Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reno

My board meeting wrapped up early last evening so I decided to get a jump on my planned trip to Reno.  I arrived in Reno at 6 am.  I wasn't planning to come hereto dodge the smoke, but it just so happened that way. By 9 am I had finished fixing the Burning Man damages and was on my fixed gear bike to chase down a watch battery for Julie. Within a few blocks I was along the Truckee River.


I I stopped at a hardware store thinking they might have the battery.  They didn't,  but the proprieterror noticed that I was riding a fixie. As it ended up,  he also had a fixie.  We talked bikes a bit, then I rode off in search of that watch battery.   I eventual found it at a battery specialty shop.




It was nice to get out for a short ride,  and even nicer to dodge the smoke.

........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ......9.................0.................0...............0.........9
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0.............
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Aug..........76...................0.................0................0............76
Sept...........70..................0.................0................0............70
Total.......837...............15.................0...............31...........896
Kevin at 10:22 PM

Monday, September 4, 2017

Puttering around

The predicted high today was 103F.  A good portion of the state is on fire right now, and the smoke rolled into the valley today.  In our area, it remained at high elevation.  Close to the ground the smoke really wasn't noticeable.  At high altitude it was another story.  The sun looked like I was still looking through eclipse glasses.


I rode out to Graham Oaks, because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.


I was just puttering around.  I rode around parks and housing developments, but with no destination in mind.  The biggest thing of note was the sun.



The smoke induced filtering of sunlight kept the temperature down.  We topped out at 91 today.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ......24.................0.................0...............0.........24
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Aug..........76...................0.................0................0............76
Sept...........61..................0.................0................0............61
Total.......828...............15.................0...............31...........887

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Been a long time

It has been a long time since I've been on a bike, and even longer since I've biked around Sauvie Island. I made baby steps on both counts today.


I pedaled three laps of Sauvie Island on my fixed gear bike today.
There was just the slightest breeze and temperatures reached into the mid 90's.  The fixie has one water bottle cage, but I was able to refill each time I passed the store near the bridge.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ......37.................0.................0...............0.........37
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Aug..........76...................0.................0................0............76
Sept...........37..................0.................0................0............37
Total.......807...............15.................0...............31...........863

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Running out of time

The end of the month is rapidly approaching, and I really needed to get on the bike and ride.

I took the fixed gear bike and set off to ride Portland's 40 mile loop.
It was warm, but not as hot as it was yesterday.  The western US is on fire and the smoke from those fires has settled into Portland.


I looked for a partner to join me on today's ride, but received a cold shoulder.


I took another photo as I got to the Steel Bridge.


I finally decided that I had done enough goofing around and set about to pedal.  It was smokey, but a pretty decent day to ride.  Wind was light, and coming from the south.  In these parts that is a sign that there may be a change of weather coming.


.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ......40.................0.................0...............0.........40
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Aug..........76...................0.................0................0............76
Total.......770...............15.................0...............31...........826

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ride failure

I organized a trip to John Day, Oregon for my cycling friends to observe the solar eclipse and ride bikes.  One of the attendees said she'd like to ride about 70 miles and was concerned that most of the routes out that way were well over that 70 mile distance that she was comfortable with.  I took the 174 mile Old West Scenic Bikeway and shortened it to about 110 by taking Hwy 395 down  to Mt Vernon (Race Across Oregon route), which I figured that we could ride relay style as a "ride and tie" effort giving both of us about 55 miles. I put the route on my two Garmin Edge 305 bike GPS units, and on my TomTom auto dash GPS.

We were spending 3 days there, with one day being taken up with eclipse viewing.  That left Saturday or Sunday to ride bikes.  On Saturday, the person who wanted a 70 mile ride took off early in the AM, and said she was going to head into town for breakfast. (the Senior Center was offering a $10 all you can eat breakfast). By 11 AM it was obvious that she wasn't coming back.  The rest of us went into John Day. We had lunch and wandered around taking in the market atmosphere.

On Sunday I left early to get tickets for all of us to attend the Kam Wah Chung tour. I was back at camp with 10 tickets in hand, only to find that our 70 mile rider was again gone, and this time another rider was gone with her.

Most of us rode our bikes back to town mid morning to take the tour, and we found it very interesting.

Following lunch, Julie and I drove out to some potential eclipse viewing points that I had mapped out in advance. We took some Forest Service roads into the back country and were astonished to see the number of people tucked back into the hills to secure their eclipse viewing locations.

That evening we were all invited to our hosts' home for dinner.




 I told the second "missing" rider that if I had known they were going out for an extended ride I would have joined them.  She said that she didn't know either.  She had been invited to ride to breakfast, and from there they just took off on a ride.

Oh well, I know when I'm not welcome.

Monday arrived and our hosts invited us all up to the house again for breakfast.  Following breakfast we observed the eclipse.




The biking and eclipse watching weekend turned into mostly just an eclipse watching trip for me.  If I had known that in advance I would have brought my fixed gear bike rather than drag my carbon bike into the dust, and I could more easily ride the fixed gear bike with its flat pedals with my athletic shoes.

Oh well, at least I got a few miles (though I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Julie almost doubled my bike mileage total!)

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .......7.................0.................0...............0..........7
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Aug..........36...................0.................0................0............36
Total.......730...............15.................0...............31...........786

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to my non biking ways

After 4 consecutive days of pedaling, I'm back to my bikey, but not biking ways.


On Tuesday I served as crew chief for Chris Davies as he attempted to set a UMCA age group record for Capital to Capital. (Sacramento, CA to Carson City, NV and back)

This attempt has been in the planning stages for 2 years, I was honored to be asked to help out.

Chris rode hard and successfully navigated the route that crossed the Sierra Nevada mountain range.....twice, via the 8574 ft Carson Pass.

He covered the Sacramento to Carson City leg, 147.1 miles in 10 hrs and 18 min.
He covered the Carson City to Sacramento return trip, 147.3 miles in 10 hours and 46 minutes

You can read Chris's account of his effort HERE

On Wednesday I was the UMCA Official as Paul Carpenter took on the challenge for his age group.
If you clicked on his name, you know that Paul is a decorated ultra cyclist. He showed his skills on this route. He rode quickly of course, but his real strength was his ability to keep the bike moving. Except for a 16 minute flagger enforced stop at a construction zone, and a 1 minute stop for sunscreen, he just kept moving.

He covered the 147.1 mile route with 12,725 ft elevation gain in 9 hours and 58 minutes.  He took a 10 minute break in Carson City for a finish line photo (Sacramento to Carson City leg) and a quick bite to eat, then was back on the bike pedaling for Sacramento.

Because of one way streets in both Sacramento and Carson City, the route varies a bit on each end.  The return route was 147.6 miles, and because Carson City sits at a higher elevation, the return leg had 8255 feet of climbing.

We had just a bit of excitement as we crossed back into California from Nevada.  A California Highway Patrolman pulled in behind us and let us know he wanted to pull over..  It was dark, so Paul had to stop too since mandatory direct follow is in effect during darkness.  The officer said he knew that we were there to protect our rider, but questioned if we were allowed to be in the travel lane. In most areas there is not enough shoulder are to drive out of the lane. Robert was driving and explained that our primary concern was safety, and that we always drove as far to the right as we could, and would pull off where we could to allow cars to pass. After a couple of minutes of discussion, the officer asked our intended route, and said we were free to go, while he checked with his superiors to see if what we were doing was legal.

He must have received the answer we knew he would get, because we did not see him again.

Paul rode strong and consistently.  While the ride up to Carson Pass from the west side is somewhat stair stepped, this east bound leg is pretty much a constant slog.  While it was a tough climb, because he was returning in darkness, the temperatures were reasonable.  It was 73 in Carson City as we started out, and would drop to 52 by the time he reached the summit.

The stair stepped descent back to Sacramento from Carson Pass was mostly uneventful.  He pedaled through the construction sites pretty much unimpeded.  There was one that was just a bit problematic.  There was fresh tar on the road (maybe just thick oil in preparation for a new layer of asphalt?) that he shouldered his bike and walked, rather than get a layer of gunk on his tires, which of course would do nothing but pick up gravel.

Once that problem was behind us, he pedaled along at 18-20 mph all the way back into Sacramento.  After yesterday's somewhat problematic return, we picked out a slightly more circuitous route to the Capital building in hopes of avoiding some stop signs and a closed road.

He arrived at the Capital at 4:47 AM,  covering the 147.6 miles in 9 hrs 30 min elapsed.


The original plan was to have three racers, each in a different age category, attempt to set records.
Robert was our third racer, but he got a call during Paul's ride that his wife had gone into emergency surgery.  He was a trooper and stayed with us through Paul's ride.  To leave would have put an end to Paul's race because of the UMCA's staffing requirements, and we were also using Robert's van.

As soon as Paul was finished, we cleaned our supplies out of the van and Robert took a brief nap, then drove home, scuttling his record attempt, but getting back to where he belonged.

I hope you will join me in sending good thoughts to Robert's wife for a speedy recovery.

Tomorrow morning I will be near Gresham just after 5AM.  Normally I'd be riding around Mt Hood with about 25 friends, but this year a lack of bike fitness, and their need for additional support drivers, means I will be taking my freshly honed support skills around Mt Hood.  I've got signage, flashing ambers, iced water, pump, kibble, and some tools all packed up and ready to leave home at 4AM.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

4 days in a row!

Nothing like a little free time and great weather to get a guy on a bike!

It would be 100 degrees by early afternoon.


I took advantage of cooler morning temperatures to go for a little pedal around.

Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't.


I just puttered around the neighborhood.  I seemed that my kind weren't always welcome however.


They might say that this is the Coyote Way, but they should know that this Desert Coyote rides a bike!

I finished up with a lunch stop, and was back home as the temperature reached 94.

Evening update:

As the afternoon temperature reached 104(.8!) I went back out for a few miles.  I had biked 17 earlier in the day, and despite the heat, I wasn't ready to call it quits yet!

This time I chased down Dave and his grandson again.


 The little guy was fascinated with the pedals.



They enjoyed the water feature as the temperature peaked at 105.  Two degrees short of our record, the layer of smoke that Canada sent down this way probably cost us a degree or two.  We'll get another shot at it tomorrow.

I got another 5 miles.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .......22.................0.................0...............0..........22
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Aug..........29...................0.................0................0............29
Total.......730...............15.................0...............31...........786

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

3 days in a row!

Wow, three days in a row on a bike! No worries, by the end of the week I'll be back following bike racers.

Today I went for a short ride, again centered around a lunch stop. By the time I finished that up it was time to ride along with my brother-in-law as he went for a grandson ride. It was 98 degrees at 2PM as we pedaled to the water park at Memorial Park. The grandson got to play in the water jets. I got to sit in the shade.


They did the grandfather/grandson bonding thing for about 30 minutes, then it was time to pedal back. I joked with the little guy that I wanted him to take a turn pedaling while I rode in the trailer.  He didn't feel one bit guilty about sitting on his diapered behind as Dave and I pedaled.

                          

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........7.................0.................0...............0...........7
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Aug...........7...................0.................0................0.............7
Total.......708...............15.................0...............31...........764

Monday, July 31, 2017

Puttering around

The ride yesterday felt so good that I decided to go for another today.  About noon I pedaled out, ostensibly for a lunch run, but with plans and supplies to stay out longer.

I stopped within a half mile of starting when I saw a line of wild blackberries that was just black with ripe berries.  I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures!

I continued on for a lunch stop, then pedaled over to Memorial Park.  I just puttered around, reading about an old barn and making my skinny tired fixie pretend it was a mountain bike.



It is a lost opportunity that Wilsonville is on the banks of the Willamette River, and even has a sizable park on the waterfront, but really has no public access.  Rather than accessible trails, or perhaps even a dock and boat landing, the river edge can only be accessed by bushwhacking through thick undergrowth.  Once I got to the river and enjoyed the cool air and rested awhile.  It was 94 degrees, but was at least 5-10 degrees cooler on the shady bank.


By the time I got finished puttering around, it was dinner time, and I had logged 24 miles.


.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........24.................0.................0...............0...........24
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........79..................0.................0................0.............79
Total.......701...............15.................0...............31...........757

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Why I left Meetup groups.

I used to be an active ride leader for a Meetup group.  I was even voted member of the year!  I left because I tired of folks not showing up, showing up late (and complaining on why we had already left) and not showing up prepared for the ride that was advertised.

Today tested me.

I manage a Facebook group for cyclists with 271 members stretching from British Columbia to San Diego (and currently Bolivia!) and from New Zealand to Florida. With a wide footprint like that I don't ever expect that we will all be in the same location.

It is the 5th anniversary of the group and I thought it would be fun to go for a ride and have a picnic to celebrate.   I was hoping that maybe 10-20 local riders would take advantage of the nice weather in Oregon and join in.  The plan was to ride 40 miles on the Springwater Corridor trail and finish up with a picnic in the park.  I was supplying BBQ hamburgers with the fixings, and asked attendees to bring their own drinks and a side dish or chips.

I had 5 folks say they were coming, and 5 "maybes".  I never count maybes because maybes never show up.

I was very surprised when roll out time arrived with nobody there except me.

I wasn't going to let a bunch of flakes ruin my day.

I checked email one more time, then pedaled out on the planned route.

It was going to be a nice day for a ride!

Mt Hood is waaaay back there, it looked closer in real life.
I stopped from time to time to forage. With the warm summer weather we've had, the berries are really in full swing. It was 93 degrees today!


I'd pedal for a bit, then stop for berries, pedal a bit, stop for more berries.  I tried to keep the bike moving because I had told folks that we'd be eating by mid afternoon.  I wanted to be back at the park in case anyone showed up for the picnic.


I made it to Boring, the end of the trail.  I haven't been on the bike much this year (been crewing bike races!) and I was looking forward to the slightly downhill ride back to Portland.  About halfway back I stopped at a country store to get a Snickers bar. I figured my tiredness might be related to an empty fuel tank.  It helped, I pedaled along pretty well for the remainder of the trip.

I arrived back at the park just after 2 PM.  I wandered around looking for people I might recognize.  No luck, no email, no phone messages.

I pulled out the BBQ and lit it up.

I figured there were plenty, so I had two!

I added 3 miles to today's total after I got home and needed to run a few errands.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........43.................0.................0...............0...........43
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........55..................0.................0................0.............55
Total.......687...............15.................0...............31...........733

Friday, July 28, 2017

Not quite Biblical proportions

I doubled my bike mileage for the month!

Big deal. :-(

There has been no rain in Portland for 43 days and 43 nights.
It is a long dry spell, but not even in the top ten for Portland.  The record is 71 days, set in 1967.
It has been at or near 90 degrees for days, and by Wednesday it is predicted to be 102-107.

I'm hoping to put together a 4 man team and return to Race Across Oregon next July.

In the meantime I ran a few errands by bike today.  I got 7 miles in.
I was on the fixed gear, a bike that is notoriously tough on knees.  I could still feel a bit of  discomfort from my knee issue from 6 weeks ago.  Not from pedaling nearly so much as trying to slow down.  On a fixed gear that is done by putting back pressure on the pedals.  I might have to ride one of my geared bikes for a bit until the knee gets back to 100%. (as an OLD man on a bike, that may be asking a lot!)

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........7.................0.................0...............0............7
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........12..................0.................0................0.............12
Total.......644...............15.................0...............31...........690

Friday, July 14, 2017

Another kind of long dry spell

Portland has had 37 days without rain.  Yes, unusual, but I'm talking about my lack of biking.
I got a whopping 10 miles in June, in part due to a banged up knee that kept me off the bike for the first 10 days or so, followed by crewing Race Across America for Red Pearl Racing's DNF. This month things finally turned around as I was crew chief for Mick Walsh's first place finish at Race Across Oregon.

I was up north helping Julie get settled into her new house, but did get on the fixed gear bike for a sunset spin around the island.  I didn't have my camera, and my phone had used up its battery.  Too bad, Mt Rainier was gorgeous as it was still in the glow of the sun as the lowlands were in shadow.

Next time.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........5.................0.................0...............0............5
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
July..........5..................0.................0................0..............5
Total.......637...............15.................0...............31...........683

A long dry spell

The weather in Oregon is just gorgeous.  We have had 24 consecutive days without rain, a big turn around from our WET Spring, but I'm not talking about our meteorological dry spell, I'm talking about bike racing!

After having 27 consecutive finishes for the racers I've helped, everything fell apart.  I had a racer DNF at last year's Hoodoo 500, and have not had a racer finish since then! Solo's, two person teams, no matter the configuration we just can't seem to get across that finish line.

Hopefully this all changes this weekend.  I'm crewing for Mick Walsh at Race Across Oregon. Mick is a strong rider and should do well.  Complications may come from the heat.  While the forecast has changed a bit, it will still be well over 90 degrees F.  That is pretty warm for climbing out of those big canyons!  If we can keep Mick hydrated, fed, and cool, he should finish at, or near the top of the field.

You can follow our progress beginning at 5 AM Saturday at   http://raceacrossoregon.com/live-tracking.html

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More photos per mile than should be allowed

Followers here will likely remember that I banged a knee up pretty good a little over a month ago. It was just beginning to feel decent when I re-injured it on the way home from Race Across America.  Luckily, it didn't take so long to recover this time.  I hopped on the bike (carefully) and went for a little ride around Tapps Island. It wasn't a hard ride, but hard enough giving that I was on my fixed gear bike, the only one I have with me and fixies are notoriously hard on knees.

My friend Julie and I rode out to Outer Island.  Outer Island is undeveloped except for a gravel pathway and ball field.





After circumnavigating Outer Island we crossed back over to Tapps Island.


Once there we set out to ride every road on Tapps Island



I can report that there are just over 9 miles of roads there.  Post ride the knee still feels pretty good.  I think I'm well on the road to recovery, and surprisingly, I DID get some bike miles in June, only because the RAAM adventure was cut short.

.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today .......10.................0.................0...............0............10
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
June..........10.................0.................0................0.............10
Total.......632...............15.................0...............31...........678

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Racing Across America

Today is the team start for Race Across America.  I am crewing for Red Pearl Racing (Sandy Earl and Bill Spaeth)  The are racing for a children's charity, you can get more information at their website. Our racers will start somewhere shortly after noon Pacific Daylight Time. Sorry, I'm typing this a week early and don't yet know our exact starting time.

You can track our progress via the magic of satellite technology by going HERE.  Red Pearl Racing is T 203.

A detailed map of the RAAM route is HERE





Race Across America - from Up High from Anthony Gordon @ on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Not riding bike

I banged a knee up pretty badly about a week ago and have hardly been able to walk, let alone ride a bike lately. Luckily the knee is making rapid progress toward recovery.  I'm leaving for Race Across America in 4 days and have a lot of preparations to accomplish before I go, so I'm glad to regain some mobility, and with any luck, by the time the race begins for us on the 17th I  should be back at 100%.   But all of this means that I'll likely get a big ZERO bike miles for the month of June.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Short lunch run

I've been up north helping my friend Julie move into a new house.  Nice house, nice neighborhood, and a nice view when we rode 2 miles to the local cafe for lunch.



.........Road Bike........Rollers.......MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ........2.................0.................0...............0.............2
Jan.........304................15................0...............31..........350
Feb..........0..................0..................0...............0..............0
March.......18.................0.................0...............0............18
April.......113................0.................0...............0...........113
May.........155................0.................0...............0...........155
Total.......622...............15.................0...............31...........668

Friday, May 12, 2017

16 miles this morning before heading to Oceanside

I'm an early riser by nature, and my hosts not so much.   It was 59 degrees in LA at 7 AM.  The high temperature at home was predicted to be 53 degrees.  It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I should get out there on my bike!

I decided to ride along the coast.  I found Jefferson St to be 3 lanes of rather busy commuter traffic so I figured I'd ride the sidewalk in the early morning dim light.  After just a few blocks I decided there was less risk to just turn on my rear blinkie and take the center of the right lane.




I turned right on the Pacific Coast Highway for just a few blocks to Balona Creek and followed the bike path to the ocean. 


June Gloom came a bit early, the sky was grey but it was dry and the temperature was comfortable.


I was surprised to see that the bike path not only went to the beach, but actually proceeded right out onto the beach.


I imagine it takes a lot of maintenance to keep it clear of drifting sand.



I rode south along the beach for several miles.  When I arrived at some power generation plants





I pedaled a bit farther and found some people out enjoying the morning.


 I decided I should turn around.  The team had plans to drive to Oceanside beginning at 10 AM, and I had dallied around enough that if I were to proceed any farther south I'd get late.

It was a fun ride and the last one I'll get for a few days.

............Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ............16................0....................0........................0............16
Jan..............304...............15...................0......................31..........350
Feb................0..................0....................0.......................0..............0
March..........18.................0....................0........................0............18
April...........113.................0....................0........................0...........113
May..............153................0....................0........................0............153

Southern California RAAM Challenge

I am helping Steven Burns and Jay Nadeau as they team up to challenge the 400 mile route of the Southern California RAAM Challenge.  Inspection and team meetings are today in Oceanside, with racing beginning Saturday at 5 AM PDT.  I've been instructed to take a chill pill.  The rider's goal is to have fun.

This is going to be interesting.

Last minute edit.

Jay just withdrew.
This just got waaaaaay more interesting.

You can track our progress along the route HERE.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Riding Fixed in LA

I arrived in Los Angeles in advance of the Southern California RAAM Challenge, where I'll be helping out Steven Burns.  I had an hour before I was to meet him, so I unloaded the bike and went for a little ride. As I pedaled around the neighborhood I remembered seeing something on Youtube a few years ago about the fixie culture in LA.  I can't locate that video now, but it was a documentary style clip where riders belonging to the group "Wolf Pack Hustle" introduced themselves, "I'm 'loco Annie', I ride fixed in LA". I'm 'fast Fred', and I ride fixed in LA". Then you watched the folks show some pretty badazzed fixed gear skills as they rode alley cat races in the automobile centric streets of Los Angeles.

So today I introduced myself silently "I'm Desert Coyote, and I ride fixed in LA", though much slower and in tourist mode. LOL!



I came to some interesting paths that I thought I might ride, but noted that down that list of rules that "promote enjoyment of all" was a rule that said no bikes.




After puttering around a bit I stopped at Hop Daddy Burger Bar and had one of the best burgers I've ever had and a cold Angels IPA.



After topping off my tank I pedaled back to meet Steven.  It's time to convert a rental minivan into a bike race support vehicle!


Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

............Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ............6................0....................0........................0............6
Jan..............304...............15...................0......................31..........350
Feb................0..................0....................0.......................0..............0
March..........18.................0....................0........................0............18
April...........113.................0....................0........................0...........113
May..............137................0....................0........................0............137

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A good day, not such a good late afternoon

I'm supposed to be in Los Angeles tomorrow at 2PM to meet members of a mixed 2x team for the Southern California RAAM Challenge. This morning I drove to Bakersfield (the closest "real" town) and got some last minute supplies.  I got back around noon and promptly took off on the fixie.   I've been down I-5 many times and taken the Buttonwillow exit on most of those trips, either for gas, or sometimes for lodging. With all those trips, I've never actually seen the town of Buttonwillow! I decided to fix that today. I took off down the road.


I again saw olive and almond trees, but not in the same place.

Almonds

Olives



After just a short distance, I was officially in Buttonwillow. The sign says Buttonwillow is the heart of California's agriculture. I presume that other areas may take exception to that statement.


It was a warm and windy day. As I rode toward Buttonwillow's "downtown" I had a warm crosswind.

Downtown Buttonwillow
I hate out and backs and usually like the front half of the ride to be more challenging than the back half.  I turned to the right, into the wind to make a loop.  My Furnace Creek 508 totem is Desert Coyote, and as such, I guess the Road Runner would have to qualify as my nemesis.  As I pedaled against the wind I saw this.

Beep Beep!
As I pedaled out of the north side of town I noted that on this end Buttonwillow is presented as the heart of cotton country.


Sure enough, the next field I biked by was cotton!


As I kept pedaling along into the pesky wind I passed a large field of something that baffled this farm boy.  These 6-7 ft trees were covered in red blossoms.  It took Google to find out that they were probably young pomegranate trees.


I rode a few miles into the wind then looped around and headed back south. I was having a blast riding with a good tailwind. Even on the fixed gear bike I was holding 20 mph!  I was going to stop my southbound travel when I got back to the Blue Star Hwy, the road I had biked to Buttonwillow on, but I was having so much fun I kept right on riding south.  I eventually got far enough south that I figured it would be worth the pedal to the Tule Elk Reserve again.  It didn't take long to get there.


As I approached I was surprised to see elk very near the fence.  They saw me coming and decided discretion would be the better part of valor.  By the time I got the bike stopped, the phone out, and activated the camera, they were out far enough that my phone's wimpy 4x zoom was at its limit.


I watched the elk for a bit, then pedaled back into the wind again.  I followed along an irrigation canal.  The road here was packed dirt, but just like yesterday's ride, the dirt road was pretty easy to ride.


There were a lot of frogs!  There was a constant splashing of frogs jumping into the water from their sunny perches.  It was another nice ride.


After I got back the day took a downturn.  As I said, I'm down here to support a 2x team.  This afternoon the female half of the team bailed out.  Really? Less than 48 hours to race inspection and you bail? That shows disrespect to the race, to your race partner, and those who crew for you.  No words that I can print.

............Road Bike........Rollers.............MTB..........Lifecycle......Total
Today ...........30................0....................0........................0...........30
Jan..............304...............15...................0......................31..........350
Feb................0..................0....................0.......................0..............0
March..........18.................0....................0........................0............18
April...........113.................0....................0........................0...........113
May..............131................0....................0........................0............131