Tuesday, March 29, 2005

wind, weather and a foul mood

Well it has been a little bit since I have posted I have just not been in a great mood and work has been bogging me down. 14 hrs on easter is not exactly good for the body or mind, alright on the pocketbook, but not so good on my feet and legs. The balls of my feet were destroyed after that day. My superfeet footbeds did help to ease the pain though. www.superfeet.com These things are great.
The weather has been less than cooperative for riding. The wind has literally been gail force out there, tumbleweeds, dirt and debris of all sort flying around. I did yoga today, my muscles, hips etc are do tight that this is a great training tool. That and the breathing, with the concentrated breath and the focus on the breath it helps with the on the bike breathing and that is the most imporatant compliment to me.
I watched the movie The Hard Way, a documentary about the Net Zero team and their trials and triblations to make it on the american road scenc. www.prothemovie.com has a link and is the next movie that I plan to watch. This was a great movie. Although it did cut in to my sleep time which was not the best. 2:00 am bedtimes are not the greatest.
Lack of sleep and weather and crashing and racing my first really hard effort and working overtime have all contributed to my foul mood, which I feel lifting and am sorry to blog you down with. I am going to take the single speed out for a short power effort on the local trails in the howling wind, good for the mental side of training. Hopefully tommarrow it is supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees so I can get in a long ride on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday is my only day off this week, but I have a good vactation coming up when I go to Sea Otter and then on down to the 24hrs of Temecula. I hope the course is recovered after all the fires and floods. Speaking of 24 hr races what was the deal with Granny GEar and Adrenalin fighting as suing each other over who had the idea and could do what where. Craziness, I want to say cant we all just get along, after all we are all cyclist and should be honored just to meet one another, we are part of the choosen, those that get it so to speak, if only more people got it and rode just a little bit we as a society would be in a much better place. I am so glad that I have found cycling it is just the best thing going. It is my me time, my time to socialize, reflect, contemplate, decide and meditate, Thank you cycling and thank you for reading if you made it this far, I know that at times this can be long and boring and for me it is a place to get it all out in the world. Tiime to go suffer in the relentless wind.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

you stupic f--k

There I am riding along enjoying the moon and clouds as well as paying attention to the speeding cars beside me and this is what I here, "you stupid f--k!!!!" Me the stupid f out on the bike enjoying myself and minding my own business. How bout you the stupid fu-k behind the wheel of tons of steel, you Bush loving priasing stupid fuck. tHere I wrote it. As of late I have been very angry, I have been having those vigilante fantasies where I chase them down and its a show down where they get beat up by the stupid fuck on a bike. Whose stupid now asshole. Sorry for the nasty rant but I have to release it somewhere or it leaks out in the world when I really dont want it to, and karmically speaking that would be a no good. I really think that we could all benefit from a little fight club in our lives the realease of angry and frustration but bonding in the same light. Call me crazy that has been my mood lately. I have just been raging and peoples stupidity is baffling at times and my fuse is a little short lately. If we were all a little more commpassionate and not so judjemental it would be a lot easier. I just get so upset with the way in which people chose to live and be and it all seems so hopeless at times and why bother, and I can relate. Dont stay there and it does all matter and we are all interconnected and we all should honor and love one another. There I go from fight club to loving one another all that hippy shit, thanks mom, thanks dad. Ying Yang and we all go full circle. All is good I just needed to get that out there. I challange you to Choose something each day that matters to you and do it, however small and honor yourself for doing so. Look at things from anothers perspective so that you can relate, this doesnt mean you agree but you can see how they may see things that way even if you dont and honor them and yourself just the way you are. Well this rant needs to end because it probably is too much, but it matters to me and cycling matters and damit i am going to ride at night because I want to, because it saves me money on gas, which is so high it is astounding, but we are not entitiled to dirve the biggest most gas gussling cars because they feel safe or what ever the reason my be. Be less car dependent, be more independent. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. Out. I am still fired up about stupid drivers and people that get upset with me for riding my bike, but less so because I have left it here. Thanks agian

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Cool Mtb race

Last night after a long night in the restaurant I was greeted by a white out for the lovely dirve over Mt Rose. One hundred mile an hour winds and the snow combine to make for a rather sluggish drive home. I began to wonder if it would continue how would the drive over Donner Summit be, and was it worth taking my newly wounded body out for a full on race pace effort. I imagined crashing again, was the crash in seattle just a warning, and all fashion of other things. So after a short 6 hr sleep maybe less I awoke to snow, here in Reno, and for a moment stayed thinking why bother with all the travel and possible not being at my best because of the injuries.
After tearing myself from the warm embrace of my bed I started through the morning routine of coffee and running through the pre race checklist for the 10th time so as not to forget any key ingredients or items for the day. "wouldnt it suck to get to the race just in time and not have my shoes or my helmet?" I kept asking myself what else I might need. Finally the checklist complete, I loaded up and headed out in to the nasty weather. If my drive was precursor to the day I was in for a real treat, even if the sun miracuriously came out it had been raining cats and dogs in the Auburn, Ca area for the better part of 36 hrs. The Cool race has a way of bringing bad weather and since they moved the date from February to March the gods obliged and opened up the heavens for our racing and driving delight. Well the drive over was filled with bad drivers and on the lighter side a deep talk with my mother. I was worried about getting there on time, not worried enough to leave early, but certainly worried. I arrived with a few moments to spare, dressed got my number plate and prepared to suffer, mental I felt relaxed and ready to go, I wondered just how my body would respond. After the crusier class full of inebreated cyclist took off in the opposite direction, we were ready to race and the skies were just about to open up.
The mega phone told said go and we were off at a sprint, the course quickly funnels in to singletrack and it reallly helps to be out front with all the mud we were to encounter. I got a great start but that was not the case for everyone, a woman was cut off by a rabid back of the packer and sent to the pavement, it turns out she broke her collarbone, all so someone could get ahead. The start is important but not the end of the world. Those who want to start fast should get up front to begin with.
Soon I was out front with the leaders of the pro expert, me and my pal Roger and Rich Maylay? one fast older fellow on a single. We diced it up for awhile, and when we hit the first real climb Roger seemed to be struggling a little with the mud, he looked to be carrying a massive gear, Rich and I got away and that is the way it stayed. For the next two laps we traded back and forth and tried to keep our eyes from sealing shut. Half the time I could not see a thing. Toward the end of the second lap I was able to get a slight advantage on the last of the steep climbs and thought I had sealed it up, that is until my eyes crusted over and I had to stop for fear of crashing hard in the deep puddels. Rich caught me and we were once again locked in a battle of which he ended the victor, by a couple seconds. I thought for a second I was gonna catch him, but he got me. I ended up 2nd but first because he was in the older age group. On the whole this is a great race. It goes to benefit trail work in the area. Big props to Auburn bike works www.auburnbikeworks.com and fatrac www.fatrac.org on this one. My teammate Monty ended up second in my class and Roger ended up 3rd. So it was a podium shot. Unfortunately I thought I had to work and didnt get to stand up there with them. However I didi end up with the evening off and oh how sweet it is to put my feet up and relax. I plan on watching the Tripplets of Belleville, and having a tasty malt beverage. Ciao

Saturday, March 19, 2005

seattle,kent peterson, and the next post

First off I must say that I have been meaning to post for awhile now, and I am sure why I have not will become evident in the upcoming paragraphs.
First off I traveled to Seattle to see my bettter half, Danielle, so we had catching up to do and time to spend together. However with the new Ritchey Breakaway frame I had a bike so the plan was to see what it would be like to not use a car for transportation, we did pretty good. She is not the best cyclist so just riding around is somewhat challanging, although she makes up for her lack of skill and speed with her enthusiasm. So the first day we rode to the local pub had a few beers, Seattle has so many nooks and cranies, it is awsome. She lives in the GreenLake area so we visited Greggs at Greenlake bicycle shop and the pub up the street from there, a subsidiary of the Elysian Brewing company. Makers of fine ales and lagers right in the Seattle area. I am a huge fan of craft beers so there are just too many options up there, and the beer has a very distinct taste. For those of you in the know as well as those not it tends to be rather hoppy. I had the Immortal IPA, and she ESB, and the name of it escapes me now but they were great. The sun was out and the talk at the bar was about how we were all gonna pay with either a dryer and hotter than hades summer or one where the weather makes up for lost time and rains all summer. Either way the people were super friendly and I left feeling uplifted. Danielle and I went out for a great dinner and pondered the weather, for Wednesday was to be a long day in the saddle for me as I was to met Kent Peterson at the Sammamish bike shop in REdmond for a day on the local trails in and around that area, but the weather was to be the worst it had in 2 months, typical weather rainy and windy, not sunny and beautiful. But like Kent said any day is a good day for a ride. Tuesday was a mellow day of riding to the store and then watching movies, something I had been longing to do for awhile, given the work and training load I have been under as of late.

Wednesday rolled around and the weather was challanging to say the least and not something that I am accustomed to. I head out just after nine for the 20 mile road and bike path ride to Redmond. It sprinkeled a little, but the biggest challange was the wind, thank god for Reno it is always windy here so it was not that difficult, but did slow me down, I was hoping that Kent was waiting and not too upset by my delayed arrival. He was not and for two guys who have talked breifly a little over a month together we feel in to the typical banter that two passionate endurance cyclists tend to do. We talked of wool and all its great properties, he had these great Swobo gloves,in addition to that we could have been walking bilboards for Ibex, he with the knee warmers and me with the 3/4 knickers. I also got to test my new rain vest that I had just received from Steve Fassbinder aka Dr Doom, I am going to have to find out the origin of that nickname, the vest worked flawlesly over the next 4 hrs.
I had no idea where kent was taking me but we talked over the histories of our lives and all that is possible. I was shocked to find out that niether he or his wife has had a licence since the mid 80s, I took that as inspiration, what it must be like not to at all be caught up in the car culture that is so prevelent in todays society. I must say he is one hardy indivdual and I hope to spend more time picking his brain and riding to far off places. So off we went, he knowing where we were and me having no idea. We rode over Redmond Ridge and hit what was called the Pipeline trail on our way to Carnation and the Tote? trail system. I was borrowing a bike from Mo Lettevin and Kent was on his Divide Rig. Me light with a fairly easy gear 32 x 18 and him weghing in at 45 lbs with a 32 x 17 gear. He has been logging mostly gravel path miles in antcipation the divide race and I love the twists and turns of single track and have been logging most of my miles in that fashion, so when we arrived at the trail system I slide away under the twists and turns and would wait here and there, mind you we ended up getting lost, which he said we would becasue the trail system has more routes and trails in a small area that I thought possible, we could be half a mile apart and be right next to one another going in opposite directions. As we left this area it really started to pour, my feet were really the only sore spot but we got a break in the rain a little sun on our return to Redmond. We returned to the shop where I bought a new pair of socks, the Defeet Woolie boolies which saved my toes from certain removal and parted ways. On my way home it started to hail and was the worst rain I had ever ridden in. The next post will be on the details of my return home, where I got another first out of the way. My face and the pavement met under less than ideal circumstances, kind of like redneck family members at a wedding. I ended up bruiesed and batter, not really enjoying my slice of humble pie. Tommarrow I am supposed to race the Cool race, but the weather is getting in the way as I must cross Donner Summit to get there. My ribs and shoulder are also protesting but I imagine I will rally and get myself to the start line.
So I am sure by now it has become aware why I have not posted sooner. I also hope to post some pictures of Kents rig in the upcoming days that is if I can figure out how to do that. Ciao

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sunday epic ride

In life as in cycling the word epic is in the same place as the word extreme, over used so that the meaning is lost. It becomes mute and not what it should be. I could probably write that in a different way with more prose if I could come up with the words, but the mind is slow today and at a loss for the words to convey what it is I am really trying to say. But the point is when I use these words I feel that what I have done truely defines the word being used. It was epic 6 hrs in the saddle, with 7500 ft of climbing and I am unsure how many miles. Epic is the word.
Myself, Roger and Monty met at the Harmony Ridge Market on Rt 20 just outside of nevada city with a plan to ride to bite off a huge chunk of trail. I had been having dreams about riding the South Yuba trial as a loop, but no real knowledge of how to make it happen, roger knew the area well so he was our guide, other than having ridden parts of the trails at other times we had never undertaken such a ride so it was going to be an adventure.
So we hit the trial at just after ten am after a warm up on the Pioneer trail we turned right on a non descript trail and then we did a bunch of fire road descending eventually winding our way to the Round Mountain trail, sweet switchbacks and blazing fast single track were the order of the day as we headed down towards the river. After winding our way along the rocky outcropings with amazing views we finally hit the river and from there a bunch of climbing awaited up past the South Yuba camp ground and on the Makalakoff digins finally up towards Relief Hill and the Missouri Bar trail. On this section the 29er really performed, the climb was moderate and I was absolutely flying. On the Missouri bar descent I flated, my first flat on the 29er . AS i was fixing it and almost done, Rogers tire flated, it was a strange event as we had been stopped for a least five mins before it happen. We had been talking about stomach distress and I thought his flat was the realeasing of pressure, which would have been extemely impressive, but very inhuman. So after fixing the flats we were back on course, and all the climbing and ups and downs that the South Yuba trail has to offer. Eventually winding our way to the town of Washington. We refueled at the little store and then faced a 7 mile 6% grade back to rt 20, this was agony it hurt so bad to climb this thing, after that it was just a handful of miles on the Pioneer trail back to the cars. It was on of the best rides i have ever been on. I want to do it again, but make it a bigger loop next time. I was amazed with my fitness and very relieved that I felt this way in March on a big ride of this nature. Roger should post a comment to better describe the trail, so check it out. Big thanks to roger and monty for this ride, lets do it again sometime soon. See you all at Cool. Tommarrow it is a big ride with Kent Peterson, Mo was supposed to go with us, but duty calls and he can not get away from work. Well I am looking forward to exploring some trials here in the Seattle area. Keep the rubber side down.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

random thoughts

I really have trouble coming up with blog titles. They just never seem to be focused or direct enough or I am posting about so many different things that one title doesnt really do what I am posting any justice. Thanks for bearing with me. Yesterday was a beautiful day, as mr kerkove said the other day time to work on those tan lines. Funny thing is mine are still around from last year, so it is more a reestablishing of them than anything else. The high desert sun has a way of leaving its mark quite literally. I must say it is good to see the sun again.

Yesterday was another day on the Geiger climb with my friend Dave, he rides for WTB, www.wtb.com , and is quite the hammer. He just got back from the marathon and the stage race in Texas where he had a blast, not his best race, but it is early still. We beat each other up on the way up, he eventually got away and beat me to the top, but still we were flying. He post a 35 min time and me a 37 min and 45 second climb. I was happy. Then of course I had to go to work and deal with the masses of guests. yeah.

Tommarrow I am doing a ride with a one Mr Roger Lackey, yes of the Franchise Tax Board, ha ha, outside of Nevada City, Ca, on the South Yuba trail. Should be in the 50 to 60 mile range, on the old single speeds. I need to get some bike time before I race Sea otter, and then the following week while others are suffering across Iowa, www.transiowa.blogspot.com I will be suffering for a mere 24 hrs at the 24 hrs of Temecula, www.grannygear.com . I say mere because the afore mentioned folks will be going untill the finish the 300 plus miles. Oh how I love april.

Lately I have been listen to Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Tom Waits, and Lou Reed, I am liking what I am hearing.

On Monday I go to Seattle to visit Danielle, I am going to contact Sloane and I am definatly riding with Kent Peterson. I am going to try to get hold of a digital camera so that I can take some pictures of his great divide set up for all of you to view. I am actually going to try to get more pictures up on this site, but computers are new to me to bear with me please. Out to do a small recovery ride then weed the garden, finish packing and head on out to work.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The great race

Sunday was the day of the Great Ski Race, a cross country ski race from Tahoe City to Truckee, totalling 30 km with a bunch of climbing, not sure how much but a bunch. I was intially going to race my bike this day down out of Sacramento, but work and a bunch of other things lead to signing up for this instead. I could not have asked for a more beautiful day, sunny, with a little wind that kept the snow in that perfect condition for fast sking. I wanted to beat my time from last year which was 1hr 40 mins. I was a little worried as I had not skied in a couple of weeks ansd was wonder where the fitness would be. Also on Saturday I ate a big slice of humble pie on a road ride, the Saturday hammer fests, by getting blown out the back. I am not a roadie and have lots to learn in terms of sitting in and all those roadies things. So there I was lined up and ready to go, heart beating fast as the start is always the worst, the gun sounded and we were off. I knew right away that I was doing well as four of us pulled away right away, and soon we were passing people from the group ahead of us and I was happy. THe snow was really fast, and my friend got the wax right so I was ripping along. The snow did not really gett to mashed potatoy or anything and it was great. The down hill has some wicked berms and twist and turns and was a blast, unlike last year where I ended up on my ass a bunch of times, this year I was having a blast and my downhills were on. I did however get passed by Kristen Krone, an ex olympic downhiller who I must say had some skills and let it hang out on the skinny skis. That was Sunday mornng, then I tried to get out of work, no dice and had to work. Not the perfect ending, but the day was one to remember.
Monday was an easy spin followed by about 50 miles yesterday, up Geiger, but I took my friend, who is a complete novice and that kept the pace way down. Today I am packing up the Breakaway, and getting ready to go to Seattle again. I am getting a bike from a friend and going to ride some mtb with Kent Peterson and hopefully Mo lettvin, www.drizzle.com/~lettvin/moblog.html I am super excited, I hope the great Seattle weather holds out. Gotta go, now I have house work to take care of before a little spin and then some relaxin I hope.

Friday, March 04, 2005


I have not posted recently, I have been going, going, going. Riding, Riding, Riding. Work, Work, Working. All good times of course. Rather than bore you with the details I will give you the power point. Sunday was a little recovery ride, legs somewhat sore from the previous days activites. Monday not much, just lots of rest and other house activities. Yard work, ahhh the joys of home ownership. Tuesday was Yoga in the morning, yes I love the hippie in me, then riding to pay the bills and then a little climbing and return ride through the countryside. I did however almost have a bad encounter with a old lady in a Jaguar. There I was day dreaming in the bike lane and what interupts my peace, a loud horn and a jaguar hood with in inches of me, I almost lost control, but when I regained control I was furious. Usually I can laugh it off, but I could not that day so I tore off after this lady, wanting blood, and nothing less. Lucky for the both of us the light up ahead did not turn red and she got away. I will remember that car though, so I hope I dont see it again. What is it with people in cars? They suck. I aspire to be a good motorist, if I must drive. I really strive to not drive a car.
Wednesday it was suppposed to be Mountain bike time, but noo, the weather over the summit was less than inviting, snow, and I figured what the heck, it is really early in the season so why get stress, there will be plenty of time to ride soon. So I was determined to put in a big ride and that is exactly what I did. 90 miles on the road in the exteme wind, with bunches of climbing. My back ached and I wanted to stop but I always struggle at some point during a ride so I toughed it out and felt better at the end of it. In total I was in the saddle for a little over five hours. That night I ordered some raingear from the infamous Steve Fassbinder. Custom and all. MOre on this later.
My big delema for the weekend was do I race an xc mountain bike race or do I do the Great Ski race, www.thegreatskirace.com , I have decided that I will do the great race and hopefully beat last years time. I am a little nervous as I have not been on the skis for a little while here so I just hope to be ready. I am prone to being nervous and the such so this is normal, due to the fact that I have not raced any time in the recent past. Well I must go do a little ski to get my legs back under me.
I have also been plannning what to do around the Sea Otter and the 24 hrs of Temecula. I am taking ten days off and doing a little traveling, going to seee the California Coast, or the sections that I have not yet seen. Gotta go. Busy, busy.