Monday, October 29, 2007

Lunatics run amuck

From Pink Hammer Nutrition Princesses to 6' 2" Giant Line Backer Chickens, the lunatics of all kinds were out in force (farce) at this weekend's Velo Bella Spooklecross race.

Probably more leg being shown then at the Exotic Erotic Ball, and some with some very strange tan lines. All completely out of their minds.

But I wouldn't have it any other way!

As for me, I am too damn serious to get involved, but I laughed and cheered watching the course cutting, the cheating, and just plain silliness.

Great weather, and I moved up another spot as I work my way up to the ever illusive top step.
2nd place in a very challenging 35 Bs race, with Charles Pockell-Wilson nipping at my heals for the third place spot. The ever powerful John Ford from Spine was making some good moves early on but is still suffering a string of bad luck and munching on more dirt than any one man should. The day he pulls it together for a clean crash free race will be the day we are all in trouble.

Soquel High. Wasn't sure how this course was going to suit me, not too many places to really open up the throttle, and no real climbs to speak of. Just one super steep run up that seemed to want to eat my shoes. Once rolling on the fire road I found a mouse hole to sneak through and charged it to get a hole shot on the first sharp right hand off camber drop off. I also wanted a clear shot to the first dismount and run up.

The log was hoppable, but you would have to dismount directly after for the run up anyway. Seemed like you would lose more momentum picking your way over it, than just doing a quick dismount at speed.

I managed OK on the runs, but really did the best in taking the technical sections without losing much speed. After about 3 laps with a Z Team rider slipping away I managed my own escape with just enough gap to watch the group behind splinter as the course double backed on itself. With two laps to go Charles had given the rest of the field the slip and Z Team was out of sight. From there I settled in and rode a steady pace just hard enough to keep Charles far enough behind to seal the second place.

As promised in an earlier post I signed up and even completed the Elite A's. It was fast, and I started out slow until I could find a rhythm, also until I got comfortable riding with my right shoe half off my foot (damn run-up). Once settled in after about 5 or 6 laps I started closing in on a few riders that seemed to be getting tired and moved myself a spot or two every lap. I some how managed to get faster towards the end of the As race. Not sure if everything was just going numb, or I was just getting stupid. Maybe a little of both.
None the less I wasn't last, and unlike the last time I raced the A something or other field, no crashes.

Lots of good vibes and words of encouragement to keep one going. The maid at the top of the run-up gave out some great coaching "swing the arm, swing the arm!", she yelled. Thank you, it really helped! I swung my arm...Yes Gianni, I swung it straight instead of out.
And Steve Giles heckling from his post at the course crossing kept me in smiles.
BTW: Thank you to all the course marshals who did an outstanding job of keeping the course clear during some challenging times.

Lot's of fun!

Photo credit: Lauren Haughey

Nome Out

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Team Meeting Location

With what appears to be a bit of time on their hands and more than an average number of brain cells to rub together, John G. and Tom have extrapolated, cross coordinated, and triangulated a meeting spot location based on everyone's longitude, latitude, and level of participation.
(Actually, I think they just sat around last night drinking beer and throwing darts at a map of California).

The result is a small tree house in an orchard not far from the intersection of Highland/Manning and Morgan Territory Road.
The tree house will need some minor modifications in order to accommodate the meetings. We will probably have to take this sign down

and install something a little more politically correct.

We may need to car pool in order not to alert the property owner of our presence, I understand he has a shotgun and very mean dog.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Improvements, LARPD Cross,

Had to skip the Stick and opted to race in the back yard this weekend.
Groovy T opted out of the Stick so I decided to race Saturday and get a good 4 hours of pedaling in on Sunday.

LARPD, kind of a small turnout, but a good showing still. I have been working on my starts and getting the intensity up from the whistle. Today was a good as I looked for every mouse hole I could find until I had open real estate to launch. Insane Shane set up a very twisty longish course today and the Livermore winds provided a lot of challenge. I managed to lead the first lap in a group of 4 with me being the only 35 B. A bobble in the sand found me gapped off this group and two 35ers closing in as we started lap 2.

I worked on keeping a gap through the twisties in the outback but a missed turn (undershoot) which put me on the wrong side of the tape and mildly off course. Not wanting to take advantage I self relegated and merged back onto the course soft pedaling to let the two catch. Anther bobble in the sand pit gave the ultimate winner the gap he needed for victory, but after the second lap I figured out how to get myself through the sand and things smoothed out the rest of the race.
The 3rd Pillar rider was running close behind so I worked on repeated hard accelerations through the twisty outback to make sure he got a good taste of the wind.

The 40 stairs of doom didn't feel so bad today, and I managed to find pep in my step as I ran up them (lift the knees). I also figured out what Olaf meant about getting the back straight going over the barriers. I felt it once or twice during the race and it seemed to smooth me out. Still a lot of work and practice to do, but at least now I have a some type of feel for what the form is.

In the end I held 3rd Pillar off and managed my best placing of the season in 2nd. Improvements for sure, but lots of work to do yet.

On Sunday Gianni, a few other Spidies, and I met in Pleasanton and hi-jacked a group ride. Well, it wasn't hard to do, the ride is pretty beginnerish with a good number of riders that are not to sure what holding a wheel means. Give em lots of space.
We rolled off into our own groove since we had enough riders to make a faster group.
The more that accomplished riders come out to that one, the better quality the ride becomes.
Sometimes there is a diamond in the rough that shows up. Perhaps a women rider with potential or maybe a junior with a love for two wheeled speed, both with a need and desire for guidance. Both with the eagerness for competition.

You never know where you will find the next star, they could be hiding right under the nose.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

CCCX #3, Wish I had a 12.

Great course today, very fast and had mine and Greg G.'s names written all over it. (Should have been there G).
Groovy T and I did a little pre-ride and I was all smiles heading back to the van to get pinned up.

They started us on a road section used at the District RR, mild climb about 500 meters to just under a kilo, then a mild descent to wide left hander onto the dirt.
From there it was mostly all Return of the Jedi style single track. Fast and swooshing with a some sand traps you had to be mindful of.
Then a couple of short road sections that were great for opening up the throttle.

As we lined up for the 35 Bs I was joined by Charles Pockell-Wilson from Morgan Stanley and John Ford from Spine, both with sparkling new Specialized cross bikes. (Bike lust!) (Side note, the Specialized Cross Bikes are looking pretty sweet...I aunt one.)
I liked the wide open start and being on the road was thinking these two power houses might just open up the venturis and let the rubber fly from the gun.
The whistle blew and the accelaration was half hearted. I moved towards the front and gave Charles and John about 2 seconds to make a move, nothing.
So I punched it moved into second position and realized I still had more throttle and jumped around the leader, Tom Ryan(?) of East Bay Velo.

He quickly grabbed my wheel as I drove the pace down the hill and started getting some good separation. We hit the left hander without even thinking about brakes and drilled it to the first barrier.
It was nice to approach the first barrier with clean real estate for a change. After that we formed our alliance and kept the pace hard for the next lap, the gap was opening and I was getting pretty excited that I might have worked this one out right. Tom was rolling well, but his pace on the road climb was more like tempo and I wanted to hit it full throttle. He was happy to let me dictate the pace starting the second lap. Which ended up being a mistake for both of us, not as much for him.

We bombed through the Return of the Jedi single track and my overly ambitious pace managed to help me find one of those afore mentioned sand traps. The front tire washed out and down into the soft stuff I went. I must have went in really hot as there seemed to be a bit of a delay before Tom came crashing down too. Thankfully he had tried to get around instead of T-boning me and we were both physically alright. We still had our leads but when we got up and found our bikes tangle up a bit it delayed our remount. We got them apart and as I took off noticed the gear seemed really big. Hit the response! I looked down and my rear dérailleur cable had come out of the stop near the head tube (no tension) (Double Fook!).
There is only one way to fix this on this bike. You have to put the chain in the top cog and release all the slack on the deraileur cable. Time consuming.
I had my single speed Mt. bike in the pit, but this course was too fast for the gearing.

1. Stop and wrestle with this thing while everyone and their mother passes.
2. Deal with the bike being stuck in a 42 x 11 gear and salvage a placing.

Two guesses which one I chose. For those of you that have never seen me ride a single speed, you get a third guess.

I had seen the course and anything I needed a little gear for was through sand and I felt I could run it just as fast.

I jumped on the bike and proceeded to do a 40 minute power sprint workout. You never know how big of a gear you can turn until you have to.
The next few laps were spent making back some ground on riders that passed. The road sections was a double edge sword, I had to dig deep into the fast twitch muscle to get the bike rolling when coming off barriers or single track, but once I got on top of the gear I was able to wind it out enough to catch and pass small groups of riders each time through. It would have been nice to just get on a wheel and recover, but I could spare no loss of speed and just sprinted past like a lunatic...foaming at the mouth and all. As Dr. Richard says "Ouch Time!"

Out of all that I managed a 4th place finish and no more washouts, but I really wish I had a 12 instead of an 11.

It may also be time for a real pit bike.

Tom ended up winning and I gave him a congratulatory knuckle tap before collecting my trinket.

Dr. Richard has his work cutout for Monday's Chiropractic appointment. My low back is killing me.

Other lessons learned:
1. I can race harder than I thought.
2. I figured out how to take control of the start and really punch it.
3. Figured out how to lift my knees more when I run and really accelerate (ala Olaf).

Groovy T was feeling less than groovy so we bailed right after the 35 B race. Thank goodness, I was too beat up to do a second race today.
One of these day I am going to sign up for the As, not masters As, just As. If I am going to get my Ars handed to me, it may as well be from the baddest Mofos around.
My Kung Fu instructor once told me that if I really wanted to learn a new style go pick a fight with the guy who is the best at that style. I opted out of that, but took the lesson to apply it to other things.

Photo credit: Harriet Riley

Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Office Move...Yippy Skippy, I have tourettes.

I am so looking forward to our company's move. It is going to be soooo much fun. For 7.5 years they have had me stuffed back in a little cave hidden away from all.
This was smart.

Now, they want to put me in a cubicle in the middle of the room with people within 10 feet of me and 3/4 walls separating us.

Now they will get to hear my clacking and slamming when I am in a design frenzy using keyboard shortcuts and computer induced tourettes F-Bombs when my flow gets disrupted.

Welcome to the design department, I hope you left your sensitivity at home.

This is going to be fooking fun.

(insert evil laughter)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oblivious is, is oblivious does.

I swear, you can expose all the situational landmines in the World, and still some folks will manage to step right on them.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Tout le Monde

Cycling news gave us a nice spot down below the news about the World Champion.

It's a truncated version, but we are very thankful for the exposure and it was very kind of them to throw us a bone in the location they did. Here is the complete version for the Blog World.

East Bay Cyclists to become InfoVista Cycling Team

East Bay Cyclists (currently known as EMC²/Vellum Cycles), a Northern California bicycle racing club in it’s 5th year is proud to announce a new title sponsor for the 2008 cycling season. InfoVista has signed on as the club’s primary sponsor taking top bill on the club’s jersey and promotional material. InfoVista first supported East Bay Cyclists in 2007 as a second tier sponsor. The team for 2008 will be known as InfoVista Cycling Team.

InfoVista is the global leader in Service Centric Performance Management and Reporting. 80% of the world's largest service providers as ranked by Fortune®, as well as leading Global 2000 enterprises, rely on InfoVista to enhance the business value of their technology assets. Customers include ATT, VISA, T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, Verizon,
Bell Canada, Citigroup, BNP Paribas, British Telecom, Cable & Wireless, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, SingTel, Telmex, Brazil Telecom, Telefonica, Telstra and NTT. InfoVista stock is traded on the Eurolist by Euronext (FR0004031649). For more information about the company, please visit

As InfoVista Cycling Team the club will continue to organize, develop, and seek out talent for the Road, Mountain, Cyclocross, XTERRA, and Triathlon bike community. While maintaining a balance of athleticism, technical expertise and the basic love for cycling, we endeavor to help each team member seek a higher level of their sport. The team provides shared knowledge, training, and support, enabling each member to achieve their goals. The true basis of this organization is to enhance the cycling enthusiast lifestyle, help the environment, the community, and promote healthy lifestyles while achieving high levels of competition and excellence.

By partnering with corporate sponsors like InfoVista, the club, made up of business professionals, engineers, and even medical professionals seek to promote business development within the diverse and high-tech influenced cycling community in Northern California.

Building on the success of the 2007 season the now InfoVista Cycling Team will work to send Juniors, Women, and Masters Men to National and International competitions, stage races, Xterra Worlds, and USA Cycling development programs.

For their generous support the team would also like to thank;

Eden Bicycles located in Castro Valley

Joseph Mendes Real Estate

William’s Cycling Wheels Systems

Kenda Tires and Tubes

Back in Motion Chiropractic

Odwalla Products

Entropy Cellars Handcrafted Wines

All of InfoVista Cycling Team’s sponsors receive mature, responsible representation and product evangelism throughout Northern California.

For more information about the team and its sponsors please visit

On personal note, Infovista is a French company, I think it's very cool that a company from such a cycling enthusiastic country is willing to support some grass roots (even weeds) in Northern California.