20 August 2014

USA Cycling...(facepalm)

So the Tour of Colorado USA Pro Challenge is going on. It was rainy yesterday, and they had to traverse a dirt section.
I think you can all guess what happened next.



So the racers ALL covered the muddy and sloppy dirt section w/o issue, only to have the idiots from USA Cycling stop them, and neutralize the race ONCE THEY GOT BACK ON THE TARMAC! Oh, did I mention they were 8km from the finish?
The riders were understandably pissed off. And you can see Tejay vanWhingeren gesticulating and exclaiming that the race should have been neutralized earlier.

The race shouldn't have been neutralized AT ALL!  Yeah, it rained. Yeah, it got chilly. Yeah, the road was muddy.  Don't like it? Get a fucking job, and sit in a cubical all day.
Most of us would give our left (insert appendage here) to race over those roads.

USA Cycling's explanation was that the UCI and the organizers made the decision. Uh, bullshit!
That's a USA Cycling Official. You can tell by his khaki pants, and the blue cotton-poly blend dress shirt.

Thanks goodness USA Cycling doesn't run races in Europe, or one of the best stages of the Giro EVER would have been neutralized...



Moving on...

Fun ride last night. We went the regular way, as the bridge can now be crossed. Sure, every had to get off, and take two or three steps, but it's MUCH safer than running the loop backwards with such a big group.
Nothing of real interest happened. No yelling. No stupid riding. There was a fixie kid on a single speed with one brake, but he was quickly dispatched.
Once on 302, it was easy to see that the sky over Columbia was DARK, and flashes of lightning were popping in the distance.
I had a flashback to that Thursday night a few Summers ago when the weather went completely sideways on us in a few short minutes.
Riding in hail and wind sucks.
Fortunately, the skies were kind.

It was good to see Ricky out as well. I think we needed to see him as much as he needed to be there.

Eye Candy : Parlee

And if you haven't seen it, Slaying the Badger...



Basso having a WTF? moment in Colorado as he passes Lance...
It's Wednesday...you're halfway there...

18 August 2014

Back to it....

The grind that is...
School started today. For some, it's a day of emotions and histrionics. In this house, it's a day of quiet rejoicing. After two + months of children driving me batshit, they're gone for most of the day.
Well, 2 of the 3 are gone.  And let's be honest, #3 is pretty easy to get along with as long as he has a cup of juice, and some Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.
They were complete pains in the ass yesterday though. I chalk it up to nervous energy.  They knew school was looming...

Anyway, a couple of good rides were had this weekend...
Saturday was a solo CX affair out to The PowerStation.  It's in damn fine shape right now, especially considering all of the rain that has fallen over the past few weeks. 

 Cutting thru the new part of the Timmerman Trail is worth it just for the bridges...
The woods are slowly fixing the damage done by decades of rednecks in pickup trucks. I must admit, my imagination was still in high gear on Saturday morning. My run in with the feline in Florida made every branch snap, and crushed-under-tire leaf seem like an imminent attack. Settle yourself boy...
I rode up thru campus as well. Dumb.
It was move-in day for the dorms. Talk about taking one's life in one's hands....

A nice group met Sunday for The Heathen Ride. H/T to Big John's wife for the moniker.
A deviation of the loop occurred too. A road not ridden before lead to the split point for the group. A few wanted to go hard, so they went one way. The rest wanted to go long, so we went the other. Cool with me. I just like having a good-sized bunch roll out together on Sunday morning.
The "long" group ended up in Swansea, and rolled back over the ridge into Cola. I hit Service Course with 95km, which was more than enough after a week of vacation.
And the road bike felt really odd after a solid week of riding the CX bike. Different geos and all that...
 Roxy made an appearance too...After a month at the SC Criminal Justice Academy, or as she calls it, 'Sleepaway Camp with Guns'...
Only 8 weeks to go...
And as it's clear to see, it was terrible out there yesterday...

It was also clear that lazing about on the beach, and eating pound after pound of Gulf shrimp did little for my fitness level. It's cool though, as no pro teams are watching me, and my views last week didn't exactly suck.


Gonna be hot this week. Heat indexes well into triple digits. If you must go outside to play in the afternoon, be careful. 105+ is nothing to play with...


15 August 2014

When keepin' it real goes wrong...

Google Maps is a fucking troublemaker.  It used to be that the only dirt roads we found were ones we tripped over on road bikes.
Now, one can simply pull up a map of wherever, and see roads that look like they'd be good to ride. 
Some pan out and are brilliant. Others are shit, and are quickly forgotten.
Florida presented MANY options for dirt.  The first day's dirt was outstanding. Hard packed, sort of smooth, and it ended at the beach. Easy peasy...
On Wednesday, I found a dirt section that went from about 3 miles from where we were staying, looped 11 (yes, ELEVEN!) miles thru the woods, and popped out in the next town over.
The area had been freshly logged, so the roads were smashed down pretty well. There were a few soft spots, but all in all, it was good stuff...
until...
I hit a section that was a bit deeper in the trees...probably 4 miles into the road.
I came around a corner, and not 250 feet in front of me, a very large, not-so-housecat-like feline ran across the road. It took a moment to run through the "What the fuck was that?" thoughts, then it registered in my concussion-addled little brain.
It was a GD Florida panther.
No, not this kind...
This kind...
You'll notice that the foliage in the background closely mimics what's represented in the above photos.
I came to complete stop.
I rarely get nervous about things, don't scare easily, and rarely panic. I will admit, I got a little panicky. Fuck going forward.
I hopped off the bike, turned it around, and did a Sven Nys-esque remount.
My easy spin thru the woods became an interval that would have made Laurens Ten Dam jealous of the foam and snot produced.
Outright 8 year old little kid fear will make one ride really hard.  Really really hard!
I must have looked over my shoulder 100x in 4 miles.
Once on the main road, I relaxed a bit.  The pace, however, stayed high until I hit what resembled civilization.
No, I did NOT get a picture of the beast, but I'll gladly send you a GPS plotted map of the EXACT spot of the sighting so you can go do some research on your own.
I caught up with a Florida Wildlife Officer at the gas station later that night, and he said sightings have gone WAY up in the area. Super!
Yeah...I'm a dumbass for not even thinking about it in the first place. But why would one?

Where we went in the panhandle was superb. Great beaches. Crazy low-key. Great roads. We'll be there again next Summer.





Eye-candy :





I'm tired. Vacation takes it out of a brother. well...that and 10 hours in the car with 3 kids...




13 August 2014

The long way 'round...

So yeah, we're about 100' from the beach/Gulf, yet yesterday, another adventure was planned. Going to the same beach over and over is a bit boring, so a plan was hatched, and another beach was chosen.
Beauty part? I could kill two birds with one stone.
The Boss agreed to give me a headstart, and we'd meet at the chosen strip of sand.
I aired up, and was gone...

 See! Bear crossing!!!
 Felt like doing some climbing...
 From the top of the climb...
 Find me a better road. I'll wait....
 How about a separated bike lane?  I had trouble wrapping my head around it.
I wanna go too!

60 kms on the CX bike, in the wind, was a good time.
Note to self: Next time, bring the road bike. 
Locked the Salsa to the rack, and the rest of the afternoon was spent getting beaten in the surf by small children. 
A quick shower followed, and another plate full of shrimp. I've eaten more shrimp in the past 3 days than I have in the past three months.  The count lies at somewhere near 6 dozen. 
A short walk around the little oyster/shrimping town nearby, and then back to the house.  It was a long-ish day.
Still beats anything remotely related to being at home...
 Anybody have a SUP?

Even rainy/cloudy sunsets are good...

I'ma go ride now...

11 August 2014

Now I remember...

 Welcome to riding in Florida...on the coast at least...
 I did find some dirt. The "Be Aware of Bears" sign was worrysome...
 Flori-dirt...
 Had to stop for a "Break Naturel"
Yes, I'm in the middle of the road, but it's a closed road. It seems that when the new section of Hwy 30 was constructed, those in charge around here had the foresight to block the ends of the old section of road. Thus, a long stretch of bike only road was created. It runs right next to the Gulf, and is pretty GD brilliant.  I'll be on it again shortly...

And I remember why I was so strong on the bike when we lived in Florida. Yeah, it's flat, but the wind is rarely beneficial. I had a head/cross no matter where I went yesterday.  The only climbing was a bridge, but grinding in the Gulf breeze was plenty.
Plus, I brought the CX bike.  Pushing the 33c Clements around ain't exactly efficient.

The rest of the day was spent as it should be on a holiday with the family.

We went on a little 'no-plan' adventure to find a different beach.  We found it.  Yes, that IS emerald colored water...
We were the only ones within at least a km for most of the afternoon. It did not suck.
I was bright enough this time to put sunscreen on the pale flesh that's normally covered by cycling kit.

If one is a cyclist, triathlete, or water enthusiast, there are worse places in the World to be than where I'm sitting right now...

And watching this transpire last night was less than taxing...





A person could get used to this lifestyle...





10 August 2014

On holiday...

Not saying where. A bit like when they sequestered Cheney in "an undisclosed location", only less shooty...
Gonna go ride in a few minutes.  I hazard to say my scenery will not suck today...

More pictures to follow.  I know you're waiting with baited breath...



07 August 2014

Messing with my emotions...

Why does Competitive always pick and poke at me? Why I ask? 
Of course, I would probably pull the 7900 D/A off the Noah, and put it on a new CX frameset, thus necessitating the purchase of 11v electronic stuff. 
And I have to buy new cockpit, brakes, pedals, etc.
A $500 deal just became laying out $3k.  Cycling...

Vicious circle...