Sunday, January 27, 2008

Kermesse me on the lips...

Smile for the camera...

Working hard...

Sprint Finish! This is what 31 MPH looks like on a singlespeed.

Still repping the Best Beer Known to Man or Beast.
It was a good race today! The course was a bit wet, but I ran the same set-up as last week. Eight people toed the line. The first two laps were casual. On the third lap, the new guy punched in through the rough gravel section. I nearly spit up a lung, but held on. The next lap, the winner from last week went out with a flat. The last two laps were 'New Guy attacks, everybody else holds on..." over and over. Painful, but also fun.
I stayed with the lead group until the very last gravel section. The winner (New Guy) punched it and the other four of us in the lead group sort of shattered apart. I was third, and the guy in forth out-sprinted me last week. This week, I used my Secret Weapon: Math! By saving my sprint for the last lap (how novel!) I easily outpaced Guy #4. Well, maybe not easily, but I did have a good sprint (hands in the drops, in case you were wondering, Dan...) and finished in 3rd Place.
Looking forward to the season finale next week. I hope the winners from each of the first two weeks are there; it would make for some very interesting and fast racing. Once again I had a great time. The racers were very nice, and we spent a few minutes after the race chatting. Good folks. The pictures are courtesy of the on-site medic Darren who is also a pretty cool guy.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Like Concrete

Rode in Forrest Park. Everything that was a sloppy soup two weeks ago was rock hard last night. Fast. Suppa Fast! The new easier gearing (and gobs of traction!) turned me into a climber. No pictures; the camera really likes it's spot on the desk.

On tap this weekend; Kermesse for sure on Sunday. Someone mentioned Syncline maybe on Saturday? Who knows. If not, then maybe a longer ride. Or maybe the new Rambo movie! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday Ride

Wednesday group ride with the Yakima Bike Vigilantes. The ride was awesome! The trails were frozen solid, so the grip was incredible. No real crashes and lots of good times.

The weather was clear and cold. The views of the city from the start location were spectacular. I dropped down to a 32x19, which made dealing with the occasional switchback much easier. Last week I ran a 38x20...

Fat Tire ride on tap for tonight. Will I bring the camera? Perhaps...

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I did the first of the Vanport Kermesse races this morning. It was a good time, but I learned an important lesson: know how many laps you are racing!
Long story short: There were seven people racing in the singlespeed class. Three guys were from one team. One guy broke away after two laps. I was busy watching the teammates and didn't see him go. Even after I saw that he was going, I assumed the team guys would pull him back. Not so-he got away and stayed away.
At the end of the the fourth lap, a few of us were looking at each other and going very slow. I assumed this was the end of the race, who is going to lead out nonsense that is so common in road racing. So, I went for it. I felt great, and had a great sprint to the line. Too bad there was one more lap to go.
That's right, I was one lap early! Oh well, live and learn. We played some cat and mouse for the last lap, and I ended up getting nabbed at the end by couple of folks. I ended up 4th. Not great, but not bad either and I had a good time.
There are two more races in this series and I think I will do them both.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday Night Ride

Four riders.
2 Quirings. 1 geared, 1 ss.
2 Singlespeeds. 1 29er, 1 26er.
2 29ers. 1 geared, 1ss.
2 crashes, neither of them me.
2 people with light problems, neither of them me.
1 person who forgot to put the retaining pins in his front brake pads...also not me. But yea, he was one of the crashes.

Trails can be tricky; "it's at the top of this hill". "It's right around the corner..."

Sometimes, not so much.

Good guys, and plans were made to verify trailhead locations prior to late-night wandering. I plan to join this ride again.

Good times.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


The initial version of the Kermesse bike is almost done. I'll post some pics on Friday.

Singlespeed (of course!)
48x16 (not great, but the best I could do on short notice)

...and a whole lot of attitude, baby!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


There was a great big bright shinny sun in the sky today! Portland is great all the time; it absolutely *glows* when the sun comes out. Mt. Hood was just amazing off in the distance. Truly stunning.

So of course I went for a bike ride. I took the DDX up Thurman to Leif Erikson to Saltzman to Skyline. I managed to stay seated the whole time. The DDX is running 40x19(*edit* actually it was a 44x19, so I'm a little more manly than I thought...), so it wasn't necessarily anything to write home to Mom about, but still not a bad bit of training.

I took Skyline to Germantown Road, then u-turned and rode Skyline back to Burnside. There were a couple of decent climbs on Skyline. There were quite a few groups and solo road riders out. I'll ride that section again for sure.

They I came to the highlight of the day: Riding down Burnside! Two miles downhill at an 8% grade! I don't know how fast I was going, but it was posted at 40 MPH and I had no trouble keeping up with the cars. I could have passed the car in front of me in several spots, but chose not to do that this time. As a bonus, the song "T*****s" by The Trucks was on the Ipod during the decent. You know the one I'm talking about. It was perfect.

Overall, I'm still not getting in enough hours. The rides I am getting are quality, however, so I hope that makes up for it to some extent. The VanPort Kermeese series starts a week from today; we'll get a good test of early season fitness there, I suspect.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Speak at me for a minutku...

Rode bike. Rode singletrack.
Rode singletrack in the dark, and in the fog.
There was mud. Oh, yes. There was mud.

A great time was had; new people were met. Plans were made. Next Thursday? Yep.

Oh, did I mention the mexican food? Torpedo Burrito! Subed in the IPA for the Dos Equis, and only a pint at that. But you gotta start somewhere.

Brings back some good memories, except instead of being the quiet guy for two years, I just started in with the shit-talking right from the get-go.

Seemed to work out ok.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

It's not the cold that gets you, it's the hypothermia...

I had a very interesting ride in Forrest Park today.

I was supposed to go riding with one of my new friends here in Portland at Forrest Park. We've ridden there a few times, as well as a few other places around the area.I have a tendency to over-dress for bike rides. I've been riding for many years and I should know better, but I still often find myself with one more layer than I really need. This problem has been even more pronounced in Portland since "winter riding" in Michigan means arctic survival gear! So today I pledged to not over-dress. Well, I succeeded. Perhaps a bit too much. The ride up the hill was ok; I was a bit chilly and it rained (and snowed up on top!) off and on, and there was a lot of standing water. Did I mention that I forgot my fenders? Well, I did.

I was wet. And it was cold. And it was time to ride back down the hill.

It was awful! My hands and feet went from cold to very cold to numb. I could not work the brakes. My body went from cool to cold to full-body shivers. I was so cold I had a hard time talking. We stopped at the gate and walked our bikes half-way down the hill on the pavement.First thing: Start the car and fire up the seater-heater, baby! I took forever to get dried off and cleaned up. Stripping naked in the parking lot at the bike shop at Noon on a Saturday? I don't recommend it. Portland is pretty open-minded, but still, you get looks...

We stopped at a bar for some soup and to sit next to the big, hot wood stove they have there. That was good, but we both still had trouble warming up. I was cold when I got home. It took the hot shower to really get my hands and feet back in shape.Now I've got a bike covered with mud and a pile of filthy clothes in my garage. I'll mess with them later.

Right now, I think I'll just chill with a cup of coffee and relax.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Bummer! Bandit?

Found this in my mailbox Today:

"Thank you for your interest in SSWC08. Unfortunately registration filled up prior to receiving your form. We had over 800 people interested and only 350 spots to fill. We hope you will still consider coming out to Napa, CA for the race festivities and to cheer on your fellow single speeders. There will be various rides around the Bay Area the week leading up to the race and afterward too, so it should be a lot of fun. We will be posting a blog soon to keep everyone up to date on what's going on. Thank you.

SSWC08 Team"

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I just got back from Michigan. 9 days, 1 bike ride, 1 run. Weak.

The ride was a good one, however. Me and the Farmer on cross bikes. We were out for about two hours. It started snowing about 30 minutes into the ride. Not great for my vision, but it was still a good time. It was nice to chat with the Farmer again!

I don't plan to return to Michigan any time soon, and if I do go back I don't plan to spend much time there. Vacation days are limited, and I want to see some west coast places. To that end, I registered for SSWC08 this morning. Or at least tried to register; I sent in my e-mail two hours after registration opened. Hopefully there was still a spot left for me.

Back to riding and working out this week. Running, the gym, and some actual time on the bike are on tap. It's time to get muddy!