Showing posts from May, 2013

Race Report: Cascade Chainbreaker - Pavlovian suck fest with a sandwich

My bike. Because it looked better than me. This was the 3rd year I've done the Cascade Chainbreaker in Bend. I like the course. It's got a stupid busy section close to the start/finish that's great for spectators and then it winds out on some genuinely fun single track. It's got a few punchy climbs but not too much of anything, so the whole race seems manageable. When I say "manageable", I mean that in a sort of theoretical sense. If you started off by yourself with a full hydration pack, following a nice breakfast, you'd be able to ride the whole course and finish with a smile on your face in time for lunch. If, on the other hand, you started off with a mini hydration pack designed for a six year old, did so with 350 other riders, and someone was cranking the weather dial all the way over to broil while you were riding, the overall experience would be a bit more... unspeakably horrible. You might still finish in time for lunch, but you'd just coug

Dear Mom

Me, freshly brought into this world Mother's Day is almost one of those Hallmark Holidays. It's falling into that category not because of the pressure to buy things, though that's certainly there. Rather, it's the sort of dull, mental imprinting that happens when a holiday rolls around every year for generations but lacks the religious gravitas of an Easter or Christmas, or the improvised social celebration of Thanksgiving or St Patrick's Day. A sure sign of this are the people chirping "Happy Mother's Day" to everybody they interact with, despite the fact that they might not be mothers or might not have mothers any longer.  Carolyn informed me people do this at the grocery store. Since I work in IT, I have the luxury of not having to interact with human beings directly so I had no idea this was happening. Her coworkers are starting to ask for the day off. Like singles on Valentine's Day, people are beginning to avoid the society of others on

The Rapture

I've been lagging putting in base miles this season. A combination of travel, triathlons, bad weather, and house projects confined me to Saturday rides and mid-week intervals on the trainer. As a result, I'm pretty strong and the winter weight is coming off, but I've got no endurance. So, with racing season in full swing next weekend, I decided to do what most half-hearted weekend racers do about now. I tried to cram all my distance into one genuinely insane group ride. I'm stupid. The Rapture has been put on in May since 2011 by VeloDirt , a Portland based group of gravel road riders, in honor of Harold Camping's failed prediction of the end of the world. It's an unsupported 69 mile dirt and gravel road ride that crosses the coast range twice. There's no signup sheet, no check-in, no number plates. The route has no services, no potable water, no cell reception, and no easy exits for the first 60 miles. It travels over a spider web of logging roads, many o