Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here we go again

The kids soccer team met for practice yesterday and it looks like we have some work to do. We've got a couple of NAFTA kids, but neither one of them know that the national sport for their native land is soccer. Nice kids, though. We have the mandatory "Timid Timmy" with the decision making skills of Brett Favre, the obligatory hyper kid who just can't stop talking and twitching, followed by three kids who can play. It looks like a 6-6 season to me.

After four days of kids, dogs, watering plants, working, and cooking -Suzie Domestic here is headed out into the hills tomorrow morning before work on the SS. Just 50 minutes will do wonder for my psyche. The new steel ride arrives Friday afternoon, it'll get built up this weekend, and I intend on rolling it out on the team ride on Monday night.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lyza Has Dinner Covered

What else is there to eat in Canada when the fish aren't biting? Video courtesy of my lovely Mom :)

video

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

PBR ME

Having a little residual pain from hard training is pretty much business as usual. A pip of Advil and a coupla' beers and everything is back to normal. After last weekend’s double dip that went way deep into the forest and close to my physical capabilities, my right knee is – for the first time ever – sore below the kneecap. I have a serious aversion to joint injuries, torn ligaments, tendons, bone chips all that crap. You could show me a gunshot wound and I’d be interested, but if you show me my own X-Ray of a broken wrist, I’ll faint. I should know, I've woken up on gurneys twice after seeing x-rays. Real tough guy, huh. Sports slo-mo replays of knee and ankle injuries - I turn the other way, no exception.

WTF?

It all started many years ago when I ran the Whiskey 50 half marathon in Prescott off the couch. I’d been running occasionally and was riding occasionally and figured what the hell, 2 hours max – how hard can that be? I didn’t even look at the course profile. Tuned out to be 6.5 miles way up and 6.5 miles way down. It kicked my ass – the descent to the line was the worst part. The end result was 3 days of walking like a duck, followed by a slight tick in my knee from time to time that makes me wince – and has stayed with me ever since. Nice training dillweed, why don’t you write a book and preach your tried and true methods?

So if Gephyrophobia is the fear of knees, then I’d say I suffer more from something along the lines of messedupgephryophobia. The good thing is, I’m half smart, and I won’t resume riding until it goes away. Coincidentally, for many lame reasons, I still have half of a half barrel of PBR beer in my trunk - left over from last weekend. 7.75 gallons = 992 ounces = 82.67 cans of beer. Hmmm. Cross season doesn't start for a month and I don't even ride cross, so I could conceivably finish that keg. Hmmm.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Trails, kegs, and Kids

With over six hours of saddle time, a keg of beer in my trunk for half the weekend, jumping with kids on trampolines, and A-game eating, I'd officially call it a great weekend. One highlight though deserves mention besides Brett Favre's stellar 1-4 for 3 yard performance on Friday night.

A new section of the Arizona trail opened recently and finally, today, I had a chance to ride it. I needed a guide, so I recruited AA to lead me. He had been out the week prior and had the beta on where, and when to turn and when to go straight. The Arizona trail goes from Mexico to Utah or vice versa, and it is nearly complete. We were just doing a short portion of this scenic monster. We dropped a car on the west side of the Peaks where we would end this one-way fun fest. Out and back would be a 7+ hour commitment and over 7,000 feet of climbing on a one gear bicicletta. No thanks - I like suffering, but I don't want to get home and immediately go into the fetal position until 6am on Monday or worse yet be escorted home by Search and Rescue.

From town, it's a hurtful climb, but not extreme - and once we got to the high elevation mark of around 9 thou, everything flowed mostly downhill. Aspen groves, huge Ponderosa stands, and non-stop singletrack for 20+ miles. Roughly three hours later, we spotted my not so cherry red Kia parked at an abandoned shack on a less traveled road. I didn't lose the keys, it started, and those two things are always good where you're out in the middle of BFE. No traffic other than truck driving hosses who hate guys in lycra, no phones, no water, no pfucking around unless you really want a story to tell. I'm fine with this little chapter, thank you very much.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shortroped

I've never been so excited for NAU to go back into session this fall.

One of my teammates is an NAU professor and he's had WAY too much time to train this summer. Last evening, me, CW and Professor Alex took off on a semi-tough loop and the Prof had me (and CW) frothing at the mouth with an off/on sidecramp and my heartrate never falling below 168 for nearly an hour. I hung on to his wheel, but barely, and only got away from him on the tech downhills. After it was over I was thinking about how great of a training ride it was, because I felt like a worthless pot of overcooked pasta by 10pm.

Apres ride, we figured out what the heck to do with our team for 2010. It's not going to make everyone happy because we're pulling race reimbursement cash in favor of looking for a group of guys/gals who want to just ride for the sake of riding, spend time together as riders and families, and still have nice riding gear and industry discounts. Sounds simple, but everyone has an agenda.

I'm headed in to observe my daughter's 3rd grade teacher tomorrow. I've got a few concerns since she is a new teacher, but I'm trying not to be one of those smothering knee jerk parents who pulls their kids out of classes and demands another teacher. I don't ever remember even having that option as a kid - you got what you got and you didn't make a fuss. Daddy douche bag sittin' in the back row "evaluating" a teacher based on what exactly? - As if I know jack shit about teaching. I guess I'll just have to go with my gut feeling.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thanks to our local shop, I am now classified as a “grass roots racing team member” for a brand of bikes they carry. I get a bike at a nice price, a free – gasp! - free logo t-shirt and a team jersey too. Do you have any idea how hard I worked to get this? This hard:

1.) Back in February, our team shop put out the word that anyone, I repeat anyone, on our racing team could get employee pricing on said brand
2.) I saved some money up this spring/summer, and I have a bike to sell too
3.) I called the shop in July and said “is the deal still good?” They said “SURE!”
4.) I filled out a 7-question bio form that included what was obviously a “you better answer ‘yes’ to this” question: “Do you have a Myspace or Facebook page?”
5.) I quickly resuscitated a Facebook page and got my first friend today – thanks CW…he even wrote on my wall and everything!
6.) New ride and gear should be here late this week or early next

They didn’t even ask for information about race results, so, I included some just because I felt they must have just forgotten to ask – I mean the question probably just got deleted when the form was cut/pasted one too many times, right? I mean I’d totally go pro if I had more talent, a higher threshold for pain, didn’t work, and didn’t have a daughter to take care of so I could train all the time. I’d even get a euro-style blonde tipped fauxhawk for any team photo.

Yeah, it’s definitely my kind of deal – NSA deals are always the best. But from a narcissistic perspective I kinda’ wanted them to expect me to be better than I really am. But, “at the end of the day” it’s better this way because I’d fold like a lawn chair if the pressure were really on.

I just want to ride a good bike at a nice price, and support the shop that I spend a good chunk of my discretionary income at. That’s about it. And – that’s what I got. The only real problem is that I ended up with a Facebook page. Now I need some friends.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mellow Monday

5:20pm on Mondays at the Y means group MTB ride time. 4 of us showed - It was a mellow one last night with the choice to criscross the lower slopes of the peaks being the best decision. Some tech sections, a wee bit o' climbing, and some fun rollers. The trails are so dusty since we haven't had rain in a week and there is a wildfire burning about 15 miles outside of town.....so as we were railing back down to our starting point, we were skidding in front of each other sending smokescreen walls of dust into the air that you had to slow down when going through or else risk stacking it. JB put it best with a line from "Days of Thunder" - You can drive through it Cole!

Quick shower, and then I raced downtown to sneak into the last 15 minutes of D's cooking class at the Seasoned Kitchen. I got introduced as the husband - said hello to the group - and promptly started shoving my face full of spinach/mushroom quiche and zucchini cookies. Mmmmm.

Holy crap - Favre is a Viking. I don't know if I should crash my bike off a cliff or celebrate.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Changing Gears

A funny thing happened on Saturday. I rode out of the garage for a quick 50 minute ride - got home, and threw on my running shoes. A mile and a half later I felt good. I wanted to keep going, but having been on a 3 year hiatus from any sort of continuity in running shoes, it was a better idea to quit and save it for Monday. After my pathetic showing at the 24 hours of 9 Mile in the 1/4 mile LeMans Start where I was worried about pulling a muscle that would mess me up for the rest of the race, I just decided it was time to do a little cross training. Me running is harder to see than Sasquatch - so good luck getting proof.

What triggered it even more so that that event, was playing football with Lyza on Friday night. A few sprints, a few tackles, and a few leaps to catch the Nerf ball left me feeling like I was 80 years old when I woke up Saturday morning. Time for a change. Speaking of change.....

I have a new ride on the way. It's made of steel, it has one gear, and it's spec'd pretty well. Hydraulic brakes, carbon bars/stem/seatpost, strong wheelset, and a Reba fork with all the bells and whistles. Pics to follow on Friday or Monday. In the meantime I spent 45 minutes tuning my Rig and it made a huge difference. I took it up a couple of climbs today to see where I'm at fitness-wise, and things worked out pretty well. I think I'm still a notch down from where I was in late July - but I'm not getting paid to ride so who gives a shit. I hope to ride with Wilkens tomorrow - haven't seen the guy in a few weeks and his new Kona 29'er is sweet.

Our cycling team is crumbling before my eyes. Nobody wants to step up and take over, and It's a lot of work. I'm not hype about helping keep the show running anymore. I just wanna be selfish for once and ride - just ride. I gotta do some thinking about this.

Friday, August 14, 2009

POS

A couple of nights ago, I misjudged a rut and nearly taco’d my front wheel. The explosion of Stan’s sealant was something to see as it soaked the trail around the wreckage. ½ hour later after messing with the rim strip, tube, tire, a crooked stem, disc brake - I was back riding with a huge ding and a wobbly rim…..home at 11:00pm and thankful that I didn’t have to hike out of the woods the last 3.5 miles. My fork was bottoming out too, leading me to believe that it’s having issues with the seals.

The Rig is beat…

This morning I went out with my bud Hardman – leaving his garage ‘round 6am. It’s always nice to ride with this guy. He’s got the best bikes, and an attitude about biking and being outside that matches his passion for frames/forks/wheels/accessories. We made our way up into the foothills on tacky soil and screamed back to town before anyone was out. It’s one of the quietest rides I can remember as the air was completely still.

Sully fixed my taco’d wheel last night before the ride this morning and it rode well. He said “I don’t recommend a person of your size riding on this wheel much longer”. Followed by “It’ll taco or you’ll blow a few spokes and it’ll cave under the weight – faceplant material for sure”. Followed by “When I worked at the bike shop we put these wheels on the cheap bikes and they aren’t designed to last long – plus they are shit-ton heavy”. There’s nothing like being told the wheelset you have ridden on, raced on, and used for 3+ years is a complete piece of shit. Considering the entire bike was barely over $1,000 brand new back in ’06 – I should have expected it.

Time for a new ride.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vinegar and Water

There is so much douche out there that you don’t even have to look around to find it. In the last few days I’ve seen -

Leaving town at 6:30am I look to my right at a little tatted guy in the grocery store parking lot with the proverbial construction worker goatee, driving a huge Dodge Ram with a Confederate flag textured into the rear window glass


Picking up my lunch today, a group of four corporate guys dressed in dockers, and logo’d polos with bigger guts than their brains talking about banging chicks at the last tradeshow over plates of Mexican food


While fixing a wi-fi connection for one of our owners, in the background I hear that loudmouth Jim whatshisface from the cable show Mad Money


The too-tan euro-trash roadie in a mint condition Mapei kit who races down 89A – a road with the equivalent of a painted white line for a shoulder and no passing lanes, cliff on one side, abyss on the other – with only his slicked back hair protecting whatever he has for a brain

Can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and see what else qualifies.

Leadville

Leadville, CO is 10 hours one way in the Kia. I want to drive out there this weekend and hoot and hollar at the top of Columbine Pass or the Powerline Climb at the Leadville 100. Last year was a circus because Lance showed up at the last minute, but this year will be a complete carnival with Lance showing up with advance notice and with a mission of crushing the course record. Apparently he's bringing a small army of riders to help pace him to victory. I wouldn't put it past him - he lost last year and he's out for revenge.

Instead, I'll probably follow the live updates online and amble on up there one of these years to compete - did I just say 'compete'? What I meant was I want to ride in this classic. Finishing that beast in under 9 hours is a pretty fine achievement. The big guns could crack 6:30 this year. I've attempted to get in to this race only once, and I didn't make the lottery selection. I think I'll try and do it for my 50th birthday.

Work has been owning my ass ever since I got back from Wisco. How-ev-a, things will lighten up this weekend and going forward into mid-August. Actually, things lighten up tomorrow morning as I'll find 3 hours to shred the forest from 6am-9am before heading down the mountain to the sawmill. Summer has peaked here - but the traces of fall (45 degree mornings, slightly shorter days, changing vegetation) are welcomed by me. Time to get the hot tub going again, and maybe put the fleece jacket on the coathanger.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coolin' It

Sitting in my office yesterday, the temp read 84 - we don't have A/C. Not exactly a great temp for brilliant thinking and/or analyzing spreadsheets. Head bobs a plenty, and staying awake by drinking about 200oz of water which forced me to get up and pee every hour. Finally, the work day ended and I met Ellsie, his buddy Joel, and a new face - Scottie for a group ride up to the ski station at Snowbowl.

About three miles in, it started raining -hard - and it didn't let up until about 1/4 way up the climb. The temp went from 80 to 60 which felt so good I was smiling between the road slime and water streaming down my face. I was soaked to the bone, my cycling shoes were squishing with each downstroke, and it felt great. Scottie and I chatted it up all the way to the top, but pushed a pretty good pace while we were at it. Ellsie and Joel worked their way up about eight minutes later. It turned out to be the first time Joel had completed the climb. He was pretty stoked and I don't blame him. We take the climb for granted because we've done it so many times, but I still remember the first time I went up in 1986 (when it was a dirt road) and it felt pretty good to get to the top.

The drop back down was f'n cold, and I didn't entirely trust my tires on the corners, but they stuck and nobody went down for an asphalt alpine slide ride.

D dialed in a great pasta dinner, and before I knew it I was in bed 15 minutes after Lyza crashed - around 9:45. Old Man alert here....Up at 5, asleep by 10.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jamochafudgedog

Our 14 year old – well – almost 14 year old Labrador Jamocha made another splash on the red carpet of life yesterday. D and Lyza B decided to take the old Fudge with them on a walk over to Lyza’s summer camp drop point. On the way, the old dog started pooping and these days, she keeps walking in a sort of semi-circle as the soft serve DQ Greenscream comes out in small batches. Then, she sorta half-squats and walks while she pees. Hey – think of how a 92 year old human would handle a walking bowel movement and it all seems pretty normal.

So, after picking up the Greenscream on the tarmac, they moved on to the sign in area. Jamocha promptly starts dragging her bottom on the pavement in front of the counselors, the kids, and quite a few parents – you gotta laugh at the but scoot….just shameless.

Then a lady pulls up, gets out of her car and looks over saying something like “what a cute lab!” – at which point Jamocha plows into her legs and essentially scratches herself all over this lady’s dress pants. Jamocha didn’t look so cute after that.

So, D and Lyza took old Fudge around the park before Lyza officially signed in. When they got back, they all walked into the building and were talking to the lead camp coordinator – not seeing the bags of crackers on the floor until they heard Jamocha mowing ‘em down.

She may be almost 14, she can’t hear real well, and she snaps the heads off of young dogs, but, we love her.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Fun

Coach Steve
Pre-race dirtbags

Bodhi on the Kachina Trail


Lyza's sister helyn



Signing Autographs for fans




Lyza B's 8th Birthday - lead guitar on the left