Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog Dawg

A few updates from 33,000 feet above the tarmacs of Spokane and Las Vegas. I was reminded on the trip from Sea-Tac that all these air miles are connected by mountains in the sky. The tops of great rock formations, as old as time herself. When they punch through the cottontail white puffy clouds, I sit (with tray table up and seat back locked) in total and complete awe.

I wrote a couple of rhyming couplets in the hopes of a hit song but couldn't get past the cringe of pairing 'sky' with 'fly' seven syllables further. One of these days something resembling the profound might just escape the solitary confinement of my tortured lyricist soul. As the VBA is acutely aware, this is not an event for which one holds breath.

We are en route to Vegas for the Grand Fondo on Saturday, 100 torrid miles from the Strip to Red Rocks. I will report more on the route and ramp-up tomorrow, but the plan is to start early, 0800 maybe, and get in the century shoot in five hours, in order to break some local speed limits to get to McCarrin in time for an upgrade to the 1335 flight to LAX. This is a reward I am going to allow myself this one time. IF (always big) I can kill the 100 miles with flawless HD capture and grab the requisite GPS without nary a glitch, I will catch an earlier flight and drive directly from LAX to the Colosseum, score a ducat from a scalper and watch the Huskies play USC at 5.

What a reward it would be to see the Dawgs do to the Trojans on real grass what they did to them last year on turf. Or, I'll keep my $59 ticket and be a good BlogDawg, and write sweet nothings to you.

Then, if for no other reason than practicing my fiction writing, after capping the post game victory celebration at midnight, Sunday we head down to Venice beach at 0500 to met with my moto pilot for the LA Triathlon. Shoot the swim with perfect hissing six foot lefts behind, nail the 40K bike from VB to Stapes Center, grab some downtown run action (replete with a rack focus from Dodger Stadium to a triathlete finishing with a kick) and then back to Debbie's for a nap before meeting up with Chris for dinner.

Out to Kona at 10 the following morning, where the 'Ten Questions" script for Simon's UK triathletes needs to be formulated prior to touchdown. And then its race week in Kona, spectacle unto itself in the most magic of islands. We will be doing twice a day blogs from Kona at the very least, so if your are a fan of Ironman, this is hallowed ground, the lava field personal playground of gods from Allen, Scott, Newby-Fraser and Pele. I will tally them tonight but I think this will be my 10th covering of the Big Dance. And know what? I can't wait. Let it be known: RCVman hearts the Big Island. Additionally, if the week goes as well as we have it scripted, other rewards are pending. A skateboard to get up and down Alii Dr. all week and a koa uke. Then I will sing my silly songs of magic mountain tops with a gnarly ukulele solo as bridge to the refrain.

That's about it gang, three big events on the horizon. We'll take them one at a time and keep you abreast of all the exciting details and behind the scenes action as it unfolds.

I am also going to try to bust that inner, imprisoned lyricist out of the slammer.

Wish me luck, Chuck.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Waaaay back in 1993 I did my first ride up the Pacific Coast from Los Angeles to Seattle. More specifically from Playa del Rey to Bainbridge Island. At the time, a period compared often as the Paleolithic era of cycling, we had what was referred to as the Bible of 101. A very thorough guide to riding along the coast from Canada to Mexico. It was called, appropriately enough, Bicycling the Pacific Coast. Written By Tom Kirkendall and Vicky Spring in 1984, and published by The Mountaineers, almost everyone I met had a copy as they forged their way to the next campground, hostel or motel. My copy is so dog-eared you can almost hear the hiss of the morning beach and smell the clean costal air. Took me 22 days that year. I made it in 20 a few years later. And one of these days I'll get back out there and try the more common North to South route, just for grins. And on my road bike. Carrying dual panniers, camping gear and a 40lb backpack is not the most aero way to fly.

Before we started the RCV series I had always wanted to pitch Tom and Vicky on making a doc of the route using their wonderful book as script. Of course now that we all have cell phones, Google Earth and YouTube, using a paperback book as a guide is a little antiquated as referenced above.

Regardless of the detail there are challenges in every city. SF is a nightmare to traverse, LA has some serious quirks and even here in Seattle more than one rider has mysteriously ended up in Ballard when the Burke Gillman suddenly disappears like the Space Needle on a foggy February morning.

The good folks at Garmin, Google and Apple, et al have combined to offer some pretty snazzy gadgetry of late. Keep us from the ignoble fate of having to ask directions. I once trusted my inner GPS in Norcal and ended up twenty miles off course. That was 40 miles total just to get back and resume, something my tired back remind me was, while a good ride, unnecessary. That hot day I really wanted to get in my 100 miles, make camp and pop a frosty one.

Here is another gadget that connects all these dots. I like this one. I am not keen on the training devices (yet) but this app caught my eye. I like it a lot.

Wonder how it will work in Mexico? More on THAT later muchachos and muchachas.

Monday, September 27, 2010


A quick video and still from the Interbike release of the all new Racer Mate One software. Video courtesy of the DC Rainmaker. I am swamped today kids. Three days to Karate chop the Kona video and I am down to just the MacBook as digital weaponry. Looks good so far as I am taking a retro look at all the RCVs and a lot of the footage that is, as yet, unreleased. All this to add the requisite WOW factor to the Kona display. We'll be there from Oct. 5-9 so if you are out and all about the magic of the Big Island, please stop by and say Aloha.

Other big travel news, we are officially GOOD to GO for the Mexico cruise. We've made some changes, but the show, as they say, must go on. December 4-11, from SD, to Mazatlan, Cabo, PV. Take the adventure cruise of a lifetime aboard a Holland America luxury liner and up your cycling game as we ride with the stars. More here.

You will be hearing LOTS more about the cruise in upcoming weeks as we enter promo phase II, so stay tuned (and sign up).

All for today, back to the dojo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bark at the TV

So you thought that I had ditched the political commentary? Pushed the social agenda to the back burner? Given up and joined the Tea Party? Taken a real job?

No. Just trying to look after things a little closer to home. You know, me, family and community. That is a full time job in itself even without the added time spent training, traveling and trying to keep nose above water. And I don't mean that in the swimming sense. Appreciating the synergy of politics and humor (and who doesn't) I found this little video gem today.

Read an article earlier in the week about the recession "officially" ending last June. OH REALLY? (No, O'Rielly)

The airlines are making money again.

Gas prices have leveled off.

I got a $500 phone bill from the week that I spent in Norway.

The new Colnago TT bike is 10 large.

I paid $3.50 for a root beer yesterday.

The GOP has a new contract for us to sign.

Another bloody week in Afghanistan.

Don't ask and PLEASE don't tell.

Mexican cartels are now killing media members for reporting on their criminal activities.

Don Draper is in AA.

All my computer warranties expired yesterday at 12:01.

But there was some good news. We got in an outstanding 90 minute spin yesterday morning followed by a peppy 5K run in support of Freedom, Hope and Dignity. And then we took a nice ride in the late afternoon past the sparking waters of Crystal Springs (as Mt. Rainier loomed behind) to test further the 3D project. All good.

And the Huskies didn't lose.

Come on, there HAS to be a bright side. Me, family, friends and community: Let's keep our heads (when it appears many others have not), work our bodies (lots) and find something positive to say to our kids.

Or you can bark at the TV.

Friday, September 24, 2010


We're all but underway with the 2010 indoor training season. Sure there are plenty of you out there still enjoying some very good weather (see Branson, Kona, Arizona, Utah) but for an equal number of us (see Seattle, Chicago, Newfoundland, Green Bay) it is, again, that time of year. Fall.

Time to lube the chain, get upgraded, and hit the virtual highway. Interbike has ended its glorious run in Vegas and will move to Anaheim next year. I had a call from the boss last night and it seems that the CompuTrainer Racer One software debut was well received. There was lots of other good news as well, including our partnership with David Zabriskie (photo) for the upcoming indoor Time Trial series in conjunction with USA Cycling. I will be getting down to Bend, OR, to shoot the first course as soon as we can make the necessary logistical arrangements, and before it starts to snow.

We also got the final OK to shoot the latest from WTC, Ironman Texas, out near Houston. So I am trying to schedule that around Kona, the LA Tri, the Las Vegas Fondo and Bend. We are trying to put together a group for the Woodlands shoot similar to what we did last year at St. George. CT Coach Dana Lyons in Houston has volunteered to lead the charge and handle the ground work. If you are interested in participating in the ride, tent scheduled for 10/24, please use the comment form and away we ride.

Lastly, here is a link to a very cool winter racing op, called The CompuTrainer Race League. Pretty straightforward, easy to set up and use and appears to be great fun. I am going to see If I can get in on the first heat, and I highly encourage all you CT users out there to do likewise. We will take a similar approach with the DZ TT series, fyi. So get prepared.

All for today. It is officially fall. We have a 90 minute spin followed by a 5K run scheduled for tomorrow. Let's make it happen folks.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three of Four

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports:

Three out of four Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020, and disease rates and health care spending will balloon, unless governments, individuals and industry cooperate on a comprehensive strategy to combat the epidemic, the study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

More disturbing news form the OECD. We are fat and getting fatter. You can see from the article the long term ramification of this trend.

RCV HQ has issued the following clear response to this latest data:


Three in four Americans may be obese in nine years, but they will NOT be us. We will put the two most important components of health and fitness (awareness and happiness) together like peanut butter and chocolate and control what we can control. The two components (DJ scratching vinyl) are (in the key of G, please choir):


Was that a collective DUH? Is this an earth shattering revelation? Is it a mystery? Are you telling me that 75% of the planet isn't aware of this simple fact (one of the very few constants in life as we know it)?


People, PLEASE, drop those burgers and pick up an apple. Throw those nuggets to the dogs and eat a peach. Less pizza, more peas. Get off the chips, cookies, cakes and creams and get on the lettuce, legumes, leeks and lentils. Pour those sodas down the drain.

And then,

Walk to work. Ride your bike. Swim. Get outside and off your ass. Take a spin class.

But it's our choice. If we want to be obese and have a low quality of life, we can. Freedom is a wonderful thing, we are free to take either path.

It isn't easy. Matter of fact, it is a ton of work. However, the rewards are more than worth the effort.

Diet and exercise.

Any other questions?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Freedom 5K

OK people. Time to act. We have a chance to make something happen. Something good happen. The short video clip more than makes the case that something has gone terribly wrong on the streets of Seattle. These are our streets. These are our children and our future. It is now our responsibility.


One small thing you can do to help is to come out with us on Saturday and put in a little 5K. It is at 10:00 Saturday morning starting from Waterfront Park on Bainbridge Island. The more multi-sport minded among us will do a 90 HIT spin session prior to that. This is a great opportunity to get in a late season brick…

...and to make a strong statement that human trafficking MUST STOP.

Saturday. 10am. 5K.

OK people?

Freedom 5K website here.

Register here.

Donate here:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Branson 70.3 Video

Sorry so long. Here it is, Branson 70.3 highlight video from RCVman. More at:
CompuTrainer, and to sign up for next year's event:
Branson 70.3

Enjoy the ride.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Call a T

I sit in the empty Springfield/Branson Regional Airport and think that I should have taken the extra day in order to complete the Branson 70.3 download. Faith at the front desk at the Extended Stay waved the wifi fee for me Friday night but wouldn't budge on the late check out. I was 60% finished with the YouToob upload and had 30 minutes to get to the giant church that houses BMAX, Ken and Diane's beautiful health and fitness studio. The plan I tried to sell was to allow my computer to stay in the room doing the upload and I would pick it up on my way to the airport, two hours later.

Sorry, that would be three and WAY past checkout. But it's just my computer, housekeeping can work around it and if you are overbooked, just shut it down and I will pick it up at the front desk. Common, it's my blog post for the day. Important stuff.

Too risky, but you can buy another day and then it isn't MY problem.

Now Simon calls from Leeds with the big (bloody) exciting news that he and Fiona (both of 00 status), have successfully pitched the BBC and their long running show, A Question of Sport, into using two CompuTrainer Real Course Videos for an upcoming episode and I need to select the best two finishes for this use.

OK, I can do that. But I wish I had uploaded the video last night because Kona is in three weeks, and I have two shoots before that, AND I must do another expo video demo.


Here is a sample of the show
. I am going to suggest Canada and NYC as the RCVs.

I wonder if I can upload video from the wifi on the flight. If AA has it.


And Ken wants the Branson 70.3 on DVD for local coaching.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Branson in the Books

Post event. The inaugural Branson 70.3 is in the books. Great course. Terrific venue and almost a perfect locale to host an event the magnitude of the 70.3 series. I take back every snide remark I made about Branson during the run-up to this race. I even have Michael Lovato, who took a third place overall today saying that he rated it a 9.3 on the IM 1-10. Not too bad for a first time event in the place they call the buckle of the bible belt.

I am feverishly cutting video back in my Extended Stay suite for a couple of reasons.

1) We got some dyno-video out there today. REAL good stuff ('specially the bike, duh), which, should, then, of course, naturally, go for,

2) A killer RCV.

So I am leaving y'all with just a few stills of the day. Some artsy stuff from T2 and from the finish line at Branson Landing, featuring Michael Lovato and Kelly Williamson, the overall Women's Champ.

I will have the video up tomorrow before check out and our session with Ken and Dianne. Fly out at five. I am warming to this place (it was 89 at the finish line).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Branson 70.3

Making the rounds this morning in Missouri in preparation for tomorrows inaugural Branson 70.3. Nice drive from Springfield to Branson, about 40 miles. Saying that there is plenty to do in Branson is like saying that there is plenty to do at Disneyland. Fact is, they could bill this as Disney in the Ozarks.

At the Expo I ran into the CT reps, Ken and Dianne Hood at BMAX . We had an opportunity to chat a little (about the new software and RCVs) and we filmed the piece above (in one take).

We will also visit their facility on Monday for a more formal interview, so stay tuned for that. All for today, work done, cameras ready, batteries charged, contacts made.

Time for some Husky football.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I do. Welcome to MO.

31,000 random thoughts over Wyoming. Metrics above Colorado. Dallas in the crosshairs. Branson beckons. Another trip, another triathlon, one more race, more of the same. As John wrote from Patmos, more than two thousand years ago, there seems to be magnificent monotony here. One subject, one theme, one job. We share this commonality in duty, and as I close my eyes to explore deeper, perhaps more than that, too. I hope this is true. I love my work, its headaches and hassles, its demands and deadlines, its almost impossible necessity for perfection. There is no middle ground. It is either perfect, or it doesn't count. If it rains, is too dark, incomplete, or I fall asleep, we lose.

If, however, the sun shines, I manage to capture the event in all its electricity, energy, glory and thrill, and the data matches the video in perfect harmony for 40, 90 or 180k, them we have something. Something real, somehow beautiful and something of value. We have a snapshot in moving color and a living dynamic of one day of human activity. Hyper human activity. Of athletes striving for perfection on one day, on that course, under circumstances dictated by forces greeter than themselves. It's kinda like war. Or a final test. Or opening night. Or even a first date with a beautiful, talented and savvy person you think has that mysterious something we can't even come up a decent word to describe. But you need to find out. You need to be there. You must set up the date, make the myriad preparations, get your hair cut, rent a tux, buy flowers, hire a limo, rehearse your lines or put your complete faith in 30 years of practice, let go and enjoy the absolute miracle of this moment, regardless of outcome. The magic of here and now, faith, love, hope, joy, wonder, all here. The miracle of this.

Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by these ingredients, so completely absorbed by the synergy of these spices and herbs that I have to stop and take a deep breath. To send thanks for this daily bread. That I can do this. That I have been allowed to do this, and that I am, now, EXPECTED to do this. It is my job, my calling, my duty, my passion, my life, and my responsibility. It is no longer a matter of choice. I must execute with precision and results. That is all. Just get it done.

Under the umbrella of that understanding lies the deeper meaning that I, additionally, have another choice down this sometimes rosy, sometime thorny path.

I have the choice as to HOW I do this. My boss has bequeathed (or I have earned) a freedom that allows me to freelance, create, respond, initiate, flex, decide, spend, save, or do whatever needs to be done towards the completion of the task at hand. Be that task pre-production, capture, or post-production.

(We have just been informed by the Captain that we are over Oklahoma and expecting some choppy air.)

Could all this be metaphor I wonder.

Choice. Yes. Attitude. How do you measure happiness? Quantify quality? WHY do we do what we do? The meta of physics is as important to me as the beta of testing. This is something new and exciting. This is something we have done a thousand times before, why are we still doing it? The magnificent monotony.

If God loves me in spite of all my weakness, in spite my many sins and no matter what, who cares if I am not the fastest triathlete in the Age Group National Championships?

He cares. IF I DO.

I do.

Welcome to Missouri.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tomorrow Never Knows

Before we get her spinning today, a few groovy links:

What we eat.
Where we ride.
Who we are.
Bike fit tales.
Where we're going.

Working on several projects today. The GoPro Stereo mount rig, conversion of Nations Triathlon video, production of the (soon to be famous) CompuTrainer Cruise to Mexico commercial, and of course packing to get out of town tomorrow for Branson, Mo. I need to get in another run before our test video ride around 4, meaning that there is little time for sloth. Like there ever is, right?

One last story from DC. if I may. You will recall that a while back, after reading the Rolling Stone Top 500 songs of all-time on a trip to who knows where, I set out to do a similar piece, calling it, appropriately, The RCVman Top 100 Spinning Songs of All-Time. How quaint. Fast forward to last week when I headed towards WDC, another copy of RS in my lap, this time the Top 100 Beatles tunes of all time. Day in the Life, Let it Be, Hey Jude, yadda-blah, yadda-blah. I have my own, including Dear Prudence, Yer Blues, Taxman, SPLHCB, and Revolution. This may be the most subjective list ever attempted by cyclists or fans of pop music. Or even the combination of the two.

So I finish the fascinating commentary (George Martin was a genius) and instead of leaving the RS in the Jet Blue seat pocket in front of me as a random gift for the next passenger, I tuck it in my bag to give to Kathy as a hello, look what I got for you present. Because I know she would enjoy the read and have her own commentary. Good Morning, Strawberry Fields, Here Comes the Sun, Michelle.

We are hanging out at her cozy condo late Sunday night after the soggy Tri near Foggy Bottom, I on the laptop, she on the couch, when she asks, reading the article, "Tomorrow Never Knows", how does it go?

I am perplexed and semi-shocked that I can't immediately rip off the first three verses, and I think, wow, good one. I try some lyrics and some melodies, a guitar solo or two and nothing is working. I have no clue. Another milestone has been reached. I am stumped. She says it's from Revolver. I go through the tracks, needle dropping PVC to no avail.

We let it go and return to business as usual. But it is killing me so I google it. We listen. I had forgotten how completely revolutionary this song was at the time. Still is. Not your average Fab Four pop blockbuster. Young girls do not scream to this tune.

Relieved, I go back to work. An hour later, I am on the couch verging on sleep and to prove my subjective point I google Top 10 Beatles Songs. First one on the list is a YouTube piece with Hey Jude at Numero Uno. Standard fare. I open another and they have Yesterday as One. One more then sleep. Come Together. OK, just one more.

This site calls themselves a review house for video games, alternative pop culture and all things cool. OK, I'll bite, let's check their thoughts on THIS one.

I am frozen. I think I whispered hoarsely, OMG. Kathy asks, concerned, what?

I hold up the iPhone in horizontal mode so she can see from across the room. #1?

Tomorrow Never Knows.

I have been stumped.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I do a lot of traveling in strange towns. Blow into airports after midnight and have to navigate my way to cheap hotels usually with blurry vision and a sore lumbar. The google maps feature on my iPhone has saved my bacon more than once. Yes, please get me THERE from HERE, and please don't ask me where I am because I have no idea. The beautiful utility of GPS.

Last week Washington DC was a challenge for both me and Mr. Garmin. Road construction, local custom, quirks and volume of traffic will do that. I got my first ever speeding ticket while on assignment and a pair of parking tickets. The speeding was my fault, I missed a turn, had to re-route and as I tried to make up the lost time, hit the gas to pass a lane stuck in detour traffic on a downhill and hit 55 in a 40. The officer asked if I had seen the 40 MPH signs. Thinking it a test I quickly replied with deadpan sincerity, no, sir, my first trip to your beautiful city and, well, must have missed it. Sign here please.

The parking tickets we have already discussed, but I would like to add a rather humorous footnote. You may file this under, me laughing at me. And sometimes I crack me up. I can be silly and sometimes the harder I try to accept the role of a mature, responsible adult, the funnier it gets. A paradox to which I can only respond to by laughter.

The first parking ticket was in a hip area near the DC Hilton, or the Hinkely Hilton as it is often called for reasons that all Ronald Reagan fans will surrey recall. There was a stretch of back-in only parking in front of shops, cafes, bars, a CVS, two Starbucks and a KFC. Cool, I think as I back in, but make sure it is legal. So I look around, read all the signs, and walk away to get to the Expo. I come back in twenty minutes to find a $25 ticket. The parking meter was across the street and a half block South. OK, another lesson learned, move along.

Two days later as Kathy and I were negotiating parking to eat dinner we spotted a space on the street and paralleled in. I made a great show to use my debit card and bought the maximum time, two hours, for four dollars and we went in to eat. I was (at last) playing by the rules.

Two hours later after an exotic meal and delicious wine, we return to the car to drive home. Only to find the match to the earlier ticket securely attached to the drivers side wind shield wiper.

"I thought you bought two hours", says Kathy looking at her Timex.

"I did" I said looking at mine, the chronometer showing that we have 92.7 seconds remaining, as I pull the receipt from my pocket as further documentation and legal proof.

"You are supposed to put the receipt on the dash."

Deep breath.



Poor me.

Edvard Munch knows how I sometimes feel. The view from our table at Zaytinya, scene of the crime, or the scream.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day at the Museum

Day at the Museum. Monday. Got the bike returned to Alexandria, picked up Kathy from work and we headed out for an afternoon of art gawking. Smithsonian can be daunting, the most difficult part finding a place to store your vehicle while at it. Please be advised folks that the traffic cops in DC take no prisoners, if you are ten seconds tardy, a dime short or an inch over the line, it is a $25 fine. The parking spots to traffic enforcement ratio is 1-100 and they are big on entrapment. The signs, rules, times, places and overall operation is a farce of spatiotemporal chaos.

The Ginsburg photos were terrific, as was Rodin, and Edvard Munch. There is so much to see here, so many inspiriting and educational displays that you need a nap in between to digest all the color, texture, style, history and fantasy. And then there were dinosaurs and whales, the Hope diamond and sparkling exotic gems that absolutely proved that there is no finer artist anywhere than Mother Nature herself. And all this free for the gawking.

We then had an incredible dinner at a cool uptown Mediterranean joint called Zaytinya . Kathy knew the talented waiter so we decided to allow him to make the menu calls, putting all faith in his inside knowledge of the menu, seasonal offerings and kitchen secrets du jour. A good call. So many flavors, fine service and a glass of Tempranillo that warmed both heart and soul. Finished off with six different scoops of sorbet and ice cream and a Turkish coffee. Nice.

0400 wake up call, hour drive into Virginia and here I sit at Dulles awaiting Jet Blue flight 1039 back to JFK where I know there is free wifi and coffee waiting. We touch down in Seattle at 2 so I will for once, get some shut eye before our 0530 spin session in the space formerly known as the House of Pain.

In case you are wondering, we have changed the name to the House of Mirth as a result of our exercise enlightenment that suffering and over the top maximal effort is necessary for dramatic fitness improvements. HoP is now HoM. All it took was seven years of practice to see that work is love.

Pix of the day. Art and art as food. RCVman from JFK, out for today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cats and Dawgs

My job is dependent upon good weather. Not all the time, simply one day a week. That day would be race day, the day on which I shoot the course as the race action unfolds before me. It is a very difficult chore even when the sun is shinning, harder in winds, and downright impossible when it rains. And today it rained.

Boy did it. Dawgonit hard.

We were at T1 for the fifth annual Nations Triathlon in Washington DC Sunday morning at 0530 as required to get set up for the two part shoot. I needed to liaise with my moto pilot and get on the course as the elites in the first wave were starting their 1,500 meters in the gloomy Potomac. That would be the first lap. Upon completion of that I was to mount the borrowed Jamis and make a second pass with the vest cam to capture live action from the pack. These two takes, hopefully, would give us an exciting and dynamic 24.8 miles. But it was raining.

Cats and Dawgs.

The night before Kathy and I hit three downtown bars in search of a big screen showing the Washington/Syracuse game. The first two couldn't find it on their satellite networks and by the time we found a cool Irish Pub that did, the Dawgs were down 10-0. Knowing that I had a 0400 wake up call I was hoping that the contest would be a blowout by the half so we could cab back to the condo and I could then get some quality futon time with a clear head. I wasn't satisfied with the verdict until the Huskies had put up 41 to the 20 of Syracuse, and an $80 bar bill had been (merrily) created. In the second half the Locker to Kearse TD to Guinness ratios was about even.

As in unrelenting.

I waited as long as possible for the start of the phase two shoot, hoping for a break in the bleakness and wet. When it appeared that this would be fruitless, I took off, vowing to "Ride and Shoot" vice "Race and Rip", just in case a miracle should result inside the water-proof polystyrene GoPro camera housing. Another soggy 40K later I was back at T2 verging on hypothermia, dehydration and suffering now from a massive, acute case of water-log. Did I mention the rain?

Two laps, 80K, all rain, no blue, blurry, cold, wet, gray. See photos above for complete and irrefutable documentation. Those spots? Cat 'n Dawg residue. Also shown is one of the many reasons why College Football is almost as cool as triathlons in the rain, the Huskies Chris Polk does his Dawg thing Saturday afternoon. WOOF.

Now that all has been etched in marble for all of eternity to replay, I have yet to look at all the video to see what we got.

Besides a cold.

Monday in DC making the rounds. DC>JFK>Sea-Tac tomorrow.

RCVman out from the Nations Capitol.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Back in the Nations Capitol for Sunday's big event. They are booking it as the largest Olympic Distance Tri in America. That will be a lot of folks riding the 24.8 miles (40K) of the bike leg. The game plan is coming together nicely, with contacts made, meetings scheduled and logistics solidified.

Spent a peaceful night at sister Kathleene's upon arrival followed by a hectic drive through what seemed like all of the District's districts today to drop her at work and then find the expo. So let me see if I have this right:

Numbered streets run North & South. Letter streets run East & West and state names defy convention and run diagonally. I am on T Street and Connecticut, meaning, that without my iPhone and it's Map app I might as well be on the moon.

Met up with Dave at the Expo and had a nice chat about the NYC Triathlon RCV and it's many joys. I still get YouTube comments about the crashes and dynamics. Dave feels that riding in the pack isn't the best "real life simulation" however as the speed controls can be confusing. We have a solution and it is called Sunday. Shooting the same course twice could offer athletes the choice to ride the same course looking at different perspectives, with other riders or without.

And that isn't the only news from the RCV R&D front. We have made significant strides in creating real 3D, and work was relayed this morning TWICE that the initial results are, well, PFC. Pretty freaking cool.

Lastly. after dropping of Kathy I had the chance to stroll by the Marine Barracks, get a haircut and grab a wonderful plate of French Toast and eggs at Ted's Bulletin. Pictured is my waitress, Melissa, who treated me like royalty and even helped point me in the right direction after breakfast. Three numbers, two letters and a state.

Welcome to DC.

Semper Fi in DC.
Melissa at Ted's Bulletin.
Dave at the Hilton. Tell her RCVman sent ya.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Quick one today. 72 and cloudy in NYC. En route to Dulles and the Nations Triathlon.

For those of you retired from the airline industry, or my fellow world travelers, I have this POSITIVE report to file:

The Jet Blue terminal at JFK rocks. Tons of food (I had the margherita pizza and red stripe), more than enough free wifi terminals and shops galore. They even have a spa.

Live report from event Expo tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ride 542 Video

I am packing for the trip to film the Nations Triathlon in Washington DC. We have a speed session scheduled for 16:45 and then I have another spin class at 1800.

Once all THAT is in the can, I hope to grab some serious rack to make the 0443 shuttle bus in the am.

All systems are (finally) a go for the DC shoot. Two parts, one on moto, one on bike. That is just the way things work in DC. So I guess the moto is more of a Republican metaphor and the bike more Democratic. What, oh what, is an Independent to do? Roller Skate?

We leave you today with the open sequence for the Mt. Baker Ride 542 event taking place this weekend on the opposite coast. Please remember that you can click on the image and it (should) take you to the RCVman YouTube site where you can watch in full HD. The blog video size is cropped pretty severely and sometimes you miss key stuff. Like the sheep in Norway.

Whether you are doing the Nations in the Potomac, or up the face of Mt. Baker this weekend, and regardless of your political affiliation, please, enjoy the ride and finish strong.

RCVman out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Breakfast Paparazzi

A couple of quick observations this beautiful gray September morning.

There are things that I can control and others that I cannot. I can change the way that I observe, react and manage. This is a continually changing dynamic and subject to daily fine tuning based upon detailed analysis of latest data. It is a fascinating personal study in cause and effect. Here are some recent examples:

Am I completely confident that I am doing EVERYTHING to push my training and racing agenda? Is there a key component that I have somehow overlooked that is keeping me from the final rung?

True, I am not putting in the Ironman training hours I have in the past (12-15 per week) but I am doing something everyday, and most days when I am not traveling I am doing something TWICE everyday. That should be enough, eh?

No. It isn't.

If I am going to be my absolute best on the course, I need to be my absolute best off it. And here are three things that I can do immediately to impact this latest round of RCVman R&D:

1) Stretch more. I really feel tightness in hamstrings and hips. Since my trial separation from martial arts and all the stretching, turning and twisting that it demands, my core and performance muscles have seen a noticeable decrease in range of motion and flexibility. Time to get back to the mat, Tak Kwon Do or Yoga.

2) My choice of fuel has long been a debate. I no not eat meat or fish. I try to balance fruit and veggies with carbs and protein. I take protein supplements. I am half Italian and I love bread. Gotta go, ciao pane. Corn and rice are cheap in comparison to organic, locally grown produce, but what is the true cost to my fitness and health? Sometimes I go to Safeway and can't find ANYTHING good to eat, this amazes me. I will not sacrifice health for economy yet at the same time I refuse to pay a dollar per grape. Argggh. All that said, I can still tweak my power to weight ratio by racing lighter and leaner. I can cut processed breads and replace them with even more fruits and veggies. Semi Paleo if you will. More R&D, trial and error. The perfect combo is out there somewhere, waiting.

3) I can cut back on the Guinness and Tempranillo. This despite the latest reports that call it beneficial. I understand that it is a vehicle for stress management, but when it interferes with recovery (and it does) or keeps one away from quality sleep (and it does) or causes water imbalances as a diuretic (and it does) then it has got to go. More so if it causes me to say silly things at parties (and it does).

So there are three things outside the traditional Diet & Exercise box. They aren't that difficult to enact and the up-side could be huge. Cause and Effect.

Put 'em in play grasshopper.

This morning Junior says, no photos with waffles on the plate, dude.

Monday, September 6, 2010


We were discussing the past.
As in how it used to be.
What we were once capable of,
now just memories.
Range of motion
recoveries and motivation.
It wasn't with nostalgia
as much as with compassion.
We still work hard
we still play fair
we like to laugh more than cry
shades of gray
from another day.

Huge thanks to everyone who made last night an altogether memorable event. Stephanie and Steve are such marvelous hosts. Thanks for the Crispy Creme gift certificate and the Caveman Bars. Thanks for the great food and the delicious wine. Thanks for the game of Taboo. Thanks for the conversations, feelings, and opinions. Thanks for the Guinness and the decadent deserts. Thanks for the hysterical cards and the birthday cake.

But most of all, thanks for being such good friends. I am touched, blessed and grateful for all of this and all of you. And all that you bring to our group and our community.

Now let's get back to work. See you Wednesday morning at 0530.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lose to Win

We have discussed this before. But it is a tough one, so I will try (try) again.

The Huskies, full of enthusiasm and hoping to jump-start the 2010 college football season, got whupped by a faster and more disciplined BYU team yesterday. Although the game wasn't decided until there was less than two minutes remaining, and the Dawgs were knocking at the door, the inches that separate, the momentum that allows and the talent that defines, was with the Cougars. Jake had no miracles to work and his fourth and six pass fell incomplete. Game.

Another agonizing dream crushed. We got outplayed, pure and simple. They were quicker, stronger up front and convincingly won the field position battle. Our special teams were atrocious. Jake Locker was the third best QB on the field in a 23-17 defeat.

So now what?
End of the world?
Quit and go home?
Wait till next year?

Not hardly. Champions, and those that aspire to improvement, learn from their mistakes. They use defeat as stepping stones to betterment. They get motivated by the mediocre. They use the pain of losing as inspiration for the next contest. They see empirically what steps need to be taken to ensure that a repeat effort of this caliber does not happen. Simply put, Champions win by losing.

We have a unique opportunity here to test the character of this team. Everyone needs to ask some brutally honest questions as they look into the steamy locker room mirror. The coaching staff must address this before any doubts become habitual. This is not a game for the weak, timid or cautious. Learn from your mistakes, lads, and DO NOT REPEAT THEM.

Then winning comes from losing. We lost ugly yesterday.

The beauty of future wins may result.

Or may not. I will be watching closely nest Saturday from Washington DC as this quest(ion) gets addressed against Syracuse at home.

Dear Huskies: More bite, less wag.

I will think about this some more as I run in the park. Have a great Labor Day folks.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dawgs of War

Sept 4, 2010 is finally here. It has been 271 days since the University of Washington Huskies spanked Cal to end the rebuilding year of 2009. We have made real progress. There is hope. We have worked our tails off and now we are ready to play. Tee it up boys, let's get it goin.

Most of you know that there are very few items in my life that provide the type of emotion and passion that Husky football does. I like triathlon, I like video production, I like music. I like art and beautiful things. I like girls and I like beer. Sometimes I even like them all at the same time.

But I love Husky football. We go back a long way. There is tradition. There is the happiness and pride of Rose Bowl wins and National Championships. I have sat at Husky Stadium in the pouring rain, freezing my butt off and on a block of frozen snow in November as the Dawgs demolished the Cougs in winning another Apple Cup. I have had the privilege to dine with Don Heinrich and golf with Blair Bush and Ray Phinney. Currently two Husky DBs, Adam Long and Greg Walker, went to my tiny High School in Southern California. I remember watching Chris Chandler, Greg Lewis, Roy Horton, Mario Bailey and Jason Chorak. I can still see Steve, Dave, Chico, Le-Lo, Tank, Tui and Tim Peoples rein purple. Just the thought of Joe Jarzynka never signaling for a fair catch makes me smile. There is DJ, arms crossed on the sidelines, headphones on, ready to make the tough call. I saw Nap Kaufman carry the ball for the first time as a Husky. I remember the ahhhhs from the sold-out crowd as the refs moved the chains immediately afterwards. Mom and I went to every Husky/UCLA game for years when she was textbook coordinator for the Bruins.

We have been through a lot, these Purple and Gold kids and me. I follow them like a proud father watching for improvement, progress, growth. I know this game and I know the details. I appreciate the innuendo and respond physically to the most subtle of momentum shifts. I know where the juggler vein is. I know Xs and Os and when to do what to who. And how. The binary territorial simplicity of the college game provides a wonderful balance to my ultra-left political temperament. Let's have a war today shall we, with rules, and with a clear winner. Then Monday we'll go back to work.

We have been down a while now. It has been a decade since we threshed Purdue in Pasadena. Times were tough. But today is the dawn of a new Dawg Day. Jake is a 5th year senior, back to lead a talented group of kids to their potential. He thumbed his nose at ten million dollars to play 12 more games of college football for Washington. He could win the Heisman trophy. But that to him that is gravy. The real reward will be to max out his potential and lead this team to what it wants to achieve.


Today winning is the only thing.

Go get 'em snarling husky Dawgs. Let's win this one for the Jakester.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stay down Rock.

First the bad news.

I managed a pathetic 3 hours yesterday en route to the attempted 33 miles of the infamous Chilly Hilly course. I really sucked. I am embarrassed and humiliated. So much for an accurate assessment of current fitness. It hurt and it hurt bad. There was no "additional gear", spare gas or even a comfortable cruising speed. If it weren't for the fact that I have been here before, I would throw in the towel, quit, give up, go home, look for a real job. My lower left side disc issue flared up almost at the fist sign of elevation gain (immediately) and was quickly joined by groin pain that I have self diagnosed as a sports hernia. These two provided the backdrop for misery that, when coupled with my still being physically in another time zone, made the going tough, real tough, and real tough real quick.

You can guess the rest. There was no sense risking additional injury to do something that I created as a test. That was the test.

I had stopped along the way to snap a shot of the run in one of those 180 degree driveway mirrors (shown). While doing so I must have dropped the five dollar bill housed in the fuel belt pocket. The plan was to stop at one of the three convenience stores alone the route and buy, well, sugar. I was at the first such store, at the counter with a chocolate milk and a snickers bar on the counter, drooling, when the fact of my loss was discovered. THAT HURT. I must have lost the dough when I took the photo.

Undeterred, I slugged along, now out of water as well. The plan falling apart in a hurry. By mile ten I was in trouble, and heard skinny tires rollup behind.

"Hey Kevin, what are ya doin?" called Vicky and Stephanie, out for a long ride. I explained the deal, and relayed the story of the milk and snickers. Steph asked if I wanted her extra hummus wrap, as they were almost done with their ride and heading home.


Man was that good. Garbanzo charged, I now had the gas to make it to RG's, with back and groin pain now at critical mass. I pleaded for a ride home, calling it a day after only three hours.

And now the good news.

This is all a test. The lessons learned are legion. Was I disappointed in my performance? Absolutely. I was crushed. Did I do the right thing? Define right. What was the positive take away?

1) Next time you decide to do this, make sure water and fuel are available along the course.

2) Try to establish a ramp up period so the distance isn't quite so shocking to the system.

3) Don't attempt while still dealing with jet lag.

4) Fix the damaged parts. Get another, updated diagnoses of the back and groin issues.

5) Keep on keepin on. There is no shame in stopping. This pain is temporary. To continue would have been stupid beyond even my skewed standards. The only real failure would be in quitting, not rising from the canvas.

6) I will never quit.

It was a good day. Lessons learned, experience gleaned, limits tested. A bloodied Rocky Balboa gets to his wobbly knees and steadies himself for another round.

Yo, Adrian.

I tried to blow the photo up to see my five bucks laying on the ground. No luck there either.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


An hour away from the start of the longest run ever attempted by…me. I have done plenty of 26.2's, and they all hurt, regardless of elevation gain, or lack thereof. So adding 7 measly miles to the marathon sum should be somewhat the same as adding a little insult to injury. It is gonna get interesting, but hopefully not until mile 20 or so, when the intent has been solidified, the resolve firm and the goal a touch closer. The light at the end of the tunnel thing. So why do this, you ask?

Because two days ago I celebrated (more like witnessed) another birthday. And this aging thing keeps me continually motivated to keep pushing the physical fitness agenda. There is still the possibility that with a modicum, OK, with a boatload, of focused work, I could actually get faster. Faster than I was ten years ago? Dunno, but I am going to try. And getting outside the box, shaking up the training routine remains one of the best ways to do it. You can go harder, add intensity and shorten the distance as we have been testing in spin class. Intensive bursts of explosive power. I DO like the sound of that. And my body likes the feel. Or you can add speed. Cover more ground quicker. We saw the benefits of that approach last night in the park. For the first time ever I had to WORK to keep up with my partner. Nothin like a snappy up-tempo four miles at sunset. And in the case of today's epic jaunt, we will add distance. I will be slow today. It may be the IM death march. There are a lot of hills along the 33 mile route. But I will make it. I will slug it out. I will do something I have never done before. I like the sound of THAT, too.

To celebrate my hanging around another year. I will see how I respond. I will listen to my body, try to relax and enjoy the ride. I will be happy and grateful that I can still do this, and without an artificial hip or a cane. There will be plenty of opportunities to unleash the creative. That is one of my favorite parts of running. Free flow thought. There is not a lot of science here, but museums full of color, texture, shapes and composition. No iPod either, I hear plenty.

Maybe it is crazy. I don't know, and I don't care.

It is there and I am here. And it is time to run.

News at 11.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Parting Shots

A couple of parting shots from Norway. The stairs and a T intersection on the Birkebeiner trail. Like I said this morning in our rocking spin class, if you held a gun to my head at the top of these stairs (the ski jump) I would still not go. Way, way too high.

Downloading video, unpacking, getting caught up. Next trip in eight days, off to Washington DC for the Nations Triathlon. We have a recovery 10K scheduled for 6 and then my big cap-doff to the aging process tomorrow as I run the 33 miles of Chilly Hilly. Run, walk, probably. Maybe Alzheimer's has already set in as I seem to recall someone saying, "You're crazy." You talkin' to me?

Did it seem odd to you that yesterday there was no mention of music? We went all those weeks, every Tuesday, listing another killer ten tunes, and then suddenly, nothing. Being 34,000 feet above the Atlantic is simply no excuse. As an additional bonus, next week, I will add my top ten glaring omissions from the recently concluded RCVman Top Spinning Tunes of All-Time. And there are a few.

It is officially game week. YES! College Football kicks off its 2010 campaign this week. The much maligned UW Huskies, riding the crest of a two game winning streak head out to Provo Utah to square off with the BYU Cougars. BYU are 3 point faves. Ya wanna make some quick cash???? Take the Dawgs. The fearless RCVman pick: UW 38, BYU 20. That should cover the spread.

Locker for Heisman. And a shot to the head of that ref who threw a penalty flag on Jake as he single-handedly led the Huskies back to a last minute tie, two years ago. Excessive celebrating. True story. You can look it up. I still shake my head. Revenge will be ours Saturday.

WOOF and out.