Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fall Leaves and Racing

I don't mind the first part of Fall, when the trees are all nice and colorful. I even kind of dig that great smell of the leaves that you get in the fall. The only problem is that in the back of my mind, I know that the next step is for all the leaves to fall off, the snow to come, the days to grow still shorter, and for the cold. Bleh. On Friday though, there was definitely some good color for my ride up Four-Mile;

Saturday was the Interlocken cyclocross race. Our one real course that includes a ton of grass. Fun to race on for the most part, except that it isn't so well suited for me. It kind of cracks me up that there is so much grass, and most of it is usually saturated with water (making the course even more of a leg-sapper!), and not because of the weather, but because of the crazy amount of water sprinklers they use.

I was on the single speed again, and this time they started us again, only a bit over 30 seconds behind the 72 Cat 3 starters. Which of course meant we were right into the crowd within a quarter of a lap. It was time for passing galore!

I over-cooked the first few laps a bit, and started to pay for it in the middle of the race. But I was pushing hard, trying to get around riders whenever I could. I wasn't helped by the fact that I kept getting run into by other riders, got tangled with a dude trying to ride the sand-trap when he veered into me, and just plain not having the smoothest race.

But Clay rode solid, and after race where we both passed 50+ riders, I just couldn't quite reel him back. So I had to settle for second. On the way to the race, and after last weeks race, I might have to throw myself, with or without The Hulk, into some more of the 35+ and Open races. I can be pretty competitive in those, and still have the fun of the single speed. Doing the Open race is nice, since you get an additional 15 minutes of torture for your entrance fee, but it takes more motivation to race later in the day.

Either way, as expected, this course took some serious energy output! I was wasted for the remainder of the day, but it was fun, the weather was great, and it's always good to be out with all the fellow bike goons.


My poor friend Brad... he keeps asking for an update on the iPhone, and I keep ignoring him. Well, I'm not ignoring you man, I just keep getting distracted, or waiting for the latest updates so I can check them out before offering up the latest opinion...

It's been a little while now since I got the phone, Probably close to two months now, since I think it's time to pay my phone bill again. I searched around forever for a new phone, changing my opinion every week on what I wanted. I was in the enviable spot of being out of my contract, so thought about just buying an unlocked phone and running with it. Mostly since then I wouldn't have been limited to buying whatever silly phones were being offered in the American markets. But regardless of what I looked at, I kept coming back to the iPhone despite my quibbles. I previously had a Motorola SLVR, which I really liked. It's super small, has a decent music player using iTunes, and lots of functionality. Just a small screen, a horrible camera, and was starting to get old after two years of use.

There's been a million reviews on the phone, so I'll just give my personal impressions. Overall, it's pretty sweet. I worried about the ability to be connected to the interwebs, 24hrs a day, and I was correct. It is an issue. But I've been doing pretty well with just ignoring it when I'm on overload, or realize that I need to just step away from the phone. Pretty sweet that it will switch automatically to WiFi when you are in range of an available network. Using it on the Wireless-N network at home, it is relatively quick.

It's amazing how the new body of the phone is actually larger than the previous one, but the rounded shape makes a HUGE difference in the perceived size. It disappears in your pocket, and feels smaller in your hand. I really hate "phone condoms", though the finish seems to hold up fairly well. The back shows some scuffing, but the screen seems to be very durable. And I love the touch-screen... they are so much more intuitive, to me, than fumbling around with buttons and arrow keys. The touch screen on my camera has been one of my favorite features, and it's even more useful on a device like this.

Really, the best part of the phone is the App Store. It's so easy to fully customize your phone with just the applications that you want. There are thousands to choose from, and no shortage of free ones. You can ridiculously fun and useless applications like the light saber application, which turns your phone into a light saber, complete with matching sounds that work off the accelerometer of the phone... so sword fights with your friends take on a whole new level of authenticity.

A lot of the apps are pointless, they simply provide what amounts to a "shortcut" through your internet browser. Why crowd up your phone, when you can just go through the browser? I really like my Showtimes app though. I don't go to the movies that often, but you can find show times, from theaters near your current location, based off the GPS! You can even buy tickets now (though I'm not convinced of the security of making purchases and stuff through the phone) but even cooler, you can watch full-length previews of the movies, directly from the app.

There are only two apps that I've come across so far that I was willing to drop some coin on. First was StarMap;

The kid in the video is a total dork... but the video give you a good breakdown of the way the app works. Basically an interactive star map, on your phone. Plus, it uses your current GPS location, in it's calculations, to give you the most accurate view of the sky. Also uses the accelerometer, so that as you move it with your view, it updates to what you should see in the sky. I've used it while using my telescope, and it sure beats trying to spin around my paper star map.

The other app that I paid money for, is X-Plane 9.0. This one I think, really shows off some of what the iPhone is capable of. It's a basic, yet rather cool, flight simulator, on your iPhone! It even uses the accelerometer so you have tilty-control for your yoke.

It's really pretty impressive for a game that's running on your phone. There could be some graphics such as buildings and such, and the views could move around a bit easier, but overall, it's pretty solid. It didn't take too long to get the hang of either.

As for stupid stuff - it's really irritating that you can't use MP3s as ringtones. Which brings up all the issues I have with iTunes. It really is far from my favorite music player, and has an incredible number of complications and restrictions. Even to use a song as a ringtone, you (officially) first have to buy the song through iTunes, then you have to pay AGAIN to be able to only slightly customize it using their lame editing software, turning it into a ringtone. Thank jeebus for work-arounds... It also comes with a ridiculously lame camera. 2mp in this day and age is silly, and in two years when my contract is up, it will be downright prehistoric. Luckily I mostly just use the camera to capture images of goons that I see out in public. But still... no motion picture capture either!? As cool as the applications from the App Store can be, it's annoying that the firmware is designed so that none of the applications can run in the background. So anytime you use one of the primary phone functions, you need to drop out of the application you are using. Annoying. That means my high-score run at Pong, is eliminated if someone calls me in the middle of the game. And still, no copy/paste... that's just stupid.

But again, overall, it really is a pretty impressive device. I hate lots of things about Apple, but the phone is admittedly very nice. It has some issues, but then no device is perfect. It's not the best phone out there, but I think it's totally up to the individual to figure out what's "best" for them.

Sorry for the boring post, but I guess you can just blame Brad!


I could rant on and on about the markets, the bailout, and just how stupid most of the people are. I mean, the soundbytes really do work; ask someone what they think or try to argue with them, and it's like reading a para-phrased and only half-understood article from faux-news. Instead, I'll just sum up some of my feelings with a picture from the protests on Wall Street in NYC.

I heart NYC for sure.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

700 Billion Smackaroos

Can you really even wrap your mind around 700 billion dollars?

Well, here is a stack of 9 million, 1 dollar bills;

It's 5 feet tall, 10 feet long, and 6¼ feet wide. A single stack of dollar bills in this amount would be 3,000 feet high. This pile is comparable in size to a single compact car, of which you could buy 489 of them for the amount, with enough cash left over to fill up the gas tanks of 162 of them.

And here is a stack of 315 billion, 1 dollar bills;

This pile is 125 feet wide, 200 feet deep, and 450 feet tall. 450 feet is the height of a 38-story building. It’s the height of the Millenium Wheel in London and also the height of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. If you were to stack the money in a single stack, your stack would be 19,887 miles tall, enough to wrap the Moon at its equator almost 3 times.

So you know you, 700 billion? Roughly DOUBLE that stack. Or multiply this stack by seven hundred;

What will $700 billion dollars buy?
- 600 gallons of gasoline for every American
- the average annual salaries of 12.1 million Americans
- 3.4 million houses outright, according to the median price of existing U.S. homes today (Mortgages? What bad mortgages?)
- Free college educations at public institutions, for 23 million Americans
- A laptop for EVERY single child in the World

Or, perhaps most importantly, 700 billion dollars would buy 56,000 Victoria Secret diamond and ruby encrusted bras.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cold, Racing, and New Stuff

Brrr... it makes it a lot less easy to ride to work, when it's only 34 degrees. Even less fun, when it's still dark when you wake up. At least there is time to make some espresso while the sky lightens up, and you try to find your leg warmers. And the views are good this time of year too;

This weekend serves up a great course for cross racin'. Probably our best front range course for cross racing, the Interlocken race is coming up Saturday. There's always a lot of grass on this course, some solid run-ups and twistys, and a good number of fans show up.

On the Formula 1 front, it's set to be an insanely exciting weekend as well! Hamilton's championship lead is down to a single point in front of Massa (I love both these guys, but prefer Hamilton ever so slightly). And this weekends race is not just a brand new course in Singapore, but the first-ever nighttime Formula 1 race! I think everyone has been both anxious and terrified of getting to this race all year. Reports all sound good for the lighting and track conditions (considering, like Monaco, it's not a full time race course), but there is also a strong chance for thundershowers! Racing at night, in the rain, on an unknown circuit, with the championship up for grabs and only 4 races left!

Meanwhile, here in the "New World", it's Interbike week. I miss going to Interbike, and miss working it. But this year, I haven't seen much of anything but crap coming out in the photos so far. And the marketing, well it seems to have been taken to a whole new level.

Exhibit A:

Here is the new Zipp Vuma Chrono TT crankset. There have been a few "aero" cranksets in the past, and it's always been one of those components where I've wondered why more people haven't made them. It really can't be that difficult to ADD material to a bike part. It's just gotta be a matter of the shear number they figure they can sell. So here are the Zipps... and if you read the literature on them, they claim "...our engineers were stunned by the results: 9 seconds faster over 40km compared to the next fastest TT crankset." 9-seconds on a 40k TT... How often can you replicate that result with consistent results? And 9-seconds? That's like managing to stay focused, and not let your mind wander for that minute, 35 minutes into your 40k, when things are starting to get tough. So I haven't seen a price on this crank yet... but I bet $1500 easy, and would be surprised if it wasn't more like $2200, especially since it says "Zipp" on it. So at $1500, it would cost you $166.67 per second saved in a 40k. Of course, if you do 100 40k races next season, well, then it's a virtual steal... Oh yeah, and don't forget the unique spider design which ensures that you can replace your chainrings with one brand, and one brand alone.

Exhibit B:

Have you ever ridden with a water bottle in your back pocket?

It sucks. 'Nuff said.

Exhibit C:

This one has me confused... I really like Chris King stuff. They make beautiful stuff, it's like bike jewelery. Their parts are durable, and often have some technological ideas. Sure, it's all very expensive, but if you've worked with any sort of machining, and see what it takes to make the parts that they do, you start to understand why it's so expensive. Especially still making the parts here in the States, to exacting standards.

Still, they've promised for the last 50 years to come out with a new bottom bracket design, when they found something that works better. No one (though many tried) could really make an ISIS bottom bracket with any real quality. Sure, the design had it's advantages, but making a bottom bracket light and smooth, while retaining durability, was not really possible with the design. Mass-produced, cartridge, bust-n-chuck bottom brackets was the standard for everyone. The new King design works with the "newer" external bearing design, which simplifies quite a lot. I mean, now, the BB is really just a set of threaded cups with a bearing pressed in. Very simple for manufacturing. So King made their own bottom bracket. That's cool. And it's cool that their bearings are most likely quite nice. It's also cool (and sadly, probably the primary reason I would buy them) that they come in plenty of colors, and have the usual beautiful King finish. Sadly though, they cost $130... pretty much the same as buying a new ceramic bottom bracket. Or nearly 4 times the cost of a standard SRAM BB set. I've had a set of DXP cranks for 4 years now, and just two weeks ago needed to install new bearings in them. That's it. Sure, the King BB is serviceable, but you also need THREE tools for your new BB, none of which are bound to be cheap, and again... 4 years, 2nd BB just recently = $70 total.

The breakthrough technology that allows the King BB to be serviceable and better than everything else? The ability to pump grease through your bearing, push out the old, push in the new. You know... the same breakthrough design they used on wooden wagon wheels 120 years ago. As far as the great marketing spin for this one? Direct from the King website, I shuddered as I read this one;

"Racers take note! With the Chris King bottom bracket and injection tool, you can train day-to-day with a durable high-viscosity grease and race with a light, fast-rolling low-viscosity grease or oil. Imagine your current Friday night leg-shaving ritual finishing with a few minutes in the garage to get your bike as smooth as you are."

Yep... that sure sounds fun. And ground-breaking. Me, I'm still just going to run super smooth, SuperRecord loose ball bottom brackets, lubed with diesel oil. And on a somewhat related note... regardless of what you read on cyclingnews... It's FAR from a secret; Put lighter grease (or oil) in your bearings, remove your seals or use lighter ones, both things will make your bearings roll better. Most likely nearly as well as ceramics - since that's where most of the benefits of your pricey ceramic bearings came from - using lighter lube and crappy seals.

Now what colors do those King bottom brackets come in, because I want one anyway...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stupid Fall

I hate Fall... everything "dies". Ugh. Though if every day in Fall, had the weather that we had this weekend, I wouldn't mind it so much! The weather was (mostly) clear, and warm, with lots of sunshine. Friday I got in a nice cross ride, and I continue to be amazed at just how sweet "The Hulk Bike" feels! Smooth, and consistent, you always seem to know exactly what it wants to do. I love it.

Saturday was another really nice day with the weather. After being lazy in the morning, I finally got up and got out for a nice fall ride. Did some shorter climbs, on some of the quiet canyon roads. It was a bummer I couldn't just keep going. But JP had offered up a chance to practice some more with bike tubing. So I assembled another aluminum cross bike for him, this time a geared one, and no, not for me. I had a lot more freedom, doing more of this one on my own. And it "seems" to have come out well. Luckily JP was there to impart his wisdom when I had questions about doing the best way to do things, or solve issues. It all "looked" right anyway!

Friday Stephen Hawking unveiled this $1.83 million clock at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. Call me a nerd, but man, this thing is very, very cool! Watch the video to see it in action, and to get an explanation, but I'm just fascinated by how it works. And just as much by how visually captivating it is while it works. I could just sit and stare, literally wasting away time as it is eaten by the grasshopper. I can't wait until someone copies it and starts making realistically-sized (and priced!) ones for home use!

Sunday it was time to ride the bike in anger again. The cross race on schedule was down at the detention center for juveniles or something like that - it had a big fence that didn't look terribly easy to scale. I was excited that the race had been moved from it's venue at the FedCenter. Though leery since the the new course tends to have countless goatheads, and a retarded man-made mud pit that they always insisted on running us through. It's usually a fun course, that's a bit closer to a mountain bike course, with some sweepy fast sections and off-camber dusty turns.

Yesterday's course though went over the line into mountain bike territory. There was no pavement at all, it was by far the bounciest, roughest course I have ever ridden, and even after 8 full-on race laps, the course really never developed any sort of flow. You just seemed to be floundering about the whole time. At least it had a grassy hairpin, with a fast barrier section. That was good at least. The course definitely would have been more fun with mountain bike, and 1.5" Jet tires. Instead, I decided to race the single speed, in the Open race. I felt pretty good, and beat plenty of guys with way more gears than me. I would have been pretty happy with my result, had Travis and Matt not been further up the course than me, and on their own single speeds. No worries, it was a fun, yet very hard race. I just eased up a bit too much at the end, but should have snuck in right around top-20 still. D-Strong took some great pictures at the race, but I'll have to harass him to make sure he mails them to me.

After the race, I took a bath behind my car, and was off to the Boulder Dinner Theater to catch Mid-Life The Crisis Musical. It was a good show, but Sunday evening shows, especially straight after a bike race, are always a tough way to end the weekend. Now we're back to Monday, and all I can think of is the next weekend...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Random Buyouts and Nonsense

I've made some poor (greedy) decisions before... I wish Uncle Sam would go ahead and buy me out, in order to fix my mistakes, and make sure that I can continue living the life that I have grown accustomed to... I mean, after a trillion dollars (is that even a REAL number!?) already, this year alone, what's my meager debt matter?

Speaking of markets, how about this picture that I came across on an unnamed bicycle companies website?

Who the hell came up with this!? I mean, this is the MAIN picture that you come to, at the companies home page. THIS is what they cam up with for your first impression of their company? "Hey, buy our bikes, think how cool you could be! Owning one of our bikes is like being an unattractive chick (or maybe it's a dude with a ponytail), sitting on a rock, overlooking a lake in Italy, on a rather cloudy day, contemplating the beauty of both life and your photoshopped bike." I mean, come on! How would you even ride a photo shopped bike up to that overlook? Especially when the extent of your cycling gear is apparently a belt-mounted camera case? Sheesh... I saw this picture and didn't even want to find out why I should buy their Taiwan made carbon bikes were over everyone else's Taiwan made carbon bikes.

Sometimes, well, a lot of the time, dogs resemble their owners. And sometimes, it takes longer than it should to get through the line at registration. And sometimes, though much less often, those two facts are related;

But all the time, those damned Goombas won't leave the beautiful Princess Peaches Toadstool alone!

Monday, September 15, 2008

And So It Begins...

With nothing but forecasts of a beautiful, sunny day, I was a little perplexed to wake up yesterday, to find it at 38 degrees, raining, and foggy enough to not see more than 40 meters! Ugh... sure, that's more traditional "cyclocross" weather, but I definitely prefert the "beautiful, sunny" forecast instead. But I wasn't about to just stay in bed! After packing up the car it was time to head off to Breckenridge for some cross racin'!

I figured it would clear up, but it rained all the way to Evergreen where I was scheduled to meet Walker for the car-pooling action. Not good... but then all of a sudden just after Idaho Springs, the sky opened almost instantly, and suddenly it was warmer and crystal clear! Going into Breck was as scenic as always!

The plan was to jump into cross season with both feet, and open up with two races, and take advantage of the excitement of the first weekend. Doubling-up is always a challenge, especially at the Breck course which can be rough on the body, and is of course at 10k feet up in the sky!

I rolled just one recon lap on the new single speed, to check out the course. I was thinking of possibly rolling that bike in both races, but it looked like it was going to make for a tough ride, and I didn't want to blow up for the second race. So I grabbed the bike with all those complicated gears, and rolled to the start line. The race was going to be my warm-up. Not a horrible idea, but it sure felt like it for the first two laps when I suddenly forced the body to go that hard! A couple laps in, and I decided to pour it on a bit, started moving up in the field, but also kept it as an exercise in hitting all the right lines, being efficient, and metering out the wattage. I finished up 10th.

Back to the car for some nutrition, pin on a new number, take another leisurely recon lap to make sure things were good on the bike, and back to the start line. Maybe they started us a minute after the Cat 3s rolled off, but it sure didn't seem like it. Plus someone jumped hard, so I was off in pursuit. In less than a third of a lap, we were into the back of the Cat 3s, which really complicates things. First, you're trying to keep track of the other single speeders, and dodge around the slower riders, and try to hit lines that let you keep your momentum for the ugly parts of the course.

After a couple laps, things opened up some, and I was able to turn the screws. I wasn't 100% sure from the confusion of the early laps, if I was second or first, so I just rolled it at that lovely threshold. There were two sections after my pre-ride, that I was a little worried about on this course, with the single speed. The first definitely required some power each lap, but really wasn't that bad. The second was the hill that just plain got steeper every lap, but was definitely manageable throughout the race. It's all about planning your sectors... and turning consistent laps, hitting your lines, and just being as efficient as possible. Not to mention the joy of attacking those around you, when you know it's time to try and put a gap on them. It's at least a thousand times more fun than riding around in an office-park crit, following the wheel in front of you, and doing as little work as possible to get to the end in a good position. All those little techniques are also never more important than when you are on a single speed, and I think that's why I love racing that bike so much!

I think I was very close to as fast on this course with the single speed as I was with the geared bike. The new bike is so light, and it was just perfectly happy to get flicked back and forth through the wooded sections of the course. It made me WISH there was a long section that required throwing it up on the shoulder! In the end, I won, and had passed all but the top 11 guys in the Cat 3s. The day was a good start to the season.

And just as good was seeing all the other friends that were quite possibly even more excited than me to put the knobbies in the dirt, and start turning some hot-laps with those like-minded individuals. Special thanks to Larry for the pictures, and to his crew for yelling and ringing the cowbell throughout the race! I might have to retire the new bike now, so that it retains it's "perfect record".

Don't worry, it's not all about the bike;

You know... I gave up on Saturday Night Live a long time ago... I mean, it just plain fucking SUCKS these days. And by "these days" I mean for the last 12 years. But every once in a great really-long-while, they throw out an honestly hysterical skit. This weekend they managed to show just how scary Democracy really can be;

Way too many people have the "right" to vote...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ready or Not...

I think The Notorious B.I.L. just might be right...

...it's too pretty to ride. After a day of deep-breathing and the help of a bottom bracket facing tool, I cleaned the bike up a bit more and by Friday night I had it all built. Finally!

I snuck out for a ride this morning, after a proper hippie-muffin of course, and I love it! The geometry is pretty much just like my Felt, and happily, once the bike was a reality, it rides very much like the Felt. Just lighter, and easy to flick around on the trail! Of course, I spend the first hour trying to shift. And then another half-hour, worrying if my gearing wasn't going to be a bit too high for tomorrow's course in Breckenridge.

Speaking of racing, it's time for bed... gotta get up early to go race. The "arsenal" is resting up and should be ready to go. With any luck, the legs will be ready to go as well!

The only bad thing with having an arsenal, that I thought of this evening... driving home in a monsoon... is that it means I'll need to clean two cross bikes. Bummer.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hot Little Hands

Well sweet! Yesterday my new Cyclocross Single Speed frame showed up at my work! So it's now in my hot little hands!

I've taken 10 pictures of just the frame, and it's pretty much impossible to capture the full impact of the color! I'm not kidding, it's full-on fluorescent green. You'll see me coming... A little bit of a bummer, the decals were supposed to be white, and indeed they were, but the powdercoat bled into them a bit making them look yellowish. I don't mind it too much, they almost seem fluorescent themselves, and they are subtle, but the plan was to have them match some other other components on the bike. Well, if it's a proper cross bike, they should be covered in mud anyway...

Sadly, no complete bike pictures yet. The build ran into a few snags that I am going to resolve this evening, and everything I touched, seem to become way more complicated than it should be. I hate those days - especially when they involve a bike build. And even more, when it's a bike you are hoping to race in 2 days time! So you'll have to wait till tomorrow for those pictures - and on a ride report. I can tell you though, that I'm definitely happy with the weight! It should definitely be a screamer.

It figures, after I break down and finally build a custom single speed, Felt goes and releases a SS cross bike for 2009! It looks pretty cool, but of course because of stock parts, it could be a lot lighter. Mine will of course be a lot more original as well. Though I like the look of the dropouts on the Felt. Interesting thinking, putting a wrench on the seattube bottle mount, for removing your bolt on wheel though. At least the wrench has a bottle opener as well!

To power up for the bike build, Jessica helped me assemble a (more than ordinary) ambitions dinner last night; Cilantro-Pesto Sweet Potato Gnocchi with gorgonzola and spinach, and pan seared pork medallions. It came out quite delicious. Was a bit more work (mostly messy) than I wanted, but it was well worth it when it was time to shovel fork-fulls into the mouth. Very tasty. Made a great lunch of leftovers today also. Mostly made me want to explore more options with homemade gnocchi!

T-minus 2 days until the start of cyclocross season!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Jessica made me get up nice and early on Sunday, so that we could go to the Neder-Nederland running race. As much as I would have liked to sleep in, I was nearly as excited to "work support" for her first event involving a race number. Plus I mean, it's gotta be the least I could do, considering how she supports me during my 50+ race numbers per year! She and Alex had decided just the week before, that the Neder-Nederland sounded like a good way to start the morning. Randy also showed up, deciding at the last minute, to pin on a number, and run the 10k;

Being Ned, you of course had the usual interesting characters;

It was a perfect day in Nederland for running, and the hardest part for me, was to ignore my competitive instincts and jump right into the race, even though I had been planning to just do support. So Neo and I were ready at the start, cowbell in hand, and set to yell/bark at the runners.

I missed Randy at the start, but the girls were looking good, with smiles all around;

It was a pretty cool, though simple course, with the closest thing to a flat road in Nederland, averaging about 8500 feet of elevation for the course.

One mile left, and Jessica and Alex were both looking pretty good!

The girls finished strong, and I was so proud of that wifey of mine! She did her first 5k with basically no preparation, and even finished better than she thought - 8th in her age group! I was so tired after the race, I had to go home and take a nap!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Birds Build Wheels Too

Damnit... no bike frame yet. But that's alright, there's some time. Good things come to those who wait... at least that's what I keep telling myself. It should still be here this week, so I will still have time to get it set for Brecktobercross.

It gave me some extra time to build up the wheels anyway. Cyrus decided to help me with the build;

How many gears do the new wheels have? One fucking gear;

Speaking of cyclocross... the one thing I picked up from Greece for myself, was a proper, traditional cowbell. I tried out every one they had, searching for the perfect tone.

Tomorrow, Jessica is running her first 5k! In a complete role reversal, I'll be the one sitting in the camp-chair, eating a hippie muffin, and ringing my cowbell to cheer her on! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

2 Degrees Celsius

36 degrees this morning when I finally climbed out of bed. It must be time for cyclocross season! Personally, I prefer summer, but at least cross racing helps dull the pain of the changing seasons, and shortened days. And speaking of cyclocross... the bike is at the painter, and my first color choice was available! You won't be able to miss this bike, and it won't need any reflectors, that's for sure!

It was a nice 3-day weekend for Labor Day, but again, another sign that summer is wrapping up. Good ol' Labor Day... one free day off work, to celebrate the other 355 days a year that we work. I think I'm getting short-changed... No real big plans for the weekend, so I figured it would be a good chance to get out for some mountain biking to change things up, get lost on the local trails, and work on those handling skills. I try not to complain, when I have treasures like this in the "back yard";

I got about 2.5 hours of single track in on Saturday, out riding by myself. 2 and a half hours, and the only people I passed on the entire ride, was a small group at the parking lot for one of the trail-heads I rolled through. No complaints there. That evening I did the responsible thing, and refueled in the proper manor; Several weeks back, Randy hooked me up with a fine choice from the Avery Brewery. It's been a couple days, so I don't remember much detail, but I do remember that it was a delicious, and very drinkable Belgian Style Ale. Not overly complex, but very enjoyable - the glass was empty well before I was ready for it to be.

Sunday Craig came up, and it was just the two of us, off for some more mountain biking. The view along the ridge...

...on our way to Eldora;

The rain showers stayed just far enough away, and we took in a solid 24 miles of trail riding. And managed to run into only about 6 riders total. By the end of the day, I was finally starting to feel that nice mountain bike rhythm coming back to the mind and body.

Monday Jessica and I went into "civilization" for a bit. For some reason the college kids were in full-force. Maybe because their parents were in town to take advantage of combining a visit with the CU/CSU football game this weekend. One of the high lights had to be this pair of hipsters that I managed to catch out in the wild. No doubt they have read some sort of CU orientation packet on how to be the best hipster you can be. I especially like the "tight enough to sterilize, culottes" that they are sporting. But now that I think of it... maybe some sterilization is a good thing...

And as for a Clarence update... that crazy cat is feeling right at home in his new house. He's the typical kitten, insanely curious, and wants to play pretty much non-stop. Well, except for when he stops to relax in the window, and keep an eye on any new visitors that may want to stop by and pet him.