Wednesday, February 26, 2014


1. My cog arrived yesterday and was waiting at the door for me.  Got the Glow Worm set up Ferris wheel style and ready to grind the Snake.3 this weekend.

2. We actually had a Tuesday night group ride yesterday!  The first lap was a nice pace and let me see just how nice the larger cog was at low speed climbing (social pace). I did have to play with saddle height as the EBB was completely different with the new set up - but sit and spin was all that was really needed that first lap. 
The second lap I picked it up a bit and things were still feeling good. Of course the spin out threshold is quite low with the larger cog, but the Glow Worm remains responsive through the tight and punchy. With the Snake being mostly up or down I don't have to worry too much about spin factor. 

3. Much fun was had after the ride. Fried banana peppers?  YES!  Narwhal on tap - SWEET!

4. All of this reminded me of one VERY important aspect of biking - riding your bike can erase your entire workday.  Oh how I've missed riding!  As the weather continues to improve, trails open, and the sun hangs out with us a bit longer each day I know the rest of the year will be all right. 

yeah... I don't know...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Come on USPS

As of this morning I'm still without my Snake.3 cog. Delivery date was and still is yesterday!

We are finally getting a chance to have our group ride again tonight (as long as the trail cooperates and is open to ride).  Since I work pretty much next to our intended ride spot I was looking forward to getting there early to get the legs used to residing in spin city with the new Ferris wheel installed. But since USPS has it's head up it's ass it looks like I will run home, install the new cog (assuming it shows up today) and haul ass back out to the trail. 


Today has already started all screwed up. I dreamt that I hadn't set my alarm and I woke up 10 minutes before my secondary alarm time - set that alarm and went back to sleep. But it was one if those completely real feeling dreams, so I was wicked surprised when my alarm went off at 5:00. Sweet. I reset my alarm for the back up time and went back to my crazy dreamland.

Bring on today - I've already time traveled.

Lets hope the postal service doesn't push me to see what other superpowers I can get my hands on if they don't get me my cog, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry...

still wearing a helmet...

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm exhausted.
I had a great weekend of biking, grabbing food and playing games with friends, and heckling. Even though I have stuff to share, my energy level is low so I don't feel like getting into it. Perhaps because it's going to be a long week. Perhaps because I have to start formulating plans for this weekend (Snake.3 and a trip to Athens).

In any case, I'm keeping it short and light today.

In case you aren't aware, people like to argue on the internerd.
Sometimes it's entertaining. Sometimes people take things a little too far and their ignorance and/or intolerance starts to show. I was following one such "debate" and just couldn't take it anymore. The level of insanity that people were going to with their statements was unbelievable so I reached out with a neat little skill I think everyone should practice while perusing the net. 

Remember, we are all entitled to our views, no matter how asinine you think someone's point of view is, it's their life - they are free to live/ruin it any which way they please. After all, nothing they are posting on Facebook has any bearing on the real world so just let it go and move on. And in all reality, the internerd is not the appropriate setting for an effective debate. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wonky Links

Got my Ferris wheel in the mail yesterday!  But, it was the wrong Ferris wheel. It looked strange when I opened the package...

then I rechecked the order - somehow the drop down for the mountain bike single speed cog connected my order for a track cog...  No fit, no likely.

The good thing, great customer service. I called (and I HATE talking on the phone) and within minutes I got a return code with a new correct cog on it's way to me. BIG sigh of relief as I was figuring they would have to receive my cog back before they were going to send the new one. So I'm happy things are moving quickly to remedy the situation. 

I'll likely have to run out and get a new chain for the new cog. So I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival as I need to get used to spinning my ass off on this thing before Snake.3 is here!!

So, big thanks to the guys at Tree Fort Bikes for quickly fixing the mistake. I do like no mistakes the first time, but I should have also reviewed my order instead of assuming it was correct, so I get some blame there for sure. Just super glad they know how to make things right!  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lunch Tray

An old friend of mine used to always say "you know it was a good workout when you leave and your arms are stuck like you are carrying a lunch tray."  Welp, I had a good workout.  Although, I guess at this age it's a little less "lunch tray" and more like batgadgets.

So day one of doing stuff is in the books.  It felt pretty damn good to be back in the gym - even though it was small and crowded... but I was working out and that was awesome.

I did jump on a stationary bike to start my workout and I suppose I picked the hardest program on there.  I did a hill climb and really put my legs to work.  I concentrated on keeping my cadence high so inevitably my legs were burning and I was a sweaty mess!!  I did come to realize something while on the bike - I give up pretty easily when I'm out riding.  Not so much in terms of actually riding the trail - but pushing tempo.  Not far into the "hill" climb my legs were asking for me to back off the tempo.  Seeing how far I had to go in the workout it was tempting.... but I didn't.  This was a "no fail" situation so why should I back off??  Worse comes to worse I can totally drop difficulty and spin out - so I pressed on.  Further and further into the workout I kept pushing back the "deals" I was making to myself to let up a bit.  Before I knew it I was on the "backside" of the "hill" and my workout was coming to an end.

Even though it was a silly stationary bike workout, it was profound.  I don't need to give into my legs so quickly - even though they whine, they can still produce so I need to keep pushing those pansies.

I should be getting my ferris wheel cog today so I'll get that on the Glow Worm... with an easier gear and the knowledge that I need to ignore my crying legs, this round of the Snake could be a good one!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

We survived!

Well, we survived the storm. Had myself a nice 5 day weekend, because of which I'm back at school today (pre-snow, we would have had no school today).  As crazy as 3 days off because of the storm sounds, it was a good call. Before I got the call that Friday was cancelled I was sure we would be back for Friday. Since my day was cancelled I went out to shovel a bit. I was shocked when I didn't go through the snow as I walked outside - everything had frozen solid. All the side streets (which had never seen a plow) were now rock solid rutty/icy messes. I sent Annie to work in the pterodactyl. Not that it's 4-wheel drive would do anything on ice, but that it would better manage the ice ruts versus her civic. Once she got on main roads everything was completely clear and dry.

Having the snow days also coincided with a bit of a stomach bug for me, which I suppose is fortunate because I hate missing work. This way my illness didn't prevent me from work, since you know, there was no work. The time off is going to be hell on my schedule though since we are in the middle if junior meetings - all that rescheduling has taken over the first week of March. Ah well. 

The time off has allowed me to think a little more about my season. Especially my fitness. So much so that I actually jumped on the trainer. Did you know a bike stand makes a wonderful iPhone holder while you spin?

It was nice being back on the trainer I suppose. Only bummer was that my speed/cadence wasn't getting picked up. The sensor was indicating that it was registering the magnets, my garmins sensed everything, but no stats. So my ride was focused on heart rate rather than cadence. Suppose that's ok. 

Anyway. Today after work I'm hitting the gym. Haven't been working out at all, in forever, so it's time to get back into shape overall. Now don't you get worried, I'm not getting on any strict/no-fun training regime here. But I am going (to try) to get a little more focused on doing more in terms of fitness and riding. Taking bets on how long that will last...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There Is No Place Like Home

Were you able to come to any conclusions as to what my new bike shoes would look like from the picture from yesterday?

old bike shoes + my red sneakers = my new shoes
Giro Privateer MTB shoe(s)

When I first dreamt of next pair of bike shoes, even before needed new shoes, I had a thing for the yellow. But let's face it, I'm not fast enough for yellow shoes.  Red quickly replaced yellow as I got TONS of compliment on my red sneakers whenever I walked around a bike race. I like my red sneakers (which themselves need some replacing soonish) so why not red bike shoes?  As luck would have it was having a sale and BAM - they had red shoes!  

Um... why were you on you might ask?  Fair question. As part of my Demon Spawnsorship with Asylum I get a sweet discount over at - so there is that. My question to you is, why haven't you been over there?  They have some pretty sweet deals!!  And to be honest, the deal I got on the shoes straight from their site was better then my sponsorship deal, so get over there and reap the savings fool!

Color - Glowing Red/Black. Hell ya!

Of course I did my due diligence and researched the hell out of them. Reviews were great. People compared them to much higher priced SIDIs in both comfort and performance. And then there was the fact that they are RED!  Sold. 

They feel amazing (walking around the house). I'm psyched that for the final race down in Georgia I will not only be able to sport my Team Glow Worm kit (got it back last race all fixed up), but I'll have snazzy new shoes and a friendlier cog in the back. If nothing else, I will look better as I collect my belt buckle!!

These shoes may not be as magical as Dorothy's, but they will get me home - I'll just have to pedal my way there...

Oh, keep your mitts off of them, they are mine!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snow fake out = short post

Ok.  So everything didn't go all to hell like the nervousness I saw yesterday predicted.... so I don't have much today.  I was led to believe there was no way we'd be in here today - thus I did not build blog time into my schedule this morning.  So here is half a post... or the first half - to be finished up tomorrow.

I've been wearing the same bike shoes (for all my biking needs) since I got back on the bike in... 2009.  They've served me well, but as of late (oh since last race season) I've been needing new shoes.  Stitching has been coming undone, wear and tear, horrible smell, etc etc.  For the past few seasons I've been casually looking at what shoes I'd upgrade to.  I knew I wanted something with a ratcheting buckle up top to keep things extra snug as all I was working with was velcro - kinda made me feel like a kindergartner in a sea of 3rd graders.  As I was pulling on my shoes prior to the start of Snake.2 this happened.

The tongue ripped off my left shoe.  Not that that is a total game changer, but it was enough to coax me along in this whole getting new shoes business.  

After I got home from the race I got a discount email - all bikers get them.  Multiple emails from various companies and sites with their latest and greatest deals and discounts.  Well, it was time to settle in the internerd landscape to find me a sweet deal.  And a sweet deal I did find!  I will give you one hint before I unveil my beauties tomorrow.  If you study the picture above, and mash up what you see, you will have a pretty good idea of what is to come.

Oh, the excitement is unbearable!  If only I had snapped some pictures when my new shoes arrived, darn it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Three wheel motion

Nice, but not the kind I'm talking about...
I was in Florida this weekend spending some time with Annie's sister, her husband, and their adorable niece.

Here we are at lunch messing around with the can our bread came in. 

We turned it into a drum. Notice the flames coming out of her butt?  Yeah, she's a bad ass!

At one point we were walking around a Farmers Market and I brought her over to look at a bike. She told me (more like responded "yes" to my questions - she's 2) that she rides a bike and that she always wears her helmet. What a good girl!

So when we got back home it was time to check out this sweet ride of hers. I showed her how to do the pre ride safety check. She was very interested in making sure the wheels wouldn't fall off.

Then she showed me what she could do. She is still a little small for the tricycle (her feet can't stay on the pedal completely through the pedal stroke) but the again, it is made for 3-4 year olds. But she did a good job pushing on the pedals!

And since I hadn't gotten to ride this weekend it was my turn to take a spin!

We had a great time visiting family this weekend. But it was great to get home to the puppies, the Walking Dead, and my package (which finally arrived) - get your minds out of the gutters!!  

I will talk about that excitement tomorrow. Probably while sitting around at home all day since it looks like more snow is coming. 

This never gets old. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Loco Lime is dead to EVERYONE

After weeks of our Tuesday night social ride being cancelled by shitty weather TheMutt put out the call for an urban ride since the trails would once again be closed. I was ready to ride over to the Kickstand but decided to text TheMutt to see about the chances of us actually riding since it had again started drizzling and it was frankly quite cold. I decided to instead drive over with my bike "just in case," well knowing the ride wasn't going to happen. Straight to the food and beer with some good people - not a bad alternative!

As I pull in TomTom smiled and told me to go inside and check out the sign at Loco Lime (which is was attached to the Kickstand). 

"You made us.  You kept us going"

If you recall I had a little "experience" at Loco Lime this summer. 

I don't really know what to say. 

Thank you. 

I really had no clue that I had become such an internerd juggernaut. Thank you for giving me the power to crush that which needed crushing. My only hope is that this power will not corrupt my heart and soul. I pledge to you, my loyal readers, to go forth and wield this mighty power with compassion and precision. Know this; I will work tirelessly to right those wrongs that destroy the hopes and dreams of children, that keep new riders from truly experiencing the amazing "reset button" power which is mountain biking, and those who keep us hungry/thirsty after an adventure with friends. 

I will do all of this for you. Selflessly. From here, behind my computer/phone screen.  Blogging. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


The second round of the Snake looked promising. The weather report was calling for temps in the 50s and cloudy skies but no rain. Perfect race weather for this time of year!  Race promoters posted that the creek was 3" deep, much shallower than last month's trudge through the freezing water.

It was a bit chilly at the start, but it was bearable with a light sleeveless base layer, team USA Larry Bird jersey from the Dream Team, and cycling jersey paired with arm warmers. Again I threw on baggies over my bibs for extra warmth and carrying capacity/easy access to food, leg warmers, same thin/thick combo of wool socks (since I planned on riding through the water I also started with the toe warmer in to help battle any wet feet that might result from the crossing) and this time I was sporting a brace on my injured knee - likely more for psychological support than anything else. 

As I came up to the creek I didn't have any sense of a prime section to cross at so I just went for it. Not sure if I was too fast or if I hit the deepest section, but my feet got soaked. I pedaled up the hill while it felt like ice was forming on my shoes. I didn't want to deal with ice feet so I stopped to change out my socks. 

Now with dryer and warmer feet I hopped back on my bike (pushing the same gearing as last time) and got back to climbing. Just like last time, I had no legs. New this time, as soon as I hit the singletrack section I started feeling completely destroyed and dizzy. At mile 3 I had already made up my mind - at mile 17 I would be calling it. I was dizzy, my legs felt hollow, there was no way I could complete the whole thing. 

As I struggled forward I downed a bottle. At around mile 6 my head had cleared and my legs showed up. I was back in it. Apparently I have to completely blow up before my legs wake up?? Anyway, I was enjoying the ride again. From there my focus was on hydrating so that I could stay strong. 

I was able to finish the first half of the Snake faster than my last go around. At the pit I moved quickly to eat while refilling both bottles.  Mixed in my Osmo, and I was off - total stopped time about 4 minutes.

Back to climbing.  As I hit the first switchback I stood to power around the corner and they struck - cramps.  Stopped, stretched, drank, and continued on.  Staying on top of drinking helped keep the cramps at bay for a while at least.  After the initial (long) climb out of the pit the trail gets AWESOME!  Ridgeline riding - so fun!  No crash this time on the descents, and I got to show of my handling skills on the steep downhill switchback to a couple of riders that choose to hike it.  "You're owning it man!" they cheered.  "Well, I've got to take it where I can get it" I responded with a smile.

Being more familiar with the trail, and what was to come, certainly helped me stay in the game mentally.  I knew that there wasn't much out there that I couldn't ride, so anytime I did hike I made sure it was short lived and hopped back on and pedaled forth sooner than last ride.  It also helped keep my head in a positive space - I never felt defeated or begged for the end like I did last month.  I was, however, a bit fuzzy on where the rock/root drop "staircase" was - and at one point I wondered if I had already ridden it and missed it because I had blown it out of proportion last time??  Nope!  It was just later in the trail than I had remembered, but still a beast.  But knowing it was coming, and knowing how long it was, it felt easier to handle this time.  

Getting in to the last station I filled my bottles and kept moving.  I wanted to improve over my last time as much as possible, so standing around wasn't going to get me there.  I was attacking the trail with confidence, things felt great until I started passing people.  Sounds weird huh?  But every time I pushed to pass someone my legs complained.  I had to yo-yo with a group because I'd stop to stretch, they would pass, I would catch them - pass them, and inevitably have to stop again to stretch after any section where I stood to power through.  I started tapering back to avoid standing if at all possible and was able to get through well.  A few hiking sections here and there (the wall of course) but again I was quick to get back on the bike after traversing whatever boulder was deemed impassible by bike. 

There were two riders left in front of me that I had been yo-yoing with as we approached the dump out to the road - I pushed and got out in front of them before we hit the road.  I figured they would catch me on the downhill anyway, but I wanted that one last moral victory.  I let it fly down the dirty/crappy pavement road section.  As we were getting to the actual road there was a rider ahead that I caught as we hit the pavement.  He put it in granny to get up the last kicker so I stood and went around him - again, figuring he would soon pass me back as things tilted down.  He didn't.  I tucked in as tight as I could and let gravity do it's thing as my cog in the back wasn't going to allow me to provide any help.  

I was done.  D-Wayne and Mike were there waiting for me at the finish.  I felt great.  I mean, my legs were torn apart, but man did that feel good!!  As I was making my way back to the pterodactyl I stopped to chat with some guys I had met on the bus over to the start - they were riding ss as well and took as look at my bike and asked what I was running.  "20"  "Dude, we are running 22 - you'll like the trail a whole lot better with a 22".  

Although I was able to ride more of the climbs, and cleared a lot of the last section on the 20, I am definitely thinking about going with something easier for the third and final stage.  With a finish next month I get a belt buckle!!  This month we got something totally unexpected from the race promoters.

Very cool.  Empty, but still very cool!  I was able to remedy the situation quite easily. 


Monday, February 3, 2014

You're welcome

Snake.2 report to come.  But first, let's talk about spectators at a bike race.

They are THE BEST!  Hands down, nothing is better (as a racer) than seeing someone willing to stand around in the woods (or near the woods) and cheer on strangers who ride by.  For real, it's an energy boost.  It's great.  Wonderful even!  I love it, and try to thank them as I ride by whenever I can.

Sunday I attended the Winter Short Track series as a spectator - this time I drove because my legs were a bit sore from Saturday's endeavor.  To bring more cheer and joy to the scene we decided to do doughnut and cookie handups.  I bought a bunch of both and showed up later than planned.  When I got on the scene things were pretty dead.  I also discovered that the size of cookies have shrunk since I was a kid - totally not hand up material...  so it was doughnuts only.

As the sport class went off the crowd grew and we got a couple riders to go for the doughnuts.  The crowd went NUTS every time a rider grabbed a doughnut.  Brian Bradley was the crowd favorite as he grabbed a plain and then requested a chocolate doughnut on a subsequent lap.  TWO doughnuts in one race - winner!!  Most riders didn't reach for a doughnut.  Some ignored it, some laughed, others politely declined.  It was all in good fun after all.

Then there was the guy... The one rider who couldn't appreciate the joy of doughnuts and instead smacked a doughnut out of my hand.  On the next time around the same rider AGAIN tried to smack a doughnut from my hand (this time missing).

I guess he was working really hard for his "race" and a doughnut offer was way too much of a distraction for him - cause you know, a doughnut on the side of the trail will totally screw up your pro line man.  Whatever, I figured he really wanted a doughnut so he got a doughnut soft toss on the next lap, to which a clever "Fuck You" was thrown my way.

We continued doughnut handups and people continued to participate, or not, and fun was had by all.  Would I take a doughnut if it was offered to me in a race?  Probably.  Not that I would necessarily want a doughnut... but if you are willing to come out and support us as we race, then I might as well pay my respect by enjoying the what you have to offer.  Although, as the great Sideburns once said...

I'd rather have a beer