Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stomach Churn 2010

The annual Stomach Churn cross/mtb race has came upon and left us. There was a great turn out again this year with over 20 riders in each race. Since I've been chained to the computer trying to get something accomplished on my thesis and absolutely no time on my bike I opted to just go shoot some photographs and watch everyone else suffer. I know, lame excuse, but I'm really much better at taking photos than bike racing anyway.

The 30 minute race started around 11am. It was good to see woman in the field as well.

The traditional Stomach Churn puke bucket made it's appearance on top of Cardiac Arrest hill as usual.

Dan from Adventure's Edge made a quick jump on the lead right off the bat, and despite burping his tubeless tire manged to keep his lead with a pretty nice gap at the finish. Don't let those downhillers trick you - they've apparently got some skillz on the cross country terrain as well.

The 60 minute race takes off. Chris Johnson pulled away for for a quick lead...

Until Graves turned on the burners and practically lapped everyone on the field by the time 60 minutes was done with.

Some brave souls actually did ride cross bikes including Jennifer. (Although Jennifer was screaming the whole time wishing she had her mtb.)

Evan took the cross dress competition home with his sexy Daphne ensemble.

While others wanted to take a little something home of their own. The gallery can be seen here (for now). I'd like to personally give a shout out to Vic for his continuous hard work putting this race together, Adventures Edge for their continuous support, and Revolution Bicycles.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bogstomp 2010

Well it's been awhile since I've transcribed any thoughts into digital format, well at least here. Damn facebook has probably taken over. So much has happened since we last talked. I'll cut to the chase.

Last weekend was the annual Bogstomp, BogStomp, Bog Stomp (however it's spelled) mountain bike/cyclocross race held out near headwaters. Revolution Cycles puts on the race and they sure do a great job of it. For some reason I couldn't pull it together to get much riding in so I went out to shoot a few photos and just generally have a good time with some friends.

This was only my 2nd year as an attendee, so I don't really have much to compare. There were a few more racers on the field suffering this year which was great to see. Last year I raced the 30 minute sufferfest and actually did better than I would have guessed going into it. It was actually nice getting to shoot some photos of the guys I usually race with and sort of felt guilty taking the easy way out. Well I didn't hear anyone complaining, at least not to my face.

The track was a bit muddier than last year and I think it had something to do with Sean tearing things up with his moto - race organizers always like the racers to suffer as much as possible. There was even a "pit' that everyone kept talking about, but in my oblivion didn't discover it until the 3pm kids race. That would have made for some nice sloppy shots.

I did get a chance to try out my new flash unit. I managed somehow to scrape up a little cash and get the nikon sb-600 strobe. This thing has the ability to run as a slave from my SLR body so I can mount it on my tripod and run around snapping shots while it distracts and scares the hell out of the riders. I've got some learning ahead of me, but overall I was pleased with the results - much better than not having i-TTL with the Sunpak powerzoom I've been using.

Congrats to Andrew "Potter" McAfee for taking the 50 minute race and Justin Brown with the 30 minute race win. Looks like it was a setup from the revo guys. Race results will be posted here.

I'd like to close it with this photo and remind everyone that sometimes it's not ok to be childish, but never get so old to lose your childlike qualities. Have fun out there.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google Bike Routes

Well it's been a long time coming but Google is finally adding bike routes to their mapping. Here is an article from Wired that talks a bit more about it.

Although this is a very good improvement from their auto-centric mapping system, I personally think it will be slow going at first. This type of routing is dependent on quality GIS files integrated with good planning and existing bike routes/lanes. Large cities such as Portland or Seattle, that have well established bike lanes or avenues, tend to have the resources that Google needs. Smaller towns that may or may not have bike lanes, but are without quality GIS capabilities will not be implemented for some time. This will take major effects on the local communities to get trails/lanes established and into a GIS.

This is exciting news regardless, but for now I'd keep that internal route map handy.

And a little something to motivate you...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Density, modulus, and Fatigue - Oh my

I've been a bit overwhelmed as of late researching bike geometries, qualities, materials, and what have you. I'm always curious as to what other people think, and even more curious as to why they think what they do. Folklore is a mighty powerful beast, often overpowering even the mightiest of bike gurus. The strongest of them always come down to a few: aluminum is a harsh ride, steal is heavy, and carbon fiber doesn't last more than 5 years. I'll admit I've sort of bought into these tales to some degree over the years, but probably not to the degree that say most consumers think all Trek bikes are good because they are Treks. Well actually no, most of them are junk in fact.

So I've taken it upon myself to do some more research mostly for a friend, but also for the day that I can actually afford a nice light road bike that fits me snugly, or that sick Titanium XC mountain racer. For now I've stumbled upon a series of articles called METALLURGY FOR CYCLIST by Scot Nicol who founded Ibis Cycles.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A project for every finger

and toe. They say idle hands are the devil's playground. I'm not sure who they are, but they may have something going. At least somewhere along the line turning right or left inevitably brought me to here, and here just happens to be a clutter that never seems to let up. I find myself starting to think about the weekend, in particular the Banana Slug series ride down in Dyerville this Saturday. it's 64 miles, 18 miles of gravel. What tires do I ride? Will they fit on the roadie, or do I ride the heavy tourer? And when will I have time to work on my bike? I've got to head down and get my new driver's license at the DMV and I don't even drive. For some reason we are pressured with all these social inconveniences whether we even want to drive or not. Like it's illegal to not carry around an id. Well I tried to, but your damn camera was broken and you were unable to process id's or DL. And your "system" is so out of date that I can't take the stupid written test, pay my fee, and come back tomorrow for my mug shot. it simply "shuts the system down."

Well they are going to stop me. I'm not spending the start of my 33rd year sitting in their overgrown lines with disgruntled customers. With this dang sinus infection I'll probably end up sleeping until noon and trying to heal while I play with my new bike light. I bought the Magicshine 900 at Geomans bike stuff.

I just recently heard about the popularity of companies putting an SOS mode on their lights. Not that it takes any incredible circuitry enhancement to add a few blips and dashes, but I do think it is a novelty that will soon fade away. If you're unfamiliar with Morse code I recommend you google it. Without a doubt you'll come to a wiki page about the Morse Code translations for English numbers and letters. I say English because I'm out searching for a 4 dash letter that doesn't seem to be part of the Morse Code translation. Either someone who is making Geoman's Magic Light 900's is playing a funny joke, or QC/QA completely should be fired over there in China. On SOS mode I should be brillianced with a dot-dot-dot dash-dash-dash dot-dot-dot. Well this is one ship that isn't getting rescued. My 3 middle dashes are 4, and I'm left on the island while some rescue boat moves along because of my confusing message.

Either way, I'll do a product review once I get the thing mounted and the infectious being from my nasal cavity retreat.

I did manage to get 1 ride in this last week. Yup sad week when you only get 1 ride in. The little voice in my head is screaming, dude the TUC is going to tear you up. I guess I've always been a masochist, finding myself in places I probably shouldn't be. It would just be nice to suffer for 6.5 hours instead of 8.

This is a taste of the Bald Mountain ride. Mostly paved, but has some dirt/gravel sections. The only soft spot was right at the junction of Snow Camp Road and Bald Mountain road where it starts off with some steep grades.

If ever a guy felt proud of where he lives it would be at a point really similar to this. A lot of people I know, most even, hardly ever ride, or never ride a bike. I'm all for everyone having their own sort of thing going on. It would be, at these moments, the time I would probably say something like, "now that's what I'm talking about." And then turn around and suffer some more climbing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Imagine - kolelinia

A friend of mine turned me onto this provocative transportation concept based on the idea of flying over problematic transportation areas. A writeup from the site:

"Everything started in the summer of 2008. I decided to participate in the international architectural competition „Line of Site” on the „City Transportation Interchange” brief. The first crazy idea which came to my mind was to make flying bicycle-lanes, using steel wire, something like ski lift but working on the opposite principle in which the wire is static and it doesn’t need electricity. Ultimately I sent only a pencil sketch and the idea placed for the final, which was held on February 2009 in London. My detailed presentation won the „City Transportation Interchange” brief. During the autumn of the same year I decided to develop the idea in further details. At the same time I received an invitation to become presenter for the Sofia’s TEDx conference, something that additionally stimulated the development of the idea. Many of the principles have been changed. For example the personal safety device, which is a prior-art itself. This site presents the third step of the development. Time only will show what will come out of it…"

Click on the image to check out the project.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hilary's B-Day Bowling

Last Tuesday was Hilary's birthday so we all went out on Friday to celebrate with some bowling in Eureka. It's been awhile since I've rolled and to put it in bowlers terms, "I couldn't hit my mark." The sport hasn't changed at all since my younger years of league play; still roll a ball down an alley and try and knock all the pins down. However, I some how managed to hit a lot more of those pins many years ago. Plastic versus reactive urethane in bowling is sort of like cycle touring on a cheap hardware store 24 tpi tire versus a Specialized Armadillo, reaction to the environment my friends. And what a better way to react to environment than getting a bunch of crazy kids together and throwing heavy objects down an oily lane.

This is the birthday woman herself.
Although I'm not as competitive as I once was, I'm always down for a little friendly competition and crap talking. Me and my buddy Ted love to push each others buttons in a gentleman's sort of way, but then again everyone likes to give Ted a hard time. Despite him being a canvas for others jokes we had our fair share of high fives within the slander. And with that Ted was "hitting his mark" a little better than myself that night, but I managed to pull ahead the first game and tied him 1 game to 1. Next time Ted, next time.
The Big Labowski may have changed the way we look at bowling forever, or at least our personal experiences. I can't imagine a single brain synapse occuring while at a bowling alley that doesn't pertain in some way to a urethane covered rose, or shining up the ol' rolling rock. I didn't happen to see Sam Elliot drinking any Sarsaparilla, but I did give the plastic a good sheen.
After the bowling sesh we got an exciting chance to have a private party at the Accident Gallery for a showing of Triplets of Belleville. If you're into cycling, or just good animation I highly recommend this film. After the movie we were indulged with lemon curd filled cupcakes and art chatter. Not an unsuccessful night.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Red Gate

Some shots from Jacoby Creek ride last week. Just like most of the single track around here, it was super wet and muddy. Still a great time with great folks. This forest is magical, filled with moss covered trees. Not a bad place to spend a wet afternoon.