Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pogonip on Halloween morning.

This is a shot across from my office, just off the Truckee river.  Nothing like a little frost inspired fog hanging in the field to start of Halloween!  Hope you have some scary plans for the evening.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grey skys and good rides!

Just because you can see a stream of water shooting off your wheel in the morning doesn't mean you're not having fun!

In this case having fenders was definitely a plus.  However, I stole this photo from a post last year.  It wasn't quite this wet today.....and I didn't have a bike with fenders.  (Note to self....fix the shifter cable on the bike with fenders!)  So remember, you can always grab the rain gear and head out the door to enjoy the puddles.  It's kinda like being 8 years old all over again!

Enjoy the soggy commute!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sagebrush cyclocross series at Clayton.

Yep, they just keep coming.  I missed the event up in Truckee due to my Michigan trip but this weekend the series was back.....and only a mile from my house!  Work is busy so I'll just dump some pictures on you for now.  Here it is.


Some juniors practicing the curb hop.

It was a full house this week!

Seriously...I don't think there was any parking left.

Pancake breakfast anyone?

The start of the Men's B / Women's A race.

Into the first corner.

A bit of a mash up at the first stair climb.

Into the sand.

The series of step ups kill you on the way up....but they are fun on the way down.

The first drop gave you just enough speed for......

.....a little bit of air on the second bump/drop.
All in all it was a great course.  A lot of up and down and some off camber side hills with high entry speeds.  More than one rider slide out on some of them.  So get the race schedule and join in next time!

Friday, October 25, 2013

A taste of Michigan.

Here's a few quick pics from just one part of my recent trip to Michigan.  If you think the state is lost due to the death of Detroit, you'd be sadly mistaken!

Hiking in the dunes of Lake Michigan with some of my extended family and wifey.  And yes, there are trees that grow in the dunes!

And there are hills that really make you work for it! 

The rewards might not be a "bagged summit" but the views are no less spectacular!

They're even better when you get to the top of your destination.  And nothing against Tahoe.....but this is what a real beach looks like!

Are you hard core?

This is the result of wifey's morning run (in the dark) with a dying head lamp.  Notice that the dark, early morning, and cool temps ( and bleeding knees) did not stop her.

In comparison, riding in to work today as the sun peaks above the mountains in a luminous glow seems slightly less than ambitious!  So here's to those who make the early morning venture to get a little more out of life!  Run or ride on!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Pedal Powered Talk Show!

I definitely have to check this one out.....  I'm sure it's one of those things only Portland could produce, but my understanding is the bicycle is just a tool for these guys.  The show itself is a "real" talk show that focuses on multiple topics and of course multiple locations that only a bike might reach!

Commuting these days / nights....

If you don't have a good light and you're still out there riding, it's probably past time!

Bad picture...but you get the idea. 
Once you are equipped, you'll find out riding in the city at night is actually a pretty experience.  Not too many towns are lit up like ours!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Country living and bicycles....kinda!

Ok, so I went on vacation to visit family.  I'm sorry I didn't tell you but it's just a blog folks, take it easy.  There was very little  no bicycling involved, except for a day out at the corn maze/farm festival where they had pedal cars dressed up as tractors!  No bad at all.  My niece had me out on the track for a better part of a half hour.  Given how well some of these kids ride/drive, I'm definitely calling it practice for the next cyclocross race!

Friday, October 11, 2013

What do you think...faster....or slower!?

Have you ever had that sinking feeling.....seriously, like when you notice something isn't quite right?  You can truly feel it.  The sound the tire makes, that gentle hum has just a little different pitch.  Each pedal stroke feels just a little harder than it should.  You feel like you're your riding a low rider that's slowly getting a little lower!

Yep, you've got a slow leak in a tire on the morning commute.  So, it's evaluation time, eh?  Just how slow is that leak?  How long did it take you to notice?  And now after that critical evaluation, what to do?

In my case, I'm riding a large 700c tire, meaning it holds a ton of air and takes quite a while to go flat.  If I was on my road bike with a 23mm tire, it might go down in less than a minute.  So I chose not to stop and patch, but rather ride out the last 3 miles as fast as possible.  Now this poses another question, if you're really close to flat, can you ride fast?  Flat tires don't tend to roll too well!  If you got a little more pressure left you can dig deep and push as hard as you can to make it in time. 

In my case (as shown above), I was fine.  Even when I got to work the tire still has 20-30 psi left in it.  I found the single tiny goat head and determined it was just barely fact, this has probably been going down for a couple days.  Once removed and patched it should be good until I find the next pokey object!

So, to answer the title question......I had a faster ride with my slow leak, but only because I was too lazy to stop and patch it before I got to the office!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


What is this stuff falling from the sky?  Seems like something from an episode of Portlandia.  Although, now that I think about it, I remember this stuff from my years growing up in the Midwest as well....RAIN!

Sooo...I'm pretty sure this is Mother Nature's revenge for me deciding to sit on the couch yesterday evening (and convincing wifey to do the same), rather than going for the scheduled run.  I had seen the weather forecast for some rain, but we all know how bad the local weathermen are at getting that call right in Reno.  Anyhow, at sometime in the 6ish am hour wifey, myself, and dog headed out the door for a few miles of fun.  The sprinkle started by the time we hit the end of the block and 2/3 of a mile later at the start of the singletrack it was a "refreshing" (a.k.a. cold and stinging) rain.  Surprisingly, we actually saw at least 3 other runners and one walker out on the trail! 

After returning home, it was hot showers for all (well, ok a towel down for dog), a quick round of smoothies, and digging out the rain gear for the ride in.  Another lovely bicycle commute in the morning!  Thankfully, the Xtracycle has fenders so it really was a pleasant ride.  The colors are popping all over with the recent cooler weather so I tried to stop and take a few photos.

A little rain always seems to bring the color out!

Sorry this one is fuzzy....those bright red maples still make it worth it.
So don't let a little water and cooler temperatures dim your riding prospects, sometime these off beat rides are more fun than the multitude of "perfect" commuting days we get here in Reno!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Use your bike to get around.....a tutorial!

This might be a tutorial designed for a big city....but it works for just about anywhere!

Nevada Craft Beer Festival.

The only thing that could have improved our recent beer festival might have been a nice beer themed bike!  A great event with a much improved layout from last year and the addition of food trucks.  Who knows, maybe Reno isn't too far behind Bend or Portland after all!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sensory Deprivation Booths....the new normal.

If someone told you that you had to step into a stimulus / sensory deprivation booth for 20-60 minutes, twice a day would you do it?  I'm going to say most of us will say NO....fairly emphatically, yet you probably just got done with your morning session...and left your mobile booth in the parking lot!

Yep, it's pretty much what a car is.  I'll give you it has music, but really this noise just adds to the isolation from the surrounding environment.

To prove my point here are things I heard,saw, and smelled this morning on a 20 minute bicycle commute.

Some nice city works set up a slalom course next to the old post office...just to make my ride more fun.

Bertha Miranda's was already cooking.  The smells of hot plate mexican breakfast dishes surrounded me as I rode by.

City workers has some type of sewer sucking truck in action a few blocks later.  Notice, I didn't say all the sensory inputs were pleasant!

The smell of freshly bailed hay.

Then there's the noise that all the mobile stimulus deprivation booths make!  It's a shame they can't be as quiet on the outside as they are on the inside!

So, what did you hear and smell on your commute.  It you can't name a couple items, you might want to rethink your morning routine!

Friday, October 4, 2013

A perfect weekend excuse for a bike ride! beer!  So get out this weekend and support the local brewers.  If you ride your bike I promise plenty of parking right at the event.  If you'll be walking a few blocks, so we'll consider you a pedestrian!  Either way you get some exercise and some good brews!

Good Morning Sunshine....aka....Low Angle Sun!

Mill St. with a bit of glare!

That's right, it's that time of year.  The air has a nice nip on the ride in and you're experimenting with layering techniques that keep you warm, but not too warm on the ride.  It's also the time of year when the sun is on it's way up as you ride in, and creates that nice low angle glare.  Your helmet visor and sunglasses might take care of it, but it often blinds drivers to the point they can't see (you).

Now if this happens to you on a bike you'd probably slow down so you don't die (or hit something)....but remember, drivers don't think this way.  They fight with the visor or just hold their hand up and squint until they can see.  Hitting the breaks is not the normal response to not being able to see while driving a car!

The problem is that during this time of visual (and apparently cerebral) impairment, they may use the bike lane as their lane, run stop signs and lights, or impact you and your bike for a variety of other reasons.  The second problem is when the police come to deal with this type of collision, the driver will simply state, "I couldn't see them....the sun was in my eyes.".  The officer will accept this as a reasonable excuse for injuring or killing a pedestrian or cyclist and the driver will likely not even get a ticket! 

So heads up, the next few weeks you want to be extra vigilant (and defensive) while riding in the mornings! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bicycling....could Reno be cool

I think that I've actually posted a version of this video before, but I came across it again today and I think it's worth a view.  Reno has the potential to be a great city and a great bike city.  However, with some recent "defeats" (e.g. Keystone and Arlington Ave. between 1st and 6th St. were supposed to have bike lanes by now), I think the City Council and Staff need a reminder.  Maybe I should send this video to them!

How Bikes Make Cities Cool - Portland from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Taking an evening off!

What can you do....sometimes you just need an evening off.  Yesterday that meant kegging up a couple new beers (a jalapeno ale and an garden uber-hopped special) and then chilling out in the backyard beer garden. 


Technically, it's still a "bicycling" post......see, there are two of them just outside the brewery!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sagebrush cyclocross follow up.

Technically this is not a vain posting of pictures of myself.....because I didn't take them.  Reno-Rambler (of legendary, long running, and beautiful bicycle blog fame) was also out for an initial foray into cyclocross and I'm guessing he somehow, accidental took some pictures of me.  Anyway, at least I don't look like I'm about to crash or collapse!  And....I didn't really have anything else to post today. 

If you want to see his well worded and much more precisely crafted post click HERE.

Do my legs seem absurdly long in this picture or is it just me!?  Perhaps that's why I can actually half way ride a bike. 

He also caught me just at the top of the stairs having actually passed someone on the steps.  Stupid looking long legs do come in handy, eh?

The only thing I can't figure out is how the devil he took pictures during the race that he was in with me!  If he was snapping pics while racing/riding and he was still right with me at my VO and heart rate max I'm obviously going to have to up my game!