Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here's To a Great '09

Happy new year guys and gals. Genuinely wishing you the very best in '09 and beyond. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Somehow less scheduled activity is resulting in less free time. Been trying to enjoy the holidays, reset the brain and body a little, and catch up with the parts of my life that get ignored during school/racing/etc. Rib thing is feeling better, but still reminds me not to be stupid. Rode both days this weekend after 2 weeks of nothing. At work most of this week, but fortunately it will be dead. Maybe I can piece together the year in review if I find the motivation to dig up that old post on goals. Frighteningly, I think I hit most of them. It can only be downhill from here.

And Xmas was fantastic... the boys claimed it was the best ever, family drama was at a minimum, and much fun was had by all. Hope your near the end of December holiday-ish celebration was great too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Good thing the season is over

After the Ice Weasels race, I noticed that the left side of my ribcage felt like I had pulled a muscle or something. I figured that some combination of hurriedly throwing furniture around and something I did while racing was the culprit... no big deal... sucks to get old. Well that was 9 days ago. Most of last week the pain was sort of back and forth and I noticed after a couple days that there was one very specific spot, about the size of my finger-tip, that was very very tender to the touch. I started thinking "Huh, I bet this is what it would fee like if I broke a rib." Not remembering any sort of impact that would break a rib, I wrote it off. After a weekend of snow removal said rib was particularly angry with me so last night I had to make the promise to the wife that I'd call a doctor today. Doctor's recommendation basically came down to go get an x-ray because we're going to want one anyways. Out of work early and off to the ER I go where I enjoyed about a 100-minute turnaround for 3 chest x-rays and a diagnosis. Sadly, that was pretty quick. The diagnosis: If it hurts, don't do it. There was nothing on the film that indicated a healing break of any kind so the theory is that I severely aggravated the cartilage between my ribs. I was told to basically just take it easy for a bit to let things calm down. I follow up with the doc in the a.m., but I'm not expecting any sort of different story. Of course I then came home and used the snow rake to clear off the bottom few feet of the roof. Fortunately 12 fl. oz. in a glass bottle don't seem to be heavy enough to bother it...

Update: Likely diagnosis is an intercostal muscle tear. Treatment: don't do anything stupid for about 4 weeks. Probability of me following treatment plan: Low.

Friday, December 19, 2008

NTEP, the finale

Finally huh?

When we last left our hero, he was standing in the driveway in a combination of horror and disbelief about destroying his road bike. What to do... what to do? Well it turns out this story has a silver lining. About 3 weeks prior to said incident I had become officially fed up with the poor fit of my road bike and the fact that there was effectively nothing more that could be done. Even with the custom fork, there was just something about the overall setup that wasn't right and I had been getting very uncomfortable on anything more than an hour. Well I had been sitting on part of a bonus from work and my wife graciously agreed to let me go for broke and order... wait for it... my Seven that I had always wanted. So once I was able to speak again, I made a call to the shop and told them what happened. Then I asked if anything could be done to expedite the build. I got a call back that I'd have my new steed within 3 days. So lady and gentleman, meet my silver lining:

A picture taken in my poorly lit garage really doesn't do it justice. Some sunny day I have to do a proper photo shoot.

See... good thing I split that post up... it only took me like 3 months to finish it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And you think I'm an unusually large Person

I just had to buy my not-even 8 year old son MEN'S size 7 shoes. This poor child is either going to be rich and famous from crushing other large men on a turf field or pointed at and mocked like his old man...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Apparently ground water intrusion of any type is not covered by insurance, or at least mine. Forget the fact that we've gone to great personal expense to prevent damage to the house and that I've gone to great lengths to minimize the size of any claim I'd be filing from this incident. I knew they'd find a way to weasle out of this... pictures to follow on my other blog (link forthcoming with the pictures).

Oh, and I hand in my final today... One. Semester. Left.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I almost didn't goeth

Rewind back to Friday early morning... About 4 a.m. when my brain was starting to spark to life my wife pointed out that she thought the power had just gone out. Once it registered, I looked at the clock and saw that it was on so I thought she was crazy or it was just a blip. About 30 minutes later I was more conscious and noticed when the power really did go out. Probably 5 minutes after that the overflow alarm on my sump pump started to go off and thus started the mad scramble to save anything we could. Despite being in line at Home Depot when they opened the doors at 6 to buy a generator (fortunately the next town didn't lose power until a couple hours later), we still ended up with about 4" of water in some parts of the basement. Saturday morning as I was tearing out more sections of the floor that was destroyed, I contemplated whether I should just bail and attend to that, but was then given the green light by my wife since it was the last race of the season and it would be a good stress relief (have I mentioned she rocks?)

Now just because I had the go-ahead, didn't mean I was prepared. I think I was half packed, it was already 11:15, the race was at 2, and I hadn't eaten lunch. I had to take the gamble and go with 2 junior bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy's while driving as pre-race food. Fortunately there was no second coming of the burgers so that part worked out ok I guess. Got to Wretham about 12:40 which left me barely enough time to get myself organized. With the small race and parking right there it was no problem to get to reg and see a couple of the noon racers going by at the end of their festivities. Just then Coley says "Ooh, they're done, I can get a lap in" so I'm thinking "Oh yah, I should probably check out the course, but I have about 10 minutes to do that". Run back to the car and throw on the bare essentials... shoes and helmet and even the shoes were debated. So my course preview was in jeans and a work jacket... oh well, I was warm. Someone had warned me the course "would make you learn how to turn your bike" and they were certainly right. Note to self, set your expectations low when the course is designed by 2 nearly pro mountain bikers and they have very little space to work with. All the twists and turns were pretty fun and I was actually more worried about the drop of death on the backside of the course. If it had been smooth it would have been a no-brakes thrill ride, but it was riddled with potholes so it was instead an attempt to not injure myself.

With the course checked out I got suited up quickly and then hit the oh-so-pro warmup area in the barn. Let me tell you, pro treatment when you're lining up for your first big kids race is... well... pro. The lineup was uneventful except that Colin was still standing casually in front of the field shooting the shit with the officials when Chris yelled "15 seconds"... dude puts on a race and he thinks he can do what he wants ;) Whistle blows and I am VERY quickly reminded that I need some big adjustments to my starting mentality when racing fast people. Everyone was off like a shot and by about 2 minutes into the race I realized that me, GD, and lil Stevie are bringing up the rear of the field convincingly. Well I'd like to tell you that I got my act together and went blazing through the field from there, but you'd know I was lying. Some high/lowlights from the rest of the race:

- Passing a guy going into the super narrow 180 and then crashing hard while doing a 3-point turn on my giant bike and making him and GD stand there while I insulted myself

- Thinking I was taking a Bud Light handup only to discover it was a malt liquor handup. I think it's good that I then hit a pothole and spilled half of it.

- Getting a free Colt 45 fueled Nega-Coach session in the middle of the race. After screaming a bunch of stuff about being fast and power and all kinds of other nonsense he eloquently summed it up by screaming "DON'T SUCK!" Amen brother.

- Realizing that I was gaining on Coley and CCC only to have them mock me to try and catch them and later find out that they had "shut it down" and realized they should pick it up when I started getting close

- Being mocked by a tri guy for my bike handling skills

- Not getting lapped despite deserving it with the way I rode

Overall it was a killer race and I was definitely sore and tired Saturday night. I didn't feel great during the race, but it's unclear if that's because I sucked or if the race was just that fast and the speed was killing me. All the twisties were definitely not made for me, but I held my own on the 2 long straights and barrier sections. There's definitely improvements to be made, but whether it's the 3-4 minutes worth of improvements I'd need to actually compete in that field remains to be seen. Sounds like a goal for another season...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What do we do next weekend?

Yes kids, I think the withdrawal has begun already. I'm pretty beat from the past couple days and I'll give the long story on all that tomorrow. For now I just have to give it up to Results Boy and Thom for putting on a hell of a race today. There's got to be some sort of award for making the most out of very little space and these guys would win it. Seriously, I think they packed about 3-4 minutes of a 7 minute-ish course into a space about 150' x 150'. Although I will request that next year they use my bike to gauge the width of some of those 180's ;)

So for now I'll leave you with this Mr (and Ms) Cyclocross Racer... to a season well done:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bad day for tires

I finally got 2 seconds to capture my blowout from Sunday:

As an added bonus, while trying to frankenbike some shizz together for Saturday I discovered this little gem:

Fortunately I never liked these tires much anyways. I suppose that's one way to clean out the garage...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Suckfest

The silver lining of shitty races is that the reports can be short... 5th row lineup, mediocre start, 2 guys come together and almost eat it in front of me, took the wrong side on the first run and literally came to a standstill, spontaneous flat on lap 2 about 30 seconds past the pit, just try not to get lapped. Rode the flat slowly and carefully just since it hurt less than running that far, but there wasn't much to accomplish by that point. Only highlight was plucking a dollar off the barriers although I did miss the brownie handups. 1 race to go... guess it will be on clinchers. I'm not scrambling around this week to buy and glue a tire. If I were headed to KS then I'd be freaking out, but the likelihood of in-race shenanigans Saturday is very high so why bother.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dear God, What Have I Done?

Dear Colin,

Please make the lap long... really really long. I'd like to get to race 30 minutes or so before Diane just laughs and pulls me.

Giant Frame Guy

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

OK blogosphere, prove that you're cool

Manny Goguen from MRC has been invited to participate in the Euro Cross camp. Yah... that one. That whole go live in Belgium with super fast guys and race super fast guys thing. Problem is, Manny only has one bike and was told to bring two. Manny needs a decent loaner 50cm cross bike to bring with him. Obviously I can't give him mine or I would have driven it down to him tonight. Help a brother out? I can put you in touch with him and his dad if you can...

A few days late

I should have linked this last week. Just one of many things I have to be thankful for. And yes, the looks and charm get him out of a lot of trouble he causes.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The fun continues

This will be quick because something tells me I should be working... maybe it's all the people working around me, but I'm not sure. Sunday was another fantastic day of racing at Palmer. Lined up with 25 or so in the 35+ race, dutifully watched Dan Coady and Curtis Boivin ride away off the line, battled it out with a small group, didn't suck on the mountain bike sections, took advantage of the 3 runups (woo hoo), and came home 10th. I added to Saturday's tally of beating people I've never beaten by coming in ahead of several more fast guys. At this point I won't be at all surprised if this week 1) I get insanely sick, 2) my frame snaps, or 3) I show up Sunday and suck badly. Let's see if I can keep it rolling for another couple weeks...