Friday, October 30, 2009

lazy

That's what I've been lately!

The impetus to get on the bike today was two fold, 1)dry weather 2) if I did not ride at least 13 miles it would be the first month since November of `08 that I did not log at least 500 miles. Lately I've been riding nearly 3 times that amount!

I shamed myself into riding a short ride this afternoon. Nothing long, nothing fancy, but at least got on the bike.

Sunday's weather is predicted to be nice and I've got plans to ride 200k with some Oregon Randonneur friends. Should be a nice ride.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles Today
.................16...............0.................16
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........503.....+.........0........=.......503
Year to date...9112.....+.........30.......=......9142 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

More Furnace Creek content added



I had a lot of photos and video from the Furnace Creek 508 adventure that didn't make it into the presentation. Most of it didn't make it because it happened before or after the race. If you'd like to see them look on the right side of this blog right under the photo of my crew and I at the Furnace Creek start line.

....or just click [HERE]

And it looks like I've got to ride 13 miles between today and tomorrow less I fail to reach 500 miles for the month. It's wet and splashy out but I would hate to not make the rather meager 500 mile mark.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

a month off, more or less

I've been busy with life's details and with the pressure of training for the `09 Furnace Creek 508 now past and the seasonal downturn in the weather taking place I just haven't been on the bike much in the last few weeks.

I did plan on riding with my social bike group this morning for a short two hour ride that promised to include some significant climbing. The weather was predicted to be dry in the early morning, changing to rain later in the morning.

It's tough to get a large number of folks in my social bike group out on the road this time of year and today was no exception. There were only two of us planning on riding today.

As it ended up, the trip leader was feeling under the weather and went to bed early the night before............only to sleep until 11 AM this morning!

So I sat in the predawn darkness waiting in vain for him to arrive for the 7AM start.

At 7:30 I finally decided I'd just as well ride.

I just tootled around the Scholls/Tigard area for a bit. I got in a 34 mile ride before deciding to cheer on a friend who was participating in the Run Like Hell half marathon in Portland. Then I went out to Hillsboro to watch Cyclocross.

I did manage to miss any rain on my ride. It didn't begin raining until I got to Cyclocross...... and those folks LIKE rain!

I'll have to start getting down to training for next year's Furnace Creek 508 soon, but I probably needed some time off the bike just to "reset".

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles Today
.................34...............0.................34
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........487.....+.........0........=.......487
Year to date...9096.....+.........30.......=......9126 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, October 23, 2009

Furnace Creek video

Okay, I know you're always supposed to be proud of your work but.........

I was in a hurry. Time was ticking quickly. I can always go back and spruce it up a bit later. The good news is that I just burned my Furnace Creek presentation to DVD. It's rough around the edges, I know I can find a better musical soundtrack if I just spend the time looking. I've got plans for this evening, beginning in 30 minutes. I've got plans to show the DVD tomorrow at a gathering of my social bike group. So, having this in hand is better than the alternative.

I have converted the presentation to a lower resolution/smaller screen size so it fits within blog guidelines. Click on the photo of my Furnace Creek 508 crew and I located on the right side of this blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A non rider


That's what I've become lately!

I've been spending hours getting my Furnace Creek 508 experience distilled down to a program on DVD. Looks like I've finally finished the video portion. It times out to 44 minutes. I've still got to add a music soundtrack to portions where native sound was worthless or in cases of still images there was no sound to start with. Once I get that done I'll burn to DVD and present it at a gathering that my social bike group is hosting in my honor this Saturday evening. I'll also fiddle with the resolution setting so it will fit on this blog and "back post" it to the Furnace Creek postings. I'll notify you all when that happens so you can take a look.

While you wait you can see the little show from last year's crewing for Siberian Husky here

In the meantime, in between a shower or two from time to time the weather has just been beautiful for a bike ride. I'll have to get back on the saddle again soon. The 2010 Furnace Creek 508 is less than a year away!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More fun than I deserved



I joined my social bike group today for a scavenger hunt on bikes. The weather prediction was for rain in the morning changing to showers in the afternoon. We were lucky enough to dodge all that and didn't have a drop of rain all day as we rode around Portland collecting photos, items, and performing tasks. It really was more fun than I ever expected. We all had a blast! We met at 8:00, after some instructions and dividing into teams we were on the road by 9:30. We finished our tasks and were back by noon. The team I rode with, the Red Team, came in first and had all the required items.
(the victorious Red Team!)

What fun! After the event we retired to Big Reds and munched and sipped our way through the rest of the afternoon.
video


A good day and a great way to end a "vacation week" on my ride calendar.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles Today
............15...............0.................15
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........453.....+.........0........=.......453
Year to date...9062.....+.........30.......=......9092 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I rode my MOUNTAIN BIKE!

I probably doubled the miles on my mountain bike today. ;-) I joined a group of 9 folks for a ride of the Banks-Vernonia Linear Trail. We started at the Manning Trailhead since even after years of operation the trail still does not reach Banks. There is also a 3 mile stretch of gravel, with just over a quarter mile of that gravel being downright ugly, so the mountain bike was the two wheeled vehicle of choice today.


The chill of the morning reminded us that it was no longer summer, but the sky was cloudless and life was good. We pedaled along the old railroad grade that was now a paved multi-use trail. The first 7 miles were nice, then we hit a 3 mile gravel section. The gravel was a bit bothersome, even on fat MTB tires. The worst issue was the occasional deep loose gravel. My MTB brethren would just scoff at this, but the deep gravel gave this roadie a bit of trouble from time to time.

The worse was yet to come however. As we neared Top Hill, the trail dipped down sharply to avoid a high trestle. The down wasn't too bad, but the up on the other side was horrendous. I made the mistake of still having the SPD pedals on my mountain bike from the Furnace Creek 508, and compounded that by wearing my road shoes rather than my mtb shoes. I walked up the softball sized rocked, steep pitch. The road shoes made traction a pipe dream. I eventually made it back up to the original RR grade and re-mounted my bike and pedaled on. Even then, the trail looked more like a mountain bikers dream from time to time.


After three miles of this "fun" we were back on pavement and taking in some pretty fall colors on our way to Vernonia.



Before too long we arrived in Vernonia and stopped in at the same coffee shop/cafe that my Radonneur friends and I visited yesterday.



After an extended stop there we retraced our route back to Manning.

I'm not sure what the issue is with the rock section. Paved bike paths are not my preferred route. I have a road bike, and it does far better on the open road. Bike paths invite families, kids, jogging strollers, etc. With the terrible steep section around the trestle this path is not at all inviting to those users. I'm not sure if it's a lack of money, or lack of right of way, or what, but IMHO this needs to be fixed.

At any rate, I got 34 miles on my mountain bike today, very likely doubling the total mileage on this bike that I rarely ride. It was a good ride, great weather, nice fall colors, and good folks.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............34...............0.................34
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........438.....+.........0........=.......438
Year to date...9047.....+.........30.......=......9077
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My first "official" Randonneur Ride

4 of us made our way out to Vernonia in the pre dawn darkness today to ride a 200k Permanent. I've been a member of the Oregon Randonneurs for quite some time, but could care less if my name is in some book in France so I just ride the rides for miles rather than credit. Today however I had a rider's card and was all official...only by default since one of today's group signed us all up. So I, like the rest, found myself collecting receipts as we passed check points.

We began at the Black Bear Cafe in Vernonia.


It was 32 degrees as I drove in this morning, but warmed slightly before we began to pedal. There was some fog around so we had lights on front and rear for added safety. About 25 miles into the ride we came to the Birkenfield Store, our first control.


By now the fog had cleared so we switched off the lights. The fall colors were brilliant today made even brighter with the blue sky and sunshine.


We made our way through the hills and over a 1400 ft summit to Astoria, situated at the mouth of the Columbia River. We stopped at a Dairy Queen there for a snack, all in the interest of gaining the required receipt. Joanne and I arrived there about 30 minutes ahead of the other two in our party. I had my banana split pretty well eaten by the time they arrived. (no need to share that way!) Before long we went back outside and prepared to pedal back to Vernonia.

The return trip promised to be the harder half since there was more elevation gain (we were beginning the return at nearly sea level) and a slight headwind.

We rode along tide water for a bit before beginning our climb.




Joanne and I again proved to be speedier than our compadres and arrived back in Birkenfield just over a half hour sooner than the other two. We had some chocolate milk, collected our receipts, then took a look around the store.


Since we had long since finished our chocolate milk Joanne and I saddled up and pedaled off. The other two weren't too far behind, however Joanne and I arrived back in Vernonia just over a half hour ahead of them again. Of course, randoneurring is not a race.........but it was nice to have the legs today to get the job done.

When we all were there we sat down at a table and had dinner. Well, mostly sandwiches! But they were good!

On the way home John's van developed charging system problems. The battery finally gave out around 185th and Sunset Highway. The van got towed, the bikes and people got moved to an alternate vehicle and all arrived back home safe and sound........after a few hours of "delay of game" penalties.

It was a not so good way to end a very nice ride.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........123...............0................123
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........404.....+.........0........=.......404
Year to date...9013.....+.........30.......=......9043
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, October 9, 2009

A beautiful fall day

I joined a friend from my social bike group late this afternoon on a short ride just to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. We started out quite late and as the sun got lower in the sky the air took on a bit of chill just to remind us that before long the fall rains will be here. Enjoy the nice weather while you can!

Tomorrow I join some Oregon Randonneurs for a permanent that will take us from Vernonia to Astoria and back. Weather gurus predict frost in the morning but at least no precipitation. Highs in the 60's by afternoon.

This weekend will mark a bit of an interesting achievement for me. I rode the carbon Elite today, will ride the steel Argenta tomorrow (to utilize the "luggage" for supplies on the self supported Rando ride) and on Sunday I join a very laid back group on a ride of a "rails to trails" ride that takes us 38 miles, 6 on gravel, so it will be the fat tired mountain bike.

3 days, 3 different bikes!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today............21...............0.................21
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........281.....+.........0........=.......281
Year to date...8890.....+.........30.......=......8920
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Furnace Creek orphaned photos and video

Photos and video from the Furnace Creek 508 adventure that didn't make it into the main presentation primarily because they happened outside the actual race.

video

Desert Coyote's '09 Furnace Creek video

video

You can see the photos and video that didn't make it into this presentation HERE (Primarily because it took place outside the race)

A roll of the dice

The Reader's Digest/Cliff Notes version: Winds in Death Valley were reported at 40 mph sustained with gusts to 60 mph as we pedaled through. As luck would have it, we were riding directly into it. The course continued in this direction for the remaining 230 miles of race. Many were walking their bikes, many hunkered down in vehicles hoping for winds to dissipate.
After hours of riding into this wind the Desert Coyote and crew took a gamble at 3:30AM at mile 279 into the Furnace Creek 508 and decided to conserve energy and wait it out.........and lost. The Desert Coyote's dream of finishing the 2009 Furnace Creek 508 ended near Ashford Mills in Death Valley. Lessons learned. Ride to your strength. I knew I was not the strongest racer nor the fastest. My strength was in my endurance. I should have kept riding. I was not broken. I will return. I did achieve an 11 hour "clock time" double century, attained a new maximum speed on my bike with the 60.3 mph descent of Towne's Pass (at night!) and had a respectable 15.1 average speed for the 275 miles covered. Since midnight I had pedaled hard for nearly 3 hours, and had only 27 miles to show for it.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today ............27.....+.........0........=........27
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........283.....+.........0........=.......283
Year to date...8869.....+.........30.......=......8899 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ready to Race!

Still just an abbreviated version here. Check back for updates as I continue to gather all the videos, photos, and data together and get it posted.


The Desert Coyote and crew at the start of the 2009 Furnace Creek 508



After a climb to the 4956 ft summit of Townes Pass there was some fun to be had on the descent to -282 ft at Badwater. Hold on to your hats, here is some of it!



I reached Furnace Creek by 11:30PM and stopped there for a warm cup of Mac 'n Cheese (thanks to the microwave in our support vehicle!) and short nap. As midnight ticked by I had logged 253 miles of the Furnace Creek 508 plus one mile of warm-up before starting in the morning, giving me a new one day record for total miles.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today...........254...............0................254
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1403.....+.........0........=......1403
October.........256.....+.........0........=.......256
Year to date...8842.....+.........30.......=......8872
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, October 2, 2009

T-1 day, and...........anxious!



We passed inspection today, both equipment and crew passed with flying colors. All we have to do now is find someone who can ride bike 509.58 miles across a desert with a lot of big hills! ;-)



After getting inspected, having my official "mugshot" taken,
and other official details taken care of we just milled around the checkin venue. There was much "bikeyness" to it and an interesting way to spend a few hours. I did hop on the bike and ride down to a convenience store to get a package of spare light bulbs for our flashing lights and a scissors. No big deal, didn't even have bike shoes on.

I am anxious to get on with this adventure!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
...............Road Bike.....LifeCycle.....Total Miles
Today.............2...............0..................2
Jan total.......501.....+.........30.......=.......531
Feb total.......614.....+.........0........=.......614
March total.....860.....+.........0........=.......860
April total.....790.....+.........0........=.......790
May total.......901.....+.........0........=.......901
June total......543.....+.........0........=.......543
July total.....1322.....+.........0........=......1322
August total...1603.....+.........0........=......1603
Sept total.....1401.....+.........0........=......1401
October total.....2.....+.........0........=.........2
Year to date...8586.....+.........30.......=......8616
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++