Monthly Archives: February 2010

South Mountain Desert Park

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Today I am one year older. Not really older a year in a day, but a year older in “the how people calculate it method”. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to spend today riding mountain bikes in South Mountain Desert Park, in Phoenix, all day. It was a humbling experience. I have blood everywhere. I was going at least mediocre by the end of the 38 mile/4 hour ride. When I rode for Specialized, we did camps at this park, so I thought I knew the trails pretty well. Not so. I rode the National Trail over the ridge and zigzagged back down. Too much walking for me, but I haven’t ridden stuff like that recently. I need to get some new equipment. I’m having a pedal release problem that is making sure that I am a “friend of the ground/rock” way too often. I am meeting up with some guys tomorrow, so maybe I won’t embarrass myself too much.

Pretty thorny. A man with a dog (English Setter) pretty high up took this photo for me.

I love saguro cactus. They can live up to 200 years old I think.

View of the desert.

Birthday present from Trudi.

And another that is coming in handy.

Better than free drinks, free desert.

Back to Austin

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I am flying back to Austin later this afternoon. Kind of an in and out trip. It is amazing how quickly someone can improve at something that they were once very good at. Yesterday I was 100X better riding my MTB bike than the day before. I was riding ledges and sketchy shit that I didn’t even come close to riding the day before. I think explaining technics to someone helps refresh it for you. Plus, I was riding less than 30psi, which made my tires hookup a ton better. It is nice to have some kind of form (although pitiful as it is) to ride to areas that the “average guy” can’t get to. It is rewarding looking off the edge of a mountain that you climbed on your bike, especially if you climbed it off-road. It seems more of you, nature and the bike, that way.

I saw these guys riding over to the mountain. If you ever see me doing this, you have my permission to shoot me.

Example of what was unridable, then ridable.

Another example of why we ride.

No matter how good I thought I was-I didn't do those stripes on the socks justice.

The oatmeal (instant) at Starbucks isn't that bad after you dump all the condiments on it.

Valentines Day

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2010. Nice number. I’m not sure why. I like Valentines Day. Probably 2nd to Thanksgiving. I went over to watch the Austin Marathon at mile 12 at 7:30 am this morning. I rode over to the course with Bromont and got there a little early, so decided to grocery shop for breakfast first. The checkout lady wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. I thought that was kind of strange, but wished her the same.

I’d never seen a huge marathon. Something like 13,000 people run the race or some portion of it. I was surprised how spread out the first 20 runners were. Then the masses. So, I watched awhile, went back and slept abit and then went out for a 3 hour ride. Hilly ride. A cold front came in and the wind switched to the North and got strong the last hour. It was pretty hard. Maureen went to Florida to visit family at Disney World. She came back looking cute as bunny except she looked like Minnie Mouse. It’s amazing what that place can do to a grown woman. I need a rest day. Too much action for Steve recently. Early season training is humbling.

Marueen decked out in her new outfit.

Everything Valentine's Day should be. I didn't contribute the flowers, they arrived on their own.

As a cyclist, I was almost more interested in the cyclists riding along with the runners, more than the runners. Many of them seemed so serious, much like they were in a competition themselves. Strange.

Valentine photo from Oman.

Floyd is in trouble

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I saw this in the New York Times. When it rains, it pours, huh?

Arrest Warrant Issued for Cyclist Floyd Landis
Published: February 14, 2010
Filed at 12:19 p.m. ET
PARIS (Reuters) – A French judge has issued an international arrest warrant against American rider Floyd Landis for suspected hacking into an anti-doping laboratory computer, French anti-doping agency head Pierre Bordry told Reuters on Monday.
In an interview, Bordy said the judge Thomas Cassuto believed Landis, whose 2006 Tour de France title was stripped after he failed a dope test, wanted to prove the laboratory where his samples were tested was wrong.
“French judge Cassuto from the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre informed us that he had issued an international arrest warrant on January 28 against Floyd Landis, who tested positive for banned testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France, after our laboratory computer system was hacked,” Bordry said.
“He was summoned by the judge, he didn’t come so he’s now under an international arrest warrant.”
The French anti-doping agency launched legal action against unnamed persons after they found their laboratory computer system had been hacked into in September 2006.
Landis, the first rider to be stripped of a Tour victory, has continually denied any wrongdoing but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected his assertion that his positive test was due to procedural mistakes by the laboratory.
Landis, 34, said last year after his two-year ban ended that he was trying to decide whether to follow fellow-American Lance Armstrong’s example and ride again in the Tour de France.
“It seems that (Landis) made all he could to enter into our computer system to try to prove the laboratory was wrong. He showed many documents he got by hacking to numerous sporting instances,” Bordry said. “The judge traced a network of hackers back to the ringleader.”

Austin Observations

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Austin is a great “town”. It’s not really a town because it has grown like crazy, but it has a town feeling. There are a ton of good things about Austin. And, a few bad. One of the best is the selection of food. There are hundreds of great restaurants. And coffee shops. And good music. And great scenery. And weather. The bad-traffic. And size. But, traffic is the biggest negative. It is super athletic. Runners and cyclists everywhere. Maybe the most dog friendly place I’ve ever been. There are water bowls outside every store. Treats. Loaner dogs to walk down by the river. It is just plain weird. In a good weird way. The riding is good if you’re on your own or riding with just one or two other guys. Group riding kind of sucks until you get pretty far out of town. I’ve got a fair amount of miles in recently. I’m starting to kind of run out of energy. You know how that feeling is after the first two weeks of training, you wake up one morning and feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. And can’t seem to wake up even after you’ve been awake for a couple hours. That is how I am currently. But, riding seems to be going okay. Yesterday, I started out and felt like shit. I rode South and met up with a friend, George from Topeka. We rode for a few hours. I stopped at a coffee shop on the way back. After that I was flying. I was riding against a pretty stiff (20mph or so) headwind and it was not a problem keeping my speed over 20mph. But, when I tried to ride at 25mph, that was a problem. I have no top end. But, why would I? I wouldn’t. It is still kind of depressing. But, that is what early season racing is all about in my view. Okay, one more long day before resting for a couple before the weekend races. Some photos below.

I saw this carpet ad in the flight magazine coming back from Phoenix. I though it was great. Dogs, wine, white carpet. Nice.

One of the many boat houses along the Town Lake.

Kayak polo below the bridge. I've never seen that game played before anywhere.

Another low water bridge crossing. It's kind of fun.

The craziest house I've seen here. It's 4 separate huge structures connected all together by a common front hallway.

The balcony of the Oasis that overlooks Lake Travis.

George at the Veloway. It's a closed circuit only for bikes. I'm not sure how long the loop is, maybe 4 km.

The dam for Lake Travis.

Just Stuff

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Nothing much new has happened since yesterday. I was trying to get ready for this weekend. I changed the cables on my bike, checked my wheels/tires and changed the cleats on my shoes. I still feel pretty energyless off the bike, but don’t feel that bad riding. I’ve been watching as much Olympics as I can. Why not? I think it is strange that many of the snowboarders put on music before they do their runs. And how many of the women half pipe participates can’t make it down without falling. It’s pretty cool that the Danish Curling women speak better English than I do. Their coach is Canadian and obviously doesn’t speak Danish as well as her players. I took Maureen’s car for a spin to check her tire pressure. And, I nearly got picked up at Starbucks by two women on the patio. It is a very nice car. Gonna rest tomorrow and suffer like crazy this weekend.

I was going down this hill yesterday at 60 something mph, but by the time I could get my phone out and ready to take the photo, I was down to 53mph.

I kind of fell apart at the end of the ride yesterday and then-The note says something like, please eat these chocolate covered strawberries and cookies. Why can't every ride end like this?

The cables on the new Madones are kind of hard to thread through the frame.

But, the end result looks super clean.

BMW hardtop....

Transforming to....

A BMW convertible. Super fun.

I always put new cleats on at the start of the season. Remember to grease the bolts.