Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whether it's spent with family or friends, always take the time to give thanks for everything good in our lives.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So that's what a Double Cross day feels like....

I did a local cross race today at Bruceton Mills. It's a tough little course but a fun one. I got the brainy idea of doing the Lancaster Dutch Wonderland race yesterday and then do a double today. Lancaster was a dud. My teammate Jeff and I got there with about enough time to get a warm-up or registering and running over to the pits with the spare bike. It took me a few laps to get going since the temperature was in the low 20s. I finally was able to be taking some big digs by the last lap, but it was too little too late. It was a fun course and I did get a good workout, but damn, when it's this cold, I really need at least 45 minutes of good warm-up time. I goofed around again Sunday morning and got to the race with about 15 minutes to spare. I spent the first 2 laps warming up, then raced with another rider up at the front in the B group race. I did a dumb move and nearly slid the bike out on a turn and wound up with a gap. I closed it, but really didn't want to have to do an effort like that and when I got jumped the next time up the hill, I was a bit cold to respond. From there, I put it into cruise control after trying to catch up for a lap and then settled for second. Already the second race was in my mind. When I got there, I might have had the mind on the race, but after a lap, the body wasn't. I was already thinking, I did what? This was going to suck. I battled back to 8th and 9th place after dumping the bike on a turn early on but at the 35 minute point, I finally cracked. I'd made a move that pushed me into 9th and I came right up onto the 8th place rider, then the hill to the finish line hit and POW. It was not the loud firey type explosion, but it did throw me back. I was able to keep my concentration together to realize I still had about 25 seconds on 11th and I wasn't going to lose another spot. I came up to the line a couple laps later and at 54 minutes I asked hopefully, 'Last lap?' Nope, two to go. JR, the race official was joking with the promoter that when I was done, I probably wasn't going to know who I was. He wasn't far off. I did recover enough to put a big enough effort to get into 9th place and then held on to stay 5 seconds ahead of the rider who was chasing for the whole race. My time was right about 1:10:00 for this race. Combined with the 53:00 minute time of the other and I'd spent over 2 hours on the course. I did come home with over $100 bucks worth of schwag as prizes and a trophy, but it felt like the longest 75 minute drive I ever took to get home. I don't think I even felt this bad after Iron Cross and that was a 5 hour effort with a 3 hour drive home. Hopefully there'll be a payoff in my late season form. Right now, I'm just going to eat something small and go to bed. I'll save the whining for tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dumb consumers

I was driving into work today(yes, I'm stamping down a massive carbon footprint and proud of it) and I heard one of the goofiest commercials on the radio. It was for a gas card. If you buy a drink at a GetGo in my area, you get 1 cent off per gallon of gas. The commercial had the moron who, was of course, a guy, asking the girl who was telling about him about the promotion, 'so you drink 3 cups of coffee a day, that's 3 cents off, right.' 'Yes and that builds up everytime. I got 15 cents per gallon off last week.' He goes on and says 'So what do I get if I get 2 cups of coffee, 2 Pepsis and a fountain drink?' Of course the answer is 5 cents off per gallon. My reply to that though would be 'Hmmmm, hypertension and diabetes?' I guess I woke up in a grumpy mood today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Well, I'm adding my two cents worth into the multi-trillion dollar bailout that's going on in the country. Currently the Big Three automakers and the UAW are on the hot seat for asking for a bailout. I would say, let them go into chapter 11 and get out from under their union contracts that pay workers who don't work anymore. It would also start having realistic rules for the employees and pay them a normal salary. On top of that, the management shouldn't be able to pull massive salaries and bonuses. WTF, bonuses? Man, if they get millions of dollars for plowing a corporation into the ground, I can do that for far less. Let me make just $1 mil for a year and I could slam the companies into the ground just as well as the current management of any of the car companies. I wouldn't even take a bonus and I'd drive myself to work! Some government officials have mentioned that the government would get a piece of the companies then. That's pretty much what is happening in the banking and insurance industry. Next up, energy companies! Get ready to assume the position. This 'bailout' is amounting to nothing short of the nationalization of the major corporations in this country. It is accelerating out of control currently. President-elect Obama could earn a ton of respect from this conservative by stepping up and saying 'No, we're not going to do this anymore. We're going to let the companies re-organize and become competitive properly, not by taking money out of public coffers.' At this point, even though he says 'there is only 1 president at a time', he should use some of his influence as the President-Elect to stop the massive pillaging of this country. There I go again, expecting someone in government to do the right thing. Velkum to ze Federal Socialist States of Amerika.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

GP Day 2

Today went alot better than the first day. I blew myself apart after the 3rd lap today. I was actually racing with the group for a while today. I tailed off with some riders and stayed with them and even came back to a group. I began to pop about 2/3rds of the way through the 3rd lap but saw Feldman again coming up. I was able to summon up enough effort not to get caught and earned my right to suffer the fourth lap. by the mid point of the lap I'd gotten a couple beer hand-offs and received a 20 second penalty for dropping it when handing one back. I'd also started to get called 'Diamond Dave'(David Lee Roth for everyone on the young side reading this) because of my hair. I've just been too lazy to get it cut. It does get hard to keep the mind of the matter when it doesn't matter how slow you do the last lap. I'd done a few things differently than the first day. One was, I ran a bit more. I was really hoping that we'd be racing in the rain or that it would be wet enough that the course was a good soupy mud. That sort of stuff I can ride in, but peanut butter is another story. Through the long stretches for as long as I could keep the bike on the shoulder, I was running against the tape on the left side of the course and stretching it out so I was on somewhat solid ground. At each of the stakes, I would push it over as if I were hitting the flags on a ski slalom run. I was able to make up alot of ground on people who were slogging it up the right hand side with their bikes on the ground. Thanks a bunch to the C3 pit crew, especially Beth Mason on Saturday. Wade Hess was a big help on the Sunday and I was able to trade off bikes every half lap. I'll make sure to have some beers for everyone at the next race. I guess this will be a prelude as to what Portland will be like. I've never been on the west coast for a cross race where it hasn't been a rainy mess. To my friends out there, I'm known as a rain maker. They could be having great weather to the point of my arrival, but within a day or two, it winds up going all to hell. With my legs finally beginning to start going, I might be able to have a decent race out there. I've got 2 weekends of local races where I'll be able to work on the race form without the wear and tear of being in the car for a dozen or more hours over the weekend, so it might actually be relaxing. I'm sure it will be a tiring kind of relaxing though. Only about a month to go for the big one though.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trenton - the mud hole

The first of the USGP races in Trenton proved interesting. I can definitely ride in the slick mud better than a lot of riders. I started in the next to last row and by the end of the lap, I'd worked my way up to the front half of the race. I was able to anticipate the bumblef**k moves riders were making and was able to adjust so that I didn't get caught up in them. Past that, I was able to find some of the lines that let me get around easier than what most people were dealing with. I held there for another half lap but wore myself fighting the heavy mud in the long field stretches. Into the third lap, I blew completely. The course wound up drying out and it was just a bit too much for me. I'm really hoping tomorrow sees rain coming through the area. If it's wet mud, I can definitely hold my position better and not blow up. It just took way too much effort today and once again, my lack of fitness took it's toll. Each race though, I've been able to hang in with the group a bit further. Tomorrow could be interesting as it's raining right now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I must be getting old

I was getting ready for work today and I finally noticed my arm was bruised from my elbow to halfway up the arm towards the hand. The scrapes I got from the wreck healed pretty fast but the bruises have taken a bit more. At least it isn't one of those nasty green bruises I'd gotten from some of my other wrecks.

Monday, November 10, 2008


It was a good kind of ouch though. I had some mixed fortune this weekend. At Beacon, I had a decent start, but just could not get the engine firing properly. The steps were alot easier as I found a technique that really worked well for my back. Going into the short step, I'd pick the bike up and as I would be making the long terrace step, I was putting the bike down til the next short step up. This gave the back a break and I was able to get up through the amphitheater much easier than in previous years. Unfortunately, I just couldn't make the body work hard. I don't think I'm warming up with enough effort so that could be the issue. That theory seemed to show some as I did get more warmup the following day at Highland Park. I rode about 15 minutes more but I think I need to do a more consistent effort, so I'm going to have to bring the trainer next week. I was able to hold in with the group for about a lap longer than I had in previous races and then I had my crisis lap. It didn't go on as long as it did previously which is a good sign and then all of a sudden, I felt the body begin to fire as I'd been wanting it to. The technical zigzag up the hill was quite easy for me this year and it was one of the places I was catching people. Keeping it in a small gear and keep the legs moving was the trick. Then I was able to pop it up a few gears for the road climb afterwards and kept it going over the top. The downhills were a blast for me. In the first two laps, I was using the sharp left with the slick up and back by the parking lot as a passing point. Most people tip toed through the corner and I had found a line that let me go through with no brakes. The soft mud beforehand took care of trimming the speed so I was able to float through it. The guys who'd left me behind the day before were fighting hard to stay with me and when the legs returned on the 3rd lap, I was creating a bigger gap and pulling some riders back who'd dumped me earlier. Then I hit my first 'Poor Dumb Bastard' moment of the year. I was slinging the bike through the lower off-camber turns and I'd found a fast line on the second one. I was dropping into the turn early and it allowed me to take the high side of the bank. The 4th time through I hit it right but came over a rut and the back wheel bounced. Instead of staying on the gas, I tried compensating for the shift in the bike and when it came down, the rear wheel went right out from under me as I'd hit the greasy mud that was just a bit below my line. I was moving pretty fast and just hit the ground hard, knocking the wind out of me. It took me about 15 or 20 seconds to get myself up and then a few more just to make sure the bike was ok and then I tried to get back on. My hand and arm took the brunt of the impact and weren't responding very well so I took it easy for a bit. Up the climb, one of my pursuers caught me and 2 more were closing. I stayed with him and when we crossed the line with 2 to go and seeing Yozell and Apsholm, I had to increase the pace. Going up the hill, I road away in a desperate attempt not to get lapped. Later after the race the guys who were chasing me were doing a WTF when I did that. I'd sat on the one wheel for half a lap til I could breath again then took off. He hadn't realized what had happened to me and just thought I'd blown up and he caught up. Unfortunately, the cavemen at the front came past, so I played the game of 'let's see how long I can stay with them. They gapped me after I let them pass, but I bombed down the first hill and closed to them and only lost a bit on the 2nd climb. I came through the zigzag as fast as they did but couln't match their speed up the hill. Well, that let me know where I stood - a technical match, but way down on the power scale. The good thing I came away knowing is that the body is finally beginning to be able to make the real intense efforts and I know what I'm having to do a bit more of before the race. I also road alot more after Sunday's race and even after the 5+ hour drive home, I'm feeling ok this morning. The arm and side are still hurting but I'm looking forward to the GP this weekend. I might have something for Nationals and be able to do my third row starting position justice this year.

Friday, November 7, 2008


It's the Beacon/Highland Park(that's no longer at Highland Park) cross weekend! Beacon has always been a bitch for me going up through the amphitheater. The back hasn't given me as much grief this year so maybe it'll go better. I've got to try to hold the efforts a bit longer though and hang in longer with the groups I've wound up in for the last few races. I'm getting tired of getting dropped and have to re-learn how to make myself suffer that bit extra. The thing I'm dreading is the drive. I'll be leaving from work already part way over so that'll help things but it's still a bit of a long drive. 3.5 hours this evening and then another hour in the morning. At least the car is fairly comfortable to drive in.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's over!

It's finally over! Obama has won coming off a successful campaign run. Whether we agree or disagree with what he's said in his campaign leading up to his win, he's the new President. Now it's time for us to see what he's really made of. One can only hope that things go well.


c'mon, you know it's going to happen.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

GAME ON!!!!!!

The big game is finally here! There's been a number of reports coming from Ohio where people have been getting nabbed attempting to vote illegally. It's good to see that they are stopping the casual cheats, but to get the people who get bussed around from county to county to vote, they need to work a bit more on. This is instances where there are houses where voters are registering as many as 20 people at one location and doing this in several districts. From there, it's just a long bus ride from one voting booth to the next for these people. I've actually looked into the process and it would not be hard for me to get registered in 6 counties and vote in them all. I know that I could get away with it. I'm just not a cheating piece of shit. Past all that whining, it will be an interesting one today. I like how when I mention cap and trade and what that will do to the concept of electric cars to several of my liberal friends, I get the 'LALALALALALALA, I CAN'T HEAR YOU' from them. I really don't get that. They want to clean up the environment, but the only way I see them doing it is to just legislate us to use less energy. I'm really against government legislated energy prices, nationalized healthcare, i want the gov out of the banking industry as well. In short, 'GET OUT OF MY WAY!' The bonus prize comes from the first person who can email me where that quote came from in the context of this posting. Anyhoo, I'm off for the polls. Then for the long wait. Then it's 2 weeks off til the beginning of the next presidential campaign. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, my brain is melting.