Wednesday, December 29, 2004

snow and inactivity

Well today was supposed to be another fun filled ride in Auburn, but mother nature in the form of snow over Donner Pass has put that plan to rest. Other than that I have ridden the bike once in the last 15 days for an hour and not done much in the way of exersise at all. I have come to terms with it though and am no longer beating myself up over not riding. I am going to the doctor, the ear nose and throat doctor tommarrow because I have been off and on ill for the last 2 months and the swollen glands in my throat will just not go away. Inactivity is difficult, but I figure I would rather be off the bike now than later in the season. It is a good time of year to be mellow. I have also been dealing with the christmas new years crowds at the restarant, oh what fun, the pocket book loves me, but the mind is a taking some heat and under pressure so to speak. They are not always in the Holiday spirit so to speak.
When I rode the fixie the other day I felt great, my legs were super powerful. I always seem to get in a blue mood this time of year, but I think the illness is adding to my lack of motivation. I am motivated to suceed next year and taking this as a learning experience and embracing doing nothing. I was going to go for a little ride today after the Auburn ride was cancelled but the snow is falling pretty heavy right now and I dont think that exacerbating the situation and pushing myself is necessary right now. There is plenty of season ahead.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Deep Survival

Deep Survival is the name of a book that I just read and that I think every endurance athlete, or for that matter anyone should read, especially those of us who at times find ourselves making decisions under stress. The book is a page turner. It is about the psychology if getting lost and who survives and who doesn't and what the pervading themes are in survival. It predominatly deals with survival in the wilderness, but as he says it relates to how companies make decisions and what he calls the mental map. As with a lot of other things I have come to read and agree with it, to live life in the moment is the way to live, constantly acessing our situation and making a new mental map as he calls it and not just sticking to our outdated mental map and trying to make the wilderness, what we are seeing conform to our map, as that will not happen. It talks about prepareness, and also the ability to be flexible in thought. Having a rigid outlook will usually lead to trouble, but the real ability comes in being able to make decisions based on what you are experiencing and that alone, not the rigid map that we all have that leads to sucess or failure. I think that those of us who succeed in the endurance world are more likely to be of the survival mentality or have increased survival rates because we train our bodies and our minds to handle the stress of riding for 24 hrs and all that one encounters. We are more likely to have what he calls a positive mental outlook, a characteristic that is hard to describe, he attempts to, but it is a quallity that is hard to describe. The main point I took from the book was to be present and constantly accessing our situations in the world and look for clues that will keep your map of the world current, because our maps if held rigid will quickly become outdated and lead to being lost in the world or in our own lives. Check this book out it is really interesting. Hope everyones xmas was fun.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Today the last nine days of rest finally got to me, I could no longer deal with the endless time on my hands feeling and just had to get out for a run. Mind you I hate to run, but it helps me to stay off the bike and to prevent that all to familiar burnout and overtraining. Like I said nine days off the bike is eternity, I have a ride planned in Auburn next week, and am going to try to stay off the bike for the most part untill then. Like I said running sucks, but it is a necessary evil, I would like to be skate sking, but due to lack of snow the trails suck and rocks are exposed, so that is a no go, so running is the cardio vascular activity that is left. I also really dont enjoy working out indoors, such as the stairmaster, so that is not on the agendy. Running, so I ran for about an hour on the trails in Evans Canyon, right out my back door so all in all in was a mood lifter. Tonight I am hoping to hang out with some friends, as it is my only day off this week from the henious christmas crowds in Tahoe, and I need to connect with some people I havn't seen in a while.
Other random things, I know what my dad got me for christmas as a package from dell is now attempting to be deliverd for the 3rd time because I have to personal sign for it, what a hassel here I am waiting for my mp3 player so that I can get to downloading music and carrying it with me when I work out and I have missed it for two days, would have been nice to have on todays run to take my mind of exactly what I was doing. Happy Holidays to all.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Random thoughts

Rest is probably the hardest thing for me to deal with. I can train day in and day out, absolutly punishing myself but taking time off the bike to let the weary mind and body recover is the hard part. I have now been completly off the bike for 7 days, and have done little other exersise other than walking the dog and those daily chores. Oh that and the two days of trail work that I did in the Evans Canyon area here in Reno. That involved lifting rocks and lots and lots of McCloud work. I think thats how you spell that. That was a total of about 7 hrs between the two days, and then working in the restaurant each evening, thats a day filled with rest. The reason I have decided to take a break from the exersise for just a bit is that I just felt terrible and getting up was such a chore, and the fact that the glands in my throat were constanly enlarged, so I am getting healthy again, I think that I may have been dangerously close to being overtrained. Like I said rest does not come easy for me. Idle time is the work of the devil I say.
Back to the trail work thing, we should all, us mountain bikers and racers, take the time to give back to be part of the trail building effort. I don't know how many mountain bikers there are in the area, but only 4 of us showed up to do any work, that is just down right sad. WE use the trails we should be part of the effort to maintain and build more so that we can be a part of ensuring them for future use. It should be required. Not doing trial maintence work and then complaing about the lack of or quality of trails is like not voting and then complaining about the president or the state of the country. If you are not part of the process you have no right to complain. Enough said, get out there and work on some trails. You will feel better I promise.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

bullards bar and that time of year

Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding the Bullards Bar trail, it is very fun, we rode out along the twisting fingers, this trail twists and turns so much with little elevation gain until a little climb at the end to get up to a ridgeline that takes you back to 8 ball and then contiunes to stay high by the rode. I had heard a lot about this trail, and it was fun.
That said, it is the time of year where I am going to spend some time with family and to take a break from the bike. Since last year I have not taken more than four straight days off the bike, I plan to get back on at the begining of next year, my legs, back and mind need to recover a little from a season that was full of big rides and races. Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 12, 2004

random thoughts

Today Sunday was spent feeling sorry for myself for what I have decided is my lack of motivation, but it is however December and I am not the biggest fan of the holidays. So I slept in, talked to my parents, they are divorced so this was done in two different calls. I surfed the net and thought about tomarrows ride. We are either going to ride Nevada City, which I think will be a peanut butter mess, or bullards bar which is supposed to be a fun rolling ride, with not much elevation gain but lots of twists and turns. Work was qutie nice last night, busy for a change. Not much else to report. I ran yesterday for a little over an hour. The first half hour sucked so much, but then I got in to the grove. I don't run that much, but i am trying to take some time off the bike, as a total break is next to impossible for me, so if I can rest a little here and there. I am looking forward to next season.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Auburn is full of fun

I had the pleasure of riding my bike in Auburn with Mr Roger Lackey and had the opportunity to sample some fine single track. Auburn is full of steep decsents and climbs and in our 4 hr ride we did a lot of both. It was super muddy and very wet, probably one of the wettest rides I have been on. Rigid 29er are capable of so much I rolled over everything in sight, no problem, every time I ride this bike I enjoy it more and more, and my worries about it go away. I took some pictures of the bike that I will hopefully post here and on Mtbr. Wade and Derrrick are both amazing and I am very satisfied with my bike, so order one and you to can be rockin a piece of art down the trail.

Friday, December 03, 2004

date and time issues

I am having problems with the date and tiem updating itself so it appears as though I have not been updating this blog well I have so the trans Iowa thoghts were from today not from 5 days ago, sorry I am always learning new things while on a computer, it has been one growing experience after another great, just what I want. Thanks for you patience.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

trans Iowa

I am starting to contemplate this race, the trans iowa race, put on by jeff kerkove, although it seems like it would be quite crazy to do. The time of year is perfect and the experience alone would be great, I am sure it would be an uphill battle on a single, but then again it could be just what the doctor ordered, 310 miles of suffering and navigation, it might be the perfect buildup for the Kokopelli race that Curiak puts on in May, I would like if he would sure up the date for that so that I would be able to know if I will have enough time to recover between the two races. I think this would be an epic experience, full of highs and lows and plenty of fun and suffering, a great training ride full of new experiences and bonding. Thats all for now, I have been taking some days off from training as I have not been that motivated and have yet to really take a break of any sort since I started training for the current season last December. Lots of reading and relaxing mixed with a little work and not much else. MUch needed, but I want to start skate sking soon to keep my fitness. Next week I am going to Auburn to ride some trails that I have not ridden before. Peace.

errands in the slush

Today I knew that I just had to get out and ride the bike, the fixed gear, which is the bike I have been riding now and for most of the year to do my errands and just to add extra miles to the training. At the begining of this year I decided that I just had to do something other than just complain about how high gas prices were so I did, I made a pact with myself to not drive my car in reno, I was just going to drive my car to work, which is in Tahoe, and over a very large mountain pass, it would require about 5,000 ft of climbing on way to get to work on a bike, so I made a pact to not drive my car in reno and have stuck to that pact for the whole year, am I going to let a 6 inches of snow ice and slush stop me, hell no, I am going to keep on keepin on, it is also unusually cold here for this time of year I think it was under 30 degrees all day long, but a pact is a pact is a pact so I did my errands and spent about 3 hrs out on the bike today in the cold, toughens me up and keeps me honest, that said carrying 20 - 30 lbs of groceries on my back is quite a chore, but I love it and do you know how many crazy looks I got today, it was great. I also have more hatred for motorists than ever, I almost got put in to too many snow banks today by motorist in a rush and wanting trouble, in fact at one point in time I paced a front loader so as to mess with one irrate old man in a big truck who kept honking at me, but I had no where else to be, what do these people think we dont belong, that bigger is better, screw them, I was laughing the whole time I was doing this time trial next to the front loader, he ended up slowing down so that the crazy old man could get through. Mom always told me to play in traffic, look at me now mom. I love to ride my bike and what doesnt kill me will make me stronger the more I ride in adverse conditions the more dedicated I become. Thats all for now. Nat

Snow in Reno

Hello to all I would like to be out riding my bike, or at least I think that I would like to be out riding my bike, my body after a long hard season my not be feeling like being out there, but I sure do love ridding my bike. Reno recieved a bunch of snow in the last day, about six inches and it has stayed cold enough that the streets are a mess. Now mind you I know that six inches of snow is not all that much, I did spend some winters in Tahoe and I grew up in Vermont so I have seen snow, believe you me. However six inches of snow in Reno has a way of slowing and I mean slowing everything down, they just dont know what to do with it. Lucky for them though the sun is very strong here and has a way of melting it for them as long as they are patient enough to wait for that to happen. I wonder what the last cross race of the season looks like today, I'll have to call Scott and ask him how it all went out there at hidden valley. Thats all for now, I will have more soon.

Monday, November 22, 2004

29 er 1st ride

Today was a day I had been waiting for for a long time. Is that proper grammer? Anyways after being sick for the longest time in history that I can remember, one thing to the next to the next for me, I have been thinking that I may need some time off the bike but now with a new arrival I am too amped to ride and seeing that I just built up my new 29er from Vulture its time for some serious rides to see if I will bite the 29er bug. Now mind you I am not the tipical 29er rider, I am short 5'7" so I had needed the standover not to be incrdibly high or I would rack my member on the top tube. Both Wade and Derek at Vulture are great, super friendly and Derek is a master with the paint, wait till I post a picture of this beauty on here it is according to Wade on sexy bike, I think it is like now other that I have seen. Vulture specializes in single speeds so why wouldnt a man such as myself go to them, I have nothing but good things to say about these guys.
Back to the 29er set up, I went rigid for the time being a new experience for me, I am not an old timer so I have never ridden a rigid bike, my last single speed was my first hardtail, I started riding Full suspension and progressed backwards, or digressed or whatever you want to call it. Disc brakes are a must, and the eccentric bottom bracket also a must if you ask me. I am also riding the jones h bar, a very good bar, so many hand positions. I took the bike out and loved it, Wade did a great job of making it not feel overly big, I did notice a little difference, but the ride felt very similar to my Cannondale 1fg, although it did seem more stable and I had a rigid fork, which felt similar to the head shock on my other bike. I had a great time, traction is endless. I am impressed after my first ride, however it was wide open fast, which plays to its stregths. My first impression is that it felt good, I look to have more on it after tommarrow when I go ride the wonderful trails of Nevada City again. Caio for now.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

nevada city trails rule!!!!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of riding the fine trails of Nevada city. We could not have asked for a better day in any way shape our form. The trails were rollercoaster fun and sooo tacky and bermed out and perfect. We had a blast. We rode parts of the pioneer trail and the omega trail and a whole mixture of other trails that didnt have names or if they did I dont know them. I had the thought that this would be a really good place to hold a 100 mile race as the possibilities are endless, I dont know if logistically it could work, but as far as trails go they got enough of them to easily ride 100miles if it were desired. WE finished the day of with pizza and beer and all around it was a very good day.
Since I ride my fixie everywhere, except to work because it would involve about 5000 ft of climbing one way and I dont have that kind of time, I have the pleasure of seeing and witnessing things that many others dont simple because I am out there. I think that more people should be out there riding and becoming part of the fabric that makes up our society and brings color and excitment in to all. That is why I ride because I feel so alive that and the fact that gas is so damn expensive that I need to plan for the end since we are fast approaching the begining of the end. Thats all for now more later.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This is all so new for me

This is something, I mean this is going to be a learning experience for me so please bear with me through what I am sure is going to be a rocky start, as I am not that much of a computer person, so I hope we all have fun with this. I imagine by the time the season is up an rocking I will have this all figured out and it will be smooth but until I figure it out it will probably be somewhat rocky. It will probably be somewhat of a bare bones sight with mainly text in the begining, but I hope to bring photos and links and such in good time. Learn with me or laugh with me or at me whatever it takes.
My hope is to provide a forum for the endurance athlete and the single speeder, those not talked about in the glossy mags and not in the fore front of all that is taking place in the world of cycling. I think that the endurance scene is just one big family and so is the single speed family. I am going to attempt to marry the two and provide info and insights in to the mind of the so called pain freaks of the planet. Both these endevors make me feel so alive and part of all that it means to be human. Enjoy.