Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Photos...

One of the cool things about races is that they bring out good photographers. Folks with good equipment and skills and a love of cycling. The down side of course, is that now all my photos will look a little crummy by comparison.

I guess it's the same thing that happened with my racing abilities. They looked a little crummy by comparison. Guess I have work to do before Mt SAC...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Incycle XC Challenge 10/17/10

I've got some pix to share with you. I wish I had a tale of victory. In fact, I was planning on temporarily changing the name of this blog to "White Boy Be Crazy-Fast!" But I came in 5th. Not even a podium spot.

However, I can claim a minor victory: I got the announcer to say, "Number 456. That's Brian Grimm riding for Team Sisyphus," or something to that effect. Last year, I was on the podium representing "Mashed Potato." And earlier this year I rode a double-century for Cutters. Even if nobody gets the joke, I slay myself.

At the Line

This is the Life
Grinding Away

Tinker and the Pros' Race

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Well, I was looking for some content that truly belongs here. Something that may well make you shake your head in disbelief and exclaim, "White boy be crazy!" It just so happens that my Sunday outing qualifies.

Sunday, the high in Pomona was 95. I don't like 95. So I planned to ride my bike up above the heat. Stay up there for a while. And then come down when the coast was clear.

Yours Truly
My riding buddy, who shall remain Nameless, asked me, "What are we going to do up there till it cools off?" There were some attempts at witty banter, but the upshot was that we'd ride our bikes around up there.

Let's be clear. "Up there" means at the midpoint of a 100 mile ride. A 100 mile ride designed to get us as high (and therefore, as cool) as possible. So what we are really talking about is riding 50 miles and gaining 6,000 feet of elevation to get to the ride.

And here is where Nameless really upped the ante... "Let's explore the trails"

Nameless mountain bike rider
If you're not a cyclist, you may have missed the significance of that statement. It means mountain bikes, not road. Those fat knobby tires on mountain bikes have great traction which they get at the expense of efficiency. Think of it this way: they grip the road. Like "grip and don't let go, not even to let you move forward." Try that for 50 miles!

Well we did try that, starting just after 7am. The main strategy seemed to work. The temperature never got very hot. We, however, did. Fortunately, there was a nice cooling headwind. I'm pretty bad at judging wind speed, but I can tell you the forecast was for "gusts up to 25mph."

That swiss cheese is petrified
After about 35 miles, the scenery was looking pretty good. Freeways and traintracks had given way to strange rock formations. The sky above was much bluer. Life was just about as good as it can get. And then we hit Lone Pine Canyon Road.

Makes me thirsty just looking at it
Lone Pine Canyon Road stretched out in front of us like, I don't know, something bad. Six and a half miles of bad. I don't know how much cycling you've done, but it's pretty rare for a car to honk at a cyclist in order to flash a thumbs-up or other encouraging gesture. But that's what happened...

It just keeps going

The rest of the way to Wrightwood was a breeze. There is a nice little park in town where I dined on peanuts and dried fruit. My buddy gave me a cupcake for desert. Then he proceded to look strange.

This guy is always doing this
I was relieved to find that Nameless had not crushed the local flora with his odd ritual.

This little mushroom survived!

After all the epicurian delights that can fit in a handlebar bag, we proceded to climb out of Wrightwood. First comes the 6,000ft sign, then the Entering Los Angeles County sign, then a Visitor Center complete with drinking fountain and bathroom (both of which came in handy). And then some climbing.

Nameless thinks it's funny that I'm pointing in two different directions!
He wants you to see that he is taller than Mt Baden-Powell!
Inspiration Point is apropriately named. All the best views are between this lookout (circa 7300') and Dawson Saddle (circa 7900'). The only problem is that first we have to lose 800'. I don't have any pictures from that stretch because all the best riding is there too. Okay, maybe I was getting a bit tired by then, too.

I got cold descending from here.
Here I am at the top. Unfortunately, it's around 4pm. No time for dirt. Gots to bail.

Here is a picture of a sign or two
If you are familiar with the local roads, you'll know that those fat tires we had been lugging around really came in handy getting us down to this sign. I suppose we could have made it on road bikes by slowing down. But nobody wants that.

Odd way to end the post, I know, but I had to snap a picture of the first tarantula I've seen this year. Must be the start of the season. This guy was on Glendora Mountain Road. I don't know if he was climbing up from East Fork, but I sure was. Nameless knew a shortcut to Upland through Baldy Village. Gotta love that in a riding buddy.

All in all, it was a great ride. The worst that happened was I lost the little rubber thing from one of my earbuds. And I had set my pack down on some ants, but fortunately I noticed and got them all off. Or at least, none of them bit me. We also got to experience a little bit of night riding at the end.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I probably should save this for a later post. You have not been properly introduced to me (or why White Boy Be Crazy), and I'm already showing you pictures of other people and their questionable undertakings. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to post pictures of the first cyclocross race I have encountered:
You really ought to click on the picture above. You'll be taken to a place where you can zoom in to it. The expression on his face is priceless!
I rode around on the course a little. I watched the racers gasping for breath as they crested the short steep climbs. I saw some of them run over the obstacles without losing speed, and others who stopped to dismount, jumped, ran, then jumped again, and finally remounted an almost stationary bike. (Much like I would probably do it.) I asked myself why they thought it was reasonable to ride road bikes on grass and sand and mud and off curbs. And then it came to me like a thunderbolt from the crazy sky we had (20% chance of thunderstorms and hot as a wet dog--in October) They were doing it because it must be fun as hell! At least that's how it looked to me today.