Author Archive

Junior State Track Championship

| July 31, 2008 7:16 am

Two ACTC members competed in the Junior State Track Championship.  Both Daniel Farinha and Daniel Tisdell were on the podium, with Daniel Farinha taking first place.

This photo shows Daniel during the race.

ACTC Member First Place in National Time Trial

| 7:10 am

Marcia Morrison place first place in her age group at the Masters Road National Championship Time Trial in
Louisville, KY, on June 30th. Her time over the 20 km course was 35:54.7.  Congratulations Marcia!

Speed Test

| July 16, 2008 6:32 am

Connection speed to an internet site such as ACTC.ORG depends on many aspects. If you find the ACTC.ORG website to be usually sluggish, click the link below to run a speed test on our web server.


To make a comparision, you can also test your speed at other web serves by clicking the button below.

Test your Internet connection speed at

If you get a slow speed at both the ACTC website and other websites then you will know the issue is with your connection to the internet and not the ACTC website.

Russian River Rally 2008

| June 1, 2008 7:55 pm

It will soon be July and that means it’s time for the annual ACTC Russian River Rally in Duncan Mills, July 18th – 20th. Please contact Nancy Kenny or Pat Stenstrom to reserve a spot as there is a 65 person limit to the campground and last year we filled up fast. (click on this photo to see enlarged)

The campsites available this year for camping are 101, 109A, 109B and 110. These are different sites than last year, click this link for the campground map Campground Map or please see map at Thanks! One thing we ask in regards to camping is that; No one parks their car in middle of the campsites. This will leave more area for tent set up. The new management of Casisni Family Ranch requires that each car check in at the gate and provide names of all people in the party and the vehicle license number. Once checked in you will receive a parking pass that must be displayed in the vehicle while parked at the campsite. This will prevent cars from being towed.

Camping for ACTC will be available on Friday 7/18/08 at 12 noon. Anyone planning on arriving before this time must make his or her own camping arrangements.

Many people will arrive on Friday evening. This year we will be having a chili dinner with all the trimmings. However, we encourage you to bring a cooler with your beverages of choice, an appetizer for before the dinner and any other snacks and drinks you will need for the weekend. ACTC coolers will not be available for personal use.

Saturday morning a continental breakfast will be served. Saturday night we have a potluck BBQ in camp. Please bring meat to grill, and a nice dish to share with all. Charcoal will be provided by ACTC.

Sunday morning, everyone is on their own for breakfast. Many people ride into Occidental or Duncan Mills before packing up to go home.

Route sheets will be provided for rides of all abilities.

Click this link for the location of Casini Ranch – Location Map

Remember your chairs.

We ask that all campers be prepared lend a hand with the housekeeping and cooking as needed. It means a lot to have everyone pitch in!

Nancy Kenny, (408) 244-4650,
Pat Stenstrom, (408) 227-8724,

Tierra Bella Ride Video and Photos

| April 22, 2008 10:18 am

This past Saturday over 2,000 riders joined in the annual Tierra Bella bicycle event. Riders completed distances ranging from 37 miles to 122 miles.

Photos and videos of the event can be viewed by clicking the links below:

Gilroy Dispatch Newspaper

ACTC Photos of Riders

ACTC Photos of Volunteers

Great Western Bicycle Rally

| April 11, 2008 6:31 am

GWBR Image

The Great Western Bicycle Rally is held each Memorial Weekend and this year will be on May 23-26. It is one major club events each year.

As an ACTC member you are invited to join in the club activities at the Rally in Paso Robles. The club trailer will provide light breakfasts and snacks each morning from Saturday Monday. All miles ridden at the rally will count as club mileage; sign-up sheets will be provided at the campsite. Saturday night ACTC will once again be “hosting” the Wine and Cheese Party. Carol Borders will need about 40 people to work two hour shifts; we’ll pass around a sign-up sheet at the May meeting. For information about ACTC camping and dinner, contact Paul Vlasveld at 408-247-6472, For other GWBR information, contact Carol at (408) 259-8933. See you in Paso Robles!

Don Axtell leads a one day club ride down to the event on that Friday. See here for ride details.

Registration and camping fees for the GWBR should be paid directly by club members to the GWBR organization through their website.

Internet Bike Sites

| April 4, 2008 9:56 am

By Linda Kahn

One of the benefits of belonging to a bike club is the ease of which to post older bikes and items for sale to members.
However, you are reaching a very small minority posting your to ONLY your bike club e-list or newsletter.
To cast your net as wide as possible to both sell or find an item for your bike, you should know about other internet sites.

I’ve created a list of both internet and mortar/brick bike sites for those not aware of safe alternate sites to buy and sell specifically; used bicycle merchandise. Of course there are arguments against buying ‘used’ due to metal fatigue,
recalled items, etc., but for the most part, this is extremely safe and the only way to locate a certain older part or bike.

I’ve also added a few sites for new merchandise as there are great buys on certain items.

Most importantly, I’ve personally used these sites hassle and problem-free for a number of years, without one horror story of getting ‘ripped off’ as either a buyer or seller.

Note on shipping items USPS: Specifically due to 9/11, all postal items over 12 ounces MUST be brought to a post office for mailing and will not be taken from your door or from a corner mail box.

If you are a buyer of an item not local, it is not unusual for a private party seller to wait a reasonable amount of time for your check or money order to clear, BEFORE your item is sent. This is how I do business, and it is another step that protects me against fraud. The peace-of-mind a seller will have is immeasurable when they know your check/money order has cleared; and they are more willing to sell to someone who isn’t in their city or state.

Enjoy these sites and I hope ACTC members will add a few of their own. As of 4/08; all these links were updated and active.

SF BAY area + Sacramento, San Diego, LA, Orange County, etc
One of the best FREE classified web sites-hands down. I often browse the out-of-state areas, including SoCal; as buyers usually have no issues shipping items within CA.

I have purchased small items from Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Orange County with no issues.

If you do find something from Craigslist, take precautions and watch for the possibility of fraud. Do ‘due diligence’ before sending money to private sellers who will not give you a land line phone number or home address. (A PO box, and cell phone number could be a dead giveaway for fraud). And of course IGNORE anyone from Europe or other continents willing to send you payment for any item.

Craigslist has excellent information right on their page about avoiding fraud. Please read it BEFORE using Craigslist.
Also, if the price seems too good to be true, walk away from the deal. You don’t want to support theft. Use the Search function in Bicycles to punch in exactly what you want.
You can register free, but must have a credit card number for billing for both buying and selling. I use a card with a very low minimum to avoid fraud.
Note: Some auction sellers are known to ask exorbitant shipping fees to pad profit margins. Note seller ratings BEFORE bidding.

ROAD BIKE ITEMS (and some mountain) A site run in Colorado where teams and pros sell their cast-offs and sponsored goods. A good variety of items all neatly catorgized–more heavy with OEroad’ than mountain. Note: many items have club or sponsor names.

ALL BIKES (Brick and Mortar):
Trips for Kids Recyclery Thrift Shop Store in San Rafael, CA
A great place to find older bike parts and donated bikes at decent prices.
100% of proceeds goes to TFK: a non-profit dedicated to taking marginalized city kids on mountain bike rides.
They sell both new and used parts, clothing, accessories, bikes, tandems, parts, etc. The selection is hit or miss, but they do have lots of choices and you are free to browse their areas in the back of the shop on your own. No on-line sales or credit cards, but they accept personal checks with ID and printed info on the check. There is no parking at the shop, but
unlimited street parking around the store.
The Bicycle Trader used to be a printed publication until it went 100% web.
These guys were the first on the block to see a niche for the buy/sell/trade bicycle and parts market. This site is very popular with those who trade/sell in vintage bikes-an area getting very popular with collectors. Vintage cycling is it’s own niche, but I had to mention it because it was the first of its kind.

NOTE: cost involved to post your item I’ve noted high prices here for items sold, but if you are looking for a certain off-road bike, frame or part, this might be where you need to start. These are all private party ads and show very active sales.

A large on-line forum with a small area for buying and selling from private parties. Sign up for free and log on to both buy and sell.

Specifically for Women
Team Estrogen/Community. A great ‘women’s only’ space for both selling and buying. Click Discussion Forums to get into the sales area.
The Terry site is great if you are a very small/petite woman rider looking for high-end Terry bikes, etc.

The defunct Tandem Magazine has an extremely active website hosted by the publisher of this old publication. The classifieds are used frequently to sell (what else?), tandem bicycles all across the USA.
Note: servers can’t handle photo uploads.

The Tandem Network
A good-sized forum dedicated to all things tandem. Free to join and post your bikes/parts right away.

Local Magazines:
Cycle California is a free cycling publication found at many cycling shops that list local swap meets in their Calendar Section (at the back of the pub). They have a small classifieds area, but there is a cost to post if you don’t

This is REI’s outlet area for blow out bike clothing, parts and accessories at sometimes very low prices. You don’t pay shipping if you live near an REI and have your item sent to the store.

Sierra Trading Post (outdoors + cycling):
For outdoor shoes, clothing and a sprinkling of cycling items, this place has good prices on close-outs, out of season, blems, etc.

Everyone likes price comparisons! To price NEW parts only, this great site locates the exact item you type in, and gives you prices of the item at many stores (brick and mortar and internet).

Bay Area Bike Swap Meets
I would be remiss in not mentioning a number of regular Bay Area bike swap meets; some meeting twice a year (in Spring/Fall), but if you’d like to know more information, you can email me directly!

If you have ANY questions on any of the sites, please feel free to contact me.

Linda Kahn

Website Access Issues

| March 27, 2008 7:00 am

We have been having some issues with responsiveness accessing the ACTC website. The problem has been much broader than just the ACTC websites and has affected thousands or websites. The web hosting company has been replacing some hardware but there continues to be some intermittent issues.

Franz Kelsch
ACTC Webmaster

This Marshal’s Eyes, Stage 7

| February 25, 2008 6:20 pm

by Rick Madden

Once again rain pounded the start city all night. Things were beginning to wind down and we were thinking about getting home to our families.

Just one more stage to go, and our van Captain announced that we dodged a bullet…we would have the start and the finish, keeping us out of the Millcreek Pass KOM area. At almost 5,000′, the weather was going to be brutal. I talked to assistant technical director Eric Smith after the race. He told me that he pre-drove the course at 4 AM, and it was damn cold at the top.If you ever wanted to be a pro cyclist, this is the time to review your priorities…you just can’t sit out a stage when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

The weather was a mixed bag at the start, with cool temps and a few passing showers. We were inside the neutral zone, so it would be uneventful for us. The peloton soft-pedaled by me at a right hand corner…I heard lots of chatting in French and German as the boys past by my flag. Per usual, they were so close to me I had to hold my flag arm straight up as I would have clocked them if I had continued my flagging motion.

The van picked me up and we proceeded straight to Pasadena. The Captain and I were stationed right by the Rose Bowl at a downhill to flat transition. I have never seen the Rose Bowl before…a bit of sports history and architecture that has to be seen to be appreciated.

We listened to race radio, and it didn’t sound pretty…42 degrees and hail coming out of the mountains. We hunkered down as a steady rain threatened to drown the spectator’s spirit…but Pasadena, as many other cities in the Tour, were prepared to tough it out and cheer for a dogged bunch of riders who were probably looking forward to the end of the stage.

For about four laps a Bissell rider stayed away, but the fifth time around Big George and his small entourage caught. The finish was about 4 km from just across the parking lot at the crow flies. We heard the announcers rooting George on, and by the cheer from the crowd we knew one of the favorites had clutched a victory.

It was now time to shed our Tour decals and supplies in the Rose Bowl parking lot. All the marshals prepared the vans to be returned to Hertz. Many people needed to be shuttled to the airports for evening flights. For the rest of us, a party was planned in Pasadena.

Some got dressed up for the event, and others like myself just attended in jeans. I heard the teams started showing up at 9 o’clock or so, but I had already left for the hotel. The final scene I viewed at the party was priceless…Phil and Paul kissing one of the female organizers as if they were podium girls…what a hoot.

A few observations about the week…
This year’s experience was completely different than last years. We had no KOM’s and most of the time were relegated to the flatter terrain. Given the weather, that was probably okay with me!
This is a fun experience, whether you are a traveling marshal or a local volunteer. But if you are seeing lots of racing action, you aren’t working hard enough! If you want to just spectate and take pictures, best to do it on your own. Marshals also get little snippets of the total race picture…I can’t wait to watch the Versus tapes and see what I missed.

The Tour organization is massive and they are good! It was surprising how smoothly everything goes even when crunch time comes.

Thanks for reading this past week…I hope you enjoyed. Be sure to drop a line and tell me how you liked the series, if you hadn’t done so already. Marshal Rick signing off for this year’s version of the Amgen Tour of California Marshal Report!

This Marshal’s Eyes, Stage 6

| February 24, 2008 6:56 am

by Rick Madden

As I wake up this morning, one mile from the start of the final stage to Pasadena, the rain continues to fall. Last night it was really coming down. This has certainly been the coldest, wettest Amgen Tour of California (AToC).

Yesterday we had drops in one of the wealthiest communities in America and one of the most impoverished towns the tour goes through. Montecito is just outside of Santa Barbara and just drips with money. If the folks in Woodside ever need some tips on how to spend, I think that they could find some mentors down here. Montecito was the end of the neutral zone, and we saw four riders go off the front right from the get go.

Our next drop was in Santa Paula, about 20 miles south of Ojai. This appears to be a fairly poor community who loves to see the tour coming through…at least the residents do. Of course it was Saturday, but everyone came out of their houses for the event of the day. One of the marshals procured a box of bright yellow bells Friday and we each took a couple to hand out to kids.

The police force seems to be small in this town, so they contracted with Oxnard police for some extra forces. My impression is that the Oxnard cops really looked down their noses at the folks in this town; one commented to a marshal that he would never live in Santa Paula because it was full of felons. However, it seemed like a great place today as the peloton roared by.

A funny story I heard about Santa Paula; last year the Tour officials had not secured the proper permit to ride through the town. As the Chief Marshal was driving into town, he got a call from the mayor, who was running down the road to meet him with the permit in hand. Apparently he was anxious to be on the tour this year! Many of the small towns we go through are very enthusiastic. Earlier in the week almost every resident in Patterson turned out for us.

Celebrity sightings today were Jimmy Conners walking his dog on course in Montecito, Larry Hagman and Efrem Zimbalist Jr in Santa Clarita. I didn’t even know Larry and Efrem were still alive, but apparently they like bike racing. It was a great circuit finish…Super Mario and Fast Freddy may have touched wheels, because a pileup happened about 4 km into the second lap. Mario pulled himself back up to the group and pulled out a top 10 finish and got a big round of applause from the crowd for his effort. Freddie didn’t seem so lucky and finished last, struggling to get to the line.

We have the start and the finish of the race today. We haven’t had a KOM yet this race, but with rain and high winds expected, maybe we are lucky. Today’s KOM is the highest of the race at about 5,000 feet.