Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Two days before my 49th birthday so it was kind of a ceremony as well.
I met blog reader Curtis at the start and we pre-rode the course. He's doing Chico Wildflower century tomorrow and didn't want to over exert himself but I assured him he'd quickly recover from the effort of a 3-mile TT by then.
Curtis said it's usually insanely windy out here in Brentwood - sometimes people come out for a ride and just say "forget it" and go back home. But it was not too bad today. The course was mostly flat with a half-mile hill at the end, about 11% I think, so it really was kind of fun... sort of like the prologue up to Coit Tower the first two years of the Tour of California.
They started us in one minute intervals and had a guy with a radio at the start line who would say "go" into the radio and then the guy at the finish line would mark the start and finish time for each rider... kind of rinky-dink but it worked.
There was a great tail wind the first mile and I was hammering at 30mph and then came this bend in the road and suddenly the wind shifted and I dropped back to about 16mph and my legs started to rubberize. I just got down nice and low and kept a smooth cadence through this bit. I was hoping to stomp up the hill in a big gear but instead I just sat back on the saddle and pulled on the bars and huffed it up that way and had just enough left for a little sprint at the top. I figure it was about the best race I could have ridden. The overall winner was 10m08s and I ws 10m29s so I missed a pair of new shoes by only 21 seconds. I was first in my age group though and got a dandy souvenier medal.
There were more volunteers there than riders I think and they were embarassed and apologetic that there wasn't more of a turnout but they liked all our ideas about how to get more people next time.
Saw this cool snake on the road and we pushed it off into the ditch - some other people there who sounded like they were knowledgeable about such things said it was a gopher snake.
I got sort of an honorable mention on the event website: http://www.ccwater.com/losvaqueros/LVDamTrials.asp
On the way home I stopped for a half-flat of fresh strawberries!
I couldn't decide which of these Diablo shots I liked better... so you get both of them.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I recorded the races on my DVR, then edited them on to a VHS in 6-hour mode, then transferred the races to a DVD in 6-hour mode. All the commercials have been edited out so it makes for really great viewing. The quality isn't high-def but it's definitely watchable - probably similar to something you'd do yourself if you had the time, equipment, and motivation; but I'll send you a copy of MINE as a thank you gift for sponsoring me!
Click HERE to sponsor me and then when you get to the part about sending me a message - just say you want a copy of the disk. I'll respond within a day or two and confirm (if I don't, please click the "mail me" link on my sidebar.
I also have some other races done in a similar format from 2006 and 2007 including Tour of California and most of the monuments... drop me an e-mail if you'd like anything special and I'll let you know what I can do.
EDIT UPDATE: OK, zero takers so far on the 2008 classics, how about something more unusual - I have a disk with the 1989 Paris-Roubaix, and the 1989 Tour de Trump (first one!) See 7-Eleven in Europe and New England on their Eddy Merckx bikes.
See Greg Lemond just prior to his comeback TdF win, Sean Kelley, Larry Fignon, Alexi Grewal, Ron Kiefel in his USPro jersey... see Rishi Grewal go on a suicide breakaway from the starting gun.
Also Erik Vanderaerden, Gert-Jan Theunisse, and Henk Lubberding; even Viatchslav Ekimov at age 22 for the "Soviet National Team".
See Bob Mionske before he was a lawyer, and Bob Roll before he lost his hair, see the 25 mile promenade out of New York before the official stage start in New Jersey, see Donald Trump predict that his race will one day be as big as the Tour de France.
Some of the commercials remain... remember the Domino's Noid?
The video quality on this one is marginal - it's spent 19 years on a video tape. The race coverage is laughable... ABC Sports, a bunch of talking heads, Pierre Salinger(!), generally more interviews than racing. This disk is a slice of what it was like back in the deep dark ages before Versus/OLN. Definitely worth a $20 tax-deductible donation. Come-on... CLICK
2nd Edit: Another disk has just become available! The 1995 Tour de France as covered by ESPN including Phil and Paul and Adrian Carstou (I refuse to Google him for the correct spelling.) This was Indurain's final victory. Bjarne Riis was starting to challenge and he's wearing his Danish National Champion's jersey. Marco Pantani wins on Alpe d'Huez and endears himself to zillions of fans. Pre-cancer Lance loses a 2-man sprint. Casartelli dies in the Pyrenees and the whole peloton rides in funeral formation for the next stage. Lance takes a stage for his own and credits Fabio.
Also: Jaja, Bruyneel (in the yellow jersey!), Zulle, Rominger, Abdu, Gotti, Konichev, and Virenque!
The video quality isn't too bad, the editing isn't too good; the disk covers from the first mountain stage to the end. I'm getting desperate for sponsors - make me an offer! CLICK
Saturday, April 19, 2008
We waited at the Gate for one of JB's out of town friends, but he didn't show up. First part of the ride was pretty social and we kvetched about the cold and wind and smog. Rick bought some new pedals after the accidental cleat disengagement a couple weeks ago - Look Keo somethings... says he likes them but clicking in is different.
Dudley Driveby: About 8:40, just below ChainBuster. Rick noted that Hell must have frozen over because Dudley had long pants on.
Talked with a couple guys at the Junction and then went down the South side. Near Rock City there was a group of three that was kind of hogging the road - I found a safe spot and came around and Rick came with me. A little while later I hear this NY taxi cab kind of whistle so I move over and a woman passes me like I'm some kind of wuss-descender and she was one of the three I passed earlier. Watching her was almost a spiritual experience... she railed downhill corners like "Il Falco" and disappeared from view within 30 secs or so.
We hooked up with a group of Berkeley club cyclists on Diablo Road and made good time back to the golf course and then just tooled back to WC. We saw what at first appeared to be opossum road kill and turned around to investigate and realized it was a rare white raccoon... click HERE to see a semi-gory photo. Rick thought he was an albino but he doesn't have those pink eyes... who knows.
I'm really happy with my new cobblestone driveway so I took a couple photos there too.
Please click HERE to sponsor me and my daughter in the Tour de Cure diabetes ride.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I looked at quite a few over the last few years and after much review, decided on this one. The runner up (Co-Motion Periscope) was really neat but at least twice the cost. What really attracted me to this Bike Friday was not the "packable" feature, but the geometry that lets me set up the stoker postion for a 4-foot tall rider with a minimum of extra bits and futzing.
Then it took about an hour and a half to do the bulk of the assembly. The instructions weren't too bad; there were a lot of "Insert Tab A into Slot 1" type instructions. There were some minor confusing issues in the manual but nothing that wasn't cleared up with a little head scratching. All the threads were clean and pre-greased with just the right amount of stuff, all the tricky bits like the crank, shifters, derailleurs, and brakes were already installed. Pretty much all that was required was to connect the subassemblies and tighten some bolts. I frequently found myself admiring the clever engineering and quality of the parts as I was doing all this.
Diablo Daughter couldn't wait to get on even though I wasn't done building it yet.
Let me talk a little more about why I didn't go with a more conventional tandem.
Another child stoker conversion to a full-sized tandem. The child crank is barely below the top tube!
$1395 for the stock bicycle, including shipping
Now for the importantest bit: How does it ride?
The small wheels definitely give the bike a different feel than a full size bike. It only took a couple trips around the block to get the right combination of leaning and countersteering though. And it definitely handles way better than having a trailercycle attached to your seatpost. Most of all, it is really FUN! This bike doesn't scream to be ridden in sufferfest hilly centuries, it's unpretentious and unusual and unabashedly unserious. This bike, in my opinion, is a superior next step up from a trailercycle and a far better option than a child stoker conversion to a conventional tandem. It gets a 9 out of 10 on the Diablo Scott tandem rating scale.
Hey, if any of my readers orders a Bike Friday, be sure to drop my name and I'll get a referal fee and you'll get an honorable mention RIGHT HERE!
Click - HERE to be taken to the post where I do the Tour de Cure ride review on our Bike Friday Family Traveler Tandem.
And click HERE to see my post where we rode our tandem in the Tour d'Organics; including a fun video.
UPDATE JUNE 2010: My first referral!!! I get a lot of blog hits from people searching the web for Bike Friday tandem product reviews and FINALLY, someone bought one and dropped my name as the reference and now I get a nice credit from Bike Friday. Thank you "Johanne" whoever you are and I hope you really enjoy your new tandem... send me a photo. And the rest of you... be SURE to tell them "Diablo Scott sent me"... they'll know who you mean.
Also, you might notice the rear pannier rack we added to the back. Diablo Daughter and I like to ride the tandem to the swimming pool, but my backpack was always too close to her head. Now we have the rear rack and we use either a trunk bag or a side pannier to put our stuff in... works a treat! Also good for the farmer's market. Normal bike racks won't fit though so you have to buy one from Bike Friday. Normal bags from any bike store work fine though.
If you want a response to your comment, be sure to leave your e-mail. You can also find my e-mail link at the top of the page. I answer them all!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Parked on Doncaster and got going right away. On the way up to the Gate I noticed my Flight Deck wasn't picking up my speed. I pulled out the head and reinserted it and wiggled it around thinking it might be a loose connection... nope. So I figured the battery in the wireless transmitter had gone dead; it's probably about time and this is exactly how it would react and I have a spare battery in my seat bag so I planned on changing it while I waited for JB. Then I looked down and realized I put my front wheel in backwards and the magnet was on the wrong side. d'OH !!!
JB hadn't shown up by 5:30 so I got a head start. WNRs are always more competitive so I reasoned that I needed a little handicap. Absolutely perfect weather and a beautiful sky with an almost full moon made for some great riding.
Not many riders tonight for such perfect conditions.
The bugs at Junction were really thick, they sort of swarmed around like my head like the electron cloud around a heavy atom.
Minimal socializing, fast descending. Tally up another ride on the Mountain.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I'm going to have to get good at this to help justify the expense for a better camera, but from now on, click away people!