Nut update

I just threw the empty sunflower seed bag away.

Not dead, almost melted

M.Bro's unofficial half-marathon time is 2:28 and the unofficial high during her race was 91. She would like you to know that, other than the water stops, she didn't walk once, thank you very much. Not even up the hills. Pictures and maybe a race report to come -

Two races


I didn't post a race report after Thursdays' aquathon because I was saving all my words for this morning's hill-climb time trial. I ended up finding a few words to spare for both races, including a description of how I got from that little road down there to the tippity, tippity tips of the trees.

How's your celebrity relationship working out?

What is the forking deal here? Why can't our celebrity couples just work things out? Dlisted is reporting -
PREGNANT Britney Spears has thrown hubby Kevin Federline out of her home — heightening divorce rumours.

Kevin, 28, has spent three out of the last four nights holed up in a flat with pals in Sherman Oaks, California — while Britney has remained at home in Malibu.

Britney, 24, refuses to comment.

A pal said: “Things have suddenly turned very sour. It looks bad.”

AND
Hilary Swank filed for divorce from her husband, Chad Lowe, after 5 years of marriage.

The couple's lawyer said: "Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe have jointly decided to divorce They continue to be friends and have the utmost respect for one another."

Ridiculous sandbagging

I just read online that Tim Deboom, a pro triathlete who won the Ironman world championships in Kona twice in the last couple years, is going to race the tiny little Lake Mills triathlon on June 4th. How crazy is that? Pretty crazy, on a scale of normal to Tom Cruise flying Katie Holmes to her parents' house. Apparently, he's sponsored by Trek and riding the Trek 100 as a celebrity guest on Saturday the 3rd, so the Lake Mills race director convinced him to come. I wonder if he'll try to crush everyone (in the first two minutes), or take it easy and race with the leaders?

Poor, fatherless Suri

It's breaking celebrity news - get it here before you get it at the grocery store later this week!
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reportedly got into a big fight — that ended with Holmes deciding to take baby Suri to Ohio to introduce the infant to family and friends. Tom, who is rumored to have a rocky relationship with Holmes’ parents, won’t be joining them, according to Life & Style Weekly.

Economical snack

I've been eating from a 50-cent bag of sunflower seeds for over a week and they're less than half-gone.

Crazy coincidences at Alpine Valley

The XTRphoto.com people only got one pretty bleh-looking shot of me at the finish line, which disappointed M.Bro, who couldn't be at the race to take pictures. But, what ho? Where did this cool picture from the tippity-tippity-top-top-top of the course come from?

Well, I'll tell you! I posted my race report on the XC-racing forum at mtbr.com on Monday. Someone posted a comment this afternoon and attached a picture that his wife took of him from the top of the course - in a crazy coincidence, I happened to be riding immediately behind him when she took the shot. M.Bro will be so pleased.

In other news, I felt like a giant, wet bowl of Kashi Good Friends cereal on my ride this afternoon (that is to say, mushy and not very speedy), and I had a weird metallic creaking from my crankset. For the latter, I'm going to pull everything apart and clean it during TDS/TCR Power Hour tonight. But I'm not sure what to do about the former. For now, I'm chalking it up to still recovering from WORS on Sunday, and cross my fingers that I'm feeling snappy and fresh again in time for the hill-climb time trial on Saturday morning. Burrito Eater, Jerry and I are riding from Madison to the race, and it would be shameful to get dropped before the competitive part of the ride even starts.

You're killing me, Buster

Now, thanks to ebay, you have a chance to own your own little piece of Arrested Development. Maybe you'd like a copy of The Man Inside Me (free with purchase of any other book or magazine)? What about the banana stand cash register? I know what you want - one of many banners!

You can't have a cornballer, though - it already sold for $1077.33

Alpine Valley Race Report


A summary of yesterday's festivities is up on my racing blog. I've accepted that making the race report website look the way I wanted it to is beyond my skills, so I'm going to stick with blogger for now.

Yeah, though I walk through the Alpine Valley

My first WORS race of the season is tomorrow morning - and it's also my first race as a newly-upgraded Sport rider. They all look faster and have nicer bikes and ride better and there are more of them, but I've been told that there's so much sandbagging in Citizen class that the speed difference isn't massive. Still, it's very nervous up in here.

I didn't coordinate very well with Burrito Eater, so I got to Alpine Valley's ski/golf resort too late to ride practice laps with him. I saw him in the parking lot as he was packing up, though, and I wouldn't have been riding very long with him anyway. His supercomputer said his first lap was 25:00 and his second was 26:30. I had just finished my first in 29:00 and only managed to get my second and third to 28:30 and 28:00.

The course is gonna be tough - lots of singletrack climbing up the trees between the ski slopes and, somehow defying physics, only one long descent. There are also four creek crossings, which worried me, but turned out to be pieces of cake. Oh god cake sounds so good right now. When will M.Bro be done with work so we can eat? What? Oh, right - blogging. So - I'm riding my new 2x8-speed drivetrain, which only has middle and big chainrings. There are two courses that I was worried about dropping the granny ring for, and this was #1. I was really grinding hard up two of the climbs and I could feel the strain in my lower back by the time I got done with my third lap.

Most of my drive home consisted of vising and revising plans to deal with (or, as it turns out [spoiler!], not deal with it).

Plan 1: Slap a granny ring back on, put a few links back in my chain, re-adjust the front derailleur, and have a bailout option. I quickly realized that the problem with this plan is that I have a short-cage rear derailleur that won't wrap that much chain. So on to

Plan 2: Slap a granny ring back on, take the big ring off, and run a 22-32 double instead of a 32-44 double. Again, a problem - my chainring bolts are too long to hold just a middle ring on without sandwiching a big ring too. Which leads to

Plan 3: Run a triple, but limit the derailleur to only the granny and middle ring. But, ack, if I set it up wrong and managed to accidentally throw the chain up to my big ring, my derailleur would explode and my race would be over. Which only leaves

Plan 4: Back to plan 2, plus hoping that I have some washers that will let me space the chainring bolts. If I can't find any washers that are the right size, Plan 4 calls for me to stop being such a nancy and just tough it out. Nancy.

Update: Well, the #2-ranked NORBA racer (in the world?) says I should just tough it out, and since I don't have any washers that will fit, that's what I'm-a gonna do-a.

Taste the sad, readers

Arrested Development props are being sold off in LA this weekend -



This softens the blow a little though - 8/29 is the release date

Bringing up the rear

On a whim (and under some peer pressure), I just signed up for this race - a 10-mile time trial that's 7-miles of descents and flats followed by a 7-13% 3-mile climb to the top of Blue Mound State Park. We do that same climb twice on the HHH next month, so this'll be a nice training ride. I think a group of us are going to meet in Burrito Eater's driveway early Saturday morning, ride to the Mound, race, and ride home. M.Bro's half-marathon is the next day, so if she's not too nervous, I'll try to get her to drive out and photograph the stupidity.

I have three races in the next eight days - WORS at Alpine Valley the day after tomorrow, the first race of the Fleet Feet Aquathon series next Thursday, and this TT next Saturday. Then, next Sunday, I finally get to be on the other side of the camera.

Bombs Away

This morning, a couple dozen miles south of Florida, a retired aircraft carrier named the USS Oriskany was sunk. The hull now sits over 200 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and is the largest artificial reef ever created. But the fun is in the pictures.

Here's the Oriskany in action during the Vietnam War

And this morning - being tugged into place, and then going, going, gone...




And I've posted it before, but it's worth writing about again - not all ships get to be diving destinations. Some of them are dismantled in Bangladesh and India, which Edward Burtynsky took some stunning pictures of for you.

Northwave

As has been its wont, May decided to intimidate me with rain and lightning from 4:00-5:00 and then turn into a gorgeous evening. I rode a couple of the 15-mile loops by my house, and then climbed Old Sauk Pass a couple times. I didn't think it was going to be possible, but if I put in a couple really long (maybe 100+) days, I could still hit a 1000 miles this month.

In other big news, aren't these slipperscycling shoes gorgeous?


It's Bike to Work Week - did you ride in?

My office predicts the weather

Man - do I post about anything other than weather and cycling? No. My desk is an an open area on the top floor of a 30' tower, and there are windows in 85% of my field of vision. Right now, out the northerly windows, it's dark and terrifying and full of threats of doom. Out the south window, it's bright and whistling a happy ditty. The weather radar shows the north stuff staying north and heading east (screw you Milwaukee), so I'm riding south.

Update: There's always a fucking update, isn't there? I wish I had a digital camera - cars on the beltline should just stop driving. Lightning almost hit Dan. At his desk. The rain is coming down (across?) horizontally. Will it blow over in 20 minutes like it did yesterday? I'm still holding out hope.

Monsoon

It just never stops - never ever stops. Rode to work in the rain, looked out the window at sunshine all day, and then the sky just opens up 20 minutes before I'm planning to leave. Missy's going to drive me home and you can all just shut up about it.

Update: Silly May took 15 minutes to go from hell-esque to nicest-day-of-the-summer back to scary-clouded and back to nice. During the most recent nice, I rode just a little. Not as much as Burrito Eater, who apparently rode some giant 25-minute hill near Baraboo (which he'll be posting a map to, I assume. Right? RIGHT?!Q?)

New Ipod?

Wet and damp and moist

Oh god it's raining so hard right now. Let's take a look at the weather for the next ten days, shall we? As Michael just said, "With all this rain, it's like god wants me to get fat. Like he wants me to just sit inside and drink beer and get real fat."

Update: Get your act together, May, or you and I are going to have ourselves a little talk. When I left work at 4:45 to ride toward Paoli, it was sunny and ~warm. I was feeling excellent - one of those rides where you feel right on top of the pedals, like a magnet is just pulling you along. When I started my second lap around, though, I swear the temperature dropped 15 degrees. It also started to rain and the wind kicked up - within 18 seconds, I went from sunny and happy to drenched and miserable. I finished that loop and headed back toward the city, and the weather got progressively better on the way in. In fact, between the sun and the headwind, I was almost dry by the time I got back to the bike path. The weather crapped out again after I grabbed my messenger bag from work, and I was soaking wet again by the time I rolled into the garage. Still, 37.5 miles on the road plus 9 commuting gives me a pretty solid total for a rainy day. I'm still 125 miles short of where I wanted to be on the 15th, though.

TMM Update

The low-pressure system is still swirling, so it was a cold, wet, clammy day on my mountain bike today, the middle portion of which was riding loops around the lake while M.Bro did her last long run before the half-marathon in two weeks. She ran thirteen miles this afternoon and said she felt good enough to do a couple more at the end - she's totally ready to throw down at this race. I rode 41, but according to the rules of the game, I get to count 1.5x41 = 61.5. If this weather breaks and it immediately turns 85 and sunny for two straight weeks, I think I still have a chance to break 1000 miles. If it hangs around for more than a few more days, though, nothin' doin'.

In less-damp news, I ordered these shoes tonight. Three non-replaceable (what? I know, right?!?) cleat-holder-nut-things on my Sidis stripped a couple weeks ago and I've been riding with my mtb pedals on my road bike while I look for a new pair of shoes. I really wanted something with a mesh toe because my big toe has a ridiculous curve to it that makes leather toes very painful. These were on clearance in my size, and with some store credit on my account and a googled 10%-off coupon code, I didn't pay for much more than shipping. Plus they match my bike, but I didn't tell you that.

Pam + Jim


I've only been watching sporadically, but I'm glad I caught the season finale of the Office last night. Awwwwww.

Will I ever get to race?

The Rockford race which was rained out two weeks ago is rescheduled for this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. - exactly 5 minutes before the final for my class starts. TAOleNelson is graduating and I don't want to force TACourtney to handle the exam herself (especially since I went to Hawaii instead of helping with the midterm).
New Race Date
Posted by admin on 5/01/06

The new date for the race is Saturday, May 13th. The first start will be at 10 am. More information will be coming out in flyers through the mail, and be put up here as the information comes in. We will be located at the Red Oak shelter. This date works best for the park schedule and is an off week for WORS. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

The WORS Alpine Valley race is next Sunday, the 21st, so maybe I'll finally get to race there. Or maybe I'll just train all summer for the Checkameegwone Fat Tire 40 and skip everything else.

Although, there's a huge, swirly low-pressure system trapped on this side of Lake Michigan (click for aswesome radar animation) that's threatening days and days of continued rain and crappiness, so maybe there won't even be any training. Frankly, I don't know how I'm going to accomplish Thousand Mile May if this keeps up - riding in this weather makes me miserable, which makes me want to ride even less. I've been swimming at the gym and running with M.Bro, but the contest rules don't allow me to count any non-cycling cross-training as TMM mileage.

Seven for all Mankind

My Sevens from Nordstrom Rack are back from the tailor - this is their internet debut. Mary's Tailoring on State St took the ankles from a 10" to an 8.5" opening, which made my sister ask, "Did you just say you took a pair of jeans to a tailor to get them tapered? Who are you?" This picture also features the t-shirt Threadless mis-shipped me - keep it, or return it for the one I ordered?

Look at those chicken legs. If you're one of the people that's going to beat me in a race this year, remember them. Remember them well...

And a little sumpin' for the ladies - (sumpin' out of focus - or is it vanity-lighting?)

Pick Your Poison

It's Cityrag's game, so blame them - Jessica, or newly-rhinoplastered Ashlee?


Or are those the same person? Who's kidding who here? And why is it holding Britbrit and Kfed's baby?

Let's have a bake sale


These boots are like sex in a can (with a fresh-lok lid to seal in the flavor). Unfortunately, they're also about $200 over any amount I can imagine spending on a pair of shoes that I'm not going to run or ride in.

The Last Stand, bub

I'm super-excited about X-men 3 and you can just shut up about it.

Update: Even though Stephen Colbert disapproves of its very manly staring, I'm also excited about Miiiiiih. But I was tired of hearing about that call-is-coming-from-inside-the-house-my-eyebrows-need-to-be-waxed-or-dyed-or-something movie when it was in theaters, and I'm still tired of it now that the DVD ads for it are coming out.

AD Update

Well, sorta - Army is building a mock-up village in Iraq to train soldiers. How is that Arrested Development-related?
It is a marriage of military technology and Hollywood fakery; some 350 Arabic-speaking Iraqi-Americans and plainclothes Nevada National Guardsman live here almost year-round to offer American trainees what one officer described as "a vortex of chaos." The insurgents even get acting lessons, coached by Carl Weathers, best known for his portrayal of the boxer Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" films.

Carl Weathers is Army's acting coach!

Neblogska

This is what it looks like when your little sister graduates from the Nebraska-famous Willow Bowl at your alma mater -


And this is what it looks like when your little brother beats you at golf -


When did I get so elderly?

This whole blog is TMM updates now!

I wasn't expecting to do any miles today (or tomorrow)(or Sunday), but I hauled my ass out of bed at 5:30 and put in 20.5 early-morning, chillier-than-expected miles. My fingers were numb with pride.

Part of the ride was a couple laps around the course they use for the Tuesday night practice crits and Sunday races. It doesn't seem too bad - relatively easy corners and very wide roads - so I think I'll throw down at the practice crit next Tuesday night. At least the B race, which is only 25-30 minutes. It's $5 for the whole evening of racing, so I guess there's no reason I can't try to hang on for a couple laps with the A race too. If I drop out, I drop out - only my pride gets hurt, which is better than my entire side being covered in road rash because I bailed out on a 30 mph corner.

Between practice crits, Thursday-night time trials, and the new once-a-month aquathon series that Fleet Feet is running, I'm hoping to get faster through the fear-of-embarrassment training method. Shame is my motivation.

TMM, 5/4

After yesterday's hard 52 miles in 2:40, today I rode a pretty easy 32 in 1:50. The highlight was passing a student driver through the arb. A green SUV had just passed us both going up a hill and around a blind corner, with no idea whether there was a car, a bike, or a runner coming up the other side. Stupid, stupid, stupid - so I tried to chase them down to say something mean but witty. Tried and failed, of course, but it was a nice little sprint. I don't know what I would have said anyway ("Hey - ummm..jackass!"), so maybe it's for the best.

I've noticed that all the miles I've put in over the last three weeks have been making me very, very hungry. I don't know how I'm going to reach my secondary goal of being 5 lbs lighter at the HHH if I can't stop shoving food in my face all the time. I try to gorge on healthy food, but I'm not even sure that six bananas and three apples are good for you all at once.

Million Mile May

I got 16.5 miles on my commute and another 52 (very hard miles - 20 minutes faster than my last trip around that loop) after office hours, which brings me a hair away from 100 for the month. 100 miles every three days is roughly the rate I need to keep riding at to hit 1,000 by 6/1, so at least I'm not starting out behind schedule.

We'll need a posse for this search

The information we have: Jake Gyllenhall rides a bike of some sort - seriously enough to warrant long tights (in LA? What?) and clipless pedals.

The information we need: What kind of a bike? A road bike? That's what the background seems to hint at, but those are definitely low-end SPD shoes.

UPDATE: After I sorted out my confusion at what exactly the e-mail was about, Burrito Eater gets credit for figuring this out - he rides a Cannondale. Put the horses back in the stable and disband the search posse.

Info-tainment

This semester's class is over, and because the University doesn't want departments to rely on grad student lecturers over actual faculty, I'm done lecturing until I get a real job somewhere else. We had to end on a low note (postmodernism) and I think (which OleNelson and Courtney agreed with) that I gave constructivism short shrift. Maybe I'm just approaching it the wrong way, but constructivism is hard to teach without feeling like I'm overwhelming them with completely new ideas - intersubjective definitions, mutual constitution, endogenous preferences, etc. Overall, thinking about the 16 weeks of the course, I think I did more good than harm - that's in the academics' hippocratic oath I think. "First, do a marginally great amount of good than harm. Or at least make the harm less obvious."

T-minus around 6.5 weeks

In preparation for the Horribly Hilly Hundreds bike race on June 17th, I hereby proclaim the month of May - "Thousand Mile May". If I didn't have to teach in a little bit, I'd still be outside right now. Tonight is my last lecture of the semester, though, so that will free up some evening training hours. Thousand Mile May ahoy!

Contest Rules: Off-road mountain biking counts 2xMileage. On-road mountain biking counts 1.5xMileage. On-road road biking counts 1.2xMileage. Just kidding. Ha ha. Mileage to be tabulated daily and reported on the weblog "The Taming of the Blog". Any names or places resembling real or imaginary people are either intentional or not intentional, depending.

Thread-free

If you missed the $10 Spring sale at Threadless, you have until midnight on May 8th to catch the Summer sale. I just got the e-mail and the website is already sloooooww, which probably means a bum-rush of hipsters. It's the worst kind of bum-rush. Code "SUPER TEES" will get you $3 off any order, and "parsons-nyc" will getcha another $5 off a $50+ order.

They reprinted Panda-monium, which is awesome and may be in my drawer soon.

And, as always, if you're gonna order with them, could you use the link from this post? I get a little bit of credit for the referral.