A Bike Day in Seattle

I blasted over to Seattle area for the long weekend for some visiting with friends and attending my cousin Keith's floating bachelor party. I came in thursday and headed out to Vashon Island to stary with my friend Charlie. Starting on Vashon Island in the AM I rode with my friend Charlie for a quick 10plus miles on the twisty hilly roads there culminating in a pastry feast and a brief spin around the block with his oldest son with the rest of his family watching.


Ethan putting out huge watts, while Karin and the wee ones watch:

Later, while Charlie went to work, Karin and I took the younglings to the beach at the vashon light house where we saw black bear foot prints. Apparently the bear swam across the Colvos Passage from the olympic pennisula to Vashon Island, walked across the island and then, most impressively swam from the Lighthouse 3 miles or so over to seatac. Bears, apparently, can do this. The lighthouse keeper informed us the sea lions hanging out on the buoy along the way were not impressed by the intruder.

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Then I took the ferry over to fauntelroy and road along the water over to downtown seattle. The view of seattle from Alki:

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I had a couple of hours to kill in Seattle before meeting Charlie for dinner, so I dropped in on bicycling superstar Kent at the seattle bike station. Kent gave me a sneak preview of his excellent repurposment of a dish rack as bike basket (here). Here is a nice reflecty photo of Kent helping a commuter with a nasty flat:

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Then a few of us absconded to the local coffee shop to engage in conversation. Kent, me and Brad, conversing madly at the 'geist (or is that the Zeit'?):

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I then took my leave and pedalled up Jackson to meet charlie for a delicious 7 courses of beef dinner at a vietnamese resturaunt near his work. 7...Delicious...Courses...Beeef...glarrrgh...

At some point on this trip, the styling convertacouch that Charlie had was by far the most comfortable place I slept. I think the 4 nights went: convertacouch-floor-(rocks/cacti+rattlesnakes-tent)-floor. Mmmm getting too old for this kind of low quality of sleep local weekend. . Hopefully some photos of the rest of the weekend tomorrow, stay tuned for fishing and fire.


San Diego Bike Racks

Bike racks in San Diego. I wonder how well bolted to the parking meter this one is:

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These looked a bit more secure.

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I think their bike logo has a 45degree seat tube angle. Pedal forward indeed.


The Crapton!

I really like checking out bikes locked up around towns I visit. Santa Barbara has some good ones including this very tweaked bike downtown. I interpret the top tube decal as "Crapton" as it fits so well.

See the wheeled detritus label for more crap locked to poles and suchlike, and the nice dutch bike in italy for a more styling bike with a front end crunch.


Hoopty Trike

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One of my dream garage sale scores is a Schwinn Town and Country Tandem for less than 50 bucks. I think I will add a Town and Country trike to that dream. Maybe a matched trio of a cyletruck, tandem and trike would be nice...

Mr Jalopy, who really should blog more, has made up a nice mobile drive in movie based around the T&C trike.


2007 Atomicman Duathlon Race Report

Sunday (4/29) was the Atomic Man Duathalon in nearby whiterock. The race comes in two flavors, the Fat man at 10k/40k/5k (run bike run) and the Little Boy at 4k/15k/4k. I did the fat man in 2005 when I was in good running shape and found that it was waaaaay too long. I have a long history with multisport events and 3 part duathlons are not my favorite. Run/bike/stop I can hack, but Run/Bike/Run is just gratuitous. The second run usually has little bearing on the race and only causes pain. When I did the long race in 2005 I saw no one on the second run. I also got so sore I could not really run or bike for 2 weeks. Wah wah wah wah. Anyway, long story not getting any shorter, between the early season pain last time and the lack of good running this year, I gladly opted for the short Little Boy race this year.

Whiterock is a mere 9 miles and 800 some vertical feet down from the house, I got up early ate some left over pork and eggs with an espresso, yoked up with a big messenger bag and rode on down to the race.

Post race dorkboy, clik for big

Race started at 8, I got there a bit late at 7:40 and had just enough time to rack the bike, change into running shoes and hit the portolet before the racers meeting and the start of the race.

At the starting line I chatted a bit with my super fast buddy Warren who claimed he was no runner and boom the race was off. Now, somewhere deep inside me is a skinny dude who used to run intercollegiate d3 cross country and track. I have sucessfully filled that little guy with a dozen years and 30 plus pounds of breakfast burritos, beer, chocolate and olive oil. But he is still in there. And when the gun goes off he likes to get the hole shot. So hole shot I did as I burst into the lead with a couple of actually skinny guys. Shortly thereafter one of the real runners took off at what appeared to be 5:30 mile pace never to be seen again. Another skinny guy took off after him and I settled into something like 6:30 pace into third. I felt good and somehow fast, despite not having run remotely fast in over a year. As the blissfully short 2.5k progressed I fell back a bit. Warren, the lying non runner, took off in search of the top guy. After some nonconsequential back and forth I ended up finishing the first run in 6th or so with fast guy way up front, Warren and other fast guy a minute up on four of us clustered around 17 minutes.

I had a decently crappy transition and got on the bike in 7th a fair bit behind the four guys I came in with. No worries I thought, I will crush them like bug on bike.

The bike course was tough and rolly. See amusing elevation profiles here. I started out feeling pretty slow and crappy, but ramped up my low cadence tri stomp as I saw riders up ahead. I immediately passed some dude who runs OK, but is riding a upright hybrid with flat bars. Whooosh, later dude.

Next I can see three ahead of me and I am closing well. As I get into the climb that leads to the turnaround I see fastrunner one riding hard the otherway with warren not too far behind closing on him. A short while later I decisively pass fast runner number two who is pedalling triangles, squares and possibly lines while riding all over the road near the turnaround. As I corner to make the turn I see the two dudes in front of me get in their aerobars and go to warp nine on the headwind downhill on the turnabout. Crap. There they went. I was going pretty hard, but I think I was not really having a good bike leg after the slow start, the fast uphill ride and then the demoralizing trouncing at the turnaround by the guys I thought I was about to catch. Lesson learned, find your damn aerobars next year and use them. At this point I lost focus a bit and rode hard but not out of my skull to the transition. I am in 5th.

After another cruddy transition, I get into the second run. As I suspect there is no one anywhere near behind me and I can not see anyone ahead of me. I run pretty well considering I have not done a bike-run transition in 2 years. I look way ahead and I see another guy running, but he is not really anywhere near me. During the last mile of the run we "lap" the tail end of the 10k runners from the later starting fat man. I loose sight of the guy up ahead, but being surrounded by slower runners allowed me to pic them off one by one which got me too the finish sans too much pain.

Crossing the finish while smirking at announcer choking on my name (the "I am not even going to try to pronounce this" ploy)
Click for more photos from race sponsor Pet Pangea's website

My final splits were as follows:
00:17:06 (6th) 00:27:05 (7th) 00:19:21 (7th) 01:03:33.37 for fifth overall, second inthe 35-40 age group behind warren. I can only hope my shitty transitions are reflected in my bike time. I won a really nice little blown glass paperweight from the Nambe Glass Studio, which ranks high in the noncash things I have won at races department.

I am a bit bummed that my bike was so slow, but otherwise I am veryhappy. Maybe next year I will break an hour with a bit more running training, some lace locks for the shoes and some aerobars it should be pretty easy... unless i get old.

I rode home which kind of sucked as the 800 foot climb with my bag post race hurt me. But I perservered and had a good bike (run bike run) bike day.

I always like seeing bikes in the transition areas at triathlons. They range from 10k super trigeek specials to crapped out rusting hybrids to full on mtbs to classic steel. While I was hanging around post race I noted a Cannondale Raven dual suspension knobbied MTB in the rack next to me and a really nice looking red yellow and blue paramont in the rack behind that. A woman did the race towing her kid on a converta trailer jog stroller which I blame completely on the Dick Hoyt effect. Triathlons are the realm of people that should not be trusted on bikes in any circumstances, let alone while going anaerobic trying to pass the lady towing her kid behind her.

I got outsprinted by Dick Hoyt (who probably started a wave behind me) pushing his son Rick in the Falmouth triathlon way back in 95 and have nothing but respect for the guy, but still, there is no reason people not named Dick Hoyt should be allowed to race while towing their kids. It will end badly.

Ok words words words, results here. Anyone still reading. Are these epic race reports boring you? I should maybe stop writing sooner.


April Motion Update

The belated April Motion Update in brief:

370 miles on the bike,
21 miles running

Totals on the year:
954 Bike, 49 run.

The bike was good this month. Some 150 on the MTB, 100ish on the roadie, 50some on the track bike and the picnica, the breeze and the twenty on garbage time 10-20miles each. I spent a week in albuquerque for a class, but was able to bust out some commuting midweek on the picnica thanks to the nice ABQ bike map.

I did commute every day I was in the alamos.

The run was really good too as I was able to run twice a week for short ones with no knee pains.

With the benefit of most of the May behind me already I can predict May is looking crap what with some hard work, some travel and some odd aseasonal daily rain as well as snow showers. But whatever. I raced 4 times in 16 days between mid april and the first weekend in may so I can rest a bit and enjoy the midseason break.

Me chanelling my inner socal en frente the Santa B bike station.
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Friday and the Giant Prickly Pears

Back from the blogcation, vacation and busy spell. Very far behind in my blogging, two whole race reports behind as well. Should catch up a bit this week before more travel interrupts.

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Somewhere up there above Santa Barbara.


All that and an octopus

for just 6.99?

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Cerrillos de Coyote Race Report

Ok, here we go with the somewhat abbreviated report of the second race of the Tour de Socorro omnium.

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Day two of the race was a 2 lap xc race for 18 miles total.
The race was out in the desert east of the rio grande a few miles outside of Socorro.

At the start
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You could see, way off in the distance, South Baldy which we climbed the day before.

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My legs were pooped but I decided I was init towinit and geared up to a nice tall 34-16 gear for maximum race winnability. Race had 13 single speeders and 120 total racers over all mens catagories.

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The race started on some fast fire road rollers transitioning into fireroad with sharp whoopde arroyo crossings and then single track. I started really fast and got out in the front of the single speed field. I was shortly winded and overhauled by the devil guy, Ray and Issac. As we got into what seemed to be an interminable single track climb, I fell back a bit and got stuck behind the tail end of the races that started before. It was OK, I was not feeling spry. One other single speeder past me on the climb and I settled in.

After the climb there was lots and lots and lots of really fun loose singletrack. Including the coveted sweeping transition from fast down hill to loose uphill turn, so you could two wheel slide a bit as you pedal hard out of the turn. It was some great desert riding.

As the end of the lap approached there was a little arroyo transition with a singletrack climb, with a nice cactus pad smack dab in the middle of the trail. I tried to bunny hop it, but hit it with my rear wheel. Fortunately the sealant held and I lost a tiny bit of air. The end of the lap had some nice steep short rollers that were perfect for cyclocrossing. I was feeling a bit better and started to crank up for the second lap.

As I said, I was sitting in 5th in the single speeds for the at the start of the second lap and thought I could see number 4 way up there, so I was determined to make a race of it. As I was flying through arroyo crossings I ungracefully exploded my rear tube and flatted. Crap. So that is flat number 5 in socorro racing, 6 if you count the car tire on the way down. Thank you cactus pad.

As I fixed my flat, 5 single speeders passed me. Dammit. I got going again relatively quickly for a bolt on rear wheel flat and started chasing hard. My legs felt like crap but I thought I could catch most of the guys who passed me.

Nope. I saw no one through all the fun single track which I took at massive speeds and got to the final mile of rollers and finally saw a whole bunch of people ahead. I dug deep and cyclocrossed my way past most of them and got one single speeder for a final place of 9th. XC results here.

Somehow I managed to still take third on the omnium, overall here, I guess I was tied for 3rd, but got it on combined time. So good for me, all told. I also "won" a replacement tube in the giveaway as we were waiting for the results.

There were a whole mess of guys from Cruces who came up for the race on sunday, that were not there on saturday, all on green singlespeeds of some sort. They were team Uno Verde.

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Anyhow, the race is getting better each year. More and more singletrack, less and less flat dirt roads. Stage race. Everything good.


Circle of life.

So I get home a bit early today from work and go to let the unusually excited murderous felines out and I notice the following sitting on the stoop:

Now Los Alamos is strangely devoid of hawks. There are a few here and there, but given the population of squirrels, gophers, lizards and fat doves and the remote location, you would think there would be hawks everywhere. I am not sure if it is the altitude, the harsh winters, the cerro grande fire, the huge raven population or all the airborne plutonium, but there are not nearly the number of hawks you might expect. I see more coyotes than hawks. So this is pretty exciting for me. I have been seeing more this year than previously, but still I have only seen three hawks TOTAL in 2007 with this one making 4.

This of course happened right outside the big picture window where the cat tree sits, so they were practically drooling. It appears that the dove hit the window either before or as the hawk made its attack as there was a pretty big bird mark on the window. The dove is no big loss as its murmuring in the early AM drives elena up the wall.

The hawk looks like a young feller. I have no idea where my bird books are, but anyone know what this young killer is? I will name him Billy the Kid. I hope he cleans out the rest of the doves living in the tree next door.

Check some video action here:

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After I took the movie, I snuck around the house for better pics, but he spooked and conveniently carried off his kill into the next yard. The dove was about half his size. It was very very cool.