Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ride Report and My Next Adventure!

Ride #54 is in the book and gets at least an "Ep" in the "Epic" scale. In-Law, Ghostrider, Rock God, Cap'n and I all headed out onto the trails in prompt time and under very warm conditions. The ride was a mix of Road Kill, some of Flemming, a turn up Rufus' Rage, Left Lip, Lake Loop, Rock Garden and Rock Garden 1a. I felt pretty sluggish smashing the gear on the Mt. Tek. However, the speed was pretty consistent and stops were few and far between. It was a remarkably clean ride with no mechanicals, flats, lost riders, non working lights, etc. The camp grounds are filling up and should be a constant source of entertainment for the next several months. Quote of the ride: Two of Pollocks finest youths pulled into the new parking lot with BMX bikes in the back of pickup. After say, "cool cameras" mistaking our lights for cameras (which I might add would be cool if we were all running cameras) they then asked, "where is the ramp"? Apparently we appeared to them to be a BIG AIR crew looking for some hang time. Rock God was willing to air it our for them, but Rufus' Rage was calling and up we went. Great ride all around, no sighting of either Peter PP or Wolf!

Taco report:

Temps were still pretty warm for tacos and with the longish ride put us in behind the crowd. Tacos and beer all tasted a bit better after a issueless ride. B and Booker showed for the Taco festivities guessed it getting back from a ski trip. Apparently there are pics coming from B of a bike outing he took with skis strapped on his bike, did you use zip ties?

While eating and drinking I began to ponder what I would set my mind to after Ironman was over. I mentioned a few options, including competitive wife carrying. Cap' n wished to see this event in action to wrap his mind around the event, enjoy the clip. My motivation comes from winning your wife's weight in Beer!

Sundays ride will depart from Starbucks on Main Street at 6:30! Rock God is thinking about back tracking later in the morning...I think he should do it! Cap'n is considering pulling the kids in the trailer and trail-a-bike...Spot on Mate!

I am still working on a workable date for the FT3 Cookout! More news to follow!

Until we ride again,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Recharging the battery!

Ride #54

I know it is somewhat unique to those of us still on the school calendar. But for me this weekend marked a huge point on the calendar of life. Through yet another school year and now moving toward a period to revitalize and recharge the professional battery to welcome the next group to school. Memorial Day weekend shares a similar feeling for many as we move towards the next season and warm, wait who am I kidding, HOT weather. With that in mind, we still have a few more weeks of the El Dorado season of perfection, nothing like some perfect riding weather to get the amps up in the ol internal battery.

It does not sound like anyone fired off a group ride on Sunday. There were some solo efforts, but we will regroup for a good effort next Sunday! I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend and put in good deposits on the DTI. Personally, I took advantage of having my dad in town and wrestled with a rototiller over the weekend finishing our garden area and making things look nice. Hopefully I will get a few weeks of DTI coverage from a big weekend effort. In addition I think I can "maintain" the landscaping now with much less time committed, bring on the riding...who am I kidding, I always welcome the long rides!

Tonight's ride will be joined by comfortable temps and manageable dust conditions. Don't you remember when snow plagued our rides and you were packing up all the riding gear you could find?

Big Waves:
We will all get to say we knew him when...Sam Bolster had a big weekend on the bike. He raced two different Cat's at the Auburn Crit. He started the day with a victory in the 3's and then followed that up with a 2nd in the Jr. race! Good to see him getting some results from his efforts! Way to go Sam!!!

Upcoming Rides:
Tonight: FT3 Ride #54
Sunday 31st: Wentworth Springs Ride - Depart Starbucks @ 6:30 - It's early but it's a long ride!
Monday: Something with climbing if anyone is interested.
25 Days to IM CDA!!!!!

Would June 12th work for the 2nd Annual FT3 COOKOUT? Patrick hosted last years event and it was a blast. April and I would like to host this years festivities, open to all spouses and families. This is a Friday evening and we would fire up the grill and get the sprinklers and trampoline going for the kids. Let me know if the date works well and I will get the plans firmed up.

5:45 Mosquito...Exit 54?

Until we ride again,

Friday, May 22, 2009

We are doing a lot more than riding bikes!

I feel somewhat compelled to get something up regarding the passing of Steve Larsen. There seems to be a good deal of emailing and shock over this event. Some of use were more familiar with the accomplishments and accolades of Steve. However, as a group of amateur athletes, fathers, workers, and cyclist, we can all appreciate Steve Larsen's legacy to sport and family.

Both Cap'n and NoHandle have put out emails remembering watching Steve blow the competition out of the water at national level Mt. Bike races. Rock God remembered watching Steve rise through the amateur road ranks before being picked by Motorola along with a young Lance Armstrong. He wins praise from me, for accomplishing all that he did, and yet being remembered as a great father and still posting sub 9:20:00 Ironman results...with FIVE kids...holy cow! As Cap'n pointed out the latest VeloNews posting is linking his death to either a virus or allergic reaction taking place while he was participating in a track workout.

Every Tuesday I know I am doing what I love with all the right people. We are indeed staying healthy in mind, body, and spirit. The passing of Steve Larsen has reminded me how precious each moment really is. I am happy to be spending some quality pedaling hours with the FT3 crew, maybe Steve will join us in spirit on a few up coming rides!

Until we ride again,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Proper Use of a H2O Bottle Cage!

Just a we were rolling out last night, we came across an older Brit with a loaded bike riding from San Francisco to Virginia. Cool guy, great trip, enjoying the mountains of California, and really using his water bottle cage to the fullest. There amongst his camping gear and what not was a bottle of Lava Cap Wine poised perfectly in the seat tube cage, spot on mate!

Rock God, Cap'n, GH (name change in process due to the haunted demons possessing his bike), Bambi, B and I met at the Knot Hole kind of ready to roll on a perfect night. Bambi had a last minute fix that needed to be taken care of pre ride. I will add that due to my utter lack of wrenching skills I am always impressed with the parking lot fix job. However, when Bambi rolled up without a bottom bracket, cranks, or pedals, well I was curious how this would go. The latex gloves came out and off to work he went. Just about normal time we rolled out headed for Barnes Back Mt. Just out of the Parking Lot we met up with the Brit mentioned above and Bambi discovered that the fix was not going to work. Although "Peter" could be seen in his face, he took it like a man and returned to the parking lot to either attempt a new fix, or burn the bike. The remaining crew took off for the ride. During the brief circle of the lake I flatted which gave Bambi just the time needed to fix his crank, call the cell, and hammer the road out to where we were held up. B did claim a ride first that after the official "5" count, we had indeed grown to "6". However, after examining the archives, I unearthed a night time ride where Cap'n joined us mid ride, after learning the route and doing the loop in reverse. Regardless of a first or not, six strong we rolled for Barnes Back. Bambi and GH shot off the front at the bottom of Barnes Back. Cap'n and I eventually gave chase and mostly regrouped by the VW. Bambi, GH, and I got a little gap on the second half of the climb and missed Cap'n pushing B into the only mud on the ride. We regrouped again at the trail merger on Park Creek where Bambi used his mad ghetto wrenching skills to get the Mt. Tek rolling. By removing the derailleur and using some cave man skill and beating it on a rock, it rolled like it never has before. Feeling barbaric after the rock smashing fix, we headed off the flume. Flume was smooth and fast. Although we have not had a sighting of Wolf yet this year, the Flume camper is back. Rounded off the effort for the night with a spunky effort on Cap'n's Climb (like the name?). From the top we hit Wedding March and then the Qualifier getting into the Knot Hole a little later than normal.

Taco Report:
Thanks to GH for bringing some more tasty offerings from Boa Vista. Cap'n did point out that Pepper Plant is no longer getting the attention it use to. Maybe our palates have all been burned to the point that the mere simplicity of a garlic sauce just doesn't do it anymore. Word from the Knot Hole was that the crowd was in full effect prior to our arrival and that they actually ran out to the store make sure supplies were adequate enough for us. Spot on. Got home late, woke up early, productivity way down, hot sauce hangover in full effect...GREAT RIDE!

Until we ride again,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday's Keep Coming!

The chick bike is still without chain and experiencing some interesting shifting patterns. Therefore, the Mt. Tek rolls again. For a $5 bike, this has definitely become the trusty standby. In the spirit of full disclosure, the rear wheel build was a bit more than $5, and we will be doing a very quick cog swap pre-ride. I promise to not create the 7:30 or so back up of last week. I do believe several FT3 rules were violated in last weeks ride. A drastic beverage tax will be created this week for any such violations.

No matter how it plays out, it seems that Tuesday's just keep coming around on the calendar. These cyclical things are crazy. Just when I think all is lost, pop, there is another Tuesday and another night to ride. We have passed through the first segment of heat for this summer and are poised for a perfect night for riding. Actually from the looks of the clouds last night, maybe even a sprinkle or two fell in Pollock last night. This all makes for pretty ideal riding conditions. Good thing it is Tuesday again!

Mosquito 5:45...Exit 54 is in full effect!

Secret Training...Keep posted for updates.

Until we ride again,

Monday, May 18, 2009

If it goes up, we rode it!

Sunday proved to be the first real test to the summer calendar. The weather was hot and the roads were all pointing up. Cap'n, Xteric, NoHandle, RockGod, and I all headed East early Sunday morning. Hoping to stay out of the triple digit temps for awhile, Pollock seemed to be the best destination. The ride up Starks proved to be ample testing ground for the legs. Rock God, finding his form, Cap'n and NoHandle put on a show of power. Seeing how I was way OTB I have no idea who took the sprint. Cap'n and Xteric peeled off in Pollock and the remain three when venturing down Fourbay. Down, down, down, kind of like the winter P'ville cross ride led by Cap'n. At the bottom we were met with a raging river and a real deal climb. Lots of fun. More later.

Until we ride again.

Ghostrider was present for Saturday night festivities, and absent for the ride. Spot on Cap'n for making both, with kids!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ctrl, Alt, Delete, on the DTI

Friends, Countrymen, Romans, lend me you ear.
I come to bury the "DTI", not praise it.
The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones...

The roll of nurse is not one of my strong suites. However, that is indeed where I found myself for many a day this week. The damage to the DTI was substantial. Imagine Nurse Ratchet caring for a sick pregnant wife and daughter...In the end I think I was the cuckoo flying over the nest! I do believe that everyone is on the mend and feeling better. DTI repairs are in place, lots of work with the vacuum and dish soap. To the point, I actually made it out on an evening ride with B last night. There was much discussion around the "hammer crank". Additionally, to find more power output for B's never ending supply of leg smashing we discussed the next revolution in cycling. Much like the move to 29er's in Mt. Biking, B will be developing the first 800 road wheel, once it gets going LOOK OUT!

Ride Report:
Rock God, Councilman, B, NoHandle, In-Law, and Ghostrider all made it out for the Anniversary ride. I still can't believe I missed this one, had I known that the DTI was tanking anyway I would have shown. Rumor has it that the call out for Spinnaker Jersey's resulted in a colorful crew, pictures anyone? B apparently took the hammer drill to his gear prior to the discussion of a hammer crank. The first, actually the entire ride, sounds like it had it fair share of mechanicals and bike swaps. Rock God, after complaining about poor form in recent weeks appears to have ridden himself back into action and was pushing the pace up front, there were some hints that the frequent stops were "harshing his mellow" (sorry, had to throw that in!). Anyway, glad to see the legs are back and some folks are still up front pushing the pace...all I can say is that you guys are lucky I wasn't in attendance or else Lar's IM training plan rule #48 may have been instated. Rounding out over 17 miles actually seems like a good effort, spot on mates!

There was apparently another push for the record by B during the Taco portion of the night. A late delivery of the tacos and poor food to beverage management hindered the attempt. He lives to fight another day. The Boa Vista sauces seem to be making a good showing and got several mentions in the emails I received.

I apologize about the delay in posting but think I have weathered the storm. Time to get wheels down and rolling again. Five weeks to IM!

Sunday meeting at 7:30 at Starbucks.
May 31st Wentworth Loop.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Downwind Run!

Ride #52 (ONE YEAR)

It is odd time, that time in between aggressive moments, the time when the pace is eased and we remember why it is we do the things we do. In sailing, after fighting wind and physics to battle upwind, the downwind leg is often relaxed. At least in my experiences on a boat, this is the time when gear gets stowed, repaired, and readied to be redeployed as soon as needed. Sailboats fly enormous colorful sails to celebrate this easy run! The irony of the downwind run, is that it is often fast, really fast. You point in the direction you want to go and, well, you go! While doing so, you prepare for the next leg of hard work and aggression right around the corner. Hopefully when you get to that next bend, the quiver is full and you are ready to go.

Having put the 24 hour race behind us, FT3 finds itself in a much needed downwind run. Bikes are in a state of utter disrepair, most of them are unrideable still. Let's enjoy this run with the wind at our back and take a moment to address our gear issues and get ready. We, and really all of us are to credit, succeeded in our goal for the 24 race. Granted there are four on a team, plus a wrench, plus some helpers, plus anyone who ever felt feisty on a Tuesday ride and pushed the pace making us all better. We need to throw up those spinnakers and celebrate, oh yeah, this is also ride #52, one solid year of Tuesday night outings! For some of us the next turn is rapidly approaching. The calm of the downwind run will be brief but enjoyable.

Throw up those spinnakers and fly downwind for even the briefest moment. Let's see some color, just as sailboats fly colorful sails, maybe it is time to bring out those hideous jerseys for some celebration. Ride what you got and rest the bikes in random states of disrepair. Enjoy the run.

5:45 @ Mosquito...Exit 54?
Secret ballot for the most hideous of jerseys! Beer to the winner!

Until we ride again,

Wentworth Ride:
On May 31st, two buddies of mine will be in town to doe some "EPIC" foothill riding. We are going to be taking down Wentworth on Sunday the 31st and then doing a partial Death Ride out of Turtle Rock on Monday the 1st. The Wentworth Loop is just under 120 and spectacular. We will be doing a P'ville to P'ville loop on this ride. I hope some of you can join! Anyone is welcome on Monday as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And Like a Good Neighbor...

Call the insurance companies, we suffered our first FT3 collision last night. Actually I might need to contact a lawyer as I feel B's attempt to run me over was with malice! I still have the tread marks on my leg for evidence. Those 29ers are mean spirited I say! Or maybe that is just my lesson for not being able to clear an obstacle cleanly?

Ghostrider, B, and I headed out for the last ride of year one in the early life of FT3. It was a pure S2FT3 outing! Ghost and B swapped bikes and the Mt. Tek continued to roll along with no issues. It took me a little to get the legs working again, but in the end, the ride was exactly what I needed. We started with a loop of Fleming and found some excellent trail conditions mixed with some soft squishy areas that you really had to watch out for as they were nasty. Near the end of the Fleming loop it was clear that ride #51 was not going to feel right without a little more distance. So we included the regular lake loop to make the ride a classic "Lake/Fleming Figure 8". Legs were toast by the end, but the ride was great. We passed our first campers of the season sitting by a camp fire. They were pretty stoked to see lights come charging through the woods. And with that we rounded off the first year of FT3 outings. Clear your calendars now for next week and the beginning of year 2!!!!

Tacos were consumed outside with In-Law joining for some carb replenishing. The night was mellow on all fronts. The new Boa Vista sauces were a good treat. We were a tired crew by the end of the night, but a crew happy to have gotten the ride in.

I have received some statements of HTFU regarding the muddy conditions of last weekend. I am curious if everyone really understands the extent of the mud at the 24 hour race. Therefore, I will submit one more pic as evidence that mud was indeed a factor to be overcome. I guess we could have hardened five more minutes up and beaten Victory Velo, looks like we have a goal for next year.

Upcoming rides:
Friday/Saturday: Ghostrider and his wife are moving and the FT3 crew is there to help.
Sunday: Road Ride! I am going really early as my mom is visiting this weekend and the green light on riding is not shinning very bright.
June 21: Ironman CDA (Can't believe its the next thing on the calendar!)
Oct 4: 100/40 Sly Park Race...we are the home team!

Until we ride again,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

As Soon As The Mud Clears!

Next years campaign will be in defense of the Title!

Using my handy dandy home weather station to monitor rainfall over the 24 hour race, I am confident in saying that it rain, in fact it rained a lot, in fact, during the 24 hours that racers were swimming around the Olmstead loop it rained 2.83 inches. By the time the first few riders tore around the course it was a sloppy mess. There was a brief moment during the wee hours of Sunday morning that things dried up a bit and got worse, that's right, it was so wet that we really needed it to stay wet throughout to avoid mud with consistency of quick drying concrete. Regardless of weather or a diminishing "Fun Factor" (for a full algorithmic explanation see Rock God) FT3 showed up with the typical "hard as hell" attitude ready for a Throwdown. Armed with a variety of "Chopper" style handlebar facial hair, we came to race, and race we did.

The race started at noon on Saturday, and true to form, Cap'n toed the line to set the tone. The course had some new changes for this year and the initial mile caused some massive backups slowing progress, but our fearless leader fought his way through and delivered an awesome first lap. The returning rides actually gave us a little hope that the situation out on the course was not that bad, the bikes were looking OK and the faces were not that muddy. How fast things change! NoHandle went out for lap two and continued to deliver on the throwdown. Rounding out a fast lap, even as the conditions quickly went from wet to a muddy soup! I charged out for lap three and soon found myself working on the swim portion of the upcoming Ironman. What a mess, mud and gunk everywhere. The derailleur shifted when it wanted and brakes were novelties saved for dry days. I battled the best I could and got Bambi out to cleanup our first set of laps. The fire was burning for Bambi over the weekend and the full cable housing was the set up to have. Bambi laid down the first of four consistent and fast laps, spot on mate.

The second set of laps were more of the same muddy mess. Cap'n broke a chain, starting a chain of events that left him a bit down on the event for a few hours. The rest of us continued to fight through the conditions. A snorkel and windshield wipers would have been helpful.

Lap three SUCKED! It stopped raining for a bit and the mud turned to sticky gloppy glue. Anything with a slight incline became very difficult to ride. The bog by the pond on the second half of the loop was destroyed and walking was the preferred mode. Cap'n rolled out on a single and had some good cross training. We continued with constant bike maintenance, brake pad, replacement, and general gear triage to maintain a reasonable rolling speed. Teams and individuals were dropping left and right, not us!

Lap four saw the return of the pounding rain and actually improved conditions, just ride in the stream bed! Cap'n remounted the geared stead and had a drastically improved outlook upon returning to camp. NoHandle and Bambi again displayed total consistency and kept putting down solid times and big efforts! Those two get the workhorse awards in my book! I had some mechanical issues as the Chick Bike was pushed to its absolute limits. Pushed on but turned a slower lap than I wanted.

Last Lap: Due to the race being called a bit early, we only had time to fire off one more single lap. Cap'n took the task to hand and destroyed the course for one final lap. Clocking a 1:12:00 (one of the faster laps for the entire event) and secured our spot atop the podium!

Timing was a joke and no one will ever really know what the times were. The official count had us at 19, guess it was not very official at all seeing how we only did 17 laps. The mechanic for the second place team was there to clear up that they also didn't turn 19 laps, but 15. The third place team, also given 19 laps, were believed to have complete 7 and then quit and went home.

Camp FT3: Ghostrider, his wife, and family made this event possible for us. Despite having the massive shade tent blow away on Friday night, Ghostrider showed off his work habits and unreal ability to stay up and keep bikes clean and rolling. Twice, he went out searching for brake pads for my bike. He swapped Jerry's set-up back and forth from gears to single and then back. Supplied food, beverages, music, and general awesomeness for the entire event. Without team wrench superstar Ghostrider, I am sure I would have been at home cursing the event. There will be an ample moving party ready to help you complete your move on Friday. Thank you for keeping the camp, bikes, and spirit rolling. SPOT ON MATE! Additional thanks to Rock God, Spencer, and B for making the trip out and helping keep the gears rolling. B actually fired off a couple laps just to make sure the fun was shared around. Spencer and Rock God's help tearing camp down was totally appreciated and well to be honest totally necessary or we might have still been down there. I think both Spencer and Rock God will be on teams next year! Rock God, next time you visit, don't tempt us with the motorcycle, that thing would have been awesome.

Ride #51
S2FT3...why not...lets roll...I will be off the back...but the tacos will be good!

Mosquito at 5:45

Until we ride again,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Too Tired to Think

Great weekend of racing! Hardest 50 miles I have ever spent on a Mt. Bike. Getting mud out of everything. Will gather up photos and get a post up soon. As for the bets and such...seeing how the race officials have no idea who did how many laps, I think we are going to have to figure this out on our own. My best guess:

Fastest Avg and fastest lap: Bambi
Best effort: Cap'n 1:12:00 final lap
Best of LOtB and NoHandle: NoHandle got this one.
Best Camp and Crew: Ghostrider and Family (thanks a bunch for making the mudfest endurable!)

I'm going to bed.