Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Unboxing

Unboxing has become a weird "thing" on the internet, but what the hey.  So here are some unboxing shots of a certain RaceMachine with Ultegra Di2 components, including a surprise.




























And then, the most surprising thing in the box - lights and a bell!?  Is that standard issue in the peloton now?  No, it's just part of the EU requirements, along with 10 lbs of reflectors.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting it all together

I rode my bike to work today for the first time in 2012.  I know I am behind a few folks, but I am also way ahead of the crowd that will only come out for Bike to Work Week ( I guess those folks are the equivalent of the church on Easter and Christmas eve only types).  It all worked out fine, but what I realized is that I should have done it over the weekend as a trial run.  It would have saved some hassle.

The good news is, however, that I learned a couple of things today.  First, I learned that you can recreate that feeling of swallowing too much ice cream too fast called "brain freeze" with external application of cold air.  Really.  I did it today and did not previously know that was possible.

I also re-learned why we ride our bikes with the traffic instead of against the traffic.  Because riding on the highway shoulder with the traffic isn't too bad, but riding on the highway shoulder against the traffic can freak the sh_t out of you.

I also re-learned that age old adage of "leave in plenty of time."  And also, "be prepared."  And also, "measure twice, cut once."  And a non-drastic version of "check yourself before you wreck yourself."

You see, what I did was to get dressed for riding to work, collected my stuff, forgot some stuff and left others around the house as I wandered around collecting other things.  Then I pumped up my tires and hit the road. 

As I headed out, a couple of items that I had forgotten came to mind.  I thought about the wool hat that I had picked up as I was getting dressed and even had in my jersey pocket at one point, but I checked and it wasn't there.  I thought about the garage door opener to get in at work.  I realized I forgot my heart rate monitor for the "training" ride home.  I also wondered about anything else I had forgotten, although as I picked up speed a couple of miles from my house, I realized that the only thing that I couldn't live without was something on my head.  My head was getting very cold; quite uncomfortably cold. I thought again about the hat I had in my jersey then had also then taken it out and set it down some place.  At first I figured I could tough it out.  Then I got brain freeze.  The first time ever from cold air blowing on my noggin.  Maybe it's the lack of hair, the 34 degree temperature or the 25 mph wind, but in any case, it was enough to hurt.  I regretted leaving without the hat, but realized I had something the pannier with my briefcase that I could use to cover my head so I stopped and dismounted.  And then I realized that I had no pannier.  No pannier meant no briefcase, which meant, no stuff I needed to have at work. 

So back home I went.  I got a hat, and the garage clicker, and the HR strap, and the pannier, and my other glasses for work and a water bottle.  And then I rode back to work.

I'm thinking it will go smoother tomorrow, right? 

Friday, March 9, 2012

18+ Only Today

So, sure, they go to a hackneyed form of entertainment by using naughty words, but it is entertainment.  Don't you think?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

One last Wawawai Landing Post

Here are the combined results for those people that competed in both events.  Dang impressive to do both and nice showing from River City Red riders Andy Lukes, Dana Harper and Josh Messinger.  Doing us proud, gentlemen!



Monday, March 5, 2012

Post-Op - Wawawai Landing TT & Hill Climb

Very Short Recap - Great day down by the Snake River for a TT and Hill Climb race.

Short Recap - The TT and Hill Climb races went off without a hitch thanks to organizing by Ted Chauvin, a great officials crew including two Sirotts (Mike and Sara), some volunteers from River City Red Cycling (thanks again Scott, Taylor, Kelly, Bree, Andrei and Frank (yes Frank, donating your generator counts)), and, of course, all of the racers including those from the team - Brad Hamby, Mark Kraby, Andy Lukes, Dana Harper, Josh Messinger, Andrei Mylroie, Brad Hamby and Mark Kraby.

Recap - The Wawawai Landing TT and Hill Climb were held yesterday, Sunday, March 4, 2012.  The day was pleasant, although windy near the Snake River.  The race was primarily organized by Ted Chauvin, his third year, but with an assist from the River City Red cycling team.

The TT started at 11 am, lead by an 11 year-old junior racer in his first ever start.  This was followed up by 39 more competitors (almost all checked in by my wife - thanks, honey!) who faced a very stiff headwind for the very flat 10k out-leg along the Snake River, but were blessed with a stiff tailwind for the 10k back.  The fastest male was Shawn Ungers, with a 27.47 time, and fastest female was Allison Beal with a 31.12.  The River City Red crew was represented by Dana Harper, 2nd in Cat 3; Andrei Mylroie, 3rd in Cat 3; and Josh Messinger, 5th in Cat 3.  We were also represented by Andy Lukes, 2nd in Cat 4/5; Brad Hamby, 10th in Cat 4/5; and Mark Kraby, 12th in Cat 4/5.  River City Red, with 6 riders, was the second best represented club there, following Baddlands.

The Hill Climb went off at 2 pm and is a mass start for all categories.  The hill starts right next to the Snake River and climbs all of the way, and I mean ALL of the way, out of the Wawawai Canyon.  It is a very tough 11k climb, with some of the steepest sections near the top.  Both hill climb records were broken, for the men by Jake MacArthur in 27.34 (30 seconds faster than the 2010 time), and for the women by Jodie Bolt in 32.20 (by a crushing 3 minutes, 9 seconds).  This was probably evidence of some of that tailwind coming up the canyon, but it was impressive nonetheless.  River City Red was represented by Dana and Josh, 3rd and 6th in Cat. 3, and Andy Lukes in 5th in Cat 4/5 (Andy had the fastest team time in the two events, by a decent margin - a great showing, particularly since these were his first bike races ever).  And, just for the record, I didn't ride it, but I have done a Cray super computer analysis of my height, weight, wattage, aerodynamics, hydration drink selection and energy absorption from the sun decreased by the wind loss and measured those things against this particular grade.  This analysis indicates that I would be finishing the hill climb right about now.  Yes, now, whenever you are reading this.

The day's recap cannot be complete without a special thanks to River City Red team members Scott McSpadden and Taylor Pilant, who helped with course set-up for both courses and did road marshalling duties at both; to Frank Johnson who loaned us equipment; to my wife Kelly who did almost all of the registration duties by herself despite never having done anything like this; and Bree, who helped with the TT set-up and then acted as Dana's support crew.  And finally, hat's off to Ted Chauvin, who did a great job organizing this whole rodeo.

This is a great early season race with good weather and a low key atmosphere.  Look for it again about this time next year.  If you want to peruse the results, take a look here - Time Trial and Hill Climb.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wawawai Landing TT & Hill Climb

Sure there is snow on the ground again this morning, but it is still time for bike racing.  Yes, you heard me right. This weekend, and in more places than Belgium, there will be bike racing.  Specifically, about two hours out of Spokane you will find a place that promises to be about 10 degrees warmer than Spokane (this means 60 degrees on Sunday, and won't that be nice?) and which, conveniently for all involved, will be hosting two separate races this weekend - A 20 kilometer, flat TT and a distinctly not flat 11k mass-start Hill Climb race.

There is a great deal of history, discussion and explanation at Ted Chauvin's tumblr account, which you can find here: http://tedchauvin.tumblr.com/ (Ted is the originator, guardian and promoter of this event).  You can find the specific race information here: http://tedchauvin.tumblr.com/post/15914168164/wawawai-landing-tt-wawawai-grade-hill-climb.  And there you will find a link to register online, or just come down on Sunday and register the old fashioned way (by standing in line).  I will personally be there helping with registration and not just to avoid having to race.

Yes, it's a bit early to feel fit and fast, but that is EXACTLY why you should come do a race.  It will make you fit and fast later and catapult you ahead of your non-racing rivals.  Guaranteed.*


*Terms of Guarantee - This is a completely and wholly bogus guarantee.  There will be no refund of race fees (even as nominal as they are).  There will be no actual way to determine that you are fitter or faster than non-racing rivals.  You may go faster or slower than non-racing rivals on any particular day, but instead of getting your money back under this guarantee, just tell your rivals that you are training by "power" and your coach told you to keep in the ochre basic power zone, which explains why are you are slower.  Don't worry that "ochre basic power zone" means nothing; no one will know that.  I guarantee it.