Sunday, March 18, 2012

Camino Cielo es muy bueno

Over spring break my husband and I went on our yearly beach pilgrimage to Santa Barbara. We always bring the DH bikes and ride endless rocky descents, but I've had a hankering for years to ride the shuttle road, Camino Cielo. It runs along the mountain ridge 3000 feet above town, with views of the ocean, Channel Islands, and the Santa Ynez mountains. So, I took the Groundskeeper on its first interstate voyage, and gave it a go.
I left our campsite, aptly named Paradise, around 8am, and headed uphill.Riding up the old Stagecoach road, I could hear the freeway above me but blessedly only saw about 3 cars the whole day. I rode under this cool old arch bridge.
And then found myself looking down on it a mile later.This road knows how to go uphill! So steep in places that I actually had to tack back and forth across the road to keep the pedals turning. I was kicking myself for choosing cross tires instead of road tires when I saw this nice surface.
But then I came across a few miles of "pavement" and was glad I had my Panaracer Cross Blasters on.
Gorgeous views in all directions helped me forget that I had been going uphill for close to 2 hours
I rolled across the ridge for about 10 miles before beginning my descent down Gibraltar Road, a twisty lane-and-a-half hugging the cliffside. I stopped long enough to watch the hang gliders take off, and to ponder the lack of guardrails.

The ride ended as most good rides should, with cold beers and tasty food at a crab shack on the beach.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March hundy

it was a gloomy march day and we got an early start. just me and my buddy carl. we rode 110 miles before 1:00pm

it drizzled. and it didn't. we rode gravel and we rode pavement. our route was from lincoln to princeton, cortland, down to pickerel road, over to adams, over to burr, up to unadilla and back to lincoln via bennet and cheney. this bike awesome.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A love affair and a race report....

A couple weeks ago I participated in what I affectionately refer to as bicycle burning man. That may be overstating somewhat, but the 24 hours in the Old Pueblo--held near Tucson, AZ in the beautiful and perfectly weird Sonoran Desert--has been active for 13 years and can be quite an interesting spectacle. It's also the perfect scene if one plans to ride themselves into a pedaling-induced dementia.

While there are plenty of nutty bicycle events, the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo has a special affection for me....and it's mainly b/c it's a bitchin' place to be on a bicycle in February .

This year's event-prep was unusual for me. During the past 12 years, I have lived in Arizona where the weather is far, far from poor in the winter. In fact, it's pretty great. Even in Flagstaff, it's not hard to ride a lot; either you stay local and ride the San Fransisco Peaks (bad snow years) or you skip down to Sedona where it's almost always dry enough to ride many, many hours in the dirt. I also spent considerable time in Tucson, where the race resides and where the single track is ripping "nearly" all year. However, this year I was happily living in Idaho where the skiing is the main pull most of the winter, and so I found it tougher to spend time in the saddle, although not impossible...

Nonetheless, I was feeling pretty good and I knew my regular duo partner was too. Art Keith is bicycling royalty, as far as I'm concerned,....(that's him in the 2009 event poster)....

and he is always in optimal riding form. This year would be no exception I was sure, and I also thought we might even complete the duo podium sweep we've been working on over the last decade (2004=2nd place, 2008=3rd place, 2009=4th place).

Alas, it was not to be as Art was forced to stay home-in a comfortable spot-attempting to pass a month-old kidney stone that was causing him a lot more pain than riding for a couple hundred miles would (Art passed the rock two days after the race!!). This left me to go solo as a duo. Hmmmm, I thought, "No problem. An experiment. I will ride as many miles as I can, but still make time for a nap and a few beers along the way. That sounds quite fun and not too far from my idea of a vacation!".

And so it went and I did--have fun. I finished with ~180 miles (11 laps): Not bad, not great. I really wanted to go beyond 200 miles but I got lazy around 4:00am. The weekend had many familiar highlights, but the best part was hanging out with old friends, especially Ben Proctor, who took most of these pictures, and gorging on Kate Behn's incredible avocado cookies and potato leek (and bacon) soup under the glorious Sonoran sun. Thanks for the help everyone, especially Kate.

Lastly, I want to note the stellar performance of fellow SOULCRAFT team member Keith Marchando whose single speed 4-person team WON their class with 22 laps (that's about 374 miles). Class indeed. Nice work Keith!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Suck it, suckas.

As anyone with a computer knows, this weekend is The Exhibition For The Society Of Mutual Admiration where frame builders young and old, big and small, and known as well as unknown will be converging on California's capital Los Angeles... I mean Sacramento, and Sean Walling and his Soulcraft bicycles imprint will be there front and center.
Come one, come all, and bear witness to throngs of goombahs drool and paw all over bits and pieces, while douchebag bloggers trip over their boners in order to get 'the scoop' on whoever's new widget.
Personally I'd rather be riding my bike, but Captain Sportypants has enlisted me to help, which will probably just mean I'll teach some other little kid how to build a wizard staff and pass out in public somewhere before 7:00.
Whatever. Sean gets the kind of help that Sean pays for.