Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Upgrade Procedures

So it seems that there have been some adjustments to the upgrade procedures for all you sandbaggers, uh, bike racers out there. Most interesting change to me is the correlation of your CX category to your road or MTB category. There's also the 4 to 3 upgrade based on experience. I'm in for 15+ races in the last calendar year so I could easily take that one, but I think I'll hold off for now until I see how road/MTB season is going. I had no results to indicate I don't belong in the 4's right now so I don't think anyone will be crying about me staying there. Now what I'd still like to see is that enforced automatic upgrade. A lot more time and energy for USAC to track, but shouldn't it be a fancy envelope in your mailbox with your new license/upgrade sticker when you hit it? Sandbaggers everywhere are cowering in anticipation...

Monday, January 28, 2008

You know you're old when...

You realize that only 5 of the players on the Patriots 52 man roster are older than you. Says something about the sport when less than 10% of the players make it to more than age 33 in the league. I like cycling and running for that aspect... lots of guys a lot older than me can still kick my ass... gives me hope for the future :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Well I've been slacking off here so much that even Mrs. Tall Freak was commenting that I'm slacking off. Next up can only be scorn and a public call for content by Gewilli so I figured I'd do an update. So what's to update... um, nuthin good. A distinct sense of chaos setting in as I begin the latest school semester. In an effort to get this foolish degree out of the way, I'm doubling up this spring and next spring with one class each in the summer (road/mtb season) and the fall (cross season). It seems like a flawless plan... I come to the party late since I'm working my arse off for the spring but then I'm in stellar shape for CX and I ride home with the sandbagger laden double play at Glawstah... here's hoping at least :)

Training is going ok in the sense that I've been active more days than I have not. It is winter after all and I did just stop racing 2 weeks ago even though I basically didn't train at all after Nats. Other than focusing on not letting the biking legs forget and building strength, I have no plan or goal for at least another week or two. By then I'll know better if I even have any time to focus on training until April. There's always commuting come March. I am currently limited to my cross bike which has been partially converted to a commuter and my MTB which is fun to tool around on but the snow hasn't cooperated with winter rides so far. My road bike is tied up with getting that elusive 180mm crank set which would have been done if not for some expected oversight. You can only remind people so many times to make sure it's an Italian bottom bracket and the guy placing the order can only note that so many times. At some point though someone in the ordering center must have switched to decaf and the BB predictably came through as English (or is it standard... hell, non-Italian). Ah well, the roads suck anyways so the CX bike with 28mm tires or whatever they are is better right now anyways.

OK, that's enough pointless rambling for the sake of rambling. Maybe I'll do something interesting in the next few days that's worth sharing.

Go Pats!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I got myself a work crew

I figure in about 5 years, we can have the driveway clear in 2.5 minutes flat:

End of an era?

I can't tell if this fits any of the standard categories for a post, but here we go anyways... I'm starting to think my running career may be coming to an end (in terms of racing at least). I had been toying with the idea of passing the next couple months by training for the New Bedford 1/2 with a goal of racing it well (somewhere in the 1:20 to 1:25 range). I know I could go out today and cover the distance so the challenge would be to get enough running legs back to race it. Unfortunately, as with every time I've increased my running volume in the last year or two, my right shin is getting tender again. In college I had a stress fracture from over training and it seems now that every time I try to ramp it up again, I have problems in the same area. I recently got some insole things (sort of poor man's orthotics) from the podiatrist and they've helped some, but the problems are still creeping back in. Now I'm sure this is something I could work out with a few doctors visits and a careful training plan, but I'm probably unlikely to be doing enough running/racing to set up the 3 month plan to get to the point where I can just train regularly. So maybe I'm fully converted... who knows. Running is so ingrained in me at this point that it will never go away, but the glory days of racing may be fading...

Not much else to report. Bikes are in various states of repair as I pick at winter maintenance. Basement project still isn't 100% done thanks to a delivery delay by Home Depot and a lack of time for us to move all the toys down there and figure out what to do with the extra couch. Classes start up again next week so I better get my butt in gear or it will be summer and not much more will be done.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A dose of bike pron...

Mike Flanigan's photo gallery

Fancy bike lugs and such

I was down at ANT last night and the latest step through that he just boxed up to ship out is incredible. Look close at the details on it and you can tell how much work went into it. The Guerch will be sporting a new fork from Mr. Ant in a couple months so I'm looking forward to that.

Back to work... blech!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Anomaly... as in "I am an..."


Main Entry: anom·a·ly
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural anom·a·lies
Date: 1603
1 : the angular distance of a planet from its perihelion as seen from the sun
2 : deviation from the common rule : irregularity
3 : something anomalous : something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified

Now for the woe is me segment of today's programming...

I've gotten on this kick before... it usually happens when I try to buy pants, running shoes, or do anything related to a bicycle (this edition is being brought to you courtesy of my ill-fitting road and mountain bikes). Average sized guys don't know how easy they have it. Average sized runners and bikers sure don't either.
6'8" 190 pound guys aren't supposed to be reasonably fast distance runners... at least the shoe companies don't think so. Guys with 40.5" legs don't race bikes... at least not stock ones. Those same guys apparently don't wear pants that aren't made by one of two companies (that cost extra). Yes this is all pissing and moaning, but paying extra and having very limited choices just really sucks sometimes.

Ok, rant off...

Monday, January 07, 2008


Is a new course enough to make me go back? BTW, I had heard rumors last year of a course change... interesting to see that it happened. More interested in seeing what the change is.

And so it ends

Well folks, we can now call the New Belgian cross season officially over (unless somehow the guy in the dome up in NH surprises us and pulls off the indoor race). Time to clean the bikes, heal some bumps and bruises, and get read for road rash, uh, I mean road season (or mountain season if you're one of those dirty folks). Headed down to the rescheduled Natz Schmatz race yesterday basically for an excuse to ride my bike. I mentioned in passing last week at home that there was a race this weekend and was told "You should go"... ok, who am I to argue. Nothing really overwhelming to report about the race except that I have a new favorite hoppy beer. There were maybe 11 or 12 in the 4's race. I was riding 4th for a while and then got sloppy in the snow sections and fell back to I think 6th. I got a moral victory by riding the sand pit my last warmup lap and all 3 laps of the race. Now granted it was an easy-ish sand pit (as evidenced by most of the 4's riding it), but it was pretty soft and chewed up in sections and I never ride the sand so I'll take it. Seemed like it could be a really fun course in snowless conditions so I think I'll make a point to go back next year for the mid season event there. Cookie took second behind some dude in a tattered windbreaker who duck taped his number on who I think rode to the race (incognito sandbagger). Came out with a few more bumps than I wanted thanks to some less than graceful incidents in the snow, but I'll be fine.

I think it's on to a couple months of running season for me. I've got LOTS of bike cleaning to do so that may be the extent of my bike contact for a bit. We'll see...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Nothing like a nice breakfast on New Years morning. The kids wanted to go to the local breakfast place for chocolate chip Mickey Mouse pancakes, but their closed. Instead daddy sprung to action and whipped up a chocolate chip MM pancake, a chocolate chip snowman pancake, and this:

Yes the saddle is missing and there's no way to steer, but for those with limited culinary abilities, this was a pretty valiant effort (and it was delicious). And yes those are chocolate chip hubs... gotta get me some of those.