Sunday, April 2, 2017

Nifty Ten Fifty 2017 Results

This year's Nifty Ten Fifty featured fantastic weather, and a hardcore group of accomplished climbers. We had a bit over 50 riders at the start, with nearly 40 actually completing the entire course, signing waivers, and posting times on the tracked KOM climbs. I mistakenly suggested that only Marin Ave, and Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer would be tracked, though I meant to include Thorndale. As such, you will see Thorndale included in the results below.

Registration was smooth. By this time, most riders had left... except for the really fast guys! Photo by Sarah Schroer
The self guided model seems to be working OK, with most riders grouping up and finding someone who either knows the course, and/or is competent with GPS navigation. Registration opened at 8:30 AM with the official start at 9:30 AM. Most riders left before 9:30, however a core group of perhaps 20 strong riders left at 9:30. Sarah and I were immediately dropped on the tandem by this fast group, and ended up doing most of the ride solo.

Carl Sanders (strong climber but not on Strava), and women's 2017 Nifty Champion Jennie Phillips in foreground at the official start at 9:30 AM. Photo courtesy Bill Bushnell.
We had some leisurely stops at Safeway in Montclair, and ForneƩ in Berkeley near Claremont Hotel. We also had a sidewall blowout, but fortunately were carrying a spare tire, de rigueur on the tandem, so it was an easy fix.

We took it nice and slow, with leisurely stops at Safeway, and FourneƩ Bakery. Photo by Sarah Schroer
Next year I plan to start the ride earlier, and also compress the start window. Registration will open at 8:00 AM, and the official start will be at 8:30 AM. This will hopefully make the ride more social, make navigation easier through better crowd support, and get us out on the road a little earlier for better traffic conditions. Your feedback on this change is welcome.

We had the usual fast guys this year, with a few newcomers. Nifty vets Josh Dapice, Hans Detlefsen, and Bill Laddish, lit up the climbs this year as usual. Also riding very strong were Luiggi Zuniga, Eric Chodoroff, Mike Conway, and Max Noda.

Thorndale, one of the KOM climbs, is a beautiful, steep, emote, bumpy, single lane road with very bad pavement. Pro Tip: Bill Bushnell notes that the fastest line is to stay on the sewer line patch, which is the smoothest way up the climb. Photo courtesy Bill Bushnell.
For the women, I was a bit disappointed at the slim turnout, but we had three very strong women on the ride. National caliber Masters rider, and Nifty Rookie Jennie Phillips was the fastest woman, with close competition from a younger racer, and also Nifty Rookie, Amy Moor. Both women underestimated Marin Ave, and had to do a bit of walking at the top. Both hit their stride on later climbs, however, posting respectable times. Sarah Schroer, the current QOM holder on Marin Ave, was stoking the tandem with me, so is not included in the women's results. But watch out... she'll likely be on her single next year.

This was the second time around for Sarah and me on the tandem. One other couple has competed the Nifty on a tandem, Tom and Cindy Long, many years ago.

Room with a view. Spectacular Bay Views are featured throughout the Nifty Course. Photo by Sarah Schroer

The Lanterne Rouge goes to Del "Chilly D" Miranda, who was last on every climb. But it wasn't easy... He nearly blew his perfect record by finishing just one second slower than Paul Capewell on Marin Ave. Had he beaten Capewell on Marin, he'd still have won the Lanterne Rouge award, but it would have been "tarnished." Disaster averted, he maintained comfortable last place margins on the two subsequent KOM climbs, Thorndale and Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer. When making a bid for Lanterne Rouge, consistency is of paramount importance.

Bill Bushnell showed up on his super fast e-bike, with a new system. He's using a hub motor so he can regenerate to recharge the battery, but this means the motor will get very hot on steep climbs. He had to stop twice on Marin to cool, even with pedaling hard, but after that, the bike seemed to be OK. Bill doesn't post his times on Strava for obvious reasons, but I may be able to get him to share his segments. (ed. note: See Bill's comment below for accuracy and clarification).

Bill Bushnell's e-bike on Vollmer Peak. Photo by Bill Bushnell
A big thank you to everyone who came out and rode in the perfect weather for the 2017 Nifty Ten Fifty. Most riders showed up on time, signed waivers and made donations as suggested, and were well behaved out on the road. Hope to see all of you next year. Results below:

At the finish on Vollmer Peak, with the LandShark tandem and Mt. Diablo in the distance. Photo by Paul Capewell

1 Josh Dapice 7:13
2 Bill Laddish 7:24
3 John Herr 7:37
4 Eric Chodoroff 7:39
5 max noda 7:40
6 Jake Teitelbaum 7:45
7 Michael Conway 8:05
8 Derald Sue 8:12
9 Luiggi Zuniga 8:22
10 Jerry Wickham 8:33
11 Paul Hainsworth 8:35
12 Kevin Vander Ende 8:42
13 Hanns Detlefsen 8:45
14 charlie h 8:50
15 blake kasemeier 8:51
16 Eric House 9:13
17 Dylan Rees 9:19
18 Glenn Smith 9:28
19 gabor torok 9:33
20 Stanley Layson 9:43
21 Tyler Elliott 9:45
22 brandon Collett 9:49
23 Paul Vetter 9:59
24 Finbarr Watterson 10:47
25 Barry Schwarz 10:53
26 Paul McKenzie 10:58 (Tandem)
27 Sarah Schroer 10:58 (Tandem)
28 Jenny Phillips 11:15 (1st Woman)
29 Kemal Abuhan 11:44
30 raviv moore 11:53
31 Amy Moor 11:55 (2nd Woman)
32 Steven Payne 12:26
33 Mark Ward 12:34
34 Steve Nelson 12:44
35 Todd Nelson 13:34
36 Mark Elgood 14:24
37 Paul Capewell 15:27
38 Chilly D Miranda 15:28
1 Hanns Detlefsen 7:57
2 Josh Dapice 8:06
3 Bill Laddish 8:48
4 Eric Chodoroff 9:01
5 Luiggi Zuniga 9:06
6 Michael Conway 9:29
7 max noda 9:47
8 Derald Sue 9:59
9 John Herr 10:09
10 Paul Hainsworth 10:15
11 Jake Teitelbaum 10:20
12 Kevin Vander Ende 10:23
13 charlie h 10:59
14 blake kasemeier 11:01
15 Glenn Smith 11:11
16 Eric House 11:17
17 Finbarr Watterson 11:36
18 Stanley Layson 11:39
19 Jennie Phillips 11:59 (1st Woman)
20 Barry Schwarz 12:07
21 Dylan Rees 12:17
22 Amy Moor 12:19 (2nd Woman)
23 gabor torok 12:38
24 Paul Vetter 13:06
25 raviv moore 13:42
26 Sarah Schroer 13:43 (Tandem)
27 Paul McKenzie 13:53 (Tandem)
28 Tyler Elliott 13:57
29 Kemal Abuhan 15:07
30 Jerry Wickham 15:29
31 Steven Payne 17:39
32 Steve Nelson 19:07
33 Todd Nelson 19:11
34 Mark Ward 19:14
35 Mark Elgood 19:18
36 Paul Capewell 19:20
37 Chilly D Miranda 19:34
1 Eric Chodoroff 23:39
2 Hanns Detlefsen 23:48
3 Josh Dapice 23:52
4 Michael Conway 25:29:00
5 Bill Laddish 25:31:00
6 Luiggi Zuniga 26:04:00
7 max noda 26:43:00
8 Dylan Rees 26:56:00
9 charlie h 27:30:00
10 Jerry Wickham 27:55:00
11 Jake Teitelbaum 28:15:00
12 Derald Sue 28:34:00
13 Kevin Vander Ende 29:22:00
14 John Herr 29:32:00
15 Paul Hainsworth 30:08:00
16 Glenn Smith 30:19:00
17 Eric House 30:56:00
18 blake kasemeier 31:11:00
19 Jennie Phillips 32:05:00 (1st Woman)
20 Barry Schwarz 32:20:00
21 Finbarr Watterson 32:35:00
22 Stanley Layson 33:15:00
23 gabor torok 33:21:00
24 Paul Vetter 33:25:00
25 Tyler Elliott 34:44:00
26 Kemal Abuhan 36:10:00
27 Amy Moor 36:22:00 (2nd Woman)
28 raviv moore 36:37:00
29 Sarah Schroer 38:16:00 (Tandem)
30 Paul McKenzie 38:23:00 (Tandem)
31 Brandon Colett 39:24:00
32 Steve Nelson 40:00:00
33 Mark Elgood 40:06:00
34 Todd Nelson 40:29:00
35 Steven Payne 47:26:00
36 Mark Ward 49:25:00
37 Paul Capewell 49:34:00
38 Chilly D Miranda 54:45:00


  1. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for organizing this year's event and for arranging the excellent weather.

    My objective this year was to complete the course on the bike. It's a tough test for a hub-motor'ed e-bike with a legal power limit (750 watts at the wheel). I was faster on the climbs in 2015 with a through-the-gears system.

    Although I had a couple of extra cooling aids in/on the motor (ferro-fluid and heatsinks), I had to stop a number of times to allow it to cool: four times on Marin, once on Lomas Cantadas, and several more times at various locations along the course. Average motor temperature was 83C, and for 55 minutes of running time the motor interior was >100C, which reduces overall efficiency.

    The hub motor drive system has some distinct advantages in spite of its unsuitability for a Nifty-like course: (1) quieter than a geared motor, (2) simpler drivetrain--fewer critical parts to fail, (3) more efficient than a geared motor provided the terrain is not extreme (e.g. grades <10%) and provided regeneration is employed efficiently, and (4) motor (regenerative) braking solves a long-time problem I've had overheating my friction brakes, both rim and disk, leading to blown off tires, rapid disk brake pad wear, or busted spokes (caused by the howling of an overheated disk brake system).

    My Strava activity uploaded as "E-Bike Ride":

    Strava activity uploaded as "Ride" (but with suppressed leaderboards):

  2. Bill, Thanks for the comments and clarifications, and the sharing of the Strava file. Seems like the hub motor is overall a far superior system, as long as the climbing is not severe. Based on your comments, it would seem a hub motor with a 2 speed internal system would be a good idea, but not sure there is a big enough market for that, and it would likely be very expensive.

  3. Crystalyte used to sell a direct-drive hub motor with two sets of windings, one for speed, the other for torque, or so it was marketed. Assuming one uses a capable controller the most important aspect is the copper fill, so the unused set of windings is just dead-weight.

    If I want to climb Marin more efficiently with a DD hub I've got a couple of choices: (1) get a bigger motor, or (2) lace the same motor into a smaller wheel. (1) means giving up a rear cluster and going with a single speed, and (2) changes the bike's geometry and handling more than I'd like.

    A third option is to run two separate systems, a through-the-gears (TTG) for the steep terrain and a DD hub for the rest. But, that adds complexity and weight. My bike already has too much stuff on it.

    As for "far superior", I'm not sure I'd go that far. Although hub motors are still popular in commercial e-bikes, TTG systems are gaining popularity, esp. those using OEM drive systems by Shimano and Bosch where high torque at low-speed is desirable.

    To get an idea where the market is going, take a look at the offerings at one of the larger Bay Area e-bike dealers:

    Although I admit to a small amount of "novelty bias" as I explore the limits and capabilities of a DD hub system, I am for the moment happier on balance with the DD hub.

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