Thursday, March 24, 2011

AB jonesin' for a drum set now

Despite me prodding him to learn *both* guitar and drums so he could pick up chicks and become Master of the Universe, AB is really wanting to focus on drums.  I told him that it might be awhile before we get a drum set, but he still cajoles me every time the word "guitar" comes out of my mouth.

Needless to say, he really enjoyed his time up at Guitar Center a few weeks ago.  That has to be his favorite store.  I can't imagine why!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So I'm thinking about picking up a guitar.  Mainly because I got sudden GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) when AB got a half-scale guitar for Christmas.  I've been playing that, and it isn't very comfortable.  But at least the easy action strings aren't lighting into my flesh just yet.

Anyway, I was reading a thread in the Acoustic Guitar Forum on "why did you start playing guitar?".  One of the members posted this, and I really thought it was both poignant and thought-provoking.  So here it is.

"I love music and spent a lot of time attending concerts. As I sat there watching I would think to myself "Someday, I'd like to learn to play guitar". You know how that goes....someday never comes. When a friend passed away my wife said, "He did not die leaving anything undone." Guy was one of those folks that went after every experience never missing an opportunity. He was only 35 when he left us but he had a full life. His death told me that I needed to stop thinking about playing and get after it. It was like looking at a calendar and realizing there was a Monday, Wednesday and Sunday but you'll won't find a Someday. I've been playing for 8 years now. Of course I should have started earlier, but I'm very happy with where I am and plan to just get better each year. Thank you Guy for showing me the way."

So what are you waiting for?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dam That Hill

So, yea, I raced yesterday. It was cold as anything with a wonderful wind out of the north that pounded on you for about a mile as you rode across the dam. I was pretty cold during my warm-up, but ended up fairly comfortable once I started the race. Casey and I nearly missed the start as we were warming up. Fortunately we decided to turn around at the end of the dam, and climb the hill up to the start line. We cleared the course about 3 minutes ahead of the start. I'm glad they didn't give us any flack for being on the course that late. It's a good thing we didn't ride a whole lap like we originally planned.

We rode 5 laps of about 5 miles each. It starts off screaming down a hill, then making a left hand bend on to the Lake Perry Dam. Ride on that for about 1 mile, getting buffeted by a cold ass wind the whole way. Then make a couple of right hand turns, then get a downwind/downhill stretch where you can make good time (30-35 mph recovery sections are my favorite). Then you make another right hand turn, onto some slightly uphill, crappy pavement. Ride about 1/2 mile, then another sharper right hand corner. Then you start the climb. 180' climb, over about a half mile stretch. It seemed to have a lesser incline half way up the climb, which wasn't much consolation.

Thanks for the "kind" words, Philip!
Everything was going swimmingly until we hit the first climb. About halfway up my left hamstring started screaming at me with every pedal stroke. It had been sore the last few days, but I'd been trying to take it easy. Not easy enough, apparently. I fell behind a bit, but then caught up with the peloton on the downhill. Apparently some guys have an issue going downhill quickly, as there was frequent brake checking. LAME. Anyway, once we came up to the hill the next time, I got dropped. I made up some time on the down hill, but not enough to catch the peloton.

Pain face in effect
I held the gap, but with the headwind, it was just too much for me to bridge up to them. That gap slightly increased the rest of the race, but I felt I put up a good fight. I passed a handful of stragglers, so that was encouraging as well. Somehow I felt stronger on the last climb, so I climbed it in the big ring. I wish I could have done that every time, but thankfully the season is young, and there will be more races to come.

My goal was to stay upright and learn a lot. And that I did. Hopefully next time I can stay with the group. On a day like Sunday was, that could have made a big difference.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Two things, one takes less 'splaining than the other.

First up, Awesome. Check them out. It's a monthly podcast with about two hours of training music spliced with race soundbytes. It's gotten popular enough that BMC is using it. I found them on, and have since downloaded all of their previous mp3s. They are about 170MB, just so you know.

Second up, I'm racing on Sunday. I'm so excited it's not even funny. It's seems like cross season ended about 5 months ago, even though it's only been 9 weeks. I'm stronger than I ever have been before, so hopefully that will allow me to at least hang with the Cat5 pack. Cat5 is the beginner category for road. Cat4 is beginner cross. Cat3 is beginner mountain bike. USAC is 'tarded.

So, to upgrade out of Cat5, you have to have 10 mass start events under your spandex belt. I should be able to do that next year. To upgrade out of the 4's, you have to actually have talent and get enough points to get booted to the 3's. That's not on my calendar at this point.

My goal for Sunday is to not vomit on the hill climb (looks like it's about 150' high, over the course of a mile). My usual hill climb is about 105', but it's over an 1/8th of a mile, so much steeper. Nevertheless, I usually don't climb it 5x at race pace. Should be neat.

The bike is built up, tuned up, lean and mean. I'm ready as I'll ever be. Just gotta take it easy on the ride today and let my legs recover a bit more from the earlier training in the week. My training stress balance is at -16.9, which isn't too bad. Lower is more fatigued, higher is more rested. I'm going to try and take it easy this afternoon, but I don't like to ride easy outside. We'll see.

Enjoy the weather!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ruminations for the soon-to-be mighty

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

That is my blog for today. Enjoy.