Friday, February 25, 2011

My reflection

A little reflection on cycling and frustration. Not that cycling and frustration are collaborators or anything, but on this weeks trail ride I did encounter some frustration. I am an experienced, though hardly expert trail rider, and riding on rocky terrain is probably were I am the least expert. The park in my local is quite rocky. I was exploring another section I had not been on before, its called Rough Go on the trail map, need I say more? Trail riding requires a tripod of skill, power and confidence. Any week leg on this stool, shows up quick. You can hide some shortcomings for a while on a road ride, but trail riding brings the truth out quick. But I did have to grapple with frustration as I found shortcomings in my cycling that day, trail riding also can give rewarding flashes of satisfying achievment. A rider has to make split second decisions to clear a rough technical section requiring all three aspects of skill. Often this happens on a instinctive level, and of course this is where time/experience come into play. The rider has to bring all three aspects to play. A shortcoming brings a stall, a bail or worse a crash. On a demanding road ride the state of affairs is more pliable or fluid moving stightly from one corner of the metaphorical stool the the other and back. It make take covering several attacks befor lack of power finally overwhelms me and I am left witha dull sense of frustration. Conversly the rewards tend not to have that quick deep satisfaction either. That is one thing I like about trail riding and why I generally like to do it alone on my own terms. The following shot is a rather calm section.

This region is of ancient volcanic origin, which contributes to good vineyard soils. The mountain I'm on has very porous "boiled" looking rock on on side and hard and even glassy rock on th other side. It was quarryied for cobblestone in the early twentieth century. One can still see remnants of that work in blast holes and rock piles.
We had a snow shower today!! A cold front blew in from Alaska on the tail end of a rain event. Tonight is going down to 28 degrees brrr

Sunday, February 20, 2011


How's the winter been treating you? For those of you back East, the weather hasn't been conducive for cycling until just recently. In norcal land the bulk of Jan/Feb. have been great. Sunny, warm even into low 80's.Until this past week that is, now heavy rain even hail and highs struggle to hit 50. the other night we had snow at about 2500' ele.,the ridge that separates us from Napa had lots of white. Oh well this is needed for the dry six months ahead. So many rides are scheduled for the area. Every organization seems to try and tap into the money making potential of the regions cyclists and great riding.I just wonder if there will be a push back from the non cycling public at large.
I am not riding quite as much as last year, working more it seems, it is a long season, so that is fine.I try to get out on the mountain bike once a week. Some new pics

Been doing some bike maintenance on our fleet of bikes, but I tend to not take stuff apart that isn't acting up, if it ain't broke don't fix it. One does run a certain risk of a cable going out during an event, I've been there. Chains I am pretty good on twice a year. Between several wheels I've never had to replace a Campagnolo cassette. Of course I also have systematically transitioned from 8 to 9 to 10 speed drives too. Somehow I am not really compelled to jump to 11 speed, but I am sure time will come.
How about the likely arrival of electronic Ultegra from Shimano? Are any of you putting off a 2011 purchase to get it? I have ridden the Dura-Ace group on demo, it is very impressive, especially the front shift.
My only purchases for new stuff this year have been in the apparel side and general upkeep tires hb tape and such. Except my Giant Anthem full-suspension bike. It has been a lot of fun. I am very interested in going into a new 29r format bike, but since off road is not rely my main deal I will put that off. Working in a bike shop it is hard to not keep daydreaming about "the next bike" and the Giant TCR Advanced SL sure seems to be calling my name. Stop it right now! It's bad enough just with clothes and shoes and, and.......