Sunday, January 28, 2007


It is now Sunday afternoon and I have been battling a mother of a cold since sometime on Wednesday. I actually think I felt a tickle of it on my Tuesday bike ride, which, ironically, I was en fuego during.

It started as a sniffle, then a headcold, then moved down all achey-breaky style into my chest where at has been camping out and making mucous in copious, inhuman proportions. I feel like Val Kilmer's pale, hacking rendition of Doc Holliday from the movie Tombstone, which seems to currently be in heavy rotation as I've watched it twice this week. I'm not sure watching Val with tuberculosis or whatever is good for one's cold, but it's a bitchin' movie...and the highlight of my seriously extended couch time. There is just so much SHIT on dog shit.

Anyway, I've tried every over-the-counter spray, inhaler, swab, spoon and pill I could find, as well as enough homeopathic remedies to qualify me for residency on any number of Santa Cruz-based communes, but nothing really seems to be doing the trick.

I keep telling myself I'm feeling a little better today because I got up, wrenched on bikes for a bit, paid some bills and felt like typing for the first time in days, but that all could just be extreme boredom.

Though I've never been a big Talking Heads fan, I did find this online today and it made me feel better. A little anyway. Hopefully it will do the same for you, even if you're not sick:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Naked Raygun reunites!

Muscle beach is now porkchop hill. Again. Details here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bike Year Part 3 - The Races

I was gonna start this by saying that racing is suffering. But that’s not really true. Suffering is living in poverty, having no home, coping with infirmity, loss and the like. Suffering is something that happens as the result of things you can’t control…well usually. Choosing to test yourself physically and push your limits is just that—a choice. It can hurt and stress you out, drain you physically and emotionally, make your nads hurt and cause you to vomit blood, but you could make it stop if you want. Not so with true suffering. Racing is only slightly more like suffering than the reality TV show Survivor is actual survivorship…or even reality for that matter.

That said, racing puts me in the ouch box. And with my move up into the Expert class in 2006, the hurt came faster and harder and lasted longer than I’ve ever experienced in competitive athletics. In the Sport class one can bluff their way through a bad race and still do OK. In Expert, there’s no place to hide. You mess up, or let your fitness wane (i.e. CCCX#4 & 7 below) or have a mechanical and it’s to the back with little hope of return. And while I feel I belong in the Expert class, I think the odds of me breaking through and making a podium are slim. I do see progress and get better every year, but it actually doesn’t matter. For me, racing is just a form of motivation.

The handful of official races I do each year, really don’t amount to much in and of themselves. I probably raced less than 200 miles the entire year, but the prospect of doing so is what got my ass in gear, out the door and on the bike. On those chilly mornings when a ride over the hill seemed a preposterous undertaking, it was usually the thought of a race that talked me back into it.

Then there are the unofficial races. If you count these, I probably raced much more than the stats would indicate. Trying to drop Scott on the Bonny Doon climb, or set a new mark on the Branciforte Loop, or catching the guy on the Gucci bike**, making him hurt then riding him off my wheel—these are the races that happen all the time. And these organic races are as much, if not more, motivational than the official ones.

So yeah, racing is a competitive thing and I can be a competitive person, but the real competition is to get my booty off the couch, away from the computer and out the door. THAT’S the race that matters and it’s one I’m winning.

To close, I’d like to pass some thanks. Though they derive no possible benefit from their association with me, there are none-the-less several companies—or more precisely several individuals at those companies—whom help support my racing in one way or another. Principle among these are Top Dog Illustration and Bell. Additional assistance from Easton, Blackburn, SRAM, Shimano, Avid, Fox Racing Shox, Maxxis, Fizik, Stan’s Notubes and, of course, Superdawg is also greatly appreciated.

** - For the record I myself ride some very Gucci bikes. But at least mine are dirty and disheveled from use. They are for go, not for show.

Racing by the numbers
Mountain Bike Racing, Central Coast Series

2/12 CCCX#1 Expert 35-44 - 8th Place
2/26 CCCX #2 Expert 35-44 - 7th Place
3/19 CCCX#3 Expert 35-44 - 9th Place
3/26 CCCX#4 Expert 35-44 - 16th Place
7/2 CCCX#7 DNF
2006 CCCX Overall Expert 35-44 Rank: 12th

Road Racing and Time Trials
CCCX Road Race 16th Cat 4/5
5/4 Swanton TT#2 - 7th Place 32:41
6/6 Swanton TT#4 - 5th Place 32:08
9/7 Swanton TT#6 - 6th Place 31:31

Bike Year 2006
Bike Year 2006 is a series of five posts about bicycling and me. 'Cause I'm a nerd like that. And it's all about me.
Part 1: The Numbers
Part 2: The Places
Part 3: The Races
Part 4: The Bikes - Next Post
Part 5: The People

Bitchin' vintage MX

Borrowed from the good people at Cars R Coffins.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Wind Man Commeth

I think there was a head wind in seven different directions today. I managed to mangle two inner tubes trying to mount my (extremely too tight) new tires and then Ryan had another flat while we were riding. I think it was the longest 14 mile ride ever. But it was still a ride. And that's good.

Posted wirelessly via cell phone

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bike Year Part 2: The Places

I’m lucky. Very VERY lucky. I mean how many people get to do a job they really love and have it take them to places they want to go and pay for them to do some of the things they love to do? Add personal trips to legendary and amazing places and 2006 becomes supercalifragilistically insanely great.


Giro d’ Italia (Road) – This trip combined the incredible spectacle of a Grand Tour, the amazing riding of Northern Italy and the otherworldly food and friendliness of the world’s warmest people.


Girona, Spain (Road) – Not two weeks after getting back from Italy, it was off to an international sales meeting in Spain. And while we spent more time on planes and in meeting rooms than anything else, the leisure time allowed, particularly the riding, was sublime.


Downieville & Tahoe, CA
(MTB) – While The Sierra is hardly worlds away, getting all packed up and out to Downieville sometimes seems more daunting than the four hour drive it is. Which is too bad because that 14-mile downhill always leaves me wanting more...and the addition of the rock garden-to-toboggan slope known as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride near the town of Meyers in South Lake Tahoe made this trip a definite do-over.

Whistler, BC Canada (MTB) – To be frank, I was kind of scared of this place. The stunts, the steeps, the jumps, the drops—I’d seen them all in photos and on videos and as fun as they look, I’m an XC guy. All lungs and legs, not hops and props. But it’s pretty amazing what good instruction, a little confidence and 10-inches of travel can do. Riding Whistler changed me…and it still scares me. And that’s what I love about it.


Fruita, CO. & Moab, UT (MTB) – Moab is a good old friend. I could ride Porcupine Rim every day for a month and not get sick of it. Fruita is a good new friend…and a kinda kooky friend at that. While the weather limited our outdoor exploration, it helped us make friends at the local bike shop which has a wackier and funnier cast of characters than any sitcom on TV.

Bike Year 2006
Bike Year 2006 is a series of five posts about bicycling and me. 'Cause I'm a nerd like that. And it's all about me.
Part 1: The Numbers
Part 2: The Places
Part 3: The Races - Next Post

Part 4: The Bikes
Part 5: The People

Monday, January 01, 2007

Bike Year Part 1: The Numbers

With over a half million feet of climbing and at least 6,000 miles of riding, 2006 was a great big year on the bike for me. It was so big, I’m not even sure how much I actually rode…the statistics below are incomplete as I went through a period of nonchalance with my record keeping**. I estimate the totals to be low by at least 15%, but let’s just go with these as the official tally:

2006 Combined Totals
Mountain, road and indoor rides combined
Number of Rides: 210
Miles Ridden: 5849.15
Climbing Feet: 468,884
Riding Time: 397 hours, 20 minutes, 2 seconds
Average Speed: 14.7 mph

2006 Road Totals
Number of Rides: 156
Miles Ridden: 5020.97
Climbing Feet: 364,187
Riding Time: 311 hours, 4 minutes, 40 Seconds
Average Speed: 16.1 mph

Longest Road Ride: Feb. 6, Mt. Hamilton Super Loop
112.22m; 11000 feet; 15.8 avg; 7 hr., 5 m., 23 sec.

2006 Mountain Bike Totals
Number of Rides: 44
Miles Ridden: 692.16
Climbing Feet: 104,697
Riding Time: 79 hours, 35 minutes, 22 seconds
Average Speed: 9.3 mph

Longest MTB Ride: Aug. 6 Downieville Epic XC/DH
31.4 m; 5909 feet; 8.6 avg; 3h, 39m, 21s

**- Hopefully the addition of my MotionBased account will make 2007's numbers more accurate.

Bike Year 2006
Bike Year 2006 is a series of five posts about bicycling and me. 'Cause I'm a nerd like that. And it's all about me.
Part 1: The Numbers
Part 2: The Places -Next Post
Part 3: The Races
Part 4: The Bikes
Part 5: The People