Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Look What the Brown Santa Brought

Yesterday, the brown santa made a much anticipated delivery courtesy of the Green Santa and Ergon-Bike. The box contained two sets of Ergon's GX2 magnesium barend grips. Frickin-a sweet! Too bad I don't have a bike to put them on yet. All Bikeman.com team members were given explicit orders not to pester team manager Big "don't call me gay" Al about when the team orders from SRAM and Salsa would be in because just imagine the time Al would spend answering daily e-mails and phone calls from neurotic, emaciated Adam Craig wanna-bes about when their precious bits would be in. I've got to admit though, that I've come precariously close to calling a time or two and even went so far as to try an end around with another bikeman.com employee figuring that if I asked Taber, I might find out what I needed and technically still be playing by the rules. Unfortunately, Taber knew shit (as if I didn't already know that) and he probably narc'ed me out to Al. Stupid Taber. Anyway, I guess until some Salsa goodness and some SRAM-tastic bits show up I'll just have to get kitted up, hold the grips in my hands and get all Monty Python with my imagination.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's in a Picture

The other day, while out for a trailer ride with B, I took a few pics of a giant fisherman statue that sits at the entrance of a coastal hotel just down the road from our current residence.

At first glance, everything seems pretty normal but as you drive/ride past things get a bit more interesting...

Didn't see it? Well, how 'bout now?

cleverly positioned thumb!

Now, before you start saying that I'm just a dirty perv (I am) and that no one other than me would see this, you should know that this was pointed out to me by a friend of ours, Jen (another dirty perv by the way). I've got to say, that was totally a ballsy (pun totally intended) move by the artist responsible for the statue.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

First Trailer Ride of the Season

That's the tip of my saddle sticking out there, if you were wondering.

This afternoon I decided to leave work early (after only 10 1/2 hours) and pic B up from school in her trailer. Thankfully, she was excited to see me in my riding kit. The other parents may not have been quite as excited.
Do you have any idea how many tries it took to get this picture? You try to get your ass, your kid and the water beyond all while riding.
From there we proceeded to hit every road and hill within close vicinity of the house (I've learned that there are two keys to taking your kid for a successful trailer ride, 1. always bring a snack and some water and 2. never get too far from home because when it gets ugly, it gets ugly and nobody wants to ride for an hour with a screaming kid in the back. what would the neighbors think?). Some of the climbs were serious nut droppers including several that were over 15% and one that touched 20%. Try doing that sometime with a 39/23 gear combo and a 40 lb kid tagging along in a trailer. PAINFUL! On the 20%'er I was forced to do the dreaded sawing back and forth in the road to keep any speed (and knee cartilage).
After meandering around for about an hour we rolled into the driveway while B still had a smile on her face. Mission accomplished. (morning edit: she asked for, and got, a ride to school this morning too)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

While Visions of Radiant Tubing Dance in His Head

A sure fire way to tell that I'm stressed is when the day's trials creep in and disrupt my sleep. I've always been a sleepwalker of sorts. I don't usually wander around the house at night but I do occasionally do weird shit (usually in the bedroom) in the middle of the night while I slowly come out of my dream state. Sometimes I figure it out on my own, sometimes Marcy snarls at me through gritted teeth to get back in bed. On a side note, never, ever wake your wife in the middle of the night. Not for anything. I don't care if the house is on fire, if you want to survive the ordeal, I suggest you carefully wrap her in a blanket and carry her out Fabio style.

Anyway, I used to have my sleepwalking episodes much more often, like the time when I was a kid that my mother awoke one night to me peeing right next to her head. Or about 10 years ago when Marcy awoke to me crawling around on the floor, from window to window, searching for the person who was shooting at us.

Anyway, back to the story. Super stress seems to make me sleepwalk and yesterday was one of those days. I was frantically preparing for a client meeting to happen today and that, in and of itself, would typically be enough but I had the added "fun" of needing to prep the first floor radiant tubing for today's concrete pour. Before encasing radiant tubing it's important to pressure test it for leaks because no-one wants to cut into a concrete slab to find a pinhole leak. I had borrowed the fittings and tools that I needed to do the job. Unfortunately, once to the house I realized that the crimper that I had been given was the wrong size. Several frantic phone calls later I was able to find another to borrow from another mechanical contractor (it pays to run in those circles I guess) and was able to get the job done just as it was getting to dark to work.

Apparently, I took that stress with me to bed because on several occasions last night I awoke to find myself checking the tubing. Another side note here, how great of a pick up line would that be? "Hey baby, how would you like to come back to my place and pressure test my tubing?" That's a double slap, guaranteed. I may try it this weekend and find out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Getting My Act Together

If you've been reading the blog for long (and judging by the numbers, if you have been, you won't be here much longer!) you know that this has been a tough winter for me. Work is super busy (which is awesome) and we're currently building our dream house (which is even more awesome-er, maybe even the awesomest) so it's left little time for keeping my other shit together. Ride time has been slack but by being creative and not bailing on any rides, I've been able to keep some reasonable weekly hours for the off season (4-8). Where I've really fallen off is in my diet. When time is tight, it can be hard to eat the right thing and when you're stressed (at least when I'm stressed) I tend to eat crap and drink much. I've slowly been weening myself off the sauce and trying to make small changes in the diet to get back on track.

One sure fire way for me to control my eating is to eat lots of bean based foods. The above "soup" is an example of what I enjoy. Yesterday morning, while waiting for B to wake up, I literally threw this together (basically three types of beans, spinach, peas, canned tomatoes, couple cloves of garlic, some beef broth and some various seasonings ). It's healthy, tasty and most importantly, keep my ravenous gut satiated. By my calculations there is roughly 10g protein, 20g carbs, 15mg sodium and about 15000 grams of fiber per serving. Lets just say, this soup keeps things REGULAR. Nuff said.

Speaking of keeping things regular and getting my shit together (pun alert!) I've started carrying this calendar around with me everywhere in the hopes that I'll finally get my season training planned out.

It hasn't happened yet but with the help of LW Coaching and Road Bike Rider . com, I'll soon be getting my workouts together (loosely at least) for the season. LW's "Time Crunched Expert" plan worked pretty well for me last year so I'm hoping to build on that this year.
Get the Funk Out
maybe I should change my blog name to "The Sandy Chamois"
my taint trembles looking at this.
Another week gone and I'm still trying to find some balance in my life. I have been able to squeeze in some respectable hours (for me) recently, cramming in rides ranging from :30 - 1:30 whenever I can and trying to up the tempo a bit so that the legs know whats what when I start doing "real" training rides instead of the "junk" miles I've been working on so far. To be honest, while my riding has been junk as far as training goes, they have been serving a real purpose; keeping me sane. With our house move-in date quickly approaching, I find myself with precious few moments to myself to unwind and as the week progress' I get closer and closer to climbing up the nearest bell tower with a high powered rifle. Quick jaunts on the road bike (that's right, I've transitioned from the el mariachi on the road) are all that's keeping me from ascending those stairs.

The Ergon pack carries baby toys too.

Last week, I finally took a look at this years' Maine Mountain Bike race schedule. Unfortunately, it looks like several races have dropped off the calendar. I'm bummed but not surprised to see it happen considering the dwindling numbers in recent years. The one bright side, for me at least, is that there is only one spring race in the schedule and then the rest picking up in July. That should give me time to get my arse in gear for a late season comeback.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring is near

Not much to blog about today. I had hoped to do the wednesday morning spin class today to squeeze a quality workout in since no other ride is in the works for today but after the whole fam felt like ka-ka last night, I figured it was best to get an extra half hour of sleep and get in to work early instead. Bummer. The above photo was from less than two weeks ago. I can't frickin believe it, there was so much snow that hiking without snowshoes was impossible (or at least miserable) and now, here we are with barely any snow left on the ground. Usually, I'd be psyched to see the snow go in the spring but given the current house situation, I was actually kinda hoping for a few more weeks of snow and crap so that it would keep people around here off their bikes thus allowing me to catch up quicker when I'm riding proper again. Oh well, just another way ma nature has me over a barrel.
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Because it could get sticky

Overheard at my place of employ:

Me: "yada, yada, yada, I'm the best cyclist ever and I'm super studly because I ride in winter and did I mention yet today that I WAX my legs?(or something of that nature)"

Bora (name changed to protect the annoying): "yada, yada, yada, and while you were riding around in your latex..."

Me: " Bora, I guarantee you, I'm on a totally different kind of ride when I'm wearing latex."
Spring must be approaching

because there are two bikes on the car.


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Ugh, work has taken the front seat, the back seat and the luggage and glove compartments so far this week so I've barely had time to think let alone blog. Thankfully, I was still able to squeeze in a few quality rides last week. They're still short rides in duration but I've slowly added intensity so hopefully come race season I'll have some top end speed, sure I might implode at the :45 minute mark but I'll look good up til then.

Over the weekend we kicked some serious house butt and installed all 18 window assemblies (somewhere around 25 windows total) and have moved one giant step closer to having a habitable house come summer. With that in mind, I'd better get crackin!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Orange movement

What happens when you have two bowls of squash soup for first breakfast (we had lots of leftovers and I didn't want it to go to waste) followed by a bagel with cream cheese and salmon (not lox, that's gross) and then a salmon steak for lunch (our salmon tends to be a bit more orange than pink)? You have an orange movement, that's what. At least that's what I'm guessing because I'd never look when I'm finished. Nope, not me. Never.

ThomP (see pic above) has totally got me thinking about getting the DT Swiss RWS quick release.

Last year I had a bit of trouble with quick releases loosening up on my El Mariachi unless I torqued them so hard I thought I'd break something (my fingers trying to release them). Anyway, the RWS essentially lets you tighten it by spinning the lever thus allowing the application of plenty of torque. This allows both a more secure connection PLUS (at least it is said) a noticeably stiffer assembly. Hmm, sounds pretty good. My only question is, how long does it take to loosen and secure the RWS in comparison to a typical quick release. If anybody knows, please let me know.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Commuting is great, commuting sucks

As all of you know (all two of you) because I whine about it constantly, the only riding I get these days is my twice weekly commute and maybe a ride to and from the property on the weekend. Thank god for the saddle time during the commute because otherwise I'd become such a grumpy prick that even fewer people would be able to stand being around me. BUT, I am so frickin getting tired of this commute. I've done just about every conceivable route that doesn't take me way out of the way and I still find myself bored as sin recently. The one good thing is that we finally have some bare pavement on the roads so I might be able to finally take the studded tires off the bike. Most winters the studded tires are only needed the day or two after a storm but this year we've had so much snow so frequently that there has been ice on the roads EVERY-SINGLE-DAY. The March sun is finally on my side though and clearing the roads nicely during the day. Maybe, just maybe I'll be able to throw the schwalbe big apple shod wheelset on the El Mariachi for this weekend.

That's all I have for now. Originally I had a marginally more interesting post up about orange poop (now we're talking!) but stupid blogger won't upload the photo. Maybe tomorrow.