Archive for January, 2011

Well looks like Snotcycle is a very popular search

January 31, 2011

Too bad this post has absolutely nothing to do with that race at all.

I am going to complain a bit about a local shop and then figure out what I will do for the next two weeks.

So the shop, and for the time being will remain nameless…. maybe. I took in a bike for a complete overhaul, you know chain, cassette, cables, housing, bar tape, and a whole laundry list of other things that needed to be fixed. I can and have done nearly all of that jazz on my own, but in reality I am not as good as shop mechanics most of the time. I think in this case I may be tens times better than they are, at least at not losing parts and putting bottom brackets together correctly and making sure that the bike shifts at least marginally.

The poor bike in question in times when it worked correctly and was worked on by competent mechanics

I picked up the bike about two weeks ago, and due to being very lucky and having very bad weather, I hadn’t looked at it since I PAID IN FULL, 330 dollars for the complete overhaul. Well I put it in the trainer, finally, to check out the work that had been done. Well the drive side crank looked like it was a little off, like the bearing guard (not my name for the thing, but it is the name) was on the outside of the wave spring washer on the drive side…. yeah all freaking wrong in a big way that might actually cause damage to the bearings, causing the front derailleur not to work at all under any kind of actual riding. So, I decide to fix the problem, you know anyone can make a mistake, myself included. It required a 10mm allen key and about five seconds of work, but for some reason the bolt holding the cranks together was very, very very, tight and difficult to get out. My first thought was, “well this sucks, but you know maybe the bike mechanic just over tightened the bolt that holds everything together”. Well after I remove the bolt, I realized right away something was wrong. Washers that used to exist were not there, and the self extracting bolt used to remove the non drive side crank arm was literally impossible to turn therefore making it impossible to reassemble. So what do I do?

I pack the whole kit and kaboodle and took it up the shop where the work was done expecting to have an on-the-spot fix but was (not so) shocked to see the mechanic behind the counter kind of look at me in a surprised manner and asked for a name and number. So what will happen? I don’t know, I do know I want my money back, I want to find a shop here in the greater DC area that doesn’t suck and I miss Frank’s shop in Weselberg Germany Wheelsports that never sent me home with a bike that didn’t work.

Continuing on with my “why the face” moment at the shop, the shop had called me no less than four time to tell me the work was done when it was not done at all, and they had the bike for 5 weeks to do the work correctly.  I have a saying, and I believe the saying because I made it up, “It is just a bike, don’t worry, it’s not real life.” and I try to live by that motto when I deal with shops that disappoint me.  But this place may get on my IT IS MY FREAKING LIFE, because I am really tired of being nice to people who seem not to have any pride in their work.  Who knows?  But one thing I do know, I am looking for a new shop.  Screw ’em.

This is long and boring, and I am sorry, but I need to vent and not at the best wife ever, she has real problems, like having married me.  Hope all is well in the world out there, and my friends in the midwest, be safe the snow is coming.  Drive safe and be happy.  Oh and ride a bike too…  and to the Lobos, you had too much fun without me, I am jealous.

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Snotcycle and I have no idea how I did

January 30, 2011

Except I finished. That was good.

The course out in Leesburg VA was snowy and more snowier. So riding it was a bit of a challenge. Well, that is an understatement. Actually it was pretty tough going and in all honesty a freaking very hard slog.

The race was to be a two lap affair with each lap being about 9 miles long with very limited climbing, and had that been the case I might still be racing right now. As it was they cut the course to seven miles and made it only one lap. As it stood it was an all or nothing affair, and lining up, as I am prone to do, in the last row made it a nothing affair for me.

Well nothing is an exaggeration, I left the start line in the back of the field and ran my way to mid pack, yes ran, and then ran some more to stay mid pack and then got to ride my bike a bit. As far as riding, it was not a pleasant affair. There was no real trail, there was a small line of compacted snow that you had to stay on or you would be forced to run until you could find a section to remount the bike.

Really you were at the mercy of the rider in front of you, if he or she had a bobble, you had a bobble and then the rider behind you had a bobble, and so on and so on. My placing, and trust me it will not great was slightly effected by what was going on around me. It seemed that every time I got going someone would have a slip, fall or drift off line and cause everyone behind to get off and run/walk or slip/slide until remounting was possible. So all in all, something that should not have been fun. It was fun.

I felt, and trust me I am in bad shape, it showed me how out of shape I had fallen. Either it is not as bad as I thought, because I felt pretty good at the end of the race, or I did so badly and raced so badly that I never got into the red zone…. I think the latter is the case. I need to get back on the bike and do some riding. It has become clear after this race, base miles and a diet are in order.

Snotcycle was fun, but it showed me that as much fun as I had, I could have had a lot more had I been in halfway decent shape and wasn’t sitting right below my maximum effort the entire ride. Maybe I never hit the point of no return in the race, I have reach the point of being mediocre is not an option. Ten pounds less and a bit of training would have made me much faster. My next race in March I will be ten pounds lighter and hopefully faster.

http://www.pbase.com/gmr2048/2011snotcylce

That is a link, maybe cut and paste it, and you can see pics. Look for the really fat dude in a black jacket and wool Pearl Izumi jersey sucking for breath and that would be me, oh and I have a beard too.

http://www.pbase.com/gmr2048/2011snotcycle

 

Try this link instead

Just sitting listening to the rain, and I am happy

January 26, 2011

NOT AT ALL!!!!!!!! I hate rain, I hate the wet, I hate the way it makes the trails unridable and it makes the little guy, AKA Willie, unhappy. Willie hates rain more than I do, it makes him wet and very unhappy. I can’t figure out why he hates it so much, but I theorize that it make be that his previous owners tossed him out on the side of a road in the rainy weather December a bit over two years ago. We have no clue how long he was out there alone, but we found him and took him. He has been a blessing in a black fur suit.

He does like sleeping on beds, he has his own bed too.

So what does that have to do with me? Well, Willie makes me smile and I have to drag his poor little hairy self out into the rain for a walk. So we will both be wet and a bit unhappy.

It also makes it a bit hard to ride, well at least outside, today. The trainer may be my friend. Well in all honesty, the trainer is never a friend, more like a mortal enemy to be avoided at all costs, but I live in the DC area and getting run over by cars who “don’t” see the 6’2″ dude on a bike wearing a orange jacket is not my idea of a good time. Hell on good days the freaking terrible drivers here buzz me on a regular basis, I guess because they can’t see me…. yeah that orange is really a stealth color. How I yearn for the days of riding in Europe, never a fear of cars running you down, another cyclist was more of a worry.

So this is a bit rambling and pointless but it fully represents my current state of mental affairs. A bit scattered and not fully formed. I keep hoping for a moment of clarity where this part of the world is not so bad for me, but that moment is not forth coming. The area makes me question why and how I ever wanted to come back to the States. Maybe it is just this area of the States, but my feelings are there are just too many cars on the road in the States and way to many people who don’t follow any traffic laws. These people put me in danger everyday when I ride and make me want to leave this country. I know the grass is always greener, but never wanting to be in this area of the country and having really wanted to return to Germany make being here even more bothersome. I need to get over it, but old habits die hard, and I love being unhappy.

On to happier thoughts, uh, I think it might stop raining sometime in the future. I might bake cup cakes and maybe I will ride the trainer.

Yeah the forecast in rain all day, I hate the trainer and really I am pretty bad at baking, I will probably burn everything. That’s it Ed, positive thinking.

All I see everyday anywhere I go.

I love traffic.

It is about time

January 22, 2011

I have decided a few things out for next year. I am, assuming I am in, doing the Cascade Cream Puff 100, the Iron Hill 100k, the Ouitcha (sp) Challenge, several Brevets and anything else that I fancy. But these races and rides I will be at in all my rotund glory.

I have been riding more than I have been lately and for all the merits of riding, it has a big drawback. It is cold right now, I still don’t have the right clothes, I am too cheap to buy them, and I have been home for 5 hours and am still cold. I think it may be time for a bath. Stay warm.

It was very good. Not dinner tonight, but July 16th, I can't wait.

The weekend was pretty good, really

January 18, 2011

Well aside from the toe breakage at least, it was a good weekend. I hung around the house with the best wife ever (however, she is not currently the best wife ever) and walked the dog a few times a day. Satisfying weekend really. Family time and Willie absolutely going on a stuffed animal rampage. Wish I had pictures his joy of pulling the stuffing out of stuffed critters is unreal. If I had just 1/10th of that happiness in my life would make me as happy as, well, about a 1000 times happier than I am.

We currently have ice covered roads and getting out of the house is hairy situation. Even the walking on the sidewalks is a very dangerous affair. We will be walking once the sun, sun coming out yeah right…. What I meant was, once the grey and dingy sky becomes a bit more grey, dingy and silverish so I can see where I am walking and when I fall and break my back one of our neighbors can call 911.

Riding yesterday was not so bad, as far as the toe went. Not much pain, and really the most pain was putting on the shoe on my slightly swollen foot.

Whatever…. I hate living here and will leave whenever I get a chance.

Oh, saw “True Grit” this weekend, and it is a excellent film. However getting there and getting home was a pain. Forty five minute drive for a thirteen mile drive and getting home was over an hour affair made the film not worth my time. If I ever go to a movie again it won’t be on a weekend or holiday.

It is time to move, the problem is we have two years and a whole bunch of months before the Army will move her…. I don’t know if I can live here that long.

I’ll tell you what I didn’t do.

January 15, 2011

I didn’t pick up Willie.

I didn't pick him up.

I didin’t run around the house with him and I didn’t ram my little toe into a shoe or a wall (of that I am truly not sure). I then most definitely didn’t break my toe.

Not a broken toe.

So I will not be riding this weekend, I will not be having much fun and I will not running any time soon.

I will be hoping to ride Monday, but this weekend is totally shot.

WILLIE IS MY FOOTBALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well up at 0600 makes me what?

January 11, 2011

Productive? No. Rather tired, yes. Why? Well because I went to bed late last night and it is my own fault. But really who can resist trying to finish a game on Xbox. God I need to shoot that machine. To top it off the game froze as the final action began, so I still didn’t even get to finish it. My goal for today, no Xbox, well until after I ride for a few hours.

Speaking of going outside, again, cold and colder. What the hell is going on? I know it is winter, I know it is supposed to be cold, but, jeez. Can’t we get a day over 35 degrees this week, oh and I mean one without winds gusting over thirty miles and hour. You know just a pleasant day. I think not, mostly because I really want a nice day, whoever is in charge of the weather in the cosmos will punish all of the USA to make sure I don’t get good weather. Ask Europe when I was there. Cold winters, rainy springs and non-summer summers and early falls. Yeah for nearly six years. Well Mid-Atlantic states, get ready for the Ed effect, it is in full effect.

Oh and I nearly forgot, why did I actually get up so early?

This is how he looks right now. Sleeping. But at O555 he was wide awake jumping on my head.

As the caption says, he was all kinds of awake at 0555. Well bully for him and not so bully for me. Oh well, the price of continual and unconditional love is getting up a little early and walking the little fellow early sometimes.

I hope to actually manage a good three to four hour road ride today, but we will see how bad the traffic and wind is going to be today. More on that tomorrow? Maybe, if I feel the need to bore the 12 people who looked at this yesterday. I am sure not a one of them read it, but at least they came by and peeked. Thanks.

I don’t proof read

January 10, 2011

Which is why this drivel is always poorly written and nearly pointless. But I persist, and nobody asks why, but I will likely never tell.

I point this out as I do the exact same with emails and sent one off to a frame builder that made me look like a complete ass. The builder, hopefully, hasn’t thrown me off his list, but it sounded like I just didn’t care if I got the frame built or not. I do care, I have been waiting nearly a year and likely have three more months.  I am excited I will have the bike to ride this summer.  I really need to start being more careful with some of my correspondence in the future. I will try.

On to other issues. Riding this weekend was pretty good. I rode on Saturday with a group from up Baltimore way and found myself wishing that I lived a bit closer to Patapsco State Park (I call the parks lots of names and I am not sure of the spelling). The ride was on mostly frozen trails and the route was very enjoyable. The people were pleasant, the trails fun and the skills of the others on the ride were very good. Me? I just plowed along over stuff and tried what I was pretty sure I could do and made a mental note of a couple of things that I will try next time. All in all a pretty good day.

Sunday was a solo ride, and it started at 28 degrees and ended at about 28 degrees….. It was three and half hours and I had very little fun. Except riding on my own for that long on a day when I would have rather played on the Xbox (I need to get rid of that thing) was minor victory and I hope I can continue getting out on my own and getting some miles in so that once April rolls around riding in Arkansas won’t be the same catastrophe that the Berryman Epic was. I still remember that ride and still find myself wondering how it all went so freaking wrong.

So all in all, a good deal of riding, a little less food than I would have liked and I need to get some longer wool sock, my ankles got very cold.

Oh, and David, thanks for the email. It pointed out that very few people have a life as good as mine and whether the weather is good or not I need to get out and ride. He has been held hostage by his work for two weeks, I have been held hostage by my Xbox. Turn it off and ride.

I am waiting for spring. Hurry up!

6:34

January 7, 2011

that is how far I rode yesterday, not six hours and thirty four minutes, rather six minutes thirty four seconds. Now that is no way to get in any kind of shape, and after that ride (whew it was hard) I purchased a pizza for lunch, and it was actually really bad, Fruity pebbles for lunch dessert and washed it down with a beer. Bad ride followed by bad food is not what I need to be doing. I need to be having bad cold rides that suck followed by eating only the bare minimum to get by until dinner. Not eating three breakfasts followed by a 15 minute ride and having two lunches (really I don’t eat all that much for lunch) and then a huge dinner. So what is in my future?

Well, it holds a change of lifestyle, no really. It is really becoming time to either cut bait and quit riding or at least make an effort to get out and ride on a regular basis. When will this change take place? Honestly, I don’t know. Hopefully soon, maybe Monday, really in needs to be the day for a change.

I know I complain constantly about weather, but it is cold around here, and I mean, at least for me really cold. 50 degrees is okay, but this constant 40 or below is starting to wear on me. Having the clothing for the temperature would help, but according to the averages this place has been about 10-14 degrees below normal, a little drier than normal, but for me way too cold.

So today is a waste, I will not do much of anything except sit here and think about what I need to do to get all hyped up to ride again, because that is what I really want to do, and figure out what my year will hold. I really think a lack of a plan for the year is killing my motivation. The best wife ever will have a big impact on what the summer holds, but hopefully she will only nix about half of what I want to do.

Monday holds a change, it has to, because if it doesn’t my year may be over before it even starts. Positive thoughts and attitude to follow next week, I freaking hope so.

Oh and this is a bit of what has bee killing me.

Flat tire, sucks but we all get them

A freaking hole in my tire, the tire is almost new!

The bike path. Nearly every street crossing is the same, glass, rocks, gravel and salt oh and don't forget the glass.

Why is my motivation gone?

January 5, 2011

Hell, I have no clue.  I feel like I should ride, I feel like I need to ride, but I feel like sitting around the house petting my Willie (that would be my dog of course) is a much better idea.  Maybe it is easier to sit at home petting the little fellow, but personally I think riding would make me feel better.  Headaches and more headaches seem to be the norm as of late.  The likely cause is not exercising, but I am not convinced.  It must be the air around here…..  you know Woodbridge VA is a polluted to no end…. or not.

I am going to eat shortly and then (I really hope so) a short ride.  Two or so hours of complete and total boredom.  Yeah I can’t wait.

Food, food and riding.

Oh one more thing, I go in for a little surgery end of January, nothing to worry about just a little repair and the recovery is supposed to be six to eight weeks!  Hahahahahahahaha, six to eight weeks, hahahahaha, hehehehehe.  I am hoping to be doing a race on the 26th of February.  I hope to not be in any kind of shape and suffer the entire time whining about how much racing sucks, but it is a goal.  We will see.  Two hours…  it is a start.

Never mind the book, that is one handsome guy.