Archive for October, 2008

Over a week

October 28, 2008

Nothing really has happened.  I dropped the ball on some riding I was doing, in so far as I didn’t ride long enough two days last week.  As I turned for home both days I asked myself what am I riding for?  Fun or training?  

I claim all the time I don’t care how I do at races as long as I have fun, which is true.  I sure do hate being last though.  Rectifying my desire to go fast and my desire to have fun is really difficult.  If I want to me fast I need to ride fast, do intervals and train in heart rate zones, but really how fast will I be?  Top ten, top five, or top of the middle of the pack, or pack fodder?  I pay for the pros to get a cash prize if they win.  I don’t like that idea, but if I want to race that is a fact.  Having fun means I ride with people, as fast as they can go, don’t drop anyone on climbs (not that I do that ever) and talk to people about whatever people talk about when we ride bikes.  I enjoy that and it is free, more or less, but I never feel like I destroyed peoples will to live when a huge, fat guy on a single speed passes them.  That is really why I race.  

So, it will be another winter of riding alone, because most folks here stop riding in the cooler weather in Italy, trying to figure out which races I really want to do.  I hope to do three of four 24 hour races, and a dozen or so Marathons.  That means I need to ride to keep the belly to a minimum, but does it mean I need to have a training plan and all the neat little training aids that go with it?  I am trying to figure that out now.  I hate spending money on things I may never use.  Next time I hope to have a plan for the “off season”.  More as it happens, and because it is only me who reads this, I think I will have the answer long before I write about it.  Good for me.


Me and me alone

October 22, 2008

Yesterday was a 4 hour ride day.  Weather was pretty good and I felt pretty happy to be on the bike.  Having no specific goals for the winter other than not gaining 20 pounds, I should be having a real hard time staying on the bike.  Well, I am, and then some days I am not.  My motivation seems to be directly related to how much sun is out.  Hey, cold is fine, it is the rain that kills.  




Cross bike in need of parts

Cross bike in need of parts



So nothing else really interesting is going on, but I could make stuff up.  Or not.  I think and hope that I will be racing next weekend at a local cross race.  If I can’t find one here in Italy, I may go up to Germany then to Belgium to get my fix of being destroyed by far more skilled riders with far better fitness and who all smoke.  Gotta see, gotta ask the BIG BOSS, who is actually very tiny.  First I need to get my cross bike built up.  I am still waiting on parts.  I freaking hate waiting, but am getting much better at it living in Italy.  Everything is wait, wait, wait.  Except for money….

Money is to be delivered on time and fast, even if the bill is six months late.  Aw well, the root of all evil is how I will end.  I need to race cross, I need to find a race and I need to get my bike built.  Money.  See I did end with the root of all evil, Money.

I raced I got lost and I heard things about my Mom

October 20, 2008

Yeah racing brings out the inner Italian in all the Italians.  I have noticed, stereotypically, that at races the Italians overreact to the nth degree.  Yesterday I missed a turn at a race because I followed a group or hard charging totally lost local racer boys.  We all missed a corner but for some reason, no one wanted to turn around.  I realized my mistake pretty quickly and signaled that I was turning left out of the group when I heard some guy yelling profanities at me, in Italian.  My first reaction was to let him pass and then turn around, but he guy kept yelling and yelling words that I have heard when bad things happen.  I know that he was swearing at me and this guy just kept swearing, then I heard Mama.  I don’t normally react to Mom things, you know get in brawls about mom because my Mom wouldn’t think it was was cool and wouldn’t be proud.  However yesterday was a little different.  He was still yelling at me.  I mean it had been at least a minute since the incident, maybe two.  So I rolled up the the offending green shirted man and smacked him on the back and asked in English if he had a problem.  At this point, the green shirted foul mouthed man realized I was 50 kilos more than he in weight and much, much larger in every respect and shut the hell up.  Yeah I never get that mad at races, I have fun normally, but these races in Italy have all had at least one, off the back Pro who feels like it is his job to yell at the American and make fun of his mom, and because I normally just pass, and leave the offending rider in the dust and let my riding do the talking it doesn’t bother me.  I should have done that yesterday, but man….  anyway, I may be banned from racing in Italy, wouldn’t that be nice?

The rest of the race was me trying to catch the riders who didn’t miss the turn and it took almost an hour to get back to the riders.  I finished way far back in 2:33.  It was a 55k or 34 mile race.  I added 5k for missing a turn, so I think I rode pretty well.  

Next weekend no racing just fun, I hope to ride in Verona with some non overreacting locals to see some new trails.  

What is it about these guys who hate Americans, for no reason, what did my Mom ever do to him, until the race what did any American, in particular me, ever do to this guy?  Yeah after the race he may have a worse impression of the Yankee, but next time he will keep his mouth shut.  GOD I AM TIRED OF THE DRAMA!!!!!!


October 17, 2008

It must be fall again, I am no fan of fall, it really is a bad season of the year.  Neither hot or cold, pretty or ugly, green or colorful (yet) really just a mish-mash of not very good weather with me really wanting to get out an cruise for a couple of hours.  I can’t see 300 feet, due to the thick nasty fog, out my back window and I am sure that the fog is worse in the hills above town.  Waiting for the fog to clear around these parts is like waiting for the fog to clear around these here parts.  It is not going anywhere until next week.  

Vicenza and most of the surrounding areas are know for the foggy and temperate fall and winter.  It looks like I have five maybe six months of waiting for the fog to clear.  This could mean I am going to stay at home and be safe or not.  I hate riding rollers or trainers.  Outside is so much better than training inside even in the rain or snow.  Out comes the orange jacket, the extra red tail lights for the bike and me hugging the white line as close as possible and cringing whenever I hear a car, truck or motorized vehicle.  I will get used to it and most of the Italians are looking for bikes on the road anyway.  

I will be off before this thing gets fully uploaded on the web for a two hour spin.  Maybe a little less because I am just a bit tired.  I am not “training” for anything, however I am seriously looking at two stage races for next year.  Iron Bike Italy and or the BC bike race maybe (unlikely) the InterMontane Challenge.  I can’t do all three, hell I am only a 37 year old slightly fat, partially in shape, half way descent cyclist (if cyclists are people who ride bikes without falling off on every ride).  So training is the wrong word, I am preparing to train for training for the training for preparing to train for being slow and a little fat.  Oh, maybe I am doing a lot of training looking at what I have just typed, well if training is typing about training.  Oh, I am still sitting here, no bike in sight still putting off the ride.  

Gotta go, Ed

Bear is still kicking it BTW.  HARD, because she doesn’t know any other way.

A walk at the lake

October 13, 2008

Our old girl, Kinsey our dog, is fourteen years old and was recently diagnosed with cancer.  The vets we have taken her to always start with the same question, “What is your concern?” and “How old is she?”.   We always show them the concern, I won’t show you as nobody needs to see what her concern is, and the vets always look a little concerned and I can see the thoughts in their heads.  The dog is seven maybe eight, looks like an infection of some sort, antibiotics and maybe draining it would help, that is what I will do, then we say she fourteen and the vet always says, “It is cancer.” in such a matter of fact way I believe they must have run tests and found the cancer cells present two weeks ago and now are just verifying the findings.  

After all this the vets list a number of symptoms that the old girl is supposed to have.  Loss of appetite, difficulty moving, pain and lack of interest in activity.  All kinds of other stuff too, but these are the big ones and we always answer truthfully.  No she shows none of those symptoms, really she is as normal as she has always been, which honestly is not all that normal, but who is going to judge?  Not me.  




In the afternoon tomorrow she will be going in for a bit of drainage, pretty gross really, and then home for a nice long nap and a big dinner.  Bear doesn’t need to be terrified every time she goes to the vet by all the weird stuff they want to do.  Hell, when I get to be as old as she is I may tell the doctor to go to hell too, and maybe try to bite his hand too.  

What does this have to do with a walk at the lake?  Well, being as she is not eating (she is) being as she is unable the walk (she can) and doesn’t have the energy to go for long walks (she does) we took her to the lake near our home for a walk today.  Bear walked almost three and a half miles and is still looking for stuff to terrorize.  Mainly the bathroom carpets….. but that is another story.  For a dog most certainly dying of cancer she is doing very well.  As long as she is happy and walking, eating and terrorizing carpets everywhere I will be happy to walk, feed and watch her tear holes in our bathroom rugs.

Another day in Italy

October 12, 2008

All in all a very nice day to live here in Vicenza.  A great day with a decent ride.  It wasn’t the best ride ever, it didn’t have a bunch of pros and I didn’t drop everyone on every climb (in my dreams) and win thousands of Euro, but I did have a pretty good time.  

I did a local event called the Costabike ride.  It is a event that resemble a huge club ride, only that 50 clubs show up and ride together and enjoy the lovely Italian country side.  It is not like what we do in the States, there anything as big would involve ego, money and all kind of cycling seriousness.  Today was a mellow ride on pretty good trails.  

The event capped off a pretty good week, as far as riding goes.  The weather cooperated and kept me warm and dry.  So my motivation to get out and ride is very high.  Also I am seriously thinking about doing a mountain bike stage race next year.  I need to ride to get ready, hopefully I can maintain the current drive through the winter.  Cross racing will help that, if and (really when) I get my cross bike built.  

Day off?

October 10, 2008

It was supposed to be a day off and relax, but the weather was so nice, sunny and 77 degrees.  Why would anyone want to stay home with weather like that?  Well I just couldn’t and now I am very tired.  

In the morning I am riding with several guys on a short road ride and if all goes to plan I will be home early and can take a nice long nap, or drive and ride with the Lobos guys.  I wish I had know about the ride earlier.  Riding with them is freaking excellent, good ride and then the best food ever, and maybe I could pick up my cross bike too.  

The frame has been painted and ready to be built for over a week.  I hope it lives up to my expectations as far as paint.  It looked freaking awesome unpainted.  Not much going on today, just tired.  I hope better stuff happens tomorrow.  If not I may have to chase Bear around the backyard to entertain myself.  

She doesn’t need that.  

Feeling good.

October 9, 2008

I think that me racing well and feeling good is a bad thing.  Generally speaking after a race I reassess my performance and if I did badly I ride way more to get into better shape, if I did well I normally reward myself with good food and too much of it.  Well I still ride bunches, I just eat too much.  One day (doubtful) I will learn and get both the amount and type of food along with riding in sync and get in real good shape.  Okay, I can dream.

Aside from not being in shape I won’t be racing the first cross race of the year.  The greatest problem, no bike.  I was to have picked it up last weekend and have it all built up for a couple of rides, but that never happened.  Car troubles, life and just plain bad luck got in the way.  I may still go to try and pick up info on more races in the area, as there are likely many, but I won’t race.  I am a little unhappy about that, but such is life and there are some thing, not that many though, more important than racing my bike, and finishing in last place.   

As for what I will do today, who knows?  Bear (the dog) and I must walk this morning, then I have to ride then, we Bear and I, get to spend the afternoon hiding from our cleaning lady.  She is afraid of the old girl. Hanging out with the Bear should be less than entertaining as she likes to sleep, not be terrorized by vacuum cleaner and an Italian.  Good day all around I am sure.  Maybe lunch with Speedio, that is always good.  

Afraid of little ole me?

Afraid of little ole me?

I really need to write something

October 7, 2008

Even though nobody reads this, thank god.  

So I have done two races and had one trip to the USA since my last post.  I thought I would want to do real life long reports on the races, but I won’t.  I got third in the States at a Friends of Capitol Forest race, out of four and one guy had to stop, so I got schooled by much faster people. Life is normal.  

Over here, in Italy, I did a Grand Fondo (race that really has no winners just tons of people riding for fun and a great swag bag full of pasta) and got 3hundredandsomthing.  Well that sounds really bad except there were more than 1200 people riding on the course and I was passed only on the long flat drag into town.  Oh well, if I cared that much I wouldn’t race a Single Speed.  

I am going to make the effort to write here daily.  Hell nobody cares, I don’t so why should you?  Maybe I will entertain myself just enough to make it worthwhile.  Hope this finds my parents well and anyone else who happens to read this drivel well too.  Ed


Mike on a nice day at Suntop

Mike on a nice day at Suntop