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]

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Kristopher Tjernell

Team Becher + NorCal edition had back to back races this weekend, one in Folsom, the other in Auburn.

folsom crit was super fast around a business park course that had great pavement, easy turns, and zero elevation gain/loss. I again was rediculous and ended up pulling half the time at the front; of course blowing up on last lap and not contesting the sprint. Super fun though! Ben ended strong (around 15th?), and Ryan unfortunately had a mechanical and had to drop out midway through. Crappy, ‘cause this was HIS RACE.

Auburn crit was totally different: started on a 200m hill, had a slight uphill backside, then knarly downhill with three sketchy turns into the straight-away up to the start/finish. Last two laps around I decided to turn it up a notch, and it was clear only a few riders were still feeling strong. last lap, on the uphill, some guy gassed it…I caught his wheel with about 6 or 7 others on mine. group slowed on the backside stretch, so I hammered and got a 20m gap going into the downhill/turny section. I came out of the last turn fast, out of saddle sprinting, and actually, somehow, my lord, won. Apparently I had a look of complete distaste on my face as I crossed the finish line…all I remember is an intense interest in vomiting. It was a super hard course with solid competition for sure. Good job to all the Becher + bros, who, by the way, all mobbed up in our new team car, all four rigs strapped to the roof rack, pro-style. -kris

wes nielson

Don’t hold your breath… I’m going to spoil the ending right now. DNF! The second crit I ever quit. Hey that rhymes! To sum it up I am completed over trained and burnt-out. I got in a very early break (that became 4 riders) 3 laps into the race that stayed away for about 6-7 laps. I could feel the sting in my legs during and after every turn I took at the front and new early on this was NOT my day. It was the first race all season that I wasn’t strong enough to hold the exact position I wanted. This coupled with the fact that Barry Wolfe is the most dangerous crash infested race of the calendar made for a horrifying day. With 5 to go I decided it was now or never so fromDFL I charged to the top 6-8 towing a rider with me who wasn’t smart enough to fold back into the peloton before turn 2 and totally chopped my wheel sending me to ride into the off camber gutter. Luckily my bike handling skills were good enough to pull off the turn. Immediately following this maneuver I pulled out of the race. Knowing I didn’t have what it took to once again charge to the front, even if I did I didn’t have the legs to hold off the stronger riders. So instead of taking my chances at getting top 20 something in the crash fiesta that was sure to be the final 4 laps I decided to go home in one piece. Oh by the way did I mention there was 4-5 crashes in our race!! I hate that course and hereby vow to never ever race there again! PS Thanks to the 5 Becher + club/team members that came out to view the race. Sorry to not put on a better show for you but at least I was in that first break. Oh and I got a prime while in it, I won a tub of Prolong electrolyte energy drink mix! COOL!

benjamin barry

Field of 48, the course was almost a complete circle with only two very easy right turns. Because of the nature of the course the pace was fairly fast and sustained the whole time. I found Ryan on the second lap and he told me he had a mechanical issue and was a lap down he dropped out slightly afterward due to this. I knew my legs were burnt and tried to stay away from the front most of the race. I did see Kris and another rider on a break and tried to bridge the gap but once I had I realized I had brought another six riders with me. We were only able to maintain the gap for another half a lap until we got reeled in. I sat back and recovered while watching Kris take massive pulls and attempt a few more breaks. When the finish came I tried to turn on the gas but didn’t have much left (HR at 200bpm!), I finished somewhere in the middle and I believe Kris was feeling the effects of his massive pulls while he rolled through closer to the back. Disappointing day, tomorrow should be either better or substantially worse.

jacob margolis

Hey guys, I’m back with a little race report following yesterdays suffering. Well, the course profile was, 4500 ft in 20 miles to the top of Hamilton, then 43 more miles to finish in livermore with about 1800 more feet of climbing. It was gnarly to say the least. Went too hard in the beginning, as they attacked in the first half mile, as that’s when the climbing starts. I should have sat up and spun a bit more, but I was hoping that they would let up a little bit. They didn’t. I was pretty dead after the first part of the climb, which is 7 miles. After that you go down hill then back up right away to do 13 miles up hill to the top and over hamilton. After hamilton you go down for 6 miles, then climb again, doing more rollers. After mile 32, there are just rollers, and 1 more big climb, and I dropped everybody I was riding with on that one. It sucks, because I thought I would be able to keep up on the climb, but without warming up, going to hard in the beginning, and not pacing myself like I should have, I blew apart and sucked it up. I had one friend say go as hard as you can until the top of the first climb, but alas he is a pro, and thus has no problem doing such. My other friend told me to pace myself… oh well. I cramped up at about mile 40, as I had been drinking gatorade, and trying to consume as much as possible, with gels and 1 clif bar, but it wasn’t enough. I went through about 5 bottles the whole time. They were awesome bottle zones, and the people who organized the race did a great job. We got brand new bottles instead of mono infested recycled ones. After the climb, where I dropped many of my cohorts and passed others I picked up one guy and we hit it as hard as we could, and picked up another guy. It was with these two fellows that I finished with. They were nice guys and we had a good time in a rotating pace line. I sprinted with them at the end and completely cramped up! Anyway, I had a good time, as it was a beautiful 3:20:00 from San Jose to Livermore. I wish I had some teammates, because I imagine that you climby types would have loved this! I loved it regardless of suffering and can’t wait to race next weekend. The best part of the day though was going to the taqueria joint where they didn’t speak english and I had to employ my two years of highschool spanish to order myself a delicious chicken burrito. I love cycling.

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hey everyone, i have quite a few race reports to post, not to mention team becher+'s first win of 2009.  but first let me show you some those present for a fun ride with gerry 'go fast' platt.  we have been having quite a few great club rides of late with a few new members coming on board.

[stef, blue, bob, hard man jarrett, go fast

Thursday, May 14, 2009


what do we see in this picture?
  1. you know that your in trouble when basso has that look on his face.
  2. or he is wondering why Charles Wegelius is not wearing green this year.
  3. da killer is on great form and making it happen for pro-conti LPR, just image a pro-conti team winning the giro.  that would wreak the new new pro tour.  oops, lost my train of thought there.
  4. is the columbia rider looking to the devil for directions or is he wondering where rogers is?
  5. you know horner is having fun when his jersey is un-zipped or it is a sign you better bring your A game, cause chris'y boy is.
  6. levi is still underrated and hopefully take his first grand tour this may.
  7. i don't care what lance says, he has to be pissed at losing 3 minutes today.
  8. did i mention this is going to be a great few weeks of racing???
[this photo was from cyclingnews and taken by none other than roberto bettini]

riders to watch 
[ie, will be super stars in years to come if they don't get caught and or don't get caught]
- fredrik kessiakoff (swe) fuji-servetto
- laurens ten dam (ned) rabobank [a dutchman that can climb, hmm...]

Thursday, May 07, 2009


extra extra, read all about it, In an eleventh-hour deal, Universal Sports secured rights to the Giro d’Italia and will be airing live, start-to-finish coverage of each stage of the 2009 race.  

thats right, start to finish cycling coverage on american tv and online.  hell must be really cold right about now.  sit back and enjoy the giro.  by far the most contested, passionately raced, all around great grand tour, not to mention my favorite the past few years.