Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Live Nude Races

The Rhonde Ohop website is up and running. You could go and register.

Perhaps you are unsure what bike to use? Thinking of rolling like 2007 Race winner Michael Gallagher and crush your enemies on a cross bike? Might I suggest the August 7th CycloSwap meet from CycleU?

Update: Or maybe it isn't up and running. The link broke last night. Bummer. Should be fixed soon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rhonde Ohop: The Madness Approaches

Because Mr. Boots demanded it the Rhonde Ohop is on for 2010. Moved to August as a warm up to cross season and an opportunity for the cross guys to kick road ass or road guys to defend our pride. The big change for 2010 is the addition of an 11 mile loop that features 1 mile of dirt start but then 10 miles of road. This will add some distance as well as give everyone a chance to dwell on the hell that follows! Boosh!

Once the loop is complete the race returns to the Mashell Loop for seven laps. Remember it's one mile road and one mile hard pack. We are going up the Muur d' Mashell for seven laps (10 for the Pro/1/2/3) field.

5 out of the seven editions of this race have been won on a road bike but the last two on cross bikes. It's hard to say which is the better bet; I'd go road if it's sunny out. 25c tire minimum. Pre-reg is encouraged for the 4/5 field since it's been selling out.

Also, we are putting together a spectator expo and Pioneer Farm is only one-mile away so bring the kids and have a jolly good time.

Scrum for Home

The wife and I have used Scrum at home off and on the last few years. And when we've been disciplined about regular planning meetings, scrums, etc it's worked excellent. But.. the challenge is that with kids it's really pushing a boulder up hill to have those meetings. The challenge strikes me as being similar to the challenge distributed teams face: how to organize based on a system that relies on team work when the team can't always meet.

So I've been looking into tools that might be of use at home. Agilo looked promising but it isn't really usefull if you don't want/can't use enterprise tools like trac. I'd even be willing to buy if the procing wasn't all aimed at businesses.

Anyone have usefull, cheap Scrum software ideas?

It Hurts So Good

I got tired of beating up on kids and decided to man up and race Boston Harbor. Boosh! Did you feel my legs of fire? I sure did. Maybe that's cause they were on fire. And in that way that makes you love cycling while wondering why the F&^% you are spending 7 hours of your day so Herriot sports can sucker punch you repeatedly.

Maybe it was for the oportunity to mess with my favorite masters rider. I can't get enough of watching him chase a break that had three of his own team-mates in it out of 9 riders and then sitting up three bike lengths off the back. Cause, you know, if he'd actually closed it down completely that's dick. But if he bridges close enough that my dearly loved but still deceased Grandmother could finish the chase off that's totally cool yo.

I believe it's called pullng a Levin.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My fingers don't walk

Banning phone book drops on my front porch isn't as awesome as blowing up BP but I'll take it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

All About Me!

It's the end of the school year and PPuppy is going to party at the big end of year BBQ! Woot woot! Of course they scheduled it on a Tuesday so it is absolutely ruining my lead in to the State Circuit Race Championships. Lame!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Drip Drip Dropitty

I heard the brave soulds who raced State Roads this weekend got just a little wet.

Friday, June 18, 2010

It's not goodbye..

It's more like I am heading to the beach! See you guys next week. Feel free to make obnoxious unmoderated remarks here while I am gone.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ban All Cars!

I guess if I were Nicole Broder I would declare this incident a reason to make all Cars drive 15 miles per hour on the highway and stop and exit their vehicles at all intersections. Except people driving jeeps with roof lights because they are clearly super safe.

Instead I'll just not be a bad person and say it sucks when stuff like this happens and I am glad it is the execption and not the rule.

It lives!

Contrary to the naysayers and cynics who hate cycling my Campy Cranks have been saved by the heroic efforts of Recycled Cycles!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Comments

Team pictures are interesting things. What secrets lurk? You tell me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Owner of a Broken Bike

The new team bike went back today to get it's planned checkup. I had planned to use my Marin from last year while the Team Frame (TM) is in MedBay but it turns out the pedal sleave is siezed onto my old pedals! And they are old, loose and unusable too.

I am pretty sure 2003 Record Cranks are out of warranty. The good boys at Recycled are working on it now. Is this the end of the cranks?

Slow but Savvy

How did I manage to get 45th in a race that I only lasted 20 minutes in while a bunch of stronger dudes (I am looking at you Andrew!) got a DNF? I made sure I got pulled! Ha. I may be slow but I am not stupid.

It's On Like Rhonde Ohop - tron

Just when you thought it was safe to race on a nice bike the Rhonde Ohop is back! We're running it in August with the goal of fitting into the transition from road to cross. The race does sit in that middle spot. The current plan is to run fewer laps of the dirt that we used to but add a long road loop at the start. The target length is 1:45 for the Pro/1/2.

We are promoting this thing to the locals so we can get a crowd out. Whether should be nice. The only question I have is should we go up the Mur Mashell or down?

Food Blogging

Since I went faux-Vegan my consumption of pesto has dramatically increased. Interestingly I have occasionally gotten tinny mouth and thought it was cayenne peppers. But lo and behold I now know the reason.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ask A Self-Promoting Cyclist

Dear Self-Promoting Cyclist: I am a Cat 3 cyclist and really look up to you. I recently raced PR and you were ripping into another guy for the line he took around a corner. I am confused. You were both leading the field and it looked to me like he gave you plenty of space. If anything, it looked to me like you tried to go too tight. What did I miss?

Learning from the Best

LFTB: What did you miss? Everything mate! All my fans need a new poster of me for my wall and I spent all race setting up that pefect photo-op. Me leading the field with the pain on everyones faces. Perfect! The light has to be just right or else it ruins the photo and that wanker cut right into the camera angle and ruined it. I can't photoshop that out.

Dear Self-Promoting Cyclst: First, I want you to know that you are my favorite local rider. The way you change kits every lap and yell at guys to pull in the break while you sit in is just the bomb! I was hoping you could settle a bet for me. My friend says that you almost crashed at PR last week trying to stand up on the wet drag strip. I think you were just showing off your new dance moves on the bike. Which was it?


Slippery When Wet

SWW: Niether. I was practicing cyclocross dimount since the season starts in just under three months. Then I realized that I was not wearing the Summer Cross Pre-season kit. In my hurry to pick up my newest team car I grabbed the Fall Cross Race kit. I don't know what I was thinking; the shade of black is totally different. I'v got standards and it wouldn't look flash to dismount in the Cyclocross Race Kit in Summer. Don't worry though! I'll have it right next week.

Sandbagging in the USA

In my previous post I forgot about the cardinal rule of blogging: no one cares unless you insult them. So in the interest of actually getting a discussion going:

Matt Hill, Gary Brown, Torgeson, Nico Mills, Canadians, Old Guys and Tubbs all suck and are sandbagging. Only I, PruDog, deserve to race Masters 35+. Suck on that!

The future of Masters Racing

I had a blast racing the Cascadia Criterium series. While I had no interest in the overall the structure did give me motivation to race for three weeks; my only regret is missing the first event in Woodinville. My best races were Freemont and Boat Street, both of which I felt good at. My worst was Tacoma; my body just doesn't like going hard for more than two weeks without rest.

Kudo's to the organizers of the races and the series.

As I races the series I noticed how much nicer it was to ride in a decent field; I've raced on Masters A/B race this year an there were only 15 riders. Yuck. And we only had 8 riders at Michelob Ultra. The A/B race was cancelled at Independence Valley and overall I've heard organizers begging Masters A/B to come out. The CascadiaCrits all ran Masters 35+ fields.

And perusing the results of the Cascadia Crit I can't help but notice that there were around 150 total riders in the whole series but it looks like maybe 25 did more than 2 of the races. Unsurprisingly the top series finishers were all Master A's (including me) and I have to wonder if that is sustainable. It looks to me like the Master's A fields has shrunk to the point were it needs the B-D fields to be sustainable. But the fields need to be competitive for everyone; a Master C rider who trains 9 hours a week needs to feel like he has a chance to do well if everything goes right. If riders feel like they are just going to take a beatings every time they show up or get dropped 20 minutes in they stop racing.

And that's without several of the top Cat 1 riders who are eligible to race Masters A but didn't in this series. What's going to happen if they start showing up? It seems likely to me that the Masters 35+ will self-select down a defacto Master A field of 8-15 riders again.

I mentioned this concern to some of the other Master A guys and suggested that it may be a good idea to make the fields Master 35+ Cat 2-4 t try to keep it competitive and got a lot of push back. Several riders brought up good points: there are quite a few Cat 1 Masters riders who aren't racing at the level anymore but need the Category to race Masters Nats. Point taken.

But I guess the question needs to be: who's opinion matters most? The guys I talk to are almost all Masters A guys. And since we are the ones benefiting form the combined field most I can understand why we would be reluctant to change it.

The real question, in my opinion, is what do the Master B-D's think? How can we keep them engaged and excited about racing Masters? While I understand Eric's point that the Masters Field is self policing I think we disagree on the results. I look at the field sizes in Masters and look at the number of riders switching to race their Senior Category and think "yah, they are self-policing.. and the judgement is we want to race a different field if we are going to get our heads beaten in".

I don't really have a good answer. Maybe a podium rule that says riders with certain number of points in the Pro/1/2 category can't race masters? I definitely understand why restricting Cat 1's would be problematic. Ideas?

Friday, June 11, 2010

You're an idiot

Shorter Nicole Broder: As soon as you cyclists accept that it's all your fault we can all get along.

I am not going to waste my time taking this article's logical flaws apart. Instead I will note that Nicole Broder is a bad writer who consistently shows a lack of robust logic yet still manages to get paid to write. Oh the humanity!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

No Gifts

I find this hilarious. I realize it's meant to mock people who take weekday races super serious but I find it more funny as mocking of people who use the "it's just a training race" to ride like tools. It has an awesome rorschach quality to it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Not a fun day at the track!

PIR last night was unenjoyable. Partly I am just tired from racing the three crits (Seward, Ballard & Boat). That's the most racing I've done in that short a time in several years. So I was already off my best, which is way of my old best by a long shot.

And then there was the course change because it started raining; I am all for going down the escape route. The problem is we were heading out for 1:20 and raced the first 40 on the flats. There were a lot of attacks, which was good! There were also a lot of wierd splits were the field just came apart. Not sure what that was about.

Then the rain hit and a split happened with 20 to go and, as I tried to bridge, I saw my kid in the rain cheering and decided to pack. Just not in the mood.

A couple notes since I had some words for a couple guys in the race regarding the appropriate use of blocking techniques:

1. Blocking by slowing down: I am specifically talking about times when the pace is high and the field is together. A rider with a teammate farther up will intentionally slow way down allowing a gap to form. I see this mostly at PR and assume it's mostly Cat 3 guys who do this. This isn't productive for your; if the guys up front are not opening a gap on their own then the gap you just created will get shut down quickly. On the otherhand, it will annoy guys who have to close the gap. If you do it enough guys will start fighting you for wheels because they don't want to be behind you.

2. Blocking by getting in the chase and slowing down when a break is up the road: This is pretty self explanatory. There isn't really anything wrong with it. Just keep in mind that if you are going to disrupt the chase you need to understand that the chasers have everyright to keep you out of the paceline. Last night one of the Bikesale guys did this and tried to swing in front of me in the line. I pushed him off and he got upset. I would rather not push people at PR (and, I should have used my shoulder, not my hand, that was my bad) but that's the deal if you want to pull out that tactic.

Obviously there are times when we all pull one of these tactics somewhat unintentionally. I've been in a strung out group where the pace went way up and I've let a gap open. It wasn't a tactical decision, it was passive. And I've found myself in the chase not wanting to help (the best thing to do is just roll through and off quickly then try to sit in at the back of the chase). Grey stuff happens.

Contrary to the impression a lot of people may have, I don't actually get into it with guys very often during races. However, when I do I try to be firm and clear as to why my ..er.. suggestion is a better approach to racing. I know at least one top local rider who is quite chatty and telling people what to do but mostly it's crap instructions: he yells at you to hold your line because he wants the line; not because you are taking a bad line. He will yell at you to chase because he wants to be able to st on your wheel, not because it makes sense to chase.

I think riders also need to ask themselves what they hope to accomplish. Or as Ron might say, what's yoru endgame? Will either of these tactics work? I haven't seen it happen at PR. And do we want the racing to go negative? I don't and frankly it would benefit me since I am a break away rider and am happy to just get in moves knowing it will be blocked from behind.

And tactically, the most effective way to block for your riders when a chase is going on is to attack up the side to draw riders out of the paceline and then not drive through.

Monday, June 07, 2010

How do you like me now?

After several humiliating rides this year, culminating in being forced to watch Gary Brown steal my victory salute ideas (which I stole from O'Donnell!) I think I've finally found the field for me. Is it too late to win the Kids Cascadia series?