Jenny and I made the epic drive up to Winthrop on thursday to spend the weekend with Solomon and Brandy in a solar-powered, outhouse-equipped cabin in the woods. Did some good rides, ate some good food, drank a couple of good drinks, and generally decompressed. Thier "driveway" was really just a couple miles of goat-path which cuts straight up the side of a mountain.
You step outside the door in the morning and you are alone. Very alone. Quite the change from the downtown apartment.
Good morning. Coffee, velonews and not much else.
One advantage of living where they do is the security of it all. Some people get all excited about never locking thier doors. How about leaving race bikes on the covered porch and sleeping outside every night? The master bedroom is a roofed and mosquito-netted deck on the side of the house.
Sometimes you're sitting on the porch just relaxing, talking about the world and you get the undeniable urge to shoot some stuff. Do you live way out in the middle of nowhere? Do you have a CO2 powered BB gun and some empty budweisers? If yes, then let that hick-flag fly high and take some shots, my friend.
For a rainy monday, we were at an 11 on the rock star-o-meter. First the singer for chick-band formerly known as Sleater Kinney stopped by to get a flat fixed. Pete almost peed himself. Then the singer for Kaddisfly dropped by for a new tube. Then Colin Meloy from the Decemberists had to show everyone up by breezing through to buy matching Amsterdams for him and his girlfriend. He came up to ask me where the helmets were and I couldn't remember. The haven't been moved in two years. Couldn't even remember my name. I think I mumbled something about a mariner's revenge and stumbled off. All in all, he's a nice guy with a nice girlfriend, who had to borrow a truck from his guitarist because he doesn't own a car.
Another Swan Island crit went down the tubes on Sunday. I rode there and back, so of course it pissed rain all the way there, rained even harder during, and even harder when I struggled over Skyline afterwards. The race itself was pretty average. About 40 Team Hamburglar guys tried to do the Rubicon TTT by getting a big group of thier own off the front, but just ended up attacking and chasing each other all day. I tried a couple of moves, but each time was so far in the redzone I knew it would go nowhere. So they effectively kept themselves from getting a group together and it all comes down to a field sprint. I find Casey and Gephart's wheel, the laps count down and off we go. Mr. Too Vanilla himself is leading out Gephart. Coming into the last sweeping right hander, I launch around on the left and just as I overlap with Skerrit he blows and goes LEFT pretty hard. I'm screaming my head off (which at the time probably came out as a barely audible "hhrraaaiiiiiieeee" type whimper), I steer into a wet manhole cover and I'm going sideways into the outside curb. I closed my eyes, clicked my Nikes three times and said "there's nowhere like home" and when I opened my peepers, I'm uright and rolling down the finish straight, watching the sprint unfold. Skerrit says he never saw me. I say he owes me one.
Tuckerman finished 3rd overall in Arkansas. That's huge. It's huge-tastic. Huge-tacular. huge. Sounds like a weekend of big sacrifice from the team. I'll post more when I hear it straight from the boys.
I might be racing somewhere in Trinidad in a red, white and blue skinsuit next month. Not sure of any dates, or even if I'm going for sure, but I'm in total panic-training mode either way... Fingers crossed.
So Chris Hoy jumped head-first into the hurt-box in Bolivia a few days ago. The guy already has the sea-level world kilo record, but he wanted the absolute record that frenchie Arnaud Tournaut holds of 58.875 at altitude. 15,000 feet of hot, nasty altitude. After 2 attempts he missed by .05 seconds. Draaaag. Train for years, dedicate your life to a dying niche of the sport, spend a few months doing intervals in a hyperbaric chamber, fly to La Paz, put your one-directional front wheel on backwards and miss the record by a hair.
That's a lovely little what if to think about for the rest of your life.
yeah, i know you said you'd never set foot in another high school gymnasium ever again, but this might be a good reason to give it another go.
I may get annoyed with some of the ones that mope around in front of the convenience store by my house smoking crappy ciggarettes and begging me to buy them beer, but big ups to an awesome group of kids from Lincoln High for taking matters into thier own hands and staging one of the best fundraisers ever.
I can see the brainstorming session: **students** "our music department sucks" "yeah, it sucks" "i wish we had a recording studio so we could record emo records" "yeah"
**teacher** "conservatives dont want to pay taxes for you to have music education, or for me to make a decent wage. sucks doesn't it? that's life so get used to it. I need a drink"
**students** "that sucks" "yeah" "we should have a fundraiser" "yeah" "carwash?" "nah. too wet" "rummage sale?" "nah. i don't want to sell my Wii" "bake sale?" "nah, my cook wouldn't be into that" "silent auction?" "nah. boring" "concert in the gymnasium with two of the best bands in the entire city?" "sweet idea" "wicked" "yeah let's do that" "cool, my dad knows a guy"
Found a New York Times at the coffee shop this morning on my way to work. Big noise about the French elections, the continuing failure of the Socialists to get anything together and the newly elected ultra-conservative pro-business anti-fun Nicolas Sarcozy-shack. The thing that struck me was the turnout. 84 percent of the french voted. 84 percent.
In 2004 we set records for 60 percent of the US getting off thier lazy asses to vote. In 2000 we managed a pathetic 52 percent. According to Newsweek's latest poll, Bushie's approval rating is 28 percent. 72 percent of the country doesn't like him but only 52 percent bothered to even vote? And of that 52 percent only 51 percent of that actually voted against him? Wierd. People suck.
I thought I would make it to Burnaby this time around... No dice. Even with a free place to stay, the day off work and the forty gallons or so of gas at 3 and a half bucks a pop makes the whole deal a bit impossible. Weak sauce.
Come on Portland indoor velodrome, come to daddy.
Drove to Seattle to beg for a sweet job from some men in white shirts on Sunday. Interviews never feel like they went great, so it's hard to say how it'll all end up. I find out in a month.
Next race on the schedule is the great Swan Island Crit. Guess I should put my road bike back together...