Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Miles for Breakfast, Salads for Lunch, Intervals for Dinner

I finally had a good idea.

Ben and I are going to start doing interval workouts here in the business park twice a week. We shall commence this Saturday morning around 9 am. As i write this blog i'm trying to convince Ben to roll over here at five to check it out with me.

Its a one mile loop
It has minimal traffic. There is one stop sign we would use as a yield on the top left of the loop. The intersection on the bottom right side is only for traffic traveling counter clockwise.

Anyway, on top of interval workouts there i figured its a good place to add another 5-10 miles each day.

Anything else i should be doing to train?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Last Mention...

Every time i hear the opening track to Viva La Vida i think of Frou Frou, and more than that i think of that mind consuming song Let Go.
Despite having that one resembling quality to the Frou Frou album and the song Let Go i would say Viva La Vida is an album in stark contrast. While i thoroughly enjoyed and still enjoy the song Let Go for its incredible pop sensibilities i wouldn't say that it has depth nor does the album it hails from. This is something my friend and i disagree on, he seems to think Coldplay's 4th effort at making music "lacks depth". Now instead of arguing with him which is something we do often but remain friends, i decided to one up him and blog it and save the arguing for later or not at all (remember my friend, this is all in fun). This allows for some disconnect.

Viva La Vida songs are stuffed full of "depth" with complex rhythms, cool layering, interesting sounds, and their typical pop credibility. I would venture to say that even Johnny Greenwood wishes he'd thought of some of the cool textures and weird sounds present at times (see middle of Track 4 for example 1 of 2). I think i even heard a time signature change in the best track of the album Death and All His Friends, but i was too lazy to sit and count and I'm not musically talented enough to definitively say it was or wasn't, but regardless it was cool.

Though I praise this album i remain a Coldplay critic. Mostly because while they make good music most of the time, i think it would sound better coming from the bands they are copying. We covered Track 1 already. Track 2, 5, & 9 might as well say U2 for Artist. A toned down version of Arcade Fire is heard in Track 3. I also think Thom Yorke & Co. helped Chris out writing Track 4, 6 and 10. To Coldplay's credit they own the title track (Track 7), its Clocks with violins. Also, for a while i convinced Track 8 was written by Billy Joel.
And as for their complex rhythms, it really not supposed to be plural. Because for about 5 of the songs they use the same rhythm.

i think i just ruined the album for myself. yep i did.

I have yet to see a day as nasty as the one in the picture, but i saw plenty of black ice again today. My new Light & Motion is supposed to arrive at the shop tomorrow, so I'll probably take a short route home and stop by the shop. My new handlebars and brakes are arriving too, so i don't have to ride bullhorns all stretched out anymore...thank God. This way i don't almost run off the road once or twice a night.

ride to work.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter Cycling and Viva La Vida=a decent album

Well after buying Viva La Vida (and we'll leave the title at that...) by Coldplay, i was very pleasantly surprised to find it was a superb album.I liked Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. Both good albums in their own respect. But again i think X&Y was pure diabolical crap. Not even pop friendly. After giving Coldplay another shot, i gave X&Y another shot but it failed...It seems they have only one good song on there, which being that its the second single released from that album, it was played out like reruns of Friends.

So giving Coldplay the benefit of the doubt, why the bad Junior album...Well it would seem that the only variable is the producer, which we know to have a profound effect on album's outcome as seen in bands such as ATDI, Incubus, The Mars Volta, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, and anyone who chooses to work with Rick Ruben. The First two albums were produced by a guy named Ken Nelson who apparently knows good music, while X&Y was produced by Danton Supple who doesn't know good music. And Coldplay's latest effort is produced by the well known genious by the name Brian Eno. Mr. Eno could only help in the musical dept, because Coldplay still escaped the studio in these ridiculous get-ups...
They look like they were extra's from the movie The Patriot about to betray their homeland fighting alongside Mel Gibson...may God help them...and their sensibilities of style because Eno has failed them.

On a different note...
I've discovered a great comic series called Yehuda Moon
I implore everyone to subscribe to this. Though it may help if you are a cycling enthusiast and/or work in a bike shop.

Also, i've seen the first signs of black ice and snow on my morning commute. agh. I also suffered from a cold burn this morning. I was wearing shoe covers and knee warmers amongst my other cold weather gear. But this left only my face and a portion of my shins exposed to the icy wind. I got to work and the reddened part of my legs were noticably swollen and aching. I dont know the exact temperature except some would say it was "F-ing Cold", which is just about as accurate as you can get. It was snowing a tad this afternoon.

This is my first real winter cycling, being that in Alabama was the only time i rode year-round and the coldest it got there was MAYBE 40. And 40 is just about perfect in my opinion for riding...maybe 45.

But then again, i would love to feel like Andy Hampsten, even if its only in my mind...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chris Martin <3's = signs.

Mid week last week i got sick. Just woke up one morning and it felt like someone had crapped in my skull. Now despite my efforts to become well, I've gotten worse. Now i am hacking away. I didn't ride yesterday or today. Yesterday was a rest day but today it was i couldn't justify getting ready just to ride 7 miles to work. The reason for the 7 was, because i woke up late since i stayed up to watch the Redskin offense squander another game.

I'm currently listening to Bush's Golden State because of the alphabetical order on my windows media player. I haven't heard this album in a while. Gaven Rossdale hasn't done anything interesting since...
In a few minutes i think I'm going to go buy Coldplay's new album. Any objections? I find Chris Martin to be slightly annoying in his antics, but i don't know him personally so that's an unfair judgment.
That picture is also a little unfair but oh well...I am still buying their cd's, in fact once i buy this one, i believe I'll own everything they released. But to their credit X&Y was the only one that was complete crap and even that has a couple good songs.

Our A-1 Cycling team is generating a small amount of interest. We are looking for a company to redo our jersey's because the last bunch just don't look cool plus we need shorts and stuff. We also have a race we are organizing this coming April at Old Dominion Race Track. It will be a series of track events. I might try and have fun with it.

Bon Iver Dec 1 Philadelphia.

Well i hope this sickness fades quickly because it really takes a toll on my cycling ability and life in general. But mostly i lack energy on a bike. I think this is going to be a cold winter. Its never this cold this early in the year here. I didn't turn the heat on yesterday night and when we got up this morning is was edging close to 50 degrees INSIDE my house. Outside it was below freezing.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day Off and the end for Poptarts

Since i work with the gov't i got yesterday off. It wasn't given as a holiday, but my boss said we weren't going to be doing anything because our customers weren't going to be in their offices, so i stayed home or at least stayed away from the office.

Despite having the day off i woke up at 630 just like most days. Before an hour could pass i was on my bike in below freezing weather heading to meet Ben some 20 miles away. I was trying to take it easy so when i got to his house and we rode back the exact same way i came, that i could do a sufficient amount of pulling instead of just sitting in his massive draft. Though taking it easy might just be harder than suffering immensely later. Its hard not to push that extra bit to sit around 25mph on flats, because cruising at 25 is fun, and i also love to blow up hills as hard as a i can. Anyhow, i still restrained myself as much as possible to take it easy for the first 20. So i got there just at an hour and coincidentally he was walking out his door as i was riding up. Now that we were riding together i thought maybe we could turn it up a notch and haul back towards Manassas, which we did. We said maybe 4 things to each other within the first few miles and after that all we did was switch pacing. It ended up being a great ride, just a bit over 20 mph for 43 miles. I was happy. The only problem riding a single speed is on downhills you don't get to go as fast, and where as they might be a slight recovery spot, on a single speed its not. I dread them more because now i have to control my legs whipping around the crank wicked fast. agh.

The rest of my day went like this...
  • Went to the bike shop to say hello and pick up a couple things, ended up helping Ben with the rush of costumers that came in for about an hour...
  • Went shopping for some stuff for my wife
  • Picked up Hell Boy 2 and frozen pizza's
  • Played Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Los Vegas on PS3
  • Did dishes and laundry
  • napped
It was a good day.

I eat Poptarts every morning for some silly reason. I know its one of the many things that are bad for you, but yeah thats my breakfast. ew. Anyway, i've officially burned out on them and won't be buying them for a couple more years. yuck. i'm wondering what i should do for breakfast now...cereal-no, eggs and toast-no, hmm....ideas?

Monday, November 10, 2008


DNF stands for many things...
  • Digital Noise Filters
  • Disjunctive normal form in boolean logic
  • Duke Nukem Forever, a yet to be released computer game notable for its extremely long development
  • "Did not finish" in racing parlance
  • Digital National Framework
  • Domain Name Forum
  • Dynamic Network Factory
  • "Do Not Fragment" bit sometimes used in packet switching.
  • "Did not find" - a term used in Geocaching to indicate that a cache was not found.
  • Dungeon & Fighter, a Korean multiplayer PC beat 'em up video game.
But of that unnecessarily informative list, the only one that matters to me is "Did Not Finish".

My wife and i got to the race with 2 hours till my start time. I figured i would try to ride the course and get a glimpse and get my legs warm too. But after arriving i chickened out after seeing all the awesome looking racers there...feeling a bit self-conscious. We decided to go for a walk, register, and go sit in the car a bit longer. Around 9 i got dressed, Darryl showed up, the Enduro's took off for their 5 hour ridiculous-a-thon.

I was feeling very confident in my abilities as a cyclist, we lined up our bikes, and then i was feeling very confident in my abilities as a runner. So as the lady counted down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...i sprinted. I got to the bikes 2nd out of like 40 people and then i was 10th all of a sudden because i suck at clipping into my eggbeaters. But yet redemption! I was 3rd into the woods i believe. I found it easy to go cruising past everyone on the gravel road leading up to the woods. Once in the woods, i re-thought exactly why i was doing this race, and i couldn't think of a good reason. I also thought, "man i should have pre-rode this course" in-between all these realizations are groups of irrationally put together expletives.

So i was hanging on, following these two dudes that were just booking through the woods. The ground felt slippery because of all the leaves mixed with my poor handling skills resulted in my fear, which came to fruition minutes later. We approached this quick sharp downhill with a S-turn to boot, also at the bottom right before you jolt up is a VERY narrow bridge, that knowing me, i could very well miss altogether. I flipped out in my mind and then my handlebars went sideways on the S-turn and i went over which resulted in the 3 people immediately behind to wreck as well and the remaining 30 some people behind them to brake and stop which no doubt probably caused a small collision on the up hill right before my embarrassing S-turn fiasco. At that point i let pretty much everyone roll by.

I chased a few people down and was beginning to hope again and had some fun on a few whoops and then i saw a great jump approaching quickly, so i did the natural thing and pulled up as i went off the drop off and when i landed all hell broke loose. My right hand popped off the bars and then the bars caught a tree and i got launched. As i was getting up i saw some other racers coming down the hill and i got my bike of their way, hopped on and just hoped to finish the race altogether.

The first half of the course was technical and the second half very flat and fast, lots of room to open it up which i did. So after getting passed by a couple 12 yr olds right before the finish, i was thinking "all i have to do is make it through the technical portion and i'm golden" . The word "finish" became my mantra. I came up on the last difficult section, which was about 5 steep switchbacks. I loved anything uphill because i could blast through it and pass everyone; downhills were a complete 360 from that. So as i'm "blasting" up the switchbacks excited to get cruising and stretch my legs out, my chain blows off....

I had been having problems with my Rear Derailleur jumping around on the middle cogs. The chain broke at the master link (which i doubt i'll ever use again) and i'm guessing due to the jumping around, the master link got caught on a tooth weird and just separated. I walked out of the woods and was excited to watch Darryl finish. Darryl took 10 mins off his first lap which is awesome but no official results yet. I'm encouraging Darryl to continue to race MTB. I think he'll do quite well. As opposed to me, who shall never race MTB again, and maybe not even ride.

(don't mind the text from the pic...)Ben and i are preparing to train a ton together this winter/spring. I found a killer hill (12% to 16% grade) about 20 miles from my house. So on a 40 mile ride with a giant in the middle should be a decent couple times a week ride, on top of my 54 miles back and forth to work. Ben also bought a scooter a couple years ago for speed training which i think we can find time to use now. I know Ben is big into sprinting...and more power to him (literally) but i'll stick to losing weight and and cruising up hills. We also just got approved to run races at Old Dominion Speedway. It will be ITT's and track events and maybe we can get in a (2 man ) TTT. That would be cool. Anyway, that will be great also.

I am very excited to race on the road. I'll leave the MTB to Darryl.

(pics and results soon to come!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Christmas in NOV

I gave my buddy Ben a ride home from the bike shop yesterday and he was showing me all his bikes and what not and then he asked if i wanted any winter gear for riding, which of course i do.
He gave me:
  • Arm Warmers
  • Knee Warmers
  • Shoe Covers
They are all in descent condition too. And he already let me use his old winter jacket.

Today i feel like crap. Worse than yesterday or the day before.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pedro Sanchez or....

Convict Colony

I love Queen. I wish Freddie Mercury was still around...an amazing singer. Killer Queen is a fantastic song. Who doesn't love Somebody to Love? and if you aren't sold there, there is always Bicycle Race which for me seals the deal.

I've been flopping around about 5 CD's lately which include a very odd mix...

  • Plans by Death Cab For Cutie
  • Queen Greatest Hits
  • Self Titled by One Day as a Lion
  • Niggy Tadust by Saul Williams
  • Hide Nothing by FSF
Its weird to see Plans on there. I'm a little embarrassed about that one. But its one of those nostalgia things...

Yesterday night was like a Nike commercial again w/rain, darkness, and me on a bike. I burned it up again. I avg crap mph on the way in and i turned it up 1.5 mph on the avg mph for the day, so to do that over the same distance I'd have to be really hauling.

I decided to give my legs a rest today and let them recover after being on that track bike, pushing that one gear up and down and all around. Tomorrow I'll be back at it hard and Friday too. Saturday take it easy but still ride, and Sunday is the MTB race. I'm excited.

Buy a newspaper and save it for someone in 30 years. I have one from today and one from when Obama won the primaries. yes...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

uh huh.

Had a great ride last night, then stayed up late to watch the Redskins lose...

Got up around 545 to get to the poll by 6. Luckily the poll is on my bike route, not only that but its literally around the corner. Then after voting proceeded to have a miserable morning riding in. I dont know if it was the lack of food in my stomach, the lack of sleep i got last night, or i just suck at cycling, but i couldn't get my bike up to speed. The ride home should suck too, being that i've already fallen asleep at my desk twice, once in my dream i fell off my bike and woke up at my desk.

Race is 5 days away.

that's all folks. go vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hello Legs, Goodbye Light.

Well after saying Friday morning that my legs were sucking everything that was possible to suck, i started my ride home around 415 and found my legs not doing that terrible. The weather was as nice as its been in a long time, so i took advantage of it and decided to investigate a new route for myself. I have to "investigate" because i end up running into a lot of gravel/dirt roads. Anyway, i found that my new route had some of the nicest rodes I've ridden on in a long time.

Super sweet roads + my legs were doing well + there was great weather=happiness.

Saturday on my way into the bike shop i did more investigating on new parts of that route which i found a gravel/dirt road, i know my way around but i would have had to back track a ton so i didn't, but connected with my "new route" later on, which proved to be very cool. My legs felt great and it was so beautiful out, i felt like someone from a fall catalog of a cheap bike ad magazine.
With Fall here and Daylight savings having come and gone, this presents a problem for me as a commuter. Light. I think the most depressing thing is being stuck in an office during the only daylight hours, not to mention the safety issue of riding day in and day out through darkness on major roads. There are already a terrible number of a-holes that think cutting it close is going to keep me off the road, so add the darkness factor...ugh. On top of that, getting up at 630 to get out the door ASAP to get good miles in, is near impossible for me. I do it, but i don't like it. I will continue in this manner until the earth shifts its rotation and allows for an earlier morning light. The worst thing about all of this, is that we aren't into the darkest of it all yet.
Obama will be here in Manassas tonight. I will regret not going, but doors opening at 5pm and not starting it until 9pm, plus the Skins are on tonight, and i don't like large crowds of people. Its a big combo of things i don't enjoy. I imagine it would be like going to see Bob Dylan live...i did it, but did not enjoy it. I will however mix it up with those ridiculous crowds to vote tomorrow.