Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And that's a wrap

BASP Golden Gate Park 2011 - A 35+ from HeartsEyeView on Vimeo.

As some of you may be aware the exciting Bay Area Super Prestige Series Cyclocross Race at Golden Gate Park was held this past Sunday. In case you forgot what it is like to race that race, or in case you never knew, check out this awesome video posted by Jude Mayne, a racer from Reno who is leading the Sacramento CX Series. He finished 12th at the Golden Gate Park BASP Race. I am happy to say I was not too far behind him, finishing 19th. I am not in his video. Keep in mind as you watch this that he was called up to the line. With that in mind note how many riders he passed! I too was fighting a similar battle, albiet a bit behind him. I am, however, in this video taken by none other than our own Safety First, who may warrent a handle change to Camera First, as you may have seen he is pretty handy with a camera. He is quite Techy too, because I think he was the first to post any video on the BASP GG Park race on Youtube.

This is Safety's best still shot. I think he captured the pre-race intensity well. What say you?

All this talk of racing is making me thirsty. Along those lines, those non-racers among us will appreciate the following viddy from the SSCX world champoinships held at the same park two weeks ago.

With that, it is Tuesday and time for another mountain bike training ride. Actually, I may be done training. It looks like I am not going to be able to make another race this season. And that is fine. It has been a great season, a lot of fun with some solid finishes in a tough class. I need to save some excitement for next year. Maybe next year some other FT3 riders will be right there with me. Then again, maybe next year I will take up kiteboarding.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Long Lost Rider Night

A palpable tension formed when we seven riders assembled in the Knott Lott, doffed our pre-ride warm layers and switched on our lights. Would Cappy, back from months of perdition, be rideleader, or would LOtB take the reigns as tradition would dictate? The pause lengthened. NoHandle pushed the issue by announcing "not it." Another minute passed. Larz rolled out the front of the Lott and, after a few quick glances, the pack followed.

Appropriate for assessing the fitness of riders so long absent, we rode the qualifier. We continued up to the Northwest, along a rocky trail that reaches a local high point. From there we dropped to the Power Line trail, through the Boy Scout camp camp and down to the lake. For many the power line drop was new and all enjoyed the fast and loose trail. We took down an almost complete lake loop, turned towards Fleming, hopped the curb from MET onto a connector to Ferarri Mill, the dropped Fleming and Palins, and rounded the rest of the lake. All told, a sixteen miler (according to Larz's wristwatch).

Since Mother Rye and Even Keel were absent we were curious to see how the tacos would turn out. QA/QC was in place and normal Knott Hole standards were maintained.

Many, many items were placed on the calendar, with rousing calls of support for each. To note:
Placerville Turkey Trot tomorrow morning, 8AM at the library; FTfore! will be hosting its inaugural stroke-off on the first convenient sunday; FT14K will be climbing Mount Shasta this May; FTX is racing Cross Vegas in September 2013; FT3/Team Pugsley will cross the Darien Gap during much of 2015; and a broad field of FT3ers commited to racing an Xterra.

**Augmented to include T(ucson)TGFT3. Sorry I missed the ride and the T-Day run for fun and charity. Will see all next week.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Friday, B and Droptail and I took the dogs out for some pollywood fun. Showers turned to rain and the temperature dropped ten degrees in an hour. The wind howled on the back side of the lake. Thick coated Booker thought it was great. We riders were fine, though it took me a few days before I really felt warm again. Short haired Zoey, however, shivered sadly and had take shelter in the Knothole. Mother Rye invited her to curl up next to the pellet stove and fed her king-size biscuits.

The turning season brings to mind life's cycles. And while we all look forward to the bone shattering bacchanalia of the winter solstice, other holidays have their place on the calendar. Recall last year's TGFT3: Cappy took us on a tour de steepes where our tires crunched snow within the Pville limits. Best enjoy the exceptional Pollywood trail conditions while you can. Won't be long before the winter's first FTski.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

you smeared yourself in blackberry juice and did what?

One by one, bar and helmet lights flicked on. With everyone ready, the "who wants to ridelead?" chatter commenced and B stated he would start out as rideleader. We headed out the back and rode to the guard station. Before dropping B's chin, Rock God was disrided by an errant pine cone. Instead of veering left at the big landing and taking the road back to the horse trails, B turned right and we followed that road down below the dam outlet. We nosed around looking for the trail that crossed the creek and climbed the other side back to the road we had left. Frustrated by trying to walk over slick rocks in cleated cycling shoes, I tried to ride a bit and found that trying to awkwardly dismount from a bike onto slick rocks is even harder than walking on them. Thud. After Bambi beat a trail back and forth through the brush, and everyone else sidetracked on the road, we found a crossing and pushed the bikes up the down escalator all the way to MET. True adventure ride training.
A classic B route choice we hit Fleming CW to 8A, came back out and climbed Redneck. Dropping the lip Rock God, Xteric, and B all went down. Super tacky soil inspired fast riding. At the lake loop, someone started mumbling about it being 9 already. B started riding CCW, no doubt looking forward to sharing the best piece of lakebed riding he had scoped. None followed. A standoff ended when B returned chastising the pack for shortriding the rideleader. To prove his point, he led us back along the length of horse trail.
The Knott was empty. A few words of apology and Mother Rye didn't mind staying open for us. She even said that if she had to close up she would leave a bucket of tacos and beers waiting for us outside. With adventure sports on the tv, 80s tunes on the hi-fi, and home made salsa gracing the tacos everyone was in high spirits. Xteric recounted a story of when he and his buddy would go hang out at the bottom of the Red Shack Trail and, to the confused amusement of river rafters, would strip down and smear blackberry juice all over themselves, and then..., well some stories are best left at the taco table.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Icing on the Cake

NoHandle generously picked up a couple of freeloading urchins at the 'squito Lott. After everyone was sufficiently bundled and burping prebers we rolled out. With Xteric and BDog we were five.

Xteric accepted the rideleader mantle, knowing that NoHandle was always ready to provide insight and guidance whether wanted or not. We dropped to the lake, turned right, crossed MET, dropped the horse trail, climbed the DH trail, dropped the lip, turned right at the lake, rode the first horse trail, continued around the lake, up the Rock Garden, got repeatedly disoriented on what was once the wedding march, but is now a muddy boulevard in the middle of an apocalyptic clear cut, busted tracks through fluffy snow, made it to the top of something, dropped what could be the new wedding march, accidentally encountered the trail Xteric introduced to us some weeks ago and has named Booker's stick, rallied that sick descent all the way to the lake, continued around the lake until I got a flat that required the combined tire changing expertise of all four riders, and finished on dirt at the start of the qualifier. At some point a motion was made to grant an honorary qualification to the Corvette shuttling DHer. Despite repeated calls for tabling, considerable time was spent debating the hair style of said DHer.

A small cluster of rowdy regulars was whooping it up at the bar. We eased into bar stools at the opposite end. As we finished our tacos, Mother Rye offered us some left over cake. It was actually a cupcake piled deep with frosting. One little cupcake was lost in a sea of frosting that spilled across the entire paper plate. I ordered more beer and passed the plate to NoHandle. He eagerly took a scoop and recounted his years as a student of cake decorating, how he made all his own frostings from scratch, and how, if he could make a living at it, his dream is to be a cake decorator. I took the plate from him and passed it to B who wasn't interested in the frosting since it wasn't lard based. The sassy taco bitty was bored behind the bar and wanted to stir up some action. So, after some negotiating she and B settled on a kind of dare. If B stuffed the cupcake and all the frosting into his mouth at once and drank a rye shot doused with the casket ghost pepper sauce that brought him infamy before, then she would buy him two additional shots of rye. B promptly stuffed that mess down his throat spurting buttery sugar out the sides of his mouth. It was on. The shots were produced and Mother Rye officiated over the spiking of the hot shot. I tasted it. It was hot. And the heat was born on alcohol so it skipped the mouth and burned all the way down. Needless to say, B dispatched it quickly and made a show of not caring one bit. An attendant was sent to monitor him while he was in the bathroom to make sure that he didn't hurl. After quaffing the chocolate milk offered by the Mother, he savored his remaining shot. Perhaps we'll get an update on the condition of B's bowels in the HCF.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reverse Ninja Cycling

This morning I donned my black US Navy issue wool sweater and my recent birthday-gift balaclava for the ride to work. It was 36 degrees when I left my house.Needless to say I was comfortable the whole ride. Surprisingly, other than the kid in the back of the Eldo Office of Education Van with a stupid black headband on staring me down, I wasn't given too many akward looks. What, was it cold in the back of that van? Dude, my balaclava has a purpose. Besides, the Ninja look suits me well and with a solid foundation of tai chi from my college days I might be able to fake my way through a fight. Ninja training, now that's another topic. Along those lines, I provide you the attached viddy. OK so he's no Ninja, and it's American football, and the notion that you would stay up three days and not eat because you are training is ridiculious. But if you were a Ninja you might. I am pretty sure if you are a Ninja you can go three days without breathing.

I am going to turn you gents on to the latest craze in cycling. It's called Ninja cycling. When fixies and cyclocross are out of style, and when you need to be as hip as the coolest hipster, you go Ninja cycling.

This time of year, if you ride without a light after 5:00pm, you are Ninja cycling.
Really? Ninja cycling? I am confident the law of natural selection will force this awesome trend into extinction, but how can I be sure? I am also confident that if you go Ninja Cycling too often you might be able to go three days without breathing.

So what does all this have to do with FT3?

We are like Ninjas of the night. Alas, the winter is upon us and we don our balaclavas and armwarmers. We don our knickers and tights, and reverse ninja cycling by using our lights. As our thoughts control our bikes, we spear through the night.

Ninja Cap'n

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back seat ride leading

The wind cast a shower of pine needles over the Knott Lott. We carefully chose layers and some clothing swapping was necessary to keep Peter from showing up before the ride even got under way.

Missing the eager ride leaders of yesteryear, the assembled group, nine strong, was a cacophony of suggested routes echoed by excuses for not being ride leader. Frustrated by the delay, Rock God took the reigns. He was not immune, however, to the torrent of suggestions, corrections, and criticism that streamed from the pack.

Partial Qualifier - Partial Wedding March - Rock Garden - Lake Loop - Second Horse Trail - Councilman's Short Cut - MET - Downhiller Track - Rufus's? - MET - Connector to Ferrari Mill - Fleming CCW - Palin - Lake Loop - Knott Lott.

The Knott Hole welcomed the eight of us (one rider pulled the Weak Sauce move of skipping the taco session) as the night had been slow and the bar was almost empty. Mountain biking was on the tele, and Mother Rye shared her homemade salsa. More importantly, aces were wild, as B landed four free beers.