Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kids Stuff

Halloween/Beggar's Night is obviously coming up, so this past weekend was the annual pumpkin carving night. This time, the girls got to do the majority themselves (using real knives). Of course, Dad was nervous and had visions of cut off limbs or knives jabbed into their bellies. I hovered a lot and tried to actually let them do the work. Lots of fun and they look forward to it every year.
Hannah on the left, Maddie on the right

Maddie ran in the 6th grade cross country meet at the end of September. They had 40-50 girls on the line and a cool course that ran around one of the local elementary schools. Once lined up, the coach fired the starting gun and they were off. Another coach was driving the leadout Gator and lead them through the course. Maddie ran hard and slowly worked her way through the field. I think she ended up in the top 15 and ran a little over an 8min mile.
The final corner before the finish.

2/3rds of the way through the course.

Soccer is now finished for the year (Maddie) and Hannah is showing interest in joining again next year. Something about how physical the play is getting that intrigues her (we'll see). Both are still enjoying school. Lot's of friends, still in band and choir.
Holly and I finally broke down and bought them phones. Three hours after the purchase, Hannah had over 150 texts sent and recieved. Guess she wasn't joking when she said; "I really, really, really, reaaaaalllly, want one"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Race Report - Cattle Cross

I hadn't originally planned on racing this past weekend, but the family started heading different directions and I found out that I would need a 6th race for the local cross series. I made my decision around 12:30, loaded the car quickly and hit the road near 1pm. I had an hour drive and the start time was 3pm, so I wouldn't have much time to register and warm-up.

The drive was quick and the location was easy to find. I quickly registered and changed, grabbed the bike (had to quickly change out a flat front tire) and did a single recon lap. The course had us weaving across a shallow ditch a few times, then into and through a muddy cattle chute. After that it was another 150 yards into what I think was the horse barn (soft sand surface that required a short run). After that, there was one hurdle and mostly wide open through some grassy areas. A good course that I thought would favor the road cyclists and put me at a disadvantage.

The cat 3's took off, followed by the 35+ (10sec later) and finally, the 10 of us in the 45+ category (10sec later). As we sprinted the initial 100 yards towards the 1st ditch, I was sitting around 8th spot. I passed 1 or 2 and counted myself in 6th spot (I have this habit of counting my position from the leaders in the 1st couple of corners, it helps keep track of my placing because the various classes usually end up co-mingled). Then I had a bit of luck, Kim West had something happen during the 2nd ditch crossing and he took a hard left into the course tape, that caused a pause in the group and I was in 4th (what happened Kim?, I didn't see any raccoons). We headed towards the cattle chute and I was able to get past Laugs for 3rd. Steve Fleagle was leading (haven't caught him in any of the previous races) and John Adamson (Mr. 10 Leadville belt buckles) was in 2nd. I bridged up to John by the end of the lap and we had a good gap on those behind us. I drafted John in the one longer straight and hung onto his wheel to recover some.

I've been hoping/waiting for a race in which I could try to use tactics in order to decide the outcome. Thus, when John said that he was slowing down and suggested that I should pass if I wanted a chance to catch the leaders, I was leery. Was the older veteran using his knowledge to sucker me out of my plans? Should I just wheel suck and recover? I thought about it for what felt like an eternity (5-6 seconds) and decided to go. I put in a hard effort to get a gap (I've read about that in Velonews) and looked over my shoulder. I had shaken John, so I took off after Steve.

Now in our conversation, John had mistakenly thought that we were in 3rd and that 2 others were up the road. With us hitting the back of the 35+ racers it was hard to tell (was it his mistake or more cunning deception?). I went hard for another 2 laps and then started to die. Of course, John had probably planned all this and caught back up to me. He passed and I tried to stay on his wheel. It was just too hard and I looked at my watch. We had 25min to go in the race. I decided to let him go and save it for the last 15min.

When I finally decided to go, I was fortunate to be lapped by the cat3 leader. I caught his wheel in the fast section and used his momentum to make up some serious ground. I did try a bad line in the barn and lost some time, but thought I might catch John for the finish. It was fun chasing him down and we were both making time on Steve (who I could see looking over his shoulder). We had caught the guy that John thought was in our class (and confirmed he wasn't). At the end, I waited a lap too long. Steve won by 100 feet or less to John and I was another 50 feet behind John.

What a fun race! It's been at least a decade since I've been at the front of the race and fighting for a final podium spot. I enjoyed the mental aspect of this race and was glad that my form came back. I hope to carry some of that into the final races this weekend. Spookycross on Saturday and Sunday. Too bad that we are mixed into the other groups, because I bet the small but vocal crowd didn't realize how close our race was.

I do realize that the fastest two riders series (of the 45+) were not at this race, but it gives me hope that if I find a little more speed that I can still make it to the front of the field this weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Post for my brother

Brother Tim calls yesterday and gives me crap for nothing new lately. It made me go into the archives and find this video of his batchelor party. He really gets it going at the 1:30 mark.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Taco Ride

67 degrees when I left work. 15 of us left the shop and hit the trails. 45 minutes later the lights came on. For some reason only a few of us remembered lights so most bailed and headed to Giffs Tavern. I chose to ride another lap of Denmans. I'm trying to get used to the MTB again. Three weeks of riding the cross bike with 50lbs of air pressure, skinny tires, and a rigid fork make the transition back to the MTB a little odd. It felt like the tires were 'bouncy' and slow.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can you hear me now?

Funny that I can follow yesterday's post with this one......

My bike was in the shop to replace some spokes and subsequently the tubeless tires that I run were having problems holding air. I decided to burp the bead, add some more Stan's liquid and re-inflate. They seemed to have a slow leak so I thought that I would pump them up past 50 psi to make sure the bead was seated. Pump, pump, pump, 50 looks good, so 60psi must be better....pump, pump, pump......... BLAM-O

Can I hear you now? Only if you talk to me from the left side :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Anyone know anything about Smart Phones?

I've been trying to read up on what I need vs. what I want for me next cell phone. My requirements:
1) Has to be with Verizon as I need the coverage when I'm out west.
2) Good internet browser on a large screen.
3) Qwerty Keyboard or Qwerty Touchscreen, big enough for large fingers.
4) Good camera. I have a 2.0 which does fine. 3.2 minimum, but like some of the new 5.0mp.

I want to be able to update the blog, read and post comments to other blogs, take good quality pics and post to the blog or flickr, surf the majority of my internet sites. Music capabilities would be nice (on a 3.5mm jack), but I hardly use my iPod as it is

Oh, I would like to create/update Excel spreadsheets on the phone (bike training log, etc).

HTC Pro 2, Storm 2, something called the Imagio. All three are supposed to be out soon, but who knows. Anyone care to chime in?