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Juneau Freewheelers Bike Club! 

2014 Tour of Juneau Notes

by Rob Welton

The 2014 Tour of Juneau prologue started under sunny skies, a nice break for our Whitehorse visitors, and all the local riders. Trena Irving came down with her husband, two children and a few other Whitehorse riders. All wore cycling kits with the Canadian Maple Leaf all over.

Riders signed in and shot the breeze before starting their warm ups.   Everyone pinning on race numbers and pumping up tires. Many gorgeous time trial bikes, disc wheels and aero helmets.  Most rode trainers at the start, but some warmed up by previewing the prologue course.   After introductory comments by Race Director Janice Sheufelt, it was time to race.

The Tour Prologue is an individual effort, with riders going off at thirty second intervals. The course is 2 miles long, with 170 feet of climbing in a hard final quarter mile. Michael Schuler held each rider so they could clip into their pedals at the start. Stronger riders started last. Everyone waited by the gun range to watch later riders climb the hill.

Casey Colton won the men’s expert division with a time of 4:57. Jamie Bursell won the women’s expert division with a time of 6:36 John Irving Staley and Peter Staley won the tandem division with a time of 8:50 (other results on Facebook, and via emails).

Saturday morning started with the Eaglecrest hill climb at 9am. The four mile climb is well known in the northern cycling community, gaining 1,100 feet.   The steepest pitch is at the bottom, with two downhill sections partway up, and a false flat at the finish. This was a mass start event, with the riders tackling the hill, and each other.

Trena Irving won the women’s expert division with a time of 23:36. John Doland won the men’s expert division with a time of 17:31. After the hill climb there was a few hours to relax before the time trial started at 1pm.

Saturday afternoon’s time trial also saw riders starting at 30 second intervals. The weather gradually improved, till it was sunny and near perfect by race time. Riders gradually shed layers as race time approached. The course was thirteen miles long, starting at the bottom of Eaglecrest road, going to the end of pavement on North Douglas Highway, returning to Eaglecrest road before turning up hill for a half mile to the registration pull out at the base of the climb proper.

Riders went off in reverse order of their standings. Earlier riders tried to hold off the chasing riders. Later riders used the earlier riders as a carrot to spur them onward. If passed, the challenge becomes staying close with the rider in front of you. Peggy Ann McConnochie followed the race and took many photos.

Casey Colton again got the better of the men’s expert field with a time of 30:34. Jamie Bursell also reprised her prologue victory, with a time of 39:02. Peter Staley came over the line with his legs out of the pedals, his son pushing them over the line in a time of 54:34.

So the table was set for the road race on Sunday morning. Trena Irving held a narrow lead over Jamie Bursell in the women’s expert field, while Casey Colton held a 30 second lead over John Bursell. Sue York was riding well and the only sport woman to do all legs. Shea Hoffman held a smart lead in the sport men’s division. Peter and Johna Staley seemed to have the tandem title well in hand.

Early on the weather looked promising. But as coffee was consumed and items packed, high clouds moved in. The forecast was for afternoon showers. Out at Auke Rec, darker clouds could be seen coming over Admiralty Island.

The race started at the ferry terminal and headed out Glacier Highway. A truce held going over the bypass hill, and the pack stayed together. Approaching Tee Harbor and Andreanoff Road, accelerations by John Bursell, Rob Sowers and several other riders initiated hostilities.

Things regrouped, and riders began making probing attacks off the front. After each acceleration, the pace would slow and riders regroup. Coming into Herbert River, Will Coleman and Robert Sowers attacked. They gradually built up a minute lead, while the chasing pack kept things steady.

Will and Rob held the chasing pack off all the way to the Auke Rec bypass. The expert field then tackled 8 laps down to the Auke Rec camp grounds, past the ball field and down again to the totem pole. The chasing pack split up on the Auke Rec circuits. John Bursell and Casey Colton caught Will and Rob after two laps. In the finale, Casey Colton won the men’s expert race with a time of 2:21:37.

In the women’s expert field, Trena Irving rode with Ryan Bischoff and Rob Welton. The trio stayed together through three laps of the finishing circuit, when Ryan Bischoff tried his hand. He rode up to a chasing pack of four, and pulled away before unfortunately flatting. Trena won the women’s race with a time of 2:40:11 Rain worsened over the last few laps. Later finishers got a proper Juneau soaking.

After the race, everyone met at the Jim and Janice Sheufelt’s house for warm drinks, awards, and announcement of the overall results. Trena Irving won the women’s expert division, in a close contest with Jamie Bursell. Casey Colton won the men’s expert division over an always-fit John Bursell. Shea Hoffman won the men’s sport division. No women completed all the legs in the women’s sport division. Ava Irving Staley won the youth girls division, while Peter and Johna Staley won the tandem division.

The riders relaxed with finger foods, while Janice and Laurel Sheufelt handed out some very nice prizes. Jim manned the coffee pot. Everyone enjoyed the time together, though slowly people were drawn to their own itineraries. The hosts were thanked and people piled into their cars. Another cycling season is in the can. As the French say, “c’est finis”.

 

 

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Juneau Freewheeler volunteer to help Juneau Girls Scouts Cadette Troop 4011 with Bike to School Day

Juneau Freewheeler volunteer to help Juneau Girls Scouts Cadette Troop 4011 with Bike to School Day

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Juneau Freewheelers volunteer to help Juneau Girls Scouts Cadette Troop 4011 with their Bike to Work project at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

They were very successful in their endevours with 114 of 500 students riding to school on Wednesday, May 8th.

Also Gastineau Elementary School had 80 of their 250 student ride to school on the 8th.

Many thanks to Freewheelers Greg Huebschen, Jamie Bursell, John McConnochie and Maren Haavig for volunteering to help.

The photo shows the volunteers and Girl Scouts Cadette Troop 4011.