Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lange Twins Winery and Vineyards: An Open Letter

Dear Joe:
You are cordially invited to join the FT3 family on any Tuesday for our weekly Mt. bike ride. Yes, this is a bit of a distance to travel, but we are fairly confident no one in Northern California is having more fun on Tuesdays than us. This is the least we can do after you opened up your backyard to us and let us tear up some of your land during the best Cyclocross race this year! Furthermore, finding our blog and sending us positive praise on the Pabst photo, further merited this open invitation. Much of our riding group was present for the cross race and the others have been fully updated on the awesome venue and gracious hosts. If you find yourself in the foothills, possible exploring some our fine wineries and vineyards, make sure to bring your bike along. We will introduce you to some fantastic trails and at least on local dive (proprietor of necessary "post ride" tacos and PBR) that can't be missed! Hope to see you in our neck of the woods, as many of us can't wait to be back at your place next year!


Ride Report:
The last ride of the decade turned out to be one of the best rides of the year. We ushered off the ride in true new years style, putting down a bottle of bubbly prior to taking off. Fear of snow covered trails had me a bit scattered on route selection. In the end, maybe I should be scattered a bit more often. We linked together a great series of trails with some ripping downhills, steep climbs, plenty of single track, and enough wet roots to add a bit of excitement. The weather played every hand imaginable. We saw what appeared to be clearing skies, overcast, rain, sleet, and snow...all in all a Wintry Mix (pronunciations vary)!

B, Cap'n, Councilman and I all piled into one rig in true Green Living styling and headed up to the lake. There we met with NoHandle and a late arriving, yet ready to rumble, Xteric. After taking care of the fore mentioned beverage, we heading out the preliminary route of the qualifier. However, after getting onto the first fire road, we took a sharp right down a short single track section onto the lake loop. From there we headed out road kill and straight for backdoor.


Just prior to the crux move into backdoor, Xteric had a temporary lapse of judgment on a wet root and went down, and went down with a purpose. As B later noted, "Dude, you crashed H.A.R.D. hard!" I am pretty sure we all, at one point, thought, "ok, who is going back for a car and how are we getting him out of here." Yet, in true hard man style, akin to a guy that spends his working days hovering on utility poles far off the ground, Xteric rallied and remounted and we were off...Spot On Mate, Spot On!

The ride continued without incident and on wet but good trails. We climbed back up to the lake loop, took down the lady parts, headed south on the horse trails, climbed Rufus' rising to the horse parking lot, jumped onto Fleming and finished it off with Palin's plunge...Great ride.

Without calling out any no-shows. Peter was an oft mentioned topic of conversation as was the identity or possible identities of the new blog follower. Yet, in the end, it was determined that sometimes you make it, sometimes you don't, but in the end, it is just much more fun when you here is to hoping you all make it out soon.

Tacos, PBR's and Rye were served up in style. Payment was zoo as all debts were settled prior to the new year. The second taco order came in a single basket which forced the group into some math and sharing...very scary moments. B and Cap'n shared a frozen beer, you really had to be there for that one!

Upcoming rides:
Friday Mornings Hangover Cross is On!
Meeting will be at the Bagel shop at 11:00
Race time at the not-to-be-mentioned school is 11:45
A's, B's, C's, and Z's will all race together - race time will be somewhere between 30-45 minutes.
Post ride prizes at Starbucks on Mo Flat!

Good by to the aughts and hello to aught +1

Until we Ride!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two Thousand Ten or 010?

Whatever you plan on calling the new year and decade, it's on its way. The good news is that unlike the turn of the last decade, this one is not being ushered in with fear and chaos, unless of course your primary news source is FOX! Therefore, this week will be marked with some drunkeness and debauchery while next week will follow with new gym memberships and pledges of a healthy lifestyles. If you are a proud member of FT3, all these goals and resolutions can be met in one evening of riding and taco time! I know that there are those among us that have lofty goals for the new year (I hearby declare that I will finish a Men's B race without being chicked) but it is reassuring to know that FT3 lives a lifestyle that reflects the changes that others want to make. Now this is not to gloat, but just to state that for those of you who show up on Tuesday will need to renew your FT3 membership, talk about racing, gripe about non-cyclist, order tacos and rye while considering upcoming race schedule, and generally admit that Our Lady of the Skinny Tire is a welcoming congregation open to those who show regularly, those that return to us, and any new comers. So show up again, show up after a prolonged absences, or show up with a friend...but show up.

You have to be present to win!

And what are we winning?
Rock God is in the running for Mens 45+ B's
Cap'n is in the hunt for Mens 35+ B's
I may win my private race against all women who race men!
Bambi, with a few rides on the new steed, will likely win a lot.
NoHandle, Bambi, Cap'n and I are starting to look at a repeat in Cool
Team Two?????? Who will it be?
RG and Green Fro will be taking down the road scene this spring.
Will we see the return of Ghost and the massive endurance sessions?
Looks like FT3 is a force amongst the local cycling scene! My resolution is to take FT3 to the next level of legitimacy!

Upcoming rides:
Is there anyone interested in a Hangover CX? I was even thinking of making this more of a race event than a practice session. Set a course, set a number of laps, toe the line, remove RG's wheels and disconnect his cables, and GO! Prizes will be supplied by me, and the award ceremony will take place at Starbucks on Mo Flat. I know there might be some other stuff going on this day, let me know times and we can work around those. Families welcome as we will most likely be using a local elementary school.

Mosquito 5:45...Exit 54 (I believe is out, but it is always worth asking)?


Happy New Year and Long Live FT3
Until We Ride

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

"Dashing through the snow, on a brand new cross bike, o'er the barriers we go, laughing all the way!"

We'll see if Santa got my list, including a new Ridley Cross Bike with SRAM build and Zipp Wheels!

Ride Report:

There were actually a hand full of rides that fired off on Tuesday. Cap'n, Rock God, and NoHandle hit a lunch ride, I got out for a late afternoon spin and actually got caught in a freak snow storm in Camino! However, in the end, Xteric, NoCar, Bambi, and B kept the dream alive with a Sly Park loop and merriment at the Knot. Sounds like they put together a pretty good loop and avoided snow on most counts. Bambi went down hard and had to recover with a shot of rye later in the evening.

My best to you and family over Christmas.

Ho ho ho

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Call - Out

The Christmas Spirit is alive and well in our household, hope the ghost of Christmas have washed all of your humbug thoughts away as well!

With families and what-not attendance might be slim for the next few scheduled rides. Because I am in such a festive mood, I will refrain from dragging no shows across the carpet (also because I can't make tonight)

Ride #1:
FT3 Tuesday Roll - Out: Tonight will be a standard Tuesday ride. I am out so use the comment field or email thread to decide on location and route. Sly Park still had some snow last week. But there has been more rain and no snow...Hmmm, where to ride?

Mosquito at 5:45...Exit 54?


Ride #2:
Jingle Cross: Thursday December 24th - we will be heading out on a pre-Christmas outing. I vote for a cross ride linking up all the areas discovered in recent weeks.

Departure time 12:30 from the Mosquito lot.


Ride #3:
Post Christmas Birthday Ride: Saturday December 26th - After Santa's dust settles, Bambi welcomes in his next year. All those around are invited to rip the legs off birthday boy on a hilly trek through El Dorado County. Bambi has stated that he likes to go big on his birthday, I am thinking a ride that includes Slug Gulch, Snows, and Prospector! I am mostly thinking about that route because I will be out of town!



Other Notes:
Thanks to NoHandle and family for saying goodbye to diminishing light in proper style. The bonfire started off a bit wet, but by the end the kids were having a blast, the rain stopped, and a good time was had by all. Thanks again for letting us stand around and watch you burn your wood pile!

Sacramento CX is in to pursuing a race up here next year. Let's start scouting out possible locations for them!

Cap'n shared this video of the carnage that ensued at the Golden Gate race rounding Heisman Tree. Just a note about the course, the route goes to your left of the tree not the right! You will notice that the first ride down the hill, missing the line is.... yup Joe, Why Don't You Race A's, Miller. Poor guy, he is taking a beating on our blog and doesn't even know it!

If you haven't seen B's photos of Sunday's CX race, scroll down to the the next posting and take a look. They are fantastic.

Until we ride,

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Fast and Loose"

I took a beating on my birthday, took a beating on the CX course and a beating in the GI track. Anyway you cut it, I had a great reminder that I was getting older. Peter made his appearance, stupid USA Cycling rules, but in the end I came away with some great pearls of wisdom:

1) My wife and children are beyond awesome for letting hubby/dad pursue this silly cycling/endurance thing!
2) The men of FT3 are the most down to earth, enjoyable group of friends I have ever had. Without sounding schmaltzy, I will choose a previously cited quote by the Bard to express my appreciation,
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers."
3) Racing is racing, some days are good others less so, but there is always another race to try again. I continually strive to be "Fast and Loose"!
4) I suck at filming anything, thankfully B is an amazing photographer, willing to even climb a tree for the right shot. Lots of Photos here!
5) Lange Twins Cab is good - PBR is better - A day of racing followed by chili and libations with family and friends: Pretty damn hard to beat!

Thanks again for helping serve up a proper FT3 style day!

Race Report:
Lange Twins Winery was off the hook. The folks at the winery embraced the cross crowd and put on a spectacular event. There was a totally legit course set up with great viewing. It was a slice of Belgium in the Central Valley. Joe, Why Don't You Race A's, Miller took out the Masters race with Rock God hot on his tail. RG took top honors in the Mens 45+ race and slid into the lead spot. Cap'n chased valiantly, even after putting the Fort down in a tight corner, and ended up on the second step of the 35+ race. Showing for his first race, NoHandle proved that he has lots of racing in those legs and finished pretty high up in the 35+ (no results posted yet). Bambi, upon a new steed, and I toed the line in the Men's B. It is good the see the FT3 stimulus package still rolling and Bambi showed well on the new bike. As for me...well, Bambi beat me on a brand new bike and having not raced cross since like 1983, I got chicked again, I got lapped, but...those red shorts are hot! Racing was followed by some good cheer and merriment at the second annual Barnes CX Chili Party (Secret ingredients - 1/4 cup of Sriracha Hot Sauce and a double shot of espresso!).

Until We Ride,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Belated Ride Report

Since Tuesday I have been slammed, stretched thin and left suffering from stress. Alas a ride report needs to follow a ride and albeit late, here goes.

Facing a holiday crush on attendance sure to take place, we were able to fire off a pretty well attended ride on Tuesday. All met at Mosquito with Bambi leaving work a bit late but making it early to a normal send off. Rock God, B, NoCar, and I joined Bambi and headed off to the lake. We met up with NoHandle and set off towards the Qualifier. I was duped by the lack of snow on the initial trail and kept the tires pointing up hill for a loop of the Picnic Table Graveyard. Opps, snow was a deep and a fair bit of hike-a-bike was necessary to get back to the lake. However, back at lake level, things were looking great until we hit the Hazel Creek Campground. Bambi blew his tire off the rim and we were forced to come to grips with the fact that there was still a lot of snow on the trail. We basically walked, with minimal riding, until the trail merge with the Lady Parts trails. Peter made an appearance as one rider was way off the front, displaying some less than desirable opinion of the conditions. Back on the road, Peter was put in check, and we all headed for the Knot Hole knowing that we succeeded in this years snow ride and were happy to have gotten the ride in.

Taco Report:
We had a first as the taco production was running at full speed and our taco orders beat our beer orders to the table. Taco's were top notch and I have noticed the 4 x 2 x 1 order is taking hold as a norm for several riders. All in all it was a pretty mellow night at the lake, with a minimal ride, but the streak lives and the tacos are always good.

Our own Ansel Adams was busy are work all night. Too many photos to include so I have attached the link. Hope it works, enjoy!

CX Update:
Going into race #4 of this years Sac series, FT3 Velo LoCo is very well represented in the leaders board. Rock God is sitting in second in the 45 B's and poised to step into the lead with a big day. Cap'n is locked in an epic battle with Joe Miller and will have to pull out the "A" game every time they toe the line is truly a battle, keep the heat on Cap'n! I am sitting in 8th overall for the B's and planning a few good races to get into the top five. This weeks race will be our best showing thus far and team dynamics could come into play. The race will be followed by the second annual Barnes Chili Feed happening whenever we get home. This weeks race is in Lodi and will be hosted by a winery, could have potential for how to bring a race to our neck of the woods.

Due to Holiday conflicts I am out for next week. However, the following week will be our New Years Ride.

I saw VD today and confirmed that he is still alive and still residing in El Dorado county. He threw out some excuses but I wasn't listening. He did share that he is doing a night ride on the 24th (his birthday) and all are welcome. I will be making sure the house is ready for Santa but it sounds like fun. I see some attendance based new years resolutions in order for some, trust me, I am not immune to some absences lately and will be making my own resolution...look out B, I am gunning to take the title from you. Never too early to think about racing next spring and summer.

Speaking of which, days are getting longer and NoHandle and family are celebrating on the solstice with an informal BYOB bonfire!

Holiday Cheers to all and hope to see you all soon!
Until we ride,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hear ye, hear ye!

What ever happened to the Town Crier? That is what we need. There was some discussion of signal flags, however, with our extreme topography that may limit the communication. Yet, the FT3 Crier could weave the forgotten allies of our town, rousing up all potential riders. Upon the third night of the week, a cyclist with bell, will roll the sleepy streets of the hamlet of P'ville. The FT3 crier, will come forth from Our Lady of the Skinny Tire, and shout to all, to come forth with bike, and ride yonder trails...any takers for the duty of FT3 Crier.

Hear ye, Hear ye!
Bring out your your bikes, bring out your bikes, bring out your bikes! Trail conditions are wet and muddy, wet and muddy. Temps may be cool, cool I say. Ride hard and live long, ride hard and live long...

Tuesday again, good change in the weather, RIDE IS ON.

Mosquito at 5:45...Exit 54?


Until we Ride,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wet Wet Wet, must be Cross Season!

Less than a week from getting pelted with a blast of uncommon wintery weather, this weekend saw a return to the wet slog known as the El Dorado County winter ride. I kept the laudry running non stop by getting in three outside rides, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a good weekend! A major discovery was found over the weekend as well. A new and not-to-be-named school boasted several different cross workouts. Rock God and I hit it up briefly on Friday and then the site was reclaimed today first by Councilman and Cap'n and then by NoHandle, Rock, and myself. Green Fro made an appearance but had the slicks on the CX machine and headed back down in the the canyons and on home. This not-to-be-named school had some sweet features. We hit some off camber terrain, a legit run up and more mud than most pigs roll in! Did I say I produced some laundry this weekend yet? On top of that, I enjoyed cxmagazines live postings from Cross Nationals. Our local youth phenom Cody Kaiser won the Stars and Stripe in the 17/18 division. No word on Pollock yet for Tuesday, we will see if this most recent storm helps or hurts us.

One last note: Zol joined for today's ride for the briefest of moments...however, it was long enough to share that he is racing Cool in the 24 solo division....HMmmmmmm...that might mean that a true cross canyon duel is in the making...stay tuned for more info.

Until we ride, or at least until I get all my crap cleaned and dried :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Late Call out and Ride Report

Winter slammed into the foothills late Sunday night, derailing all the best laid plans for the week ahead. Amongst those plans was the weekly FT3 rollout. Marred with power outages, lack of water, limited transportation options, and general post storm mess, the options for Tuesday's ride were slim. However, without a ride, well...we won't even go there, there will be a ride, no stinking snow can stop that. So I hope this counts:

At six o'clock, in accordance to the cell phone "call out" I attempted to make, I mounted the trainer and started spinning. I believe that several other FT3 riders also rode either on a trainer, around the yard, or in the garage, thus making the first ever remote locations FT3 ride. I attempted to push the point thus giving us the greatest chance for an official ride by placing the bike and trainer in the middle of the yard, in two feet of snow, and rode until I couldn't feel me feet. I also mounted the light and tried to make it feel like a "real" outdoor ride. Casting a good glow across the yard gave the kids an additional session of snow playtime and actually boosted the DTI. That's right folks you heard it hear first, last nights ride actually HELPED the domestic situation! The wife thought I was certifiable for riding the trainer in the snow, but she didn't seem to mind that the kids were outside playing. I am awaiting photo or written confirmation from other riders. As long as one other sole was spinning away at 6ish we are good! Might I add that we made tacos for dinner and had PBR's getting cold in the snow! It was as official as we could get.

I ended up having to run into to work today, sorry Rock God, but the glacial effect on Excelsior makes transportation prior to noon pretty tricky. However, I did run on our fail safe winter route, the section of trail soon to be claimed by the El Dorado Trail between Main Street and Forni. Got good news and bad: Good is that it was absolutely beautiful this morning. Bad in that there is a considerable number of downed trees making the route pointless to ride. However, a look at the weather indicates a much warmer storm coming in and the rain may wash away a fair bit of snow...stay tuned!

Hope all the power and what not comes on soon...

Until we ride,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Generally Lethargic Outing

Bambi, B, NoCar, NoHandle were the FT3 group looking to ride last night. What started off as a very early gathering turned into a rather lengthy and drawn out ride that only covered a short distance. We properly hydrated in accordance to FT3 rules and regulations surrounding the SSFT3 ride. I, upon the Mt. Tek, felt like a classic route was needed for the night. The group headed off for an outing on the C and B loop. However, shortly up the Qualifier, the Mt. Tek failed for the first time. To my utter amazement I was staring down at a broken chain. After working on the chain for a bit, I am also now afraid I have some odd criminals in the area, they appear to be breaking into the bike barn and over greasing my chain!!!! Hoodlums! In the end we were able to squeeze the chain back together and limp back to the cars where B had an extra chain in his car...of course B has an extra chain in his car, I mean don't we all roll with extra chains in our cars, I even believe that is a by-law. We will get back to the extra chain in a minute. NoHandle seized the opportunity to save the Mt. Tek again and went to work on the repair. In no time flat we had the new chain on and were ready to wait, why won't that one link roll. Yes, the extra chain. It has been determined that in his spare time, B sits around and creates not only frankenbikes but also frankenchains. This one had what appeared to be a BMX link mid chain! But no worries, because B was also rolling with two sets of pliars in his rig as well. A little tweak hear, wrench there, and general reforming of the derailleur/tensioner, and we were rolling.

It is hear that I must pause and thank both B and NoHandle for getting the Tek rolling again and allowing me to bonk later in the ride! Thanks guys, I would have been SOL without the help.

In the end we headed off for a lake loop and at the last minute put the lady parts in there as well for a ride somewhere between 13-15 miles. We had a bit of GPS confusion on that one. Near the end the three weeks of CX racing and the chaos of Thanksgiving week caught up with me and I was almost walking the bike on the downhill to avoid a major crash...I did the name proud and almost sent both the bike and I into the drink at one point. Bambi noted that this could be remembered as the shortest ride to put me in the hurt locker, but he wasn't that far behind. In general the mood and pace seemed to be suffering from some tryptophan induced coma. Worth noting: Team mascot Booker made the entire ride with us and fared much better than I did.

Taco Report:
The Knot Hole seemed to be enjoying a down night last night. As we entered that was no evidence of tacos or patrons for that matter. However, we were assured that if we were happy to wait we would be treated to made to order tacos that would be superior to any previous spread. I must say, in my caloric time of need, the tacos were pretty damn good last night. I went deep for an LOtB order and did a double 4 order...Fro and his 12 pack and taco to go order were fondly remembered as I wondered how many tacos I needed to get out of the bonk zone. Climbed into bed later than anticipated and suffered from a hot sauce hangover this morning, but still happy to be out pushing pedals.

Upcoming dates and rides:
Sunday, sunday, sunday: NoHandle is throwing down a long ride on Sunday probably leaving mid day. Contact him if interested.
Other weekend rides???? I am around with mom in town, so I have nothing firm.
Dec 20: Sac Race #4 and Barnes Chili Feed.

Lost and Found:
Hey, we used to have some younger riders in the group, who were fairly active in the the blog and have gone missing! I know it is getting cold out there and the young kids may suffer from cold fingers and toes, but hey HTFU guys and get back on those bikes. I guess if you are like buying a house or something, maybe I understand. However, the group is starting to talk about attendance patterns and who is showing up with whom....Hmmmmmm. I will check in the by-laws for grounds for excused absences and let you know your demerit hours later.

Hope all had a wonderful Turkey day and are looking forward to Christmas cheer,

Until we ride,
LOtB (yes I did say One yesterday!)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Heisman Finalist

Rock God's Race Report:
I lined up with the 35/45 A's which went off in two waves. They call up the top 20 riders in each age group and started the 45'ers a minute back, so that meant I was near DFL from the start. The tight course made starting position crucial as things bottle necked up quickly in the tight sections. The legs proved to be a bit flat and while I made it past quite a few guys I did not have the snap in the legs of past fort night; walking through the city all afternoon Saturday (post bike ride to the Marin headlands) to improve the DTI did not help. When I settled in with my racing group I found them gapping me out of the corners and I reeled them in on the technical stuff. I think the roadies were out in force to contest the great course and District Championship race. Overall the course was awesome with the banner weather and large enthusiastic crowds made it the place to be for a two wheeled fanatic. The place to spectate was definitely 'the gulley', the entrance got chewed up quickly and worked over quite a few competitors, including Women's Elite winner and ' post race shower lady' Katarina Nash ( I'll never forget that picture :-) ). Overall it was a great outing and I'm happy with the results, I feel a top 10 would have been possible on a good day. I ended up 14th of 34 class entries and passed many in the 35+ class as well. It was encouraging not to get lapped by multi-national champ Don Myrah who flew off the front of the 35+ field and subsequently proceeded to finish top 10 in the elite mens field. I'm going to skip the USGP in Portland this week and do some local riding and possibly racing instead; it's pissing rain and overcast up here in Portland, enjoy another perfect conditions FT3.

Capn's Race Report Report:

Rock, that's a solid finish as foray into the A category, you should indeed be proud.

After a long wet ride on Friday on the road from Auburn to Pville, I was extremely fatigued on Saturday and very concerned about the 5:30am departure necessary to tow the line with the 35+ B's, so I made the call to race Open B's to take some pressure off.

The line up in the Mens B category was intense as well, with twenty riders being called up and a scramble to the line, C-Man, Larz and I found ourselves about four rows back, although my positioning was more center-field than their outer edge positioning. I was able to make some progress in the initial start sprint, but traffic slowed things down. I made several passes through the first three laps then settled into an area where things were spead out a bit. That was a nice indicator that I was probably somewhere between the lead group and the chase group... the story of my life. I had a minor scuffle with another rider on a tight pass that I called (left side!), but he didn't let me go and proceeded to inform me that "this is a B race." Hmmm, B Race huh? I think he later jammed his chainring into my leg on a run up, could have been an accident, but I can't be sure. I agree with Rock, the roadies were out in force, talking their smack and handling their bikes poorly in technical sections, but powering through others. I think I ended up in the twenties, which is fine by me, I decided not to kill myself on this one as the Sac Series is my focus (electrolyte smoothies for my focus?). I noticed that I was passing several of the riders that were called up to the line, which was a good sign. I believe my SAC CX rival Joe Miller got a top five finish in the Open B category, so maybe if I pushed harder I could have had a better finish, but after all, as I was informed, it was a B race.

The overall trip was good, beautiful day in SF and I enjoyed the carpool with C-Man Larz and Stan. We had much discussion utilizing big words and touched on hot topics both political and disgusting. I think Larz, C-Man and Stan may be starting the FT3 book club soon, but not before advocating for a improved and progressive local community.

LOtB Race Report:

What else can I report, I went out there and hugged a tree. The race was hard. It was made even harder by a long long thanksgiving week of family and mayhem. Knowing that there was no way I was going to win the SF Men's B race, I thought I would make a stab at the Heisman. That tree thought it was set up to take me down, but I showed that old growth who was boss. Do you see the menace on that face! I know I am getting a ticket to NY for the final vote! No TD's, no real running yards to speak of, but I do have a handful of middle of the pack finishes in some B's races. Hopefully they don't hear about that girl that races with me.

Ride Call Out:

This might be a thin turn out this week. Another blue collar ride for FT3. Sometimes it is the simple rotation of the wheels and pedal that reminds us that all is right in the world. For those of you who can, lets get out there and reminder ourselves about all that is right. Pedal on my friends.

Until we ride,
LOtB (One)

Friday, November 27, 2009

When asked FT3 delivers!

In the midst of the holiday mayhem, I wanted to get a quick note out. There is both good news and bad news from the holiday. Both of which are that FT3 has grown a conscious. Our ability to reach out and get folks to participate and contribute to a good cause resulted in the Turkey Trot earning $1370.00. Knowing that we can be such a force may mean we really do start doing more than riding bikes! Spot on mates, thanks for making this such a success!

More info and pics to stop Golden Gate Park...

Until we ride,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best Trail Conditions Ever!

With Sunday's constant drizzle, it seems that that trails were able to soak up a fair bit of water without leaving any residual lying around on the surface in puddle form. Therefore, the FT3 clan was honored last night to find firm and fast trails that held around tight corners and allowed for top end speed. Even I was able to rail on some the the descents, which can only mean that the conditions must have been prime. Hands down some of the best conditions we have ever encountered...someone stated that people pay a lot of money and travel long distances to get trail conditions like this...wish I could quote the exact person but I was too focused on not crashing to pay attention to who was talking.

NoCar, B, Bambi, NoHandle, Rock God, official team mascot Booker, and I made up the crew last night. I had done some work in the back of the pickup for my own pooch, but Booker got the best deal, having a cozy bed to chill on while we rode. After noticing it was much warmer in Pollock than P'ville, we adjusted clothing and headed out. The ride started with a quick jaunt on a some of the Qualifier and the Lake Loop, nothing much just enough to warm up. Then we headed out to Road Kill and started to notice trails in perfect condition. As we started to drop into Back Door, Manny aka Rock God, grabbed the lead. He then proceeded to fly past the trail split...I may never win a race but at least I know the trails. Sorry, got to get the ribs in when I can, because there is no way I am beating that guy on the bike. Once we got back on trail, we headed down for the crux move. Bambi tried to steal my line, but hey, I have been racing cross lately and threw and elbow into him like a veteran racer and held my line. Don't mess with Lars! From Back Door we headed up the Horse Trail. At the second dam we took down the first new trail of the night. This trail appears to be legit and offered a new look at Flemming. Thus called the "Flemming DL" this trail parallels much of the first fire road and then kicks up to a mighty classic Pollock climb, you do have to watch out navigating the fallen trees. At the top of the climb we reconnected with the #8 Loop and headed around a standard Flemming Loop. Needless to say the pace was high and the trails were fast...we made the most of the night by keeping true to FT3 rule #1 and not stopping for any chit chat. After we finished a pure loop of Flemming, we dropped Palin's Plunge and Blair Witch, these are the two new rouge trails put up by the guy who accosted us at the Knot Hole last week. These two trails have huge potential but are kind of sketchy right now. Much to everyone's surprise we ended up back at the Horse Trail climbing out of Back Door, thus rounding out an awesome new loop!

Taco Report:
Poor form on the Tacos as both NoHandle and I received tostadas rather than tacos. However, the Knot Hole was in rare form with a lively game of Liars dice creating much excitement at the bar. B did not let us down producing some pickled Jalapenos from his back pack as a nice hors d' oeuvres. With the adherence to Rule #1 strictly enforced during the ride, we were out of the knot hole and heading down the hill pretty early.

FT3 Official Team Car or Big Ass Diesel Truck:
Our man on the inside has been scouting some items up for sale at the next Forest Service auction. The photos listed are the best bet we have in a pure Taco Powered team car. We got pretty excited at the thought of a mobile base camp equipped to provide the optimal race experience wherever we ended up. With the diesel, we could really be taco powered running on the discarded cooking oil from the Knot Hole. With the ample room we could make any race a major event just by showing up. B is going to look into the auction details and get back to us.

Golden Gate CX:
Rock God, Cap'n, Councilman (mandated trip to prevent labor camp sentence), and I are all heading down to San Fran to show some FT3 muscle on Sunday.

Fun Run:
I will see some of you tomorrow morning for the first annual Turkey Trot.

Notes from the Financial Office:
Just one quick question for you...did you settle your tab from VDFT3?

Happy Thanksgiving! Eat heartily you earned it!

Until we ride,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pre-Turkey Sufferfest

So I am thinking that there needs to be some suffering dished out today in order to build an appropriate appetite for Thursday! With the caloric intake that is scheduled, a primed athlete knows that they must show self control and restraint not to potentially derail months of training. This need for restraint is even more important when the racer knows that there are very important races occuring over the weekend following the caloric pigfest, like, for example, possibly, a big race CX in San Francisco! However knowing that we are FT3 and self control in not in our play book, we will instead have to cram tonight. Just like days of yore, when the prime mode of studying was the crack the book the night before the test and only the night before the test, we will dust off that tried and true system and go hard tonight and eat way too much on Thursday and pay the price on Sunday! I love your work FT3!

Rock God offered up the race report below. I am still awaiting the results to be posted to talk about my placing...I felt strong and good and was pretty sure all the chic's were behind me. However, Cap'ns questions post race have me worried in my boots...I'll get the results up as soon as possible. One correction on Rock God's report: The Chili Feed is POST not pre event on the 20th of December!

FT3; It was another great day, the new steed and training program are hitting full stride. I got the bike assembled at the Spoke on Friday, a few minor adjustments and the break-in ride went great; Jerry and I went out for a bike trail ride on Saturday and I extended it to the upper section and some Schnell School cross practice. I'm finding a good solid 2 hour pre-race day ride is working best. The warm up laps revealed a fast course with a few tricky turns and a couple power robbing sections; no real cross conditions yet. They split the Masters B 35+/45+ field with us older guys starting a minute back but contesting for separate primes and finishes. I was able to get away mid-way through lap 1 take the $30 prime and kept glancing back at the six man train behind; the open course provided a good vantage point. I kept motoring and got into the bulk of the 35+ field pretty quickly. In the final few laps I was able to get some rest by momentarily riding the wheel of a 35+ rider but I kept up my pace and was able to jump around and move up to the next guy. I was surprised to see Jerry and the other top guys, minus Joe Miller who was away, spread about by 4-5 seconds each going into the final few laps; need to use those wheels for rest. I was hoping to bring Jerry up to 'Matty the skinny mountain biker', but no Jerry on my wheel as we worked into the final lap. I gapped Matty just before the last pavement section and one technical section. So I was able stay away to the finish passing all but the winner of the 35+ race. Another good race weekend and time to move up to A's; after I win this title. :-) Grant Cody, who beat me in the first two races finished third, so I should be close on points. The Lynskey ProCross handled awesome and glided over the fast bumpy course. I'm a pretty happy camper with both the form and bikes going well. Looking forward to Golden Gate Park and The Barnes pre-chili fest race on Dec. 20th. I'm also trying to see if I can get a ride up at the USGP in Portland on Dec. 5th-6th; that will be a truly humbling mud fest for sure. Hat's off the the awesome FT3 crew for raising the bar and making it fun. Rick aka Rock God aka Manny Rollo

Late Entry by Cap'n...actually early entry...too early...checking my email from home, it was on page two. My apologise to Cap'n and podium placer...

Alright. Here is the report from the Masters 35+ B category.

We towed the line and the race promoter decided to seperate us by age category. This just after Manny and I were getting ready to launch an FT3 flyer off the front. No such luck, us youngen's moved to the front and were on our way.

I will start by saying there was no rain during our race and the course was dead flat, there was only one set of barriers, and the most technical part was tight turns on grass. Very fast course.

I knew what I had to do yesterday, and that was to win (If I am going to take the series). It's actually not a fun position to be in. In lap one, my rival Joe Miller bumped me and his rear derailleur cable caught my skewer and ripped it off his frame, which rendered his R derail useless. Tough luck for him, thankfully my skewer remained closed. No matter, dude was charging. I think he toyed with us for four laps then just rode away. Me and a newbie to the series battled hard to stay with him, so did Vance Jones (3rd in the series overall), who was right behind me. The newbie and I traded leads for a bit, the pace was high, and he ended up in front of me as we were coming into the last three laps. My plan was to stay close and nip him either in a sprint or on the last lap. As we reached the three laps to go mark, we started encountering an increasing amount of traffic...lapped riders and I believe several open Bs warming up who should not have been there. For me, that was extremely frustrating. Two laps to go and guess what, here comes Manny passing me...
I thought Manny might help me get up with the newbie, I chased both of them on the second to last lap and on the last lap, I'm trying to make my move and there was a bunch of about three riders in a tight spot, and nobody is moving over to let me through. One SGW rider actaully had me 'on the ropes' not moving over at all, so I had the familiar and unwanted spike of adreneline. I got by him, now I'm frustrated and chasing, but alas, I didn't catch the newbie. I did unload on the SGW guy after he crossed the line though, right in front of the entire B group which was lining up. In the end I don't feel too good about that part and I am wondering if I am taking this racing thing a bit too seriously. I am wondering whether I would be having more fun racing for 15th in the Masters 35+ A category, since this whole battle-for-first in the series has me all wrapped around the axle.

Manny is tha Man.

Until we ride,

Friday, November 20, 2009

FT3 Turkey Trot Charity Run

Gobble Gobble my friends: I know this is a cycling blog but there seems to be some interest in the run and especially some more details, so here goes...

Official Charity: We will be gathering money to make a financial donation to the Food Bank of El Dorado. Based on information on their web site, in years passed, the food bank has been able to turn $1 into approximately $10 of food. Speaking from my professional experience, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch. With the holidays approaching, young people who count on school for a good meal often go without. I think this is a good cause and very appropriate for this year. My goal for the inaugural run is to raise close to $200.00 which would translate into close to $2,000.00 of food for families in need.

Donation: We will be running based on an honor system. There will be a donation station set up for you to drop your donation in. The suggested donation will be $10 per person or $20 per family. As a comparison, Run to Feed the Hungry is a $40 entry fee with some administrative costs taken out. Not so with the FT3 Charity Event...100% of donations will go the Food Bank!

Course: The meeting location will be the Missouri Flat parking lot of the El Dorado Trail. We will be running on the El Dorado Trail. There will be a clearly marked turn around giving a runner a total distance of .5 miles, 2 miles, 5K, and a final turn around at 10K. You choose the distance you want to cover. I am working on a timing system, but in the worst case, if it is me with my watch, we will have a timing system.
*Note: The 10k route will leave the trail and continue a short way up toward the library. Arrows will be on the road showing you the way to the turn around.

Schedule: "Race registration" will be from 7:30 -8:15 prior to the events starting at 8:30. There had been talk of a kid event at 8:00, I think we will run all events together with an 8:30 start. If the little ones want a short distance to fly on, that will be marked out as well. Several young people polled stated that running with the family was what they wanted.

Entertainment and Refreshments: Race headquarters, aka my truck, will be equipped with some water, balloons, coffee, donuts, and muffins. Please feel free to bring any additional treats that you may want for yourself or to share with others. I may even turn on the radio and open the windows for some music!

Expectations: There will be no chip timing, no USATF verification of any kind, no prize money, no water tables, no large screaming crowd, no television coverage and no complaining! However, there will be a lot of fun and good times had by all, knowing the crowd that may show up, there may even be some good competition, and in the end there will be some money raised for a local charity!

Until we ride,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FT3 Blue Collar

B forgot his lunch pail, but outside that of that, it was back to work for FT3. Rock God, No Car, NoHandle, B, Xteric, Bambi, I all headed out on a Classic State of Jefferson Winter Ride. In actually was a Classic Californian ride, but I am amazed how ofter our conversations come back to the state of Jefferson vein. I feel we may have a major secession movement amongst the FT3 family. As for the ride, NoHandle had a last second route suggestion that fit just perfect. As I had been absent for some time, it was determined that having Barnes back in the group necessitated a trip up Barnes Back Mountain! We did a quick half loop of the lake and then started heading up hill. The trip up Barnes Back was marked with some big efforts. I admit I opened this can of worms by going up front and pushing the pace. However, fresh off his big victory, Rock God was having none of it. For the final third of the climb to the VW, Rock God/Manny was OTF and pushing hard. I think B and Xteric were with me up to the gate, but I was pretty foggy after trying to keep up with the guy who lies on his birth certificate and not really sure who was there. The second half of the climb saw Rock and Xteric off again and the rest of us enjoyed a more pleasurable climb and perfect night. We headed back down wedding march to rock garden 1a and then back to the lake loop to tacos.

Worth Note:
Rock God's pace up Barnes Back may have been due to the fact that he experience his first FT3 crash. It appears that he was unable to negotiate the curb that Lars easily cleared.

The vicious attacks on Rock God are only intended to keep the fire burning bright! Keep the fire in the belly my friend, got some more racing in front of you. I just hope we don't have to get over any curbs on Sunday!

Taco Report:
A greasy, heavy on the meat side, was the taco recipe de jour. B suffered from some brief amnesia and could not recall either his order or intention but did enjoy a good hot sauce sweat. Tacos were enjoyed inside as the night was cold. However, the rain did stay at bay until the drive home.

Final note: Word has it that there might be some new trails to hit up next week.

Until we ride,

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Recovery Ride

When you know there is no way you can top the last ride, the job changes a bit. The call out is not to man up and throw down on this next epic this call out is to see who still alive and kicking and who still has a bike under them. After dramatically falling off the FT3 wagon I am not only itching to get back on it, I need it. Therefore, I will be dusting off the Mt. Bike and heading out for the first FT3 ride in awhile. Although I hate to admit I have been off the Tuesday night gig for so long, I am happy for the opportunity to find the group intact and ready to roll. So who else is ready to recover the normal FT3 routine and start punching the clock again?

I am going to keep the charity run call out up for a bit of time to try and rouse some participants:

For years April and I used to head down the hill on Thanksgiving morning to run in the Run to Feed the Hungry event. With a house full of kids and not enough time to even fill up the gas tank all the way, we are no longer heading down the hill anymore. Therefore, I am happy to announce, in full FT3 style, the first annual unauthorized Placerville Thanksgiving Run for Charity!

Who: Any FT3 family or interested party.
What: A half mile kids dash and a five mile run/walk/bike for fun and to build an appetite. We will be collecting a small donation for a local charity. There will be coffee, hot chocolate and donuts for all participants.
When: Thursday November 26th, 2009
Kids Race @ 8:00am
Main Event @ 8:30am
Where: All events will start and finish at the Missouri Flat Rd. parking lot of the El Dorado Trail. The parking lot is just south of WalMart on the east side of the road. This is a pretty small parking lot and fills quick, the business park just prior to the lot has lots of additional parking.
Why: Well, why not? There are lots of local deserving charities that could use a little holiday donation. Why do we need to drive an hour to run for a good cause.

Drop me an email if you think you might attend alone or with the family, please feel free to pass this info on to any one who might be interested.

Until we ride,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FT3 Giving Back!

For years April and I used to head down the hill on Thanksgiving morning to run in the Run to Feed the Hungry event. With a house full of kids and not enough time to even fill up the gas tank all the way, we are no longer heading down the hill anymore. Therefore, I am happy to announce, in full FT3 style, the first annual unauthorized Placerville Thanksgiving Run for Charity!

Who: Any FT3 family or interested party.
What: A half mile kids dash and a five mile run/walk/bike for fun and to build an appetite. We will be collecting a small donation for a local charity. There will be coffee, hot chocolate and donuts for all participants.
When: Thursday November 26th, 2009
Kids Race @ 8:00am
Main Event @ 8:30am
Where: All events will start and finish at the Missouri Flat Rd. parking lot of the El Dorado Trail. The parking lot is just south of WalMart on the east side of the road. This is a pretty small parking lot and fills quick, the business park just prior to the lot has lots of additional parking.
Why: Well, why not? There are lots of local deserving charities that could use a little holiday donation. Why do we need to drive an hour to run for a good cause.

Drop me an email if you think you might attend alone or with the family, please feel free to pass this info on to any one who might be interested.

Race Report:
All right enough of the shmaltzy charity sissy stuff, lets get to the good stuff. Sunday was the annual Folsom High School CX race put on by Bicycle Planet. Even without a proper call out, FT3 came out in force! Green Fro, Xteric, and Rock God all raced in the 35+ category, while Cap'n, B and I rolled the straight B class.
Men's B Race:
The young'uns and singles got the call to the line first for this event. Cap'n chose the most interesting starting position I have ever seen. I wasn't sure if he was there to race or go for a swim. B and I took our positions within the field. At the gun, Cap'n made good of his starting spot in the reeds and jumped with an early group. There were two riders off the front and Cap'n settled into a fierce fight for third. Refusing to let some mere lesser being claim the final podium spot, Cap'n fought his way to his rightful place on those magical three tiered steps. B was looking for the turn off to the Knot Hole! For his first CX race, on a single speed no less, B was a quick study and raced hard. I think his lung may still be at Folsom High School, we can go look tomorrow. I am happy to report that although I didn't win, only other XY riders were in front of me at the end of the race. That's right all you crazy double X chromosomed riders that keep lining up for the mens B race, read it and weep, you ain't getting by me!
Men B's 35/45
There was a great race for second in this event. Three or four other riders really battled for the second step. They had to fight it out for the first loser spot because Rock God soloed to a huge victory! After the first lap I think he had a 10 second lead and that was all she wrote. B is convinced he is doctoring his birth certificate, could be some EPO or CERA, maybe a combo of both. Or perhaps it is the years of racing and riding. Any way you cut it, it was an impressive smack down, well done, proper young man, PROPER! With Rock God way off the front, Green Fro and Xteric were left to battle for the table scraps. There was the threat of a chicking for Green Fro, but he made sure to drop the hammer on the last lap! Xteric won the friendly racer award by waving to his support crew on every lap! Honest Abe Ditman, of old email list fame, made a showing and was racing hard. Honest Abe also stated that he was game for the San Fran trip on the 29th.
In the end, it was a tough day in the saddle. The Folsom High course is loose, fast, and unforgiving! It took it all out of me. However a day racing cross is better than most other days!

See you on Tuesday...I hope.

Until we ride,

Friday, November 13, 2009

VDFT3 Ride Report

Cap'n, NoCar, B, and C-man (shortened from Councilman, requires a quorum-level approval) met at the Mosquito lot at 5:30. We made some calls and found Rock was already en camp, livid over an accident with his CX rig. Turns out it was knocked over and kissed a rock on the way down. OK, it was a violent collision and left a rather large dent on the top tube. We tried to console him, but realized time was of the essence and departed for the lake.

Upon arrival, we found NoHandle setting up and Rock lamenting the fate of his sled. Soon the troops starting rolling in and by 6:30 we were 10 deep. Xterric, VD, Fro, NoHandle, NoCar, Rock, B, C-man, Cap'n and Ghost all readied themselves, popped a few pre-ride beverages, and by 7pm, we were trailworthy. Well, that is, we were kit'd, charged, and quaffed for our requisite rollout photo op (RRPO). B insisted on a slew of group photos, and by the time most of El Dorado Co was tucked into their nightly sitcoms, we hit the trail.

We commenced with a clockwise tour of the lake, and within minutes we had multiple flats. After some recon, Slim Jims (thanks Ghost!) and a regroup, we continued. Just after Hazel creek bridge, we had another flat, and again the group assembled while repairs were made. The details are sketchy, but somewhere on the east side of the lake, VD went OTB. It was a solid impact and he was left shaken for the next few miles. We completed the lake loop and from the 2nd dam we headed up M.E.T. for a sampling of B's latest find.

From the Forest Service road just 4 miles east of the lake we ventured south down some paved, chip-n-sealed, and eventually graded roads in a teardrop, or better yet, sperm-shaped route around Baltic Peak (see B's map for details). The roads were fast, the climbs were steady and somewhat steep, and the 'cross bikes had the advantage. The group was spread out, with no surprises off the front. Ghost, Cap'n, Rock, and a few others led the charge. B, in proper ride leader fashion, kept track of everyone, often sprinting between the front and rear of the pack.

As we descended (and ascended) deeper into the forest, we found the scene reminiscent of pre-battle encampments outside Mordor (Lord of the Rings). Following modern forest management practices, there were small fires strewn as far as the naked eye could see. Upon closer inspection, most were stumps or small piles of brush. Eerie, really, but perfectly sensible when considering the aura surrounding the night's events. After several regroups, food breaks, and more photo ops, we decided against bagging the Baltic Peak. We were pushing the dinner time arrival past 10, and all soldiers were hungry.

As if on queue, C-man threw a chain at the "highest point in the loop", and repairs were warranted. Peter nearly made an appearance at this point, with the assembled members chiding each other and relishing the taste of real food. Calls were made to both the Knott and Denise. Well done, Rock, for keeping her cell # on speed-dial. Once the 4th (or 5th) mechanical was sorted out, the return to the lake was speedy. By 10:30ish, we rolled into the Knott. A weary lot, for sure, but happy to have sampled new trails and anxious to sample the tacos.

The taco portion was eventful, if for no other reason, because FT3 was allowed to mount a sizable tab. That's right, the group had no time to return to camp for our wallets, so we were on the hook for our orders. B started it off with an 8-2-1, Fro went deep for a full dozen tacos, and the Rye flowed like the Nile. C-man came up double Aces on his first 2 PBR's, and Rock was stealing tacos from NoCar. Tableside discussions ranged from NoHandle's chipper to Ceagles (B again provided audible samples of the rare bird's call), and preparations for the 3rd leg of the event were made. These preparations included post-taco doggy bags, I think a first for FT3?! Lila was off-shift but in-house to greet our tired crew. I believe references to shaving were made, and some examples provided, but I can't go into detail.

Once back to Camp VDFT3, the group dispersed, a fire was started and callouts were made for the Pino roundtrip. In the end, the heartiest among us mounted up and rolled to the Loge. B, Cap'n and NoCar all braved the chilly temps and drunken locals en route to downtown PP. In their absence we managed to console ourselves over additional beverages, lofty storytelling, and recounting of the Baltic loop. By 2:30, our mighty trio returned, and regaled us with details of their adventure. The "babysitter" was on duty at the Loge, and even opened back up to serve them. Proper, gents, proper.

Suffice it to say, the rest of the early morning's events were colored by multiple violations, bottles of this and that, and a solid showing for the fireside chat. We lost VD somewhere in the mix, and were questioning whether he had an unauthorized "guest" in his truck. Things wound down by 4:30ish, and with the early light all were sound asleep. This author slept a few hours and awoke to find VD scrambling to break camp. Ghost was the only other camper awake, and we parted ways in near silence.

What else can one say after such a long and eventful night? Can't wait for the 2nd Annual VDFT3!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If only these rocks could talk!

Having had to bail on last nights Veterans Day Wonder Ride, I awoke feeling a need to reconnect with the best riding group on the face of the earth. Armed with my loyal companion, Dory, and some good running shoes, I headed around the lake on foot to try and kill as many birds with my "single stone" outing. I thought, "I can get in a good run, I can get the dog some exercise, and I can probably meet up with the morning crew after the camping session". What I didn't realize was that as I was waking up and heading out to the lake, the crew was just turning in for the night. Regardless of what I would later find, I felt like a Sioux warrior reading the trails. Finding tell tale signs of tire tracks I thought I was starting to put some of the ride together. As I came into the camp grounds, I was scanning the sites for the possible conglomeration of FT3 vehicles. Upon finding the group, I was worried by the relative quiet that appeared to be coming from the camp site. I did however find one lone rider awake and kind of alert. Rock God, unable to sleep in, was seated at a picnic table trying to shake off the cob webs. Our conversation roused several others who all presented the face of a long night with very little sleep! Being informed that NoHandle took particular attention to one rock around the campfire, I determined that if only that rock could talk, I would have a chance of getting to the bottom of the story. Feeling much too chipper for this group, I headed out to finish the run, feeling happy to have made the stop and worried what the taco handle might be having failed to make this event. Understandably there is no ride report yet, as I feel that sleep may be a larger priority at this point. Although, earning the spot on award again, B did get a picture album posted. Can't wait to hear the stories.

So, why, you ask, did I not show? I have no good excuse nor any poor the end the gods were not on my side and I didn't make it...if you need more info see the attached cartoon.

A Sure Sign That All Is Right In The Universe:
A good diet of keeps me mostly abreast of all the events in the greater cycling world. A recent look reminded my of the upcoming SSCXWC to be held in Portland, OR. Gaining so much pleasure by viewing the youtube clips of the bubble wall, I was eager to see what this years Thunderdome theme had in store. Well, again thanks to video, we were not let down. In fact, more big words from the guy more absent than present, I think a Seattle trip in 2010 needs to be added to the calendar!!! The combo of the rain, mud and Borat outfits makes for, what appears to be, a truly one of a kind bike race. I love the short clip of US CX Champ Ryan Trebon running his dog around the course. However, when 200+ crazies line up for a few laps of fun, and everyone appreciates the impact of two wheels and some pedals, you know that things are all still ok!

I am eagerly awaiting a complete breakdown of the events of 11/10! Until then, I will try to keep the rubber side down and relocate my Tuesday groove!

Until we ride,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seven Points of Light

Big night tonight, lots of talk on the FT3 front. Lots of big talk of camping and late night bike outings. The call out will be brief because the post ride write up might be long.

I hope to be in attendance tonight.

Swapped right now...anyone want a job as an assistant principal?

5:45 at Mosquito..exit 54


Saturday, November 7, 2009

FT3 at 30,000 Feet!

Yup, as I sit in my rocket propelled tube heading home, I have wi-fi available to check the email, update the blog and possible get a jump on some Christmas shopping! The elements of technology continue to blow me away with what is possible. I am left to wonder, what will come next? I guarantee it will something equally mind blow, like, for instances, possibly, the Czech Republic will start building bike frames...don't laugh anything is possible today! Yeah, your right, that probably will never happen! (Nice ride Cap'n)

The wonderful hamlet of Cincinnati was pretty fun. The week highlight was the definitely the East Coast Hockey League game we attended. Got to see the Cincinnati Cyclones take on the Johnstown Chiefs, you got it the team famed by the timeless classic Slapshot was in town. I was a little disappointed that the Kalamazoo Wings weren't in town, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. The "we" mentioned above included group of Canadian buddies that I met for this conference. Might I add the the night of the mighty battle with Johnstown was also dollar beer night, and the USBank Arena PROUDLY serves PBR for dollar beer night! Let me tell you, you haven't lived until we attend a hockey game with a group of Canucks on dollar beer night! FT3 was represented I didn't let you guys down!

The following ride report was submitted by B. I do enjoy the very efficient use of bullet points for a ride report, he must be an engineer or something:
I don't have much time but I want to throw out the following list of ride highlights, as November SSFT3 should not go undocumented and LarZ is on a secret juggling mission in Cincinasty.
-We rolled through flames & smoke produced by a prescribed burn. I was at times worried about melting my tires - this must be what FT3 Afghanistan feels like
-Qualifyer - Wedding March - Lake Loop, approximately 14 miles was the chosen route, led by Rock God, now AKA Manuel AKA Manny - see next bullet
-The FT3 Birther movement has caught up to Rock's rouse and sorted out the reasoning behind his suspicious number of podium appearances. Manny, much like the 17 year-old Cuban "Little Leaguer" has been altering his birth certificate to gain entry into softer age categories. I still think he dopes, but this completes the explanation of his consistent success.
-Rock's Ti 9er made a debut and it is flat out sweet. I had dreams last night of gracefully swept top tubes and twisted down tubes.
-NoCar may be FT3's first professional cyclist. He has been assigned the official duty of surveying many miles of trail in the Rock Creek area. In true NoCar fashion he is "livin' the dream" and using the VooDoo as his chosen method of transportation. Yesterday he rode at work all day yet still made the ride last night. Solid.
-Speaking of attendance, Councilman and Cappy showed up for tacos and they even carpooled. Much appreciated. Now, lets talk some more about carbon fork cracks and eBay, Manny can't get enough of it!
-Also getting a 1/4 point for attendance was Ghost, who offered up yet another delicious hot sauce even though he was not able to attend the ride. I suspect cumin was the secret ingredient that gave it an exotic Indian flava
-Finally, there was a big bright moon shining upon us, which was good because we needed it to compensate for all of the light failures.
-More to follow on the Seven Points Of Light plan for the upcoming
FT3 Vet's Day Eve blowout.

Weekend plans? I will put out some calls tonight to see if a ride is in store for tomorrow. I am feeling the need for some CX practice. I rolled CXEDHS the other night, pretty solid with some good run/ride ups.

Sounds like big plans in place for Tuesday. After my recent record, I am just hoping to make it out for a ride...

That's about it from up here. Here comes the cart with the little bottles...Hmmmm its five somewhere right?

Until we ride,
High Flying LOtB

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When the going gets tough, the tough go to Cincinnati

That's right folks, once again I am out! Got to hop on a plane tomorrow bound for the mid-west. Good fun at an Educational Conference in Ohio. From the stories shared about tech/software related conferences, I think there is an element of rowdy that educators need to tap into! These tend to be pretty boring drab affairs...maybe I will take some "yardi" advice and go big! I am presenting so I get to set the tone right? Either way you cut it, having to jump on a plane is going to limit my ability to ride tonight.

The storm window has been threatening to open up this year, but nothing is kicking in yet. Looks like things might change over the weekend. Until then trails are good and starting to get dusty again.

Kudos to Councilman for opening up the mancave last week. That event will need to be repeated.

There was a secret film for the last cross race that I found, enjoy.

Team BEER @ The Compound from Sporza Intern on Vimeo.

Until We Ride,
LOtB (zero)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Elliot’s Fever Classic

After the group had beers to deal with the important and unanticipated recall of our fearless leader (not to mention B’s lack of preparedness), NoHandle was designated ride leader, and Ghost, Cap’n, NoCar, Who’s Tyler, VD and B all took the Hiccup Trail from the Parking lot over to the Horse Compound where B and I introduced all the other riders to a new steep, sweet technical descent. While NoHandle and I were trading turns up front we heard the sounds of an air born rider followed by a loud ‘crack!” that could only be explained by bike hitting rock. Ghost went OTB, this time it was not you Larz. He came out OK, but will probably have a sore hand. Indeed, as B and I warned, this descent is the most technical one the area has to offer. After that we poped out on MI Trail and then rode the classic Fleming loop counter clockwise. Ghost saw a skunk in the trail. At the Fleming parking lot, the chatty group decided to take the road option up to the left lip and there was much discussion about several important topics including calculus and local politics. The left lip was exciting, traction at a premium. Then NoHandle made the call for a classic lake loop. One camper was sighted and we rolled to the Knott. Knott discussion was lively, although there was some mourning about the recall of our leader, and the Taco Bitch was missed. Ghost produced the “Elliot’s Fever” Habi hot sauce which went over quite well. There was discussion about the a potential Veterans Day “super ride” involving an overnighter at Sly Park or more likely the Knott Parking lot. There was also discussion about a September 2010 three day stage MTB race, but it was decided that we should not plan that far ahead and rather should focus on Veteran’s day first. I think there was some new bylaw that was presented, but I don’t recall.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Well I think the Barnes family survived our brush with the bug going round. Who knows if it was indeed H1N1 but it is more fun to say it was. I think my lovely bride had the worst of it. It is amazing to realize how fast things fall apart when "Mom" gets sick. Hold on for the ride, its gonna be bumpy!

Looks like I am in for the ride. Trails still should be primed for a good ride. Preliminary counts are for a solid showing by the FT3 classic crew.

Weekend update:
NoHandle and I got in a good CX ride on Sunday. No real race practice but a solid outing on some good trails. The location and future return will be tabled for taco discussion.

Cap'n, B, and NoCar all took down the Rock Creek/Mosquito ride. Yes, three FT3 guys doing the same ride, that's right, at three different times.

Let's hope for a good night sleep with no one prayer to the porcelain god tonight.


Until we ride,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Intersection of Politics and Roads

I am up early getting ready for another long long long long Friday, got to love the football season. I am enjoying my coffee, one of many cups on the day, and reading news online, its the new way! There seems to be a fair bit of unrest in the world, no surprise there. But the El Dorado, Placer, Nevada County bicycle related civil war seems to still be raging. The Amgen Tour of California route was announced yesterday. While I applaud a route that does venture into the foothills and the finish at Big Bear is a step in the right direction, I am once again amazed to find much of the Sierra and foothills missing and the roads of El Dorado County no where near the course. Most striking is the course for day 1. The route is yet to be revealed, but the outline is Nevada City to Sacramento. Seeing how I doubt they will run 49 to 80 and then into Sac, I am left to wonder what the course will be, a straight shot from NC to Sac is still a good distance, you throw anything special in there, and will easily be above 100 miles. Somehow I doubt a classic run down highway 49 connecting Nevada City to Placerville and then heading to the capital. What a classic and historical ride that would be, truly a "golden" route. Why, oh why, can't we get any bicycling love in this area. Auburn and Nevada City are only twenty miles away but it seems like an eternity at times. With Lance back on board for the ToC it seems like this would be a win win for getting the tour anywhere. Now I know I have done nothing to advocate for this, but that doesn't mean I can't long for a local race, on some of the best cycling roads in the world...Prospector is world class!

Until we ride,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blogging off the back

My riding is coming back around, but I am still OTB when it comes to ride reports! Much apologies, but sometimes you beat the man and sometimes the man beats you. When that man is only two months old, it is a humbling experience!

Riders Reporting to Duty:
For the first fast, tacky, ample traction ride, the showing was pretty light. B, NoCar, Bambi, and I all met NoHandle at the trail head. Feeling pretty confident with the trail conditions, but unsure of the temps, we headed out for the first of now many 100% lite rides. That's right my friends, aside from Bambies finicky light, we were all fully illuminated from the parking lot. We dropped right down to the lake loop and then headed south circling the lake in counter clockwise direction. At the new trail, Flemming, classic lake loop junction, we headed on a classic route continuing our route round the lake. This classic route quickly changed for hard switch back on to the new horse trail section leading back to the new parking lot. We started up Rufus' Rise and then peeled off at the horse lot and dropped into Flemming, we achieved the goal of a steady up and down route by climbing the first portion of Mt. Flemming and then dropping back down the dirt road and climbing and then dropping back to the Flemming parking lot. I was processing much thought along the tail and regularlly forgot to announce directional changes. This added much excitement! In the Flemming parking lot we encounted Search and Rescue doing yet another training exercise! This time we were not lectured and rolled over the Red Neck Rising. B, showing good form on the the SSCX, was pushing the pace on the climb, strong all I can say, strong! After dropping the left lip we headed the long way around enjoying good trail conditions the whole way!

Taco Report.

It looked to me that Councilman was in the house for tacos. However, my report was getting in my car and heading home to help set up for a birthday party. No other report has been submitted at the time of publishing!

Upcoming Rides!
Sunday CX practice: 8:00 at the Bagel Shop????

Until we ride.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Friends, countrymen, Eldoradians, lend me your Tuesday night. For the ride will be epic! Or perhaps still muddy, but I am thinking epic. Here I go again overusing the term "epic". However, after months of dust and loose corners, I for one will be happy to have some traction. God knows I need all the help I can get. Come one, come all, come out a ride. Ride I say! Ride off into yonder sunset, ride down trails that snake between trees as old as time, or at least as old as when they were cut down last. Ride! Ride, like you were 12 years old again, and any day on a bike was a good day spent. Ride to win the next race, ride to simply race the next race. Ride, not for racing but for fun. Ride for health and fitness, for camaraderie and brotherhood, for tacos and beer! RIDE!!!! The sun will give way to a cool crisp night. Anyway you cut it, it is time for a bike ride, a fast bike ride, a fast, twisty, hilly, smooth bike ride. So who wants to ride?

Mosquito at 5:45...Exti 54???? Rumor has it that this guy is back in town!

1/2 I am in for the ride but will have to get back down the hill for visitors.

PS: Three cheers to NoHandle and Mrs. NoHandle for hosting a great event, lots of fun and birthday cheers.

Until We Ride,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yet another movie clip

Kind of getting sucked into the cross clips lately. This one has some great race footage and some good practice sessions. Nothing like our days at Schnell School, but no one can be as cool as FT3. Also worth not, the film maker is a high school kid from Colorado! Kids these days, who knows what they are going to do...
Until we ride,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cyclocross / BMX Wrap-up

The BMX portion of the course was intimidating to use less skilled in the ways of bumps and jumps, but the really challenge was the deep dusty stuff on the flat corners. Good stuff in the wrap up video and lots of images of the Barton family.

Sacramento CX #2 - College Cyclery Compound from Sporza Intern on Vimeo.

Until we ride,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Crush of Fatigue

I have a brief posting as part of my excuse for not riding last night, keep reading for a ride report via Cap'n and kudos for keeping the fire buring, spot on!

I fear I have fallen off my wave! With work stress, a new baby, and general family chaos I have hit the largest brick wall imaginable. I am done, flat out done. The thought of a ride or run or anything physical is enough to drive me insane right now. We have about a five week break until the cross season picks up again which is plenty of time to reset the engine and get back on the horse. For now a little down time might be exactly what the body is needing. It kind of sounds like the entire group is feeling the same tug of exhaustion, as evident by the report that follows. Although I am experiencing pangs of guilt for not showing last night, I also have experienced some immediate resurgence for simply naming my exhaustion. I have done a little exploring into the periodization approach to training. When cross examined with the general FT3 race and training schedule, it seems that only one period exisits...that of 100% full tilt boogie! I don't know about the rest of you, but I am going to happily enjoy the rest of this week with the family and not think about exercise. Come Sunday, time to look at another building period to a string of CX races in November.

Racing notes I missed: I completely forgot to mention the showing by Ghost and VD at the Knickerbocker 8hrs/50miler. VD showed big improvements, finishing the Knickerbocker race well ahead of his Sierra 50 time. We will have to do a full analysis of the Garmin data to quantify his actual improvement. Ghost finished fourth in the 8hr, just off the podium but chasing hard to the end.

Cross Racing and other events:
Sat 10/17: Time to welcome in the new decade with NoHandle! Man he's getting old!
Sun 10/18: Cross practice...roll out from the bagle shop @ ?????
Enjoy the next few weekends and get the DTI up because November gets crazy:
Nov 14: San Fran Night Race
Nov 15: CX Folsom by Bike Planet
Nov 21: CX Cow Palace
Nov 22: SacCX #3 Disco Park
Nov 29: San Fran Golden Gate Park
Dec 5/6: Crank Bro Gran Prix Porland
Dec 20: SacCX #4 winery race and post race Chili party at Chez Barnes

Here is to enjoying the down time!
Until we ride,

Wind in the Sails

The first winter ride of the 2009/10 year was noteworthy on several accounts. I arrived at the parking lot to find that riders were bowing out via text message as rapidly as the leaves were falling off the trees in the wind. As I sat alone watching the texts come in, I actually had to ponder what I would do if no riders actually showed up. Would the FT3 flag not fly on the first winter ride of the season? Alas, B showed up and we loaded up the Previa for yet another FT3 outing.

The ride prep took a bit longer than usual as we had to don our foul weather cycling attire. We rolled out along the parking lot fence, or “The Hiccup Trail,” I on the Trek 820 single speed with ghetto chain tensioner and B on the CX single. Booker was rocking his puppy oats rapidly behind. We came down the technical drop that named that trail section, crossed Sly Park Rd and took a new and different route into an equestrian compound. While exploring, I we came across a homestead that featured a rural but homemade snowboard rail. Seems even though the majority of the FT3 riders aren’t ready for winter, the local Sly Park boarders are. During the exploratory time period, it was noted by B that explorations don’t always end in glory, or something like that. A few turns off route toward the compound and we decided to try a new singletrack trail descent which turned out to be of epic proportions. Long, steep and technical is how you characterize this decent. Our explorations found the glory and this trail section will be visited again. We made our way back to MI Trail and rode the Fleming loop counterclockwise. Trail conditions were smooshy and it was wet, wet, wet. We did more walking than usual and the pace was slow, and Booker was solid all night. We opted out of the backside of Fleming and took the squishy Fireroad back to the parking lot. Rode MI Trail road to the first dam, then rode along the lake to the boat dock and back up. Oddly the automatic gate rose for me when I rode up to it, B was not so lucky. Weird.

The Knott was quiet, with only about 3 or 4 Knottheads on site. We opted to eat at the bar and were met with utter disappointment by one of the main taco bitches. She was clearly very shocked and disappointed that so many FT3 riders were made of sugar last night. Having set the bar high with the snow rides, it will take some work over the winter to bring the respect back to that level. We had to run down all the excuses for her and she passed judgement on them. B and I are sure that if NoHandle were in town he would have been there. Beyond that we collectively decided with the taco bitch that Larz, Bambi and NoCar had pretty good excuses as well. Those who didn’t chime in at all took the high road (Councilman), but Ghost and VD weren’t so lucky or wise. At some point B’s beer chugging prowess came up in conversation, and interestingly enough, one of the Knottheads at the end of the bar was the roommate of the disappointed chug contest loser. There was an older Knotthead of few words in the middle of the bar who said “It’s very seldom that you run across a hero like that,” referring to B’s chugging prowess. True, so true. A roll by of the pino loge’ resulted in a short pit stop for observation of the intriguing and entertaining local crowd.