Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Lion of Fairfax

This Lion of Fairfax will be my first official cyclocross race of the 2007 season. The race will take place in Fairfax which is approximately 20 miles north of San Francisco, so I need to decide if I will ride to the event in the morning. Work has been keeping me busy on the weekends and into the late evening, so the training has been slightly compromised during the past week. There are no excuses in racing and the work flow has leveled out, so I plan on regaining some lost miles in the evening with lights on my bike and solid training partners. It was nice to race the DFL series and the bike is operating as planned. Nothing has changed about my set-up from last season and I will be racing on the same tires (Kenda Kwik). There is something magical about a predictable bike and I can only ask for the Ksyriums to hold up this season. Let's hope for the best... which is mud and rain.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Glow Sticks

For those who ride with us - we will no longer make fun of glow sticks. The beautiful weather had us riding into the late evening with no lights. Eventually, we found a store with a Halloween section and had to purchase glow sticks to avoid police officers (citations) and cars on the way home. There will be a full update - but in the meantime enjoy the pictures of our night time adventure in spandex with glow sticks.

Fenykep egy - Phil and Anthony stop at gas station for espresso and peanuts and lights (no luck)
Fenykep ketto - Phil ignites the glow sticks (Anthony hums "The Launch" a popular club song)
Fenykep harom - Anthony modeling the fashion glow necklace with glow stick
Fenykep negy - Phil riding up the hill with trick photography of dangling glow stick
Fenykep ot - Glow stick on Waterfront (with SF in background)
Fenykep hat - The equipment

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Salton Sea

Spent most of the weekend cleaning railroad vectors for a flight route and learning more about the vector tools in ERDAS Imagine. It's amazing how many things one can discover in a satellite image and how many beautiful patterns exist on the surface of our planet. The vectors I created were placed east of the Salton Sea (
33.3° N 115.8° W) in Southern California - which is known for its land locked Tilapia fishery and migratory birds.

Tomorrow I plan on riding early in the morning to accommodate the current work schedule. The key to life is balance and I do not feel balanced if I miss too many days of cycling or outdoor activity. This weekend several friends raced in Chico and are preparing for the races in Las Vegas next weekend. We are in process of finishing a project at work and my riding schedule will need to change if I plan on solid results at the cross races. It's time to sleep :)

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cookies and Gears

Last night we (Angelo, Shana and myself) ate dinner together at Shana's apartment and swapped images from the weekend. Those maple cookies are heaven in a bag and can be dangerous if you leave them alone with hungry cyclists. The race numbers represent the end of the road season and the beginning of a road career - who knows what the future holds. The last picture is of someone re-considering a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge in windy conditions. What's the motivation? Someone else is riding while the weak sit at home in the warm apartment.

Shimano Road Shoe Update

This evening the temperature dropped in San Francisco and my feet were a victim of super ventilation. The Shimano shoes have provided nice ventilation on the hot summer rides, but I will need to use shoe covers this winter. The carbon sole has provided a solid platform on the climbs and it’s noticeably different compared to the Specialized Carbon Pro. The Specialized shoe seemed a bit wide in the forefoot and rocked laterally on the climbs. The Shimano shoe has a bit of space as well, but it might be resolved with the heat treatment this weekend. The shoes can be placed in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and placed on the rider’s foot to mold the forefoot and heel cup. This creates a semi-custom fit without purchasing a Rocket7 shoe or custom orthodics for the foot bed. It would be nice if the ratchet buckle offered a third position for those with extra narrow feet (such as mine) to allow more adjustment. Overall, the shoe has performed well and continues to provide a snappy feeling on the climbs.

iPhone and Belkin Adapter

Last night my brother and I went to the Apple Store in San Jose to purchase the Belkin head phone adapter for the iPhone. The input for the head phone jack is recessed and does not support most if not all after market headphones. This can be a problem if you plan on listening to your music at work but do not want to use the Apple ear buds. The Belkin adapter solves this issue with a narrow interface and a flexible design which allows an AUX device to be used or a nice set of Bose head phones. The Belkin adapter is worth purchasing if you’re serious about head phones or would like to use the iPhone with a home or car stereo system.

If you would like to protect the screen on your iPhone my brother recommends the Invisible Shield protector. This screen protector does not seal the device which allows the heat to disperse. Many protection designs seal the entire device which causes the heat to build inside the case.

Thanks for reading.

German Tourist Club

On Sunday we had breakfast at CafĂ© Bean down the street and I had the “European” breakfast which consisted of egg whites, slices of cheese and tomatoes with a few pieces of whole wheat toast. This style of breakfast is something I learned from my previous relationship and it’s something I will continue as well as cheese sandwiches with butter. Later in the day our group traveled to Mt. Tam and hiked into the woods to a place called the German Tourist Club to celebrate the Oktoberfest. There was plenty of beer and German music and we shared pretzels and stories under a grove of red wood trees. We all plan on getting our membership to this secret beer club in the future. After finishing several pitchers of beer we decided to drive to Stinson Beach to watch the sunset. We bought some snacks at the local store which has saved my ass on several occasions during long rides along the coast or times I did not eat enough before a ride. These days I purchase a Gatorade to refill my water bottles and an Ensure supplement drink to replace the lost vitamins and minerals. Our group found a nice place on the beach protected from the wind. Angelo and I rolled up our jeans and walked around in the water while the others finished the snacks on the blanket. On the way home we spotted the Steep Ravine site located on the edge of the shoreline and will be looking into camping reservations for next month – possibly my birthday. It would be nice to sit on the shoreline and watch the wave’s crash against the rocks or do some simple fishing from the shore.

Mt Tam Hill Climb - Race

Here are some pictures from the Mt Tam Hill Climb last weekend. The race started in the town of Stinson Beach on Highway 1 and finished in the upper parking lot on Mt Tam. This race was considered my first road
race and there will be plenty more if I plan on upgrading to Cat 3 or higher. My time placed well among the overall riders and I was pleased with my fitness. A more detailed explanation will follow in a later entry.

Thanks for reading.

My 2007 Cyclocross Calendar

2007 NCNCA Cyclocross Calendar Weekend Calendar

*Races I plan to attend are highlighted in red*

August 18

August 19

Missing Link Cyclocross Clinic - Berkeley, CA

August 25

Clark Natwick Cyclocross Clinics - San Mateo, CA

August 26

September 1

LARPD Cyclocross Race Series - Livermore

September 2

September 8

LARPD Cyclocross Race Series - Livermore

September 9

Clark Natwick Cyclocross Clinics - Marin, CA
Missing Link Cyclocross Clinic - Berkeley, CA

September 15

LARPD Cyclocross Race Series - Livermore

September 16

Bicycle Planet Cyclocross Race - Folsom
Clark Natwick Cyclocross Clinics - San Mateo, CA [details soon]

September 22

Sagebrush #1 - Northstar at Tahoe, Truckee, CA

September 23

Sacramento Series
Central Coast Series - Manzanita Park, Prunedale

Wed, September 26

Cross Vegas (UCI) - Las Vegas (during Interbike), NV

September 29

Lion of Fairfax - Fairfax - Nor Cal Cup Series Race #1 **

September 30

Central Coast Series - Toro Park, Salinas

October 6

October 7

Bay Area Super Prestige Series #1 - Sierra Point, Brisbane (venue change!)

October 13

Central Coast Series - Toro Park, Salinas

October 14

Sacramento Series - Nor Cal Cup Series Race #2 **

October 20

Sagebrush #2 - Hidden Valley Park, Reno, NV
LARPD Cyclocross Race Series - Livermore

October 21

Bay Area Super Prestige Series #2 - Candlestick Point, SF

October 27

USGP #1 - Louisville, KY

October 28

Velo Bella Surf City Halloween Race - Soquel High School, Soquel - Nor Cal Cup Series Race #3 **
USGP #2 - Louisville, KY

November 3

November 4

Bay Area Super Prestige Series #3 - McClaren Park,SF

November 10

Sagebrush #3 - Genoa, NV
Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships - Portland, OR

November 11

Central Coast Series - Toro Park, Salinas - Nor Cal Cup Series Race #4 **
Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships - Portland, OR

November 17

Sacramento Series
USGP #3 - Trenton, NJ

November 18

Sacramento Series
Peak Season Cyclocross - [details soon]
USGP #4 - Trenton, NJ

November 24

November 25

Bay Area Super Prestige Series #4 - Golden Gate Park, SF - Nor Cal Cup Series Finals and Raffle **

December 1

Sacramento Series
USGP #5 - Portland, OR

December 2

Central Coast Series - Manzanita Park, Prunedale
USGP #6 - Portland, OR

December 8

LARPD Cyclocross Race Series/NCNCA District Cyclocross Championships - Livermore

December 9

Bay Area Super Prestige Series #5 CCCP - Coyote Point, San Mateo

December 14-16

US National CX Championships (Kansas City, KS)

December 15

Sagebrush #4 - Hidden Valley Park, Reno, NV

December 16

Central Coast Series - Ft Ord, Monterey

December 22

LARPD Cyclocross Race Series - Livermore

December 23

December 29

LARPD Cyclocross Race Series - Livermore

December 30

Peak Season Cyclocross

January 5

January 6

Sacramento Series
Central Coast Series - Ft Ord, Monterey

January 12

January 13

Peak Season Cyclocross - [details soon]

January 19

Urban Cyclcross (UCI) - Los Angeles/Orange County, CA

January 20

January 27-28

World CX Championships - Treviso, Italy

January 26

January 27

Peak Season Cyclocross - [details soon]

What if?

Was listening to music on my iPhone and ran into this beautiful song by Coldplay. We're working on vector coding this morning and planning our trip to Vienna and Sardinia. The race pictures and weekend events will be posted tonight. My neighbor moved out last week and my wireless connection went with her - will make an evening cafe run. Hope all is well and thanks for reading.

"What If?"

What if there was no lie
Nothing wrong, nothing right
What if there was no time
And no reason, or rhyme
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life
What if I got it wrong
And no poem or song
Could put right what I got wrong
Or make you feel I belong

What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life

Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right
Let's take a breath, jump over the side
Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right
How can you know it, if you don't even try
Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right

Every step that you take
Could be your biggest mistake
It could bend or it could break
That's the risk that you take

What if you should decide
That you don't want me there in your life
That you don't want me there by your side

Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right
Let's take a breath, jump over the side
Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right
How can you know when you don't even try
Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right

Oh - Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right,
Let's take a breath, jump over the side.
Ooh ooh-ooh, that's right,
You know that darkness always turns into light.
Ooh-ooh, that's right

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Seven Sisters


The Mt. Tam Hill Climb has three distinct sections. The first is a four-mile flat stretch of Highway 1 running alongside Bolinas Lagoon. Usually not much happens here, but a rider trying for the record will need teammates willing to keep the pace very high.

The second stretch, which is the main body of the climb, is a narrow and twisting road running through trees, Bolinas-Fairfax Road. There are few breaks in the climbing and several short stretches where the grade exceeds 10%. Total elevation gain along this section is about 1500 ft.

The final section follows an exposed ridge, climbing gradually to Rock Spring on the stair-steps local riders call the "Seven Sisters." You'll gain another 500 ft in elevation after the cattle grate, with the rollers along the way adding another couple hundred feet of climbing. The Seven Sisters are tough on fresh legs, let alone after the long grind up BoFax.

We are going to drive up in the morning to inspect the course and warm-up before the event. The best place to watch the race will be on BoFax or the "Seven Sisters" to the finish line. We plan on riding our bikes to Point Reyes following the race for a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and some base miles. Friends will be coming to watch the race and take pictures on course, so I will post an update on Monday.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It's 11:49 on Thursday evening and I sit here cranking away on some imagery to meet a deadline. In the meantime I have develop a strong relationship with cubic convolution and his friends bilinear interpolation and nearest neighbor. There is a lot of imagery sitting on my machine, so I will be resampling until the cows come home (an expression from the old school).

I'm currently listening to Mozart's Requiem Mass in D minor. This is considered my all time favorite composition by the late composer. One day I hope to fulfill the dream of seeing this performed at a European venue in a beautiful setting. In a fictitious world I would be sitting in St. Stephen's Cathedral (Vienna, Austria) for the performance, but I'm not sure about the acoustics in the cathedral or if performances are allowed.

McLaren Park

Last night was the second race of the DFL Cross Series at McLaren Park in South San Francisco. Our warm-up consisted of dodging buses and cars along Mission Street and spinning up the hills with backpacks loaded with work clothes. The DFL series does not place riders in categories, so all abilities race each other from start to finish which makes for an interesting race. The start line was 15 feet from a steep hill, so everyone had their bikes mounted on the shoulders at the starting line. The massive group of riders bottle necked at the top of the hill and bumped shoulders and bikes during the re-mount. The pace moved quickly up a single track and the spectators cheered and shook cowbells as we rode up this steep pitch. This is going to be an amazing cross season and my teammates think I should already upgrade to A, but I hope to do well in the B category and make solid progress. Until then... keep the rubber side down.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Laboratory

You're probably wondering why my posts are appearing in the middle of the night or early in the morning depending on your location. Well, I can run several mosaics (threading) on my machine during the evening hours without disrupting any other processes and the CEO turns on the club and ambient music as well. Wait until we get a light for the disco ball on the ceiling - we'll have to establish a bouncer at the door to prevent the other companies from crashing the party.

New Kit

So, we received our team kit on Sunday and it went on its maiden voyage this evening across the Golden gate Bridge into the Headlands and Sausalito. Can a piece of clothing have a maiden voyage? My friend wanted to test her new camera and took some photos of my kit and the additions to the apartment. So far the iPhone is kicking ass and taking names and I went to the local cafe to test the WiFi connection which is excellent. There was another person in the cafe with an iPhone who recommended a site with extras for the iPhone - especially those interested in AOL and other chat clients. Anyway, I will provide more details as the phone goes through its course of daily wear and tear.

Monday, September 10, 2007


We are beginning to use the iPhone at work and I look forward to using the music and photo features as well as the organization and maps. The Palm Treo 750 was a decent phone, but the operating system was a pain and the sync cable seem to fail from the beginning. Hopefully, I can find a nice cover or protection design for the iPhone without destroying its aesthetics.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Rock Climbing

Last night I decided to get back into rock climbing with co-workers and I look forward to using this sport to keep in shape during the winter months. Last summer I spent some time hiking in Slovakia and the steep mountains reminded me of the time I spent climbing with friends in high school and college. I plan on setting a goal to climb some high walls in Yosemite Valley in the spring time and will post my progress indoors and outdoors on the blog - stay tuned for pictures and gear selection.

Thanks for reading.

"Most seasoned rock climbers agree that lead climbing often evokes a state of consciousness so focused that many compare it to the act of meditation. Life is distilled to pure simplicity when you lead a climb. In this concentrated state, free from both internal and external distractions, you rediscover your innate ability to experience the present moment. Zen practice never seemed so easy. Offering yourself to the rock wall above, you navigate up the mysterious rock pathways, shifting your focus between motor skills and intellect. Emotions emerge and dissolve, spilling in and out of your consciousness. Angst, fear, confidence, relief - each feeling fades into the past as swiftly as it emerges."

- Heidi Pesterfield

Thursday, September 6, 2007

DFL Cyclocross Race at Golden gate Park

Last night I raced the DFL Cyclocross Series in Golden
Gate Park with jeans and a t-shirt. I learned my lesson on the way to the race as I climbed up Fell Street in the blistering heat. The park was loaded with riders from all over the Bay Area and spectators lined up along the side of the trails with cameras and cow bells. It was nice to see all the people from last season with new team kits and clean bikes. The eucalyptus (coolibah) trees provided nice shade for the venue, but I knew the ground would be loose and full of tree litter. Last season I broke a spoke on my Ksyrium while warming up before the Super Prestige at Coyote Point. The eucalyptus branches and the gum nuts can wreak havoc on a course.

The course was an excellent mixture of technical single track and fire roads with natural obstacles. The beginning of the race bottled necked down a trail with dust and gears clicking. I could not see much during the first 10 minutes of the race as the riders frantically sprinted for position on the course. The first main obstacle was a 3 foot log at the end of a narrow single track. The dismount area began to deteriorate on the first lap from riders grabbing the brakes and crashing before the barrier. It was quite challengin
g to navigate the loose soil with roots and hidden tree stumps. A paved section provided some time to focus and change gears before the next section of single track.

A quick right turn from the paved section went directly into an off camber single track with exposed roots and a second tree obstacle. The spectators were lined up in this section and cheered as riders ran up a short climb into the trees.

The next section hit several dismounts over logs with a couple of power climbs in loose gravel. It was nice to see all the
spectators cheering as the riders carved through the single track and dusty roads. There was one place on the course where I would run the entire section up the stairs and along a ridge. Most riders were grinding through the thick grass and sand as I ran past them with my bike on the shoulder. I managed to carry the bike through this section on all laps and it helped my position in the overall standing. I rolled my ankle a few times during the dismounts and will probably use the new Shimano mountain shoe or the Sidi Dominator for its running qualities. The Sidi Dominator is an excellent choice for a cyclocross racer but the base of the shoe tends to run narrow and could be tricky in sand and loose terrain. I plan on racing or training in both shoes and sharing the report for those with skinny ankles.

I will end this blog with a question asked by a someone - "why do you read VeloNews every morning?"

I thought about this one and realize some people will never experience the true power of passion for something or someone in their lifetime. To push the limits of the body and mind while grinding up a steep hill, surrounded by hundreds of riders and screaming spectators, while your lungs burn and muscles ache. Or coming home to someone you've been thinking about all day or something you want to build or design. You can taste it, dream it, breathe it. This is what I call passion and it's something I hope we can all experience before we die.

Look for the "Italia vs Japan" shoe update