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In a perfect world, we would all have a quiver of bikes hanging in the garage. Lightweight climber for when you’re headed to the hills. Aero road bike for long days on the flats. And a rig with wider tire clearance and subtly more relaxed geometry for those off-road adventures. For full story see...
Recently, we became a sponsor for the USA Ultra Triathlon. Over the course of a year, three events take place -- one in Florida (March), one in Oregon (July) and the other in Virginia (October). Steve Kirby, race organizer, has
been managing the races since 2004 with the most recent one taking place at Lake Anna State Park in Virginiain 2013.
About USA Ultra Triathlon
USA Ultra Triathlon was born November 2004 when Steve Kirby took
over ownership of the Virginia Double and Triple IRON Triathlon from
Odyssey Adventure Racing. It was around a dinner table shared with our
Race Doc, George Wortley, and other friends that helped as staff, that
different names were bantered around and USA Ultra Triathlon was decided
upon as that allowed us to promote the race across the country wherever we could find a suitable race course.
The world’s original Double IRON was in 1984 in Huntsville AL and was
successfully hosted there from 1984 thru 2006. The race was cancelled
in 1997 because of logistics and a lack of volunteers.
Odyssey was formed in 1997 and was putting on its first set of ultra
distance adventure races in 1998. They acquired ownership of the
Huntsville Double IRON, which fit nicely into their mix of races,
holding the first one in Virginia Beach that year. The Double IRON was
moved to Colonial Beach, VA in 1999 and the Triple IRON was added as
well. Both events were held in Colonial Beach in 2000 before they were
moved to Lake Anna State Park in 2001.
USA Ultra Triathlon has continued holding the events at Lake Anna
since then, looking elsewhere to hold another Double IRON due to
increase in demand. Finally in March 2011 the first Double IRON was
held in Tampa FL.
Steve Kirby started working with Odyssey Adventure Racing in 1998,
while still on active duty in the Navy. He retired after serving 26
years and worked full time for Odyssey; handling applications, website
upkeep, awards, timing, and athlete point of contact for questions and
information. Steve left Odyssey in early 2004 to return back to school
for another Bachelor’s Degree, Odyssey was sold at the end of 2004 and
Steve acquired the Double and Triple IRON triathlons.
We love hearing ride stories, especially when Power Cordz are installed on the bike. One story we enjoyed hearing about is from our newest Chinese distributor, Hua Zheng, who rode his bike from his hometown in Chengdu, China to Tibet. Just to run the numbers for you, that's 2,000 km (more than 1200 miles)!! Pretty impressive, huh?
Hua Zheng, Power Cordz Chinese Distributor
We asked Zheng a couple questions to learn more about his adventure and here are his responses (translated from Chinese). Enjoy!
When did you ride from Chengdu to Tibet?
From July 11 to August 5, 2009
Map of start and end points.
Did you ride alone?
Yes, the entire journey. The majority of the time I didn’t see anybody riding a bicycle. It wasn’t until the last several days that I saw some people riding their bicycles.
What kind of bike did you ride?
I rode a 29-speed airborne titanium mountain bike.
Did you have emergencies or exciting stories along the way?
The entire ride was smooth, but I experienced some unexpected events and some interesting things along the way.
I heard frequently in the Tibetan region that travel is not very safe, often there will be murder and robbery along the road. I was told to pay attention to safety, reach my destination before dark every day, and never travel on a dark road at night because it is relatively prone to accidents. Along the way, I met people who were very accommodating and friendly. It wasn’t as insecure as everyone said, as long as you had some self-protection, awareness and my own behavior – respect the local manners and customs. It was very good and the locals get along so it wasn’t unsafe. More interesting, while on the road I encountered a group of Tibetan on motorcycles. They asked me who I was, who I was with, where I was going or what I was doing. Whenever I would hear a motorcycle sound behind me, my heart would suddenly lift and I would start thinking about what this person would do and how I would summarize the answers to their questions. I ended up telling them that I went in front of my group and that my group was on their way.
The performance of the bicycle went very well. It didn’t break down. I only broke a chain link and cut off a few luggage rack screws because my luggage rack was not set up for disc brakes. I needed to use very long screws and heavy baggage on the road. The screws broke in the screw holes. I had no way to take them out, but fortunately encountered a car repair shop and they had a hand drill to help me to remove the screws. Later, I added a few nuts on the screws so I didn’t have to worry about the fracture anymore.
In the sea of new road, I was constantly taking pictures of the scenery. The result was exciting. However, I didn’t have much confidence in the way I packed the camera. At one point, the camera pack rolled down the hillside into a lake. Inside my head I said “No” and quickly rushed downhill to find the camera bag. Luckily, the bag was floating on the lake. I opened it up and there wasn’t any water. I was pleased. I was also thinking without camera, I’d have to go home immediately because there would be no camera to record the beauty I saw along the way. I would only go back to buy a camera and then would have to ride again. It was too painful.
In Tibet there are too many dogs – big and fierce. I was chased by a dog almost every day. I was besieged by three dogs in Qamdo. I was nipped in the thigh and the next day I went to the hospital had to get the rabies vaccine, which I was supposed to get three times, every other week. However, there were no longer big cities, just small town with hospitals but no vaccines. They assured me that every day dog bites occur and the dogs don’t have rabies. That is why the hospital didn’t have vaccines prepared. Later I returned to Chengdu to re-fill the vaccine.
The weather change of the Tibetan region is very unique. Often you will experience spring, summer, fall and winter all in one day. I rode during the rainy season. It rained almost every day. One minute the sun was shining and then suddenly a cloud would appear and it would immediately start pouring rain. I would go through several sets of clothes every day. It was troublesome. It was depressing at times. I’d see a blue sky and white clouds in front of me and I’d hope I would be able to catch up to it but the clouds would turn dark and I’d immediately have to change clothes.
Wrestling the Roads
Along the way, my ride was going well but that changed when a very serious accident occurred. I fell down the side of the road. It was a flat, cement surface and downhill. I was speeding into a bend in the road which suddenly turned into gravel. My front wheel immediately started slipping but I didn’t crush the brakes so I wouldn’t fly off and followed the bike into the fall. Bike and man hit the roadside barrier very hard. Fortunately, there was a fence there otherwise I would have flown directly down the hill. I laid on the ground for a long time, slowly recovering on the ground and I started check my body. There were no fractures or internal injuries. A closer examination revealed damaged clothes, hands and feet with a chunk of skin gone. The bike also had some wear and tear, but fortunately did not affect me to determination to ride. Even more fortunate, with such a serious crash, I was only slightly injured. I thanked God for if the car had gone over the fence there would have been certain death after the accident. Now every time I go downhill I’m very careful.
How did you go get home?
In Lhasa, I returned the bicycle home and then I took the train home.
When are you going again?
The plan is to ride a bicycle from Xinjiang in August-September 2012 and ride to Lhasa but I have a two-year-old son. I must get settled with him and then have time to go out. This year’s plan isn’t definite so I may have to go next year.
How did you hear about Power Cordz?
I know Xie Yi (a fellow Power Cordz employee), from a group of friends. He introduced me to Power Cordz. It was the first time I heard of the material. I was surprised, after seeing the cables. I thought that it truly was a revolutionary product. There were just too many advantages so I immediately put them on.
Boise held its collective breath when Kristin Armstrong’s front wheel slid out from beneath her on a slick spot in the first turn of the first day of the first ever Exergy Tour women’s cycling event. Some wondered if the resulting broken collarbone would upset Kristin’s resolve to earn a spot on the US Olympic team. But anyone who has seen Kristin Armstrong on or off the bike knew she was destined to ride in London later this summer. iO DuPont salutes Boise's top cycling star and wishes her further Olympic glory this August in London!
Armstrong is one of four women riders who will compete for the U.S. road team in London. It's the largest women's team ever to compete in the Olympic Games, as the maximum number of riders increased to four this year.
USA Cycling describes Armstrong this way: "The 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Armstrong proved to be one of the most dominant time trialists in the world in 2012, winning all eight international-caliber time trials she entered."
USA cycling placed her on the road team based on her 2008 Olympic gold in Beijing and her stellar record since. She will also ride on the Olympic time trial team, along with Exergy tour No. 2 rider Amber Neben, of Irvine, Calif. (Specialized lululemon), based on her undefeated (8 for 8) record in trials.
Armstrong and Neben will ride with Exergy champ Evelyn Stevens of Acton, Mass (Specialized lululemon) and Shelly Olds of Gilroy, Calif. (AA Drinkg-Leontien.nl) in the road race.
The fact that the number one and two racers from Exergy, plus Armstrong, are riding on the Olympic team, adds even more cachet to the already highly lauded inaugural women's tour here in Southwest Idaho. The future is bright for women's cycling and Idaho, with Armstrong and Exergy, are sure to play a continued role in the sport.