Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Old Lyme, Connecticut

So I've been sick for pretty much most of the month. Fever, chills, aches, pains, and monster headaches. But no coughing, no sneezing, no congestion. It came on strong the night before Longsjo (July 2nd)...and that pretty much ruined it for me--with alternating doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen every three hours I was able to ride (but hardly race) the TT on Thursday and RR on Friday...Johann crashing out of the RR gave us the green light to come home on Saturday. During that first wave I was out for about eight days. Then I started feeling better, rode a bit, but the punch in my legs just wasn't coming back.

Then I got sick again. The fever, the chills, the aches and pains. Same as last time. After ten days of this (yesterday) I decided to see a doctor. She right way noticed several tell-tale circular rashes on my legs, back, and stomach that I hadn't. Lyme disease. Awesome.

So it sucks to have been sick all month, but it's a relief to have a diagnosis and a treatment.


In other news, there's this. Nuts. Two seconds of bad decision on that cop's part is going to cause him and the NYC police department a world of hurt.

I wonder, was it a sympathy tackle for Novak's encounter with the vigilante bicycle commuter? (Watch the clip--the Novak one--sucks to be famous, eh?)

Friday, July 25, 2008

crazy conservatives

Novak plows through pedestrian.

My favorite bits:

As he traveled east on K Street, crossing 18th, Bono said "a black Corvette convertible with top closed plows into the guy. The guy is sort of splayed into the windshield.”

Novak's reaction?

“I didn’t know I hit him. ... I feel terrible."

Didn't know you hit someone when he was splayed across your windshield?


"He's not dead, that's the main thing."

Really? That he's not dead, that's the main thing? Wow.

Anyway, I love that a bicycle commuter chases him down and hangs out in front of his car (because he "keeps trying to get away. He keeps trying to go.") until the cops show up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

ho hum

Rest days are boring.


I'm pretty excited about Tuesday and Wednesday, though. My fantasy tour team is in second place overall and second in the polka dot competition...and I'm pretty confident that after Wednesday I'll have a comfortable lead. However, the time trial could be my undoing.

Really, I'm probably more excited for my fantasy results than I am the real thing.

I'm not sure what that means...

Friday, July 18, 2008


Michael just posted something about stacking wood for the winter.

Reading, I was reminded of childhood.

Sometime in the late 70s my dad decided we'd save money with a wood-burning stove. So we got the stove. And we got a lot of wood.

Except we didn't have the wood delivered. That would have been too easy (though it should be said that in the later years my father relented and had the wood delivered...however, I recall this change in protocol being blamed on the forest service not opening enough land for personal use wood-cutting). We had to go up in the mountains and play with chainsaws until we'd loaded up a pickup truck and trailer full. Once home, we split the wood with a rented wood splitter. Then we piled it beside the house. And piled. And piled. The next weekend more of the same. I'm not sure how many trips we had to make each year, but collectively it amounted to a lot of work. (Fortunately, I was young enough to get a pass on the trips spent actually cutting down trees. My work began once the truck pulled into the driveway. I was not too young to procure similar truck and trailer loads of manure, however. But that's another story.)

We also had a stack of wood in the basement by the wood-burning stove. This stack had to be replenished weekly. We used a 50-gallon barrel strapped to a hand truck to haul the wood downstairs.

Crushed fingers. Sap-covered clothes and hands. Dinged-up sheet rock. Dirty carpets. Ten year-olds aren't particularly handy with hand trucks loaded with 100+ lbs of split wood.


For the past several days Val's been dipping beeswax candles. This keeps half the house smelling like burnt beeswax. Which for her is a delight. For me it has prompted a surprisingly confused emotional reaction.

At home, we had a pretty decent sized orchard--or a pretty decent sized orchard for people who lived in the suburbs and didn't farm for a living. Half my parents' acre lot was garden. About a forth of that half acre was a raspberry patch. Another forth was fruit trees. Close to 20 fruit trees in all. We also had a nice long row of grape vines.

All of that fruit needs pollinating, so my dad became a beekeeper. For two long hot days at the end of each summer I'd find myself in the garage (as closed off from the bees as possible) with a centrifuge machine and an electrically heated knife...up to my ankles in honey and honey-like substances. The smell of Val's hot beeswax takes me back to the smell of cutting honeycomb off trays with that hot knife. I can hear (I can feel) the sizzle and crack of bees and bee parts under that knife. And it was like 130 degrees in that garage. And the stifling smell of burnt beeswax...


It was my understanding that a powerful motivator behind my parents engaging in these projects was to teach their children "the value of work." Upon reflection, I'm not sure what that means. The value of my work was exactly $0. At least, that was its value to me. I only knew dreading to wake up in the morning because it meant at least an hour of weeding the garden. Value to me? Frustration, resentment, guilt. From my perspective, I didn't see any money saved...nor did I ascribe any aesthetic pleasure to having to scrape off slivers of a rock-hard honey-like substance from the inside of a wide-mouth quart jar that, try as you might, never spread evenly on your toast (the wheat for which I had the honor of grinding in the basement), making one bite too sweet and the next too bland. I would have much preferred to squeeze my honey from a plastic bear-shaped bottle purchased at the supermarket like everyone else.

But what I'm sure I did learn from all of that is how to avoid work. And thus the emotional confusion at the smell of burned beeswax in my house the past couple of days. I'm aware, shifty-eyed, guilt-ridden... I feel myself expecting at any minute to be enlisted (through stomping of feet and waving of hands and mild verbal abuse) to engage in some sort of hot, tiresome, unpleasant task for which I will garner no benefit.

I think it's time to go for a bike ride.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Yesterday, July 16th at 8:35pm, I sent an email containing the following text:

Predictions for the remainder of the tour:

Look for Frank Shleck to clean house in the mountains next week.... Look for Ricco to test positive...for something...[and] get booted.... And look for Valverde to take out another big stage win, even if he remains a non-factor in the GC.

Not twelve hours later and I'm one for three.

Monday, July 14, 2008

horner the sherpa

I really love this.

The captions from cyclingnews:

Leave no man behind: Chris Horner (Astana) didn’t do enough work out on the road so he carries in a fallen rider.

Chris Horner (Astana) gets some support from the fans as he carries another competitor to the finish line.


What a stud.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

mountains, death, and the adventuring lifestyle

A mildly poignant opinion piece from the Times retreads old waters.

My own feelings could probably best be summed up as such: Safety is boring.

The trip you didn't take because of the accidents you might have had is nothing worthy of a story. And it's not the stuff that makes a life meaningful, for you or your family.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I think I have a bit of a man-crush on the Bike Snob. The dude's a genius.

This is unbelievably funny. "Unbelievable," you sneer? Yes, it is. Because prior to reading it I would never have believed I would laugh so hard. So funny.