Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Nepal Mountain Bikers Helping

These are the guys who made us feel like family the minute we arrived. You guys are fantastic - your big hearts do more than just pump blood at high elevation to beat the pants off U.S. foreign racers -  you're heroes for helping the people around you.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Wildcat Roubaix 2015

Dallas, Quinney, et al - thanks for putting it on.  Great way to start the ABA season.  All the questions on weather, tires, gravel, etc. leading up to it faded to nothing but well earned smiles in the parking area after.

Racing is hard, that's what I love about it.  Was trying to hang on as long as I could, and for me, at this season's weight so far, I can't complain.  A small unfortunate chain coming off the front ring on that last gravel east TWP 274 climb was inopportune, but wouldn't have changed the result one iota, just made me solo for longer.

What's the difference (for me at least) between riding and training and racing?  Check the graphics below.

Wildcat Roubaix (no power meter to derive the absolutes on this bike).  Dick all for moderate - just given'er.

But Erik, haven't you been training via the Deadbeat hammer rides?  Yes, a bit.  But even those are different.  Partly we've been doing the abbreviated loop until the days get longer, and partly the west winds have been so strong that the eastbound half is hard to keep it pinned.  But it is also a team group hammer ride with regroups, and you just don't keep it pinned as much, more surge-y.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


I'm not much of a climber in the cycling sense of the word.  Other than Nepal last year which wilted me away, I've been too heavy to be a climber.  But it got me on the topic of climbing to look back at the results... and funny enough, what I consider my crowning achievement of climbing wasn't on a bike, the bike was on my back.  We froze at night, rose at 3am, and were hiking up a snow covered pass that topped out at 5,416m.  I'd hiked for months on my treadmill at work with weights in my backpack, not to excel, but to assuage a degree of mortal fear.  I've never been that high before, and it felt like one was on borrowed time at the top - you were both freezing and wasting - the relative permanence of one's existence just didn't extend there.  But I'd never felt so alive as I did there marching up Thorung La in the snow.  I'd say it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Bakke, sunshine, Himalayas framing Thorung La pass.  Cold, beautiful, therapy of life.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Spring weekend

It's my first weekend back to riding. Three solid days, but not as easy miles as friends in warmer climates. It was headwinds, snow, slush, and I think a weekend high of 8C. I guess that's suitable if you're a fan of watchhing spring classics. Third day, despite tougher weather, I felt not like junk. That's good. 

Deep thoughts on the bike path. 

Wrong on many levels, at least for this guy. 

Keith's eponymous bridge. 

Besides bar mitts and layers, today's secret to success was a good whacking/poking stick to deal with ongoing ice buildup.