Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chain Control Ahead!

Due to Comcast's drop of signal, this post has been delayed a fair bit.

In the end, NoCar took the style factor to a whole new level with the wool sweater vest, I believe he attended a few board meetings on the way home, just cause he could! The ride was fantastic: a good wintry mix saw us off and then it was dry for the remainder of the ride! The trails were soggy in spots but over all good.

Councilman and NoHandle showed for tacos. NoHandle did complete the Mosquito to Knot Hole ride. Councilman showed with a collection of sauces from his AZ road trip. The African sauce is still bringing it!

NoCar (Mr. Style), Bambi, B, Xterric, and me.

Post Qualifier, Picnic Table Graveyard, Sub Qualifier, B is for Barf, Picnic Table Graveyard, Lake Loop, Horse Trail, Lake Loop, Rufus', Fleming, Palin's Plunge, Blairwitch, Home.

Contador out for the season! Hand surgery! Radioshack gave me the call, I am off to Flanders this weekend. Enjoy the day!

Until we ride,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The return of our wet friend!

I guess I am going the throw the "One" out there, but man is it ugly. Wet and windy conditions will mark the day. After a few weeks of perfect weather, I guess there is still reminder of how nasty it can be this time of year.

If you are thinking of not attending tonight, just remember that race season and some big races are just around the corner. Sea Otter and the 24 hr are curious if you're riding?

Corrections from Sunday:
1)As pointed out in the after hours hidden comment field yesterday, Cap'n was the KOM on Slug on Sunday. I was scanning the forest floor for a good spot to take a nap, and failed to see who got to the top first.
2)In accordance to PA road code, B confirmed the state of death in some road kill by running over it again!
3)There is no fire station just passed Indian Diggins School!

One (I think).

Until we ride,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

South County "Slug" Fest

Cap'n, Bambi, NoHandle, B (with guest) and I all rolled out for an early Sunday morning road tour. The route, as selected by NoHandle, took us south for some good sunny side riding. We rode the basic Slug Gulch loop. NoHandle got things started by sprinting for every sign he could find. I guess in the end, he won all the sprints, as no sign was allowed to go by without NoHandle giving chase. In the end, the Slug did not disappoint. The early steeps really kick me in the teeth. However after a little time to recover, I was ready to attack. The moment came on a classic "Tour de France" switch back that both Cap'n and I took as a launching point. The two of us ran hard to the top. As we neared the top, I looked back to see NoHandle clawing back on! NoHandle and Cap'n fought out the last 100 yrds as I licked my wounds. On the drop back down Omo Ranch, NoHandle launched a classic downhill flyer. Cap'n was not to be out done, I was left chasing but not closing. The trip back was initially tame as we all got refueled. The chase back to town did brought the excitement back with Bambi and I leap frogging the two man chase back up the, yup, you guessed it, Cap'n and NoHandle. Then B started throwing it in as well as we attacked until the road simple gave out! Great spirited ride, with the Gulch keep'n it real!

No race report yet.

Weather looks like is is going south quick...stay tuned.

Until we ride,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Two Headed Lion

A quick glance of the weather report over my spring break indicates that March not only came in like a lion, but, contrary to popular mysticism, will also exit in the same fashion. As the wet weather is easily forgotten in 110 degree temps, I am happy to have as much wet as possible during this time of year. The good news appears to be that this weekend should be perfect for riding, prior to the wet weather coming in. I think there is some NCNCA racing that will be pulling RG away from the county. In addition Cappy has been on the leadership front of late firing off the Team 1 mandatory ride email with a 6:45 Sunday morning rendezvous call out. Proper young man, proper. So it looks as though I will be rousing my old bones tomorrow morning before the rooster calls to go throw down with the rest of Team 1...which begs a question: What the hell is going on with Team 2? Speaking of the 24hr Race, it official went up on the dry erase board that records all events this household. This means that the race is within the five week limit of this calendar...get those engines revving because the race is on!

Hot Sauce Front:
Due to an executive order issued by our resident politician, Councilman will be returning to the fray armed with several additions to the hot sauce front. Additionally there has been some discussion of a Southwest road trip to take down the WMD Burger garnished with the potentially weapon grade Indian pepper. Intestines be damned, we can take it on!

Until we ride (really early on Sunday Morning)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Now that was a ride.

Apparently the ride mojo was hot as the pace was pushed from the word go! More later!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Notorious B.I.K.E

It appears that FT3 is becoming a fairly well known cycling entity. Although they may know we exist, no one, outside the inner circle, knows the secrets of FT3. It might be pointed out that entry into the inner circle only requires one to conquer the Qualifier...will there be any takers this week? Be that good or bad, I am happy to be part of the mystery of "those guys that ride around the lake at night". Before long our cross canyon rivalry will match that of the Biggie Smalls legend! OK, that may be a bit much, but riding a bike fast sure is fun!

Weekend Report:
Green Fro represented on the Nor Cal road circuit. This weekends race included a good climb and the roads of El Dorado County paid dividends as Green Fro took KOM and then hung on for 6th.

Young Samuel placed top ten both days this weekend racing Cat 3's. He is still waiting for his breakout race, but it is bound to happen soon!

RG and I headed out for a good Sunday morning loop. After a short time, we caught onto his team riding a long outing out of Folsom. Unfortunately, one of his team mates suffered a major crash. After getting him cleaned up and in touch with his wife for a pick up, we were off. I was a bit shaky after that, never fun to have a crash. We peeled off at Brandon Road and enjoyed the 'ol French Town route home. Happy to be home, got a report later on that RG's teammate was doing well, and had already been to the bike shop to get rolling again.

Cap'n and NoHandle fired off the late Sunday afternoon ride. Sounds like the took the Pleasant Valley/Starks/Pollywood loop. No major reports or events. Blue collar outing, punching the clock, well done!

Tuesday's Outing:
There was some conversation to get back to a 5:45 firm departure as the light is good but fleeting. Additionally, Sea Otter is about 4 weeks out and the 24 hour race is six weeks away. There will be some serious training going on during the next few weeks. Keep posted for route options as mileage and time in saddle is the key to results. For Tuesday I am throwing out a classic C and B with Horse Trail exit and a Fleming Tickle ending with Palin's Plunge...I love the fact that I just wrote a sentence that maybe only 4 or 5 other people in the world have any idea what I meant! Long live FT3...who is going to be the first one with an FT3 tattoo?

One! I am pulling the ride only option tomorrow, got a bit of a big day on Wednesday. I'l meet you guys at the lot.

Until we ride,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now!

What an amazing thing, to roll out of the parking lot, without illumination! We had ample sun and heat to greet us for the first post "daylight savings time" ride. In addition to light, we saw some familiar faces that have been absent for a bit: VD and Ghost both showed to join Xterric (doing the carpool thang) RG, Bambi, B, Cap'n, NoHandle(supplying HTFU gifts for the 24hr race), and me. Good showing for a perfect night for a ride.

There was some talk about requalifying those riders who had been absent. However, the chance to ride some good trails in the daylight forced the route selection away from the Qualifier. We hit the steep horse trail drop at the first damn (is this trail named?), climbed back up to the road and then headed towards Flemming. The road section got some call outs, clearly I wasn't thinking yet and forgot about some dirt sections, sorry. We tickled Flemming on the northern edge and then headed up Redneck to drop the Left Lip. The L3 was in effect (light left lip) as was Bambi, making a monster move on me just before the transition to tight single track. RG was railing hard and rolled the tire right off the rim, or something like that. We headed around the back end of the Lake Loop, trails were in tip top condition. The group elected to not go up Barnes Back as PC was bound to be muddy. We stayed on the Lake Loop and hit Rock Garden to a Wedding yo-yo and then heading home via Rock Garden 1a. Great ride!

With several riders spent after a weekend of racing and a hard loop tacos were a pretty mellow affair. There was some good conversation around Sawzall technique or destruction and NoHandle shared the HTFU ordering catalog.

The Barnes mobile set the tone for the ride with the mellow and smooth Hawaiian tunes.

K9 Companions: Booker had a new friend in the VD wiener dog (that does not sound good).

After FT3 outings I am often left dreaming of the next ride, I think this guy gets the dreaming part pretty well.
Until we ride,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Poison Oak Making its Return!

On top of legs that feel like 10,000 lbs, it appears that the wonderful poison oak plants are back. I successfully pulled off the Cool Double weekend. Successful in that I did both events, somewhat lackluster because I opted for the Sport Class on Sunday and only did 2 laps. Saturday's run was a solid effort, I moved about 25 places up in the overall ranks from the year previous. I was a bit worried because I added 3 minutes to my time from last year. However, it appears that the swollen creek crossings and mud made for a slower day. The Mt. Bike race on Sunday was pure survival. I ate lots during the two laps and just tried to keep moving. No results yet, I know I beat some folks and some others beat me...I took Monday off to try and get some feeling back into the legs, and what should I discover late in the day, a poison oak rash starting to emerge. Oh well, looks like I will have to endure a little more pain and suffering to the double weekend. Somehow, I came through the weekend with the DTI steady and strong...don't know how I did that but I will take it!

Other reports:
It was a busy weekend, with lots of racing and riding going on. I am going to have a test on all the race reports tonight at the Knot. Prize to those who score 100%. Yes, I am a teacher at heart and love the high stakes test!

I knew I had it coming. As was the case last year, the 2010 Cool Mountain Bike Race got the best of me. It took my ass, put it on a silver platter and very kindly handed it to me on a beautiful sunny day. I think it was, in fact, the same exact location on the course during the second lap where things started to unravel. Up until then, just like last year, I was doing pretty well. Such is the life of a self proclaimed cross racer, father and full time worker whose training regimen mostly consists of 1 hour rides. I started out with the lead group but quickly came off the back of that, no worries, I was just biding my time. I slowly passed a rider here and a rider there, got passed by a few but kept my head about me. By the end of the first lap, I got a report – “Jerry, your six minutes back,” that seemed reasonable given the field that included several top local pro’s and one young and fast whipper snapper. Then it happened, I crept quietly into the pain cave. The pain cave is a dark deep hole for which there is little chance of escape. Knowing that, I pondered the despicable DNF. As I come around to finish lap 2, I see some familiar faces and hear several people cheering for me. All the thoughts of DNF’ng went away. I couldn’t possibly quit in front of all those people, not the least of them my children. It was interesting to hear Jim Northey say, “Are you OK Jerry?” to which I replied, “see you in four hours.” So, there I was, heading out for another lap, something I had absolutely no business doing. Fortunately, I had a friend, and it wasn’t Peter Pissy Pants. The young dude on the $4500 pro-deal Seven Ti-29er with Sram XX was with me the whole way. Eventually, right near the end, he passed me…There were actually some guys behind me (who finished), and several who DNF’d. So, I don’t feel too bad about it. Next year – eat more, train longer, or race two laps with the smart people. Actually, it was a nice visit to the pain cave. I needed it. It’s a good reminder of what the 24 has in store


My Solvang ride was great, but a real battle of head winds for probably 80 of the 100 miles. The wind was tough and took away a lot of the usual chit chat fun.

It was a day in the drops, staring down at the road and lots of fighting your way out of the gutter in the echelon. Needless to say, the day was hard fought. I took the first city limit sprint and hill points with ease but then saw a little fade in power in the 60-80 miles range. I came back strong with (as you might guess) a down hill attack to one of the final short climbs (also part of the Tour of Cali TT) and got away and stayed away from all but my buddy Bob. It was a good day and I finished feeling pretty good but w/out thumping them as I really had hoped to give them. We all agreed that once again we all raised the bar and that this was the hardest effort yet.

RG: (Keep reading, this is a long one! To RG's credit, it was a stage race and is actually three reports.)


We lucked out again and missed the storm window by 12 hours, the rain passed and left it cold and windy, probably high 40’s for race time. The Body Concepts team was slim due to illness and other commitments. It was myself and Kenny representing with this event being his 1st Criterium and Stage Race with only one other Road Race under his belt. The Criterium course was a straight forward wide four corner affair with a few bumps in the corners and with the wind playing a big factor. We had a field size of 62 riders, fairly large but only 1/3 of what the pro pelotons in Europe run; I can only imagine what it would be like trying to make your way up through that many riders. Being a stage race we had two primes, and the top three finishers getting small time bonuses, that would help stretch things out a bit. The race went along fine, just a few squirrely moments when things got bunched up, most notably in turn 3 where they pinched the road down with cones; a few were flying around during the race but nobody went down. After the second prime where a Rio Strada guy made an impressive flyer to nab the time bonus, we only had 6 laps to go. The pace picked up, everyone kept there composure and things really wound up with 2 to go. With the wind was still strong after the last two corners and positioning was key, too early and the matches were spent, too late and you’re boxed in. Rio Strada and especially Taleo played the team game well and had a strong presence up front on the last lap. I stayed in the top 10 hoping to save some energy, as it was a long wide and windy final stretch of about 250 meters to the finish. Things went smooth going through the final turn but then a couple folks let up creating a bottleneck. I was able to squeeze through bumping bars in the process and contest for the win, I caught everyone except one Taleo rider and nabbed 2nd, I think a Rio Strada guy napped 3rd. Time to regroup for the time trail.

Time Trial:

Windy was the operative word here, and still a bit chilly. The course was 10. 6 miles, a typical south valley farmland style, flat, 3 right turns, OK roads circumnavigating almond orchards and other ranches. There were many folks decked out with full TT bikes, disc wheels and aero outfits, even in our category. My parking lot neighbor on Taleo had a mid-level Trek machine and would be behind me 30 seconds at the start; I half joked that I hoped I would not see him. I was sporting a set of bolt-on aero handles and a tear drop helmet borrowed from my FT3 teammate Matt Barnes; neither of which I had ever ridden with. The first leg was a fast 7 o’clock tailwind section, 2nd leg at 4 o’clock and it obviously got harder with the 2nd to last section cross wind and finishing stretch going straight into the wind. One could only hope a train would pass when making your way to the finish, at least partially sheltering the wind blast. The plan was to go out medium and ramp it up saving energy for the hardest two legs at the end. The plan seemed to work well as I got in a good heart rate zone and was making time on my 30 second man; I thing speeds were approaching 30mph. Then 2/3rds into the first leg I here “on your right” as my 30 second guy from Taleo comes bombing by, I’m thinking, “crap I thought I was going good, he’ll surely blow on the last two legs.” I kept to the game plan and ramped up the effort and heart rate as the race went on, well over my lactate threshold. I passed 3 guys, including Mr. Decked Out Assos TT man whom I was notably intimated by before the start. The last half of the 3rd leg and final leg were painful, I wanted it to be over. I’m glad I did not have a speedometer as that final headwind section reading would have been demoralizing; sometimes data can ruin a ride. I barely managed to keep down the Chocolate Gu and finished spent. Kenny lamented it was his worst TT ever; I was just hoping my 30 second a rears guy won, otherwise I would be way down in the standings. My clock had me around 25 minutes, OK but not great; we’d have to wait until tomorrow to check the results. I ended up 12th in the TT with my 10 second time bonus from the Criterium bumping me to 8th overall; I was hoping for a top 10 TT, more work or money to spend on that discipline.

Road Race:

Contrary to the weather report the wind was still blowing, although not quite as strong, it was still cold too. Although our 11:20 start time, which pushed 30 minutes would prove to be a good thing; plus, I was spent from Saturday and don’t know if I could have mustered up an 8:00am start time. After hearing about the course and witnessing some premature finishes due to flats, I changed out the carbon tubulars to the old reliable Ksryium clinchers. We still had 55+ riders in our starting grid, and had an easy 3 mile procession to the start. Things started out fast as usual, and finding shelter was a good idea and our local Bicycles Plus gang seemed glad to push the pace. The longest stretch on the main highway was mostly down hill, fast and a bit windy, we then turned onto a rougher road with the center line still enforced. Another right turn and things got really rough, we had the whole width of the road to navigate but it did not matter, it was all chop, several guys lost water bottles and flatted each lap. The road made another right turn and headed up hill where it smoothed out nicely into great set of rollers up the finish. We were running a pretty good clip and managed to catch the Women’s 3’s and Men’s Cat 5’s about half way into the second lap. The group behaved well and I made my way into the top 15 on the main highway stretch of the last lap. We headed into the rough section where the road opened up and I made a mistake giving up my far left side position, several folks made it by and I was not feeling great about my positioning. The legs were feeling good and knew I had the wide roller stretch to work my way up. A couple of good efforts over the rollers and I was right were I wanted to be in the top 10, things bunched up a bit on the last up hill roller going into the finish were a couple guys had more ambition than legs and proceeded to box me in. The Rio Strada guys had good train and great position on the right side, I squeezed through the middle late and worked my way up past a Davis guy for 4th, missing out on that extra 5 second time bonus, which would have been a mute point as the TT times left a larger time spread. I kept my 8th overall and in typical VeloPromo style, it was T-shirts for 6 places overall, not each race, oh well. Kenny made up for the lack of prize money pitched in extra for logistics and provided great company.

If you are still reading, you clearly have too much time on your hands.


Until We Ride,


Friday, March 12, 2010

Best Job In The World

There has been some discussion of late acknowledging the "coolness" of a job that allows you to ride your bike for pay. NoCar and B have both shared many a tails of work related trail or infrastructure inspections done by bike, and Cap'n has his own tails of riding FOR work. But this may take the cake. As Google builds its data base of cycling friendly trails and the street views of those trails, someones got to "get the job done!" I, for one, am considering a career change if a Trail Trike shows up in P'ville, or better yet, in Pollywood!

Speaking of Cool, it is going to be a Cool weekend! The Cool Mt. Bike race fires off on Sunday, potentially under sunny skies and temps in the mid 60's. RG is out in Madera showing them how to get it done in a stage race. He is equipped with some prime TT bars and a pointing helmet form the Ironman days. On a final note, I will be doing a Cool Double this weekend with the Mt.Bike race on Sunday and the 50k run on Saturday.

Until we ride,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who would have guessed...

Granted it was cold, but for most of the ride, it was cold and clear. Fingers and toes suffered but most riders returned to the cars a bit muddy but not dripping water as in rides past. Cap'n, B, NoCar, RG, Councilman, and I left Mosquito for a rendezvous at with some other riders at the lake. Bambi was gathered up at Exit 54 and Xteric and (new rider) XBen were met at the lake. Nine was a strong showing for the cold dark outing. As we had a new rider in the group we headed up the qualifier. At the mid point, Xben and I dropped back to the lake loop to play around with new bikes and lights. The rest of the crew headed up to PC and Wedding March...apparently Billy Idol made an appearance as White Wedding was the song of choice for the snow dusted trail. Thanks to our resident Rock Star, no opportunity goes unnoticed. After a run through the Rock Garden, where B made some interesting route choices, the group gathered again for a tour home along the north shore of the Lake Loop.

Tacos were tasty and sauce selection was prime. There was some discussion of weekend racing and it is clear we will have folks out and about flying our flag high!

So who would have guessed that after seeing the stars during the ride I would awake to find a blanket of snow on the lawn this morning. Good thing we did not stay out for a ride of epic length, or we might still be out there. Again, must I repeat, anything is possible!

Until we ride,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Anything is Possible

The scope of the human brain is really quite staggering. Endless possibilities await the minds of the future on how to improve, change, adjust, or merely entertain human life.

All this inventive spirit aside, we engage in a pretty simple weekly pursuit. Although simple, I think that we are most certainly helped along by some of this brain embodied ingenuity! The simple design of the double triangle bicycle frame continues to be tweaked just so, as to offer us the most enjoyment on our Tuesday rides (maybe the last Tuesday of each month should be PFFT3: Penny-farthing Fat Tire Taco Tuesday). In addition to timeless combination of spice and meat provides ample nourishment on which to refuel after said ride. Finally the honed mastery of the internal combustion engine (destine to change drastically in the coming years) propels us home allow for such rides to take place with ease. What mastery is in front of us and why, why I say, should we stray from course? Anything is possible, and if the conditions are not perfect, we are the men to tame them!

Therefore my friends, in the spirit of possibilities, bundle up and head out for clear and cool moonlight ride! There is a real chance of departing from the Knot today without lights. Furthermore, this will be the last true dark outing. With the time change next week, we will be able to see where we are going again. The snow pack is minimal and the trails are somewhat visible, that is the recipe for success for FT3! Temps will be low, but spirit and moral will be high. Use some of that inventive spirit to dress in the best of micro this and fleece that to stay warm and do our founding bicycle fathers proud. When it is sunny and hot in a few short weeks, you will fondly remember this last of the winter rides shroud in darkness as the night you made it out!

Up Coming Events:
Cool Mt. Bike Race on Sunday
Solvang Century on Sunday
Madera Stage Race on Sunday
FT3 will be out in guessed it...on Sunday

Mosquito at 5:45...Exit 54?


Until we ride,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where is Sac Bike n Hike?

Cap'n and B met at the prescribed location for the S2FT3 roll out. NoHandle joined in at the Pollywood parking lot for a small, but rowdy, ride. The course appears to have been in constant debate, which may have led to the extra long, light testing outing. From the sound of things, it appears the HTFU factor led to a 3+ hour ride. The Qualifier was hit, Wedding March was yo-yoed on, the lake loop was Incorporated, Rufus' Rage was attempted, Trevor's Tributary was discovered, the lips were dropped and a road ride exit was necessary based on light life. Sounds as though there was some rehydrating that took place during the post ride change and then a roll into the Knot! Spot on mates! Although the numbers were low for the misty outing, those present did the group proud.

Not to be out done, I got the kids to bed, mounted the lights to the road bike, and hit the road for the Knot Hole. Powering through some rain, wind, and just a hint of the wintry mix, I successfully avoided any mishaps and got to the Knot cold and wet but ready for tacos and beverages.

A note on the institution of FT3: It is worth mentioning that I arrived about 20-25 minutes prior to the arrival of my fellow FT3 riders. I walked into our eating establishment, dripping wet and head to toe spandex. The element worth pointing out is that this spectacle didn't even raise one backwoods eyebrow. I feel honored to say that we have so established ourselves at the Knot Hole that the sight of a soaking wet road rider, awaiting his Mt. Biking friends, riding in the rain and dark is now Par for the Course for a Tuesday night in Pollywood! Job well done.

I heated myself with the 1 portion of my 4-1-1 order and happy devoured some tacos when the rest of the team arrived. The tacos were of a top caliber and the sauce selection was strong. As we rolled home happy to have conquered another rainy night ride, B and Cap'n inquired if I had seen any other riders on the road. Were the Wheelmen out riding, was Sac Bike n Hike there to help me along, did anyone catch my wheel, did I have a chance to catch anyone else...The answer is clear, no one, I repeat no one is out there doing what we do on a regular basis! No one is putting in the hours, no one is toeing the line! With wins and good showings on the road piling up and only 7 weeks left to the 24hr race, we are doing the work that needs to be done.

Until We Ride,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eat Taco's not Newts

I have been staring at a blank blog screen for about the last little while. I am not really sure what to post for today.

The clear topics are:

RG flying off the front of the Snelling race to take his first win of the season. Seeing how he has been going lately I have a feeling that this will be the first of many...Keep up the good work RG and fly the FT3 colors proudly, albeit underneath your road team kit.

Took out the 9er for a initial outing on Sunday with Cap'n and NoHandle. Great bike...the revolution continues (no pun intended). We did encounter some serious wildlife and we serenaded with the distant sound of gunfire! Don't eat this guy. According to web research done by our own Cap'n, PhD in Mt. Bike Lifestyle, using the Sierra Newt as BBQ filler would be a bad idea...The Newt Kabob would result in potential death...The next episode of Man vs. Wild will be in Pollock Pines and feature a Newt attack!

Outside of those topics, I am in a fog. We have been hammered by some serious illnesses in the house and the lack of quality rest is catching up with me. As for tonight, I have no idea on my participation. Sunday was a great outing, but may have been my hall pass for the week.

Exit 54 (also in Sickbay) ??

Mosquito 5:45...

Until we ride,