My First Cyclocross race

Firstly, it was great fun! Secondly it was dusty. Thirdly I thought that I’d passed a lot of people (they started the 35+ Cat C’s 30 seconds after the under 35 Cat C’s so there were maybe 90 people ahead of me). Unfortunately I ended up 44 out of 58 in my category, which was a bit disappointing but it was my first race I guess. Joe mentioned there was at least one person bunny hopping the barriers, which seems like a bit of a sandbag for the begging class. And I don’t want to be a sore loser though, and like I said it was fun 🙂 It’s really strange being able to ride for 6 or 7 hours and then trying to “channel” that into 40 minutes of all out riding. I’m as tired as I would be after a 60 mile ride! Also the numbers on the Strava page are pretty consistent, so at least I didn’t blow up! Next race is either next weekend, if nobody wants to ride Tunitas Creek with me, and then November 6th at the SF bike expo.

Today, July 25, 2010

Today I got up, made the Sunday Scrambled eggs on wheat toast and watched the end of the Tour de France. Then I headed down the avenue for a coffee before arranging to take my friend Kat kite boarding. Pete has asked me to help out teaching her as it stresses him out to teach his girlfriend. Drove to Waddell to find little wind, but I got her flying a trainer and then the bigger kite surfing kite. I think she’s ready to try out on the water, just body dragging for now. It is a bit stressful thinking that someones whole experience with kite boarding is in your hands! I’ll just have to make sure they’re all good I guess. We did stop at he pie ranch and get pie! Yummy, although maybe not as great as I’d been hoping.

Lazy Sunday

I went to the Albany Criterium today. Saw the last half of the 35+ Cat 4/5, it was kind of scary looking. I’m not so sure I want to try it now, but I think I should at least go to the coaching day and see what it’s like. It all seems very aggressive. Lot’s of guys in the 4/5 from here but didn’t see any of them in the 3’s or womens.

Google I/O 2010

I went to Google I/O on May 19th and 20th. It was once again very impressive (I went last year too). This year we got two phones, one before hand (a Droid for us USA residents) and an HTC EVO at the conference. Interestingly it was relatively easy to get into the Android talks last year, this year I missed two (and two other streams during one slot) because I got there as the talk started only to find it so full they wouldn’t let more people in. Going there makes we want to work for Google, even though the reality must be quite different compared to just seeing cool stuff at a conference.

Parrot where there showing off their AR Drone running on a Nexus One. They have an API for developing games on this platform. Lets hope they open it up to allow flight control development too.

One of the fun things about this conference is the Google After Hours party held in the evening of the first day. It’s a complete geek fest, and as Maker Faire is the following weekend hey get a few of the exhibitors to com along. I wish they’d had Arc Attack to do some music, but what they had was great fun.

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Grizzly Peak Century

I did the Grizzly Peak Cyclist Century on May 2nd.  It was hard work, I ate badly, felt sick, had a major energy bonk just before lunch then rallied post lunch and finally enjoyed the day.  Not the fastest century ever done but completion is the main goal anyway.  Thanks to Dan for moral support throughout the day.

Check out the route and distances extra on the excellent
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You’d think that Pinehurst would be an easier climb first thing in the morning, it’s not.

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This is me at the end of the day, I’m reasonably sure I’m attempting to smile in this photo.

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I know this is out of focus, but it’s kind of how I was seeing things by 3pm when we returned.

Here’s the rest.

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It must be the New Year.

Is there anyone who has a blog that doesn’t write a “New Year” post.  Probably, but if they don’t publish one I bet they think about it.  My plan: Publish the list of “things to do” (not resolutions).  Then they’re out in the public eye and you, my gentle reader, can mercilessly tease me about what I have and haven’t done. So with further ado:

  1. Write more blog posts.  Who doesn’t write this one? And if they don’t I bet they think about it…. Wait maybe this should be write more blog post and get some new jokes.  What stops me now? Topics, I need more topics and I don’t fell like being serious most of the time so they need to be kind of superficial.  Wait…
  2. Making more savings.  In the interests of having some privacy I’m not going to post numbers.  But I’d like have some sort of future financial security, and last years was status quo with regard to savings.  What stops me now?  Bikes, snowboards, projects that never get finished, comcast, etc.
  3. Bike riding goals.  I think this gets a post of its own.
  4. Career.  What are my goals? I never seem to have any.  Get some.
  5. Finish more projects.  So far I have the quad copter, Pete’s flying thing, a robot, and pile of electronics.  Get something finished!  Actually the goal should be, display at Maker Faire. What stops me now? TV, copumter games, facebook, apathy. All easily fixable things.
  6. Weight loss.  I’m 94kg, 4kg away from my original “buy a new bike” goal. I have the bike so I really should get to the goal.  If I meet the bike goals this should happen.
  7. See more of SF/Oakland.  Someone recently asked me what gallery’s or museum’s I’d been to in San Francisco.  It struck me I’ve been here 18 months and the answer is none!  I’ve moved into, “I live here I’ll get around to it” mode.  That should be fixed, there’s plenty of times I wonder what I should do with a few hours I have free.
  8. Take up Yoga.  I hear only good things so I should go do it right?  What stops me now?  It’s scary being the newbie.

Tunitas Creek or My First 7,000 ft climbing day.

If you just want photo’s, skip to the gallery at the end, otherwise read on!

Once again my amazing powers of observation came to the fore on Friday afternoon (if you’re a boss/coworker/client, I promise that in work matters I’m completely on top of things) when I realized that I’d decided to do the advanced route on Saturday.  The advanced route that I read earlier had 5,000 ft of climbing…  So once I realized the route had 7,000 ft of climbing I decided there wasn’t that much difference in it and I really wanted to do it.  Some simple math says that 7,000 is 40% more than 5,000 but denial is a much stronger force than math.

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The Start

What a great start to the day, perfect temperature, no wind and an almost cloudless sky. After one missed turn in Woodside (that road really does look like a market parking lot) we came to the start of Page Mill Rd.  The ride up to there was great, very nice but  I couldn’t stop thinking about the first 10 mile climb of the day. Once we got there I graciously allowed Rich and Roger to get ahead and make sure the road was clear. The first bit was fine, something similar to Tunnel Rd maybe.  Before long though it steepened, a lot.  It was also around then that I realized it really was a long way.  I was also realizing that while my nice new carbon bike was light and fast, it was a compact crank with a 25 tooth rear cog and I was fast running out of fitness. In fact there where a couple of time I elected to take a small break in order to allow my heart rate to drop slightly, that and to make sure Rich and Roger had enough time to clear the road ahead. Eventually I got to the top.

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The Summit

I started on the decent only to come around a corner and see:

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More Up

Oh well keep pedaling, if I’d thought about it I would have noted I was unlikely to do 10 miles in 35 minutes while climbing at 8mph.  At least I was out of the fog:

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East Bay Fog

Bruce came past at one point to wish me a good morning and to cheer me on over the actual summit.  He took my que that he really should tell me it was the summit regardless of whether it was true or not. A really nice decent into the forest was my reward for all that up.  I really like descents, especially when they look like this:

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I can only assume that Rich and Roger were having so much fun themselves that they didn’t have time to clear out the leaves that had been washed onto the road from the storm early in the week.  The section into Pescadero was really spectacular, certainly some of the nicest riding I’ve done.  Once again I’d managed to get myself into a solo ride section, but figured the leaders would stop at some point. They did stop, at the San Gregorio General Store, an oddly unwelcoming to cycling establishment. The live music was nice though and the three of us left town together.

Coming up was Tunitas Creek Rd.  For those of you who don’t follow competitive road cycling (why not!) the Tour of California came through here last year.  I therefore imagined myself looking somewhat like this:

Bet Lance doesn’t even own a compact

They averaged something like 18mph.  Instead it looked like this:

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See you at the top guys

And soon things started to look like this:

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In the interests of keeping my heart within my ribcage I was once again “forced” to stop and let things settle down a bit. The upside was that I couldn’t possible think of a better place to stop and rest.  The redwoods in there are really spectacular.  They also keep the road fairly slick make standing to pedal a bit treacherous at times. At some point prior to that I’d passed the pink “5 miles left” line on the road.  I was surprised that there wasn’t a 4 mile marker as Andrew had mentioned it in his excellent “Anatomy of a Climb” article.  Of course this was because I hadn’t reached it yet, and when I did there were very few happy thoughts being directed towards the person responsible for drawing them.  Eventually I got to the easier grade and after a close encounter with a deer (the second in two weeks) I made it to the top to find a waiting Rich and Roger.  Thank you so much for waiting! After redirecting a lost motorist (who’s GPS had led her up Tunitas Creek Rd from Highway 1 on the way to Santa Cruz!) we made yet another great decent down to Woodside, followed by a short 7 mile headwind section to finish the day.  Maybe it sounds like I’m complaining about all the climbing.  I’m not, it was definitely challenging but I would certainly put this ride on my top 10 favorites of all time. It’s just so amazingly nice to be in all those Redwoods, the roads are great and there’s almost no traffic.  I’ll certainly be back to tackle it again soon, with my newly installed 27 tooth rear sprocket. When I got home I was meet by this by my back stairs:

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Taking a picture to make sure I wasn’t seeing things seemed like a good idea.

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