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Article in the Bakersfield Wellness Magazine

4 Jun


How Can Something So Large Move So Carefully

6 Apr

“Out of the darkness/The sunrise exposes them/Mountains from nothing.”

They appeared, as if my magic, first floating in the pre-dawn darkness and then more substantially as the sun provided a backdrop of definition. They are, I believe foothills for the Southern Sierra’s. They may not be true mountains in the same sense as their cousins farther to the north, but what they lack in height and volume, they make up for in their daunting contrast to the flatlands that make up the landscape surrounding the ribbon of roadway that allows access to their secrets.

Raw, beautifully framed, majestically revealed geography such as I observed on the ride today is one of the tangibles that make cycling a sport that transcends most others and provides a moving window into a world that most will never experience.

Part of the magic is that the view is unique to this place and especially this time and because no one will ever witness it quite the same, should the sun continue to rise on this vista for a thousand years, I drink it in and hope to savor the memory for the rest of my life.


Vlees Huis Road Race Pre Ride

31 Mar

“What purpose practice/Perfection impossible/To achieve your best.”

Our local cycling clearing house,, posted that there was to be a pre-ride/practice for the upcoming Vlees Huis RR.  I decided that the ride would be a good focal point for the days milage and I left home about 6:30, while it was still dark.  Surprisingly, it was pretty warm when I left home, no wind and some puffy clouds.

The Vlees Huis is a relatively brutal race set on 30+ mile semi-loop in the foot hills east of town. What makes the race so difficult is the 3500 feet of elevation gain every lap. Riders do between 1 and 4 laps depending on category. I was planning on doing the Masters 55+ race and that would be a single lap race, so today I only planned on doing a single lap practice.

The posting said that the ride would start at a new mini-mart west of the race start/finish line. Most folks drove from town and parked at the mini-mart, but a few of us road from town. I had over 20 miles by the time I got to the meeting location.

The group took off at a fairly sedate pace that slowly increased until the base of the first climb. I was able to stay with the group up to that point, but on the climb I was quickly dropped. Thereafter, I kept a steady, if not painfully slow pace over the rest of the course.

While on my way back home my sweet wife agreed to go out for a ride when I got home. After a short rest, I headed out to Lake Ming with my bride to enjoy the day. After I returned home from the second ride, I downloaded my rides and wrote a Haiku for each. See above and below.

“Rest is overrated/The day is too good to quit/I’ll rest when I’m dust.”