I got a new light a few weeks ago. It's one of those new cayetye opticubes, the light has the bluish glow of the high dollar HID systems but it was only the price of a few lunches. I'm don't really think it would be so good for mtb in the woods but for my commute it's perfect! I have my oldschool vistalight on the back, which I have had a few over the years. It reminds me of when I moved to the great state of pennsyltucky to rehab knee surgery and I got my first road bike in about 8 years, I couldn't get off the thing, all I wanted to do was ride and it was always ready to go, I got that bike in late summer of 1994, it was an ugly cannondale crit bike that offered no suppleness. I think about those rides with my friends who didn't have knee surgery a few months prior and were very fit while I was working through certain toxins from a winter working at the ski area and a fair bit of enjoying life. We would meet up and ride and I was so out of shape I'd hang on to the back of three of them for as long as I could. We would do the "hill ride" which was up and down the hills that form the valley for the delaware river, pretty good little steeps and at a pace not real comfortable for me. All while trying to get in before dark. I remember being dropped on the climbs near dark and still being 20-25 kilometers from home. I rolled through a covered bridge one time after dark and I had no light other than my vista tail light, in the darkness of the bridge the light shook apart on the floorboards of the 150 year old bridge. In the dark I'm scrambling around trying to gather the 5 or 6 parts that make up the light so I can get home without being hit on the sort-of major road I needed to take with out a shoulder. I somehow found all of the parts in the dark and put it back together and started my solo trip home. Once I was on the main road I would speed up whenever I had a car coming up behind me and use his lights to see if there were any potholes or roadkill to avoid. This went on for about 12 kilometers on the one road and then another 5 kilometers on another less busy road. Doing this for the better part of an hour got me home ok, a bit cold, a bit freaked out (I'm afraid of the dark) and very tired. That hot plate of food never tasted so good! Enjoy your day, ride if at all possible...
I didn't ride much today. I was tired, and I wanted to get home to see Beckham, he was sick all day. His fever was making him cranky all day. Nothing really cool happened today, I had a drawn out meeting all afternoon, then home. I hope tomorrow is more exciting. Like I said last week, a day without a ride isn't really a day. Shaubie is getting through a big career deal right now and hopefully it'll all be better soon. When life isn't what you want it to be for people you care about you just want to change it for them. Whatever it takes. Number 1, Shaubie or Beckham, I feel like I can always change their world for the better.
Somedays I just feel lucky, I didn't have reason to be in a good mood other than I was happy to be at work with good people. I got out on a ride did a little bit of work and thought about how great it is to have good bike paths that allow us to ride without the hassle of the missiles buzzing us every three seconds. I know I should probably ride the mtb but I wasn't too keen on it because of my propensity for falling these days, granted it's only been twice and one wasn't even my fault but I'm sick of scabs. I got home and number one and I went for a little ride around the neighborhood, it was pretty cool we played ball (I brought the chuck-it) and he pooed. Again I was looking around the Valley that I live in and was thankful of the string of decisions I have made that got me to this point. I could go back and figure each one and what the opposite would have brought. Mostly the choices involved quality of life, and the choices made were never sure-things. I have never been a gambler but I guess in some ways I took chances that even a Vegas loser wouldn't have. Luck was with me! Beckham was a blast to hang out with last night, he was so happy when he and Shaubie got home, he laughed at me the way he always does and then I fed him the beloved bananas, I got some too! He was thrilled to eat his favorite food. Then we made a home-cooked pizza with chicken and veggies that kicked ass. Great Dinner!
We did a really cool ride on cross bikes today. All the way up and over Boreas Pass. It's a dirt road most of the way from town. The view was amazing! Kind of alpine tundra looking stuff. Riding in a mental fog because I still felt crappy from sunday's race. I didn't ride monday and I was pissed off about the crash I took and generally whiny. So the first half hour was pretty miserable and then we kind of settled into a groove, quiet, just Travis and me turning over the dirt road to the summit, a few little efforts to have it be some kind of workout but mostly steady. When we reached the top and went over we had a stiff tail wind that pushed us down the other side quickly. and then my rear tire started slipping...psssss flat. Changing a flat tire in a 40mph wind isn't fun. Finally I got it pumped up to pressure and we started back towards home. The ride home had no more flats but my body never really felt good the whole day kind of achy and cold. Then I picked up Beckham and we did the grocery run and then went home to read and nap. He was so good in the grocery, just the two of us speeding up and down the aisles, talking to each other about cereal and bananas, mmmm cereal. I finally got a nap!!! It was amazing. The rest of the afternoon was good we hung out and got stuff ready for Shaubie to come home. She made us this amazing dinner; great salad with seared ahi and Tim brought good bread, good food. I feel much better now!
We went to see "Lost in Translation" tonight. It was one of the best movies I have seen in a longtime. I was remembering how I felt when I arrived in Nagoya, Japan as a kid as a summer exchange student. I was 15 and pretty immature. They show Bill Murray going through Tokyo and with all of the neon lights and Japanese chracters in neon scripts it shows just how overwhelmed he is by all of the visual stimulation. Kind of like the the time Flanders visits Vegas with Homer. I remember being really lost, the culture shock for me was instantaneous. I wanted to welcome the opportunity of a lifetime but instead I spent two or three days missing home before I got it all together and really got into being in Japan. I finally felt really good about the whole experience when I would wake early and get on a great townie bike with a 3 speed hub and ride around the city. See a pattern here? I'd get up at about 5.30 and get on the bike and go around the city of Nagoya exploring. I never really got lost because I knew how to get home from the huge TV tower in the middle of the city. I would ride through the center city shopping area and then go through the business district and see all of the people going to work. The train stations were great, they had bike racks outside that were full with about 300 bikes, all really cool townies like the one I was lucky to ride. I never felt so at ease my whole adolescence except when I was riding a bike. The palaces were really cool too, I'd spend a ton of time riding around the plazas near them and marvel at the architecture. And then when I got home, the family grandmother would make me french toast...odd, but really good, without fail every morning there it was. Looking back now I realize that that was the most time I ever spent in a city, and I actually liked it!
The cross race wasn't my best. Usually I can avoid problems from other riders and deal with self-created ones. Not yesterday. Near the end of the first lap I was brought down on the road by someone who was either way too pegged to know what they were doing or just plain stupid. My race was one of spending time at the back of the 1st half instead somewhere in the top 5 where I thought I should be on this kind of course. The loop was a ton of fun, two separate road sections and a bunch of cool features that made you always think about the best line. The real training I have been doing hopefully will come out in the next couple of weeks. I felt good overall, the crash was a shitty way to start the race. Lucky for me I was able to get a fresh bike and try to move up and win my group. I never thought "oh shit, I crashed, I 'll quit" I was motivated to move up as much as possible and get around fading riders and push up. The damage wasn't too bad, I re-opened the cuts from a few weeks ago, and got a little spot of new road rash, I was fortunate to not have more! I hope to get up where I belong at the next one. Beckham wasn't a fan of us going out to dinner after the race. He was really pissed off the whole time were at Mongolian BBQ, and I was off, both bowls I made kind of sucked! I tried to go with the stuff I like and have made in the past but it just wasn't very good. We had to leave early b/c of B, he was that pissed!
Yesterday we rode Vail Pass, I did a good block of work and then on the second half up from Copper I was totally flat. Travis had slowed early on and I waited for him at Copper not knowing we were going all the way up, so I stopped put on my knee warmers, peed and then he goes by me and keeps going up through Copper. Oh well, work is good, I reeled him in and had nothing left. I struggled up the last bits not real happy with myself for not eating enough all day. The legs were dead, it felt like that cross race a few weeks ago. Luckily the wind was forgiving coming home, tail wind to Breck! Jackson and Beckham amaze me everyday, they are so cute together. Last night when I got home he was eating his Bananas and drinking some juice from a bottle, when I tried some he thought it was the most perplexing thing ever. He couldn't figure out why I would be eating his bananas and drinking his juice, then it was just funny, he'd laugh each time I took some and look at my reaction to eating his food. I was so tired and run down last night I thought I was getting sick, a great meal of Salmon, Risotto and Salad didn't change it, I went to bed at 8 and read awhile before going to sleep. "Under the Banner of Heaven" is just weird, I guess all religions are wacky but to read about mormons in this way is helping me realize that brainwashing occurs more easily the less educated you are, the more education you have the more savvy the Bishops, Priests, Clerics need to be. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you forbid your congregation from watching television, surfing the net, or reading books and magazines that you don't want them to have an alternate point of view. Keep them in the dark and you have greater control over them. The more outside input the better the pitch needs to be. Similar to how North Korea has no internet access for any citizens, they can only watch state run television channels and listen to state run radio. Enough political crap, I try not to use this forum as a soapbox for my own political views, rather a written view of my life. Maybe someday I could add photos.
I try not to whine, my problems are far less significant than others. Today I am going to ride my bike like it's the last day of the season, because, well it could be. It could snow and be over with in a day. Not that snow is a bad thing but it just puts certain fun things on the back burner for a bit. I'll still get to do my 10 minute commute on a bicycle, I'm just not sure which one is best. I want it to be the fixy but riding down the hill in the dark (5.30am) on an icy road may not be the best idea. I guess the skills will come fast and sure if I ride that one all winter, maybe a cross tire would do the trick? I wish it was a longer ride, just as I'm waking and enjoying the ride it's over. Sleep is good too at this hour I don't really need an hour long ride. The rides last fall with the elk and the rain were great, I never minded riding in when the weather wasn't dry. I also like to get a bit muddy when riding, mud isn't bad on a bike, you get to wash it later and spend time tuning and re-lubing to make sure your stuff works. When you are coming to a job you like the commute is never as bad as one you don't like. Such as the year before, I was miserable riding in because the job sucked, the thought of having to see those people at the end of my ride made the ride way too short! Not that it got better after I was there, I used my head, knowing I got to see Shaubie at lunch and I could ride again after work and get home to see number 1. Seeing Jackson at home we would go for a run on the trails and he would be thrilled, bounding after me and the running through the creeks. He just turned 5 and hasn't lost any of it. Now that the snow is almost here it is his favorite season, he'll swim all day but give him the chance to play in the snow and he won't want to come inside for hours.
Real training is good for me. I actually feel like an athlete, not a racer on sunday but a real racing cyclist. Yesterday we tried to do a cross ride but Todd kept flatting, he's much smoother in the club than on a cross bike. He needs to ride more on the rough stuff and a little less on the road to learn skills to smooth out the bumps. 4 of us riding and he has all the flats, none for me, Tim or Evan. Finally we sent him home and rode for about 40 minutes without stopping. Today we motorpaced, not a ton of time but a solid little block of work. 35-45 miles an hour without really slowing except to turn around. good stuff! I had a fun afternoon with Beckham, we played and then B tried to roll over, after trying for about 30 minutes he naped a while then finally got over. Then tonight he rolled over three times in 5 minutes. I don't get it, the more tired he is the easier it is. Or something like that? Joel won another mtb race, he needs to race regular sport, the clydesdales aren't fast enough for him...
Yesterday I did a little spin with Evan and Jeff and then after I was going to the store to get dinner stuff for the family. While waiting for a pedestrian to walk into City Market I was just to the side of the driving area while a guy in a truck was creeping into the crosswalk, I guess I didn't move fast enough out of his hurried way, he honked at me to move and shot me a dirty look, so I shot him the Finger. He started getting out of his truck when the guy behind him yelled to keep going. Why this guy was in such a hurry in a grocery store parking lot I have no idea? Perhaps I was wrong to do what I did but sometimes I get pissed off at asshole motorists. Since moving to Breck I've had fewer of these encounters, in Frisco it was a weekly occurence. The pace in the mountain towns in the shoulder season should be a bit more mellow, why do they get angry at a guy on a bike? I thought for a while that if the motorists were angry at cyclist it was maybe because they weren't happy with themselves and saw us as something they were not, fit, or trying to be fit?! The fact remains they are in a position to hurt us very easily, as Joel's martial arts instructor said "car is the best weapon." I think I'm responding well to the real training, my body is tired on the proper days and it allows me to rest when I need to, I haven't had to drag myself out to do intervals yet, on those days I'm ready for them full-throttle. I like the free-form program method. I do work in a structure I set up as I get on the bike that day, whatever feels right. I need to do a bit of motor-pacing, that is the key to me getting through the season without super high end training. If I can do that once a week, Portland will be good!
The last couple days have been tough, I'm not sure where I am in the world, only one thing is really good and that is Beckham. The doctors visit was great, she thought Beckham's eyes were better than what she was expecting! It was great news when all else is pretty topsy-turvy. This is a good time to write but when not much else is happy it's tough to write about good stuff, and the one or two people who actually read this don't want to be bored with my problems. The thing is Beckham and Jackson are the two best things in mine and Shaubie's lives. Jackson had a birthday on tuesday so we got him a new bag of chips, which he was thrilled about! He is so sweet, and whenever B is pissed off he goes over to him to try and help or just calm him down a bit. he knew it was his birthday, he was extra-happy and animated all day! We got thai food that was even better than last time. We brought it home and had some different stuff we hadn't had before that kicked ass. I had this noodle dish that was the spicy-est thing ever, and good! I even had a beer with dinner, perfect treat! The currys were so good, I wanted to keep eating like a goat until my stomach burst. Pretty inexpensive too. If anyone wants the name address email me firstname.lastname@example.org I did some work yesterday, good almost structured stuff, it felt good to get out and do that kind of effort. Alone on the road bike and trying to chase that good result. The bikes are feeling better than ever, I think maybe after a season on all 3 kinds of bikes they all feel good and comfortable, most years it's just one or two kinds by this spot in the season. Throw in the fixy and that makes 4. I want to ride the fixy more, hopefully after the shed is built I can have that as my main commuter, but until then fishing the bikes out of the crawlspace is going to keep me from riding a fun bike to work. I want to get back out on the mtb soon, maybe this weekend we'll hit Westridge again. I miss the singletrack and the mellow cruising down. I wish I knew how to race the descents on my mtb, I guess that's the problem with learning to race on the east coast, the downs are short and they are where you recover. Ride your damn bike Beckham is 5 months today
Great race today in Gunnison, we had a wonderful drive over there on Cottonwood pass and then a great time at the race. I went ok, came third. Had to let 1 and 2 go early on as they were going a lot faster than me early on. Then the gap stayed but I think I'd have blown if I tried to stay with them. Speedwork is the key between now and Xlinx in two weeks. My lead in the series has opened a touch, I know it can be mine if I go well at the next race. The course rocked! We got to ride off-camber grass, in Colorado! Really good for me as it had fitness sections and also skills sections too. My legs were back as much as I could expect after a decent week of training. I'll run some more this week and get my shit dialed for next time. I know that the season is shaping up to be a good one for me, perhaps the best yet. The bike was great today, tires had perfect grip and right pressure. I waited for the guys I was riding with to show me a mistake, one faded and the others had mechanicals, I went away alone from about 35 minutes left, I just tried to ride smart and not screw up, it was a good course to work on jumps out of corners and smart skills/tactics. Shaubie and Beckham got to hang out with the boys and enjoy the day in Gunny, they cheered me on and thought it was a good day too. We stopped in Salida for the really good pizza and it rocked, we could have eaten a ton more. B was a little pissed on the way home and gave us all a headache, then he mellowed for the last 20 minutes of the drive. I love cyclocross!!!
Yesterday moved along a little bit better than the day before. I hope we get busier soon. I wasn't struggling through the way the other day had me pulling instead pushing, it's always easier to push than pull. I rode solo to get my work done, overgeared crap that hurts but you don't feel like you're really doing anything other than loading the legs with my messesnger bag on my back. But it works, I've done this in the past and it helps, especially a couple of uphill miles doing it. My body feels a lot better going into the weekend than it did last week so maybe I got over the funk, the blah that comes with a shitty ride. Travis and Todd went on a double date last night, I can only imagine what went on. Truly frightening I'm sure. We had a great dinner at home, the pasta I made was perfect al dente, it got a bit softer as the meal wore on but even at the end was crunchy-just enough. Broccoli and chicken in there with it made a perfect meal. I'm realizing that getting to bed at 8 pm is impossible, not only un-doable but absolutely impossible. Good pasta is such a treat, when you get it right you relish each bite. I haven't really had any epiphanies lately, lack of real thought, just banal race focus not the good stuff I prefer to ponder while riding, also the mp3 is dying, I think, that always hurts the thought process.
I felt a lot better than I thought I would on the ride yesterday, which in some ways dissapointing because I thought I really did a job on my elbow and hip. The worst part was the itchy arm from my arm warmers on my elbow, not comfortable to touch and painful to scratch. Travis and I played a new game, we called it "beat the crap out of your friend" basically cat-and-mouse attack the whole way, it was fun because each time you would recover the other would counter-attack. It felt really good to just be on the road bike, it is always like a homecoming after being off of it for awhile and getting back on it. I can't wait to get it tuned up and set for the winter season. I love the way bike parts wear, seriously I find it very intriguing that even for somebody who washes their bike as much as I do that stuff would still go. I admit to buying the good stuff which I hope will stave off deterioration a touch. Regardless, shit breaks and needs repair/replacement. I like replacing worn out pieces I find it dignified that a piece serves its purpose and then gets handed down. My mtb and cross bikes are at just such places. Beckham has his first day at daycare today, it sucks, I wasn't bummed until Shaubie got bummed out about it. Maybe we should play the lottery and not have to worry about trivial things such as money. I guess I didn't let it sink in that he wasn't going to be around on lunch visits to Shaubie. No problems with the contacts, he was a mellow cat again this morning. He is such a cool kid, we went out for sushi last night and he didn't make a peep the whole time we were eating, not a word! Great dinner with a bit complimentary appitizers from Shun, he rocks! 8 of us had a feast!It was great to sit down and have plate after plate of food roll across the table, alll better than the last.
The ride started out innocently enough, one of us on a real geared mtb with suspension the other on a rigid mtb and the third on a cross bike, nothing too serious just some cool singletracks and some flumes to get to the trail we found on friday. One flat pretty early on and then a bad tube with a blown quikfil and we were sort of stuck. As the flat ran back to town the way we came in tw of us went on our way to meet back up later. As we rode across a little flat section to get down into the Toxic Forest I was already thorugh the turn in my mind when I found myself sliding on my right elbow, nausea and the overwhelming urge to pass out followed. Evan almost ran over me as I was sliding. I wasn't even going fast! I wish I could say I was being stupid, or that I just missed a turn, it was a total freak spill that shredded a new pair of shorts,knee warmers and a hip and an elbow. The pain made me want to get in my bed and not get out until it's safe. The 15 minute ride home from the spill wasn't too bad, it just hurt to descend. The skin did a really good job of getting out of the way of the bone on both the hip and elbow. Good separation of the skin. No stitches though. Then after I showered at home I hung out with B and gave him a bath, he laughed and laughed! I think he likes to hang out with me. We played and then Tim helped us make dinner, well he actually made the pasta and Shaubie made an amazing salad. While watching Queer Eye and Restaurant we ate. B went to bed half way through dinner and was out in a matter of minutes! Enjoyable evening except for the throbbing hip and elbow. Oh yeah and the flu shot I got yesterday afternoon hurt too, god I'm a pussy!
The road bike has been the ticket the last couple of days, after making a joke of saturday's race and maybe hurting my chances at the overall. It's back to regular training, one mtb ride for fun and low cadence work and then road/cross work the rest of the week. Golden Horseshoe today, maybe tha trail that we rode friday, cool jump whether or not I'll hit it we'll see. I hope the legs come around for sunday. Dinner last night was great, it was an old Italian meal of sausage and peppers, with good fresh veggies thrown in and supertasty with well-timed additons of more veggies so nothing was soggy! I'm paying for it today, or should I say my co-workers are paying for it! Beckham doesn't even flinch when we put in the contact lenses now, it's so cool! I believe that he really associates the lenses with seeing clearly. Beckham laughs whenever he sees me for the first time in a while, whether I was out on a ride or coming home from work he just lights up when I walk in and say hi! I hope Joel won another clydesdale race this weekend..
Sometimes things happen that you don't expect, like Tim's van breaking down in the middle of the desert and races being shitty when you think you'll go well. The race was a good course for me, usually bumpy stuff and techy courses suit me. especially with a good road section thrown in. Not saturday. The legs had no juice and no real kick after te first two laps, a steady slide backwards hurt my chances of a good day. Riding my mtb has been so fun that thursday and friday's rides loaded the legs without me realizing it. The little spill I had didn't help either as my left side has been useless for two days. We did ride a new trail on friday that rocked! It was pretty windy and rolled really well it even had a little gap jump for a bit more of a challenge. I went down on a dirt road switchback when the front wheel washed. Now I know that prep work for cross is best done on the road later in the week and finish with mtb rides by wednesday. We met Nickels and Zero last night, very uncomfortable to meet someone you aren't rally into meeting in the first place, Todd was uncharacteristically reserved, the material was good if you weren't the butt of the jokes. While most of the group got shitty I was a spectator. The jokes got pretty bad a few times, I even escaped and got a quick soak in the hot tub for a bit. The soak helped me feel pretty good though more tired and ready for bed. Shaubie had a little more than some, but felt ok this morning. Well enough of the negative shit, I hope Tim recovers from his trip to California.
The ride was every bit as fun as I thought it would be, and then some. Blair Witch was cool, some more features and it would be unreal. I need to get out on the trails more, perhaps training for cross on an mtb is a good thing. The slightly higher effort is good and the skills get a bit of work and it’s a ton of fun! The way I see it, the bike is the bike, doesn’t matter what kind as long as you are on it and enjoying it! The trails are in good shape the bit of moisture we have been getting makes for a perfect surface. I’m reading “Under the Banner of Heaven” it’s so wacked it makes regular more mainstream religion look tame. It seems there are no true peaceful religions but this one is just as violent as the older ones, which is odd for a faith born in the 1830s. The Christians had the Crusades and the Muslims have the on-going Entifada but these people take the word of a snake oil salesman and run with it. Plural marriage is an odd concept and the way the Fundamentalists take the mainstream LDS church to task for “leading the church astray of God’s word” is out there. The book is good because it doesn’t allow Krakauer to be so self-congratulating. The elders of the church seem to make laws to serve their own perverse needs and call it doctrine. No wonder members are forbidden to watch TV or surf the net they might get a clue of how wacked their “faith” is! Any religion that forbids members to have contact with the outside world is obviously afraid of losing its flock. Blinders go a long way. I hope that I get to do another fun ride today. Snow?
I was reading an article in a magazine left here at work, one of many that are sort of laying around the place. It was about potsmoking and high-income professionals who regularly enjoy the reefer. They had an idea that it was their equivalent of an afterwork drink. I think it says they need to get more from somewhere else, everyday life is working against them. Perhaps a new hobby. Not that I'm on the anti-drug bandwagon but I just figure if people can do more with the drugs occurring naturally in the body they'll need fewer from elsewhere. Not that everybody should go ride a century or climb a mountain but a little more for a little less. Enough of my shit, it's like I was an angel as a younger human. The cross ride was great, singletrack and some dirtroad. I wanted to do a little bit of work and Tim was feeling good so it was a great skills day too on that stuff. Then in the middle of one of my favorite trails we came across a clearcut right through a great section of singletrack. Bulldozers everywhere, ripping up the ground and changing what was a great trail. A fucking trophy home through a trail that wasn't bothering anyone except some rich asshole. Well it was a great ride anyway, we did our work and spun home after that.