Friday, December 9, 2011

She was the one

Unemployment has its benefits.  I get to do chores, I have a Master To Do list and then a Daily To Do list.  I've been pretty good so far knocking out this list one-by-one, and still managing to have plenty of "me"-time.  PRO-tip: Keep the TV off.  I have been using Evernote to sync my lists from my tablet to my phone.  This is awesome for a detailed grocery list.  I know that I am using this application in the most simple form, but it works for me.  I have to clean out the garage and the attic so that we can donate to AMVETS and reduce some of life's clutter while helping a good cause.

My first mtb frame is up in the attic, I am saving it to make an art project out of it that will eventually hang on a wall.  It is the bike that kicked off this insatiable appetite for two wheeled locomotion. There are two other mtbs up there along with a circa 1990's crt TV a set of old wheels lots of used tires.  Really?  What am I going to do with used tires?  My hockey bag and sticks.  Man haven't used that in well, forever.  At one time I played and coached hockey.  I doubt that I could even hockey-stop.  One of the hardest things I have ever learned in my life.  It looks so simple, take a metal edge and slide it sideways on ice to a stop.  Simple.

I have life reminders all around, things this body used to do and do fairly well.  I have a skateboard that is collecting dust, a reminder of several chapters in my life spanning more than half.  The time I spent riding skateboards was full of pain, suffering, and the pure joy of freedom.  I have scars from 20yrs ago, but to have the feeling of dropping into a ramp and carving a nice back-side five-0 didn't come easy.  It's in there somewhere, that feeling just like the hockey-stop.  It's there but gone.

The one love that I have tried to replace with bikes is the hardest loss.  Railing a bermed stretch of perfect single-track comes close to the feeling of carving fresh pow in the Utah backcountry, but it does not compare.  It's been ten plus years.  I've been on a board since, but it was only frustrating not to be at the level once considered normal.  It is a love lost, the one that got away.  You try to stay in touch, but it is too painful, the memories.  The truth, that you will never have what you once shared.  The only proper thing to do is self-medicate and find a replacement.  I cannot begin to explain the stoke one gets from being out in nature on the edge of "this could go seriously wrong" and having it go "so right".  Cheating death or the feeling of cheating death is a pure drug, and it is readily available.

I keep increasing my numeric value that people call age, and with this my ability to do the things that I love decreases.  I have my substitute, not the one from Mrs. Parker's class in fourth grade, but rather the bike.  It is not the equal to snowboarding that I would like it to be, but it works.  It is the drink to calm the nerves, it is the shot of adrenalin at flat-line. Fall and Winter is a tough time for me, it is a time when I have a feeling that I am not in the right place doing the right thing.  I love bikes, but I will always have a first love, that high school crush that got away. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sweat equity

Looking at all the posts in this here sea of social media and it is awash in talk about training, off-season, coaches, and trainers.  I think I am suffering from burn-out.  Burn-out from training.  I have no desire to clamp my perfectly capable bike into a stationary position, or pull the rollers out of the closet.  My power to weight ratio, my heart rate data, miles, or time have all become arbitrary.  Well time matters, I just want more of it, not necessarily attach a quantity to it.  I am more interested in quality time with the bike.  I could care less about my fitness right now, I just want to ride bikes.  I'm trained out, my desire is in the crapper.  I want to go mtb out West.  I want to race CX, don't care how I do, I just enjoy the process.  The team, friends, family and then cursing the pain of riding crosseyed for 40+mins.  The first sip of beer after killing yourself is indescribable.  I rode 30 miles this afternoon and yes that is not far at all, and you know...I don't care.  I had a great time just being on the bike, the road bike.  First time in a long time on the road and I must say I enjoyed myself.

I have self-diagnosed myself with ADHD, which means any amount of time on a trainer is well, torture.  I cannot fathom how you people can spend hours on trainers, I'm done before the warm-up is over.  Turn on a movie, listen to music, smash yourself in the head with a ball-peen hammer.  Trainers are not my cup of tea, and right now especially so.  I can't imagine myself with pools of sweat, fan blowing, Fugazi blaring, and watching Fight Club all the while doing intervals.  That right there is motivation enough to go outside and gamble with freezing to death or losing a fingertip or two.  That's right I'm a little ray of sunshine.

Just took a quick look at WKO+ from last year and I had only been on the trainer 3 times by this date last season.  So it could be worse.  It can always be worse.  I am going to fight training for all I'm worth.  In the back of my mind I know I am going to get killed next season, but I'm tired and I want the bike to be my escape.  My bikes are toys not tools.  I know this, I just have to remember this.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

the Frank and Andy show

Competitive Cyclist posted this on FB, I then tweeted it, I had to put it on the blog it's too funny

Excuse me, Do you have the...

Up late today, the wife loves the snooze button.  I don't see the point in it whatsoever.  It is useless and dead to me.  In fact I use a watch as my alarm, for two reasons. 1) battery powered. 2) no snooze.  I know what time I need to be up to get ready to be where I need to be.  Snooze just angers me.  I'm just about asleep again and WHAM! Time to wake up, again, and again, and again, and again.  Pointless, unless you want a bad mood version of me walking around half-dead.

I am uninspired to write anything worth reading, so if you want to stop now I understand and don't want to waste anymore of your time.  Otherwise, if you need to kill a little all means please continue.  Be my guest.

Time, it's a funny thing, we invented it, and we are obsessed with it.  Age is a unit of measure that explains how many trips one has made around the big glowing orb.  I believe that the Native Americans used the Moon, or is this just history provided by Hollywood?  Look that up for me, I'm currently lazy with facts.  Society places worth to these trips, we categorize each other with this measurement and place social restrictions.  We constructed what we call Time, everything correlates to some measure of time.  Man created this?  The Romans changed the calendar, the Mayans stopped it in 2012.  Of course they disappeared, has to be the Aliens who have no concept of Time.  Saw it on TV and read it on the interweb...has to be true.

For a people so obsessed with time, we sure waste it as if it were endless.  Time is a construct of man so it is a linear thought, but time or whatever one wants to call it is not linear.  There is no start and there is no finish, time is not point A to point B.  It is for man because we have a birth and a death, but time is not born nor does it die.  We are born we live our lives and then we are no more.  The debate, a debate I will not get into, is what happens after?  What happens after depends on what flavor of cool-aid you drink.

Life is short.  I love Fox Riders Co. saying that they put on some of their clothing.  Live Fast Ride Hard.  I interpret it as life is short, live it to the fullest.  Don't waste your time, enjoy life, love what you do and do what you love.  No matter what you find yourself doing do it to your fullest.

Live Fast Ride Hard -Fox

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby it's cold...

I wanted to title this post Holy F its cold, but in reality it is not that cold.  It is freezing, but to be in perspective it is not like the Great White North.  I was in shorts just a week and a half ago, so to be fair it is colder than what this hairless ape is accustomed.  I just need to deal.  All this being said, a conversation was had this morning about the willingness to go forth into the cold and its direct correlation to age.

The older we get the less resistant to cold.  ????  Do you have any scientific evidence other than all the shut-ins that freeze to death in the winter?  I am not sold on the resistance to cold theory, although it does have validity, I subscribe to the knowledge of cold, and age is supposed to give one more knowledge.  I call this theory the been-there-done-that theory.  I am by no means saying that I am old or young, or that I have knowledge.  I know from experience that when I was a few years younger I wore a lot less clothing in the relative cold.  Now that I am adding years to my time on this planet, I seem to be adding layers to my body when venturing out-of-doors.  I also find that I tend to do my riding indoors more and more. 

I hate cold hands and cold feet.  I have poor circulation to my extremities, therefore making my problem a problem.  The other nail in my cold activity coffin, is the fact that my hands and feet sweat -a lot.  Moisture + Cold wind = Miserable.  As I type this my fingers are little icicles, my toes and feet are sweating in my wool slippers.  This condition can be a match made in hell when out on a long ride.  Thank God for sheep and the lovely wool that they provide my feet.  Ewe Rock! 

I don't do many PSA's on my blog, because the two of you who read this probably already know what I can teach, but the best thing for cold weather activities is:  Know your limiters.  Cold hands?  Cold feet?  Cold head/face?  What limits you from getting out in the cold?  Cover your skin.  Keep your core warm -this means your chest and kidney area, especially your kidney area.  How do I do this?  Keep the wind off your skin, don't let air into your jacket, secure sleeves at the cuffs.  Collar -wear something that will not allow air/wind down your collar mainly down your back.  No gaps, no air leaks, and you will be toasty.  Do Not Overdress.  Overdress and you will sweat, you will get wet and then you will freeze to death, or pretty close to death, or you will wish you were dead.  Ok, sorry for that.  I know you don't come here for my vast knowledge of the way to ride bikes.  You come here for the witty repartee.  Oh, yeah you do.

I'm not going to talk about motivation to get out in the cold, because I know nothing about motivation.  I know all about cable TV and the couch when it is cold outside.  What I do know, is that people will do things with other people that they would normally not do alone.  Group mentality, or should we call it peer pressure is step one and then group mentality takes over?  "I'll go, if you go."  -ever been in on a conversation like that?  I don't think it is peer pressure or group mentality.  I call it the Mutual Dare.  You do it, I'll do it, we will be stupid together, and together we are stronger than our weaker counterparts.  That's right, Damn the Torpedoes let's go spit in nature's face...   Together.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day Uno

Ok, I know that now I am temporarily unemployed that I need to write more.  I know this, so stop complaining about "I don't have anything to read on the toilet" "why don't you have a new post?".  I'm not saying it's going to be good, but at least I will provide you with a small distraction for your day.  You are welcome.  Not thanks necessary, just tell your friends how awesome it is to read, and they will tell their friends and then I will have four people reading this blog.  Livin' the High Life, or just drinking it.

*Not a Race Recap*
I donated some money to suffer in the cold, which turned out to not be that cold, and participated in a timed group ride.  It was good to get out and ride with friends that I have not seen in a while.  Good times, as the kids say.  I was hoping for some CX weather, which means mud and crud.  Saturday would have been nice and sloppy and a little warmer, but Sunday was almost perfect temps for a CX race.  It is amazing how fast you forget how bad it feels to run the engine in the red for 40mins.  I had my memory fade and decided to register for the 4 and the 3/4.  Needless to say that after the 4, I decided that drinking beer was a better option than "riding" another race.  20lbs gets really heavy after a few laps, and the barriers seem to grow out of the ground.

I am recovering quite nicely with my coffee and thinking of all the tasty treats that I can make for breakfast.  Waffles?  Omelette?  Oatmeal?  Cereal?  Coffee?  Already working on the coffee, dang how many cups was that?  There goes my data for my scientific research.  No grant for me.  Maybe tomorrow I will discover the "Too Much" and the precise quantity to reach said limit.  Today will just be a blind dress rehearsal. I should get a lot of cleaning done, and my list of chores will vanish.  ADHD + Caffeine makes for strange bedfellows.  Who wants to go ride bikes?

Check out the What I'm Listening To section of my blog.  I'm hitting up some 80's and 90's today.  The dogs are thrilled that I am a stay at home dad, we are going to hang out and have a good ole time.  Anyway, starting to lose my train of thought, short and sweet.  Enjoy your day, and if you are in the Greater Tulsa Area hit me up if you need someone to go ride with.  Road or MTB or CX, I'm multi-cycle.  As my sister says -Ciao for now.