Thursday, July 31, 2008

Damn feets fail'n' me!

"Oh for crap's sake." That's what I thought to myself when the unmistakable signs of a gout attack started up yesterday. Here I'm just starting to get my achilles tendon back to not hurting and my other foot decides to unleash its own little hell. This sucks. I go to the doctor today.

In other news I'm in the middle of trying to sell gear on craigslist to fund more cycling toys (a new frame). So far so good but I will say that craigslist can be a very frustrating venue if you are not patient with flaky people who don't show up or ask too many dumb questions about cheap stuff.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Date: July 26, 2008

AM Weight: 198.6

Bike: Booger Ibis

Ride Time: 75 minutes

Ride Distance: 22.2 (no computer but I know the distance on this one)

Ride: House to the ACE train station in town.

Ride Thoughts: This damn Achilles tendon pain is getting worse. Dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit! Hopefully a few days off and some icing and heating will bring it back enough for some light riding. I feel like I have great momentum and am enjoying getting out on the bike more than I have in many many years so this is frustrating. Riding through aches and pains is all part of the experience but some pains tell you that it’s better to not ride and that’s what this one is.

I really like everything about the ibis except the frame (too small) and the tires. I really bought it for the components so have always had it in the back of my mind that a frame transplant was in its future. I’ve identified the replacement but I need to save the fun money for another month before I can make it happen. Haven’t decided on next tires yet, these aren’t dead yet so I have to keep rolling on them for awhile.

Friday, July 25, 2008

July 24 and 25 rides

Date: July 24, 2008

AM Weight: 198.5

Bike: Green Booger Ibis

Ride Time: 70 minutes ß including fricking stop lights

Ride Distance: 16 miles???

Ride: Work to castro to shoreline to Montebello to foothill to arastradero to blah blah blah typical lunch time ride around mt. View and los altos with a teaser into Palo Alto.

Ride Thoughts: Took it easy. Left Achilles tendon hurting. Damn, an injury to ride through already? Feels VERY similar to the infamous right Achilles tendon injury of winter ’95-’96 when the doctor looked at me with surprised eyes and said, “I never heard THAT sound before!” (it was literally creaking like an unoiled hinge which is exactly what it was).

Date: July 25th, 2008

AM Weight: didn’t

Bike: Tomac Mt. Bike

Ride Time: 35 minutes

Ride Distance: ??? 8 miles???

Ride: From Great America Train station to Work

Ride Thoughts: Damn Achilles tendon! Started feeling a little motion sick on the train so was glad to get off and get some air on the bike. I KNOW this Tomac frame is too small but I really like the bike and I don’t seem to be having ANY of the neck and hand numbness issues that have plagued me for the last five years. Hmmm, maybe digging less trenches around the property and paying more attention to my posture in front of the computer is paying off???

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Get down to 190 lbs. by October 1st, 2008 (rate of one pound per week).

Get down to 185 lbs. by December 1st, 2008.

Maintain sub-185 lbs. Indefinitely. Eventual target is to get under 180.

Maintain a reasonable riding schedule (at least twice a week) of at least 3 to 5 hours per week for remainder of 2008.

Ride to Bill and Audreys’ from home by Spring, 2009

Ride to Mt. Hamilton and back from home by Summer, 2009

Do a metric century by December 2008.

Do at least one overnight trip (unsupported) by end of Summer, 2009

Enjoy cycling! It’s not work. If it feels like work, take a week off but ONLY a week

Picture stolen without permission from

July 23, 2008

Date: July 23rd

AM Weight: Was 200.5 lb. a few days ago.

Bike: Green Ibis antique Mountain Bike converted to 26” road bike.

Ride Time: 90 minutes

Ride Distance: 23 miles? No computer.

Ride: Work to Steven’s Creek Damn and back.

Ride Thoughts: Feels pretty good for having been AN ENTIRE YEAR since my last “real” ride! Started to get calf and right hamstring tension after about on hour. Should lower seat a little. Otherwise felt damn comfortable on the bike! Coming back through Mt. View on Castro Street had TWO separate instances of assholes on cellphones not paying attention. First ran me up into the curb and the guy apologized a hundred times. The second person I could see was looking at the cell phone and not driving so I gave a knuckle rap on her fender to wake her up. Come on people! PAY ATTENTION WHEN YOU DRIVE!!!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Project Babe Resurrection Part One (no more # of 104)

"Babe" is the one bike -of all my bikes- I lived on the most. For at least five of my ten racing seasons she was my main steed. I had some of the best conversations of my life with that bike between my knees. It was probably with that bike wedged up my butt that I took the first few bike rides with the woman who would become my wife. It was Babe that gave me my only sub-55 minute 40 km time trial and it was Babe who was with me on all those miles and miles and miles of training and racing.

Yes, there were certainly many other bikes but if I search my brain for the one bike I picture beneath me when I think of my racing years it's Babe (with a close second being my beloved Bridgestone RB-7 that I still kick myself for ever having sold).

BTW, Babe is a mid 90's Bianchi EL/OS straight from Bianchi's Reparto Corse. I couldn't really afford it when I bought it but a "team deal" made it attainable and I always liked the idea that maybe it really was the same exact frame that Marco Pantani swung his leg over everyday to ply his trade.

Around 1999, I was rudely awakened by a loud crashing noise coming from the "office" of our little bungalow. I turned on the lights and to my horror, there was my wall mounted bike stand NOT on the wall. Since Kris is a petite woman, her bike was on the bottom stand and had no damage. My stomach turned backflips, however, when I untangled my beloved Babe and found a gigantic ding in the downtube where the momentum of the fall had brought her delicate frame into contact with the top of our office chair.

At that point, I bought an Ibis frame, transferred all the best parts over and put Babe in the garage. Being a bored kind of guy who enjoys working on bikes, however, I eventually did put a bunch of spare parts on Babe and built her as a backup bike. The huge ding in the downtube really didn't bend the frame. She still tracked straight and true and hands off riding was just as confident as ever. The biggest worry in my head was that the downtube would suddenly collapse under heavy braking.

But now I don't care.

Nowadays I really don't ride at all and I've 50 pounds now that I didn't have ten years ago. Of course I'll never be bike-racer skinny again and I'll never return to the days of 250 mile weeks but it sure would be healthy for me to figure out how to get two or three rides in a week. This stupid episode with gout convinced me of that.

I still have the Ibis but the Ibis and I never really found each other to be good companions. The Ibis wants to sprint up hills and carve sharp corners. That's all fine and good but those days are simply behind me now.

So I've began the work of stripping poor of Babe of the spare parts. I'll have to do a HUGE amount of tender love and care on the frame but she's still all there. The saddest thing I've found so far are small rust spots coming through the chrome on the stays. How could I let such a good old friend come to that? So sad.

So look for pictures and updates as I spend the tiny amount of spare time I have on bringing this old friend back to life.

Frame of action...
1- Strip frame.
2-"Frame prep" = degreasing, rubbing, flush/clean/coat inside of frame, and at least three coats of turtle wax.
3-Strip the Ibis.
4-Figure out what parts from both bikes I like most and clean up/make perfect for installation.
5-Build with patience, love and tenderness.
6-Get to know and old friend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back Home (32 of 104)

Well chronicling the trials and tribulations of a typical field deployment sort of petered out there didn't it. The fact of the matter is that after about a week, you fall into a rhythm and it gets kind of mundane. Then homesickness and - sorry to say - being around the same people all day long day in and day out just gets old. I mean, I genuinely like all my coworkers and get along great with everybody but after awhile I just need to get away from the work and be by myself. With no rental cars and no way to get around that just wasn't possible on this deployment so I just put my head down and got over it. I hope I didn't end up too grumpy for the people I was with. I try not to get too surly in the field but it does happen.

So I got home last night and it was a great thing! Jasper's developments, both physical and mental, always leave me staggering and I actually find myself trying to catch up with what he is now capable of doing. It's such an amazing experience to watch a little human grow!

Now I'm off for a few days and then will be diving back into it. That's a good thing, actually. There is a fairly common phenomena known as post-deployment-depression where you try to go from working all the time with no distractions in the field to suddenly being back home and trying to readjust. What typically happens is work production goes into the basement and motivation gets really low. The best cure is to have something to do. And I'm not done traveling yet so I'll need to hit the ground running next week. Until then, it's R&R time with only a little work to be done from home!

It's good to be home!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Le Tour (31 of 104)

Ug. Yesterday was a "hard" down day. That means a day off. So I laid on my bed and watched almost three hours of Stage One of the Tour De France. The longer I watched the more depressed I started to get. Sometimes I really miss my old cycling days. I like to think I got the most out of it while I was doing it but the truth is that I really took alot of the adventure, freedom and fitness for granted. At the time I couldn't conceive of a life on not training and racing or at least bike commuting and riding for pleasure. But here I am. I've tried and tried to figure out how to make more time in my schedule for riding but haven't figured it out yet. I really just don't have time in my day of ten hours at work and three hours commuting and then trying to be a dad. It's pretty frustrating. I'm not complaining about my life, I'm just feeling a little low about the life I don't have now.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Getting Old(30 of 104)

On Monday morning, after a night of tossing and turning and cursing my throbbing gouty foot I threw in the towel and sought help. One of the project managers is a perfect mother hen and she took great care of me making calls and arrangements and eventually getting me a visit with the military doctor here.

He gave me an anti-inflammatory and within 4 hours I was already on the road to relief. Believe me, the gout is painful - make that Painful, it deserves a capital P.

Life here is mundane and very uninteresting. Other than work, the only thing I've done is go to the doctor and the pharmacy.

For now, though I'm just happy to be able to get around again without feeling completely lame (literally). The foot is at about 55% today and that's good enough for now. Hopefully I'll be able to run in a couple of days or at least get out for a long walk.