Friday, August 29, 2008


I watched Barrack Obama's speech last night. I thought it was very good, not great, but very good. He's not really speaking to me as I already voted for him and will vote for him.

Two things that struck me though were, first, there were 80,000 people there listening to him. When was the last time a candidate got that many people at an event?

Second, was the echoes I could here outside my house. At one point I turned the sound off and could still hear the speech through our open windows as it echoed down the block from other people's televisions. Crazy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Race fliers up

The race fliers are up at the Chicago Cross Cup site for the cross clinic on September 13 and Jackson Park. I was thinking about doing the clinic, but don't really have the $45. We'll see.

Poster Nutbag or let's get a dog

In telling Elora that one of the cats died, I was reminded of the Phish song "Harpua." Harpua was generally a once-a-tour-if-you-were-lucky occurrence, usually saved for a special occasion. I saw about 50 Phish shows and I don't think I ever heard it.

It tells the story of a "fat sweaty bulldog" named Harpua raised by a mean man who lives out in the swamp near this small town.

Me and Harpua
Spastic dead-eyed hound
Oozing dreadlock skullcap
We're coming to your town
We'll help you party down

Also in this town lived a boy named Jimmy who had a very nice cat that he called "Poster Nutbag." One day, Harpua is walking through the forest looking for trouble and finds P. Nutbag enjoying his day. A storm rolls in as Harpua attacks Poster. And the song ends with Jimmy's dad informing Jimmy about Poster's fate:

Yes, Dad
Jimmy, I have some bad news...
What might that be...Dad?
It's about your cat, Poster...
You wouldn't be talking about Poster Nutbag, now would you?

Your cat died!
Poster is dead
Poster is dead
Poster's so dead
How about a goldfish?

I don't want a goldfish
How about a goldfish?
I don't...want a goldfish
How about a goldfish?
I don't want...a goldfish
I want...
A dog

Or in our case, let's get another dog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Summer gone

Labor Day is next week! I have no idea where this summer went. Lots of miles, lots of efforts, lots of time spent on the bike.

Cross practices are going well, getting faster over the barriers, but have alot of work to do. While my remounts need some work too, I have decided to focus on the dismount and speed through the barriers and then work on the remount. Too many things to think about at the same time.

Got a recovery week this week as Brian thought my training load last week was the hardest I have done all season. I definitely needed it. It's interesting that I am given a rest week at the exact time that I am feeling like I need one. I decided when I made the decision to train with a coach that I wasn't going to ask for rest weeks, but rather see how things would go. So far, every time I have started to feel like I needed one, I got one. Anywhoo, this week is all easy rides, cross practice and back on Judson for Saturday. This will most likely be the last weekend on Judson. Time to focus on shorter more intense efforts leading into the race season.

We had to put one of our cats to sleep on Friday. On Wednesday we discovered that he wasn't eating nor using the litter box, both of which are very rare given his walrus like appearance. We called the vet who said he could just be backed up or it could be a hairball issue so Tammi brought him in. Turns out he had a large tumor in his abdomen that was blocking everything and causing him alot of discomfort. Surgery was an option, but he was 14, so not really. So, Tammi made the decision and stayed with him.
Then we had to tell Elora. Telling a 3 year old that one of the cats is dead was well, as upsetting for us as it was for her. I just told her and let her work it through and answered her questions. She cried, which made us cry and then she said "we could get another cat and then we would still have 2 cats, how about that?"
This is one of the biggest and tallest sunflowers I have ever seen. Over 8 feet tall!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


It's pretty rare that I have the opportunity to ride all of my bikes in any given week. Last week, though, presented just such an opportunity.

Tuesday and Thursday LTs kicked my ass! Saturday Judson. 135 road miles.

Wednesday, cross practice. First ride on the new bike, first barriers of the year etc.

Sunday, MTB time, a little over 2 hours at Palos. We ran into Dan and friend.

Here's some pictures of Tammi's Bontrager with the SRAM kit. She really likes it. She got the bike in the summer of 1998, I think. It originally had an XT kit on it. Still a bit heavy by today's standards, but she likes the ride of that steel bike.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ink- Natasha Kai- winning goal against Canada

I watched the end of the U.S. woman's quarterfinal match against Canada this morning. Natasha Kai scored the winning goal in the 102nd minute, a well placed header off a cross from Shannon Boxx.

U.S. soccer's website says she has 19 tattoos!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tattoos of the Peloton #26 - Svein Tuft

Current Canadien TT champion, photgraphed in Beijing. Tattoo says "We will never be here again."

1st practice, 1st ride on the X4

Lou, Cliff, Roman, Starbuck, Alister, Mark and I hit James Park for about 1:15 of tempo, barriers and starts. Of course it rained. No mud, just lots of newly cut grass everywhere. I like, no love the new bike! I'm now in a much more familiar/similar position to my road bike, just not as stretched out. The tubulars were great. I rode them at 36 in the front and 38 in the rear and then will go down from there. The differences vs. clinches were immediate, better cornering, better feel of the terrain.

I have also switched pedals, to the Eggbeaters. Those are going to take some getting used to. I have over 10 years on SPDs. The eggbeaters are very easy to get out of, but I had some issues getting clipped in. I need to use them though because I had some problems with the SPDs in the snow, and you know Montrose will have snow!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Weekend

Saturday Judson- set personal best 5 minute and 10 minute power averages.

Tubulars - Lou is the man.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chirstmas... in August!

Just got this photo from Lou at the Pony Shop. New bike is finished! 17.9 pds. Not bad given the FSA wheels are a little on the heavy side for carbon tubulars.
Cross is close I can fell it. Need to start practices... like now.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Go pelicans

Went to see Helmet at the Double Door a week or so ago. Very good, LOUD and much the same as I remember them from 15 years ago. Didn't find a setlist any where but recognized many tunes from Meantime and Betty.


Boo- f'ing hoo. Anglers are pissed at the pelicans because they can't catch their full limits. I say go pelicans.


Went mountain biking yesterday for the first time since Fall 2007. How lame is that. Roman and I went out to Palos and just rolled around for 2 hours. Nothing too fast. Took awhile to get into the flow and feel of the MTB after sooo much time on the road. But you now what... it's just like riding a bike, by the end I was going as fast as I could. Had some new Kenda rubber and I like it. The goal is to ride on dirt every Sunday until cross starts.


Interbike 2008. Plane tickets- check. Hotel- check. Bike geek saucer like eyes- check. This is going to be fun. Friends racing at Cross Vegas, can't wait.


Speaking of cross, its in the air. Saturday's weather felt like a cross day. Sunny a.m., cool breeze coming off the lake. 6 weeks until my first race. New bike should built up this week, then glue the tubulars, get to practice and go, go, go! My training has been going well. If Judson is any measure, I'm alot faster than I have ever been.

I'm not sure what goals I'll have for cross. Last season, it was just hey this is cool, it's my first time doing it, so let's just see how it goes. This season, though, I have invested alot of time an money into cross. More investment means more expectation. Are top 10s even within my reach? If you look at the 40+ top tens, you'll see some heavy hitters, guys that have been racing a long time with alot of fitness and alot of experience.