Tuesday, October 31, 2006

appologies and a race report

My appologies for the rant, I have been in a funk of sorts and went off, wrong time, wrong place. After all this is my spot to rant, but the rant the other day about hippies and such was way off. Everyone needs to have the space to be themselves and I let it all, the world has a way of getting to me sometimes, go. Enough said. Please accept my apology on the matter.

On to the race report:
I awoke to rain at 4 am, pouring rain was still pitter pattering when I actually got out of bed at 8:30. I mentally prepared for another sufferfest. All week my legs had been acting a bit funny, the change of the season always has a way of getting to me. I was a bit worried about the race, I wanted to do well, and wondered where I was at mentally and physically. We started our drive out to Snohomish, and arrived at the school where the race was, by now the skys had cleared, the sun was out but the rain had given the earth a good soaking. I got dressed, registered and the such, and then went out to pre ride the course. My heart sank. It was not a course I particulary liked, a true cross course according to some, no place to rest, lots of running, lots of peanut buttery mud and lots of side hill riding, that and two sets of barriers and a few short run ups. I am not a runner and the back side had a long mud run. Two laps trying to figure out how to make this work, and get the lines down. Then the start. I was on the inside which i thought would be good, but I got boxed in, stuck I gave it my all trying to get towards the front, I got there and was hoping to stay when we ran in to the 35 + masters class, no good lines, and lots of wheel touching. Taking the high line into one of the corners I go down, my rythum is off. In to the barriers and the run up, this running with my bike thing is not my strong point, did I mention that. I stay close to the front for the first lap and a half or two, then begin to fade. OH shit I am thinking, my legs just dont have the power I would like. I have no desire to chase, so I settle in and take a beating. I do my best and dont quit, even though at times I wanted to, only because I was sucking it up. I am hard on myself, I did alright considering I was feeling bad, and stayed in it, just not as aggressivly or on the attack like i like to be. I ended up ninth, I was hoping for 3rd or 4th, but then again goals are just that, and we dont always hit the mark. like rihgt now I am trying to upload photos and it just isnt happening, so alas, i will try to add to it later.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Hats...I like hats

Like the title says, I like hats. Cycling and hats go together like peas and carrots, like stink and shit, or is it flies and shit, well however or whatever analogy you choose, I am in luck. So to the right we have one of the two shaun deller hats that I own. This one is pinstriped wool with a camo brim. camo bet you never would have guessed that.

here we have the newest addition to the hat stable. Dustin over at cadence puts out some fine clothing. I especially like the new fall line. This hat rocks, I have been wanting one for a bit, and this one finally fit right and spoke to me, in only the way a piece of clothing can.

Two posts in two days, can I go for three. Today i am thinking about going to see this. I have heard really good things about it. Since I was in to the hardcore punk scene as much as a kid in Vermont can be. Anyways tomorrow should be a goodtime. There is a great messenger scavenger hut tonight, I don't think I will go, danielle's sister is in town with her kids and I need to put in some face time so to speak. But I may sneak away. That and I am thinking about racing two races tomorrow so I would like to be a bit rested for that. Then again I can rest when I am dead, oh wait I almost took myself out a few short years ago with that same motto, maybe I should be wise and listen to reason, and my body. Now I am rambling I will sign off and hopefully have a race report up tomorrow or Monday. As always keep pedaling.

Friday, October 27, 2006

hippies.....some of my thoughts

here's the picture I tried and tried to upload to go along with the last cross race report. Can you see the pain from the balls to top tube incident. Cross sure does put the hurt on ya. I had to chase making me feel like my insides were going to burst. I need a good analogy here but an at a loss for the right one. Better late than never. It was a wet one. This weekend looks to be shaping up to be dry, but colder. I keep learning how to dress for these things. I got the new bar tape on the beast. I do have a camo obsession so as I am sure you have guessed by now, it is camo. It needs to get dirty, which shouldn't be a problem, so that it mellows out a bit. What a way to break in a new jersey, rain, mud, and sweat.

The Vulture has been hard at work, he got a 40 hr a week j-o-b working for someone else, I imagine it cuts in to his framebuilding time, but I am sure it helps with the bills.

So I will continue to run the 38x17 gearing for the upcoming race, I have been thinking about changing tires, but then again I just want to go race and have some fun. I am going to get my girlfriend to take some more photos for this race. Keith has dubbed us team None, as we are not affiliated with a sponsor or at least they forgot to write down team wake or vulture for me, but we are team none, we joked about getting jerseys made with things like 'your logo here" "coming from nowhere" etc. I think you all get it. I am trying to figure out next year, but taking it with little pressure in mind. Right now I would like to finish in the standings in the cross series, but I would really like a top 3. I haven't decided if I am going to double up on Sunday or not, racing the ss and then the b's race. Only time will tell.

Enough of the boring stuff, does anyone really care about what gear I am running or the dullness of planning my upcoming season, this blog needs more pictures, more, it just needs more. So I
will recount this little tale for you, if it can in fact be called that, well I'll just get on with explaining the picture to the right here. I must first start by saying that I am in fact a hippie, I hope you are smiling right now, because I will get to it. Not the annoying kind of hippie found twirling in the corner whenever the dead is playing, or following phish around the country claiming to have no money while driving a 2006 xterra. I am for sure not the fucking long haired hippie, fuck long hair. That's why this spoke to me, these are my weapons against all things long hair. I know its a personal choice, I allow for that, but cut your fuckin hair. Alright for those of you that are totally upset and taking this all to seriously its a joke man. dude, bro, bra, just take it with a grain of salt, we are all here to make it through the day in our own way. That is the kind of hippie I am. But I am a dark, sarcastic person. I have recounted that my mom once had this to say on the matter, and I can only imagine as she looked at her 12 year old pride and joy as he made some black humor remark about the way we humans are, "Nat you are far too sarcastic for a 12 year old" I wonder if she remembers saying it, because it is an indelible mark on my soul. I have this dry, sarcastic humor, some people, those that don't get it are really missing out. I will also be the first to make fun of myself when I make mistakes, or act like a hippie, or prance around in ladies clothing, opps did I let that slip. Well I have told you all too much. So all you hippies out there relax I am not arming myself with clippers, sissors or a brush, but for gods sake just cut it before I do have to arm myself. I would like to see us all just get along, and I don't think that is too hippie. I associate the word hippie with those who aren't realistic about their lives, but then again maybe I am just jealous of the fact that they are always so damn happy. I guess if anyone consumed that much illegal substance they too could not see the light of day, that might make it all go away, but then again I am obsessed with reality. If you are still reading this I commend you, if not, or if you got pissed off and skipped to the bottom you missed the explanation. So no one get offended and lets just all get along. As always keep pedaling.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

so I went to see my grandparents...

On thursday of last week caught a ride in the big steel bird in the sky to Washington DC, on my way to see my grandparents in Harrisonburg VA. They are getting older and time is of the essence so that I could enjoy their company while they are still quite aware and active. I meet my parents in the airport, we managed by some luck to fly in to Dulles airport on flights from Seattle and Burlington, VT and land within minuetes of each other. We would have been out of there real quick except for United leaving my their luggage on the ground in Burlington. Imagine that just out there waiting to fly. anyways it would take them almost the entire time to get their luggage, I think they recieved it saturday afternoon sometime. So rent the car jump through some more hoops. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of flying in or out of Dulles it is a rat hole, twisted maze, and completely spread out, you have to take these huge people movers that look like artic vehicles to move from gate to gate and baggage claim etc. In other words it takes longer than the long time it always takes at a well designed airport, that may be an oxymoron, well designed airport that is.

So we drive through rushour traffic finally arriving at my grandparents house sometime after nine pm. chat a bit and then go to sleep. I had called ahead to see if I could rent a bike and thomas at SBC was able to help. It turns out that I used his personal bike, as everyone kept saying "Is that thomas bike," or "that is thomas' bike" and I would give my standard " thats what everyone keeps telling me". It turns out that on friday they had a informal race that cost a six pack to enter, so I thought why not, and took thomas up on the offer. The hills back there are quite steep, I did however get to ride a 29er so things were somewhat the same. However it was the first time in quite awhile that I have ridden gears or a regular handlebar. It turned out and I hate to say it that the gears came in handy, after of course getting used to shifting again. No worries I dont have a real desire to have geared mountain bike in the stable again, yet. So shifting aside on friday I meet at the Food Lion chated and then followed everyone out to the site of the ride. Heartland or something like that. Climb, climb climb. Gather back together. Sign up for the downhill and go, in 30 second intervals. I havent worn glasses while riding in awhile and didnt have any along, so my eyes teared up, the leaves covered the rocks and conspired to make me go slower, that and the fact that I was not used to my steed. So I flated rode it out changed it, then my pump broke and deflated the tire again so I waited for assistance. I was in one of the steeper sections of trail and no one really wanted to help a brother out, we were racing after all. That said a little guy named Jack stopped and gave me his pump. thanks man. I finished up, I think DEad fuckin last, and rode to the car to go home. Everyone else camped out.

Saturday was a perfect day and since the grandparents were going to nap and dad was going to his 45 high school reunion, and there was a big ride scheduled I went ahead and drove back out to ride again. stopping at one of the local stores where everyone else was dressed in camo i felt a bit out of place, luckily there was no deliverance remake or reinactment. The ride on Saturday was epic, perfect weather, good people and a climb that Sue Haywood said " is where evil lives" quite possible one of the more difficult climbs I have ridden, granny gear grinder so to speak followed by a desent down little bald that was equally steep and rocky in the other direction. I had an amazing time, rushed back to the car and went back to hanging with the grandparents. A little longer than the 3 hours later that I thought. ONe would think that by now i would have it figured out, when i am told 3 hours double it and then that is more realistic. The leaves where in there prime and it was good to be back on the East coast for a visit.
Sunday it was back to Dulles for another airport experience. I barley made my flight, in fact I wouldnt have had i not cut the lines that wrapped around the building, I have never seen such a cluster fuck in my life. So I made it back went to see Citizen Cope as soon as I landed, and then back to the weekly grind come monday morning.

All in all I was happy to meet some great people and to have the experience of riding gears agian, it was a little refreshing, as the two ride I did would have been over the top pain prison rides had I been on a rigid single speed, then again I probably would have had as much fun or more had I been on the single. EVery once in awhile it is good to change it up, keeps things fresh. call me soft if you must, but have no fear, I love one gear.

So now it is back to racing a little cross and commuting in the rain. thanks for reading and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

i got muddy.......

I have great photo, but I cant get it to post, so when I can you will see it.

On sunday I had the pleasure of racing my bike in the pouring rain. I am unsure if it was a pleasure of just a chance to get muddy while riding around in a field with lots and lots of bumps.

So on saturday night I worked the cask festival, cask beer for those of you who don't know is beer done in the old world style, is poured directly from the vessel at room/cellar temp, its only carbonation is provided by a small second fermentation. It damn good, usaually dry hopped or wet hopped, it is special. With 40 breweries bringing their beer to be showcased, well lets just say I had a bit to drink that evening. So on sunday I awoke with a bit of a hangover, being a little slower than my already slow pace in the morning.

So I got up sunday and it was raining..... A little more history about saturday, I have been having this nagging chainring bolt loosening problem going on that I decided to deal with, so it was off to the bike shop to get some chainring bolts. Here is where I figured out the nature of the problem, I had double chainring bolts with spacers on the back, so I got single chainring bolts, I would think my friend the mechanic who built the bike would have not done this but oh well. While at the shop discussing this I inquired about larger chainrings, and to my surprise they had just what I wanted a 38 tooth chainring in the appropriate spacing. Bam. So I came home greased the bolts and went about changing the chainring. With the larger gearing and skinner tires, I had just got some of wtbs cross tires I was ready to charge it on Sunday.

So I got up sunday and it was raining, and not just showeres it was full on raining. Argh!!! I thought this is either going to be a blast or just plain suck and be miserable. After some of Danielles famous pancakes we were off, a little later than I had wanted to be, but I figured it was not too far away. Well we cut it close, pulling in to the parking lot 25 mins before the race, so I had to run around find where registation was, run back get dress, drop the kids off at the portojohn and head to the start line. I was amped and it was raining. Call ups etc, then we are off, it was a dead flat field with a bunch of bumps and ruts, having not ridden the course I had no idea what lay ahead. It was a grinder. But before I could start to do battle I dropped a chain in the first 150 ft of the race. shit, there goes the next class, great. put it back on and limp my way around till it falls off agian, this time I had it figured out. 1/2 a lap in I get to the pits, grab a 6 mm key and fix the problem. Now I layed chase. grind, grind, slip slide, but keep on fighting. I am half a lap down of the winner by the end of it, but considering the time lost with the chain dropping and the balls on the stem thing that I forgot to mention above, i was happy. I got 6th place.

This weekend there is a race, but I will be with family in Harrisonburg, VA. I am there for 2 days, so i dont think that I am going to pay to bring the bike, but I just might, I may just use the time to enjoy my grandparents and rest. So my quest for the point series now means that I must race flawlessly for the remaining races and not miss one more. I am unsure if I really care, but I am focused again and having fun.

I talked with my friend Bart, he made a suggestion about the upcoming season,we will see what happens, but it would be fun. Bart keep air in them tires next time.

Cross is like one big family, it is very refreshing to be racing agian and in such a fun laid back atmosphere.

thanks for reading and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

congrats to dicky.....

He did it, he is the "World Champ". What a year he has had, lots and lots of racing. Does he ever get tired? Get all the details here.

Chris Eatough got beat. It would have been nice to see him win again, but who likes cheering for the 6 time champ, its kind of like cheering for the Yankees, oh yeah they got beat too. I must say the winner Craig??? from Australia, he works full time too. Way to go underdog. I always like cheering for the underated, working man. Should make the Solo 24 movie and interesting one to watch.

Jeff Kerkove posted about Moab vs Worlds, which is more prestegious? I think everyone here knows how I feel about Adrenalin. I do like the addition of the 24 hr ss class, but for the most, races are about the caliber and quality of competion. Sounds like nationals was the race this year. The fact that Adrenalin's worlds is more about marketing, than about a real world championship sanctioned event. It sure would be nice if the Granny Gear folks and the Adrenalin folks could come up with one series, or at least one championship that alternates between promoters. I dont know I have a cant we all get along complex. We as a society need to put our egos down and do what grows the sport. Yeah to dicky for not even waiting around to stand on the podium. We all know. Enough of me rambling about my opinion, I like Granny Gear more than adrenlain, that is all I have to say. They are more human, in fact I got sick a while ago, as I am sure most readers are aware, and still have a paid race slot with granny when I decide it is time to use. Laird was very accomadating and understanding. thank you laird.

I am listening to this series of podcasts right now. yeah cowpunk. thanks for the the link mark.

I raced cross again this weekend. It was pretty formulaic, however there were three of us on fixed gears. I ended up fighting the good fight and was the fastest man on a fixed gear and able to dice it up for a bit longer witht the leaders before getting dropped. Drank some good beer and rode home from the race, i am starting to feel more focus and desire, but afraid to speak of it for falling back in to the sickness again. So I am keeping it low key and just riding when i feel like it. Like everyday, I ride to work or like saturday go exploring for a bit. I have been riding mostly fixed with the occasional coast here and there. So I have to work on Saturday at the Cask festival here in Seattle, racing on sunday, i think i will race the ss race at 11:30 and then the b race at 1:30 just to see how I am feeling fitness wise. Craig, who just crushes, does it and I was inspired to try it out. Wish me luck. again congrats to dicky for rocking out. as always keep pedaling, the revloution happens one pedal stroke at a time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Big Time Porter takes gold at GABF

I should have posted this awhile ago, but alas I have waited again. Last weekend was the GABF in Denver, I am sure Dave was overwhelmed with people and is glad that the 40,000 beer drinkers, geeks and friends have all gone home until next year. Our brewer, Bill, I wish I had a picture, anyways he has been raving about the porter for the last year, and finally all that paid off, he was able to pull of a gold in a catagory, that has a lot of entrants. No small feat. Congrats to Bill. I work monday day 11-6 and Tues-Friday night, starting at 6. I'll buy a pintof porter for the first 3 people to come in and mention this post. The secret word is "dark Goddess" , oh yeah the porter won under the suedo name of Goddess, not the Coal Creek, which it really is, Bill just wanted to change the name, and I am told there is a story to it all, but I am not at liberty to divulge it here. nuff said. Oh when you come by make sure to tell us just how good that porter is. so I wanted to upload a picture of the lable to give bill his props, but it did not happen, something wont let the picture load, so you will have to do with out.

So me, Bill assistant got a job working as the head brewer at the Rouge Issaquah brewhouse, so he is down an assistant, that said he needed a little help with the brew yesterday, so I offered up my services, and got to slep around in the brewery yesterday for a couple of hours. I had a great time, weighing out hops, lifting grain buckets, and generally just helping out. I think bills wife was happy as he was able to get home on time so that she could enjoy her time out on the town.

Not much else to report, no big rides on the monster cross yet, just a bunch of communting and short trips in town. I think I am racing this weekend but that may change, I may go visit my brother in Vancouver, but then again who knows, I am trying to go with the flow and enjoy the day to day.

Dustin over at Cadence is putting on his first Fast Friday tonight, wish I could go, I will just have to hear the stories, but then again I am used to that being a bartender and having to work on a lot of nights when there is cool things goin down.

Found this on MTBR today, this is the wave of the future, environmentally friendly business, wind power, 100%, they are buying credits to offset, but its a start. way to go Performance.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Monster Cross pics/race report

So here they finally are, pictures of the bike I have talked about for months, and made you wait for months to see. I had hoped to have the build pics too, but they werer lost when the hard drive went . This is one amazing ride. I went with the utilitarian green, thought it was fitting for the bike. My other Vulture has an amazingly wild skull theme to it so I thought that this one should be more toned down, letting the amazing craftsmanship speak for itself, that and the fact that it is a dedicated fixed gear bike, no posts or disc mounts in site on this one. This is a really bad picture of the head badge, its made of brass, and is a one of a kind.

Above here is the heart of the monster cross, look at that guy. I let Wade create what he wanted me to ride, I gave him the freedom to create, and this is what he put out, I know he rides off road fixed most of the time, follows suit that this is the kind of bike he would build. It fits 45c tires, not 29er tires, has a disc only front wheel. I am so stoked on this bike. That leads me in to my next topic, I had wanted to get out and ride the bike before I raced a cross race on it. So I rode it to and from work a bit, with no bar tape, I wanted to get this, but its all backrodered, so I eventually just put the black bar tape on it last night while preping the bike for todays race. I played with stem heights, and fit, but not much was need, being that it is an off road bike with drop bars, i had to raise it it up a bit. Lets just say today when I woke up to race after hanging out at StarCrossed last night, and thinking " oh shit what have I decided to atempt." Speaking of Star Crossed, my friend Craig, who ride for Counterbalance killed it in the B's race, winning it by a ways on a singlespeed bike. Congrats Craig. Craig is a super nice guy and is smiling while suffering, what a way to be. So back on topic, I woke up this morning thinking " oh shit", having not ridden the bike at speed or on singletrack I thought what most people think about riding fixed off road, wtf. So my directionaly challanged friend, keith showed up at 9am and we were off, after a little spilled coffee, and some chainring maintence by keith. We found our way to south seatac, got registered and warmed up by chasing craig around some of the trails. Then the course, it was more mountian bike ish by cross standards I was told. This being my first cross race I had nothing to compare it to. We line up, fimilar faces, bart from BC was there, craig, casey, who I had just met, and a handful of others. We were off, I thought the start would be a little more crazy, but we started behind the 45 b masters. We were soon in traffic, off our bikes and running sections that didn't need to be run. More sand, singletrack, run ups. All in all I had a great time. no crashes, carried good speed through the sand, running sucks, but all in all i had a great time. I got to be "the crazy guy on a fixed gear" I am sure they would have thought I was even crazier had they known if it was my first off road fixed gear ever. I ended up finishing 4th in the singlespeed class, i was happy with my finish. That said I think I will race again, wonder what the mud will be like. Wade thank you so much my brother, I can't wait to ride bikes with you. To my friends in the wake that I meet last night paul, kyle and adam, heres to next weekend at St Eds. Props to adam for rockin the fixie at Star Crossed last night. Brandon, of trackdaddy fame was there, we finally met and had the change to kick tire, brandon, nice to met you finally.