September 07, 2018

You Know What's Pro

You know what's pro?

Omar Fraille is pro

Drinks the last of his bottle, drops it at the  base fo the hardest stretch and nails it!

34x32's are pro. Modern riders of all abilities get to stomp their way up roads way steeper than ever imagined before. The finale of stage 13 at the Vuelta, the new summit in the Pyrenees at the tour. Step gnarly climbs that pro's can assail, but normal folks can too! Nope, not after 180Km's at 5% body fat, but 34x32 is a good gear for a massive percentage of recreational riders.

Disc Road is pro
And when those same said mortals arrive at the top of these inclines of glory? Roll some GOOD road discs to get down safely. Keep 'em tuned and use compression-less housing if you are on cable actuated!

Rodriguez is pro. betting he was on at least a 34x36!

That's a pretty good stage...

May 27, 2018


There isn't much more to say today....

May 23, 2018

Holy Shit

I can't believe it was over four years ago that I last posted to this blog...

can that be right?

A touchstone

- June 1 Deer Crash?

- Mia about a million things

- Europe and Asia

- Pen Velo

_ I mean really!!

Perhaps I'll ruminate a bit as I go...but mostly I'd rather go.

The remnants of a scotch and soda sat next to him on the counter. His ears rang. High pitched and incessant when noticed, it was currently noticed. Outside the neighbors walked loudly about doing the this and that of their days. Small voices mixed with larger not listening or hearing. It would be easy to say spewing...spewing sets a tone, points in a direction, it is not the word to choose.  A frustration enters....why must humans, Americans? They make such bad choices in such easy to choose situations. Damn, I almost did it....almost. This is hard, not being reactionary to what the mind first posits. I like this link, this list...I hope to revisit soon...but in all honesty I forget more than I remember it seems. Why I got up, what I was going to get, little stuff...but the age; to feel the age is interesting and scary and not a thrill and interesting. What to do, can be done, sounds good to do, choice to make. Which way to turn. Can I sit in and - finish that project. It's right there and you don't need all that. Set a tone - do a novel thing and drive it forward. It could be will be fun, for sure!

like I said...I hope to come back soon

March 25, 2014

Long Time Gone

Let's start with a song...

I don't like a lot of action in my videos

Been a few weeks since I posted - guess I didn't have enough free time and Moscow Mules on hand recently. That and I've not ridden for five days now, so I'm a little stir crazy...

How does it go..

"I may not post often
But when I do
Awesome rules the day!"

My friend Adam commented recently - well February - that my blog posts tend to be rather random, thereby not increasing my coaching heft as they are not "bike" specific, so I may start a "cycling" blog soon, just to push the myth of "Worlds Finest Coach" that permeates my day to day...awesome is tough sometimes.

What, another song? Well, ok...

Now then, something relevant or completely not.

I'm worried for America - stupid permates and seems to grow larger every news cycle. The NRA's opposition to the President's Surgeon General is completely laughable as marketed by the Senate. You probably saw The Daily Show summary - expectedly hilarious to see the hypocrisy of a Senator extolling peoples 1st amendment rights while subjugating the candidates. Yet it will likely succeed as a band of Democrats succumb to pressure and vote against a fully qualified candidate based on a couple of tweets!

Of course, if we follow that up with the pending "Candy Crush" IPO it's an easy track to see the fall of Western Civilization...someone is gonna make millions on a horrid little video game company - although at $4B in revenue who can blame the cash seekers, but it does make you wonder as to our priorities...

Next time - Theory vs Reality

yea, I think I need another blog marathon, I've gotten soft...


March 03, 2014

Weekend Lookback - Ginger

Saturday was the Grasshopper Chileno Valley - as with the 'Ol Caz ride my first time, I mistook the potential severity and duly suffered the last 30 miles. Not a bonk of epic proportions, but surely twitchy legs and worry about illicit cramps at any moment sufficed. Looked good the first two hours though...

See the problem is the start climb, pure suffering...merely a question of how much. I have no idea where I crested the first summit, but I'd guess 80-100 back'ish watching the leaders stomp away. I rode smart and quick to the coast, caught a sweet headwind rotating through with 6 or 10 guys in a group that swelled to 20+ coming into Bodga bay and turning inland. Sorta road around over hill and dale winding south. The climb up Marshall Petaluma is deceptive and windy at the top, but the drop to the coast was pretty fun!

Then the darkness came

especially that little climb at 65 miles. By the time I got to the reputed Joy road I just wanted to get up whatever was in the way of sitting and not moving. Rolling back to my car the clouds moved in and the rain started as if on que...

Sunday was ginger

February 25, 2014

Weekend Lookback - Long Ride Heaven

This is only about a week late...

Adam was here for a month and it set me on a good path. We rode some long stuff, drank some Belgian beer and tried to set our seasons on the right and large we succeeded. One thing we didn't get done was the "Heart of Darkness" ride - Mia got sick so we had to cancel. It is one of my favorite rides, and is always daunting! Depending on the route you take it can be anywhere from 90 - 110 miles, we'd set out for the 105 option...

but we decided that 95 felt pretty good once we got to the base of Eureka Canyon after enduring a head wind all the way South from Almaden to Redwood Retreat...the better part of 1:50 at 15mph. It's basically the same ride as the 105, but cuts back down to Los Gatos  at Hwy 17 instead of crossing Summit to Hwy 9.
I'd hoped to be at Mt Madonna in 2 hours, it took us 3. Then again the climb up Mt Madonna was pretty awesome, if slow, and full of gorgeous cloud covered beauty around every corner.

Sunday was Clinic Day for the Pen Velo Women's Team and a good time was had. We worked on those close skills that I love so much...and pacelines...and echelons, which they totally rocked at! It worked out to about 3 hours of "on the bike" time..but only about 30 miles.

Monday was a holiday, so I'm counting it! Made plans to ride with a friend - thought we'd do about 3, but ended up north of 4.5 hours, mostly spent tooling around the hills south from Los Altos to Saratoga - all of 53 miles and 5500 feet of climbing. It was a pretty good ride.

We got some altitude!

and I haven't laughed that much on a climb ever I don't think...a couple of highlights that will surely be missed by those reading...

- "You climb pretty good for a fat girl"
- "I'm way harder on others than I am on myself"
- "Big feet make a stable woman"
- "I hate you"

February 13, 2014

Thursday Rant - The Nanny State

The primary argument against labeling sugar contents in drinks/etc seems to come down to perceptions of a rise in "The Nanny State". While the histrionics over the ACA, the rollout, and the rise in state medicare, etc. trend around a similar rise in government oversight or government handout, that entitles "those" folks who "don't want to work" by those who "don't want to pay" - mis-characterizations both - but it does raise the question...

If we as a society now deign that some form of universal health care is deserved by all, isn't it reasonable to try and deliver the best care in the aggregate? Tons-o-sugar isn't too says common sense and lots of research. The pennies, or percentages, are generally small and the payoff for that kid who didn't get fat, for the individual, and for the society overall is pretty big.

So while on the one hand I favor the implementation of a commonsense approach that will help the population and save us a bunch of money in the long run, on the other I'd like to see a little more brisk natural selection for the morons who think that they should be able to roundly kill themselves via lifestyle suicide, ultimately at my (and our) mutual expense.

To the pivot

I'm not pushing Girl Scout Cookies again, ever, until they raise the percentage of sales that go to the individual troops! Girl Scouts - essentially under-represented union workers - receive only like $0.25 per box for each one sold in the Annual Great Cookie Consumption Challenge.

Read that again - I will not advocate for Girl Scout Cookies (except Mia's) until they pay the Girl Scouts A LIVING WAGE! Instead I'm giving 'em cash, better return. Someone is making money on the deal and I don't think GSA Board is cooking up the cookies out back of the board room. I'd rather buy the gals a field trip someplace cool than buy Mr Cookie CEO a new Gulfstream.

I did not however, say that I would not buy them....but probably not $100 worth.

February 06, 2014

Thursday Rant - Gawdamn It, I'm Annoyed Again....

I'm pretty sick of this shit...this continual quest to be "Elite" "Exclusive" and "First Tier" in all things, pissed enough to make my it part of my Thursday rant...and as usual it started as one thing and became another..

Everyone seems to be selling  "Exclusive" service, the kind of service you'd expect and deserve as the discerning literate you are, let's walk a mile in their shoes...

First we need to get there, so let's get on our charter...I like NetJets b/c it appeals to my "sensible" elite side. My personal preference sits with the Falcon 900 - yours for only $5900/hour

but I also like the Falcon 50, the Cessna CitationJet (mostly cause I've been on one) and who doesn't love the G650...

Then we'll need a place to stay..since it's a road trip I say we stay at the "World Renowned" Hotel Domestique to kick things off. See, it's owned by a doper and that alone is worth the price of admission. And at only $425/night it's a high profile opportunity to be seen in the company of cycling's greatest tour rider ever. Never mind the past...look at that room!

Of course, we're cyclists so we need a ride - let's do the doper ride!

But but...all that money for charity!


Slap some DZ nuts on your balls, get yourself a "pro" coach for only $350/mo, maybe take a camp for $2500/wk, then get after it...

What irritates me is that their whole persona, their whole "elite" lifestyle is built on cheating and lying...millions of dollars...stolen. Yet they act like they are deserving, that they have crossed the precipice of greatness, when really all they did was cheat. So F those guys and their whole way of life. I'll give a shout to Tyler and Floyd though....not for any good reason, I just like them more than the others and they've owned their mistakes in a very public arena.

Now, the pivot...

My other annoyance this week is the "Pro" Cat 3 and 4 racer that seems to think they are owed something. I'm lucky enough to have seen many sides of the sponsorship game and, frankly, I don't know where these guys are coming from. I certainly understand ambition - I was out hustling Sanchez Automotive for $200 in sponsorship dollars on my Acquila Team jersey in 1989! It was a sweet the 80's

but I don't understand these guys who send emails to teams that trend towards "Hi, I'm an aspiring Cat 3 from X College and I wanted to know what benefits your team offers...." They have facebook pages that are purpose built for their cycling 'careers' and all the potential exploits their 100 "likes" can bring a brand or team. Frankly, it's the hubris that bothers me...and it's probably proof that I'm old...but...
YOU HAVEN"T DONE ANYTHING IN CYCLING...and you want to know what I'm bringing to the table? Sister please....

I've had a license for over 25 years, and during that time I've gotten exactly 3 free bikes. Now, I'll admit that I may not be that savvy with the 'get free sponsored stuff' gig..but I have always operated with integrity and at a level I felt was appropriate. So, until you are winning top flight regional races...

Don't Call It A Career - Only Pro's get to retire

Don't Ask Me What You Will Be Getting - I'll tell you the agreements I've made and if you qualify. Why don't you show up for the Tuesday ride and learn to ride a paceline, take a pull and impress me with your work ethic instead of your Facebook prowess...

Go Ride Your Bike and Quit Posing!

I'm out....

January 29, 2014

Weekend Lookback (albeit late)...

Monday came and went in record time thanks to the Birthday of my little one....we ran around and had fun!

Then again we spent Friday and Saturday running around and having fun too. Friday consisted of running around to collect gifts for her Birthday party - not sure when giving gifts to party attendees became the norm, but it seems sorta on the lines of "everyone gets a medal." I'm not a fan of wild gift giving to kids that, in general, have most everything they could want to begin with - and mine certainly qualifies. Instead we asked for a donation to the animal shelter project that her Girl Scout troop is starting, but she still got a bunch of stuff anyway, but I digress...

So Friday - we got some gift bag items - about $2.00 per bag of erasers, small rulers, pads of paper, bouncy balls, that sort of thing. I thought it was a pretty creative expression on her part; well meaning and somewhat practical.

Saturday was the party - Karaoke with 10 girls was hi-larious and I actually knew many of the songs. Mia and I sang a hawt duet of "Pumped Up Kicks"...for those who forget, here ya go:

We ate pizza, drank apple juice "champagne" and ate ice cream cake...good fun. From there we headed North to the Cow Palace for the Golden Gate Kennel Club's annual show. It was kinda boring - sitting around watching various "dancing" dogs and such, but then we wandered into the dog staging area about 4:15p and thing picked up immensely. We saw maybe 30 different breeds and spoke with a bunch of owners who were very gracious in sharing knowledge and free pets of their pets. A couple of shots:

Sunday was the fourth installment of the Early Bird Training Series, so I spent the day talking safe riding and pack anticipation. I also shot a video or two...

Rolling Double - to - Single paceline

Rolling 3 abrest to double paceline

After the race I headed over to the Team Ole Racing launch BBQ, just in time as I hadn't really eaten all day! Chicken, salad, and a few (ahem) dessert items were just the precursor to the nights main entertainment...

Single Malt Scotch

See, Colleen's husband Kevin knows a thing or two about the stuff, while I know nothing. He offered to educate me a bit and hauled out a solid row of samples for the task...I tried four different ones. The Laphroaig (smokey and peety), Balveny's (smoother), Dalhwhinnie (Kinda Caramel-y), and a fourth that was the most pleasant, but which I can't recall the name of. Learned a bit about single-malt scotch, namely that water to cut is FINE...which worked out since I had to drive home that night. All in all it was a fun experience - but I'm not rushing out to buy any new ones quite yet...more of a Gin man myself!

January 23, 2014

Thursday Rant - Pay to Play

This post started as one thing..and then pivoted to something completely related....

Wednesday I was up on Hwy 9 at Hwy 35 and headed south. I passed Castle Rock State Park - a fine little hike that is easy access from around the bay area. Sure enough there were about a dozen cars parked on the side of the highway, undoubtedly enjoying the nearby seclusion on offer. My first thought upon seeing the cars wasn't "how nice, they are out in nature..." - first thought

What a bunch of cheap asses!

You see they all parked outside the parking area to avoid paying the hefty $2-10/day use fee for park users. This is the way it is, the way it's seemingly always been. Park outside and walk in, save the $5 for your post-hike coffee. I've done it myself. Except now I'm old and curmudgeonly so I see things from a different perspective, which is much more DO YOUR PART!

I know the argument: "these are our lands and we already pay taxes" except that doesn't really get to the crux of it. California is, finally, starting to dig itself out of its latest financial disaster - for now. Of course parks took a hit and were forced to decrease services, close parks, limit hours, etc...all of which could be mitigated if the free-loaders would pay for their use. How about some perspective:

From the California State Parks website we learn that CSP is responsible for 280 parks encompassing some 1.5 Million acres, employs about 1800 people full time, and had an operating budget in 2011-12 of just over $200M, of which just over 52% came from revenue generation. Here is a look at District revenue targets:

So, now to the simple math part. The CSP produces a statistical report each year that breaks down all kinds of stuff including paid and free day use. Since I wandered by Castle Rock State Park yesterday, let's look at their use trends/estimates from 2011-12 (most current year available). They had 15,688 paid users generating a total of $72,892 in fees, but they had over 119,000 FREE day users! At a conservative $5/day use fee, that's almost $600,000 in additional revenue that was not realized by the Cal State Parks system for just this park! A quick look across the system and we can conservatively estimate that paid use is a mere fraction of FREE use (Henry Cowell had ~95,000 paid visitors, but over 600,000 FREE!).

I understand that not everyone can pay and that these are public lands that have been set aside for our use and enjoyment, but if each of the free users would commit to paying even 50% of the time they use the park it would provide the kind of financial stability that seems so ethereal in todays World. We have the largest state park system in the country, but it needs the committment and resources of those who USE it in order to remain the best state park system in the, come on..Pay to Play!

Then something weird happened...

I read the CX Magazine article about our World Championships Team members having to foot their own bill, often at last minute prices, to attend next weeks World Championships, and the idea of "Pay to Play" took on a whole new meaning. There are a couple of points I'd like to make about this shameful exercise.

1. As a coach I spend $100/year on my coaching license. As a club director I spend $150/year on my club dues, and as a racer I spent $150 for an International License this year. This doesn't include the cost of permits for my clinics (if I want access to the insurance, I have to permit the clinic), attendance fees for those who come to the clinics, and gawd forbid any late fees associated. I feel like I truly pay to play! To that end I should have a voice and I think USAC needs to re-evaluate their priorities and spending. Cyclocross, while not an Olympic sport (so the argument goes), has seen the largest surge in participation (read: racing licenses), event permits (read:  fees for USAC), and coverage (read: everywhere!)...yet those who are the forefront of the wave - our elite riders - receive nary a hint of appreciation for the prestige they are adding to our National programs.

2. As a participant I think this type of "Pay to Play" approach is an embarrassment. Love of the sport carries most of us through the trials and tribulations of a seasons racing be it road, mountain or cross...surely those who rise to the top should have some sort of cherry-on-top for the hard work and sacrifice they have endured. There is a tremendous swell of 'crowd sourced' support for those racers who aspire to take on the Worlds best, and this is a good thing, but where is the buy in from our National Governing Body to provide that stable funding stream that allows those resources to be re-directed at sending the local junior phenom to a regional camp, or even to a skills clinic to help them reach the next level? To that end I'd like to see USAC set aside a reasonable budget for ANY National Champions and those eligible to compete in the World Championships, to have their expenses covered. This years US team is roughly 20 riders. If we take at face value the "program cost" for on-site support at $800 per athlete and add a conservative $2000 for travel, that is $56,000 to support the 20 best CX racers in the country at Worlds. That's only 746 licenses ($75/ea) out of a published 70,000+ members, attending over 3,000 events, as part of over 2,600 clubs -  or put a different way, it's only...140 guys like me!

In 2012 USAC had over $14M in revenues, support of the CX Worlds Team would be 0.004% of that does that add up?

Ok....rant done for this week...