Friday, April 30, 2010


Lot's of activity here in St. George in preparation for tomorrows main event. The Sand Hallow reservoir beckons with pristine patience to the 2,200 athletes who will freestyle the 2.4 miles in its turquoise waters starting tomorrow at 0700. Temps are expected to be in the 50's with some cloud cover and the usual winds making life interesting out on the two loop bike course. The run will be hilly. The day will be long. There will be tears. Grown men will weep. Legends will be born.

Today, however was all about final preparations. Setting the final plan. Lining out swim, bike, run gear, nutrition, special needs. Thinking about the restless next 12 or so hours. Wondering if the ankle is going to hold up. Wishing you had logged a few more hill sessions on the CompuTrainer.

Wondering if this might be the race in which you qualify for Kona.

Do the Big Q.

You need to get out of the aforementioned greenish-blue water in 75 minutes.
You need to ride each lap in less than three hours.
You need to run a 3:55 mary.

Are you up to it?
Did you do everything right in preparation?
Did you sleep well LAST NIGHT?
Are you hydrated?
Are you happy to be alive?

If you answered yes to the last question,


Now go out tomorrow and have the time of your life.

Pix from Expo:

Simon, Scott & Kerri Davis at the CT booth
Burke Priest from Scofield gets numbered
Dawn does Aromeotherapy
Tina tried her best to sell me this new Ford

Thursday, April 29, 2010

St. George the Second

Doesn't seem like a year. We shot the Ironman St. George bike course one year ago in order to allow athletes to ride to the RCV and see, as well as feel, what they were going to be facing come May 1, 2010. That is now less than 40 hours away.

In case you're wondering, I am back for a second take on this because, as good as the initial RCV is, it is still lacking the one component that we have unquestioningly found to be a key element to the RCV success, putting athletes in the POV.

So I get to sit on a motorcycle and try not to get blown off (guessing to 30 this afternoon-and the drive from Vegas on I-15 nearly blew my little red Kia into Arizona three times), in order to deliver the RCV standard that you have come to expect.

Had just enough time to meet up with Simon at the CT booth, get credentialed, hook up with Roch and Paul (I got an earful from Mr. Frey as it seems that an athlete in Oceanside thought that I was blocking her line through a turn and let him know about it), set a meeting with the moto captain and get checked in at the inn.

Where I now sit writing to you.

Let's recap the day.

0443 Shuttle
0520 Ferry
0615 Light rail
0750 Flight to Vegas
1000 Pick up rental car (Boycott Payless)
Drive 120 miles to St. George
Check in.

Going to get something to eat. And maybe even a Guinness in honor of St. George.

Cirrucumulus clouds over Seattle at 10,000 feet.
The world famous Simon Butterworth shows off the CompuTrainer St.George Real Course Video spin scan display function (!) to an admirer.
Initial descent into Lost Wages, NV.
Top Pot logo from the Alaska Airlines on-board magazine. I like it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Rare Combo JD

Great article from today on CompuTrainer sponsored triathlete Julie Dibens. Julie is one of the hottest athletes on the circuit right now, a shoe-in for the podium with every start. Tim Carlson does his usual fine job with the lens as he follows JD on a "typical" training day. As a side note, I have interviewed Julie several times and found her to be as charming and comical as she is fast and fit. A rare combo.

I am out for Ironman St. George pre-dawn. Picked up a few new gadgets and cool gear so we'll give some "higher" tech protocols a test over the weekend.

Please let us know what you think.

RCVman out for Vegas and Utah.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Joker Card

Normally, I am on the receiving end of excuses. Sunday, I did the giving. Guess I'm not used to it, and I didn't provide a particularly good one. Truth be told (and that is, after all, the one thing to which we aspire here) my reason for not riding was a poor one, piss poor, even.

I played the busy card. Too busy to ride. Too many things more important than a 45 miler on a crisp Sunday afternoon in the spring with friends.

It is true. And in self defense I am right down to it. With two spin classes on Wednesday and a 0443 shuttle departure Thursday morning for St. George, Utah, to, and get this as a RCVman first, after shooting the swim, big leg and the overall winners at the inaugural Ironman St. George, I must scramble back to the motel, take a shower, pack, and drive two hours back to Vegas for my flight home. To download, recalibrate, repack and head out Monday morning for the CompuTrainer Alaska cruise. As the more "ordered" of you will undoubtedly appreciate, there are more than a few details involved in the orchestration of these two opuses. Kilos of details if you happen to be lurking in Europe or Canada. I'm not Joking.

So I bailed. I broke one of my cardinal rues, "Never be too busy to ride."

It is also true that I was a touch overcooked from the 13.1 hilly miles run on Saturday and the 20 on the mtb pacing runners on Sunday, but THAT is another NO-EXCUSE. HTFU Alice. Just can't use 'em.

Here anyway. Excuses are for people who need to be excused. To be forgiven. To be treated like children. Or like the Joker, not taken seriously. If you break your femur playing street football with your neighbor's kids (Locker back to pass, he's got Kearse breaking open on a deep cross, TOUCHDOWN HUSKIES), that is one thing,

Playing the busy card is another one altogether.


Tomorrow perhaps we'll provide a list of the all-time best excuses, and how weak even THEY are.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I have never been able to decide whether, in mountain exploration, it is the prospect of tackling an unsolved problem, or the performance of the task itself, or the retrospective enjoyment of successful effort, which affords the greatest amount of pleasure.

-Shipton, Eric Earle

I suppose that we have a lot on common with mountain climbers and their ethereal mantra, because it's there! I have given a great amount of thought to this over the years and over mountain passes. Why do we do this? What is the allure? Why suffer and endure the pain and hardship? Why not just stay on the couch and guzzle ale?

Why run? Why 13.1 or 26.2? Why ride a bike for 100 miles? Why drag ourselves outta bed at oh-dark-thirty to sit on a stationary bike and listen to a maniacal ex-cheerleader's version of the top heavy metal ten? Why try to get faster or stronger?

Why race?

My observations, experiments and opinions on this subject indicate that there is really no one, all-encompassing reason. It is personal, a ceiling to floor, meat to poison, half full to half empty equation. Here are a few samples of how this question is answered:

Because I like to challenge myself.
Because I like to compete.
Because I live for the thrill of victory.
It's risky and I like the adrenaline rush.
It satisfies a deep need.
Makes me feel like somebody.
I like to win.
There is effort and skill and strategy involved.
It's like war.
I like the way my body feels under stress.
I like going fast.
It defines me.
It feels good.
There is a social component in teamwork.
Self reliance.
There is a woman involved.

All good. And all valid. We have an obligation and a responsibility to use the gifts we were given for their greatest good and to their highest truth. This means stimulating the mind, nurturing the spirit and using the body. Instinctively we know this. Sometimes we get busy with real life issues and neglect one or the other. Our bodies are so miraculous that they can run on auto-pilot, drained of oil and with little maintenance for several years. When we neglect the body, the spirit suffers and the mind weakens. We begin to think that success means having assets, that might makes right and medicine and technology will solve any problem. Maybe what we really need is to take some deep breaths at altitude and consider the ramifications of our actions a little closer. And I also think we should hurry. As in get this done fast. Today.

This is a race. Every individual in this race is doing it for a different reason. We have challenges. We face dramatic and important global issues. There is a need for effort. From everybody. We need to get faster and stronger. We must endure. What if we all raced for the same reason at the same time? Why?

Because it's there. And we are here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stay Tuned

Here is a quick and incomplete round up of the competition. They are my brothers in art and commerce. We all do the same thing a little different. Like musicians or directors we try to tell a story putting a personal stamp of its overall feel. We try to bridge the chasm that separates emotion and intellect, inspiration and motivation, results and experience. In other words, we try to make each and every story or film or novel or video unique, fresh and inventive. We are assisted along the way by the incredible advancement in technologies; HD cameras, cpu power, GPS, memory and media storage, the internet. But most importantly we are motivated by you. None of us would be doing this if there wasn't an existing (and growing) demand for our work. The global community has spoken. And here is what they have said (from the market research department at RCVman central HQ):

We will train indoors on stationary cycles if you provide motivational, educational, informative and entertaining video to augment our desire to lose weight, stay in shape, get faster, burn calories, socially interact, prepare for races, obtain greater fitness, manage stress, cross train or have fun. Data is of secondary concern. We wanna rock and we wanna roll. Bring it.

The people have spoken.

Communication received.

Stay tuned.

The illustrious competition: (a sampling in random order)

Endurance Films
Real Axiom
Carmichael Training Systems
Erg Video

Photo: Variations on a theme by riding your bike up a hill. Kurt at Ride 542 last year.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


TJ30 is in the books. The Toe Jam Hill Half marathon.

That is thirty years of running this unforgiving, hilly and brutal 13.1 miles. It was an excellent day for the event with scattered sunshine and nary a drop of precip. Pictured are the Women's overall champion Stephanie Rohl alongside Men's Silver medalist Tom Bullock, both of Bainbridge Island. The RCVman, much like the stable participation numbers, ran a 1:50:33, a mere 22 seconds faster than last year. The awards dinner commences in an hour at the Treehouse Cafe where the champs will be "tree-ted" to pizza and Guinness. Pix of THAT tomorrow. Nice effort kids!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Oucheroni-Not this time

Oucheroni. I know that mixing genres can be risky business, but let's try in our mash-ups to keep an eye out for the safety of others, shall we? My brothers and sisters of the media, please let me remind you all of our social (and sacred) duty to provide the occasional PSA. The public service announcement. Things we post just because they need constant and continual placement in the eye of John and Jane Q. And perhaps more accurately, John and Jane Junior! To remind them that there are things that should be done (recycling, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, kindness to animals, regular exercise) and things that should NOT be done (war, pollution, meanness, joining the tea party, ramming whoppers with cheese, drinking anything from Anheuser-Busch). We take no profit from these altruistic reminders. We do it for the public good. It is kinda like being a coach or teacher, "here, let me show you something."

Take a look at the pic. Then read the article. Count the errors.

I think most of the VBA know by now that I am big on indoor cycling. And music. And bikes. And fitness. I like to ride and I like to race. I like to go fast.

BUT I AM TIRED OF CRASHING. Been there and felt that.

So if you wanna ride aggressively downtown with caffeinated pop tunes blaring in your ears without a helmet, that is your choice but PLEASE don't take any innocent bystanders down with you. They most likely have their own issues to manage and don't need your sorry and inconsiderate ass causing further street carnage. If you wanna be an idiot on wheels, ride off a bridge into the bay or wheelie headlong into a dumpster, fool.

The article is from NPR. Sometimes they miss.

The PSA is from RCVman. Sometimes he does too.

But not this time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Happy Earth Day citizens of the Planet.

As much as I would like to think that EVERY day should be ED, we have a long way to go and some serious work to do before that day arrives. Sometimes I feel like we have made zero progress, other times I think we have actually regressed. We still pollute. We spoil. We destroy. We over consume. We exploit. We stick our collective heads in the sand and pretend these things will somehow fix themselves as the Amazon burns, the ice caps melt and the oceans of the world turn black with bloody oil. Thank God we can still blame each other for the global carnage.

Now that I have established the glass as half empty (sorry, not my MO) here are two links that indicate that there is hope. There is still time. And there are people who still care.

Here is what we should be doing as we train indoors. "The average user wants to up the resistance and test the limits and see how much they can send back," Harr said. The boss is getting a memo from my desk on this later today. I will take charge. I volunteer to set up, do the R&D, orchestrate the due dilligence and research the possibilities. You are now, Earth Day 2010, reading this from a MAN ON A MISSION. This will happen on my watch.

The second link is the Living With Ed site, some pragmatic and utilitarian ways and means to put many green ideas into play.

I sent them a intro on what we do with indoor spinning and CompuTrainer last year in the hopes of gaining some momentum with this project. Maybe it went to the spam bin. I'll try again.

In the meantime, ride your bike today and have a happy, safe and green Earth Day.

PS: Don't forget Saturday's TJ 30. Half marathon starts at 0800 from Bethany Lutheran Church on Finch Rd. We have opened it up to bikes as well. You can pace us, or ride hard and do 26.2 in the saddle as we do 13.1 in our shoes.

The photo is a plaque in the D Concourse at Sea-Tac citing The Evergreen State as host to the largest Western Red Cedar tree. Shall we try to best that? Sounds green to me, ED?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I gotta be quick today. Lot's on the table. We had a(nother) Wednesday kick-ass spin session this morning. The kids are alright. Meaning they went hard for 60. I am very proud of the many success they have orchestrated. It is work, there is effort. We get after it. This rainy morning, AC/DC, Petty, Pete Gabriel, BTO, The Raconteurs and Chrissie Hynde gave some added backbone. Got in four- twelve second max outs along with our climbs and progressive overloads. Ouch.

I mean yum.

In this case, specifically, more pain equals more gain. You gotta make it hurt a little. The rewards will manifest outside this summer. We make it hurt inside in the darkness of 0530, so that when we ride outside in the glow of the summer sun, the roses will smell sweater, the water taste cooler and the hills seem a touch flatter. Even if you don't ride outside, or race, the myriad benefits to your overall fitness is something ten degrees hotter than regular maintenance. We do this once a week in the Spring. Wednesdays we go hard. Guaranteed.

I am working on the ToC proposal. Some exciting new stuff on the table. I hope I can make the sale as I REALLY want another shot at this event. Rumor has it that it'll be the swan song for one particular cyclist from Austin, TX. I wanna be there and get it on film from a moto in the peloton. And in order to do so I need to create a revenue sharing package for the race management and event owners. No easy chore. Try pitching a pilot treatment to NBC and you'll know what it's like. But I'll give it my best effort.

After all, it IS Wednesday.

Pictured is The Road leading there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Determined Souls

A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.
Robert Hughes

The segue today is from Mr. Hughes's astute observations on tools in the machine shop to tools that we use in the training and testing lab. Let's start with this: What are you trying to accomplish? Unless you have your goals dialed in and razor sharp, it is very difficult to set the proper GPS coordinates. In other words, without longitude all the latitude in the world isn't going to get you any closer to where you are and where you want to go. Then, you need to make a choice on how you get there. Fly, sail, swim, bike, run.

Is your goal to get fast?

To lose weight?

To add strength?

To win races?

To explore?

To meet people?

To grow and learn?

Is there a self awareness component? Is happiness and challenge part of the equation?

Please, dear VBA, take a look at your choice of tools. Are they the ones best suited to assist you in the pursuit of your objectives? Do you use them properly and to their fullest capabilities? Or are they toys or gadgets?

Here is a quick test: What keeps you coming back? What tools do you use most as you skip down the fitness path? What works for you? Is it an Abs blaster, a celebrity diet, a campy combination of basic training and esoteric martial arts, bikram yoga, liposuction or the Brazilian butt blast? What tools are involved and how do you use them? Can you identify the vast difference between tools, toys, gear and gadgets? What helps and what hinders?

I have said this before and dealt with the resulting heat, but I'll say it again, The bicycle is one of mans greatest inventions. All time. Ever. Indoors it is a GREAT training tool. Outdoors it provides enjoyment, exercise and all the benefits of travel and adventure. It burns no fossil fuels. It is one of the most important tools you can own.

Any determined soul will tell you that.

Monday, April 19, 2010


The synergy is:
Carbon fiber, aluminum and rubber. Light and strong. Light and forgiving. Soft and durable. Together they comprise the materials on my racing wheels. Ten years ago they were the top of the line. Now they hang along with a 1960's Schwinn Varsity and my Grandfather's ancient Motobecane. They are 650c Spinergy RevX, now retired. As much as I would like to bloviate on the pleasure and race exhilaration with which they have provide over the years, that is not the point of todays post.

The point is of synergy. The combinations that make things what they are, or better than they currently are. No one who races bikes will argue that steel wheels are lighter than carbon fiber, or that deep dish is less aero. Some are technological advancements, some are simply us coming to an understanding that sometimes things work better, or best, in harmony with other things.

In yesterdays post, we talked about fueling the workout. Additional research and a honest inspection of my habits provided today's "ah-ha" moment:

1) Just because it works for me doesn't necessarily mean that it is A) perfect, or B) that it will work for you. As an example, I have known, trained with and raced against many 22 year old athletes who fueled their efforts with a regular diet of cheeseburgers and beer. I don't recommend this (even if you are 22).

2) Am I so stubborn to think that "conventional wisdom" is the apex of established fact? Again, because I choose a vegetarian diet, eat "bad carbs" for breakfast and indulge in coffee and red wine probably more than is optimal, can I sit in confidence, comfortable that there is no margin for improvement?

3) And if there exists a margin for improvement (always), what is it and do I have the resolve, desire and methodology to test, and achieve?

4) Will eliminating bread and soy milk (processed) matched with, say, and additional 5 miles at lactate threshold on the bike per day, make me any faster? Bottom line: WHAT IS THE SYNERGY THAT WILL GET ME THERE?

By now we all know (don't we?) that the combination of diet and exercise is beneficial towards good health, fitness, a higher quality of life and fast tri times. Today I want to know, specifically, what diet and how much exercise. Further, I am willing to be a lab rat to find out. Or to try to find out. To test the results of the combination of things.

There are a lot of variables. Lots of choices and many paths. I am not satisfied. I want more. I am willing to pay the price, and by that I don't mean replacing my old Spinergy's with 2K Zipp 808s. I mean, further testing and training. A new synergy.

Less bad carbs, and more good ones. (Even if that means a pear with coffee!) Better stress management. Higher quality workouts (not just more miles). A greater appreciation of the process. More grins. The wheels keep turnin'.

Carbon fiber, aluminum and rubber.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I'll fess up. Breakfast is my fave. I LOVE pancakes and waffles. Scramblers and hash browns, sourdough with strawberry preserves. Endless cups of steaming coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice. Yeah baby, happy morning musette.

But what about before a workout or race? All that good stuff can fill you up and slow you down, not to mention the gastronomic challenge of intestinal processing. Know what I mean?

Sometimes when out on the back roads of America I scout out my 'breaking of fast' options, which provides me with tons of motivation and anticipation. I found Grandma's while in Albany last week and ate there three consecutive mornings. Had their blueberry cakes, a three cheese omelet and their fabulous Belgian waffles. Super home fries and real orange juice. Coffee was so-so, but that is fine. And the boss likes the fact that each of those meals was under $10 and lasted till dinner. I am such as cheap date.

In a few minutes we are pushing off for our Sunday ten miler and I suddenly realized (again) how important the choice of meals is towards the fueling of the long run. Here is what I like to eat PRIOR to a workout and how it adequately provides me with the necessary octane for my tank, this after years of experimentation.

Early morning hour high intensity spins: One slice whole grain toast with apricot jam and coffee. Two large glasses of water.

Afternoon recovery 5Ks: Water and a banana or fat free Fig Newtons.

Long runs: Super onion bagel with red pepper hummus, coffee, and water.

Long rides: Bagel, banana, coffee and water.

Sprint Tri: Whatever leftovers are in front of me, coffee and water.

Oly: Bagel, banana, coffee, water.

70.3: Hour and a half prior: Oatmeal with strawberries and bananas, bagel, coffee, water.

IM: 2.5 prior to start: Short stack blueberry pancakes, two scrambled eggs, home fries, coffee, water.

You might look at this menu and think, that's pretty light, and you'd be right. I like using stored energy and the feeling of lean power. Hate sloshing and feeling bloated, and not just before a workout or a race. I want this motor to run clean, not stutter, plod or backfire. Many Ironman events are known for their rolling smorgasbord aid stations, so even over the course of 140.6 miles, food is never far. Start with a full tank and you can top off as necessary. Know, via practice, what types of foods mix well with your electrolyte replacement beverage. I have learned the hard way what Gatorade is best paired with (and it's not chocolate chip cookies!)

Spend some time in the lab and experiment with what works best for you. Oh, and please notice that water is included with every fueling.

Don't waffle on that.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Make it Fun

The RCVman has been invited to give a motivational speech to the employees at the Paladin Data Systems group next month. The offer stemming from his pioneering efforts with the successful and eponymous Real Course Video series of training products, his completion of 13 Ironman events and his on-going and relentless search for the perfect combination of health and fitness, training and racing, exercise protocols. Seems there is a demand for this type of research. Perhaps in the same way that people are always looking for a quick fix, the latest techniques or any way to get what they want with the least possible effort in the quickest amount of time.

Sorry gang, fitness, optimum health (and doing an Ironman) doesn't work that way. Wasboard abs in thirty days and asking somebody how they lost forty pounds in forty days is a scam that PT Barnum, WC Fields and Don Draper created to transfer your money into their pockets.

What way, then, does it work? And how do we obtain it? Quoting the venerable Bertram Cooper from (the glorious) Mad Men, "People buy things to obtain their aspirations".

Another way to phrase this might be, "What will motivate me to accomplish my fitness, health or race objectives?"

You don't need to buy anything. You simply need to buy into an idea. A good idea. One with lasting value and proven results. Then, and here is where it gets interesting, you need motivation to keep the momentum heading in the right direction. There are several ways to accomplish this, as outlined in this article. I especially appreciate number 18, Keep it Fun. As in play. Motivation is very personal. What fills your sails is what counts. What do you want? REALLY want, not just wish. I REALLY want to get faster, but still wish I had a 1952 blond Fender Telecaster. Big difference.

The challenge du jour, in the view of the RCVman, is to constantly remind each other that healthy lifestyle choices* will eventually lead to the road pictured above.

You can look at it as Men at Work, or as Children at Play. Make it Fun.

18. Make it fun – Work is most enjoyable when it doesn’t feel like work at all. Let people have fun and the positive environment will lead to better results.

*Diet, exercise, stress management are three good ones.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not Every Race

Maybe it's spring. The sun. Blue skies. Buds.

I am in running mode. The long winter of indoor training is done for a while as we transition to the great outdoors as primary playground. I am very fortunate to live across the street from a park with a 1.5 mile jogging trail circling the perimeter. Two laps is a 5K. Nice. I have logged enough miles on this trail to know it intimately. When I first started running here it was love/hate. Now, twenty years later, it's all love. It has evolved over the years and now connects to a hilly and challenging trail section that allows a flat run in the park, connecting trails of undulating topography and even a thru a golf course (much to their chagrin). One can do a flat 5K, hour trails runs or the complete circuit in two hours. Nice.

This article adds to the concept of the TJ 30. An unstructured version of a once great event now largely lost and forgotten. I love big races, don't get me wrong, however, there is a time and a place (and a place in the soul) for the beauty of unstructured, low-key, casual (and free) runs. Any run can be a race, but not every race is a run.

Also, here is a link to Joe English's wonderful site talking about the bumps and bruises of the running business. Submitted by VBAer and marathon finisher Tom B and subtitled to include anyone who is training for a marathon. Guess that would be me, again.

Running is freedom. There are few restrictions (other than golf snobs, cars and dogs). It transports us back to a gentler, much simpler time. Maybe even a happier time. Motion, movement, flow. As much as I like the bike, it has a mechanical component that makes it something technological and scientific. Training and testing, measuring and managing, repeating and refining. A tool. Running places the emphasis where it belongs: The body. And as much as Nike, Polar, Oakely, Timex, Apple and Pearl Izumi would have you believe that their products are necessary, all you really need is you.

And a park across the street.

See ya.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tour Battenkill Video

Seven minutes and fifteen seconds. That's the trt (total running time) of the Tour Battenkill sample video. Some real clean images considering that half the 100k was off road on dirt, in mud and over gravel replete with their respective craters, ruts and hidden debris.

The astute videophiles amongst you might even notice that the render codec has been changed to reflect some of YouTube's latest technology. You can now watch in 720p HD, which looks pretty sweet from by box. There is a menu box at the bottom of the screen where you can pick your playback resolution. Be forewarned that in order to watch in HD you need a very fast processor and a high-speed DSL (or equivalent) to watch without an annoying stutter or loss of streaming continuity.

Other than that, here is the ToB, America's Queen of the Classics, in stunning HD.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I screwed up. The Bainbridge Island Run is Sunday. We will do TJ 30 on SATURDAY, APRIL 24th, then. Same start time of 0800. This to not compete and substantially impact their DOR walk up (at $70). Again, not to be bombastic or appear haughty, we will do the Toe Jam Thirty (as in years in a row, not miles) on Sat while they do their first on Sun. Now 24 vice 25. Fair enough?

TJ 30

A few final images from the New York trip and an announcement. First the announcement.

On Sunday, April 25 (that's eleven days) all VBA in (on?) solid standing are invited to participate in the 30th ANNUAL running of the Toe Jam 1/2 Marathon. You will recall that last year we initiated this event in order to keep the steak alive and drew a record three participants (including the RCVman who ended up posting the days best time of 1:50:15) See this post for more info and course description.

Yes, there is another race calling themselves the B.I. Half taking place the day before, but I absolutely refuse to pay $50 for a local half mary, even if the cause is a good one. So I will go out Saturday night on the scooter and mark the course, and then set up an aid station at the half way point and invite you to come and join in the fun. There are no awards, no ugly t-shirts, no sugar water handed out by volunteers and no waivers to sign. It is the old course. It is 13.1 rugged and hilly miles. It hurts a little. If you are a wimp, sleep in and then have a big breakfast. I love this course. It calls me every year to come and test. There is no hiding. We start at 0800 from Bethany Lutheran Church on Finch.

Albany images: The spare Wheels of the Masters at the Tour Battenkill. Yes, there is a sticker on the back of David's loaner helmet too. The tranquil Lake Thompson, site of another Move the Rock run (video coming soon). RCVman checks the departure times from his iPhone at JFK.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good to be Back

Another road trip in the books. This one was relatively painless, as long as you toss out the extremes (two hours on the tarmac at JFK and another of those "total bliss" moments running at dawn in Albany) and focus on what we are now calling the "degree of difficulty in obtaining the necessary media on time and under budget".

At least we came back with the same amount of equipment that we left with. I am still a touch irked at myself for letting down the 24/7 security surveillance and allowing my trusty Mac G3 laptop to evolve into a walking machine, grow legs and wander off. Who the hell is reading all my stuff now? Looking at over 2K pictures (many of which you have seen on these very pages) and listening to my spin class set lists? Have they tried to hack into my (meager) bank account, access my personal data on facebook, google,, or blogger? Have they bothered to open the calendar and see that I will be in Las Vegas and St. George, Utah in two weeks? And Alaska the day after returning? Irksome, indeed.

As a result of the G3 morphing, I am still at a hardware loss for road media and communications. They will change after todays marathon session with my taxes. If I have ANYTHING left after this tedious effort, it will go towards the purchase of either,

1) A new iPad, or
2) A used G4 Macbook.

I have dome some research and am still on the bubble as to which best suits my travel needs, but either way once we end up in Vegas en route to IM St. George, we will be newly armed and creatively dangerous. Till then here are a few pix from the Tour Battenkill weekend in mid-state New York. I am also rendering some sample video clips that, with any luck, might make tomorrows post.

I seem to recall from past instructions that my 1040 needs to be postmarked by midnight two days from now, so I had better get started.

Good to be back.

Pix: Bottoms up: Aku aku with skid lid: One size fits MOST. My intrepid pilot David logged over 250 miles on Saturday, this lap as pacer for the Juniors. USPS in Colonie; This stamp's for you! Cat 3 ladies at the start line discuss the speed of pink. The Cambridge Hotel and its sweet claim to fame. Now wonder there is no vacancy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oceanside 70.3

To the highlights, then:

Yo, Mirinda's Right

Finishing touches and render of the Oceanside 70.3 highlight video, brought to you by the good folks at, ahem, CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Real Course Video. That pretty much leaves the rest of the day to rest for the days ahead. Here is a quote from Women's Champ Mirinda Carfrae on her success: Without opening up her training Bible for all to read, Carfrae said she plans to log more bike miles and more intense work on the CompuTrainer. Speaking of the plan she’s hatched with coach Siri Lindley, Carfrae said, “We’ve got a couple ideas. We’ll see what works.” Yo, Mirinda, So far-so good!!! Congrats and we'll try to get an interview with her in St. George.

The Tour Battenkill Pro-Am is Saturday. It is the largest Pro-Am cycling event of it's kind in the US of A and RCVman will be there. It is a 100k loop that mirrors the classic European, Paris-Robioux style road race. Some of the course is gravel. It winds, undulating through the Adirondacs and past several villages and towns. There is nary a Wal-Mart or Costco along the route. It is real racing, not sold in bulk or at deep discount.

Weather permitting, as one of the several disclaimers, we will bring you some serious cycling action as captured by the RCVman himself, always one step ahead of disaster and a single pedal rotation from triumph. Or something to that dramatic effect. Should be fun regardless of tagline.

Oceanside 70.3 highlight vid up tomorrow.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Few Days to Ponder

Back for a few days. New Orleans I is in the books. Or I might say one for the books. I have a legit ton of work to do before heading east on Thursday for the Tour Battenkill, so this one will be brief. Mostly a quirky pictorial of things that caught my eye while in the Crescent City (and swamps surrounding).

I am glad to be back. My own bed felt so good last night after ten hours of travel and the major part of two weeks on the road that I had trouble getting to sleep because it felt so supportive of my lower back, warm and cozy, safe and secure and representative of anther adventure completed. They call them round trips for a reason.

Even managed an ironic laugh when I realized that my MIA G3 laptop, faithful and fearless media road tool since Kona 2005, was retired (unceremoniously) as the iPad was (ceremoniously) released.

Maybe this whole thing is one big co-incidence. Or karma, or a brilliant marketing campaign by Steve Jobs. Mostly, I think, it's none-of-the-above.

Back for a few days to ponder.

Quirky NOLA pix. And please don't ask who dat.

A hint at the parking lot politics of CVS.
Mark installs one of ten Series K FloScans aboard the Harvey Spirit, 280 feet of Super Tug.
Oyster shucking tub outside my cabin in Galliano.
Sunrise behind shrimp trawlers on the Mississippi (a fun word to type btw)
The French Quarter, NOLA. Good food. Revelry welcome 24/7.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Hey gang. Sorry for the silence. I am in NOLA, specifically South Lafourche Parrish and even more specifically, in a town with no Starbucks (!) called Galliano. Doing a shoot for the sister company of CT aptly named FloScan. They manufacture marine and aviation fuel flow sensing equipment to save the owners money on fuel and the planet further pollution and unnecessary warming. It is about as far as you can get from indoor cycle training, but they print their logo on every check that is sent to RCV HQ, so when they ask if I could get my high-def camera on a low-budget flight asap, there isn't much room for debate. None actually.

This flat stretch of Bayou, called the Gateway to the Gulf is hot. It is humid and there is an APB out for gnats who seem determined to be the first species in the history of civilization to be everywhere at once. There is no wi-fi and spotty cell reception. We are just south of the middle of nowhere. A very far cry from the LA I was in last week, this LA, roughly 90 minutes from the French Quarter, is all about water and oil, and the mixture of the two. This job follows the commerce dots all the way back to Shell Oil. Water, in myriad forms, surrounds us. Bubba Gump Shrimp? This is it.

I am on a lunch break at the library using their PC because somewhere between Minneapolis and NOLA my trusty Mac G3 laptop came up missing. The authorities have been alerted and I check in daily with Delta Airlines, Alamo RAC and the NOLA PD. Nobody has seen it. They are getting tired of me asking. I am quite sure that they would be most appreciative if I was to just get my hi-def camera on a low-budget plane and get the hell home.

As would I.

Lot's of pix later and we even shoot a Part II Move the Rock last night at sunset. The attempt at humor was in replacing the rock with an oyster shell. HA ha. So be well VBA, we're scheduled for a Sunday return, but the install crews are working round the clock shooting for a midnight to 1 AM wrap up, so maybe I'll get out early for good behaviour.