New methods to solve old problems, always looking for the angle to get to the right place. Sick of feeling out the problems instead of facing and going through. I know what the numbers all mean and where the equation will end up, but setting the framework to plug it in remains the issue. Colors change and fall is visible, leaves losing a bit of green in favor of yellows and oranges. More citrus right now, fight off the early autumn nasties, hide away in plain sight as the bugs fly past, lingering only long enough to see that I have avoided another. Seeing that my equation has again worked, next time it won't but for now I'm in the clear.


This Morning

Pica are out of order, the first one is from this morning after the rains cleared from the overnight. The rest are from the trip home yesterday in the drizzle the whole way. Squishy shoes and lots cleaning to be done to both bike and body. Short days made up for the wrong reasons, today is better 100 on the day, I promise myself. While working a real job it gets tougher, lazy early cost me today, had the door open at 6.15, I hesitated and lost the window. Not again this week, time in the saddle = good rides. Smell that air? Fall, Autumn, it's here!



I tried to post the photos from yesterday's great little ride but I was unsuccessful and bagged the whole thing. I'll go back today. Meanwhile the pieces are getting aligned. I see the order coming out of the chaos, the subtle arrangement and blatant shouts to get it all in one place. The big stuff still a ways off but closer than you think it should be. I hear it in the wind as I roll across what will be tundra soon. Inking out the clues from where they are only barely visible.



New pictures in my head, playing to the strengths not entirely out of the one or into the other but the clock ticks and the calendar turns. Program shaping up to make me the 'crosser I always hope to be. I can't get over how good my morning coffee has been the last few days, I am never disappointed, proper, stout brew. Tomorrow the bialetti gets its first taste of Peets.The pixels arrange their place and the image appears. Consistent, solid. Ready?


So the dominos fall, not in the order I would like but for sure in a way that the makes you wonder how the hell that dipshit got a second term. Gonzales seemed smug and entitled from the beginning. Good riddance. On a lighter note I caught the coverage of the Tour of Ireland on Versus yesterday, what a great race on epic little eons-old roads. Looked like the world's number team; CSC had trouble keeping the rubber on the ancient tarmac. Unibet showed that after the season-long flogging they have been taking they are still a classy outfit. I guess in France and a few other EU countries you can't be sponsored by a gasp! Gambling Website! BFD... I broke my fancy road shoes over the weekend, I think the good folks at Specialized are going to help me out and give me some new ones. So I ride the mtb shoes on the road bike which is surprisingly comfy. Eat and ride lots today.


Photo Dump

Early snow and too much rain to count. The motivation grows and the weather goes fall. Little peeks at the snow up high. Time to get the narrow knobbies out. Ready?



Another in the tank, I feel like i navigate a mine field in a straight line as I try to avoid the floating ball in my way. Not that I don't see the the other shapes I just only focus on the round one in my eyes. I get it all in pieces, never all at once. Better that way as the keys to the kingdom and pieces go into their own shapes and places I haven't been to yet. Look at it, make the puzzle fit into your mold, it won't be stale.



Always trying to work things out the powers that be have to see this as good faith. Paskowitz can't be seen by anyone who is rational to be a polarizing figure. Pretty cool to even try something along these lines. And not get shot.


I have the notes written down (typed) and the words just lack the interest I want them to have. The legs respond but lack extra push, it's all a puzzle, the pieces fit together and the first time it all aligns no matter what it feels like gold. I'm not looking for a handout but the Euros sure seem to have the program figured out. Breaks are key, you miss one and you pay for it one way or another; on the results sheet or on the doctor's bill. Listen to the system, if you ride or race or both the body needs to be heard.



There are a million things that can go wrong that you have control of and another million that you don't. I lost it to one I had control of. Basic stuff that cost me enough to give Smith a gap i could have closed. I lost because of it. I know now what more I can do. Always learning, Riding the classic mtb ski area course, not like Copper that was all and all down, this was up across down up a bit... Great trails and better conditions I can't think of, bit of rain bit of lightning. The bike and the tyres were better than me, my mistakes cost us a win. The little things added up and the sum wasn't what I had hoped.


Hearing fast

I think I have my volume back up to pre-sick levels but that was so long ago that I don't really know what that should be, a month later in the season and more than that much under the legs over the time it took to get out from under the yuck that bothered me for most of July and the first part of August. Now that it's gone I have good legs and sore ears. Volume is what makes me happy and the time I'm getting on the machine is enough to make my ears hurt. Today it's the right more than the left ear. I guess it's from shoving the ear buds so far in to hear my pod that I hurt them after a while but tenintis hasn't entirely eaten away at my aural senses. I still hear the bears and the coyotes outside every night and the cars passing well before they pass. The dull ache matches any tightness on a given day. With only a few tests left this mtb season b/c for whatever reason the mtb stuff ends in September, I would love to have a mix of mtb and cross in the fall the way they do in the east. The ears hurt, I consider new headphones to relieve the pain but I like it too, the legs feel good and the ears feel bad. more of one and less of the other. I am putting the mental keys together to turn the tumblers in the locks, I have all of the keys, i started getting them on the ring not long after the end of cross in December, now I have the pieces to the puzzle arranged from short hours but lots of them. Life isn't always able to allow for 5 hour rides. It all fits together and I have the template to get through the puzzle, either go at it like a bull or more subtle like a antelope. They go uphill better and work in tighter spaces more efficiency, not all that horsepower to slow them down. Less is less. Less is more.


The Beautiful Game

Easily one of the most impressive displays of skill from the Sven Nys of football.

Close up

I saw sketchball today, one of the characters I see around town as I start my commute, his ratty look is pretty hard to miss and the way he leers at nearly everything is creepy to put it nicely. I think i have heard him say four words and the time a few years ago that he beat a strangers dog outside the grocery only made me more aware of him. He needs help. The other weird thing is all the different colors that come out after a rain the path seems littered with new shades of blue, purple and deeper greens than I have seen. All of the wild flowers are turning new shades, warm, more humid days followed by light rains and the sun shining the rest of the day has the colors on extra bright. I see a new flower everyday that brings another new shade of green to it's supporting leaf.



Weird things on the path and the A & W had cool things to say, just in case you haven't been saved you can rely on your local shitty fast-food place to help you out of eternal damnation. The hat was an odd vision early in the morning, sort of creepy to see a child's hat laying upside down on the path.


The work

I hadn't really counted on the ride home last night having much quality to it, but in the end it did. Seldom updated but a good read when he gets around to it, fast kids make me work. Legs felt soooo much better after our climb-heavy commute. nothing like an extra 15 k of hills to finish off the day. Whatever it was it helped. Rolling home with a pack full of dirty clothes made it that much better. In the early 90s there was a training aid that was a weight that you strapped to the bottom bracket/down tube junction of an mtb that was called the Pig Iron I never used one, it weighed a few pounds, I can only imagine what it did to the handling of the bike. The trick was to use it as resistance training but why not run heavy wire bead tyres or some other means to add resistance but that is probably why they only lasted a season or two. That is what I feel like when 70% of my rides are with a 5-15 pound pack.


Part of my commute when I ride the paved path takes me around the backside of a hospital and medical office building, when I see someone standing out back finishing their cigarette I chuckle. How can you administer or facilitate the medical process in any way and maintain some shred of credibility while harboring a habit like that? It's like a heroin addict running a methadone clinic. Anyway, I feel a change in the air, autumn isn't far away, I can smell the barriers and maybe a hint of some mud, perhaps Portland mud or maybe East Coast mud. Either way it will be good, how could it not?


A or B

I don't think I'm type A or really type B, is it fair to categorize everything? I enjoy order and avoid excessive clutter, giving away stuff that is not used. But I don't usually have it all arranged so it's exactly where it needs to be. Getting the bike stuff together is pretty easy, I know where that stuff is rarely is anything missing. I guess after 15 years more or less of racing it's on autopilot, Old stuff is kicked to the curb and the usable stuff stays. Maybe new bins to organize the stuff by season, hey, there's a great idea for a weekend project put it all together. The little gears in my head make up for the lack of them on my bike. The pieces fit and clear up the clutter. After seeing the order in my head I need less order outside of it. Illy making my morning better, the pictures in my head clearing the path.



New pictures fill my head as I push through the meat of summer. The legs are responding well but being sick for almost a month hurts the head. Maybe get a good sweat going tomorrow and show a clean set of wheels. The best is showing through, efficiency and focus... The fewest mistakes takes over the faster legs. Power to the pedals and proper set up. Fresh rubber to take up one more variable, do the math, prime numbers are much more pleasant than not. Too many not under control, this is one more I can.



The rain all night and then the break just after dawn was long enough to wonder if I should ride the road bike, the trails take a beating if too many hit them on wet days. Crappy sandy soil. Got out the cross bike with fenders, rolled across the worms avoiding their flood. The more I get out on a different the bike the more I like the variety of a different bike. The more Carbon I ride the more lively my steel bikes feel. The other day I had a bus driver stop me and ask about my bike. I know I live in an odd place where all the bus drivers aren't like Ralph Kramden but how cool is that? He asked about the right bike; a Ferrous a nice rigid fork and the right tyre set up. Now I just need a superfly. Magic gear to come.



Climbing for almost an hour and my ears popped, I don't know how much vertical but if the ears popped, I must have gained a fair bit. I could roll off a litany of trail names that would make sense to about 4 people who read this. The point is I got out and rode for a few hours, all by myself. I only stopped to air up, pee and shoot photos. At one point I was a little freaked out, I could swear a mountain lion was watching me, every light beige tree or shadow was a puma figuring if I was going to be a meal. The trails had little bit of fresh rain on them making hero dirt. Better out than in, work to be done.


Today is today

The fog was thicker in my head than on the path, light rain over the worms. Better out than in. The pedals turn themselves sometimes and others not, rolling on the wet path today got me here with a lot more effort than usual, loaded and foggy. New music compliments of Rocco, turning up the new stuff from Coconut Records brings a smile and a few extra K out of the legs. Watch the video here and go out and buy it. iTunes has it, easy.



Sometimes the puzzle fits on the first try and the keys unlock the little rooms to get you into the big room. Rolling the descents too fast but with a touch of control, no hand pump compliments of Ergon! Rolling rigid on 15 minute descents at 50 km/h shouldn't feel that good. Thanks to the big gear rolling with geared guys was easier than it should be, just getting to that place was easier, after I got there it was simple, leave it there and don't look back.The Ferrous brought much love out there. The clock is ticking on the season, mine has been pretty amazing, support goes a long way thanks to all the big ones who have made it happen; most obviously Fisher - Bontrager and Ergon, always helping the ride be the focus, not ever having any concerns with the equipment. Racing the bike, not wondering where/if/when the ghosts are going to come out. Hiding in plain site outside the limit.

Get out much?

Geez, when was the last time VDB saw a girl? A little starstruck are you there buddy?!


I thought I saw a bear or at least an enormous elk today, it was probably two miles away up a hillside, as i rolled down the path somewhat fast. Maybe, maybe not. The sick is gone, I think but now I am constantly warm, the furnace is on over drive. Test tonight to see how well the body recovered from a fortnight of sick. Lots of up and more across 32:17 maybe will get me there faster.