Monday, September 29, 2008

Vermont 50

At 4:15 on Saturday morning I was laying comfortably on a double layer of fleece and therm-a-rest, wrapped in a zero degree mummy bag. Listening to large rain drops beat like a drum on my rain fly. I take a moment to ask my self why I get myself into these situations.
My cell phone alarm had gone off twice, and twice I had put it to snooze. Hell no I didn't want to get out and race my bike in pouring conditions. Luckily I have good friends that just wouldn't allow me to lay there, all comfortable, warm, dry, dreaming about warm buttery pancakes and maple syrup. It was time to earn my flap jacks.
My friend Matt was racing his first VT50, as was Mr Christopher Igleheart. Those guys put in a solid effort, climbing to their limits and likely beyond. That's what racing is all about.
Fun to hear Matt's stories of moments of trouble and pure elation through the near six hours he turned the screw.
I'm particularly proud of Christopher. He is no spring chicken ya know. He's an inspiration, and he crushed the fifty.
I was fortunate enough to mostly survive, happy to ride a bit with Kurt Schmitt while trying to catch Monty. That didn't happen, (the catching monty part) but Montello was just the carrot I needed to find my personal edge of uncomfortable/uncontrollable quad cramps.
Looking off "pain precipice" I backed it off and went into survival mode. Kurt and Monty slipped away. Fun while it lasted.
Constant thoughts while spinning alone on hard packed back country roads, who was winning this thing? Was Thom Parsons laying waste on his SS? and what exactly was happening up in the lead group. Curiosity was intense. I made eye contact with Mirirm (Thom's GF) at the 30 mile aid station. She smiled but shook her head saying no about something. Was Thom out of the race? Not knowing kept me pegged.
After crossing the line and walking my bike out the chute. Twenty or so guys gathered, dried mud encrusted their smiles, sounds of celebration and back slapping. It was over.
I scanned the crowd trying to guess who had won. Jeff with the biggest smile.
No shit.

Tim and Jeff look as Igle releases a sigh,
first words from Igleheart, "do they have beer"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Bistro is Born!

"A restaurant renaissance in the square"
Bravo to my brother Matt as he and his wife Jeanie enjoyed a successful opening night with their Casual Fine Dining restaurant in Danvers square, Nine Elm American Bistro.
Some of you know Danvers square, a typical small town center with a bank, a bike shop, (Western Cycle of course) a cpl pizza shops and a pharmacy. Downtown now offers a selection of up scale eateries, described as
our local paper as a restaurant revival!
My Advice; next time your stepping out, pahk the cah near Danvers (pronounced Dan'v-ahz) square, walk around to work up your apatite, then go to my brothers new Bistro, Nine Elm.
Finish the night off with a stroll down the street to Cody's brew house.
The only thing missing? an Italian bakery; a cannoli and
cappuccino would hit the spot.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

fresh start

The left crank has a dead spot
At the top of the revolution and it flops from eleven o'clock to two. Faintly reminding me of many square taper bb's in the 90's and their loose 14mm bolts resulting in rounded out cranks. Oh, the number of cranks that died a premature death under my foot and under the feet of many of my friends. Thank you to the inovative splined bb makers everywhere!
Alas, that was then, this is now. Then was me bashing the cranks off baby heads in Lynn woods. Now is me sitting on an electric exercise bike with incredibly awful geometry with an uncomfortable oversized seat in a fitness room at the Pitsburgh Airport Holiday Inn.
I'm sweating perfusely and occationally grunting, "there's no fan in here"?? But I'm greatful to get some pain. The tv is on loud and I'm laughing at the political fools, I mean commentators on CNN. A guy just walked in and quickly left... Wonder if it was me? Nah. Must have been the noise comming from my electric fitness bike.. The wooble has my sneaker contacting the plastic housing with every go round. I mop splashing sweat from the console with a towel as it flashes like a Christmas tree. Is 300 watts good? I can't trust this stupid machine. How can I possibly have a revolution of 110 and a heart rate of 88 and be sweating like it's 100 degrees? They need a fan in here. Level 9 for the past twenty two minutes has me wincing a bit and I'm loving it.
The machine now barking like a yippy dog with every revolution, the wooble is much worse and my mission is to see if the crank will fall off.
I cry uncle at 30 minutes, the crank may have won. That was fun. Time for the stair climber!
Any way... I repeated the same routine tonight, no the crank didn't fall off yet.. But I'm here for another night.
Having fun here in the iron city. I am confident that I will be working with a quality team, I enjoy them all, learning a lot about a new side of a familiar buisness, enjoying my new job. I hope this lasts a long time.
Tomorrow I will try to break that bike again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

July '09!

My Question; Can Floyd come out to play too??

AUSTIN, Texas – September 9, 2008 – Today, Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, founder and chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) and cycling champion, released the following statement regarding his return to professional sports:

“I am happy to announce that after talking with my children, my family and my closest friends, I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden. This year alone, nearly eight million people will die of cancer worldwide. Millions more will suffer in isolation, victims not only of the disease but of social stigma. After the passage of Proposition 15 in Texas, a $3 billion investment in the fight against cancer which is helping to make this disease part of the national dialogue in America, it’s now time to address cancer on a global level.”

Mr. Armstrong will discuss his cycling program and an international LIVESTRONG strategy on September 24th in New York City at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

More than a race

Shen was awesome once again. Glad to see everyone. And yes, we rode our bikes ALL DAY!
For those in attendance -you know what I mean.
Thanks to the guys that kicked my ass, I needed that. I could have dealt with less than three flat tires but what eva'. Props to Elk for kicking me down his pump when mine didn't feel like working and to Tomi for putting up with my constant babble up Shenandoah.
Was fun rolling through Dowell's Draft in the midst of the women's race with Betsy, Trish and Cheryl. They were laying it down!
Enjoy the movie, though many pictures came out blurry... hard to operate the digi cam while gasping for air and eating bananas.
Check out Tom's blog for better photography. Gwadz also has some good stuff on Shen.
See ya's next time around.