Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stage Race training...I figure

Two weeks out from Cascade so I figured I would pack on some big miles with ridiculous amounts of steep ass climbing.

Saturday: Climb to Kaiser, 155 miles and 13,500' of elevation with extended sections of 16 to 18% grades. At 8,000 feet.
Yeah, it's hard, no matter how you slice.
In the past I have ridden this thing like a race, as do most. Even finished second one year.
This year I needed to keep a little in the tank for Sunday (more later in the post).
Drove out with teammate Corey after we had been doing some smog training during the week.
I figured it was a lot like elevation training in that there has not been much oxygen in the air this last week.
This was Corey's first time at C2K. Corey has the history of endurance events being an Iron Man finisher and a pretty fair climber. This beast would test his metal, and did. We finished it up despite a few mechanical issues with broken spokes and a flat tubular. We weren't breaking any speed records, but no physical mishaps or cramping (like most).
After following the Sierra Pacific Bosch Express team leadout on the flats we learned that Corey popped a spoke on his rear William's 38 Carbon Tubular. It slowed us down as we nursed the wheel to the rest stop with a mechanic for some truing.
I was amazed out how straight the wheel ran with a spoke missing, and even more amazed at how true it stayed with the abuse dished out over the course.

In the end having to be ginger with his rear wheel kept me out of the red zone and 9 hours and 45 minutes of sub threshold riding kept me relatively fresh. Sort of.

Here is a video from a cam that Corey had with him. The sound track fits perfectly.

Sunday (today): CCCX Mountain Bike Race Series finally, Pro/Semi-Pro.
I figured running long on Saturday and then really hard on Sunday would simulate some hard stage like racing. I also figured I was just racing today to survive.
Turned out to be my best placing of the series with a third place finish.
No change to the overall, I had a good lock on 4th even if I hadn't done well today.
It was really cool biting off a big chunk of hard coreism and finishing the series in the money.

CCCX had some nice bling as usual.
A flat of California Giant Strawberries (I have never had them before, and DAMN they are good!)
CCCX T-Shirt (worn with pride)
Best of all, a very nice commemorative plaque showing the accomplishment.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Interesting week

Week two of my retirement/extended vacation/lay-off. OK, I am still trying to workout which one of those things it will be. This week has had some signs of interesting developments, but the big thing is I am getting clearer on the parameters of what I want out a revenue source.

Not so much as exactly what I want to do, I am open to that, but more so certain elements that must exist in order for the lifestyle I want. I am not talking lavish lifestyle, but quality of life.
Time for cycling, time for family, and flexibility. Money isn't my primary motivator, but it has to make sense.

Thanks VG for coming out for a social MTB ride in the heat and christening T's new bike. You guys were cute on your pink Yetis. Looking back and seeing two pink kits and bikes bombing down the hill was pretty cool.
Also thanks for sharing your experience of trial by fire in the transition from corporate world to creating what you have now. Very helpful.

Next time maybe we can go out on one of your routes.

Stay cool folks, it's going to be hot this weekend.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


The word of the day/week.

I guess that is the process Theresa and I are going through right now. The deconditioning of society and it's expectations on what we should be, or should do.
While we are trying to be open to different possibilities with our lives, specifically what I will do as far as work, not work, or start a business, there is always this little voice that says "you went to school to learn how to do X". Or "if you don't stay in the same field you will lose your skills".
"You have to have a job and contribute to society".
Of course, the whole contributing to society thing sort of requires society to interact in the process.

I suppose my expectations of people are a bit high. I am the type of person that is responsive, returns phone calls, emails, and tries to get things done...NOW! Letting things sit tends to haunt me. Relaxing is exhausting!

This week I will work on letting go of what may be an unrealistic expectation of others and try to have a little patience.
I am sure some of the things I am throwing against the wall will stick sooner or later.

Nome Out.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Need a Volunteer?

If anyone in the Pro Cycling World sees this, I am available to offer my services as a volunteer.

As in you take care of my expenses and I'll help out with whatever needs to be done.

I can turn a wrench, hand up bottles, give massages, or whatever.

Lots of time on my hands.

Contact me at

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mmmm...Lab Rat Burgers

A Spidey's delicacy.

Out to the Lunch Ride with the Lab Rats to join Ed for little leg stretcher.
The Rats showed up with about 30 riders to our two Spideys.
Hmmm, this hardly seems fair...the Rats need to go back and get more riders.

Once out on the course and the Rats are done running into the back of large parked trucks (hope you are OK Ken) the race begins.
With a few early attacks the Spideys draw out the Rats to see who has game. A nice well timed counter attack by the tall lanky Spidey gave the diminutive but highly venomous Spidey a nice opportunity to hide near the front of a flailing pack of Rats. Watching, waiting, and poised to strike the diminutive one patiently plays the game of the hunter as the tall lanky Spider taunts the Rat pack's futile chase.

One Wells Fargo Lab Rat slips away and is quickly snared in the tall Spidey's trap, consumed for energy and spat out to have his remains reabsorbed by the yet flailing pack.

With no hope of catching the Tall Spidey before the final lunge for the line the cunning Rats decide to change the course and take a short cut. The diminutive Spidey was on to their treachery and began manipulating the chasing pack louring them into fighting the wicked crosswinds. Even forcing those who would not pull to come through and expend their life force energy. In the final 400 meters and a wailing cross wind the diminutive Spidey slipped back allowing 4 Rats to come through creating the perfect wind block for the final venomous bite as the short but powerful legs sprung the diminutive Spidey forward to pounce on it's prey.

A satisfying meal.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Starting a new chapter in life.

Wow, what a day!
As in "Really? This is the informed business decision your making?"

Blind sided I got called into the conference room and handed my walking papers and a small severance package. The explanation was restructuring and they don't have enough work to keep me busy.

So I close a relatively long chapter in my life, rather abruptly. I don't think it's the money issue that is getting to me, but more the emotional side, the feeling of betrayal and perhaps a bit of identity loss.
Of course, that is the short fall, using our jobs to define ourselves. Something Eckhart Tolle talks about quite a bit. Now I get the opportunity to practice the spiritual teachings I have been trying to grasp for the last 6 months while studying Tolle's work.

The thought of it makes it not appear so easy. As a traffic signal and roadway designer my work is everywhere. It will be a challenge to not roll through one of my signal or striping designs that I have done in the last 8 years. As a matter of fact we just raced our bikes around one of the projects this evening at the Tri-Valley Twilight Criterium Series.

There is a funny side to things with a twist of irony. The firm is on the eve of starting the largest project in the company's history. It is all design work and very fast track. The person responsible for my departure, the controller who knows nothing about traffic engineering, was a staunch believer that certain issues dealing with Right of Way would put the project on hold for about 5 months.
Ha! My supervisor (also blindsided) received a call from the client less than an hour after I left saying they got the go ahead on the project.
In his own words from an email this afternoon "I am still in shock and BTW we got the word 5-minutes after you left, from Blank Company that they got the 'notice to proceed' from the City. I cannot do 26 signals myself"
I guess that's what happens when you let someone who plays only by the numbers make business decisions. There is always going to be industry specific details that they don't understand.

The irony is that I was wearing my company logo shirt today. How is that for a kick in the nuts? To boot I was in the middle of resolving an important roadway geometry issue with a client when they called me in. I guess that one won't get solved. And I tossed my shirt in the trash when I got home.

In mist of being stunned I somehow acted completely out of character by remaining calm and not exploding in the meeting. I even worked at keeping the door cracked open by letting them know to call me if conditions changed.

While I start to put my feelers out for new job, I have some serious internal work to do. I have to work at not letting the job define who I am. I have to find a new routine for my daily life. I have to work on letting go of the feeling of betrayal.

Fortunately our finances are in relatively good shape. The house paid for, and all we really have is a car and trailer payment. It will be tight, and I'll be sucking on ketchup packets instead of Hammer Gel at the races, but I'll have time to get really really fit.
I plan on devoting a certain number of hours in the day to finding a new job, then I am on the roads to turn the pedals, burn off the emotion, and find myself spiritually and physically.

BTW: If you know of anyone who needs some help with something, let me know. I am very versatile and I can manage projects like you wouldn't believe. Look at the success the team has had as an organization.