Monday, February 26, 2007

Not this many switchbacks in Tahoe

So I was browsing the interwebs today and came upon a video montage of Lance's victory at Alpe d'Huez. "The Look" at 1:43. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wee....that was fun

So I snuck out for a lunch time ride today. It was tons of fun!!

I very rarely ride with a destination in mind. Usually its for exercise or to clear the cobwebs out of my brain, or becuase I've just finished reading bicycling and I've got the urge. Today though I had a desitiantion in mind. I had to head up to City Bikes to get some work done on my bike. About two weeks ago I got the cables and housings replaced on the deraileurs. Pretty standards stuff and the bike was due. Unfortuantely the guy who did the work didn't tune it properly so when I was shifting through the middle gears it would shift, not shift, grind, fantom shift...basically do all kinds of things it wasn't supposed to do. Very frustrating and jarring. I took it back to the shop and the mechanic there did about ten minutes of adjustments to the barrel adjuster and we were back in business. Good times.

So the ride itself was a blast. The first part up to City Bikes was extremely uneventful. It was pretty low stress urban riding. Lunch time so there weren't a ton of cars out...although the recent show storm and subsquent salting had taken its toll on the road, so there was a fair number of potholes to dodge.

But after I got out of City Bikes it got fun.

When I walked out of the store there was a massive lightning bolt and thunder clap directly overhead. It was pretty impressive. It has been spitting a bit on the way up but it was becoming clear that the heavens were going to open up. And boy did they.

It turned out to be alot of fun. It was like being a little kid riding through the mud again...except at 18 mph. I got off the main roads and headed onto the rock creek park trail. The rock creek trail is not my favorite trail. Its been pretty neglected and there are alot of spots where tree roots have pushed up the pavement -- not such a big deal if you're a jogger, but if you're a biker its like riding over moguls. Fortunately the trail was empty and I could maneuver pretty easily. The creek was really beautiful. Between the rain and the recent warming and ice melting the creek was really running. Very calming to listen too. There were also quite a few puddles along the trail which almost took me out once or twice, but I was able to keep my wheels under me and plow along spitting mud and rain all over me.

The best part was that all the time during the rain the sun kept shining. It was crisp, refreshing and invigorating. A really great ride. I would have stayed out longer, but I had to get back to the office and scrape off the mud and put clean clothes on.

This weekend will be the first TNT training ride -- there were supposed to be 2 rides already but the cold snap has kept the team inside. I was hoping I could join them, but as you might know Noel and I are moving into our new house this weekend. WOO HOO! Its super exciting and if all goes well I won't throw my back out! Its also going to be very bike friendly. The trainer will be set up downstairs so I can jump on anytime I want and spin for a bit and there are bike lanes on the main drag through town.

I'm hoping to ride on Sunday for about 30 miles and will report back on that ride and the full story on the move.

UPDATE: Here's the track of where I roe. Zoom in and out and check out where my car was parked (starting point)

Amgen Tour of California

If you enjoy the Tour de France, you'll love the Tour of California. Ok..who knows maybe that's not true, but there is a higher likelihood that you'll recognize a landmark. Anyway, if you enjoy watching pro-cycling, the Amgen Tour of California is on the Versus network now and the listings are here. For those of you who missed it, there was a spectacular crash at the end of the first stage. Watching crashes is painful...more so after you've crashed.

On a more serious note, one of my teammates pointed out some of the important work the name sponsor of the ride supports:

Amgen makes several drugs that really help patients on chemotherapy cope. Neupogen helps the body replace the good white blood killed by the chemo and epogen helps replace the red cells. Of course epogen is also banned substance #1 on the procycling tour.

Tune in. There are a bunch great Americans in the race to cheer for. Personally I'm torn between Levi and Hincapie.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Look and Feel -- To the Blog, not Me

I'm not really sure that anyone actually reads my blog but if they do, you'll notice that its got a bit of a new look and feel. Its nothing really exciting, but its a little greener and has some new gizmos from google. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Oh yeah its still cold out there

In the event you don't live in the greater D.C. area, we've had a prolonged cold snap here. Its actually been a bit nice. Unfortunately its been keeping me from getting outside as much I would like. But I have been making every effort to get on the trainer and spin a bit. I've got a new favorite spinning video, HILL-acious, staring the Great Harvest Bread company's racing team. I find the spinervals videos make the indoor training alot less monotonous.

I was able to get out this morning and do a short spin with one of my teammates from the 2007 Tahoe team. We did a short run up Beach Drive and down part of the CCT and then down Wisconsin Ave. The run up Beach Drive turned out to be more beautiful than usual. If you're not familiar with the area, Beach Drive runs along the Rock Creek in the center of the disctrict. Beach Drive is also closed to vehicular traffic on the weekends. It turned out to be really beautiful this morning because of that recent cold snap, the creek had partially frozen. It was white and almost fluffy at those parts where it looked like there might have been spray. It had a soft calming effect and made the ride a bit more enjoyable.

The map attached shows where the ride went. If you click on the map, you can go find out all kind of interesting stuff about my ride -- speed, elevation, heart rate, cadence, etc. My new cycle computer, the Garmin Edge 305 pulls down almost every relevant data point from the cycling experience -- well except for wattage -- and since I lack a loose grand sitting around or a sponsor willing to pick up the tab, my wattage will just have to be a mystery. Anyway, give it a look if you're interested.