Friday, October 30, 2009


I really was planning on riding today, but I received a long awaited phone call that my Cernitz Singlespeed Cyclocross bike was all finished at the painter/powdercoater. So I drove out there to pick it up and then to work. I really wanted to get it built but I don't have all of the parts, nor did I have the time really. Neil has the parts, or maybe they are at the shop, but I didn't get to look for the stuff. Besides, he and I need to spend some time putting it together so that the measurements are the same betweenthe Curtlo and Buttercup.

These pictures don't really show the "butteriness" of the frame. It looks washed out here, but with flash photography and only a compact digital camera I don't expect much else.

Without further ado...Buttercup!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Customer Service... something that one particular painter/powdercoater knows very little about. More later, I will even name names, but I will wait until their services are fully rendered and I am satisfied. I figure I won't totally call them out until after I get it back. Sort of that thing where you don't complain about the food until after the waiter gives it to you since you don't want him to spit in it.

Seriously, what is up with a 2 to 3 week becoming 6? And when I ask about it they act as if they are doing me a favor by doing the work....ugh.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Washington County Cross Crusade Report

Flashback to Thursday night...Bridget and I were cooking dinner together and she started spray Pam to make sure that some tortillas in the green chili enchiladas didn't stick together. Little did I know that she was doing it in a way that the over spray got all over one section of floor. A few minutes later I was standing in that particular area of the kitchen and slipped. I managed to avoid a sharp knife and most of a hot pan, but my back got a bit mangled. She felt bad and tried to help massage it out later and I did some stretches over the next couple of days but I was worried about being able to race it all. I had to blow off one race I planned to do on Saturday because of the pain.

PFJ called me to let me know I had to race...well, I couldn't let the Team down. Today was Team ButterCup's first race. I managed to get out there and even finished.

Starting the day off was Tim, who managed to get confused and cut the course. He was relegated to 108th instead of 6th. He said he got back near the same spot he was in when he took the short cut, but the officials didn't care. Marcello is still out with his back injury, so no Master C rider to represent there. PFJ was planning to ride his Vanilla for the first time today and so he would be racing in the SS class for the first time as well. I was the only one racing the Master B's.

I had a good position at the start. I didn't push it too hard at the start because I was worried about the back. I took a bunch of pain meds hoping to make it bearable. It was. Not great, but it wasn't painful enough to stop me. I really tried to accelerate out of the corners better than I have been so far this year. The slick course made it difficult to do so. I saw many riders go down as I was riding. I stayed up the whole time, although I did have to dab a couple of times. I rode on the Tufo Flexus Cubus tires and I found myself wishing I was riding the Hutchinson Bulldogs instead. I think the Bulldogs have a great cornering type of tread. I rode the Tufo's because the wheelset they are glued to happens to weigh about 1.3 pounds less. Next time I will take the better cornering and the weight if I have to make this choice.

Anyway, here is how my race went down. Ride hard. Stand up out of the corners to accelerate whenever possible. Keep it upright. Keep an eye out for number 822 and 922. Those were two guys I had my eye on at the start. They were just in front of me and I figured they were at about my same ability. I barely beat 822 last week on a hilly course. 922 I have seen come into the bike shop a few times and he looks pretty fit, and he was right in front of me so it was easy to remember him.

Battled 922 for over half of the race. He was usually about 10 to 50 feet ahead of me except of about half of the third lap, when I got a head of him for a bit. Then on the last or next to last lap I passed him and never saw him again. 822 was a bit further ahead. I was getting close to him at the end, but a few guys crashed ahead of me and I couldn't make of the ground. He finished a couple of spots ahead of me.

I did pass a guy right at the very end. We came out of the last turn just in front of the finish line with him just a bit ahead and taking the outside line. He went to shift some gears to accelerate to the finish but his derailleur said pass. I heard all sorts of ugly sounds as I took the inside line and passed him as we exited the turn and then came to the finish. Nice. I might have gotten him anyway as I had the better line, but his crunchy gears did the work for me.

Overall I had a good race. There were some parts that I think I rode very well. And there were lots of turns that I wish I had nailed better. So it goes...

The preliminary results had me 85th out of 117 starters. I am not sure how many DNF'd, probably around 10. I also continue to make the lead lap and so I still feel like I belong on Master B's. The official results had me at 96th out of 117. I didn't think I had done that poorly, but whatever.

Sure I could go back down and do well in Master C's. I would be winning there, but I would be probably in the top quarter. I would rather be racing in the back quarter of the Master B's than sitting in the top quarter of the Master C's. Still, I am disappointed in the final results. I guess I just have to keep at it.

I am not racing next weekend. I am hoping for a couple of good weeks of training so that I can debut Buttercup, my new singlespeed (the name of the bike came before the name of the team, by the way) at the race in two weeks. We'll see...

First Muddy Cross Race

More later about the race, but here is what my bike looked like after the race. No pictures of me yet.

Here is a shot of PFJ racing by on his new Vanilla. He was so fast that he passed me before I could get the picture. I don't exactly have a high speed digital camera...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Team ButterCup Uni's

I am going to race for the first time in our new team kits tomorrow. My back is injured (long story) and I may do horribly. But at least people will notice me there at the back....

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Just feeling really tired and worn out this week. I feel like I still haven't recovered from the Cross Crusade race last weekend. Legs have been really dead feeling and my lower back for the first time in a few months has been feeling really weak with occasional dull pain. Not sure what the deal is. I was planning on doing two races this weekend, but not sure if I want to do that.

Also, Buttercup is still at the paint shop. It has been over 4 weeks. I was quoted 2 to 3. Love getting bubbled. Why does this happen so often that people over-promise and under-perform. I mean I would have done it anyway with those guys, but I wouldn't have been anxious for these last couple of weeks. If everything were this way then Christmas would be scheduled to arrive some time between early to late December but then not actually occur until late January. Ridiculous. Sorry for the rant--I am just cranky and tired.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Couple of Pictures from Oregon Velo

Obviously there is a new picture up top tonight. The old one was from about 2 years ago. The picture up top now is my new favorite shot of me. Ever. At least in so far as I can remember. I look intense!

Anyway, here it is again and then I found another one on the Oregon Velo website where I am right on some guys tail. I like it too. Basically I like any picture of my where you can't see a big gut on me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sherwood Cross Video

I am in this near the 2:15 mark or so--pink jersey following an older guy and then squeezing through to pass a small group of spazzes that got off to walk up the short incline.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sherwood Misery

First off, thanks to everyone that yelled my name, or yelled out "Fatty" (I was wearing my Fat Cyclist jersey). I loved it and it does help keep you going.

I actually look happy in the picture next picture...I think Mr. Broken-Elbows-Spears was yelling at me to show some teeth or something. He took it near the crest of the worst of the hills on the course. The juniors race at the same time as us. Look the the face of the kid nearest me...he doesn't look like he is too happy does he? I think he is giving me a crusty!


Let me think back on the race for a second or two...

yeah, it was a brutal course. It hurt me. One of the worst beating a course has ever put on me.

The thing is that facially, it didn't seem to be that big of a deal. The rain this week seemed to all dry up within the last 12 hours. Nothing sketchy except for a 3 or 4 inch low branch or root that caused numerous people to come to a complete halt or to fall for some odd reason. Anyway, the course was brutal in other ways. It was very fast in sections, but every one of those sections was choppy and made me feel like I was on an irregular jackhammer. Irregular as in the chop had no rhythm to it, other than the beat of pain.

There were flat to slightly uphill sections that, of course, were choppy. Those are tiring to do at speed. There were three pretty good uphill sections that put the hurting on. One was near the end of course and I have a hard time putting into words my exact feelings with regard to that section. On the second lap I came closer than I ever have to puking while riding. I was ready to blow.

Here is quick lap by lap synopsis:

First lap: I felt good, lots of people passed me on the second half--the uphill half--of the lap, including PFJ. He started near the back and I was about 1/3 of the way back. Basically, I had a good head start on him. When he passed me before I got to the end of the first lap I was very disappointed. I figured it to be another tough lonely day at the office if guys from near the back had already passed me.

Second lap: Felt good at first and then the wheels really started to feel like they were coming off on the steepest of the hills. This is the lap where I felt like breakfast was going to come up. I was dizzy for a short bit too. I didn't look at the sign that showed how many laps to go as I completed this lap and that was probably a good thing. Had I known after 2 laps that there were still 3 to go I would have been disheartened. Each lap was 2 miles long and a 10 mile race in 45 minutes on that course seemed cruel. There was just not enough places to rest on the back half for me.

Third lap: Pretty much a blur to me as I write this so I believe that this was the lap that I started to feel pretty good. Briefly. Sure, it still hurt real bad, but relatively speaking I was doing just fine. Even on the killer hill I did ok. I secretly hoped that whole lap that there would only be one more...but as I neared the finish line to complete that lap I saw that there were still 2 to go.

Forth lap: I was praying to be lapped. "Please let me have a flat tire, a mechanical, or please the the race leader be fast enough to bail be out so I don't have to do another one of these laps...." I think I said this over and over again in my head. And I thought that I could always go slower (I actually passed a couple of guys during this lap that were in my category), I don't have to nearly kill myself out there. I could make it less painful. But for some reason I can't, I just go as hard as I can which is generally to the point just shy of heart attack. As it was, I felt guilty as it was for not being able to push it more. There were several times were I thought that I could have picked up the pace a bit more. I probably couldn't have--I was hurting pretty bad all over, legs were cramping, back was killing, etc. Still, I berated myself for being mentally lazy and not trying to pick the fastest lines and whatnot. Surely, I could spin a little faster or get in a smaller cog on the cassette I would think. These thoughts occurred almost concurrently as the "please, somebody crash into me, please let my chain break, please let my tire get sliced..." thoughts so that I could pull out of the race guilt-free. Weird.

Fifth and Final lap: At the end of the 4th lap I saw that I still had a lap to go. I was dejected that I was still on the lead lap. What a hoser! Dejected because I was fast enough to be on the same lap as the best Master B's! There was a time not long ago when I wasn't fast enough to be on the lead lap in the beginner class. But muddled was my thinking in that pain-filled fog. Once I got my mind around the fact that I was doing another lap like-it-or-not, my attitude improved. I tried to enjoy everything as best I could. I would think, "this is my last time going though this "S" turn, I better pick a good line" or "pedal hard down this hill, bumpy or not, don't worry about trying to save anything else" and even after the last time up that killer hill I still passed a couple of guys. I do well on last is just those second to last laps that do a number on me mentally.

The preliminary results showed that I finished 90th out of 117 starters. PFJ finished not too far ahead of me despite passing four laps earlier. He was 83rd I think. I bet the bottom 10 or so had mechanical issues, so maybe 105-ish racers finished the race. 90th out of 105... believe it or not, that works for me. Being out of the bottom 10% of the finishers would be a nice improvement. PFJ said before the race that this course didn't play to our was not technical, it was hilly, and it was very choppy. This was all true, yet, I feel I had a good race. For the first time this season I didn't have to stop to fix my chain twice or even once--and I felt totally spent and gave pretty much everything I had. Now I just need to continue to lose weight and keep riding during the week and perhaps I can continue to improve.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Predictions: UPDATED

I predict that...

...I forget something tomorrow in my rush to get to church on time with all the kids and with all of my stuff so I can go directly from church to the race. Nope, I actually had everything.

...I will make with just enough time that I don't get to warm up or anything. True, didn't get to warm up.

...PFJ (Pack Fodder Jim) will wallop me. He beat me, but I wouldn't call it a wallop.

...I will barely miss being DFL in the Master B's despite being with a pound of an all time low weight (within the past 15 years) and actually feeling pretty good. Those Master B's are just fast. Definitely, at the rear, but not really in danger of the dreaded dfl

...that for the first time my chain will NOT fall off during a race this season (please, please, please let this be true). True, Hooray!

...I will have mud on my teeth when I smile. Nope. No mud much of anywhere despite good rain yesterday.

I should have predicted that I would be really really tired. I am sore all over from one of the bumpiest courses I have ever done. ugh...

Off Topic: Mike Tyson and the Dorms

I read this article on about the best sports game of all time. I drummed of memories of my college days in the dorms.

Mike Tyson's Punch Out was rated the best sports video game of all time (read the article here). I would like to point out that like the person playing on this YouTube video, I also was able to beat Mike Tyson.

Someone in the college dorms back in the early 1990's had one of the original Nintendo systems and we all spent hours playing the game. About 3 of us were able to beat Mike Tyson eventually.

One night we arrived back at the dorm after playing basketball until about 2 in the morning. We were still all pumped up and a group of 5 or 6 of us started playing Punch Out. But with a twist to make it interesting. We started playing it with out backs turned to the TV watching the game in a mirror so that everthing would appear reversed. It was still too easy. So I, or at least I remember that it was me, came up with the idea that we would play the game with our backs to the TV with the rest of us telling the player in the room when to punch and duck and so forth.

Everyone was able to beat the first chump, Glass Joe,...except for a guy named John. John was the ultra competitive guy on the floor that even in a silly pick up game would get P.O.'d if you did something like not pass to him whenever he was open. He always had to win. The rest of us were out to just have goof off a bit and blow off studying.

Anyway, John over and over again failed to beat Glass Joe. Everyone else could beat Glass Joe without seeing him everytime. John looked around at us laughing and picked the person that was least likely to have get angry or wound up, Andy, and punched him in the shoulder and stormed out of the room. Everyone started laughing even harder. I remember tears coming down my face I was laughing so hard. Even Andy was laughing. John didn't hang with us much after that, which was OK. Those were really good times...I remember them and smile.

The same can be said even now. If you take yourself too seriously, I can't take you seriously. Being able to laugh at yourself is an asset really.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Train Them Early

Colin was very interested in what I was doing. He grabbed a tire lever that was lying around and tried to help. It seems even 1 year olds love the carbon bling.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nice Hammys

I had returned home from a training ride filled with repeats of Saltzman in Forest park. I was muddy from head to toe. I had removed my bib-knickers and was standing in the laundry room in nothing but a Craft thermal. I was in a compromising position and She had full view of my dirty lower half. Bridget commented on how muddy I was, that mud everywhere. She asked if I had fallen down. Nope, it just goes everywhere when the it flings off the tires. Then she noticed something...,"Wow, you have chiseled hamstrings!" Yes, I do. She was in awe (at least that is my take on it). I appreciated the comment of course. I mean, your wife is supposed to think you are hot, but it is nice to hear.

Just don't look at the love handles.

odd and ends

I have a couple of days off in a row...kind of nice actually. I might get to relax just a bit...

But I am hoping to have call come in that Buttercup is done so that I can get it built up this week in time race this weekend.

I glued up the wheels last night at the end of a long day and even though I mentally continued to remind myself to check the direction of the tread I screwed up. As soon as I got the tire on the the rim I realized my error. I quickly ripped it off and applied a bit more glue and then remounted it. It made for a messy wheel, but that tread looks straight and I think that there is no question that there will be good adhesion...especially once the glue cures a bit. Well, I guess there is always a question, one can't get cocky about things like this.

A consequence of gluing tubular tires on is that glue ends up on my hands. I used to wear latex gloves, but then the glue would stick to the rim or tire as I was trying to pull the tire on over the rim. A couple of times the glove would get caught and tear getting stuck in between the tire and rim. That's not really fun--trying to get a thin piece of latex out of that glue sandwich. So I just figure I am better off with nothing on my hands. After the gluing is done I use either Goof Off or acetone to get the glue off. Both dry out my hands something fierce. Today I can't get enough lotion on them.

I keep bouncing between 189 and 190 pounds. I will be at 189 and change for a couple of days and then bounce back up to 190 for a day or has been like this for a week or two. Main reason for this stall is my occasional evening eating. It has to stop. Not that I am eating bad, but I just graze at night and eat more than I need to.

I see Brianero occasionally with his injured arms. He always has magnets taped to his wrist and elbows. I say this is mostly hogwash, even though I understand that there is iron in the blood and magnets attract iron and so forth. How about some proof? At least proof that it aids in the repair of bone fractures...I found some nebulous stuff on magnets reducing swelling and inflammation.

I checked out some Gore soft shell jersey/jackets that I really wanting. Especially now that the rainy season is here. I rode to work early yesterday morning...pretty sure that passed Marcelo on my way in. It was dark, chilly and wet on my way in at 6:30 am. I expect much more of that in the coming days.

And finally Colin is sitting on the floor trying to eat rubber bands. Perhaps I should actually pay some attention to him....

Oh, wait... I feel nature calling...I might get below 189 yet today.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Me No Racy today...

Had to race for me...currently trying to sign up for the CX Nationals in Bend this December...seems like servers are overloaded and/or down...if I thought that I had a chance of winning or even finishing in the top half I would care more...singlespeed Cernitz frame is supposed to be finished this week...fingers crossed...189.4 lbs this morning...feeling good about that...not feeling good about a lack of riding last week...but at least I managed to stay ahead of the worst of the illnesses lying in wait in Chateau Flynn...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Jeans

Stupid that I care, but I am currently sitting in jeans that have a 32" waist. They are actually comfortable too.

Weird that when I measure around my beltline I measure greater than that, but whatever. Regardless, I have never been able to fit into jeans of this size since my mid 20's.

Now, if I could only get faster on the bike.

Excuse: Nagging Cold

Seriously. I have had a persistent cold for the past few days. I just feel run down. I haven't this week ridden except for the day that Brian decided to kill the majority of his cyclocross season.

Tomorrow I am riding whether I feel it or not. I am going nuts.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brianero Knew This Was Coming...

a report of last night's festivities (Not very festive).

Monday Brian stopped in to the shop and asked if I wanted to go on a ride after work Tuesday (yesterday). I called Bridget and asked if there was anything that I needed to be back for and if she minded...she said no and no after giving me a bit of a hard time. Nice!

Yesterday I arrived at Brian's abode and we were quickly on our way on a meandering ride through the streets and schools and parks near his house. We eventually came to Cooks Butte Park. What a cool little place that is. It has singletrack, some meadows, all with enough elevation gain and loss to make it interesting. At one point during ride to the park,I was chasing Brian down though a little piece of neighborhood singletrack that was shrouded in trees and shrubs. I missed an obstacle on the singletrack. Well, I missed seeing it. I was pedaling out of the saddle (Yes, PFJ I do get out of the saddle occasionally) and I slammed my pedal and crank arm in to a rock that was in the shadows. It nearly threw me off the bike. Brian teased me saying at if I had trouble just riding through there that maybe he shouldn't taking my down a particular downhill section of singletrack that he had planned on hitting in Cooks Butte. Well, not hitting, but riding. Hitting it is what he did though. I told him I had plenty of skills and not to worry.

After riding through the meadow and back up we hit the singletrack area around Cooks Butte. We wound up the butte and at first I had problems making the switchbacks without dabbing. Then the rust came off and I was able to zip up the switchback turns fairly easily. Brian continually dabbed, he joked that maybe I should lead the way. No way, I had never ridden here before so I let him take the lead once more.

We came to the beginning of the downhill stretch that he had spoken of earlier. The initial portion of the trail drops in fairly steep for the first 10 feet or so and then continues down at a more reasonable rate of decline. I never got to see the rest of the trail. When Brian dropped in to the trail he ended up going straight over the bars. It looked brutal. I saw his shoulder and face hit and I guess his arms hit pretty hard as well. He was stunned. His face looked ok, a bit dirty, but no blood. His jersey was a bit torn at the shoulder. One of his knees had been bloodied but he was able to stand on it. He grabbed his bike and gingerly walked to the fireroad that we had just been on. I thought he was going to be OK and I was itching to try the same section. Seriously, despite his wreck I still wanted to ride it. I didn't realize that Brian was truly in some pain and discomfort and I went down the first section of the trail expecting Brian to maybe just walk that section and then continue riding...umm, no.

We ended up walking out of the park and down to the road. He braved riding as long as he could and then he said that he was done. He was having a difficult time staying on the handlebars and braking. He looked pale. We tried using my cell phone to call his wife but she didn't answer. So I took off to his house and after taking the longer, hilly way there. I don't ride in that area much and I didn't know which was the best way. My phone's map didn't show elevation and so I of course chose the route back to his house that was loaded with hills...whoops. That was about the longest 3.5 mile ride I have ever had. And YES, PFJ, my butt was out of the saddle much of the time. I arrived wheezing just a bit at the truck, hopped in and sped back to where he was waiting. He was chilled since it took me a while. We drove to the house and I helped cut his jersey off of him and he gingerly got ready to go the ER. Just has we were about to leave when Erin, his wife, came home. She took over and I left. At the ER he found out that he has to fractured elbows. The left one is in a cast and the other is highly immobile. He can't reach his own face to feed himself. He is able reach his "posterior" as he put it, so at least part of his dignity is intact.

I feel awful for the guy. But, I have to say that for someone with significant injuries he didn't whine much. He will be in a cast for the next 4 weeks, but his cyclocross season is in jeopardy.

I tried to think of some good news...but what is there. I mean at least they were fractures instead of breaks, but still...geesh.

Get well soon Brianero!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Alpenrose pictures

Seriously, dismounting at speed on asphalt is somewhat hazardous. I was trying to slow myself down but instead my shoes just sort of skated. I was a little unnerving a couple of times.

Coming round the corner...I am just glad there is not a gut-roll showing in the picture. I always worry about that...good thing I've lost a bit of weight in the past month or two.

While I was looking for pictures of me I came across this one. Look at the Intensity of PFJ! Geesh, he looks like he should be in Master A's for sure.

THANK YOU OREGON VELO for taking such outstanding pictures and also THANK YOU to OREGON BIKE SHOP for sponsoring the free download of them.

Monday, October 5, 2009

189.4 lbs this morning...

that's all, please move on...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dead Tired: Tales of Alpenrose

Yesterday, at least I think it was yesterday, PFJ (PackFodder Jim) tells me casually on the phone that his race is at 11:45. "11:45?" Was he going to race the singlespeed category? Nope, he was stepping up to Master B's.


I mean, I thought about doing it later in the season after I have ridden myself into a little better shape. I wasn't thinking of doing anything but the Master C race today. He forced my hand. I wasn't going to let him go up there by himself leaving me behind. I raced Master B's the last Cross Crusade race last year and got pummeled. I suppose I could do that again without losing too much pride. I had thoughts that maybe I could keep up with him, but as it turned out, not so much of a chance.

Keeping a short story short, I decided to join him at the first Cross Crusade race of the season at Alpenrose. I wasn't like I was going to win the Master C class and maybe it would be a race with fewer people. I thought about just showing up at the race and not telling him before hand, but I caved and let the cat out of the bag last night about an hour after I first decided to give it a go.

Colin, our 13 month old, woke up at 4:30 this morning. Bridget was away with friends in Black Butte so I was on duty. Ugh. I didn't go to bed until midnight. Colin wouldn't go back to sleep until about 6:30 and then woke up again around 7. I had a headache and felt nauseated as soon as I got up. I almost didn't race. I was not feeling it.

I take off to the race a little before 10 and stop to get a sugar free Rockstar drink. I haven't had one of those since my 1L year in law school. I swore off those things, but I was desperate. It helped somewhat.

Saw PFJ at the race and shortly thereafter Marcelo came wincing by. His back was still out and he didn't even make it one lap before he had to pull off. By the sound of it the course was pretty close to what it was last year. It just wasn't as slick thankfully.

I pulled up the start with a favorable position. I was in the top 30 riders at the line out of 121. As the race started I felt OK, not great. PFJ passed me like I was standing still on the first lap...never saw him again during the race. On the second lap I started to feel better but I dropped my chain. Lots of guys passed me since we were all packed up. I don't know how many, but a lot. Conservatively there were at least 10 guys that went by. Lots of people had been passing me anyway, so I wasn't that concerned, though I was frustrated. I had a chain guard on the inside of the chain ring, but it had moved allowing enough space for a chain to slip down. Damn. I got back on the horse and took off.

Shortly after this I noticed a guy that looked a little huskier than the typical Master B racer, sort of like me. I figured I might be able to pull him back in. I did. Passed him and right after a turn and I realized it was a guy I knew. I won't name him here because I do bag on him a bit shortly. This particular fellow was a guy that last year gave me troubles in the Master C's. I beat him only once out of 4 or 5 tries. A month or two ago he was talking about how great his training was going and so on. Yawn....he tends to go on quite a bit about himself...which made me want to beat him even more. Self aggrandizing people bug me. Especially when we ain't pro's or anything. This guy used to be a mountain bike pro though, back in the 1990's. He's told those stories soooo many times...

Anyway...I pass him on the second lap. He noticed me and it must have lit a fire under his butt because he picked up the pace and passed me on the run up. I got the place back though about 200 yards later and kept distancing myself from him the rest of the race....well almost the rest of the race.

Somewhere around the middle of the race a guy went down right in front of me. I don't know why he went down. Maybe there was an especially evil blade of grass that his front wheel hit or something. I think both of us were equally surprised when he went down. I was right on his tail when it happened and I ended up stepping right on the spokes of his rear wheel and his pedal and front wheel went right into my leg and knee. I stayed upright though with only a dab or two needed to get rolling again. I would be surprised if his wheel is a bit wonky after that event.

I settled into a good rhythm with some guy of similar ability and I passed them and they would pass me back. It was a good give and take and despite the fact that I was in pain, that the bump course made my kidneys hurt, that the snot and sweat was dripping unencumbered by anything, I was having a good time. It sort of surprised me. I believe at this point I was probably near around 90th or so out of the 121 guys. I believe this to be the case because about 10 to 15 guys passed me when my chain again fell off right before the run up on the last lap. I was so ticked. I got to the top and tried to put it on. Thought I had it and got on the bike. Realized the there was nothing there. Coasted down the bottom of the hill to the entrance of the velodrome where the finish line was. Damn would got back before the third try. Where was my friend? My friend that I wanted to crush? I didn't see him as I got back on the bike, but as I weaved through the course on the inside of the velodrome I saw him just a couple of guys back....I was elated that at the very least he would not be able to catch me. Despite some crappy luck I beat him. It really didn't matter than 114 other guys beat me, I knew that I beat someone and it was someone that had been the better man most of the time the year prior. So yes, 115th place out of 123 guys. I had thought I had done a little better overall, but with a couple of chain drops I shouldn't be surprised.

PFJ placed 71st. Nice job! Especially considering you had no top end with that singlespeed.


Equipment thoughts:

Tufo Cubus tires handled the off camber grassy stuff very well. I am very pleased with these tires so far. I believe that they probably don't roll quite as fast, but I am willing to take it for the surer footing.

Easton EC90SLX Wheels continue to be amazingly resilient. They feel so solid. I can't believe that they weigh 1100 grams or whatever. I can't imagine buying a different wheelset over this one no matter what the price.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Fool

I believe I will be the Fool tomorrow. The Jester. I hope not but odds are very good that I will be looking stupid. Oh, well. I have my reasons.

I think I will race the Master B's with PFJ (Packfodder Jim) tomorrow. He deserves to be there--I probably don't.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Riding in and around Black Butte Ranch

I had to take care of some stuff in Black Butte Ranch and while I was there I got to go on a couple of rides. The first was Peterson Ridge just outside of Sisters and the other was a ride to Suttle Lake and then around it.

I took the picture below at the Peterson Ridge Trail viewpoint.

And just think that earlier that morning on the way to Black Butte Ranch I passed this scene at the top of Santiam Pass:

Amazing that these two pictures were taken only about 7 hours and 20-ish miles apart.

On both days' rides I was experimenting with tire pressure in my tubeless setup. Running Mavic Krysium Elites with Hutchinson Bulldog tires. At first I tried no tubeless tire specific rim strip, just some Hutchinson sealant--that didn't work at all. Because I didn't feel like spending the money to order a set of Stan's Rim Strips to convert it to tubeless just used some 26 inch mtb rubber rim strips. The only purpose of the rim strip is to take up some space between the bead of the tire and the bed of the rim. If there is too much of a gap when the tire is hit hard with an object the bead won't be able to keep a seal against the rim and air and sealant is pushed out. When that happens it looks like this:

The above tire still holds air just fine, but when I hit square-edged or large roots hard enough the tire would burp. On this particular ride I started at between 30 and 32 lbs of pressure. When I finished the tire pressure was around 22 to 24. Way too low...I had to be pretty careful on my way back after a few too many burps coming back down. I ended up finding that on rides with sharp edged rocks that probably between 38 and 40 psi will work best. On many cyclocross courses I am certain that in the low 30's I will be fine. The main culprit of the burping was the sharp edged volcanic rocks I hit at speed.

Today I had lots to do but I was determined to get in a ride if at all possible. I chose to do something different--the Suttle Lake ride which is really quite close to Black Butte. I had done this ride before on a mountain bike and it was a yawner. But on a cross bike it was quite enjoyable. I was able to go as fast as my legs would take me on quite a few stretches of the trail that takes you to the lake loop. It really felt good. I rode for just a bit over an hour. I didn't do the entire loop of the lake, just the west side of the lake which I found to be particularly enjoyable. I was surprised. Actually the same could be said of Peterson Ridge the day prior. I find that trail to be sort of boring for a mountain bike, but for a cross bike is both fun and challenging at times.

Pictures of the Suttle Lake ride:

There's even a barrier to dismount over...coming back it was easy to ride off of though...

The singletrack around the lake is not difficult but it is fun.

Trees are abundant and provide instances where on a cross bike at speed they seem to be magnets, drawing you into them...

Suttle Lake itself is in the final two pictures...the trail hugs the lake quite close most of the time.

I had a great time, too bad I was there solo.