Al and I finished in first place in the mens' 2-man time trial we did over the weekend. We were in a class of our own...
The cycling season has been postponed for me on the account of injury to a teammate. Cycling is a lot like drinking: best done with others. You can get wasted by yourself, but who will hold your helmet while you puke?
Lesson learned this week: don't forget your bike shoes. We did some basic cornering practice, but this lesson about footwear was much more important. Without bike shoes I couldn't lock into my pedals and get power on my upstroke. Al convinced me to race anyway. Surprisingly enough, I finished.
I survived six laps in the peloton before falling back and doing the last four in a paceline of stragglers. I had double-vision and my brain had gone offline, but this was much better than only surviving one lap in the peloton, not finishing, and emptying my stomach on the side of the road like last week. The final stats from my computer read: ~39:50 / 22.8mph / 15.1 miles.
A husband/wife mentor team were largely responsible for my finish. They formed the bookends of the paceline that I finished with. I nearly lost it when the rider in front of me gave up and left a huge gap between me and the next rider. If it weren't for the mentor behind me screaming for me to catch back up I probably would have watched as my draft rode away. Then I would have to come up with some lame excuse to explain my failure, like drinking bad sports drink samples, or forgetting my shoes.
Some additional notes on lessons learned in the extended.
Previously: First race
I entered my first bike race today, the Early Bird Criterium sponsored by Velopromo. It wasn't a glorious effort, but it was a fun effort. I was busy gulping down free sports drink and sports bar samples when Al asked me to come ride in the 35-year-old+ race with him. The sickeningly sweet sports drink ended up on the side of the road three laps later and symbolically ended my first race. My poor showing was more due to the fact that I haven't ridden a bike in three weeks than corn syrup, and I got what I wanted out of the event. There are four more coming up and I have a better clue as to what I am getting myself into now. I already have some important little lessons learned, like warmup before you race and don't accept free drinks from strangers.
Riding in the middle of a pack zooming down the road at 26 mph is a lot of fun, but also really, really hard. Al and I usually ride the hilly terrain of Los Altos, so we were both unaccustomed to the notion of going round and round a flat 1.5 mile circuit at full speed until your legs burn off. The race starts off really fast and you'll find yourself red-lining almost immediately if you haven't warmed up beforehand. Riders are constantly flowing around and you have to quickly react to find a wheel to latch onto. On the straightaways you get a little bit of breather -- the slipstreams nearly tow you along. It all changes when the pack goes through a turn. You're trying to make sure that you go through the turn without veering into another bike's line and crashing, next thing you notice is that you're 5 ft, 10ft, 20ft behind the rider in front of you and there's a big headwind pushing you even further back. You pedal desperately to get back into that safe little slipstream, but your computer informs you that you're at your top speed and your stomach says, "Yes those sports drink samples were free, but didn't you bring two bottles of your own to the race?" The rider in front of you is probably coasting, having gotten back into the draft, and if he had a rearview mirror he would probably smirk that he's a cut above.
My goal by the end of these race sessions is to finish in the peloton. Also, to not crash.
This was a mentored race: prior to the race they had a tutorial (first in a five-part series) and they also rode along during the race to provide assistance. I've put some notes on the lessons taught so far in the extended.
On Sunday, bp, d, joy, ota and I went on a ride from the 4th and King Caltrain station in San Francisco to Sausalito. Along the way we passed by the Folsom Street Fair (heralded by naked man on bike), the new de Young museum building, and the Golden Gate Bridge. We ate lunch in Sausalito, drank wine, got ice cream, and then took the ferry past Alcatraz back to the Market St terminal. The weather was oddly terrific -- it was the weather I had been waiting for all summer.
I highly recommend the ride -- the more adventurous can do an additional leg from Sausalito to Tiburon and catch the ferry there. Make sure you know the bike lanes in SF: I failed to print out a map and we had some additional adventurous path finding as a result.
The photos from the trip were a bit of sadness to go through -- I had my camera set on ISO 800 by accident, so they are all pretty noisy. I can always take similar photos on later trips, but having to wait for such great weather again might take awhile.
On Sunday, d, offtopicartisan, and I rode in the 2005 Tour de Peninsula along with hundreds, if not thousands of other riders. It was a 33 mile ride from Redwood City all the over to the Sawyer Camp Trail, up to Millbrae, and then back down along Skyline and Canada. There was a steep climb or two, but for the most part it was a nice easy pace, all under the official slogan of no pain, no pain. The only person on our team intent on breaking this slogan was o.t.a, aka "Ullrich," who managed to chug my old 30+ pound mountain bike uphill in the biggest monster gear as I ticked along in my granny gear. I believe I even heard him complain about wanting an even bigger gear.
There were five rest stops with food and water to keep you nourished and there were plenty of police and race volunteers to keep you safe. Our blistering pace of 11mph brought us in at just under three hours.
The Sawyer Camp leg was one of the best parts: the winding, shaded trail takes you past one of the reservoirs along 280. The Canada leg was also fun as they put a rest stop at the Pulgas Water Temple, which is just a strange, wacky site. d noted that it would fit well in a Wes Anderson movie.
One fun fact I learned during the ride is that Canada Road is closed to car traffic every Sunday, except in the winter for "Bike Sundays." It's a great road to spin around on and it takes you past the wacky Pulgas Water Temple as well as Filoli.
I'm slowly getting back into the riding-swing of things. In order to give me an excuse to stop and rest, I took along my Rebel and took some shots along the way.
My friend Al called me Sunday morning at 9am to do a bike ride. This was a big deal for me as: * I was actually excited to be woken up at 9am * It would be my first real bike ride in over a year
The weather was perfect -- blue skies, but a bit of coldness to the air that kept us cool. We went through Los Altos Hills area along Elena/Altamont/Moody/etc, which somehow managed to survived, be it through a combination of poor adjustments on Al's new bike or very generous summit restbreaks. Today and tomorrow I'm sure I'll be working out more of the soreness.
I'm hoping to get a nice Tamrac backpack for my camera and take it back through some of the trails -- there are plenty of scenic views, interesting homes, and horsies to take photos of. Many of the homes feel so anachronistic being so close to the Bay Area sprawl: shabby barns, tiny homes on huge lots, quaint homes next to palatial estates. Back in Virginia I would probably pass them by without a second thought, but here they feel so exceptional.
1 Oddvarks 88 2 Club Me 84.5 3 Blah the Ninjas 83.5 4 Club Ninja 83 5 Silly Name Changes 74 6 The Downward Sprial 71 7 cuddly munkees 64.5 8 Ninjas Are Not Good 63.5 9 Air Force Eagles 59.5 10 The Oskersox 43.5
I got to see Bonds hit his 700th homerun. It was only my second Giants game and it was sweet. Driving up Al said that he didn't think that the Padres would pitch to Bonds, but after we immediately found a street parking spot two blocks from the stadium he changed his mind -- we were feeling lucky.
The Giants were teeing of Peavy pretty good early in the game, but Peavy hit Bonds in his first at bat -- Peavy was at least pitching to Bonds. In his second at bat Bonds took the second pitch over the left field wall. It wasn't his typical right-field blast, but you could feel that thing carrying. Then there was pandemonium with fireworks and streamers and a lot of screaming and brief standing ovations.
It was a good night.
Photos of Bonds 700th HR (no photos of the actual HR as I was too busy watching the ball fly out of the park)
I've got tickets to Friday's Giants game. I'm crossing my fingers that Bonds doesn't hit a homerun tonight. The 700 HR festivities would probably be a lot of fun.
Update: Woohoo! No Homer!
We went down to Hollister Hills today to help pqbon with his first dirt bike race. All I have to say is, there was a lot of
Dang it was close. We lost by a run.
Even with Adam's Triple,
We couldn't beat the cripple
We let him save face
and won last place
We lost ~12-2 to the BadHops. Not a great offensive game for us.
There once was a man from Nantucket
who bat was so long -
I rode a lot today (almost 30 miles) - we had a work picnic up Page Mill, where I got to see:
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then I biked over to the softball game and found a pedestrian bridge I had never noticed before:
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and finally got to play some softball, where there were these weird people wearing racoon hats, bright red lipstick, and discarded drapes:
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With the help of "new guy" Devon and Olma we tied this one with the Funky Bunch. Just gotta work on my offense now.
If you're going to play extra innings you need to pack a lunch All we have is beer Yeah Funky Bunch
5:30 games are a killer. We only had 8 of our own players and borrowed Dave and Michael from the BadHops. We only lost ~6-4, but according the rules (1 run/inning penalty for only 1 woman), we probably lost by much more.
Running leads to cramps, cramps lead to pain, pain leads to suffering.
According to Amanda, I kicked her ass. I do note that my legs are about twice as long as hers (she would do equally well against Gary Coleman). Anyways, you can see a bunch of photos that I took of her suffering:
Lost to the Lodge (again), but this time the game was really close. We only lost by two runs.
We think it was a trap
Mom's shirt is covered in crap
Next time we'll use corked bats
Lost to the Hitfolk by a bunch, but they're undefeated anyway and a nice team to play.
We lost by a bunch to the lodge. I don't even remember the score, but it was fun.
Finally won one - and under a lunar eclipse to boot. Beat the Ducks 20-5.
Lost to Hitfolk 16-11, or thereabouts. Most of our runs came from the 1 run/inning penalty for the Hitfolk not having two women, but we still had fun. Seni is playing with us now, but we were missing Steve, Al, Ray, and Christiaan to name a few. Ming's was yummy.
Lost to Funky Bunch ~10-3. Al and Lisa are now playing for the team.
Much to the despair of my soft feet, the clocks have shifted and we can play weekday ultimate once more.
Fantasy Hockey league finished up today. Managed to scrape into second place. First place was never any question (know one even knows the guy).
I played in a pickup ultimate tournament today... and our team won! Really, the important thing was to be on the same team as Tyler, and the rest took care of itself. My legs were no longer working in the final game, and Jason's tirelessness nearly destroyed my calves. Props to Jeff, Anne, Craig, Frank, and Alan who were able to keep playing those final points.
Also, on another note, the prize was a whammo, which is rather cool considering that this is probably the first ultimate disc I've ever owned.
Funky Bunch 17, Asteroids 16
We don't have to rhyme We do it all the time So on Saturday lets bring lunch And watch the Funky Bunch