Monday, April 30, 2012

Random Musings

A few scattered thoughts that I have been harboring for the last week:

To counter balance my lazy ride on Thursday, I kicked some serious arse this morning on the climbs (at least kicked butt for my over sized arse).  New PRs both up and down Camino Alto. I worked hard for the up part. The down PR is strange because I actually got caught behind a car for the last quarter.  A PR from Golden Gate Market to South and an all-time second place on the full Sausalito to GGB climb.  I passed three guys and one girl this morning on Alexander ... and got passed by a guy.  Strange combo.

The Doyle Drive demo looked super cool this morning.  All the fallen concrete pillars looked like toppled dominos.  I guess the time critical piece was just getting them demolished.  However, it will probably take them another month to get all that concrete and rebar out of there.

This weekend is the Tour de Cure.  First 100 miles on the season - from Yountville to Guerneville and back over the Napa/Sonoma Ridge.  There are mixed reports whether we will be attempting a sub 5 1/2 hour race, or an 8 hour tour.  We shall see. 

Three flats last week ... two front (my first front flats ever) and a rear.  I still have to write about last Tuesday's ride (the first flat day).  Good story.

Monday StravaMo Tracker:  Him - 3,977 miles; Me - 3,213 miles.  I've got you in my sights, Big Boy.   Nice lunch ride to start off the week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mission Accomplished - 2012 Personal Record

I'm not much one for New Years Resolutions, but this morning I set a goal before my ride to work.  You see, folks, I am freaking tired.  After 70 miles on Sunday, two commutes to work on Monday and Tuesday, and a round trip yesterday, my legs just ain't worth a damn.  But knowing that today is my last ride of the week (I have to drive to work tomorrow, the horror), I had to get this fat butt ton the bike.  So I committed to myself and set a goal.  For this morning's ride, I would try to commute at the absolute slowest pace of the year.  I know this is a lofty endeavor.  But I felt that I was up to the task.

The ride started out well with my normal spin through Shady Lane.  By the bump at the Left Bank in Downtown Larkspur, I knew my legs just weren't there.  At the base of Camino Alto, I geared down and started whistling a tune.  This would surely keep me from pushing too hard.  According to Strava, my time up Camino Alto was 7 minutes and 53 seconds.  This is quite impressive compared to my record of 5 minutes 50 seconds (I had to work like a mad man to get sub 6 minutes).  I think I over-extended myself a bit on the Mill Valley Bike Trail as I hit 20 miles per hour more than a few times. But I made up for my exertion with a segment from Golden Gate Market in Sausalito to the Bridge of 8 minutes and 34 seconds.  Compare this to my record of 6 minutes 12 seconds which I set only two days ago.

Ominous clouds over Alcatraz and the Bay

My pace this morning rewarded me with a fine gift.  Upon hitting Fort Mason, it started to rain.  As I reached the top of the pitch looking over the piers, I got this --


If I would have been one minute later or earlier, I would have completely missed the rainbow.  The show lasted for all of thirty seconds.  But I happened to hit the top at the perfect moment.

Feeling at peace with my rainbow connection (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSFLZ-MzIhM) I was able to complete the commute in perfect crawling cadence.  The final stats are impressive.  Total commute time, 1 hour 36 minutes and 43 seconds of moving time.  Compare this to my previous record/low of 1:35.46 and an average through 69 commutes year to date of 1:23.11.  In short (or maybe long), I  achieved my goal and feel better for it.  I am ready to get this day going.  Happy riding.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Primavera Century

Today was my first organized ride of the year - at least the first one that I paid for.  The Primavera Century (we opted for the 100k route) is a ride through the East Bay Hills starting in Union City (of all places) through Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park basically to Dublin and then back.  We skipped the full 100 mile route with a climb up the Altamont pass - maybe next year.

The ride started at James Logan High School and headed south east to Fremont.  I was a bit concerned as the ride started as we were riding with cars on three lane streets.  For all I knew, we were in Bakersfield, with wide roads, retail centers and 55 MPH speed limits for the cars.  Then, to my pleasure, after a few miles, we made a turn through a residential neighborhood, and another turn towards the green hills.  Much better.  The rest of the ride was car-less and gorgeous.  We had two 1,000 foot climbs at >15% grades which made for tough riding for the Fat Guy.  If I have any complaint about the ride, it would be that the
service was a bit too good.  Every rest stop was chock full with sweet treats (oreos, banana bread, PB&J, bananas, etc) and lots of fluids (water and 3 flavors of electrolyte drinks).  They rest stops were so comfy that they encourages longer breaks.  And three rest stops on a 65 mile ride was actually one too many.  We could have saved 20-30 minutes by cutting the stops to only two.  All in all, however, it was very well done by the Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club.  I highly recommend the ride.  Next year, I am thinking the full 100 miles.

Angry cow.  This guy mooed at every bike that rode past.  I heard him from 100 yards away.
The pace of our ride was a bit of a struggle for me.  In our group of six, we had two guys that were much better climbers than me.  And we also had a group of three that were not as strong as the others.  I got caught somewhere in between.  My nature is to hit the flats as hard as I can to make up time for my crappy climbing.  But as I picked up the pace in the flats, our group would separate and, being a team player, I would slow to let the rest of the group rejoin.  But, of course, as soon as we got back together, a rolling hill would appear and the two stronger guys would then get ahead of me.  This only angered me and made me ride even harder to keep up.  So finally I opted to stay back with the group on the flats and hit the hills as hard as I could (not strong enough to keep up with the skinny guys).  Then, to spice things up a bit, after I reached the top of each climb, I would double back to the last person in our group and re-do the climb at the slower pace.  This strategy worked for me as I got a few hundred extra feet of climbing in and got to stay with the group all the same.  Mission accomplished.
Green hills and a big reservoir.  Really pretty.
We had bunny-hopped with a group of six women several times throughout the course.  These ladies were all decked out in their full kits and fancy bikes.  They got off about 3-5 minutes before we did from the last rest stop and, seeing them in the distance, I vowed to pass them one last time.  I hit it pretty hard by myself to catch their group about a mile before the last big climb (about 3 miles and 1,000 feet).  As I passed the group, the leader said in her Australian accent, "Why don't you ride with us?  No need to be in such a hurry."  I chatted her up for a few minutes, as I began to push the pace.  Soon thereafter, we had created a gap with the rest of her group and she decided to let me go it alone.  Fast forward about ten minutes as I was huffing up the climb, I heard her coming, the Australian, with one of her crew in tow.  I did my best to keep them behind me, but I couldn't keep it up.  Good for them.  I yelled in between panting, "That's not fair.  You lulled my in with your siren song, slowing me down in the  flats, only to pass me when it counts.  Well played."   
Impossible to see in this shot, but on the electrical tower on the right there is a Bald Eagle's nest.  We stopped at a telescope that was set up for a viewing.  I didn't actually know that we had Bald Eagles in the Bay Area.  But there he/she was.  A huge bird, white head, with an even huger nest.  Really cool.
My favorite picture of the ride.  I knew we were entering Alameda County when I saw this. 
Hoodrats and Hillbillys.  Sweet.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What a difference a week makes

You may recall my commute last Friday where I got slaughtered by rain after texting Johnny - see 4/13 blog post for more details).   For comparison's sake, and not truly intentionally, I took a picture this morning of about the same spot at just about the same time.

4/13/12 - Does this Bridge make my nose look big?
There are a few better shots, most notably without my ugly mug in the previous post.  Summer is here in the Bay Area.  And with the heat comes the fog.
4/20/12 - Fog rolling in.  70+ degees at 7.30am.  It's gonna be a hot one today.
Of course, I have my first metric century of the season this Sunday (if you don't count last weekend's 60 miles).  We are riding and East Bay course which will probably be in the low 90s before we finish the day.  Thank god for that second water bottle and the rest stops - or as my wife would call them - mid-ride Wine and Cheese Parties.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

FOG Dweller's and my Marshall Maiden Voyage

This morning's FOG Dwellers ride marked my maiden voyage to Marshall and up the famed 'Mashall Wall'.  I have to be honest with you, I was a bit freaked out about this alleged massive climb that led through Marshall to Highway 1 (PCH for you SoCal folks).  This climb was, of course, at mile 35 of a 60 mile ride.  And this was my first ride more than fifty miles this year.  Add to that the fact that the FOGuys are all stronger riders than I am.  Basically, it was going to be a big day.  To prepare myself, I bought two packages of Clif Shots, borrowed a second water bottle and made oatmeal the night before to eat before I got on the bike.

The regular crew was assembled - Scott, Iron Mike, Jeff and myself.  But just as we were leaving Java Hut, at 6.30am, an unfamiliar face pulled up.  A FOG regular named Peter rode up on his nondescript white bike. As Jeff was wearing a full red white and blue Italian kit (see below), this Peter character did not stand out in his fluorescent green full Taleo kit.  After our first few climbs, however, Mr. Peter set himself apart a-plenty.  It seems that he rides/rode for a few pro/semi-pro teams and the man can climb.  He was kind enough, however, to topple each climb and then ride back down to pace me to the top.  Good fun.  http://taleoracing.com/teamtaleobios/peter-cook

Below is a video that Scott took at the top of the Wall.  Thankfully, it was not as crazy as I had made it out to be.  Note the lack of sun and rolling fog throughout the scene.  We really didn't see any sun until we got through Samuel P Taylor, probably 50 miles into the ride.  It was certainly work, and I was certainly last to the top, but I made it and it was worth the panting.

video

Besides the Strava data, the highlights of the ride were many.  We ran into a group (gaggle/flock/herd) of about 25 turkeys grazing in the middle of the road.  Thankfully for the turkeys, there are way more bikes than cars on these West Marin roads.  Unfortunately for me, the crew was way ahead of me on the hill where the turkeys stood.  So by the time I made it to the spot, the turkeys had all dispersed.  Second was the pace line for the ten miles from the bottom of the Marshall hill into Pt. Reyes.  Really fast rolling hills and I was so busy sucking rear wheel drafts that I didn't get to lead at all.

This was my view the majority of the day.  Beginning of the Marshall Wall.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sometimes these posts just write themselves

Last night, Johnny and I were texting to see whether we would brave the weather for the Friday morning ride:

Jon, 7.31pm:  Whats your plan in the AM?
Me, 7.45pm:  Feeling like a slow roll, 6am at the corner, 3pm boat home.  Could be convinced to abort.
Jon, 7.46pm:  Yeah, you almost had me convinced to rise, but I think it will be really stormy.  Leaning towards ferry in the morning and ride home.
Me, 7.46pm:  #9, #5 (reference to the Rules)
Jon, 7.55pm:  Early ride home will work.  Abort in the am in probably the smart play.

Fast forward to 6.26am Friday morning:

Jon, 6.26am:  I'm sitting on the Ferry.  Blue skies, I can see the moon.  I am such a pu$$y.

I was putting my phone in my backpack as I got Jon's texts.

Me, 6.27am:  Just got on my kit.  You're missing out.
Jon, 6.29am:  Thanks for rubbing it in.  I am such a pu$$y

At 7.36am, I stopped to snap and send the following picture to Jon

Shot looking southwest from Warner's Point  
Jon, 7.40am:  F-U

Seconds after sending that shot to Jon, it started to drizzle.  As I was stuffing my phone back into the backpack, I turned around to find this ...

Rainbow over Conzumel Road and the Headlands
Karma caught up to me for teasing Jon about the perfect morning.  What started as a bluebird morning turned into a massive dump of raindrops the size of gumballs.  I got absolutely soaked to the bone riding from the Bridge to the office ... laughing the entire way.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Me and my OCD

As long as I can remember, I have been addicted to video games.  In junior high and high school, I often locked myself in my bedroom to play Mario or Zelda for days at a time.  My college roommate famously still cites a school day where he woke up for 8am class and I was already playing an RPG, only to have him return at about 5pm to find me in the same spot on the couch, still playing, having consumed an entire Halloween size bag of Rolos.  More recently, I was introduced to Mafia Wars, Mob Wars and other free social video games online.  For those of you that have never played these games, the strategy is basically to acquire things (weapons, real estate, crops - for the Farmville folks) which lead to further acquisition of other things.  And endless loop of acquiring worthless stuff.  All the while, you are gaining experience and levels and comparing yourself to other players in the game.

I now have a healthier way to tame this addiction.  In addition to the standard benefits of riding - exercise, fresh air, social aspect, etc. - coupling cycling with Strava (which is basically an online video game) has created my perfect monster.  Now, rather than collect virtual swords and flame throwers, I collect rides, segments, miles and feet of elevation.  With Strava, I can virtually compete with others in a multitude of categories.  Take, for example, my new buddy Strava Mo.  As of today, he has a total of 3,753 All Time miles logged into Strava compared to my 2,756 miles.  I won't hedge and say that his miles have been accumulated since 4/1/2011 where mine are only from 10/23/2011 (OK, I just did).  But in the back of my head (or maybe the front) I NEEEEEEED to catch him.  I'll pass him soon.  Although, with the good weather coming, I have a feeling he will be commuting more and doing his damnedest to stay ahead of me. 

This also reminds me of a ride that I took with the Fog Dwellers a few months ago.  We did the standard 40 mile Sunday ride from the Java Hut around Stafford Lake in Novato.  However, on the descent from Whites Hill, only a few miles into the ride, I hit a cell phone in the bike lane and it bounced and knocked my Garmin out of commission.  This bummed me out because a) I did not get credit for my miles and b) I was not able to chart my route and participate in the many Strava segments that we passed through.  All things taken into consideration, this was not a major tragedy.  But several times on the ride, I caught myself thinking that I was digitally missing out on a sweet set of data.

The genesis of this post was a set of emails by Strava Mo where he shared his Waves to Wine (a two-day 175+ mile ride) stories.  I asked if he had the data on Strava and he reported that he did not.  I then claimed that if the ride data was not posted online, then the ride did not exist.  Strava Mo, being indefinitely more technologically savvy than me, figured out a way to export some old Garmin Connect data into a format where it could be uploaded to Strava.  Problem solved.  He actually did make the Waves to Wine ride.

Now for my new OCD issue ... I bought my Garmin in August of 2011.  I have Garmin data online for August-October 2011 that is not yet loaded onto Strava. It takes probably 4-5 minutes per ride to convert each Garmin file into data that is functional with Strava.  That's about 80 rides that could be converted ... maybe 1,200 miles ... but it will take me 4-6 hours to get that data into Strava.  Like I said, I really, really, really want to catch Mo in total miles on Strava.  Should I invest the time uploading data?  Or should I just go ride for 6 hours?  Dilemma.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Curious Commute


I woke up this morning in my parents' home in Thousand Oaks.  My father drove me, leaving TO at 8am for Burbank Airport.  Burbank via Southwest Airlines to Oakland Airport.  Air/BART shuttle from Oakland Airport to BART.  Coliseum BART stop to Embarcadero BART stop in San Francisco.  Walk to the office and a hop on the bike.

With no kids or wife until Wednesday, I decided to add an extra 1,200 feet of climbing in the Marin Headlands.  The last time I rode the Headlands (with Chris), it was quite a different experience.  It was the tail end of a morning commute and the fog was so thick, we could barely see across the road.  Oh, and speaking of the roads, they were in midst of being paved.  We basically rode cyclocross, on 23mm tires at 110PSI, down an 18 degree descent.  Massively stupid, but a good story.  To top it off, Chris broke a spoke mid-descent.  Luckily, I had a spoke wrench and am an expert in truing wheels (thanks to my fat a$$ wreaking havoc on all my wheels).  Shout out to President Obama for the Federal Funds to pave these roads.  I'm not sure that this, alone, will be enough to get my vote in November, but its a start.

Going past this sign costs me $20 ... I have to replace my brake pads after each trip.
Today’s ride started as I passed a guy at the very beginning of the climb.  I stopped at Kirby Cove to snap a few pics and I snuck back on the hill just as that guy was approaching.  I probably stopped for forty five seconds and still held my lead on him.  Yes!!!!  I never saw him again.  I chased another guy in a Giants jersey for a few miles up the climb, but ended up stopping for more photos (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) before I could pass him.

There she is in all her splendor.  GGB and Downtown SF from the top of the Marin Headlands.
I added about an hour to my normal commute to hit the Headlands, but it was worth it on this cold but cloudless day.  The rest of my ride was my normal commute home.  I pulled onto Saunders at the 2 hour 12 minute mark with just over 2,000 feet of climbing.  As I passed a neighbor’s house, I saw Marek in his driveway getting off of his bike.  I pulled in to chat and was quickly sorry that I did.  It seems that Marek went out for a ride, decided that it was too cold and turned around.  However, with me in his driveway on my bike, he asked if I would go for a quick Alpine spin with him.  Um … another hour and another 1,000 feet of climbing?  Sure.  Why not.  I have a 100k ride in two weeks and 100 miles in four weeks.  I need the extra climbing anyways.   Another 10 miles, 51 minutes and 999 feet of climbing in the books.

To add insult to injury, as I was stepping into the shower, I got a text from Jon (my regular commute partner) confirming our meeting at 6am tomorrow morning.  And Jon suggests that we do the round trip and ride home after work tomorrow.  What else better do I have to do?



Friday, April 6, 2012

Best Week Ever

So I kinda used up the 'Best day ever' lines earlier in the week.  But this week would certainly qualify as a top of the chart.  I did the FOG ride on Sunday.  Commuted into work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Had a sh!tty day at work on Wednesday and rode home (with Jon) in a freaking tornado.  That ride set into place a relaxing afternoon on Wednesday including an M&G's double cheeseburger for dinner.  The round trip on Wednesday made for a slow roll to work on Thursday morning.  This morning (Friday) I made a detour with Mo (yes, Strava Mo) from the Golden Gate Bridge - through the Presidio, through Sea Cliff, down to Ocean Beach, through Golden Gate Park, up 7th Avenue to Clarendon and up to the top of Twin Peaks - before heading Downtown to work.  Epic way to start the day and end the work week.
  
What did you do this morning before 6am?  We had 25 miles behind us.
Pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge never get old.
I am collecting them from every aspect in Town.
This time from the Top of Twin Peaks
7.15am and its time to go to work.  Downtown SF, here we come.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Strava Part II

I have been meaning write a post about Strava.com for a while.  For those of you not in the know, Strava is a combination social networking site and biking statistics database.  Without having written my full analysis yet, Strava Part I, I feel the need to jump to the the advanced session, Strava Part II.

A few weeks ago, I was on the Ferry heading home.  I was wearing a full bike kit and sitting up top in my normal spot by the hanging bicycles.  I was busy on my phone finishing up a few emails, but I noticed that the guy sitting next to me was looking at Strava on his iPhone.  When we were at the mid-point of the trip, the guy says to me, "Hey ... I heard you talking about Strava on the boat the other day.  I ride a bit and am on Strava, too."  With biking in common, we talked about bikes and other stuff.  After a few minutes, I introduced myself as 'Matt' and he did the same, 'Mo'.  I immediately looked at him and said, "Oh ... Mo Bernales?"  The guy looked at me like I had crap smeared on my face.  How the heck did I know his full name?!?  I explained that every day when I uploaded my statistics to Strava, there was a box in the upper right hand corner of my screen that said 'People You Should Follow' ('following' on Strava is like 'friending' on Facebok), and his name was one of three that always pop up.  Pretty funny stuff.  We agreed to ride together one day soon.  Within a few days, we had both 'followed' each other on Strava and we have since 'commented' on a few of eachother's rides on the site.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  Mo sent me an email, cc:ing a few of his other buddies, inviting me to ride with them on Friday morning.  Lo an behold, one of the other guys on this email chain, Paul Brannan, is the second name that I always see on Strava as a ' Person You Should Follow'.

I'm not sure that this is the prototypical manner in which social networking spreads.  But it shows that the world is a pretty small place.  Even smaller in the Bay Area.  And smaller yet in the biking community.

Now, if I can only get introduced to Alwin Villanueva - my third 'People You Should Follow'.  Anyone??  My guess is that this guy has no friends ... he rides an average of more than 26 hours and 325 miles each week.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Great Bet with a Weak Outcome

Those who know me understand that I love a good bet.  The stakes rarely matter and I really don't even care whether I win or lose.  I just like to challenge people and watch the psychology of winning and losing.  You learn a lot about someone's character when you bet them a single dollar.  Some people jump up-and-down in joy after winning $1.  And others will make excuses and complain rather than fork over a $1 loss.

In November/December 2011, one of my co-workers started chirping about what a stud cyclist he used to be, how he had a sweet Colnago bike, and how he should ride to and from work with me (he lives in Fairfax, the neighboring town to San Anselmo).  After a couple weeks of excuses - having to drive the kids to school, living on top of  a big hill, the weather, etc. - I suggested the following bet.  From January 1st, 2012 to June 30, 2012, I would pay him $5 for every commute he made to or from his house to work; and he would pay me $1 for every day that he did not commute either way.  It was a simple bet, one that I would not have made if I had done the math in my head.  But I thought it was a pretty safe bet given a) he had not ridden in years and b) I assumed that the rainy season would keep him off of the bike with any regularity.  He whittled me down to me allowing him to ride from the Larkspur Ferry rather than making the whole trip (saving himself about a half hour and a big hill from Downtown Fairfax to his house) and we had a bet.  We shook hands and he set up a spreadsheet to keep track of his rides and the money.  The stakes were high.  He could hypothetically win $25 per week from me.  Now to dig out his Colnago from storage, lol. 

January had me worried.  No rain and he immediately fired up and rode on 1/4, 1/9, 1/12 and 1/13.  The week of the 9th really got me scared with him riding three legs and me owing him $13 for that week alone.  Thankfully, the pace quickly slowed to only three more rides to finish out the month.  January tally - seven legs riding (-$35) fifteen days no riding (+$15).  I lost $20.

February was a slow month of riding for him, 18 days of off (+$18) and only two commutes (-$10) for a $8 monthly winner for me.  We had to negotiate the fact that Washington's Birthday was a holiday where the office was closed.  He didn't work/ride that day, but I still wanted my dollar.  I begrudgingly caved on that technicality.  End of February, I am still down $12.

By March, I could feel that he was regretting our bet.  Again, he only rode only twice ($-10) and slacked-off twenty days (+$20).  More curiously, both of the days that he rode were days that I was not in the office.  I certainly ribbed him about his choice of riding days.  My peers in the office also got into the game of chastising him about his lack of motivation. All in all, at the end of March, I was down $2, but I was wildly entertained.  This was the point of the whole bet in the first place.

As of today, April 3rd, I have ridden both days so far this month and he has not ridden either day.  Tie game.  No money owed as of this morning.  But, sadly, upon getting to he office today, I learned that yesterday was his last day in the office.  What do we do now?!?  Does the bet survive even though he quit?  I don't know where he is working (I will soon find out).  It may be Marin or San Francisco or otherwise.  There are 20+ work days in April/May/June that I could have profited from.  Of course, if you ask him, he will say that he is riding to work every day, now.  I'm sending him an invoice for $60.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I lied

So I told you that Friday was the best morning ever.  I was wrong ... today was the best morning ever.  I am thinking that there will be a lot of 'best' mornings in the next few months.  The sun is coming up earlier.  The chill is leaving.  And the roads are dry (even after bombing rain yesterday).

I try to ride at least once a month with a group who call themselves 'The FOG Dwellers'.  Depending upon who you ask, 'FOG' either stands for 'Fat Old Guys' or 'Fu&#ing Old Guys'.  Either way, these guys are strong and fun to ride with.  They are a consistent 30+ miles each Sunday - all year long, in any weather - with a strict departure at 7am from the Java Hut in Fairfax.  The leader of the pack is a guy called Scott.  He's an avid commuter, total gear head and sponsored by the local Sunshine Bike shop.  Joining us on today's ride were two other regulars, Scott and 'Iron' Mike and a newbie, Noah, the son of the owner of Sunshine Bikes.  This was Noah's maiden voyage with the Dwellers - his father was one of the founding members some 10 years ago.  Noah is a big kid (my height but not my girth), avid mountain biker and, oh, only 13 freaking years old.  It took some balls for Noah saddle up with us for his first road ride over White's Grade.  He did a great job and will be a complete stud in a few years.  It is with the FOG Dwellers that I rode in my first pace line.  And we got to share that distinction with Noah this morning.

This morning's FOG ride started out with a bang, literally.  At the top of White's Grade, I dropped my chain and had to pull over to get back going.  Five hundred yards later, Noah hit a piece of glass an his rear tire exploded.  Scott and the crew were quick to blame Noah's dad for over-inflating the tires.  While we stopped to change Noah's tube, I snapped this picture.

This big boy grazed the entire field by himself.
Following our two minor mishaps, the remainder of the ride went off without a glitch.  If you can call 60 degrees, cloudless and 20+ MPH an uneventful ride, then we had the most boring ride ever.  More please!

Entrance to Samuel P. Taylor Park