Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Empathy is not always a good thing

I just spent forty minutes writing about my day at work and the impact of mental health disorders. It was far too depressing to publish. I deleted it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I love you, I hate you!

You define me.
You defy me.
You make me feel good.
You make me hurt.
We have our ups.
We have our downs.
We are one.
We are two.
I am always there for you.
You are always there for me.
I shown you places no one else could.
You have taken me where only you could take me.
I always take care of you.
Yet, you sometimes break down on me.
You have provided some great days.
You have broken my heart before.
I have a heart.
You are heartless.
That is the difference in our relationship.
Without you I am not the same person.
Without me you will find someone else.
I love you!
I love you, my lovely bike(s).

Yes, this is about my bike(s). After over twenty years the love burns as strong as ever. Something as simple as a bike really can test the limit of human emotion. As shitty as I have felt both physically and mentally the past few months, once I get pedalling it all disappears.
I wonder if i could write off $150/hr for bike relaxation therapy?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Close your eyes and envision

Chris Farley in the tight leisure suit as Matt the self-help guru from Saturday Night Live. He is speaking with Riis, Zabel, the rest of Telekom, all of MG-Geweiss, Musseuw, Hamilton, Basso, Bartoli, Armstrong, Landis, Meirhagge, Chiotti, F'ing tricky dick Virenque, anyone who ever raced for Festina, Rooks, Theunisse, etc... you get the idea.
So, Farley hikes the pants in the front & the back and starts in on them.
Farley: La De Freakin' Da, you all doped. No kidding. No you want to confess, boo frakin' hoo be a man.
Group ensemble: sorry Matt we thought it was time to come clean.
Farley: (Incredulously) Clean, clean, what in the name of God's green earth do you mean clean.
Ensemble yet again: (Sheepishly) Well we, uhh, you know, uhh for the better...
Farley: (Hikes the pants from the front and the back) You are all freakin' girls! You are all freakin' junkie liars. You know where junkie liars end up.
Ensemble: (quizzically puzzled blank stare) Riis, Holm and Aldag meekly reply "Team directors"

Fade out as Farley pratfalls into a row of Cervelo & Giant bikes.

There was never an intention to come clean until the heat turns up. I guess that means Hamilton & Armstrong are truly pathological.

All apologies to the great SNL skit writers.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

And this is a surprise how, part deux

F'ing Riis. We all know you doped. Mr 60%. Yeah, you were clean as a whistle.

And this is a surprise, how?

As I have said before, I firmly believe that most of the pro bike gamers were dopers in the 90's. They all answer straightfaced and say they never doped. I call Bullshit, you just never got caught thanks to your own personal centrifuge.
I really could care less. Sports are theatre, entertainment. Entertain me. Part of me is actually of the capitalistic, Darwinism bend of thought that says, let them dope. Ride faster, entertain me more, die quicker. Hell 33% of the pro pel are asthmatics, how convenient. I am surpised that more are not anemic, if you follow along. Maybe some latent childhood ADHD, Narcolepsy or insulin resistance.
Were does this Merry go Round stop? The gamers work in an essential police state environment with a clandestine judicial proceeding. At what point do the innocent have their rights respected.
Riddle me this Batman. Say "The Man" knocks on your HOME door before you go to work and says, "follow me, we are peeing together this morning." Better yet, "wake up sunshine, I am sticking a needle in your arm and sucking some blood." I just want to see what we got going on in your body today. That is every day for some bike gamer.
My overarching points are these:
Mea Culpa my ass. I do not believe for a second you did EPO once. Millar, Zabel, Basso. LIARS!!
10-15 years ago has no bearing on the present.
Police state justice is out of control.
There will always be cheaters. Hell I race against them, even on the local level.
I do applaud Slipstream, CSC and T-Mobile for their stance.
Who knows, this whole thing is just getting old.
Gotta go, my centrifuge just stopped. Time for my daily injection to be ready for Tour de Tykes.
H-crit is up to 57, Riis eat your heart out. I heart dopers!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New ink

I have been tossing some ideas around in my head for some new ink lately. I am not really sure what to get done. I am sure Dr. Weaver will read this and cringe.
So the concept is around new beginnings, living (joie de vie, per se) and cycling. I presently have a upper arm tatt of a nickname for Amy. I do not want to destroy the tatt, but I no longer want it to be focal. It is a Japanese symbol for Pi. Basically a Pi symbol with three bars on the top and two thin bars on the left side. I like the symbol and also the concept of Pi being undefinable and ongoing. My quandry is do I make designs around the symbol or do I incorporate into a cover-up. I was thinking a cover-up with a Phoenix and a flame design. This would also meet my rebirth, rise from the ashes theme.
I am not a fan of bands, so no bike chain band around my 13" pythons. I am not a sleeve person either, but would not be averse to a large total shoulder area fill-in. What to do, what to do.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to the Coliseum

I have now fully realized how fun racing a MTB is. From the courses that challenge you physically & mentally, to the atmosphere, to the people involved. The mountain scene is like a backyard picnic, while the road scene is like a corporate evening of forced fun. Do not get me wrong, I love racing on the road. The biggest difference is that the competitors are so much more factioned due to team "obligations" or some fantasy about being the next 12k dreamer. It is nice to race your bike and let the strongest fight it out with the course and the competition. There is no sitting in here. The mountain scene also quickly delineates talent. I can race any 1,2 crit in the are and be a factor. If I were to race Elite Mtb I would be fighting for probably 10th-15th on a good day. Talent rises, pretenders fade. Maybe that is why I have so enjoyed cross for all these years. If you put the efforts in, it will show.
So lately I have been on the Flyin' Ryan training plan. Do not exceed 8 hours and then go kick ass. Time to turn the amp to eleven and Spinal Tap out to some big weeks. Oh yeah, I will break the Leech secret. He rocked a 16ish hour week the other week. Look out Hamboner, you and you pre-school possee may be in for some VPA hurtin'.
Enough for this morning. I am finally gettin batteries for my digi so expect some pics the project bike. It was a big hit at Granogue.
Have a good week all.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Who will stop the rain?

Interesting day yesterday. I helped my good friend Nina with her golf tournament fundraiser for the Mark Encin Foundatio. Mark was Nina's husband. He passed about a year and a half ago from malignant melanoma. He was diagnosed in the very late stages and fought like hell, but ultimately succumbed. I really did not know Mark so well, but I always enjoyed my time around him. Nina started a foundation to support melanoma research. The golf tourney is a first step to what I hope is a long endeavor. So many people were so generous that I was truly amazed & humbled. Long story short $12k was raised for two research institutions. For more info on the foundation and Melanoma read here. I had a great time being a very small part of this worthwhile cause.
It is always hard to watch people close to you experience emotions of sadness and grief. Yesterday was no different. The very unfortunate part was that these emotions did not stop at the golf outing. I received a call at 4:00 letting me know that one of my customers who I really enjoy seeing has suffered a tragic and senseless loss. There is no way to even try to quantify the magnitude, except that I feel there is no greater loss a man can experience. At 12:45 pm yesterday a piece of shit with a gun walked into this gentleman's office and shot my customer's wife. Mary died shortly thereafter in the ER. The Moola's have two high school aged children that, when they returned home from school, now have no mother. Jag no longer has his loving wife and friend. I do not understand what can make a person take another's life. Mary was always very nice and pleasant to me. I can only imagine how nice she was for her close friends and family. I can not comprehend eating lunch with your spouse then five minutes later you return to your office to the horror of your spouse being shot.
I will not pontificate about Mental health issues, gun ownership or commensurate criminal punishment.
Dr. Moola, my thoughts are with you and your children today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yeah, baby, yeah

I was/am all full of myself with the completion of my new project mtb. An STXC machine. The bike is a one-of-a-kind HEBE brand (note the headbadge). It is the old (10 years) model
Yeah baby, the power of the Sharpie.
Here it is
Smorgasbord custom 853 10+ year old steel frame
PACE Carbon rigid fork
Bontrager carbon flat bars & X-lite stem
Schwalbe Fast Fred rubber
Thomsen post
Airione saddle
And the coupe de gras. DURA-ACE 10 speed bar end shifters mounted to a Paul Thumbie
Dura-Ace Read derailleur
Dura-Ace 11-21 cassette
Single 36 tooth front ring w/ custom Hebe design Race Face guard. Trick & tricky
Eponymous & pretentios all at once. That is how I roll. YEAH, BABY YEAH!
I am feeling randy.

Blowin' out the carbon

From my legs, mind, belly, ass
All this achieved in one short visit to Happy Valley. For all yoy JoePa psychos I roade by his home. OOOHHH so mystical. Regular guy, regular house, not a deity.
So I worked with a new rep yesterday in Altoona then bolted off to State College to see my good friend Ry. I always enjoy time around him as he challenges me to think more than I normally do. The conversation is always good and thought provoking. The type that really makes you think about the topic you are forming/supporting an opinion around. Dude can also pedal a bike. I guess being a friggin National Champ tends to make that an understatement. Yesterday was an awesome mix of new and different roads as well as dirt road and SINGLETRACK riding. Yes, full on singletrack on a road bike with 130psi in the tires. Damn it was fun. I had to lay low so as not to destroy his fragile legs. Not really. If you have never ridden singletrack on a road bike, do it. Very fun. It also is imperative to have the proper weight distribution and finesse to make it work. Thanks dude. Good ride.
Zipped downtown for dinner at MadMex. Had the good fortune to be in the throngs of co-eds who were not yet born when I graduated high school. With graduation this weekend at PSU the seniors have nothing to do but party all week. Food was delectable and huge portions. After a little nap it was back the MM for some Tequila. MMMM tequila. A couple of large Margarita's and I was ready to crash.
Then back to the grind of work. I had a great discussion with a doc who is going into a new private practice. Some times it is very rewarding to be a drup rep. That was one of those times.
More to come soon

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The best/worst kept secret

The times, they have a changed. Being that about a whole dozen or so people know this drivel actually exists, I guess I am writing more for myself.
After twelve very good years of marriage things started to spiral last March. The reasons are not of any great consequence, and since this is a bully pulpit medium it is not fair to Amy to go into them where she can not fairly reply. Then in September the bottom basically fell out. By November Amy and I decided to seperate and ultimately divorce. Our divorce will be final in about two months, I believe. Throughout the past six months of living on my own I have experienced a vast realm of emotions. I have has the good fortune of a lot of very great friends, you know who you are, lend me support. Without them and my family I would not be where I am at presently. To list all of the people who have been so kind, giving, understanding with me would be a disservice because I know I would leave someone out. I want to take another time to say thank you.
So, here I am now. I have made it out alive (figure of speech, not literal) and I will be a better and wiser person. I am sure that, ultimately, Amy will be a better and wiser person as well. So there, I have said it publicly. I have accepted my lot in life and what brought me to where I am. Now it is time to start another chapter of this great adventure. I hope that with the support, love, laughter of my great friends and family I will go on to have forty more years to pester all of you with my inane nonsense.
I am not about to dispense wisdom, learnings or advice. Obviously all three of those little nuggets should be taken with a grain of salt.
Tomorrow I will get up, go to work, ride my bike, enjoy my friends and live my life to the fullest that I can. I will do the same the next day and the next and hopefully for many thousands thereafter.
Funny thing happening as I close. Those who know me know my love of music. Those who know me well, know how I internalize and relate to lyrics. As I close this entry, The Verve tune "Lucky Man" just came on Itunes shuffle. Yes, I am a very lucky man for all that I have experienced, and all that I will experience. It may not seem like it at times, but yeah Sister Luck has definitely called out my name more times than not.