There is more to it than Cycling

2014 SFR La Ruta Loca Randonnee Mixed Terrain

by Carlos on 17-Jun-14 14:51

  La Ruta has a little climbing  A few days before the start our RBA (Regional Brevet Administrator) Rob H., told me we had 20 registered riders for the event. That was twice as many as the previous year. By June 14 we had 27 registered riders but after last minute changes to people's plans and new additions to the roster we had 25 starters.

At 5:30 I meet Brad our Start Control volunteer at the parking lot in front of the Beach Hut Cafe in Crissy Field and slowly riders made their way to us to pick up their Brevet Cards. After a few comments on my part we left at 6:00am.

Perfect weather. With such a large turnout, for this event, we split early into smaller groups and by the first descend into the Marin Headlands I was riding with John P. and a few riders I did not recognized. The first dirt part which is a narrow trail created a small congestion as faster off road descenders were blocked by slower riders new to mixed terrain group riding but after a few yards, things cleared out an we all felt onto our comfortable pace. Going up Miwok trail I heard heavy breathing behind me, when I turned around I saw Grant H. who was doing his first La Ruta and remind him this was a looong day with plenty of climbing, "take it easy and steady"

By the time we got to the first control our small group checked the answer to the Informational control and rolled down towards the valley. This segment has plenty of erosion control washboards that form steps on the trail and make it for very interesting riding. At the bottom, we all walked our bikes for a few yards as indicated by the sign at Tennessee Valley Stables and continued on to Coastal Trail, a mean short climb that further broke the group...

2014 SFR Fort Bragg 600k

by Carlos on 06-May-14 18:01

  Your Volunteers at work  That is it! If you ever hear me say I wanna do another Super Volunteer Randonneur Series please hit me in the head with a full carbon fiber saddle! Doing a Super Randonneurs Series (200k, 300k, 400k and 600k) all as Volunteers Workers Rides sounds pretty simple but there is a little more logistics involved than normal. For example on the 600k we don't have the staffed "water stop" nor have food or an actual place to rest at that critical location on Hwy 128 between Cloverdale and Hwy 1. This is not the first time I've pulled a Supper Volunteer Randonneur Series, the first time I also did it with John P. which in itself is a huge accomplishment deserving a big shinny trophy (if you know John I hope you agree with me) Seriously, it is nice to volunteer for the SFR events though and I hope more people read this and decide it is a crazy thing to do and go for it; me? I will continue volunteering in one form or another but A Super Volunteer Randonneur Series... (have that carbon saddle handy please)

I had done the Fleche a couple of weeks ago and when I finally patched the tubes, in the comfort of my living room, seven days before this 600k I've must have gotten poison oak on my chest from residue of the stuff on the tubes. Yes on my chest, don't ask me how but it was there. On top of that I have had a very acute pain on my back that woke me up at night a couple of times. So from my chest to my back I felt like if I had an arrow going thought. Oh well I've been in worse shape, we'll see. By Thursday,...

Yet another nice flat

by Carlos on 29-Apr-14 11:30

  Nice big nail view 1  Not way my tires could stop this nail, probably not any other bicycle tire would have. My Mixed Terrain tires of choice nowadays are this CST Corporal 26x1.5" (40mm) and are pretty good compromise between rolling resistance, traction on gravel and weight (~550gms); plus they are very sturdy, cheap (~$15) and last me at least a good year mixed terrain riding (~2500 miles)

Somewhere in my weird objects drawer I have an even larger nail my tires collected elsewhere but I forgot to preserve in a post like this one...

2014 Norcal Fleche

by Carlos on 25-Apr-14 07:01

  Mixed terrain pre Fleche  For the last couple of years I've ridden the Norcal Fleche with Brian K. We pick mixed terrain routes that are chalenging and beautiful. We probably were the first (or among the first) team to embark on a mixed terrain Fleche and never looked back, too much fun to pass. If you have not embraced mixed terrain riding you are missing in a whole lot of fun. This year he wanted to do a ride on new territory, a ride Max P was mapping. Max had invited a few of us he knew have questionable brain chips to his Fleche adventure but I was probably the slowest rider on that invite and though I wanted something more mellow. Metin U, who was part of our Fleche the previous year with Brian, had been talking to Eric L who had an all paved route but to get to the starting point we would need to ride a century the day before. Again I was looking for something a little more mellow. I learned Eric W and Steffen P may had room in their team so I emailed Eric to see if they were looking for an additional rider, yes they were. Steffen was captain of the Peces Percolados, the route would start from Laytonville. What, where is that? Up North, pass Willits on Hwy 101. We would take BART to Richmond then an Amtrak train to Martinez and an Amtrak bus for the last leg to Laytonville; the whole trip would take about 5 hrs so we would need to spend the night in Laytonville.

The original route was Laytonville to Hwy1 via Branscomb Rd, cut from Hwy1 to Hwy128 via Mountain View Rd, then on to Cloverdale and return to San Francisco the easy way (Santa Rosa, Petaluma...) I, wanting a bit of gravel on the route proposed to cut across to hwy 128 using Fish Rock Rd, ha! They both like the idea and the all paved route went out the door...

Pre-riding part of the Orr Springs 600k

by Carlos on 09-Apr-14 18:36

  King Ridge rollers  I had been looking at doing Max's trio of 200k that break the Orr Springs 600k into more manageable chunks but my first obstacle (or excuse depending on how you look at it) was I could not find an affordable accommodation at the end of day one in Anchor Bay. All I found on a quick search was ~$200 per night places, a little more than what I want to pay for just a clean place to sleep. Max send me some other options that he had found but some were a few miles of the start and I just did not pursue the issue after that.

Megan A. sent an email proposing to ride most of the 600k route starting from her place in Santa Rosa. she gave it the appropiate moniker of PreORRdained Doing the ride like that would cut the San Francisco to Occidental and the Santa Rosa to San Francisco segments off of the route. She offered her place for riders interested to spend the night. That was it, I would be one of the monks! Just a small detail, I had no means to get there on the chosen date...

IRD QB-75 Bottom Bracket

by Carlos on 09-Apr-14 13:31

 IRD QB-75 Bottom Bracket, cups removed During a recent ride I noticed my Bottom Bracket was cooked. A good ol' Shimano UN-73. This is the first time a bottom bracket dies on me like that. At least It took me to Ukiah, CA (another ~50 miles away) and then the next morning another ~50 miles of very gentle riding to Healdsburg where I was picked by the wife.

I replaced my broken Bottom Bracket with an IRD QB-75. I liked the fact that it is a "cartridge" design but has sealed bearings you can access and potentially lubricate by carefully lifting the seals with a needle and replacing them back after injecting grease. That is what I did when I was using my old Mantis Flying V and Klein Attitude frames, both used pressed-in bottom brackets and never had an issue with...

2014 Hopland 400k Volunteers Ride

by Carlos on 02-Apr-14 09:59

 2014 Hopland 400k Workers Ride estimated progress as per SFR Rider Time Calculator  Here we go, the third event on my Super Volunteer series. I realy like this route it has a decent amount of climbing and has what I consider the most scenic segment of the regular San Francisco Randonnuers "main" events Mtn House Road.

The whole week before the event I went to bed early every night a little earlier so I would get used to sleeping early, something I don't normally do. By Friday evening I as in bed and lights were off by 9PM.

When I woke up the next morning at 4:45 I did not feel tired, a good sign. Meet John P. and Tom H. at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza and we moved a minute or two after 6AM. There was some fog but it was not supposed to rain while we were riding. I had printed an estimated schedule time table for finishing in ~20 hrs. We took it easy all the way to Fairfax were White Hill split us up a little but not enough to loose contact with each other.

On the other side of the hill on San Geronimo Valley it was cold, really cold. On top of my base synthetic layer and a short sleeve jersey, I had opted for wearing my spanking brand new long sleeve "Colombia" jersey I had received a couple of days before, which was synthetic. Toping the three synthetic layers I was wearing a ripstop vest. My chest was nice and warm but my arms were freezing. I had brought my heavier neoprene booties but was not wearing them yet... My feet were really FREEZING!...



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