Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Ride food intake for 4+ hours with 4x12 climbing repeats.

Tastycake Oatmeal raisin bars, 2
Fig Newtons, 4
Clif Blocks, Pina Colada, nASSty. 1 bag
Tastycake Rice Krispy treat, 1
Tastycake Vanilla sugar wafers, 1 post-ride treat
1.5 Large H2O bottle with HEED, 4ish scoops total
Gatorade Lemon-Lime 20oz

Rough total is 2,200 calories consumed.
Kj expended 3,362.
Sweet, literally and proverbially, more eating to do!

Got to ride with Josh Beck & Chris Kuhl for a while today. Josh is the nicest and strongest guy around, Chris is not far behind. Riding behind two 6'2" guys is sweet.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Not in the Meth head sense, even worse the bike gamer sense. As I have stated before I have this weird habit of constantly tweaking saddle height on my mtb's, based on feel, and feel alone. Yesterday was no different. I felt good warming up, yet the saddle "felt" a little low. What is a tweaker to do? Tweak it. In the scheme of things it made zero difference in the outcome, it just made it harder to pedal up the climbs. Even without the change I was getting beat yesterday. Sometimes you are not the best, and that is the cold hard fact. That is why the races are held.
This post is not to take anything away from the incredibley fast ride Pfluger & Mr. Gunn did. They killed it. They killed me and if you look at the lap times, they would have killed ALL the semi-pro's. I can only imagine how fast they would have been with a traffic-free course. We were catching people before the first big climb.
This post is just about how I always try to eek out a little more. If things are good, they can be better. If I am fast, I can be faster. One day I will finally learn that the set-up is fine. It is the mental hurdle of having the confidence that things are good enough just as they are. I need to trust myself that everything is just fine.
Good race, good friends. Fun to get out there and here the support. Fun to test yourself. Yes, even though I fell short. It was still fun to get beaten by two friends who I have an immense amount of respect for. Hopefully you will see all three of us on the Mt. Snow podium in July. My goals have not changed. I just know I need to be a little better in three months. I also know I need to stop tweaking. Maybe I will let Hamdiggler JB Weld my binder bolt later today.
Great ride Gerry & Gunnar.
Time to go to the garage and check saddle angles on the bikes to make sure they are the same. Yes, it is 3:45am.
No, I am not happy that I am up doing this.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My angels, my devils. Thorn in my pride

With the opportunity for personal redemption 36 hours away. The Thorn in my pride is starting to twist. Ideas flitter around. Confidence rolls strong yet there is this gnawing devil that is pushing me a different direction.

Could you just kill me
It's hard to make up your mind sometimes

Are you wanting inspiration
You spill your secrets on me
Did you tell me with a whisper of things that will never be
Do you hear me breathing
Does it make you want to scream
Did you ever like a bad dream
Some times life is obscene
My angels, my devils, A Thorn in my pride

Just a sweet song after a big bottle of La Chouffe for dinner. The ssshhhh whisper at the beginning is so nice.
This is what we call Sunday music.

So Sunday we will ultimately see which "music" plays. Long song, short song, rock opera?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The cart guy

I am a creature of habit. I will admit it. Pretty predictable, unless I am a little manicy, then watch out. Who knows what you may get.
As for grocery shopping, I like Weis. I can make my store list by aisles, before I even step foot in the store. Wegman's and the new Giant are nicer and have better selection and more high-end yummies. I just like Weis. At "my" Weis there is an institution for me. He is the cart guy. I always look for him. I always try to "help" him out a little, by pushing the carts in and lining them up. It is sheer unabated laziness and apathy that people can not take the extra three seconds and properly "stack" their carts in the cart storage thingie. The cart guy has been working at this Weis since it was built, maybe fiveish years. He has a learning disability. He is a younger guy, so I feel for him. Not in a pity type of way, but empathy. I must say I am at times, also inspired by him. Today was one of those days. There are some hallmark pre-frontal issues with him. He is loud, too loud. He has no filter. If he is happy you know it. If he is mad, you know it. There is little reasoning, just action. This leads to walking behind, in front of cars while entering and exiting the lot.
As I said, today was one of the days he inspired me. As I was unloading my groceries I heard him coming. I took my cart to the receptacle for him, but did not put in right in. He likes to take the cart directly from you if he is right at you. Like a shopping cart valet service. He takes my cart and gets sooo excited. "Yipee another cart!" Yeah, another cart, yay." "I love carts!" He keeps doing this as he takes the carts to the store.
Why is this inspiring? Am I just a sap? Am I making more of this than what it is? This guy absolutely LOVES his job. He prides himself on great cart service. He tests himself to see how many carts he can push at once. He is trying to be the best cart guy he can be. Every time I shop he is there. Snow, ice, rain, scorching heat, cold, you name it. He is herding carts and having fun.
So when your day is shit or when I listen to my noon conference call tommorow to announce yet another realignment, think of the cart guy.
Really a lot of my/our issues are not much more than some carts that are haphazardly thrown about by outside forces. We just need to straighten them out.
"Yippee another realignment!"
Thanks Cart Guy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Schedule

Appease me, I know you do not care, nor would I expect you to. This is about goals and how writing them makes them real.

4/26 Deep Blue STXC

4/27 Greenbrier. Personal redemption after last year's physical and mental metldown.

5/3 Cat Classic. A change in sched, for the better.

5/10 French Creek. Big star, as in personal challenge. As in longest race to date.

5/17 Rocktober. See above

5/24 Granogue Enduro. Last in the big 3 Enduro blast. My own personal spring classic season.

5/25 Drink myself silly and watch movies on the side of neighbor's house.

5/31 D&Q sizzler.

6/7 Tour de Tykes weekend. STXC takes on big importance.

6/8 See above

6/15 Stoopid 50 marathon. Another big mental challenge. How good am I?

6/21 12 hours of Round Top. If I recover from Stoopid 50.

6/27 Black Crowes & DMB

6/28-29 What, a weekend to be a "normal" person?

7/4-6 The most fun you can have on two wheels

7/13 Fair Hill XC

7/19 Basket, meet eggs. All the eggs, meet basket. Mt Snow Stars & Stripes weekend

7/27 Nottingham STXC. Diggler and Lej in the battle of anorexia

8/2-3 Open, imagine that

8/9 God's Country marathon

8/16 Iron Hill Enduro

8/23-24 No races, for good reason

8/30-31 Big M effer of a pipe dream here 7 Springs solo. If the Endurnace series is the goal, and it is. You need to respect the series and go solo for 24.

9/1 Hopefully be able to walk, talk, eat, etc...

9/13 cross season starts with another 20ish races

"Only" 24 summer season races, 9 of which should be 4-6 hours or greater.

See, I knew I could cut back and race less than 50 events this year.

Maybe I should stop wondering why I have next to no social life.

My "social" life is the race atmosphere. Until you are there and see all the great people it really is hard to explain the happiness that it brings.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gaming for the gamers

A couple of bike games today. TT in the am & STXC mtb in pm.
TT went pretty well. Happy with the time and effort. Quads not so happy. Afterwards I could not even stand to pedal. More than a little concern started creeping through my eggshell mind. After a grand total of six Advils and much Sportsbalm medium balm the legs went from not being able to bend and/or pedal to just a little tight. Sixty minutes of massage on Rte 30 later and I was feeling alright. Long warm-up and I think I can race. Then the heavens opened and the lightning came. As we decided to not race the skies cleared and Robbie L. said we have a small window of clear. Line up to start and here comes the deluge again. Just like mud cross. Slick corners and muddy face from drafting. Then the legs come around. I feel good. Attack a little and have a gap while in second. The KABOOM huge thunder and some flashy flash. Don M. comes running out and calls the race as agreed upon at the start. I was happy wiser heads prevailed.
So a nice TT ride for me, with 6th in the 1,2 and 2nd in STXC and we will call it a fun day with much dirty clothes and wet bikes.
Stopped in West Chester to see Muur Conqueror, K-Mad and Jules. Dinner and Duvel and it looks like an overnight is in order.
Good week all.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What did I learn today???

People enjoy riding stationary bikes when it is 80.

People enjoy treadmills in same 80 degree weather.

Passion is passion, indoors or out.

Diggler is fun to hang with.

I enjoy speaking with people about bike and fitness stuff more than I enjoy speaking about depression, bipolar, adhd and schizophrenia. Imagine that.

Shop employees are about the best guys around. I already knew that.

I am a fanatical tinkerer, especially with bike stuff. TT seat height again today.

I lack confidence, such that, when things are correct and good, I try to take it to eleven to make them better. I usually end up back at nine.

The Cannondale Slice TT bike is bar none the best fitting bike I have ever ridden, yes a TT bike.

Sometimes you have to take a stand. Even when you are giving things away.

Stand for something, or you will fall for anything.

Ferg is a great friend.

Naps are good.

Dark Chocolate is better. Thankfully Fishing Creek CVS is not the demographic for dark chocolate. DOVE 71% is marked down to $1.87/bar. I bought six.

My neighbors are nice, I just need to speak with them more.

Sleep meds are key, especially after a late day nap.

Since there seems to be an increase in traffic of late, take the time to read some old entries some day. It will not be as entertaining as flick but it may be a better insight.

At this time I shall state what I refer to as the Burt Hoovis clause.

The views, opinions, and writings of this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not reflect, imply or relate in any way shape or form to my family, friends, employer, cycling team or sponsors. My writings should not be (mis)construed in any way, except that they are the content of a blog. Nothing more, nothing less.

Response, rebuttal

Rick Brown, I will use his name since he had the balls to sign his name, has a great response to Friday's post. It was well thought out and he signed his name. That is what it is about. If you are going to take the time to invest yourself in something, put your "signature" to it. A blog, a response, your job, your passion. Whatever, it is you have done stand up I say I did it.
Rick, I would read your blog, if you had/have one. It is just that type of pointed writing that I enjoy. It may not be factual or correct, in totality, however it is what blogging is about. An opinion based on the criteria that you see in front of you.
I would write more but I am running late. Yes, Rick et al. I volunteered to assist a friend's business at a local health club to educate members on how to better understand their training and fitness.
Believe it or not, it is not all about me.
More people should take the time to respond to blog posts like Mr. Brown. It is dissenting opinion that brings growth and change.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Po tay toe, po tah toe, attack, accelerate...

It is all semantics.
Seems I touched a nerve. Sorry. No offense was meant nor was I trying to be an ass. I ALWAYS ride with an Ipod. Is it rude on group rides? Yes. If you are a regular reader you know the impact music has on my life. It is almost spiritual. Yes, I know that sounds gay. However, I NEED music when I ride.
I also ride with my cell 90% of the time. You never know when you may have an instance where you NEED to use it. I also text while I ride if I am not doing a hard effort. Yesterday was a very "different" day. A friend is moving today and we were texting about a lot of things. I knew I would not see or probably even speak with her today, so I was doing a lot texting.
I was texting during the 2:30 I was riding before the group ride. I was texting in the parking lot before the group ride. I am sure you saw it. Was it a dick move? Yes. Sorry.
As to the event in question. We were going up the little hill and, yes, I was texting. I was riding safe and out of the line. Whoever was leading was going harder than he could handle, as evidenced by the speed drop at the top of the hill. I did say, in a helpful way, keep your speed through the top. It is a fundamental climbing technique. He just stopped/died early. I kept rolling and did a steady pull. I was taking my turn, and yes texting. Then the Lombardi Sports jersey guy came by MUCH faster than a pull through. Either he attacked, while seated, you can do that or he accelerated harder than a normal pull. Enough so, that I even said "cheeky move." I have been racing for twenty plus years. I fully understand speed changes. It was definitely a faster acceleration. I got in line and just rode. Along came the rolling section that I referenced in the post prior. No need to rehash that.
My ride yesterday was to be 4 hours pretty easy with an effort here and there. I knew that rolling section of road so that was where I planned the effort. There are two rollers and a great chicane followed by another roller. It is one of my favorite sections of road around. I had 3:00 in my legs already at that point, in theory the group should have been much fresher. I even told Andy I was pulling off after that section. A fave song come on, which is good for me, especially when the Ipod is on shuffle. It is true serendipity. I did my effort. That is bike racing training. It is not going out on a group ride and riding for 2 hours at LT or greater with no change in pace. That is also why I train alone. I have things I need to work on, to be a better racer and those efforts can be misinterpreted on group rides.
For the Fat F****, that is how you referred to yourselves, not me saying those words (read prior posts comments), I am sorry if I rode like an ass or offended you. You guys were strong on the flats. I can not help if I was a bit faster uphill, or know how to change pace with sharp attacks. That is a you issue, not a me issue. Next time I see you guys, I will surely apologize in person for texting while I ride. I should not have done that. Trust me, after my friend's move today that probably will not happen as much. Yesterday was a texting anomaly due to certain circumstances. Things needed to be communicated and I wanted to "chat" with her.
Instead of being "cheeky" and saying "u da man" maybe you should ask me how i train to be able to accelerate like that?
Everyone knows who I am on this blog. Can be man enough to not sign a comment as anonymous? That is your perogative though. Maybe it makes you feel better about skewering a "skinny blogger"?
I race on weekends. I could give two shits what happens on Thursday.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Daddy Longlegs and the competitve rhythms

First off. Let me clarify the poll. I will clarify it this way. I vote on all of my own polls. Right now the vote is 5 to 0 in favor of the ability to have a platonic relationship. Take a guess which one I voted for? I know that probably a mindbender for Hoovis. Enough of that.

The euro trash personna's of Zayne, Dieter and Van der Zell speak of the competitive rhythms that one experiences while on the two wheeled machine. I had good competitive rhythm of late. I feel no chain, float up climbs while texting and squash all with my Euro mullet. OK the Euro mullet is a little stretch. You get the idea though.
My competitive rhythm is a bit different. Brace yourself, my legs feel longer. Yes, Daddy longlegs mofo. My legs feel longer, Like they are just spinning wicked quick little circles with no effort. I was there yesterday, so much so i was tweaking seat height. Felt like Daddy Longlegs again today. Even got off the bike to check seat height. The competitive rhythm is there.
What is interesting is convincing myself to trust the longlegs feel and know things are going well.
Poor group ride guys felt the daddy longlegs rhythm tonight. I was texting as I passed people up a few little climbs and on the front. All with the Ipod in. Classy, I know. Seems a few took offense and tried to attack. I kept texting and said "ckeeky little move." Rolled up to them as we started a section with a few little rollers and a super wicked chicane downhill that can be railed.

On the second rise the stars aligned. On came The Who, Who are you, Covered by the Stereophonics. The opening squeal matched the rhythm, then the super sweet Whooooo are you, repeating. I was signing and ready to jump out of my skin. Rhythm and sensations are there, here it comes time to go. Boom. Woke up in a Soho doorway, attack. ....And the breeze blew back my hair" jump again. "I remember throwing punches around..." Drill the top. Descend through the chicane. Just as verse 2 opens it is full gas over the tracks and up the rise. Crest at 32 and hold 30 for 1/2 mile stretch to the road. I had 30 seconds in about one mile, nice.
Yeah, that is what good tunes and Daddy Longlegs competitive rhythm will get you. How can you slow down when you hear "who the eff are you" blaring in your ears, and the Daddy Longlegs are ticking?
That my friends is another reason I love riding bikes. Where else can you you get the sensation that your legs are longer? OK, maybe Peyote, but that is a different angle altogether.
Tan lines have finally made an appearance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Turn around and walk away

That has been my Modus Operandi in friendships and relationships over the years. I fall out of touch with people and walk away from friendships. It is not like I have some humongous overabundance of friends.
This leads to today. After many texts and plans, changed plans, etc... A & I end up riding together. After a nice ride we go to dinner. We talked about some things and come to a common ground agreement. Friends. In the past I would have done just as the title stated. I tend to operate like that. Friends, who needs them? Well, it turns out that I do. It turns out that I need this person, A, as a friend. This time will be different. As for this friendship, there is just that something special about her as a person. Add to the fact that I almost never stay in touch with female acquaintences, and you can see this is a change for me.
So now when the phone buzzes, 1 new text message, it will be a special surprise. Also one where I do not need to overthink things. It will be what it is, a text from a special friend. Deep down you always wish for outcomes that are most beneficial for yourself. However, with friends and people who mean a lot to you, I always wish for what is best for them. After that, things will work out the way they are supposed to.
To my friends, past, present, old, new and those yet to come. Thanks for being there.
I promise to do my best to not turn and walk away. There are only so many bridges on the way home. I would like to think I will stop burning them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let me try to explain

First find a knife. Any old knife will do. Then locate your sit bone. Find it? Got the knife ready? Now jab it hard into your skin at the sit bone. Done? Pleasant huh? For shits and giggles, take said knife and now cut yourself. 1/2" will do. Wait a little while until the initial pain subsides, but the area is still sore. OK, now find the arm of a chair. The narrower the better. Sit down, slide back and forth, sit down and force pressure downwards onto the fresh sit bone wound, in fact bonuce lightly on the arm for a couple of minutes. Assuming that above ordeal took you five minutes, I am sure you get the idea of pleasure. Oh yeah, REPEAT THIS 30 MORE TIMES. That is what Australia felt like on the ride with Diggler today. Steroids, icthammol, hot tubs, everything is checking the inflammation, but the offending furruncle known as Australia is still sore.
If this keeps up I will be riding a Scalpel after Greenbrier, and I am not referring to the super sweet totally awesome VisitPA.com team issue bike. I am more thinking the razor sharp instrument.
Enough of that.
Rolled the big Rubbers today. I blew out a little rubber this weekend. As soon as I blew it out I knew I was done. The juice was spilled and therubber was cut. I just turned and walked away in shame, unable to finish my business. After a looong walk of shame back to the pits, I noticed my Big Rubbers standing at attention . There were just screaming out to be ridden. So I mounted the biggies and riding we went. I am waiting for my new Ignitor small Rubbers to arrive Thursday or Friday. These new rubbers are special, with a tougher sidewall to avoid blowouts and leaking of the Stan's tubicidal juice. I just hope the thicker rubbers do not hurt my feel. The big rubbers were fun and allow for fast hard riding. The small rubbers definitely are more nimble and provide a better feel. Big rubbers, small rubbers, either way it really only matters that you are riding.

Ok for those new to the game, read this gem. I must say I think it was my finest work to date.
Tires 29er vs. 26er

I wonder if a long lost friend will read this and find the need to leave her office for a smoke?

Cut rubbers, raging Australia, A moving to DC, even more work hassles. These are events and inconveniences. Am I happy they are happening, no. Will they fundamentally change my life, no. When Bad Andy said it must be good to be me, at the start line, on Sunday. Once I bitched for a split second I caught myself and I eventually got to the real answer, it is pretty good to be me.
I kind of like it here. I think I will stay a while longer.
Enjoy the sunshine.
All in all

Monday, April 14, 2008

And so it began

The bike game has started. I do not even see the possibilty of a totally free weekend until The Black Crowes & DMB concert weekend at the end of June. I will probably still race that Sunday. Thankfully with the switch to MTB, there may be only one double road weekend. Sweet.
I have been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish this year. I have a big goal, National Champion at Mt Snow, and some other very important goals for me. MASS Endurance series win, there I said that as well. I know there are caveats to that. I also know I will not be the fastest Endurance racer, but I will race very fast and trace the series, to win the series.
Lately I have been thinking about "challenge" goals. Such as, how far can I push my mind and body in competition. Is it a solo 12 hour race? Is it possibly 7 Springs 24 hr solo? Maybe a MTB stage race in Utah? I have done the normal events in the past 20 some years of racing. I am looking for something that says, I did something pretty special. I did something that I previously did not think I could accomplish.
When I look at what my brother accomplished at Flanders cyclosportive, I realize that a fundamental change in belief of what I can accomplish should be in order. Why is a long ride 5 or 6 hours? Why not seven or eight? Why let my past determine my future? It should be a good guide, not a limiter. There is nothing that says that you/I can not make a fundamental change, and what it is we believe we can accomplish.
So time will tell if I was able to achieve my goals and also do something that I deem special.
And so it begins.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In another time, the outcome would have been different

You try so hard, and so much energy is invested. You figure that good things should happen to good people, at least I do. You know you want this so badly that you can taste it. Maybe there are times that simple things are forced. This, all because you feel that no matter how smooth the trail is maybe there is just a little more you can squeeze out. Everything is easy, natural, flowing, like you were meant to be exactly where you are at that present moment. Nothing surpasses the joy you feel. You are working so hard to stay smooth and not let others know just how hard it really is to be where you are, right then, at that moment. You know that in the end it is all good.
Life, maybe? My race today, maybe?
In another time, today would have been different. Not for the better. Those who really know me, know there was once a time were I was a walking timebomb. Not during the divorce. Before that, there were times I was just a freakin' stupid ass person, who had a bad temper. Over the past few years I have worked very hard to rectify this. I would like to think, and I think most will agree, I am a kinder, gentler version presently. Someone who is fun to be around, even in tough times. This is also why I rarely argue with people about things. Better put, I almost never argue with people I enjoy being around. It is not worth a trip down bad memory lane.
So, to the title. I was flying today, at least for me. Half way through the race I was in 7th, with 6th in view. Then it happened. Where I was so smooth, I pushed a little too much. I knew the section and what to do, yet I pushed a little too much. I wanted this result so badly. Next thing I know, FLAT TIRE and dinged rim. No chance to refill with air. I am done. In another time, the outcome would have been different. First, I would have exploded in a litany of profanity so loud and expansive that I would have so embarrassed myself that it would be beyond comprehension. After the situation was assessed, I started to walk 2.5 miles out of the woods, calmy. By the time I got back near the car I saw my group come through 6th-11th. I decided to get my spare bike and go back out for a ride.
Why? Because, like the double entendre at the beginning, I so enjoy certain things that it was worth my time to finish what I started. I screwed up in the race. It is done. Pout? Go home? Make excuses? No. I manned up got my spare, and to the amazement of some people watching I headed back to enjoy myself. Enjoy myself, I did.
So, four hours drive invested, three hours on the bike with race, warm and cool. Two hours cleaning, repairing and getting parts ready for tommorow fix session. I am a better person for the time invested.
Am I happy that I had so much invested, and DNF'ed? Of course not. Ironic, Aerosmith "Back in the saddle" is playing presently. I digress. I DNF'ed, but I did not quit.
In another time the outcome would have been different. Today, I made the best of the outcome and had a damn fun time.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Boogie afternoons, bow chicca bow wow

No, no , no, get your minds out of the gutter. I went for a sweet ride with Dirk Diggler at The Farm and a certain area, where we shall say, we did not ride.
Finally a warm day to ride and I spent it in the woods. Not even a hint of remorse for staying away from the sun soaked roads to work on my vanity tan. Hey, when Zayne is a teammate, every little bit of pigment helps.
So Diggler and I rolled a lap of the farm before heading out for me to do some climbing. We totally railed through some stuff, I washed out and ejected a few times, but finally I am getting the feel for the Scalpel, at speed. Once out of the farm we rolled to Tower Rd for the first climb. Most know my general non-love of climbing. I am getting much better and can stay with/near decent climbers now. Well, Willie Shoemaker Diggler friggin' schooled me, as expected. We are talking on the climb and all of the sudden he stands and is gone. WTF?!?! I guess that is what talent and 130 lbs of sopping wet girls petite size will do for you. We continue to roll along for the next hour or so, and it is total fun. Trading off leading and following. At the speed we are riding there is a lot of trust in the person leading. That guy needs to be taking good lines, as the follower is riding on the Trust Bus. At one point little Diggler even said, "I like riding with good riders. You know they will not screw up." High compliment I took there. Definitely it was true when Diggs was leading. 2:45 later we finished up a totally sweet rippin' mtb ride with some fine creekside singletrack. I SCHOOLED HIM! I do not want Diggler to get too big an ego when he stands in front of the full-length mirror before work tommorow.
As I stated before I could not wait to do some good mtb rides with friends. Today was one of those days.
Classic work moment of the day was when I got into a sword/pen fight with a child psych, who I have a good relationship with. The best part was it was me and the psych, in the clinic waiting room, in front of his clients and the kids parents. We are facing off in a joust of drug pens. We were joking around like two high-schoolers. Priceless. Even better was when I told him to stop it and get back to work. Yeah baby, that is how you move product in the pharma industry.
My fave cabby from da Burgh is coming tommorow evening. I will have to keep him awake for at least an hour to hear some Yinzers stories or a good Chew story.
The real deal MTB starts this Sunday. I am moving up to the Elite/Open class. Should be fun. After rolling some fast technical stuff with Diggler today, I am more and more confident. Hopefully the legs will not be sooo tired for Sunday.
Playlist for the drive home was some old school Harrisburg rock. The Syn D' Cats, with a certain FHR skater dad on the drums, if I am not mistaken. Trashy little number, Broken smile and $60 bill. My fave AM personality on the band intro.
Good day.
Time to apply some more Tar to Australia.
Nitey nite.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Dark chocolate. CVS had 70% Lindt bars for $2.49. I bought four.
Feel good tunes. True Reflections, DMB. Oh Josephine, Crowes.
Icthamol salve, stridex pads and hottub sessions. Australia is very sore and purple.
Sunlight for my pasty legs.
My phone to vibrate, "1 new Text Message", in my jersey pocket.
Territory to realign. June, I think.
More mtb races.
Even more long mtb rides with friends.
Be able to stop avoiding Hobbes not being around.
One really BIG win.
Confidence in myself. Physical, emotional and social.
New ink, and the CONFIDENCE to do it for me.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

If you want to see the light, first spend a little time on the Dark Side

In light of recent events, this post has nothing to do with them. Neither Saturday, nor Monday, however the irony is bizzaro.
What this does have to deal with is Sunday, and why I so enjoy racing mountain bikes. Last year was my mtb return after a hiatus since 1996. Sorry Slick Rick the Ruler, I think I trump your 1 year 4 months and 29 days. Good to see you again though. I referred to it as my return to the Dark Side. Thing is, I forgot what it was like to really enjoy a day at the races. Now, do not get me wrong, I like racing on the road. My teammates the past six years or so have been great. The road scene is such a weird clique. Basically if your funny colored lycra clown suit is not the same color as your buddy’s, you are NOT allowed to converse with him before or after a race. You must stick with your similar lycra outfit cronies. What is really queer is that last year you may have worn the same funny colored lycra clown suit as your buddy. This year you "moved up" and now are a sworn enemy!?!?
Mountain scene is nothing like that. It is, GASP, fun. How shall I explain, it is like people treating others with respect and enjoying their company, regardless of their team.
Why is mtb racing fun?
Here is why:
You are in nature, not an industrial park.
Twisty, turny, hopping, jumping etc…
Friendly people
Life is more than 140 right hand turns
Beer & donuts
Signing autographs for kids
Actually seeing Juniors en masse
Scratched up legs that look like they just were whipped with canes
Knuckles that look like you were in a bar fight the night before
Effort in= result out. No hiding, no sitting in for the sprint
The mentality. Maybe that should be #1?
You are allowed to talk with your friends
People hanging around to congratulate ALL classes when they get awards
To see the look on people’s faces when they see you ride a crazy section, as opposed to taking turn 3 really fast
Girls/women who actually race their bikes instead of participating in the Sherwin Williams paint-dry Classic
Technical skills = speed
MTB brings out the kid in you. Seriously, when you were a kid did you ride your bike around the playground 40 times and say that was cool or did you go and explore?

There you have it. If you really want to see the light, of riding and racing a bike. Get yourself a MTB and go ride/race it. You will thank me later.

To my team, teammates, friends at the race today thank you all for allowing me to come back to the Dark Side. I look forward to more podium shoe appearances, 9 for 9 baby, and drinking PBR out of freshly polished trophies throughout the year.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Shine a Light

Oh I want to believe
There is more to this me
Then it hits me that maybe there isn’t
All the things that I try
As a means to get by
Then it hits me that maybe its futile
Up and down round and round
Covering all the new same ground
Then it hits me that I’m not a martyr
What to think, what to do
If not for me, not for you
Then it hits me forever is impossible
The choice to live
Mine to give
Did I fail, did I give up
Was I wrong, was I right
I made the choice, shine a light
Break it down anyway you may
Everyone will have their say
Then it hits me, life is not complacent
All for me all for you
Forgive me for what I am about to do
Then it hits me, no one is all alone
Looking back if you will
Better times are forward still
Now it hits me

Pain in the A$$, or at home surgery 101

WARNING!!!! This may be graphic for some, in topic and detail.
Part and parcel of being a cyclist can be something so affectionately referred to as the "saddle sore". For the few people who do not race, and read this literary masterpiece, a saddle sore is an sore, infection, ingrown hair in your tender regions. Every cyclist will get one eventually. No amount of chamois cream, Noxzema or post-ride rubbing alcohol (very pleasant by the way) will save you. When it is your time, "enjoy it".
You can get them from hygiene issues (not me), riding in the rain, too low/high of a seat, switching from bike to bike (my issue) and some other ways.
The downside side of racing MTB, road, TT is that I ride four different bikes through the summer. I use the same saddle on all bikes and try to keep similar saddle height and setback. No matter what there is always a difference. I was trying a stock saddle on the new Scalpel. It is made by the same company of the saddles I ride on ALL other seven bikes. Yes, I am that anal, no pun intended. It has a slightly different shape, couple that with a bouncy rear suspension, and riding off road, and viola there is trouble Down Under, and I do not mean Australia. The thing is I do not have a saddle sore per se. That would be easy. I have developed a blood blister. It is right on my sit bone. Coupled with the fact that I have a bony ass, and you can imagine the pleasantries I feel when I ride.
Back to the title, and this is where we venture away from PG-13. This blood blister friggin hurts. It hurts to sit, to touch and just hurts for the hell of it. So when it reaches max capacity, you must grin and bear it and release a little tension, ie blood. It seems there must be a lot of nerve endings in the sit bone area, because when I pop that little bugger the pain is almost eye-watering. Today was not so fruitful, and my friend the blister needed to be drained. Henceforth, home surgery 101. Keep in my I do not have an autoclave, nor do i really have any patience. So, my sterilization process consisted of running a pocketknife under very hot water. I can sense the wincing, because you know what comes next. I hoist the left leg onto the bathroom counter, grab my scalding hot pocketknife and process to go Marcus Welby on my ass. A quick lance and squeeze and there it came, red gold, blood I tell ya'. No sign of infection, yet, just blood. I am hoping the draining will help and i can get through the Super Duper Intergalactic US Open relay on Sunday with little pain to defend the crown we won last year.
Five hours in a chamois may mean another surgical intervention come Monday. Let's hope not.
Aren't you glad i care enough to share?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pretty good day

Great conversation with local psych about a patient, and I was asked what I thought about the Tx regimin & what should be done. Really cool. I was respected enough, based on my knowledge and their trust in me that I was asked Tx options. As I was leaving the Dr said, "I knew it would be a good day when i was told you were the first person I was seeing today." Some days it can be pretty rewarding. Hell, the mean receptionist at the next office even spoke to me. She even initiated the conversation.
Diggler dialed in my rear brake on the Scalpel. So it is race ready, minus the tire that was flat after the ride??? Stan's ??? Still that may be the best ride I have ever ridden. Granted my "n" of mtb's is smallish. Holy dang dilly dang does that bike ride tight singletrack well. I threw on riser bars and was back to my high hoppin' elf again. Enduro crew, look out. Fit, fast, healthy and my head is out of my ass this year. Big times big goals.
Dinner with my fave little rock stars M & R and mom whose name is also "A". Imagine that. Very good talk with mom about relationships. Always good to get a female perspective. I also was able to plunder her CD collection for some stuff to download. I will start with 50 and try to get them all down tonight. Cool eclectic stuff that only a radio personality can get. I tell you those little girls are so cute. So expressive. Drama queen the one is. Godd eggs. Good parents.
decided i would go to local Ice Cream establishment for a treat. Step into rakestraw's only to find 20 little kids in line. As I look on at the poor single counter guy i realize this treat is not happening right then. As i am about to leave a little girl turns and says to me, " hi old man". Not much to do but say hello. The she says, " we are from Awanna??, we study Jesus." Ok, good for you I think. I hope jesus' life lesson had something to do with the fact that all the kids had their jackets on backwards?
Off to Staples for some supplies and see one of Old A's good friends husband. We chat for a bit. Stranger for him. I also see the VP from Seve-lay Industries.
So here I am enjoying some super smooth 360 Vodka & Grapefruit whilst i download. Five discs down 45 to go. I think I can get done tonight.
Since I am listening to a little live ditty of Patience, from GnR, I wonder what Axel Rose is doing right now?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

HOLY DANG!!!!!! or two little seconds

In the scope of a lifetime where do two seconds fit in? What can you say or do in two seconds? You could tell someone you love them in that timeframe and that would/could change your life. You could do something really tragically stupid that would change your, and other's lives around you. This post is about neither of those things. I am not telling anyone that I love them. I am not doing anything stupid.
I figure two seconds today really and truly saved my life.
I was driving 81S to Chambersburg today to see some customers. I needed to get there and back quickly, to meet up with a serviceman for some home issues. Therefore I was cruising pretty quickly. I noticed a Statey in the median so I slowed up a little and pulled to the right to let then WV car fly by. No harm, no foul I guess for that car. I then speed back up and get behind the WV car. We drive about one more mile and see all kinds of metal debris on the road in both lanes. Being that it is 81, trucks are in the right lane back to back, pr so I thought and WV car and I are cruising the left. There is no room to swerve, no time to brake, just avoid as best as possible. Each of us do. All of a sudden out of the right lane I see a maroon car come flying across the lane perpindicular to us. We each lock the brakes and watch as the maroon car crosses the left lane into the median. WV car swerves to miss and I drive straight. As the maroon car leaves the road it is right in front of me so I see everything plain as day in slo-mo. At that point on 81 the median is like a ditch. This does not bode well for the maroon car as it is now airborne, and rolling to the right in midair. The nose hits and the car flips forward and rolls again on the ground. HOLY FUCK! I am now sure that I just witnessed someone dying in a car crash. WV car & I pull over as traffic speeds by oblivious in both lanes. As I stop and dial 911. I am starting to get real nauseous. Then someone was obviously touched by a higher power than their seatbelt. The driver crawls out of the passenger side window and walks to another stopped car. I have no idea how it happened that he walked away from a 60 mph airborne flight and roll, but he did. That Stateys arrived while I was still on the horn with 911. Amazing.
So, back to the title. At my speed the difference between writing this post and being T-boned by that car was about two seconds. Maybe the time I lost by slowing down a mile previously?
That may have been the craziest thing I have ever seen while driving. It was total slo-mo. It was right in my face. Thankfully no one was hurt.
After I replayed the accident in my head a few more times. It reminded me of something I said to A last night. " I know how I feel about things right now. I do not know how I will feel about things tomorrow, or next week, or down the road. I can not control that. Things may change in life that I can not control."
Things damn near did change today, in just two seconds.