Limping Home

Share

I’m in Arvada staying with Vincent.  I really normally like the drive across Nevada, Utah and Colorado, but with a underlying worry that the car I’m driving could break down at any time, it was more stressful than enjoyable.

The people I bought the van from have no intention to “make it right” so I’m weighing my options now.  I need to get back to Topeka before I decide exactly what I’m going to do.  It’s really about principles now. The transmission is now making a low whinning noise and it is obvious that there is an expensive fix coming along soon.  Thanks to all that gave me legal advice.  I didn’t realize how much different laws can be state to state.

Vincent and I went for a pretty good ride yesterday.  Vincent is weird riding with.  He is usually either on or off.  He was off yesterday, which was fine.  I had a wicked headache all day.   Actually, it started the two nights earlier right after I got the check engine code read and then checked into Treasure Island in Las Vegas.  I wasn’t in the mood for any people watching in Vegas and went directly to the room and stayed there.  I still have a remnant a headache.  I’ve never had a headache this long in my life.  It might be from altitude now, but I don’t really know.

Anyway, we rode up Lookout Mtn. super easy and did a lap around Genesse Park.  On the way back, we stopped by Vincent’s new vintage motorcycle repair business, Old World Bikes, which is in a commercial storage condo area.   The Optum Pro Cycling Team has a service course just across from Vincent’s.  The door was open and there were three guys working.

I rode over and there is Bob Gregorio.  He is a mechanic for Optum and was packing up bikesfor the Tour of Qatar, which starts in a little over a week.  I‘ve know Bob for a long time.  He was John Tomac’s personal mechanic when John was smearing all of us racing MTB.  He told me he has been to over 40 countries now, mainly through the sport of cycling.  He was inducted into the Mountain BIke Hall of Fame back in 2006 and is just an all around good guy.  It was good catching up a little.

I‘m think I’m going to limp back to Kansas later today.  Not sure if I’m going to ride first of just start driving.  I’m not looking forward to it.

The drive is super scenic.

The drive is super scenic.

It makes you realize how big this country actually is.

It makes you realize how big this country actually is.

I was just shooting these pictures out the van window my iPhone.

I was just shooting these pictures out the van window my iPhone.

Vincent makes me a crazy great breakfast every morning.

Vincent makes me a crazy great breakfast every morning.

Old World Bikes.

Old World Bikes.

The Optum Service Coure.

The Optum Service Coure.

Bob and Ben packing up bikes.

Bob and Ben packing up bikes.

 

Tour of California – Sans Chris Horner

Share

I saw a couple days ago that the Tour of California selections were out and Chris Horner’s new domestic team, Airgas/Safeway, was absent.   That really surprised me.  I meant to post about it then, but got caught up in life.  There are a lot of reasons that they should/need to be in the race.  You can see some of these reasons, here, at RKP. 

Anyway, I looked over the list and can’t really see a domestic team that needs to be omitted.  That would only leave not having one of the Pro Tour Teams left out.  I’m not sure the ratio of Pro Tour to domestic teams is mandatory, but I’m sure they have that correct.

I read a couple articles about Chris’ response to being snubbed by the Tour of California.  He is vocal and adamant about the injustice.  He’s not shy about saying his thoughts.

“I don’t know what the promoters are thinking. They’ve obviously done harm to the race by not bringing me. You left the only current rider with a grand-tour résumé who was going to show up, and I’m a past champion there.”

He also said, “I’m the No. 1 rider in the US and certainly the strongest and have the best résumé for stage racing.”

You can go to Peleton and checked out his whole interview if you’re interested.

I’ve written a couple posts on Chris Horner.  I like the guy.  But he has made some career errors and bad decisions.  First and foremost was winning the Tour of Spain.  And calling it before he did it.  That was maybe a short term achievement, but it has caused him more harm than good since.  A Tour of Spain winner riding for a US domestic team is the result.

And, like all the articles about this snub have stated, he has a cloud hanging over his head.  He’s never been officially sanctioned, but his name is always there  and has been associated with doping. I haven’t seen it, but I guess George Hincapie said something about this in his new book.

That really must be there reason for his team being left out of the race.  They are trying to stay away from a potential controversy.  I don’t really blame them.  But, leaving his team out, really is a blow to domestic sponsorship.

Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

Chris isn’t smiling so much right about now.

 

 

 

Travelling

Share

I had a few post ideas, but am kind of shot.  The van I bought had its check engine light go on South of LA.  Just 64 miles after I purchased it.  I went by an Autozone to get the code read, but they don’t do that in California.  So I kept driving last night.

When I got to Las Vegas, around 9 pm, I got the code read.  It was  P0740 and P0700 transmission codes.   They said the code had been reset and it just went back on after 100 than 100 miles.

So, I’ve been in contact with the woman I bought the car from.  She isn’t being very cooperative just yet.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m hoping to return the car to her and just fly home, but we’ll see.  I’ll know very shortly I think.

 

Tour Down Under On Bike Video Footage

Share

I’ve been thinking about mounting a Shimano camera on my bike full time.  I texted Wayne Stetina, from Shimano, and asked him about using the Di2 shifter buttons to operate the camera and he said pretty soon.  You’ll be able to control your Garmins too.  Anyway, onboard race footage is super cool.  Here is some video from the Tour Down Under a couple days ago.

Another Nice Day

Share

Okay, I’m done with the first week of riding out here.  I got in right around 560 miles, which took close to 35 hours.   I’m still feeling pretty good, which is nice.

Yesterday I got to hook with a Kansas City native, KC Borden.  I’ve never ridden with him before and it was a really nice having him to ride with for 5 hours.  He’s out here for a conference and brought his bike along.  He’s is in really great shape considering he’s riding 3 X a week inside on a trainer.

I’m going to take it a little bit easier today I think.  I’ve been riding a ton and eventually something has to give I’d think.

There is a fitness calculator on Strava and it is amazing how slowly it rises.  Last year, the day I broke my hip, my form and fitness level was 115.  Now it is in the 40’s.  I’m not sure what they use to calculate that.  I’m sure it has something to do with riding time and power numbers.  Whatever they do, it is going to take a while to get back up there.  At least my January numbers this year are higher than the January numbers last year.  Though, I only rode 18 hours total in January last year.

I’ve been messing with this new van a little everyday.  There are a ton a little things on used cars that always need fixing.  I guess the average Joe doesn’t have the time, or incentive to do that on their own.  Easy fixes that are rewarding.

I’m going to head back to Kansas by mid-week.  Of course the weather there has been stellar.  It’s been in the upper 50’s and 60’s for a while.  And it is staying there.  I always like it to be horrible at home when I’m somewhere warm.  I’m not sure why that is.  It is supposed to be nearly 80 today here.

Okay, that is about it today.  Hope you have a chance to get out on your bike and get some miles in.

 

KC waving to the UCSC runners at the top of Torrey Pines.

KC waving to the UCSC runners at the top of Torrey Pines.

We saw this truck on La Costa dump over a load of bottles.  It happened in slow motion.

We saw this truck on La Costa dump over a load of bottles. It happened in slow motion.

 

This was the end result.

This was the end result.

 

They were doing a coffee tasting in the basement of the Pannikin yesterday.

They were doing a coffee tasting in the basement of the Pannikin yesterday.

This is my Strava Fitness level for the last year.

This is my Strava Fitness level for the last year.

The weather in Topeka is pretty good right now for January.

The weather in Topeka is pretty good right now for January.

Pretty great sunset a couple days ago here.

Pretty great sunset a couple days ago here.

Good Early Season Miles

Share

Today is officially the end of the first week of “real” early season training. I’ve ridden 480 miles in 29 hours and still have today left. That is pretty huge for me for the first official week of riding. The average speed seems kind of low, but with all the lights and climbing, it really isn’t.

Yesterday I rode 106 miles with local Kansans Adam Mills and Joseph Schmalz , plus Joe’s Hincapie team mate Robin Carpenter. . Robin won that super crazy stage to Crested Butte they stopped in the USPro Challenge last year. James a Stout, a British rider that is in graduate school at UCSD started with us, but had to turn back early to teach a class. That might be the first time I’ve heard that reason for cutting a ride short. James was super interesting to talk to.

It was a good ride. I’m a tad tired right now, but seem to be riding into it after the first 30 minutes or so.

An interesting thing happened. I got pulled over by a cop for looking at my phone yesterday while riding. I pulled my phone out to use Google Maps to try to figure out where I was. I rode by a police car and waved. Next thing I know he’s behind me telling me to pull over.

He tells me I am under the same rules as an automobile and it’s illegal to look at my phone while riding a bike. I explained I didn’t know that law and was from Kansas. He asked for ID at least 3 times. I told him all 3 times I don’t heave any. He finally just let me go. Kind of a strange encounter.

My computer is officially not working. It won’t charge. There isn’t an appointment open at the Apple Store until Sunday. Shit. So, I’m posting this on my phone and it is getting tedious. I think I’ll just put my computer in a backpack and ride over to the Apple Store after I ride and see if they can sneak me in.

Okay, here are some pictures from yesterday.

IMG_5371.JPG
Adam, Robin and Joseph heading back yesterday.

IMG_5367.JPG
This guy passed me on Miramar Road doing about 30 mph. He got stopped at the next light and did a track stand while I caught up to him. When the light turned green, he instantly popped a wheelie and rode it across the intersection. Pretty impressive. Then he took off again a full speed. All I could think was that I was jealous of his enthusiasm.

IMG_5383.JPG
My rear tire after the ride yesterday. It was showing no threads before the ride. Crazy.

IMG_5379.JPGI had to stop and get a fish taco before I finished the ride. I was sort of done.

Surfer Question

Share

The surf has been pretty big the  last couple days out in Southern California and that means there are a lot more guys playing hooky and surfing.   And I have a question.

I’ve noticed this for years and this has always been buggin me.  Why do surfers always jog along the road, with their surfboards, when they are going from their car to the ocean?

It is pretty much a given that when a guy, or a girl, is ready to surf, with their wetsuits on, they start their “surf jog” towards where they are surfing.  They do it as individuals and when they are in groups.

It seems kind of strange that the surfers are jogging along the coast highway, usually always barefoot.

My only answer is that it is to get warm before they get into the water.  But, that doesn’t explain why they do it when the water is warm and they aren’t wearing wetsuits.  I haven’t been in the water this trip, but I think it would be cold.   You’d think they would be cold when they get out of the water, after surfing, so they would run back to their cars, but they seem to walk this stretch.  Maybe it is just  part of the surf etiquette?

Anyone out there have an answer?

This guy was "surf jogging" into Swamis yesterday afternoon.  My phone's camera lens must of been covered in sweat or something.

This guy was “surf jogging” into Swamis yesterday afternoon. My phone’s camera lens must of been covered in sweat or something.

 

The tide was pretty low yesterday afternoon at Swamis.

The tide was pretty low yesterday afternoon at Swamis.