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Entries from June 1, 2008 - June 30, 2008

Do bears smell?

This guy clearly got a taste of one bombing the road roughly 500ft from my house...

Home today. I think I'll ride that bear riddled road myself. I need to tune into Channel Zero. Something to remove it. Beer doesn't even taste the same right now.

Time to release.

Bravery

I witnessed things this week that have forever changed me. I have met true angels, I've seen our medical system and all its awkward and litigious underpinnings....underpinnings that present themselves first, before the patient. But ultimately I have been in the presence of bravery that will stay with me and if I am 1/2 the man of my father, I will try to pass on a semblance of that bravery to my sons.

Keep the faith my father. We are walking with you and you have yet again inspired us.

Distractions

Having...trouble...focusing....on work... Dubba...posted...on...Scott Addict...CXIndeed this is going to set a new benchmark in cross frames like the C50 did a few years back. The bike as spec'd is about as ridiculous as you can get. From what I hear. the stiffness factor is mad as well given the BB construction and the integrated seat mast. I'd love to see some TRP brakes be used in place of the Tektro's there now after my experience with their EuroX Carbons last year in Belgium. It also appears the bottle bosses will be on all production bikes (you know where I stand on that) but a little tape will be all that is needed. Time frame's as an example offer an option when purchased in Europe to not have them drilled for bosses. Would be a nice option for weenies like me.

Georgeous.

Thanks for posting this distraction, Dubba. I needed to smile.

Inspired

Jonny C sent this photo from the Argyle team car this AM following a rider in the Rud du Sud. It's a BlackBerry phone pic, and even in its graininess, I just stared at this for a while and got mezmorized, then inspired.

Keep up the Graham Watson bit Jonny C.

Opening heavy wooden doors

In 1997 I took an opportunity that changed my life. It was to go and work with a small team of folks in San Francisco on some progressive technology and literally be in a start up that was going places. Fast forward and we succeeded. 15 people in a crappy building on Montgomery Street to a 500 person, $100mm dollar company. Great.

Back to 1997. It was a time that was mentally straining for me personally. I left New York to take that chance in San Francisco and in doing so left my family and friends. In fact, many predicted that my crusty East Coast-ness would ensure my demise amongst the peace, love and free-ness of the West Coast. But as we all know, the bike scene and the business being built ensured that wasn’t to be and the West Coast became my own. Most importantly, the woman that I'd resigned myself to never meeting was met and she became my life. San Francisco became my identity and my home.

During those early years, my mind shifted frequently. Violently. Would I fail? Was I doing the right thing? Have I abandoned people? Would I go back with my tail between my legs? Was the gamble the right one? I don’t dream any more, but the dreams then came fast and vivid and intense. Especially one on a specific night that truly I will never forget....

I could feel my entire family was there as I opened the heavy wooden doors to an anonymous 1920's-built brick cathedral in any town New Jersey. I knew I was late. As soon as I moved from the intensity of the outside light to the darkness inside the cathedral, I struggled to adjust to the light while my nose was overpowered with incense and the smells of the Catholic environment I grew up with. It was overwhelming but at the same time comforting.

My eyes stung but finally adjusted. They were all there.

Aunt Evie.

Aunt Delores.

Uncle Ed.

All my living relatives as well. My sisters, mom, brother. My cousins and all those I spent my eternity growing up with and learning from. My Aunt Delores and her brother, my Uncle Ed...brother and sister to my own dad. They came to me and they had been waiting for my arrival. Totally smiling and beaming. Proud. I remember. They whispered things but I honestly couldn’t hear but their demeanor and pleasant smiles were irresistible. I basically floated along with them past all those familiar family faces as they brought me close to another set of doors. I drifted past faces of the living, save theirs, but all the while comfortable and happy as I know they were proud of me and I just allowed them to lead me.

We arrive at the doors where I knew instinctively they were bringing me. I’d seen this scene before and they needed me to be first. They needed me to lead the family into this room of pride where he was, waiting for all of us.

I looked at the two of them closely and saw them exactly as they were. Their features distinctive as I knew them in their lives. Delores’s shock of white hair perfectly styled in a way that never deviated from the 60’s and Uncle Ed’s receding hairline and happy eyebrows and that smile that I see in my own face and that of my dad’s.

They both smile an encouragement and with an arm each…Delores with her left and Ed with his right open the doors for me. I walk in leading everyone to the room of pride and he is there. Waiting. Lying. Smiling. It was his time to come back to the deepest, and truest, part of the faith he’s kept for his entire life. And all were waiting. And all were beaming.

Papa! I said. We’re all here man! My hands were on the velvet as I stood over him smiling, I knew all. Literally all of peace at that moment...even as I would be one to go on living. And yet the peace was emanating from him as the faith was strong so it was all entirely OK. All would be OK. My decisions were the right ones and his smile ensured that it would be OK. There was confirmation of pride.

And then I woke up. Completely at peace and with unshakable confidence over what's to come. The foundation in my conscious and exactly how I’d feel when this was to occur in the waking life were built from that one dream that I’d need to draw on some day.

I am calling upon that now. He’s very sick and I am going to be with him this weekend. I’m going to recall on that strength I inherited….or maybe gifted….in that dream.

Be well. Sleep soundly my friends and think of those you love in your dreams.

This is not a dress rehersal.

Secret training

No, not the type that you do to get fit to drop your buds on your weekend rides. I'm talkin' about the type you need to do to keep WADA off your trail so you can dope in absolute privacy. Just witness Michael's program

Short Trackin'...week two

Photo Credit Daily Camera
Week 2(for me) of the Short Track series, sports fans. The thunder and lightning was just dangling over our heads last night but the rains never came to create the mud-bath the first week saw in week 1 at the CU Short Track series at the lovely dirt pile...a.k.a. the Research Center.

I rolled down and prepped for the men's A race at 7:10 and found that the CU folks had built yet another super fast and jump riddled course. Perfect. I had a ball warming up on the course, jumping some of the ol' dirt piles and by 7 felt decent....even for not having the training in my legs. With no rain, the Research Park was an unbelievable dust bowl with choking and unbearable dust making it hard to see lines! My contacts were shrivling up as I was pre-riding!

Each class had huge fields and the A's were no different I managed a 2nd row position and was able to be in the top 20-25 when the gun went off. Not great but hey, it's training. With each lap, I seemed to feel better. I was abel to pick dudes off and aim for the next guy and bridge up...and repeat the process. By the closing laps, my teammates were by the sidelines yelling at me for some reason. Then a dim light bulb went off and as I went by a corner, I yelled at Batey: Dude, is that the chase group??" And he's like "Well, YES! Bridge up there mate!" in his best Manchester accent. I had kept consistent lap times and had bridged to the train trying to catch Fuentes and my team mate Baker, who were crushing it. By the end, I think I sneaked in the top 10 by hooking up with and out sprinting some of the folks in that train, but we'll see. I haven't seen teh results. It's a training race though fer cryin' sakes.

Boups, the Garmin-loving entity that he is, brought me a brand new Garmin Forerunner 305 to try out from his store. So he strapped me up and he downloaded all the data. So sick, these things! Apparently, I did run some super consistent lap times. Not scorchers but diesel train-ish. I felt springy out of the corners and I guess the best part is to see my heart rate increase up to and through the last lap. In other words, I got better as the (short) race wore on.

Lastly, the Daily Camera did an article on CU's taking-over of the Short track series. Youo can read it all here. But they got a good shot of my boy Batey in teh White Sex Oakley Hincapies at the A race last week (see main picture at the top). That's me back there behind the Jelly Belly dude, no. 22. Rock on.

An American (team) in Belgium

Well folks, it appears to be happening. Gregg Germer, an American living abroad in Belgie-land and proprietor of a bike touring company, Chainring Tours, is in the process of moving forward with his plans to build and sponsor a 100% American professional 'cross squad to race the SP's. GvA's and WK's.

Have a look at his sponsorship video and if compelled to help support, do so!

I've been Retül'ed!

A few weeks ago I peddled on over to BCS to watch my boy Ted get his new bike fit....dialed in via the very capable eyes, hands and brain of Mr. Todd Carver and his Retül system. I followed this up with a "5 Questions with..." episode with Todd so folks could learn a little more about this dynamic bike fit approach. With all of my body drama and pains going on as of late, I needed to get dialed and have Todd put me under his lens so I can train pain free (and I mean the bad pain....) on my roadie. So, I got myself Retül'ed!

I showed up at my scheduled time at BCS and Todd was there waiting for me, and immediately got me up on the platform and 'dotted' up with all the various infrared nodes and he began his work. On the platform, I got plugged into the Computrainer.

Todd dialed me in and while I was spinning a bit, he began his Q & A and asked all sorts of questions to dig into what I want to achieve....and thus we focused in on areas where I have pain, etc. He then used the Retül technology to 'photograph' where I am at physiologically with this bike. TONS of imbalances to say the least.

During the course of the inspection, Todd would have me get on and off while he made various adjustments...all the while studying my movements with each tweak. All this ended up resulting in a saddle height raise by a CM and by bars by 2CM amongst some other micro-changes. My bars were at a 10CM differential to my seat height (e.g. super low and racy) and therefore needed to come up a bit to ~8CM.

So with the general dimensions re-dialed, we then dove into other body-mechanical issues...mainly surrounding feet/cleats. My feet have a naturally high arch so he prescribed got some Specialized ++ inserts to provide some support and reduce exhaustion I suffered from (e.g. cramping) and then dialed in my cleat position to ensure maximum efficiency. My theory had always been as far forward as possible but with the adjustments he made to the bike, he brought them back a fraction toward the heel and it is way more comfortable and allows me to pull through the stroke way more comfortably in a heel down approach.

Afterwards, Todd sent me all my data via email as all customers get of the resultant tests in addition to your bike sizing...very valuable for when you need a frame built or buying a new one off the shelf and you need it dialed perfectly. A wonderful part of the service. I am going to ride on this new set up for a few days and see what if anything needs to be micro adjusted. But I am stoked to go and train pain free!

Father's Day Ned-ic

Fatherhood. I wouldn't even know where to begin if I were to blog about being a dad. It's nothing short of miraculous. And there are many dimensions to that miracle. From seeing your child born to their first gut laugh to walking to talking to running to riding to controlling your impulse to duct tape them up into a ball and put them in the closet when they whine.....well, it just goes fast. The work is put in every day by my wife and me to focus on these children growing up healthy, happy and most of all, as respectful gentleman. Yeah, we're in the full on 'poopy' phase where they fall apart in ball uncontrollably laughing if they hear the word poo or see a diaper, but as my mom has told me countless times: "Choose your battles." So I've got that going for me....

So like all good Hallmark Holidays, dad's get theirs too. And the fellas did it up right. Today was the epic, or now called, the Ned-ic. An apparent record was set on the RTD bus to Ned today according to the driver who was overseeing the loading of the bikes into the belly of the bus. I wish I had counted, but it was packed to say the least.

The Boulder Cycling Mafia was fairly well represented today, save for Bobby who rode 8 hours Saturday and followed that up with 24 beers in fast succession. Sorry you missed the Ned-ic, Bobby. We had The Torrence bros in the house, Waltworks, FRZ, J-Fry and Bri....too many to name.

When we got to Ned and unloaded, we began our journey. By the time we got to the high school, we split ways with quite a few of the folks and the 'Lucky 7' shaked out. We were led by Dave "I will NOT get you lost, I've got a GPS" Weber, Freeride Zach, Nick Stevens, Antonio G, IMBA Drew, Rob "I am Gonna show you some" Love and yours truly. We threw it down for roughly 3:45, which does not seem like an 'epic', but 4000' of altitude gain at 8-9K feet over 40 miles is a good'un in my book.

Dave W did NOT disappoint. He actually scouted this the weekend before with that GPS and my GOD, we were on literal pristine technical singletrack for MILES. This one section in the vicinity of Lump Gulch was so sick, I started to pop a....OK, trying to keep this a clean site. We traversed up this technical rock climb that required tons of body English and insane power to get up and over. Tons of matches burned but it felt too damn good.

Wheelies pulled, tabletops launched, some skin lost, swerving in and out of trees. My God, what a day to be alive and healthy. It was insane to see these parts of our state that even core MTB'ers rarely see. SO, with fried legs and limited liquids. we made our way back to Boulder and celebrated by ceremonially dipping in the Boulder Creek. the muscles thanked me.

I am DEFINITELY buying a GPS. Tools like Google Earth are sick. I can not comprehend how you can see in 3D the ride we were on today....all driven from Dave's Garmin.