Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No it is still not the first tuesday of the month

The five weeks of May have given the FT3 riders plenty of opportunity to log miles on the May is Bike Month web page. So those of you who have gears can bring them tonight, 'cause it is still May. The cool weather should provide for more excellent riding conditions tonight. Too bad I am not going to be there. A new rider, a Team Rev's rider of Sac CX fame (insert taco handle) has indicated that he will be making a showing this evening. I am quite confident he will qualify, but I can't be certain he will sauce his tacos. Please make him feel welcome, as he will be looking for a carpool at the Mosquito lot at 5:45.

Ride like the wind,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfect Conditions, Great Riding, Tainted FT3

In perfect spring riding conditions, the riders assembled in the Knott Lot. Trev1 (insert taco handle) showed for a Knott Lot send off. The group of NoCar, who ride up on his CX, NoSauce, NoHandle, Xteric, Cap'n and Rock God assembled their gear and rigs in anticipation of another quality FT3 outing. The only thing missing at this point was Paul. The route took us along the Cap'ns fenceline trail, safely across Sly Park Road to the rocky horse decent. Rock, in typical rock fashion was railing the rock section with his rock prowess. He was all pumped to be out on the dirt. We crossed the spillway and took our typical trails over to fleming for a standard fleming loop. Trails were tacky and rock was railing. We then took Redneck Rising, where NoSauce was challenged to say the name of the trail, and crossed MET for an awesome drop of the right lip. All were having a great time. At the bottom things took a turn for the worse. The group assembled there and a bit of time passed before we were met by a white faced NoCar who reported he went down and landed on his shoulder. I already know he is tough as nails, so it was no surprise that he did not let on to how much pain he was in. NoHandle was the first to offer an escort back to the lot. Xteric followed that up with a kind offer of his MTB for a more plush ride out. NoCar accepted and made a very efficient roll back to the Knott. When we arrived at the Knott lot we were met by C-man who made the late roll up on his crosser. And then Trev1 arrived for the taco part. NoHandle provided NoCar with a ride home, at which point he was to be headed to Kaiser for evaluation by a medical professional. The rest of us stayed for Tacos and were later joined by NoHandle. The fire pit was nice, tacos were good. Discussions were fun but our focus was distracted by the recent tainted events of FT3.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hi is Edgar Allan Poe There

Apparently, if you are calling your connect to get an EPO hookup, this is the guy you ask for. I have this information on reliable basis but I can't quote the source.
Last I called however, he was not home.

If any of you are up to date on the latest Tyler Hamilton 60 Minutes article, you saw his claim that E.A.Poe was Mr. Armstrong's secrete name for asking about EPO. I am saddened yet not surprised at al the accusations about doping. My own personal belief is that way too many professional athelets (in cycling or otherwise) do too much performance enhancing drugs. It is a shame and something that needs to be cleaned up. That is all.

On a more pressing topic, I can’t help but notice the beautiful weather and thus quiet nature of the BLOG today. It would almost seem as if it was Wednesday and it was only a RR that was missing, not a call out. So, while I’m not calling nor am I asking you if Edgar is there, I’m calling you out for tonight’s horrible conditions.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whatever doesn't kill you...

A lesson learned from the AToC:
According to eyewitnesses, after Stage One was canceled, Teams Sky and Liquigas stayed on their bikes and rode to Squaw. The rest of the peleton hopped daintily into their luxury RVs and spent the afternoon in hotel rooms, spinning trainers and watching Jersey Shore. It comes as no surprise, that the next day, Sky and Liquigas got their sprinters to the front on the rain slicked roads of Sacramento.

So, Ft3 embraced the wintry mix, rolling through some beautiful spring snow and getting really drenched.

WE assembled in the swelling storm. Cappy, being the last ready darted out into Ride Leader. He turned away from the EID kiosk secretary and headed out Cappy's backdoor trail to the FS fire station; and dropped to B's chin crossing, which was at an exciting but easy high water. Around there B and NoHandle switched bikes. Almost immediately following, B blew apart NH's chain, the pin pulling out a chunk of the plate. Sportingly, NH allowed B to remain on his ride, after a quick link was installed. We climbed out past the dams and headed up Chiquita.

We headed for the Lip, with Xteric grumbling about subtleties in route selection. The lip gripped well and rolled fast. The new ladder gave NH a bit of a scare and lesser riders carried their bikes over. There were also greater riders. At some point Bambi and Cap'n started singing Sex Pistols. We rolled the lake, laughing at the wind. We finished with a hard sprint up the entrance road. Everyone's two or three layers, were well saturated and temps were dropping.

They were happy to see us at the Knothole, had the place to ourselves -table for seven and crank up the heater. Tacos were delicious and the TB remembered everyone's handles.
Important discussions batted around the table. BMX on thursday nights, Happy Valley Cross ASAP, first over night adventure ride by the end of july.

The name Drop Tail (i had to have it explained, and it's pretty good) was proposed for the new rider who earned her man card last night. New handles were also proposed for a few riders earning Peter cards.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Cancelled Due to Weather

While the FT3 riders are still in disbelief by what occured on the trails last week, not to mention the cancellation of Stage 1 of the Tour of California due to weather... We will, as we do every tuesday, regardless of weather conditions, go for a Tuesday ride. I am not attempting to start a debate about the cancellation of Stage 1 of the TOC, rather, in typical FT3 fashion, I am merely stating that we will go for a ride this week, regardless of weather conditions. I expect we will debate the TOC cancellation either way. Clearly one of our riders will not be making tonight's ride and it is dissapointing to say the least that he is not 'out' due to DTI, or other acceptable conflicting matters.

Some of you will have noticed that the pro roadie, Alex Candelario, who showed up at the Sac Cyclocross series is in the TOC peleton, and holding his own I might add. He finished 12th yesterday. I would like to say it is due to the fact that Bambi, NoHandle, Lars and I gave him a run for his money back in Ione and at Lange Twins last November and December... but I won't.

NoCar's epic bike-themed party was a hit. The junk pile baby sitter was super effective, good call setting that up NoCar. I am impressed by his child awareness and insight, since he doesn't have kids and all. NoCar took the top honors on the day, with Cap'n in a close 2nd, and I believe Bambi came in third, this time with real shoes, but no helmet (recall last year he did the loop in flip flops). Hopefully someone will post the actual times later today.

This is 'yer call out.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rider down, but NOT out

Flush with a full crew and fine weather we rolled out of the Deluxe Knot Lot. Being joined by the first ever FT3 woman rider, we headed for the qualifier. The guard at the Sly Park entrance gate ominously requested that we begin checking in and checking out; for our own safety. Sounded to me like when the mob asks for money to make sure you don't get hurt.
Near the top of the qualifier, in fact 3/10ths of a mile from Park Creek Road, we experienced an incident that has been so well documented by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department that it needn't be repeated here.
In summary:
One rider was the victim of assault with a deadly weapon and transported to Marshall Hospital where he received care from the FT3 Team Nurse. He has been released and is recovering.
One expletive went to jail.
Eight eye witnesses gave statements, then took Sly Park back to the Knot. Tacos were a brief and somber affair.
One dog got to ride shotgun in a police car.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Art of Wheeling

I was reading another blog recently, and the discussion steered briefly towards the notion of cycling as art. Certainly, one can capture images of wheels in motion, or reproduce them with a brush, but the act of turning pedals in and of itself was decried as less than art. Comparisons were made to various masters of French Impressionism, and that their work truly defined high art.

Naturally, the conversation turned to Coppi, Merckx, Hinault and other grandmasters of cycling, their vast talent and accomplishments on two wheels. Yet, the detractors could not be swayed. They refused to acknowledge the poetry in motion on a bicycle; the nearly indescribable feeling of becoming one with your machine, carving turns as a sculptor his clay or a painter his brushstroke.

It would appear these critics are either ignorant, or know something we don't. For me, and perhaps all of the FT3 cognoscenti, cycling IS art. It is the practice of meditation, the expression of our talents, fears and desires. It's a communal process as well as a solo endeavor.

Anyone watching Bambi and Xteric vie for pole position on a steep, rocky decent can see that. Those of us dropped by Cap'n and Rock God on a long climb have witnessed it. The survivors among us who've followed NoCar and B on their epic adventures has experienced it. And to the neophyte rider who mistimes his sprint for the town sign, Lars and NoHandle will give you lessons. I could go on, but I think you get the point. For the riders of FT3, all artisans in their own right, the act of maintaining, prepping, and throwing a leg over your steed is no less sacred than the artist standing up his easel, rolling out his canvas, mixing his oils, and laying down that first brushstroke. Cycling is art, and we are lifelong students, practitioners, teachers, mentors, and enthusiasts.

With that overture, I invite you to come practice your art tomorrow night. Mother Nature has dampened the ground a bit, and conditions will be exceptional (read, small turnout).

While I don't know one end of my road bike from the other, I can say watching the Giro is inspiring. Having lived and traveled in the mountains of Italy, I can say, some of those @#$%* hills are legit. Check out the ragazzo in the yellow jersey, could that be our Bambi, sans capelli?

I for ONE am IN!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Roasted Nuts

Even with B rolling his new fat tire SS, we made it up to Pollockstan before the motorcade. He hadn't seen EID's new rock work, and as we inspected it we noticed that the wooden gate into the back Knot lot was open. And so we entered the new Knot Lot. Lars was the first to drive in, truck lumbering over virginal grass. Soon to follow was NoSauce, Councilman, Bambi, NoHandle, and Xteric. We celebrated the luxury and privacy of our new digs, sipping Belgian sports beverages and admiring two spanking new bicycles.

Lars maintained that he was too tired after satuday's herculean run and differed the ride leader role. Xteric was nominated, but he was reluctant to take the reins while in the presence of our dear ride leader. Rebuffing Xteric's timidity Lars declared "to Barnes back."
We dashed to the opposite side of the lake and began the climb. Downed trees repeatedly crossed the path, but we mostly rode around them. Reaching Park Creek we turned left and anyone on a cross bike relished their steed choice for the evening. At the big intersection we were treated to a new route that dropped us to the flume. After the steep climb out, we made for the power line descent, to the Qualifier. As we rolled past the gate to the road, Johnny Law was sitting in an idling SUV. We passed close by his hood and made the steep short burst up to the trail that started the evening's adventure. No accusations of short riding were made.

An animated taco session was held around the camp fire. Service was underwhelming, as Tacos were slow to arrive and Rye was forgotten completely. Xteric was getting edgy waiting for his order. He eyed each tray with the shameless longing of a dog hoping for scraps. When our newest recruit tucked into his basket, Xteric jumped out of his seat and exclaimed "he didn't sauce his tacos!" An eruption of disapproval ensued and NoSauce was handled.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Then Paul Stopped By

So, there I was last Wednesday, regretting my missed FT3 outings of late and all in a pissy mood. Peter and I had made no progress on the tree house project and neither of us were riding. So, who should show up carrying two large cups of coffee (he grew, roasted and ground the beans himself), but P Paul himself – Peter had given up and left by then. It wasn’t long before Paul not only got me back on track w/my non-cycling-tree-house-project, but also found time to finish my private trail
network as well.

Inspired by NoCar’s upcoming May 14th Throwdown and Pauls drive to do anything and everything, we quickly linked up all the disparate sections, cleaned a few others and even did some manicuring of yet others. Yesterday I was able to put together a 14 min loop that was over 2 miles long and included 350 feet of climbing.

I’d like to thank Paul for his enthusiasm and effort. If it were not for him, I wouldn’t be able to or be fired up for tomorrow’s ride up in Pollywood.
Weekend Ride reports? I hear Cappy and Xterric were heading out early yesterday for Cronan?