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. . .