Wednesday, July 28, 2010

High Plains Drifter

Saturday is the day.  Time to travel the high,  desolate,  wind swept plains of Wyoming. The Laramie Enduro is upon me.

Am I ready?  As much as I am.
Am I excited?   Not terrified.......
Am I going to be happy it's done?  Yes.

The goal?
                      1 -   Finish
                      2 -  The Stretch goal:   Finish with a HINT of dignity still intact(No blubbering,  drooling, etc.)

I'm sure at some point,  I'll think of my hero,  Bike Snob NYC,  as I traverse the empty plains in a complete,  woeful haze,  and hear his words....    "The only sound you hear is the convulsive sobs of your dignity leaving you"

Pray for me.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Erythropoietin - A glycoprotein hormone that controls erythropoiesis,  or red blood cell production

The one time drug of choice for the pro cyclist doper crowd.  Why would a slacker Old-guy Cat 4 even talk about it?

Because I can't get my Oncologist to put me on a good EPO program for Cross season,  that's why.  For god's sake I live & work within a mile of the factory where they churn the stuff out,  but still,  no juice for me.

After my diagnosis and treatment for Hairy Cell Leukemia 2 years ago,  I've been on a 6 month blood monitoring program,  to catch any flare up of the stupid,  hairy little bastards.  Go & visit the Oncolgist,  get blood sucked.  They use "refrigerators full" of EPO in the office I go to,  treating folks going thru chemo,  according to my former bike-racer doc.

Since I will:
 1- Never get tested
2 - Juiced to the max,  I might manage a move into the top 15 of the Beer-drinking-dads league
3 - Would still basically suck at racing bikes

I thought why not.  let's see if a little dope can make a crap old guy into a only semi-crap old guy.  Purely for research purposes,  of course.

Damn Doctors....   "no medical necessity"   "Hematocrit of 47+ is above normal"  "you're not sick"

What does one need to do to get on a professionally supervised doping program these days,  anyway?
Guess I'll just have to keep slogging along with the old "training" methodology for now.  Poop.

Monday, July 19, 2010


There are a long list of strange and creepy things one has to deal with in the real world.  "Twilight" Vampire/teen angst movies,  Jobs,  Greg LeMond,  Boulder,  Daywalkers......

To that list, I want to add the latest and most dangerous new hazard to life and liberty.  A vile presence that is stalking the multi-use paths of the world.  Waiting to unleash their wrath upon the unsuspecting passers-by.   A force so evil as to make the hardest man among us cringe in fear.  What,  you ask is this unspeakable new horror?  it is.....

The Phonewalker

Yes,  the newest hazard to a quiet and no stress ride to work.  Trolling for victims day & night.  The clueless squid waking aimlessly down the path,  babbling incoherently into their phone.  "I'm going for a walk,  what are you doing?".  "It's so nice out here,  how is it where you are?".  "Why yes,  I did poison my husband last night.  I was tired of him asking me to get off the phone...".

It's not enough to dodge the kids,  the side by side old folks,  the "Ear-Budded" runners on the wrong side,  and the spider-web of leashes from the people walking 3-4 dogs at a time.  No.  NOW it's The Phonewalker.

So engrossed in whatever drivel that needs to be chatted up,  they don't hear you coming,  ringing bells,  yelling at them.  No.  Then they jump off the path like a frightened rabbit,  surprised someone might want to pass them.  THEN they give you the dirty look.....  You know the one.  The one that says "Why did you scare me like that... Can't you see I'm on the Phone?"

They are out there.  They will scowl at you.  Be afraid,  be VERY afraid.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Winter Park #2

Slogged out the second Winter Park Race Saturday.  Race # 3 in the series,  the Valley Point to Point.  Definitely one of the better courses they have,  second only to the King of the Rockies course.  Had been feeling GREAT going into Saturday,  Last few days was all I could do to reign in the desire to hammer it out on the lunch race.  Kept myself in check,  and thought I was all ready & fired up for the fun.

At about 23 miles and 2600 feet for the official description,  this one was going to be a big notch up from the "super Loop" race 2 weeks before.  A nice sting in the tail with the climb up "Sunken Bridges",  just to add a bit of ugly to the 2nd half.

Headed up with "Rock" early,  grabbed number plates,  and Headed over to Kirk's place to have us nearer to the race end at the St. Louis Creek campground.  This would end up being one of the better plans I've had in quite a while,  as it turns out.  Nice day early on,  cool & crisp for the warm up ride over from Fraiser to the Ski area.  Pound one hard warm up up the Mountain road start pitch at full throttle to get the pipes cleaned out for the start,  Hit up my favorite poop-room,  and we were ready.

With us old Sports they lump us in a start group with 50-59 Sport,  18 & under sport and Open 60+.    LOTS of kids on the line this week,  so almost guaranteed a frothy start.  As normal,  the mountain road was nasty.   Can't EVER seem to get going up that thing at the start.      By the 10th pedal stroke,  my right quad even felt like it was in some "micro-cramping" mode.  Great way to start.  Got up to the trees in much better shape than last week,  in contact with the group,  and could even see Rock up the road on teh approach.  Course,  I managed to squander the better start by immediately forgetting EVERYTHING I had ever learned about riding a bike downhill.  Missing turns,  bouncing off trees,  stabbing willy nilly at the brakes.   Pretty much a display of bone-headed-ness ensued.   A good self talking to after overshooting a turn into the road halfway down managed to recover a bit of my skills,  and I got back on the tail of the group by the tracks.

Up Ice Hill & Blue sky I picked off a couple of folks,  without blowing sky high like last race,  and kept things at a steady tempo to the Vasquez Road.  Held back a bit on the road & the D2/D4 climb,  as visions of Sunken Bridges were dancing in my head.  Hauled back a couple of guys on the descent of WTB & D2.  Caught one of the Roadies we seem to have in the bunch this year.  Great uphill motors,  but not much downhill.  The Whoop-de-do water bars on D2 allow for a LOT of air if you choose.  Lots of fun.

The Roadie and an ICCC guy came up just as we started the Sunken Bridges climb.  They S-L-O-W-L-Y were gapping me off up that climb.  Managed to keep them in sight till almost the top.  As we started down the VERY twisty and technical drop of Iko,  Upper & Lower Zoom,  I was able to quickly get rid of the Roadie,  but never saw the ICCC guy again.  Grind up and over Chainsaw,  then over to the long 3 mile grind up the gentle grind of Flume.

Course,  about the time I crested Chainsaw,  noticed a little "pitter-pat" on my hat.  Look up for the first time & notice a big,  Black cloud & a lovely rain shaft just off to the west.  Oh Boy!  By the time we get over to the rooty pitch up Flume,  everything was nice & greasy.  The race for me was coming down to a race between my legs crapping out and getting to the top of Flume.  Managed to hold on to my pace (sort of..) with 2 guys coming up behind me right at the top.   I think I'd dropped both of them on the last 2 descents,  so to their credit,  they seemed to just wait,  and not jump by me.   Everyone seemed to be a bit worried about getting down a wet,  snotty Creekside trail in one piece.  It WAS nasty,  the big,  half buried rocks were pretty slick,  and it was a bit of pinball coming down.  Even riding pretty conservative with a constant "Don't Crash... Don't Crash... Don't Crash..." going thru my head,  I was able to ride the stalkers off immediately,  and catch 3 or so folks coming down,  but had NO time to look at calfs and see if they were in my bunch or not.

Pulled thru the finish,  then noticed that it was COLD.  Soaking we,  no more race level exertion,  and it was instant hypothermia.  Threw on the arm warmers & vest I had carried from the warmup and we ripped out of the finish headed for Kirk's.  INSTANT leg cramps.  Spent the ride to warmth fighting off cold rain,  nasty headwinds,  and cramps.  Fun.    That Warm shower and soup at Kirk's was a godsend. The boy took good care of us when we arrived,  shivering and chattering.

Ended up with 9th place in the 15 rider field.  NOT in the top half,  and pretty disappointing,  but pretty much were I was the race before,  looking at the repeating riders race to race.  Rock pulled off his 3rd 6th place with a good ride,  about 4 minutes up.  Heart rates coming up well,  hitting the climbs at good efforts better this race compared to last week,  but just can't climb at the pace I need to move up much.  Very strange for me to be holding on on the climbs,  and doing damage on the descents.  Not my historic strength.  Maybe I'm not slowing down as much as some in the "go fast downhill" department.  I'll take what I can get.

This is my Winter Park Series till King of the Rockies.  July 31 & Aug. 14 races are out for me,  with conflicts from doing the Laramie Enduro & our vacation trip to Iceland.  Laramie it the next bog thing.  Hoo Boy!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Birthday Present?

Looks like Colorado gets a USGP Cyclocross Series race this year.  The guys up in Ft. Collins have swung a big race,  November 13 & 14.  Good Stuff.  Happy Birthday to me.

This looks to be going on without any involvement from the ACA,  kind of an interesting first time "competition" for race dates in Colorado.  This "Big Time" event will conflict with 2 ACA events on the calendar now,  the "Rosalie Race to Educate" and Boulder Racing's Boulder CX series #3 event.   What info there is about the race gives the location (a new Venue) and that it will have all the amateur categories (USA Cycling permits,  I'm sure....) for the non-elites.

Going to be a lot of fun to see how this will play here,  both in the non-elite "local" rider groups,  and with respect to any Boulder Cup or or Blue sky NACT (North American Cyclocross Trophy)  or UCI race affiliation that might happen.  (the NACT calendar is not up for 2010 yet...)

Boulder Cup,  which will likely be a UCI race,  if not NACT,  is scheduled for Halloween this year,  the weekend before the newly announced USGP race.  Not sure that the back to back weekends are completely accidental.  Could we be getting 2 weekends in a row of big-boy,  UCI/National level racing this fall?   Quite possibly.

Going to be an interesting season.  Might be VERY interesting to see what the split is if the USGP race goes up against the local "powerhouse" Boulder Series race.  How would that end up for participation,  especially since the "big" race is not within a 15 mile radius of Boulder?   Time to get the popcorn,  and see how this turns out.

CX Mag - #9

FINALLY got my copy.  I seem to be the LAST person on earth to get mine.  The Post Office seems to hate delivering bulk mail to my house.  Junk mail,  yes.  the stuff I want?  NO.

Cyclocross Magazine,  Issue # 9 FINALLY got into my mailbox.

The article on Cross Nationals in Bend took me back to last season.  Pretty cool.
Masters worlds in the U.S.   Even Cooler.

Cross Season is not that far off,  boys & girls.  Time to start making that suffering happen.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another Long One

Got another LONG ride in for Laramie prep.  The "Tour de Foothills" from the house again.

Starts with some boredom...

THEN gets to some  Singletrack...

July 1st and it's STILL really green in the foothills.  Amazing.

Saw a picnic table.   Must Picnic

Half way.  Now just ride back home.

Telemetry shows it IS a long ride...

Felt a LOT better this time.  only 11 minutes faster than the last try at this tour,  but felt a LOT better at the end.  Had some energy left,  and could actually see riding more.  Pushed Hall a bit this time,  did not completely baby the climb.  Finishing Laramie with at least SOME dignity left now seems "possible".

Saw the local lunch ride on a Apple Valley mission,  as I transited to Hall Ranch.  Man it felt good to NOT be at work.  Waved & chuckled as the went by the other way.

Seems that the lower field on the start up Picture Rock is my "wildlife" action zone.  Last time was a Turkey scaring the crap out of me.  This time,  a snake.   Grass is bar high right now,  so you can't see around a corner.  Come around,  and I see the middle of the snake,  head & tail hidden on both sides in the grass.  No time to stop,  nor even a good identification (Sure looked like a Diamond-like pattern in his back...).  Just gassed it for a pedal stroke,  picked an end I HOPED was the tail, and tried to hop over him.   Didn't wait around for the results.  Yet another "boost" at the start of that climb,  JUST what I needed.

Also,  what is it with butterflies and horse crap?  They seem to LOVE that stuff.  Piles of horse poo,  covered with piles of Butterflies.  Pretty,  but strange.