Archive for April, 2011

Is it time to get all angry about SSers?

April 29, 2011

NO! I am not angry this morning, I am just a little upset with myself. So being all self righteous about anything is, well, self righteous. Later folk, I will feel better about myself and get all angry at people I have no effect on and who all drop me like a rock. But maybe I will be just a little funny. Maybe.

When I went to the unnamed race in Arkansas and got screwed on the timing I kind of went on what I go on best, an overeating bender. Now I didn’t go out and eat tons of ice cream, drink beer to excess or just load up on junk food exactly. I just started eating larger portions than I need even if I am riding a bunch. My performance on the bike has suffered and my attitude about riding has suffered too. I have put on 7 pounds since the race and I really think (because it can never be my own fault for eating too much, right?) that had the race gone a little better and the timing been accurate I may have retained some desire to ride. I really did, in my own estimation, poorly on a personal level and that pretty much has killed my motivation. I need to get it back!

Now in my own defense, I am nowhere near the weight I was when I left WAstate, so that is something, but….. If I am not careful I will be looking at the scale seeing that dreaded 240. That cannot happen. So what is all this garbage about? Verbalizing what I need to do, and not just to the best wife ever and the Kaiser who will pretty much not be honest with me not because they don’t care but because they love me (who knew). So hopefully this will be an impetuous for a change. That change is removing the freaking fork from my hand and putting down the burger before I get too big to fit out the door of my house.

Not mine! But I want I do want to be able to see my own! Stop eating so much!


A little old ride

April 28, 2011

On top of Mount Weather!

So I did one of the must do rides here, and it was, likely still is, pretty okay. I had heard it was a death march of doom with the streets lined with the bodies of the dead cyclists whose bleached bones that made the road look like an ivory path to heaven…. Okay, maybe not all that bad, but it is supposed to be pretty challenging. It kind of sort of was.

It was just 55 miles of riding with just a hair under 4000 feet of climbing, so not to bad really. The wind was actually the worst part. On the way out I had a 20 plus MPH tail wind, meaning I had a 20 plus MPH wind on the way back to the city. Along the way I had two grades of a bit over 12 percent and a couple of grades over 15 percent, but those where actually very short and although not exactly fun not too hard.

Another good thing is that I wasn’t nearly killed on the ride, unlike several I have done here in the city recently. I think the gas crisis has just made folks mad, not made them drive less. Not really great for me, but eventually if the gas prices get high enough folks will have to stop driving a bit. To be honest, I look forward to that day!

I am saving my rant about Single Speed racers (kind of an oxymoron IMO) until I am truly angry about something…. Tomorrow, probably.

Still not really happy, but…..

April 25, 2011

I know why. The pollen is thick, so thick that when the wind blows the air actually becomes yellowish in nature. Not good for me, not good for my car and not good for my riding. So that means I am sniffing, sneezing, coughing and acting all like weak little sissy boy. I like that spring is here, means the summer is coming, but I could do without the tree sex. Those damn trees.

On to other news, riding must increase. Riding has been hard for me for a number of reasons, but it mostly boils down to too much traffic to deal with on road rides. The number of folks on the roads makes me cringe whenever I hear a car come up behind me. Even with gas prices so high, and I had hoped that would cause lighter traffic, the traffic is as thick and angry as ever. Maybe five dollars a gallon would change the number of cars on the road.

I am preparing to head out with the KaiserMeister for a little walk. He likes walking and he still has his winter hair on so we must go early or he starts panting like a crazy fool. Hope all is well in the land of wherever you live.

I almost forgot, well not really, but didn’t think to type about it until now, my frame is done.

Should be a good looking bike with a fattish, slowish rider atop the poor thing. Hopefully I’ll have it this week. If not, early next.

Yeah, so I’m not exactly happy

April 22, 2011

I have had a mixed week. Several good days, where I don’t hate being here, a day where I really want to leave and move to a 1000 acre farm and never see a person again, and today. Well today is a blah day, rain, cool temperatures, and just a bit of wind reminding me that summer is not yet here and spring is still in full effect. Not that the pollen count has let me forget it is spring, believe me!

But that isn’t what has been irking me. I have two complaints. First is easy. I want to do a 200k ride tomorrow, but will pass. Why? Well, I am tired (and I haven’t been to a Brevet in about four months) of seeing my fellow “cyclist” dressed like homeless vagabonds relaying stories of how they found the ill fitting clothes the adorn their bodies with in the trash bin behind the dumpster by the local bargain bin bicycle shop. I hear things like this xxxxxxxxxxl jersey doesn’t fit exactly correctly (looks like a bright pink dress with a green tiger and a upside down misprinted pair of bowling pins on each sleeve) but it only cost four dollars. Money wasted. Dress like you ride, not like you are a broke fool.

Yeah, I used to have to shop from the bargain bins, but I never looked like these people. They bother me, they paint me with the same brush and they make people who drive around here respect my right to the road less. Not just because they dress like clowns, but because they ride like clowns too. Expletive, expletive, expletive. These clown looking cyclists don’t obey traffic laws, ride in four and five abreast on the road blocking traffic and god knows what else. It makes the people in cars who have to pass me later (because even though these clown looking cyclists have finished Paris-Brest-Paris they can hardly finish a 200 in under 12 hours not because they are having fun or just enjoying the scenery, but because they also max out the P-B-P times too as they are barely fit enough to really ride a bike they do have a hard headedness (sp) that I do respect even if I don’t have much for them personally) are all kinds of angry and they buzz me in their cars.

I don’t like that and why do people I will only see for about an hour a day bother me so much? Well, because I will have to deal with drivers they have made angry for about eight hours. So for the next rant, tomorrow maybe, I will tackle single speed racers. Yeah, those guys.

Now this is how a Randonneur should look

What to do?

April 19, 2011

Too much stuff

Today I have had a good ride, a good walk with Willie, until he went head first into some good smelling (to him) stuff and so far a pretty good day. So how does that happen? I still don’t know how to make my day always better. There must be a consistent thread that makes all my good days good, but for the life of me I don’t know what it is. Really I have had some bad rides on good days and really good rides when I was in a very bad mood, what me in a bad mood? Never! Okay maybe always, but still I have good days, really.

So I guess I will need to keep looking for what makes me happy. And I will be honest, even living here today isn’t so bad. No I am not drunk, or smoked something or done anything illegal, but yeah today I am not unhappy being here. I just hope I can have a few more days like this.

A happy me is a good me. I am off to the mall to return some glasses that aren’t right. I hope the glasses store doesn’t give me grief. Later all, ride a bike today, it makes most days better.

Thinking, not really, but doing whatever it is my brain does

April 18, 2011

So as I rode along yesterday thinking about stuff, well mostly that stuff was where in the world do I want to move, I came to a conclusion. It was not a happy thought, but I do think it is accurate.

I won’t ever really be happy anywhere. Some places will make me more pleasant to live with, but happy? I am not exactly sure if I have ever really been happy anywhere I lived.

All I am looking for the is the perfect place to live!

So let me kind of explain. The only place I never wanted to leave was Columbia Mo. The reasons for that were that after five years of living in one place, I do think the longest I have ever lived in one place, I had some very good friends in the area, pretty good trails to ride a mountain bike, and decent roads without too many angry driver. It seems that old farmers on gravel roads, for the most part, aren’t in a big hurry and pretty friendly. Missouri also has some great races and it is close-ish to a bunch of great riding a days drive away. I really liked it, I still call it home and one day I really hope to return to live there, but will it be as good as last time? I don’t know yet.

Then there is Germany. I love Germany, well to be honest, I love the idea of Germany. I remember all of my times in Germany fondly and have idealized a whole bunch of my time there. Great beer, good food (IMO) and I have a few really good friends there. If we went back, I have a few guys to ride with that are fun and funny. But Germany is Germany and not everyone wants Americans there. Also, even if the road riding is very safe, and the drivers very understanding of your rights on road the trails are not perfect. In fact a good deal of them are only glorified cart roads from pre-history….. which is very cool, but really not very MTBey. Oh and that weather… winter is winter, spring is spring and sometimes winter, and summer doesn’t always arrive, it does however sometimes disguise itself as spring, which can also be winter, and then there is the fall and fall is sometimes winter. So cold and I don’t like cold. Oh yeah, then there is the rain……

Now for WAstate, well what can I really say about that wet, cold and most gloomy place? I have some really good friends who still live there, it has some of the world’s best trails and it never has a summer. I mean, they have a time that they call summer, but really it is about two weeks when they get only two feet a rain a day instead of five feet of rain a day. Okay, I am exaggerating just a bit, WAstate can be one of the most beautiful places on earth, but the price you pay to see that beauty is pretty high. Yeah, that price is paid in rain. I think you might get that I don’t like rain. That is and isn’t true. I don’t mind rain, too much, but my biggest beef with WAstate isn’t the rain (although you might doubt that by reading what I have typed) it is that it never gets truly warm, EVER. I really just want a nice summer, a few weeks above 85 or so and sunny skies. Is that asking too much? It is for WAstate. Could I live there again, hmmmmm? Maybe, but only if I could escape to California for a week or so every couple of months. I love the trails, I have good friends and the awesome road riding, but……

WashDC, ohh what to say. So far the best thing I can say about here is that there are some good trails within a couple hours drive and that the drivers here are stupid fools who think that they should run cyclist down on a regular basis. No, really they seem to aim for you. I am meeting people and have had some good times on rides, so it isn’t all bad, but getting used to the worlds (nearly) worst road riding, the lack of good trail options close to home and the traffic, I mean TRAFFIC, I am finding it hard to adjust. And what is up with the weather? Wind, wind and wind, oh let’s not forget the rain that seems to come into the area every week and the wind. Maybe I am finicky, but bad traffic, bad drivers, not great weather, trails too far away and really bad road riding do not make a great place for me to live, but would I be happier elsewhere? I must admit there is good food near our house and many things to do, but…..

Now this is all very long and if you read this far, I am sorry to have wasted your time. But this is all been on my mind due to the fact that the best wife ever has an opportunity to move to Kentucky. Would I be happy there? No, but could I me less displeased with my home? Now that I can’t answer. I never seem happy anywhere, and in hindsight, I would truly hate a whole lot of places were it not for the people I ride with, but riding is not everything and I need to find a place where I am at least content. That is going to be difficult, because until I have found enough people to ride with, good trails, decent roads to ride and the hindsight to realize living in certain places wasn’t so bad I will never be even partly content. I need to find somewhere to be content, because always living angry and unhappy is not healthy.

I did it! I beat the time!

April 15, 2011

By over an hour! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! And only four guys (could have been hairy girls) yelled at me and two cars, and this is a fact from yesterday, two cars almost ran me over. Both pulled out right in front of me, I mean really 6’2″ and 4,561,794 pounds you think folks could see me.

So today I will likely ride for a bit, but the best wife ever returns today and I must decide clean house or bike ride. Ummm, she will forgive me for being me, however if I reach the 5,000,000 pound mark I will never forgive myself. Okay, maybe I am not that big yet, but trust me I am working on it.

So, one more little bee in my bonnet, these gas prices. Is it really a story? The news channels seem to think so. Every third story is how high the gas prices are, but who cares? I don’t, I just hope it translates into getting some of the fools off the road so I can have a slightly better ride. Truthfully we can afford it, some folks can’t but that isn’t my problem, get a bike and ride or use mass transit, which DC does have and is relatively decent. Ack!

Let me think, I need to ride and I need to get the hell out of here because I need to pick the wife after I ride. Happy thoughts and happy ride (I hope).

5,000,000 pounds here I come

Egads, drivers with cell phones

April 14, 2011

Are scary. Just being back from Missouri and Arkansas I had finally remembered that people have four fingers and a thumb, not just a middle finger so imagine my shock and horror as I went for a ride yesterday to realize I was back in NO(rthern) V(irgini)A. in thirteen minutes I was yelled at twice, once (I believe involved the middle finger driver) and nearly squished by a woman on a cell phone twice. I decided that, perhaps, yesterday was not the day to ride, so I went home.

Welcome back!

Today will be a better day. All I want to do is beat yesterdays ride time. Twenty eight minute total. That shouldn’t be too hard, but then again if two people salute me with one finger and other people on cell phones try to run me down I might not make the time goal.

Better thoughts, umm, I have, ummm, a great dog. Willie rocks! That is all folks, be groovy.

That face says it all. "Where is my treat?"

Very quickly

April 13, 2011

I went to Arkansas and did a race. The race didn’t include me in the results, I emailed with my time, not ride time but time the Garmin was turned on for the race. I emailed the race director and he added 20 minutes, or so it looks to me, onto my actual time. The race was good, and I won’t mention the name. I will not return due to the timing problem and me not being included in the original results. Petty? Maybe. But I want the time I turned in, not what the dude who runs the race thinks it should be. Oh, great trails, decent aid stations, mostly good (well they are all rock stars, but…..) volunteers.

On my trip I think I gained 45 tons of fat! Tomorrow I will begin to shed the weight, again. Oh, I am back in the NO(rthern) V(irgini)A. Not so bad, not so good, but a fact.

More in the near future. I need to get back on a schedule for riding and eating because M&Ms and Chicken McNuggents are not the way to be healthy. Later folks. Tomorrow I RIDE LIKE THE WIND!!!!!! Well, really the very weak breeze.