30 July 2011

Seattle Century on a single speed

This is a fun ride. Fun because it's low key, fun because the support is great (and frequent!) and fun because the entry fee includes one amazing post-ride meal AND beer. You heard me right, after you finish it's all you can eat and drink for no additional charge.

Oh yeah, and today was extra fun because I rode my single speed bike.


28 July 2011


If there is one ride that I hold most dear and that comes close to being a tradition for me this is it.

RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day) is a 150 odd mile (depending on the course) counter-clockwise lap around the mountain starting and finishing in Enumclaw, WA. And when the weather is nice, there are no better views. ANYWHERE.

Way back in the day when I first considered attempting this I recall wondering how long it would take. I had done STP in one day with a couple of friends and that seemed totally epic. I know STP took us at least 12 hours and I think none of us rode for like a week after we finished! To do a somewhat equivalent distance with 10,000' of climbing seemed ludicrous. Especially since we had no idea how to prepare or train.

But a friend and I started. And my friend rode tubulars. And he flatted about 30 miles in.

27 July 2011

core | commute

Hit the gym, managed to eek out a couple of extra push-ups and rode my bike to work.

At lunch I ran an errand on my bike and then I rode it home. It was a good day.

Sometimes it's the simple things.

26 July 2011

core | Pacific Raceways CR

I managed to get myself to the gym AND I did well at the race. It was a banner day.

Usually I try to get in a short ride Tuesday morning but today it was misting outside at 5:30 AM and I just didn't feel like getting wet so I did the core thing instead. It was kind of tough today (especially while planking since my left elbow is pretty sore when I put any weight on it) but the feeling after a workout is almost always good. This morning did not disappoint.

When Dave H, Corrie M and I arrived at Pacific Raceways Rory told us that there was an issue with the drag strip so instead of a points race on the flats we were doing it down the escape road and up the easy hill. Nice. For sure I prefer the hill (any hill) out here and I also like the points race format so this was a win/win as far as I was concerned.

Other people it seems were not so gung-ho as I was and the air was FILLED WITH TREPIDATION. As much trepidation as you can have at the lowest stress event there is anyway. Plus I like to overstate things for effect.

And I experienced a new first - all the Cat 4 riders picking up gravel from the track.


25 July 2011


Man… I just can't seem to get my ass off the proverbial couch these days. Our plans to ride yesterday fell through and today when my alarm went off to go to the gym I just rolled over in bed and didn't wake up again until Shelley's alarm sounded 1:45 later.

Dead. To. The. World.

Riding to work never shines much light on how I feel as it's 95% downhill. Coming home I felt okay. Good thing because I can't wait for RAMROD this Thursday!

24 July 2011

Thank you for the football lesson!

That's exactly what the coach of the Seattle Sounders Football Club should have said to the coach of Manchester United after the drubbing they gave us a few days ago. Holy crap.

But let me back up.

This was my first time in the new stadium and it was FUN! We were up on the 300 level and our seats were excellent. It's hard to imagine a bad seat in the house. And the view of downtown Seattle from the stadium? Fantastic.


Here is the 'official game report' and read on if you want to see mine.

23 July 2011

Seattle Super Gran Fondo

My first ever Gran Fondo!

I had put the Seattle Gran Fondo on my calendar long ago but you never really know if you will be able to do it when the date draws near. Things can happen like it can rain or you can be too tired or some family obligation comes up so it was pretty damn exciting when all things aligned and the forecast was fantastic.

Besides, any event with the word 'super' in it has got to be cool.

From what I have heard the established fondos are pretty damn fast! Riders take off from the gun and it's basically a race for 100 miles with the pack breaking up into groups. I was not so confident about my ability to race 100 miles much less 100 miles that finishes with an 18 mile climb!

To my relief the ride started out at a very sane pace but as we pulled out of the first aid station it was Tony B, myself, two young kids (Ian T and Alan S) from Hagens Berman and a couple of others, On the very first hill our pace shed the two others and so suddenly it was just four racers.

So much for taking it easy. :)

22 July 2011

core | commute

I made it to the gym and then after work I cruised up to Gregg's Cycles at Green Lake to pick up my number for the Seattle SUPER Gran Fondo.

From here I went home through Interlaken which was exploding with green. Seattle sure has a lot of that. On the best days there is no other place I'd like to be.

Core felt okay with the exception of back extensions - they took my breath away. As in it's hard for me to breath when I do them.

21 July 2011


A great day is also a great day for a commute by bicycle.

And that's about all I got in today. At least I took the long way home. On the up side my legs feel like they are bouncing back and the hills (which I pushed a little bit) felt fine.

20 July 2011


Holy hate, I did not get enough sleep last night.

Not sure what is up but sometimes I wake up at 3 or 4 (or 2 in this case!) and for the life of me I can't fall back asleep. I seem to recall a show like 60 Minutes that featured people who only needed a couple of hours of sleep each night. They all led dual lives; one during the day with one job and set of friends and then another at night with perhaps another job/hobby/set of friends. That's not me for sure but not being able to fall back asleep is a major bother. Plus I crash big time by the end of the work day. :(

Walking up the stairs to the gym my legs felt pretty cooked.

Core was mostly okay in spite of no sleep, the knee lifts were pretty tough.

19 July 2011

ride | Pacific Raceways CR

My legs? Why yes, they are still sore from my massage yesterday, thanks for asking…

I met pretty much everyone that shows up for the early morning hot lap today, we were about 10 total! Gentry M was there letting everyone know how tired he was from his triathlon on Sunday and so of course he went hard as hell and about broke my legs.

ASIDE - it's pretty much guaranteed that if ANY athlete tells you they are sore/tired/injured it's gonna be one f'ing intense day and you better beware. Hilarious actually.

Since my legs were not feeling tip top I got on the front for the first hill and rode next to Gentry and started chatting to 1) make him talk in order to deprive him of oxygen and 2) take his mind off of riding hard. It worked until we got to the top and I pulled off.

18 July 2011

core | commute

I got worked this morning by Tucker R from Mobility+ Healthcare… it's my own fault really for not getting a massage in ages and then starting up again but boy did I feel it all day AND on my ride home. One word: sore. Tucker is very good but take my advice and use him after a hard workout and not before. I will be back.

I was going about as slow as I could on the hills during my commute home and my legs were still screaming; screaming for vengeance. You can only go so easy on a single speed bike.

the beauty of the Bemis

How many times do you walk down the isle of a store looking at bazillions of versions of what you need having no idea which one to buy? If you're in sales this deer-in-the-headlights look is easily recognized and a huge opportunity as the shopper is putty in your hands; you can pretty much sell them whatever you need to move. Sadly.

A few years ago I broke a toilet seat in our house. I guess I got a little agro when lifting the lid or closing it or something and twisted it enough so that the plastic hinges were no longer feeling very secure when you sat down. Shelley and I went to the Home Depot and down the bath isle where we promptly both got that same look… There were SO MANY TOILET SEATS. Some had padding, some had special coatings, some were painted, some were stained and some were just butt ugly. But not enough of them were butt ugly so the options we had left were still pretty overwhelming.

Eventually we found what seemed like a pretty darn good, basic seat for something like $5.63. It was painted, wood and probably the cheapest seat in the entire store, how can you go wrong? It was a Bemis.

As we paid the cashier he took one look at our purchase and said, "Ah, you can never go wrong with a Bemis!" Confirmation is awesome.


17 July 2011

fixed gear ride

Funny how your goals get 'adjusted' as conditions and your motivation changes.

Way back when I had wanted to participate in the Rapha Gentleman's Ride on Saturday but then I woke to rain and Saturday turned into a day of slothliness. I ate, watched television, ate some more, repeat. Rumor has it there was also alcohol involved. Back on Friday the forecast for the weekend looked better on Sunday than Saturday so when the rain started Saturday morning I figured no biggie, I'll make it up tomorrow.

Originally I planned on a long (100 mile) ride by myself on Sunday.

I woke up Sunday. I started watching the TdF. Then it was 9 AM. No more time for 100 miles.

How can you maximize the benefit of a limited ride window? You never coast. And what better way to not coast than riding a fixed gear.

16 July 2011

insanity has a new name and it is Ueli Steck

I know human nature is to push the limits. If one person can do an Ironman Triathlon then others will do ten. If one person skis off a cliff then someone else has to drop from higher up. To the point where you need a parachute to survive.

ASIDE - of course sometimes things go very wrong. Which is exactly why all this extreme sports stuff is so insane.

Still, in spite of the risks people will never stop trying to go faster, higher, longer and thus put themselves out there where disaster is pretty much the only option if they make a mistake. Any mistake.

One of those people is Ueli Steck.


15 July 2011


I just got a new laptop so this morning was all about geeking out instead of working out… At least I hopped on the bike to get to work instead of taking the bus.

The ride in was super, not cold at all and dry.

During the afternoon the rain started but when I left it was very light, so much so that I opted for the long way home which was a good decision as I did not get showered until I was about two miles from the house. Nice. And even then it was pretty moderate and humid so I never got cold.

14 July 2011


Hooray for teammates! Especially when they get you out of bed and into a quality workout.

This morning I met Greg K and we did 6 x 6 minute intervals on Lake WA Blvd. I'd be lying if I said I was feeling fresh and was more than a little apprehensive… My back was sore and before we even started I was not looking forward to interval number 3 or 4 much less 5 or 6.

Then Greg rolled up on his rain bike with a backpack and I figured I better not say word one and instead just try to keep up!

13 July 2011


Not much sleep last night but I made it to the gym and actually had a really good core workout; kind of a nice surprise.

Then I practically passed out at my desk later on at work. :(

This is exactly what DVRs are for. When I got home I poured myself a glass of wine, grabbed some dark chocolate, hit the couch (hard!) and watched TdF stages.

12 July 2011

ride | Pacific Raceways CR

Boom! Just like that a 'can opener' ride turns into a hard workout.

The concept was to spin out the legs in preparation for the race tonight. Instead I kinda raced and then raced again.

On the up side I 'won' the race (read: ride) in the AM and then still had enough left in the tank to make the break in the PM. Proving once again that if you don't enter a real race on the weekend you are nice and fresh/rested for the training races mid-week. I know, sounds pretty backwards… gotta work on that.

11 July 2011

core | commute

Made it to the gym today - gold star for Martin!

After work I hightailed it to Mobility+ Healthcare for a massage with Tucker R and man did that feel food (read: it hurt like hell but it really helped).

10 July 2011

Devil's Gulch

Mountain biking used to be a staple of mine until I got road crazy several years ago… Too bad really as there are TONS of fantastic trails in the NW. This year I resolved to restore some balance and have ridden in the dirt several times, explored a skills park, entered a couple of MTB races and will enter a couple more before the end of the summer.

Big fun.

What is my ride of choice in the dirt these days…? Long story but currently this is it.


One speed and no suspension. Totally old skool except that it weighs 21 lb.

09 July 2011

tandem ride

The day just kept getting nicer and nicer and then Shelley asked if I'd like to go for a tandem ride and I said yes!

At first she suggested we head out to West Seattle but then she opted for Mercer Island which was perfect. It was really quiet (read: very few cars) and the weather was fabulous so we cruised along and chatted about all the different styles of architecture we saw along the route.

We had one flat but it was no big deal. Shelley helped and we got back on the road ASAP. As we were fixing it two people rode by and asked if we needed anything, that was nice. And one was a racer! :)

08 July 2011


Not much to say today, Shelley was nice enough to get out of bed early and do our core routine with me.

I do recall hearing the alarm go off at 4:45 (my usual time), I turned it off and the next thing I knew Shelley's alarm was going off and it was 6. I guess I needed the sleep.

07 July 2011


Just a spin (read: race) around Mercer Island today. Ah… the sweet smell of friendly (read: vicious) competition.

Wacky weather today - it was about 60 degrees but very overcast. On our way back we got misted on but it was extremely fine so I never got soaked and then the last few miles were dry. Not bad. Plus, cruising along with no leg coverings and the mist made me feel pretty Euro Pro. Because that's just the kind of silly, little mind games I play.

06 July 2011

core | commute

Beautiful. That's what today was.

And I went to the gym for a change! Ouch, it has been one week since I did any core.

My legs felt BEAT so after work I just crawled home but I had tunes and there were a ton of tourists at the locks so the people watching was great. No complaints.

05 July 2011

ride | Pacific Raceways CR

The forecast for today is 78 and 80 for tomorrow! Summer is here and it makes me happy. Full stop.

I met Jim K on the Mercer Island lid for a hot lap and only two other guys showed up! Perhaps it was for the best as I did not feel fresh. In spite of riding an incredibly low number of miles this weekend my legs are pretty dead feeling so going up the first hill at a truly moderate pace was a relief.

Once on top the tempo picked up some. It kept getting marginally faster as we rode and at the end I tried to lead Jim out for the tennis court crosswalk sprint but he decided not to contest it. No worries. The other two guy headed east while Jim and I crossed the lake again and went home. The view of Mt. Rainier was AMAZING this morning.

04 July 2011

Joe Matava Criterium

8:20 AM, now that's an early start time.

Yesterday was definitely not satisfying so I opted to give it another go today. I went a bit better but still nothing to write home about.

The Burien CT is is relatively flat with a slight descent on the long finish straight and a slight rise on the back straight. The road is great and the fastest corner was well swept so other than some road turtles and one pothole about 100 m before the finish it's go, go, go.

Dead Baby Bikes Downhill

Counter your culture people because the biggest(?) alternative cycling event in Seattle is just one month away. Check out this video from last year.

Tall bike jousting - yes!

You absolutely, positively want to enter this at your own risk.


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03 July 2011

Masters State Championship Criterium

After a good night's sleep I met Greg K and we headed up to Bellingham.

The weather looked really suspect on the drive up (read: it was raining!) but I tried not not to get too grumpy and good thing too as it cleared right up and ended up being 70+ and sunny for our race.

For the first time this season it looked like every fast Cat 1 and 2 rider that was 40 years old showed up at the start line. Good times. There are a LOT.

01 July 2011


The beautiful weather we were having today warranted the long way home.

It being a holiday weekend people were already out getting a head start on the party scene. Once scene that would probably be interesting to check out is this.


Good times for sure.