blue squirrel

after a self-imposed 20 year absence from cycling, the sport i love, i am back and dedicated to holding my own in the superfast 40+ catagory. this blog will tell the journey, the highs and the lows, the team [team becher+] and it's cast of characters, our sponsors, supporters, and other local riders that make it happen... [anonymous comments are lame, cowboy up and put a name or start a blog]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


[post by wes]

So last Sunday I raced with the cat 4’s at San Pedro which was the State Criterium Championship. WOW!! what a challenging and great course with two chicanes, the first led to an uphill and the second one which was a banked downhill, both made the course really interesting. Anyhow to cut to the chase my legs felt really good and with two laps to go I was in the top 7 riders. On the last lap I was still in great position but due to a handful of guys dive bombing the last corner I found my self getting shuffled back a little. With about a 500 meter false flat finish with the course narrowing due to the announcing booth and the registration table I had no where to make my move and felt my legs raring to go but with no lane to pass riders, how frustrating this was. So I finished 15th not making my season beginning goal of top 5 (bummer).

I always walk away from these races realizing what a tough sport this is, it would be so much easier if you only had to deal with the pain of riding hard but you throw 100 guys jocking for position, cutting you off, and blocking you for their teammate and you have a very technical and grueling sport. Anyways, it was a really fun race and I seem to be getting a lot of respect from the strong guys in my category which is great for our team. Thanks to Jim and Steffan for coming out and providing great support. Next week is Manhattan beach which is a NRC event so the points are doubled. My goal for this race is again top 5. I think I will be a little more aggressive and save a little less for the sprint and put more into getting to top 5 before the last turn. Wish me luck.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008



Ok, now that I can finally sit down at the computer and dedicate
some time to writing about what happened.

In the San Fernando race Stefan and I ventured out onto the
horribly `P' shaped course amongst a field of 40 to compete for
about 30 minutes. It was a fairly uneventful race, and the 180
degree turn at the bottom of the course made for a big slow down
and then a fast acceleration in which a lot of power was used
and people seemed to be set up to crash. Although no one did
crash, many cranks hit the ground upon first circling the poorly
chosen route. Nothing really happened other than a few standard
accelerations. There was a bit of a false flat downhill before
the 180 degree turn, and a bit of a false flat uphill for the
way back up towards the finish line. I stayed in the middle for
most of the race, relaxing and having a good time, as my main
goal was to get out of cat 5 alive, but this ended up working
out very well, as in the last few laps I moved to the front and
on the last lap positioned myself correctly, switched into the
perfect gear for the acceleration, and jumped on the lag
following the turn. If I had someone pull my up, it would have
been infinitely better, but the guy that I was drafting behind
slowed down significantly during the 700 meter jaunt towards the
line, so I had to battle the wind and try and catch up with the
3 main guys who podium-d. I almost beat the 4th guy, as he got
lazy, but it was a bit too little, too late, and I came in 5 out
of 29 that finished. It was a crappy course, but a decent race,
as everyone was just out to have fun it seemed, rather than that
usual worthless cat 5 acceleration at random times bullshit that
just mixes up the field, not really tiring anyone out, but the
solo breakaway who doesn't get more than a few yards up before
being consumed by the rampaging organism that is the group of
angsty old men who need the points to upgrade again after not
racing for years. Oh, and stefan and I were the only ones who
were under 25 in the race (I believe). Hey man, those angsty old
guys can haul sometimes.
The average speed for the race was 20mph.

Bicycle Johns was a bit of a different story, as it was a crit.
Four corners of hellacious hell-dom raining down upon my
confidence. In this one I placed 14 out of 50, but it wasn't as
much fun. I need to regain my confidence in crits following the
woodland hills crash, because while I walked away almost
completely unscathed, I realize how lucky I am, and how much I'd
rather do a road race or GP, even though crits are fun, as there
is less of a chance of me being injured, and thus no longer
being able to ride. So, the race started off fast with a
fair amount of wind, so when I got pushed out into the wind, it
caused me to work a lot harder than I should have been working.
I stayed on the outside, because I was too afraid to be on the
inside of such an agro crit. I just wanted to survive until I
got the upgrade, as I mentioned earlier. It was basically a
battle for the front the entire time with several almost crashes
occurring in the pack throughout the race. The big crash
happened when the back half of the group got stuck behind a
group of riders who went down (I don't know what happened,
because I was moving into position in the front out of the
middle and subsequently harms way when the carnage ensued). I
was up front, and slowed down to look (hey man, I'm still new
and my instincts of wanting to help injured people kicked in)
and realized that that was a stupid move, so I accelerated to
catch up with the group, but others had taken the opportunity
right at that time to break away, so it was pretty much a futile
attempt... until the last lap! So I was near the front, coming
around the last half of the lap, and I again got stuck behind a
guy who slowed up significantly, slowing me down, and making me
go around him in an attempt to catch the front by myself. I came
around the final turn, a bit separated, but was able to sprint
past a few guys to make up for my slowness. It was an ok race,
and I was just not as cold hearted and solid spine-d as I had
hoped to be. It's there, I promise.
The Average speed was 25mph

Shazaam, that was a weekend of racing as described by Jacob

Oh, and I upgraded to Cat 4, so wes, becher, and brian, here I
come! I look forward to being able to work with all of you guys.

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Monday, June 16, 2008


[wes post]
images will be posted soon.

Saturday Brian and I contested the Cat 4 at San Fernando. After controlling the entire race i.e. bringing back breaks and setting tempo along with Chester and Seth of Platinum Racing we were set to go with two to go. On the Bell lap Brian moved into the lead-out position taking the lead of the peleton and ramping the pace like he does so well. The guys from Platinum let me in to take Brian’s wheel (Becher + gets respect). Through the S-Turn and down to the final turn Brian let a few through setting me up taking 3rd wheel. After the Big U turn I ended up in front, not where I would like to be at all,especially with 700 meters or so to the finish. After looking back and seeing a small gap on the peleton I jumped and put my head down and hammered. Obviously an amature move, with about 200 meters to go a huge group of guys go my me leaving me to finish a lousy 27th. What an upsetting finish for me, especially with such a great move from Brian I felt that I really let him down. I had top 5 at least cinched and blew it. Live and learn I guess. Brian finished in 33rd.

Sunday I represented Becher+ in the Cat 4 at Bicycle Johns Grand Prix. A new course from last years and a great one at that. A really fast 3 1/2 turn really really fast course. About 20 minutes of really fast paced racing a group of 7 went up the road. I scanned the group from the peleton to see who was in it. It was both Seth and Chester from Platinum racing, and a few other big hitters that have been racing really well lately. Therefore I knew that it was the winning break with that line up in it. So I planned my attack and launched out of the peleton and bridged the gap solo to enter the break. What started as a 10 second gap from the field we ramped up the pace all working really really hard to put time on the peleton which we did. When a crash in the peleton occured on turn one it enabled us to increase our split on the field. With five to go the peleton were closing in but it was too late to catch us because we were flying. On the last lap in turn three our paceline got split up when one of our break away riders flated and caused our group to split into two paceline. After the final turn we all hammered but my group of 4 got behind, but I sprinted past one rider and finished 6th overall. Seriously without a doubt one of the hardest efforts I ever put into a race. It was murder just hanging on to that break let alone after taking my pull when it was my turn. What a great way to finish the weekend!! Some great racing and workout for the up and coming state championships next week.

Thanks for all the hollering and cheering and yelling of split times from Jim, John, Greg, and of course my girlfriend Kristine!!

Thanks for reading


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Saturday, June 07, 2008


[now some fun for tim while he lays on the couch dreaming of gold]

Wielrennen - Theo Bos met 140 km per uur op Mallorca

ed. always wear a helmet and don't be a euro-pro nob


some motivation, dutch style.

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[the following is the ontario [1 jun] CAT4 race report from wesly neilson, team rider and all around bad ass]

Yesterday Brian and I contested the Cat 4 race at the Ontario Airport Crit. The field was smaller than usual (due to the Dana Pointe Race). Anyhow Brian me and our friend Eddie lined up together with a plan to stick together and help set a good pace throughout the race and more importantly to really drive the pace on the last lap with a goal to position me in the third wheel to launch me for the sprint. The pace started really slow and so Brian went to the front and really ramped it up to tire out those who couldn’t hang. A few breaks got away and were reeled in without any problem. Later in the race another 2 man break went up the road. When it was time to reel that one it Brian took his turn first, Eddie did his job after that, then it was my turn. We closed the gap significantly but couldn’t get the group back without help. Therefore not wanting to race for fourth we basically called out the peleton for lacking the will to do work. Finally with 3 laps to go someone other than us three took a pull and finished the job bringing the break back. On the bell lap it was time to make our move. After turn 1 Brian took command of the peleton setting a blistering speed that no one could get around. Eddie was sitting 2nd wheel and I third. When Brian pulled slowed just before turn 2 Eddie took his turn, once again setting a great pace. Eddie popped a little early and the pace slowed. Luckily a rider for Team Bearclaw jumped around Eddie and created a gap. Therefore I jumped on his wheel and we set up for the final turn (3). Two riders beat us into the turn taking the inside lanes. Sitting in fourth I stood and sprinted passing one rider and finally just nipping the other at the line to finish 2nd! It was a great race and I felt good going into it. But I must admit I could not have pulled it off without the help of my Teammate Brian BW’s and our good friend Eddie who both did a lot of work chasing breaks, setting awesome tempo, and positioning me perfectly for the sprint. So mark it 11 points for Team Becher +. After the race we continued to be complimented from the may riders on our hard efforts and being the controlling squad of race. Hope you enjoyed, and hope to see you all at the next race which will be San Fernando Sat. June 14.

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