Saturday, May 30, 2009

Falling Down

Yesterday left me feeling a little William Foster.

In the morning I read about the latest wage cut California state workers are getting. This five percent cut, plus the two furlough days we are already enduring, makes for a total of 14.6% in lost wages since February. Since my spouse and I both work for the state, it's a bit much to swallow.

Following the online story I read the comments from readers. The vast majority of them think we are fat, lazy and deserve everything taken away from us and then some. Some even said we are OVERPAID. Most of the people in my field, Information Technology, know for a fact they can make more on the outside. Citrix administrators (one of my MANY responsibilities) routinely make six figures, and I assure you good citizens, I make nowhere near that. We chose state service for the stability over higher wages. Well, now we enjoy neither of those.

Later in the day I read about the proposal to withdraw funding from all 279 of California's state parks and the outright closure of 223 of them. Since many of these parks are prime mountain biking areas, this didn't leave me with a warm fuzzy.

On my ride home from work (since I can't afford gas anymore) I saw these shiny new signs all over my home riding area:

This area has technically been off-limits since about 1986, but signage was scarce and there was little enforcement (unless you count vigilante horse nuts). Now there are signs all over the place, and I have seen posts on the MTBR Norcal forum regarding citations being issued.

What absolutely pisses me off is how little these trails are used by horses. Most days I never see one. However, I do see plenty of mountain bikers.

The argument is that bikes and horses don't mix well, and the bikes present a danger to horses and riders. If that were the case, then why was FATRAC forced to make the neighboring Granite Bay trail multi-use when it was built?

Cars run over cyclists every day. Should we remove the cars from the roads? Oh, you say there are far more cars on the road, so that would be ridiculous? Well, there are far more mountain bikers than equestrians.

Regardless, the signs and potential fines will not stop me from riding these trails. I have been riding them for 25 years now, and I can only recall having one incident with a horse rider. All the other encounters with equestrians have been cordial if not downright friendly. It makes me wonder what all the fuss is about.

Anyway, the constant take, take, take at every turn lately has left me feeling a bit surly. I think tomorrow I'll go do some illegal trail riding and stick it to the man.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Boom Goes the Dynamite

When I input my miles yesterday on, fireworks went off. Really. All over the web page. Little animated GIF files. It was . . . beautiful. I almost cried.

When you ride 500 miles or more, you get the neat exploding dynamite icon next to your name. Boom!

I had to cut off the upper part of the web page in order to show my lowly mileage total. There are a number of people at the top with well over 1000 miles at this point. Obviously they are deranged losers with no social life to speak of.

If you're not a huge sports fan, you might not get the "Boom Goes the Dynamite" reference. If not, here's the worst sports broadcast of all time. It's downright uncomfortable to watch:

Bad. So bad.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Recruit

Last weekend I picked up a used cyclocross bike at a swap meet for a ridiculously low price. Unfortunately, it was a "touch" too small for me. I contacted my friend Doug, who happens to be a "touch" smaller than me, and he was interested in checking it out.

Today we got him set up on the bike and went for a 42-mile ride. Lots of hills and a few dirt and gravel sections to get our Paris-Roubaix on. I had fun, and I think I have recruited a new cyclocross believer.

He looks like a natural:

I'm hoping Doug will join the party and race this fall. Pom frites, beer and cowbells!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How the Ball Bounces

Tonight is the NBA Draft Lottery. As a Kings fan I obviously want the first pick. I think it would be fitting if the Kings won it, and put Blake Griffin in purple and black, but storybook endings aren't guaranteed.

Wayman and Blake at Oklahoma:

Wayman and who in Sac?


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cool Video?

I can't decide whether this is a cool video or if I hate it. You be the judge.

I definitely identify more with the girl than with the hipster fixie dufus playing in traffic.

I will say the music production is way above average for an Internet video. Crank up your speakers.

Click on the HD button if you want to see it in HD on the Vimeo site.


It's Your Ride from Cinecycle on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Back in (the) Black

Yesterday was the 15th of the month, and after my commute home from work I'm at 303 miles. I'm back on track and in the black, Jack. I might just make my 600-mile pledge. Wee.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Wayman Tisdale: 1964-2009

You were a good King and a good man. Rest in peace, Wayman.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Seis Cientos Millas en Mayo

The two endurance races I had circled on the calendar have come and gone, and I missed them both--one due to sickness and one due to laziness.

I didn't ride a whole lot in April, and for some reason I didn't care much. I went on vacation, worked in the yard, and knocked out some home improvement projects. And went to work as little as possible.

I didn't find my mojo in San Diego, nor did I find it at the job site, nor at the end of a shovel or hammer. It was gone.

So May rolls around and it's bike month. I figure it's time to start riding again, and what better motivation than to pledge a big number on a web site that all my coworkers will see.

I pledged to ride 600 miles, which is a number I haven't tallied in a month in almost six years. The last time I did was the month prior to moving in with my spouse. No surprise there, and I'm not complaining. It's just the way it works.

Six hundred miles isn't a lot for a "serious" cyclist or racer, but it's a lot for me. Since I don't currently own a road bike, all the miles are cranked out on knobby tires. And the terrain around my house is a bit hilly to say the least.

To get that number I figure I have to average 20 miles per day for the first thirty days. The 31st will be a "bonus day" when I can either make up my deficit (likely) or tack on more miles to my total.

Today is the 12th, and I have ridden 217 of the projected 240 miles. I started off with a big deficit because of all the rain in the beginning of May, but I have rebounded in the last week to close the gap. With a good ride tomorrow I might even put myself in the black.