys.

 

 

Join us for the fun Memorial Day Weekend and bring the whole family.  There are rides and events available for all ability levels.  Let’s help the P3 reach their fundraising goals at this year’s event.  But, let’s also celebrate cycling and ride some of the most scenic roads in the US.  Did I also mention the world-class bicycle racing you can witness when you’re not pedaling?  See you in Greenville May 28-30, 2011.

 

Routes have been announced if you want to check them out before you get here:

10 Mile Route - 11.3 miles, 843 ft of climbing

25-30 Mile Route - 28 miles, 2158 ft of climbing

Metric Route - 64.2 miles, 4379 ft of climbing

Century Route - 106.6 miles, 7524 ft of climbing

 

 

Weekly Training Series Fun

Last night, Mother Nature combined with the collective power of our local superstars to make our weekly Tuesday Night World Championship ride one of the hardest of the year.  Practically constant 30mph winds meant that only the strong, and the incredibly crafty, could survive the race.  Even with the brutal conditions (and the resulting severe beating I received) last night, I can’t help but smile at the event.  There is just no substitute for the fun and fitness you can get at a weekly training race.

Weeknight training races are hard to beat for putting some speed in your legs.

The King Racing Group Thursday Night Criterium is one example of some serious high quality mid-week racing at Fair Park in Dallas, TX.  This weekly series runs all summer from March to September.  New this season, KRG awards yellow Hincapie Equipe leader jerseys to the series point leaders of each category every week.  They regularly get a collection of top level racers to keep the action hot on every level.

Elbowz Racing Team members are regular participants at the King Racing Group Thursday Night Criterium.

Lately the guys from Elbowz Racing have been ruling the night. Elbowz Racing Elite Cycling Team is an elite cycling team founded by MotoGP star, Ben Spies.  That’s right.  Spies is not just one of the fastest motorcycle racers on the planet, but he’s pretty fast on the pedals as well.  We made them some pretty cool Hincapie Velocity kits featuring many of the same sponsors that support Ben’s MotoGP effort.

MotoGP star Ben Spies uses bicycle racing to stay fit for motorcycle racing.
Hincapie jerseys are well represented at the KRG criteriums on Thursday nights.

If you’re in the Dallas area on a Thursday night, check out the King Racing Group criterium.  They vary the course up once in a while just to keep things interesting.  Good luck to everyone tomorrow night.

While I'm on the subject...how DOES Ben get his motorcycle to stick to the pavement???

Getting in the Spirit for Paris Roubaix

We had a great time on our Paris Roubaix celebration ride today. We promised cobblestones and we delivered!  Thanks to the dedicated fans that came out to join us.

We planned a route that featured 2 Pave sections (ok, we’re calling both of them Pave, but one was more like gravel).  We headed north from the Hincapie HQ on the Swamp Rabbit Trail to Pave section #1.  This is the short gravel section of the trail after Roe Ford Rd. that we normally curse, but today it was more reasonable.  You could tell that some of the group had been reading rider diaries from the race, because the pace immediately quickened over the rocks.  Just like in France, right!

We started from a gravel parking lot behind Hincapie HQ to get in the spirit quickly.

From there we headed back towards downtown over the base of Paris Mountain where (just by chance) we found Pave section #2, an unexpected Pave section very close to George’s house.  In the spirit of the weekend, the DOT had ground up the asphalt to prepare for a repaving.  At this point, as a rumbled over the rough surface, I couldn’t help but wonder how close this was to the actual torture they will face during the race.  I settled on “not even close” as I rode one-handed trying to shoot some video of the experience.

 

After the construction zone we headed back down North Main, retracing part of the USPro RR course. We were headed to Pave section #3, the only authentic “cobblestone” section in downtown Greenville. This would culminate our celebration and get all of us charged up for the weekend’s race.  Or it would at least give us a truer understanding of what George and the BMC boys will go through on Sunday.

We found our Roubaix replica cobbles behind the Upcountry History Museum.

Before you tell me that there are other cobblestone sections in Greenville, please realize that we aren’t talking about smooth brickwork with little tiny gaps between bricks. We’re not talking about the smooth, decorative pavers scattered around downtown. If you can roll your baby stroller across it without waking up junior, it’s not a true section of Pave.  We rolled up to the stones in front of the Upcountry History Museum thinking we would finally experience a little bit of Paris Roubaix.  What an experience it was?!?!  Those guys are crazy. One well traveled cyclist was with us and who had actually ridden through the Arenberg Forest on his bike.  He confirmed that the Pave section we finished on was indeed close to what they ride in the actual race.  Big difference is…we rode about 100 meters…and they will ride over 50 kilometers of that stuff on Sunday!  It was humbling to realize what they actually go through.  Good luck to George and the BMC boys this weekend.  Everyone that finishes that race deserves a trophy.

Those are some nasty rocks!

We didn't have any major mishaps, but we did break a shifter cable on our Pave.

Ride the Divide Film Coming to Greenville

Ride The Divide, the award-winning feature-length documentary about the world’s toughest mountain bike race, will makes its South Carolina premiere when it descends on Greenville at the Camelot Cinemas. The event will be a fundraiser for the Upstate SORBA mountain bike club. The film chronicles the story of several mountain bikers who attempt the 2,711-mile race named the Tour Divide along the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The movie was named the best adventure film at the 2010 Vail Film Festival.

Ride The Divide embraces the inspiring stories of three of the racers who experience the immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada, to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border. There’s Mike, a 40-year-old family man who uses this challenge to chart a new course in life; Matthew, a leader in extreme endurance racing who’s competing for his fifth time; and Mary, the first female rider to race this route. As they set out, they will attempt to accomplish what very few have been able to. Over the course of a few weeks, they’ll attempt to climb over 200,000 vertical feet along the backbone of the Rocky Mountains.

They’ll experience mental breakdowns, treacherous snow, hellacious blisters, and total fatigue. Above all, they’ll race with no support – at times in total isolation. The tests of endurance and the accomplished moments throughout Ride the Divide prompt us to reflect on our inner desires to live life to the fullest.

Ride The Divide will be shown at 8 p.m. at the Camelot Cinemas located at 48 E. Antrim Drive in Greenville. Tickets are $15 at the door, and $10 in advance at www.IMAthlete.com/Events/RideTheDividemovie.

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