Category Archives: Cycling

Armstrong riding the 2009 Giro…

With Armstrong competing in the 2009 Giro d’Italia do you think Vs. will give us better coverage?

I sure hope so…

Tahoe Bike Trip

Now playing: Beastie Boys – 4th St. BreakThe Mix Up


Amsterdam. What else is there to say, but a beautiful place. It was a last minute decision to head up here, so I made my hostel reservations through Hotel World, and came up with what looked like a pretty good deal. Well the place was nice enough, clean, good enough bunk bed, and decent breakfast, and not too far from the action…

AmsterdamWell maybe too close to the “action”… The map claims it was on the outskirts of the Red Light District (RLD), but when this is only 3 doors down I would claim it’s well with in the limits of that district.

Now there’s really nothing wrong with this, it not as if the girls are causing any trouble and can be a nice little glance on your way back from dinner. Well theoretically, most of the girls on my way home may make you loose what you just ate… Maybe that’s why the hostel is not considered inside the real RLD.

The real issue is what type of people who tend to stay in this hostel. Most of them are kids who just graduated from college, who played rugby for the fun of it, and believe the only place to score drugs is in Amsterdam.

I had 4 of these guys in my room and it was as if they had never seen a beer before. I asked them, “Yo was your campus dry or something?!”, their answer, “Dude, this is Amsterdam. You want to come with us where headed to a sex show?” At that point I wished them a good time, and I hoped they weren’t talking about the shop down the street which the sign read: “4 Men on Men live shows 24 hrs”…

The other type of person? Well lets just say he’s a 6 foot creepy ass 45 year old German dude missing 5 teeth with the rest to follow in about 3 months…

Hey it was a bed for only 23 euro a night…

With that said, I had a wonderful time going to the Van Gogh Museum, The Heineken Experience (where you get 3 beers during the tour), hanging out in Vondelpark, and pretty much just wondering around the town and talking to the locals…

Ohh I almost forgot they love their bikes! There are more bikes than cars and scooters combined. I’m not kidding and they aren’t super expensive bikes, in fact the crappier the bike the better. I’m guessing because they get stolen easily, which is the only reason on would put a NYC lock on a 100$ bike. (You can read more about this in the write up Brian Wilson had done last year… And now it’s a different Brian Wilson…)

See more photos…

The next destination is Paris…

Memorial Day Week in Tahoe…

Originally the plan was to only spend Memorial Day weekend up here, but the weather was too darn nice to head back to the San Francisco fog. So I decided to stick around the whole week. A good portion of this week was spent in the saddle. Some where in the neighborhood of 10 hours…

Cycling in Tahoe - Luther Pass Kingsbury Grade loop

[find more photos here...]

The big bike ride was on Wednesday when I headed out on my own to do Luther Pass – Kingsbury Grade Loop. Apparently this typically doesn’t include Diamond Valley road, but I threw it in there for kicks. Well I felt really good for the first 3 hours of the ride. At that point I was at the base of Kingsbury Grade and had only about 12 miles to go to get back to Christopher’s house. It started off good, just a typical slow and steady climb. Right about 30 minutes into the climb I started to notice my heart rate peg to a steady 170-175 bpm. This is not good I tried to control it but couldn’t get it below 170. After a few minutes of this, I decide to take a breather to bring my HR back down to Earth.

The issue was I started to overheat and was running low on water. Kingsbury not like other passes out here, this road is completely exposed to the sun. The higher I climbed the hotter it got, by the time I was only 1000 feet from the top my watch said it was 92F. At this point I had only a few squirts of water left and I hit a wall. So it took a little longer to complete the climb. The whole climb took 80 minutes in total. I’m not going to make the record books with that one, but I made it none the less…

All in all the ride took me 4:38, where 3:57 of that was actually riding. Total distance was 58.04 miles with 4560′ of elevation. Not too shabby.

The real fun was on Saturday when Christopher and I went out to climb Monitor Pass. That climb was nice and long, but so worth it. That had to be one of best descents I have ridden ever. I clocked 50mph on my bike! Talk about a serious rush. Seeing the ground fly by you at that speed is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping. I’m pretty sure you could clearly hear us yelling “YaHooooooo!!!” a few passes over.

Actually going 110mph in Christopher’s Porsche the other night was rather thrilling as well. But I think the words coming out of my mouth were more along the lines of, “HOLY CRAP!!!

Well back to the city tonight. I’m actually looking forward to getting back to the fog. This sunny and 80 degree weather is for the birds. ;)

Now playing: Arcade Fire – No Cars GoNeon Bible

Cycling weekend…

This past weekend revolved around cycling. Saturday Mike and I decided to put ourselves to the test and tackle Alpine Dam. The loop is about ~55 miles and 4300′ of climbing. It’s a killer, but the views are worth every ounce of pain.

Sunday morning was spent down on the Embarcadero watching the Amgen Tour de California Prologue. I took my D70 along and got a couple of nice shots.

Levi Leipheimer - Amgen Tour de California - Prologue

Monday I had off for Presents day, so again Mike and I headed out on our bikes to catch Stage One of the Tour. We made the decision to climb Mt Tam to be at the top of the first King of the Mountain climb. Well again this is a pretty decent climb and when all was said and done a bit more riding that we planned on. (~40 miles w/ 2700′ of elevation). I have to say it’s pretty humbling watching how easy these guys make the climb look, just after suffering it myself.

With the small Headlands loop ride I did on Thursday, I logged ~130 Miles on my bike this past weekend. Not too shabby, I just need to keep that up to ensure I’m ready for a few century rides this year.

Now playing: John Mayer – GravityContinuum

Marin Century

I rode the Marin Century Ride with Christopher about a week ago. The course was much harder than I expected. If you are wondering how hard, well it was 105 miles with about 6500′ of climbing. Over the course of the day I burned ~7400 calories.

Even after all that I am finding myself searching for my next century ride. I guess causing yourself physical pain is addicting. Good thing all of my kitchen knives are relatively dull. (that’s a joke Mom!)

Anyway, read Baus’ post for more details.

Now Playing: Magnetic Fields – Fido, Your Leash Is Too Long

[Image of me slogging up the last big climb of the day]

P060805142328560abP060805142328560ab Hosted on Zooomr

What bike should I ride?

Owen asked a couple of questions in a previous post, my answer turned out to be a bit too long for a comment, so I’ve decided to post my response:

Do you drink anything on your marathon bike rides, besides water? Like Gatorade?

For longer rides I tend to bring two bottles, one with water and one with a sports drink mix. Currently, I have a canister of orange GU2O, but it’s a bit too sweet for my taste. The point of these drinks is to replenish the necessary nutrients you use up during exercise. They all do pretty much the same thing so find one you like stick with it. Note the powder mixes are much cheaper in the long run.

And if you had to recommend an inexpensive bike for riding the Stevens Creek Trail, what would you get?

It’s hard to recommend a particular bike. It all depends on what type of riding you want to do after you get bored with that trail. Do you think you are going to stick to paved trails or start going off road on to dirt trails? Or maybe riding longer distance road rides?

If you think you will be kicking the riding up a bit, then you may want to spend a bit more now so you don’t have to upgrade in a few months because you have out grown the inexpensive bike.

Here’s what I would do. When you have a couple of hours to spare, head down to a bike shop which has a ton of options, like Mike’s Bikes in Palo Alto. Talk with a sales rep and tell them what type of riding you want to do. Then the fun begins, test ride everything they have. The key is to notice how you feel on each bike and what differences there are between the super cheap bike upwards to the more expensive ones. You may want to try a couple of different sizes, but there reps tend to be good at putting you on the right size bike from the get go.

Once you find something you enjoy take down all of the information about it (size, make, model) and head to another shop. Again tell them what type of riding you are looking to do and that you have found one you like, and ask them what they have which is in the same category as the one you liked at the first shop. Ride them and see if they feel better than the others.

Now you can do what I do and mull over the decision for a couple of more weeks, try to see if you can find the exact bike on Craigslist. Or drop down the credit card and get out riding that afternoon. It’s all up to how much time you want to spend making the decision before you head out on the trail.

If it were me, I would be looking for a mountain bike that is light weight. Now I don’t mean super light, but there are a ton of cheap bikes that weigh close to 40lbs. The more the bike weighs the more effort you will have to put in to move that darn thing, and when it comes to some of the hills in this area lighter is always better.

Also take the mountain bike tires off and put on street tires. You can keep them around for later on if you decide to head off road, but they do nothing but slow you down on pavement.

I’m not sure how much help this is. Just find a bike you feel comfortable on, which gives you room to grow, and get out riding!

Stinson Beach Loop

I went out yesterday and rode the Stinson Beach Loop. I was surprised to find out that it was only 46 miles, but with over 3000′ of climbing it was challenging. I was able to complete the loop in a little over 3:22, which I’m happy with. There are some incredible views on this ride, I highly recommend it even if you decide to take your car.

I’ve decided to take today off, since my legs are feeling the aftermath of the climbing. Nicole and I will be heading over for a BBQ on the roof Craig and Rebecca’s apartment building. It should be a good time and I’ll be sure to bring my camera to share the view.

Happy 4th!

The new ride is sweet!

I’ve had my new road bike for almost a month now and I have to say I’m rather pleased with it. Pacific Bicycle was kind enough to swap out the compact crank for a standard double at my request when I purchased it. On Tuesday’s grueling ride up Kings Mtn in Woodside I just about lost my lunch. Heilmann kept pointing out that I should have easier gearing on my bike, and maybe I should get a tripple. The whole time I was waiting for him to say, “You’re wishing you had that compact crank right about now, huh?!” Which he never did, but I don’t think I had enough spare air to tell him off! His loss. :)

Unfortunately, it has been raining quite a bit in the Bay Area over the past month. For some reason it always seems to be on the days I plan on getting out for a ride. By the way, this weather is very atypical, it even snowed in Tahoe yesterday. California really only has two seasons: the rainy winter, and a dry summer. This year seems to be the exception, and yes in the city the summer for the most part is cold and foggy.

Anyway, this has limited my time in the saddle. At this point I’ve only spent a total of 15:48 hours and have logged only 235.47 miles. That is about to change very soon. I’m planning on kicking my weekend rides up a bit, no more of the typical 35-40 mile loops. Next Saturday the plan is to ride the Stinson Beach loop which should be around 60 miles and I think around 2000′ of vertical. Also, I’m going to force myself to ride twice during the week, each about 25-35 miles.

The more I ride the easier it gets, so why not ride more? Let me know if you down for a long steady ride next Saturday. I’m not the best climber, but I have no problem dragging you ass behind me on the flats!

How do you define a good lunch?

How does a 21 mile bike ride followed by a Mr. Pickles sandwich sound?! Well if you have had one of these sandwiches before you know that is just hits the spot!

But, it’s a good pain!

Okay my legs still hurt a bit from yesterday’s ride. I basically cut the mileage down to 20 miles, but added a rather steep climb in the middle. Here’s this route output from Klimb:

  • Start at Canada Rd & Edgewood Rd proceed on Canada Rd and go 1.7 miles, climbing 130′ and descending 50′ to Canada Rd & Jefferson St (520′). [1.7 mi, 130', 50']
  • Go onto Canada Rd and go 0.9 miles, descending 90′ to Canada Rd & Olive Hill Lane (430′). [2.6 mi, 130', 140']
  • Go onto Canada Rd and go 0.9 miles, descending 70′ to Woodside Town Center (360′). [3.5 mi, 130', 210']
  • Go through Woodside Town Center and go 2.2 miles, climbing 80′ and descending 80′ to Portola Rd & Sand Hill Rd (360′). [5.7 mi, 210', 290']
  • Go onto Portola Rd and go 0.5 miles, climbing 20′ to Portola Rd & Old La Honda Rd (380′). [6.2 mi, 230', 290']
  • Go onto Old La Honda Rd and go 3.3 miles, climbing 1,320′ to Skyline Blvd (CA Hwy 35) & Old La Honda Rd (1,700′). [9.5 mi, 1,550', 290']
  • Go onto Skyline Blvd (CA Hwy 35) and go 1.6 miles, climbing 60′ and descending 300′ to CA Hwy 84 & Sklyline Blvd (1,460′). [11.1 mi, 1,610', 590']
  • Go onto CA Hwy 84 and go 3.3 miles, descending 1,020′ to CA Hwy 84 & Portola Rd (440′). [14.4 mi, 1,610', 1,610']
  • Go onto CA Hwy 84 and go 1.5 miles, climbing 70′ and descending 120′
    to CA Hwy 84 & Kings Mountain Rd (390′). [15.9 mi, 1,680', 1,730']
  • Go through CA Hwy 84 & Kings Mountain Rd and go 1.4 miles, climbing 100′ and descending 60′ to Canada Rd & Olive Hill Lane (430′). [17.3 mi, 1,780', 1,790']
  • Go onto Canada Rd and go 0.9 miles, climbing 90′ to Canada Rd & Jefferson St (520′). [18.2 mi, 1,870', 1,790']
  • Go onto Canada Rd and go 1.7 miles, climbing 50′ and descending 130′
    ending at Canada Rd & Edgewood Rd (440′). [19.9 mi, 1,920', 1,920']

For a total of 19.9 miles, 1,920 feet climbing and 1,920 feet descending.

You may notice that most of the climbing is on Old La Honda Rd, it actually took me quite a while to get up that hill. But, the trip back down was wonderful! You bet I’m going to put that one into rotation…