Thursday, February 26, 2009


...start your engines!

I may be a touch crazy, but I decided to step up the schedule for the first race of the season, and signed up for the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon. It should make for a nice little change of pace, with no real pressure, other than what I put on myself. I wish I had been able to get in more running over the past two months. The distance should be no problem, doing it what I consider an acceptable pace should be another. The legs are going to be pissed at me, since we're throwing them right into a race-pace effort, and with no brick workouts or transition practices or anything. Oh well... no pressure right? I just have to remember that it's been a scary number of years since my duathlon days, and that I should expect to be out of that form. And still, it should be a blast either way, and Seth is even coming out to experience the joy of uncooperative legs as well!

The true season is getting ready to kick off in Belgium this weekend as well, with the Het Volk - I mean the "Het Nieuwsblad", the first of the semi-classics!

Speaking of racing, there's just 28 days until the Formula1 season begins. Forget Garmin-Chipotle, now we'll have a real US team to get behind! Word is now coming out that there will be a US-based Formula1 team for the 2010 season! Led by Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson... but further details are pretty scarce right now, other than the fact that the team is currently known as USF1 and will be based out of Charlotte, NC. Perhaps this new team will encourage a speedy return of racing to North American soil?

It's not really racing, unless you count the Coffin Races, but it is an event that's coming up on the schedule... Frozen Dead Guy Days! That's right, starting up next Friday, so you only have one week to prepare. For me, that mostly means making sure the camera battery is all charged-up, so I can take pictures of all the goons that come up from the low-lands and don't do much more than start drinking at 11am and try to walk down snow-covered hills in their flip-flops.

Come out and visit Grandpa for his celebration!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lunch Meetings

It's been a good week for lunch meetings... and by that I mean, it's been nice enough outside to escape for a bit, and get in a ride, while soaking up the sunshine! Leg coverings weren't even required the last two days!

Yesterday I got out on the fixie for a good 80 minutes or so. The legs were pretty crispy from the weekend still, so a healthy spin was in order. Once on the bike, the legs felt better than anticipated, so I was able to do several good efforts, spinning along like an egg-beater. It was probably the fixies last ride for now; time to take it home, swap out the fixed cog for a freewheel, and the slicks for knobs, because in another 2.5 weeks is Cult Cross! And conditions are sounding muddy... which makes for "weird" cross racing here in the high-desert. I can't emphasizing enough - hit this race if you can. The drive is well worth the drive, getting in a nice early-season effort, the awesome course and of course the atmosphere.

Anyway, double workout day, as I stopped on the way home, to put in another run. I've vowed to try to keep from getting so woefully out of running shape again, as I did before running this past Fall. And plus, cross season is (sorta) coming up! And I've even been toying with the idea of doing a duathlon or two this year. Regardless of all that, I slept like a baby last night after the double!

Today the weather was gorgeous again. We should be getting hit with a blizzard anytime now... While wearing sunglasses to keep from blinding myself from my pasty white knobby knees, I hit out for another lunch time ride. This time to see if I could still ride the TT bike in a straight line. I tried the GPS software out in the iPwn too, and it told me this;

iMapMyRide works pretty well, and uploads automatically to MapMyRide all pretty easily, but it absolutely destroys the battery. Todays hour long ride, ate a solid 38% of my battery life. I might go back to Trail Guru, which works well, is easy to use, and now has a function to let you take pictures and automatically geo-tag them along the way. There's an extra step as you have to save a file which you can then upload to MapMyRide, or other similar sites, but it might be worth it. How often do I really use it anyway?

Belated Weekend Wrap

This past weekend was pretty busy. After work on Friday, Jessica and I hit the trail for Central City, for a friend's birthday party. Right on cue, the snow started falling, just before we left. The drive out wasn't bad, but it was snowing pretty good, over the slot machines;

But we had some partying to do, so no time for snow! The venue was the Elk's Club - an entertaining stop in any town, and the theme was "80's Karaoke" - a good theme for any party. The only downside I figured, was that it's no fun to dress up like the 80's anymore... I mean, you just go into Target, or Hot Topic, and buy whatever is on the main racks. At any rate, the elk were well-dressed.

As was the Highway man that stopped in for a drink to wet his whistle before heading back out on the trail;

Jessica even got brave, and went up to do some singing... my little performer...

And I couldn't resist throwing at least a few nickels into the slot machine. I did not however, strike it big... I didn't even "strike it small".

The snow messed with the riding plans, but Walker and I delayed our ride for a bit, and just went out later, when the roads were a bit drier, and the temps a bit higher. Got a solid 82 mile ride in, taking in Carter Lake, the Rattlesnake, and then back up to Carter Lake before heading home. No rest for me, as I met up with Jessica after the ride, and we were off to The Denver Vic for a show, and then a party afterwards. We saw Educating Rita, and it was a pretty good show.

After that sort of day, I slept until 10am on Sunday. Finally got time and motivation for a ride, but the wind had picked up, and the clouds had closed in, so I opted for a trail run, rounded off with some mountain biking as well. It was a good choice. I got to mountain bike in shorts, and the weather was just "iffy" enough to keep people away, so the trail was nice and quiet... other than the nagging coming from my legs that were blown-apart and protesting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Seven Thousand

7,000 sounds like a pretty big number, unless of course you're talking about the current status of the New York Stock Exchange. We've got that "stimulus" bill, or 3 or so, floating around out there, and it doesn't seem to be doing much of anything. Maybe part of that is because every time I seem to hear or read anything about it, it looks less stimulating and more like crap. Taking another bold step, President Obama told everyone today that he would "cut the federal deficit in half". As if saying it out loud, will just make it happen. Meanwhile, that "market thing", is looking all but destined to close below 7000 points in the extremely near future (as in probably today). Maybe I'm not being patient enough, and not giving the stimulus plan(s) enough time to work, but you know what? I'm not a patient man, and I'm sick of hearing the nonsense on the radio. So I'm going to get out of the house, and start taking matters into my own hands. Specifically... by preparing for the post apocalyptic era.

If you know anything about post-appocolyptic living... you know that a fast, reliable, incredibly tough, 600hp car, is second only to a gun, to ensure your survival. That's why I was happy to find Aussie Coupes, who will build me an exact replica of the Mad Max Interceptor!

Though... the world seems to be an increasingly dangerous and violent place. And with global warming, you never know how seas levels may rise. So I might need something a bit more "hard core";

Something, like the Damnation Alley Landmaster! Featuring 12 driving wheels, on four tristar arrangements, a 391 cubic inch Ford industrial motor, the ability to float, has 3/8" steel plating, and of course, a rocket launcher!

The market is dropping fast though, and I might not have time for either of those (or money due to deflation and the market), so I might just have to settle for the Mutt-Cutts Mobile;

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Round and Round we Go

I'm quickly losing patience listening to Obama's paratactic speeches... the style just irritates me, and I usually am waiting to hear someone in the background exclaim "Amen brotha!" or that I should stand up and exclaim "Hallelujah"! But most likely my feelings are spurred-on while listening to the endless rhetoric of "change" interspersed with the familiar words of sending more troops to Afghanistan, another $700+ billion dollar "stimulant" package, bailing out people that willingly signed up for mortgages that they shouldn't have gotten in the first place... and so on.

But before I rant too much, or have to listen to another baseball player that has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, "bravely" come out and lie to us that they had no idea what they were putting into their bodies... we'll just look at some more bike pr0n.

I built up a new set of tubulars, specifically for the new cross bike. I've been lusting after building a simple, reliable, classic set of tubulars for some time now. It's really not that muddy here, so it makes it that much harder to justify the need for carbon tubular cross wheels. Especially when this set could be had for about $600 retail and weigh in at a very respectable 1474 grams. For less than the cost of a single carbon rim, this set includes top-notch DT-240 hubs, Kinlin TB-25 rims, and wheelsmith spokes and nipples. Non-bullshit race wheels here.

Not the first time I've built Kinlin rims, but the first time with this particular model. I was definitely impressed with the way the wheels built up; the rims are very stiff, even with the lower spoke count. And they were as straight and round out of the box as any of the other big name rim brands I've built.

The front hub spins;

The rear hub spins AND has a ratchet mechanism;

Gold nipples were a must, to add a bit of bling, and match some other gold bits on the new bike;

20 radial spokes up front;

20 2-cross spokes on the rear;

I can't wait to glue some knobbies onto them, and see how they roll! Is it time for cross season yet!?

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Big V-Day Weekend

I'm not all about supporting Hallmark with their made-up holiday, but it is a good enough excuse to plan a special date with the wifey. So this year for Valentine's Day we got out of the house for the day. Checked into a hotel down in Denver, and just relaxed. We had dinner plans at the Rialto Cafe. Neither of us had been there before, but the menu for the evening was looking good. And while the entire meal was delicious, I think we agreed that the scallops served in the appetizer were the highlight of the meal. Most likely the best scallops I have had, here in land-locked Colorado.

After the meal, we took a short walk up to Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret to catch a special show of Gypsy Jazz music. Now it's only the second time I've been to a show at Lannie's, but I've gotta say, both of them were absolutely outstanding! Insanely good entertainment, in an incredible atmosphere, and just an all around great time! So if you ever get a chance to consider hitting a show there... take it. You won't be sorry. The band was was just awesome, and Lannie even busted out her special hat for the holiday show;

Sunday we slept in, and after some lunch with Seth, we made it back up the mountain to the homestead. Seth was also kind enough to hand-deliver my new team frame, wheels, tires, and a few other goodies as the new equipment trickles in, and so I can start to work on getting my tubbies glued up for the upcoming races.

I did all my training indoors this weekend, so I figured I might as well get outside with the new bike, and take some pictures. Just because new bikes are never as shiny as when you first get them, it was sunny out, and I needed to let the first round of glue start to dry.

It's just silly how pretty these things are!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

On a day like this, the only thing you can do is ask yourself...

But it really hasn't been that bad. I mean, at least Friday the 13th always comes on a Friday. And I have a car full of fun new wheels to build up. This time, one set is for me at least! I think the parts I got, are going to make an incredibly cool set of cyclocross wheels. I figure they'll be cool enough that I won't be able to wait until Fall to use them, so I've ordered up some road tires for them as well. For now, you can check out the lovely hubs, since it will likely be a few days before I get a chance to build them up.

Riding outdoors isn't looking like a very good option this weekend, due to the weather. But it's also Valentine's Day tomorrow, and there are some fun things in the pipeline, to keep Jessica and myself occupied.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Girl Scout Bailout Package

I nearly titled this post "Girl Scout Stimulus Package"; but that didn't quite seem appropriate...

Alright, so anyway... who was the comedian that thought it would be funny to let me order 10 boxes of Girl Scout cookies!?!? Now I have to make the difficult decision of which box to eat for lunch today.

MSNBC updated us on the Bernard Madoff story, to let us know that his wife took out "roughly 15 million dollars" just days before his arrest. I'd like to go to my bank and write that number on a withdrawal slip... The story also updated us on the current whereabouts of Mr. Madoff;
"The 70-year-old former Nasdaq stock market chairman remains confined to his Manhattan penthouse under house arrest."

I wouldn't mind being that fucking lucky either. Christ... crime really does pay. After ripping off investers in excess of 50 billion dollars, and living the absolute high-life off of their money, I could now being punished by having a vacation/retirement at home, in my Manhattan penthouse, playing Playstation all day on my big screen, surrounded by Chinese take-out boxes. You know the fucker still goes out to the balcony and spits on the "little people" down on the sidewalk below.

In other financial news... stocks finished down yesterday amid statements by President Obama, that financial institutions that received taxpayer money for "bailouts" may actually indeed need to account for exactly where that money went to. Fucking thieves.

Last night I nearly snarfed my adult-beverage when Matt Frei, the anchor on BBC World News America referred to Obama as "The Chief Sales Manager of the stimulus package".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Grey Tuesday

Not a ton of excitement this past weekend, but still a good one. I got out for a great ride with Seth and Chuck for a ride around Boulder. The weather was looking iffy, so we nixed the idea of going as high as originally planned. Plus Chuck had his fixie, so that made the decision that much easier. No bitching about anything being too steep, if Chuck was smashing his way up the same hill with you! Good ride though, it stayed drier, warmer, and less windy than we had expected. As usual, the weather forecasters were 90% wrong with their predictions.

To recover after the ride, I had a bottle of the Orval trappist. It was quite tasty, with a surprisingly spicy taste. Not my favorite beer, but quite a delicious beer. By the end of the glass I was wishing I had another bottle.

For Sunday, the forecast was sounding even worse... which of course meant I should have just planned on riding outside from the start. I left from the house, and about two-thirds of the way down I thought I might have made a big mistake... it was FREEZING! But the plan was just get in some nice violent climbing and head home. So I got in Sunshine, and then back up Magnolia, and called a day. Two hours taking the freezing cold descents slowly, and nice steep climbing which was more than enough to get myself warm again. It wasn't really looking like rain at the top of Sugarloaf;

Monday was a day to relax, and I did active-recovery, walking on all the errands I was running around campus for the day. I spend the rest of the day pouring over all the pictures of the new Red Bull RB5 Formula 1 car that was unveiled in Juarez! A VERY cool looking car, with some very interesting new shapes and lines to it. Further proof that the beginning of this season should prove interesting, as the new rules mean that teams are trying all sorts of different approaches to design a car that falls within the rules. It's impossible to tell who's ideas are going to work from the start, and which teams are going to be scrambling! I guess we'll have our first ideas in another 44 days.

And today I was finally able to justify heading over to the new Boulder Velodrome, to check it out! I have done a little riding and racing on the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, which is an absolutely stunning track. And it's huge compared to the new indoor track in Boulder (333meters vs. 142meters), which of course means that the corners are much steeper.

So it was bound to take a couple laps to get the feel of them. But after two or three times around, the comfort returned, and I started to get use to the strange, borrowed bike, and it was time to lay down some hotter laps! I'm definitely grateful for the track in Boulder, but it really made me miss racing at LVV and probably even more, made me miss going to the Friday night races and banging on the boards for your favorite riders! But hey... you can't ride the Lehigh Valley Velodrome when it's snowing out!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nearly Friday

It's hard to complain (too much) this week... it's been another week of lovely weather. And I've even managed to sneak outside for a bike ride at lunch each day! And of course, every day outside, means no evening spent at home, trying to figure out what to watch while suffering on the trainer. The legs have been toasty, but how can you complain when your outside in shorts!? Dry, dirt climbs can be fun!

Team meeting tonight, so I should get to put my own fingerprints, all over my own new frame! Of course... still waiting on the drivetrain parts, but at least we made some progress on that front this week. We'll be riding a mostly SRAM Red groupo, along with our sweet TRP R960 brakes in anodized red, and the 50mm deep carbon wheels from Shimano.

The man in the little brown truck, brought some more drivetrain bits for the new cross bike this week... but unfortunately I'm still waiting on the frame for that one. I guess you could almost count coffee as bike parts, and if you can, then he also brought me some sweet new Bodum coffee cups. Thermal, so the hot side stays hot, and the cool side cool... while providing a sweet visual at the same time.

Right now the weekend plans are in a holding pattern... waiting to see exactly what the weather decides to do.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekend Wrap

Let's be honest... there was really only one thing to watch on television this weekend...

Caught some delicious dinner at Izakaya Den with friends, on Friday. Delicious as always. Then on Saturday I got out for a ride with most of the new teamates. We were treated to some pretty great, if slightly windy, weather. A nice little cruiser of a ride, to be social and get to know one another some more. Good times. We did pass the car that I am voting for as our "new" Subaru team car too!

Sunday was a lot more chill. Did some recovering, resting, cleaning, little hike with the wifey and dogs, and more resting.

Sometime during the weekend I tried two new beers. The first was Upslope Brewing, a new Boulder brewery, which JP had mentioned to me, but I hadn't seen in any stores up until last week. It was pretty delicious, even though pale ales tend to not be my favorites. No doubt helped by the odd satisfaction of having a high-quality beer in a can.

And the second was a Sternweisse from Hacker-Pschorr. Hacker-Pschorr makes some of my favorite beer, but I hadn't seen this one before, so you know it was going in the cart! And it didn't disappointe! Absolutely delicious, in the way that only an unfiltered beer can be. I read that technically this is brewed as more of an amber, stronger and darker than a typical wheat. I just call it "tasty".

Silver Bike, Blue Balls

You know how pictures seldom do beautiful bike frames any justice? Especially when snapped quickly, with a smart-phone camera, sitting on a box in an office cubicle? Well feast your eyes...

Jeebus... I have a vicious case of blue-balls now though. Amazing job by everyone at Ibis... but they worked so well, that the rest of the parts aren't in yet, so I will just having this piece of carbon beauty hanging on the wall until everything is here and I can complete the build. At least it should provide some extra motivation of the trainer. Look close and notice that the "Ibis" logos are actually clear-coated, so you can see the carbon lay-up underneath. Pure class...