Thursday, June 29, 2006

We're off...

to see the wizard...Oops...wrong story.

We're off to the Windy City for some fireworks, baseball and a nuptual ceremony (not ours!).

Too bad we're leaving the day this starts. Although it looks like it might be on the race calendar for next year!

Women In White

A good time was had by all on Tuesday night! Some watched a movie, others took a nap but everyone went home with fresh breath!

I'd never seen Easy Rider before. Nicholson was great! The rest was a bit trippy. For some reason watching movies from the '70's makes me feel old.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The best DNF in the west

So I had my first DNF this weekened. After 3 seasons of Ironman and 1+ of bike racing, I guess my time had come. Damn CO2 cartridge pulled the valve right off my tube. I was left tubeless and airless. But my baby Moots got to ride in the back seat of a cop car while I sat shotgun. She was quite the hottie back there.

Top 10 moments of this fabulous weekend:

Numero diez: Convincing the cop that stopping just before the finish line atop Haskins to let me out was really, really a bad idea since the P/1/2 and 35+1/2/3 races hadn't finished and there we were blocking that one lane...he said it was ok that he didn't pull over to the side since we'd only be there for a do you tell a cop he's mistaken?? I convinved him to cross the line and pull over afterwards. He was a great guy, though, and waited around for a very long time for me down on 84 as I tried to flag a recreational biker down for a spare tube and pump.

Numero nueve: Riding shotgun in the cop car, yelling good tidings to my teammates as we descended back to town.

Numero ocho: Unpacking boxes and hanging artwork from my apartment on Merkeley's walls. We're finally really moving in!

Numero siete: Saduko on the porch. Good lord, we're addicted.

Numero seis: Sitting on the deck post Pescadero, drinking mojitos under the setting sun.

Numero cinco: This cop in Pescadero, cracking me up with his musings about why in the world anyone would drink mint water when the tap water tastes so fine.

Numero cuatro: A kick ass ride with our neighbohood boys on Sunday. 55 miles of pure pain all wrapped up in a big attack-fest and Hans yelling at me to stand up and attack at the top of Papa Bear. I'm still wondering if my yelps were cries of pain or joy.

Numero tres: Post attack-fest, inhaling take-out from Barneys...Turkish coffee milkshake, curly fries, and a big ole cheeseburger.

Numero dos: Sunday afternoon BBQ with good pals, homemade sangria and this crazy lime/tequila carne asada maranade which Merkely B cooked up.

Numero uno: Merkeley B and I eating all that brandy-soaked fruit out of the sangria pitcher after everyone went home last night. I'm no longer sure there's any reason to drink Endurox...sweet dreams!

Weekend Update

We spent a lot of time the saddle this weekend. Good thing today is a rest day!

It all started on Friday when Melissa joined us for ourrace prep. What a treat! It was great to share an hour on the bike.

Saturday we headed off to Pescadero. Even though this is a 'climbers' race, AC had hoped to do well; I was just hoping to postpone the inevitable as long as possible.

AC was having a good race until a flat fiasco ended it one climb early. I was dropped earlier than I had hoped, spent half a lap chasing a pack that was tantalizingly close but out of reach. As I finished the last climb the leaders of the fast geezer race went flying by. Nice job by teammate NP! I also saw OV in hot pursuit.

AC and I decided to recover with a little pizza and a few of these.

We decided we would skip the BG race and spend Sunday morning adding to the 'reservoir of suffering' by visiting the Pig Farm.

We swung by the local caffeine dispensary for the morning boost and picked up a couple of the regulars. After the first 'warm-up' climb it became clear that AC and I didn't get all the racing out of our blood the day before. Hans and CM were game so we spent the next 4 hours in the valley heat climbing, attacking - suffering. Good fun all around!

To cap off this awesome weekend we gathered some friends on the deck to enjoy a little BBQ and some Sangria.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

AC and I took Little M on her first overnight camping trip this weekend. She had a blast and can’t wait to do it again. We made it simple and did a short hike to a beach-side campground at Pt. Reyes. What a great park!

We did a little cooking,

And a little tide pooling.

I know Little M loves animals but I didn’t know she is a budding wildlife photographer.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Fix

The look in her eye,
that nervous twitch
are all sure signs
she's got that bike racing itch!

There's only one thing
gonna give the right scratch,
An all out,
smack down bike racey match.

So go get your fix
and stop being tweeky.
Let's hope it'll last
'till this same time next weeky!
--To all you junkies,
you know who you are.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Last Friday at 'Step up Day' I was reminded of one of my biggest surprises when I became a parent -- the growth of our children is an undeniable measure of the passage of time ........precious time.


The results of several bike traumas decided to reveal itself Saturday. It made for another frustrating weekend in a series.

While considering replacement options I found this article which has a lot of information in it, some shinola and some ...

There is no limitation because carbon has a natural flexibility. It can be used a hundred years while maintaining the same stiffness.

--Ming Tan
Look Bicycles
sounds a bit like sales-mo-bable, gotta love those sales guys. This on the other hand sounds more reasonable.
ASTM standards call for a load of 170 lbs. applied perpendicular to the steering axis, both pushing and pulling for 50,000 cycles without failure. At True Temper, every Alpha Q model is tested to 250,000 without failure before a design is considered acceptable. Also production models are tested periodically for quality control.

--Bert Hull
True Temper Sports

But if you read it carefully and know a little about materials fatigue testing (I've had just enough training to be dangerous) you can guess that the test loads are applied smoothly (probably a sine wave). Now it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the loads on your fork while riding are not controlled or applied smoothly and that can make a significant difference in fatigue life.

Most of the manufacturers were wise enough to differentiate between normal fatigue and impact (like a crash). Some recommended visual inspection for damage, others were more cautious.

Whenever a carbon "part" has crashed, even if you cannot see a failure, if there is any reasonable doubt about having surpassed the elongation limit, the part must be replaced.

--Fulvio Acquati
Deda Elementi

But what does that say about those pot-holes we're unable to avoid? Those sections of road in central valley races that we choose to ride? That occasional curb jump? Aren't those impact?
in his Road Bike Maintenance book, Lenard Zinn recommends regular inspection and shares this practical wisdom.

A new fork is cheaper than emergency room charges, brain surgery, or an electric wheelchair.

Monday, June 12, 2006

She speaks...

At first, perhaps, in just a whisper,
easily lost in the murmur of the mind or the rustle of lives
but clear to the conscious.

Unheeded, she restates
simply, directly
and is understood by some
yet undetected by many.

She redoubles her effort,
in an emphatic crescendo,
until at last she is heard by all
but granite ears and granite minds.

A final thunder clap will deliver her message
or crush the stone.

She will not be ignored.

Go see this.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

It's a bird, a plane...a BMX jump?

So although Mike suffered another one of these in Freemont this weekend (due to an undetected crack in his fork from a previous crash which became a detectable one after it cracked completely mid-race), we have far more exciting things to report about our weekend.

Boston had the Big Dig. Wrigley Field sells Big Dogs. But this weekend we had the Big Dump as 6 cubic yards of Berkeley's finest soil was delivered to our driveway. Grape hulls, rice hulls, coco bean hulls, wood fines, grape pumice, loamy sand, and...chicken poop were delivered curbside. The mound was hot, still composting away, and yep, that was some hot shit.

Installing irrigation and building planter beds has kept Mike busy for the last few weeks. But today was the day we'd been waiting for...The Big DUMP.

Although our pile had fun written all over it, we cracked open some beers and got to work.

Many beers, hours, and aching biceps later, we were both exhausted gardeners and emerging artists:

Oh yea, life is good

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In Summary...

While cleaning up my weekend race bag I finally unpinned Sunday's number from my jersey. I think this sums up my racing experience the last few weeks. Enough said, moving on.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

What do you have....

when out of 60 guys 20 think they can sprint like Petachi but they all forgot their lead out trains? Give up? It's a Masters 35+ 4/5 (Pro) race!

Here is how a Master's 35+ 4/5 (Pro) race unfolds:
First 40 minutes a few guys attack, the rest of the pack chases them down. With 10 laps to go everyone starts to conserve energy. When the laps cards change to 3 all 20 Petachi want to be's surge to third wheel (even if they have been dangling off the back the first 40 minutes and are going cross eyed to get there). They've all watched enough OLN to know they shouldn't be first wheel so they hit the brakes and INSERT themselves into position! Inevitably, McEwen bumps O'Grady but in this case neither has the skills to handle the contact...lines shift, wheels skid, dominos fall.

Today's race in Santa Rosa unfolded exactly according to the script. Unfortunately I was on the wrong side of the pile of dominos (actually, one of the last to colorful injuries this time but I may need to restock the Ibuprofen). Sigh...being in or behind crashes in 3 of my last 5 races starts to take the fun out of this crit stuff.

In hindsight I never should have raced today. Bad sleep, bad legs, bad attitude (blah, blah, blah)...I didn't do $#!+ so I should have stayed home and done some couchervals. As of moment Fremont next weekend is up in the air.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

New View

After a long weekend of 'racing' and the usual weekly routine I was in need of a change. This afternoon Little M asked about her favorite chair and I knew it was just what I needed. So, if you're every feeling weary and need a new perspective try this almost always works for me.

If you're in the neighborhood come on by, the view is great. Just watch out for bears.