The world seems to be flooded with infographics these days. FORTUNATELY, I stumbled upon a great one for RAAM/RAW crews to post in the pace van. Just remember: Purple = sleep break for everybody.
We wussed out on the TUC this year. The risk:reward just wasn't there close to a big race. For those of you who don't know the TUC, it's...well, it's a mainly flat ride with 9500 feet of climbing. This is an amazingly beautiful century ride, and I hate to miss it. Epic climbs and descents, neither of which happen on good pavement. Vic has often said that he should just skip the ride and put on a lottery to see who wins the fractured collarbone....
An additional factor was that the weather looked to be a reprise of Chico - cool and wet. So Team Red Pearl Racing celebrated TUC weekend by cleaning floors, carpets, windows, refrigerator, siting a greenhouse, etc - all stuff that has been radically missing from our lives for a bit too long to be comfortable, especially with another travel weekend (Davis Double) coming up.
But Jim was up for the weekend, and riding. He reported that the TUC was, indeed, cool and wet. It wasn't actually raining at the start, but made up for it by being raining pretty much all the way over Panther Gap to Honeydew. That meant that by the time he got his first flat, he was already out of the worst of it. He also made excellent use of the pedal-braking technique described in my last post.
A lot of people shortened their ride by doing the metric (as had happened at Chico). In the remote land of the Unknown Coast, there aren't as many options to bail out or be sagged home. Jim finished out the century and arrived back in Arcata, apparently none the worse for wear - but having had a slightly longer day than he'd planned.
While he was gone, we were cooking up a little bit of fun: a BBQ and a turn of the RBB. We'd had a nice pasta feed the night before at Mary's house, and Jim handed us a half flat of strawberries. It's not quite strawberry season on the North Coast, but further south, near Hopland, is a very productive field and farm stand.
So - amazing, farm-fresh, juicy strawberries. We freeze a few and....wait. Mary is bringing the tequila, we're grilling London Broil and asparagus - and digging out our stash of limeade. It's time to see just what the RBB can do.
What, you ask, is the RBB? RBB stands for Recumbent Bike Blender. This was a once-upon-a-time project of the Healthy Communities Division (where I work) and the HSU engineering department. The goal was to make a pedal-powered blender. The kids who make it did a great job with the engineering concept, but the blender hadn't been used for a few years and the word I got from my coworkers was that it needed some help. So I brought it home and let Bill puzzle over it. Bill is crazy good with mechanical stuff, and he figured out a couple of minor things that would make it work a lot more efficiently, and did them, and hooked the whole works up to a Musashi. We'd made a couple of "easy" smoothies (yogurt, juice, and soft fruit) but we wanted to push the envelope a bit.
So - off to Margaritaville we went. Since Jim had already ridden 100 miles, we figured he was warmed up, and let him have at it. With minor adjustments (more liquid to keep the ice from jamming in the blades), we were off and blending. Here's a photo of Jim hard at work:
The RBB makes a mean strawberry margarita. We're bringing the RBB to Oceanside! Can't wait to be there!