Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend, CX worlds, etc.

I made my last post late last week because I was gone early in the week, and this past weekend wasn't over-eventful, but for the sake of a post I'll throw sumpin down.
I considered setting an alarm to get up a 5am to watch (live) the women race the World Cyclocross championships in Germany. But I was so sure Katie Compton (of the US) would win that I didn't bother. I got up a little before 8am to watch the men race, but checked the wmns results first. Katie lost. Got second. Man, she has been on fire this whole year and couldn't get it done on the most important one of them all. Bummer.
The men's race was good and Jon Page (of the US) was cruising in the front group, but apparently flatted in lap 3 and was out of it. Still a good race to watch though.
I'm sure 0% of my ~4 readers came here for a commentary on a race that happened a few days ago half way across the globe, so sorry.
Later Sunday there was group ride and big group rides are good this time of year. Several people came down from Indy (including a teammate of mine) and we all set out for ~3.5hrs. Temp was near 40, but there were some nasty winds blowing. I tried to take the front in hard wind sections to force myself into working hard. It ended up being a pretty good ride and wore me out just the right amount. I really dig that people drive down to ride w/ (us) here in B-town. It makes me feel so good about living here. That people who could pop out of their own garages and be riding choose to drive for ~1hr to ride where (I) live is awesome and says something about Bloomington. It's even better when the weather is more favorable and we can hang out after the ride, instead of changing clothes and staying inside to warm up.
Today (Tues) I had to go to a health screening thing for insurance. I had to fast for 12hrs prior, which sounds like a big thing. But I realized after doing it and getting home that I regularly don't eat for 12-14hrs anyway (from ~9pm-10 or 11am). It did cut into my riding time though by setting me back about 1hr. So I skipped riding today, but I think I'll be okay. Besides rumour is we have some heavy weather coming in the form of ice. So it's going to be all inside riding for a few days anyway.
I also took the time to read this entire interview. It took me about 3hrs to read, but the interview took 7hrs to conduct. It's Paul Kimmage of the London Sunday Times talking to Floyd Landis. Kimmage was a pro in the 80's on the successful RMO team and wrote the first book addressing doping in cycling, "Rough Ride." He's a good interviewer (not afraid to ask tough questions, follow them up, etc) and a good one for the topic of doping in cycling, having been there. If you're as intrigued as I am about doping in cycling, it's a must read.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Park Tool Summit (road trip to Chi-town)

This past weekend I journeyed north to The Windy City to take in the Park Tool Summit which is a two day (Mon/Tues), 9hr (+ lunch and other breaks)/day hands on training conference for bicycle mechanics. It is broken into 3 3hr classes per day put on by people who represent different companies where they give you step by step hands on experience w/ their product(s). It was a cool set of seminars and I had fun hanging out w/ friends that either were there for the summit and/or live in Chicago now. Plus I got to sit in a class w/ this guy who basically IS Park Tool. Having only seen Calvin Jones in pictures and never meeting him I figured he was a total weirdo and probably a pompous know-it-all. He's totally down to earth and really funny/personable. I guess you can't judge a book by its cover.

(I didn't take many pics there, but this is the Shimano class room)

I stayed at my brother's place in Chinatown, just south of downtown and the event was at an airport hotel, so it was ~1hr to get there w/ traffic. So w/ the commute and the schedule of classes I was gone most of the time, but I still got to hang out w/ Evin and Lisa and their daughter Ramona. And Sunday night Evin and I got some good Chinese food in Chinatown square.
So w/ the trip I missed a couple days of riding, but no big deal.This turned into a scheduled "rest week" (as if traveling, sitting through classes all day, etc is "resting"), so I'm back at it next week.
It was a nice little trip but I'm glad to be back/ Now I'm getting the details down for our annual spring training camp in Knoxville, TN.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Not only a killer Van Halen song, "unchained" was how my Sunday ride ended.

Notice what's missing in the above chain! Mechanicals suck but they happen to us all. I was on a solid group ride w/ ~8 people and a little over 2hrs in I felt something not right in my drivetrain. I couldn't pin in down at first, but after I was able to notice its consistency I new it was the chain. After slowing enough that I could eyeball it I could see I had a link plate popped loose and I knew it wouldn't be long until it snapped completely. I thought if I could totally "baby-it" on any incline I may be able to ride it home. The first "decent hill" after that it snapped and I was calling for a ride.
Luckily the sun was out and the temp wasn't terrible, being stranded in the middle of Jan has the potential to be dangerous. I struck out w/ my first two lifelines but was able to get a hold of a friend just as she was leaving work, so she came and scooped me up. I had to wait nearly 1hr form break to ride, but it was no big deal really.
What amazed me most was the number of people in big ass trucks or SUV's that drove right past me as I was walking w/ a bike in ~32 weather on country roads. Nobody even stopped to ask if wanted a ride (which I would have taken at the early point before I had gotten a hold of anyone). Like, what did these people think I was doing out there, cross training?
Anywho, I'm not complaining much, I still got in over 2.5hrs of riding; which I'll take considering the rest of the week was indoor riding.
This week looks like it may deliver more opportunity for inside riding too. We'll see. This coming weekend looks to be okay so far, but I'll be gone. I'm going to Chicago for the Park Tool Summit, which is a two day hands on series of classes/seminars put on by bike companies for "professional" mechanics. I know some people who went last year and said it was pretty good and worth going to. The actual classes are Monday and Tuesday, but I'm going up Sunday. I'm going to stay at my brother's place and hang w/ then for the few days while I'm there. If I'm going to get myself established as the "cool uncle," I'm going to have to see their daughter more frequently. She's ~5months old now and I can't risk her starting to form memories w/out me there wearing a beer helmet or some other various "'cool uncle' party attire" (like douchy neon Ray-Ban style sunglasses).
So that's bout all I have going on. I think I race in about 6weeks. It seems like a long way away, but it'll be here before I know it. Fucking bring it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fatty guy

That's my sweet word play w/ the word "fatigue." Get it; fatty guy? See I figure if you're a fat guy, you're probably tired all of the time, so this must be the origin of the word "fatigue." Okay, maybe not. And I haven't put on any weight, but I'm feeling exhausted. I'm having trouble getting out of bed in the mornings and feel as though I'm dragging lately. I think Lindsay's surgery ordeal took a bit out of me, w/ traveling and sleeping (read: being awake all night) in a chair in the hospital AND trying to work out through all that wore me down. Now that I'm home and back in a routine, I'm feeling the effects of it all.
I did manage to ride outside everyday last week (except Sat, which is a no ride day for me). I had some decent quality rides for the weather. Friday I had a 20min power test scheduled. I way prefer to do these outside if at all possible. I told myself if it was above the mid 20's, I was doing it outside. It was 29, so out I went. By the time I got to the course I was using it had started flurrying to boot. Sweet. I cranked the test and was pretty miserably cold, but got it done.
Then Sunday I set out w/ the local flahutes for a 3:30-4hr ride on mostly unpaved roads. It's a ~100k route that goes around the NE/E/SE sides of Lake Monroe including hunter access "roads" that are under water most of the year. Most of the rest of it is gravel roads. Gravel roads are hard in general, but these in particular had relatively fresh gravel that was huge. I'd say the stones were about half the size of (a) fist and very hard to ride on. We were on them for well over an hour. Add to all this that it was freezing or right thereabouts and most everything was snow covered, and the ride gets the nod for the distinction of epic. What was even more epic though, was how bad my back and neck hurt the following day; it was not pleasant. I slept on a heat pad Monday night and felt better Tuesday morning, but man it was rough.
On a totally unrelated and off topic note:
I picked up a bottle of Dave's Gourmet brand Ghost Chili sauce. The Ghost Chili is the hottest pepper in the world, and this sauce is no joke. I mixed some of this about the size of a dime into ~3-4 table spoons of other BBQ sauce and it was very hot. Not un-edible hot, but hot.
And speaking of hot, while the outdoor temps here aren't terrible, it has snowed like a bastard. There will be some indoor riding being done this week. Right now I'm tired, but motivated, so I have to ride this out as long as I can. Then crash and rest for a couple days. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hospitals, driving, worrying...

My post-Christmas week was a doozy. I can't complain much, I wasn't the one "in" the hospital, rather I was just "at" the hospital.

(I got Lindsay a cat at the gift shop to make her feel a little more at home I really think it helped some)

Being "at" the hospital sucks though. I spent 3 nights and 5 days there. Lindsay spent 5 nights and 6 days there. But she was drugged out for 3 or so of those days and I was totally straight.
I somehow managed to toss together a reasonable week of workouts despite driving back and forth to Indy, sleeping (read: not sleeping) in chairs and/or waiting rooms and dealing w/ the general concerns that surround pancreatic surgery and the recovery that follows.
I had to improvise and use what I had to workout while at the hospital. I ran stairs (ran the first day, but the second day I was too sore to run them, so I more like walked them), did core stuff, did push ups and tried to walk around as much as I could. I rode every day I was home, be it on the trainer or outside if possible and managed to squeeze in almost 10hours of training time, which isn't too bad.
Obviously, our New Years eve was spent in the hospital. We had a "veteran" nurse who has worked every NYE since 1971! She brought sparkling grape juice for the other staff and the patients that could have it. Lindsay was cleared to drink whatever at that point, so we were able to toast in 2011 in a hospital bed w/ grape juice. It was nice and surely memorable.
Lindsay has been a serious trouper through this surgery and I believe she's going to come out of it much stronger. She certainly be much lighter. Not that she needed to loose weight but as if this writing, I'd guess she's consumed ~1500 food calories in the past 8 days.
Finally, for those of you who read my lame-ass blog year after year I'll hit you w/ my 2010 stats: I have 426 training hours (8:02 av/week) and 5,819 recorded miles. My mileage isn't totally accurate because my MTB and CX bikes don't have odometers, so there are miles ridden but not counted. I'd put my mileage right at 6,000 probably. My hours are pretty well accurate. There are a few missed hours where I accidentally deleted a workout before recording it, but it's basically right. My goal is always 500hours. I always have this goal, but go about my biz w/out really actively working toward it specifically.
Well, that's that. 2011, here we come.
Sorry this post is jumbled, but I had a ton happening w/ Lindsay being gone for so long and getting back home yesterday (Sunday), trying to workout, working my job and taking care of all the shit I have to take care of. I have to stay busy all the time, as those that know me know, and I have had no problems w/ that lately!