Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday's Update

It has been a while since my last post. In that time, we have seen gas drop from $4.00 down to $2.00 (a good thing) and the stock market drop from 12,000 to 8000 (not so good). I played the market a bit in late September and have lost roughly 50% of my investment...but it is long term so we'll see what happens in the future. I do go to business school, right? ;)

School has been crazy busy, hence the lack of posts. I've been doing ok, and have been blessed to be hanging out with an angel in my down time.

Here is a better picture of Linnea and I. We'll be doing El Tour de Tucson tomorrow; however, don't look for us near the front. It will be her first big ride (and second group ride ever), so I told her I'd ride it with her and help her make it around the 109 mile loop. Should be fun, and I might try to get my donut count as high as possible along the way. Adios.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Reality Bites.

You know that things are not right in the world when you just paid $3.75 for gas and thought that you had gotten a good deal. Adios.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Free Wi-Fi

Last night, after returning to the condo from a short spin on the Rialto River Path, I was preparing to begin the tumoltous task of organization, and decided that a little music was in order. Digging out my laptop became a priority as all of my current music is stored there. Took me a few minutes to find everything, but soon I had my speaker set-up plugged in and running, with my laptop purring like the cat in the background. I powered it on and a minute later things were up and running. Upon start-up, I quickly discovered that there were many available wireless networks around this place, one of which had a strong feed and zero security. Needless to say, I have not plugged into my Cox feed yet as I sit here and write this post. Which leads me to my next subject:

Is it ethical to use a wireless connection that you know that you are not paying for, but are able to simply turn on your computer to access? Thoughts? Personally, I lean in the direction that unless this condo complex has free Wi-Fi, or I speak with the person whom I am currently swiping the internet from, that I probably should pony up and connect to my Cox account. Differing views can be found here, along with this article from Time Magazine, which was referenced here. A large part of me thinks fuck 'em; if all I have to do is turn on my computer to be connected, they maybe I should take advantage. Any thoughts? FYI...it sure is nice to be writing this wirelessly in my new place right now. Adios.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Moving Day

I spent the bulk of my day yesterday moving into my new place. Should be a nice change. I knew that I was making the right decision when, while we were having lunch on the back porch of my old place yesterday, my super-sketchy, crazy ex-neighbor that moved into a house on the other side of the alley behind my place came walking through clad in a bikini, ready to hit the pool. Two things immediately came to mind upon seeing her:

1. You do not want to see her in a bikini.
2. You do not want to see her in your pool.

Drugs are bad. Adios.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Shootout Adventures

Bit late with the report because I got pretty busy after the ride yesterday...sorry Kyle, I know you probably lost some sleep waiting for this.

I went to the shootout yesterday with one goal, which was to sit in until we got near the bridge, then bust my ass to make the break. Needless to say, things worked out perfectly. Pace was pretty fast leading up to the bridge, and with about a mile or so out I found myself in a good four man break that I thought might stick. It didn't, as we were caught right before the bridge started to kick up. I was drifting back through the pack at this point, and noticed that a bunch of heavy hitters were all sitting around the top ten. "This is going to be it", I thought to myself, so I slotted in right around tenth or so. Going over the top it was pretty strung out and after moving to the front to take a pull, I looked back and saw that our group had about a 300 meter gap on the remainder of the field. That was the last that we saw of them for the rest of the day, as the bunch of us rolled pretty fast all the way to the sprint hill. Just about everyone was there, including The Laser, Prolovito, Snake, John (needs a nickname) Skolnick, the Wolf Cub (and his brother), Middleton, Curtis "the" Gunn "show", the Colorado Kid, Ricatello (wtf???), and a few others. The Laser kept his record clean and won the hill for the millionth time, while I think I limped in around 6th or 7th.

The pace stayed fast all the way back to town, as we kept it rolling around 30mph into a headwind down old Nogi. About a mile before the sprint, the Gunn show opened up a can of whoop-ass on the TT bike and dropped everybody at around 36mph. I made it home and was pretty much done for the rest of the day. Good ride, lots of fun was had by all. Adios.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Swamped

So I am leaving my apartment of the last five years for some upgraded condo living. Should be a good move for me, as my new place will have A/C (no more swamp), and all appliances, including a washer and dryer. Bit further north, so hopefully that will cut down on some of the rif-raf that is sometimes found floating around in my current area. I'm signing my new lease on Monday, and have a ton of stuff to take care of before hand. I don't think I realized exactly how much stuff was on my plate until I started to clean out a couple closets yesterday before work. This is going to be a giant pain in the ass, but I think it will be a good move once I am finished.

That being said, it looks like the bike time is going to drop a bit over the next few days. Between getting ready to move and working every night, it has been a little hard for me to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 AM to beat the heat. Whenever my work hours go up, my bike hours usually drop in proportion. No complaints here, because business levels right now are about the same as they were in peak season back in winter, so I'm taking it while I can. Did get out yesterday for the morning ride to Lemmon, but we were caught in a rare, early morning Tucson rain, so I ended up flipping it without seeing the mountain (it was actually shrouded in rain, so no one could see it), and headed home to watch Carlos Sastre put the screws to the GC contenders on the climb of the Alp, taking the yellow jersey in the process. I still think that Cadel can take the GC, but he is leaving things awful close at this point in the race. Adios.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Famous Once Again


Looks like I am back to being in the news, with a couple photo's on the RideStrong site from the Shootout yesterday. You can read the details in the following link, but this photo will provide a quick visual of what things were like.

Great legs on the ride yesterday, as I felt like I had to try and ride fast considering the crazy getup that I was wearing. Followed "the Laser" up the sprint hill, but couldn't come around him as he still has the finishing kick of a two time Olympian.

Today DD, PT, and myself (albeit in a bit more normal kit) went out for a long one and headed out to Sonoita. Long, mellow day on the bike, with a little bit of rain on the return trip north on Highway 83. 108 miles in just over six hours. We found the fast way there by going out via Kolb, Rita Ranch, Mary Ann Cleveland, through Vail, and out the frontage road to HWY 83. Every other time I've done this ride it has come in right around 124 miles, so it is nice to know that the distance can be cut if necessary. Sonoita is one of my favorite rides, so it is always a treat to get out there. Today was no exception, as there were low-hanging clouds shrouding the mountains as we approached Sonoita Pass. Great day on the bike. Adios.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tour de France: Stage 4, Time Trial

David Miller just crossed the line in second place and bumped Cadel Evans down to third on the podium. Great rides for both. Always good to see Cadel up there, maybe this can be the year that he is able to finally win the big one. Miller is a reformed doper. Part of me wishes that he would just shut the fuck up and go away, while another part of me wants to believe that he is truly racing clean (which I think that he is), and doing his part to clean up the doping problem in the sport. Miller was busted several years ago with empty EPO vials in his home, which he than admitted to using when he won the Time Trial World Championship back in 2003. The claim was that he only used EPO once, while training for the Time Trial, but I think that this is bullshit. He came back in 2006 after a two year suspension and has been an ambassador for drug free sport ever since, which is admirable. It would be a little more admirable, however, if one of these guys that are caught doping would admit guilt before the evidence and circumstances made them do so. I can run through a long list of riders who have been caught, such as Hamilton, Landis, Viranque, most of the Rock Racing Team, etc, but to this day the only rider that I can recall ever admitting to doping without being caught was Jerome Chiotti, the French mountain biker who won the 1996 Cross Country World Championships, but was stripped of his title and blackballed from the sport for admitting to doping about four years later. To bad for him, I guess; his conscience got the better of him. Contrast this with the Belgian Filip Meirhaeghe, who was busted in 2005, admitted it by saying that he did what he had to do, and is now gracing the cover of Velonews. Ridiculous.

I realize that I probably sound like I am bitching quite a bit here, and maybe I am. But it would be nice that someday when new people that I meet find out that I am a cyclist, I'll start to get questions about how do get involved with the sport, training, where to go, what bike to ride, etc..., v. the standard three that come up all the time, in no paticular order:

1. You going to ride in the Tour de France someday? No.
2. How's the testosterone treating you? Wouldn't know.
3. So ahhhhh, can you still get it up after riding all day? See above,
want to find out?


Adios.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tour, Stage 1: Part Two

Well, the call has been made, now 5 km to go after a big crash has just split the field. I am watching live Versus coverage with a little play by play. Evans looks good and is sitting in the top 10. Pace is about 32 mph. Wish I could have seen the whole stage, as I thought it might be an epic one. Super fast pace being set right now by Team Columbia (formerly High Road). Maybe Hincrappy? Don't think so, but that would be cool. Pace is 40.3 mph???? WTF! Thought they weren't doping anymore. Hahahahahahahahaha. On the climb now, can't believe there wasn't a crash on the bridge. Where is Valverde? Columbia still in front, but things are splitting up. Kuota off the front now, PT would be proud. He's caught, Schumacher leads now. 1 km. Now Valverde is in the picture. I can see Evans there also. All the leaders are on the front. Kirchen leads inside 250 meters. But here comes Valverde! And it looks like I have read the crystal ball correctly today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is gonna be a good three weeks. Adios.

Tour, Stage 1: Part One

Prediction for the win today...Valverde. 6.5 km to go. Let's see how it goes. Adios.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independance Day

The 4th of July is upon us once again. This was the weekend that two years ago I swore to myself that I would never work again, yet here I am back in the thick of things. My friends are out partying and I am stuck at work, fun, fun, fun. ;(-

Jumped back into the pro 1,2's last weekend at the Summit Center Omnium in Flagstaff, AZ. Although the results were not worth mentioning (15th Snowbowl Hillclimb, 13th Clints Well Road Race), it was still great to be doing battle with the old guard once again, as it is always fun to see some of the guys like Rubelt, Drew, Prolovito, and Reid that I have been duking it out with for the past 8 years. Michael "JR" Grabinger won both days and took the overall, followed by Prolovito in second. Prolovito is looking fast these days as he is getting ready to head north for the Cascade Classic in Bend, OR.

Nothing else today is all that exciting, except that it is noon now and the temp is only 93 degrees. Maybe I'll go out for a ride? Adios.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greased it...

After a full day of slacking on Saturday, I got the call from DD and PT to meet at the garage at 7:00 for a Sunday ride. "Sounds good" I thought while riding home from work Sat. night...surely they wouldn't want to go to nuts considering that the two of them had probably gone long earlier in the morning.

So I rolled over to Dan's about 7:07, PT shows a few minutes later, and we proceeded to head out through campus down to University. Quick stop at Starbucks for my daily dose, and off we went, me thinking four hours or so, the two of them thinking otherwise.

Dan took us on a new loop that I'd been wanting to do for a while, Sierra Mtn Rd. Super scenic climb that goes above tree-line with ten foot snow drifts on either side of the road! Wait, I must still be dreaming, this is the desert after all. Actually it is a cool loop that goes up this gradual grade for a few miles, then kicks you out around the Three Points area.

Here is where things got interesting. We stopped to refuel, and I grabbed a diet coke. At the counter they have one of those super caffine energy boosters, this one called 7 Hour Energy. Try it, they work, and only 20 cals. PT dares me to do it, so I say sure. While this is going on, they both tell me that we are doing the Square from there, so it looks like it will be a long day. One thing leads to another and the next think I know I'm at La Salsa around 4:00 eating El Champion and wondering if I am going to make it through work. Adios.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Back to Blogging

I think that I am going to start blogging again. Not that you care. Is it bad to write a post that is basically about writing a post?

I was supposed to hit the shootout this morning, but ended up drinking Newcastle's at Che's Lounge until two in the morning. But it was worth it in the end. ;)

Spent the afternoon watching the Crown Plaza Invitational and wondering when I'm going to start hitting shots like they do on TV. Adios.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vintage

I saw that my friend Robert Herriman had posted some old results that I haven't seen in a while so I thought I'd share some of them here:



Pontiac Lake was the first place that I ever rode a mountain bike, and also the Pontiac Lake Time Trial was the first race that I ever competed in, racing in the beginner class with my brother way back in 1994. We used to ride out there in jean shorts and t-shirts, and never made it all the way around without stopping for a smoke at the top of the biggest hill in the place. My how things have changed!

They have changed the course during the last few years, and I hear that it is longer and a little slower now. When I was competing there, that used to be just about the fastest course in MI, and it was full speed ahead all the way through. Everyone that mattered used to come out for the time trial there, so it was a great test to see where you ranked among your peers. Adios.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tour of California, Stage 3

I was watching the stage of the Tour of California today, and got to thinking of what my worst day on the bike might have been. It is really hard to say, as there really is not a particular day that really stands out, although there are a few which do come to mind (in no particular order):

1. 24 Hours of Canaan, preride, 1998.
We had driven all day, and when we arrived at the race site, the weather was abysmal, to say the least. I had driven down with my good friend and teammate, Brian Caron. We got to our hotel, and decided to sleep for a bit, since it was about 40 degrees with a driving rain outside. The rain stopped around 4:00, so we decided to go for it and preride the course. Let's just say the course was muddy, and the lap took a loooong time. By the time we were finished and had registered, hosed off the bikes, etc., we were soaked, it was dark, temps had dropped into the high 30's, and we had about a five mile ride back to the hotel (with no lights). Not fun. When a guy in a pickup drove by us shortly after we had started and offered a ride, I took him up on it immediately and put an end to the suffering.

2. San Dimas Stage Race, prologue and stage 1, 2006: California in the spring. Supposed to be sunny and 65 degrees. Turned out to be 40's and cold rain. Why did I leave Arizona? The prologue was a four mile uphill time trial. Warm going up, but you freeze you bleep off coming down. Things didn't improve much the next day. We started in a driving rain that came down intermittently throughout the day. Lucky for me that I didn't have any sort of legs at this point in the year and got to drop out and hit the outlet mall in Palm Springs the next day while my teammates were going through day 3 of rainy racing.

3. Tour of the Gila, Inner Loop Road Race, 2004: The start had to be delayed because it was around 35 degrees and there were reports of snow coming down on the pass that we were going to be going over in the first fifteen miles. Luckily for us, everything was clear once we got there, and the day turned out to be pretty nice after all. This stage really shouldn't be on this list, but it is the Gila and you can't have a list of cycling stories without it.

4. Monday Night Ride, MI, late 90's: There is a group of riders that meets every Monday night at 6:30 sharp at Maple Lane Florists in Clawson, MI for a 25 mile recovery ride. No matter what the weather, the ride will happen. These guys are hard men. During winter in MI, we used to head over and use the ride as a way to get in some base miles, and get away from the trainer for a bit. I rode over to meet the group one mid-winters night with my friend, Danny Klein , with temps hovering around 35 degrees or so, and a light drizzle in the air. We were fine on the way over, but sat around for fifteen minutes or so once we got there waiting for the ride to start. During this time, the drizzle got harder and the temps started to drop. The group called the ride after about two miles, as everyone present was absolutely freezing. I was so cold on the way home that my middle finger on my left hand went numb, which still gives me problems to this day.

I'm sure that I could think of a few more, but that's enough for now. If you have any epic, miserable rides, share them with us in the comments. Adios.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Deep Thoughts about the Super Bowl.

I went through the full round of emotions during the Super Bowl last night, even suffering a armchair quarterback injury right about the time that Tom Brady completed what should have been his 29th 4th quarter comeback with a TD pass to Randy Moss as the clock ticked down towards the two-minute warning. Somehow as I was jumping up to cheer the play, the old shoulder started to talk back to me again, just as it did about a year-and-a-half back. Hopefully I will be able to shake it off soon, or else it might be another trip to the acupuncturist for some rehab. You know you are getting old when you can't even raise your arms in celebration anymore!

Anyway, the game itself was great; although it would have been much better had the Pats held on to win. Some thoughts from the game:

  • How did Manning escape that sack with about 45 seconds left?
  • How did the Patriots defense not bring him down?
  • How did David Tyree actually hang on to the ball?
  • David Tyree only caught four passes the entire season!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF!
  • Why did the Patriots not kick a 49 yard field goal on 4th and 13 in the first half? Bet Belichick is regretting that one today.
  • Why not declare the Super Bowl a national holiday? I can make a case that just as many people get together for food and parties as they do for Thanksgiving. If fact, I was told at a party yesterday that there actually has been a study done which found that people consume more food during the Super Bowl then on Thanksgiving.
  • Do we really need another reason to consume massive amounts of food? Why not.

On a final note, for those of you out there that root for the Detroit Lions, look back to week eleven of the NFL schedule and you'll see that they played the Giants. Both teams were 6-3 at the time. The Lions almost won. Almost. But they didn't, and went on to finish the season 7-9. We saw yesterday how the Giants finished. Once again, I am proud to be a Lions fan. Adios.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

So I'm sitting in my Organization Behavior in Management class right now listening to a lecture about how to have a positive attitude. As a former pessimist, I do have a few deep thoughts on this issue. Read on if you would like to be enlightened, or skip over this post if you have already gotten there yourself.

For me, my trip to the good side of the force started when I began mountain biking with greater frequency while in my early 20's and living in MI. I found that it allowed me to challenge myself, while also allowing me the freedom to pretty much do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The abridged version of this story led me to move solo to Arizona eight years ago, forced me to make friends in a new place, which has surrounded me with influential and successful people who contributed to getting myself back into school and work on finishing up my degree. Hence, I sit here now writing this blog post when I should really be paying better attention, but I'm pretty positive that I get the jist of this lecture. Adios.