Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Monday

and I'm actually blogging. That can only mean one of two things. One, I had an interesting weekend or two, I rode/ran this morning. I certainly didn't have an interesting weekend (unless you consider hitting three places for Thanksgiving and doing a ton of shingling on the house interesting. eh - no.) so that leaves ride/run. I haven't ridden in over a week again but I did haul my sorry ass out for a nice early a.m. run this morning followed by stretching/pilates/push-ups. Not much to write about of course but it did feel good to start the week off right after a week of sloth.

Tonight will include an exciting commute home so look for another post tomorrow with all of the delicious details.

Over the course of the last couple of years I've been working on getting my parents and youngest brother into riding and based on their toeing the line at this past summer's Bradbury 12, I'd say that I'm making some progress. It took some convincing to get them to race but I do believe that my brother, at least, has (somewhat) caught the bug. Not only has Darren committed to next year's 12 hr race but has also committed to some weird golf tournament/100 mile ride for next summer. I'm not sure in what bizarro world golf and riding goes together but I won't bitch no matter how weird the combo is because anything that gets more people active is a good thing in my book.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I didn't ride this weekend. Shocker, I know. I did kick some cedar shingle ass though and have some great progress to show for it on the house.

Because of my (still present) inability to sleep through the night, I find myself at work super early this morning (not much on regular tv at 3:15 am) but that means that because of some clever planning (and a bit of laziness last night. don't worry, I won't bore you with an explanation) I'm going to be able to ride my road bike home this morning, in the daylight and sun hopefully, so that I can get cleaned up to go to a doctor's appointment.

Riding while Mr. Sunbeam is in the sky should be an interesting change. Although, I have to admit, now that I have the Dinotte lights, riding in the dark is hardly riding in the dark but at the same time you have to appreciate the sun's radiant warmth. I don't think I say it enough but I like the sun. What I don't like is eastern standard time when you live in Maine. Dark before 4:30 (in Eastport, one of the furtherest easternpointyest places in maine, I hear it's dark by 12:15. at least)? Are you frickin' kidding me? My buddy who splits time between here and Pittsburgh (argh! can you imagine having the Steelers as your home team?) has the sun until closer to 6:30. You know that I also like (or at least think I would)? Atlantic Standard Time. Maine juts out into the Atlantic so it makes sense to me and then we could skip daylight savings time in the summer so I don't have to go about resetting all of my clocks (both internal and external) twice a year. More light and time savings! I'm a genius.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Riding Makes it Right

I've noticed something recently and wonder if you have too. It shouldn't come as a shock I guess but since I started running and have gotten a couple of rides in, I have more of an urge to blog. For a few weeks there I was so apathetic that I wasn't sure if I even wanted to do this any more and was posting more out of a sense of obligation (for some stupid reason since I'm sure that the four people who read this would somehow, eventually, find a way to carry on with life without semi-daily installments from me) then a real desire to do so. But give me some physical activity and shazam! I'm all over my mediocre blogging like brown on rice (white rice is the devil! unless it's with sushi and then it's dreamy).

This week I got in two commutes and three pretty decent trail runs and all of a sudden all is right with the world and I've done, count them, four only mildly making you want to stick a pencil through your eye and rummage around in your brain to find the memory of reading it so that you can kill that portion of your brain so you can pretend you didn't just waste 3 1/2 precious minutes of your day blog posts.

You can thank me later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Look Ma, No Car!

Well, I went and did it. Thanks to a very gracious wife, I was given the green light to ride this morning (despite it being Marcy's day, I guess she's sick and tired of my incessant whining all day long!) so ride I did. It was a short ride, just seven miles by road, but I'll take it. After three weeks off, the legs weren't feeling all that chipper anyway. I would have liked to have done the short mtb commute which only takes me an additional 1/2 hour but sunrise is roughly when I'd be getting out of the woods and I didn't want to get blasted by any Death Eaters, I mean hunters in the pre-dawn light so I decided to play it safe. One might ask, how could someone possibly shoot at a deer that apparently has 1200 lumen headlights? One could ask but one would be stupid to do so. Who are we to deny a precious little deer the ability to see at night? I mean, really, I've seen four year olds with their own cell phones so deer with headlights can't be all that far down the road. Plus, we're talking about rednecks with guns. You can never be too careful with that combination and, remember, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people asking questions!

Smiling and on the bike. Good times!

In this pic you can (not so clearly) see that I've zip tied Chance's tags to the bar of the El Mariachi. I did this for a couple of reasons. The first of which was that I figured the constant tinkle, tink, tinkleeydoo of the tags would provide a bit more safety for me while riding in the woods during hunting season. When you ride a single speed you tend to be pretty stealth and a bike crunching through the leaves can sound an awful lot like two or three deer skittering about (I know this because I used to hunt when I was a kid). Most deer don't wear dog collars so I figure if a hunter hears the tinkling they'll think that either a dog or someone's pet deer is coming. Safety first. The other reason I put them there is so that I can get sad every time I hop on my bike. Nothing like a constant reminder that you recently had to put your best bud down.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Remember waaaaayyyyyy back to yesterday when I said that trail running is just like mountain biking except for the fun and endorphins? Well, today, after laying awake in bed from 3:20 until 4:30 I decided to get up and do it all over again. The trails were a bit drier today now that the 3" of rain we got over the weekend has had a chance to drain and as I ran I found myself thinking "huh, I don't feel nearly as crappy as last week. Maybe I'm getting into this. You know what? I'm not hating this right now!". So, there you go. I wouldn't say that was exactly a glowing endorsement for trail running on my part but it's a start. Maybe some day in the not so distant future fun AND endorphins will become part of the equation.

The first step in that will be for me to find a way to loop the trail back to the house without hitting the pavement since a large percentage of me not hating the run this morning was because I did an out and back and never touched pavement. If you've been mountain biking long you know that the only thing worse than no riding at all is an out and back ride. I'm not sure why but out and backs just seem stupid and unfun thus I avoid them like the plague and that feeling crept into my bulbous melon as I was out and backing this morning. Time to get to work on a loop.

Oh god, I just realized that I'm writing about creating RUNNING trails. Quick! Get a pedal wrench and bust my kneecaps before I do something stupid like start training for triathlons! Oh wait, I've got an off road tri planned for next summer. Never mind.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Both my riding legs and my photography skills are about as dusty as they can get judging by the photos below and the flabbiness in my gut. I've lost the ability to count or estimate time but I'm guessing that I've been off of the bike for almost two weeks straight at this point. It's been so long that the other day I thought it would be a good idea to go down to the basement and say hi to my long lost friends.

Once down stairs the first bike I see is poor selma who has been on the bike stand for a good 4+ weeks totally untouched and unloved. I put her up there with intentions to bleed her rear brake since it has gone caput and requires 5+ minutes for pumping to get firm, wait, we're still talking about my brakes here aren't we? Yeah? OK, good. Once on the stand though, I remembered that I'm a ham fisted meat head with a wrench and would surely do more harm than good so I've decided to take it to the shop instead. One of these days.

Next up is the El Mariachi leaning provocatively again the metal brake (it's used for braking metal you silly goose). The El sees the most use this time of year so she's mounted up with my lights, GPS unit and a bottle since I always seem to forget water this time of year. Three week old water bottle water is just delish!

Lastly (I'm not showing the Dos or the Carver since they are bare frames) are Marcy's and my road bikes. We've totally given up on them by this time of year because of the typical crappy conditions so they're hung in the mechanical room. At some point this sleek stallion will be called into action this winter when a multi-hour road assault is planned but, for now, they're eye candy for the wood boiler at the opposite end of the room.

Because of my lack of time recently I've gone ahead and done something drastic and started running again. I've found it hard to motivate myself to get up early enough to go for a run most mornings but have gotten out four times in the last couple of weeks. At first my shins were killing me but I realized that if I went trail running instead of on the road they don't seem to hurt so I guess I'm a trail runner now. Trail running is amazingly like mountain biking except for the fun and endorphins I get from riding but at least trail running does happen on trails in the woods. Of course, being a bike geek above all else, I don't have proper running attire or equipment so I look like a complete goober out there. I guess that it's good that I run under the cover of darkness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Neti Pot how-to

As you probably remember (from my incessant bitching here and on facebook) I recently had a cold and then subsequent sinus infection. The doc had me dosed up on antibiotics for the infection and also told me to use a saline mist in my nose a couple of times a day to help clear the sinuses of their mucusy gunk. Well, the saline sucked a big d*ck and didn't seem to do anything except make my eyes water. Meanwhile, everyone around me kept saying "you should get a neti pot", "get a neti pot", "a neti pot will get you cleaned out", "I enjoy having sex with farm animals" and since having sex with farm animals has never helped me before (no matter how hard I tried) I reluctantly ponied up the $14.95 to have the privilege to pour water in my nose.

For those of you who don't know, a Neti Pot is a plastic tea pot looking thing that you fill with water and a magic potion that you then dump into your nose to flush the sinuses. Good fun.

So, without further ado, here is a step by step guide to using the Neti Pot

Step one: fill pot with water and magic potion.

Step two: place pot on sink for photo op.Step three: position toilet paper in a convenient location. I chose the door handle immediately adjacent to the sink.
Step four: jamb pot up nose, tilt head slightly and commence pouring. Notice the water enters one nostril, goes through the sinuses and then exits the other nostril.

Step five: some of the magic potion will drain to the back of your throat. Try not to imagine what the salty brine water tastes like.

Step six: grasp for toilet paper as your schnoz drips water and snot everywhere.

Step seven: blow your nose two, three or four times.

Step eight: repeat with other nostril.

Step nine: rejoice in cleansed airways.

here is the after pic. notice the moist eyes? while this isn't an uncomfortable procedure it sure does make my eyes red and moist.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Hello Folks

So much riding to write about I hardly know where to start! Oh wait, sorry. For a second there I thought I was someone else. Someone who actually rides his bike. No real complaints though. Sure, I had a stinkin cold for a week straight and once that cleared up I got a nasty sinus infection (really, the cold was the source of the infection) but that all seems to be mostly cleared up by now and even though I haven't touched my bike throughout all of this B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L weather I'm still (somehow) in good spirits. Why, you ask? Well, because we've finally, miraculously, the roof is done and we've started shingling the second floor of the house. Yee frickin hah!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pushin 2 Bills

I finally decided to head to the doc's office yesterday since my week old cold apparently had turned into a nasty sinus infection just for shits and giggles. Colds I can deal with and not be too much of a cry baby but give me a sinus headache and I quickly cry uncle. Plus, I don't think that they're able to clear up on their own once it becomes bacterial anyway. Of course, going to the doctor wasn't necessarily going to be an easy task for me since it's been at least five years since I've gone to see a doctor (not including emergency room visits for weekend stupidities) and my primary care doc has vanished from the face of the earth. Thankfully, about three years ago, I had dropped an application off at a new place near our house and they actually agreed to see me. Yay.

So now I'm dosed up on antibiotics and the doc took pity and put me on a "sleep aid" to help calm down the crazy in my head at night so that I can start sleeping again. It's only short term until I get through the stress that is house construction but it will be a welcome relief when it finally kicks in in about a week.

One scary part of the doc's visit was when they weighed me when I first got there. I've suspected that I've gained weight through the summer and fall given my lack of riding and excess of eating and drinking but, thankfully, the battery in our scale has been kaput for quite some time so I hadn't had to accept reality. Until yesterday. I dutifully stepped onto the scale and watched as the digital readout rocketed up to 199.7 lbs. Yikes! Thank god I had cut weight a couple of times in the morning or else I would have broken the 200 barrier. Hopefully, having the "soon to be fat" warning will kick my butt into gear a bit.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Good Lord

Am I ever a boring writer. Last monday, while commuting to work, I got to thinking about how I got into racing bikes and came up with what I thought was a great post topic that would surely propel me to the top of the bike blog charts. Instant fame and fortune! Unfortunately, Racin Rick is where good ideas go to die. Saturday night I sat down to put my ideas to interweb paper and after writing what was possibly the most boring RR post ever (and that's saying a lot!) I decided to pull the plug on the lengthy post and cut right to the chase. You know, sort of like skipping foreplay and getting right to the sex. What use is foreplay anyway if you're accidentally poking her in the eye (with your finger you dirty bastards!), kneeing her in the crotch (unless she likes it of course, some women are into that I hear) and generally messing things up. If you're game is that bad, you might as well get right to it so that there is less chance that you'll screw it up.

So here we go, no foreplay for you. The reason I got into racing bikes is because of golf. Sounds pretty weird doesn't it? But it makes sense. In college when I got into riding, my brother and I decided one summer to do the Sunday River xc race. This was in mtb racing's heyday when they actually advertised the race on the radio. My brother and I prepped the best we could (riding a few days a week) and headed to the race. Unfortunately, when we got there we were so freaked out by how "pro" everyone looked in the matching kits, shiny bikes and cool attitudes that we chickened out and just watched the race instead.

Fast forward a few years, I'm out of college, working my butt off and the local golf course decides to sponsor my father's race car and the sponsorship includes memberships for the family. Before I know it, I'm playing golf 3-4 times a week and riding maybe once a week. It was fun for a while but eventually I came to the realization that I could play golf when I'm old and fat (judging by the others on the course) so I'd better do something to motivate myself to ride more. The only way that I could think of was to join a shop's racing team since I knew that would provide enough (internal) pressure to get me off the course and on the bike. Well, as you can see, it worked and what initially started out as a way to motivate me to ride more and have a healthier lifestyle has turned into a full blown obsession worthy of serious time on a psychiatrists couch. Of course, compared to some of you crazies out there, I've only begun to scratch the surface!