The Rapid Wheelmen is a bicycle club based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Club strives to promote fun, safe cycling for all through rides, races, tours, and advocacy.

We welcome riders of all ages and offer rides for all levels - from beginners to experienced cyclists. If you enjoy cycling, want to develop good riding skills, or are looking for a fun and healthy group activity, then become a member today!

Rides & Events


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Time Trial Results

Results 2019-08-12

We're getting some good end of season action, and some weather, out in Ada as we begin to wrap up out time trial season. Ahh- seems just like yesterday Spring was in the air. But here we are almost over. The amazing fact is that we have not had ONE time trial this year canceled by bad weather. (Hope I didn't jinx anything - yikes!)

The usual suspects came to compete. One event of note was the Haw family reunion. With both Marcus and his wife Helle doing a 2 person ride, they came especially out because both sons were in town, and Marcus told me it had to be a family affair that they did not want to miss. Recent memory will serve that younger son Jason held the course Junior Men's record for some time until Nick McKey stole it from him recently. Good to have him back, as he took top honor in the Merckx class. His older brother, Sebastian, has been riding a fair amount in Italy, of all places, and took medalist honors in the Men's class. The parents and boys especially enjoyed having the offspring pass the oldsters out on the course. Now that's what I call a family reunion.

The points contest is heating up in the Women's class, just like I predicted it might. Tarra DaPrato did well enough to bite into Jill Martinek's lead, but is still 2 points shy of a tie. If they both came out next week, it would be a close contest to the wire. Alas though, it will not be as Tarra said she'll be not able to make it next week, which gives Jill a likely commanding lead for 1st place and the $300 cash first prize. However, Heather Wiersma has an outside chance then in taking 2nd place, but she'll need 5 points to take 2nd place outright. A tall order, but possible, depending upon how many other women riders show the final week for the points contest next week.

The Men's point contest is as predictable as I thought, with the order of Ed Gilde holding 1st, Shane Wiersma holding 2nd, and Brad Leedy in 3rd. All with about 6 point leads on each other. Since its also the usual finishing order for those three, not much is likely to change if they all show up. Someone would have to have a mishap of some sorts. (Hope I didn't jinx anything - yikes! - Again!) In the case of the aforementioned mishap, actually Jeff Petersen has an outside chance of taking a top 3 spot. That's action worth watching!

And I have VERY exciting news about the Merckx class. Yours truly actually obtained enough points to take 3rd place! But I have the same problem that Tarra DaPrato has in that I cannot ride next week because of my time trial duties. So I'm at the mercy of the riders just behind me showing up or not. Jack Wright, Mr. Consistent, is doing what he needs to stay in 1st, and I think Brent Gaines will still keep 2nd, even with an absence.

Remember that next week, August 19th, is the last night for the points contest. On our last night, August 26th, riders may still make record attempts if they like.

The other news is that we WILL be having a post season "party" on August 26th right after the time trials are over. Any time trial rider or volunteer is welcome to attend, and the cost for food and beverages is nothing. Yes - FREE! You will not want to miss the final hoo-ha celebration as we award various prizes and kick another season into the sunset. I'll have more details as soon as I make the final arrangements. 

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Dave Durkee
Time Trials Coordinator

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Results 2019-08-05

Here are the results from Monday's Time Trials. Let us know if there are any discrepancies.  The points contest will be updated later.

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Results 2019-07-29

Although we had ominous clouds and a few showers prior to the start of TT tonight, we had 22 riders show up to enjoy what turned out to be splendid racing conditions.

Thanks to all who came out to race tonight.  As always, Dave will update the points competition when he returns (hopefully, next week?) 

See you all then.

 

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Results 2019-07-22

Here are Monday's results for the Time Trial - sorry for the delay. It's summer...vacation time :-)

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Results 2019-07-15

Dear Vacationers,

In case you missed the spectacular weather conditions last night, below are the results of the time trials. No juniors this week! They must be out wave boarding at the beach, as near as I can figure. Only two women, but Kim Westdorp took the honors, even after arriving at the line at the last minute. What timing! In the spirit of "arrive just barely in time" decorum, Cal Hekman made his return to competitive cycling, and actually beat his predicted time by 3 minutes! That's what a near-rolling start can do for you. However, we recommend that you arrive about 3 minutes before your time, so you don't set the crew into a panic looking for you at the last minute via Amber Alerts, texts, state-wide-APBs, National Emergency Defense Network radio tones, etc.

One person who always has the knowledge, habits, and ability is Tom Burke. Arrives early, works on his bike, stretches, warms up, notes wind direction and temperature, rides a relatively high cadence of 100 rpm, aerodynamically tucked, motions only from the hip down, watches his power meter, sets goals, meters his effort, finishes strong, then a cool down ride. Even if you adopted just some of these habits, you'll be a better rider. A couple of weeks ago John Crankshaw asked me why I believed warmer weather produced faster times. I replied what almost all private pilots know well, that warmer air is less dense and easier to traverse. But as I was discussing with Tom last night, there's a limit to higher temperatures on the body, where it can become too hot to perform well physiologically. The sweet spot? Tom states about 80 degrees (he's studied it). Tom also added that altitude is the same principle. Higher altitudes have thinner air, easier to go faster, but again there's a limit. Too high an altitude and you'll suffer oxygen deprivation, decreasing performance. The sweet spot? About 5,000 - 6,000 feet. So 80 degrees at 5,000 feet. What a combo. Think about Eddy Merckx's 1972 Hour Record in Mexico City at 7,500 feet. Think Francesco Moser in 1984 at the same venue. Think about the Olympic Velodrome in Colorado Springs at 6,000 feet. Go to either of those places for your PR attempts.

Speaking of Tom Burke, he bested his next closest competitor by about 7 minutes. He went off last, and just as we predicted, he came in first. Quite an accomplishment when you can lap the whole field.

The points contest is getting very interesting. We're seeing steadier, usually slower, riders rising to the top, as the real speedsters continue their beach vacations. Only 6 more week to go, and it will be all over. Who will win the $$$$$$$$$?

I would be remiss if I did not mention that next week, July 22, is ADOPT A ROAD CLEANUP. Please plan an staying and help us beautify Grand River Avenue. Treats afterwards!  

Dave Durkee
Time Trials Coordinator
Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club

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Events and Group Rides

Group Ride Paces:

Easy: 9-11mph, Casual: 11-13mph, Moderate: 13-15mph, Good: 15-17mph, Fast: 17-19mph, Fast+: 19+mph

For more info about our club rides, check out the club ride page.