30 March, 2009

Bow Rack & Briones weekend

Saturday morning I put in 2 hours in Briones Regional Park while Heather hiked w/Spirit.

This ledge drop is modest. But hey, it's video!

-- --
The grand opening of The Bow Rack was a success!The joint was a rocking all afternoon.-- --

Sunday Heather & I went back for seconds.
After 2.5 hours we were ready to head north again. The driving was smooth with 5 hour drive times.

Playing on another ledge.

faux Briones panorama

27 March, 2009

Mount Diablo

What a day! Eighty degrees, sunny, cool breeze, and all day to ride.

Heather and I tackled Mount Diablo up to Rock City at 2,000 ft elevation.

Wall Point Road

The terrain varies from rolling green grassy hills with scattered oaks in Shell Ridge, to the dry rocky terrain on Wall Point Road, to the forested creek bed of BBQ Terrace.

Heather fording a creek.

This ride has awesome views and scenery. Wildflowers such as California Poppies and Indian Paint Brush are just starting to pop up.

Before or after the ride?
Smiles either way.

We went on a hike w/S-dog in Briones later. We're riding in Briones this weekend.

24 March, 2009

Trinidad Ride & News

The Bow Rack Grand Opening Saturday!!!

Ok, it has been open since the new year,
but this opening is grand.

Heather & I are stoked to attend. I'm taking Friday off work, packing the mtn. bike, and taking a mini-vacay.

Yesterday I got in a good work-out. When I started to run I immediately recognized the "shin splint" feeling in my right shin, so I only ran stairs and short sprints.

Today I rode 40 miles in 2 hours 20 minutes with a 39mph max to Trinidad. I dabbled into Westhaven and Stagecoach Road to spice it up.

Panaramio eye candy

I really enjoyed this ride despite the steady NW wind. I saw the same old seals hanging out where the Mad River meets Clam Beach.

My legs needed the break because today I felt strong on the bike. It's clear I've been "over training" and not allowing proper recovery time.

Slowly and quietly I've started to doubt my ability to achieve a top 5 time at the Sea Otter amongst all experts. I assumed I could get into better shape than last year. I've lowered the bar to a podium spot in my age category.

He's watching me...
Staring at me...
and scaring small children...
When I ride fast it's like entering another world. Everything but the trail blurs and time slows down. All I can hear is my breathing, the chatter of the chain, and occasional squeal of disc brake.

Fast is not a relative term.

21 March, 2009

Sharks & the dark

Saturday was a great day.

In the morning I got back into cross-training without missing a beat. Squats, lunges, wall-sits, abs, light weights (20-30lbs), etc.

In the afternoon the San Jose Sharks won against Dallas.

Playoffs start in late April for the top ranked Sharks.

After a nap, Heather and I went for a walk in the forest. We commented about the lack of other hikers and the eerie darkness.

It started to get really dark. Soon the trail would be indecipherable since the sun had already set. Realizing our error the only option was to run the hilly 2.5 miles to the nearest exit.

It started to rain hard when we reached the Fickle Hill entrance in the nick of time. Now we just needed to walk across town in the rain.

A couple blocks from our house a cop car slammed into a puddle sending a mini-tsunami that covered us head to toe!

My face smelled like puddle. It was gross.

29 days till the race.

18 March, 2009

Sniffles takes a hike

Training is postponed until I get over a cold. sniff...

My nose is running.
Today Heather and I rode to Jacoby Creek, where we took a hike upstream. The creek was raging and the trails looked prime for riding!

13 March, 2009

Trails and Tribulations

I got into the forest w/Ryan Wednesday, but trail maintenance trucks are trashing all the fire-roads.

Quote of the day "it's like wet concrete" about riding the slosh left from the pickups. Thanks for fixing the trails?.?...

Before we rode I did a 40 min run. I ran again on Thursday, but I had just eaten a burrito, so I cut that short. Light weights, abs, squats-lunges, blah blah blah.

Today I did a tour of Sunny Brae on my single-speed. Twas' a winding 7 miles through our only suburb. The quiet roads go around a golf course and up into the hills.

Rain is coming. I think my legs need rest.

In the next two weeks I need to become a machine. When riding strong my body simply does the work, like an engine. It's almost surreal at times.

I'm trying to get a Pump-Track built in Arcata.

09 March, 2009

Stop, Yoga Time

Sunday Heather and I went to Bikram yoga in Eureka. The instructors there are very good and make slight modifications to our forms that yield big results.

Yoga is much more than stretching, and for me the biggest benefit is learning how to breathe through strenuous exercise. I'll go once a week until the race.

Today I rode 22 miles to Clam Beach in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The freezing nights and daytime temps around 50 F make it feel like winter again. The wind has blown away the clouds and I expect to get some good rides in this week, maybe even some mtn. biking.

My training is shifting from endurance to speed. I can ride 100 miles no problem. Now I need to ride 40 miles FAST!


Bikes & Stop Signs

Last week a driver called the cops on me for not "stopping" at stop signs. This college town has a lot of clueless bikers, but I am no longer one of them. This incident prompted me to write a piece for local papers. We'll see if it gets published.

"Bicycle Friendly Community" a purple sign declares at the start of "H" Street in Arcata. But last Thursday, as a driver described me to the police, I gave that promising sign a forlorn glance.

The driver witnessed me roll (at sloth like speeds) a series of stop signs going up "G" St. After repeatedly yelling at me from his van, he called the police. He wanted to see me place my foot on the ground at every intersection. Unfortunately for this upset driver there is no such law, but a new law is gaining attention that would allow bicyclists to roll stop signs.

California legislation may follow Idaho in allowing bicycles to yield instead of completely stopping at "Stop" signs. There are fundamental differences between bicycles and cars at intersections. The biggest differences are that bicycles are safer for the public, are self propelled, have unobstructed lines of vision, and encounter higher risk when mixed into traffic.

I share your frustration about impatient bikers who fail to yield at intersections, do you share my frustration about having 5,000 lbs of steel fly by with little regard for your life?

I was helpless when a truck broke my leg in 2005 on West End Road. Many drivers might be surprised to learn that at 30 mph the pedestrian fatality rate is nearly 50%, and it goes up steeply at higher speeds.

Bicyclists make Arcata and the world a more livable place. Our bicyclists should be cherished, especially in this "Bicycle Friendly Community."


Info on Bikes & Stop Signs

05 March, 2009

Chilly Butler Valley

Yesterday clouds were converging from the East, West, and South upon Arcata. It was hard to tell which wind would prevail. It hailed pretty hard earlier so I decided to put off the ride and just cross-train instead.

Today I did the Butler Vally loop again. I was a bit under-dressed since winter weather has returned. There was snow down to about 2,500 ft.

I saw a handful of deer and a herd of about 30 Roosevelt Elk. I slowed to take a picture, but the slower I went the faster they left.

46 miles in 3 hours and 10 minutes, top speed 44 mph.