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)