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Friday, December 24, 2010

La Florida

Florida makes me smile.  There's fried shrimp while looking at the St. John's River, sandhill cranes in the back yard, the Tuesday-Thursday ride in Gainesville, and family.

Here is the final standings for the UTCX Masters 45+:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

We are on the ground in Florida.  I'm home.  I know because I sat under a red maple this morning in my sister's back yard.  I looked up at the fall's lingering colors.  I listened to a cardinal, a mocking bird, and a blue jay.  The temperature is nearly 50 and the humidity is thick.  It's all so familiar, ingrained, and infused.  I have to get back here on a full time basis.  This afternoon I may even get to ride after we get to the lake house.  I want to see the trees, the sand hill cranes, and the lakes.  I want to breath it all in to my soul.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Sign

I was cleaning up my computer a little this afternoon, deleting a bunch of files, and came across this:




For a moment or two, I felt a bit of remorse.  Or nostalgia, perhaps.  And then it went away.  Now, I'm going to put it in the trash can and empty the trash can.  Done.  Never again, that's a promise.

What Did The Course Look Like?

It looked like this, but of course, I was going much much faster.  This video is from the Men's C race.  Thanks, Matt.


Utah Cyclcocross, race no. 11 from matt bradley on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Podium Today!

I saved my best for last at today's final UTCX race.  I bit the bullet.  I let it all fly.  On the first lap I got over my usual mental hurdle and kept up with the top five guys.  They had a gap, but I closed it.  Normally, I let them ride away as I settle into my own controlled pace.  Not today.  On the first climb I went hard and moved up a few spots.  On the second lap I hit the first and second climbs hard again and moved into second place, right in front of Daren C., the series points leader, Dr. Cross, this year's 45+ Utah State Champion, and Tim B.  Tim's brother Steve was off the front.  Then, I went too fast into an off-camber down-hill pavement-to-grass turn, hitting the ground so hard that I lost my breath and all feeling in my left arm.  Daren, the Doctor, and Tim went right around me and had a gap as I remounted and started pedaling.  I chased hard, attacked the hills like a fixed gear freak, battled all three guys (Daren especially) and moved back into second place by the third lap.  For the next three laps, there I stayed.  I saw Steve at one point, moving to within about 20 seconds, but he went hard and held a good gap for the rest of the race.  I finished second, about 25 seconds in front of Tim.

So, my fixed gear cyclocross season is over.  I will probably finish fifth in the points race with only seven races (your best eight races count).  I am pretty happy with my efforts.  On Tuesday, I'm going home.  I'm looking forward to long rides with warm feet and no snow on the ground.  I can't wait to paddle a black water stream, or to sit in some enchanted north Florida forest and listen to the voices of familiar trees.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Chance

I just had to get in some time on the bicycle today.  At noon it was 10 degrees.  So, I waited until 2pm when it warmed up to 13 degrees.  The sun was out and I did  2 cold laps and 4 hot laps at the fairgrounds.

Saturday is the last UTCX race of the season, here:


And, it's double points.  Like a fool, yesterday I signed up for the 45+ race and the singlespeed race.  I'll be on the fixed gear for both.  Time to bite the bullet.  Time to let it all fly.  Here is the weather forecast.  True cold, wet, soaked to the bone cross weather.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back On The Horse

I finally got back on the bike yesterday.  Paul V. and I rode to the top of Sardine Summit, at about 6,000 feet in elevation.  It was my first long ride in many months and I bonked hard on the way home.

Saturday is the last UTCX race.  I could move up if I do well.  But, you can't do well when you stop training for 8 days.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Long Drive

I made it back to Utah last night.  Like the drive north, the roads over the mountains were packed with blowing snow and ice, but I survived.  Yesterday was a 17 hour day.  Today, my training schedule resumes.  You know, the hard-assed racer-dude set-in-stone training schedule, that today calls for tempo and three sets of stair step intervals.  Realistically, I might at least stand up and walk the dog at some point.  I've been off the bike since last Saturday.  No need to rush things.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Montana Bound

I am headed out today for the Big Sky.  Looks like that sky will be full of clouds and snow.  I have over 30 cameras to check, two to remove, and two to install.  I should be back by Thursday.  It looks like another week with no training.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Race Report

I finished 5th in today's race.  Not so good, considering last week.  I did not have that mental edge today.  On the first lap I watched 1st - 4th ride away.  Then, I missed a turn.  Dumb.  So, I stayed in fifth all day.  But, it's all good.  Even with a perfect race, I think I would only have moved up one place.

I Know That Dude!

And, at 1:07, you get to see my famous fixed gear cyclocross dismount.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Training

The guy that refuses to put a bicycle on a trainer and spin like a caged squirrel while staring at the wall, has a hard time staying in shape during cyclocross season.  That person is me.  I'm just not going to do it.  So, it's time to go for a ride.  I've not been on the bike since my podium finish on Saturday.  There's over a foot of snow on the ground, and yesterday morning it was -8 degrees F.  Here is a picture:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Race Report

As predicted:  goose grease, snow, cold as could be, a really good start, ice bike skills, at the front of the race, and, podium.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Could Be

Tomorrow is Race #9 in the Utah Cyclocross Series.  I will be there on the start line at 10:30 in the morning, with plans to move up on the Points Chart.

I just hope there is a bunch of snow on the course, frozen solid, well packed, and slippery as goose grease.  Goose grease, you say?  Perhaps you've never stepped in goose grease. 

If there is snow on the ground, and I have good legs, and I can still see the top three riders after two laps, I could be on the podium.  Could be.  Could be.  No, I have not been on the bike for any real training in two weeks.  But, when a cyclocross course turns to snow, it really does not matter who has the most horses under the hood.  And, suddenly the guy on the fixed gear cyclocross bike is no longer at a huge disadvantage.  If I ride smooth, put my bike handling skills to full use, get a good start, and just keep turning my pedals over, I could be there.  Could be.  On snow, smooth can be faster than raw power.

Let Me Explain

My last post sounds very sarcastic.  It is.  Rather than edit it, let me just give a quick explanation.

I'm all for free market enterprise.  I owned a retail and service business for five years.  If you want to produce a product and sell it or provide a service, great.  Go right ahead.  If you produce a product or provide a service that has a direct effect on health or the environment (again, the air we breath, the water we drink, and the functioning ecosystems and their species on which all life depends), I think government should regulate you.  History has repeatedly shown that you will not regulate yourself.

Our Lungs

Here it comes.  When PM2.5 gets to 35 ug/cubic meter, just hold your breath.  That is the National Standard.  Look here, http://airnow.gov,  if you want to learn more.  This is just another "Big Government" program website to interfere in your life and take away your personal liberties.  You know, just like all those other "Big Government" programs that pretend to protect your health, the environment, the air, rare species, the food we eat, the drugs we take, and the water we drink, but in reality only just make rules that cause honest business people big hassles.  So, if you just don't give a damn, keep your car idling at all times.  Please.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cold Turkey

Right now, as I type this, it is -15 degrees outside with ice fog.  Cache Valley is famous for ice fog.  The following definition is from NOAA:

Ice Fog

(Also called ice-crystal fog, frozen fog, frost fog, frost flakes, air hoar, rime fog, pogonip.) A type of fog, composed of suspended particles of ice; partly ice crystals 20 to 100 micron in diameter, but chiefly (especially when dense) ice particles about 12–20 micron in diameter, formed by direct freezing of supercooled water droplets with little growth directly from the vapor. It occurs at very low temperatures, and usually in clear, calm weather in high latitudes.


Pogonip.  Now there's a term you just don't use everyday.

Cache Valley is also famous for another reason.  Our air becomes stratified in the winter.  These inversions set up for days, often giving us some of the worst air quality in the country.  Small particulate matter (PM2.5) values get very high and the air turns a brownish yellow.  Today the values are low.  Tomorrow they will be getting into the Moderate range.

My training plan, which is written in stone and religiously followed, calls for a two hour gravel road (snow covered) ride today, with a good warm up, an hour of just-below-tempo (about 75%), and three sets of telephone pole intervals for good measure.  What's a telephone pole interval?  I start at a pole and go hard (95%) until I pass the next telephone pole.  I spin easy and recover until the next pole, then go hard again for a distance of two poles, then spin for two poles.  Then, go for three poles and recover for three poles.  That is one set.  It's my easy way of doing the old Eddie B. short stair-step intervals.  It is very important for cyclocross.  Long intervals don't help me.  People who say they do 5-10 minute intervals are really only doing tempo intervals.  Who can go 95-100% for 5-10 minutes?  Not me.  But I'm real good for 50 seconds.

At -15 degrees, an outdoor bicycle ride is out of the question.  My toes and fingers would freeze within 20 minutes.  It just can't be done.  But, right now, looking out my big front window as I type this, there is a person running up the hill.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blizzard Warning

I'm not talking about the head freeze you get when you go to Dairy Queen.  I'm talking about another foot of snow, blizzard conditions, and a low of minus 7 on Wednesday night.  I gotta go eat something.


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SALT LAKE CITY UT
358 PM MST MON NOV 22 2010
...BLIZZARD HEADING FOR UTAH TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT...

STRONG SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL DEVELOP AHEAD OF AN ARCTIC COLD FRONT
EXPECTED TO MOVE FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE AREA LATE
TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT. HEAVY SNOW...STRONG
WINDS...AND BLOWING SNOW WILL ACCOMPANY THE PASSAGE OF THE ARCTIC
FRONT. EXTREMELY COLD TEMPERATURES WILL BE OVER THE AREA WEDNESDAY
AND THURSDAY.

Found Pictures



Me and Eric Thompson.

Me and Tim Briley.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Not The Only One

Remember that song Tigger sang?  I've done hundreds of snow rides since moving to Montana in 2000.  On every ride, I always sang that song.  I was sure "I'm the only one."



Well, not any more.  Today, rolling down Green Canyon were three guys on brand new snow white Pugsleys.  I could not believe it.  It was like a dream sequence.  They could not have been from Logan.  Colorado perhaps.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Feeling The Darkness

Fierce winds strip the rest
Leaves, snow, and temperatures fall
Feeling the darkness

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Second Thought...

...The forecast for the Bitterroot Valley is not good.  The high on Tuesday will be in the single digits and the low will be below 0.  Winter is here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Fixed Gear Cyclocross Show Hits The Road

I have not been on the bike since Saturday's race.  I may try to put in a few efforts today, now that my heart has been at resting rate for 4 days.  Yeah, that's a good way to lose my hard earned fitness.

This week has been filled with full-time dad work and trying to repair a leak from the ceiling in one of the basement apartment's bathrooms.  Wet dry wall and moldy insulation suck.  And, because the basement door was open, and I did not take time to walk the dog yesterday morning, that apartment smelled really bad.

On Saturday, I'll be doing this race in Rexburg, Idaho.  There will be only a hand full of racers there, so I should do well.  My plan is to blast off at the start and never look back.  Right.  I'm sure they have never seen a fixed gear cyclocross dismount, so it should be a good show.

Right after the race, I'll be headed for the Bitterroot Valley to do camera work, another four days with no training.  Oh well.  We can't all be a full time professional athlete with two bikes and a mechanic in tow.  Don't get me wrong.  I've seen her race on several occasions, and she is quite impressive.  Perhaps, I'm just a little jealous, and glad I don't take the sport so serious, all at the same time.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fixed Gear Cyclocross, Today's Race Report

I finished 7th today.  I should have been 6th, but that did not happen.  The course was not fixed gear friendly.  There was a long climb, a long descent, and many off camber pedal-digging turns.  As usual, I started slow, in about 15th.  At the bottom of the first climb riders in front of me all stopped.  By the time I got going, the top 5 guys were already 60 seconds ahead and out of sight.  So, I just tried to ride smooth.  I could see another 5 guys in front of me, and on the second climb, I punched it, and passed all 5 of them.  On the third climb I got two more.  On the last climb I dropped Jeff Ure, who had been right with me for two laps, and the Eric Thompson.  I had my sights on Jordan Swenson, riding a 29er, but he powered away on the back straight away.  I'm disappointed and content, all at the same time.  Just wait until the next race.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Your Worst Fixed Gear Nightmare...

...a State Championship cyclocross course with big climbs and big descents.  Bog.  Spin.  Bog.  Spin.  At both extremes.  This is going to be fun.  Here is a video:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Another Race?

There's a big cyclocross race this Saturday, the Utah State Championships, in Ogden.  I'll be there, on the fixed gear.  If two or three specific people crash out, I could be on the podium.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Mexico

Greg W. just sent me some pics of the Rio Grande Gorge West Rim.  I plan on riding here with Greg in 6 weeks if it's still snow free.  Cross bike heaven.





It's Still Warm For Now

I'm going for a ride again today and I'll be wearing shorts.  Yesterday was like a mid-May day.  I stopped to listen to bird song from high in a tree.

Townsend's Solitaire
Defends its territory
Singing all Winter

Winter, however, is not far away.  Today the high will be 65.  Tuesday the high will be 36 with snow.  I can not sing all winter long.  It makes me think a lot about going to Florida.  Our trip is only 6 weeks away.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Deadlines

I'm staying home this weekend.  No utcx race for me.  I have a report to finish for the State of Montana.  That means a fall from the top 15, and no way to finish eight races for the overall points competition.  Oh well.  It's not that far to fall, really.  My new goal is to be the highest placed rider with only 7 races at the end.  That will be good enough for me.  Top ten?  Probably not.

I had a great mountain bike ride last night, probably the last warm snow free ride of the season.  It was nearly 65 degrees at the start and there were about 65 people on the Green Canyon trail.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Robert Hamlin Moves Into The Top 15, Men 45+

Not bad for only finishing 3 of 6 races.  And, I'm absolutely the fastest guy on a fixed gear.  Oh yeah, I'm the only one dumb enough to do that.

http://utcx.net/sites/default/files/results/2010_points_all_thru_race_6.pdf

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stewing

All afternoon I've been stewing.  I've come to a conclusion.  If I want to get on the podium, I'm going to have to start riding the geared bike.  A second or two can be gained coming out of the slow corners.  On the long straights I could gain many seconds.  On the steep or long climbs, I could get a few more.  So, I've put up a new picture under the blog title.  Yes, it's a picture of me on a geared bicycle.  So, I've just got to let all my readers (both of them) know about my plans for the next race.  I just have to confess.  I'll still be on the fixed gear bike.

Fast Guys

Those fast guys, the ones that were not supposed to show up on a Sunday, well, they all did.  And then this guy shows up and wins the race.  Are Cat. 1 riders really allowed to show up and race?  So much for the podium.  I did not do bad, just not really fast enough to see the podium.  It was tough on the fixed gear with several steep climbs and a really long back straight.  I made an attack from the back of the chase group I was in with two laps to go, and moved into fifth.  Too soon.  Dr. Cross and "The Claw" came back around me on the straight away.  The fixed gear curse.  I went back around "The Claw" and finished a strong 6th, almost moving back up to the Dr. at the finish.

After three races, the announcers finally realized I race on a fixed gear cross bike.  They went nuts.  I heard one of them say, "I've heard of people racing cross on a fixed gear but I've never seen it my whole life until today."  So, now I'm pretty famous, I guess.  I tried to put on a good show going over the barriers.  My fixed gear dismount at full speed looks like a primitive human catapult.  A good show indeed.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Close

With half a lap to go, I was on the virtual podium after working hard the whole race to move up.  I began in 15th spot!  Then I heard a voice right on my wheel.  "They are right behind us Robert!"  I stiffened just a little, scrapped a tree, went off the trail, and watched Tim B. and Tim S. go around me.  Tim B. was gone.  I went around Tim S. on the outside of the final turn, two-wheel drifting into the trees.  I got back on the course and powered home for fourth.  Finally, a complete race.

Tomorrow, if all goes right, I'm going to be on the podium.  Why?  The rumor is, some of the fast guys don't race on Sundays!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

From A Drunk

This is how cyclocross was in 1950.  Long distance, no-trail sections, river crossings, moor crossings, and then moor moor crossings.  I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  I'm going to put on a race like this someday.  I'll advertise it.  I'll let everyone know.  Three people will show up.  One will be me.  Enjoy.

When The Magic Is Gone, What Do You Do?

My magic-numbered-fixed-gear-vertical-dropout setup just does not work very well.  I'm so powerful now (insert laughter) my chain flops off after less than a month of hard training and racing.  So, I've taken matters into my own hands.  What matters?  A 10mm round file.  Now I can give my magic numbered set up a little more magic by pulling the wheel back as things get loose over time.  Here are the before and after pictures.  Stupid?  Leave a comment.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cyclocross Weather


Yes indeed.  I rode away all my frustrations from Saturday on Sunday at Raleigh Cross in SLC.  I was first in single speed and second in 45+.  Yeah.  There was no one there.  That series is now over.  I ended up second and third overall in those two categories.  Not bad for only doing about half the races.

Today, there's cross practice in the snow.  Gotta go.  I'm going to be late.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not Good

It was a DNF day.  It started good.  For the first two laps I was sitting in 5th, moving away from those behind me and watching those in front of me disappear.  Then, it was over.  Not good.

Going through a turn
In the rain, two wheel drifting
Rear tubular rolled

Peeled the front tire off
Strange, it was glued up real good
Took skin off my thumb

I'm disappointed
Wasted time and energy
Was going so strong

Tomorrow morning
I will be racing again
On my clincher wheels

Friday, October 22, 2010

Here It Comes

Saturday: A chance of showers, then showers and thunderstorms after noon. High near 56. Light wind becoming west southwest between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Saturday Night: Rain likely, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 35. West southwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Sunday: Rain likely, mainly before noon. Cloudy, with a high near 58. South wind between 6 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Sunday Night: Showers. Low around 31. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Monday: Rain and snow showers likely. Snow level 5100 feet lowering to 4600 feet in the afternoon . Cloudy and breezy, with a high near 44. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Monday Night: Rain and snow likely. Snow level rising to 5100 feet after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 26.

Tuesday: A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 43.

Tuesday Night: A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22.

Wednesday: A slight chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 43.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Watching

I've been watching the season change.  Fall is nearly done.  Yes, some colorful leaves are still on the trees, but many of them are now on the ground.  The night sky is changing too.  Here is a poem I wrote late last night:

Looking to the East
Orion climbed Mt. Logan
Just after midnight

I will be at the utcx race on Saturday.  I'm trying to get some training in.  I rode in Colorado on Saturday, did a cross practice on Tuesday, and did a quick mountain bike spin yesterday.  What will I do today?  Sit on the couch and analyze pictures from Montana.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home

We are back in Loganistan.  I'll be back on the cross bike tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Colorado

I'm still in Denver
Having great food and coffee
Mostly getting fat


Denver is a real city.  It takes a while to get accustomed to the diversity, fast pace, alcohol, cigarettes, and fixed gear bikes.  I don't think we are in Utah anymore.

Patty's award ceremony and presentation went great.  She was the star.  She had the crowd eating out of her hand.  She deserves the award and more.  We had a great behind the scenes tour of the Denver Zoo yesterday.

We are on the road today to get out of the city.  I still plan on getting a ride in tomorrow.  We will be home Sunday night.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Denver Bound

We are on our way to Denver.  Patty is getting an award for all her hard work.  My training schedule will be put on hold, and I will not race again for two weeks.  It's all good.  I do plan on a Denver ride with Julia K. on Saturday.  I hope I can keep up with her.  Goodbye Loganistan.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Hipster

Jees Louise.  You sell a guy a fixed gear bicycle and he turns into a hipster.


The Lukester


Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Getting Colder

More cranes flying south
While I stacked the wood pellets
In a cold blue sky

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Race Day

It was tough day, my first utcx race of the season.  I got to the line a little late and started near the back of 25 riders in the 45+ race.  I lost nearly a minute on the first lap but started moving up steadily after the bottlenecks cleared out.  The straightaway on the back side of the course was on a horse race-track, smooth packed dirt for over a half-mile.  Riding the fixed gear, I lost some time there each lap.  I made up ground in the infield, putting on a fixed gear dismount and barrier clinic, passing 4 riders on the last lap.  I finished 7th.  Not good.  Not bad.  There were two riders in front of me who had never beaten me this season until today.  The first four are still much faster than me.  Next time, I'll get 5th.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Looking Up

I saw many groups of migrating cranes today, and heard even more.  I hear them in my head more than I hear them in my ears.  Sometimes I'm not even sure, so I stand in the yard looking up, just about to give up, and then I see them miles above my head, a small black V against a white cloud, headed south.  When I hear them in my head, I know they are talking to me, whispering, asking me to come with them.  Again, the sandhill crane is my animal spirit guide.  Their migrations make me sad.  It happens every Fall.  I begin to think about going to Florida, going home.

That's why I'm focusing on cyclocross.  It keeps me motivated.  In the morning I'll do my first UTCX race of the season.  I'm riding pretty good, but I have a long way to go.  Tomorrow will be a good measurement of my fitness level.  I don't plan on winning.  I plan on going as hard as I can without throwing up or passing out.  After all, when you do a cyclocross race, after the first lap, you are really only racing yourself.  And that's why I like it so much.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Migrations

Soft trumpeting calls
Eyes-neck strain, a small gray V
Nearly two miles high

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moosecross (Updated, Edited)

Full results here.

Just a quick report.  Third place for Lupine, mid-pack for John B. and Patty (Dr Catfish was actually 4th in First Timers Men, one step from the podium.  Dr Cramer was 5th in First Timers Women.  The race was stacked with many serious racers with sculpted legs, so both John and Patty did really well.), and a 5th for me on Saturday and 2nd on Sunday.  Both days I was racing the same guy (His name was Dave Saurman, a very good rider from Wilson, WY.), on his wheel in the barriers and turns, getting gapped on the straights.  I need more power to be a real cross racer.  Do they sell that stuff?







Dr. Cramer is a serious cyclocross racer with complete focus on the race.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A New Discovery

I discovered a new band tonight, Handful of Lovin'.  They were playing at the Bitter Root Brewery in Hamilton, Montana.  Good beer and great music.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How To Do Cyclocross Barriers. Or Not


Done right, with a flying leap off the pedal, hitting the ground at a full sprint, and leaping over the barriers with bike in hand like a hybrid cross between a gazelle and a high-hurdler, a cyclocross dismount is a true thing of beauty.


Done wrong, like not getting your foot out of the pedal, it's as ugly as the bloody scab on my knee.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What If?

What if Loganistan, Utah was like this?  What if we had just a little diversity, open-mindedness, and progressive vision?


Meet the Met from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on Vimeo.

There is a place in Utah with vision.  It's Park City.  They have a fantastic trail system.  It's one of the best I've seen.  Check this out!

On The Road

Doubled up again
At Raleigh Cross on Sunday
Single, forty-five

Two races just kill
When they called the forty-fives
I could hardly walk

So I dug real deep
Patty was yelling, "You're strong!"
Right before the crash

What bike am I on?
Sprawling toward barriers
Foot still in pedal

I'm getting faster
But surely not the fastest
Got second and third

A few hours of sleep
Then beelined for Montana
A seven hour drive

In the Bitterroot
The trees tell me it is Fall
But feels like summer

Friday, September 24, 2010

Recycled Haiku


Crimson red maples
Under the yellow aspen
Painted mountain sides

Thursday, September 23, 2010

From Matt's New Blog

Yes, Matt Chester has a blog again.  That's a good thing.  If you really want to learn about the history of flared drop bar bicycles, modern flared drop bar bicycle design, meaningful bike fit, quiet meditation, or listen to good music, you may want to read it.  He has a ton more knowledge about these subjects than I do, and he writes very well.  Why should I write about it if someone else has already said it.  He put in a link to this video, and it just says so much about why I like to ride a fixed gear cyclocross bike with strange looking handlebars.  Comfort, control, power, simplicity, etc.  It also shows a lot about how cyclocross looked in 1925.  Longer races, serious run-ups, and "no-trail" sections.  I would love to put on a race like this someday.  I wonder how many people would show up?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I did Raleigh Cross Race #2 today.  I rode a geared bike in a race for the first time since 1994.  I placed second today.  If I'd been on the fixed gear bike I think I still would have placed second.  The race was decided on the first climb, less than a minute into it.  I settled into second place, pulling away from third while first place pulled away from me.  And that's just how it ended.

Theres's one thing for sure.  Once you get comfortable riding a fixed gear flared drop bar set up, you just can't go back to riding regular drop bars on the hoods.  It's just too sketchy going over the bumps while trying to brake hard.  The answer?  I may put flared drop bars on the geared bike with bar cons (STI does not work well for me on Midge Bars). If you really want to know about flared drop bars, read this article by one of my heros, Matt Chester.

I'm looking forward to the points race.  I'll post it next week.  Looks like this old guy is at the top.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Haiku For Fall (Updated)

I'm back from Montana.  I left Logan at 3 pm on Wednesday, checked all 32 cameras, copied pictures, changed batteries, and started driving back home before dark on Thursday.  It's a new record, 34 hours, door to door.

The drive through the north end of Cache Valley, between the Lemhi Range and the Beaverhead Mountains (sothern end of the Bitterroot Range), and up and over Lost Trail Pass into Montana was quite scenic as usual.  I saw a herd of elk and a yearling black bear cub.  The bear was in the middle of the road and did not move until I was stopped right beside it.  It loped in front of me for 100 feet or so because of the guardrails.

Fall has come to northern Utah and Idaho.  Life is buzzing, a last hurrah before winter sets in.  Driving along the Lemhi River, the insects were so thick, it sounded like heavy rain hitting the windshield.  All the trout were well fed.

Last dance in the sun
Hatch, swim, reproduce, and die
Before the snows fly

Magpies, starlings, geese, and sandhill cranes are flocking up, getting ready to move.  I love this time of year.  I lived for 35 years without a real Fall.  Now, I'm going to enjoy and embrace each and every one.

I took this picture in southern Idaho on Wednesday, a blaze of color in the desert.  I will go this weekend to get some pictures in Logan Canyon and post them soon.


One More

Now that I'm on youtube I'll just wait for the offers to roll in.  Still waiting.

Live In Concert

Just ignore the wind.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm Famous Too!

I just looked at the web site for yesterday's race.  That's what I get for riding a fixed gear bike while wearing sandals, cutoffs, and a t-shirt.  I need to get a skin suit.  Not.

Daddy Daughter Race Day


We went to a cyclocross race yesterday at This Is The Place Heritage Park.  This sign was right at the start finish.  It is typical of Utah.  The only place in Utah where I've seen a lot of dogs and dog lovers is Park City.  Why?  I have no idea.  But, it is quite true that Mormons do not seem to like bicycles, dogs, smoking, and drinking, not necessarily in that order.  It's a control thing.  People that have rules imposed upon them seem to impose rules upon others.  It all flows downhill.


It was a small race, early in the season, and everyone was out just to have some fun.  Lupine raced against three other kids.  She finished third overall, and of course, being the only girl, first in her class.

Lupine Cramer wins gold!

The tall boy rode away from the others.  The real race was the three 9 year-olds all on the same bikes, Redline Conquest 24s.  The three stayed together for both laps.  At the end Lupine was right behind the red-haired boy.  He was out of breath at the finish and Lupine was talking and smiling.  She said she didn't want to beat two boys.  The boy on the right was not happy at all.

How did Lupine's Dad do?  Not bad.  Second place in the single speed race (there were only three of us) and second place in Masters 45+ (there were seven starters).  In the single speed race I dropped my chain two times.  Never change your wheelset the night before.  I put on a new chain and rode faster in the second race, just out of first place.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Patty Cramer Is Famous

And I get to hang out with her all the time.  Check this out.  Looks like we will be in Denver, October 14 to 17.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where Have You Been?

I've been everywhere, man.  And, I've been busy.  My sisters Bonnie and Lynn came to visit.  I've been trying to ride more.  And, we went to Park City for the holiday weekend.

Here is a video and some pictures from Park City.  We did some riding, some walking in the Miner's Day Parade, and some wheelbarrowing in the park.  Ignore the audio on the video.  My squeaky saddle is one hit away from falling off of my seatpost.  When that happens, well, you can just use your imagination.  For now, it sounds like noise from the other side of the wall in a cheap hotel room.

video

Patty with an aspen problem
Mid-Mountain Trail, Park City, Utah
Lupine, Hanna, and Paul
Lily
I'm still learning how to use my new digital camera.  It's mid 2010 and I finally own one.  Sorry Lily, I know your picture is out of focus.

There is a cyclocross race on Saturday.  I will be on the starting line at high noon for the Masters 45+ race.  I just hope I'm not last at the finish.  I have no fitness.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's The Season

There is snow on the top of the mountains this morning.  I'm not kidding.  Snow.  That means it is time to start training for cyclocross season.  Here's the plan.  No, it's not my plan.  I'm lucky to get out for more than one ride per week.  My plan?  Just ride.  Ride hard.  Ride easy.  Hill repeats.  Run some.  Run some hill repeats.  Ride short.  Ride long.  Just ride.  To hell with a plan.  Just ride.



See?  Just ride.  How could you have any more fun on a bicycle than this?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Juniper

I finally got up the canyon for a night ride.  It's Fall already and I've only done a small hand full of real mountain bike rides.  Last night I hit the Jardine Juniper Trail with Paul, Greg, and Ray.  The moon was full, rising beside the evening star.  Was that Venus?  Just a few weeks ago it was in the West.  Hmm.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stand Up, Sit Down, Shut Your Mouth

I saw a guy riding one of these today.  Riding may not be the word, as he was really working hard on the perfectly flat 100 East.


Let me just say this.  What a stupid idea.  The modern bicycle has not changed in nearly 100 years.  Why?  It is the most efficient transportation machine ever invented.  Nearly perfect.  So, if you want an efficient bike and you do not want to sit down, just raise your bars and remove your seat post.  There you go.  Just stand up and pedal.  The Elliptigo is almost as stupid as the Trikke.  A fool and his/her money are soon parted.

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