Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ode to Cone

Thanks to the indefatigable Joe Lekovish for this:

This race is SERIOUS. Billed as Michigan’s "Paris-Roubaix", the Cone lives up to the billing.  

*beep* - Monroe County IS WESTERN FLANDERS!

Heed my advice, anything you have that is carbon fiber on your road bike, if you can, LEAVE IT AT HOME! Seriously! It may BREAK! Bike manufacturers love to sell you carbon fiber. It's tough and light, but it's made to break under tuff conditions and if it's anything, Cone is TUFF. 

I remember the year the top team in Ohio rolled in with their beautiful carbon aero wheels. Those wheels were made for people who race in states like Arizona, Georgia or Florida, where the asphalt is smooth and popholes are an unknown entity. Ohio - no, Indiana - no, Illinois - i'd pass. Michigan - DEFINITELY NOT. The whole team was DNF’d by the first lap and they laid out their punctured and torn tubulars next to their van like it was a body-count! I almost cried seeing that. 

The course is a 10.5 mile circuit with about 4 miles of unpaved roads. It’s pancake flat and if the wind is blowing, THERE WILL BE PAIN. Now these roads will range from sun-caked, hard packed dirt, ala the Bonneville Salt Flats, to loose gravel with razor sharp stones. Ask the promoter what the course will be like this year and his response will be “depends what the Monroe County Road Commission wants to do that week”. 

I’ve raced eight consecutive Cones and I’ve only flatted ONCE. I have a wheelset I use especially for Cone. It's heavy and slow and Iove riding it on Hines Drive where potholes are a-plenty. WHEELS: Sun MA-14 rims, 32 hole, 3x, 14g spokes laced to Shimano 105 hubs.TIRES: Continental Sport 1000’s, 700x28. TUBES: Thick, cyclocross tubes meant for 700x35 tires, which will move inside your tires and avoid pinch-flatting.

Despite all the hardships Cone throws at a bike racer, or maybe because of all the hardships, Cone is a beautifully surreal race. The horizon stretches for miles across freshly plowed farm fields. The wind sweeing across the landscape takes on an orchestral quality that mixes nicely with the whir of your bike gears, the beating of your heart and the gasping of your accompanying participants. 

I LOVE CONE

If you can, before the race mount a set up like the one described above on your bike then go out and hammer down every dirt road you can find. Intentionally run into curbs and do everything you can to force a pinch flat or to knock the wheels out of true. If you avoid flats, broken spokes and taco’d wheels….. you’re ready for Cone! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Online registration about to close! Volunteers needed!

Just a reminder that online registration closes at 10:00PM tonight. Register now and save $5 over race day entry!

Also, we are in need of some volunteers to be Corner Marshals on race day. This is a very easy task and no experience is needed, if you or someone you know can help out with this it would be greatly appreciated and would go a long way toward helping to make this a safe and successful event. Send volunteer info to Dave Vannette.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Prizes from PearTreePens.com!

Here is a preview of the prizes that we will be giving out at the race:

(Note: These prizes are in addition to any monetary prizes for placing)

Prometheus Watch Company JellyFish Automatic Watch 
-We have two (2) of these watches to give as prizes. One will go to the person who completes the fastest lap of the day and the second watch will go to the winner of the Masters 35+ race

Omas Arte Italiana - Sparkles Ballpoint Pen - Violet
-For the women we have this beautiful pen for the winner of the Women's Category 1/2/3 race


Jac Zagoory Pen Holder - Warrior 2 Pose
-The winner of the Women's Category 4 field we will give this great pen holder 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Less than 1 week to race day!

Online registration closes Wednesday, April 27th, so don't forget to get registered! The weather forecast is partly sunny and 65 degrees - perfect racing weather!

Thanks to our presenting sponsor PearTreePens.com, we will have one watch to give away for the fastest lap of the day (all fields are eligible). Another watch will go to one of the men's fields; and for the women we have a very nice pen and a nice pen holder that we will be giving as awards. Check out the PearTreePens.com website to see all of their great products!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Early Registration Ends Tomorrow!

Register now and save $10 over the race-day registration fee! The registration page can be found here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New prizes!!!

We are happy to announce that PearTreePens.com will be providing a number of really exciting prizes for Cone-Azalia, including a few watches valued at $400. One of these will be given as a prize for the fastest lap of the day!! Look for more announcements of cool prizes, including some for the women's fields, in the coming days.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Registration is available online!

Follow this link to register for the Cone Azalia Classic road race: Registration

Register early and save $10!