Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thinking about Bikes and Bike News

Lots of stuff going on in the cycling world these days. Some good local action too as the Amgen Tour of California sped through town earlier this week. So I thought I'd tap out some thoughts on both the national and international cycling news as well as my own personal cycling news.

Tour of California - Unlike last year's long, long wait in the rain up on Empire Grade, this year's tour had the cyclists finishing up by riding one of my favorite cruises in the whole world, along West Cliff from Natural Bridges State Park. I was able to get there, meet up with my family and find a great place to post up to watch the race fly by. We took a few pictures too, click the gallery of pics there to see more of them.

Floyd Landis - Cheater, slanderer, douchebag. Pretty much all I have to say. No wait, there's more. Floyd Landis is a known cheater, a known liar and a known fraud and he actually expects anyone to believe him when he tries to lump in other cyclists into his little PED club? Sorry, Floyd, but you've spent every last micro-iota of credibility with me years ago. I'm not saying there aren't cheaters in cycling, there clearly are, but I'm going to wait for proof before I put Lance Armstrong over in the cheater camp. That is, Floyd's word just ain't even close to good enough for me to change my mind about other cyclists like Armstrong and Zabriskie.

Bike to Work - I wish I had the kind of job where I could ride my bike to work regularly. But I work at four different sites minimum in any given week and I sometimes have to make school visits all over the district. It is, sadly, just not feasible for me to ride to work often. I like to do it when I can but that's not often enough, ya know?

Trail Access - I went for a mountain bike ride after work today. My first in a little bit as I've been sliding ever since completing the Avia Wildflower Mountain Bike Triathlon a couple of weeks ago. My regular route in Nisene Marks State Park in Aptos is to drop in on a trail head near Soquel Drive, cross the stream and go up and out of the park only to loop back around and re-enter the park above Aptos to bomb the backside of the mountain. Yes, a small portion of my ride is on semi-private property but its been understood that this use was semi-sanctioned by the owners. Well that sanction is, sadly, no more. Construction has begun and access has been withdrawn which means the really fun portion of my regular ride is currently unavailable to me. Which sucks. I'm not generally a scofflaw type, I try to respect rules and laws but I'm thinking that I'm going to be figuring out another way up to the top of the Lower Sand Point lookout.

Be Prepared - The other main thing I took from today's shorter ride is that I need to pay better attention to my gear when I'm packing it up. I forgot my underseat toolbag and my totally lame but very handy fanny pack which meant I had to carry my car's remote in my cycling shorts as I had no pockets at all. Kind of stupid of me really. I also need to clean off the rest of the racing number residue from my frame and the sides of my helmet. I was also low on water and had to scrounge some mostly empty water bottles from the backseat. This is the result of packing up my car this morning rather than last night. I will do better next time.

Gloves - Maybe the last thing this post, not sure yet. Against all advice, I bought some new gloves the day before I raced at the Sea Otter Classic a month ago. Conventional wisdom says don't change anything in the last few days before the race unless you can test it out to make sure it will work. I did not do this and bought a pair of gloves with comfy gel inserts and a short cover on my thumb. Over the course of the race, that exposed thumb got abraded all to hell by my SRAM gripshift (probably helped by the Cherry Bomb goo pack that dripped on me). By the end of the race, the inside of the knuckle on my thumb was rubbed completely raw, stung like a mofo and took several weeks to heal up. Another lesson learned. Along with the whole make sure to hydrate like absolute mad the day before and morning of a race, that's an important lesson I won't ever forget!

Next post will be a round up of cool, interesting and odd things I've found or read recently on some of the many blogs I regularly visit.
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