“Correct” sock height poll – VOTE NOW!

With all the craziness in the world today, Republicans, Democrats and even Charlie Sheen agrees, it’s time we start to focus on the IMPORTANT matters in life and make the tough decisions that our children can live with:

What is the proper sock height??

Racing season is just moments away, don’t put this ground-breaking decision off another day!

(don’t even get me started on color…)

2011 Accountability… Are You In??

“Disappointment weighs heavy on the pride.” – Mike Howerton

No New Year’s resolutions for me.  No mileage goals. No fad diets, no promises to do X, Y or Z this year.  That’s all crappy, crap-crap.

Thought I’d put my “intentions” down in writing though, so I can remind myself daily:

Keep riding… a lot.  More than 2010.  A lot more.  How much more?  A lot.  How will I measure it?  I’ll be stronger.

Work harder.  At work, at home, on the bike, in the gym, on my relationships with friends, my wife and kids and my family.  I’ll know if I’m not.

Eat better and sleep better.  Laziness is a great excuse to not take care of myself, but in the end there are no excuses.  I know the difference between right and wrong.  I know the difference between crap food and good food.  I feel better when I take care of myself, cut out caffeine, etc.  I’m the only one who can control this one.

Get rid of stress.  I invite all the stress in my life.  People who say they are victims of stress are right, but you ultimately control how much stress you take on.  Stressed about finances?  Make the tough decisions.  Stressed about work?  Make the tough decisions.  I need to make the tough decisions and cut out the stress.

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” Epictetus




“Festive 500” – final day

Nowhere near the 500km goal of the Festive 500, but I didn’t plan on it.  For me, this was a reminder to get out and ride every day (that I could).  A little sloppy this morning, but 40+ degrees was a lot nicer than the 4 degree wind-chill on Tuesday.  Had a great time, put some miles on the single speeds, and still made it to work on time each day.

Looking forward to many more miles in 2011 and beyond.

Never say “…one last time”

“As they speed thru the finish the flags go down.
The fans get up, and get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can”

CAKE – “Going the Distance”

I guess I’ll never learn – I told myself this would probably be the last Kettles ride of the year.  I also went for a muddy ride by myself with no tools.  That was about the stupidest thing I’ve done since I started at the back of the pack in my first Crit (Superweek), thinking I would work my way up to the front.  FAIL.

For those of us who don’t hunt (anymore), this was the perfect day for a ride.  45 and misty, the Kettles were a virtual ghost town this morning.  Everyone was either hunting, racing Cross or has already set up their trainers in the basement.  Too bad for you, the conditions were awesome. I jumped out of my truck and felt fast – WORS fast.  Slapped on a bright yellow helmet and even clipped on a little trail bell to let all the hung over hunters know that my brown bike with the white seat was NOT a deer.  I shot out of the parking lot and flew to the first wooden bridge, where I immediately slid sideways and ate mud.  Time to take it down about 4 notches.  The roll-in and all of the piney woods with gravel and sandy soil were super fast.  The light rain stuck everything together and it felt like riding on rails.  The rest of the trails (MOST of the trails) was like riding on Vaseline covered marble.  It’s been a dry Fall and the hard-pack trails roll super fast when it’s dry, but that little bit of rain just created a sheet of slime on the cement-like surface.  I think I was going faster up the hills than down on my first Blue Loop.

A quick stop in the parking lot to shed a few layers, still not a sole in sight aside from 3 runners, and it was back on the trails.  By now the ground had soaked up a lot of the moisture and the trails were rolling pretty fast again.  Just shy of 4 miles in, I blew the chain apart.  Tools?  You bet, back in my truck in the parking lot!  Time for the walk of shame.  Still an awesome way to spend my morning.  Made it back to the parking lot around 9:45, just as a few crews of weekend warriors on their reflectorized full-suspension rigs were about to roll in.

In just 24 hours I’ll be rollin’ down the road in Tampa, I’m guessing that when I get back in December the skinny skis will have taken over the Kettles.  So long John and Emma – see you in Spring!

Personal Lubrication time!

Time for a massage!

I haven’t had one since about 3,000 miles ago, and I don’t remember when the last one was before that.  I take really good care of my bikes, but it’s funny how I put care of my body way down on the list; somewhere between lawn mowing and sump pump maintenance.  Massages are not really the luxury that I always think of them as.  If you think of massages and chiropractic care like you think of regular maintenance on your car or your bike, you should be putting semi-regular visits in your calendar based on your mileage too.
I typically treat the Chiropractor like the body shop – I visit after every major crash.  Thankfully, there was only 1 in 2010 so far, but it is still September.  Massages seem like a guilty pleasure, but anyone who’s had one after a tough race or a fast Century can certainly attest to their power.  Even a crappy massage feels good, but a real massage from someone who understands what they’re doing can be magical.  Cyclists are all about suffering; the more suffering you can endure, the better cyclist you are.  Same can be said about massages; you can’t loosen thousands of miles of knots with “light pressure” – sometimes you need to use jack hammers (or in the case of massage therapists – elbows).  Not much else hurts this good… can’t wait!

P.S. – THE massage therapist: