Friday, May 18, 2012

Gettin' Deep

Thrice in a week! Don't get too excited, I might just keep updating this thing.

I haven't been on my bike since Monday. I've been on plenty of bikes, just not mine and not for a ride farther than "around the block" to make sure my tune-up shifts as well out of the stand as well as it did in. Rock climbing is an ass kicker and I've been so sore I could not have held my self in my drop bar position to even commute into work the last few days. That's kind of scary when your staring down the 200 mile barrel but whatever, it's all fun.

Anyways this is what I wanted to blog about... be careful in your car. Get off your phone, put your texting away and be mindful. Cyclists are normally amazing drivers in my opinion, we are used to knowing where drivers blind-spots are and better at staying out of them. People still ask me how I inherently know where the cars are and how many are behind me even when I have the old earbuds in while on the bike, skills you grow into I guess.

But as I was driving (gaspppp) into work yesterday on the highway I witnessed an old Honda veer across 4 lanes of traffic and slam into an SUV at around 65 mph. The SUV rolled several times and caught some serious airtime finally landing on it's roof. I was lucky enough to be the first at the scene and managed to get the rear passenger side door ripped off it's hinges and it's driver out with the help of 2 other businessmen.

The driver was a 17 year old kid, it must have been his parents car because it was a nice SUV. I went about the situation all wrong at first. I pulled up in the ol' Crown Vic screeching the tires and went running at the accident and the few people who were stopped parted and must have thought I knew what I was doing. I ripped the kid out of the car without checking for neck injuries and got him clear of the smoking car before I could get centered and go through the steps.

After I got the kid out and centered myself I realized that I needed to get the scene and the kid clear of the car. After I got him sat down and had a bystander call 911, we went through the motions. "What's your name, how old are you, what day is it...?" He seemed fine enough and was wearing his seatbelt so I found his phone on his person and told him to call his parents (with the discretion to not tell them that he flipped the car but was in an accident and needed them there).

At that point in time there were 15 or so people standing around doing nothing so I began delegating to them and left. I know it's shitty to leave as an accident witness but I don't want to talk to cops and I sure as hell don't want to be in an accident report, I've been there and they don't do anything but make a shitty situation more stressful. There were plenty of other drivers and bystanders who knew what transpired and someone else will tell the cops how it happened, that can be their moment in the sun/police report. I was just satisfied that no one died.

I was really shaken up about it all day. The first thing I did was call Neta and tell her how much I love her, I know that's cheesy as hell but it's true. Things like that make you remember the fragility of life on this planet and make you feel lucky that we are here to begin with.

So here's to making sure you tell your loved ones that you appreciate them, because events transpire fast. And it's not always in our control. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Ramblings

I'm on day two of having three days off in a row, been a while since I even had two in a row so I'm feeling pretty dang good right now.

Neta and I rolled her first 30 mile road bike ride yesterday. She absolutely killed it. We cruised from our house to the downtown REI and back in a little under 3 hours, if you account for all the traffic on the bike trails than that equals out to be a pretty stellar time. She's been going to town with her new to her Lemond CX bike, riding the loop around the lake across the street pretty regularly and I even found her bike in the trainer a few times. There's something special about seeing that girl rolling on a rad CX bike rocking out a BGR kit.

Coffee stop at REI downtown

I got out of bed pretty early today and rolled a gravel/dirt/pavement metric. It was all flat and the majority of the dirt was either sandy single track or wide open horse trails with maybe 7 miles or "real gravel" thrown in. The Schwalbe tires are blowing me away, they roll really fast on the dirt with around 60 psi in them and have some good cush to them too. I'll drop my pressure to 55 for the DK but everything I've ridden them at so far has been impressive, super versatile tire. I've really been enjoying riding south from my house lately, there's not a whole heck of a lot out there and the roads are pretty empty most of the time. There's also a gorgeous extension of the paved city multi use trail that rolls out that way for about 20 miles, not too sure why the city invested any money into building that since I never see anyone out there but I'll take it.

This bridge reminded me of Bundy's Hundy when we were all covered in mud and stamping/scraping our bikes on the first non-clay area we came across

It seems most Denverites all ride into the city or west to the foothills on these crowded paths or busy roads. I can't fault them, once you get to where your going on those road it's normally breathtaking scenery. But I can hop on my bike and never see another rider if I just roll south through the open farmlands. And the consistent view of wildflower fields, ranches and farm machinery shadowed by Pike's Peak in front of me and the foothills behind me makes for some scenery which I've just plain missed the last few years.

On a final note: I'm going climbing tomorrow. I haven't roped up in almost 9 months and am ready to start craggin' again. My job and goals for the year have left me pretty bicycle-centric but it will be a welcome relief to get on some warm granite. A few of my stone bandit friends from KS are out here for the week to celebrate the end of the school year and invited me along. They were actually the big inspiration for me writing today. They're on their way to Ft. Collins to boulder right now but dropped me off a case of BLVD beer on their way. I don't really know why I didn't just follow them up their and camp... probably because I know it will be cold tonight. Anyways, those events made me start thinking about how many friends I really have in the world, or even good acquaintances. I consider myself extremely lucky and I think it's absolutely stellar when you all roll through town and remember that I'm here.

So here's to gravel, girlfriends on CX bikes and my dirty climber friends. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ridgeline Rampage

Well, I kicked off the race season last weekend with the Ridgeline Rampage. My marathon class rode 6 10 miles laps. It was hard.

I went off really, really well. I never once went out of my comfort zone (I don't use the silly hr monitors) and was in a really good flow. Rode the first two laps with one of my teammates and co-workers. We were steadily passing 20-30 people per lap, reeling them in on the flats and then putting minutes into them on the downhills, rode every single up-hill in my granny with the intention of keeping this pace the whole race.

On lap 3 I tried to put a little dig into some other racers as we rolled through the feed zone, what I wasn't accounting for was that the temperature had risen a solid 30 degree since the race started and I was not taking in enough fluids. I exploded in a blaze of fire at the end of the lap, cramps in my stomach and legs and the beginning of a headache. I did set an awesome lap time however.

Lap 4 and 5 I was wasting probably half an hour of each lap standing next to the side of the trail trying to work my cramping out. My overall placing just went straight backwards. I was hurting bad enough that on one short powerful uphill my quads simultaneously locked up and I could not get out of my pedals, slowly finding my way to the dirt on my side from that high up 29" perch. Colorado is funny that way, in KS my body would tell me if I wasn't taking in enough fluids with a little lead time to take them in, simply look at my arms and make sure that my air conditioner was kicking out the sweat. Up here there's no warning, I'm going to start experimenting more with sport legs and perpetuem a little more.

I decided to pull the plug on the race at mile 50, my head was throbbing hard enough and I was starting to get dizzy enough that I knew dehydration might land me with an IV stuck in my arm if I kept going. It looks like I would have rolled in around 6th place if I would have finished the race up and I could care less about that placing. 3 of my teammates, Paul, Barry and Russ, ended up on the podium for their respective age groups while everyone else out on the team rocked it out hard. We had an awesome two tent set-up along pit row and we looked about as pro as could be out there all day long.

I need to get out and roll some gravel miles now. My plan was to get up early and put in a 5-6 hour day solo. But I slept 'til 11:00 and now here I am. I'll probably roll a metric by myself and then wait for Neta to get home and ride a little with her. I don't know about anyone else but I am pretty done training for DK200, it was fun for awhile and I feel like my base is solid but the weather is just too dang hot to be grinding gravel on a cx bike. I'm really looking forward to getting back on the carbon road bike and doing some speed work next month and spending all of my off days back on the mtb or climbing a rock.