Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Shortage of Steeps

This is your Captain with the ride report for the planned, replanned and ultimately relocated TGFT3 event. At the mosquito lot our fearless group was met with brisk air and clear skys. Six riders including myself, RG, C-Man, THTH, No-Car and Bambi were set to knock down the P'ville steeps after prerequisite hydration. No-car was rolling the versitile urban Gary Fisher Hookooeeku or whatever it is with the rack, waterproof bag and several hydration units. To lighten his load, most of the group took at least one unit for carry and later use at a proposed hydration stops. It is notable that Bambi was rolling the single and RG was rockin the CX. The CX was deemed the lightest bike, albiet with the hardest gearing. That said, the hard man award goes to NoCar for the heavy bike, rack and carry for all. The route started up the steep side of Clay street and ventured into GB park for some Fat Tire keep it real fun. The warm up was good and took us into some more steeps near upper Bedford and across Quartz Hill. We ventured up Northridge, which was both steep and long, back down and around to enjoy some urban singletrack along SR 49. We took down another small steep, Green street back to Bedford then passed B's house for the steep near his place. We had pit stop number 1 at the bottom of Spring Street, then climbed that, and rolled over to Bee street, over canal and took in another steep across from combellack to 49. Down Combellack we enjoyed our first cold snap of the evening descending to Placerville Drive. We went up RLD and took down a dirt section there and ventured over past in and out and bambi was drooling. We dropped Forni and at this point we are over an hour into the ride and we start up Lo-Hi Way. This steep took it's toll and the riders were now beginning to feel as if they had been climbing a bit. We went over Forni to Excaliber where we had pit stop number 2. Excaliber took us to Coon Hollow then we enjoyed riding up Excelsier. Atop Big Cut we enjoyed yet another steep on Pardi Way. At the bottom of big cut we went down to Main Street and put Rector street in its place. We then took Pacific to Thompson to Cedar Ravine. Noting that it was nearly 9pm and our eating options were becoming fewer by the minute we decided that our finale would be the dirt crossing of a certain hill near cedar ravine. Atop there we took in the amazing views of the clear and cold nite for pit stop #3. The ride back into town was brisk and we realized that we missed Airport Road. Indeed, no shortage of steeps. We rolled up to Powells at 9:20 and they denied no-car tacos. We later found that if someone else had asked we might have gotton them. Rolled up to Round Table at 9:22 and they were still open so we went in, cycling gear and all, and our friend no-car put the tab on his card. Maui Zaui and Garlic Chicken was the called of course topped with massive amounts of peppers. Sierra Nevada was enjoyed and wagers were made on the elevation gain. Can't wait to see the GPS. Post pizza we led some stray young ladies back to 'the bus station' and the pithy core changed and rallied for post, post ride hydration at Powells. Powells was gracious and the pithy core sayed out a bit too late.


That's a call out for this weeks alternate ride:
Skinny Knobby Tire Peanut Butter and Jelly Cyclocross Wedensday!

With well over two feet still on the ground in Pollywood, not ride of any significance is taking place up there tonight. Last weeks Tour de Steeps proved highly succesfull and could be duplicated tonight. However, for those of us currently bit by the Cross bug, the Wedensday Rodeo Cross in Folsom may be a good alternative. Racing goes off at 7:30 and looks like is a $15 cost for those already doing either Rodeo Cross or the Sac Series.


Golden Gate Cross:
Snow kept me home bound on Sunday, but it sounds like the race was well worth the trip for those in attendance! RG, Cap'n and Bambi all made the trip down and raced hard. Looks like RG had a good crash near the start and pulled out of the race. No crash report, but sounds like he is ok. Cap'n and Bambi battled in Bay Area A's and held their own. I am sure they both wanted to be higher in the ranks but looking at times, it appears that both did an amazing job! Way to fly the colors with pride FT3. Oh yeah, thanks for bringing my better half home from the city!

Until We Ride,

Monday, November 22, 2010

FT3: Going with the flow!

The forecast is not friendly to those desiring a camp fire and rounds of kumbaya...however winter doesn't even register in the list of things that cancel a ride. Actually come to think of it, I am not sure there is anything on the list of things that cancel a ride. Therefore, we may not camp, there may not be smores by the fire, but there will be a ride.

TGFT3 Revised:
After long analysis of the email threads today, this is what I am proposing, shot me down if needed but it seems to fit all criteria.

1) Ride will depart from the Mosquito lot at 5:45.
2) Come equipped with your ride of choice: Highly recommended to have both front headlight and rear flasher or red light.
a. There will be pave sections
b. There will be unpaved sections
c. There will be flat sections
d. There will be several really steep hills thrown in for good measure
(good to my word the Sunkyung will make its FT3 debut)
3)Post ride food and hydration are up in the air. I am posting from home with power at the current moment, however that has fluctuated moment to moment, so I will address the power situation throughout the day tomorrow at the Knot.
4) Ride Leader: Again a proposition - we make several loops in and out of the Mosquito Lot. Each FT3 member showing with an idea for a loop gets to lead one of the aforementioned jaunts. All routes will begin and end at the Mosquito Lot. Points for variety of terrain, creative use of road and trail network, rideability, and flow. A winner will be crowned post ride.
4) I see this as good growth from our "year one winter urban assaults": FT3 has shown good ability to adapt and grow!

Sundays cross report, well my day was summed up in the squeaking sound the brakes made as I grounded to a halt. The others, although faring better than I, all seemed to think that the energy sucking race was ridiculously taxing and not FT3 finest hour and how the hell does Alex Candelario go so flipping fast?!?!?!?!

Anyway, I can't tell if this guy is enjoy the race or not, might be a strategy I employ for future cross races?
Until we ride,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanks B for being one of the first to find this: 30-35 sec is mind blowing!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Oh, What's This?

Temps hovered right around the perfect level and the trails were tip top! The lower section of the lip may have achieved a new level of awesomeness! The sharp right hander leading into the more technical elements of the lower lip is building up a nice bank making it a bit less hairy. I am sure the Chopping Block was epic but alas I had to bail and return to the home duties.

The Highlight Reel:

- Councilman was spied around 12:30 doing some secret CX training! Way to get in a Tuesday ride!
-Although threatening to show, Peter was absent again. It was agreed that he probably couldn't decide what to wear and was left wallowing in self pity closetside strapped with gear confusion!
-Two last minute work related no-shows marked a sad and tragic truth that bills to continue to show and this old bike might need to be replaced. Outside of B, few of us have figured out how to link billing time to bike time.
-Riders present: Xteric (stealth showing prior to roll out and stealth style throughout), B, Cap'n, THTH, and Lars.
-Hit a new connector trail of no significance but a good new little section of dirt.
-Daniel Boone and Davey Crooket (B and THTH) thought they saw a bear on Redneck and as any good, college educated, grown man would do, they dropped their bikes and went running through the woods trying to catch a better look...that would have been a fun one to explain.
-Exposed rocks were slick, trails were EPIC! and I am not shying away from the E word, truly spectacular conditions, get out there before snow hits this weekend.
-Best comment: Read below
Isn't it odd how full blown competition can evolve seemingly out of no where? After dabbling in Flemming, Redneck Rising, and the Left Lip, we hit the Lake Loop and the this seemed like a good spot to get some fast, consistent single track. After looping around to the Miwok trail, we headed up the Sub Qualifier. Things seemed generally quick but nothing too out of the ordinary, and then, like a phonix rising, the pace quickened (a lot) and B and Cap'n were dicing up front? Hmmm, interesting, THTH and I were side by side and were both pedaling a little bit harder and faster now, Xteric was on the wheel and not dropping off. Like a tree falling in the forest, the booming sound of the gauntlet being thrown was audible to all. THTH stepped up our pace at about the same time Cap'n backed off a bit. Pushing the red line a little further out, I caught Too Hot's wheel and got a good meal of flying mud. I can't speak for anyone else, but I was drilling in, just trying to keep the pace. As we came by Cap'n the best line of the night was uttered:

"Oh, what's this!"

You got to be kidding me, you know exactly what "this" is! "This" is what a Tuesday ride is all about, "this" is a statement about racing A's, "this" is a really fast pace...what the hell is going on, and like that we were in an all out chase of B, and then with B and an all out race to the top, and out of no where, competition had sprung fierce! Nearing the top, Cap'n employed a new and clever tactic. He told me I should turn off my light? Um ok, and let you easily gap me to the top, yeah right...No dude, your light is red and we don't want you riding home in the dark...Right, competition is only so fierce, but brotherhood gets us home safe! The legs burned and the heart was racing but the fun factor, that one was through the roof!

Sunday's Lange Twins CX race is lining up to be another classic event. La Nina creates the weather and FT3 creates the go-go. I am a little afraid that this will be the route for me to the race on Sunday. Old man winter is revving up!

Until we ride,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Short Ride Central

Well it was bound to happen. When you burn the candle at both ends you are bound to get, well, burned. Ouch, I will have to subject myself to more "short ride" quips and ridicule as my trusty Specialized will once again turn into a pumpkin tonight at the stroke of "way too early" and force me home. I guess in the end I am happy to report that it is not my job, nor any element of professional life working me like a marionette, no the strings are being tugged and pulled by three individuals in particular, they happened to be aged 6, 4, and 1! For those of you without the joys of your own puppet masters, I got nothing for you. Some FT3 members are just enough ahead of the toddler curve to by sympathetic, but that is not an FT3 trait! Councilman, its you and I my friend, you and I, left to fight the good nighttime fight! I say an empty padded room and let them sleep where they fall! Unfortunately, that hasn't gone over real well. So at the witching hour when tacos and refreshments are abound, I will be trying to help young ones fall off to sleep, in their own beds, for the entire night, without waking me up, or at least not to early, oh who am I kidding, I will be up on the hour every hour, man, you just can't win!

However, fear not my brothers, cross season is amongst us and I am just coming into form (or at least that is what I am telling myself). A ride is a necessity, training is the only constant in life! So I will be there, at the Knot lot, ready to roll. I will put on the extra thick skin to take the verbal assault of yet another "short ride".

1) Any one interested in an earlier pre-loop tonight?
2) I wouldn't mind hitting the Chopping Block tonight, outside of that, anyone got a route that they are burning to do?

THTH and I took a shot at MET on Sunday and got turned around much earlier than anticipated by some low snow that had stubbornly refused to melt off during almost a week of nice warm weather. With another system moving in this weekend, the bike onto of that Tercel that keeps rolling through town, may be replaced with skis!

That same system may create yet another very legit Nor Cal CX event at Lange Twins on Sunday. Global Climate Change? Yeah, I still don't buy it!

One other note, driving into work yesterday, I listened to an article about the country of Bhutan and their desire to not measure GDP but to measure GHI (the General Happiness Index). RG, you may have been onto something with that formula you presented long ago.

Personally, my GHI will hit a season peak come Friday when I get a little extra time with the family, some quality CX racing stacked up, and way too many calories.


Until we ride,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Conspiring Powers!

There is a disturbance in the force today that will prevent me from taking part in tonight's chilly and possibly wet ride.

Saturday's CX race was represented well by FT3. RG, Bambi, Cap'n and myself all toed the line and did the brotherhood well. Racing was fast and furious! I think we are starting to figure out this A's thing and would not be surprised at all to see some folks on the podium come Sunday after next down at our favorite, non-foothill winery, Lange Twins! Should be a good time and if last year was any indicator, a great course.

The weather up in Pollywood has been of the anti-dust sort. Plenty of water on the trails may create some muddy and slippery situations. No mater if you are dicing or slicing, just keep the rubber side down.

I am still somewhat optimistic for a late roll out and possible rendezvous. Keep me posted of ride/route selection. Until then, I am off to fight the dark side of the force.

RG: Love the Pic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jn56/5157765211/in/set-72157625339658148/#/

Until we ride,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I Learned

If you are going to race A's you had best wrap your mind around your "A Game"! I will be first to admit that my race on Saturday will we logged in my "OK" category. I don't know if it was the Saturday race schedule and I was not prepared to shift gears from my work week to my race, or something less tangible but equally distracting. What ever it was, when the whistle blew and racers took off, that was about it for me, from that point my day was done. Having not stayed with a flying Bambi or Cap'n I was left in the back to fend for myself. Knowing the RG was chasing and not fighting with all I had to keep the older guys at bay, I kind of fell apart. Oh well, lesson learned! If I were racing B's I probably could have faired ok, but I am happy to race with the brotherhood and learn the hard way that "you can't accuse anyone of sandbagging A's"!

I will get the Jedi mojo working for our first visit to Lange this year.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You will know me by my....

I am an unknown, a mere streak of blue, orange, black, a little red, a dash of yellow...man there are a lot of colors in those kits. Anyway, I am Lars Over the Bars, or Lars, or LOtB...nothing more and nothing less. As Lars, I often lead the rides. That is who I am and what I do. When my job is done, I often disappear into the darkness, only to emerge next week and open the book of trails to the brotherhood of FT3.

The loop da loop to start last nights outing was a little short track offering to the Mt. Bike gods.

The lake loop was in pristine condition.

My apologies for not clearing the crux and sending THTH down the bank.

There was ample carnage on the rock garden.

Much attacking began on the climb up wedding march, Cap'n got lost.

Which all led to the pinnacle of the nights trail choice!

The chopping block was, I fear not using the term, EPIC!

I safely deployed riders back to the top of the wedding march and then vanished off on yonder trail. With that I was gone, my work done! Who knows the mystery of ride leader, the mystery of the one known as Lars? Will that spandex clad warrior appear again?

Until we ride

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On the Prowl

Apprentice Blood:
I am much more at ease this today do to the parking lot wrenching performed by Cap'n on my CX bike. Apparently my apprentice program continues, as the loose headset, yes it was simply a loose headset, was giving me grief. You know there is something to be said about running shoes...they just don't break! Thanks Cappy, the next several weeks are full of CX racing and the Poprad will be race ready!

Aren't rules meant to be broken? This is indeed the first Tuesday of November and therefore a SSCXFT3 outing. However it is also the Tuesday of much anticipation. The winter rains have begun to fall in ernest and then there has been good sun to help absorb all that water leaving trails in the best condition we have seen since, well, since last year at this time. I will be the first to admit to breaking ranks and publicly state that, at least for me, tonight is a night for a 9er!

I will also proudly display my, "I Voted" sticker on the ride tonight. That's right yet another major event that falls on a Tuesday. Don't forget to vote.

I don't have a black and orange kit, nor is my beard long enough to dye black. I am also thankful that there was no FT3/World Series conflict! Go Giants.

Pre-Peter Warning
I am a part timer tonight. I have to jam post ride! It's no peter but a parenting duty that calls.

Things are not always as they appear
Upon the Sac CX series web site there is a posting of a relatively "cold" lap being done at the site of Saturday's race. I have been surprised to hear the amount of criticism of this video and the possible course. Yes the video is boring and there does appear to be a fair bit of flat grassy elements. However, there are often elements lurking in the background that are not always the first thing to grab our attention. I will be ready to roll on Saturday on whatever course is presented. Furthermore, I expect to be surprised at the new venue, aware that what is hidden in the background often comes to the front on race day and attacks with vigor! Weather looks great for a week of training and weekend of racing. Keep your wits about you and look deeper, the surface appearance is not always the most exciting part!
Calendar Updates
If you are into riding and racing, November is your month:
Nov 6th: Sac CX Series #3
Nov 7th: BASP Series #2 (Cap'n is racing here)
Nov 21st: Sac CX Series #4 (1st Lange Twins Event)
Nov 22nd: TGFT3
Nov 28th: BASP Series #3 (Annual Golden Gate Park Race!)
Dec 4th: Sac CX Serios #5
Do some DTI work early, because it will be in the dumps by the end of the month!

Until we ride,