Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I couldn't help myself.  FT3 has been officially hacked by the one formerly known as Bambi.


Getting off the plane, racing to the car, driving home, going to ft3!  Plane was delayed, so charge time is hurting on lights. Looking for extra lumens from anyone.
The fabled twice baked chickenbake taco.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

All I want for Christmas is a...

After a warm cup of water with fresh squeezed lemon, I started my day with a breakfast burrito swimming in a pool of Cholula. I have squeezed my freshly converted tubeless 29er tires several times already this morning, marveling at the way they brilliantly hold air, sans tubes. The air is brisk and filled with cheer. My Elf on the Shelf is riding a reindeer. My single speed conversion is indicative of the changing season upon us. My hopes for 2015 are beginning to brighten, the Old Caz Grasshopper on January 31st, Cool Mountain Bike Race March 8th, Coolest 24 May 29-30th, Tahoe Sierra 100 August 15th. In 2015, could all of our wildest dreams comes true?

Will we get some fresh new kits?

Or will we start riding bikes like this?

Will Rock get some Nox composites, are those on his list?

Will No Handle ski Shasta, or ride dirt just like this?

Will the Grognard get ridden? 

Will Newb keep on splitten? 

One things for sure, I know I am smitten, with the fact that this FT3 I am gettin. 

So charge up your lights, prepare for your flight, Christmas FT3 is a' happening, and this is the night!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Solstice Bonfire Call out and it is Tuesday too.

It is that time of year again.
The NoHandle family will be hosting our annual Bonfire again this year.
The event will be this Sat. Dec. 20th starting at Dusk.

All of my FT3'ers are hereby welcome.  We sent out an evite last week but I didn't have everyone one of your email addressees so please accept this as your formal invite.  This year's event is a little diff in that we will not be feeding people.  You are welcome and encouraged to bring a fireside pick-nick dinner and of course as always, bring the following.

  • Your own drinks.
  • A chair
  • Flashlight
  • Event is rain or shine
This is a family event, bring your wife, GF, kides and grandma.

Here is a picutre of Newb last year - what was he all excited about?

And here is a picture of B - I think B and Newb were having a celebrate-off.

I'm Hoping all of you can make it and would love to see some cycle commuters here as well w/their Mrs. driving out for the return trip home.

Oh and Peter stopped by over the weekend and left me with a crappy feeling in my chest so I am on the fence for tonight. I may make a game day decision based on how much I want to get wet and cold.  Damn Peter, hope I can sweep him out of my memory and toughen up by EOD.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Breaking News

I was going to post a call out for the ride tonight. It was going to be witty, eloquent, and entertaining. There would be some pictures, and the commentary would contain some reference to an issue of global or national  concern. It would be poignant. 

Screw it. I just wanna ride my bike with some good friends.

See you at the Knot. You know the drill. I expect we'll have quite a time tonight . . .

Last Tuesday:
The numbers were thin last week. Spawn was still tired from the Hobo ride, RG was drinking sherry with Peter, Partial Credit was toiling at this week's callout, and Lars remains under house arrest. 
The pre-ride prep was leisurely, no rain and balmy temps. A fender proved to be the best layer, as we only got wet from puddles. Until about 8:40, when we crested 8B. In a moment the clouds burst and rain pummeled so hard we could barely see. The trails ran with muddy water and we beat it back for tacos. 
Been a flurry of small rides this weekend, I guess everyone is getting ready for the main event: the December 9, 2014 FT3 ride.   

NoHandle "You've heard of photo bombing, this is blog bombing"
Sorry to "bomb" your post PC, but while this is not world news, it is pretty fun to drive around - f'ing fast does not describe the speed.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

First Mud

A new surface texture has recently been added to the FT3 riding experience, mud. In case you have forgotten how to handle this soil form, Taco Spawn has performed a demonstration. He descended at high speeds into a saddle on the upper ridge of the Happy Valley Road. At the base of the saddle a puddle had stored the sediment from road runoff. Slowly the sediment congealed into a semi-solid.

You can see in the above figure how Spawn’s front wheel quickly decelerated when entering the deep muck. It became a pivot point around which the bicycle and rider rotated. Spawn was then projected into the mud pit at speeds in excess of 25 mph. Fortunately, the same properties that make the mud so difficult to ride through also make it safe for crash landings, and our hero emerged unscathed, though filthy.

Tonight will be a night to test men’s fortitude. Weather forecasts predict a quarter of an inch to fall during ride time. You may want to bring two jackets. I’ll bring a thermos of something delicious to keep us warm during the pre-ride kitting session.


Word is the Hobo ride was a success. I haven’t heard a full report. Perhaps one will get posted.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ride Report and *Official* HoBo Ride Callout

First: The HoBo Callout:

The Fall 2014 Edition of the legendary HoBo/ElDorOdyssey ride will go down this Saturday November 29th. Departure time is 1:30pm at the Mosquito Lot in Pville. Let us know if you are in for all or some of this ride in the HCF below so we have an accurate headcount. Bring lights lots of clothes and money, and one of these. 

I won't project any arrival times, but feel free to work directly with me to coordinate any potential/partial ride options, Green Fro, Unknown Local, B and Newb. 

Newb intends to jump on the train in EDH and ride up with us. B may do the same. We should be there some time in the evening. 

Rain Delay: In the event of pouring rain on Saturday at 1:30pm, we will push back the start time to 5:00pm and will do and out and back on the railroad corridor. The HCF below will be the place for that discussion. 

A bunch of turkeys gathered in the Knott lot last night for a bike ride in the Pollywood Hills. 

The ride leader selected a fine route that took us to 'where the hell are we' and back. We rode the fireroads in tight groups, like a flock of 9 turkeys. After all, this was the homecoming of B from his recent work-related hiatus and I from a school-related hiatus. The ride was fab, all agreed - traction was primo and we had a blast. There was much banter, some bumping elbows and some timely puddle splashing and a serious bit of hard riding. It was in fact determine that "mountain biking is damn hard."

Upon return we were met by the long lost Councilman, who, fresh of a challenging ride on the El Dorado Trail, generously provided the evenings fare, and we all gave thanks to him and recalled 'the incident' and our lack of respect for the one named "Bobby."

Viva La FT3, Happy Thanksgiving. 

In for HoBo Ride - ONE!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It was wet so we rode it until we couldn’t stop. Then we ate tacos. Then we waited for Saturday, and did another HoBo Ride

Sometimes I look at old draft posts that never make the light of day, mostly b/c I am checking to see if anyone is drafting something today so I don't post a lame write up right over the top of them.  This is something that used to happen when the blog was more widely used.  So, today I found an old one from 2011.   Not sure who the original author was, but this occurred back in the days when few people had posting rights and you had to submit your write up to the blog keeper.
I find it interesting to note that in the 4th bullet point below the author mentions a "6-pak" and mentions those 5 riders other than presumably himself.  It is confusing tho to ready his final line thanking B for the write up.  Only now as I type this and my explanation of "blog keeper" do I figure out that LOtB was NOT on teh ride and thus not part of that 6-pak, B was.

Who will be in tonight?
No Handle
PS: below is a post, posted by me, Authored by LOtB but actually written by B - amazing.

Original Post below
We need some sort of ride report, lest our efforts slip quietly into oblivion.

Moments of note that I recall:
  • Bambi took a hard impact into a large rock. Bruised and bleeding, he rode on anyway without complaint showing his annealed, hard-ass, FT3 riding style.
  • Group consensus was that this was the wettest ride to date that did not take place under precipitating skies. Some even proposed it to be the wettest ride without any such caveat, but Captain and I know better than that.
  • NoHandle, who was the Acting Ride Leader, proposed a new addendum to the by-laws. Riders with multiple gears shall not fly off the front on SSFT3 nights. Is it the rider or the bike? Hmmm ...
  • We rolled in a respectable 6-pak last night. NoHandle, Captain, Bambi, RG, Xteric and myself comprised the pack.
  • NoHandle can probably give a better route description than I
  • Brake pressure was at a premium last night, with at least a few riders having a bit of trouble keeping their speed in check at times
Thank you B for the write-up.

Until we ride,


HoBo Ride Callout (added by Cappy - are you confused yet???)

Fall 2014 Edition HoBo/ElDorOdyssey Ride is going down this Saturday, November 29th.

Departure time: 1:30pm at the Mosquito Lot

If you don't know the drill: This is a long ass adventure. If you have not been HoBo Qualified, bring light(s), water (unless you are B, then just bring a tiny bottle), money, (lots of it, unqualified HoBo riders buy Black Butte Porters and Pizza at the Nugget in El Dorado Hills), shit to fix your broken bike and plenty of gear to keep you warm...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I have it on good authority that we'll be seeing GreenFro tonight, back from the IR, so I'm making this call out with a Two!

I know many of you are "busy" with jobs, kids, school, GFs, etc, but I'm personally a little let down. When exterric is the first responder to a blog post (last week) - that really is telling.

While on the subject of last week and attendance, NewB, XTerric and I were graced by a visit of one of only two (is that right still) FT3 Vets.  Cappy himself joined us in his usual spirited self fresh off of a trip to Santa Cruz and a private tour of some lame place they make roller skates, exercycles and skating boards.  Can't remember what the place was called but he did come away with a sick ass t-shirt.
Cappy's attendance was rather enjoyed and brought a refreshing level of lively energy to the evening as well as awesome new trail blazing followed by short-riding us back to tacos where he once again lamented missing out on the TS100.  I personally was glad to miss out on it, but next year will be another thing all together for both of us.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jeff State

On a recent trip to the heart of Jefferson State I was intrigued by a few signs I saw along the highway - promoting the movement towards a new state - leading up to what one might consider the future capital of the 51st State; Redding.  I won't say who I was visiting but I did find a publication that I found interesting.

Who knew there was a Jefferson Monthly.  I was assured by the resident owners of this publication that said publication has nothing to do with the movement (nor do said residents) and it even goes to considerable length to separate itself from the politics of the Jeff State effort.  Nonetheless, I found the magazine name interesting.

I think the real question is whether Pollywood is inside the proposed boundaries of Jeff State.  This seems a valid discussion for the taco table.  To that end, I'll see you there.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tribute to Tom Magliozzi of Car Talk

FT3'ers I know many of you have your car (no not "Your" car NoCar) radio tuned to NPR on your drive back from the trail head on Sundays.  I certainly do and over the years have really enjoyed the banter and laughter of Tom and Ray, "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" of NPR's Car Talk.

With Tom's passing yesterday, this marks the end of a truly creative and unique radio show that many people have enjoyed for years.  At times, the show reminded me of some of you and how much we all laugh at the stupidest things and how much we enjoy trying to make each other laugh.  I know that my whole family enjoyed Car Talk and Tom's infectious laugh.

As we did in the past with the passing of another unique and creative showman, Huell Howser; I'd like to dedicate tonight's ride to Tom Magliozzi and enjoy a good laugh and a great ride.

And, don't forget to vote, bring a single speed and bring your lights.
First ride of light change, first ride of the month and it is voting day.

I'm in.


PS: I'll be riding on gears.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I know this sounds crazy, but . . .

I know, this is going to sound really weird, but I have this crazy idea. How about we gather in some random parking lot as dusk gathers, and instead of adding layers of clothing to insulate against the evening air, we strip down to glorified leotards? After that, we could stand around waiting for it to get dark before launching ourselves haphazardly into the woods on our bicycles, relying on a combination of skill, luck, and the guiding hand of Providence to hopefully avoid trees, rocks, ruts and roots that might otherwise send us careening into the underbrush. Sound crazy?

So crazy it just might work!

Care to join me?

Surf City CX #1 Race report by Cappy:

The long lost Bambi had always raved about the Surf City CX courses in Santa Cruz being sweet. I put his recommendation to the test this weekend. Indeed, the Surf City crew, who hold the honor of starting the first CX series in California, know how to set up a CX course. Great combination of hills, technical, run ups, barely rideable run ups, fast bumpy downhills and tough short climbs to make it an FT3'ers dream course.

You know you are in for a big day when your young child lines up next to a fully kitted, mini-cyclocross bike riding son of a pro in the junior race (this was the son of former MTB racer, pro roadie and accomplished CXer Ben Jacques Maines). Alas our motivated FT3 Gen 2 rider was not able to beat the pro's son, but he had a blast out there and was willing to wake up at 5:30am to make the trip - just so he could race in the Junior class as opposed to the silly kids race.

As for me, towing the line was a bit nerve racking. I was not sure what the hell I was doing there in the mix when there were two, I kid you not, two riders wearing WORLD champion stripes in the group. Not too mention at least one, maybe two national champions in the mix and a few other national level podium contenders. I rolled out briskly with the others, hoping FT3 handling skills would prevail, because I was sure fitness would not. Surprisingly I had a good start and was able to hang tough with the lead group in about the 6 spot for a lap or two without totally burying myself. The course took its toll though and I lost a few spots here and a few spots there. With about 4 laps to go I started feeling better and put in a nice hard lap, passed one rider. Then the side ache came. I had to reel it back a notch for a lap but was able to push through and with two laps to go I started drilling it again and was able to make a pass. With one to go I was in hot pursuit of the rider in front of me, but was unable to pass him before the line. I ended up finishing 13th in what I would consider to be a stacked field of 23 riders. One of my nemesis, Brian Staby was behind me, someone very capable of getting a podium finish in the Sacramento area. All in all a great day at the races, that one marks three weeks in a row of CX racing for me. This weekend I am racing at Lembi Park in Folsom, Sac CX #3. No Green Fro LRP for me...


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


The trails are freshly washed and the temps will be somewhere between sweaty and shivery, but don't forget your lights. I heard a rumor that Lars and RG will be baking pumpkin squares with Peter, but I could be mistaken.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Taco Table Report

The bloody moon ride was an instant FT3 classic. Some never before seen actions: early rollout for dam play while the rest of the pack congregated; gathering intel from spotters to chase down the pack instead of waiting at the last intersection when separated; the right lip carpeted in fat maple leaves that whipped in the air as we descended.

Important business was discussed at the Taco Table, while the guest taco bitch refused to use the taco hole, and called out orders like "X-something with no onions" and flopped the tray on the bar. Esteemed Long Ride Producer Green Fro, after consultations, has moved his Ride the King Fire LRP to November 2nd. A sub-committee was convened to decide if the after-ride sport would be basketball, soccer, or disc golf. Never one to overlook a blessed opportunity, Green Fro then reminded us that Veteran's Day "the Tuesday of Holidays" is going to be on a Tuesday this year. How will we take advantage of this? Gather Monday afternoon, hire a shuttle van and ride Rose to Tacos with a few planted gear replacements. Or something like that. Stay tuned.

Cappy Race Update - Sac CX #1 is in the books. The photos below speak loudly.

That is what it looks like when you leave it all on the course. And for what??? 11th Place in the 35+ A's. What the hell am I doing? Training harder, that is what I am doing. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Last Tuesday's ride featured epic trail conditions, a ride of the minute that actually didn't involve any riding at all, amazing over the bars acrobatics, major trail side bike deconstruction leaving a bike without a chain and rear brake pads, an attempted tow, and a couple miles of riding.  If you missed it, you're probably pretty hungry because you also missed out on your Tacos.

Speaking of tacos, it's Tuesday again!  And not any Tuesday - this is the revered single speed Tuesday!  Most of you have a one (or two) gear bike, time to bring 'em out.  Tonight will also feature a full moon, a lunar eclipse, and Draconid meteor shower.  Will trail conditions still be holding in the 'fair' range, or has the moon dust returned?  Will FT3 long ride into the night to catch a glimpse of the blood moon?  Time will tell...


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Damp Soil and a bunch of followers

What the hell does that title mean.
No, not that I'm the ride leader and that you will be following me around - not even close.
OK, so clearly you know about the rain and its impact on dust but what do I mean by a bunch of followers.

Let's have a look below at the nifty little chart of our blog and today's activities.
Apparently we have 106 page views today (probably 3 people hitting refresh over and over) and 41 followers.  I bet all those followers and viewers are dying for a post.  Actually, probably not.  I'm probably doing this just for me and a few other dorks.

And now, those 3 other dorks are really bummed about this not-so-ride-related post.

As bitter as I am about missing the CBCCFT3 night last week, I'm still in tonight.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The End of FT3

For the record, when I signed in the FT3 blog had 69969 page views. Kind of stirs the imagination.

To recap some late breaking news, Xteric prepared the following ride report.

The Echo to Echo Cappy birthday ride report goes like this: Start at Echo Summit,
drop some radness, then climb some radness,
then drop more rad,
then climb some smokey goodness,
then shred some twisty, big air, rain laden sickness.

From Meyers we traveled up our own private paved highway

while we enjoyed "one extra ounce"
until we arrived safely back on top of Echo Summit.
Full set here:

Tuesday Report:
Noob and I pulled into the Lot and found B --fully kitted, waving a flag off the Element's tailgate. Pulling in, Partial Credit got forced into a corner of the lot by a pair of ducks that didn't care if he was driving a truck. In spite of a relatively early Xteric arrival and Spawn pedaling up punctually, we still didn't bust out of the Knott Lott especially quickly. Mother Rye bid us out and urged us to hurry back, there would be special treats waiting. We gasped, "Could it be the Chickenbake Chimichanga?!?"

Spawn dutifully lead us on a hard charging ride along the less traveled routes out to a high spot on the Park Creek ridge where we could see the glow of the distant King. Then we bombed down a bulldozed fireline. The pulverized clay soil collected in drifts, some shin deep. We stopped abruptly, turned around and walked back up, stumbling through slash. The dust meter recorded a maximum visibility of 3.14 feet. Once on route, we ripped it back to the Knott as fast as we could.

It may have taken an hour to get kitted, but we unkitted in about 5 minutes. The mood at the bar was one of relief and festivity after the tension of impending doom that loomed over last week's tacos. While rye pours were still deep in their glasses, the first chickenbake chimichangas emerged from the tacohole. Fortunately there were three, which were evenly split into six. After spreading the salsa around, Xteric cut and passed. Miraculously no one tried to snatch the whole tray from the rest of the pack. The next hour or so is a blur of gastronomic bliss. We picked at our courtesy tacos while waiting for another of the crispy shells that were perfect for pouring sauce onto the creamy chickenbake and scarfing. With a jalapeno ring still stuck on his face Credit collapsed onto the table. Surrendering to digestion, we were profoundly melancholy. After noshing chickenbake chimichangas, what was left to achieve in life?

Back outside we solemnly burned our kits. We are no longer FT3. We are now FTCHICKENBAKECHIMICHANGAT.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Silver Lake LRP

The FT3 Hike A Bike Club carpool parked at the end of Dangburg Road in Kirkwood. After some spirited pedaling we quickly got down to business, dismounted, and pushed our rigs up the steep switchbacks onto Thunder Mountain Ridge.

Xteric surveyed the expansive landscape. This ride would take him deep into uncharted territory (since he totally stood us up last time we did the ride).

At one point I noticed a slow leak in my rear tube. Unfortunately, two weeks ago Newb used up all of our 9er tubes and Xteric and I only had 26 inch tubes and B only had a cross tube. The 26 inch tube worked fine.

When Horse Thief Spring was dry, we realized water might be a problem. Some moto guys filled up two of our bottles. But by the time we had ridden down Hungalelti (Squaw) Ridge to Long Valley, then back to Allen Camp, the talk was about how wonderful it would be to get to Plasse's.

Hungry and thirsty, we rolled up to the restaurant. I immediately started filling up water at the spigot. B went inside to check out the scene. He came back out, so excited his voice squeaked. I followed him in and saw a buffet table heaped with steaming dishes. Just as I started choking on my drool, B broke the bad news. He was told it was a private party. And the store was closed. Back outside I started crying quietly in the corner. A moment later the owner came out and apologized. His maintenance staff hadn't told him that it was FT3 who wanted to join the party. Of course we could come in and help ourselves to as much food as we wanted. Which we did. For free. And it was amazing.

In the interest of making it to the River Shack party, we skipped some single track and beat it back to the truck.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wedding March Revisited

Last week I arrived at the Knot Lot to find Green Fro there early and ready to roll.  He was strapping a rake to his bike.  It turns out that GF had 3 such rakes with him for the intended purpose of grooming the wedding march back into her old time glory.

On the heels of the TS100, Mr. Fro was thinking that some of the riders would be sore and tired and appreciate a more mellow ride.  I don't know how they actually felt about the shorter rider or tired legs, but I loved the effort and idea so I quickly strapped a rake onto my ride and we headed up the hill.  Our group made quick work of the trail and had the last upper section nearly down to dirt in short order.

I can say that Wedding march is really back to her old glory again or as close as anyone can recall in recent memory.  After the trail work, which ended just about the time we needed to turn lights on, we stashed the rakes up Park Creek road near the gate and headed back down to the top of Wedding March.  This was the first top to bottom wedding march for me in what seems like 3 years.  Thanks GreenFro for the great idea and execution.

While it feels like a Monday, it is definitely Tues.  I'm riding.

Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 Tahoe Sierra 100: Off the Couch and Into the Fire

After a week of pounding beers in the sun at sea level I figured I was ready for endurance mountain bike racing. Newb, Xteric, and I debated who was most under-trained. B debated if he was more likely to win the open SS or the age grouped category.
Mile Zero.
My shock was sluggish in the just above freezing morning air. After a stirring speech about how roadies go to Leadville, but all the hard mountain bikers were here, we started.
Mile 10
Noob got a flat.
Mile 22
Noob got a flat.
Mile 56
Xteric plummeted into the canyon. He landed about thirty feet below the trail and his bike was another twenty feet below him.
Mile 69
My legs started cramping.
Mile 73
Noob Noobed.
Mile 83
I crawled off the course and begged for a ride to the finish line.
Mile 100
Xteric and B learned that their shuttle driver had been taken to the hospital. Fortunately, a friend agreed (for a small sum) to give them a lift up to Soda Springs. I called Mrs. Nocar for a ride. She dropped me off at Marshall, where I got to explain, again, how I suck at riding bikes and needed medical attention. Two liters of intravenous fluid later I was home.

By all accounts, the day was totally awesome.