Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"What if?"


Its Monday evening.  Thirty minutes earlier we completed a 4 day, 6000 mile round trip from Portland to Seattle to Miami and back where we took part in the wonderful wedding of our best friend.

Stress of travel piled on top of the chaos of the weekend, lack of sleep, and not being able to catch up with our good friends regardless of the fact that we were sitting next to each other turned into a roller coast of emotions that finally got to me when I no longer had something to do.

I stood in the middle of our family room holding on to my wife, and there were tears streaming down my face.

I can't pinpoint the last time this happened.  It may have been when I crumpled to the ground in pain when I tore my left ACL in '03.  It might have been in '98 when an imbecile of a nurse dropped my just surgically repaired right leg off of the hospital bed.  Tears of frustration and sorrow are something I don't shed often, and I don't know why.

I tend not to get too introspective.  Could be because I'm content with what I have and where I am?   Maybe because I'm resistant to change?  It could be because I'm far more extroverted than introverted or normally think about how my actions impact others rather than myself.

Five years ago I had a pretty eye-opening conversation with Traci on our drive back from L.A. during the last leg of our sabbatical.  A couple of good question were asked and ideas were presented that for a number of reasons I didn't decide to pursue.  I've been asking "what if?" for a while.  I may have been given a second chance this weekend, and I won't let it pass this time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009



Cough. Sniffle. Sneeze.

No, you haven't contracted swine flu, it's allergy season!  So far I've been pretty lucky with allergies this year, although the major grass pollen season hasn't hit full bore just yet.  A lot of folks however are suffering from the increased tree pollen that is currently in the air.

Since I'm heading out of town for the next 5 days and won't be doing any riding, I figure now is a great time to entertain my 2 loyal readers with some re-posted content!  So back by no ones request, I re-present for your reading pleasure, TACGBODAS or "The Aggregate Cyclist's Guide to Being Outside During Allergy Season".

Monday, May 11, 2009

Busy weekend to start a busy week!


I got a rare chance to start my weekend early and took Friday off.  Normally with the development schedule my team has Friday mornings are packed with a bunch of meetings and the afternoons are often spent catching up on stuff that happened in the morning...

Friday I got the chance to sleep a bit later than normal, kit up and ride to breakfast over at Longbottoms.  I met up with the usual Friday morning group and got a good 2+ hour ride in that was a bit harder than I wanted to go, but still fun.   After a few errands, Traci and I headed over to Alpenrose for the first Fast Twitch Friday of 2009.  I'm a bit bummed that I wasn't ready for it as they were doing flying 200's, but I did get to cheer on my teammates Einar, Malcolm, and Bob along with capture Traci's first ever race at Alpenrose on video!

Saturday morning was picture perfect when we rolled out of the house for the club ride.  A HUGE crowd turned out for the loop south to Holly Hill which the team ended up climbing twice for grins.  I made sure to pace myself on the long climb since I know I'm never going to be a pure climber.  The patience paid off later on when I had plenty in the tank for the smaller sprinter climbs that I was able to hit hard.  Was a great day and a great route with an awesome group of folks.  I capped it off with some steak and beer's with our good friends.

Sunday we went to the zoo in the morning, then did a nice 2.5 hour recovery ride.  (Was funny that while at the zoo my legs and lower back really hurt from walking around on the concrete, but once I got on the bike I was fine.  Pretty fascinating how your body adapts to different things.)  Spent the rest of the afternoon and evening lounging at our friends house celebrating a birthday.  I was super tired most of the afternoon and only started waking up around 9pm.  Ah well!

Today I'll spend watching the weather reports and radar map.  Planing on jumping into the 1/2/3 masters race tonight while Traci does the women's development racing class.  The rest of the week is up in the air until Thursday when we leave for Seattle to fly to Miami for a wedding this coming weekend.  I'll be off the bike for probably 5 days, which is the longest period of no-riding since my surgery.  Fun times!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday morning update


Hello blog.  Had a crazy week at work last week, and it will continue to be this way for a couple weeks rolling into a software release for work and a wedding on the East coast in a few weekends. Sorry for neglecting you, but realize training has suffered a bit as well.  Life pops up, ya know?  It's probably good that it happened as we really needed to get the house cleaned up. (What are these boxes from? Christmas?!?  How much laundry do we have to do?)

So, our house is cleaned up now.  (The downstairs mess migrated upstairs.. I guess that's clean?)  Clean enough for company!  We had an awesome time with our closest friends yesterday, including an appearance by the Crazy Prospector Dance Team.

The "Monster Cookie Beatdown part Tres", took place last Sunday (4/2) and was crazy hard ride.  11 PV race team folks along with about 40 club members descended on the state capital grounds for this annual ride put on by the Salem Bike Club.  The team left at 9am and rolled back into the finish around 12:40 with a quick stop in Champeog State Park at the half way point.  The Black and Blue Pain Train rolled through the 63miles at roughly at 23mph average and called out "on your left" roughly 2145 times.  Next year we think we might bring out the Cookie Wagon to run lead on the train.  I will also not start the ride hung over.

PV Cookie Wagon Assault Vehicle Mk II by Sal Bondi

April PIR wrapped up this past week, with B-Rat taking a very hard fought April series that unfortunately went sour in the final moments.  A wreck in the final sprint took out Jeff Harwood from Ironclad along with Jeff B from PV and a couple other folks.  Jeff Harwood was the leader on the road at the time of the crash and was riding really strong.  Hope you are healing quick!  I think I took 3rd overall for April.  Not too shabby for only racing 3 races. This will probably be the last 3/4 race I do on Tuesdays for a bit, and just in time it seems.  Apparently there was a second wreck in my race when someone's pannier rack hooked another riders handlebars and dragged them down.  I mean seriously?  I'm all for folks commuting out to PIR via bike and the fenders don't cause issues, but a pannier rack sticks out well beyond the arc of your wheel and just shouldn't be out there in the peloton.  

In another "heal up quick" note, PV's own "Kromonster" suffered a compound clavicle, AC separation, and a pair of broken ribs along with a busted bike after saying hello to the side of a SUV.  Alex unfortunately overcooking a corner on Newberry earlier this week.  Anyone who's been down Newberry probably knows the corner being referred to.  Fortunately Alex was able to make it to the First Friday party the next day.  He's a machine.

My own bionic knee is feeling much better after a regimen of stretching and deep tissue massage on the hip flexor and peraformis muscle group.  Rides on my road bike don't hurt that much anymore, and the diagnosis was further cemented by the amazing amount of discomfort when I was on the TT bike on Saturday.  (The more aggressive position on the TT leads to more stress on the regions causing the knee issues.)  I plan on hanging on for dear life racing the TTT this year with a few of the PV guys, so I'll be spending a lot of time stretching and adapting to the bike over the next couple weeks (hopefully!).