Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Odds and Sods

In a week or so Levi's Gran Fondo bike ride is taking place here in Sonoma County.  Fondos are all the rage these days and this may be the king of them all.  Since there will be thousands of cyclists partaking (like, 6000 to be exact), we local frame builders decided to exploit this opportunity and host a small, invite only (it's open to all the public), handmade bike show on Friday October 8th in Santa Rosa.  We're calling it the Gran La Fonda, and we have some pretty prestigious builders coming.  You should come by and buy a new bike from one of them.

Next up on the 16th we have Biketoberfest in Fairfax.  This event offers 3 of the 4 things necessary for a completely fulfilled life.  The 4th one is not hacky sack. Come on by and buy a bike.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We shot our wad(s) in Vegas

As Steve said below, our collective party at the Peppermill was a huge success, if you consider pissing off the bartenders, getting thrown out of your own party whilst in a headlock (Ritte), and closing the place out with some "French Toast Collage" ($12.95) at 3am a success.  Amid the crush of bottom dwelling industry folk, Hollywood slipped us an award for "Best Hardtail 2010" on  Thank you to all of you who helped make that happen by posting great reviews.

For semi-regular viewers of this blog or the AHTBM blog, it might seem as though we live on the fringes of the bike world.  Not true.  We have our fat little fingers in whatever open crevices/orifices present themselves and like a tapeworm, allow the host to revel in their new found slimness until we poke our heads out for a little air, eliciting screams of horror.  Next year we are off to Anaheim for Interbike and plans are already afoot.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge

I took last Friday off to bag a ride that's been high on my list for a long time - Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge via the Colorado Trail. One of the bigger aspen stands lives on Kenosha Pass. Last week was peak color, so we timed this ride perfectly. This is a must-do fall ride in Colorado. I'll let the photos prove it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Soulcraft 11 year/AHTBM/Ritte Van Vlaanderen party was a success.

And why wouldn't have been? All aforementioned enterprises are composed of devilishly good looking individuals, and we all have a fat stash of pinache. Congratulations on your 11th year Soulcraft. Just think about how many brain cells we will murder for your 12th.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Race report: Quicksilver Half Marathon (what, huh?)

I thought this was an MTB race... Boy I looked stupid, the only one there with a bike. Well, I happened to have a pair of running shoes with me, so I jumped in anyway. The race started off with a 2-ish mile climb under overcast conditions, which was nice. At the top, it was clear who was going to be way, way ahead at the finish. After being full gas, the course eased into a little bit of fireroad downhill before some sharp (ouch) uphill singletrack, then a looonnnngg, open-road downhill to the halfway turnaround. About this time, I was wishing (A) I had signed up for the 10K, (2) gone for a fat road ride, or (C) stayed home and watched Scooby Doo and the gang with Lauren. Since I chose (D) none of the above, I would try and hold my position as best as I could.

I was on pace (or so I think) to at least match my last time around, but everything started to unravel with about 4 to go. Some real runners turned the screws on me from behind, but I had no answer-I was already in the granny. This course teases you a bit, because you end up at the top of the first uphill after the start, but then the guy waives you right and you climb another .6 mile higher. Cruel, but the people who know what they are doing made it look easy. After thinking about Scooby some more, and getting to the top, top by sheer will alone, I took the steep plunge down to the finish and limped in-my wheels completely blown. The downhill run is pretty sketchy-if you can run downhill fast, without wiping it (which I have seen some runners bite it hard in some other races), you have a real advantage. For me, it feels like running with clown shoes or something (slap, slap, slap). Anyway, ended up 4 minutes slower than last time. Still, I give it a 7 out of 10 on the achievement scale and the same for fun factor, although it is more fun after it is over. I did manage to pass a guy that was hurting pretty bad on the last uphill, so could have been worse.

An aquaintance Gary Gellin crushed the race, finishing 7-8 minutes faster than 2nd place (no, he is not from Kenya). Some of you mountainbike racers (and sub-roadies) might remember him as a very fast MTB'er exp./semi-pro and a very, very fast Masters 1, 2, 3. Well, now he puts the hurt on runners, too. When I see him at the 1-2 trail-running events I cherry-pick an off-season, I just say "see ya' at the finish." It looked like he did the 3s's, ate lunch, and had a nap before I came in.

So what you say? What does this have to do with a bike rider's blog? Get to the point? Well, Mr./Mrs. Smart Guy, Almaden Quicksilver County Park is a fun place to do some mountainbiking. It is all open, fireroad climbing, but you can whip up a good little loop. The park is situated on the old site(s) of mercury mines that had their heyday a while back, so if you like that stuff, there are things to look at. It is definitely a hiker, equestrian, pogo-stick friendly kind of place-not good for racing around, but this place used to be off-limits to bikes when I was growing up. Nice to see a united place where we all get along. I usually do a loop through the park, and then do a 2-3 mile road transition to ride Santa Teresa Park-another place that used to be hands-off to bikes. Once again, great; we used to ride mini-bikes/BMX bikes through the early, undeveloped ST Park on dares. So now, no running from the farmers with salt-rock shells for our kids. Both are ideal for the end-of and early season rides/training/easing back into racing. ST Park offers up a teensy bit of singletrack, enough to keep 'em quiet for a while.

Thanks for listening (reading).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

When I grow up...

When I grow up, I want to be like Souly Sam. I promise to never poach, respect nature, and most of all, seek good pre-ride coffee. To honor those who have blessed me with good frames, and to know the good line is only what you make it. Also, respect your equipment-never cross up your chain-only when absolutely necessary after a decent header or otherwise poor bike maintenance. To hit the open road (or trail) whenever duty calls, try my best, and to only measure myself against other riders by height (I borrowed that from some movie). Oh, you must faithfully subscribe to "Here Comes the Corn," but honestly, my teacher says nobody cares about farmers in the midwest. Look out you old farts-coming to a start line near you...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Umpqua River

I've been looking forward to Steve's 40th birthday trip for more than a year and it was better than I could have hoped.  5 days of riding, swimming, drinking, laughing, getting rained on, and some karaoke for good measure.  It does not get any better than this.
The Birthday Boy.
Recovery drinking from the Skunnel.
Our guides, Simon and Josh. Thanks to Western Spirit for setting this up for us.  One for the books.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Puttin' the LABOR in Labor Day!

Capped a purdy good weekend with a little ride at Centennial Cone this afternoon, oblivious to the fire raging just north of where I was riding.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

overdue worlds update

gravel worlds that is...
the event went off a few weekends ago with 96 riders starting. about half finished the 150 mile course with between 9600 and 11400 of climbing depending on whos counting. anyways, very hilly. the event receieved high praise from the blogosphere, which felt nice. more than a few states were represented with ben arriving with a crew from texas. thanks for coming up. he finished well. i finished with some buddies dead last. here i'm arriving at the 2nd official oasis. hawthorne had beer and it was yummy.

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