29 November 2006

3 days off the bike

And boy, do I need it! After stacking 6 days in a row, with all rides being 2+ hours, I'm a bit stiff and sore. Nothing like a shock to the system to get the metabolism going again. 16 hours of training spread over 6 days will make you sleep good at night. I took today off to go Xmas shopping and the H.O. , Il Bambino and I leave for the beach tomorrow. She has some BS meeting down there and seeing how I'm not gainfully employed, I will be playing the part of loving husband and father. Plus, there's a huge outlet mall there with Puma and Adidas and the season is over, so the bike shops will be blowing shit out.

My brother and I did the cross loop last night. It was 69 degrees when we left and 67 when I got home, at 8 pm! I'm sure we'll pay for the warm weather later in winter...! Of course, I could be in Colorado right now. Breck got 12 inches of powder last night...! That place is freaking idyllic. I would have little second thought about selling all our shit and moving out there! The H.O. says the same, but she'd start to bitch on the 3rd day of 20 degrees and snow...thin blood!

Anywho...out 'til Saturday...

26 November 2006

70 and sunny

The schools may suck, the economy may be less than stellar, and there may be a few too many rednecks around here, but it's 70 and sunny with no wind today. How's the weather where you live?

Today was the 4th day in a row on the bike for me. Nothing like a 60 mile jaunt to close out the stretch. The group was big and varied this morning, thus creating a good ride. Stacking days like this really seems to help me. The legs don't feel altogether bad. I'm definitely tired though. I haven't put more than 10 hours in a week, on the bike, since about September...! Nothing like jumping from 5-7 hours right back up to 12!

Christmas is in 29 days! I haven't bought a thing yet. The beauty of the internet is the fact that by 9pm tomorrow, I'll be almost done. I really hate the mall...


24 November 2006

Now THIS is more like it

The weather finally broke. Yesterday was sunny, albeit a bit windy still. One could tell the sun was back on the clock though. The warmth felt good on my face.

My brother and I did a pre-turkey ride on the cross bikes. I was a bit out of sorts. My bum shoulder was acting up, so I didn't feel all that great. Sometimes it hurts so bad that I get nauseous! Riding didn't help. It only exacerbated the problem and created a huge headache. I decided to medicate and took a Vicodin and a cyclobenzaprine before going to Mom's for dinner.

I was HHHIIIIGGGHHHH! I got home last night @ 7pm and was in bed, asleep by 9pm. 11 solid hours of sleep were what the Doc ordered. I was foggy when I woke up, but still did 2 hours on the road bike.

My old rear Ksyrium SL is about to give up the ghost. It sounded like two old folks humping in the back of a car today. Nothing but creaks, moans and squeaks. Not confidence inspiring...

It has served me well for three years and untold races and was retired about 30 minutes ago. I may rebuild it, but that will have to wait until after the new bike gets completed.

The H.O. is gone with Il Bambino, so it's quiet around here. The roofers finished @ 5pm. They'll be back in the A.M. to finish the ridgevent and clean up. One of them fell through the roof this afternoon. Why you put the fattest guy on the bad part of the roof is beyond me. Fortunately, he didn't come through the ceiling.

You may hate on me now...! I'm still a fat masters racer, but we know the bike isn't holding me back!

22 November 2006

Please file into the Ark in an orderly fashion

It's been raining for two days. I don't mean the little pissy rain that just gets stuff wet, I mean hard, cold, wind from the north rain. Nothing says lovin' like 42 degrees and driving rain. So much for riding outside. I'd almost rather it be ass-biting cold, but sunny and clear. It actually sleeted here yesterday. This in South Carolina for crying out loud, not Ohio!
We are going to attempt a ride tomorrow morning, before engorging ourselves on turkey. I hope the rain stops. I really don't want to ride the trainer tomorrow. :( Temps are supposed to be back into the upper 60s by Saturday. No wonder my sinuses hurt...

February 23rd is the delivery date for the new custom carbon rig. I feel a bit guilty building it up with Ultegra, but it will be the race bike. I just cringe everytime I think about crashing the Ridley and destroying it.

The roof guys started Monday...! I guess we'll see them Friday to finish up. Thankfully, they had the foresight to finish the front and not just tear the entire roof off of the house.

Happy Turkey Day!

20 November 2006

Freakin' Mondays...


Computer went tits up
-reloaded EVERYTHING
-spent QT with tech support

Lunch with the Head Office
-dropped phone in toilet at restaurant

Roof guys show up...at noon
-all look as if they've spent some QT in the 'pen
-doors locked, blinds drawn

I'm going to bed....

18 November 2006

It's 1:04pm...

...and I've already had a full day. The day began with a nice 2-1/2 road ride through Lower Richland county. One would think that the group might have been large today, given that it's BEAUTIFUL outside. BZZZZZT! Wrong answer! 3 us of rolled out this morning. Paul was out on his new bike. He's been off the bike for about 12 weeks after getting popped by a car and breaking his femur in FOUR places. He didn't seem any worse for wear, but I could tell that he lost a lot of power in his bad leg.
When I returned to my humble abode, Lowe's had delivered the materials for our new roof. Instead of, I don't know, putting them on the driveway, they decided the best place would be on my grass. If you know me at all, you probably know that my yard is very important to me. Needless to say, the guy that answered the phone in the Commercial sales Department at Lowe's has a little less ass right now...! I gave them the ultimatum of coming back within the hour to move the two full pallets off my grass or I would come by and pickup my refund check. They took 42 minutes to get here.
I also spent 90 minutes removing a metric ass-load of leaves from my lawn. And yes, a metric ass-load is an actual measure of volume. It's less than the standard English ass-load, but still quite a large amount.

I don't watch football all that much, as Carolina sucks, but today is the day... Ohio State/Michigan. Number 1 and number 2. I will be in front of the HDTV at 3:30 for this one.
I'm a pretty die hard OSU fan, but Michigan will be ready today.
A good man and a great coach died yesterday. Bo Schembechler was coach at Michigan for 20 years. I have fond memories of Bo. When my Dad was a high school football coach, he had a kid being recruited by Michigan. I got to make the trip with them. I was 7 years old and it was cooler than any theme park, ever! Bo gave us the tour of the stadium and the facilities personally and was very nice to me in particular. Some people would have brushed off a precocious 7 year old, but not Bo. 30 years later, I still have the autograph he gave me that day.
Hopefully he and my dad will run into each other upstairs and have a good sitdown and talk about football...

16 November 2006

Chicken Little to the Weather Center...

Okay, now I realize that it's the weather guys' job to make us aware of any dangerous or inclement weather coming our way, but damn, at least TRY to be accurate. They made it seem like the Rapture was on the way last night and it did little more than rain. Hell, our roof didn't even leak...(another story for another day!)
A cold front has moved through today though. At lunch, it was 65 degrees. Let's just say it's waaay colder than that now. I won't say what the temp is, as it's likely to illicit a hearty round of "F you" from my friends who live up North and read this fine piece of literary achievement, but it ain't 65 anymore...

Il Bambino broke my upper lip open today with a WWE-worthy headbutt to the face. Little shit...! He thought it was quite comical...I, however, failed to see the comedic value. He has also taken to kicking me in the doo-dads when sitting in a shopping cart. It's hard to determine what I dislike more, a shot to the mouth, or a shot to the berries...

I haven't ridden all week and will not get on the bike tonight. My brother is going out to get drunk with his wife at Vista Lights. I usually ride through the Vista when I do my solo night rides, but the thought of dodging 5 or 6...hundred DUI cases just doesn't bring a twinkle to my eye. I flatly refuse to get on the trainer (at least at this point) either...! Call me in the cold, wet doldrums of February and I'll likely be in the ManHole pounding out intervals while watching old Euro race videos...


15 November 2006

No ride tonight

This is the SE radar image from 10:00 am this morning. It's now 10:10 am. My brother and I planned on riding this evening, but there are far too many pretty colors on the radar map, and far too many electricity conducting pine trees on the trail, to really risk going out tonight.
It looks like I'll be on the bike sometime tomorrow afternoon...if the Head Office actually holds to what she told me yesterday.
We SHOULD have ridden last night, as it was 70 degrees and beautiful, but brotherman burned all of his matches by going to the Carolina Panthers game on Monday night.
Il Bambino seems to be coming down with something...oh joy! There's nothing quite like baby snot. Slick, yet sticky...! It would probably be good to inject into hubs in lieu of grease.

13 November 2006


It was windy, windy, windy...

Holy crap! Dean, Mike and I rode Sunday morning. Between the wind beating us into submission and me flatting/cutting my rear tire, the ride took waaaay longer than it should have. It was good to ride with those guys again. It had been a long while.
Speaking of the tires, Deda RS Open Corsas are great tires, but when they are worn out, they are gone. I looked at the rear tire Saturday night and again Sunday morning and figured it would last one more 50 mile ride...WRONG! I cut it like we were in a gang fight in the barrio.
Two tubes, two CO2 carts and a dollar bill boot later, we were on our way. Flat changes usually take me less than 5 minutes. This one...not so much. Let's just say that I'm not proud of my performance.

I did make it home in time to get a nap. Il bambino sacked out, so I did too.

Of course, today, there is NO wind and it's 70 flippin' degrees...

My brother saw something interesting at Sesqui on Sunday and posed the question of the week:

Even though lycra can stretch to 400% of it's original size, should it?

11 November 2006

On the road again

We had 7 folks on the group ride this morning, which is something of an accomplishment around here these days. It was a really good ride too. About 2-1/2 hours at around 30 kmh.
Riding the road bike just feels weird, albeit much easier than lugging around the cross bike or the squishy. I do kind of miss riding on the road these days...
The Big Stampede is tomorrow in Charlotte, so if you are close, there is good bike stuff to be had for not a lot of cash. HealthNet will be there, as usual, and Jeff is bringing lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. Reynolds wheels, Cannondale frames and bikes, HN clothing, Ritchey stuff...and if you go, find Spence Lueders and thank him. He works tirelessly to do things like this and is an all-around hell of a guy.
I went to the HQ today and got what I needed and a little extra. Somehow, a set of Reynolds Stratus carbon wheels followed me home. The Head Office told me it was okay to keep them, so they don't have to go to the SPCFW (Society for the Protection of Carbon Fiber Wheels). They're sitting here toying with my emotions though. I know I shouldn't ride them in the winter, on a slow training ride, but they will probably get the better of me...! I haven't bought any cork pads yet, so they'll probably stay in the house until that happens.

Well, another road ride beckons tomorrow morning...

10 November 2006

A damn good show

The Head Office and I went to see Brad Paisley last night at the Colonial Center. It was a damn good show and well worth the cash.
Jake Owen was first on the triple bill. He was pretty entertaining and enjoyable. I'd really never heard him before, but deserves to be checked out.
Carrie Underwood was on second and put on an excellent performance. Her voice has really gotten stronger since American Idol. The highlight of her set was a cover of Guns -n- Roses 'Sweet Child O' Mine'. It started out acoustic and then they broke into the full metal version. They did the full version and it was done very faithfully and very well. It falls under my ideal of doing covers correctly or not at all.

Brad Paisley came about 9 pm and played his narrow ass off for two hours. To get straight to the point, he can flat PLAY. Fast, slow, technical, acoustic, whatever...! You can tell that he has spent some serious time with his Telecaster throughout his life. Speaking of Telecasters, he played 8 different custom versions during the show. The whole band was very solid and seemed like they were having a good time. The strange part is the fact that they are all from South Carolina...

All in all, it was a great show. If they come anywhere close to you, I highly recommend going, even if you aren't a huge country music fan.

09 November 2006

The short arm of the law

So we do the normal 'cross ride last night, but there were some occurences that set it apart.
My brother almost got popped by a fat lady in a 'Burban. I'm sure she had to get the KFC home before it got cold, lest her fat, over-entitled children wouldn't have eaten it.
I dug in the front wheel and almost got thrown, but I saved it and got a foot down. In making the save, I torqued my back a little bit, which slackened my sails for the remainder of the evening.
Shortly following my near-dismount, we hear some yelling and see blue-lights out on the road. The voice says to stop, so we stopped. It was a Department of Homeland Security officer (OFC. Simmons). He waddled his way through the woods, which took balls BTW, and got to us demanding ID and then asked what we were doing. I had a smart-ass comment loaded and ready, but he had a 9mm loaded and ready. Some duels you just don't fight. He said they'd been having problems with ATVs on the trail. I guess he missed the fact that there weren't the tell-tale signs of a four-stroke engine.
Once he saw we were relatively harmless, the mood lightened and he sent us on our way.
I tried to pick up the pace on the way back, but I just couldn't see (sweaty glasses) and the back was starting to stiffen. It was a good ride though. Probably 60 degrees and comfy warm.
No ride tonight, as I am taking the Head Office to see Brad Paisley. Il Bambino is spending the night away from home for the first time. My mother is entirely too excited. The poor little fella will get no peace while he's out there. It's full throttle from start to finish when he's across the river.

Weather outlook looks good for the weekend. I'll likely ride on the road both days. My brother isn't available Saturday or Sunday. Hopefully people will show up...


08 November 2006


If this doesn't hit you, you should just go jump off a bridge...

07 November 2006

Elections and ideas...

Well it's election day, and yes, I voted. Who I voted for is none of your business, but you can probably guess...
The line was only five minutes, but the folks at the voting precinct said turn-out had been good all day, which is a good thing.
Here's the idea part...
This week there have been 8, count them, 8 murders in Columbia. That's right, little Columbia, SC is turning into a city with real crime and real problems. It may be a tad radical and way right-wing, but I have an idea to help curtail the behaviour that is propogating itself in SC and all across the country. Have actual punishment for crime. Going to prison isn't punishment anymore. You get three meals, a warm bed, a facility to workout and cable TV, all on the taxpayers nickel. There is the constant threat of being stuck with a shiv or becoming the personal propety of a 350 lb. dude named Bubba or LeRoy, but to be honest, if you thought out the crime, however poorly, those thoughts should have entered the decision making process.
You want to be in a gang? Well, you can...it's called a chain gang. You want to workout while in the joint? Make 'em break big rocks into little rocks.
Here's the radical part that a lot of people may agree with, but will likely never admit it...
If there are credible witnesses, evidence that proves the crime was committed by the accused (including DNA) and the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty, then the punishment should be swift AND public.
Bring back the gallows. I'm not talking about one or two times or here and there...
Schedule it for the 2nd Tuesday of every month. People will say, "Hey, it's Tuesday, let's go have lunch at the gallows..."

Screw the ACLU and all of the knee jerk liberals that will say that it's cruel and unusual. Most of the crimes committed by the assholes on death row didn't afford the victims the same courtesy that we give the inmates.
Illegal aliens in prison? Put 'em on a C-130 with parachutes and drop 'em back over their home country, a la WW2. It'll be like illegal felon paratroopers.

I'm pretty live and let live, as far as it goes, but Sweet Baby Jesus, it's time to make a change.

05 November 2006

A good mountain ride

We did the BIG loop at Harbison yesterday. Ended up with 2:30 ride time. I can tell you though, some people may be able to get out of the car and just hammer...I am not one of those people. It takes the diesel a little while to get to operating temperature when it's 38 degrees outside. I was good to go about 20 minutes into the ride.
The trail was in really good shape and there were no other people out, save a few walkers and runners. We did meet one dude coming the other way. He obviously had no inkling of the term 'trail etiquitte' as he didn't slow down or yield right of way as we made our way up a climb. He just bombed by on his shiny Trek Fuel wearing a hoodie and shorts...he was CORE!
I wanted to go do the group ride this morning, but the 36 degree temps would have meant it was a solo tour as it's pretty hard to persuade the majority of the group to roll out of bed when it's below 40. Nevermind the sun is out and not a cloud in the sky. Sometimes it's just not even worth getting dressed to go sit and wait on a group that doesn't show...
I'm kind of stiff today anyway. Roadies are a delicate breed. 2-1/2 hours on some technical singletrack is completely out of element and character for a roadie. Even with 5" of travel front and rear, my arms and neck are a bit sticky this morning.

I went out and did leaves again. I'd be willing to bet that @ 20% have actually fallen at this point. The leaf blower has given up...after one year. Sears/Craftsman stuff just doesn't have the quality that it used to have. POS!

Have a good Sunday.

A reminder...The Big Stampede is next Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. There's a linky >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

03 November 2006

No ritual sacrifice

The skull mentioned in the previous post was placed there by a friend, not by some teenager with a penchant for harming small animals.
This afternoon, the phone rang and a low, rather mysterious voice asked if I liked the deer skull. At first, I didn't recognize the voice and my mind began running wild with X-Files conspiracies and thoughts that the Government was actually watching me. We were riding on a military base after all...
After a couple of exchanges, the bell went off. No one has ever accused me of being all that smart...
The voice belonged to Dr. L.P., our resident cycling ER doc and all around good egg. He did, after all, write me a 'scrip for serious pain meds when I hurt my back last summer. I should probably go mow his yard or something...

Now go buy some lights Doc, so you can ride with us in the dark...

Wow, it's dark

I cannot believe how early it gets dark these days. I left the house last night at 5:45 and it was DARK by about 6:15.
It's also really funny how one ride can change and shape your attitude toward the bike. Last night, we had a really good ride in the woods. There was speed, there was flow, and there was fun. I swear that I'm faster in the woods in the dark. I guess it's because you really cannot see very far up the trail. Reaction times get quicker and the concentration becomes more focused.
Some smart ass decided to hang a deer skull on a tree that is literally right on the trail. I'm already quite afraid of the dark, so this did little to quiet my concerns. Star light, star bright, the first...SKULL I see tonight... Of course, my brother rode past and never saw it...
I ended up with 2 hours and 15 minutes on the cross bike, in the dark, last night. Riding the cross bike on single-track, in the dark, will, in fact, make you a better rider in the woods. It will also make you a superior bike handler on the road. My recommendation is to get a cross bike and use it...

Linky time:
check out www.uber-daddy.blogspot.com

Pretty damn funny stuff...

It's supposed to be cold and windy this weekend. I don't know whether to ride on the road or stay in the woods...

01 November 2006

A lesson...

This is a stop sign. It means what it says, not drift through without looking...

This is a red light. It also means STOP...see above...

This is a phone booth!

This is not a phone booth

This is my size 46 Shimano M220 shoe. It has a carbon sole and toe spikes. If you hit me, take me out, because this is going IN your ass if I can get up!

Riding at night is a good tool to heighten your senses and realize that people just don't fucking pay attention when they drive. Sorry for the "F" bomb, but Sweet Baby Jesus, how do some of these people get around without killing themselves or others?
I'm glad I've done it enough to anticipate dumbass moves, because they come thick and fast riding through campus and downtown. I guess 35 watts of lights on the front of the cross bike isn't quite enough...
I did have a good ride though, all things considered. It was about 70 degrees and no wind. I can't wait until it gets cold, so I can have the MUT part of my 'Hour of Power' (patent pending) back from the walkers and runners who only participate in being fit when the weather is warm...
In the woods tomorrow night, if all goes according to plan...