Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sprechen Sie Watdafuk?

I arrived at my hotel in Lanshut which appears to be a quaint little German town in Bavaria. Delays in Chicago caused me to miss my connection in London. Same shit every damn time. I discovered that I grabbed the wrong USB cable, so I will have to try to find one over here to post some pictures.

This town looks peaceful and friendly. I am going to go have a walk around. Right after I drop a Deuce.

Time really change, eh? Just 60 years ago these fuckers were bombing Pearl Harbor. Go figure.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I am off to Europe tomorrow and will return April 6th. Another long lovely business trip. I should be able to post from there. There won't be biking stuff to discuss, but I am sure I will have something on my mind.

"Look kids, Parliament, Big Ben."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday Ride

Big Cat, J-Man and I were able to get out late morning for a few hour ride. We met at Big Cat's house and decided to do the Damn Loop which is about 32 miles and fairly hilly. It was a bit windy today and threatened to rain the entire time. Luckily it held off and we had a good ride. My intention was not to go too hard today because my legs have felt dead since the crit on Thursday. Yesterday's hammerfest certainly didn't help. I will take tomorrow off to try to recoup. I wore my HR monitor today and recorded some data. Here it is if you are into this kind of thing:

Miles - 32
Avg. - 17.3
Avg. HR - 141
Max HR - 169
Time in Target Zone - 1:40
Calories burned - 1369

Nothing to brag about for sure. I feel like I worked a lot harder than the data shows because my legs feel spent. I took The Bug out for a walk after the ride to try to loosen up and it helped some. We have a babysitter coming tonight and are going to go out to dinner and who knows what else. I am excited because it hasn't happened often over the past 15 months.

J-Man finishing the 2 mile climb up past Steiner Ranch on RT. 620.

Big Cat hamming it up for the camera.

The Radillac at the end of another good ride. I love this car.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shop Ride on Saturday

We met at the shop today at 7:30am for the Saturday ride. We decided to ride down to Zilker Park and hook up with the Austin Tricyclist ride that would be leaving at 8:30. I have never done one of the ATC rides before and was told there would be a lot of people. That was an understatement. There had to be close to 100 riders including some of the best riders in Austin. We rode up the Mopac Access Road heading for Southwest Parkway. There is a small hill right before the exit to Southwest Parkway and it caused a split in the group. I got stuck in the rear split. I went off the front when we turned onto Southwest Parkway and tried to catch my buddies who made the front split, but it was futile. 1 rider can't ride as fast as 50. What surprised me was the pace of that group. Usually when you get a bunch of people together to ride, the pace is moderate. Not that front group. They were hauling ass and I couldn't catch up. It was still a blast. My buddies told me that the front group split into 3 smaller groups on the way the Southwest Parkway. We headed North on 71 for a few miles and then turned onto Bee Cave Road for the last mile back to the shop. We ended up right at 28 miles.

5 minutes from Southwest Cycle Sport this morning I got a flat. I checked the tire, put in a new tube, blew it up with an inflator and took off. 2 minutes later the same tire was flat. Jump off, go through the same process blah blah. This time it held. There must have been something that I missed on the first change even though I saw nothing wrong on the second change. Just one of those days I guess.

I was too busy pedaling my ass off today to remember to take pictures. I will make sure I get some on my next ride.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday Night Crit

The outcome was much better than last week. I finished about 2/3 lap down with a small group of others. I definitely didn't finish last in Cat. 5 either. My goal this week was to improve on last week, so I definitely did that. I still have a long way to go before I am a contender. It will come in small steps I guess. I stayed with the pack for as long as I could tonight, then slid off the back with a few others. The race was 30 minutes and I averaged 21.5 mph. The track has a lot of corners and there is one 180 degree bend in the middle that really takes away your momentum.

Here is a satellite image of the Driveway Race Track that the crits are held on. It is about 3/4 mile long. You can see the 180 in the middle. The start/finish is on the straight at the bottom of the photo.

Team Hotel San Jose puts on the Thursday crit series and do a fantastic job.

A consecutive series of photos of the Open 1-4 race which is run last.

So now I have a question for all of you road racers out there. Since I could race in the 35+ class, should I? What are the pros and cons of doing so versus just racing Cat. 5?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Are You Lucky?

On Friday of last week, the wife and I had the day to ourselves. We were both on vacation and her sister and family had just left. So we decided to do two things we never get to do with a small child - go to the bookstore and then go to the movies. As we were walking from the parking lot to the Barnes & Noble we passed some stores and one was Lucky Brand Jeans. My wife said, let's go get you a new pair of jeans. Fine I say. I really hate clothes shopping. I ended up trying on about 5 pairs of jeans until I found the perfect pair. Basically things were just being handed in to me to try on and I was not paying attention. So great, I had my jeans picked out and we are ready go. As I was folding the jeans back up I noticed the price tag. Keep in mind, I wear Levi's and Old Navy jeans. I ask my wife if this is a joke. Maybe we are on candid camera?? She apparently knew that these jeans were expensive before we entered the store. $112 DOLLARS?? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? FOR JEANS?? At the time I was wearing $29 Old Navy jeans. "Oh, you deserve it", she said. FINE. WTF could make a pair of jeans cost that much? I am pretty sure that they are made of denim. They are blue. They have a fly. Yup, jeans. I am still not sure why they cost so much, but oh well.

Yeah? Why don't I feel lucky?

I got another key piece for the Retro Rocket via EBay. NIB early 80's Record High Flange Hubs! SWEEEET! The vintage shops sell them for $350. I got them for $135. Quite a score. I hope to have it done by Summer.

Tomorrow are the Thursday Night Crits. I fully intend to improve this week. I have had a good week of training. 4 solid days. The weather is looking like it may not cooperate though. I have my fingers crossed. I will not be able to do the crits next week or the week after because I have to go to Europe for work.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Who Wins in a Throw Down?


Sunday, March 18, 2007

For Your Viewing Pleasure

I bought this DVD last week and watched it over the weekend. If you are an Eddy Merckx fan, you will love these documentaries. The first film, "La Course en Tete" starts with the 1973 World Championships and then moves to the Giro that year. It also goes back to 1972 for Eddy's 1 Hour World Record set in Mexico City. The film shows a lot about what goes on behind the scenes at the large stage races. It is kind of crazy actually.

The second film, "The Greatest Show on Earth" is only about the 1974 Giro and the battle between Merckx, Gimondi, and Fuentes. It is a fantastic documentary.

These are not English films, so when they are talking which isn't often, it is subtitled. There is a lot of cheesy music and La Course seems to jump around a lot without explanation of what events you are watching, but it is still awesome. If you are a Merckx fan, these are a must see.

My dogs weren't impressed by Eddy.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Club Ride

I met up with some of the guys from Southwest Cycle Sport this morning for a ride. We met at 7:30am, but had to wait for about 15 minutes until it was light enough to ride safely. There were 8 people riding in total. Big Cat made it out to the ride. I was surprised to see him because when I talked to him yesterday he sounded sort of non-committal. The ride started out kind of weird. We left the shop and headed East on Bee Cave Road. There was a lot of shit on the berm for some reason this morning. Probably a truck carrying debris went down the road and shit was blowing off. We came to an area where there was glass everywhere. We all sort of zigged and zagged to miss it and one of the guys got a little out of whack and hit the pavement. He hit pretty damn hard breaking his helmet in 3 places. Thankfully, he was ok. Him and Peter went back to the shop to grab a new helmet and the rest of us made plans to meet them further into the ride.

The ride was right at 29 miles. Peter had to be back to open the shop at 10am. It was a great time and there were a few sections where the pace was brisk enough to hurt, especially the last 6 miles. Those are the kind of rides I need more of to get in better shape. All in all a great ride. I also got to meet some new people. It is funny that one dude I met lives about 4 houses down from me.

Before sunrise at Southwest Cycle Sport. The BEST DAMN BIKE SHOP IN THE WORLD!

Our nice little pace line heading North on HWY 360 toward Spicewood Springs Road.

Peter hammering down the road. Peter and his wife Jennifer own Southwest Cycle Sport.

Post ride recap in the shop parking lot.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm a Neophyte

Today was a full day to say the least. It started off with a trip to the zoo. The Austin Zoo is very small by zoo standards. It consists of rescued animals. It is a great place for kids because you can get up close to most of the animals. They also have a great petting zoo section where you get to feed goats, sheeps, lama, deer, etc. From there we went over to Zilker Park to hit the playground. The Bug had a great time.

Me hanging out with my the goats.

Tonight was my first race of the season which was also my first race ever. I raced Cat. 5 at the Austin Driveway Crits which are held on a go-kart racing track. It was a blast. I had a few goals. The first was not to get lapped. I failed at that goal. My little group of 3 got caught with 3 laps left. The course is about 3/4 mile long and we raced for 30 minutes. I proved my newbieness for sure. After about 4 laps the pack was flying and I wasn't sure I could hang with them for 30 minutes at that pace. So, I backed it off a bit and they got away. Then, they slowed down, but were too far ahead for me to bridge the gap. After 11 laps in a small group of 3, we got caught by the pack which was a good bit smaller than when I dropped off the back. Next week I will dig deep to stick with the pack knowing that they will ease the pace eventually. My second goal was not to come in last. I accomplished that goal, but I am not sure where I finished because of the mixed class. I will have try to find the posted results. My biggest problem is still my weight which has come down significantly over the past 3 months. However, some of the guys are still 40 or 50 pounds lighter than I am. They were able to accelerate out of the corners faster than me. I still have a long way to go for sure. All in time.

Amendment - I saw the results from the race last night and I did finish last in the Cat. 5. I guess the other dudes were 35s and juniors that I was hanging with. Oh well. Next week I will take a different approach.

My race number tonight.

The Cat 3/4, Women 1-3 race.

The Open 1-4 race. This was the peleton, but there was a break of 4 ahead of them.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Brain Protector

I bought a new helmet today to protect my brain. Why? Why would Andy Warhol want to protect his hands? Why would Carl Lewis want to protect his legs? Why would John Holmes want to protect his pecker? Because it is my best asset.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Rain Rain Go Away

We met at my house at 11am for a road ride yesterday. It had been threatening to rain all morning and I hoped it would hold off. Did it? Of FUCKING course not. 9 miles into it and BA-BOOM! It was pouring. As were were making a left on McGregor from Fitzhugh Road, I saw a guy fixing a flat by the stop sign. I peddled toward him and asked, "Have everything you need?" He said, "Yeah, thanks." I said, "OK. Have a good OOOPPPHHH!" And there I was laying on the road still holding onto my bars with my feet still clipped in. The wheels kicked out as I was making the corner. It happened so fast I honestly didn't let go of the bars. Sunflower and Bunny thought I was gonna be a hurtin' unit because apparently it looked like I drug my face on the road. However, it was my helmet that took the blow. A bit of road rash, but I am fine. BTW, isn't Lycra awesome? Not a mark on it but underneath my hip was bloody. Great stuff. We decided to cut the ride short and headed home from that point finishing at a very short 18 miles.

I am on vacation this week and hope to get some good rides in. I will do the Thursday night crits this week. I am looking forward to mixing it up. We will see how it goes. My expectations are very low at this point.

Have a good week.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Finally Finally Finally

This has been a long week that seemed like it would never end. I have a headache and feel kind of nauseous, so I will just post pictures from my lunchtime ride.

There were lots of these bad boys out this morning that I though were going to screw with my ride, but they all departed by late morning.

There are enough little hills on my lunch ride to keep it interesting.

Where I shower after my lunch rides.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I did a lunch ride today which was awesome. The temperature was perfect at about 70. The wind was blowing in my face on the way out, so the trip back rocked. I am going to like my new office location I can see. I am going to go for another lunch ride tomorrow. I saw some other people out riding. Hopefully I can get to know some of them in the near future. Today is my wife's birthday. I felt obligated to eat a piece of cake and now it feels like a boat anchor in my stomach. Oh well.

My desk in my new office.

My office picture of Eddy.

The building on the right is my office building. The building on the left is Southwest Cycle Sport. Convenient, eh?

My lunch ride heading West on Bee Cave Road toward Highway 71.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Not Much to Chat About

Little Bro went home to PA to take care of some things. He says he is coming back to resume his job search soon, but I am not so sure. I think the effort involved in meeting a new circle of friends is more than he wants to deal with. Time will tell.

I went to the gym today at lunchtime for a quick workout. I hit my abs, back and hips (keys to cycling I am told) and then did 45 minutes on a stationary bike. I did one of those programmed workouts and felt like it fit the bill for today. Tomorrow I am going to do a road ride at lunchtime and then buzz over to the gym for a quick shower before heading back to work. I packed some leftover salmon and couscous for lunch. I am looking forward to being able to get some riding time in during lunch because it is dead time that I can use to my liking. Unlike after work when home obligations sometimes have to take priority.

I have discovered the Sleuth Channel on Time Warner Cable. Two of my favorite cop-type shows are on there in rerun. The Rockford Files and Magnum PI. So the question is:

Quien es mas macho?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday Spendor

We met at the Casa de Chris today for a two hour ride into the Hill Country. Riding were Mr. P, Little Bro, Big Cat and I. Bunny was supposed to ride with us, but she called to cancel. I think the idea of riding with 4 dudes that she doesn't know well was the real reason, but who knows. The route was the typical rolling hills, cattle guards, and low water crossings that are common around here. The wind was blowing, but not hard enough to be too annoying. Mr. P is getting better on the bike every week. Big Cat is fresh back from an ankle injury he got while running on trails by his house. He seems to be doing much better. Little Bro was hung over like a MOFO and just tried to survive the day. I gave him an out telling him that he could turn around, but he opted to ride because he knew the grief I would dispense would far outlast any temporary physical pain.

Little Bro and I went out to Fado's Irish Pub on 4th Street last night. We got back to my house at around 1am. I was driving so I only had 3 beers the whole night. Little Bro on the other hand probably had 9 or 10 Guinness drafts. It seemed like a good idea at the time I guess. Playing at Fado's was the #1 U2 tribute band in Texas (self proclaimed of course). I think they would have been great had I drank another 12 beers. Little Bro met a few cool chicks, so it was all good. I guess when you get home at 1am drunk, a 1030am ride comes damn early.

My newest socks bought at Southwest Cycle Sport for $6.99. My new office is 100 feet from the shop, so I expect my spending there to go up significantly.

Big Cat picking himself up off the road after getting his foot hung up in his pedal.

Whatever DRUNK BOY!

"WTF are you staring at?"

Heading back to the casa on Bell Springs Road.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

3 Days in the Cali

I was in SoCal this week and just arrived back in Austin. I was out there doing some business development in the construction industry. We manufacture products that are used as ingredients in grouts, mortars, stucco, etc. On Tuesday I arrived and drove over to Rancho Cucamonga to meet with a company that makes concrete patch and floor coatings. I then headed back to my hotel in Irvine and headed to the hotel gym. The damn exercise bike was broken, so I hit the treadmill. Nothing is more boring than a treadmill and to boot, I forgot my iPod at home. On Wednesday I drove down to San Diego in the morning for a meeting with a company that makes stucco. After that, I headed North for a lunch meeting with our distributor in La Palma and then headed to a meeting in Cypress at a company that makes stucco and floor leveling products. We had a great dinner last night in Irvine at a fish restaurant where we had a very nice Cabernet Sauv. (One of my favorites - Heitz Cellars). Today I had a meeting in Santa Fe Springs where I gave a presentation to the company that supplies Home Depot with all of their grout and thin set products. I then headed back to LAX to catch my flight to Austin. I drove home, hung out with The Bug for a bit and am now watching American Idol. I will then watch The Office and My Name is Earl, both of which are taped. What a week. I just want it to be over.

Low clouds cover the mountains behind Rancho Cucamonga.

I sweated my ass off on the treadmill doing one of those preprogrammed routines.

The nuclear power plant along I-5 in San Clemente. Nothing generates more power than a giant set of tits!