Saturday, December 27, 2008

Somewhat Weekend Update

I woke up to great news this morning: A chance to ride and race for Ergon USA for 2009! Stoked. I've been digging their grips/barend combo for awhile now. Padded gloves help hand pain a little, but when I'm doing long days in the saddle I really like the multiple hand positions offered by the Ergon grips. Very excited about continuing to sport (and support) them and also to rockin' the GREEN.

We went out for a pretty good ride today on the mountain bikes. 3 hours of solid endurance training (with some added higher intensity climbing). Wound up with around 4k climbing in 25 miles. Trails were pretty full, but conditions were good. Some standing water from all the rain, but pretty dry otherwise. No real photos to speak of today.

Got home and checked my email and I wound up with an email from SRAM Grassroots as well! Stoked. I love SRAM! Great forks, brakes, drivetrain. Looking forward to continuing to ride and race on Juicy brakes with SRAM shifting bits next year as well. In addition to the off-road stuff, I'm a big fan of SRAM's road gruppo as well. When I got my road bike in 07 I tried a bike with like 105/Ultegra stuff on there and never really "got" the shifting. Hopped on a bike that was fairly out of my price range, but just fell in love with the Rival. Have yet to try Force or Red, but I'm guessing they are killer as well.

Should be a good year!

Now let's put this thing in reverse...

Christmas dinner

The oven

The wine

Got out on Friday to enjoy my new jersey!

Was really nice to get out and enjoy a day without rain! I'd spent Mon-Wed on the trainer, and with the rain Thursday, it was great to get out and enjoy some fresh air and clear skies. The smog layer is always dampened by the rain, so it was really clear out.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Photo updates (with text)

First things first, happy holidays! I've been enjoying my time off work. Not enough time on the bike right now, but all good things come in time.

Justin and I set up our "dueling" trainers the other day. It's nice to not always have to work around both of us needing one trainer to do an hour long workout. Usually means I'm up at 5 am! We got in an easy Christmas Eve spin yesterday morning.

Got home Monday night from a Costco run for Christmas dinner and I realized I have a pretty small fridge... there was just no room left.

Found a good use for those snowboarding socks that haven't been used in 2 years...

They keep my feet really warm while sitting around the house!

Carmichael says in his book to mix up your food intake and not eat the same foods everyday. Oops! We almost always eat the same thing day in and day out. Dinner changes (salads, veggies, salmon, chicken, turkey chili, turkey tacos, etc), but breakfast, snacks, and lunch never change. So, I've been changing it up the past few days.

Whole grain bagel and pomegranate arils.

Homemade breakfast burrito (whole grain tortilla, potatoes, low-fat cheese, salsa, bell pepper, onion, and egg beaters).

My transformation as a human being must be nearly complete. I never used to eat eggs, wheat bread, fish, vegetables... now I don't want much to do with red meat (oops, eating prime rib, filet, and brisket in the next 5 days), fried food, fast food... What has happened to me?!

I've finally joined the brigade! The fit is just weird, but I'm super excited to sport this jersey at some point in the next 2-3 days.

We also finally got a somewhat real coffee pot. Switching over from one-cup pods to Seattle's Best. No grinder or anything (it's only a tiny 4-cupper). The funny thing is that we can only 2/3 fill two coffee mugs with 4 cups. How small are these "cups"??

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekend update and then some

Thursday we got off work a little early and headed out to Vail while it was still light out. What a concept! It was nice to be able to get in about half the ride time before needing the lights. However, with the recent storms the temps were pretty low, even at 3:30.

The snow on the surrounding peaks was gorgeous... Much more amazing in person than it turned out in photos, but the snowcapped mountains were stunning.

For the first time I was able to ride down a new connector singletrack in the (waning) day light. I haven't ridden much of it before just cause I couldn't see anything and had no idea what was around/in front of me. A mini-bike had torn up some of the corners, but otherwise it was ok. Tried this rock roller, even.

Sun started to set, so it was almost lights on time.

Went down (and back UP) Dam Climb for the first time in just over a month... I kinda missed the big fella.

Friday was a regen ride in preparation for a decent weekend. I actually wound up about 30 minutes shy on time over 2 days, but it didn't seem worth it to break out a third pair of cycling shorts and putting up the trainer just for 30 minutes. I'll do some active recovery tonight. I was thinking about an hour long yoga session, but more likely I'll just hop on the trainer for 30 while watching MNF.

Saturday we got up and got ready for a CHILLY road ride. The ride over to the bike shop for the 9 am start was positively frigid. I couldn't feel my face or hands. We pull into the parking lot and after about 10 minutes it seemed actually really nice out. I took off my skull cap and was sweating standing in the sun.

Once we took off, though, I was quickly reminded that it was only about 40F out. I didn't really warm up until the first decent climb a few miles in. After that it was alternating cold/warm enough. I took my Cyclone gloves off for the end of the ride. Just too warm climbing. Ride was good overall. There was the bike shop club team ride/clinic. Almost everyone went to the clinic. But, I needed ride time not intensity.

Front of the peloton

Everyone else

The road riders

Self portrait

We spent the rest of Saturday hydrating and recovering. Stopped by the bike shop to pick up my new Specy shoes, then headed over to visit almost 0 days old baby Chase. He is really good when his parents have visitors!

Sunday it was up a bit later and mozying around before heading out the door and up the hill to one of the two most popular post-rain so Cal dirt rides around. I've never seen the lot so full in 3.5 years of riding the trail. Seriously. No parking. And when did organized/paid shuttles on government land become ok? Hrm.

I was running over to the facilities when I heard a familiar voice! If it wasn't Mr. SingleMinded on a carbon GEARED bike! Was really happy to get to ride with him again, and we had fun on the loop. Great day. The weather wound up being pretty warm all day. I peeled off the arm warmers and wool base layer before we took off, and would've been ok without the knee warmers. It felt like it was about 75 midway up the climb on the exposed singletrack. Yikes.

Ton of traffic, but 99.5% of the descenders were super respectful, and I made sure my appreciation was known by offering profuse thanks and kind words to everyone that yielded. I didn't hesitate to return the favor to the climbers when I was on my way down the hill.

Santiago Peak is covered...

Main Divide TT "littered" with white stuff

The boys!

Snow patch near the top

Finally, some pictures of meeeee!

Sooo, after tomorrow I'm off for over a week. I don't mind my lowered "load" this week mostly because I haven't been sleeping well at all and also because it's raining. But, next week? If the weather is good I might have to consider "going rogue" for a few days to enjoy time OUTSIDE.

I spend 5 days a week couped up indoors under artificial lighting... Since our place doesn't get any sunlight if the weather is decent next week I hope to spend a lot of the time outside!! Justin's hoping the bad weather clears up so we can go on a hike somewhere. Not sure where since all the local mountains have been inundated snow...

Credit goes to PJD for this shot, but here's Trabuco yesterday morning:

With this latest storm blowing through, it may be awhile before all that melts! Unless it happens to be about 55 up there right now while it's sprinkling...

Guess that's all for now... I somehow managed to mess up my font setting. No idea how that is going to turn out.

Happy Monday?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New stuff

The new "Road Machine" came in Monday, so we drove up to get it. Justin set it up that night, and I got up yesterday to do the drills with it.

Mentioned yesterday how much I liked it, and I used it twice today (am/pm). I couldn't hear it with Justin using the old mag trainer, but it still felt pretty good. Hard to really take it easy with this thing, though!

I've been not-so-quietly eyeing the travel/recovery Skins. Asked about my "take home" price at the bike shop and somehow they wound up on the bill anyway. Oops!
I didn't do any hard work today, but still sat around at work in a day long meeting, and the legs felt like crap for my evening session, so I figured I'd try them out. They're uber comfy.
I was recovering and watching Breaking Away. We were watching the last of the road race with the Italians for the last bit of our trainer time tonight.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday's Stuff and Getting Fluid

Sunday we planned to hook up with the DenMother for a short ride before the SRC Member Awards. Since it was close we went out to Sycamore Canyon by UCR. I'd never been there before. It's somewhat urban (you can always hear the roads/freeway), but otherwise fun. A decent mix of fire road/double track and singletrack.

It was effen cold when we started. I saw a hill on the pavement to get out there and I freaking hit it to warm up. Waited at the top for the group. HR was lower recovering than it had been upon waking up.

We hit the dirt and I tried to keep a good HR on the climbs. I did some waiting here and there. It was ok, just really cold ;)

We got to a section with a techy(ish) rock bit. I actually wasn't even nervous when I looked at it, but rolling to it I found that there was no momentum to gain anywhere, and I was nearly stopped when I started to roll down. The rocks sticking up here and there were spaced out just enough to stop your tires from rolling...

Made it!

We finished up the ride, got changed, and headed over to the country club for the SRC awards. We were there pretty early, so hung out, snacked, and chatted with others. People slowly filed in and they began the XC awards, some raffles, the Super D, 4x, DH awards, and eventually the rest of the raffle.

Anyone get a better shot?

Justin won a nice set of brakes (needs rotors):

Not gonna be an Expert Women 34 & Under group next year!

Is he switching teams?

Got home Sunday night and I was in a mad rush to get stuff done since I knew I'd be putting in ridiculous hours at work this week (10+ hours yesterday). Then I got an email saying my new trainer was in at REI! So, naturally at 6pm we drove up to RC to pick it up.

I wound up still getting up before 5 am this morning to do my "secret training". Tonight? Dinner, some relaxation, and hopefully bed around 9!

The new trainer is pretty cool IMO. I missed having "18 miles" in the morning... today I only managed to do 12 with this new fluid trainer! An hour is an hour, though.

Photos tonight.

For now? Back to the grindstone.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stone Brewery, and some mileage

Luke awhile back suggested a big road ride followed by a brew tour at Stone Brewery. Naturally we took him up on the suggestion!

We had planned earlier this week to hit up a ride including Palomar Mountain. With the impending storm and wet-ish weather that idea was scrapped for a more coastal ride.


It was sprinkling at the start in Esco, but was fairly dry after that. I found early on I was overdressed. The extra pocket was nice, though.

Lots of traffic early on

Sweet new well-working chain

We started climbing up the east side of 15 to Lilac and it started to sprinkle quite a bit.

2nd wettest point of the ride...despite the fact that the photo doesn't show it.

We regrouped, and headed downhill to Bonsall. The descent was a blast. Trevor and Justin off the front, Luke and I just behind. It was good times! We got down to the College Ave bike path for a quick break, and it started coming down pretty good as we rolled out. Luckily I had a rain jacket; unfortunately about 4 miles down the path I got really warm and had to stop to take off the jacket.

Justin spent the next 10 or so minutes blowing himself up so that we could catch the group! It was rough. Crazy headwind.

Got over to the coast and it was sunny and a lot warmer. Off came the layers!

It was fairly uneventful after that, and eventually we got down to Palomar Airport Road and I was toast. The climbs got really tough. Eventually it occured to me at snail pace to try an Endurolyte. Took another little while for it to kick in, but the last monster of a hill I finally felt decent.

Once at the bottom I was ready for another hour or so of riding! Before we knew it we were back at Stone, more rain drops, and beer and food.

We finished up the tour and were waiting around for the free brew. Luke had been looking forward to it, but was out of the room when they were passing out the glasses. I saved mine for Luke. He walked back into the room and not only was I saving my glass for him, but his aunt had the same idea.

Double-fistin'. A happy man.