Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Ride: 7/26 - Don't Want to Miss a Thing...

Another weekend, another early Saturday morning gathering at O'Neill's!  This week's ride had it all - mystery riders, deadly snakes, 8 riders but 7 bikes, and heat (my god, the heat!).  The ride was a flat 65 mile ride up to the Jemez Dam (route here) through some beautiful scenery heading north through the valley and then south through a set from Breaking Bad before cruising through Corrales on the way back home.

There were 5 riders leaving Nob Hill - Evil Gary, John, Greg, Captain Awesome, and Captain Snookums - heading out to pick up more riders along the way.  An hour of riding took us to the meetup point where we joined up with Eric and Laura, riding a spiffy orange tandem and wearing matching 2013 Top Fundraiser jerseys!  While they are certainly fast riding their own bikes, like Voltron, with their powers combined they were fearsomely fast on the flats, screaming north at a pace of ~21 mph.
A gorgeous ride!
We split into two groups  (well, two riders took pity on me who missed joining the speed train lead by Laura & Eric) on the cruise into Bernallio.  After a quick regroup and refresh, we snaked our way through the city past the casino and on the uphill portion of the ride to the top of the dam.  Some excitement on the way up as Andrew and I saw a relatively large rattlesnake on the side of the road. Welcome to the wild west!
A rattlesnake who wanted to ride but had no bike or legs
At the top of the dam in the shade, we refreshed and relaxed in the shade.  Well half of us anyway, the other half embarking on a pushup and sit up session egged on by Andrew.  This brought a one of the best quotes of the weekend - "my ass is too thin".  I won't say who it was, but bonus points on who can guess.  (Hint, not me).

Just as we were saddling up and ready to head down hill, we had our biggest surprise of the weekend - the glorious return of Jeff - who had bike all the way solo hoping to catch us at the top!  It was great to get to ride with the Mr. Miyagi of the Penultimates.  We headed off, dropping back down and heading south down Paseo de Vulcan through some very desert looking scenery.  A catastrophic flat, a quick repair, and we back on our way.
A quick tire change by Mr. Miyagi
Another rally stop for refueling and filling water bottles, and we were headed toward Corrales on the last 25 miles of the ride.  A very hot last 25 miles of the ride.  Weather reports said it was close to 99 deg around noon, but expert opinion on the ride pegged the temperature closer to 120. At Alameda, Laura, Eric, and Jeff split off to head up Tramway and back home, with the 5 of us headed back toward Nob Hill on the Diversion Channel trail - a marvelously shaded route at noon. 
Ha! All stuck behind me on the hill!
We all survived and rolled into Nob Hill shortly before noon.  Some went to a late breakfast at Serafins, with most to limp home toward shade and air conditioning.  In short, a good ride!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Team Stickers!

I am getting some really cool vinyl stickers printed up for our team this year.  These are adhesive free stickers and are easy to put on and take off your bike without damage.  I have been riding with one for 2 weeks now - ask me to see it next time we ride.  These will be sold as fundraisers - $3 a sticker - during the season and at the ride on September 6-7th.

If anyone has strong feelings about colors or different slogans, let me know.  It is no problem for me to get a few printed with your colors in mind, so let your imagination run wild.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weekend's Ride: 7/19 - The Cursed Ride

Eight riders strong showed up at O'Neill's bright and early on Saturday morning to do the clockwise city loop (route here) a 53 mile cruise around the city with a long, long hill right at the half way point. The riders this fine morning were Olga, Evil Gary, Laura, Greg, LeeAnn, Peggy, David, and first time rider (with us) Carol!  Also, for the first time in our history, we had more lady riders than gentlemen riders.  As we gathered in the morning, Laura was quickly operating on her front tire - a problem that would return again.  But after a slight delay, we were off on the route.  
At the start of the ride
We managed to get separated not far into the ride, as a catastrophic water bottle failure delayed half the team as they performed a quick field repair. Eventually we all grouped up near the airport before the descent down into the valley to pick up the Bosque trail at Rio Bravo.  From there it was quick sailing to our first rally point at Tingly beach.  From there we headed north along the Bosque to play everyone's favorite summer time game - Bosque Frogger!  We dodged cyclists, runners, roller bladers, walkers, and dogs to finally make it to Alameda open space.  There Laura again fixed her front tire, but luckily we did it under the shade of the Bike MS info tent (thanks Scott & Selena!) and enjoyed the huge poster promoting the ride, featuring a great photo of the Penultimates peloton from last year. 
At the Alameda Open Space Bike MS info tent!
From there we headed out on the long slog up to the top of the tram, heading north on 4th before heading east on Tramway, a long 15 mile climb.  But just as we turned east through the traffic circle, we had a rider take a spill on some loose sand on the road.  Luckily there no traffic close by when it happened, and 2 different motorist and the team were able to get there right away.  As of writing this, I think we just had some road rash on the knee and maybe an elbow, but it was bad enough that the Sag vehicle (thanks Eric!) had to come and rescue him.  For the record, our tough as nails rider biked ~3 miles to a gas station to await pick up.  First time in our ride history that someone did not complete the ride.
On the uphill to the Tram.
Most of the team waited until he was collected (leave no one behind), while the slower of us riding (ahem, me) kept going up the hill. A long 15 miles later we were at the top, with all riders catching me just before the top of the hill.  Gary and Peggy, sprinted up to the base of the tram while the rest of us refueled at gas station.  From there, it was the last 15 mile sprint to finish up the ride.  After all the delays, equipment problems, and accidents, we rolled into O'Neill's around 11:30, about an hour later than we expected.  A good ride though, and we wish a speedy recovery to Greg!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July Fundraiser - Pizza 9 Partnership

Mark your calendars people!  Wednesday, July 30th we are doing a MS Fundraiser with yummy Pizza 9 again. On this date, bring in the below flyer to the Pizza 9 on Gibson Ave (and only this location) and 50% of your order will be donated to the MS Society!  This is a great opportunity and we are very excited to work with such a great local business.  Most fundraisers like this will donate 10%, maybe 20% to the cause.  Pizza 9 is going to do 50%!  Tell your friends - tell your coworkers - print out a stack of flyers and give them out - have a pizza party - pick up dinner on the way home, whatever, but please, please order some pizza!  

PDF version of the flyer here!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekend's Ride: 7/12

For our second ride of the season, we had eleven riders head out for the Modified City Loop (route here) - a 36 mile loop around the city.  We were 7 riders strong as we headed out from our Nob Hill ride start - John, Olga, Evil Gary, Stacy, Andrew, David, and new rider Jared!  After an uneventful first leg we picked up another 3 riders at the Smiths at Central and Tramway - Good Gary, Eric, Greg V.  From there we headed out on the slow uphill toward our first rally point at the base of the tram.  The last mile of this ride is pretty tough, with 8-10% grade, but a nice reward of a good view with restroom and water facilities.
At Smith's Rally Point
From this point on, the route is about 9 miles of thrilling down hill excitement, as you drop down into the valley, and then a flat ride along the diversion channel trail back to the ride start.  We stayed together pretty well today, with everyone hitting the rally points within 5 minutes of each other.
Heading toward the Tram
Three riders peeled off the diversion channel trail at Commanche and headed back toward the NE Heights and home, with the rest of us continued on down a strangely busy diversion channel trail.  We got back to O'Neill's at by 9:20.  Too early for Serafins, but we had 6 riders + 1 person who slept in join us for a filling breakfast at the Weck's on San Mateo and Lomas.  Another great ride weekend!
At the base of the Tram.

There was planned a shorter ride on Sunday, but after both Blythe and Ali had rough nights with sick kiddos, both decided to sleep in.  Stacy, however, headed out on the ride up the diversion channel trail up the balloon fiesta park by herself and reported a good ride on a nice Sunday morning.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Weekend's Ride: July 5th & 6th

Saturday's Ride - All Good!

Our first official training ride of the season went off without a hitch on Saturday.  The brave riders met at our traditional location at O'Neill's in Nob Hill to do the inner City Loop CW ride (route here).  There were 11 of us today - Olga, Good Gary, Evil Gary, John, Stacy, Andrew, Peggy, Dave, Greg V., Captain Snookums, and new rider Marc!  

We headed out in beautiful morning, perfect weather for a bike ride.  We cruised down by the airport staying pretty close together.  We started to separate into A and B teams at the top of the hill by the airport, but we regrouped at the entrance to the bottom of the Bosque trail where it loops back north to Rio Bravo.  The Bosque trail was unusually quiet this morning, probably a result of too much 4th of July celebrations the night before.  No need to play Bosque Frogger like we usually do!

The sole picture from Saturday's ride
At the top of the Bosque trail we divided into A and B again and made the last 14 miles of the ride in a pretty quick pace.  Everyone finished pretty close to each other - a rather uneventful ride.  We attempted to hit somewhere in Nob Hill for breakfast, but no one was open at 9:30 am close to our ride stop.  So six riders headed to Weck's at Lomas and San Mateo for a post ride breakfast.  No picture of that, but I imagine it looked something like this.

Sunday's Ride - All Not So Good!

There was a stealth Sunday ride organized last minute by Blythe and Ali.  They attempted the 20 mile out and back from Nob Hill up to the Balloon Fiesta Park via the Diversion Channel.  They headed out at 6 am and made it all the way to the Paseo underpass before the vengeful Goathead God began extracting tribute.  One flat front tire was quickly change and mostly inflated when the only pump failed.  They decided to turn around and sprint for home and made it to the top of Yale on the UNM campus before a second flat tire hit.  This one required a pickup by the on call SAG vehicle (thanks Andrew!).  Lesson for this ride - make sure you have back up tubes, a way to change them, and a functioning pump!  Also, slime in your tires is almost a necessity here in NM!