Wednesday, November 12, 2008

There Are No easy Bike Races

Signed up for a Cyclo-cross race on my birthday. The race was put on by Adams Avenue, and the course was in and around the velodrome.
I signed up for the SS category, and set a goal of finishing, preferably not last. I was successful, I managed to keep it rubber side down, and I beat one person.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Bike Worse Result

Better bike does not equal better result. Training and diet apparently works. I am going to have to look into that. I have plenty of good reasons for my shitty form in 2008: Parents house burned down, getting a divorce, living with a tall blonde that likes to cook. OK, so I don't expect much sympathy for the last reason, but the others are legit. 2009 will be my year. Oh yeah, and here is a pic of my new bike.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pendleton Road Race, Clydesdale style.

Podium spot in my first road race? I must be bound for greatness. . .no, wait, I was racing against fatties. To be fair, 200+ pound cyclists are not always fat, I did see a couple of lean 6'4" dudes in my race. It was nice to be one of the faster climbers in the pack, believe me, this does not happen often(ever). There was some confusion over who you were racing against due to the 50-59 men starting at the same time as the big boys. We finished in a bunch sprint with about 12 guys, I ended up third in my category. My only regret about doing so well in this race is that it gave me some false confidence for future races. TT's and Crits to be specific.

a warm-up ride: white rock rim

the house i grew up in is a stone's throw away from a trail that runs along a canyon rim. in the bottom of the canyon runs the rio grande, and along the canyon walls are no fewer than half a dozen little crags with some fun sport- and crack-climbs. it was always super easy to walk out the door and be on a trail or at a climbing spot within 5 minutes. cars were superfluous, but we drove anyway.
i decided to just do a quick ride of the white rock rim trail (end to end the whole thing is maybe 2 miles long), to assess how dry the trails out here might be in this tail end of a snowy winter, and to loosen up a bit from a long car ride.
the trail, it turns out, was not dry at all in places. shade == mud, and this mud is tacky! i had to stop to knock off gobs of it that were threatening to keep my wheels from turning very easily.

i got some hints on this short-n-easy spin as to how hard it would be to ride up here: a couple little rollers got me huffing and puffing and blowing NO houses down, and i found some of my favorite little technical spots.

what do you call babyheads that are sharp and jagged? i think i used to call them rocks.

it's quite probable i'll do this trail-let several more times, since it's so close and short. maybe even once or twice at night! now there's a stupid idea!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a pretty and strong sunset

funny this:
i'm hardly riding my bike these days. mota, on the other hand, is riding a lot, and still tells me I'VE got to put some posts up. huh. we'd better see some race reports soon.

it turns out arizona is a big state. i mean, i KNOW this, but when you drive across the whole thing with your eyes on a further destination, it just feels shockingly big, even if you've done this drive before.

and what's with holbrook? small town. 3, maybe 4 gas stations. i'd say there might be more to the town than this main B-40 (I-40 business loop) stretch, but i know there's not. you can see ALL the surrounding area, because this is the part of eastern arizona where there's nothing to obstruct your view any closer than flagstaff. don't believe me? just check out holbrook on google maps: nobody ever even bothered getting a satellite image with any real resolution! yet the main drag is very wide and well paved, ready for huge volume traffic. the lots on which the few, mostly decrepit businesses stand are huge, ready for the inevitable expansion of the thriving enterprises occupying them. the empty pocket saloon's windows are boarded up except for one exposed rectangle where the neon "open" sign hangs, yet the dusty lot suggests a larger parking lot. the town is waiting for the boom, always anticipating that age, always just beyond the horizon, when it's realized across the country that the place to be, the new epicenter of all that is ______, is holbrook, while at the same time, the town seems like it's fading. but here's the thing: it's been like this for a long, long time. holbrook never changes.

i had major deja vu today while i was gassing up there. i repeated the EXACT sequence i've been through in years past: i exit the freeway. i pull into the first gas station i see. i drive up to the pump and check the prices, since there's no large sign advertising them. upon reading the prices, i respond, "fffuuuuuck yyyoouuuuu" and smoothly drive off, never even coming to a complete stop, let alone turning off the car. i drive past one more gas station, though i nearly pull into it, but veer at the last second away from it as the third (i guess this means there are 4 total, since i know there's one more past that before you get back on the freeway at the other end of the "loop") comes into view with its cheepest-in-town prices, a whole $.35-per-gallon less than the first one. it's the circle k, and there' s a greyhound bus in the lot, idling, resting on its trip across eastern arizona. then, as i leave town, i drive by the ramada inn at the very end of the main drag, and a more distant memory flashes through my mind: i remember stepping out through the sliding glass door of our room into the oven-heat of the afternoon on one family road trip to my grandparents' place in vegas, and that's when i first learned just how far you can see in holbrook -- only the earth's very curvature makes that horizon finite, and it's that view alone that sets that ramada inn apart from ALL the anonymous others. as i get on the freeway on-ramp, i look out the passenger window, and see what must be mexico. from half way up arizona.

and i remembered that all. the whole experience -- from search for cheep gas to the greyhound bus through the flashback of the family road trip. holbrook. never changes. has anyone else been through this sequence? i wonder if it's like the truman show, but where EVERYBODY gets the same, carbon-copied intro upon entering town.

i'm in NM now. ahhhh, the 505. it still amazes me how gorgeous it is here, pretty much right at the border as you drive in from arizona it turns from crappy to pretty all at once. the drive up north from albuquerque was especially scenic, with distant rain storms, the sandia crest, and a few odd clouds and distant hills all streaky and steely blue and gray, but some low rays making the west faces of anything with any vertical relief glow electrically, all while some streaks in the sky started to glow a stunning chris king pink.

yeah, i'm anxious to take the 29er out for some rides on the trails i used to ride on my old, nearly indestructible specialized hard rock sport. vintage mountain bike.

on that note, more soon ... some 505 ride posts (well, at least one) and then when i get back pictures of the badpritty. well, the few odd pieces, anyway.

Monday, March 10, 2008

my visions of grandeur

just found this drafted post, which i thought would be worth putting up (it seems finished), with the erratum that phd work is going to force me to put this off a year or two, and the addendum that my age at entering high level road competition will be another factoid worth bob roll's noting.


the plan is to race in the tour de france in 2009. maybe 2010. in the meantime i'm going to dope like a fiend and work my way (quickly) onto some newer squad with loose morals and high aspirations.

in the tour i'll attack suddenly and viciously on apparent suicide missions, but they'll work because i'll be juiced.

i won't finish the tour. i'll exit before the cloud of suspicion appears, and in such a fashion that it never will -- high drama and bizarre circumstances, maybe involving a crazed fan or something. my legend will live on forever in short video clips and close-ups of an anguished yet resolved face.

decades from now a leathery bob roll will still be talking in his tour day france commentary about never seeing a rider with guts like that either before or since.