Tuesday, March 27, 2007

what a weekend

Last week was a long week. It started on the Sunday after St Patricks day, work that is. I proceeded to work for the next 7 days. Did a bit of riding. There was a time trial on Saturday at the tapeworm trial. Check out photos here. I was having a great ride until I flatted. I forgot to check tire pressure and came the conclusion that I was running about 15 lbs of pressure just before the race. I didn't carry a spare tube or pump, so I ran for awhile. Did I mention that it had been raining all week and Saturday was no different. That cold rain that is unrelenting. So it was a bit of a disappointment to DNF, but better to make mistakes in a friendly time trial, than a race. I learned my lesson, one I should have a long time ago, always be prepared, or deal with the consequences. I dealt with them, but would have been more happy if I were able to fix the problem trial side as opposed to running.

Sunday, on 5 hrs of sleep I took off to Bellingham to ride with Kevin, it looked like rain but as I got closer to Bellingham, my eyes began to hurt, what was that yellow orb in the sky and the color blue, man it sure has been awhile since anything like that. It turned out to be a beautiful day, the trials were still muddy with a capital M, we had a blast chasing each other around the woods for the better part of the day. Lately the city life here has been getting to me a bit, I have been thinking about where I would like to live, not that it is terrible here, but I would like to be able to ride from my house to the trials and home if at all possible, I got to do just that on Sunday with Kevin. Danielle and I have been talking about moving sometime, that is if we can sell our house in Reno, don't get me started on that, I owe people money and can't pay right now and it hurts me deeply, finances are never fun to talk about, so I will stop, suffice it to say I am in a bad way until that house is sold.
So Bellingham was great, I got another taste of it and I like it. If I am to stay in the Northwest that is high on my list of places to stay. So Kevin and I chased each other around for 5 hours, we sampled a lot of the good on Galbraith, cant wait to do it again sometime. Kevin is a great guide, and i was lost for a better part of the day, meaning I had no idea where I was.
Now it is back to the grind, for a couple/four days and then my younger brother graduates from culinary school up in Vancouver, so I will be up there this weekend and then on sunday there is a race down outside of Olympia in Capitol Forest, Part of the Indie series. More to come on that.
as always keep pedaling.

Monday, March 19, 2007

How natty got his groove back....

As I am sure most of you are aware this weekend was St Patrick's day, a good excuse for most people to drink all day, wear green, act obnoxious all in the name of good olde st Patrick. God Bless the Irish. Well it was also the weekend that The Seattle Randonneur's held there 200km brevet. I had told a few people in the club that I was planning maybe to do this, but was hesitant to as I am still afraid of pushing myself too far and further being sick or doing a slow backslide in to the hole that I have been struggling to get out of. With so many highs and lows in the last year dealing with whatever got to me has been a valuable lesson, but one I don't wish to revisit. I was able to get the day before off, I didn't want to ride 200km or 126.8??? miles on little to no sleep. Looking at this distance was a bit intimidating, you may laugh, I have competed in long mountain bike races and even a few 24 hr races, but this distance would be the longest road ride I have undertaken, and nearly double the distance I have ever ridden on a fixed gear. After the 100km I went back and forth with gearing issues, should I stay with what I have been riding 45x18 or should I drop a tooth in the back to 45x17. I decided to just stay with what I have been on, not wanting to change anything right before a big day in the saddle. I was a bit worried about the weather, and not being the biggest road rider I was thinking what am I doing, I answered with its early in the season, much time to mountain bike and I really like the people they are really quality cyclist, no attitude just out enjoying a day in the saddle.
I will set the stage for you the ride was to start at 7am and it was about and hour from my house to the start, meaning i would have to be up way before I usually am. I got the night befores shift covered and hung out watching movies and taking it easy. Up at 5 eating and out the door to find my way to the start, yes I drove. Arrived at the start with 8 mins to spare till the start, register, spend time looking for Eric, he had a waterproof envelope for me to put the route sheet in so I wouldn't get lost, just before we roll out i find him and head towards the front of the 100 plus riders. We roll down the roads of Kent on our way towards Dash Point. I am so spun out on the 15% downhill, it is not raining and it is nice and warm. We are chatting and joking with one another, a few comment on my choice of bike, and make jokes about the fact that I am going to ride faster then them, they have googled me and the cat is out of the bag, I am a 24 hr mountain biker, no wonder I have endurance and such. I share stories with Chris Ragsdale, he has done some amazing things and has a big goal for the upcoming season. We are a group of about ten or twelve by the time we make it to the first check point of the day. We all stayed together until Green River Road at which time in short succession those of us on one speeds got spat out the back as the speeds reached 23 or 25 miles and hour. I tried to hang on but just decided that I would have to go my pace to finish and be in an ok state of mind. I gained a bunch of time back on the little climb out, catching most of the group by the time we hit the next checkpoint in Black Diamond. Flats have never been my strength and today I was going to have to ride my ride if I were to survive, my heartrate was a bit high in the begining, but calmed downa few hours in and stayed that way for the remainder of the day. I had a few stomach issues going on in black diamond that I had to take care of and missed the group of 5, including Chris by a couple of minuetes. It is here that my experience paid off, no one else wanted to leave and it is the time off the bike that kills your overall time so I was off by myself, where I stayed for the next 40 miles, riding by myself at my pace over flat and rolling terrain. The next section took us out towards the town of Greenwater, and out and back, I thought for sure that they would put big time in to me here, but I arrived to find them at the store in Greenwater, again I loaded up and rolled out thinking that they would eventually catch me, Chris and John did and Chris decided that it was time to go and that is what he did, he was gone, I briefly pedaled away from the rest of the group, but soon was caught and passed on a steep down hill, it wasn't the ups that hurt the most it was the downs as my legs were forced to spin at an ungodly cadence on some of the steep hills. It is here that I started to think about gearing again. We regrouped at the next checkpoint and now we were close to home, my goal of going under 8 hours was obtainable, it began to sprinkle lightly at first and as we got closer to the end pretty good for a few mins. We stayed in a group of 4 all the way in, arriving in 7 hrs and 35 mins. Mission accomplished. I was amazed to hear that chris came in at 7 hrs 18 mins tieing his time from last year. I am unsure how many more rides I will do with the Randonneurs again this year, mountain biking is still my major focus, but i had a great time and it is filled with lots of cool, quality people, I sure would like to get out for the 300km and maybe even the 400km, but only time will tell. Looks like next weekend will be a trip to Bellingham to ride with Kevin again, I hope the weather cooperates and we can enjoy warm temps and sun possibly, if not we will have fun not matter what. Thursdays are also devoted to mountain biking closer to home, last week Craig and I hit up Tokul West and had a great time.
as you can see from this picture I usually don't get up this early. This pic was taken by Kent Peterson just before the start of the ride on Saturday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

blood trails

This was sent to me awhile back and I meant to get it on here sooner. Bikes are they making a come back in the movies. Watch the trailer below and tell me what you think.

In other news I am planning on riding with the Randdonneurs this St Patricks day for their 200km ride. I will be riding my fixie to see how it feels to start piling on the miles aboard a fixed gear bicycle. More on that on Sunday. The race schedule is starting to come together and I am usually getting one or two mountain bike rides in a week. Not much else to say, hope you enjoy the trailer. as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

when the weather.....

Gets warmer and sun filled for a bit, it must be taken advantage of. The guys a Swobo have posted a few times about 30 rides in 30 days. My loose understanding of the undertaking is that the challenge is to, for thirty consecutive days to ride thirty rides consisting of 1 continuous hour, each day, not a total of an hour in that day. no running errands and the such. I am now entering my 4th and final week of this challenge which I started on February 11th. I have made my commute to work at least an hour, thus getting about an hour and a half of riding minimum a day. I have been averaging between 10 and 15 hours a week and 150 to 200 miles, including off road miles. I am feeling better, and beginning to plan a season of racing. As most readers know I have been fighting with what I have dubbed "the sickness" for quite some time now, just about two years to be exact. Enough about that, now on to this past weeks undertakings.

Saturday: My friend Eric, who I wrote about awhile back, invited me to the 100km randonnee ride. I was hesitant to go, it started at 9 am and i get off work around 3 am, not much sleep. And I really like my sleep. Hesitantly I set the alarm, knowing I would probably go, but still giving myself the out. Well he had tried to get me a ride there, that fell through, so I used Danielle's truck and headed out. I ate what I eat most of the time for breakfast, Grape Nuts, and a banana followed by liberal coffee consumption. Leaving my house around 8 am. I had asked Eric about the course, and I decided I would roll the fixie, why not, what did I have to lose? Did I say that it was raining, not that sideways blowing rain, but steady drizzle, and the roads were wet, and dirty. I arrived at the start of the ride, the Redhook Brewery, or should I say Bud Hook, not the best beer, but beer none the less. Yes I am a beer snob. Oxymoron I know.
The ride started in mass and we were off, we were all given cue sheets that mapped out the ride, this would be our only method of staying on course, there would be no markings and such. Road riding not being my strong point I sat in for a bit and slowly made my way up towards the front. Chatting here and there with people, more quiet that usual as I was still waking up. We had a good little pace going at the front down the side of Lake Samamish, headed out of Redmond. Then came the first hill, Eric had told me this was the steepest and steep it was, out of the saddle I was. I was surprised my legs felt great. I was towards the front. We got to the top regrouped a bit, and then got to the first control. Papers signed we were off. The rain was still steady. More side roads and some descending latter most of the riders missed a turn and the bottom of a hill. More paceline work we were keeping a good pace. secret control, to make sure everyone is on course. 2nd control a coffee shop in Carnation, and everyone stops and is resting. I see one person sneak away and I am off. We are now a group of 10 I keep pushing the pace, it is wet and we are dirty, that is to be expected, I see now why full fenders are a must for group rides on the road in the rain. Just before the third check point there is a small climb and I am gone, I am surprised by this, but forge on. At the third check eric tells me I am a minute off the leader, now I am competitive and I understand that randoneering is more about the camaraderie than the speed, but I now think it would be great to catch the leader, why not. I charge. Catching him at the top of the climb, where i make a navigational error, not following him, and lose some time. Now I must go it alone, and I finally figure out how to read the cue sheet, which is drenched and soggy by this time. I make it in just behind the leaders, I am happy and throw a no handed skid in to the control, again why not.
I eat and head home to relax, but am amped.

Sunday: The plan was simple, drive to Bellingham and ride singlespeeds. Keith who had invited me out the night before, I turned him down, showed up with a raging hangover. I took the wheel, as I can drive, Keith not so much. We met up with the others and took off up the highway making it to Bellingham in 1hour and 15 mins. not bad. Craig had some other friends meeting us there and they had a few friends meeting them. Turns out I knew them from the racing world, and we were so lucky Kevin and Jeff know every knook and cranny of Galbraith, they took us on a great ride, dubbed the art tour of Galbraith, I guess we saw four of the five pieces on the mountain. It was slippery and I think everyone crashed at least once. I had so much fun. I am going up there more. The trails are just too good not to. Thank you Kevin and Jeff.

Swobo has their bikes out. Urban Assault vehicles.

Thanks to Elk for the Mcrad cd, brings back so many memories.