Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Fun Ahead

I made it just under the wire...the Vuelta a España starts today with a Team Time Trial at 0800 PDT

I left selecting TeamCorduroyPlanet's fantasy racing team to the bitter end, but I'm looking forward to three weeks of racing to keep my mind off of the increasing din of's too early to rev up the next presidential campaign. Couldn't the 24/7 CableNews keep to shark attacks and missing blondes in Aruba until Labor Day, please? The DC Pols have the decency to take August off, take a hint TV!

I guess I did "put down the binoculars"...I haven't even given a thought to my new Tour. Today will be busy, Sister K and her hubby are coming to town, I've got to shop the Farmer's Market, and I want to build a pasta salad and a batch of Bakesale Betty's coleslaw. I think I'll make some paletas too.

Dinner will be grilled...whether it's flesh or flora TBD. I have been hankerin' for some Eggplant Spaghetti lately...on the other hand, there has been fresh albacore at my local grocery...maybe Grilled Tuna Salad Niçoise?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Both Feet on the Ground

I heard BajaBabe when she implored me to "put down the binoculars"'s an inside joke that speaks to obsession and flying saucer lore. I think it had it's genesis in a clip of some dim-witted "Abductees" telling their story on one of those syndicated late night UFO Hunter shows way back in the 80s.

Now I'm probably not being fair to said dim-wits, after all most folks when hit with the cameras, microphones  and bright kleig lights tend to lose a few IQ Points...the deer in the headlights effect...if you will...

It's just that these two (if memory serves) were deliberately slow-talking, sturdy stock, who I now realize wouldn't be out of place on RealityTV's "Swamp People" show, though I couldn't imagine either the guy or his wife putting a high powered rifle to the head of a 14ft alligator laying in the bottom of their aluminum the gator-infested swamp...and pulling the trigger with predictable results to the gator and the integrity of the tin boat's hull. There's an appropriately snarky comment in here somewhere...

Anyway, today's news stream is enough to jolt me from the miasma of my possibly caffeine induced cranial cross-polinization...(awww, just when I was beginning to fancy myself as the Luther Burbank of Bicycle Stage-Racing Hybridization, too)

Since last weekend's flood of bicycle racing schemes, I've been pondering just how would a person go about creating something as big...continental my Lincoln's Tour Across America? I suspect I'll be scratching my head over this for a while anyway...

I'm not saying that this is the recipe for my weekend mania...but it is a nice photograph.
OK, on to things less rhubarb pie-in-the-sky space program-ey...

In today's Truckee Fishwrap online, there was a weather story: "Will potential La Niña lead to another epic winter for Lake Tahoe?"

Missed it by that the NWS' Climate Prediction Center issued their 90 Day Outlook for Sept/Oct/Nov, the bottom line of which is: they call for a 50% chance of a new La Niña developing in the 90 day period...tic-tock, tic-tock...

High above my fever swamp kerfuffle, the daytime highs in the High Sierra are about the same as here in the Inland Valley, low 80's...I see another new wildfire alert, this time from Modoc County: @R5_Fire_News  FS crews, engines & other resources en route to Annie Fire on BLM (CA-Modoc County) 200+ acres. No containment. Just North of Ft. Bidwell.

Thanks Twitter for bringing me back to reality for a while! Wildfires without monsoonal thunderstorms are a sure sign of Autumn's approach.

Excuse me now...I've got some head scratchin' to take care of...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It All Comes Back To Me Now

Nostalgia gets a bad rap in my opinion. I often wonder if "The Good Old Days" were. Time heals all wounds? Doesn't the light in memories always trend towards the golden side of the spectrum? Uh, yeah...

I'll admit I've been living in the past for a few weeks...I won't admit that it's a bad thing. It's important to know where you come helps inform where you're going, and refines the means by which you arrive in your future.

I've noticed several times in the past month or six weeks that things remind me of the hours I spend in my groomer on My Mountain. A whiff of diesel smoke from a fire engine...a re-run of Shawn White's Operation X came on after bicycle racing on TV...groomers on TV, building the Flying Tomato's Secret Half Pipe in the back country near Silverton idling big rig in a parking lot...memory triggers come in all shapes, sizes, sounds and smells.

This morning @NorthstarTahoe announced via Twitter that the Flyin' Tomato himself, Shawn White is going to call Northstar-At-Tahoe home, and that a 22ft Half Pipe is on the drawing board for the 2011/2012 season.

I see a couple of tweets about a surprise 50 year snowstorm in New Zealand, fellow Planet @PlanetSki broke the story in the Ski Press. Meanwhile, so far Hurricane Season in the Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific have been quiet. Despite this week's media memeing  of "Severe Solar Storms" threatening our modern infrastructure, the Sun is still having a hard time ramping up to Cycle 24's Solar Maximum. Solar doldrums continue.

The New Zealand storms look serious...nice to see some snowcats turning their sprockets in anger! Hot days in the Big Valley and new wildfires daily around Reno say Fall is coming soon.

It's just a month 'till my reliable autumnal touchstone the Reno Championship Air Races.

The weatherman says a cooling trend is in place, but the Giants' bats heated up in Atlanta in all things, It ain't over 'till the Fat Lady sings!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Planning Ahead

I enjoyed a sorta "simmering" weekend...nothing got me going bees, no to speak...

On the field, the Giants won two of three against the Florida Marlins, while rain played heavily on the IndyCars in New Hampshire, and the Stock Cars at Watkins Glen just south of New York's Finger Lakes.

No torture to speak of during the Giants' games, but blood pressures pegged the meter at the IndyCar race. Race officials restarted the race on a wet track, with all too predictable results for the slick tired cars...a nasty multi-car pile-up messed up the points for several championship contenders before the resultant red flag and black flag ended the day.

To the south, NASCAR's good ol' boys saw fit to postpone their race until Monday. If I think of it, I'll catch the replay this week...if not, no matter...I know who won now...still, Watkins Glen is one of only two road courses the stock cars visit each season...hurry Formula One! I'm havin' withdrawal symptoms over here!

This week I added a new bicycle race to my niche sports pantheon as well: The Tour of Utah wrapped up Sunday. It's a nice race, five stages and a prologue, featuring pretty country and a fairly heavyweight field.

One of Team CorduroyPlanet's fantasy racers returned to race in Utah after his injury abandonment in the Tour de France: Team RadioShack's Janez Brajkovič who finished the ToU 3rd overall. Lots of American stars raced Utah too: Levi Leipheimer, George Hincappie, Christian Vande Velde, and up and coming star, Tejay Van Garderen.

TV coverage was less frontline than you see from France (On the plus side, nobody got run down by a TV vehicle). The penultimate stage made me sit up and pay eleven lap circuit race in Salt Lake City featured a climb that started right beside my sixth grade school, and ran up past the State Capital. I lived above Capital Hill in the 6th and 7th grade, and I learned to ski while living there. Had I not learned to ski back in Utah, it's clear I wouldn't be writing CorduroyPlanet today.

I couldn't remember the name of my old elementary school, so I searched the ', YahooMaps,  Mapquest...Much was learned. I guess my old school was razed some time was a tired old antique when I attended school there in 1963. It was named after either Washington or Jefferson...good either way...

This afternoon, I was reading some political screeds online when a Tweet by Truckee's local fishwrap caught my eye: @SierraSun_News : Lake Tahoe preparing bis for '12 Amgen Tour of California Then it happened...

Like a short-circuit in some time-worn wiring harness in a too-old snowcat, I had a brainstorm (OK you wags...a brain fart) Suddenly my mind was working at Warp Speed!

My Lincoln Highway obsession melded somehow with bike racing and suddenly it hit me like a bolt of lightening! A 2013 Lincoln Highway Centennial Stage of the AMGEN Tour of California!

I couldn't type fast enough! Halfway through another surge of electricity surged through my over-amped gray matter and I changed the start city and moved the finish for good measure!

"This is a just a little work in progress by a feverishly obsessed bicycle racing fan/ Lincoln Highway history buff.
Here’s my proposal for a Lincoln Highway Centennial Stage of the 2013 AMGEN Tour of California.
Start: Placerville, CA Known variously through history as: Dry Diggins, Old Dry Diggins, and Hangtown.
Route: East along US HWY 50 using as much of the original Pioneer Branch of the Lincoln Highway roads as is practical, over Echo Summit 7,382 ft (2,250 m) into South Lake Tahoe.
At the city of South Lake Tahoe, the route turns north, away from the historic Pioneer Branch and climbs around Lake Tahoe’s scenic Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe proper, through Tahoe City and along the Truckee River into Truckee, CA where the route turns west and joins the Truckee Branch of the Lincoln Highway, along Donner Lake and up Old HWY 40 to a Mountaintop Finish…
Finish: Atop Donner Summit 7,056 ft (2,151 m) just east of Donner Ski Ranch.
Stats: In round numbers it’s 177km/110 miles with 7400ft/2255M of climbing. It’ll take a little time with my maps and calculator to itemize how much of the route is on actual Lincoln Highway roads…there have been many alignments and “improvements” to the Lincoln Highway since it’s inception in 1913.
There it is, my little hat tip to my current passions…
Who’s with me?"

Enamored with my excellent idea I posted it to my Tumblr blog post haste!

In no time, another flash enveloped my now over-softened mind...again to Tumblr:

The 2013 Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour Across America!

A little more work than a single wit:

I Told You I was Feverish…
My mind continues to race…my idea for a Centennial Stage on the 2013 AMGEN Tour of California to commemorate the Lincoln Highway’s 100th Anniversary is at least doable…
This next one qualifies as a pipe-dream for sure. I don’t think there’s room for an American Two Thirds-Grand Tour on Pro Cycling’s calendar.
Presented without expectations:
The Lincoln Highway Tour Across America
…sure to be shortened to the “Lincoln Tour of America” or just “Lincoln’s Tour” “Tour de Lincoln”?

Twelve Stages: Over two weeks between Le Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
Some give and take vis a vis the July/August dates to accommodate the Tour of Utah in the States and other pro-cycling races around the globe would be in order…and outside my area of expertise.
Nuts & Bolts: The Lincoln Highway traverses twelve states coast to coast:
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California.
Twelve Stages: There’s about one mile of the Lincoln Highway in New York City…tailor-made for the Prologue.
Road races in most of the other states, throw in a Team Time Trial, a Rest Day, an Individual Time Trial, and finish on my AMGEN ToC Mountaintop Finish at California’s Donner Summit, and I think I have a New Grand Tour…well at two weeks not three, I’ll settle for a New Great Tour!

Waddya think?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Corduroy Trail

After reading a little of "The Lincoln Highway: California" and perusing the maps for a while Saturday afternoon, I watched the 2008 PBS documentary "A Ride Along The Lincoln Highway"...I totally forgot about the Giants 4:10PM game time from South Beach. The Giants were up 1-0 when I finally turned the game on. #GoGiants!

I watched "A Ride Along The Lincoln Highway" two weeks ago when it was broadcast. It's a nice overview of the road, it's history and the resurgence in interest in the history and preservation of the Lincoln Highway.

The movie featured a charming story about one of the Boy Scouts who traveled the Lincoln Highway in 1928 erecting the 3000 concrete Lincoln Highway Markers from coast to coast. The Ohio chapter was having an event, and the go-getter chapter president wondered if any of those original Eagle Scouts were still around. An internet search found one, and he was contacted and agreed to be the Keynote Speaker at the Annual Conference.

Back in 1928, the Eagle Scout's Mom had advised him to keep a diary of his adventure, and dutifully he did. The diary still survives and the Eagle Scout was the hit of the Conference.

The following year, the Scout was called on again to dedicate the new Western Terminus Marker in San Francisco's Lincoln Park. The Sparkplug Ohio Chapter president was asked to escort him to the San Francisco Event, and the two fell in love and soon married! The Eagle Scout was 91, chivalry being what it once was, the bride's age wasn't given. The groom called her a gambler for marrying a 91 year old.

As the documentary followed the lovebirds off into the sunset, the bride said something in passing about the "Old Corduroy Road" as the couple was driving too fast on a historic Ohio section of the Highway. This pricked up my ears, and I jotted down a note to look it up later.

I grilled pork loin chops and golden delicious apples for dinner then looked up corduroy roads on Wikipedia. It's another rich vein of road lore going back to Roman times!

Corduroy roads are so named for their similar appearance to the fabric of the same name...the roads were built of logs laid perpendicular to the direction of travel, then backfilled with sand. Corduroy roads sound like  real tooth-filling removers at speed!

I was fascinated by the Pacific Northwestern variant, built from huge logs called skid roads. This was later shortened through time and circumstance to skid row...either way, they're a far cry from the soft, buttery corduroy we lay all over our ski trails on My Mountain!

So I enjoyed a satisfying, educational Saturday at the Ancestral Giants looked hungry in Florida and beat the Marlins 3-0. Tim Lincecum hurled another shutout, striking out 10 batters and giving up zero earned runs. It was nice to see the real SF Giants again!