Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WHEELS OF GLORY


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Check out the Bake boy in the smaller bowl at the Bellingham Skate Park version 2.0. Recently, he's been wanting a nickname (a cool name like Baker isn't enough?) and somehow came up with Ruz. Which, I have no idea what it means. Krazy kids.


Tomorrow (Thursday) check out The Seattle Times (http://www.seattletimes.com/) for my cool story on stand-up paddle surfing. Here's B'ham's Beau Whitehead showing how it's done.

I've also got a piece in the latest issue of Adventures NW (www.adventuresnw.com); it's a humorous (hopefully) look back on my 2007.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Godfather Part III

"Every time I get out, they keep pulling me back in." That's the line from the otherwise forgettable third Godfather movie that comes to me each time I go out for one of these fairly long trail runs. This is the winter I'm definitely not doing the Chuckanut 50K because as the top two pictures show, I've been having a great time riding the Fantom CX up and down the dirt roads surrounding Bellingam.

That's MC Awesome (AKA, Jim Robbins) in the top photo about to summit Cleator Road on his titanium road bike (an Airborne) which he'd hoped to turn into a pseudo-'cross bike by putting fat (28s) tires on it. He didn't quite have the lower gears that professional cyclocross model Glenn Gervais (other dude in the below photo) and I have on our compact-crank adorned 'cross bikes but Jim is tougher than nails. Cleator climbs 1,550 feet in 3.6 miles (minus a mostly flat mile in the middle) and he gutted it out. Made us darn proud.

So it's rides like this--and up Galbraith too--that I plan to occupy myself with this winter and to keep me from even having the slightest whim to run that damn Chuckanut 50K.

The above ride was Saturday. Sunday, I decided to tag along for just a bit with the Sunday running group. (See below, photo courtesy of Polly Favinger.) It was great to see everyone (even John Clark) on a beautiful morning and to run wild on those back trails to Lost Lake. I was surprised that I didn't feel more beat up from Saturday's ride; in fact, given how little I'm running right now (maybe twice a week) I was amazed how really good I felt. (I ran 1:47 with 2,100 feet elevation gain; they did the 3-plus hour Samish Loop with 4,100-foot gain.) Talk inevitably touched on the 50K and the possibility/likelihood of a route change. Though I tried to ignore it I found myself involuntarily intrigued, interested and mulling it over especially after I turned around at the Lost Lake sign and had a solo run back to my car.

That night I told MC Awesome about this potential quandry. His impression: "Who are you kiddin', McQuaide--you'll end up running it. You know it."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tractor 'Cross Video

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Here's Bellingham 'cross racer and super nice guy Glenn Gervais reenacting part of the pedal through the demolition derby area. All the super skanky mud is just off camera. Check out the crowd in the grandstand--they can hardly contain their excitement.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

TRACTOR 'CROSS

Saturday, Glenn (http://www.ggtriguy.blogspot.com/) and I headed to the Lynden fairgrounds for a little Tractor 'Cross action, the third in Ryan Rickerts' Cyclocrazed series (http://www.cyclocrazed.com/). It was great fun--we rode through ankle-deep mud (also known as quicksand) at the demolition derby area (where some years ago Garth Brooks caused absolute mayhem by showing up during a Trisha Yearwood show), the pig barn where we went up and down one of the skateboard ramps (I did a 900 variel heelflip with a fakie axle stall a couple times; pretty tough on a 'cross bike), and finally a killer run-up where I lost any hope I had of winning the Master C race.

Above and below, see professional cyclocross model and America's little sweetheart Glenn Gervais riding through the aforementioned demo derby and through the pig barn.
Like I said (kinda) I raced Master C and at the start felt really confident that I could finish top five. Especially since there were only four of us. (Professional cyclocross model Glenn Gervais is a mere lad of 37 so he raced Mens C.) Tjalling Ympa (or Ypma?) was there and lucky for me he was on a mountain bike. Top 3 was looking like a real possibility.
At the start, I raced to the front and was feeling pretty darn proud of myself for being so aggressive. We bobbed and weaved, wound around tree trunks and on this long straightaway I tried to open it up while making sure not to hit any of the haybale obstacles. Then we hit the derby demo and the mud. And in the case of me, I stuck. Like glue. Like a fly to flypaper. I weren't goin' nowhere. I didn't fall; I just came to a standstill.


Unfortunately (for me) the two guys behind me had no such trouble and passed right on by. Then it was onto the pig barn, down into a ravine and into the run-up, a steep slippery hill probably 40 feet high that was impossible to ride. It was like a mountain climber's boot trail straight up the side of a mountain on the way to someplace in the Pickets. I love my Motobecane Fantom CX, but she ain't light--24 pounds she weighs in at and after carrying her five times up that run-up she felt like she was 240 pounds.
Anyway, eventually I caught one of the two fellers who had passed me that first time through the demo derby mud pit, but never caught eventual winner Malcolm (don't know his last name but after the race I heard him say that he was 190 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal. Or something like that.) I'd reel him in on a couple of the straightaways but he had the run-up totally dialed in. He just disappeared on me everytime.


So I finished second and had a great time doing it. So strenuous, so right-at-the-edge of what I'm capable of doing. We did five laps, about 38 or 40 minutes of racing (I forgot to turn my watch off at the end) and everytime I looked at my heart monitor, it was pinned on 175-176.


Kudos to Ryan Rickerts. He puts on fun races and I hope he does more of these next season. He's got a real knack for putting on fun events. And he always wears a quite fetching yellow wig too.

Seattle cyclocross (http://www.seattlecyclocross.com/) is huge right now. Before the race, I talked to someone who said they get so many people showing up they have to start in heats ... of like 90 riders. Not sure that down there I'd feel confident of a top 5 finish.

Friday, November 02, 2007

TO CHUCKANUT OR CHUCKANOT?


Still not sure what I'll train for this winter. Last two years it's been for the Chuckanut 50K, but I just can't see myself at the starting line next March. I love the training; I love the people I run with on Sunday mornings, but the race itself is pretty brutal. More than a third of it is on the Interurban which is just a death march by the end. Seemed to take me forever to recover too. I couldn't ride hard for a month afterward.

A rumor is circulating that Krissy Moehl might change the course which originally made my heart go pitter-pat, I was so excited. But the revised course I heard about wasn't super exciting--a lot of out and backs with long, long descents--so I'm leaning toward not doing it, whatever the course is. Besides I've sure loved riding the 'cross bike this fall and that's got to be easier on the body than the four-hour runs in the Chuckanuts.

Maybe I'll do some of each. Try to ride two or three times a week, run the same amount. See if that keeps me in some kind of running/bike form.

Padden Mud Run on Sunday; that'll be fun.

Above and below, the Bake boy rips it up at the Bellingham Skatepark big bowl.