Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bicycle experiment. Numbers for 9.27.07

Date: 9.27.07

Trip: Short Stack (That’s my new term for riding from my house to the Airport Business Park, riding around the loop for five miles, and returning home.)

Trip Time (bicycle in motion only): 37:18

Trip distance: 11.55 miles

Average speed: 18.6

Maximum speed: 26.2

Calories burned: 628 (This number is meaningless nonsense. The computer doesn’t have enough information to make this determination.)

Weather: Perfect

Me: Huffing and puffing, sweatin’ like a hog.

Notes: It’s too early to say whether this new training regimen is working, but my times and average speeds seem to be improving. Today’s average speed of 18.6 mph is the fastest so far.

I got some good advice from some other cyclists. One suggestion was to concentrate on trip times – pick a route, time yourself, and then go back and do the same route at a later date and see if you’ve improved.

I’m taking that advice, but I’m logging all the other information generated by the computer just for the heck of it. I also find that the average speed reading is a great motivator while riding.

One of my short-term goals is to complete the Short Stack ride (what I did this evening) with an average speed of 19 mph.

Alice, the wild jungle cat.9.27.07

Alice In Palm Tree.LowRezjpg

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sunset at Camel Rock.9.26.07

Sunset at Camel Rock.9.26.07

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Antler Wrestling

Here's a video of two elk doing a little antler wrestling at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park on Monday, Sept. 25. If you listen closely, you can hear them bugling. I assume that's the right term. If not, perhaps someone can let me know. (Note: This was taken with my cheapo digital camera. I could have gotten closer to the action, but I don't fancy the idea of being stomped on and brutally raped by an angry bull. )

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More numbers & shhhhhtuffff


On Tuesday’s ride I checked out the new section of the Hammond Trail between Murray and Letz roads. Here’s a sneak peek of what it looks like. Pretty sweet.


Date: 9.18.07

Ride: McKinleyville to Trinidad and back

Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Total miles: 21.34

Average speed: 14.6

Top speed: 31.9

Calories burned: 1,102

Notes: Strong northerly headwind made for slow ride going north.


This photo sucks, but it shows my new pride and joy. I’m really enjoying this bike.

Date: 9.20.07

Ride: McKinleyville to Trinidad and back

Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes

Total miles: 21.44

Average speed: 15.4

Top speed: 32.2

Calories burned: 1,191

Notes: Strong northerly headwind, again.


Date: 9.21.07

Ride: To Aiport Business Park. Around loop for five miles. Return home.

Time: 38 minutes

Total miles: 11.53

Average speed: 18.1

Top speed: 26.6

Calories burned: 637

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bachelor elk.9.18.07


This fellow had his eyes on a harem near Davison Road north of Orick this morning. He never got close during the short time I was there, but I witnessed another bull sneak in and covort with the cows before the "master" bull saw him and chased him away. The master bull seemed pissed off about the situation and who can blame him? The gene pool needs to stay strong. Nobody wants a bunch a weak slackers breeding with the ladies.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bicycle experiment. Numbers for 9.14.07

Date: 9.14.07

Trip: From house to Airport Business Park. Circle loop multiple times. Return home

Trip Time (bicycle in motion only): 56:06

Trip distance: 16.66 miles

Average speed: 17.8 mph

Maximum speed: 24.7 mph

Calories burned: 956

Weather: Gray and windy (Grindy?)

Me: Lethargic. Thirsty.

Bike: A few more adjustments and it will be nearly perfect.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bicycle experiment. Numbers for 9.13.07

Date: 9.13.07

Trip: From house to Airport Business Park. Circle loop (approx. .57 mile) approx. 18 times (a little over 10 miles). Return home.

Trip Time (bicycle in motion only): 46:23

Trip distance: 13.67 miles

Average speed: 17.6 mph

Maximum speed: 25.7 mph

Calories burned: 787

Weather: Overcast, slight headwind. Gray, dramatic sky.

Mood: Giddy

Notes: This is in addition to commuter miles. I forgot to turn my computer on until a few blocks from my house. Speed includes trip along Hammond Trail, which includes stops and starts. Airport loop is about .57 of a mile. I have no idea how the computer calculates calories burned, so take that for what it’s worth.

These numbers won’t mean anything for a few months.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Bicyclist Left Behind

Politics aside, one of the components of No Child Left Behind is the testing of students to measure their achievement, or lack thereof. I want to bring the same concept to my bicycling.

Earlier this year, my personal “assessments” were simple – I measured how far I went and how much elevation I climbed. It didn’t matter how fast I went being that my only goal was to enter and simply finish the Tour of the Unknown Coast.

But now I’ve got this crazy idea that I’m going to get into bicycle racing. There’s nothing that should prevent me doing so except for one small detail – I’m slow.

I creep along at a snail’s pace when riding my bike, even when I try to go fast. So somehow I need to start a training regimen that will make me ride faster.

As usual when confronted with such a challenge, I revert back to everything I learned on my high school’s cross country team. Distance training is all well and good, but you need to do a lot of sprint work if you want to improve your speed.

So today I rode the “fancy” bike to the Airport Business Park and pedaled around a loop. The idea is that I’ll pedal around this same loop a couple times a week for the next several months and measure my progress based on the numbers generated by my bicycle computer.

If I’m making progress, my average speed should steadily improve and perhaps even the top speed.

My first foray was a little clumsy, being that I was still trying to figure out the bicycle computer and I had to stop and make some adjustments to the bike. I also accidently had the computer measuring everything in kilometers, so I had to do some conversions. I figure it will take a week before I have a decent baseline of numbers that I can use to measure my progress.


Date: 9.12.07

Trip: From house to Airport Business Park. Around loop for a total of 6.3 miles. Return home.

Trip Time (bicycle in motion only): N/A

Trip distance: 13.4 miles

Average speed: 16.6 miles

Maximum speed: 22.6 miles

Calories burned: 585

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Test run

Maiden voyage, fancy bike

This evening I finished putting the “fancy” bike together and took it on a short test ride. Being that I built this thing up from a bag of parts and scavenged some components from the Mighty Panasonic, I was nervous that it would fall apart somewhere on the Hammond Trail.

But it didn’t. Everything worked great. It shifts like butter – nice and smooth. The brakes are decent. The bike is nice and light – at least in comparison to what I’m used to. So far I have about $50 invested in this project.

Eventually I’ll outfit it with a triple crank so I’ll have a granny gear for hill climbing, but the current configuration will meet my needs for the time being.

The next step is to outfit it with a few accessories and make some adjustments.

After that, I’m going to try a bicycle training experiment, which I’ll write about here once I refine the idea and start the new regimen.


Six years ago today I awoke to terrible news. Even though I wasn't as much of a bike nut back then, one of the first things I did was to pump up the tires on a bike and use it for the day's business.

I did so partly out of a sense of paranoia. I had to visit the local airport and Coast Guard Station to take photos. I knew that there would be armed guards and I was worried that they might be trigger happy given the immensity of what happened. But I knew they wouldn't feel threatened by a funny looking fellow wearing a helmet and riding a bright-red bicycle.

I continued to ride my bike on and off in the days and weeks after 9-11. Later, I was motivated by the desire to give as little of my money as possible to the Saudis.

And now, rather than bore you with a long political rant about how Bush fucked everything up, I'll sign off....

Friday, September 07, 2007

The big brouhaha

It's extremely unlikely that I'll ever be a billionaire. Or a millionaire. If I hadn't purchased a house before the prices went through the roof, I'd be struggling just to be a hundredaire.

That said, if I was a billionaire, there are lots of things I would do, but there are some things I wouldn't do.

Sure, I might over indulge in top-shelf liquor, but I wouldn't waste my time attending a Coastal Commission reception and berating a lowly councilman. That doesn't sound fun or interesting to me.

Maybe Arkley is a better person than me in that he takes an interest in local affairs even though he doesn't have to. All I can say is that if I had that much money, any "scandalous" articles about me in local papers would involve large numbers of scantily clad Victoria's Secret models and pictures of me in a smoking jacket and flip flops.

As they say: Different strokes for different folks. Maybe the buffet at the Avalon is better than I imagine.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Afternoon ride to Trinidad

Due to some social events last week, I was more of a glutton than usual. So today I took a ride to Trinidad to burn some calories and enjoy the sunshine before winter arrives.

Hammond stump

This is my mountain bike in a big stump along the Hammond Trail. A road bike is the best choice for the ride to Trinidad, but mine is in pieces right now. Although those fat tires slow you down, they're fun.


Wow man! Check out the colors at the Vista Point. Far out.

Little River

I crossed the Little River.

Camel Rock

There were no surfers at Camel Rock, which was surprising.

Looking south

Here's the view looking south toward Little River State Beach and Clam Beach. The view reminded me that I need to go clamming next time there's a low tide. Now I had clams on my mind. So when I got to Trinidad I had a bowl of clam chowder at Kahish's Catch Cafe. Delicious.

murdered by capitalism

After the chowder, I decided to visit the cemetary. I had read about Mr. Schnaubelt's headstone, but never saw it before. Here it is.

murdered by capitalism closeup

grave top

Someone left these items on the top of the headstone. That's a little human skull, painted red.

And that was that.

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