Friday, June 29, 2007


We get to hear 'confessions of a German doper' on Monday.....can't wait. His name is Jorg Jashke and he will have a major press conference on Monday. He'll name names, riders will get yanked from the Tour de France, and, well, at least we'll have a start list that is as legit as it can be. I'm all for it.

I follow cycling now with almost a cartoon-like view of the "amazing" feats these top guys pull off on climbs that would break most good riders into submission. I still think its fun to follow, but I'm a little jaded about the whole thing.

You wanna see a real human triumph? Remember the Julie Moss 1982 Ironman Triathlon finish? She was 20 minutes ahead going into the marathon, and by the end she lost control of her bowels, crawled to the finish line on all fours with feces all over her legs - and was passed 31 seconds before she finished - she ended up in second place. THAT was a triumph, and for your viewing pleasure I have linked it here:

So Josh - when you are pushing your Supercaliber this weekend, make sure to leave it ALL on the course...and I mean everything including your breakfast, lunch, and dinner....good luck!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

The owner's meeting is over. Facts:
-I woke up with a nice case of 'rhea and got to hang on to it all day
-Sweated through my 'jersey' - aka dress shirt like I rode 50 miles off road
-Developed cramps in my legs as the onset of a cold took its toll
-Came home, slept for an hour, and now the cramps are gone and I have a headache and a stuffy nose.
-I still have a job

Jesus Focker, you would think that I would explode if I encountered a real problem. Doing a dog and pony show for the owners is always stress-laden....and because it was hotter than hell today, that made it much worse. Then - I get Lyza and she's a trainwreck from too many activities and a bunch of junk sh*t food with her Mom. She collapsed around 6pm - woke up - had a bath, ate dinner, and was suddenly a new person again. She just went down for the night at 9:30pm.

No Goddamn bike yet from the shop in Cottonwood. It should be ready tomorrow though. I'm dying to ride the revamped machine. My knees are sore from that 50K+ effort on Saturday, which tells me that my single speed days are probably numbered. I've been riding that pig for months now, and I'm now starting to break down.

What else - I kicked the dog, beat the wife, and put a tear in my beer. My week sounds like a damn country music song.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

BIG owner's meeting tomorrow. These things always suck. I put on a pound of deodorant/anti-persp and still soak the shirt. Instead of focusing on the fact that we're making a boatload of cash for the owners, they nitpick things like water pitcher sizes, fitted sheets that don't fit an oversized mattress (duh?) and what we carry in the gift shop. Every now and then I get a bone, a stroke of some sort, but the rest of the time its just expected. I freakin' shower my crew with positive comments and such. Oh well, just keep my schedule flexible and throw me an occasional spiff and I'm cool wit dat. Maybe if I had any semblance of ambition I'd work for myself, but for crissakes, the Grand Hotel burned me out of working hard for the rest of my life - so forget that. My 5 years there was like doing hard time.

I have no races or events the next couple of weeks - so I have to rely on self discipline to train, and that is always a disaster. Family time, desserts, beer, and actual work get in the way every time. I do admit to riding my trainer in the garage this morning watching the 2004 Tour so I could get some ride time in since Lyza was asleep and D was gone. I know - it's 75 out and I'm a loser for even dusting the trainer off.

SEE ya

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kind of a Fu*ked Up Week

So squirty is out of school, and summer camp doesn't start for 2 weeks. That means swimming lessons at 10:30am, dragging her down to work for a few hours a day, putting her to bed around 9, and back on the computer at the "home office" for a few hours. You know what that means....when I get bored, its,,, and Good times! Of course, I have to throw some sh*t on my friend's blogs too.

I got an e-mail today from a blast from the past friend named Marcus Erectus (that was what we called him 'cause it rhymed). Dude lives in Madison, WI. I met him at NAU when we were in college in the late 80's. He's smart, has a hottie ultra-loyal yoga instructor trophy wife, 3 perfect kids, a red Dodge Caravan for road trips, and he runs a high profile think tank organization that specializes in auditing, and consulting for credit unions. The kid was a total f*ck off golden boy in College, and you just knew he would do "well" by the typical standards of success. I didn't know how to take his e-mail because he was hitting me up for a room quote - almost like a request for proposal - and gloating over the fact that his 8-year old was just at a week-long Chinese immersion "camp" at a private University in Minneapolis.

I read that, and just said "What the f*ck"? Chinese immersion camp? Is that like some cooking school? Ahhhh, I knew exactly what it was/is and it even further distanced me from these successful peers I have been referring to. Jesus Christ, I wouldn't even think for a second to place Lyza B in an immersion camp at age 8. Maybe a summer camp where she can make cool stuff, play outside, and play a ton of games. I'm probably reading too much into it - I'm sure the Chinese camp is loaded with food/language games/physical games just seems so....snotty. Oh and at the end he threw in this line "Oh, and I'm running my first marathon in October". OK Mr. there anything you haven't mastered? I just want to hire him and get some photos of his perfect wife banging him. That'll take him down a notch.

Time for bed. THIS is ready for pickup tomorrow. It'll be like Christmas is June - and YES Josh, Ellen, Jeff, Big Steve, and A to the E - I'm gonna ride the 100K at Purgatory. You know why? Because I will never hear the end of it from you f*ckers if I take the easy route and ride the 50K. Here's to hell on wheels, a sore back, and a few saddle sores - -Mom, I want some butt butter for Christmas, OK?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Holy 5 Hour Ride Batman

JD came up and we rode from 7:30 - 12:30. Something a little over 50K. It was everything I expected and more. No flats, no mechanicals, and I kept up with him on my SS while he rode the gears....that felt great. The good news is that I'm gaining confidence for the 100K ride in Durango next month. MMMMMMMMMmmmmmm Colorado - can't wait to go. I'm gonna keep it real low key and camp in the parking lot at Purgatory....bring all my own food, and just lay low. It'll take me 10 hours to ride 100K on that course. Just thinking about it is pretty intimidating to me, especially since I've quit after 50K on 2 previous attempts.

Scott is rolling into town on his motorcycle in a few minutes. The dude works for a company that gives you a 1-month sabbatical after 10 years of service. I would seriously stay at my resort that long just for that benefit. How cool. We'll get the scoop on his motorcycle trip tonight.

Have you seen Little Children? Check it out on DVD - it's kinda Magnolia-ish.

I'm tired and rambling. more later

Friday, June 22, 2007

Day 2 of no subscription to the Wall Street see, we went to a Solstice party last night, and my RIG needed a little bit o' work before the EPIC ride tomorrow soo........I decided that as much pressure as there is to be a 'normal' adult, I just don't have it in me. My professional peers go to Chamber of Commerce events, volunteer at their kids schools, they drive really huge SUV's, have huge homes, and they dress like they walked out of a J-Crew catalog. My friends and I wear crusty T-shirts and flip flops, read headlines only and bullshit the rest, have strong work ethics - but - work because we have to, we joke about things like net worth and portfolios, and we play as much as we can. I guess my point is if I die in a Masters 55+ bike race then I'm covered financially. If I live much longer than that, I'm f*cked. Allright, its not that bad - but I feel like that when I talk to my peeps like Big Mike and Marko who have 200K in their 401K's......of course, they also look like The MICHILIN MAN.

I have a huge, phat, phun ride planned for tomorrow morning with my Sedona homie JD. He's bringing his new Ibex mail-order bike up for a romp through the forest. We're both getting ready for the Durango marathon bike event in August, and this 4 hour pounding will help get us there. I'll probably need a couple shots of espresso after the ride just to stay away until 7pm. Unless we have a massive mechanical issue it should be a great ride.

I better go get the WSJ subscription done before I forget....

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yup - I got real far with that big talk about getting a subscription to the Wall Street Journal and getting up to speed on politics. After a long day at the office, I went home last night, washed the remnants of a paintball off the side of my car (I got blasted on the way down to Phoenix), got some Thai food, gave Dana a massage for her birthday - crashed out. OK - so maybe I'll get up and write my politicians, and read the WSJ, right? Wrong....I took advantage of the perfect summer weather and the long day (Summer Solstice) and rode up to the top of Snowbowl road with Dana. We were both sandbagging at the bottom, you know, saying stuff like "I'm just gonna take it easy today"..."I'm spent from last week"....yeah right. I punched it on the first part of the climb - she caught me on the flat - I punched it on the next climb, and held her off by a minute over the next 4 miles of the climb. 6.2 miles, 39.5 minutes, 2000 feet of gain, heartrate average of 173. Yeah - I worked my ass off. The scary thing is that D was only a minute back with an average heart rate of 159. That means if she really throws it down, I'm in toasted cheese, the stuff you eat in Wisconsin and wash down with Rhinelander beer.

So much for the Wall Street Journal - I'll get on that tomorrow....or the next day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I just rolled back into Flagstaff after an immigration seminar. I learned that I am pathetic. I couldn't even name my 3 State Legislators - you know - the guys who go to Washington on my State's behalf and actually VOTE to make changes in our country. I learned that the best publication I could read on a daily basis is the Wall Street Journal. I also learned some very interesting polling statistics about this issue, and how it is only a Top 5 issue when it is presented. What I mean by that is if you ask 100 random people what their concerns are with the candidates for the 2008 election, things like jobs, health care, Iraq etc finish WAY ahead of immigration. However - if you give a polled person a list of 5 things to choose from (including immigration) - immigration ends up being in the top 3.

Net result - I'm spending $99 to subscribe to the WSJ's online service for a year, and I'm sh*tcanning my subscription to Sports Illustrated. That mag has gotten stale for me since I don't watch sports on TV anymore. I'm also determined to write one letter a month to our state reps to let them know what I'm thinking. They may give me a canned response 11 times, but I'll live for that one personal response that I was heard.

For the record, my stance on immigration is this: Let 'em into the country, and fine employers severely if they are not setting up non-citizen labor as legitimate employees - which will assure that they are paying taxes and they paying our social security fund for for US CITIZENS only. In short - no under the table employees. As non-US Citizens they are not entitled to any Social Security benefits, and they cannot vote. They should be allowed to place their US-born children in schools because they are citizens - and these children qualify for any state healthcare/assistance programs. Any non-citizen should not be denied emergency medical treatment - but that's it. The essence is this - immigration is not a problem, it is a migration of people due to socio-economic issues, and this has been going on since the beginning of time. We should embrace this, and also offer those that contribute positively to the US a reasonable path to citizenship - say something like 10 years.

On a better note, I squeezed in 50 miles of road riding in the wee hours of the morning and evening when it was below 110 degrees in Satan's Lair that most people refer to as Phoenix. I'm kinda in a state of flux as I'm losing motivation to train, but I have a hella-hard event coming up on August 4th.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

We just returned from a great family vacation in Minneapolis over the past week. Things could not have been better really, which put a big fat smile on my face the entire time. We rolled down to Phoenix last friday night, and stayed in a hotel. We ravaged the pool, the hot tub, the beach balls, and hooted and hollered until it closed at 11:00pm. Up the next day, not too early, and we took a cab to the airport. Stuff I take for granted like taxis - just thrilled Lyza. It was cool to see her perspective on a 'fun' cab ride. The flight(s) (connection in Denver to Mpls) were pretty good, although Dana and I got green in the face on the first one as the plane hit windshear outside of Denver. I couldn't WAIT to get off that plane.

We spent the week entirely with family in the cities. We skipped the cabin up north - and just played at the beach on Lake Minnetonka, took the speedboat out nearly every day and evening, played wiffleball, and ate like kings. D and I rented a couple of road bikes from nearby Penn cycle, and rode 3 mornings - around 120 miles total - just soaking up the low elevation air, the GREEN landscape, and the great lake and farm roads that had nice shoulders to ride safely on. It made me realize just how bike friendly MN is compared to AZ.

We had a ton of laughs, and everyday started with the attitude of "hey - its nice out, what should we do today?". We had no planned destinations, no "must sees", and it felt great to play that way.

We came back late last night, and crashed again in Phoenix. Up early, and we dropped Lyza off at her Mom's. I'm kinda having a little male post-partum as I miss that little kid a lot. However, it sure feels good to be home, to give the dogs some much needed attention, and to celebrate our 1-year wedding anniv.

The pics up top tell the story pretty well. Happy Father's Day to y'all.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Thursday Ramblings

For those of you who don't follow pro road cycling, you should. Its better than any reality or talent show simply because it's real. You have incredible athletes throwing everything they have ever worked towards into the wind by following their team doctor's 'recommendation' to use performance enhancing drugs. Let's just say there is a lot of pressure to win - and to win - you have to cheat (see Lance Armstrong). Just today, Quickstep gets raided, and former Belgian star Frank Vandenbrouke - fresh off of being busted with EPO and roids but claimed they were for his dog (seriously - he said that) - barely survives a suicide attempt. You can't get this on TV, only in pro cycling.

It was nice to see John McCain stand out on a stage of white male puppets. If I select anybody other than Hillary, Obama, or Bill Richardson, it would be John McCain from the GOP side.

Road ride tomorrow morning, and then off to Minnesota for a week. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time on the lake, a lot of time eating, and hopefully we can score some Hamms Beer. Because "When you're out of Hamms, you're out of Beer."

Wish my Scalpel well tonight - she's getting a new rack up front (front fork), and some liposuction on her legs (lighter wheelset)........Oh, and she's also getting some Lipo on the back end too with a new wheel and hub. She may not be young, but she's still a looker.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


So I rolled into the new shop in Cottonwood to get my Scalpel updated for the new millenium - and lo and behold there's a Cat 3-5 group ride going off at 4:30pm....I had my roadie with me, and quick change, and I'm in the 7 man group riding out of Cottonwood in 90 degree temps. Of course, the warm up was 4 minutes, and the boys hit the first hill hard. We then went into a paceline to give 3 young riders (ages 15-19) a chance to work as a group. We were heading up to Sedona on 89A at a 22mph clip - my heart rate was in the mid 160's - I was doing OK knowing we had some downhill coming up.

Off of 89A and we plunge into Page Springs, and the attacks start. I got used like a rented mule after a pull through, and 3 dudes rocketed past me while 3 fell off the back as I chased. Net result - no man's land. I wasn't strong enough to hang with the 3's, but I was ahead of the 5's. I guess that makes me a 4.....a hurtin 4, because I was hurting pushing 170 on the heart rate o' meter. We regrouped after a climb, and then cruised back to Cottonwood where I got dropped by everyone on a climb out of Cornville. I blamed that on the heat, and primarly, the fact that I couldn't hang. I guess that makes me a Cat 5 again. F*ck it - it was hard work, I loved it, and I was competing with guys that are better than me on the road which is always good fun.

Monday, June 4, 2007

THESE will be added to the Scalpel this week....The financial subcommittee (D) approved the budget variance based on the fact that "it brings you great joy and it keeps you in shape". Of course, the sales pitch for the Mavic Crossmax SLR's was shot down, since you can get relatively the same amount of joy from a set of XM819's....but I'm good with that - I'm just excited about going tubeless with a quality valve on the 819's. Oh - that means new tires too....

The Scalpel - 2007 rebirth coming to a trail near you soon.

Friday, June 1, 2007

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. I got your Corporate Motivation right here.
9:15pm, Thursday, May 31st

My chance to exercise finally after working, kids, house chores......."When you stop taking chances, you stop living" Not Aristotle, not Socrates - but Laird Hamilton, pro sufer. I think his quote is somewhat accurate, regardless, it was my mantra last night:

Road bike, Snowbowl Road, Full moon - no lights on my bike
The moon lights up the landscape so brightly in sections that it seems as though headlights are shining onto the road and into the trees
I went up the 10K climb quietly, moderately, and let my eyes adjust to the night
no cars
no people
But I could feel the elk and the deer watching me - as twigs broke and leaves rustled on the sides of the road. 50 minutes to the top...
At the top it was cold, so I quickly turned around and went down
rode the brakes a bit and carefully looked out for those animals so I didn't hit one - or so they didn't hit me
What is normally a 10 minute descent at 40mph took 13+ minutes - I was just fine with that as I watched for rocks and debris like a hawk.
Past the wildlife and on the homestretch I came across the real threat that night...jackass kids racing their cars on the 1-mile straightaway that marks the start of the climb. I was one of them once, so I didn't curse or yell. I just moved over, stopped and waited for them to finish.
Back to the car, warm, safe, a moderately risky ride, but man did I feel alive.