Archive: January 17, 2009

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riding the Stagecoach

Saturday,  01/17/09  08:30 PM

More cylo-blogging; today I rode in the Stagecoach Century in Ocotillo, CA.  (That's East of San Diego, in the desert near Mexico.)  It was a wonderful event, if any of you ever want to try it I totally recommend it.  Great organization, good SAG everywhere, and a really nice ride surrounded by desert beauty.  Oh, and the weather was perfect, thanks to the organizers for arranging that!

I have to give a HUGE thank you to Peter Simons for the loan of his wonderful Trek Madone; in the wake of my weird disaster I am temporarily bikeless.  The more I ride it the more getting a new bike is getting mental traction :)

The Stagecoach Century is an out-and-back, so you can pick your distance; some people did 26 miles (turnaround at 13 mile stop), some 50 miles (turnaround at 25), some 90, and some 100.  There’s 4,700’ of climbing if you go the distance.  There were about 1,000 people total but it never felt crowded.

the route profile - steady up on the way out, steady down back

And here for your viewing pleasure, some pictures from the ride...

mile 1: sun just up over Imperial Highway, 100 miles to go

mile 10: blasting along the desert at 26mph

mile 20: I pick up a nice paceline

mile 40: cresting a climb (wild descent to follow!)

mile 50: at the turnaround with my impromptu team

mile 65: heading back down as riders still coming up

mile 97: at the finish!

Overall it took me 5:30 of riding time and 5:45 elapsed.  I think I was around the 12th to finish, yay me.  That is the first time I've ever ridden a century in under 6 hours elapsed; must have been the pacelines I was able to join and the stops I didn't make :)

I have to relate a particularly delicious moment.  Towards the end I'm riding in a paceline with eight other riders, all strong, we're flying along, and at 15 miles to go we get to the last climb (see the route profile above).  It's about 500' at about 8%, enough to blow up the paceline.  A few guys attack and go up the road, the rest of us settle into a climbing pace.  I find my rhythm and start grinding people down.  One by one I move through my pack, and then pick up each of the attackers.  I get to the summit with a decent lead, and now we have 10 miles downhill to the finish.  Can I hang on?  I descend madly and power along the final straight into Ocotillo, and beat the next guy in by over two minutes.  It was great.

And so now I can watch football tomorrow, and eat to my heart's content...


Saturday,  01/17/09  09:40 PM

Kind of tired from the bike ride this morning, and from the long car ride back home afterward.  This could be short and sweet...

Science celebrates Darwin.  A nice collection of articles, backward and forward looking.  [ via Panda's Thumb ] 

While I was riding in the desert this morning, enjoying wonderful weather, not everyone was so lucky; the Arctic blast continues in the East and Mideast, and further afield the canals in Holland are frozen, for the first time in twelve years.  The only thing we Dutch like more than cycling is skating :) 

Ann Althouse quotes the NYTimes: "I think those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot happier with Obama than the people who voted for him."  We'll see.  I think many of the people who voted for Obama are going to learn the truth of Oscar Wilde's observation that there are two tragedies in life, not getting what you want, and getting it... 

Slashdot reports Windows 7's Media Hype Having the Opposite Effect as Vista's.  "Apparently a decent beta can succeed where $300 million and Jerry Seinfeld failed."  Ha. 

Tim Bray ponders where to write.  "...maybe not so much on Twitter.  I’ve been blogging less recently, and there’s no doubt that some of the writing energy has gone into Twitter."  Let me tell you, shifting blogging energy to Twittering is a waste.  You might as well talk to your cat.  140 characters at a time. 

This is really cool: a laser bike light that paints a bike lane around you

Russell Beattie notes the 500M iPhone app downloads: didn't see that one coming.  Me, neither. 

Want to make some money?  Belkin is paying 65 cents for good reviews on Amazon and NewEgg.  Disgusting.  I like Belkin products, but this would make me actively avoid them.  Ha, pay me 65 cents for that! 

...good night, y'all...  see you tomorrow...



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