Archive for May, 2011

Yeah, so still sick! Why the Face?

May 31, 2011

I have been riding but seem to have a cold or some kind of death bringing disease running through my system. Riding isn’t all that great either because I feel like I have a cold that is causing me to sneeze and have a very stuffy nose. So what did I do? I entered a 65 mile race in Ohio for this coming weekend…. Good idea buddy.

Otherwise, it has gotten very warm very quickly and in spite of the rapid onset of the heat I LOVE it. Heat has always been a love of mine, too hot, maybe with the coffee, but too hot to be outside, almost never. It is very humid, and I have never loved humidity, so I am taking the good with the bad. I am trying to be outside as early as possible with Willie walking and then ride in the shade on the trails a little later in the day.

Riding slowly in the shade, but riding none-the-less. Miles are what I am after. Hours on the bike are what I need, but today I am resting, not because I am lazy, but because I feel like the illness that I have has been given a second life by riding way to hard this weekend. Hopefully a day off now gets me a good ride Saturday. A win? HAH, but a finish that I can be happy with.

In other news, and I know my friend will make it this far because (god knows why) he reads my ramblings, had a heart attack after a 600k brevet. He is doing well now and I hope for his continued recovery. He is the reason I try to ride these stupid long races, go on long get lost in the country rides and occasionally Brevets. He was and still is a role model for me, not only for riding, but for how to live life and how to be happy. With luck, the next time I see him he will be riding his bike to a good dinner. Get well as quickly as possible and listen to those doctors…. they do have a slight idea of what they are talking about.

I hope to ride many hundreds of miles with my friend on the gravel for many years to come.


Willie went to DC and got kicked off the steps of the Lincoln Memorial!

May 26, 2011

Yeah, the Monument Police (they are really called that) kicked the poor little fellow off the steps. He wasn’t even close to the actual memorial…. Stupid Monument Police. They let the stinky, nasty disgusting, loud, worthless, and less than the respectful masses of preteens and teens inside the memorial, but not a Willie on the steps. Oh, and for some reason screaming babies with dirty diapers are allowed because apparently that is showing respect to the former presidents…. uh, yeah. I am sure Lincoln, Jefferson and the monuments honoring those Americans around the mall did all they did for dirty diapers and the disrespectful youth and not a one of them had a dog. I am still a bit angry about being thrown from the steps.

Just before the dog haters kicked us out!

But aside from that it was a very nice trip. Mel and I had some very good food, saw some very cool things, and really enjoyed our time in DC. For a city, there are many worse. I will say that DC is not Paris, but really no place on earth comes close to being Paris.

He never made it to Paris, but he thought the Washington Monument was pretty tiny.

Now we are back to normal life. I am walking the Kaiser Wilhem around our neighborhood and Mel is back at work. Me? I am sick! I have a sore throat, slight headache and am feeling just drained. Why? I don’t know where or how I got this “summer cold” but it sucks. Having just finished three good days on the bike to feel like this seems unfair.

Out for a quick 78 miles! I had planned on 50ish but felt motivated.

Unfair because I am trying to get myself in shape (yeah right) to race a 100 miler. I may still go to the race and get utterly destroyed by the course because it sounds like fun. If they have a fat boy class I might just have to go. Have a good day.

Watching the Giro

May 20, 2011

Universal Sports has terrible commentary, but it is live and the race is a great show. I like it. The Giro is an event that I have seen in person a couple of time, had a person I know finish and have ridden some of the climbs and truly enjoyed them.

The Giro does one thing that I don’t like. It makes me want to find a better doctor so I can ride much faster and loose the 10-15 pounds I am always trying to get rid of.

Contador, in particular, might be a great rider without the aid of modern science, but with the aid, he is spectacular. Unfortunately it means folks who are not aided by modern pharmaceuticals will never be able to compete on a even surface.

Me neither. My little old races have people who are being helped along not just with great genetics, but a few of them have got to be using performance enhancing drugs. Why bother at races like mine? I don’t know? To be certain, it feels good to win, but…. yeah I would rather do well on my own, or fall flat on my own than use something that “helps” me along.

I am sure some of you, the few who read this, might be wondering if I have heard or seen or have suspicions of who may be using helpful drugs. I have not and I don’t care to guess but if what I CONI, the BDR, USA Cycling and other sporting bodies in Europe have found in the junior ranks as well as the masters levels if not rampant use of drugs, at least more people than suspected are using. If you need that kind of positive reinforcement then you need to go see a shrink and figure out why your mom, dad, of whatever didn’t hug you enough as a child.

I ride with what my genetics allow, I wish everyone else would do the same. Would I win something? No, but at least the field would be fair.

Not much up at all

May 19, 2011

Yeah, that says it all. I am just hanging out at the house while wave after wave of rain and thunderstorms move through. The trails are muck, the roads are wet then dry and then I am getting rained on.

A barrel bridge, apparently the only one in Virginia.

Being able to post interesting words and funny situations requires interesting and funny things to happen. When I am stuck at the house looking at the sky hoping for a bit of respite from the weather other than the rain drops bouncing off my eyeballs nothing interesting is happening.

With luck today I will go out to Mt. Weather outside of DC and do the “hardest ride ever”. However as I get rain drops bouncing off my eyeballs I realize I will ride close to home.

The weather! Oh vey, the weather!

May 15, 2011

It isn’t so bad, just rain off and on the day leading up to a nine hour race, which could have made the course terrible, but it didn’t.

A quick report, I didn’t ride fast enough, I cut a side wall on my front tire the last lap and we (two person team) didn’t win. Longer report may follow but likely won’t. I know we finished in the top ten with ten laps in 9 hours for a total of 83 miles. Not bad for a day and I feel pretty good today. Not sore, not really all that tired, at least not physically, but I could use a couple hours of sleep. Yeah, as short as the race write up is, I really had a good time.

Rain off and on is what we have forecast for the next week, and with luck I should get to ride in the rain about 10 or so hours this week. Can’t wait. Honestly the weather until Friday has been phenomenal and hopefully the great stuff comes back soon.

A few pics and then I am going to watch the Giro! Sicily, what a truly lovely place, and I say that in all honestly. I absolutely loved out short time there.

On your mark!

The first real climb of the race.

I hope there is a guy in this picture, if not... well I will delete it and find the one with the guy

I feel good enough about this setup to post a picture.

I love road spray!

Thursdays are for something

May 12, 2011

Not sure exactly what they are good for, but as far as I can tell, it is to get people to Friday, which means they get a mini vacation from work. This week it means I get to ride with a friend that I haven’t seen in awhile. I hope we will have a good ride. Finding a good spot to ride in the local area is not as easy as one might think. My friend doesn’t have as much time as me so I am hoping to pick a spot that she will enjoy.

Fountainhead is not so bad, but still not a great ride in my opinion…. I mean it is very close, but a really good ride, not really. Laurel Hill, okay fast, easy and much closer, but fun and a good ride, nah. Wakefield…. uh I never go there. So where? I am hoping to ride up in Maryland on some trails in Patapsco. But, I don’t really know the trails up there all that well so maybe I will ride down here. It is not good to have to make decisions about where to ride.

If all goes well and it won’t, but I will be racing on Saturday. Now do I mean RACING? Or just riding on a course I paid to ride? I suspect the latter. I will try to go as fast as possible, and if there is a slight chance to do well I will do everything I am capable of to do my best. So I expect a mid-pack finish. Not much else to say, write or report. I am a truly boring person with very little going on in my like at the moment.

Just riding along.

Hey there, I am on the road

May 10, 2011

I went out for a 3 plus hour ride and only had one real problem with a car. Well it wasn’t a car, it was a Tiger Woods want to be woman minivan, Buick Enclave. Apparently she was worried about having grass thrown on her car, not running over a four ton man on a bike. Otherwise it uneventful. Just a few rollers and not so much stinking wind. Ahh, I still love the wind.

What else to complain about? Eventually I will get to SSer racers…. but I am getting there with my anger. Honestly, I am losing my anger because I haven’t ridden in a race in a long time so until I do race again my Racer Boyz anger will be delayed. Mostly because I am racing this weekend.

I am boring today, and feeling rather tired so that is all.

Getting there with the bike

Oh, yeah almost forgot, I changed brakes yesterday on the bike and am thinking about swapping out stems to shorter her up just a bit. It is getting there, but it does have two problems. One is that a 185 rotor on a King rear hub won’t fit, which means I need a new wheel or use smaller rotors and the other will be addressed in a later post. I think I am looking at a DT Swiss hub…. with a 10mm (I think) skewer looking dealy thing. Anyhoo, I am out of here!

Still no venom for the SSer racer boyz, today, just a bit of ole’ St. Louis

May 8, 2011

We were back in Missouri for a week and I had a good time, mostly. Except for all the driving. I did a road ride around St. Louis proper and was a bit shocked to see what the city looked like. I can say honestly, I do not remember the city being so full of the homeless and having nearly as many burnt out houses as well as those houses just abandoned. Mind you I was riding downtown, but I have been there before and it was not as depressed as it is now.

I followed just a bit of this

These are how the roads looked, kind of wish they had just left them bricked

Apparently the economic recovery hasn't reached this person

Not the only one, but one of many!

Well half of the Arch

Now I am back in the NO(rthern) V(irgini)A, so life is over as we know it! Okay, okay, not really, but I am going to do a bit more driving to areas to ride. It is just safer and more sensible…. well, safer at least.

Last but not least, I did get my new custom frame and it looks freaking awesome, and I will get pictures up, but I have a few little things to work out before then. I hope I get it all set up and get really happy on the bike. Right now it is a bit different than all my other bikes. I will swap out a few parts, change brakes four or five times and swap out the seat post thirty or forty times and maybe it will be all set up. Give me time….