Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekend's Ride: July 27 & 28th - East Mountains + Balloon Fiesta Park

Another great weekend of rides - a long 65 mile loop out through the cool east mountains and a 20 mile city loop.  All told we had 17 riders hit the road this weekend.  Go Domo!

Saturday's Ride: East Mountain Mosey

Those that survived Friday night's epic thunderstorm/hurricane showed up bright and early at O'Neill's for a long ride out to the East Mountains (route here). Five of us (Gary C., Jeff, new rider Daniella, old rider TJ in from out of state for a fun ride, and myself) made our way through the mess of broken trees and diversions around downed power lines toward the second rally point where we met up with more riders (Gary W., Calvin, Rob, and Olga).  The 8 of us headed out on a long 17 mile uphill climb through Tijeras Canyon and south on 14, picking up another 5 riders (Laura, Brady, Peggy, and Brady).  

It was a beautiful morning - cool and clear after an evening of rain with the smell of pine trees all day. We rallied for some refreshments before the lucky 13 headed east toward the rollers.  More gorgeous vistas, some interval training over the 10 miles of long rollers before the rally point at 217/333.  At this point some riders headed back to ABQ, others finished out the ride up to the Triangle, before the long downhill back to ABQ. All told a great day of riding, and another 65 miles in training.
Heading uphill on South 14.
On the rollers

Sunday's Ride: Up to Balloon Fiesta

Sunday's ride was a pretty vanilla out and back up to Balloon Fiesta Park and back from O'Neills.  4 riders tarted out (Ali, John M, Sam and wife) started out on a beautiful, cool morning.  Despite threats of morning showers, the skies stayed clear for us.  We picked up Gary W along the way and paused briefly to refuel at the park before heading back into a bit of a headwind that, sadly, slowed us down. Starting to feel like I have my bike legs back!

Highlights of the ride include: watching the progress of about 20 hot air balloons (including one daring pilot who appeared to be trying to land in a subdivision) and a very brave (read: not so smart) person running in the arroyo.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekend's Ride: July 20 & 21 - Jemez Dam & Short City Route

It was a great weekend for the Penultimates!  We had two successful rides: our long Saturday ride, a 70 mile loop out to the Jemez Dam, and our resurrected Sunday Short ride which was a saunter up the diversion channel.  All told we had over 20 riders attend the rides this weekend.

Saturday's Ride: The Dam Ride!

Ten riders left O'Neills in the rain and headed north on the diversion channel where we picked up another 6 on the way on our way out to the Jemez Dam.  It was a beautiful day for riding, with an overcast and cool morning which stayed with us until just before noon. Lots of excitement today: a few slow motion falls due to clipless pedal unfamiliarity, vegan free range baby sun block, Princess Bride quotations shouted while cruising downhill, and most shockingly someone actually looking at the route map before we rode, a new Penultimate first (thanks Amber).  Congrats to Gary who finished his longest ride to date! All told a long 70 mile ride with few people finishing up with a breakfast at Serafin's.
Potty break - also training for standing in line just like the MS ride.
At the top of the dam.
Sunday's Ride: The City Saunter

Four brave riders met up early Sunday morning for a short ride from Nob Hill north up the diversion channel.  Leaders Blythe and Ali met up with veteran John M. and brand new rider Chris!  The conversation was lively as everyone headed north.  At the turn around point just north of Osuna, John split with everyone and continued on toward the Balloon Fiesta Park intending to add a few miles and catch everyone riding on the way back.  A quick 18 miles in and all before 8 am.  Not too shabby!

Victorious John heading north to get some more miles in!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Saturday's Ride 7/13: Rainbows, Hills, and a 4-peat

An impressive lucky 13 riders showed up early on Saturday morning for a long 53 mile loop around the city (details here) - John, Gary C., Eric, Laura, Jeff, Greg, Rob, Calvin, Brady, Olga, myself, plus new riders Ed and Lisa.  It was a long one today, and one with a lot of hills.  Undaunted, we headed out early heading south toward the airport to connect to the Bosque trail as it loops up to Rio Bravo.  The surprise of the morning?  Seeing a very persistent rainbow which lasted for about 10 minutes as we made our way south on University.
Rainbows at 6:30 am?
After a fairly uneventful ride so far we made it the Bosque trail and settled into a nice groove.  There was evidence of some sort of event (water station, arrows ) but for the time being it was quiet.  We rounded the south west corner and headed north on the full Bosque trail when we had our first flat of the day.  Brady drew the short straw, and 4 of us stayed behind as the rest headed on to Tingley Beach. As Brady frantically changed his rear tire, we started to see many, many runners heading south as a half marathon (or training for one). Tire back on and we attempted to head north, and blammo - the second flat tire.  Brady's front tire went flat.  We repeat the procedure. 
Tires all sorted after about 20 minutes, we headed north to catch up with the rest of the pack at Tingley Beach and kept heading north.  Here is where we began the interval training - sprint, slowdown, wait for runner, sprint, slowdown, wait to pass stroller, sprint, slowdown, wait to pass power walker - for the next 8 miles.  While is is sort of annoying, I still really enjoy seeing so many people out and about in the morning enjoying our beautiful Bosque trail.  
Heading north on the Bosque trail
We rallied at the top of Alameda.  We grabbed a bite and drinks, while we had a tire changing race - Brady assisted by Lisa versus Olga assisted by Jeff.  A tie, but that is 4 tires for those keeping count. From here we headed out on our way up to the Tram, at the top of a very long 7 mile climb including the final steep one mile segment to the base of the Tram.  At this point everyone spread out (or at least it seemed like it to me as I crawled along way behind everyone). 
The secret shortcut to 4th street
By the time I made it to the base of the tram, I saw Brady standing beside his bike in the shade of the trees. He looked like a man dejected - it was his fourth flat tire.  A new Penultimate record - a 4-peat! May this record stand for a long while. Luckily, Lisa lived close and she grabbed her vehicle to rescue rider and bike.

At this point the hard work was done, and we just needed to complete the last 15 miles of general downhill.  Calvin split off and headed home, which left 10 riders heading back. The ride south on Tramway is not too bad, with the exception of the traffic, but we all pushed on despite the general tiredness and heat.  We finally made it to the end of the ride and a little breakfast.  I keep forgetting to snap some pictures over our late breakfast at Serafin's, but good food was had by about 8 of us, including Brady and Lisa.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Rider Bio: Ali

Who you are: Ali S., founding member of the Penultimates, wife of Captain Snookums, and the brains of the operation

Longest ride to date:  64 miles on the first day of last years MS ride

One interesting rider fact about you: This year will be the second time I attempt to ride post baby.

Essential ride gear:  my seat, well-padded shorts and lots of chamois butter - all learned the hard way

Essential ride food: other than Fig Newtons, shot blocks and lots of water (slightly flavored to remove the almost inevitable plastic taste)

Humiliating cycling memory:  My first MS ride I didn't make it out of the starting line area on the first day without stopping.  Well, actually, I was so excited to be riding I forgot to check to see if my front brake was connected.

Favorite post ride food: something that was once mooing

Highlight of 2012 season:  Having the time to train.  Not looking likely this year!

Highlight of 2012 ride: Having an injured Val go all momma-bear and protecting our group from marauding packs of dogs by riding point armed with a large stick.

Learn more about Ali here from her bio from last year.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rider Bio: Larry D.

Who you are: Larry D., 63 Y.O. retired geophysicist

Why you ride: To keep moving and to justify an afternoon nap.

Who do you ride for: A whole lot of people with MS.  You can read their names on my jersey.

What you ride (bike bio): Cervelo R5, race worthy carbon comfort, modified to get a 63 Y.O. with MS up and down some hills, and home again in time for lunch and a nap.

Longest ride to date: 1)Stage ride, Ride the Rockies, 450 miles; 2) Single day, Tour de Tucson, 112 mi.

One interesting rider fact about you: the best sleep I get is the nap after a hard ride.

Humiliating cycling memory: I used to patch flatted inner tubes and carry them for re-use.  One day I flatted out and went through 4 old patched tubes, none of which held air, before my buddy finally gave me a new one to get home on.  Going on five years now and haven’t heard the end of it yet.

How epic fig Newton’s are in general: Fig Newton’s are an indispensable tool for saving damsels in distress.  It’s true, with a few fig Newton’s in your pocket you can save young women from bonking on long bike rides, thereby earning a life long biking buddy.  From the book “Secrets of Old Guys on Bikes” which I haven’t written yet.

Best memory of a previous MS ride: Actually finishing the second one I ever attempted, (Obviously the first one didn't go so well)

Your post ride routine: Chocolate milk, Shower, Afternoon nap.

Highlight of 2012 ride: NOT being DFL up the Truchas hill.  I hope to repeat that this year but I'm not taking bets.

To read about Larry's wonderful writeup on his experience last year ride, check this out.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Saturday's Ride 7/6: What is this? Humidity?

After a long rainy evening, a few brave souls were up at the crack of dawn on a long holiday weekend to get a little miles in.  Our route today was the modified city loop (here).   Seven of us (Buddy, Olga, Brady, John, Dave B, Peggy, and myself) met up at O'Neill's and headed off at 6 am for the ride along the south end of the city to our second rally point at 6:45 at Tramway and Central where we met up with a few more riders (Matt, Greg, Calvin, Tammy, and Rob).  Unfortunately, we lost Rob in the Smith's parking lot to a staple to the tire, but he got in good 40 miles later after a tire repair.

Doesn't look that early does it?
From here everyone headed north on Tramway in the strangely humid Albuquerque air. (Humid?  Albuquerque?  At 6 am it was a damp 58% relative humidity!)  We spread out a bit with a contingent racing ahead, a few in the middle, and then another group behind them.  The official rally point was Tramway and the road up to the Tram, but most everyone rode straight up the very steep one mile hill to the base of the Tram for a little hill work before heading back down.

At the base of the Tram.
At this point, Buddy headed back along Tramway - even though all the hard work was over! - and the remaining 10 of us headed down the long 6 mile downhill segment to the bottom of the valley.  From there we headed south on 4th street til it intersected Alameda.  We lost Matt at this point, but considering he is probably the strongest cyclist on the team, we did not fear for his safe return home.  We then headed east to pick up the diversion channel trail to head back to Nob Hill.  Calvin, Greg, and Tammy peeled off about half way to head back to the Heights and the remaining 6 of us headed back to Nob Hill finished up at a quick 3 hours.  Back to ride start at 9 am.  Turns out Serafin's was not open yet, so no breakfast today - next week for sure.

In the final 2 miles almost back to Nob Hill.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The collected knowledge of the Penultimates....

...or where to go for bike type things around ABQ.  This is the location to put down bike shops, bike shop personnel, bike fitters, equipment advice, route advice, rider advice, whatever related to the team.  It will serve as a resource going forward for experienced and new riders alike.

Rider Bio: Rob H.

Who you are: Robert H.

Why you ride: Pleasure and fitness

Who do you ride for: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Primitive Planet Excursion Team

What you ride: By next week, an XXL frame (I’m 6’3”) Specialized Crosstrail hybrid

Longest ride to date: 50 miles.

Your cycling special skill: I’m very good at falling w/o serious injury. Takes lots of practice.

Best cycling memory: Flying two feet over the ground for several seconds at ~25 mph on mountain road on Oahu and landing without a scratch or serious bruise.

Worst cycling memory: See above.

Humiliating cycling memory: Running into parked car at night (it was gray, in a shadow of a light cast by a hedge, but still…)

Your favorite recovery meal/beverage: Ice cream!