Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One More Break

Woke up this morning and it was raining, again, for the third straight day. As a result, I couldn't drag myself out of bed to go for a jog on soggy trails or to ride my road bike in the rain. AGAIN. Instead, I've decided to take an uber easy day. No running. No riding. No pilates/stretching. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Unfortunately, this all comes on the morning that I notice my weight has crept back up two pounds. Oh well, some prunes and a nice, satisfying BM and I'll be back in line.

Speaking of pilates and my weight. I know that I'm making some good progress on both fronts. I still feel like an asthmatic child when I'm riding but I feel a bit leaner and stronger in the core section. On Sunday, while doing my morning routine, I took a couple of timer pics while I was doing pilates to check my form and I gotta say. Not bad. Not bad at all. I was tempted to post the pics but I didn't think anyone really wanted to see me in nothing but boxers. I'm a whore for attention but I really don't want to start getting love notes with dirty underwear in the mail from Jason. A boy need to draw the line somewhere.

Assuming the weather dudes have it right and we got a stellar day tomorrow, I'll be riding in Bath tomorrow with the boys. KillBill always puts the hurting on me so I need to save the legs. KB has been doing intervals for weeks now so my slow ass is always put in the hurt locker. It's a good hurt though and group rides always turn out to be a better workout than when I ride alone so the training will be nice.

I finally got a finished pic from my brother of his new to him NON FIXIE, NON HIPSTER commuter. Shit, he's even got brakes on that thing. I still dig it though.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spreadin the Love

I still haven't gotten to the point in the pre-season that I feel like going out and cracking out 20 intervals. I hope I do soon though because the race season is fastly approaching and I'm still at ground zero training wise. About a month ago I took a big ass, 3'x5' calander home in order the plan my season but it still remains in a roll on the desk upstairs. That doesn't help the motivation. Maybe I'll do it tonight. Yeah, that's it. That's what I'll do. Sure.

What does motivate me though is that I'm starting to read race reports. It's frickin March and I'm reading race reports. That's the stuff that'll really get the juices flowing so Endless, Johnny B and Hill Junkie, keep it coming!

Since I'm not intervalling, I'm doing the next best thing. Trying to get other people as obsessed with riding as I am. Who cares that my parents and brother had been traveling since 3 am? They'd still LOVE to go for a ride 16 hours later. Of course they would. And me being the thoughful chap that I am, I take them on a brutally technical trail down the road from our house. A trail that they'd have trouble with on a typical day but make it their second ride ever on clipless pedals and you know it's going to be good!

Marcy and the temp. pup.

it looks like darren is going to rail this corner but in reality he chickened out because of the sharp pointy rocks at the bottom and is just leaning against the tree.

yukking it up after dad and darren took a lil dirt nap together. slow motion falls are fun to watch.

the beautiful front tire sawing action of inexperienced riders.

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Monday, March 29, 2010


I'm swamped today so no pre-work/break time posting. Instead, I'll give you a shot that I take every spring/summer on one of my favorite road loops. It's my "hill" loop even though the longest hill only takes about three minutes to climb. It's not much but it's the best I've got in my immediate area so I'll take it.

The lake in the background is Damariscotta lake. Nice place to be in the summer I would guess but I've never been out on it. For shame. Also, notice the tilt of my saddle bag? Me too. That's a post for another day...

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Need To Research More

After posting today's blog post, my brother and I had this thrilling I-M session:

rustymtb: i'm so famous I made it to the racin rick blog!

slow friday
need better completed pics though

now i'll be incentivized to put the rest up

ooohhhhhh! big word!

it's not a fixie, btw

oops, sorry.

oh well
it makes me sound cooler

just figured it must be.

no way I could run that fixed

how can it be a hipster bike and not be fixed? i may have to take the whole post down

taking a bike that originally had 27" wheels and replacing it with 700c makes for a low BB
throw 175 cranks on there and i'd be skipping pedals off pavement constantly

Rick: wimp

There are four things that you can deduce from this conversation.
  1. I need a fact checker. The whole premise of the post was that my brother had built a hipster fixie and now I find out it's a single speed. How pedestrian.
  2. I'm generally a sarcastic dick to everyone around me. Including people at work and my boss. I might want to rethink that approach, although, it seems to be working for me so far.
  3. I'm much more into riding and racing than my brother but he still knows a shit ton more about bikes than I do. I couldn't even begin to do what he did to that bike. If it doesn't have new, easily found, standard components than I can't do it.
  4. and finally, you can never have an off the record conversation with me. Especially on a day that I have nothing to blog about. I mean really, who wants to hear about my grueling 20 minute commute this morning after dropping the car off at the garage?

Rus' New Ride

While most of us were getting fat over the winter, my brother Rus was busy building up a new hipster fixed gear commuter (he works in downtown boston afterall)and getting fat btw. My brother is a multi-tasker. I saw the bike in the beginning but had no idea what he had planned. I kind of thought that he'd just clean it up a bit, put some heavy commuter bits on it and let it be a dirtbag commuter. Especially after his treasured Van Dessel was a crumpled heap one day when he left his office. Boy was I wrong. What started out as a forgettable old road bike with nice lugs has been turned into a "hey, look at me!" beauty. Not shown in the pictures would be the 18 cable and u-locks he must have to keep her from getting stolen. All that extra weight is probably a good workout.

and his facebook album of the build.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It's a rest week for me now so there isn't all that much to blog about. My timing couldn't be better though since the weather is so craptastic right now that a few days of little to no riding isn't such a bad thing. I do hope our weather pattern changes soon though because I don't see myself back on trails for a couple of weeks at this point with the amount of rain we've gotten in the last few days. I'm also finding that after three weeks of very mild (for February and March at least)weather I'm a total pansy boy when it comes to the cold. 30 degrees this morning? A temp that just a month ago I'd practically ride naked in had me recoiling in terror on the first slight downhill when the windchill had to have dropped all the way down to, what?, 28 degrees. F it, spring is in my head. So be it.

Hopefully rest week will include some of this:
We've busted out the grill and firepit five or six times already this year.

Other than the current shit weather, there are sure signs that spring is coming. The biggest of which for the Nelson clan is the onslaught of ticks. We're currently dog sitting for my parents pooch Dallas and last night we noticed a tick. And then two, three, four (impressed that I can count so high?) and eventually pulled around 10 of those engorged little bastards off of her. Including two deer ticks. You know, carriers of everyone's favorite debilitating disease. Frick. Made marcy and I want to peel our skin off. So, with nature's chemical warfare goon on the loose, it's time to shear the legs. My hairy legs essentially scoop up and make cozy any and all ticks that are in a five mile radius. So the legs will be clean soon. The question is, shave or wax? Whatcha think?

kinda look like I have a chia pet restrained under those knee warmers

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


What interesting thing do I have to say about Sunday's ride? Nothing really, so I won't say much. Basically, I went out to check out a bit of trail that I haven't been to yet this season despite it being 1/4 mile from the house. It has some very fun sections of singletrack though so it was time to see how it fared through the winter and it would give me a chance to tire out my parents dog so that I wouldn't need to have a prosthetic arm attached to where my shriveled up, useless, tennis elbowed arm used to be from playing fetch with a tennis ball so much. It turns out that my parent's dog is a great trail dog. She was trained to follow at your heel at all times so she's never trying to get in front like chance used to do and she actually listens when you call her. Quite the concept. Maybe I'll keep her when my parents get back. The trails were mostly good. They were nice and dry but one section didn't fare well from the wind storm that we had a couple of weeks ago. There are big ole fir and pine trees all over the trail in one area. I guess I'll need to schlep a chainsaw in there sometime soon. The trails are too fun to not use.

The "view" from the high spot of the ride. Can't see shit from here in the summer.
Good dog.
Old stone foundation, and an oil filter and old budweiser can.
and yours truly. what a handsome devil.
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Monday, March 22, 2010


Week number three of pretty decent hours on the bike is complete. Nothing out of this world, mind you, but pretty good none the less. With running and my ever so manly pilates I was just a BCH under 10 hours for the week. With riding up, my weight is on the way down as well. A bit over a month ago I was peaking at 200-202 lbs. Right up there with sir eats a lot. Now, I'm hovering at 193 lbs. Still a bit portly for my taste and about 3 christmas turkeys away from the truly svelt, ideal body composition, road racer types. Of course, there is no scientific way for me to become 5'-6" and 145 lbs so I'll be happy with what I can accomplish. At this rate, I should be able to hit my goal weight of 185 by the time the season starts. That's if I can stay away from good beer that is. I made the rash decision over the weekend to try the non-beer that is endorsed by his high and mighty himself. That's right, Michelob Ultra. Be still my beating taste buds. I was apprehensive to try it but I have to admit, it wasn't half bad. No, it's not a full bodied IPA but it lets me feel like I'm having a beer but I'm not getting drunk and bloated. Win, win I guess.

Over the weekend, I was also able to bust out some trail work. First up was to re-route a wet area on an existing trail near the house. A couple hours of clipping and raking and it's near completion, just have to get out there mattock (don't have access to a pulaski) and do some bench cutting and it will be complete. I've ridden it a couple of times already and it should ride well. We also cut a bunch of trail around the house over the weekend which was great for a couple of reasons. First, Marcy and Brynna helped with a bunch of it and Brynna was totally into helping and even did a couple of laps (running) on one of the trails after it was completed. We only have about 4 minutes worth of trail on the property so far but the possibilities are nearly limitless.

the dog du-jour. our parent's dog while they are on vaca

putting the kid to work. if aliens abducted our family over the weekend, they would assume that tennis balls grow from a dog's mouth based on how often this mutt has one jammed in there.

heave ho!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Blog

I'm too lazy for a real post today but I do have some fabulous photos from a road ride the other day. 55 degrees and sunny. You'd think that I'd have been rockin it but, sadly, I was doing anything but. Two big burritos ala Marcy an hour before the ride may not have been the best choice. Legs were dead and heartburn and vurps were imminent.

pre vurps
On the ride I came accross the artwork of some very bored state road workers. What started out as a road crack filling job turned into graffiti. I guarantee that if this was a two man crew that one of them ended up with a hot tar wand jambed up his ass before the day was over. That would be one crack filled at least.

Shortly after the "road art" the heartburn and vurps started. Here is my "I think I'm gonna blow chunks" face:

And, or course, a hot of the infamous Cowshit Corner.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Photos
As promised, the first clipless pedals pics. Unfortunately, it's really hard to know when to have the camera ready to capture a beautiful fall. I'd position myself after what I would expect to be a difficult move for a person new to clipless pedals only to see everyone ride cleanly through and then totally miss the shot of both my father and brother toppling next to each other at a road crossing, after they had already clipped out. Oh well, my photography skillz are suspect anyway.

Rolling out for the pre-ride.

look carefully and you'll see my dad playing in the bushes. darren almost looks skilled in this pic.

until 2 seconds later he fell over and almost took me out while I was standing next to my bike. Time to lose some weight darren, or get some suspenders for your bike shorts.
then I set up after this log thinking for sure someone would eat it. they've fallen over about 5-10 times each already. it's a given.

close but no cigar. darren got cozy with the fir tree momentarilly but no fall. drat.

marcy didn't fall at all sadly.

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I've had my Dinotte lights for about 7-8 months now and I have been totally happy with how they function. My combo 800l on the bar and 400l on the helmet is pretty much perfect in most situations. In fact, in almost all situations, I run the bar light at 400l since it's still plenty of light and allows me a bit more breathing room so I don't have to worry about my lights going dead. So far, my only nit is that there seems to be a circuitry problem with my 800l that tells it that it's low on juice well before it actually is. This means that at full power the red warning light turns on somewhere between 45 min and 1 hour. I contacted Rob at Dinotte and he said that it was a known problem and that I could send it back and they'd fix it. I'll do that once spring is really here and I don't need the lights on a daily basis. I've still been nervous about the run times as a result of the circuitry problems though, but haven't had a chance to test the real run time until now. During yesterday's morning commute I specifically ran the 800l at full power for the entire ride. I clocked in 2:35 yesterday with the 800l still running strong. I decided to not recharge the light overnight so that I could use it again on this morning's commute, a 25 minute straight in jobbie. I'm happy to report that after 3:00 (ish) of full power, it's still running at full strength with no noticeable dimming. At an advertised run time of 2:30 I'd say that's pretty good.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010


All plans for a good post (that's a relative term considering I almost never write an actual good post) went out with the bath water this morning after a longer than planned "commute". Apparently looking at a map and saying, "that looks like a good route" without actually figuring out the actual mileage isn't the best way to plan a pre-work ride. What was supposed to be a 2 hr spin turned into 2:40. No complaints but it did take up all my bloggy time that I use before clocking in. Consider this my present to you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good Rides & Good Eats

Two weeks now of close to proper ride time and intensity has left my legs fatigued and my ride desires satiated. Thursday night saw rides with my Bath buds in the Schmid Preserve followed by mass quantities of homemade guacamole, brats and beer around the fire pit.

KillBill and Channing digging in.


Saturday saw me prepping my father and brothers' bikes for their maiden voyage on clippless pedals. Because of my father's earlier arrival, he had a bit more "get to know you" time on the pedals. Ride one consisted of riding half way down the driveway, turning around, getting back to where we were and then promptly executing a perfect slow-motion crash/dismount. Beautiful. Ride two included a short jaunt on an old road. It's soft and muddy in spots but plenty wide enough to allow for the forethought required for a newbie clipless rider to prepare for a stop. Unless of course he hits a slippery parallel ridge and gets thrown to the ground so fast he doesn't even have time to think. My only regret there was that he narrowly missed landing in a swamp. Landing in swamps is much funnier than landing on the side of a road.

Ride three was when my brother finally showed up. He got zero practice time before hitting the trail but he has more bravado than brains so he did quite well until his first fall, a double log hop that is spread just wide enough apart that you need to lift your front wheel to get over the second log just as your rear wheel is coming off the first. A very tricky maneuver if you're used to your bike. Pure hilarity if you're not. Darren spent a couple of minutes on the ground afraid to get up because he was surrounded by prickers. Good stuff.

I have more to gab about but forgot the camera with the pics so the rest will come tomorrow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feel the Burn

I've got the familiar feeling forming down below. Feeling a constant burn (and not just when I tinkle) and slight fatigue. Ahh, the feelings of actually getting out and training. It's a great feeling and I missed is so. Last week I managed my best week, hours wise, in at least 6 months clocking in close to nine hours (including jogging and core work) and I'm on track to be close to that this week. Yeehaww!

Tonight, I'm hosting a few buds for a mountain bike ride in the Schmid Preserve. Early season (almost) primo trails plus a good riding group should mean a really good time. Follow that with firing up the fire pit, having a few brews and some dogs on the grill. Can't wait. Those fuckers had better show up!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fraidy Cat

When I went out for my typical non-ride morning trail run this a.m., I was just barely into the trail when I started to hear barking. I stopped running to listen and a chill went up my spine as I heard what sounded like 20 or so very hungry coyotes barking and howling at me. I think I was the intended recipient because there wasn't a peep until I started to thrash through the leaves on the trail. Maybe it was a coincidence but maybe not. I started running again but began to picture myself being pulled apart by multiple hungry critters and decided to loop quickly up to the road and run that instead. Why? I don't know, maybe coyotes are as allergic to pavement as I am.

Big doins planned for riding this week. After Monday's anemic post work ride I took yesterday off to rest the legs, get some extra sleep and recharge the body for a two day assault. Tonight will be a hill ride on the road bike. I'll be keeping it fairly short but it'll include multiple short but very steep climbs. And then tomorrow, if things come together, I'll be doing a group mountain bike ride in the Schmid Preserve. One of my primary goals for the summer is to get more people riding there so this'll be the start of that endeavor. The trails are pretty impressive right now and close to mid-summer form. If I can drag some other sorry asses over it multiple times this summer, we could be looking at a new mid-coast riding destination. Fingers crossed.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Good Stretch

It's now four days in a row that I've spent time in the saddle. Good time too for the most part. The reasons for this are multiple but I'm going to give most credit to the nice stretch of weather we've had recently. Temps yesterday near 60 made a kick ass 2hr mountain bike ride in the preserve near the house possible. Imagine this, Maine early March, and I'm out riding in a short sleever jersey and undershirt and I was still HOT. Temperature and rrrroooooaaaaarrrrr! wise. You see, I was sportin my new Optic Nerve Autovaughn specs. White frames and rose tinted lenses had me fully Bikeman whored out. I especially appreciate the fact that these shades are a bit bigger than what I'm used to so it my my giant schnozz seem in proportion for a change.

For the most part, the trails are mud free. Things are still spongy in spots but the Schmid Preserve is always like that since it sees so little traffic. I aim to change that this summer. Once I've dragged a rake over all of the trails and get the Bath crew up we'll get those trails beat in nicely. I'm actually going to try to get things rolling (har har) this weekend. If the weather cooperates, I'll most likely be leading a small group ride in the preserve to introduce a few peeps to the trails. Fingers crossed that the rain/snow forcast for Saturday holds off.

The one thing I had to be careful of on the trails was this quicksand type mud. The top layer would have a coarse gravely texture but it would be pure pudding just under the surface. I nailed this bit on a fast, old gravel road section I was bombing down. Nothing like cruising down a ledgy, gravely downhill only to have your front wheel disappear into the middle of a seemingly dry bit'o gravel. I also hit that 1 1/2" diameter stick as soon as I dropped into the mud and snapped it in two. How I didn't end up eating shit I have no idea.
I saw a shit ton of moose tracks during the ride and two enormous piles of shit. Sorry, no picture of the poo.
Sometime over the winter some trail gnomes were out clearing trees and adding signage to the River Link portion of the trail.
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Friday, March 05, 2010

Zero Cool

Got two new sets of shades in the mail yesterday thanks to the friendly folks at Optic Nerve. Thanks to their generous sponsorship of the racing team I'll be sportin' new specs on and off the course. The pictured specs are from their photometric line, meaning they change tint based on light conditions. Me likey.

I also picked up a pair of their interchangeable lens glasses but I don't have a vanity shot of those yet. I'll be wearing them tonight on my commute home. I'll be hitting up the trails for the first time in ages. I'm not sure what the conditions will be like but based on my brief trail run this morning, most of the trails should be in pretty good shape. Fingers (and eyes) crossed.

BTW, today's post name was taken from one of the best crappy movies ever. Hackers. It's pretty funny to watch now since the computer technology is so out of date but, I swear, I watched this movie easily 30 times and I'm not even a computer geek.
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Thursday, March 04, 2010


The other day, while out for a road ride I became very irritated with some rear shifting issues. Some slow shifting, some missed gears. Basically just really annoying. What was most annoying was that I totally re-did all of the cable and housing a few weeks back so there shouldn't be any issues. But, of course, I'm not exactly the most gifted mechanic so that was called into question immediately as I did the mental run down of possible reasons. I couldn't think of what it could be until I saw this:

woops. I guess a securely fastened battery strap strangling the rear derailleur cable could be the culprit. I can't believe I questioned my wrenching skillz.

Monday, March 01, 2010


I had a post going yesterday but aborted it with conviction when I re-read it (I actually do SOMETIMES proof my posts) and I came off a such a whiney little bitch, as I often do, that I decided to spare everyone and just not post it. You're welcome.

I was going to bitch about the weather and my lack of riding. Shocker. Thankfully I did wait on the post since while I was getting ready for today's commute I saw that the weather swami's have changed their minds (shocker!) and are now calling for sunny days in the mid 40's for the next week. Score! With sunny, dry days and a bit of wind, the woods may actually be rideable soon. I'll keep my fingers, toes and eyes crossed. Little anecdote for you. When I was a kid I had a lazy eye. Every so often (especially when I was tired) it would wander off on it's own for a little adventure. I don't really remember ever having lazy eye but I do have two very distinct memories because of it. One, I used to have a recurring dream where my bureau would sneak up on me, snatch my glasses and then bumble around taunting me, drawers going in and out. Traumatizing. The other memory was when my parents finally saved up the money to get my eye fixed. I was in the hospital getting prepped for the operation and was laying in bed in a gown and nothing else. Meanwhile, the person sharing the room with me had roughly 180 of his closest friends and relatives visiting so when the nurses came to get me and lifted me out of bed to put me on the gurney the stupid gown opened up exposing my pathetic 4 year old piglet (hog seems out of place here) to the throngs of visitors who all just happened to be looking my way pointing and laughing (no joke). It's no wonder I still us PP jokes as a self defense mechanism.

I think I had more to write but I think I'll stop here. Best to leave on a high note.