28 July, 2008

NYPD's Finest (A$$ hole)

when good cops go bad...

click here for what happened to barney fife for his transgressions.
i got this from my digg account. here's an invite if you want to join digg.com
i'm not a fan of the social networking sites; but what i like about this is like-minded people basically bookmarking videos, news, pictures of the same stuff i like. check it out.

27 July, 2008

Moab in July (updated w/Billy's photos!)

l-r me, billy, kev on top o'klondike bluffs (courtesy o'billy)
moab's temperatures nowadays hover near 100° fahrenheit and the lows are in the 70s. so, what better time than now to go to moab (thinketh the homey trinity)? i believe i'm living a charmed life. as a believer in karma, i do believe i need to become a better individual-starting immediately-as a result of the weather and massive endorphin release hanging/riding/conversing with the homey trinity in moab this past weekend. the national weather service said friday was going to be 99° so hez-chilly looked up rides in the nearby la sal (this is spelled correctly) mountains (14 or so miles south of moab). he found one and later confirmed as a cool ride by the poison spider bike shop dudes. it was called moonlight meadows. originally it (was) The Manti-La Sal National Forest in the mountains above Moab just opened the Moonlight Meadows downhill trail, which was built to reroute a renegade singletrack built by Moab locals (Philipps, 2006).
here are the la sals in the waaaaaay background
at the la sals looking down!
it's quite a different perspective isn't it? if you notice a localized rain cell's dumping in the near background. this rain cell cooled our trailhead to a nice 77°. it was chilly. we were also 9000 feet up. meteorologically speaking it was a rare but pleasant surprise! armed with gps units and billy's pocket guide we hit the moonlight meadows trail. the poison spider guys warned us there was a long-ish, gravelly, fire road climb but the wacky descent was worth it. sure enough the climb sucked but we also realized it just rained up here and there were wee pockets of standing water in the depressions. okay, so we thought the trail'd be nice and tacky (kind of like your distant, kooky relative poaching your wedding). at the top of this farmer's meadow we see the singletrack-and it's mudfest.
the calm before the storm (courtesy o'billy)
the key to gliding/riding over mud is to pretend you're on ice and to make the turns eons before the trail goes crooked (and to not ride the brakes!). once you lose your imaginary fall-line (kind of like a mental laser pointer on the path), and your front tire's no longer on the laser pointer marks on the ground (your fall line), you end up fighting-via over compensating-to keep the front tire on your fall line. once the steering gets hamfisted the front tire wants to launch over the troughed-out, rain-slicked tree roots, with rocks-a'plenty singletrack like a bad luger going high on the berms. that was my mistake twice and i launched! thank goodness my three years of kara-te paid off and i rolled to absorb the impact of the ground anxiously awaiting my airborne, gravity assisted 145 lb mass of glee and fright. i was tête de la course for the first and arrière du kev and billy for the second. the downhill truly was an invention of sick moab locals...
i'ma walking (courtesy o'billy)
kev's a'walking (courtesy o'billy)
...and throw in some very loose baby head sized rocks with off camber switchbacks you have either: a very defeated person who's riding something over his/her head; or, you let 'er rip and use the knowledge and skill set you accumulated mountain biking over the years (and hope you have some muscle memory to finesse the sick stuff!). since it was also testosterone-fest the latter person showed up and we were riding close, singlefile stuff hoping the person in front wouldn't biff and doing a major case of monkey-see-monkey-do over the technical shizzle. it was all tight singletrack through the aspen groves and the babyheads never stopped! it was a mixture of pins and needles and open-throttled white noise in the brain. your whole, leading edge of your body was like a radar dish soaking up as much terrain data, sights, sounds, wind speeds, and topography, as it could possibly handle and translating that to body english, center-of-gravity shifts, calculating fall lines, and feather braking in real time. all this sensory overload led to voluminous releases of adrenaline and endorphins. scary yet pee-in-your- pants fun!
this picture does the trail's ninja-like technicality no justice!
at the oowah lake trail junction we take a breather.
me in disbelief that we all survived that downhill (courtesy o'billy)
kev smilin' because we survivedbilly-aka the master, stoic, because he is the master
by now the trail's getting drier but the tight singletrack and off-cambered switchbacks with copious amounts of babyheads continue. after some more trail finding and descending we arrive at our trailhead parking lot. wow. we thought briefly about camping while at moab; but sensibility arrived and we ended up getting a room at the inn that had a perfectly working hot tub and pool. we mixed up both in order to achieve a state of physiological and mental relaxation (and repeating if necessary to achieve both). what a way to end the day. 11 something miles in about 2h.
we woke to freezer burns on our bodies because we cranked the air conditioning unit. it makes for great sleeping too that ac. today, we set a goal for making our best pr time at slickrock. three words describe our effort(s): pain, pain, and (did i mention?) pain. last time we did it in 2h flat. this time? 1h 36 mins including a seven-minute break we took at this particular junction...
for reasons unknown i took a picture of my doggies...after we ate, we hit our pool/hot tub combo again before venturing out to arches national park. inside arches, there are some spectacular looking rock formations like this one called (yup, you guessed it!)...

balanced rock
with super nutty rock formations every second driving deeper into the park, it's as if i was in manhattan for the first time. i kept looking up, put in a constant state of awe and wonder (in this case nature's beauty vs man's) by these nutrageous rock formations. by now it's 103°. 103 oppressive degrees. 103° of torture. 103° of mind numbing foolishness. ouch. but billy says we have to press on and hike to this spectacle of nature called delicate arch. like a novice, i hike in my flip-flops. oh well. after abrading my doggies on the hike, i'm rewarded with this view of delicate arch. those are people skirting the top of the rim. watch that first step! it's a doozy...
here it is closerpretty spectacular isn't it? yeah billy, good call on arches! two very enthusiastic thumbs up for this national park kids! i was so inspired i bought this t-shirt as a souvenir...
for our last ride, we do klondike bluffs. i want to weasel out of this one because the hike and heat's kicking my butt. our goal too is to completely blast our legs for this trip so we head off to the klondike bluffs trailhead. as soon as fate would have it, another storm cell rolls overhead and we go from 103° to 86°.
here's a friendly storm cell
as our last hurrah before we start school a sudden sense of urgency kicks in. we realize it's our last opportunity as a cycling pod to put a fraternal, friendly, competitive, butt whoopin' on each other. when we hit the unforgiving moonrock signifying the start of the ascent, billy goes to the front and establishes a torrid pace. i dangle off his wheel and wait for the right moment to return the favor. we hit a sandy patch and he breaks traction. this is where i go for the pass and drop it a gear. again we roll onto this nasty moonrock and i'm bumped off my line and can't even sustain my cadence. i get passed. darn you inventor of the dual suspension frame! eventually we meet at the top and my camera's dead. we hike to the scenic viewpoint to witness the devil's furnace (or something like that). it's indescribably beautiful and coupled with the depth between us and this landmark, it gets me seasick and i have to ensure my feet's grounded so my brain'll stop freaking out.
behind us's the devils furnace outcropping (courtesy o'billy)
on the descent, kevin and his brand new yeti 575 show me wassup and they both wait for me at the bottom. darn you inventor of the hardtail frame! oi! what a trip. what other ride(s) can we do next time that'll release even more endorphins from the pleasure/pain portion of our brain? i can't wait!...you may ask yourself why does machmoud go with the homey trinity to moab all the time? the answer is: because i can and the homey trinity's cool like that! amen brothers and sisters. amen...

ps. kev drove us in his sweet, pimpish (that's an adjective my high school students use to mean oh so cool) toyota sequoia
pps. upon googling moonlight meadows, i came across this interesting piece of info from trails.com. it reads: This eTrail is currently unavailable from Trails.com. According to the USDA… 'the Geyser Pass to Oowah Moab Lake (Moonlight Meadow) Trail is in violation of the Manti-Las Sal[sic] National Forest Travel Plan. Furthermore if you have ridden the Geyser Pass to Oowah Moab Lake (Moonlight Meadow) Trail you are in violation of the Manti-Las Sal National Forest Travel Plan. Forest Order Number 04-010-002 "(3) Possess or use any type of vehicle off forest development roads or trails when prohibited or restricted as shown on Exhibit 'A', the Travel map, 36 CFR 261.56.'Further legal action my[sic] follow.' oops.
ppps. here's a slideshow of most of the photos hez-chilly and i took. enjoy

20 July, 2008

Dog Days O'Summer're Here

went for an early four hour ride with christopher who's lighter and fitter this year than others and kenny with his new scandium ride. it was hot. after we dropped kenny off, we had an hour back to ride to chris' and we were suffering in the heat. our legs were pretty spent too from doing some climbing but it was a great ride. i was spent. melissa called en route and said to meet her at the rec. center for a swim. she works out and i watch the kids swimming. when she's done we hit the hot tub and it's glorious. she forgot to bring my swim shorts so i bought a winner at old navy. hell yeah it's gawdy that's why it's on sale (it's the one on the right if you can't figure it out-mason's left!). it didn't have the mesh, built-in underwear. oh well.
there're kayaks, sunsets, orchids, palm trees et al. on there representing all that is stereotypical of a bad, bad aloha shirt ('cept it's on my shorts boy!!). at the pool we go down the slide, hang in the hot tub and experience evaporative cooling on the sunny deck in beautiful evergreen colorado. hydrotherapy baby. excellent way to end a ride and we bust out some family fun

19 July, 2008

My Daughter's 6th!

the cake: lemon, w/oceanic theme
after i cornered marshalled from the previous blog i hauled-ass back home (yes apparently i'm a dimwit double booking dates) to celebrate my daughter's sixth year of her precious life with our oh so cool family (which wouldn't even be the way it is without her in our lives).
like her, the weather was beautiful today.
they played pin the parrot on the pirate (that's some alliteration, no?)with some hilarious results...

maura and lauren hit it off from their last meeting: the throwdown at the hoedown. lauren's kevin's daughter (of homey trinity notoriety). what a great celebration with her friends (and ours too!) for our divine little daughter.
this sunset from our yard punctuated the end of a splendorous day...

(Corner Marshalling) The Mount Evans Hillclimb

climb on...
one of our team obligations for vitamin cottage is to corner marshall the mount evans hillclimb. my boy kenny
here's kenny eye-balling the benzo
and i were assigned at echo lake.
echo lake
it was about as exciting as saying, "right turn ahead kids!" during a bike race (which is exactly what i did); but hey, i'll take one for the team to keep wearing the purple and orange (i guess). i raced it back in 2006. i wasn't last--scroll down to s(enoir) m(en cat)3 (and i surely wasn't first)! i remember in the cat III's we took off like gangbusters in idaho springs. burnt off a third of the pack before echo lake. i was doing ite until treeline-11,500 feet.

then mr. oxygen debt came to visit me. little to no muscle recruitment from that point forward. it was here when the sucker became the suckee. i got past by most of that original third.
okay. the cool non-racing stuff was mercedes and chrysler (they used to be one in the same). they were here doing their high-altitude car abusement tests. colorado is a popular state for car manufacturers to check their products' mettle; furthermore, the cars' (there were two of 'em) had manufacturer plates from michigan-detroit i'm sure. they were abusing the amg, c 63 (the c is their c-line the bottom with the e above that, and the s-class on top; 63 meaning it displaces 6.3 liters) amg (they're such great autosport modifiers, mercedes keeps their badge on their cars!). the c 63's benzo's answer to the vaunted bmw m3 (that's a mighty tall order!).

i swear to you a viper that was heavily facaded (is that even a word?)was there too. i might sound crazy, but you'll be the first to read it from me, it's their hybrid viper! i didn't get time to get that picture before he took off the cover and took off on battery power.
turn up the volume to hear these v8s duke it out!!!!!

17 July, 2008

wassup with the foolishness??????

these are my students doing an actual PAGE (polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) get it? lab analysis...three people got caught--so far, there'll be more--in this year's edition of the TdF. manual beltran of liquigas who formerly rode for lance (as well as tyler hamilton-mr. chimera, floyd landis-synthetic test, and roberto heras-rEPO. hmmmmmm, coincidental don't you think?). number two: riccardo ricci. italian, up and coming superstar who-i wonder-is going to get his samples from the giro checked for CERA? and third: barloworld's moises duenas nevado-rEPO. okay from this point forward all thoughts are just pretty much percolating out of my mellon with no point to persuade or be formal.
damn wasn't operation puerco enough to scare off the cyclists and even add more trepidation to sponsors? guess not. it's scary to think that without doping they wouldn't have gotten to such an elite place; but look at them now...........exactly. they ain't doin' shit. with the exception of david millar and richard virenque, they came back, were remorseful (richard wasn't, in fact he was goofed on for pretending to be so naive, kinda like barry bonds), and still got paid for pedaling a bike. and what's the deal with porcine lemond insinuating that lance isn't clean? don't tell me an 18 year-old kid coming to europe after winning the u-23 worlds didn't do the juice. hell, all them old guards, it was expected for them to dope (i.e. the team doctor and the soigneur for the disgraced festina squadra). don't they have blood samples still frozen from back in the day of merckx, hinault, indurain et al.? if so check them and if there's a hint of juice in their "b samples" retroactively strip their medals and so on and move everybody up a slot. here's another dealio about their choice of juice: some people are on synthetic juice that's not even on the uci ban-list. it's only after they consider it performance enhancing-and getting caught-they slap their hand (2 year ban?). even if the lab was screwy that checked floyd's ratio of test to epitest, the ratio was so abnormally high they had to call bs on it. yea court of arbitrations! maybe he can be the first mennonite ufc champion?
and another thing, what's up with the dissolution of the ProTour? what the UCI doesn't have a long enough arm to get financial trickle down from pro cyclists that they have to threaten countries olympic contenders? furthermore UCI was run by an esoteric bunch of old, white men who are scared of technology. a pox on you money hungry grubbers (ASO, UCI, RCS, UniPublic, ProTour).
so here's my solution: ease up on the profile and distances of the grand tours. if you want it to be clean, quit making it harder than what a 41 year-old filipino father of three (who's rather good lookin' may i add) can't do with 12 hours of training/week.
or, have at it. juice it up to the max so that when the finish line approaches it's just some gigantor tyrannosaurus thighs and legs pedaling to the line because the torso has been ripped-off due to these gyroscopic torque effects of the first 75 mph sprint (that would be both funny and tragic at the same time, the germans call it schadenfreude?)!
okay my mindless diatribe is finito. i will now commence to chill ('til the next episode-sorry snoop dog).

15 July, 2008

Suffering from Post-Traumatic Vacation Disorder

more pier-side at the ehrman mansionhere's a typical bike trail at lake tahoe (that's a good lookin' yeti!)
damn. been back four days and i'm still jonesing for the west shore of lake tahoe. went for a slamming ride with kevin today. we both haven't done a whole lot of riding during our respective holidays and we cooked it today. wished our homey trinity woulda been complete but billy couldn't make it. i just talked about how divine my tahoe trip was during the ride. we're trying to do another moab trip before the school season starts. it's hot there but that's okay, we'll just have to ride earlier. okay some more post traumatic vacation disorder discourse therapy. on the way back we stopped at park city, utah. melissa's idea because we want to stay away from big cities since we got spoilt by lake tahoe. salt lake's a great city though.
coming into salt lake sundown-style
anyhoo park city is amazingly clean and the way it's laid out is classy and not too dated-especially in its historic downtown. methinks this'll be our new half way point. i need to hit this place come ski season.
historic park city, also home of the sundance film festival
site of the 2002 winter olympic's nordic long jump

14 July, 2008

...and the Agony of Defeat...

magnus backstedt's heartbreaking picture says it all (he didn't make the time cut) hence the hand from above taking his number and ultimately him out of the greatest spectacle on earth-the TdF. garmin-chipotle's an american team (the other's team columbia) invited to race for the first time. go yanks!!

13 July, 2008

Lake Tahoe '08

our car: six bikes, five hominids, and two canines
well. it was another exceptional trip. we took our doggies this time. they behaved exceptionally well. i wished i coulda said that about our two youngest. we had to separate them when we were on the road. i don't want to bore y'all with minutiae; but instead i'll highlight the shizzle. lake tahoe's 'bout a thousand miles from us so we (my in-laws also went) split it up into two days with the midway point being salt lake city (heading out, park city on the return). 8 hours/day. fairly chill. our dogs don't like to do their business when we take our breaks so i worry about them having accidents either in our car or in the hotel room or at our rental house. neither of which happened and they eventually had the brown light special at k-fart. they eventually figured out that we're staying at the rental home for a week so they let 'er rip in the backyard (where i picked up after them). on the way out we passed by the bonneville salt flats.
my girls thought it was snow. surreal no?

the posse

day one the evening arrival
there's a boat load of forest fires in california currently (sacramento especially)and it makes the weather a wee bit nutty because ash rains down sometimes or a smoke-induced haze kinda settles-either way it's not good for breathing. i thought the northstar-at-tahoe thursday night cross country series started this thursday but i arrived a week early. well at least northstar's pretty. we unpacked and had a pizza, greek salad dinner and checked out our digs for the rest of the week. nice looking house, well represented on-line when we were perusing digs. coincidentally our dogs took a big dumpy...
day two my folks arrive
scotty and i woke up early and i hitched up the kid chariot onto my yeti and we headed down to a bike shop in homewood called cyclepaths to purchase a trail map for our mountain biking forays. the bike paths parallel the main road but sometimes there are some nutty detours. on one of the detours we missed the shop and instead rode all the way into tahoe city (a six mile diversion). on the way back we caught it and i purchased some gel blocks to boot. melissa and grandma walked the dogs and the girls followed on their bikes while scott and i were doing our amerigo vespucci impersonation. picked up my folks at the reno int'l airport actually in sparks, nv. today's the fourth and my laziness combined with my closet patriotism (i dig my country though and served honorably as active duty airforce-go figure) resulted in me not wanting to check out fireworks over the lake. the rest of the clan went and had an adventure coming back home when it was pitch black, riding in the dark without lights near major roads.
day three we actually hit the lake
homewood had an arts&crafts fair at the homewood ski area's parking lot. i purchased a cool wine stopper that would always remind me of blue lake tahoe. sweet melissa bought some jewelry. needless to say after my five minutes of shopping i was done. unfortunately the girls felt they needed to personally take our country out of recession so they continued to shop. i told 'em i'm going exploring on the mountain with the dogs. after the a&c fair fare we decided to do a two-mile, technical hike. my folks are in their seventies so i figured a two mile roundtrip to cascade lake would do the trick.
the trails just barely skirt the granite face

actual cascade lake

we went to d.l. bliss state park and hung out on lester beach
lester beach
for our lake baptismal rites after the hike. my folks rock. i was the good son sherpa'ing my momma over the technical stuff. it was cool. how often do y'all hold your mom's hand? that's what i thought (or are you not that cool)...
day four powerboats anyone?
that's the barber clan idling in emerald bay
when we go to the marina after we reserved the boat for nine the night before, the dude said our nine-person craft sunk. hmmmmm. not good news. so he would give us the same rate over two boats. hmmmmmm. that's good news.
here's the bird's eye perspective of emerald bay

here's the lake level view
here's the nutty thing, in such a litigious country they let complete greenhorns-including their next of kin-rent a powerful boat and have at it. but being the professional that i am it's nothing but safety first. there was absolutely nobody out on the lake so we're out there doing doughnuts, shooting out some crazy looking rooster tails and letting our three, six, and eight year-old children get a crack at steering from the helm. they loved it! we loved it! if someone were to tell me to jump in the lake i would-so i did. my daddy gave it a go too. he, as well as my brother in-law scott, like to run the boats at near full throttle.
here's the inlet/gauntlet we have to steer through

in the bay's where we switched drivers. now it's my daddy's turn to drive the boat. the boat ahead's being driven by my sweet melissa. when we were next to her, i swear she hit a rogue wave and all her passengers were drenched. statistically impossible but i saw it with my own eyes!
my dad at the helm with maura riding shotgun

that evening after a nice mid-day nap (afterall we are on vacation)
we went to lanza's for dinner in king's beach. the chianti and brandy flowed nicely. there's no need to see or eat (or hike or bike or listen or shop for that matter) everything in one day. our idea of a vacation is to digest everything at a comfortable rate. there's no rush here kids and napping's a must!
day five mom and dad head back to texas and i check out the singletrack scene
after i drop my most excellent parents off at reno i have to satisfy my urge to buy t-shirts at the local university. so i mosey on down to the university of nevada-reno and purchase a nevada cycling shirt (for me) and a soccer shirt (for scott), and a cute girly-girl tie-dye-ish shirt for my sweet melissa. once back i hit the stanford rock loop. here's one person's summary of this trail from trails.mtbr.com
This is the only ride I have done in Tahoe so far, and I am very impressed. This ride was 10 miles and about 2000ft elevation change. This was the best ride I have ever done, the accent
[sic] was technical with loose dirt, rocks, very steep at points. Great views along the way of Tahoe. The decent [sic] was incredible, this section has many different technical aspects; granite steps, switchbacks, obstacles, rock beds, sand beds, stream crossings, high speed single track and low speed technical through very loose rocky areas. I managed to bail twice, I was pushing my luck on this trail. This is a very advanced ride, coming from a guy that rides Demo in SC and Skegs Point regularly. I would highly recommend it to any advanced rider, don't attempt on a hard tail...
the guide book said 2-3 hours, i did it exactly at 3 (stopped the clock when i got back from the road) and i did it on a hardtail (omygod, that suuucked)! the reviewer climbed it and turned around at the top. i finished the 22-mile loop. i also am starting to covet my boys kev and billy for their new dual boinger purchases (a yeti and an ibis respectively).
i managed to tail some locals on their dual boingers but i didn't want to spend the rest of my vacation in a trauma ward in reno. it was indescribably loony! the scenery was only a facade to the hard, hard, super-technical terrain you had to descent. i bailed at least 4x! negotiated a super hard, drop-off off a sick looking boulder. if i had time to think about it i'da bailed. rode back on the road to our house. melissa et al. took the kids to the pool on top of squaw valley. home of the 1960 winter olympics.
highcamp pool
day six commons beach
mother in-law, the kids, and me at commons beach
we rode six miles one-way to tahoe city to swim, eat, play, and shop. we all rode bikes (i walked the doggies earlier to poop 'em out). our goal was to relax in all forms possible and to punctuate the day with a glorious stop at handmade ice cream shop.
day seven hanging leaf lake
it was the dogs turn to swim so we took a hike to hanging leaf lake. melissa's camera ran out of batteries here. my dog addie had the gumption to swim with me out to the boulder out in the lake where we took turns jumping into the 50+ degree fahrenheit water. the rest of the time was spent jumping, sun-bathing to dry and repeating when necessary for several righteous hours. our dogs loved napping in the sun. we left after we had a nice little picnic. we then went to s. lake tahoe because scott's never been there. i said you'll like the first twenty minutes of it then it just gets lame. s. lake tahoe's nothing but cheesy strip malls with the only oasis being heavenly ski area. the gambling kind of pollutes the areas with shmeaziness. when i got home i rode my bike to the ehrman mansion at sugar pine state park. snapped some stirring pictures i think capturing the solitude of this philanthrope's mansion with the backdrop of lake tahoe punctuating its natural beauty and zen-like atmosphere.
the pier at the ehrman mansion
the mansion from the pier
day eight my turn to watch the moose
melissa and her mom rode their bikes to tahoe city (again) and met scott to do some sea kayaking with the girls (i watched the moose and pretty much chilled house-side all day). it was breathtaking and amazingly calming they said all the while floating on crystal clear and eerily blue lake tahoe.
maura captaining the hms melissa
my cross country race was canceled due to hazardous air quality from the numerous fires california was suffering.
cough, cough...that's the sun!
that's the last day too. all in all a pretty glorious vacation. wouldn't change a thing. melissa packed for a year but that's okay. what a way to spend time with the family and to recharge my batteries too. finished a book while i was there and now i'm scrambling to finish f. dostoevsky's the brothers karamazov before schoolio starts in a couple of weeks.