Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Glorious Failures!

My attempt at goodwill and change of pace seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Alas it looks as though there were a handful of solo outings last night, Councilman, Cap'n, NoCar, and B and expressed some sort of activity taking place last night. I did get a good run in myself. As for the charity race one else has expressed interest. I am still penciled in for tonight and happy to go with a crowd if anyone is willing. I have a meeting up at the P. Pines middle school today and will scout the necessary melt required to get back to the usual plan.

Until we ride,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

FT3 Charitable Fund

A few months ago we all pitched in together, on of all things, a running event, to raise some money for some local folks in need. It seems that this need to offer help and support is a never ending event. I am the first to admit that it often feels funny to climb aboard a ridiculously priced bicycle for the sole purpose of idle recreational outings. However, when I look back on some of those rides, I wonder whether the "soul" purpose may be a bit different. We are indeed a blessed group of people and are also a group that understands that if I am full of the good stuff in life, I can help fill others. With thanks to Cap'n for forwarding this on to me, I am suggesting a rather drastic departure from the FT3 plan in an attempt to turn those idle rides into something with some poignancy. This is late notice and will require some DTI adjusting, but it is worth it and the cause is just.

The Folsom Rodeo Cross is holding the last CX Wednesday Night Race of the year tomorrow night. All proceeds from this race will be donated to the relief efforts in Haiti. Unless you are living under a rock, you are well aware of the dire situation that many humans are enduring in Haiti. We in California are all too familiar with the destruction possible when the ground shakes. However, we are used to this under the guise of some of the best infrastructure in the world. Not so the case elsewhere. The human suffering is great. If we can use one of our simple weekly rides to offer some help, maybe the other rides we do might have a bit more meaning. I am not a doctor, nor a billionaire, my options of giving are small. This race, this event, this cause...this I CAN DO. We have often said that we are doing a lot more than riding bikes, here is a chance to let our actions speak as loud as our words.

The Barnes family will all be attending, it might be a late night for the kids, but they are aware enough of what is going on in the world to understand the essence of HELP. Hope to see some of you racing on Wed as well.

Therefore, I am out tonight and will be racing tomorrow night!

Unitl we Ride,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Euro Road Fringe of FT3

Sunday's Road Ride:

Please note new location -
We will be meeting @ 8:00 at Zia's Cafe (right across the street from the old Hangman's Bar on Main street).

After a brief discussion with the owners at Zia's they agreed that an Italian Cafe needs a bike team to call their own, I said hey, I got the cyclist! Wham bam the deal was done. If we want, Zia's will be added to the jersey's and they will take care of our coffee needs. Seeing how we do occasionally have a road fringe, and several of us will be riding the Death Ride, this seemed like a good match. Mario would be proud! (The following list of rules was copied from the blog: Cozy Beehive)

See you on Sunday
Until we ride,


1. Image and style shall be your primary concern. When suffering, one must focus first on maintaining a cool, even composure, and second on performance. Winning races is an added talent, and only counts if said Euro cyclist wins with appropriate style.

2. Training is based solely on feel, while racing is to be guided by sensations and instinct. The Euro Cyclist will never accept tried or tested scientific training methods.

3. You shall NEVER, under any circumstances, wear plain black spandex bibs (shorts, regardless of colour are BANNED) or any team kit containing non-prominent Logo's. Shorts will extend approximately 2/3rds of the way down the upper leg and will contain a compression band at the bottom distinct in colour. In NO CONDITION shall they extend any further!

4. Legs will be SHAVED year-round. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. Certain hair removal creams are endorsed only on a case-by-case basis. One shall never show up to a race (large or small) with ANY AMOUNT of stubble visible on legs.

5. A prominent line where your kit ends and where your tan begins is essential to your image. Artificial tanning is BANNED. The tan SHALL reflect the level of training commitment.

6. The Socks must extend no less than 2cm below the main bulge of your calf muscle, and shall never extend further than 1cm past the primary calf muscle bulge. All socks SHALL BE WHITE in colour with prominent logo placement.

7. Cycling shoes must contain at least 80% white!

The following exceptions apply…
i) Colors combinations such as world cup stripes, or Olympic gold where title has been EARNED.
ii) Shoes which are custom-made for specific riders by companies endorsed by this group. These shoes will be accessible to the particular cyclist only, and shall follow the preceding rules.

8. If white cycling shoes are not available where you reside, white booties with prominent logos shall always be worn. When booties are worn, socks should protrude approximately 7 centimeters above the ankle, and shall always protrude at least 1.5cm from any booties worn.

9. Your bike frame must contain 2-4 colors IN ADDITION TO WHITE. All colours are acceptable as long as they combine tastefully. In addition to this, wheel selection must also match frame and fork.

10. You shall race only on Bora’s or Lightweights. Fulcrum Racing One, Corima Aero+ or Zipp (404’s or 202’s) wheelsets are considered stylish enough to be used as training wheels ONLY. Regardless, Ceramic bearings shall be used at all times on both training and race bikes.

11. ALL wheels shall be equipped with tubulars, regardless of your ability in gluing them.

12. Ridiculously stylish eyewear (see endorsed products list) is to be worn at all time without exception. Glasses are to be worn over helmet straps at all times.

13. Hair shall be kept neatly short, and matching helmet shall be worn (again with prominent logo placement). Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES shall a clashing helmet colour be worn with your euro kit. Helmets are not to be worn when venturing indoors at any time. It is, however, acceptable to wear your helmet while outdoors on a patio. (see rule 34)

14. In RARE cases, it has been deemed acceptable to have long hair. In this event, hair shall be neatly slicked back in maximum euro-styling, and helmet SHALL NOT be worn. It is IMPERATIVE rule 12 is followed in these special cases.

15. When riding, sans helmet (with short hair), a team issue cycling cap (white in colour), shall be worn. The bill shall remain in the downward position at all times. Cycling cap can be worn forwards or backwards to coincide with specifics of current hairstyle. During spring training, cycling toques shall be worn at all time in place of caps.

16. Kits will always be freshly washed, and one shall ALWAYS have applied a subtle quantity of eau de toilette (cologne). It is, AT ALL TIMES, FORBIDDEN to ride in an unwashed kit, as it is extremely detrimental to your image.

17. Saddles shall be white in color only and will be manufactured in Italy or France. Exceptions shall be made in the following cases…

i) Saddles containing WorldCup Stripes or Olympic Gold when EARNED
ii) Italian Flag color combo when rider is ITALIAN (born in Italy)

18. Handlebar tape is required to be cork as well as being WHITE IN COLOUR. Bar tape will be kept in pristine white condition. This state shall be achieved either through daily cleansing or frequent replacement. These jobs will NEVER be performed by the cyclist as you must maintain your image.

19. All stems must be a minimum of 120mm and a rise of no higher than -10 degrees. Stems shall be positioned no more than 0.5cm above the top of the headtube. ALL stems shall ALWAYS be oversize, made out of ALUMINUM, and airbrushed in kit/frame colors.

20. A rider will ALWAYS have liniment applied to his legs before appearing in public.

21. Facial hair will be restricted to (at maximum) a goatee, and even this is discouraged. Mustaches, beards, or any combination thereof are EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED in all instances. Stubble is, however, advisable in virtually ALL euro-situations. It is important to note: this DOES NOT apply to the legs!

22. Campagnolo shall be THE ONLY acceptable componentry and is hereby deemed superior to ANY Shimano product in ALL circumstances. You are expected to have nothing less than an ENTIRE campy grouppo. Crank substitutions are NOT permitted. There is a case by case exception for SRAM RED.

23. You shall NEVER, under any circumstances, acknowledge the presence of a cyclist riding a bike costing less than €2000 in a public place. This could be severely detrimental to your image.

24. You shall NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, associate with triathletes. It is FORBIDDEN to have any number inked onto your body before a race.

25. Any physical activity, other than cycling, is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. This includes any form of running or swimming and their derivatives (this includes walking). The ONLY TWO other sports with a recognized degree of euro are Cross Country skiing, and long track speed skating.

26. MTB gloves are FORBIDDEN in all instances. Cycling gloves will be slick, white (in accordance with kit), and have minimal padding. Padding will be beige or white in colour. Wearing NO GLOVES is entirely acceptable and encouraged. In the case where said euro cyclist is wearing a leader’s jersey, special gloves will be made to match the colour of the jersey while blending the team kit colours simultaneously.

27. In a circumstance where any cyclist (or triathlete) ever displays aggression or disrespect towards you, you are required to ride up uncomfortably close and slap them in the face with your team issue gloves.

28. In the event a motorist disturbs your ride, you shall proceed to ride up beside the car, form a clenched fist and bang the boot of the car while doing your best attempt to sound irritated in Italian. Wild arm/head movements are strongly encouraged to enhance the apparent rage.

29. you shall NEVER rearrange your package while riding. Adjustments regarding seating/hanging comfort are to be done in private in order to preserve image.

30. ABSOLUTELY NO FORM of seatbag, frame pump, mud guard or mirror shall come within 2 meters of your bike.

31. Gearing is restricted to a titanium Campy Record 11-23 cassette with a ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of 42-53 up front. You shall never be seen pedaling at a cadence over 90rpm in case it detracts from your calm/smooth factor. The use of 25t cog is acceptable in special training circumstances.

32. ALL BIKES shall feature personalized nameplates next to your home country’s flag located on the top-tube within 10 cm seat-tube ON ONE SIDE ONLY.

33. Pedals MUST be either Look or Time. No other pedals are to be considered. (as always, ANY form of Shimano product is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN).

34. Coffee is a necessity and as such must be consumed strong (ie. espresso) on a patio in Italy in full kit, it shall be drunk black. Sugar is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. The only milk present shall appear frothed on top (if at all).

35. All podium shots (pictures) shall be taken while wearing your team kit and appropriately matching casual euro shoes (such as puma's). Socks shall remain within the guidelines above. You are expected to display an appropriate degree of bulge while receiving kisses/trophy.

36. All pre and post-race activity will be conducted under a gazebo (this includes massage, interviews, and looking fantastic) leaving you in reasonable distance of the Euro-sun to top up your enviable tanlines or pose for photo’s.

37. Post-race, you shall be tied to your mobile phone, receiving endless calls from your attractive euro-girlfriend or important ad executives concerning modeling contracts. This will be done under the protection of the post race gazebo.

38. Team bikes will be built up so that they violate the UCI weight limit, in order that weights might be attached to the frame to demonstrate its superiority and lightness.

39. Motivational music during training shall consist of late 90s house or deep-trance hard-style German techno hereby known as 'euro beats'. NO EXCEPTIONS.

40. Naked black ALL CARBON water bottle cages (manufactured by ELITE CAGES) will be used on ALL BIKES. Exceptions include….

i) Special edition 24k gold cages are acceptable in certain cases such as photo shoots, prologues or where colour coordination dictates. Ex. Gold Cage with Olympic Gold/white team kit.

41. Water Bottles shall be referred to solely as "Bidon's" and shall have a volume NOT EXCEEDING 500ml. Bidon's will always be matching of team/kit colours. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE in ANY CIRCUMSTANCE to leave bidon's on bike more than 10 minutes post ride OR while transporting bikes via bike rack.

42. A gold pendant on a very long, thin chain bearing some form of religious icon is STRONGLY recommended for mountain races.

43. While soloing in for a victory, you will ensure your jersey is FULLY ZIPPED and ALLIGNED, so all title sponsors are clearly visible. You shall then smile and flex your arms while pointing skywards. The projection of ones fatigue is EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.

44. When appearing in a photo spread for sponsor’s products, you have the option of appearing fully nude, in your team kit, or in full Brioni 3 piece suits (nothing else). Smiling is prohibited in these instances.

45. When appearing in documentaries, you must be seen walking around the hotel in your kit at all times. It is also recommended that you constantly be eating something in front of the cameras.

46. When asked "how are you?" while riding you must proceed with one of the following...
-Complain about coming off a sickness.
- Explain you're peaking for bigger races later in the season
- Mention that this is a "recovery ride"
-That you are on the tail end of your daily 6 hour training ride

47. If you feel the urge to relieve yourself during a race, you shall gracefully meander to the back of the pack, seat yourself sideways on his saddle, and pee into the sunflowers. It is your duty to ensure that no camera crew catches the act, for it could be detrimental to your image. Under no circumstances shall you dismount from your bike to urinate.

48. When climbing anything with a gradient above 20% and lasting over 8 kilometers, you are required to fully unzip your jersey and let it flutter freely in the wind.

49. When dropping out of a race, you shall avoid the embarrassment of entering the official broomwagon and will instead wait for the team vehicle. When asked the reason for dropping out, you shall cite mechanical problems or oncoming sickness as the reason to avoid any bad speculation in relation to your fitness.

50. If in doubt, the Euro cyclist shall mention in an interview that his pollen allergies are acting up, and that he’s not sure that he’ll win the Giro this year. In this situation, remember to note that the sensations are otherwise good, and that eventually you’ll win a beautiful stage.

51. Team-building motivational camps will be held annually in the off-season. These are to place team members in as ridiculous a setting as possible. Photos will be widely reproduced to demonstrate team cohesion.

52. During the pre-race medical checks, star riders of each team are STRONGLY ADVISED to play doctor with each other while shirtless. Photos taken must strive to be as HOMOEROTIC AS POSSIBLE.

53. In order to avoid the harsh European winter, you shall:

i)flee to the warmer climes of Mallorca/South Africa/Canary Islands/etc.
ii)“train the mind, body and soul” with Kreitler brand rollers

54. In the event of a crash, no matter how badly you have injured yourself, you shall proceed to mummify yourself with fishnet gauze. The act of gauzing oneself is looked upon with respect by other Euro Cyclists because it is a statement of commitment and strength of character to continue racing when injured. White Gauze is the norm, but world cup striped gauze and or national colors may be worn on select occasions depending on the rider.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Variety: The Spice of Life!

Some came with rollers, some with trainers, some on fixies, some on CX bikes a one on a road set up. There was cotton shirts, muscle t's and even the busting of bibs with nothing else. But all that attended rolled. Bambi, Green Fro, Councilman (our gracious host), and I all made it for the riding portion of last ni....wait I almost forgot...there was an apparition in the room with us, yes my friends, I SAW A GHOST! For those unable to attend, I am happy to report that Ghostrider made a glorious return, and I am not kidding when I say glorious. Ghost emerged from the darkness armed with a straight barred and brakeless Langster ready to rip on Rollers! This was a sight to be seen! And Ghost, true to form, did not disappoint, teaching those rollers who was boss! Word around the man cave was that most of the work on the new home is done and we may see our long lost friend a bit more. Rock God showed for food and although we were awaiting an equal food showing by B and Cap'n it seems the abyss of snowboard split-kit geekdom had them firmly held in its grip. There had better be good photos from Fridays outing in the POW!

The indoor cycling session was as fun as an indoor cycling session could be. After a few video mishaps, we all enjoyed 24 Solo and I personally felt like Craig Gordon's acute renal failure showed a side of HTFU that I am not sure is attainable by anyone else. For the 24 of Cool I think I will strive for acute toe nail failure, I like to keep my kidneys functional. We rolled for about 90 minutes and then decided it was time to eat! It was fun to see the guys on the rollers getting a bit "dodgy" during the exciting moments in the movie. Green Fro attacked on several occasions, I think he did avoid any major head injuries!

Councilman prepared a spread fit for kings! Much thanks and appreciation for your hospitality! With legs tired and bellies full we turned our attention to the kits. Consensus was reached and details are too many to list, in the end, I think we are on the move and will be racing as FT3 soon.

I enjoyed the break from the norm and as the laundry machines are already working overtime in our household, the break from mud and grit was welcome. We will hit it again soon enough.

100 days until Cool 24!

Until we ride,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winds of Change

A wee bit windy! So the alternate arrangement for Tuesdays ride appears to be on. Unless I hear otherwise, here is the plan:

January Man Cave Event!

1) Meet at Councilman's at 5:45 with bike, trainer, video offering, hot sauce, and beverage of choice. (If you are blessed with multiple trainers, bring em all as some folks have no indoor apparatus and others have trainers out of service.)
2) Ride the trainers for enough time to make it a worth while outing. I like Capn's 10% rule and think that we can get 90 minutes in tonight!
3) Enjoy Councilman's fine homemade Carnitas and review jersey options.
4) Go home and don't worry about dirty bikes or clothing.

There may be a need to HTFU here and for those of you feeling the need to get out and do it right tonight, I suggest a P'ville CX for me, I will take said ridicule and enjoy a spin indoors.

Many thanks to Councilman for opening up the man cave for tonight's gathering.

Until we ride,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Next Chapter: The Power of Self Talk

Unfortunately, Saturday marked the last installment of the the Sacramento CX series. Driving home last night, I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that this series is over the year. What began several months ago in temps over 100 and ended yesterday in mild winter conditions has provided inspiration and competition for several months. It is worth noting that while Bambi, NoHandle, Cap'n and I were enjoying a post race beer conversation quickly turned to the 24hr race and Mt. Bike season. However, in the end, I will miss Cross season and am already looking forward to next year.

Race Report:
I elected to park outside of the park and ride in, by weeks end I needed a spin to get the legs started again. Upon reaching the parking lot, I quickly met up with the rest of the FT3 crew, all getting ready for the 35+ B's. Cap'n had a game face on, Rick was off doing some secret pre-race regiment, NoHandle, Bambi, and Green Fro were making final gear and clothing selections. It was clear the group was preparing to throw down! We were disappointed that Councilman appeared to not be making it to this race...

I got out on the course and quickly found it to be fast with technical sand portions liberally sprinkled throughout. Unlike lots of other courses, this course even had a few hills allowing for some good power attacks. There were two key sections that seemed to like they would be telling. There was a big sweeping right hander right after the start line and then a technical off camber sandy area leading into the last barriers and the home stretch. The good news for me was that I would get the opportunity to watch the 35+ race go through first.

The guys got lined up and it was game on for the Masters race. At the gun Rock clearly looked to be on his game. And then right in the middle of the group some yahoo decides to switch lines. I kid you not, there proudly wearing a Auburn Bikes Work jersey, our own Cap'n saw his window closing and did a cross peleton move, worthy of anything you see in France during the month of July, to reestablish himself on the opposite side of the group. Spot on mate! He even got a, "what is that guy doing?" from the woman standing next to me. All for not as it was total carnage as the boys got funnelled into the first sandy turn, with line big enough for two or three rides, thirty plus was going to make it interesting. One rider attempting to dismount knocked over another rider, which stopped all momentum and created a hard mans corner to bull and barrel your way through. Rock got through cleanly and Bambi and NoHandle found fast lines as well. Cap'n decided to take is frustrations out on the course markers. Although he won the fight with the tape, he did lose some spots and was left chasing. By the second crux Rock had already established his position up front, Bambi was showing some form, NoHandle was performing in mid 90's style and Cap'n had a look of determination in the eye. As the laps piled up Cap'n found his rightful spot upfront in a Yo-yo battle with Joe....Miller as Rick, looks like your racing A's from now on, Kile dominated up front. Bambi faded from his initial power burst, allowing NoHandle a little breathing room to focus on the podium. In the end, RG won his race and Cap'n, NoHandle, and Bambi went 2,3,5 respectively in the 35+, with Green Fro a little ways back.

Right before I toed the line in the B's race who should roll up next to me, after already being dismissed as a no show, non other than the politician himself Councilman! I felt prepared to race and was slightly sorry to see no women showing up for the day's throw down. At the whistle it occurred to me that I may not be as fast as a "12 year old on a fixie" but I should be able to out think those younger bucks. I took the inside corner on the first tight turn and was able to run past lots of folks in front of me. At the critical selection I had to say to myself, "Ok Matt, there is no next week!" The self talk worked and I was able to hold contact the a frontish group. Councilman and I were able to share words of encouragement on out and back sections and the folks from the previous race made for a great cheering section. Put it all together and took 5th on the day! Too bad, this may have been my day to beat my rival...if only she had shown!I have been working on this post for way to long, so it is going up!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Great Recovery

Sorry for my tardiness in posting. Seems that the demons of productivity have attacked this week and time is sparse for duties regarding FT3. However, even with sparse availability of time, I was still able to make Tuesday's ride. Joined by Bambi, Xterric, and NoHandle, the four of us hit the trails in light rain and pleasant temps. What was worried to be a mud and rain fest actually turned into to a pretty nice evening without too much rain. Many were drained from weekend adventures, and FT3 actually served as a bit of a recovery ride. We hit the Flemming loop and rounded it off with Palins Plunge and the Lack of Fall Line trail down to the spill way. There was much talk of new bikes and the pace was down right friendly, thank god! Any time the trail even hinted at an uphill my legs screamed a cry the could take the paint off an old barn! As for new bikes, it is good to see the FT3 stimulus package still rolling.

Tacos filled the caloric quota and and no rye was ordered. In all honesty I think I fell asleep twice while at the table! There is a clear need for some down time prior to Saturday's main event! The FT3 train keeps on rolling even on days of slow pace and good rest!

Saturday is the final installment of the Sacramento CX series and may be the focus of weekend riding for some of us. Is there anyone looking at a Sunday ride?

Until we ride,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Power, Rain, and a Pending Throwdown

Add 1500 young people to a campus without power and you have a perfect concoction for chaos. Now that power has been restored to our local institution of education, we can get back to the important things in life, learning and blogging.

Looks like it is going to be wet tonight, so grab your "man up" shorts and bring it! Snow levels remain too high to effect the trails, so it is just the wet we will have to deal with.

Saturday marks the last edition to this years Sac area CX on for all those vying for top spots.

Sundays ride was spirited to the end. We had a peleton of six, Rock, Councilman, NoHandle, Cap'n, Bambi and me. Rounded off near the 50 mile mark with Rock taking the unofficial unofficial sprint and either NoHandle or Cap'n taking the official version of the unofficial sprint at Dave's. They were too far up the road to see. I think they announced the winner but the oxygen deprivation clearly led to some short term memory loss. Would the rightful winner please claim victory!

Mosquito at 5:45...Exit 54?


Until We Ride,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Sheriff In Town

As we have always stated, "we are doing a lot more than just riding bikes." Well thanks to Cap'n's thoughtful email to blog central, we now know other vigilantly cyclist the world over are hearing the cry and stepping up to the plate to make this a better world. Yes my friends, I do believe that we everyone was simply armed with a bicycle, our world would be kinder and gentler (unless of course you are riding on a scooter stealing womens' handbags)! Enjoy the justice being served!

Not only is tonight Tuesday and the first Tuesday of the month, it is also the first ride of the new, yet to be named, decade! So grab the rig with just one and come on out to play. I say that from the bottom of my heart knowing that I will not be able to partake in tonight's ride. Alas, I am too weak to push only one gear and will be forced to flog myself at home for missing. I know the chicks who race Men's B's are probably out there tearing it up on fixies right now, getting ready to school me again. (Little do they know about my secret training.)

Mosquito 5:45...Exit 54?

Weekend Update:
Word has it that Rock God, Cap'n and NoHandle put down a Classic California Road Ride on Sunday leaving all with fatigued legs. No report other than a French Town/Latrobe style loop? Any sign sprints or downhill attacks to report?

B and I took down Red Lake Peak on Sunday with my cousin. B played the roll as guide and got us up on top without any false routes, the day was perfect and getting out in the backcountry was not too bad! There could definitely be some potential for an FT3 extracurricular activity up there.

Zero, I will be there for the send off.
Until We Ride:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

HOCX Report

The post New Year's ride was great. Cap'n came to the party firing on all cylinders and demonstrated some good speed and agility. Not to be out done, Rock God shared his training plan of late, which has some solid elements to it, all geared toward the final Sac CX race. Councilman and I fought it out hard OTB and all had fun. We discovered yet another new training route behind our local JC, solid! FT3 kicked off the new year in style, even pulling off the family hook-up at Starbucks!

Mandatory FT3 Euro Field Trip!
I am not sure how we would ever pull it off, or when to go, or how to afford it, but I think we all need to go to a UCI Cross race! I came across this video of the last race. I haven't a clue what they are say, all I know is the Sven Nys won after crashing! The course is psychotic but they still make it look fast...too cool!

Until we ride,