Saturday, February 28, 2009


I got some training in. No bike yet. As it turns out it still hurts a bit to put pressure in that part of the palm of my hand near my thumb. But I did run this morning. It was brisk and pretty windy but I felt pretty good at my fairly relaxed pace. I am eager to get back at it and drop the pounds I gained while healing.

By the way went to the Ringside tonight. Not nearly as good as El Gaucho, but a good time nonetheless. The Steak was not as good...actually I have grilled better Costco steaks come to think of it. But then, I do have mad grill skills.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bummy Cream

The following post was originally put up on the family blog that we (mostly I) do. But since it is sort of cycling related I thought I would throw it up here as cheap filler while I heal up enough to start riding again. And that should be sometime this week by the way.

Chamois Butt'r
Non-greasy, lubricant eliminates painful chafing and rubbing immediately by lubricating your skin
Provides the comfortable barrier you need on extended rides and soothes and softens previously irritated skin
Can also be used as a conditioner for synthetic or leather chamois
Easily washes out with soap and water

Funny that this product doesn't have the following use in the product's description: Soothes a rear end after big poop. That is what Jack uses it for. After a particularly big poop Jack (our 3 year old) often wants "bummy cream", as he calls it, put on so that his bum won't hurt. This happens at least once per week. He bends over and Bridget or I squeeze out some Chamois Butt'r on a tissue and wipe his rear end down. We have to be careful not to use too much or he feels too slimy which is unacceptable.

Anyway...we have odd children.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


hit the road hard tonight. Typing with one hand because of it.

17 or 18 mph when I hit an unseen baby head rock near a set of railroad tracks.

Went down in such a way that I managed to jack my right hand so that while I can move it and the fingers a bit I cant do much of anything else. It just throbs constantly.

left hip is bruised and scraped such that anything I do including doing nothing, smarts more than a little.

left shoulder and both knees messed up a bit too, but not badly.

Also a $150 Pearl Izumi Gavia Jersey, $150 Pearl Izumi AmFib bib tights, and some shoe covers were shredded. Good thing tax return just arrived and that I can replace them at a deeply discounted price because I can get an employee purchase deal.

Oh, and bar tape and at least one brake lever is messed up too.

Freakin' sweet.

UPDATE...Midnight. Drugs are awesome! I can actually walk. I can move my fingers fairly well. Thumb still is jacked though. But I think I will be able to sleep tonight.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Nuclear Option

As much as I hate doing this, I am going to put another post thus moving down "Pot, Meet Kettle" down a bit. That is one of my favorite posts thus far on this blog for some reason.

Anyway, I have delayed posting about these wheels long enough. I have had these on order since early December when I sold my Ksyrium ES wheels (at a profit no less). They finally arrived last month. I bought a cheap Campy cassette (13-29) and cheap Tufo tires (the low TPI Cubus tires) and after a bit of glue and and waiting for planets to aline...They have finally been sullied. In a good way though.

What are the wheels? Ah, this is where the title of the blog comes from. I went for the 2009 Easton EC90 SLX wheels. I went straight to the top, I don't know of a better stronger lightweight wheel that would be good for cyclocross. These wheels are the nuclear option.

These babies will be the svelte hot Ashley Judd when compared to the beefier Neuvation C50 wheels, AKA the Wynonna Judds of my carbon wheel family. Not that there is anything wrong with Wynonna Judd or my Neuvation Wheels. But really these Eastons are really hot. Almost in a naughty way. I know I am weird, but there it is.

Ok, back to the they are after a few miles on the bike today. They were soon much much dirtier.

Vital stats:
Weight with Campy freehub body: 1140 grams
Weight with Shimano 10 speed freehub body: 1155 (I bought an extra freehub to swap)
Bearings: Ceramic
Rims: Carbon

Why didn't I go for the Easton Aero or other similar deep carbon wheel? For one I had great luck with the my 50mm deep Neuvation wheels this year. I will be running them again on days where the mud is deep or I need to run a deep mud tire. Plus the EC90slx has external nipples and the deep rim wheels have hidden nipples which can only be messed with after ripping off the tubular tire...pass on that. By the way, the Neuvations also have external nipples. The Eastons will be for just about everything other sort of course except the muddiest. I have not yet decided what tire I will be running in the fall, but for now I am checking out the Tufo Flexus Cubus (the cheaper 60tpi version)

These wheels are just plain sick. They spin up incredibly fast. The really gave me the impression that I could rail them and that they would help hold the line well. Not too flexy. I just didn't have to even think about them. I bunny-hopped logs with them. I blew down the rock-strewn and washed-out Firelane 10 on them. They were great. I never worried after the first few miles.

I was riding with two guys on full suspension 29ers and I rarely had to worry about them dropping me on the descents. I just let it fly and these wheels did their job--they didn't fold and they weren't noodley (if that is a word). Just awesome. Freakin' amazing really that a wheel this light felt so strong.

Before ordering them I talked to other riders, to racers, and to Easton on a couple of occasions. I told Easton what I weighed, what I was going to do to them if I bought them, and where I lived. They said ride them. "If they give you trouble we will stand behind them" they said. They said none of their cyclocross pro's had any issue with them and they have no weight limits for them. They said that the wheels would be great for my intended use.

My intended use? Cyclocross and some occasional trail riding since I will be sans mtb for most if not all of this year. Seriously, this wheelset is awesome. Especially when one can pick it up for the EP price, which I did.

Regarding the Tufo Cubus tires: The performed much better than I thought they would in the slop. Still, they don't like to be leaned over too much in the slick stuff. In a straight line they seemed to climb pretty well, and I had plenty of opportunities to test that aspect today. They did shed the mud in Forest Part incredibly well; better than the tires my friends on mtb's were running. Not exactly as supple as my Challenge Fango tires, but not bad. I am running Stan's Sealant in them too. So far so good.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pot, meet Kettle

Brianero, after you stopped by today a guy at the shop, let's call him "Lane", said you've put on weight.

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

I didn't notice anything other than your rosy cheeks from skiing.

[An aside for those who don't know, Brianero is a Master A cyclocross racer and I would say maintains a pretty good level of fitness]

I just thought it was funny that he was the one that was talking about winter weight gain. If Lane were a comic character this would be the way they would draw him--the Velonews Old Fat Guy. His gut is not this big, but he definitely is a barrel chested guy with skinny legs.

When I said I hadn't noticed he said, "Well, it is his off season I think he normally gains a little this time of year." Then a few seconds later he added something like "He'll be fine, everyone needs a break."

Anyway, you better get back at it Fatty.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Straight-Shooting Suggestions for My Birthday Dinner

Sorry for another off-topic/non-cycling post here, but I have been under the weather and haven't ridden much (as in not at all) this week. Tomorrow I should be up and back at it though. Actually, people seem to enjoy the non cycling posts more...

My birthday is not for 3 weeks but the time has come to start dreaming of where my birthday dinner will be. My family has already started asking. Birthday dinners on my wife's side of the family tend to be on the upscale side of things. My in-laws or my wife's grandmother do it as a gift to the family member whose birthday it is and the rest of us whose birthday it is not benefit as well.

My mom will be in town from California and so I would like it to be somewhere that will 'Wow' her. But, really that doesn't take a whole lot to do that. She is a very down-home non-fancy person. I am much more picky and spoiled.

The last two birthday dinners have been at Morton's of Chicago for me. Prior to Christmas I got to go on a guys' night out with my father-in-law and brothers-in-law to the Ringside. And just over a month ago I was lucky enough to get to go to El Gaucho for my father's-in-law and brother's in law combined birthday dinner. That was spectacular. I figure that my portion of the bill alone was around $90 though. ouch.

I really like steak. As in really good steak. As in USDA Prime steak. But...I am open to ideas to go elsewhere.

Other recent family birthday dinners I have been to have included the Melting Pot and Urban Fondue. I appreciate the whole fondue thing and cooking bite-size pieces of meat/veggies in flavored broth, but it is not really my schtick. Frankly, it just takes way too long to get full. They usually give you a couple of skewers to cook your meat, but it still takes at least 2 or 3 minutes to cook the meat. That is just way to dang much time for me. It requires way too much patience.

Plus, it is just a little too metro for me. I mean my skewers are touching other peoples skewers which is just a little troubling. Do I want my meat touching their meat? Maybe I don't want my beef rubbing up on someone elses clam or fish since the broth pots are communal. Not that there is anything wrong with that if that is your sort of thing. When it comes to food, I really don't want to have to dance around with others and get cutesy with the other utensils a pot that ends up looking like a game of pick-up sticks.

One last thing about those places. It also bugs when the meat falls off the skewer and then seems to go in some secret part of the broth bowl, because I have a heck of a time ever finding my meat again. No man should ever have to worry about losing his meat. So while I appreciate the atmosphere and the experience it is not my first choice for a night out.

I quite like Thai and other Asian food. I also really love Mexican food. But I can afford places like that normally. For a birthday dinner I am looking for a place that I can't afford normally, after all--I ain't paying. And the fact is that if I picked some run-of-the-mill restaurant I think that my family and extended family would be let down. A birthday is an excuse to eat well on my wife's side and so I need to follow tradition or risk have everyone disappointed. I don't want to let them down.

Right now I am leaning toward the Ringside. Not as spendy as El Gaucho, but still pretty freaking awesome. Oh, and those onion rings...just about the best I have ever had. The steak is Prime beef and most of the time you can eat it from tip to tip with a New York cut. But I would mind branching out a bit to somewhere I haven't been to before.

If anyone has any other suggestions, I am willing to consider other options.

Dang it. I am suddenly starving.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am sick and it blows. Missed work today and missed riding through a light snow to get there with my Curtlo. It would have been cool...

Kids are to blame I am sure of it. Either that or I shook hands at work with some dork who had snot on his hands or something.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

January 2008 vs. January 2009

1/31/08 Run 55 minutes
1/30/08 Swim class, 45 minutes 1300 yards
1/29/08 Running 65 minutes-hilly, AHR 161
1/28/08 Swim Class 800 yards total various paces
1/25/08 Run 60 minutes hills
1/23/08 Run 50 minutes hills
1/18/08 Run 40 minutes, hills moderate pace
1/16/08 Road bike, 1 hour easy
1/15/08 Run 1 hour. 152 AHR, 5 miles
1/12/08 Run 1 hour. 161HR
Total January 2008 workout time: approximately 10 hours total time.

1/30/09 Bike 27 miles singlespeed
1/29/09 Bike 26 miles singlespeed
1/28/09 Run 3.8 miles
1/27/09 Bike 26 miles singlespeed
1/26/09 Run 4 miles
1/24/09 13 miles singlespeed
1/22/09 26 miles singlespeed
1/21/09 13 miles singlespeed
1/20/09 13 miles singlespeed
1/17/09 13 miles singlespeed
1/16/09 26 miles Singlespeed
1/15/09 26 miles Singlespeed
1/14/09 25 miles Singlespeed
1/13/09 25 miles singlespeed
1/8/09 25 miles singlespeed
1/6/09 13 miles singlespeed

Total time for January 2009 was approximately 24 hours.

Yeah, no wonder I feel pretty good. By comparison last May, the month before the Vikingman half-ironman distance triathlon, my total workout time was about 31 hours--probably my heaviest training month of all of 2008. However, that was with a much more balanced mix of swimming, running and biking. I had some much longer rides and runs too.

Currently I riding to work and back I get in 55 minutes going (13 miles) there and about 70 minutes coming home (longer route of 14 miles) around 7 to 8 hours after the first ride. Since the ride is on a singlespeed, it does tend to hurt quite a bit more than it would on a bike with gears. I am not sure what this spread out load of around 27 miles per day of riding is worth compared to a longer ride ride the same distance.