Proper Winter

Packed snow on the well traveled trails gets me out at 10-15 psi, watching out for a burped too soft tire...softer the better. As always snow is great, ice is bad. Anyone have a 2.1 x 29" studded tire? Letting the front go where it wants in the sled tracks, getting more comfy with the drift. All proper winter. Big ski tour tonight, We'll see how the first ski of the year on the last day goes.


I have nothing to go off of as I didn’t see the guy out of his car, on my way over to the trails I saw a guy with a giant head driving. I am sure he was probably coming from or going to the ski hill, or maybe the slope side bar. I can’t paint too broad a stroke as it was a passing glance that I had of him, the head was huge, and I couldn’t see if he had any passengers in the car with him as he passed.
I read once where a test was done on a fully loaded chairlift on which they cut the cable. They found test dummies a quarter mile away. I rode today. The trails were exceptional, white singletrack, I figured about two feet plus of packed snow under my wheels, when I went off trail my wheel easily sunk up to the hub. An hour of that and back to work, winter mtb lunch ride, on terms. Great skills work, narrow, super narrow singletrack to keep, if you go off trail it’s over the bars.


Waking up what I thought was really early (it wasn't). Excited to hit the good new Italian espresso I just bought. Since we don't have a clock in the bedroom it was a mystery as to exactly what time it was. The coffee was as good as could be, I caught up and read about warmer places I would rather be. Then I looked outside and saw the peaks, some winter this week and then poach a day of dry roads or dirt next week. Balance.


See Saw

Motivation is like a see-saw right now, I build up the day in my head to be more than it is, a little hiccup and the motivation flies out the window, along with that days work. It's hard when the first big goal is almost 7 months away. Skis will have to do for now, I'd rather pedal but skiing is going to be good today. I hope.



This is what kept me inside yesterday. Too much for me. I know it will warm, eventually.


Fooling around with Winter

New unridded bits on fresh dirt can't come soon enough. In the meantime it will be two skis, after dark.

Ring the bell

As soon as I got on the bike Wednesday afternoon I knew that sleep would be coming easier, legs turning the junk from 10 days off. 2009 began on a short, cold spin, improperly dressed, doing tempo on a softening tire that shouldn't have held air, but did. Modest goals for the season are getting mapped out. It'll be a challenge to get the work done, but that's the point of it, if it was easy we'd call it golf.


Two wheels for two days, now two skis for a few days, new routes are always an option on skis, more so than wheels. Build it and traffic will come. Take a chance and get lost, finding new ways to go is the better way to get through Winter.


Xmas for you

It's time for new metal, email if you might fit on a 52 cm, 55 cm top tube Planet X cross bike. Full Dura-Ace tubeless wheels too. soiledchamoisatgmailcom...the clock is ticking.


More Nothing

This is my preferred winter home. Somewhere outside, usually putting in the time solo, Ligget calls it a "lonely furrow," or something like like that. It's not really that lonely IMO. An iPod and a few hours is all it takes, build, don't lay on the couch w/o earning it. Makes the couch time feel that much better. Listening to the beautiful fatigue that comes from work, not from more nothing.



Even a bland countryside like this looks good if you need time in the legs. It wasn't that chilly either. Better this than struggling to develop the tendonitis to keep you off the bike when it's 22 degrees and your pedaling in the wind. Jackass, get your skis out!


Lots of snow and all I want to do is kick out this cold and be outside. Not the easiest thing to do. Thinking of the 10 day break I take (took), time to start the furnace and get back to fighting for speed not fighting a cold/cough. Shoveling snow is becoming my surrogate training effort. Closer and easier to get going than skis or bikes and almost as rewarding. Another foot last night and 45 minute tempo pace to shovel the driveway. It's good to have options.



Winter projects are getting done almost as fast as they come up. I started to put the rack on the car yesterday afternoon, it finally was only just below freezing. A guy and his dog walk by in the alley and I said "That's a pretty dog, is she friendly?" to which he replied "Yes, She is." I walked over to her and she lunges at me, then after I stood up she did it again, ready for it this time I put my hand up, she bit that on the way in. I said to the guy as he apologized "Your dog just bit me." I wanted to add a little more to that but I instead went inside and washed off the hand, cleaned up the little puncture wounds from her teeth. She looked like this, I have always been a believer in there is no such thing as a bad dog only bad owners, but I asked before apporaching the dog. Then moved in slowly to say hi. Piece of shit. I finished the rack project.


Hold the Mayo

Easy morning to get the skis out in the afternoon, just part of an hour ski the trails, it's too late to do anything else, & too cold. Enough coffee to wake the dead, good cereal and questionable milk, the mayonnaise is back.

Photo Dump

Photos from last weekend's massacre, the first one is Dusty. The course was great.



Tied up packages are my favorite thing this time of year, Holidays, (which I don’t entirely like) and the happiness it brings (that part I like). Some other packages too; as the season is wrapped up and the end of racing for a little while brings a chance to take a deep breath and evaluate what needs replacement, overhaul or re-design. I think right now I am leaning toward re design as the season brought not a whole lot of joy on the skinny knobbies. The joy was only on the road and mountain bike. Riding older stuff that is questionable isn’t the best thing if you care or are just plain super fast where it doesn’t matter. I didn’t fall into those categories this year. I am doing my part to stimulate the economy, not everything is free, and I don’t mind making a contribution.


Last 4

I read a post on BKW this morning that suits my season very well, I try not to look for validation, that wouldn't be a good excercise. I love racing, too much sometimes. Suffering up that hill anonymously in the singlespeed race was fun. I smiled the whole way, enjoying the miserable experience of turning that gear over. I finished and had a great feeling, trying not to dwell on the fact that I avoided a good result at nats for the second year in a row but the smile was there, the effort OK. I had validation in hearing people yelling and heckling me from the side, making sure they got the point across that there shouldn't be a smile in the middle of a cross race, there shouldn't be happiness in the middle of all that suffering. It's there. I felt it. At the party Sunday night when I was just trying to talk, too hoarse to really form a sentence I got validation, sitting back quietly and watching the people put on a different kind of show, drinks in hand, my water glass never full enough, too tired to entertain a beer, I felt comfortable, in the group, part of it on my terms, in my head knowing that the result didn't matter as much as the effort, some years aren't as good as others. This one was great for different reasons, next year will be good for others, I hope. Minimal injuries, a few really fun races and a clean slate for 2009. Nothing is up in the air that prevents the first 8 months of '09 from preparing me for the last 4. In a row, it all fits, out of order the line is broken.



I did about a 43 minute cxtt. I looked like this at the end. I wasn't tired because I didn't race that much, I passed people and rode well, after I crashed in the first minute of racing. Thanks to Jared for the pic.



I rode well, you can't rock a 42:16 on a hillside cx course, it was a great suffer. I smiled the whole time. SSCX is good, it can be great. Age group was fun except for the instant I was pushed into the course tape and flipped over the bars giving the field a 2 minute headstart after less than a minute of racing. Untangle the chain with Keller helping and yelling, then start racing. I guess I passed about 70 riders, that was fun a CX TT. No one I passed got me back. That was good. Next time will be better. Now I sit here drained, pan-fried and ready to not be a racer for a bit. Cooked to a fine crisp. I think I'm sick too. Weak, I know.



This is what home looks like for the next 5 months. Maybe more. It will be a lot of this, it brings twisted joy to ride the singletrack that is smoother in the Winter than the Summer. I have plenty of options. I just need to get there. Skis play a part too.



Two efforts left in the season, then new years bring on a whole new set of goals. Maybe a lot more of this. And, a little less sleep after a while. In the time it takes to post that could be an extra 10 minutes of sleep. Rest, and reset. Close.



I stole this from Jonny, I'm not sure where he got it but I had to share. Jon Stewart did a piece on the bailout on monday and I disagree with him. He wants Detroit ot get the money I don't. All of the smarter economists I have listened to have said the market usually corrects itself. Well, if they didn't make such a crap product maybe they wouldn't be in the situation they're in. Oh well that's my view, I drive foreign cars because I don't want to get stuck on the roadside.


Fenders and Wax

The Winter program has set in, plenty of snow and the roads are just plain sketchy. All I want to do is not get hit by a tourist and not wrap myself around a tree Nordic skiing. I can do it. Fenders and wax will get it all done.



Before the lungs locked and diagragm heaved. Thanks Kris for the pic.


I don't know when the gorilla decided to sit on my chest but I can't seem to get him to leave. He seems really happy, but I can't breathe. He jumped on about half way through the first lap and steadily found sweet spot by the 4th lap. That's when the coughing started. Coughing and cross aren't good simultaneously.


Sometimes the wheels turn through my sleep, even if I have been off the bike a few days it clears and seems perfectly laid out. The puzzle is almost finished for 2008. Three races left, I feel happy, not with the results but where I get to ride, winning is too good when it happens, spoiling the top 5. Good is good.



I saw this guy and thought of someone other than me.


Devin put up a good post today, I listened and learned at 19. Going through the motions to get through the last of 2008. 2009 means another year and more changes. New additions and a real stage race in my backyard if it can all be put together. Staying fresh is all it takes. Turn the pedals and roll/slide through Winter. Keeping the legs clean and the motivation high, two weekends left.



Driving today is like riding yesterday, the tires contact but lack grip. Fun if you're the only one out, not fun if you have all of the metal things around you.

I went up to the attic and rode the trainer for almost an hour. It wasn't bad, at all. Just the iPod and a fresh episode of This American Life and I was golden for the time I needed. Fresher legs getting off the bike than when I started. 3 races left, then a break before a little New Years fun. If it happens...


I can dream of roads this clear. Soon, I hope.



Overdressed on the snow and iced path. Too sweaty to see the good lines in the snow, over the drifts into the clear shallow spots. Dressed for Winter, I want less rest, new season to start by Xmas, can't wait.



I like the darker roast more than the medium that I have right now. I should fool around and blend a bit, might be good. Getting on the bike isn't for training now, it's for staying fresh. I hate the idea that missed opportunities are missed. I thought about it and did it, all in a second, it just didn't work out. Let it go. Easier said than done. When in doubt, attack. I did. Next time.



Sloppy, slick singletrack was more fun than race, the berms took a lot of skill out of it, kind of like a water slide, decide when to go, but I picked the wrong time. Fun anyway. Form is hiding. Too hard to get out of the County this morning. Just should have stayed down and raced some more, instead of yesterday's 3.5 hours to go 70 miles that took it out of me. Stayed home and enjoyed early winter with a foot plus of fresh. It's here, get out the trainer.



The cold is here, 6 the other day, low teens today, it's on. I need to fix my winter bibs, the hole in the thigh (from chub-rub) and the blown leg zipper (from my thankles) Instead I'll gear up and shut up and ride. 3 more weekends. Then a little break.



I had the flow, the laps were quick, WB was faster. My leak was somewhere in between.



Ride this way and then turn, if you do it right it works out. If not, you have to stop and lose a lot of time to fix what is keeping you from doing it right. I did that today. Burped the tubeless pretty well, almost flat, maybe 10 psi. Better days, form is coming around. Rolling the wheels well, just need to study the track a bit better, 2nd place on an OK day. Good enough for now.



The hours on the road and path have me thinking about what is rolling under me, I swear I saw a sram shifter out there today. Odd finds make the time go. My head goes away and sits back on the beach, coming back to now when I need to think about getting across this piece of ice or to avoid that elk carcass. Ice is less important, roll straight, if it grabs the front wheel, well, there you go.



I missed the shot, the little prairie dog was faster than my camera. He did look happy though.



Rhythm and routine are always appealing. Consistency, training for the next one. Enjoying the process. I try to resist change, catching myself struggling to look forward to different; holidays, vacations, different stuff. I have set myself with a rhythm I like. Clear the head, open the window. Put me back on my bike. Get the legs back under me, pedal on.



The boy has now done three races, 2 crits and a cross. He loves it and makes me feel more proud than I ever have been, of anything.



Finally just cold, not so wet, for now. Bundled and dry. Better.


I did try to race. Without much high end I rode around and then the race was over. Better work to come.



Good nights are taking the place where evening rides where pushed to dusk. 5 p.m. is when the sun is gone and all of the snow has the work more in staying upright than keeping the watts high. No complaints, more work to get out early before the cars and the mercury get up. Slip slide to get the work. I saw on the velonews that some guy is selling neoprene mitts to put over your road bars for winter riding, for only $60, wow, found a set to use on the mountain bike for $11 plus maybe $4 shipping. I found mine from a snowmobile supply house, black ripstop nylon, fleece lined-perfectly warm. 



Keeping the knots from tangling all up in the last month of what counts. I feel like the ropes are all laying in a pile and I am trying to weave an easily untied mat. Not the easiest thing when a little inattention spells days of stretching and slowly pulling out the tangles.




It was a funny thing, she put the plant in the bathroom, we use different bathrooms, mine is downstairs, I'm all for the health of the plant, however, I would prefer to not poop in a jungle setting, I just did just that for a week. Sweaty, you know... Certain boundaries are healthy, I'm over the issue, I don't even notice the spider plany tickling my back as I deuce. I am an adult after all, sort of...



As if there wasn't enough reason to vote, and support a REAL change. I know, a little Utopian to believe that things could really be THAT different. But when there is only one way to go, UP is where our next president is going to take us, way UP!


Back into the wireless world, 8 days out in the blue/green, good things happen when you leave it all and live out of pocket. Warm water and all of 15 minutes of satellite TV to hear the good news, McSame lost! Amazing, I thought the Right was going to steal another one.



It wasn't too cold today, there were stripes of warm air, then cool/damp stripes too. It made the ride in more interesting trying to figure out where it was going to change. In SCUBA they call it a thermocline, I think. Something like that, sweaty and happy today, I smelled bad all day.



New plastic and clean everything. Puzzles mixing together, trying to do three at once, but all of the pieces are in one pile. New challenges to test the mind, legs and lycra. The template is set and the piles are getting broken out into their individual jobs. Linear, not scattered.



Getting ready to close the doors for a while, mid season break to glue it back together for the last month of racing. Putting it all together in favor of the Late Season, to be fresh when the rest of the bread is stale.


Dog food

I think my vision is going. I keep seeing things maybe it's through frozen eyes, at 15 degrees, trying to see if the black ice melted. Almost through the midpoint of cross and I am lackluster to put it nicely. I feel like dog food today. A full-on cluster yesterday at the start. Who has heard of a rolling "neutral" start to a cross race at a venue that allows for a proper start? It was totally fucked. I rode the first bit of the race after being on the front row in the mid 20s, not my preferred starting plan. After burning matches to get near the top 10 the front group was GONE. Riding around trying to catch first lap heroes and get to the first sheet placings wore me out. Less gas than I needed and I rolled in 6th. Oh well, at least the official knew he f-ed it up. And, more importantly it won't happen again.


I think I'll go look for this spot. I know where it is but I need to get there.



I stole this from here. Great idea and something I could dump a ton of time into. Maybe that'll be the project for the next few weeks. I just need to find an online method of writing one. Instead of the messy magnets all over the place. I guess the direction I would like to go is a lot like this short posts that are vague, take what you want from them or just leave them alone.


Nights to Day

This is a good night. Only one though because if I down more than that it throws the whole pattern off balance. The pattern is key these days. I take one day off the bike completely because of work and weather and I feel like ass getting on the thing this morning. It was 6 degrees, but that doesn't make it right to feel that off. I arrived at work chilled, java chip chilled.


Sometimes the glasses get iced over or the rain/snow/graupel pelt the clear vision away and leave views like this, only minutes from home, struggling to get inside before the full chill takes hold and stays for hours.


Pushing on the pedals a lot these days has the system in overdrive. I never get cold, even riding in the snow downhill. The furnace is moving a lot heat.


The view from here


This is where I went today. Pretty sweet, I think. Oh, by the way, don't buy any products from Reynolds; forks, wheels, whatever. They're crap.


Icy as I crawl over the patches sure to take down a skinny wheel. Clear spots are the rest I need on thicker than normal legs. I hope I can clear them at lunch.



This is what I had for the ride home. It was prefect. Turning circles well in the wet, clearing it out from the lunch ride's work.



I felt clear, another little stop at the top of the hill to see the destruction the Pine Beetles are wreaking. Once you couldn't see anything because of the trees, now you see everything but the trees. Miles of nothing or just vistas where there weren't.



Not too long before the ridge will be white instead of whatever you call that rocky, dirt color. Clearing the legs with punchy efforts to cram in an hour of riding. Waking up too early to make coffee, not filling the list, only half of the equation... out of 1/2&1/2. New efforts, only around the house, order.