Doing it all the hard way...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coffee and Lies #26 It's been a year since France....

McWoodie and poppies in France
I've been riding quite a bit of late.  I had 1,360k for June and I'm at 5,400k for 2013.  That is 850 miles in June and 3,300 miles YTD for the metrically impaired. On our Saturday hilly ride yesterday either everyone else was slow or I was unusually fast.  I've never been the first up Cougar. As a matter of fact, I am often the last one.  I was first up yesterday.  Then we went down and did it again up the Montrose side and by the time we made it to the towers only El Jefe was there before me.  McWoodie, Brad and Dave E. weren't riding, but I'm counting it as a victory.  The legs were a little sluggish today when we everybody went fast today.  

I'm going for the Greg LeMond look of dark brown elbow and forearm and lime white shoulders.  I'll post some pics soon.

We have mini trip planned for mid July and you can stay tuned for that. We don't have to learn a different language and KLM can't screw me.  We will be riding up Rainer, St. Helens, Mt Hood and St. Helens again over the course of five days. 

The unusually hot weather has highlighted the contrast of the biking seasons. In January we do our weekly Coffee and Lies ride and sometimes don't see another bike the whole morning. Today we saw hundreds and hundreds of cyclists.  We were even yelled at for taking too much of the trail.  I realize we don't have any legit claim to the trail, or a right to have privileged access, but riding on it 52 a weeks a year do we cannot deny some kind of emotional ownership.  Like good brown soldiers we kept our mouths shut and let our legs do the talking. 

The bike clothing laundry loads are small and it doesn't take long to get dressed when you don't have to deal with booties, leg warmers, rain jackets, glove layering and wool sock selection.  I'm liking this summer.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Time is all we have...

It seems like two years ago I was chasing after my kids at the zoo.  Today Hottie and I were chasing down our grandkids at the zoo.   How did that happen so fast?  Kyson looks like he enjoyed himself.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Who has been sleeping in Evo's bed?

I don't have a problem with the whole, "man's best friend thing" but come on Tux !

We wash our sheets more often than we did before we Tux came to live with us...


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ronde and Ribs 2013 Coffee and Lies #25

This kind of sums it up.
After the Maglia Bruno made an appearance at the Ronde von Portlandia this past April, one of our team members realized we have hills right here in Seattle and since he can cook some freakin good ribs;  he should host a ride.
We met at Dave's place.  It was easy to find with the flag of Ned Flanders in front.  That is Dave on the left of the picture, smiling as always.
There was a large smoker in front and assorted BBQ weaponry. 
We all look fresh and ready for the day ahead.  It was sprinkling, but at almost 60 degrees we didn't expect anyone would be suffering from the weather.  Keith donned the Flanders jersey for some cred.
We rolled out, looking forward to the day ahead.  Keith a.k.a. Hot Pants was sporting the Flanders jersey.  
Sam pointed out that if there were snipers they would assume Keith was our leader and take him out first, giving the rest of us time to escape.  Sam is always looking out for us (expect Keith)

The day would involve climbing, descending and exploring West Seattle.  But with Ribs awaiting, we took heart and pedaled onward.
Dave had marked the course with Rainier styled "R's" for Ronde. Ninety kilometers of route marking must have taken a ton of time.  Way to go Dave !
In no time we were fighting our way up twenty percent grades.  Tim remarked his steepest reading was just over thirty percent. 
The ride included an assortment of "greenway" traverses.  Sometimes we went downhill, sometimes up. The cross tires were a huge help and my low gearing saved my life and my knees.
The "route" included every kind of road, path, easement, trail, sidewalk, byway, and driveway that met the objective of fifty miles and seven thousand feet of climbing..
We stopped for much needed calories and caffeine.
Despite obstacles in our path, the brown continued to persevere.  It was muggy and rained off and on.  It felt like Hawaii !
Although there was 7,000 feet of climbing there was also 7,000 feet of descending !  Some communities welcomed us more than others.  We had cheering, jeering and honking.
Once you are hypoxic, it doesn't even hurt anymore!!
McWoodie provided mechanical services as needed.
As the suffering to fun ratio neared a tipping point, we stopped to refill bottles for the final push.  
At this point calories and liquids were the coin of the realm and were shared unselfishly. When Aaron picked up some Snickers Bars and handed them to weary riders his name was revered henceforth.  The day was weird in that I could feel my body switch into "epic" mode and just keep riding within myself. Between the race yesterday and the ride today I had a weekend with over a hundred miles and over ten thousand feet of hard climbing.

One might have thought that as our journey neared completion that the climbs would be less severe offering up a kind of "cool down" for the day's epic. If one thought that, one would have been wrong.  As we neared the end, Dave threw in one more chain buster climb. As we climbed the profanities were flying. We weren't swearing at the steepness, we were swearing at Dave. I was wondering what kind of friend saves the steepest climbs for the end of the day when muscles and spirit are weak?  Then I realized, the best kind of friend shares your suffering and urges you onward.
Finally we finished our ride....
..Or perhaps, the ride finished us !
True to his word, Dave had slaps of food (literally)
We didn't want to hurt his feelings, so we ate and ate !

Huge thanks and praise to Dave and his wonderful family for putting on the great ride and rib feed.  Mark your calendars for the Ronde and Ribs 2014 !!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

2013 Longbranch Road Race Report and Photos

If you want to see photos of everybody else you can click here !
Yup, that is Evo sitting second wheel in a WHITE jersey with a WHITE helmet.
I made a mid week decision to dig out my numbers and do a reprise of my road season with one last race.   Why another race?  Part of it was an amazing chain of events led me to pull the trigger on this baby:
The cat is out of the bag I'm racing a carbon bike.
But the thought of putting a cat in a bag sounds like it can be its own kind of fun if you ask me.
After years of preaching that carbon has no soul (it still does not) and that there is more to riding than speed (also true), I  have joined the throng of middle aged men on plastic bikes.

I found a deal on a frame and fork in my size (and my size only as a matter of fact) and with the support of Hottie I said, "Yes."  To quote Nick Legan, "Steel is real, but carbon is really fast."

After some shake down rides it was time to debut it and the fine june weather begged me to go fast.

The race features "The Hill." When you speak of the hill on this course, nobody wonders, "which hill?"  About half way around the seventeen and a half kilometer loop (eleven miles) following a set of rollers that sees you using jumping between the big and small ring you come to a climb that is steep and has more false summits than I could count in my hypoxic condition.

We shed some riders on the hill the first time though and I held on through the second time up despite blowing a shift at the base of the climb (still getting the FFCB dialed in).  As is my way, I then lost contact on the rollers following the climb. I then chased a rider for two more laps and still don't know if he was from our race or a lost soul from the Cat 3's.

The course did not have one inch of flat.  The STRAVA profile looks like an EKG.

The pave' was rough and there was plenty of pain to be had under the sunny skies.  I got my share of both.  The results weren't posted when we left, so I will update this later with my results.
Look at my leg........I wasn't even posing..
I will comment more on the frame in another post. I will just say it was everything it was supposed to be.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FFCB ODD 130620

Perhaps having a soul isn't as critical as I thought.

Monday, June 17, 2013

FFCB Project

After years of denial, it is almost time to make a concede that the facts no longer support my position and confess the truth.

Almost time is another way of saying, not now..

You may look forward to me paraphrasing Nick Legan.

That is all for now.


My Father's Day 2013

This is my "Tactical Tomahawk." I received it for Father's Day. It is resting on Tux's bed.

Does this gift require further explanation? Of course not. Even pretending to ask mocks me.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Jesus update

Quite a while back I had mistakenly thought Jesus was running for office.  I promised to update my readers if I had any more religious encounters. Here you go... 

We watched the Crit races last night.  One guy crashed and was bloody.  He was saying things that didn't make sense so they called the paramedics.  His bike was likewise seriously damaged.  A couple minutes before the paramedics arrived I noticed a man walk up and see if the could help.  Then I did a double take when I realized the man who had walked up appeared to be Jesus.  His hair was a little shorter than expected, but with no singlespeed category at the races I could not come to any other conclusion.

Anybody need some Jesus?
I have no idea of the religious persuasion of the injured cyclist, but from my vantage point, not only the injured cyclist but his girlfriend also seemed to ignore Jesus.  Soon the paramedics arrived and they too wanted nothing to do with this Jesus fellow.  

Not wanting to get in the way he stood patiently off to the side waiting for someone to reach out to him. Nobody did.  

After putting the fallen cyclist onto a Tour de France colored sled and strapping him down so if they tickled him he couldn't move, they took the cyclist off in a big red fire truck.
No upgrade for this guy today...
After the cyclist was gone I noticed Jesus quietly looking at the bike with the busted front wheel.  I thought for a moment he might heal the wheel, but alas, someone grabbed the bike and carried it off before he could take any action.

I wish everyone in this story well.  I hope the cyclist is back at work today and I hope Jesus has likewise been able to use his talents.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The return of the shiny Tortilla

Volcanoes trip next month. Time to gear up (down, actually) for climbing.

Thirty two teeth of climbing happiness. Thank you SRAM for thinking about me!


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

4K today

Though not impressive to my friends who really ride a lot. I have ridden just over four thousand kilometers so far this year.

Some of the best miles have been with Hottie !!