Friday, February 27, 2009

New Kit?

Who wouldn't wear an anatomical skinless skin-suit?
Me I guess. You, Reader, on the other hand, would look great cruising the bike paths in this.

Look out Twin Six, I think you have some competition. It would be wise not to miss out on this key market segment.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 Laramie Enduro

The Laramie Enduro reached their registration limit this week after only 9 days. Last year it took 3 months to reach the 400 entry limit. I made it into the race from the waiting list last year, but I am a little less optimistic this year due to the apparent increased interest. May have to consider a new option...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2008, Albums, Top 10

Last week I summarized my Top Ten albums of last year (here and here). The man behind the curtain performed some magic on many lists, and came up with a final list of ten, summarized in the video below, in which, as per usual, the game was stepped up.

(If you didn't know, you can watch YouTube clips in HD (button in bottom right corner of video frame) and full screen (second button in bottom right), its totally worth it in this case (although I should mention there is some exposed human anatomy on one of the album covers that some may want to skip (time 2:45 thru 3:07)))

Almost as fun to watch as it was to make!

If you dislike funny videos (or don't have 9 minutes), here is the final list in text form:

10 Of Montreal Skeletal Lamping
9 Cut Copy In Ghost Colours
8 Beck Modern Guilt
7 Sigur Ros Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
6 The Dodos Visiter
5 Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend
4 Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes
3 TV on the Radio Dear Science
2 Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
1 MGMT Oracular Spectacular

What were your favorite albums of last year?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tranquility Tire Tantrum XC; 8/16/08

This is part of a series of posts intended to catch up on events from last year that I failed to blog about.

The Tranquility Tire Tantrum XC race was only the second XC race I made it to last year due to scheduling and weather and was the first race post-Laramie. Tranquility Park is located in northwest Omaha and is a relatively new trail system. I had never ridden there before so Ryan and I headed up on Thursday to check it out. This proved to be very valuable as there were a couple really tight corners that I would have blown had I not pre-ridden the course.

Putting out the vibes with Robb and Harp

Beginner Open class awaiting the start
There was three hour enduro at the same time as the XC race so they started first and then it was our turn. At the gun, Dan took off in a typical fashion and I was able to stay with him through the first section. I looked back and was surprised not to see Ryan right on my tail, although it wasn't too long until he was. In what would become a pattern all year, Dan started to pull away and I wasn't able to go with him. I held second for the first half of lap one before Jason and then Ryan passed by.

To my mind, Tranquility's main feature is the somewhat out-of-place in Nebraska descent to the finish; fast, dusty, switchbacks almost all the way to the line. I knew from my preride that this was a section where most people would take time from me and this was no exception. I watched as Ryan and Jason pulled even further away. First lap went into the books with me in fourth about a minute off the lead pace (Dan) and 15 seconds off third (Jason).

I rode most of the second lap all by myself, except for the occasional three hour racer either passing or being passed. During the last part of the lap, before the long descent, there is a long series of switchbacks up to the top of the hill. This section is very wide open, and as I started the climb, I noticed that there was a string of riders coming up behind me. Since I had no way of knowing who was racing in my class and who wasn't, I knew I needed to make sure none of that group passed me. Considering my problems with descending fast, I really had to work hard on the climb. Mission accomplished as I was able to hold off the fifth place rider by 10 seconds. The order in front of me held, with Dan getting the win followed by Ryan and then Jason.

I love this picture. Taken by Ryan's wife Jackie, right after I about fell over.

All in all, I was pleased with how I raced, and as an added bonus, my good buddy David came out to watch the race and hang out a bit afterward.

Now about the Laramie Enduro...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2008; Part Two

10 Why? Alopecia
9 She & Him Volume One
8 The Walkmen You & Me
7 Department of Eagles In Ear Park
6 Plants and Animals Parc Avenue

Without further adieu...

5 The Dodos Visiter

4 TV on the Radio Dear Science

3 Beach House Devotion

2 Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes

1 Deerhunter Microcastles

These lists are always an effort in futility, just because it is impossible to hear everything. Since I submitted my list, I've heard several albums that I'm pretty sure would have made my Top Ten. I feel really good about my Top Four this year, but the rest of the list was pretty difficult to put together.

The aggregate list should be out soon. I know I'm excited...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2008; Part One

Shortly after I started this blog last year, I posted about the aggregate Top Ten list that a group of friends puts together. This has been going on for several years now and is a source of great fun that also serves as an introduction to unheard music. For those who don't like to click links, the basic idea is that a bunch of people submit their ten favorite albums and then those individual lists are combined into an overall top fifteen.

Last year we had three promotional videos to entice people into submitting their lists and this year we had one.

Since I am not so good with words like some of my other friends (you know who you are), I will present my list with only a youtube clip of one of my favorites from each album. In my opinion, this wasn't a year with many standout albums, but lots of solid ones. The list below is pretty varied, so if one band/song doesn't strike your fancy, click on and maybe something else will.

Also please note that I didn't pick any of these bands for their ability to make good videos (or videos at all).

10 Why? Alopecia

9 She & Him Volume One

8 The Walkmen You & Me

7 Department of Eagles In Ear Park

6 Plants and Animals Parc Avenue

Check back tomorrow for the top five.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Things Left Unsaid: An Introduction

Man, its been a long time since I have posted anything, particularly on any sort of regular basis. One of my big obstacles to starting anew with the blog has been the weight of all the things that I failed to post about last year; that six week Google-imposed shut down, followed by the Laramie Enduro debacle really messed up my game.

So, I will now start posting semi-regularly again, mostly about current happenings, interspersed in no particular order and with no particular forethought, with posts about last years big events. I'm sure by now no one will be paying attention, but I'll feel alot better about it.