Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spotts Park 'Hill' Repeats

Spotts park is a bowl. Here's an example... All sides have an hill that varies from 10 to about 30 feet. It's pretty steep. I'm guessing 3:1 slope? Not great for hill repeats, but it's some of the best we've got here in town. Ride up, u-turn, bomb down, quickly u-turn and repeat.

Pedal, pedal, pedal... whoosh!
Pedal, pedal, pedal... whoosh!

You get the idea. You can go all around the park edge for some variation, but it does get a bit monotonous. It is good practice though.

Just watch out for the dog crap. Nothing quite like pedaling up and having the wheel slip out from under you because you ran over some dog crap! That stuff is slippery when fresh. It'll take you down if you aren't careful...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bar-H Ranch Pre-Ride

M-o-M had me wanting more rock and hill skills. My lack of confidence did me in. The only way to get better on gravely hills is to ride gravelly hills! Since there is no where to do that in Houston, and with an upcoming race a trip upto Bar-H Ranch in St. Jo, Texas was the weekend plan.

This really is a pretty place...

...with great single track. Above is one of my favorite spots. This is a nice downhill with a little kick halfway to catch a bit of air before hooking a sharp left... fun!

I like riding through the creek bed, too.

Tire research. Lets see... I can see CrossMarks, SmallBlock 8s, Karmas... I prefer SB8's here. The race loop has a bit of everything. Sand, hard pack, gravel, loose rock, slick rocks, you name it.

"The Oaks" is a neat spot too. I bet this section would be really creepy at night!

This is up on the ridge overlooking the valley. It's a long climb up there, but worth it for some nice rocky riding. I didn't take a single picture of the rocky part! Too busy concentrating on riding it, I suppose?

This was the initial run for the Jetboil. It rawks! Some hot coffee made for a nice afternoon treat! Good to get out of the chily 40-mph winds for a while, too.

Got some more riding in on Sunday. Much warmer and sans wind. I just wish I had more time. The riding time definately helped! Sunday I floated a lot of stuff I struggled with on Saturday. Still need more time, but the improvement is comforting.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ridin' in the dark

C'mon time change!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I feel different

Was it was the jaw dropping beauty of Big Bend? Was it leaving the bounds of concrete and urban density? Was it the renewed sense of adventure of exploring a place I've never been before? Quite possibly all of the above. My attitude and outlook are so upbeat this week. That is a great feeling!

My goal of spending my funding on experiences as opposed to stuff was a good idea.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Put a 1 in front of it...

The trip to Terlingua was indeed long... but with views like this...



And this...

Totally worth it! (Keep in mind I suck at scenics... these pictures don't begin to do the place justice)

You can't call what I did in Terlingua racing. I walked outta there with a few bruises and undetermined injuries. Hopefully all recoverable. Otherwise, I'm trying to put this one in the past and not agonize over it too much.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


There was lotsa this...

Some of this...

A bit of that...

And almost zero of this...

It's great to be out of the city! Phish's JazzFest '96 show was a perfect complement to a great day...


My stack of countdown cards is almost gone!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Good Day In The Woods

Worked over the legs pretty good today at Huntsville. It was a good day to be in the woods. The woodpeckers were out in force this morning. Tok,tok,tok,tok! Neat sound. The other sound was from the wind howling through the upper canopy. Very good day to be on the protected trails!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Great Bar Wrap Search

After ditching the Specialized Roubaix bar tape, I went back to Fizik tape. This is what I had before. I liked it, but wanted a bit more cushion. While buying some more, I spotted the Fizik Bar:gel. Thought I give that a shot for that bit of cushion I was missing. Don't really care for the red color, but that's all my shop had on hand...

The bar:gel goes on before the wrap, simple...

What I really like about the Fizik tape is the cross section. You can overlap the tape, without the sprial lump of most tapes.

The final product...

The verdit: with the bar:gel, it's perfect. I love the texture of the Fizik tape. Leathery, but not slipppery. The gel perfects the feel.

The rest of the day was filled with a short ride, and running around town gathering supplies in a bit of a panic. Gathering supplies for a dinner party and realization that I depart for Terlingua in five days set in. Reviewing my receipts I discovered I bought some @ss today...

I don't remember getting any @ss today?! But it only cost me eight bucks. That's not bad for some @ss. It usually costs much, much more. HA! Not quite as good as when I got invoiced for a sex change at work, but pretty close...

Friday, February 6, 2009

This Watch....

While I've never had to store this watch up me bum, I've done a lot wearing this watch. Its been dropped, hit, dunked, rained on, lost, found, chewed on (by the dog), peed on (again the dog...) and more recently covered with paint overspary. I think the painting did it in. Automotive paint and solvents aren't so good for rubber. In its final days the rubber became brittle and cracked. Ten years and two batteries later it's finally done in.

I bought this watch under supurious circumstances. Me and a friend had a bet on who could find the biggest watch. I lost. But I kept it anyway, and wore it. The G-Shock really is incredibly durable even if ugly.

With durability and value like that, what else would I replace it with? It took a while to find another one. I don't think Casio makes it anymore. But I located one. This one may last until I retire!

I'm A Dislexic Insomniac

I've been lying awake at night wondering if there really is a doG? Many sleepless nights over the past two weeks. I think part of the reason is due to training. It would seem that training would make you fatigued, and eager for sleep.

But... there is a logic trap at work. My day-job is spent jockeying a desk. That involves almost zero physical exertion. Daytime hours are my lowest physical demands of the day. This time of year, it's dark before I complete my rides. My physical and mental activities are just starting to come upto speed - as the sun goes down. The height of my mental and physical simulation occur in darkness! I think my body has grown to associate darkenss with activity and daylight with rest! Ugg... I need my sunshine!

Being up late and restless, I find things to do. Like rewrapping my handlebars. I thought about doing more detail, but this tutorial at >STUPID HURTS< covers it better than I ever could. Plus, I suck at wrapping bars.

I used Specialized Roubaix tape this time. In the package it seemed to have just the right amount of 'squishiness'. I don't like the super-squishy stuff, nor the totally flat stuff. I thought I'd like this tape. I don't. Pull it tight enough to keep it from moving around it flattens all the 'squishiness' out of it. It provides zero cushioning. Wrap it loose enough to have some 'squishiness' it moves around too much. It ends up with gaps between the wraps.

It'll be gone as soon as I can make it to the bike shop for a replacement.