Monday, August 30, 2010

ND7 and Out.

ND7. And out. Took advantage of my final day in beautiful Lillehammer by getting in a killer two hour run. That included a "Move the Rock" session of climbing the steps at the Olympic Ski Jump. I lost count at 400 when vision started to blur and hearing went mute. You will see the MTR video in a few days as I need to clean the house, empty the trash, clean gear and pack for the walk to the train station in the morning. Did a test run on my shopping trip this afternoon and I made the all uphill return in 40 minutes, so I am confident that I can haul my big blue gear bag and Timbuk2 backpack in 35. Train leaves for Oslo at 06:18 (costs 248 Kroner or 40 bucks) and takes a little under two hours. Flight to Newark departs promptly (!) at 11:25. A three hour layover in Newark (yuk) and the last leg into Seattle arriving at just before nine. Should give me plenty of time to catch the train, the 10:55 ferry and with any luck at all I will have four hours of sleep before our 0530 session in the House of Pain Wednesday morning.

This is final post from Norge. It was a blast. I think we did some nice things to push the CompuTrainer agenda here, giving Ole some sales ammo and getting in a five hour epic ride, of which the video seems to indicate that another primo RCV is soon to follow. I was told that this years race, all 15,000 slots sold out in 66 on-line seconds last year. Demand? Or you can buy the RCV for, let's see, about 498 Kroner. After being here all week and seeing the event and the absolute splendor of this area, I highly recommend BOTH.

My sincere thanks to everyone who helped out along the way. Tusen Takk.

Pix: The legend of the Birkebeiner depicted as statue in town square. It is great story. Two views from the top of the ski jump, Shopping on the main street.

RCVman out. Skoal.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mt. Washingto Hill Climb Video and rest.

Norway Day Six, ND6. As my friends are slugging it out in Penticton and Louisville today, I sit in the little hammer and take care of myself. After Ole and Tia's departure at 0630 for Malaga I checked e-mails and promptly returned to the warmth and comfort of my room. My lower left side was asking in a most earnest manner if this might be the long awaited and oft neglected day of rest.

And it was to be. The run and step climb to the top of the Lillehammer ski jump can wait till tomorrow as I seek harmony, balance and restoration. It has been a long couple of days, we worked hard, we stressed the musculature and we tested our endurance. And now the need for recovery.

I was reading one of Chuckie V's rare, yet poignant, blog posts the other day and he was on the subject of rest and recovery. A topic we discuss with regularity as well. He says that the difference between pros and ams is in the ability of the former to rest like professionals, and the latter, well, like amateurs. So today, I am recovering like a pro. No run, no spin, no bike, no hike, no overlord resistance training and no swim, certainly no swim.

Between video work and reading I got in a nice long stretch. After some domestic chores and more RCV design, I sat in meditation, a practice while once a daily occurrence is now a whenever time permits (non) activity. Another of those pesky details where the body, the mind or the spirit sends subtle notices that an absence is noted and attention required, action necessary. You can pretend not to notice, or ignore, or cover up, but eventually being deaf to these signals will cause the body to assume command and shut the system down in order to get the recovery time it needs for repair, maintenance or upgrades.

Today was all three. If I was in Hawaii I would end this beautiful day with a hot bath and some fresh papaya. I am in Lillehammer, Norway, so it will be a hot shower and a salad.

Tomorrow we run the steps and I will feel like an Olympian. Or a Viking. Or just a refreshed and recovered day older version of me.

Oh yeah, here is some of the video work I accomplished today during the recovery phase. Five minutes from the legendary Mt. Washington Hill Climb we shot last Saturday way back in Gorham, New Hampshire. One should schedule a day of rest after these 7.8 uphill miles.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Birkebeiner Video

All over. Another wild weekend spent on the trail of adventure, excitement and real racing action. We wrapped the 2010 Birkebeiner last night after three solid days out on the course. Thursday was 80 miles filming on the dirt bike, Friday all 56 of the course with the vest-cam, live, and yesterday was highlight b-roll film and expo work. Ole and I shared a Hansa pilsner afterwards and concluded that it was time well spent.

The decision to shoot Fridays "dress rehearsal" stands near the top of the best strategic moves we have made this year. Yesterday was a muddy mess, all day rains and a sloppy, miserable course. I saw several tougher-than-nails folks at the finish line a single step from hypothermia, shaking uncontrollably as they cupped hot soup in their wrinkled hands. Yes, there were smiles and grins, the satisfaction of accomplishment, but even those were of the "glad its over" variety.

These Norwegians are a hearty breed. Ole and Marie's stories of skiing, running, cycling in this picturesque playground paints a vigorous canvas colored with grit, gumption and energy. They would much rather go for a hike in the rain, than sit and watch TV inside. They eat good, they play hard and they appreciate and respect everything outside once the door has been closed behind them. The towns are clean, the roads devoid of litter, the air crisp. I have two days off to enjoy all this before starting the trek home on Tuesday. Today is a little 10K run out to the stadium and back and a trip to the museum. Ole, Marie and their kids are off on vacation to Malaga, Spain for a week.

I think we have all earned a couple of days off to recover.



Working on a YooToob video of the Birkebeiner. Should have it ready by morning (my morning). Ole's counsel to shoot yesterday was sage advice as it rained all day today. There were 15K cold and tired riders at the finish thankful the organizers had the foresight to include hot soup once the 90K jaunt was completed. We hit another RCV milestone today, something I have been wanting to do for a long time. I rendered sections of yesterdays shoot overnight and created a DVD to show at todays expo. Drew quite a crowd and everyone was impressed with the video, CompuTrainers and our techieness. Sometimes it pays to be a cycle/video/trainer geek.

Just a couple of shots from today, ND4. Video tomorrow.

The expo at HÃ¥konsHall, site of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Ole at the CT booth were we were showing Real Course Video from the course less than 15 hours after capture. They also stage a Kids race and pressure wash all muddy contestants after their rides.

Friday, August 27, 2010



I am back, in a single piece, and (now) a happy guy. Day started this AM with a 2.5 hour drive to the starting line in Rena. Then it was 56 miles of mixed rain and sun, hills and flats, gravel and dirt, minor climbs and semi-scream descents. The Vest-Cam handled all this without incident, and we are now the proud owners of the complete 2010 Birkebeiner mountain bike course. Destined to become a superb RCV.

I would mix up a little sample batch but we are trying to get video to the expo tomorrow and that is going to take me most of the night. So I will make this, the Norway Day Three, ND3, post a brief one and leave you with a few stills from yesterday and today. Ja?

Tomorrow is another shoot day as the elites, ultra competitors and Type A's, all 15,000 of 'em, take to the same course which we blazed today. The assignment is to capture B-Roll footage to mix with the RCV footage captured today. One cannot have too much video to work with has always been my motto.

And mottos matter.

ND3 and out.

Ole leads the junior national team through a CompuTrainer MR session. And the rather duffus looking RCVman about to head out for a 90K jaunt from Rena to Lillehammer.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Norway Day 2

Ole and I picked up the dirt bike early in preparation for the days shoot. The POD was to drive as far as we could, backwards, into the 56 mile course, park the car, hop on the bike, ride to the start and begin filming the course in the proper direction. That would give me a chance to get used to the bike, sample a bit of the course and see how the handlebar camera mount would be best rigged.

So off we go under threatening skies. As you can see from the elevation profile, this is not a casual ride. I find out in a hurry that riding off road is apples and oranges different than riding on. I immediately crash on a steep technical, slippery, rocky, ridiculous, insane, washed-out, glorious descent. Who put that birch tree there anyway? I am thinking that it is going to be a long day if this is only the first 5K.

The course mellows, I relax, the sheep and cows part as I pass and an hour later I get to the start. The fun begins as camera is mounted, GPS linked, breath caught, 90K, here we go.

I feel better about the return and try to compromise the clutch/throttle operation with the stabilization of the Canon. I can see from the viewfinder that it is going to be a serious challenge in post to removed all this unwanted shake, jiggle, vibration, bounce, bump and lens trauma. But we are getting it captured and there are stretches of sun drenched spender that I am confident will inspire upon mastering and debut. I do not crash on the return, powering up the spot of my initial carnage with what I feel is Steve McQueen like aplomb. I am hearing Sheryl Crow and seeing The Great Escape. The engine whines. I somehow am able to hang on. Thank God there is no barbed wire out here (and I am not being chased by Germans). The plan is to film all 56 miles as base, and then go out to the half way point tomorrow, during the Friday test run (some 8,000 riders in addition to Saturday's 15,000), shoot highlight vid and then ride the second half with the vest-cam. Then, come Saturday I will get to the start in Rena and ride all 56 with the vest-cam, most likely it is now looking, in the rain. That will give us three days of filming and we should be able to assemble the entire course as RCV. Worst case scenario, highlights of the above.

Today we are shooting interviews at the expo and of the CompuTrainer Multi-Rider school at which Ole coaches. I hope to get in a run prior to that effort and re-charge and calibrate cameras, cards, batts and gear. The rains are on their way, we need to shoot whenever possible before water and mud make it impossible.

Ole and Maria are superb hosts. Ole's house sits on the hillside overlooking the lake, about a mile from the Olympic Village. I have dined like a king for two days and we have had many discussions on riding, training, CT, MR, RCV, coaching, travel, politics (I can't help it) and all the finer points that encompass and define the quality of life.

They got it goin' on here in Lillehammer. I really like this place.

I think after looking at some of the video, you will too.

Birkebeiner'n elevation profile. Ole and moto guy help load the bike. The half-way point. Dirt, lake, cows and cam. Olympic Village from across the lake.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Norway Day 1

Time for a quick update as we prep for tomorrows shoot of the legendary Birkenbeiner 56 mile course from Rena to Lillehammer.

The update is mostly a rant on Continental Airlines and their Boston operation. Massive lives at the counter with two (2) self check-in terminals. The line just to get bags checked and a boarding pass was two hours. By that time the TSA line had dwindled from thousands to hundreds and I was able to switch planes and make my connection to Oslo with nano-seconds to spare. I even opted on the run to skip grabbing a sandwich because of time, a decision I was later to regret.

My seat was in the last row of their aging 737 fleet. We are talking cramped here. Knees to chest cramped. So tight that one cannot do any computer work because there is no human way to tilt the screen so you can see. Laughable. Two hours of the seven hour flight later, the surly flight attendant plopped down a cardboard box on my tray. It was my dinner. Sometimes a special vegetarian order is a good call, this time, not. OMG. They made no bones about this being absolutely the cheapest fare available, worse the wine was horrid in a plastic bottle and $6. Yo, Continental, seat 40D has spoken!

Sometimes when I get on this rant, I quickly lose sight of the fact that they are providing transportation to another country and that I should be happy to have such a service. After all, I could book steerage on a steamer and get here in four weeks, with dysentery and wanting to die. So yes, thanks for the lift, and please remember, that a nice gesture outside of the trip would go a long way to getting my business again. I am thinking about paying the price to transfer to SAS for the ride home. A good meal, some leg room to work or sleep, and a nice complementary bottle of shiraz (like the good old days) is worth a $300 change fee?

YES, it is. Seat 40D has spoken again.

A couple of shots from Lillehammer, Day 1. The train stops less than 500 meters from the terminal and 1.42 hours later I was met by Ole Knudsen, our Norway rep and captain for SAS in Lillehammer. He asked me about the flight and just rolled his eyes when I told the tale.

I guess seat 40D gets talked about.

A small rainbow on the misty train ride North. Site of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Ole's place is about a click away.

More tomorrow as we try to get in some video work of the course between rains.

Live from Norway (A three way tie)

I am cheating. Ninety minutes to kill before the two hours to Boston, connecting flight to Newark and then on to Oslo. I have no idea on what the wifi availability (or cost) will be in transit, so I am using the aforementioned hedging method to bring you…..


Here and now. In my cozy little room at the DK Motel in Franklin, New Hampshire. It is drizzling outside, rains left from yesterday's 10th running of the Timberman 70.3. The Andy and Chrissy Show, redux. But that was yesterday. Today is today, and here we go. I need to add a preface to these songs. Each and every one of them, have it. Big backbeat, solid bass-drum, catchy hooks, some serious sizzling solos, and even a koanesque lyric or two to hang your hat on. Every one of these tunes, as their 90 predecessors, in ways, shapes and aural forms, speak to me. As they have to millions of others. They get my motor runnin'. I will spare you the repetition, saying up front, what I could say as intro to each: "Damn I love this song." Let us begin.

Reelin in the Years, Steely Dan.
Get Back, The Beatles
Radar Love, Golden Earring.
Black Magic Woman, Santana
My Sharona, The Knack
Sultans of Swing, Dire Straits
Gimme Shelter, Rolling Stones
Take Me to the River, Talking Heads
Hotel California, The Eagles
NUMBER 1 (tie)
Won't Get Fooled Again. The Who
La Grange, ZZ Top
Born to be Wild, Steppenwolf

We are now LIVE from Lillehammer, Norway. Never wanna die.

Monday, August 23, 2010


It was Friday afternoon at the Timberman Expo. Jim was up in the big white tent getting himself registered for Sunday's main event so I was holding down the CT fort in his absence. Got into a long and detailed discussion about internet racing, APIs, software apps, and of course, our favorite RCVs with a young triathlete from Boston. In the middle of he discourse three others join us, all wearing Red Sox caps and seemingly intrigued by the logistics of RCV race day capture. My personal favorite, Ironman Canada, was on screen and one of the guys from Boston asked how we get so close to the action.

Shot IMC on a 50c scooter, I replied, almost six hours, all 112 miles, between rain squalls. I am pretty sure that 90% of the 1,800 participants that year (2008) are seen at one time or another in the video. It was a long day, but fun, and as you can see, very rewarding.


Do you shoot all the events on a scooter?

No, each race has different logistics, demands and limitations. Tomorrow, as an example, tipping my hand that I will be out there filming THEM, I don't even know what type of a moto I will be on, and this doesn't worry me in the least because over the course of three years we have developed a universal moto mount, camera stabilizer rig that works great in almost all conditions, on almost every type of bike. All I need to do is make the arrangements, be ready, meet my pilot, and away we go.


One of the guys obviously a cyclist himself, asked about BMWs. Smoothest on the road. I tell a quick story about Australia atop an 1150 in the rain. How about a Ducati? Scary fast is my reply, with the hair raising story about Switzerland. Gold Wings? Too many times, cozy, great for the back, safe and secure, but BIG. I relay the tale about the trike in Tuscaloosa.


How about a Holly? Asked the gal of the group.

A Holly?

Yeah, ever been on a Holly?

Ugh, I don't think so, scratching my head.


Snickers start emulating from the crowd.

Don't think so, what are they?


Oh, a Harley.

Yeah, a Holly.

Many times, yes, many times. Good bikes, duh. Solid. Loud and stylish. With a seat riser, almost perfect for filming. And all of 'em faster than my ca.

I had to chuckle when I met my pilot Saturday morning at 0630.

Nice Holly.

Hey, thanks, you from Boston?

Pix: The CT booth with Russ, Jim and a longtime CT fan from Boston. The obligatory RCV bumper sticker with Massachusetts plates. It's a rental (Enterprise), I live in Seattle.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Flats & Batts

It's like having a flat. Out of your control. You fix it or go home. You do everything you can to be prepared, but, doggone it, sometimes there is a hidden thorn laying in wait. At two in the morning Friday night I got up in my strange and dark motel room to go to the bathroom. I tripped over the power cord that was charging the lappy and caused what turned out to be irreparable damage. So I couldn't recharge batts. And with no juice there is no post. And because there is no Apple store in Franklin, New Hampshire, the soonest I could drive the 80 miles to Salem and get a new one was after this mornings Timberman 70.3.

Ya fix the flat and ya buy a new 85 watt rs-803 power converter for 79.95.

So be it.

So now that we're patched and powered up, where to start?

Guess that would be Saturday's Mt. Washington HillClimb. I was planning on shooting this world-class climb while I was in town, but when I heard that the actual race was Saturday, the day before Timberman, I almost had a stroke. What luck. Except that I had no permission, had made zero contact with the race management and didn't even know where Mt. Washington actually was (like in longitude and latitude, not

I figured what the heck I'd check it out and see what I could negotiate. After the race expo I drove the two hours to base camp and asked around for the highest ranking officer and immediately found John and Ryan, Media Director and Director of Marketing. Both great guys. I had two minutes to set the table. They liked. Obstacles cleared, logistics hammered. I needed to be there at 0700, an hour before the pro wave. We'll talk about a contract later, Ryan said with classic marketing aplomb. Two hours back to the hotel, charge video batts, grab some winks, and two hours back for the shoot. Red eyed, but ready.

Glad we did, is all I will say for now. WOW.

Back at the DK Saturday night I was bushed. Prepped and re-loaded for this mornings 70.3. Transition opened at 0400 and I hadn't even met my moto pilot yet, something I like to do AT LEAST the day before, but because I spent all of Saturday atop the aforementioned highest point in NH, I was runin' (again) blind at mach 5.

But we made it work, shot some very smooth video and hit T2 just as the skies opened and drenched everyone from Bangor to Boston. Yes, boys and girls, the RCVman leads a charmed life filled with mysterious and colorful quirks and frequent chromatic twists of fate. Good, clean livin', my uncle used to say (with a wink).

Two days, two events, too much fun.

I am going to take the rest of the night off and pack for Oslo in the morning. Check out time at the cozy DK Motel is noon and check in time at Logan is 5:35. I should be OK. If somehow, someway I score an aisle seat to Norway I will convert.

Flats fixed and batteries charged.

Two from Mt. Washington. Wait till you see the video.
Two from Timberman 70.3. Repeat champions Chrissy Wellington and Andy Potts. This picture tells everything you need to know about why CW is three-time and reigning IM world champion.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lots of sitting today. My back responds to this with a protest of cramps, spasms and pain. The 0330 wake up call got us to Sea-Tac with about 45 minutes to spare, and then the bench warming to Atlanta. We are now in the air again, 33K up, heading into Boston. After bag and car pick-up we'll have another two hour sit into Franklin, New Hampshire, assuming traffic north on 93 isn't bumper to bumper on a Thursday night. Fingers crossed. Tomorrow is a mandatory run. Repeat: Mandatory. Followed by recon of the expo and race site at Lake Winnipesaukee. Then another mandatory run.

These little 5Ks, I feel, are providing a dual purpose. We have discussed this before, so if your are already a choir member, you can skip this paragraph and go right to the dramatic conclusion below. The duality: One is the obvious, three miles at an easy, comfortable, efficient pace. Get the motor runnin'. That is the first effort. After a bit of creative, some manual labor, chores, maintenance, etc and then run number two, usually six or so hours later. Unless I get sidetracked my film or music.

Don't turn your back on me Baby, it's half past four and I'm shifting gears Check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords You can check out anytime, but you can never leave They got a lot of nice girls down there You've been telling me you're a genius since you were 17, it's just a shout away, took my money and my cigarettes, looking for some California grass in what ever comes our way.

Run number two is completely different than its predecessor. There is fatigue, although mostly from relentless irritation inflicted by the 6 billion others who share this orb and their attempts to sway my decisions on how and where to spend my nonexistent disposable income. Yeah, it takes a toll. So out for another metabolic, stress-busting and joyous jaunt. The second run feels more like training, as I like to ensure a negative split by pushing the pace with every stride. The last three months have been glorious, sun shining, Martens winging, kids laughing and dogs not having much to bark about. Life, at its best, IMHO.

So the question becomes: Are two 25 minute 5Ks daily better than a 10K every other day? I don't know, but it sure feels like the constant motor stimulus helps in other areas, perhaps creating a more healthy state than a fit and race-ready package. Here is the kicker: we are doing both, a weekly timed 10K as well to prep Steph for her Nov. 28 assault on the Seattle Half. OK, I also sneak in a few hills, and a weekly speed session, plus the Wednesday morning HIT sessions (which have been inching towards VHIT of late). so I think I might be OK should I decide that one more race this season is warranted.

And I think it is. Chris is on the bubble about running the Seattle 26.2, so I might offer my partnership just to see if all this short and sweet methodical madness could possibly propel one to another trip to Boston.

A destination to where, we have just been informed, we are making our initial descent.

Full, upright and locked.

Sixteen hours later, veggie pizza with broccoli and spinach and some tasty Belgian White from the Long Trail Brewing Co. at the DK Motel (more on THIS later) in Franklin, NH.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pelvis & The Hips

It's all in the hips. So says the cycling physio. Please check out his very cool and informative site and spend a few moments doing the exercises. The clamshell in particular helps to determine if you have weak glutes that may be causing problems elsewhere. Like your knees.

Elvis would say that its all in the pelvis, so maybe that is the subtle difference between triathlon and rock, explained at long last.

Tomorrow is a getaway day. The intrepid RCV crew heads to Sea-Tac at an hour when most sane people are listening to REM. Lots of miles tomorrow as we transit through Atlanta on our way to Boston. If you want to ask why, please call Air Tran, cause I don't know. Like it's on the way?

This weekend we'll be in New Hampshire to shoot Timberman 70.3 and hopefully get some time to shoot the Mt. Washington climb while we're in the area. Monday back to Logan for the big trip to Oslo.

I am finishing up the Lake Stevens video and it looks good, especially the second lap when the sun was a little more overhead. I told the RD this morning that I think we finally captured good enough video to do this demanding and scenic course justice. It may be the most difficult shoot on the 70.3 circuit, this owing to the trees, shadows, extreme light swings and roiling terrain. Throw in a lot of vehicular traffic, 1,100 tri-geeks and you got some serious challenges. Took me four tries.

Sorry about not getting up any video, but here are a few stills from Sunday. Speaking of hips, Canadains Melanie MacQuaid (top-left and overall Womens winner) and Somantha McGlone, have a good understanding of their importance. I think this is Pro Brian Fleischmann being the first out of the water. And the E-man. Lake Stevens results here.

All for now. Next post from the Hampshires. Local Guy: Fuel up the jet!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


(after a word from from our sponsor)

Yes spinner boys and indoor training gals, the RCVman Top One Hundred Spinning Tunes of (when-last year?) No, of ALL- TIME, is now, after weeks of debate, discussion, angry e-mails, research, and over ten years of testing to exacting protocols in the HOP, down to the final twenty tunes.

Will Stairway to Heaven make it? (No)
Will there be any REO Speedwagon? (No)
Will Bob Dylan be number one here as he was over at Rolling Stone? (No)
Will the number one song be from the 90s? (No)
Will it be disco, rap, techno, jazz, punk, ska, bee-bop or metal? (No)
Is it Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida? (No, Butterflyhead)

(cue the drum solo, I mean drum roll. please)

Number 20: Layla, Derek and the Dominoes
Number 19: Gloria, Them
Number 18, Roxanne, The Police
Number 17, All Along the Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix
Number 16, Magic Carpet Ride, Steppenwolf
Number 15, Here Comes My Girl, Tom Petty
Number 14, Baba O'Riley, The Who
Number 13, Long Way to the Top, AC/DC
Number 12, ForePlay/Long Time, Boston
Number 11, Keep on Chugglin, CCR

I suppose it is somewhat ironic that next Tuesday I will be posting the TOP TEN, from Lillihammer, Norway. But such is life in the fast lane (#31).

Will it be Abba? (Nei)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bow Down to Washington

A record-breaking weekend for Seattle, and we're talking about heat, not rainfall. Hit the mid-nineties both Sat & Sun. I even heard two Seahawks fans on the ferry talking about how they much prefer the cold and wet to the hot and humid. You don't often hear this type of exchange in, say, San Diego.

I was on my way North to the Lake Stevens 70.3* on RG's Suzuki 400 to shoot the bike leg for an RCV. 95 degrees is perfect for riding, the chill factor at 60mph is refreshing. I had booked the usual cheap hotel in Everette, and had the evening to kill. I decided to stop by Husky stadium and see live and in person, how my beloved Montlake Mutts were progressing. It was their second practice of the day and I was thrilled to be on the sidelines instead of in my usual nose-bleed section squinting through binoculars.

How many times does one get this close to the best QB in the country, a Heisman candidate and a guy who thumbed his nose at ten million dollars? I also wanted to take a scouting look at Jake's supporting cast, Jermaine Kearse, Devin Agular, Chris Polk, Jori, and the fast new freshman running backs from California (land of the fast).

The sun was blistering, even at 7 pm. Locker, as well as backups Keith Price and NIck Montana, all looked superb, tossing accurate tight spirals to the talented group of receivers. Jake heaved a 50 yarder to Kearse that brought a collective ooooooooh from the 150 fans in attendance.

The boys we gettin' after it. Sark was in full command and DC Nick Holt was barking after every hit, rewarding those that removed doubt as to sincerity of impact. I remembered how this felt.

Football is a violent game. It is territorial. There is ego involved. It is survival of the fittest. War. There is also finesse, drama and individual as well as team rewards. You have to rely on the execution of your teammates in order to survive. Even on the best days there will be blood. It hurts as a player and it can hurt as a fan. Loyalty is rewarded. Semper Fi, WE WILL take this beach.

I have told you the story of how College Football became what I call "My last team-sport vice". And how the UW became my school of choice. You have heard me sing to the choir, one off-key verse after another, on the "connectedness" of all things, football and otherwise.

I walk into Husky Stadium and the first thing I see is Chris Polk, first freshman running back in the long and proud history of the UW to rush for over 1,000 yards.

He is sitting on a Lemond RevMaster spinning.


Pix: The Dawg House of Pain. It is all connected.
* Pics and Vid later today.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

13:38 the new 11:15?

Arizona 10:56:42 Austria 11:57:53 Canada 12:29:23 Coeur d'Alene 12:13:10 Florida 10:45:02 France 9:55:48 Germany 10:58:42 Lake Placid 13:55:54 Louisville 11:26:58 New Zealand 13:26:35 St George 13:38:29 South Africa 10:38:23 Switzerland 10:36:56 Wisconsin 12:16:05 UK 11:05:12

Back in 2004, a sign hung on my refrigerator door for 360 days. It was pretty binary. Said: 11:15. That was the time necessary for me to qualify (Q) for Kona at Ironman Canada. That number came as a result of my finisher analysis from the previous 10 years of that spectacular event in Penticton, British Columbia. I thought I had it nailed. My PR to that point was 11:02, and I had spent a solid decade in long course training. My swim still sucked, but both bike and run were getting stronger, a combination, I hoped, would help accomplish the mission.

The above data is from Ray Britt's comprehensive site It lists 15 IM events around the planet with the last Kona Q time, M60-64. That means that if an event offers five Kona slots, this one listed is the last, or slowest of the qualifiers in that AG. It's like the old saying that I don't need to be the fastest, just fast enough. Not faster than the hungry bear, just faster than YOU.

There are some interesting commentaries we can parse from this list. Take a look at the European times. Pretty quick. I am fairly confident that if I taped a 13:55 memo on the new Kenmore I could Q at Placid in 2012. the year I age up. That monstrous course out in St. George even allows a 13.38. Guy could take a break at the last aid station and thank the volunteers.

With two years of focused training, even around my RCV travel schedule, I think this is do-able. Who knows, I might even do a couple of laps in the pool in preparation.

Make no mistake, the Q goal is a biggie. For lot's of people in our sport it is everything. Get to Kona. I have seen grown men cry and women weep at this accomplishment or the failure thereof. I have been so, so close, several times. I have also had the good fortune and opportunity to work the gem of the Ironman crown a dozen times now. It is magical. There is nothing like it. Kona stands alone as a world-class championship event. I get to go back again this October for another visit with Madame Pele, WTC, CompuTrainer and the best 1,500 age-groupers and Pros in the world.

I won't be racing. I will be working.

And that's OK.

For now.

The finish line in Kona, 2008. An LE photo.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Keep On Keepin On

"Funny how the truth sounds so cliche."

Always liked that line from Jack Ingram's outlaw country-chic, Keep on Keepin On.

Some things ain't meant to be The best things in life are free And tomorrow is another day Funny how the truth sounds so cliche

Complete lyrics here.

The reason I bring this up today results from yesterdays agonizingly painful trip to Sea-Tac on the light rail train. I was escorting my nephew to Alaska Airlines so he could complete the return leg of his trip. There were problems with the downtown grid and the trains, normally quick, efficient and comfortable, were slow, laborious and maddening. Reminded me very much of Boston or New Your during peak usage. Worse, we were on a tight schedule.

We had little choice when the train finally showed up than to see if two additional sardines would fit. They did, barely. Then we would lurch for a mile, stop, wait, sweat, look at watches, move at snails pace, stop. On and on it went. I finally got some info from my iPhone that said the entire line was shut down. GREAT. Nice timing. Options: Get off at next stop and catch bus. Call a cab from iPhone. Or trust the operator in his last announcement that we, baring any additional disaster, would eventually make it to Sea-Tac, albeit a touch slower than usual.

My nephew looks at me with questioning eyes. I was the escort. I was the leader. I am the adult. I ride the rails and fly A LOT. I know what to do.

Don't I?

Asking 'What would Clooney do?' I try to listen to my inner guide to make a decision but all I can hear is his mother, my sister, screaming. "You missed the flight, how is that possible?"

Suddenly a twangy Telecaster guitar solo ends and Jack's gritty dirt road vocal comes front and center, stereo, Dolby 5.1.

Don't panic. Be patient. It will be OK. Relax. Tomorrow is another day.

Funny how the truth sounds so cliche.

Photo: Another reason to lose a few pounds: You can squeeze 10 skinny runners on a train in the same space that fits only 5 sumo wrestlers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NVGP Video

We are starting to roll out some video from events captured last month. Here is a quick trailer from the Nature Valley Grand Prix series out Minnesota and Wisconsin way. You will remember that I was chased on my 50cc scooter by a tornado after the cancellation of the Cannon Falls stage event. That scary day reinforced my training and racing mantra that it is about the motor.

Sometimes 50cc is enough. Other times not.

Please remember that you can quickly access the 16.9 hd uncropped video by using the link to the RCVman YouToob site at the left. Where we have also added the hot link for all your CompuTrainer needs, training protocols and advanced Progressive Power Training methodology. Coach Rob now has some very cool video tutorials up, ready for you....

...and your motor.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This is a fascinating piece from the NY Times about body types and the plethora of differences thereof. We know that there are extremes. Nobody expects an NFL lineman to run a sub-4 marathon. And not many cyclists can bench their weight (including bike).

What I found interesting was in the data used to create the overview. Take a close look at some of the numbers, e.g. age + resting HR + BMI + their summation and comments. I think we can draw some conclusions.

Such as: Race your strength and train your weakness. Or. Know thyself. Or. Do what your body has a genetic propensity to do. Or. Cross train for speed, strength, power and stamina. Or. Fuel your training appropriately and accurately. Or. Rest and recover properly. Or. It's about the motor. I could go on or-ing, but you get the idea.

I think it would be a fun exercise to do one of these profiles, except that I haven't done a bench press in about three years and would be totally embarrassed to list my hoist as a buck-ten. But then again I could always claim cyclist category.

"The most difficult thing for me to develop is explosive power. I was born with a lot of lean, slow muscle. With a lot of protein and a lot of strength training, I can manipulate my ‘nature.’" Pictured is Deena Kastor (rhr, 28, bench 65 and a 2:19 marathon PR). Go get 'em Deena!!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RCV now in HD!!!!!

We like to think that a percentage of our work is finding a positive response from the end-user community. So that the many may benefit. We have been getting some rather glowing testimonials from unsolicited on-line forums of late, and after the last few weeks of near red light computer panic, it is most welcomed. Kinda makes it all worth the effort, and I am NOT talking about the business model of bottom line profs. You know what I'm talking about.

I would rather have an gram of high quality street cred than a kilo of cabbage.

Any day of the week.

Having uttered that anti-capitalist manifesto, here is the fruit of our latest codec testing. As true of HD as one can manage to cram through these skinny pipes. "Dammit Jim, I'm a video editor-not a plumber."

It is video I shot two years ago up at Lake Stevens. Only now are we able to process HDV at 720p, and the results, with the new Mac Pro, are, well, night and day. But you be the judge.

Beaming with upness, Mr. Scott might say.

Also, this blog template crops the 16:9 video pretty severely, so I have added the YouTube link at the side bar to the left. To REALLY watch this vid, go directly to the RCVman YouTube web site. Also you may have noticed the RCV Video Bar at the bottom of the page. Belly up and spend some time. Always Happy Hour at the RCV bar, mates.

Whichever you choose please be sure to watch the Lake Stevens 2008 in HD. Race hard and prosper.


I know all the songs that the cowboys know
'bout the big corral where the dogies go
'cause I learned them all on the rad-ee-o
Hey, yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

With that as opener, we move swiftly into the RCVman Top Spinning Tunes of ALL-TIME, numbers 30-21.

30, Doctor My Eyes, Jackson Browne
29, Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
28, Bare Trees, Fleetwood Mac
27, That Smell, Lynrd Skynrd
26, Nothin's Easy, Jethro Tull
25, JJ Flash, Rolling Stones
24, Tangled Up in Blue, Bob Dylan
23, Heart of Rock n Roll, Huey Lewis & The News
22, Blue Sky, Allman Brothers
21, Back on the Chain Gang, The Pretenders

I'm an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
And I learned to ride
'fore I learned to stand
I'm a ridin' fool who is up to date
I know every trail in the Lone Star state
'cause I ride the range in a Ford V8

Monday, August 9, 2010

Those Shoes

Disaster of a day. Had the best of intentions, a double run, one easy-one not, cut up a quick video, get some fascia work done between summer squalls.

None of it happened.

Got into some set up, coding, preference, compression wars with the new OS and apps, so what was to be a two hour Kung Fu Lake Stevens 70.3 teaser, ended up taking all day. Life can do that to ya.

Had some decent conversations with THU (the higher ups) and things are sailing along smoothly, albeit slow. Still, I kinda see myself as a speed guy. Get it to me (video) NOW. Cut fast, cut often, get the goods out there and let the audience decide what is more important, the news, or the way it's presented.

Kinda like running shoes. We all know that we don't really need them, and that in many, MANY, cases the main attribute is actually the main deterrent. Motion control? Major band-aide. Trying to correct over pronation is like putting bigger tires on one side of your car. I can go on. Yet Phil Knight continues to laugh on a daily basis as he drives his Yellow & Green Armoured Car to the bank. Running shoes are over $125 bucks a pair. And they suggest that you replace them after 250-300 miles. OMG, somebody get ME a sponsor.

So these new fangled 'Toning Shoes' had me baffled at first step. You're kidding, right? Somebody is actually going to buy into that? No, and yes.

I have said it a thousand times, and most likely will say it another K, "Whatever it takes to get people out there, is good".

Just not for me (in those shoes).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Return of the Terrapin Flyer

Re cycle. I like that. Taking a well-used but out-to-pasture frame and recycling it into something on the other end of the bike spectrum. You can't get much further from opposite poles than those of long course triathlon and commuter bikes. Two completely different purposes, functions, mind-sets. Yet, here we have it.

In 1996 I did my virgin Ironman, Vineman, on a new Cannondale MS 400. The MS being Multi-Sport. At the time its geometry was considered radical along with the barrel bar-end shifters and 650c wheels. Cost me a robust $800 from Gregg's Greenlake Cycle in Seattle. As an editorial footnote, in my first IM, I qualified for Kona with a 11:02 clocking, but passed on the slot for humanitarian purposes (more on that later), a decision I would later regret as the years passed and the competition increased along with my finish times.

But what fun the Terrapin Flyer and I had together. We did Vineman twice, Canada once and even raced in Europe and the Indian Ocean. We never crashed. Sadly she was put out to rest when the sleek, sexy Softride Rocket-Wing came along in 2000.

She sat collecting dust and rust for a decade of wet Northwest winters until a few weeks ago when neighbor Paul, an incredible craftsman and bike aficionado brought up fixies in a front yard conversation. He wanted to build one up so Ann could commute from Ferry terminal to Starbucks HQ and back. I innocently offered the frame of the multi-sport bike formerly known as the Terrapin Flyer.

And he was gone.

Last week he shows up with this little gem. A Phoenix diamond in the rough. The purdiest faux-fixed commuter I may have ever laid tired eyes upon. Two speed hub, deep dish rear wheel and a completely redone frame, painstakingly restored from black to battleship gray. Orange trim. Sweet.

I have gigabytes of memories of me and the Terrapin Flyer. That old, slow caterpillar is now a butterfly. Nice work Paul, congratulations Ann, and thank you Terrapin Flyer, it was fun.

Old to new: 1996 Vineman. Paul & Ann today. A re cycle.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Husky football camp starts Monday.

It has been a long road back, folks. We have suffered, we hurt. We've been humiliated and embarrassed. We got sand kicked in our faces. Ducks and Cougars waltzed into OUR HOUSE and destroyed the place. The swagger of over 100 years of tradition, from PAC-10 Championships, from Rose Bowl wins and from National Championships was gone. We were soundly beaten to a pulp and left by the Montlake roadside to rot and ferment.

All past tense. It is 2010. We tee it up against BYU in five weeks. Jake Locker passed on ten million dollars to play at the UW his senior year. This team shares his charisma and character. They have it, that mysterious something called chemistry that allows, propels and enables a team to succeed, to play together, to rally, to step up the swagger. To sell the farm for the good of the team. Sark & Co have been preaching to this young choir for two years now and the message is clear: Let's win. Let's do what it takes. And let's do it now.

It was a great, heartbreaking ride last year watching the Pups come back from an 0-12 campaign. We had some magical moments, we played hard, we showed glimpses of what was to come.

That time has come. It is now. It has been ten years since we wupped Purdue in the Rose Bowl.

It is going to be another hair-raising ride. I bought tickets for the Thursday night UCLA game, Nov. 18. Jake's last home game against former head coach Rick Neuheisel & The Bruins. Could have huge ramifications.

Another story about the road.

The road back.


Thursday, August 5, 2010


A beautiful day in Seattle. Started with a light rain at dawn and is finishing at 82 sunny degrees at dinnertime. Speaking of dinner, if you haven't had the smokey pleasure of sampling the latest from Avery Island , LA, this chipotle flavored Tobasco sauce is one hot mofo. And I mean that in a good way. Put a few squirts on scrambled eggs and you'll never go back to black pepper. I like it with home fries and ketchup. Some fried onions and green peppers too. I know I am not the only one who likes breakfast for dinner, and as RG shows us, this sauce is some down-home, have a cool one ready, smoke.

Junior tackles the sand caves yesterday in search of buried treasure. He assured me that he will finance my new Mac Pro if the booty is enough to get him a new X-Box first.

Slow news day today. Once I get a few updates loaded and a firewire cable, we'll be back in the video business. In the meantime, enjoy the summer, eat outside, explore the wonders of nature and stay tuned for a new wave of cinema fun. Coming soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Swift or Swallow

Hard Wednesday. We get after it in the BAC House of Pain. Four components:

1) High cadence at low resistance. One song.
2) Seated climbs at sub threshold. One song.
3) Standing climbs with increasing loads. One song.
4) MAX power for 12 seconds, seated.

Recover and repeat for one hour.

We then take the day for personal and professional purposes, put some bread on he table, help out with the extended family, sweep the floors. Read of others on their roads.

Then we return 12 hours later to do a recovery 5K in the park. And now that Frankie has identified my winged friends as Barn Swallows (although I still think they are Pacific Swifts) the adventure now contains additional layers of interest. Whatever the genus, these birds whizzz at low levels, flying circles around us as we run. Sometimes they pass within reach, almost laughing as they pull off high-speed turns. They criss-cross in opposite directions narrowly avoiding mid-air collisions as our foot strikes build drama. I think they are feeding. Picking of bugs at mach-5. But I also suspect that they are keenly aware of our presence and like the camaraderie of our runs. They are light, happy and thrilled by the adventure.

They know that the road is the goal. It seems to me that there is a lesson we can learn from them, whoever they are.

Photo: The goal.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Everything, All the Time

You thought that I missed a Tuesday? That the RCVman Top Spinning Tunes of ALL-TIME, numbers 40-31, just slipped my mind? That perhaps I was too busy to post? That I was distracted by love? By pain? By supernatural forces beyond my control? Kidnapped by Kenyan scientists interested (via grant) in finding out how I can be so slow?

Nothing that serious. After three days and 1,300 miles, last night I had two Guinness' with my dinner of ramen and snow peas after a 5K in the sunny park and immediately fell asleep. A regular party animal. So we get in two posts today. What fun.

Let's get after it.

40, The Hand That Feeds, Nine Inch Nails
39, Polk Salad Annie, Tony Joe White
38, Times Like These, Foo Fighters
37, LA Woman, The Doors
36, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, The Beatles
35, Freeway of Love, Aretha Franklin
34, Can't Ya Hear Me Knockin? Rolling Stones
33, Jump Into the Fire, Harry Nilsson
32, Whipping Post, Allman Brothers
31, Life in the Fast Lane, Eagles

How we doing so far?

Shasta Super Century Video

A breezy five minute jaunt around, and up, Mt. Shasta. Footage is raw, unprocessed, right out of the can. It will look pretty cool on your 57" LCD screen when there is three feet of snow two steps outside your front door come December.

Please remember that all this is to compliment your indoor training. Knowledge is power. You must do in order to know. One must experience 138 miles that includes over 16,000 feet of climbing in order to know that there must be a way to improve the efficient generation of pollutionless horsepower. One must know that there are ways to add aerodynamics and physics to the equation. One must know that seeing is believing. One must also tweak one's definition of personal power.

You put all that knowledge together under one helmet, draw up a cloverleaf course with four signature climbs, add 85 degrees and very few cars, and you get the Mt. Shasta Super Century.

Now you know.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

One August, check.

Dateline, Salem. Oregon. 2130. End of another long and winding road. Eyes blurred, nose running, back sore, batteries dead.

Worked the Shasta Summit Century this morning, which for a hearty handful meant 138 miles, with a dangerous dosing of 6% climbing, and for all others a spectacular jaunt around the base of Mt. Shasta. Great stuff. We started at sunrise, did a clover leaf four climbs, then pointed her North again. Although there was the usual issues with California fruit flies and riding East into the sun, it was by all counts, a terrific way to spend the first of August.

We'll take a closer look tomorrow on the new Mac Pro and Cinema display that I am picking up in the morning in Portland. I think we are gonna have another keeper on our hands. Thanks to TC and everybody who helped out over the course of the long day, and congratulations to all.

A few samples fro the 138 miles this morning up, down and around Shasta.

Buona notte.