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Long Live the GDR Racers

I know there's a few of you out there who read my blog because there's a little meter that tells me so. Some of you might even enjoy riding a bike. Unless this is the first entry you've ever read here, you know that I have a love affair with bicycles. Well, I don't handle a candle to the guys who are currently riding the Great Divide Race (known in Endurance Racing circles as the GDR). This group of guys (the field is all male this year) has been winnowed down throughout the race due to equipment failure, physical injury and pure fatigue. The goal for most of the racers is finishing, with winning being a far second. I was rooting very hard for Dave Nice, but his race is now over, mostly due to a painful foot injury that wouldn't heal. Jay Petervary. is the current leader and he's absolutely flying. Apparently, He's currently in 1st place though he's being chased by 3rd time GDR Rider Matthew Lee (who also won the last 2 GDR's). When you start looking the pictures, it becomes obvious that these guys are doing the ride of a lifetime. I'm green with envy and at the same time I wouldn't trade places with any of these guys for all the tea in china.

Here's a chart of who is where: TopoFusion GDR Coverage

Podcasts from

And the discussion at MTBR...

I'm hoping this event doesn't blow up, despite the fact that I'm flogging it here; in spirit it's a small unorganized informal race. While tt IS a big deal to the people riding it and those who appreciate it for what it is, it's not for those who would turn it into a TDF (Tour De France). They can all ride off a cliff...


Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

This is going to be brief, but it made me laugh and I haven't posted in weeks (DOH!).

According to the Dictionary over at Luciferous Logolepsy, a Rantallion is:

n. - one whose scrotum is longer than his penis

Wow. The english language is truly colorful: there's a whole DICTIONARY of Vulgar Terms. It was compiled in 1811, and that was when "swearing like a sailor" actually meant something. I'm always glad to add another word to my arsenal, especially in the Veiled Insult category.

How did I find this word you ask? Well… I was looking for another word, one that means "out of touch", though the reverse dictionary at OneLook didn't help me this time. I think it starts with an "R", but I can't… quite… remember… what it is. I love having the perfect word, so I spend a lot of time looking at dictionaries, and the online ones are so much faster to use.



Well, I had my first real equipment breakage on SuperVato on 6/7/07. It was partly user error, partly bad luck. I'm not going to be able to report some of the data I had hoped to report for a while until I get the problem fixed. Here's the skinny:

YT ("yours truly" for those of you who HAVEN'T read Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash) was wearing earphones and listening to my riding mix. Normally I only do this when climbing on a MTB, but I've started doing it on the road as well: I figure "Hey, I can listen to music in a car, why can't I do it on a bike?". Well, for the most part I can, but there's one teeny problem: you don't always catch on to those little ticking sounds that indicate a problem with the bike. [ominous foreshadowing: check]

I felt more than heard the thwacking sound coming from the front wheel... I look down...DOH! The spoke that was holding the magnet for the Protege 9 sensor had snapped and the magnet was banging on the other spokes, the disc brake caliper housing... you get the picture. I came to an immediate and abrupt stop, cursing aloud. Now mind you, I'm had just shortly before picked up about 20-30lbs of Cliff Bars from the Bay Area Bike Coalition to deliver to the Marin County Bike Coalition, so I've got a loaded bike. The route is here. I noticed the spoke around mile 8.8 and stopped in front of the school. I ended up having a nice conversation with a woman named Janet about her electric scooter: it turns out she got it from the folks at Thunderstruck Motors, who were featured in THIS article in the IJ. Careful observers will note that my name comes up in the same article... about SuperVato (although it's not named as such in the article). Serendipity strikes... twice in one conversation. It turns out that Janet is a budding interior designer and is always looking for woodworkers who can build custom pieces... so I give her my Zomadic card and tell her a little about what we do. Maybe we can help each other in the future: either way the whole thing tripped me out b/c, I mean really, what are the chances? The only reason I noticed her at all in my slightly panicked/bummed state was that her scooter made ZERO engine noise… that and she stopped to talk to a fellow parent (her daughter goes to school that I stopped in front of) right in front of me, but I could have stopped 50ft earlier and never have noticed her.

After making several bail-out phone calls and realizing that no one really could help me without a big hassle to themselves, I decided (after unthreading the broken spoke from the nipple and pulling the hub side free) that I could make it home if I rode slowly. I made it home without further mishap, and the wheel is out of true, but not hitting the forks (yet). My brother has been coaxing me to do it, but now that the original wheel is temporarily out of comission, It's a good excuse to perform a wheel swap with my Heckler. I'm considering a bottle dynamo for SuperVato so I don't have to worry about batteries anymore (especially for the Burning Man trip). THIS page shows the 12v sidewall generator I'm thinking of, but at $300, it's pretty damn steep. I could go with one a SON28SB but then I would have to build a whole new wheel and I wouldn't be able to use the wheel(s) from the Heckler... penny wise, pound foolish? Hard to say here.. I really like the SON, but the bottle generator seems like an easier less intrusive solution... any one wanna chime in with opinions?

Polar F6 Data:
Exe Time this week: 6:43:12
Exe Count: 9
Calories this week: 3701
Miles Ridden: not sure…

Current Weight: 188.5 lbs


Backroute to Burning Man

I realized that there's a "share your route" feature at Bikely, and following is a map of my proposed back route in to Burning Man this year. I'd really really rather not ride on 447 between Fernley and Black Rock City (Burning Man) and after hearing that a fellow Burner who I mentioned in an earlier post (Mike) had ridden a back-route, I decided to post this and see what kind of comments I might get from the blogosphere. Anyone out there ridden or driven this route? It appears to be a train track access road, so I would assume (not always a good thing to do!) that it's somewhat maintained considering that the tracks are used regularly and have to be maintained from time to time. All comments and info are welcome and encouraged!


Jump on the bandwagon

Well, some of my favorite bloggers feature stats on their riding, and I've started feeling left out, so I'm starting now with a daily stat update. Yeah, it's kind of boring, but I'll try and write interesting stuff too. Maybe it should be weekly... I dunno. I have an older etrek vista GPS on the handlebars of the Heckler but just a regular old Planet Bike 9.0 cyclometer on SuperVato (well, it's got the drainbrain unit on there too and I could share THAT data as well...). On the frankenbike I've created from a Merlin Ti MTB (which belongs to my wife), there's no computer at all, so I have to guestimate and use the Google Pedometer. I've been putting a fair amount of miles on the Merlin lately and it's fun to ride such a light, fast and comfortable bike.

My jersey came today in the mail: I immediately put it on and was very pleased with the fit: I'm not officially a Clydesdale, but I'm close, and I didn't feel like a sausage in the jersey: the black and orange also matches my bike nicely. Bonus! Now if Elden would just send along the Ergon's grips I won in the "Be Nice to Dave Nice" raffle, I'll be happier than a pig in $hĂ®† . I wore the jersey on my ride and I have no complaints: it's comfotable AND stylish! Sweet...

Eventually it'll be cool to look back and see how far I've come (or not...)

Today's Mileage: 10.2
Month to Date: unknown
Year to Date: unknown
Moving Time: 1:22
Total Ascent: 2454
Average Moving Speed: 7.4mph
Max Speed: 42.3 mph

Polar F6 Data:
Calories Burned: 1251
% Fat: 35
Heart Rate Max: 177
Heart Rate Avg: 147
Exe Time in Zone (113-188): 1:27:20

Exe Time this week: 4:02:09
Exe Count: 5
Calories this week: 2839

Current Weight: 190lbs