Monday, December 27, 2010

Water damage

If you ever wondered what the ceiling of your family room looked like after the dry wall was removed, well here it is.

We had the following valve break in the upstairs bath and pour water into the lower levels of the house.

The piece on the right is the valve stem. The handle (left) broke off and allowed the water to stream into the bath for several hours while we were absent from the house.

What does this have with biking? Not much except that I need to be here at the house to meet repair contractors which takes me away from my usual training rides. It is a good thing that this event happened during the off season.

By the way, we have changed all of the plastic valves in the house to metal. Hopefully this will not happen again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Paradise Valley Mudder

The following is an amazing action shot of Ben and his dog Flower. Flower is in mid-stride, airborne and it appears that her ears are being used as canards providing lift above the water. It rained all night long prior to this Sunday ride so the trail is completely awash.

Thanks to Ben for allowing me to post this wonderful image.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cross Timing

Just in case you were wondering how Seattle Cyclocross handles the event timing, here is a brief description from Dave Wamsley.
Our goal with the RFID is to track laps and lap times, not to determine who beat who at the line.  As a general rule if a bike is overlapping another bike at the finish it needs to be reviewed.  We operate the camera at every race to confirm finishes.   I wouldn't count on accuracy beyond  .5 seconds with the Tags and Reader from what I am seeing.  
Cross isn't a timed event.  The times are provided for analysis and training purposes so riders can see how they compare to their peers that are not in their line of sight during the race.
 The times at the races this year are not from the RFID but from our old 10 key system. When keying the finish of a race the protocol is to key all the riders first, then hit the timing plunger the appropriate number of times.
 If one or two riders are finishing we hit the plunger right as there wheel crosses the line.  If multiple riders approach the line at the same time ...lets say 8 in this example, we key all 8 riders in the proper order and then hit the timer 8 times.  Thus times may be off by more than a second or two.   In a stage race all of the riders would have the same finishing time.  I guess we should opt for that method as it would be much easier to hit that group of 8 with the same time.  
 Seattle Cyclocross does an amazing job of getting all the placings correct and published.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Carnation, WA ride

It was 38 degrees when I left the house and headed for the rendezvous point under the I-90 bridge. The streets were wet but it was not raining. Here is the route.

It started to rain just as we entered Redmond and then rained all the way home. I did not eat enough during the ride and consequently I bonked upon reaching Newcastle. Stopping at the Starbucks replenished my sugar stores so I could make it home to a warm shower.

Friday, December 10, 2010

End of Cross Season

After an intense period of training and racing, it is time to ride and enjoy the scenery. When riding around Lake Washington, there are many parks and beaches to explore.

Newcastle Beach Park shows its winter facade of linear tree rows and bare limbs. During the day, very few people frequent the park. 

Sometimes, as was the case last Sunday, a chance meeting of team members results in a great ride. We rode around Mercer Island and the north end of Lake Washington. It is always a joy to ride with folks who have bike handling skills you can trust, especially Ben, who has a wonderfully smooth cadence. Ben also brings a spark of life to the party because you never know which route he will take. You just get into a rhythm and before you know it, the miles have flown by. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010


It is below freezing outside which means black ice on the roads. But even at this point in winter, Rainer comes forth with the following:

Me? Sit inside and pedal?
Fool me once.....