Thursday, April 26, 2007

Road Trippin'

I've got a laser like focus on one of two things when I road trip. Journey or destination, never both. Today was all about the destination. 3 gas stops, 2 pee stops, 1 cop stop, 0 tickets. 1075 miles, 16 hours flat, and no idea about elevation gain. 300 more miles to go tomorrow, just need to make it to Osage Beach in time for the sister/murse rehearsal dinner, not going to be a problem. Bed now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Just a quicky update

I'm working on getting ready for departure tonight so I'm not going to spend much time on this. Went out to T-100 tonight w/ a small MTBR group. Yuri led the group at a decent pace and SuLing kept me company in the back of the pack(I suspect she was holding back). I bailed after about a half an hour and headed back to the lot while the group kept going. I broke from the group right at a short hairy decent that I've never cleaned before. I haven't been on that section of trail in quite some time so imagine my surprise when I pulled some moves out of my ass. Honestly though, I think that somebody has cleaned up the trail because it seemed way to easy. 6.5 miles and 850 feet in 55 minutes.

Back at home I got the second coat on the top of the boat, one more to go! I also got the steam box and jig ready for the f'd up fender, either I'm going to fix it or totally destroy it, no middle ground.

Final note, Crazy Jose called me up a couple hours ago and it sounds like I might just have some company for the moving truck drive to Seattle in June, could be fun.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Not much to report tonight. First coat of clear hit the boat this afternoon, this thing is looking awesome. The clear will be done by the time I head to the Missouri wedding on Tuesday morning and all I'll have left is kit out when I get back.

Brought this home from Rage today but unfortunately I don't get to keep 'em. Somehow they got badly warped in the shop and I'm going to build a jig in an attempt to steam them back into shape. That will be tomorrow's project.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Silent Sunday @ SoMo

So yesterday was nothing more than a god damn train wreck. It doesn't even merit a tale. On to today, I decided to give myself a bit of a self imposed flogging to make up for yesterday. I headed over to the Pima lot at South Mountain at around seven and started up National. My original plan was to ride to Telegraph, drop down to Desert Classic, and ride that back to the car. When I got to the split for Hidden Valley I decided that I would check it out, it's supposed to be pretty cool and it's not a very big detour. Turned out to be really cool but mostly a hike a bike.

I was feeling really strong today and riding almost everything, much better than at the Squealer. As a result I had no second thoughts about continuing on past Buena Vista. Maybe a mile from Telegraph I had my only real "oh shit" moment of the day when I clipped a rock with my bars on the uphill side causing me to be pitched sideways toward the downhill side. I caught myself right on the edge and tiptoed the rest of the way to Telegraph. I had forgotten that today was the Silent Sunday when no cars are allowed up the road. Lots of roadies headed up and back down. Ever since we moved here I've wanted to rocket down the road and since Telegraph looked like a hiker conga line, what the hell. I got a few odd looks from the roadies on my way down. I'm sure I looked funny doing over thirty on the singlespeed in my crazy aero tuck.

Down to Spokes for a quick bite to eat and then on the roads in the direction of the car. Now I must stop here and say how much I absolutely hate riding on flat pavement at 47 gear inches, so when I remembered an offroad option I took it. Mormon trail starts at 24th St and heads straight up to meet with National, unfortunately it's more hike than bike for the mile up. I took Mormon loop back down to Pima, easy, fast, and plenty of flow. 19 miles on the day with 2800 feet of climbing all done in just under 5 hours(lunch included).

Some random pictures from the day and a map.

Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thought vomit

I've got a lot of stuff kicking around today. If you've ever visited my little piece of cyberspace before you know I'm not the best with words so today's going to be extra special.

Lets start with the VT shootings. There are a couple of forums that I frequent and one of them is chock full of right wing gun nuts. It's times like this that I really can't handle that place, but like a bad wreck, I just can't bring myself to look away. I don't know what makes anyone think that letting 19 year old kids carry concealed weapons to school is the answer. Not just any kids mind you, just the ones that have learned how to hit a target under pressure. Nineteen year old would never do anything stupid with a gun. I'm kind of middle of the road when it come to gun control, but it's ideas like this that make me think that maybe a full on gun ban is the answer.

Yesterday the US Supreme Court decided that Congress is better suited to decide what course of action a doctor should take with their patients. I normally keep my politics and religion(or lack thereof) to myself, but god damn. What the fuck? With Ginsberg and Stevens both in the running to be the next to leave the bench I'm getting a little nervous about the future of our country, and not just concerning the reproductive rights of women.

I don't really mean for this blog to be my little soapbox so I'll get off it now.

I went out to dinner with my 80 year old neighbor Charlotte last night. We went to Lola's Tapas up on Camelback and 8th. It was fantastic, I do love the small eats. She saw Joe's Pinzgauer Sunday and had a million questions about it. Char's kind of known for her of the beaten path side trips and was quite taken with the utilitarian look of it. She made me promise that next time Joe's in town I'll arrange for her to get a trip around the block.

Speaking of Joe, he was pulling some impressive wheelies on the monster cross bike Sunday. I've gotta get that one down, it's pretty cool.

Today I got out on the Unit for the first time in a week. Not much of a route to speak of really, but I rode without anything and that was kinda cool. When I say that I mean, no GPS, no gloves, no tubes, no tools, no water, and no Camelback. Just man, bike, and helmet. It was fun, I chose a route with some technical sections because of the fact that I was not carrying the weight. It's kind of funny how naked I felt in a couple of places without the water filled endo crash barrier and by the time I clicked of what I'm guessing was my fifth and final mile I was pretty thirsty.

Post ride I came home and put a second coat of primer on the boat. Tomorrow I'm starting on paint and it should be ready for trim out by the middle of next week, but because of the Sarah and the Murse wedding it won't happen until May.

Lastly I'm still debating what I'm going to do this weekend. The mountain bike options are as follows: Gooseberry, Gallop, Granite Basin, Mt. Graham, and keeping it local. Right now I'm leaning toward local. I've got a 3000 mile drive ahead of me associated with getting my wife back and the aforementioned wedding in a week and the less driving I do beforehand the better.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Dilemma

Michele's been on me about getting my resume together for the big move. In just two short months Seattle will be my home and I've got to decide what I want to do with myself for the next three years.

"You mean like career? Uh, I don't know. I've, I've thought about this quite a bit sir, and I'd have to say considering what's waiting out there for me, I don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or... process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed, you know, as a career I don't want to do that."
-Lloyd Dobler

If you've got any ideas on a good job for a guy with construction supervisory experience, preferably paying top dollar and with a possibility of a bike commute I'm open to suggestions.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

TdC, take II

Crazy Jose came to town late last night. He had some flooring to pick up in town and was more than a little intrigued by my ride plans. He braved the 17 all the way down from Flag in the Pinzgauer with the monster cross bike loaded in the back. This morning we rolled out at seven with Joe, Mark on the Crosscheck/Extracycle, Mike on a Bianchi SS mountain bike, Eithne on the old road bike I sold her, and me on the Volpe. We looked like a crazy little rag-tag group, all of us each on very different bikes.

Joe and I had taken a vote the night before and decided that a cookie stop was in order and the others did not put up a fight. We stopped at LGO and I thought it best not to mess with a good thing.

The benefit of riding with someone with a kickstand.

Hey, if it works, why change it?

From there we caught the AZ canal and headed to the dam. Everything was gravy until we were about 4-5 miles from the bee-line highway when the wind started picking up. It was alternating from crosswind to headwind and it pretty much slowed us all down. At the highway we had to wait for a break in the Ironman riders to cross. DPS was not pleased that we had decided to stay and cheer for a while so we kept going. The road got rougher and stayed that way for the next 10 or 12 miles. The wind only got worse, especially after the turn. We didn't miss the turn the turn this time saving the couple of miles. It continued to be a hard ride into the wind all the way to Tempe Town Lake where we stopped for the only flat of the day. This is where we lost Mark because he wanted to find a friend that was at the Ironman. The four of us that remained crossed the lake on Mill looking for the AZ crosscut canal. We missed it somewhere so we headed up and through Papago. By this point we were all very tired and our main motivation was eating lunch somewhere close to home.

I should have known something was up when Joe wanted to stop with less than five mile to food, I should have known when he came out of the gas station with a huge fountain drink loaded with ice, and I really should have known when he kept holding onto a large cup of ice long after the liquid was gone. Riding along, minding my own damn business and all of a sudden I feel a tug on the back of my shorts and then it's an ass full of ice for me. I never thought about it before but god damn it if the elastic around the legs of riding shorts isn't always a good thing. I grabbed the brakes hard and went to work dumping my new load. BTW, I'm really sorry that the family in the Suburban had to see my junk, but that's the way it goes.

Anyway, Mike peeled off and headed for home when Joe, Eithne, and I turned toward Chipotle. A cheap burrito never tasted so good. Now I'm a tired ass mofo and I'm off to take a nap.

*Late Edit*

56 miles, 1000 feet, and just under 5 hours ride time.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Eithne, Atticus, and I went to the Tempe bike swap this morning. She was seeking out some Yakima stuff and I was looking for a couple different things, namely some flared drops, a recent rack, and some waterproof panniers. There were a lot more people there this year than last but I still didn't find anything that I both wanted and could afford. I was eyeballing a brand new Raleigh XXIX with an asking price under $600 but my wife would kill me, literally. No more bikes for Sean. I'm not sure that it would be that much fun on the trail anyway, it'd make a great cruiser though. I did buy a T-shirt right before we left, a nice little red number w/ a yellow bike on it. The shirt came with 5 free stickers and for some reason it took Eithne and and I over fifteen minutes took pick the winners. Not long after that we headed for home and I took about twenty or so minutes for me to realize that in the midst of the sticker fervor I never paid. So I flipped a bitch and headed back, when I got there the guy selling the shirts didn't even know, he thought I had paid. I assured him I had not , handed over my $15, and was on my way. If not for that honesty thing I'd make one hell of a thief.

Few pics from the day:

I got some five hour of sanding the boat in this afternoon, I think I might have it ready for paint with another five hours. I plan to have it completed before I leave for my sister and the murse's wedding. Also, the TdC part II goes down tomorrow w/ a peloton of 5, should be good fun, no wrong turns this time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oh for two

No ride.

I tried to get my beans and franks on again tonight to no avail. All out, so I had grilled cheese and tomato soup. I don't know of a better tomato soup than at the Roosevelt but it's still no beans and franks. You know what they say, third times a charm.

Stopped by Rage and borrowed this to save my ass until my new seat comes in for the Volpe. The faux fur just isn't cutting it, more than an hour in the saddle and I start to hurt, I'm going with a tried and true SDG Bel-Air. Cheap and fits like a glove.

Last but not least, the plans are laid for Tour de Canals part deux. It's going down Sunday with Mark and Eithne in tow, maybe a few more from MTBR but that's yet to be determined.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dinner and a bike ride

Just as I was getting ready to head up to Dreamy Draw with the bike formerly know as Unit, SuLing called to see if I wanted to join her and Jeff for a ride. We have not ridden together since I dodged the broken arm bullet. I didn't really have my heart set on riding alone, and as a matter of fact, I could use the extra push that Jeff was sure to provide. We rolled out a little later than I was planning but I stole Star's HID to better light up the night. We rode from Jeff and SuLing's house and headed West on T-100. I don't ride the trails West of 7th St very often and Jeff led us out on a couple of new to me trails. Nothing really special to speak of, but at least it's something different. It would be interesting to see what the trail looks like in the daylight because at night all you really see is the track.

Post ride they offered to cook me dinner, since the other option was to come home and eat from a paper box, how could I say no? BBQ burgers and fresh cut fries, yummy in my tummy. I'm sure going to miss those two. Well anyway, now it's late and I'm going to bed.

9 miles, 930 feet, and 1 hour 25 minutes tonight.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Monday, Monday

I went out to ride tonight, but I just couldn't bring myself to load up the SS and drive to ride. So I put on a bright orange shirt, hopped on the Volpe, and headed out for dinner. I really had my heart set on the Roosevelt. The whole way down I was thinking about some ice water, an Arrogant Bastard, and some franks and beans. Didn't take me very long to get there, but unfortunately I rolled up to an empty bar. Closed on Monday, dammit! I sure had my heart set on those franks and beans, so feeling somewhat dejected I started home. Of course, as the product of a fooder household it didn't take me very long to start working on options. Lisa G's seemed like a decent second choice so I rolled over to seventh to find yet another closed bar. Damn my luck. Anyway MacAlpine's was still open and very close so that's where I finally ended up. Not really what I left the house looking for, but it sure hit the spot, besides who needs beer when you can have Vanilla Diet Coke.

I don't know, maybe 7 miles tonight, not near far enough to cover the cheeseburger calorie count.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Squeal like a pig.

Holy shit, I'm glad that's over. It's not that the ride itself is bad, it's more about the rider. I've been feeling pretty shitty all week and my normal pre-ride ritual of tossing and turning all night didn't help either. After maybe three hours of sleep I woke up two hours before my alarm and killed time until I needed to leave. I arrived at the start about ten minutes after the first rider The race is a time trial starting in one minute intervals, the first rider rolled out at 6 a.m. My number being 20 I rolled at 6:20.

National trail. Wow, I finally rode the whole thing, not very well though. My legs were hurting bad right out of the gate and I really wanted to throw up. The trail doesn't start out to technical but I tip toed and walked everything that even closely resembled a challenge. While most of the spots I walked were well within my limits I was really not confident in my skills today and was not at all willing to risk my neck for a better finishing time. I hit Buena Vista in one hour flat, 1300 feet in ~4 miles, not very fast I know, but that's the first cut off time for Flight of the Pigs so I felt pretty good. I rode strong over to Telegraph, getting a little more comfortable with myself and the trail. Once past Telegraph the trail was all new to me, starting out with a rather long hike-a-bike that gained over 400 ft in 3/4 of a mile. From there it wasn't too bad until I hit the egg hunt. Not really a hunt so much as a distribution center. Anyway, at that point riders dismount their bikes and hike up some steep switchbacks gaining nearly 100ft, get the egg with their race number and back down to the bikes. The rules state a missing egg is a 10 minute time penalty and a broken egg is 5 minutes. According to my GPS I spent 8 minutes off my bike, hardly worth it, more on that later. The trail was pretty straight forward from there on out with the exception of one really loose baby head downhill. I had my only real "oh shit" moment of the day there. I got really loose about halfway down the section where I had both tires sliding sideways and the bike was leaned over pretty far, somehow I got it back under control, dismounted, and walked the rest. The last three miles to the finish were fairly easy with nothing to tough. I finished in ~3:34, DFL in class and somewhere around 4th or 5th from last overall. As lousy as I felt I was just happy to be done.

Once everyone crossed the line we all rolled out headed to Spokes for food and beer. The San Juan road had to be the hardest part of the day for me. Rolling again after sitting for 15 minutes combined with trying to keep my cadence high enough to keep up with the group made for a bit of pain when we turned uphill. Luck for me Todd was there to give me a push a couple of times helping to keep my speed over 10 mph. Over course, once the road started downhill my gravity assist came into play and I pulled away from the group in no time coasting my way to well over 25 mph. Once at Spokes I hydrated and fueled, getting myself back to normal, or at least what's passed for normal lately.

Here's the map.

I sweat a little on my plate, maybe I shouldn't have used watercolors.

My egg, broken after the finish, no penalty.

Oh yeah, 21.5 miles, 3500 ft of vertical, and 4.5 hours from unloading the bike to arrival at Spokes.

Friday, April 6, 2007

What's on my plate.

Picked up my number plate this evening, decorated it, and I'm ready to go. Chatted with Kathleen, Juan, Jason, and some others for a while. Kathleen and Dale are talking about a Mt. Graham weekend the same time crazy Jose and I are supposed to be headed to Gooseberry. Could be a really nice alternative if Joe bags out on me. Off to bed, my start time is less than eight hours away now and I gotta sleep.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Polo Pics

Well here they are, at least a small sample. I took about 250 shots, but extremely low light and slow shutter speeds make for mostly lousy pics. I really like the way these ones turned out.

The group meets every Wednesday sometime between seven and eight at the park on Coulter right next to the 51. They've been going for the ten years and provide the mallets for newcomers. The bikes are pretty cheap and most were modified for lefty operation with a 1x? drivetrain and both brake levers on that side freeing up the right hand for the mallet. i would like to try it out but I saw some pretty good bike damage going on and I'm sure I'm willing to risk that w/ the SS.

I'm out.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Bike polo is alive and well!

John called me at about 8:15 to let me know that bike polo was indeed happening. I grabbed the camera, the big lens, and the mono pod and headed for the door. Right now I'm going to bed, pictures coming tomorrow.

Where did bike polo go?

I jumped on the Volpe today to make a quick run up to Trader Joe's for some supplies. As I was leaving the store I remembered that there is supposed to be weekly bike polo at a nearby park. I rode over but no dice. I called John and Eithne to see if they knew anything, living right across the street and all. Eithne said that she was pretty sure the flier we had seen last summer was for 6:30. I don't know if it still happens or not, but it wasn't going down tonight around seven.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How well does your bike know you?

I really didn't want to ride tonight, really.

I came home from work and stared at my bike for a while. I decided it would be better to wait until it starts cooling off rather than ride mid day so I started working on the boat. I put in a couple of hours on shaping the coaming, getting it all ready for epoxy, talked to my wife for a while on the phone for a while, and then went back to staring at my bike. I moved my light mount from the Volpe over to the bike formerly known as Unit, got changed, loaded up, and headed out. I was still moving pretty slow when I got to Dreamy Draw. I took my sweet time getting my gear together and finally started my ride. Not more than a half mile from the lot I was riding up a little rock ledge when my crank gave way and I started to roll backwards. I was quick on the brakes so no real drama but I wasn't going to get much further with my freshly broken chain. Quick coast back to the lot for me and headed home. I've got a new PC-1 in the garage just waiting to go on, but I think there might be a bit too much wear on my chainring for the new chain so I guess I'm off to Rage yet again. Maybe I'll ride tomorrow.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Yet another new bike

Michele's new commuter followed me home after work today. I like it, it's stealthy, comfy, and cheap. It's going to get some lock on skewers, a rack, some lights, and maybe a stem with more rise. I think it'll suit my lady quite well.

No ride tonight because I'm a lazy shit. Suck ass day at work followed by an unusually long trip home(see above) and some time in the garage makes Sean an unmotivated boy. I'm still freaking out about Saturday of course, just unwilling to do anything about it tonight.