Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fair Hill Report

Roadie report - our Saturday trip to Fair Hill was well, awesome - even sweeter because it was the first time to Fair Hill for 3 of our riders.  Those of you who have ridden there know that it is an windy-twisty-rolling-singletrack wonderland interspersed with some spectacular scenery.  Trails were in tip top condition - frozen and firm - due to the subfreezing morning temps.  Probably 80% of the trails had been carefully manicured (blown/raked) by local trail hands so snow, ice, and leaves were not a factor at all (except when crossing slick frozen bridges).  $2 parking per carload seems almost criminal!  Check out this cool animated GPS track of the ride that Andy Doble captured during the ride.

Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this week.  It's probably a good idea to jam  in some rides to help work up an appetite for the big feast.  I will probably ride Tuesday night assuming it's cold enough to avoid a mudfest.  I am out of town Wed-Mon so will leave it to others to crack the whip in my absence.


"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so worthwhile as simply messing about on bicycles"
     --Tom Kunich

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bustin' In Some NOOBs

Sokol and Riley will be hosting a NOOB ride on Sunday afternoon - if interested you should contact them directly.  Note ride is for new guys only, no exceptions.  If your ride still has that new-bike smell or you are biking in sweat pants then you may qualify.  Remember, we've ALL been there - this is an opportunity for new guys to get acquainted with the sport without a lot of pressure or heckling. If we handle this right, we'll have some new faces (a.k.a. fresh meat) on the rides soon.  If we screw this up then there will be more bikes gathering dust in garages and guys gathering inches around their waists on couches.  Let's do this right and make the world a better place.  

With Riley and Sokol committed, Ferrer on the road with soccer, and Ahern harassing the nurses while on medical leave, attendance could be thin for Sunday morning.  If you want to do the customary Sunday 9am ride then please chime in and we'll keep it on the schedule.  Otherwise I may ride earlier or later in the day based on family activities.   


"You've got to be tough if you're going to be stupid."       
-- anonymous

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Race Results

Race results for Sport class have been published so I took the liberty of cranking them through Excel (yes I am a data dork).  The results are depicted graphically above (click the graphic to expand).  Note that all times have been rounded down to nearest minute.  

Some highlights for the Sport class:
  • 62 riders finished (5 DNFs)
  • Average time was 2:08, median was 2:07
  • Best time was 1:46
  • I would like to point out that the top 5 Sport class finishers were all OLD GUYS!  Those that found ourselves in the bottom third of that age group (45-54) would have placed mid-pack with the youngsters (35-44).  I take a great deal of satisfaction from this.
  • Nearly all of the single speeders finished in the top third overall.  Who are these guys?
  • There does not appear to be a major sandbagger issue (fairly constant slope to the curve)
  • We did not get dusted by the girls.  Some consolation in that I suppose.
A more sobering perspective gleaned from the Expert class split times (their first 2 laps):
  • First place finisher completed his second lap at 1:36 
  • Last place finisher completed his second lap at 1:57
Finally to end on a positive, following is a piece of anecdotal data that is sure to impress the ladies.  It was posted by a racer to the dtownmtb group on yahoo:
"Here's a quick note on the race that I learned from one of the race officials. Only one racer, in any class, climbed the nasty, slippery trail up from the railroad tracks without getting off and walking at least part of it. 

That rider would be Rob Inforzato! Great Job!"
On another note, great ride last night - first official night ride of the winter season.  Trails were silky smooth from the Sunday race, clear skies (sort of), nearly full moon, and balmy temps in the high 30s.  Data analysis:
  • 5 riders (CD, SF, SM, AS, MY)
  • 80% of the bikes left the woods with their drive trains intact

Sunday, November 9, 2008


WARNING: There is a lot of leg in this picture, maybe too much.  

The grindfest is in the bag.  2+ hours pushing at full throttle on that course was brutal, but I think all the finishers clocked in at or very near their target times.  A shower, four loaded tacos, and a big honkin' bowl of apple pie and I am beginning to feel human again...

The course was in pretty good shape given all the rain this week.  That crazy stretch of bridges, logs, rickety causeways, 4x6 handlebar grabbing posts, mud and brambles that was the gateway to the lakeside trail was transformed to something resembling the Santa Monica Freeway, complete with a chicken wire wrap to ensure good traction in wet weather.  Rob, Jim, and I would like to take credit for it (we spent about an hour working on it on Saturday), but what we saw on Sunday was a definite improvement on our work - somebody was busy late Saturday.

As predicted the race claimed some bonkers on the 2nd lap.  For example I passed one fellow near the top of the quarry climb who looked like he started with some game but at that point was pretty green around the gills and pleaded with me for food.  There were a few others out there in the same predicament.  

The results were impressive - we got a Riley onto the podium!  Father and mother were very proud (yes, it was Mike's young son Sean that had the podium finish).  This took the pressure off the rest of us and respectable times were turned in by the remaining riders (aside from our one fatal mechanical).

Our favorite park ranger was making the rounds on his ATV and strolling the field with his little ticket book drawn and ready.  This was crimping our style until in a flash of brilliance we figured out that that a bike water bottle filled with beer and dangled casually in one hand is the perfect camoflage and allowed us to stroll the after party, choke down tube steaks, and most importantly drink with impunity.  We finally closed down the afterparty around 3:00.  

We now begin a new chapter of autumn riding, doing it just for the fun of it (no more "training" rides), and best of all welcome back a few riders that have been out of the saddle for way too long.  We even have a NOOB climbing on board (got his bike yesterday).  

A day of rest seems in order for tomorrow, but by Tuesday I suspect that rigor mortis will be settling in and the legs will need a spin to loosen up, so I'll go ahead and suggest a Tuesday night ride 8:30pm.

For those of us who have been pounding the crap out of MCSP the last month or so, there is serious interest in a long overdue roadie, sometime this weekend or next.  If you think you might be interested, please chime in with weekend preference if any. 


"Pedal, b*tches!"
     - anonymous

Relive our (mis)adventures at

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Game Faces On

The light hearted email banter has tailed off and the game faces are on, race day must be just around the corner.  I took a spin on the course Thursday night and cursed Todd up and down while trying to make some of those rooty rocky muddy wet-leaf covered climbs between the Struble and the green trail. 

Possibly a ride for me tomorrow, but it will probably be a milk-run type thing just to keep the legs loose, make final tweaks on the bike (yes, the same bike that was in pieces during last weekend's wrenching debacle), and possibly do some trail maintenance over by the bridges (it's a sloppy mudfest down there after the rain an 100 bikes won't help matters much).  

Sunday is race day (duh).  If you are not racing, feel free to swing by to offer some abuse or to hear all the carnage stories while they are fresh and before they have been exegerated beyond all recognition.  I think most of us start around 10:15am and are shooting for about 2 hrs on the course, which puts us at the finish line shortly after lunch.  Look for the muddy guys with the big grins who are drinking out of plastic cups.  

Friday, November 7, 2008

Terrible News

One of ours received some terrible news this week.  Dave Calvaresi learned that his son Nicholas has a brain tumor.

It is going to be a long road back for Nick and his family, but with the support of a very strong family and many concerned friends I am confident that Nick will WIN this battle convincingly.

David is keeping us current via a blog at  I know that Nick and his family would appreciate any good wishes you could send their way via the blog. 

"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell."
--- Lance Armstrong

Monday, November 3, 2008

You do NOT want to see this

This picture is what you do not want to see on the Sunday before the bike race.  

The picture was taken in my garage yesterday (the Sunday before the bike race).  

It is what happens when you ignore that cardinal rule of race preparation to NOT DORK AROUND WITH YOUR BIKE before a race.  "Dialing in" type of stuff is (borderline) ok, but what you see here is definitely not.  This was an aborted attempt to swap forks to create a more nimble full suspension bike for next week.  You can imagine how thrilled I was with myself when halfway through the nightmare project, I realized I was going to have to abort and reassemble the bikes in their original configuration.  That's about all I have to say on this particular debacle, except to remind you (and me) that when that little voice whispers that "I don't think this is a very good idea," you should listen to it.

I did manage to turn in a race lap yesterday with a couple of other riders.  We were only able to fit in one lap due to the early nightfall but were encouraged by the result.  Race day will tell. 

The coming week is all about one more hard ride, a milk run late in the week, and lots of clean living (maybe put that off until Wed or Thr).


"Those who love you are watching, and they expect greatness"