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Thursday, June 27, 2013

bicycle bracelet

I found this bracelet hanging on my brake lever last night. 
A little gift, a blessing for the bicycle.

Friday, June 21, 2013

always run downhill

This is a little mantra or reminder I've been using for about a year now when I'm running. It started when I was out running in the mountains with a friend of mine who had a gps watch. Actually I think it was the first time I'd run with him. He was visiting from out of town and had never been up on a trail run before but had done a lot of road running. When we got back down from the trail he was amazed at how fast we had descended. Mentioning something like 6-minute/mile pace or something. Minutes per mile pacing numbers never really make any real sense to me so they become pretty meaningless numbers in my head. But the point is, we were going fast - faster than he would generally go. Which, of course, makes perfect sense because we were running downhill! It's easy to run fast downhill. You just let yourself drop. It's free gravity. The earth does all the work. 

But there's also a certain stride that develops going downhill that lends itself to speed. And once you've run that stride a lot on the downhill you can start to replicate it on flat ground and even uphills to some degree. You'll have to just try it for yourself. I don't think I can really explain it outright. But essentially it's about keeping a nice balanced body position and leading with your front foot. See what I mean? Impossible to describe. I mean, is there any other way to run? But it works. Or at least it helps to think that it works. Let your body just drop through every stride. Every step is a free-fall. Drop, drop, drop, drop, drop… 

This, I think, is how one can run forever…

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

message snippet...

Also, whiskey travels better by bicycle than beer - it's those pesky bubbles...

And, I want to mtb ride to Mt Lowe area up from Millard sometime. It's paved for quite a while but I don't know for how far. It's steep so mtb gearing will be important. And we'll have to bring lots of water (and whiskey!). Some day...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

t-shirt inspiration

(I found these photos in Draft Posts from 2 years ago. I can't remember if I ever posted a version of it so here it is again.)

a place I ran track a long long time ago

my first 5K

run from the heart
goes well with the necklace

upsidedown mtb

I read recently that storing your mountain bike upside down helps keep the seals on the shocks from drying out and/or cracking and/or malfunctioning. So since I've had so many issues with my shocks in the past couple years I decided to try it. So Humble Horse is upside down. I haven't even ridden her in months but I saw a friend up on the mountain last weekend. I was on foot, he on bike. And I realized that even though I've been rather against all the mtb'ers up there on the mountain recently, I do still miss it. And I'm really only against the mtb'ers that don't understand that it's a place of nature, a place of friendly camaraderie - not a dirt track for bikes - a place to yield passage to pedestrians and horses. It's gotten frustratingly ridiculous up there. But I have noticed a few bikers that still understand - and I appreciate their reserve. So maybe if I can add one more to the number of respectful riders than that could be a good example. So maybe after a few days of soaking upside down H.H. and I will go up on the mountain again…

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


We all knew it'd come to this. I've been through so many pedals now we might as well stop counting. But here we are, one more pair (for now). And after only about 9 months with the 105's! Which is strange because I really liked those pedals. I liked their wide platform and what felt like solid power transfer. But since they're limited to only 6 degrees of float I found myself (my ankle and knee and hip joints, actually) craving more freedom, float. 

The search actually started a couple of months ago. The difficulty is that these pedals are rather expensive and since I'd never actually tried them before it was a tough jump to make. But eventually I found a reasonable price and was glad to see that if I don't like them their used sale value remains quite high. 

So now they're on. On Masi (The Purple People Eater). And I don't really care that much that the pedal color is a light blue that clashes with the bike frame color (purple) because that's pretty much what the rest of my "kit" does anyway. Too many shades of blue fading into purple never quite works. Better, though, in my mind, than any kind of "sponsorship" jersey.

I haven't been out on a thorough test ride yet. We went out for 3 miles today. And there is no doubt that the Speedplay pedals have a lot of float. More than enough. I ended up with what they call the Light Action pedals, although, to be honest, I had a really hard time understanding the differences in the various pedal models they offer. 

The cleats for these pedals were slightly harder to instal. Still relatively intuitive but just a bit more to deal with. Still, fine - once they're on there. Also, since the cleats are all metal I decided for safety/slippy sake today that I'd get a pair of "leave-on" cleat covers. Again, too pricey, but better than breaking your tail bone at the pub, I guess. 

Given all that, I really don't have much to report yet but I just wanted to get the word out there. I think I like them. I hope I'll like them. Because if I don't then I'm going to start wearing Birkenstocks with toe-clips on my road bike and that won't be pretty! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

lead the way, deer…

A few pieces of sleep patched together… Then up before the early alarm… For a date with my mountain. Just me and Brown Mountain again today. Rode Mindful Mule to the trailhead, of course,  then afoot from there. Forecast was for heat so the early start helped - it also kept a lot of the mountain bikers away - only one all the way up!  Nearing the top, a big, dark brown deer jumped in front of me on the trail for several powerful, prancing hops and then bolted right, up and over the near vertical trail cut and into the tall chaparral along the mountain side - off trail at its best - what's up there, out there, beyond that small fraction of land, earth accessible by the trail - where was she going? I bet it's beautiful, her secret little glen hideaway, and cool, with a little creek and shade and green munchies and a soft place to nap… 

I had a hard time getting up and out this morning… perhaps this encounter, these thoughts are why I've come… why I'll return…