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.