Wednesday, March 12, 2008

oh what a feeling....

Nearing the top of Blanchard,
still some snow to contend with.
Had a couple of those this past weekend. Again the pilgrimage to Bellingham for the Sunday excursion. Brett and I left early, Craig could not make it. The group would be small again. Small groups tend to cover more ground with less stops. The route started with a trip across town and towards the top of Galbraith, on down the backside we went. Soon we had a bit of road to contend with, but not before rolling by some young hucksters who had this to say to Brett in unison as if they had planned it "sweet Beard dude" in that drawn out I just smoked a bowl drawl. I was immediately reminded of The Big Lebowski, and "the dude" except for the rest of the ride we referred to Brett as " the beard". The beard abides. I guess you had to be there. The plan included heading out to Blanchard and one of the greatest descents around. This would include a few hike a bikes and a little snow. Lets just say it was a very slick day. Around the front of Blanchard and back out to our nemesis, we revisited the " sick joke" climb from last week. I must say that my legs were feeling a bit more there, this week than last. At the danger of waxing and waining poetically, Some days you fight the bike and don't really feel connected and other days it is just you are one with the bike. This was more one of the days where I was connected with my bike. We waited at the top for a bit to catch our breath and then headed out the same as last week. This is where I get that feeling, all day I had been complaining about and wondering if something of the bike was cracked, it just felt not as stiff as usual. Well to make a long story short we are at the bottom of a double track descent through the trees when Kevin looks at my fork and claims the ride to be over due to a large crack in the crown of my Pace fork. We slowly take the fire road to the bottom and pedal our way across town. Turns out I was a few centimeters away from a face plant. thanks Kevin, the hush hush trail might have put the finishing touches on the fork and added a bit of a hospital bill to my day. Instead we had a 40 mile ride with just a touch over 6 grand in climbing. It was a good day. We are set to step it up again this week. We are starting to show signs of fitness.
" the beard" abides

a bit of blow down of the way up

Bad picture of a bad crack, everything has a life span.
just glad we found it before it was too late
back to the steel matching fork for now

Friday, March 07, 2008

pictures from last weekends ride

look at the view. what a day for early march

kevin contemplates
Kevin contemplates throwing his bike. This is half way up the "burnout" climb. the second of 3 bypass'
group shot bham
the three of us. small groups travel fast. although we saw very little of craig all day, no matter how many times we tried to leave him with the camera to catch up. which he did and then he would shortly disappear up ahead of us.
kevin 3 fingers
Kevin showing Craig how many fingers he wants to shove down his throat, at the top of the thrid by pass, "sick joke".

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Well it's about time...

We got a big epic in. The "epic" Sundays continue, much to wives and girlfriend's discontent. Dare I use that word "epic", kinda like using "extreme". Is the word epic over used. I like epic rides. What do I define as an "epic" ride you ask, there are a few ingredients, I use duration and level of fitness required to complete as the major deciding factors. Scenery doesn't hurt. For the most part the ride must be over 30 miles in length, and be strenuous, leaving you with that feeling of completion that borders on exhaustion. Nothing of course is written in stone. Then again the definition of "epic" changes throughout the season. Our ride on Sunday is one of the Bellingham epics, dubbed the Triple Bypass. We did the traditional route, which has a bit more flat spinning in the beginning. It started with the cross town warm up on the rail to trail, "epic" huh? After just over half an hour of pedaling we enter the first short trail section, then the climbing began. It was a small group consisting of me, Craig, "see ya at the top" Etheridge, and Kevin "the new father" Noble. The first climb in Kleator Rd. a bunch of tempo climbing, we quickly settled in to our own rhythms, Craig was out of site shortly there after. We joked about having to strap 30 lbs on his back so we could all be the same weight. Kevin and I tip the scales near 180, Craig would be lucky to be 140 soaking wet. After a few miles we arrived at the top to a bit on snow and the beginning of the Black Diamond, yes that is its name descent. Craig had to wait for me and then we waited for Kevin, then Kevin and I extracted our revenge on Craig on the descent. Black Diamond is technical, steep, rooty, with slick rocks mixed in for good measure. More double track lead us to the next section, a climb dubbed Burnout. This thing goes and goes and then gets steeper and steeper. I kept Craig closer in contact on this on. At the top his bike decided to have some problems, which took a bit of trail ingenuity to fix, rocks were necessary. Then we again got to ride away from Craig on another steep descent. Which landed us at the bottom of the next challenge, the third and final climb, Sick Joke. The steepest, loosest, with the most baby heads climb, add wet ground to that and you will be mashing away to your hearts content. I refused to walk any of it, not that it made me any faster, I got to watch Craig walk in front of me, but I didn't get off. Then some super fun flowy, rolling, technical, descent and it was back across town to Kevin's we were rolling. 35 to 40 miles round trip, not bad for a early March day. Thanks again gentlemen. I'll leave you with this parting shot of Craig, look how happy he is.