Thursday, November 30, 2006

Felis Rufus

Today we were riding down Ormsby Blvd, a stretch of road that divides two cow pastures. I happened to glance up the road, and I saw a woman walking down the side of the road. Just a few feet behind her I saw what I at first thought was a coyote crossing the road. My second thought is that it might be her pet dog, trailing behind her. The animal darted through the willows, under the barbed wire fence, and into the cow pasture, so I decided it wasn't her pet. I pulled over and peered through the trees. It looked like a coyote, but it had a short stubby head. I finally realized it was a big bobcat!

I frantically called Kristy and Barbara back to where I had pulled over. We all stood and watched in awe at the beautiful creature. And as luck would have it, I had my camera. I got the camera all ready, but I couldn't quite see over the willows for a clear shot. I turned the LCD screen on so I could see what I was shooting as I held the camera up in the air. Suddenly the camera shuts down, and a warning comes up on the screen, "REPLACE BATTERY PACK". Damn it all to Hell! I tried a few more times, but I couldn't get the camera to stay on long enough to take a picture.

Since I didn't have a picture, I enlisted the help of my six year old son for this scientific illustration of the bobcat, or "Felis Rufus" for our Latin speaking friends. Barbara did some quick research on Felis Rufus, and found this article. According to the article, Felis Rufus averages 15 - 20 lbs, the larger specimens reaching 30 lbs. I'm thinking the cat we saw today was 30 lbs minimum. Maybe even 40 lbs. It was big enough to be a smaller mountain lion in my opinion. Life is obviously good for this cat, as food appears to be plentiful.

The article goes on to say that contrary to their pussycat-like appearance, bobcats are quite fierce, equipped to bring down larger animals. I'm glad I read that part after standing within pouncing distance trying desperately to get a picture!

Kathy mentioned seeing the cat the night before. I think all these sightings may propel the cat to celebrity status. Hopefully it'll stay out of trouble and not get messed with by the Department of Wildlife or some trigger happy rancher!

The Future?

I was reading the 3-Speed Blog tonight, and I came across this picture. It made me think of the possible future of the Facility Bike Club. When we first got together in 2001 it was all guys. We rode, talked loud, cursed, talked about stuff that never left the mountain. Nowadays you're lucky if you see another guy on the ride. I'm not sure lucky is the correct word, but you catch my meaning. If current trends continue, I think this picture is an accurate depiction of the future Facility Bike Club...

Back in the Saddle Again

My orthopedic cleared me to ride a stationary bike with the aircast on. First I had to collect it from my friend Kristy who herself is recovering from a MTB crash (hers was way more impressive than mine). She hit the trail again this week and doing great I hear. Maybe hit the trail is a poor choice of words...
Here is the rest of the story

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

El Mariachi

Anyone read Dirt Rag? On page 68 of issue 125, there's an ad for an El Mariachi from Salsa Cycles. The complete bike is a fully rigid 29er with a 1x9 drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes. This bike interests me for a few reasons.

It has the good qualities of a rigid single speed, but is a bit more flexible. Sometimes when I ride my single speed, I'm thinking that I don't necessarily want 26 more gears, but that a few more would be nice. It looks to have a single speed crankset up front with a 32 tooth chain ring, and a 9 speed cassette in the rear.

I've yet to ride a 29er off-road, but I can imagine that it'd be smoother through the rocks...maybe even feeling like it had a wee bit of suspension compared to a 26 inch wheeled bike. The True Temper Ox frame should help with some of the shock absorption too.

The disc brakes are a nice touch too, helping stop in the winter mess of mud and snow.

I want to get a road bike next, but a bike like this one could definitely be in my future...

Have you hugged your Orthopedic Physician today?

It has been exactly 7 days since my MTB accident and I finally got to see the orthopedic doctor today. I went in prepared for the worst case scenario but came out with the best.

The official diagnosis is a transverse fracture of the right lateral malleolus or as my friend John likes to call it...broke ass ankle.

You can read the full story here

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Feel Free to Join In!

We ran into Jeff the Mailman on our ride today, and he was telling us about reading the blog. He said he would've commented on a post, but didn't want to appear to be a stalker. I told him that he's welcome to comment on any post. In fact I encourage anyone who reads this blog to comment. I get pretty darn excited when I see a comment on a post I made, and know the other posters do too. Looking at the Site Meter stats, I'm starting to recognize quite a few of the regular readers. Feel free to jump in! I know I've been afraid to post on other's blogs before, and have even been rejected a couple times. That won't happen here though! Join the conversation. It's what makes blogging fun!

Monday, November 27, 2006


So, I re-wrapped my road bike with some funky yellow tape, and finally got my spedometer mounted. That combined with my Bright Red Michelen Pro Race Tires, and this bike is HOT baby! Pics tomorrow maybe. Anyway, on my ride this weekend down the geiger, I managed to get up to 42mph. I've been a little faster in the past, and since I had a good headwind I was pleased. Amazing how much a tuck makes a difference at that speed.

Bicycle Art in Carson City, NV?

Yes, it's true!

I noticed a bicycle mural on the back side of a Podiatrist's Office in Carson City about a month ago while driving through town. I have lived in the area for most of my life and never noticed it. So for all you experts on Carson City, I have some questions for you.

How long has this been here? Why are there bicycles and what looks like a Golden Gate bridge? Who did it? What was there inspiration?

One guess..... A bike race in San Francisco?

Any thoughts?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Weekend Cruising

I did my first bike ride in days this weekend. It was so good to get out of the house after being couped up for so long. The story continues HERE.

con‧va‧les‧cence defines convalescence as: 1. the gradual recovery of health and strength after illness. or 2. the period during which one is convalescing.

I define convalescence as insanity. Mind you before my accident, I could not even spell convalescence so I guess I have in fact learned something from all this. Did I mention the dream I had last night? I was running through a soccer field with no cast but it hurt to take every step and that I was in a bikini top. What is that about? Do I feel unattractive with this lump of plaster on my right leg? I actually had a dilema this morning, do I bother to shave the left if I can't get to the right? In the end, I had to shave the left because although I have been known to hug a tree in my day - I draw the line with bushy legs or arm pits.

You can read the entire story here...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

New Job

After 11 years of working at the place we call "The Facility", I decided to take a new job across the street. I scored a semi-large cubicle in the basement, right next to an access door to the outside. It should be perfect for getting my bike in and out of the building in a stealth like manner, disturbing very few people. Soon that is...

I don't have keys to the access door yet. This means I can sneak out quickly, but to get back in, I'll need to go through the front lobby, through a door, down the stairs, down some halls, etc. I'm not quite ready to introduce my new world to spandex tights, so I'm going to make my car my base of operations for the next couple of weeks. I'll probably pre-change in the restroom, and then finish it off in the car, reversing the process when I return.

Whatever I do, I need to figure it out soon! I've barely ridden the past three weeks. No riding=very few posts to the blog. Kristy and I plan to do some road riding today, so hopefully I'll get some new pictures up today!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Update on my Condition

The day after the crash, Thanksgiving, and the day after can read all about it here:

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

Let me start by saying, I am on pain medication so hopefully this story makes sense....It was Tuesday about noon and the wind was howling. Since most of the crew was off this week, it was just me and Patrick on the ride that day. I am 4'11" tall and weigh exactly 98.6 pounds so I have been known to be blown over by the wind. I called Patrick to check and make sure he still wanted to ride. He went outside and called me back saying we were going, it was like summer out there 58 degrees, etc. So we met at the usual spot and headed directly into the wind.

We decided to do the new postal route and Jeff had mentioned that there was a lower track that was not as defined. Patrick and I decided to check it out. I let him lead and we headed down the trail. Well, there really was not much of a trail just what seemed to be randomly placed orange flags every so often. This section is also off camber so I unclipped my left foot and used that to guide my bike through the brush but was still clipped in on the right. I lost my balance and started to go down to the right and could not get unclipped until the last second, put my foot down, heard a snap, and hit the ground. I layed there for a minute thinking "&^%$" and hoping that Patrick saw me fall. I think I was screaming too but that is beside the point.

It seemed like a couple of minutes went by and then Patrick was standing over me asking me if I was ok and saying "oh no!". He suggested I get up and walk it off before it swelled and I said I needed a minute. I seriously could not move I was in so much pain. A couple of minutes went by and I decided I could use my bike a crutch on the right side and hobble down the hill until we hit flat ground and then ride out. When we got to the dirt road Patrick helped me back on my bike and I clipped in on the left, I could not do anything with the right leg so I let it dangle. I rode down the hill with one leg and then we got to the pavement. I had to pedal from the bike path to Patrick's house with only my left leg. The scariest part was the intersections cos I had to unclip the left well before hand and then make sure I leaned to the left so I would not land on my right. Once we got there Patrick loaded my bike up into his truck and drove me to my office. Upon my arrival there I was swarmed by my well meaning coworkers. Patrick made a quick exit and I began to get the million and one questions. It was then that I lost it, bawling like a baby. The looks on their faces were priceless. I am not a crier and anyone who knows me knows that if I am crying - something is seriously wrong.

I decided that I was not going to be able to shake this one and medical attention was in order. Mostly, I wanted some pain meds but that was the extent of my reason for going to the urgent care. My friend Marti that I work with is a nurse so she took control of my care and I was loaded into an office chair and wheeled to the elevator and then loaded into her car. I waited for over an hour for an x-ray all the while thinking it is just a bad sprain, I am going to be fine.

The results of my x-ray were that I broke my fibula above my ankle. It is a crack and I should not need surgery. I can not even tell you how much it hurts, especially today. What hurts the most is that I am on crutches for a month, can not drive, can't play soccer, and supposedly can not ride a bike for 2-3 months!

Happy Thanksgiving to me...It could have been worse, I am thankful for that. I am also thankful that Patrick was there to help me and I was not left to be eaten by the bears or coyotes or jackrabbits.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Birth of a New Trail

This is the entrance to a new section of trail. It's a little hard to see, but it is marked with orange flags. We didn't start any new trails this year, so we were all excited when one of our friends asked us to ride his new trail. The trail begins where our favorite section of single track ends, extending the fun even further. It's just about the perfect grade too. Steep enough so that you don't need to pedal much, but not so fast that you can't rail the turns. I'm looking forward to riding up it too. Many of our uphill routes are pretty steep, and this will provide a more gradual route up the hill.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Now that the elections are over...

Here are a couple clever ways to recycle the remaining election signs that weren't blown away by this week's Washoe Zephyr!

A rear fender over at 3-Speed Blog
A front basket over at Oil is For Sissies

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kristy - One Week Later

What a difference a week makes! Compare today's picture with last week's photo. Kristy is off the pain meds, got her splint off, and is more mobile. Today the doc said the MRI looked fine, and all other body parts were healing nicely. You can hardly see any evidence of the the road rash on her face, and only a slight black eye remains.

Kristy took off the splint yesterday and found that the bandage and the scab had grown together. She had to soak the wound in the tub, and the rip off the bandage. A feat that almost made her pass out!

The doc said no mountain biking for at least three to five more weeks, but she should be able to do some road riding as soon as she feels up to it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What did you do on Friday?

Being a government worker, or should I say employee, I get all the holidays off. My husband, not being a government employee, does not.

So Kath and I went on a bike ride, with her husband Mike. We brought him along for bear food, figured it would give us just enough time to escape while the bear was nibbling on him. Or he could just scare the bear off for us - whatever.

We rode from Hobart Rd. (in Lakeview) to the crossroads where you can either drop into Hobart reservior or go across to Ash Canyon. We chose to go back the way we came and then take a single track over and drop into Timberline. Mike was a big help, he even moved a tree that had fallen onto the trail out of our way. If he did not have my camera at the time, I totally would have taken a picture of it.

You can read about our Veterans Day Ride on my family blog.


Friday, November 10, 2006

We Have a Pilot Down

Mountain Biking can wear you out. In fact you can get delirious after an epic ride.

About a month ago, my buddy Mr. Hoole was riding the Tahoe Rim Trail. He rode with a group of people that didn't know the area real well, and ended up making it a lot harder than it should have been. They were tired and hungry.

After the ride they went to Lake Tahoe to get some food. Mr. Hoole was starving. And I mean starving! So much so, that he forgot that his bike was mounted on his roof rack. Scott entered a parking garage at one of the casinos and heard a loud SMACK! Mr. Hoole was quickly pulled from his famine induced delirium, and had the rush of sudden realization of what had just happened as his bike fell over and smacked the side of the car.

When he told me about the incident later that night, I was convinced the bike must be ruined. He brought the bike down to my house, and to my astonishment, only the left dropout on the fork was broken! I could not find anything else wrong with the bike.

We decided to let me fix it...the repairs being within my scope of skills and arsenal of tools. We found a good deal on some Manitou R7's, so we ordered the new forks.

I got the bike back together, and cleaned it up. I had to scold Mr. Hoole for the condition his drive train was in too. I scraped and scrubbed off so much grime!

We both agreed the R7's were an improvement to the appearance of the bike. Scott still needs more miles and tuning to get a full evaluation of the forks though. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Am OK!

Funny, I remember saying in a recent post that I thought I was finished with the falling down stage, apparently not as I realized yesterday.

The last thing I remember was thinking to myself these ruts look kinda big maybe I should slow down. Well, I guess I slowed down too, just not in the manner that I planned. I would have rather used my brakes instead of my face, shoulder, arm and hip. I really feel lucky though, could have been much worse. I came out of it with a minor wrist fracture, a nice concussion and some road rash that looks like I am growing James Hetfield side burns.

From what I hear it was quite a project getting me from the trail to the ER, thanks to all who helped out that day, you were awesome! I appreciate it and Jeff does too! We have some really awesome friends! Thank you!

Adventure in the Pine Nuts

Sunday we got the gang together for a ride in the Pine Nuts. Even Scott made the ride, coming all the way from Maryland. Here's the picture of the gang at the trail head.

The ride started off great. Just miles of smooth singletrack up a slight uphill grade.

We rested near the top and started the downhill. The downhill was a blast! Tight single track with lots of little whoop-de-do sections.

We did the downhill in sections, pausing at every crossroad to regroup. Kristy didn't show up at the last checkpoint, so I rode back to check on her. I found her laying motionless in the middle of the trail with her bike on top of her! Another bike was coming along and helped me get the bike off her. It looked like she slid out, coming in too fast on a set of deep braking bumps right before a corner. She had a lot of road rash, and lots of dirt in her nose and mouth. When she finally started talking, she didn't know where she was, or what she was doing. She thought it seemed odd that she had so many friends standing around. Luckily we were near a dirt road, and a couple of the guys were able to ride back to the car quickly and get the car in close enough so that we didn't need to carry Kristy too far.

After loaded up in the car, we drove her to the ER which was only a few miles away.

Kristy started to realize what was going on and started to remember the ride before the crash. The nurses cleaned her up, and took X-Rays and CAT scans. It was great to have good friends in the waiting room to keep me focused and on track.

Kristy has a bruised hip, fractured wrist, and of course a concussion. The splint on the wrist should come off within a week. Hopefully the road rash on her face will heal quickly too. She has a pounding head ache and has spent most of the day resting. She hopes to be back on the bike after the wrist has healed, but will only get to do road riding for the rest of the month. Doc's orders...

If anyone would like to wish her well, you can comment here, or send her an email by clicking on her profile, and then clicking on email! I'm sure she'd love to get some get well wishes!

More updates on Kristy to come!

If You Like Pina Coladas

On Friday Scott (Sarge), Jeff, Barbara, and I headed out for the lunch ride. It was a bit overcast but still warm and just a bit drizzly. Perfect riding conditions - I even said that to Barbara as we were climbing C3. We got to the top and were resting at the tree when it started to rain. Luckily at this point in the ride, we are headed back to the office.

I don't ride in the rain, cos I have half a brain. Also because not one piece of riding gear that I own is waterproof. Not even my new bad ass knicks. It is also because it is just miserable. It was not just sprinkling either, it was raining. Scott said I was whining, he is probably right.

I was not so thankful for my copiously vented Giro helmet and Specialized shoes on this day. When I got back to the office and took off my sock I wrung it out and I swear a cup of water came out. You could hear my feet squishing as I walked. I was in sad shape so my office mate Jared snapped this picture. You can't see it in the photo, but there is water dripping from my hair. Now I have people in the office bringing me ponchos and what not for my next ride. Making sure I am prepared, whatever like THAT is ever going to happen again.

I like Pina Coladas
And the feel of the ocean
And the taste of champagne

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Do The Bear Scat Boogie

We were headed down the bike path on our way to the trails today, and we came upon what I thought was just another big pile of horse dung. I thought to myself, "Now there's a horse who loves apples, but has one helluva time digesting them!". One of the girls identified the pyramid-like conglomeration of apples as bear scat, or bear "poop" to use the vernacular. It was quite impressive. And as I rode by, I checked carefully for bits of Pearl Izumi cycling wear or Cordura helmet straps...indigestible parts of a human snack in other words. I don't believe we have anything to fear. The quick 12 mph-drive-by-analysis tested negative for cyclists.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My New Knicks

I heart my new Zoic knicks! I got these for fall since they are longer than shorts but not as hot as my winter tights. They have a removable mesh padded short layer and are a heavier weight.

My office mate Jared thinks I look like a skater punk in them but I disagree.

What do you think?