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!)