Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Night mountain bike riding is so much fun!! Cyclocross not so much...

This picture came out the best of all, Mike stylin!

"All I want is frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!!"

Courtland with no front brake!

Lately I have been doing most of my riding at night with a pretty awesome group of friends. During our "Full Moon night ride at Lake Sawyer" last Saturday Mike took some pretty cool pictures with his new camera. It almost makes it look like I have laser beams shooting from my head. The ride was great the rain halted just for us. We never did actually see the full moon due to the cloud cover but thanks the that cover the temps were above freezing!

Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s)2:19:4715:15 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s)1:43:0311:14 pace
Distance (mi )9.16
Moving Speed (mph)5.3 avg.17.4 max.
Elevation Gain (ft)+1,104 / -1,093

Avg. Heart Rate129 bpmZone 3.0

Temperature (°F)42.8°F avg.42.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph)N 0.0 avg.N 0.0 max.

Then on Sunday I brutalized myself in the cyclocross race at South Seatac. 60 minutes of pure pain.

Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s)0:54:375:35 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s)0:54:295:34 pace
Distance (mi )9.76
Moving Speed (mph)10.8 avg.27.5 max.
Elevation Gain (ft)+1,204 / -1,145

Avg. Heart Rate167 bpmZone 5.0

Temperature (°F)45.8°F avg.46.4°F high
Wind Speed ( mph)SE 9.2 avg.SE 10.4 max.

OUCH Zone 5 for an hour!!!!!

The picture of pain!!

Abigael feeding Meatball a Cheeto (note the Pavlov drool!)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Start training them when they are young...

Yesterday I wanted to go help my friend Courtland do some trail maintenance work out at the Super Secret trail network, but Christie was not in the mood to deal with both kids alone. So I volunteered to take my exceptionally awesome daughter with me out into the woods so she could run and let loose some of her pent up winter energy! The only "problem" was that in order to get to the section of trail that needed clearing we had to ride a few miles into the woods via mountain bike.

Best team around dad and daughter. photo by Mike

Snacks with dad on the trail.


I have ridden with Abigael in my messenger bag before around the neighborhood back in Seattle so she knows how to be still and be safe while riding. But this was the first time I have ever taken her riding in the bag off-road mountain biking on trails. In a word, she did AWESOME!! We had so much fun!! She wore her helmet the entire time without complaint! When I rounded the corner to meet up with Courtland and Mike their jaws dropped and they started laughing with amazement!

Mike whipped out his camera and snapped some shots and Courtland insisted on getting in the pic with the coolest dad/daughter trail work team in Washington State!! We rode out to the work site with ease and spent about an hour and a half clearing out a section of trail of blow downs and overgrown brush and even walked out some new sections of trail. Abigael ran up and down the trail while we worked and had a BLAST to the point that when it was time to go home she did not want to leave! I can't wait until she can ride behind me on a trail-a-long bike.... And then ride with me on our various mountain bike adventures!!!

Clearing the trail with Mike, Courtland and Abigael.

The littlest trail gnome!

Needless to say I got to get out and help with the trail maintenance and Christie got a break form the 3 1/2 year old hell on wheels!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tuesday evening SUPER secret night rides...

For the past couple of weeks I have been riding with a local group of riders on Tuesday evenings. The trails are maintained by my friend Courtland and a few others. The trail system is fun, fast, and twisty. We typically ride about an hour and a half or so and cover about 8 to 9 miles of pure singletrack. We stopped last Tuesday night about half way through for a Cliff Bar break and Mike took so pictures of the group.

We had FIVE hardcore "Betty's" riding in the group with a total of twelve riders.

The group ranges in size from about 8 up to 15 people all by word of mouth. We typically meet around 6:15 and are out in the trails for about 2 hours total. For me it has been a great chance to get some extra weekday riding in and test out my new light system. I have since turned at least two other people onto my Ay Up! LED lighting system. I hope to be able to convert more people to Ay Up! as in my opinion it is the best system around! I am even working Wednesday - Friday so I can have Monday night with the family and ride Tuesday night.

PS yes I know I have crazy helmet hair!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Riding and working my a$$ off!!

Saturday I packed the whole family up and we drove down to Capitol Forrest to take part in the monthly Saturday volunteer trail work party with the "Friends of Capitol Forest". I brought the whole family because I knew we would be working on improving the parking area at the "Y" and not out on some trail somewhere in the forest. I was glad I brought my little chainsaw as I ended up running it almost non-stop helping to build the fence around the parking area. Abigael dug in the dirt and played in the mud. Christie walked around carrying Mason and took pictures to help document the work. There was a good amount of people that showed up and we got almost all of the fence up and would have finished it if 50 of our posts had not been stolen the night before!!

Sunday I got a 'kitchen pass" from the wife to go ride. Courtland and I drove down to Olympia and met up with his friend Brian to go mountain biking even further south just outside of Longview, WA. We linked up with a bunch of local guys and they guided us on their amazing trail system in and around Growler's Gultch! We rode over 14 miles and did some impressive climbing and super fast, super fun descending. Four of the local guys were riding 29er full suspention moutain bikes and one guy, Bob aka, was kicking ass on his fully rigid singlespeed!!
I got my ass handed to me a few times, bailed a few times on some steep technical terrain features (TTF's), nailed some more TTF's on the money, and ended up with a good sized bruise on my left quad, ouch!
Photo courtesy
Thanks to the local guys for showing us their kick arse trail system and inviting us back anytime we want! I have decided to make it mandatory that I ride at least one day a week on the mountain bike as it is good for my soul and my health!! I can't wait to be able to take Abigael along with me and eventually Mason as well!! By then I will have to be riding 5 or 6 days a week just to stay in shape enough to keep up with the kids!!

Photo courtesy

On the home front all is well. We had a great time trick-or-treating on Wednesday and last week I started working at REI. working swing shift has taken some getting used to, and not just by me, as Christie now has to put the girl to bed and deal with them both in the evening when they are cranky and tired. I am scheduled 3 days a week now and have the option for more or less depending how hard I work and how many hours I want to work. So far the job is pretty easy and "fun". I will work until I can go back to school and finish my nursing degree!! When Christie goes back to work I will adjust my schedule to go in at 5pm instead of 2:30 and we will meet and swap kids in the parking lot at work. I hope to be able to get the shop walls painted in the man cave this week so I can start hanging and organizing my tools and get the clutter cleaned up!

Christie turns 20 fifteen on Wednesday. Unfortunately I have to work but we will do something nice for her....