Friday, February 1, 2008


Winters been a bitch. Bad cold around Xmas lasted almost to MLK day. Then it started raining, and raining. Trying to get a cheap travel bike together, game plan was to get a cheap steel bike and get S&S couplings put in but bike shop is dicking around getting Jamis in my size, and not to many off the shelve steel options left. Now to late to have ready for trip to Hawaii where Mike is building a hospital. Did make a few good purchases:

1) OVERSIZED BIKE SHOES--In winter use sock liners and lightweight ski socks--in regular shoes there is no room and feet sweat and get cold. Bought a pair of Time shoes on Bike Nashbar Clearance-1 size larger than normal--and works great.
2) FOX MINIMAL CUSHIONED SKI SOCKS--Used to not to protect my calves but with these on in 40 degree weather feel great as legs fully covered.
3) VELOCE BRAKES FOR FIXED GEAR--Really like the way the Campy brakes look--and the Campy Record brakes on my Litespeed were such a BIG improvement over the temperamental Zero Gravities, I put a pair of black Veloces on the fixed gear.
4) REAR WHEEL ODOMETER FOR TRAINING BIKE--Time goes by much faster--and better workout when you are trying to keep a speed up as opposed to aimlessly pedaling,
5) 3 WATT MINI LED FLASHLIGHT. With piece of velcro and heavy duty pony tail tie can easily loop this light on any of my bikes. Within 2 years there will be LED lights that are the equivalent of 10 watts, that last for 8 hours, for less than $100.

Otherwise trying to get closer to 145 lbs than 155 lbs, which is getting harder and harder. Since turning 50 I've been pretty good with a daily exercise scheme and have up this pace this year--300 crunches a day (can't get rid of the belly), 300 hamstring curls with light weights, 70 leg curls with heavier weights, 150 calf raises with light weights, and @ 2x a week go balls out on the trainer for an hour. Hopefully this work will pay off in not suffering on the Terrible Two, which was easy in 2005 and a killer in 2006 (mercifully daughters graduation in 2007.)

Great quote from Craig the other day, the self appointed (everyone is self appointed) club historian of the Diablo Cyclists. "We take the cycling seriously but don't take ourselves seriously." He's spot on--that is why I love this club so much.


Early pseudo-spring weather for 3 day "Nixon (and other Presidents) Birthday" weekend and got in some nice rides-punishing as done back to back to back. On Sat. Diablo Cyclists did 60 miles of the Oakland hills, 4,200+ feet of climbing., and as usual someone always pushing the pace. Next day (ex-CA now HA) Mike, Ward, Donna and I did Mines Road at a relaxed pace, surprised that the out and back climb up Mines wasn't jammed with cyclists--no doubt many watching the Tour of California start. We all went past the Junction for a turnaround--the guys even going out another couple of miles, where we then said wow--what fun taking it easy for once where we then went balls out to catch back to Donna at the Junction, which was holding a NASCAR fan convention. 70 miles, 4,2000+ feet of climbing.

Donna wants to do the Davis Double this year, and she is putting in lots of time in the gym--but now needs to go on longer rides than she can in East County. We go to Mines Road on a beautiful day and meet up with Ward and Hawaii (formerly California) Mike. We see a big group at the beginning of the day but much to my surprise not many cyclists on the road--maybe they are all out at the Tour of California Prologue. We all go about 3 miles past the Junction (which Donna has never seen) and then the guys go on another mile or so before we paceline back to Donna. Beautiful day for a ride.

(1) Ansel Ward Adams-dares to cycle with a good camera which I don't do (mine actually had film in it from last year.) (2)) Donna on the long but gradual climb which is wide open. (3) Mike leading the charge on the uphill after one of the scenic water crossings--unfortunately the water is right on the road.

Next day another great Diablo Cyclist metric--we rode out to Coleman Valley, the big climb of the day for the Tour of California Stage racers, which is now a more important event when the greatest cyclists of the last 5 years-- Boonen, Betinni and Cancellara are all in the field. Last year we froze our a## off waiting on the top of Coleman and then it was a clusterfuck getting down, this year we rode back on the race course ahead of the field--planning to see the finish in Santa Rosa. Cool seeing course markings, fans ringing cowbells when we went by, course markings until we got to 20k to go and a policeman said that racers about a half hour behind us. Oh shitty. But in reality we were much much closer and they were really 1-1 1/2 hours behind us. So after another fast paced 60 mile, 4,200+ ride where Joe and Stephan attacked and attacked, it was great to rest, wave the Flanders flag, and see the pelaton roar by 3x though downtown; only Betinni in his gleaming World Champion jersey could be made out. Nice little expo-best booth by Rock Racing with their banned riders including Tyler Hamilton (what guts when he completed TdF with a broken collarbone) signing autographed posters.

(above)Post ride for us, now we are in downtown Santa Rosa and going to see the race. (below) Rock Racing's Tyler Hamilton and Oscar Sevilla.

(above) Stage 1 in Santa Rosa-Betinni sitting 6th, (below) Stage 3 up Sierra Road--how fast do you think Betinni did it in? (Sierra photo by Ward)

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