Wednesday, December 10, 2008

funny-ass shit

craigslist post forwarded to me by lisa. i too want a manly-ass bicycle. that's probably what's been wrong with my race results all along. that and possibly ninja training.

various forms of finals have been hammering both my sleep and my motivation for the last ten days or so. it's been a constant stream of deliverables and study session, with the occasional two wheeled escape thrown in. focusing on any given task has become progressively harder, as my bailout point on any evening has moved substaintially forward in time. bailouts occur when demotivation and exaughstion combine to finally make me get up and pour a beer. this doesn't mean that i stop working, of course, it just means that the output gets a little more creative. this is why my 'personal action plan' section to my management final now reads things like "i am going to be the bestest managers ever because..." and "i rule!".

maybe i should hand that one in to marketing instead.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


looks familiar?

i'm just sayin'. style is contagious. midtown is happy to set the trend. can't keep up, we're already moving on.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

channeling Hunter S. Thompson



Good Habaneros come on slow. In the first minute, nothing. The second minute is spent cursing the creep who burned you. And then… ZAM.

I approached the hot-pepper eating challenge with a simple strategy: peel the peppers into pieces, eat the outsides first, then down all the seeds in one go. And move fast. In no time, I was looking at an empty plate while the other fools all took the peppers bite by bite. I waited. All was looking good.

And then, it hit me. Not the burn - my mouth and taste buds are scorched from years of hot foods - but the sudden sting of pepper in the gut. A hot sensation behind my ears. A small cloud of confusion settling over my head as the peppers rushed through my system and a puffy sensation took over. My ears were filled with a buzzing noise. My hands began to vibrate violently. I looked at them, and they appeared normal, but my senses told me otherwise. The buzzing in my head melded with the shaking in my hands and suddenly I felt my whole body was hanging from a live high-voltage wire.

This was becoming grotesque.

Elizabeth Estes downed a fourth pepper to overtake me in the challenge, and I knew I was done. There was no chance of operating my fingers to open another one and besides, I did not want to become the first known Habanero overdose case at Sacred Heart.

Luckily, the intense pepper high is short lived. Quick consumption of some serious carbs in the form of Miriam's white rice quickly put things straight, although every fluid erupting from my body still brought on a burning sensation.

For a cheap thrill, it turns out that you just can't beat hot peppers. But the consequences promise to be dire, so I still wouldn't recommend it. Get your kicks elsewhere unless you're just twisted and desperate enough not to care.

I am quietly dreading tomorrow.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Fish tried to commit suicide the other day by jumping out of his holding cup and onto the floor while I was cleaning the fishbowl. Lucky for him I noticed the movement on the floor and scooped him right up. He must not have landed on his head, because apart from some initial excitement and dashing around the bowl, he's looking pretty normal. He was exceptionally lucky that none of the cats were hanging around my feet at the time, like they usually do.

If you dropped me from 3 feet up onto a tile floor, there would be far more excitement about it.




Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've been commuting to school as my main form of training these days, with the shortest route being 20 minutes through town, and the longest 1:10 or so (depending on the bike) over McBeth and down the Fox. It's tough to do much more than just spin or ride light tempo with a big-ass backpack, but some days I've managed to do the double - 2:20-2:30 for the day, and the volume certainly helps. Sometime I'll have to drop the bag off at school early and just go do some hill repeats without the pack.

Coming down Fox has it's risks in the early morning, I've found out. The deer are out early, and this week the road is full of frisky bucks looking for a doe with an urge and a convenient place to do it. The does are all over the road - I startled a pair of them the other day, and one took off straight downhill parallel to the guard rail, at about 25-30mph, 20 yards in front of me for about 1/4 mile before peeling off.

Further down the road,as I reached the bottom of Fox at Amazon, I passed a van stopped in the right turn lane and heard a lady shout "can I talk to you for a minute?". I thought it was meant for someone else, but no, headed down Amazon here comes this same van headed the opposite way, stops as I go by, and this crazy doe leans out the window and shouts at me "can you pull over? i want to talk to you!". Me? Are you nuts, lady? Am I going to stop and talk to the crazy one who actually went down the other street, and turned up this to intercept me? Hell no. I kept going, shouting "what? No, I'm busy!". She passed me again down Hillyard, and I got the nasty stare. No idea what I did to piss her off.

Like I said, the nutters are out early in the mornings and running erratically. Watch out and keep the lights on.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

!!!!

12.5lb steel road bike.

not me, rob. i'm not sure how he does it, but there you go. now i want one. my DA fuji, with race wheels and not the 404/powertap, is still 17.5 lbs. the record steel burley, with race wheels, is 19 or so. good lord.

Monday, October 13, 2008

suck

Oh, this sucks. The bonus of being in school is that your time is flexible, more or less, the downside is that you have to flex a lot of it towards school.

Weekend:
Up at 7. Ride, then work into the evening. Repeat.

Weekdays:
Up at 6. Eat. Ride to school.
Lock up bike, walk to Lillis Hall, change, pick up NYTimes, pour a coffee from the thermos and be one of the last to class - while being 15 minutes early.
Class.
Meetings, and sandwich eating.
Maybe more class.
Change, go get bike, ride home (hopefully over Fox)
Eat.
Work.
Stop work for dinner.
Work.
9pm, sit down for a half glass of wine and some boob tube.
915pm, bed.


Repeat.

On the plus side, I get to ride with the UO team as well as my regular team. Collegiate Nationals, and all sorts of races I haven't done before (yay). On the down side, I'm too broke for entry fees. On the plus side, I think the team will pay for most of those. On the down side, the races are in the early spring in the nasty rain, when I don't like racing anyways.

I have no problem racing with fenders.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

paying the bills

Classes have started. However, socials have not ended - so my tally of free beers (thanks, Lundquist College of Business) is somewhere around the 2 dozen mark.

My training strategy so far revolves around holding on to summer fitness for as long as possible, postponing the inevitable crash and hoping that some of the momentum will carry through until, oh, let's say May. Pipe dream? Maybe, but I'm still riding. Two days off in the last month. Necessity.

I will say this: 44x16 is a great gear while training, commuting, or winter riding, but it's a m#therf*ucker when climbing fox hollow at 630am with a pack full of gear.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I had to google "SWOT analysis" during a lecture. Bad sign? Those in the know, know.

This whole 'laptops in the classroom' thing is still weird. However, it did let me do research on items that the professor was showing on slides. As such, I learned that Iams is a Proctor & Gamble brand, and they make a product called Iams Savory, aka BBQ sauce for dogs.



This ruined my attention span for probably five whole minutes while I contemplated the meaning of this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

good lord

They're keeping up jumping at B-school. We got hit with a case analysis today, and our teams have to present at 815 tomorrow morning. We read the case as homework last night, and a 4pm today were given the subject to present about. Um.

I guess it's supposed to keep us on our toes.

Still, I squeezed in a nice 30 miler between 6 and 745 on my fixed gear, then hit the books some more. And now it's bedtime, because presentation rehearsal for my team is 7am at Starbucks.

Also, yesterday's experiment with the double McBeth - once before school, once after - was a semi failure. I was just too beat when I got home to do much about the reading. And something about climbing in a 44x16 with a big-ass bag is just not very relaxing, either. I can't complain about 2+hrs on a weekday, but I probably won't do that very often.

Friday, September 12, 2008

at last

I have seen the One.

No brakes - no helmet - flat pedals - and a freewheel.

Riding very slowly down the sidewalk on the North side of 13th. I think he is around Campus, too. I am going to carry a camera until I can catch this on film.

It is the apocalypse. In a trend already devoid of function, now even the last fibers of substance are fraying like hand-me-down jeans from your buddy's older sister. The hipsters are being co-opted by guileless wanna be wanna be's, so even they must find that ironic.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

top tube pads!

Today I realized why those hipsters put top tube pads on their bikes.

I was standing in front of the Obama headquarters on Broadway, having a nice quiet phone conversation with the lady, when a hipster and his partner rolled by, going approximately 6-8mph, as they are wont to do, as higher speeds mean a compete inability to stop. Well, the car in front of them stopped at the stop sign there, and that is when I realized that this particular champ had not only no helmet and no brakes, but no toe clips either. He was riding flats. The car was stopped, and he tried to backpedal fruitlessly for about two crank revolutions, then, to avoid the car, swerved into the opposite lane and simultaneously jumped off his saddle to plant his feet on the ground, hitting his nuts on the top tube with a solid whack. I was almost too surprised to grin.

Top tube pads: simultaneously a brake substitute and hipster fertility treatment.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the trouble begins

I got my orientation schedule today for the intro to B-school. Yep, it's an excel spreadsheet. With detailed listing of what, when, where, ... and required attire. Attire is listed as Business Casual to Business Formal for about every day.

Come again? Business what?

In my old job, Business Casual meant that you found your nice pair of jeans. Formal meant you pulled out a collar, if you had one. Casual meant shorts.

I don't think I ever attended an undergraduate class in more than jeans and a t-shirt, and more often than not it was in about five layers of sweats, t shirts, or spandex, having come straight from crew practice, so that I could ball up a ratty hooded sweater and take a nap in the back of math class. The first summer that I had a job which was not coaching, I made a girlfriend take me clothes shopping so that I could buy three polos and a nice(r) pair of jeans. I fit right in with the other engineers. In fact, my clothes were slightly nicer, since they kept their factory press lines most of the summer.

This new attire shit is going to take some getting used to. Is it appropriate to change in the Rec center then strut to class in slacks, shirt, tie, and still carry my big-ass messenger bag? Will I need to stuff a leather attache case in the bag and carry that to class instead, and leave the Ortlieb full of clothes and bike shoes in a locker? Is it even kosher to bike, or should I be parking in handicaped spots and sip petroleum from a carved out rhino's horn?

I am suddenly worried.

What's next, golf?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

stage 2, 3, 4, - 5?

Stage 2 TT - not so hot for me. Pretty flat legs, the motor revs but won't get warm. Our gc man takes the win and we now have the race lead.

Stage 3 Crit - simple. Shut down anything dangerous and make sure it's a sprint, which we don't need to win. Done.

Stage 4 Wolf Creek x 2 - Not so simple. Some dangerous stuff got away but it all back back for the right guys at the end. I felt surprisingly good on the first lap and knocked off 380w at tempo up the big climb - for just shy of 10 minutes. Then there was some tempo, some wind riding, etc, and the legs lost a gear or two on the second lap. Big and I rode in with the second group, our work being done.

Stage 5 - Crit? - The day after the race, today, Sal decides to put on one last tuesday night crit. Unofficially stage 5. WTF, Sal? Can't we do it on a wednesday for once? For anyone who raced, or at least for their legs, it's definitely going to get interesting.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

my day

eugene celebration, stage 1:

Duration: 3:14:20
Work: 2781 kJ
TSS: 230.9 (intensity factor 0.844)
Norm Power: 295W
VI: 1.24
Distance: 129.304 km
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 1138 239 watts
Heart rate: 103 191 165 bpm
Cadence: 29 203 88 rpm
Speed: 4 74.3 39.9 kph


Entire workout (213 watts):
Duration: 4:07:28
Work: 3161 kJ
TSS: 266.1 (intensity factor 0.803)
Norm Power: 281W
VI: 1.32
Distance: 147.794 km
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 1138 213 watts
Heart rate: 0 191 157 bpm
Cadence: 29 203 84 rpm
Speed: 3.7 74.3 35.8 kph


Since 1kCal = 4.18kJ and the human body is usually <25% efficent, thats about 3100kCal (aka Calories). Here's a menu of 3100kCal.

McDonald's website lists a 1/4lber w/ cheese at 510 cal. So here's my fuel for the ride:


And here's my fuel for the day:


Count 'em up - a dozen quarter pounders with cheese.

Yuck.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gearing Up

School is right around the corner and I am nowhere near ready. Holy crap, it's coming up fast. Orientation starts on the 15th, 2 weeks before classes, which sounds benign enough, except that there's a case competition during orientation which select the team to represent the U of O at the PAC 10 business plan competition or some such. Damn! These guys don't waste their time. So from the gun, before classes, it's on. Big time. I'm just figuring out when I'll be squeezing in my bike rides.

One good thing about the new school year is that I can justify some new toys. The lady hooked me up with a sweet new bag (Ortlieb waterproof), crayons, glue sticks, and the other essentials. I got a new netbook for taking notes - Linux rules (after a little hacking). Microsoft will be history as a dominant OS in 10-12 years, mark my words. I even scored one of the last two remaining open bike lockers on campus - so I can ride a reasonable training bike and not dash outside between classes to nervously check on it. My master school-bike-riding plan includes keeping a folding stool and a spare pair of shoes in the locker so I can switch the essentials right on the spot, then cruise on down to class in the AM.

The only hole in the entire scheme is the coffee situation. Now, at work, we currently have a supply of free coffee, albeit it swill. It might be Folgers, it might be some generic blend, but it's crap. Mostly this is because of the flat bottom filters and shitty drip machines - but that's for another discussion. So, down by my office, I have a nice grinder (gotta remember to take that one home) and an espresso machine. One of my co-workers also recently brought in a french press. So we are pretty much set. When in desperate need, I can also cruise over to the closest coffee joint and score a hit. However, I have no recourse for the poor-student-no-espresso-machine situation that I am about to enter. 3 bucks for a cup of joe at the bean joints is out of the question. In all likelyhood, so is plugging the espresso maker into the wall in the back of the Lillis Hall classrooms. So I am going to be dusting off the thermoses (is the plural thermii?) and for the time being I will have to settle for adding a couple of pounds of liquid to the contents of my messenger bag on my commute. Not such a big deal, I guess, but how am I going to carry the cream?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the post-consumer consumer


60% recycled sleeve (just barely over half to make it more good than bad, right?) - yet they distribute one automatically with every cup (10% recycled), and how many recycling bins have you seen at Starbucks? Zero.

So.. recycle it once, then throw it away the second time 'round.

Corporate America, where seeming green is more important than being green (hence the 'natural' brown color on the disposable sleeve).

I should just stop reading things.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Spokane

Spokane, Washington. Don't go there.

The lady and I flew up for her college roommate's wedding over the weekend. The bride's side of the aisle was OK (they're from Bend), but on the groom's side there were a disturbing number of tattoos, chains, nascar hats, mullets, and cigarettes. The post-wedding toast used Cooks'. That's a harsh buzz.

We hit the Spokane (International) Airport early in the morning, mostly because the inside of the airport appeared to be no less interesting than the rest of Spokane, and at least we knew there was coffee and newspapers to be had. A friend we were travelling with was right behind me in line for security, and he got stopped by the Fuzz as they scanned his bag.

"Sir, is this your bag?"
"Yes, it is."
"Do you have shaving cream in here?"
"Why yes, I do"
"OK well next time, you're going to want to take that out"

And away we went. Never looked, never opened the bag. Just like that. You know, that made me feel really happy that they X-rayed my shoes. I mean, the only reason I even checked my bag was so that I could bring my own toothpaste! So much for high security. Apparently the Terrorists don't fly out of Spokane. Not that the rules make much sense anyways. But let's imagine, for a moment, some other quality conversations that could have occured:

"Sir, is this your bag?"
"Yes, it is."
"Do you have any modeling clay in here?"
"Uh, yeah, sure, that sounds good"
"OK well next time, you're going to want to take that out"


"Sir, is this your bag?"
"Yes, it is."
"Do you have any firearms here?"
"Just a couple"
"OK well next time, you're going to want to take those out"


"Sir, you appear to be shaking and sweating profusely"
"Am I?"
"Yes sir, you might not want to act so nervous or next time we might have to seach you"
"OK, thanks."


Homeland security, brought to you by the TSA, your tax dollars at work.

TSA - Thousands, Standing Around.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

US vs THEM

In the local news today: the trucking company who's driver killed Jane Higdon 2 years ago is set to give $1 million to a bike safety fund. Then, a story on bikes vs. vehicles. It's good to see some neutral coverage of bikes as transportation, without some of the negative, anti-bike coverage the press usually generates. The new reality is settling in and growing, and we're lucky enough to have some of the most progressive bike freindly streets around. Yet, every day that I commute or just ride through town, I get a taste of why there is still conflict and danger on the streets: there are dangerous motorists, and there are equally dangerous and stupid cyclists, and every dangerous cyclist is just antagonizing one of those ass-wipes with the 4000lb guided missle. Yesterday, I almost nailed a dude, on a recumbent, going the wrong way down a bike lane on 18th, whom I didn't see coming at me through the shadows at about 5pm. Jay-sus. My alternatives: swerve into traffic, or hit him. Neither is good.

If I can see them coming, I usually pick a third alternative with the directionally challenged bikers: I put myself right at the curb, push out the elbows, and play chicken. It works with the bums, the clueless, and the baggy-pants bmx riding punks who are having issues with a straight line anyways. It especially works with the fixed gear hipsters who can't hit their non existent brakes and squawk in fright as their tail-feathers are ruffled in the head-on traffic. Better you than me, dude, I'm following the law.

I've noticed a large pick-up in bike traffic in the last few months as a) gas prices have taken off and b) the weather has permitted it. I have seen more commuters out than any other time before and with the extra riders come the extra conflicts.

I saw a guy on a fixie ride the wrong way up 13th avenue and bail off his bike in front of midtown pipe and tobacco. Not helping the cause. I saw another fixer ride off a curb in front of traffic to cross 18th because he had committed to the move before he saw the cars coming and almost got smacked. I saw that recumbent cruising the wrong way down the bike lane and scare the be-jay-sus out of me when I almost nailed him head-on. I see guys going the wrong way up the bike lane on Bertelson all the time, but at least I can see them coming for a ways.

I've been brushed by cars and trucks on purpose, had a cars hit their horns right as they passed me, been yelled at, had various items tossed from windows at me, had cars going the opposite way honk their horns just to give me the finger as I go by, and been almost caught by vehicles passing then making a right turn in front of me several times, including by one guy in a truck with a boat trailer who passed then started to turn into a DairyMart parking lot before the trailer had gone by me, on 28th. I executed a hard-right crit style turn to save my butt on that one, and was lucky I didn't hit someone coming out of the lot.

It's US vs THEM out there alright, but not the way you think. It's not cars vs bikes. It's smart vs dumb. It's respectful vs disrespectful. It's legal vs illegal. It's people vs people.

Don't be a dumbass. Don't stand for people who are. If some idiot is riding the wrong way down a bike lane, stop and set them straight, just like you would get the plates of someone who is driving dangerously. It's all the symptoms of the same disease. Our infrastructure has a long way to go before it's comfortably accommodating of bikes as serious transportation but we won't get there with a large percentage of 'people on bikes' (note i didn't say 'cyclists') behaving as scofflaws, just like we won't with a large percentage of motorists being ignorant of the laws and worse, not caring. The bike-car interactions are just going to keep growing. Let's make sure we do our part and police our own ranks as we go.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Eerie

Velonews reports that American Beef is signing on as a co-sponsor of former Saunier Duval. How eerily appropriate - doped-up cows sponsoring a doped-up team. Maybe the direct line to bovine growth hormone will make for some impressive riding at the Vuelta, or maybe your next burger will come with extra red cells for new and improved juiciness. I guess you can always learn from other industries.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

242

If I could only do one Oregon ride a year, McKenzie Pass would be it. No question, hands down, my favorite. So after hearing various stories and rumors regarding the status of the road this year, I decided to take the opportunity of having the woman out of town for the week to load up with a bike, cooler, and change of clothes, and do some exploring.

According to ODOT, 242 is closed to traffic during construction work between the snow gate at mile 11 or so, and the top of the pass. However, 'closed to traffic' and 'unrideable' are two different things. I had heard a rumor that it was passable on weekend when no road crews were hauling 40ft loads of gravel down the middle of the road, and no expecting rogue cyclists. I also heard that two bridges somewhere on the road and had been TNT'd and were being rebuilt, meaning that the road was completely shut unless you brought some hiking shoes and a machete (of which I own neither). So I figured that at the very least, the bottom half of the climb it a worthwhile trip in and of itself, and I would see how far I got.

As it turned out, I got exactly as far as the gate. And both rumors and reports were somewhat true, ironically. ODOT is in fact rebuilding two bridges, but there are temporary bridges up that they are using to drive trucks across. So the road is rideable, although presumably somewhat debris-littered. However, the road is completely closed, since in their wisdom either the county, state, or contractor has installed a live-in gate keeper, who we shall call 'Cleetus'. Cleetus is, in fact, the road closure.

Cleetus has two dogs, one trailer, one truck, and half a mouthful of teeth. He also has some tattoos. I believe that he owns exactly one pair of shoes, one pair of jeans, and two t-shirts. He also owns a gun. Or several, but one of which was on hand.

After 50min or so of rolling and sweating from the ranger station, I came up to the gate, where Cleetus was leaning against the rail on the other side.
G: "Hi."
C: "The road is closed. You're not going through."

OK... so who are you, exactly?

G: "Um, ok, where is the road closed?"
C: "Right here. Says road closed. You're not crossing this gate."
G: "But you're on that side of the gate"
C: "See that trailer over there? I'm living here. I'm the guy who keeps people out."

I see now. Some banter ensues. I ask about the details of the road project, where the hiking trails are closed, how open the road is from the sisters side, what the project timelines are, etc. He keeps coming back to the point of not letting anyone through, on foot or otherwise. Talks about some people getting belligerent.

C: "I won't lie to you. I'm not armed... except for that little .45 under the seat of my truck."

OK. Cleetus has a gun. Somehow I don't think it's in the truck like he says. He also hasn't moved in 10 minutes. He's looking at me sideways and facing slightly away from me. He is chewing something that I can't identify with his remaining teeth. I think he is chewing without molars. His dog is friendly enough but there is another dog in the trailer. At this point, I know I'm not going to check out the closure beyond this point because, no matter how rideable the road theoretically is, Cleetus is a reality. If I snuck by while he was dozing in the trailer I might get shot on my way back down. By a .45. That's OK, this morning I had figured there was a really good chance I wouldn't make it to the top, but thought it would be because of long stretches of missing roads, not a greying back-woods type sneering and vaguely threatening bodily hard if I made a move towards crossing the gate.

So I strike up some small talk.

G: "So how long are you here for?"
C: "I'm here until they're done. They are supposed to wrap this up by the end of August, and they've been busting their asses to get it done. I tell you what, they better hurry up 'cause I'm calling on a new job tomorrow mornin'."
G: "Oh yeah? Same sort? Where at?"
C: "Dunno. Didn't say. Said 'remote cabin' and had a phone number. Remote. I like remote."

Yeah, I bet you do. Don't look like the socializin' type.

Cleetus and I talked some more. I struck a chord when I shifted the topic to guns, and hunting. He says he doesn't hunt anymore, but said he wished he had his .410 with him up on that hill, there's so many rabbits around.

C: "Ain't no jacks, either. Fucking bunnyhoppers. Rabbit stew? Tasty."

He tells me he's from Oakridge. Shoots a lot of rabbits up there. If I want to kill some bunnies I should drive up a road around dusk, and make a mark of every rock on the road. Turn around at dark, drive back, and if I see a rock that wasn't there earlier, shoot the sum-na-bitch. He was back there last weekend, driving around with his brother. Shot a bunch of grouse in the road from the passenger side of his brother's truck. Of course, I don't mention that it's not grouse season, and shooting across roads is illegal, much less shooting at them. Cleetus is not the kind who cares. He probably doesn't have a license or registration for that truck, since I'm pretty sure those tags are expired. I doubt he pays taxes. That "little .45" he has tucked in there? Told me he cut up his old 29ft trailer to get the mice out ("Fucking mice had stored dogfood up in the insulation in the ceiling. Took a sawsall to it, fucking full of dogfood."), then traded the frame of the trailer for the .45. It was either that or a snowmobile, apparently, and he didn't really want a snowmobile.

At this point I wished him good luck with his new job tomorrow, and coasted the 20k on back down to the car. I enacted plan B and climbed up to Cougar reservoir and cruised the Aufterheide in the midday sun, keeping an eye for Cleetus' brother driving the otherway with a shottie out the drivers window looking for grouse.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July

July. Le Tour. Cycling itself, defined, over three weeks in July. For three weeks, I don't care if they all pack a bucket of cow's blood every morning, I'm still up early watching before work and then up late watching the re-runs after dinner. Maybe this is what the rest of America feels for the NFL. I doubt it, though, because nothing comes close to being a fan for a sport you actually participate in. I swear, I ride better in July just because the Tour is on TV.

And speaking of, did anyone else catch Jonathan Vaughters dropping the F-bomb live during the time trial? I'm sure VS took a big smacking from the FCC for that one. It was pretty priceless, though - JV was so excited he didn't notice either what he said, or how Robbie Ventura froze, dropped his jaw, glanced back and forth at the camera, and lost his train of thought. Priceless. JV kept on talking. Way to smooth it over, Robbie.



It's stinking hot. I showed up to the crit with four water bottles. Last week I only needed three. Sheesh. At least the legs are turning, though. And sleeveless morning rides before work are pretty sweet, too. July.

Friday, June 27, 2008

intervals

Ivar's been working on some new power analysis tools. It's cool. Check it out at:

http://ivong.wordpress.com/


In other news, it's official, I will be slow next year. By that I mean that I'm riding for the U of O ... uh, I mean, going to school. Business school, here I come. How much time does a full time MBA student have to ride? We will find out. Kenji might bust me down to the 4's by the time this is over.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

odd

Something strange has happened to me recently. I've been bringing a handful of soyjoys to work for lunch, because they are easy, plentiful around the house (leftover from 'cross race sponsorship), and only recently expired. Soyjoy has been a bit of a joke around the races down here, being all dry and weird tasting, so much so that the running joke is that the tuesday crit primes should be a box of soyjoy for the last person across the line. But since I've been muching on them in the afternoons, at the rate 3-4 a day, I've realized that they're not too bad with a small cup of strong coffee. In fact, I kind of like them. Not alone, of course, but with a hot beverage or other sidekick. It's kind of like biscotti, only softer, and in a little package. I could picture two soyjoy on a plate with an espresso, out at a little sidewalk cafe somewhere sunny. Odd.

Who woulda thought.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

seriously... stop with the spinal tap.


For the good full size shots, cruise to rouesartisanales. Every other part of the gruppo looks cool. The demented deformed forehead look of the brifters doesn't get any better in the up close shots. I used to have a love-empty wallet relationship with Campy, now it's a love-barf kind of deal. I want to love it, but I kind of have to kill the gag reflex first.

And if I hear or read one more person say "but ours goes up to eleven!", I'm going to snap. Other phrases that are henceforth banned:

"the cogs all go up to eleven, right across the board"
"well eleven is one faster, innit?"
"why don't you just make 10 bigger?"
"these go to eleven"

so just stop.

Monday, June 16, 2008

AMC

My teammate Big Dave has a semi-tradition that he calls the FMC - Friday Morning Coffe ride. This has turned into the AMC - any morning coffee ride, for me. Any loop in the morning sun with a pack full of work clothes and lunch, ending at the hideaway bakery for a 12oz americano with cream, and a bun. What a way to start a day. The lady and I kicked back this AM and got the buzz on while I put down a pastry, but I'm calling it ride food because I was still in my chamois, which means that the calories don't count. Mmmm.

She did the full Tabor race yesterday and had a good ride, while I did the 4 lap fixed gear race then declined to join the 1/2's, instead we got back to Eugene by 230 and had time to lay out in the hammock after lunch and pick broccoli for dinner. The legs were a little tired from the state race and Tabor was probably not going to be seeing any Midtown repeated (and brief) attempts at solo breakaways, unless you consider yo-yoing on and off the back a break.

The state race was interesting. From looking at the profile I thought we were in for a long uphill slog every lap, but instead it was a series of false flats and short kickers that suited me a lot better. Unfortunately, I failed to recognize the correct breakaway opportunities, and lots of riders kept slipping off the front in small groups. I think it ended up with Trebon solo, and two chase groups, then the remainder of the pack. On lap 4 I went ape for a while on the hill trying repeatedly to get off in my own chase group, but failed. Maybe I'm not subtle enough about my intentions. Hibbard and Bourcier always seem to roll away casually and end up way up the road before people think they're serious about it. I think I'm going to try more of the 'accidental' breakaway moves from now on. It's probably less tiring on the legs, too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i died a little this morning...


ugly , hideous, might as well be Shimano? What's the point of going Campagnolo if you don't drool a little every time you see your bike leaning in it's corner before a ride, like a seductive Italian podium girl? I've had Campy on one of my bikes for a year and a half now and every time I ride it I take my gloves off so I can fondle the sleek carbon levers. My Dura-Ace race bike is pure mechanical speed, but my Record bike is cycling satisfaction. I had even begun to consider upgrading the race bike to Campy too, and had already decided that my next ride would be all Italian componentry. Until this morning, that is. Now I will be on the lookout for close-out pricing on the 'old' stuff - the levers that actually make your bike look good. Shimano levers look like unattractive but perfectly functional precision machinery, and Campagnolo has always looked like Sofia Lauren was reincarnated into carbon bike parts. This new lever looks like two inbred retards mated in the Carolina woods and their baby was all forehead and no chin. I can see the sex happening, but where's the love?

This is like seeing the Giro girls go from this
to this


all just to attract a little more attention. Give me the first one, please.

Tuillo is rolling over in his grave right now.

Friday, May 30, 2008

i have to fart

Message:

the one and only thing i don't like about riding my fixed gear is that it is nearly impossible to cut the cheese. i mean my legs are constantly moving and it makes it nearly impossible to relax enough to release the brown cloud. anyone else have this problem? it wouldn't be so bad except that some days it really builds up and my mid section hurts with all the stink gas that has built up. sometimes i actually have to stop on the side of the road and release the excessive volumes of phew phew wind. if i hold it until the ride is over then that gas seems to just get worse and worse and by the time i get home and off the bike you'ld think i was the mayor of stinky town. so if any of you have some good tips for relaxing while on your fixed gear......

enjoy your friday,
Eric

HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Reply:


Eric,

You cannot fart because you are still a level 4 fixed gear rider. You have not relaxed enough to embrace the fixed gear life style. You are holding on too tightly, you are fighting the bike, and you are not yet one with your pedal stroke. Until you have reached the fixed gear epiphany and have completed the union between man and machine, then you will never fart.

Level 1: Search for the fixed gear. You have heard the sound of a single gear turning and wonder what it is all about.

Level 2: Discovering the fixed gear. You have identified the source of the noise. You are curious. You gather parts together in your garage.

Level 3: Perceiving the fixed gear. You have built your bike. It stands before you, unridden. You have questions. Knickers, bibs, or jeans? Where do I put my U-lock? Am I cool enough for brakeless or comfortable enough to install one?

Level 4: Struggling with the fixed gear. You ride the fixed gear, but it rides you. There is no harmony. You are tense. You may not fart. Every muscle hurts trying to control it, to let your gases out, you hold them in.

Level 5: Taming the fixed gear. You relax and your fixed gear rolls with you. It goes where you point it, and your legs are no longer kicked by the pedals. You are spinning well but you cannot fart.

Level 6: Riding the fixed gear home. You turn slowly homeward. The struggle is over; gain and loss are assimilated. The fixed gear feel comfortable and begins to fade underneath you. The road awakens. You are aware of your need to fart.

Level 7: The fixed gear transcended. Farting is now possible. You are serene. The fixed gear is serene also. You no longer notice that there is no freewheel. Your legs turns easily and your muscles relax. You fart as needed.

Level 8: Both fixed gear and self transcended. Farting is now automatic. You are not aware of riding, just of motion as you move along your path. Farting is easy.

Level 9: Reaching the source. You are now unaware of your farts. You are unconcerned with farting or with fixed gears. You are calm.

Level 10: In the world. Farting is no longer necessary. Barefooted and naked of breast, you mingle with the people of the world. Now, before you, dead trees come alive. You are blissful. You go to the marketplace with your wine bottle and return with your staff; everyone you look upon becomes enlightened.





partially plagiarized from the old zen story of 10 bulls.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sorry, Doug...


It's not you... it's the helmet... or the angle... but that's all I could think of seeing that shot.
Lifted from cyclingnews...
Ride hard.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Norman


Dying sucks. It sucks most when it happens to nice people, early. But, when I die, I hope I have the balls to die like you -calmly, positively, in good spirits, caring, and at peace.

Thanks for everything, Norman.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Roubaix Wrap

Not very Mullet, but very Euro, taking the hairdo prize:

Which wins him this:



While winning the race would win you this:



And we will be back for #3 next year.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Bogus


It doesn't look bad, but it was coming out of the trees in bundles. And anywhere above 500ft is going to still have the white junk on the roads. So I think I'll skip riding for now, and go find some coffee and a paper instead.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nutella VS Peanut Butter
The Ultimate Face-off.


Peanut butter has long been a staple of the American diet. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is the quintessential American meal. Athletes too have discovered the values of peanut butter as a delicious, healthy, energy laden food which can be eaten on or with a multitude of other items. What peanut butter is to America, Nutella has long been to Europe. Consisting essentially of milk chocolate and hazelnuts, it can be found on breakfast tables all over the continent, it comes in little packets to be spread with bread at hotel buffets, and has been used as a mid and post-ride recovery food for years. It is only relatively recently that Nutella has been commonly available in the US, and that peanut butter has been available in European stores.

Globalization has finally put both products in our cupboards at once. And thus we are torn: which is better? Which is the PRO food to eat, which is the SMART food? Does it matter? Will I be judged by my choices? It is time to duke it out and settle it for good, which one reigns over the stomach of the common cyclist?

There is only one fair way to settle it. We will compare the two products across a range of criteria, and score them both on a scale of 1-5. Highest total score wins. It's a straight up Face-Off.

The Contestants

There are many brands of peanut butter available, so we have chosen the most worthwhile competitor for the Nutella: Adam's 100% Natural Peanut Butter. Now, Adam's initially requires mixing, which other brands don't but I believe this will not grossly harm the product's chances.


Nutella Website http://www.nutellausa.com/


Adam's Website http://www.adamspeanutbutter.com/

1. Presentation


As the saying goes, we eat with our eyes before we eat with our stomachs. Yes, presentation is key. While the perfectly smooth virgin look of any freshly opened jar is a delight to behold, we have to go with Nutella on this one for the totally PRO white top and matching label. The perfectly sized jars also imply rational serving sizing, as opposed to the commonly available massive tubs of peanut butter which are just so white trash. The Euro takes the first round.

Peanut Butter 3
Nutella 5

2. Nutrients

Here we have some interesting numbers. Both listed serving sizes are 2 tablespoons. Nutella registers 190 calories per serving, 100 calories from fat. Peanut butter reads 210, with 150 from fat. However, 21g in the Nutella serving are sugar, versus just 1g for the Peanut Butter, and although sodium is much higher in the PB (120mg versus 15mg), protein is also higher (8g vs 3g) and thus the calories from Peanut Butter are probably of slightly higher value than those in Nutella. Neither, however, is particularly full of carbohydrate, and both are primarily fatty foods, and high calorie. Fool yourself not.
Peanut Butter 3
Nutella 2

3. Spreadability




This one is close. On room temperature breads, both spread about evenly, with maybe a slight edge going to Nutella. On toasted items, however, the Nutella becomes slightly more fluid and glides across your piece with the ease and suppleness one expects from an Italian product. Peanut butter lags just a little behind, but is by no means a difficult spread. Still, the Nutella is just so smooth...

Peanut Butter 4
Nutella 5

4. Bananas

Ah, Bananas. The cyclist's favorite food. Full of fibers and cramp-defying potassium, it is a common post-ride snack, often spread on the spot with either Peanut Butter or Nutella. Here, Nutella's spreadability becomes a liability. Peanut butter has a little more heft to it which allows it to stick to a slippery banana. There are not usually unsightly drips, but rather clean scoops balanced perfectly. Peanut butter has an edge, on technical merit alone.

Peanut Butter 5
Nutella 4

5. Bread



This is a difficult one. Bread's neutral background is a perfect complement and vehicle for a large expanse of flavors and savors. Both Peanut Butter and Nutella do well with this one. It is hard to think of a bread style that does not work for either - and any bread which works with the one works equally well with the other. I will have to call this one a tie.

Peanut Butter 5
Nutella 5

6. Bacon


Yes, bacon. There are few things more decadent than a piece of toast, spread with Peanut Butter, and layered with a strip or two of bacon. The combination of salts and fats, especially while still piping hot, is incredible. Try it. The chocolaty Nutella comes in far behind on th this one - Chocolate and Bacon just don't mix.

Peanut Butter 5
Nutella 1


7. Honey


Peanut Butter - Banana - Honey Sandwich, Nutella - Banana - Honey Sandwich, or just Peanut Butter & Honey on Toast, Nutella and Honey on Toast. Wonderful, warm, sticky, messy, sweet goodness. Both the Peanut Butter and Nutella score highly in combinations with Honey. However, the sweetness of Nutella is just a too much sweet when laid on top of sweet honey, here, Peanut Butter edges Nutella slightly for it's more subtle sweetness and nice balance of saltiness for the sweet & salty combo that is warm breakfast perfection.

Peanut Butter 5
Nutella 4

8. Cookies

Peanut Butter takes this one. I have yet to find a pleasing purely Nutella flavored cookie recipe. If one is available, however, do send it this way. Nutella can be mixed well to create a moist chocolate cookie, but it looses the creaminess and the hazlenut flavors in the process, and. Mind you, they are still delicious. Peanut Butter is a very common cookie ingredient, but a tricky one to work with due to the interesting ways in which it changes the consistency of dough, and a chewy Peanut Butter cookie that retains the full Peanut Butter flavors is a challenge. Of course, the Nutella fans will tell you that cookies are for the fat Americanos, and that Nutella makes wonderful Biscotti. Bull.

Peanut Butter 4
Nutella 2

9. Tortillas



Both items spread well. Neither resists the wrapping process nor spreads excessively once wrapped, and they do not create a mess inside a pocket. Like bread, both flavors are well born by the blandness of the tortilla. Bananas, honey, or other items can easily be added to the tortilla to create a more complex culinary experience. This is a tie. Tip: Avoid the tomato flavored tortillas.

Peanut Butter 4
Nutella 4

10. Straight from the Jar


This is the ultimate test. Armed with a spoon and a jar, and possibly some espresso, which one would you prefer to assault? I think the winner is clear. Peanut butter's heavier texture makes it much more difficult to process in direct form. It sticks to the mouth and the usual saltiness requires more liquids to compensate. Nutella, on the other hand, is a touch smoother to ingest and chocolate's undeniable love affair with coffee is hard to ignore.

Peanut Butter 2
Nutella 5


Totals:

Peanut Butter: 40
Nutella: 37

And by a whisker, Peanut Butter takes it. Yes, versatility, perseverance, and the need for no special treatment, allows the old PB to nip the proud old Euro PRO at the line. There is just no denying a winner across a wide range of challenges, versus a specialist, no matter the hype.