Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Early Winter

L'il Miss Nocar

It should be bitter, cold, and wet tonight. 
That's FT3 weather. 
Maybe even some fresh snow on an icy base to make riding maximally challenging.
Who can resist?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

There is no Tuesday

Let's be perfectly honest. Tuesday is not a real thing.

The days of the week are, of course, a contrivance born of our human desire for regularity and routine in this chaotic, unpredictable world.

In a larger context, the days of the week exist as a form of social control. We conform to the expectations of society on Monday through Friday so that we do what we actually want to on Saturday and Sunday. This seems a fair bargain because it's just what everybody does.

As far as this author is concerned (social commentary aside), Tuesday exists only so there is an evening every seven days devoted solely to riding bikes, eating tacos, and washing it all down with a tasty fermented beverage or two.

So, today is "Tuesday," if that's what you want to call it. Will you conform to the expectations of society? Or will you heed the call of FT3 and fulfill a higher purpose?

Monday, November 9, 2015

VDFT3 Call Out

I feel like one of our beloved Veterans should be posting this call out, so if they feel the need to chime in or edit, please feel free.

It only happens every 6-7 years that Veteran's Day falls on a Wed.  This year of 2015 is one of those lucky years.  However, I feel the enthusiasm  and excitement of the past event has faded. What, with B out, NoCar on the verge of fatherhood  and snow flying in Pollywood as I type - I wonder what will happen tomorrow night.

(the Sly Park weather cam shows considerable snow flying too but does not convert well to an image: http://www.slyparkweathercam.com/)

I had contemplated an early departure tomorrow (5:30 ) and had gathered some momentum but now that even seems in question.  If such a departure were to happen, it would ONLY happen if one of two conditions were met.  Either, all riders agreed to this early start OR we would loop back for a 6:45 Knot Lot pickup of typical arrivers.

Now, the first question should be who is in, even if for a basic ride.
Who is in for a camp out and late night fun.  I'm happy to pick up a camp spot and wedge as many cars as they will allow and also bring fire wood.  I'm bailing on an early AM ride wed. however.

I'm in,

Ride Report published Friday 13th, November 2009
Cap'n, NoCar, B, and C-man (shortened from Councilman, requires a quorum-level approval) met at the Mosquito lot at 5:30. We made some calls and found Rock was already en camp, livid over an accident with his CX rig. Turns out it was knocked over and kissed a rock on the way down. OK, it was a violent collision and left a rather large dent on the top tube. We tried to console him, but realized time was of the essence and departed for the lake.

Upon arrival, we found NoHandle setting up and Rock lamenting the fate of his sled. Soon the troops starting rolling in and by 6:30 we were 10 deep. Xterric, VD, Fro, NoHandle, NoCar, Rock, B, C-man, Cap'n and Ghost all readied themselves, popped a few pre-ride beverages, and by 7pm, we were trailworthy. Well, that is, we were kit'd, charged, and quaffed for our requisite rollout photo op (RRPO). B insisted on a slew of group photos, and by the time most of El Dorado Co was tucked into their nightly sitcoms, we hit the trail.

We commenced with a clockwise tour of the lake, and within minutes we had multiple flats. After some recon, Slim Jims (thanks Ghost!) and a regroup, we continued. Just after Hazel creek bridge, we had another flat, and again the group assembled while repairs were made. The details are sketchy, but somewhere on the east side of the lake, VD went OTB. It was a solid impact and he was left shaken for the next few miles. We completed the lake loop and from the 2nd dam we headed up M.E.T. for a sampling of B's latest find.

From the Forest Service road just 4 miles east of the lake we ventured south down some paved, chip-n-sealed, and eventually graded roads in a teardrop, or better yet, sperm-shaped route around Baltic Peak (see B's map for details). The roads were fast, the climbs were steady and somewhat steep, and the 'cross bikes had the advantage. The group was spread out, with no surprises off the front. Ghost, Cap'n, Rock, and a few others led the charge. B, in proper ride leader fashion, kept track of everyone, often sprinting between the front and rear of the pack.

As we descended (and ascended) deeper into the forest, we found the scene reminiscent of pre-battle encampments outside Mordor (Lord of the Rings). Following modern forest management practices, there were small fires strewn as far as the naked eye could see. Upon closer inspection, most were stumps or small piles of brush. Eerie, really, but perfectly sensible when considering the aura surrounding the night's events. After several regroups, food breaks, and more photo ops, we decided against bagging the Baltic Peak. We were pushing the dinner time arrival past 10, and all soldiers were hungry.

As if on queue, C-man threw a chain at the "highest point in the loop", and repairs were warranted. Peter nearly made an appearance at this point, with the assembled members chiding each other and relishing the taste of real food. Calls were made to both the Knott and Denise. Well done, Rock, for keeping her cell # on speed-dial. Once the 4th (or 5th) mechanical was sorted out, the return to the lake was speedy. By 10:30ish, we rolled into the Knott. A weary lot, for sure, but happy to have sampled new trails and anxious to sample the tacos.

The taco portion was eventful, if for no other reason, because FT3 was allowed to mount a sizable tab. That's right, the group had no time to return to camp for our wallets, so we were on the hook for our orders. B started it off with an 8-2-1, Fro went deep for a full dozen tacos, and the Rye flowed like the Nile. C-man came up double Aces on his first 2 PBR's, and Rock was stealing tacos from NoCar. Tableside discussions ranged from NoHandle's chipper to Ceagles (B again provided audible samples of the rare bird's call), and preparations for the 3rd leg of the event were made. These preparations included post-taco doggy bags, I think a first for FT3?! Lila was off-shift but in-house to greet our tired crew. I believe references to shaving were made, and some examples provided, but I can't go into detail.

Once back to Camp VDFT3, the group dispersed, a fire was started and callouts were made for the Pino roundtrip. In the end, the heartiest among us mounted up and rolled to the Loge. B, Cap'n and NoCar all braved the chilly temps and drunken locals en route to downtown PP. In their absence we managed to console ourselves over additional beverages, lofty storytelling, and recounting of the Baltic loop. By 2:30, our mighty trio returned, and regaled us with details of their adventure. The "babysitter" was on duty at the Loge, and even opened back up to serve them. Proper, gents, proper.

Suffice it to say, the rest of the early morning's events were colored by multiple violations, bottles of this and that, and a solid showing for the fireside chat. We lost VD somewhere in the mix, and were questioning whether he had an unauthorized "guest" in his truck. Things wound down by 4:30ish, and with the early light all were sound asleep. This author slept a few hours and awoke to find VD scrambling to break camp. Ghost was the only other camper awake, and we parted ways in near silence.

What else can one say after such a long and eventful night? Can't wait for the 2nd Annual VDFT3!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Like the pitter patter of little foot steps, there was a  steady rain at the homestead from noon on Sunday until the evening last night.  And as with the pitter patter of tiny foot steps, this rain also filled my heart with joy.  As each millimeter fell, the forest relaxed just a little bit more.  Mist and fog rolled in resetting trail conditions to awesome.  And now that the mist and fog has rolled out, it's time for us to start rolling in on our 29er (and one 27.5) wheels.  Times a changed too, so now we enter a period of darkness - bring your reflectors.

Last week was awesome.  There were five very happy riders that shredded the trails with glee.  No Car, No Handle, Buttons, Will and myself were able to have a grand time out there, even with limited numbers.  We were able to tackle 3k feet of climbing as Cappy had requested, but fell short on the 20 miles and no ones light died (sorry Cappy).  However, while short on requested mileage we were still able to pull a coveted 8a drop and a full lip service (down Up Skid/Skid Row, up Right Lip, Down Left Lip Revised).  Tacos were served in the old fashion, every man for himself.  Mother Rye said she was done with it all, and so did Courtney (who managed to get Spawn to watch the wee one so she could serve us tacos!!!).

Now who's in?
Did it rain enough for Rocking God?
Will Cappy hire a baby sitter?
Is No Car a dad?
Is No Handle going to be out of town?
Is Council Man sick?
Is Xteric fixing downed lines?
Will Spawn ride and eat tacos?
Is Buttons going to get a new light to save on duct tape?
Will Green Fro lube his chain?

Update from the CX world last week by Cappy. 

Two weeks ago I took a glorious 35+ A 2nd place podium at the Truckee Bike Park CX race put on by Reno's Sagebrush Cyclocorss series.

Wednesday night's Final RodeoCross was packed with revelry. While I had every intention of being deeply involved in revelry from the get go, things changed a bit when one, then two top contenders fell out of the lead and I found myself off the front. A win in an A race is hard to come by, so the hand ups were passed on for consistent and smooth racing. I had the lead, the win in my sights... and Katerina Nash was present too, in the mix behind with the Women A's. If I had been 'chicked' by her my win would be nearly wiped clean, so I continued to hammer all the way to the line. While I did raise my arms in glory across the line, the photographers were more interested in funny costumes than racer's glory, as the spectators of heckle hollow were clear to let me know - I was taking things 'too serious.' Seriously though, for me that was the win of race of the year.

On to Sac Cyclocrss Double header in Folsom this past weekend - Race #1 appeared to be the better race for me to attend based on family commitments etc. In spite of the fact that the course was less desirable, it was a hot day, and my legs were less ready that they would have been for the Sunday race, I toed the line on Saturday. This time I opted to jump in with the Open "Elite A" men, to see how I should fair with the areas top contenders, both young and old(er). I made the switch because the 35+ A group has been meager of late and Saturday was no different, there were 6 racers, two of whom dropped out, and based on my 15th place finish time in the "Elite A" category I would have finished fifth in the 35 A class, which is basically last since  two dudes dropped out...And of course it rained on Sunday, so my handling skills would have been helpful, but I was wiped out and there was no way it would have been a good idea to attempt to tow the line, so no racing Sunday. Hopefully there will be some more foul weather races later this year.

So with only Bay Area races and Sac CX races remaining, I will continue the year as pack fodder for the region's strongest racers. Maybe one of you will join me some time... uh hem, Race Ready Rock God, let's do this!!