I skied for a whole hour, it started to snow about 3 p.m. or so and by the time I was skiing it was 5 and there already were a few inches on the trail. I decided to forego music and instead ski solo in the fresh snow. Listening to it beneath my skis and the snow falling all around me made for a perfect ski. The tempo was slow and working on my skills was the goal, every time I got gassed I would just back off and control my pace to and focus more on technique. four laps on the green loop the first pretty fast the second really bad and slow, then the third and fourth laps were just technique/tempo. For me it was the ski equivalent of a long-steady-distance ride. I can sometimes find that place and cruise, the place i go to on a long climb on the mtb, knowing the reward is in the climb.
I got out for a good little, I mean little, nordic session today. about 35 minutes and that was it. Not skiing for a week and a half cost me what little gains I made. Fresh snow over night had the trails slow, and even slower for me as I hadn't skied in 10 days. It's still there, just buried under the cowbeds. Amazing how that little effort can keep the ghosts away another day. I really like how it works, a little effort and bam, nothing is really lost, especially if your first real effort that matters is 8 months out. Cross worlds were today, Sven Nijs finally won his Elite title, the course looked rippin' fun, sort of like our day at Xlinx over thanksgiving weekend. Americans fared well, for Americans that is, two guys in the top 20; Page in 14th and Treefarm in 15th. I wonder what the finish would look like if they took out all the dopers?
A whole week since the cold grabbed me and hasn't really let go. It centers on the upper respiratory phlegm center. Is that bad? The good thing is that I know the food we've been eating is helping, good salads with lots of colors and great veggies too. 9 hours of sleep last night and I really think I'm on track. Lucky for me every morning I get to ride the single across the ice. It makes whatever is lurking in my chest seem less of a big deal. It all is less of a big deal when I get on the bike. Funny how that works, you get on a toy and it all melts away. Been reading a lot lately on the drugs situation in our sport, mattdecanio.com I wish theses guys could realize that they get paid to ride a toy, basic transportation, a simple machine meant to get around small villages and pick up groceries, not demean the noble bicycle but we are lucky to enjoy this simple machine (some more simple than others) why ruin the races with drugs? Being clean is the way it should be not the exception. Greed.
Something about eating the way I should mkes me feel better. Good fish tonight and a salad with lots of colors, good lettuce and veggies with lots tasty treats, that and seared yellow fin. Amazing stuff. My stomach gets to process good raw veggies and a wonderful piece of fish. Weird how that works, I feel less tired now than I did an hour ago and the body responds so well to good stuff. Food the way I want it to be, a meandering trip in tomorrow finally feel the love coming back, no more sickness, no more short rides. Actually ride the bike, what an idea! 42 and cloudy/snowy for Sunday in Denver, might be tough to get in the time, chamois time-needed.
The cold has settled in and won't leave. For whatever reason it's living in my throat, which makes for cool coughing noises that produce pretty colored phlegm. I wonder if my fever is higher than I think on account of all the weird thoughts I'm having. Maybe I'm losing it? It's fun to let the mind wander, not too far though. I'm wondering if my bike misses me, since the sickness set in I've had less contact, it knows that I treat it pretty well, always well lubed and clean. I just miss the meandering trips home instead of the straight line to avoid exposure to more cold germs. The guys over at blue collar mtb were talking about proper clothing for surviving winter, I think the best stuff is a proper zip-t shirt warm enough for a two or three layer set up and a soft shell or good windbreaker with a good base layer against the skin. For the legs a good set of tights and a nice pair of Nema shorts. That works for me down to about 10-15 below zero. Oh, the hands? $15 snowmobile mitts that mount on the handlebars. Check out the mitts Enough gear talk, I'm bored now.
Jon Stewart said it best, last week was the official half-way point of the W presidency, four more years of American emperialism, who's next? Syria, no. My bet is on Iran, that would make a nice three in a row. God it must be fun to only hear the good new out of Iraq (he must not hear that much) I just hope somebody wakes that dumb shit up one day and makes him realize what a fine mess he's made.
I'm working on the main character for a book, he's a bit like me but more in the negative direction than I usually I am. When I finally get off my ass and write the damn book he'll probably start off with an introduction like this:
I've tried to overcome my bad attitude. Now instead I accept and embrace it. Screw it. What am I going to do, change? I'm way too old to do that. I'll just need to work with who I am and use it to my advantage, I just have such a hardtime buyin g into all the bullshit, amazing I made it this far.I try to have that good attitude and roll with it but it just shows up. I like to let it run and write down what comes out of my rants that go off inside my head. It's a lot of fun to listen to the rational and not-so-rational sides of brain fight over the ideas. Maybe some day it'll all fade into middle age, no I'm this way for life. I believe that there is a good story in there, as long the story involves a misanthropic main character who fails to see the good in anything after a while and who constantly lets the sarcasm in his own head run his world.I don't know maybe a story about a guy who wants to write a story, plenty of those out there huh? Oh well, none have been from my viewpoint, not that that's a good thing. it's just a different point of view.
I haven't seen the ink of the Octopus in a long time. I miss the way it made me feel. The sky hides the snow that refuses to visit. We look for it every day but the sun always wins. Maybe not always but more often than not. I tried to talk about the way the secret made the sun hide the moon and keep the snow away. Walking down the street the ghost kept quiet about his secret, he didn't understand what it was like to be lost. Going to the supermarket everyday because the free samples and the warmth inside get the blood flowing. Why live here if you're that cold? There are far better places to live if you lack good shelter. Oh well, some people like more of a challenge. There are ways around it all, cheating is the next step, wherever you go there are cheaters. They're everywhere. No matter what area you choose, sport, regular work, politics, it's right there, just scratch the surface. Bullshit is a way of life for a lot of them. I should have padded my resume, I could have looked into a little help, but no. I tried to find it the other way. I found it the way I wanted to, just not as far down the road as I wanted. The end of the road is the top of the hill. Better to get there without help, better to get there and not have to look back with worry, just look back and laugh. Ha, ha, ha.
My cold faded yesterday. A lot of water and Emer-gen C got me out of the woods. The temps in Denver have been high all week, with good weather and a lot of phlegm to get rid of I thought what better way than to do 3 hours in the heat. A big group for the starbucks ride that should have been faster going up Lookout but never really got fast on the front, I know this because I was climbing with the leaders. I kept a nice 20k nordic pace, not on the rivet but not soft pedaling either, it's about a 10 kilometer climb. Good legs, but not too much work either. The first hour I heaved up a lot of cookie batter. It just kept loosening and needed to get out. As tired as three hours made me it did kick the rest of the cold out of me, now I just feel tired.
It started to show up around mid day yesterday, by the time I was off work I was looking for a ride home. I got home (rode the bike, no ride to be had) and collapsed into the couch. By 7.40 pm I was in bed, waking up a few times to blow my runny nose and clear the throat of phlegm. Getting up for work wasn't a trouble as B was up too. One of the big bosses thought I sounded like crap and said I shouldn't be at work if I was under the weather. So by 8.30 I was out and trying to get calories in. Feed a cold right? Well, so far success on that front. Good drugs, or pseudo-drugs to help out; Emergen-C and Cold-EZE really help, zinc and C are the bomb, they alone got me a two hour nap. Now it's back to shoving food in my head. I really want to get back out on the nor-dick boards but with the 35-45 degree weather I know the snow sucks, maybe in a week or so we'll get snow and fix everything. A break is good instead of ruining my skis on stumps and rocks poking through.
I can't believe I didn't ski at the nordic center last year. I've never had this much fun skiing, my technique is not nearly as inefficient as I thought. I feel better each time I get out there. Tonight was good, Travis and I got in nearly an hour, the snow wasn't that great, too warm today to keep it as good as tuesday morning. Stretches were good and then stretches were super-icy. Better than being home on the couch.
You need to read this piece. Click the link that is the title of this post. I know the reputation of the Times was sullied recently but this is from Paul Krugman, a guy who is the real deal, makes the staff at Fox News look less than "Fair and Balanced" to be nice!
I got out for an early morning ski, somehow I felt ten times better than Sunday. I was actually gliding! The skis were great again, only one fall when when I went around a turn way too hot on the black loop and sat down, hard. I probably would have skied longer but my hands were so friggin' cold they ached. My V1 is ok, my V2 is ok, V2 alternate sucks, bad balance and bad focus. I'll get better as I get out there more. I know now I want to ski a few times a week, at least. I just may need to cram it into three days. I keep thinking about the gear I have, circa 1996. Is it too old? Am I sacrificing speed and efficiency, does it matter? Any thoughts or input is appreciated here.
Somehow I managed to find indian food today, we had the best dinner at home in a while. It's been probably two years since I had indian food, it won't be that long again. Chicken yellow curry, good. Lentil dahl, great. Naan w/ spinach sauce, great. We just watched a documentary on Dave Mirra, pretty amazing how similar athletes at the highest end of their sport are. Mirra is another who almost lost it all and came back to be better than ever before. Unlike a certain road cyclist he doesn't seem to have let it get to his head and dump is wife and leave his kids. Pussy roadies!
Two ski sessions, the first on Siberian the second on Spruce Valley. The a.m. ski on skaters, my first in almost two years, definetely need work on my skate technique. I could barely ski 10 minutes without having to really slow or stop. I suck! I enjoyed it in a weird sort of way, 45 minutes was all I could do, nothing left. I'll get out again this week, try for four sessions a week and maybe I'll get back the skills I used to have. The old wax on my skis was perfect, evey descent was really fast, shame every hill was about as slow as you can go on skaters. The p.m. ski was mellow, up Spruce Valley, with the whole crew. I got to tow the kid so at least I got a bit of work done. I wish I was better, maybe it will be more fun if I get better. Oh well, it was good to be back at it on the skate skis, the skills will come.
They think a lynx is running around the south side of Peak 10. It makes me feel good to know that there are predators that are above humans in the food chain. We have a few mountain lions and now that lynx are suspected to be here I'm more excited to go into the backcountry. I have never seen one but I bet they have seen me. A few years ago Shaubie and I thought that we saw mountain lion tracks above Frisco. Knowing that animals like that are around makes the backcountry experience better, man needs a little healthy competition. Skiing over fresh snow on the trails we fly across in the summer and stopping to examine tracks is one of the coolest things about winter, in summer tracks are lost, winter leaves them for a while allowing evidence of who was there earlier. Just after a snow is the best, when it's soft and the tracks linger preserved, you can see what happened just a few minutes or a few hours before. The further back you get the less traffic, better for viewing. More naturalist stuff later.
The new mitts work great, if they were made for bikes they would be $60, since they were made for snowmobiles they were $14.97. The commute makes me so happy, especially when it has snowed a bit. Every day I get on the bike and roll out of the hood I feel lucky to be able to ride. I can't think of a better way to start the day. I rode today through really heavy falling snow and more on the ground with just my little knit Sponge Bob gloves, wait, oh shit! I'm wearing the Sponge Bob boxers today! That's the second time I've had dual Sponge Bob accessories accidently. The first being a few months ago. I have only seen one episode of Sponge Bob but I love him already.
We all need to say something, sometimes it's an issue that really bothers us others it's about a dream, a thought, an aspiration/goal, something we may not tell others about, just below the surface wanting to get free, let out. I might have a dozen of these a day, I try not to dwell on the topic but sometimes it gets through and I get it out in the open, usually it's nothing too serious, quasi-political, socio-economic bullshit that lingers in my head when I have too much time to think. I know there must be a way to weave all of these thoughts into a decent story but the next one usually comes just as the last has been formulated into a good, succinct, worthy piece of thinking. I need a thought recorder, I think it would come out as something in between the Unibomber Manifesto and Lenny Bruce's How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. Maybe I just need to write more and get the thoughts on paper or the screen quicker, I know the few people who read this would be bored pretty fast but perhaps some idiot at Penguin Books would think it worthy, I hear it's not too hard to get a book deal.
I woke up this morning not quite sure what day it was. I checked my watch to see the date and time and still had to think about what was happening. I knew that if I had to work I wasn't late as it was just on 5 a.m. I knew where I was but I still was really confused and had to wake myself up more to figure out, it was monday, I'm off today, I don't need to do much. Well, other than take care of the kid. After I remembered it was just yesterday that I was riding outside, that I got 4 hours and I wasn't wrecked. It was as windy as Carter Lake last year, I was leaning over into the wind to keep from getting blown off the road. Not very many riders out there, maybe 7 or so that I saw. I think the bike worked well but the wind and the iPod drowned out any nasty sounds coming off my grime encrusted drivetrain. As I got further South the roads were more dry and a bit more clear, around Loveland the roads were pretty bad, snowpacked and really wet. Roadbikes and snowpacked roads aren't a good combo. Anytime I turned West the wind would knock my speed down to not more than a crawl and when I turned east it would rocket to 50k/hr. Stiff winds. It was fun to ride alone, just the music and the wind, not suffering as much as working with the wind and avoiding potholes, assholes, and slush piles. The reward for the day was Big City Burrito for dinner, fresh potato and hot salsa for me, never better. We waited to drive home for the kid to be almost asleep, he was out 5 minutes into the drive. Quiet and mellow trip home, except for a bit of snow on the pass. It feels good to start the season in earnest. One long day a week and the other stuff is gravy. I'll try to get to the nordic center today for an hour or so of skating, try.
Marginal movie last night, The Big Bounce was probably the worst of Elmore Leonard's novel adaptations. Not even in the same league as John Travolta's Chili Palmer in Get Shorty. The story was ok the fact that it was set in Hawaii made it a bit easier to watch. Now I really want to get back to Kauai! Not a ton of surfing, but cool scenery anyway. The tele stuff I had goes back to its owner today. Thanks for the loan Pete! I already have boots, another friend helped out and now I have my very own set of tele boots and skis aren't far off!
Not much to say, it was really cold again today, I saw the rabbit on the way in, that was the first animal I'd seen in a while on the commute. I guess they're cold too! Good massamon curry with tofu tonight, it's still warming my belly. Very good stuff. Here's some more pics.
I have a problem riding my single, I keep wanting to go faster over the ice, I think it will hold fine. I have yet wreck it this winter. I love being out there on it, about -5 today, not too bad, the bike and fresh snow were great. Peaceful cruising over the tundra roads. Most of the roads haven't been snow-free in weeks. perma-tundra, better traction than black ice. The studs haven't slipped yet, I'll have to test them at some point, really try and rail a corner.
6 inches of fresh today. The snow was super quiet, I got in a little extra time on the trip in. I have a had time understanding corporate America. The way that the government helps big business is really odd. You get more of a tax cut for driving an H2 than you do for driving a hyprid. By that logic they are going to hit me with a tax eventually for riding my bike and not gobbling up more fossil fuels. As though a gas guzzling 10 mpg (not advertised) H2 is better for the world than some schmuck riding a bike. Can't we raise the gas prices to what they are in Europe or Canada? Maybe we would fight fewer unjustified wars? Maybe we could use the added taxes from the gas sales to promote alternative fuels? Oh, what am I thinking we're fucked for four more years...at least. www.fuh2.com
Last night Shaubie brought home her computer, I have been well disconnectd for nearly a week and a half. It sucks, I like computers and dislike not being able to surf randomly at home. My mac should be home today. I don't realize just how much I use it. I'm learning iMovie right now too, so no mac means no time to make movies of B running around in the snow, I have the footage now and maybe by the weekend I'll have a short finished. Technology is pretty cool when used for good, really bad when used to further a compulsion. A friend can't blog as honestly as he once did because some sickos were visting the site he uses to write about being a dad. Sick bastards!!!
Saturday and Sunday were good trips up the hill, the effort to cross train more has changed my outlook a lot. I see the different options as good alternatives not "time off the bike." Tomorrow will be my first day at the nordic center, an hour of skating should tie my body in knots pretty well. I'm hoping my lungs don't freeze from the inside out. Later on in the week we may skin up A-Basin after dark, ski down with headlamps, a whole other side of the day. I prefer the early morning.
I try to deny myself the fact that things scare me. I guess I like to think I'm stronger than I am. I normally don't like to catalog my fears but I am reminded of them periodically. If I were to list them the list would change every day, hopefully these will fade and be replaced or deleted tomorrow. Here's what bothers me right now: -Fear of phone calls and door bells, especially late at night; it usually means bad news. -Fear of my son being hurt, being a parent really does change you. -Fear of germs, I wash my hands probably twenty times a day. It just feels good to be clean. On a brighter note, the TV is on in the background, it is utterly fucking ridiculous how bad television is. The level of schadenfreude is astounding. How vapid the American public is, channel surfing is a nightmare, I'll be thrilled when I can go to four channels; Simpsons/Seinfeld channel, Comedy Central, English Premier League Channel and Discovery Channel. I could go with that little variety, but if you think about it that's a pretty good smattering of the worthwhile offerings.
If the year really does begin at midnight, what difference is there between 11.59 and 12.01? I think dawn should really be the beginning. Isn't that more practical? Whatever, more random thoughts. The kid was having none of it today, 4.30 wake up for a milk and then no return to sleep. Making my 6 a.m. meeting to skin up was no trouble, it wasn't light until just before the top, pretty cool to ascend in the dark and ski down in the light. I still suck at tele skiing but no great surprise there. I was awful at cross until I gave it a while so I guess tele skiing will be the same, if I get that far with it. Some of it is lack of motivation to really rip at it right now. I like the trip up more than the trip down. Hmmmmmm sounds like mountain biking.