26 April, 2008

Mt. Biking Machismo?

my boy hez-billy (get it? like hezbollah 'cept it's the exact opposite in philosophy) and i went for a last minute mountain bike ride at mount falcon before a nasty cold front came in (to ruin saturday's-today-riding). this would be my first ride off-road for '08. i intended it to be chilly-chill and we could shoot the shizzle as we endured a tortuous climb. the local folks treat this place as their p.r. setting joint or as a litmus test of their climbing skill (it's kinda technical). so it becomes really adversarial as you see climbers ahead of you because of your y-chromosome (or, if you see someone behind you you pick up your pace). the first part of the climb has some mild obstacles in the form of obtuse erosion barriers. it zaps your speed but if you time it just right there's a high probability you'll clean 'em. billy and i are chillin' climbing with some difficulty but not in the red zone and we're talking and breathing. we're both in our lactate thresholds i'm sure. and here comes this guy. i knew he was pushing it to reach us because i was in the parking lot first waiting for billy and he made sure that we'd be in front of him for the climb acting as "rabbits" for him. i wanted to chill with billy but my testosterone took over. as soon as this dude passed billy, i dropped it a gear and got into roady mode. sho' nuff i put a nice gap on him and whenever i could slap it in the middle ring i did. sho' nuff again a little bit ahead on the climb i see another dude and set my sights on him. he dab'd on a technical part of the climb where i cleaned it and kept my momentum. i passed him making sure i controlled my breathing as my non-verbal actions convey to him, "not only am i not breathing hard but i will add insult to injury and pass you. yup, dats right." i hear him match my rpms when he shifts gears. i tell myself, "ite brah, i'm going to mash these pedals just below my anaerobic threshold and if you can still hang (or even pass me), my hat's off to you." he doesn't and my testosterone has completely possessed me. i have tunnel vision of climbing like bernard hinault in some tour in the eighty's when he shafted america's golden boy: greg lemond. i reach the top and go back down to where billy is so we can ride up together. how foolish is that? i mean my behavior. i guess that's why i race so i can do spur of the moment foolishness with my legs and remotely feel satisfied about doing that. sorry y'all (okay, i'm really not).

20 April, 2008

Great Weekend!

finally! after all the snows, the soccer fields dried and we got to watch maura play. she scored another goal and another teammate of her's-zack-scored two. it was great watching her, this time i busted out my mini-digital camera and captured her goal. yeah boi!!!

this is what i mean by a warming trend. you can actually see the ground in our backyard!
after soccer, i got on my bike for a solo 3.5 h ride in where i live in the foothills. it took 40 minutes to descend and almost two hours to climb! i rode an hour in the flats because the route i took to descend wasn't the route i climbed back to my truck (that woulda been too boring). the wind was a mother yesterday but that's okay because i had all manner of food on me and both my water bottles were full of an endurance sport drink. climbing on this particular road can be tricky because at some spots there's no shoulder and sometimes it's on an uphill switchback so i worry if someone's hugging the shoulder they'll see me in time, but no worries, everybody's going chill on a saturday afternoon. my goal on these rides is crush my legs so that it's very close to cramping. i tried to find the route that had the steepest hills and on this particularly steep climb i thought i was going to fall over sideways. oh well. got back to the truck and the endorphins came out. bought a dinner for the family at qdoba's. had a lot of pinto beans in my burrito for the power of the legume to work on my oxidized muscles.

today, sunday, i went for a 4 h ride with christopher. all small chainring (except when it's not!). the national weather service said gusts up to 37 miles an hour. so we made sure we headed out into the headwind. oh my god, it was surprising that we didn't get blown into each others wheels at times it was so intense. the sun was out and life was grand. two days in a row without anything to cover the knees or arms (how 'bout that sandra?) and boatloads of sunscreen. we were screaming back on the road and sometimes i dropped it a couple of gears so that i could get a super-high rpm on the legs to completely fatigued my pistons. with about 30 minutes remaining mr. cramps started to show itself. that's good because the last 30 minutes of a road race (or the last five laps of a crit), that's when stupid time in the pack shows up and the speeds go up. my legs need to be used to applying more watts towards the end of the ride to emulate a sprint finish. i chugged some water (went through three today, had to stop at a convenience store) and the cramps pretty much went away once the intensity fell off. it was a great weekend (oh, and my digital camera's finally dying)!

check out the (short sleeved jersey and watch) tan line (yes i'm a poseur)!

16 April, 2008

This is BOOO-SHEET!!

Tonight: Snow. Low around 18. North northeast wind between 6 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches possible.
this is the forecast for tonight, april 16th from the national weather service for where i live...
that's my truck back in the blizzard of '06. i had to dig it out of our driveway. check out the height of the snow flanking my ride!

15 April, 2008

Maricel's birthday

we celebrated maricel's 8th birthday at a pottery place where 5 of her bestest buds attended. at the pottery place they got to pick a: plate, cup, mug, or saucer to paint (and ultimately fire in their kiln). it was awesome planning on melissa's part and the girls were soooo involved in their craft. it went off without a hitch and we also ate the cake and ice cream there too. my oldest daughter's growing up on me. i asked her politely when she was 5 to not grow up anymore because she was so amazingly cute at that age. she said "yes" but i guess she's not sticking to her plan. she's going to be a third grader next year! i'm old and she's getting older. hmmmmmm.........
we surprised her with a 7 speed mountain bike (what else would a cycling dad give their kids?) with a front shock to boot, amongst other presents. she rides like the devil now so i can't wait for the snow to melt when we can chase each other on bikes on our property up here. our only neighbor is a winterbird so we're the only ones on our private street! mason's my last child to teach the art of generating and sustaining the gyroscopic effect whilst steering on two wheels.
all that cake and ice cream ingested'll give me energy on future bike rides and more descending weight. my theory on cake and ice cream is the lame adage waste not, want not. my translation? tis better to go in my tummy than in a landfill. yessir.

08 April, 2008

My Girls and My Flashback to the 80s

my honey-melissa-is working late tonight and i was too lazy to actually make anything so we went to heidi's deli for some din-din. i ordered an egg salad sandwich and for my dual princesses i ordered the kid's mealx2 of egg salad, milk, and a side of potato salad. the muzak machine was playing 80s hits and subsequently played some songs i grew up listening to in a town called plano (texas) where i grew up and attended high school. they played psychedelic furs
and frankie goes to hollywood. here's a live video of them performing welcome to the pleasure dome. if you didn't get the vibe: they're gay (i'm not a homophobe) and they made some danceable, synth, brit-pop in the 80s.

holeee shmokes did it bring back a boat load o'memories. the frankie song playing was welcome to the pleasure dome. so when they started saying shooting stars never stop, even when they reach the top (x2), there goes a supernova, what a pushover yeah...i started sing/saying it too. don't worry we were the only ones there except for a couple of hillbillies probably talking about the intricacies of their john deere tractor (or a reasonable facsimile thereof). my girls didn't know what to make of it. i think-as to not plagiarize our military lexicon-they were in shock and awe. shock, as in why the hell is daddy singing and dancing in our booth; and awe, as in ahhh shnap daddy's kinda cool singing a song we'd never ever think he'd know. it was too funny. it's extremely enlightening and very meaningful as a parent to have conversation with your kid about anything and they can reply with quality statements that show understanding. it's like these emergent characteristics keep me amazed at their ever developing noggin' and ever expanding demonstration of vocabulary and syntax-it's like a miracle or something...
now we're home. maricel just finished her homework and i'm about to school them on the board game trouble.
let me finish with my middle child maura. she participated in her very first soccer game saturday and scored a goal! melissa and i were yelling ourselves silly (not in the little league dad sort of way) for her teammates and anybody else we knew. it was genuinely a hoot and a holler!