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Monday, September 29, 2008

Something new

If yer hankerin' for some new trail this fall, you should head up to the Tahoe Rim Trail and ride the last section heading south into Tahoe City.

Formerly called "Glass Mountain" because of the sound the shale covered riding surface used to make under your tires, the new re-route is far less rocky with sooooo many good views of the Truckee River and Lake Tahoe. This new section is, well.... new. This being the case, expect the trail to be a bit soft in sections. Next spring, this section WILL be rad! Radder that it is now.

I tried to ride this section last Thursday after work. I can tell you that it's dark... DARK in the woods @ 7:15! We stayed on bikes until the bitter end. Then we started the walk of shame that I've done far more times than I'll admit to here in this post. Nothing left to do now but yell "HEY BEAR!"

Meet Jim. Jim is often times the driving force behind anything Rim Trail related. Jim was explaining to us that the main reason for the re-route was drainage and protecting an owl habitat. I think it's because the old section was too rocky for most folks. Whatever the case, the new trail is worth a look.

Megan sets her sights on the lake. This is probably a mile from the end of the trail. This is also right about the point where we started pushing our bikes in the dark last week. I like the trail much better in the daytime.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


While wrenching away on a customers bike the other day, he was telling me about an experience he had while in the parking lot at the Sage Hen Creek trail head. Apparently a lady had parked there for a quick hike and upon returning to her car found that it had been broken into and her lap-top was taken!!

I hate this kind of stuff. Your best defense is to keep as little as possible in your car and keep it as out of sight as possible while you're out and about. Even a pair of shorts laying on the floor in front of the passenger seat is probably enough to entice some low life scum bag to see if your wallet is still in one of the pockets.

Actually, I guess your best defense would be to ride from your house and just leave the car at home.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Our turn

Ahhh vacation. Isn't it grand. You get to sleep in, eat out and take life slow. You normal day to day schedule can be thrown out the window with reckless abandonment as you explore a new place, meet new people and get to try new stuff. You've worked hard... or at least hard enough to deserve some time away from the rigors of the "daily grind" and by damned, you're gonna make the most of it!!

If you live in Tahoe, or any other vacation destination, you know the routine. Friends call, ask if you're going to be around, make flight arrangements and before you know it, their in the spare room with luggage strewn about asking you where the best breakfast spot is.

Well, early next month it's our turn! My bea-u-ti-ful girlfriend and I are heading to the Oregon coast. It's our turn to couch surf, sleep until noon, make left turns from the center lane, drive 10mph under the speed limit..... don't honk at me.... I'M A TOURIST DAMMIT!!!!!

Figuring to drive to Bend, do a ride. Then pop over The Sisters the next day to the McKenzie river trail for another sampling of single track. Soak in some hot springs. After that, head further north to Portland for some more couch surfing. Then work our way out to the coast where we'll start to head back south in as lazy of a manner as possible until we run out of time.

So, if you're in Oregon in early October and there's a green Toyota driving way too slow turning right with its left turn signal on.... don't honk. Just remember.... it's our turn!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tahoe Sierra 100

What a day. I can't say as I've ever ridden 100 miles of fireroad before. Can't say as I'll ever do it again. Somehow though, the Tahoe Sierra 100 was a pretty good time.

Tomi. Shake-down ride. Tahoe Donner trails.

We loaded up the mighty truck and headed out.

My dog, Lewis, know this scene all too well.

This race was epic in all aspects. Even the drive to the race venue (French Meadows Reservoir) was nothing to be taken lightly. We took a "short cut" using Yankee Jims road out of Colfax. This road is dirt, rocky and has soooooo many ways to go wrong.

Cows. In the middle of friggin' nowwhere.

Talk about coming out of the woodwork! Burly... keepin' it real.

Tomi McMillar. Early in the day. All smiles.... for now.

Cheryl, womens open race winner, chases early in the race.

After the first climb, the picture taking kinda took a back seat for me. You can check out a ll the pics on the slideshow at the top of the page. The pics are from the race as well as a few rides in Truckee.

Mens open podium.

Womens open podium.

Mens singlespeed.

Womens singlespeed.

NUE series winners!
My race: Of course I show up late for the start and go to the back row. In a 100 mile race, this isn't really a problem. I wasn't planning on winning this thing anyhow. If I were able to beat Chris Eatough and Jeremiah Bishop, I probably wouldn't be fixing bikes and drawing house plans to pay the bills. My mission for the day was to not get passed by anybody. Starting in the back will help me accomplish my goals. After things sorted out in the early stages of the race, I would only see one other rider pass me at about the 2/3rds point of the day.
First climb. People everywhere. Dusty. People are in good spirits. This will change. At the top, I've already downed a bottle of mix. This is a good thing. Stop at an aid station and refill. Next, fireroad descent. This is the point where I'm really glad I have a 4" bike. I pass people with ease. It's dusty. Really really really dusty. As we start climb #2, I take a quick "p" break. I start the climb with Dicky. We chat. He drops me. I re-catch and return the favor. I get stuck behind someone on the only skinny part of the course and eat dust for about 1,000 vertical ft of descending. White thorn everwhere. I could ask him to let me by, but it's early in the race. I'll sit back and relax for now.
We go up the first climb again about 30 miles into the race. I feel pretty good. I also know that at the top of the climb my drop bag awaits and there's music in there. Lots of 80's & 90's tunes to keep me going. I stop at the aid station staring at the table of food for waaayyy too long. Fill bottles, another 100oz of water on the back, grab some pbj's and I'm back on the bike. After a short climb out of the check, we start a nice descent. I've got Van Hallen in the ears and things are going well. Again, my 4" bike is treating me right.
The course starts to roll and I keep an eye on the mileage remembering the 20 mile climb at the 60 mile mark. The climb came and actually wasn't too bad. We arrive at another check at the 85 mile point. Mark Tiessen is there with words of encouragement. Unfortunately, he really needed to be a few more miles up the course. The next 1/2 hour would be spent climbing a disgustingly loose, soft tiering climb. I'm slummin'. I've not budgeted energy for this part. Damn! I fumble with the track button on my mini disc player (yea, I'm old school). I settle for some random hip hop to help me up the last climb of the day. The climb get steeper, looser and more depressing as it goes. The climb can't end soon enough.
Finally it comes, the last descent. I catch a single speeder on the way down. The descent is rough. Earlier in the day, I was glad I hadn't brought the one speed, but this section is the most reassuring. Loose, rocky and some sections where it sure was nice to be able to pedal. As the descent starts to mellow, I'm within' a few miles of the finish. Damn glad too. My wrists hurt, my feet are sore and my ass.... let's not even go there. I see another rider. It takes me almost a mile to actually catch him. I tuck in behind and use his draft for a minute to recover slightly. I slingshot around him in hopes that he doesn't have the energy to counter my move. If he does, I'll never beat him. I cross the line in 8 hrs 26 min for 12th place. I'm pleased with the day, especially now that I'm done.
Swimming in the reservior felt amazing despite the burning sensation in my nether regions. Other riders wade around the water, dazed, staring into space like zombies. The guy that I'd just drafted and passed approaches. I'm sure he's gonna kick my ass, but instead gives me a high five. "Nice one" he says in a tired, raspy voice. The normal "where you from?" and "what other races do you do?" talk ensues and starts the apres' race rituals. This folks, is why I race.

Results here if yer into that kinda thang.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Just Found.....

.... the course elevation profile for the Tahoe Sierra 100 this weekend. Yikes! Looks like the last 10 miles is anybodys guess.