December 13, 2018

Tour de Ranch GranFondo 2013

17th Annual Tour de Ranch GranFondo March 23rd, 2013


Tour de Ranch 2013 hosted by Hammer Down Multisport

2013 Tour de Ranch will be held RAIN or SHINE!! It will be a great day of riding…we promise!

Hammer Down Multisport is proud to present the 17th Annual Tour de Ranch, GranFondo, MedioFondo, PiccoloFondo, and the ALL NEW DirtyFondo thru the rolling hills of beautiful Northwest Florida. The Tour de Ranch is an excellent early season fitness tests for Triathletes and Road Racers. If you like quiet rolling county roads with a few climbs to stretch out your legs and put the hammer down this ride is for you! The GranFondo Century will have four rest stops, MedioFondo Metric Century and DirtyFondo two rest stops and the 25 mile PiccoloFondo one rest stop at the half-way point. Rest stops will be fully stocked with plenty of fresh fruit, snacks, PB & J, water and sports drink. SAG support for GranFondo, DirtyFondo and MedioFondo will be provided.

Ride hard and come back hungry! After a fun filled day of riding, participants will enjoy the areas best Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches and other tasty goodness!!

This event will be timed by Warrior Racing. Compare your time with friends!

New for 2013: Special awards will be given for the GranFondo King of Strava Segment, Overall King of the GranFondo, and Overall King of the Dirty Fondo

Strava for iPhone and AndroidKing and Queen of Strava Segment will be at approximately Mile 45 for the Metric Century and Mile 85 for the Century on Orange Hill. It will be clearly marked before, at the start and at the end of the Strava Segment. If you do not have a Garmin or similar device your can use the Strava app for IOS or Android by CLICKING HERE.



Event schedule and times

GranFondo and DirtyFondo ride will start at 8am. MedioFondo at 8:10am. PiccoloFondo ride at 8:15am.

Please arrive by no later than 7:00am for timing chip pick-up. Walk-up registration will start at 6:30 am.


March 22nd, 2013 From 4 PM to 7 PM at Freedom Sports at 1120 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL.

Vernon Elementary School – Start and Registration Location
3665 Roche Avenue
Vernon, Florida
Registration Closing Date
Thursday, March 21, 2013 @ 11:59 PM US/CENTRAL

Day of Ride Registration

 6:30 am to 7:30 am

Riders Meeting

7:45 am

Ride Starts

GranFondo 105 miles    8:00 am

DirtyFondo 64 miles      8:00 am

MedioFondo 62 miles     8:15 am

PiccoloFondo 25 miles   8:30 am

Tour de Ranch GranFondo Maps and Course Descriptions
PiccoloFondo 25 Miles on
MedioFondo 62 Miles Course Description and Map
GranFondo 105 Miles Course Description and Map
DirtyFondo 64 Miles Course Description and Map

For more information please call Craig Baranowski 850.259.1788 or email us at


Hammer Down Multisport Raises Money for Donations 4 Danny

Hammer Down Multisport Raises Over $17,000 for Injured Firefighter Daniel Margagliano

Hammer Down Multisport presents a check to Danny Margagliano of Donations 4 DannyHammer Down Multisport, the largest endurance athlete club and racing team in Northwest Florida, raised over $17,000 for injured firefighter Daniel Margagliano. Funds were raised during their inaugural 30A Thanksgiving 10K in Rosemary Beach. In partnership with and the Town of Rosemary Beach, Hammer Down Multisport raised funds from generous sponsors, 30A 10K clothing sales and the sold out 30A 10K and Fun Run. “Initially we were aiming to raise about $5,000 for Danny. We raised our goal to $10,000 and were amazed that we were able to more than exceed our goals with over $17,000″, said 30A 10K race director Karen Meadows.

Hammer Down Multisport is a new and growing multisport club established in March of 2012 with their membership exceeding 100 members in less than nine months. “There was a great need within our endurance athlete community to have a club focused on encouraging the development of our local athletes and the enhancement of cycling, running, swimming and triathlon in Panama City Beach, Scenic 30A and Northwest Florida”, said Craig Baranowski, co-founder of Hammer Down Multisport. “As an endurance athlete, we are not only passionate about training and racing, we are passionate about giving back to our community. It was truly amazing to work in partnership with our community to raise money for local firefighter Danny Margagliano.”

It has been a long year for Danny Margagliano who broke his neck in a freak diving accident in April. Donations 4 Danny was established to help raise much needed funds for Danny while he recovers from the devastating accident that has left him a quadriplegic.  Funds raised from the 30A 10K were proudly presented to Danny and his family on Christmas Eve. “It has been a true honor to be part of our community who has stepped up to support Danny. To say this has been a challenging year for Danny is an understatement. He has been through hell and back and he is a true inspiration as he perseveres with his rehabilitation. These funds will help cover a portion of the costs of a full time care taker which is essential for Danny’s day to day life,” said Craig Baranowski.

Before this accident, Danny was an active Firefighter, Husband and Father who loved and enjoyed life, on and off duty.  He was also a Realtor for Keller Williams, an avid surfer, and fisherman. Danny “Questo” was born and raised in Upper Township New Jersey and is known in the area as one of Jersey’s greatest surfers. He was a longtime Heritage team rider and NJ pro surfer.




North West Florida Beaches the Top Fitness Destination in the World

30A Thanksgiving 10K and Fun Run in Rosemary Beach FL

Over 800 participants competed in the inaugural 30A Thanksgiving 10K and Fun Run in Rosemary Beach Florida.

This may sound outlandish statement…but our beaches, coastal dune lakes, vast state parks, rolling country roads and favorable weather is an endurance athletes dream destination. Collectively our area has the resources to be one of the top fitness destinations in the world.

In the last decade, endurance sports such as cycling, triathlons and running have grown significantly in popularity. Unbeknown to our Bay County Commissioners, our visitor demographics are changing right before their eyes. Every year athletes from around the world come to our beaches to train and compete in world class endurance sports. They are here year round; spring, summer, fall and winter. They are not here for just one single event. They are vacationing with their families, training and competing in our events.

In a Bay County Commission meeting on December 6th it was quite clear that the leaders of our community see endurance events as a burden to our residents and businesses. A burden that both residents and businesses have to suffer every time an event is held.  Commissioner Mike Thomas went as far as saying that we should share the suffering with some other area other than Bay County.

These comments and positions held by leaders of our community leave me at a loss for words. If our economy is driven primarily by tourism, then what is the issue with endurance athletes? According to the EASO, Endurance Athlete Supporting Organization, there is arguably no better marketing demographic in the world. Statistically speaking, endurance athletes are high wage earners, highly consumptive, highly passionate and highly philanthropic. Thus why most endurance events benefit a local charity. Endurance athletes are entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives. They are fathers, mothers, grandparents, and grand-kids. They own homes and cars, and they love to travel.

Unfortunately, based upon recent and historical positions of our county leaders, endurance athletes and endurance events appear to be nothing but a nuisance to our communities and businesses. On the flip side, Spring Breakers are a welcomed demographic to our community. According to spring break in Panama City Beach from March 1st and March 15th 2011, city police made 477 arrests, issued 1,200 citations and answered 4,200 calls. A city manager was quoted as saying “we run and hide” during spring break. Public sanitation, beer bottles, plastic cups and an abundance of litter on our pristine beaches is an overwhelming mess for our county to clean up and manage. Yet, spring break appears to cause less of a burden than 1,000 runners enjoying a beautiful morning on the beach before most of our residents and businesses are awake.

IronMan Florida is ranked as the 25th most popular triathlon in the world according to Triathlete Magazine.  We have over 3,000 athletes from 44 countries come to our beaches to fulfill a lifetime achievement. IronMan Florida is so popular that the 2013 event sold out in 45 seconds! This is something that our community leaders should be proud of. I am damn proud of it. Our beach, our businesses, and our residents have the opportunity to be part of one the greatest sporting events in the world and our community leaders see it as a burden and an unfortunate event that we have to suffer over. We should be proud that athletes from around the world choose Panama City Beach to compete. They bring their families and friends to celebrate life, personal achievement, and build lifelong memories of our beautiful area while infusing significant revenue into our economy. This is what we want…right? isn’t this good for our community?

TDC President Dan Rowe and Richard Sanders have done something amazing by bringing another premier event to our area, The Biggest Loser Run Walk. Obesity in America is out of control for adults and youths with over 17% of U.S. children being obese.  Panama City Beach was chosen to be the setting for a life changing event for over 1,000 people. This is an event that our community and it’s leaders should embrace and support. Not because it benefits a charity, but because Panama City Beach is instrumental in backing one of the largest and highest profile fitness movements in the United States. We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of a truly amazing event…an event that will be the premier event for which all other future Biggest Loser Events will be measured. We should be excited about this. This is a good event for our community, an event we should be honored to host and an event I would want passing by my home and business.

The Bay County Commission said The Biggest Loser Run Walk will be disruptive and nuisance to businesses. Commissioner Mike Thomas says his business is often times blocked by heavy foot traffic during races. “It’s selfish, I know, but it’s true for everyone on the west end.”

It is my opinion that this is pure nonsense and short sighted. If I owned Thomas’ Donuts I would sponsor a water stop right in front of my restaurant. I would have my family, friends and employees handing out water and cheering on the 1,000 participants as they ran by my restaurant. I would have tables and chairs set up out front so families and friends could watch their loved one’s compete while enjoying breakfast at my restaurant. I would hand out Thomas’ Donut Swag and coupons to race participants and put together a corporate team to compete in the 5K Run Walk and wear Thomas’ Donuts T-shirts. Healthy employees are happy employees. I would ensure my business had a positive and significant impact on the event versus a negative impact on my business. In two hours I could have prime marketing exposure to 1,000 potential clients to my business, I would be supporting a great cause and I would be leading by example how a business could profit from an endurance event. This would be great for my business not bad for my business.

It is a fair argument that a frequently used course route several times a year is an issue. A more balanced event venue location strategy is certainly a great discussion point. I believe our community can successfully support all events. With a little flexibility, positive leadership and creativity it can be a win win for everyone.

I hope to see all five of our Board of Commissioners step up to the Biggest Loser Challenge and participate in the 5K Run Walk.  It would be an excellent way to experience how important these events are to our community, the participants and their families.

IronMan Florida 2012 Results and Photos

Starykowicz and van Vlerken Win in Florida IronMan 2012!

Hadley Miller 2nd Place Age Group at IronMan Florida 2012

Hadley Miller 2nd Place Age Group at IronMan Florida 2012

The 2012 edition of IronMan Florida was welcomed with spectacular weather and light winds. The race kicked off at 6:45am with the pro field and a warm 72 degrees and the weather only got nicer throughout the day. More than 3,400 athletes from around the world competed in this year’s IronMan Florida.

Hammer Down Multisport had a great race day with almost a dozen Hammer Down athletes competing in the race. Hadley (Nyquist) Miller took top honors for Hammer Down with a finishing time of 10:23:37 placing 2nd in the Women’s 35 to 39 Age Group and qualifying for IronMan Kona World Championships in 2013.

HammerDown has several first time IronMan finishers including: Alice Guay, Kristen Woodward, Ben Schlorholtz, Michael Zapata, Jennifer Bleakley, Hadley Miller, Darin Greer, and Sarah Mrazek

HammerDown also had veteran IronMan finishers complete the race: Cari, Trappe, Joe Fritz and Jeff Ellis. Other than an un-recoverable rear flat tire by John Hensz, IronMan Florida was success for Hammer Down and our local athletes. John Hensz will be competing in IronMan Arizona vying for a spot at IronMan Kona.

Congrats to the Hammer Down athletes for a job well done after a long 12 months of preparation and training!

Below are the photos taken by Hammer Down during IronMan Florida. The album is also posted on our Facebook Page by clicking the links below…

IronMan Florida 2012 – Swim and Bike Photos on Hammer Down Facebook Page

IronMan Florida 2012 – Run Photos on Hammer Down Facebook Page

IronMan Florida 2012 Results CLICK HERE

Professional men’s results
1 STARYKOWICZ, Andrew 8:06:17 USA
2 RAPHAEL, Jan 8:08:49 DEU
3 DEFILIPPIS, Scott 8:09:33 USA
4 PLESE, David 8:14:28 SLV
5 CHEVROT, Denis 8:16:49 FRA
Professional women’s results
1 VAN VLERKEN, Yvonne 8:51:35 NED
2 CARFRAE, Mirinda 9:05:03 AUS
3 CLIFFORD, Ashley 9:07:34 USA
4 KESSLER, Meredith 9:08:28 USA
5 JONES, Stephanie 9:13:18 USA







Pine Log 2012 Results and Photos

4 Hour Pine Log 2012 Results, Lap Times and Photos

Alan Canfield of Panama City, racing at the Pine Log 2012 4 Hour RaceThe 11th annual Pine Log endurance mt. bike race hosted for the first time by Hammer Down Multisport was a tremendous success. We had a perfect fall day and a large turnout for the Metric Century and a great group of racers for the 4 hour Mt. Bike race. This year’s edition sponsored by Atlas Product Support, Bay Radiology, Big Daddy’s Bike Shop, Steve’s The Bike Shop, RoadID, Avian Engineering, and Publix. We had some excellent prizes for the category winners and give-aways.

Brent Scarabin from Tallahassee Florida was the overall winner for the Men’s solo race totaling 8 Laps in 4:04:56.

Wendy Baxter won the Female overall with 5 Laps at 4:7:20. Team Big Daddy’s/ Hammer Down won the 4 Hour Team competition with 8 Laps in 4:07:20 and Chad Williams/ Joe Godbee coming in second at 4:26:45. Individual lap times and photos from the race are below.

Competitors in the team competition raced as a relay with each rider taking one lap turns. The course comprised mostly of single track and required good handling and turning skills to keep a quick lap pace. Hammer Down Multisport wants to thank everyone for enjoying a perfect day of racing in the Pine Log State Park and look forward to seeing everyone in 2013!

Overall Winner
Race # Rider Name: Brent Scarabin
10 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
29:28 28:40 30:33 30:11 30:34 29:38 31:36 34:16 4:04:56
4 Hour Solo – Male
Race # Rider Name: Rob Terulvf 4 Hr Solo (Male)
4 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
31:16 31:22 31:51 32:25 33:35 33:31 33:16 33:30 4:20:46
Race # Rider Name: John Davis 4 Hr Solo (Male)
5 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
29:31 30:39 32:04 33:50 34:43 34:21 38:58 3:54:06
Race # Rider Name: Paul Lawrence 4 Hr Solo (Male)
2 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
31:40 32:59 33:59 33:36 35:46 37:10 38:49 4:03:59
Race # Rider Name: Brent Decker 4 Hr Solo (Male)
7 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
32:46 35:09 354:06 34:57 36:49 37:28 37:18 4:08:33
Race # Rider Name: John Michael 4 Hr Solo (Male)
3 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
34:32 33:44 33:29 36:01 39:07 38:53 40:54 4:16:40
Race # Rider Name: Alan Canfield 4 Hr Solo (Male)
8 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
31:32 32:56 33:51 33:58 44:11 39:02 3:35:30
Race # Rider Name: Steve Baxter 4 Hr Solo (Male)
24 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
32:55 34:06 35:25 39:06 41:38 46:41 3:49:51
Race # Rider Name: Chris Williams 4 Hr Solo (Male)
9 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
36:23 38:14 42:13 47:54 55:08 3:39:52
Race # Rider Name: Eddie Singleton 4 Hr Solo (Male)
26 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
41:08 43:49 43:44 47:40 1:00:13 3:56:44
Race # Rider Name: Nicholas Lewis 4 Hr Solo (Male)
27 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
1:55:05 1:40:40 3:30:45
Race # Rider Name: Randall Smith 4 Hr Solo (Male)
6 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
29:37 DNF
Race # Rider Name: Wendy Baxter 4 Hr Solo (Female)
25 Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
43:46 47:16 50:29 59:26 1:06:23 4:27:20
Race # Team: Craig Baranowski/Judah Imhof 4 Hr Relay (Male)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
29:27 29:23 31:10 29:31 32:31 30:01 35:11 30:00 4:07:20
Race # Team: Chad Williams/Joe Godbee 4 Hr Relay (Male)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
38:01 28:07 36:31 28:31 38:15 29:43 38:38 28:59 4:26:45
Race # Team: Dennis Scott/G Mike Clark 4 Hr Relay (Male)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
34:12 34:08 34:58 33:59 35:21 27:57 43:38 - 4:04:13
Race # Team: Jason Woolard/Daniel Coats 4 Hr Relay (Male)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
35:52 40:15 38:45 39:47 39:27 40:10 40:39 - 4:34:55
Race # Team: Todd Tardugno/Evan Soroka 4 Hr Relay (Male)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
35:45 35:36 40:35 43:43 43:46 43:46 - - 4:03:11
Race # Team: George Douglas/Eric Johnson 4 Hr Relay (Male)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
37:55 47:55 38:37 1:01:29 41:54 - - - 3:47:50
Race # Team: Portia Toole/Brian Toole 4 Hr Relay (Co-Ed)
Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Lap 5 Lap 6 Lap 7 Lap 8 Total
35:10 39:37 33:48 41:18 37:38 42:48 37:13 - 4:27:32


30A 10K and 1 Mile Fun Run

Hammer Down Multisport will host the inaugural 30A Thanksgiving 10K

We are extremely excited to be hosting the inaugural 30A Thanksgiving 10K and 1 Mile Fun Run in Rosemary Beach. This is going to be an amazing event and we expect this grow to be one of the premier running events on Scenic 30A.

This fast and flat, out-and-back route is designed for running enthusiasts looking for a great race to reach a new personal record or just to enjoy the holidays with family and friends in a beautiful community.

To register for the event please click HERE.

Proceeds from the race will be donated to Donations 4 Danny benefiting South Walton Firefighter and Paramedic Danny Margagliano, who was paralyzed earlier this year in an accident. After four months of recovery and intensive rehabilitation Danny is home with his wife and two children. It is the hope of those organizing this race that money raised from our sponsors and participants will help defer some part of Danny’s medical expenses and assist him with his rehabilitation.

Techniques to Improve Road Bike Handling Skills

Alan Canfield Talks Bike Skills and the Four-P’s of Cycling

Techniques to Improve Road Bike Handling  Skills
Alan Canfield
Copyright 2012

Four-Ps of Cycling Position, Pedal, Precision, PracticeDuring the fall and winter seasons, many cyclists taper their road bike training to a maintenance level, while focusing on cross-training, rest, recovery, or simply enjoying the holidays with family and friends.   These lower-intensity rides provide a good opportunity to incorporate drills focused on improving road bike handling skills. Improving our ability to hold a steady line, pedal efficiently, and maintain smooth bicycle control improves our confidence, comfort, and safety during fast group rides and races.

Following is a general overview of the primary techniques I recommend to help improve road bike handling skills.  I developed a mental queue, the Four-P’s, to aide in organizing and recalling the techniques.

The Four-P’s are:

  • Position
  • Pedal
  • Precision
  • Practice

The Four-P’s are depicted in the image above. The  principles  progress  from  the  rider, to the pedals, to the bars, to the roadway.


A comfortable, stable, and balanced position on the bicycle is required to maintain good control and handling.  If you haven’t had a professional fit from a reputable bike shop or fitter, it is highly recommended.  Even if you have been riding for ten or more years, another set of eyes and measurements can be extremely beneficial in fine-tuning your bike fit.

At a minimum, the areas where you touch the bicycle should be addressed.   These include the saddle, handlebars, and pedals.  Following are general guidelines for initial road bike fit and positioning:

Saddle Height

Measured from the pedals, saddle height should initially be set to approximately 1.09 times your true inseam.  Adjust from there based on flexibility and heel rise.

Saddle Fore/Aft and Tilt

Saddle position on the rails should initially be set to a neutral knee-over-pedal. Saddle tilt should initially be level.  Adjust from level, based on comfort and flexibility.

Stem Length

Stem length should be such that when riding in the drops, the handlebars should line up over the hub of the front wheel.

Handlebar  Height

Handlebar height should be set to 1-3 inches below the saddle height, depending on your flexibility and comfort.  Start with a higher position and adjust lower for efficiency and improved weight distribution.


The cleats on your shoes should be set to position the ball of the foot over the pedal axle.  Moving the ball of the foot forward of the pedal axle (by moving the cleat rearward on the shoe) can provide more comfort for long rides.

The goal here is to use the offseason to reassess your bike fit, and adjust if necessary. Don’t be afraid to experiment with small changes to determine the effect on comfort, control, and performance.  If you are not familiar with the guidelines and parameters for establishing these positions, please consult a bike shop or one of the numerous references available on road bike fit.


The second principle is to focus on developing and refining an efficient pedal stroke. Power is most effectively applied in approximately 150 degrees of rotation from top dead center.  If you are pedaling at 90 rpm’s, this equates to about 0.3 seconds to apply power during each revolution.  Several techniques can be practiced to maximize the efficient use of each pedal stroke:

Smooth  Circles

Focus on turning with your entire leg, not just mashing down on the pedals. Concentrate on using the muscles in your upper legs and buttocks.  With proper extension and rotation, the hamstrings will also be engaged during the power phase.  Excessive heel rise may also overstress the calves, leading to fatigue and cramping.

Heel Sweeps

Exaggerate dropping your heels through the bottom of the pedal stroke to increase effective leg extension and develop maximum power from the leg muscles.  Think of leading with your heels over the top of the pedal stroke to set up the heel drop.


Similar to Heel Sweeps, Lifts are simply focusing on pulling with your feet on the upstroke.  This is effective during climbing but can also be done while seated.  When you exaggerate the upstroke and then return to normal pedaling you can feel the difference it makes.  The difference may not be significant in performance, but it provides an

improved perception of where your feet are, and how the pedaling motion should feel.

Knee Sweeps

Lightly brush the top tube with the inside of each knee during several pedal strokes.  This provides feedback to remind you of the inward knee angle, and to remind you to return to a straight knee angle.  This mini-drill helps counteract the tendency to bow out our knees when we tire, which could result in knee injury.

Repeat the above mini-drills during your rides.  Not only will they help develop an efficient and open pedal stroke, but they will help stretch out and engage new muscles. They can also break up the monotony of long solo rides.


The third principle includes the development of precise control of the bicycle, an understanding of the effect of our inputs on the bike, and an increased awareness of the environment:

Small Motions

The key to the Precision principle is to concentrate on making smooth and small motions.  At 20 mph, a 2 deg steering angle will move your bike 12 inches right or left in a fraction of a second.  We need to avoid these erratic motions, which can lead to over- steering, over-correcting, and potentially an accident.  In addition to small motions side- to-side, we need to maintain a steady pace in a group.

Look Ahead

If you see an obstacle in the road, don’t fixate and stare at it.  You will likely run directly into it. Rather, focus on the path around the obstacle, while keeping view in your peripheral vision.  Looking ahead also entails maintaining situational awareness of the environment, including the roadway, curb, cyclists, pedestrians, automobiles, and other obstacles in your path.


If you are tense on the bicycle, you will over-react to bumps and dips in the road. You may also fatigue faster when you are tense and over-grip the bars.  Think of the bars as a place to rest your hands.  The bike will practically steer itself if you have good position and balance, and maintain precise control.


The final principle is Practice, where we bring it all together and apply the principles to drills to develop and reinforce improved bike handling skills.  Please practice these drills on safe roads and solo rides so you don’t endanger yourself and other cyclists.

Ride the White Line

On a road with sufficient shoulder and minimal traffic, practice riding the white line on the right side of the roadway.  Focus on maintaining a stable and stationary torso, with smooth and efficient pedal strokes.  Work up from 1 minute sessions to 1 mile or more. This drill is similar to the straight and smooth riding required for stationary rollers.


Again on a solo ride on a safe road with minimal traffic, practice riding with one leg.  Slow down to a comfortable pace of 10-12 mph in an easy gear.  Unclip one leg and hold it away from the rotating pedal.  Focus on maintaining momentum and a steady pace by pedaling the one leg evenly through the pedal stroke.  Start with 30 second intervals and work up to 3 minutes or more.  Repeat for each side, maintaining a smooth pedal stroke and holding a straight line.  This is also a good drill for the stationary trainer.


Riding at a comfortable pace with hands on the hoods, remove one hand and rest

it on your hip.  It may be easiest to begin by removing the hand you generally drink with. Start with 20 second drills and work up to 2 minutes or more, per side.  Repeat each side from the tops of the bars, and from the drops.  This drill is improved by riding on the white line for visual feedback of your stability.  As you improve, incorporate this drill into your daily rides by simply alternating the drinking hand.


Riding hands-free carries obvious risks, and may even violate your local or state statutes.  Please exercise this drill safely.  I recommend beginning slowly in your neighborhood until balance and control is developed.  Riding solo at a comfortable pace on a safe road, shift up two harder gears.  The added force required will make it easier to steer the bike with your hips.  Sit upright and relax your grip to only finger-tip pressure. Move your hands to the tops of the bars.  Keep pedaling and remove your hands from the bars while steering with your hips.  Use your core for stability, sit upright, and keep your head up and eyes forward.  Use only small inputs from your hips, pressure on the pedals, or leaning to steer the bike.  When you are ready to regain active control of the bike, place your hands slowly and lightly back on the tops of the bars.


Practicing the techniques and drills presented here can help you develop improved road bike handling skills for the following season, and make winter training rides less tedious. This overview only presents a few of the techniques and drills available.   For more details,  please  see  Watch  Your  Line:  Techniques  to  Improve  Road  Cycling  Skills, available at, iTunes, and

About the Author

Alan Canfield is a mechanical engineer, licensed professional engineer, and certified USA Cycling coach residing in Panama City, Florida.  Canfield specializes in bike fit video analysis for road, mountain, and time trial.  He can be reached on Facebook at and via email at

Steam Plant Road Annual Tour de France Ride and Time Trial 2012

Annual Ride and Tour de France Time Trial Results June 30 2012

Annual Tour de France Steam Plant Time Trial and Blue Springs Loop

On Saturday June 30th 2012 local riders and Hammer Down joined together for a long time annual tradition of a ride and Time Trial to celebrate the start of the Tour de France. We had a very large turnout of riders which made for a very fun time for everyone. I had a great time riding with friends, catching up with some that I had not seen for a few months and even some new cyclists that I had never rode with before. Local legend Joe Fritz joined our ride looking real fit after just completing the Race Across America. Many of our newer cyclists were able to experience riding in a large peloton, and it was awesome to see them cruising at 25mph with a big smile on their faces. The pre-TT ride was the Blue Springs Loop which is roughly a 42.6 mile ride before getting to the time trial.

As with tradition, we all did our best to keep the pace calm and save our legs for the time trial…but we all knew that would never last. The pace really kicked up on Hwy 20 heading west into a headwind. The lead group was trying to tear each others legs off with the pace fluctuating between 23mph and 29mph. It was really fun and everyone was suffering. At the bottom of the page are the Strava Segments for the Blue Springs Loop and the TT.

After the ride we rode to Steam Plant Road for the Time Trial, and as with the name it was steaming HOT! Everyone looked like they were melting. We had about half of the riders on the ride opt in to do the Time Trial which was a 4 mile out and back course and the same distance as the Tour de France Prologue.

I am not sure if it is the heat, the road or the pre-ride…but time trials on Steam Plant Road are always painfully difficult. It seems like the road sucks all the speed out of your legs. Everyone that did the time trial put out some excellent efforts. John Hensz posted the fastest Overall time of 9:40 riding Eddy Mercx style. John Hunter posting a surprisingly fast time demonstrating that his ninja training with Dena has been working. Hadley Miller posted the fastest women’s time of 10:50 with Tonya Blocker nipping at her heals only 4 seconds back.

It was a great day and awesome to everyone and can’t wait until next year! Special thanks to Judah Imhoff for helping with the timing.

Steam Plant Time Trial Results
June 30, 2012
Overall Men
Place Rider Time Avg Speed
1 John Hensz 9:40 24.82
2 Craig Baranowski 10:14 23.45
3 John Hunter 10:28 22.92
4 Aaron Scrimager 10:30 22.85
5 Travis Dorman 10:46 22.29
6 Ryan Oliver 10:49 22.18
7 Bruce Salter 10:50 22.15
8 David Early 11:02 21.75
9 Danny Rogers 11:04 21.68
10 Kevin Bramlett 11:19 21.20
11 Eric Jeffereys 11:32 20.80
12 Mike Williams 11:43 20.48
13 Dave Jennings 12:02 19.94
Overall Women
Place Rider Time Avg Speed
1 Hadley Miller 10:50 22.15
2 Tonya Blocker 10:54 22.01
3 Cari Trappe 11:39 20.60

Hammer Down Ocala Stage Race Report June 2012

Hammer Down Takes 3 Wins at Ocala Stage Race!

Tonya Blocker 3rd Place Overall Ocala Stage Race 2012

Tonya Blocker 3rd Place Overall Ocala Stage Race 2012

The Ocala Stage Race Weekend on June 16th and 17th was the first official cycling race weekend for our team. With a Saturday road race and time trial and a road race on Sunday, it was the perfect venue for some of our newer racers to gain some racing experience. Ashley Guy, Tonya Blocker, Fred McLaughlin, John Hensz, Geoff McConnell, Mikkel Jensen and I made the trip from the Panhandle Florida down to Ocala.

Saturday’s Road Race

For Saturday’s Road Race Fred McLaughlin was racing in a stacked 50+ field, Ashely and Tonya were racing in the Women’s 3/4 race. We decided to have John Hensz, Geoff McConnell and I race in the Masters 30/40+ race. There were some large teams represented in the 30/40 race: ZMotion, Atlantic Shores Velo, Florida Velo and AG Bikes. The road race consisted of four 12 mile loops along the rolling hills of Ocala with a climb at 1k to go and a downhill sprint finish. The only familiar face in the pack was Don Davis from Pensacola whom races for US Military Masters Team and is arguably one of the strongest masters racers in the South East and the current State Time Trial Champion. I was able to see the fast finish of Fred’s 50+ masters race and determined that you need to be at full sprint 50 meters after the crest of the hill for a good finish. Fred was right in the pack and finished 15th overall in a large 50+ pack. An excellent placing for such a strong field.

From the gun the Masters 30/40+ race was on and attacks from ZMotion, ASV and others saw the pace surge from 18mph to 33+mph as racers tried to break free from the field. John Hensz and I covered a few breaks and it was clear that the field was not willing to let anyone go until everyone’s legs and lungs were sufficiently pummeled.  Geoff had a mechanical early on in the race so it was just John and I left in the race. On the second lap, four 30+ racers broke away from the field and gave the pack a moment of reprieve before the attacks started again. On the third lap the field was strung out single file and the pace went into a frenzy after each turn and hill on the course.  I was suffering towards the back third of the pack as the field was strung out single file rolling at 34mph. My legs and lungs were pushed to their limit on a few of the surges and wanted to waive the white flag on the pain and suffering. I saw John at the front of the pack bridging a break right before the finishing hill of lap 3…big mistake. Just as John bridged the break, the field attacked up the hill. John did not have enough time to recover from his effort and lost contact with the field.

The fourth and final lap was more of the same…attack, surge, sprint, regroup, attack, surge, sprint, regroup and repeat. I continually fought to get up to the front of the pack for position and would quickly get spit to the back with each acceleration and attack. With 2k to go I was in horrible position at the back of the pack strung out single file and was beginning to question how I was going to get to front for a respectable finish. With 1K to go we approached the finishing hill and I knew I needed to be close to the front at the crest of the hill. I accelerated to the top of the hill and passed a number of riders. As we crested the hill I had a gap on the left side and shot through the hole between three riders. I sprinted all out and began passing racers to my right. My legs and lungs were on fire, I finished the last 50 meters in a seated sprint just trying to hold my position. I finished with three 30+ riders in front of me on the field sprint. I had no idea on my placing until the podium was announced that I won the 40+ race!! It was pandemonium in the Hammer Down camp as we were all elated to have our first win for Hammer Down. Podium: Craig Baranowski, Pablo Santa Cruz, Donal Davis.

Saturday’s Time Trail

We had three hours to rest and eat before the 5 mile time trial which is basically not enough time to do much of anything but a lot of time to do just nothing. Tonya Blocker was first rider of Hammer Down to start. This was Tonya’s first Time Trial and she did awesome. Tonya came in with the fastest time for the Women’s 3/4 and won the TT! Geoff and I were next to go with both of us racing the time trial Eddy Merckx style (No TT Bars or Aero Helmets). As I was rolling up to start John Hensz informed me that his borrowed TT bike’s Speedplay pedals were not compatible with his older Speedplay cleats. With his road bike at the hotel we had to improvise and determined that he could barrow my shoes and pedals after I finished my TT. The time trial was hilly and windy and my legs had nothing left after the road race. Blain Reeves with ZMotion posted the fastest time for the masters 40+ with a scorching time of 9:50 and Donald Davis took third with a time of 10:09. The only take away on my TT performance is that I need a lot of work on my time trialing skills.

John Hensz opted to race the Time Trial in the Category 4 race. As soon as I finished, I literally rolled right into the starting queue where John was waiting to start his time trial. Mikkel and I swapped out my pedals onto John’s bike and I gave John my cycling shoes. So, there he is 2 minutes before his start, borrowed bike, borrowed shoes, borrowed pedals and no warm-up. This was the recipe for disaster. Fortunately, John was sufficiently pissed off from his performance at the road race that he stomped the pedals in anger and destroyed the time trial course. John came screaming through the finish line with the fastest finish time for the Cat 4’s with a time of 10:31 which would have put him in second place in the fast 30+ Masters Category.

Saturday was a huge success for Hammer Down with three wins! We had a great celebratory dinner that night and shared our race stories of the day over a few beers and great food. It was a great time.

 Sunday’s Road Race

Sunday’s road race was more of the same as Saturday’s road race…90 degree temperature, 15 mile per hour winds and a field of cyclists trying to tear each others legs off. John and Geoff decided to race the Cat 4 road race which started during the hottest part of the day at 1:30pm. In the Masters 30/40 category, Donald Davis was tied for 2nd with Ken Schofield of Zmotion and 9 seconds behind race leader Blain Reeves of ZMotion. The course was 60 miles of four 15 mile loops in the reverse direction from Saturday with more hills and an uphill finish. The heat was going to be a major factor in the race. There was a first lap time bonus of 5 seconds so it was fairly obvious of how the race was going to play out. The ZMotion and AG Bikes crew attacked over and over forcing Donald Davis to cover the breaks. With 2K to go on the first lap it was an all out war for the 5 second time bonus. Donald took second getting 3 seconds. The field was shattered after the time bonus sprint and I came ripping through the feed zone and got a great hand off of water from Mikkel. With another 45 miles to go I decided to save my legs, stay hydrated and hang on as the battle for the podium played out. Donald Davis valiantly defended his podium position as he was relentlessly attacked for the first 40 miles of the 60 mile race. I jumped in a few breaks that did not stay away and realized I did not have the legs to force a break or join a break. Two 30+ riders got off the front and Blain Reeves the leader of the 40+ group got away and bridged to the break. The entire race we were surging to 30+ miles per hour and spent most of the day in a single file paceline as everyone tried to put each other through the meat grinder. My legs were beginning to cramp with 5 miles to go as we headed through the final hills of the road race. Most of the day was spent in the saddle so my legs were were not cramping when I stood up. With 2K to go I attempted to get to the front and five riders attacked and strung the field out pushing me back 15 positions. With 1K there was another attack and I held my position towards the back third. The final right hand turn was at 4oo meters to go and I took it on the outside. Starting from the back I accelerated up 5 positions and then launched my sprint down the left side. I had a clear shot and accelerated past the field taking the field sprint and 2nd place for the Masters 40+ race. This was an awesome feeling for me as I had clean wheels coming across the line and was a true sprint finish. Podium: Blain Reeves, Craig Baranowski, Pablo Santa Cruz.

Both Ashley Guy and Tonya Blocker had a tough road race Sunday with a depleted women’s field from the day before. They spent most of the race in a solo effort fighting the heat, wind and hills. This was a tough way to get introduced to bike racing. Ashley’s front shifter was jammed and would not shift into the small chainring, so she had to do the entire race and hills in the big chainring. OUCH! Tonya and Ashley finished Sunday’s race in 3rd and 5th place overall! Tonya placed 3rd Overall for the weekend for her first podium finish!! Awesome work and way to represent Hammer Down.

Geoff and John’s Category 4 road race started at 1:40pm in the heat of the day. We were all cooked and could not believe they were just starting a 45 mile road race in the sweltering heat. We had water bottles on ice and made sure we had a full crew on hand to ensure they received water at the feed zones. The Category 4 field in this district has some really strong racers and the pace was very fast the entire race. John tried a few breakaways, but the pack was not going to let him go. Geoff was riding strong towards the front of the field for the first two laps. At the end of the second lap Geoff threw in the towel totally cooked from the heat. He looked like he had been locked in a steam room for 24 hours as we put ice and wet towels on him to cool him down. As the last race of the day we were all anxious to see John come through on the final lap. The race come down to a field sprint and John put out a great sprint to get 13th overall in a large Category 4 field. The look of pain on his face during the sprint was priceless and was a great ending to a very successful race weekend!

Special thanks to Mikkel Jensen for being a huge help during the race. We all appreciated the extra hand getting everyone and our gear ready for the race, support in the feed zones, shuttling race wheels and being part of the NASCAR pit crew for John’s time trial win. We look forward to having Mikkel racing for Hammer Down in the very near future.

Ashley Guy – 6th Road Race Saturday, 5th Road Race Sunday
Tonya Blocker – 4th Road Race Saturday, 3rd Road Race Sunday, 1st Time Trial, 3rd Overall
Fred McLaughlin – 15th Road Race Saturday Masters 50+
John Hensz – 1st Time Trial, 13th Road Race Sunday Cat 4
Craig Baranowski – 1st Road Race Saturday Masters 40+, 2nd Road Race Sunday Masters 40+, Time Trial No Comment

Ocala Stage Race June 2012 Results



Hammer Down Gate to Gate Race Summary May 2012

Team Hammer Down Takes 5th Place at Gate to Gate 2012

Helen Libby Phipps at Gate to Gate 2012 Team Hammer DownHammer Down runners competed in the 27th annual Gate to Gate race held Memorial Day at Eglin Air Force Base. This is a very popular race in the Panhandle Florida with over 1,600 competitive runners attending the race. Runners are given carnations at the race start so they can place them at the All Veterans Memorial that they run by around mile one. The Gate to Gate event is a notoriously hot and humid race making the 4.4 mile course a tough race.

Aaron Scrimager and Michaela Ashley took first place in their age groups for Team Hammer Down and Helen Libby Phipps and Karen Meadows pulled in second age group awards. Jordon Lance, who was not officially on our team due to a late registration, took second in his age group. In Team Hammer Down’s first team attempt at this race, we were able to snag fifth place out of 15 teams, close behind Tallahassee’s Gulf Winds Track club who took places one through three. With this year’s experience under our belt , Team Hammer Down should have a great chance at placing in the top three next year!!

Team Hammer Down Gate to Gate
Michaela Ashley
Karen Meadows
Jim Meadows
Aaron Scrimager
Helen Libby Phipps
Mathew Price
Dave Shearon
Jordon Lance
Amy Stoyles


2012 Gate to Gate 4.4 Mile Run/ Walk Results