Tag Archives: Ergon

City Bike Marathon ’09 – Michael

Me in Munich Olympic Park

Me in Munich Olympic Park

This was year No. 2 for the SOG Events City Bike Marathon. Essentially, it’s two different distance marathons (64 Km and 87 KM), plus a kids race that starts and ends at the famous Munich Olympic Park. Last year turned out to be a mess because some people tore down marking tape, moved arrows, etc. and caused major confusion on the course with people going the wrong direction then returning toward oncoming traffic, etc

The start of the short course. Long course a few minutes later.

The start of the short course. Long course a few minutes later.

This year, they really did a great job of having people stationed at virtually ever corner and ground markings, mixed with the occasional arrow to help you confirm that you were indeed going the correct direction. Well, that is until about the 80-something kilometer mark inside the Oly Park (as we call it). When we rounded the corner to enter the stadium there were two paths. One had a very small sign with maybe 1″ tall letters (very hard to read at 25 km/hr) which we now know led to a second round of the park. The other, the one that Justin and I (as well as seemingly many others) took went to the finish line with no way to get out to finish properly.

Therefore, I finished, didn’t finish it again this year. Didn’t make me happy, but there was nothing I could do about it once I’d crossed the line and realized what was actually going on. Oh well, hopefully SOG and I will learn from these mistakes. Hopefully.

Map of the long course

Map of the long course

Long course profile

Long course profile

The course led directly toward the Isar river from the park. From there we headed North for many kilometers where a lot of carnage ensued. It always amazes me how many people manage to crash on dirt/gravel roads and end up either heavily bandaged or going to the hospital. After almost reaching the airport, we crossed the river and headed back south. At one point, we went west to the windmill hill up/over and around the Alliance Arena and then started doing a long flat curve around the north end of the city. Then we started working our way back to the park were we were supposed to do two rounds and then finish.

A couple of equipment comments. I ran singlespeed at 32X17. The course was sooooo very flat. I’m not sure whether I’ll do it singlespeed again or not. If I do, I may do it 32 or 34X16. Maybe I’ll do it on a fixie next year. Anyway, close to the end I had to stand to climb and both legs simultaniously locked up. OUCH! I kind of spun that out going into the park but I attribute it to 80+ km of spinning and not enough fluids. My Ergon grips (sadly, the Euro team couldn’t gain sponsorship for ’09) really did the job. I really love their products. Also, my GEAX tires were amazing! I’ve got the Barro Race 2.0 tires on now. There’s amazingly light and definitely a race tire. I can honestly say that they probably upped my average speed by a 2-3 km/hr. They roll so smoothly and even though they have a super low profile they never once let me down in corners. Oh… FYI, I’m also running them tubeless which works very well too. Thanks GEAX!

Here’s a link to all the Sportograf.de photos that I bought. Go HERE.

Look on the right... thats where I should be. Grrr!

Look on the right... that's where I should be. Grrr!

So, at first SOG didn’t post our results. Then, a few days later they popped up. Here they are. Keep in mind that over 2000 people participated and that people were continuing to finish over an hour after I finished. So, doing it on a singlespeed wasn’t the worst that I could have imagined.

Here’s a link to Justin Koppas post about CBM too.

82nd in Senior Men, 244th out of all men

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Ergon….a thing that we love

My (Wunnspeed) Ergon Love going on

A boy (namely me) and his gloves

As you can see from the above photos….I’m an avid Ergon fan. Big Wheel Racing picked up Ergon as a sponsor in ’08 and we’ve never looked back. We’re also proud to call them a sponsor for 2009. Woohoo! Seems that people on the team really love the quality, fit and feel of the things that Ergon produces. Seems that everyone has some unique way of using the packs for many things.

In the photo on the left, you can see my team Ergon team colored BD2 Backpack and the GP1 Leichtbau grips as well. In the photo on the right, you can just see my gloves. I’m lucky enough to live in Europe where these gloves (the HM1) are available.

Now, let me tell you a few things about these products. First, the grips. I’m primarily a singlespeeder. Also, I ride mostly without suspension so my hands can get quite tired and used to fall asleep after many hours in the saddle. Since I installed the GP1 grips on my bikes, I’ve not had any problems whatsoever. In fact, I’ve spent up to 8-9 hours in the saddle mtb touring in the Dolomites without a hint of a problem.

Ergon makes grips in many different configurations and also in various sizes. What that means to you is that you can choose what size, shape or color works for you. You can also get them with barends of various shapes and materials (i.e. Carbon Fiber, Magnesium, etc.).

The pack… in a word…. FANTASTIC!

Let me give you an idea of what some of the other team members have to say about Ergon products too.

Matt and Ergon working together

Matt and Ergon working together

Matt Turgeon says… “Ergon changed the entire way I brake and hold onto the bike.  At the onset of the 2008 season I did obtain a set of Ergon GP1 grips but did not know how to use them.  I tried to still hold onto the grips with my smallest two fingers and then brake with the larger two.  In early March I had an accident and ended up breaking 4 fingers, 2 in each hand.  Recovery was difficult as I just could not hold onto the bars effectively, much less even try to use the brakes.  A freidn familiar with the Ergon grips taught me how to properly hold the handle bars – with the index finger and thumb and then change to middle finger only braking.  The change was AMAZING!  With no pressure placed on the smallest two fingers anymore (which are also the weakest gripping fingers) my arms became more relaxed and my upper body no longer was prone to fatigue.  Ergon is so far ahead of the curve and I love my GP1s!”

Andrew and Ergon

Andrew and Ergon

Andrew's Ergon on the White Rim

Andrew's Ergon on the White Rim

Andrews pack on the White Rim

Andrews pack on the White Rim

Andrew Carney says… “The Ergon BD2 is hands down the best hydration pack I’ve ever had on my back. The Ball-Link (FLink) system allows the pack to move with you and your movements as your ride. Long gone are the days of packs riding up or shoulder straps hindering upper body movement. It’s a sensation that truly has to be experienced to fully comprehend because you’ll never know how good a pack can feel until you’ve had an Ergon on your back.  Inside the pack are countless little organizational details such as compartment separators, organizers, and an integrated rain fly. If you ride with a pack for long or short rides, a Ergon BD2 will be a vast improvement over traditional hydration packs in terms of both comfort and function.

I’ve been using Ergon grips for 2 years now and it was love at first grasp. The wing shape of the grip vastly reduces hand fatigue over long rides and provides many different hand positions. I prefer the GR2 with bar ends because they provide additional hand positions and leverage when I need it. I have a set of Ergons on every bike I own and no bike is complete without a set. Even if you’ve never experienced hand pain or fatigue on traditional grips, a set of Ergons will drastically improve both your comfort and control level while on the bike.”

Jeni Turgeon says… “The Ergon pack has got to be one of the most versatile pieces out there. It fits well to the back and allows you to stash tons of items either in the pack or outside and on it! ” and “No more sore hands with the Ergon grips!”

…and in the “Probably not what Ergon had in mind but we used their packs for it anyway file”…..

Devin Curran says… “I once attached a rear 29″ wheel to mine and rode home 9 miles from work…” Devins photos below.

Devin's BD2 backpack and his Spot.

Devin's BD2 backpack and his Spot.

Looking over Devin's Ergon grips at the road ahead

Looking over Devin's Ergon grips at the road ahead

Matt using his as a utility pack

Matt using his BD2 as a utility pack

Matt with the same BD2 out for a hike

Matt with the same BD2 out for a hike

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Filed under racing team, Sponsor Post

Tegernseer Marathon ’08

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The only photos of the event where I look like I’m moving more than about 4 km/hour. The above were taken by Sportograf.de and the ones below were taken by Kera. A few other photos can be found here and here.

Last Sunday I ‘participated’ in the Tegernseer Marathon 2008 version and did the C route. That means 65 kilometers with 2.483 meters (8,146′) of climbing. I say participating because my performance didn’t warrant the term racing.

I hadn’t signed up in advance so I missed out on the really cool ClimaCool Adidas running shirt that they give the other racers or ‘participants’. I did get a few goodies in my bag though. I got 2 Powergels and a Chocolate Harvestbar (the only Powerbar that I can bear to put in my mouth) and one of the regular extruded (Soylent Green-like bar). The regular ones are just too similar to 10 year old toothpaste or Soylent Green to me.

Almost thereFinishing... finally!

After riding (mostly) a well laid-out course with a lot of up and the only down being sloppy-rugged singletrack, I was pretty beaten up. Quite a few riders would come up to me after the long 30 minute downhills and congratulate me on doing it with a rigid fork. It was kind of funny. On the last downhill I’d finally decided that this wasn’t either A) fun anymore or B) funny at all. Luckily, just past that, I hit what amounted to the last few kilomoters of the course. The back side of Walburg will look familiar to some of you as you saw photos of it when we went sledding with our friends back in the winter. See below or here or here. Oh… as a side note, there are a lot of rocks under that snow which I found on the way down in the race.

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In the end, I finished 73rd in my category and 241st overall for the ‘C’ course in 5:20:06.02. It probably goes down as one of my worst races in recent memory even considering my abysmal performance thus far this year. I’m not really sure what’s going on with me other than not enough training. I just can’t seem to get jump-started at the beginning of each race. It’s actually becoming fairly frustrating in spite of the fact that I feel stronger each week but I just seem to keep falling further and further behind in results.

On a lighter note: one thing that I can often say about events here in Europe is how well organized they are. I suppose when you’ve got the population of a small American city racing (think between 1500 and 2500 racers) you kind of have to be well prepared. At the Start/Finish area this past weekend there was a small expo area, food, beer, etc. There’s almost always an official MC to announce incoming riders and keep the crowd entertained throughout the day. Along with that there is music and sometimes a DJ. Out on the course, there are a lot of volunteers at key places with food (bananas, Powerbars and chocolate) along with water, Coke and some sort of sport drink. At one point on the course, they actually had a bike wash where, while I was drinking and eating a bit, a young girl was washing my bike to remove of the massive amounts of mud that had collected.

So… I just want to thanks to Ergon for making great gloves, one of these days I’ll get around to putting some Ergon grips on my Curtlo.. It’d sure help. I’ve got the GP1′s on my Black Sheep and they’ve become one of my best riding buddies. Also, I was running Maxxis Ignitor tires which never ever slipped on even the muddiest and wettest of rocks and as soon as I was out of the mud shed it quickly. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to get ahold of some of the other sponsors products, but I’m happy with what I’ve got at this point. Thanks again to our team sponsors.

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