Monday, October 29, 2007

Another weekend that rocketed by like a Josh Beckett fastball…

Saturday up early (see bike geek section below) – followed by raking and bagging 15 loads of fallen pine needles. Sunday was spent at work for 5 hours, followed by Lyza’s last soccer game, and a sweet visit to Target. If we had stopped at Olive Garden and Home Depot it would have been the All American Weekend. Don’t worry – we didn’t. Olive Garden has more saturated oil/fat than the former Exxon Valdez + they feature employees with FLAIR buttons. Home Depot has now officially become Chinese Depot since well over 51% of their products are made over ‘dere. Here’s a thought: Re-use other people’s discards (can you believe how much good sh*t you can find if you ask around…for free!) Also, frequent your local hardware store and pay the extra 8% to keep ‘em in business. OK – off my pulpit.

Bike Geek Section (warning – read only if you are a weight weenie, tech head, 2 wheel obsessed cycle junkie)
The test with the Stan’s ZTR’s paired up with the American Classic hubs was enjoyable – hell, it was the only thing that got me up at 5:50 on a Saturday morning. Let me just start by saying that when I left my house the sun was about 2 minutes from rising in the east and the orange hue was nearly blinding. I look to my left and the Hunter’s Moon was HUGE. It was truly one of those memorable sights where you say to yourself “I’m glad I woke up at the crack of ass for this”.

2 problems – first, I did not remove the 20tooth cog on the Stan’s wheelset. My wheelset features an 18 tooth cog. Second, the 2.3 high volume casing WTB Exiwolf tyres (do you like my Euro-trash spelling there?!) were significantly taller than the 2.1 Bontrager Jones XR tyres I’m shredding currently. SO – I couldn’t compare apples to apples on this test.

Net Result, Bottom Line, The Money Shot…….
Because of the larger rear cog, and the HUGE tires, I could not accurately gauge the impact of lighter rims when climbing technical stuff. What I did learn is this: The tubeless setup let me run a psi of less than 30. Talk about TRACTION. I got up and over everything without spinning out, and I felt like I had another ½ inch of travel on my hardtail RIG.

I believe that with the weight of 29” tires, any superlight rims have the potential of being made a moot point. For me, a middle to upper end line of rims (see Bontrager TLR’s) with a tubeless set up that allows around 27-28psi would be the ticket. This will save me some bread too.

Rest o’ the week…
I’m bailing on the MTB marathon this weekend in Phx. I’d rather ride in the pines up in Flag – and it won’t cost me $1 per mile. ‘Sides – I have a few repairs to handle on the Scalpel before its ready to roll again. We leave for Hawaii in a little over 2 weeks and I could use ever $$ I have for that bank buster. MAHALO baby, mahalo.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Modern Day Shakesperian Lyrical Poets

I'm ready for Funday Saturday. Racquetball went well last night. I pasted Softball Scott. The dude tore both of his hammies playing......are you ready for this.....SOFTBALL. Running the bases. Anyway, he has a cannon forehand, but he can't move much anymore, so I mercilessly just ran him from forehand to backhand and mixed up serves so he had a hard time getting to the balls. He started calling 'screens' and 'hinders', but it didn't matter.

Speaking of Hinder - could this be the single worst band in the history of Rock n' Roll. Check these deep, thought provoking, clever lyrics out....makes you wonder just who in the hell determines who gets recording contracts:

"I don't wanna know it's over
So save your goodbye kiss
I don't wanna know it's over
Cause ignorance is bliss
I can hardly see
What's in front of me
Cause the vodka's running on empty
I can't stay sober
If it's over "

Hey - I get a glimpse of Christmas this weekend. What's that you say? I borrowed a pair of Stan's ZTR 29'er rims laced to American Classic hubs to try for the weekend. Yup - I'll get to see what saving 350+ grams of rolling weight really means to a 29'er. I can't even wait for my ride tomorrow - it shoud be a blast!

Have a great weekend, and make sure you litter it with songs from Hinder, Hoobastank, Finger 11 and Tool - because if you like that crap you are a TOOL.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finally, out of the f'n blue...

I felt strong again. I popped off a quick 1 hour singlespeed ride after work tonight, and I felt normal again. Damn - I think its a proven fact that I need to rock myself into the ground for 3-4 days of hard/suffering-type rides, rest for two days and then go shred it like a head of lettuce.

That 50 miler next Saturday is gonna be fun. One more training ride, and I am ready to rest and then rip. It should be a small field - maybe 10 riders max. I'll mark the 3rd place dude and make sure I keep him in my sights so I have a shot at the podium on the last lap.....unless he's too fast. Maybe he'll be slow and I'll pounce on #2 or #1. I've never outright won yet, so I'm gonna put the crack pipe down now.....but I'm racing to win that's for sure. As Josh said "go as hard as you can until you see the water cooler" I wonder if you put a pony keg of Red Hook Ale out there....I'd ride fast to that.

No shitburger for lunch today......just a nice burrito. It went down well. I'm ready for some more sh*t tomorrow, but that's tomorrow. As Sammy Hagar once said at a live concert in Fresno, Ca in 1991, "Tomorrow? F*ck's about RIGHT NOW". Well right now, I still have to do dishes, run a load of laundry, balance the chemicals in the hot tub, and sweep the f'n floor as Bodhi ate a plastic pitcher for lunch today - and left the remains on the living room floor. I'd call my life semi-charmed, and a lot less than glamorous.

The devastation in Southern California
has definately reached, and/or eclipsed Hurricane Katrina levels. I guess the only solace is knowing that our government seems a hella lot more prepared to deal with this type of disaster than before. Word via National Public Radio is that the state/fed/county officials are cooperating well to really help people. Hoteliers are selling rooms for 1/2 price to help stranded families and I would imagine that grocers and retailers are helping as well. It's always great to see how people respond in the event of a true emergency. All the greed instantly goes away and people are just there to help.

Although we had our fire here last summer, it was pretty small potatoes compared to this devastation. Sure, we were out of business for a week, but we didn't lose a thing - no structures, no lives. Just money which was recovered over time.

Make a red cross donation if you can...even $10 helps.

Steve has a take on this that hits home too....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Man, the shitburgers that I have been eating for the last couple of weeks are starting to accumulate. My gut hurts, my shoulders are tight, and my last three rides have been fun, but I have not been up to par. I mean I'm not stinkin' up the joint, but its almost like the passion to just rip is being kept down by the white man....wait, that's me.

Staffing at work is the primary culprit, and I honestly have NO IDEA what the hell we're gonna do after Dec 31st when the great state of AZ tries to enforce a no illegal alien policy. Tourism, construction, landscaping, restaurants, you name it - its gonna be f'd up for a long while.

Well - at least I did get in nearly 5 hours of singlespeed riding last weekend preceeded by 4 hours on the road. I'm outta here at 3pm today to de-stress.....of course the trade off is that I have to work from home tonight. It's worth it.

Happy f'n Tuesday

Friday, October 19, 2007


All you cycling fans out there know that DNS = Did not start. That was my status at the racquetball tourney last night. D had to work late, Lyza's soccer game ran over, and she had spelling words to study before Friday AM. Before I knew it, 8:00pm came and went and I wasn't playing. Ya know what? No big deal, because family comes first - and I'm not being cheeky with that comment. Fo' reals. Lyza passed her spelling test, and D keeps her job by showing up for a mandatory meeting. I still won the league, just not the tournament.

On a better note, I got in another 31 miles of outdoor riding this morning - that's 62 for the week with another 25-30 off road planned for tomorrow on the singlespeed. We had a warm spell blow through meaning 50's in the day and only 30's at night. Fall colors are peaked out right now, and I can't get enough of the Aspen trees changing to a luminescent yellow.

Wedding to attend tomorrow afternoon/evening, work Sunday morning (again), and then off for the rest of Sunday. Go Vikes - take the Cowboys to the house.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Supposed Former Beer Infatuation Junkie...

Yes Sheck, add Alanis to the list with Mimi, Aimee, and Posh

I am fully recovered beer snob. See there was a time when I only wanted a dark, imported, made by Monks, nearly unfiltered, full flavored brew with some hard to get rep and a unique bottle. I actually remember applauding a rant on some dude's website with the ridiculously overused cliche "life is too short to drink lame beer". Like those words haven't been uttered for nearly every high end product out there - or at least the well-marketed and positioned high end products. Well that was back in 1998, and I believe nearly 10 years later I am recovered.

A $1.99 25 ounce Tecate in a can looks just f'n great when I'm thirsty. How about a Fosters Lager in the oilcan! Say hell yeah to that! Really - I'll drink whatever is put in front of me especially if you're buying.

Wisdom, experience, and my pathetic habit of always embracing at least one thing that is socially 'cool' has taught me that my current infatuation with coffee will end within the next seven years when I'll be drinking microwaved water with a teaspoon of Folgers. Mmmmmmmm, sounds........just nasty now, but I am my parents and I just can't get around this......I don't even want to bring up the inevitable ventures into box wine, repeating the same stories, and slow driving.

Early start tomorrow - 6am at work, out at 3pm - off to soccer practice with Lyza, and then the club R-ball tournament. I haven't played in a week, but one thing is for sure. I'm well rested, and I'm pretty pissed off about not playing more - so I hope that helps. Everybody is gunning for me, and each match will be one game to 21 since we have so many players. One bad streak, and you're finished. I'm gonna win and if I don't I'll go down swinging/diving/swearing. I don't even want to think about losing, but if I do, I'm gonna fetch a cold MGD at happy hour prices and watch the remaining players whip up on each other.

Correction to that last post....

I raced for 5 hours and 15 minutes on Oct 4th - left everything I had on the course and placed well dammit. I guess the time has gone by fast since then, and I haven't done shit in recent memory other than slam a few balls into walls on Thursday nights. In the spirit of just that -not having done shit in 10 days - and the fact that I can't even look at my trainer, I ambled out the door at 8:30 this morning for a 47 degree road ride up to 9,300 feet where it was exactly 37 degrees.
I'm home, warmed up, and I finally feel chemically balanced/normal again. I think I was about to slit my wrists last night over a lack of activity. Racquetball doesn't count - I need to ride.

It's Grandparents Day at Lyza's school today, and since her GP's live in Minnesota - I'm gladly subbing so I don't have to go to work. With 6 day workweeks over the last month, I deserve a little midweek time off.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I haven't raced since.....

September 23rd.

10 days of rest have me feeling antsy, but here I am on Tuesday night staring at my trainer and feeling a lot of push back from my brain. Thoughts like "Are you serious - you want to ride indoors in PLACE". "You've got to be kidding can't ride a mountain bike on that"......and finally "Yeah right, you've got about as much self-motivation to ride that as a jobless fat-fu*k welfare recipient has of applying for a job at Hardees". Hardees, by the way, just rolled out a new Breakfast Burrito that has over 920 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat. The best quote ever from the Hardees PR clown is this:

"It makes the big country breakfast portable". The second best quote is from a critic who calls Hardees high calorie food items "Food Porn". I thought THAT mushroom was food porn.

So, where was I? I'm not sure, but I sure as hell am not hungry for mushrooms.

Top 5 shallow middle-class issues I'm facing right now:
5) I hate my trainer
4) My fantasy football team is 2-4
3) I'm out of orange juice for tomorrow morning
2) I might have to stop for gas on the way to work
1) I feel the urge to delve more deeply in Barack Obama's platform, and to learn more about Fred Thompson's decision not to campaign more aggressively in Iowa this week

time for bed

Monday, October 15, 2007

This was probably one of the first weekends where I was actually GLAD to get to Sunday afternoon......wiped out and ready for a beer or two. Saturday morning we were up at the crack of ass to act as roving photographers for the Soulstice Trail Run. D was racing the short course (around 6.5 miles), and Lyza and I decided to hop on our bikes and intercept her at various points for photo ops. Well, as it usually goes with a 6-year old, plans changed.

First, it was cold - around 35 degrees - so we didn't want to ride that fast. Second - literally 100 yards in "I have to pee Dad". So down with the pants, legs up on a log, and unload about a liter of Apple juice. That cut us down to one intercept point, and we were waiting patiently when the leaders ripped through. After the top 3 women, and the top 10 men I was thinking D would roll through in another 5-10 minutes. WRONG> here she comes ripping down the trail at max effort. We get a quick photo - scream "GO D - THROW IT DOWN" and we hop on our bikes hell bent for the finish line. We roll in about 2 minutes before she does, and get the camera out in time to get her and some dude in a green shirt who couldn't catch her at the line. She got 4th overall, and 3rd in her age group (tough age group)......another trophy for the mantle at home!

Quick ride home, and Lyza and I are off to Brownies - yes, Dads do Brownies now. We went to an animal shelter which was actually a really cool field trip. Get back - lunch - day over, right? WRONG. D and I quick change for a wedding up at the Snowbowl....babysitter for Lyza. Home and CRASH out around 10pm.

Sunday - more of the same, and that's why I was pretty psyched to hit Sunday evening with nothing 'to do'.

This week brings the October Racquetball Tourney on Thursday night. I guess I'm seeded #1, which has 'letdown' written all over it. Nice confidence, huh......I'll probably be ready to play the likes of Prick Paul, Kaotic Keith, Timid Tim, College Mike, Sponsored Chris, and Mitch the Bitch come Thursday, but I can't even think about that right now. MUST GET ON THE TRAINER and ride some miles as I have a 50 miler coming up on 11/3.

Here it is, Tuesday morning already.....better get hoppin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rudy Guiliani....

is creating quite a stir within the ranks of the religious-based conservatives. He's leading the Republican polls (at around 30%), yet, many of the decision makers in the GOP would consider splitting the Republican vote to ensure he doesn't get in office. In short, they are more afraid of Guiliani than Hillary Clinton.


Abortion and family values. See the religious right is in no way shape or form going to support a pro-choice candidate who is thrice married. Because the religious right is so influential on the GOP nominee, Guiliani might be stonewalled by his own party. It's firghtening to note that the right wing GOP leaders and constituents would forego their position in the White House due to ONE issue that has no political bearing on the success/security of this nation.

If you asked a GOP member today what Guilini's position is on abortion, more than 70% assume he's pro-life. Wait 'till the shit hits the fan this winter when GOP voters realize he is not aligned with the right.

Ross Perot's candidacy greatly helped the Clintons get into the White House, and that Goddamn Ralph Nader STOLE the election from Al Gore in 2000. However - Guiliani is the type of candidate who could capture a lot of independent votes and DEM votes as well. All I'm sayin' is if anyone can overcome the stranglehold of his/her party it might be RUDY.

Fun stuff - I can't wait 'till 2008!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nice move by Tubby the Chunk Monkey above...

Lyza and I once had to pull a fat little Navajo kid out of a swing at the park - you know - the kind of semi-closed seat that kids have to slide their legs into. Well little Chief Eatalot couldn't get out. He was all screaming and sh*t. Pretty funny once he was out of there. I thought for sure we were callin' the Fire Dept. on that one.

Last Thursday I played Placid Paul in racquetball, but the dude turns out to be A-hole Martyr Paul. I know....there's no ring to it, and I've been trying to come up with a name for him all week. Prick Paul....I dunno. What I wanted to do was PELT Paul with a shot to the back of the leg, but I took the high road and played fair and square. I have something for Paul next time we play though. It's blue, it says PENN on it, and if I hit it solid it will hit his skin at 130mph. F*cker.

I've decided to prolong the cycling season simply because I hate going to the gym. There is a 50 mile marathon at an easy desert course a la Old Pueblo in Phoenix on 11/3. 9am start time - means warmth....., fast crushed granite, I couldn't imagine being out there for more than 4 hours max. Actually, by the time this is over, there are two events in December down in the Valley of the Scum that is Phoenix that will carry the 'season' into 2008 just in time for 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo on President's Day Weekend in Tucson. Bring on the 7 BITCHES of Old Pueblo. 4-man team this year, with a team chef too. No shit.

Dad is getting his Prostate chopped today....ouch. My non-denominational, agnostic-slanted, non-conformist, borderline anti-any established religion prayers are with him. I hope they count for something. Good thing he has his Minister visiting the hospital 'cause I'm leavin' him a little short in the spiritual department. With all seriousness - I hope that surgeon got the fucking cancer out of him. Good riddance to it and a speedy recovery Dad.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

That' a Wrap Folks....on the 2007 cycling season
My above listed spons.....ok, well they aren't sponsors because they don't exactly give me their stuff. I have to buy it like everybody else. However, without this gear, I would never have pulled off a solid finish in the Tour of the White Mountains yesterday. 70 racers in our open class event made it even that much sweeter. Pros/Singlespeeders/old guys/women...I love open class racing. No age groups - its just the first one across the line wins goddammit! It was a sunny day, a great, technically challenging course, and as always.....a sufferfest from the word GOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The gun went off at 7:15am at Thunderhorse Ranch in Pine Top, AZ. It was a warm enough day - temps in the 50's - but we had sustained winds of 25mph with consistent 40 mph gusts. I looked back just before the start and realized we had a pretty big field. I was in the 3rd row hoping for a top 10 finish.
Right out of the gate, I was 10th - and our lead group picked up a quick 30 second gap on the rest of the I knew it was my job at that point to just not get passed. Only 51 miles to go to the finish line. The first several miles were forest roads designed to separate the field. It worked. I got in a paceline of guys to help cut the wind, and did my share of pulls before dropping two guys and taking a dig for the lead group of 7 - I never did make the bridge up to them, but as soon as I about blew from the effort we turned onto the singletrack for the next 40 miles and I was able to settle into a good pace. The climbing was moderate - 4,500 feet over the 51 miles so it was just a matter of keeping yourself focused.
There was a staggered start - and the 42/35 mile participants started after us, and took a shortcut that got them in front of our group.....meaning that I all of a sudden rode up on what felt like 100 intermediate-level riders, but they were all cool and were willing to let us pass them without issue. It was great psychologically - as I always had someone ahead that I was trying to catch. Well - I blew past the first 3 aid stations and was feeling great until 2:45 minutes into the race when my legs and lungs just seemed to lose their ability to hold the pace I was riding....I had a couple of bars and gels, and kinda limped into aid station #4 - thankfully helped by a long downhill section about 30 minutes after I started feeling the fatigue. 15 miles left, or so we were told. I ate cheese/gatorade/candy and it tasted sooooooooo good........but suddenly not good as I watched a guy in my class zip by the aid station at full throttle.
FUCK! Back on the bike hell bent to catch him. I knew I was close to top 10 and didn't want to lose that standing. I went a little too hard, and ended up having to stop for 30 seconds to work a cramp out of my right hamstring. It went away since I caught it right away and after some suffering for 1/2 hour, I rolled up on him and we rode together on a long stretch of the 7 miles of fire roads to the ranch. I could feel him laboring, so I punched it once and he sat on my wheel. I punched it twice, and gapped him by about 7 seconds. I did one final big-ring push out of the saddle and he disappeared behind me. I kept my effort at close to 85% of max and survived a hellish headwind to the line. 5 hours 15 minutes - good enough for 9th place. I was just psyched! Back in May I raced in a simlar category at the Whiskey 50 and placed a middling 64th out of 100. This was vindication for that race. I left everything I had in my yesterday on the trails and although I didn't get on the podium, it felt great to know I really accomplished something I had been trying to all year: Riding fast for 5-6 hours, having the awareness to not bonk, and having a strong finishing kick. I know I didn't get on the podium, and that would be a monumental achievement for me in Open Class racing. I guess I'll always have something to shoot for, that's for sure.
Go Vikes!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I yanked this out of the garage last night, actually, mine is the 2007 model which isn't as 'pimped out' as this one. Check it out - Fox RL80 fork, and a better parts spec for just another $200......well worth it if you don't have one.

Anyway - I hit the trail for 1.5 hours. My legs felt like bark-beetle infested logs with NO power or snap. Roughly calculated, I think I have 1,700 miles of wear on my legs over the last 9 months, and I think I need a break. With a 51 mile race schedule in 3 days, I better just rest for a while - HAMMER on Saturday knowing its the last hard effort until Old Pueblo in February, and enjoy the upcoming winter. Time to lift weights, maybe trail run, maybe even a yoga class or two, hit the indoor trainer to keep some cardio fitness.......yuck - all of that makes me wanna puke right now.

F'n A - I have some serious sh*tburgers to eat with regards to Lyza and her issues at school. One thing for sure, she sure keeps me on my toes.

Josh - what am I gonna do with that FULL CARBON Epic frame?

Monday, October 1, 2007

The neo-conservatives in this country are frightening. I'm more afraid of them STARTING a war with Iran than I am of this little dude from Iran who just talks trash about the 'fake holocaust' and the assertion that there are 'no homosexuals in Iran'......too funny really. For a guy who has no power, he sure has our bible thumpin, bad suit wearin conservatives nervous. Give this guy a mic and let him do standup!

Week ahead..

This is on 10/6. I have not been riding much due to the short days, and mucho worko. But - this is kinda the finale for the least for competitive events anyway. Truth be told, I'm kinda ready to put a capper on 2007 alltogether. 1-51 mile race and it's pretty much closed for business. It's been a great year.....A second place finish + cash, no major mechanical issues to pay for, and no injuries other than fatigue from time to time. Oh yeah - and that sweet S-Works frame from the raffle.

The weekend was a blur. Work, play - a pretty good mix of the two. Brett Favre schooled the Vikes. It's great to see Favre playing with such fortitude and fun even if he has to paste the Vikes.

Lyza and D continue to rock my small world.