Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy belated Turkey Day!

Hope you are all recovering from your Turkey hangover!  I know it's pointless because it was yesterday, but there was a great underground cyclocross race out at Clayton Middle school.

Officially dubbed the Turkey Slaughter race, it was an all classes affair with beginners riding right up with (ok...way behind) the experts.  It was unofficial, but I believe Noah won top honers for the men and Erica took first place for the women.  Beyond that everyone else won, because Ron Patch's wife had homemade pumpkin pie for all and several folks has cases of quality american lagers that were quickly passes around!  I hope your Thanksgiving day was just as rewarding!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Not Alone!

As many of you bike commuters out there might the weather slowly gets colder and colder you start to feel slightly alone.  Even the homeless contingent seems to fade from the bike lanes and bike paths. 

Now this isn't a totally bad thing!  With all those lanes to myself, I begin to think of them as "mine"!  Don't get me wrong, I love to see commuters out there using the infrastructure, but you get spoiled by riding through the winters. 

I also feel a bit this way, because I'm pretty much the only one who bike commutes here at my office (other than wifey) and a couple guys who will ride in occasionally (if pressured during bike to work week).  So, I was pleasantly surprised when one of our contract guys showed up on bike this morning!

Here's a picture of his ride....just for proof!

Kinda nice to know that my bike has company today!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You're all wet.

No biking in this post.  Don't ask me why, but I was trolling the schedule over at the NW Pool and notice they have a roll session on Monday nights.  Hmmm...I have a truck load of kayak stuff. hasn't been out in a while.  Perhaps I should go!?

Boat, Paddle, and Gear bag.  Rather hastily thrown in the truck camper.

And off to the pool we go.
 For the record, while it has been a bit since I has been a really long time since I went to a pool to kayak.  In fact, the last time I went was at the Moana Pool, if that clues you in.  Anyway, I haven't ever been to the NW Pool and I have been thinking about getting back into some swimming.

The place is literally a classic.  It has the same glass work on the front that my high school pool had (circa 1970?).  However, even my high school pool was rebuilt in the 1990's!  But hey, in Reno pools are definitely not all the rage, and this one is pretty well maintained inside. 

So if you like to kayak and you're bored come on down some time.  It definitely wasn't crowded (3 people)!

Monday, November 25, 2013

This years Sagebrush Cyclocross videos (updated with more videos)!

Just happened across these.  They gives a great feel for the course and the fun of the night ride.  Remember there's one more race next at the end of next week (12/7) out at Davis Creek Park.  Come join the fun!

I don't know the videographer, but thanks Rick.  I even got to see myself a few times!

Sagebrush CX #4 -- Dorothy McAlinden Park, Reno from Rick Guevel on Vimeo.

Sagebrush CX3 Lap 1 -- October 26, 2013 from Rick Guevel on Vimeo.

Sagebrush CX #2 Lap 1 --- October 13, 2013 from Rick Guevel on Vimeo.

Just a tad crisp on those moring rides.

Yeah....just a tad.  There was riding this weekend too.  Late at night after Backwash....that was also a bit crisp, especially toes and hands.  For those of you not familiar with this particular event in local beer drinking.  Backwash is a homebrew competition / charity event that raises money to get disadvantaged kids out and about in nature.  Basically, you pay to get in the door (and it sells out fast) and they have 30+ different home brews for you to try.  Then there is an official judging and a peoples choice winner.  These brews often find their way to production over at Silver Peak brewery.

As you can see....there are also raffle prizes and a band.
Our regular crew...minus the Preacher and his wifey.  The Preacher is a previous winner of this event....and the reason you can get Reddy Eddy at Silver Peak now and again.

The better looking portion of our group.

Anyway....for the event we rode down a friends house who lives nearby in Mid-town.  The crew then walked over to the event which was at the Sienna.  This turned out to be very convenient since the entire crew wobbled over to Nobel Pie afterwards to soak up some of the beverages that were still sloshing around inside us.

To make an increasingly long story short....when rode home later, wifey was not amused at the temperatures or the lack of feeling in her fingers or toes.

This would be because we were wearing relatively light (but wind proof) gloves.  Stupid, because we do both have much heavier gloves.  Even after years of getting around this way, it still seems I have to learn this lesson over each year!

So this morning I grabbed the heavier gloves and some new equipment to help the toes.

Neoprene toe covers for the cycling shoes.  I bought these for Cycle Oregon and they never even left the gear bag.  But man, oh man....they sure to make a difference on the cold mornings with well ventilated bike shows.  I can't believe I didn't get these sooner.

So anyway, bundle up and keep riding.  You might just generate your own rambling pointless story!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Big Bike Trip....???

 This is likely to be long winded, rambling, slightly on and off topic....actually, it's probably a lot like talking to me.  Anyway, you've been warned. 

I have this idea in my head....a big (big for me) bike trip.  The thing is I don't seem to make it happen.  I kinda know why.  I like things to be just right.  You know, good route, nice campsites, enjoyable trip.  Problem is that to get that type of trip, you need to plan and I don't seem to take the time to commit to this.  Or perhaps I don't feel like I can get enough information to make it happen just so.  Anyway, I hunt around for this type of thing occasionally and today I found a Tour Divide clip that got me thinking about this type of trip again.

Jay Petervary Tour Divide Record Ride from Fisher Creative on Vimeo.

Don't get me wrong...while the Tour Divide is awesome, this isn't the type of trip I'm envisioning.  But seeing guys like this sure makes my little idea seem insignificant and that probably I should just give it a try.  I did come across something that sounded a bit more my speed.

A ride like this might be the right way to get myself kicked into gear.  First off, it has a date and time and a route that someone actually planned and then test rode.  So in fact, they did what I envision as a great planned route (and it's done for me).  Now they're making it public and saying hey....come do this with like minded people.  To top it all off it's free.  It's also unsupported....they just give you the route and let you know when a group is going to start it.  Then you're on your own.  So there is still planning and some feeling of having done it yourself.

The route looks like this:

Basically, Klamath Falls to Deschutes.  Mostly gravel (75%) and rural or middle of nowhere.  Kind of how I envision a tour since I do own the bike for it (Salsa's Fargo).  Anyway, that's what I've been mulling on lately.  Hopefully a firm date and a planned route will make it happen next year. 

Tires and Fenders and Weather.....What's your Combo?

I talked about my fender failure yesterday.  I didn't get motivated to solve my own issues until I saw the fresh snow on the ground this morning.  Fortunately, wifey is almost always up early (like 5 am) to head out the door for a run.  Yep, outdoors by 5:45 for 6 miles in fact. 

Anyway, this usually gets me out of bed earlier than I would naturally rise.  So today it was time to address the issues of fenders and tires.  And is definitely involved!

Yesterdays attempt lead to a bad bead seating and a tire wobble...and I completely gave up on getting the rear fender on.

It might not look any different...but now the bead is set correctly and there's no wobble.

Now with snow on the ground I glanced over at the studded tires.....

Hmmm....should I have thrown these on?  They are great when snow and ice are actually on the ground.....but with wet roads they are actually a bit slick.  And they roll like molasses!

Decision made....sticking with the regular tires until it really gets to snowing.  And I even had enough time to get the rear fender mounted! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First hint of a winter season...and road grit.

Yep, it actually rained in Reno (and more importantly snowed in the hills).  I've been watching the weather just a bit, waiting for this.  So last night I diligently went out to work on the Xtracycle which has been in some need of TLC.  Mainly, a broken shifter cable I've been ignoring for a month, a flat tire, and reinstalling the rear fender.

Patched tire (check), replace shifter cable (check), fender reinstall (almost check).....

Had to give up on that one about 10:30 because it's a super custom fit with the larger rear tire I run on that stupid thing.  I just couldn't find the special screw I filed down to fit the inside the fender mount!  Anyway, still not a big deal.  It has been running without the rear fender and the back deck mostly catches the I called it a night.

However, when I went to roll out this morning I notice the rear tire had a slight wobble/bulge and an ominous squeak each rotation.....and I needed to leave for work.  So I'm back on the Salsa with no fenders.  Needless to say I have grit in my beard, on my face, a stripe up my backside, and all the other features of a wet cyclist can boasts.

I tried to document it but apparently I'm so disheveled I can't even work the camera.

I was trying to show the grit and dirt that I was covered'll just have to take my word for it.  Or, if you rode probably already know!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The pulse...

Traffic pulse that is.  I rode in along Mill St. again today.  A lot of people might call me crazy for choosing this route when I could just as easily ride along the river.  The truth is I think I like being "traffic".  Mill St. has bike lanes (mostly) and is supposed to be a "bike route", so I guess I feel like I need to represent. 

Anyway, Mill St. is kind of fun to ride because (much to the dismay of drivers) you keep up with the flow of traffic.  This is mostly due to all the stop lights Mill St. has, making it a pretty slow road.  These lights leads to a "pulse" in traffic....rush, rush, rush, wait, wait, wait.  The fun part is if you ride along and pay attention you can pass the long lines of waiting cars, time the light turning green and actually make it from the Sienna Hotel (downtown Reno at Sierra St.) to the far side of the airport (Mill and Rock) in exactly the same time as someone in a car! 

Now it definitely doesn't always work out that way, but I'd say you'd be within a minute or two of the same travel time most days.  It's kind of priceless to see the same driver gawking at you when you roll up next to them yet again 2.7 miles down the road!

Here's a couple pics of a pulse of traffic just past Mill and Terminal.

I picked up this guy with the load of carpet at the parking lot of the Sienna.

I didn't quite nail the timing today....and I stopped for these pics.  But as I crossed the top of the airport I could him swing right onto Rock Blvd.  I was right at the same intersection within a minute of him.

 So remember to get out there and be traffic.  And if you play the game well, you might just beat traffic to your destination.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Magic river path reconstruction!

Ok, I've been on a cyclocross posting kick and other stuff has gone a bit by the wayside.  Since last Thursday a small miracle has occurred...the river path has been ripped out and replaced all in less than 4 days (ok....a portion of the path).  And of course because I'm the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board (BPAC) chairman, have tons of friends at RTC, and generally on the lookout for all things bikey.....I haven't heard a thing about this or who is responsible!  Anway, here's what it looked like.

I rode this to work last Thursday morning....and here's what I found on my return commute:

No posted detour this morning...but there is one this evening.  At least they put up a detour.

Out with the old!

The removal in action.
This morning, I didn't take the path because I just knew it would torn up for weeks.  Since I didn't see the detour signs out on the road, I rode over from the street route to the path just for a peak.  Imagine my surprise when I found this in front of my wheel!

Not even a bad seam!

Smooth asphalt from the auto museum to the park!
 So kudos to whoever is responsible (seriously who is doing this!!).  At this rate we could have the whole thing repaved before spring!

Cyclocross weekend...night riding!

Well, this race started out a little differently for me.  I volunteered to help set the course, secretly hoping that the karma would show up in the race results!  Man, everyone should definitely do this at least once, just so you know the effort that goes into the process of putting together a great course.  We were a little on the light side for volunteers, so it was just Nick (coarse designer), Noah (former race director, supplier of all stakes, rakes, flagging, etc.), Ron (rider), and me (also rider) to put together the whole deal (there were others that showed up as the day went on, to be fair).  I could go into a lot of detail here, but let's just say we started at 1pm and we were still pounding stakes and running reflective flagging at 4:45pm.  For anyone paying attention to race times....that would be about 15 minutes before Ron and I had to race!

Anyway, it all worked out.  A great course, fantastic BBQ, fire pits, lighting stations periodically on the course.  The course itself had a great maze section in some absolutely energy sucking grass, some 20+ mph downhills, 1/4 mile pavement sprint section, run up hills, gravel washboard, and sand sections thrown in for good measure!  And it was all done in the dark (as promised)!

So without further ado, here's the course and some bad night time pics!

The starting line.

Men's B ready for action.

And they're off!

Into the first corner.

Around the bend.

The backside of the course, on a hill climb away from the baseball fields.

The sand right before the finish line...with a curb hop thrown in for good measures!
And just to show some karma does come from the course's the race results and series standings for the Men's 35+ C (my class).  Second place!  I'll take that all day night long!

Almost forgot pictures of the pavilion and the crew!

Jet lites (Team Bacon Strip) was out to provide riders with lights....and folks enjoying BBQ.

Even after setting the course, Noah helped out with registration...and he wasn't feeling good.

More BBQ patrons...can't believe I didn't get a picture of the spread!  It included pulled pork, baked beans, and beer and cheese soup!

Festive fans were out in force!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Speaking of lighting.

Ok, so since I just put up the post about the nighttime cyclocross race.  I've been tinkering with my lighting this week in preparation.  I have a ton of lighting options laying around the house....everything from dyno hub generator lights, AA battery type lights like the Planet bike Blaze (which is pretty darn bright), to a couple of Nite Rider battery pack lights.  So I figured I might as well go all out for this event and even just for general riding.

Here's the current configuration:

It's a little hard to see but I've opted for a dual NiteRider configuration up front.

On the back I'm using a Planet bike Superblinky and a Serfas LED light that is just about blinding.  I figure cars can't miss it and it might moderately blind anyone thinking of passing me in the race!

Cyclocross tomorrow!

Come out and give it a try!  It's fast, it's fun, it's going to be in the dark this time!  Seriously, there is no requirement that you be fast and this one is at night so I light is required.  But even if you just want to check out the idea of a cyclocross race, this is a good one to attend.  There will be a BBQ, so how can you go wrong!

Here's the details:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beers and Premiers - Patagonia

The annual Beers and Premiers event is tonight out at Patagonia.  Swing by and check it out.  There free beer (usually Pizza) and raffle prizes.  The proceeds benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center.  If you want to check out the video previews click on the image and it will take you to the site.  See you there.

Really not digging the goatheads...

I'm just not loving these things.  I actually discovered this (well actually just a soft tire) when I went to ride in yesterday.  Since I hadn't actually seen the goathead at that point, I did the "logical" thing.  Pumped it up and road to work on it. 

When I got to work I saw what you see below.  The cool part about a goathead is that once they're in, the leak is often very slow.....until you remove them.  It's always kind of amazing to me that they actually act as their own plug.  Then of course you remove them and the tire goes down in about 30 seconds. 

Needless to say I'm getting really good at the sub-five minute patch jog....oh yeah, and this one held.

I seem to be finding a lot of these this year.  Here's the latest culprit.

Keystone Corridor Study Meeting.

Ok, since councilwomen Neoma Jardon derailed the Keystone and Arlington restriping that was planned for earlier this fall, we (local bike advocates and RTC) have fallen back to the trenches.  Fortunately, the southern section of Keystone was already slated for a corridor study.  So, we added the northern section of Keystone to this, so we can positively refute the fictitious "statistics" the councilwomen stated to the rest of the council.

The first public meeting took place two nights ago and was quite the shindig!  RTC brass was out in force including executive director Lee Gibson, Patrice Echola (planner), Michael Moreno (Public relations) Amy Cummings, and Scott Gibson (RTC engineer).  The public also made quite a display with ~40 people showing up and actively filling out question and comment cards.  Out of the crowd I'd say 99 percent were there in support.

RTC Executive Directory Lee Gibson (dark suit) speaking to local bike advocate Scott Hall.

Bad photo documenting the early turn out....20 members of the public by 5:20!

Amy Cummings discussing the known issues within the southern portion of the study area.

Brian Gant (project engineer) discussing the project with one of the attendees.

Look!  We even made the news!

The known issues of the recently added northern section of Keystone.  A systematic study will definitely help debunk the "facts" that were put forward to city council last summer.

The turn out.....not bad for a Tuesday night at dinner time!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Who pays for our roads!?

Here's a little infographic to set things straight (ok, it's for Oregon....but you get the idea).