Thursday, October 28, 2010

I can see clearly

Getting out of the knot lot was the slowest part of the ride last Tuesday. After finally rolling onto the trails, Cap'n had to return to the lot to get his new habits are so hard to remember. With all members firing off at 20/20 vision we hit the trails, eager to see the conditions. What we got was a dose of trail perfection with good absorption from the weekend rain. It was a south side endeavor complete with the backdoor exit and roadkill finish.

I did good to the name crashing once uphill and once on Palins impaling the helmet with a branch...that was close!

Until we ride,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Honey, where are my arm warmers?

Yup my friends, if you haven't dug them out yet, it may be time to find all your winter cycling clothing and get ready for a seasonal change. It was 33 when I left my house this morning and this odd crunchy, off-white, crystally stuff was all over the ground, Hmmmmm odd.

With near 5.5 inches of rain falling over the weekend, I would say that trails will still be muddy and wet tonight! This will be intertwined with moments of perfection on the areas that drained well. All in all, it will be a cool, fast, fall ride, worthy of an FT3 stamp of approval.
B and I took a road ride yesterday and thought about all the possiblilities for the AGFT3 that is the All Ghouls FT3. Costumes anyone?

Thanks again to B from coming out and getting some photos of the CX race on Sunday. I must admit, it is pretty cool to line up with a few teammates, even if you get shelled, and see FT3 colors out there on the course. If any of these new fangled polliticians need a lesson in "grassroots" all they need to do is come see FT3 in action! Season standings are starting to stack up (how is that for some alliteration!). Nov 6 and 7 are your next opportunity to get some racing in your legs.

Until We Ride,

Monday, October 25, 2010

At least it wasn't dusty!

There I stood, watching the waning seconds of the 1st half of the JV football game on Friday night. The skies looked threatening but nothing had materialized yet. And then, kissed by Poseidon, I started to feel the pitter patter of rain. Forcasted as the first big storm of the season, I feared that Sunday's race might be wet. Well, no need to fear. It wasn't wet, it was a muddy, sloppy mess, ala the 2009 24hour race.

Howard Park in Ione and the folks at BicylingEvents, put together a great course for all of us crazies to go out there and punish ourselves. The courses Start/Finish area was on a large DG horse track that was suitably wet and sloppy. From this opening straight-away, riders did a sharp 180 right hander onto an off-camber mud slop for about 30 yards and then dumped down onto some grass athletic fields. This first entry onto grass was short lived as we were sent back to a very muddy off-camber climbing right hander, that was actually one of my favorite moves on the course. From there it was wet grass, mud, twists and turns for a bit. This section dumbed out on the gantlet. A narrow, again off-cambered, muddy sluice box of a straightaway, punctuated by an equally muddy and nasty short up and down at the end. From there, racers had a bit of a break on some hard packed park ground, you just had to look out for "the tree" that had grown just so as to separate your shoulder if you took the turn wrong. Once again, back onto the grass for a long straight with a slick, muddy hill at the end. Up the hill along the fence line, back down and fight the head wind on the road section. Sharp right and over the whoop (remember this section, it will be revisited). Some fast, dirt road twists, taking racers back to the park area. Off the bike up the stairs and remount for the grassy technical section. Lots of hard turns, braking and then stomping on it out of the corner...but don't stomp too hard because it is wet and nasty. On to the bark, over the only barriers on the course, and back onto the horse track. ONE...let's go do it again.

At the whistle I immeditatly thought, "Oh @#$%, what am I doing in this race!?!?!" But then things started to come together again, a few Open A's slowed and came back to us, the 35+ group spread out to the contenders and non-contenders, the 45+ fasties went by and we were in a race.
I could see Cap'n up front for a fair bit, was actually very pleased to keep him in my sights much longer than I did at Kirkwood. Bambi was right in front of me and gave me a good carrot to chase. Lap one indicated that the legs would be tested all day as the slog through the mud was unavoidable. During the second lap, Cappy was still visible up front, and the FT3 infighting began to take shape. Bambi had burned it a little hot on the first lap and suffered on lap 2, I came by him and we came into the stairs together. Bambi's day almost ended there as cleats and wet cement gave him a bit of a scare. We traded lead a few times and then Bambi put in a bit of recovery move and got a few seconds on me. We both started to slowly come through some fading A's and 35+ers. About the same time, Cap'n's fire caught and off he went, bridging up to a group in front of him and the gunning it for an impressive pass. He was unable to shed a single Team Rev rider who pasted himself on the rear wheel of Cap'n. Moving back to the action in the back part of the race, I was starting to move back on to Bambi, closing the gap, setting up for a FT3 Duel! Coming up over the whoop, mentioned above, I inadvertently aired it out and came down with a thud, knocking my wind out. That ensured the breakage of the elastic with Bambi and off he went. Cap'n, sensing a distrubance in the force, dropped the hammer and closed the door on the "gentleman" racer behind him, who never abused his place on Cap'n's wheel but thankfully took to pull into the finish. Cap'n stayed on the lead lap the entire race, while Bambi and I were treated to see the lead rider come past, well in front of everyone else, and looking pretty damn fresh for the slog that was.

Booker and B braved the element to come out and cheer us on. B was looking for a car shuttle post race to get a ride in himself. Unfortunately, I think he ran into three psyched but utterly drained racers, not to mention the weather had made us all wet and cold. Sorry B, we owe you one. We loaded in the auto and headed home, content and happy with the results and ready for the next race!

Nov 6th in Folsom
Nov 7th in Bay Area (Free for Vets)

I am a bit toasted and sore today, but very happy for the day of real CX racing.

Until we ride

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nov 2

For lack of a ride report and a set of weeks with weak blog updates I feel compelled to write about something. Outside of the bike, politics seems to be an interesting topic these days. Interesting in the sense that I am a bit confused when I inevitably see the litany of adds running right now for one candidate or another. No one is immune this time around to name calling, finger pointing, bullying and down right acting like a 1st grader. If half of the things said about the incumbent candidates are true, shame on us for electing them. If half of the what is said about the challengers is true...look out! Its either all true, or we are surrounded by powerful people willing to lie over and over again. Either way, kind of goes against the value system we try so hard to build in young people!

Let me use FT3 for a bit of political perspective. There are gears, shocks, fat tires, skinny tires, V-brakes, disc brakes, calipers, carbon, steal, aluminum, and a slew of other options that compose the choice spectrum in cycling. Additionally as the blog states, you are going to be riding, is just a question of which bike that will be on. To that end, no rider is dragged through mud for showing on a steed that doesn't meet the FT3 belief system. No, my friends, we firmly believe in freedom of cycle! Be it a Penny-farthing or a unicycle, if you show and want to ride...actually, show up in your running shoes and go out for a loop, just show up!

I don't want more yelling and screaming in my life, unless of course you are crashing, and are therefore required to scream out like my four year old daughter, as to help us find you, I want mature perspective, judgment, and poise. Therefore, come election day, I will vote, I always do, I feel guilty if I don't, but when forced to pick between immature yelling and screaming and the voice of reason...I am writing in FT3!

Today we conquer the trails, tomorrow the world! You will notice that we are not conquering the local CX scene because outside of Cap'n and I no one else seems willing to race? What gives! Oh, but TGFT3 seems like a great idea for our second annual national convention!

With a perspective I am Lars!

Until we ride

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Jumping Over Fire!"

The frustration today is of a level that puts P3 to shame, having planned an entire pre-race week of training around a good FT3 outing, that is exactly what I am doing, "outing" myself from the ride. Can't make it, can't get out of the item that "pop" just showed up on the calendar, just can't do I am out. Which is OK, as I will use this anger to grab the hoods and drive the bike faster come Sunday. That's right Cappy, CX is about driving! No rolling along with the hands draped over the hoods on Sunday! Quite to the contrary, when the whistle blows you are grabbing those hoods and driving around grassy corners, over barries, and through the woods, but it ain't to grandmas house we are going...can Cap'n return to the podium? Can RG recover from the long road season? Will the Venison wild card rear up and attack? Does the home CX course give THTH (ToHotToHandle) an advantage? WILL THERE BE ANY CHICKS IN THE RACE!?!?!

Sunday Oct 24, Sac CX race #2, Ione CA!!!!

Although the home CX course building party did not produce the turn out previously anticipated, I will say that the Big Oak venue has a lot to offer. Thanks to THTH for offering up some great PBR tasting and a fantastic walk of the estate after dinner! That course will tear your legs off if you are not careful. No literally, it will tear your legs off, I think I needed like four or five stitches due to attack brambles! Thanks again, the Barnes clan had a ton of fun!

Sundays have been pretty lacklust of late. Oh well, hopefully everyone's DTI is ready for a big showing on Sunday.

Trails should be approaching epic tonight. A good rainfall on Sun/Mon firmed up the dust that was coming back and added a good amount of moisture to the trails as they firm up for winter!


Until We Ride (Race)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Go Ride Your Bike!

I am out...busy day!

Kirkwood CX was a real test of fitness and strength...I failed! Cappy took 2nd and showed he is ready to man up to the A's this year! Spot on mate. I hit the trainer last night and will be ready for a better showing later in Oct. Rock took some great photos but has some crazy security on them so I can't post them, but here is the link
So get out there and ride my friends, ride like the wind, ride like it's what you do for a living, ride hard, especially if you plan on racing A's, ride really hard, because 60 min of CX racing is a killer.


Mosquito at 5:45...Exit 54?

Still a question mark for tacos...
Until we Ride

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ticky vs Tacky

With a little bit more rain last night, trails should be ripp'n fast for CXSSFT3! Also, today marks the first Winter Weather Advisory to pop up on the old iPhone weather app! Looks like the tops of the peaks may get a bit of a dusting! Will we see B tonight or will he try and find the first freshies of the season?

Ride Report:
Looks like NoCar and B made the most of a perfect fall Saturday and tore up Strawberry Valley FT3 style. I did enjoy the mention of a baby head finale! That is a good "rattle your eyeballs out of the socket" way to draw any day of riding to an end.

Councilman, Ghost and I took the road less traveled and, well, as the good poet says, it made quiet a difference. In fact it caused us to get Councilman home late, the bikes to get a good muddy bath, and general spirit to be higher than it has been in a while. As the trail now called "Somewhere" finally spit us back out onto Park Creek, Councilman exclaimed it was like bumping into an old friend. I don't think the route would be hard to recreate, however, it did illustrate how vast a labyrinth of trails and roads exist between 50 and MET. All I can say is that, yonder outing when atop of the Knoll or Knob, when debate ensued, its a real good thing we turned around...oh by the way, there is a second Knob or Knoll just past the first, offering fantastic views, and much bigger than the first Knob or Knoll! There is a joke in there, I am sure of it! The trails were starting to absorb the rain on Sunday morning. There was still a ways to go to get back to the epic conditions that winter can produce, but we are well on our way.

Racing update:
RG went up north and experienced Cross Crusade. He claims it was an off day, I am just happy to see that the man is actually human. Hey RG, why don't you have one of those human episodes around us, so we can all feel better about ourselves?

This Saturday is the first race of the Sac CX Series. This event will be at Harry Renfree Field. This appears to be a last minute venue change. From the previously slated venue, I am assuming this will be an improvement. However, the Saturday race is a DTI killer. Seeing how there is a Sunday option up in Kirkwood (Race #2 for the Sagebrush Series out of Reno) it looks like the season will start on Sunday for at least me. Cap'n and Bambi have both mentioned interest in the Sunday option as well. A's race starts at 11:30! Time to fire up the engine.

Mosquito 5:45...Exit 54?


Until We Ride,