AZ State Crit

A perfect day; around 60F with calm winds at my race time, 9:25am.  The first ride in my new kit;  the new flames looked great on me so I had the really important part under control.  I followed Reg Dowdall the first lap as he gradually moved toward the front of the combined 65+ group.  By the lap 2 climb I was functional so I went to the front and bumped the pace up the hill fracturing the peloton into a lead group of 4 and a residual bunch just rounding the top turn as we went over the top and back down toward the Start/Finish line for lap 3.  Reg basically attacked every lap going over the top and back down to the Line.  With 3 laps to go his attack over the top gapped me and Steven Borer while Steve Long managed to hang with him.  Thus went the race; Reg and Steve Long were 1st & 1st while Steve Borer and I were 2nd & 2nd.  I wore my heart monitor for this event and did manage to get my HR up over 160 several times so all in all a good training ride.
Rick E.

Santa Catalina Omnium

The UofA crit course was pretty fun, long and fast save one very tight, very technical corner.  Early in the day, when it was cold, the paint in the crosswalk there was super slick, 7 separate crashes in race #1!  

I went out to try some different ways of breaking away to see if one would stick.  I’m just trying to learn and develop some skill and instinct really.  So if I don’t crash and I learn to be a better racer, it’s all good!

Nobody got away in my race, myself included.  After reviewing the race I now know how I could’ve won.  Whoever was first into that tricky corner, which is the last corner on the race, was first to the finish line.  I should have slammed past everybody on the front half of the race on the last lap and just buried it on the back half.  If they all followed my wheel, no matter, because once you’re approaching that corner, there’s no passing and so much speed is scrubbed in that turn, that whoever is there first has a huge jump.

As it turned out, I was 7th overall and 4th in my group.  I made my hardest move in the 2nd to last lap and it didn’t stick, so I just chased down people that were in the omnium competition on the last lap.  I let one slip away, I didn’t realize he was up there.  

It was nice having Rich Horn there cheering me on!  I’m looking forward to racing with some teammates tomorrow in Oracle.  If I win the race I win the omnium.  But, twice up that cat2 climb is a tall task.  Should be fun.  

Rubber side down and GO!

Here’s the footage:



A quick recap of yesterday’s events to start your Monday.
Gene, Rich S, and I were in the masters 4/5 35+ race. For the omnium I was in 2nd place, behind by 7 points. So, if I won the road race, no matter what happened, I won the omnium, too.
The course was 2 laps, down the hill a back up.  The day was windy and started pretty cold, even a small patch of ice on the road!  
Down the hill was without event but our group was pretty large.  Going down hill that fast with gusty cross winds in cold weather in a cat 4/5 and collegiate b/c kids is unsettling!  But, we made it.
First shot up the hill was punchy.  This is my first attempt at matching anything in a road race in almost 3 years and I was in trouble near the top. I decided to ease off and catch back on down the hill.  
As soon as I did, I saw the cattle guard, marking the top.  There’s still climbing after that but it’s more my style.  I could see them but couldn’t catch back on.  They started attacking each other and were soon out of sight.
I wasn’t sure, but I thought there were 2 guys in that group that were in my race.  I sat up and waited for a big strong dude that got dropped before me and we worked together through town, picked up a college kid on the way down.
I kept thinking how pissed I’d be for sitting up there if it cost me the race.  But, even on the long downhill we couldn’t see that lead group.  We just weren’t closing in.  The headwind made it tough and they were obviously working together.
So, about half way down I stopped taking normal pulls and just went full gas for 2 minutes.  Then, I saw the group … way ahead still.  I redoubled my efforts and at the bottom of the hill we were just 25 yards behind.  We caught them easily then.
I joined the pace line, there were about 10 total, including the two I brought down the hill. As I examined the two masters riders in the group I saw they were NOT in my race. All I needed to do to win was sit in and not crash. 
That’s what I did.  Back up the hill, the two older guys worked over all of the kids.  I just rode tempo up the hill and dropped everybody but the one kid I brought down the hill.  Turned out he had a chance to win his race so I worked for him, well tried too.  On the downhill section coming into town he lost my wheel … I was going 53 in a 25, not sure what happened there.  Anyhow, he won his race too. 
It was great riding with Gene and Rich and seeing Rick out there, too.  
Enjoy your week.

USAC Nat’l Hill Climb


This inaugural event was my only significant objective for 2016 so I did set up and try to follow a training regimen to prepare for it.  Since the race was to be 20km up Pikes Peak with a start line at 9,380 ft and a finish line at 14,110 ft I included altitude acclimation as an integral part of my preparation.  I researched several training blogs and concluded that about one month at altitude was the optimum acclimation period.  If one cannot do that, little or no time at altitude is the next best approach.  Most of my training effort was put in between 4 weeks and 1 week before the event.  I took 2 days off shortly before the event and did a wake-up ride with a few pushes the afternoon before the event.

Weather for this event was forecast to be lousy until the afternoon before at which time the forecast changed to clear and sunny.  In the end, it was clear, sunny, calm and cold for the race.

The format was a staged mass start in waves.  My scoring group comprised about a dozen riders (MM70+) and left the line at 0703.  The first mile or so was deceptively flat and all of us enjoyed a bit of respite before the grind.  The grade then ramped up to about 10% and was relentless with very little easing.  Our peloton quickly fractured and soon Durward Higgins and I were alone off the front.  I have previously raced against Durward last October at the Huntsman World Senior Games where he beat me in 4 of 4 events.  Halfway up he bumped the pace 1 km/hr which I could not match, although I felt that I was performing well, and slowly but surely rode away from me.  I continued to be functional to the summit and was actually able to increase my own pace slightly the last 3 km.  I am admittedly a bit disappointed with my 2nd place finish, yet I feel that I performed about as well as I could, free of strategic or tactical errors, and without any equipment issues during the race.  Durward is simply stronger than I.  After summiting,  I took some time to enjoy the views, which I reckon were 50+ miles in any direction; truly grand. 

Given that this was a US National event,  my feelings about how the event was run are ambivalent.  The choice of venue was a profoundly wonderful challenge and would test the mettle of virtually any rider.  However, the extreme altitude should favor those who are already living at altitude.  Yet, having said that, it did not turn out that way for my group; 3 of the top 5 are living at low altitude.  Of course, for other groups it may well have been different.  Surprisingly, there were mistakes in posting of results;  I was initially not even listed in the results, and I know that other riders also had issues.  Fortunately, I had a “receipt” which I had obtained at the finish line listing my exact finish time and my finish position among those who had finished in my group; a neat feature, I thought.  Perhaps the most frustrating issue was the limited timing window; cutoff shortly after 0900 with riders starting between 0630 and a bit after 0730.  The road was opened to the public at 0900 and a steady stream of cars was nearing the summit by 0915, intimidating a couple of the racers in my group into giving up and turning around to avoid the press of vehicles in close proximity.  The Pikes Peak hgwy is city owned and I speculate USAC was simply unable to negotiate a reasonable closure window with the city.  As usual it was likely about the money.


Rick E.

I finished mid pack this weekend in my Men’s 40+ category. Gus, Kelly, and I showed up with plenty of time we thought. However after a long wait at the toll gate Gus and Kelly had to hurry to make their event. 
I thought I had plenty of time but needed to use the bathroom. A half hour later I headed out for my 2 miles of warm up. At 9000+ft I was dizzy just standing there. I had about 30 guys in my group. 
First thing I noticed was they all had compact cranks and a 11-32 on the back. Second thing was these were some hard looking dudes. 
As the race started I felt good. However within 2.5 miles I got dropped when the group surged. Ive never felt anything like it. My muscles didn’t hurt, no burn at all but I just couldn’t go any faster. 
I had to just mantain my pace and ride my race. Maybe a mile or two later there were people already on the side of the road. One of them a very fit young guy throwing up.
Ok this race is very different from any thing I ever done.
The great thing was I was starting to feel stronger every mile and was passing one competitor after another till the finish of the race. 
I believe my fitness was good but I just wasn’t quite acclimated properly. The winner beat me by 13 minutes. That’s a long time for a 12.5 mile race. My finishing time was 1 hour 28 minutes. The pro winners time was 1 hr 10 minutes. 
I’ll let the other teammates tell their stories. I will say this, anyone who finished this event is a champion in my books. Rick is my Hero at this event and I really look forward to hearing his story. 
I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to keep training, lent me equipment or just their ear when I needed it. 
I have to really thank Kelly O’Connor’s family for hosting us in their wonderful cabin in the woods.

State Road Race

I was nervous as usual. I guess I’ll never get over the pre-race jitters. It helped that I was with Rich & Cathy because they’re super chill before a race. We drove up together and stay at a friend of theirs. 
That morning I wad lucky to line up with Rich Horn and Philip Brown. We started in a masters group that was 30 through 49. It looked like we had some competition. 
I’m always quiet and focused at the start as I’m visualizing the race. 
Things went amazingly as I planned. I stayed near the front of the race not wanting to get into any trouble. I Was able to match any pace and felt very comfortable. The only real problem was my rear shifter was having issues. I think a new chain is in order.
I did struggle on one steep rollers in the back stretch of the race. I had just eaten and that often slows me down for whatever reason.
I made it back on easy enough and tried to conserve energy for my eventual break away. 
We finally reached the last turn towards Show Low and had a headwind heading back. I came around the corner and put in a hard two minute effort and created a huge gap from the field. Two riders who turned out to be one of my 40+ guys and a 35+ guy from Mexico. The group let us go because they had just been caught by the chase group.
The three of us worked relatively well together with me barking orders to put in work. I tested these guy on the first big climb and was surprised that they stay with me. We continued working because we knew the group wasn’t that far behind. However on the bottom of the last big climb I timed my break just as Bill the 40+ guy finished a pull and the other guy was starting his turn.
Bill was quickly dropped. He told me later he was already at the end of his rope at that point. The P&S rider manage to stay on my wheel and he must have been strong because on Strava I had the second fastest time of the day on that climb. Just behind the winner of the Cat 1 race.
I spent the next several miles cursing the wheel sucker who I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t afford to sit up because this guy wasn’t even in my category. I tried to explain that to him and he gave weak little pulls and claimed to be exhausted. Join the club right?! 
I yelled at him that if I was going to pull him to the finish he better not sprint me.
Guess what he did as we came around the corner. GAME ON! I gave it everything and caught him and we finished together. I haven’t seen the timing chip times yet but I’m pretty sure I had it. I won either way. 
However my hamstring instantly cramped up as I stopped peddling. I was embarrassed to have to drop to the ground in such pain. I was dehydrated and needed sugar.  I had given everything and it paid off.

Howdy, esteemed Aggressors!

First off, congratulations to those that raced, you guys all represented Aggress well!  Tim, two years after shattering his femur, killed the field.  I was more excited to see him win than had I won myself!  I did a dance of pure joy when he told me!  Rich, Shane and Rich and Cathy (who I just met), all raced well and had great results.  

For me, I’ve never been less relevant in the outcome of a race.  Yet, I can only think of one race where I was more proud of the outcome.  I’m literally in uncharted territory regarding my recovery.  There was hope I’d be “here” by December.  

As Tim mentioned, the race organizers lumped together all masters under 50 years old in one group.  I believe that was 35 total men.  I was nervous, which is very unusual for me. No matter what happened in the race it was to be a surprise, and I don’t like surprises during a race.  Just before the race, out of nowhere, my wife showed up and hugged me.  I really needed that!  She drove 6 hours the night before and stayed at our friend’s cabin!  I had no clue.  It was the best surprise I’ve ever had!  Thank you Tim for helping pull that off!

As for the race, mine wasn’t much of a race.  On the first real climb, about 18 miles in, I got dropped.  I tried to position myself up front before the hill so I could drift back and catch on, but I have a negative V02 max… I did drop back, but did not catch on.  

I found my own pace up the hill, and started catching and passing a bunch of other guys who also got dropped.  As normal, they were all surprised because I look more like a beer league softball dude than cyclist. I went by them all hoping they’d catch up and we could work together to catch back on.  We eventually formed a small group of about 10 or so. They tried to form a pace line but frankly, they sucked and were really slow.  I was upset to be with such a group.  When we made the series of right and left turns pretty quickly where there were a few houses around mile 22, I went to the front.  I didn’t attack at all, just gradually lifted the pace hoping to flick the clingons off the back.  Well, all 10 of them were clingons.  So I rode from there to the finish by myself.  I did just enough to keep them at bay. I had about 43 miles of solace.  It was a great time.  I really wasn’t hurting, kept my heart rate around 155 most of the time, and just stayed as aero as possible.  

I had some problems on the ride with my feet and hamstrings, which isn’t unusual still, but I knew how to keep it in check.  I kept looking back to see how close the chasing group was.  On the big rollers to finish the race I could them, so I stood up to make it look like I was attacking those hills even though I was just going a steady, relatively easy pace.  Anything to break their spirits!  From reading Strava accounts they were trying to catch me, and were upset they didn’t.  I thought they’d given up really.  

I’ll continue to take things one day at a time, but this was a big victory for me.  Not a result I’m used to, but I’ll take it! 



Mt Evans HC


The weather for this year’s edition of the highest road bike climb in North America was the best yet for  me; sunny, warm (sort of), winds light and variable.  At least half a dozen other Tucson riders, including Aggress Sandbagger Rich Horn, were also there to give it a go.  Six were registered in the MM70+ group but at our start (0715) there were only 3 on the line; Herb Johnson, Michael Raber, and myself.  Within the first 3 miles Michael was gone and it was down to Herb and I, as usual.  I knew going in that I would be more or less at the minimum point on the altitude acclimation curve (5 days at altitude) but it needed to be scheduled that way to give me a month at altitude before the Nat’l climb up Pike’s Peak.  I mostly followed Herb as we got close to Echo Lake (approx. halfway point) and I must concede that he was better able to maintain a good pace during his “stand and deliver” segments then I expected.  As we approached Echo Lake I began to suffer significantly and shortly realized I would have to let him go; dang!  My race was basically over at that point and it was henceforth a good training ride.  I pushed but did not bury myself and in the end finished 2nd, 8 min behind Herb and 13 min behind my own PR, set when I was fully acclimated. 


The consensus in the training blogs seems to be that when racing at altitude one should arrive at altitude either the day of the event, or more preferably at least 2 weeks prior to almost fully acclimate.  3-4 weeks are required for full acclimation;  4-6 days at altitude is the low performance point on the curve.  I guess I will know for sure if that was the difference in this case after Pike’s Peak.


The Summiting credential is attached, Jim A.; GOATS! 


Rick E.

State ITT

I took second today in the ITT M40+. My competition was a national track champ and 2nd in masters world track. So I was very happy when I rode my fastest tt this year averaging 26.7 mph for a 56.10 time. Not fast enough however. 
 It was not a smooth race. I forgot my HRM and I don’t run power so I was a little in the dark. 
I passed my first two competitors within the 5k mark. However by 10k Karl promptly passed me. I kept him close but at the turn around he was gone. I forgot to say he was riding a single speed bike to rub salt in my wounds. 
I was riding 30 mph on the return leg and felt pretty good so I settled in. I definitely could have gone faster but I was afraid of blowing up and having the two guys behind me catch up. With 10k to go I decided I better pick up the pace. Which I did but with several k to go I was done.
I think with a steady pace I could have improved my time considerably. Thank goodness there’s always next year. 
Congratulations to Shane and Rich who killed it today. Shane’s time was amazing but I’ll let him tell that story.
Really awesome job by Tim and Shane.  I think everyone asked Shane to quit taking the drugs.  When he posts you will see why.  
I signed up at the last minute thinking I may be able to pull out a 3rd place for a podium, first and second are way out of my reach.  Figured since I can’t win I might as well train, so I went and road Mnt Lemmon on Saturday. With a slight head wind still made it to Ski Valley in just under 2 hours 6 minutes, don’t think I was recovered from doing it on Thursday.
Any how, for the Merckx ITT: 
There were 4 of us, and Nippy had me go first. I don’t like the lineup!
I went out hard from the gun, then kind of easy as the head wind picked up.  At the turn I timed each of the riders behind me.  1minute after the turn I passed Steve Brechner who started 30 sec behind me (thought he was 1min behind), then at 1min20 sec Nelson Cronyn who started 1:30 behind, and lastly Huhn at about 2 min (I thought he was 30 sec behind me at the start).  I was not thinking clearly at first as I thought both Steve and Nelson had gained on me and would win, but that I would clearly beat Huhn for my anticipated 3rd place.  It was not until about 5 kilometers later I re-did the math and realized I passed them at 1min and 1min20, but they still had about 30 to 45 seconds to go to the turnaround where my timer started.  Eureka moment! I was at least 30 seconds ahead at the turn.  This energized me a bit as I now thought there is a chance this race could be close!  I went just a little harder.  I crossed the line at 1:02:07 for an average speed of 24MPH.  Once the dust settled, it turns out I won by over two and a half minutes.  I told the guys, if I thought I had a chance, I would not have done Lemmon yesterday.  I am more then pleased with the results.
Later I was talking to Michael Batson from Yuma,  nice guy I have raced with several times, he said they laid him on the ground at the start!  First they tried to keep him back for another rider until he points out his start time is in about 20 seconds.  Then they rush him up and drop him to the ground!  ouch!  Tim Scott said they almost dropped him as well! sheesh! Glad I had a smooth start. 
I want to thank Philip Brown for coming all the way from Rio Rico to spectate and support us!  It was great to see him there.  He even captured a very glamorous shot of me somewhere on the course.  It didn’t look like I was slaking at the time.
Lastly I would like to let everyone know we formally extended the team invite to Gene Rowley!  We are not to make it public yet until he has personally talked to his team.  Once he has done that we will get his email added to the Aggress group.  We are excited to have him join us and extend the family!
If anyone wants to loosen their legs Tuesday morning, Branden and I are doing Lemmon to break 2hrs to Ski Valley, he can do it with the new bike fore sure!
I’ll try to keep it brief, on second thought…no.
Heading into today’s race I knew I had a couple guys who could keep close.  One month ago we rode a TT over the same distance on that course and I won by 22 seconds over Steve Martin, so I figured I had to be on the top of my game today.  I was a bit concerned as I rolled out of bed this morning as I was still feeling a little sluggish after yesterday’s prep ride, oh well you race with legs you have that day and not the legs you wish you had. 
  Before the race I was telling Tim a little about how I monitor things during the race.  I have my Garmin set to record 5k laps, if you ride 7:15/5k lap you are on track for a 58 min 40k TT.  On the way out my first 5k was 8:37, uh oh, this is not good pick it up, 2nd 5k 7:30 something and now there is a headwind, stay calm, but your losing it…they are gonna catch you, enough of the splits.  Got to the turn in 30 and change, that is a 1hr 40k and will get you knocked off the podium, oh wait… is that a tailwind? Since it was, trying to keep the speed above 30 mph on my way back.  Now I am turning 5 1/2 min 5k intervals.  With 5k to go I had to do a double take on my Garmin, my time was 49 something, a final 5k in 6 mins would result in a 55 min 40k, keep rolling that big gear, they are catching you.  I finished in 54:18, 27.46 mph.  Only a handful of seconds behind the cat 1’s and Karl Baumgart in the 40-44 age group. 
  All week I’d work on visualizing the race and hitting the finish with nothing left, today was the closest I’ve come to that feeling at the finish.
Great rides by Tim and Rich brought home more hardware for Aggress. Awesome job guys!
Thanks to Philip for making the drive up from Rio Rico, it was great seeing you out there.

TBC 2016

The weather was great, and the race was well attended, although my age group was bereft; there was only me and J P Holloman. Stage 1, Prologue. This 3 mile TT is likely more important to race outcome than it should be. A 20 sec advantage here will frequently be insurmountable; the RR and CR time bonuses are not enough to overcome it. I chose to ride my road bike with my Reynolds MVT32 climbing wheels and I am comfortable it was a good choice. Although I beat JP by half a minute, I was not adequately warmed up; I only had 14 minutes on my rollers before the start. I need at least 30 to be fully functional. Oh well… I got away with it.

Stage 2, RR. We did 2 laps around the Sahuarita course in a combined field of 65+ (9 riders). Lap 1 was relatively uneventful; a few attacks on the uphill pitches shelled the two 75+ riders. Reg Dowdall took off as we entered the feed zone to begin lap 2 and all except JP (my competitor) managed to hang on, so now we were 6. Several attacks by Reg and Steve Worley from Boulder proved useless, and we were still 6 for the coast down Helmet Peak Rd. As we turned onto La Canada I looked back to see if JP was visible, and he was not, but our pace seemed slow enough that I was getting a bit anxious so I went up front and picked up the pace down La Canada to Duval Rd. As we turned onto Duval, I took a good look back up La Canada and JP was not be seen, so I knew my race was in the bag. The finish sprint started with Steven Worley at just under 1km to go, with Reg and Curtis on him. I did my best to respond but my sprint sucks and by the finish the gap between me and Curtis had grown to 10 sec. Reg won it and I gained another minute+ on JP.

Stage 3, CR. The action here began on lap 2 going West up the Anklam hill. Curtis Ingle was in front with me on his wheel. Reg and Steve came around at speed and I expected Curtis to jump on their wheels. Nothing! I hesitated just a sec or 2 expecting him to stand and deliver any moment. Finally, I realized he was going to let them go and I went around and began hammering up the last of the hill. One other rider, Ken Starke, tried to go with me. Reg and Steve got over the summit 30 m ahead of me and the gap immediately began growing. I got on the toptube and managed to keep the gap fairly stable down to the Speedway turn. Ken came around me just after the turn and we began alternating pulls to close the gap. The closest we got was up the Anklam hill on the next lap; it got worse after that and we rode together to the finish; 3rd for him, 1st for me.

Rick E.

Nice job out there, Rick.

I’ve given in to the fact that my fitness has been less than desired this season, but that hasn’t stopped me from having the busiest race season to date.

The prolouge was a bit on the warm side with a moderate W-NW wind to knock me around a bit on the downhill. I couldn’t get comfortable or produce the power I wanted on the downhill so I hung tight and tried to stay calm before the climb. As I hit the first hill a Team Winded rider came past me, which signaled to me that it was time to start making it hurt. I stayed in the saddle, in the big ring (brandishing a new 53t Rotor Q-Ring this season), and slowly started to increase my power output. Over the rollers I took the slight downhill sections to increase my speed rather than take a breather. Then the big climb approached, and I got out of the saddle to lay more power down. I quickly overtook the Team Winded rider that I’d kept in my sight after passing me, and found what I had left to finish the TT as strong as possible. Official time was an underwhelming 9:49, but given my fitness and the wind I was happy with anything under 10 minutes.

The road race was a slug fest from the start line. The first lap was frantic as the pace would go from fast to faster with the occasional immediate slow down. It was apparent that multiple factions at the front of the pack were vying for control of the pace with little resolve. As I’d done last year I spent most of the race trying to hang in and chill out for as long as possible, but the pace proved to be quite demanding no matter where I was in the group. By the final lap the pack had dwindled significantly from an inital 55 or more to under 30. I was also starting to become noticeably dehydrated, and began drinking more as time permitted. Somehow we were still hammering away. I started to begin to position myself further forward in the group (no breakaways at this point), and tried to eat a little extra for a big finish. As we rounded the corner from Duval Mine to La Canada I got out of the saddle to close a gap caused by our rubber banding around the corner, and the inside of my left leg cramped up from hip to heel. Struggling to stay in the group I tried to keep pedaling, but my leg wouldn’t have it. I quickly slipped out the back of the pack. Sitting in the saddle and drilling it proved less painful, but it was too late. I finished the rest of the race solo. I was pretty upset about not being able to finish in the pack as I’m a big fan of sprint finishes.

I have come to love the TBC circuit race. It hurts a lot, but it’s over before you know it. The pace, again, was set very high and remained very high the entire time. Laps flew by as I sat in reflecting over my underwhelming performace the previous two days. By the fourth, I’d convinced myself that I had nothing to lose, and to just focus on kicking some ass today, here and now. I started to poke and prod my way forward in the group, which proved difficult due to the size of the group. I commited to sneaking up the right side of the group whenever there was a lull in the action, and by the sixth and final lap I’d made it up to Michael Hast who was sitting quietly letting everyone else do the work. He was comfortably 3rd in the GC so I thought he might be a good wheel to follow to the line. After the final corner Hast swung from right to left and I followed him. We swiftly cleared most of the pack with 10 or 15 riders up the field. I realized Hast wasn’t going to do anything drastic so I rode off his wheel, and took a sprint clean down the (open) left side of the road to finish 9th for the day. It was a nice and reassuring finish to an otherwise frustrating weekend at the races.

I’m looking forward to finishing out the main thrust of my road season with Marana Heritage Crit and State Crit Championships. After that I’ll be training for the Whiskey Off-Road.



Save The Cord Foundation


Have you noticed the Save the Cord Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit) on our shirts? We would like to take a minute and explain why we are so proud to wear this logo. Our good friend, Charis Ober, started the foundation after meeting two extraordinary children who had received life-saving cord blood transplants. One child won a battle with leukemia and the other with sickle cell anemia. They are both living happy and healthy lives thanks to cord blood. It was then that Charis decided that no more cord blood should go to waste. 

Through the years, we have followed Charis on her quest to educate parents about the amazing natural resource. Did you know that over 95% of cord blood is just thrown away as medical waste? True and sad. This a valuable natural resource that is not controversial because it is something that is simply thrown away unless the parent chooses (and often has to insist) that it be saved either publicly or privately. 

When a couple is expecting a baby, they are overwhelmed with information about baby buggies, cribs, nursing techniques, etc. However, we feel like parents really need to get the facts on cord blood like the fact that it is actually being used RIGHT NOW to treat over 70 different diseases. Even the State of Arizona has acknowledged how important it is and they have set up the Arizona Cord Blood Program for public donation of your newborn’s cord blood. If you are expecting, visit Save the Cord Foundation’s website to get unbiased and non-commercial information on cord blood. You can even sign up for a FREE BABY SHOWER REGISTRY and get a free year’s subscription to PREGNANCY MAGAZINE.

Depending on your family’s needs you may choose to donate it or save it privately. You choose but please don’t throw cord blood away. 

We support Save the Cord Foundation in their mission to educate expectant parents! Thank you Save the Cord Foundation for also supporting us in our endeavors. 

McDowell Mountain

My group went off at 2pm which was nice for a change.  I followed Dick Snyder off the Start line;  I didn’t view any of the others as credible threats.  I stayed on his wheel until the start of the climb and then moved forward.  My plan was to work him every hill climb and try to drop him on the last lap so I would not have to pathetically sprint to the line with (sic “behind”) him.  To enhance the plan, I rode my climb bike.  I decided the downhill risk was worth the uphill advantage.  No one even noticed my drive train and for once the plan worked virtually perfectly.  I coasted the downhills, occasionally on Dick’s wheel, occasionally in front.  I worked him as hard as I could without standing on the next to last lap and he pretty much stayed with me but he was breathing hard at the top and I was comfortable.  On the last lap I stood and delivered at the base of the hill, and by the turn he was out of sight.  I relaxed a bit and cruised on down to the Finish line for my first victory of the season.
-Rick E.

Tucson Bicycle Classic 2014

After reading Bryan’s exciting Shoot-out report, this is going to seem pretty dull!

The weeks before TBC, I was undecided about racing, because I felt unprepared, but I thought, “what the heck, I need to do this, it’s in our backyard”.  I had been off the bike for six weeks, due to traveling and surgery on my shoulder and hip and didn’t have high expectations. 

TT – Doug wanted me to buy a TT bike, but I am frugal, so I settled for TT bars.  I practiced on them the Monday before the TT and felt pretty comfortable. 

The day of the TT, the ladies had  good conditions, with some windy gusts here and there.  I had my best TT time ever (according to Strava) and finished in 8th place out of 15.

On a side note, it was a lot of fun, hanging with the team at the Brown picnic area.  Pretty cool that we have an age range of 19 years old, up to 70!  There was a flurry of activity with racers coming and going.  Thanks to Bryan Schlegel, who provided a TT warm-up, that was enlarged by Doug and taped to wall for the racers to follow!

Road Race – In my prior years of doing TBC, both times, the field was only three racers.  This year, we had 15 women in the 55+!  Amazing!  We were in a combined field with the 45+ and 65+, 70+, so there was a big group.  I was able to hang with the lead group for the first lap and over the railroad tracks and then the pace picked up, I was hanging on and my left calf starting cramping.  It continued to cramp and I started to drop back, further and further away from group.  I had to unclip and pedal with my right leg only, it was miserable!  The cramping got worse, but I managed to finish, but dropped to 10th place.

Circuit Race – The leaders started off with a bang and we passed the Cat 4 women, who had started two minutes before us, dropping seven of the women.  I was able to hang with the leaders for two laps and then fell off, with two other women.  We were working together nicely, and then another woman dropped on the climb.  It was down to two of us, chasing the leaders.  I learned the woman I was working with, had won the very first TBC back in the 80’s!  When we turned on to Greasewood on the final lap, I kicked it up and went as hard as I could.  I ended up in 5th place.

Overall – I finished in 8th GC, taking 17 minutes off my 2012 GC time!

It was a hard, but fun weekend. After looking back at everything, I saw I hadn’t done enough long, hard training rides. 

Public thanks to my honey, Doug, who not only has to prepare his bike, but mine too  – I’m so blessed, I just have to get on my bike and ride!


In preparation for a major stage race, I always go to the fountain of wisdom. Therefore, I want to start this race report out, with my thanks to BrYan Schlegel. BrYan has shared his wisdom on how to ride the TT course with me many times over the last several years, and I’ve also benefited from my shootout lessons from him, on strategies about racing and sprinting techniques. All of this helped me achieve my results in this year’s TBC.
The senior masters categories all raced together: master 65+(my group), 70+, and 75+ … we were scored separately. In the master 65+ there were nine entries, in the master 70+ five entries and in the master 75+, three entries.
Stage I – time trial:
In preparation for the prologue, I rode the 3.2 mile course about 10 times in the two weeks prior to the race. On Wednesday before the race, my time was 8:45. My best time ever. However, on race day after coming down the ramp and making the first right turn, I was met with the first drops of rain and a strong headwind. It did not let up, but only increased, at some points being a driving rain and probably headwinds of 15 to 20 mph, and gusts even stronger. Terrible conditions to match my terrible time of 10:00. However, conditions were the same for everyone in our group and I came in second, 18 seconds out of first, and 14 seconds ahead of John Conahay who was third.
Stage II – road race:
At the start of this stage, my plan was simply to ensure no one got away and I held my 2nd position within the GC. On the first lap nothing happened, however, on the second lap, Franz Hammer took off and was quickly followed by Roy Quade. Our GC leader, Randall Maddox, and I discussed what level of threat this was to us. My assessment at that time was that it was nothing too serious, since Franz was 77 years old, and not in our group,and I didn’t feel Roy would have enough strength to stay away. However, they built the lead to perhaps 25 to 30 seconds ahead of the peloton. Randall and I decided to pursue them. Although we were gaining, it became apparent without a very hard effort, they would not be caught. At that point, I put my head down and buried myself to catch them prior to Helmet Peak. We were successful in doing that, and as we made the turn, I was in the front. It might be interesting to read Randall’s excellent blog report of this, so I’ve included a link to that here: . To make this long story shorter, suffice it to say that the ride down LaCanada and up Duval Mine Road was a very slow pace and I found myself in the front most of this time. As we were going up to Duval Mine, my only thought was to finish with the peloton and not have John Conahay, third place in GC at this time, win the stage and get the 10 second bonus. However, having done a large portion of the work on this lap, at or near the front, I didn’t have very good legs for the sprint finish. John won the stage and got the 10 second bonus, leaving us only four seconds apart going into Sunday’s circuit race.
Stage III – circuit race:
Unlike VOS, when I had my position of second in the GC pretty sewn up at the start of the final stage, today was very different. With Conahay so close, I really wanted to win the bonus time on the sprint lap. Randall and I talked about this and we devised a plan where I would round the corner on Greasewood first and Randall would position himself second. Randall would slow the pace of the peloton as I sprinted ahead. However, I couldn’t muster a sprint for the kilometer. Conahay won the sprint lap and got the three second bonus, Randall got second and I got third. Conahay and I were now only two seconds apart. I needed to win this stage to keep my second place in GC. As we approached the last lap, Randall and I discussed our strategy. Randall was very thankful for the work I had done for him in the road race, protecting his yellow jersey, (and my position in the GC). He was willing to sacrifice himself to preserve my lead. This time, as we turned onto Greasewood, Randall was first and I was second. Randall motored up that first climb and buried himself on the downhill section. I clung to his wheel. As we approached the 200 meter mark, I gave it my all and powered past him for the final sprint. This time, I did have good sprinting legs and won the stage, securing my position of second in the GC six seconds, 13 seconds out of first. During the final sprint, my power peaked at close to 900 watts and averaged almost 700 Watts, for the final 20 seconds. Not bad for this old guy’s legs.
This was probably my best racing weekend ever and not just because of the finishes of first in the circuit race, second in the time trial and second in the GC.  But because of the wise counsel received from BrYan and the teamwork that Randall and I were able to have during this race. Although Randall and I aren’t teammates, we worked extremely well together and developed effective winning strategies.
Looking forward to my remaining “A” races: State crit championship and state time trial championship!

Doug (The Wheelman)

P.S. Just to keep my nickname solid … I went to check my wheels on Thursday night and found that I had a flat on my Enve 60mm that I was going to use in the TT (fortunately this was just a loose valve) AND a flat on my Enve 25 front that I was going to use in the RR and Circuit Race … Fairwheel was able to get me setup fast with a new tubular on this wheel for Saturday’s race! I really am “The Wheelman”!!


TT day dawned sunny and seasonal.  A moderate, unfavorable wind was forecast.  Rain, however, was not in the forecast.  As I rolled down the start ramp in my new Hincappie Edge skinsuit I felt a few tiny raindrops but it really did  not occupy my thoughts.  As I came up to speed and dropped down on the aerobars I felt that it got noticeably quieter than I remembered in previous TTs.  It seemed the suit was having a favorable effect.  I felt pretty comfortable as I made the right turn at the bottom of the downhill and started the longish uphill.  2/3 of the way up the headwind increased noticeably and became quite gusty.  As I neared the top of the big climb I got slammed in the face with big wind-driven raindrops (what could be better?) for perhaps 20 seconds.  As I continued over the top to the short downhill that followed the rain and wind did ease off a bit allowing me to focus on keeping my pace up.  Up the 2nd short climb, Randall Maddox passed me at the top for the brief final downhill.  On the last little uphill kicker, I stood and delivered (more energy left that there should have been), and overtook Randall before the finish line.  Although all our times were slow, I did the my best relative performance ever in this event, taking 2nd.  I think the skinsuit helped.
Stage 2.  The roadrace lap 1 was mundane; nothing much happened.  Lap 2 was more interesting.  As we approached the West end of Duval mine rd, Franz Hammer went off the front and was allowed to go.  A few seconds later Roy Quade followed, and he too was allowed to go, in due course joining Franz.  Perhaps 1/3 of the way up Mission a discussion ensued at the front of the peloton, and Doug Perry declared that Roy and Franz appeared serious about keeping off the front.  Four of us more or less shared pulling and reeled them back in prior to the turn onto Hemet Pk Rd.  Note that in our combined field with 3 separate scoring groups (65/70/75) there were a total of 13 racers for most of the race.  The 3 leaders had no reason to attack, and a case could be made that 2nd and 3rd in both the 70+ and 75+ groups likewise had no reason to attack, given the separation in their placements.  The 65+ group was less stable with Doug Perry vulnerable, and added some spice, which I imagine he will elaborate on in his race report.  In the end I just cruised over the line near the back of the peloton and nothing changed for me.  I was still solidly in 2nd for the gc.
Stage 3.  The circuit race laps 1-3 were mundane and easily forgettable.  However, at the conclusion of the lap 3 sprint, the sprinters (and in particular Randall Maddox, the 65+ leader) kept the pace up and tried to maintain a gap.  By the Anklam feed zone, all but Randall were back in the group and Doug was pulling up the hill to re-capture Randall, who was perhaps 60-70m ahead of us.  With perhaps 200m to go to the top of the Anklam hill, it became clear to me that Doug was not going to reel him back in before the top of the hill.  I decided to help and went to the front and pulled the group up to Randall just before the top of the hill.  Nothing of significance transpired from then until the final sprint, which sort of began for us right after the turn onto Greasewood.  All of us were reasonably well rested at that point so I knew it would be an active sprint.  Doug looked ready to protect his few seconds of lead in the GC, and did not disappoint, taking the race.  I cruised in with Randall Maddox as he had obviously decided not to sprint and was comfortable with his GC victory, which was in the bag at this point.
All-in-all, I was satisfied with by riding, and I learned well just how important that piss-ant 3 mile TT can be.
-Rick E.
Saturday, March 15, 2014 TBC road race
Saturday’s road race started off with a hard effort.  Horn, in crazy but typical Horn fashion, went to the front and drilled it.  I would say it was pretty uncomfortable trying to keep pace with the group.  The group turned the corner on Duval Mine, over the tracks, and settled down in a grove up the climb.  The group rode steady with maybe one have hearted attack.  It was difficult to really put any distance in on the climb due to the head wind.  The wind will make for weak and half ass efforts because the group will just ride any attackers down.  However, the wind played a huge role on the descent.  The first time heading down Helmet Peak Road was fast.  With a semi cross wind and sometimes a tail wind, this made for some fast riding.  Between Helmet Peak and La Canada the first time around the average speed was 29.8 mph.  This was just the prelude to what was to take place the second time around.  Duval Mine Road had some cross wind, but not as bad in previous years.  There were some attacks, but they were quickly shut down.  We turned and started the climb.  I looked over and Mr. Scott was right next to me.  I asked him how he was feeling.  I don’t remember the response, but I had a feeling he was fine.  Near the top of the climb a little attack went off and formed a break-a-way.  I don’t remember if it was 3 or 4 but they worked well together.  This seemed to spark the interest of San Tan Racing and they put a few people on the front.  I was wondering if the break would make it to the corner of Helmet Peak before we caught them.  As the group closed in on the turn, I knew the speed was going to be silly going down Helmet.  I moved to second wheel before the corner.  This was a very good choice because it became very fast.  We came down Helmet Peak at 37.4 mph.  If anyone was caught out they were pretty much out of the race.  On La Canada, we stayed around 30 mph with people trying to bridge up to the break-a-way.  The first attack on La Canada put me over 1,000 watts.  I counted 8 times people trying to bridge up to the break-a-way just on La Canada.  The wind had picked up at this point and Duval Mine was pretty difficult.  There were 3 more attacks with some slight gaps.  We were all back together except for the break-a-way by the turn to the climb.  Now not being a great climber this is going to sound odd, I was glad to be on the climb.  There was a sense of normalcy.  At this point, I looked around for Tim and crew and did not see them.  Rich Goedel was asking, “What are you looking for?”  I asked him, “Where is the rest of my team?”  His response was something like, “They didn’t make it.”  Oh crap!  At this point, I was bound and determine to finish in the front group.  San Tan Racing began chasing hard down Mission.  They were asking for help and Flagstaff Racing lent a hand.  Flagstaff also was setting J Carnes and teammate up for an attack to try to get to the break-a-way.  I have seen J do this before with some success.  Once we turned on Helmet Peak… away they went.  Once again, we went down Helmet Peak pretty fast (37.2 mph) and cut into the break-a-way.  Carnes and teammate managed to get to the break-a-way, but they were doomed at this point.  We were within about 10 seconds of them when we turned on La Canada.  As we caught the break-a-way, I moved to the front of the group to be somewhat of an opportunist.  The attacks came and I just surfed from one attack to the other.  One thing that puts me into great difficultly is being on the back when attacks like these come.  It’s just so much work to stay with the group riding that way.  The group turned on Duval Mine and it was a drag race to the finish.  People were surging by me.  I had to keep riding around people who couldn’t handle the pace at the end.  Out of the 35 people who made to the front group on the second lap, a dozen fell off on Duval Mine.  I had to sprint with Tim Miller just to finish at the back of the main field.  I should have fought harder to maintain my position.  However, I am glad to be with the main pack at the end.

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  • Mission

    Aggress is a Tucson-based statewide / regional cycling team formed in January, 2004.
    As a developmental team for both road and mountain bike racing, Aggress continues to actively – yet carefully – recruit according to a philosophy that emphasizes teamwork in both training and racing tactics.
    Our focus is to race as a team, utilizing team tactics to get our man the win. We ride in support of our designated racer, with each member in turn supported in the key event(s) of his choosing.
    We are aggressive when we race, but we behave in a courteous and sportsmanlike manner at all times. We also have team training rides that we utilize throughout the season.