Archive for March, 2010

I rode today! Yeah for me!

March 31, 2010

I took pictures and had to out run the evil looking clouds, but the cable for my camera is in the basement and I hate stairs so I will load them up later or in the morning.  Freaking rain….  I was lucky and didn’t get wet, but the clouds chased me all day.  It was not fun, it was not good, and it was a really good time.  I had to ride into the wind for what seemed like hours, and it really was 2 hour and 40some minutes.

The wind just kept swirling around depending on where I was.  The only exception was the final climb, which I choose only because I am a bit dumb.  I like to climb and I like to make myself suffer just a bit, and I did get to do both.  It was not windy, at all!  It was pretty warm, it was mostly sunny and it was very steep.  At least I rode up the hill.  The fellow that I passed that gave me that mean look as I passed him, did not.  He took the flattest and flattest way home.  Of course he was dressed for -25 degree weather and it was 55-60 degrees.  Poor guy.

Well what else?  My lovely bride made some very good home made corn bread for dinner.  We had Pork chops, corn bread (obviously) and pork and beans.  Pretty good.  Not much else here, maybe I will think about something to write about overnight….  something that is not a total waste of time posting, and god forbid, someone reading.

Ride in the morning, should be fun.

Looks good, no?

The rain is moving in!

Now I know from looking at the picture it doesn’t look that bad, but trust me in real life it looked much worse.  It did pour not too long after I got home.

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Well, well, well

March 30, 2010

What did I do today? Not anything good, well at least good for my body, just for the move.

I planned on leaving around 0900 but the weather was pretty unsettled and I couldn’t find my stinking pump so I got all kinds of unhappy and started cleaning up my garage. Lots of parts and not much need for them, so what to do with them? Well I put them in my car and drove up and gave them to a friend who will put them to good use instead.

That was all I did but tomorrow I must turn a pedal or two. I think if I don’t I might just go crazy.

Germany is wet!

March 28, 2010

Rain, followed by more rain has put a damper on what was looking like a fun weekend. I had planned on three rides, the F-trail, one road ride and maybe Trail 2 from the Pfalzerwald, but pouring rain cancelled the two mountain bike rides and I got in one 2:15 road ride today.

Not what I had planned, but if I lived here (god forbid!) I would have had to suck it up and drive on in the rain. Glad, I didn’t have to. We will be back in Italy (god forbid) tomorrow and I hope to squeeze in a two hour ride before dinner. With luck, it will be warm and dry.

I hope to have a slightly better week to write about next week. A bit less rain and no trip to Germany, second one in two weeks. Driving is fun, but I am tired of it at the moment. Wish I had a picture to add, but I have none, too wet and looking at me all wet in a white t-shirt is frightening.

Off to dinner, some kind of deep fried meat with deep fried potatoes and deep fried dessert! Should be very healthy.

0745 and still thinking about lights

March 25, 2010

Spending a considerable amount of time looking for batteries and charging those batteries for a little night ride and then find that TWO of my lamps are no longer working is a bit disheartening. Today I will email NiteRider with my problem and hope that they are able to do a fast turn around. One lamp has been back three times. I am not impressed. My feeling is that these are my last NiteRiders as a bunch of other companies make good light systems that are cheaper and a whole bunch lighter, and apparently, more reliable.

That said, I used a SuperNova E3 with a Schmidt dyno hub and was pretty impressed. I can believe how it is used for Brevet riding, but it will not suffice as the only light source for a mountain bike ride. I think it needs a supplemental light on the helmet and as paired up with one of my 8 year old HIDs it was a very good match.

The ride itself was very nice, mid 60’s and just a touch too humid. The course is 10x’s better than last year, or it could be that I am still burned out on riding that course last year for 22 hours and 30 minutes. It will be fun, again, but I am not sure if I can match my performance from last year, but I will do well. I feel pretty good. So even though death seems preferable when leaving every morning, riding seems to be paying off.

What else? Off to Germany again this weekend! F-trail and then hopefully a couple of road rides with some friends. This could be the last Germany trip! 95 days left in Europe…. Seems like two years ago I couldn’t get the days to go fast enough, but these last few have just flown by. I am so behind for the movers, which is totally normal, catching up will be a bit bothersome, but it will get done.

Photo from Bob (who is the man)

95 days…. just looked, it is like 57 days….  the movers are coming and we are not ready…..  maybe I will have to do some pre moving work soon…  tomorrow…..  tomorrow is better than today…..  but isn’t that what I said two months ago…….

0715 and still sitting here thinking

March 24, 2010

about where I put my batteries for my Nite Rider lights last year.  That was May, today is March something and I need the lights.  Why don’t I put stuff in a place where I can find it easily?  Well, I am 99% sure when I set the batteries on the random self someplace by that thing I would need later I was sure I would NEVER forget that I put them behind the four something over there.  Will I never learn?  Um, no, I don’t think I will.

Yesterday was at least as much of a struggle as most days recently, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t ride.  As a matter of fact, I rode for 6 hours of grey, cloudy, foggy and very rarely sunny weather.  It was not fun, 8000′ and 82 miles mean I wasn’t riding very fast, but at least I was out.

Today will be a brief spin this morning and then a 3 lap tour of the 24 hours of Cremona, or as I have taken to calling it CreMoab.  I have taken to calling it that as it is nothing at all like Moab, but it does have a 24 hour race.  The course is 10ish Ks and has about, count ’em, 15 meters of climbing a lap.  It might be ten, if I don’t bunny hop everywhere.  It should be fun, the course, as I will be riding it at night with lights and no batteries.

Not much else to report, other than I am just a bit on the tired side of being awake and for all the moaning and groaning about riding, I must be getting in some decent miles as my legs seem to feel pretty good.  Empty and not so powerful, but they never feel powerful.  Going to finish off my oatmeal and coffee and ride.  Do the same, if you ride, if not go for a walk.  Walking is good for you.

This is Kaiser Soze!

The mood is a deep dark blue

March 23, 2010

Yeah, I need to find a way to raise the happiness that I currently have in my day. Each day has become a battle to keep my temper down and my mood up. I think it is a loosing battle. Rain and fog along with a complete lack of sun and riding alone have all teamed up to make me wonder if riding a bike is even slightly fun anymore…. It feels like a struggle just to put on my riding clothes. Then the rides have rarely been anything but a epic struggle to ride up to the desired time.

Riding in rain sucks, big time, but I am normally able to endure the wet and chill that accompanies it, but because we are leaving shortly that has become even harder to try to endure. Being aware that where we are going is not much sunnier, in all likeliness, rainier makes it just that little bit harder to get out the door.

Today I have to go, it doesn’t matter if I want to, I have to. I am hoping that if I get moving and riding I might improve my attitude about life. What might help that would be all my neighbors leaving and never coming back so I could get at least one good nights sleep. That is not going to happen, so I think I will consider the sleep deprivation that I have due to the constant noise during the evening as training for 24 hour races. Of course, those are quieter and much more friendly than the total worthless garbage we live with.

Ack. I must leave and ride, ack it is raining, ack I must go. Ackkkkkk. Think sunny thoughts, all mine are dark, dank and rainy. ACK.

F-trail, part 2

March 21, 2010

I rode it, well most of it, in the rain! Ack, the bane of my existence and one of the biggest problems I have with Germany living, rain! Aside from that little problem, it was a very nice ride. The soil and the foliage around Rodalben are actually pretty amazing when it comes to dealing with the weather.

I swear, it almost never rains under the trees on the trail and it is almost never dusty, even in the driest of weather, but this time riding it I had a couple of thoughts. One, very bad, one very good.

The bad, I am not sure what has happened to the trail, and I mean what or who has allowed the trail conditions to basically go from some of the most buff, clean and fast trail that I have ever ridden to something that I didn’t recognize as the F-trail.

Logging was done a couple of years ago and I had suspected that some kind of replanting of trees or something was going to take place, but they didn’t and allowed scotch broom to grow in its’ place. Scotch broom is an evil plant that grows so fast you can almost watch it get bigger in an afternoon. Kind of scary really. I also noticed just way too many trees that had fallen across the trail and not a single person had tried to remove them. So I stopped about every couple of miles and picked up downed trees and removed large branches. It was something I used to do all the time when I rode there, but I nobody seems to be doing it any more.

The good, in spite of having to stop every couple of miles to remove downed trees, the F-trail is still a very great place to ride, especially with people you like. I had one of the most fun rides in a very long time just pedaling along talking with Marty for almost three hours. The trail is really very good and I think by mid April it will be cleaned up and just as fast and fun as I remember. I like the trail and I have a bunch of fond memories of riding it, I hope to add a couple again next weekend…. I will be back in Germany then too.

So back to how awesome I am, weather permitting I will be out riding in the morning and trying to burn off the 20 kilos I gained while trying to drink beer for beer with Marty, don’t try, that boy likes his beer. And next time I will have a camera for the ride, I forgot this time.

F-Trail

March 18, 2010

That is what I will be riding in just 48 hours! Of course if you don’t know anything about Germany and mountain biking, you could care less, but being the sometimes nice guy that I am, I will fill you in.

It is the best trail in the Pflaz, if not in Germany. It is 45k of single track and 40 of those K are just plain fun to ride. The other 5k are really really really really fun to ride. So, rain or shine I will be there Saturday. Don’t give me that “don’t ride trails that are wet” garbage, this trail is at its’ best in the rain as it is so perfectly grippy in the rain that I think it is faster when wet than dry.

Anyway, I am in Germany this weekend, and I will ride in H-berg the Marty Friday and Saturday. Hope you all are well, and don’t yell at old ladies…… unless they deserve it and start the yelling match and are old angry Italian ladies who think you should respect them because they have sons or some such crap….. I hate divorced wives who have no reason to be on Post buying way too much stuff for their off- spring (it is really for the 6 other kids, nephews or nieces or fathers or mothers or the son of the guy who lives across the street who wants American cigarettes but not for her) that for some reason seem to think that I don’t deserve to be alive.

Long story, involving a old lady cutting in line with WAY too many items for the express check out, her cutting and her not being allowed at the Commissary in the first place…. oh and she had a huge problem with me….. not sure why still, but maybe next week I will explain. Yeah, so I went on just a bit, but really that wasn’t the half of it….. I AM VERY TIRED OF BEING HERE.

Another bit of the story.

Old ladies…… yeah, I am still a bit ticked about that. Maybe I should clarify. She was about 45 years old, not really old, mind you, and she should not have even been in the Commissary at all. She was buying about 15 pounds of meat, about two months worth of diapers (clearly not for her newborn) and just entirely too much suspect product to be buying for herself. She was buying for her son/daughter who have (much like her I am sure) no right to access the Post Commissary. It really drives me crazy when I see these people buying food and products that they have little to no right to be buying. Add to that the attitude she was throwing at me and the fact she was cursing me in Italian I guess I kind of lost my temper. Which, if you lived in my townhouse like thing you might understand. Next time I will just walk away…..

Listen to my body? Why?

March 16, 2010

Yesterday was the first day of spring, well maybe not officially, but it was in the high 50’s and low 60’s and sunny so I just had to get out and ride. It was short it was a bit muddy, but it was on a mountain bike. It was nice.

Now for a random problem I have had with a bike recently. I have a bike that was repaired and ever since, only one wheel works in the frame. I don’t mean the same spacing on any hub works, only one wheel works, which I find strange, however good thing it is a Phil Wood hub and it will never die. I have never seen such a thing before and just think if it belonged to anyone else this problem would not happen. Whatever, it rolls now, and now for a picture of said bike.

My new, old bike. I really like it.

As I was riding the bike a thought cross my mind, which was, this bike is way to high in the front end. I need to flip my stem over. Then the thought crossed my mind, I am riding the road bike too much if I am wanting a low and long position on my mountain bike instead of a reasonably comfortable and slightly more upright position. It is time to ride the mountain bike a bit more, but……

Not today. I need to get some saddle time, and the trails are too muddy, and not tomorrow as I need to do some real climbing and not the day after as I need 5 hours in the saddle and there are not that many trails around here and not this weekend as I need a long road ride to shake out the cobwebs from my legs and might be doing a group ride and not next Monday as I will need a recovery ride and not…..

I think I need to redefine my priorities, less road, more mountain. It will happen and I will like it. Just not today.

Monday, they seem to keep coming every week

March 15, 2010

Most people find Monday to be the worst day of the week, it means five, count ’em, five days of work followed by a weekend that is too short and then five more days, count ’em, five days of work followed by, well you get it. A cycle of work and barely any time for yourself. Well for me, aside from the fact I married someone who affords me the opportunity not to work, it means another week of quiet, well mostly quiet week of my stinking rotten, unbelievably inconsiderate and bad neighbors being at work during the day. So that gives me about two hours in the morning to just eat and listen to the news, after that I get ready and go for a ride. I then come home about riposo time and get to hear the aforementioned neighbors. So Monday means two hours of quiet time, which is just not long enough.

I promised pictures yesterday, and I truly hope your connection dropped so you never read that, but regardless, I promised pictures and they are of my Saturday ride.

I caught onto a group ride for about 15k or 9 or so miles and rode at what they considered race pace. It wasn’t that fast and the guys refused to even look at me, even when I was blowing up the fool who was the “big dog” of the group ride. I guess it is my beard, I don’t know, but these folks are very unfriendly. I even helped a couple of the guys who got dropped back to the group, so I wasn’t a complete tool, they however were.

I witnessed several “old” guys sit up and eat these little sandwiches that are wrapped in foil and just toss the foil wrapper on the ground. I have seen this from Protour riders, and I don’t like it when they do it, but these local riders think it is the norm. Just toss trash on the side of the road, whatever, it is their country and if they want it to be a trash heap, well more power to them. In a few months I will be able to ask people who toss their trash aside as they ride the question, “What the hell are you doing?”. I mean it isn’t like I have kids, but I do like clean roads, so PLEASE DON’T LITTER, it is stupid and makes you look like a COMPLETE ASS.

So as for these “old” guys, well as I turned up a climb these local “pros” avoided I realized they were mid to late 30’s to early to mid 40’s….. so just as old as me. Wow, I guess I am getting kind of old. Just not grey, yet. DON’T LITTER and have a nice day from the “old” guy. Damn

Litter bugs SUCK, BIG TIME

I am not sure, but a shrine to the Madonna and a Motorcycle tire.

Not Germany, but Italy in spring!