Locked-Out and Loving It

And with the sound of the rain drumming lightly on the roof, I can now say that our streak of 11 days of dry weather has come to an end. Exhale.

I'm not sad to see it end, but more than three dry days in a row this time of year is pretty unusual in these parts and it has felt that we outdoors-loving folks have been sort of willing it to happen. Every night, I sat fingers crossed and checked Accuweather for the next day's forecast. Every morning, I would get out of bed and dash to the window to see if the driveway was wet.

But alas, it's raining. We had a good run. 11 days in February without rain by my count. If only we could have made it a perfect two weeks... now I know how Tom Brady must feel.

But, seriously, it's the leap year's fault. What other possible explanation can there be?

But enough about the rain, yesterday was not only dry but also nearly 60 degrees. After a fantastically long ride on Sunday, I took Monday off the bike then took advantage of yesterday's weather to get a nice, fast, rail-trail ride up to Rattlesnake Lake in. I did this 30+ mile tempo ride nearly every week last year, but this was my first time for 08. It felt great to get back on the Moots (it's been in dry-dock since the November rains came and no, not the Guns n' Roses song) and to crank up the iPod, and to slam the lock-out button down on the front shock, and just zip along the wide-and-flat Snoqualmie Valley Trail yesterday.

I passed a number of cyclists, some dog-walkers, and even a couple young girls on horses yesterday. That's all pretty standard for the SVT.

Then, on the way back, not far from the Mt. Si Golf Course, I crossed a small bridge over a bog and 5 rough-and-tumble middle aged guys were leaning on the fence looking down at the water. They were scraggly, a bit over-dressed for the weather, and what I would rate as a "6" on the 1 to 5 scale of sketch. They may have been homeless or they may have been extras from the movie The Deer Hunter. I'm not really sure. One turned to look at me and I believe I saw a fly exit the gap in his teeth. But what really made their presence odd was that not even 10 yards to their left stood 5 high school boys, shirtless, leaning on the very same fence and stretching. They were members of the local track team, each without a trace of chest hair, each wearing huge baggy lacrosse-style shorts, none of them looking old enough to drive.

And yet there they stood and stretched, just a few steps down from a group of much older guys that looked more like axe-murderers than not. And it made me wonder: How fast are the distance runners on the Mt Si track team? Do they need an assistant coach?


A couple quick notes on biking:

- I'm very pleased to announce that BradyGames has renewed their sponsorship of my racing for the 08 racing season. I've really excited about this and can't wait to get the new uniforms designed and ordered. I'm also waiting to here from two local businesses who I'm hoping decide to sponsor me as well. With so many races now costing so much money to enter, it's great to get this support. I'll write a more formal announcement when I get everything finalized.

- I stopped at Performance Bike in Redmond on Monday to refill the pantry with Cliff Bloks and Gu and not only were they having a massive sale on nutrition products, but I'm happy to say that they also carry Ergon handlebar grips now. I have a pair with the bar-ends on my Moots and positively love them so I jumped at the chance to get a pair (without the bar-ends) for my singlespeed. The Kona Unit-29 I have came with minimalistic foam grips that are not only unbearably hard, but also tend to spin in place.

- Kristin and I decided to table any decision regarding the ECamper conversion for our Element. It was a tough decision, but we're going to put it off till later in the year and maybe then see about going down to San Diego in the winter and having it done then. In light of this, I looked into getting a room booked for Leadville yesterday. I believe I secured the last remaining vacancy for the nights of August 7th through 9th in Leadville. If you're racing the Leadville 100 and don't want to sleep in a tent the two nights before the race (or the night after the race) then you better call quick, as everything seems to be booked solid.

- Lastly, speaking of Leadville, I came across this pretty intense "ride" report last night during a short break from work. It was written last year by the wife of a racer from Kirkland, WA. She was his support crew and it's still pretty interesting. Read it here. The racer, Nick, was the top finisher from the state of Washington last year. According to the official results he finished 280th in a time of 10:15. Not too shabby! I was wondering about the completion percentage for this race and the finishing times so took a closer look at the 2007 Leadville 100 results:

(numbers are cumulative)

837 Racers Started
108 Finished in <9:00 (gold & silver belt buckle)
589 Finished in <12:00 (silver belt buckle)
663 Finished in <13:00
174 Racers DNF

So 1-in-5 racers didn't finish the event last year which, I understand took place during some extreme heat. I also heard that there were people coming off the mountain two years ago with hypothermia due to the driving rain and near-freezing temperatures. Nevertheless, a 20% DNF rate is pretty high, but not as high as the Cascade Creampuff 100.

Yeah, I'm doing that one as well.

And hopefully I won't end up just being a statistic.

No comments: