Thursday, August 30, 2007
Today I had jury duty. Get downtown by 8:30 and sit in a room until 12:00. Go get lunch, return at 1:30 and sit there until 4:30 and then go home. My panel didn't get picked to go up to a court room. Probably would not have been picked to sit on a jury since I am a lawyer, but I know some coworkers have served on a jury and found it interesting. Maybe, maybe not.
In any event, jury duty is a necessary part of living in a democracy. It is guaranteed by the Constitution in both criminal and civil cases. While it seems like a pain in the ass to sit in that room for a whole day, I think that is preferable to having a crotchety old judge decide your case. The whole reason the founding fathers gave us the right to a jury was because they didn't want a privileged few judging the unprivileged rest of us.
Tomorrow I'm going out to Palos to check out the race course. Reports are that the trails are dry and in great condition. I hope to the the loop 4 times and get some experience on the sections I don't know that well.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Venue: Alpine Valley. Pavillion seats are good lawn not so much I've seen many, many shows here- the Dead, Phish, The Who, RHCP, Pearl Jam Soundgarden etc. etc. The lawn is lame, you usually cannot see the stage unless you are close. Last night we were far away.
We left Chicago at 5:30, got to the exit for the venue at 7:20, parked in the venue at 9:30. That is not a typo, it took us over 2 hours to go 3 miles. Alpine is known for their shitty traffic control, but this was the suckiest suck that ever did suck. I asked one of the parking staff why they weren't more together because the show had been sold out for weeks and her response was that they didn't expect everyone to arrive at the same time. When I reminded her that it was a 7:00 start on a Friday night, she said "Oh yeah, maybe we should have had more people working"... Duh!
The crowd: Mostly white males in that all so important 18-34 age range drinking too much alcohol. When Zach went off on Bush and co. basically saying hat the whole administration should tried for war crimes and that the "people" are really what the powers that be fear, many in this crowd did not know how to respond to RATM's cry to "Wake Up!"
The show: Here's a (I think) complete setlist:
Bulls on Parade
People of the Sun
Bullet in the Head
Take the Power Back
Calm Like a Bomb
Sleep Now in the Fire
Encore: Freedom/Township Rebellion
Killing in the Name.
Pretty standard Rage setlist. Very similar to the last show I saw of theirs 7 years ago just before they split up. The whole band was tight. Morello was on fire. Felt like they just picked up where they left off. There was a lot of energy coming from that stage. I really wish this show had been indoors- even in a shed (i.e. big venue) we would have felt the power. Outdoors at a venue like Alpine, the energy just seemed to float up to the sky.
Total playing time with encore was 1:10. Short. But I'm used to jam band sets and am probably a little spoiled in that regard. I can only hope that this reunion spurs them to record some new stuff. The world could use a voice like Rage right now.
Got home at 1:30 a.m. Elora got up at 6:15. No ride for me today as it was wet when I woke up and I had to bea at work by noon.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Given that it has rained here, over 10" in some areas, no trail riding for me. Probably no riding at ll given what is on the radar right now.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
The label "epic" is often applied to a group ride. Sometimes a ride is epic because of the speed or a muskrat. Sometimes because of the seemingly gallons of rain that get dumped upon us by mother nature.
Last night's ride was fast, I had our average at 24.2 mph. My average HR was 168 and my high 182. I knew we were in for it when Josh showed up on his TT bike. He is about the only person I would trust to ride behind while he was in aero position. And he was fast, coming to the front and pulling at 28 - 30, then pulling off to the left. The riders behind him would attack, keep the speed up. Then, Josh would move back to the front and pull, again steady 28-30.
While last night's ride was lickety split, that was not made it epic for me. For me it was the "feel" of the ride. It's hard to explain. I knew that I could trust 25 of the 30 or so wheels out there. At all times I felt safe. Most everyone chased down the gaps and helped catch the attacks, thereby keeping the pace high.
The post ride beer toast was "To the best ride ever." And it may very well have been.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I registered for this: http://cambr.org/Meltdown_2007/Palos_Meltdown_Poster.pdf
This will be my first MTB race ever. Been mountain bike riding since 1989, but never raced. We'll see what happens.
Issue #1: It glorifies machines of war. Some of the planes are not warplanes, but 90% of them are. They are built for one purpose - war. Not to fly by for the oohs and ahs of the crowd. If they really want to show these things off I suggest that instead of just flying by, have them blow shit up. Then people would realize the real purpose of these planes.
Issue #2: The show is on Saturday and Sunday, but they practice most of the day on Thursday and Friday. Drives my dog crazy. He ends up cowering in the bath tub.
Issue #3: Scares my 2 year old daughter.
Issue #4: Leaves the lakefront in tatters. It seems like events like this bring out the worst people. Can't they find their way to the ga-billion trash cans the City puts out and put their garbage where it belongs instead of piled up all over the place.
Monday, August 20, 2007
The first day back to work after a vacation is the hardest. Everyone else seems to be moving so much faster than me as they go to work. I feel so slow.
As we travelled back east from CO, the speed limits got slower, the roads got worse and more crowded.
Friday, August 17, 2007
We are not comfortable managing and running a team right now.
-Lance Armstrong on Tailwind's decision to disband Discovery.
In a word: lame.
LA is set up for life because of cycling. Some of their reasons were legit: doping, ASO v. UCI etc., but none of those are new. If T-Mobile can be "comfortable" to stay in with the revelations regarding their Tour teams, anyone can.
LA had the opportunity to come to the front of the peloton and lead, instead he took his pile of cash and folded. How sad.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
... since I wrote my note
I should have know this rate from the start
only hope can keep me together
love can mend your life
but love can break your heart
Message in a Bottle, The Police.
Go Faster Jim! is 1 year old today.
Last year, Time magazine picked "you" as its "Person of the Year." More specifically really, it was people who use the internet- to blog, to buy things, to put up video on You Tube etc. A person shoots some video puts it on YouTube and it becomes a national story- see for example Kramer's racial outburst.
Cathcing an event on film is not a recent phenomenon, though, look at Rodney King. If someone had not filmed that event, would it have gotten the attention that it did? I have heard people from LA say that the police have been beating non-whites there for years, but that it finally got caught on tape.
What is different now though, is the immediacy and the accessibility of the event or information. We truly live in an immediate world where as soon as an event occurs it can be spread across the internet. On top of that, people can then discuss it: blogs, forums etc.
This is certainly true for the sport of cycling where, even though we only get live coverage for a few selective races, we can get our fix through the internet at a variety of websites and blogs.
This blog is my medium for discussing not just my passion (bikes and cycling) but also anything else that comes to mind, but mostly cycling.
Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The Winter Park trip was great. 100 miles over 5 days. Pictures don't do the trails justice just as words can't adequately describe the feeling of flying through Colorado singletrack. I love that mountain town.
Elora travelled well. 1200 miles in 2 days each way. We didn't even have to pull out the emergency stash of matchbox cars and puzzles marked "Use only in case of emergency."
The new Subaru with Thule rack also travelled well. Much much, much better gas mileage than the Xterra. I am so happy to have sold that car.
At one point on the drive to CO in flat as can be Nebraska, she saw some rolls of hay in the fields. She asked what they were:
E: What are those?
Me: Yeah, big rolls of hay.
E: What are they for?
Me: Cows eat them.
E: Cows eat them.
Me: Yeah and horses.
E: Cows and horses eat hay?
Me: Yeah, cows and horses eat hay.
Almost at the same time we passed some cows.
Me: Elora see the cows.
Me: Hey cows.
E: Hey cows. (She laughs)
E: Hey cows, want some hay.
E: Hey cows want some hay.
For the rest of the trip, whenever we saw some cows, she would say "Hey cows, wnt some hay."
Riding the road bike yesterday after almost 2 weeks off of it was a little weird, but not so much. The weirdest thing was how damn light it was compared to the MTB. My road bike comes in at just over 17 pds. with the Carbonnes. My MTB is just over 23 pds. That's a big 6 pds.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Walk along the river, sweet lullaby, it just keeps on flowing,
It don't worry 'bout where it's going, no, no.
Don't fly, mister blue bird, I'm just walking down the road,
Early morning sunshine tell me all I need to know
You're my blue sky, you're my sunny day.
Lord, you know it makes me high when you turn your love my way,
Turn your love my way, yeah.
Blue Sky, Allman Brothers
The Tipperary trailhead.
Spruce Creek to my right.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Stayed on trails that I was pretty sure would be dry: D4, D2, Chainsaw and Zoom. Zoom had some muddy spots, but overall tasty. It is aptly named as it is 1.5 miles long and basically goes straight down from a forest service road to Chainsaw. No switchbacks, only some slight bends. Going down it from the service road takes about 7 - 8 minutes. Going up takes about 25. So I rode it up and turned around and rode it down.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Started out the same as yesterday, but climbed up the forest service road instead of D4, then down D2 and Elk Meadow. Next, we rode up Chainsaw.
This also was an old logging road that has now changed into double track and single track. It starts with a nice size climb and then rolls up and down intersecting with 2 other trails: Zoom and Flume. We headed up Flume but it was pretty wet, so we didn't blaze through it.
25 miles and 3 hours. Only saw 3 other riders today, one of whom was a kid in a US Postal jersey with his dog. Can you imagine growing up in a place like this? "Hey Mom I'm going out to play" takes on a whole new meaning.
Plans for tomorrow may change as it rained most of the afternoon. I'll wait until the a.m. to make my plan.
As with anything local knowledge is key. If you strike up the right conversation with the right person at the right time, you might get lucky and get turned on to some trails that are not on any map... local knowledge... keep it on the DL. I got a cup of coffee this afternoon while Tammi and Elora napped and had just such a conversation at one of the local bike shops and got lucky. Tomorrow I am going to check out some of these trails. Apparently Aiko is one such trail, so forget I wrote about it yesterday.
They also told me that the area surrounding Chainsaw, Zoom and Flume are going to be logged this winter, basically clearing out dead trees. The authorities intend to keep the trails intact, but the character of those rides will be drastically changed. I am lucky to have ridden them dozens of times as this is my 10th or so year riding here.
Monday, August 6, 2007
D4 is, as many of the trails here were, an old logging road that has gradually turned into rough double track. It winds up twisting and curving between 2 forest service roads.
From D4 we jumped on D2. Same type of trail, but D2 goes down.
Back on the forest service road and ended up on a new piece of single track called Aiko. Basically all up. We turned around as we're running late- had to pick Elora up from daycare by 1:00. Aiko was alot more fun on the way down.
Took us less time to get back to town than I thought, so we had time to enjoy a cup of Winter Park Roastery's finest.
Us enjoying the java.And the bikes enjoying the java.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
So the Tour survives- I read that Vs. reported an increase in viewers over 2006 and even higher than in 2005 when LA won his 7th.
On the way out to Winter Park I heard a radio piece about the Tour on NPR. The mainstream reporter was referring to the race as the Tour De Scandal, but the cycling reporter disagreed saying that in order to get "clean sport" there will be alot of bumps in the road.
I like that attitude. If we want cycling to be clean, then we will have to have riders caught and kicked out of races, even when we have been pulling for them.
Start riding tomorrow. I have the first 2 days planned out. Light rain this afternoon, nothing heavy.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Rode Palos today- mountain bikes are dialed in.
Leave Chicago at 4:30 a.m. on Friday.
Arrive in Winter park, CO on Saturday.
Acclimate on Sunday.
Then 5 days of dirt. No road bike. Only the mountain bike.
If I have internet access, I'll post, otherwise see you in a couple of weeks.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
From his bike shop's webpage:
To receive the t-shirt that support the real winner of the TOUR DE FRANCE 2007 please send € 20 (delivery chargers included) with your data and the size too.