Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jersey Redesign 2018

Attention Penultimates!  We have newly redesigned our jerseys for the 2018 season.  It is a pretty great looking jersey, very bright, and is a typical biking jersey with zippered front and pockets on the back. If you are new to biking this might make a great addition to your biking wardrobe.

Thanks to volunteer efforts we have secured new jersey sponsorship as well.  Our 2018 sponsors are Upward Motion Personal Fitness, Two Wheeled Drive, Salubrio Natural Healthcare, ONeill's, and dso Creative (the fabulous designer).

What?  You too want to be sporting one of these spiffy jerseys for this years Bike MS?  No problem. Jerseys are $50 a piece and can be ordered by following the instructions below.  In order to make the first order of jerseys orders are needed by 6/13/18.
  1. Look at the size charts here.  Measure yourself, measure existing jerseys that fit well, look at the chart, and remeasure.  Onus is on you guys to fit yourself.  (Note there are 3 fits that you can choose - relaxed, racing, or women's).
  2. Email your size and jersey type selection to penultimatesbike@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Who We Are - 2018 Season!

We are The Penultimates – a team of Albuquerque, New Mexico cyclists. Our primary focus is cycling in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s “New Mexico Pedal Los Pueblos” Bike MS, a two-day, 150 mile cycling tour through northern New Mexico. This event raises money for research, education, and support of individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis – including those within our community.  (For a quick primer on MS, check this out). Our team includes several members riding for friends and family with the disease, as well as two cyclists that live and ride with MS.

The Penultimates formed in 2010 with 5 riders, raising over $7500 for the Bike MS150 event. In 2017, we and raised $24,877!  We have had over 60 different riders join us through the years and  have raised over $175,000 since our first year the fight against MS.  We’re reaching out to our families, friends, and the community businesses we actively support to help our fundraising reach the next level.  We are organizing a few fundraisers this year, including our Eight Annual Paired Whisky Dinner hosted by Two Fool's Tavern (the 2017 even is detailed here) and our Third Annual Happy Hour at Matanza sometime in June (last year we raised over $700 drinking beer and eating!).  These events raise money directly for the MS society, but the proceeds go toward your rider totals, so if you think fundraising will be difficult - we make it easy!

From the 2017 start!
Our team has always been about the joy of cycling, the friendship of teammates, and riding or volunteering for a fantastic cause.  We may not finish first, but we will finish, and have a great time doing it!  We start training in earnest in mid June, and we will try organize two rides every weekend to get you ready for the ride depending on interest.  We welcome new riders - either new to this event or new to long distance riding. Every year we pick up new riders that end up riding more than they thought they were capable of - completing from 80 miles to the full 150 miles. Whether you are new to cycling, a grizzled veteran, or just looking to volunteer your time for a good cause, this is the team for you!  Go Domo!

Training Season 2018!

Here is the first draft of the training schedule for the 2018 year. The general plan is that if you ride this long ride schedule plus maybe get a few extra rides in you will be ready for the full 150 mile Bike MS at the end of August.   We will also contemplating doing a short training ride on each Sunday too that will build to ~50 miles by the end of the season, so those that want to ride the short ride can get some team rides in too.  For those of you new to the team, riding is great, but riding with a team is so much more fun!  As always, we will following most of the rides with a team breakfast at O'Neill's (food + beer + Bloody Mary's make recovery so much better). Plus they are a jersey sponsor!
From the ride to Santa Fe!
The tentative schedule (all are on Saturdays unless otherwise noted): All rides will leave from O'Neill's on Central as early as we can (6 am) unless otherwise noted.  Get on the Penultimates distribution so you know all the details about upcoming rides!

Recovery weekend (City Ride of some flavor)
The Ride

Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 Ride by the Numbers

Wow!  What a season 2017 season!  Our 8th year and going stronger than ever.  Lot of training rides, lots of new riders, lots of new friends.  The completion of the ride is always a little bittersweet - the culmination of a long summer of training pays off with some great scenery and great friendships.  The ride is over, but now we can sleep in on the weekend without guilt!

38 - total teammates (5 more than 2016!)
11 - new riders to the Bike MS: Pedal los Pueblos
1 - long lost return riders from years past (Yay Brady) 
22 - riders who have done the ride >2 years
16 - riders who have done the ride >5 years!
Training season:
0 - number of bike free weekends since June 17 (team wide)
24 - number of riders on our largest training ride (Ride to Santa Fe!)
7 - new rookie riders
10 -  Saturday training rides we had this year! (ranging from 14-24 riders)
9 - Sunday training rides (thanks to Ali and John M. for leading!)

 9313- Miles of training (team wide)
At the MS ride:
30 - riders Day 1
28 - riders Day 2
8 - Friends and family volunteers!
1 - Awesome Penultimate rest stop at Puy Cliffs Day 2!
3 - Brand new century riders! (Congrats Robin, Maria,  Rhea)
1 - Crash (yours truly, and was very minor)
22- riders to completed the Century ride Day 1!
19 - riders to make it to Puye Cliffs on Day 2
3790 miles rode a the BikeMS (team wide)
10 - top fundraisers (raised more than $1000 a piece!)
$24,877 (and counting) raised by the Penultimates in 2017! 
>$175,000 raised by the Penultimates in our 8 years of riding

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Paired Scotch Dinner 2017

We are partnering again with Two Fools Tavern in Nob Hill for our 8th annual Paired Scotch dinner.  Take a love of food, a love of scotch, and a fantastic chef to coordinate, and this equals a fantastic fundraiser for the National MS Society.

Tickets are $100, with a portion of ticket sales going to the National MS Society.  This years menu:

Course 1: 
 “Islay Breakfast”, Cured, Smoked Organic Irish Salmon, Spicy Elk Sausage, and whisky Cheddar:  
Whisky Paring: Kilchoman Saniag (Islay)

Course 2: 
Sea Scallops in a Sherry Pan Sauce
Whiskey Paring: Ohishi Sherry whisky (Japan)

Course 3:  
Local Fresh Greens tossed in a Citrus Vinaigrette, Heirloom tomatoes
Whisky Paring: Cocktail “One Fools Redemption” Redepmtion Rye, Benedictine, Cointreau, Mescal 

Course 4: 
Whisky Mint tea Charred Lamb, Moroccan rice pilaf, and steak house Broccoli.   
Whisky Paring: Glenfiddich 15yr Solara (Speyside)

Course 5:
Homemade Peach Cobbler, with a bourbon glace.

 Whiskey Paring: Two Fools 13yr hand selected Knob Creek barrel (Kentucky)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Weekend's Ride: 8/19 & 8/20 - Last training rides!

How are we already at the end?  Could it be that we just spent 10 weekends in a row out logging miles getting ready for the big ride?  Say it ain't so!  That is the secret (at least for me) that training for the BIke MS is a huge part of my summer, and a huge part of why I enjoy this ride so much!

Saturday (courtesy of the awesome Eric and Laura who captained the ride! Write up by Eric)

Seventeen riders set out from O'Neill's just after 6:00am on Saturday morning to tackle the Clockwise City Loop. The peloton included a hardy bunch who had already met at the Tramway and Central Smith's at 5:30am before riding to O'Neill's. We kept everyone together and on course through construction in the Ridgecrest and Rio Bravo areas. We greeted the sunrise as we rode up the South Bosque to our first stop at Tingley Beach. There we had to keep an eye on some suspicious-looking ducks who were a little too interested in our bikes.

Back off ducks!
 As we warded off potential fowl play, we were joined by one more rider. Matt L. arrived, fresh from last week's service as Super SAG Wagon Captain, to bring our strength up to eighteen. Matt had ridden from home and dropped the hammer to catch up.

Team picture!
Refreshed and ready to resume, we continued North join the Bosque fray. The ride North was mostly smooth. Runners and walkers tended to part like the Red Sea for Moses when they heard eighteen of us were coming. (Public service announcement: Remember to stay single file on a busy route like the Bosque. Bunching up and going two-by-two makes it a lot harder to navigate past slower traffic in the right lane without encroaching on opposite traffic in the left lane).

The highlight of the Bosque leg was a surprising potential recruit. A pigeon didn't like us passing it, and it decided to try a little formation flying with us. It did okay for a minute, but couldn't hang with the peloton any longer. The pigeon needs proper training, but we liked its moxie. According too the internet, there's a precedent for cycling birds.
We left to Bosque behind to head for Tramway via Alameda, Guadalupe Trail, and 4th St. The Tramway climb was the main event, and everyone conquered it in good form. A large number of riders tacked on the bonus slog up to the Sandia Peak Tramway station. During the cruise down Tramway, most of the early contingent peeled off for home, while the rest made a stop near Evil Gary's new hacienda for delicious cookies (Thanks Bex!) and a water refill. 

The remainder of the trip South and West saw three flat tires (I suspect pigeon sabotage). Special thanks to Ryan H. for his assistance with all three (including mine). Kudos also go to the homeowner who came out with a floor pump to help with one tire change. 

Flat tires fixed, the peloton headed for O'Neill's for a successful completion of the season's last training ride. Next week is the big one. Two days. 150 miles of riding to end MS. Bring it.

Sunday (writeup courtesy of the awesome John M.)

We started out with just three riders: John M., Rhea, and Ryan E, gathered in the cool, cloudy pre-dawn gloom at O’Neill’s. It was dark, but otherwise very nice weather, staying in the 60s for the first half of the ride.

We headed out the usual way, with a detour to get across Central, but a quiet trip up the diversion channel trail, over to 4th and a short stop at the train station next to the traffic circle. From there, we had a fairly leisurely trip up to Bernalillo, but again witnessed the strange prevalence of skunk carcasses on the road, not so unlike the aftermath of last year’s raccoon uprising on the same road! We saw at least half a dozen dead skunks on that road.

We went past the gas station to our destination of Kaktus Brewing, took a quick picture, and then back to the gas station for a bathroom and refreshment break. 

After our rest, we headed back at a much faster pace! Sadly, we saw a dead hawk on the road. But, we also saw a possible Penultimates first: an entire mattress on the shoulder! We didn’t let that slow us down, and the fine weather and a fast pace convinced us to extend the route by going down the Bosque trail. 

The trail was not too busy, and we kept a pretty consistent pace of about 20 MPH all the way down to I-40. We would have taken the Mountain exit, but construction there forced a detour alongside I-40 that got us to Rio Grande, eventually. From there, we slowed down to apparently hit every light red as we tried to get through Old Town, Martineztown, and Downtown, mostly along Mountain and MLK, eventually hitting UNM. From there, it was a quick spin back to O’Neill’s. 

Ryan, of course, was still fresh, and planned to put in more miles, but my legs were feeling the burn from a challenging flat ride – my favorite kind! 47 miles, total, and a nice end to the training season.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weekend's Rides 8/12 & 8/13 - Adventures ahoy!

So close! At this point, we are all super fit riding machines ready to do the Bike MS.  This is the special training weekend - the Penultimate training weekend!  Only one more week to go!

Saturday:  The high road to Santa Fe!  The best ride of the year in my humble opinion.  A long 60ish mile ride (depending on where you started or where you ended) through gorgeous high desert passing through some gems of New Mexico quirkiness (route here).  The ride ends with epic tacos and other New Mexico specialties and plentiful beer at Santa Fe Brewing, before taking the train south back to ABQ.

We had 24 riders through out the day join us on our adventure!  It was an absolutely stunning day weather wise, with the last remnants of the summer rains of the day before slowly dissipating, providing a deliciously cool ride for most of the day, until the last 15 mile slog of the ride where it finally burned off.

Some riders turned around early and headed home, but the vast majority made it all the way. As usual, we had a wonderful trip, with everyone having a good time and enjoying the beauty of the road, the fun and camaraderie of the team, and the ice cream at rest stop two (which everyone knows is the secret of making the last leg tolerable).

Special thanks to Matt and the Lane kids who drove the SAG vehicle, cheered riders, filled water bottles, took AMAZING photos, and generally an all around great guy!

Sunday: I think we had at least 4 riders head out today.  The normal captain of the Sunday rides Mrs. Snookums took ill over night and missed the ride.  Safe to assume a good time was had!