Thursday, August 9, 2018

Looking at BRS, and realized I haven't posted yet in 2018. So here's my last seven months:
Two new roommates. Chami & Kuro.
New grandson. Sabastian. 5.5 lbs. (with Swiss Dog)
With Mom
My new hand-me-down bike from Gerald
Back to baby pics. Ocean Jr. with son

Scooby- Gerald's new roommate
My newest interest: (look closely, there's a turkey)
I don't have pics of 1st Class' new car, or my new car. Both reliable Japanese products. Looking forward to the 1st BRS Major of the year. The 2018 EO. 8/25/18. Eugene, OR, USA.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

NMN 2017

Who is this hippopatamus? They certainly have a wonderful taste for pop music from the 70's. It's like listening to a fine bottle of wine from 1977 but you find out it's actually from 1969.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Forbes was born on Friday

Got the email from Bill D on Thursday- “I’ve got 2 bikes ready for you”.

Friday I’m dropping Elmer off at Seatac so of course we have to get breakfast first.
Glo’s closed...  guess it’s no longer open 24h. So we go to Seatac Denny’s. Just can’t get over the menu- eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, toast, pancakes dripping with something sugary and buttery and unlimited coffee all for $9. The challenge was finding something under 1000 calories. Well my heart won’t be broken if we had to go to Denny’s again. Then off to the dentist to get the barnacles scraped off, meeting the organizer to throw away 4 bags of clothes now too small for me, groceries, doctor appt, before heading off to Fremont to see the boys.

Still had this weird guilt about the new bike. Yes I "paid" for him but somehow I didn't "earn" it. It never bothered me before, to have a bike way beyond my skill level, but two of the same bike? The new bike was beautiful, but all I could see was Davey, now clean but somehow sad. I had initially hoped to get Davey back in time for RSVP and P2P but apparently he was not in good shape. Handlebars were dented, pedals were missing, basically stripped down with a different saddle. I found it curious they had the means to switch out the pedals and the saddle.

I heard the full story about how he was recovered. Apparently the rescuer was a UPS driver and avid cyclist who kept seeing Davey in a homeless camp while on his deliveries in West Seattle. The first time he thought, "that’s weird". The next time he thought "that titanium Davidson with couplers does not belong there, someone is missing their pride and joy". So he decides to throw the bike into the back of his van with the intent of returning to rightful owner. After making the rounds with Davey in tow, he kept the bike at home until Bill drove to his house one evening and picked him up. Apparently they had a nice chat and he even took a photo with his family, Bill, and Davey.

The new bike was so light, my arm practically flew in the air when I went to lift it up. He looked a bit like Davey’s son, the younger, faster, modern version of something once great. What would I name him? There was already Davey and Billy. Well there’s still the middle name, “Forbes”.

He also told me a story of a woman he knows whose car was stolen off their driveway, and on recovery, the keys were in the front seat. Did my tendency to self-sabotage extend to leaving Davey unprotected in case someone might steal him the night before RAMROD? We discussed tubeless tires a bit before he helped me load both bikes into the Beast.

Saturday morning the weight of 40+ delinquent charts and who knows how many unanswered messages from Friday weighed on me. All I wanted to do was lie in bed all day drinking and playing candy crush, but I had more important tasks at hand.

After 3 hour run to “cram” for Quadzilla,
and quick trip to REI to get new pedals/ saddle bag, I took Forbsie out for a spin around Mercer.

I was waiting for something to be off, but I felt like it immediately clicked into place. My Garmin was dying but I did get to see a couple times how easy it was to go 50% faster. My immediate thought was, is this bike self-propelling? Did Bill secretly install an e-bike mechanism in there out of pity? Up those hills without even switching to the small front cog, and still many to go even while coasting downhill. Yeah people still passed me but it I was going up hills without leaving the saddle, with no burn in my legs.

I don't know if Davey would have also felt like that after a season of riding Billy but there was no way to feel bad about Forbsie joining the family. You can't feel anything bad when the wind is in your face and scenery with colorful leaves flying by.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Oct Grapefruit

Yup, that's Yelm. Roundtrip, it's 55.5 miles from my apt. in Oly. It's the farthest bike ride I've done in a while, but more importantly it's my Oct. grapefruit...

Yesterday, had awesome sushi, made some fresh rolls, watched some Italian cooking shows, and an America's Test Kitchen episode about stews, and then made Gerald watch Silverado. Gonna make First Class watch it too, next time we meet-up...

Then this morning enjoyed the usual Bread Peddler, and then off on the bike. Gorgeous weather. All in all, Bill Gates didn't have a better weekend. Also, as a bonus, I got a Delfino's pizza too!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

2017 New Music November - Grapefruit Challenge - 2018 D.C.

It's October 1st. That means start compiling your 2017 New Music November Playlists. This year is straightforward. Just pick 15 songs and a 12 letter animal. Email me your playlist by end of November...

Grapefruit Challenge. I'm challenging Gerald & myself to do 6 grapefruits. That is Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, and March. Just get out for a bike ride each month. Hopefully next weekend we'll get in a Yelm grapefruit for October...

Finally, block your calendars for sometime in February. Looking to take the 2018 D.C. back to Manzanita, OR, where it belongs...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Oh Canada (part II)

I. Fatdog 120 (Manning Park BC, Aug 11-12, 2017)

After Francine paced me at Lean Horse 100 last year, I knew I owed her big time. It was my first 100 in over 4 years and I was too aware, the depth of my despair, that few people, especially those to whom whining is anathema, have had to endure.

Fatdog 120 is one of the top 9 toughest ultra marathons in north America with an elevation gain of 8673 m, just short of Everest at 8848 m. it has a 48h time limit and usually pretty aggressive weather. If not torrential rainstorms with temps near freezing (Fracine's first year DNF at mile 110) or hot/ humid/ buggy near 100F (Francine's 2nd year, with a broken arm), and very remote, at times >4 hours between aid stations and >3 hours from the nearest city. But also the most scenic. At 60 and after 2 other attempts, Francine just wanted to get it done.

I offered to pace her but being "direct", she knew how bad I am on trails and offered me leg 5 which is the "easy" flat leg, miles77-99. If I could just get her to aid station 6 by cutoff, she would have 10 hours to do the last 21 miles, no problem.

I took an extra day off work but it turns out, she didn't need me until Saturday, so I spent Thursday visiting Bill at the bike shop. It had been over a month since Davey's demise, and we met to discuss his replacement. I felt a little bit like I was talking to a counselor. "So how many times did you did the couplings?" I had to admit, none since Ventoux. Couplings add weight. Triples no longer exist. Bike parts are lighter and faster (and more expensive) now. Did I want a bigger front ring (given how I just gave Billy easier gearing) or disk brakes? Durace doesn't last, but I have no qualms about getting all the help I can get.

Drove up to Hope BC and though about what it must be feeling to climb 1000s of feet of trail, got sweaty just walking around the town, still a lot of smoke from fires.

Found some snickers bars that were too a propos (and bilingual no less...)  Next morning I started doing charts at 6 AM then got a call from Francine's husband Hendrik (crew extraordinaire). We caught some amazing views- the smoke makes the mountains seem even more distant.
and sat around waiting, saw a bunch of extremely fit runners looking haggard after day 1 of 90 degree temps and smoke.

I find out she actually has no other pacers and the prospect of pacing her to the end is exciting. But we are both realistic that there is a possibility that I would be a liability rather than a help, since there is no other way down from the mountain but finishing the trail but I'm ok if she ditches me. First year she got to aid station 5 by 2 pm, but this year she got there by 2:30. I am pleased to find she took up my habit of cornstarch and trail toes for the feet, got her some some broth and food, before taking off.

The course was well-marked but she was constantly anxious about missing course markers- you do not want to do bonus miles at this point.
There was a fair amount of bush-whacking and she tripped on some roots, breaking one of her poles. I felt soooo helpful offering up my poles, but then was kicking myself for not carrying my DEET spray as the sun went down and the most aggressive mosquitoes in the PNW came. I felt like I was wearing a shirt of mosquitoes, truly. Got bitten in places without knowledge of how the mosquitoes got there.
Saw these guys running with bee-keeper masks ($2.99 from Canadian Tire) and I thought brilliant.

We made the last cutoff (midnight for leg 5) and I asked to keep going with her for leg 6, and she asked me to lead. It was up, up, and up switchbacks and the mosquitoes were not taking a break just because it was 1 AM. then despite the caffeine, I started getting drowsy. Drowsy + palpitaitons. I told Francine to keep going and I took a few naps standing up. Then the sun came up and I started running again, this time able to see the wildflowers I was running through.

Then it started to rain. Not much, and it was actually welcome given the smoke/ heat of the previous day and not too cold but if there were an option for shortcut, believe me I would've taken it. Bless those aid station workers who were there through the night with snacks, water, and Royal Crown (and weed).

The last 5 miles were pretty brutal but I strolled in under the cutoff, not knowing that Francine who had been an hour ahead of me had back spasms and nearly didn't make it, but Monte helped her stretch and they finished 10 minutes before me, 20 minutes before cutoff. I am proud to wear the T-shirt (though I only did 43 miles of it in 30 hours, whereas the women's winner finished 120 in 31 hours), as it's the closest I'll ever come to a "hard core" trail run, pacing Francine who is now her age group record holder.

II. Weekend with Billy (RSVP Aug 18-20, 2017)

So Dyno sends me a text, a post he saw on some biking site

I had filed a police report, insurance claim, essentially had Daveys funeral a month prior. A week later Bill D. actually drove to the guy's house to pick up Davey. Never got to thank him.

Already plunked a hefty deposit on Daveys replacement and apparently the new bike was still going to happen regardless of Davey's return. "We will have some work to get Davey back in good condition... Davey was not well- treated while he was lost". Parts missing, some cleanup, but he will be back.

Luckily got Billy back the week before, no offense to Raul, but a 185 mile road ride would be easier on Billy.

RSVP has been on my list for years. Was so sad to DNS it 2 years ago, but this time weather perfect. It would've the longest ride with Billy so far, and with new easier gearing! Major procrastination but managed to get to UW and my gear on the truck (without getting my bike stolen)

Had periods of lolligagging by myself and periods of tagging on to random trains but people on bikes aren't too chatty. I miss pacelining- effortlessly going 5 mph faster.

Billy was so smooth, the miles flew by, and I had my ride with gps and garmin after all my troubles with the other rides. I heard RSVP was less crowded and hillier than STP.

Well I guess there were fewer cars but still loooong lines for everything, which seems typical of Cascade rides.

After training for RAMROD I couldn't believe how leisurely it was, even on my "heavy" bike.  Had not ridden at all since my DNS at RAMROD (despite getting Raul cleaned up), was in a major depressive funk. Emailed the rd about my list bike. His reply?

Unfortunately, you are not the first person to have their bike stolen just prior to the ride.  Every year, many people lose their opportunity to ride because of unfortunate circumstances including injury, family matters and/or employment issues.  I am afraid we cannot carry over a registration to next year.  What we can do is provide you with a preference point that will increase your chances (but not guarantee them) if you enter the lottery next year... Good luck next year

They moved the last aid station to 5 miles from Bellingham. A high school girl yelled out, " sir, you look like you could use refreshment". How deflating. Day 1 105 miles 4000 ft a ton of time to kill.

I was feeling a bit antisocial and bailed on the boundary bay brewery party. Did one with red-bell years ago. Not that fun alone and didn't want to wait in another line. I've done hundreds of runs alone but for some reason, rides are pretty lonely.

Next morning another beautiful day. Ass sore but 20 miles in I couldn't believe how easy the ride was but I knew there were still 2300 ft elevation to come. We hit a few 12 % hills and was able to get up, but knew RAMORD would've been impossible for me with Billy in his old gearing. Hoped to get Davey back before P2P - is this how cheaters think, fantasizing about another while on a perfectly good ride?

Closer to Vancouver there were tons of cyclists and traffic especially in the park. The finish was a bit anticlimactic knowing I had to wait 3 hours to load the bike onto the truck and still had 20 hours until heading home.  Got 2 bottles of wine (separate liquor store even for wine)  in case 1 was not enough, and had my food truck noodles watching Canadian cable. Wished I had my computer though I knew as soon as I got home procrastination would begin again.

Despite sleeping 12 hours I was able to doze on the bus which was stuck in traffic. The guys sitting behind me on the bus talking about local bike makers and pontificating about the upcoming eclipse. Another check off the bucket list.