January 01, 2013

How To Pin Your Flipping Number!

This is the first in an as yet-undetermined-how-many-series on pet-peeves...


This is often put out as an issue for officials - in fact there is a webpage dedicated to it from the Western Pennsylvania Officals! Maybe go look at it and see how you can help those much maligned officials help you!

Let's be honest, though...it's really about aesthetics and looking pro... and bad pinning ain't pro Joe! Examples? ...well, thanks to the blog link above we've got a few and I've pulled a few of my own thru 'diligent research' (I swear I read at least 4 articles on pinning, no lie!) and luck. Let's break 'em down for ya. I look at pinning in two categories: Placement and Pin Technique.

First placement:

The High Hip: Where to start. First, no access to the pocket (hello, how do you put your 'kerchief back?), second the fact that it's no even readable is sorta a gimme...but you get the point.
image from W Penn Officials Page
The Parachute - needs no explanation and is the sort of 'rook-look' that almost guarantees no podium. This isn't an ideal example, but it's pretty good.

image from W Penn Officials Page

The "I Have No Clue":
image from W Penn Officials Page
The Upside Down: You can't really pick on this one..they just need your help, so help 'em!

image from W Penn Officials Page
Now that we've covered the basics of what NOT to do, let's talk about what's right.

Ok, first, crumple that number! Every official says not too (heck USAC has a page on it in the rule book - text is below!), and more and more race directors say not to too...don't want to miss that crucial sponsor placement! To that I say phooey....crumple that number nice and small. Don't fold it, don't leave it as new...CRUMPLE!

To pin it right you're going to need five pins. Fools that say seven obviously need something to occupy their time, but since it's also "PRO" to show up late to the start you don't have time for seven....you barely have time for five..but FIVE is the number*.

*In a pinch you can get away with four...or if you are well versed in pin-ology you can possibly do it in three, but not really b/c you're not that good

Those five pins should be used in the following locations: 1 at each corner and one in the middle of the leading edge - that's it. No creativity needed...

The real ART TO PINNING is how you pin the number aka

The Technique! where the rubber meets the road and the real point of this entire ramble. First, let's review the bad.

1. Using the actual pin holes - come on really?
2. Using the single puncture, or hanging chad style - stick the pin thru the number and once thru the jersey... fun with floppiness is sure to follow!
3. Pinning your jersey pocket closed...you might need that pocket!
4. Over pinning - our friends at the Western Pennsylvania Officials page were kind enough to have an 11-pin example. Unfortunately, they seem to actually LIKE this version...oh the horror b/c this is not pro...
image from W Penn Officials Page
Instead, you want to create a platform that supports the number in an unmoving ode to perfection. Start by figuring out which side the camera is on (simple), then grab a seat and spread the number across your knees with one of the arm taut at your knee cap. Set it on the jersey so it covers about half the side panel (sorry to those sponsors) and rests about 3 inches below the arm pit. I usually start at either the upper corner near the shoulder blade, or the lower corner near the arm pit as it allows you to position the jersey parallel to the side panel stitching (yea, this is where it gets a bit overboard). When inserting the pins..be sure to push thru the number, then into the jersey, then..and this is key...allow a few milimeters between your entry hole and exit hole, that's what keeps the number taut. Then simply re-push it thru the number and clip it. Be sure to pull the number tight and move on to the next...easy!

I want to get this up, so I'll have to come back and add the "CORRECT" photos later...but there ya go!

1N7. Racing numbers.   ( Page 58 in the 2010 USA Cycling Rulebook )
(b) Riders shall place their numbers as prescribed by the officials and in such a way that they are visible when the rider is in a racing position. When shoulder numbers are provided for cyclocross, they are worn on the upper arm to be visible from the front. Hip numbers shall be attached securely at least at the four corners with pins and no accessory or hair may obstruct a clear view of the number (riders with misplaced, obscured or unreadable numbers will not be placed). If shoulder or frame numbers are provided, they too shall be placed as prescribed. Numbers may not be folded, trimmed, crumpled, or otherwise defaced. [Replacement of the numbers at riders' expense if noted before the start, otherwise warning or relegation.]

Happy New Year

One of the things I like about cycling is the time it affords one to think.

Ideas come to me on rides and I occasionally remember them all the way home and write them down, or better yet act on them. More often then not they are spur-of-the moment pearls of wisdom and insight that i promptly forget when the next hill or interval comes along. 

Such was the case on Saturday. I hadn't been on my bike much at all since the last BASP at Coyote Point December 9th, and District CX was coming up on Sunday so I thought a little blow out might help, and it did. During the ride I had one of those epiphanies...a thought that was SURE to revolutionize my training, my coaching, my life, the sport of cycling, or something equally impressive...but I forgot it and can't seem to pull it back. 

I hope it comes back...it was pretty good. I'm kinda the same about memories in general. I simply forget, so I wanted to take a quick look back at 2012 before it gets lost. Let's break it into simple categories: 

Mitch Going Fast!
Race Team - Smaller and leaner this year....Sterling Cross p/b Fusion IO was still in all a success by the numbers. We had ONE elite rider - Mitch Trux...but he pulled a bunch of podiums and was constantly in the top 10, usually the top 7! Our other standout cateogry? Single Speed A's! We pulled a podium at almost every race we did this year. Either myself of Patrick Kitto...weird that we couldn't seem to put it together at the same events...had solid rides at all the BASP's and a host of other events in and around NorCal including:
  • WIN! BASP #1 Candlestick Park - Patrick Kitto
  • 2nd BASP #4 Candlestick Trippel - Matt McNamara
  • 2nd BASP #5 Coyote Point - Patrick Kitto
  • 3rd BASP #3 Sierra Point Night Race - Matt McNamara
  • 3rd Santa Rosa Cup #3 - Patrick Kitto
  • 5th NCNCA District Championships - Patrick Kitto
  • 5th Surf City #1 Aptos HS - Matt McNamara
  • 6th NCNCA District Championships - Matt McNamara
I think that's about all the races we entered except for 2 mechanicals and a terrible mud race at Manzanita...not bad. Next year....we're going bigger badder and faster!

A Jeff Namba Photo

Athletes - This year I had the pleasure of working with an Elite Team in HONG KONG...Team Direct Asia! They were awesome to work with and the topped it off by taking the OVERALL GC and TEAM GC at Tour De Bintan..a big race in SE Asia. I also had the pleasure of working with some juniors - two talented sets:
  • USAC Regional Development Camp - This is my third year working with Larry Nolan and the other coaching stalwarts at the camp, but this year we did it a little different..we divided into teams and got to work with our riders individually the whole week - AWESOME! 
USAC Campers

  • Matadors HS MTB Team - I kinda lucked into this one, but it was time well spent as our small 3 rider team finished 16th in the team overall standings for Division 2 in NorCal...a pretty huge accomplishment that was only possible with a true team effort by each rider! 
Matador Racing 2012
My other athletes were also consistently strong and impressive. There are too many to go rider by rider, but suffice it to say that we won some races, reached some new personal bests and I don't think anyone took a major digger this year, which is huge in my world From KMH killing Du's all year to Adam Carr racing the Tour of Vietnam (UCI 2.2) and Joe Carpenter slogging off several top rides in 8+ hour MTB races! Can't wait to jump deep into 2013 and see what turns up...

Personal - This year started off slowly with almost no riding from January til May..then I dialed up a solid summer and hit some of my best power numbers EVER, including new PR's on 5, 20, and 60 minute efforts. That fitness carried me thru a gradual decline in the fall that culminated with almost NO riding the past 6 weeks...

SO - HERE'S TO A BIGGER AND BETTER 2013...so Happy New Year to all...(yea, done with 1:20 left in 2012, I'll post pics to this shortly