Friday, August 31, 2007

Rider's Log 8.31.07 Wondervu

Coal Creek Canyon is in the distance. Picture taken on the south east side of Standley Lake.

The Flatirons are the backdrop to Boulder.

The beginning of the canyon

70 acres and home for $489K. Not bad.

Westfalen Hof. Wondervu is just over the ridge

3.5 hours. 50 miles. Start @ 8:00. Finish: 11:30

Felt great on the way out and up. Cruising along. First rest at Hwy93 and 86th worked better than Longview Rd rest stop.
My form was good. I learned/noticed when i was doing intervals earlier in the week that climbing really is easier for me the more upright i sit. I remembered to do this even when i wanted to hunker down and try to grind it out today. this made a huge difference.
2nd rest at Cattle Trail Drive. As usual, I was sweating buckets so I took off my helmet and stashed it on the backpack and this was so much cooler on the climb. I didn't sweat much with the helmet off. Now I really understand why the pros complain about helmets and why the rules allow them to ditch them on long climbs.
Road right on past the Coal Creek fire station and rested at the power station place - Gross Damn Rd. At this point it was tough going. I was totally winded and gassed. Nevertheless, I slogged on to the German restaurant Hof place and rested there...probably 10 minutes up the road from the last rest - maybe less. I took pictures at that point, put my helmet on for the descent, fully intending to bag it and turn around. Some sort of desire kicked in as i got back on the bike so I did ride further up the road just a bit - maybe 150 yards - just so i could feel good about going farther than before. Turned around at 323000 hwy 72. at approximately 10:30 - only one mile from my goal of the Wondervu Cafe. Ugh. I knew I was close but I just do not have the leg strength to use my lowest gear to climb at that grade - probably 8 or 9%. (Two options for the future - get a granny, bail-out gear for my lowest; or, hit the weights and get the strength to haul my 220 lbs to the top. i'm choosing the second option.
Flew down. Pedaling when possible; but, most of the time i was going too fast even to spin in the highest gear. I was tense on some of the sweeping turns but i realized that there's nothing i could do at that speed - 30+mph - to save myself if something happened so i decided to relax and have fun. i love carving those corners at that speed. Outside leg down, inside leg up with my knee to the frame - so fun.
Home at 11:30.
Didn't reach the top of the mountain but did significantly improve my time and form. Great ride.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wondervu try Friday (Rider's Log 8.30.07)

Wondervu - 26 miles from my house. Elevation 8900 feet. 3600 feet of climbing.
I'm gearing up for another attempt on Wondervu on Friday morning. I rode an hour and a half on Monday and did intervals yesterday. I won't be able to ride Thursday morning - 8:00 appointment with a volunteer leader. If I don't make it all the way up on Friday, I'm confident that I'll make it on Monday morning. Stay tuned. I'm going to take the camera.

I did ride this (thursday) morning! Out of bed at 5:20; on the bike at 5:40. Was still dark outside but the moon is nearly full - so very cool. Temp was 55 and rained yesterday afternoon so there was a really cool, mystic fog over the creek behind our neighborhood.
10 miles, 50 minutes on the Big Dry Creek Trail. Riding felt effortless - easier than walking. didn't eat anything so my tank ran low the last 15 minutes. looking forward to coal creek canyon and the wondervu attempt tomorrow morning.

U2 - private collection

Vertigo Tour. 2nd night in Denver a few years ago. My good friend David took these and I have about 120 great shots he gave to me. I was in the house on the first night - about 3 people from the front of the elipse.
These crack me up! I'll post some of the great ones another time.

U2, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno

Read this about the new U2 album that's in the works. I'm excited about this! How high does U2 rate on your favorite band list?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rider's Log 8.27.07 - Big Dry Creek Trail

1:30 19 miles medium to high effort
Rode northeast to 128th Ave then to the west end of the trail and back home.
Legs are feeling deeper and stronger and I'm able to ride at a higher speed and more effort without going over the edge. Recovery seems to be quicker from power surges.

It was 58 degrees when I started! Niiiiice.

Rider's Update 8.28.07 - Intervals

I rode again this morning. I decided to do some interval training for the first time in many years. Interval training is an effort to max your heart rate for short (usually) periods of time followed by a quick recovery and more max effort. Ride hard for an interval, recover for an interval. This training is so great because it works the heart and increases aerobic capacity (i think) and improves recovery time from hard work during rides. This makes a difference in hilly areas because the effort it takes to climb a hill increases your heart rate. The more you train this way in addition to a good mileage base, the easier it is to recover on the bike after a sprint or a tough hill climb. Being able to recover from hard effort quickly is so important to success.
After a 15 minutes of warm up riding i went to the city park and rode up "the hill" at the park. I didn't count, but i think i did this hill about 8 times at maximum effort followed by a coast down the hill, turning around and heading back up. Each "up" took about two minutes and the down took about 1 minute. I did a 15 warm down ride and ended up at home.
9 miles. 1 hour. Intervals - maximum effort.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Who Really Cares

I snagged this from the author's website.

It is very interesting and a great piece for conversation. I am interested to see how the research holds up under scrutiny.

Be sure to check out the stats page, too.

This was featured on a John Stossel special on ABC on Friday night and my two daughters and I watched with much interest.

Shaun Groves wrote about it here.

Is Compassionate Conservatism an Oxymoron?

The conventional wisdom runs like this: Liberals are charitable because they advocate government redistribution of money in the name of social justice; conservatives are uncharitable because they oppose these policies. But note the sleight of hand: Government spending, according to this logic, is a form of charity.

Let us be clear: Government spending is not charity. It is not a voluntary sacrifice by individuals. No matter how beneficial or humane it might be, no matter how necessary it is for providing public services, it is still the obligatory redistribution of tax revenues. Because government spending is not charity, sanctimonious yard signs do not prove that the bearers are charitable or that their opponents are selfish. (On the contrary, a public attack on the integrity of those who don’t share my beliefs might more legitimately constitute evidence that I am the uncharitable one.)

To evaluate accurately the charity difference between liberals and conservatives, we must consider private, voluntary charity. How do liberals and conservatives compare in their private giving and volunteering? Beyond strident slogans and sarcastic political caricatures, what, exactly, do the data tell us?

The data tell us that the conventional wisdom is dead wrong. In most ways, political conservatives are not personally less charitable than political liberals—they are more so.

First, we must define “liberals” and “conservatives.” Most surveys ask people not just about their political party affiliation but also about their ideology. In general, about 10 percent of the population classify themselves as “very conservative”; and another 10 percent call themselves “very liberal.” About 20 percent say they are simply “liberal,” and 30 percent or so say they are “conservative.” The remaining 30 percent call themselves “moderates” or “centrists.” In this discussion, by “liberals” I mean the approximately 30 percent in the two most liberal categories, and by conservatives I mean the 40 percent or so in the two most con­servative categories.

So how do liberals and conservatives compare in their charity? When it comes to giving or not giving, conservatives and liberals look a lot alike. Conservative people are a percentage point or two more likely to give money each year than liberal people, but a percentage point or so less likely to volunteer.

But this similarity fades away when we consider average dollar amounts donated. In 2000, households headed by a conservative gave, on average, 30 percent more money to charity than households headed by a liberal ($1,600 to $1,227). This discrepancy is not simply an artifact of income differences; on the contrary, liberal families earned an average of 6 percent more per year than conservative families, and conservative families gave more than liberal families within every income class, from poor to middle class to rich.

If we look at party affiliation instead of ideology, the story remains largely the same. For example, registered Republicans were seven points more likely to give at least once in 2002 than registered Democrats (90 to 83 percent).

The differences go beyond money and time. Take blood donations, for example. In 2002, conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals. If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply in the United States would jump by about 45 percent.

The political stereotypes break down even further when we consider age: “Anyone who is not a socialist before age thirty has no heart, but anyone who is still a socialist after thirty has no head,” goes the old saying. And so we imagine crusty right-wing grandfathers socking their money away in trust funds while their liberal grandchildren work in soup kitchens and save the whales. But young liberals—perhaps the most vocally dissatisfied political constituency in America today—are one of the least generous demographic groups out there. In 2004, self-described liberals younger than thirty belonged to one-third fewer organizations in their communities than young conservatives. In 2002, they were 12 percent less likely to give money to charities, and one-third less likely to give blood. Liberal young Americans in 2004 were also significantly less likely than the young conservatives to express a willingness to sacrifice for their loved ones: A lower percentage said they would prefer to suffer than let a loved one suffer, that they are not happy unless the loved one is happy, or that they would sacrifice their own wishes for those they love.

The compassion of American conservatives becomes even clearer when we compare the results from the 2004 U.S. presidential election to data on how states address charity. Using Internal Revenue Service data on the percentage of household income given away in each state, we can see that the red states are more charitable than the blue states. For instance, of the twenty-five states that donated a portion of household income above the national average, twenty-four gave a majority of their popular votes to George W. Bush for president; only one gave the election to John F. Kerry. Of the twenty-five states below the national giving average, seventeen went for Kerry, but just seven for Bush. In other words, the electoral map and the charity map are remarkably similar.

These results are not an artifact of close elections in key states. The average percentage of household income donated to charity in each state tracked closely with the percentage of the popular vote it gave to Mr. Bush. Among the states in which 60 percent or more voted for Bush, the average portion of income donated to charity was 3.5 percent. For states giving Mr. Bush less than 40 percent of the vote, the average was 1.9 percent. The average amount given per household from the five states combined that gave Mr. Bush the highest vote percentages in 2003 was 25 percent more than that donated by the average household in the five northeastern states that gave Bush his lowest vote percentages; and the households in these liberal-leaning states earned, on average, 38 percent more than those in the five conservative states.

People living in conservative states volunteer more than people in liberal states. In 2003, the residents of the top five “Bush states” were 51 percent more likely to volunteer than those of the bottom five, and they volunteered an average of 12 percent more total hours each year. Residents of these Republican-leaning states volunteered more than twice as much for religious organizations, but also far more for secular causes. For example, they were more than twice as likely to volunteer to help the poor.

Surely Jimmy Carter would have been surprised to learn that the selfish Americans he criticized so vociferously were most likely the very people who elected him president.

Reprinted with permission © Basic Books - 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rider's Log 8.18.07 Saved by the Bell - coal creek canyon

2:35. Approximately 40 miles. Hard effort.
Left the house at 6:25 after a cereal breakfast. Set my cell alarm for an 8:00 turn around time. Pushed pretty hard up to Hwy 72 and reached Longview Rd at 7:35. Short break for food and to de-sweat - i sweat a lot - A LOT.
Back on the bike, my legs must have thought the ride was over 'cause they were shutting down for the day. Believe me, when your legs aren't cooperating, riding up that canyon is tough. So as the road head UP, I was SO ready for that alarm bell to ring in the canyon that i stopped to make sure i set the alarm for a.m.and hadn't missed 8:00! Funny thing is that about the time 8:00 sounded, my legs were awake again and i was wanting to continue up the canyon. (Had to turn around to make it back for 10:00 meeting.) I had no problem whatsoever turning around for the speed descent. I love the way the bike handles carving the curves at 30+ mph!
I pushed it at about 80% on the way back and at times, 100% to get the most out of the ride. Hit home at 9:00.
My energy was good and i even felt some deepness in my legs to push hard up small hills and the recovery from those intervals was decent. i am pleased.
Next time I think i will stop for food at Hwy 93 so that my legs can restart before i get into the canyon.
Again there was a long coal train wrapped around the entrance to the canyon. It was crossing the bridge over the road as i went under. Pretty impressive to feel the hills rumbling under the weight of all that coal.

Post ride - stiff legs. Slight headache - need to drink even more water (i drank a ton today). 3 hour nap! Felt great after the nap.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rider's Log 8.17.07 Standley Lak

1:45 19 miles on the mountain bike up to Standley Lake from the house. Around north side of lake to bald eagle habit boundary; then all the way around the lake to the west side of the lake/habit boundary. flatted on the way back - i think it was the thorns from my last ride working their way out or in. it was a slow leak so i stopped 4 times to pump hoping i could avoid a patch on the trail. no luck. patched and raced the still slow leak home. fun ride. felt some good juice in the legs.

i just finished about 1.5 hours doing bike maintenance. patching some tubes, making adjustments, shuffling things around in the garage. max's rear wheel was so loose! nuts on axle had just worked themselves loose from the jumping stuff he's been doing lately. he's pounding that little gary fisher he has!

tomorrow i'm going to do 3 hours early before L14's volleyball team parent brunch. i'm looking forward to seeing how far up the mountain i can get towards the elusive wondervu! still hoping to slap the sign of the wondervu cafe at 8900 feet!

No riding

I haven't ridden in 11 days. I have had something going on every morning since last week on Monday. I don't like it. I'm going to go out for about 2 hours today to wake up my legs and let them remember what riding a bike is...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Sister!

Today is my sister's birthday! Happy birthday, Cynthia! She is an accomplished musician and is doing neat things with graphic design and publications! I'm proud of my sister!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I love this. Exactly my style with my kids. Read this article first.
Check the Faceball website.

excellent stuff. i will be ordering the regulation beach balls. i will dominate. i will become the world champion.
stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Rider's Log 8.06.07 - North Table Mesa

North Table Mesa w/David and Stacee. Caught trail at house off of Easley.
Quick grind up. Stopped a few times when the trail pointed up. hiked it up the switchback and the final rise to the top. Would like to be able to ride this in the near future and I should be able to do that.
Cut across the mesa on the double track west and on return headed on spur single track to the north.
Rained a lot the night before so much mud.
Saw many does, two bucks - 10 pt and 8 pt.
Helicopter circled for about 5 minutes; probably checking out the deer.
Trail disappeared - made our own through the tall grass. Very fun.
Cruised down. still sketchy on descents. need to learn to let go of the brakes.
Phenomenal view!

Rider's Log 8.4.07 - road

2.5 hours. 35 miles. Set out to see how far north i could go in 1.5 hours but flatted at the train tracks before Dillon Rd. Swapped tubes. Headed east on Dillon Rd to Huron. Explored neighborhoods along the way. South on Huron, west on 134th to Main, Main to open space to home. recovery ride. slow miles.
Highlight: doing the ride after the 50 I did the day before.

Rider's Log 8.3.07 - Coal Creek Canyon

Approximately 50 miles. 4 hours. 3000 feet of climbing. 3000 feet of descending, too! 1.5 miles short of Wondervu Cafe. Couldn't make it to the top. Rested at a few spots after Coal Creek. Turn around at the German restaurant. Downhill was great. Concentrated on more pedaling and less coasting on the way back. Rode extra on the way back to make it 4 hours. started at 6:20. Returned at 10:20.
Highlight: Going up the mountain while commuters were on their way down to work.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rider's Log 8.1.07 - Big Dry Creek Trail

Up at 5:35. Blueberries. Depart at 5:48. Open Space trail. 14 miles. 1:10
no leg tension ride - didn't push legs at all, just for cardio.
Saw: Scraggly Belly man. Foofie dog guy. Head Down Runner. Gaggle. Slow Bike Ladies. Buzzcut.