Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From Sea to Shining Sea

Posting from Ober:

It is the day after the BIG DAY. We celebrated at the Elgart's neighbors and friends with champagne and chocolate cake. Early to bed for me as I have had my first week back on the bike in over 5 weeks...the skiing has helped maintain general fitness and I eased back into the road riding last Thursday with a 4 hr, 5,000 ft of climbing adventure with the Sacramento hard core to come soon.

So far 18 hrs in the saddle in 6 days. Most of it postcard worthy. John and Linda are Sacramento cornerstones of the road and cross scene here and I am enjoying the "treatment" of being on the inside! I may hang here a bit longer than originally thought. We shall see.

Made it over to the North Berkley hills on Sunday to visit an old friend from Lancaster. They live on Grizzly Peak that overlooks the Bay and San Francisco. We rode in Marin county below Mt. Tamalpais - the birth place of the mountain bike - from the mountains of the Marshall Wall to the Pacific Ocean then back into the giant redwood forest. Just so beautiful!

More group rides ahead and some off road stuff, too. Sacramento has 30+ miles of bike paths along the American River that are heavily used and a great place to troll for small pacelines hammering along. Great mini-interval training.

Winter of Content

Berkeley, California

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hopefully Free At Last, free at last!

Yay! Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. Yay!!!!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama Day in Sacramento

I met John and Linda a few years ago at Master's Nationals at a cute, B&B in Somerset, PA. Great people and awesome athletes. We have kept in touch since and Brad has taken advantage of their offer of staying with them for a days (or week) while he is having his "Winter of Content" (or as others call "the Winter of Brad" or "the Winter of Ober"...)

Anyways, I am subscribed to their ride report so when it is freezing here in PA, I can fantasize about long, warm rides.

Here is their ride for Inauguration Day:

"The Tuesday Mile: Placerville ParknRide at 11:00 am pct, January 20, 2009.

The Start: Late start time due to the Inauguration. Starts at the ParknRide across from the beginning of the bike path on Mosquito Rd in the middle of Placerville. Exit 50 at the Broadway exit going East. Then turn right to Mosquito and go under the freeway. (Exit called Mosquito going west) The ParknRide is just north of 50 on Mosquito.

Format: Road bike, but be prepared for rough and steep roads. The format is a 4 hour ride, with the first hour easy. We plan on going north on 193 to Shoofly, Spanish Flat, Traverse Creek, Bear Creek, to the Darling Ridge area, then back through Georgetown. There is some great, remote riding on Darling Ridge.

There will be a water/food stop in Georgetown, CA. (Longitude 38.9°N Longitude 120.85°W (Elev. 2398 ft))

If you wish to make the ride easier, you can park at the bottom of the Canyon on 193 (Chili Bar) - then you won't have to ride back up the hill at the end.

Weather report: High of 61, low of 45. Sunny.

Extra Long River Ride Report: 8 riders (including Dan Martin, Mike Margraf, John Hancock, Brad O from PA, Mike P, Linda and Rick), 115 miles, 2000 feet of climbing. There are great roads up around Nicolas.

PS: The Inaugural Address should be 9ish PCT and over before 10."

I am jealous as the snow falls in Lancaster, PA (Latitude 40.06°N Longitude 76.3°W).

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Ober has ridden his road bike twice this week and in shorts (not tights). Thursday was a four hour steady ride. He was pleasantly surprised on his fitness.

Yesterday ended up being a 115 mile; 6 hour ride. He expected a 105 - I would guess 5 hour ride but at this point, it did not matter. He cracked towards the end more because he did not have enough food.

The ride started at ten of 10 am to meet at the shop where they picked up about 30 other riders. They took up the whole lane and within ten or so minutes, 30 riders turned into 100 riders. The mass of riders hammered for an hour. Twenty miles out, one hour later, the group turned around (an out and back 40 mile ride) and about 8 others continued on for the "105 mile" ride.

Steady riding for another three hours, Ober was feeling pretty good. They had to have a food stop at mini-mart. A young ex-pro did not eat enough food before the ride and needed a real food. They rested/ate for about a half hour. I don't remember what happened at this point but Brad said the last two hours were rough. I guess Brad didn't have or eat enough or the right kind of food for the ride, either as his legs turned to jello after four hours of hard and steady riding. He did not realize it until he found out they had one more hour/15 miles to get home. John Elgart had some gu but that wasn't enough for Brad. So he ended up getting a burrito and eating half of it. He survived.

John and Brad met Linda (John's wife) and Rick who had peeled off the ride about 4 hrs into the ride - and Brad saw this huge chocolate cake. Rick asked if he wanted anything and Ober wanted the cake. Rick's wife kindly said no as it was for one of their girl's birthday party. That evening after John, Linda and Brad chowed down on pizza. Later, Brad went out on a search of chocolate cake. Finally, he had his cake and ate it, too.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Growlers, Snow and Great Friends

How I feel when I cannot get my way (Jaja - Jalabert was our kitty fix away from home).
We arrived on a Sunday afternoon (1/4/09) in Missoula with no particular plans and Broeder and her man, Will were gracious to host us for the week. Merci beaucoup!!! Becky and I hiked just below the Rattlesnake Wilderness area with Gizmo, a beautifully, solid pit bull while Brad and Will drank pints during the Eagles game.
Monday, Becky had off work so we drove to Seeley Lake to cross country ski as the local xc ski spot, Pattee Canyon was icy. Seeley Lake had tons of powdery snow. We classic skied for an hour with a lite snow fall. I was still a little under the weather so I wandered around taking pictures of some eerily, howling sled dogs while Broeder and Ober skate skied.

We had dinner at the MacKenzie River Pizza Company with friends of Broeder and Will's that were in town from Stevensville. Good beer to be had by all - I mean pizza. Henry loved the peppermint candies.

Montana Update

Just another quick update on our adventure here in Big Sky country - from Ober's perspective.

Bellie flies home from Bozeman today.

We crammed in one final ski on Saturday at the LoLo pass from Montana into Idaho. Plenty of snow despite 2 days of rain down below. Classic groomed trails for skating. Then a half hour drive off the pass on the Idaho side to hike 2 miles into a natural hot spring to soak our weary bones. Made it back out at a full moon sunset!

Almost got ourselves killed the other day on a detour adventure in Federal Bison Refuge with 3 inch thick ice backroad in mountain highlands - got back too deep with worsening conditions and almost lost the Sienna over a steep bank with us in it! For some reason, we stopped....kind of like Freddy Couples tee shot at the 12th at Augusta back in 92' explanation...we should have been toast!...minutes later we get plowed out by a road grater...all shook up and thanking all the appropriate entities that be!...on to Whitefish Montana that sits above the Flathead Lake( largest freshwater lake east of Mississippi)....if you've never made the trip here...put it on the words won't do it any justice. Incredible body of water surrounded by 9,000 ft mountain peaks.

Last week in Missoula where Bellies teammate Becky Broeder lives. Cool town with about four micro breweries all close by so we can make it home easy squeezy like!~ Ober

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hamilton, MT

New Year's Day we skied at White Pine again. Lots of powder. Friday, January 2nd, we traveled to Hamilton, MT. We had a beautiful drive on 189 North again through Gros Ventre Range and Bridger National Forest to 26/89 West along the Snake River, then to 93 North with the Lost River Range and Bitterroot Range to the East.

Mike, Ellie, not-so-little Amelia and Grandma Shirley Pfleiger hosted us with fabulous organic, fresh meals and lots of growlers of beer.

Pfleiger cooked up a storm for breakfast and dinner Saturday. We had incredibly fresh eggs from three different breeds of hens, thick bacon and fluffy pancakes. While Mike took us on a tour of the region, Shirley played with Amelia and Ellie recovered from morning sickness. Ellie is an amazing woman. She started the community garden at the Daly Elementary School three years ago. Part of the program has a kids garden that has flourished as an after school program for Head Start. The program also provides white-water rafting, hiking and other outdoor activities.

We were privileged to have a driving tour of the Double Fork Ranch in Corvallis, about 20 minutes North of Hamilton. About 25 people work on the ranch in various capacities. We saw Colby and Angus cattle, lots of white tail deer and an awesome ecosystem for many other wildlife such as eagles and ducks. We drove along the bench of the Sapphire Mountains checking out the irrigation system and natural beauty of the landscape of Montana. The Pfleigers are nestled in a valley surrounded by the Sapphire and Bitterroot ranges with amazing views.

Lunch was liquid gold from the Blacksmith Brewery (Excellent space, Pam & Eric). For dinner, Mike grilled some of his Elk he marinated in honey, vinegar and other secret seasonings. The tenderloin and backstrap were moist and flavorful. They did not taste gamey at all. His spicy jerky (deer) was great, too. (Thanks, Mike) We feasted on rice pilaf, peas and another growler.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Picture Videos

I have gotten lazy so I have created picture videos of some of our travels. Here are two: Pinedale and Jackson, Wyoming.