Perhaps the perfect day?

I rode my mountain bike with Jesse in Upper Bidwell Park - yeah, dogs are allowed. Then Claire and I went to Butte Creek, and watched the swarms of Chinook Salmon. The fish are so exhausted from the 100 mile upstream journey we were able to simply pick them up out of the water with our bare hands! It's not something one can describe, picking up a 2 foot, 25 pound salmon from the stream... and of course we just put 'em back in the water! We then rode our bicycles downtown to the Thursday night market, and ate fresh tamales and had a local brew.

Run, Honey Run!

Holy salmon, has a week really slipped by, and I've not done a thing?! Terrible. My only lame excuse is that I've been so busy traveling for work-related activities that I've not had time. Today was great!

Activity: Road Bike
Area: beautiful Chico
Weather: Low 80s !
Distance: 27.2 miles
Avg spd.: 15.2 mph
How I felt: The bike felt great, no numbness, I rode like a billy goat! I think the bike is nearly dialed in now.
Thing to remember: I rode most of the Honey Run loop to the covered bridge, and started running out of daylight. The bridge was built in 1894 and is the only three-level covered bridge in the United States. I stopped to walk across the bridge, and peer out over the creek when what to my surprise, but OCEAN RUN SALMON as long as my legs! It's spawning season, and they're all showing up in droves. The photo is courtesy of my friend Grant

Microsoft fitness trails

There are approximately 7.5 miles of trails on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wa.

Activity: Running
Area: Microsoft, Redmond, Washington
Weather: 50s
Distance: 40 minutes
Avg spd.: ?
How I felt: Some kinda left knee tweakage, spawned a new trail shoe purcahse. My last pair of Montrails had holes in the uppers, and I've never worn them anywhere but in the dirt.
Thing to remember: Running out the butterflies.

Siskiyou Century

For starters, I only did the 61k ride. Yeah, 61k. Read on.

Activity: Road Bike
Area: Shasta Valley: Yreka, Little Shasta, and Montague, California
Weather: Chilly, low 60's, big puffy clouds being broken up by the coastal range.
Distance: 37.9 miles
Avg spd.: 16.2 mph
How I felt: Great. At the end of the ride my legs were more or less wiped, I had itchy lungs, and just felt great. Still dealing with a little groin numbness, and big toe numbness... maybe time to try a different saddle? Otherwise, the bike fit felt great.
Thing to remember: Hmm... the course was absolutely beautiful - rolling hills through a giant valley surrounded by towering mountains on all sides. Lots of cattle ranches, one lumber mill, and humans were far and few. The first half of the ride I finished at a 17.5mph pace, and the headwind on the second half slowed me down quite a bit. What else... the general vibe at this century was lame. Lots of grumpy ass rodies, and the locals weren't exactly a bowl of cherries either. I can't count the number of times I said "HOWDY!!!" to someone on my bike, only to be met with silence, scowls, or both. The maps/directions/painted arrows on the road were all screwed up as well. Their distances were off, and one painted arrow was flat out wrong - it pointed to turn left, and the map said to go straight. That said, the folks that put on the race were personable, polite, and their post-ride food was good, down-home cookin' - beef, chicken, baked potatoes, pasta salads, all the fixins.

Overall a fun ride, but I don't think I'll be going back next year.

Taper. Ha!

For two days now I've been "tapering" for my half century tomorrow. I haven't fallen off the wagon already, I'm just getting ready to rumble through Siskiyou County on Saturday morning. (ahem)

I've been considering bringing the digital camera along for the ride, but I'm not certain that's a good idea yet.

In and around town

Activity: Road Bike
Area: All over town, all over Bidwell Park
Weather: Low 70's, clear, perfect
Distance: 17.4 miles
Avg spd.: 15.8 mph
How I felt: Good! Bike tweaks definitely made a difference in overall comfort. There are still some things to be done though. I took it easy today.
Thing to remember: A guy in one of those ugly candy apple red Dodge Magnum wagons nearly hit me as I was turning left from East Ave. onto Manzanita Ave. That thing had a HEMI. I know this because as he roared off (thus burning 4.6 gallons of gas in 1/4 mile) I read his license plate: HEMEEE. He also yelled for some reason, "What are you, out of your mind?!!!," as he sped off.

F'ing dillweed.

Bike fit update

After posting yesterday about my poor bike fit, I did some research and made some adjustments.

I read some of these articles: http://del.icio.us/gzahnd/cycling

and then I:

1) Put my saddle back to center
2) Kept lowering my seat post click by click until I could pedal backwards using my heels with no hip wobble
3) Asked Claire to measure my leg angles with a plumb (yo-yo from Profile Design), and an angle finder

And guess what?! My bike got a hell of a lot more comfortable, and my leg angles were textbook as a result of the adjustments. This then allowed me to rotate my handlebars back to a sane position, which also is giving me better braking leverage and handling abillity. My Calfee Tetra Pro suddenly felt like a cockpit rather than a strain on my nether regions, back, and neck. The problem now is that I need to rewrap my bars and move the levers to accomodate my new riding position.

I took her for a quick spin and it's a whole different feeling - sprint power where I'd not felt it before, no hot spots (or dull spots) in my back, neck, or groin. This is all undoubtedly due to riding a triathlon bike for several years, and not understanding how a classic geometry road bike should be set up. Tri bikes have an entirely different setup than classic road bikes, and it's taking me a while to get the idea into my thick skull.

Keefer Road loop

After a few days of driving in search of rare fish, I needed to stretch my legs on the bike - especially in light of the fact I'm riding a 37 mile ride next weekend.

Activity: Road Bike
Area: Keefer Road loop. From my house it cuts the mileage down though.
Weather: Low 70's, clear, perfect
Distance: 16.1 miles
Avg spd.: 16.1mph
How I felt: Good! I'm starting to wonder if my top tube is too long though. Occasionally I experience some numbness downstairs due to saddle pressure, and my saddle is as far forward as it can go. Before I sell the Calfee I'll work on core body strength first - to make sure it's the bike, and not my weak computer geek torso being too weak to hold itself up at the proper angle and distance...
Thing to remember: I found the property I want to buy some day out on, of all road names, Hicks Lane. A beautiful home on 60 acres right outside Chico, horse barns, a nice horse arena, and country roads in every direction with a perfect view of the Sierra foothills.

Dismal Swamp, et al.

I'll let the photos tell the story on this one. Just keep clicking 'Next' in my photostream until you get to 'Pine Creek Brown'.



Activity: Flyfishing
Area: Far northern California
Weather: Killer - warm days, cool nights. A touch windy.
Distance: umm... 2 full days (Sep 3-4, 2005)
Avg spd.: slow and painful (ha)
How I felt: Like I drove too much and fished too little.
Thing to remember: Catching one of the rarest fish in the state, from what I hear.