Archive for April, 2010

Tomorrow, I promise!

April 30, 2010

Posting some some pictures and a little report on how the trips have been going, but in the meantime just a few pictures, not of food and then off to bed. I will ride in the morning, freaking great. I am slow and fatter than I can imagine.

a very nice car

a very very nice car

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Dinner was good

April 25, 2010

Better than almost anything I have ever eaten. I could have died happy, very glad I didn’t.

Yum, yum. Steak and potatoes au gratin! Excellent.

It is better than it looks

I have lots of pics!

April 24, 2010

But I can’t download them because I forgot my cable. Whoops. Having a good time, food so far has been excellent.

We walked the stairs to Sacre Coeur. The most wonderful wife ever was not pleased at the time and one day I will pay for that displeasure.

Otherwise, Paris is as usual, very nice and very friendly. Off to get tickets for the Orsay for tomorrow and then to get another good dinner. I will use the camera on my iPhone so I can show off what lovely food I ate.

I am gaining massive pounds fat, but I only get to go to Paris 6 or 7 or (maybe if I am lucky 10 more time) in your life. Out the door, more in a bit!

Going to Paris

April 21, 2010

And I won’t come back! Well, yeah, I will, but Paris is my favorite city in Europe, so I hope we have as good a time there as we normally do. This will be the first time in spring, and I am really looking forward to seeing Paris in bloom.

If you happen to read this drivel on a regular basis, I will try to update with pics and on goings on our little trip. Expect pictures of food, food and maybe the Eiffel tower. Probably food mostly.

I will ride a week from today next…. That is a long time, I hope I only take pictures of food, not eat everything I see.

Lamb with taters and some strange green stuff! It was all good.

Poop filled bugs

April 20, 2010

Well the title indicates I have some funny stuff for today and the title is misleading. Sorry, it was not funny and this post will be a little whiny, so if you want uplifting and funny, try the lobos blog. They usually have women on bikes.

Anyway, seeing as I rode somewhere between 80 and 90 miles at the 24 I needed to do a bit of a ride Monday, so after trying to find every reason, from it is too sunny to all my bottles are dirty to I would have to put on shoes I went for a 2:45 minute ride. I had intentions to do 3 plus hours, but really my heart was not in it. The weather was reasonable, the bike was willing and I felt okay, but it was not the day for an enjoyable ride.

I would really like someone, one of my Italian friends would be preferable, why is every freaking road in Italy under construction! The roads never seem to get fixed they just put more quick patch out and drive away leaving these mounds of loose asphalt in the middle of the road. It kills me. Another thing, I know the farmers use real life cow poop to fertilize the fields, cool, but can’t the farmers figure out a way to only fertilize the fields not the under construction roads. I am not into eating poop, and I am unable to dodge every pothole in the road and every cow patty left behind the stupid ass cow poop filled trailer.

What really got me was the number of bugs out. Every field I would pass, so nearly my entire ride I was pelted with bugs feeding on the poop. So there I am dodging potholes and cow patties in the middle of the road, now I am unable to breath as I don’t want to swallow the poop filled bugs and they keep landing on my arms and legs and face and hands and well, everywhere. It was a very bothersome thing, these bugs. I don’t like bugs.

Well other than that, the ride was just there. It was boring and a bit short. Today, more poop filled bugs, and more potholes and more stupid construction in the middle of nowhere that in not getting done and more of me whining about it.

I hate poop filled bugs.

24 hours of RAIN

April 19, 2010

Well really 8 and 1/2 hours of racing and 3 and a 1/2 hours of biblical downpour and then a race cancellation. The organizers stopped the race 12 hours after it started, due to the weather, but that is not the story, the struggles leading up to the race were.  If you want to skip to the end, the last line sums up the race.

Lists are something to never ever use unless you want everything you need and for this 24 race, I had lists and I had everything on them. I was ready, or so you might think. I did have more food than third world countries, I had enough clothes for 4 complete changes and a few jackets and could face any weather thrown at me, sans a downpour of the nature we saw. What was I lacking? Well most everything I really needed.

As I was preparing for the race I charged my lights to find that two of my bigger and better systems were failing to turn on, not good. They must go back to NiteRider to be fixed, and I have not gotten a return email about what it will cost to repair. I am looking for new lights, so any suggestions are welcome. I WILL NOT EVER USE NITERIDER AGAIN! So when they are fixed, I have a couple sets for sale.

I had some lights ordered from my favorite shop in the Europe, wheelsports.de, but they failed to arrive. I am sure that they left on time from the shop, but due to volcanos and highly unionized labor in Europe never arrived on time so, I had a very old set of HIDs and one set of LEDs that should have been enough light for the race, but I will never know because of the weather. The helmet mount I had to rig up never felt right and didn’t cast the light well enough for me, so I may not have been riding all night in any case. I will add, the NightSun system I used, for one lap, seemed pretty good, if a bit narrow in the beam. I will use it again in about a month and see how it works our in Spokane. A better review will be added then.

Then I had a friend of a friend borrowing a bike for the race. Now Andrea, the man using the bike is a bit shorter than me, so I put a shorter stem on the bike as well as a less off set seat post so he would be more comfortable, little did I know, I was making a bike that fit me perfectly fit me badly.  Very badly.  But at the time I was flipping around parts to make things better for Andrea, I had no idea I was screwing myself.  He uses crank brothers pedals (why?) and had to change from my Shimano pedals (very very good reliable pedals) and for some reason, and I am not going to point fingers, he and a few of the Lobos (my single speedy club) couldn’t get my Shimano pedals (very very good reliable pedals) off my cranks and because of the time, I made the decision just to use my personal racing bike for Andrea and I would ride the one I set up for him.

Good idea in theory, but in practice the bike I had set up for Andrea was at least  1 cm maybe 2 cm too short in the top tube so the reach was all messed up.  It led to me having neck pain, really bad neck pain, not so bad I would quit because of it , but bad enough that I am still feeling it.

Now for the last thing.  I just had my favorite bike of all time repainted and it looks pretty good.  A nice baby blue with just a touch of pretty parts and a slightly fat guy riding the bike was going to be the secret ingredient in a dominating success of a most deserved mid place finish. But as you can suspect from what I have written above, something was going to happen.  The bike broke, right in the middle of the seat tube.  What, one of my bikes breaking?  Well, yes.  So my race bike was changed to a Cannondale SS 29er that in spite of it’s reputation of a stiff uncomfortable ride, that it doesn’t really deserve was going to be my race bike.  Except….  See two paragraphs above.  So all in all a pretty bad way to start a 24 hour race.

A little crack ended a beautiful life!

So the race itself was not so bad, except the chips they use for racing just didn’t seem to work.  So did I do 20 laps, 18 laps or 17 laps or 21 laps?  I don’t know, never will.  All I know is that a few guys who never lapped me have two more laps than me in the results and some guys that I am pretty sure I passed have one more lap than me.  What does that mean?  I don’t care.  Today will be a road ride for a few hours and then I should be back into to preparing for the 24 hours of Spokane.  What does this race mean for my preparation for that race?  I hate rain for sure and I need some more reliable lights and a bike that won’t snap like a dry spaghetti noodle.  All things in time.  Lights should be here shortly, I have a good bike in the states and I can’t stop the rain, but if the days and morning prior to the race are filled with less tribulations I might be able to endure just a bit more rain.

I had fun, I enjoyed the race and I will miss the Lobos.

Off to a 24 today

April 17, 2010

And it is raining. Feels like last year. I will put a report up monday, should be good! I hope so at least.

The blind mouse is insisting on the fact that women on bikes will get more readers, so maybe I will get a few pictures of the women racing today. Well, as they fly by me on the course.

Enjoy the weekend.

A day in the life of

April 15, 2010

me.

I get up and make coffee. I like coffee, with just a touch of milk. Yum, milk and coffee. Then I look around for breakfast, and lately that has been oatmeal, which is really not so yum, but is relatively healthy, and keeps me pretty well full for at least three and half minutes. That is saying something as I am ALWAYS starving. Then, I walk the little Kaiser, and he likes that. Normally we wander up a hill, through some fields and around the town, which is kind of nice, but really after three years of the same streets with two dogs, I am pretty sure I know every rock, pebble and crack in the asphalt, but still it is a bit of fresh air. Then, I putz about a bit and then I go for a ride.

The last few have been absolutely boring as all get out, I just want to ride to get the time over with and then go home and eat lunch. Today was a bit different, it was sunny, warmy, and pretty and there where a ton of flowers out add to that I found a new hiking trail that I can more or less ride and it was a pretty good all around 50k (I use K because it sounds so much longer than 30 plus miles) ride.

Nice place for a nap!

In the middle of trail, lucky flowers.

Then, after I ride, I do have lunch, most recently it has been half a chicken or left over chili, which is really very satisfying, for about 30 seconds then I am hungry again. No food for at least an hour. If I am still hungry I snack on pretzels. Yum. Not really.

After that, I lay about and watch a bit of TV or play Xbox for just a little while, until, Kaiser comes down from his all day nap and pesters me to go for a walk.

This guy always looking for a walk.

After the walk, todays evening stroll was over two hours, I make dinner. This evening that happened to be leftovers, so it was easy. Most normally, I have to make some kind of excellent made from scratch four star restaurant meal. Good night, my day is bad.

Okay, not really, I lived a blessed life and have a great day, nearly every day. The worst part of my day is walking Willie in the rain.

What’s a boy gotta do?

April 14, 2010

Really this week will be very boring, until Saturday when I begin 24 hour race. So if my already lack luster posting gets more lacking in luster, there it is. Today I ate, two bowls of chili, one bowl of oatmeal with a bit of butter and sugar and one pork chop, two pieces of corn bread and a spoonful of baked beans. Add to the mix some potato chips, and one little plastic container of tic-tacs and I ate way too much. Yeah that was what I did today. Ate too much.

I also saw a doctor about being some kind of defective human, which most of you know to be true, just don’t tell the doctor. He cleared me as a pretty normal and well medicated, not for mental problems yet, patient. Woohoo, I am well medicated. Apparently I am able to go with the lovely bride on our planned move back to the USA. Good for me, very very bad for her.

Other than food and doctors i walked the little guy who never walks enough. Willie, literally walked (so did I) for two hours and forty five minutes. I guess I earned one tic-tac from the walks with the little guy today. I just wonder how it will be to have to walk him in more built up areas. We have never lived in a real residential area with dogs so far. We seek out isolated places that allow us to walk in the woods or fields with few to no other animals, save one bear and a few wild boars and the couple of owls and the few deer we have scared up while out, so that the dogs have a bit of freedom and time to run around and play. That will be a bit harder to do in the greater DC area. Maybe we will live near a park, but then I to have to pick up Willie left overs, I don’t like that much.

What prompted this late night typing, NEIGHBORS! I am never sure what needs to be discussed so loudly at 11:15 at night, but apparently it involves the need to scrap chairs over the floor and clattering about the eating utensils. I would wish death upon these people, but I think the devil would refuse them entrance and send them back as our future neighbors someplace else. Better to hope that they have long lives right here in Vicenza than have them reappear in our lives as bad neighbors elsewhere. God these people have made living in Italy an absolute nightmare.

That face wraps up how I feel about riding at the moment.

After I posted the picture, I can’t tell if I am mad, unhappy, pulling a face or need to use the restroom.  I can assure you at that point in the ride I did not need a restroom, but maybe I should double check pictures before I post them.

Six grey hairs and 50 miles

April 13, 2010

What the hell? I was combing my hair, a thousand strokes a day, and noticed a couple of grey hairs so out they came. And then, two more and then two more! NO! I am not getting old, I am not getting old, I am not getting old. (Picture me a in corner curled in a little ball rocking back and forth saying that) Well, I guess grey happens to most people, so I am not really all that upset by it, but still six hairs, I am hoping it is just living next to the noisiest people on earth than has made it happen.

After the grey hair incident, I took the day off. No writing, riding or anything else productive. But I think I needed a day of nothing. Yeah, I hear most of you guys, I never do anything, but that is not exactly true. I just sat in my easy chair and watched bicycle racing and lamented how, if I was the team director, I could have done this and that better. Which is true. Boonen had to chase Cancellara as soon as he went, not wait for other people to help, because nobody is going to help the likes of Boonen. If this makes no sense, you didn’t see Paris-Roubaix, and that is fine. But I still think I could have won….. Well a win for me might be finishing in 8 hours instead of the 6ish hours the pros finish in.

About that 50 miles. I was a total ride around the area with no purpose. I just climbed here, descended there and rode just a bit of trail and then walked a bit more. I was just trying to get in some time on the bike and see how the legs felt. Well, like logs that have joints.

In any case, I did have a bit of fun, until the trail got a bit rocky and a bit too steep. It was enjoyable to take the bike where it had no business being. I will do that again soon.

Not overmatched at all, at this point.

Way out of its' league.