Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hey Man, Like My New Bike? Episode Fini

Can not? Can Zo!

After much trial and tribulation the Canzo is finally ready for action.As Paris Hilton would say, "that's hot".

Muchas Gracias to Rassy's for getting me in post haste for the final touches.

For one last bit of tribulation I snapped the head off one of my Ergon barend grips when installing them. Despite Rassy's considerably strong Kung Fu they were not able to drill out - or otherwise fix - the offending bolt. They said it had been cross threaded and since it came with the bolts already pre-threaded I knew it wasn't my fault - not me, what a concept!

I emailed Ergon explaining my situation and asking for a replacement. I didn't know what to expect since I've had plenty of bike companies over the years simply ignore my emails. Ergon's Jeff Kerkove, a professional racer with Iowa roots, emailed me back within 2 hours asking for more information so he could send me a replacement right away. It was a very cool display of how all business should be done.

I only had a chance to tool around some park road at Easter Lake, but I am quite pleased so far with the new steed. The Lantern (Green) is definitely Arkansas bound. I was questioning whether to take my first twenty niner out on a trip to a tough, tight trail without much lead time to get used to it, but ultimately who can build up a sweet new ride and then leave it home? Not me.

As for the Gauntlet Weight Loss Challenge I dropped 1 pound this week to put me officially below my goal for the Womble trip. Hooray, let's celebrate with a cheeseburger!

lolcats funny cat pictures

I'm kidding, no I'm not, yes I am.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm of Weak Mind - But This Should Make You Laugh

Similiar to my troubles with that Beyonce song, I've been walking around for a couple of days quietly singing "Are you a Nazi baby?". I must be of weak mind, but regardless Stephen Lynch is hilarious.
Stephen Lynch - Little Tiny Moustache
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hey Man, Like My New Bike? Episode 3

The frame and the rest of the goodies arrived today. Somebody call the U.N. this torture has to violate the Geneva Convention.


As happy as I am about it being here, I'm a little irked because it arrived with a bent derailleur hanger and missing the seat post clamp that I'm pretty sure it was supposed to include. I will be talking with Bike29 about those issues today.

Now what I need is a bonafide bike mechanic, a Squirrel. What do you do when you need Batman? The Bat Signal of course.

How about when you need Squirrel? I'm trying this:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gauntlet Again

I'm down another pound to make it 11 total units o blubber gone since the Gauntlet began. I wanted to be under 200 by the time I left for Womble. I'm sitting right at that now with a week and a half to go. Can he make it, or will the Cheeseburgers catch him in the final (for this intermediate goal) stretch? Tune in next time to see what happens.

If I left today (which would be nice) I would be 17 pounds lighter than when I headed to the rougher Syllamo last year. Not dragging the extra poundage through the Ozarks mountains will be nice.

I may shift my focus from weightlifting to much more running and biking in the last week and a half. Its hard to tinker with something that's working, so I don't know. We'll see how the weather holds out, by the end of winter I hate the treadmill more than Maroon 5 (and that's a lot).

Exercise "highlights" included riding 11 hilly, muddy miles at Easter on Sunday with Corey. We really had no business being out there, its still way too wet. Easter is usually ready to go weeks before anything else due to the grass and woodchipped paths, but it was not really ready. Corey's rear derailleur paid the price too, getting so mudded that it seized up and bent backwards into his spokes. He kept insisting it was the mud AND his "dynamic delivery of power and torque". - whatever :-) Somehow he fixed it. I must say, that kid is a pretty decent trail mechanic.

Pretty lake

A snow bank, flipping spring the bird

I also played a little hookie yesterday and got out for a 27 mile graveler to Banner, around Carisle, and back. Scouted out some of the new trail @ Banner. It's very close to being ridable. If it didn't rain at all this week it might be ready to ride for the trailwork day on Saturday, but it looks like we'll get at least some moisture between now and then. Boo.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hey Man, like my new bike? Episode 2

A new seat - Fizik Gobi XM - arrived today. It goes really well with the color scheme and is very comfortable during long imaginary rides on my (still) imaginary bike (by the way, I'm pretty imaginary fast on these rides)

Also, new shifters - decided to try SRAM X-9's this time around. I've never used their mountain components but I really like the Force and Rival stuff on my cross bike. Anywho, they work nicely on the imaginary ride as well.

As of yesterday the frame still had not shipped, but everything else is in route.

"Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow it loses today." My main man, Seneca, said that. No, not Seneca Wallace -

- my Roman playright homie, Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

Here are a couple of gravel pictures I promised during my Gauntlet post:
Bridge just east of Carisle

on the other side the road splits and climbs either way. This way is steep and is covered with loose sandy dirt. Looking up:

Its not long, but after the initial pitch it still climbs quite a bit. There's a fat black lab who lives at the top of the hill. He came running out to tell me this was a toll road and he'd have to charge me a couple of snausages to let me pass.

I said "no", he said "'fraid so". I said I didn't have any snausages. He said he'd "let it pass - this time. " What's the worst kind of country road dog? The kind that lives at the top of a big hill.

The other climb, opposite of the loose, sandy steep side. It has a creepy building of some kind.

No ending tagline today, you'll have to make up your own.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gauntlet: A Tale of Four Scales

I have 4 scales in my life. Some of them are friendly, others not. One thing is for sure, they never agree. My fancy bathroom scale - one that can read your body fat percentage - is the most malevolent of the bunch. It consistently weighs me at several pounds heavier than the other 3. I checked it one time with a 50 lb dumbbell, it said 50.6 - Grrr.

The scale I used for the gauntlet is a decidedly kinder soul, but it has a heck of a time making up its mind. You weigh this, no this, no this, you're moving, no this. I calibrate it with a little 5 lb plate, which isn't the best, but its better than nothing.

The Wii Fit is kindest of all. It gives you a 2 lb break for light clothes. Of course it is a little bitchy with the obese/overweight/normal thermometer it rates your BMI on and how fat it makes your poor little Mii character.

Even the one at my office's fitness center has trouble making up its mind sometimes. Its the old skool doctors office slider. It is usually between the fancy and twitchy home scales. I don't weigh at the fitness center until the middle of the day so whatever I've vacuumed up in the morning is counting against me at that point.

Anywho, long story-short - I think I lost 1 pound this week. I've clearly slowed down, but I know the problem. The last couple of weekends have really kicked my willpower's hiney. I do great all week and by the time the weekend hits I'm ready to blow off some steam. With the crappy weather there's been a lot less motivation to get out and do something, so instead I'll just watch some stupid TV and eat things - bad things.

Excuses are stupid, I've got to suck it up (or in this case, stop sucking it up).

I did get to ride Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday Nick and I started to explore the gravel around Carisle but ran out of daylight. Friday I made it back out there to find at least some interesting road, including a killer hill. I'll post pictures later.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hey Man, Like My New Bike? Episode 1

Hey Man, Like my new bike? You don't see many of these models out there. I can tell you its really light, but the handling is a bit twitchy.

What's that you say? Something seems to be missing? Oh yeah, the frame - in case you can't tell from the picture this bike is a full suspension Voodoo Canzo 29. Do you like the matte kelly green paint? Yeah, me too. It goes good with the white fork.

(this is a web picture, the real thing is conspicously absent at my house)

Some of you may remember this post where I struggle with what size to get while simulatanteously coming to terms with losing a full inch of height when I measured myself(I didn't have an inch to spare). If I continue to shrink at this rate I may wind up a jockey, maybe an Ostrich jockey.

In the meantime I've got another week to wait on my frame because I changed the order from a medium to a small. I deliberated over the choice for weeks. A couple 5'9 Conzo riders from recommended a medium. One Canzo rider offered to give me advice based on top tube measurements so I did the Competitive Cyclist online fit calculator (that thing just confused me more) and sent him and Voodoo all the measurements. When I didn't hear from either for awhile (which is kinda concerning coming from Voodoo) I went with the medium. Then Advice Guy emails me back and says based on everything I gave him (including top tube measurements of my current bikes) he would recommend a small.

My frame had not shipped from Bike29 so I was able to change to a small. The shop guy talked to me about my size concerns. He had every reason to convince me a medium was fine since he already had one on the way, but he ended up recommending a small.

For the record: I called Rassy's because I saw them on the Voodoo distributor (BTI) list. Greg was surprised they were even on the list, he said they hardly order anything from them and ultimately told me to go with online if it was a good deal. I'm not sure what to make of that, but I know that I love that bike shop.

I still have two more shipments of stuff before the Green Latern can be born. I'm hoping I can get her built up with at least some test time before heading to Womble.

Waiting is torture.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gauntlet, Part 3 (or 4?)


Depending on which scale I believe I've either lost nothing this week or I might have even gained a pound. I'm not all that surprised, even though I started a killer new weighlifting program I'm not getting as much cardio work as I should. The Cheeseburgers stayed away this week, but they sent their rough and tumble cousin, Pizza, to whoop my butt pretty good Saturday night.

Speaking of butt whoopin' I got a good one Friday from my first giant set work out. I was right to fear it. It doesn't just want your body, it wants your soul too. It is heavy on deadlifts, which are an incredible all body exercise that gives special attention to the my buttmuscle was incredibly stiff and sore the next day. Spending 7 hours sitting on bleachers watching Katie's volleyball team didn't exactly soften the blow. I kept asking *butt* no one took me up on my request for a butt massage. Sometimes you just can't catch a break.

I've done Workout B now too. I don't think its as hard as A. It goes: (10-12 reps) front squat, underhand lat pulldown, step-up, push press, rest 60 seconds - do it again 3 more times. Another giant set (20 reps): squat, wide grip lat pull down, step-up, shoulder press, rest 60 seconds, do it again. Lastly 2 sets of 20 swiss ball crunches. Now, gasp for air, puke if you need to and cry.

This week should be better for cardio, bike miles will come easy starting with a 63 mile gravel road race this Sunday. The CIRREM course is top secret but it will start in Cumming and take full advantage of the hilly, rolling terrain just southeast of town. Nick and I have struck a "turtle alliance" for this "race" meaning we're just going to ride it together for fun, waiting for each other if necessary, and not worry about finishing DFL (that's dead f@#$! last for those not familiar with the lingo). I told him holding hands to cross the finish was optional. I hope no one shows up with a finish line tape or we might not be able to break it and will have to drop out in the final millimeter.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Best 12 Minutes You'll Spend All Day

Watch this story, even if you don't like golf - watch this story. Even if you're not into sports or you if you think you're too busy - take the time and watch the story. Believe in reincarnation? Are you sure? Maybe not so much anymore.

Anyway, I guarantee it will be the best 12 minutes you invest on the www today. You might want to have a tissue handy.

HBO Real Sports has a reunion story on this month with Kyle, 6 now, that includes his struggles with his dad being deployed in Iraq. Not to give too much away, but they are able to film his reunion with dad (who doubles as caddy) and it is just about as touching as it gets.

I have a new hero and he's a 5-6 year old kid who happens to also be a spooky good golfer.