Saturday, March 30, 2019

Nifty Ten Fifty 2019 Results and Ride Report

Some of the fast boyz at the top of Elverton, including Nifty Champ Eric Chodoroff, third from left in yellow jersey/blue shorts. Photo courtesy Jim Frink.

Great day on the Nifty Ten Fifty today! A small crowd, only about 20 riders, the smallest field probably since the first few editions beginning 18 years ago. This was entirely my fault — I didn't schedule the ride until a week before, and I changed the date to the end of March vs. the normal, always, forever, never changing, scheduling for the first weekend in April. A number of riders who would normally participate, were racing at Chico Stage Race this weekend.

A seemingly exuberant Jay Wood Tops Marin! Photo courtesy Charlie Huizenga

There were several road closures along the route, but riders were not deterred, all were passable by one method or another.

But with that said, it was a small group, but a very fine group. The smaller group allowed most riders to decide between the front group, or my slower group, bringing up the rear. Both groups made an effort to stay together throughout the ride, regrouping at the top of each climb. And several riders switched between groups along the way.

There was one "official" stop along the way, the Safeway in Montclair. I was pleased to find the front group there, when my group arrived a bit later. In the past, some riders have skipped this social break, in favor of getting to the finish in an overly focused, and less social, manner.

The group takes a break at Safeway in Montclair.
Sarah Schroer at the top of Elverton with great bay views. Jay Wood behind.
We had three "KOM" climbs on the ride as usual, Marin, Thorndale, and Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer. Nifty Vet Eric Chodoroff was able to clinch all three climbs, convincingly, other than the last one. Turns out Chodoroff overcooked a muddy, wet corner on the steep hiking path up to Vollmer. He took a tumble, and when his cohorts, at that time minutes behind him, came along, they apparently stopped to help rather than take the opportunity to deprive him of his perfect climbing record on the ride.

It would be virtually impossible for most riders to carry too much speed on that uphill corner, but Chodoroff's climbing prowess seemed to work against him here. Also, I think the ride organizer asked all riders to take it easy and be courteous to hikers along the path by keeping the speed down. Just sayin'.

Chodoroff eventually hauled his carcass back on the bike, and finished one second ahead of Dan Pannell, one of the riders who stopped to help. Fabulous camaraderie, gentlemen!

We had only two women on the ride, veteran Sarah Schroer and rookie Ekaterina "Katya" Rakhmatulina. Katya nipped Sarah on the first two climbs, while Sarah was quite a bit quicker on the final push up to Vollmer. Not sure if the 24 year old rookie faded at the end, or whether she had navigation issues, but nonetheless, the KOM awards are based on finishing order/points, and not on time, so Rakhmatulina takes the overall women's win.

A few Nifty Vets, (l to r) 4x participant, and 2nd place woman, Sarah Schroer, 4x Vet Jim Frink, and 18x Vet, Mr. Nifty himself, at the top of Vollmer Peak with Mt. Diablo behind. Photo by Ekaterina Rakhmatulina.
The smaller crowd was in some ways really nice on this 2019 edition, but next year, I will make an effort to schedule the ride earlier, and perhaps return it to the traditional weekend in order that more riders will be able to err... enjoy this sufferfest.

A shout out goes to two veteran riders. First, Jim Frink, who first did the ride in 2008, and came back for two more editions in 2009, and 2011. After an eight year hiatus, Jim returned for this year's edition, his fourth time around the course, and rode very strong. Secondly, to Jay Wood, who claims the Lanterne Rouge award, though he was not last on every climb. At 64, Jay is the same age as Mr. Nifty himself, so I can relate to how difficult this ride is with aging legs. Congrats, Jay!

One final shout out to Gilberto Flores, who, according to his sign-in waiver is 69 years old. Gilberto rode strong all day, and if you look at the age/gender compensated results below, he "won" Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer. Interesting note on the age/gender compensation. The female riders and older riders didn't seem to benefit much from the time adjustment on Marin Ave, early in the game, but seemed to place much higher in the later climbs. It may just be that Marin is a young man's game!

Jay Wood brings up the rear on the brutal Hiller climb, in excess of 20%. Well not exactly the rear, the photographer is actually last!

Results below:

Results for Marin Ave:
1Eric C7:38
2T Peliska8:06
3Matthew Solomon8:47
4Dan Pannell9:33
5Gregory Kennedy10:10
6charlie h10:36
7Jim Frink11:06
8Paul McKenzie11:10
9Ekaterina Rakhmatulina11:48
10Gilberto Flores11:57
11Eduardo R12:19
12Sarah Schroer12:46
13Jay Wood13:08
14Alonso Cruz17:07

Results for Thorndale:
1 Eric C 6:27
2 T Peliska 7:13
3 Paul McKenzie 7:38
4 Matthew Solomon 7:48
5 Dan Pannell 8:09
6 charlie h 8:33
7 Gilberto Flores 8:46
8 Jim Frink 8:56
9 Gregory Kennedy 9:13
10 Jay Wood 10:37
11 Ekaterina Rakhmatulina 10:39
12 Sarah Schroer 10:44
13 Eduardo R 12:49

Results for Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer:
1 Eric C 31:30:00
2 Dan Pannell 31:31:00
3 charlie h 31:42:00
4 Matthew Solomon 31:50:00
5 Jim Frink 32:08:00
6 Gregory Kennedy 34:45:00
7 Gilberto Flores 34:37:00
8 T Peliska 34:43:00
9 Paul McKenzie 36:20:00
10 Sarah Schroer 37:10:00
11 Ekaterina Rakhmatulina 43:18:00
12 Jay Wood 46:40:00

Overall Results, lower points is better. Your placing is your point total. Marin and Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer count double. So a perfect score is 5 points:

1 Eric C 5
2 Dan Pannell 17
3 Matthew Solomon 18
4 charlie h 24
5 T Peliska 26
6 Gregory Kennedy 31
7 Jim Frink 32
8 Paul McKenzie 37
8 Gilberto Flores 37
10 Ekaterina Rakhmatulina 51
11 Sarah Schroer 56
12 Jay Wood 60

Marin Ave. Age/Gender Compensated:

1 Eric C 7:38
2 T Peliska 8:06
3 Matthew Solomon 8:47
4 Dan Pannell 9:27
5 Gregory Kennedy 9:45
6 charlie h 8:54
7 Jim Frink 9:32
8 Paul McKenzie 8:56
9 Ekaterina Rakhmatulina 9:47
10 Gilberto Flores 9:04
11 Sarah Schroer 9:42
12 Jay Wood 10:30

Thorndale Age/Gender Compensated:
1 Paul McKenzie 4:53
2 Gilberto Flores 4:55
3 charlie h 6:01
4 Sarah Schroer 6:12
5 Eric C 6:27
6 Jim Frink 6:36
7 Jay Wood 6:47
8 T Peliska 7:13
9 Ekaterina Rakhmatulina 7:20
10 Matthew Solomon 7:48
11 Dan Pannell 7:59
12 Gregory Kennedy 8:29

Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer Age-Gender compensated:

1 Gilberto Flores 25:57:45
2 charlie h 26:37:41
3 Jim Frink 27:38:05
4 Sarah Schroer 28:14:48
5 Paul McKenzie 29:04:00
6 Dan Pannell 31:12:05
7 Eric C 31:30:00
8 Matthew Solomon 31:50:00
9 Gregory Kennedy 33:21:36
10 T Peliska 34:43:00
11 Ekaterina Rakhmatulina 35:56:20
12 Jay Wood 37:20:00

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Official Nifty Ten Fifty 2019

Pre Flight Notes for Nifty 2019, Saturday, March 30th 8:00 AM:
The 2019 edition of the Nifty Ten Fifty is dedicated to the memory of Lynden McLaughlan, a spirited bike rider who passed recently way before his time. We'll miss you Lynden!
My contact number for text or call: Paul McKenzie 510-409-8873
Shepard Canyon is closed in the eastbound direction, but remains open in the westbound direction. I tried to get through today on my bike and was stopped by a construction worker. He stated that I could not pass on my bike because of heavy equipment doing road repair on the eastbound (uphill) lane. I asked if they were working Saturday, and he said no. In all likelihood, we will be able to pass through, but to be safe, I've reversed the direction of the Snake Rd./Shepard Canyon loop. Thus, we will be going DOWN Shepard Canyon, and UP Snake Rd.
Riders may stick with the old course and take their chances. If they cannot get through, they can simply turn around and backtrack up Snake Rd. That is up to you if you would like to try it. However, the Official Route is below, as I do not want to direct riders on a closed road, and then hear complaints later. So here is the modified 2019 route, for this year only:
Upload this file to your GPS device: Modified 2019 Nifty Ten Fifty Route
Additional road issues:
Elverton is still closed to vehicle traffic due to a slide that happened a couple of years ago. It is passable by bicycle around the barriers without a dismount.
1. We are looking at a cool 48 degrees at start time and highs in mid 60's with sun and perhaps some clouds. Perfect cycling weather! Please do not try to register before 7:30. Give us time and room to get set up.
2. I will report on any road closures or hike a bike sections before the event.
3. The Strava KOM for Thorndale will include ONLY Thorndale Dr. It will NOT include the uphill portions of Thornhill, Sobrante, and Elverton. Other Strava KOM's are Marin Ave, and Claremont all the way to Vollmer Peak.
4. There is a non mandatory $5 donation for the ride. There is also a waiver you must sign. The waiver is MANDATORY. If you do not sign the waiver, you will not be included in the KOM results.
5. There is a tricky turn onto a short bike path to connect to Eastway Dr. at mile 17.9. Don't miss it! It's smaller than a driveway!
6. There is plenty of water, but NO FOOD on the course until Montclair at mile 37. This will be 3 hours for the strongest riders, and closer to 4 hours for mere mortals. Do bring food for 3 hours and some money to purchase supplies. Official stop is Safeway, but there are many other options. Next opportunity for food is Peet's Domingo and FourneƩ Bakery at mile 48.2, just prior to the final, and longest climb of the day. If you find yourself out of calories early on, a short detour at mile 17.8 will get you to Peet's Domingo.
7. Please be courteous to other participants, to pedestrians, and to motorists. You will encounter many hikers on the climb to Vollmer Peak. Please warn hikers of your presence, and pass slowly and carefully.
8. The ride is self guided, and riders may start any time after 7:30 AM, so do upload the course below to your Garmin. I will be riding at 8:00 AM, and if you prefer a guide, and a modest pace, you are welcome to join me.
9. Pavement will be mostly dry, however it is likely there will be some sneaker wet corners that may be very slippery. Please exercise caution on descents, and be especially aware of any wet corners.
10. There is a bathroom at the start, in the park above the parking area. The bathroom will be unlocked, but please prop the door open so it doesn't lock for the next user.
11. There was a minor update made on the Nifty Lite rwgps file. If you are riding this course, make sure you have the version labeled 2018.
12. Be sure to upload the rwgps course to your Garmin. You may also wish to print out a route sheet. You can do this from the link for the gps file. We will NOT have route sheets at the start. You will need to self navigate, or follow someone who knows the course.

The Nifty Ten Fifty will occur on Saturday, March 30, 2019. The Nifty Ten Fifty will again travel the new route that was first run in 2015! Please scroll down for information about the event. Riders will self guide on the new, improved, easier to follow course. Ride begins at 8:00 AM. However, you may register beginning 7:30 AM at Cerrito Vista Park, El Cerrito, and self start when you are ready. Please RSVP on the Official Facebook Event Page. If you have dumped Facebook, well, I don't blame you. Don't worry about the RSVP then ;-) You will find registration across the street from the park in the Civic Theater parking lot.

Do not download the 2014 course. Use the new 2018 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.

Check out this video done by Chris Leavel at Peloton Magazine about the Nifty Ten Fifty.

Here is the 2018 Ride With GPS course, this is the official course, but please note minor change above for 2019 and separate rwgps file. 2018 Nifty Ten Fifty rwgps

There is a $5 non mandatory donation for the ride. All riders must sign a waiver. We will track Strava times on Marin avenue, Thorndale, and Vollmer Peak, the final climb of the day, and the largest elevation gain. Marin Avenue KOM and QOM will track the best climbers with fresh legs on steep terrain. Vollmer KOM and QOM will go the riders with more endurance, those who have paced well over the day.

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. It's also perfectly OK to come out and ride as many climbs as you like, then leave the course and head home. Here is the Nifty Lite 2018 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!