Friday, May 30, 2008

Here kitty kitty

I haven't ridden in the woods since the rumor of the Bobcat started to circulate, but I have to admit I'm not that freaked out by this rumor.

How can a nice kitty like this be an issue:

That being said a mountain lion would be a different story, and while no sightings have taken place near our house, there have been some in the greater Mount Washington Valley.

This Kitty would tweak me out:

Considering the luck my dogs have had out in Davis Hill (Molly- two trips to the vet from Porkupine and Jake one trip due to a Porkupine, and then Molly's mystery attack/injury that left her side sliced wide open) I would be more nervous about one of them tangling with a bobcat- but I'm hoping that the two of them would be able to at least make a bobcat think twice about messing with one of them- and yes I'm thinking the cat would be smarter then the two dogs combined.

So that's it for me. Getting out on the bike this weekend- I hope!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

three good days of riding

Spent some time on the mountain bike the past few days, got back on the El Mariachi and had a ball. Saturday rode by myself and cruised around Pine Tree and the trails off of Mudget Road. Then on Sunday got the dogs out for an hour and a half in Davis Hill, did the same on Monday- need to get the dogs in shape!

In all though it was good to get out and ride in the woods. Word of caution, it's tick season. I pulled off a few each day, and the dogs picked up few as well (so a post ride groom is always called for).

That's it from here. Hope to get out again soon.



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not really bike related, but...

So Monday I was at work and one of my partners said he had an extra ticket to a baseball game. I checked with the boss(wife) and got clearance to head to the game. We checked out of work around 3pm and started the trek to the ballpark.


We parked the car and as I was getting my stuff together my phone rang.. It was DEA asking if I wanted to go for a ride. I said I would, but I was walking towards Fenway Park in Boston. Its not too often to get an offer for tickets to Fenway to see a Sox game so you take em when you can get em, particulary these seats.

After a quick bite and a few Bass Ales we went inside Fenway and the game started.
Fenway Park, Boston

It was a cool evening with a pretty good breeze. The Sox were playing well and put a few early runs on the board against the KC Royals. In the middle of of the 4th inning I leaned over to my buddy and said, "do you know what's happening?" He looked at me with a look that he knew what I was referring too.

So as the innins went by we saw some great defense and even better pitching by John Lester. As we hit the inth inning and the no-no was in tact everyone was on their feet. It was crazy. I cannot believe I saw it. I was at a No-Hitter. Pretty rare thing to witness. Wow. Not abike ride but a great eveing just the same. See ya on the trails.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ride with Mike

Ok so I know I'm out of shape, my Crank the Kanc time showed that. But last night was rather eye opening.

Michelin Mike and I headed out for a ride after work- me on the Mamasita and him on his Pugsly. Let's talk about the Pugsly first- damn that is a crazy looking bike. The wheels are so huge and the dish on the wheels is just nuts, that and the width of the BB is just crazy.

Rolling it makes a noise that sounds like a large truck rolling up on you, and in the woods it spooked me a couple times (of course there were only a couple times I was in front- but more on that in a minute). So we rolled out on the pavement and I'm looking at this beast of a bike and I was pretty comfortable with the idea of having to wait for him on a regular basis. Then of course we rolled onto the trail and I quickly starting falling behind- oh and then there was a bridge- so I walked.

Soon we were rolling along and I was getting pissed that I couldn't easily keep up. We then hit sticks and stones and he just started riding away. Of course he's just chatting away and I've got my heart in my throat and can't come close to speaking. I was trying to figure out why I was slow- so I kept looking down at my bike trying to see if something was rubbing, or if the brakes were engaged- or something- to no avail. Then I realized we were actually riding quite fast and it was just that he was hauling (at least in my view).

It was great to get out and hammer for a bit. We then rode the Pudding Pond trail and there are a number of new bridges- kudos to those who did the work. After that we rode the backside of Sticks and Stones and then jammed the traverse (the climb was the only place I actually was able to stay ahead of Mike- I think the 30 lbs difference in bike weight had something to do with that!)

After that we parted ways and I rode home, exploring the trails off of Stritch road and then the trails between Mudgett and Mill Street. In all almost two hours of riding after work combined with the 40 minutes in the morning- gotta love "commuting".



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

dirt commute

rode the Mammasita into work today- I'm liking that bike. May change the bars and I need to add some air to the shock- but I'm liking it. The issue of course is I really like my SS- argh (like that is really an "issue" to have two bikes I really dig).

Hoping to get out for a bit longer dirt ride on the way home- any interest?


Monday, May 19, 2008

Crank the Kanc

This past Saturday was Crank the Kanc, the weather ended up being much nicer then anticipated and everyone seemed in good spirits at the start. This year not only was TWAF racing (as individuals- sans Nick and PJ) but K, Nikki, and Susan were all racing as well.

This meant we had to stage cars at the top as the wives wouldn't be waiting for us up top. I drove up early and was picked up by JJ and Susan- all I'm going to say is that ride back down was rather exciting- i think Susan was in a hurry.

I met up with K at the school and we did the registration thing and realized we had almost two hours until our start time- we came very close to going to McD's for a bit of breakfast- and it wasn't common sense that stopped us- it was laziness as I didn't feel like loading the bikes back into the truck to make the run. Now that is pathetic!

I got to cheer on K, JJ and Susan at the start but A1 and Nikki were starting behind me. My biggest fear was that Nikki would catch me. I wasn't sure what my game plan was if she had but it did entail fabricated excuses and maybe even some self inflicted road rash to sure up the story- but that never had to come to pass.

The course is 21 miles, 17 of flat to slightly rising and then 4 straight up. The first 17 I felt pretty good. I didn't run aero bars but did end up laying out on the bars a fair amount as the headwind was kicking up. I think next year running bars may be in the cards. I rode pretty well out to the climb, the amazing thing was how fast the people that passed me passed me- that was a bit of a wake up call!

On the climb itself I cracked and just went nowhere fast. I even ended up getting cold- I'm not sure if I went a bit to hard on the first 17 or if it was the fact it was my first real climb of the season (now that was smart!)- but I just had no power or pop going up. In the past my small gear has been a 39x23 and I would climb much of the climb in a 39x21- sort of like the whole single speed thing- you tend to go uphill faster when that's what you've got for a gear. This year I was running a 36x26 and I was using it a lot and you just don't go uphill fast in gear that small.

Needless to say I was happy to see the top and not so happy to see my time. I had hoped to "ride it" in a 1:30 but ended up with a 1:33:27- so I've got some improvements I've got to make for next year.
K had a good ride, putting in a 1:54:31. She wanted to be under 2 hours and she did so with time to spare. I think she actually enjoyed it! Of course I give her credit for the improved weather as she spent a pile of money on snivel gear for the race- just in case.

Yesterday took the dogs out for a recovery ride on the Davis Hill trails- it was good to get out there. Rode the Mamasita- still a few things to tinker with on that but I'm going to like that bike- just need to get used to riding gears and suspension again.

So that's the story.

Get out and ride.


Getting spanked on the Kanc

Saturday morning was the Crank the Kanc Kancamagus Bicycle Hillclimb Time Trial. A race we all try to do each year. Last year we did it as a 3 person team. We went back to doing it solo this year.

The concern all week leading up the to race was the weather. Well it was one of my concerns, besides being way out of shape. It looked like it was going to rain pretty hard and be in the low 40's. Quite a combo that could also mean some snow at the top. As Friday night rolled around, the Red Sox game was a rain out and the radar looked like the forecasts were spot on. When we got up early Saturday morning we were pleasantly surprised that it had not rained, yet. As I was loading the car with the bikes it started to sprinkle. I figure, "here it comes." It was already about 50 degrees so that was nice.

We staged a car at the top of the climb as we had a little league game immediately after the race to get to and at the top it was dry and about 48 degrees. We headed back to registration and got our stuff ready to go as it started clearing. As we waited for the race to commence the sun started to appear and we all started to wonder if we were overdressed. By the race start for me I was down to a jersey, bibs and arm warmers.

The weather turned out to be fantastic. Mid 60's and sunny. Although there was a descent head wind at times. It must have been significantly stronger for me that other people though.

Overall the race was the same as it usually is, 21.3 miles of up hill fun. The first ten are a constant climb gaining about a thousand feet of elevation. The middle section is a little flatter where over the next 6+ miles you gain about 200 feet. Then you hit the wall of the final climb. 4.8 miles where you gain over 1,500 feet. There are no flats or places to rest. Well there are rest areas and scenic vistas, but if you stop you might not decide to get back on the bike again.

I felt OK during the ride, notice I'm not calling it a race anymore. I was looking for a time around an hour thirty. I was a few minutes off pace when I hit the final climb. No doubt due to the poddy stop I needed to make on the way. Problem was I did not have enough in the tank to make up any real time on the climb. As a result I chugged along working to try to catch people in front of me and not let too many people pass me. Not that I could do anything about a fast guy coming past me if I wanted too.

I think one of the most disappointing things to see is when you are on the last climb and starting to wonder why you are doing this foolish event you start seeing the people who stared before you ripping down the mountain at 40+ mph, not even bothering to say hello, or good job or even a nod of the head. The last 5 miles can be a lonely ride.

I rolled across the line and was worn out. My back was starting to tighten and both calves were also getting crampy. It was good it was not any longer. I finished but 7 minutes off my last solo time so that was a disappointment. Regardless it was a nice day for a bike ride. Hopefully next year I can get more bike time in before the race and fare better. Congrats to everyone who raced. See ya on the trails.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

got a day of commuting in

In trying to do my part and get a car off the road this week I was able to commute by bike today and met DEA for the ride in. He has obviously been riding more than I as he punished me for something I must have done to him this morning. Saturday's TT will be a normal crappy weather ride up the Kanc it sounds. Don't really want to load up on snivel gear cause its not as easy to ride wearing that much, but who knows, it might be snowing at the top.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The weekend ahead

Crank the Kanc is this Saturday, I'm a bit nervous and I just heard from my wife that she went on a buying spree of snivel gear for the race! It's supposed to be in the 40's to lower 50's with rain- so it'll be a typical Crank the Kanc.

Right now it's super nice out and I'm inside- but I did commute today (so I'll get three of the five for bike to work week as I can't tomorrow or Friday- although I'm thinking of seeing about the trail a bike tomorrow night home- not sure yet)

I hope others are out riding!



Monday, May 12, 2008


Ah spring in New Hampshire. A great time to ride, when you're not doing yardwork. But the good news is we got most of the yard work done, and I was still able to sneak in a ride on Saturday with Emma on the trail-a-bike.
Then on Sunday K and I got out for a good spin. It was the maiden voyage with the new SRAM kit on the road bike- very nice. Shifts smooooooth and even without the front trim adjustment I wasn't getting any rub. So far so good. I really like the hoods on the levers- very comfortable.

I was able to commute in this morning, so maybe I can sneak in a few extra miles after work. Saturday will be interesting to say the least!


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Looking like....

...crank the kanc won't be much of a crank but a leisurely stroll up to the top of the Kanc. I'm not sure what is up with me this spring- I just haven't been riding the miles that I need to or want to be riding. Hopefully that will change here very soon (although I'm not sure what I'm waiting for).

In other news, at work we're working on an event to promote the TechVillage and it's sort of interesting as we are building the event with feedback from those who are looking to participate- should be an interesting concept.

We're also still having the commuting conversation here- Blue- we need some representation from Iowa, especially those who commute by jet!

Hopefully we'll ride this weekend- although Ward is trying to talk me into skiing the snowfields and maybe aiplane on Sunday (Mothers Day- that should go over well) any other interest?

Alright time to get back to work.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Party Challenge

Had a birthday perty on Saturday to celebrate turning 40. DEA and A1 were amongst some of those in attendance. A1 brought a PBR pounder and a very nice mug. Towards the end of evening someone thought it was a good idea for DEA and I to shotgun a couple of beers. Problem was there were only 2 cans remaining. One was your standard 12oz PBR and the other was the aforementioned pounder. Well since I was the birthday boy I ended up with the punder and DEA got the little one. Someone said "GO!" and we were off.

DEA was hampered by the size of his hole or some other issue and as a result got beaten by the old guy with the bigger beer. I bet my parents who were watching could not have been prouder.

In other bike related news, I got in an early morning spin with my wife but I had left my road bike at work so I rode the new Dos Niner on pave as Sue rode her road bike. Made it a bit more work but it was a good ride to get some setup issues worked out.

Hopefully the great weather we had today will hold out this week and dry things out.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Davis Hill this weekend?

Who's up for exploring Davis Hill this weekend? I'm guessing things are clear of snow and are for the most part dry. We'll have a bit of trail work to do I'm sure, but could be fun.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy 40th to JJ

So this man is now 40:

I'm not sure why, but now he seems just so much older then the rest of us now. Maybe that means he's wiser then the rest of us now. Maybe he'll sit in the lotus position on top of a hill while wearing a robe and answer all of our questions, ahh yes he is a wise man.

So hats off to JJ and good vibes on this historic day.