Wednesday, December 23, 2009

who decides what a friend is?

This cracks me up:

It's from this blog I read on occasion. I'm not sure whether I'd say we're blog friends, but we're friends.

And I sleep with her.


I don't think dudes develop blog friendships quite like the ladies. My wife has all sorts of blog friendships--folks that monitor and comment on her blog regularly that she's never met, and she brings up intel from blogs at the dinner table like it's something she learned from a conversation earlier in the day. But I guess it was a conversation. Just a different sort of conversation.

Well, that's the extent of my profundity for today.

I'll end with this:

Bike racing is awesome.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

cooling my hands on the steel

There's something oddly wonderful about coming back from a long, cold ride and wrapping my bare hands around the cold aluminum tubing of my bike. It's odd, but I really like how that feels.

Similarly, I really like the patterns of ice that form on my top tube from dripped sweat. There wasn't any of that today (it was a pretty chill ride), but that happens a lot mountain biking in the winter. I like it a lot.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

warming my feet by the fire

I love owning a fireplace. So. Much.

I also love little girls that swipe their daddy's iPhone to snap a surprise candid (a surprise when I looked through the camera roll days afterward...I wasn't aware of the picture as it was happening).

I'm confident that there is something evolutionarily hard-wired in us to behave with reverence--and perhaps even with adoration, as in worship--towards fire. With its invitation indoors the quality of my life has increased meaningfully.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a couple of race reports (I guess)

What's more boring than reading a race report? Reading two.


Made it down to the Howard County Double Cross a couple of weekends ago (actually, I just did Saturday's Schooley Mill, but the "Double Cross" bit is so clever I like to say it that way) and enjoyed my best finish of the year.

To tell the truth, I was en fuego that day. Having registered about four minutes before the deadline, I started with a number in the 60s, all the way back in the second to last row. I mean, I was w a y back there. But I chose the right gear and had the outside line so was able to sprint around probably half the field before hitting the narrows.

And it really was a great day. Pleasant weather, friendly company, warm, clean bathrooms, and a course that was a little muddy in places, but mostly just fast, and I felt invincible as I picked my way forward, taking riders in ones and twos through the turns and in larger numbers up the long power section on the front side.

Early on, there was one rider leading and a group of three chasing, about 15 seconds back. It was probably on the third lap that I caught the chasing group of three. I was feeling so good when I caught them that I choose not to hang out long, sprinting around them on the flats before the long descent in a wild frenzy that scared the lead rider and nearly landed me in a tree. They caught me again before the run-up, but I was able to distance them for good on the next lap.

From there, only one of the three posed any threat, and the lone leader proved to have too much of a gap to overcome. But finishing second, and prancing up one place further on the podium than I've previously been felt mighty fine. (Though I can't help but wonder how it would have turned out had I enjoyed a first or second row start...)

(The requisite barrier shot. A total of three
dismounts per lap in this race. Seemed
a lot. ... It may have been the SU shorts that
gave me new power.)

(A crappy iPhone pic of an awkward podium
moment. Photo courtesy of Micha.)


With the nice result in MABRAland I was all excited for the PA State Championships this last weekend in Allentown. All excited for the pole position start (was leading the 3/4 series going into Saturday). All excited for what looked to be a dry, fast course under sunny skies. I wasn't near as excited afterwards.

Despite my pole position start, I really sucked it up. Perhaps sucked it up all the worse because of my nice position. Anyway, going into the narrows I was probably 20 riders back. Absurd. But I picked my way through and after a couple of laps a rather odd situation developed--10 riders off the front, riding in a group, and then a long stretch afterward to the next rider. And that's pretty much how things stayed. There was a little bit of jockeying for position, I tried to come around to the front twice, for instance, but everyone continued to regroup and we held in a line of 10 until the last lap.

Then things got faster. I couldn't hold the pace. Finished an embarrassing ninth. Easily my worst result of the year (besides the Mercer Cup, but I'm not sure that agrees).

Such a strange race. Dry, fast conditions with a strong, strong wind blowing across the course. And I just felt terrible. Didn't have that extra gear, that extra top-end power that I had the week before. I'd like to blame it on the Turkey Trot 5k I ran a couple of days earlier (finished in 18:20, though I'm a little suspicious that the course may have been short), but whatever... Just one of those days.

And I lost my lead in the series standings.

We'll see if Bergey shows up at Marysville. Saturday, and then we're done for '09.