Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

Thirty miles in Averaging around 16. Beautiful day... on the road again to the SuperMax!

T-minus 5minutes and....

mornin'! It's currently 4:50 and I have a few minutes to kill before I have to pick Russell up at 5:30. Since traffic between here and there is basically non-existant at this time of day, it takes quite a bit less than 40 minutes to drag my butt down there.

Clothes for the ride set aside in a bag? Check.

Camera? Check.

Baggie full of bag balm? Check.

Helmet and shoes? Check. They're in the car.

The secret of a 100 mile ride is to think of is to think of the DISTANCE as nothing special. It's not. It's like a marathon, except less so. It's the meat and potatoes cycling long distance. So thinking of the DISTANCE as something hard is the wrong approach. Anyone, I think, who can keep pedaling can do a century. It's true that varying degrees of fitness will determine how much pain that person is in the next day, but if pressed, I think just about anyone can do one. Doing a century with FINESS and STYLE though is an entirely different thing.

The goal today is to do it as smoothly and as fastly as I can... that means getting Russell to work in a 2 person (or more) paceline for as much of the day as I can... riding in the bars or drops for as long as I can... keeping it in my 54x12 gearing for as much of the day as I can (the monster gear that I've pressed up to 40 on very slightly down terrain.)... and drinking and eating what i need so that I don't cramp up... that means keeping a banana on hand in case of potassium inbalance.

Anyway, I didn't want to make anything more of the century than it is. It's a bread and butter distance. I don't even think a double is anything more than that, though it is admittedly quite a bit harder... and if I do Denver-Aspen in August, (which I think I might do in lieu of the 5430) I'll be properly scared about that... there's 13000' of elevation gain on that! UGH.

Just for comparisons, the night before my first Ironman and I think my first century (I can't quite remember), I couldn't sleep at all. Level of freak-outedness was exponentially more before the Ironman, but when I did my first century I had never ridden more than 40 miles. Those 60 miles after mile 40 were virgin territory and it freaked me out a little. Those miles WERE hard that day because there were 30+ mph side winds that you had to lean into to stay upright, but it wasn't anything especially horrid. It could have been much worse (see the road construction on the Paul Bunyan story from a few years ago)

Tonight, I slept like a baby. No stress about this, and I think that that's where I'd love to be when I race IMFL next year. I probably won't be... just because then I'll be able to freak out about not having done the 2.4 in an ocean, but one can hope. Looks like it's 5:04 now, I should hustle out the door. I'll write more this evening!

Friday, June 10, 2005

one last thing before bed...

In just a few hours, I'll mark my return to long distance riding. It's been over two years since I've rolled over the 100 mark on my odometer and I haven't ridden that far in Colorado at all. I'm not sure what to expect. I mean, I know what to expect because I've done the distance many times, but just not here. The elevation of the course peaks at about 8000 ft tomorrow, something I've ridden above quite a bit. But it's fairly open desert territory so that's what spooks me just a little bit. My fingers are crossed that the weather is good. I've got a good mix CD put together for the drive down and a good friend to ride the course with so with my fingers crossed, I'll be having a celebratory glass of wine sometime around 2 or 3:00 tomorrow (depending on wind and how many stops). Blogging and photos to resume tomorrow.

of Red Canyons and Century Rides...

Tomorrow will be my first century of the season, and my first century here in these highlands. As of a week ago, I've been here two years now and I'm not entirely surprised that it's taken two years to get back to the distance.

I had the opportunity to do the Elephant Rock century last weekend, but with 7000+ mostly non-riders riding and pissing off drivers on roads I ride all the time anyway, why pay for the opportunity?

In contrast, Red Canyon is in it's second year and exponentially smaller. It's also in an area that I've never actually done any riding in, the area around the Royal Gorge in Canon City. I've only even been to the area once (to go Whitewater Rafting down the Arkansas River) so it'll be pretty virgin territory.

I guess the first 12-14 miles are a 2000' elevation climb into Red Canyon, then an equal level of descending down to Pueblo through Florence and Wetmore, CO.

I still need to put a mix disc together for the 50 something mile drive out to Canon City... something to charge Russell and I up at 5 in the morning.

Oh, and the swag is pretty good, since it starts at a winery, aside from the T-shirt and the waterbottle (and rest area food) for the $30 registration fee, there's a poker chip included for your first glass of wine. Not bad at all... I think I might have to do this century more than once.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Apple and Microsoft in a game of No Limit Texas Hold-em

Ang and I were watching Rounders tonight. I never got around to seeing it when it was out a few years ago and when a friend mentioned ANOTHER COUPLE OF YEARS ago that he loved it, it went on my list of movies to buy at some point in the future. It showed up in the bins at Movie Trading Co. recently and I picked it up and threw it on the shelf.

Tonight, after a rainy, cold ride we threw it in. I didn't think it was the most amazing movie I've ever seen, but it was pretty exceptional and it was a great lead-up to some stories I picked up on after the movie... something, that if it's true and being played right, could be an utterly stupendous poker hand.

The order of events...

I check my mail and wander over to Lileks' site to get 'Tomorrows news today!' (the blessing of being able to read his Daily Bleat without having to wait until tomorrow due to time zone differences)

Lileks links to this story and then that story links to THIS story. I don't know if it's true, but if it IS, it's a pretty remarkable move.

I've been a Mac geek since high school. When I got into video production in 9th grade, I fell in love with the Amiga. I thought Macs AND PCs were awful... gimme the glorious Amiga 4000 and it's ATROCIOUS operating system any day... I remember wanting to learn aRexx scripting, but never quite getting the hang of it. At one point, someone came out with a board add in that could run a Mac inside the Amiga. I never got a chance to use it, but I couldn't understand what would make someone want to do that.

Once I got to high school, I got plugged into the photography and print teacher's little world. He ran a printing company inside the school's print shop/classroom with student employees... and I got sucked into being a designer. Macs suddenly had quite a bit of cache as I was exposed to Illustrator 4 and Photoshop 2.0 (man I feel old) Since then, I've been a fairly major Mac geek.

With being a mac geek comes the rest of the kool-aid. The Power PC and it's RISC kicks Pentium CISC and must be the greatest chip in the world! SCSI is WAAAAY better than ATA! Floppy drives are of the devil! (well that one was actually true). The teenage me would have been apoplectic at the thought of Apple switching to Intel chips. But when I watched the keynote (another one of those true Mac Geek things to do) it didn't seem quite so bad.

Reading these stories tonight, I wonder if there isn't something more afoot. The thing about all of this is that it makes quite a bit more sense than all of these stories about Apple being swallowed by Disney or Sony. Intel hates Microsoft... Microsoft isn't super fond of Intel and decides to give the next XBox chip to IBM along with Sony and Nintendo. Apple needs faster chips, Intel sees a window and approaches Apple about a partnership (or even as some of these articles speculate, a merger... an 'offer they can't refuse')

at the same time, Apple still rather annoyed with Microsoft (even if they wouldn't admit it) let's the poison pill leak onto the internet. This doesn't bring down Microsoft by any means, but it could be the first little nibble as Google starts nibbling away in another corner of the internet.

I don't know where any of this is going, but between seeing Rounders tonight and watching this story unfold here, it's quite the night for Poker.

more in the morning.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

A view from Sunday's ride. The creek was flowing pretty well. Chris Carmichael lives at the top of the creek and climb.

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

Sunday evening Ang and I were wandsing around a local park watching baby foxes and gazing at this view. I love that this' normal

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

the view from the pool, post ride on Saturday.

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

I hate the way my hair gets sucked up out of my helmet. It makes my hair look vaguely Flock of Seagulls-ish. Not sexy at all!

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

A pic from the end of the Sunday ride. Bear, my fellow hammer-head is on the right.

Riding, Riding, Riding

This weekend I still was under the assumption that the Paul Bunyan Double Century hadn't been cancelled (Darn MNDOT!) and rode my tail off. I didn't ride exceptionally far, but over the course of the weekend I put in around 130miles (a few more than that, but who's counting).

Friday I was supposed to be meeting some friends for breakfast and so when the alarm started playing the midi version of U2's Beautiful Day at 4:35, I hustled to turn it off and hopped into the shower.

The nice thing about heading out onto the road at 5am is that there isn't any traffic anywhere, the bad thing is that I couldn't seem to trigger ANY of the stoplights and thus ended up waiting at light after light after light waiting for my opportunity to hop across the intersection and continue my ride.

The thing that had me a little concerned with the morning ride was that I'd never ridden all the way back north after diving downtown. When I ride to church on Tuesday nights Ang is always there to haul me and the bike back up to the apartment. But I sucked it up and figured that there wasn't ever a really good time to make the first trek back north.

Suprisingly, the ride north wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It's a steady climb, but there are really only two semi-nasty pieces of climbing and both of those are short. I found that it takes about an hour and forty to go from the north side of downtown Colorado Springs up several hundred feet to Monument 23 miles north. I would have ridden home, but towards five there were electrical storms... never a good thing to ride through here where in the plains to the east of the front range there's a good chance you're going to be the highest thing around. 36 miles for the day though, wasn't a bad thing.

Saturday I was up bright and early for the clubs weekly training ride. This is kind of the hammer head ride of the week (next to the Sunday hill climbing and my newly launched "Thursday Night Mileage Marauders" ride... (where I didn't get to put into effect my 'tour de hurt' route last week. This week though, this week!)

last week the ride was up on the north side of town, but once a month it moves locations and this time we were just outside of Fort Carson on the south side of town. I've never ridden through a military base before. It's odd seeing randomly placed tanks.

We cut through Fort Carson and headed south to the Pike's Peak International Raceway. Supposedly, if they ever pave a chunk of one of the roads we were riding there'll be a nice road bike route from Colorado Springs to Pueblo, but for the moment all we have is I-25 (which is actually legal to ride on in most places on a bicycle.... not that you'd catch ME doing it) or the rail/trail that bisects the state.

It was a pretty good day for a ride. Not too hot, not exceptionally windy. Plus, on that side of town there isn't a LOT of climbing, though what climbing there is is on the way back north. The highlight was probably being chased by an emu on an emu farm. I guess it decided it wanted to race a couple of us. We won, I think.

Anyway, 48 miles later that was done for the day and I was off to church to fix some things up during a "pimp my church" day.

Sunday was the same as any other Sunday... if it's Sunday it must be a ride day. The difference was that I ended up riding down to Acacia Park downtown and back up again afterwards. Click another 40+ off for that.

I think I would have been ready for Paul Bunyan if it had happened. It's kind of frustrating that it's cancelled, but I've been searching out some other double centuries. There's one here in Colorado that I'd always talked of doing called 'Denver-Aspen' that has 13000' ft of climbing over it's 200 miles... and I might do that, but I'm really just reevaluating. What do I want to do? What can I afford to do? Things will be much better when Ang has a regular job and we're not on nearly as strict of a budget. For now though it's a matter of picking and choosing.

I've been thinking of bagging the half-ironman I was talking of doing later in the season so that I can continue to save for Ironman Florida. As interested as I am in the race, I'm more interested in getting back to the long course. I'll never be as much of a triathlete as I am a cyclist and really the long-course is the thing that interests me. For me, I think, it's the insane mix. The shorter distances aren't nearly as insane, and someday I fear, the Ironman might not look nearly so insane.

Thankfully, for the moment, there's still a romance with the Ironman. When we were back in Minneapolis a couple weeks ago, I dug a highlight tape out of a box of videos from the 02 Wisconsin race. When we were cleaning things up and putting things away back home a couple days later I put it in and all the emotions flooded back. I thought I had lost the passion, but it was buried back in the recesses of my brain.

once again, more geekery

On top of the lyrics finder I just downloaded a little countdown calender that lets you track a future event with a little graphical countdown... so, when I pull up Dashboard there's a little calender down at the bottom that says 516 days until Ironman Florida! (at least that's what it says at the moment. heh.

more Dashboard geekery

Ok, my favorite geeky little thing might be that there's a Dashboard widget that automatically downloads song lyrics. Pull the Dashboard up and the lyrics for whatever you're listening to most of the time magically appear. Very, very cool in a muscially geeky sort of way.

This is a test, this is only a test

I just upgraded the main computer to Tiger and I'm playing with this Dashboard widget that lets me just open up Dashboard and post to the blog. If it works like I think it will, this should get me posting more. :-) I know I've been lax lately, but I promise I'll be getting better.

Today, I'm exponentially proud of Angela for making it through another Monday Night Dinner Ride with the club. Nothing, err make that very few things, make me happier than being out on a bike ride with my wife.

More soon, I promise.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


So I'm getting ready to head to bed and decide just for the heck of it to check out the Twin Cities Bike Club website (the club I used to ride with to check for any updates on the Paul Bunyan Double Century I was planning on doing. I dug up the June Calendar and saw this...

18 SAT THE 39TH ANNUAL PAUL BUNYAN DOUBLE CENTURY. AA 202 miles.***CANCELLED*** With much regret we are forced to cancel this event for 2005 due to insurmountable amounts of road construction that affect over half of the ride route. The 2006 PBDC will be back and rolling over silky smooth new asphalt and wider shoulders on those sections that were in dire need of improvement. Looking forward to '06! Bob Hoffman,

So, the double century is out. There IS a metric double, but c'mon people! Riding 124 miles is JUST NOT THE SAME! Ugh. As much as I wasn't especially looking forward to driving all the way up to Minneapolis (we have another trip the same distance two weeks later) it would have been nice to get back to the 200 mile distance after I DNFed the last time I attempted it. Blah.

I'd be open for a double here, but part of the great thing about the Paul Bunyan besides 'Superman Syndrome' (TM pending. heh) is that you can just hammer on it because it's almost completely flat. It's not unusal to do a negative split on the second century.

Anyway, of to bed, but maybe I'll spend a minute looking for a southwestern double.