Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

I went for a short ride with Mr. P today in the South part of Austin. Big Cat was a no-show. It was another beautiful day here with the high getting to around 65 degrees. It was windy though so our trip out heading South took some work. The trip back was sweet because you could maintain mid 20s mph with little effort. I flatted today for the first time in ages. I guess my luck finally ran out. Even though I sort of trundled along at Mr. P's speed today, it was still great to be out on the bike. We met a guy that just moved to Austin from Vegas on the ride and he seemed pretty cool. Him and I are going to ride next weekend in the Hill Country.

We are staying home tonight and having a few drinks. I am not a big fan of going out on New Year's Eve and haven't done so in about 5 years. To be honest, I will probably be sleeping well before midnight :).

This is a shot of Mopac South of Austin. We are blessed to have many wide shouldered roads around here.

The dude from Vegas that we met on the ride today.

My rad Scion ready for the drive home.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Today I put my old roof rack on the little car that I now drive. Prior to that I was just throwing it in the back of the SUV. I thought it would cost between $100 and $150 to fit it to the new car, but it ended up being more like $250 because I had to buy new towers, new locks (I lost the key to the old ones and had to drill them out) and a new fairing. Seems like a lot of money but I plan on having my little car for a long time, so it should be worth it in the end.

It is kind of a gloomy day in Austin. I can't complain about the weather too much because I know some of you have it much worse off. Today I am going to do a run. I have committed to doing a 1/2 marathon relay with my boss, so I am trying make sure my 6.7 miles can be done at a respectable pace. Remember that respectable is a subjective term :). Tomorrow I am meeting Mr. P and Big Cat for a road ride at 10am. It should be a good time. Enjoy your Saturday.

Before - 2006 Scion Xa.

After - Bike ready 2006 Scion Xa.

I finally finished organizing my garage and this is the new bike area. The frame/fork on the top is the retro roadie that I will finish building shortly. Two bikes did not make the shot. One is an older road bike that I lent to Mr. P. The other is my first mountain bike which is hanging just off the right side of this picture.

My two puppies Ender (fawn) and Valentine (brindle) wanting to play fetch. Truth be told they like to play tuggie with the frisbee more than chase it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Weight Training

I have hit the iron hard lately and have seen some real upper body improvements (see picture).

I seem to be slower though, especially on the hills. What am I doing wrong??

Seriously. Can this dude even brush his teeth or wipe his own bum?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Beautiful Day in Texas

It made it into the mid 60s today in Texas and the sky was perfect. In other words, it was a great day for a ride. I definitely needed one to rid my system of the Christmas cookies that I threw back yesterday. I chose a moderately hilly 34 mile route to the Southwest of my house. I rode alone and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Just me and the wind and the sound of my drive train. Riding around here is spectacular. I couldn't ask for anything better. In CT there were scenic rides, but the congestion and traffic weren't to my liking. I am off to Arizona tomorrow and will return on Friday afternoon. Would you call playing golf work? :)

It was a fabulous riding day in the Texas Hill Country.

Something I see often on my rides - cattle guards.

Something else I see often - low water crossings.

Today was the first time I saw this crazy MUTHA. He chased me for about a half mile.

One of my Christmas presents. Now they can identify me as they scrape me out from under an Escalade.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Stupid But ....

My guess is that none of these people will live long, but they aren't afraid to thrash NYC anyway.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hello Old Friend

Today the weather was cold and rainy (47 degrees) in the Texas Hill Country. I figured it would be a great day to reacquaint myself with an old friend. That friend being my 1996 KHS Alite 4000. I love that bike, but have ridden it very little during my long hiatus. I looked it over and realized that this thing was damn cool and high-end "back in the day." After some cleaning and small adjustments, it was ready to go. I took it out for 13 miles and froze my ass off. I should have dressed warmer, but thought I would get hot once out there. Oh well, it was only 13 miles so the cold red stingy ass didn't last that long after my shower :).

I hope you all have a great Christmas and focus on family and the Christmas Spirit rather than the materialistic orgy that Christmas has become.

Very patriotic paint, eh?

The best cycling product that I have ever purchased. 11 years old and still bomb proof.

The first year of the Rock Shox Judy (the fork is a 1995). A great fork in its day, but it needs rebuilt or replaced. Avid Single Digit brakes.

Suntour Twist Shift with Real brake levers.

Suntour Giga deraillers.

I don't need no stinkin' fancy pack. My original Camel Back Packster does just fine.

Sigh. Where's the sun?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

End of the Road

Today was my last day of work for the year. Well, I am flying to AZ next week to play golf with our literature designer for a day, but that isn't really work :). It has been a good year for me professionally. All 3 markets that I manage ended above budget - YOOOOHOOOO. I get to start it all over again in a few weeks. Fun fun.

I ran again tonight which as usual turned out to be barely tolerable. I am just not a runner I guess. My iPod was blaring the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy. You remember that movie about a guy named Bud and his gal named Sissy and a bar called Gilley's? haha.

Here is a sweet compilation of mountain bike carnage just for you. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Quien es mas macho??


Monday, December 18, 2006


Things seem to be winding down at work for the Holidays. I always thought that they should just give you the last 3 weeks of December off because nothing actually gets done anyway due to vacations and Christmas anticipation.

It is hard to believe how fast this year went. I remember when I was young how long a year seemed. All the old people would say how time flew by. Now I get it. The older you get, the faster time goes by. I think when we get to the end of the line, we will all look back and think how short our time here actually is.

This year has been a good one from me and a bad one for me. I got to spend the entire year with Bug who was born on December 20th of 2005. He is everything a little boy should be and I can't imagine life without him now. We relocated back to Austin which both my wife and I really wanted to do. We found the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood. We love it here. Also, I started riding again mid year and am enjoying that as much as I ever did in the past. Sadly, my mom died in late November. I hadn't really talked to her for the past 8 years due to reasons I am not going into here. But I realize now that any chance I ever had to reconcile our differences is now lost forever. I am still not sure what to feel. Maybe things will become clear with time.

I am off to Houston for the day tomorrow to talk with another chemical company about how their chemicals can be used with our chemicals to make other chemicals blah blah blah.

Big Cat and I decided we are going to do 3 days of the Texas Hellweek. We are not sure which 3 yet. Anyone else attending this? Hellweek Texas.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Bonus Post

I said in a recent post that I have a taste for internet video carnage. Here is one of the best clips. Remember to measure twice and only jump once.

Bad Bad Day

Today I had one of those riding days that happen only once a year or even once every other year. I had nothing in the tank, NOTHING. I also felt like I was going to puke up my breakfast Cheerios the entire time. Big Cat met me at my house at 9am for what was supposed to be a 35-40 mile ride. Almost as soon as we got started, I felt tired and heavy and slow. The wind was whipping hard today, so that didn't help the problem. By about 15 miles into the ride, I was absolutely dragging ass. Big Cat kept looking back at me trying to figure out what was wrong. It was so bad that I was going up hills in my lowest gear and was still trying to grab another. After another 8 miles, I was totally drained and had no interest in continuing the ride. Big Cat went ahead to finish the loop and I got a ride back to my house. I just want to forget today and hope tomorrow will be much better.

The wind was whipping like a MOTHER.

The drop down into Barton Creek.

I'm sorry bike. You deserved better today.

The end of a very bad ride.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday Evening

Today was a typical day for me. I had a German colleague in town today and had to spend some time training him on new products. I came home and surprise surprise, it was almost dark. When I walked in the house my wife showed me a pile of stuffing that used to be Bug's Surfer Tyrone doll. My dogs apparently put him on trial during the day and sentenced him to death. Poor Tyrone. I went for a run and it was painful. I do sort of like running at night. I crank up the iPod and just zone out. The area I live in has deer running everywhere so it is not uncommon for a little herd to run out right in front of you. The first few times it was kind of startling, but after a while I got used to it.

I picked up the retro roadie from the shop where I was having the headset pressed in. I hope to finish building it right after Christmas if things work out. The weather is getting better down here and I hope to be able to take a few rides this weekend. I did buy a light and taillight for my mountain bike that I have dusted off. I may alternate riding that with running after dark

For those of you who often win races, watch the video below. This guy has a 100 meter stretch routine that shouldn't be followed by anyone. hahaha.

So close but so ......

Sunday, December 10, 2006

This Weekend

As far as fitness goes, this weekend was a total bust for me. I was in California for most of last week. On Friday I got home from the airport just before my wife got home from work to see that my two dogs decided to go ape shit on a 200 pack of Huggies. If they weren't my pals I would have to strangle them.

Ok, ok. I know I haven't played with you in a few days. But DAMN!

You better be afraid, PUNK!

On Saturday there were a few things that I absolutely had to get done. One of those things was to buy new living room furniture. We had a fixed amount of money set aside and I was certain that I would be able to slide a plasma TV in under the limit. But NO!! Damn taxes. I suppose the big TV will have to wait until after Christmas. Last night we decorated the Christmas tree with all of the unique ornaments that we have collected over the past 8 years.

Today it rained most of the day in Austin. More of a misting rain than a pouring rain. Could I have ridden? Yes. Should I have ridden? Yes. Did I ride? No. I decided to clean the garage instead. We have a 3 car garage and have only been able to park one of the cars inside because the other two bays were filled with junk. After my cleaning efforts I can't get any of the cars in the garage because I have stuff spread out trying to sort and organize it. By the end of the week I will have it done. I did finally get the bike hangers up on the wall so that I could get the 4 bikes up and out of the way.

Blue Colnago from Iowa tagged me so I have to post 6 interesting things about myself. Here goes:

1) The sports that I have done well at all my life have not been finesse sports, but rather physical/contact sports. I love rugby and played for 4 years in college.

2) I have a gift for being a dead shot with a rifle. One of my brothers is a sniper in the military. My other brothers and dad are great shots as well.

3) My undergraduate degree is in Geology. So you will often find me staring at rock formations from my car or bike.

4) I am on my way to 2 million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines.

5) I get addicted to the idea of doing something and dwell on it constantly until it is done. An example of this would be building a new bike or doing a home improvement project. I will think about it for weeks before I finally go get the supplies to do it.

6) I think Mary Poppins was totally bangable.

Now I have to tag 6 people and they are: Fendergal, Danielle Musto, Chainsaw Panda, Anne from Michigan, Masi Guy, Drunk Cyclist

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Umm. Yeah.

Hey! Buon Giorno! Buon Giorno to you too!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

WTF is the Happening?

I was reading one of my favorite magazines yesterday, The Economist, on the flight out to Orange County, CA. As usual, when I was done reading it, I was bewildered as to how things in this world have gotten so out of control. Page after page it was one potentially horrifying situation after another. Probable civil war in Iraq. Probable war between Ethiopia and Somalia. An Iran that will eventually have nuclear weapons. The proposed sale of nuclear fuel and reactors by the US to India despite the fact that India never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And in local news - crooked business leaders, murder, violence against children, etc. Have you ever stepped back and asked yourself, WTF is happening around us?

Get ready because it is coming.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I am going to build a retro road bike after Christmas. I got the frame (steel Rossetto), but was supposed to wait to buy the rest until after the holidays. Well, those of you out there know how hard it can be to wait to get these sorts of projects underway. So I ordered a few parts. Just small things like brake levers, stem, etc. The problem I have is that the Paypal email address on the account is my wife's. So, I knew I was taking a chance using Paypal and hoped that she would just not see the emailed invoice. But NOOOOO! She saw them and immediately sent me an email reminding me of our agreement. SIGGGGGHH. I guess I have to be good now and follow the plan. I was thinking though that it is much harder to trace cash. Right??

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bringin' It Back

My Laurent Fignon look. I am bringing this back in style. HA!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hill Country 53

Five friends and I rode 53 miles in the Texas Hill Country today. We left my house at 10am. The temperature was about 45 degrees (don't laugh, that is cold for Texas). The ride went West on Hamilton Pool Road until it splits into RT. 962 and RT. 304. We took RT. 304 towards Hwy 281. RT. 304 turned out to be an awesome road. This was the first time I have ridden it. It is basically a one lane paved road that runs through open pastures. We probably crossed 12-15 cattle guards in a 10 mile stretch. We turned South on Hwy 281 to Johnson City and turned East in Johnson City on RT. 2766 toward Pedernales Falls State Park. RT. 2766 turns into Fitzhugh Road. From there we cut back up to Hamilton Pool Road to finish the ride at 53 miles. My buddy Nugget came down from Minnesota to ride this weekend. A co-worker of mine, Steeler Guy, came to ride from a town about 90 minutes from here. Also joining us was Big Cat and those two awesome girls from last week, Sunflower and Martillo. We had a great ride and pigged out on pizza when we rolled back in to my house.

I felt good at points today and fatigued at other points. There were two nut buster hills to deal with, but they both went well. The fitness is coming along, but not close to where it needs to be. Here are some pictures:

My brah Nugget.

Nugget on the road.

Sunflower and Steeler Guy.

Martillo and Sunflower hammering out the miles.

Sunflower and Martillo with yours truly.

My little boy Bug waiting for me to get back from the ride.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Some friends are meeting at my house at 10am tomorrow for a nice 53 mile loop into the Texas Hill Country. I picked Nugget up from the airport and we stopped on the way home to throw down some enchiladas to energize for tomorrow's ride. The group should be 8 people or so. It is supposed to be cold so I will have to pull on some warm clothes that I can easily shed later in the ride when it is bound to get warm. I will take some pictures and post them tomorrow afternoon.