Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Woman deserve this....

Got this email a few days back and had every intention of getting it up here. Equal prize money for woman at UCI events, hell make it Norba events too. Here is the link to the petition.

Today being one of those days I slept too much and my head feels all fuzzy, I don't really have much to say, maybe it was all the wine and cheese last night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2 Slow 2 Coast

Last year we were low on money and wanted to get away from the rain for some sun, but just couldn't afford it. This winter we promised ourselves that no matter what we were getting away to the desert. We did the Old Pueblo race a few years a back and have wanted to return ever since. Usually it is 60 or 70 degrees and sunny, quite a change from Seattle. The only decision that remained was what category to race. My friend Kevin and I talked about putting together a 4 man coaster brake team, I thought about solo, then was I going to ride fixed or not, then I checked Dave Nice's blog and happened to see that he was thinking of heading to Old Pueblo, and looking for a duo fixie partner. I knew that was the answer.

2 slow 2 coast, our team name, fueled by Whiskey and beer. I can't wait it will be so much fun.

Now what gearing to run, gotta get some bigger tires than the cross tires on the bike right now. Spend a few more days relaxing and then put in a few more miles a week to get ready. We both have the same idea to have fun and enjoy, rather than tear ourselves inside out so early in the year.

Last weekend I rode up in Bellingham with Kevin and a few others in the pouring rain for just shy of 4 hours. We were all soaked and cold by the end. I must remember to bring a spare set of gloves and booties for my feet. On the final descent of the day I couldn't feel my fingers enough to know if I was braking or not. In the shower everything itched like crazy and it took a few beers before I was warm through and through.

Now I have to surf the couch a bit more before I head out to yet another Christmas party. My liver will thank me when they are over.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

cross season finale...

It's over, my legs and back are thanking me, the are knotted up and in need of some rest. The finale was this Sunday at Kelly Creek, and it snowed a bit, making for a slick ride at times. I could give you the lap by lap run down, but why I'll just give you the highlights.

I lead for a bit, a lap or two maybe three.

For awhile it was 1 and 2 both riding fixed.

My friend Craig Ethridge won BRAKELESS on a fixie, by a bit. Remember his name cause he is such a great guy, after winning the ss race he jumped on his geared bike and raced the 1/2 race.

Dale Knapp did a bit of a strip tease. ouch!!!!

I did a couple of shots from the Cabana, some coconut pineapple concoction. Kept me warm.

Brap, Brap was heard from the sidelines, this is what I say to others when we are out gettin it, thanks to my friends Smiley and Amber.

The Revolution Cycling team did quite well on the season placing riders on the podium in most of their respective classes.

Now I am going in to the Holidaze a bit more fit than normal. I have also been running a bit, trying to cross train, man pavement is hard.

As always keep pedaling.

Monday, December 03, 2007

bunny hops...

i took this one off the cycling northwest website. thanks to whoever it was that snapped this here action shot. I wondered how I had been clearing the barriers on the fixie and how high I could get. Before this here shot I wasn't sure. Not bad for a guy on a fixie with more than a couple beers in him. Guess it ain't called liquid courage for nothing. I cleared the next one as well and rode a massive nose wheelie out. Some might call it style I just called it luck, and the sense to know that you just stay calm.

In other news, I raced now it would be almost 8 days ago and felt like crap, it was the 8th race of the series, only one more to go then it is a bit of a commuting hiatus for a couple of weeks and then I start "training" for the upcoming season, more on that later though. It was cold, I was tired from serving football fans all Saturday long, and I had to gut it out, no style just good old fashion grit and determination. I had my worst race of the season and finished 5th in the ss class. Looking at the results I was only 1 min 7 seconds out of first, 30 seconds out of 3rd 1 second out of 4th and 1 second away from 6th. All in all for how I felt not a bad day. true grit. The season finale is this weekend, looks to be extremely wet, we are literally preparing to build an ark real soon. Good times and as always keep pedaling.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

a weekend to remember.....

Where to begin, why not at the beginning. I heard about the SSCXWC long ago, in August while at a baby shower for the Noble's in Bellingham. I knew I had to go, there was no question, a first year event, put on by friends, a must. The Noble's have since given birth, and the event has passed its first year. Now I will just get to the story.
The weather called for rain all weekend, it wouldn't be cross without mud. Well thank god the weather man wasn't all right. It rained but never while racing which made for one amazing weekend, that won't be forgotten, all except for the details that where never remembered in the first place.
I awoke early Saturday morning, and got on the road a bit later than I had expected to. I left Seattle at about 9:00 am I should have left a few hours earlier. Dogs needed attention and my alarm didn't wake me from my slumber when it should have. Thank god for dogs and slobber. Nothing like getting woken up with a dogs tongue in your ear to find you are running late, to get you going in a hurry. So I was off. I plugged the Mp3 player in and listened to a bunch of 80's punk, the likes of Black Flag and Descendents. I found my way to the event, registered a bit late, and started to take it all in. What a scene it was. There was a qualifying time trial, one lap around the 2.2 mile course. I wasn't too worried about qualifying, while waiting to go I got the urge, nature called so to speak and a Honey Bucket was required for relief. Well here is where I miss my time trial start by more than a minuete. I finish, crack a PBR, cause they are the recovery drink of champions and proceed to play around on my bike meeting other like minded folks. I figured I might need some time bonuses. One of those bonuses included bunny hopping two barriers one after the other. There were others on fixie's attempting to and completing, a few crashes as well, so I gave it a go. Clean up and over I went a bunch of times. At one point riding a 15 foot nose wheelie out of the last one. PBR continued to flow. They announce the qualifiers and low and behold I am not in the list, my trip to the Honey Bucket caused me to miss the initial qualifying.
Last Chance race here I come. We all line up and I am at the back almost missing the line up, no trip to the Honey Bucket this time. The whistle blows and we are off, for 2 laps of the course this time. I make my way towards the front, and debate holding back for tomorrow, no way I twist the throttle and push the pace. There are 3 of us out front battling for the win. One guy crashes in to me, I some how manage to keep it upright, and then the other guy turns off course early, He thought the course turned right, which it did, just 100 feet later than where he turned. I proceed to win the last chance qualifier. I get a really nice prize, which I did not expect but willingly accepted.
After all this we change and head in to Portland for the Dinner Reception, followed by pub crawl. Free food and beer flowed at the Green Dragon, a new pub in a warehouse just up the street from the Lucky Lab, in SE Portland. I was amazed that more SS didn't show up and it took almost 2 hours to drain the keg. I was surprised and disappointed in my Single Speed brethren. The pub crawl commenced and went on and on. We had a blast. I won't go in to much detail and will leave it at we arrived back at the house at a bit after 2 and it was raining.

Race Day

We awake, feeling great. Walk to breakfast, and try to get our race legs under us. Coffee, waffles and I had to have a Mimosa, it really helped, all that Vitamin C. Off to the race we head, watching the SS class race, the woman, the A's race. The weather got better as the day progressed, the course was slick and after nearly 1000 racers was more mud than grass. The stage was set, call ups where done and we were set to go. Twist #1 just before we start they have us turn around and head in the opposite direction, thus those of us at the back where now at the front. The potato gun was fired and off we went, round and round. Twist #2 There was a Tequila bar on course that allowed for a short cut, I did it every time I could. There were so many fans, cheering us on, all close on the climb\runup. Beers where handed off, and sprayed and I had so much fun. Thanks to Matt and Danny for making it happen.
Other highlights I did not mention yet. Live Kareoke while racing. Adam Craig sang Britney Spears "hit me baby one more time"
Kiss Cross dressed up and ready to rock. They had their own cheerleaders.
Being surrounded by so many other like minded individuals out for a good time.

I will go on record saying this is a not to be missed event, for all of you who didn't make it, I expect to see you next year. They are already planning. Thanks to Alix from Surly who is super cool. Thanks to PBR, White Industries, Cross Crusade, for making it happen.

For pics you can go here, or here, or check the forum on the Cross Crusade page. I will upload some pics in a bit.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Donida Farms CX race

cornering again

I had the first Saturday off in awhile, not that I got to bed much earlier than normal. Woke up and got ready and then realized I could have slept in, good old daylight savings time. Instead we walked the dogs around the block and woke up slowly.
my dogs

On the drive out the rain started to fall, Danielle joked about turning around and heading home. "Come on we live in Seattle after all," as we got closer to the race site we passed lots and lots of abandoned fireworks stands, I imagine at a certain time of year they are all the rage. Enough about that. I still had the funk and while warming up didn't feel that I had the power needed for this course. We had the largest SS class at a Seattle Cross race this season, and it was not the day to have a bad race. They line us up at the start according to overall points in the series, having missed one race, even though I have done well at the other 3 still landed me on the second line, behind 8 others. Not exactly where I wanted to be. I got a bad start, when riding old shoes and old crankbrother's cleats on a fixed gear having trouble getting in is not what you want off the start. I think I was in 8th or 10th or something going in to the first corner. The course wasn't the easiest to pass on, I worked my way up to 6th i think by about half way through the first lap. Not wanting to get split up from the front I pinned it and as we neared the end of the 1st lap I was sitting pretty in 2nd. I was able to keep Jared, Yeti guy as I have called him until now, in sites for 3 laps before he was able to as the announcer put it stamp his Alaska airlines ticket on the way out. It went on like this and by the end of the day due to a mechanical by Galen I was able to get another 2nd place. 1st loser some would say, some would say don't come home if you don't win, I on the other hand like to be happy with how I did. Fixed and all. I have worked my way up to 5th overall in the series on only 4 races. I will be in Portland this weekend and miss the double header and be back in the pack once again. Portland will be so much fun and is more important to me. After all I got the beer for them.

I get asked a lot if I think that I would be faster if I could coast. I really don't know maybe, maybe about the same. I tell you if I laid off the beer a bit I could probably lose a bit of the gut.
check ou that gut
That would make me faster. That said I am there to have fun and fun was had. Why do I always feel like I am going to puke after these races?
I don't want to puke

Thursday, November 01, 2007

keep pedaling...

cause Stone Cold says so....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fort Steilacoom revisited

It was a gorgeous fall day, one of those days where the light is perfect, the sun is shining, a slight nip in the air, we were all wearing short sleeves. Fort Steilacoom is just south of Tacoma, about a 45 min drive from my house. I arrived took the dogs for a walk in the park and then suited up and readied for battle. I had been coughing up lung butter all week, and was really hesitant to race, but really wanted to. I found myself wondering why I was pushing so hard to get points in the series, that a few months ago I could have carried less about. It looks like because I am choosing the CCSSWC in Portland over a weekend of racing here in the Seattle series I will be only participating in 6 of 9 in the Seattle series races and the Points race includes the best 7 results. I still hope to place in the top 5 overall, but I can not have a bad race. Enough about all that, competition takes hold of me sometimes and I feel the need for speed so to speak.

Now to the race on Sunday. Thanks to Twin Six I had a new jersey and socks just for the occasion. What better for fall than the Buck. Every Singlespeeder needs a pair to these, 6 inch wool beauties. Thanks so much Brent. The course included small climb some descending and the famous Knapp run up, think a very long, not so fun steep hill run in the middle of the race.
Lap one: The whistle blows and we are off. I find myself out front for a bit of the lap, through the barriers and up the small climb, then I get passed and struggle to hold his wheel. Down a steep, loose, mulch hillside and on to the run up we go. Running uphill is not my strong point, in fact it is my weakness. Up we go and I am now battling for second and third. At the top we are in a pack, once we hit the flats I have the power and the ability to stay out front, a firm second.

Laps 2,3,4
I get passed by one more single speeder Galin, last weeks winner and continue to battle for the next position with Mike. He is faster on the run up, but I can catch him on the rest of the course.

Lap 5
I am able to shed Mike and get a gap. Firmly in third. Now if I can just hold it.

Lap 6 the final lap
I have a gap until I drop my chain. How could this be. I fix it and am on my bike just ahead of Mike, last years series champion. He is faster on the run up, typically, we are close to the top and neck and neck, it is do or die time, I bury my head and dig deep, just edging him out at the top. I know that I will not be able to shake him, it is the last lap, I try but to no avail. We are going to be sprinting for third. I am patient and think I know where he will jump on me, I see him in my periphery and stomp on the pedals, just edging him out across the line. I am whipped, snot is everywhere, but I managed to get third, a very hard fought third at that. It was a great race.

Monday, October 29, 2007

thanks dave

If you make it to Denver and like the brown liquor, you need to go see Dave Nice at Stranahan's. He is distilling great American Whiskey there. Thanks again Dave it was good to meet you in person. Now if we can just get together and do some riding.

If you do make it to see Dave make sure to ask him his favorite question:

What is the difference between Bourbon and Whiskey? I' ll leave it right there.

As always keep pedaling.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

sniffle, cough,sniffle

We are having great weather here in the Pac Northwest am I am stuck inside, wheezing, coughing and wanting to be healthy. I have been doing so since Monday morning. This time of year always gets me and it drives me crazy every time. I don't do well staying still, but riding when all your joints hurt doesn't feel good either. Hopefully I will have some power on Sunday for the next Cross race.
It's the aches that kill me. I am sleeping as much as I can to get rid of this shit. Think good thoughts and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bridesmaid again...

Another cross race another 2nd place. This past weekend at Kelly Creek was bumpy, fast and quite a workout, it had been raining all week and the horse field was soaked. I found that the worn in line was not always the fastest line and found myself experimenting on more than one occasion with riding in the grass. Most of the time it was to my benefit. I often wonder if I would be faster if I could coast or not. It seems the answer would be easy, yes. I am not completely convinced. I am definitely more fit, more in tune and more healthy than last year, I feel more connected to my cross bike than ever before, and I am having fun. I just want to pull out one win, at least. I want to dispel the myth that fixed gears are not functional. I'll be honest I just want to win one. I had a great battle for 2nd with my friend Ben Smith, we went back and forth, and back and forth, until I was finally able to shed him. I shed him, but then Mike R. was on a tear and almost caught me, but I was able to hold him off and keep second place. I have already missed one series race.
The series is 9 races long your best 7 finishes count at the end of the series. Having missed one and planning on missing another 2, these two are on the same weekend as the sscxwc down in Portland and I must be there. It is more important to me. I fear because of this clash, I will finish out of the awards simply because others will show up when I don't. Even if I beat them all season. Does it really matter no. But it sure would be nice to stand on the podium at the end of the season knowing I wasn't coasting when all the others were. In the end I think the world championships will be more fun and I want to be part of that event, the first one of its kind. There I have talked enough shit and it is time to nurse my aching body, I feel as though I am coming down with some sort of cold, flu thing. Just when the weather is perfect for riding, sunny and warm I go down for the count. I will fight through it all. As always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Crosstoberfest 2007

Ragnorok Racing and Second Ascent put on an annual Cross race in October. There is a relay race where cross dressing is encouraged. In the week leading up to the race I could find no one willing to commit to a costume, so I bagged the idea. I should have brought a costume as I found many people willing on race day. Oh well live and learn.

So the racing action. First I would just like to say it was an awesome course. Reverse of last year, so I constantly felt I was going the wrong way. I am sure I was not alone.
Here we are lined up and ready to go. There was a first lap prime, for a pair of sunglasses.
awaiting the start
I wanted to be the guy on the fixie who won the prime and would have been if I had just been a bit more patient. There was a turn from grass to wet pavement which I took a bit to sharp and ended up on the ground because of. Now I had to chase.
Here we are just after the start.
the start
Here I am about to pass Ben, he won the week before, two laps in and I am charging.
Ben, about to be passed
It wouldn't be cross without barriers. These were right next to the beer garden and lots of hand ups of beer and heckling went on here.
Craig runs the barriers
more barriers.
Up hill barrier
This was such a fun race and I felt good even with the 3:45 am bed time after working all night. Craig ended up with the win, the top 5 single speeders beat the 1st placed 3, not to bad for a bunch of one geared freaks. This year the single speed class here in Seattle has doubled averaging between 20 and 30 riders each week.
Here is the top 3 chatting after the race.
I look so happy with my grumpy man face on. Wonder what i was saying at that moment, probably something about how great my legs feel.
No race would be complete without a recovery drink.
recovery drink
New Belgium Brewing sponsors the event, and I always look forward to each year.

In other cross news. I mentioned it before and will mention it again. My friends down in Portland are hosting the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships over the weekend of November 9th and 10th, looks to be a blast. For more info, go here. I look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Radio silence has been broken...

I dropped off the face of the planet, and wish I had a picture that summed up what life has been like. Eat, ride, work, eat, work, work, work, race, work, drink, race, get a get the picture. Gotta get the liver ready for this. I now understand the old saying "life picks up speed..." What happened to this year. It's raining heavily again, what happened to the summer. Constant rain and drizzle can only mean one thing, Cross season is upon us. Its funny, I was never a big fan. While living in Reno I wouldn't race, hell wouldn't even go watch, just wasn't what I wanted to be doing. Who wants to ride in small circles hop over barriers on a road bike with knobbies. I'm a mountain biker, I like to get away. I now enjoy me some cross. It hurts like nothing else, and what else can I say about the racing action is intense, close and short. It's like a big family. I had always heard these things but by the time it all came around I was not in to the travel and putting on the chamois, I was thinking about sweet powder and giving the legs a rest. oh how things have changed. I have raced the last two weekends, both times on the official hangover that goes with a Sunday afternoon race.

Last year I raced a few races with little luck, and then lost interest, duty called and I had to work a bunch. My girlfriend and I also share a car and she took priority, travel and you get there is a long list of excuses. I must tell you that I am riding the fixed monster cross frame that Wade built me at all said events. Most people think that is crazy, never raced cross to racing it on a fixie, why not, like I have said before moderation has never been my strong point, or moderation but only in moderation. It is the bike I have, and I must stand by my one gear one mind motto for fear of being called a fake. haha, get the sarcasm. Well enough about the bike or was it my ego we were talking about. more sarcasm.

Race #1 Fort Stelllacoom Rad Racing uci
There were 13 or 15 or so of us on the line. It is dry and sunny, the course is almost dusty. Now for those of you who don't know this course has the longest run up in the country I am told, the Knapp run up after Dale Knapp. Running, oh how I love running. I have the hangover associated with celebrating someones engagement, I also have ever expectation of getting smoked. The gun goes off and I am near the front. I am feeling good, we hit traffic from the class in front of us and I lose a few feet on the front two. The long run up, followed by the downhill and I can barely see them. Think eggbeater. On the flats I have lots of power and reign them in a bit. Each of the five goes like this. I settle in to getting third, not bad, then someone flats and second is mine, first is really close, I miss it by about 10 feet. 2nd or first loser. I stay around for the awards and get a set of Racing Ralph tires. Not bad for 20 bucks. I smile have a beer and a coffee, yeah I was a bit confused and head home.

Race #2 Snohomish 1st race in the Seattle Series
Last year this race was the fourth in the series and my undoing. It was raining, super muddy, I was a bit sick and I feel apart. I think due to all the damage last year they moved it to earlier in the year to avoid a repeat. Well no luck there. The rain has returned to the Pacific Northwest, and on Sunday the rain was constant and heavy. The course was a soupy, sloppy mud fest, very crossy. There were 25 of us on the line, it was 50 degrees and I again had the hangover, I had worked a 10 hr day serving football fans beer before and after the local college game at my bar, then to relieve some stress indulged in a bit of elegant drinking, a couple Bulliet Burbons and some Belgian beer. Enough about that, the gun goes off and I charge to the front and take the lead about 1/2 way in to the lap and proceed to lay it down. I get a good gap and am feeling good, then I have no front brake, and then on the fourth lap my legs are not cooperating and I start going backwards. I go in to damage control mode and hold on for a 3rd place finish. I am happy but would have like to win it. I feel redeemed after last year, but again my legs did give out just not as bad, last year I ended up 8th or 9th out of 15 or so people.

This weekend is Crosstober out at St Edwards, and coming up in November our friends in Portland are putting together one hell of a weekend mark your calenders for the weekend of November 9th and 10th cause it is gonna be a time not to be missed, the Unofficial Official Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships. More info should be available here on Friday. I there will be a qualifying time trial on Saturday and then the race on Sunday, with a party in between I am told. I hope to see you all there. I will be talking about this more when I get more details.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

so its been awhile....

I haven't forgotten about this site, I have just been super busy and riding has been at the top of my priority list. In the last couple of weekends I have done back to back big rides. I have ridden some spectacular rides, all with tons of elevation gain, am looking towards cyclocross, and next season. That is all the tid bits I have right now, life is happening as I like to say I will give more details later. for now enjoy the ride.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tour de fat

New Belgium's Tour De Fat came to town, and I must say fun times were had by all. The next day was a bit on the tuff side, but after a few hours of riding all was good. Here is a little photo essay
The master of ceremonies:
Tour de Fat

what is there to say:

Bikes, bikes bikes. this one had a lean to it:
Leaning Bike

It took some focus and just the right amount of beer to ride this here swivel bike. Once I figured it out, i was having a great time riding in small circles.
Swivel Bike

The sneaker bike. talk about a rough ride.
Sneaker Bike
Josh won the slowest rider, fastest drinker award. Check out that belt. I just had to congratulate him. Cheers Josh!!!!!

the scoreboard, the only thing missing is the kegs consumed...

I just couldn't decide which I wanted Belgian beer or a nice American IPA, so I had both. We sat over across the street and enjoyed the rest of the show.

I had a great time. I like what New Belgium is all about. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

the silence is broken...

I haven't posted in awhile, I haven't taken very many pics of the great places I have been riding my bike, and now I have broken that silence. Last weekend consisted of a nice ride at Tiger Mt on Friday, followed by a night of work. Saturday it was up and adam packing the car and heading out towards Cyrstal Mountain and the 410 highway for some epic riding. It took longer to get there than I would have liked and we forgot out camp rests think no padding for a relaxing nights sleep. I final got riding around 3pm and it was great. I headed out for a loop on the Sun Top trail, and long fire road climb followed by a steep single track grunt and then some amazingly fast descending. There was a 50 mile running race happening on these trails and our late start worked out perfect as I was climbing the fire road up to the top I got to cheer on the runners as the came down. It was amazing how many of them cheered me on as well, they were the ones doing the real hard work, running 50 miles on technical trial doesn't seem like fun at all to me. It was a nice change of pace to be cheering others along on their journey in what the human body, mind, soul, spirit is capable of. The weather started to change from sunny to overcast to misty as I reached the top and it got colder my wool jersey started to frost up. A few hike a bikes later I was blasting down the trail. It has been a wet summer here and the trials were in perfect condition, lots of traction. That night we sat around the camp fire and laughed it up. I ended with a total of 4000 ft of climbing in just about 20 miles.
In our packing we forgot some key items and ended up having to make due. We cooked by wrapping our food in tinfoil and throwing it in the fire, some things burned as we were trying to deal with a broken tent. It all worked out for the best and we kicked back had a few beers and watched the fire.
Sunday we woke up early and headed out for another epic, the previous nights sleep without a camp rest left me a bit sore to begin with. The ride called for more climbing followed by an epic descent. It was the Noble Knob trial to the Palisades trail. More of the same. This trial follows a band of cliffs, periodically you are traveling along the top, with spectacular views, that need to be enjoyed off the bike. As soon as the ride finished the rain came in. We stopped for a beer and a burger and then headed home. Man did the bed feel great on Sunday night.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cascade Creampuff 100

I can't remember the last time that I slept to awake at 4 am for any reason, usually I am seeing 4 am from the other side, leaving work, aboard my bike looking at the Space Needle, that dominates the Seattle skyline on my pedal home. You can only imagine how in shock my body was as I awoke on Sunday morning after a few hours nap to grape nuts and a banana, my favorite still after all these years. I was filled with memories of humming and just plain loving grape nuts, ah the times of my younger days, just now I need a little coffee to kick start my day. We left our cozy room, read really tight quarters and headed to the start of what I hoped would a good finish, but mostly I to put a stop to the nerves and demons of the last few years, which where dominated by lack of fitness, illness and what I like to call life happening moments. The Creampuff, it's easy just look at the name, is a joke often overheard, take note this is no walk in the park, with 6,000 ft of climbing per lap and 3 laps of pure love it is both lots of up, on fireroad, all except for that last 1,500 ft on singletrack. An all singletrack descent that varies from the Jedi section, think Ewoks, and turns that could cost you more than you are willing to part with. The view from the top is just amazing.
Happy campers
I could go on but I will get to the details of this epic race. After a "neutral" start which meant that the pace car sped away and we were left to our own devices, nothing neutral about it we were at the bottom of the climb. Lap one is somewhat of a blur, Kevin and I were feeling great, half wheeling each other all the way up. "you need to slow down" I heard as I blazed through Aid 2, the party stop. I had a rumbling in my stomach, and was a bit bloated, this was a sign of things to come. Like all races and especially endurance races there are always obstacles to overcome, both physical and mental, the first lap brought none of those, I was just having a great time. "Nothing like morning laps with your buddy" Kevin shouts over the wiz of freewheels and the sound of dry disc brakes. It was awesome, and it looked like we might ride the day out together. We pass our friend and fellow singlespeeder Bart, who is running a rigid fork, drop bars, and a 34x20 gear on a 29er, he was going to run 34x19.
On our return visit to Aid 2, mark says "your in 5th, keep it up." Kevin and I continue the descent and start to pick riders off, we are just flowing down the trial. We near the bottom and have picked off most of the single speeders in front of us, later we found out it was all of them. We hit Aid 1 grab some supplies and head out. At the bottom of the climb my stomach takes center stage, I hang on to Kevin for a bit and then have to slow down, damage control. I watch him pedal away. This is where the mental games come in to play, the mind over matter. I soldier on, telling myself it will get better. Here is where I force myself to eat, and drink to feed the machine. I arrive at Aid 2, resupply get some back work done and head out. I start to feel better and by the time I arrive at the top I am feeling it again, down I plunge all the way to Aid 1 feeling great, hit the River trail, a short nasty little 3 miles along the river I was feeling good again, and paced it out deciding that reserves need to be conserved. Then the wind went out of the sails and I was forced to dig deep in the bag of tricks to make it through to Aid 2 for almost the last time. I wanted to quit, to call it a day and enjoy some of Wade's Porter, but I had told Danielle "If i make it up here on the final lap, tell me to get on my bike and ride walk, fuckin crawl if you have to, you are going to finish." That is exactly what she did. So I did.

This is where I get to my slice of humble pie. I watched the leading lady fly by and then a couple singlespeeders and then the second place lady right as I hit Aid 3. I had a nice hike with my bike up to the top, and then descended like a child, everything hurt so bad, that is sometimes what happens in these races, and we always forget the bad and remember the good that's how we end up back on the start line race after race, year after year. Needless to say I cracked and fell apart, not without a little PBR for the last descent though. After my return to Aid 2 for the last time, I just wanted to finish with no problems so unlike my usually character I headed down with conservation in mind. Crossed the line, after pedaling with one leg for awhile the other was all locked up. I drank lots of water, took endurolytes probably not enough, and finished, I am unsure of my finish time, but it was way off what I did in 04, but then again these are different times.

The Creampuff is a big family, and it sure was great to see the old friends and make some new ones. The memories will not be forgotten soon, and my love for Oakridge has returned. Thanks to all the volunteers for their help as well as encouraging words. I think I forgot to thank them at the time, but I was a little out of it.

Kevin ended up winning the singlespeed class, what a great gift for a soon to be dad. There is a great write up by mark here.
I will add more pics, but flickr doesn't seem to want to cooperate and neither does blogger. there you have it. I will leave you with a shot of the pre race meal....I got it uploaded before it all went to pot.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

with a huff and a puff

This past weekend I had my first experience riding in Eastern Washington, we had a large group so is was not a race, we hiked a bunch, there was a lot of steep hike a bike sections and a lot of loose talus to be dealt with. My friend Brett, who will also be at the Creampuff was our ride leader, the scenery and trail conditions were vastly different than the Western side of the Cascades, think extremely dry, rocky and loose, although I have said since living here who ever put in the forest service roads here looked where they wanted to be and went straight up. we climbed 1000 ft in the first 2 miles of the ride, most of that in the last 3/4 of a mile. The views were worth the agony, my favorite quote of the day goes to Keith, who after 2 plus hours of riding and hiking and hiking some more was overheard saying, "the only thing that will make all that worth it is if this ride ends in a field of beer and handjob." To which the rest of the guys responded, "handjobs, I prefer blowjobs." There you have it. While the ride didn't end in either, the last half of the ride was much better and the last descent was fantastic. Thank you Brett.
On to my fear about the Puff, I just want to finish and not be destroyed, with all that life has been throwing at me I think that this is all I can hope for. I could list all the stressors, but that just isn't the point. I feel as though I am making excuses, but they are not excuses just the truth about what has taken priority this year. Riding has mainly been a utility to and from the daily grind. Training, was limited and my health has been an ever present challenge. Nuff said. I am going to go out and have some fun and see what the day brings. It is a race, but I plan to ride it, if I feel like racing later in the day, I will, if not I will just try to maintain a consistent pace, eating and drinking so that I stay away from the dreaded bonk. This is a large challenge and I pray that I am not taking on too much with all the health issues I have faced. I think that I have the physical fitness, the mind is a terribly hard monster sometimes. I would just like to have a good ride, and finish before the cut off time in good spirits. Funny how goals change from year to year. The biggest challenge for me is knowing that I am going back to a race that I have done well at and that I most likely will not beat my time from the previous year. Not impossible, but not very probably given the shape I was in that year. The goal is to have fun. Not regrets, I will have lots of time to converse with myself, somewhere around 11 hours I hope. thats all for now. as always keep pedaling.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Baby's got a new pair of shoes...

and pedals. That is right a few weeks back I wanted to post that about this but never got around to it. While out riding the Tiger Mountain trail my friend Keith and I got to the Preston loop singletrack and began our descent. Lucky for me there was a short 15 foot steep pitch to navigate and as I came around the corner and applied a bunch of pressure to the pedals I snapped the spindle of my Crankbrother's Candy pedals in half. Keith took pictures to prove it and all, but he is the forgetful type, I am afraid he would lose his head if it weren't attached. I will get those pics up, because a pic is worth a thousand or more of my words. If it had happened a bit more down the trail it could have been disastrous, the speed and the technical features of the trail would not have been kind to me, think rocks, roots, trees and speed all rolled in to one giant fun descent. As upset as I was, I was glad, so we went back the way we came and rolled down the fire road. I got a first hand idea of what it might be like to be Brett Wolfe, he is truly amazing.
I am in the process of getting myself a I quickly made some calls to friends got new pedals on the way of the XTR variety and since I needed shoes as well, mine have seen better days, with little sole left and barely any heel, I felt it was time. While I was in the spending mood I went ahead and got new skewers, a seat post, tires and I am working on getting a tubeless wheel set as well.

In other news I went for a nice off road fix the other day. I even hit some jumps.

I have been really tired, Creampuff is going to be an experience. Goal to finish and not be totally and utterly spent, have fun, and enjoy. I'd like to finish right around 11 hours, but no pressure. I will be running a 34x22 drivetrain for the day. I finally bought a 22 tooth cog. It is black and tuff looking. ohhh. Work has taken a bunch of my time that would otherwise be devoted to other things, that and all the work around the house.

Friday, June 15, 2007

this just arrived..

My dogs started barking and the door bell rang, look what the postman brought me. Now I just need to start killing dreams right? Keep up with the rest of the team here. is calling and I am scared. Big miles and elevation to be had there. Life just hasn't let me train like I want. It will still be fun. I just ordered a 22 tooth cog. I'll leave you with my best tough guy Went on a good ride out at Tiger yesterday, can I tell you I am glad to have a suspension fork up front, on the downhill it didn't feel like my fillings were going to be rattled out of my head. I will go back to a rigid fork in the fall for the winter months. I know I am getting weak, what next gears? maybe on the road for awhile. After all I am only human, I don't have my mutant card, still working on it. This weekend is full with work events, have to get another dirt ride in next week. Creampuff is the next race on the agenda: oh and the great divide race has started keep up to date here.
my best tuff guy impersonation:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

so i got a mud bath

Happy Finisher! Not Really!

Sunday was the Test of Endurance, a race near Corvallis, OR. Going in to this race I was worried to say the least. I just hoped to not come out shattered, with the Creampuff coming up I wanted to see what the legs were up to. They behaved alright, my fitness not being what it used to be and my legs feeling a bit dead. To say I don't have race legs is an understatement. In the days leading up to the race I joked about just sitting in and having a good day of riding, knowing full well that when the race starts I would punch it and see what happened. Well I did just that, and the group splintered I stayed near the front for the first half of the first lap, then I decided that it was time to settle in and pace it out a bit.
The weather called for a few showers, the day before it poured buckets all day long, so I knew I was in for some mud. Good thing I was running Nanoraptor tires, they work great in the mud. ha ha cough sputter. Probably the worst tire, but then again I don't think any tire really mattered with the mud that was encountered. When it was raining steady the mud was alright, when the sun came out for 20 mins caked up, then it rained again. The weather was as confused as a 13 year old girl on the cheerleading team who is really a tom boy. Pardon the pun. The fact that I didn't have a fender and no glasses wasn't working in my favor either. To say I had to deal with some adversity is putting it lightly. The kind of mud that there is no stopping in, no using the front brake unless you want to crash, just mud surfing and a whole lot of body English to keep it up right. Check out my flickr. Or the OregonVelo site for more evidence.
As for the course, I would have liked a bit more single track and from a Single speeders perspective there was a lot of rolling to flat road sections that made it monotonous at times. The director and the vibe were great and the certainly, unlike a lot of other races, honored, recognized and took care of the single speeders. We had our own raffle, awards, etc. They said that they are continually adding trails to get around all the road sections, and add more single track in the future. I don't know that i will go back next year, as I like to keep finding new events and courses to ride, but the race is well executed. My hats off to them for making it happen in such adverse weather conditions.
I finished under the time I set for myself so i have to be happy about that, but I would have like to feel a bit more powerful. nuff said. as always keep pedaling. To those who gave encouraging words thanks so much. I will leave you with this parting shot.......


Friday, June 08, 2007

searching for my legs...

My legs and health seem to be in question, at least to me. For those faithful readers who have been around since the beginning you may recall that I got ill. It knocked me out and left my body and mind in pieces. As I ready myself for the Test of Endurance this weekend in Oregon I have some doubts, concerns and to be honest I am down right scared. My body and mind are not cooperating right now, not to the extent that they did a few years back, but I have been a bit tired lately. I am left wondering did I try to get fit too fast, did all those long rides set me back instead of making me stronger? shit. Well I plan to race/ride this 50 miler this weekend with the end result being a finish. I don't have my race legs, I haven't really been racing, just a lot of riding, commuting etc. Race fitness maybe next year, I just want to survive this year without putting myself in the black hole. Some people may call it perspective, some may say I worry too much, some may say your crazy for even attempting this race and the puff in a few weeks this soon after such an incredible fireworks show a few years back. I search for reasons and direction and meaning in it all. Am I headed down the path of self destruction again, or am I just hanging on to the past and looking for reasons why I am not as fast. Is it all real or imagined. This beast that we call fitness, what does it really mean. My goal is to be healthy and happy, sure I want to be a mutant, freak, but like I said above it all comes down to perspective, and healthy and not a freak is better than just burned out. My goals are to finish, I would like to finish in under 5 and 1/2 hours, the record to beat is 4 hrs 40 mins. If for some reason my body shuts down then I will deal, and reassess with the focus being to be healthy.

I have been resolved to this. It is temporary and lasting way to long for my liking, but what option do I have than to be in the moment weather that is good or bad, resisting the flow may cause it to last longer. The plan has been laid and now I just have to be ok with sticking to it, win or lose I am along for the ride. They say life is a journey not a destination, words of wisdom in this mad world. Wish me luck and good energy. as always keep pedaling.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

the wait is over...

here is what happens when you mix booze, fire and desire to entertain....

Barr how do you like me now......

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

skids for beer.....

After a long day of riding a man needs a cold one. Thanks to Carey for the beer hold, notice the dog she is fending off, and Myles for the camera work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bend and all it glory

We took off on Friday to head down to Bend, OR, and the annual Memorial Day weekend of fun. I was really look forward to getting away and being in the high desert again for a bit. We loaded up the car in the morning and waited for our traveling partners to arrive. We remarked how odd it felt to be packed a ready and not scrambling around making sure not to forget but always forgetting at least three key components to the trip. We had it all, I wondered to myself if this could be a sign of age, or if I was just getting lucky. First stop was Walking Man brewery in Stevenson, a nice little spot by the Columbia River. Talking with Jacob was fun, and the beer was world class as always.

Walking man

Then it was on to Bend. To make a long story short we had a lot of fun. There will be more on all the goings on later I will tempt you with this: What happens when you mix whiskey, beer, fire and bikes? scorchers to be exact.

Fire along the road?

That is just a teaser, this story is far from over.

Carey and Myles
Our travel partners, and partners in crime for that matter Carey and Myles. This is at the Diner in Randle, WA after a long day of driving and a bunch more to go.

Wade and I finally got to ride together.
More Vulture

That was on Sunday, i got a great ride in, we both rode the scorchers and had a blast, it was great to see Wade for a few hours and to ride some of his local trails that are way off the radar.

Saturday we rode in a huge group and had a great time bonding. I didn't take any pics but soon I hope to get some from Carey who did. Carey and Myles who are both new to mountain biking charged all weekend and rode like seasoned veterns. It was great to have them along. Carey works for Raleigh Bikes you can here more stories from her and others here and here.

I could go on and on, I am known for that, but I am stopping here, there is just too much to say, I saw old friends, created new friends and did some memorable things. Ever do something and wonder what your motivation for doing so was, and the cameras where there. I think it brought the whole camp together and made for a memorable moment in time, one that won't leave the memory bank soon. You will see what I am talking about real soon, I promise. Fire, booze and bikes. Bend, it will happen every year. as always keep pedaling.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The final countdown

After 9 days in a row of work i am down to the final day. I hear "it's the final countdown" dah dah dah, dat dah, dahda datdat da, that great song from Europe playing in my head. Tomorrow we head to Bend, its the anual Memorial Day weekend trip. Did it last year had a great time, looking forward to some high desert trails, visit with the man himself( the Vulture) that is, and hopefully get to ride with him.

In other news: Although I failed to enter the Creampuff on time, I was short on cash and wondering where my fitness would be. I got confirmation yesterday that I am in. I greet this news with one part happiness and two parts oh shit. I remember just what it was all about now. Really I am happy as hell, I love that trail, and there is no feeling that compares to being done with a endurance race. I feel so satisfied, complete, like there is no better place I would want to be, like it all makes sense, my place in the world that is. Enough, enough, I have this tendency to over type, speak what have you.

I will be seeing this again, here I am descending the Jedi Trail just before Aid Two. It's three laps again, I will see old and new friends. I sent my friend Mr. Kevin Noble a email saying that I had gotten in. His first email said "nice" his second said" what I meant to say was fuck I have to race you again." Kevin who has been kicking my ass up in Bellingham have no fear my man, it will be a solid day of fun, no matter what. I just hope I can find my fitness by then. I am really looking forward to it again, after two years of absence.

And waiting at Aid 2 that year my wonderful dogs.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

so i've added some flair....

yes it clashes, and it is just a start, but then again it's brighter than it was.

Flair, not just the bare minimum either. Enough said, I always got a kick out of that scene.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

aunties got back...

There she is in all her glory

I just poached this off the BaconStrip blog's comment section. Looks like they had a great time eating pancakes atop Peavine Mountain, wish I could have been there boys. But heres a little ditty that Wolfy composed I think...

I like pan CAKES andIcannotLie…
Al you otherbrothers can’y DE-Nie…
When Mrs. B walks up with her itty bitty waist
and her maply but in your face
You get SPRUNG
Wanna pull up tough
Cuz you notice that cake was stuffed (with baocn and Butter)
Deep in the bottle she’s wearing
I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get with ya
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But that butter you got
Make Me so hungry
Ooh, rump of smooth skin
You say you wanna get in my belly
Well use me use me cuz you aint that aunt Jamima…

Thank you bacon strip for all the great snapshots of life in the land of eternal sun, hoping to get down there sometime soon. over and out. as always keep pedaling.

Monday, May 21, 2007

this whole blogin thing....

So I read other people's blogs, I could probably put link after link in this space that I am filling with my run on sentence filled rantings. I feel that my blog is all over the map filled with the days or as it has been lately the weeks or the moment I decided to blog thoughts. I feel that they lack a certain cohesion, the only common denominator being me. Photos, which lets face it make a difference in this sound bit society, are lacking. My thoughts, as much as I would like to put thoughts to words, just don't seem to sound the same when I write them as when I think them. When I think them they sound, well for lack of a better word, better, not so scattered, more cohesive and well thought out, not so matter of fact and boring. When I tell stories in person I get to see reactions, it has depth, I feel that when I write it sounds so we did this and then we did that. It lacks all those writer moments and insights that really make up the story, that add depth. I guess what I am trying to say is I think that I have more to say than I do, or I have more to say and I wish I knew just how to stay on task long enough to come full circle. There I go making no sense. I guess this is why I am attracted to things in the physical realm over those in the mental, while do physical things you either do or don't, you either are or aren't. It is base, simple and straight forward, there is no where to hide. The more you do it, the better you get. As of late by chance I have come across a handful of people that I am glad to have run in to and I hope I can put in to words just what it has meant to me. I get all touchy feely sometimes, it's a side effect of my childhood, but that's a whole other story.
So by chance within the last two months I have literally run in to people, and it has made all the difference. The kind of run ins that make you immediately think about what a small world it is, cause lets face it sometimes in this journey we call life we fell so small and insignificant. The first character in this story is my friend Craig, who I met in passing a few cyclocross races. One day I wonder what he was up to, I knew he raced mountain bikes and I need a partner in crime someone to go ride with during the week, turns out he has Thursdays off. Not a day after thinking what he was up to I run in to him while on my way to work, now he is on the job, he's a messenger, and we chat for a second, exchange numbers and we are riding that weekend. We schedule a ride for that weekend. Well here is what I am talking about earlier kicks in, I feel that my words have become no more than words on a screen and boring at that. I feel that what I am saying could be said with more flair, that is if I knew how to write. So I will cut to the chase. We arrive at the parking lot in Bellingham to ride and who shows up Kevin Noble, meet him at the puff a few years back. We exchange numbers and ride a bunch of times in the following weeks. Now the story really turns to those the world getting small or right place right time kind of things. Last Tuesday Danielle and I go to Tiger Mountain, its a gorgeous day, and I randomly have the night off because of scheduling difficulties at work, had that not been the case I probably would not have been out there at all. I exit a trial head and hear "Is that a Vulture?'' I stop and say "why yes it is." I am now standing talking with Carey and Myles, who I don't know, but they know Kevin. We talk, it feels all old friend like, not just met like, we end up drinking beers and it feels real from the get go. Kind of like we have know each other all along. I am struck with the feeling that I am where I am supposed to be, it is reaffirming, because I want to live where I can ride from my door to the trials, it is a bit far from my current house. There I go switching subjects and getting off topic, I am no writer, sorry dad, sorry mom, they are both English majors, and teachers at one point in time. this is said with a bit of sarcasm, how proud they must be ha ha. Its a joke both of them tell me they are proud of me, although my dark side wonders,oohh another dark comment. So there you have it I started out with the topic of blogging and rambled on. Cohesion is my challenge in the upcoming year. that and those photos i keep talking about. So here it is, my commitment to taking more pics, and to really keeping a written history of my life, cause lets face it on this blog it is his story..... ha ha, It is really hard to put inflection on to a blog, does my humor or lack there of come across, how bout my depth of feeling or my insecurities, we all got em. right? I' ll leave with that, more to come more often, i hope. as always keep pedaling.....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

the birthday ride.....yer sufferfest

So the plan was set. Celebrate my birthday with a kick ass ride, one that leaves you wondering what the fuck did I sign on for. It started with 3 trusty soles. Kevin, Scott and myself. We wanted to be riding by 9 or so, well we got riding by 10 or so, the best laid plans.... The plan was to ride every trail, or to at least touch every major trail on Galbraith, which I found out is actually Lookout Mountain. Yeah look out here comes the pain. Now the numbers are Kevin and Nat numbers, every ride seems to be between 41 and 43 miles lately. This one consisted of lots and lots of singletrack, twisty rooty, short grunt kind of singletrack.... back to the story, we started at Kevin's house and leasurly spun the interurban trail to Whatcom Falls park and were quickly on the trails. Up the ridge trail, down Bob's trial, up the pipeline, a series of steep pitches that most use as a bail out going the other way. I forget some of the next trails, Rock and Roll, up something down 911 where I crashed really hard of a log, good scrapes on the ankle and shin, and we kept rolling on, and on, getting near to the towers a couple of times, but always veering away to hit some other far reaching area. Kevin had a great loop planned, and thank god that the ladies in our lives put a time limit on us, because I was hurting this day. The trails were in perfect condition, but my legs were wonder what I was asking of them. But the ride must go on, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger...well many of you readers may know that I need to be careful with that statement as I was and still worry about what I was able to do to my body and mind a few years back. That always is in the back of my head and I rest more than I used to, but I may need to slow it down a bit so that I have legs for some of the upcoming races. That said the rides must go on. Somewhere in the middle Scott need to take his medicine, and we met up with Dale another on of their co workers at Kona. Dale was fresh and we hit Kung fu something or other, then Cheech and Chongs wild ride to not Shawn's to not not Shawn's to the bottom, then it was up the three pigs and then it was up to the top of the Woopsy Woodle, now I was getting low on fuel and my stomach which had been bothering me all day really took a turn for the worse, well I pushed through, what else is there to do. Then it was up to the towers down Evolution to the Scorpion and then some other trial I forget the name of, Galbraith is such a lace, maze of interconnected trails that I have a hard time knowing where or what I am riding, i am getting better and I have left whole sections of this ride out cause I have no idea what I was riding. I know we finished on SST, which left me and my back wondering why I was riding with now suspension, my hands where wondering the same. While Kevin and Dale were raving about how fun it was I was standing in pain wondering about suspension. I may go back to it for the summer, oh gasp..... well here are some pictures in no particular order thanks to Kevin, who remembered to take a camera and some pics to boot.....
These are in no particular order.... Here somewhere towards the end of the Woopsy
Somewhere nice, and totally different from most of Galbraith
Scott a bit blurry at the bottom of Bob's

Kevin, our master of direction, taking a breather, and forming a plan
What a view, Scott, me, Robin and Dale...
Me on the corner towards the bottom of Bob's, I know most of the pics are of me, but then again it was my birthday, thirty fuckin three.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

cars a necessary evil.....

Before I get to the birthday ride post, I know you are all dying to know just how it went, i am sorry but you will have to wait another day. I know my posts have been sporadic, but when the weather is nice here in the Pacific Northwest one must take full advantage of it and get out and away from the computer and the house. It was a long long wet, winter,did I mention snow.....back to the post at hand.

Disclaimer, this is just my thoughts, so don't rip my head off if you see it differently, I will try to explain.

I know loyal readers will be wondering about the title. I commute by bike and have written about all the evils of cars, those things still exist. There is also a very good side to cars, not there exhaust or how much they clog up the road, but for most of us mountain bikers they are a necessary evil. I mean without them getting to the trial head would be a lot more of a chore. Now if you live someplace where the trials are really close, you should ride. I used to live for many, many years in places where this was possible and I took full advantage of it. But what about those times I wanted to explore the South side of the lake, without a car it would have taken a much larger time investment to do so. Not impossible I in no way am saying that it would not be doable, but time is money, and time in the saddle tends to tire us out, so to ride 40 miles before even hitting the trial is not very cost effective in the time on dirt equation. I will explain it more in detail, we mountain bikers usually like the joy and exhilaration found in singletrack, you know that foot wide path to enlightenment that we seek each and ever time we head out. Now lets face it the same old is that the same old, variety is the spice of life. That is where the car comes in we have to drive to find the variety in life that also leads to the dirt path to enlightenment, got it. I have now completely confused myself and rambled on about cars, on a bike blog, oh my I advocated cars, yes for the pursuit of the dirt path to enlightenment. They are good when used for the right purpose. They are not meant for in city travel, again they are only useful in the pursuit of the dirt path...... you get the point. Life would be different and I think that cities should have more paths, and bike only trials in parks, so that we don't always have to get in a car to search out our bliss. The colonnade park here in Seattle is a start, but what about real in city singletrack, that goes from park to park and around, sure we would have to ride pavement here and there but think about using the green spaces we have in a different manner, what would a little bike only singletrack do, but make more people able to find a passion that keeps them fit and is exhilarating. I have ideas, What about Discovery park, to Golden Gardens to Carkeek, and beyond. Think about it, it's not out of the question. So this post has spilled over its time limit and gone off subject, just a seed, I am just planting a seed.
My world would be vastly different with out a car, not that it would be bad, but we need to think of ways to move people differently so that cars are not the easiest, simple answer to getting around, only time will tell. I would like to think that we could include all walks of life, even us cycling bottom dwellers that we are seen as. I really think that bikes can change the world, that is if we let them and expose more and more people to them as an answer. Sorry I got all preachy there. enough is enough with the rambling, I hope it was clear enough to plant a seed. as always keep pedaling.... I know I promised pictures, but those will be here tomorrow, you'll just have to wait....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Galbraith Art


Notice the Kona theme???? These pics were taken up on Galbraith a mountain just out of Bellingham, WA. There are many, many trails and now 5 pieces of art. I have seen them all. this is just two of them, the french fries and the ???blades of grass, you be the judge. Have fun guessing which is which. After all I am captain obvious some times. Kevin sent these to me and I liked them and wanted to put them on my blog, so here they are for your viewing pleasure. If there is one thing, and one thing only that this blog needs more of, in this digital age, it is picture. After all a picture is worth a thousand words, I want to take more pictures I just never seem to remember the camera or if I do I get so caught up in the riding that I don't want to take the time to stop and pull the camera out. I need to get a smaller camera, that is weather proof and attach it to my hydration pack so that I can shoot on the go, from the shoulder or cuff so to speak. Well I think that you get the picture, ha ha get it. I know I should quit while I'm ahead or at least before I make to much more of an ass of myself, which by the way I am good at if you hadn't already noticed. enough already.
This weekend it looks like I will be staying close to home as there is danielle's family to be around, I will sneak away at some point, but birthdays need to be celebrated and young ones to be run ragged so adults can get some piece and quiet, thats where I come in, with my eternal energy, which I must tell you is running low today, rest is in order. What perfect timing I will hang out with family and fall asleep, ha, I will run around with a 5 year old and hope to keep up. So there you have it, not big ride this weekend, next weekend I hope to do a big birthday ride followed by some bbqing and beer drinking fun. I hope that kevin stays in town so we can attempt to ride all the trails on Galbraith, see the above picture in a day. Won't that be a 33rd birthday to remember. Thirty fucking three, I almost don't know what to think of it, that used to be so old, oh my god. My good friend Keith who planned a birthday party that included beaches and surfing is also celebrating his birthday in the upcoming week, young pup is only turning 30. ah to think of thirty brings back horrors. Anyways he put my name on the invite like I was gonna be at the beach to ring in my 33rd, keith I love you, but I gotta ride, I not really the beach going kind of guy. The mountains are calling my name. Hoist one in my name will ya.
I have rambled on much longer than I should have and probably offended someone, not my intentions. Best wishes to all and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Noble Sufferfest

Kevin Noble that is. Kevin lives in Bellingham and works for Kona, he has lived there for many years now and knows all of the trials in the area. Ever time we ride he puts together different trails and loops to keep it all fresh. The trend has been to get longer and tougher each week that we ride. While this Saturday's ride wasn't longer in mileage it was harder. It had rained all week and the ground was saturated, the kind that makes you feel like you have a bigger gear on your bike than you do. It also didn't help that my bottom bracket was totally toasted and knocking from side to side. I am not the best mechanic, and usually a single speed will just go and go, but then it needs some TLC, well thats where I am right now. My bike needs a little overhaul, the winter has taken its toll, and I need to invest in a few upgrades.
We started with a couple hours on Galbraith, think twisting, turning trails, power climbs and puddles were the norm. Then it was on the road for a bit, then the biggest climb of the day, on that has been dubbed "Sick Joke" nothing to laugh about. Its mellow in the beginning and then rears its ugly head with a quick rock strewn right handed turn in to a 15 + degree pitch that goes on and on. I wanted to get off, but would not allow myself, even though my arms felt like they were going to fail, funny they felt similar last week, but not quite as bad. Then we hit the Hemlock trial, more mud, and made our way around towards Lost Lake, more mud, pitches that were usually climbable were not and we pushed our bikes through the mud. We joked about the desert guys having it easy. Mileage in the northwest is deciveing, keep that in mind. We made our way back to the Ridge trial and then the interurban trail and on towards the home front. This sufferfest lasted 6 hrs but we were left feeling shattered. We chalked it up to the mud and the two pedal strokes forward, one back feel of the whole day. That night we ate pizza and drank some beer. The next day was a quick 2 and a half hours on Galbraith again and then I was homeward bound. Thank god the suffering is over for the moment. Now its time for a little recovery, I hope.
Hopefully we will celebrate my birthday by riding all the trails of Galbraith on the 12th of may. I look forward to it. thanks again kevin for the beating.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

and we think we're tough....

This picture was taken from The Six Day Bicycle Race website. These hardened men were tough as nails. 24 hrs try six days. They would race on wooden indoor tracks for 6 days, covering unheard of distances. They were the stars of their time, making more money than baseball stars, they were the kings, not just the sideshows that we are now.
6 days on a small oval, on a fixed gear with smoke and thousands of cheering fans. 100 dollar primes, 1000 dollar primes. The equivalent of 5,000 dollars a day for racing. I didn't know anything about it until I stumbled on the book at the library, took it out and started reading. I am floored, at a loss for words. I am humbled by this, I think that 24 hrs is a long time 6 days, eventually it was teams of two, but still that is a long long time to be riding, reminds me of the RAAM athletes of today, although they usually have to work and don't get paid much at all, they have to do it for the love of the bike or the challenge. Apparently there is a movie too which I think would be fun to watch as well. thats all I have today, I have a bit more reading to do and then I am off to sling the beers at the Big Time Brewery.
To weigh in on a post by Dicky, titled "My current (self imposed) dilemma" to me, and call me a purist if you must. Riding a fixed gear implies that you not plan on taking your feet off the pedals while going down hill, and that you run a front brake, or brakeless, but I in no way intend to say or advocate the breakless concept, I roll with a front brake at all times. Taking your feet off and letting the pedals eggbeater is not riding a fixed gear, that is like the new double crank/freewheel set ups, they can't be called singlespeeds, thats not what they are. That is where i stand on the matter of fixed off road, feet in pedals at all times. AT the Furnace Creek 508 they don't allow the fixed riders to coast with their feet out of the pedals for just that reason, it is no longer the pure definition of riding a fixed gear. as always keep pedaling. over and out.....

so i read it a second time, i will change what i said, ride with a rear brake, just don't take you feet out the pedals. that phil wood hub that is fixed with a disc rotor sounds kinda nice, although wade at vulture made my decisions easy, there is no rear cable routing or disc or canti mounts of any kind on the monster cross. takes the thinking out of the equation.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

life little treats

Well here we go again, I am not so good at remembering a camera to take pics on rides so the reader gets lots of text at times with very few visual representations. After all we are a visual culture these days. I will keep this post short and sweet. I should be racing at South Seatac right now, but the thought of going in circles didn't really appeal to me today, I plan to get out on the fixie for a bit of road time here in a bit, as soon as I get done with this here post. I worked late on friday night,was up early saturday to drive north towards Bellingham and a ride of 5 hours or so. I knew nothing of the route, terrain or what to expect. I planned to bring lots of food, even bought it, but you know what they say about plans, even the best laid plans..... but I digress. I had some, just not enough, good thing my riding partner did. Kevin had an amazing route planned with gobs of climbing. We started off on the interurban bike path and made our way south, after 6 or so miles of basically flat spinning the real fun began and up it went. On Thursday my legs has felt really crappy, while riding out at Tiger Mountain, so I had imagined that my legs would just be shot after no sleep on Thursday night and a long night on Friday, I was wrong, my legs felt quite good and we slogged up and up. We talked about Washington riding and compared it to other places, now I can see why singlespeeders are few and far between up here, everything is steep, wet and power robbing, oh yeah there is the roots and other slippery elements as well. On the other hand why not more singlespeeders and rigid ones at that, less moving parts means less maintence and I can't imagine the toll the weather takes on a full suspension bike up here. Back to the ride at hand, filled with ripping descents, kevin overshot a corner and hurt his thumb on one of them, it made descending a treat for him. The second climb of the day is dubbed "burnout", my immediate response to this was "why cause by the time you get to the top you are burnt out" to which he replied "yep" off we went, up and up and up, steep and steeper, grunting. My arms were taking a beating, I worried that they might actually just fail. We crest out and descend and descend on our way to the British Army Trail, a brutal hike a bike, that landed us at the top of the Blancard Mountain descent which was a fucking blast. Now at the bottom we began the ride home. We hit the lower trials on Galbraith and then the rails to trails home to kevins. All in all we had a great time kick the shit out of each other. WE ended with 6,800 ft of climbing in 43.43 miles in 5 hours and 20 mins. The numbers dont look like it was all that bad or tough, but it was. considering that most of that climbing was in the middle 15 or 16 miles of the ride. We plan on a bigger ride next time. oh goody.

Today is earth day, do something, but don't drive, love your mother earth. I will leave the sarcastic comment off then end here. Just be good people.

and finally this, and email from my good friend Dusty.....

Hey, first, I rode the cross-check fixed yesterday. I got a long way to go, but I just kept thinking about Rudy doing the puff and shut the fuck up.

So I think I bought a house here in Fort Collins and I was thinking that it had been a really long time since I had seen a Hummer. Also, there are at least two dedicated Subaru shops in town. I think this is my new criteria for judging the livability of a town, the subaru to hummer ratio. Ketchum- lots of subarus but also an inordinate amount of Hummers- no good. Back east, not many Hummers, but also not many Subaru's either, and they don't have roof racks- also not good. Fort collins, lots of subarus, especially pre-outback dark green beaters, nary a hummer to be found- ah, home.

Here is my response......

I like the theory, Tahoe,lots of subarus and lots of Hummers, after all the bay area is only 3 hours away, thats only a couple hundred dollars in gas to get your hummer up to tahoe and show it off, the ladies are impressed. Seattle, well its a city and I will only last so long here, but lots and lots of subarus not too many hummers at all, we are a humble breed here in the northwest. I will be moving on hopefully north to Bellingham, everytime I go there I fall more and more in love with the place, the riding sure is epic in every sense of the word. sounds like life is good, I would like to add that beer and the quality of beer in a place adds to this equation, reno ok, tahoe not much good beer, seattle lots of good beer, bellingham good beer,and you in fort collins have good beer, not so sure how the beer is there is sun valley.

so I lied short post my ass, what ever that means it was a long one but I hope you enjoyed it. as always keep pedaling and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

foiled again

This weekend we went to portland for "Filmed by bike" a celebration of the bicycle. It is short films about cycling or related to cycling. It is in its fifth year, and grows each year. They tell the story of the first year hoping that 50 people would show up. Last year they had just two showings on Friday at 7 and 9 this year they had 6 showing and it sounds like they were all sold out. 1,300 people in all. To me that is just amazing, and inspiring. Seattle we should get one going. Outside the theater, before the first showing.
The Clinton Street Theater
Fat Tire was there with some of their bikes, sit and spin, oh not so good after all that beer.
sit and spin
"Filmed by Bike" raffle girls where everywhere.
raffle girls
After we went to the sold out 7 o'clock show we exited to see this madness, the streets before the 9 o'clock showing. too bad you can't read the lighted board. Is that called the marque? just wondering.
9 o'clock madness
Like i said we went last year and it was great, we didn't really have to wait in line, this year was different we had to wait in line, the weather was similar, rainy, and the air was filled with excitement, bikes, bikes, bikes....what more is there to say.
We didn't really plan that well and ended up heading home that night so that we could get to the step it up rally the next day here in Seattle, we figured the traffic would be easier to deal with at night, than on Saturday morning. We had a really big step it up rally, we marched and chanted and showed our support for lower carbon emissions and our support that global warming is a real issue that we will need to deal with in the upcoming years if we wish to leave the earth in any shape for future generations. There were still people that were trying to tell the marchers that it is all one big hoax to make money, but it fell on deaf ears as everyone marching was commited to the cause. It rained on us a bunch, but by the end the sun came out and warmed everyones spirits.
Sunday my friend Craig and I went to Skukoom Flats and the trails off the 410 here in Washington. 410 is the road that goes out towards Crystal Mountain. As those of you who live here know this winter has been a rough one. It started hard and fast in November with the most rainfall in a single month ever recorded, and never really let up at all. Most people that I have talked to that have lived for a long time have dubbed it the worst winter in 15 or 20 years if not the worst winter they have ever had here. It went a little something like this, rain, rain, wind and rain, wind rain and snow, ice and snow, rain, wind, rain, I think you get the picture. We had a group that we thought were going, but it only ended up being us two brave soldiers by the time the day actually arrived. I thought that it would be difficult, but interesting enough I didn't think about the blowdown and damage we might see. I thought it would just be a bit damp and maybe a little muddy, but the soil out there is more loamy and filled with pine needles and roots. So we arrived it was bit chilly, but not too bad. Did the whole strip by the river thing, no peeking etc. then doned our uniforms and it was off to explore, and we got our monies worth.
This was the fifth or sixth tree that we came across in the first mile, and the only one that was even close to be ridable the others were head high. So I got my log hop on.....
log hop
and road away clean, I didn't say it was pretty though....
Craig got to enjoy some open trail, he is smiling like he always is.....
That was the White's Creek side of the equation, then we crossed the highway and went on an adventure, retracing the route of last years Greenwater Gamble, we added some extra climbing, and the whole time it felt like I had a lead weight attached to my bike, the earth was pedal power robbing, think snow melting on dirt and you get the idea, I felt filled with gu, and stuck in place, craig on the other had just pedaled along, damn gears. So we climbed for awhile and hoped to get to and intersection with the Sun top trial, but the snow turned us around, riding through snow at 30 miles an hour is fun, like cutting marshmellows, I hope you all understand that, cause I don't.
We wanted to be over there, I think, have to go back at a later date and do some more exploring when there is less snow on the ground.
Over There
After finding our way back and through some snow,we reconnected with the race course and eventually found our way to the Skukoom Flats trail, and we were off like a herd of turtles. There was a lot of blowdown on this trial, and even a large section of the trail missing. Just take a look at the picture....
Trail edge
and that suspension bridge that used to be so fun... well not so much anymore...
Suspension bridge no more
I would imagine that this trial will get cleaned up sometime in the future and maybe rerouted, well for it to continue it really needs to be rerouted, because the steep side hill hiking that we had to do was just a challenge we joked that the most fun thing to hike through brush and over and around trees with is a bicycle, it just felt like the forest wanted to grab every part and rip the bike from your had, by the end the bikes started to get a bit heavy on the arms, and the mind started to be a bit tired of on the bike off the bike. Like a bad cross race with 4 foot barriers that try to strip the bike from you hands. oh now thats an idea, that would make for a great spectator sport. any takers??????

So I have rambled on enough i figure and made up for not posting for awhile. thanks for reading, and if you made it this far you are a real trooper and deserve a medal or a chest to pin that medal on at the very least. as always keep pedaling......