Monday, March 27, 2006

Urg -- A Bit Overtrained

Finally my rest day and its clear that I'm overcooked because I can't fight off what I take to be a mild cold coming on. Grrr.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Still No Sign of Spring

Every time we get a patch of sun, the rain and the wind returns. No spring yet. Out for 5 hours today (the first 2.5 with Carrie) on the mountain bike -- slogging in the Marin headlands. Not feeling sharp, but do feel like I can grind out the climbs and kilometers. Carrie is looking on form. She rode short today as she's got a 2-up time trial tomorrow in the Berkeley hills.

Meeting with all sorts of folks to review their doings and business plans. Bart working on a cell phone deal for visitors from Japan; Rajesh (Karen's husband) working on a research and reporting outsourcing gig with the work being done in India. And Doug (my old chief legal officer), still the nominal CEO over Dotcast -- which has no operations now but just licensing income from selling their high bandwidth technology for entertainment downloads to Intel, Cisco, and Disney.

Getting things organized here. Rebecca arrives tomorrow and then Nani on Monday. Loooking forward to getting everyone together for a Thursday movie -- possibly "Inside Man."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

51 Starbuck Also on the Market

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
This house is further up, at the top of our private drive. Its been "done up" properly....but so far, no house in Muir Beach has hit the $2M mark. We'll see -- this one has sat on the market for a good while and has already been reduced in price.

Neighbor's House for Sale

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Dallas has moved out of 8 Seacape. Hooray. The bane of my existence is gone. Hopefully, a friendlier buyer will emerge. Tony is gone as well on the other side of me. After such a static situation, my neighbor situation is now totally fluid.

Transalp Riders

Over 300 international riders from 37 countries travelling to the Cape Epic this year.

Switzerland (41 riders) Mir wünsched gueti letzti Vorbereitige fürs Renne und freued eus, Dich z' Knysna bi de Registration z'begrüesse.

Bonne chance pour vos dernières préparations de la course. Nous nous réjouissons de vous voir à Knysna.

Germany (23) and Austria (12): Viel Erfolg mit den letzten Trainingswochen und Vorbereitungen. Wuer wuenschen Euch eine gute Anreise nach Suedafrika und freuen uns darauf Euch in Knysna zu begruessen.

Netherlands (19) Sterkte met je laatste voorbereidingen - we zien er naar uit om je te verwelkomen in Knysna.

France (17), Mauritius (1): Bonne chance pour vos dernières préparations de la course. Nous nous réjouissons de vous voir à Knysna.

Norway (16): Lykke til med de siste forberedelsene til rittet.

Vi ønsker dere en trivelig reise til Sydafrika og ser frem til å møte dere i Knysna.

Belgium (15): Sterkte met je laatste voorbereidingen - we zien er naar uit om je te verwelkomen in Knysna.

Bonne chance pour vos dernières préparations de la course. Nous nous réjouissons de vous voir à Knysna.

Australia (14): What a game!

Italy (8): In bocca al lupo per i preparazioni finali. Siamo contenti a rivedersi a Knysna!

Spain (5) and Peru (2): Mucha suerte con las preparationes finales. Esperemos verte a Knysna!

Hungary (2): Sok siker a befejezö gyakorlatokhoz. Mi elöre örülünk annak, hogy Titeket Knysna-ba üdvözölhetünk.

And of course, to our MANY Afrikaans speaking riders!

30 dae van veilig oefen en groot uitsien is al wat oorbly! Baie sterkte aan julle almal vir die laaste maand se oefensessies en voorbereidings. Veilig reis na Knysna, ons sien julle by registrasie op die 21 April.

Lets not forget about all the riders from Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Nambia, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Slovenia, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, USA and Zimbabwe - I wish you all the best in your final preparations for Cape Epic 2006.

In the Home Stretch

The Cape Epic is seeming pretty close. Tuesdays are "hump" days as they include 45 minutes of lactate threshold work. Fortunately, that's behind me now via the gym. Not a long time on the bike (90 minutes total) -- but a painful time for half of it!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Peter & Emily

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Could it be that these wild folks are actually the couple we shared a birthing class with. Yes it is -- and somehow they've managed to have a Madigras party while on assignment in Sri Lanka. They'll be back in the states in June. Hope to join them in the foothills of the Sierras for a little downhill romping. Maybe, just maybe, Peter and I will get to do the Manali - Leh trip one day in the north of India.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Road Racing in Zamora

Our in the desolate patch between SF and Sacramento is the highway 505 connector -- which passes through the green, but otherwise barren hills of Zamora. The winds whip through here leaving no protection for road bikers. On top of this, today's 40 mile race was a 1-2-3-4, meaning all the top riders would be here to rip things up.

And rip them up they did. All the horsepower moved to the front, and the back of the pack was just a world of hurt, with everyone scattered in the gutter. The string broke early and a bunch of small groups formed. Further back were the "slow and the stupid" and that included me. Fortunately, with lots of company, we got a helluva a workout chasing for 35 miles. Americans do not know how to ride an echelon. As a result, even when we were reduced to 10 riders, we still managed to mostly ride in the gutter.

I actually felt pretty good in terms of being able to turn the pedals (given yesterday's 4.5 hours of riding). But boy -- I was quite dehydrated by the time I got home. The ride really kicked my ass.

Barely had enough energy to dig some ditches back in rockridge.

Did get the video conferencing going with Erik -- important as we've got a heap of work to do this week....

Friday, March 17, 2006

Short Day

Only had to do a gym workout and a brief 15 minute loosen up ride. Thankfull for the break. Huston and Mini have arrived. As per usual -- much food consumed by all.....

Homestretch Karapoti 2006

Karapoti 1
Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Just through the last stream crossing on the 2006 Karapoti classic in Upper Hutt New Zealand. Only about 4km of flat/downhill rolling from here. I was going good and then just began to start cramping up in the strong New Zealand February sun. Tom Finlay came rolling up behind me and paced me in.

Devil's Staircase 2006 Karapoti

Karapoti 2
Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
The muddy ruts on the 2006 Karapoti Classic. Perfect weather (as good as it gets). Imagine the extra mud in the rain. This is near the top of a 15 minute carry about mid-way through the race. The chap behind me is smiling even more than I!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Texas Hold'em

Picture 2
Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.

Poker in Petaluma

On Tuesday night I headed up to the redneck Sonoma town of Petaluma (less than 50 miles from SF) with Bill Haraf -- who's played a number of times before here. $50 gets you into the tournament, with $40 of that going to the cash prize pot to be distributed amongst the top 10 players who make it to the final table. I won the first sizable pot, coasted for a while, then went all in on a pair of 9s. Unfortunately, I got caught out by a player who made a straight on the river (last card) and that knocked me out. Bill got knocked out almost in the same way (on a pair of 10s) -- but much further into the competition.

Lots of good old boyz spending their entitlements check from the government. Some good old "hard" ladies plying the booze and adding atmosphere. There were about 70+ people in the tournament. I loved the action. Timing is wrong for me now, given my commitment to cycling....but I definitely see this as a vice to pursue in my dotage.

The riding continues on with my first 45 minute lactate threshold session done on Tuesday. More of the same today.

Zooming along on my project. The team and scope is growing. We'll have a web site up soon for all this.

Bought a huge used hot tub for $200 and it has appeared at Colby St. Dern, the thing looks as big as the whole house.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Snow in Silicon Valley

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Brrrr. Snowed in the hills....even far south. California is not all sunshine!

Hail in the Central Valley

Drove a long lonely drive in the pickup truck to the Central Valley Classic -- 60 miles in the Cat IV race in cold rain and occasional hail. A death march for which I was well rested and survived till the end of broken spoke constrained pack sprint. Now I definitely have the legs to do this ride, which is good. But it certainly left me drained. Beautiful drive back through the snow frosted hills. Must be the coldest day of the California winter -- I saw pics today of snow in the desert.

I need a mental break to rechart my course. The body is clicking, now I've just got to get a plan for the rest of my mental focus. Just 4 weeks now till my departure for Africa.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Lots of Balls in the Air

Today was a mix of work re: at the office, plans for the Barrel, dNet, and having some fun visiting MOMA with the gang, and seeing the movie "Running Scared" -- a hyper-violent on-the-go mob movie which I enjoyed.

Finally am feeling more rested with the shorter ride schedule this week. Feeling the freshness coming back to my legs. Considering doing a 100km road race this weekend, that will include category 1,2,3 riders in addition to my rating as a 4. That should be a reality wake up call. Its all the way to Fresno though.

Sasha is feeling better -- thank goodness. May get some decent sleep as a result.

Finally received the planting plan for the Barrel. Trees galore and a depiction of our hoped for driveway (i.e. trail for now). We'll see. This will take years to pull off I'm sure....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rob & Jack

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Rounding out the good hands at Colby Street for 3 Men and a Baby.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

On the Rivet

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Rolling through a corner at the Alameda criterium. Been a long time since I've done such. Derned if they missed me on the results! Now I'll have to race again.

Short Week

Rides are short and sweet on this a recovery week. I'm spending the time instead getting the shed ready as my work office (complete now with its own bed and private full bathroom. All of this is speparate and distinct from the "cottage." So now I'll have a private area even when guests are in town for a stay.

Hoping to do some real road races this weekend. Also hoping to file a planting strategy for the Barrel as the plans for such are in the mail to me as of this writing. Yeah!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Cape Epic New Release

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
There are only 47 days to the start of Cape Epic 2006 and once again it will be a record breaking event. There will be more than 1000 riders from 37 nations lined up at the start in Knysna on Saturday 22 April. Mountain bikers will travel from as far as Brazil, Canada, Norway, Japan, and Australia to participate in the Magical and Untamed African Mountain Bike Race. This year’s race is the longest in the history of the Epic - 921km and 16,605m of altitude gain in 8 days! (16,605m climbing? Yes, that is like climbing Mount Everest twice from sea level!)

Because of our early date in the international mountain bike racing calendar, the Cape Epic is increasingly becoming the stage race of choice for the world’s best mountain bikers. Overall World Cup Champion of 2004 and 2005, Christoph Sauser (SUI), and partner Liam Killeen (GBR), placed 5th at Athens 2004, will race together in Team Specialized. The Rocky Mountain team of Karl Platt (GER) and Carsten Bresser (GER), both multiple winners of the TransAlp and TransRockies races are back to improve on their unlucky seventh position last year (Karl is also the only person to have won the Triple Crown of mountain biking; in 2004 Karl won all of the Cape Epic, TransAlp and TransRockies). South Africa’s hope for podium honours is the exciting pairing of Kevin Evans and Mannie Heymans in Team adidas Raleigh. Kevin has achieved the best results amongst South African riders at every Cape Epic and Mannie (riding for Namibia – but he was born in South Africa!) has previously won the TransAlp and the Cape Epic. Team adidas Fiat-Rotwild, with TransRockies winners Andy Strobel (GER) and Silvio Wieltschnig (AUT), will also have their say in the battle of the top three. Andy and Silvio placed second at the inaugural Cape Epic and Silvio came third last year.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Night Watch and the Oscars with Vicki

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
A gang of us including Jack, his co-work mate from Odeo, Ruth and her Man, Rob, Amita and I went to see the Russian thriller "Night Watch" -- which is very popular in Moscow these days. Nothing deep but got stylized feeling of the grit of post Soviet Russia against a backdrop of the usual good and evil fable. Vicki joined up for Oscars commentary. The gal's got an engine as she'd already been up till 5am previously knocking out the slides for the package I'm on the hook for in Australia. Vicki knows her movies and many of my recs will come from her as she's rated 400+ films on Netflix.....

Yogurt for the Fever Girl

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Little Sasha has had an on and off again fever over the past week. The little sprog has not had much appetite, so it was a relief when she had a sudden binge request for Yogurt. Most of it actually went into her mouth for a chage.

Writer in Residence

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Rob has arrived for a week in the cottage from Iowa. He is our writer in residence and also a source of infinite wisdom on life, relationships....and most importantly, was willing to eat some of the alligator that I cooked up for us during the Oscars.

Alameda Criterium

On short notice I decide to race the sanctioned Alameda criterium: 45 minutes with about 50 Masters 4,5 riders on six corner, .7 mile course. In terms of prep, I couldn't have been less prepared with the slowbo miles I've been riding (especially the previous day), but my instincts and core fitness carried me through. I finished 10th or so. It was like traveling back 30 years in my life.

My old Richard Sachs road bike is totally NOT the bike for these kinds of courses. I was dragging my pedals through the corners, and was less certain of my lines than I should have been for someone as experienced as myself. But by the end of the race, when my heart settled down, it was all becoming manageable. I confess that I'd like to do more and do better. So maybe I'll slip a few more races in between now and the Cape Epic -- hopefully avoiding crashes. To avoid crashes though, I need to acutally place in the top 5 in races to upgrade to a category 3. Yikes, that's a far further commitment in life and I dunno wether I really want to go there....

But it was fun being frisky -- even if I had no snap in my legs due to the type of long distance training I've been up to.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Long Day in the Saddle

Swapped my longer Sunday ride for today as bad weather is predicted tomorrow. That meant 5 hours in Marin, combining the Paradise Loop with a reverse ride up the Mt. Tam ridge, a zoom down to Bolinas, and then back along the coast into a moderate southerly headwind. Reeta joined me. She's the only gal I know who's even more of motor than Carrie. No complaints, no complications, all girl-power. These young 35-year-olds can turn the pedals.

Rob rolls in tonight from the midwest. So it will be a boyz night as Amita is on nightfloat. Oh and little Sasha -- who's registered a temperature of 101.7. Sad little gal!

Friday, March 03, 2006

JACK'S life lessons

Good advice from Jack

1. Don't be a jerk
2. Don't take anyone for granted
3. Enjoy the moment
4. Be honest, always
5. Be humble
6. Be kind
7. Respect people's wishes
8. Allow endings
9. Fail openly
10. Have an amazing haircut

Nani's Twins

Originally uploaded by Greg Kidd.
Owen and River, Nani's twins are still reputed to not be "attitudinal" -- which I find hard to believe knowing their mom, as well as my experience with Sasha. But such is the claim. They do look like angels here, I must admit.

Nani will be out for a late March California trip....escaping the colds of NYC.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Big Grind

Today is the third day of a three day step-up in my training schedule. I knew today was going to be a grind -- particularly so since I expected bad weather and arranged to do the entire 3-hour session on the turbo trainer (no breaks for downhills). Had two 30-minute lactate threshold sessions. But the hardest part was just getting started and getting my heartrate up to even the minimum tempo level. I had to back off, down some powerbars, and then reramp up. Three hours on the trainer is an eternity. I've done it once before, but not with the lactate sessions. Anyways, its over, and because tomorrow is a gym day....its almost a rest. Whew! That just leaves two long tempo rides this weekend and I get a shorter week to follow. I need it as I'm living with sore legs.

Started watching the Deadwood series tonight upon recommendation by Rob. Hope to see the Russian thriller Night Watch this Sunday with the gang. Vicki, Fernando, Rob, and Jack have all been invited.....along with Shamit and Eva as well. Hoping to see Running Scared on Thursday night. Am sharing around Netflix recommendations as well.

Life is more flexible now as I'm working from home given that Konrad has been on the road in Asia and now Melbourne. Next week should be flexible as well.

Looks like Pete and Emily are coming back from Sri Lanka for a bunch of weeks in June, and we'll head up to join them for weekend at some "camp"(obviously near some of Pete's favorite mountain biking routes). This Pete (not Pete Gilbert) works for AFL-CIO helping to organize labor unions and their ties to the U.S. in Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan. I'm hoping one day to attempt the Manali - Leh trip over the two highest motorable passes in the world. So we keep in touch. Their baby and Sasha were born a week apart....and Emily is pregnant yet again!

Enought for now!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sore Legs

Slept in late this morning due to fatigue. Ate a big breakfast (all sorts of excesses) to try to fortify for the three hour tempo ride. Turned out to be a slog due to sore legs. On the road bike over all the hills: Tunnel Road, Pinehurst, 3 Bears, San Pablo Dam, and Wildcat. Took just over 3 hours of slogging.

Never made it to the office today. Am starting to spec the new Reporting Engine with Erik, as well as working through server options for Jetset to host its dNet software. Looking for an option that will work for Pete from New Zealand.

I've got Sasha tonight and will post some photos on the Sasha blog.

Really dreading tomorrow's three hour ride at up-tempo with two 30-minute lactate thresh-hold sections. Its gonna be ugly on multiple fronts. Fortunately, the training eases off next week....but alas, we are quite entrenched in this week for now.