Friday, November 16, 2007

Share the Road, Asshole!

Asian lady in a white Landcruiser versus white male on a road bike. . . Guess who won? Equal and opposite reactions aside, I am feeling pretty damn lucky to have ridden away from this one. I, attempting to go through a crosswalk(with a green walking dude) she, making a right hand turn on a red light. I never actually made eye contact with her, but she was stopped for about 5seconds at the red light before I decided that she must see me. It turns out I was wrong, no sooner had I moved in front of her, smack! She pulled the very safe, heavy on the throttle, then look where you are going manuever. I heard the engine rev, thought "oh shit" then proceeded to fly through the air while rotating 180 degrees clockwise. Tool's Jambi blaring on the ipod as I smacked asphalt, I finally understood why maynard yells like he does when he sings. Long story short, a cop showed up, wrote her a ticket, asked if I was OK, info was exchanged, I am fine, hopefully my bike is as well. Might need a new front wheel( a zipp maybe) maybe a new frame (cervelo P3 carbon) we shall see.

Always assume that they are trying to kill you. This is the first time in a while I gave a cager the benefit of the doubt. . . a lot of good that did me.

Friday, November 2, 2007

a new season, new goals

Autumn: a time for reflection, introspection, and setting the stage for new goals.
It's time to start thinking about what kind of riding we all want to do next season. Maybe there are some scores to settle with ourselves -- goals we didn't quite get, for one reason or another. Maybe it had to do with lack of consistency. Maybe the goals themselves required a bit more than we anticipated. So what of this year? Will things open up, allowing us to do all the riding we didn't get in last year? Or will it be worse? What kinds of trade-offs are we going to have to make?

This is something I've thought about a lot, and I'd like to use this forum to make a couple of pretty big announcements.

First, I'd like to make an attempt on the world's hour record. My aim is, in one hour, to ride for two hours. This will be longer than anyone has ever ridden in one hour. It'll take some pretty precise training and probably a serious overhaul of my work ethic, but I think it's something I can accomplish if I set my mind to it. Some serious sacrifices will have to be made -- I'll have to clear my schedule of all the little, unnecessary clutter -- and I hope that I have the support of my loved ones and fans in this pursuit. Without recent advances in technology this would not even be possible for me. I'll have to use my heart rate monitor AND my stopwatch. A power meter would be a very useful tool, but in this endeavor a tachyon emitter might actually be more appropriate.
Depending on my success with the hour record, I might just set my sights on the 24-hour record, too. Who knows what's possible there? Maybe I can ride for 36 hours! The edge of the universe -- and of time -- is the limit!

And secondly, I'm going to do a serious overhaul of my freestyle riding. Freestyle, especially aerial maneuvers, have always been the most exciting and beautiful action on bicycles and in other realms. Find me someone who is not thrilled and amazed at watching Johnny Mosely or Toby Dawson, V-Dub or Cam McCaul. So it is my intention to complete a forward- and backward-flip simultaneously. Again, serious mental and physical training is going to be required for this. I anticipate that the crux of this accomplishment will be occupying two spin states simultaneously. As a boson this IS a theoretically feasible maneuver, but energetically it will be unstable, to say the least. I recognize fully the potential dangers, and I just ask that my fans and especially my loved ones keep themselves safe, and not worry about me.

For both these undertakings I've consulted experts at the Stanford Linear Accelarator and the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. The consensus is that I have a lot of work to do.

Well, that's it. I'd love to hear everyone's response to this, but especially I'd like to hear what everyone else's riding goals are for the upcoming season. How are you spending the winter? When are you going to start laying the groundwork to acheive these goals?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Caught Speeding

Fiesta Island, 10/7/2007. The final TT of the year. The posted speed limit on Fiesta Island is 25mph. I managed to average 25.26mph over 20k this past Sunday. I plan to turn myself in to the police sometime next week. I raced on my track bike with TT bars, and a 50x15 was my gear of choice. Very little wind, which was nice. 29min 31sec was my time. I am now a mere 5.5 minutes away from the record. I highly recommend this TT to anyone who has not yet tried it. It is a most remarkable form of voluntary suffering that is at least as addicting as good beer. The 2008 TT series begins in February, I will be training hard this winter in the hopes of breaking the 26mph barrier.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Team Time Trial

4 men, 4 bikes, 40 kilometers, 10, 728 heart beats(at least for me)

Team Doppler Effect was comprised of: Pascal Bonaventure, John Genovese, Daryl Oya, and myself.

We did turn in a respectable time of 59 minutes, 37 seconds. That time works out to be 25+ mph. 25.01 to be exact.

The first lap went well, with all 4 riders taking pulls, the second lap also seemed to be going smoothly until John announced that we had dropped Daryl. I was shocked to hear this, mostly because I expected to be the one to get dropped. We decided quickly not to wait, and to just press on with three, the minumum needed to finish the race. A quick prayer was said to the flat tire gods, and one to the bonk gods for good measure.

Laps 2 through 4 were fairly uneventful, Pascal and John both took longer pulls than me, and also took all the pulls on the headwind side of the island. This is standard procedure for the team leader to be saved for the end of the race, just ask Lance.

About halfway through lap 5 I was certain I was dying. I glanced at my heart rate, and saw that it was at 193, which is technically, 4 beats above my theoretical maximum. We slowed to around 20 mph for around a minute as I slowly dropped to a sustainable heartrate. After this break, we pretty much hammered through to the finish, sprinting the final kilometer at around 32mph.

I believe that the mark of a good time trial is when you have snot dripping out of your nose after you finish, and you don't care. By this measure, I think we had a good TT.

All in all, a positive experience, next year I would like to ride with a more evenly matched team so that I can pull a little more. . .Lynch, I am looking in your direction.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Track update

Great news: Dr. Ruf-Dawg is ALIVE, and doing as WELL as a Medical Resident might hope.

It's been an off-n-on summer at the velodrome.

Mikey spent a lot of the summer getting shelled in the B's -- he hung on and rode well but those guys are FAST -- and then came back to the C's and raced to some respectable results. Then Lady Luck shit on him and he tweaked his back swatting with a metal stick at grapefruit-sized balls lobbed at him. Knocks on softball aside, this was a pretty serious injury and only last night was he able to come back to the track. He was definitely off his form somewhat (from where he had been), but I'd say he's still riding better now than he was last year. He and I duked it out on the last lap of our 12-lap point-a-lap for what I thought in my hypoxic haze had to be 12th and 13th place, but turned out to be for the lone available point (4th place that lap!). My chicken legs were just cooked and he managed to draw from the stores of strength he's got hidden in there, and he ended up taking 5th place overall. Best of all, he didn't get skunked like the rest of us did. I was 6th. You see, when you race the C's, there's about a 30% chance that there will be a sandbagger or two who just make the race silly. While it's heartening to think that, had those two dudes who walked away with 1st and 2nd in all of our races NOT been there, Mikey and I would have been battling for podium spots in probably every race. Yet sandbaggers are a great dose of humility -- they illustrate plainly that there is a lot of competition above you, always, and there is a lot of riding to be done.

I digress.

Let's see ... other highlights.

Iggy's back from his Belgium adventure. He didn't look as strong racing as before he left, and I suspect it's from just being cooked, or jetlagged, or maybe bored. It was good to see him, one way or another. He looks a bit more lean than when he left. That probably means he didn't drink any Belgian beer.

Bad crash on turn 3 during the B's miss-n-out (or win-n-out?). This event changed the way the rest of that race played out, and even thinned out the field for all the subsequent races, putting everyone on edge a bit. Kelly went down HARD with Andrew (I think -- I don't know him), making that awful, awful bodies-on-concrete sound punctuated by that horrible bone-chilling screech of metal scraping concrete. Everyone is okay, though less happy.

There's a company taking pictures nearly every week at the track now. Some of them look pretty cool. They seem to like Shaun Wallace a lot (but really, who doesn't?), but they manage to cover the whole crowd pretty well. Only one racing day of pictures up so far, but I imagine there will be more soon. I managed to sneak into a few in the Waltworks jersey, and you can tell in one that I'm about to take a serious flyer. I like the illusion that cropping creates -- without the context of the whole race in the picture, I might actually be in the lead, or at least not dying off the back.

I feel like I'm starting to recover a bit from the few months of spotty or zero riding, and am starting to feel like I have a little bit of form. I'm still pushing a tiny gear (50-16), but the C's are a slow enough bunch that I can get away with it. Plus, I think the months on months of high-cadence drills for tri training and weeks of trying to race on a stock 48-16 gearing have made it so that my legs don't get angry at higher pedal rates. Some day I'll have turkey legs (a step up from chicken, except for the tryptophan) and will put a bigger gear on. But first I'm just going to win some points, sandbaggers or no. With this slow-but-steady upward trajectory I could see myself actually racing with the B's next year. I've gotten to watch a few guys ascend -- Mike included -- and it's a bit frustrating.

I felt like it could happen, I could get points, in my last race last night, but I blew it. My fatal mistake was not taking an attack seriously until it was too late and I was off the back. I heard Kelsea (spelling? anyway the other half of Team Arguile) shout UP UP UP UP and I saw my favorite sketchy fly-n-die rider charge hard. I thought, "there's no way anyone will take him seriously", but I was flat f-ing wrong. Everybody went. And then I was in the back. I was trying to get coordinated with the other Steve and a few other dudes to get back on, but just ran into one snag after another, all centered on the C's not knowing how the hell to do pulls. Ray-ray was the worst. He was sitting wheel number 2 (I was 3) and he pulled up with Steve, bled some speed, and then realized he should probably pull, and dove back down right on top of me. I had kind of seen it coming and was able to maintain some space. But then he started to drag ass, and I had to pull up and over him in order not to run him over. So I pulled a lap. Ray-ray somehow managed to stay in the number 2 spot, despite dumb-ass blunderous riding. Then I pulled up to hear him goad, "Is that all you've got, one lap?" What a cock. What an idiot. He's racing Collegiate Nationals in a few weeks and I'm pretty sure he's going to get his ass handed to him. Of course that left him in charge of the line again, and I sat in the back to watch him cause an amazing accordian effect (with only 5 riders!) as he started to drag ass AGAIN. I heard the sprint bell ring, looked back and saw the lead was about 1/4 lap down from LAPPING us, and just called it. The bummer was, I still felt like I had legs, because I never got to spend them in that last race. It's all my fault, but it would be nice if I could have not been impeded from trying to make up for it.

Mike sat that one out. I can't say I disagree with that decision.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

the demo vid

quick note: posts from kev are conspicuously lacking. you out there, kev?

indeed the trip never dies. and now it, and some other -- ahem -- footage is set to music, in an experiment in movie making.

a rough draft. lots of familiar stuff, but in newer, cooler context. final version will be better, and available with wider permissions. enjoy. let me know (email) if you can't see it and i can easily remedy that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The trip that never dies!

Here are some more videos from the Moab April 2007 trip. Some decent footage here. Please note that everyone seems to boo when Kev does the drop at Bartlett. . .weird, but beautifully spontaneous. Oh, and there is even a video taken by Pat, he did eventually figure out how to work a "digital" camera. Good on ya mate!?

Without further adieu. . .

Mountain Biking = FUN!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Moab video madness!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only the best. . .

if you watched all of these. . .you are awesome, we are awesome, we are the future of mountain biking. . . V-dub, watchout!

more vids to come. be on the lookout

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Moab Revisited. . .again. . .why not?

We are in the prime of our time. The cusp of our stuff, as Strongbad would say. Castle Valley in the background, if you have never been, go.
Eric likes fig newtons. He kind of reminds me of the "I like turtles" video that has been going around. Google "I like turtles" you will find the video.
Is Kev a closet triathlete? Impossible, we all know Rufner is latin for sinks like a stone. . .
Sleeveless again? "The Todd" has nothing on "the Kev" Moab is awesome, I hear Fruita is even better. Fruita April 2008? I say yes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

sycamore and noble grand tour: a farewell to pat

It's been a few weeks now since Pat's last weekend in Southern California. Before he ventured off to Sydney by way of Boston via Denver (dude, why not stop in Vancouver along the way?), the consensus was that some serious riding was in order -- some kind of leg-melting send-off.

And an epically victorious weekend of riding it was.

I'm not sure what the exchange rate between Road and MTB miles would be, but considering that a respectable weekend of road riding might include about 50 miles, and a truly exhausting mountain bike ride might be as few as 15 miles long, the 50 or so that we pedaled on the mountain bikes over Saturday and Sunday definitely rank as "tough". And "Fun".

We can confidently log 8 hours of saddle time, dinner at pizza port, Santana's burritos, and a LATE dinner of kabobs and Super Troopers.

Littering AND ... ?

As soon as Pat got down to SD from Irvine on Saturday afternoon, we headed out to Sycamore Canyon for a couple hours of fun-and-easy riding. Nice loop up at the top, and some fun, fast single track serpentining along the bottom. And let's not forget the BMX jumps. My standards for this aren't very high, since I consider it a victory any time my tires simultaneously leave the ground and then return, preserving their initial rider-to-wheel orientation. Regardless, I was successful in this venture. But Pat and Mike both got a few good launches. (pic: Mike points out that Pat still needs a cooler jersey, and Pat looks away in shame.)

Littering AND ... ?

Our decision for dinner was probably the worst call of the weekend. I'll take responsibility for that, insofar as I think it was my idea, but it was definitely subject to veto all along the way. Kabobs are delicious, but require significant prep-time, and this may not be so good when you're not even getting home from riding till 9pm, and plan to wake up at 5am to go riding again. Dinner was ready at 11pm. Oops. The baked brie wheel with chile jam is awesome.

A mere 6 hours later we were rising out of our respective slumbers to move bleary-eyed towards the focus of the weekend of riding: Noble Grand Tour with Jason. No worries, though -- he was on his single speed.

We might have successfully beaten the heat with our early start had we not just pedaled right through it, anyway. We didn't get back to the cars for 6 hours. When we arrived there were a lot of other cars in the lot, and loads of other riders prepping for their Noble Canyon ride. None of those cars were there when we got back. Given the ride we did, this is definitely a feather in my cap.

Littering and smokin' the reefer.

The Noble Canyon Grand Tour started with a backwards run of the Extra Credit Loop, heading on up the fire road to the Indian Creek turn-off, then up Indian Creek to the Noble Canyon Trail intersection, up to the Sunrise Highway, up to the Big Laguna Loop, and from the end of that loop back to the Champagne Crossing, and finally down the Noble we all know and love. We'd been in the saddle for 4 hard hours before we even got to the descent. I think that the three of us had long since fallen into survival mode by the time we got there (Most of that time was climbing), but everyone managed to perk up a little bit after some shade and the introduction of much-needed negative grade.


A couple of these parts I'd never done before. Indian Creek: Steep and loose. probably more fun to descend. Wouldn't be as bad to climb if the overall ride was going to be a bit shorter, or you're in super-human shape.
Extra-credit loop backwards (Pool tiderc-artxe?) is also less fun going up than it is going down. To be fair, we were all stuck behind some other riders who were neither as fit nor as confident, and we ended up walking a lot of stuff. I guess it's a nice change to go down on the whore. Er... go down the whore, i mean. the hill. not ... nevermind.

Gimme a liter o' cola.

Miraculously, in this 6-hour marathon re-verification of the subtle notion that going DOWN-hill on a mountain bike is generally more fun than going UP-hill, NOBODY FELL. Well, actually, nobody fell BAD. Mike flopped gently into a bush when he pulled the ejection cord in an effort not to land in a toothy, jagged mess of rocks. He got up and cleaned the rest of the section. Pat got launched over the steep side en route to his attempt to clean the section that has haunted him and been the source of all the hilarity in Mike's stories of Pat riding. MIRACULOUSLY he managed to pull it back together, climb back on, find the good line and clean it. It was excellent. I took my small victories, too. Getting bolder all the time ... More fun every ride ...

Some of the best beer EVER was had at the bottom when Jason and James (who both killed us on this ride), after beating us down to the parking lot, returned from an errand of fetching a couple six-packs. Glycogen depleted and dehydrated, we had the awesome experience of effectively taking beer intravenously, without the risk of carbonation in the veins. Beautiful. A quick, clean and instant (if short-lived) buzz.

Am I saying "MEOW"?

Needless to say, the legs were shot for a couple days after that.

One last note: Jason. Holy ... ! Howthehell ... ? whatthe ... ? SINGLESPEED? SERIOUSLY? damn ...

S'more Sycamore pics.

Rabbit hops.


Goodspeed, Pat.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

My new no speed

Bent chain link plus ferocious pedal power plus technical up = drive train apocalypse. On my ride of porcupine I tried to crank over a ledge and somehow destroyed my drive train. The bent link caught in the rear derailleur, torquing the arm beyond recognition, snapping the hanger and throwing the whole works into the spokes. Fortunately, the rear wheel seems to be true and all the spokes survived.

Notice that the cable of the derailleur runs BEHIND the chain stay because the wheel wound the chain and derailleur around the hub half a revolution. The whole works got so tangled up I had to break the chain several times. It took about 10 minutes but I removed the chain and used an ace bandage to hold the derailleur to the chain stay. I was able to coast my new no speed down the last half mile of dirt. No speeds are a bit tricky on the downhill.... No bursts of speed to help over technical spots. But at least they work. For the flats and climbs, I do not recommend them. I got to push/coast/walk my bike the 6 miles into Moab. And despite lots of empty pickups passing by, no one offered a ride, the bastards. Cycling shoes are not great for walking.

For the record, I had sram x9 derailleur and chain. I'm getting shimano this time around. I did not like sram at all. The chain consistently missed teeth when I pushed hard. Then this...

Minus drive train apocalypse, the ride (below) was epic! I still had a ridiculous grin on my face, despite the long walk back and the fact that I'll be dropping $100 plus at the shop.

Solo Ride on Porcupine Rim

So I had this long drive back to CO from CA through the desert and without the modern convenience of air conditioning. The brilliant way to make this all worth it is to stop in Moab for 48 hours to break up the drive. Then hike up Negro Bill Canyon and ride Porcupine rim!

Riding porcupine solo is an experience. Man vs desert, bike vs wild technical desert trail. Riding it solo in the summer adds a bit of dehydrated scorching death in the desert element. Fortunately I found a shuttle company running and there was a group of 2 that would be (way) behind me in case I needed someone to report where my body lay. I left the stock tanks (main trailhead) at 6.45am and the sun already felt way too hot. The 4 mile climb to the view (over castle valley) was as grueling as usual, and already I could feel the oppressive summer heat. But the 11 miles of downhill made up for that. Absolutely awesome. Riding solo lets one get into a certain technical rhythm. I flew down the trail, cleaning sections I had not cleaned before and hitting all the hucks without pause. I even managed some of the tough section on the last 3 miles of single track. Of course, I still had to hike the bike around the insane technical stuff at the creek crossing. After that I blasted down the trail until, with 1/2 mile remaining, mechanical disaster struck. Yet even with the mech problem, I made it back to the road (highway 128) in 2 hours 30 minutes. Not bad. As for the mechanical problem... see the above post.

Next trip we have to do the higher drop!

(Photo: the "death on the right" singletrack at the end of the ride skirts the very top edge of this mesa wall, rising about the Colorado River. The trail turns away from the river after that, to the insane creek crossing, then drops riders out on the road in the river valley.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

vanilla bean gu.

amasa back, revisited.

of course, the scenery. but the important part is the audio.

let this be a lesson that you should never, ever put yourself in the position where you may have to rely on any member of the ucktard racing team for bicycle maintenance, especially on-trail.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A real SS !

Funny how things work out. I prepare to enter a post with a real photo of my single speed, Steve enters a post about his POS SS. Anyway, here is the machine. Notice the lack of chain tensioner, this is accomplished by using a half chain link to shorten the chain. Possible upgrades. . .everything but the frame, stay tuned!

the trek vs the canyon

an attempted ride on the (old, rescued beater) single speed in pq canyon was thwarted inside 10 minutes.

first, the fall. stupid cheep tires just slipped out on the turn.

then, the rattling jingle sound. cassette lock ring came loose, and my spacers and cog were just floating merrily.

then, the fold. i know i tightened the hell out of them after i folded the first chain ring in half. nonetheless, one of the chain ring bolts came out and on the way back up the trail to the car (after less than 10 minutes of riding) i folded another chain ring.

i returned to eric's truck by hiking and scooter-ing that p.o.s. back up the hill.

i'm pretty sure the bike self-destructed because it heard me start to spec out a new, respectable single speed. now it's definitely time to work on that.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Escape from PQ Canyon

Santa came early this evening. That is, if Santa is an over-zealous park ranger whose definition of sunset must be the time when you can no longer see the sun, which is pretty much all day if it's cloudy.

After parting with Mike at the conclusion of the maiden voyage of his new SS ride, I returned to the parking lot to discover a queue of cars waiting behind the locked gate. On my windshield I found a parking violation warning, which promised that the ranger may not return for an hour and a half after being summoned to unlock the gate. The guy who called him initially was discouraged by the apparently complete lack of understanding of the person on the other end of the phone about where we were and why we might need to be released, and had apparently already been waiting a half hour. This was a good 10 minutes after sunset, as far as I could tell.

Some took matters into their own hands. Ultimately we all made it back to freedom by stacking up debris so that all our little sedans and coupes could make it out unscathed by driving up the curb, over the grass, around the locked gate, over the fence that had been ripped out by someone who had apparently been through this process before, and back down onto the street. Any worries about the ranger driving up in time to catch us springing from PQ canyon were alleviated by the guy on the phone saying, "Even the police don't seem to understand or care."

It was a laughably crappy cap to an otherwise extremely fun ride that redeemed a very, very weird and annoying day that involved getting a parking ticket (the real kind, to the tune of $40), learning that I stand a good chance of being evicted from my grad student housing for being too close to graduation but not quite close enough, learning that the resolution to this potential lies in my own delusion about how far I actually AM from graduating, and of course starting the day for the second time in a row on low single digits of hours of sleep after assembling a talk on a subject that was probably nailed down by the Russians decades ago.

The Cask IPA at dinner was beautiful, just like riding the Waltworks and the new SS.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My new single speed!

Check it out! Damn it is sweet, and so simple. Too bad Kerry took the camera for the summer, or maybe I would have a better photo to use. The bottom line is. . . this bike is the shit. $50 well spent. The Fuji strikes again, much like trogdor!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Share the Road!

So today was the day. It all started out so well. I was quite pleased with myself for breaking my PR for the Torrey Pines hill. The ride home was equally eventful.

Let me try to explain the diagram. Yellow box 1(1 black dot in box) represents where I made a right hand turn and passed a FedEx truck. Yellow box 2 represents where said FedEx truck regained the lead in the race to Torrey Pines. Yellow box 3 is where the FedEx truck slammed on the brakes to yield to cyclists already riding down Torrey Pines.(there is a "share the road" sign about 100 feet before the truck stopped) Yellow box 3 also represents the exact point that I locked up the brakes and ran directly into the back of the truck. I vividly recall the slow motion experience of realizing that no matter how hard I pulled on the brakes that I was going to hit the truck. I remember thinking " my tire is probably going to be out of true after I hit the bumper" Tire hit bumper, my head hit the back of the FedEx truck, and then I fell to the ground, landing hard on my left arm. My first thoughts were that I had definitely broken something, followed by my verbalization of those thoughts, not repeatable in a semi family friendly blog.

What happened next boggled my mind. The FedEx truck remained stopped for another 10 seconds, and then drove away. Either he never noticed I hit him, or he is a convicted felon. Fortunately some cyclists that were riding by notice me lying in the middle of the road and stopped to help me. The collision knocked both of the end caps off my handlebars, and they were both promptly run over by the next car that passed by. Better the bar end caps than me I suppose.

Arm clearly not broken I decided, helmet, on the other hand, not so lucky. Kerry picked me up, took me to the ER, neck X-rays negative. Narcotics prescribed and then sent home.

The bike is going into the ER this weekend for some diagnostics. Looks like the fork or frame may be cracked.

Closing thoughts. . .road bike brakes suck. Don't even think about trying to get a draft off of a large vehicle that can't see you. Always wear a helmet. I recommend the Giro Atmos. I sure am glad I am not a triathlete, I would have broken my collar bone for sure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

XTerra Castaic, 4/29

Hot. Really really hot. The race, I mean. Not this:

Now that I have your attention ...

Mass swim starts SUCK. Twice I got kiced or elbowed or assed in the head and had my goggles dislodged and gulped some good lake water.

I'm finding that a lot of these race courses are not very ineresting as mountain bike rides. The course designers want them to be challenging (good race reviews), but not dangerous (bad for insurance), so this usually means non-technical rides with LONG, STEEP climbs. There are fun sections (like the cool, rollercoaster section with the steep downhill banked turns!), but they go by too quickly. On the first lap I was pushing the turbo a little hard and overheated -- at one point near the top of one of the longer climbs I even had to stop and dismount in order not to pass out, because my vision was tunneling and I was getting dizzy. I figured this was a bad way to start the descent.

Dehydration was definitely a factor. It was pretty much inevitable, given my planning on there only being about 1000' of climbing on the ride, a tidbit I read off the course website, and only riding with one bottle. It turns out that the bike course had more than 1000' of climbing on EACH of the TWO LAPS, and did I say it was hot? My bottle was gone by the time I was done with the first lap, so I took the fairly unorthodox step of stopping to fill it up at the lone aid station before continuing on my second lap. The second lap, incidentally, went much better after I decided to say "Whatever. Just finish. Enjoy the ride." And I did. (No other ride photos were taken because my lovely photographer was out on a run. Plus, hiking up that crap would have sucked.)

On the run I was getting chills, which would have felt GREAT in the heat, had they not been a sure sign that I was well into dehydration -- it was at least 80F outside. (Photo: charging out of T2 ... just before I yelled to the photographer, "GIVE ME YOUR F'ING HAT!")

Nonetheless, I managed to grab 3rd in my age group (this has more to do with the agegroup than it does with my own racing), which meant I got to take home a sweet pint glass with the race organizers' logo on it. It's like they knew who would be racing. Sadly I had to provide my own beverage to fill my trophy. I accomplished this immediately upon returning home, and have done so several more times since.

Coming up: Temecula. Hotter, looser, longer, and more people. I think I'll Strap a cooler full of ice and capri-suns to my bike. Oh, and otter pops!

Look upon my Waltworks and smile.

Fiesta Island TT 5/13/07

The details:

Distance: 20 kilometers

Time: 30 minutes 48 seconds

Average Speed: 24.2 mph

Average Heart Rate: 175bpm

Max heart rate: 193bpm

Gearing: 50 x 15

Cadence: 91 rpm

Aero helmet: no

Aero shoe covers: Hell yeah!

Shaved legs: Not while Kerry is in town

Monday, May 7, 2007

Turning 29 for the first time

So the team congregated at Stone Brewery to celebrate rider Steve's great 29th birthday, the last age you turn for awhile at least. This calls for celebration, and so we consumed many very strong beers. I think there was some food involved as well but I can't recall. Anyway, pictures of the star rider, other star riders gearing up, and the support team.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

San Juan Trail 5/6/07

Epic ride today. Words do not describe what happened today. Just ask Pat's brother.(Ryan) Actually I encourage anyone who reads this to get in touch with Pat, Ryan, Steve(not lynch) or myself to find out all the glorious and not so glorious details. I leave you with some sweet shots on the day. . . enjoy.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Steve has some competition!

I will leave this one up to the loyal readers of the Ucktard Racing blog. Please make your voice heard by voting in the comments section of this post. Steve, or mystery girl. This is a tough one, the background for Steve sure is pretty. . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday Night Racing

Pedal hard, turn left. It is really that simple. However, there is no guarantee that what one perceives as "hard" will be hard enough, especially when Ed decides to sandbag in the C category. 4/24/07 marked my third and first decent outing at the track, while it was Steve's first trip of 2007.

The picture above is just before the start of the final race of the night. On this particular night it happened to be the B,C 25 lap points race. Note that I am in first place, oh yeah!

There is no way to adequately explain how much fun racing and spectating at the track is. I encourage all young and old to come on down, it is free, and drinking is encouraged.

Back to the race, blistering pace from the get go, sprint laps every 5th lap, and prime laps just about every other lap. 26+ mph was the average speed for the race, as you can see, no camera could capture me without some blurring.

More posts to come, look for some action shots of the Steve very soon. B3 racing!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

San Juan Trail 4/22/07

What can I say dot dot dot full stop This was a ride for the ages full stop Pat needed help with his tire comma then his tire pressure full stop The ride started fantastically comma many switchbacks to the top comma followed by some sweet rutty downhill full stop We then did the loop proper comma followed by some sweet technical uphill full stop After a few gu apostrophe s comma we chinese downhilled to our heart apostrophe s content full stop The downhill was awesome comma except for the rescue helicopters looking for Pat apostrophe s weed stash full stop Back to the car in one piece comma followed by a sweet trip to a fish taco slash fish sandwich shop full stop A quick coffee and we were on our way full stop San Juan Trial is definitely a top 5 ride for the UCSD crew full stop

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Porcupine Rim, Take 1

Porcupine Rim's got something for everyone: technical climbing, fun scrambling, little hucks, big hucks, tough downhills, easy downhills, singletrack, sand, action photo ops, panoramic photo ops, precipitous drops, and the occasional quad-bruising root to fall on and fuck up your next few days of riding vacation that you've been daydreaming about for months.

Monday. First major ride of the week. The continental breakfast at the hotel leaves something to be desired, though Mota seemed to be pleased eating half a dozen donuts. The hotel provides THE worst coffee in town, since they seem to be the only ones making it from a can, while everyone else serves fresh, locally roasted coffee to order.

On to the ride ...

It's difficult to imagine riding to the trailhead from town and completing the loop. Even shuttling this ride is exhausting, so I have to put my shuttlers-are-wimps elitism on hold. It's definitely deserving of its reputation as one of the classic rides of the area. By "area", I mean Earth.

Kev and I each took a while to get all the cylinders firing, with our new, strange bikes and our respective broken ribs. Not to mention that it's rough having to warm up on a climb. So it was ironic when we all looked up to find the source of the "THUD --- GRRrrooooaannnnn" about 2/3 of the way up to the peak. Mike had crashed. Mike Morton, the shit-talker of shit-talkers, the bane of Pat's riding reputation and the principle perpetuator of all stories Pat-endo, had gone over his bars. None of us was ready to give him shit, though, because he had actually hurt himself, falling on a root that might have actually contributed to his trip over the bars. Such a fall so early in the first ride was not a good mood to set for a week of riding.
Nonetheless, he soldiered on and finished the ride, and then cursed me and Pat for taking too long to return to the foot of the trail with the car and pain remedies: a bucket of iced beer, a bag of ice, and a bottle of ibuprofen.

Pat, on the other hand, seemed to be unfazed. If anything he actually seemed charged up, like it was retribution or something. He stole Mike's Mojo and rode the hell out of it that day. It was a drastic change from his cramping up and nearly dying on the San Juan trail the week before. He made several passes at each photo op huck spot, going bigger each time. These performances even warrant redundant picture postings.

Last thing: we saw the biggest idiot on a bike in all of North America (at least, of those not already elected to office). Some dude, presumably a retarded local, passed us on the single track section with the huge exposure riding without a helmet. Keep an eye out for him in the Darwin awards, or in Congress. He looks like one of those kooks in the 70's ski movies with a bushy moustache and a sunburned scalp and the big blue blocker sunglasses, but he's on an red, unmarked full suspension ride.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Steve and Mike's first Crit

Fast, is the only way to describe the race today. 40 minutes of pedaling hard and turning right, Steve and I are used to turning left when pedaling hard, so we were at a distinct disadvantage.

The average speed over the race was 24 mph. The course was .9 miles and mostly flat, but with a nasty headwind, which seemed to blow harder when we were riding into it than when we had it at our backs.(I believe this is typical wind behavior)

No podium finish for either of us, but ample servings of humble pie were available.

Klondike Bluffs

Sunday afternoon Kev, Steve and I headed off for a quick warm up ride before calamity Pat arrived. Little did we know that Pat would leave most of his calamities at home(except for his penchant for taking trail dumps). Kev picked up a sweet rental bike and we were off. The trail started with about 3 miles of gentle climbing on fire road. We then veered to the left and hit a relentless patch of sand. The 29'er Steve was on seemed to cut through the sand the best, or was it because Steve lacked the mass necessary to sink in the stuff? Clearly, Kev and I sank like rocks(probably due to our massive biceps and quads). Some sweet slickrock and moderately technical climbing followed, culminating in a sweet view at the top.

The descent was without incident, until the final 3 miles of fire road were "chinese downhilled"! Kev, in the wake of crashing his new car, wisely sat this one out. Steve and I raced to the death, and for the first time in my life, I drafted off of someone while mountain biking. Steve, ultimately, was no match for "Mota Morton" as I raced like mad for about 10 minutes longer than I needed too. The win rang hollow, as I realized I had won nothing other than a case of very sore legs.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Long and winding road

The dreaded automobile red-eye. Steve and I thought it would be a good idea to leave San Diego at midnight, with the hopes of arriving in Moab early enough to have lunch and get a ride in before dark. Missions accomplished, but not without some danger. First, Steve played some Alanis Morrissette on his ipod, which almost put me in a coma(a car crash in Victorville is never a good thing). Second, Steve's rhythmic snoring, unlike Forber's chaotic log sawing(to be discussed in a later post) contributed to some tense moments in the pre dawn hours in St. George. After a delicious McGriddle in Cedar City we were getting our second wind. Steve took over somewhere on I-70, "the I-70" if you are from so-cal. A rest stop/ vista caught our attention, that and the finely tuned machines(known as our legs) needed a stretch. As stated earlier, a safe arrival in Moab was had. We had better driving luck than the doctor that week. . .