Sunday, March 27, 2011

SYDC: The Psychology of The Philosofizer

Heads Up:
Before I get to the details, I'll give you a heads up. As a citizen of Planet Earth you have the fundamental right to vote. So exercise your right - find the poll down below & vote. 

The Details:
Well, on the day of the San Ysidro Dirty Century (Sat, March 26th) I woke up without my "A" game. More importantly -  I woke up without my grove on. The day started out rough - at 3:45 am a situation occurred (and reoccured) due to a reactive mix of El Pinto Roasted Green Chili, Dales Pale Ale Hot Sauce and egg burritos. (The dinner of champions, Friday night.) It was all downhill from there. Yep. All downhill. (Or was it all uphill? What a weird Saying.)
The end result - my race pace was slow. My legs felt like logs and my motivation was low. Due to the slow pace, and other issues, I decided to head back to Rio Rancho once I arrived at the Natural Gas Pumping Station, around mile 56. Yep, I didn't Roll on out for the Cabezon Loop. I'm lame. But I did some quick calculations: Last year the conditions were brutal - I finished ~ 7:25pm. (The 2010 SYDC Race Review, if you don't believe me.) This year - the conditions were perfect, I was on pace to finish after 8pm. No thanks. I'm smarter than that. 
Some Hypothetical Excuses - Just for Fun:
So thats that. I'm not going to bore you with reality; we all know that reality is boring. Let's have some fun with the plausible excuses that I could use in my alternate reality. Yes, I define reality and Back of the Pack Racing operates in this alternate reality. 
The set of excuses - Which one is best?
  1. No wind, no challenge, no Interest. Hey, how can I be motivated to complete the entire SYDC if there is no challenge. Well, I could put the hammer down and make it challenging. But I only put the hammer down when there is a Back of the Pack Championship on the line.
  2. The NCAA Tournament games started around 2:20pm, I think. I had to make it home to the couch and the big screen TV. 
  3. I sprained my wrist Friday night. Yep, I was 'forcing' on my new Chunky grips on 'Sheep #3. I reinjured my wrist. Original injury due to Power Cleans in a Crossfit workout.
  4. My separated shoulder is not fully healed. Yep, I separated my shoulder doing Power Snatches in a Crossfit workout.
  5. Complete Boredom brought me down, mentally. I had no riding buddies to converse or 'race' against. Why was this?
    • The Lt Col: The dude was busy making Pasole
    • The Morale Chairman: The dude was planning and preparing for an engagement party. No joke, jokester
    • Prob-eee: Prob-eee was busy being Prob-eee. Yeah. We all know what he was doing.
    • Rhino: Hell, Rhino lives in Arizona. What do you expect?
  6. I had to make it back to town: I was surfing the 'net' on the long haul out to the NGCS, I arranged a hot date with a foxy mama, via Fitness Singles, of course.
  7. I had to race home so I could 'dog sit for The Morale Chairman. Remember - he had an 'engagement party' to plan and attend. Yeah, Marshall and Maybell are my best friends in the whole wide world.

So, What's the Best Excuse, Dude!

The Video of White Mesa

Remember these important points: a) I ride fully rigid single speed, I'm obese, I'm a grinder. So the ride is rough and the video is rough. b) The video is all footage of downhill sections. Refer to a) for an explanation why. c) The video is long because I like Korn AND I wanted The Padre to see how I was abusing his Black Sheep. Yes. I'm a good son. Actually, a very thoughtful son.
White Mesa - some views during the 2011 SYDC

The Boring Data:
82 miles sure isn't 123 miles. Believe it or Not.

Just a View of the Track

The White Mesa Adventure

Surprise of the Race, Yeah Right: 
I was talking to Big John Studd at work the other day. (Recall, we 'found' Big John Studd while out on the Cabezon Loop a few weeks ago. The Post, Dude.) Big John said he was just out for the ride. Not really interested in putting the hammer down. Well. The gun went off at 7AM, Big John Studd put the hammer down like there was no tomorrow. Never trust a senior citizen when he says "I'm just out for a ride".

The Reality of it ALL:
Ok. I'll be serious. Maybe. Yeah I didn't feel great during the 2011 SYDC challenge. But that's not a real excuse, not an acceptable excuse. I probably would have dug deep and finished the entire course if I had someone to hang with during the Cabezon Loop. Like last year. 

But I did come away with an interesting theory. All the super freaks (I use that word in the most positive way possible - seriously) seem to tackle the SYDC as a series of short races. Yeah, like 4 races. A complete SYDC circuit goes by the NGCS 3 times, thus break up the SYDC into 4 short races with race mileage of 25 / 32 / 41 / 25 miles. I constructed this theory because all the super freaks are riding with zero gear. They must have minimal tools, carry ONLY enough liquid for short distances AND they definitely refuel at the NGCS.

I had a similar but less efficient approach last year when The Morale Chairman met me at the NGCS. This year? No Morale Chairman. Therefore I was packed for survival. My pack weighed around 20 lbs. I had enough gear to survive the night and survive the course - just for fun. Actually, I wanted to gain experience carrying gear and 'survival stuff that I may need for the upcoming bike packing adventures. Well. I was prepared for survival but I really think this approach slowed me down and made the adventure much harder than it should have been. (Recall, my statement above. Slow pace led to my decision to bypass the Cabezon Loop.) So, next year I WILL figure out how to ride light, ride fast, and finish. Maybe.

The Summary of the Summary:

Well. I'm doing OK accepting my failure in the 2011 edition of the SYDC. Life goes on. Some days you have it, some days you don't. Weird thing happened to me on the slow ride back to Rio Rancho. My A$$ was a bit sore during the 1st 5 hours of the ride. Not like chaffage sore, but like broken A$$, bruised tailbone sore. (I'm been dealing with this problem for a month or so - another weightlifting injury?) At about mile 60 the pain became unbearable. I was thinking I should just walk it in. But 22 miles would be a bit of a walk. Anyway. I'm thinking I'd still be out on Cabezon if I decided to go for the gusto. 

See, if you think hard enough you can JUSTIFY quitting. Ok. There is no Justification. Quitters Quit.

Man, I better fix this problem or learn to ignore it. I'd hate to add another excuse to the list in my Alternate Reality.

The Picture, Dog Sitting:

Uh. You want to change your vote above. Dog Sitting. Of Course
It's funny how Maybell and Marshall love to Hang with The Judd
It's funny how Maybell and Marshall just love to terrorize The B.P.R. Morale Chairman

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bike Packing, B.P.R. Style. A Comedy of Bad Decisions

The Judd's 1st Bike Packing experience? What an EXPERIENCE!

For those of you with ADD or similar issues, check out the summary. For the rest of you, details are below.

The Summary:
  1. If you can't sleep with the WILD THINGS, don't try to hang with the WILD THINGS. Don't understand? Read the details below.
  2. Riding with 30+ pounds of gear (that's 13.6+ kilos for my metric based buddies) is like riding on the 2nd morning of a 24 hour race. Yep, you start out 'fresh' but the additional gear makes you feel as sluggish as if you just put in 140 miles.
  3. Sunscreen! If you're a gringo - put it on! AND not just on your face, dude. It's spring. That tender pale skin BURNS!
Ok. For all of you that have some free time and some interest. Here are the details - details that only The Hustorian can document. (Yes Mother. It's HU-STOR-IAN. On purpose, by demand.)

Just Because:
  1. Just because you are scared of the dark - doesn't mean you need to pack a 357 and hollow point rounds. Save the 2.5 pounds.
  2. Just because you are scared of the dark - doesn't mean you need to pack a single person tent and a teddy bear. Save the 3.0 pounds. (Even though $350 says it's 1lb 14 oz.)
  3. Just because you like to eat - doesn't mean you need to pack the kitchen.
  4. Just because you like battle axes and knives - doesn't mean you need to pack an entire set of 'cutlery'. 
  5. Just because you live on Modus Hoperandi - doesn't mean you need to pack in 500mL of Crown Royal. (Figure that one out, dude.)
  6. Just because you have 3 favorite hats - doesn't mean you need to pack all 3 hats.
  7. Just because you are a data GEEK - doesn't mean you need 2 GPS units.
  8. Just because you are a data GEEK - doesn't mean you need a 7 day supply of batteries.
Riding SOLO:
The events could have unfolded differently if I wasn't riding solo. But that's life. What were the other B.P.R. dudes doing?
  1. The Morale Chairman: Hanging in Vegas, trying to raise funds to pay for his bike packing gear. I hope he was 'lucky'.
  2. The Lt Col: I'm convinced The Lt Col only rides when he is getting paid. Yes, The Lt Col only rides on the weekdays during the work hours. What a life!
  3. Prob-eee: Prob-eee is as Prob-eee does. The HAZING PERIOD is over for Prob-eee. I will say no more. Prob-eee will be treated as an adult from now on.
  4. Rhino: Cruising the Arizona Trail looking for water. I hope he found some.
The Decision to Bail - Decision NOT to CAMP:
  1. Man. Cedro is DRY! I was prepared to build a fire at the camp. BUT I experienced the conditions at Cedro and said "NO WAY JOSE". I didn't want to be that dude that burned down the Cibola National Forest.
  2. I got lost. Not really. I could always backtrack with the GPS track. But what kind of man does that? Yeah. I missed a few turns and couldn't find the trail to my desired campsite. And I wasn't going to set up camp and party down at the local meth lab.
  3. The Judd's Pad had: a) cold beer, b) the NCAA tournament.
  4. If I bailed on Saturday, I could return on Sunday for more miles - more miles to find the campsite AND get lost again. (Yes, that happened.)
Lessons Learned:
Eliminate EVERYTHING. The single speed experience is hard enough. Add in 30+ pounds and it HURTS. GET RID OF EVERYTHING! All you need is.... don't have the answer, yet.
  1. Ditch the 357. If you're not gonna use it - leave it at home.
  2. Ditch the tent. If you can't sleep with the WILD THINGS - stay at home.
  3. Ditch the stove. If you can't live without your SpagettiO's - stay at home.
  4. Ditch the food. If you can't live on berries and grass - stay at home.
Mechanical & Equipment Issues:
  1. Damn seat post slipped - routinely. I MUST figure this out. Otherwise someone will confuse me for The Lt Col. That's right, The Lt Col has the lowrider style.
  2. 1L Platypus H2O containers SUCK! Yep, one started to leak. Screw it!

The Ride(s):
The Rookie Outing: Saturday = 43 Miles

Finding a Campsite - The Day After
Saturday - The Rookie Ride - Wrong Turn at 'The Y'
Sunday - Correct Turn at 'The Y'
Sunday - Lost Meadow - Definitely felt LOST - But Wasn't

The Pics:

The Gear - Way TOO MUCH Gear - But it's TRAINING!

Ready to GO!

Just a Sheep and a Tree

Same Tree - Different Day - Different Sheep

 Good Place to CAMP?

Party Down with the Crown!

I HATE Hard Alcohol

Like I said, I HATE hard Alcohol

Drinking Ska brew, eating freeze dried food, watching the NCAA Tournament
In my camping clothes - of course!

The Bivy on The Deck
How long did this last?

The Planned Campsite - A Day Too LATE!

The Judd thinking... I'm about to get LOST! Again! 
But GPS (a fully charged GPS) saves the day. Again!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back of the Pack Membership - The Reality

The Founding Fathers of Back of the Pack Racing struggle with the questions of membership. 
  1. Should we recruit dudes & dudettes? Open up membership to B.P.R.?
  2. Could we recruit dudes & dudettes? Open up membership to B.P.R.?
  3. Will we recruit dudes & dudettes? Open up membership to B.P.R.?
Wow. Those are questions that we routinely debate. And we, The Founding Fathers, like to debate. If Back of the Pack Racing participated in Intramural Sports - we'd be a Debate Club.  Yes, really. We routinely debate. Our favorite subjects are: Evolution, Aliens, Religion, Politics. And as of today The Judd has never lost a debate against The Lt Col. AND neither The Judd or The Lt Col has finished a debate against The Morale Chairman. That's right. The Morale Chairman is intimidating - to the point that we all RUN away.

But there are three subjects that will never be debated. Ever!
  • 29 Inches, Single, Rigid
  • Plaid
  • Law and Order defined and maintained by The Founding Fathers
AND... The Supreme Council is a defined as: A meeting, scheduled or unscheduled, of The Founding Fathers. All decisions made by The Supreme Council are FINAL. Decisions will not be debated by any / all members of Back of the Pack Racing.

To define and maintain Law and Order The Lt Col scripted the Back of the Pack Operating Instructions - an unknown request of The Hustorian, The Judd. (Unknown request? Yep, unknown request.) The B.P.R. OIs are clear cut. No room for interpretation. No room for waivers. It's It and That's That. 

So, we are organized. We can address the topic of membership, therefore we will address the topic of membership. We'll start with the reality of B.P.R. membership, comment on current membership and maybe even address future membership. Or maybe not.

The Reality:
The reality of Back of the Pack Racing membership is defined below in the B.P.R. Membership Diagram.  The Judd has received many inquires into B.P.R. membership. To date, the standard response is "Review the B.P.R. OIs. If you, the B.P.R. prospect, can support the lifestyle... then get back to us." Well, only a few dudes have committed to the lifestyle. And it's a lifelong commitment.

Enough rambling. Check out The Diagram. Think about The Diagram. Understand the Diagram.

A Few Comments:
  • The Professor Emeritus was The Dude way before The Dude was The Dude. The Professor Emeritus has unique privileges, such as a custom retro Black Sheep Highlight. Only one problem. The Judd has yet to hand over the retro Black Sheep. Yeah. Imagine that.
  • The Founding Fathers. Need I say more?
  • The Full Members. Well, Jasper in NZ has a fully rigid titanium Black Sheep. He qualifies for full membership. The two other dudes on the South Island? They'll remain anonymous - we must protect the identity of these NZ socialites. But the dudes arranged the Incredible Adventure. So they are in.
  • Prob-eee? Probationary Membership? Yeah. That's the whole reason I'm motivated to publish this posting. More below, dude.
  • Rhino? Probationary Membership? Not Really. The Morale Chairman nominated Rhino for a Field Promotion, a promotion to Senior and Tenured Member. Rhino does everything the right way - the Back of the Pack way. Rhino is busting his A$$ figuring out all the Arizona 300 details and logistics. The Founding Fathers will discuss this Field Promotion at the next Supreme Council. Oh yeah. Rhino's profile is not published yet - but it's in the works. The other profiles (The Back of the Pack Racer Profiles) will be updated too. Maybe.
  • Associate Members? No takers yet. It's simple. Ride a titanium, fully rigid Single Speed (or is it Singlespeed?) and live the B.P.R. Lifestyle defined in the B.P.R. OIs.
  • Additional Probationary Members? It's totally simple. Ride a fully rigid single speed and live the B.P.R. lifestyle. How hard is that?
Prob-eee is as Prob-eee Does:
Yep, Prob-eee is as Prob-eee Does, a recurring problem. What a NIGHTMARE! Prob-eee has been moved to Membership Under Reviewbased on numerous issues  This does not mean that Prob-eee could / will get the boot. A member of B.P.R. is always a member. Just like a Felon is always a Felon. (Actually, once you're in - you probably can't get out. It's a secret society thing.) We, The Founding Fathers just don't know what to do with Prob-eee.  

The Commitment:
A Commitment? Is Prob-eee committed to the Single Speed (or is it Singlespeed?) Lifestyle? That's the unknown. Prob-eee ordered a titanium Black Sheep. Then cancelled the order. Then he reordered a steel Black Sheep. Ok. That's 'kind of' a commitment. Is 'kind of' good enough?

The Prob-eee Issues:
There are two MAJOR issues with Prob-eee. Gears and the LOVE of Spandex. Let me explain via a recreation of a discussion... or a set of discussions.

Issue #1:
The Judd: "Hey Prob-eee. 29 Inches, Single, Rigid. Right? Rumor has it that you are riding a geared bike today."

Prob-eee rattles off 4 'excuses' before The Judd can even interrupt. AND The Judd loves to interrupt.

Prob-eee, excuse #1: "I'm trying to better myself"
Prob-eee, excuse #2: "It's all about Zone 2"
Prob-eee, excuse #3: "You guys may be a bit narrow minded"
Prob-eee, excuse #4: "It's a training tool"
    Issue #2:
    The Judd: "Hey Prob-eee. Rumor has it that you're wearing spandex leg warmers and arm warmers. That's not authorized."

    Prob-eee rattles off 5 'excuses' before The Judd can take a bite of his breakfast burrito. AND The Judd loves breakfast burritos.

    Prob-eee, excuse #1: "They aren't spandex, they're SmartWool. Not dumb wool, not spandex"
    Prob-eee, excuse #2: "They are just like long underwear but without the parts"
    Prob-eee, excuse #3: "Leg warmers are a good piece of equipment"
    Prob-eee, excuse #4: "Come on! They are easy to slip up and slip down"
    Prob-eee, excuse #5: "Your are a spandex closet freak. I know you wear spandex and not tighty whities under those cargo shorts."

    The Judd: "Prob-eee. Hold your horses. You're talking to a Founding Father. How do you know I'm not wearing tighty whities under these cargo shorts? Huh? How do you know? Quit trying to create controversy, dude."

    The Madre:
    Well. We, The Founding Fathers are SCREWED. The Madre says that we must be nice to Prob-eee. Something like 'Back of the Pack Racing needs a NICE Guy or two'. Damn. I hate it when The Madre lays down the law. But what can we do?

    Therefore we need to review Prob-eee's membership in Back of the Pack Racing. He's in. But he is a trip. What do we do with him? Yep. Membership Under Review.

    The Future?
    What a nightmare, dude! Gears & Spandex Leg Warmers? It's like we're stuck in a flashback to Flashdance!

    Check out this video. Go to the 2 min 10 sec mark. Prob-eee's dancing in his leg warmers and spandex. No joke, jokester!

    Wow. Another example. This is a video that is littered with Prob-eee and his leg warmers. Unbelievable! Follow the link, dude or dudette!

    The Link - Flashdance Action

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Double Centurion Criterium Delirium (DCCD)

    What is the B.P.R. DCCD? It's LUDACRACY in it's simplest form. The DCCD is so stupid, so boring, so insane that I won't spend much time summarizing the events.  BUT don't worry. Life at the Back of the Pack is about to change. Exciting times are ahead, I think.

    So, the summary of The Summary. The story of what happened:

    The Background

    A week ago I decided to organize a criterium in the local neighborhood. This criterium was not a normal criterium. It was a Dual Centurion Criterium Delirium. Yep. Two 100 mile criteriums, in 2 days, in The Judd's neighborhood. Completely mind numbing. Huh? Completely stupid. Huh?

    Anyway. Thursday AM: The DCCD was on, at least in my head.

    Thursday PM: Prob-eee said something really stupid. Something like "Oh, the weather is so nice. You should take off Friday and get started early on the DCCD."

    The gears in my head started turning. Yes, gears in my head. Gears on the bike are STRICKLY FORBIDDEN - as defined in the Back of the Pack OIs, Section 3.1. Hell. The DCCD is only 200 miles. Let's go for 300 miles.

    The invitations went out. Yes, the DCCD is an INVITATIONAL, of course. But NO ONE was able to break free of family duties. (Yeah, I actually advertised the Invitational as a TCCD, The Triple. I think this reorganization of the DCCD into the TCCD scared all the dudes away.) Well, The Judd was all alone, again. But that's cool.

    The Reality

    The original goals was 200 miles in the neighborhood. The revised goal was 300 miles in the neighborhood. Reality was 250 miles - in the neighborhood and on Rte 66.  Yes, 250 miles is defined as a failure since the goal was up'd to 300. Quiters Quit and Haters Hate. The Judd is a Quiter, once again. But not a hater, dude.

    The Horror, The Horror

    So, many 24 hour solo racers have personal relationships with the 3AM demons. Guess what. Those 3AM demons showed up in my neighborhood on Saturday morning, right around 11AM. The demons gave me a massive body shot at mile 140, lap 3 of day 2. BUT I survived the body shot. I survived the relentless battle waged by the demons. It was insane. I was close to insanity. But that's the point of the Dual Centurion Criterium Delirium. Test the mind. Test the body. Do something stupid... without looking stupid.

    The Lessons Learned, Over and Over

    It's not the legs that move the machine, it's the mind that guides the machine. Get it?

    The Surly Fixie at the DCCD Starting Line

    The DCCD Track

    The Data of ONE LAP - The Centurion Criterium Course
    Yeah, not much climbing. IT's A CRITERIUM DUDE!

    The Data, The Proof, The 253.04 Miles

    A Happy Judd after Day 2

    Chores after the 250 Miles. 
    Does PBR and Landscaping duties make me a Hipster?
    Ok, I'll quit trying. I'll never be a Hipster.

    The last of the Black Porter Rhino. A Celebration

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    The Cabezon Loop = Prob-eee and the WIZzzzzard

    Small bladders? Damn. Prob-eee either a) has the smallest bladder known to man, b) is mentally incapable of dealing with a little bit of discomfort, c) has figured out how to 'punch' The Judd's buttons.

    Unbelievable! A group of us went on an easy, but long, ride out and around Cabezon Peak. The ride was ~ 57.2 miles (gps) with a lame 3660 feet of vertical. I almost fell asleep the ride was so 'easy'. But every time I was about to fall asleep the convoy STOPPED. With NO notice.  Every time I zoned out.... Prob-eee jumped off the bike to relieve pressure. At the worst: 2 stops in 4 miles. At the best: 2 stops in 8 miles. I think the dude needs to find another doctor that has a bit more experience examining that prostate and the effects of an ENLARGED ONE. I'm not a proctologist - so I can't say for certain - but the dude has bladder problems.

    OH WELL. Enough ripping on Prob-eee. I think. WAIT. I seem to recall that The Lt Col wakes up about 3 or 4 times a night due to The WIZzzzzard. Yeah. I think The Lt Col's record if 5 WIZzzzzards in one night. Man. I hope I never get old.

    Anyway. It was a good day on the bike. The Lt Col surprised us all and showed up for a few miles. Just a few. That's cool. But he didn't stick around for the photo finish. That's OK. I'd smoked him anyway.

    So not much to report. Just dirt, just miles, just good conversation. That's about it.

    Uh. Could this be Cabezon Peak?

    The Results? The Result! Every ride is a RACE!

    1st Place: The Judd
    2nd Place: Big John Studd - But the geared dude could of pulled out the victory, if only Mr Studd knew it was a race. Full Disclosure? Yeah right!
    3rd Place: Prob-eee. 65 seconds back
    4th Place: The Morale Chairman. 83 seconds back.

    Just the Data:
    Just the Track. Dude

    Dude. Don't MISS A TURN

    The GPS Basics

    Just Some Pics:

    The Lt Col saying Goodbye: Goodbye Lt Col: See You Next Time

    Hightlight #3 and Cabezon Peak

    The Crew for the Loop

    The Morale Chairman, The TeddNeck. Flying Old Skool Colors

    I hate BEARDS. But it's a CHALLENGE!
    It's coming OFF SOON! Maybe

    Budlight? In the Middle of NOWHERE? What. Are we in LEADVILLE?

    A Sheep and A Gate

    A Sheep, A Gate, Cabezon Peak

    Rolling with the Beard. Rockin' the Club Ride Go West Shirt. 
    Bitchin' Patches, Huh.

    Prob-eee. The Moocher Mooching Food. As Always.

    Prob-eee: Finishing WIZzzzzard #4

    Prob-eee: Finishing WIZzzzzard #9. No Joke

    Prob-eee: Finishing WIZzzzzard #11 OUT OF 14. NO JOKE!