Friday, April 30, 2010

Sean Is Getting Ready To Race

Hey, I wanted to tell you that I took the carbide out today, and it performed like a Ferrari through the streets of Italy, and climbed like a freakin mountain goat on steroids. This bike is one bad ass machine. We'll talk to you later, and I should be in my first race in a couple of weeks. Sean

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Anniversary! The Great OH Odyssey

**Lyd, Joy and Megan waiting for Lyd to play at the Treehouse.

O.K., so it has been a year since the largest nerd ever got married (that's me)! My lovely and clearly wine-blind wife and I had a fun Ninja-style attack on Ohio over the past 24 hours. Here's how it went..

After I returned home from work, we packed it up and headed to The Treehouse for Lyd's early show. Thanks to Megan Burkholder for coming out, BTW!

We bolted DIRECTLY from there to the small midwestern town of Wooster, Ohio and checked in to the Hyatt. It was about half way between CBUS and the industrial nightmare wasteland that is Cleveland. After a jacuzzi, some champagne and things they won't EVER mention in sex-ed, we hit the hay. Arising at the crack o' NINE, we went into the sleepy downtown Wooster shopping district, and had completely forgotten that small towns are entirely closed on Sundays. All we found open was a great little coffee shop called "Muddy Waters," where we met the head of the Chamber Of Commerce. He bought us coffee (NICE, right?) and sped off to a large event the town had going on later that day. As we left, we drove out through Cuyahoga Falls NP. Oddly, Wooster would turn out to be a highlight for the rest of the trip.

**Downtown Wooster, established in 1779!

We had been very excited to visit Lake Erie after living here for three years, and decided to head towards the PA border and stop in a place called Geneva On The Lake. We were starving, and though we'd grab a bite in this seaside tourist town.'s frikkin' 40 damn degrees there when we arrived, and the Lake looked the f*****g Bermuda Triangle during Hurricane Kill Your Ass. That wasn't the worst of it. Picture Coney Island in the 1930's. Now picture it deserted, in a post-apocolyptic nightmare with zombie Carnie-folk....and nobody has been there to paint, clean or UPDATE anything since the place opened in 1930. We left as quickly as we had arrived, sad that we had left the shopping comfort of Banana Republic for Carnie hell.

**Lyd looking quickly at an angry body of water in Carnie Hell, a.k.a. Geneva On The Lake.

It was funny, too...because there were "wine tasting rooms" and wineries everywhere. Odd thing is, it actually requires SUNLIGHT to make good grapes, an the only thing I would ever taste in wine grown there is depression. The LODGE there was renting beach-cruisers for a place with no beach, just cold. I could smell the death of the Edmund Fitzgerald in the air. GONE is what we quickly became, turning west for the now-deserted ton of Cleveland. Lightning struck hard just outside of the city, and the blinding deluge of rain made me wonder what money could have made living on this frozen steppe worth staying for. Summer up there only lasts for about three months...SO not worth the concrete-gobbling effects of the long winter.

**Visit beautiful lake-front Cleveland TODAY!

Heading south in a speedy departure, we saw one of the most depressingly industrial nightmares conceivable. It was all smokestacks belching death into the cold air, and a landscape that was reminiscent of Nazi "scorched earth" policies through Europe.
We briefly stopped for a long overdue dinner, the made a soggy bee-line for home. Thankfully Lyd is a great driving partner, and we had fun goofing on all the religious programming that seemed to dominate the economically depressed areas of northern Ohio. Although it sounds awful, it was actually a great 24hr tour of an anniversary. In one day, we saw more of Ohio than we have in three years. Would I ever visit Cleveland again soon? Probably not. Would I do it twenty four years from now on another anniversary just for fun? Damn skippy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Roger Helps Out; Tinker!

**E-Mail and pic from Roger Carlson, after Rog had done an emergency fix on Tinker's bike before the clearly worked!**

Hi Roger,
Sorry it's taken me so long to get the pics of you and Tinker to you. I had a couple of surgeries this last week after the race at San Ynez, and never made it to Sea Otter. I saw Tinker today, he came by the Hospital to say hi, and I wanted to get these to you after he reminded me that I had them on my camera. did you go to sea otter?
I heard it was a good time, i was bummed to miss it. Do you work with Jim at Kenda?

Anyways, attached are you pics, and thanks again for hooking us up with the great repair at the race.
Hope to see you around the races this year. Stay in touch
Roger Carlson

Tookie Destroys His New Shoes

Hey, Chris
As you know I've been needing a new pair of shoe for the last two years. So yesterday was the first day out with the new 661 flights, these things are light and stiff (add comment Vegas!!! I know you want to.) But here's the set back, after a two hour ride and a couple of dismounts to walk some rocky climbs, the front cleat starts to rip off, on both right and left shoe. So looking closer at the cleat it is only held on by two hard rubber pins and maybe some glue. Now it's less then two weeks before may first race, does anyone out there in Backbone land have an idea to fix this before the cleats totally rip off. Thought about using JB Weld epoxy.
Talk later

Thanks To Ken And XPEDO!

The "Hang Loose" hand sign, and having his tongue hanging out are trademark signs you have found the right man. Ken Yamakoshi at XPEDO Pedals has been looking after us for a looooong time now, and I just felt compelled to let some of the newbies on the team understand WHY we like him so much. This photo essay should pretty much spell it out. Also, it doesn't hurt the pedals are damn good, stupid-light, and more durable than Zsa Zsa Gabor's love hole. Thanks Ken!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jersey Testing, From SIGMA.

Thanks James! It is EXACTLY this kind of thing that makes us love our sponsors sooooo very much...

Roger's Sea Otter Race Report!

hi Chris,

whew... what a weekend at the otter, perfect weather!!!! Sunny, light wind and not a f'n cloud in the sky!!!!

Vegas, Cheyne, Mark and Vanessa worked their butts off not just at the races but slinging Kenda tires and tubes for 4 days straight. We also stopped by Hydrapak and were treated to a soft couch that I think gave me a rash and some new Gelbots and Updated bladders for out packs, went by Sigma and thanked them again for the super duper "Hal" Rox 9.0 and 8.0 computers and picked up some new threads at Royal and Voler.

Results were as follows Vegas Bob cat 1 35-39 men 19th out of 29, Vanessa cat 1 30-39 ladies 6th out of 8, Cheyne cat 2 25-29 men 29th out of 37 and Mark cat 3 45-49 men 45th out of 65

Results of the Cliff Bar beer drinking contest Sat nite, 1st place Vanessa 6 pints, close second place Cheyne 5.6 pints would have taken 1st but stumbbled and dropped his other beers, Vegas Bob 3rd place 4 mojitos, last place Roger, sober and grumpy closing the kenda booth while cali xc teams runs wild in the jumpy jump

Results for Tarpy's steak eating contest... duh... Roger no contest

Note; had great time riding the course with Jim Roff, Timari Pruis, Vanessa, Wendy and Crystal from PMBC club... first time I ever rode with Jim Roff, hes got skills still...

Chris enough time has passed, time to move back!

much love roger

***Funny you should mention that! Lyd was just up my ass about that exact topic this week.***

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vegas Bob Rocks The Rox..9.0!

SIGMA Brian and Vegas Bob going over the data on his ROX 9.0 inside the team booth at Outdoor Demo.

Hey Chris!
Here are some screenshots of my SIGMA ROX 9.0 logging all the action from my race at Santa Ynez last Sunday. Do you like information? Can't get enough of it? Then the ROX 9.0 is definitely for you. With the easily downloadable Sigma Data Center software and the USB docking station, everything can be stored and analyzed right on your home computer.

The first shot is all the Memory data in one place, which you get on the 8.0 or the 9.0. Your 3 wireless transmitters get you all these stats for Distance, Time, Speed, Cadence, and Heart Rate, (including how much time in each Zone). The unit also records Temperature (yes it was 53 degrees for the race start, ugh!) and Altitude, and both the unit by itself and the software even divide the altitude up into separate Uphill and Downhill totals!

The second shot is the is graph from the Log function from the 9.0. Suweeet! It gives you the Altitude Profile of the race, obvious with a blue line. Layered onto that you've got your Heart Rate in maroon and your speed in green. There's more stuff to see, but I've left a few of the other lines turned off for clarity, which is easy to do with the simple check boxes. I've programmed my own personal Heart Rate Zones into the unit, which show up on the graph as yellow, green and red bands that my HR can be seen jumping up and down through like a schnauzer through a fire ring. I can clearly see exactly where in lap 1 my aorta almost ruptured at 200 beats per minute, and then later at the first climb of lap 3 where I faded faster than Vanilla Ice's haircut.

The last shot is the chart that pulls up to show the totals of how much time I spent in each Zone; who doesn't love pie? There are more features, like a button to change the graph from Distance to Time, a Zoom button to get in close to portions of the graph, and for Printing. You can also view your Totals of all the rides you've done, change all the Settings for the unit, and even check the juice in the 3 wireless transmitters so you know when to change the batteries. Mmmmmmmyeah!


Vegas Bob featured in a 2009 KENDA ad, with a pic taken during the 2008 Sea Otter Classic!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Claudia Takes Top 10 In Pan Am Games!

Claudia Espinoza went out for blood during the weekend's race in Guatemala City. She raced against the best in the world and hammered her way to a 7th place finish! KILLER job Claudia, hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Is Here!

I have a bad habit of using my ride time to disconnect from humanity. No phone, no i-pod blaring "Firehouse" tunes, no way for anyone to reach me at all. Electronic distractions (other than my uber-computer, the SIGMA ROX 8.0) aren't something I want while riding, especially since much of my planning happens during those lonely outings. The past two weeks I have been especially happy with that choice. My "go-to" loop through Grandview and out through Upper Arlington has yielded dividends far beyond the health benefits of turning pedals.

Explosions of sun-dappled color radiate from the trees, and tulips bend to the sun exposing the fiery basins within their core. It's almost too much to take in all at once. The trees are sending wave after wave of tiny white flower petals into the air with every passing breeze, and the scent of Magnolias far outweigh the standard olfactory-crippling smell of smoking chamois butter.

With all this going on, how could you possibly feel any pain? What else could you even CONSIDER doing at that point? Just pedal and smile...pedal and smile. Recently painted homes along Tremont Avenue proudly proclaim that riding season is here.

No shaving of the 'taint, no talk of VO2 max...just get on and ride through your neighborhood..maybe meet someone you never had the chance to slow down enough to talk to from the car.

I love this pic! I didn't realize it until I returned home, but I managed to capture that little "pollen spreader" winging in for a drink to the left of the picture! It was GREAT to head out on the bike with the camera and get acquainted with me local flora.

Flag waving seems to be in the genes here in Grandview, and the flapping Stars and Stripes add a bit of color to an already blinding array of flowers that Crayola could never match. This home on First Avenue is always in full blaze when I ride by in the mornings.

Spring colors can be found just about anywhere from the saddle of the bike. These wicked Chucks were on the feet of a mulch-mangling kindergarten pal of my son when I rode to pick him up. Had I driven to get him I would never have seen these things, but on the bike you have the chance to catch a bit more of the life going on around you.

Spring is also the time to pay your dues. Luka and his crew of like-minded six year-olds roam the neighborhood, and are not afraid to shake-down anyone who may be holding out on them. "Hand over the Goldfish crackers and nobody gets hurt." Do as they say. Do these kids look like they are joking? When your a Jet, your a Jet all the way...

It ain't ALL pretty in the spring...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Team Love From Meghan Brown

Cap'n Chris...this ones for you..and a little cowshit..some blood..and yes even some semen.. ;)

Some of you may remember Meg from Greg and Christie Pleiss' Vegas Bachelor/Bachelorette party waaaaaaay back in the day. Others may remember her and her hubby from the Scottsdale NORBA's they came to years ago all the way from northern Nevada, just to support the team. Here is a recent pic sent in via FB showing her out on the range in team gear, probably trying to milk a male cow...again. Meg is very active in land access for all of us here in the West, working a great deal with the Western Legacy Alliance.
Last time I was asked to hand over a blood, urine, stool and semen sample, I just gave the doctor a pair of my cycling shorts and left the building...