Tuesday, October 28, 2008
*South Park, episode 119, Douche and Turd
Monday, October 27, 2008
After a bean&cheese burrito and a long drive back with Gunnar and Betsy's dog Jackie on my lap for a good portion of the way, I wound up having to go into work when I got home at around midnight and fix a net connection. Comcast definitely sucks in this department. Someone should put some code in the modem that as soon as net traffic goes down to reboot itself. These pieces of shit go down at the worst time(like today, when I'm 5 hours away from the damn thing). I guess this is why I get paid the big bucks. To go in at midnight and do stupid shit like this. Oh, well. It's a living. I just wish I could clone myself and then pay the clone minimum wage. I might get some training time in then.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Wissahickon was a bit different for me. This was a Murhpy's law day that was intent of giving me the full lesson. Starting at the back(again), A knot of riders got taken out almost immediately when one rider got a very bad start and crossed over several of our wheels. From there, I locked bars and it took a second to come undone. Charging back to the back of the group and burning a match even before I'd started racing, I ran into the cluster f*** at the first hairpin 180. Maybe I should've just gotten off the bike and thrown it over the tape and cut through the pack. I might've grabbed some spots there. It was at that point, the next thing went wrong. I wore my road kit since I hadn't gotten my new skinsuit. Pactimo is a company that really needs to get their shit together and quit being so freakin cheap on zippers. Now, granted, I'm a bit of a fat bastard being 20lbs over my race weight currently, but I never had a zipper blow out on any Voler, Verge or Descente skinsuits I've had over the past 10 years. I've gone through 5 Pactimo zippers in the past 2 years. So there I am, trying to ride and yanking the zipper back down so it doesn't look totally ridiculous. I got into a group at the back and was riding fairly well when the demon gods came again. This time, my front tire felt a bit off. Later when I looked at it, it was still ok but with everything that was going wrong to that point, it just seemed like one more thing hitting me. After nursing the bike around the looping turn above the sand tracks, I slapped the bike down and was hopping back on while the bike was still bouncing. My ass hit at the same time the bike hit the ground and I popped a sewup loose. Dammit, was I going to have to run again? NO! I stopped and forced the tire back on and nursed it to the pit. With a minute gap to the back markers, I at least could make a game of it. Powering the bike through the sand and keeping my pace on the back stretches, I closed steadily til we got to the runup with the barriers. The workouts I've been doing in this department are definitely showing for me now. I was able to come at the boards at a good speed and was off the bike and the momentum carried me up the hill. On the bike quickly and a couple hard pedal strokes and I felt smooth. I closed 5 to 10 seconds every lap on the rabbits I was chasing through this section. After a couple laps, I caught the first guy and sat on his wheel for a spell and then blasted past going into the spiral of death. I gapped him and was closing on the next guy who was a teammate of the rider I'd just passed. We regrouped for a few brief seconds and the next time up the runup, I'd dropped the first and put a small gap on the second rider. He closed it and I stayed with him through the next half lap. Going into the spiral again, I stayed close on his wheel til the final cut to the reverse part. I sliced in and got a jump coming out. I managed a good pace though I got caught again, but we were heading into my best part of the course, the runup. I got a few seconds as it was the last lap, but I didn't press it home hard enough and it turned out to be a sprint between us. We made it look pretty good as Ken Getchell announced us as 5th and 6th. We were a lap down but hey, you have to make it look good. I should've popped it into the big ring and wound up running out of gear so I got pipped at the line. I did manage to close a big gap on some riders though and again, I rode a clean race though my insistence on staying on the bike definitely cost me some time when I could've just run the little hill at the start of the lap, but I'm not at the point where I've been wanting to just quit the races as I had to do last year. At some point, luck might smile on me and I'll get that good start and keep the air in the tires. I've traditionally been a slow starter in cross and it's usually in early November when things pick up for me. We'll be doing Fairhill in the first week which has been one of my better courses. Over the years, I've placed high in the B class and one year I even road the Elite race and gave a nice schooling to a roadie who had way more power than I did but he couldn't figure out why I kept passing him when riding through the muddy tracks in the fields. I'm hoping that the upward trend starts soon. Next week is DCCX. I had a decent race there last year so I'm looking to show improvement in my placings.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Well, the big game is on tonite. It's the last debate(Thank God!) The politicians talk about term limits. I think they should have some limits on campaigns. It used to be that candidates tossed their hats in the ring the fall before the primaries. This campaign has been going 2+ years. Where do these people find time to actually do their freakin jobs? If I took that much time off mine, I'd have no clients. Hmmm, maybe I should get into that racket. I recycled this pic(from despair.com) from an earlier post, but it's a good one for tonite. Instead of debate, maybe it should be called a "Bullshitting" contest.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
For Sunday’s race, I knew my form wasn’t as good as last year as well as being 6 or 7 lbs heavier so I’d lowered the gun barrels a bit. As feared, my overall climbing was off and there were some really freakin long climbs. I slipped a couple groups and then got in with a few riders who all were in the same position as myself. We were just riding and having a good ol’ time. I was beginning to seriously cramp at miles 35-45 but had gotten some Hammer Electrolyte caplets at the 3rd check point. After they started to kick in I was feeling much better. I wish I’d taken them before the start as that might’ve saved me a good 10+ minutes. The single track sections were a total blast though. Last year, I’d gotten off the bike a few times since I wasn’t as confident on my abilities. This year, I had to get off the bike only for a few yards since I’d run into a knot of riders who didn’t understand what ‘GET OUT OF MY WAY, HOT SOUP COMING THRU’ meant. They just didn't scatter quite fast enough. After remounting, I continued to blast my way past riders who’d left me standing on the hill and put about a minute on them before we got back out onto the road. Later in the race, the same thing happened on the last two sections of rocky single track on I was going faster now. I’d gotten my second wind and was able to pass several riders and on the climb leading into the final walk up(no run ups here since they were usually several hundred yards at a minimum). I short stepped it and closed on them to the step in the middle of the walk up. The riders I was chasing must’ve been cooked since they walked the 100 yard step that was only just more than level trail. I road halfway up the final climb passing a one rider and coming up on the wheel of the second rider. Hopping off, I paced it up the hill just behind. At the top, there was a slight rise we had to remount. Once we were pedaling, the other rider left with me looked over and said ‘man, I am hurting bad’. That was all I needed to hear. I jumped on it(hey, we were racing for 125th or something like that) and pushed up over the little climb. Doing this race the year before, I knew if I could keep my speed over the top, it was followed by some fast rollers and then a big descent back out on real roadway. Hitting pavement, I dumped it into the 50x13 and really launched it. Knowing the guy chasing me was a roadie sprinter, I didn’t want to give him a chance to even come back to me. On a small climb, I could see him 30 to 40 seconds back. The final big descent, I did more of the same. I was using the whole road and hit the next to last turn at a really good clip. With two small pops leading into the finish, I kept my pace going without killing myself. The only real effort I was able to put in for the previous 10 miles was based on leg speed. I could see on the first pop which was the steeper of the two, the gap shrunk to 20 seconds. The good news was, that was his last gasp. Getting to the top of the final rise, I could see the gap yawned back to more than 30 seconds and by the finish, the gap was at least a minute. I wound up being about 3 or 4 minutes slower than last year, but all things considered, it wasn’t a bad ride.
One good thing about the weekend was I had a successful race day coaching debut. I rode Saturdays course with Terri Spanogle, an elite womens rider who is making some progress this year. She’s normally coached by Chris Mayhew who was in Cincy this past weekend. I showed her which lines to take and where and when to put the efforts in that matched her riding style. Up until the 3rd lap, she was all over Betsy Shogren and had even gotten excited enough to try and attack her. That move was a bit more than I wanted her to do, but she was feeling stoked. Unfortunately, on a remount, she knocked her saddle loose and lost about 15 seconds in the next lap. That was pretty much where it stopped. She figured how to compensate for it and was able to put the effort in to stay close. Terri didn't gain any time but she was able to prevent Betsy from coming in for her single speed, which I know she wanted to do. A second bike and no mishaps like the saddle and she might have been able to make a go for the win. It was only after her mishap that she started to forget the clean lines for a bit but all in all, she road a really good race. It’ll be interesting to see how she does at Granouge next weekend. A bit of confidence can go quite a long way.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
My week of training didn't finish quite as well as I would've liked. Work once again got in its way. I am having to put out a fire at a new client. Once again, I am cleaning up the mess of another company who apparently is in business because they know how to build a pc. The problem for people like this is the age old 'What happens when something goes wrong' concept. That is when these companies fold up tent and disappear into the night leaving people like myself to clean things up and talk people off the ledges when all their data for the past 6 years is now gone. It's good to know that people outside of my direct area of operation are hearing about me and that they're willing to pay me to come to them in situations like this. Maybe I can start cracking up my rates more. I'm actually a bit surprised some computer consultants don't wind up in ditches more often when this sort of shit happens. I don't know if I'll be able to magically fix everything for this customer, but I know at worst case, they'll have lost a couple weeks data. In the meantime, I'll have to make sure I leave the bike in the car if I want to get any riding in early next week. I'll be tired, but it'll be a well paid kind of tired.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I, like millions of other Americans (at least I hope it's that number) have been following the nasty financial bailout tif that is going on in this country right now. All of the politicians as well as financiers and media people are talking about how we have to do it, without mentioning one thing in the whole mess - Responsibility! At what point are people in this country accountable for their actions. It is pretty damn clear that there has been a lot of shenanigans going on over the past couple decades and people who tried blowing the whistle were shut up. If the average person tried this sort of thing, we'd be hauled before a court, tried in a reputation and career shattering fashion and locked up before we knew what hit us. At what point is there going to have to be a few leaders heads on pikes before a sense of proper conduct is brought back to the whole mess called Washington. I keep hearing people on the news say, 'Now is not the time to be pointing the finger. We have to come up with a plan and rescue the situation.' I agree with this to a certain extent. One we come up with a plan and enact it, then it MUST be time to be looking at what was done and then get the pikes out. Anyone who has been using the situation for political posturing should also get a whack on the head at the very least, though I'm being much too kind. Everyone on the House Finance committee should step down and charges should be looked into. If they are that incompetent then they're removal is justified. If they are competent, but chose to overlook the situation because they knew it could create a political gain situation, then off to jail with them. It's time people start taking these people to task and start demanding accountability and following through on it.