Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Secret Walnut Creek route, with Bears!

LanceOldStrong
I was just getting ready to drive to Walnut Creek to drop off some papers when LanceOldStrong called proposing we ride before the rain came. I haven't been feeling great lately, but said "OK."

I'm glad I did. It was a cool overcast day, but our ride up Pig Farm Hill and two of the Three Bears was delightful. But the best part by far was LanceOldStrong's weird route through the west side of Walnut Creek. I grew up there, and didn't realize it was possible to get from Lafayette near Pleasant Hill Road to Larkey Park by climbing through neighborhoods and taking bike/hiking neighborhood cut throughs. It was just weird. And highly vertical. You couldn't do it in a car, but following trail-blazer OldStrong it was possible. Apparently he Google-maps and street-views obsessively to find these unlikely routes with semi-secret paths and steep hills.

However he does it, it sure was a fun 40 miles with 2700 feet of climbing, even with the rain at the end.

Secret route through Walnut Creek
Secret route through Walnut Creek. Click for larger version and don't tell anyone!

Pig Farm, Three bears, Weird Walnut Creek route
Click for much larger version


Test for embedding Ride with GPS map here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas lights ride 2010

christmas lights ride 2010
Antioch's Delta Pedalers hosted a Christmas lights ride. I'm not a big fan of Christmas, or it's associated lights, but this was really fun. We joined almost 30 people on a swing past some of the more outlandish displays in town. Apparently the latest one-upmanship is to have a low-power FM radio station connected with your display to broadcast Christmas tunes.

Our group included many Christmas-light covered bikes (Yep, guilty. Tricia and I both hung battery lights on rides) and even a rolling, lighted Christmas tree on a Burly trailer.

We had a car honk at us and the driver shout "Merry Christmas!" which isn't what I'm used to hearing. It was a pleasant change.

As we rolled down the street Tricia pointed out that, with out bike lights and blinkies, LED lights and Christmas tree, we were our own Christmas extravaganza. She was right. We really did look pretty cool, in a weird sort of way.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Delta Ride, Jersey unveiling

To steal a line from LanceOldStrong...
Recipe for a great ride in the Delta:
5 friends, 50 mi, 300 ft of total climb, 2 ferry rides, 1 nice lunch, about 6 cars total. A great day.
trespass
Maybe we weren't supposed to ride everywhere we actually rode, but no guts no glory, so we went ahead.
Not that there was a lot of glory on this ride. It was pretty darn relaxed.
relaxed ride
We started at Brandon Island and somehow managed to sneak through the delta region on back roads up to Walnut Grove where we had a way-to0-large lunch. We crossed bridges, rode on levee roads, and never once saw the sun.
bridge
We took a detour to check out the Grand Island Mansion, which seemed like a great place to publicly unveil LannceOldStrong's and my own 1000 mile club five-double-century jerseys. We'd been waiting and they finally arrived. Now I need to drop a few pounds so I can wear it closer to home.
double jerseys
Eventually we made to Rio Vista, crossed Rio Vista Bridge and ended up back where we started.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Page 28 girls

Tricia and the Adventure Cycling catalog
London newspapers may have tacky "page 2 girls" but the 2011 Adventure Cycling catalog has classy page 28 girls women. Yep, Tricia made their annual tours catalog again. They apparently recognize a good model when they see one. I wasn't left out either. There's a nice pull quote from me on page 2 (no photo, so I am not a page 2 boy) that reads "Signed up. Sent money. Waiting for 2011 like a kid waiting for Christmas!"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Red tires and Big Boss Man

BigBossMan Birthday ride_Red Tires
We finely got Tricia's red Valentine's Day tires and Williams wheels on her Ruby. Darn does that bike look sharp. Even better than before. We unveiled it to the public at a birthday ride for Bikeforums's Big Boss Man.

The company was grand, but the weather was cold as all get out. I found myself wishing several times I'd bundled up a lot more. Still the wonderful vistas and lack of cars made it all OK. We ended up clocking in at about 54 miles, and finished at Dublin Cyclery. Check, the owner rode with us and was kind enough to let us change clothes in his closed shop.

BigBossMan Birthday ride_BBM himself Big Boss Man himself

I was lost the whole time. I'd never ridden here before, but I sure will again.

Big Boss Man Birthday ride map click for readable size

Monday, November 29, 2010

And I would ride 10,000 miles...

9999.9 miles
In the dark, in the cold, I managed to reach 10,000 miles on my commuter bike this morning. As it turned from 9999.9 I was hoping it would read 10,000, but alas it rolled over to zero. Almost all those miles are commute miles, though there are a few utility and fun miles tossed in too. I also sometimes commute on my fixed gear bike, and even on my road bike, so this doesn't represent my total commuting miles. But still, it's a milestone. And a lot of riding in 8.19 mile chunks.
Today was the coldest day in a long while, and I wore more clothes than usual. My feet still haven't really warmed up.
commute 10,000 miles

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The day after Thanksgiving

Day after thanksgiving ride
Ron figured we all needed to work off Thanksgiving, so he planned a ride around Mt. Diablo via Morgan Territory, then up to the top. We didn't make the top, but managed the Junction at least. We're blaming three flats and a coffee stop for running short of daylight. LanceOldStrong and Steve joined Ron, Tricia and Taxi777 (aka Pete) and my own bad self for this ridiculous cold-fest. I really had no business attempting this as I've been busy gaining weight since my last double century, but I did it anyway.

We saw ice that looked like broken glass while climbing Morgan Territory. This mixed well with the cold sweat collecting around my glasses, creating a simultaneous too hot too cold sensory extravaganza.

It was worth it just to ride with friends, and have such wonderful autumn light.

Ron did a good writeup with photos on his site (Danger, annoying autoplay music.)

Pete did his usual crack-up job with his report too, so there's no reason for me to go hyper redundant here, except to post a few photos. Here's a small set on Flickr.

day after thanksgiving 2010_0212 pete flat 2

Elevation profile from Morgan Territory/Diablo Junction ride
day after thanksgiving 2010_0198 the gang

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photos of Tricia by Curtis on Adventuring Cycling site

Screen shot Adventure Cycling home page
It's good to be loved. Adventure Cycling has a bunch of photos by me of Tricia on their web site. Right now Tricia is even on their home page. They have good taste, don't you think? Check out their Cycle Montana page and Great Lakes Relaxed page. Heck, sign up for a tour while you're there. These folks are wonderful. Here's a link to a five-photo slide show of them.

And just in case that isn't enough fame (still no fortune) for us, Tricia was the subject of a story in the Contra Costa Times.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A true champion


Dan Edwards, perhaps one of the most respected, even revered, of the world's 50-plus sprint tri-athletes has acquired a new steed that promises to make him unbeatable in the California circuit.

The newly-equipped, Edwards, a feared opponent on any bike, will truly be the force to be reckoned with in the upcoming years.

After years of riding an antique bike — an all-steel model with downtube shifters that weighed about 40 pounds — just to taunt his competition, he's moved into the current century with a Kestrel RT-700 full carbon, highly-aero, high-tech ├╝ber-machine.

With it's internal cable routing and advanced design, this bike, though used by Rock Racing in the Tour of California as a road bike, is perfect for the fast-paced world of the sprint triathlon. The copper color alone will strike fear into the field. Coupled with the modern components it carries, like the American Classic 420 wheels, it seems hardly fair to let Mr. Edwards compete on it.

Edwards tested his new bicycle in the grueling hills near Millerton Lake outside of Fresno just last Saturday and pronounced it "acceptable."

Your humble blogger is grateful to have played a small part in this transaction, having provided said cycle and delivered it to the rendezvous point. Seeing this champion ride was without doubt the high point of my cycling life. Knowing that future races will take place on a bike that I myself once rode is like having a small piece of history-yet-to-be-written all to myself.

I raise a tire lever in salute to the indomitable Mr. Edwards! Ride on, sir!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Giro d' Vino 2010

It was a dark and rainy day, then the wind kicked up.

Holy smokes, what a wet day. Saturday was grand, Monday was perfect, but the day of the Giro d' Vino was a mess. We must have changed our minds five times about driving an hour to greater Lodi to ride in the rain. In the end we thought "If it's really bad, we'll just go taste wine."

When we got there we weren't smart enough to stick with our plan. We put on our rain gear (such as it is) and jumped on our fenderless road bikes.

We had signed up for the 100K ride, but decided to just do the 50K version(about 30 miles) Somehow we ended up with 42 miles, which in the rain is a significant difference.
It was flat, but the wind kicked up and we found ourselves working to stay at 12 or 13 mph.

There were winery stops, which were fun. But we found we just cooled off and then got cold. We skipped the last few just to keep moving and try to stay warm.

Two days later and my ski-type gloves haven't dried out yet. My shoes haven't either. The rain jacket and pants worked well, but my booties seemed to be sponges. I still haven't figured out how to keep my hands and feet dry. If you have a hint, let me know.

Note to ride organizers: Wet paper maps just melt.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween day and socks

MyLilPony and her socks
Yep. Halloween Day. And it's really all about 45 miles and the lightening bolt socks. We have our priorities in order, thank you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Autumn

tricia on empire mine
Autumn seems to be here. I'm guessing it'll last about a day. We got a just a tiny kiss of rain.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Powerhouse Bass Lake Double Century 2010 and recognition.

dan in the morning
Recognition
In completing the Powerhouse Bass Lake Double Century, Dan (LanceOldStrong) and I achieved our goal of riding five double centuries this season and earning the California Triple crown 1000 mile club jersey.

We rode the Solvang, Hemet, Davis, Knoxville and Powerhouse Bass Lake together. I know I couldn’t have done it without him.

We started last winter with the loose notion that, having completed the Davis Double in amazing heat, maybe we should try to do three doubles and earn ourselves the California Triple Crown jersey. That no sooner became a reality — as in a fact for a few minutes — than Dan pointed out that we could do two more and earn an even cooler jersey.

We started this season, if not equals with different strengths, at least on the same cycling page. Even though I trained a lot, Dan focused even more. Throughout the season he became stronger and stronger, and pretty much left me in the dust. Perhaps even more amazing, he’s somehow managed to do it while keeping the support of his family who text him words of encouragement throughout his ride.

This last double just about did me in, yet at the finish Dan said — and looked like — he was good for another 100. He stayed with me the last 60 when he could have easily jetted away. Having him make up weird cycling lyrics to semi-obscure rock tunes from the past may be the only thing that got me over that last climb in the dark. I couldn't ask for a better riding partner.
morning bass lake powerhouse

The Ride
I’m a reader and a researcher. So is Dan. Yet somehow we made two errors before the ride even started. We thought we’d scouted the ride start. It was a block in front of the hotel at the Veterans' of Foreign Wars Hall on 4th. Little were we aware that going out the back of the hotel put you on 4th by the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Hall, the actual ride start. When we found it the organizers told us we could have checked in the night before, but I never saw it on their site, and neither did Dan. We missed our planned 3:30-ish start and got off at 3:51. Still, we were happy to be rolling.

We were both relieved to have dressed perfectly for the morning cool-not-cold temperatures. The ride itself was, well, dark. So it didn’t really matter where we were for the first 30 miles. We played “What fruit do we smell?” as we rolled through farmlands of grapes, oranges, perhaps grapefruit and who knows what else. Though we couldn’t see beyond our lights, we can report with confidence that the Clovis area is flat, flatter than anywhere I’d ever ridden. It continued like that for a bit over 70 miles. Then the hills started.

pine flat lake bass lake powerhouse double
Along the way we picked up a rider from Sacramento named Steve, or “Software Steve” to differentiate him from Dan’s other friend Steve. We rode quite a ways with him. Steve was riding a standard double crank with a low rear sprocket of 24 teeth. (Note to non-geeks: That's a really high gear for a steep hill.) I saw him struggling up the hardest section, and later at a rest stop. I hope he finished. That’s one tough gear ratio.
UPDATE: “Software Steve” reports in a comment, below, that he did indeed finish, and will be buying another cassette before he tries something like this again.

Our first climbs were’t bad at all, and the view from up above Pine Flat Lake was a magnificent vista. The next climb up Maxon Road was a taste of things to come, but still not too tough. Burrough Road was everything good about California. We rode near a creek, still alive with running water. With cattle grates eliminating the need for fences, I felt like we were rolling through a cleaner, nicer past. I even stopped to photograph a great, big, road-crossing tarantula.
tarantula
We missed a turn somehow and added a few extra miles before the Auberry lunch stop. Following lunch was a pleasant climb and at mile 112 a screaming decent. I couldn’t enjoy it knowing we’d have to climb it on the way out. I should have, because it would have been the last thing I’d have enjoyed for the next 2 1/2 hours. This was the hardest, most relentless climb I’ve ever done. I hate stopping, and though I didn’t get off the bike, or push the darn thing, as I saw a lot of others doing, I did have to take a break twice. I tried to smile and make a photo of my sweat-soaked face, but it doesn’t come close to capturing the pain I was feeling. I was as close to not being able to continue as I’ve ever been. I was pretty sure that if I ever got through this ride I’d never get on a bicycle again.
curtis fried
Bass Lake, bass lake double dan
But, as with all climbs, this one eventually ended. After a long break and a spin around Bass Lake we got a long, long decent back past the powerhouse to that climb out I’d been dreading. We completed it in the dark and rolled into the Auberry rest stop.
Dan at Powerhouse

I was thrilled to find that most of the route was downhill from mile 164. We flew through the darkness.
Clarification: It was downhill and faster than uphill, but I didn't exactly fly the whole way. I had a few rough spots. I felt OK, but just couldn't generate any speed.

I was happy to finish. Even though I kicked it up the last 8 miles or so, Dan had been chomping at the bit for the last 30. He said he felt like he’d be good for another 100, and he looked like it. I was toast.

Dan’s family met him, Tricia met me (with an ice cold beer — I may have been slow, but I was the envy of the room for a while) and I crawled off to bed, with dreams of a new jersey order dancing in my head.

Ratings
The route was a delight. I love California, and this ride showed off its beauty. I loved riding through the rolling hills and past the oaks and golden fields. What an experience.

I failed to love the haphazard marking of the course. As Dan pointed out, at the Hemet Double they said “We didn’t mark a thing. Pay attention. You are on your own.” Here they marked some corners with hard-to-see paint, but they missed a few too, so we never knew if we should trust them, or if we’d miss an unmarked, or poorly marked, turn. The route sheet was on regular paper in a small font that made it hard to see. Mine disintegrated and I had trouble getting another at the rest stop. A rider who was bailing out gave me his, thank goodness.

Not that the route slip was accurate. Apparently we weren’t alone at being confused because we didn’t know already, like the locals, that Millerton was Hwy 168 and we should turn right, and not go left on Millerton, which was what the sheet said.

As long as I’ve got my bibshorts in a wad, someone should point out they make food grade hoses that don’t flavor the water you serve with a sharp plastic taint. Yech.

But the worst thing on this ride was the waterless water stops. Water stop 1 was out of water when we rolled through, and water stop 2 was just an unstaffed pile of empty plastic litter on the edge of the highway.

Even with these serious flaws, I enjoyed the ride, and I’m pleased beyond words that I finished. As one of my favorite saying goes, “It’s not how well the bear dances, but that the bear dances at all.” Now he’ll be dancing in a California Triple Crown 1000 mile club jersey, stumbling and smiling as he does.

Endnote: Even though I swore never to ride again, Tricia had me out on a short recovery ride the next morning. Oh well.

Bass Lake Powerhouse Double Century Elevation Profile
Click for much larger version

Monday, October 04, 2010

Bonus Photos of bike bridge opening.

Carlos Gonzalez is now with the SF Chronicle, but a zillion years ago I worked with him at the Ledger Dispatch (back when it was a real newspaper.) He was at the Robert I. Schroeder Pedestrian and Bike Bridge opening and sent me this swell photo. Hey! That's George Miller clapping as I ride by. Thanks Carlos.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Walnut Creek Bike Ped bridge and internet fame

Tricia bike bridge
Tricia and I got to be "extras" in the grand opening of the Robert I. Schroeder Pedestrian and Bike Bridge over Treat Blvd. by the Pleasant Hill BART station in Walnut Creek. We'd responded to a note from the East Bay Bicycle Coalition looking for interested folks, and we were picked. I don't think there was much competition.

I grew up a block away from where the bridge is now and remember walking home from Walnut Creek Elementary and Intermediate along the tracks that are now part of the Iron Horse Trial, so it was really kind of neat to get to be there for this event.

They had us ride to the top and wait while politicos made speeches, then roll down when they cut the ribbon. It was great because we couldn't hear them yammering; we just chatted with the other extras and enjoyed being on a beautiful bridge.

After the event we went for a ride up Diablo. Part way up a cyclist yelled to us "Bike Forums! Margaret Thatcher!" I looked at Tricia and wondered "Margaret Thatcher? Huh....??" Later that day there was a post on bikeforums.net from "nthach," who recognised our jerseys and was telling us his name as he went by. Mystery solved.

On our way back stopped at a Greek restaurant by Sports Basement for a bite. Sitting outside a young man came by and introduced himself as "Gui" and asked "Curtis?" He'd recognized us because "I follow your blog." I'm always amazed to find anyone reads this. It makes me think maybe I should pay more attention to what I write.

Still, internet fame, where is thy monetary reward? I await you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Knoxville Double Century 2010

Executive summary:
202.15 mile
13,968 feet of climbing (Garmin 305, Ascent software)
16:12 rolling time
18:22 hours on the course

Knoxville Double dawn
Trying to sleep the night before a double century is just plain hard. A strange bed, and the excitement of a kid the night before Christmas just does not make for a deep, relaxing sleep.

We'd planned to start the 2010 Knoxville Double Century at 4am, but Ron (spingineer) and Dan (Mr. LanceOldStrong), like me, were excited enough that we arrived at the start early and managed to roll out 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 3:45.

ron-2We were among the first on the route, and overtook the two earlier riders about 10 miles in. We'd gone 35 before the sun started to lighten the sky and a group of riders passed us. They turned into the first rest stop, which we ignored, so for a bit we were out in front. It's not a race, so it really didn't matter, and it wasn't a bother that we were passed a lot more as the day went on.

Sometime around dawn I could smell breakfast being cooked. The smell of bacon and coffee mixed with the morning air is a memory stirring aroma. Later, as the sun was going down, I'd find myself on the opposite end of the day, enjoying the smell of wood smoke and the fragrance of ham being prepared for dinner.

Knoxville Double dawn 1At mile 45 I got my first kiss of direct sunlight. It felt good after the coolish morning temperatures. It had been downright warm at our Holiday Inn in Vacaville at 3am, but once we hit the road away from the city I was glad I was wearing a light windbreaker. We knew the coolness wouldn't last, and indeed it didn't seem like long until we were baking. Dan's Garmin registered over 100 more than once before the ride was over.

Riding this long gives one time to be bizarrely philosophical. I found myself thinking about how a double century is a lesson about life. Whatever the conditions are, they'll change. Temperatures change, winds shift, when you can't go on somehow you do and have a burst of energy later. Uphills end and become downhills, Cool becomes warm becomes hot becomes cool becomes cold. Light becomes dark, and on and on.

By the first climb of the day it was already hot in the sun. We'd been warned about the poor road quality on the Howell Mountain decent, so I took it slowly, thinking I'd see giant holes in the road. Instead the road was a delight, with no problem sections and I wasted a perfectly good downhill hammering my brakes to go carefully. Oh well.

Knoxville Double guy who started triple crownBerryessa Road was pleasant, but eventually it turns mean as it starts uphill. But before it got ugly I had a chance to ride along side Chuck Bramwell, the Executive Director of the California Triple Crown. Yep, the guy whose fault all my double riding can be blamed on. If it hadn't been for his neat-o jersey I'd never have been out there doing this ride.

Knoxville Double tunnelBerryessa Road, once it starts uphill, is exposed to the sun, and somewhat relentless. The only relief is the all-to-brief tunnel and then the water stop shortly thereafter. I wanted to camp out in the tunnel, it was so cool, but we didn't. Seeing Princess Zippy and husband Thom at the water stop was encouraging. It's so good to see a friendly face as you are facing heat, hills, and the dreaded Loch Loman climb.Knoxville Double curtis w- princess zippy

After a quick stop at the lunch area we started up toward Loch Loman. I'd been dreading it the whole ride. I'd attempted to save every drop on energy I had, hoping it would be enough. Two weeks earlier I'd had to stop twice while climbing it and lay my head on my bars, drip like an exploded radiator, and pray for my heart rate to drop. This time I just rode it. I even beat my group up to the top, no small feat as they are both stronger riders than I am. At the top I phoned home and while I waited for Dan, I noticed I had a flat. I got it fixed just as Ron rolled in.

Knoxville Double vinesAt this point I'd achieved my major goal and thought the ride might as well be over. My other goal, however, -- finishing -- was still a long way away.

After a shortish climb up Cobb we all enjoyed a long, long, screaming decent at 11% plus into Middletown. What a blast.

Knoxville Double fast danAfter our decent we hit a long, straight flat road where Dan, for inexplicable reasons, decided to crank it up to 19+ and pull a long line of cyclists for miles. I managed to hang onto his wheel because he was careful not to accelerate too quickly, but we eventually rode everyone else off the back. I was relieved when we hit the rest stop and I got to grab a quick fist full of rest and fill up on ice.

Knoxville Double making photoHeading toward Lake Henessey and one of the last rest stops is just a blur to me. I was losing my thinking ability at this point. I remember climbing, and climbing, and I remember a wonderful decent on a smooth road toward the rest stop. The rest stop featured, of all things, hot dogs. That's about the last thing I'd want to see on a ride like this, but for many, including my riding partner Dan, it was just the thing they needed. We were checked for proper lights. I switched out my dark lenses to yellow and we were on our way after being promised it was easy from here back. They lied.

We had several climb and decents. Perhaps they would have been easier if we hadn't already ridden 180 miles, but we had. And it was dark. And getting later.

There's something magical about riding in the middle of nowhere in the dark. With no light other than your LED headlight and the spill of other cyclists lights for miles it's hypnotic. You can't see where you've been, where you're going or off to the sides. Your whole world becomes that 50 feet in front of you. Maybe it'll go up, maybe down. You just pedal. Occasionally there's a road sign. During one climb I was sure that I'd had a major and important life changing epiphany when I realized that the most beautiful sign there could possibly be is "Trucks, use low gears."

At our last rest stop we were promised we had only 13 easy miles to go. I'd been sanity and health checked by several folks and had to convince them all I was good to go. I don't think they really believed me. I was deep inside my own head and just wanted to roll, not rest.

The last 13 was a pain that seemed like it would never end. It was too dark to see my bike computer so I couldn't take refuge in the readout that would confirm I was still moving. I was sure at one point we would never really finish. Eventually we made the last turn and were just a few hundred yards from the end. I felt like a cycling god. An old, tired cycling god, but a god none the less.

Dan, who had been a flawless navigator for 201.9 miles called the last turn wrong and sent me down a driveway costing me at least 20 feet of extra riding, but I got turned around and rolled in with Dan and Ron, exactly together as we had started.

Knoxville Double endTricia greeted me as I just stood over my bike, unsure about what to do, or how to get off. Eventually I managed to dismount and Tricia hugged me and gave me the best beer I've ever tasted.

That night I was without a clue. The next morning I was still clueless, but added hungry beyond description. IIHOP was, at that point, an amazing culinary experience. Bacon, eggs and pancakes never tasted so good.

Monday I'm still a little loopy, but feeling better and able to speak in complete sentences most of the time.

Let me add this note: Quack Cyclists rock! They had the best support I've ever seen. Great stuff at rest stops, massive amounts of Hammer products, smiling volunteers that know what you're going through and SAG cars everywhere. At one point a guy ran from his car and tossed an ice sock on Dan's shoulders without Dan didn't even slowing down. They were great!

Now I just have to recover enough for the Bass lake double in two weeks….

Injuries: Not too bad. Slightly tired neck, tight Achilles tendons and a weird skin pull from the gripper elastic where my bibs meet my legs. Must have been from all the heat. Oh, and really bad helmet hair.

Knoxville Double helmet hair

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Voodoo nutrition

If you ride, you know how some days you feels like you have snap, and you look forward to every climb and sprint. You likely also know what it's like to just feel off; able to ride, but just not with any enthusiasm or energy.

I've had that low energy thing going for a while now. I've done long rides, short rides and commute rides and just felt blah. It's been making me nervous as I have the Knoxville Double Century coming up in 13 days.

On Saturday I told Tricia I'm willing to try voodoo, and that we should drop by the Vitamin Store and see what kind of snake oil they were pushing this month. I was ready to try anything.

I've been trying to drop a few pounds before this ride, and I've been very focused on my eating. I've not had a drop of calorie-rich alcohol this month, and I've been religious with my diet.

Apparently I've been over doing it. According to Doctor-My-Wife-Tricia and the folks behind the counter at the Vitamin Store I've not been getting enough protein. Indeed, when we returned home and Googled about for guidelines, I was way under everyone's recommendations.

So I bought a big thing of Gold Standard Whey. The sales folks said I should eat a giant jar every 15 minutes (that might be a slight exaggeration) but we figured just taking enough to get my protein intake up to average might help.

After drinking some last night, and again this morning, I went for a ride and felt better than I have in at least two weeks.

It may be voodoo, but I don't care. I'm feeling less worried about the Knoxville Double, and that's what matters.

I am down to 149pounds. I'm thinking every pound of fat I don't have to haul uphill will be a good thing. I'm hoping for 145 by the ride. We'll see.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Knoxville Double recon ride

tricia at lake
LanceOldStrong convinced me it would be a good idea to recon part of our planned Knoxville Double. Tricia came alone just because, and Ron came because he might ride the double with us.

tricia and danWe left Pope Valley at about almost 9 am and rode all day. It was hot, and seemed like uphill the whole way. We ended up at 89 miles with just under 7000 feet of climbing.

Along the way we got to ride through deer-hunting-territory, complete with lots of rifles and pickup trucks. We rode forever with no water stops, draining our bottles to the point where Lower Lake looked like an oasis in the desert.

I'm still stunned with how steep the back off Cobb Mountain and Loch Lomand Road are. Ouch. I can't wait to hit it 100 miles into our double....

Tricia gets some award. I'll post if I can figure out something grand enough to present her with. She rode with "the boys" again. I admit there were many section where I had trouble, or just couldn't, keep up with her. She's such a cyclist, she always claims to be slow, or having a bad day, then just rocks.

Dan did his usual great job navigating, even when the cue sheet went stupid. We all lived, and nothing broke on the bikes. A good time was had by all.
Dan, Tricia, Ron

A rare photo of me on my own blog, stolen from Ron. Thanks Ron!