Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Curse of the Yellow Bike

I always heard that green race cars were unlucky. I'm beginning to think that yellow bikes might be, as well. Since the first week of August, I've broken a crank, a chain, and a rim as well as wrecking the bike while acting like an ass.

Today, on the way to work, the squeaky saddle finally let go.

It was similar to what happened on the Peugeot, in Michigan, last year. But, in this case, the leather actually failed and the hardware was still in one piece. (Beautiful cell-phone photo taken in my cubicle, at work.)

Luckily, instead of having to ride 35 miles back to town in order to fix the problem, I was able to just ride on to work, where I had tools and supplies.
I drilled 10 holes in each side, and laced the saddle skirts together, thus raising the seating surface up off of the saddle rails. It actually rides like new, now, and I could conceivably use it for quite a while if I needed to.
As it is, I have a black Ideal which I picked up at Velo Swap, last Saturday. So, I'll just stick it on the bike. Then, I merely have to decide whether to paint this bike another (hopefully luckier) color or else build up the lugged StumpJumper frame out in the storage building to replace this yellow dog.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Horror on The Bike Commute

As I tooled along up Fairfax Street, about 2 miles from home, this afternoon I saw a scene of horror and misery playing out in the front yard of a neat little house.

A cat had caught a squirrel, and was "playing" with it, the way cats are known to "play" with mice. I stopped at the corner and turned to watch. I wasn't sure what was happening, at first, having seen the action out of the corner of my eye.

Sure enough, the cat would bat the squirrel around for a while, then step back. The squirrel would then try to climb the tree under which all this was happening. The cat would let the squirrel climb about a foot up, then he would grab the rodent by the back and drag him a few feet from the tree and bat him around, some more.

All the while, another squirrel was up in the tree, barking and chirping and hissing at the cat.

This was no baby squirrel that the cat was messing around with. It was almost as big as the cat, and was longer if you counted the tail.

I could only take a couple of minutes of this, and I eventually rode on. I didn't think it would be prudent to intervene (people are funny about you messing with their pets).

Disturbing to watch, though.

Sometimes, the more intimate connection you have with your surroundings while on a bicycle is a double-edged sword.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

I Got Bucked Off of My High Horse!

Last Monday, as I was riding to work, I was in a not particularly good mood. I had a cold, and I felt that I still hadn't recovered from the Moab debacle.

As I climbed the hill on Dahlia, where I broke my crankarm a couple of months ago, I heard a car coming up behind me. Of course, the driver had to pass me, even though we were only about 50 feet from the intersection. I think I've mentioned this phenomenon, before.

Anyway, I didn't get too upset about that. But, when the car went through the red light, turning right, without even slowing down...for some reason, that just pissed me off. So, I went to flip the guy off, due to my righteous indignation.

Unfortunately for me, I was also hitting the brake to stop for the red light, as I did this. Somehow, I threw myself off balance as I raised my middle finger, grabbed a big old handful of brake, and flipped ass over teakettle right in the middle of the road.

Instant Karma!

To top it off, I somehow managed to get my leg through the front triangle of the bike frame, with my foot jammed between the downtube and the rear wheel. I could hear another car coming, so I had to hop over to the curb on one foot, dragging the bike along behind me like a ball and chain.

Once I got disentangled, I continued to ride to work. I still felt like crap. I was still tired. But I was laughing, too, at the craziness of the whole thing. I was kind of embarassed by it all, and not sure if I wanted to tell everyone what a jerk I had been. But, I find it so funny, I just can't help but tell the story.

The moral? I don't know. Maybe, just that I should not let my physical discomforts affect how I treat others. Maybe just, "Don't be a jerk."

Anyway, just thought I'd share.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Moab Equipment

Red Light Green Light asked, "How did the KHS perform for you overall?Happy w/ your equipment choices?Did anybody else have a rig that looked especially interesting or smart to you?"

The KHS worked great. At times, I found myself following people through the rocks, matching their pace, when I would realize that they were riding 6" travel full-supension rigs and I was on a soft tail with 2" of rear-wheel travel and 3.25" of fork travel.

The Brooks B17 was comfortable all through the race, and the Bontager Race Lite wheels held up pretty well. Plus, I was shocked at how well the Bontrager crank shifted while under a load.

The only equipment problem I had was one flat tire, and it didn't go completely flat on the trail. I had Rich change it at camp.

Next time, I might wear a small CamelBak (not my 100 ouncer), since I found it a bit unwieldy to take bottles in and out of cages on the technical parts of the trail. I didn't want the weight of my 100 oz. reservoir, tools, etc., on my back for long periods of time, so I used a seat bag and water bottles.

As for other rigs:

Single speed bikes were all over, and most of them were 29ers. There were so many that I felt like there should have been a separate class for them.

I saw one guy riding a Felt Propaganda, which seemed pretty masochistic to me.

I did see a TREK STP, very similar to mine, but I didn't see any other KHS softtails.

And, of course, Ellsworth was a sponsor, so the guys were riding around on one of these at the main camp.


24 Hours of Moab - Laps 3 & 4: This Is The End, My Only Friend, The End

Coming in from Lap 4

I still felt like I was in the race, despite the problems I had on Lap 2.

I decided to change clothes, while I was in for my pit stop. New bike shorts are always welcome after 30 miles of offroading, and I wanted to prepare for the coming of darkness. It was closing in on 4:00 PM, and I knew that the sun was due to set by about 7:00, and I just didn't want to have to worry about it, later. I already had a light on the bike, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt to change into my "night clothes".

Looking back on it, though, it hurt quite a bit. As Carol was making me something to eat and Rich was checking over the bike, I went into the tent to change clothes. As I bent my left knee to pull on my new shorts, my leg cramped. Now, this didn't upset me, too much, as this is a pretty common thing for me. I've had cramping problems my whole life (probably related to the condition of my legs when I was born, which required me to wear leg braces the first 3-1/2 years of my life).

I got into my pants, and started to put on my shoes. That's when all Hell broke loose. Both of my legs cramped to the point where I was writhing around on the floor of the tent, not quite screaming but making some pretty loud noises. Rich came in and tried to rub it out, but was just dumbfounded by how tightly the muscles were knotted.

These cramps I get in situations like this are a bit different from what I think of as "normal cramps". Rather than feeling like a charleyhorse, these cramps make my legs feel as though they are literally on fire. When I had my knee scoped, years ago, and had a blood clot form and press on the nerve trunk in my right leg, it felt just like these cramps do, so I assume that the nerves are getting pinched by the knotted up muscles, or something.

Anyway, enough of the "poor, pitiful me", routine.

Suffice it to say that I spent a bit more than an hour in camp, trying to get the cramps under control and some food in my belly. Once done, with firm instructions from Rich to drink my bottle of eloctrolyte water before I got to the top of the Needles Climb, I took off.

By now, I new that I would be on the trail when the sun went down, and I was kind of looking forward to some night riding.

I decided to take it a little easier on the climbs, and I actually used the small chainring on a few of the little technical ledges on the way up. I assiduously drank from my water bottle, trying to stave off any cramps while on the trail. And, it worked. I felt great and I was enjoying the ride.

The sun finally got down enough, as I was on the last third of the lap, that I needed my light. So, I switched it on and found that I couldn't get it aimed where I wanted it due to the number plate interfering with it. So, I stopped and trimmed a notch out of the top of the number plate, and got the light aimed a bit better, but still not exactly where I wanted it.

Not long after that, I was climbing up a little rocky spot on the final long climb, and stuck my wheel into a crack in the rock. This stopped me suddenly, and I fell to the right. I landed solidly on my forearn (adding some stars to the night sky, from my perspective). As I twisted my right ankle to free my foot from my pedal, my calf cramped and I couldn't get free from the bike.

I was not real happy with that.

Anyway, I finally got up, and slowly made my way back to the Start/Finish. My official lap time, which included my time in camp, was 3:44 (1st lap - 1:50, 2nd lap - 2:24), but my on-bike time was pretty close to the same as my second lap, so I was happy with how I was performing.

I pulled into camp, and Carol had hot pasta with beef (I had requested it before I left at the beginning of the lap) ready for me. Unfortunately, the propane heater that Rich had brought was not working, and there was no fire (Rich had decided it was unsafe with the wind).

I sat in a camp chair, feeling good and optimistic about getting back out, once I was fed.

Rich was working on my bike, getting the light positioned better, and Carol was making me some hot tea, when the race essentially ended for me. The wind, which had been relatively calm since I had pulled into camp, kicked up again. As soon as it did, I started shivering uncontollably, and I panicked.

Looking back on it, I think I was hypothermic: I was shivering, even after being wrapped in two sleeping bags and my coat inside the tent, the cramps hit again, I was nauseated and I couldn't think straight. I simply could no longer handle the fact that I had brought my friends out into this hellish wind and sand, and I lay on the tent floor, trying to figure out how to make it up to them.
Then, the cramps hit again. It was worse, this time, and I was actually nauseated from the pain, and had to try hard to not throw up all over the tent.

In the meantime, the zipper on the tent flap was toast, having been savaged by the wind for too long, and everyone was beginning to get a bit ragged around the edges.

I called everyone into the tent, and told them that I would happily get them a room in town and get them out of the wind until morning. Rich replied that if we left camp, we were going home, but I told him I wasn't abandoning the race. I planned on getting back on the bike, but I just felt awful that everyone was so miserable.

Long story short, Rich went off to sleep in the van, Carol pinned the tent flap up with the extra safety pins which ahd come in my race packet, and she and Colin and I lay down to sleep for a while.

I planned on waking up after a few hours, which is normal for me, and hopefully going back out for another night lap. I was beginning to (finally) warm up, and I knew I'd feel better, later. Unfortunately, I slept completely through the night and didn't wake up until about 7:00 AM.

When I did wake up, something seemed wrong. It took me a few minutes to realize what was bothering me: The wind had stopped blowing!

The sun was coming up over the ridge, the sky was blue, and the wind was gone... time to ride!

As I was preparing to get on the bike, Rich told me that camp would be down and we would be able to leave withing 20 minutes of me getting back. I took that as a sign that he was pretty much ready to go, so I dropped my plan of trying to get two more laps in, and decided to just ride a nice, relaxed lap to salvage the weekend for myself.

And so, I took off at a slightly slower pace than the I had taken the day before. It was a beautiful ride, and I enjoyed it immensely. It took a little longer than it strictly had to, because I stopped at one point to help medivac an injured rider (broke his hip, apparently, on the babyhead hill - we put him on a bike frame, held sideways, as a gurney and carried him down to the EMS four-wheeler), and I stopped to put a tube in the rear wheel of the oldest Men's Solo competitor (Jim, 63 years old, cancer survivor).

As I rode the last climb, I met the four-wheel-drive ambulance coming in to to get the rider we had carried down the hill. I was gald to see that, as we were out of radio range where he was hurt, and a rider had gone ahead to call in the cavalry.

Finally, I hit the finish line and swiped out. Officially, the lap was 15 hours, 19 minutes (I was swiped in for all of the time I slept at camp), but actual ride time was under 3 hours. I hit the Start/Finish at 11:15, and briefly considered going for another lap (and I wish I had), but decided it was time to get everyone out of Dodge.

So, it was over, and I was horribly disappointed in how it went. I felt like I had dragged my friends into a miserable weekend for no real good reason, since I didn't even get in any more laps than I had when I did the race on a team, back on 2002. I have softened on that, somewhat, as the week has gone by.

In writing this up for the blog, I realized that, lap by lap, I was happy with my performance on the bike. And, I know I was capable of more laps, had I not gone through that first bonk, or the Big Chill.

Things I will do differently, if I ever go Solo again:

1. If I have to use a tent for shelter, I will take more than one. We had the one big tent, which was great, but when it got damaged, we were screwed. I would prefer to use some sort of camper or RV, if possible.

2. Take more than one mechanic/support guy. That way, if conditions require one guy to deal with camp problems, someone can still concentrate on the race.

3. Always wrap up when you get off the bike. I was all warm and toasty, from the effort when I came in from Lap 3, and didn't think to put on my coat. If I had, I would have probably gone right back out instead of sleeping through the night.

4. Pre-cook breakfast, just in case it can't be done on race day. I had eggs, bacon, bagels, etc. to prepare on Saturday, but was unable to due to the weather. In the pre-race fog I am always in, I was unable to come up with a good alternative. Looking back on it, I had lunch meat, bread, cheese, etc and I could have eaten better. But, all I could think of was the race...


When I rolled up to the minivan, after my last lap, Rich and Carol told me that they had found my helmet. It was packed into one of the storage compartments in the floor, and that compartment had never been unpacked because it was full of snacks for eating around the campfire (which we didn't have because of the wind).

So, I ended up with another helmet, and Carol's helmet got ruined, for no good reason. Add that to the list of things I'd do differently, next time:

5. Unpack the car, completely, and make sure that everything is laid out for the start on the night before rather than waiting until Race Day morning.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

24 Hours of Moab - Lap 2

I stopped at the tent, which was once again pitched, and handed off my bike to Rich. I had shot some CO2 intothe rear tube, about a mile and half before coming thyrough the Start/Finish area, because it was going soft. I figured I had a slow leak, so Rich changed out the tube for me as I ate...something (I don't remember what I ate) and put some more Fig Newtons in my jersey pocket.

I handed Carol the sleeves from my jacket, told her and Rich I'd need some pasta when I came around again, and headed out. I got onto the singletrack paralleling the road and tried to take it easy. Once again, the Needles climb seemed a lot easier than I remembered it. Of course, I had a bit of a tail wind, which sort of made up for the parts of the trail where I had a 40 mph headwind.

The only difficulty on the climb came at the same place I had a little bobble on the first lap. On both laps, I managed to drop my wheel into the same rut on a steep little rocky section, and slammed the bike down on its left side. The first time, I broke the bar-end extension on the left side of the bar. The second time, I hit my knee on the rock, and managed to knock one corner of my number plate loose. No big deal.

I continued up the climb and, at the top, was feeling a bit light-headed. So, I pulled off to the side, dug out some Shot Bloks and ate 3 or 4 of them. After drinking a few mouthfuls of water, I took off again. That was the point at which everything began to go south.

Not two minutes after eating, I noticed that my stomach felt a bit odd. Not long after that, I was into full-fledged stomach cramps and bloating. I actually had to unbutton my ZOIC knickers because my stomach was distended.

Still, I was cranking along in my middle ring, making pretty good time. Approaching the halfway point on the course, however, is a long straight, slightly downhill, section of doubletrack. Usually, I'm good for about 25 mph on this stretch. This day, however, that stretch coincidentally lined up with the wind and, without the protection of the hilly terrain on the Needles climb, the wind was hitting me directly in the face. Wind...and sand. And dust. And small mammals.
Let me tell you, 20 mph was pushing it, that day. I expended a lot of energy on a section which is usually a recovery period.
I went around behind Prostitute Bluff, down the hill covered with babyhead rocks and past the CamelBak Hydration Station. Then, on the final long climb before getting back to the start line, I shelled. My head was spinning, I had no power and my arms were so heavy I felt like I couldn't keep my hands on the bars. And, the wind! Well, you know what the wind was doing.

Finally, I got back to the Start/Finish and swiped out, then back in and headed for the tent.

You can see my number plate hanging askew from the slow-speed crash on the rock. (Again, notice the amount of dust and sand in the air!)

I was hungry and tired, but I was feeling pretty good about my performance, so far. That was soon to change, however.

NEXT: Lap 3!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

24 Hours of Moab Race Report - PreRace and Lap 1

The best laid plans often fall victim to random events. Such was the case for me at the 24 Hours race. Not long after we set up camp, the wind started to pick up. Wind had not even featured heavily in the weather forecast, which called for a 40% chance of rain and highs in the 60s, but it came to figure heavily in the race.

Still, conditions were still pretty pleasant on Friday night, as I got ready to turn in early (about 10:00 PM). I was feeling pretty good, well fed on steak and baked potato prepared around the fire, and I fell asleep easily.

Just before going to bed on Friday night. Probably the last time I relaxed, all weekend.

About midnight, I awoke to the sound of wind and rain. Not too worried, I just rolled over and went back to sleep. Then, I did the same thing every 15 minutes, or so, for the next 4 or 5 hours until, finally, the howling wind was all I heard.

Then, about 5:00 AM, the tent blew down. Well, not entirely, but one corner folded over and the tent pole hit me in the head. Now, this is a big ole Columbia tent, which belongs to Rich, and it is kinda large; about 6 feet high in the center. So, it has a relatively high profile.

I was lying in the center of the tent, with my feet at the door flap. As Rich went out and tried to stake the tent back down, I lay on my back and held the floor down with my legs. The ground was so hard that Rich was unable to drive the stakes deeply enough to hold against the wind. Eventually, he gave up and came back into the tent. We spent the rest of the night rocking in the wind, hoping that we wouldn't actually blow away.

I checked, on my cell phone internet hookup, and it said that winds were blowing at 40 to 50 mph, with gusts to 60 and 70 mph. Even better, it wasn't forecast to calm down until that night, with wind peaking between 3:00 and 6:00PM!

Finally, around 7:00, we all (Rich, Carol, Colin and I) emerged from the tent to a scene of destruction. Ten by ten sun shelters were scattered all over the campground, with their telescoping frames twisted like paperclips. A lot of tents were flat, and there was a cloud of dust and sand blowing through on the wind. It reminded me of the sand storms I saw in Saudi Arabia, back in 1982 and '83.

With no way to secure the tent against the wind, we dropped the tent poles, and flattened the the tent out with all of our bags and equipment on top of it to hold it down. Rich decided he had to go to town and get new, better, tent stakes right then. Since we were unable to cook breakfast, Colin wanted to go, as well, and get something to eat. So, Carol decided to go as well.

As the others were discussing going to town, I told them I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving the venue. It was already close to 7:30, and the Rider's Meeting was scheduled for 10:30. I didn't want to risk missing it. So, I started trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast.

As I looked through our stuff, I realized that I couldn't find my helmet. All of the planning and plotting I had done, and I got to Moab without my helmet? With that, I sent the other three off with instructions to buy me a size L/XL Specialized helmet, while they were out, and get back before the start of the race. In the meantime, I removed the pads from Carol's helmet, took the plastic mallet that Rich used to drive tent stakes, and made Carol's helmet fit well enough that I could at least get through the first lap if the others didn't make it back.

As the minivan disappeared down the road, I went in search of pancakes, or some kind of nutritious breakfast from the vendors in camp. Unfortunately, all of the vendors were trying to recover from the windy night, and I couldn't find anything other than a cup of coffee.

Back to the tent site I went, and dug out a cold bagel, smeared some cream cheese on it, and sat on the cooler feeling quite out of sorts. I chased the bagel down with one of my PB&J sandwiches I had made to carry with me on the trail, and drank my coffee as the clock ticked.

The time came that I needed to go to the Rider's Meeting, and I got a call from Carol that they were on the way. I told her I would be at the meeting and, taking Carol's mutilated helmet with me, I got on my bike and rode up to the Start/Finish area. There, I parked my bike in the LeMans-start bike rack, and went to the meeting.

As Laird Knight was speaking, I saw my crew walking up...with no helmet. My heart sank.

"Where's the helmet?" I hissed, none too pleasantly. The stress of the windy night, loss of my helmet, lack of a hot breakfast and impending race start was beginning to get to me.

"It's back at the camp," Carol answered.

"I need it!" I was getting perilously close to petulant.

"Can't you get it after the meeting?"

"I won't be going back to the tent before the start!" I was almost shouting. I didn't mean to be a jerk, but I was in near-panic mode at this point. Sometimes, it seems that the people around me just aren't taking things seriously enough when, in reality, I am taking them too seriously.

"Oh", Carol said, finally seeing the panic I was trying to hide, "I'll just go get it."

So, she did, and brought it back while the meeting and instruction session was still going on. I got it all adjusted, had Rich do a couple of fine-tunings on it, and called it good. It was roughly 40 minutes to race time, and I already felt exhausted.

Here I am at the Start line with my new helmet.

We stood around at the sign-in tent, after I scanned my RFID tag. We met Jim, a 63 year-old cancer survivor who enters as a solo every year, and saw Dave Nice and Tinker Juarez (along with a bunch of people Rich recognized, but I did not). The wind blew so hard we couldn't stand still, much of the time, as it would push us off-balance enough that we would have to take a half-step to maintain our balance. The whole crowd looked like the audience at a Fallout Boy concert, quietly shuffling our feet and keeping our heads down (in a vain attempt to keep the dust out of our faces).

Finally, with 5 minutes to go until start time, we lined up for the 200-yard running LeMans-style start.

Over 350 riders lined up for the run...(check out the dust cloud visible in the background)

I am just right of center, with the knickers. I don't run well, and I think this picture reflects that fact.

For the first lap, we rode up the access road until we took the turn-off for the Needles climb. Skipping the initial singltrack, which parallels the road on that section, allowed the front runners to get to the front of the pack before the whole group ground to a crawl on the first climb.

I started the first climb in about the middle of the pack, and was riding pretty strongly. I remember dropping into the small ring pretty quickly, back in 2002 when I did this race as part of a 4-man team, but I was riding easily in my middle ring and 2nd or 3rd cog. I passed a good number of riders, and pulled up behind Dave Nice (who was riding fixed-gear, as always).

I have been following Dave's blog for a while, and lately he has been travelling through Utah trying to find a place to settle down for a while. I asked him if he had found a place to move to.

"Nah," he said, "I've been kinda enjoying wandering the desert."

"Oh, yeah!" I said, "Like Moses! You're the Fixed Gear Moses!"

Just then, Dave got stuck behind a slower rider and I passed him. I never saw him again. He was probably avoiding the stupid chatty guy with the jingly bell...

Speaking of the jingly bell, it was playing a veritable symphony on the rough trail surface. It dings quite a bit, on the road, and it was just raising hell on the trail. I got quite a few sideways glances, because of it, and a couple of friendly comments (almost exclusively from female riders). Most people saw my Solo number plate and just assumed I was crazy, I think, and gave me a pass on the bell.

I stayed on the gas as I went around the 15.5 mile loop. (In fact, I never used the small ring ,at all, through the first two laps.) I was trying to hold back and reserve my energy, but I had first-lap nerves and couldn't hold back. I think my official time on the first lap was about 1:50, which is pretty fast for me (although the fastest lap of the race was just over 1:01!).

I swiped in, then back out at the Start/Finish and headed for the pits. I needed some fuel before going back out.

NEXT: Lap Two!


Monday, October 13, 2008

24 Hours of Murphy's Law

I'm home from the 24 Hours of Moab, and pretty disappointed in my performance. I'll put in a detailed report, later, after I have had an opportunity to process the experience a bit more.

I will say that it was an educational endeavor. I learned that I'm not very tough, when all is said and done.

Fifty-ninth out of 64 Solo riders. Four laps. Man...

Anyway, more later.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Race Day Approaches

Well, I took today off so that I could get all of my last-minute stuff done. I went to the laundromat and washed all of my dirty bike clothes, bought more bike clothes and some tubes over at Performance, then went to the grocery store and spent $275.00. If you crew for me, you eat like a king!

Here's the final race configuration of the KHS. I took the old Rolf wheels off and put on my Bontrager RaceLights.

New brake pads made the squealing and sponginess I was experiencing go away. I actually bought these blue JagWire pads for the TREK, but I didn't feel like swapping two sets of pads out, the other night. So, these went on the the KHS.

The jingly bell stays on for the race. I figure that, as much as it rings itself from irregularities on the pavement it will play me a constant tune on the trail.
Clothes are packed, food is in the cooler, two pounds of pasta and 6 baked potatoes are pre-cooked, Fig Newtons and Raspberry Newtons are bagged up, along with pb&j and pb&banana sandwiches.
I put changes of bike clothes in individual zip-loc bags, labelled as to when I want to wear them (1st, 2nd, etc), and I have all of the warmers and gloves and hats in a separate bag for mixing and matching. I have my new shoes and my old ones (with new velcro installed) as a backup, along with my commuting shoes and BMX pedals, just in case.
I got so excited about the race that I actually shaved my legs, in antici...pation of maybe getting a massage during it. Man, if you thought my legs were normally pasty-white, you should see them now!
Rich and Carol are coming by, later tonight, so that we can pack the minivan and have it ready to go, first thing in the morning. I just hope everything will fit (my bike and clothes, Rich's, Carol's and Colin's, plus all of the food and firewood).
Now, I am in relax mode. I have done everything I can to get ready, I feel as fit as I have in a long time, and there's no sense in stressing. So, I am blogging and drinking a beer.
I know, I know: Don't drink and blog! The heat is on, etc., etc.
Wish me luck.
Oh, and go here for a link to a live webcast from Moab, during the race, if you are interested.
Sorry about all of the periods, but Blogger is doing that thing where the paragraph breaks disappear when I publish the damn blog.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Prepping For 24 Hours of Moab

Click for BIG!

How do you turn a silk purse into a sow's ear? Load it up for commuting.

I decided I needed to ride the mountain bike, this week, to make sure I have the seat set correctly and that everything is working okay. So, I mounted up all of the commuting accessories (including the jingly bell) to ride back and forth to work. Of course, the lights will stay on for the race.

I also bought a new Specialized helmet to replace the ill-fitting GIRO I bought earlier in the summer. Plus, I bought new Specialized mountain bike shoes. These are the first new mtb shoes I've bought since 1995!
Hopefully, I've got everything in readiness. Now, if only I felt more ready!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Art Show

Well, the show went well. We had a lot of people come through (I heard an estimate of 1500, but I don't know). These pictures are from before we opened up. In the first few, I just stood in the middle of the room, and took a series of shots to try and capture the look of the whole room.

Click on the photos for the BIG version.

We ended up hanging the Evil 20 from the ceiling. The chrome bike went into another room.

I put up three framed pieces, the Icon (painted onto a dried-out old Brooks saddle) and some sketchbook pages (to fill in gaps).

The top sketch in the background is Humphrey Bogart. More on that one, later.

As you can see, a variety of styles were shown, by 7 different artists.

Two of Brad's paintings, with a photo by Adam Moore between them.

More Brad Click.

Brad's sketchy stuff leaves mine in the dust.

Bugs and frogs, from my sketchbook. I was hesitant to put sketches up, but one of them (Humphrey Bogart) was all I sold. So, I guess it made sense to show them, after all.

The Skull Trucker got place of honor in the adjacent room. This bike attracted a lot of attention, throughout the evening.

"Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!"

The jet-setters from Austin showed up. Shawn and Katina were in Colorado recruiting for the company where Shawn works, so they stopped by on their way from Boulder to Parker. (I look old enough, on my own. Standing next to these guys makes me look like Methuselah.)
So, it was a good night. Lots of friends dropped by, and a lot of people saw my art, even if they didn't buy it. Thirty of my comic book/artist's statement/catalogue booklets went away. So, some of my art went home with people, anyway.