Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Swim Class: No Breaths

First off, here was today's work out.

200 yds, then take 30 seconds rest

250 yds, 30 seconds rest

300 yds, 30 seconds rest

300 yds, 15 seconds rest

200 yds.

10 lengths of 25 yds, no breaths

It was not a bad work out until the end. We were supposed to try and make it the length of the pool without breathing. This was supposed to help lengthen our strokes or something. I don't really think it was necessary or effective. Torture, yes. I usually had to breathe once or twice. On two occasions I made it the whole way without breathing. I admit I was stoked when I did it. But I had to destroy my normal form to do it. I basically swam like I was being chased by an alligator, a shark or something else horrible. My arms were windmilling as fast as I could go. As far as elongating my stroke--not so much. Speeding up my normal stroke--hell yeah. Effectiveness in helping me to train for the 70.3 tri--not so much.

The rest of the work out was great though. By not having to meet a specific time during each segment I was able to concentrate on my stroke and breathing. My pace was probably what I would like to be able to hold during the Vikingman. What that pace was, I have no idea. Well, it was probably around 1:00/100yds. I don't think I slowed down during any of the lengths. So I swam 1250 with a total of 1:45 rest. I need to go swim when there is no class and see how I do swimming 1500 yards or so straight without stopping.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Misc. stuff.

I finished making changes to the Fuji Aloha CF2 today. I have only been working on it when I am on break at work or during lunch. So it took me over a week to get it done. I will post pics later this week. But in the mean time, I swapped out the integrated Vision Tech Trimax bar for a separate set up. I put on a Ritchey Pro stem with a 17 degree rise and then a Vision Tech TT base bar and then some Profile Design Carbon Stryke Aerobars. There was also a saddle swap and a brake swap. I am now running some Dura Ace brakes and a Profile tri saddle that I picked up on a special deal from the shop's manager. Love those type of deals. Sold the old integrated bar which paid for the new bar set up which is pretty nice. I think this new set up is actually lighter. It was crazy how heavy my original Vision Tech aluminum integrated unit was. But if I could have actually have gotten the old set up even close to fitting me I would not have gone through all this trouble. I think it is dialed now. I will see on Friday for sure.

The bike, with the carbon wheels weighs in at 17.3 lbs. Not bad for a TT bike.

Product Review: Performance Chamois Cream

I have to say that this is the worst chamois creme I have ever used. Not that I have used a bunch. This stuff is no better than hand lotion. It sure makes my skin nice and soft, as long as I am not riding a bike after applying it. After about 45 minutes of riding it is like I never put anything on. I would not have even purchased it except that it was recommended by a guy at work. I thought this guy actually rode a bike. Now I am questioning this. Maybe he just has someone else do the riding for him so his bike gets dirty. Either that or he has a chode of steel to be doing the type of rides he says he does with this crap. Totally a bogus product in my opinion. I will stick to the Chamois Butt'r thank you very much.

Flu Virus Benefits

Besides the fact that one gets to feel so miserable that trying to survive seems like a questionable endeavor, the flu has a positive side: It has accelerated my return to fighting weight. I was sitting at about 7 lbs heavier a couple of weeks ago. This is nice! I don't have as big of an appetite and I am trying not to increase that appetite by eating just enough to stave of crankiness that comes from my normal weight loss plans. Having the flu seems to have shrunk the size of my stomach. This is great! I could only eat half of a Muchos Gracias burrito for lunch, and prior to the flu I would have eaten the whole thing.

I would just like to lose about a pound a week for the next while. That would be sweet. Much more than that and I think I will pay for it during Vikingman, because I think I would lose strength.

Product Review: Fuel Belt Helium 4

This thing is freaking awesome. I have run with all the bottles filled on it and I don't even notice it while running. The bottles are very secure and relatively ease to get out and back in without stopping. Getting the bottles located on the backside can be a bit of a bother without stopping, but it can be done pretty quick. This is the best accessory I have purchased--excepting my shoes--for running. It has 4 bottles and each hold 8oz of fluid. 32 oz total is great. During a tri there will be refuel stations so I will be able to refill once during the half marathon portion. If I can down about 20 to 24 oz per hour I should be in decent shape at the end. There is also a pouch that is big enough for about 3 or 4 gels. Perfect. Again, I love this thing and I wish I would have had it last year.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Yes, I like misery, but I prefer it involve some rubber, metal, dirt and other people along side me to share the joy.

I am announcing that I am politicking for an invite to next year's RAWROD; a private event down around Moab, Utah. 100 miles in the desert around White Rim. In one day. Thus, Ride Around White Rim in One Day--RAWROD. I have heard about this for the past 3 years and I am sick of it. I want in. What do I have to do here--grease some palms for an invite or what? Unlike in politics, here it would not be any sort of ethical violation--so if that is what I gotta do, well OK then.

Training update 4/28

Last week was hell. We all ended up getting the flu here, but at different times. First me, then the boys and then Bridget. And through it all I never felt 100% back to normal even after the main part of the illness was gone. If I ate anything I felt nauseous for an hour or two. No energy for much of anything. I had planned on getting out Friday, but that was when Bridget was having her time kneeling before porcelain and so there was no way I could get out and leave her with the boys. Saturday was the same, I was lucky to get off to work. Yesterday was too busy for me to get out. So it was a nice week off of training after all was said and done. Whatever, it is not like I was expecting to win Vikingman or anything. However, I would like to not die. I don't think that is asking too much. At least I hope not. [SIDEBAR: Which brings to my mind something my lovely wife said last night while we were having some one-on-one time after the boys went to bed. She was trying to cheer me up after I was feeling down at having a law degree that cost 6 figures and then even passing the bar, but no job other than the bike shop. I get angry and frustrated and feel useless at times. But I was mostly over that and she was cuddling up to me and told me that she never wanted to be without me. Initially this is a very nice sentiment, but then I started thinking that maybe I was going to die or something. I mean why would she be worrying that I am going to go anywhere. Is there something she knows that I don't? I figure I have at least another 40 years here on this planet--I hope. Anyway, I am apparently a half empty sort of person right now.]

Today I planned on going to swim class and then running at the rec center. Yeah, that was the plan. Not going to happen after swim class this morning. That kicked my butt. This was the work out:

-9 50's @ 1:20

-7 50's @ 1:15

-5 50's @ 1:10

-3 50's @ 1:05

-1 50 @ 1:00

-100 yards no freestyle

-150 yards breast stroke

I did all the the 50's in under a minute regardless of the amount of total time we had for each length. Those last 50's were hard though. I felt like I wasn't getting enough air at the end. Still, I made all the times, that wasn't the case for the guy in my lane that is faster than me. We start the workout one at a time. there are 4 people swimming in circles in our lane. We start 10 seconds apart. I start 2nd because I was the second fastest in our lane after the last timed 500. There is another lane with another 4 or 5 people that are all faster than us. Basically we are the Jr. Varsity team in the class. When it got to the three 50's @ 1:05 our lane's fastest swimmer wasn't able to start on time. He had been doing his laps starting 10 seconds ahead of me as stated previously. When we were at the end of the swim he actually ended up delaying me by a couple of seconds because he was gasping for air and had been delaying his start to catch his breath. There others in my lane as well, and they didn't make all of the times starting at the five 1:10's and so they got lapped. I was the only one to keep the pace except for those couple of seconds I was held up. Nice.

Anyway, I still worry about the open water swim. I worry that I will freak and not have enough in the tank to swim for 25 - 30 minutes straight with no break. It actually kept me up for a bit last night worrying about it, I don't know why. Mainly, I guess I don't feel prepared.

But, if I can get these last 5 or so weeks in with some good long runs and rides I think I will be ok...or at least survive.


It seems like triathlons are the new chick sport. I can't tell you how many women are coming into the shop looking for their first road bike so they can do a triathlon. Probably 2 to 1 over men. Lots of moms and women 35+ it seems.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Proverbial 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Backward

I wa sick...for about the third time in 5 weeks. I just get back on track and then something happens. This time the flu. I am pretty much done with it now, but I have no energy. I wrote more about it here, but anyway something positive did result from this latest bout of illness. I lost 7.5 lbs in 36 hours. Now if only that would stay off. Much of it is probably water weight, but not all of it. For the past 18 hours I have been able to keep myself pretty well hydrated.

Anyway, I had planned on doing a 2 hour run on Tuesday, but that obviously did not occur. Hopefully I can get a long ride in on Friday. Anyway, being ill for 2 days is not the worst thing that can happen that is for sure, but it is frustrating.

Swimming update

I seem to have found my stroke. Or at least a better version of it. I can maintain it at least for a while. After a time it falls apart as I get tired. But on Monday I was doing consecutive 100's at about 1:50 to 1:55 with a 20 second rest in between. That is pretty good for me. I just get tired and go anaerobic about about 800 yards of doing it. It is not a secret, I pull with my arms better from the time they are stretched forward to the time that each arm leaves the water when my arm is down around my hip. So I am getting good full strokes and I have suddenly found I can rotate better to my non-breathing side. I am still trying to keep my legs from being too floppy at the knee, but I think that is getting better too. I can feel myself getting faster because the wall of the pool comes at me at a different time than I am used to--quicker and at a different part of my stroke. I almost hit my head on Monday.

I just don't have good endurance yet. My strokes--at least compared to others in the class--are long and slower. Most of those in the class are moving their arms faster than me. Not that they are all faster overall, I am faster than about 3 of the 7 others. But this means I don't take as many breaths compared to those who stroke faster than I. At 800 yards I seem to run out of air. I have to slow down for a bit to survive. I think this will improve though as I continue.

Swimming is so much about technique. Everyone says this. They are right. I have had a hard time getting the technique down. When I was recorded swimming by my swim coach about 2 months ago I thought I was swimming pretty well. At least until I finally got the video from him about a month later. Ugly stroke. I am curious as to what it looks like now. It has to be better. It seems like it should be easy to replicate the proper stroke, as seen in various books I have looked at. Um, not so much. Anyway, things are heading in the right direction here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Thanks to Fish's wife Cindy and her blog, I am putting some music on this blog. Why? I dunno, why not?

The songs are all currently on my iPod. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My secret to running on a treadmill + a bunch of nothing

I dislike running on a treadmill. It is boring.

Sometimes there are some interesting people to watch. One day there was this woman that was running near me and she was running at a 6.5 mph pace. She started just after me and I thought that judging by her weight (which had to be around 200 for a someone about 5'6") this pace would be short lived. um, no. She ran that pace for about 45 minutes (Rock on lady!). Last night there was a guy that was walking next to me--he was thinner than I, but only walking at 4 mph. He was sweating like a pig after about 10 minutes. Weird. Anyway, stuff like that can keep me interested for a little bit. For the most part, no matter what my intentions are when first stepping on to the treadmill, I have to mix it up a bit to stay sane.

Yesterday, I rode with DTP up to Skyline Drive. The original plan was to ride for 2.5 to 3 hours. When his cranks started coming loose I cut that down to just a ride on Skyline to Springville Road, west to Bethany, and then north on Cornell and on to the house. 90 minutes of riding that included a couple of minutes trying to fix DTP's bike and waiting for him a couple of times. This is not to say that DTP is slow, but well, perhaps there is a reason why the guys that we play cards with call him Slow Dave (The dude takes 3 times longer to play a card than anyone else). To make a short story longer, I wasn't too tired after the ride and btw yes, I really enjoy giving DTP a bunch of crap. We got back home in time for me to watch son #1 while Bridget went to a kindergym class with son #2. She would have put him in the daycare, so DTP's bike problem saved us some money.

About 8 hours later, after consuming a Muchas Gracias taco, half-order of Nachos, a Skyline Burger, fries and salad, and a three pack of McDonald's chocolate chip cookies I got around to the treadmill.

As noted earlier, I cannot just be on the treadmill without some sort of disraction. Everyone who has ever run on a treadmill knows this to be true, unless you have the ability to go into some sort of mediative trance. I can't so I do the following:

Listen to my iPod--either Car Talk or Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me on podcast or some music

(1) Wonder why in the hell I don't have the legal job of my dreams yet. I also like to berate myself regarding things that I should be doing but haven't for some reason. I talk down to myself in an effort to shame myself for my incompetence at getting a job. This usually does two things, takes my mind off of the boredom of running on the treadmill and angers me enough to keeping at a decent pace. Self-hate can be a powerful thing sometimes, and it can be used for good oddly enough.

(2) Wonder why I am still gaining weight even though I have been burning about 7000 calories a week working out. Then I remember the nachos, taco, hamburger, fries, cookies, and blue cheese dressing I consumed during the day I and figure it out. This doesn't usually take long.

But my real secret to running on the treadmill is to push myself in intervals.
-Run one mile warm up
-Start the timer on the treadmill again and run 5.5 mph
-At 5 minutes increase pace to 6.1 and run for 75 seconds.
-Return to 5.5 mph
-At 10 minutes increase pace to 6.2 and run for 80 seconds.
-Return to 5.5 mph
-At 15 minutes increase pace to 6.3 and run for 85 seconds. return to 5.5 mph afterwards.
-At 20 minutes 6.4 mph, run for 90 seconds. Return to 5.5 mph.
-At 25 minutes 6.5 mph, run for 95 seconds. Return to 5.5 mph.
-At 30 mintes 6.6 mph, run for 100 seconds. return to 5.5 mph.
This continues until I get to 7.0 mph and 120 seconds. I don't go beyond that. After the interval I head back down to 5.5 mph. After finishing 6 miles of this I then do a cool down--last night that was about 3/4 of a mile. Total mileage was around 7.7 miles. Anyway, that was last nights workout. Other days I do similar intevals, even if it is not this exact one.

My heart rate last night averaged 157 during the 80 minutes I ran. My max was 171. I burned something like 1320 calories. The only negative was that my lower back, near my hip was killing me again during the night. So I probably over did it a bit. Nevertheless, I felt great during the run. The change of pace keeps me interested, and the ever increasing speed during the faster parts are a challenge.

I still worry about the run portion of the Vikingman. My hip still pains me making running at all a concern. I am limiting my running to about twice a week. Hopefully that will be enough to survive. Survival is the only goal at this point.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Off Topic: Linking etiquette

So there are some blogs that I like generally, even though I don't know the people writing them personally. I don't necessarily like everything on them, nor do I read them religiously. But I hesitate to link to them out of making my loyal readers think there is a some sort of total endorsement of the blog, or that I know the person that writes the blog. Not a big deal, but so far I have only linked to blogs of people that I know well and my family (who I sometimes wonder if I know at all).

On the otherhand, there is a friend from law school that has a blog. It is often funny and sometimes crude. I hesitate to link becuase frankly, I don't want to link to anything that I would be afraid to put on my own blog. And about 20% of it would be too foul for me to put here so it stays off. I have thought about posting a link with a content warning on it, but that seems cheesy.

But then, why bother putting up links to these other blogs anyway. Well, the main reason is it is a convenient platform for me personally to jump to the blogs that I like. So what if the rest of you don't like them, I do. Am I cooler for having a huge list of blogs on my own blog? Does it imply that I have lots of friends with cool things to say? Meh.

I admit I like having my blog link to, although it has only happened, well, never for this one. Our family's blog, which I am pretty much the sole author, has been linked by my family and a couple of friends. This blog is the black sheep I guess. However, I admit that I like writing this one more, becuase I can sort of say what I want about a subject that I often obsess over. I let this one be a bit more PG or PG-13 than the family blog which I try to keep G-rated.

I am not sure how many people read this blog. I know my wife does occassionally, and probably some of my siblings, Fish and Brian seem to be regulars as well. I think that is about it. So I guess the fact that I don't have any links is fine. I have an occasional comment from folks that must come upon it after a Google search for something that I have written about. I was glad that someone found my review about the Fuji Aloha CF2 and swapping it over from tri to road (here and here) and also to those I don't know that have written comments of support a couple of times. I like that sort of thing. Anyway, I welcome comments always as well as links to my little corner of the internet. I don't care if you know me or not.

DTP and his bike

DTP's bike is quite nice. At least on paper. If anyone needs a lesson in how not to treat a bike, look to him. His crank was starting to come off during out ride this morning so we cut it short. Both arms needed to be tightened over a full rotation, maybe two. His crank arm came off last year during a triathlon and he didn't finish the race. Plus his shifting, especially on the front derailleur is all other the place--including off the rings. When he is pedalling behind me I can hear a constant creaking from somewhere in his bike. When I don't hear it I know that he is lagging. If it were my bike I could not ride it. It would be torture to have a ride a bike that noisy and out of tune. Like nails on a chalkboard...

So he has the nicest POS I can think of. Dura Ace and Ultegra with a custom Curtlo steel frame and Easton EC90 SLX fork and Ritchey Protocol wheels. Nothing is more than 9-10 months old. It probably rode well for about two months of that time.

I feel sorry for the bike, not so much the rider.

At least DTP is out riding. We did have to cut short today's ride because of the crank arm issue, but other than that he will usually ride despite the crappy condition of his bike. He is good company for the most part and helps me by realizing that it could be worse--I could be on his bike. Thanks, man!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day Off

I feel a bit guilty, but I am taking the day off. I should go for a ride, but I left my wheels at work. I don't have any other road wheels built up right now that aren't either carbon tubulars, or cyclocross tubulars. I don't feel like using either for a training ride, even a short one. I don't feel like wearing out the tires on the cross wheelsets (each costs about 70 bucks a tire) and I don't want to mess up my carbon wheelset on some of the crappy roads around here. It is strictly a race day wheelset.

I am also still a bit sore from my 90 minute run. Mainly the pain is in my lower back. So, maybe it is good in the long run to take it easy after such a run. The main thing is that I get used to prolonged efforts even if I am slow. I was hoping to go on a 2 hour run next week. I just picked up a new Fuelbelt Helium. It has 4 8-oz bottles to go along with a little zipper bag that should fit 2 or 3 gels. I haven't run with it yet, but it does seem pretty comfy.

Yesterday, I swapped the Fuji back to TT mode. Joel at work helped get me fit to the bike. We got the saddle (actually a new saddle, the old stock TT saddle was killing one particular area while in the aero position) in a good spot for both power and comfort, but I am going to have to get a different handlebar. My current bar a one-piece stem/bar/clamp-on deal by Vision has absolutely no adjustability. I have stacked the steerer tube with as many spacers as I can and I still can't get the bar up to a proper position for me. My riding position is too low and so my neck is tweaking in order to be able to see down the road. No wonder I was having pain issues last year during my initial 3 months of riding on the bike before I put a road drop bar and shifters on it instead of the stock TT set-up.

So while the stock Vision Tech Trimax Plus Integrated bar set up was cool, it won't work when combined with me and the short headtube of the bike. So I am getting a separate stem with somewhere between a 7 and 10 degree rise and then a simple Vision Tech Alloy base bar and then some sort of clamp on aero bar. Not as clean looking as the integrated bars, but it will work.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

500 Swim Time

I swam today's timed 500 in 10:26. I did the first 250 in 5:15 and then the second in 5:11. I dropped my time by over a minute over 3 months ago. I also managed to get the elusive negative split. I would like to get another minute faster by the Vikingman.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

And now I am back to running too!

I went out this morning (I am still up, so it is Saturday for me) and went running for 75 minutes. I went and ran around the neighborhood, which means that I ran up and down lots of hills. The only flat part was when I neared the end of my run and I did 5 laps at the outdoor track at a nearby school. By that time I was somewhat toasted. I was running 12 minute miles and my heart rate was still up in the 160's. Maybe I am still fighting a bit of the bug, or perhaps I didn't have much in the tank from the 50 miler the day before on the bike. Or maybe it was all of these hills around here. Many of those hills were fairly significant, and it was hard just to keep running without maxing my heart rate sometimes.

Regardless of the occasional coughing fit and drippy mucus, it was good to have gotten out. It was a gorgeous day. I added a little bit to yesterday's sunburn too today. It is all good.

I need to concentrate on my running, but my body doesn't really like running. My hip hurts afterwards usually, although not as bad as it used to, and my back gets stiff. This is another reason why I think that this may well be my only entry into a 70.3 tri. My body likes the shorter runs. At least right now. A year and a half ago running was great. So maybe it will all heal in time.

Sunday will be a rest day and Monday a return to swimming.

Friday, April 11, 2008

50 miles!

Today I went over 50 miles for the first time. I had gone into the upper 30's a few times but never even over 40 miles before. For roadies this might be embarrassing to say. But I have only been road biking for 5 years or so. The first few years it was really only for commuting. The rest of the time it was all about mountain biking, as it had been since the early 1990's. But my time in Portland has increased me appreciation for road biking. Also, with my entry into the world of triathlons, road biking has been more important. Last year, my longest event was an olympic distance triathlon so there was no reason to go on rides much longer than 25 to 30 miles. But since the Vikingman tri is a half-ironman, the bike portion is 56 miles. So today's ride didn't even get to that distance--we did 51 miles.

I am mostly over my illnesses thankfully. I only had a couple uncomfortable instances where I had a harsh coughing fit. And afterwards I didn't have a huge coughing fit either which is what I tend to have happen to me when I am in the midst of a bout of bronchitis. Basically, I am about 90% cured. I am very grateful. I was worried that it would stretch out for weeks.

Tomorrow I would like to go ride again since it is going to so nice, but I need to run for a good bit. I will probably try and get about 8 miles under me. I would love to do both, but I think it would tank me for the rest of the day. I have to work at noon, so I would be a little too toasted to put up with customers at the shop.

Anyway, I am pretty stoked about the day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Health Update and Triple Triangles

I am getting better. I still cough quite a bit, but it is a drier cough. I am getting more energy, however at work I wasn't feeling too peppy. I just sort of tried to stay out of the way. I did sell a nice full carbon Fuji though, so I wasn't useless.

I ran a bit. I didn't want to over do it though. I start coughing when my heart rate gets in the 150's. Also, my heart rate elevated more easily when I was running up the hills. So if my heart rate got to 160 I just shut it down and walked until it went back down. My purpose was just to get out of the house and do something productive. I will go out again tomorrow for a similar time--maybe a bit longer.

Friday the weather is supposed to turn nice finally so I am going on a longer ride. I plan on going out to Hagg Lake and doing some laps there. The goal is a nice 40 mile ride. DTP is coming and so he will be the one that keeps me from going too fast and pushing it too much. I will still be recovering from this illness then I am sure, but I gotta get some time on the saddle.

The shop is going to start carrying Kestrel. I am not sure what to think of them. Fuji is now doing the manufacturing which means that they should be more dependable. But, I think they are sort of ugly. But the EP deal would be good. The fuji fits ok, but not perfect. It rides really nice though and I have almost fixed the fit issue. But if I replaced the Fuji, I would only do so with another carbon bike. I am sold on have a carbon bike for road. The ride is so nice. Not as good as steel maybe, but then the carbon is lighter and the tube shapes are better for aerodynamics during tri's.

GT Zaskar
Also, will someone please let GT know that the Triple Triangle is stupid, useless, outdated, outmoded, and out of style. It is at this point form over function. A fellow bought a carbon GT Zaskar today from us. Very nice except for the extra material in it used to make that little triangle at the seattube/seatstay/top tube juction. It is just stupid. It is as if they think no one will buy a GT without it. Hell, I won't buy one because of it at this point. Especially on a flipping carbon frame. The designers of a carbon frame have so many options on tube shapes and frame design shapes that they are somewhat freed from the conventional wisdom of frame design. Here they are doing the triple triangle when it makes absolutely no functional sense. It is purely a fashion statement or something used to make sure that people know it is a GT without even looking at the label, since GT is the only one inane enough to do it these days. The thing is, the bike was very smartly spec'd and will surely be a sweet ride. But I am hung up on this one aspect and it ruins it for me. That and the fact that it is a 26er instead of a 29er.

I mean, it certainly can't be for strength that they do it. The frame would be plenty strong with out it I am sure. And since it is a monocoque frame, there aren't the same benefits that come from have those longer seatstay tubes. I am not an engineer, but I just can't see any reason to continue this holdover from the 1980's. Will someone please convince me otherwise?

Another thing about the guy that bought it--he had no idea what he was getting. He just wanted a nice bike. He just put some silly flat pedals on the thing. He said that he didn't go for these "clipless pedals thingys", he couldn't see why they have caught on...yeah really he said that. He didn't know XTR from Deore. No wonder he bought a bike that still uses the stupid bike with the triple triangle.

Feedback from Sentamentality Post
Some folks were surprised and slightly sickened about the number of bikes I have had.

Yes, it is true I am the Shawn Kemp of bike owners, but in my case it has been a good thing. I mean just about all of those bikes were purchased at wholesale or EP pricing so I didn't lose much on them. And think of the joy those who bought my discarded bikes have had. They usually all got great deals and got a well cared for bike. It is like I have been performing a great service if you think about it. It is not as crazy as one might think.

I thought of a couple of more bikes that I left out, by the way.

1992 Schwinn High Plains
2004 Trek 4600 (commuter bike)
2007 Fisher Rig (how bad is it that I forgot a bike I had just last year)

Saturday, April 5, 2008


So I have it.


I had it for about 5 weeks last year right before the Spudman and the bar exam. It sucked. I had a cold and then it turned into Bronchitis the end of this week. I am not happy about it. So I am going to have to revamp my training for a bit. I am not sure how the swimming will go, but I will try to stick with it. I will have to back off the effort I put into my workouts until I get better. I refuse to stop training though. Last year I stopped and it didn't speed up the healing process at all.

So the plan is to drink a lot of water, sleep as much as possible and not overdue it. Man, I am bummed out though. Today I have experienced a lot of fatigue, which is usual early on I guess. Anyway, late winter and spring have historically been rough on me here in Oregon. Not sure why.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Cold

I got out and rode finally today. I have had to take more time off from training because I got another cold. What is up with that. I will tell you the reason--kids. They are filled with disease I tell ya. My boys were sick and I caught it from them I am sure. Luckily it only lasted a few days. I felt horrible Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday I felt fine. I waited until today to do anything as to make sure I was really getting better before I resumed the training plan.

So today I got out on the Fuji and went from our place southwest to T.V. Highway, over to 185th, north to Cornell, meandered over to Thompson, and then up to Skyline, and then skyline to Cornell and eventually home again. It was around 20 miles. I think I hucked about a pint of snot and mucus during the ride though. I felt fine, but I still have some of the residual symptoms of the cold. I should have taken something beforehand to stem the flow from my nasal passages. Oh well, I spread my virus around the streets of Beaverton and West Hills area.

I am amazed at how well I am doing with my legs though at this stage of the year. I don't have a ton of miles yet under me, but I am not having too much difficulty with my gearing. Running a 39/53 combo up front and a SRAM 1070 cassette with a 11/26 range out back. When we first moved out here I was running a triple crankset. Then I sent to a compact. Then for some reason I wound up with a couple of standard cranksets. One is one the Fuji and the other is on the Curtlo cross. The Lapierre has the pansy compact set up on it. I prefer the standard for road riding.

Anyway, if weather permits tomorrow is going to be a solid day in the pain cave. 2 or 3 laps around Hagg Lake and then a 40 minute run. DTP is supposed to come with me. I hope to make him pop.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

By Request: Sentamentality

OK, here's a topic for the blog and general consideration. Sentimentality. How to part with a fine, beautiful, functional bike? Some have no issue. Others, like me, have a terrible time. Tonight the rag moves slowly downward and a step back is taken, "oh." More Simple Green is applied and the rag is busier. "Gracious. This is bike is really nice, why do I feel compelled to sell her?" My cold hearted friends feel no such remorse, but I know there are others out there who cling lovingly and tenderly attend to the steed that has delivered so much, yet asked so little.


I have friends that get very sentimental about their bikes. I guess, Brian who sent me the above email is in that bunch. I have largely escaped this condition. Only on rare occasions has it become an issue. I felt sad selling my First Curtlo road bike. It was my first nice road bike. And being steel it road so well. It was replaced by my Fuji Aloha CF2 which is sort of a do it all bike; I switch the bars out for either dropbars with regular road shifters or for a full aero set up with bar end shifters depending on the season and if there is a triathlon coming up. Still, I got over selling the Curtlo pretty easily. The Fuji holds no particular feelings for me. It is soulless. It does ride well though. It is sort of a mercenary bike I suppose, easily interchanged for the next good deal.

My first cyclocross bike was a 1999 Reparto Corse Bianchi that I picked up as a used frameset. It rode so nice, but it didn't fit quite perfectly and I wanted something that did. Plus, Doug at Curtlo was willing to build me a cross bike out of S3 tubes. That frameset holds more feelings for me. It will be going on its 3rd season this year and it is a killer bike. This year it will share cross duties with the Lapierre. The Lapierre will be the bike for nicer conditions, and the Curtlo will be there for rainy/muddy stuff. Not because it is less special, but because I trust it more. That means that the Lapierre will be the bike for the first couple of races and then it will be a pit bike after that most likely. I really like the set up of my Curtlo. It has soul. The Lapierre has some soul, but it the soul of a small Taiwanese man that likes to eat crepes. Weird.

I also have a Curtlo Singlespeed. This bike replaced a Dean Ti Colonel 29er. The Dean was a great bike, but it was built sloppily. Not enough tire clearance and seatstays didn't really meet up perfectly. And it suffered from chainsuck for some reason. Never had an issue with any other bike with that. Basically, I feel that Dean was jinxed, and it needed to go. I was sad to see it go even still. I tried to work it out and I bought a new crankset for it, and tried lots of tires, but in the end it went on ebay. It was a marriage doomed from the start. So sexy with its ti tubing and buttery ride, but it had this dark side. I could only take it for so long.

Back to the Curtlo. It rides like a dream. Not tons of time on it yet but enough to know that it won't be going anywhere. DTP got on it and didn't really like the feel. Probably because the bike didn't like DTP so it would perform for him like she does for me. Or maybe it is just that the bike is made for a guy my height and not for his. Nah, it just didn't like DTP.

Some people name their bikes. I only named one bike, the Bianchi. It doesn't come natural to me to name a bike. Fish names his bikes, at least the ones that become part of the family. And he has a large family--I think two road bikes, three cross bikes, one singlespeed 29er, one geared 29er, a TT bike, and then there may be others too. It is hard to remember them all, but there are certain ones that are unforgettable. I really don't know how to name a bike. I have a difficult time coming up with names for my kids, and bikes seem even harder to name for me. Maybe, I don't keep them long enough to develop a friendship with them. Nah, I keep them generally for a couple of years usually. That is long enough for a name to come up. I am a sentimental guy, I cry while watch movies like Field of Dreams and Terminator 2 (OK, not really that one), but I rarely get sentimental about my bikes. I sort of feel bad about it--until the replacement comes.

Anyway, these are the bikes I have owned during my adult life in chronological order. May those that are gone rest in peace.

1992 Haro Extreme (hit by a car)
Trek 950
Reflex Professional
Caloi aluminum mtb (can't remember frame model)
Santa Cruz Heckler (green coil shock)
Santa Crus Heckler (polished with air shock)
Ellsworth Truth
Titus Quasimodo
Bontrager Race Lite
Cannondale R400
CPC Euphoria XC (no longer in existance, it was a company that only made a few bikes)
Rocky Mountain Edge
Breezer steel road bike
Ellsworth Id
Fisher Sugar
K2 Razorback
Curtlo 29er 24hr
Trek 1200
Curtlo softtail
Cannondale 1FG
Niner One 9
Dean Ti Colonel 29er
Curtlo Road OX Platinum
Fuji Cross Pro
Bianchi Reparto Corse
Curtlo Cross S3
Cannondale Caad 9 (wife's bike, but I rode it nearly as often as she)
Fuji Aloha CF2
Curtlo Singlespeed 29er full rigid
Lapierre XLite Cross

I think I got them all, but it is possible I missed one or two.

When I look at that list I can see why none really made me sad to sell, well most of them. That Bontrager Race Lite was awfully hard to part with. They were all pretty cool but none had a timeless sort of cool except for my curtlos, which were made specifically for me and the Dean. Now, if I had a bunch of custom made steel and Ti bikes I could see that they would be more likely to remain with me because they are inherently more personal and costly.

To Brian who started me thinking about this subject, thanks for helping me waste the morning.