Saturday, March 25, 2006

Honest! It followed me home...

I went to B&L Bicycles in Pullman to drop off a (you won't believe this) horse cart wheel that of course a horse had damaged beyond repair. Well I remember Roger (a master at wheel building it seems) building up a pair of horse cart wheels last summer while I was working (playing) at the shop. So I am hoping (actually my wife is hoping more than me) that Roger can come up with the right mixture of parts to make a new horse cart wheel - Note to Roger: Not to put any pressure on you, but I've told everyone you can do it.

While I was at B&L I had to touch everything of course and drool a bit too. While looking up (wiping some drool off the lower chin) I spied a new Trek OCLV (that's high quality carbon to you) Pilot 5.2 in my size...OH,no, no...I tried to ignore it but the heavens opened, a bright light shown upon it and angels could be heard singing Alleluia! Somehow the bike ended up on the bike fit stand with me on it (thanks a lot SeanMan). The worst part is that it snuck into the back seat of my car and followed me home (honest). Of course that meant "take me for a ride." OK so I put my way-heavy standard road wheels on it (I like the puncture resistant Bontrager Hardcase tires on the glass strewn, thorn infested roads around here) and went for a quick 20-mile spin. It was really a bad idea to ride that bike...why? Because it was the smoothest road ride ever (and I purposefully picked the roughest chip-sealed road I know of - didn't even phase the ride). To keep this bike means I would have to sell my faithful Kestrel to absorb part of the cost of this potential new bike. The Kestrel is a super smooth ride, but not anywhere near as good as the Trek Pilot 5.2.

So anyone want an awesome deal on a sweet light weight 54cm carbon fiber Kestrel spec'd with only the best high-end parts? If you want to buy it or want a list of parts let me know (

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Horsing Around

Well after yesterday's very cool ride with the SeanMan (who was back to work (play) at Eastern Washington's coolest Bike Shop) I was forced to ride by myself today...hohum life is so hard sometimes. But first I had to get spiffed up and head to the hospital for some spring break school work (quite the paradox). Shocking isn't it - me in a tie and my hair brushed? I was shocked obviously. After ditching the spiffy duds I hopped on the Salsa Dos Niner for a sweet ride (shorts and short-sleeves) in the sun and 60+ temps. At the local state park I ran into some girls horsin around, one of which just so happened to be my wife...Yep another shocking revelation to all of you in the bike world - my wife is a horse person. Actually she is just plain horse crazy and I think that is really cool...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring in Hell

I've been just riding along quite a bit these last few days (6-days straight now) enjoying some time off from school (spring break) and the really awesome sunny days we've been having. The little purple flowers growing in the rocky waste at Hellsgate State Park are the finale of signs telling me that Spring is officially here (oh yeah, the calendar said it was also). However, with spring comes allergies, which means while feeling really happy it's spring, I also feel lethargic and tired all the time. I've lived my entire life without allergies, but when I moved into the valley of Hell 6-years ago I suddenly developed allergies. I'm not sure if it is the stinky-assed pulp mill here or the superior weed population of this hole that contributes to my allergies the most. When I leave the valley I feel better within a day or so, which tells me that the name Hellsgate is an appropriate name for this place...maybe the name, Purgatory, would be more appropriate...then again maybe not since there is an entire culture here built around Hell - for example this weekend is the annual Devil's Slide MTB race at Hellsgate State Park...

Just beyond Hell I found some Heaven today on a ride with the infamous SeanMan who has a real knack for taking off work the best, sunny days of the week. I've heard that others at his work (can you call working at a famous bike shop work?) are a bit jealous of his consistent ability to take the perfect days off...wait until they find out we were in shorts today. I rode my Fisher Rig SingleSpeed (with 32x18 gearing) and the SeanMan was on his Supercal. Needless to say whenever we get together its all about hills - today was no different with some choice, steep hills. It seems that riding on flat ground it rather (yawn) boring to us. After 42 miles we had in 4600 feet of verticle climbing which to say the least felt great. Most of the hills we chose were rather long and steep it seems - how steep? Check out my coasting max speed on a twisty downhill (yes that is from my SS with knobby tires and on the dirt - thrilling isn't it?)...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We Will Rock You!

This last Tuesday I was asked if I wanted ride the bike leg of the LCSC Spring Duathlon and thinking it was in a few weeks I said sure. I get the feeling that there maybe was some sort of behind-the-scenes challenge going that I'm oblivious to. Anyway on Wednesday (the next day), to my shock, my teammate found out that the event was this Saturday...let's see I'm in clinicals or school all day Wed. & Thurs. - that leaves Friday to get my bike tires aired up and chain lubed. Saturday I just showed up, did a 3-minute warmup, and waited for my teammate to come in...Jane is a smokin fast runner so waiting was not going to be an issue. She was in the top 5-10 on the 1st 2-mile running leg (Ouch that had to hurt the competition!). On the bike I could not believe how nice a day it was to be suffering. I saw stars once and thought that was cool...I love suffering that much since it always makes me feel so good to ride the endorphin high later. I got into a nice groove singing "We will, We will Rock You..." in my head. I picked up several riders on the 6 miles out and 2 more on the 6 miles back leaving only 3 very fast solo eventers ahead of me coming in. The rest is easy history as Jane smoked the last 2-mile running leg just like she did the first. Ha! 4th overall and 1st team overall (results) with a total time of 0:57:01. Right after the event Jane had to take her daughter to dance lessons so I ended up with both trophies for now.

The Winnings!

Yeah we Rocked em!

(Chris & Lance, I dedicate this trophy to you.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

4300 Feet Up with the SeanMan

Well today was an exceptional day of sun and warmth (60F) and for some super-natural reason I was free from school and the SeanMan was free from work at Washington's premier 29er Superstore. Hmmm...such coincidence. We arranged to ride in the early afternoon somewhere near the SeanMan's house on the Mr. Potato Head (Idaho) side of the river. By the time I got there Sean mumbled something about not wanting to climb too much because he was feeling wimpy or something. Hard to do since everything around here is insanely up and down (oh the periles of living in a valley 2000 feet deep). Me, I just wanted to ride for a few hours anywhere. So off we went over some "flat" ground which was only flat for a few miles then down a steep grade after which we climbed out toward Waha on an endless just kept going up, up, up...On the way up I was thinking about the humor surrounding this forever climb and the SeanMan not wanting to climb too much. By the time we got home we had climbed 4300 feet total. It took a very long time to climb and only took minutes to come down - no pedalling required unless you wanted more speed. I maxed out (coasting) at 42 mph on the dirt road coming down.

The SeanMan on the way up.

Still Going Up!

"I don't want to climb" Yeah right!

Looking down from where we turned around - Nice view!

And we were not even close to the top yet...another day we will go there and beyond.