Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Are your ipod playlists getting old?  Are you craving new, exciting, stimulating music?  Then NEW MUSIC NOVEMBER is just what you need.  NMN will be November's BRS Challenge.  

1) You have two weeks to compile the best 15 song workout playlist.  That's a workout playlist.

2) Why is Randy Newman's pretty mug on this post?  Because this Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award winning artist has hits dating back from the sixties to the present like Love Story (1960's), You Can Leave Your Hat On (1970's), I Love LA (1980's), The Time of Your Life (1990's), and You've Got a Friend in Me (2000's).  Your CD must contain at least three songs from each decade, but the artists can be all different.

3) In two weeks, give a copy of your CD to Crash.  He will then make copies and redistribute the playlists to everyone.  Over the next two weeks, burn a copy to your music library and listen to the music.  Then vote for your favorite CD. At the end of the month, everyone's music library will be full of fresh, motivating music and the winner will receive two BRS points.

Rock on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lake Roesiger

Gerald, The Rizzers, and I (if you don’t know who that is, you’ll certainly be confused by the photos) got out yesterday for a perfectly lovely ride. The ticker indicated 51 miles, and the roads were, for me at least, a near perfect blend of hills, descents, and fast flats. While I could have asked for 5-10 more degrees of Fahrenheit (despite a number of layers my toes and fingers were numb the first half of the day, welcome to most-of-the-year riding in Washington, right?) the scenery we chewed was absolutely top notch: some of the best roads I’ve ever ridden.

The first half of the ride was very familiar, a ride across Ebey Island (luckily familiar enough that foggy to near zero visiblity on the way out wasn't much of a worry) into still-sleepy Snohomish and just few miles up the Centennial Trail. Then we veered off onto little OK Mill Road, heading east up through a little valley towards Lake Roesiger. Following the contour lines we slowly climbed up through overgrown maple and oak, bright yellow this time of year, and ready to shed their foliage. In places grown enough to form a full canopy over the road I imagine it will get slick in coming weeks from the carpeting of waterlogged leaves it willsurely recieve. Currently OK Mill is my new favorite stretch of road that's still readily accessible from my front door (some of the roads west of Beaverton, OR and those north of Lynden, WA might trump it, but not by much, and they are not readily accessible from my front door). I'll be sure to come back soon, let's see if it holds up after it's reduced to bare twigs and probably even more numb fingers and toes.

A quick stop at the lake for a snack (I ate Luna Bars, hence my waxing romantic in this post) we also snapped some pics of the bikes, the lake, and a really big horse chestnut tree. We should have surreptitiously snapped photos of the chap combing the shoreline for...treasure? anything metal? I don't know?

After that, we had only the ride along Dubuque Road before we got back to familiar territory. But the road home wasn't nice enough to meander the contour lines of the terrain as it had on they out. It had to go straight-as-a-bullet east/west, despite anything the contour lines had to say. So the road, instead, went up and down and up and down. and up. and down, rinse and repeat. Ha! Nothing Gerald and I couldn't handle with ease though, after a purgatorial climb up the TdM two weeks prior (T Crash!).

Shortly thereafter, and free of blanket of fog, we could see no-longer-sleepy-but-now-trafficy Snohomish and what we missed of Ebey Island could finally see what we missed on the way. Unfortunately, our usually deserted country roads are currently at the nexus of three family farms, all with sizeable pumpkin patches. Contending with the steady parade of cars proved too much for conversational riding and we had the put our noses down and ride single file for the last 8 miles.

4 hours later and back home (not bad!), Gerald betrayed that she had a made a pot of spagetti ahead of time for a post ride glut. Jealous! I had no such foresight. Bidding Gerald and the Rizzers farewell and finding the entire household asleep for a miday nap I scarfed down a couple of bagels with peanut butter and joined them.

I'm Sorry

Dear First Class, View From the Sidelines, & Chris From Ventoux,

About two or three years ago, we were drinking some beers & eating burgers on Ventoux's back porch in Eugene.  I believe all of you said that you wanted to try yoga classes at the local community center.  I think I laughed at all of you.  I think I even might have questioned First Class & Ventoux's sexuality.  Well I apologize to you all...

Today I was at the gym, and saw a woman doing yoga.  I was really impressed at how fit AND flexible she was.  After doing so much running over the years, (without stretching), I've felt the need to become more flexible.  Anyways, I tried to watch a yoga DVD tonight, but TheGuth gave me a blank.  I found an old yoga DVD that I bought years ago, which I only watched the opening credits while drinking a Becks. 
So I actually tried the 20 minute routine, and I can't believe how good my aching back felt! I can see the benefits of doing those workouts over time. Only problem I foresee is holding those hard positions while maintaining a "relaxed" breath.  

Again, I'm sorry, I was wrong. I think I may have found a new sport. Also, I remember reading an article about topless yoga.  Gotta go surf the net to see if there's a DVD.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I was a Sissy for 56 miles or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bike

(MMMM Cake)


That is the difference between 56, the mileage that we rode today and 18, the mileage that was my previous high. Wait a minute, that's not right. Carry the 1.....

38. Holy Monkeys that's even more.

Originally I was going to shoot for 28 miles. I was confident. This would be a big leap from 18. TEN MORE MILES! My usual crew of scurvy dogs were up for the challenge. Ok, so it was a walk in the park for them, but still, the gauntlet had been thrown. Hmm, I never realized that I am not sure the significance of that phrase until now. The gauntlet? Who threw it? and why? Anyways, I digress.

So I quickly realized my folly of including The Guth on the email chain when he chortled at my 28 mile challenge. (Dramatization) "HA!" he bellowed! "Let's traverse the great Mt. Fairly Flat Road instead!"(EoD) I am not sure if I was paying attention, but I quickly agreed to this idea. And that, my friends, was my second mistake.

(Mt. The Guth is trying to kill me)

Honor and pride are funny things. When you realize you have made a mistake, pride makes you say you aren't going to back down while honor makes you stick to what you said you would do. Today I hate honor and pride. The first few miles of the ride with The Guth, Mike Spiz, and Jeff Kerwin were a dream on my new bike! The ride was so smooth, so luxurious, and with a turkey sandwich for breakfast I was feeling good! Then came a point where my energy started to fade. Uh oh, time to break out the gummi snacks! By the time we reached Machias, I was craving that clif bar sitting in my pouch. OH GOODNESS! Peanut butter and a rest, 15 miles into our bike ride i was feeling good again. We were going to zip up to the end of the trail (Arlington?), and I was only a little saddle sore, and was pretty happy with my learning curve on my clips and shoes.

Around the 20 mile mark I started to feel my left knee twinge a little. This is where I start to become a sissy. Is sissy the right word? Nevertheless, it didn't get better and I whined a bit about it to Jeff. Like a sissy would. However, I was eating while I went and keeping my energy high, but realizing I would not be able to make my seemingly adequate supply of treats lasting the whole trip. The six of us (we picked up two at machias) coasted into the Arlington trailhead.

(Bicycle Gang)

I DID IT! 28 miles! I did what I had planned to do! I don't think a suggestion of hitch-hiking back to The Guth's house would have elicited agreement, so I wisely kept my mouth shut. After a good break and tasty treats, we started our 28 mile trek back. And the knee got worse. And missing my clip and landing hard on my seat was painful. And the food supply was running low. And starting sentences with "And" is not a proper use of grammar.

My last jellybean was around the 36 mile mark, My last clif bar was at Machias, around 41 Miles. 15 miles to go, no more food. Did i mention i'm a pansy? Oh, that's right, i'm using sissy. So for those who don't know me, I have what scientists call a "survival instinct". Shoot, I used the wrong word. I actually meant "Survival layer of padding". Yes, I have a bit more weight than I would like, and I was pulling all that weight with every pedal. Hence, I was burning up the calories! No food for 15 miles was not a good move. I lasted until around the 51 mile mark, at which point sissy mode went full throttle.

(Mike D before(left) and after(right) the bike ride)

No energy, very sore knee, and very sore uhm.... undercarriage (you know what i mean!), and about 5 miles to go. I used the highest %$#^@ gear I could to go those last 5 miles, and every stroke of the pedals felt like a stroke of the heart! Oh, damn, you don't get strokes in your heart, well, you know what I mean. As we entered Everett I tried to well up the reserve power and foolishly went through 2 yellow lights. If I stopped I wasn.t starting again. Finally we returned back to where it all began, and as we were pulling ourselves out of our gear The Guth asked me if I was ready to do it again next week. Of course, you know the answer.

No! I'm a sissy, haven't you been paying attention?

So, in conclusion, let me thank the Guth, Mike, and Jeff for EVERYTHING! Bundling me up, keeping me motivated, and not leaving me in Snohomish. I would like to give jeers though to Hammer gel, that stuff didn't do it for me.

And The Guth, I will do another 56 soon, just need to recover from this one. I know i have a TdM GC to win next year!!

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