Friday, May 30, 2008

This Guy Again?

Remember this guy, talking about little grey men? Well apparently even though his proposed legislation is doomed to fail - as it should - he has come out and promised to show a video today which should provide irrefutable proof that aliens are indeed on the Earth, and also happen to be peeping-Toms. I can't wait to see the video, not to mention monitor the chatter on my favorite conspiracy websites! It should make for a busy day!

This weekend it's time to pack the car up again and head off to a much less exciting locale. While only staying for the day (luckily!), tomorrow's race is in Kansas. Ooops, I mean Hugo, CO. You know, most of the way to Kansas, and far from scenic. I guess I really shouldn't complain, I mean it is really nice to have the chance to do a point to point 80-mile road race. Even if it looks like a gi-normous crit course, shaped literally like a big rectangle with flat roads and 4 turns. As usual, it's supposed to be hot and windy. Let's see how it goes...

Speaking of riding bikes... It seems one of the hardest things for people, especially cyclists, to understand, is that riding a bike is definitely cool; being a cyclist does not necessarily MAKE YOU COOL. In fact, most often, it means you are a dork. Calvin Klein apparently doesn't get it. They want you to feel as smooth and confident as this "cyclist" (!?) I mean, look how cool he is!

While in reality a majority of cyclists look a lot more like this dude;

A lot of it is about the individuals perception. Here you have this guy, who has no doubt studied up on his hipster culture and pulled out all the stops. The only thing missing is a man-purse and aerospoke front wheel that has been rattle-can painted to match his frame.

To everyone else, he really looks more like this dude... practicing his skid-stop so that he can impress the lady-folk. That or he's just really, really constipated.

And when in reality, this is probably the only REAL way to look cool on a bike;

Durango Image Dump

In case you didn't think there were enough pictures from the Durango trip... I have more that I came across.

We didn't have the best luck with the weather on the way out (or when we got back to the front range for that matter), but it really is quite the scenic drive;

There's something to at least look at along the way;

Even that one particular stretch, of literally about 30 miles with perfectly straight road. It might seem like it's taking forever, but at least you have the goal of shooting for the mountains!

We stopped in Salida, and Jessica thought about taking her own transportation the rest of the way - it must have been Seth's driving...

I thought Seth did just fine... though I had to have him drive nice and smooth so I could get some close-ups;

Every time I go through the high valleys in this area, all I can think of is how happy I am to NOT live there. It has to be simply miserable in the winter, and is probably only summertime for about 3 months a year. Though you can't deny that with a backyard like this house has... it makes it tougher to argue!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Iron Horse Classic, Hours 61-85

Monday had an earlier wake-up call than Sunday, since once again we needed time to eat, caffeinate, warm-up and be ready for the Time Trial. Uneventful morning, nice weather again, and Seth and I hit out for about 45 minutes on a warm-up ride. It would have been a great day to ride out to Silverton...

Before I knew it, it was time to listen to the countdown of beeps, signaling the start of my time trial, right on time at 10:15.00. And we're off! The course was pretty rolly at the start, and reminded me of roads back in New Jersey, that roll and twist their way along the rivers. Properly enough, as this road also follow a scenic valley on it's way North. I was going pretty well, but was trying to hold back enough pace, knowing that the crux of the race was the final 1.5 mile climb at the end. It was tough holding pace over the rollers, and on the false flats - which all seemed to have the worst pavement on the course. Before long the final climb came, and it was hard. I think it was "easier" than when we did the pre-ride on Saturday - as in, I went harder and faster, but it wasn't quite as slow as I figured. I did explode nicely just before the end of the steep section, and rolled in to complete the weekend.

Jessica had driven out to pick us up, and to save us the 14 mile ride home... and so we could get out of town with minimal fuss. At least she had a scenic area to hang out in while we pedaled our way to her.

Weather was much better on the way home, other than a strong tailwind... at least it wasn't a headwind, considering the $4+ per gallon gas prices. And at least the scenery helped keep our pilot Seth awake.

There were lots of cows...

Weather was good until Kenosha Pass again, where it started to snow. Switched to rain at the bottom of the pass, and basically poured all the way back to a cold, wet, grey Denver. Just to make the trip complete, it rained and sleeted on the way up to the house, and we even had some thunder and hail that evening.

All in all it was a decent trip, and nice to get out of town for a little bit; taking in some different sites. I'm pretty bummed we didn't get to do the road race, especially for Seth, who hasn't done the Iron Horse road race yet. Speaking of Seth, check out his blog because he's written up a nice review of the weekend from his point of view as well.

Iron Horse Classic, Hours 25-60

With no racing to do on Saturday, and the food-coma quickly wearing off as restlessness creept in, we started to look for things to do. By noon, the weather was starting to clear up enough that we were able to sneak out for a ride with Doug Manno and his gang from HART. It was gloomy, humid and you still needed most of the clothes from the bike bag, but we only had to dodge a few bits of rain and snow along the way. We went out to check out the TT course, which definitely looked like it was going to be both fun, and painful. It was a relief to get out and stretch the legs a bit, I wouldn't have wanted to see what they would have felt like on Sunday going into it without at least some proper riding.

After riding we hit up the swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel for some recreation. Then it was off to town for some "sight-seeing", and of course, by that, I mean "people-watching"! After some meandering along the streets of Durango, and checking out the local housing market in the windows of the realtors, we set-up camp at Steamworks Brewery. It was the least we could do, as they had gone to the trouble of creating a special Face-Plant Ale, sold with a commemorative pint-glass just for the Iron Horse event. It was actually a very tasty beer, so several were had. We also met up with Seth's friend, and local Durango resident, who took up the duties of our personal tour guide.

Though we didn't need a guide to point out people worthy of watching... yes, that is his real hair;

After that, we returned (without being chased out of town mind you) to our hotel. It was a cool night still, and we had another fire log to burn, given that our room was graciously appointed with a real working fireplace. If there is one thing I believe in, it's using as many amenities at your hotel as possible. I mean otherwise, you are just throwing away your money! Our crackling fire log made from recycled coffee beans was quite a performer!

Sunday morning we had a long wait for our crit, since it wasn't scheduled until 5.30pm. At least the weather was world's better. So we decided to take in some tourist-activities. The Durango to Silverton narrow gauge train seemed a lot smaller than what I remembered;

Oh wait... there is the real one...

We took in the 30+ and 35+ criterium races in town, and then did some more exploring, including a stop at the train station. Jessica was overjoyed;

After another nap, it was finally time for our race. I know all three of us were sick of waiting around for it (you're a real trooper Jessica!). The race was fast right from the gun as expected, and quite "argey-bargey" with guys pushing and shoving for every spot. The course was pretty fun, with a short power hill, bunches of turns, and incredible turnout as far as the fans go. The entire finishing straight and the climb were completely lined with boisterous fans. And there were plenty of groups along the rest of the course as well.

After settling in for a couple laps, I was feeling better and I was able to cover a couple moves, tried to get some other rolling, and did a fair amount of work to keep things together and countering moves from others. Finally I did one yank too many, but at least it was a pretty "angry" one, and regrouped some dangerous individuals, before I cracked. My crack was just a couple seconds too long, which allowed a gap to open, and I had to chase for a bit, but finally gave up the chase, and called it a day with just a few laps to go.

Sorry for the blur... I must have been going too fast... (sarcasm intended)

Joey went with a late move, giving the team a 5th place finish in a group of solid bike-gamers.

Iron Horse Classic, The First 24 hours

"Go West young man..." because that's where Durango is. So Friday we packed up the car and started off on the trip west, for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. The weather was mostly nice on Friday, though there was a trace of snow on my car, when I left for my ride down to work, and there were a few drops of rain, as Jessica and I met Seth in Golden and packed up the car. All a portent of things to come.

I'm pretty sure we drove through every type of weather possible. We started off with some rain and sleet on our way up and over Kenosha Pass;

The primo storm of the ride though, hit us just south of Salida. We saw it coming from a ways out, with it's intense lightning and overall menacing looks. Thank the baby jeebus that we only "skirted" it, as I think Seth's car would have looked like a raisin if we were a mile further West;

I was waiting for the windshield to explode as we kept the fingers crossed and tried to make our way through. Good thing the bikes were on the inside of the car! After a few minutes of being peppered with hail, and when we could see again, the handling of the car went to pot as we skated across an inch or so of hail. Like driving on ball bearings;

And once a bit further down the road, the storm still looked impressive! For scale of just how big this puppy was, notice the line of high mountains, in only the bottom-fifth of the sky!

We enjoyed smooth sailing for awhile, then it was time for Wolf Creek Pass. It's definitely a scenic pass, with a nice twisty route, along a raging river (this time of year);

I had figured if anything, this would be the sketchy part of the drive out. And as such, we were hoping for conditions to at least not be too bad. It was snowing, but at least it was scenic, and the road wasn't too bad... other than the ice inside the snow shed;

Safely over the pass, you end up traveling along a great valley, that is always lush and green. Though with all the moisture as of late, it was feeling especially green for our final push on towards Durango!

...but not before some more rain and snow, as we were going through Pagosa Springs;

Finally we made it to Durango in rather good time (about 5 and a half hours), especially given the weather conditions on the way out. It wasn't raining in Durango at that time, so we did our packet pick-up, and were ensured the race was on... so far. During dinner, it started pouring again. We ran into some friends that had come via Silverton, that day, and the reports were bad. Saw some other people that had pictures of a fresh 4 inches of snow at the top of Coal Bank pass on their way through that same day. We went to bed hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst... our confidence not boosted by the final weather report of the night calling for a FOOT(!) of new snow in Silverton overnight! Ugh.

Well it rained all night, and was cold in the morning, though not quite as cold as I had expected. We had to prepare as usual, and got up at 5.30am to start fueling the systems with breakfast and coffee. Here is Seth outside, looking for better reception and to see what the word was on racing - coffee in hand, pajama-pants still on, snow-line a mere 300 feet above our parking lot in Durango...

Sadly, and surprisingly, word came back that the race was canceled. We figured maybe it would be shortened, but reports came back verifying 12 inches of snow in Silverton, and 5 inches of snow at the BOTTOM of the pass... only about 1200 feet higher than Durango. Just to punctuate how ugly it could have been, the rain quickly returned. So this picture is from the hotel breakfast room, at the scheduled start time of 7.20am, while it's 36 degrees outside, pouring rain, and occasionally switching to accumulating snow;

Everyone was really bummed about the cancellation of the race, though I don't think a single person in Durango that day, questioned the decision. So what do you do when it's only 6am, you're dressed, fully caffeinated, and the body is amped-up for a bike race that isn't going to happen? Well, what else!? You head off to other people's hotels to see how their continental breakfast stacks up, then hit the one at your hotel again, and after eating three times by 9am, go take a nap and hope for better weather in the afternoon!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Not so much windy today, but yesterday was pretty crazy in my old stompin' grounds up around Greeley. I was sitting at my desk yesterday afternoon commenting on the insane and weird formations and activities of the clouds that were flying past my window, heading north. When I went to check the weather I got all kinds of tornado warnings for just north of us and stretching up to Fort Collins and Greeley.

Turns out that there were a couple big ones that touched down in west Greeley, and kind of the "no-man's land" between Greeley and I-25. Unfortunately the little town of Windsor sits in that no-man's land, and it got hit head on by a couple of the tornado's. I know a good number of people in that area from living up there, but then came across one of those pictures on the news you don't like to see because it's someone you know.

The pictures is my friend Courtney, standing on the remains of his mom's house. Luckily he was in the basement and came through unscathed, at least physically. I don't want to know what a house being pulled apart above you sounds like. There was a fair amount of damage in this little town, so keep good thoughts headed the way of those affected.

Now it would just be foolish of me to complain about the worry of riding my bike over a couple mountain passes tomorrow morning, in what is shaping up to be dreadful conditions. But very shortly we're packing up the car and heading out to Durango to see what happens this weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Thousand Million Shivering Fury Holes

Last night it was finally time to head down to Red Rocks Amphitheater to see The Cure! (great, recent interview here!) Very cool, and very about time; since I got these tickets for the show that was supposed to be last June, but instead it was rescheduled for almost a full year out. It was worth it though, VERY worth it. Jessica and I even had a visitor before the show, my cousin Erin, who was in town for a quick visit with her friend, and to catch the concert. That was fun since I haven't seen her in ages, and she could also do some recon for her upcoming trip out in July for our wedding.

I found this picture on Flickr today; the beauty of the interwebs, pictures from just the night before, that some stranger took. And there are even some pretty decent pictures out there from the concert. It seems like other people blow-off work in the morning as well. But this guy I really don't like, simply because he had 4th row seats! I decided that next time, I'll just have to bite the bullet and pay the extra for some really good seats, if I can get them.

This was the third time I have seen The Cure. The first was in Philly back during the Wish Tour, and then the last time was two years ago here at Fiddler's Green. Both of those shows were amazing, but this one really did blow both of those away! The set they played was awesome. There were only 5 of their new songs played, but that meant they played a wide selection of songs from different albums. Most importantly they played like 5 or 6 songs from Disintegration. And they played at least 4 songs that I hadn't gotten to hear them play live before.

One of the highlights had to be them playing "Hot Hot Hot" while off in the distance some crazy thunderstorms had lightning flashing and lighting up the clouds. They played just over a full THREE hours! Including 3 encores, the last one of which was made up entirely of songs from 3 Imaginary Boys, their first album.

All in all an amazing show... even if it meant getting home at 1.30am and paying for my late night this morning when I had to get back to work.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Busy Week

Finally a good shot of nice weather, and it looks to continue through the week! Good thing too, because I needed to get some riding, and the schedule is chock-full o' things to do (did you think I was going to say "nuts"?)

Monday I got to ride to work, and it was awesome. 56 degrees at the house, when I rolled up the driveway at 6.30am! It made for the first "comfortable" ride down the mountain this year. I was going into the turns kinda hot, and thought it might have just been the excitement caused by the nice weather, but right at the bottom, it occurred to me that I still had my carbon brake pads in, and hadn't switched back to the normal ones. Today was more of the same, another very enjoyable ride down the mountain, albeit quite a bit more cloudy this morning.

Finally! Today is The Cure concert at Red Rocks! I can't fricken wait! I have no idea what to expect though, since they should have a full album of new stuff to play, that no one has heard yet! I was pumped last night, and was thinking right past the work I have to do today... work!? Screw work, I just want 5 o'clock to roll around so I can get out of here and get to the concert! It's kind of wild too, that my cousin Erin is in town just for the concert and a quick visit with a friend, so I'm even hoping to meet up with her before/during the concert. Crazy since it's been a couple years for sure, since I've seen her.

Tomorrow Jessica and I are off to the Boulder Dinner Theater to catch The Will Rogers Follies! Should be another evening of good times and good entertainment. I might even branch out and try something beyond the Chicken Cordon Bleu at the theater... you know... if I'm feeling wild and crazy!

After that it's home and packing, because Friday afternoon Jessica, Seth, and myself are headed off to Durango for the Iron Horse Classic. I haven't been there in a couple years, and this will be my 4th time doing the race so I'm looking forward to it! Well... that was until I checked the weather this morning and got a look at the current forecast for the passes;

I wonder how well they plow the passes? The thing that worries me isn't the racers so much, "most" racers are hardy and have a decent idea of how to dress for crappy conditions. But this race has over 1000 tourists, many of whom have a very difficult time doing this ride under ideal conditions. Remember, this race is 47 miles with 5700 feet of climbing, and two passes in the 11,000 foot range. Seth and I will be doing the omnium, in theory, which means in addition to the road race, a downtown crit on Sunday, and an individual time trial on Monday before jumping back in the car to race home. Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Roller Dolls, Racing, and Frozen Poop

Another weekend, another short two days off from working for The Man. Friday started off with the latest round of matches with the Denver Roller Dolls. One of my favorite Dolls, Jersey Trouble was on fire, and had a great game for the Bad Apples who finally took the win after losing the last two matches against the Green Barrettes.

The refs were on top of their game, and ready to roll;

The fans were in their best outfits and ready to cheer on their favorite players;

And even the little ones were out, enjoying some "appropriate refreshments" and ready for some action!

Saturday it was time for some racing. The crash-fest that is usually Wheels of Thunder was moved to a new course this year. Like the old course, it was wide open, but much less "crashy", and even had a small hill. The real decider was the wind though. Last week wasn't very productive for me on the riding front, so I figured it would take sometime to blow out the pipes, and get the legs up and running, and I was correct. I felt better than expected though, and was able to follow a few moves and do at least my fair share of work at the front. None of the wheels I followed turned into much, and finally the necessary horsepower assembled to ride away from the group. I got gapped one too many times in the wind, and rode in behind the main field.

Sunday was another new course, and fairly similar to Saturday's course, minus the hill. Though there was even more wind than the day before, and it was shaping up to shatter the field. But then, just minutes before our race, the wind died down. A fast course, with a several tuns, but none that required braking, meant that there wasn't much of anything to help cause a selection. So instead we went 'round and 'round at quite a clip - I had about 29.5mph as our average afterwards! After blowing out the pipes the day before, my legs were feeling great! I followed lots of moves, chased down lots of others, and did my work in general at the front of the race. But none of the breaks were sticking, until a small group finally got away with just a couple laps to go. Damn. Oh well, I was happy with the race, in that I felt good and was able to do most of what I wanted, when I wanted.

I came across some funny new products this weekend as well; the first is Poop Freeze. Wow...

Apparently you can freeze your pets poop, to make it easier to pick-up. Great. I like the bit about it being "environmentally friendly" - you know, if you consider using a product just to do something as frivolous as freezing your pets poop, and then throwing away the can, environmentally friendly. It's a step beyond paying extra to make sure you buy poop bags that are color coordinated to match your dogs leash, and come in a handy carrying container that also attaches to the leash.

And then there is the latest television show being brought to us by G4, aptly named "Hurl". A show that challenges patriotic Americans to an eating contest of various Americana-style foods, such as Chicken Pot Pie or fish sticks. The winners of that round move onto the next round where they are put through "intense challenges" such as riding a vigorous gyro-scope or other activity designed to shake up the competitors. If you puke, you're out. If you pass, you go on to the next round. The last contestant standing, that still has a full stomach, wins. -I'm not so sure about setting the TiVo for this one...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

7 Weeks

Wow... that whole "wedding-thing" is creeping right up on us! Tomorrow will mark just 7 weeks till "D-Day"! Last night Jessica and I were off to the venue for our walk-through, and picking out exciting stuff like napkin colors. At least the meeting went pretty well; I always feel better when we get to check things off the list, and know that we are that much closer to having things wrapped up. And Jessica just plain had fun getting to see the place again, and in particular the sweet bridal room;

The boys get a much-less exciting room, and not even their own bathroom while the bridal room has a jacuzzi tub! My ring also came last night, but apparently Jessica won't let me wear it yet, even though a wedding ring is always a chick-magnet - showing that you are indeed not afraid of commitment.

I'm getting really really sick of waking up in mid-May, with a fresh inch of snow on the ground. Today it's warmer, but very cloudy and pretty rainy. Better weather is promised for this weekend, but that just means I'll expect it to snow again after a few days of nice weather.

I ended up coming across this ridiculous contraption last night...

The "Wine Assistant" promises to take care of holding your wine glass for you, freeing up your hands to wave-about as you over-enthusiastically recount to your friends, the amazing yoga workout you did earlier that week. I have no doubt that the majority of people purchasing this "wine-feedbag" are the same people that wear their bluetooth headset everywhere they go, even though they aren't currently on the phone, but what if someone calls!? They NEED to be ready to roll... not to mention give a visual indicator to all those around them that they are indeed important enough to have such an amazing technological piece.

The Wine Assistant should also serve well to keep your wine a toasty 98.6 degrees (Mmmm... yummy!) as your body heat brings it up to temperature, and it also functions to catch any crumbs that may fall from your hors d'Ĺ“uvre of choice. I wonder if I can develop a similar system that would work on the ubiquitous "red silo cup" for frat-parties? Now THAT would be a hit!

And for those people that think I'm being to harsh on David Millar for being a cry baby, and a rider that I don't really respect since nothing is ever his fault, and that I should applaud the fact that he admitted to doping (sort of - and even then only when backed into a corner with no possible means of escape or denial) and then returned to the sport; I give you his tantrum from yesterday's Giro stage...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Do You Have Cooties?

Now you can give your friends Herpes, and they might even smile and thank you!

I came across this great line of plush microbes, and thought they were pretty silly. But some are pretty fun representations of the actual microbes, and plus, I can't deny, I thought it would be awesome to be able to say I gave my friends the clap.

Another week of Spring weather here in Colorado. Saturday it snowed most of the day (though with no accumulation), Sunday was nice, Monday was gorgeous with temps in the mid-70's, and yesterday we had 6 inches of new snow. The rest of the week looks rainy, but at least the weekend is looking better. Good thing too, with two fast, and sure to be hotly contested crits coming up this weekend.

Saturday was the Sunshine Canyon Hill Climb, and that meant an early start to the day. The gun was to go off at 8am. Since it's at the bottom of the hill from me, and the weather was crap, I decided to try the "warming up at home" technique. It went pretty well; roll out of bed, find a chamois, climb on the trainer, drink coffee in between efforts. Then I could change, climb in the car, and drive down to the start. Riding down would have been the perfect option, but it was wet and there was already snow on the ground at the house. Plus, it would have meant riding back home after the race, which would have been nice - again, other than the snow and wet. The race went "alright". Nice enough weather at the start, the paved sections were dry, but the dirt sections were "squishy" and it started to snow at the top. Once dropped from the main group I settled into a steady pace with my pal Mr. Manno for some company. The times were okay, though I noticed several times in the dirt section, that I normally would have been a gear or two higher, but the squishy dirt was definitely increasing rolling resistance. Mostly, I was irritated to finish in 21st spot. Damn.

Quickly descended the canyon and got some coffee with fellow cyclists, while we sat outside bitching about the snow. At least everyone got their effort in for the day, and could relax, even though it was barely 10am. The day wasn't very productive as the weather sucked, but then in the evening I went down to Denver to the aforementioned Mr. Manno's house, as he and Trina were hosting a sushi party. Good times, and good sushi were had.

Sunday it was back to the coffee shop to meet up with Rubin, Reichardt and Rubin's new teammate for a tour of the local climbs. I think we broke-in Seth's new teammate, Tim, good and proper like, with an introduction to a different route up to Peak-to-Peak. And what good introduction to a high-country ride would be complete without a hippy-muffin from the co-op in Ned? The strawberry was pretty good, though I was hoping for blueberry coconut-crunch.

All this talk of riding, but being chained to my desk, has me thinking about getting in a real workout! I came across FitFlops this week, and I think I really need to get a pair!

I mean, read up on this "technology", it really is amazing! I mean, here is a shoe, that you just simply wear, and then go for a walk in them, and POW! You are exercising! It's amazing! A shoe that targets all the muscles that you use while you are walking! I can't believe someone didn't think of this sooner. I used to walk, but then I stopped when I just came to the realization that I just wasn't getting enough exercise out of it... now that can all change!

Seriously... flip flops that literally have a WARNING to be used "progressively" as the exercise generated by walking could be a bit too much strain for some.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Little "Grey" Men

It's no secret that most states struggle to find enough money in their budgets to fund important things like health care, infrastructure, and education. But for once maybe tax payers will win, as goons like this are shot down. I would love to see his actual proposal, maybe it's been posted online. In particular I'd love to see his sources regarding exactly what studies have been done determine exactly how emergency workers, government officials and the public should react when the little grey aliens come to visit Denver.

I'm definitely excited... less than two weeks now until The Cure concert at Red Rocks! I've been sitting on these tickets forever, waiting for show time! Crazy that I've lived here for a good while now, but this is actually my first time seeing a concert at Red Rocks. I'm definitely looking forward to it! There is even "part" of a new single out, and it's supposed to be released this coming Tuesday.

Though, no album yet. I have to admit it's pretty lame that they still haven't released the album; it was supposed to come out last June. Now it's not coming out till September, and in the meantime, there is supposed to be a new single released on the 13th of each month, up until September. Well, at least I better have a bunch of new b-sides in the collection by then! Plus, I'm sure there will be plenty of new songs at the concert!

Jessica's mom returned from a trip to Egypt a couple weeks ago, and brought some great surprises back! I got a Shabaria, which is a traditional hand-made Bedouin knife. It's very cool with possibly an ibex horn (but more likely a goat horn) for a handle. She also brought back some great spices for me. They were so potent that I had to put them in sealed containers as the scent permeated the entire house! Last night I pulled out a spare grinder, and put the pepper seeds into use. Wow! They are AMAZING! I love pepper, and I have never even imagined pepper that tasted so fresh and lively. It was astounding really, and added quite the character to my faux-chicken patties last night. Check out the color;

It's sunny out at the moment, but the rain and colder temperatures are supposed to roll in this evening, and through tonight. You know, just in time to soften up the top half of tomorrow's race.

Tomorrow is the Sunshine Hill Climb. Another stupid-early morning, of short racing. 9 miles, about 3000ft. of vertical, and the final 3.5 miles on dirt. Usually traction is the main concern in the dirt portion, as the climb is so steep, any loose gravel quickly makes progress that much tougher. It pretty much dictates staying seated on the climb. Unless it gets really ugly tonight, I don't think the road will do much besides get "goey", so it should be ridable, it will just crush your spirits as you try to trudge along at half the normal pace. And that's all that's scheduled this weekend for racing... a short weekend for sure!