Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Doggy maintenance

Over the last few months, we've been getting comments on how tubby our pooch Chancy-Pants is getting. In fact, sincy Brynna was born, he's gone from a svelt-ish 115 lbs to a stalky 126. Keep in mind he is a big dog to begin with, standing at over three feet tall to the top of his head but still, he is getting a bit thick. As a result, I've decided to try to take him on more rides to try to trim him down. Its been tough though because the slower and fatter that he gets, the less I want to take him with me on rides and therefore he gets even slower and fatter. Its a viscous cycle. To top it off, he doesn't handle heat well so as we get into swamp ass, hot as frick weather this spring and summer he'll slow down even more. So I guess I'd better get my ass in gear and get his ass in shape before it gets too hot out.

With that in mind, I took him out on the DAMNelsons ride on Saturday. It was the warmest it has been in some time and by 30 minutes, the pooch was cooked despite us waiting for him constantly and letting him rest so I ended up calling Marcy to pick him up in the mom wagon. The sorry s.o.b. couldn't wait to climb into the car. Thankfully we had come out to a road but it would have taken forever and a day if we had to backtrack through the trails with him.

To keep things going, yesterday I brought him to work with me for a post work ride at the Schmid Preserve. He ended up doing very well for our first 40 min loop. I briefly contemplated taking him out for another but he was looking a bit peekid and I didn't want to push him too hard so I called it quits there. Hopefully if we can keep this up, he'll get back into good enough shape to go on real rides with me again. Now if I could just keep him from wandering off sniffing and pissing on shit constantly...

One bummer from yesterday's ride was that my Sidi's seem to finally be giving up the ghost. I've had them for four years I believe and the soles are now starting to pull away. I guess I'm in the market for a new pair of shoes. I'll probably end up with the Sidi Narrows this time since all of my shoes seem to fit too wide. Hopefully the narrows will be the answer so I can finally have some shoes that fit properly.

I've added two new links to the side bar. The first is to teammate Tom Lambert's blog (thanks to Jason for that one) and the second is to Gwadzilla's blog. Happy reading.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stalk much?

I’m getting a bit weirded out.  I’m thinking that Jason is a stalker.  I noticed on his blog this morning that he has the same road bike as myself, he just put on the same tires I have, he built up a Dos Niner, just like me, he joined Team Bikeman to be like me…  This is starting to get scary.  He was even clever enough to know what we were going to name our daughter so that he could name his son a very similar name before we even had Brynna.  Brynna-Brennan, that’s only two freakin letter off!  That’s some world class stalking right there to know what we’re going to name our child 2-3 years before we did!  If he lived closer than 400 miles away, I’d be a bit worried.  You keep yourself and your dirty chamois away from me you freak!

In other un-interesting news, we had a pretty good Memorial Day weekend.  Saturday we went up to the rents place so Marcy could go to a baby shower so I got to go for a ride with the rest of the family.  Practically the whole damn gang was there including my mom, dad and brother.  It wasn’t the fastest ride ever but it was fun.  Gotta spread the fat tire love.

Sunday was spent roasting in the sun while we painted the house.  We managed to get two sides done before heat stroke set in and we called it a day.  To reward ourselves for the hard work, we loaded B-Girl into the trailer and rode our bikes over to the ice cream place and then over to the grocery store for some salads for later.  It wasn’t the longest ride ever but its always nice to get out for a spin with Marcy.  Brynna seems to really like the trailer now too.  She quickly falls asleep and isn’t bothered as much by the rough areas.  Hopefully by this summer, she’ll be ready to go up to Acadia to hit up some of the carriage roads.

I had planned a ride yesterday but I ended up giving blood instead so I didn’t think suffering in the 80+ deg. weather was the wisest choice so I ended up laying low for most of the day yesterday puttering around the house.  How I love to putter.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Dos hours

Hit up two hours of trail time on the beloved Dos Niner last night with a client of ours. He is new to the area and was looking for the inside skinny on local trails so I graciously offered to show him what we had to offer. The Zak Preserve trail beat him into submission quickly but to his credit, he kept re-mounting and having at it. The Zak trails can be a real ego buster. If you don’t have absolutely prefect pedal placement and remember to not look at what you don’t want to hit you’ll be in for a world of hurt or at least humiliation. Bob pulled through though and I suspect that after a few more trips through, he’ll be riding it like a champ. I even managed to fall off of a bridge at one point. You have to approach the bridge from an angle so I got the front wheel up but the rear dragged along the side and forced me over. Thankfully it was only about 4' down and I have super silly long legs because I was somehow able to put my right foot down (into about a foot of muck) while the bike stayed on the bridge. I’ll have to make a note to myself to not take ANY newbies on that trail. That’s the type of stuff that’ll scare people away from mountain biking forever. I think the trails in the Schmid Preserve afterwards treated him better allowing for some face saving.

I wonder if there is any way I can bill that time??? Hmmm, maybe marketing or client relations? I've gotta figure out a way to get paid to ride damnit!

I’m not sure whats on tap for the weekend. I hope to get in a quick mtb ride at my parents tomorrow while Marcy is at a baby shower but its looking like rain so I may end up helping my dad do some demo for their kitchen. That’ll be fun too. Destruction is good. Sunday, we’ll be painting the house so no saddle time then. Monday though, I may be hitting up a road race in southern Maine. Hopefully, that’ll work out because it’s a very fun race and I could use the intensity.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

3am + stale pb&j = mental toughness

Phew, what a frickin sweet commute this morning.  I got up at 3 am (I had thought about trying to sleep a bit longer but had been basically awake since 1:30 anyway so I figured I might as well get in a good long road ride instead) and hit the road at 3:15 for a planned 3 hour loop through some of the hillier roads north of town.  Despite the early hour and not having touched my bike since Sunday’s race, I was feeling really good and cruising up most of the climbs.  Because of the darkness I didn’t always know exactly where I was on the road so on a couple of the tougher climbs I actually big ringed halfway up before realizing where I was and settling into a more comfortable pace.  It was interesting to note that those two climbs seemed much easier in the dark.  I guess psychologically they can be tougher in the daylight because you can see the crest of the climb in the distance but in the dark you simply focus on your little world of light.

I ended up rolling into the office at 6:15 precisely giving me just enough time to shit, shower and shave (ok, actually I only showered) and still be into work by 6:30.  I don’t need to be in so early but I hate to stay at work after 4 in the afternoons so my early arrival allows me to sneak out early as well.

Ride totals:
Time-3 hours
Distance-49.5 miles
Average-16.5 mph (kind of slow but cut me some slack, it was 3 in the morning!)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Last one

Last picture, I promise. This pic was taken at the only really viable hand-up spot on the course so this is where Marcy camped for the duration of the race. Because of the nature of the course, I passed by this spot four times each lap so it was actually a good spot for spectating as well. Many props go out to Marcy for taking on the challenge of passing one of three options to me on each pass by (water, heed or hammer gel) as well as take pictures, hold Brynna (on some laps), entertain nephews with their constant questions... Thanks babe, you're the best (thats her in the background). Posted by Picasa

No words

Posted by Picasa

perfect shifting

All this crud and the shifting still functioned perfectly. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

Maine Sport Mayhem

Sunday was my first race of the season. I was a bit apprehensive since I felt I hadn’t been getting enough training time in but thankfully, the course was new to the state series but it was the location of numerous local yocal races which I had competed in so I knew the course inside and out. Sunday morning I met up with teammate and team manager Big Al and another teammate who happens to be riding pro this year for both Bikeman and Salsa, Andrew Frye for a quick pre-ride. They hoped to get the inside skinny on the course from me since I knew it so well. Since I knew that the course would be muddy, I had thoughtfully brought my single speed for the warm-up so that I wouldn’t mess up the drivetrain of the Dos. After a quick pre-ride lap of about 22 mins. we went about cleaning up and finishing our respective warm-ups.

Because of the pre-ride, I was a bit late getting to the start line but was still able to nose my way into the front row almost dead center. Perfect position. My plan of attack for the day was simple. Since I knew the course so well, I decided to try to get out to an early lead so that I could ride my own pace and not get bogged down behind others getting used to the tight, twisty nature of the course. I also knew that because of the constant accelerations that the course demanded, my 29’er would be a disadvantage if I were to be stuck behind people riding 26’ers.

The starting line.

As the gun went off, or should I say “the marshal said go”, myself and another 29’er rider (riding a single speed fisher rig) got the 1,2 spots across the first, soft lawn section added to separate the field. I honestly think the 29” wheels helped us here because we were able to roll a bit easier across the grass. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I don’t think so. We dove into the woods with Tom first and myself right on his heels.

Upon entering the woods, we were immediately in the first of several mud holes. I knew from the pre-ride that trying to ride this section would be slow and hard on the bikes so I immediately picked up the bike and ran through. On the other side we remounted and started up a short incline. Knowing there were very few places to pass, I took this opportunity to pass Tom and make a sprint for the top of the hill. When I crested the hill and switched back, I could see that the field was already getting bottle-necked a ways behind me so I poured it on to try to distance myself from the pro-expert field.

Over the course of the first lap, I was able to open up a one+ minute advantage over the rest of the field. An advantage I knew I would need since there were some very good pros in the field. As mentioned, my teammate Andrew was back there, Seven super stud Skip Brown and New England honch Matt Boobar.

Halfway into the second lap the inevitable happened, Andrew and Skip caught and passed me. No problems though because I knew that I could never match their pace for the whole race. I could still see Boobar about a minute back so my game plan was to try to hold him off for as long as possible knowing that the first experts couldn’t be far behind. The next three laps consisted of my trying to ride nice clean lines which turned out to be extremely easy on the Dos. The layout of the course turned out to be perfect for a 29’er despite the constant acceleration because most of the rockiest, rootiest areas were in the turns so I was able to maintain my momentum much better than the 26’ers. If they had been smooth, tight turns I probably would have been at a disadvantage but thankfully that wasn’t the case. By the start of the final lap, I was beginning to feel the first twinges of cramps on all of the climbs and hike-a-bikes so when Boobar finally caught me with ½ lap to go, I let him go by so that I could nurse myself in and not completely implode. Thankfully I had put enough of a gap on the rest of the field in the first lap that I was never in danger of being passed after that and rode in 10-15 secs behind Boobs and maybe a minute before the next rider.

Since EFTA lumps pros and experts together, I didn’t get the win but I did manage 2nd in my age group behind Boobar. Overall, I was very happy with the result since I had only been hoping for a top 10 overall.

Skip Brown looking on in awe as I explain to him how I'll beat him a little bit more next time.

As mentioned earlier, the Dos was sweet and I am now confident in my pre-season choice to jump head first into the 29’er world. I am also very happy with how my drivetrain performed. Despite some of the nastiest, stickiest mud I have raced in, the SRAM XO rear derailleur didn’t miss a shift in the entire race despite the fact that it was complete jammed full of trail debris. Truly impressive. The Avid BB7 brakes were stellar as well. This was my first race on disc brakes and I now know what I was missing. It was nice to be able to come out of a muddy section and be confident that my brakes would still be there when I needed them.

Quick update.

First race is in the books. It was a serious mud slinger but the dos niner and myself pulled through to be the first non-pro finisher, fourth overall. More to come when time permits.

Friday, May 19, 2006

the two utes

Man, yesterday was beautiful. We had sunny skies for almost the entire day. It sure was nice to see for a change. Thankfully, I had planned to ride home yesterday and was rewarded with some of the best road riding conditions of the season (apparently I’ve already forgotten how beautiful April was). I time trialed it home and made it in record time despite being on the ss and stopping on one occasion to ask about a house that was for sale on my route. The house just so happens to be in the area that we were thinking of moving to because its quiet and a bit closer to where we both work. This particular house location has the added bonus of being about ¼ mile from the entrance to the Schmid Preserve where I do a lot of my riding. Bonus! Of course I think the price is a bit high considering what the house looks like but it does come with a nice chunk of land so we may be calling our realtor so we can have a looksie. It doesn’t hurt to look right? A little further on in the ride, I met and old friend, the black shaggy dog. I hadn’t seen him in a while so I had stopped looking for him when I went through his turf. As a result, he managed to avoid detection yesterday until he was literally right on top of me. Thankfully it turns out that he’s a friendly dog and just out for a run because he was able to completely cut me off and I was forced off of the road onto the shoulder briefly. Thankfully I was riding the Van Dessel with cx tires because if I were on the road steed I’d probably still be picking gravel out of my arse.

This morning’s ride in was good, not stellar, but at least I was in the saddle. I did have one cool sighting though. About 15 minutes into the ride, as I crested a small hill, I saw a dead baby fox on the side of the road. It really bummed me out because Marcy has turned me into a complete weenie when it comes to such things. Just a bit further down the road I saw, what I presumed to be the mother, hunting on the side of the road. She immediately ran off when she saw me. Then, another five seconds down the road I see another juvenile fox cruising up the road towards me (and in the direction of its mother) with a chipmunk in its mouth. He looked so proud to be carrying that trophy back to mom. I quickly turned around, grabbed the camera and tried to get a picture but the little guy had already ducked into the tall grass. So, no pic but it was still cool to see.

FYI: today's title comes from the movie My Cousin Vinnie but instead of meaning "two youths" it refers to my two commutes.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bike to Work Week

I took the Dos and the dog to this weekend’s race venue for a pre-ride last night.  Turned out to be a pretty good ride.  I let the pooch tag along for the first of three laps, loaded him into the back of the toaster and then headed out for two more, faster laps.  The Dos is going to be a good bike for the course, it has lots of rooty areas that the Dos just gobbles up.  It is at a slight disadvantage because of the number of tight turns on the course but I think its root abilities will more than make up for that short coming.  After the ride, I’m most worried about my tires.  The ignitors hooked up well on the tacky stuff but once it got slimy, they lost all grip.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any other 29’er tires to throw on so I’m stuck with these but I guess I should start looking for a good mud tire for conditions like these.  I’m getting used to the grip shift now which is good.  For some reason SRAM decided to make the shifting opposite from what I would expect.  When you ride a dirt bike or motorcycle you twist the grip back to go faster but on the SRAM stuff you twist back to down shift.  It probably makes sense from a mountain biking point of view but its taking me some getting used to even though I haven’t ridden a motorcycle in probably 10 years.  I guess some habits really stick with you.  I was very impressed with the rear derailleur’s ability to deal with mud and gunk.  By the end of the ride, the pullies were completely jammed with junk but shifting was still right on, very impressive.  The weather looks like it may cooperate for the weekend with somewhat clear skies being called for at present time.  Hopefully that happens because I’m not looking forward to a complete mudfest.

Since its National Bike to Work Week I’ve decided to ride home tonight and in tomorrow morning.  I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do a butt-crack-of-dawn ride again to get some time in that I missed earlier in the week or just do a more direct route in.  I know that I need the extra mileage but with the race on Sunday, I may not want to tax the system.  I guess I’ll wait until the ride home tonight before I make the decision.

Makes daddy proud

This morning, on our way to daycare, Brynna realized she could reach the bike that was in the back with her. She proceeded to fondle the seat post and saddle for about 10 minutes before drifting off into a blissful slumber while clutching the post. This, by the way, is something that daddy would do too if only mommy would allow me to bring the bikes to bed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sweet baby jesus, I see the sun!

Holy shit on a shingle, what do I spy out of my cube window?  Its sun, sun, glorious sun!!!  Honestly, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever see it again.  After two weeks of nearly constant rain, its nice to finally have a few hours of sun to help dry things out a bit.  Of course, its short lived since its supposed to turn back into rain for the next 4-7 days but I’ll take what I can get right now.  Luckily, I had planned to head out to this weekends race venue tonight to get in a few practice laps so hopefully the nice weather will last through the day.  No matter what, its going to be muddy as hell in some spots but the trails there actually hold up quite well to the rain since its mostly roots and rocks plus Camden hasn’t gotten nearly as much rain as southern Maine or the rest of New England for that matter.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I’ve got a pisser of a week going on here.  Once again, we’ve got rain in the forecast all week, which isn’t really a problem for me on road rides but my first race of the season is this coming Sunday and I’ve only had one short ride on the Dos with the new XO shifters etc. and I need a bit more time to get used to them.  On top of the rain, I’m all jacked up at work right now.  So much crap to do and so little time.  Oh yeah, did I mention that Brynna is sick as well???  I got a grand total of about 3-4 hours of sleep on Sunday night.  Yippee!  I guess this week will be a forced taper.  My body probably needs some recovery time from the whopping 5 ½ hours that I put in last week.  Sorry for the complaining, but I’ve got to vent somewhere.  I’ve known that I’d have weeks like this though so I’m just rolling with the punches.  On a good note, this is a new race to the state series but its on a course that I’ve done 15-20 local races on so I should have an advantage in knowing exactly what to expect from the course.  I’ve ridden it in everything from torrential downpours to brutal heat so I’m prepared for whatever it decides to throw at me.  Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to get over there this week to get a few laps in at the very least and see how I feel.  We’ll see how it goes.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Long black and wet.

Not that you perv! I’m talking about a rainy road ride this morning. I managed to drag my sorry ass out of bed this morning at 3:30 and was able to get in 2+ hours before heading into work today. It was another stellar morning, starting out as a light mist and gradually turning into a steady light rain. It was wet but not horribly so. It was sort of interesting during the first really dark hour because of the effect that my helmet light had on the light rain. I sort of felt like I was in a Star Wars movie hitting light speed because of the way the light was hitting the rain drops which were flying at my face. I’m sure that anyone who has driven a car at night in a snowstorm knows what I’m talking about but because the rain was so close to my face, the effect was a bit different. Now that I think about it a little, it probably shouldn’t have been that interesting but I guess that at 4 am on a lonely road you start to go bonkers.

In other news, the Dos will officially be in the house this afternoon. I have to take the car in for service and the garage just so happens to be across the road from Bath Cycle so I’ll be able to pick that bad boy up while the car gets wrenched. That is of course if I can make it across route 1. That specific stretch has three very fast moving lanes to deal with, its sort of like that episode of Seinfeld when George had to get the Frogger machine across the street, without the sound effects of course.

In other, other news, somebody on MTBR has expressed interest in buying my Van Dessel so that got me thinking, if I sell the Van D. and Moto Rapido, that would probably give me enough jing to pick up the production version of the El Mariachi! I’m not sure if I’ll actually do it but its an interesting thought.

May the Schwartz be with you!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Oh, happy days!

I just heard from team manager, Al, that my Dos Niner is ready to roll. On Friday I dropped it off at the shop to have the last of the SRAM/Avid/TruVativ order installed. Off came the XTR rear derailleur and XT shifter and break pods and on went a new XO rear and XO gripshift and some hella sweet Avid Ultimate brake levers. I was supposed to get the Speed Dial SL’s but they got left off of the SRAM order so I got the Ultimates for roughly the same price. Killer! As previously mentioned, I have decided to run it as a 1x9 for now so the XO front twisty and X-Gen front derailleur are staying in a box for now until I either decide to put them on the bike or E-Bay the suckers. Al also re-did the brake cables since they were installed improperly initially which means that with the proper cable set up and the new brake levers, I should be getting mad stopping power now. I was already impressed with the Avid BB7’s before so I can’t even begin to imagine what they’ll be like now. The last piece that went on was a new TruVativ Stylo Team GXP crankset with a Salsa single speed ring and TruVativ bashguard. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the Bonty crank that came off. I’ll probably hold onto it for a future build if I pick up a beater bike along the way or something. I’ll be picking up the newly pimped Dos either this afternoon or tomorrow so hopefully we get a fairly dry weekend so that I can test it out. Can’t wait.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

game on

What a difference 12 hours makes.  As I mentioned before, my ride in yesterday sucked monkey nuts even though it was a nice morning and I had given myself plenty of time to get in a good ride.  Fast forward 12 hours, when I was leaving work, it was once again pissing down rain but I was determined to make up for the morning suffer fest.  I decided that despite the rain, I would try for a time record for my commute home.  Marcy’s parents were going to get there at about the same time as me so it gave me some extra incentive to hoof it so that I could get there and cleaned up before their arrival.  The ride started our surprisingly well, right out of the box I was able to sprint up our areas short hills (most under a minute long) and my legs felt very snappy.  After my success on the first hill I decided to attack each hill and ride a good but not too hard tempo between each one.  This tactic actually works pretty well around here since there are constant rollers so I would hammer up each and then cruise at a good pace until the next (usually less than a few minutes apart) creating a good interval/hill workout in the process.  I don’t know what was up but I was definitely firing on all cylinders and flying along despite having to ride through a steady rain and countless puddles.  Just to keep yin and yang in balance though, I got a flat tire on the very last hill of the day less than a hundred yards from my house.  So instead of triumphantly rolling into the garage, I was forced to walk the last bit (no sense in changing a flat in the rain while I’m so close to home), talk about a let down.  In the end, if I discount the walk time, I ended up with my quickest commute which I consider quite good considering the conditions.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bad ride, thats a naughty ride

Whew, what a crappy commute this morning.  I planned on getting up at 4 again (like Friday’s great ride) and do a different loop into the office.  Unfortunately, at a little before 3 this morning I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Needless to say, I was a bit tired when I hit the road at 4:15 but I assumed that after a few miles the legs and mind would wake up.  Boy was I wrong.  After about a half hour of slogging along, I decided to just ride easy and try to enjoy the ride, no intervals today.  Ended up with 1:40 and a little over 26 miles.  Sort of crappy but better than nothing I guess.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Poison ivy!

F’in poison ivy.  I’ve barely even started riding in the woods for the season and I’ve already gotten my first outbreak of the itchy rash.  I don’t even remember ever going anywhere close to some.  Damn my mother for passing on here genes for making me uber allergic to poison ivy, oak and sumac.  I guess I haven’t exactly picked the best hobby to pursue considering poison ivy grows in the woods…  There are a couple of trails in particular that I pretty much have to stay away from completely because even though I know enough to not touch the oily leaves, others aren’t as careful and end up spreading the oils onto other trees and bushes so no matter how careful I am, I still get it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Commute photo blog.

My typical 12.5 mile commute this morning turned into 42.5 miles. Not much time to write so its photo blog time...

Rolling out at the butt crack of dawn. 4 f'in 20??? are you kidding me?????

Who wouldn't love riding on roads like these.

The white building on the point is Marcy's office. She shares a sweet corner office looking right onto the harbor. I don't know how she gets any work done.

All said and done, I put in 2:25 and 42.5 miles this morning, all before most people were out of bed.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Guess my weight!

Ok, quiz time. With all of the talk about weight on this blog and here and here it got me thinking about how deceptive weight can be. With other blogs with names like Fat Cyclist and Fat Marc, you would think that their authors would be quite portly but quite the contrary. Fat Marc in particular looks to be very fit to me and the Fat Cyclist may not be super trim but he certainly does lots of very epic rides and seems to fare well for the most part so one would assume, at least by societal standards, that he is in reasonably good shape. Most people are very suprised when they find out what I weigh (I won't tell you if they're suprised at how light or how heavy I am, thats your job). So, the question is, based on the picture above, how much would you guess that I weigh? For reference I'm 6'-2 1/2". The person who guesses closest (without making me feel too bad) gets a special prize. Sorry, family members are not allowed to participate.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I feel bad, sort of

After riding in the rain this morning, I hung up my riding clothes in the mechanical closet to dry.  The mechanical closet is rarely used and because of the boiler, it tends to be a bit warmer than the rest of the building so it makes for a good place to dry clothes.  Usually.  Well, it turns out that today was the day that the phone people were coming in to reprogram some of the phones and they need to work in, you guessed it, the mechanical closet.  Of course I didn’t know this until they had been here for a while and I just happened to notice my clothing moved.  The poor bastard had to rearrange my dirty, road grit covered, damp riding duds in order to get to the phone panels.  He even had to move my shorts.  Thankfully I had turned them right side out before hanging them up, which I usually don’t do because they dry better inside out.  I’m thinking that I should bring in one of those plastic laundry racks for future drying purposes so this doesn’t happen again.  Sorry phone dude.

Barefoot and not pregnant

It was another rainy commute in this morning. Overall, it was a pleasant ride. The rain essentially stopped about halfway in so I was able to take of the rain cape which was mucho appreciated because I was getting overheated. Unfortunately, I had my socks for work in one of my jersey pockets (I forgot to pack them on Monday) and in the process of riding the rest of the way in, they got enough road spray on them that they are now soaked. Damn! I’m now friggin walking around the office in bare feet. Pretty professional don’t you think?

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I got my first tick of the season riding home Monday afternoon. Yippee! I just love them cute little suckers. I guess this cements my decision to shave the legs this summer. I had been undecided whether to do it or not but if the ticks are going to be out in force this summer (as I've heard they are going to be), the legs need to be shaved. I've found that when I do shave it decreases my tick catch significantly. Plus it makes it easier to apply the bug dope if I don't have a rain forest on my legs. Looks super sexy too, I know the redneck chicks around here dig it...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

One more commute in the books

Well, one more day of commuting in the books for me. The ride home was good once again, hitting all of the trails yada yada. You’ve heard all of this before so I won’t repeat it. The ride in, on the other hand, was anything but typical. The idiot box has been calling for rain the remainder of the week so I had initially planned on just taking it easy for the rest of the week, maybe do a couple of trainer sessions but nothing fancy. Overnight though, I decided that when I got up this morning at 5 if it wasn’t raining buckets I would ride the bike in anyway. Well, when I got up it wasn’t quite raining buckets but it definitely was raining steadily. Thankfully, I already had it in my head that I was riding so I wasn’t going to let a bit o’ rain and 45 deg. temps stop me. Surprisingly, it was easy to get myself out the door and once I got rolling it turned into a pretty nice ride. It was hard to see and my lower body was soaked through but the rain cape kept me dry and warm so all was well. The Van Dessel was the ride choice for the day for a couple of reasons. One reason was that since it’s a single speed there is less maintenance involved after a rainy ride but the main reason was that I had forgotten my front road wheel in the toaster back at the office. Doh! It turned out to be a good oversight on my part though because the Bob was up to the task and it kept the shiny road steed clean for another day. I figure rides like today put some serious funds in the bank that I hope to withdraw during race season, there is nothing like fighting through tough conditions to get those miles in. Plus, I sort of like the looks on people's faces when they see the idiot riding his bicycle in the rain.

In other news, I’m finally seeing the weight slowly start to come off. I’m hovering around 5-7 lbs higher than I want to be by race season right now but with slightly more riding and much better eating I’m finally seeing the pounds come off and with another three weeks before the first race, I stand a chance of hitting the goal. This time last year I had no trouble dropping the winter weight but this year has been tough. I guess having a baby will do that to you. Of course I didn’t have the baby, Marcy did, but you know what I mean. Soon enough this guy will really know what I mean.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Another weekend

Another weekend has passed and what a weekend it was!  With sunny skies and temps in the 60’s it was the perfect setting for a great ride.  Unfortunately I was unable to get out on Saturday but we did get together with some old college friends for a little sushi action as well as a stroll along the Portland waterfront.  The city actually has a pretty nice path running for a few miles along the river.  It’s a little too crowded and short for a real ride but Marcy and I are thinking that it might be the perfect place to take Brynna in her first trailer ride since its nice and smooth and there will be plenty for her to see.  Hopefully she’ll be ready for some mellow road rides in a month or so, we’ll see.

Sunday turned out to be even nicer weather wise than Saturday.  We woke to 45 deg and sunny weather that quickly climbed into the mid 60’s.  My plan for the day was to mow the lawn in the early am and then wait for my buddies to call and say that they were ready to head to Bradbury State Park.  Plans changed quickly though because when I got the mower out to the front yard, I noticed our mailbox laying against the neighbors fence.  I thought wtf??? and immediately assumed that some jackass was playing mailbox baseball but upon further investigation found that wasn’t the case. It seems that a (presumeably) drunk driver swerved off the road Saturday night and took out my mailbox and as well as a street sign.  Thankfully the post and bracket are made of heavy gauge aluminum because despite finding pieces of it as far away as 300 ft (into the neighbor’s yard) I was able to put it back together again.  A little worse for wear but ready to take whatever this winters snow plows can dish out!  The driver also managed to shear off a street sign and flung that sucker a few hundred feet as well.  The f’er must have been drunk because any sane person would stop and call the cops after something like that happened.  I can only imagine what their car looked like afterwards.  I sincerely hope that it was completely f’ed up, rat bastard.  The good news in all of this is that the cop that I talked to said that they’ve gotten money to buy an undercover car for nabbing drunks and speeders on our road.  There are only two roads leading down onto the peninsula and even though we live in a very residential area, people fly down our road.  Hopefully with a little more presence from the fuzz they’ll be forced to slow down.

Anyway, after dealing with the mailbox, I scooted down to Bradbury where I met up with Kevin and Casey.  We hit up some of the best trails on the non-mountain side of the road.  The park has been doing a damn good job of adding sweet single track on this side of the road, basically adding a few more miles or trail each year.  For this year’s race in July, they have changed the format of the race from being multiple laps to being one 30 mile loop for expert and sport riders.  I’m so excited about this change that I can barely contain myself.  I typically do best in the longer races so this should suit me perfectly.  Anyway, the trails were freakin beautiful.  The trail ranges from super buff swoopy single track in the hardwoods to tight, twisty, turny stuff to lumpy/rocky areas but the beautiful thing is that they are all in separate sections so the riding experience changes every 10-15 mins.  To top it off, the mountain side of the road is completely different again.  That side is filled with steep climbs/descents, rock outcroppings, you name it, its got it.  Super fun.