Sunday, January 27, 2008

B Shower Announcement - 5 months

Fellow STPers,

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I may be inviting y'all to a B-Shower in five months.  That's right, a shower for a new bicycle sometime in June.  It all depends on Bush's Economic Stimulus Package, but according to the News, it looks really promising.  

If our government approves the tax breaks, I will not be un-American and save the money or put it towards Weiss' college education.  I've already informed Mi Yong that saving money would be irresponsible and unpatriotic.  Finally, I plan to register at Gregg's Cycles in Alderwood.  So far my Registry includes:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

First Hill

And I don't mean Pill Hill. Harbour Heights in Mukilteo. After being out of commission last week from a herniated disk and leg injury and subsequent psycho roid rage, I am somehow talked into doing an army PT training session followed by Harbour Heights Hill in the rain. Had not been with Gerald since the 61 miler but had to admit, instant joy on getting back on the saddle. You feel like flying. Brian a.k.a. "the Sheepdog" would hear none of my whining and gives slightly annoying though still encouraging chatter without a hint of panting throughout the climb, throughout which I felt on the verge of coming to a standstill before plowing backwards, unable to clip out. My obituary would say, found wearing neon, spandex, and lobster claws on Harbour Heights Rd. And that is the "easy" leg of the Tour de Mukilteo. A few minutes of coughing up the other lung, then a trip to Gregg's Cycle shop in Alderwood (mmmm GEAR) to get a fender and new tubes. That is a good day. You cannot pay enough for the privilege of coughing up a lung in such fashion.

Watched American Flyer again. What happened to David Grant? Can you imagine working at Home Depot for 4 years, then the government boycotts the Olympics. It beats having to blame yourself. Nothing like a good battle against burly bearded Soviets with '80's music beating in the background. Res firma mitescere nescit (hope I got that right).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wu-Tang is for the children

Forgot to include this in the last post for the Wu-Tang fans:

Candy wants new shoes damnit

I'm trying to alternate lunch runs and bike rides up the nearest butte so that I don't dissapoint Sgt Hulka Brian too badly (This is in between the literally dozens of sit ups and push ups I'm doing). I went to grab the single speed commuter this morning and heard a funny rattle, so I think I'll look for a loose spoke. It was pretty easy to spot the one that had snapped and was sticking out to the side. I'm guessing it was the Jan Ullrich like amounts of force I applied mashing up the hill and had nothing to do with metal fatigue. I've been promising her new shoes for a while, so I guess we'll head to the bike store this weekend and get a new rear wheel built up. I hope they have the pink hubs in stock. Or maybe Isabella cut the spoke so she could get out this morning.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

But when does it get Easy?

So Bri and I took Crash and Chugg out for a 68 mi trip on Sunday and it was great. We were mighty hungry by the end, but it was an overall very enjoyable ride. Can't wait to do more LSD trips. We took it easy Monday (apart from the hundreds of pushups/situps I'm doing daily to prep for the upcoming Davis Challenge, naturally). On Tues Bri made me run again (ugh). On Wed I rode in to work with Chugg.

But now I'm confused.

When is this going to get easy?

I was struggling, the long climb up the speedway was achy, and I was nearly at the top when I realized I was in a gear two clicks up from where I thought I was. Demoralizing. Then, at lunchtime we took Crash and Chugg out for the ol' D2D-1 route, and it was painful. I granny-geared up Picnic Point, granny-geared up the switchback and it took everything I had to granny-gear it up St. Andy's, and I turned in a terrible time to boot. I won't even bother logging in the time (I forgot to keep very accurate times anyhoo).

We've been cycling casually a few times a week, with longer rides every other weekend or so: shouldn't we be Lance by now? Or at least a Hincapie? What are we doing wrong?

I have a theory:



--[whispered: I think St. Andrew's Blvd is actually evil.]

It must be. There's just no other explanation. Somebody must have rustled the bones of an old Team ONCE rider or something. And now the hill itself is conspiring to bring down any rider that dare attempt the fool ascent.

Either that, or all the pro riders are doping. Which I'm sure isn't the case.

On the way home though, I did have a more pleasant ride. The fell spirits left me alone and I felt fast for once in the day. Course I did have some help. Someone was buzzing in my ear the whole way and urging me forward.

hint: It was the Wu-Tang Clan.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008


When Weiss was just a little rugrat, whenever he said "T", that meant "Thank You". I will do the same...

T Jen. T for enrolling at the Univ. of Oregon in Eugene, to pursue your PhD. By doing so, lazy Chris discovered the world of cycling and then introduced me to the cycling bug.

T Michael Guthrie. T for convincing me to buy beer after our ride today, when you said incredulously, "I can't believe you aren't going to drink any beer tonight"!

T German lawmakers. T for enacting such strict water purity laws for your beer makers that makes St. Pauli Girl beer taste so delicious.

T Mi Yong. T for having a big pot of chili on the stove, waiting for me when I got home.

T Snohomish Park & Recreation Committee. T for allowing horses on the Centennial Trail. Today I saw a horse trotting for the very first time.

T Puget Sound Area. T for being absolutely gorgeous today. From the Puget Sound, to the sunlit Cascades, to the raging Snohomish river. Unbelievably scenic.

T Chris . T for being my biking Muse. I am training so very hard to beat you in the 2008 Tour de Mukilteo. Again.

T Crash. T for taking me 68 miles. That's approximately riding from Mukilteo to Olympia. You only had one unlucky puncture, with that stoopid piece of metal. At least it happened near a bench overlooking the river. T for giving me the most enjoyable ride I've had so far on a bike!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Pain Threshold

So I'm learning how to deal with pain. This past week, I stopped drinking alcohol, coffee, and I've cut out fast food. I also picked up some Crest white-strips at Target the other day, since my teeth have browned a lot ever since I started drinking Venti drips every morning. These strips make my teeth quite sensitive. 

So where am I going with all this? Hunger headaches + achy teeth + alcohol withdraw = an uncomfortable Brian. However, I now compare all my pain with pain felt on Crash. That is my new standard. Ow, my head aches. Aw, that's nothing compared to climbing Goat Loop Trail. Damn, hot tea makes my teeth hurt. Suck it up, St. Andrews is so much worse. That is my new way to manage pain. Try it sometime, it really works! I am training hard for the Davis Challenge. By doing so, I will be in great shape this upcoming cycling season. If I'm in great shape, I can win the 2008 Tour de Mukilteo...

Sunday morning, Chugg & Crash have a tour date. Planning on a 60+ miler, at LSD pace, with some hills thrown in in the beginning of the ride. So I headed out to Greggs Cycles again after work to get my flat repaired. Three flats in four rides. That's a 75% puncture rate. At that rate, I doubt CPS, (Cycling Protection Services) would allow me to continue to ride Crash. 

So I walk IN to get the tube replaced, and I walk OUT with two new tires, a new tube, and fenders! That's right, Crash has fenders!!! I am so proud. So now I'm really excited to report back on my upcoming Sunday ride. (A short side note; I bought cheap tires. My reasoning is tires are Crash's shoes. Just like running, I buy mid-level running shoes because I always replace them every 4 months. That's what I plan to do with tires). Well, great customer service once again. No charge for the tube, or labor to put on the new tires. Why? They changed my last tire, and felt responsible for not insisting that I get new tires. So, Sat am, another PT Test, Sat pm, watch the Seahawks, and eat for Sunday's ride. Sunday, a 60 miler, and I wouldn't even mind seeing a few raindrops.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

North Everett crimewave?

So Chugg's rear tire was flat yesterday. Odd, because i hadn't ridden in several days. Regardless, needs changing. So I find the culprit, a very small little leak on the sidewall of the tube. I don't know what caused it, the tire was fine and it should have been pumped up enough to prevent a pinch flat. I didn't dwell though, I sanded and patched the wound and fed the tube back into the tire. I put the wheel back on the bike (my tires are fat enough that i cannot easily fit them through my brake pads when pumped up). I'm pumping pumping pumping, keeping an eye on the pressure gauge. Then you wouldn't believe it:

Somebody shot my tire!

A stray gunshot went right through tube!

Well, it was loud enough at any rate; I was certainly rattled. While it wasn't really a gunshot both my wife's and my ears were ringing. a lot. I'm not sure exactly what happened. I was still 20 psi away from the 150 i usually keep my tires at (i love my Vredstein Tricomps, and their recommended 160 psi). But boy did that that tube explode. The concussion kicked half the tire back off the rim (which normally takes me five minutes and two skinned knuckles to do) and tore a three inch gash in the side of the tube (far away from my patch job, incidentally).

Maybe this is common for all you seasoned roadies, but I havn't ever had flat that wasn't just a fast hisSSSsss.sssSSSsss. (that's the sounds of the tire spinning) sssSSSsss. Scared the bejeezus outa me.

So much for the patch, I had to use my last spare. Guess that means a trip to the shop for more, I don't like to ride without a spare tube. Otherwise Murphy pretty much guarantees a gauntlet of broken beer bottles, metal springs and windshield debris fields.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Einstein had a formula, Team Joe Camel has a formula...:

I noticed Team Ro/Davis has a Mission Statement for the upcoming Davis challenge. I believe it was "Lead the Way!", which is clever, because neither Davis nor Ro were Army Rangers, though I think Davis used to towel off their weight lifting equipment for them. Plus it has an exclamation point!! (Nice eh? I'm learning from you Davis!).
This has led me to believe team Joe Camel also needs a mission statement. I considered several. Early favorites included "Hey little kids, smoking is cool!", "The only Team that Matters!", personal favorite "You've come a long way baby!", and of course "What we're dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law!"
However, given the increasing militarization and jingoism present in modern American culture, following the lead of Davis / Ro, and as Schwarz has recently returned from a tour of duty as a special forces "Shooter" in operation "Photograph a High School Dance Squad Competition" (He can't talk about it, so don't ask), our new mission statement is "He who dares, wins!" (Note: this is in no way implying that the afore-mentioned "He" is in fact an , or that either man has ever served in the SAS, those guys are sissies).

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


K. Yesterday's Century Ride? No dice. Y? Widowmaker Hubris? Perhaps, a litte bit. Scapegoat would be Crash Davis, and Crash's puncture around mile 19, but this is 2008, so no excuses. After Saturday's 61 miler, I felt like I could conquer the world on the bike. Me & Crash. However, while my buddy Michael was busy changing my rear inner tube, I could feel my motivation for the 100 mile ride gradually slip away.

I believe the answer lies within my buddy Chris' last post. Why even attempt the 100 mile ride? Why bother? The answer to my whys become apparent pretty quick on New Year's Day. The answer is I'm not sure. Ultimately, TheGuth & I completed a 35 mile ride after the flat. Going out, we were averaging around 16 mph. Coming back, we were averaging well over 18 mph. (20-21 for awhile and believe you me, I felt every pedal stroke).

So now I'm at the point where I desire a mixture of hills, distance, and speed. That is my cup of tea. Maybe I'll reach the point where that will be encompassed in a 100 miler, but honestly I think that won't happen until I am retired and have all day long to hang out with Crash. So... My disappoint with Crash was short lived. I scolded him with a swift "Fuck" at the point of puncture. I'm sorry Crash. Now, I believe he was doing me a favor. Also, punctures don't bother me much anymore. What is 20 min, in the big picture in life? Not that much. I learned I need to slow down a bit. Thanks Crash for that lesson.

I will conclude this post with what everyone really wants to hear. My product reviews. The padded undies were outstanding. Walking around though, to and from the car, makes me respect women and their maxi-pads. My toe covers worked, but sucked because they keep falling off. Probably because I have recessed mt. bike shoes. Padded gloves rock, but I exchanged them at Gregg's today because there was a loose stitch. Great customer service. Finally, my Gel taste test? Sorry, but I only had one vanilla Gel. Yummy & easy to eat while riding...

TO: Chris & Jay
RE: Davis Challenge 2008

Please don't hurt the bunnies. Instead of the rabbits, take my stoopid Pearl Izumi toe covers and have your way with them!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


No hundred miler for me today (or any day really). I thought about putting on some tight pants and a bright jacket, calling up my buddies and getting really sweaty with them, but then I just decided to just go to the bath house instead. It seemed more macho. And thats what I'm about really.
Commuting in the Ice has been fun. The best part is when you stand up to peddle as the red light changes and your rear wheel just starts turning without you going anywhere. I feel like Brian in the first Tour De Mukilteo when that happens, seeing everyone else pull away while I seem not to move, even though I am peddling. LOL!
Enjoy the century ride, just know that Jay and I will win or the rabbits will die.