About John Schlitter

Been riding since I was able to ride my older sister’s 26 wheel bikes at about the age 4 or 5. I made a deal with my dad if he bought me my first ten speed I would paint the house and ride it to school everyday (freshman year of high school). He got a pretty good deal for buying a use Schwinn Varsity for 75.00. That was the start of true freedom,. Three of us hopped on our ten speeds and rode the hundred miles over to Salina KS to see a girl my brother had met from Salina. First long ride I did.

Top Notch Dealer in Brandon, MS.

Most bicycle dealers have a passion for the business. I think recumbent bicycle dealers take it up a notch. Then there are few that like to take it up even further by sponsoring a weekly Saturday morning Bread Ride and a couple of very successful organized rides a year. Jim Snider of Ride South, www.ridesouth.com, is one of those dealers.  

The last few years I have had the pleasure of being able to attend the Birthday Challenge Ride on the Longleaf Trace in the Fall. In March, Jim puts on the Ride South Signature Ride. The main portion of the Signature Ride begins on Saturday riding from Ride South in Brandon MS to Hattiesburg MS. Jim starts the weekend off with a gathering at Ride South on Thursday evening to discuss long distance cycling. It is a refresher course for those who are doing the longer rides on Saturday and Sunday but it also provides tips and suggestions for future ultra-riders. Jim covers the basics of good bicycle maintenance to make certain it is not the bicycle that does not allow you to accomplish your goal. Jacquie Hafner, Team Bacchetta Sebring 24 hour record holder (516.4 miles) and I joined in the discussion sharing our experiences with long distance riding.

Jim Snider heading to Hattiesburg on his CA 2.0

Friday evening includes one more meeting of the riders to nail down any last minute details and coordinate the arrival of riders from Hattiesburg to Prentiss where all riders meet up for a lunch stop and then ride the Long Leaf Trace back to Hattiesburg for the wine and cheese party ending with dinner at a nearby restaurant.

The ride travels fairly light traffic roads and picks up the Long Leaf Trace in Prentiss MS. The 119 mile ride has a few bumps but that makes a nice change from riding around the west coast of Florida. After a relaxing Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn with some wine, beer and cheese some of the crew chose to ride back to Brandon the next morning on a more easterly route that does manage to gain almost 300 feet more for the ten mile less long course.

Ride South is a full service bicycle shop that sells all types of bicycles. It is evident though that in Jim’s preferred choice of ride is recumbent and his Bacchetta CA 2.0 is nicely decked out with some personal touches. Over half of the bikes ridden were Bacchetta’s!

We all know these events cannot happen unless someone like Jim has support. Behind every good man is a great woman, Lane, Jim’s wife.  The fan club of ” legendary Jim Snider” (as the reporter said who was interviewing Jim in Prentiss), Beth and Captain Johnny Rawls, Liz, Louis, Chad and the two Mississippi motorcycle Highway Patrolmen made for a great weekend.

Doug Mrogan taking a break after drafting Jacquie Hafner for the last 30 miles.

If you get the chance or need an excuse to go do some great riding head to Ride South, a dealer with a passion.

I would like to thank Jim and Ride South for his continue support of Bacchetta Bicycles and being a sponsor for our Team Bacchetta RAAM riding for Kids with Arthritis efforts in June, www.TeamBacchettaRAAM.com

Returning to Brandon Sunday morning.

John Schlitter

Dirty Kanza 200 (DK 200), Riding Bacchetta on a gravel grinder.

This adventure started back over ten years ago. There was a ride in the Flint Hills of southeast Kansas called the Death Ride. It would cover 60 to 75 miles of the Flint Hills gravel/dirt roads in August. Thus the name Death Ride because the heat would be around hundred degrees, I rode the Death ride twice on recumbent bicycles. The second ride was on the DRS (Death Ride Special) A dual 26” wheel Bacchetta proto-type of a bike we had not even released yet or launched the Bacchetta Bicycle Company. The ride went great except for the front tire sliced like paper during the finishing miles. Continue reading


Hell Week starts on the same weekend of the Texas Hill Country 600km. Last year I spent a couple days of recovery with my crew that was staying on for Hell Week in Fredericksburg TX. I did a little eighty mile recovery spin with them one day and thought this is kind of cool.

For 2010 my crew from last years Hill Country 600km, Peggy and Steve Petty with the addition of Sara Kay Carrell rode a mixed four person relay team. The plan was to stay the week following in Fredericksburg for Hell Week. We stayed in a rented home with Linda and Mark Metcalf traditional rider. Mark has been long time Lone Star Randonneur and has done RAAM solo and team a few times. Mark also raced to third place overall in the solo THC600km this year.

Monday was a scheduled 200km brevet that Sara Kay really wanted to do to help fill out her quest for a Super rando series (200, 300, 400 and 600km brevets). Shellene Foster LSR rider and second place this year at Sebring 24 hour women’s race planned to do an easy 200km with us.

The 200km turned into a long day on the bike due to high head winds on the return, Shellene had a knee issue and I towed her as she one legged pedaled into the next to last control. Shellene had to throw in the towel at 100 miles while SK and I finished out the 200km at 10:24 minutes total time and 6900 feet of climbing. Peggy and Steve along with Linda took a more leisurely ride of 34 miles, a much better idea then the 200km.

Tuesday was forecasted cold, wet and windy. The crew opted to drive out to Enchanted Rock State Park and climb up one of the granite domes. We had a lot of fun climbing all over the dome but once again we did not gain very much recovery. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/enchanted_rock/

Wednesday’s weather brought nicer weather so we headed out to do the Stonewalled loop, a fun 58 mile ride with 2737 ft of climbing. We hooked up with Pat Diztler of Kansas City KS. Pat has a Bacchetta Strada that he failed to bring down with him but enjoyed visiting and getting the many questions he had answered while cruising thought the beautiful Hill Country.

Another great day of weather for riding greeted us for Thursday ride. The crew opted to do the Tunnel/Bach loop. This 50 mile loop took us up to 2042 of climbing with three very nice points of interest. First was the Old Bat Tunnel, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=17.



Second stop was the Alamo Springs Café, http://www.alamospringscafe.com/, this place has one of the best hamburgers I have ever had and has been voted one of the best in Texas. They also had a special parking spot for Bacchetta’s!

Next stop was Luckenbach, TX to see Willie, Waylon and the boys. We hung around for a bit and enjoyed a cold Shiner beer. Then we rolled back into Fredericksburg glowing from another great ride on our Bacchetta’s.

Friday brought the last days of good weather for Hell Week and a ride out to the LBJ state park. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/lyndon_b_johnson/ The wind did come up and convinced us not to push as our legs were still not recovered and we called it a day with 59 miles and 2705 feet of climbing.

It was a great week of recovery riding and sight seeing. Fredericksburg and Hell Week provide a great riding combination with good friends. I would highly recommend putting Hell Week on a ride vacation schedule.


Mother’s Day Ride

Monday morning when I walked into the office the phone was ringing, I missed the call but a few minutes later it rang again, Scott from Belmont Wheelworks, http://www.bacchettabikes.com/dealers/profiles/ma-bw-470.htm, was calling. I thought he just needs to b.s. Mike for a minute, then Mike was saying Scott was wanting to talk to me.

Scott went on to tell me about a lady, Trish Krater, CEO and cofounder of Dancing Deer Baking Co., http://www.dancingdeer.com/, He said Trish was doing a fifteen day 1500 mile ride Mother’s Day ride to raise awareness and supporting organizations that are working with the homeless. A focus of Trish is the homeless with families.

Why Scott was calling me? He said that Trish could use a pep talk and was having a rough day and things were getting tougher. I guess you thought maybe another bike crazy ultra type rider might be able to pep her up on her ride. I said sure I would do but what is she riding? Oh just a Trek Madone or something, I thought must be one tough lady to be putting herself though this.

Scott give me her web site, http://blog.dancingdeer.com/index.php/ride/about/, I took a peek. Trish has a GPS tracker on her bike and gave me a idea where she was riding and how fast, I took a look at the weather for where she was and hmmm, it was a warm day but looked like she might be getting some tailwinds. I thought I’ll try and give her a call.

Trish answered and I told her who I was and that Scott Chamberlein for Wheelworks asked me to give her a call. She respond that Scott had told her I would be calling and she would love to talk but was running low on the cell phone battery and her RV support was lost. She asked me to text my number to her and she would give me a call back later.  

Tuesday I gave her a buzz, was able to visit with her about her ride and if she was getting anybody to ride with.  She had hope more people would join in along her route and share the experience with a little more then so far but understands riding along during the middle of a work week may put the damper on that happening. Otherwise she seems to be doing pretty good and has a great attitude about your journey.

Take a look at her web site and route; if she is coming close maybe some of Bacchetta family could spin a few miles with her.



Texas Hill Country 600km


It was doubtful that I was going to do this race after bailing out on Larry Graham as a team rider but I still needed to go to Plano TX for a dealer clinic at Plano Cycling. When visiting with Steve Petty  (Corsa SS rider and Tejas 500 team rider) about coming to town I mention something about the race and that it was at the start of Hell Week and Steve said they were going to be down there and I said hmm, you guys want to crew and he said sure!. Peggy (Strada rider and Tejas 500 team rider)and Steve Petty with Ray Torrey (Aero rider and whom Rich Pinto and I first met at Hotter n’ Hell a few years ago) .


Left to right, Ray Torrey, Steve Petty, JS and Peggy Petty

Left to right, Ray Torrey, Steve Petty, JS and Peggy Petty


They gave up riding on Saturday’s first day of Hell week to crew for me. I think they were a little nervous about crewing but I kept saying don’t worry it is easy and just relax.

My first timer crew did a stellar job nary a glitch and I almost stayed nice though out the whole race, I would take them on as crew anytime down the road. Also they offered to do a ride report from the crew side, now for my part of the report the race from the rider.

This adventure started out as an early spring dealer visit. First stop was Ride South, (http://www.ridesouth.com/), near Jackson Mississippi. Jim Snider has one of the most beautiful Recumbent, Bicycle and kayak shops I have visited. Arrived there on a Friday afternoon with plans for a morning ride with some of Jim’s faithful local riders. I think we had a showing of almost twenty riders. We did the loop around the lake and then it was to work unloading kayaks and unpacking them for the rest of the day. Sunday I had a three hour workout to do with intervals so local rider Brain Curry suggest we ride together up the Trace, Brain is training for the kilo on the track and thought it would be fun to tag a long with the old guy for a few intervals. The Natchez Trace work outs perfect for intervals, no stop signs.

We knocked out the three and went our separate ways with an afternoon ride schedule out to Yogi Park with Jim and whoever showed up. Ended up for the day with a little over 100 miles on the bike, really good riding around Jim’s shop a must do again trip..

Weather looked ugly as I headed west towards Dallas and forecast sounded like winter was going to strike one more time, just in time for the visit to Plano Cycling, (http://planocycling.com/), with Rick’s crew.  Had a good little clinic with the crew and managed to get in a recovery ride before the rains hit.

I had one more day of endurance miles to do after the rains and cold temps hit so I did something I have not done in a couple of years. I did a trainer workout in the Petty’s garage! There on the trainer I had my first flat in a long time, at least I was not out on the side of the road getting drenched and freezing.

Friday morning we headed for Heletoes TX to check and get inspection done on bikes and pace vehicles. It was cold and damp. Rain most of the way down. Forecast show a good chance of the rains letting up but temps staying down below the fifties and winds light but what wind there would be was pretty much stay as a headwind working against the clockwise course.

We passed inspection not with out a little bit of oh, wonder where that is , and just one phone call to Sara Kay to ask if we had something with us before I tore up the van to find it. This was the first race where I had a first time crew, zero experience and I actually had to know what was going on with having the van ready for pace work. You get kind of spoiled with having crew chief’s like Sara Kay ( 08 Solo RAAM crew chief), Adrienne Ruggeles (07 Two Man RAAM Crew Chief)  and David Bradley (just a dam good crew member to have around even if he is not being the crew chief) hanging around.

The race plan was to get up and over the first few climbs at a good tempo, hopefully I would have a gap on the pack and spread it out a little more before the big climbs. Follow this link and scroll down to the bottom for the profile of the race course, (http://www.raceacrossoregon.com/hillcountry). The race started promptly at 8:00 with Fred Boethling pacing us out to the end of the neutral zone at mile 4.2.  After 2:14 minutes time station number one rolled by 42.6 miles into the 600km race. I manage to have eight minutes on the second place rider David Goggins at this point in the race. My numbers were good and I was not hurting myself to bad. Max. watts was 606 right the neutral zone start with an average of 237 watts. Max. heart rate was 168 with an average of 144,  average speed was 19.4 mph, all well within my endurance range.

TS #2 was 79.4 miles into the race. Covered the 37 miles in 2:12, max watts 515, average watts 230, max heart rate 160, average heart rate 142, average speed of 17.8 and a max speed of 54.9 mph. At this point I had a 14 minute lead of the second place ride who now was John Caton. Caton had worked his way up to second and would remain there for the next three time stations. Race clock was at 12:22 p.m.

Rock Springs, mile 129.7 saw TS #3 roll by 7:47 total time into the race. For the 50.3 miles covered I had a max. watts 457, average watts 200, max HR 151 and average HR of 134. Average speed was 17.6. I now had a 25 minute lead on John Caton running second.

Time Station #4 rolled by with 10 hours into the race, 178.1 miles total and 38.4 miles for this leg. Data was max watts, 457, average watts 164, max HR 140, average HR 120 and 18.7 mph average. You start to notice the longer an ultra racer rides his number keep going down and down but what is good average speed stays close. Once again Catonin second place now at 43 minutes back. Starting to stretch out the lead a little.

Junction to Llano TS#5 the longest leg of the race 76.8 miles, rolled though at 22:05 race time total time on the course 14:05 with 254.9 miles passed by. Total time for this leg was 4:05 with max watts 401, average watts 166, max HR 134 average HR 119 and average speed around 19.5 mph. I’m thinking now we are getting close to smelling the barn, what only 100 plus miles to go! John Caton still chasing back in second place at 1:18 back.

The crew has been doing great, quick learners, making me eat, drinking and also with the cold temps I have been having to stop about every hour for a quick nature break, on my Ergo it shows about two minutes stopped time for nature breaks. I’m getting grumpy about having to stop all the time and trying to back down some of the fluid intake but they keep after me to fuel, drink, eat!

TS #6 gets me to at least a familiar sounding town, Fredericksburg, this is where we are staying for the before and after the race, the Petty’s and Ray rented a nice B&B for the week while they do Hell week, worked out really well, except in my mind it only took 60 minutes by car to go from Fredericksburg to Heletoes. Starting to smell the barn?

Rolled into TS#6 at 1:06 a.m. race time 13:06 hours into the race, 300.1 miles into the race. Rough 45.2 miles took 3:01 to cover them, max watts 328, average watts 153, max HR 124, average HR 110 and average speed in the 15.5 mph range. Getting very tried or it had some steady climbing. I manage to come in 1:27 minutes ahead of Goggins who now was running in second place.

Some where between TS #5 and #6 Caton drops out of the race, did not get a chance to talk to him but heard he was having trouble seeing. I have had that problem in cold air on ul

tra events, my eyesight starts to fog out but I have never gone blind like I have heard of a few others doing that. I wore my TT helmet with just for this reason, my helmet has a wind screen which kind my eye out of the wind and nice and warm, no fogging of the eyes this cold race!

340.8 miles into the race Boerne TS# 7, had the crew did out the Jolt chewing gum, was starting to get a little sleepy. After two or three pieces of Jolt I was back to wide awake, still thinking I smelled the barn. Boerne? Man got to be getting close to the finish.  Covered the 40.7 miles in 2:48, max watts 335, average watts 134, max HR 116, average 105 and average speed of 15.6 mph. Wow, I really getting tired, no HR, no watts and no speed. I manage a 1:24 gap on Goggin and he picks up three minutes on me this leg.

Bouerne to the finish, 357.7 miles done, 20:59 total time! about two hours slower then I had hope to do the race in.  Last leg was 17.42 miles, covered in 1:04 minutes, max watts 335, average watts 141, max HR 115, average HR 105 and average speed was around 16 mph. I was done, cooked and happy to get out of the cold, just as George gave me my metal and took a group picture it started to sprinkle and I thought it is good to be DONE!

Goggins came in second 1:23 back. Mark Metcalfe another Lone Star Randonneur member was 54 minutes off of Goggins. Kent Polk Bacchetta rider came in with a total time of 26:24. Kent’s first ultra race, he learn some things and I’m sure he’ll be contending for the overall next year.

Winner's Sombrero


George Thomas always puts on a great race, I whole heartily recommend if you ever have a Chance to do a George and Terry race do it. The awards party afterwards are always fun and you never know what your special prize might be.



CA 2.0, Tire clearances and wheels sizes.

There have been some questions about the new CA 2.0 wheel, tire clearance and brake reach. I’ll try and clear those up here.

The 650c  (that is 571 mm ) rear end CA 2.0 has 11mm clearance between a 23 mm x 571mm tire and the frame,

Good range of brake pad travels allows two wheel sizes!

Good range of brake pad travels allows two wheel sizes!



Short reach brakes like the Zero-G will reach the 650c (571mm) rim with no problems.

You can put a 559 (26” mt.bike rim) in the frame and with the Bacchetta rear brake it reaches the rim no problem, room to spare. Put a 26 x 1.25” (32mm) like a Kenda Qwest you have 6mm clearance between frame and tire.

Even with a 26 x 1.25" (32mm) you have clearence of 6mm!

Even with a 26 x 1.25




Bacchetta rear brake reaches the 559 rim, sweet!

Bacchetta rear brake reaches the 559 rim, sweet!


The 700c (620mm) CA 2.0) current proto-type rear end with a 700c x 23mm tire gives you 6mm clearance between the tire and the frame. The Zero-G short reach brakes fits with no problems and it looks like we could add 3mm more of length to the chain stay to gives us some possible options of getting a 28mm tire into the 700c rear end.

Looks like the CA 2.0 is going to be a great all around bike, I can envision many uses of this bike from hard core racing to light touring and of course doing the full brevet series.

Keep spinning

John Schlitter


CA 2.0

CA 2.0 Looking Good!

CA 2.0 Looking Good!

We’ve decided on the paint scheme and color for the CA 2.0 frames.


Silky Smooth

Silky Smooth




We are going to use the TEAM theme though out the CA 2.0, in other words everyone can have a team bike, well at least in frame and paint scheme.



When? We will announce when the final round of testing is completed.

Keep spinning

John Schlitter


New 650c tire on the market.


Utremo on the REEN 577

Utremo on the REEN 577


Schwalbe as discontinued the Stelvio in the 650c size and replaced it with the new Ultremo , sweet tire at 170 grams,  http://www.schwalbetires.com


Fast tire!

Fast tire!


At the Bacchetta/Catrike Rally I received a set of Ultremo’s to test. I have intentions of using these at Sebring 24 hour race Feb. 14th, http://www.bikesebring.org/races.html, and though it would be a good idea to put a few miles on them before. I mounted then up on a RENN 577 rear disc and Zipp 404 front. Went out and did a workout that have a 45 minute tempo workout that gave me good range of speeds and cornering for the tires, all went well, after fifty miles not indication of any road scars/cuts. Next ride was the Tour de Cape Century ride, http://www.bacchettabikes.com/forum2/tm.asp?m=48332, the Ultremo’s did a great job and not a single road cut in them yet after 150 miles.

They handle real well and are a smooth supple ride. I think these high end tires are a winner.

Keep spinning

John Schlitter


Ride Story

John Cunningham of Recumbent Brothers Bicycle Shop passed along a story from friends of his out west, enjoy. js


“The spirit of the Mad Medico of Mandeville is alive and well as 
personified by the club wielding maniac who attacked a group of four 
riders yesterday morning on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills.

The group, consisting of three former and/or current La Grange 
members, Al Lavery, Joel Slaven and Skip Nevell and Ron Sarchian, a 
member of the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club, were proceeding west 
on Ventura, outward bound on their customary Sunday ride, when the 
incident occurred.

The first indication of a problem manifested itself as the attacker 
sped past the group in his auto, leaning on the horn in apparent 
displeasure at being somehow slowed by their presence on HIS street. 
It was early morning and traffic was VERY light. At worst we were 
riding two abreast on the far right side of a very wide street.

The cretin then pulled to the curb ahead of the group, leaped from the 
car shouting obscenities and swung at Ron as we rode past. Ron fended 
off the blow with his forearm and we continued.

Not dissuaded, you have to admire his persistence, Sir Violence, again 
sped past us, nimbly exited his vehicle and the real fun started.

I was in the lead and I watched as he opened the rear door of his car 
and pulled out what looked like a length of black iron pipe. Fearing 
the worst, I rolled past and immediately heard a loud “thwack.”

Stopping and dismounting I turned to view the spectacle of Ron 
wrestling in the middle of the street with the lunatic.

I digress here to provide a few details of Ron’s resume. He is a 
former college football player, skydiver, rodeo clown, you know, the 
guys in funny suits who divert enraged bulls away from fallen riders 
and currently, between acting gigs, he is a personal fitness trainer. 
In addition, he holds numerous Guinness Book world records including 
most punches thrown to a bag in one minute, most roundhouse kicks 
delivered to a heavy bag in one hour and longest time spent punching a 
bag,,minimum one punch per second.

He is big, amazingly strong and very fit.

If you wished to attack a bicycle rider within a hundred mile radius 
of where we were at that moment, I wager the last guy you would chose 
would be Ron. To put it as baldly as possible, jerko was f—–g 
with,the wrong Marine.

The fight lasted at least three seconds and ended with Ron on top of 
the jerk in the middle of Ventura Blvd., securing him with an arm lock 
to the throat that prevented ANY movement.

The police were summoned and they responded with immediate and 
overwhelming force. At one point we counted seven black and whites and 
a helicopter circling over head. It was Sunday morning, what else was 
there to do?

Ron emerged unhurt from the fracas although he had been knocked from 
his bike by a blow to the rib cage I heard being delivered. 
Fortunately for Ron, the 20″pipe” turned out to be a walking stick but 
one certainly capable of inflicting serious damage when wielded by a 
determined attacker.

Jerko was handcuffed and hauled off to jail and we proceeded on our 
way trailed by the words of one of the arresting officers, “Have a 
nice ride, guys.”

And that we did.”

Single Speed Giro “FIXIE”

I had my new bike with me at the fall Bacchetta Cat Trike Rally and a few people notice the set up. At that time I had it set up as just a single speed with a single freewheel cog. Finally got around to getting a 3/32 track cog and set up my flip flop hub with the single freewheel and track cog.

Last night I took the Giro fixie  and did a ride put on by our local Bacchetta dealer Bicycle Outfitters, http://bicycleoutfitters.net/, . Diana, Jerry, Adam Belander and the Outfitter crew put on a great X-mas light ride though Lake Park neighborhood that decorates up their streets and accepts donations to the Hospice. A good spread of treats with hot cider and cocoa at the store was well appreciated on the chilly Florida night (come on it was like 54 degrees).

Oh back to the fixie, she worked great and it is very interesting riding a high bottom bracket recumbent with a fix gear and reclined. I recommend keeping the extra brakes and not to depend upon leg braking. Other then that it works well, some planning on starts maybe required more, “Pinto run”  the duck run launches to get going as you though your feet up on to the pedals.

 More on the bike, I had my builder Cam “the man” Millet take a 2007 Giro 26 frame add in some track drop outs, clean off a few extra housing stops and stubby the front del. Post and his choice of color, which seems to be liked by a lot of people. I picked up a set of Surly single speed hubs built on to a Mavic Open Sport 700c rims and put on a pair of Maxxis 700c x 25mm Re-Fuse tires for banging around on. Added in a some Kore rear dropout adjusters you get a Fixie Giro. Note I ended up going with a 3/32 cog and chain to fit though the Bacchetta idler wheel, Tried a heavy duty 1/8 KMC chain and it was to wide for the idler wheel.


Merry Christmas