Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What to do?

It appears that the spongy stuff that makes up spring has sprung. Before it gets too hot and dusty we better enjoy these cool yet sunny days. Last Sundays ride was perfect! Actually it wasn't totally perfect, but I am a sore loser!

This is the first of many double call outs. Tonight's FT3 ride will be taping some trails we have not seen in a long, long time. There is a dandy of a north facing trail that will be perfect tonight, you will have to show up to see what it is. Also, tomorrow is race #1 for Prairie City! I can't race, but will take the kids down and babysit for those needing the excuse to get out there and throw down.

A few weeks ago we had a taco eating injury. Since that time we have not seen nor heard from the Councilman. I do monitor a police scanner at home and did hear the 911 call of a man in his mid thirties complaining that the burn in his leg wound was unbearable. There was a life flight followed by several hours of surgery to clean all Possible Side Effects out the blood stream! Serious, you should have heard it! So Councilman, are you in for tonight, how is the leg?

5:45 at Mosquito...Exit 54?

I am in tonight but will be meeting the crew up at the Knot Hole! Got my own secret training to carry out!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday Ride Report

Glorious, glorious, glorious! How else to you describe a blue bird cool spring day when you are on the bike with some great guys. We conquered the snow route, actually we all survived Patrick's attack of the snow route. It was an impressive display of fitness and stamina! Good on ya!

Patrick, Ian, Rick and I all got off to a pretty timely start for Starbucks. Rolled down to El Dorado found our way down to Shingle Springs and then headed for the LoCo Valley. While dropping into Lotus, Patrick easily took the first sprint by sneaking in behind a horse trailer. There was no catching him. We had a nice pit at the bakery and saw a lot of boaters and no other cyclist...As we took off for Prospector, I was actually feeling ok. We hit the bottom of Prospector all together. Patrick and I were up front and before I knew it...off he went. I just couldn't hang and ended up enjoying the climb with Ian much more than turning myself inside out to stay with flash. I ended up getting a very questionable sprint into Garden Valley, yes I admit it, I attacked while Patrick was boxed in by a truck. Fearing the clean sweep, you would have done the same. Well, I got it handed to me on Garden Valley road. The flash was off again, leaving us all behind licking our wounds. Patrick snagged both Kelsey signs and then topped it off with another impressive climb up 193! Proper, young man, proper.

After my secret training call out, it seems I might need to adjust my secrecy. In the end, the sun was shinning, the roads were smooth, and it is great to be on a bike. Tuesdays outing should be more of the same.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Zen and the Art of Secret Training

Thump, thump...

We all know the names of our local climbs and attack spots. Prospector, Barnes Back, Kelsey Sign, Qualifier, or Chili Bar, they become cult folklore. No one talks of them while riding, yet we all know they are coming. They are usually accompanied by a burn in your thighs and leave breakfast creeping back up. When your heart is beating two feet out of your chest someone digs and you are left to decide what to do. They mark who is on and who is not. When they come along in a ride you hope that you are there.

Thump, thump...

This town is too small to get away with secrecy. You've been spotted, seen, witnessed, trying to do just a little more. Out there on your own, getting the job done. Hoping that your secret mix of training will put you just a little ahead of everyone else. I can't say how happy it makes me to know that the groups rides are no longer good enough. No, instead, I now see, as do you, the occasional recognizable jersey out on a solo mission. We all know that there are too many reasons to escape on to the bike these days. But the missions I am catching glimpses of, don't look like an escape. They look pretty deliberate, they look hard. And we all know when we see one or another out there alone, we think, "what is he doing, how fast is he going, could I hang?". Then when we meet on Tuesday or Sunday we hope our secret formula will carry us a little fast and longer than yours.

Thump, thump...

I wonder if those in the pro peleton get this? I think they do, unfortunately, I think they are just better at it than we are! However, I think there is a part they don't get. They don't understand that when the attack goes and I stay with it, I hold my head a little higher, I hug my kids a little tighter, I enjoy the beer after the ride a little more, not because I won, but because I achieved balance. At that moment, at that spot, for that second, all they things I need to do in my day, all they commitments I have, all the stress and turmoil finds balance and I can hammer on the pedals. Cycling is not my job, it is my passion. We all sink too much time and money into our passion. On those moments, when it is right and good, and we are flying in front of the group, it's worth every second and cent. No way the pro's get that.

Thump, thump...

When it goes, will I be there? The greatest part about this game is that sometimes I can't follow. The mind may be willing but the body stops. Who knows, maybe I was up with a sick kid at 3 am and still made the ride, maybe work is kicking my ass, maybe my secret formula wasn't right...who knows? But I can't always go. When I can't, I know those up front will wait and encourage me to fight another day.

Thump, thump...

I have just gotten home from a solo run. It is at these times that I am acutely aware of my body. But I will never tell you how I am feeling! How long was I out? That's for me to know. How do the legs feel? You may find out tomorrow but you will have to break me to learn. The attacks will come, they always do. Has my secret formula been working for me, has yours?. That jersey I saw hammering the unnamed hill on Friday, was that too much. When someone lashes out and puts the hurt on all of us, will I be able to follow?

Will you?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Its Smokey Burn-Out Time"

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. It is perhaps the end of the beginning". Winston Churchill

We have successfully made it through the darkest and wettest part of the year. Spring days are back and rides should start getting warmer and longer. Soon it will be dusty and miserably hot and we will be wishing these days back. We are also rapidly approaching the one year anniversary of FTTT. Start the brainstorm of how to properly mark this date.

Thus far Sunday is looking good! We have earned our dry days over the past few weeks. Although this hasn't been an extremely wet winter, we have had a string of storms hitting on Tuesdays and Sundays. No Taco Handle, Ghostrider, and myself all got run off of Prospector last week as the weather turned from a "wintry mix" to white out! We did ride back into town but heads were hung after getting run off our original route. Well we got bucked of the horse, and there is only one thing to do when you get bucked off...get back on. It will lack a bit of originality but I am all for re-attacking the snow route and reclaiming the roads of El Dorado County! I think in the end it will be 65 mile loop ending with the pull up 193. At some point we could link it into Rock Creek for more miles and more climbing! That may qualify for a Fathers Day Massacre route. Time to man up and throw down!

The Friday Night MTB ride looks to be a go. Several folks have been utilizing the "old skool" email approach to organize. They either fear change or are trying to be elitist! I would suspect the ride is open to any in the FT3 family? Although secret training seems to be the norm these days! I love it! The competitiveness of the Tuesday night outings has folks getting in secret days in order to throw down hard as hell. After last weeks display, we may be chasing Justin for a while!

Second Non-Annual Mattman Triathlon

Countdown to Coeur d'Alene: 96 Days

April 11th, 2009
First (only) Wave Starts @ 8:00
Swim: ~45:00 min
Bike: 60+ miles
Run: 13 miles

In preparation of this years IM Coeur d'Alene, I am planning on participating in this years second non-annual Mattman triathlon. This is a very small local triathlon. In fact, I am the lone participant. I feel my chances are really high this year of getting on the podium, especially if I have a good day. I think I might need some assistance to pull off a podium worthy event. In an attempt to capture a podium spot, I am soliciting all possible domestiques!

I will be jumping in the water at Lake Natomas at 8:00 am. Cap'n, up for a swim? The parking lot/staging area will be the parking lot just north and east of the official park entry off of Hazel. I believe this is the entry for the Sac State Aquatic Center. Detailed maps will be forthcoming. I am hopping to met some FT3/LoCo cyclists in the parking lot at about 9:00. This will be the official unveiling of the Velo LoCo skin suit. I know you are all dying to see this...imagine the volumes of material I am offering up on how to make fun of me! The ride will be the basic Folsom Lake Loop: Natomas to Salmon Falls to 49 to Old Forest Hill Rd to Auburn Folsom Rd back to the lake! Anyone willing to do a 13 mile soft pedal can join me for the run! Companionship of the ride would be awesome.

There will be an award ceremony later in the day up at Jack Russell or Chez Barnes. Awards will be three deep in all age groups, I still think I stand a chance! There will be a variety of other awards as well. Most Awards will be offered in fermented liquid form.

Additional Riding Note:
It appears there are takers for a Friday Night MTB outing. I can't make it but have fun. Feel free to plan away using the comment field.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Man, er um Bike Down

It is that odd time of the year when spring and winter are in an all out war with each other and the winner is yet to be determined. We all know, and time will tell, that spring will once again prevail and days will continue to get longer and warmer. The interim time is the battle ground of seasonal change. I will hold back from entering the debate on climate change, but will happily share the slushy details of the mudfest that was FT3 last night!

Rock God, Ghostrider, In-Law, No Handle, B and I all arrived at the Knot Hole to some remaining snow and very pleasant temps. We headed out towards Road Kill and quickly realized that this was not yet a spring day and the fast melting snow left a lot of standing water around! Muddy and wet before we hit Road Kill had all of us wondering how long the ride would be. The drop down to Back Door was great! There was some nice carnage on the crux between Back Door and Road Kill, all I saw was Rock God climbing back up onto the trail ala Jan Ullrich in the 2002? tour. The remainder of Back Door was great as was the first section of Fleming. The mud was starting to pile up and the patches of snow kept getting bigger as we were climbing. I experience some cleat issues with the new shoes and kept the streak alive by crashing going uphill, actually crashing while trying to get my shoe in the pedal. The crash was actually a first as well, I went down into a snow drift and made a mud angle. We powered on into deeper snow and mud.

The final fire road climb out of Fleming produced the first catastrophic failure of FT3! After arriving at work at 6 and then screaming for Tahoe at 1, Barrett arrived for at least the third event of the day with the cross bike in hand. As always Barrett road hard and pushed the CX set up to the limit. Actually a bit beyond the limit. We got a yelp followed by a bike toting muddy rider and no more rear derailleur. It seems the muddy mess and the power legs were just to much and pop! off it went...he may have shifted into his spokes...but all we really care about are the macro details. In true FT3 style, as we sat around wondering what to do, Rock God produced a tow strap! The first tow!!! Of course we gave the honor to Justin ( on a single speed) and we all headed for tacos. Never leave a man behind!

The Knot Hole noticed the mud on the faces and produced a variety of taco shell consistencies to keep us on our toes. Items of discussion got tabled for a later date and the conversation quickly reached the gutter, as it usually does. Note to all riders: The wonderful folks at the Knot Hole are giving us first shot at the next hot sauce order. Apparently "the book" will be available to us next week to mark our selections!

Dates to Remember:
3/29 Road Ride meet @ 7:30 Starbucks on Main St. (2nd attempt at snow ride?)
3/31 FT3
4/7 SSFT3
4/8 PC Race #1 ?????

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rebirth of Cool

Last Friday marked the first day of spring. Although, Sunday seemed to have a bit of winter hiding up its sleeve. As with spring and all the new that comes with it, it seems that FT3 has entered a new stage of its own, welcome to our blog. I have to admit I will miss the days of constant email chatter. It seems to volume was getting a little high, hmmmm, I wonder if the heat was just getting to be too much for a public arena (oh wait, it doesn't get more public than this...). The blog approached works for the LoCo crew and hopefully will serve our interests as well. So without further ado, this weeks call out officially begins!

3/24/09 Ride #45 (yes, I counted)

Tuesdays ride will be attacking the snow left in Pollock. I though about an alternative route, but hell we conquered the snow on skinny tires on Sunday, fat tires shouldn't be problem at all. I am placing a single day moratorium on trash talking (only placed on me, feel free to fire at will) as Monday's posts only prompted calls to reduce the volume of emails. Oh well, you can't please everyone. As for the route, come and see what ride leader has in store, or do I hear calls for a interim ride leader? Anyway around it, emails or not, snow, sleet, rain, 100+, dust, recession, unemployment, babies, wifes, or if I have to ride a unicycle, I am riding on Tuesdays (and Sundays for that matter)!!!!!!!!!!

So thats it, FT3 has entered the blogosphere. Call outs will remain on Tuesday and Friday and ride reports on Wednesdays and Mondays. I am psyched to have a group pulling off two group rides per week and will continue with the scribe duties as long as necessary. Sorry if anyone got overly frustrated with the volume of the emails, on a totally personal note, I loved them and they had me in stitches most of the the time!

Nuts and bolts: Feel free to continue to email me anything you want included on the blog. Also, photos are easy to upload so we can includes those as well. Finally, blogs are only fun when they are regularly updated, I will try and get something up at least once a day and feel free to add to the comment field liberally! Also, I will happily take feedback on the forum of choice, I was simply following Spencer's lead on the blog. I always like reading his posts and as soon as I figure out how to add his blog on my list, I will.

Mosquito @ 5:45...exit 54?


Trial Run

Testing One Two...