Archive: June 14, 2014

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on the road again, and again, and again

Saturday,  06/14/14  09:13 PM

I've been doing a lot of riding, and haven't been posting about it - bad Ole Bad - so here's an abbreviated report.

Trona 308 - 308 miles, 20,400 feet, 4-man team, 18:30
Tour of Two Forests - 197 miles, 15,000 feet, bonked and bailed
Santa Clarita Century - 98 miles, 6,900 feet, 6:47

First, a couple of Saturdays ago I raced in the inaugural Trona 308 as part of a four-man team, with my friends Gary Feldstein, John Quinones, and Tim Skipper.  And ... we won!  Took us 18 1/2 hours, and we beat everyone by over half an hour.  Not bad for a bunch of old guys.  I had the honor of riding the 4th and 8th "anchor" legs.  Each "pull" was about 40 miles, which took about 2 1/2 hours.  It's quite different riding as hard as you can for 2 hours instead of riding for 8+, and it was really fun.  And this was the first race I have ever won :)

The route was 100% high desert, from the start in Valencia to Trona, on the outskirts of Death Valley, via California City and Johannesburg.  Not necessarily the most beautiful and the monotony can get you, but it is good for meditation riding.

typical view ... miles and miles and miles of riding through the high desert

the route from Valencia to Trona and back, 308 miles, 20,400 feet

at the start

Gary Feldstein ... cranking away

support van leapfrogging riders - those windmills are there for a reason

Tim Skipper in the wide open

John Quinones ... not pictured, *wind*

to the victors go the spoils, including spiffy new jerseys

Last weekend I rode the Tour of Two Forests Double Century, and ... well, I only ended up touring one of the two forests.  After 100 miles I bonked climbing so-called Heartbreak Hill, and retreated to a nearby bar and waited for a rescue.  Fortunately I was able to watch the Belmont Stakes and the Kings game, so it wasn't a total loss :)

This is a very nice ride through some beautiful scenery, but the forests are most definitely in mountains.

typical view ... miles and miles and miles of forest in mountains

the route - 198 miles 15,400 feet through Los Padres and Angeles National Forests

my mighty steed - I stopped to de-layer from early morning warmers

not Icy today ... hot and dry

made a new friend at a Ozena Ranger Station

abandoned and retreated to the Reyes Creek Bar and Grill

On the road once again, today I rode the Santa Clarita Century.  It was a nice course through the Angeles National Forest - approximately the part of the Tour of Tour Forests I *didn't* ride last weekend - and I made it without bonking, yay.  Took me 6:47 and the ride was so well supported I hardly stopped at all.

Highlight of the day: I was passing a couple of guys climbing Mt. Emma, and one says to the other, "dude, you just got passed by an old guy riding a wooden bike".  Awesome.

typical view ... miles and miles and miles of riding through high desert in the mountains

the course - 99 miles, 7,100 feet, out and back Santa Clarita to Pearblossom

at the start - hotshots jockeying for position; it's 100 miles, guys

police escort for the early morning leader's paceline

on the road again... yay

And so it goes... next weekend I will NOT be riding; but I'm sure I'll do a little in the week before and after.  And I'd better, because in two weeks I'm riding the terrifying Alta Alpina Double Century, probably the hardest one there is.  Whew!



it's all happening

Saturday,  06/14/14  10:47 PM

Wow, another two week gap in posting.  It's all happening, but that's a reason and no excuse.  My little company eyesFinder is getting a little bigger; we raised some money, hired some people, opened an office, started a sales project, and ... wow does it take time running the circus.  And meanwhile a lot going on in the world too.  Here we go, the Ole filter makes a pass...

It's almost old news now but really enjoyed watching the Giro d'Italia, the annual three week bike race which tours Italy.  Amazing scenery, great riding, and tight competition, what more could you want?  The climb over the Stelvio in snow was pretty incredible, but the final climb up the Zoncolan sticks in my memory, with thousands of people spread over the hillside to watch.  Congratulations to Nairo Quintana, who outclimbed his Columbian countryman Rigoberto Uran to win.  Italian surprise Fabio Aru was a strong third, but I have my eye on Wilco Kelderman, the Dutch kid who finished seventh. 

From CNN: Seven incredible bike routes.  Added to the list :)  My favorite so far is Munda Biddi trail in Western Australia... 596 miles off-road through forested wilderness.  Wow. 

Did you see this?  GE integrates iBeacons into Walmart lighting fixtures.  You WILL be tracked. 

I posted about this on my other blog (eyesFindings), a week ago I was invited to give a talk about Starting up a startup to a group of entrepreneurs in the Santa Clarita Valley.  Really fun.  I love the sense that people have that they too can start a business and they too can be successful.  It's the American way...  now we have to get our government out of the way! 

I read that 3% of all startups succeed, but 75% of all startup entrepreneurs think they will succeed.  Count me in that group!

Excellent: Airbus electric plane takes to skies.  It's little and it can't go very far, but it's a start...  it just seems inevitable now that everything will eventually be powered by electricity, relegating fossil fuels to the dustbin of history.  And the electricity will come from nuclear power. 

Are you a Cosmos watcher?  I am, despite not being a TV watcher; I like Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I like the idea that there's a show on TV which likes science.  Here are the five biggest mysteries, according to Tyson: 1) Dark Energy, 2) Dark Matter, 3) What happened before the Big Bang, 4) How did we get from organic molecules to replicating life, 5) Are we alone?  A pretty good list.  I would add: "what happens to socks in the dryer?" 

Speaking of Tyson: the difference between weather and climate change.  This is important to understand whether you think human activity is primarily responsible or not. 

Related: an explanation of the five moons of Pluto.  Excellent.  Bet you didn't know Pluto even had five moons, did you?  Not bad for a not-planet-anymore.  Weirdly Charon, the largest moon, is so big that the center of the Pluto-Charon system lies outside of Pluto.  So you could say that they're a double-not-a-planet, with four moons :) 

Tech news: Google unveil their self-driving car.  It's so cute!  And ... it doesn't even have a steering wheel.  Like the Airbus plane, it's the future, although a little ways off.  Of course there's no question it will be an electric vehicle, right? 

SpaceX unveil the Dragon 2, a safer, smarter space ferry.  Excellent.  Looks like something from a movie, huh?  This will be a big step for SpaceX, actually flying humans instead of just parts.  Not clear yet whether it will be electric :) 

Telsa's (and SpaceX's) Elon Musk: It wouldn't be hard to build a flying car.  Well then, do it! 

Excellent stuff: pulley logic gates.  Who knew you could do everything electronic logic can do with mechanical systems?  I look forward to a complete computer powered by gravity :) 

Here we have Leonardo da Vinci's resume.  I'd hire him :) 

By the way, last year while in Tuscany I visited the Leonardo museum, in the town of Vinci.  Very interesting.  Full of little mechanical models illustrating some of his designs, many of which had to do with irrigation systems and techniques for building.  He would have loved pulley logic gates.

Intel will let you build your own 3D-printed robot, later this year.  "Jimmy is a 3D-printed robot capable of walking, talking, moving his arms, dancing and even tweeting."  Wonder if you can ask him to make copies of himself?  Is this a great time to be alive, or what? 

When I'm wrong, I say so: Apple acquires Beats Electronics for $3B.  So be it.  I guess they bought the combination of current revenue and brand and synergy, with the future of the music subscription service.  And they bought Jimme Iovine, for a better connection between Silicon Valley (tech) and Hollywood (entertainment).  A big deal. 

I'll have more to say about Apple's WWDC, Swift, IOS8, etc. in another post...  it is clear they are slowly opening up IOS for more third-party development, perhaps in response to Android, or perhaps just because they're evolving.  And it is clear that IOS and OSX will be more similar.

Yesterday was a big day in sport: The Netherlands soundly defeated Spain 5-1 in their World Cup rematch of the final four years ago (go Oranje!).  That header by Robert Van Persie was amazing, and those goals by Arjan Robben were incredible.  Onward! 

... and the LA Kings won the Stanley Cup over the NY Rangers.  Yay.  This is my hockey watching (slash programming, slash blogging) station in my new office. 

That's it for now ... onward!  (and please stay tuned for more...)



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