Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Big Tough Guy

You know what the problem with being a big tough guy is? Most of you probably don't know since I've met a bunch of you and know for a fact that you're not big tough guys. MAYBE, you're little emaciated biker boy tough guys but definitely not a big tough guy like me. If you (and if when I say "you" you think that I'm talking about you, I probably am) need a metaphor to help you understand, let's just say you're a 90 lb weakling and I'm a 100 lb weakling. Ok, now that we're all on the same page, the problem with being such a manly, leg waxing tough guy is that when you get sick, your true weenieness shows through. Over the weekend, Marcy was VERY sick, throwing up close to 20 times on Friday alone and was down for the count for a couple of days. Sunday, though still being sick, she hoisted herself up and watched B so that I could work on the house. Holy crap, I'm rambling on about nothing here. Time to get to the point me-thinks. So anyway, Monday I start feeling like crap and before you know it I'm down and spend the entire day sleeping on the couch. Super tough guy huh? At least I did throw up a total of 0 (that zero, Z-E-R-O) times. What a wus. Throw a 12 hour race my way and I'm your man, throw a seriously minor flu bug my way and I'll scury away with my tail between my legs.

The good news is that because I was feeling sick for a couple of days I had essentially no caffeine during that time and it has allowed me to ween myself off the bean. I'll never give up coffee entirely but I was drinking so much that I'm surprised my penis didn't whistle while I peed (not whistle while you work whistle but old timey teapot whistle). Now that I'm cut way back on caffeine I feel surprisingly good.

Now, if I can find some time to ride.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mental Health Day

Marcy took pity on me on Friday and cut me loose so that I could get in a proper mountain bike group ride. The Rage on Portland group was hitting up some unknown to me trails just a half hour away from the soon to be new digs so there was no way I was going to miss it. To top it off, the ride was being led by my Winter XC compatriot Steve K. so I knew I'd have a good challenge trying to keep up with him and his top notch tech skills on his Santa Cruz Blur Lt. Steve and the trails didn't disappoint. For a fairly in-town park, there was a surprisingly vast network of trails from buff double track to scary as hell, off camber rocky/rooty, slip and you go for a swim singletrack. It was a hell of a good time and a chance for me to hone my tech skills and ride with actual human people for a change. Thanks for the ride guys.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GRRRRR Revealed

So what exactly was this GRRRRR I talking about the other day? Details are still a bit fuzzy but here is what I know so far. First off, GRRRRR stands for Ginormous Racin Rick Righteous Riding Rendezvous. Pretty clever don't you think? I think so and I'm an amazingly smart and creative guy, so I should know. Essentially, it's a weekend filled with debauchery, riding, more debauchery and even more debauchery and possibly a hangover or two.

Things will start out with a Friday afternoon/evening ride on the frickin sweet Camden Snow Bowl trails. Many people have ridden the snow bowl's race course (which is sweet b.t.w.) but very few people know the true wonders of the spot. Friday night if you have 2-3 hours to kill, you will too. Afterwards, we'll head to our new (hopefully finished) place for an evening of beer, ping pong, Wii, PS3 and whatever else comes to mind.

Saturday morning, after a hearty breakfast, we'll head out for a multi-hour (4+ hopefully) mountain bike ride directly from the house. Saturday night we'll repeat Friday nights festivities.

Sunday, we'll hit up another of Maine's primo riding destinations, Bradbury Park. If you've done a race there, you know it's probably the best place in Maine to ride and with the addition of the Tryon mountain area, we should be able to put together a sweet ending to a killer weekend.

Sound good to you? Let me know because I suspect I need to make some more friends to pad the numbers.

More info to come.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fenders and Idiocy

Today's ride is powered by fenders and idiocy. Or, maybe it's fenders and optimism? I'm not sure which yet but when I awoke to walk the dog this a.m. the skies were overcast and there was a steady, light rain. I would have loved to not ride this morning but, unfortunately, my belly the waist band of my pants has been getting in the way of my belly recently so a slack day was definitely not in order. Thankfully, I haven't taken the recalled stem off my El Mariachi yet so I still had my fender shod warrior at my disposal. The El plus just the right amount of ignorance and a touch of optimism was the recipe for a salvaged commute. It turned out the ride wasn't nearly as nasty as it could have been given all the festive colors on the weather map during the morning news. In fact, my clothes may even be dry for this afternoon's ride home. Of course, they're calling for a deluge in the p.m. so even if my clothes have dried, they'll immediately be soaking wet in short order. Good times, very good times indeed.

Speaking of good times, in the past seven days I managed to ride on dirt four times. I think that's pretty dam good considering I'd ridden on dirt a total of zero times in the six months prior. Basically, after Thursday's ride with the boys when I discovered just how sweet the riding conditions are right now I've been sneaking in a ride every chance I could get. Over the weekend it involved getting up extra early so I could get my ride in before heading to the house. As a bonus, Sunday morning I was even able to get Marcy to come out with me for an hour.


It felt so good to be riding on dirt again that while in one of my ride induced euphoric states I hatched a plan for a late summer social/ride event. I'm not sure of the details yet but you should go ahead right now and block off all weekends in September so that you don't do something silly like schedule your wedding or child's birth on what could be the greatest weekend of you life. More to come.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

First Dirt 2

As I alluded to the other day, I finally got a chance to ride dirt. For the first freakin time in 2009. I had to go well out of my way to do it but it figured it was worth it. I'd get to ride a trail that I rarely get to ride (the Portland River Trail), get to ride with guys I only see a few times a year, and my tires would kiss dirt for the first time in a very long time. Win, win, win.
The ride to P-town.

The ride started out pretty uneventfully except of course for the frickin-a sweet single track. About 10 minutes in I kinda forgot that I was riding a geared bike (first time since mid-summer 2008) and tried to sneak past a mighty pointy stick on my right side. Sure enough I heard the tell tale KA-CHUNK! of a derailleur being sheared in half. Pokey stick meet derailleur, derailleur, meet pokey stick. There now, we're all acquainted.

Thankfully, the boys were more than happy to stick around while I fiddled and faddled for 10 minutes single-speeding the dos and gave me some kind advice on how to get it to work (thanks Scott and Bill). It kind of got me thinking that maybe, just maybe this was a sign from the man upstairs that I shouldn't be dabbling in gears. Message received.

the dos all single speedy

the posse

All photos (except for the one of my mug) were provided by JeffScher.com

Friday, April 17, 2009

First Dirt

I went for my first dirt ride of the year last night (thursday). Wanna guess how it went? Well, here's a itty bitty hint:

More to come...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Setting the Bar

Last weekend, in order to fit a ride into my busy (and amazingly important) schedule I decided to ride to the property on Sunday morning. In order to ride (and still keep the house shit rolling) I had to stop at the office to pick up one of my finish nailers. I strapped it to the exterior of my already fully loaded BD1 thusly:

Not exactly the most secure load for ripping up singletrack but since I was only taking it for a 6 mile road ride I figured things would be A-OK. And it was. Once to the property I did the whole layout the pile of shit I carried thing that I so enjoy to do and you are left with this:

Lemme see, we have the already mentioned finish nailer, a box of finish nails, pair of work pants and long underwear, two long sleeve shirts, boxers, wallet, belt, wallet, redsox hat, tool hook and most importantly 1 dozen easter eggs to hide before B showed up to do her easter egg hunt.
Good Ride

Yesterday after many thwarted attempts, I finally made it out for a LONG ride. Seriously long, mega long. Over two whole hours long. Two whole hours and one whole minute to be precise. It seems kind of silly to be excited about a 2 hour ride this time of the season but it was easily my longest ride so far in 2009. Usually I'd have countless 2hr rides and a handful of 4+ hour rides by this time of year but not this year. Oh no, not this year.

The ride started out well, it was sunny and warm-ish at 45 degrees, as I cruised along coastal roads trying for once to do a proper warm-up before jumping into the real workout. I started my sprint interval routine shortly before crossing the Wiscasset bridge. Similar to my Augusta ride a couple of weeks ago, I love to do hard efforts while in town in Wiscasset. It's a small town but the bridge always proves to be a good launching pad for an all out effort. Plus, immediately after leaving the bridge you head uphill through town with cars continuously passing, going just slightly faster than a bulging from the eyes, vomiting in mouth cyclist can maintain. In short, it's my ideal environment to get in a solid 1-2 minute all out effort. There is something inside of my (probably vanity) that just loves to hammer in those kinds of situations. In fact, if it wouldn't make me look like an escaped metal patient in a leotard, I'd circle back multiple times to do it over again.

Anyway, I finished my intervals just shy of the 1 hour mark which mean that I'd have some time to enjoy just being outside. That didn't last long. Apparently my body has become accustomed to the short rides I've been getting recently and anything over 1:15 becomes a real question of survival. As an endurance cyclist this makes me sad, very, very sad. By about 1:30 I was hitting a serious wall (maybe I should have been carrying more than a bottle of water perhaps?) and was forced to stop and get a can of pepsi for my final SLOWWWWWWW 8 mile crawl back to the house.

Once back to the house I immediately popped open a Dog Fish Head 60 min IPA, ate a couple handfuls of jelly beans (thanks easter bunny!) and made up some lazy man's burritos. Nothing has ever tasted so good.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Angering the Cycling Gods

I'm not sure what I've done, but somehow I seem to have pissed off the mighty mountain biking gods. How do I know this? Well, today all bikeman.com team members received an e-mail from team manager Big "you've already used the Big Gay Al joke about a thousand times" Al saying that all of our tasty SRAM bits are in. Except for my stuff and one other teammates'. Just so we're clear, everything showed up for a team of roughly 70 riders except for me and Matt. Apparently I've been a bad boy and Matt's obviously been snorting Dumonde while lubing some other bike's rear end. Now that I'm thinking about it, it could be the fact that I did naughty things to on jack hammer this weekend. Observe:

ttttt-eeeeeee-lllllllllll-llllllllll mmmmm-ee wwww-hhhhhhh-eeeeeen yoooooo-uuuuuu wwwwwaaaaaa-nnnnnnn-ttttttt ttttttt-ooooo gggggooooo!
We also heard the other day that all of the team Salsa nuggets (hey, what do you want, I already used "bits" and I couldn't think of anything else) are on the slow boat from China and should be here sometime in the next millennium. When my beloved Selma finally lands on American soil I'll be sitting pretty with a sweet pair of Ergon grips, some, but not all, of my SRAM bits and nothing else. I guess it might be time to finger out the rest of my build. Who am I kidding? I'm still trying to figure out the rest of our HOUSE build. Selma, my little hussy, you'll be half dressed for quite some time. Hmmmmm, me likey what me thinky.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Separated at Birth?

Is it just me or do blog headers for Laps in the N'east and Bikes Beer and Bacon look strangely similar? To be honest, I knew of Pete's blog (BB&B) first but then he sort of went off-line for a bit. During that time, Laps showed up with a similar blog header and format. Not to mention they were both Bikeman.com team members so for quite some time I was convinced that they were one and the same. Pete messing with my head. But, as it turns out, they actually are two very different people who just happen to be the same person in my pea size brain. I think they only way for me to get over this is to see both of them at once. Kinda like seeing superman and clark kent at once or like the Patty Duke show. Here's a little off topic RacinRick trivia nugget for you. When I was a kid my mom watched a lot of Nick at Nite which had re-runs of 50's & 60's sitcoms. One of those sitcoms was the Patty Duke show. Basically a show about identical cousins which, as you can imagine, led to all sorts of hilarity. Anyway, I watched that show many, many times before my mother broke the news that both Patty and Cathy were the same person in real life. It totally blew my mind and I've never been able to trust women since. Conniving little vixens. Laps and Pete may be vixens (conniving ones at that) too for all I know so meet-up is in order. Hey you two, get yer asses to Maine!

Micro Blog, Twitter Style

No time for prose. Worked til 10:15 last night and back up at 4:45 this morning for a meeting in Boston. Prepped El Mariachi for ride in rain the morning with slicks mounted, fenders and a new 34 tooth chainring so as not to hamster wheel of fury as much while on the flats. Worked well. Got in with just enough time for this. Aren't you glad???

Monday, April 06, 2009


Another week down and we're one week closer to being homeless. It's becoming apparent that we won't have our house finished by the time we have to vacate our care taking gig so it's been full steam ahead on the house and not so much on the bike. Last week I did complete my first kinda-sorta week of structured training. I didn't get all of the LW prescribed workouts in but a couple did happen and I'm sure that's better than nothing. The week started out well with two good training rides mid week but the house stuff always keeps weekend rides to a minimum so I didn't get the "big" weekend rides. Those will come.

Sunday, I did manage to sneak out early enough for B and I to get a quick ride in. For the first time this year it was warm enough for just a sleeveless base and one long sleeve jersey. It was N-I-C-E. I just wish I had had the time and energy to get out longer. It was nice to roll with the B-monster though so I was happy and the short ride helped erase the weekend's stress from my melon.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Let Me Paint a Picture

Let's say that there is this guy named Rick (not me) who rode his bike to the house he's building (not mine) to do some work before meeting his wife (not Marcy) to head to her father's birthday dinner. Now, let's assume that Rick's (still not me) clothes to change into are in his wife's car so he'll have to change when she gets there. Unfortunately, Marcy (woops, I meant not Marcy) was running late so Rick would need to change uber fast. Not Marcy jokes about Rick stripping naked for when she gets there so he'll be ready for said uber quick change. Now, lets assume Rick (pretty sure he's not me) is a shameless twit who will do anything for a laugh (and even more for blog fodder) and decides to do her one better and proceeds to strip down to work boots (untied of course), a heart rate monitor strap and a bikeman.com hat (with brim turned up) and nothing else and then waits in the bushes for not Marcy's arrival. Upon her arrival I (I mean, Rick who could very well be me), runs from around the corner in said outfit, pale flesh, knees pumping high, limbs akimbo and junk all kadywampus in perfect comedic timing.

Try to erase that picture from your head today. Good luck

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ring it up

I have my first structured training ride of the season under my belt. It took some doing and was accomplished in less than ideal circumstances but it happened. Yay for me. On top of that, this morning while waiting for B to wake up I did some cyclo-core work and some push-ups in anticipation of not riding today but when B got up she requested a trailer ride to school. Being the model dad that I am, I quickly agreed, got everything together and we hit the road. After dropping her off (less than a five minute ride), unhooked the trailer and TT'd it into the office. I have to admit, the route from her school to my office is awesome for a quick hard effort. It has a significant (for coastal maine) amount of uphill with just enough down and flat to allow a few quick breathers. Add to that a good shoulder and constant traffic and it makes for an ideal hard tempo effort for me. I've found that I usually do my best hard training on busy roads because I find myself going a bit harder for an audience. Turning it up to 11, if you will. For example, on Saturday, on my way to my parents I had to ride through downtown Augusta. It's not most people's ideal riding locale but I loved it because the traffic traveled just slightly faster than I could thus allowing me to try to keep up with traffic, add in a few rolling hills and a couple of high speed (on a bike) traffic circles and the result was me having my hr pinned in upper zone 5 for 10 minutes straight. Good stuff.
Those of you who have been racin rick fans for long (not likely) may remember that a couple of years ago I had a sweet Van Dessel single speed that I had used for commuting. The story behind it is that my brother bought it used and then I traded him a road bike that I wasn't using for it. Eventually, he began to miss it so I gave it back to him as a Christmas/birthday/christmas/birthday present. I now, of course, miss having it too. To rub things in a bit, Rus sent me this pic the other day of the shiny new red wheels he got. They're nothing fancy but for a meat and potatoes commuter bike, they are perfect. I miss my VanD. It's weird that such an inexpensive bike could stir such feelings.