Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category:


This blog is on hiatus until who knows when.

Probably until I feel like designing another website.

In the meantime, check out my latest website for The Wahine Project. A great group sharing the stoke with at risk girls. Awesome stuff.

August 6th, 2010 / 1 Comment » / by sabine

Why I Love the Swimmins #1

Come on! It does not get any cuter than this! Seriously.

Filmed just a few hundred feet offshore from Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz. These guys were mating and could have cared less about anything else….

August 5th, 2009 / 1 Comment » / by sabine

Poppy Dance

Poppy Dance, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Another from the crackberry taken this spring and i am finally getting around to posting it.

This one is my backdrop on the phone. It makes me happy. It also makes me happy to be posting photos again.

Might even revive the old blog and fire up the printer.

I mean, I am feeling a little frisky…

June 23rd, 2009 / 1 Comment » / by sabine

Mountain Biking and Sprinter Vans

I tried mountain biking twice before this trip. Except that wasn’t mountain biking.

The ride we did on Sunday in Chico was mountain biking.

If someone asked to recommend a good trail for someone just recovering from an accient involving a broken collarbone or rib, B Trail at Bidwell Park is not the trail anyone would recommend.

If someone asked for a trail that made you swear on the climb, concentrate over rocks, give a yippy skippy yeehaw on the descent and genuinely fall in love with mountain biking again, then B Trail at Bidwell Park was just the ticket.

I was dying on the climb. Frightened that I could no longer continue and maybe real mountain biking was too much for me right now. I was ready to turn around and give up….Luckily my ride buddies are patient and the descent was just around the corner.


We made it safely to Idaho. The Sprinter van is mostly still in one piece.

The scenery here is stunning. We did a little ride by the house yesterday that was so scrumptious, I would be happy doing loops of that all week. But we have new territory to explore and new trails to conquer 



September 23rd, 2008 / 6 Comments » / by sabine

There’s a New Sheriff in Town

The Good, The Bad, and The Barry, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Did you know that the Vuelta is going on right now?

Its been on for a week, and I just realized it yesterday. Levi is in yellow. And I haven’t been paying a lick of attention.

It might be because I am too busy riding and swimming and picking backsplash tile. Or it might be because I am sort of over it right now.

I hope not, because I love the sport of cycling….but I am a little weary of it. Not just weary of the euro stuff and all the drugs and bad hair. But of cycling in general. The myopic training hard and talking about heart rates and carbon nanograms and calories and watts and I would have won if only type of cycling.

As I seek to regain fitness, its not racing I am thinking about as the epitome of fitness. Its the effortless gliding speed of a tailwind, the power in the last two strokes at the crest of a climb, the body language to scuttle over a tricky rock garden, the glow of a smile at the end of an awesome singletrack.

Cyclocross season is coming up and its colorful wackiness and plentiful beer might be just the ticket to reignite my love for the racing…until then, I’ll be honored to enjoy the ride.

September 8th, 2008 / 9 Comments » / by sabine

The case for (or perhaps against) white shorts

Just sayin….


September 1st, 2008 / 13 Comments » / by sabine

Marco? Polo!

Synchronized Swimming (Martin Short & Christopher Guest) | Funny Jokes at JibJab


I’ve been swimming for about 3 weeks now.

And, this weekend, as I got ready to swim and I watched a few of the other swimmers…I had a moment of clear self awareness.

In the water, I am a fred.

I am not going to toot my own horn or anything, but its been at least 10 years since I was a cycling fred. I’ve come a long way if I dont say so myself.

But in the water, I am a fred.

I dont use those fancy speedo eye socket goggles, I use these things that are almost as big as a scuba mask. Now, I’m no expert or anything, but I am guessing thats pretty fredly.

But I love my scuba googles. They dont feel like my eyeballs are gonna pop out of the other side of my head and I can see everything….(which is actually not a good thing at one of the pools I go to, but I will spare you the details on all the strange floaty bits). Don’t tell me you can see anything with those little eye socket googles, cuz you can’t.

And then I bought my swimsuit at Big 5. The Big 5 right next to the Salvation Army store in Watsonville. Thats gotta totally be fredly. Its also reversible and I am guessing thats gotta be the fredly equivalent of leaving your reflectors on your bike.

Dont even get me started on the swim cap issue. I think that might be a whole blog post on to its self.

And toys….I notice that swimmers have a lot of pool toys. But not the cool ones like Log Flume Water Joust or anything. These are things like kicky boards and hand paddles. I used to wonder why everyone had all these toys. I mean, just swim and be done with it.

But after a few weeks of swimming I realized why.

Because swimming is freaking BORING

and you need something to break the monotony.

splash, splash, splash, push off the wall, splash, splash, splash, push off the wall, splash, splash, oh no please dont get in my lane…..whew, splash, push off the same damn wall, splash, splash, oh look that lane line is a little crooked someone should fix that, splash, push off the wall, splash, ewwww is that a pubi…

BORING. No dowhills, no rock gardens, no oh shit moments (lets hope)…the same damn scenery over and over again…and no chit chat. If I can’t chit chat in a sport, it loses a lot of luster for me.

So I bought some pool toys. I bought a bright yellow old school kicky board that I splash around on and pretend I know what I am doing while I stare at the warning to not use it as a lifesaving device and wonder why not because its holding me up pretty good and if I were drowning I wouldn’t be very picky. 

And also a bouy that you stick near your hoo haw and try to hang on to it while you swim. So thats always good for a little fun. But I also bought my toys at Big Fred so I am guessing they are not chi chi. These folks are just lucky I dont plop in the pool during lane swim in one of those big floaty loungers with a giant inflatable palm tree and a margarita holder and start playing Marco Polo.

I confessed my fredliness to Michael (who has the inate ability to not be a fred in any sport he tries…well, except maybe like football or hockey or something). And Michael tried to reassure me. He told me that the people we see at our little funky gym pool aren’t really real swimmers anyway. Was this supposed to make me feel better…knowing that I was not only a fred, but a fred’s fred?


August 27th, 2008 / 23 Comments » / by sabine

In Portland

Cross Fans, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is happening this weekend. I sort of wish I had gone. How silly that I did not go the first two years it was in San Jose.

I dread dread dread going to Interbike for various reasons. Vegas being the biggest. But honestly, bike people, sometimes annoy me. I know, I am a bike person and I am probably pretty annoying myself, but the concentration of annoying bike people at Vegas overwhelms me.

I have a feeling I’d like the Portland crowd a bit better.

Cyclingnews has coverage here

and suprise surprise, Velonews has coverage too!

If you are there, give a big squeezy hug to the fabulous Sheila Moon and Jason at De La Paz for me!

February 10th, 2008 / 3 Comments » / by sabine


Release, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Its a good thing I am going on a mountain bike ride this morning.

February 9th, 2008 / 4 Comments » / by sabine


Page and Wells, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I learned how to do this today.

Not ride my bike through the mud, because obviously, I fail miserably at that.

But how to make a photo look all grittyness.

I love learnins.

February 6th, 2008 / 13 Comments » / by sabine

Cooking with the Nimwit

Makin Stucco, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Here is a great recipe for disaster:

1 freeride bike with whopping big tires. The less clearance for the tire the better.

1 Nasty steep fireroad

2 day old cow mud

7,000,000 tons of recently poured base rock

You can substitute the disk brakes for Vbrakes. But today’s recipe calls for disk brakes.

MIx the first three ingredients really well at the beginning of your ride. You’ll know you got the mixture just right when the sticky old mud jams in your seatstays and stops the wheel from rolling. Be sure to try and spin just a few more pedal strokes anyway just to prove to absolutely no one how fuckin strong you are.

Once you are finally forced off the bike, walk your bike to where the road is covered in freshly laid gravel.

Proceed to try to ride again. It helps to remain seated and have low tire pressure. Done correctly, the rocks will stick to the mud and form a nice layer of stucco over your tires. You should not be able to pluck off the stucco with a stick or a multi-tool.

Your bike should weigh about 63 pounds at this point. If so, continue to try and pedal because its your only damn lunch hour and you are not got to waste it dammit.


February 6th, 2008 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

Breaking the Blues

Blue Again, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Oh thank goodness for the sunshine.

I thought I’d go stark raving freakin mad if there were one more day of rain.

The birds were going nuts this morning with the chippity chirping and man, birdies, I hear ya.

I did my own chippity chirping in the car this morning. I was feeling too cheery to listen to the news, so I fiddled with the station until something fun came on.

And I danced and sang in the car and was totally getting my groove on. I was feeling pretty full of myself, until the station break announcement that told me I was listening to a soft rock station.

Soft rock.

Not Oldies, because, Oldies would be cool. But Soft Rock. The Oxymoron station. Dental office music. I was getting my groove on to Dental Office music.


February 4th, 2008 / 15 Comments » / by sabine

Hashimoto can kiss my ass

Camphone 15, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I may be a lazy blogger, but I am kicking ass everywhere else.

Since Michael’s been on his vacciones, I have:

Painted the den (well, not me, but its painted!)
Solved the flooring debacle (stupid Home Depot)
Got the heater fixed
Got my ear fixed (it was a little clogged and grumpy)
Got my tooth fixed
Went Trader Joe shopping
Installed Photoshop Elements 6 (sorry Beth, I’m not a big girl yet)
Finally figured out what damn PS layers were
Dinked around in Photoshop elements and made a picture for this blog
Finished reading the last of the Farseer Trilogies (you can get your books now Soni)
Extended the bella clothing order (cat herding)
Finalized the 2008 bella art
Consulted with Miss Mary on the Fandango (tapas or tatas?)
Bitty batted with Natasha about 08 road
Planned the Saturday mtb ride
Drank yet another bottle of spanish wine
Got out the 1099s
Installed the fixed asset software
Hired a temp
Made the auditors happy
Rode my bike at lunch


but I still have not cleaned the cat box


Reservoir Check!

Camphone 14

Here is the little part outside the reservoir where all the fish were dying. It hasnt seen water since that fateful day. Now its flling up again and little duckies were swimming in it. Can you see the little duckies?



So. I’m sitting here in the living room, rereading my post and reflecting on what a bad ass I am for accomplishing so much in a couple of days, when something struck me as wrong.

There was something I did wrong, but couldn’t figure it out until I saw potato chips in the refrigerator and half and half in the pantry. Luckily the wine is fine.

February 1st, 2008 / 16 Comments » / by sabine

The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies

I’m a lazy blogger

and a sad panda

my honey is leaving and will be gone almost a whole week.


I’m going to get sooo much done this week. Already scratched one thing off the list:

1. Begin the planning of the bella party

and its not a moment too soon since the party is less than two weeks away. And really, Miss Mary is doing most of the work, but still its one thing off the list.

Then we’ve got the planning of the Bos training cramp, and then the flooring debacle at home depot and then maybe my tires (I’ve been skipping my thursday workout) and then maybe even paint a room, buy some filters for my camera, put away some christmas stuff, and finally order blinds for the windows.

Now, I’m just wondering how the cat boxes are gonna get cleaned.

January 30th, 2008 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

For Sale: 1991 Gorilla

My mom is selling her boyfriend’s car. He can’t drive it anymore. Or at least he “shouldn’t” drive it anymore.

My mom caught him heading down Ord Grove Avenue into oncoming traffic.

His car is a 1991 Nissan 300Z with only 58,000 miles on it. But before you get too excited…its white with a red leather interior. Thats right, I said red leather.

So my mom wants me to put an ad in Craigslist for her. And I asked her to send me a picture of the car for the ad.

And today I got an email from my mom that said “here is the picture of the Nissan” and attached to the email was a very random picture of a gorilla. (above)



Bella training camp was this weekend.

Training might be stretching it a bit though. Unless one is training for a wine tasting marathon, or a frat house party, or one of those roman parties where you gorge yourself and throw up.

We really are out of control.

Or maybe just I am.

Whichever, I was pretty hungover for part of the training camp weekend. I am going to blame it all on Marscat and Susie because they took me wine tasting.

This is what I remember about bella camp:

Belgian waffles
climb , freeway aaaack!, climb, climb, freeway aack!
Wine tasting
pepperoni pizza with wine
Creme brulee with port
Tums with excedrin
8 glasses of water in the middle of the night.
Belgian waffles
spin, happy, spin, spin
windy crit practice
grabbing dollar bills out of Laura’s ass
keeping Laura from grabbing dollar bills out of my ass
sidewalk nap
portapotty dash
spin, happy, spin, spin

And then, somehow, I came home with more bottles of wine than I arrived with.

And did not ride in the rain.

Now if that ain’t a perfect camp, I don’t know what is.

January 24th, 2008 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

I can’t help myself

Reason #113, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I really shouldn’t blog this picture, but damn, it cracks me up too much not to share it with a few of my friends.

Besides, he has it coming. For giving me a goofball training plan.

I think he’s actually kind of given up on training me and using that part of his brain to help people who might actually take his advice once in a while. For people who actually want to workout and have some discipline and stuff. For people who don’t nod their head and promise yes they will do 2 sets of 7 minute intervals on a flat road in the wind when they know full well they are going to go mtb and hit that tricky section of Rocky Ridge instead.

But still. He could at least humor me a little.

So, you wanna know the training plan he gave me?

Monday: ride the Dawg up steep fireroads in the granny ring
Tuesday: ride the Dawg up steep fireroads in the granny ring
Wednesday: ride the Dawg up steep fireroads in the granny ring
Thursday: Finally get the tires replaced on the Toaster
Friday: ride the Dawg up steep fireroads in the granny ring
Saturday: MTB Ride (which usually involves climbing steep fireroad in the granny ring)
Sunday: Who can plan that far ahead?

Yep. Thats it. Thats my super secret training plan.

I think, today at lunch, I will hit up that tricky section of Rocky Ridge.

January 16th, 2008 / 9 Comments » / by sabine

Cyclocross Dreams

Sploosh, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

I had the weirdest cyclocross dream last night.

Michael and I rode out to watch a cyclocross race and on the way there we saw Ben and Andy. They were both on their new cyclocross bikes so we pulled over to look at them. (The bikes, not Ben and Andy, although I probably did look at their calves)

And that was all fine, but then the dream morphed into nonsense as dreams usually do.

So we are looking at the bikes and making cyclocross small talk, when I notice that Ben and Andy brought their pets with them. Their pets included some dogs, chickens, some kind of rodent thing and a pig.

Michael and I felt sort of outdone because we only had our cats with us. (How they came with us while we were riding was not answered by the dream) Michael sort of shrugged apologetically and said “we only have cats, I hope thats okay”. Ben and Andy were cool about it and said they liked us so it was okay that we only had cats.

And then there were all sorts of animals, but I have no idea where they all came from. But in the dream, it was totally normal and expected to have all of these animals at a cyclocross race.

All of a sudden, Andy’s pig turned into a giant wild boar with big tusks. It started tearing up the ground around the cyclocross course looking for food. It was messing up the course a little and I started getting worried that Andy’s pig would mess up the course before the women’s race. Andy just looked at me like I was crazy and said “don’t you know this is how they make those courses in Belgium!”

And I was so embarrased because I didn’t know. So I pretended that I did know. And that pissed off Andy’s boar and he started squealing (the boar, not Andy) and getting angry. Suddenly the boar charged at a cat and I thought it was my cat, and I was going to kill Andy. (don’t fuck with my cat, even in dreamland)

Well, the officials found out that I wanted to kill Andy, so they penalized me and I had to do two extra laps of the course. Except the course was super fun, and muddy because of all the pigs, and I was having a good time.

And then I woke up and had to go to work.

January 10th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

After the Storm

After the Storm, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

Some storm.

High wind warnings, high surf warnings, batton down the hatches!

And somehow, this treacherous weekend, we managed to get more riding in than usual. (And not on the trainer. Thats not riding, thats just exercising.)

We must have been followed by the group ride angel all weekend because we hit that magic window when the rain stops long enough for frolicking fun each time.

We had about almost 4 hours of mixed sun on Saturday and a couple more on Sunday. We rode over happy and happier trails. We went up the fireroad and down the singletrack.

(As it should be, by the way. I actually had a passive agressive protest on a group ride last week when they all wanted to go up this fine fine singletrack and come back down a paved road. WTF? Warped. So I sat out that loop and met them a little later on. I have my standards)

We went to little moab, lichen lane, monkey trail and watched some cyclocross. Then Michael and I followed it up with good food, boozy drinks and a lovely sunset.

And now its Monday and I am in that weird transistion zone I’m in each time I have to go back to work after a fabulous weekend. The work me just doesn’t feel real after a days filled with such satisfying sensory overload. The work me feels hollow and automotonish. And I am stuck drinking decaf.

This morning Michael and I both got up late and he remarked at what a mess everything was. I told him we live like addicts. Just living from one hit to the next.

January 7th, 2008 / 21 Comments » / by sabine

Bastard People

camphone 9, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

Damn Blogger has locked me out of publishing my blogs!

They think my blog is spam. They say they will review and if appropriate open it back up within 4 days.

Bastard People

But I am subverting them through flickr. Except I can’t go back and edit. So you will have to excuse the blown out picture below until I am exonerated of my blogger crimes.

January 4th, 2008 / 10 Comments » / by sabine

Resolution what wha

New Year’s Eve Necessities, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

Michael made fun of my resolutions this morning. Mostly because I don’t think I’ve kept to any of them. And its only the 4th.

I sometimes take my medicine. I haven’t even flossed. I made the bed once, but didn’t get up early to do it.

Its not the waking up early thats the problem, its the getting out of bed part that seems to be hampering things.

I just love sitting in bed in the morning and reading or lollygagging on the computer or petting the kitties. If I was one of those people who worked from home, I would set up my office in my bed.

But of course, I could never be one of those people who work from home. I would get totally fired.


So, I pretty much decided I’m not riding today.


Pictures from the 2nd Annual Troy Natwick Invitational are here

January 4th, 2008 / 2 Comments » / by sabine

Fat and Happy

Elephant Nap, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

Let the New Year’s resolutions begin!

1. Wake up earlier and make the bed once in a while
2. Become a yoga fuck
3. Maybe slow down on the hedonism a little
4. Thank him for taking care of my bikes
5. Remember to take my medicine
6. Floss
7. Erase my answering machine and clean out my inbox
8. Finish the damn kitchen already
9. Find more opportunities to dance
10. Vote

January 2nd, 2008 / 14 Comments » / by sabine


Wilder Path, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

I have to play games in order to trick myself to ride on the road in wet wintry weather. Maybe say I am going to meet someone, or promise myself some pizza aftwerwards.

And I’ll still lay in bed and make excuses and sleep in with the warm kitties.

But, if its an mtb ride in the drizzle, then the kitties and the covers are tossed aside.

Where’s breakfast? I got a ride to do.

December 29th, 2007 / 2 Comments » / by sabine

Not the Camera Phone

Wilder Doorstop, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

I am spending waaaaaay too much time in Photoshop these days. And I spend most of my time there trying to look like I am not spending any time there.

But thank goodness for Photoshop.

Back in college I would spend hours in the darkroom fidgeting with some inconsequential detail until I went either cross-eyed or broke. Usually both.

Except…photoshop is fun and all, but nothing quite captures that moment of magic when your photo is in the developer and the picture slowly appears.

December 28th, 2007 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Drunken Yams

I lost the actual recipe to this long ago. Since i make it by taste now, I have no idea of the quantities of ingredients. All I know is I love me some drunken yams.

Ingredients –

Yams – peeled and quartered into big bite sized chunks
Orange Marmalade – the gross kind with the peels and stuff in the jam
Fresh Squeezed orange juice – fresh. Not the nasty orange juice that comes in a milk carton. You need the orange bits for this recipe.
Mace, Allspice, Nutmeg, ginger – I think those are the names of them. All those pumpkin pie, eggnog kind of spices. I just go digging around my mom’s cabinets and smell the spices to pick them out.
Butter – any dish worth eating has butter. For you vegan people, pick your favorite butter replacement.
Dark Rum – Cuban rum is best because its naughty, but Myers will do as well. If you really really can’t use rum (then why even read this)you will need to add some amount of brown sugar instead.
Marshmallows – please don’t!! I’m not sure who first starting putting marshmallows in yams and calling it a dish, but please don’t.
Pecans, Walnuts or sunflower seeds

Put Yams, 2-3 tablespoons butter, about 3-4 tablespoons marmalade, juice from 2-3 oranges (and if you are feeling it, grate a bit of the peel in as well)and about a cup (or more!!) of dark rum into a casserole dish. Cover and bake at some moderate temperature (maybe 375?) for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Add mace, allspice, ginger etc to taste. Add more juice, marmalade, etc to taste if needed. Dish will sweeten up considerably at end.

Cover and put back in oven until yams are almost done (about one hour, you can also do all of this in a microwave for about 30 minutes)

Uncover, stir, add nuts, maybe reseason one more time, definately add more rum. Put back in oven UNCOVERED for another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and put on high heat on stove. Uncover and stir until sauce carmalizes into yummy goodness all over the yams.

Serve with a really big spoon.

We enjoyed ours with a yummy Tempranillo from the Hootch.

And Laura, I don’t think we saved you any.

December 26th, 2007 / 12 Comments » / by sabine


I’ve been taking my new camera out for some lunch rides. But lunch is long enough for neither, much less both.

I wasted a perfectly good lunch ride yesterday taking some pretty stupid photos of buzzards and trees.

See, I carry the equipment in a backpack. If I see something I want to take a picture of, I have to stop, take off my gloves, open the backpack, determine which lens and filter to use, take a light meter reading, calculate exposures, focus, click, look at the picture in the review, recalculate exposure, click, change lenses, get frustrated because the buzzards aren’t doing anything interesting anymore, wait for buzzards to do buzardy things, finally give up and pack up camera, put on backpack, put on gloves, clip in to bike and watch as all the buzzards spread their wings and do some weird buzzard bird dance with each other just as some light breaks through a cloud and shines perfectly on them.

I might have to go back to the camphone

December 20th, 2007 / 13 Comments » / by sabine

LIke oooze from a black hole

Between work and riding and christmas shopping for myself, I have been chipping away at “The Men of Cross”


December 20th, 2007 / 3 Comments » / by sabine


I am too soft for cross.

Cuz there’s no way in hell I would have raced in the conditions they had in Kansas City this past weekend. Frost nip, crashing in icy puddles, snow ruts.

But the hardcore award has to go to the pit crews. Washing bikes in the freezing cold? I’d just cry and walk away.


Instead, I spent the weekend in the luxury of my own house. The only time I ventured outside was to ride over to Demo. Yes, ride over to Demo. That is what is luxurious about my house. I can ride to a place like Demo.

It really shouldn’t be that way. We should have patches of earth to ride and walk no matter where we live. It wouldnt be that hard if you planned for it. And then, maybe more people would give a damn about whats happening to it. (and maybe we wouldn’t be so obese)

As it is now, nature is place that people go visit. We fence off little sections of it to be traveled to and ooooed and awwwed at. Vacations planned around it and RV reservations made.


There’s talk that we might have passed one of those global warming tipping points. The northwest passage will be clear for the first time, some thirty years ahead of when climatologists expected. And what does this alarming news inspire countries to do? Well, to fight over it of course, and lay claim to the riches such a passage opens up.


I’m not sure what I think of all that. Its too early on a Monday morning for such thoughts. I really only meant to talk about Cross Nationals and somehow the conversation wandered over to this. I hate when that happens. Its so sobering and grown up.

Nothing a little bike ride at lunch won’t solve though.

December 17th, 2007 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

Poofter of Light

I rode by the Thomas Kincade World Headquarters today.

God is a limited edition of 15,000.

It was pretty scary. I should have taken camphone pictures, but I felt all trespassy. And all the god stuff was freaking me out. I don’t know why, because churches don’t freak me out. Maybe its the mix of the corporate offices with the god stuff that was messing with me. Maybe its all that use of surreal pastel.

Whatever it was, it made me glad that I work at a motocross company.

But you gotta give old Thomas some props. He is an artist (yes, I know we could argue that point) that got rich before he died of alcoholism and without relying on tshirt and watch sales to do it. Of course, there is still time for him to wreck his life with drink I suppose.

But anyhoo, Kincade bashing is too easy and not really the point. The point really was, that no one here in my office has ever seen the Kincade World Headquarters. They’ve also never seen the quarries that are now cute little lakes, or the turtles that live in the mud at the reservoirs, or the little old ladies that plant the flowers along some sidewalks, or the big hippo sculptures, or the bobcat that is always hanging around the model airplane field. And they’ve lived in Morgan Hill all their lives.

After I described the creepy world headquarters, my coworker said, “you sure see a lot of stuff while on your bike, don’t you?”


December 14th, 2007 / 11 Comments » / by sabine

Encino Men

Michael and I went down to Encino this weekend. Willingly. Well, I didn’t go so willingly. I went because Michael wanted to go and he is very cute and so usually gets his way.

He wanted to go because there was a 400 lap (that is not a misprint) $10,000 (also not a misprint) scratch race on Sunday. $10,000? We could run Velo Bella for two years on that. I can think of few women’s races of any kind that give out that kind of prize money. I can think of no track races. But in SoCal, money grows on trees (just like water and gasoline and nail salons) and so they can throw this kind of cash at stuff like this I suppose.

400 laps. At least the earning of that cash would not be easy. 400 laps of a track may not sound like much, unless you have ridden on the track. Everything about the track is amplified times ten. A small teeny one foot gap on the track is like a 100 foot gap on the road. And a 6 minute race feels like a one hour crit. Time on the track is time spent stuck in fast forward. So you can get out the ten key to figure out what a 400 lap track race feels like.

We headed down The Five (freeways in SoCal are proper nouns)(The Five is an abomination of a road by the way)Saturday night and clicked off the miles, looking forward to the king sized bed awaiting us in Van Nuys. Whenever we travel, we like to get the king sized bed. We are like two kids when we see a king sized bed. Two naughty doctor playing kids, but kids nonetheless.

However, just before the approach to the Grapevine we noticed a sign that said the Grapevine was closed. I think we both read it and took the same few moments to comprehend what that really meant. And thats because its so incomprehensible. The Grapevine is 4 heavily traveled lanes of traffic in each direction. Saying the Grapevine is closed is sort of like saying the state of Kansas is closed. Something that big, can’t “close”.

We took the exit and looked for a hotel. With thousands of drivers abandoning the highway, we thought we would be forced to spend the night in Sputnik, but suprisingly, the Ramada had a room. And it had a king sized bed!

Unfortunately, this Ramada used something nasty and caustic in their laundry and Michael spent half the night in the throes of an allergy attack of some kind. He was caughing and choking and really making a gawdawful amount of noise. I was having a very tough time sleeping. So I kicked him out of the king sized allergenic bed and he spent the rest of the night on the floor. I used the opportunity to sleep totally cross ways on the bed.

We got up early and the road was open. We discovered the freeway was closed for a whopping 3 inches of snow. But we remembered that lady in the hotel who was all pissed off because she couldn’t get to Burbank and it was all the Ramada check in guy’s fault and someone had to pay for this as it just wasn’t fair and didn’t anyone understand how important it was for her to get to Burbank who’s in charge here anyway, and we agreed that closing the freeway probably saved about 87 selfish insulated lives.

We arrived at the Encino velodrome (after a quick visit to IHOP which I love because they give you your very own pot of coffee) bright and early. Michael registered and I fiddled with my new camera. Michael made some new friends. I read a book. Michael warmed up on the trainer. I ate a bagel. Michael put on his racing gear. I looked at my shoes for a very long time and wondered if I should buy another pair of Danskos.

Then I went to watch the messenger race. That was fun. They got to race with cool clothes on. The kind of clothes that wouldn’t get you kicked out of a bar in Texas. I have no idea who won that race, because I was too busy trying to figure out how to get my camera to focus and taking pictures of their shoes.

Then Michael’s fan club showed up. A real live fan club. They had tshirts and everything. They reminded me of Mel and that scared me a little. But they had beer and were adorable and so it was okay.

Michael’s race started off pretty civilized but as soon as it wound up, I could see something was not right with Michael. I can tell instantly by how he moves on the bike. And by the the fact that he wasn’t off the front.

He pulled out after about 20 laps and I saw him in the infield (through my new very cool telephoto lens) wheezing in the infield. It scared the crap out of me but they wouldn’t let anyone in the infield and I couldn’t do anything. So I got a beer and took pics and contemplated my Dansko situation again.

The race had a halftime break and Michael escaped the infield. Apprently, his throat was still messed up from the hotel and he had some kind of allergy or asthma attack and couldn’t breathe. Pretty scary and I won’t joke in this part and I hope he goes and sees a doc about it but he doesn’t listen to me.

The good news was he was full of some good natured piss and vinegar from being denied a chance at a race he was looking forward to. He started a great heckling/cheering section in the NorCal seats that made the SoCal audience look like storefront mannequins.

We all had a good time the rest of the afternoon being the fans of the sport that we are. In the end, the race whittled down to five riders and Curtis Gunn won. I think. I sort of lost interest after the DeWalt tool dude dropped out.

The drive home was uneventful, except for the part where I fell asleep while Michael was sleeping.

More pics here

December 12th, 2007 / 19 Comments » / by sabine

Adventures of Encino Man

Coming soon……

December 11th, 2007 / 3 Comments » / by sabine

Shiny lights

Eek, a week with no post.

Not that I haven’t written any blogs, because I have. But they were all in my head. They were pretty good too. The ones in my head usually are. Its not until the reality of the words on “paper” do I realize that I am only brilliant in my own mind.

But anyway, these blogs, which were about mountain lions and nutty mud women and ridiculous yoga poses, never made it past the grey matter.

Because I have been distracted with an old wordless love.

December 10th, 2007 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

Its time

I went out on my lunch ride today, not because I felt I had to, or because I knew I would feel better afterwards, or so that I could eat a bigger dinner…but because I needed to.

As if there were no other reasonable option.

And then, riding along at the walk-like pace that I have adopted these past few months…it happened.

I wondered what it would feel like to suddenly spring cat like from my pedals. To mash power down and pull it back up. To ride the tailwind at motorized speeds.

I’m not going to push it, but, I think its almost time.

He just has to fix my shifting first…


Last week sometime, I made a dentist appointment for 8:00 this morning. I forgot all about it until Michael just reminded me this evening.

8:00 on a Monday morning? What was I thinking? I’m lucky to remember where I work on a Monday morning much less to remember something as unmemorable as a dentist appointment.

I also forgot that my mom had planned a short visit for yesterday afternoon. Michael and I were just about to drive away on some random errand when my mom pulled into our driveway. Oh, oopsie! Hi Mom.

Not that my mom and dental appointments have anything in common. They don’t. Well, except for the guilt about not flossing. And earlier I was a little hard on myself for being so addled and forgetful. But I’m going to call the momma one a fluke, and the 8:00 Monday morning one was just stupid in the first place.


The camera phone was feeling spunky today

December 3rd, 2007 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

Happy Christmas to meeeee

Because if I got another bike, I would explode.

December 1st, 2007 / 9 Comments » / by sabine

Holy Diver

Okay, its official. These Portland folks are crazy.

Is this what overroasted coffee and lack of sunshine does to you?

The USGP heads to Portland this weekend. Of all the USGPs this was the one I wanted to attend. They may be whacked, but those Portlanders know how to have a good time in the mud. Katie Compton is back from her European stompfest and all the heavy hitters will be there. Velo Bella-Kona will have at least 10 women competing in the Elite Women’s race:

Amy Dombroski, Shannon Gibson, Barb Howe, Shannon Holden, Marian Jamison, Anna Milkowski, Kathy Sherwin, Maria Stewart, Kari Studley and Jen Tilley.

(Keep and eye on Amy Dombroski, by the way. She is only 20 years old and was 7th in the last two USGP events and earned the SRAM Most Agressive Rider Award)

But we are not going. Michael and I will probably be celebrating a cross free weekend. Because too much of a good thing, is still too much.

November 30th, 2007 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

like a hole in my head

I had a root canal today.

It really wasnt that bad. Well, except for all the drilling and banging around they do. But otherwise, it wasn’t that bad.

But shhhh, its a lovely day out. And I think I can milk this one for a few precious hours of afternoon freedom.


November 28th, 2007 / 5 Comments » / by sabine

My New Love Affair

He’s brawny.
He’s exciting.
He’s dangerous.
He’s got 6 inches of travel!

And he’s swept me off my feet.

because sometimes you need something a little new to spice up the relationship.




Back in my racing days, I was never a skilled mountain biker. I was a power climber. I used to actually hope to make it to the tops of climbs with enough of a gap to not lose my position on the downhills.

I sharpened my riding teeth in the gentle hills of Ft Ord. There is not much in the way of challenges in Ft Ord, save the sand. And I can ride me some sand. But throw a rock, root or just about any obstacle in my path and I am as clumsy as a new born colt.

I remember my first out of town race. It was at Deer Park in Utah. There were roots, on an uphill and I was dumbfounded as to how to ride that shit. I walked my bike as rider after rider passed me while riding. It was unbelievable to me that anyone could ride up such nonsense.

Then I went to Master Worlds in Bromont. The course was riddled with huge boulders. The kind you clambor over to get to a nice swimming hole. Surely people didn’t ride over these things. But they did. Lots of them. I flew across the continent for the event, and totally wimped out of actually racing it.

All of my rides were with cross country racing types. I was always in the back, trying to keep up. Trying not to be the one everyone waited for. So, when it came to technical bits, I would just dismount and run. Not much to be learned by that.

So it is now, that I am not racing, that I am finally learning how to ride. I am taking the time to ride just for riding’s sake. I stop at obstacles and give them a few redos. I take the more difficult line. I lower my saddle to give me some courage. I take a little air out of the tires.

And the funny thing is, slowing down has made me faster.

Well, that and 6 inches of travel and a thru axle.

November 27th, 2007 / 10 Comments » / by sabine

Funny Monday

Ewwwwwww…..I so don’t want to be at work today. I want the fabulousness of the past few days to continue.

What a lot to be thankful for.

I had the pleasure of riding my Dawg on Wed, Thurs, Fri AND Sat. And I got to ride it on beautiful trails with beautiful friends.

It was a long hedonistic weekend spent eating, drinking, sleeping, savoring and sillying.

Sunday was my recovery day, but I spent that doing math without a ten key, and doing math is hardly ever recovery.

The video above is my buddy Kenny. Its a good cheer me up for those of us stuck inside doing responsible things after a long weekend of debauchery.

November 26th, 2007 / 7 Comments » / by sabine


Maybe – though I do not bleed – I am wounded,
walking along one of the rays of your life.
In the middle of the jungle the water stops me,
the rain that falls with its sky.

Then I touch the heart that fell, raining:
there I know it was your eyes
that pierced me, into my grief’s vast hinterlands.
And only a shadow’s whisper appears,
Who is it? Who is it?, but it has no name,
the leaf of dark water that patters
in the middle of the jungle, deaf along the paths:

so, my love, I knew that I was wounded,
and no one spoke there except the shadows,
the wandering night, the kiss of the rain.

I didn’t write that, of course, Neruda did. If I tried to write it, well, it would just come out all ridiculous and contrived. So I am stealing Neruda’s.

I do need to create though. And not just a chocolate cake.

I have gone too long without creating, and its gnawing at me. Making me feel a little wooden and oppressed.

Speaking of which, have you shopped at Etsy? Its a kindler gentler Ebay for handmade items. Its a little hard to make your way through the millions of items, but I love the concept. And I love wandering through the creations of everyday folks.

I think I’ll ride the Dawg today.

November 21st, 2007 / 7 Comments » / by sabine

Got a good one?

I’m looking for an awesome chocolate cake recipe.

You got one?

And none of this vegan crap. I want the full fledged decadence of eggs and butter!

And chocolate.

November 20th, 2007 / 19 Comments » / by sabine


La Ruta

I once had a roommate who had done the Ruta several times. I am all for jumping into an adventure, but his stories of the race just made the event seem a bit too crazy. Mud, local knowledge, barely hanging bridge crossings, cold, heat, bad course markings, bad food….

But, even with all the hardships, my roommate had finished the Ruta each time he started it. And it was really the only race he did. Mostly he just rode his bike alot. There was nothing externally about him that would give evidence to the fact that he could quietly complete what had to be the toughest little mountain bike event there is.

I am in complete awe of the people that decide they want to do this. Sure finishing is awesome too. But the strength to say “I want to try that”, when failing is such a high possibility…thats brave.

La Ruta Website (which has been overloaded and usually unavailable)
Velonews on La Ruta
Not quite Full Results

Some Ruta Blogs:
Jason Sager
Mike Cushionbury
Bart Gillespie
Biking Bakke
Bend Elite
MTBR thread

November 15th, 2007 / 3 Comments » / by sabine