Dear Diary... (current entries) and past Diary entries from

11/09/00-11/31/01 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings, visit to TREK & LeMond factory, first ride up Diablo, Sonora Pass, French laundry lesson
Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings, riding in the snow, Gary Klein visit, Millennium Crows, Spooky Old Tree
Incredible trip to the 2002 Tour de France
Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings, 2nd 2002 trip to France, winning Lance-signed frameset, 5th-Annual TurkeyTrot ride, riding in the rain
01/01/03-03/31/03 Yet more ramblings about the regular Tues/Thur ride, Mr. J visits Washington DC
You take the guy with the gun, I'll handle the guy with the Gatorade!
My dinner with Zap, 75000 mile TREK OCLV, meeting Graham Watson

                            TOUR DE FRANCE 2003 TRIP, 2004
04/01/03-08/28/03 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings, Fast older guys, Sequoia Double-Metric, Grizzly Peak Century
09/03/03-12/31/03 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings
01/01/04-07/31/04 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings

07/31/04-12/31/04 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings
01/01/05-07/01/05 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings
07/01/05-12/31/05 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings plus Tour de France ride-a-long in Team Car
07/28/06-12/28/06 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings, Sonora Pass, caught in a snowstorm
01/01/07-06/30/07 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings
07/02/07-12/31/07 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings
01/01/08-05/30/08 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings
06/01/06-12/31/08 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings
01/01/09-12/31/09 Endless Tues/Thur morning ride ramblings


Every Tuesday & Thursday morning, rain or shine, 7:45am at Olive Hill & Canada Road in Woodside. 26 miles, back by 9:25-9:40pm (a bit later when it rains). Hills, sprints & great roads. If you can make it up Kings in 30 minutes or less, try it!

The Tuesday/Thursday ride is now on YouTube! Broken up into three separate segments, about 10 minutes each. Filmed by Millo on 1/30/07
The regular cast of characters on the Tuesday/Thursday rides includes
Kevin the first regular on our ride, and the most regular regular. Has too much time to ride!
Karl (aka "Fast Karl"), super-nice-guy road racer who can really charge on the flats
Chris, one of the younger guys who thinks he can climb and sprint. He can.
(Karl now with is own page here, Karl's Korner)(but not updated in ages...)
Eric, who likes to torture me up Kings by riding just a bit ahead or behind me, waiting for me to blow up.
John, relative newcomer, another 50ish youngster who can climb way too fast.
, who complains that he's old & slow but somehow always there in the sprints.
George, always out on Tuesdays, nice guy, too fast on the climbs


12/31/01- IS MT. HAMILTON STILL ON?  Good question!  Right now the weather people say there's an 70% chance of significant, wait a sec... if you don't like the weather report, just wait a few minutes and it changes.  Now, on the hour-by-hour forecast, they show showers, not rain.  But the overall forecast for the day says rain.  So is the ride on?  I wouldn't count on it.  If it looks semi-nice in the morning, then yes, but somehow that just doesn't look all that likely.  In fact, I even hedged my bets a bit by getting in a good ride today.

I'm sure that, no matter how bad the weather is, there will be some brave souls out there.  But if it's just simple rain, no snow or ice at the top to give the ride that epic quality, then it's debatable whether it's worthwhile or not, especially given how obnoxious that descent is even when it's dry!  I'll post here in the morning, around 7:15am or so.  As a reminder, if the ride is on, people leave from Alum Rock & Mt. Hamilton (the base of the climb) around 8:30am.  --Mike--

12/28/01- WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN?  A great old song by Credence Clearwater Revival,  But it begs the question-  who will stop the rain?  Latest weather forecast makes it sound like we're going to see rainy weather for the next four days...which includes New Years morning, when many of us are supposed to be riding up Mt. Hamilton!  Not fun.  If it were cold enough, you might get snowed on as you approach the top, and thus have the ingredients of a truly epic ride... something not to be passed up.  But plain, simple, obnoxious, ever-present and constantly in-your-face rain is another matter.  Go out in simple rain on a ride like that and you're simply stupid.  But if it were to snow, you'd have something to talk about for years.

12/27/01- FINALLY BACK ON THE BIKE.  Hadn't ridden since a week ago last Tuesday, and was concerned that it would be terribly painful riding up the hill.  Instead, it was more like revisiting an old friend, as everything again seemed right with the world.  Next Tuesday's ride up Mt. Hamilton now seems possible!  Sure would have been nice to have gotten a few miles in first, though... that's one very long hill.

12/24/01- WE'RE UNSTOPPABLE!  Well, not quite, but it's 2am and I'm very happy.  The power's back on, and I just got back from the shop, verifying that all systems are ready for tomorrow, er, I mean later today.  Now I just have to finish wrapping a bunch of presents...

12/23/01- THE GRINCH (PG&E) WHO TRIED TO STEAL CHRISTMAS.  We're in last-second mode here, trying to make sure all the loose ends are nicely tied up so everyone gets the right bike for Christmas, and that all the special orders have been taken care of.  Things were pretty much in order until  4pm on Sunday in our Redwood City store, PG&E decided to give us their Christmas gift... a power failure.  And not just any power failure, but one of unspecified duration.  I called immediately, and then followed up an hour later and was told they hadn't even assigned a crew to it yet!  This despite the fact that the power had become flaky much earlier in the day, with the local Fire Department having been dispatched to the site because a transformer was catching fire.  I had asked them what was up at the time, and they said they were waiting for PG&E to show up... who apparently never did.

12/20/01- WIMP!  Yep, that's me.  Didn't ride Thursday morning,  Yes, it was raining, yes, it was windy, yes, it was cold.  But those aren't usually enough to stop me.  So what did?  Cleaning my bike last Monday, that's what did!  Maybe a clean bike is a happy bike, but sometimes it's also a severe disincentive to going for a ride in the rain.  Soon, my rain bike will be done and I won't have such problems any more.

12/17/01- CHRISTMAS MORNING RIDE?  Well, it's like this.  I was ambushed by my two kids (9 & 13) the other morning, who wanted to state in no uncertain terms that this Christmas was going to be different and Dad wasn't going to sleep in until 8am and then take a long shower.  Well, when I told them, hey, no problem, they just have to wait until I get back from my Tuesday morning bike ride... have you read that Calvin & Hobbes cartoon where Dad is telling Calvin how there might be a (single) present under an undecorated Christmas Tree in the garage, and Calvin goes screaming from the room, yelling MOM!!!!!!!!!?  Let me tell you that scene was very faithfully reenacted.  And I was just kidding... I never had the idea I'd be riding on Christmas morning.  But we most certainly will be riding up Mt. Hamilton on New Year's Day (unless the weather is extremely foul and I suddenly suffer an unusual bout of common sense).

12/14/01- WE'RE READY.  Second shipment of bikes comes in today, so we should have just about everything anybody would want, just in time for the holidays.  More ultra-lightweight OCLV carbon bikes for mom or dad, more 12" wheel bikes for 3-4 year olds, more of everything.

Repairs- today is probably the last day you can reliably drop off a bike for a repair and expect to have it done soon.  Depends upon how Saturday goes... but I expect we're going to have mechanics pretty tied up getting bikes built.

12/12/01-KIDS BIKES FOR CHRISTMAS.  Lots of them.  Big shipment coming in today or tomorrow, more than we have room for.  Ah, the life of the retailer!  But apparently TREK is one of the few major bike companies that planned for a decent Christmas this year; many others are out of the most popular models (like 24"-wheel girl's mountain bikes, which fit kids from about 8 to 11 or so).  So if you call our Redwood City location today or tomorrow and it rings forever, we're probably out back unloading a big truck. 

12/09/01- 49ers LOSE, LIFE IS GOOD!  How can a longtime 49er Faithful say something like that?  Well, it's like this.  History has shown us that business does much better after the 49ers blow it.  Why?  Because lots of people who stayed home to watch the game feel guilty about wasting a perfectly nice day, and one of the ways they deal with that guilt is by telling themselves that they're going to spend that time riding a bike instead and maybe go out and buy a new one.  We've been around long enough to know this pattern is actually real, not imagined.

12/06/01 - SO HOW'S BUSINESS?  This question comes up more and more often lately, so it should probably be addressed here (after all, this is the place for a bit more personal view on cycling and the bike biz, isn't it?).  So here's the real scoop.  Did we see any big effect from the September 11th events?  Yes.  No.  Maybe.  For whatever reasons, business has been "lumpier" than normal, with really really good days next to really really poor days.  But at the end of the month, the figures are where they should be... two out of the last three months are actually up over last year.  Now, more recently... this yucky (I was going to say awful, but yucky is more appropriate, especially since that's how it feel when you're out riding in it) weather has definitely had an effect.  Who wants to go anywhere when it's cold and messy outside?  But the weather people say we're due for a really nice spell, so I suspect we'll be as busy as ever.  --Mike--

PS:  And yes, I was out riding this morning in the yucky stuff.  It was supposed to be a longer ride, out to the coast and back up Tunitas Creek, with me staying away from the shop for a couple hours.  But it turns out Kevin has to meet someone in Woodside at 9am, so instead of going to the coast, I end up riding up Kings, Skyline to Skegg's, back down to Woodside, then up Old La Honda, down the east side to 84, and then back over and home.  37 miles instead of the 45 I had planned on, but still a nice ride (despite having no speed whatsoever climbing... what's with that???!!!)

12/04/01- COLD.  BUT NOT COLD ENOUGH.  Yes, it was a cold morning, with the toes feeling it, descents not a lot of fun because of the cold wind in your face, and enough clothing to make you feel sluggish.  But, at 36 degrees, not nearly cold enough for bragging rights.  The weather service had forecast considerably colder weather than that, possibly into the 20s, and in some perverse way I was looking forward to it.  But not today.  36 degrees is cold, but it's just not cold enough to make a big thing over.  Maybe Thursday.

11/29/01- RODE ANYWAY.  Our website was back up sometime in the middle of the night (see entry below), and, while I kinda assumed at 1am that I wasn't going to be able to get up for the morning ride, I did anyway.  Some things just have to be done, especially since it was raining.  Where do you draw the line on excuses?  Do you not ride because you didn't sleep well the night before, or because of rain & wind?  Since I couldn't decide which was the better reason, I tossed out both.  Only saw two others out there, including Kai (shown in the photo), a Stanford student from Singapore, who I met at the top of King's Mtn.

One of these days I'll introduce my new rain bike to the elements, but I'm still hung up on the idea that it ought to have brakes that work... and you just can't compare older single-pivot brake designs to the newer ones.  Sure, I could put some long-reach Shimano RX100s on there, but would that really belong on a bike that is otherwise entirely retro-Italian, complete with Nuovo Record cranks, hubs & shifters?  Tough call.  A bike that's functional vs one that's authentic.  Hard to believe I used to race with that stuff...

11/29/01- REALTIME ANGST/WEBSITE FUN.  Many of you noticed that you couldn't log onto our site yesterday (or even now, as I'm typing this at 12:07am).  Something mysteriously misconfigured at our hosting company, and I'm on the phone right now, trying to track it down.  Hopefully won't take too long, as I need a bit of sleep before my regular Thursday morning ride!  Didn't take long to get ahold of a real live person at our website hosting company, but it's definitely taking them quite a bit of time to run this one down.  Getting bounced around a bit inside the company, but the main person seems to have a handle on things.  12:13am now.  Darn.  Would be nice to put this on speakerphone while I'm on hold, but that would wake up others in the house. 12:18am.  Soft music of the 80s isn't my style of hold music.  12:27am and the web person just got back to me, telling me she found someone in the San Jose center who's on it now and she'll be back to me in a few.  Meantime "Where is the Love" is playing on hold.  12:32am.  Not the way I like to wind down in the evening!  12:40am and I'm talking with someone who says I may need to meet with one of their people at the Santa Clara datacenter.  When I asked why, well... there really wasn't a good answer to that one!  Now he's talking with someone else...doesn't look like I'm riding tomorrow in the morning, since it's now 12:43am!  12:47pm and he says it's from a power blackout in Santa Clara, and they're sending someone out now to fix things.  This should be good night for now!

11/27/01- COLD!  Not that bad really, but at 34 degrees, a lot colder than it's been, and a sure sign of things to come.  I hate booties.  Makes you feel like you've got lead weights attached to your pedals, but at least you avoid that feeling in the shower afterward, where your toes half-itch and half-hurt as they try to thaw out.  Still, it's not uncomfortable riding in cold weather if you're adequately dressed for it.

11/22/01- GREAT THANKSGIVING DAY RIDE!  Which begs the question... where were you?  Yes, Bruno, that means you!  Wet?  Yes, especially at first, but it never actually rained.  A beautiful day over all, with sun breaking through the clouds at the end.  Got the photos up already, descriptions soon.

11/21/01- WHO'S GOING TO RIDE THURSDAY?  Rain, rain, and more rain is scheduled for our annual TurkeyDay ride.  My guess is that we'll be cutting it short and just heading up King's Mountain, down Skyline to 84, and back down.  It's likely to be very wet & very messy, and not to be attempted by anyone who's relatively sensible.  Oh well, maybe we'll have nice weather for the annual Mt. Hamilton ride on New Year's Day...

11/20/01- FRESH MEAT!  Almost literally.  Had a visit from our inside sales rep for LeMond and we talked him into our Tuesday/Thursday morning ride up King's Mtn.  Keep in mind that he's been living in Wisconsin lately, which isn't quite as bad as Florida, but still, their idea of a mountain is a bit different that ours.  Also riding with us was Kevin Keenan (a regular) and John Thompson (a semi-regular who also happens to be our outside TREK/Klein rep).  Nice morning, a bit wet, perhaps a bit too wet as Travis (the LeMond rep) went down on the Highway 84 descent.  Picked up the pieces nicely and kept on going though!  In the photo Travis is on the left, John Thompson on the right.

11/18/01- WAITING FOR LEONID whomever he/she was.  It's not that unusual for me to be up late maintaining the website and taking care of emails, but it is unusual for my kids to be up at the same time.  So far not much sign of the 4000 meteors/hour promised on the news, just a few stragglers here & there.  Guess it won't be something I'll be getting pictures of for the website!

11/15/01- IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO ME.  Got an email today... from a bike.  It was complaining about spending too much time on rollers, but thankful that at least it didn't have to suffer the indignity of having its forks or rear end clamped in a vice like some bikes.  So maybe in addition to the Killer Squirrel page I'll need to have an advice column for bikes?

11/11/01- TURKEY DAY TROT is on. Anyone interested in a ride Thanksgiving Day Morning is welcome to show up for our 5th annual TurkeyDay Trot.  We won't necessarily use the route in the link, but it should give you an idea of what you might be in for.  Generally, there are several points where you can opt out, making for a shorter ride if you wish.

Also added a new page showing some of our staff looking silly on rollers, infernal contraptions used to improve your balance on a bicycle, as well as elevate your heart rate via a panic mechanism.

11/08/01- BIG RIDE!  For this morning's ride up King's Mtn, we had Matt the Mechanical Man (rides a mountain bike with a pannier, and still beats most of us up the hill), Harry (one of our customers with a 5200), Steve (another one with a 5200) and Eric, a customer from San Mateo who showed up for the first time.  Eric doesn't have a TREK 5200, but he still seems like a nice guy.  But y'know, that's true of most cyclists in general.  We come across a lot of nice people on our morning rides, including various joggers in Woodside, the 3-dog-lady (an older woman we see consistently walking her 3 dogs), Mike Taylor, a superb cat-1 cyclist who works in another bike shop...

The only problem I had was that I believed the weather report I'd heard the night before... the one saying the lows would be in the mid-30s.  Kinda got over-dressed, considering that it never got below a relatively-balmy 47!

11/06/01- GUILTY AS CHARGED.  True confession mode.  The other day I found myself spending far too much time staring at a young woman's legs in the shop.  Before you assume I'm a total sleezeball, there was a reason.  She was picking up a 5200 (bike) from us, and was slightly self-conscious about her knees, which had small bumps located below the kneecap, from a childhood condition known as Osgood Shlatter's disease.  When I overheard that I just had to check it out... since *I* had that as well!  For those unaware (which would be most of the world), Osgood Shlatter's "disease" isn't really a disease at all, but rather a condition that occurs in kids around 11 years old, where the patella tendon tries to detach itself from the bone because the bones are growing at a faster rate than the tendons & ligaments.  This results in a fair amount of pain and a world of contradictory info from doctors... not to mention the bumps (which can become the size of golf balls) below the knee.  There are so few people who've been afflicted that I couldn't not pay attention to her legs.  My non-clinical impression was that there was nothing wrong with her legs at all. 

This morning's ride up the hill... well, the back is doing much better, than you very much, but now I've got a nasty head cold to keep me company.  Unfortunately, I also had the company (briefly) of new-guy Kurt, plus Ueyn and old reliable Kevin.  Hey, who needs to breathe throw a nose anyway?

Finally went to a movie with the kids on Sunday, and saw Monsters Inc.  Great movie, but you know what?  I liked Shrek, which I finally got to see a couple days prior, better!  If you haven't seen Shrek, it's definitely worth the rental.

And... Brian & Dick's Most Excellent Adventure up Tioga Pass is now on-line!

11/02/01- THE BACK'S BACK.  The last few days have been pretty painful, as I've been fighting a nasty back injury that has made movement painful.  Hasn't kept me off the bike, of course, but Tuesdays' ride in the rain on the Red Sled wasn't a whole lot of fun, and Thursday's ride on my road bike was better, but still painful.  Originally I'd thought maybe I overdid things riding last week, but then thought a bit more and realized it began hurting Sunday evening, four days after my prior ride, and just hours after fishing with my son.  My guess is that my ineptitude at off-road riding is matched only by my inexperience casting, and the action of repeatedly casting maybe 100 times caused the problem.

At any rate, I've got my eyes on something new... the Red Sled's future is in danger!  One of those closeout TREK cross bikes would probably fit a whole lot nicer, and be more fun to ride than an almost 40-pound ancient mountain bike.

10/30/01- THE RED SLED'S OUT OF RETIREMENT.  First rain ride up King's Mtn this morning.  Fun?  Not really, but necessary.  Had to prove to myself that I'm going to keep going this winter, no matter what... and so couldn't let the first rain stop me!

10/29/01- WATERDOG LAKE TRAIL MAINTENANCE THIS SUNDAY.  Berry Stevens, one of the really really good good guys for keeping mountain bike trails open and developing new ones, has organized a trail work day for this coming Sunday.  We've posted the info on our local issues page.

10/28/01- ANYONE KNOW HOW TO FISH?  While most of you were getting in a bike ride Sunday before the big storm (now delayed by a day) hits, I got to do one of those "dad" things that I knew nothing about.  Fishing.  My 8-year-old has decided to sign up for fishing in 4H, and figured that we ought to go practice.  Practice what?  The only time I ever "fished" in my whole life was when my dad took me to the Santa Cruz pier once and we used drop lines (and caught a few crawdads).

Do you have any idea how stupid a 45 year old feels knowing nothing about fishing and going into a store and trying to figure out what's what?  As far as I know, fishing is one of those things you're supposed to have been born knowing how to do, and I must have been standing in the wrong line.  Fortunately, the book Fishing for Dummies does a pretty decent job, and after an hour or so you do pretty well at faking it... but not so good at faking it that you catch any fish!  At least one got snagged on my son's line for an instant, so he can talk about the one that got away.

10/24/01- JURY DUTY OVER, KING'S MTN RIDE ON!  Jury duty was a borderline thrill.  It was really a very simple case, with few facts in dispute, and took all of a single day. Well, that's not quite right.  A half-day on Monday, waiting to see if you might get called to a courtroom for the selection process.  Unfortunately, I did.  Then all day Tuesday, sitting in a courtroom while they try to select a jury of 13 (12 plus one alternate) for the case.  And then Wednesday, three witnesses, two attorneys and a point of law that makes it amazing anyone gets convicted for anything.  

Things I remember?  How about the fact (it's all about facts, isn't it?) that the judge, the prosecutor, the defendant and the defense attorney all have desks & cups of coffee and water, while the jurors are admonished to not bring any food or drink into the courtroom?  And trust me, there are times where you could really use some strong coffee during some of the longer, repetitive and not terribly creative monologues!

But the best news of all was that it was over quickly, so I still get to ride in the morning!

10/23/01- JURY DUTY.  Finally, after all these years, they got me.  When they were doing all their challenges to get rid of unfavorable jurists, they never asked the right questions so I just sailed on through.  Mr. Average, the omnipresent everyman, with nothing in my background strong enough to elicit any sort of response from either the defense attorney or prosecutor.  For that I'm supposed to feel good about serving my country as a juror?

Hopefully it will be over by Thursday.  It is likely that my Thursday-morning ride up King's Mtn isn't going to happen though.  The things we do for King & Country.

10/18/01- SONORA PASS PAGE DONE.  Got the photos & text up from our ride last Sunday.  Soon, we should also have a page up on the Tioga Pass ride done by two other Chain Reaction employees, Dick & Brian, on the same day.

10/17/01- NEW GATEWAY PAGE UP Trying something a bit different, creating "gateway" pages for areas on our site, with the idea of tying things together and making getting around a bit easier.  First attempt can be found at  Let me know what you think!

10/15/01- OOPS I DID IT AGAIN.  Yesterday marked my fifth trip over Sonora Pass.  What is it about Sonora Pass that makes it so darned inviting?  Is it the incredible scenery?  Well-paved twisty roads that few cars ever drive?  The smell of automobile brakes as they deal with sustained 20% grades?  Or is there something to pushing your body beyond what it thinks it can really do... and that feeling, when you're on top of the Pass and about to head over the other side, that it's really really really stupid, because you're going to have to climb back up again?  Probably all of the above.  That plus the SEE (shared experience effect) of doing it with other people, in this case Jeff (one of our reps), Eric (works weekends in our Los Altos store) and Richard (Chain Reaction alumni).

Sure, we did this same ride back in June, but it's very different in the Fall.  Colors are nicer, the air is crisper, and people... cars, bicyclists & motorcyclists... all seem to get along just a bit better.

10/10/01- HURT FEELINGS.  Nah, not really, but I was told by one of our staff that our website clearly doesn't display the look & feel that ought to be the case when we have the talent of a GUI (graphical user interface) designer, as well as two working towards art degrees, on our staff.  Well, he's right, this website is garish and breaks a lot of rules.  Too many bright colors next to dark ones (check out the checkerboard stuff on the killer squirrel page if you must), pages that take forever to download, and... well, it goes on and on and on.  Truth is I couldn't design a nice-looking website if I tried, so I've concentrated on content.  Doesn't mean it couldn't look a whole lot better, and there are ideas I'm working on.  But if I get too involved in such things, content will suffer (as I spend an increasing amount of time on how things look, vs information).

Do look for some changes, hopefully in the near future, as I try to organize things into themed "areas" instead of using only the menu box at the bottom of each page to "force" organization.  And for bikes, I'm going to try to get all the relevant info in one place, so you don't have to go to separate pages for closeouts of different years etc.  But don't expect too much, as the website still has to come after my time with my family, my bike, and the shop.  If I could just do something about that darned day job...  --Mike-- 

10/05/01- LIFE ISN'T FAIR.  How does it work out that my 13-year-old daughter, who really doesn't care a whole lot about sports, is at the Giants game tonight, watching, in person, Barry Bonds set the home run record?  And I'm home watching it on TV?  Well it's like this.  One of her friends was having a birthday party, and her dad, many months ago, thought it would be cool to go to a Giants game.  Who'd have known at the time what a big game it would be?  So this guy's probably got 7 or 8 girls, all whining about how cold it is or that they're tired and want to leave, sitting in seats that could be resold for, what, $300+ each?

10/04/01- OW, THAT HURTS!  I've been forcing myself to climb King's Mtn without standing, which helps my climbing endurance substantially. The plan is to do one more ride in the Sierras before the snow hits, and since I don't have the time to do lots of miles, I have to make sure that the miles I do ride are quality miles.  Keeping on the saddle, no matter what, seems to help greatly in that regard, allowing me to learn just how much my quads can take (which is usually a lot more than I thought) before I run into trouble.   

10/03/01- BACK FROM THE BIKE SHOW!  And, of course, everyone wants to know what we saw that was really cool.  And, of course, everyone will think we're nuts when we tell them one of the coolest things was a new pedal from Crank.  It's an off-road model (that can be used with a road show with the right cleat) that has four sides (not the usual two) and looks so different, and so obvious, you wonder what took people so long to come up with the idea!  Cost will run about $120, and they'll be available late October.  By the way, that's Dick & Brian K (both in red shirts) from our Redwood City store gawking at the way-cool pedals.

Other cool stuff was the Campy Racing Triple road group, although we're still a bit skeptical of the 10-speed super-narrow chain, which has had a troubled history with the double crankset (making us wonder what will happen when used with a triple!).

What else?  Well, I've got a picture of the legendary Marzocchi girls, but since this website is rated PG, I can't show it here.  Seriously.  Also saw clips from the way-cool 2001 Tour de France video and thought, boy, we've got to have that!  And then I remembered we already do.  $44.99 I believe, in stock, both stores.  Great video.

We must apologize for the inconvenience caused when we closed our Redwood City store on Monday, but felt it important that our staff got a chance to see our industry's biggest show.  Most of the time we were well-behaved!  Oh yeah, and if you're wondering what a super-successful ultra-wealthy bike shop owner can afford to put into the one-armed bandits, it came to $20.75 (are you reading any sarcasm into that?).  Quite a bit less than the cost of the limo that brought us from the airport to our hotel (oops, I don't think I was supposed to let our Los Altos contingent know that those of us from the Redwood City store had a bit of fun when we arrived!) (hey, it wasn't our idea that they take a bus to their hotel!).

09/20/01- EVERYTHING WENT WRONG.  No, not really, but consider this.  I get ready for my morning ride, go to inflate the front tire and *pssst* it goes flat.  Well, better then than on a descent!  So I quickly change it and head off to the starting point (Canada & Olive Hill), arriving just a couple minutes late.  Matt's there... a mechanical man who could outride most of us up the hill even if he had to ride a Schwinn Varsity.  OK, so what, I'll hang as long as I can.  Near Tripp Road a bunch of cyclists (maybe 8 or 9) exits from Greer Road onto King's Mtn, apparently having ridden through Huddart Park on the way down from Skyline.  We say hi, and not one of them, not one, so much as greets us with a raised hand or friendly "hi".  To those who aren't familiar with my stance towards anti-social cyclists... but let's get back to the ride.  So I'm a bit out of sorts (flat tire, mechanical man showing up for the ride, anti-social cyclists) and start up the hill...oh no, one more thing.  Seems like my seat had slipped a bit, so raised it up slightly, and noticed up the hill that it was slightly to the side.  OK, now back to the ride.  Neglected to put the chain in the smaller chainring at the start of the climb, simply shifting up, and up, and up, to larger cogs on the rear.  By the time I realized what I'd done I was on the largest rear cog, and the shift to the smaller front ring... well, it went right off the inside.  A quick recovery and it's back to the big ring (almost impossible to move the chain, while riding, from being off the chainring to the small chainring... you pretty much have to move it all the way to the big ring).  Felt stupid.  Was stupid.  So I shift back down to the small chainring.  Comes off again.  Repeat.  One more time!  And again it's off.  Finally I head back down the hill a bit, shift onto a smaller rear cog, and then shift back to the small chainring.  Success!!!

Fortunately, from then on the ride was quite nice, one of those days where you climb out of the fog to absolutely spectacular beauty up on top.  The moral to the story?  No matter how bad things start out, don't give up.  They might get worse, but, eventually, things just might turn out very nicely.

09/16/01- EXCITING STUFF as Levi Leipheimer, a relatively-unknown US Postal rider, has moved up into 5th place in the Tour of Spain, also known as the Vuelta.  Daily coverage on OLN, similar to what they had for the Tour de France.  Levi was supposed to be riding in support of Roberto Heras, the famous Spanish climber who helped Lance win the Tour de France this year.  Instead, Levi is now 4 places ahead of Heras, and moving upward!

Also... a semi-commercial note to our customers... the Tour de France wrap-up issue of ProCycling finally arrived.  Only a few copies per store (and I snagged one for myself, sorry!).

09/15/01- NORMAL?  No, I don't think we'll be able to say things are normal for awhile.  But getting out on a bike seems to be good therapy, and our customers are still coming in, buying Powerbars, Gu, tires, tubes and bikes.  And the planes are back in the skies.  That's a good thing.

09/11/01- A VERY SAD DAY.  But first, to answer the single question asked over and over and over on the phone today, yes, we're open.  Please be careful while riding.  This morning, in the aftermath of the tragedies brought upon us by terrorists, cars were even less attentive (or more distracted) than usual.  Felt kind of funny about going out and riding, just after watching the first tower collapse on the news, but did anyway.  Eerie.  You don't realize how much noise planes make until the sky is clear of them.  In some ways it was reminiscent of the Loma Prieta earthquake.  Please be careful out there.

09/04/01- CONFIDENTIAL TO THE GUY WHO CALLED ABOUT A COUPLE OF KIDS BIKES.  Nobody else gets to read this, OK?  Here's the scoop.  I lost track of the note with your phone number (in record time, I'd say... maybe 10 minutes!) during the craziness we had this morning.  If you're still around (and not totally discouraged by the fact that I didn't call you back), here's the info.  Both the Mt Track 230 and Y24 are readily available, at a cost of $259.99 and $359.99 respectively.  Sorry about the screw-up.

09/04/01- WATCH OUT FOR LIGHT BROWN OLDER GMC PICKUP, LICENSE #2M01590.  The guy came very close to taking me out this morning, giving me about four inches on the descent on west-bound Jefferson while rounding a corner.  I have no idea how I didn't get clipped by his mirror (maybe he didn't have one on that side?  I was too taken aback to notice) but well aware that, had there been an obstacle in the road, I would have been toast.  Please note my speed was 27mph in a 25mph zone at that time.  Had he waited just a couple seconds to pass, he could have done so safely on a straight section of road.  Would have been fun to have Ranger Rick's radar gone to see what speed he was going!

09/03/01- REMEMBERED WHY I MOSTLY RIDE A ROAD BIKE plus an encounter with Ranger Rick and his magic radar gun!

08/27/01- JUST GOT BACK FROM WISCONSIN, where TREK (and their affiliated lines, Klein, LeMond, Bontrager and Fisher) were showing off their new stuff, plans for the future, etc.  Wow.  At a time when there's dramatic consolidation in the industry (with Schwinn/GT and Raleigh both declaring bankruptcy, and numerous others cutting back), Wisconsin continues to move forward.  One of the nicest things they did was after our (the dealers) two-day event.  They put on a show just for their employees, particularly those who work in the factory and rarely see the finished product on display.  It was awesome.  They turned this huge convention room into an inside Country Fair, with food (Bratwurst, of course!) and all manner of games and slides for the kids etc...and the adults could wander over into the formal bike display area and see what their hard work had produced.  And not just produced in an overseas factory, but right here in the US.

08/23/01 ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE UNDER-30 CLUB today as Ueyn Block dropped a couple minutes off his previous best time, making it to the top of King's Mtn in 28:51. 

08/18/01 YOU JUST NEVER KNOW who you might see in one of our stores.  Today, in the middle of a busy Saturday, Mike Pigg (one of, if not the top Pro Triathlete in the world) drops by with a bike that needed some attention.  He's in town for the XTERRA mountain-bike triathlon out on the coast on Sunday.  I didn't even know he was in the store until he was gone...too bad, would have been fun to get some photos of him.  Darn.

Totally unrelated- Bruno, our service manager in Redwood City, was mentioning something about the new version of Apocalypse Now that's just come out.  I mention to my 13-year-old daughter that I was thinking about seeing the movie with him, and she replies "Hey, I was to see a 5-foot snail!"  Apocalypse Now... 5-foot snail... guess you had to be there.

08/15/01 RAW FRANCE PHOTOS on a couple of pages.  I'm finally getting around to organizing all the photos in France, and have a page up (photos, no text) on our ride up Alpe D'Huez and the area around Chamonix.  I'm announcing "raw" pages mainly so that I get my tail in gear to get them finished!

08/15/01- MANY 2002 BIKES IN STOCK.  We're getting in more 2002 bikes, particularly road bikes, every single day.  For those wondering about the 5200 for 2002, it's pretty much the same as the 2001, but with Bontrager rather than Rolf wheels.  The big news is in the middle of the line, where you can now get a LeMond Alpe D'Huez with an 853 (Reynolds steel) frame, carbon fork & '105 components for just $1329.99.  

Speaking of Alpe D'Huez... look for a major presentation on that climb in a few days.  Going through the photos now, trying to figure out the best way to show off one of the world's most famous climbs!

08/09/01- GOOD TO BE BACK ON THE BIKE!  It's been 11 days since last riding, as explained in the 8/6 piece below.  I approached it with some fear & trepidation, but you know what?  It was great!  My time up the hill wasn't so bad (27:10 up King's Mtn), and a lot of the aches & pains I'd been feeling over the last week evaporated.  Kind of strange how, when you don't ride, you get a stiff neck and knee pains, but once you're back on the bike, it all goes away.  I'll take that as an excuse to ride every chance I get!

In the meantime, I've begun working on the big France 2002 section for the website.  Shouldn't be that tough, as I've only got 400 or so photos to go through!

08/06/01- MY BIKE WENT RIDING WITHOUT ME!  Check out the results on our new Skeggs Point page.  Two days to go and I can be back on my bike again.  With the better half and daughter off in Europe for a couple of weeks, I've had to job of taking care of our son, which means I haven't had mornings to ride.  Not a bad job though...he thought going whitewater rafting Sunday was way better than going to Europe would have been.  But it will be great to be back riding again Thursday morning!

08/03/01- AN APOLOGY sort of.  I've had a number of customers and a few emails from people who had been regularly logging onto our site during the Tour de France, expecting to see daily updates on whatever was currently going on.  Kind of a Tour de France daily briefing, as it were.  Looking back, I can see where people might have expected that, what with the frequent postings while I was in France.  So here's the plan.  Next year, whether I go to France again or not (and I'd certainly like to go!), we'll try to have a daily analysis of each stage.  I really do feel bad that we didn't do that this retrospect it seems rather obvious!

08/02/01- ANYBODY CATCH LETTERMAN LAST NIGHT?  Lance Armstrong was on, and, surprisingly, Letterman asked some very intelligent questions... sometimes doing a better job than those in the cycling press.  Of course, from a pure business standpoint, we didn't mind hearing this exchange-

What kind of bike do you ride? (Dave)
A TREK. (Lance)
And it's custom made, obviously, you can't go into a store and buy one... (Dave)
You want to know something? It's not custom made. (Lance)
Is that right? So you could go into a store and buy one? (Dave)
You could go into a store and buy the exact bike. (Lance)

07/29/01- LANCE WON, ZABEL TAKES THE GREEN, JALABERT THE POLKA DOT JERSEY in the Tour de France.  OK, now to decode what this means.  Lance Armstrong has won his third Tour de France in a row...pretty amazing!  Erik Zabel (Germany) beat Stuart O'Grady (Australia) in an incredibly tight race for the Green jersey, given to the best sprinter, and Jalabert, a Frenchman who was planning to retire this year, rode a strategic race and unexpectedly won the Polka Dot jersey, given to the best climber!  Jalabert, also known as Ja-Ja, says he's going to race one more TDF.  Now that it's over, many of us can try to catch up on all the sleep we missed from watching the race live on OLN at 6:30am!

07/28/01- IT'S BEEN AWHILE since updating the diary, hasn't it?  Still catching up on things after the trip to France, and spending way too much attention to all the coverage on OLN (and not getting enough sleep either, since the coverage starts at 6:30am, live, and even when I don't set the alarm clock, it still seems I wake up just in time to start watching!).

For those following the race's final moments, there's going to be a LOT of excitement in tomorrow's finale.  Not in the race for the Yellow Jersey...clearly Lance Armstrong has that sewn up.  But the competition for top sprinter is going to be incredible, with Erik Zabel and Stuart O'Grady separated by just two sprint points...and there are quite a few up for grabs in the finale.  Thus the final miles into Paris may be as exciting as anything we've seen so far.

07/28/01- TOUR DU JOUR bike ride in Redwood City was this morning, and, as in years past, we were there to help with mechanical stuff.  Actually, most everything we do involves lubing chains and inflating tires, and, while we're told to be there at 6am, the "action" doesn't start until maybe 8am, when people bring out the bikes that have been gathering dust in their garage over the past year.

A big thank-you goes to Bruno Colchen, our Service Manager in Redwood City, and Sal Contreras, one of our customers (part of the Chain Reaction Auxiliary?  Sort of like candy-stripe girls at hospitals?), who volunteered to help out at this years event.  This isn't a thank-you from the organization running the ride (MS Society), but rather from the guy who's had to be there the last few years, but couldn't make it this time since there was nobody else to take care of his 8-year-old son.  

07/21/01- THE DIRTY LAUNDRY.  Yeah, you're thinking, great, I want to get the real dirt on things!  Sorry to disappoint, but this is about real laundry.  For my trip to France, I brought enough clothes for four days, figuring I'd do laundry there (and save suitcase space!).  So, on Wednesday evening, I drag myself to the front desk of the hotel and ask if there are any Laundromats nearby.  "Oh sir, no problem at all!  In your room, there are bags that you can put your laundry into and they're picked up each evening and delivered back to you the next morning."  OK, normally I'd ask some really complicated questions, like how much does it cost, but day after day with very little sleep catches up to you and you're not quite on your toes!

So, I dump all the stuff into the plastic bag (two sets of cycling shorts & jerseys, four pants, four shirts, plus assorted underwear) and leave it outside the door.  It doesn't quite magically disappear, as there's a knock on the door saying that I need to write down my name and room number on this sheet that describes the service, etc etc etc.  It also turns out to have given pricing, but how much could it be?

Well, at dinner, someone else is mentioning that they had their laundry done by the hotel last year, and that it would have been cheaper to burn it and buy new clothes.  Uh-oh.  Not only that, but it gets delivered back fairly late in the day, so I wouldn't have my cycling clothes available for riding in the Mont Blanc area the next morning.  That part turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as what could have been cooler than heading into the local shop in town and buying one of their local "Chamonix Cycling Club" shorts & jersey?  Probably the best souvenirs I'm bringing home!

But back to the laundry.  One small plastic bag of laundry.  644 French Francs, or about $90.  (Of course. it did come back beautifully folded in a charming wicker basket, and presentation is, after all, important!)  So, from here on out, we'll be pricing everything in FLUs (French Laundry Units).  That would make a tune-up something like .6 FLUs, a veritable bargain!

07/21/01- HAVE LAPTOP, WILL RAMBLE.  It's 5:45am in Geneva, Switzerland, and time to get ready to catch a plane home.  Did I ever mention I'm not a morning person?  Guess that's OK, since it's almost 9pm back home.  Note to wife  daughter, who are coming to France in two weeks- you need to train for France.  No way anyone could anticipate how much walking you're going to do, and how many ice cream places there are.  The obvious training program is to open up the phone book and scout out your local Baskin & Robbins, and start hiking to the first one, and each successive day hike out to one further and further away from you.

See everyone soon!

07/20/01- REALLY my last entry!  One more quick story to tell about France before coming home.  In the city of Annecy I decided to pick up a topo map showing the area where I'd ridden a couple days before (more rides to post on our website!).  No problem except... well, and this wasn't unique to this particular shopping trip, knowing how much money to pay at the register isn't always easy.  You know what it costs, but you don't know if it includes tax or not, and there's not always a visible display telling you.  Plus, while you've picked up some of the numbers in French, they always rattle them off very fast, so you really don't have a chance not to look like an idiot (especially when, after making it plain you don't get it, they point to the very visible display with the amount due!).  But wait, there's more.  She doesn't demagnetize it or whatever properly, so the alarms go off when I head out the door.  Sigh.  Guess it's payback for all those times we forget to remove one of the beeper tags at the shop!

07/20/01- LAST ENTRY BEFORE HEADING HOME.  You can check out our France page for a couple new things, including my fairly-common restaurant experience last night.  7 hours sleep...a record!  Not looking forward to the long day tomorrow, leaving for the airport around 5am, but it will be nice to be home again (and get to deal with over 600 digital photos I took!). I think Lance will do just fine without me, but it sure would be great to spend another 10 days here and see the finish.  Perhaps another year.

And yes, soon I'll have lots of photos of the various rides I did here, including, of course, the Alpe D'Huez.  But for those who expect something on Alpe D'Huez along the lines of my infatuation with Sonora Pass, you'll be disappointed.  They're not in the same league!

07/18/01- WRONG PAGE, this is where you need to go while I'm in France covering the Tour!

07/12/01- WHAT A TOUR!   Anybody who thought this would be a boring, one-man affair (with Armstrong running away with things) is sadly mistaken.  This year's Tour de France is a wide-open affair, with exceptional performances from all manner of riders, including the USA's Bobby Julich (3rd place a few years ago) and Jan Ullrich looking to be very fit & fast.  I'll be reporting directly from France in just a few days.  Have digital camera, web page & remote computer access...will travel!

07/07/01- IT'S BEEN BUSY!  But that's no excuse for not updating the Diary.  Thursday morning's ride up King's Mtn was a blast, as we had both Kevin's showing up, and I decided, for some reason, to do interval work up the hill, letting super-fast Kevin get up ahead of me for a bit and then racing back up to him.  Then I'd drop back for a bit and do it again.  And again.  Whew!

More confessions.  I've been riding more (and harder) than usual because I'm heading back to France again...leaving Saturday (the 14th) and coming back a week later.  This year I'll hopefully get to ride up Alpe D'Huez.  Supposedly something about riding down a glacier on a mountain bike too, but for those who've seen me on one of my rare off-road excursions, that won't be a pretty sight!

07/01/01- CONFESSION TIME.  Last Sunday's ride up Sonora Pass was my first ride on a new frame- the TREK 5900, aka Lance Armstrong's "climbing bike."  I'll be writing up a detailed report shortly (now that I've got a couple hundred miles with it I'm confident of the accuracy of my observations), but suffice it to say that it's one very nice machine.  Comparing it to my 5500, the most noticeable difference is in the handling, which is slightly faster (a bit less stable) due to a slightly-shorter fork offset (rake).  By the third ride I'd adjusted completely to this and have to admit it's a very fun bike!

Also rode to Santa Cruz this morning, via Old La Honda, Skyline, and down Highway 9.  51 miles, and made it in 2 hours, 45 minutes.  About 20 minutes slower than 25 years ago, but that doesn't seem all that bad.  Time up Old La Honda (measured from the speed limit sign, which is maybe 20 seconds before the bridge) was 22:39.  Now that's a far cry from my 16:45 times of old!  Even came across Todd and Brian from the store, who were out doing the Giro d'San Mateo century.  Oh yeah, the ride was one-way, since I was meeting the family at the Boardwalk for a day at the beach.  

06/28/01- SONORA PASS PAGE UP Still got some work to do, but the photos and early descriptions are now on our site.  Unlike other pages, we've kept the photos really crude for the initial display, which gives faster page load times.  To see a better (and bigger) photo, click on any of the images.

06/25/01- BEARS 2, MIKE 1.  Hey, that's a lot better than Bears 2, Mike 0!  We had a great ride up Sonora Pass on Sunday, and will have the web page up (hopefully) late tomorrow night.  Would have had it up earlier except that I've had to work on an ailing computer in the Redwood City store.

06/23/01- SONORA PASS TOMORROW.  What the heck, reading one of Jobst Brandt's postings on the 'net makes it sound like it's easy to get up a super-steep grade, no matter what your low gear is.  Hopefully we'll have some nice weather...thank goodness the heat wave is gone!  You can check out last year's debacle if you wish, or the first time we ascended the pass, several years ago.  Film at eleven, as they say...

06/21/01- A BIKE FOR MEGAN.  Wednesday, a family comes in looking for a first bike for their 4 1/2 year old daughter.  Our floor bikes are getting pretty thin as we make our way through the busiest part of the year, so I have to go to the warehouse and pull one out of a box.  A beautiful pink Mtn Cub 16, which Megan instantly falls in love with.  To her, this bike means more than my OCLV does to me!  But one problem- it's not built, and we have a two day backlog on getting bikes assembled.  Megan is absolutely crushed, because she wanted a bike right then.  If you could have seen her tears, you'd have just melted (of course, it could have been the heat wave that made me feel that way!).

As always, we promise to get it built as quickly as we can, explaining that we build all bikes in the exact order they're sold.  Somehow we managed to get the bike ready today instead of tomorrow, and called to let them know the bike was ready.  They quickly arrived at the store, and you should have seen how happy she was!  She even explained how she'd taken a couple of the accessories she'd bought for the bike to bed with her, and how excited she was to show her friend down the street.

Selling OCLVs may pay the bills, but setting up Megan with a Mtn Cub 16 made my day.

06/20/01- SONORA PASS is waiting.  Actually, it won't be the pass that's will be people at the top, waiting for me to get there!  That's right, this Sunday will be our third pilgrimage to that greatest-of-all nasties, Sonora Pass.  Revenge on last year's ride, when we got the June storm of the century?  Probably not.  Revenge sounds so much more powerful than simply surviving the ride, and that's about as much as I can realistically hope for.  Still haven't figured out if I'm going to go "light" and only carry one camera, or bring both (the Oly 450, which I use for shots while riding, and the '3000, which is a much higher-resolution camera but I need to stop to use it).  I've been longing for decent photos of Blue Canyon for so long, it's very tempting to bring the '3000.  Plus, that would give me an excuse for stopping on the climb!

Oh yeah.  Lance Armstrong is in first place in the Tour de Suisse.  The team is looking very strong as they approach the Tour de France, less than three weeks away!  I'd say Ullrich is the main competition.  He's been somewhat late to the party (his early-season form hasn't been so good), but lately he's been showing an ability to go to the front and ride people off his wheel...he's definitely getting stronger, and just in time to make the Tour de France a real show.  Remember, LIVE daily coverage on OLN (Outdoor Life Network).  If you don't have it yet, get it!  It's available on Echostar/Dishnet as well as digital cable services.

06/17/01- THE EBBETTS PASS PAGE is complete for now.  Three weekends in a row of killer bike rides, and now, today (Father's Day) it's off the bike and to the ballpark with the kids.  But hey, it's not like I have any big ride next weekend that I need to stay in shape for.  Just this little old thing called Sonora Pass.  Revenge on last year's debacle, when we hit the June storm of the century up there!

In the meantime, could the shops be any busier?  Hard to believe that would be possible.  If you plan on coming into either store on a weekend (which means Redwood City on a Saturday, or Los Altos on either Saturday or Sunday), make sure you're there at least an hour before closing if looking for a bike.  We may need to put the answering machine on an hour early as well...rather extreme measures that we've never had to consider before.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but our desire is to deliver the best-possible service that we're capable of, not barely-adequate service to the maximum number of people.

06/13/01- EBBETTS PASS PAGE COMING ALONG.  Got the preliminary text & photos up, still working on the maps etc.

I've been doing quite a bit more riding so far this year than I have in the past, hoping that it will make Sonora Pass easier two weeks from now.   We'll see if all these hills can add up to something good!

06/09/01- EBBETTS PASS REVISITED.  Tonight, a few of us will be heading out to Bear Valley after work, for an assault Sunday morning on Ebbett's Pass and Pacific Grave, er, I mean, Grade.  Haven't been up there in several years, but it's truly the most spectacular of the trans- Sierra passes.  This will be the first time up for a couple on this trip, but for me, a return to an old friend.  It will be interesting to see what different things I might take pictures of this trip, although looking back upon our last trip and its associated web page here, it will be difficult to do better!

06/07/01 NORMALLY  I'd tell you about how my legs have felt pretty awful, the results of recovering from last Sunday's Sequoia Double Metric Century, but the big news of the day has to be the incredible police raids on the Giro d'Italia, the second-biggest event in cycling (after the Tour de France).  Today's stage was even cancelled, as the Italian police had the riders up most of the night, searching for banned substances.  You can read all about it on Cyclingnews, probably the best site for bike racing coverage.

But aside from that we did have a nice ride up King's Mountain today, with a couple of new guys present.

06/03/01- GREAT RIDE!  The Sequoia Double Metric Century went better than I'd imagined...wasn't sure how well I'd do with so much climbing (about 10,000 feet) and distance (125 miles, although we goofed and rode 120)...but all went very well.  Saw a lot of customers and website readers too!  But most of all, we had a powerful ride down the coast, braving fierce headwinds while maintaining speeds in excess of 25mph.  What, somebody told you there was a tailwind?  They were sworn to, I mean, they must be mistaken...

06/01/01- SEQUOIA CENTURY TOMORROW.  Two groups from Chain Reaction- group A, leaving around 6am, and group B (the chase group) at 7.  Unfortunately, I'm in group B.  If I read those in my group correctly, we'll start out at a reasonable pace until one of three people does something stupid, like pick up the pace just a tiny little bit, causing one of the other two to react violently (lay down a high-speed challenge to the others).  It's quite possible that I'm destined to be blown off the back of group B and never see group A at all!  Read all about it probably Tuesday evening.

05/30/01- ROB ROLL ROCKS!  So who's Rob Roll?  One of the commentators on OLN's Giro bicycle race coverage.  Regarding helmetless racers, he said "Real men don't eat quiche, and these shave-legged nutcases don't wear helmets."  Rob knows of what he speaks...he was one of them.  Again, if you don't have OLN (Outdoor Life Network) for your TV, find a way to get it.  They have more coverage of everything bicycles than you can imagine, including racing, touring, product reviews, etc.  It's usually included in one of the lesser premium packages.  If you have DISH network (Echostar), you're going to be paying about $45/month or so.  If you don't, you might consider it...all equipment costs are rebated out with a one year contract.

Also, if you want to get grossed out, I've put up some pictures of a helmet being cleaned up.

05/29/01- OF GIANTS AND MORE GIANTS.  Sunday, a couple of us decided that we'd better get in a killer ride ahead of the Sequoia Double Metric Century this coming weekend (120+ miles, 11k ft of climbing).  So we steep53.jpg (67957 bytes)paid a visit to Alba Road (possibly the gnarliest climb in these parts) and China Grade.  Also finally got a photo worthy of the hill!  I've included it here; you can click on it for a much larger version.

And then Monday we did the family thing and went to PacBell Park for the first time.  Wow!  That's some ballpark...much closer in feel to Great American than the old Candlestick Park.  We were $9 bleacher bums, but you see everything from out there...great seats.  It's not like I'm a big baseball fan or anything, but if you haven't been, it's worthwhile to go, at least once, to see what the fuss is all about.  By the way, don't drive...take the train.  Drops you off a block and a half from the stadium.

05/24/01- WATCHING THE GIRO???  Why not?  Outdoor Life Network is bleeding bicycle programming these days, and the Giro coverage is fantastic.  What better way to start your day than to wake up, move your wife out of the way, get out of bed, turn on the TV and listen to the reassuring voice of Phil Liggett telling you that all is well in the world of bicycle racing?  My wife seems to have a differing opinion...

What else is new?  All 8 Start-To-Finish stores shut down on Monday...this is not good news.  At some point local support for cycling (via local bike shops) might drop to the level that people choose other, more convenient things to do.  This hurts all shops.  Not only that, but the demand for servicing bicycles is so extreme that there's no way we could adequately take care of our customers if we took all of them in.  So, it's likely that it will be some time before we can again work on bikes we haven't sold.  The alternative would be a near-instantaneous multi-month backlog, which is simply unworkable.

On a more positive note, it's great feeling like I can easily cruise up the hill (King's Mtn, of course!) and have times under 30 minutes.  It wasn't that many months ago where I'd felt awful and was getting 31 & 32 minute times, and now if I'm really going for it I'm into the low 27s.  Nothing like the 21s I used to ride, but then the hill's a lot steeper and taller now!

05/17/01- CHECK YOUR TIRES!  It makes a lot more sense to check your tires after a ride than just before one.  In my case, I spotted my worn-through casing as I was heading out the door, and decided to just ride on it anyway, crossing my fingers it would hold up.  Dumb dumb dumb.  It made it to the top of King's Mtn and back, but I didn't do the full loop (down Skyline to 84) because I was too concerned it might blow out at speed...and if I rode on with the other guys, there would definitely be speed involved!

05/15/01- GETTING BETTER.  Got up the hill (King's Mtn) in 27:18 today, after a very fast bottom third.  Now if I can just maintain the higher speeds a bit further up the hill... Also, posted some more embarrassing photos from my bicycle-racing past.

05/10/01- GUILTY PLEASURES.  Had a great ride this morning, several people showed up (including the guy on the mountain bike with panniers).  So what's to feel guilty about?  First thing I do when I get in the door at home is ask my wife "Who's on Regis & Kelly?"  Aw geez, I'm actually gonna admit that in print?  (Why not?  What's a diary if it doesn't include some really embarrassing stuff?) (By the way, Kelly's way better than Kathy ever was!)

05/09/01- TWO WILD & CRAZY GUYS.  We usually don't publish a lot of outside web links on our site, but this one...two guys, riding across Asia, on track bikes.  A track bike, for those unaware, has a single speed and no freewheel, so you can't coast (you're constantly pedaling, even on high-speed descents).  Oh yeah, one of these guys doesn't even have any brakes on his bike!

05/08/01- WOW...I'M BACK TO HAVING FUN AGAIN!  King's Mountain is coming back into focus, and I'm not only climbing better, but able to do some relatively high-speed intervals while climbing (or, as I've said before, goofing off). My legs are *finally* beginning to get that "connected to a throttle" feeling. Too bad the throttle seems to have a limit screw on it that I have yet to find... 5 of running Speedplay pedals, and they finally feel really, really good.  Days 1 & 2 I was thinking to myself  "I actually recommend these awful things to customers?" as my feet seemed to be flailing away at the pedals, going everywhere but forward.  Day 3 there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel, Day 4 felt fairly normal, and today, Day 5, they feel really, really good.  Climbing, sprinting, sitting...the combo of the Speedplay pedals and Nike Poggio shoes is working out very nicely indeed.

05/04/01- COLBY THE SENTIMENTALIST?  Or just idiot?  What's the scoop here, essentially throwing the game (Survivor) to Tina by getting rid of Keith?  He even admitted that he knew Tina had a better than 50-50 chance of beating him, while he'd certainly win over Keith.

05/03/01- SURVIVOR PREDICTIONS.  Didn't expect that, did you?  Here's the scoop for tonight's survivor finale.  It all hinges upon who wins the last immunity challenge.

  • If Colby wins the challenge, then Tina gets voted out.  Why?  Because Tina would probably win over the Jury if both Tina and Colby were the final 2.  Colby wins the million.
  • If Keith wins the challenge, Tina still gets voted out.  Why?  Because, again, Tina would have the advantage with the jury.  Colby again wins the money.
  • If Tina wins the challenge, Colby goes.  I don't think Tina's worried about losing the jury to Keith, but Colby would be a question mark.  Tina takes the big prize.

Unrelated to Survivor..or maybe not...did OK on King's Mtn this morning, despite being beaten by a guy named Matt who showed up on an old mountain bike.  At least he had slick tires!  At 27:31, I've got another minute to knock off before I'll be happy with my climbing.

05/02/01- VERY POPULAR PAGE, the one I put up a couple days ago with those old photos and my early writings in Competitive Cycling.  Oh to be young & stupid and have no future again... But back in the here-and-now, had a fun time this morning on a TREK Fuel 98 mountain bike at Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto.  Even rode the infamous "Punch Bowl", although I will admit to circling it a few times before becoming brave enough to dive down the steep sides!

04/30/01- SOME EMBARRASSING STUFF put onto a new web page.  It might not be there for very long, so get it while you can.  Ancient photos of me, along with examples of the writing I did for Competitive Cycling magazine between 1974-1976.

04/29/01- YOU MIGHT RECOGNIZE THIS GUY... I was digging through stacks of old cycling magazines, including a bunch of Competitive Cyclings, which I used to write for.  On the right is a scan from something I wrote in July of 1976.  Next time Greg's in the shop maybe I should have him autograph it.

04/26/01- ATTACK OF THE (LOS ALTOS) DEMONS!  Just as I think (naively) that I'll have a nice, easy ride up King's Mtn, a contingent from our Los Altos store shows up to spank me.  Eric, Augie and Amber.  Ouch!  I shouldn't have left my digital camera at home, although Eric, on his new 5900, would have been out of range for anything but the longest telephoto setting very quickly.

04/25/01- Tour de France not cultural? My daughter will be in France with a group from her school (7th & 8th grade), and just happen to be in Paris at the same time the 'Tour ends. She's a big fan of Lance (she is *my* daughter, after all!) and asked one of her teachers, who's leading their group, if they could see the race.  The teacher's quote:

"We have better, more cultural things to do than watch of bunch of sweaty men on bicycles cross a white line."

I'm tempted to see if there are any cycling fans at the local French Consulate who might like to pay her class a visit...

04/22/01- PRIMAVERA CENTURY.  Great ride!  First time I've felt good on a bike in quite awhile, and, since it was the first time I've ridden over 40 miles since last July, I was glad to do as well as I did.  Even felt pretty good on the climbs!  Chain Reaction was well represented, with Roger Tagle on the 100k, and Brian Krause, Dick Kiser and myself on the 100 mile.  We met a lot of old friends (including many we'd sold bikes to) and made some new ones as well.  A great day for all.  Photos and descriptions on line, of course!

04/20/01- RAIN AGAIN!  Well, at least I got out yesterday morning.  A bit wet, and down to 40 degrees on Skyline (this is April, right?).  Weather people claim a nice day for Sunday's Primavera Century at least.  Also put up a page a couple of days ago for hybrids, explaining why you'd want one (or not), and the next day someone comes in to buy one after reading it!  Guess I should have done that long ago.  Wonder how many other things I should have done long ago?

04/18/01- FINALLY FEELING BETTER.  After two weeks of really dreadful climbs up King's Mtn, yesterday I finally felt like I got some of my legs back.  Maybe the inspiration came from watching the Paris Roubaix coverage on Easter morning?  Whatever it was, it felt great to get back to relatively-decent times on the hill.  Now we just have to deal with strange weather.  Beautiful yesterday, but the weather people say we could have snow on the local hills by Friday!  This is April, isn't it?

04/13/01- BEEN AWHILE since my last entry, mostly because things have been pretty hectic lately and we could use a few more employees to help our customers.  If you know of any...

04/05/01- OUTDOOR LIFE NETWORK IS EVIL.  Yesterday, OLN (channel 151 on Dish) ran 12 hours of bicycle racing shows, back to back.  Really good stuff.  How are you supposed to get out and ride when they do something like that?  Yeah, yeah, I know, use the VCR (but got to troubleshoot something there that's causing it not to record from Dish all of a sudden).  If you can get OLN, but don't yet have it, let me throw this at your feet- they're going to be showing the entire Tour de France, live, start to finish.  The west coast times will be about 3am-8am, so be sure your VCR's working, and buy a whole lotta six-hour tapes!

I did get out on a short tandem ride with my now-13-year-old daughter.  Did you know 13-year-olds complain a lot more than 10-year-olds?  And refuse to do things like wear cycling shorts, and then complain the whole time about how uncomfortable they are?

04/06/01- MY DESTRUCTION ASSURED.  I've already mapped out my major cycling events over the next few months.  April 22nd a bunch of us will be doing the Primavera Century, an "easy" 100 miles with only 4800 feet of climbing.  Then June 3rd some of us appear silly enough to be doing the 200k Sequoia Century, featuring 11,000 feet of climbing, including a relentless in-and-out bit on the coast, from Half Moon Bay down to Davenport.

04/03/01- MARKLEEVILLE DEATH RIDE FULL!  Only two days after it went on-line to accept registrations, the 2001 DeathRide is full.  If you were on our DeathRide email list (found on our Markleeville DeathRide page), you got an email letting you know it was accepting applications almost immediately.  I've got mixed feelings about the on-line registration though.  Sure, it worked out great for those who knew about it, but it put anyone who wasn't glued to a computer at a severe disadvantage, and apparently served to eliminate even the possibility of registering by conventional means.  Doesn't quite seem fair...

03/29/01- GETTING FASTER...SLOWLY.  Time to stop goofing off and work on getting up the hills faster.  Unfortunately, that means (at least in the short term) less fun & more dedication to the task at hand.  In my case, no more standing on the climb...I have to absolutely, positively force myself to sit in the saddle, no matter what, building the hamstrings back up etc.  I hate it, but it is paying off.  Slowly.  OK, for me, pathetically.  But today's 28:24 was 20 seconds faster than Tuesday, which was 15 seconds faster than the previous Thursday.

Also, on the way back, I saw Roger, one of our mechanics, out on his road bike.  Quite a surprise, since Roger's kind of quiet and doesn't talk much about riding, plus he lives on the other side of the bay.  He said he was training...gotta find out what for!

03/23/01- CHAIN REACTION BANNED BY SONY!  Sony has banned their employees from viewing the Chain Reaction website.  Now I know we've arrived!  Must be that our bike sales are a threat to Playstation.  Not quite.  Here's the actual message a Sony employee gets if they try to access our site-
The following error was encountered
Site Blocked
Due to the difficulties encountered by major Sony Internet Business
Initiatives, bandwidth conservation measures have been activated.
This URL is on a list of sites that provide images which consume bandwidth
and do not appear to be business related.

03/20/01- RIDING NAKED! 
It felt so nice this morning, riding without a long-sleeve base layer, jacket, tights, long-fingered gloves and booties.  Hard to believe it was just a few weeks ago that there was snow on top of King's Mountain, and temps in the upper 30s.  

03/18/01- I FINALLY RIDE UP MOUNT DIABLO.  What took so long?  Who knows. I've been riding for 33 years and have done just about every paved road and cowpath to the stars imaginable, and yet had never ridden up Mount Diablo.  Even more amazing is that it's the most visible mountain from my house...all I have to do is look down the end of the street, and there it is!  Great day for the ride, with temps running from 65 to 74 degrees.  Brian Krause, who works Fridays & Saturdays in our Redwood City location, rode with (or punished?) me up the hill.  Great ride, and, of course, the obligatory page with lots of photos.

3/15/01- I HATE BEING LAST!  So Kevin and I are at the start of the ride, a couple minutes early, and here comes a group riding through from the north, with some people we knew.  So do we let them go or ride with them?  Kevin says let's go, so off we go.  Me, I'm just getting over that nasty cold (today makes day #14), and blowing big globs of...well, never mind.  But the hill is mean, I'm slow, and I'm also dead last.  Never lost sight of the person ahead of me, but still dead last.  There will be better days (and there will probably be worse days) ahead.

3/11/01- GREAT DAY TO RIDE OR WHAT?  Anybody who didn't get out for a ride today had better have had a darned good excuse.  It was *so* nice to be out on my bike, without tights and a jacket...

Even though I'm still getting over a particularly nasty cold (which seems to be heading toward bronchitis), I felt great while I was out there.  Old LaHonda was still a bit steeper than it was 26 years ago, but it still felt great.  Of course, if anybody calls up the store tomorrow and wonders why I'm still hacking...

3/11/01- ETHICS.
  Two days ago I discovered that one of our web pages had been "hijacked" into another shop's website.  They'd taken the entire article, including photos, and edited only one thing...they changed my name to that of the shop owner's. The only reason I discovered it is because this particular page is still pulling the images off this website, and I found it curious that we were getting so many "hits" from another bike I followed the train backward and came across it. What to do?  Mixed emotions...clearly, there's some flattery involved, since they took our stuff verbatim.  On the other hand, there's also plain & simple theft.  If they'd called and asked permission, we would have had no problem, asking only that it still reference the original source.

Interestingly though, the power in this situation is all ours.  Since they're using our images, pulled up in real time each time their page is viewed, we have complete control over what viewers see on their site.  In other words, I could substitute anything I wanted for those four photos, and that's what their viewers would see.  I could make it appear that someone malicious had hacked their website and placed, for example, derogatory comments about their local college football team.  But more likely, I'll just quietly insert a little reference to Chain Reaction at the bottom of each photo.

3/08/01- BARELY HUMAN.  Sort of.  Made it up the hill this morning, and felt a bit better than Tuesday, but it wasn't easy...and all the way up, two things alternately cycled through my mind.  The first was an old Procol Harum song, "About to die."  The other was the saying "That which does not kill me makes me stronger" (Nietzche).  My voice is still somewhere else, but I'm beginning to feel better.  Really.

3/06/01- COULD SOMEONE BREATHE FOR ME?  Just getting over a nasty cold, lost my voice, difficult to breathe without hacking.  So, do I stay home and sleep in this morning?  No way.  Ride or die (hopefully not working on the latter).  I didn't think there'd be any way to get up the hill (King's Mtn) and hoped nobody would show up...but of course, Kevin Keenan did.  I just barely made it over the small hill between where I live and the starting point, and kinda figured I'd just make sure nobody was there and head back home.  Darn that Kevin.  I decide I'll try and ride up through Huddardt Park and back down, doing about 1/3rd of the hill.  Sound like a freight train the whole way up, trying to get air past all that green stuff in my lungs.  Still, good to be out on a bike.

On the way back, I noticed that someone still hadn't cleaned up part of a fence on Jefferson that had been taken out by a car a week ago...and a piece of wood was sticking up with a nail in it, just waiting for a car to run over (I figured most cyclists would avoid the wood entirely, but a car might not).  I ride past, maybe a hundred yards down the road, and think to myself hey, what am I doing, and ride back and clean up the mess.  Really surprised it was still there after all this time, and wondering why nobody else got around to it.  That nail was sticking straight up, out of a 1x4, about a foot into the roadway.  If you come across something like this, I don't think it takes too much effort to do the right thing and take care of it (so why didn't I last week???).

3/04/01- IT WASN'T MEANT TO BE.  Darn.  A bunch of us had planned on riding the Tour of the Unknown Valley again, but, since it's got about 12 miles of dirt and gravel roads, had decided ahead of time that we wouldn't go unless we'd had at least four days of nice weather first.  But we did have a backup plan!  If we couldn't risk that ride, then we'd do Mount Diablo.  Well, the weather forecast is for heavy winds and lots of rain, so you can call me...wimp.

On the website, I just made a major change to the "Cosmetically challenged" bike page, which allows me to quickly upload, almost in real time, info on pricing and availability from our main computers.  No more typing everything in manually, so, instead of updating it every couple of months, I can get to it a couple times a week.

2/25/01 BEAUTIFUL MORNING!  Normally I don't get a chance to ride much on Sundays, being my only day off and my two kids don't see enough of me etc.  But this morning an exception was made, since I skipped out on Thursdays ride and was beginning to feel fat, if you know what I mean.  So I get out just a bit before 9am to kinda gloomy and threatening-looking weather, with very wet roads, thinking, ugh, this is hard, what am I out here, etc.  But each turn of the pedal seemed to make things better, and within a short while Old La Honda was underneath my wheels and I was feeling pretty good!  Not fast, mind you, just good.  And I had a lot of company.  It seems like everyone was out there climbing the hills, cyclists of all types and abilities.  Old La Honda probably had 30 people on it at the time I climbed, and my guess is that they climbed it anywhere from 17 minutes to 40.

2/22/01- WHAT A WIMP!  Yeah, that's me.  It was really raining and woke me up at 6am, and still pretty messy at 7:05 when the alarm went off, so guess who didn't get out and ride today?  But we do have some cool photos of the new LeMond Ti bike to show you.

2/16/00- That's Amber from our Los Altos store presenting KSAN's Steven Seaweed with a special signed-by-Lance team jersey!  The jersey will be part of a package in an upcoming charity auction.

2/12/01- SNOW!  I'll try to remember to bring my camera tomorrow morning...if it's clear, there should be some spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains on our morning ride.  

2/08/01- WHERE DID THE AIR GO?  This was another one of those "sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you" mornings.  Two days ago I felt pretty good going up King's Mtn, but today was another story.  Just couldn't get into the rhythm, and breathing way too hard.  I'm used to the "high gravity day" concept, but this no-air thing was new to me.  And then, coming down from Skyline on 84, this complete maniac in a black truck was passing the three of us in corners!  We thought at first that he had it in for cyclists, but then a bit further down we could hear this awful screech of brakes as someone coming up the hill nearly hit him head-on as he passed a car.  An equal-opportunity jack-ass, apparently.

2/01/01- CARS, TOES & SHOP STUFF.  We did get the new car, from the original dealership we were looking at (close to our Los Altos location), with virtually zero hassles.  One funny little line in the contract for a $217 fee for a nationwide vehicle locater service if the car was to be stolen...that's what they make pens for...crossed that line out and all was fine.  I don't normally advertise other businesses, but it seems that Anderson Chrysler in Cupertino is a pretty decent place.

BUT (and isn't there always?)...I try to always take something home with me from such experiences...something that I can use at the shop to make it a better place for our customers.  In this case, we had to wait about 15 minutes while the car was brought over from another lot.  My wife was pacing back and forth, saying how much she didn't like this etc., why wasn't it there right then and now.  To me, it seemed perfectly reasonable.  The next morning, a customer came in for a pair of shorts that we'd had brought over from our other store.  Someone had mistakenly put them out on the rack instead of on the hold shelf, and it took me at least 10 minutes to run them down.  The customer was extraordinarily patient (thank you!), but I was thinking at the time that we really didn't have any good reason to be inconveniencing the customer, certainly a lot less than the car dealer had the night before.  Yet somehow my wife, who handles the transfers, didn't quite get the connection. We need to do better.

Toes.  What's this about toes?  On this morning's ride, I finally felt about 80% human.  For the past couple weeks, it's seemed like someone tied a lead weight to me while I was climbing up the hill, or sprinting on Skyline.  Even descending had become slow and torturous.  But this morning was different, and the difference seemed to come from my toes.  They felt like they wanted to push, to push against the resistance and move faster!  It really wasn't the legs...rather, it seemed like everything was attached to the toes.  If my toes were up to it, the rest of the body just went along for the ride.  Even descending was radically different, as I seemed to be able to handle just about any line given to me (I was riding with Kevin Keenan this morning) and then some.

1/29/01- I'M FIVE YEARS OLDER TONIGHT THAN I WAS THIS MORNING.  Trying to buy a new car does that to you.

I don't get it.  You're checking out cars, see something in an ad that you like, and take the ad down to the closest dealer say yeah, that's what I want, is that price doable?  So the sales guy says gee, I don't know, let me ask the sales manager.  And the sales manager tells him yes, if I come back tonight, I can have that car for that price.

Later that night...I dunno...I should have known better, but I stupidly thought I was going to go out after work and bring home a new car.  Kinda like the way a caveman goes out and kills a dinosaur or something and drags it back home for dinner.  But something went wrong.  First sales guy says (as usual) that he's got to check with the sales manager.  Sales manager tells the sales guy that the guy from this morning had called asking if I'd shown up, and said sure, they can sell the car at that price.  Funny thing, though.  Once they sit you down in the office, surrounded by multiple people, the sales manager is now explaining that they cannot sell me that car at that price.  He doesn't say why they said they could earlier, nor does he ever give me any reason to believe that they're worth more than the other dealer.  This boggles my mind.  Why would people say stuff like that (ok, lie) and think they could get away with it?  Hey, it's not like I don't make mistakes myself, but they're certainly not intentional and never designed to try and hook someone.

If anything good comes out of something like this, it's that I'm that much more determined to run our business as much unlike a car dealership as possible.

1/24/01- THE POWER OF EMAIL!  You decide if it's a coincidence or not.  I subscribe to a daily email from Nightline (the ABC News program) that tells you about upcoming shows.  Day after day after day, it seemed like Nightline was ignoring a great story...our Northern California power crisis.  Finally I got fed up and, two days ago, sent them an email suggesting it was time to investigate our continuing nightmare.  And tonight...results!  (Of course, there's always the possibility that my email had nothing to do with it, and was probably one of my 10,000, and further they didn't even reply...)

1/18/00- POWER BLACKOUTS!  Please be advised that it would be a good idea to call ahead before visiting one of our stores today.  In the event we get hit by one of California's now-infamous rolling blackouts, we will be unable to remain open.  In theory, no area is supposed to be without power for more than 90 minutes, so we'll be there for you when it comes back, unless we have an outage that begins after 5pm, in which case that particular store would remain closed for the day.

Nice ride this morning though!  31 degrees, so a bit chilly, and rather slow too, especially up the hill.  No doubt because I was worried about hitting ice.

1/17/00- A revelation.  I've been reflecting back a bit on my France trip last July, and particularly the ride up Mont Ventoux.  7000 other cyclists on that ride, so you were never alone.  Very friendly people, great experience.  Except...on the climb up Ventoux, even though you were surrounded by many other people, suffering the same pain (and at that point we were suffering!), but suffering entirely alone.  Eerie now that I think back on it.  It was very quiet on that hill, very few words exchanged as you fought yourself up the hill.  Any competition was intensely personal and not shared.  I have little else I can relate that experience to.

1/17/00- Yesterday morning's ride was cold!  But bearable.  35 degrees on top of Skyline, with an occasional patch of ice on the side of the road.  Spectacular views of the Ocean and San Francisco though, as we proceeded north on Skyline to 35 (instead of south to 84).

1/15/01- Brrr.  Winter's finally hit.  Not just cold, but a bit of a breeze as well, making for a very cold ride up King's Mtn tomorrow morning!  But while nestled in my nice warm house and staring at my big bright computer screen, I added a new page to our AvantGo sub-site.  You can check it out, even if you don't have a Palm Pilot or Handspring Visor, by going to it on your regular computer.  The new section is meant to be frequently updated (but that goal is elusive!).  And if this isn't enough for you, Sheldon Brown now has some of his articles in PDA format for direct downloading.

1/14/01- Last night I started building a couple "alternate" web pages for use on Palm/ Visor/ WindowsCE handheld devices.  They're set up to be accessed through AvantGo, and if you're already set up with their service, you can add our "channel" by using this web address:

I am beat, and not from riding!  Just got back from product meetings in WI (at TREK) and am pretty thoroughly jet-lagged.  Also pretty thoroughly fat, as Nor-Cal types don't do any riding in WI in January, and the food they serve is...well...sure, you could turn down the various entrees of fried cheeses etc., but why?  Anyway, more on this trip a bit later, including some photos of the section of the plant where they're building up the Titanium LeMonds (yes, they really are being built there!).

Shown above left is the Ti "box" and on the right is Aaron Mock, LeMond product manager, showing a LeMond Ti frame that just came out of "the box."  What's "the box?"  It's a sealed-off, environmentally-controlled part of the facility that allows them to build Ti product in a clean environment.  Kinda funny looking, like the thing the astronauts went into after the first trip to the moon.

01/08/01- Did have an incredible retail moment last week, one possibly surpassing the typical experience at Fry's!  This one was at Sears.  Why Sears?  'Cuz they actually stock the latest & greatest in Dishnet (Echostar) satellite receivers (or so I was told on the phone) and it was time to upgrade my system so I could pick up two other satellites.  Why?  Because one of those two satellites has Outdoor Life channel, which carries the Tour de France and Giro bicycle races!

So I called up, talked with a woman who seemed to know a bit about the stuff, and said they ahd it in stock.  Great, I'll cruise on in.  Get to Sears (San Mateo store, by the way), go to the Home Electronics section, and find just one person there, a middle-aged guy who didn't seem to know a whole lot about the stuff he sold.  In fact, he said they didn't carry the receiver I was looking for (#6000) at all!  I told him wait a sec, not only is it on their website, but I'd called and someone said it was in stock.

So what does he do?  Well, it's what he can't do that blows me away.  He can't access their own website!!!  Unbelievable!!!  He has to call three other Sears stores before he gets someone who has a clue and gives him the part # so I can buy it (and yes, it was in stock).

Obviously, I was being punished for past sins in treating our own customers.  Please, consider me appropriately punished for quite some time.  

1/04/01- Started out the year with a great ride up Mt. Hamilton, and followed that up with a pair of really s-l-o-w rides on Tuesday and Thursday.  Go figure!  Temps are getting pretty strange out here, as it's in the mid-30s in Woodside, and, at least this morning, 58 degrees up on Skyline.  As for's been quite awhile...I expect people to be talking about a drought pretty soon.

12/28/00- Been awhile since updating was a pretty wild Christmas season, so I didn't get much chance to work on the web page.  Did see something for the first time ever on the King's Mtn Ride...a Fox!  It was on Skyline, right before the descent heading down towards Highway 84.  27 years doing this ride and I've seen a lot (Squirrels, Bobcats, Deer, etc) but this was the first-ever Fox.

By the way, don't forget about the Mt Hamilton ride on New Year's Day!

12/14/00- Rode yesterday morning instead of Tuesday, to avoid the worst of the rain.  Very high gravity day on King's Mountain!  Slow...slow...really slow...but still a nice ride.  And then I rode again this morning on very wet roads.  Didn't do "the hill" but instead goofed off a bit, taking more little side roads, seeing where they went.  Added the bottom part of Bear Gulch and Wunderlich Park to the list!  Also added a flat tire.  This time I noted how long it takes to inflate a tire with a Blackburn Minipump...I'd always assumed five minutes, but the reality is only three!

12/7/00- Warmer than expected...48 was the low!  Still, nobody showed up but me, and, feeling a bit mischievous (or maybe just a bit too bored to consider going up King's Mtn alone), I headed out in search of a legendary road that I'd never ridden before- Summit Springs Road.  It's right off Tripp Road, just south of King's Mountain, and it goes UP...FAST!  But don't make the turn at Patrol Road...keep going up Summit Springs to where it dead-ends.  Mercifully, the whole climb is a bit under a mile, but there will be a couple spots where you wonder if something this steep can actually be ridden.  On the way back down, make the left turn onto Patrol Road and, for a bit more fun, continue past Entrance Way and up Patrol to where that road dead-ends.  Yet another fun piece of climbing!

What this ride brings up is that, who knows, there might be some hidden treasures in your own back yard that you've never even thought about.  Those little roads that you see shooting off from your normal ride...have you ever taken the time to find out where they go?  Maybe you should!   

12/6/00- Let's see...things we have to be thankful for.  Hmm.  How about this?  Tomorrow morning it's only supposed to get down to 37 degrees!  Yeah, we should be thankful for that?  Well, since next Tuesday's ride could see record-breaking lows (in the neighborhood of the low 20s, rivaling the infamous December 22, 1998 ride), I guess there's much to be thankful for!  For now, at least.  Personally, I doubt my stiff joints will feel very thankful for the first half hour of tomorrow morning's ride up King's Mtn.

Maybe another thing to be thankful for...the end of our election debacle.  In theory, tomorrow's gig before the Florida Supreme Court by Bush & Gore's legal teams should mark the beginning of the very end.  Almost.  There's still the matter of those screwy absentee ballots in two counties (the ones which were apparently partially filled in or applied for by "volunteers").

Remember how Nightline got its start?  "Nightline, America held hostage, day XXX" during the Iran hostage crisis.  Wonder when they'll start putting up days on their current marquee? 

12/4/00- For the holiday season, I've added a page with the infamous "Science of Santa Claus" article.  If you haven't heard about the physics that Saint Nick must deal with, this is a must read!

11/30/00- Traitors and rider going down.  Seemed like a nice enough morning...45 degrees at the start, 43 on the hill, skies clearing, road slightly wet.  Nobody showed up except me, although when I got to the top I came across a guy I sold a bike to last week.  We rode on to 84 and then down the hill...the roads were a bit wet in places, and towards the bottom of 84, on the final hairpin, he hit a spot of oil and slid out.  Fortunately, very little damage to the bike (a scratched derailleur and pedal) and almost none to him.

(By the way, at this time of year, I don't recommend riding without at least a flashing tail light.  The fog can come and go and come back again very quickly, and you need all the visibility you can get when you're out there on a bike.)

But even more noteworthy was riding back on Tripp Road and we come across a group of four cyclists in the opposite direction...three women and Kevin.  Kevin, who'd normally be out there riding with me, ditched for a ride with three women.  What's the attraction?

11/24/00- Had a great TurkeyDay Trot yesterday, with about 10 people showing up for a fun trip out to the coast and back Tunitas Creek, but not before taking a detour via Los Lobitos Creek.  Just couldn't get enough climbing in otherwise!  (This ride is now on-line)

11/16/00- Gee, three, maybe four people from the shop said they might ride this morning.  Total number at Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am?  Same number as found at  A bit of rain, a bit of cold and people decided to sleep in.  They might have had the right idea, as the hill seemed particularly tough this of those high-gravity days again.

On the way back down I saw another rider coming up...just about the only other rider I saw out there this morning.  Turned out to be one of the guys who said he might show up (Brian). It turned out that he had arrived just a bit late and was trying to catch up, but never made it.  Heck, at my speed this morning, I gave him every possible chance!   

Dang, it was cold out there this morning!  But no snow, and the reality is that the coldest temp registered on my trusty (and no longer made) TREK Radar computer was a balmy 37 degrees.  Interesting to note how much colder it felt on Skyline at 39-40 degrees when there was just a hint of moisture in the air.  King's Mountain, by the way, was as mean as ever.  Sure is a lot nicer climbing without all that extra clothing, particularly the booties.

So where are all the other riders who'd normally ride up the hill with me???  This morning it was just Kevin Keenan, local tri-guy hot-shot...and he even called the night before, thinking maybe I wouldn't be out there.

We discussed the annual Turkey Trot ride, which will leave at the regular Tuesday/Thursday morning time of 7:45am and proceed over the hill and up West Alpine from La Honda.  Hope to see many others there!  Figure on being back by noon so you can still do all the family stuff etc.

Got in our first TREK 5700 today (the Ultegra version of Lance's "Climbing bike").  Committed what some will consider a cardinal sin by building it up as a triple instead of a double, but I figure there's something to the idea of owning the world's lightest triple crankset road bike.

- Dang it's getting cold out there!  Weatherperson says 2,000 foot snow level tomorrow morning so, if it's possible to ride, it could get interesting.  Could be a red-sled morning, or it could just be so nasty out that I decide to bump the Tuesday-morning ride to Wednesday.  Hope not!

Strange time of year at the shop.  Saturdays are standing-room-only, while the rest of the week settles down a bit.

Oh yeah, great X-Files last night!  Who needs that Mulder guy anyway?

- Yet another 20/20 story on Impotence, with cycling as a backdrop.  Fortunately, in this particular story they pointed out that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight and poor eating habits were the primary contributors and of the three men profiled, the professional cyclist (Joe Papp) was considered the least likely to have problems.  

Today (11/9/00) it was cold.  First ride of the year with the temp dipping into the upper 30s (OK, 39 degrees, so just barely into the 30s!).  Bootie weather.  Yuck.  Still, felt good being up on Skyline this morning, knowing that some nasty weather's moving in later on today.  Note to myself- order Kucharik toe warmers!  Most days you don't need full (heavy) neoprene booties, and the Kucharik toe warmers, which just cover the front of the show, do just fine.  --Mike--

Last updated 09/11/07 Hit Counter since 05/06/05


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