-By Guillermo Barron, Red Deer, Canada
I’ve been cycle commuting, winter and summer, for over twenty years in Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, and Victoria. So I thought I’d post a few thoughts on how to winter cycle. It’s intimidating to many, but easier than it looks.
- Start early. If you continue your cycling from summer into the fall, the transition to winter cycling won’t seem so abrupt.
- You don’t need complicated or expensive clothing. A good rain jacket and rain pants built for cycling will be adequate down to – 15 or so. When you’re cycling, you generate lots of heat, so wind protection is more helpful than bulky insulation. Rain gear will do the job nicely. And a sweater or vest will give you another five degrees when needed. At -25 or so, I switch to a lightly insulated Cloudveil Circuit jacket. Clothing with reflective patches is amazingly visible at night and always a wise choice.
- You can protect the extremities incrementally as it gets colder. Start with bare hands, gloves, gauntlet gloves, mitts, and finally mitts with extra liners. An ear warmer under the helmet gives way to a thin toque and finally a cowl. I’ve experimented with ski goggles and neoprene face masks for full facial protection at -30 or so, but I’ve found that my glasses get fogged, so I’ve given up on them. YMMV. I wear Keen winter boots below zero; any comparable brand will do.
- Make sure your bike is winterized. Sometimes cables freeze or your rear hub will fail to engage, leaving you in permanent “coast” mode. Have a competent bike mechanic overhaul your bike if needed. Sometimes bringing the bike inside during the day or overnight will thaw frozen components.
- You’ll have to pay extra attention to lubrication, especially when warm weather drives sand and slush into your chain. I don’t think anything is harder on a chain than sand. You may have to lubricate weekly or even daily. If you don’t, you’ll find your chain lengthening due to wear. And the lengthened chain will then damage your sprockets, leading to costly replacement. Trust, this procrastinator knows.
- Get good lights. Not all LEDs are created equal. I like the Light and Motion Urban 300. It’s solidly made, waterproof, and very bright at 300 lumens. It quickly mounts on either helmet or handlebars. I tried out the helmet mount and was an instant convert. When you turn your head, the light turns at the same time. No more waiting for the front wheel to catch up. It’s also rechargeable via micro-USB, which means you don’t have to buy replacement batteries and you don’t have to lug around a charger brick. Just make sure you have the appropriate USB cable at your home and office computers. $20 LEDs may look like a bargain, but they may not last and will cost more in the long run when you factor in the cost of batteries. And having a big bright beam really makes night riding enjoyable. I’ve found myself getting up earlier and earlier to beat the sunrise. If you’re serious about night riding, on road or off, a good LED light is an expensive, but worthwhile, investment. The local cycling club has discovered that the new lights have made night mountain biking a real opportunity. And, on road, driver are more likely to see you. But comparison shopping is wise.
- Standard mountain bike tires will be suitable for most riders and you can buy studded mountain bike tires if you need them. I ride a hybrid (skinny tires are faster in the summer) and have been running on studded winter cyclocross tires for the last couple of years. They’re only about 35 mm wide, but surprisingly effective. The studs have worn to the level of the rubber so I don’t know if they really provide much benefit. There’s lots of options out there if you’re shopping for good winter tires. Studded tires are heavy and slow so I am happy to take them off when the last of ice disappears. If you only want to use one studded tire, put it up front. On ice and snow, control is more important than acceleration.
- Ride conservatively. Avoid sudden turns or stops on slippery patches. On road, you’ll often be forced to cycle in car tire ruts and this makes you a target for aggressive drivers. But at least they can see you. If this isn’t working, and the sides of roads are covered with ice or snow, switch to the sidewalk. But in this case, be wary when crossing streets. Car drivers aren’t as attentive to users who aren’t in the middle of the road.
- Watch the weather, and dress appropriately. But don’t believe their “wind chill” reports. The last few days, the wind chill here in Red Deer is said to have hovered around -40 or lower. At these temperatures, exposed flesh is supposed to freeze in five or ten minutes. But I cycle a constant 15 or 20 km/hr (which is, after all, equivalent to riding into a 15 or 20 km/hr wind) for half an hour. And no frozen skin. So don’t be spooked by these overly protective and possibly alarmist warnings. But as a general rule, it’s too cold to cycle when teenagers start wearing toques.
- Some people think that all it takes to get into cycling is the cost of the bike. But you may also have to invest in a pack or courier bag (way more practical in my opinion), a good U-lock, extra clothing, lights, a helmet, and regular maintenance. This may seem like a tidy investment, but the costs of commuting by car are far higher. Car commuting may seem “faster”, but if you consider the hundreds of dollars per month you’ll likely save (car payments, depreciation, gas, parking, insurance, registration, maintenance, etc.) and the number of hours you’d have to work to pay the differential in cost, you may end up losing time instead. I consider my bike expenses trivial compared to the cost of a second car. And remember the very real benefits to the environment and your mental and physical health. Every minute you spend cycling, you’re getting stronger; every minute you spend driving (or blogging!) you’re getting weaker.
This past weekend we headed to the Hammerstein 24 hour mountain bike race held near the Laguna Seca Motorway in Monterey. Racing the trails around Fort Ord is a treat and all those who compete at Sea Otter Classics have experienced the fun these trails offer. What awaited us was a fast 10.5 mile course with 1,500 feet of climbing per lap. Ryan and Jen VanGorder along with Mike Kohn entered the 3 person category while I raced solo.
No matter how in shape you are for a 24 hour, you’re always going to suffer at one point or another. These races are simply too long and will beat you up. The Hammerstein 24 was no exception.
We all had to race hard to the bitter end but our effort paid off as I won the solo category and the team won the 3 person category. A lot of energy was expanded and sore muscles abound but it was well worth it.
The victory did not come easily though. After more than 4 hours of racing a mere 5 minutes separated the top 3 solo racers. I only took over the lead on lap 5 with the others close behind. Taking this lead at this point meant that the top guys were well matched but, for me, it was a good sign since I hadn’t pushed the pace too much. Like most of the others, I was trying to pace myself for the long race. There is no point in leading early on if you’re too tired to hold it to the end. I was there to race for 24 hours and needed to pace myself accordingly.
That said, I knew that waiting until the night to make a stronger move was risky as you never know how well you’ll feel after the sun sets so I opted to push the pace a little once I took the lead to see if the others would follow. If they followed, it either meant that they were as strong or that they were pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone and wouldn’t last. Of course, the risk for me was just that, that I would push myself too much too soon. Luckily, the increase in pace started to payoff as no one followed and I gradually increased my lead every lap as the daylight hours passed. By the time the night arrived, I had opened a half hour lead on 2nd place and friend Kyle Peter of team Tecnu Extreme.
Despite my lead, I knew that Kyle knew had to suffer through the night with the best in the world. As an elite adventure racer, he’s been there before and a single night without sleep was nothing for him. As it turned out, he didn’t disappoint as he mounted a strong comeback through the night and ate into my lead for 5 consecutive laps. When the light of day spread over the race course, a mere 13 minutes separated us. During the night, I tried to pace myself and held a relative steady pace but not particularly fast so Kyle was able to capitalize with an impressive show of force. However, I knew that when the sun came up, I would have some more faster laps in me. To cut into my lead, he’d have to ride even faster. As I had hoped, I was able to pick up the pace and, for 3 laps, I cut my lap times by 4-6 minutes compared to night time.
My faster laps worked and I started to increase my lead again. On lap 20, I came upon Kyle who looked quite worked. He told me he had had a bad case of diarrhea and was absolutely worked. I felt for him as I’ve been there before. But in usual adventure racing style, he soldier on and finished not only lap 20 but also 21 to consolidate his 2nd place. Steve Gallo finished 3rd, congrats.
After passing Kyle, my motivation instantly disappeared and I started riding really slowly and all sorts of pains flared up. The pains I was pushing away mentally were now flooding my brain pain center. That’s when I realized that the course had really worked me with all these short power climbs and bumpy descends. Even the fun downhills sent painful vibrations throughout my sore body. Let’s be clear, this was not a technical course and it was super fun to race but after more than 20 hours, the subtle challenges of the course amplify and the course slowly becomes more difficult as laps go by. It’s the nature of 24 hour racing. So, I spent the last 2 laps (21 and 22) whinning to myself but when I crossed the start/finish line for the last time, I was all smiles and felt immense satisfaction. It’s an incredible rush to push yourself for so long.
Shortly after crossing the finishline, I found out that the others had also won the 3 person category. We couldn’t ask for a better weekend of racing!
At the Hammerstein 24, I had the biggest crew ever and they were absolutely superb in helping me throughout the night. Jackie Petro was my crew captain and she ran the show and took care of all my nutrition needs. Max Flaxman was my mechanic and kept my bike humming all race long (not an easy feet in a 24 hour race) among all the other things he did. And my dedicated friends who raced the 8 hour race but still spent the entire night helping , Paul Chung and Jack Baginski (8hr team), and Jay Harbison and Ben Morris (8 hr solo). Thank you so much gang. Without you, I won’t have pulled this off. You’re an integral part of my success. Merci!
6.5 miles currently separates my house from the edge of the High Park fire due west of Fort Collins, CO. Every day we hope for better conditions to help the firefighters contain the fire, which is now ranked as the most disastrous fire in the state’s history based on over 180 structures destroyed. From town, conditions vary depending completely on wind conditions – this past Saturday we couldn’t even see the smoke bellowing above the foothills, but Sunday the winds shifted to bring a blanket of cloud and smoke over town and as far south as Loveland, and actual flurries of ash falling from the sky.
At points I get angry that we let Mother Nature ravage us through such a fire and many more affecting the west, and the irony of six-foot floods going on at the same time and doing equal damage in the south-east. How much progress have we really made in science when we are devastated by so many varied natural disasters? Or is the proper perspective that Mother Nature is keeping the world in a particular balance that we do not fully understand or wish to accept?
My favorite backyard trails and road rides up the foothills are all closed. But it’s even sadder to recollect the homes I see, or used to see while riding or driving up to my favorite trails. Many of those are now lost, and families displaced indefinitely.
I also wonder what it will be like to ride again through this area once the fire is over. The nakedness we’ve already witnessed in smaller fires that previously pillaged areas like Hewlett Gulch and Grey Rock multiplied. Sometimes it’s really difficult to accept change.
Every day I get out for a ride, I travel somewhere I don’t usually go to stay away from the smoke. As I ride I think about those more heavily affected by the fire, and wonder what can I do to help. It may be the little things, like a small donation box of stuff. It may be visiting local businesses who are offering their profits on a given day towards relief efforts. It may be participating in trail days to help rebuild the trails when the fire is out. And it may be all of this, and whatever else I can find that may help. If we cannot control Mother Nature, at least we can bond as a species and help each other out in times of need like this one.
Elizabeth Sugar Boese is a Light & Motion sponsored athlete who loves to conquer challenges. Follow her adventures here: www.TeamCuteness.com
Photos courtesy of Brian Kraus © by Brian
By Nate Bird
When I started mountain biking in high school – the thought of being Lycra clad never crossed my mind, in fact, I was adamantly anti. I was not into cycling culture and didn’t have many friends who were cyclists – we’d go to Red Rocks with our rigid hard tails (suspension was few and far between in the early 90s after all) for some occasional fun.
As I got more into biking in college, I decided I really wanted to be a mountain biker through meeting people, rehabbing knees, etc. However, the thought still never occurred to me to don a chamois. I look back at a CU Ski Team training camp pic from Moab in 1996 – white cotton t-shirt and cotton shorts and boxers. I reflect on that picture and all I can see is Busch League! Everyone has to start somewhere – but what was I thinking? No butt pad and a cotton shirt – not cool looking or feeling! I was at some point in those formative college years enlightened as to the wonderment’s of the chamois – that lovely pad in the shorts protecting the sensitive areas in contact with the saddle. That was truly a revolution in comfort and learning one of the many nuances of a dedicated rider.
I moved to Steamboat in 2001 right out of CU and my first band of friends (and still main biking bros) were pretty heavily into mountain biking – I discovered our amazing trails, night riding, and a true love for the sport of mountain biking. But still – wearing spandies was the furthest throught from my biking mind – just not cool. Years went on and no changes. But then one day, a pretty lady asked me to do the Gore Gruel (the predecessor to the Tour de Steamboat). Heck – why not do a 100+ mile road ride for my first ride ever?? What a Steamboat dude won’t do sometimes….. I was strongly warned against the baggie shorts for the big ride, threatened with visions of evil chafing, I succumbed and bought some. I was mortified at the thought of being seen by anyone, let alone by buddies in those heinous shorts. But I did it, had a blast, butt was protected, and decided I needed a road bike. I came into a deal on a Moots and blew another knee and really got into road riding because of rehab. I experimented with the baggies and quickly learned the chafing that will occur on the roadie, lesson taught.
Fast forward more time into my bike career, I was convinced to start racing the MTB. I fell in love with it even more, started taking it seriously, and started riding for my employer, Honey Stinger, which was to morph into the Honey Stinger/Bontrager team I currently still ride for. Sponsors want their logos seen and I now had a uniform, so I started racing in the spandex and logo laden “kit.” Still – I did not want to be seen just riding around with the unmanly spandies, not stylie. Then one day last year, I was overheating in Fruita, caught my baggie shorts on my seat, splayed a starfish, and biffed. In that moment I came full circle – no more baggy shorts, I couldn’t see anymore the point of them besides getting in the way. And besides some cooler night rides, I now only ride in my Lycra, and I much prefer it. My how things change.
As soon as this article is published I expect many a playful jab from friends who would not be caught dead in the lycra, bring it on I say. Some will certainly disagree with my position on bike garb, I know a guy who has done some hardcore racing in Carhartt shorts and tightie-whities insisting that spandex was the most painful thing he’s ever ridden in. And maybe one day I’ll change my mind again. To each his own I guess, have fun riding kids.
Nate Bird fancies himself a bike writer and racer and works and plays for Honey Stinger
By Cary Smith
Today was not a typical day for me. First off, I was at a bike race, but not racing. Secondly, I was in Boise, and it was raining. Hard.
The first anomaly is easy to explain. After a week of hard racing at the Transylvania Epic, I wasn’t ready to duke it out for eight hours in the 9 to 5 race. My wife was racing as part of the two-time defending champion women’s duo team so thiswas the perfect opportunity to return a bit of the support that she has given me at so many races.
Which leads me to the second atypical occurrence. When I agreed to support Amy and Robin, I figured my role would be to shout encouragement, fill bottles, lube chains and maybe ride a few laps with them. Well, the rain changed all that. I spent eight hours under an EZ-UP trying to rid their bikes of the most tenacious mud known to man. I’m talking ten pounds of wheel-stopping, chain-sucking gunk. With no hose on site, I quickly depleted my rag bag and was basically smearing the mud/manure combo around, hoping to keep their drivetrains functional for the entire day. I’d like to think that I played a part in their three-peat victory but I know it was their riding that put them on the top of the podium.
As they showered and got ready for a victory dinner with fellow racers, I was finally able to don my kit and head out for a ride, at 8pm. The trails around Boise dry amazingly fast, so I knew I was in for a treat as soon as I hit the dirt.
I grew up riding motorcycles and mountain bikes in Boise but haven’t lived here for 15 years, so it’s always a trip down memory lane when I ride here. There are many new trails but I always try to ride some of my favorites, especially when I’m alone. For whatever reason, the memories were especially poignant tonight. I would see the same obstacles that gave me fits 20 years ago and ride over them without even a second thought. I know my skills have improved but I kept dwelling on the technological advancements in equipment.
My first bike was a Fuji Sundance that I rode with Chuck Taylor shoes, a sweet wool Fuji jersey and a Kiwi helmet that weighed as much as my bike and breathed as well as an asthmatic in a pollen factory.
Now I’m riding a 29” carbon bike with an ultralight helmet carrying 1400 lumens of Light and Motion brightness. The fun factor remains just as high now as it did “back in the day” only now I go twice as far in the same amount of time.
At least I am still wearing wool knickers.
For this year’s Transylvania Epic the training was in the legs, the bike running great and many other pieces were fitting perfectly. Travel and routine if anything was something that I was unprepared for, and these, although I couldn’t put my finger on what went wrong, could have been the factors that hurt me most.
The early stages went great with the legs and body feeling great and I had been racing smart. Then in the middle of Tuesday night I woke to a sore throat. My heart sunk of course, as I could tell this was no dry throat, but an actual cold approaching. Immediately I knew that the next day was my last day to race, at close to 100%.
The racecourse at Raystown, PA was so damn unreal and fast and I put my game plan to work and hung on a wheel for most of the first lap and a half. Then on a steep climb, I sensed a little weakness and made and attack. This gained me about 2 minutes on second place and got me on the top step of the podium for my last time of the week.
The next couple days I suffered more on my bike than I can remember ever doing. The cold had hit the lungs and head and I just plain did not feel well. I knew the overall was out of the question, but I wanted to hang onto third place in the GC if I could.
Suffering and all I was able to finish the race and hang onto third! Not exactly the result I had wanted, but it was a podium at a 7-day stage race.
In all the suffering, I still found the trails in State College amazing! The Transylvania Epic was epic to say the least and toward the end of the week, my PA rock riding skills had come full circle after being scared shitless on the second day of racing.
Even though there are a few pieces in the puzzle to get right, I had an unbelievable time racing at the Transylvania Epic!
You can follow Zeke Hersh’s “Dirt Riding and Racing” here: http://ezekielhersh.blogspot.com/
What else is there to say about the bike world when you have about 95 riders attempting to ride self-supported on dirt trails from Banff, Canada to Mexico. Yep, 95 individuals filled their Camelbacks and frame packs, etc. and said to their friends or family, “I’m gonna go on a 2,700+ mile bike ride… ehh I’ll see you in 2-3 weeks.” And somewhere in that mix are people like Mel Liebling out there riding a Surly 32t stainless steel chainring with Niner 19t Alloy cog – and with that single speed she is looking to go fast. She is decidedly much more hardcore than I will ever be. And just to reinforce her street cred, I snagged this comment off the DrunkCyclist post interviewing her about the race,
“I want to know if she (Mel Liebling) is going to fuel her entire race off of Hot Dogs. At 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo we camped next to her and that’s all she ate during the race!!! She’s gnar gnar”
And in case you’re wondering, she absolutely killed it at 24HOP and has established herself as an exciting new female competitor in the race world.
Here’s the live tracking of the race using SPOT and the Topofusion maps of Scott Morris – and you should really see it in all its glory where it lives at: http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide
And just to remind you how rad these riders are, I have included the elevation profile of their course:
“By route’s end a thru-rider will climb nearly 200,000 feet of vertical (equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times).”
And over here in Monterey, we are gearing up for the Hammerstein 24 Hour MTB race in Fort Ord. We got a corporate team together and peer pressured a bunch of employees to suffer through the 10 mile laps. We’re all super excited; everybody has been looking pale and homely after working so hard to get ready for our new product launch – a lot of weekends and late night work sessions to ensure you get the best possible lighting options for the year 2013 – now it’s time to go play!
Off to pre-ride the trail.
At Light & Motion, we want to inspire people to not just ride during the day, but also at night – and to capture the spirit of night riding, we needed an epic photographer that also rides bikes. To this day, I’m not sure if it was his impressive mustache or extensive professional portfolio, but we instantly knew Devon Balet was the perfect guy to help us out this year. Devon’s photos have found their way in just about all your favorite bike mags and have certainly motivated you to saddle up and go for a ride – and that is pretty much the goal.
The first photo shoot had us rallying around San Fran, starting with a pre-dawn photo shoot near the Golden Gate Bridge, until 5 shotgun wielding (fingers on the trigger) police officers decided that we had chosen a poor location. Then we scrambled about the city in search of cool cycling spots and good coffee. We learned that the Bart transit can quite crowded for 5 people and their bikes and that Ramen doesn’t just come in cups of freeze dried noodles with flavor packets – but is actually a culinary sensation if you know the right spot to go. We discovered that iPhones refuse to give accurate directions to the Twin Peaks in SF – but we made it anyways and were able to get some great shots before relaxing with carafes of Sake and beer.
A few days later we pedaled through the maze of trails at UCSC’s upper campus with Dejay Birtch, Dax Massey, Ross Schnell, Meredith Miller, Nate Bird, and some local riders to help navigate. Fueled by canned beer and fun, flowey trails we did our best to balance work and play, always erring on the side of play. Devon managed to carry his arsenal of photography equipment on his back and still shred the trails. Darkness quickly set in under the canopy of redwood trees and we got to finish up the night with a very legitimate night ride down through Wilder State Park, dropping us down to the ocean.
Check out some more of Devon’s photos at his website: http://devonbaletphoto.com/
Follow him as he lives the dream traveling, biking, and taking photos: http://www.facebook.com/people/Devon-Balet/747985621
And if you are a social media junky, you can even check him out on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/devonbalet
Team Untamed New England (Angela Schnuerch, Erik Grimm, and Jason Urckfitz) traveled to the Lower Hudson Valley area of NY for The Longest Day, NYARA’s annual 24 hour adventure race on May 19th-20th. This year’s format was described as “a linear/point-to-point format on a Rogaine/Score-O course” with the race organizers staging our bikes and paddle gear around the course for us during the event.
After a reasonable 7:00am sign-in and map distribution the team poured over the course info and maps to determine the best route/strategy and packed the team gear bin prior to the 9:15am bus ride to the start. This was no easy task as there was over 8 maps to review containing 17 mandatory and 51 optional points as well as multiple bonuses available for clearing sections to consider. According to the race organizers the course was considered clearable which factored into our route selection.
The race began on foot at the Schunemunk Mountain trail system for 2 mandatory and 5 optional points. After a short prologue teams scattered into the woods with expected title contenders Untamed New England, Goals ARA, NYARA and Calleva choosing the north route while Team SOG and Rev3 headed south. The terrain was very rugged with tricky bushwacking, rock scrambling and some decent trails thrown in for good measure. One particular highlight for this section besides the outstanding views was the huge Rattlesnake coiled up and rattling on the trail as we ran by, yikes! The temps began to rise throughout the afternoon taking its toll on many but with sharp navigation and a conservative pace Team UNE cleared the section for the 5 bonus points and making it into transition with the leaders around 3:30pm.
A quick transition to bikes and they headed out to the Goose Pond State Park Bike-O section for 3 mandatory and 5 optional points on great network of trails. It’s at this point with strict time limits looming they realized there was no way anyone was going to clear the course. The team made their first strategic move of the race, opting to skip the Sterling Forest Foot-O section and headed straight to the next bike-O section for 2 more mandatory and 5 optional points including a nice 3 mile Hike-a-Bike section up to a fire tower and a screaming, frigid ride back down on the service road. The team cleared this section as well, earning another 5 bonus points. We knew we had an advantage of some serious night vision with our Light and Motion Seca’s and Solites!
After 13 hours on the bike in the dark Team UNE arrived at the Greenwood Lake Paddle-O section as the sun was coming up. Another quick transition and they set out for a very enjoyable paddle with sit-on top kayaks tied together for 5 optional points along the way finishing it up around 7:30am.
Heading into the last trekking section of the race along the Appalachian Trail the team felt they needed to clear the 3 optional points in the section to gain the 5 bonus points available to still be in the running for a podium position. Despite running the entire section with reckless abandon (and gaining a new perspective on how fast some thru hikers travel) the team arrived at the finish 11 minutes too late and suffered a 5 point penalty moving them down in the overall standings.
Thanks Light and Motion and Untamed New England for your support!
With this race complete the team now looks forward to toeing the line against many of the same competition and others from around the world at next month’s Untamed New England June 19-24th located in The Forks, Maine!
Bike to work week was a great success for the St. Cloud cycling community.
With promotion help from Health Partners Medical Clinic of Sartell, MN and Revolution Cycle and Ski, we saw more bicycles on the streets than ever before during this year’s National Bike Month.
Promoting cycling is accelerated by owning and operating a cycling store, maintaining the ranks of a Professional Endurance Racer and in the end it leaves me a positive role model in our cycling community.
This is what I ask myself, “How am I going to achieve everything this week?” Between working roughly a 50 plus hour work week, being a father of a 7-month old baby boy, a husband, and training as a professional racer leaves challenges that would tend to exaust most. This is where making the most of every minute of every day is crucial. Some days I am on the bike by 4 a.m. but most go like this. In the mornings that I take my son to day care I drive him there. From there I leave my car and mount the bike to get my training while en route to the bike shop. Other days I am on my bike. This way I reduce my impact on the environment by driving less. Some days I get anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of training time in by doing this. I simply love it! Looking at the timetable of how the events play out during the day- the end of the day leaves me riding home to the family in the guided light of my Seca 1400. Thank you Light and Motion for lighting my way and keeping me safe.
Mike Schroden is a Professional Endurance Racer with Cannondale Factory Racing