Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A little encouragement now and then is good...

From: Daniel Hobe
To: Michael Gaiman, John Murphy

I equaled my best time on the Bayway supersprint. Today it was behind
Murph the whole way so I think we are tied as the leaders for that
section :)


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mt San Bruno Hillclimb

The Mt San Bruno Hillclimb is January 1, I actually re-upped my USCF license and entered the race. I made a minor error in entering the Masters 35's which will include Chris Phipps, instead of the Open 4's which will not, but I guess it only matters if I would have placed, given it's a mass start. I'm not in the best shape despite getting a few more rides in as Liam has been sleeping better and we've established a rhythm where my wife takes the middle of the night shifts, and I wake up with Liam, which is often 5:30 AM, I deal with him until ~6:30 and then slip off to get a bit of a ride in if I can.

I've always wanted to do this race, but Jan 1 is never the best time. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tues Sept 22

Breakfast 350 - scrambled eggs with a little parmesan, small smoothie.
2 fricking cokes - 240 (sorry Dan but it's less than 2 plus a kerns).
Lunch - 500 - "Gourmet vegetarian Mac and Cheese" from the nVidia cafe. Bringing lunch is going to be a must even if just for measurement's sake. It wasn't very cheesy at least.
Snack - 2 bananas. 200.
Dinner - 700 Mushroom Spinach Enchiladas
Beer 210 (Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

That's 2200. I didn't ride today. Of course, that's a sort of wack statement given that "not riding" means I just rode to and from the train stations to home and work, which actually ends up being ~20 miles. So on the whole, I was in a decent deficit for the day, probably more than 500 calories.

This exposed a little problem Weds AM. While I may want X amount of calories per day which is basically BMR + Exercise Cals - 500. But the timing is also important. Specifically it might be reasonable to eat the "Exercise Cals" a day ahead of time. This can be a problem if external factors torpedo your century ride after you've gone to Olive Garden's all you can eat Pasta.

Not "pre-eating" those calories when y ou do need them is a bigger problem. I got up, had a bowl of cereal, and went to the Google Ride. I expected a bit of dutch tempo, instead it was a fast tempo with several crazy surges on Tunnel, at SFO, Coyote Point, etc... Underfed, I was struggling with the surges, but by Palo Alto I was in a serious problem. I limped to Sunnyvale and stopped for food. The workout was probably less effective than it could have been and was definitely less fun with my stomach trying to eat itself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Sept 21

I'm going to try and shame myself a bit by posting training diary info.

My BMR is 2050. The goal is to go -500 Cals a day to shoot for -1 lb per week.

Mon - Sept 21. 90 min ride with Google people from Millbrae to PA. 1000 Cals.

Breakfast - Smoothie with Muesli. 260 Cal (60 Yogurt, 100 banana, 100 Muesli)
Kerns Juice - 210 Cal (!)
Lunch 2 burritos - 680 cal - 170x2 Tortillas(!), 100 Black beans, 100 Cheddar. 140 Coke.
Afternoon Coke 140 cal - I am weak and I need to bring fruit to snack on - 140.
Dinner 1/2 Boboli Pizza 825 - 425 crust, 300 Mozzarella, 100 sauce/veggies
Lemonade - 100
2215 Calories. Probably about right, It will be interesting, when I did this before I controlled everything very strictly, now I come home and my wife says "here's dinner", who knows if she dumped 1/2 cup of olive oil on the pizza. But we'll try.

I'm weighing in at 210. I need to get to 190 to hit 20 minutes probably. 210 isn't great but after 7 months of fatherhood and just getting off of 2 weeks on the road with no exercise, I'll take it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Not exactly at sub 20 OLH but a nice ride nonetheless...

From sf2g mailing list...

From: Scott Crosby
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 12:47:37 -0700
Subject: wed. 9/2 SRLB bayway 07:00 RRR "drop to 4" format
hello favorable conditions!

- 70-81F
- 13mph wind out of WNW, aka perfect tailwind

"drop to 4" TTT format, 22-28mph, no attacks/sprints, smooth
pacelines/transitions, short pulls, max sustainable speed of
4th-fastest rider (whomever that may be).

while not a record attempt per se, the conditions should be right.
however, personally I am fat, out of shape, and lacking anything like
vim or vigor, so I will likely be dropped like a canada goose turd.

depart 7am sharp, arrive in time for breakfast.


7 AM! Now yer talking. Got the dog walked, helped feed the kid, the bike set up and off we go.

From: Scott Crosby
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 10:55:31 -0700
Subject: Re: wed. 9/2 SRLB bayway 07:00 RRR "drop to 4" format

au contraire monsieur Alténdeürf.

yes the pickin's did look slim at Ritual about 6:55 as M. Gaiman,
Eric, Hobinator, and yours truly sat slurping our macchiatos in grim
silence. but then, as if by magic carpet, the mighty septuagenerian
One-Kit Murph appeared as a green, threadbare apparition, and
announced his readiness to attack the much-feared Bayway Record. at
7:08, the TTT commenced.

it was then noted that all bikes present were raw titanium, aluminum,
or carbon, and paint was decreed bourgeois.

so there were 5, so one was in danger of eventual dropitude, but the
miracles did not cease, and we were immediately joined on valencia by
the powerful Mark and his associate Baris, who rode a blue(!) Fuji.
now up to 3 could be dropped in the name of Speed.

it was then agreed that discipline and short, acceleration-free pulls
in the 24-26mph range would be observed. ahh, it was a thing of
beauty. 7 riders in egoless paceline rotation, all pulls under 2
minutes almost without exception. only once did Mark's excessive
power and iron legs get the better of him, and he had to be reminded
that his teammates could not sustain 28mph for long.

arriving at Sun, Adam the Pole-Slayer was encountered, and his head
appeared unharmed. just afterward, Steve and Dan were subsumed, and
Steve on his sexy, gleaming white BMC cyclocross rig joined the team
for a couple-mile chat.

the group of 7 nearly arrived intact, but a looming black Escalade on
University shaved the hapless Eric off the back like a whisker, while
simultaneously Hobe's pedal spring gave up the ghost and he was forced
to limp home unclipped on one side.

Mark then reminded us this was no laughing matter, and drilled it on
Bayshore, maintaining a 26+ mph average for the entire length, with
brief assistance by the team. It was then that the average crept over
the golden average of 21.7mph, and all that remained was a strong
finish to Rengstorff.

final stats:

- 7 riders started, 4 finished in the lead group
- 1:56:51 elapsed rolling time (-27 seconds vs. previous record)
- 42.52 miles
- 21.8mph rolling avg speed

and despite having only one functioning pedal from EPA, Hobe still
broke 2 hours, with a 1:59 something. nice.


ps - pics are foggy due to completely sweat-soaked jersey obscuring
iphone camera lens. backback is also fully sweated-thru, a first.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Words fail...

I sorted myself out this AM and caught a Caltrain to RWC, climbed Jefferson fortissimo, but it was 8:50 AM and I was pretty sure that it was too late to
catch the Googlers coming down the Skyline Route. I decided to go backwards as
far as Edgewood to see if I could find them.

Happily they came cruising along, and I rode with the bunch to Foothill, then
with Xton to Homestead and Sunnyvale/Saratoga.

Checking the "listserv" - which is ancient mariners speak for "Google Group" - I saw this had been "dropped" on me by the young lady being escorted down the peninsula by the hard men of the peleton...

OK, that was about the most humiliating experience ever.

Though I appreciate your chivalrously taking shifts babysitting me as
I rode 17.3 miles behond you.

Thank god I was faster than the alto velo dude, but then he is
probably like 70 years old and 300 pounds, so not a big
accomplishment. Thankfully, after a little oatmeal, my legs came back
and I was able to race all the riders on my path on the way back to
school, leaving me with one nano micro mini half of a shard of ego.

I think I'll hit the pool and see if I can overtake some old ladies to
cheer myself up.


Perhaps I will go out and have a sixer of Sierra the night before the next ride she decides to attend. My buddy Troy Evans can attest to what I can "drop" on anyone who tries to draft my wheel after a night of carousing. Fragrant it is not!

Followup from Scott Crosby

you better be, as I am generally the only one allowed to make fun of
murph, particularly involving his grim refusal to rock anything other
than a pre-war webcor/altovelo kit, which is a mite threadbare, if you
must know.

Guilty as charged, I did wear my older pair of shorts which are clearly no
longer passing the "Spandex lightbulb translucency test" without a pair of
khaki shorts over them. Into the dustbin they go.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

From: Daniel Hobe
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 13:14:25 -0700
Local: Wed, Aug 5 2009 1:14 pm
Subject: 8/6 Bayway 7am RRR

Daniel Hobe First ride after messing my hip up so will probably be pretty chill. -

From: Scott Crosby
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 17:58:40 -0700
Local: Wed, Aug 5 2009 5:58 pm
Subject: Re: 8/6 Bayway 7am RRR

Scott Crosby i'm in for 07:00 @ philosophical pace.

Left Ritual at about 7:10 AM. Usually we leave around 6:40 and the goal is to make breakfast at Google - closes at 9:30 AM. On a good day, the ride rolls in around 9:15. On a very fast day, 9 AM. Around Redwood City, already setting a blistering pace it became apparent we might be able to make the magical 9:30 AM cutoff and the pace amped up. We rolled through the googleplex right at 9:30, and they headed off to breakfast and I headed off to limp the remaining 8 miles to nVidia.

Philosophical pace - it's just some people have different philosophies than others. Somehow "Bike to Work" has turned into the 6:30 AM version of the Noon Ride.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Riding in Sonoma with Ammon

Ammon Skidmore came up to Healdsburg today and we went out for a spin up Sweetwater Springs, the climb that I had ridden the bottom mile or so earlier in the week.

After the ride he turned me onto Trail Guru which allows you to track your rides while riding with your iPhone. Very cool, links the pictures you take while you are riding to the map. Free app for the iPhone. He was able to upload the ride within seconds of us returning to the house.

Pictures and info from the ride are here courtesy of Ammon Skidmore.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mill Creek Road, Healdsburg.

Last night I had the opportunity to do a short ride from our house on Limerick Lane. Not wanting to go too far, I rode through downtown Healdsburg and onto Westside Road and then turned right onto Mill Creek Road.

Mill Creek Road is a dead end to cars that goes several miles into the hills West of Healdsburg. I had been up a mile or two when we were looking for property, but never taken the opportunity to ride to the end on my bike. The Sonoma County Bike Coaltion map listed the summit at 1320 feet, so I figured it would be a perfect workout.

The hill starts steep, 7-8 percent grades for a mile or so, then settles into a rolling uphill with many intermediate descents. You quickly leave the grape fields and go along a stream surrounded by Redwood Trees. It reminds me a lot of going up Steven's Canyon Road in Cupertino.

There are many houses tucked in the trees - people who clearly value a bit of privacy by living up here, but I had no problems with the few cars that were driving up the road. In fact, several miles up a guy in a truck pulled up next to me just as I was heading up a steeper pitch and asked if I needed a ride.

I stopped and chatted with him a bit, asking where the finish was. He said "About a mile but the next bit is REALLY steep. The road ends at address 10,000, you are at 8700 now. Good luck!"

He wasn't kidding. This next part did not remind me of Steven's Canyon - it reminded me of Redwood Gulch. 15-18% grade for the better part of a mile. A real grunter, right outside my door! A great find!

I did take the requisite picture at the top.

mill creek rd

I was going to stop on the way down and try to get a photo of the steep bit, but I came off of it with so much speed that I didn't want to stop. The descent is tricky, the road is narrow so you need to be careful lest there be a car around a blind corner. The steep section is very twisty so I basically rode the brakes the whole way. And the pavement is pretty chopped up. And of course, since there are intermediate descents on the way up, there are intermediate climbs on the way down.

Check it out sometime. And please be mindful of the residents, hold your pee until you get to the bottom and use the bathroom at Mill Creek Winery.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More riding in Healdsbug - Sweetwater Springs Road

I got out on Monday for a short ride. I'm in Healdsburg and did a quick Eastside to Westside loop. I had a little extra time so I decided to check out the lower chunk of Sweetwater Springs Road.

Classic California riding.


The road has a slight gradient at the start, little traffic, a few cattle grates. If you go to the top it eventually becomes dirt apparently, but is manageable on a road bike, and you then descend down into Anderson Redwoods and come out in Guerneville. When I get the chance to do the whole thing I'll post some pics.

I couldn't go to the top so I turned around. At 30 MPH I came around a corner and the road was blocked!


I stopped and waited for them to go by. No need to try to get cute - once upon a time my buddy and I were driving around the Grand Canyon and he tried to shoot a gap in a set of cows and ran into one. Very unpredictable and they can be quicker than you think. A little over a decade ago, Pam Downs, a woman from San Jose ran into a bull on the Death Ride. I certainly didn't want to become the next piece of roadkill.

In fact, this is not the first time I have encountered such beasts on a bike ride.


This was the scene on the top of the Col D'Aspin in 2002. I went back in 2004, the cows are still there, trying to lick the salt of cyclist's legs.

After my ride I finagled a Healdsburg treat - blackberries from the side of the road.


Monday, July 20, 2009

The difference between me and Levi Leipheimer

Or at least one of many differences.

One thing we have in common, we have broken a scaphoid (wrist) bone in a bike crash and have small titanium screws in said wrist. Don't try to catch yourself when you crash boys and girls.

The scaphoid is a small bone in the wrist known for not healing very well. Much like Levi, after my crash my wrist hurt but I figured I was ok. Hours later, we both ended up getting X-Rays. Unlike Levi, my fracture was not spotted by the doc. I'm guessing that Levi gets a bit more of a fine toothed comb going, and they look very closely at the scaphoid since it's a common cycling injury and not correcting it quickly would be devastating to his training. I wouldn't be surprised if they X-Rayed Levi the night of the crash, and when he woke up and it felt worse, he got it X-rayed again. These fractures are hard to spot early on.

My ER doctor gave me the standard "follow up with your orthopod in a few days" line and I ignored that - no fracture, I'll be ok. When it didn't heal in a month, I went back in. By this time the fracture was more apparent. The doctor pointed at 2 bones and said "Those are supposed to be one bone". In my attempts to do therapy on a sprained wrist I had finished off the fracture. Had I gone in the week after the break, I probably would have been in surgery much sooner or perhaps even avoided surgery. Levi might have been able to avoid surgery by wearing a splint but the healing time would be much longer and he wouldn't be doing this right now. With the screw in place, the bone will stay together and heal. A peon might try to avoid surgery (perhaps a good idea since surgery has its own risks) by wearing a split and seeing if the bone heals.

Since Levi got on it fast they did the surgery without a general anesthesia. Good for him. Going under isn't so bad, but coming out from under really sucks.

One other thing Levi has going for him as a professional cyclist is that if he needs a new cast, they'll just slap one on. While I had my cast on, I would try to ride on the spin bikes but I had to keep my heart rate down and have a fan directly on the cast. It still started to get pretty funky. I would do a very hard workout the morning of my doctors appointments because I knew that I could funkify the cast since it was coming off that day. If Levi is lucky he has not a cast, but a removeable splint so he can take it off and wash his arm.

One thing we both had going for us was that as cyclists, we ride with our wrists bent back, which is excellent for improving the range of movement of the wrist (he won't be in a cast as long as I was, so hopefully won't be as stiff). My wrist bends back pretty well, but forward there is still some limited range of motion. My surgeon said "The people who get that range of motion back are guitar players". Amusing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cycling Sonoma County

I did manage to get away from my garden and ride my bike this past weekend.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Liam was up and down a lot in the night, my wife sent me to get a bottle around 5:30 AM or so. I had a lot of work to do, I decided to get up and just go. Of course since it was 6 AM I decided to join the SF2G Skyline ride and stick around until I got tired, I figured around San Mateo.

Highlight - I didn't get dropped in Golden Gate Park.

I got dropped on the riser up to Ft Funston. This means riding alone on the flat section to Skyline. One rider actually was with me and on my wheel, when he finally came around, he dropped me. Turned out there was one other rider behind me, he came around at the top of Skyline, where there was a regroupment.

Got dropped just after Hickey. Regrouped at Sneath by actually powering through the descent to Sneath, but got dropped before San Bruno Ave and had to ride 280 alone. Twice. Trinh came from I dunno, a potty break or something and went zipping by me. Two riders came by halfway to Golf Course Road from Millbrae Ave and I sat in until the first little rise and was dropped. Everyone regrouped at the Sawyer Camp Trail and I said screw it and rode down to San Mateo and hopped the train - a place I clearly belonged more than in the peleton.

My least enjoyable day on a bike without a crash or mechanical. Ever. I think some dude on a folder dropped me on Central Expressway on the way to nVidia just to drive home the point.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Seven - down again

Thursday I got out early to meet the Google ride, not early enough for even
their posted 7 AM start from Ritual - I had to walk the dog. Yeah, that's it. That
or the fact that Christon had thrown
down the gauntlet for a try at the SF2G record. I figured I could hang on the flats
but would be very likely to get thrown on the short climb up San Bruno, and if
the lights didn't favor me it would be all over. So I met them at Millbrae to get
a rapid ride in, using Caltrain to bypass the first section of the ride. I hoped
to get a gander at the paceline from the train, to no avail.

I was not disappointed by the pace, a couple of very strong riders were dropped - no
doubt due to the matches they burned getting over the hills with the hard men. We sped
along towards Redwood City. I had to stay pretty focused to sit in but I felt ok, even
taking a few decent pulls.

One thing about the Bayway Google ride is that with all the stops and starts, traffic
lights, hole shots through poles, etc... that you can dropped and have to close gaps
quite frequently and you have to really pay attention. One spot I was particularly concerned about is called the "Bridge to Nowhere". You ride across a rutted dirt field, up a dirt ramp to a bridge over a creek, then down a dirt ramp that starts with a little dropoff. I have never really handled this section on my road bike with much grace, and the three riders I was with at this point are dirt junkies. I let them have a little space, gritted my teeth, and decided I better clear this one easily.

I cleared the bridge nicely. But I spent too much time congratulating myself, and that added to the gap I left open leading up to the bridge and I was 30 yards off with the hammer going down. I chased for a few miles then had to throw in the towel. Still, a very fun ride. I should have followed racing protocol - instead of dropping back and watching what happened, I should have gone to the front and let them deal with me being in front going over the bridge :)

On my way home Friday, I started having some trouble with my front derailler. I fiddled with the barrel shifter, but I couldn't quite get it working. I decided it was time to get the bike into BeSpoke to have it looked at. Half a mile later my right shoe was wobbling a bit. Pedal screwed in properly? Check. Cleat ok? Check. Fiddling with it a bit, I discovered that the crank was screwing out of the bottom bracket! Argh!

I walked to Caltrain, hitched a ride to BeSpoke, and dropped off the Seven. Fortunately the call came on Saturday that damage to the crank was minimal and the bike is dialed in again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Epic Commuting

Meet @Skid

Ammon is addicted to "Epic Commuting". This involves many things. Apparently high on that list is riding as much "dirt" as possible. Even if this involves getting lost or going down a dead end dirt path - you never know if there will be a hole in the wall at the end of that path.

He is documenting this epic commutes, which often involve going up 2 mile dirt roads (see: East Alpine) on his new blog - Epic Commute Blog

I was up early this AM due to our son doing a Dr Crankmeister, and caught the 7 AM train. I noted that Ammon was meeting people from that train at Millbrae and decided to do a little riding. I expected it to go a bit faster but sometimes time is the price to pay for exploration.

Note that Ammon was all kitted out in a skinsuit. This absolutely did not match his choice in footwear.

Nothing says Epic Commute like rocking a skinsuit and tennies on your fixie.

Nothing says non-Epic like catching a big ass nail in your tire and having to change a fixed-gear wheel.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Yes, I am still capable of climbing

In the past 4 months I have ridden pretty much zero hills. In the past 3 months, I have ridden pretty much nothing but to and from work. That's still the better part of 20 random miles a day, but not exactly what the doctor ordered.

I managed to finagle a ride over Mt Tam today with a guy from the train, Louis, and his co-worker Ben. Up to Pantoll, over the 7 sisters and down Alpine Dam to Fairfax. The tempo was moderate, really, but I actually felt OK. Surprisingly, this is only the second time in my life I have ridden past Alpine Dam, and the prior occasion was from Fairfax to Tam. That is a super duper road, the descent into Fairfax is awesome. For some reason all my Marin rides have either led through Nicasio or the canonical route of up to Pantoll, down to Stinson, up Bo-Fax, Sisters, Mill Valley to Joe's Taco Lounge.

Since we ended up in Fairfax we had lunch at Iron Springs Microbrewery. Most excellent. I had a beer and slowly waddled to 101 where I caught GG Transit back to the bridge to meet friends. Frankly I should have just ridden but I was pooped so what the heck. At least I got out.

T minus about what, 2-3 years until we get Liam on a Like-a-bike?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Making do

We have a new son, Liam and that's never great for training. Luckily this road is in my backyard...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DIY supported Century

I've actually been riding a little bit but not enough to brag. I definitely got dropped this AM riding up Skyline to Hickey behind Trinh. But I'm at least getting outside.

This weekend I did a short ride in Healdsburg with our friend Jackie. This weekend was the Russian River Winter Wine Land event and we went to our vacation rental home in Healdsburg for the weekend to do a little tasting and cycling.

For $40, all the tasting and snacks for Saturday and Sunday, and we had my 8 months pregnant wife as a designated driver! Sunday we eschewed the tasting to go on the bike ride. As we neared the finale in Healdsburg I realized we still had our wristbands on from the Wine event, and we passed Wilson Winery and we could really smell what Wilson was cooking! Tri-tip sandwiches and chocolate brownies. We stopped, flashed our wristbands and settled in for a snack. Given we were 3 miles from our destination we also tried a little Bordeaux for good measure.

I'm thinking next year we go, check out the wines on Saturday and inventory the best snacks, then the next day do a snack run from winery to winery! The event easily encompasses a very nice metric century including Chalk Hill, East and Westside roads, Dry Creek Valley, Canyon Road, Geyserville, and Alexander Valley.