i feel that i touch on similar topics here everyday. not that i find them to be trivial or pejorative but they do run together somewhat. this thought runs through my head while riding and writting my next blog entry in my head. but as long as the subject within is a new turn it seems to work for me. isn't everyone's life repetitive? aren't we trying to get into a good rhythm, a place where happiness is achieved by a string of like movements? not unlike the subtle shifts required to make a ski or snowboard turn, some are surely exaggerated but others allow the rider to enjoy life without drastic, wholesale shifts. this is not too high a concept is it? i see this as one of the simplest tenets higher creatures should strive for. by higher i mean all of those that have thought. the book ishmael touches on this ideal, not indelicately either. so as you go out tonight and watch people make fools of themselves try and see the light at the other side, a new year means nothing to nature it's just another day when you look outside tomorrow.
shopping is very strange, we had to visit the mall yesterday to get some stuff returned for shaubie and some other stuff bought for little b. the people there at the mall made for great people watching. they way thses pseudo-city people get dressed up for the honor shoveling over their cash entertains me to no end. suburban hell is great spectating the people with their fancy shoes and too-tight clothing reassure my own belief in the conspicuous-consumption that is america in the early part of the 21st century. what ever happened to enjoying the beauty of winter, outside? i bet less than 1% of the consumers we gawked at yesterday had enjoyed the winter snow in one way or another, even sliding down the hill would be an improvement b/c then they would see the beauty of nature, not the inside of a department store for their holiday entertainment. i try not to rant but this thought really struck me yesterday as one of those things to write about ot the few people that may read this page occasionally. and then i should say i got to do a bit shopping myself at the apple store, playing on a top-of-line zillion dollar system was almost as much as the people watching we had just done at the mall. nipple boy is pretty funny today. we saw uncle travis for a coffee this morning and he was happy to just sit there quietly and watch the passers-by. not real into participating with our conversation but more of the same from yesterday. he especially likes mirrors when in the chest carrier, we stood in front of quite a few at the mall so he could see me and laugh at the image of the two of us. pretty fun for both father and son. we make quite a sight the two of us, b laughing uncontrollably and me egging him on. this morning we walked around the woods a bit, looking at tree branches (tasting them too for b) the trail was great, we had it all to ourselves, not a snow machine to be heard at all. walking slowly in the woods in winter is so quite and peaceful that you can hear the animals moving about they hear/smell you, b isn't too keen on quiet but he gets the point of walking around out there. over one of the little knolls we ski on there is a lot of construction going on, we saw one of the landmovers the other day that really pissed off shaubie, she couldn't believe a house woruld go where they were digging, too far from a good road and too close to one of our favorite ski hikes...more importantly. at least up here they preserve open space, down in the fort collins/loveland area it seems to less of a priority. the mantra reads "pave the planet." look closely, you'll be surprised
a blog before bed, i wrote this last night but it's not getting published until now. great day on the hill yesterday, the snow was really good where it was good but really icy where it wasn't. i rode well, the board and body felt like one, smooth snow and good motivation made for a great string of turns. unfortunately the clouds were there about all day to obscure the views, but i got one shot that maybe i can publish if the powers at blogger allow me to upgrade my account. the idea of photos to go along with the thoughts that are thrown out on this page would add to the flavor greatly. we did about 5 hours on a day that never got out of the single digits. for some weird reason the there were no lift lines, maybe thoughts expressed in the book downhill slide ( i want to italisize the title of the book like you are supposed to, but blogger doesn't allow those options on the mac, so i need to go and look for the html code somewhere in a previous post., hopefully i got it right!) enough geek stuff. did you know the geek boy in the old carivals was the guy who bit the heads of rats and chickens? wanna get some tacos? we got off the hill and drove home without traffic, i didn't get in a hike with the boys though, went to town for more coffee and got lost in conversation with todd and his new girlfriend, not a bad way to spend an afternoon but i should have gone rollers or hike. great pizza and salad last night, a friends over to enjoy the last night my folks are here, giampietro's really hook it up, one white pie and one red. amazing! do something today
i have been thinking about this guy i knew in college who worked at a book store, when he said book store you wondered what they were selling, was it the latest danielle steele effort or the newest in decorating ideas for adult tastes. really when you went to the store it wasn't novels as much as an extensive collection of fetish mags and other deviant lifestyle handbooks. i could tell you stories of the ex-mob guy who was the mop guy, or of the teenage patrons trying to buy the latest issue of panther or nugget. the periodical collection was extensive, from all over the world. proper victorian decorations in her house just a few blocks from the store, she would walk through the place every so often to make an appearance to staff, sticky fingers were a problem. the real story of this place was the little old lady who ran it, she was straight out of a sylvester and tweedy cartoon. never a bad word when she would invite us over for sandwiches after bryan's shift, and she made the best lemonade, anytime day or night. it always seemed odd to share sandwiches adn lemonade with a 70 year old owner of porn shop at 3 in the morning. you would never really knew she was the owner, she never talked about it, and it was never mentioned in conversation. i enjoyed talking history with her,not about her business but about the landmarks she experienced, pearl harbor, jfk, churchill all of the mid century world war two stuff. we would sit and talk about the newspaper issues she had in her reading room. more later
work kind of sucked today, i don't know why when people go on vacation they are assholes, maybe they are assholes at home too, but why push somebody you don't know b/c they are doing their job, not trying to screw them. i sincerely make an effort to be nice, helpful and actually nice to a good number of assholes, some i give up on but others i try to turn over to the fact that maybe, just maybe, life is worth living, and you don't have to be a prick to the guy you don't know who is trying to help you on your vacation. alright, i know that i always say that my body does one thing well, reasonably well i should say. but skiing on trails after a few inches of fresh snow has fallen is a subtle pleasure. work, no doubt is involved but it isn't any worse than riding up loveland pass. my enjoyment of nordic skiing is greatly related to who i go with and how long i go for. the legs don't really know how to ski for more than 2 hours. it was amazing today, great snow and a ton of fun with shaubie, tim and the dogs. the lungs are coming around slowly and the body is really enjoying the variety. no aches and pains yet. maybe slight cross-training isn't a bad thing entirely. then when you are enjoying the company of wife, good friend and dog all of the sudden a f-ing snow machine comes out of nowhere and ruins a good five minutes of your ski. why can't we have a way around the f-ing motors ruining our quiet, when i think of the pleasure of moving through the woods under my own power i wonder why you would feel the need to f it up with an engine.
i survived the hectic nature of an all inclusive christmas. little b didn't really know why he had a pile of stuff in front of him but he enjoyed the paper and boxes nonetheless. we ate like kings for three days. shaubie and i had thai food tuesday night and it was amazing, a new place for us b/c the usual places were closed. a different take on the same three dishes normally get, with one new thing each time. this time it was a noodle dish that was super-spicy, as thai-hot as we have had! someday we'll go there and see what native food is like, after reading the beach (having not seen the movie, yet) it just sounded like an amazing place, full of new things for a white-bread westerner to see. three days of riding outside in a row was wonderful, little things are what make riding a bicycle so enjoyable. i found a curvy road i had never ridden before outside carter lake, the way the bike flowed through the turns made the whole ride better, then just going fast in a straight line up and down rolling hills, working hard thinking about the first group races and then the first stazio sufferfests a couple months away. i really believe that this year will be better than last year. my motivation is better than ever and i feel good about my off season workload. now that i won't have that luxury of sustained outdoor cycling for a while i need to maybe get out at the nordic cneter on a regular basis. the lungs are in far worse shape than the legs. going hard for a few k yesterday had my lungs seared and my legs a bit fatigued but not near equal the way they would be mid-season. more work is needed, in the lt department, sustained 20-30 minute efforts are in order, wait, isn't that nordic skiing? great, done. enjoy your holiday break
two days in a row on the bike, outside! yesterday i rode from about two hours out. a bit chilly but it felt good to be on the bike outside. great fun, solo, just listening to the wind and enjoying every pedal stroke. starting my season three weeks earlier than last year is a good thing as i ride i feel good and motivated and it's the heart of winter, now soon i'll work in some skating to complete the package. nordic work will only help the fitness. now we have both sets of grandparents doting on b almost every waking minute, he loves the attention, eats it up! he knows when to ham it up, just like his mother. last night he slept in a crib beside shaubie and i, we were on an inflatable mattress that absolutely sucked! it didn't inflate all the way b/c the pump wasn't charged. shaubie lasted until about 3 am and bailed for the only slightly better couch, crappy sleep! today shaubie and i went for a great two hour spin around loveland and toured some of the executive ghettos that are so prevalent around here, houses that could house six families but hold barely one. oh how i love conspicuous consumption. i am especially happy with my pseudo-vegetarian diet right now, mad cow in washington state, oh how those poor creatures are in for a terrible few weeks. i hope it is all just a scare. more later as i look around the web for the rest of the story. happy boxing day
a blog before the onslught that is the holiday season, if i didn't have a family i don't think i would be the guy on the ledge. i would do what i always did on holidays on the years i was alone, as though it wasn't any different from another day, which it isn't. i know i have beat this topic to death but i need this catharsis, venting is healthy. b was great yesterday, we had fun running errands and we were actually productive, got a lot done and even scrubbed both toilets, he was amazing got right in there with the comet and really tried to scrub under the rim where the nasties hangout. we cleaned the steps too and i still manged to pay the insurance bill, get mail and even an hour on the rollers. on sunday we skied up the sally barber with b in the sled, he either laughed or slept the whole way, great kid! good work and the snow was perfect, we even got in a bit of skating on the way down, i was trying to help shaubie learn the movement, she needs to visit the nordic center and get a lesson from someone who really knows how to ski. very cool to ski 5 minutes from home, great views too! now i get three days on the bike, i even get to ride on xmas, i know it will be good, especially with hawaii only two weeks away. a good break followed by maybe a florida trip or an arizona visit in a month or two. my second season full-time at the highest level, with a bit of work helping out the 35+ guys. i know it will be a great season! maybe even get in univest in september. new music monday was yesterday, i got some really good stuff, layo+bushwacka! real good trip-hop or trance whatever you call it. verve-remixed jazz/blues songs re-done with trance beats, great ride/work music. if i could save up the pennies to get an ipod and be able to listen to it on the bike i would be so psyched. but when i break down to the most joy, just having a bike to ride eclipses all else, except shaubie, b and jackson. enjoy the wheel
my lack of sleep is no one's fault but my own. 9 pm last night, 9 pm! stupid! i want food and coffee now! eggs toast, good hearty hash browns. food is not a substitute for sleep but it sure can spike the level of participation in life for an hour or two. i didn't wear glasses on the way in today, odd the way the air felt, more biting than normal. not that it was any colder than the other days this week just...sharper. today i'll get on the rollers for 90 minutes again, it just feels right, good video, good cytomax, maybe a mid ride pee break. i was supposed to go on tv last night to tape a segment on rec center stuff for the holiday season, i showed up on time for the taping and waited around for the other segments to get done and then for about another 15 minutes nothing was happening so i ordered a plate of fries on the tv station's tab and waited again for a few minutes after i finished them and nothing still. so i asked what the story was and they said a battery died and they sent somebody to get a new one, i gave them my phone number and went home, the phone never rang, not worth and hour of my time better spent hanging out my shaubie and b. at least the fries were good.
the snow has melted a bit, making the roads and paths more icy than they have been, the sun came out and turned the whole thing to sluch yesterday afternoon. i knew this leaving this morning so i made sure my packs wasn't filled with fragile stuff, and my mind was sharp to deal with a slip without over-correcting and really going down in a heap. all of this on 4 hours sleep. not that i'm looking for sympathy, we had dinner at the ranch at keystone last night, the best place to eat in the whole region. the food was unreal, we got a limo ride over there from breck, with cristal flowin' and for me daydreams of the meal i was about to have. no dissapointment here! lobster tempura, soup, salad, all the way through top shelf. the wines we had choices of were unreal, the one i chose was a pinot noir, the waiter said that it was from a "boutique vineyard" whatever that means it was the best glass of wine i have ever had! then the desserts and coffee were perfect, i tried to stay awake on the way home, with success but a late night isn't really in my program. i kind of feel foggy right now, like a walk down an unfamiliar street in a place i don't normally visit, ethereal like after a storm. now i try to get it all together, little b now just wears contacts, he is sooo cool, as i was leaving this morning he stopped eating and looked over at me and smiled a full head smile, that kept me warm the whole way to work. last night from the ranch i called the babysitter to make sure she could reach us at the restaurant. i felt like such an adult, it was one of those moments where your place in life fits, you realize that your decisions have paid off well. enjoy your day
yesterday we had another good ride in the denver area, the bike paths were a bit snowy but overall the ride was really good, a bit slower than last week but overall good winter work. we got in a great stop at starbucks for a soy latte, which is now officially my drug of choice. coffee rides are the best part of the winter workout regimen, do gym rats have a version of this? i may get in the gym a bit, after work for some weight stuff, but the gym thing isn't really a good fit for my workout theory. today we skiied the loop above the house. the snow was good the extra few inches we got last night really helped. tim and i traded off with beckham in the sled, b really seemed happy to be in there, he had fun , talked, giggled and was pretty warm, i guess. i poked around inside the sled a few times to make sure he was warm, he took off his hat and wasn't going to keep it on for anything! he did oddly enough keep his mittens on, i thought they would be off in a matter of seconds!
good luck to travis and brett at nats today! they drove out earlier this week and hopefully are going to fly in their races today. portland is a good place for cross, i have never been there but i know it's wet and near the ocean. the boys will go well. i was reading an article in this magazine called fast company http://www.fastcompany.com about how wal-mart has ruined some of their vendors by forcing them to sell products for less than they can afford, the example for article was vlasic pickles in a one gallon jar for $2.97. the point was they made a few cents off of each jsr that was sold but that is not really where the profit was for vlasic, the main margins were in spears and hamburger cut. the problem was wal-mart refuse to buy any other products unless vlasic sold them the gallon jar for less and less, who the hell needs a gallon jar of pickles? another problem with the american gluttony, they would buy the jar and then when the jar got nasty they would throw it out, they weren't losing any money on it, they ate half or two-thirds of the jar and now they can go back to wal-mart and buy another for $2.97. america as they said in the article is shopping themselves out of jobs. vlasic filed for bankruptcy in 1999. no more cool little pelican or stork selling you your pickles! wal-mart is evil! strong-arming companies into lower margins is not the way capitalism should be, the problem with this society is they see the value (perceived or otherwise) and not the beast they are feeding. the number one retailer is also the source of damage to our national economy. without smaller outfits able to survive we will soon lack in the area of new non-mainstream products, the adage being if it won't sell at wal-mart it can't be a viable entity. wal-mart has 21,000 vendors, that means that as succesful as they may be they have constant pressure to produce lower priced products year after year, opposite of inflation. forcing overseas production and taking jobs away from america, it gets to the point that even if they worked for free the price would still be prohibitive and wal-mart would drop them as a vendor. the moral of the story-stay away from wal-mart!
i don't have high speed internet at home, and surfing at work is verboten. the speed (i use that word lightly) we get at home is a joke, you would think that a brand new neighborhood would have better speed for dial up, the one box serving the whole neighborhood makes for pitiful surf. maybe i can share a high-speed connection with a neighbor but the thought of paying $500 for hardware and then another $70/month for service. the geek in me would rather figure out a way around the hardware cost and share a high connection with someone. little b is becoming such a little person. he has been skiing with shaubie two days in a row, he talks the whole time, in his own language pointing out the new things he sees for the first time. number one is his favorite, he sits on the couch talking to him and getting as close to crawling as he can without actually crawling to get closer to jackson. today the ride was a bit chillier than normal, the wind bit through my jacket and forced the neck gaiter farther up my face. it was too cold for the little critters to come out and play. the moon was so bright you didn't even need the headlight. riding into town the whole sky was lit so bright that you could see the rocks up top on the ski area and the chutes that they form. i love the jackass drivers that feel the need to pass you even though you're going the speed limit through a neighborhood. those are the people that need that special first lung cookie of the day on their window.
the simple act of riding into work, 15 minutes on my bike, through the snow is all it takes to feel better about my day, and feel better about me. i made up my thermos of green chai, added the right amount of soy milk and hopped right on my machine. i know it's a short ride but it just feels so good! tomorrow i'll do a bit more on the way in, maybe hit something a bit more interesting. the bike is showing a season of racing, and i didn't race a ton on the mtb. i need a sponsor to give me a new kit every year, i can't afford $600 bucks for new stuff every season. but if i rode for someone i would feel the pressure to produce. a feeling i have dealt with in the past and not been happy with. the tao says that the beginners mind is the key to success. when i was standing on the start line wondering if this race would get me the result to get a ride for next year i wasn't happy with how it made me ride. now that i'm more free to ride/race as i please every race is a good one. no pressure to do well, other than pride. sposorship is a tough thing to swallow, luckily i have had the kind of help that allows flexibility, wtb was the best, they thought more of a marketing type sponsorship, showing the products off at races, letting people ride my bike and see the stuff was better than results on their own. my luck is good, especially when you get to ride the best products. stuff doesn't break that way, if you have just enough money for little bits of maintenance it will work perfectly. a few years ago i wasn't in that knid of situation, and i shot myself in the foot in the process. i hadn't switched out my chain like i do now (1st of the month all season, both bikes) and i had a bad wheel, the rim was worn through on the braking surface. these two factors came to light in two consecutive races, in the first my chain snapped as i was chasing down the leader in a local series mtb race and the wheel failed at a vail world cup race a week later, one dnf and the other a limp home in 17th place. stupid moves certainly on my part, easily fixed with a bit of forethought. luckily i was leaving a few days later for mammoth where the wtb crew would fix me up with new wheels! without a sponsor like that i'd be sunk, poor mtb racers are everywhere, this saved my season, i left mammoth with a 10th place and new wheelset! now i know, new chains and wheels go a long way to avoiding mechanicals, simple things in life make it worth it. enjoy the wheel thanks for reading
hopefully soon we will be on a beach, sand in our toes, waves lapping at our feet. b may not visit hawaii before age 1. i figure my wait was 34 years or so to get there, he can wait a couple years himself. i feel tired, not the kind of tired you get from riding a lot but the tired you get from standing around a desk all day, say at a rec center style setting. i have a headache to go along with my desire to be fast but not strong enough to get on the rollers right now. maybe tomorrow i'll get an hour or so on them but right now sleep is paramount to rollers. oh that and food. maybe food will cure the headache and i can do an hour later. i hate not riding to work, at least that gives me 40 minutes on the bike to play with, usually pretty entertaining too. i'm psyched to watch a video i got at the end of last winter that i still haven't watched. i forget what the race is, one of the northern classics. hopefully by mid-february i can get to arizona or somewhere warm for a few days of warm weather riding. not that i want to do three hundred miles in three days, but a few four hour days in a row would be great. the warmth would do me wonders for motivation as well. with hawaii a month off and the idea of beach for seven days and no bike will be a welcome break from the winter rhythm. i just need to get on the rollers and do my work, maybe even some pseudo-structured work to maximize my time on the bike. outdoor stuff for now can be fun mellow work, later on it will be more important to do the work.
my days are good when i spend them with little b. i don't always ride but that kind of stress can wait till january when there is more of a sense of urgency. two days in a row with him are fun, we do little errands and watch baby bach, baby mozart and soon baby van gogh. we don't really do a whole lot, more visits about town, and a few jobs that shaubie gives us. he is fun all the time, even when he craps himself we have fun. he laughs at me more than anyone and is happy to just play staring games.
first real road ride for winter, but not winter weather. 3 hours of quality, very fun to get out and get a bit of mileage. strange 60+ and sunny. the bike was great and the body was perfect. a few steep little yips were good to keep the legs sharp and ready. no coffee stop, i try to get one of these stops on every ride, the pace was mellow enough that i stayed hungry the whole time. we weren't far from a place that sells krispy kreme doughnuts, evan wanted to make the detour, but it was too late by the time we decided it might be a good idea. sometimes during these rides i actually feel like a real athlete. i got home in time to give shaubie a break from the boy. we rode some of the normal roads in denver/chatfield area just different directions on some. tim was riding super-strong, near the end we came to this hill that was at home in san fran. tim riding his cross bike with heavy aero wheels and stout fat slicks danced right up it, no trouble. the rest of us were struggling to make it and he wasn't even breathing, just going away laughing. i feel the best when i eat right. the last few days, we are on a good diet the food makes me feel energized, good proper portions. the rest of my system is thanking me. food is such a big part of my life if i don't eat right i feel like a overfed veal locked in a crate the size of a shoebox. it seems that i resemble a johnny cash song when i fall away from a good diet. maybe tomorrow i'll try to stay hydrated, rested and well fed.
a blog before bed, last night was bad. after all that beckham went through yesterday he got us back for putting him through it. i lost count at 5 wake-ups, not that i blame him it was hard on all four of us, though jackson was smart and just stayed downstairs. he just wouldn't sleep for more than 30 minutes. oh well life with a baby! motorists are in full-on winter invincibilty mode. the asshole factor is very high in breck right now. i tried to cross a lane of traffic to get home and the cars were pissed that i got in their way and they had to slow. why can't they just realize that they are not the only ones out there. the suv is not the savior. the car is just one more way to get around. it is ok to ride a bike in winter, we'll be just fine if you give us just a bit of room. thanks for the vent more tomorrow with a better point
my life is very good right now, i appreciate every bit of my son's excitement about life. the way he sees a new thing and the joy it brings him warms me. he is just now sitting up on his own, he'll sit and play with a new toy a make the coolest noises to relay his happiness with the toy. i'm ready to train again. the bike is going to start getting some more work, little spins will become more involved efforts, the rollers will find their out of the shed and into living room. the video stack will again be circulated to entertain me for the hours spent staring at the idiot box, sweating and hopefully riding the fixy a bit to off set the hours and hours on the gears. maybe the mtb will play more of a part with after work spins on the roads and maybe not becoming the newest hood ornament for a texas-cadillac (chevy suburban) the car that i hate the most, it epitomizes the glut that is america, the crass-commercialism and conspicuous-consumption that pervades our society, that, and one killed a friend of mine too! it gets to be hard giving the finger to some asshole-motorist through lobster paw mitts. but maybe if i ride the same trails enough i can get them packed down so i'm not hike-a-biking through 2 feet of snow. perhaps travis will ride some of the trails on his new single to make for more travelers on the singletracks. the diversity of bikes will make winter work very good, maybe i can leave my stuff at the nordic center again this winter and ride over there and back for the after work ski club. maybe better lights are in order for dodging idiots and elk to get home from the nordic center. oh well it beats trying to cram a winter of work into the month of march.