Thursday, May 31, 2007
Holy sh*t I must have done something right, because this store just opened up in Cottonwood which means I finally have a Cannondale dealer within a reasonable drive. Fortunately the store owner is on our cycling team - but so far he's been less than helpful in the 'discount' department, but more than helpful in finding good options for me. I'll support that any day, as I know he has to make a living too. I've been jonesing for a LEFTY for a while, and they have a trade-in program for old Headshoks like mine. Of course - this means a new wheelset too since all of Cannondale's stuff is proprietary. And while I'm getting a new tubeless wheelset, that means new tires too. This sport can be a money pit - but new bling is so damn fun. Good thing I'm not into Motocross or I'd be dropping several grand on this upgrade.
You know its a slow news day when the top headlines are about a Russian Spy, a women with insufferable morning sickness, and some Miss USA chick who fell on the stage and was booed by the Mexican crowd. At least Kobe Bryant is stirring it up in the NBA, and the Twins are on a 4- game winning streak after sweeping the Sox.
Full moon road ride tonight up to the Ski resort after squirty goes to bed - can't wait!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Got a cool rest of the week - Little Squirty B comes over after school today for a couple of days and a 1/2 day Friday, and then a nice weekend with D.....We're headin to Minnesota soon, so that is comin' round the corner.
The jury is still out on this, this, and this. Life is short - so I'm gonna try to do at least 2 out of 3.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Thursday night we agreed to bail on our plans to go up to Durango for the weekend. It just felt like too much of a push to make it happen, and....and.....I had a hunch that getting everyone checked into the hotel on Friday night might be tough. Always act on your hunches, because most of the time yer right. Turns out, I had to deal with two reservations that - well - they didn't have reservations, and our crew had screwed both of them up. I had to find places for them to stay, and it was a little tense. At one time I could feel my staff just hiding behind the desk so they could stay out of the line of fire. Everything turned out OK and I left Friday night feeling good about the decision to stay.
We got up around 8am on Saturday, ate a colossal breakfast, and did a 50+ mile road ride. It felt good to work hard, and I pulled most of the way because D was getting blown around like a doll in the crosswinds. We got back, took it easy, and went downtown to watch the Summit Center Criterium - a bike race through the city streets. I would have loved to have raced in it, but since we planned on going to Colorado I didn't sign up. Good thing though, because last weekend in Prescott still has me hurting a bit....... It was a great time - and the PRO fields featured some really close races with none other than Jeannie Longo showing up to crush the local women. Jeannie was born in 1958 - she's 49 years old and she kicked the CRAP out of the 20 and 30 year old Arizona Pros.....awesome.
Sunday, woke up at the crack of ass and hit the yard for 3.5 hours of weeding, planting, mowing, etc....the yard needed some love and it got plenty. Kinda chilled in the afternoon, and then decided to ride my singlespeed around the base of Mount Elden. It's a great ride -probably something like 24 miles +- a few. The terrain is all singletrack except for about a 2-mile stretch along a 2-track gas pipeline that skirts the town. Technical, rocky, then smooth, then up, then down, then sand pits - you name it, this ride has it. 3 hours later I was home and happy. D and I went out for some Za (that's pizza Mom), and crashed after sitting by a fire in the chiminea on the back deck.
Today was just about hanging out. We got the dogs up into the peaks for a couple of hours and neither one of them have woken up since we got home. We researched a commuter scooter we're going to get for D. Just a 125 - enough to keep up with traffic, yet it gets around 80MPG. Time for some Chiliquilas and a 24 ounce bottle of Corona. Put the capper on the weekend, ya know?!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
1.) Immigration is getting a lot of attention, and this is the time when you hear right wing windbags professing their knowledge of the subject. You hear words like amnesty defined by whomever is blowing smoke on whatever show. This is a humanitarian issue for me - above the socio-economic issue, and well above the elitist "We're American's and they are not" issue. Spend one day in an immigrant's shoes and then get back to me on your view. We're all so far removed from our ancestors being immigrants - and the struggles that they faced and the oppotunity that they sought - that most of us look at this issue from a poor perspective.
2.) When will people recognize that the Bush Administration is the worst modern-day American regime that we have had in office? Jimmy Carter was right.
3.) My Mom actually told me that she couldn't talk long because she had to get to the TV to see American Idol.
4.) Team Telekom and its top riders from the mid-1990's have confessed to using EPO....rampant use. Now it is Bjarne Riis' turn to step up and fess up. Let's be honest people, the WADA was created to combat drug use in cycling MANY MANY years ago - so you think Armstrong didn't dope? Riiiiiight.
5.) We're staying Flag this weekend to ride and hike. Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you too.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
AKA Bodhistar - as coined by Lyza B one afternoon.
He is definately the mellowest puppy we have ever had...compared of course to a dalmation and a lab.
Time for training - D will have him whipped into shape in a couple of months as we work on getting him to heel, fetch, and eat anything and everything in the woods (Jamocha will teach him that).
The B-man....the newest addition to the family, and of course D's baby.
65th place out of 108 50 mile riders
Finishing time was 5 hours and 30 minutes
Over 400 riders for the event - about 1/2 did the 25'er and 1/2 did the 50
I beat some guys I didn't think I could, and I got beat by some guys who I didn't think would (is that Dr. Seus talking?).
It's Tuesday, and I'm 85% recovered. I'm excited about getting on my road bike this weekend in Durango, CO. WOO HOO!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The Whiskey 50 concluded for me on Saturday at approximately 12:20pm. 5 hours and 20 minutes total. 20 minutes short of my goal. Honestly, at mile 42, I could not wait to finish - and I even started going into that anger phase - completely bypassing any sort of euphoric feeling that I usually get at the end of a race. If I had a morphene drip at the finish line, that would have been great.
It was a gorgeous morning, with the race starting at 7am - temp around 60 - sunny and little wind. I would estimate that there were 200 people in the 50 mile event, with maybe 75 in the 25 mile event, and less than 30 in the 15 mile event. Everybody was pretty laid back at the starting line, and we had a police escort for the first 3 miles to the dirt....that was pretty cool. The "warmup" was atrocious climbing out of Prescott - and I fell into the middle of the pack because of it. We all hit the first singletrack and there was nowhere to pass, which was fine with me. I took 5 minutes and sat in my place in line recovering behind a singlespeeder who was having a tough time on the technical stuff. Once I got my wind, I passed some dudes and chix, topping out at the first climb, and then plummeting about 1000 feet into a creekbed. It true Precott fashion, once you hit a gulch, you start climbing back up immediately, So back UP UP UP to the first aid station....I blew past that because I had suffered on the climb to it - and wanted to make up some time so I headed down the 10 mile descent to Skull Valley. It was fast and I got in a paceline with some dudes and we ripped that section apart. This part of the course kind of played with your head, because we passed the race leaders as they were coming back up the climb - so you could see just how far you had fallen behind. I was around 15 minutes down from the leader at that point. At the bottom, I again blew off the aid station, and then headed back UP the climb that we just came screaming down. I was doing great until....
Cramp. My right hamstring sent my brain a message I did not want to hear. I stopped immediately, stretched my leg and right then a buddy came by and handed me 3 E-Caps. The potassium in those was very helpful but of course, not right away. Psychologically it helped, and I hopped back on, but physically, I was dealing with cramps that I have not experienced before. The road back up was steep enough to force me into a 22 x 30 gearing in many spots, and with my legs hurtin', I could have never pushed my singlespeed up that hell hill. The climb was 12 miles and 3000 feet - so by the time I hit the top I was shot. There were many people sitting in shady spots on their bikes taking breathers from the steep road and the heat. The ONLY reason I stayed on my bike was because I would have caught a rash of shit from my teammates if they saw me hunched over. 42 miles in - 8 to go, and mentally I was done. Fortunately, the rest of the way was primarily downhill singletrack, which I blasted through as fast as I could. There were 2 short climbs over those 8 miles, and I walked one of them because I kept cramping up when the terrain changed. When I got off my bike, my right hamstring again seized and it took me a few minutes to shake it off. Walking helped - so back on the bike, and down a nasty little creek bed. After that, the FU*KING ROAD! I felt bad for one dude who flatted 50 feet from the road....that's bad luck.
I coasted down the road, and still no euphoria. My ass was on fire, both quadriceps muscles were cramping when I stood up to climb, my hammies were tight as guitar strings and I was was just done. They routed us back to the finish line through town, and I could feel some A-hole gunning it to get past me - I was thinking 'dude - what are you rocketing it for? We're talkin' about 75th place here - if we're lucky'. So I gunned it, and beat him to the line by about 3 seconds. We probably looked like idiots, but he wanted to go, and I wasn't gonna lay down and let him.
No damage to the bike, which was incredible on a rocky course like this. My tires are pretty wrecked, but no flats, broken chains....whew. What I did have was a constantly rubbing disc brake, and a rear hub that is done - it was dragging and I could feel it on the downhills when I had to pedal to stay with guys who were 20 pounds lighter than me.
Minor mechanicals aside, even if I had not cramped, I would not have made my 5 hour goal. It was hard, dusty, hot...........but now that I'm one day removed from it, I'll have my name on the start list for 2008. To improve I'll need to focus more on core strengthening exercises so my back won't be so tired, and I have to do a better job of pacing myself and not getting caught up in the testosterone frenzy. I still have a lot to learn regarding these long endurance rides, and it makes me realize why the best endurance riders are usually in their 30's and 40's.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Reddy, Willin' an' Abel
Plans are set - I'm headed to Prescott this weekend for the Whiskey 50. Elevation ranges from 5500 to 8000 feet. It's a delicious recipe of singletrack, doubletrack, views, heat, and it starts and ends at Whiskey Row shown below. It used to be a serious derelict hangout until they cleaned it up about 10 years back and chased the drifters and punks outta town. There's 8 bars left to crawl through - so you can do some damage if you want.
I might need a little of the Jan Ullrich special drink to win the thing, and since that won't happen, I'll probably roll in around 4.5 to 5 hours. The winner last year was at 3:40. A 5 hour finish puts you in the top 1/2. My last ride before the race was today, and I rode a tough course with a buddy that was on a 37 pound freeride Azonic. It was nice because I didn't have to go full throttle, and I feel great about not wasting myself.
The Scalpel is almost dialed in completely, and I feel great on it again now that I have done 3 rides with it - getting used to the handling and the small fry sized 26" wheelset has been tougher that I thought. I REALLY like the 29" wheels. If I had an extra grand, I would sell the Scalpel and take the total sum to buy a geared 29'er.
Big Steve called me about 9-mile again, and its gonna be a snowball's chance in hell for me to get there this year. Then again, with direct flights to Wausau, you never know. That event is always a great time.
OK - off to Soccer Practice for the kiddos soon......more to follow.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
After a 5am wakeup from the dogs, a walk at sunrise, off to work, back home - change - soccer game for Lyza....I got out on the Scalpel. Great ride, just a great ride. It all went by so fast, that I was home before I knew it . Sometimes I think about things when I ride, but today was different. I bolted out and it was over in 2 hours - almost as if time just stopped. Ahhhh well. Walked the dogs again - they were psycho - and ate some burritos for dinner.
I have some COMP time from this weekend, so I'll take some Monday. Maybe a 1/2 day of work, a road ride - and the D gets back from Hawaii. Can't wait!
Speaking of the Scalpel - riding gears after a 6 month hiatus feels pretty damn good. I still love the Rig, but damn if it doesn't feel good to shift, and to ride the steep stuff that a SS can't do. I think I'm in love again, and fortunately, I already own the bike.....cause cash ain't growing on the trees in my back yard.
The piece of sh*t 3 houses down from us is selling for $400K. 1700 square feet, a small lot and nothing special about the house other than the location. This town is going through the damn roof. Its a wonder anyone can afford to live/work here. We're one lost job away from getting bounced ourselves......there's no way one of us could stay home and do kid/house duties. Hopefully, we can hang for a long time.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
1.) I bought a new laptop and I'm having a hard time configuring it for my secure wireless network
2.) My full suspension Cannondale Scalpel is a love/hate relationship
3.) Banana Republic is out of Khakis
Allright, #3 is a famous George Carlin quote. Looking at the real issues out there, my stresses and concerns are pretty pathetic. I'm beginning to think that part of the reason I don't have a TV is so I can keep my ignoramus state of mind where life is good, the weather is great, and all I have to do is go to work, hang with my girls and dogs, chill with my friends, and ride my bikes. The good part of all this is that I didn't even know who/what Paris Hilton was until almost a year after her rise to infamy - but the flipside is that I have my head in the sand when it comes to genocide in Darfur, the rebuilding process in New Orleans, and some of the major issues in our state including water supply.
Ever seen those bumper stickers that say Think Globally, Act Locally.....well...that's my approach. I believe in bringing canvas bags to the grocery store instead of contributing to the ridiculous volume of plastic bags that invariably end up in the woods - biodegrading in 1000 years. I believe in questioning our local politicians and making them accountable for their decisions. I believe in high mileage vehicles so I drive a TDI Jetta. Conversely, I leave lights on at home, I'll ride in friends pimped-out SUV's, and I have never run for political office. I try, but I'm pretty f'n hypocritcal when I look at the full picture. F*ck...when am I gonna figure out this puzzle.
Well off to work and then some yardwork, and then a phat 5 hour MTB ride tomorrow to get ready for The Whiskey 50 next weekend. You know, more white guy problems.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Why the hell not suspend him and his twin. I think I'll follow the Giro for the scenery which includes great mountain passes, awesome cars, incredible architecture, and Italian podium girls. I'll also watch it for DiLuca - as I'd love to see him win it.
No racing for me this weekend unfortunately......we have a wedding at the resort, and I gotta be there for that. No big deal though. The good race is next weekend in Prescott - a 50 miler that I'm in sorta-good shape for. It'll take me 5 hours or a little less since the elevation gain/loss is pretty severe. I ran a 1/2 marathon on part of this course back in 1999 - and it about kicked me to the curb. 2:00 hours and 10 minutes for this punk, and I was beat down tired from it.
Somehow, I missed 'discovering' the band Buckcherry years ago. Back in '99 they released what I would call a great f'n album. I was driving home the other day listening the "BONEYARD" on XM - all hard rock/metal from the 80's and 90's and their song Get Back from 1999's self-titled debut caught my attention. Check 'em out. They'll be in Tempe, AZ this summer - gotta go hit that show.
Squirty B rode for 1 hour last night, all dirt singletrack, on her singlespeed dirt bike with her pal Jackson. They pushed each other like a couple of competitors on an MTB course. It was awesome to see the competitive nature that we are born with - and its really easy to see who has it at a young age.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Nice 'confession'. He sought out the services of a blood doper, but, didn't end up using Dr. Fuentes afterall....so, he's raced clean and he's glad he didn't do it. Whatever.......so long as we don't see any BELIEVE BASSO stickers. I get it.....he probably was on the way to the blood doping lab, but saw Floyd at the bar on the way - pounded a few Belgians and shots o' Jack - and didn't even realize he was drinking with Tyler Hamilton's chimera.
Monday, May 7, 2007
No, I'm not on my way, but D is with her friend who got a job at a National Park on the Big Island. So they are going out for a 6 day stint to get Mandy settled into a place to live etc...ect...I have a f'd up work week, as I'll have to cram 40 hours into 3 days so I can catch the hell up. I also have to find some time to ride, and there is a real estate deal I'm looking at with a small group of "investors" - ie friends. We have this idea of self-timesharing a cottage for ourselves in Oak Creek Canyon and renting it when we're not using it for other friends and family. It could work...I'd get 7 weeks a year to hand out, or accumulate rental income. That's enough on that since we don't even have an offer in.
I applaud Basso for 'fessing up about blood doping. The dude looked like he had a 10,000 pound monkey on his back ever since the start of Le Tour last year. Have you seen his sister?
The last MBAA (Arizona State Series) race is this weekend and that will make 5 straight that I have not made it to. The courses the pick suck. There are only 5 events - that sucks. At this point, the competition is not even that great because the good riders skip these races and go to stuff like Sea Otter, Fontana, etc.....It doesn't even hold a candle to the Wisconsin series - www.wors.org
I have no point, time to hit it.....
The stomach flu came and went - and I was back riding by 3pm on Saturday. I still thought there was a possiblity I could lay some cable in my shorts, so I went with black. It ended up being a great road ride up to Snowbowl one and a half times. It was 36 degrees at 9,000 feet, and I rode the descent in snow flurries that were so dry that the road never even got wet. Sunday afternoon was a SS MTB "race" with some local dudes. It always starts out as "oh, let's just take it easy and ride" - yeah right - the pace was sick right from the get-go. I did not feel good, and got beat on some climbs by a true hardass who was riding a rigid FIXIE '82 Fuji road frame with 700C rims, moustache bars, a 43 x 20 gearing, old-school campy parts, a willier road stem, and a suspension seatpost. The stickers on the top tube said "don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful". Yeah, well, come to find out "Klaus" owned a shop in Crested Butte, and he has ridden single speeds with Steve Garro (who now rides a self-made hand bike after crashing into a car head on at 45+.......ONLY this guy would survive that), and the other true hardasses of the sport for years. This was his first ride in 9 months. The f'r was sanbagging too - saying stuff like "man this is hard", and "whew, I'm just lucky to be hanging in with you guys". I couldn't take it anymore, and I just took off on the descent to get away from it all. YES - I was smoked by a dude on a bike that I would practically consider impossible to ride, but I was also being played by him, so I took advantage of his weakness and dropped him so I could get away from his incessant rapping about being drunk, owning every bike under the sun, fixing anything, and living everywhere in Colorado - it was enough to make me want to puke more than when I had the stomach virus. Glad that ride's over.
I have a weird week - more on that later.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Thursday, May 3, 2007
So I was feelin' pretty good about my MTB speed, and I was feelin' really good about how I have been climbing on the road bike. After reading an article about Oscar de la Hoya always challenging himself by taking on tough opponents, I decided to follow suit and show up for the weekly CRIT over at Fort Tuthill. I didn't want to bite off too much, so I rode over in time for the 'B' level race....which only two dudes showed up for. So, we waited until the 'A' racers arrived at 5:30pm. Now I have only heard of most of these guys - Pro, 1, 2 racers in town that usually do well in the regioal events. There were 25-30 guys, so it was a big group. The pace was instantly up to 28mph and I was 5th from last for the first 7 laps when I looked behind me and saw no-one.....those dudes were shelled and gone. Guys then started blowing up in front of me, and were pulling off to the right as the pace hit 32. I hung on as long as I could - looked at my heart rate monitor - and absolutely blew like a Ford Pinto engine on the freeway when I saw my HR at 96% of max for one full lap. There were 10 guys left at that point, and I had to fall off and let them go.
Fortunately, the top dogs don't mind if you recover, and climb back on when you are able - just so long as you stay out of their way.
To sum it up, I got blasted. I wasn't last, but I sure as hell wasn't even in the top 50% of that group. Later that night, I got that nasty cough in your lungs when you know you lit your lungs on fire with a hard effort. Jesus - this reality check made me realize just how superior these top road riders are. I need to go back to bed - I'm tired just typing this.
Career Cat 4-5 rider
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Her shirt definately says it all. It's too bad Basso's jersey didn't say DOPER. At least we know where we stand with this ditch witch.
Somebody asked me the other day why I don't care that much about all the drugs in cycling. I said that in football, you get suspended 4 games for a positive 'roids test. In baseball, you get a 20-game rest the first time you are caught. There is no drug testing in the NHL, and if anybody is on 'roids that golfs?! I mean, look at that - none of the other sports leagues really take it very seriously, which makes me feel pretty good about the steps that cycling has taken to eliminate drug users. Barry Bonds is about to break the HR record in baseball and there is no way he could have done it without 'roids....so don't tell me cycling is any more tainted than a leisure sport like baseball. Christ, if it weren't for the Twins, I wouldn't even know what teams were in the league anymore.
Speaking of Golf, I would love to re-open the topic of weather or not golfing is a sport. I say no. I say its an activity, a leisure activity. Bocce ball or lawn darts could have become as popular as golf since they require the same level of fitness, but, guys love golf because they get outta the house/yard for 6 hours per round and they can get lit up on beers in a socially acceptable environment. There was an article comparing Tiger Woods' achievements versus Roger Federer's. Tiger is the king of golf, and I love to watch him aggressively hammer that ball - but that still doesn't make it a sport. Tennis will kick your ass - and tennis players can be elite athletes. I have no point, other than to just simply say to all you golfers out there who say that's your favorite sport - c'mon - just own up to the fact that you like to spend your weekends f'n around and drinkin' beers. You could get the same amount of exercise mowing your lawn with a cooler of Fosters Oilcans.
Oh, and 58 minutes probably won't get me too ready for the Whiskey 50 in 3 weeks. I'll get out this week - when and for how long, who knows. 24-9 is not lookin' good right now. I'm maxed on vacation, and I'll only get there if I get a 2nd quarter "kicker". I'll know in a month, but I really want to go - it's always a great time.
Yesterday, Lyza was sick with the stomach flu. So - I did skirt work for a few hours while she slept it off. Hit the back yard for some dude work...landscape stuff. She finally started feeling better around 6pm and I got her in to bed around 8:15pm. D rolled home around 8:45 and I was already packed to take my bike stuff to Snowbowl Road. Got to the bottom parking lot at 9:00 and rode up and down to mile marker 3 twice. 58 minutes - 35 was moderate work, the rest was coasting back downhill. Sometimes, that is all I can make time for.
It was gorgeous out - full moon, saw a couple of deer scamper across the road - it was kind of a reset button for the day. Well - back to reality today - it's 6:15am and I'm out the door to work.