Ray's Blog

Saturday, July 21, 2007

More on my real estate project and the Beverly Hillbillies theme casino

As always, Robbe and I are working like slaves on our real estate development project, Big George Ventures. Lately we've been doing a lot of politicking: we're trying our hardest to "make nice" with the guys who want to build the Beverly Hillbillies Casino.

The problem is that we don't view the Casino project, as currently laid out, as being very compatible with our adjoining single-family residence project. There's a lot of Douglas County Code that suggests that the County doesn't view these projects as compatible, either, and pretty much everyone who knows enough about the projects to have an informed opinion seems to be of a like mind.

So what to do? We're trying hard to work with Douglas County and the Casino folks to put together a joint plan of sorts that will work for everybody. It's possible that multi-family residential-zoned land and/or commercial-zoned land will play some sort of a role in this. Robbe and I think that there's a lot of potential to make something that's terrific for the County and its citizens, but so far, a lot of the progress that gets made on this tends to be in the wrong direction. Robbe and I are still very hopeful, but we're worried that what we're going to end up with at the end of the day is a big lawyer-fest.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

2007 July 14: Death Ride

Yesterday was the Death Ride. In 2006, I tried to ride the Death Ride on my road bike with PowerCranks, but I'd been doing so little biking in preparation that after two passes, I felt like-- well, death!-- and bailed out.

This year my road bike is in the shop, so I rode my tri bike (the same one that I almost died on in 2004). I've been doing a reasonable number of bike rides, but they've all been short, like 90 minutes or less, which isn't the ideal training for a rode that's 129 miles and 15,000' of climbing.

I actually had a posse of four other people I signed up with myself for the Death Ride, but I got three "haven't been training" bailouts and Analisa has been sick, so our group was only one out of five for actually showing up. However, Ed and Nancy were signed up, so yesterday morning super-early I drove over to Alpine County Airport to pick them up, and then we went over to Turtle Rock Part to start biking.

I'm gonna make this terse, because I'm just not in a big writing mood these days.

First climb, I rode with Ed & Nancy. Long climb, but feeling good. Went down the backside of Monitor Pass and then waited at the turnaround point for them. Ran into Rocky from Tahoe Sports Ltd.

Second climb I rode with Ed a bit and with Rocky a bit. At the top, I hung out and talked with Ed & Nancy some more. Lost one of my bike cleat covers, unfortunately.

Went back down the "front" side of Monitor and up Ebbetts Pass. Near the bottom, I ran into Rocky again. He was cramping up and pretty much out of fluids, so I shared my Cytomax with him and continued up. While I was chillin' at the top, Ed showed up, saying he had a bit of a headache, so I gave him some ibuprofen, which apparently was very helpful.

Ed and I went down the back side of Ebbetts, which I would swear seemed much longer to me than the 1600' or so that it actually was. We hit the turnaround point and started climbing, sticking together the whole way. After a very brief stop at the top, we headed back down, undecided about whether or not to stop for lunch.

When we got to the lunch stop, we decided to do it up and get a sandwich and whatnot. I was feeling really good, but Ed was thinking of calling it a day-- among other things, his stomach was bothering him. So I stupidly said, "Well, if you're not going to climb Carson Pass, how about if you give me a pull back over to Turtle Rock Park?"

From the lunch stop to Turtle Rock Park, Ed proceeded to ride like the wind with me on my tri bike trying desperately to stay in his draft. By the time we were 2-3 miles out, I was feeling distinctively more used up than I'd been at the lunch stop. And it was hot-- about 93 degrees! I was regretting having descended from the relative coolness at the top of Ebbetts.

So since it was wicked hot and I was starting to feel a bit drained, Ed and I made a pact to do only four passes this year (he had already pretty much decided that before). I figured that I was a little tired and sore, but overall feeling good, and so why throw that away?

I'm not sure this decision to bail out even though I was feeling reasonable counts as an epiphany, exactly, but I think I'm not feeling a huge need to do really long, hilly bike rides going forward. The way I'm feeling today, I'll only do the Death Ride in the future as a social thing-- so if there's no social motivation to do it, I won't do it. Same thing with other similar events.

Post-ride: today I still feel good, although the ol' legs are a bit tired.