Thursday, December 27, 2012


In keeping with the common New Year's tradition of "best of's" and "look back's," as FT3 enter's its fifth year of epic existence, I would like to take a moment to capture some of the events, occurrences and incidents that  mark our storied history. This, of course, is only a partial list, and I am hopeful it will continue to develop as we approach the first day of the year, the first Tuesday of the year, and the first Tuesday in a post apocalyptic world. If the first Tuesday of the month is SSFT3, what is the first Tuesday of the year, when it falls on the first day of the year? Ponder that, and this list, as the day approaches. Those of you with admin capabilities, feel free to jump in here and bring more life to this list. Others are relinquished to the HCF.

Incidents, events, and occurrences that mark FT3's Epic Existence as of the end of 2012....

Proper young man, proper
The snowy night when we rode to taco's in the snow, stopping at various establishments along the way, visiting with friendly locals (how did we get back, anyway?)
The Hurricane of Fat Tuesday
What's yer time, dude?
26" wheels
The Kish
B is for Barf
When we were 3/10th's of a mile from ....?
Winter Solstice FT3
Aliens or Frenchies
Tuesday Tour of Pville Steeps
Strawberry to Kirkwood, January edition
Chicken Bake
When No Sauce didn't sauce his tacos
When the Lynskey broke
When the Carbon Specialized broke
When the Spot broke
When NoCar's Collarbone broke
When Cap'n should have got stitches
B's Chin, where he got stitches
Rock's tow strap
Team 1
Team 2
In Law
Slightly undercooked bacon
To go tacos?
Possible Side Effects
Arm wrestling at the Pino Lodge'

and... much, much, more

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Tuesday Before the End of the World

So gents, this is the last Tuesday before the end of the world. What are you going to do? Sit at home and watch The Voice? Go to Peter's house and cut out paper snowflakes? Prepare for world's best end of the world party set to take place this Friday night? Start training for the Coolest 24 hour race which is slated to return to Cool, California in 2013 - six months after the world ends?

Will there be snow? Will it be cold? Will Rock God show up? Will a ride leader or other new guy show up?

For some of us, cyclocross season has come to a close. I fought some tough battles this year, nearly actually got in a fight, made a showing when I was down with the sickness and got shelled, and missed the last race due to that same sickness. Such is the life of a Master's racer. I finished fifth overall in the Sac CX Series, which is two better than last year. Can't ask for much more than that. So, for cross season closure and closure of the world, I leave you with this epic cyclocross vid.

Also, mark your calendars for the epic Old Caz Grasshopper Cyclocross ride event set to occur on January 19th this year. Some of you will recall that Green Fro, Ghost and I took this on last year and returned with rave reviews. Hopefully more can join us this year, provided there is a January 2013.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Great weather, Awesome trail conditions

On my way out to the Squito lot I get a call from B requesting me to shuttle a rider.  So I picked up Nocar and we met the other 4 riders (Newb, B, Councilman, No Handle) at the Lot.  The temperature was nice out (mid to low 40s) but I still brought my ski jacket and full fingered gloves.  Newb took us out the back door to B’s chin. We climbed horsetail, crossed MET to the 2nd Dam.  Then we took 8  out to Palins, dropped Palin’s, made a sharp left on the bottom for a steep climb up back to 8.  B managed to power up the steep climb, nearly blowing apart his heart, while the rest of us walked up.  We continued around 8 CCW.  There a fallen tree across part of the 8 and some large branches caused me to unclip and walk.  We then climbed Redneck Rising.  The bottom was full of mud and lakes of dirty water across the trail.  I slipped on the trail and was immediately dropped from the group of riders but re-grouped at MET.  We dropped the Left lip and continued CCW around the lake.  About half way around the lake we took the pavement back as it was already after 9:30PM and we wanted tacos.  There was no way that we’d get tacos if we continued to ride to Qualifier and then down powerline as Newb wanted to.  The rain started coming down as we arrived back at the Lot.   Other than B tinkering with his stem bolts, no mechanicals occurred.  At taco session, Captain got an order of tacos even though he wasn’t present.  We told them to put it on his tab and No Handle enjoyed that order.  I remember hearing, “now that’s blog worthy” over taco session so if you remember what was said, please enlighten us.  On the way back down the hill it was extremely foggy with visibility less than 20 feet at times.   I managed to get Nocar down the hill with Safety Style.

Departed: 6:58PM
Distance: 18.7 miles
Total duration: 2hr 49 minutes
GPS says 4,600 feet climbing

Above: Councilman showing off the real way to sauce tacos

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Last Tuesday of the Week

That's right, after tonight there won't ever be another Tuesday this week. So, don't miss your last chance this week to head out on a Tuesday night and hit some super-prime Pollywood trails.

Temps should stay above 40 and no precipitation through ride time.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Missing Tuesday Nights Won't Get You Up Squaw Ridge

When I got home from work, Mrs. Nocar asked me who was in the crew for last Tuesday’s FT3. I told her it was just the troublemakers. She responded, “that’s you and B, and…” she paused and thought, “Nohandle? No, not Nohandle. Newb.”

The pre-ride activities commenced with a session of rider grooming. B had spent the day in Georgetown and required tick removal. We enjoyed a protracted kitting session, while enjoying non-traditional, pre-ride hydration.

Newb made his FT3 RideLeader debut. Out the back, cross Sly Park at MET, up the steep trail to the horse camp. At this point I had already failed to remain in compliance by changing gears. As the ride Peter, I struggled to keep up with the SSers, and relied on the bits of flat section to catch up. As we loped up Chiquita, we wondered if we could include a new permanent section on the blog: the wiener box. In it would appear the top 3 most Petery riders. We spent a significant portion of the ride debating who would be in the wiener box. 

B was enjoying a ride on Newb’s latest addition (a SS, double rigid, steel Voodoo), when we turned down the Right Lip. He shredded the corners with Newb and I in hot pursuit. With a sudden jerk, B was flying off the bike and barrel rolled over a downed log. He had first thought he was going to bunny hop the log, then realized he couldn’t and made desperate evasive action. He emerged unscathed, but when we reached the bottom of the Lip, he realized that the Voodoo’s front wheel was less true than a political campaign ad. Newb commenced beating the wheel against the ground and tightening spokes until the bike was rideable.

Lake loop with Mars roving to horse trails to Rock Garden up the wedding march, and then the utter lack of trail skills of our little party of misfits became apparent. Nothing looked right and we stopped to consider where we were and put on our rain jackets. Somewhere on the forest roads between the march and the qualifier, we chose left turns over rights, finally bombing a bit of singletrack back to the Lake and more Mars Roving to tacos.  

We took the corner spot at the business end of the bar. All of the sauces were assembled before us and the beer cooler was just inches away. Mother Rye engaged us in serious discussions about the effects of mine tailings on lacustrine ecosystems, local homicides, and 70s music. B summed it all up by telling the parable of the mercurial taco.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


 With the surprise appearance of Bambi our ranks swelled to an (un)lucky seven. The threat of rain and the late season caused everyone to bundle. We sped out the back with Cappy in RideLeader. At the top of chin trail, the first descent of the evening, Cap chattered over rocks on a bad line and took a dive. He executed what would be a quality slide into home base, were in not over roots and rocks. Shaken, he let more aggressive downhillers go first.

After climbing back up to MET, we snuck into Fleming through Palin’s. By now everyone was sweating heavily and ready for a fashion adjustment. We had plenty of time to consider our wardrobes while Cappy changed a flat. 

Everyone was in good form, and we climbed Fleming like a team of sled dogs that had been kenneled too long. At the top of Redneck, Lars made a half-hearted attempt to RideLead via telephone.

As we discussed possible options a misunderstanding of route suggestions led to Cappy exclaim, “There will be no asphalt riding on my watch.” B and I had good fun mocking this statement, not knowing how terribly ironic it would become. With full gusto we headed for the Left Lip. Railing grippy soil I tracked Newb’s line and watched with a shudder as he rode over the log ladder. With trepidation, I hit it, and found it rebuilt with steeper and more skew angles. At the bottom of a thrilling lip descent, B, Newb, and I stood waiting. Waiting. We rode back up a ways and finally encountered Bambi. Disaster struck. Xteric went crooked on the top of the log and landed on his shoulder. Snap. He and Cappy were walking out, then rolling MET back to the Lott. The rest of us quickly made our way around the lake and back to the Knott, Bambi pausing on his side for a moment to add a third (though minor) crash for the evening.

Both parties arrived back at the Lott at the same time, and we huddled around Xteric. He was feeling sheepish, getting injured on an easy move like some graceless novice. He refused offers to assist him out of his chamois, but stoically headed in for tacos, not forgetting to grab his offering: a bottle of Jamaican Pain.

Mother Rye didn’t show a hint of pity for our wounded warrior. Too many cycling injuries had presented themselves at her bar and the novelty had worn out. Many (most?) of us have broken collar bones before, and empathized with his condition. When asked if he needed help preparing his tacos, he refused, saying,“I’d never let another man sauce my taco.” That lad is Taco Strong.

As the evening wound down, B drove with Xteric and was available for dropping him off with the team nurse or whatever else might be needed.   

The late morning report is that Xteric didn't brake his collarbone, but separated his shoulder. 

And, T1 also took a BMX screamer.

Just to round things out, according to eye-witness reports, during the late night post-ride escapades, B crashed into Hangtown Creek.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Give Thanks For Delicious Trails

It's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and we all have much to be thankful for. Thanks for good health, good bikes, great trails and most of all good friends. Tonight we gather to honor our forefathers by taking an adventure only slightly different than the hunt and gather adventures of the days of the pilgrimage.

Alas we will ride like birds of a feather all flocked together. We will turn tail and drop trails. Under the lights, we will take on the night. Xteric will go so fast he will give us all a fright. Thusly we shall gather in the name of thanks to fill our cup with PBR, delicious trails, delicious tacos and better friends. Onward. TacoStrong.

Rodeo Cross Race Report
Lars and I escaped to Folsom to participate in Rodeo Cross last Wednesday night. Due to excessive honey do's on the part of Larz there was no carpool. When I arrived he was putting in an excellent effort drilling the hills and making FT3 proud. From what I could tell however, he was not bunny hopping the barriers. He finished with a smile and I headed for the line. In this particular series, there is not a 35+ Master's category, so the field was stacked with youthful strong specimens with more time than  most to train.

Rodeo Cross is suuuuuper fun, thew lighted Sherwood forest features a heckling/cheering section, and, yes I am serious, a tuba player who was playing the Star Wars theme song. I was holding my own pretty well and when I started slowing down I accepted a PBR hand up and began drilling for the end. I made lapped a few riders and nearly caught the next up A racer, I finished 6th. I am proud to saw my last lap time was within one second of the leaders' time. And thus, I am learning the art of 'coming from behind.'

While Lars and I were wrapping up the night's events, a couple dudes had some words and it quickly escalated to 'cyclist grappling' I didn't see any real punches thrown, partly due to Larz' amazing and well trained ability to break up fights and embarrass grown men for doing something so stupid. "Are you guys serious??!!" he said in a voice that would make you cringe if you were among the grappler's.

Lange Twins Race Report
Alas Lars teased me once again that he was going to go to this race, then didn't, and NoCar didn't respond to my text or previous week's callout so I was flying solo to this one. This race always seems to attract fast riders from the Bay Area, and this year was no different. With 'those guys' present among my field of opponents, I decided to make focus my mission on beating my primary rivals for third overall in the Sac series. The first lap fast as hell, and after that I crumbled a bit. I took two laps off, then around four or five into it I was being caught by 45+ racers (the leader who I had a rift with in the previous race had already passed me on lap 2 - and by the way.... we had a talk before the race, I approached him, he said thanks and we mutually decided that we were there to have fun, and he even said "I felt like an ass.") So, I felt as thought I could not "go down like this" and decided to make a huge effort to put some time on them with a big sprint over the 'flyover.' My plan worked and I kept pushing it to catch my rival for third overall. He held me off for a couple laps, but at the end of the 'three to go' lap, I caught him and we rode the 'two to go' lap together. On the last lap, I put in another huge effort over the flyover and put a nice gap on him. I was able to maintain that gap, and even saw the next contender just before the finish. This race has demonstrated to me that I have the ability to push through for a strong finish, I may need to calm down a bit at the start, and I think that is something NoHandle has been telling me for some time. The sticky mush dirt was present in its finest for sapping energy with every pedal stroke. Those of you who have done this race before know of what I speak.

That's a wrap. Happy Tuesday.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Putting the rye in rideable

As we piled into Councilman’s short B had to ask, “Is my ass getting bigger or am I sitting in a child’s seat?” The unseasonal cold from the previous weekend hadn't escaped anyone's memory, and all took extra precautions in preparing their riding costumes. Newb had picked up a new pair of gloves designed, not for bicycling, but for handling liquid nitrogen. Twenty one items completed my ensemble. (I count pairs of items as two individuals. For an explanation, ask NoHandle.)  

Finally dressed, we let Lars RideLead from the HCF and aimed for Fleming. Councilman led us there by starting out the back to the Guard Station, dropping B’s chin and up past the first dam. The soil texture of Fleming was better than a ripe peach. We dropped the first bit of Palin’s, turned left on the contour, and up the relentlessly steep climb back to Fleming. I thought I might clean the climb, but the effort threatened to burst my heart. Having completely blown up my legs, I couldn’t respond to any challenges for the rest of the ride. Unknown Local was struggling through illness and jettisoned. Like bottles of barley wine, the remaining riders were too potent to be distributed in anything but a four pack.

Fleming CCW to the long 8B descent. After ravenous snacking we threw ourselves at the steep and technical climb back up. Finally our crew was showing signs of fatigue. When we reached 8A, debate was stifled by Newb’s unhesitating turn into the descent. B seconded the motion and down we went. We churned back up from Camp Creek and after a brief interlude of discussing the wildly unrealistic possibility of sneaking in the lip, we expeditiously made our ways toward tacos. A last call was made (seriously, nothing but trouble when B and Newb are picking routes) to attack XXX. We pushed at our pedals to gather momentum, startled a couple making out in a truck parked at the base of the climb, and grit our teeth; willing the effort to finally tackle this pitch. Right at the chunky rock section that defeats most, B lost traction, fell backwards, tackled Newb, then flew into me. The second three bike pile up in as many weeks.

Rolling into the Knott, Mother Rye was just returning from the Lott, where she had been checking for our vehicles. A rumor had been floated that FT3 was not in the house. She knew C-man’s rig and was pleased to see more taco eaters than she expected. After briefly chastising us for being late, she renewed her promise to never close early and leave us hungry. However, we have to call if a no-ride occurs. And what a dark night that would be. 

We enjoyed drinking all of the beers that we would have bought for Cappy.