Reading over the news this morning I got the story on the illustrious World Champ testing postive for drugs. WTF! This was the second time he tested positive in his career, why is it so lax for some and not so for others. After riding with him a few weeks ago here and marveling at his form and flow on the singletrack and then to get this kind of news, bizarre. No respect whatsoever for him. Check out Todd Wells remarks on the topic very good stuff go to www.toddwells.net and read what he has to say, I agree 100%.
I was going to report on the DNC and John Kerry's grand water taxi entrance but instead I'm taking the road less traveled, not mentioning much of stomach issues either. My search for the best food has been limited again by the breadth of my adventurous palate. I would rather not be comprimised by a meal for a few days in favor of enjoying an exotic dish. I am recovered from my bout right now and ready to resume the battle to gain a few pounds. I didn't even get to have the exotic meal, it was regular food that bit me. As for that other issue in Boston right now, seems the good old boys have a battle on their hands this November. Maybe Bush 2 will meet the same fate as Bush 1. One Term President. Wouldn't that be great.
It got better today. I didn't have to listen to it. It was quiet, the voice stayed away for once! I was mindung my own business and the iPod really helps, it can't speak over the sound of the B-Boys or Arco. Not too loud with the sounds but loud enough to enjoy the subtle jokes and melodies. It feels great to train like I know I should. Average rides are so easy, you just always look to go faster, like being in a solo break, use energy where it counts and save where you need to. I have avoided talking much about the Tour, the Giro was way better. I guess I should be impressed but I'm more dissapointed about not seeing a real scrap. Maybe next year Floyd wil give him a run for his money on another team, or maybe Floyd pulls a George and sacrifices his own ambitions to be a super-domestique. Sean Yates would be proud of those boys. On my way to work today I went around a corner faster than I normally would. I instantly missed road racing. It's been a month since I did the Coal Miner and I really miss the tight turns in the pack and the speedy feel on the straights. I need to get back in there, maybe I'll hit the Eagle tuesday night crits and maybe Wednesday Worlds soon. I may try to pretend i'm not a roadie but it's so deep in my roots that I can't forget my first love. Hell it's been 23 years of it, never very far from the road scene. Even when I was without a road bike b/c of budget cuts I always wanted one. I tried not to but it didn't work, I thought briefly "I have a good mtb, why do I need a roadbike. I'll just put slicks on for road training." Stupid, not much beats the glide of a road machine on asphalt.
I think it is all beginnig to make sense. I didn't understand it at first but now I seem to have found a rhythm to things. Not that it was overly difficult. I was riding down the street and the voices called, I was listening but not very well. I couldn't figure it out for the longest time, usually they have more patience but I guess it was a bad day. Avoiding the lightning bolts, dodging the hail, trying not to go hypothermic wondering what they wanted. I shifted gears and went on, riding towards the blue sky, out from under the wet canopy. Shoes filled with water, wind whistling through my ears, they tried unsuccessfully to get through. No snacks, finally waterbottles to drink from and lots of water in my shoes. It hates water in the shoes, louder and louder the more my socks get wet. Enough and I was out into the sun. The water doesn't leave that fast, shoes don't warm up and dry after just an hour. Three hours later and I was almost home, water lingering. Why can't the shoes dry and just shut them up?
I knew going out that if I got through the first 15 minutes I would be fine, warm enough, satisfied to be riding in the rain/hail if I didn't get hit by lightning first. I looked north hoping that it was just a front that was going to be short lived. It was. The 20 minutes i rode in the rain/hail was the worst weather I have been on a bicycle in. It hurt my bare hands (no gloves) and made me consider going home and sitting on the couch, I saw clear skies 15 miles north and went there. By the time I started the real work of the climb it was scattered clouds and a bit of sun. Good work, by the time I was near home I pretty blown. I had to stop and pee four or five times! Odd. The road machine certainly was the call, a good washing/lube last night and it was perfect this morning. I blew out another set of headphones last week, maybe the stock apple headphones are not able to maintain higher volumes. Am I ruining my hearing? I have now killed two sets of the stock ones and lost one set of the good ones. I'll buy another set of the good ones, they are worth it.
I don't know if anyone from my place of work reads this but if they do I'm sure it's no surprise. For a few months I have been having trouble with my cream for my coffee, I now only have coffee at work, on days off I abstain or go mocha or godforbid frappacino. Well, at work the cream that I buy only comes in a small container, the one pint would last me a few days if not the whole work week. For some reason it's gone after two days. I was polite about it at first and lately I have grown pretty pissed off about it. The first few times I wrote with a Sharpie "Please get your own" or "This is not yours" but when these failed to work I grew more angry b/c they weren't replacing the container of my good, organic Horizon Dairy Half and Half, not some schwag, not shitty hormone pumped rubbish, but the good stuff. Maybe they could have bought another container and let it go at that. I don't need to know who has conscientious/expensive tastes like my own, just buck up and get a pint of the creamer. So, I have now resorted to profanity on my creamer, the message written in Sharpie now reads "F-off" and looky here it worked! 5 days and it still has enough in there for today, right where I left it last time I worked. I wouldn't mind sharing if they would say "Hey, I drank some creamer let me get the next one." That's all it would take instead of the alternative. It's principle, I don't mind buying the stuff, I like the process of going to the store and supporting the organic dairy, buying the way I think we all should. I feel good about my purchase this way.
It seems that ski areas are becoming more accomadating to mtb and welcoming the $ that they bring in. My problem is with the kind of rider that goes and rides lift serviced trails. The lack of sustainabilty in riding this way brings about a law of diminishing return, why not ride out in the middle of nowhere and ride the stunts the renegades have created or schlep your 35lb rig up the hill and earn that blissful, fossil fueled-gravity assisted fully suspended sofa ride down? They say that bikes are advancing at the rate of the trails, WTF? As long as you don't frequent the lift serviced "terrain parks" with your little hardtail and you get in the wilderness (like where mtbs were meant to go) you can still enjoy your ride on your sweet little hardtail and perhaps ignore the carnage and aggro lifestyle being propagated by the ski areas. Don't get me wrong I WANT those people going to the ski area, that way I don't have to see them on the trails when I get out where the lifts aren't hanging above my head. The philosophical split is somewhere across from the area, somewhere accessable by human power not by fossil fuel, way up high above the shite that you must go through at the park to get to where the heart of it is.
Not much writing lately, not that I lack topic but lack of opportunity. The Tour has been eating up a big chunk of my time. Not entirely rooting for Lance but impressed to no end with the show Postal is putting on. My own riding is taking up the other bits of time. I raced as a member of a team at Xterra Keystone yesterday. Our swimmer was really strong, and my ride wasn't too bad, but all down after all up isn't the best for me. I suffered though after a good climb, our runner did a good effort too. I may be getting some form back, another week real training and hopefully I can get something together.
I like it, I feel better about life when it makes training a bit harder. No that I don't enjoy the sunny days but the wet ones are just special. I'm riding at about a third grade level right now, I need to get back into form. I'm just slow. Volume and some good long hard days after a bit and maybe I can get it all together for Estes. Hopefully I can just ride a lot more than I have been and the form will come, it always does. This morning was great, little bit of rain from last night made the roads more fun and the spray woke me up quickly, nothing like road grime to slap you into the day. Long loop into work and I feel better already.
Some days I actually get stuff done. Errands and the stuff I need to do are done. Beckham makes these tasks more fun, he helps me find the stuff I can't in the grocery and laughs at me when some idiot from Texas cuts me off. I wish they all didn't drive like this is Disneyland. I have food in the house, I will overwhelm Brian, he can't have all my food, I need some of it. Good snacks and cereal, Cokes for when I feel the need for junk, a great source for a few hundred calories. I still feel a bit weak, the food helps but I wonder if the bugs will let me go.
The yuck is almost gone from my system. Two naps today and some yard work were the order with a light spin with B in the Burley. Good overall but still really lethargic, I wonder if it is CFS. I'll see if I can eat my way out. Saturday is big, I'll maybe skip the local series race Wednesday in favor of rest and good form for Saturday. I'll be happy to ride a fun course that I know. Good dinner of chicken and salad, I want to eat more just no more crap, I get sick of the junk but I need the calories, same old game. Brian is working overtime again.
I guess it started thursday or was it wednesday, and then it just got bad. Weird stomach stuff that made me want to sleep for days. I didn't throw up, I hate to throw up, I turn my whole body inside out. Some people can get it out with little effort. Not me. I went home, after a pretty hateful 2 hours at work. A solid day of sleep/rest got rid of most of it. Now the demons are fading, no longer tugging at my system as hard. I still don't feel 100%, odd.
Riding in today listening to the Beta Band I saw Dr. Hotplate. Dr. Hotplate is a woman we see around town who Shaubie says is a doctor of some sort, but she seems to have an eating disorder, hence her nickname to us, she needs a "hotplate of food." So I see her all the time when I am going to work and she is totally emaciated, running in the middle of the road at 5 in the morning. It's one of those things you notice in a place you know very well, the freaks just seem to stand out a bit more. I really wonder what the real story is, we have no clue whether or not she is a doctor, I hope not a shrink b/c who'd take advice from a freak like that? Watching her run on those little legs that look to be the size of my arms in kind of comical in a "Bushmen of the Serengeti" kind of way. I half expect to see a wilderbeast up the road with a spear sticking out of its side. Eat a donut today.
I did it. I finished the Firecracker 50 in about four hours and twenty minutes. Not bad. I got a good start and looking back I don't think I started too hard, better to be more in front early than havng to pass them later. I had the squirrels cheering for me and the mockingbirds in my corner. Unlike the other day they wanted me to do well, a good ride for sure, I had figured on a decent effort. The bike was great, I'm pretty sure no one that beat me was on an older bike, My 1998 WTB Ti Phoenix was one of the classiest that I saw among the geared crowd. The singles have a style all their own. Cruising around the course made me feel good, finishing was a good accomplishment, not that the thought of stopping ever creeped in. After finishing I had similar feleing to my first big race at Mount Snow 11 years ago. Kind of spent emotion, maybe fatigue makes me emotional? Now I feel tired but not absolutley fried.
An afternoon delight, I rode through some fun singletracks I normally only race. I watched some guys go through the freeride park. I continued up the mountain to the good stuff I knew, dashing into and out of the good trails on the hill, working my way up and up. I ended up riding trails that were new to me, flying through the tree tunnels and coming out in new spots and clearings. Riding alone with music going on fast singletrack was great, I was losing myself, floating over the trails. Squirrels yelling at me, cheering me on, fox snickering at my lack of skills, deer chewing their lunch and wondering how I go through the woods so slowly. Above the din of the iPod the animals talked through it, keeping me aware of the right way to go and admonishing me for the wrong. I was my own Dr. Doolittle on fat tires. Trees laid down in front of me angry at their friends being cut, trying to trip me up. Bunnyhopping the wood, avoiding the punjis sticking out, smiling all the way.
I vacillate back and forth between liking the new stuff and wanting to return to the simplest equipment. I have a blast riding the fixy, I love to be so connected to the bike. The new forks and rear suspension are cool but I prefer my hardtail. Riding last night on the trails was great, I am forever amazed at how high up you can get on a mtb within a short time. We got to treeline and back within 90 minutes and that was the long way, the views of the valley were incredible! I have a new fork on the mtb and it works well but it is so tempermental, I didn't have the one knob adjusted just right and it felt the same as a rigid fork. Then when it was adjusted properly it felt much more plush. A single speed mtb is the best of both worlds, simplicity while embracing new technology in materials. On the road I'll take my fix gear anyday.
Half lap on the Firecracker course tonight. Very fun to get that far up near treeline and see the whole valley below. Great trails, perfect with all of the recent rain and snow they are in great shape. Little critters getting to gather dinner without dodging lightning hail and rain. Life is good, 50 miles on Sunday, no trouble.