Sunday, December 31, 2006

Public Service Announcement...

Seeing as the new year is upon us and festivities generally involve copious amounts of booze, I feel the need to bring you this public service announcement:

Friends don't let friends dial drunk.

Seriously, the damage done by drunken dialing often cannot be undone. Here is an example of the horrors that await those who don't warn their friends of the dangers ahead. Link

So please, if you are hosting a party, collect everyone's mobile if they plan on drinking, you may be held legally responsible if you don't.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


So the combination of cold, dry air and long rides is taking its toll on my nasal capillaries once again. I typically get chronic nosebleeds at this time of year and it is not much fun. Waking up at 3:00 AM with blood dripping on your pillow is not a lot of fun. Neither is having to soft pedal for ten minutes while riding in an attempt to not bleed out and die in a gutter. On top of having frequent bleeds, I don't clot too well and I've actually had my nose packed full of cotton and continued to have blood pour out in a stream. One such incident led me to having my nose cauterized which is not a fun experience.

I suppose that it could be worse, TIAA-CREF rider Mike Friedman recently had a pulmonary embolism resulting from saddle sore surgery and a genetic clotting disorder. Mike pretty much summed it up "I went from being able to race for six or seven hours to not even being able to walk. That scares the shit out of you!".

Friday, December 29, 2006


Man, I'm towards the end of my last hard week of BASE 1 training and I'm feeling it. I hit the gym yesterday and combined with all of the climbing I did while in Cali my legs are pretty crispy. I put in a solid 3 hours today with my left quad getting pretty achy in the last 40 mins or so. I likely strained it a bit over the past few days, and am looking forward to a rest week to help keep the little kinks from becoming major problems.

Hopefully my powertap will arrive next week so that I can do some testing to establish training zones before starting my second base period.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bikes and Bologna...

My bike arrived this morning as I was walking out the door to go to work. Needless to say, it was a bit of a relief to know that my bike was not lost for good.

Otherwise the day was filled with a few interesting random tidbits:
  • Sidewalk Bologna. Wile walking to lunch with "clean" Mike, I nearly stepped into a stack of 3-4 slices of bologna camped out in the middle of the sidewalk. Now that is not a smart place to leave one's bologna, I thought to myself. The sight of these cold cuts got me to thinking about Taylor Ham. This is a little piece of NJ culture that I've not had in a long time. It looks very much like bologna, but is spiced and has a very distinct flavor. Fry it up for a tasty sammich, mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  • From time to time I come across the original song that a more current hip-hop artist/producer has pulled samples from. I'm not so sure why this is so exciting but it often puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. So while listening to Virgin radio classic rock from across the pond, the song "In a Broken Dream" by Python Lee Jackson (feat. Rod Stewart) came on. The song is good in it's own right, but the bassline was used in "Lifeboat" by Lovage from the 2001 release Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By.... If you don't own this album, you should it is fantastic.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Did I mention I hate flying...

So I had another early flight this morning, leaving Orange County, CA at 6:45 heading to Chi-Town. The weather was clear from coast-to-coast, smooth sailing for sure. Not so. All my flights went well except for my bike is A.W.O.L. Being told that it was "last seen at gate F2 at 2:35PM CST" is not all that comforting. The nice lady at the United counter in Bloomington said that 97% of the time delayed baggage shows up on the next flight. Thinking that those were pretty good odds i decided to stick in bloomington for a few hours to spend some of my christmas loot.

Returning to the airport after spending $1.59 on a nice new memo pad did not yield the results I had hoped for; my bike is still missing. Looks like i'll be rolling on either the long bus (my bright yellow fixie) or the Ibis that has been collecting dust for the past year. If you are reading this, please say a prayer to the bike gods for the safe return of my trusty steed.

I'm off to The Pig for some tasty libations in an attempt to sooth my separation anxiety.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Santiago Canyon...

I planned (or rather Adam planned for me) a nice long ride on my last day in SoCal. Eighty four miles with 6300 ft of climbing for good measure.

Most of the climbing was stuffed in the beginning of the ride, but the rollers along the Pacific Coast made the last thirty miles pretty tough. I also got a little lost in Irvine so I got a bonus four miles in. All in all I banged out 88 miles in 4:29:59. Not nearly the insanity that TSK has done over the past few days. That kid is not the tall "slow" kid that he'd like you all to believe. I'm just glad he is my teammate.

The ride took me through Santiago Canyon which had some awesome views which my camera phone will not do justice.

My flight to Illinois leaves at 6:45 AM PST. It'll be an early start, but it should get me home before the sun sets in the midwest. If any of you clowns are back in C-U, drop me a line and we'll ride.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas...

It is 7:30 out on the west coast so by now I hope that all of you back east have enjoyed you holiday festivities. It has been a fun week in Cali celebrating the last few days of Chanukah and capping it off with a big x-mas dinner with the family today.

I was even able to catch a little of the NYC tradition known simply as The Yule Log. This may seem bizarre at first but it makes sense if you think of how many people live in NY that don't have a fireplace.

Tomorrow is my last day in the sunny south west so I hope to get a nice long ride in.

Till then , I wish you a felicitous nativity.


So the I went on a Group ride up in Irvine, CA today whit the group that Adam normally rides with. Unlike the group rides in C-U, these rides have a fairly large social component in that the rides are organized so that the rides for different ability levels meet up at a predetermined location toward the end of the ride. Today everyone met up at Rose Donuts & Cafe, and nice little spot in Newport Beach combining two of my favorite things, donuts and trophy wives. The area is super up-scale and we were passed by no less than three Lamborghini and four Ferrari automobiles during our 50 mile ride.

Apparently the fast cars and women were enough to get Super Mario to come out and sport his super cool Aqua & Sapone kit.

Grampa Munster was also on the ride

Apparently this guy is like 70+ years old and regularly hands the 35 year old guys their asses. They call me old balls, but this guy is the real deal, dinosaur balls. I hope that I'm still able to walk a flight of stairs at that age, let alone ride my bike with kids half my age. Well, I'm not too far off from the latter part at the ripe age of 30.

Santa is due to arrive soon, may he bring you a Red Ryder BB Gun so that you can shoot your eyes out and not have to read this boring drivel any longer.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

What a difference a year makes...

So while I don't have a camera, I do have a crappy camera phone.
Last winter I spent the holidays at my parents house in NE Pennsylvania. Here is a picture of the lovely road conditions we had.

I spent several hours cruising the snow covered back roads on the MTB, and was usually frozen pretty solid when returning home.

Here is a picture I took today of the coastline from the San Clemente pier.

Needless to say, the weather here is a bit nicer for riding.

Tomorrow I'll be going on one of the local group rides, which sounds like it will be a relatively relaxed event.

Friday, December 22, 2006

It never Rains in Southern California...

"Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours."

-Albert Hammond

Fortunately it doesn't pour all day, and the rain had cleared up by the afternoon.

So my sister's fiance, Adam, took me on a nice three hour ride today. It was about 50 miles with 3000 ft of climbing. We worked our way up to Laguna Beach via some inland roads with some good rollers. Upon arriving at Laguna Beach, Adam told me that we'd be doing the "Top of the World" climb, which climbs from the coast to an awesome 1000 ft vista over the course of two miles. I was totally in the red on the steep sections and was glad when we reached the top. After a super fun descent we cruised down the PCH back home.

All in all the riding out here is pretty good. The roads are a busy, but there a bike lanes everywhere so dealing with traffic is not too bad. I'm a bit spoiled living in Champaign as a 5 min ride puts you out in the countryside with having only a few pick-ups pass you every few miles.

Tomorrow will consist of some riding and then going to some vineyards with the family. It wouldn't be the holidays without some booze.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Great Circles my ass...

They tell me that the shortest distance from two points on a sphere (Earth) is along a Great Circle. Apparently the circle connecting central Illinois to San Clemente, CA passes through Atlanta, GA. WIth the Shit Storm that hit Denver, Flights were all screwed up across the nation. This is why Flying is my least favorite mode of travel. I hate being at the mercy of the weather.

Here is a little recap of my travel:

I left my pad in Champaign at 3:30 AM and headed to bloomington-Normal airport. After some work, I book a flight from Bloomington to Atlanta, GA to Los Angels, CA. Things actually went smoothly, My parents got my Voicemail and met me at LAX, and the bike arrived in as many pieces as when i packed it.

The hi-lite of the trip was while waiting form my connection in Atlanta:

A southern boy of about ten years of age calls out to his tow headed younger brother, "Bubba!, Bubba!...Get yo potato lookin self ova here!" And proceeded to drag his brother across the terminal. This was one of those moments that I had to look around to see if anyone else heard the same thing I did. I'm sure that i looked like a crazy man with an ear to ear smile.

In the end I arrived with enough time to get in a quick ride down to the coast and out to Dana Point Harbor for a nice view of the sun dipping into the Pacific. I'd attach a picture, but I don't own a camera (Luddite again).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Welcome to the worst show on earth...

So hopefully in the near future I'll get this place all snazzed up into a place that suits me better. I wouldn't go holding your breath, as I'm a bit of a luddite. It's not that I'm anti technology, it's more that I'm lazy and just can't be bothered keeping up with things.

Here are a few prime examples:

  • I still use PINE as my mail client.

  • I got my first mobile phone a little over 2 years ago.

  • Fire scares me a lot, and it should be worshiped as s sign of the true gods.

  • The inspiration to start this blog is due mostly to my boy TSK, who mentioned that he'd be posting some BS on his winter training time spent in SC. I mentioned something about that being more entertaining than what I would write about riding @ 13MPH for hours on end in the freezing cold, and He seemed to like the idea.

    TSK has a bit of a head start (and a much nicer blog to boot), but I'm flying to Cali in the AM which should make for a good story or eight.

    Be sure to add this locale to your bookmarks, you will be sorry.