Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Return of Team 1

Year's ago, in the early days of this blog, there was a thing known as "Team 1." That was a four pack of elite FT3 riders that consistently won the Coolest 24 hour race (geared four man team category). Those riders included FT3 founder and early blog specialist "Larz," short for "Larz over the bars." He was not only good at writing on the blog but he also was excellent at crashing up hill - over the bars.

Additionally, Team 1 included the off-the-couch fast rider known as Bambi. For those of you unaware, he used to commute to Sacramento by way of "mooter" and once used his amazing MTB skills to escape death and injury when a wayward baby deer crossed his mooter's path at 55mph on Green Valley Road.

Other Team 1 members include active FT3 member NoHandle, and yours truly, honored to be designated the team Cap'n. While considered a rider with one wheel in the grave, my attendance demonstrates otherwise, while several other riders regularly fail to meet minimum attendance requirements. Such is life in the Pollywood trails. Team 1 is prepared to shred this evening. 

It is worthy of note the participation of Team 2 in the Coolest 24 establishment years of FT3, as it is likely that at least 50% of Team two will show tonight as well. Team 2 includes active members NoCar and XTeric, fringe member Councilman, and one other unqualified and unsanctioned non-FT3  hired gun known then as Pop Tart. 

Tonight shall be another reunion of sorts, be there or be pedaling squares. 


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Carson 50 Report

Last weeks ride was a set up to the Carson 50, perfect trails, a light crew, long light. XT, Uknown Local, NoCar, Keds, Buttons and (not sure of his handle-new Giant bike) and I goofed off a bit too much to take full advantage of the spoils, but in the end it turned out to be a legit FT3 adventure, as always. I was all in a twitter about preparing for the big race on Saturday. Laughable that is in hindsight, since I clearly went into that race over confident and under trained. It was just XT and I who were able to make the trip, Fro had some unexpected back issues.

Here is a brief report from my perspective. First of all, I should have signed up for the 35 miler. And from Epic Ride's perspective XT and I, in spite of being over 40, are not Master's racers. We will need to reach the ripe old age of 45 to race in that category. Here are some quick stats:

Lap Times

Cap'n            XT
1) 1:34         1) 1:47
2) 2:24         2) 2:15
3) 3:12         3) 2:45
Fin) 7:11     Fin) 6:48

XT finished 47 and I finished 55th out of 70 finishers. There were 95 racers in our class, so 25 did not finish.

My in depth analysis shows that both of us would have finished in or around the top ten in the open class we were assigned had we raced the 35. Hmmm.

My cramps started during the last climb of the second lap. I realized the seriousness of the cramps when I began cramping while gently pedaling downhill. I attempted to fuel up well on electrolytes etc. at the end of the second lap, just then XT arrived. We pedaled out for the last lap together. As I continued to suffer I watched him ride away. He was still in sight just before the final aid station, that is where I had to take a few minutes and have a come to Jesus meeting with myself. Ultimately the call was to HTFU, I continued on and suffered out the last of the climbing. The course was very exposed, hot A.F., and rocky, challenging, "Brutal" was XT's word. The decent back into town was actually super fun. Great trails. While I think the course last year would have been better, it was still fun and would have been way better if it was not so hot. It's a great event, we need to line up a crew for another trip next year.

Cappy Gen 2 and I participated in the Klunker Crit, which was super fun, I made the front page of a local online paper:


Here is a link to a race report for the pro class:


And  link to the results if you want to geek out on them a bit (check out Lance Armstrong's finishing time in the amateur class 50):


I am out tonight, but you all should enjoy a warm ride and a cool swim. When is the next LRP?

Larz in town next Tuesday June 27, let's make it special.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tying the Knot

Last Tuesday was not to be missed.

Business in the front, party in the back

Sunset start

The chasm 

Bachelor Down

The true measure of the evening's success was revealed the next morning when no less than three (3) wives sent out texts trying to locate missing husbands and one (1) mother set out to drive through the EID campgrounds in search of a son. 

Rain refreshed soils should make tonight's shredding extra shreddy.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Spawn Song

Bachelorhood: the window of self determination between when a man leaves his mother's house and when he comes under the dominion of a wife. That window slammed shut on Spawn some time ago, since he is now in thrall to his little girl, his wife-to-be, and his mom on Mondays and Fridays. But, society is built on rituals, and if he is getting married then we are throwing him a bachelor party.

For obvious reasons, the Knott isn't an appropriate venue. However, to keep things simple we will still meet there at the normal time. The apres-ride party will be at an EID camp site. EID fees add up quickly, so we will try to bring as few vehicles into the site as possible. Camping gear, night time clothes, party hats, etc, will get put into a vehicle that will head to the camp site.  Bikes and riders will load into a shuttle vehicle. Expect a late night. I will do the dinner shopping on Tuesday, so please chime in early.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

In Memoriam

Tonight's ride will have an alternative start, so we may participate in a commemorative ride for FT3 progenitor Sore Legs.

The itinerary is something like:
  • Meet at the Mosquito Lot at 6. 
  • Road ride through Apple Hill. 
  • Stop for refreshments. 
  • Proceed to Pollywood. 
  • Ride more. 
  • Eat tacos. 
  • Get home somehow.

Monday, May 22, 2017

newt-y pics

Tuesday May 16th, joins the long. long list of greatest FT3s ever. Fro and I pulled into the Knott lot under a steady rain. Being early, we grabbed a pre-ride rye. Soon, NH arrived with an EZ-up. Then XT and Cap showed up, as the baseball game their boys were scheduled to play was canceled for rain. So, we toasted good fortune with another round under the EZ-up. After Knot Hole patrons started coming out to join us, because word going around the bar was that a better party was happening in the parking lot, we decided it was time to kit up and get the show on the road. And then it stopped raining. The air stayed thick with moisture, and we rode through fogs and mists and bits of light rain. Our lights would catch the drops and accelerating into a decent looked like a jump to light speed.

Its that time of year again when the California newts are busy on their nocturnal conquests for love.

Although most FT3ers will more easily recognize them by their defensive posture when they try to intimidate potential predators by displaying bright colors.

This is the same thinking behind wearing the angry, red kit combo.

Thunder Mountain may be buried in snow, but that won't slow down long ride season. Coming up on June 17th:

Contact Fro or Cappy if interested.

Following that, I'll be running a reprise of the 2010 "Father's Day Massacre" on June 18th.

High 60s through ride time, almost swim season.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Lights Off

Was last week's ride as awesome as anticipated? No. It was far more awesome than that. Besides the double pack of pre-ride beers, the mild temperatures, and the perfect soil moisture, the big full moon was so bright we could navigate by its light along the bare ridges.

The Knott was busy enough that we elected to get back pretty late. Junior claims that he dropped four out of six riders, a feat that would surpass Newb's well known dropping of five out of eight riders.

At the Taco Table we got to hear the painful and long winded recount of how XT's great frustration of missing the Hobo ride drove him to madness. After leaving the "worst place on earth" Six Flags that evening, he went ballistic in a McDonalds Drive through in Davis:

and then at another McDonalds in El Dorado Hills:

His children still aren't speaking to him.

Nice temps and a little moist this evening. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Dirty Laundry

Anonymous Frenchie must have gotten stuck at Peter's house, because he missed a ride that lacked ass hammering but had plenty of man pushing.  Any veteran should have been nervous when B began worrying about his chain tension. A short ways in, it broke. NH valiantly pinged the plate back into shape and RideLeader decided to test it up MET. If it holds we could drop to the lake and be close enough to tacos if it breaks. Which it did. Ever resilient, we started pushing B on the flats and climbs, and sustained this without break from the East end of the lake all the way up the hill, past the guard station, across Sly Park Road and into the Knott Lott. To manage the burden we formed a V with B at the point and a string of riders pushing behind him on both sides. It looked like this:

And felt like this:

I won't be making it tonight. A gut wrenching illness ripped through the family this weekend; Guatemala bad.So, I haven't the energy for the fat tiring, or the stomach for the tacoing. I'm just relieved the first load of wash is on the clothes line.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ass Hammer

Newb and I barely survived a run of the Hobo on Saturday. The El Dorado corridor was sloppy, overgrown, and rutted. We stopped to marvel at puddle that must have been six feet deep, when the abutting land owner approached us with a shotgun. He said that a guy tried to ride through it on a motorcycle and ended up going to the hospital because some of the water got in his mouth and poisoned him. We proceeded to observe twenty seven different species that were shitting in the puddles. The alternative was riding the tracks, a situation we referred to as "turning on the ass hammer." Only Cappy could conceive a mountain bike ride that makes you beg for asphalt. Too bad we didn't have ass hammer body guards.

Should be a perfect night for riding.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Break

The spring holidays hold so much more tradition than boozy beach fests.

And FT3 takes them very seriously.  On this Holy Tuesday, we gather at sunset, smear the Knot Hole's door posts with hot sauce, and feast on tacos made with unleavened tortillas.

Balmy conditions, maybe some lingering snow, a full moon if the clouds break, should be lovely.  Maybe PC will make it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Glory Days

Our numbers swelled with familiar faces last week. And even though the Ride Leader ruthlessly declared only half the pack satisfactorily Qualified, we still coaxed them along, like kids trying to get a stray dog to follow them home.

Seems hard to believe that just a month ago Pollywood looked like this:

Conditions tonight should be somewhere between awesome and blissful. Just look out for those sticks.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

To Ride or Slide

This has been the question of late. Your Counselman has been battling the licensure process (soul crushing) as well as some cognitive dissonance related to the aforementioned leisure activities. Which one fulfills the need more? Where are my loyalties? Are they mutually exclusive?

While I know this is a cycling blog, there are a fair number of folks who are equally torn between which surface to navigate. Of course, both are preferable, but at any given moment (on any given day) that is the domain of a rare few.

So, as the seasons turn, and we consider how best to earn our turns, I am settling into the idea that there is only one imperative: What am I called to do in this moment? Tonight I am called to wheels and wet earth, to whiskey and the whiff of spices emanating from the Knott.

**Oh, and I'm bringing along my Uncle from Seattle...

What's your calling?


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Make FT3 Great, Again

Not many riders lately, so let me recap.

In the not too distant past, FT3 survived another Fat Tuesday.

As happens, the start of lent caused an attendance regression. Riders suddenly found they had competing interests, such as "family duties."

Last week Fro, XT, and I shredded on perfect soil, through perfect climate, and even started with lights off. We made it to the Knot a little early, and were greeted warmly. The  Taco Staff was considering the issuance of a Commendation.  The conduct of the Taco Table has risen above the decidedly lofty standards of the Knot Hole.  The riders present pleaded the case yet no acknowledgements were issued.

Wet today, but only a 60% chance for less than a tenth of an inch during ride time. And temps should be pleasant. Just a little spring shower. No reason to miss a Tuesday.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Warming Sun, Melting Snow

If you can roll, you should go. It appears our supreme blogger and top attendance gold shirt rider has gone off the radar, so it's up to me to post the call out, even as a non-participant. The great demands of parenting and family life will keep me away once again this week, hopefully the nice weather will bring the crew back to the Pollywood trails to forge the duff and assess trail damage. Get out there and ride!

Here's to NoHandle who rode half of the Solvang Century over the weekend. Welcome back to road form, looking forward to seeing your huge calves on a MTB soon.

Nil for now!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Dregs of Winter

What say yee FT3'ers? With abundant snow coverage on the trails of Pollwood, and the great ski supplier up in the north state slaying pow, what say yee? The dregs of winter have stricken now more than thrice, what say yee? Ride the pow as best it will allow, or take the bikes into the downtown? Branch out to A-town, or hit the trainer on the low down? What say yee? As for me, I am out, you all need to figure it out.

The count holds at Nil.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Put the Tire and the Taco? in Fat Tuesday

The snowy conditions in Pollywood are reminiscent of Fat Tuesday 2011. The wind was especially strong that year.

I'm guessing we'll encounter some cold puddles, slush, and rideable snow. One of those protect your toes sort of nights. Might be too cold to stand around in the Lot afterwards, even with a fire going.  What says the Comment Field?


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Heads Up

This past Tuesday was a diverse display of wets and colds. Receiving word that B would be late, Fro and I opted for the warmth of the Knot and a rye to collect our thoughts. But the Knot was busy and we had outfitting to attend to, so we quickly returned to the shelter of the ez-up. Slush was dumping from the sky. I taped the cuffs of my waterproof socks, Fro opted for full rain pants.

(snow accumulation while we dressed)
We did a short and freezing, soggy loop then returned to meet B. The wintery mix let up while he kitted, and soon we were back out in the elements; climbing into crunchy snow, then bombing back down into rain, crashing through swollen streams and frozen brush resistant as linebackers.

After changing out of water logged layers we returned to the Knot, that now gave us a proper reception.
If you weren't there last night you might now know what it looks like to sauce a chickenbake, french fry taco.

The FT3 Fat Tuesday Working Group proposed to the Knot Hole staff* that we repeat last year's arrangement, where we grill hot dogs in the parking lot and drink our own beers. They enthusiastically supported the idea. We'll see what the weather holds, but plan on hurricanes, short ride, maybe some trail work, and parking lot bonfire.

*Mother Rye was at the Casino.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Oh! The Wind and the Rain

From the bro-haul loading to the cheesecake gorging, last week was a bromantic Valentine's Day where everyone in the threesome got satisfied.

Tonight would be a good time for a big crew. Listening to the howling winds last night, I could only think of all the trees that FT3 will need to clear off our trails.

And while Hangtown Creek may have overtopped again, it looks like the rain will quit just before ride time. Probably still too wet for Peter, but everyone else should be good.

Lots of other activities in the works:
A motion was made to have a standing weekend Pollywood Ride. It may not be as popular while the resorts are still open, but if you ride your bike during the weekend either tell Cappy about it or keep it a secret.

Next Tuesday is Fat Tuesday. Anyone in attendance will be requested to procure one of the hurricane ingredients. I'll get the passion fruit juice and the pitcher. We still need light rum, grenadine, dark rum, simple syrup, orange juice, limes, ice (Knot Hole) and cups.

Long Ride/Backcountry Ski Day. I've got either the 19th, 25th, or 26th of March open for a full day of adventure, and am looking for a partner in crime.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

VDFT3 Report

The MacAskill of Cheesecake

The trails were almost as good as the dessert. Cap led nocar and me on a fine ride that of course had a cold dose of paved downhill right out of the gate.  We had hot peppered fries, some top shelf heat, the usual cans of riding fluid, a touch of rye, and some pretty good pie.  Happy Birthday Fro, you are only 20 in hair years.

Fat Tuesday is fast approaching.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Well, I couldn't resist posting this for you guys to enjoy.  May it be or not be the call out, really doesn't matter.  Here he is again, doing what many FT3ers wish they could.

Remember when we all tried just getting on and off a picnic table?


Enjoy.  This is Malcolm's new favorite movie, and mine too.

Great song, awesome riding, great scenery - it's what it's all about.  I wonder how many bikes it takes to make a movie like this?

If this is the call out, then I hate to say it, OUT.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


The snow was soft at the Pollywood resort last week. Having each member of the pack in their own gear brought an unprecedented level of performance, and we cruised up the climbs and hooted down the descents. Strong man "No Skins" Unknown Local was the picture of grace in his scale-less, skin-less AT gear.

And the Knott was very happy to see us before 10:30. So, happy they handed out three aces and a service beer.

This week will be a completely different story.

Looks like we'll get a little under half an inch during ride time. But, with the temperature a steady 46F, the arctic wetsuit won't be necessary.