Monday, April 26, 2010

Is it time to panic yet?

I always get this way before a trip. Right now, I am panicking, thinking of all the stuff I need to get done before the annual Rambler Moab trip. You might ask what I am doing writing on this blog when I could be getting some stuff ready. Lemme explain.

Unlike my normal M.O., I actually got stuff ready this weekend. My tent that was mangled in last fall's Curt Gowdy trip was set up, repaired, cleaned and packed up. All the camping supplies were cleaned and readied. My bike is almost ready to roll, with both fork and rear shock having been rebuilt, new cables, chain, and brakes bled. I'll get my clothes ready tonight.

No, actually, I am panicking because we have a whole bunch of guys going and I am feeling a bit like a camp mom. When we were in the planning stages of this year's trip, I told JT "Fuck it, we need to let one of these other guys plan the trip this year." JT, being the voice of reason said "It will not happen then." He was right. We've had others do more in prepping this year's trip than ever, and I feel like we're still a little behind. Maybe it is the control freak in me that is wanting to know everything that is or isn't happening.

I realize that as long as I have my riding gear, my bike and my sleeping stuff, everything will be OK. But, until we're on the road, I'll be panicking the whole time, sweating the details.

Now, I need to go find that 3.5 mm allen wrench. You never know if someone is gonna need it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My hands still smell like suspension fluid.

Returning to a bike related post and something not as snarky as my last one (which according to my wife was NOT funny, but just mean. I might want to disagree, but she's usually right and I'm usually dumb...).

In addition to my excellent bike riding skills (HA), I've always prided myself in my bike mechanic skills. I tore my first bike hub apart at age 11 or so, not knowing what the hell I was doing and been at it ever since. Fucking up a bike part will teach you REALLY quick how to not do it.

I've taught myself or learned just about everything there is to do on a bike, from building wheels to rebuilding suspension parts. I did this for three reasons. One, I never wanted to pay the "shop rate" for repairs. Yep, I am cheap, but I guess that's how I can pay for expensive bike parts. Two, I don't trust a lot of people to do the work properly (this is my problem). Actually, when you go to a shop, there are a few that you really know and trust and if they were the ones working on your bike, that'd be OK, but usually that trusted person takes your beloved and hands it off to some teenager that is in his first week on the job. No thanks. Third, and most importantly, I am REALLY impatient when it comes to getting stuff fixed. If you remember back, this might not be compatible with my ability to PROcrastinate, but they're not necessarily mutually exclusive. Once I hand off a bike or part to someone, I'm wondering when it will be done on my way out of the shop.

SO, with our pending trip less than a week away, I needed to get some annual bike maintenance done. I rebuilt the rear shock over the weekend and last night I rebuilt the fork. I started at 8 pm, keeping with my ability to procrastinate. The best part of doing it at night is if I have any problems and I need to buy an additional part, I can't. Which is awesome as I'll obsess over it, think about it all night long and sleep like shit. But, I didn't have any issues and as I type this I can peer over and see my bike, reassembled and looking good, on the rack in my basement shop.

Everything on my bike is now ready for the trip. I'll take her out for one last ride tonight, making sure everything is working properly, wash it up and have it ready for Moab. I just hope that when I'm flying down a trail in Moab, my fork doesn't explode.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just Say NO!

All right, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) today's post has nothing to do with cycling, other than the fact that these crazy assed people could run a cyclist over in their rolling pet carrier.

First, at what point in your life does a person decide that they need to get a dog that isn't much bigger than a rat and take said canine with them everywhere they go? Dogs should NOT be smaller than a cat and there are place where these rats should NOT go. Right now, the dog we have is the smallest we've ever had and she's almost 60 lbs. And I realize size isn't everything, but c'mon, I don't dig those kick-dogs.

Second, why do these people think they can be top secret and sneak these stupid dogs into the grocery store with them? They put them in a little bag and put them in the cart like no one would notice. Then, they act all indignant and hurt when you approach them and say that you can't have a dog in the store due to health code reasons. These same old ladies (and weird old gay dudes) are the first to bitch when a child gets a tiny bit out of control in a store, yet here they are with a dog, whose feet have stomped through its own shit, now wiping that shit off in a shopping cart where I am gonna put my food. Why do they do this? I should borrow my friends Great Dane and cruise through the store with that son-of-a-bitch in the cart, head about 7' in the air, barking at people and shitting its dinosaur sized shits all over the store, see how those old ladies like it.

Third, and most importantly, why do so many of these micro-dog people insist on driving around the world with this stupid dog on their lap? Yesterday on my way home for lunch, I was behind a lady THAT LIVES IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD going about 3 m.p.h. with her fucking dog on her lap. It wasn't like she was new to the neighborhood and was driving around looking for a particular address, she lives here. And I KNOW she was going slow because she was French-kissing that damned little shit-eating rat.

What I've always wanted to see happen to these lap-dog-drivers is a low speed front end impact. Have the airbag go off. Permanently imbed the rat into their chest so they ALWAYS can have their dog with them. I just don't get it. When does this whole phenomenon happen? When does a person decide those little dogs are cool (news flash, they're not. They've jumped the shark. Just think about it, Paris Hilton likes 'em, that should say it all) and when did they decide that everyone in the world wants to see this dog? I love dogs. I don't trust people that don't like dogs. But dogs don't belong in a shopping cart or a bag or on someone's lap in a car. Dogs belong outside or sleeping on their back on the couch or in their own seat in the car with their head hanging out the window, slobber running down the side of your freshly washed car.

Actually, there is only ONE time (OK, maybe two times) when those little rats are cool. First, my neighbor has about 200 of those little things. I was out mowing the lawn one day and they were all at the fence barking at me, at other people walking by, and at leaves blowing across the yard. The oldest kid in the house (a teenager...perfect age for embarrassment) comes out to stop them from barking. They got so worked up into a frenzy that they all mounted each other ALL IN A LINE and started humping each other. AWESOME! The kid got super embarrassed, especially when I made some sort of train-fuck comment. Second, while I think it is highly unfortunate for the dog, but damn it's funny, I've heard of multiple times of these dogs cruising around in their back yards and a hawk/eagle/owl/crazed pigeon swooping down and snatching these dogs for that night's dinner. Completely messed up and hilarious all at the same time.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled cycling blog. Please check back soon for actual cycling related content.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Real Reason I'm Almost Serious About Cycling This Year

Well, as I spoke about in my last post, we (Teamfubar, which includes me) are doing the 24 Hours of Moab again this year after a 10 year hiatus. Whether I want to or not, it is coming and it will be coming quicker than I want. All the training, there I said it, I've been training. Yes, after all the bellyaching I've done about friends training and taking their cycling so damn seriously, I'm now training. Though I assure you, if our "club" goes out for a mountain bike ride, I won't skip it because I have to go for a long road training ride. Riding is riding and having fun on your bike is the real reason we do this anyhow.

Whew, coming back from that'd think all the training I've been doing has everything to do with the 24 HoM. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. And you'd think that all the training I've been doing was to be able to hang with the jackrabbits I've been riding with, but again, you'd be wrong. And you might think I've been training to do better in the Dakota Five-O this year, but once again, you'd be wrong. And sure all the training will help me with all that stuff, but it isn't the real reason I've been training.

Here's the real reason. The 6 or so of you that regularly read this blog might remember our trip to Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming. When we were there, we ate dinner in Laramie. Before our dinner, we went to Mulligan's which is a bar in Laramie that my aunt and uncle own. We started drinking beers there, getting fairly well oiled up before going to dinner at Applebee's and drinking more there, so I do realize a lot of what was said that evening was alcohol fueled. We were in the bar, sitting around a long table, so there were multiple conversations going on. I was sitting next to my aunt, who I was speaking to most of the night, and Bob, one of our Teamfubar members. At some point during the evening, Bob was talking to Nick, the young triathlete and Greg, the wild Aussie/South African/Brit, when I heard Bob say "This mutha-fucker could kick everyone's ass at this table back in the day" (or something to that effect) and pointing at me.

I realized, yup, I used to be one of the fastest in the group. I used to be able to throw down with anyone on a bike and now I can't. And while I don't care that I don't anymore, I don't really like that I can't. And realistically, I know I probably won't be able to throw down like I used to, I want to be able to feel good about my efforts, which I didn't last year. And after yesterday's group road ride, I am getting closer. When we got done, guys that were stomping me into the ground last year were hurting and I wasn't. Yup, definitely getting closer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

There is NO turning back now...

Well, it's official...we're doing the 24 Hours of Moab. I submitted our application and paid this week. And now I'm scared to death.

You see, I haven't done the 24 HoM in 10 years. TEN YEARS. I was much younger, better looking, in better shape and WAY faster back then.

Oh sure, I've muddled through the Dakota Five-O a couple times, but for the most part, I haven't done a race, much less ride my bike nearly enough to do the 24 HoM. I now face the reality of racing this in October and I don't think I have enough time to train for it, which is why I am scared.

Could I go and do the race now? Sure I could. I could also punch myself in the nuts repeatedly about 700 times and get the same result. Thing is, I don't want to. I don't want to just suffer through the race, although no matter your shape, you will suffer. I want to be able to hang. I want to be able to have fun. I want to be able to have my team be happy with my performance.

When I signed the team up this last week, the website had about 250 warnings saying that it was final and no refunds were to be given. Maybe that is why I got nervous about where I am at right now. I know it is irrational and in a week or two I'll be OK with it and be rarin' to go.

I'd better go upstairs now and eat some Easter candy...