Category Archives: bikes

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic 2010

I had hoped to ride the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic last year but didn’t do it. I didn’t train enough and it filled up before I felt I was ready. I’ve been talking for a few weeks now about wanting to ride in the Iron Horse, and decided I’d better get serious and sign up for it. I’m definitely not ready right now, but have a few months to get in shape. I even talked Chris into riding.

Last week I started training for it. The weather had been really nice for a while so I got to ride about 60 miles on the road and then when a storm came in last weekend I rode about 20 miles at the gym. There’s a good 15 mile, mostly flat loop I can do on my lunch break, and an 11 mile out and back ride with some climbing I can fit into my lunch break as well. My plan is to ride about 100 miles a week for a while and then some longer rides on the weekends as we get closer.

The Iron Horse is a 50 mile ride/race from Durango to Silverton with abotu 5700ft of climbing over 2 10,000ft passes. It happens on May 29th, so I have about 95 days to get in shape.

Blogging and San Diego

I haven’t been blogging much here, but I’ve been doing a ton of blogging over at BeerNBikes.com Durango, CO (and the surrounding Four Corners area) is an awesome place for both craft beer fans and cyclists.

I still read up on things happening in San Diego every once in a while, especially all the wonderful beer being made.

I saw this post on Draft Mag’s blog about the SDCityBeat Festival Of Beer coming up in May, and their summary of San Diego pretty much sums things up for me:

Occasionally, we consider moving to San Diego. It’s warm. All the time. It’s beautiful. All the time. The people are attractive. All the time. Honestly, what’s not to like? Then you visit, however, and realize it’s essentially a city devoid of culture, unless you consider being a stop on the way to Tijuana an important cultural experience. We don’t.

They do have good things to say about the CityBeat Festival of Beers though.

Feeling More Durango

I did two very Durango things this past weekend.

Saturday I bought a mountain bike. Mountain biking seems to be huge here, and I can understand why, there’s a lot of open space and beautiful country around here. I’ve been road biking for a few years now and I felt I should start mountain biking out here. I picked up a used Yeti F.R.O. hardtail. I’ve been itching to get out and ride it, but it was snowing Saturday. Expect some pics and more about this bike on BeerNbikes.com.

Yesterday the weather was nice, probably perfect for mountain biking on some of the trails that dry earlier in the year than others, but instead Kinsee and I went up to Durango Mountain Resort for some winter sports action. It was my first time on a snowboard (I want to ski, I’ve never been skiing either, but Kinz insisted I try snowboarding first). She said I did good for my first day, I’m not sure if she’s being nice or what, but it seemed like I spent almost as much time on my butt as I did on my feet. I stayed on the bunny slope, but stood up quite a bit. The snow was hard packed so when I fell it hurt. After one good run of standing up the entire way I fell hard on my ass and decided it was time to hit the bar. Kinsee went up to the real slopes and got in some good runs while I read the paper and spent some time in the sun.

I’m sore today but look forward to giving skiing a try next year.

Beernbikes.com

I started a new blog yesterday. Beernbikes.com

I’m hoping that it will be less of a personal blog than this one and more about news and things going on relating to beer and bikes. It’ll probably be focused on the Durango, CO area but I’m sure there will be a lot of info about San Diego and other beer and bike regions and news.

The other reason I set it up is because I recently bought some web hosting and wanted to get my feet wet with hosting my own stuff. It seemed too daunting of a task to move this blog (and something I might screw up the first time) so I decided to come up with a new blog. Craft beer and bicycles are two of my biggest hobbies so it’s a perfect fit. I’m hoping to play around with all sorts of things you can do when you host a blog yourself rather than host it with wordpress.com (like this blog is).

So go on over to beernbikes.com and check it out. I’ll be cross posting personal stuff relating to beer and bikes to both blogs every once in a while. But go check it out and tell me what you think.

Welcome to Colorado!

If you haven’t heard, Kinsee and I moved to Bayfield, Colorado! Kinsee grew up here and I’ve been anxious to get out of California for a while now. I don’t know when I fell in love with the Four Corners Region (probably around the time I discovered Edward Abbey) but Durango (the “big” city nearby) seems like the perfect place for me. Four breweries in Durango, one with a location in Bayfield, lots of cyclists and plenty of other outdoor enthusiasts, Durango seems like a good place.

I’m just getting settled in, but Kinsee’s already been blogging about what’s going on in Durango at her new blog, Durango Dirt.

The weather has been beautiful ever since we got here, I’ve heard that we’ll get more days of sun per year than San Diego (330 vs 300).

We went to Ska Brewing for the release of their new IPA Modus Hoperandi, not quite a West Coast IPA but not bad at all. Kinsee wrote about it here. One of my new favorite blogs, Beer at 6512 (the elevation in Durango) also was there. Turns out Durango has quite the blogger community because Hank at Songs From the Wood was there also.

I just got back from my first Colorado bike ride. I rode from our house in Bayfield to Ignacio and back. It was about 19 miles, mostly flat, but my sea-level-lungs need some adjustment to the altitude up here (we live at 6900 feet). When I left it was about 22F, I averaged 17.5mph and it had warmed up to almost 40F by the time I got back. And I did that on my fixed gear because my road bike is still in the shop getting assembled and tuned.

We’ve been here less than a week but so far so good. Once I get a little more settled in expect a lot more blog posts from me.

La Mesa Bar Bike Adventure

There are all sorts of bars in La Mesa, the city I grew up in, that I’ve never been to. Places that I wondered about when underage, but just didn’t seem cool enough once I could get into bars. Last night Kinsee, Derrik and I rode our bikes to five of those La Mesa watering holes.

First up was Centifonti’s, I’ve walked past it a few times before and always assumed it was a restaurant or bakery, I was shocked when I saw a coupon in the Citybeat advertising their “Boot of Beer”.  Why a place like this serves a boot of beer is beyond me, but we weren’t concerned with that, we just wanted our 112oz of cold, foamy Stella Artois. I felt a little out of place at first, most of the patrons were older than the three of us combined, but as we drank the boot I stopped worrying about La Mesa folks and started having a good time.

Pouring the Boot

Pouring the Boot

Drinking the Boot

Drinking the Boot

Finishing the Boot

Finishing the Boot

Next up was Pete’s Place. Pete’s used to be one of two dive bars on La Mesa Blvd, but they both recently closed. Pete’s Place opened back up after some remodeling, Joe and Andy’s, the other dive hasn’t reopened yet. When tearing down the old walls they apparently found nice brick walls behind them, so Pete’s Place looks nice these days. Even though they got remodeled the bar tender said they still have the same people hanging out there and drink prices didn’t go up. $3.25 for a decently stiff whiskey and 7up was pretty good.

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Brick Walls

Brick Walls

After Pete’s Place we rode down the street, passing such places as Hoffer’s Cigar Bar and the Turquoise Room at the Riviera Supper Club for the tried and true Falcon’s Lure. They only serve beer and wine but we found some good local brews. We played the jukebox (I resisted putting on Alice’s Restaurant, three times), met a local who showed us a magic trick, he originally wanted us to buy him a beer before showing us the magic behind it. When we showed no interest whatsoever he decided to tell us free of charge.

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Bikes in the Bar

Bikes in the Bar

We sprinted down University Ave to The Dragon Room at Wong’s Golden Palace. This was the most divey, and least fun bar of the night. We walked in and it was almost silent, no music was playing, and nearly dark. No one was behind the bar so I asked a guy sitting there if he’d seen a bartender around recently. He looked at me and laughed and said “nah”. Then he started yelling “MEATLOAF! MEATLOAF!”, shortly after that the bartender started walking over. We didn’t feel comfortable ordering drinks from someone that responds to the name Meatloaf so we went into the restaurant and order our Flaming Volcano drink. We downed the drink and got out as quickly as we could.

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The Volcano

The Volcano

The Flaming Volcano

The Flaming Volcano

Last was Mr G’s Tavern. It was bright with loud but not too loud music and a decent crowd. One patron was apparently trying to make fun of us and our bikes but I didn’t let him get away with it.

Him: “So you guys ten-speeded in here huh?”

Me: “They’re single-speeds actually.”

We quickly became friends with him and another regular named Tim. By the time we left we’d earned his respect by riding around the hills of La Mesa with only one gear.

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A Few of the Regulars -- We met Tim

A Few of the Regulars -- We met Tim

A Couple of the Other Regulars

A Couple of the Other Regulars

Photos mostly by Derrik.

New Years Resolution: Training for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Last Sunday afternoon, while most people in San Diego were watching the Chargers lose to the Steelers I was out enjoying an unseasonably hot day in January with a bike ride through La Mesa and up Mount Helix. One of my new years resolutions this year is to train for, and ultimately ride in, The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. The Iron Horse is a 47 mile race/ride from Durango to Silverton Colorado. The idea behind it is the race the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train from the start in Durango to the finish in Silverton.

I’ve never ridden 50 miles, but I have no doubt that I can do a 50 mile ride. The part that starts to worry me is the two 10,000 foot mountain passes between Durango and Silverton. Living in coastal-California all my life, I’ve only been above 10,000 feet a few times, and never ridden a bike up that high. It’s going to take a lot of exercise and training to get ready for this.

So Sunday I donned my new lyrca shorts (those padded spandex like shorts road bikers wear), bike jersey shirt and rode off in the 85F+ heat. I only rode about 15 miles, just warming up, my first time riding in quite a while but it felt good. I was huffing and puffing as I got to the top of Mount Helix, which isn’t a good sign seeing as its only 1000ft or so above sea level, but I’ve got time to work on that.

Unfortunately toward the end of my ride the freewheel on my maintenance-neglected bike siezed up, so I need to do some serious cleanup on it, and probably take it into the shop for a tune-up. Luckily I’ve got my fixed gear I can ride for a while.

I’ll be posting periodic updates here on my training progress and hopefully come the end of May some pictures and my results.