Wear a helmet. Ride at your own risk. Obey the rules of the road. Bring a pump, tube and tools. Be courteous towards your fellow riders and the public.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Michael Williams - 1976

OK, what I gather from the training diary of Michael Williams is that from the beginning  the ride was associated with the word "fast."  We also get a date for the naming of the ride on June 7th.

Michael Williams, Training Diary- 1976 

(I was a second year junior) which is a Taco Bell calendar  
First note of a river ride is:  
May 18th, 1976. I have notes earlier in the calendar on Tuesdays and Thursdays of that May riding with a particular rider (Bobby Edwards) who I believe started the ride as a regular event. May 18th it was just two of us. 

May 25th there were four of us.

June 1 and 3 notes "Freeport. Fast." 

June 7 I noted it was the "River Ride" for the first time.  Before that it was "ride to Freeport", etc. from there after in the year the RR shows up every Tuesday or Thursday that I was in town and not injured  

October 7th.  Last River Ride of that year 

Early riders on the river rides were Bobby Edwards, Greg Edwards (still riding), Steve Uhler (also still riding), Mike Fitzwater (one of Jess' original partners), Tom Bartlett (also one of Jess' original partners and who hired Steve Rex to wrench in his shop BiciSport), Phillip Muller and probably Jess P as well.

Thanks for the information Michael! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nathan Dahlberg - 1986

The Sacramento River Ride: a personal account. 

Almost 30 years ago in the summer of 1986 whilst racing Amateurs in Belgium I meet a certain English man Jeff Woodhouse and If anywhere that’s where the river ride began for me. Jeff and I were mutual inhabitants of no 9 Bijilokevest in Gent during August that year and despite giving him an endless ribbing we got on well . I always remember him getting out his map at the start of a ride one morning and I told him ” throw that away” , we will be back before nightfall’ 
The following year a certain Paul Estarbook (from Sacramento) turned up on the local Gent scene (with Aaron de Runtz) . I first saw him riding flat out the opposite way down a bike path near Zommergem in early March - that’s gotta be a yank I thought wearing his bandana and crap. Sure enough I meet Paul and a few days later and he was also living on the Bijlokevest just down the street in fact!! 
To cut a long story by the years end both Jeff and I ended crashing out at Pauls Parents in Sacramento (September ) riding some late season races there - I was only there a couple of weeks but Jeff never left. During that time I did notch up a couple of river rides , I must admit I hardly knew what was happening the river(s) themselves going in about as many directions as the riders were in the bunch’s - anyway it was late season with very few participants.
The biggest memory of the ride itself there was stopping with Scott McKinley and eating fresh figs. I ended up revisiting Sacramento and the river ride several times over the following years which seemed to get increasingly competitive and dangerous , for some of the locals it was a pretty serious deal!  
Jeff Wood house rode the river ride almost never missing a Tuesday or Thursday for 15 years straight - for all I know he’s still out there!!
Nathan Dahlberg would end up riding for 7-11 and competing in the Tour de France. Nathan, originally form New Zealand is currently living in China.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Note for the Tuesday "B" River Ride

The Tuesday B ride is a beginner oriented ride with a small chainring rule until the road drops under the railroad tracks, with a pace of 21-22 until that point. Speeds increases after the road drops, and once back up on the levee, gloves off until finish for attacking and faster pace. First half of the ride has a goal of developing group riding skills including smooth pacelining and rotations and increasing comfort in a pack.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Kent Quong - 1976

How have you imagined the first River Rides?  Imagine a bunch of skinny guys with wool jerseys speaking with fake Italian accents hammering away on the South River Road in the cross winds?  Toe clips, down tube shifters and hair-net helmets? Suspect a mustache or two thrown in for good measure?   If this is how you imagined the first ride, you would be real close (less the accents!).  Here is our first post on the History of the Sacramento River Ride.  Enjoy!

I did my first River Ride (RR) in 1976. Kendall Lecompte, owner of the Bicycle Business at the time, had told my friend Steve Mar and I about the ride after we had inquired on the Wednesday night Cal Expo twilight races.

There was only a Tuesday and Thursday RR back then. We met at the Biz, rode straight down Freeport Blvd where there was a sprint for the town of Freeport sign. The rest of the ride was the same as it is today, well, pre-detour that is.

The group, as I remember, was usually 10-12 riders in size on a good day! Those riders included characters such as Mike Williams, Steve Uhler, Tim Imai, Bob Duvall, Robbie Franklin, Bill McClasky, Jess Polakoff, Greg and Bobby Edwards, Harvey Nitz, Tom Bartlett and a few more I'm sure I'm forgetting (sorry for any mispelling of names!). I remember the times when Harvey would bring his Palo Alto Bike Shop teammate Ron Miller (for whom the Ron Miller Gaslight Jr's race is a memorial for) out and just destroy everyone! Good times!

I had the pleasure of talking/reuniting(?) with Greg Edwards after the Saturday "B" group ride two weeks ago. We were talking about touring (that's what us old guys do I guess?) since I was on my MTB and without knowing who he was, I asked him how long he had been cycling and he said since 74 and that was locally. I then asked if he was ever a SGW (only game in town at the time) member and he said yes. I told him that he and his brother used to school my friend Steve and I while on their track bikes (we didn't refer to them a 'fixies' back then!!!). According to Greg, when he, his brother, and Tom Bartlett started the RRs, they were done solely on said track bikes. I also told him that he and his brother TOLD Steve and I that they would turn us into bike racers! Funny thing because Harvey had told us the same thing! Turns out they were right but forgot to add 'mediocre' when they said it!

Thirty sevens years later I'm still a mediocre rider riding the same river roads. It's great to see Mike, Steve Uhler, Greg, and Bill still out there. Hoping for another 37 years! Enjoy the ride!

Kent Quong

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"History of the River Ride" a Series

The River Ride has a long and rich history.  The Saturday River Ride began in 1981 when City Bicycle Works was on "J" street, and the Tuesday (formerly the Tuesday/Thursday) River Ride began in 1976!  Interviews are taking place, and there is a push to get stories about the routes, history, and whatever information can be found to post it here.

If you know of a 70s, 80s, or 90s River Rider who has any stories, let the blog know!  It would be interesting to find out the roots of the ride, and what has taken place through the years.  Stories and interviews will be posted (hopefully) frequently as they come in.  We can just cross our fingers and hope that we get some stories from the "River Ride Hall of Fame," like Norm Alvis, Scott McKinnley, John Brady, Harvey Nitz, Eric Heiden, Kevin Metcalf, Stace Cooper, Julie Young, Dominique Anderson, Vince Gee, Paul Estabrok, Tim Imai, Greg Edwards, Michael Williams, Tad Bell, Jess Polakoff, and Chad Gerlach.  Who are we missing?

Friday, March 8, 2013

River Ride World Championships 2012

The Trailer

River Ride World Championship

The attack by Byron

Sacramento River Ride by John Elgart -1999

stolen from: http://elevengear.us
report filed April 1999, Sacramento, California

The River Ride brings out a certain type of rider, the kind that like to hunker down in the wind and hammer in the gutter six inches from a bunch of other people doing the same thing, fighting for position, fighting to get up to the rotation or to stay just out of it. And all the while you're keeping an eye out for oncoming traffic because you're as likely to be on the left side of the road as the right.

Tuesday was a classic. The Delta Breeze was whipping along at 30 mph, and as soon as we turned off the Freeport Bridge onto River Road the front of the pack was Team Sunchase: John Brady, Chris Bauman, Chucky Hutcheson, Barry Vial as well as Jolt's Russell Hanby and his teammate Tony Martinez (?). Incidentally, Brady, Bauman and Hanby took 1,2 and 3 at the windy Wente P12 crit. If you ride in Sacramento, wind is your friend.

After about 5 minutes of hammerhead action the group was down from 60 to about 10 riders: the above 6, plus yours truly, Jerry Roberts, Chris Dominguez, and Harvey Nitz. This becomes an interesting exercise in echeloning. Only about 6 guys can get real draft if the wind is coming hard from the left and the lead rider is on the centerline. The other 4 hang on for dear life, hoping to get to the next bend in the road where they can get more draft. And at the front the guys aren't just pulling, they're attacking, and often in the right gutter. In this group, taking a hard pull can be the prelude to getting dropped because sometimes there's no draft to get back into.

A 2nd echelon? There is one -- it's called the chase group about a minute back. With the strongest riders at the front and and leaving draft for one teammate, the only option for the gutterbug is to get small and hang tough.

Halfway through, at 6 miles, we jump the angled railroad track, fly through the 1 mile tailwind flat between the two underpasses at 36mph, sprint up to the levee, and then curve around following the river. Now we are echeloning from the far right of the road to the far left gutter. The first time I did this it unnerved me a little bit. All I can say is: You get used to it. Just keep an eye out for the occasional fisherman.

Another turn and we're all back in the right hand gutter. Justin Morgan appears in the group -- he'd been going the other way and had turned around. Oh, oh, I think, a strong guy with fresh legs. Soon someone, maybe Harvey, is forcing the pace along the gravel fringe, 30 mph with a side wind.

Roberts sits up, and then I pull off with Domingues and we start echeloning behind the field. The hammer is down and the field splits in two: it looks like Brady, Chuck, and Russell are away, with Barry bridging up. We stay about 10 seconds down on their chasers, who are coming apart. We fly past Bauman, then Harvey Nitz (he of the big pull). Jerry Roberts, recovered and on his time trial bars, catches us from behind. We catch Justin. The finish is coming up and I pull as hard as I can into the wind until Domingues sprints through for the line. Not too bad: we're only maybe 20 seconds behind the leaders.

That's it: a mere 13 miles of hammering, 25 minutes or so. Everybody rides slowly back through West Sacramento, most of the group catching by the time we get to the Tower Bridge. We cross the Sacramento River on Capitol Street, and the State Capitol building glows in the sunset. The wind dies down immediately, and the city at 7:30 seems languid and beautiful. Guys are joking about last week's race where Brady politely nudged John Durso out of the way with his hand to get by him in the sprint, done of course at full speed. It's a River Ride kind of thing.

BTW, For those who'd like to try it, the River Ride leaves from the Bicycle Business on Freeport (south of downtown about 2 miles) in Sacramento at 6pm sharp and rides at a leisurely pace to the Freeport Bridge before it springs to life.

John Elgart

Cue Sheet for Saturday River Ride - "A" Group

10:00 am behind City Bicycle Works 2419 K St.

Warm Up
Head South out alley
Right on 24th st
Left on "C" st
Right on American River Bicycle Trail
Continue over path bridge 
Left through gravel parking lot before 1st hard left sweeper
Continue on Northgate Blvd
Left on Arden Garden Conector
Becomes Garden Hwy
Continue on Garden Hwy

Fast Part of Ride Begins under I-80 Bridge
Continue down Garden Hwy
Sprint is the County Line

Continue back down Garden Hwy
Left on Powerline rd
Right on Bayou rd
Bayou becomes El Centro rd
Right on Del Paso rd.
Left on Powerline Road
Left on Garden Hwy
Left on San Juan Rd
Sprint line .7 Miles from Garden Hwy on San Juan

Warm Down
Continue on San Juan rd
Right on El Centro rd
Left on W. El Camino Ave
Right on Orchard Lane
Left on Garden Hwy
Right on Natomas Park Drive and through Discovery Park
Cross Jibboom St Bridge (Big/Green)
Head out of Discovery Park
Turn Right on Jibboom st
Left on "I" st Bridge
"I" st Bridge becomes "J" st
Continue on "J" st
Right on 24th st
Left in 1st alley
Bike shop will be on your left

Here is the route from a rider's Strava ride:

Cue Sheet for Tuesday/ Thursday River Ride - "B" Ride

5:45 pm Vics Parking Lot 5820 South Land Park Dr.
Warm up

Right on S Land Park Dr
Left onto Golden Oak Way
Left onto Branwood Way
Right onto Alma Vista Way
Left onto Pocket Rd
Right onto Freeport Blvd
Right onto Freeport Bridge
Turn right onto S River Rd

Fast Part of Ride Begins after the road drop under the railroad tracks                      
Turn right under bridge
Continue on S River Road
Turn left onto Linden Rd
Sprint LINE after field .4 miles from turn off River Road

Right onto Jefferson Blvd
Right onto 15th St
Left onto S River Rd
Right onto Ballpark Dr
Left onto 3rd St
Right onto Tower Bridge Gateway

Continue on Capital Mall Ave
Right on 9th St
Left on N St
Right on 19th st
19th turns into Freeport Blvd
Head South on Freeport Blvd
Right onto 13th Ave
Left on S Land Park Dr

The Tuesday B ride is a beginner oriented ride with a small chainring rule until the road drops under the railroad tracks, with a pace of 21-22 until that point. Speeds increases after the road drops, and once back up on the levee, gloves off until finish for attacking and faster pace. First half of the ride has a goal of developing group riding skills including smooth pacelining and rotations and increasing comfort in a pack.

Here is the route from a riders Map my Ride:

Cue Sheet for Monday/Wednesday River Ride - "B" Group

5:30 pm parking lot behind 2525 Natomas Park Dr.
This ride is an out and back.  

Exit Parking lot and head East (straight)
Continue on Natomas Park Dr
Right on Garden Hwy
Right on Powerline
Right on West Elkhorn
Left on Metro Air Parkway
Left on Elverta
Sprint #1 to top of hill as Elverta approaches Garden Hwy.

Head back same route
Return down Elverta
Right on Metro Air Parkway
Right on West Elkhorn
Left on Powerline
Left on Garden Hwy
Sprint #2 to Sacramento City limit sign on Garden Hwy

Warm Down
Continue on Garden Hwy
Left on Natomas Park Dr.
Parking lot will be directly ahead

Monday, March 4, 2013

1st River Ride Tomorrow - BRING LIGHTS FOR THE RIDE HOME.

Tuesday River Ride tomorrow....

BRING LIGHTS FOR THE RIDE HOME! It will be dark after we cross the capital bridge.

There is an excellent bike shop (the Bicycle Business) across the street from the start, so there is no reason to noT have lights.

Make sure your friends know to..

Share this with anyone who may be going. Thank you!