Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Break

It's Spring Break time, where we get one single free day off from the University. Of course, it's great to have a free day off, and lord baby jeebus knows I need it this week, but it's always when no one else has off, and the weather is always shit. Oh well, I might as well get some catching up done on the blog-front, and then finally unplug my brain from the interwebs for a day or so.

The weekend before last, I hit out for the first race of the year. The move went right away, and I went at first, then hesitated - doubting my fitness, and the fact that it was 38 seconds into the first race of the year... and missed it. Should have just dug and gone. Instead, it turned into an awesome TT practice session, as I rode the group off my wheel with no one pulling through, then "chased" solo for the next 55 minutes. A bit frustrating, but I was cheered up that the chip-timers, recorded lap times for the race, and my lap times were within a very nice tolerance. No slacking even later in the race, and even with changing winds, and the fact that a lap was basically a 1-minute effort up the climb, and a 30-second recovery, plus a tricky hairpin at the bottom of the hill; I was within 3 seconds for nearly all the laps. So that was more reassuring.

After the race, it was up to Craig and Jeff's to celebrate Craig's birthday, and also wait for Jeff to return from his roadtrip to pick up his sweet new Sportsmobile! Let's just say, it's really friggin' big, and cool.

Then it was time for St. Patty's Day, which isn't one of my favorite holidays, since it's mostly just people pretending to be Irish, while they sit around eating and drinking English and Scottish stuff. Plus, there are SO many stouts better than a Guiness. Jessica had to work that night, so I just went home, for the evening. I figured we'd have our traditional car-bomb once she got home. Then I remembered that I had some Guiness to go through, so decided to try out a different combination. I was going to get some Harp to use up the Guiness and play with my Lagerhead, but I'm not that crazy about Harps either. So I picked up a pounder of Arrogant Bastard, for a little extra flavor. A darker, but better black and tan.

Then the alcohol started to hit me, and I decided to experiment... trying to make a black and tan using the Bastard Ale, and a can of OB Ten-Fidy. Unfortunately the Ten-Fidy is just plain too hardcore, and drops like a stone, no matter what. But I sure didn't mind "taking care of" the mistakes.

Then on Friday it snowed, and that was stupid.

Saturday we hit up the first Roller Dolls match at their new home at the Broomfield event center (or whatever it's called this week). Pretty good bouts, and the new venue was pretty sweet, but a bit more upscale, and it was reflected in our ticket prices. Bummer.

Sunday it was time to race again, this time the training crit in Niwot. The weather wasn't awesome, it was quite chilly, but it sounded fun, since we had the entire team out for the race, sans Seth. The race was pretty fast from the start, especially for just the second race of the year! I was active straight away, with even a move on the first lap. Might as well warm up I figured. The team had at least one guy in every move, until finally a STRONG move got away, including two of ours. Then I was back to the front policing, and then moving guys around at the end. Up the road Chuck took the win for us, and back in the field Zac took the field sprint. Not bad at all.

Then Tuesday... it snowed again... The drive home sucked - icy, white-out, windy, dumping snow, unplowed roads. But at least I didn't have to drive with all the city-slickers, who sounded like they had it worse.

Warmer today... but rain and snow in the forecast for tomorrow. Must be time for the Koppenberg race...

Either way, I think it's going to be a bit of time still, until I can open the grill up for a patio party.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gentlemen... Start your Engines, Snowboards, Coffins and/or Bikes!

The past week and a half has been pretty hectic! Last weekend I hit the group ride which went well. Then off to Jesse and Brittainy's to celebrate her passing of another test on the way to being a Certified Public Bean Counter. Jessica and I hit the zoo for a day - which was cold, but the animals were actually out, and the people were actually home so it was a nice mellow visit to the zoo. Then Jessica and I spent another day of 50 degree weather on slopes of Eldora, trying out the new snowboards. That was pretty fun, and Jessica did awesome. I like skiing a lot more when the weather is spring-like, and the slopes are mostly empty. Then the rest of the week was centered around completing our coffin for the Frozen Dead Guy Days coffin races!

We were racing under sponsorship of Seth's Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen, and I was tasked with giving us a professional quality coffin to race in. At just 23.6lbs., I think I was able to incorporate a large amount of strength, while keeping the weight low, and even providing comfort and security for our "corpse". Even better that all parts of the coffin were from spare scrapes and bits that I had lying around the garage. Saturday morning I got the team ready for our position in the parade;

The rules stipulate that your corpse must weight a minimum of 75lbs., and Ali was kind enough to join our team, weighing in at 76.8lbs. the morning of the race. I should have made her skip breakfast... Here she is though, practicing getting into her aerodynamic tuck;

Our opponent for the first heat, saw our team, and was terrified. Too terrified to show up. So we turned in a great time without them, and qualified for the final 8, out of 40 starting teams. Here is a good vid of the second round, and you can the Rise & Shine team right at about 1.45 in the video.

For our semifinal heat, we ran into some issues battling the team that would eventually win the overall. But we were right there with them, finishing up in a very respectible third place. Ali was a superstar corpse, and celebrated our finish with Craig, after the official results;

While Frozen Dead Guy Days was going on, the first bike races of the season were starting up as well! And it was an awesome weekend for the Subaru - Groove Auto team! On Saturday we took 1st, 3rd and 4th in the City Park crit, while also taking 2nd in the Frostbite Time Trial. Then on Sunday we we took 1st, 8th and 9th in the Niwot crit. Not a bad start to the season at all!

The WRC Season started a couple weeks back, and Kimi Raikkonen has been having a bit of trouble adjusting from F1 to WRC, especially with his latest Mexico WRC, rolling his Citroen down a cliff side. Though I think the best part might be his interview afterwards. I hated his nearly-comotose interveiws during F1, but after rolling his car down a cliff, this one is just classic!

"I roll over, then went down the hill." Beautiful understatement!
But even better than the start of WRC season... the Formula1 season starts this weekend in Bahrain, and I can't wait as usual! It's going to be awesome for so many reasons, but also because the lack of refueling means teams are predicting pit stops in the sub-3 SECOND range.

Sure... USF1 failed miserably and completely at getting their car to the grid, but McLaren is back this year, with a car that is performing world's different from the mess that was the MP4-24.