Friday, December 2, 2016

Its the Weekend

It is the weekend. A quick ride this afternoon got it off to a good start. Now to keep it going. Ride hard, ride easy, it does not matter as long as you ride fun. Enjoy your weekend.

Winter barren trees above, still some leaves below

This was a little surprise. Sometime between Tuesday night and this afternoon someone built up a little lip at this spot on the trail around Sailboat Cove. It is not much, but an Incycle rider who came along a few seconds after me made the most of it and got a couple feet off the ground.

a little bit of not-very-distinct trail

the shadow was there, with crooked arm

again around Sailboat Cove

windy ripples on the water. the shadow was there, with crooked arm

blue water and what looks like snow on Baldy, and the shadow was there, with crooked arm

Thursday, December 1, 2016

From the Archives: Crits of Fury, 1996

Looking a little too relaxed. Hope it was just a pre-race warm-up lap.

Ah, yes, would all moments of a race be as relaxed and care-free - waving while passing by, stopping completely to talk with a familiar spectator beside the course. But no, it is not the nature of the competition to allow any such thing once the race begins. Focus then takes over, single-minded determination; whatever happens on the sidelines then is as much a blur, incidental white noise, as the blur of pavement beneath a pair of racing wheels.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Montrose Minute

I almost forgot about this only-relevant-today blast from the past.

You all know Steve Lubanski. Right? His Open Road Bicycle Shop was a long time Pasadena institution before he decided to pick up and move to a higher-dena, as in Altadena. Anyway, months ago I was searching through the old training journals for some information when I found an entry from 30 November 1996 and, though I almost forgot and missed the opportunity, it relates to an incident on the Montrose Ride exactly twenty years ago. During the week leading up to the 30th I was tasked with moving from Pasadena to Alhambra, sleeping in the former while shifting stuff to the latter. Because of that, essential bike stuff was in two places which caused me to miss my traditional Trader Joe's meet-up. Instead I waited along the curb on Huntington for the bunch to arrive. Fortunately my resting spot was at a red light which, apparently, was exactly what the peloton was waiting for. When they came to a stop, the assembly immediately broke into song - a chorus of Happy Birthday Steve to be exact. All the drivers around looked at us like we were nuts too long on the tree and, of course, wished they were a part. I never did find out if that exact day was Steve's birthday, or if it was just in the general region, but the moment stuck with me - one of those incidental events in the local peloton.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two Wheel Tuesday: Bigger Stones

In about 1985 the Beat Farmers sang about rolling Bigger Stones, a song I have always taken to be about something other than rocks. Something like having bigger huevos and doing things in our younger years, things that we may be less likely to do as we get older. Wiser? I don't know if twenty-five years would have made any difference - sucking at descending is likely the same at whatever age. What I have noticed since I started showing up for these night mtb rides is that the stones (rocks in this case) seem smaller, less intimidating. That may be due, in part, to the shadows, but it may also partially be due to a narrower field of vision. The combination of the two means that I am more likely to just bull my way down the trail, rather than attempting to ease my way around protruding rocks. It is funny, and certainly not the way I expected it would be; I would have assumed that the darkness would have equated to increased caution. But maybe that is just me - what to y'all think about it?

Like a skunk running out of the darkness beside the trail, this is just another surprise of the night-time Two Wheel Tuesday rides starting from the La Verne Brewing Company. Thanks to 3941 Tamales for coming out tonight, their motto, "Notcho Ordinary Tamale, Bigger is Better" is true; I could have been satisfied with one.

Herbert and the Gang

that is one bright windbreaker

attacking from the front

checking out the lights

over that bedrock outcrop, Crosby Trail

down to Bracket Field

Seems like we rolled bigger stones back then
Seems like we rolled bigger stones.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Blues: Tireless in Claremont

Selective thievery, or a fairly ingenious way to deter would-be thieves?

Blue: A color, a mood or emotion, a genre of music. Tune in each Monday for another installment of the Blues, with a cycling twist.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Trippin' on the Tryptophan

It has been, I don't know, ten years - at least - since last I rode the Fullerton Loop. So, when earlier in the week, I received an email about this years' edition of the Tour de Tryptophan, I set aside the afternoon on Friday for a, long overdue, visit. Those other, past, times riding Fully were during the heyday years of the SoCal Trail Riders, when they were the group to ride with. Since STR was a big group, with members all over the southland, their rides were also far-ranging, and took me to places that I would have otherwise been unaware of. Like the Fullerton Loop.

riders come and riders go at their own pace

Now, the Fully Loop is not Marshall Canyon, it is no Monroe Truck Trail, nor Bonelli Park, but being an entirely urban loop linking numerous city parks, along multi-use dirt paths, disused railway lines, skirting the fringes of a golf course, winding through a flood control basin, and similar and otherwise unused areas of a city, it is different and completely unique.

Technically the garden expansions, from the adjacent residences, along this popular opening stretch of trail and probably illegal encroachments upon the public space, but as long as they don't inhibit use (such as that steep side trail) I don't really mind. Some of them are quite attractive.

Chiquita Bandita, looking to hold up a train?

table and chair, just... there

abandoned line, luckily

Since it had been a few years, there were turns that I remembered along the, mostly, unmarked route, but others that I did not. On more than one occasion we (the mrs. and I) relied upon the kindness of other riders to keep us on track. One rider, in particular, took the time from what was his everyday ride, in order to guide us along the golf course, along the flood control channel and through the network of trails crisscrossing the basin, and back to our start at the court house. That was the first lap, and his guidance was enough to get us through a second lap on our own. Anyway, it made for a great day (quite frankly, and though I love having Bonelli so close, it can get kind of staid riding the same place all the time). Money raised during this years' Tour de Tryptophan benefits the SHARE Mountain Bike Club, the Orange County chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association, helping to maintain and promote the trails of the OC. Worthwhile. If you still need something to do on Saturday, or even tonight for that matter, the ride goes until noon on the 26th. Organizers, and SHARE have their trailer and table set up at the court house in Fullerton, upper parking lot. Look for them there, sign in, pay a few bucks, pick out an event tee, and ride. Just ride.


another garden

turn about

garden art

mailbox art

Laguna Lake and park

another passing rider

another passing rider

different tracks

through the tunnels

putting my feet up, with a view - why yes, that it Mt. Badly back there

event tee

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Wow what a morning for a ride. While most people were out on one of the many Thanksgiving Day group road rides around the area, I decided to opt for a more quiet, sedate pace. Not that I was alone in thinking that way, there were plenty of trail riders out - with conditions that can best be described as "crisp and clear" - it was easy to understand why.

Enjoy your extra days of riding this weekend, your feasting tonight, the company of family, of friends, and maybe I will see some of you out at the Tour de Tryptophan tomorrow afternoon.


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