Wednesday, January 30, 2008

with my tax return i will?

Living in the city has its challenges, I have been trying to only drive the car to and from mountain bike destination. That is why I want one of these:

The Kona Ute. It could solve a few difficulties that I have with some small modifications. Bikehugger likes em and has the modifications that I would add, a stoker stem and pegs. Why you ask? My girlfriend is not as motivated as I to ride. She and I are different speeds, and I ride a whole lot more. This leads to different decisions being made in traffic, and I will ride any where. Distance will at times prevent her from getting on the bike. This way she could just sit back and enjoy the ride. Getting groceries made simple. Instead of packing them on my back, having to carefully pack my messenger bag and then having to do damage control when boxes get crushed, yogurt goes smush. Fruit and vegetables are always a bit of a challenge. While I will admit that it all can be done, the above vehicle would certainly make it all a lot more convenient. The price at $799 is not cost prohibitive other than the fact that I need to get rid of credit card debt and pay some other bills. It all comes down to priorities. Could that money be better spent? Possibly, if bills are better. Could this be an amazing purchase? yes. More thought is needed. This is just the beginning.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

you know your commited when...

There has been a formula for Sunday's since the new year, load up drive, ride in some sort of inclement weather, cold hands, colder toes, laughing, and too much fun to put in to words. This Sunday was no different, well not quite. The weather here is Seattle has been quite unseasonably cold, La Ninia I am told, snow has been more prevalent than is the par here.
1st call: " there is a light dusting at my house here in Bellingham, you guys still coming?"
"yes, I committed to doing one mountain bike ride a week and I haven't gone yet this week."

2nd call: we have loaded up and are on the interstate headed north.
"ok, it really snowing, big flakes, just want you to know, still coming"
"yep, thanks, but we just might not ride for as long, but I want to get out on my bike."

As we get closer to Bellingham the weather gets really snowy, people go from driving 60 to 25, it's not that bad, but there is at least 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground. Guess he wasn't kidding, its going to be something else if this keeps up.

We arrive at Kevin's house, suit up, we almost all over dress and find ourselves at some later moment shedding layers to not overheat. We start rolling out and up towards Galby. Our group grows on the way. It ended up being the largest group ride I have ever been on.

At the start to the Whatcom Falls entrance to Galbraith.

Cold weather cycling breeds creation, I would like to get a pair of the lake winter boots but until then, I have seen and tried many different means to keep the feet warm throughout the winter months. Two wool socks, wool socks and a plastic bag, old winter boots. Luke pictured above had large wool socks over his shoes, with holes in the bottom for his cleats. Yet another creative way to keep the feet warm, it seems to be a constant battle. Craig will sometimes add toe warmers at the beginning to keep his toes warm.

Kevin practicing his magic just below the towers.

Can you believe Brett has only been growing this beard since late November. The man is just a big hair follicle. When I first met him we dubbed him Bearded Brett. Guess Why?

Chris had the greatest traction, on a semi slick. We climbed a bunch and you just had to stay seated or you got no traction. Feels great when the road hits 18 or 20%

The train rolls on.

Craig has red hair, grips and tires. He is also one of the greatest human beings i have ever had the pleasure of riding with. "Bikes are the Best" is one of his most used phrases.

The view of Bellingham from the Ridge. By the end of the day it was sunny. We had an amazing day.

I got this here beauty mark. I think we all crashed at least 4 times. My pedals had the pleasure of meeting my shin in one of those falls.
We ended up riding for about 3 and 1/2 hours, it felt like more with all the grinding we had to do through the snow. I have never ridden in anything like that. The mud was frozen so the ruts just threw you all over the place, some of the sections of trial were ice, no braking allowed. We did at one point in time practice our front wheel skids.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The epic sundays continue

We finally got a camera out on the ride, see the above photo, then the batteries died. Guess that's how it goes sometimes. While we didn't get much photographic evidence of the epic sunday ride, we did have another epic time. This is fairly early in the ride, later on the sun came out and we could not have asked for a better time. Dale Plant graced us with his presence, and proceeded to show us all why he is dubbed "the great one" He stuck it to us again and again, and he wasn't even riding his own bike. Something about doing a lot of skate skiing. The last couple of weeks we have stayed on Galbrieth, we wanted a bit more climbing on different trails. We had just that. Long extended climbs followed by snow grinding and a bunch of hiking, due to deep unrideable snow. The hiking actually helped warm the feet. I imagine we will be back again next weekend for another epic, although the weather is supposed to be a snow rain mix. oh fun.

I have struggled with keeping my feet warm. I have old winter boots from Gearne, but the toe box is just too small and they cause my feet to go numb, well my big toe to be exact, for a day or two. I have toe covers on my sidi's but even with two wool socks on I just can not seem to keep my toes from freezing. This week the 30 mile an hour wind didn't help either. I just keep thinking that the weather will get better and I will be able to postpone biting the bullet and getting some real winter boots like the lakes, or the sidi's I just don't have the coin right now.

3 weeks from Old Pueblo. I am still tossing around what bike i will be riding, now that I have the tomi cogs here, I might not bring the monster cross and bring the 29er instead. Dave and I will have so much fun. I hope it is warm down there. I have held off looking at the weather report so as not to get my hopes up too much.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sunday's are going well...

Each Sunday of the new year we have made the trek to Bellingham for a ride that we say will last 2 to 3 hours and always lasts at least 4. The best intentions. My friend Kevin and his wife just had a baby boy, and he likes spending time with them, but always ends up with a bit more time on the bike than planned. Hell last week he took a wrong turn on his mountain and we ended up getting in some bonus singletrack. It is amazing that we keep riding partners, between snow, mud, freezing digits and early season fitness we just keep rolling. This past Sunday was like the others, only Kevin left us early to get back home and we pushed on, the day was perfect, sunny, we joked about the light in the sky. We haven't seen much of it lately. Although the forecast is calling for a stint of sun, I will have to take advantage. Lets just hope it melts the snow we got last night????? It doesn't usually snow here, I got to ride home, I was amazed at how fast I could travel in the slush on my 28c tires. I had a blast. I tried to get some good photos, but I just looked like a wet rat.

So far I have these races on the schedule:
24 hrs of Old Pueblo (duo fixed) with Dave Nice
the test of metal
cascade cream puff

tentatively I would like to also race:
dirt, sweat and gears, ssusa
tahoe 100
and some that are just kinda on the radar.

Other than that I plan on exploring around the Seattle area and riding as much as I can, and still not get too tired. I always remember what happened to me and it keeps me honest, not trying to do too much, but enough to be competitive. Less is more as you get older I keep getting told. Recovery is key. Don't I know.

This weekend a group of us are heading down to All Comer's Meat, in Eugene. It was straight up debauchery last year, this year will be a bit more tame I imagine, but then again you never know, parking lot wrestling at 1 am is always a good time. The drive home the next day was one to remember. The last 90 miles we were on the top of a flat bed tow truck. I will not drive this year. Rode fixed last year, still trying to figure out if I will again, most likely I will. I just sold my mountain bike wheels and won't have new ones till later next week. I could change parts around, or I could just ride what I got. there you have it. As always keep pedaling.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Things are going....

Here I sit all broken hearted.... no really, like sayings on bathroom walls here I write things to stave off boredom. Thanks for reading.
There is something wrong with the race to get in to the race if you know what I mean. New Year's Day was dedicated to filling out race registration forms for events in months. One of the hoops we must jump through. I have taken to signing up for the races I want to do right now, gives me something to shoot for, a reason to "train". Training, I like to call it riding with a purpose, fitness is fleeting and I keep chasing it down, occasionally a bar stool gets in my way. On that front, I have cut way back, see what having a goal can do to you.

Enough about that. This weekend it is another trip to Bellingham, for a group ride, probably in the rain, it has a way of doing that here. Next weekend the trip to Eugene for All Comer's Meat, the Disciples of Dirt really know how to have fun. Last years details are a little hazy, the parking lot antics late at night go down as some of the best ever. I'll leave it at that. So there you have it, my little rant for the always keep pedaling.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

300th I in

That's right, I had no intention of that being the title, but there you have it. Is it me or does it seem like mountain biking is making a come back? The first of the year I was on the web at New Year's, like many, many others, waiting to sign up for a race in August, a single speed only race no less. More on that later. After spending all day running around I rushed home at 6 pm to sign up for the Test of Metal, which is in June. Both these races filled up faster than, I was looking for a good analogy, but just couldn't think that clearly yet, something about my 400 lb friend at the all you can eat buffet, but that just didn't seem to make much sense. There you have it both races filled up with in minuets, of opening. The Test of Metal, for those of you who don't know is a 67 km race out of Squamish, BC that I am told every Northwester needs to do. Last year I missed the sign up by a few months, didn't know you had to be armed and ready on the first of the New Year for a race months and months away, chalk it up to being under prepared or just lacking computer savvy or planning skills for that matter. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants a lot of the time, just ask some of my riding partners.
"you got a bar i can borrow"
"how bout a few of those Bloks?"
"you need all of that?"
"tube anyone, how bout a lever?"
I am exaggerating a bit, but I tend to "misplace" things on occasion. Thanks to all those who have been there for me.
Back to the World of registering for races. Test of Metal took my money right away, I knew I was in for sure, just had to wait a few days for the confirmation email, got it, now I am committed to lining up and completing this must do race. The SSWC was a different story. I woke up on Sunday morning to an email from a friend, I believe the title was"I'm in, I'm in, I'm in" There was nothing from them in my in box. I quickly punched in Dicky's blog address and saw that he was in as well. My little heart sank, but then again I hadn't gotten a rejection email as well which a bunch of my friends had, so I was still hopeful. I began analyzing every detail about the registration process, which was a bit hazy due to the time constraints. In the coming days I came to the resolution that I would just go down and hang out and have a great time, as that is what it is really about, having never raced in the SSWC I really wanted to officially do it at least once. Then with all the bitching on MTBR....please I would never bash the promoter's or bitch, it was obviously going to be hottly contested with 1 in 4 getting in or something, I am sure they have other tricks up their sleeves for the start, or the whole weekend, it is about having a good time racing your bike in a different atmosphere, the race is why we gather, but the real reason is to be surrounded by like minded individuals. We will take over the world.....
Sorry to make this so long.... having not received anything I sent an email to the headquarters to see what the story was, I assumed I was SOL and just going down to heckle, so you can only imagine how surprised I was today when I got the "your in" email. I'll be there and in the race.

Thanks Dave, just what i needed to help with my training regiment.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy New Year

A couple of days behind, it has been awhile since I have posted, one of the Resolutions I made was to update this think a bit more regularly, like 2 times a week maybe three. I have realized that if I leave goals or resolutions as simple as do it more I fall short. Not for lack of trying I just think that goals have to be specific to be achieved and evaluated. Here is the short list of goals.
Post 2 or 3 times on this blog.
Take more photos, I don't know how to be more specific, I would just like to have more photos than I do.
Not drink for the first week of the new year, clean the system out a bit. The Holidaze have a way of being just that a daze. I almost went for the whole month, but just decided I would make it up as I went along, a week when you work at a brewery is quite a long time. Being around all those taps of delicious goodness that just calls to me. That and we have some amazing beers coming out that I at least want to taste. The only way to taste is by the pint, we all know that.
To ride more consistently
To rest the legs a bit more. I have even talked about getting a geared road bike, long fixed gear rides leave the legs a bit tired. I haven't ridden a geared bike in many, many moons, hell I barely coast a lot of the time these days. Older and smarter? Wiser? or just Weaker? who knows.
To commit to races early so there is no backing out. I hopefully got in to the sswc, and I already registered for a classic in the BC are The Test of Metal. Had to be at the computer and ready at 6 pm on New Year's day for that one. Damn website wouldn't load, due to traffic, but I squeaked in, well they took my money so I assume that means I am in. Other races on the radar are the Cascade Cream Puff, The Tahoe Sierra 100, Dirt, Sweat and Gears(ssusa), the BC Bike Race, something back east like the Vermont 50, that's the short list, I could go on and on, but I digress.
I have never really done the resolution thing on New Year's but I thought it was a time to reflect and make some goals, not really resolutions but goals obtainable goals, to get back on the race horse so to speak and stick to a plan. haha plan, secret training. So there you have it my verbal diarrhea. take it or leave it, but as always keep pedaling.