Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles Racing kicks off 2014 with a California training camp.

2014 brings on many exciting changes for the Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles Racing Team. 

The unforgiving East Coast weather, has sent many Tri-State riders West, for warmer climates and clear roads. For our first post of 2014 we check in with Lucia Deng, Captain of our NYC  Based Women’s Team, for a first hand look, at what riders are doing to get them selves in racing form for spring!

By February, I had lost track of how many hours I’d logged on the indoor trainer and which alphabetical snowstorm name we were up to – Pax, I think? Northeast winter race training is always a challenge, but you know it’s especially bad when you start having to cancel indoor team training sessions due to weather. The only possible remedy: warm weather training camp!

After some flight cancellations, courtesy of yet another winter storm, I finally arrived in Los Angeles for Part I of my West Coast adventure.  Staying in Marina del Rey, I was able to enjoy a few days of riding in the Malibu canyons with some fellow NYC racers.  Malibu offers some fantastic long, but gradual climbing not far from the coastline.  Rides typically start and end along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway or PCH, and wind their way up and over the Malibu ridges, netting you about 2000ft of elevation gain per pass.  One of my favorite things about riding in LA is the view of the ocean and the feel of the cool Pacific breeze, which propels me as I slowly pedal up the quiet canyon roads.

(above: 90 mile route including the Latigo Canyon and Yerba Buena climbs)

(above: 90 mile route including the Latigo Canyon and Yerba Buena climbs)

Popular routes not to be missed in the LA area: Latigo Canyon, Yerba Buena, Piuma, Topanga/Old Topanga, Mollholland Hwy, and for an easy recovery day, Mandeville Canyon.

(left: Cola stop atop Latigo Canyon Rd)

(left: Cola stop atop Latigo Canyon Rd)

My second favorite thing about LA is the food – the abundance of fresh and locally sourced options.  Oh, and the miles of beaches along Santa Monica and vibrant shops and restaurants on Abbot Kinney Blvd are certainly among the highlights as well.

This year, Part II of my trip was a self-supported Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles Racing Women’s Team camp. Our teammate, Shane, grew up in Ventura County, which offers acres of citrus and strawberry fields, miles of beaches, and many strategically located coffee and dessert shops.  Shane’s parents are huge bike racing fans and have hosted several professional squads over the years, such as Jelly Belly, Vanderkitten and TWENTY16 Pro Cycling.  Along with their usual roster of professional bike racers, Shane’s family graciously offered to host us for a week in their ranch.

(left: Bikes travel with us in the back of a truck to a local taco joint)

(left: Bikes travel with us in the back of a truck to a local taco joint)

Our rides in Ventura ranged from easy breezy out and backs along the coast between Ventura and Santa Barbara with cupcakes and coffee stops, to some seriously steep climbs, like Sulphur Mountain with dirt sections thrown in.

Of all the rides we did, one of our most satisfying was the ascent up Gibraltar.  This 6 mile climb averages at over 8% grade with several sections exceeding 10%.  As if that weren’t enough, because you are exposed to the sun for the entire climb, the endless switchbacks and gradient felt even more unrelenting.  At the top, however, we were rewarded with magnificent views of the continuous inland mountain ridges, and the sweeping canyons down to the coast.  Definitely worth the effort.  The rather rough pavement, narrow and windy road also made for good bike handling and hand strength practice during our descent!

(above: Top of Gibraltar)

(above: Top of Gibraltar)

(left: Taking in the fabulous views of Los Padres National Forest behind us)

(left: Taking in the fabulous views of Los Padres National Forest behind us)

And of course, no training camp is complete without good rest and relaxation.  Here’s one of the many gorgeous views in Ventura: watching the sunrise over the lemon and avocado trees at the ranch.

RSG Relax

Rejuvenated from our trip, we’re ready to attack our first races of the season, which are just around the corner!  And for all of our sakes, we’re hoping some of that mild California weather follows us back east.  Here’s to a fun and safe season of riding and racing in 2014!

2013 Continues to be a great year for Rockstar!

Big congrats for a big result by our newest teammate, Madeleine, who earned 4th GC in a super strong W4 Field at this weekend’s Giro del Cielo. After putting out a blistering TT (for 2nd), Madeleine followed through with solid Crit and RR performances.

It was also great to see a strong team showing with Meredith, Susan, Emily, Gina and Lucia D also racing this weekend and earning several top 10 stage finishes! Congrats to all!

1045177_589497324428090_947136486_n

Tour de Syracuse Recap, CRCA Recap, and Rockstar welcomes a New York State Champion!

The Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles team would like to congratulate Lucia Deng, our 2013 New York State Road Champion for the Women’s Cat 4 field!

The results didn’t stop there with the Women’s team taking home all the hardware.

RSGB1

 

Gina Rocco, took Silver for the State Championship Road Race in the Women’s Cat 4. Gina and Lucia also took 1-2 in the overall Omnium. Meredith Uli won the silver medal in the Women’s Cat 3 New York State Championship road race. Way to go ladies!

RSGB2

Back at home, Emily and Luci scooped up 5th and 7th at the CRCA W Open race. AMAZING showing by all this past weekend!

Race Report: Fall ’12 Cyclocross Update

Cheshire Cross, Cheshire, CT – 11/19/2012 (from Christian Edstrom):

With morning temperatures in the 30s, it’s the time of year when cyclists start eyeing the deeper recesses of the closet to find that winter gear.  In an attempt to keep the legs warm and enjoy the receding days of autumn, Darren McNeill and I headed up to Cheshire to contest the 4s race at Cheshire Cross, the 4th round of the Connecticut Series of CX.  Joe Tramontano was flying the Signature Cycles/Rockstar Games flag in the 1-3s.

The CX course at Cheshire Park is a genuine woodland adventure.  The start is a grass dragstrip with a quick right-hand u-turn and then another grass section before heading into the woods and a short log-stair run-up.  After the run-up, the course descends into a mile-long section of tortuous roller-coaster single-track, which ends with a short bridge and an 80 meter climb and gentle descent onto the front of the course.  The front winds around the tennis courts, bbq area and baseball fields, providing ample opportunity for spectators to offer their encouragement or condolences.

Darren and I managed a mid-pack line up, and got off pretty well, avoiding any drama in the 180-degree pileup-to-be at the end of the first start.  About 3/4s of a mile in, I overcooked an off-camber single-track downhill and took a digger, letting a few riders by.  Back on the bike, we battled for position with a group of 5 riders for the first couple of laps, until Darren closed the gap on “the Climb” and passed me, adding some in-race heckling for encouragement.  Laps three and four were the usual cyclocross joy – “Oh, god this hurts” and “Oh no, last lap already?” – combined with some close racing on the more open sections of the course.

After crossing the finish and letting the heart rates subside, we ended the day cheering for Joe and relaxing on the tailgate of the car, savoring the last warming rays of the sun and the gentle burn of the embrocation.  - C.E.

BUBBLE CX, Bubbling Springs Park, West Milford, NJ – 11/4/2012:

Lucia M, Lucia D, Kristine and Luci headed out to West Milford, NJ for Bubble Cross.  We had a really great time racing together and Luci even picked up a podium spot – #2 in the Women’s Cat 4 field. An album capturing the ladies racing is on FB, but here is a group photo:

A successful weekend, and a successful photobomb by Tara.

Grand Opening RESCHEDULED!

Due to the approach of another storm that is expected to make landfall in the middle of this week, Signature Cycles has RESCHEDULED the Grand Opening of the relocated Greenwich Studio!

We are pushing back the date one week, to Thursday, November 15th, 2012 from 5:00-8:00PM.

The occasion will be all the same as planned, however, with over $10,000 worth of prizes being raffled, including a Lightweight wheelset and Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 group, as well as founders, CEOs, and representatives from our manufacturers and other companies within the cycling industry in attendance. Click here to learn more.

It will be a night to remember, and we hope to see you there. Please give us a call at 212-706-0025 (NYC) or 203-485-0500 (Greenwich) if you’d like any more details or information.

Help Wanted!

Hi All,

As some of you may have heard, Grant has recently announced his imminent departure from Signature Cycles this coming January, as he moves south to Nashville, Tennessee to take over management of a high-end vintage car restoration and fabrication shop called the Greening Auto Company (www.greeningautocompany.com). Of course, we’re very excited for him, but his absence will be felt immediately.

From Paul Levine, Signature’s Founder and CEO:

Grant is starting a new chapter in his life and moving south to run a custom car shop. Grant is my first employee and has been with me every step of the way from working in my garage to becoming the top custom bicycle salesperson in the world. Grant will be missed, both personally and professionally.”

On that note, Paul is wasting no time in beginning the grueling process of combing through the inevitable flood of well-qualified applicants for the new position that will open up, as Blake steps into Grant’s role as head fitter, and Caffery steps away from internal operations and begins to fit and sell customers their dream bikes.

The following ad will appear in a few places, and we wanted to pass it along to our more immediate following to help get the word out:

 

Signature Cycles in Manhattan, NY provides a professional alternative to the traditional bike shop experience. We are seeking a multi talented professional Sales/Fitter to challenge us and make us better.  This is a perfect career opportunity for the right person who wants to create exceptional customer experiences.

Qualified applicants must:

  • Have minimum 3 years experience successfully fitting and selling premium products
  • Have extensive knowledge in road and triathlon equipment
  • Possess superior organizational skills
  • Use a to-do list to achieve excellence
  • Have mechanical aptitude
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrate effective communication
  • Love making dreams come true for our clients

Competitive wage and benefits based on experience, ability and negotiating skills.

Email resumes or inquires to: signaturecycles@gmail.com, or call 845-978-6933

Race Report: Weekend of 10/13-10/14

Weekend Results -

Putnam Cyclosportiff, Putnam, NY, 10/14 (from Mikael H):

What a course! This was one of the hardest 67mi rides I have ever done, and with my Suunto HRM telling me I needed 60hrs to fully recover from this epic event! It was literally the most hills I have ever ridden in one ride, with inclines crossing 10% and even hitting 15% several times!

Continue reading

Race Report: Bassman Fall Duathlon, 10/7

Weekend Results

Bassman Fall Duathlon, Bass River State Park, Tuckerton, NJ, 10/7 (from Mikael Hanson):

My last dualthon of the year was also my longest. The forecast for Sunday had looked awful for much of the week, so the crowds were a bit small, but racers had 3 distances to choose from: Sprint, Olympic, or Half Ironman. I chose the Olympic, which had a 4mi-29mi-4mi run/bike/run format. The weather was cool and damp with some light rain on and off throughout the morning, but that was perfect for me as I love cool temps! I hung with the front 3 guys during the first run and ran well within myself as I really wanted to fly on the bike. Four of us came into T1 together and within 1mi of the bike course I was all alone and cruising at about 27mph! I managed the fastest bike split of the day, averaging about 25mph for the 29 miles and felt I could have gone even faster! With no one in sight, I cruised through the second run at a surprisingly fast pace (mile splits of 6:40, 6:30, 6:25 and closed with 6:15), crossing the line in first with a 6-minute margin of victory! – M.H.

 

Race Report: Tour de Fort Lee

Weekend Results

Tour de Fort Lee Criterium, Fort Lee, NJ, 9/30:

From Mikael H:

 

 

(L to R) Christian, Wilson, Caffery, and Mikael pose before the start of the Men’s Cat 4/5 race (not pictured: Garrett and Drew). Photo by Robert Pytel.

I lined up for both the Masters 45+ race and then joined a few of my Rockstar and NYU riders in the Cat 4 event. The Masters race saw 4 riders shoot off the front from the gun, unfortunately a nice little depression in corner 2 sent 3 of them into the hay bails while the 4th rider made it through and used that little incident as an opportunity to attack (a GS Mengoni rider) and was gone despite average speeds near 26mph from the rest of us! With 5 to go, myself and 3 others got off the front and tried to chase, but we were reeled back in with 2 to go and I finished in the field. 

Continue reading