Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's cold... I hate the cold...

Lots of blog updating to do, especially now that I have a camera again, and can take lots of fun pictures. Plus, it's too cold to go outside and do much of anything anyway. Ugh.

Speaking of cold, last weekend, Seth, Kendall, Matt Dempsey, Neo and I all hit up Nederland for some snowshoeing. It was cold, it was windy, as you can see in this picture. But we went up to a lake near Eldora and it was cool. Very thick ice, very cool bubbles and cracks in the ice. VERY cold wind blowing across the lake...



It was worth it for the hippy muffins at the co-op though.

Also started the new job this week. So that's been stressful. It should be a very positive thing, I'm just struggling through that new part of the job where I have absolutely no idea of what the hell is going on, and what I'm supposed to be doing. Man is that frustrating... I'm out of my office, and back into cube world, but at least now I have a window! I couldn't even see a window from my old place, so having real sunlight is a nice new thing. I can even see the flatirons from the window. The only bad thing, is that I know they will be torturing me as the weather gets nicer, and I want to be outside playing!



I've been playing with the new camera, so how about some entertaining pet pictures? -Speaking of pictures, that reminds me that I got a sweet new digital picture frame for xmas as well. Perfect for the new desk! And with some nice summer pictures, it does a perfect job of torturing me as we're in the depths of freezing cold winter. Anyway... pet pictures...

Jordan;


Taylor;


Leigh;

Tiny Baby Jeebus

Happy Baby Jeebus Day!



This year, Baby Jeebus day was at our house. So the night before Jessica and I had everyone over for some tasty dinner. We got to open a few gifts and then off to bed. Luckily, I remembered to leave the door of the wood stove open, so Santa could make his way down, and he left a few more presents for everyone. Yes, the picture above is from Xmas morning... it was still dark out... that's how early we were up! And it was also snowing already, at 5am. It went on snowing for the entire day, so there were no questions whether or not it was a white xmas. Me, I definitely would have preferred a "tropical xmas".

I must have been good this year, I got a shiny new telescope to play with!



...of course, the only problem is that it's been cloudy ever since xmas. Sure, there's been some times that you could peak between the clouds, but then it was windy with temperatures below 20 degrees. I sure do love winter.

I also got the complete Planet Earth DVD series! Awesome! And the last biggie was a new camera! The ever so sexy Sony DSC-T200. Basically the newest version of the camera I sadly lost a few weeks back, and this one doesn't disappoint, it's been phenomenal! And finally, I can get back to regularly including some more pictures in the blog again.



Plenty of other fun stuff too... And I suppose Jessica was good too, since she got some great goodies as well. I can't wait for her to put down her new mini MP3 player, so I can steal it! And she got a comfy bed set too, that Leigh seems to enjoy.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday, which means?

Yep... the tradition carries on... It's Friday, so that means recovering from this weeks training with some beer, while it's cold and snowing outside. A little change though, I took a break from the Belgian beers, and have one of my very favorite wheats, Hacker-Pschorr Weisse. This one was a favorite, from the first time I tried it, many years ago. Cloudy, unfiltered, creamy, and almost like a banana bread. Sooo tasty...



Ironically, the Fine Living channel's "Thirsty Traveler" is on, and tonight's episode is Belgian beers. Convincing me only more, that I need to go to Belgium, for the 800 different beers, the history, the architecture, frites and of course, cyclocross racing.


So as promised, big changes... Today was my last day at the current job. That's right, I have a new job! Time to move on. Still in Boulder, now working for the University of Colorado. I wish I could have taken all of next week off, but instead, I'm hoping right back on the horse, starting the day after baby jeebus' birthday. At least the good part, is that I'm in, in time for the holiday vacation pay. I'm pretty excited for the change, which is helping keep the anxiety of a new job slightly less. More information once I start, I'm sure.

Other big changes, coming soon...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't bother looking

I'm almost afraid to post this...

Only because I haven't seen it show up on some triathlete forum yet, or some techie bike forum for TT guys, that think testing the rolling resistance of tires on rollers can be directly related real world situations on the road.

Here you go... http://www.cerevellum.com/

Sure, it's meant as a camera to watch out for cars behind you. And like that isn't bad enough, thinking of people riding their bikes, terrified of cars coming up behind thme, rather than watching where they are actually going. Plus, what happens when you look at the screen, see a car coming, and since it will appear to be on the left side of the screen, your mind automatically makes you steer your bike to the right, so that you are hit squarely by the teenager driving moms SUV at 20mph over the speed limit while texting and driving in the bike lane?

Worse... someone (Triathlete/age group TTer) will find this and think, "Wow, I could turn the camera around, and use it as a video screen to watch where I'm going, and therefore keep my head down in an aerodynamic tuck!" Okay, first thing, your fancy aero helmet is designed to work with your head looking down the road. It gets exponetnially LESS aerodynamic than a standard helmet when you look down, and raise the tail into the air. Next, in my bike shop experience, triathletes tend to have 1,000% more pinch flats than "road" cyclists. Why? Not because of their silly light weight tires, but rather because they think they are aero, riding with their head looking straight down, marveling at the musculature of their ripped legs, and they run over every piece of road debris and pothole on the course. This device will only increase their propensity to ride with their head staring straight at their stem.

And even better... they the site mentions adding a powermeter readout to the screen. That will have the timetrialists falling over themselves! How perfect! You can ride with your head down, AND stare constantly at your power number for perfect pacing!

Maybe to make cyclists using this device safer for all of us, we could borrow another car technology; the "back-up beeper" that trucks use. Instead, riders using this device can just have them constantly beeping, so once you approach these people, you can give them a WIDE berth. They likely won't hear you coming anyway since they'll probably be the same people that insist on racing with their iPod cranked up.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Still Winter

Yep... still winter here.

This past weekend was more of the same, but with the added enjoyment of our friend "Wind" added into the equation. The snow is bad enough. Snow sucks. But I can usually deal with the snow. Once the wind comes though, and starts drifting walkways, driveways, and entire roadways shut, well, then I get pretty cranky. Even better, it looks like there is even more wind and more snow in the forecast for the last half of this week.

Saturday I got out for some snowshoeing with Tom, Randy, D-rock and Neo again. Being without a camera, I'm still at the mercey of others to send me pictures to post. But it was a lovely day out. Only horribly windy in some spots, but the rest were good, and the sky was incredibly clear and blue. Just went in the forest near the house trying to get lost again. But not too lost, because later that night Jessica and I were headed out to get our Baby Jeebus Birthday tree.

I think Jessica picked out a great one. Sunday evening we had Alex over for some dinner and to help set up the tree. It was a big night for Alex, her first samplings of perogies (I even made her my special Vegan-friendly recipe), and helping to decorate her first christmas tree ever. I think she had fun, and she at least "said" that she liked the perogies. We also tried a new Penfolds variety, The Koonuga Hill Shiraz. Everyone agreed... quite delicious!

Other than that, big changes coming up soon. Stay tuned for more...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Belgian Friday

It's starting to turn into "Cold, possibly snowy, Belgian" Friday... No snow this week, at least on Friday evening, but it's all of 5 degrees outside. It's time to recover from another tough week on the trainer. And what better way to that than a light spin, followed by some pizza. And most importantly, carbo-loading - also known as beer tasting.

Tonight I picked the tastiest looking of three Belgian beers at the "package goods store". The first pick, that I had today is St. Bernardus Abt 12. My review goes something like this; WOW! Absolutely wow. This beer is so smooth, and so full of flavor. Dark and creamy with a ridiculously long lasting head. The way this beer balances it's many flavors, yet is so smooth, is really it's beauty. Highly, highly recommended, and in the top percentile of www.ratebeer.com



I'm fully prepared, and will have my favorite chocolate afterwards. Ritter Sport - Milk Chocolate with Butter Biscuit. Now we're talking.

And if that's not enough, Half Baked is the movie tonight on Fuse. Good stuff right there, a truly "deep" movie. No wonder Dave Chappelle got his own show.

Snow, snow, and more snow

This week has been a mess. A mess at work, but also with the weather. Nothing but snow, and more snow.

Saturday I got to sleep in at least, then made some homemade buttermilk pancake. Jessica even got xmas tree shaped ones, because I'm crazy. (Sorry, picture to come later). Rode the trainer for way too long and did a ton of house cleaning. Exciting stuff.

Sunday got out for some snowshoeing with Neo, Randy, D-rock and Frank. That was a good time. The snow was better than I figured it would be, but I might have still just been used to the 3+ feet we had all last winter. It was a good time, though a bit windy in spots. We did a nice 3.5hr loop right from the house.



The rest of the week? Hell, I don't even remember. It's been one long Monday. And a bad Monday at that... Plus it's been cold. Way cold. And at snowy at least half the time. I think I had some funny stuff this week at least, to keep me sane.

Monday Jessica and I went to Whole Paycheck to grab some dinner. Now I don't think I ever go there and spend less than $20. Maybe that's why I caught some lady who also bought her dinner there, but on the way out was stuffing fistfuls of little salt and pepper packets into her bag. Not the kind of fistful where you might just REALLY like salt, more like, the kind where you take them home and put them in the drawer where you keep all your salt packets, and ketchup packets that you took extra of.

Tuesday it snowed. And I was driving down the canyon, slow enough as it was, when the little train of cars I was in came nearly to a stop. Why!? What now!? Is there an upside down car in the canyon, like usual? No... some dude is RIDING HIS MOTORCYCLE down the canyon! 15 degrees, snow-packed road, with heavy falling snow, and this dude took his motorcycle to work.

Wednesday I was put onto the fact that one of the number one selling gifts for this year are talking jeebus dolls. These... well, these are just scary. Don't bother going to your local ,evil. Walmart for them, because they are out of stock. He features "63 seconds of easy to memorize scripture". Great. Personally, he's kinda scary.



Yesterday the infamous Mitchell Report came out about doping in baseball, and the world (other than the media) sighed a collective "who gives a fuck" and also a quick, "no shit, sherlock". Of course baseball dudes doped. But who cares? Do you think the fans at home care? Hell no, they've said as much. Baseball is one of the most boring sports in the world - even the fatties all doped to the gills. I'd rather watch golf, at least the announcers have that soothing tone. Maybe if had all the baseball players cracked out on some coke to speed things up. Or maybe some acid, and then we could zoom the tv cameras in on the dude in the outfield as he envisioned giant oranges that were storming out of the stands to attack him. Now that would be entertainment!

And today... with more snow, the site that caught my eye was some dude jogging with a ski mask on. Well, I guess there was snow falling... but dude, a ski mask!?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Snowy Friday

What else can you do on a cold, snowy Friday? I vote for drinking a fine, fine Belgian brown ale. Tonights selection is Brasserie des Rocs. It's quite good. I liked the La Folie that recently had better, but this one is definitely delicious. It goes down extremely easily as well... which could be a dangerous thing at 9.2% alcohol.



It is a perfect beverage for a recovery night though. My legs were fried yesterday for my training ride, and beer is very often a perfect recovery drink. It must be the carbs, right? After all, I have to prepped for a tough trainer workout tomorrow. Sadly, a trainer workout, since it's snowing now, and the weather is only supposed to get worse through the weekend.

While enjoying my beverage, and "recovering" I also watch Elementality for like the 5th time. It's a great movie, and always perfect for motivating me to dig out the board. With the garage clean, and nothing but bad weather forecast for the next week... I just might have to work on the ol' style. Maybe finally make that quarter or half pipe... Hmmm. First, I need a new deck.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Jersey, Weddings, and Winter

Last Thursday Jessica and I went out to Durty Jersey for a long weekend. The trip started off rough, up at 4am so we could get to the airport in time for our 7am flight. Somehow, both of our flights that day left early. That's basically unheard of for my luck at the airports. I was back on schedule though, as I got pulled out for special testing as we passed through security. I was feeling neglected, as the last time I flew, was the first time in 5 flights that I WASN'T pulled. I must have that "early-thirties, pissed at the current government, non-conformist" look about me... which I welcome.

It's always fun going back to the old side of the country. Our first stop once we had our rental car was the city market in Philadelphia. I had been waiting all day for my incredibly messy cheesesteak for lunch, and I was dissapointed! Some brief exploring of Philly as we drove through, but only brief as we were trying to get out of the city before rush hour hit. We stayed in a hotel in Delaware, which actually was a first for me. I chose the "Business Suite" for it's set-up and the fact that it was advertised having wireless internet service. With no signal to be found, we called the front desk to find out that "oh, the wireless definitely won't reach down to that room, but you can get it in the lobby". Nice.

That same evening, we also hit up a Dunkin' Donuts, and a real pizzeria! I wasn't hungy... but I needed that food! We also made sure to stop by a local store to pick up 6 or 8 (maybe 10!) boxes of Tastykakes! What can I say? We had to stock up!

Friday we spent the day with Jessica's grandparents which was pretty fun. Then hit up Longwood Gardens to see their flowers and displays, and later even went back to see their light displays. It is of course, the season of Baby Jeebus' birthday.

A lot of Saturday was centered around the wedding of Jessica's cousin, our real reason for traveling out there. It was a nice little affair, though I lost track of how many times I was asked if we were taking notes for our wedding that's coming up! The nice thing is that we are well on our way to having most things all set! The wedding was a lot of fun though, and it's been awhile since I've been to one that had such an active dance floor.

Sunday it was time to head home, and what a journey it was. Snow and sleet in Philadelphia made for delays. I had the worst seat on the plane, made all the more terrible by sitting around for 45 minutes as we went through the line for de-icing. At least we had some time till our 2nd flight was scheduled to depart Hot-lanta. Of course though, that flight was also delayed, so it was 10.20 before we left, which meant I wasn't snug in my bed until 2am that night.

Oh well, great trip overall, and I'm pretty sure I visited a Dunkin' Donuts at least once a day. We had cheesesteaks, real pizza, found a good Italian restaruant, I had a pint of Yuengling beer, hit up a Wawa, and we brought back a selection of Tastykakes. All the main points of a Jersey visit.

Monday, December 3, 2007

See ya' bitches!

Free spot in Heaven (well, $24.95 for the "All Access Pass" which you know I'm getting!) reserved just for me!
http://www.reserveaspotinheaven.com/

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Don't Get Lost in Space

I don't know, I mean, I just won't feel safe until I have these...
http://www.earthbounddog.com/

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hipster Doofus

Sweet Jeebus... in case you need further proof of my prediction from the other day;

My hat goes of to Rubin, who snapped this absolutely stunning stealth-photo in the airport the other day. This photo stands as a further scary sign of the direction those evil hipsters are taking. Soon it will be "all Emo" to ride a fixie around town with pants so tight, that they will actually help you control the speed of your fixie bike because of the friction with your legs.

I mean look at this guy. He has STUDIED his Maxim Magazine to see exactly how he should prepare himself for public outings. Especially for travel at the airport - I love people that treat air travel like a single's bar. He's carrying his perfectly brand-new and un-used long board (notice the green wheels match his mock-turtleneck), puffy vest, velcro shoes, scrotal-facial hair, man-purse (is that a FLOWER on his man-purse!?), designer jeans and probably watching the latest episode of "Hereos" downloaded onto his Nano. I can't tell, but if I had to guess, I would say he's waiting in line to buy a pack of Dunhills as well.

Wow.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Four Day Weekend

Ah yes... the four day weekend was a VERY welcome treat! With the Turkey Day holiday this past week, I was lucky enough to have off two days, plus the weekend! The only bad part was that it was off course time off during the coldest week so far. Ugh. Still, it turned out to be a nice, productive weekend.

Wednesday evening Jessica and I hit up the Boulder Dinner Theater for a show. We saw "The 1940's Radio Hour". It was alright... not one of my favorites. I love old radio variety shows, but that's pretty much all there was to this play. Pretty much just a radio show, without much actual story. Food was pretty good, and it was great to be out on a date with the little lady, so no complaints from me.

Thursday I got to sleep in. Eventually, I summoned up the effort to make some delicious mashed potatoes. My contribution to the holiday meal. Dinner was great. Good food, good people, and I would say everyone had a great time. Somehow, even though it was after our meal, I managed to get some time in on the trainer. Not sure how I pulled that one out, but that's commitment damn-it!

Friday meant sleeping in again. Awesome. It was a horribly cold, cloudy, and foggy day. Just plainly dreadful weather. Oh yeah, and I won the Formula 1 World Championships! Well, on PS2 anyway. Winter time means PlayStation time! I still got my trainer ride in though, so I wasn't too hyper.

Saturday I decided to hit up the cross race down in Louisville. It was sunny finally, but entirely too cold again. I figured racing would get me outside and away from the trainer. Plus, I decided to race the single speed cross bike so was excited about that. It was almost easy to forget both how hard, and how absolutely fun racing the single speed cross bike can be! I felt great in the race too! The legs were THERE! Of course, lady luck wasn't... threw my chain twice, and two flat tires! Argh! I ran back to the car to pump a tire once, but of course it didn't hold. And the second time I had to beg a teamate to run back to his car to grab me a wheel. Damn! Bad luck always seems to come when you feel the best. Sadly, that meant no results at all, but at least I could feel better that the legs were rockin' and I got in a good outdoor effort. Still... so frustrating.

A few weeks back I was up in Fort Collins, at the New Belgium Brewery. While I was there, I knew I had to pick up a bottle of La Folie, available only at their on-site bar. And Saturday was finally the evening I figured I would pop it open. Plus, it was a perfect compliment to Battlestar Gallactica Razor, which was FINALLY showing that night. Just another month or so till the start of Season 4... Anyway... La Folie... it was absolutely amazing! Quite a sour finish, but in an amazingly good way. It was so smooth, fruity, and just downright delicious. I don't think I could have it everyday, but I definitely had no trouble enjoying the full litre. I should get back up there to buy another bottle before they disappear!



It was supposed to be warm today, and I was looking forward to a nice outdoor ride, but really... it was damned chilly. I made it out though, but thought it was going to turn into a one hour ride because I was freezing. Stupid cloud was hiding the sun. But I stuck it out, and ended up getting in a nice 3.25 hours in, touring the rolling hills surrounding Boulder. I would have loved to go climb a bit, for real, but the roads are still pretty messy. Plus, descending would have been all sorts of cold.

Now the only problem, is that the weekend is over. The nice thing, is that I have another 4-day weekend coming up next week too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Prediction

I think it's almost time... probably by this summer...

All the wannabe hipsters that are currently carrying around their stupid-ass "long boards" (of course they are carrying them rather than riding them) will start to find "Fixies". It's hit other parts of the country, and now, on the typical two year time delay that occurs between either coast and the front range, people should be ready.

This guy;


Will soon turn into this guy;


I'm not sure if it's worse than carrying around your perfectly shiny long board that you bought at the University bookstore because it matches your favorite outfit, but mostly like it will be once the fixie guys start slamming into cars and people on the bike path because they are "too cool" to run brakes on their fixies. I mean, the messengers in NYC don't do it dude!

Now I have to run out and track down all the copies I can of Quick Silver, because once the hipsters find out about this movie, that was made before they were born, they will be ALL OVER IT, and ready to pay a premium price. Soon to be showing at the Boulder Theater I'm sure.

Summer!? No wait... Winter!

80 degrees yesterday... 35 degrees today with snow on the way and even colder temps for tomorrow. Gotta love Colorado weather. Well, at least I shouldn't complain about 80 degree days in late November!

Last week was rough for a couple reasons, but also because it was time to start up the training for 2008. It's the earliest I ever started, so doing a 12 hour week in November was a new experience for me. We'll have to see how it works out this spring, since typically, I race a full cross schedule and don't start up riding until after the first of the year. But it was a good week of training. I didn't bonk on a four hour ride with Seth last week, (probably due to the 1500 calorie donut I ate in Evergreen) and by the end of the week the body had (begrudgingly) started to adjust to riding that stupid torture device called an "indoor trainer". Man do I hate that thing.

After being borderline sick, then enjoying PBRs during the roller derby Friday night, I think things finally caught up with me on Saturday. I wanted to get out and ride, I really wanted to. But all the body wanted to do was sleep. And the weather sure wasn't helping motivation - it never got above 45 with wind at the house. Blah. So I listened, and just slept or rested most of the day.

It seemed to have worked though, since I was more motivated on Sunday. And the weather was gorgeous! So The Ratchet and I went out for a solid ride of rolling roads and short jaunt up the NCAR hill. I was feeling good still, and had no reason to rush home, so I took advantage of everything going right, and finished up with an extra climb up Poorman Hill. Four hours, and 40 minutes on the bike, with 3700 calories burned meant that I could justify eating lots and lots of pumpkin pie afterwards! Pumpkin pie is really my favorite part of November...

Monday it was even nicer out, Nearly 80 degrees, but of course I was stuck inside all day working for the man. I'm just focused on the fact that it's a 3-day work week this week! And bonus; next week is too, as Jessica and I have a little trip planned...

In other news; Seth got his new TT bike this week, and I'm damned jealous! It's a sweet ride, and I would even consider one myself, except Felt thinks that the smaller sized frame needs 650c wheels, and I'm not going back that way. Anyway, Seth wanted to see what his bike would look like once he gets his new Zipp disc and Nimble front wheel set up on the bike, so I took care of it for him. And "Yes", those are the actual colors of the wheels he picked out.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bad Apples vs. The Green Barrettes

Friday a gang of us were off to the final Denver Roller Dolls roller derby match of the year. Bad Apples vs. The Green Barretts, and it was bound to be a good time. Craig however, misbehaved and had to be whipped into shape;


Jesse and his lady met DumpTruck;

Sarah met Evel Con Evel;

I met my hero Rockett;

After getting kicked out the Colesium, we went downtown for the after party. Even though the Bad Apples were soundly defeated, it didn't dampen their party mood!

And I think I have pics of Bret with every roller girl that was there;

The next season starts in March!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Batter Blaster

Mix... Water... (maybe) eggs... whisking...

That's so old skool! And WAY too much work!

Batter Blaster to the rescue!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Best Part of Waking Up...

...is knowing that it's NOT Folgers in my cup.

It's going to be a long day, I need my coffee! And I only drink the finest blends that Duncan Hills has to offer;



And in case you're wondering;

Do you folks like coffee?
Real coffee?
From the hills of Colombia?

The Duncan Hills will wake you
From a thousand deaths
A cup of Blackened Blood
(Die, die)
You're dying for a cup

Guatemalan blend
Ethiopian
French vanilla roast
(Die die)
You're dying for a cup

Prepare for ultimate flavor
You're gonna get some--NOW!
And scream for your cream

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Look! Up in the sky...

It's been all the rage on my favorite "Dale Gribble" site for a couple weeks where I've been following the speculation, conspiracy theories, and downright paranoia of the Holmes comet. But last night I finally remembered to go out and have a look. It was pretty cool actually, though it made me wish for a stronger pair of binoculars. Of course it's mostly just a big fuzzy ball, but you have to remember that it's a comet, way out there, that's visible to the naked eye. Cool. And it's easy to find, so go take a look.

While looking at info on the comet, I noticed that it was time for the International Space Station to be visible from Colorado. Sweet! I dragged Jessica and Alex out into the cold several weeks ago so we could catch a passing, and that was cool, but this time was going to be REALLY cool! Since the Space Shuttle had just seperated from the station Monday morning, and was on it's way back to Earth, both the Shuttle and Station were going to be visible! Even better, from Boulder, the elevation of the pass was about 85 degrees so it was going nearly directly overhead. Sure, it meant that I had to climb out of my nice warm bed at 5.30 this morning, but the view didn't dissapoint. First came the ISS, and sure enough, there was the shuttle just a few seconds behind. Very cool. Of course, both objects are just shiny lights in the sky, quickly and quitely move past at a good clip, but you know it's man-made stuff (that WE technically paid for)and that's cool.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fall Back

Sadly, it's finally time to turn the clocks back. Well, at least it will be light again in the morning... for a bit, but that means no more daylight after work. Let the pangs of depression begin.

Well, at least this weekend had some great weather. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get out for much (or any) riding, but that's alright. A break is good, and I'll soon be fired up for the 2008 training to start up in earnest.

Since Derek's bachelor party was last Saturday, it seemed like this Saturday would be a good day for his wedding. Luckily, Derek and Lisa agreed, since it would have been embarassing to show up without the stars of the event.

All and all a beautiful evening, with lots of fun, and plenty of cycling peeps all cleaned up and not wearing protective head and eyewear. For good or bad, I think everyone behaved well, and had a great time. Congrats Derek and Lisa!


Sunday it was time for the UCI Boulder Cup Cyclocross race. While the Boulder County Park and Wreck Department did their best to make sure it wasn't a good time, a good group of us still managed. After carrying our illegal flaming charcoal grill out of the park to the parking lot - where it is somehow legal to burn your charcoal. The open-container law was pretty crappy as well, since drinking meant being corralled into a "beer garden" monitored by police, where you couldn't even see the race or hang out with non-drinking friends. All in a town where 3000 people hang out and smoke pot on April 20th with less police involvement... on a college campus.

Anyway, regardless of the nonsense, the racing was great! Not terribly dramatic, as Trebon just plain stomped all others from lap 1, when he rode away and never looked back. The dude wasn't even pushing all that hard, yet extended his gap to nearly a minute thirty over his chasers, and lapped all but like 15 of the field. He must have been inspired by Compton, who did basically the same thing in the women's field!

video

Trebon is fast... REALLY fast.

Trebon beats everyone while riding 24 inch kids wheels... or he's just really, REALLY tall.
Chris Horner had a great ride, and it's always awesome to see him racing cross.
Tim Johnson had a pretty good day, even if he does have the ugliest kit. Though... he gains back all the style points with those incredible yellow brake hood covers on his SRAM Red shifters! Awesome!
The fans seem to agree, Horner is one popular dude. I often don't think he gets the credit he deserves with the results that he gets over in Europe throughout the road season.

"Treefarm", all alone, and still breathing through his nose in the final laps.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Horny Things

Prepare to believe...

The unicorn, a mythical creature, just like the Liger...

Wow, now that's entertainment. I started this post off with a bang. Let's see where we can roll from here;

Last Friday was killer. We hit up the Denver Roller Dolls roller derby match! A good time was had by all! It's roller derby, how could it be bad? But it was even more fun than I figured! Plenty of action, lots of cheering to do, chicks on skates knocking one another around, and 24oz. PBRs...

Jessica and I met a celebrity - Dumptruck the official Roller Dolls announcer;

Not just a great announcer, he's also a great dresser, and changed outfits for every period of play;
The way peanut butter and jelly go together, so do short-shorts and roller skates...

video

Saturday a bunch of us went out to celebrate D-Rock's last week of freedom. Soon enough... I will be on my own similar journey.
First we hit up some dinner.

Then a quick stop at the bar for some drinks to make sure the Rockies were still upholding my prediction of getting swept. And finally some "gentelmanly" entertainment. Of course. Don't worry D-Rock... what happens in the champagne room, stays in the champagne room.


Sunday... after sleeping in for sure... Jessica, Alex, myself, and the herd of doggies all took off for a little walk to enjoy the nice weather. (of course, we're back to snow today).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Desktop Tower Defence

Since Seth was whining the other day that he needed proof... I meant to post these two pictures. Desktop Tower Defence is probably the best time-waster I have come across yet. It has consumed many productive hours of my life, that I will never get back. But it hasn't all been in vain, as now I can regularly beat the hard level, with a perfect score of zero creeps getting past.

And just look at the absolute efficient beauty of the technique I used. And no, none of that retarded "juggling" going on to beat the game.


The only problem, is that now I'm obsessed with defeating "The 100" level of the game. 100 relentless waves of creeps. I've gotten up to level 86, but then it's just too much. I have a new technique up my sleeve to try though...


I hate fall...

I remembered the other day why I hate fall... it's freakin' cold! And the days are short! I was climbing Flagstaff road the other day after work, and it was already starting to get dark. It was windy and only about 50 degrees. I was climbing in a jacket and knee warmers and was far from being hot. ...it's going to be another long winter. At least it was quiet, and there weren't many cars full of sight-seers making the trip up and down.

Of course, that didn't stop the group of 4 I passed, climbing with their helmets strapped to their handlebars. Apparently it was too hot to wear their helmets... or something. Whatever it was, they sure did "look pro". Dorks. And even better, I passed a guy (again, remember it was 50 degrees) climbing with just a t-shirt... UNDER his bibs. Always a classic look. I mentioned that one to Craig, and he replied that he thought it was time that clothing manufactures started putting instruction manuals with bibs. You know, to explain to people that bibs ARE NOT overalls! There's no hammer loop, there's no breast pocket on the front... wear a jersey OVER your bibs. You can wear your baselayer under your bibs... but only if you have a jersey on also.
Boulder cyclocross race tomorrow.

But today I decided, is "Bring your doggie to work day";


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Not Already!

I woke up this morning to Jessica proclaiming, "It's christmas time! It's christmas time! Can I have my present now..."

I'm not ready to let go of summer yet, but this morning we woke up to 3 inches of snow on the ground, with a long day of more snow still ahead of us, in the forecast. Ugh. What else could we do, but climb out of the nice warm bed and head out to the hot tub! At least there is always something fun about sitting in the nice 104 degree water, with fresh snow in the trees, and more snow falling.
Sadly, I don't think it will be enough snow to force a snow-day from work tomorrow. Instead, it will likely be all melted and gone by tomorrow afternoon - with any luck.

On the music front, make sure you check out the new Radiohead album, "In Rainbows", which came out this past Tuesday. It's especially cool, that they are trying a new method; after dumping their record label, they have decided to release this album in two forms. The first is a complete disc box set, including an extra album, some extra tracks, photos, a vinyl copy, and the cd copy of the new album. The second, is a "name your own price" download from the bands website.

Yep, that's right, name your own price. Zero dollars if you want. But I did offer up some coin for the album, hoping that maybe it will support this new idea, and why not throw something to the artist for their work as well? In addition; the album is downright awesome! It's a great album, so be sure to check it out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Only in Boulder

Only in Boulder do you have not just a group ride, but CYCLOCROSS group ride (complete with two pseudo 20 minute long races), from 8-10 in the morning, when most of the world is at work, AND have it attract a solid 100 riders.



Yep, I got up early this morning so I could meet up with the cyclocross group ride today. Beyond the numbers and the time of day, and all that, the quality of the field is pretty great too. Plenty of pro-riders and former pro-riders all out for a morning spin. I felt pretty good today, even though I had done a couple hill-efforts last night on the road bike. The number of riders on the course, and wide open range of abilities means you are usually stuck behind someone, but I was hoping to not go full-on anyway. At any rate, a good way to start off a Wednesday morning, especially when it means you have to get to work an hour late.



And really, the best point of the title, Only in Boulder, I offer up this fine example;

This one was so good, I had to go around the block after I saw it, to make sure that I got a picture. Sure, who hasn't seen someone that decided to bolt a 2x8 or some other piece of lumber to their car, in place of the factory installed bumper. But a tree!? Chained no less to the car!?Sure, replacing that bumper and/or plastic bumper cover is a ridiculous process and the parts are typically just as insanely priced from the manufacturer. And I understand as much as anyone the absolute joy and feeling of accomplishment of totally "rigging" something together to work, especially when it is "thrifty". But a split tree? For a bumper? On a newer model car?

Of course, now the worst part of this entire situation is that it begs the question; Did he just do this to make his car MORE "Hippy-esque"? I mean, we ARE talking about Boulder, and on a Subaru Outback. Plus the dude/dudette lives IN town. You can't just go into the backyard, find a nice straight tree, and cut it down (usually). This person probably took a trip up the canyon to find a tree, cut it down, split it, neatly cut away the old bumper cover and then chain it in place. Though it's less than perfect being a little short and definitely not level. I don't want to think about it anymore, in case the owner imagines their car is a little more "natural" now. Though I definitely look for the car each morning on the way to work, and it makes me chuckle...

Cyclocross Updates

Cyclocross season is continuing to ramp up in intensity as the weeks click by.

Two weekends ago, the racing was down in Colorado Springs, on a dusty, hot and windy course. The course was super bumpy, but had a sweet 4 dismounts. Other than that, I think I would like to forget about the race. It was that race you have, where anything that can go wrong, WILL go wrong. My legs felt like wood right from the start; great. Just what you want, flat legs on a course that is all about power. No faking your way through that one. Then on the first lap, I had a crash. A lovely front tire wash-out that had me flipping over the bike and playing in the sandbox. Knock the shifter back into place and start chasing. I had two barriers (of course the high-speed ones) where my left foot had problems unclipping from the pedals. I'm not sure if I picked up a piece of gravel or what, since I haven't had that problem with the new shoes and pedals I have - not before or since then. The first one did provide a sweet slam into the barrier - one foot clipped in, the other on the same side of the bike skidding through the cinder, and both tires locked up, and WHAM! Well, at least they did a solid job mounting the barriers into place. And to wrap things up, there was this super fast section, on cinder, with one real line, twisting through a little wooded section. I was full-on going through there, as I come around the corner to see some chick, carrying a mini-human, walking right down the race line. Fabulous. Because of the conditions, you totally couldn't just change lines, and that meant I was off the trail, both wheels skidding again, and into the trees. You know, full stop, just at the bottom of the steep ride-up on the course no less! UGH!

Whatever... race over. At least afterwards the real fun was to be had. I'm not crazy about Colorado Springs - other than the fact that there are three Dunkin' Donuts there (none in the rest of the front range!). So you know Jessica, Craig and I were all headed there with a hankerin' for some Donuts. I had to stock up. I got a dozen. And made it through just about all of them, the last "radiator donut" just didn't make it to my belly. Wow, am I fat! I was a bit bummed that they didn't have vanilla or even chocolate creme filled - my favorites. Well, at least there is another race coming up down there later in the year, so we will have another shot at it!

This past weekend we got to stay close with some local racing. I decided to skip out on the race at the Research Park. I ride there fairly often to work on skills and such (plus the sweet jumps), but paying to ride on a course that is like concrete with fist sized rocks strewn about, tends to loose it's appeal. Instead, we were down in Morrison on Sunday for the Red Rocks race. Man! Those boys put together an angry little course! A massive loose run-up, a long run through a volleyball court, a paved climb, and some twisty sections made for a fun course. Did I just say "fun"!? Yeah, I guess it was fun, but like I said, it was a TOUGH course! I even like longer run sections (and think we need more of them), but it was rough. I had a crappy start with guys flubbing around in front of me, and then got in a group and had a difficult time passing on this course. Plus... let's face it, I was a pussy and should have been jumping the single barrier, but didn't. I have to get out my own barrier and get over the mental part of it, so that I do it in a race. Before long, the race was down to just keeping a smooth, fast rhythm, and maintaining the speed till the end.
We had an awesome crowd in attendance though, and that really helped. Jessica was there, Seth and Keely brought the grill to cook up some dogs, and plenty of the rest of the gang that raced earlier were hanging out drinking and yelling. I was also keen to play with my new toy, my new refillable air horn. Cowbells are just so "last-year". Time to step up to the big leagues with 100psi of compressed noise-making!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Wait is Over

Yesterday was the first cyclocross race of the season... Brecktobercross. Always a pretty good race, with a tough, bumpy course, angry run-ups, and the thin air at 10,000 feet up. Plus this year the race was back to the same weekend as Oktoberfest right down the hill in Breckenridge, which is always a blast.

Last year we had some snow showers at this race, especially since it was later in the year. This year, there were off and on showers throughout the day. Not bad though. Till the thunder started just before the open race of course. Our race had a steady shower through the whole thing, along with wind and cool temps in the 50's. You have to love fall in Colorado. The rain was just enough to make the course super slick, and getting worse ever lap; but the challenge just made it that much more fun. I was even happy to see that the course had 3 dismounts, which sadly, is starting to sound like a high number for courses in Colorado. Plus, I should have been jumping the first one, but I just couldn't build up the confidence, during this first race of the season.

So the course was pretty good, better than it seemed like it was going to be when I walked it beforehand. Mostly downhill first part, with some twisties thrown in. Those were more challenging once the roots got exposed, and covered in rain. A short paved section which was slick, and quickly back into the woods. An angry, nasty, steep and sandy run-up was sure to get worse every lap. The fast single barrier (which I should have been bunny-hopping), more super bumpy, fast single track, then an uphill double barrier section, with a decent run after it to keep the speed high. You could get back on the bike right after the barrier, but definitely for me, it was faster to run further, then remount. And finally, a shallow climb to the finish, that was just steep and fast enough to make you cross-eyed. There wasn't a lot of room for recovery, especially with the thin air.

My race went okay. I had a slow start, as I figured I would, as I was standing shivering on the start line in the cold rain. But I built up speed and was looking pretty steady. I was getting pissed though, losing several seconds per lap, as I had a chain that kept bouncing off the big ring in the bouncy sections! GRRR! It's been working fine up till then, with no issues, but then I guess I really hadn't been going full-on race-pace, into those really choppy sections. Just something to tweak before the next race. I think I've been spoiled by racing single speed last year, with their 45 minute races (which DID feel short last year), because this first race of an hour in length, sure felt more like 1.45!!! I was dying! It didn't help that there wasn't a lap counter until 3 to go, so it was hard to judge the effort. Once I saw it was 3 to go, I felt better, and was able to pick it up again, and finish strong. I was really trying to keep my pace as consistent as possible, though I know the uphill after the final run-up, was getting a bit more sloppy.


All in all though, a decent start to the season. I finished up in 9th, in a field that was pretty impressive for the first race of the season. Hopefully the next course will be a bit less bouncy, and have a solid 3 dismounts again!



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cyclo-what!?

This past weekend was the Dillon and Copper mountain crits. I made it up for the Dillon one on Saturday. Jessica, Neo and I jumped in the car and drove up to the mountains. The rain just barely held off for our race, which I think everyone was more than happy about. Especially since it was a tight, short (under 1k), twisty course. Not typically my sort of course, but I was feeling good, so the race went fairly well for me.

I spent the first 3 or 4 laps frustrated, near the back of the pack. The legs felt good, but it was really difficult to move up. Then people settled into the course (myself included), figured out how to ride it, and things got better. I was able to get up to the front and do some work. Worked chasing down some people, followed some wheels into breaks that didn't really materalize, and worked to string out the field and make things uncomfortable for those following. I think I spent over 15k on the front of the race. It was one of those days where you pound yourself into the ground, figure you are done, but then are able to recover and do it again. Even better when you are able to do that at 9000ft! So I was pretty happy with my race. Unfortunately Paul went down in the last corner, but Brent still wound up in 6th at the end.

It's been a rough summer, but I have been feeling MUCH better lately, and this was another race where I was feeling strong. I was hoping I would feel good, as I was riding well all last week. Hopefully I can hold onto some form as we head into cyclocross season!

Sunday Jessica, Neo, Lucy, Alex and myself got up early, and went for a hike up to the top of Twin Sisters. It's usually a great hike, nice and quiet without people, and there is no drive involved. A nice way to get out and feel like you did something for the day, nice and early! Plus, the views are awesome. It's amazing how green everything still is, even this late in August!


Last night was a funny Bus Stop ride... it's always funny when guys roll up with World Champion jerseys on. One of my pet-peeves - you just shouldn't wear the stripes if you didn't earn them. They are something special. Of course, you also shouldn't wear your national championship jersey for winning Cat4 races, but that's a whole other story. This time however, Ivan Stevic decided to join us for a ride! Pretty cool, just so I don't have to sprint him... there are fairly often some big guns that make it out for the ride. Testerone is a funny things, and yesterdays ride was a great example; suddenly, you have all these guys that feel like they have to show Ivan how fast they are. Guys you have never seen on the ride, since they are usually safely tucked in at the back, are trying to drill it at the front, during what's normally the nice relatively mellow cruise going north. The slowest we went going north, was when Stevic himself was on the front. People are funny.

This morning it was tough, but I made it out of bed in time to hook up with the Wed. morning cyclocross ride. I'm glad I did too, it was a fun ride! It's only the second week for it, and road season is still swingin' so there were only 6 of us. But it was great to get out and hit some dismounts at full-speed, and get used to diggin' deep on the cross bike again. Plus it was a beautiful morning, and it's always better when you are missing a little bit of work to ride your bike! I should have stayed out longer...