30 June 2006

news flash: OperaciĆ³n Puerto

holy shit. it's festina all over again.

http://www.velonews.com/tour2006/news/articles/10176.0.html

basso, ulrich, sevilla, Jaksche, mancebo kicked out to name a few. maybe it's an american plot to get landis or leipheimer or hincappie the top of the podium? hell, csc could be riding for bobby j.

meanwhile, david millar fresh off of his suspension for epo use could very well win the prologue.

the whole thing is sickening.

i'm kicking...television.

starbucks morning...time to kick it up a notch.

on the way in i was hearing the fan choices for the american league all star team...crap. just another indicator that the masses are stupid. catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop and top outfielder...all either boston or new york players. joe mauer should be catcher. joe crede should be third base. paul konerko should be first base (after all, a dh (ortiz) shouldn't play if it's an nl field), second base should be jose lopez out of seattle. and ss should be micheal young (although jeter is having a nice year) outfield: manny ramirez is a nice player, vernon wells is having a great year. vlad guerrero is having an off year. alex rios is one of the top hitters in the game right now, he should be on the list. i haven't heard the nl top vote getters yet...but i'm sure they are just as weak.

so anyway, a short 60 minutes spin last night to loosen the knee...should be fine for this weekend. cleaned up the bike sort of and did some laundry stuff...so i don't stink before and after the race...just after.

this sauce is so weak.

29 June 2006

that's racing.

i stacked it pretty good last night early in lap 1 of 2. put a nice gash in my knee and messed up my front shifter a bit. after that, i was out of sorts the rest of the time trial, bobbling...stumbling...bumbling. 3rd place on the night, but with everything i was still only 45 seconds back of ron...he is my gage since we are pretty similiar in speed. sucks when you have good legs and you squander it. my knee is pretty stiff/painful this morning...hopefully it improves by race day.

other than that a pretty uneventful night. the milwaukee bucks changed their colors...whoopie do. now there is some red in there or something....i was hoping they would bring back the old buck with a basketball on its hoof logo.

28 June 2006

the itch...

there is a new movement in madison called ghostbikes . seems like a good thing...bike awareness is great but unfortunately i have some complaints. first off, there is another project with a very similar url called ghost bike in san francisco. i actually had remembered the url as the latter and went there first...and got really confused.

second, it may be my imaginiation but it seems like i've gotten a little more agression from the drivers the past couple days. for instance, i hadn't been on my bike for more than 5 minutes yesterday when white truck guy blasted his horn at me. he probably was giving me the finger...but i couldn't see it through his tinted window. you know white truck guy...loud pipes, tinted glass, big tires, small penis....it's all about the compensation. and everytime i wave for them to stop so we can talk about it they just keep on driving. i will say there are far fewer white truck guys in madison relative to marshfield.

i think maybe drivers are thinking the same people that do critical mass do this. critical mass is when a bunch of hippy bikers jam up the roads by ignoring the rules of the road...seems like a real crappy way to create good will and good awareness with drivers.

the thing of it is, there are always going to be idiots. that is never going to change. but, in my humble opinion, critical mass takes the people 'on the fence' and pushes them over the edge. road rage style (like, lets say that someone gets held up by the 'bikers' and are made late for work...seems like that would create a chip on one's shoulder). sorry, i'm for bikes but against critical mass.

sorry for the rant...not a very good one at that. convoluted. i guess i won't be calling jim rome anytime soon.

our boy was a maniac this morning...sprinting up and down the stairs. totally being a puppy. of course the only morning he doesn't lounge around is the morning robin is trying to get to work early...

and finally, scotty called me last night from the wrigley field area to rub in the fact that he was going to the brewer/cub tilt (and that he was drinking fat tire). i watched from my living room....the sunset was amazing, that would've been a great game to be at. and...the brewers manufactured nearly all of their runs...with a ton of help from the crappy cubs. 3 or 4 sac bunts all yeilding runs...that team is slowly maturing into something for the ages...just probably not this year (although they are only 5 games behind st. louis).

whew, i need to shut this one down.

27 June 2006

cue the barry white...

oliver has a bed...it's big and soft and, apparently...erotic? you see, oliver's bed is also his girlfriend. and let me tell you, last night our boy took another step towards being a man. it all started with a little biting...doesn't it always? then into wrestling...then into...well, let's just say that we had to seperate the two. down boy.

i had a really nice ride last night...a hard 1.5 hours. i felt fresh and fast--especially considering that i didn't ride on sunday and had driven almost 9 hours in just over 24 hours. hopefully that is a good sign for this weekend's tilt in eau claire...my hometown. seems like ec has a really good group of people doing great work on trails in the area. i'm really looking forward to this one.

next week i'm going to start running some, i need to get my legs ready for denmark...when i'll only be able to run. and, a very slow build up to autumn is necessary so i can do my fall running program...all to get ready for the big three-O adventures next year. 24 hrs solo mtb/26.2 miles under 3 hours running. seems daunting but definately doable. then there is only one major 'to do' left...the ironman. hmmm.

give me back my son!

26 June 2006

a good weekend.

as we made the push home last night i was thinking... i was thinking about the path that relationships take...kind of like the weather. some are tumultuous...storm fronts and wind yielding to clear, sun filled days. others are more dependable, san diego weather. pat is my southern california...steady and solid. dependable. i always feel like i can talk about the big things with him...and then back to the trivial. ebb and flow...but always fun. since the day he left for duluth for college before my senior year of high school i've been saying i need to see him more...and it's still a battle i fight. but a battle worth while because everytime we're able to arrange a meeting i come away feeling happy that he is my friend.

that is unless we are playing madden. but i won't bore with the details (mostly because the details are an incrimination of my skills).

oliver spent his first night away from the both of us and did fine. it's a relief to know that we can leave our buddy and he doesn't freak out. sadie (my mom's dog) was cranky about the whole situation. and oliver's first interaction with a cat went ok...by the end he was trying to hump poor morrie. i guess that's better than trying to kill the cat! oddly, morrie seemed into it but i won't go into details...this isn't a pet porn site (yet).

23 June 2006

wildlife

there is a red winged blackbird that hates me. well, this time of year they all hate cyclists but there is one bird in particular that really dislikes me. it's on a stretch of road between verona and mt. vernon...he is a silent predator, i don't know he's there until i feel him nipping at my jersey. kind of freaky...but kind of funny too. it always scares me into a fight or flight type reaction...sweaty palms, hair standing up, and of course i always choose flight because birds are, well frankly birds are scary. but not as scary as horses.

like josh i am a wussy.

heading up north for the weekend, well, up north as far as the twin cities. it'll be good to see pat and kate...it's been a while for sure. dinner tonight at the knutowskis'...oliver will be in heaven.

22 June 2006

check this shit out.

last night at time trials this guy showed up.

http://www.mtv.com/onair/dyn/realworld-season15/personality.jhtml?personalityId=1129

he is sensative about being called a 'dumb jock.' no worries about confusing him for a jock on a bike, let me assure you.

i guess he was a huge drinker/partier on the show...and now he talks to school children about not drinking. a real dandy.

catharsis...

Time away from everything I love in life…seems to be the general rule of life. If you want to do something you enjoy, if you want to have people (and animals) you love, then you must be away from them 8-10 hours a day. Add in sleep time and you’re talking almost ¾ of a day! What time is left should be quality…that should be the focus. I mean who really gets all the time they really want? And when we do get the time we usually piss it away…and there are a lot of things to piss it away on that really mean nill. ( I swear if I watch one more episode of house hunters I should be shot).

Maybe this is common knowledge, maybe I’ve been living in the dark. Maybe I’m selfish. The latter isn’t really a maybe. Selfishness is mandatory for the athletic pursuits I choose to pursue. But it attacks other facets of life like an immune response to a virus. I guess the key is balance. The problem is that I’m not very coordinated. I should spend more quality time with my wife. I should pay more attention to the dog while he is a puppy. I should do this and that and that and this. If I died tomorrow I’d have regrets, and for that I’m sorry. But the only cure for that is effort. Effort towards what matters most in life.

The past few months have been challenging. We’ve had a bit of everything, from nuisance to near emergency…and the whole time I’ve been thinking about it in terms of ‘woe is us’ when I should have taken it as a learning experience. I’ve learned that my wife and I are a good team…when one of us falters the other is able to kick it up a notch. I’ve learned that I take a lot of things for granted. I’ve learned that where we are in life didn’t just fall in our laps, we work hard for it…sometimes that hard work gives easy payouts and sometimes that hard work gives a payout of more hard work. Such is life and life is pretty good.

Sorry for the catharsis. Catharsis…interesting that one word can mean purging one’s emotions and also purging one’s bowels. Those crazy greeks.

21 June 2006

apology.

sorry for the last post...sometimes i can be a whiney little bitch.

reset: our tree got smoked, no worries it can be replaced. work sucks but nobody is forcing me to stay at this place. the car will get fixed, everyone makes mistakes.

whew, it hurts me a little to have a slightly positive outlook...but it's probably a bit more healthy.

time trials tonight...if it doesn't get washed out. hopefully my 2 hrs last night doesn't slow me down too much.

solstice...

summer soltice only means one thing...days get shorter from here on out. now that's something to look forward to, isn't it?

i'm really sick of this rut i'm in. my job is really pissing me off...mundane, boring, annoying....all of the above. the people here are complete morons, i'm not sure how it happened but the department i'm in has a culture that i don't understand. at first thought, you'd think that a group of science types in madison would be smart...not so fast my friend. nobody here has much in the department of tact, of socialization, anything besides a little book smarts. it's literally NO fun to work here, and i don't really know what to do about it. there are a lot (and i mean a lot) of people who commute here from small crappy towns (they live there to avoid the property tax rate of dane county...driving upwards of an hour each way...effectively spending any tax gains they make on car maintenance and gas). all that so they can work at a pretty unremarkable company.

in other news...little things just keep accumulating like i've never experienced before. case and point...our little median tree got snapped in half this morning. the only tree on the whole street to get smoked...and at some point today i've got to go have the auto body people fix the giant rattle they left in our new roof assembly...after having our car for 3 fucking weeks. and i'm busy at work and also need to let our beast out sometime. sorry if i'm whining but it's my blog and i'll do with it as i see fit. read at your own risk.

20 June 2006

sore.

i'm more sore after kewaunee than i was after alpine or wausau. weird, i guess because it was a sprint from the gun (or should i say gooooo)? back on the bike tonight...i got the atb cleaned up last night and the road bike ready as well...hopefully i can get some hours this week.

19 June 2006

some racing.

yesterday's race was a fun one. the day started with rain...it rained my whole drive and for the first 45 minutes i was at the landfill/race venue. the citizen racers looked like they had mudbogged...the sport start looked similar. by the time we went the track was superb...i got more muddy riding on the roads for warm up than i did for the actual race. we did the citizen loop (they didn't want us trashing their trails...can't say i blame them) and it felt like a short track race. got a conservative start, and worked my up through the field. it was a short, fun race. i ended up 4th in the age group, 19th overall (just under 2 min back of the age group winner). a little faster in the start and i would have made that up no problem.

i could have done without the 6 hours of driving...in the driving rain. at one point i couldn't see the lines on the road...but really seeing while driving is overrated. there are a lot of people who never see much when they drive.

sidenote, what is with the word 'gi-normous?' when did that become part of the vernacular...and more importantly, do people realize they sound moronic when they use it? in general, hybrid words sound stupid...i mean, sporks are cool but couldn't they have come up with a better, more original name? and don't get me started on dog breeds...golden doodle, pugle, yorkie poo...give me a break.

i wonder where josh was yesterday?

16 June 2006

so much drama.

2 hrs last night to, at and from blackhawk. the bike is a dream to ride, even though i'm still learning what i can and cannot do with the bike...mostly it is 'can'. the conditions were primo, tacky to wet, the bike handles like a champ. looking forward to this weekend...

ben has a atb...look out. seriously look out, the guy has been a road weenie for a couple of years and he's liable to hurt someone. really won't be the same seeing him at the mtb races in the blue and red...hopefully he won't wear his 'unitard' errrr i mean skinsuit. none the less, it'll still be good to seem him at the races again...in a couple of months.

robin's sister is in town. oliver ripped one of my favorite shirts last night. that's all i've got.

15 June 2006

is that a bulging disc or are you happy to see me?

well, in robin's case i hope the answer is 'yes' because a)she has a bulging disc and b) we're married and stuff.

i saw some of the images from the mri and, with my limited knowledge of medical stuff i can say it looks painfull. there is a disc jutting right into her nerve(s). treatment options aren't exactly plentiful...she can wait for it to go away (which it most likely will in a couple of months). she can get a steroid injection to ease some of the symptoms while it is going away on its own. worst case is surgery but at her age removing a disc isn't the best option available. and then there is accupuncture (sam's suggestion)....which wouldn't do a damn thing.

i really feel bad for her...because there is nothing i can do to take it away. we both have to try to be patient and let her body go to work. easier said than done...but at least now we know what it is.

time trials last night...i was feeling pretty tired but once the wheels started rolling i perked up a little. the track was tacky to soft, a good test to see how my nobby nics deal with the wet...this confirms that they are the best all conditions tire i've ever ridden. i rode ok, had to get off once because of some guy on a single speed...this is becoming a theme. it's one thing if you want to jump on the single speed bandwagon (which i still don't understand for racing), but don't do it at the expense of others. don't get me wrong, i trained on a single speed all winter but it didn't ever slow anyone else down. anyway. i didn't hang around to see the results. jerry seemed to have an off night. jesse lalonde was there and i'm sure he won. kelson seemed to be riding well...maybe i was 4th? not that it really matters for wntt's though. tonight i'd like to log a couple of hours, off tomorrow. simulated preride on saturday and then off to the races on sunday...

14 June 2006

crapola.

another hectic 24 hours. took robin to her appointment...fell asleep in the waiting room because the alarm went off at 4:45a. went on a road ride...flatted at the furthest point away from home...ok because once i changed it i tt'd home in record time (good training?). puppy class by myself...our boy is a graduate. watered our plants, ate some dinner, cleaned up after said dinner and *snap* night was gone again. into work late after taking robin for an mri. hopefully we'll hear the results soon...i hate that she is in so much pain. now i have a ton of work to do and all i really want to do is sleep (or ride my bike).

hopefully i'll make timetrials tonight. timing is everything. we get our car back today but we still aren't sure if robin will be able to drive...she can hardly move her clutch leg. maybe it's time to buy our new car (automatic transmission)? that would be stupid....or cool, i haven't decided. we haven't had a car payment for awhile and i've kind of gotten used to it.

13 June 2006

early.

came into work early so i could drive robin to an appointment today. here before 6...i'm just not destined to sleep much anymore. good training for 24 hours of riding.

not much to write about.

ben tore it up over the weekend (nice work).

i'm looking forward to racing this weekend...

12 June 2006

monday already?

friday afternoon robin called me asking for a ride to urgent care. she had been feeling some pain in her back/leg since the sunday before, but it had become unbearable by friday. so i bailed on my work (which is waiting for me right now) and headed down to get her. x-rays show nothing notable...although an x-ray may not detect a bulging disc...mostl likely a strain of some sort. muscle relaxers and vicoden were prescribed. the scripts got her through the night, but a drive was impending on saturday morning.

we got through the drive ok, well she said so anyway. the dog was acting restless, not sleeping like he usually does in the car. he had been having some poop issues of late but we figured it was due to teething. more on that later.

my father in law's retirement celebration was nice...in a very small town sort of way. i really don't know what they will do without him, he played so many different roles that no one person will be able to step in and accomplish what he had. i guess that is what happens after 30 years somewhere...

anyway, we were at the party for around 5 hours...well within oliver's bladder window. turns out the bladder was the least of our worries. we opened the door to the smell of dog poop...the liquid variety. poor guy got sick in his crate. he was upset...so upset that once we let him out he vomitted. so, i was on crate cleaning detail...robin did dog wash detail (still in pain mind you) and her sisters did house clean up...i don't know what we would have done without them. what a mess but we got it all cleaned up without a trace. it was 1am and i was exhausted. oliver was still upset, so much so that i ended up sleeping on the floor right next to his crate to calm him down. needless to say i didn't sleep much. but we made it through the night. the drive home was uneventfull and it was good to be home.

amidst all of this, i was still able to log almost 4 hours on the bike...not as much as i wanted but pretty good considering all that was going on. this weekend looks to be a scorcher...perfect for a bike race. bring it on.

09 June 2006

sometimes i feel like...

no riding last night...recovery from tt. instead, i made the now ritual 1 hour round trip downtown to get robin from work. then i mowed the lawn which blasted my allergies...when it's dry it's the worst. some phone calls and other stuff and *snap* our night was gone. amazing how that happens. i got my new light in the mail the other day...the niterider enduro hid. i'm looking forward to some night riding sometime...maybe this weekend? naw, that won't happen. but it will get me through my 1 night lap at nine mile....and then, with another battery, my solo effort at next years event. sweet.

this 1 car thing is really bringing us down. our schedules are all messed up, the dog is getting fired up which is getting us a little fired up. all because of work which we need to do to pay for the car/bike/house which caused all this in the first place. hmmmm. i could easily ride my bike to work but i need to be able to get home for the dog at lunch. hmmm. well the car won't be ready until wednesday next week...so we better just settle in for the next few days.

man, in college i had some crazy ideas like never owning a car, living off the grid, yadda. now i'm complaining that our second car is in the shop.

off to gresham this weekend (again) to celebrate my father in law's retirement...lucky bastard. he really does deserve a good send off though, he bled for that school for so many years. and rumor has it that robin's mom wants to get a little schwilly afterward. i may have to make an exception and get on the sauce wagon...you know, just to be sociable.

have a good weekend.

08 June 2006

back to where you once belong

how hard can it be to get a new roof? so the body shop has now ordered, received and rejected 3 replacement roofs for our car. 3!!! they are ordering it through honda...wtf is honda doing to these things? i may not buy a honda in the future for this reason....i mean everyone at some point needs to do repairs. accidents happen and it's hard enough finding a service center you trust. so i found one i trust and their hands are tied by the manufacturer. down with honda. 1) apparently their service on parts blows. 2) their designers are very un-original...see new civic looking a whole lot like the prius. i guess i'll give them one more strike but come on...

time trials last night...same course as last week and i think i knocked a minute or two off my time. that bike is tight and i feel like everytime i ride it i get a little faster. jerry was still fast as ever and some other guy that races expert got me, but i was a respectable third (although i think ron may have gotten me if he hadn't flatted).

07 June 2006

1 car family in the usofa?

having only 1 car is annoying but doable. i guess if we made the concious decision to go to 1 car, we'd move downtown to make it a little easier. then i'd try to get a university job and we could park it until the weekends. seems good on paper. i got out on a 90 min ride last night and my legs felt so good that i couldn't go fast enough. i guess that is a good sign. tonight i'm going to time trials, hopefully and then probably off tomorrow night. taking more rest seems to be working so why mess with success?

puppy class last night was ok. i think oliver has a thing for the instructor. all in all he was a good boy, but he got screwed on puppy play time getting couped up with 2 little dogs for half of it. little dog owners are a skidish lot...keep your hands off our boy! it's not his fault you decided to get a barking cat. bigger dogs will want to eat your barking cat so get used to it! anyway, once he was with the bigger dogs he was happy...because he could get a chunk of muffin. speaking of muffin, he bit his owner and then his owner bled on the goldendoodle. muffin and his owners are quite a crew.

06 June 2006

funny how it works...

the past 3 weeks have been hell. our normal schedule is all mixed up with robin having been gone for a week, being down to 1 car, new dog, yadda yadda. it's silly but i was almost feeling sorry for myself a little bit. training time has been a little tougher to come by...but ironically i enjoy it more when i have to squeeze it in. and usually, my results are better when i my baseline stress is a little higher. hmmmm, maybe i need a more stressfull job? now i'm just talking stupid.

after the race sunday we went to my aunt and uncle's house in wausau and dug up a bunch of their perrienials. now, this wasn't a covert op...we were invited to do so. they bought their house 19 years ago and have accumulated a helluva lot of plants. a few weeks ago they accepted an offer to sell their house to become a parking lot for a strip mall...for a lot of money. so the plants needed to go and they couldn't move them all. good for us, good for them. we got a chunk of a rose bush that my great grandmother had in her garden...that's pretty cool. now we just need to keep the bastard rodents away from it! anyway, last night we spent a lot of time moving existing plants and putting the new plants in the ground. talk about instant perrienial garden. and this morning we're getting a soaking rain...maybe my great grandmother is watching?

puppy class tonight...time to watch muffin get beat up by all the tiny dogs...wussy.

05 June 2006

wausau.

wausau was this weekend and i rode fairly well. first off, the bike is going to change the way i look at lines from here on. it's nice to be able to make a mistake or two and still hold your momentum through it. the brain shock in back and the terralogic up front make a world of difference through the rough stuff, but on the roads i was able to attack as if i was fully rigid. and i still have a little work to do with shock settings. my power felt better this time around and my endurance was there as always. all in all, i'd grade the race a b+ (3rd in age, 9th overall).

some guy passed me right before the last mud hole and gave me a mud smoothy with his rooster tail going directly in my mouth. i accelerated and passed him back, leading into the last section of single track. with only about 100 meters coming out of the trail i thought i had him...but he pipped me at the line to finish 0.3 sec ahead of me (it was probably more like 0.1 because he got me by a tire). oh well, one more thing to work on (finishing speed). i thanked him for the mud sammy.

other than the race, it was a great weekend. we got to see robin's parents, my mom, and all the biker gang. oliver loves his grandparents...and he loves running around outside their house. the handfulls of treats didn't hurt either...

02 June 2006

back in order.

robin is home and i feel like my life is back on track to being 'normal.' the old 'you don't know how good you have it until it changes' thing i guess, she really makes my days tick and when she is gone i roam without a point. although it is nice to sleep diagonal in the bed, i'll take lengthwise to have her here with me.

and it was her birthday yesterday. we grilled out (because she had just eaten out 20 times in the past week), she took some calls from her peeps, presents, cake, yadda yadda.

no riding for me but that didn't keep me thinking about the bike. i'm excited for this weekend, the past few rides have shown me that while i'm not where i want to be, i'm heading in the right direction...and where i want to be is in sight. execution is the name of the game sunday, push myself start to finish. at alpine i allowed myself to back off too much...regardless of my placing my goal is to keep it on the gas on sunday, sunday, sunday and see what happens.

we have an insurance adjuster coming to our house today. i might offer the guy a room for a reduction in our rates. the hail storm that produced golfball to baseball sized hail most likely smoked our roof (and possibly our siding) ...requiring a new one. i think our neighborhood was one that was hardest hit...the 'ambulance chasers' (roofing companies) have been in the neighborhood ever since, handing out fliers, putting up signs. i guess, it's their business and if everyone needs to replace their roofs then it makes sense to advertise.

01 June 2006

newBike.

blackhawk tt #1 last night and my first race type effort on the epic. that bike is nice and fast, great climber but takes the edge off going downhill. i beat people i should beat and only got beat by two experts....nice. i need to dial in the shocks a little bit more but other than that i'm race ready. the back brake is rubbing a bit but as it wears and i figure out how to adjust it should improve. sweet.

our dog has colitis. he ate something he shouldn't have (well, that is what the vet thought). he's got some pills and i had to cook rice and brown some ground beef for him to eat...spoiled. he feels a lot better already...which means i'm a little more tired this morning. he is a good boy.