Friday, July 10, 2009
Following intently her journey westward, she was last laser-tagged yesterday afternoon in the Lenexa, KS UPS warehouse. As everyone knows Kansas is no place for mountain bikes, but the precipices you DO find there are arguably just as tantalizing as the ones that the Carbide was exquisitely crafted to charge up and fly down.
Well, hopefully my new curvy black beauty doesn't spend too long admiring the also shapely scenery in the "Wheat State" and continues on her circuitous route to my front door. Her older sister, spending 2 years tearing it up with me on the West Coast XC endurance tour, is now graduating to the Mid-East ultra-endurance stage. Jeff "Tookie (I just tookie you out)" Williams will be forgoing the wimpy Crappalattachino-and-maybe-First-Base first date and going straight for a Grand Slam by relentlessly flogging her all day and all night at the 24 Hours of 9-Mile in Wisconsin. I'd wish her luck, but I know she doesn't need it. >:)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Here I am with SuperD stud Brant, and Carlos from the Pomona Mountain Bike Club demo'ing a Tomac Carbide.
After a warm up lap on Saturday that included a slightly scary but mostly hilarious staredown with a 2-ton bull protecting his herd (with 3 other riders cowering behind me, ready to offer me up as a sacrifice if they were allowed to pass unharmed) and Randy letting me slumber Saturday night in the unofficial official team trailer to escape the 30-40mph winds blowing through the valley, I was actually in a good mood.
The wind died down on Sunday and the weather was just about perfect. I tried to follow Coach Gareth's advice about consuming approximately 300 calories an hour during the race, and fell short, but I still felt good. A couple racers in other classes acted as dangling carrots to keep my ass moving at a good pace and I ended up 15th out of 21 people.
So, uh, yeah, Sea Otter will have to wait for next year.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
For years I have heard many of the Backboners speaking of the delightful Solvang Century. Mostly when we attend the Firestone Walker mountain bike race (now the Santa Ynez Valley Classic) as the Century course passes right beside the race course.
This year I was finally formally invited by my road training partner and all around great gal Betsy. She sang sweet lies about enjoying my company and my winning smile or some bs like that, but when I got to the venue, I realized that the mighty munchkin bunch just needed a large object to draft behind for 100 miles!
And since Tim was smart enough not to fall for her woman trickery I was the only alternate. ;) But seriously it was an awesome group o girls and a lot o fun. Here we are pre-ride, l to r; Betsy, Jeannie, Me, Donna & Steph.
After a lazy late wakeup and breakfast of eggs and oatmeal & strawberries from Donna's 'J-Lo' trailer we were on our way, but not before all four girls donned their secret weapons, a US Post Office mail pouch inserted inside the front of their jerseys a la the newspapers Tour de France riders use. The weather was supremely cool with heavy cloud cover for most of the day and the double-layered laminated paper pouches would provide the ladies with unparalleled frontal wind protection! Who knew?
The ride went smoothly, with only Donna throwing in attacks right from the get-go. At the first aid station though, the group reformed after PB&J sammies, bananas and a pee break. We endured horrible scenery the entire ride; lush green rolling hills spotted with trees, valley after valley of gorgeous wine fields, and wildflowers of all colors.
With the temperature just below what I thought was perfect and a pace just below what I thought was optimal I eventually began to get antsy, though. Luckily, just before I went completely mad, about that time we were about 2/3 through the course and we started the hilly sections. Metaphorically thumbing my nose at the rest of the people who were just happy to finish a Century (except the guy riding the 3-speed 'Fat Tire Ale' beach cruiser, complete with fenders, fake gas tank, and racks) I proceeded to climb the hills at mach speed, only to flip a U-ie at the top, charge back down and do them again. It really worked out perfectly, too, as I would get to the top the second time just after the girls got up the first time, and the group would be whole again. Yay!
With only one pavement section that was torn up so much that you wanted to chew your arms off, the rest of the ride went splendidly. The girls, realizing that the end was near and they still felt great, were able to quicken their pace. Even the last climb which was rumored to be a hellish nightmare, which ran mere feet away from the dreaded dirt climb on the Firestone Walker course, was breezed over with so little effort that everyone was left wondering "Was that it?"
Seasoned century pros that we were, we even skipped the actual finish line, opting instead to head straight back to our deluxe campsite, for beers, a hot tub soak, and a great campfire cookout. Awesome stuff.
It's definitely a great ride and a great vibe.
My main problem, though, was completely ignoring the readout on my Sigma HR monitor. I wear it race day for a reason. It was blinking wildly at me as I pounded out the first two laps between 190 and 200 beats a minute. Yes, even for my hummingbird heart that's too hard.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
That's right, it's the second half of my ride to SAN DIEGO.
After stopping for a sandwich at Giovanni's (wayyy to long, but it was a beautiful day!) The girls geared back up and we were on our way.
Betsy dons gloves and Steph cranks up the iPod
After climbing the dreaded hill at Torrey Pines we took the fast, windy architectural tour of UCSD where I was questioned repeatedly by the girls if I knew where the hell I was going. Sadly I did. :)
After a nice stretch between the 5 fwy and some rolling grassy hillsides I was again grilled by the ladies as to whether I had any idea where we were, or how to get where we were going. The bike trail becomes a labyrinth: crossing city streets, funneling beneath a few underpasses, and winding over a trail that is barely recognizable as a trail. Again I DID actually know what I was doing and it was a short stint before we were cruizing by beautiful Mission Bay.
After passing by Old Town and being narrowly missed in merging traffic by a hard-charging city bus, we finally arrived at the downtown.
Making our way to the Amtrak station we were regretfully told that the train leaving in 10 minutes had already attained its 6 (that's right six) bicycle limit and we were out of luck. We were fortunate enough to be #4,5 & 6 on the list for the next train, though - an hour later. If anyone has ever ridden, or considered riding somewhere in connection with taking a train, you will contact Amtrak immediately to tell them they need more storage space for bicycles.
We did have a nice wait, though, as the sun descended and we enjoyed our cups of coffee (definitely NOT alcohol! ;) ). COFFEE.
And finally we enjoyed the leisurly cruise back home on the choo choo.
"Stay classy San Diego."
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Well the official Dana Point to San Diego road ride took place on Saturday, so here's the wrap-up for all of you losers who couldn't make it.
Blogger is taking forever to upload the pics, as well as not putting them in the order I upload them, so I'll have to make this a 3 parter. WHAT? More blogs??? Unthinkable! But why do they make it so damn hard compose these things? GALL?
After riding from my casa in the SJC and hooking up with the Betsy and Steph in DP, we made final tire pressure adjustments and were on our way. We shot down the hill into Doheny, through onto PCH, and south past San Clemente. It was only then I remembered "Hey! I've got a fricken camera in my jersey!"
Other rideers found themselves helpless as we formed a paceline (me pacing, them lining), and trucked by at high speed.
We soon found ourselves entering San Onofre State Beach, encountering the worst sign EVER.
I know my lovely companions are married and all, but a guy can dream can't he? No, he can't, when there are signs like this jolting him back into reality.
Fortunately I was able to pull myself back together and continue the ride. Upon entering Camp Pendleton Marine Base we encountered a horrible group of Tri weenies. Not able to hold a consistent pace for more than 90 seconds, the girls suddenly found themselves in what felt like 405 rush hour traffic as the group of 15 again and again sped past them, only to putter to a crawl moments later. I don't understand. Luckily for me I got ahead of all but two of them, so I felt the affects much less severly.
We finally made it to Oceanside, though, and basked in the awesomeness of another day of winter in SoCal. Sorry Tookie, Maybe when they thaw you out they'll put you in a movie with Pauly Shore?
More next time...
Monday, February 02, 2009
I obviously prefer the cinematic version:
Waking up day after day on Feb. 02, Bill Murray goes berserker trying to endlessly woo Andie MacDowell while hanging out with the likes of Chris Elliot. Great stuff.