Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SUMMER EVENING ON GALBRAITH MOUNTAIN

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The boys of Team Unattacked did a killer ride on Galbraith last night. Neither record-breaking temps nor a slow leak could stop us from having a great time on trails such as Wonderland, Mullet, and SST, to name a few. Please enjoy the video. Song is "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

INDIE SERIES ROSLYN STORY AND PHOTOS

Sunday, I made my debut in the 45+ Sport category at Roslyn's Indie Series race (http://www.indieseries.com/). Terrific single-track trails, beautiful eastside setting (that is, ponderosa pines), hot as hell. No, make that hot as frickin' hell. Accuweather said is was 90 to 93 during race time with the Real Feel temp 97. Ugh. Ten minutes into the race, which started basically straight up a crazy-steep, sand and powdery pitch, I thought: "My legs are already rubber, I'm gonna DNF."

Sport races are longer than the Beginner races I'd done to this point. Each of those was 45 minutes to an hour. Roslyn's Sport race was likely to be twice that and in the relentless heat I was kicking myself for upgrading. But you know how it is, you suck it up, you think of your loved ones and how they'd find a way to get through it, you think of other hot races you've survived ('06's Ironman Coeur D'Alene when temperatures hit 94), and somehow you get it done. Plus, the Indie Series has points. I'd get points for finishing, even if I was dead last, but I'd bupkiss if I DNF'd. I wanted them points.

At Roslyn, we did three laps of a 4.5-mile (I think) course, each lap of which, according to my altimeter, climbed 850 feet. About 600 of that was in the first mile or so of each lap, that kind of tiny-gear, move-to-the-front-of-your-seat grind which, in the heat, made for some sloooow going. I saw several people get off their bikes, throw them to the ground, and plop themselves down in the shade to cool off. Then there was some fun, roller-coastery sections, another crazy-steep (but thankfully short) pitch, some not-too-bad climbs, and finally a screaming, hang-on-for-life descent through dusty talcum powder. If there was someone just ahead of you on the trail, you ended up eating a lot of dirt at Roslyn.
One of the many great things about the Indie Series races is the people you meet. The loquacious and energetic George Spaggiari was there (he's also a recent upgrade to Sport) and throughout the race would yell out my name any time he saw me on course--pulling away in front of him, as he passed me, as I passed him back, etc. In the end, I finished fifth with George just behind me for sixth. Results aren't up but time-wise, it was about an hour and forty-five.
I'd say the first lap was brutal, largely because I'd never ridden it before and had no idea what to expect; second lap, not quite so bad because all I was thinking about was finishing; third lap, suprisingly OK because I knew I wouldn't have to do it again.
Next up, Greenwater on August 8. That'll be my sixth Indie Series race. Actually, I'm thinking of riding the elegant Tarmac Pro road bike in Saturday's Tour de Whatcom (http://www.tourdewhatcom.com/).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

DEVILS GULCH VIDEO

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It's Saturday before the Roslyn Indie Series races (http://www.indieseries.com/), your first in the 45+ Sport division, and you know how it is. You want to stay off your feet so to pass the time you hunt through music tapes you made in the early '90s on your old four-track recorder in the hopes that something could be used for background music on your mountain biking videos. Your hopes are dashed, unfortunately, because everything is ... well, not that good. But you're determined, and you find one instrumental that you hope is not too terribly embarrassing and, what they hey--you put it up. Thus, I give you my Devils Gulch video accompanied by me on several guitars and drum machine (that doesn't change).

Whilst I havest you, don't forget the Tour de Whatcom (http://www.tourdewhatcom.com/) on August 1. This great event benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

DEVILS GULCH STORY HITS SEATTLE TIMES

Check out today's Seattle Times Northwest Weekend section for my story about our Devils Gulch ride a couple weeks ago. The Times website includes a link to a helmet cam video I made complete with narration wherein I say "uh" and "um" about 50 times--pretty cool. Here's the link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/outdoors/2009519193_nwwdevilsgulch23.html

In other news, with Mellow Johnny back from Europe, Team Unattacked got out for its first full squad mountain bike ride last evening on Galbraith Mountain. Great fun. Roslyn Indie Series race (http://www.indieseries.com/) this weekend--looking forward to it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PADDEN MOUNTAIN PEDAL PHOTOS

Check out www.adamleahyphotography.com for some ultra-cool pics from Sunday's Padden Mountain Pedal. He's got pictures from Leavenworth and Whidbey Island too. Loooove the shot above. Whoever it is sure has dainty calves!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

PADDEN MOUNTAIN PEDAL 2009


Team Unattacked wuz representin' at Sunday's Padden Mountain Pedal as Scott "T.C." Young and I raced in our respective Beginner races. For Strongman Scott it was only his fourth mountain bike ride ever (not race), but that mattered not as all as he went on to win the 35-44 race pretty much soloing it from lap one. Way to go, Scott. (That's him below.)
I was going well in my 45-plus race, trading the lead with single-speeder Erik Evanson when my chain snapped, at which point many and sundry curse words flew from my lips. I finished lap 2 running and coasting when I could. Near the start/finish area, a Great, not Good, Samaritan helped me fix (actually, he fixed it completely himself ) my chain and got me back on the bike again. I ended up finishing 6th. Erik went on to win--great job, man!

Great Samaritan, sorry I don't remember your name (I was a bit flustered at the time), but if you read this, you da' man! Thanks.
As bummed as I was to break my chain I'm just glad it didn't happen Thursday when I was high in the Central Cascades riding the Devil's Gulch Trail.
In other news, I've been catching some grief lately for racing in the Beginner division this season. My reasoning has been thus: I did my first mountain bike race ever a little more than three months ago so wouldn't that make me a beginner? Also, I thought Beginner corresponded to being a Cat 5 road racer which is what everybody starts out as. But today, a race director of many other local events told me that if he were directing the race he'd have never let me race Beginner, and that the division was for people who've basically never ridden a bike before. Not sure how accurate that is, and I certainly don't want to be a sandbagger so ... hmm, not sure what I'll do for Roslyn. Pretty sure I'll be there; I've had a great time racing the Indie Series so far!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

TITANIUM COWBOY

Team Unattacked's tallest rider, Scott Young, scored a titanium 29er this past week and in true Scott Young fashion, quickly got bizy widdit. In his first two rides, he tackled both the upper and lower Padden courses and a bunch of stuff on Galby including the Mullet, Rock 'n' Roll, Upper and Lower Bob's and lots more. He's a natural! Can't wait for Mellow Johnny Boy Clark to see this!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

FREUND CANYON VIDEO


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Bake and I just got back from a couple fun hot sunny days in Leavenworth where we did a whole lot of hangin' out by the pool, miniature golfing and hoops a-shootin'. First day there, though, the fine folks at Das Rad Haus (http://www.dasradhaus.com/) shuttled us up a bumpy, lumpy mountain road so Bake and I could ride the Freund Canyon trail down sans epic climbage. Mucho fun. This is the same trail used for the Indie Series Leavenworth race, it of the water bars and epic downhill speed fame. (Unfortunately, the super-wide lens doesn't do justice to the water bars.) Music is "19-2000" by the Gorillaz.

Also, don't forget about the Padden Mountain Pedal Sunday, July 12. Here's the Innerwebber site: www.paddenmtnpedal.blogspot.com.

Lastly, what blogpost about Leavenworth would be complete without a photo of a guy in lederhosen playing the alphorn. Please enjoy: