Hey, Let’s Go On a Ride

12.30.2006 | 7:23 am

OK, I realize that roughly .00001% of you actually live close enough to do this, but what’s the point of having a blog about bikes if I can’t ask people in the area to join me on a ride once in a while?

Yesterday, Kenny sent an email proposing that on New Year’s Day we all get together and do a fun ride:

Start the new year right.  Come join us for a race/ride up the Squaw Peak road to the Look out parking lot.   The ride starts at 10:00 a.m. on Monday the 1st. It should take about 45 minutes to an hour to climb to the top.  Thanks to the snowmobiles packing down the road, we should have a nice hardpack to ride on.  We’ll all regroup at the top and ride back down together to the cars.

Squaw Peak, for those of you who don’t know, is about a mile North up the Provo Canyon. It’s a four mile climb. In the Summer it’s a road climb, but during the winter it’s packed snow, powder, and ice. I’m planning on riding my singlespeed, with air pressure at about 18psi.

I’ll bring my new camcorder, too, and try to get some footage of people riding down for posting. It should be good for laffs-a-plenty.

As for today, the sun’s out, the sky’s clear, and I’m going on a group ride. Yay, no riding in the garage!


Most Awesome Cycling-Related Gift. Ever.

12.27.2006 | 10:20 am

The Leadville 100 race is all about tradition. One of the traditions every racer looks forward to is getting their sweatshirt at the awards ceremony, complete with their name and finishing time. After doing this race ten times, I of course had ten sweatshirts.

The thing is, though, I don’t wear sweatshirts. I’ve got a subcutaneous layer of fat that keeps me warm; a sweatshirt would be overkill.

So I gave my Mom all my LT100 sweatshirts, and asked her to make me a quilt out of them.

And for Christmas, after roughly 19 gazillion hours of work, she gave me the completed quilt. Check it out (click on the image below if you want to see a larger version — an easy way to see what my times have been like through the years):

I tell you what: My Mom totally rules.

PS: True trivia fact: A photo of me, riding in my Dirt Rag jersey, appears in the 2002 edition of the poster and sweatshirt. Of all the race posters I own, this is the only one I have had framed.

What Did You Give? What Did You Get?

12.25.2006 | 1:10 pm

Merry Christmas!

So what bike-related gifts did you give? What bike-related gifts did you get?

As for me, I gave Rocky a helmet cam (and gave myself one, too). That, grinchishly, is the only bikeish Christmas present I gave. (And those don’t even ship for another week. Bah humbug!)

Unless you count that I’m helping my friends get into the Leadville 100 (as someone who’s done it 10x, I get grandfathered in without having to go through the lottery). That’s a pretty nice gift, right? Right?

What I Got
Bike and training-wise, this has been an extra-awesome Christmas. Here’s what Santa (ie, my wife) gave me:

  • Panasonic SDR-S150: This is a teeny-tiny camcorder that records MGEGs directly to SD and SDHC cards. It fits easily in a jersey pocket and will be perfect for filming friends as we go mountain biking. Takes decent still shots too. Yay for miniaturization and device convergence! (Note to self: get neoprene carrying case before taking this on a ride.)
  • Atlas 1025 Snowshoes: You know how I had a hankering to get out the ol’ snowshoes a week ago or so? Turns out that when I moved to WA a couple years ago, I either sold or gave away all my snowshoes, and just didn’t remember. Now I’m all snowshod again. I’ll be marching on Tibble tomorrow. Hey, maybe I’ll bring the camcorder with me.
  • Smartwool Socks: You can never have too many. My wife, noting that my current green Smartwool socks are approaching threadbareness, bought me several pair in a new color: grey. Stylin’.
  • Three Twin Six T-Shirts: When I was asking readers what they wanted for Christmas, a few of you pointed me to Twin Six, who I personally believe are designing the coolest-looking bike jerseys and t-shirts around. Sneakily, my wife bought me three of their shirts: the Crank Army T, the Ride T, and the Cross T. Huzzah!

Your turn!

PS: Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge Update: So far, I’ve received more than 30 bets (most of which I have accepted), which means — if I lose them all — that I will probably need to come up with around $2100 to cover all those jerseys.

Haven’t made your bet yet? There’s still time! Click here to read the post about the challenge, and then click here to join in.

PPS: With the B7 Challenge being an active forum, it’s attracting all kinds of spam. Sorry. Let me know if you’re good at dealing with this kind of thing and are willing to help out.

Let’s Make a Bet (Announcing the B7: Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge)

12.21.2006 | 2:35 pm

This morning, I observed two important things:

  1. It’s cold outside. It was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-15.5 Celsius) outside when I woke up this morning. That’s so cold that when I went out to my garage to ride the rollers (currently watching 24, Season 3), I immediately scurried back in to change into a long sleeve jersey and tights. Yes, I had to wear a long sleeve jersey and tights while riding in the garage. That’s cold.
  2. I’m fat. After my workout and shower, I got dressed for work. I noticed that my jeans, which have been feeling increasingly tightish the past few weeks, are now downright uncomfortable. I’d validate the obviousness of my winter weight gain with a scale, but I’m afraid of what I’ll find.

It would be easy to just tell myself that the cold weather, the buttload of work-related travel I’ve been doing, and the inexhaustible supply of chocolate laying around this time of year is just doing its annual thing and that I’ll get back down to a more reasonable weight after the holidays are over.

But this year, that’s not good enough. Now that both Lance and Floyd want to ride the Leadville 100 with me (sheesh, guys, will you please quit fighting over me?), I need to get myself in better shape than I ever have been before. And a bet with everyone who’s willing to take me up on it is just the motivation I need.

So I’m pleased to announce the …

Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat (B7) Challenge

Last year, Al Maviva and a few other people had a contest where they — over the course of the season — tracked their weight loss and improvement on the bike. Then, earlier this week, In the comments section here, Al proposed expanding this contest out to anyone who wants to participate.

I like the idea, but I think I can make it a little more interesting. Here’s how.

Cool Prizes For Sure, Even Cooler Prizes Possible
I believe that last year Al gave away some moldy cheese as First Prize. We can do better. I checked with the Banjo Brothers, and they agreed to be the title sponsor for the contest. Here’s what I asked for:

  • First Prize: A Banjo Brothers Backpack or Messenger bag
  • Second Prize: A Banjo Brothers Seatpack
  • Third Prize: A Banjo Brothers Pocket Messenger bag

Mike, the Banjo Brother I can always rely on to cough up the free stuff, also hinted that he may be able to sweeten the pot beyond that. And I haven’t even started talking with other Ads-for-Schwag partners. By the time this contest ends, the prizes could be huge.

More Prizes: Our Personal Bet
The thing is, I want this contest to feel a little more, well, personal. So I’d like to make a wager — apart from the prizes that will be given away — with everyone. Here’s how it goes:

  1. If you do better than me, I will give you a Fat Cyclist jersey (yes, there will be a Fat Cyclist jersey). This offer is good anywhere in the world. Including Turkey, Tayfur. Yes, I’m telling you that if you do better than I do, I’ll give you a ~$70 jersey. And it will be a very, very cool jersey. Cooler than I originally expected it to be, for reasons I cannot yet make public. Trust me.
  2. If I do better than you, you’ve got to give me something cool. You’ve got to think of what that will be and post it in the new-specially created Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat (B7) Challenge. I will reply to your topic, telling you whether I accept or decline your bet. I am not necessarily looking for something expensive. Just something that catches my interest. Though I’m not opposed to cool and expensive
  3. If you do better than Al Maviva, I will give you a 50% discount on whatever the cost of the Fat Cyclist jersey winds up being. Cuz I’d like to see as many people beat Al Maviva as humanly possible.

How to Enter
Entering the Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat Challenge is easy. Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to the Banjo Brothers’ Big Bad Bulky Biker Bodyfat (B7) Challenge forum and create a new topic for yourself. Give the topic a clever and unique subject. Something that will encourage others to take a look at your personal challenge.
  2. List your current weight, your goal weight for August 1, and what you’re willing to give me if I do better at this contest than you do.
  3. Check back often for my reply. I’ll either accept or decline with comment. If I don’t like what you have to offer as a wager or think your goal is puny, I’ll say so and you’ll have to try again.
  4. Once you’re in, you’re in. If you give up, you owe me whatever we agree upon. How’s that for incentive?
  5. At the beginning of each month, you’ll need to post your current weight and how you did at a three-mile time trial (solo ride) on a course you’ll determine for yourself. Your ranking will be determined as a percentage of progress against your goal and improvement on your time trial course. (I hereby assign Al Maviva to post the details of the rules in the forum.) BotchedExperiment will compile all the numbers and use a complex (but fair) algorithm to determine rankings. 
  6. The final check-in will be August 1. That one’s mandatory. If you miss that check-in, you lose. Can’t win the race if you don’t cross the finish line.

You have until January 5 to enter, but I suggest you do it right now, or you’ll forget.

Please join in. It will be fun.

And I look forward to beating all of you.

PS: Earlier, I mistakenly posted that the time trial was a three-minute deal. Caloi caught my error, and it’s been fixed. It’s three miles. I regret any confusion I may have caused, but I don’t regret it very much.

Teeter Level of Difficulty: +9

12.19.2006 | 7:37 am

You know what I’ve got a hankerin’ for? To get out the ol’ snowshoes and go hiking up Tibble.

PS: Sorry, short post today. I was in SF yesterday, and am about to head out the door to go to LA today. End-of-quarter job hectic-ness. Thank you for your understanding. (Besides, I figure you might find it refreshing to have me not go on and on and on, for once.)

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