Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome 2011 - Sunday Ride Call Out

As promised in recent hidden comment field, I'm making a callout for our Sunday outing. It has been a long time since we have gathered for the holy ritual of skinny tire Sunday and I would like to start the new year off right. Meeting place is the usual bagel shop on Main St, but I'm throwing a twist into the usually early am start time. I'll be rolling out at 10:00 am to avoid the finger snapping cold and to boost my DTI. This is one of the odd Sundays where a late start serves me better than an early one.
Love to see as many of you there as can make it. Ghost informed me that he has a route in mind and the collective discussions I've had on the back channels favor a 3hour-ish ride. I know that the 10AM time may be too late for some and Cappy has suggested that he may roll at 9AM then circle back to the shop at 10AM to join the rest of the group.
I'll be there at 10AM, hope to see you somewhere on the road Sunday.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

And I thought Cholla were some kind of peppers...

What is one thing all desert riders carry with them; a must have? Water? Food? Nope. How about a comb, a pair of needle-nose pliers, or both? Yep, the cholla (pronounced like choya) are cacti and have a nasty tendency towards hurling their prickly digits/limbs at you if you get too close. It's elbows in when navigating this terrain. Thing is, it's not always the one attached to the tree/bush that will get ya. Those laying about can be easily picked up by a rotating tire, and then rudely deposited on your backside.

Ahh, the joys of desert living. Did I mention the Mojave rattler? That's another story altogether...

Yes, gents, your councilman has taken his little circus to the sands of Southern AZ. The riding here can be every bit as arduous and pain-inducing as it is back home. There are mountains full of critters (and smugglers), with nasty grades going up, and perilous crossings on the way down. Mt Lemmon is a stone's throw away, and though there is snow at 5 to 6k feet, the riding (dirt and road) is outstanding. In short, FT3 would thrive here.

Oddly enough, there is a fairly large group, many transients and college students, who ride on Tuesday nights and then eat/drink in downtown Tuscon. Apparently, they heard about what we were doing in Pollywood, and had to start their own weekly event. If the gods are smiling, I will ride in the morning with the Ms., and then join the fray for the evening's adventures.

To that end, consider this your inter-state, cross-cultural, remote, desert callout! It will be cold, wet, and the last FT3 ride for 2010, or two thousand ten, or however the hell you say it. LOtB reports the trails in Polly are, and I quote, "mostly rideable with slight dust of snow possible". Did our fair administrator graduate from Penn St? Cuz he's got a knack for this meteorology thing.


Ghost sighting and most excellent news: For those who weren't on the back channel communique of last week, our own apparition will be a father, not once, but twice over. You got it, twins!! FT3 Gen2 is expanding. More pics and maybe the sex of the babies to follow?

Solstice Anyone?: NoHandle once again put on a reportedly splendid bonfire affair. The stories abound and will no doubt become the stuff of legend. Didn't know Ghost had a 'crosser. Would love to see pics of the muddy slogfest. Can't wait for next year.

Not so good news: One of our Comrades went down last week. It was a solid crash, with serious injuries and some surgury required. Happy to report, the Six Million Dollar man (formerly known as Nocar) is recovering nicely and coherent enough to pen a crash report. Best wishes on a speedy recovery!

Happy Riding and Happy New Year

Monday, December 20, 2010

Too Hot will Handle the Wintry Mix

FT3's own Too Hot To Handle has offered to handle the wintry mix this week with an alternative FT3 option. He will be heating it up at his place this Tuesday night with a winter solstice bonfire. His intentions were not to hijack an FT3 outing, but rather to keep it real as far as the solstice date is concerned. That said, FT3 riders are encouraged to do as they please this Tuesday and choose their own adventure as follows; Option 1: Meet at Mosquito at 5:45, and venture to the Knott and ride as per the usual FT3 outing. Or, Option 2: Meet at Mosquito at 5:45 to endure an adventurous, partially off-road ride to Camp Too Hot Too Handle, for a taste of raging bonfire and hearty soup. Ahh, it's good to have options... and panniers... especially since this event is BYOB!!

Race Report:
Lange Twins revisited was visited this weekend by FT3's own Cappy, Bambi and NoHandle. The weekend storm provided a break in the rain just in time for the Men's A race. The FT3 riders were amused by the high price tag on the day, as well as the caliber of racers who stood among us at the registration table. Don Myrah, Jeremy Ferguson and a bunch of Giant Berries preceeded us in line and out on the race course. While it was collectively determined the course layout was better this time than last, the mud, ponds and sticky quick-sand run ups were less than amusing. Bambi and Cappy faired well considering the conditions and took 8th and 6th respectively. NoHandle decided Lange Twins was better to be visited and taken on another day. Since cappy failed on his PBR obligations and required a special drop off in Elk Grove hell, his FT3TI may be slightly deminished.

I anticipate to be in for Option 2, will confirm in the Hidden comment field tomorrow.

Ride like the wind,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bring On The Wintry Mix

Xteric, Councilman, Nocar, NoHandle and Lars ot Bars met in the Knotlot ready to roll. While the Peterness of absent riders was mentioned, the rain kept the pre-ride banter to a minimum. NoHandle's prediction of snowfall was scoffed.
We turned to the pre-qualifier then dropped down to the lake for a standard loop. Conditions were WET with a few patches of snow lingering in the coldest draws. Lars suffered a mechanical, his derailer/chain tensioner jammed into his cog. NoHandle deftly worked out a remedy for the damaged gear, but it wasn't running smoothly. Fortunately, Lars promptly slipped out on a slick stump and knocked the derailer into alignment. To warm up, we climbed the right lip, which was flowing like a creek. Flat sections gathered deep fans of sediment that grabbed our wheels and robbed all momentum. The following descent of the left lip was anything but fast. Downed trees blocked the path at every turn.
As we reached the lake, a unanimous call for tacos was made. Temperatures were plummeting and every rider (save Xteric in full moto cross gear) was suffering some loss of sensation in the extremities. On the last stretch to the knottlot the rain turned to snow. We stood in the mud and stripped our soggy layers, snow falling on cold, wet skin. Mother Rye handed out paper towels as we must have looked like a bunch of drowned rats. The Knott Hole had grown more festive, and the tacos were extra greasy. After we paid our tabs (and Mother Rye caught Councilman trying to pilfer an It's-It) we found our bikes to be covered in snow. Cautiously, we drove back to Pville.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday Call out and Race Report

Well, this is my first post as contributing editor and I must say that the pressure to perform is mounting. Line up at a race I can do, even when I've got the hairiest legs, biggest gut and, well, least amount of time actually racing. Writing in a public forum that is another thing which I'll leave to those better skilled at it than I am.
I can however call you each out for yet another FT3 outing and recall a few tid-bits of an FT3 Cross Race adventure over the weekend.

Call Out:
We are riding as per usual, trails should be better than last week but the weather may be worse. I don't expect Peter to show up, but Peter P, this is your official call out. If you are ever to show up and ride w/us this week would be a good time to show you've got what it takes to roll w/FT3. Man up I say.

Race Report:
Saturday was the annual Folsom Cyclo Cross event hosted by Bicycle Planet and it was a great event. The course was much like last years but the weather was much better. GreeFro was on Team duty in the eary hrs setting up and walking the course. He rolled out w/the 35+ Bs. I don't actually know where he finished so we'll have to get that from him. During Fro's race and Cappy's my warm up, our good friend C'Man showed up to help out w/the child watching since Cappy and I had young boys in tow. After Fro finished, he and C-Man shared the baby sitting while Cappy and I toed the line w/the "open" As. Yea, no need for 35+ As per the race organizer I guess. The pace was not too bad at first then just when I thought things were settling down, the pace kicked up and the front disappeared. I saw Cappy at various intervals throughout the race, each one a bit closer to me on lapping lap. From the looks of things Cappy road w/3 other guys most the race as the front runners. One man slipped away to take the win and Cappy and some other lucky guy duked it out for 2nd and 3rd. Our Man came up 3rd on the day and a great effort It was - his best finish I am thinking of the year (so far). I rolled in 6th after a good long battle which I much enjoyed but did lose for 5th. I swear this raced included a good head game as we were in at least 7 laps when I allowed myself to lookup and see if the "3 laps" sign was up yet. Nope, not yet. Another lap, nope not yet, another lap and still no sign. This may have been where I lost my 5th place spot. In the end we did a pile of laps but I truly enjoyed the dicing and tactics that Cross provides.

See You Tuesday,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mostly Rideable, Hmmmm...

The following ride report was submitted by No Car:

The ride for B and Nocar began in Pville. Shortly after 4PM they dashed like squirrels across Hwy 50 and rolled to the Knott Hole via Pollock Pines. Arriving slightly early allowed time to start their tabs with a nip o' rye.

The gathering group was in a tissy at the knot lot. Apparently, Peter had looked at the trails from the parking lot and determined that riding was impossible. After some discussion, Peter was left to finish his PreBR alone, as NoHandle, Cap'n, Bambi, B, Rock God, Xteric, Councilman, and Nocar headed out for the qualifier. It was a night of hasty, unplanned dismounts, which began almost immediately. Bambi was fiddling with his light and failed to notice the downed tree that crossed the trail. He saw it a second before impact, screamed like a girl, and leaped off his bike. He sailed fifteen feet bounced and rammed into the cutbank. He checked for blood and found none, and bent his brake lever back to a useable position. We pushed the tree off the trail and rolled on. We started up the qualifier, then retreated, followed some as yet unnamed trails and then dropped via boyscout camp to do a lake loop. The snow conditions varied widely, but were mostly rideable. Probably every rider at one time or another, (or frequently) experienced his front wheel lock up in a drift followed by ejection from the bicycle. Only too then be rear ended by the next rider. After a successful lake loop, Ride Leader NoHandle (having long ago designated Cap'n as Subordiante Ride Leader) pushed the group to continue with a quick foray onto Palin's Plunge. Substantial grumbling emanated from the ranks as it became clear that the loop would be a hike.

Our evening at the Knott Hole was quite festive with the glow from the Amish fireplace and the Christmas tree. [Administrator's note: the tunes were loud, not spanish nor country, and B’s request to turn up GnR was met with applause. This administrator suspects that the Taco Mom’s absence had something to do with this] No by-laws were questioned, nor mandates declared. Although the newest, um, taco server, created new names for us. Apparently our own nickhandles aren't good enough.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Back to the Norm ~ SS/CXFT3

So the local Pollock Spotter, a.k.a 'alive weather cam Lars', indicates that our home trails are mostly rideable, just in time for the December edition of SS/CXFT3. So what do you say, let's get back to the norm and go for a ride, at night, in the cold, in the mountains (on single speeds, or CX). While the temptation to race Folsom Rodeocross is great, I am confident SS/CXFT3 will provide both sufficient training and handups as necessary. Anyone in need of a Wednesday CX race should make carpool arrangements in the hidden comment field.

CX Racing took place again this weekend and FT3 riders Lars and NoHandle did us proud on the Sac CX Circuit. A race report, as provided by NoHandle follows; Lars and I kept it real on Sat up in Grass Valley for what I would rate as the most fun course I've raced, maybe a tie with SF. The course had plenty of climbing but even more technical stuff. The tight off-camber and slippery turns had me on my ass three times including the pre ride lap (which I am glad to report in an official modifying the spot that took me out). Unlike Lange Twins course this one actually allowed us to apply some skills other than fitness - which makes the race so much more fun. In the end I Finished 7th and Lars was right behind me finishing the last lap and a half on a flat...solid FT3 throw down, but there were only 11 starters. Lars stands atop of the points race so far for FT3 with cappy on top counting a throwout race. [Administrator's note; "Practice Harder!!" is what the heckler's would have said at Folsom Rodeocross.]

Next weekend, Saturday, is the annual Bicycle Planet CX Race at Willow Creek/Folsom High School. I am IN, as is NoHandle, and I hear Green Fro will be making an appearance!

Late breaking edits: ONE!

Big ups to the Female arm, or leg(s) of FT3 as I understand that the great marathon runner and other half of Lars acheived some stunning results in her finish of the California International Marathon. I'm no mathematician, but she finished in the top 100 of women in her age group and something like the top 20% of women overall, out of something like 5,000 women?? Lars can provide better stats, but either way big ups to her. She even qualified for the Boston Marathon, which in bike terms is like qualifying to race CX Worlds!

Ride like the wind,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chaining the Guard

The winds of chain are indeed blowing as this your Cap'n's first official post to the FT3 blog. This chain, however, unlike a chain on one of B's heavily abused singlespeeds is not broken... only slightly bent. This chain has taken a turn on the cog of time and the links of FT3 are taking on a new shape. They will soon grow up to be blog worthy, race ready, and will conquer the steepest, muddiest, dustiest and coldest slopes. Without further adieu, post number one rolls on;

Tuesday Ride Report submitted by C-Man;

Steeps and Streets, continued...

After realizing the W in SKTPBJCXW referred to Wednesday, I found myself the sole rider for Tuesday night. Given I had the pass, and some time to kill, I did what any FT3 member would do; I went to Cappy's house for beers and food. Following some proper nourishment and pre-ride hydration, I opted to cover what Cap'n had left out of last week's tour. From the EDT, I followed Smith Flat to Broadway and then up Airport Rd. After a short, but steeeep climb, I rolled down to Cedar Ravine. From there, it was over to Texas Hill, and then up again to Newtown Acres. At Newtown Rd, I was supposed to cross over to Still Meadows. As it turns out, the street is actually Ivy Knoll. I made a quick and cold detour South on Newtown looking for both the entrance and a signal. Once I got Google Maps up, I turned round and headed back to Ivy Knoll. Up, up, and more up until I found a dead end in someone's yard, and then the connection to Still Meadows and eventually back to the EDT. The ride back to the house was fast, and nearly involved a T-bone with a deer. And to think, my wife was worried about mountain lions.

Despite the odd stares and the concerned neighbors in Still Meadows, it was a good bit of nighttime work. With near freezing temps, I anticipated ice, but encountered little to none. I think I saw 5 cars the entire ride. To add that piece to the Steeps and Streets tour would make for a long night. We'd have to fill No-cars other bag with dinner.

Folsom Cyclocross Report Submitted by yours truly:

Put the "F" In Cyclocross

FT! FT!! FT!!!!!! The boys at the heckle zone at last nights Folsom Rodeocross race did FT3 proud. Beer handups abound, cheers and jeers roared, and these guys made it seems like we were racing in a small town on a cold night in Belgium. Lars and I thoroughly enjoyed our racing experience at last nights Rodeo Cross and we represented well, keeping the hecklers happy by taking all available handups. The course was a legit mix of pave and dirt with plenty of tight turns, technical sections and a couple not-too-sloppy mud pits. I personally, was more proud of my ability to keep the hecklers happy than of my ability to keep up with the three other A's in a small but fast group. They dropped me shortly after the first lap, but I am proud to say that only one single speeder came by me after that. Lars had a an excellent start and a good race although he lost a chain and had to fight hard through the fodder to regain position. There are only two races left and Lars and I feel strongly that a bigger group of FT3 riders needs to get down there and represent hard for the next two races. The Folsom Breakout boys expressed interest in a cultural exchange as they typically ride on Tuesdays as well, we may need to take a ride with them and vice-versa in the future.

Ride like the wind,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's that in the wind?

As with all things, change is the only constant in life. Maybe punctuated by last nights ride confusion or general blog dictatorship or maybe just a lack of creative ideas, a change is in order. Now, don't fear, there will be no changes to FT3 schedule, direction or tire pressure, just to blog authorship. Therefore, with this post LOtB will exit the blogoshpere and hand the reigns over to an FT3 consortium of authors.

Two years of highlights:
1) First and foremost, the fact that in two plus years of Tuesdays (give or take a day and weather dependent) there has been a group of Placerville area guys mount bikes for friendship and fitness is an amazing thing!
2) FT3 24 hour team established our credibility!
3)FT3 CX racing demonstrates our dominance!
4)SSFT3 secured us as the true "hardmen" on the block!
5) "This many" (hand hovering above empty bottles) nuff said!
6) Men writing bike related poetry and quoting Shakespeare all in the name of two wheeled pursuits!
7) A secret network of trails named by us and known only by us!
8) The fact that my children ask me why I am home on any Tuesday I don't make the ride!

The highlights are really too numerous to list but this starts to give the feel of the culture established by our group. In thirty years when FT3 generation number two is introducing cycling to gen three, we will look back on these early years as the beginning of the ground swell of a Mt. Bike culture and mecca that is Pollywood!

Look for a race report or ride report coming your way soon from any number of various authors. LOtB will be taking a bit of a writing break, but I might rear my head again sometime!

Viva FT3
Until we ride,