Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flat tire taco tuesday

With all the anticipation of prom night, or perhaps the release of the latest iPhone, B, Safety and I, your councilman, hastened to the Mosquito lot. We were looking forward to a visit with our resident man of steel (Ti, really), NoCar. We were greeted by the entire NoCar family, and treated to a first look at the hardware. It did Knott disappoint. Ideas abounded as to it's next incarnation; Jewelry? Brake mount? Utility bar under seat rails? Only time will tell, but I'll bet a patent is in the works.

We soon parted ways and headed up to the Knott. We were met by NoHandle, Bambi, and Xteric. After some deliberation over ride leader, with plenty of Not It's thrown out, your councilman reluctantly took the helm. I say reluctantly only because 2 weeks of academia and beer consumption did not portend a lively ride. Turns out I was wrong, sort of.

Our route included backdoor to roadkill, then the frontage trail along Sly Park Rd to the Forest Service cabins, then B's chin down to unnamed trail leading back up to spillway and up to MET. From there we crossed the road and took the short ST up past the group campgrounds, and that's when the ride went flat, literally. Bambi suffered a rear puncture, apparently due to a large chunk of glass. We were treated to a race worthy change out, and a colorful lesson on *proper stroke count and pumping effort when filling the tube. Once rectified, we set out for a counterclockwise tour of Fleming.

Only minutes in, and just past Palin's, we experienced Flat 2, the redux. This resulted in further discussion, a loaner tube (a cx tube, I believe, or one of those fancy latex, ribbed versions, *see above), and THEN we were off. The pace was brisk as we ascended Fleming and then railed the downs. For good measure, and because B was still recovering from a cold, 8b was thrown in. The descent was wild and fast, and after a quick refueling, we climbed out. The CCW tour continued and 8a was considered. We decided against Redneck, dropped back down to complete Fleming, and then plunged a rather dry and loose Palin's. The hour was late and tacos were calling, so off we went to find our birthday boy, Cap'n. He opted for a late road roll up, and we didn't want to keep him or Mother waiting.

Tacos were accompanied by grimaces and strong body language behind the counter. We were again late, and holding up the show. Birthday boy arrived not long after orders went in, and he was treated to a birthday round. The tacos themselves were rich and meaty, though sauce selection was limited. Cap'n was all but ignored when attempting a late 2 taco add. At this point, the taco bitty went postal and threw out the "you guys are ..icks" comment. Chaos ensued, and feelings were hurt. As a would be counselor, I attempted to bring both sides together, and over several pay beers, relationships were mended. We agreed to show up all winter and provide income, the bitty promised not to defile our food. Peace was restored to pollywood.

As we loaded up for the ride home, B challenged Cap'n to ride back to P town by way of a Pino stop. Cap'n took the bait and off they went up Sly Park Rd. As a sag wagon, I made a fuel stop and then met them shortly thereafter for a b-day nightcap. The Pino offered it's usual cast of characters. A robust young lass with a small dog chatted us up, with questions related to whether we were coming from, or heading up to, Tahoe. It's comforting to know that she wasn't far off; FT3 has and will continue to launch such long rides, even under the cover of night.

Cap'n and I bid our LRP comrade goodnight and headed for the 'squito lot. As rides go, it was short and "flat", but it's always better than a day at work, surgery to get hardware removed, or being run over by a lunatic. Count your blessings, brothers.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


NoHandle earned the Scout Master title last night. Not only did he run the Mosquito-Knott shuttle service for me and Safety First!, he chose a route that showcased the unseasonably excellent trail conditions. Meeting us at the Knott Lott, T2 was ready with both brake levers attached, and T1 was eager to get some riding in before his debauchery fest at Interbike.

As soon as we hit the ramp at the base of the Qualifier, it became clear what a treat this night would be. Sunday night's storm was a real gully washer in Pollywood, and all the dust and loose material got washed into the Reservoir. The soil was only superficially moistened, so it wasn't as tacky as some of the hallmark days of late spring. But, after months of deteriorating conditions, it was worthy of squeals of joy.

Up Qualifier (no dust), to the Wedding March early cut-off. NoHanlde surveyed the logging damage and determined that, yes, the Wedding March has been beheaded. Dropped (no dust) to 1a, where in some of the formerly deep dust sections the rain had formed a layer of cohesive moist soil on top of a layer of loose dry soil. Cutting turns was akin to skiing in deep powder.

A light rain fell. Always prepared, the Scout Master was ready with warm layers, but they weren't needed. Unlike the torrents of winter, it was like being spritzed by attendant fans. Lake loop CCW (no dust), giving us a teaser waft of taco aroma, to the horse camp trail (still lots of loose rock, but no dust). Up the switchbacks, cross MET, and through the group and equestrian parking areas for a road sprint up MET to the upper Fleming parking lot. Merit badges were on hand for the riders that managed to stay ahead of the grupetto and hang with the peloton.

After a quick climb CCW on Fleming to the powerline high point we descended in a delirious rush of prime handling and no dust. We regrouped at the top of Palin, and then plunged like the stock market. Rolling below the dam after that series of delicious descents, we couldn't help wishing that every day could be this tuesday, like in the Bill Murray movie.After climbing back to MET, and hopping on the lake trail between the dams, leading temptingly back towards tacos, the Scout Master wasn't ready to end the evening and dropped back down the switchbacks we had climbed earlier, and rode on to B's chin, Road Kill and the Knott Lott. Back at the cars, it was confirmed that Cap'n was either playing soccer or going for a jog at some address off of Petery Lane.

Contrary to the general panic that Mother Rye would scold us for our absence last week, (well, we actually were upbraided in front of the packed bar) service was actually quite indulgent. A boisterous group outside started cleaning up as our tacos were coming out. And who should come over to our table, but the world famous chef and creator of chickenbake. That particular dish was not offered this evening, but she did share a heaping bowl of guacamole and two kinds of home made salsa. Mother Rye complimented the offering by frying us platter after platter of chips. T1 got so stuffed he had to give away his last PBR. At payout, we even got to hear three Ceagles sound their mating cry as they clinked their cocktails overhead.

Mostly sunny, highs reaching 80, and humidity around 30% means outstanding conditions will not last. Call in sick, cancel soccer practice, take off your running shoes and head for Pollywood.

A special thanks to the Mrs. who encouraged me to go riding on our anniversary.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Piling Paul on top of Peter

Good day FT3 riders. A while back I did a ride in Bambi's 'hood and came across Petery Lane. I stopped beiefly, shot a photo, and relished in the fact that I don't live there. It is Tuesday and the blog remains quiet just before noon. Hopefully the blog is not being reduced to another paltry web page. Not hardly. This is much more of a "Paultry" web page, where great rides are documented and great cyclists come together. Hopefully some of you are planning to come together this evening in the riding ritual that is FT3. Those of you who rode last week but did not ride up for tacos better be present to receive the wrath due from Mother Rye. If the stars align, I may cycle my way up for the taco part as well to catch some of that wrath. However Petery I may feel about it.

Those of you who read the HCF may be aware that I did some "bicycle logging" last week. B's useful utility trailer worked well to help me haul out four nice chunks of Oak from a local urban section of the ED Trail. It was an exciting event, to say the least.

It seems as though soccer season and the slightly changing fall weather has much of FT3 busy with school, work and cyclocross training. Some of the more dedicated riders are getting out on the early front especially on Friday mornings. The 6:00am Cozmic Cafe start time has been met with approval by a handful of riders. The callout stands for this Friday. For now that ride remains a road ride until further notice. Early birds up.

This weekend is Folsom Cyclebration, resident FT3 racer Cap'n will probably race the MTB race on Sunday if anyone wants to roll down there. Fringe member and full time roadie Green Fro has indicated an interest in the asphalt-based Circuit Race which takes place Saturday evening. And furthermore some FT3 members will be spotted at the Annual American River Music Festival. Should be a fun weekend.