Thursday, October 14, 2010

More to life

I'm starting to slip with my posting duties. I've been working some crazy shifts. We had a little down turn in business and we had to eliminate two positions, which means that I get to "help out" a little more than usual. "Letting someone go" is not an easy task when it is someone that is a good worker and someone you enjoy working alongside day to day. Such was the case for my employees. I have asked employees to leave on a permanent basis before, but it was good for both parties. This last situation was not good for anyone involved except maybe the bottom line.

Life is a strange and interesting tale, where we make of it what we can. Sometimes I just want a motivational poster that says "F it". I don't like being a "grown-up" with responsibilities. Just ask my wife, we don't need kids, she has to put up with me. The whole Lemons-to-Lemonade is probably supposed to be an example of making the best out of a bad situation. I'm no juice drink expert, but it sounds like work to me. Maybe if you are given lemons you could try and sell them, throw them at that ahole who just cut you off in traffic, using a 3-man sling shot you could launch them at your overly loud neighbors house. I believe there are more options than just lemonade.

Of course, the best thing to do when life hands you lemons is to say no thanks and go ride your bike. Sounds overly simple. It is. Just go for a ride, no computer, no phone, no direction. Ride. It might not solve your problem, but for that one brief moment you can free yourself. If that doesn't work go out and do intervals 'til you puke.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Pass

My wife went with a group of ladies to Chicago to run the Chicago Marathon over the weekend. I told her that they could go to Chicago, just to shop, they did not have to use "running a marathon" as an excuse. Anyway, with the wife gone that pretty much gave me the weekend pass to do what I wanted. Oh, the thought of a pants-free weekend, dishes piling up, empty pizza boxes and bottles. Sounds like a solo weekend dream. No, I loaded up the kids dogs my road and mtbike and just enough clothes that I had to double up on shirts. Note: I had one extra cycling kit that did not get used. I was in AMA Texas in 5.5hrs. Twelve hours after that I found myself railing some sweet Texas singletrack.

Palo Duro Canyon is Texas' replica of the Grand Canyon. It is just a hole in the ground, but with some excellent singletrack to be had. I think there is about 18-20miles of trail that has everything you could ask for in fast flowing trails. If you find yourself in the Amarillo TX area it is a must. $5 a person for the State Parks entry fee for the full day -well worth it. My Mom accompanied me to the park and she read in the car while I proceeded to destroy all the trails in a looped frenzy. It is a different style of ride than what I get here at Turkey Mnt, and I didn't want to let off the gas. I wasted myself in the name of speed and flow, when the dust settled I had just under 18miles in an hour and a half, and some very tired dirty legs. My stomach was ready for something more substantial than a Clif bar.

Post ride nutrition is best had at Country Pride restaurant just outside Amarillo. It has been a family eatery tradition since before I was born. I recommend anything that they cook. It is as hole-in-the-wall, greasy spoon, country as they come. Do not pass it up. The Tex-Mex is more Tex than Mex, but the enchiladas are to die for, really too many of them and you will have a blockage. Besides being a giant truckstop I do not know what the industry is in Amarillo? What I do know...everyone goes out to eat, and the restaurants in and out of town are great, top that off with Texas beef raised just miles from your plate and you have a winning combo. (not a good place to be vegan, sorry friends much respect to you, but I love my cow, on a plate that is) Oh, and if you happen to be a fan of the food from south of the border, then you are in luck. Tex-Mex is super good, don't go to a chain for Mex-food, go to the little local places, it is unlike anything you have ever had.

Sunday morning I took the Belgian workhorse out for a little jaunt on the Texas Farm to Market roads for my second ever road ride in my home town. I had tired legs so I started into the wind, but when I turned and had the tailwind I crushed. Power dropped, HR dropped, Speed showed me numbers I get when going downhill. A Texas tailwind is worth about 5-7mph avg with about half the power. Check that again, it is not a misprint, and it is no BS. Now, it is no fun working in the headwind, but once you earn it, the tailwind is without words. Fast. I was very surprised at how fast and smooth the roads are, even out in the middle-of-no-where-country-farmland. Of course the Ridley does have a little to do with the smoothness, but the roads are in great shape. I have not seen cleaner shoulders, not even in Kansas. Now I am back in the land of potholes, glass, cracks and rocks....... and that's the good roads.