Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Ride

For the last month I have been doing rides between one and two hours long, and most them weren't interesting enough to talk about. I guess I'm just riding for fun at this point. I just can't seem to find the motivation to ride and train enough to race.

Sunday we went out for a family ride in the Placerville area. We started at the parking lot on Missouri Flat Road and headed east on the bike trail.

After a mostly downhill ride to the bridge over Weber Creek, it was pretty much all uphill to the turnaround point.

This old railroad tunnel is in Placerville.

There is a bit of dirt on the route.

Most of us enjoyed it.

Not sure how much Jen did.

This used to be where the old trestle bridge was.  I went over it once and it scared the hell out of me.  Now it's a beautiful foot bridge, and the chance of dying on it is much less likely.

It was raining to the east, but we stayed dry.

We did a little over 17 miles with a fair bit of climbing, and everyone did great.  Good ride.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Follow Me

If you liked The Collective series of mountain biking films, then you might want to check out Follow Me, the next film in the progression by the reformed group Anthill Films.  It looks awesome.  The slow motion footage is amazing.

Follow Me - the Teaser from Anthill Films on Vimeo.
The official trailer for Anthill's new HD mountain bike film, Follow Me. Available now on DVD and iTunes.

Go to to order.

Music: Emika, "Double Edge"

Friday, August 06, 2010

Post 100, Etc.

I just noticed that yesterday's post was number 100 in my illustrious blogging career.  I would like to thank my legion of followers, all three of you, for your support.  Without you, the faithful readers, none of the incredible fame and fortune I have achieved would have been possible.

Um, yeah.

So I woke up with a pair of very sore legs after running yesterday.  Only with the aid of both handrails was I able to descend our stairs this morning.  Still, I had planned all week to ride home from work today, so I went for it.

The soreness didn't actually bother me too much on the bike, especially during the first 20 miles, most of which are flat bike trail.  Once in Folsom, I chose to take the more difficult Serrano route through El Dorado Hills because the manicured grounds have no goat heads.  At this point in the summer, the more rural roads are lined with goat head weeds, which proliferate on gravel shoulders for some reason.

Once the serious climbing started, the pain in my quads became more intense, but I just tried to ignore it.  The last couple climbs were tough, and I slowed with each ascent, but I eventually arrived home with just over 40 miles on the computer.  It was a good ride despite the discomfort.

Tonight, however, I am dying.  I am hobbling around like a crippled old man, the result of running one whole mile.  Pathetic.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Round and Round

Ever since I took Spencer out for some hot laps at the local high school, he has been asking to go back. The guy who ran us off that day made it pretty clear that bikes were not allowed on the track, so I always had to say no. Yesterday, the boy asked if we could run there instead. Even though I am not a runner, I thought, "Why not?"

We went over there earlier this morning.  Keep in mind that I have not done much running—OK, any running—in years.  As a cyclist, I have pretty stringent rules against it.  I worry about my knees and ruining my pedal stroke.  I occasionally run toward free beer and away from armed assasins, but that's it.

I only ended up running a mile, which was plenty.  I walked another mile trying to get the kinks out, but it didn't work.  My quads and back are pretty sore already.  There will be hell to pay tomorrow for sure.

Spencer ran and walked for 2.75 miles, and appeared to enjoy himself:

The kid's got a nice stride.

On my last lap, I couldn't help but ask myself what the hell I was doing.  Then it occurred to me it might be a sign.  There is one cycling discipline that does require a little running:

Coincidence?  We'll see.


August and Everything After

Spring has come and gone, and half of summer now, too. The fitness I cultivated over the long winter now lies withering on the vine under the searing Sacramento sun. The promising spring racing campaign, derailed by vacations and illnesses, evolved into a lazy summer of sporadic rides without any real purpose.

The year started well. Knowing we had a vacation coming in late January, I rode hard the six weeks leading up to it. It was often cold and miserable, but I was focused on being fit when Boggs rolled around.

We had a great time on vacation, and I didn't exactly shy away from desserts and beer.

The time away from home was just what the doctor ordered.  I came back with a mild cold thanks to a taxi driver in Ixtapa, but my mind was clear and my legs were fresh.  I was surprised to find that I felt stronger due to the time off the bike.

I continued to build for the next six weeks and by mid-March I was flying.  I felt so strong.

We made a last-minute decision to visit my parents in Tucson during the kids' spring break in April.  Unfortunately, the trip forced me to sell my entry to Boggs.  No big deal, I thought.  I would just re-focus on Cool in May.

It was a great trip.  I fell in love with Tucson, and it helped me remember how much I enjoy hanging out with my parents.

Again, I came back refreshed and ready to keep training.  I felt good . . . for two weeks.

At that point I caught some sort of cold or infection that eventually became pneumonia.  I missed Cool and spent three weeks off the bike.

When I resumed riding, my fitness and motivation were long gone.  Even if I had wanted to train, my lung function would not have allowed it.  Even short rides left me very tired afterward.

Now it's August, and I'm starting to feel good again.  As the Euros say, "I have good sensations in the legs."

While riding simply for the sake of riding is nice, without some sort of carrot dangling in front of me, something is missing.

I am surveying the local racing calendar looking for something to focus on.  Cross-country racing?  Endurance?  Will I make a run at the cyclocross season this year?

I'm still trying to decide which carrot to chase.  Until then, I'll continue to ride hoping the answer will reveal itself.  Hopefully I can salvage something from this season.