31 May 2012

streaking

no ride in for me today. it was raining, chilly, i am not feeling the best and frankly i wasn't organized enough to track down my rain gear. i had ridden in two full work weeks in a row so i guess missing one day isn't so bad. the problem is that thursdays are robin's day to do things after work (usually a group ride with the local luna chix) - so if i don't ride in then i don't ride at all on thursdays. oh well, a zero in the log.

i'm getting the bug to start building up my cyclocross race bike. the problem is that i don't have the frameset yet. i've also been going back and forth in my mind on my wheel/tire set ups for cross this year. i have a bontrager race x-lite front/race xxx lite rear that are currently glued with challenge limus tires. i also ended up getting a great deal on an easton ea70x wheelset and have racing ralph tubbies on the way. i was going to leave the limus tires on the bontragers and have that as my spare, but the more i look/handle the bontrager wheelset the more i want it to be the primary race wheels. so, i'm now thinking i'm going to peel the limus tires off and glue the schwalbes on the bontragers. i'll then put the limus tires on the easton wheelset. it's more work that way but i think i'll be the happiest with the end result (the bontis are so damn light!). i'm on the fence with regards to using belgian tape - some say you absolutely need it for cross - others are not so definitive. hmmmm, i'm open to comments on this one.

sometimes i feel a little guilty about how much mental energy and money i put towards my bike hobby. i know i don't spend nearly as much as some, but it does seem ridiculous at times. but, i work hard and we have a busy life so i guess it is good to have an outlet.

happy thursday.


29 May 2012

4 great days

friday calvin and i went to the zoo, ran some errands and did some playing. we met with his daycare providers to talk about how he is doing and then had a nice quiet night ahead of what we thought was going to be 10 miles of hell at blue mounds.

however, that wasn't meant to be. thunder and driving rain came through the region early saturday morning and persisted through the scheduled race time. the race was canceled which really is a bummer as i was banking on the intensity but what can you do? i know what we did - we took the opportunity to take my mom to breakfast and do some shopping (good shopping - first rei and then the flower factory for perennials). later in the afternoon i was able go for a nice 2 hour ride with my bride while my mom started digging up our prepping our garden for the new flowers. it was a lot of work and robin did a bunch more once we got back. my mom had brought along a sammy's pizza that we cooked up and had for dinner (yum). then, robin and i got out for coffee and some live music saturday night. it was nice to have some time with r.

sunday was hot. egg sammys fueled our morning. we spent some time at the union terrace and then off to brat fest. the heat must have been keeping people away because it wasn't too crowded. during nap time r and my mom went shopping which meant i got to spend some quality time doing absolutely nothing in the cool basement. then, dinner outside at sprecher's before my mom hit the road. it was a really nice visit and the bonus was that we all got one more day off!

yesterday we headed to cross plains for the parade with the k-crew. calvin is at the age where parades are about as cool as anything. i mean there is candy, firetrucks, tractors and candy! i managed a ride on the motobecane in the afternoon. i wasn't feeling it so i ventured to the military ridge trail. once i got there i was feeling it so i headed to quarry ridge to do some trail riding. not the best equipment choice but do-able (i got a few funny looks). it was enough fun to prompt me to re-cable and re-stans my kona so it is ready for the next time i feel like riding trails! anyway, i ended ride w/ a little riding at badger prairie. boy, that place is overgrown. i guess that is good - you really can't tell that there was a bike race there that seemed to tear everything up!

training log:
m: 1:30 (commute w/add on)
t: 2:00 (commute w/add on)
w: 1:15 (commute)
r: 1:15 (commute)
f: 0
s: 2:00 (road w/robin)
n: 0
total: 8:00

i don't feel too bad about being back at work. i guess that means it was a nice break.

happy tuesday.

24 May 2012

i've been advised about some wind

a strong southwesterly wind is going to build today up to 30 mph sustained (40 mph gusts). should make for a tough ride home.

when i got home last night my wheels were waiting for me. i was able to take them out and look at them briefly before i needed to get cal. i topped off the air and they seem to be holding. the rear carbon wheel is feathery light (the front is no slouch). i'm pretty excited. just a few odds and ends (and maybe another front wheel for mudding) and my november build is complete (although i still need to get that frameset!).

last day of the work week for me. cal's daycare is closed tomorrow so it'll be a daddy day. i could use a four day weekend anyway.

happy thursday.

23 May 2012

caught up with me

i have been riding a lot (for me) lately. on monday, i commented to robin that i was amazed that i wasn't sore from the golf or racing i did over the weekend. i've been pretty good about cutting out a lot of the garbage from my diet lately (fructose/fructanes) and processed foods (as it turns out, onion/garlic - which i don't tolerate - are in a lot of processed foods). maybe that is contributing? i have also been regularly taking fish oil supplements. whatever it is, i think it is a good sign that i'm not so sensitive to new activities.

but, last night's ride home i felt pretty fatigued. i feel asleep on the couch earlier than normal. i still felt fatigued on the ride in this morning. so, while not sore, i think my volume/intensity is catching up with me. i plan to take it relatively easy the rest of the week ahead of the alp blu'ez time trial on saturday. it is going to hurt. robin signed up too - i've very excited for her!

my wheels are *finally* on the truck to be delivered this afternoon. ebay is a great opportunity to get sweet deals, but i really don't like having to depend on anonymous individuals to follow through - it is 23 days since i posted payment. hopefully the product is as listed - that will take the sting out of the wait.

happy wednesday.

22 May 2012

inadvertant participation

i just realized that i was 5/5 in terms of days commuting during bike to work week. i don't have anything else to say about that.

extended my ride home last night via the military ridge trail. a very nice evening to be sure. to top it off, robin made some really good homemade pizza. once we figured out that it needed a little more salt element it was yum-yummy.

r is off today and i'm jealous. to top it off, i charted her a nice bike course to ride that makes me even more jealous. lucky!

happy tuesday.

21 May 2012

driving it

i needed that.

my weekend started early - when i got to work friday morning i noticed my outlook calendar was wide open. i managed to bust out some things that have been on my list for some time so i took the opportunity to get out of dodge early. i was able to do a little extra riding on my way home and then mow the lawn before getting the cal bear.

saturday, we had a nice lazy morning, did a little shopping at rei, had lunch and then i was off to play golf in a 4 man scramble at the norsk in mt. horeb. we shot a 57 and tied for first. even better, i hit some unbelievable shots (and won a closest to the pin hole prize) considering this was my first time out. i love scrambles because there really is no pressure - especially when you are playing with some decent golfers. the downside was it took forever to play and i ended up eating culvers for dinner at 9:45 - yikes.

sunday i made waffles and then got my bike ready. since the weather turned out opposite of the predictions (not sure why i even check anymore), i did the willy street crit. that course was super fun and i spent the entire 40 minutes either in the first 10 riders, sprinting for prems or in a break. i'm using these to develop high end power that i was missing in cross so mission accomplished. of course, this strategy means that by the finale i have tired legs. i finished 16th out of 50 in the 35+ 4/5 so not too bad. and, i managed to hit 198 bpm two different times out there.

wrapped up the weekend with some domestic tasks (costco, grocery shopping, dinner) and a quiet night on the couch. a great weekend.

training:
m: 1:30 (commute)
t: 2:30 (commute/road ride)
w: 1:15 (commute)
r: 1:15 (commute)
f: 1:30 (commute)
s: 0
n: 1:30 (willy street crit/rode to the race from home)
total: 9:30

happy monday.

17 May 2012

this is how i tell it

bike commuting is about the best thing i've added to my lifestyle over the past couple of years. i've mentioned this before, but i love getting to experience the weather/change of seasons first hand and it has the added utility of giving me near daily bike time as our lives only get busier. plus, you see weird shit.

for example, last night on my ride home i was at a busy road crossing and someone on a very upright hybrid type bike wearing a bright green construction zone vest pulled along side of me. i said 'hello' and then went on my way, not thinking much about it. well, about halfway down blackhawk road i hear the click of someone riding with/behind me. i took a look and it was hybrid man. now, blackhawk is undulating and while i'm not as fast as i used to be, i wasn't riding that hard and i'm on a single speed i thought it odd that this guy was able to ride with me. so, i gave it a little dig to see if i could shake him. i got a little gap before i turned onto twin valley road. there is a pretty sizable hill almost immediately after you turn so i kept on the gas. all of a sudden i hear the gear shift clicks again - he was still there (and even more disturbing in the moment was that he was breathing normal)! as he passed me, i heard a humming noise. turns out, his bike was motor assisted - so really i was doing well to hold him off as long as i did. he was moving at moped speeds on old sauk so whatever assist he was getting was substantial.

it gave me a pretty good chuckle (once i caught my breath that is).

happy thursday.

15 May 2012

everybody dance to the rythm

took advantage of the very nice weather and added on a bit last night. i have really become attached to the single speed - especially for commuting and on the bike paths. rode the military ridge as part of my loop home and had fun keeping the cadence high while in the drops. i'm trying to become more accustomed to different hand positions - riding on the hoods doesn't feel like the fastest position and that is where i have spent most of my time in cross races.

tonight will be a road ride on the klein. i'm going to try and find a few hills to ride.

and in my wheel saga - i opened a case through ebay. a few hours later i finally heard back from the seller that the wheels shipped and that i would get the tracking number later. i didn't receive a tracking number so i'm dubious. but, at least i heard something. this headache will be worth it in the end if i actually do get these wheels as i bought them for a steal.

happy tuesday.

14 May 2012

organize my thoughts

monday is like a load of bricks, the weekend should always be three days, i'm tired, blah blah blah.

the weekend was pretty good. robin and i took turns riding on saturday. i wasn't feeling well or feeling 'it' for that matter but ended up with a pretty decent 2+ hours on the klein. my legs were sore saturday night so i guess it was a good ride. i rode some roads around verona and ended up hitting the badger path to seminole to the arboretum and back home on the capital city trail. a good mix of terrain and even better that i got a decent effort when i would have preferred to just sit on the couch.

r's parents came for a visit saturday afternoon. it was a nice visit - calvin really likes having them at the house. mothers day breakfast at marigold kitchen, a walk around monona terrace, a trip to blue mounds for some hiking and lunch on the deck in the beautiful weather was very nice. we even got a chance to get away for a data night last evening.

i woke up tired. i'm sick of the projects i'm working on and that is only exacerbated when it is monday. at least the weather is beautiful again.

training from last week:
m: 1:10 (road/trails on 1x1)
t: 1:15 (commute)
w: 1:25 (commute)
r: 2.5 hours (road riding)
f: 0
s: 2:10 (road)
n: 0
total: 8:30

i'll take that. i'm hoping to log some good time this week. i'm playing in a golf scramble on saturday and then tentatively i'm planning on doing the willy street criterium on sunday.

happy monday.

11 May 2012

that was it

my ride last night was superb. the weather was what i dream about all winter. granted, this winter didn't spur as much warm weather day dreaming as some but my new credo in life is to really try to enjoy the now and that is what i did last night. 36 miles in 2 hours of riding - so i wasn't breaking any land speed records. the backpack slows me down some and i covered 2500 vertical feet so that probably contributed.

i've been torn about getting my work emails pushed to my iphone. as a result, up until now i haven't gone through the procedures to set it up. i finally did it which means i'll be able to get some reimbursement from my company towards our monthly bill. i've been using my phone to check my mail via our outlook exchange server accessed through safari for some time now - but that is very cumbersome so i guess this will make life easier.

i guess i've always prided myself in being able to leave work at work. but that has been a fallacy for the past year or so...so i guess why not make it easier on myself? i'm now trying to rationalize my decision, can you tell?

happy friday.

10 May 2012

not it

woke up feeling like crap. oh well, the silver lining is that i'll allow myself one extra cup of coffee since that gives me temporary relief. also, i get to 'go long' tonight on the bike after work as robin is picking up the boy. one of these days i need to sit down and really formalize a training plan. generally speaking, i know that i will start doing formal workouts soon but how soon depends on when my racing schedule starts to ramp up. i'm still thinking of a 12 week cycle ending around usgp, 3 weeks of relative down time, and then another 12 weeker with the goal to peak at nationals. it all seems like a long way away but 12 weeks out from usgp is in june i believe. and june will be here tomorrow with how fast time has been moving.

my wheels i bought off of ebay still haven't arrived. for that matter, i haven't received shipping notification nor has the seller responded to my email inquiry. i'm going to wait through the weekend but if i get nothing i'll need to figure what to do through ebay i suppose. this is the main reason i haven't been a big ebay purchaser in the past. i have had limited experiences and all up to this point have been good so i guess i should try to remember that. the seller is in portland so maybe he left for a few weeks on a spirit quest on mt hood or something.

happy thursday.


09 May 2012

interesting

up early today to go pick up krispy kreme doughnuts of all things. it is staff appreciation at calvin's daycare today and we volunteered to bring in some food. i avoided temptation and didn't eat a single one - small victories.

about a third of the way in this morning i realized i didn't pack my regular shoes. i wasn't about to tap shoe my way through the day so back i headed. once i get to middleton, i take a back way to my office which includes a paved bike path. well, today the bike path was also a through fare for a skunk. i halted my trip and watched him milling about wondering what to do. then, i clapped my hands a few times and his tail went up in the air - yikes! it was at that moment that i realized i had no idea of what the spray range actually is for a skunk. luckily, no spraying commenced and the animal went into the brush. once i got here i remembered a meeting i had to go to where people who don't do real work tell those of us who do real work how we should be doing our jobs. lucky, my client call scheduled for shortly after got canceled.

oliver ripped my favorite jeans last night while we were playing ball. then, after cal went to bed i had 2 hours of work to do. luckily, i could do it while keeping an eye on the brewer game. data entry isn't terrible relative to other tasks i have to do, but i prefer to not do it at home.

happy wednesday.

08 May 2012

drumbeat

got out for 1:10 last night after work. robin and cal had gone to edgerton to visit cal's new baby cousin so i had a little time while they were coming home. yummy sage turkey burgers from trader joe's for dinner (highly recommend) and then i ran the mower in the back yard quick. we were teetering on having a tick haven so it needed to be done.

stopped to vote on my ride in this morning. not much else to say about that except i hope everyone is carefully considering their choices after the whole re-call fiasco. and one more thought - this is the best the democrats could come up with?

happy tuesday.


07 May 2012

oh great, here i am again

got out for an absolutely wonderful ride on saturday. for reasons unclear to me after that ride, i have been omitting some of my loops in the mt. vernon/new glarus area but i'll be riding out there much more often after i've jogged my memory. really nice and quiet roads with tons of short steep power climbs.

yesterday was a rain out. we spent most of our day getting provisions for the upcoming weeks (trader joes, metcalfs, costco). robin was busy catching up on work all day which was a bummer. i could have run last night but didn't feel like it. it was wet/foggy this morning so i opted out of my ride in. maybe i'll sneak an hour in after work or else run after cal's bedtime.

here i am. somehow i'm further behind this morning than i was when i left on friday. i better make a list and start checking things off - only 30 more years until retirement.

m: 0
t: 2:30
w: 0
r: 1:15
f: 1:15
s: 2:15
n: 0
total: 7:15

pretty solid with 3 'zero' days.

happy monday.

04 May 2012

misty fog

one of my favorite parts of riding to work most days is experiencing the weather. as i've gotten older, i 'forget' to notice the weather especially on those days where the most you are outside is the walk from the car to work. this morning was no exception. at our house, there was a little filtered sun. robin called to tell me it was super foggy and i thought 'no way.' just over the high point hill i dropped into a thick soupy fog that got thicker as i headed towards middleton. it's funny how there are these little geographical features that can change the weather from one mile to the next.

anyway, it's friday. another grind it out work week. if it weren't for my family and being able to ride, i'm not sure how i could bear this day after day. i mean, is this it? i still think about finding a niche in which i could operate my own small business. i know it isn't easy work and there is a lot of inherent risk that i'm not currently exposed to but everything you put in you potentially get back. and even if it fails if you are smart you come out ahead with tax implications, etc. i am getting minimal back from what i put in here at work...too many stakeholders. clients, upper management, 'support' groups, quality assurance, analysts - everyone wants a piece of it and want to dictate how things are done. i am this gatekeeper of sorts - coordinating all these efforts (essentially i'm a cat herder) to make millions of dollars in revenue for my company. i understand that this is how large companies make money - i don't fault my company for it. but i feel like i could do much more. of course, i would have to actually do something about it instead of speaking to it.

where was i? oh yea, it's friday.

happy friday.


03 May 2012

assassin on the avenue

no workout last night. leaving work in full sun and warm temps made me regret heeding the forecast of afternoon rain. i ignored the warnings this morning so inevitably it will be torentially raining when it is time for me to leave. i had plans for a workout but was later foiled.

it was probably for the best, i was feeling a lot of soreness and was very tired all day yesterday. i did manage to get the lawn run-mowed in between work and picking up calvin.

happy thursday.

02 May 2012

forever young

yesterday was a good bike day - and i needed after an 'interesting' day at the office. i managed a total of 2.5 hours with a 2+ hour effort after work (roads and military ridge trail). i was going to try to mow the lawn quick when i got home but that wasn't meant to be. calvin was very sad and was telling us it hurt to blow his nose so we followed our instincts and headed to urgent care. he ended up having an ear infection (his first in over a year). he was still sad this morning - hopefully the antibiotics start doing their trick today.

the fuel crew will be sporting new kits this summer - i'm pretty excited for that. the twin six stuff is all really cool but fuel is king!

happy wednesday.

01 May 2012

summer is waiting

nothing last night. my sister in law/new niece are dealing with the whole being a brand new human thing so robin was in edgerton to help out. cal and i had a very nice evening together - i made dinner (grilled chicken, rice and steamed vegetables) and then we headed out for adventures. baseball, tent worm extermination and bike riding were on the schedule for the evening. he even requested an early bed time.

i had planned on running but it is generally frowned upon to leave the house with a two year old sleeping. so i did some house stuff - cleaned a bathroom, cleaned a light fixture in the kitchen, did more in the garage. i have a small project in mind to spruce up our kitchen including swapping out our pendant lights and finding some new bar stools (our old shopko specials are beginning to fall apart a little). we'll see about that.

i'm also very motivated to get rid of things that we don't use. and i don't mean throw them away - hopefully the things we are sick of will provide usefulness to someone else after we donate them. we have 4 external house lights that can got the habit for humanity store and tons of clothes that just need to get dropped off. we were still storing stuff from early college in boxes in our closet - why do we do that? and more importantly, why did we ever wear that stuff???

of course, it wouldn't be an american purge if i didn't replace it with something. i bought some bontrager tubulars off of ebay yesterday. the front is an x-lite w/dt swiss hub (pre-2008). the rear is a xxx lite (carbon) with the carbon hub body. i got them for a steal and they come with challenge limus 33 mm tires glued up and ready to rip. all that for right around $200 - a great price (i gotta believe the seller is a little pissed) - and it may provide a budget for a second front wheel. that way, i could have a limus on the front for muddy conditions but run schwalbe racing ralphs all other times.

happy tuesday.