Thursday, July 28, 2005

New Subie

Christine picked up her new car today: A 2005 Subaru Legacy Outback XT.

It's a great car: 2.5L Turbo, huge sunroof, heated seats, etc. We also got some good suprises today when we picked it up because there were some extra goodies in there that we not included in the price. It came with the auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated compass, and homelink (the mirror has a button on it that opens the garage door). It also came with the extended armrest and subwoofer. All told, that's like $500+ in stuff that we didn't expect to get. And she got a pretty amazing price on it because she had the dealer in Fort Collins in a bidding war with one in Denver, and ended up paying less than what was recommended on the internet. I'll leave it to her to post a picture of the speedy new addition to the garage.

Winter Park Mountain Bike Race

I did my second mountain bike race last weekend. It went pretty well, but I made a stupid mistake that probably caused me a podium spot. My tires slid out from under me on a pretty easy section. It wasn't very major, but the crash caused my seat to loosen up. The whole rest of the race I had to deal with the tilt of my seat constantly changing. Of course it had to tilt in the most uncomfortable way and I was constantly riding with the nose of my saddle pressed against some sensitive areas. I ended up coming in 5th, but I know that the time I lost due to my saddle issue cost me some significant time. I also have suspension envy. I was so jealous as I watch people on front of me easily pedal over boulders while I was bouncing all over the place.

Friday, July 22, 2005

More info on Lance's bike

Here's an article from the Denver Post about Lance's TTX bike (designed on HP workstations):

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Estes Park Ride

Saturday, Christine and I met up with John and Annette for a ride up to Estes Park. This would be the first serious test of my new double chainring, and I guess I passed.

We rode from Loveland to Drake (mostly along US 34), stopping frequently to regroup and take a quick break from the climbing. At the town of Drake, we turned onto Devils Gulch Road and headed off alone towards Glenn Haven for a harder workout. The road from Drake to Estes Park includes an 8 mile climb with two seriously step sets of switchbacks at the end. I made pretty good time the whole way, and managed to push up the switchbacks with my new (harder) low gear. I waited for a few minutes and then went back down the road to wait for the others. The second time up the switchbacks was a little harder than the first, but I'm glad I forced myself to do them twice.

One rolling descent later, we arrived in Estes Park and found an eatery for some ice cream, bagels, and soda. Fizzy soda tastes sooo good on a day like that. Fortunately for our tired legs, the reverse ride back to Fort Collins is signifigantly easier because it's almost entirely downhill. I still worked pretty hard, though, because I had to keep up with John, who descends like crazy.

Last year I did the same ride, and I remember Christine saying that she wishes she were in shape enough to ride to Estes. I knew I could turn her into a cyclist. :) We celebreated with venti iced soy chai's from Starbucks. Yum.

Monday, July 18, 2005

You're welcome Lance

The new Trek TTX time trial bike that the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team is using was designed on the HP XW9300.  I'm partially responsible for Lance's (and Team Discovery's) time trial success.

So HP had a hand in the TT bikes, and we have a Lance Armstrong special edition laptop.  I've got to somehow parlay this into at least a picture with Lance when I'm at the Ride for the Roses in October.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Best. Girlfriend. Ever.

In case there was any doubt, I have the best girlfriend ever. Don't try to compete, because you will lose.

One of the guys at the shop talked me into dropping my bike off for a tune up after the Triple Bypass, because he knew I wouldn't want to ride it. Or at least, that's why I thought he wanted me to bring it in. I went in to pick it up today and when they wheeled it out of the shop area I was confused because there was a bag of parts hanging off the brake hoods. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the parts were cranks, brake levers, cogs, etc. Then I looked down to see my brand new Dura Ace double drive train!

I've been talking for a while about getting a double on my bike, but I was hemming and hawing because I couldn't justify the expense. Christine was taking some good notes though, and doing her own research. She was the one who had Kevin (at the shop) talk me into the tune-up so they could install the new parts.

The poor guy who brought my bike up for me knew nothing about it, so I want down to the shop to talk to Kevin. I said "My bike came in with a Ultegra triple, and now it has a Dura Ace double. What's up?" He played stupid, as did the mechanic who installed the parts. It wasn't until the shop owner told me it was a gift that I figured out what happened. I'm still in a little shock. If I didn't already make plans to meet some people for a mountain bike ride I'd be out riding my road bike right now.

When they called me to tell me my bike was ready, they said all they replaced was the brake pads, and the total was $20. As I was paying, I thought: Wow, their Tour de France sales are pretty good. For $20 I got a whole new drive train. :)

Here's the new stuff:
Dura Ace 53x39 crank set
Dura Ace Brake Levers
10 speed Dura Ace 12x25 cassette
Dura Ace Front Derailleur
Dura Ace Rear Derailleur
All new cables

I'm so freakin' excited!

Triple Bypass

Whew, what a ride!

Our day started off with a 4AM wakeup call at the Dyer's condo so we could get an early start on our long day. The plan was to make it to Shana's condo by 5, but it's reeeeealy hard to move at that hour. :) We made it shortly after 5 and headed out to the chaotic start area in Evergreen. It was so nice to have Shana there to drop us off so we didn't have to find a parking space. I think we finally hit the road around 7.

The course started by immediately climbing the 11,140' Juniper Pass. I rode at a pretty good speed until I caught up with Christine and Annette (who started a little before us), then I slowed down and chatted for a minute. For the rest of the ride up, I kept up a pretty stead pace of ~10 miles per hour, and nobody passed me the whole way up. I've been considering changing my triple ring setup to a double, and this was good chance fro me to convince myself that my legs were strong enough to handle it. I made it all the way up without the shifting to my little ring. In fact, the only time I used my little ring all day was between Georgetown and Loveland Pass.

The descent down Juniper Pass was pretty fun, but it's a little scary going that fast around people who aren't used to it. There was way too much braking and people frequently not look behind them before trying to pass someone. People also liked to ride towards the middle of the road, which makes them difficult to pass and also puts them in the way of any cars that would like to go around them. These are probably the same people who drive in the left lane of I-25 going way too slow.

I underestimated how much climbing there was between Idaho Springs and Georgetown, and by the time we got to the second aid station I was already pretty tired. Tired enough to convince me that using my small chain ring would be a good idea. We forged on to Loveland Pass Ski Resort where we there was some lunch and our personal sag crew of Shana and Livia waiting for us. I'd like to think that they were there to cheer us on, but really there were just there to check out he hot guys in spandex. :)

The real motivation for getting to the top of Loveland Pass was knowing that it was the halfway point, and that the rest of the course was significantly easier. I felt like I was crawling up the pass, but it was only 4 miles from the aid station so I knew I'd make it before long. When I arrived at the top I realized that leaving my leg warmers in the car at the last aid station was a terrible idea. Before I started my descent it started raining, and at 12,000' that was some coooold rain. Oh, and the 45+ mph descent didn't make it any better.

One more short climb later, and we stopped at the Frisco Aid station. The end was near, and we could taste it. The remaining pass was the easiest on paper, but after 90 miles it was still pretty tough. Just like the top of Loveland Pass, the weather at the top of Vail Pass was miserable, but this time I had the luxury of sitting in a nice warm car with Livia, Shana, and Christine. From here, it was just 20 downhill miles to the finish, so I pulled on my arm warmers, vest, jacket, and leg warmers and headed down in in a heavy rain for 10-15 miles. Eventually I rode myself out of the rain and into the sunny finish area. It was a long tough ride, but I'm glad I can say I rode the Triple Bypass.

BIG thanks to Shana for taking us all to the start line, and shuttling us back at the finish. Some more thanks to Livia for cheering us on and providing a nice warm car.

Big props and congratulations to the Dyers for riding hard and finishing. John, even though you've had so many injuries in the past few years that I've lost count, you still rocked this ride. Annette, all your hard training paid off and I'm glad you were able to ride through your bonk and make it to the finish.

More big props to Christine for making it all the way to Loveland Pass. My first year of road riding I was a little worried of attempting a century, yet you decided to do one of (if not the) hardest rides in Colorado. Next year I know you'll kill on this ride all the way to Avon. After all the climbing you did, our century in Austin is going to be a piece of cake.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Thelonious Monkees

For the jazz fans:

That came from, which has some other pretty funny fake band names/covers (like Yo Yo Mama & the Papas and Duran Durandy Travis).

Monday, July 4, 2005

Long overdue hiking pics

I'm a little (okay, a lot) overdue with the journal entry for our backpacking trip the weekend of June 25th.

Originally we had planned on going up to Wyoming, but the week of our trip I found out that my proposed hiking route was still covered in a significant amount of snow. Obviously a new plan was needed, and Nat found a good trail in the Lost Creek Wilderness.

We left early Saturday morning, stopping in Lakewood to meet up with Nat and Kevin, and then heading on to the trailhead southwest of Denver. The road to the trailhead and the first mile of our hike went through some areas that were destroyed by the wildfires a few years ago. It's amazing to see all the burnt trees and imagine what that are used to be like.

I'm feeling a little lazy for much description, so here are some pictures: