Monday, April 18, 2016

Nifty Mixty 2016

Nifty Mixty is a 46 mile mixed terrain adventure ride in the East Bay Hills with over 6,000' of climbing. There will be 9 timed Sectors, while the remainder of the course is neutral. Take your time on the neutral sections, regroup, socialize, navigate, etc. About 80% dirt and 20% paved. Most dirt is smooth and most (but not all) grades are not steep. The course is doable on a road bike with sturdy tires, however a gravel. cross, or mt. bike is recommended. The event is April 23, 2016, Cerrito Vista Park, Moeser Ln & Pomona Ave, El Cerrito, CA., 7:30 A.M, registration at 7:00 AM. Please check out the Nifty Mixty Facebook Event Page and RSVP if you are coming. Here is the Nifty Mixty 2016 Route. Check back for updated versions.

Below is a list of Rules for the Nifty Mixty:

1. This is a handicapped event. All riders compete on equal footing. I have scientific data that accounts for differences in gender and age. So if you are a studley Cat 1, 28 year old dude, you have the same chance as a fit, 60 year old woman who is age group National Champ.

2. This is a fun, mixed terrain ride with timed Sectors. Between Sectors is neutral. Rest, chill, eat, drink, socialize, regroup, chat, and have fun!

3. Be courteous to other trail users. Slow down, call out to hikers, and pass as to not frighten anyone. Say hello, Good Morning, and comment about how nice a f-in day it is! If you see a horseback rider, you MUST STOP! Ask the rider if it is OK to pass. And then do so slowly and carefully. No shifting, skidding, or any other movements or noises that could spook a horse. This is SERIOUS!

4. For each timed segment, the results will be handicapped and a leader board with placings will be determined. Riders will then have 9 scores with individual placings. The individual placings for each Sector will be added up, and the rider with the lowest score will be the winner. This means that all segments are weighted equally, regardless of length or elapsed time. It is possible, depending on accuracy of GPS data, that each rider will be allowed 1-3 "throwout" segments. Regardless of throw outs, a rider must complete the entire course to be scored.

5. Riders will be responsible for delivering accurate Sector times and uploading them to Strava by 8 PM April 23rd following the ride. If you have a Garmin 500, I highly recommend that you also bring your iPhone or Android device and record a second file. Garmin 500's have inferior GPS accuracy, and your iPhone is actually much better. If a rider has shitty GPS data, I will be unable to match segments and that rider will not be listed in results. Again, if you have a Garmin 500, try to take backup measures.

6. There are 10 Sectors on Strava, all labeled with Nifty Mixty Sector X (but only 9 will be counted). You are responsible to know where these are. The Sectors are designed such that there is little or no navigation required within the Sector. But it will be prudent to know where the Sector starts and ends. Sectors will start well after, and end well before any gates or obstacles, so plenty of time to get rolling at the beginning, and plenty of room to stop before the end. No need to impale yourself on a gate because you think the Sector ends there. It doesn't. Each Sector is called out in the Cue Sheet with mileage and a short description.

7. There are some downhill stretches in the Sectors. The safety of you and other trail users is of paramount importance. If you jeopardize that, you will be DQ'd or penalized. Read Rule number 3 again, please.

8. Single Speed riders shall have a 5% time bonus in addition to the standard age/sex bonus. Since most of the Sectors are Single Speed friendly, it is reasonable to assume that if you are a strong Single Speed rider, you will have an advantage. Single speed riders must use the same gear for the entire event. Duh. It's Single Speed.

9. There will be a six place Podium with awards. All entry fees will go back to cash prizes minus any expenses to host the event. Prize money will depend on the number of entries. Entry donation shall be $10. This is a non profit ride.

10. Ride organizer will be listed in the results, but not eligible for official placing or prize money.

11. If a rider botches a Sector, that rider can go back and start again, but cannot go back to a previous Sector. So, if you flat or crash on a Sector, and wish to do it again, you can backtrack and have another go, as many times as you like. However, once you finish the next Sector, you cannot redo a previous Sector.

More rules may be added or modified at any time before the ride.

Here are the segments for 2016. Each Sector should be lableled 2015 as they are the same as last year. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Nifty Ten Fifty 2016 Report and Results

After seeing that his Thorndale result was compromised, Alec Castellanos quipped, "Maybe I shouldn't have stopped to take that picture on the Thorndale climb."  Alec, we are all grateful that you did! Beautiful photo of the Thorndale Climb!
Well, the 15th Annual Nifty Ten Fifty is in the books, and what a great day it was! I want to start by making somewhat of an apology to all of you hearty souls. My personal life has been busy and challenging during the past year, and I confess that the Nifty didn't receive the level of attention that I normally would like to give to it. But the enthusiasm of the riders, and the fantastic weather, combined with the incredibly challenging course, put a smile on my face nonetheless. I'll be more attentive next year, that's a promise.

This was the second year of the new course — the event has gotten big enough that I decided that the "small groups with guides" model wasn't going to work anymore, so I simplified the course in 2015. Now, before you start laughing and falling off your chairs, the new course has about 20 less turns and, believe it or not, is far more intuitive than the previous course. Nonetheless, last year I learned that most riders skipped the Canon descent, and the climb past the Merry Go Round in Tilden Park after the Marin climb. It just wasn't intuitive, and many people missed it, though we did need the 300' or so it added to make the 10K feet. So I re-routed the ridewithgps file, but forgot to update the route sheet I was passing out. Oopsie. For anyone who did the "extra credit," well, I owe you a beer, or perhaps a free entry next year... or a time bonus... or something. The extra credit was descending Canon and climbing past the Merry Go Round, vs. taking a right on Wildcat Canyon from Grizzly Peak.

Last year, with the new course and self guided model, I had a start window of 8:00 AM to 9:30AM, thinking it would be good to spread the field. But by 9:15 AM, the start area was a ghost town, and Sarah and I started solo, and didn't see anyone for a long time. This year, I compressed the start window from 8:30 to 9:30. It helped, but we still had people raring to go at 8:00 AM, and we fought them off until 8:30 AM. Most were on the road well before 9:00 AM. Next year I will narrow the start window more, and start earlier, by opening registration at 8:00 and having the official start at 8:30.

Arielle Little, one of the top Women finishers of the day grinds up the final 26% pitch of Marin Ave.
Riders rolled out in perfect weather, cool and comfortable for hard climbing. My group started at about 9:35, well behind most. Some of the faster riders forged ahead while a few dropped off our intermediate pace. On Moeser, my friend Tom Williard hit and object and had a sidewall blowout. Tom had done the first five or so Niftys back in the day, then took a one decade hiatus. I was thrilled to see him back but was devastated that his ride would end in the first half mile. But in Nifty spirit, Tom booted the tire with a $20 bill, thinking it would hold better than a $1, and proceeded to finish a good bit of the course, finding my group at Peet's Domingo, and executing the final climb with my group. True Nifty Grit.

There is no point in going through all of the details of the climbs — most of you were there. But I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this ride, and how great it is to see so many people willing to tackle this huge and unique cycling challenge. Our group was able to catch up to many riders on the course and we had a wonderful stop at Safeway in Montclair, consuming such delectables as sodas, chips, salami, sushi, and sandwiches.

Liza Hartlaub puts in a fine performance at the top of the Thorndale climb on Elverton, passing Sarah Schroer in the last few meters, though Sarah started the climb after Liza and hence had the faster time for the entirety of the climb.

People come from all over the Bay Area to test their mettle on the Nifty, always a good turnout from the Fremont folks, which I always appreciate, and others from SF and the North Bay. Thank you all for coming.

How can you not love the spirit of riders showing up for the Nifty on full Rando steel bikes! Bryan Kilgore and Therese Cools.
After a break at Peet's Domingo, we made the final push up to Vollmer Peak, where we had a good group of folks gathered. Thank you all for coming out and making the Nifty such an epic event!

Quintessential hard man and overall winner Bill Laddish. I love this guy. He has such a great spirit and competitive drive, and he really is a nice guy! Congrats, Bill!

Mr. Nifty with Tom Williard. Tom did the first five or so Nifty's and has a Marin Nifty Title or two in his trophy closet, before the days of Strava. So nice to see him back after a one decade hiatus!
Mr. Nifty is honored to pose with the second place overall woman, Sarah Schroer. Sarah had a good contest with climbing ace Janet Gardner, who was the overall champ.

Bernard Demai, who is pushing 70 and completed the Nifty mid pack sent along this photo of his riding buddies. In center is Vernon Picconotti, a Santa Rosa Cycling Club Member. The rider on the left is wearing the Paul Stimson "Never Give Up" Jersey. Paul was an avid cyclist dedicated to helping others. He died last year of ALS. Last year's Nifty was dedicated to Paul.
Results are below. We had three rated climbs this year. Marin, Thorndale, and the final big climb of the day, Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer.

Remember, if you haven't gotten enough Nifty-ness in your life, the Nifty Mixty is scheduled for April 23. In this also unique event, all riders are timed on segments, and rated with age and gender compensation. It is a "gravel" event, meaning you will need a road bike with sturdy tires, a cross bike, a gravel bike, or a mt. bike. Your choice. Stay tuned.

Overall results for Women. This title was calculated by taking the sum of the placings among women for 3 selected climbs, Marin, Thorndale, and Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer. Marin and Claremont/Vollmer/Grizzly Count as double. The lowest possible score then, for winning all three climbs would be 2 + 1 + 2 = 5 points. Riders needed to complete the entire ride, more or less, and all three climbs. Additionally, you needed to have signed a waiver at the start in order to be an official finisher. Note that Sindy Cho was poised for a third place finish, as indicated by her first two times, and almost complete time on the third climb. She failed to make the trip to Vollmer Peak unfortunately, so is not listed in the results, but nonetheless deserves kudos for a mighty strong ride! Janet Gardner and Sarah Schroer had a close competition. While Sarah took Marin, Janet won the latter two climbs to clinch the title by 1 point. Arielle Little was just a bit behind Sarah and Janet, with Sindy taking some precious points away from her. Liza Hartlaub and Tara Kurihara had a very close competition, although they probably had no idea, since they were riding far apart.
1 - Janet Gardner 7
2 - Sarah Schroer 8
3 - Arielle Little 16
4 - Liza Hartlaub 21
5 - Tara Kurihara 22
6 - Dan Zhang 30

Overall results for Men. This title was calculated by taking the sum of the placings among Men for 3 selected climbs, Marin, Thorndale, and Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer. Marin and Claremont/Vollmer/Grizzly Count as double. The lowest possible score then, for winning all three climbs would be 2 + 1 + 2 = 5 points. Lower score wins. Riders needed to complete the entire ride, more or less, and all three climbs. Additionally, you needed to have signed a waiver at the start in order to be an official finisher. Nifty vet and consummate hard man Bill Laddish took the win, although Hanns Detlefsen had some super fast times on the second and third climbs. Hanns chose to take it easy on Marin, which allowed Nifty vet Bill Laddish to take the top overall honors. Ben Knipe put in an amazing performance, 3rd on the first two climbs, then crushed the big one at the end for 2nd place. This consistency left him with a second place overall! Amazing when you consider that Ben is a big lad! He is a remarkable climber for a big man.
1 Bill Laddish 10
2 Ben Knipe 13
3 Hanns Detlefsen 17
4 JuanPablo Duarte 19
5 Eric Chodoroff 28
6 Alex Freund 37
7 Matt Pendleton 41
8 Paul McKenzie 44
9 Jerry Wickham 46
10 Douglas Samp 56
11 Barry Schwarz 67
12 West Kurihara 77
12 Vernon Piccinotti 90
14 Alec Castellanos 97
15 Scott LaPerle 97
16 R Menon 98
17 Bryan Kilgore 114
18 Matthew Santillan 120
19 Mark Ward 129
19 Richard Weed 129
21 bernard demai 132
22 Nicolas K 134
23 Jordan Williams 135
24 Eliot W 164
25 Mario Miranda 174
26 Andy Manuel 175
27 Jay Wood 177
27 Daylen Yang 177
29 Jerome deVerrier 186
30 Gregory Kennedy 196
31 Robert Ho 201
32 Orville OnDrums 203
33 Nick u 210
34 Jim Miao 221
35 Bruce Burkhalter 225
36 Gabriel Beddingfield 226
36 Ferdinand DeGuzman 226

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Official Nifty Ten Fifty 2016

The Nifty Ten Fifty will occur on Saturday, April 2, 2016. The Nifty Ten Fifty will again travel the new route that was run in 2015! This route is different than previous routes, so if you missed 2015 this will be a new course for you. Please scroll down for information about the event. Riders will self guide on the new, improved, easier to follow course. Ride begins at 9:30 AM. However, you may register any time beginning 8:30 AM at Cerrito Vista Park, El Cerrito, and self start when you are ready. Please RSVP on the Official Facebook Event Page.

Do not download the 2014 course. Use the new 2016 course below. There will be no rest stop, but services are available after 7 of the 10 climbs, so do bring food for several hours, and some cash to resupply. There is plenty of water on the course in the East Bay Regional Park system.

Here is the 2016 course: Nifty Ten Fifty 2016 Course

If you drive to the event, you'll need to get back to the start to fetch your automobile. Here is the Nifty Ten Fifty Return to Start. We encourage you to ride or BART to the start. If the full Nifty seems a bit daunting, consider the Nifty Lite which is about 42 miles and 7,000'. Still a tough ride, with some difficult climbing. Here is the Nifty Lite 2016 Course.

Do read What is the Nifty Ten Fifty and Nifty Ten Fifty FAQ.

You can also read the New Nifty Ten Fifty Ride Description, a new, fully updated description for 2015 and beyond! I'm very excited about the new course and hope everyone enjoys it. Don't worry, all of the epic destination climbs are still intact!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Nifty Ten Fifty 2015 Results and Banter

Sarah and I dedicated our ride to Paul Stimson, who suffers from ALS. We chose to ride the tandem on this dedication ride, which was hard, but trivial compared to the challenges that Paul has faced, including his impending death. Throughout, Paul has remained a cheerleader to his fellow cyclists, continuing to urge us on. We are proud to know him, and honored to make this dedication to him while he can still enjoy it.
A few tired and happy riders at the finish of the 2015 Nifty Ten Fifty
There is no easy way up Marin Ave, but Paul McKenzie and Sarah Schroer's choice of a tandem bike created an additional challenge. This particular pitch is 26%, not terribly tandem friendly! Photo by Mike "Mr. Crash" Solis
The crew from Fremont showed up again this year with two strong 16 year old Juniors. Second from left is Cynthia, who also completed the ride in 2014 as a 15 year old! Photo by Sarah Schroer
Paul "Mr Nifty" McKenzie and Evan take a break at Peet's Coffee before tackling the final beast of a climb to Vollmer Peak. Photo by Sarah Schroer

The Nifty Ten Fifty 2015 is in the books! Results, write up in progress as time permits. Please send a short write up of your experience and any photos you have to be included. Thanks everyone, for coming out and riding safe! Send to

Below are the various KOM's along the route as they trickle in. There are four. Marin, Thorndale, Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer, and overall moving time on the entire course.


Bill Laddish Crushed Marin, with the top 10 riders coming in under 9 minutes. Janet Martinez takes the Nifty QOM.

1 Bill Laddish 6:51
2 Ben Knipe 7:48
3 Travis Retzer 7:54
4 Graham Hymus 8:01
5 Paul Hainsworth 8:10
6 Hanns Detlefsen 8:12
7 Rob Stiles 8:16
8 max noda 8:19
9 Sebastiaan Huber 8:37
10 Bill Brier 8:42
11 Derald Sue 8:50
12 Eric Bustos 8:50
13 Michael Conway 8:57
14 Douglas Samp 9:06
15 Jerry Wickham 9:13
16 Eric Chodoroff 9:22
17 Barry Schwarz 9:38
18 Darryl L 9:43
19 Vano -- 9:45
20 Daniel Karpelevitch 9:45
21 Ramon P 9:51
22 Paul McKenzie 9:51
23 Dan Leaverton 9:52
24 Sarah Schroer 9:52*
25 West Kurihara 9:56
26 Mike 'Mr. Crash' Solis 10:08
27 Bryan Davis 10:17
28 david alter 10:19
29 Mark Ward 10:25
31 Janet Gardner 10:30**
32 Joseph Dinh 10:31
33 Sae Stunna' Mark 10:32
34 Mark Slavonia 10:33
35 Edgar Carvajal 10:45
36 Dan Glomstad 10:53
37 Wilson Tai 10:54
38 Jeffrey Sacramento 11:00
39 bernard demai 11:14
40 Bruce Gardner 11:27
41 Jon Meals 11:37
42 Tara Kurihara 11:48
43 m koved 12:17
44 Sindy Cho 12:34
45 Cyndi Wong 12:38
46 Dmitry Livdan 12:52
47 Mark Elgood 12:57
48 chris kovacs 14:12
49 Steve winter 15:09
50 Linda Poeng 15:24
51 ej milhausen 16:07
52 Bruce Burkhalter 17:10
53 Brett Seyler 17:19
54 Jim Ausmus 19:12
55 rondom domingo 22:07

* First Woman (tandem bicycle)
** Official first woman (single bicycle)

Next up, Throndale, a new Nifty climb for 2015:

Ben Knipe and Bill Laddish had identical times for the KOM! Janet Gardner is again the QOM!

1 Ben Knipe 8:27
2 Bill Laddish 8:27
3 Travis Retzer 8:52
4 Paul Hainsworth 9:01
5 Michael Conway 9:07
6 Sebastiaan Huber 9:08
7 Graham Hymus 9:42
8 Jon Meals 9:47
9 Rick Crawford 9:50
10 max noda 9:57
11 Rob Stiles 10:08
12 Derald Sue 10:22
12 Barry Schwarz 10:31
14 Eric Bustos 10:31
15 Eric Chodoroff 10:35
16 Mike 'Mr. Crash' Solis 10:45
17 Darryl L 10:46
18 Douglas Samp 11:09
19 Janet Gardner 11:18*
20 Bruce Gardner 11:31
21 Sarah Schroer 11:37
22 Bill Brier 11:44
23 Paul McKenzie 11:45
24 West Kurihara 11:46
25 Daniel Karpelevitch 11:48
26 Edgar Carvajal 12:18
27 david alter 12:25
28 bernard demai 12:29
29 Dan Leaverton 12:31
30 Dan Glomstad 12:33
31 Bryan Davis 12:37
32 Sae Stunna' Mark 13:25
33 Joseph Dinh 14:03
34 Tara Kurihara 14:33
35 Dmitry Livdan 15:09
36 Jeffrey Sacramento 15:14
37 m koved 16:06
38 Andy M 16:11
39 Jerry Wickham 16:18
40 Bruce Burkhalter 18:05
41 Show-Pei Ho 18:10
42 Brett Seyler 18:41
44 ej milhausen 26:35:00
* First Woman


Looks like the crowd thinned out a bit! Bill Laddish shows good endurance by still riding strong on the last climb of the day!

1 Bill Laddish 24:08:00
2 Ben Knipe 24:21:00
2 max noda 25:04:00
3 Hanns Detlefsen 26:10:00
4 Rob Stiles 27:44:00
5 Sebastiaan Huber 27:51:00
6 Eric Chodoroff 27:52:00
7 Eric Bustos 29:47:00
8 Derald Sue 29:48:00
9 Douglas Samp 30:14:00
10 Mike 'Mr. Crash' Solis 32:25:00
11 Graham Hymus 32:37:00
12 Paul Hainsworth 34:38:00
13 Sarah Schroer 35:00:00*
14 Paul McKenzie 35:01:00
15 Daniel Karpelevitch 35:34:00
16 Bill Brier 35:49:00
17 Kenny Leduc 36:08:00
18 Jerry Wickham 36:11:00
19 bernard demai 37:37:00
20 Andy M 37:45:00
21 West Kurihara 37:48:00
22 Darryl L 37:54:00
23 david alter 38:25:00
24 Tara Kurihara 42:42:00
25 Bryan Davis 42:55:00
26 Mark Elgood 47:01:00
27 Show-Pei Ho 47:55:00
28 Mark Ward 49:26:00
29 ej milhausen 52:35:00
30 Brett Seyler 55:56:00
31 Bruce Burkhalter 57:42:00

* First woman (tandem bicycle)

I intended to look at overall moving time on the entire course for the overall champ, but so few people got a good file on the entire course, that it didn't work out. Instead, let's look at Marin, Thorndale and Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer, cumulative time. Since the final climb is much longer than the others it obviously influences the results to a greater degree, so this shows overall endurance.

1 Bill Laddish 39:26:00
2 Hanns Detlefsen 42:49:00
3 max noda 43:29:00
4 Ben Knipe 44:30:00
5 Sebastiaan Huber 45:36:00
6 Rob Stiles 46:08:00
7 Eric Chodoroff 47:49:00
8 Derald Sue 49:00:00
9 Eric Bustos 49:08:00
10 Graham Hymus 50:20:00
11 Douglas Samp 50:29:00
12 Paul Hainsworth 51:49:00
13 Mike 'Mr. Crash' Solis 53:18:00
14 Bill Brier 56:15:00
15 Sarah Schroer 56:29:00*
16 Paul McKenzie 56:37:00
17 Daniel Karpelevitch 57:07:00
18 Darryl L 58:23:00
19 West Kurihara 59:30:00
20 Mark Elgood 59:58:00
21 david alter 61:09:00
22 bernard demai 61:20:00
23 Jerry Wickham 61:42:00
24 Bryan Davis 65:49:00
25 Show-Pei Ho 66:05:00
26 Andy M 66:38:00
27 Tara Kurihara 69:03:00
28 Mark Ward 86:27:00
29 Brett Seyler 91:56:00
30 Bruce Burkhalter 92:57:00
31 ej milhausen 95:17:00

* First woman (mixed tandem bicycle)