Wednesday, September 30, 2009

interested in cross?

Here's a great video from Saturday's Whirlybird Cross--a fast and not terribly technical course. The first lap of the elite race.

The camera is on the head of Jeff Bahnson, who is like 12 (probably closer to 17 or 18), in the elite field. He's beat me in the six races where we've been in the same field, winning three outright. He's a superstar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Page A2

Nice work, Chop. Loved the article. (Except that I'm fairly confident the sentence "but the rodeo was a stunning success nonetheless" has never split my lips.)

I have to say I love Phil Diven's photo too. That's a great shot.


Thanks again to all that helped out with the rodeo. I think it says something rather positive that most of the crowd this last time was made of repeat customers. We're doing something right.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


It seems that we had another successful rodeo, thanks to all the dedicated members who came and supported the club. Those of you who did show up (13 in all) will have access to the team gear that is being provided by the school. If you didn't come to the rodeo and still want a kit, you are going to have to pay for it yourself. That ruling was established long before the rodeo took place so there shouldn't be any complaining.

I took a ton of pictures and this one that I am posting first is the one that I am going to ask to be used for the paper. Let me know what you guys think. Also the article that I have written is going to be published in this week’s papers (distribution is every Tuesday) so make sure you look for that.

We are doing a good job of getting our club in the paper. So far this semester we have had an article and the rodeo press release published. Also, I am planning on putting together a feature story about the club.

The chief editor of the paper is a former competitive cyclist and he wants as a much as I can give him about the club and our racing exploits. In the spring I intend to do a weekly race report for the paper that will detail where we are going and how well we do.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

su cycling announces youth bike rodeo

For Immediate Release:

Shippensburg University Cycling Team Announces Youth Bike Rodeo

Shippensburg, Pennsylvania -- September 9, 2009 -- On Friday, September 25, 2009, students from the Shippensburg University Cycling Team will host the Second Semi-Annual Spring/Fall Youth Bike Rodeo. Intended for children 12 years of age and younger, the event will include activities such as helmet fitting, minor bicycle maintenance, bicycle fitting, safety tips, and a skills-testing obstiacle course. The event begins at 4:30 pm and will continue until 6:30 pm.

The rodeo will be held on the Shippensburg University campus, in the parking lot between the student recreation fields and the Luhrs Performing Arts Center. While there will be no adult specific activities, parents are encouraged to stay and participate. All participants should bring a bicycle and wear a helmet.

This event builds off the success of the SU Cycling Team's first youth bike rodeo, held in April. Over 30 children particpated. At least two learned how to ride their bikes while at the event. Participation is expected to double at this second event.

About The Shippensburg University Cycling Team: The Shippensburg University Cycling Team is organized as a university club sport. Its members compete in road and mountain bike events in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference ( under the auspices of USA Cycling ( The team is funded by the university student senate as well as the generous support of area businesses including Sunrise Computers and Electronics (, Historic Preservation Services (, InGear Cycling and Fitness (, and The team holds regular training rides, open to all area cyclits, in the rural farmland and mountainous terrain in Cumberland and Franklin Counties.

Dr. Nathan Goates
Shippensburg University

tnr (wednesday edition) #41(?)

When we started the Tuesday Night Races in January I intended to post a quick race report after each. That didn't last long. But in posting this one it suddenly hit me how many of these we've done. An awful lot of bicycle tread has been laid down on that loop of ours. Very cool.

Yesterday we had six riders come to play. Chop, Brad Q., Brian, Mike, Conroy, and the good doctor goatsauce. Conroy was sporting a new pair of hoops, Mike had his mass-start illegal clip-ons installed, Brian was back after a long hiatus, and Brad back from an even longer one. It was a nice group.

And a group that kept together really well too. This crew knows how to ride!

Things busted apart at the end of the third lap when the good doctor goatsauce laid down a furious attack (I was cranking a 53x12 for a good while, actually) on the gradual incline leading to the front-side sprint line. Having opened a gap, I played all my cards and kept up the effort on the finishing climb and then again on the backside climb. Behind me, Mike blasted away from his riding companions and joined me mid-way up the backside climb just as I was negotiating my way around a confused woman in a white subcompact that couldn't seem to decide where and on what side of the road she was driving.

The chase from Brian and Chop seemed earnest at first, but they must have shortly let off the gas because by the time Mike and I reached backside sprint line I couldn't see them behind us any longer.

Mike and I had a little cat-and-mouse going on approaching the finish, but once we reached the final climb I couldn't hold his wheel and Mike sprung away for the win. Chop led Brian in for third, followed by Conroy and Brad, but I'm not sure in what order.


Due to the quickly shortening days, next week the start time moves to 5:00 pm.

Also, I think we may run a slightly different course. I've got a just-under-three-mile loop in mind around which we'll do, say, seven laps. But the starting place will remain the same. We'll meet at the usual intersection, then ride to the new course. Give it a try. Then get a yeah or nay from the crew.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Michaux Crank Festival

Did anyone see anything about the Michaux Crank Festival? This sound like an awsome three day event. Day 1 is a Mountain Bike Time Trial, Day 2 is road bike century, and Day 3 is a mountain bike race through michaux's finest forrest's and trail. I will try and get more details asap, the race is October 30, 31, and Nov 1st. Registration is $60 which includes food and a t-shirt. Who else would be up for tackling this challenge!!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

the september starlight criterium series -- race three

The word is getting out and momentum for this event is picking up. Week one: five riders. Week two: six riders. Week three: seven riders. Yeah, soon we'll be as big as Elvis.

Congratulations to first-timer Kevin Melnick. Not only was this is his first Starlight Criterium, riding a newly completed build from the goat cave library, it was also his very first time on a road bike! A baptism by fire. Sweet, man.

Following the reverse Fibonacci sequence point distribution program, seven riders meant 13 points on the line for the winner. If only it were that simple...

In damp, misty conditions our tiger-cat mascot pulled the starting gun trigger and off we went some 10 minutes or so after 10:00 pm (there was a short delay due to my compulsive sweeping effort--which reminds me, I forgot to grab my broom after the race...I wonder if it's still there). I loved going around the sharp corners in those first few laps and looking back over my shoulder at six riders all strung out single-file, each car of the train lit up amusement park roller coaster style with headlights and glow sticks. Nice. We won some priceless expressions from a late-night janitor sweeping the walkways of the intermediate school. It's all just too fun.

Ten or so minutes in things started to heat up and the train derailed. Every few laps I threw down an out-of-the-saddle effort to try to slip away from my riding buddies. Points leader Ciccocioppo fell off the pace, but Jon and Mike were able to hold like gum to my shoe.

The final two or three laps stayed calm. Eerily calm. three frisky kitties eyeing each other, all hesitant to make that first move, or to make their last move too early.

On the final lap, after negotiating the sharp 90-degree turns of the intermediate school drop-off we all more or less openned it up at the same time. With 50 meters to go it looked like anyone's race--we really were almost head-to-head-to-head. But in our haste we (at least I) had neglected to notice how rapidly we were overtaking two lapped riders, and mere feet from the finish I had to brake hard to keep from slamming into one. Jon also had to slow, slamming his hand to the bars (was it their fault?) with a curse as Mike crossed the line first (Jon second, goatsauce third).

Unfortunately for Mike, the race jury had to weigh in on the chaos at the finish. Also unfortunate for Mike, the race jury consists solely of one person--myself.

After a few minutes deliberation, the race jury made an unorthodox ruling, calling for an additional two and a half laps of racing between the top three finishers with the course cleared of lapped riders.

The riding was brisk but the action relatively calm, until goat began spilling his go-fast sauce in the intermediate school nineties, taking corner three fast on the inside, and sprinting all the way to the finish to take the win followed first by Mike, then by Jon. (Apparently a near collision between the two on corner four of the intermediate school nineties helped in this regard.)

The race jury, after further deliberations, choose to average the point outcomes between the first, botched finish and the second.

First finish: (1) Mike Maret, 13 pts; (2) Jon Marshall, 8 pts; (3) goatsauce, 5 pts.

Second finish: (1) goatsauce, 13 pts; (2) Mike Maret, 8 pts; (3) Jon Marshall, 5 pts.

Complete (and possibly final) results:

(1) Mike Maret, 10.5 pts
(2) goatsauce, 9 pts
(3) Jon Marshall, 6.5 pts
(4) Matt C. (Chop), 3 pts
(5) Matt Conroy, 2 pts
(6) Kevin Melnick, 1 pt
(7) Cody Wertz, 1 pt

Sorry, no podium pics. The chief referee and her camera were en route from Philadelphia, but didn't make it in time for the event.

Overall standings:

(1) Mike Maret, 16.5 pts
(2) goatsauce, 16 pts
(3) Jon Marshall, 13.5 pts
(4) Matt C. (Chop), 11 pts
(5) Matt Conroy, 3 pts
(6) Cody Wertz, 3 pts
(7) Alex Krayo, 1 pt
(8) Kevin Melnick, 1 pt

Wow. Going into week four it's anyone's game. And if we happen to get eight riders? Oh yes. You know what that means. A whopping 21 points on the line for the winner!

Thanks to everyone for coming out to ride. Good times.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just for Laughs...

I was just a little impressed that someone (not I) related pop-culture and cycling. Don't agree with Kanye, but it's good for a laugh... especially after our volleyball convo. the other night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

State ChampionSHIP Crit Race Report

Yesterday Mike, Jon and I ventured to Reading for yet another State Championship Race. The course was .8 miles, very fast and had a nice hill in one short section. The hill was not too long and not too steep which made it great for staying with the group but bad for breaking away.
Unfortunately, Jon flatted on the second lap of our Cat. 4 race and had to sit the whole thing out. Mike dominated the race. He spent the majority of the time on the front and even went for a solo breakaway, instantly opening up a large gap. Both Mike and I miss understood the announcer on the lap that Mike went for it. We thought that he had said 5 laps to go when it turns out that there were 9 laps to go and that was just too far for Mike to hold off the field.
He was swallowed up by the group but stayed at the front of the pack and after an intensely fast final lap he finished 4th. Now that gives Mike 2 top 5 state finishes. Last week he took 2nd in the road race and now 4th in the crit. He is also planning on doing the State Championship Time Trial this coming weekend.
As for me, this was my first crit as a Cat. 4 and my number 1 goal was to simply stay with the lead group. Although I would have liked to have placed better, I never got dropped and finished with the lead group in 16th place. I could have had a better finish because it was not my speed that got me 16th but instead my tactics. If I had played the game better I could have finished better but I am happy with my performance.
Since Jon did not get to compete in the Cat. 4 race he transfered his entry fee and raced in the Cat. 3/4 race about an hour later. He did not place very well but he was satisfied with the fact that he was able to stay with a group of guys that are at a higher level of competition.
Overall, it was a good day of racing and a satisfying end to a rather long season. We are all pretty tired, beat up and looking forward to a short break.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the september starlight criterium series -- race two

Six this time. Six hungry riders descended on the east borough to throw down at the second race of the September Starlight Criterium Series.

A relatively calm affair, really. No one seemed too interested in risking time alone off the front. Except Chop. Going into the last lap.

While the rest of us looked at each other--playing out the cat-and-mouse, who's-going-to-chase drama, the cyclist's version of the prisoner's dilemma--Chop slowly pulled away. Jon's half-hearted chase on the back stretch and a three-up full-on sprint to the line on the finishing bit wasn't enough to reel him in. Chop won by less than a bike length.

Here's your 9/10 podium:

Complete results:

1. Matt Ciccioppicci (8 pts)
2. Jon Marshall (5 pts)
3. Mike Maret (3 pts)
4. goatsause (2 pts)
5. Matt Conroy (1 pt)
6. Cody Wertz (1 pt)

The overall is now wide open--anyone's game with a two-way tie for second and just two points separating the four point leaders.

The series leader podium shot:

Overall standings:

1. Matt Ciccioppicci (8 pts)
2. goatsauce (7 pts)
3. Jon Marshall (7 pts)
4. Mike Maret (6 pts)
5. Cody Wertz (2 pts)
6. Matt Conroy (1 pt)
6. Alex Krayo (1 pt)

The picture shows Jon in second, however a post-race review of the rulebook reveals that goatsause, by virtue of his one first place finish, actually owns the tie breaker.

The first place officials look for tie breaking purposes is fractions of a second from a time trial stage, but there [aren't any time trials in the Starlight Criterium Series]. The next method of making general classification ranking falls on the aggregation of stage placings. [Jon has one second and one third, goatsauce one first and one fourth, each of which totals five.]

The third criteria falls to total of stage wins, of which the [professor tops the Pennsyltuckian with one]. The fourth method of distinguishing general classification placement is the highest placing in the most recently completed stage. (Source).

Will the weight of the yellow (reflective leader's vest) be too much for Chop? Will Mike get rid of that dag gone argyle? Will the yellow cat live to meow again?

The answers, next week. Same race time. Same race place.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Awesome Race for the Boys From Ship

Sunday's State Championship Road Race proved to be most exciting. The race was 66 miles over a painful course that featured 900 feet of climbing per 13 mile lap.
On lap 4 Mr. Michael Maret found himself in a 4 man breakaway that looked as though it had the potential for success. To solidify the success of the group Mr. Jonathan Marshall, single handedly, left the peloton and bridged the sizable gap to the breakaway.
Jon has enough points to upgrade to the category 3 that he will need in order to race in the A's for next years collegiate season while Mike does not. However, a great finish in a race like this would most likely give USA cycling the incentive they need to give him the upgrade anyway. Jon knew this and willingly sacrificed his body and chances of winning in order to help secure the win for Mike.
The two ship boys worked together in the breakaway with Jon taking massive pulls and basically just giving it everything he had.
In the end only two survived the insane pace of the breakaway. Mike was able to hang on and an epic battle took place for the win. Unfortunately he could not overtake the other rider and finished in second place.
Mike finished 8 seconds behind the winner and a full minute ahead of the main group. With roughly 500 meters to go Jon was swallowed up, having done his duty as a team mate, and ultimately finished in 21st place.
An awesome finish for Mike (congratulations) and an amazing race to both men. This tale of their conquest seems to be taken right out of story book. Myself and the rest of us here on the Ship team are wicked proud of you guys and as a team you will be unstoppable in the next collegiate season. Personally, I can't wait to see you guys dominate.

Race Action!

An outstanding race shot from last Thursday...

Monday, September 7, 2009

more Twilight Crit. Pics...

First shot of the "pimped" out wheels in our garage...

Riding at night with the glow sticks...

Figuring out their winners podium///
(only Dr. Goates seems excited...)

Friday, September 4, 2009

the september starlight criterium series -- race one

Oh, this was very fun.

And not just because I won (and I don't feel one bit bad about winning over a bunch of college students--seeing as two them can now regularly dispatch me with ease on the TNR course).

It's the perfect course. Fast, lots of turns, well-lit (considering), and absolutely no traffic. There's not even really houses around. It's perfect.

Anyway, your results from the inaugural run, September 3:

1. goatsauce
2. Mike Maret
3. Jon Marshall
4. Cody Wertz
5. Alex Krayo

And the point standings to date:

1. goatsauce (5 pts)
2. Mike Maret (3 pts)
3. Jon Marshall (2 pts)
4. Cody Wertz (1 pt)
5. Alex Krayo (1 pt)

Remember, points are awarded in reverse Fibonacci sequence (starting with 1) based on how many riders finish. So winning a race with a lot of people is worth way more than winning a race with just a few, but everybody who shows up gets a point.

It should also be mentioned that this was Alex's first ever road ride, on a borrowed bike, riding old-fashioned toe-clips. He did awesome.

The podium shot:

(Notice I'm wearing the yellow series leader's jersey. It's a yellow reflective vest, apropos for the venue, methinks. And it has a star on it, because the promoters are just that cool.)

A special thanks to Ms. Valerie for playing race official and keeping us honest.

And to our adoring fans:

And a final shot of the whole crew:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

summer smackdown, round 4

The bonus round. Team Time Trial. Ship Cycling = epic fail.

Brian Hopkins and Pat Hankins - 41:09
Rich Shaffer, Jim Hartnett, Tim Rohrbaugh, Joe Kaehler - 42:55
Wargins, Long and Neslund - 46:00

I'm not sure, but it looks to me like all SMVC guys and one YBR. I guess we know who won. Next year we're going to get this done before school starts. And next year SU is going to get serious.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009