Sunday, December 31, 2006
Oh well, coffee is almost ready so that will make me feel better :) Hopefully I can take my skirt off later today and get out for a run or something. Maybe I'll throw the lights on the SS and go out on that so I'm at least getting a bike ride in like I planned.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Work is pretty dead quiet this week which you would think would mean I get stuff done, but I'm doing yearly evaluations for my whole group this week so that burns a bunch of time. Plus people not being here to bother you also means people aren't here to respond to questions so it's a win/lose. I think I'll still take the quiet over chaos.
2 pieces of big news on the bike front (even though I'm temporarily a runner again just to retrain some of those muscles): First is that I finally got the garage organized last night and I managed to take advantage of the crazy high ceiling by hanging everything bike related. There are currently 4 bikes, 1 partial bike, and 5 wheels overhead with one bike still on the wall. If anything them being all visible makes it look like I have more which I didn't think was possible. Secondly, I made sure to leave expansion space in the overhead bike jungle because I got approval to go ahead with a custom cross frame for next season. I meet with the frame builder next week to kick it off and he said he'll make sure to have it ready in time to practice on it before the season starts. This will be my first custom and I fear how much I'll like it because there are sure to be more to follow. The 8 month or so wait for it will be well worth it, but it will be torture. I'll have to spend the time picking out the goodies to put on to it :)
Ok, back to work... but first, for the cross fans out there, check out the performances so far by Jonathan Page over in Euro land. Guy has been top 15 in nearly every race since going over... worlds could be interesting.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Anywho... for anyone who's readying: Merry Christmas! For anyone who's offended because they don't celebrate Christmas: Tough Sh@t! I celebrate Christmas and I felt like saying something nice... get over it.
The boys are all excited about Monday so that should be interesting. We did end up with a change in plans today that has us going to the in-laws for dinner that day. That sucks because we have to pack up and drive there, but it kicks ass because we don't have to cook or clean. I'm numb to driving so I'll take it.
Ok, the timecard police are probably watching so I should get back to work...
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Friday: Woke up way too early for work so I could get as many work hours in by 11 and then leave for the race. I was anxious as hell so it was hard to be productive the whole time I was here. The real snag I hit was lunch. The caf opens at 11:30 and there is nothing that I could easily drive by, park, swing in, and swing out on my way out of town. I figured I'd either get something on the road or immediately when I got there. Well, long story short, my lunch ended up being multiple mini Clif bars and a slice of banana bread because the only food I could find for sale at the race was BBQ sandwiches which were not a good plan <2 hours before the race. Jumped on the course immediately when I got there and got in 2 laps. The course seemed crazy long and definitely a collection of challenges. It's hard to say it was hard, but it sure wasn't easy. There was a little of everything you could imagine complete with a few greasy corners and a minimum of 4 dismounts per lap for mortals who can't bunny hop barriers or ride up stairs (I saw both over the course of the 3 days). I felt kinda ok, but wasn't sure since my chest cold had kicked in a little. For a while did some number pinning, waiting around, and then warming up on the roads and trainer. Saw a bunch of the guys standing around the pits before the M35+ ended because their days ended early. Got lined up for the race DFL as I knew I would be and then the whistle blew. Now I expected to be hanging on when we took off, but this was freaking insane. By the time we hit the barriers I was solidly in last with no sign of gaining ground. I found out later that the first two rows of my field contained guys who ride local elite races and do well. The true low point of the race was coming through after 2 laps and seeing 4 to go when I was sure there was no way we could do more than 5 total. To cut the agony short, I got lapped 2/3 of the way through lap 4 and just rode into the pits and pulled myself. I rode terrible and was just stunned by how fast those guys were. For the record, it was the fastest Masters race of the event. Picked myself up a little with way too much food and some tasty adult bevs at Fire and Ice with some of the guys and went home to crash.
Saturday: Boys had karate from 8:30 to 10 so we did that and then headed to pick up Jeff and get down there in time for the U23 and elite mens races. Timed it perfect and even had time to swing by the Kona team tent and try to convince Treefarm to sell me one of his bikes. No luck there, but it was fun anyways. BTW, I don't know what the stink was about with $5 parking... I never saw anyone charging all weekend so I never paid. Fine spot all three days. The summary of the Saturday races was just simply fast. You cannot fathom how fast those guys are and the way Trebon just rode away from everyone was sick. It helped those guys that the course was dry and packed so there were no conditions to contend with. Probably the only downer of the day was having to constantly remind myself that while it's exciting for me to be 1 foot away from some of the world's best cyclists, the boys think I'm one of the world's greatest so to them it doesn't matter. Trying to explain something that's exciting to you in a way that it will be interesting to your children while realizing that they probably aren't 1/10 as interested as you is one of the many challenges of parenthood. They got to throw leaves at each other and some other kid they latched onto so they had an equal amount of fun :)
Sunday: Up early again and back in the car for another trip to Provo. Course opened at 7:30 and I wanted a good number of laps so I could feel out the course better and figure out how stiff I was. That was a huge advantage because I figured out that this one power hill that I couldn't ride Friday (I was the only tool running) was completely rideable if I set it up. I think Friday also had to do with how crummy I felt. Got in 3 laps before the women's B started and then had time to snack a little and get in some time on the trainer. A trainer with a single speed is kinda of strange because all you can do is spin faster which isn't without value, but it's limited. Got ready and headed down for the lineup slug fest. Started in 140th spot out of 172 (reportedly) which was really funny to see. Really cool thing was that I lined up next to another SS'er who was riding a gigantic gear. Now even funnier than the lineup was the pileup we had on the off-camber which had frosted over at night and then thawed during the women's race. We get there and it's just a wall of humanity and I can hear the announcer yelling "Oh my goodness it's total mayhem". Once everyone sorted themselves out, I realized I was pretty far back in the field (painfully close to last), but that was ok because I could tell it wasn't as fast a race. The rest of the time I just rode hard, had a boat load of fun, and would constantly latch on with a guy for a bit and then lose him. Even though I hurt when I was done, I had enough left to be making faces at Gewilli when he was yelling stuff at me. It was a total blast and I finished 126th without getting lapped so it was a success. The day did end on a sour note with Coley breaking his leg after riding around 5th spot for a chunk of lap one of the other B race.
Ok, that's way too much work time wasted. Till next time...
Friday, December 15, 2006
Odds are I'll be driving well over 500 miles over the next couple days. My driving schedule will be something like:
Friday - Hudson to Cambridge to Providence to Hudson
Saturday - Hudson to Grafton to Providence to Grafton to Hudson
Sunday - Hudson to Providence to Hudson to Sturbridge to Hudson
And people wonder how we put 40k plus miles on the two cars in total for a year.
Monday, December 11, 2006
We all line up in the staging area and got to chat up the SS bike with some guys. It's amazing how much talk a <$500 bike gets. I'm wearing #378 and I registered like 10 days ago so I'm figuring I'll be way back. They start callups and they started with 350... Woo hoo! Ended up starting in the second row which was a big relief. Whistle blows and it's a mad dash down the hill and of course I'm going from second row to about 40th because I've got no big gear. Held on for dear life and then we hit the sand and I must have passed 20 guys. A couple of general notes here: there were 2 paved 180 turns at the bottom of the hill and I found out that C cross racers cannot take turns at speed. I'm by no means great but I still made up huge chunks on groups just going through the 2 turns kinda well. Secondly, my remounts were uncharacteristically good yesterday which was huge. Moving on, I felt like I held position well throughout the race and not too many masters caught me. I did get to ride a short while with Gewilli who I also got to chat with after the race, but then I went down on probably one of the easier corners just because I did something dumb. I seemed like just a fall over crash, but my knee and hip are pretty stiff today. I was able to get back up quick and not lose too many spots. Rest of the race was uneventful and I kept feeling like I rode pretty well and I was blasting guys on the sand runs. Had no idea which position I was in so when I found a hand scribbled list of numbers taped to the window inside, I was thrilled to find I got 18th. Best placing this season and I was <2 min down to the winner so I'll take it. Nationals in 4 days...
In non-biking news, we took the kids to a Xmas thing at Gilette yesterday which they really enjoyed and then the older 2 had skating last night. Final class of this session and both of them got medals so they were thrilled. That and some positive words from the teacher I think convinced the oldest to go for more lessons even though he claimed he didn't want to. It's amazing that when they started the oldest couldn't really skate and the younger could barely stand up steady. Yesterday before class they were running around playing tag in their skates and then were playing tag with the teachers on the ice. I miss having the brain to learn things that fast :)
Ok, I should do some work... or something.
Friday, December 08, 2006
By the way, I do have to point out that I can't exactly recommend a couple dealing with 2 full-time jobs, 2 ongoing graduate degree programs, 3 kids under the age of 6, a house, a dog, a cat, 4 fish, 2 hermit crabs, and never ending home improvement projects. It leads to a severe lack of sleep and an ever growing list of things you never get to because they don't make the cut. Oh well... I'd probably be bored if there was any less to do... maybe.
Warwick, RI cross on Sunday and then Nats Friday and Sunday. Decided to take a half day and throw my hat in for the Masters U35 race. I'll be starting DFL so I just hope at least one guy has a mechanical and I don't finish there.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Apparently the meds and this excercise stuff are working :) I had just had a beer which I suspect lowers all of the above by a couple points, but I think I'm still doing ok.
This coming weekend is the Warwick, RI cross race on Sunday and then the following weekend is Nationals. I have to decide today if I'm going to be insane and race Masters 30+ on Friday and then the B race Sunday. I'm already signed up for the B race so I just have to decide if I want to take a half day to drive down and start in the back row of 100+ guys. I suspect I'll do better in the 30+ than B's so it may be worth it.
In other news the bathroom project is almost there. Painting is now done so next steps are finish electrical, the floor, and trim. Might get to the floor this Saturday so there's a chance I may have this thing done this year. Need to schedule Dad to help hang the door and some other stuff, but school is nearly done for the semester so I should be able to put some time in.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Ok, enough ranting. The pizza from the caf looks surprisingly good today and it's calling me...
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
In other news it's back to school this week so the bathroom project has come to a screeching halt again. I'm hoping I can keep the motivation going and get the painting done this week. Probably nothing before I finish this week's paper though. Got out early enough to get in a run yesterday so that was good other than the fact that I felt a little loopy from the headcold I caught from the biohazards living with me.
Ok... better do something productive with the fact that NOBODY else is in the freaking building...
Friday, November 24, 2006
If things go ok I'll get out on the MTB later anyways and I have to pick up the now repaired cross bike for tomorrow's race. I'm not sure how the day could go a lot worse so here's hoping...
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
No other real news today. Fortunately what could have been a quiet and boring week at work has turned out to be not bad and is flying by. Meeting the old crew from my last job after work tomorrow for beers so I should be able to avoid the few idiots who didn't get in their cars tonight to leave for Grandma's. I guess the only downside of the week is that the cross bike won't be fixed and ready until Friday... I think I'll give it a careful check over before Sterling Saturday morning. I think we're mountain biking Friday anyways to burn off the stuffing so I get to enjoy the fat squishy tires. Speaking of the mountain bike, I'll probably post pictures of all the bikes once the cross bike is back... that is if anyone is reading and cares. Oh well, too bad if you don't care because I'll post them anyways :)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Hung around after for parts of the master's race. Highlights were Coley riding the stairs like they were barely a speed bump and getting to chat for a while with Kerry Litka . She seems pretty cool and down to earth and we got to compare the various woes we suffer in cross/riding from our extreme heights or lack of.
In non-bike news, I finally made progress on the new bathroom project yesterday and I may even make more this week. If I can have it painted by the end of the long weekend I'm doing well.
Friday, November 17, 2006
With the short week coming up I may actually get a chance (there, I just jinxed it) to work on the now long overdue new bathroom project. It's getting close to me needing to check how long building permits are good for before they expire. Let's hope I can put in a few hours and make progress. The amount of remaining work is painfully small so once I get started things should be good.
By the way, in case you were wondering, waiting for simulations to run is even more fun that watching grass grow. I guess the "bonus" is that it gives me time to post mindless commentary...
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
So this afternoon is our first ever parent-teacher conference. There shouldn't be any surprises because the teacher is pretty good about keeping us updated. We do have to ask about his first progress report though because it said he's having trouble with "problem solving". What we don't know is this is an analytical skill thing meaning he'll never go to a tech school or if it's a social skill problem meaning he'll fit right in at a tech school ;) Should be interesting.
I've got nothing else for this early in the morning.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The new cross rig was delivered yesterday and I got it as set up as I could last night. Need to transfer some parts over from the now trashed Lemond and pick up a couple new ones to have it race ready for Sunday. The timing may dictate though that I get no more than an hour to get used to the bike before heading into battle. It's got 2 wheels, handlebars, and some brakes... how much different could it be? :) The real risk factor is that I think I'm going with the reversed cross brakes so the likelihood of a flaming endo is very very high. Pictures of new bike to follow when available.
Oh, and for those who want to read the occasional mindless commentary of a deranged Steelers fan, check out Mikey's Page .
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Back to the trashed bike, I know have to make a decision... I had my mind made up that I'll be commuting by bike several days a week come spring (yes I know far off), but I had also decided that I wasn't buying any more bikes (after the cross bike) until I could afford custom since stock frames don't really fit. Now that the bike that would have been my commuter is gone, I have to decide to replace it for cheap or follow my no more stock frames rule. I guess I have a bit to decide so I'll probably worry about it after Xmas.
Enough rambling for now...
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
So speaking of cross, as in angry and pissed off, it gets a little old when everything you want to get in life that's a factor of your body size (clothes, shoes, cars, bicycles) ends up having to be custom or you have to pay extra to go to the one place that has something that will fit. Fortunately since Americans love giant cars they can put their generally fat butts in, I'm all set with the car thing. But getting bikes really sucks ass. The three bikes I have fit mostly, but it's primarly because they've been stretched and made to fit well enough. Now I want to get a cross bike and you'd think I was asking for the original hand-written copy of the Declaration of Independence. The manager of Landry's is on the case and he's trying to hook me up, but all the talk so far is of trying to make the biggest stock-bike he can find fit well enough. I think I've decided that I'm going to pimp myself out and become a walking billboard for whatever company is willing to give a mediocre bike rider a ride that fits. Doesn't even have to be a great ride... just one with a 64cm frame will be fine. If you know someone crazy enough to take me up on my offer, send them my way.