Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sac-Cronin FT3 Spotting CX Adventure

I was going to put this in the Wed. RR Hidden comment field, but since a quorum of FT3 riders were involved I felt it was worthy of it's own special post. When the call of duty to ride comes, there are always FT3 riders who are game. As ridiculous as some adventures may sound, there is always an FT3 rider or two who are down. Yesterday was one of those days. I floated a concept to ride from a meeting Sac to Salmon Falls to Cronin and Xteric and NoCar made the push to get involved. I departed downtown Sac just after 4:00pm, made a quick call to XTeric and NoCar who were planning the meet-up. Since they were already in route to Cronin via automobile, and I was in downtown Sac on a bike, I had some work to do to ensure my bro's weren't sitting around waiting on me, or worse riding the road to meet me on their MTBikes. Fortunately or unfortunately, I met up with 'David,' who was training for the Race Across America and 'humbly' offered that he was going to do 'about 20' (mph...clearly he has not read the rules) to Folsom. Of course, in spite of the fact that I was riding a CX bike, wearing baggies and toting a mighty bag, I was not to be dropped by 'humble David.' He had no mercy on me and I think we did about 28 mph for about 5 miles of the approximate 20 mile jaunt to Folsom. Right around Hazel, coming in the other direction, who could it be, but Rock God out secret training on his brand new power meter equipped full-carbon BMC. Yes, he really does have another brand new bike. Clearly he needed a bike with a power meter, I mean, who doesn't? He made the quick turnaround, boosted the watts, and bridged up to David and I. A bit later David bailed to ride with a real friend and RG and I continued our journey to Folsom. RG had to bail out for a yoga session and I had friends to meet to knock down some dirt trail! Once I made it to Green Valley Road I endured mental torture and anguish as I rode during rush hour alongside a roadway with one of the highest ADT's in the County (average daily traffic). At 6:00pm I dropped Salmon Falls Road, made a quick call to my bro's and they were making an excursion up the Salmon Falls trail. I then boosted my own watts yet again to make the meet up. At 6:30pm I met the FT3 kitted bros at the Salmon Falls Bridge. I busted out the super caffienated Italian coffee soda that B had given me, shared it with NoCar and we busted up the trail in route to Cronin. The new trail section is totally awesome, especially this time of year. Xteric was nice enough to take my heavy pack about a quarter of the way in and the ride become much more enjoyable (for me) from there. We rode straight out to the Pedro Hill lot where XTeric was parked and I wisely opted for the automobile ride home. Parking lot arrival time, 7:34pm. A nice commute indeed. Thanks to FT3 for helping make it epic.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rock Blocked

Rock God tapped his watch, interrupting Cap'n's new bicycle discussion. We hopped in his truck and left Cap'n and B in the Mosquito Lot, knowing we would see B later at tacos.
Confusion turned to horror as we tried to park at the Knot Lot. EID hasn't blocked the entrance, but they have outlined a 13' wide lane between Sly Park Rd and the gate at the back of the Lot. We parked in the RV sites at the Knot Hole proper. Not so good for changing, hydrating, relieving, etc...
The next surprise was the appearance of a new applicant. [taco handle not confirmed] knew of FT3 from his affiliation with the Spoke.
So, we headed for the Qualifier. [T2?] dug deep to maintain a qualifying pace. Ride Leader Lars rewarded his efforts with additional climbing to the radio tower. (always wily, that ride leader Lars) After angering an old woman who was parked along the side of Park Creek by "scaring away the deer" we made the fast power line descent. Upon Bambi's prompting we picked up the new Boy Scout Camp loop and then dropped to the lake. When questioned if he was ready for a lake loop and more climbing [Spokey?] gave the hard man answer that he isn't one to quit.
Standing at the base of the lip, we couldn't help but notice the piles of downed trees. Stomachs growling and [TB?] showing signs of strain, we just rolled the rest of the lake. Of course, changing in front of the Knot Hole was not as much fun. And rolling on our bikes the thirty feet to the door felt silly.
Without a confirmed Handle, the merciless Taco Bitty dubbed our newest rider "Stinky", and he appeared somewhat nonplussed by the many by-laws involved in ordering food.
A little late (apparently B rides slower with one hand) B, Xteric and Councilman made a colorful entrance. They crushed their tacos as the PBR gods served up a couple aces.
Xteric and B chose to ride back to Placerville. Speculation ensued, "would they be drawn, like moths to a flame, by the glittering lights of the Pine Lodge?"; "Will NoHandle ever abandon the leafy new love nest he's building for Peter and ride with us?"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Good as it gets

Almost tuesday. Almost time to enjoy everyone's favorite past time: ridiculing friends in a public forum for having complex and meaningful lives that preclude them from a weekly mountain bike ride. Since attendance is inversely proportional to riding conditions, and tomorrow night's conditions should be fantastic, there should be ample opportunity for taunting those who have better things to do. Better than a fast decent with tires gripping banked turns, better than a spirited climb, better than savoring tacos and beers after a long ride.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


A crew of five riders assembled in the Knot lot. We all admired the new decorative rock that EID had placed at the entrance. Rock God is back from the Betty Ford clinic, and was ready to, well, rock. He and Cap'n burst from the Lot onto the backdoor trail like two anxious race horses out of the gate; leaving Xteric to finish assembling his lighting and hydration system. Where the backdoor trail drops onto the road, RG executed a graceful drop, staying on the road's shoulder. All the same, an oversized pick-up made a squealing skid, to remind RG that the life of a cyclist is cheap in El Dorado. We descended, crossed the spillway and made for a fast Fleming ascent. Someone had done some log cutting on Fleming and it is in Top form. Up Redneck Rising and down the Lip with several new downed-tree-ride-arounds. At the lake, B flipped over his troubled steed and demonstrated how he could now simultaneously hold the wheel tight and pedal. The working theory being that he had sheered the pawls.We dug through RG's bag of useful things and found his tow strap. We tied one end to my seat post and the other to B's stem. Certainly if NoHandle were present the system would have been improved, but it seemed workable. After a little practice where I learned to modulate power, and B learned to handle the breaking, we started to maintain speed. Communication was key, with B sounding off like a musher for more power or warning of a sudden tension loading. We had a few comic mishaps when rounding tight corners, but made it through the single track without any big spills. Once on the asphalt we organized as a team with Xteric and Rock grabbing the tow strap to help carry the load. As B became more comfortable in the back he demonstrated some of his water skiing skillz, cutting back and forth trying to make himself as much of a burden as possible and laughing all the way.
Mother Rye was worked up when we reached the Knot Hole. She has been engaging attorneys to fight for the preservation of our parking space which EID desperately wants to close. When she finished filling us in on the news she put on the ball game and cooked up some fine tacos. Xteric made the unusual proclamation that Barnes Back should be removed from the FT3 trail lexicon. His proposal met solid opposition.
I'm sure those unfortunate souls who missed the ride are filled with woe. All except NoHandle, who, according to unsubstantiated rumors, enjoyed a delightfully naughty pillow fight with Peter.

Monday, April 11, 2011

And, There I was at the Spoke

I was just thinking what a quiet weekend it was for the FT3 Brethren as I was driving into town to visit the Golden Spoke Bike Shop for a new BB bearing and was wondering what the broader group of riders did over the weekend.
While I have no details to report on the following incident, it should certainly raise some eyebrows and wonder.

While standing in the back work shop, an odd site kept catching my eye. After the 3rd glance at it I noticed it was a fork that I recognized. Now that in itself is not too odd, but what was odd was why was this fork sitting there with its wheel still attached. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the steer tube was a bit jagged, in fact sheered off is a better word to describe it. I am glad to report (2nd or maybe 3rd hand) that yes, the steer tube did sheer off but that this occurred while going up hill. Now, when I tell you the fork was a rigid one, belonging to a blue cross bike you probably don't need any more info to know who it belongs to. I'll add that few bikes under go more torque than a single speed crosser while being muscled up-hill and who do you know that has a pretty new cross bike, that is a single speed (for that matter a single wheeled one at the moment) and blue.

Ride Report:
In back channel effort, Cappy and Green Fro dragged my tail up Bayne Rd. yesterday for gentleman's afternoon outing. We met up at the bagel shop, dropped 49/Gold Hill/Cold Springs to Coloma, then up Bayne and then UP Shoe Fly then UP another road before going up another road and arriving at Gree Fro's house where we met our wives and family for a family outing and BBQ. We may have watched some of Paris-Roubaix race but have no idea who won.

Bike Shop News: Apparently the spoke has their own B as well. They now have two mechanics there w/the same first name,so it seems they have been name as YouKnowWho "A" and YouKnowWho "B". Spoke B has expressed some interest in riding and has "spotted" us a few times as a local Polly Wood resident. He reports that the trails are in good shape except for the downed trees.

Who is in?

**Names of individuals and detailed directions to anyone's home have bee left out to protect the innocent

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is that a banana in your spandex?

The most junior FT3 riders heeded the callout last night. Besides myself and Xteric, Safety First joined us in the Mosquito Lot. He noticed that none of the "fast guys" were riding and decided it would be a good night. He was right.
A prompt departure gave us plenty of riding without our lights. We dropped to the lake, turned right and hadn't gotten far before it became clear that downed trees would be a theme for the evening. No sweat for the 29er, of course, just roll over 'em.
Down the switchback trail, then up, uh, something else. After climbing Rufus's rage, whimsical ride leader Xteric found a newly built downhill run. Climbing it and checking out the sweet double jumps and banked turns left no choice but to drop back down what was dubbed Chiquita banana. Across MET to counter clockwise Fleming. Dry, tacky and fast, minimal downed trees, it was a little bit of mountain biking nirvana. We plunged Palin and had to whack through a thick mat of bush. And Palin was wet, gushing.
Down below the dams we headed for B's chin buster and then the roadside trails back to the knot. A familiar crew of spotters were waiting at the bar.
B arrived shortly after we did and he soaked up about a pint of rye while we dug into tacos. Some classic FT3.

Monday, April 4, 2011

FT3 = N+1, Where N = Niner

Twenty Nine Inches from Brian Park on Vimeo.

So if the rumors are correct, the entire FT3 pithy core is now in posession of at least one 29er bike in their N+1 sum. For all of FT3 the calculation may be FT3 = S-1, where s= FT3 and -1 = the remaining rider who does not currently have a niner (does it count if he used to have one?).

Some quality Sunday riding went off this weekend. A smallish group of Nohandle, Cap'n, GreenFro and the return of Xteric enjoyed nice weather on a classic loop including Forni, Davidson, French Creek, Starbuck, a super fast Deer Valley plus a jaunt through Greenstone. The riders reeped or weeped what they sowed, depending on the rider. Along the ride there was some discussion of 24 hour racing which was met with lackluster enthusiasm. There was a sighting of C-man, taking a young and spry muffin protective Gen 2 member out for some early trail maintenance training. We also understand that there was a sighting of R.G. out secret training on Saturday. He may be training up in anticipation of a strong return to a niner-wielding and spring fresh FT3.

Speaking of Spring Fresh, indeed Spring is in the air and from what I hear the snow is melting. I suppose that mean FT3 will be back to norml riding this week. FT3, Here's 'yer callout. Bring yer niner.

Ride like the wind,