Thursday, January 31, 2008

dear PennDOT...

I have to thank you for the searing sensation that pulsates from the tip of my urethra up into my kidneys when I'm riding southbound between Appleton Road and Flint Hill Road on 896.

You are so wise and ahead of your time.

Placing a rumble strip in the bike lane is the best possible way to promote both cycling and safe cycling habits.

Of course, I don't like to mix business with pleasure, so I left the vibrating, jostled prostate until later in the day. I avoided the rumble strip and rode to the left of the shoulder, where rush hour drivers were left to decide my fate. This of course, was still better than having my saddle repeatedly battered into my soft spot.

Thanks again for your considerate actions. At least no tired driver will remain asleep as they plow me down on the side of the road!

Yours truly,
rotten Robert

Monday, January 28, 2008

laid back...

Pretty standard weekend - climbing, riding, cross-worlds on a projector, and eating.

Tough Cookie bouldering.

St0pped for a PBR at Homegrown while waiting for some takeout; ran into Faticus and Chunky Monkey...

...and BreyLaLa.

Saturday's brutal Fair Hill ride reminded me that January is for base miles. And I have a long way to go if I really want to race the SM100. Yeah that hurt a lot.

Jeb-bagger: not a role model. Unless you consider a Stars and Stripes jersey worthwhile. He and Papa Smurf took me for nice recovery ride on Sunday, which I promptly followed up with a lot of food and TV.

Monday, January 21, 2008

not-so-shameless plug...

Liz gave cancer a much-deserved kick in the groin last year. For those that haven't met her, she's pretty damn strong, and now she's committing to a century in August - to raise money for a cause aimed at removing cancer from all of our lives.

You should help support her, support cancer research, support the millions affected by this disease.

Friday, January 18, 2008


For the full-size click here!

I love the snow...

As I may have mentioned before, I grew up in the great state of Maine.

The world's most-taken lighthouse photo.

Maine is known for four things:
  • pictures of lighthouses on the rocky coast,
  • snow,
  • lobsters,
  • and the fact that whenever anyone finds out you are from Maine, they ask, "Oh, do you know such and such? He is my cousin's brother-in-law's cousin!"
Yes. I do know him. Maine is that cool.

The Easternmost point in the US.

Anyway, I grew up driving in the snow. I learned to drive in a rear wheel drive Chevy Suburban, and in fact I think I took my driver's test in February. It was not uncommon for us to take one of our cars to an empty parking lot to slide around on four wheels. Sure it was reckless and fun, and a great many times we got the cars stacked up in snowbanks and spent an hour digging out, but I learned a great deal about controlling a car in the snow and recovering from an unplanned slide.

The most important things I learned from my years of driving in the Northeast are:
  • Drive slower than you think you should.
  • Don't tailgate.
  • Hand-pull emergency brakes make turning a lot more fun.
  • Four wheel drive won't slow you down any faster.
When I moved to Delaware, I was blown away by the complete disregard and lack of respect that First State drivers have for the snow. Every rule above is completely ignored, usually resulting in an amalgamation of fender benders, unwanted off-road excursions, and general mayhem. I once saw 5 snow-related accidents in a 3 mile stretch during a Delaware drive last winter.

Typical Delaware driver... at least he has snow tires.

Forgetting that karma is a bitch, I was bragging to some coworkers yesterday about my winter driving abilities when it started looking slippery outside. Snow was falling as I recounted my experience behind the wheel in questionable road conditions. As I left work, I took a look at my bald, directional tires and thought, "No problem." Sure enough, the drive home was a little sketchy, but by following standard winter driving etiquette, I got home in once piece.

Now our driveway has a slight incline to the garage. I know from experience that my tires don't do a great job getting me into this driveway. As I approached the turn into the driveway, I pulled the e-brake and put the car into an elegant drift to maintain my momentum into the driveway. I feathered the gas pedal and parked the car perfectly next to my flat-mates Scion. I take the car out of gear, and pull the parking brake, and I step out onto the snow-covered driveway.

As I take a step away, I hear a near-silent sliding sound and turn around to see my car gently sliding backwards into the street - the front tires turning as they are not in gear; the rear tires sliding under the unweighted back of the car. I run into the street to stop any possible oncoming neighbors, and step into the car just as it stops. Pulling into the street parking next to the house, I nonchalantly step out. Yes, that was all planned. The Maine boy just wanted to execute a ghosted 3-point turn in style. Just showing off for the neighborhood.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dude, this is so happy...

I love the snow. I love the mountains.

I miss them both. Photos here.

Friday, January 04, 2008

oh well...

I plan on highlighting my Holiday antics, but maybe I won't because - as my 2 loyal readers have probably noticed - I've been neglecting my blog of late. Needless to say, it was an awesome break, almost completely detached from a computer / email. That being said, I missed the part where SSWC 2008 registration opened online at 00:01 PST on Jan 1, 2008. I submitted my registration late on the 2nd and just received this:

Thank you for your interest in SSWC08. Unfortunately registration filled up prior to receiving your form. We had over 800 people interested and only 350 spots to fill. We hope you will still consider coming out to Napa, CA for the race festivities and to cheer on your fellow single speeders. There will be various rides around the Bay Area the week leading up to the race and afterward too, so it should be a lot of fun. We will be posting a blog soon to keep everyone up to date on what's going on. Thank you.

SSWC08 Team

Depending on how my vacation days and work travel shake out this year, maybe I'll still make the trip out there. But it is a week before the SM100, so maybe I'll just lay low.

Either way, reflecting on my goals for the upcoming year, I am considering having no goals, just guidelines. Based on the fact that my 'cross goals were demolished by a hectic vacation and work travel schedule, and based on my disappointment with that demolition, I think a healthier mindset will be to do what I can do, and strive for balance.

I'm pretty sure that I don't want to give up opportunities to ski this winter, and opportunities to climb this spring and summer and fall, but both those things take away significant chunks of valuable training time. That doesn't even take into consideration the inevitable travel I will have for work.

I'm just going to have to accept the fact that if I want to be a jack of all trades, I may just have to be part of the B-team when it comes to the bike.

I think I'm ok with that.