Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Three Amigos as it relates to cycling.

This basically summarizes cycling and drugs. One side is people saying that the impossible is impossible and the unbelievable is unbelievable. The other side saying that what appears to be true is indeed truth. One man spent his life trying to obtain something, and upon failing, believes that it is unobtainable.

From the Three Amigos

German: "I know who this man is."

Random: "You do?"

German: "Yes, it is Ned Nederlander."

Random: "Who?"

German: "You are my favorite star of the silver screen."

Ned: "Really?"

German: "In Germany, the cinema is very popular. I've seen all of your films... including when you were known as 'Little Neddy Knickers.'

Ned: "Well, that was a long time ago."

German: "It was this man who inspired me to learn the art of the quick draw."
"I looked up to this man."
"I studied his every move."
"It was my dream to be as fast as Ned Nederlander."
"I practiced every day for hours and hours."
"He was a god to me."

Ned: "A god? Well, I don't know about that."
"But it is nice to meet a fan."
"You know, often I think..."

German (enraged): "Then I found out about movie tricks."
"Trick photography."
"I was crushed."

Ned (insulted):
"I never used trick photography."

German: "That is impossible. No one can be as fast as you appear to be."

Ned: "I am that fast"

German: "We shall see."

Ned: "Happy to."
"Does anybody have a watch?"
"Preferably one with a second hand."

Random: "I got a stopwatch."

German: "No stopwatch. As you Americans say,"
'We will play for keeps.'

99.9% of the people who have seen Ned's movies don't give a shit either way, its just entertainment.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail winter hike. Success

Young Bob and myself had planned a winter hike on the Laurel Highlands Trail. Leading into it, as we all know, it has been snowing a lot. We went for it anyway, and I got redemption from my previous attempt. The mountains had a good foot of snow, and more in some places. The drifts were up to our waistlines.

Friday: Park and walk for about 6 hours straight. The longest break was 4 minutes or so to eat. Got to the shelter, put up the tarps, made the fire. We both crashed out at about 8pm. 8.5 miles or so covered.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 1

Rolling out of the lot.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 1

Broke a lot of trail. More snow than anticipated.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 1

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 1

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 1

Bob is good at sleeping and not super good at carrying wood.

Saturday: We managed to keep the fire going all night, which made for an awesome morning. 12 miles or so of hiking. The hardest few miles were all uphill, with knee to waist deep snow. No snowshoes. Brutal. 8 hours. 12 miles of walking. All of the streams were frozen, so we both made the day on a quart or so of water each. Not awesome. Thankfully somebody had snowshoed the final two miles. Bob was incapable of carrying firewood to the shelter. I carried maybe 40 logs 300 meters or so. Sucked.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

Kept the fire going all night, stayed warm all morning.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

Left some dry wood for the next people. That is going to make somebody's day.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

We walked through the rocks just to get snow all over us.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

Bob would have given anything for snow shoes here. Hardest mile of the trip.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

We walked along this ridge the entire long mile. I got tired of seeing this same thing for over an hour.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

Not yet winter.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

For the last two miles, somebody awesome broke the trail with snowshoes already!!!

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

No water all day, I went right ahead and ate some icicles.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 2

Bobby found a way to not get covered in snow.

Sunday: The low Saturday night was about 3 degrees. This made it cold, even with the fire going all night. Not intolerably cold, but cold enough that when I woke up I really didnt want to get out of my bag. I will admit to taking pictures with my iphone and looking at them in my bag rather than sticking my head out. We had our best average speed of 2+ mph. The snow was less heavy, and more airy. We cruised all day with less effort. 14 or so miles.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

Stoked that this stream was running... or trickling.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

Heading out from our shelter for the night. Low was 3 degrees or so.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

Bob took a photo of me.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

I am against natural gas drilling, but this thing was so warm. It gave us a place to sit and we could warm our hands.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

The trail.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

View down to the river, and Johnstown. We descended like 1400 feet in less than 2.5 miles after this.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

Me and Bobby at the Norther trail head.

From Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail 2011 day 3

Our ride home. The Chew Man! showed up in perfect time.

On the last day we found a set of car keys. I couldnt imagine hiking all day, and then getting back to the car and realizing that the keys are missing. That would be the worst. So I took them, and called the gym where the keys owner has a membership. I asked to have the owner call me. Anyway, I talk to the dude for a few minutes. Apparently he was hunting BOBCATS. No seriously. And coyote? And he lost his keys. He didnt realize until he got home, as his friend drove. Lucky him. I told him that I would mail them to him and start to take down his name. Turns out I graduated with him. We played baseball on the same team when we were six years old. What a small world...

Monday, December 13, 2010

The filthy chew

So after the Dirty Dozen this year, young Bob and I discussed doing a second lap. It would be like 120 miles and 12,000 feet of climbing. We told Chew, and he had already done it in 1991 in preparation for the Thrift Drug Classic. It took two entire days to think that we should just do three.

I threw the idea at chew and he accepted. He compared it to our "historic" winter time double century (only 3 people have done them in Pittsburgh... this is all Chew talking). 12 hours out from game time, the fourth person involved, Danny's longtime friend said that we would more than likely be out on busy roads at dusky / dark, and instead suggested to do each hill 4 times in one single loop.

This eliminated what we called the triple dirty dozen, but created what Chew called "the filthy Chew."

I love this time of year when doing stupid (fun) stuff does not have me worried about it ruining the stupid bike racing.

Filthy Chew Stats:
4 starters
3 finishers (sorry young Bob)
148 avg power
1 hill impassable due to snow
2 bonus climbs up final hill to make up for lost hill's elevation
210 normalized power
17,000 feet of elevation gain (188/mile)
4567 KJ
490 TSS
10 mph avg speed
9 hours riding
90 miles
1 new road I showed the Chew man

OH YES. Bob and I are possibly headed for a hike but it looks snowy!

Anybody want to buy or sell a house? That is my new line.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

what is miserable?

I have been hanging out with the Chew Man a bit lately and he has me stoked. I got him to retell the story about being brutalized by the weather in the late 90's.

I feel like I have written both of these stories on my blog before. Apologies to both of you readers for that.

The story goes: He was leaving northern Columbus Ohio to ride the 200 plus miles back to Pittsburgh. It was late spring, and he thought that he would be fine in shorts and a jersey. About 50 miles in, it starts raining, then pouring, then the temperature dropped to the mid 40's. Chew said he considered stopping to buy gloves, and also considered getting a motel room. Instead, he just pedaled home.

He claims that this is what gave him the mental toughness to win his second Race Across America. Danny said that after he got home, he couldnt feel his fingertips for two weeks. I think that is kind of crazy, but it is a good example of somebody just being able to push hard.

Now I will share a story about one of the worst rides of my life.

Matt and I were a few weeks into our Great Divide Mountain Bike Route trip. It was late September at elevation. We were in central Wyoming and had just eaten breakfast in some town. A dude talked to us about our trip, and when we went to pay, he had already covered it. Awesome.

We stocked up and rolled out. We had about 200 miles with only a small "provisions" store in between. 150 of those miles had no water or food. This is all on dirt roads/paths.

Anyway, after rolling out of Rawlins, it started raining. It was like 45 degrees, we were literally traversing the contintal divide at like 7000', which made the weather nuts. There were lightening strikes and thunder all around us. The roads turned to peanut butter mud, and our temperatures dropped. Unlike Chew, I got really scared. I put on every piece of clothing that I had, I had lost all dexterity in my fingers and hands, making braking hard and would have made changing a flat impossible. Matt and I basically ended up under a rock ledge and under a tarp huddled together trying to stay warm.

I remember Matt being calmer than me. I had borderline hypothermia. My lips were so cold that I couldnt talk right. Matt loves being miserable. Matt has been vegan for a few decades AND does triathlons. Those are two of the most miserable things ever. I guess that since Matt wasnt eating some fake cheese or swimming and running, he was able to calm me down to ride the twenty miles or so to the paved road. We rode into the dark, where we finally hit pavement, and found a form of shelter to sleep under.

The next two days were spent riding through the great divide basin. The weather was sunny and nice, and ironically we were in need of water, as there was none for two days straight. All of the steams were dry. We nursed the gallons of water that we had.

The maps said that there was a potential water source after like 140 miles of none. It was a reservoir of some type. We saw it from a distance and had to climb up to it, no knowing if it was dry. Finally I saw some green grass and knew we were in luck. Sweet. We rode hard after this to the next town, and literally big ringed the continental divide along the way.

Ups and downs.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

1985 USPRO championships.

Just a reminder of how badass Pittsburgh was:

Talks about the all day breakaway that included Matt Eaton.

Top 10

1. Eric Heiden (USA) 7-Eleven 6h29’39” (39.04 km/h)

2. Jesper Worre (Den) Sammontana

3. Jens Veggerby (Den) Fanini-Wuhner

4. Tom Broznowski (USA) Schwinn

5. Tom Schuler (USA) 7-Eleven +14"

6. Ron Kiefel (USA) 7-Eleven +1'40"

7. Davis Phinney (USA) 7-Eleven +1'48"

8. Andy Hampsten (USA) Levi’s-Raleigh

9. Jeff Rutter (USA) Alfa-Romeo

10. Thomas Prehn (USA) Schwinn


11. Chris Carmichael

12. Danny Chew

Both finishing in the same time as Hampsten.

Apparently thrift drug classic torrent HERE.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I am not going to shadyside to get zen

So a yoga place in Shadyside has a "all you can do for 20 dollars" deal going on. I am taking a few weeks off the bike, and I need something to do, so I signed up. For those not in the know, Shadyside is a fancy area of the city. Sephora, mac store, coach, gap, etc.

So anyway, I am riding my bike to the studio and I come up on the super aggro bike commuter. We all know this dude, right? He is on a decent hybrid bike, pushing like a 48x13 the entire time. He keeps looking back to see if he is putting time into me between red lights. He didnt say hi when I said hello. Just some super aggro dude. We come up on an intersection where I KNOW the car in the left lane that is supposed to turn left will probably actually go straight. Of course it happens. I watch the dude FREAK OUT on the driver, even though he was like 30 feet away from getting hit. It was not even close.

Anyway, I just keep riding behind aggro commuter dude. I turn and ride up the backstreet to the yoga place. Of course the dude pops out and IS ALSO GOING TO YOGA. Great. I avoid him while doing the sign in / change routine. I put my mat down, and go out to get water. Of course, despite most of the place being empty, and despite most of the other people (except me) in the place being young attractive females, THE DUDE PUTS HIS MAT RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

Anyway, my reason for going to yoga for the winter is so I can get more aerodynamic and be faster while putting out the same watts. I am not even going to front. However this dude, and the rest of the people in the glass are all "ohm ing" and "namastse ing" and all that stuff.

Then I looked around and thought about a story Amy told me. She and her two girlfriends were riding up Smallman St last week. There are 3 parallel outbound streets and it is the least busy, and the recommended bike route. A woman with a "buy organic buy local" bumper sticker on one side of her bumper and an "Obama 08" sticker on the other side passes them while blowing the horn and GIVING THEM THE FINGER. I could be crazy, but I think Amy said that it was a Prius.

Anyway, all this crap is not related. Not at all. It is just funny that people will pay 15 dollars to pretend to be zen, and then flip off their neighbors while buying organic produce. Or I guess the point is: you can take shitty people and have them do cool things, and they maintain their shitty persona.

Maybe someday I will be able to write a story that is concise and makes sense.