Monthly Archives: October 2012

No Cross, But Hiking

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Yesterday I went out and did a less than 10 mile hike. I’m not nearly as crippled as I thought I’d be after doing that.

Cyclists are very good a walking, hiking, running uphill, but worse than horrible when having to go down. The problem of hiking in the mountains is that, what goes up, must come down. That was the case with me yesterday. I felt pretty stellar going up, but by the time I got back, actually about a mile before getting down, my legs started feeling like jelly. I made it, though.

I like walking in the mountains. I’m up in Idyllwild, CA, in the mountains above Palm Springs, CA. The temperatures were hot, upper 80’s. I though it felt great, but for around here, it is hot I guess.

I didn’t bring a bike, so today, this morning, is another day of hiking. That is what I want to do, so it is perfect. I’m not sure how I’m going to hold up today though. I doubt it will be as good as yesterday, but I assume it is good training for cross. At least it gets my legs into some sort of mode for dismounting.

Pretty beautiful views.

Dogs are always nice to have along hiking.

Don and Sue heading over a downed pine tree.

There are some really big trees still here in the mountains. Don and his dog, Kaya.

Hanging out up high 1/2 way through the hike.

These Manzanita shrubs are beautiful.

We stopped on the way back to see these petroglyphs on a huge boulder in the town of Idyllwild.

The sunset was pretty great out here yesterday.

Misc Observations

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First, I’d like to give a big congratulations to Cameron Chambers, Kansas local MTB honch, who thoroughly spanked the field at the US Mountain Bike 24 hour Nationals last weekend in Colorado Springs. He is also National Champion in single speed MTB cross country. Cameron lapped the field. so he won in 21:30 minutes, a full hour and a half ahead of 2nd place. I wouldn’t really know, but it must be pretty great not having to ride the last 2:30 hours of a race like that. Here’s an article.

How about the article at Cyclingnews.com about Alberto Contador looking forward to a 2 month vacation after his “season”. The guy only started racing in August, after serving a “2 year” suspension. I don’t have any idea how he could be so mentally and physically exhausted that he is going to take a month and a half off.

Yesterday I hiked about 11 miles. All at altitude. I am pleasantly surprised that I am not completely crippled from the endeavor. Normally I would be. I think the reason is that I used hiking poles yesterday and they “saved” my legs on the down hill. Hiking with poles almost seems like cheating. But, it’s a good way to ease your way into it without destroying your leg muscles.

Speaking of altitude, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem like it affects me as harshly it used to. I’d have to say, racing here in the US, that altitude played a huge, maybe the most important role, in how I finished in many important races. When I started racing, the biggest race of the season, by far, was the Red Zinger/Coor’s Classic. The race got up to a couple weeks long and nearly all the stages were at altitude. Just when the biggest road races left altitude, the Dupont Race, etc., I had switched to MTB racing primarily, and nearly every NORBA National was at altitude once again. And usually at very high altitude.

But, for some reason, it doesn’t seem to kill me like it used to. I haven’t raced at altitude at a big event, but just training, hiking and doing manual labor stuff seems way easier than before.

I think I’m going to have to do a blood test to see what’s up. It’s not like I have any ability to chance anything, it’s just nice to know every so often.

I’m flying home this afternoon. I plan to ride tomorrow. That was 8 out of 9 days off. I have no idea if it was enough time off. Definitely not the 1 1/2 months Alberto is taking. I think I feel a little better. My chest does for sure, so maybe this “rest” helped there. I’ll guess I’ll see when I start riding again.

About half way up, with poles.

The hiking poles are pretty light and adjustable in height. I wonder if this would work for x-country ski poles?

The fire tower at the very top of the ridge.

You can sign up and stay at the fire tower observation. I think you have to take a short course and then obviously hike up to it. How cool would that be spending the night here?

UCI “WINS” against Floyd

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There is an article here at Cyclingnews.com that says that the UCI won a judgement against Floyd in their defamation case against him. Floyd was ordered to pay Monsieurs McQuaid and Verbruggen, 10000 CHF each and take out ads in a bunch of publications, Wall Street Journal, L’Équipe, Le Temps, NYVelocity, Cyclingnews, Velonation, Velonews and De Volksrant, publishing the verdict, saying he was a liar, liar pants on fire. I wonder if there is anyway I can get my website on that list?

The key thing here is that Floyd didn’t show up. I wonder if anyone has any authority to make Floyd do anything at this point. Internationally, I’d bet it is pretty hard to enforce a judgement like this. (And the beat goes on – Here is an article that states that Floyd was never served.)

The court said that Floyd definitely can’t say any of the following – That the UCI or the above mentioned Monsieurs “have concealed cases of doping, received money for doing so, have accepted money from Lance Armstrong to conceal a doping case, have protected certain racing cyclists, concealed cases of doping, have engaged in manipulation, particularly of tests and races, have hesitated and delayed publishing the results of a positive test on Alberto Contador, have accepted bribes, are corrupt, are terrorists, have no regard for the rules, load the dice, are fools, do not have a genuine desire to restore discipline to cycling, are full of shit, are clowns, their words are worthless, are liars, are no different to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, or to make any similar other allegations of that kind.”

Wow, they got pretty specific there. Luckily Floyd has put all the “silliness” behind him and has moved on to a more serious endeavor, NASCAR.

Parents, Let your kids grow up to be bike racers.

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I’ve been back to Kansas for just a little over a day and already am back into trying to finish up some projects that I left in the middle of. I’m not much of one to let a project stop in mid-stream. I think that comes from my early days racing.

I have parents ask me all the time if I think it is okay that they encourage their children to race, or not race, depending on their personal views. I give them all the same answer.

Learning to allocate your time when you are young is a very valuable lesson. And when you’re trying to become a cyclist, no matter what your genetic gifts are, it takes a ton of time to do it, more time than is in a day or a week. So when a kid jumps into the sport headfirst, he or she instantly has made a commitment to forgo all the other stuff. Some of that other stuff is good for learning, but a lot of it is the stuff that parents worry about, the bad stuff.

Nearly all the young people I’ve had the pleasure to watch grow up, in the sport, are very regimented and responsible. At least compared to their peers of the same age. That is one of the aspects of the sport that stay with you no matter where it takes you. It is super valuable and a hard thing for young people to attain.

Right now it is taking me back out into the driveway to mess with exhaust on the Isuzu Trooper some. Right about now I wish I would have grown up to be a veterinarian.

New brakes on the rear was the project yesterday.

Lance says “Move On”

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I was hiking last weekend up in the mountains above San Diego where Lance was winning a triathlon at the same time. I was thinking about his current situation and how hard it must be for him to continuously go out in public and face the questions. I think would be so unbelievably energy zapping that I’d think it would be nearly impossible to progress.

I have to give the guy credit. He seems to be going full tilt, doing athletic events throughout North American. Last week in San Diego, they were doing an after event event, and that the VIP tickets were selling for a grand. It seemed so strange that he didn’t want to just fly in and fly out.

The guy doesn’t lack any cojones in his ego department. Actually, it’s not really an ego deal, it’s a “fuck you world” deal. In this article he says that his “conscience is clear”.

I did an event back in the early 90’s that was called Challenge of the Champions. It was a Laguna Sega in Monterrey, where the Sea Otter is held. It was the predecessor of Sea Otter put on by Rick Sutton. Anyway, Rick brought a lot of us in from different aspects of cycling and triathlon. Ned, Lance, Brian Walton, Mike Pigg and a few others. On Saturday you pick 2 out of 3 from a road race, mountain bike race and 5 km run. Then on Sunday was a biathlon, 5 k then bike a few laps of the race track and another 5 k.

Anyway, I don’t exactly remember where I finished up there. I think I was 5th. I don’t think Lance won overall. I know the guys name that did, but can’t remember it right now. (Somebody help out here?)

I have this video, I’ll have to look for it, and when Lance is getting interviewed, he says that “Every sport needs a John McEnroe and I’m the John McEnroe of cycling.” This was 1991, before the current Lance. Amazing.

Lance wasn’t lacking any self confidence over 20 years ago and that seems to be the way he’s dealing with this situation. It is pretty amazing to watch.


Lance racing the Challenge of Champions back in 1991. Photo by Rich Cruse.

Cool Weekend

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I was planning to start riding again this weekend, but spent about 12 hours on my back on the concrete yesterday working on my car and it is hardly supposed to be in the 50’s today for a high, so I’m just going to drive over to Lawrence and watch some cyclo-x. The 360 Team is putting on a race that is at a new venue, so it should be interesting to watch.

I was planning on riding over there, but…..Actually, I kind of want to see if all the stuff I did on my Isuzu fixed it. It got horrible fuel economy on the way to the airport last week and since then I’ve changed the ERG and oxygen sensor. I was thinking what I’ve done and it was pretty extensive. I put in new shocks all around, new brake rotors and pads, new front axles, a new ERG valve, new oxygen sensor, muffler, flex tube in the exhaust, plus changed the oil in the differential, engine and transmission. The ABS light is still on and the 4 wheel drive light flashes. I think I have the 4 wheel drive problem figured out, but the brakes are still a mystery.

I’m kind of looking forward to walking around watching a local cross on a cool, fall day. I hope to be racing in two weeks, depending on how I feel. It is such a luxury being able to choose to do a local cross race, or regional, or national, every weekend, all the way until Worlds. That is one great change of the sport.

The car project started because of this.