Saturday, March 31, 2007

3 outta 4...

Well, I shit myself today.

Buddy scrounged me up some toilet paper.

15 minutes in, I thought I had to fart. Turns out there was a little "chamois butt'r" waiting on deck. At first it was pleasant: warm, soft, lubricating. But by 2 hours into the ride, my taint felt like I had been squatting on a cheese grater. It was either that or a chamois/saddle incompatibility issue that led me to bail after riding 3 of the parks in the 4 park tour.

Buddy, Matt, and Les teach me how to ride a bike.

At the top of the boundary trail, I decided I'd head back to the car, so Buddy, Matt, Les, and I stopped for a nice beer. Sly Fox Pils. Hoppy, not too sweet. Just what the good lord intended in a canned beer.

Training for SSWC2007.

They also teach me how to drink.

I pulled off at the ranger station in White Clay, where I ran into FFA and her friend Ted. They tell me the rest of the extended crew, also out for their own romp in the woods, are all going to meet up for lunch. So Jan, E-town, FFA, Monkey, Fatmarc, and friend Ted all provided great company and room-clearing conversation while we schooled some burritos. All in all a great day.

FFA leads the way so she can show us how she got her name.

Time to grab the climbing shoes. The day is still young, and the Coatesville rock gym has some bouldering calling my name.

Jenny helped me start the weekend right with a nice after-work stroll on Friday.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Valuable Time...

I had a great vacation in San Francisco, Tahoe, and Utah. Saw my best friends on the planet, skied with Pop - a skier well suited to my abilities and styles. Saw a great city again, saw some amazing landscapes.

The old man and I on top of Snowbird

Sometimes I wonder what I am doing in Delaware. There is just so much to offer everywhere else... better riding, better climbing, better skiing, better public transit, family, friends. I miss people the most right after I see them and I remember why I call them best friends. Or I see myself in my family and miss them.

This is what you get when you drink too much and run into a hip-height half door at full speed to see what happens.

That question was answered when I returned to reality in the Mid-Atlantic. I have a great job. I have some really solid friendships here. The bonds aren't as strong as older friendships, but I don't have the history here yet - that will come. I have access to some fantasic biking and the best cycling community of which I have ever been a part.

Jan on his new bike: "It feels like I am humping zee trails!"

Maestro Monkey packs up her car after conducting a fine ride at MR.

FM with his new do.

Jan, Monkey, and Fatmarc are but 3 of the many people in this area who I am lucky enough to know. Riding with them these last 2 days reminds me that for the most part I actually do like living here. I like the relationships I am building. I really value the time I get to spend with the characters above as well as the rest of the crew. The grass is always greener, and seeing only the best parts of other areas is deceiving. Sure I miss my best friends and family, but I am confident we will one day live in closer proximity - even if it remains only by phone. Anywhere I end up will have it's ups and downs.

It remains that I really like my life here.

Fun is how you make it, not where you make it, so take it
Why don't you get your running start, it fears you just like I do
I know you're tired, I know, but what if this was the last day on earth?
~Piebald

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I wish...

that someone told me to bring a barf bag. It was a shame to waste those three mini-chucks by swallowing them all down.

I forgot how much it hurts when an "easy, wait at the tops" ride goes to hell.

Fuck you all.
I love you all.

See you in a week and a half when I'm sunburnt, windchapped, and snowblind.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

vienna sausage

My johnson looked like a vienna sausage when we took a piss break 30 miles into our century on Saturday. I don't know if it was the cold or the knowledge that my 'taint would be pressed into my saddle for another 70 miles, but my member was far from swollen.


Great ride on Saturday. 100 miles of punchy climbs and some flats. I won't try for a ride write up because that is just dull, but Buddy and Bob both have some good details.

I am feeling great for March. I have had three 100 mile weekends in a row and my form is coming around. We'll see how I feel after 10 days of skiing and partying out west, but if this strength sticks, I may have to race more than I intended early on. It's tough balancing priorities.

My only true dedication lies with cross. The rest is up for discussion - climbing, backpacking, maybe some enduro races. It's all about balance, and friends, and life, and living.

Major MAJOR props to my friends Sam internet friend and Tough Cookie, who are going through some shit. Ladies, you are each tougher than 10 of me, and you inspire me to be strong and stay positive. You are in my thoughts.

much love,
rt

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Regularity...

One of the constants in my life, one thing I can rely on day-in, day-out is my daily 9 am meeting in the tiled office stall. At 8:45 am, I can feel the system begin to percolate. As the 9 o'clock hour approaches, the brew is almost complete, and I head down the hall. Past the "WOMEN" placard, through the swinging wooden door, past the one urinal, and into the first of 2 bathroom stalls.

This center location is key, because the second spot is more popular, most likely due to it's more "private" feel. After all it is in the corner. So why abandon the slight increase in privacy? Well at 9 am, no one has yet used the center stall. The water remains blue from the prior night's cleaning. The seat is down, sparkling and reflective; it awaits my cheeks. It is my throne. I feel like it was shined for me and me alone.

This constancy is vital in my daily sanity. I feel healthy, cleansed. I am allowed a quiet moment to reflect. I am the king of the porcelain.

Two things really tend to jam up the works and prevent me from ruling over my kingdom of tile and grout. One is dining out. Restaurant foods and especially the portions really take their toll on my ritual. The second is travel. The constant sitting, changes in time zone, sporadic cups of coffee and dehydration from lack of water, even more dining out at various restaurants... they all come together to form a cork in the bottle of life.

Well guess what, the last 2 weeks have been a storm of fine dining at various local establishments, not so fine air travel dining, and a trip to Scotland - obviously known for it's stellar cuisine. Suffice it to say, my return to work on Friday left me feeling like less than a king.

Now, I have enough experience in these matters to know how important it is to get back on track fast. So Sunday I went to the grocer, and picked up supplies to rally the troops. Kashi Go Lean! Crunch for one, and the makings for my famous spicy beans and rice glop for two. Literally for 2. I cooked up a batch of beans'n'rice and set to work. This would also be my lunch for the next few days.

Monday morning, Kashi. I don't know if you've had the delight that is Go Lean! Crunch, but it turns your insides into a bubbling primordial fart factory. That, combined with the beans'n'rice, left my office somewhat of a gas chamber through Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I had a 5 bean soup for lunch that only added to the aroma. I tried my usual method of "cropdusting," a surefire way to spread your stink so thin that it can't be pinned on you, but the volume was just too much. I just had to try to bury them in my desk chair. I'm surprised the wallpaper hasn't peeled off.

Needless to say I'm back in command of my kingdom. Master of my domain. Vive la Center Stall.

Short ride with His Fatness tonight at Rittenhouse. About an hour on the bike, the trails weren't super fun by any means, but it was nice to ride in good company. I'm looking forward to the century on Saturday. Though all these road miles have been killing my trail skills. I was riding with a vice grip on my handlebars tonight.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Spring is sprung like Sir Mix-a-Lot

Killer ride this morning. Der Jan led a ride out of People's Plaza that was just spectacular. The weather was perfect, sunny, 50 degrees. Wind was low. Great group of guys: Jan, E-town, Tom in his Big Bird tights, CZ and his downtube shifters, E-1, Rob Destructo, DenS, and myself.

I met Jan outside my house at 8.30 and we rolled down to People's. Nice 8 mile warmup. We roll out, doing what I now know as the Red Toad loop. About 25 miles into the ride, we left the comforts of the flats for some nice rollers. Still a relaxed pace, but hillier. Finally we come to Red Toad. It's a steep one, sections of 10% and 2 distinct sustained sections of climbing. I bridged nicely to E-town (skinny motherfucker) and Rob Destructo (strong mofo) who had a nice gap on the first section. E-town starts the next section with a nice gap, and Rob D. goes after him. I hesitate for a second to get into the little ring and end up 3rd over the top. Figuring, well, the hard part of the day is done.

Nope.

At this point every seems to think it'll be fun to attack, bridge, pace-line, attack, repeat. Awesome. I was begging for the little ring 35 miles into the ride. I was begging to be shot 1o miles later. Jan and Rob D. are two motors with legs attached. Good times. Finished up the 55 mile loop with a pretty quick average, then Jan and I headed home from the plaza. Great ride, great group of guys. I feel like I'm starting to get a little semblance of form. Lodi is coming, and SSWC 07 will be here before you know it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hot Damn!

Has anyone else noticed that Big Jonny at drunkcyclist.com is up to 4 (count 'em: FOUR) links per day for his fine looking women??? I gotta say, I love it when the man has links to anything from Hegre-Art or Met-Art:
but Crissy Moran and Puma Swede have really gotta go. I know, different strokes, but seriously, they are disgusting. And not in the good way. At any rate, 4 links is better than 3 and the odds of the good stuff has increased. Thanks Big Jon.

So many sheep, so little time.

On to business, I returned from Scotland yesterday. I'll leave the work stuff out of it, but all in all, two successful meetings. I did manage to get out and explore the two towns in which I hoteled - not much, but the most I could do given the work load.

The church next to our hotel.

On Tuesday, I got a chance to take a walk through Dumfries. It was nice, except that I couldn't escape one of my coworkers who I was hoping to leave behind. He was less interested in exploring, and more interested in the local pub. We compromised and saw the Robert Burns museum, then went for a few beers at The New Bazaar. Let me tell you, Scottish IPA is a lot different than American IPA.

Burnsy and I. I tried unsuccessfully to steal that hat.

On Wednesday, we drove back up to Edinburgh to prepare for our early Thursday flight. I convinced my 2 fellow associates to take the bus with me into downtown Edinburgh for dinner. We didn't have a lot of time to explore, but it was awesome just to be in the town and check out some of the local people, beers, food, architecture, etc. I did try Haggis, and honestly, it wasn't bad.

Taste the local beer, piss on the local porcelain.

The thing that most shocked me was the Edinburgh Castle. That thing really is the heart of the city. Really breathtaking, and it catches you off guard as you travel into the city on Princes Street. Suddenly it's just there, towering hundreds of feet above you. I suppose that is the biggest thing I always take away from Europe. It has so much more history than the US. Plus I love the public transit and walkability of the place.

I wonder if the rock below the castle is bolted.

Tomorrow, riding with Jan and E-town at a minimum. Should be good to get some more base hours under the belt. Shooting for another 6 hour minimum weekend. Peace out, much love.