Sunday, February 28, 2010

106.4 @ 18.4

5am wakeups, who knew they still replay Wild America episodes at 5 am. Marty Stouffer is right up there with Bob Ross. 6:15 launch into 29° with 10 from NW. Still dark, geesh ... I'm a crazy person. Swift cross-town trip saw my arrival to the eastside of Urbana :45 mins early. Failed hard at reverse enginnering that one so I farted around, hung out in the heated Walmat foyer(ack) and took a pic of this huge pice of rebar in the middle of the road just east of High Cross on Washington. I'm noting this since its a well travelled route by cylists in the area and is a real hazzard.

Martin was a few mins late to the rendezvous so I had the chance to document some splendor:
Lake at Kickapoo just before a climb:
Larry's spankin' new Project 1, envy:
Jay is in true animal form and I think pretty much broke Larry. They did 130 out here yesterday and after the first 50 mile loop Larry called it quits. I respect a man who knows his limits. Just for perspective, Larry is somehting like a 12 time state champ and a very strong ultra rider.

So the pack of 4 was off to try and hold Jay's wheel until someone cried or called "uncle":

Martin had a rough day with a cold and logging 70+ yesterday but held on to finish up strong.

Thumbs up, brohaim:
Red-tailed lookin' for Sunday brunch:
Spent plenty of time right here today:
Spent as little time as possible on the front without facing ridicule:
Hawk's-eye view:
22 up a hill at mile 80 or something, ouch:
Resulting suffer face:
Jay wasn't happy until he had 120 so we did another 8 mile or so loop through the hills. I went in the toilet outside of Gifford, aprox mile 70, and couldn't quench my thirst with the maltomix. I was drinking but had that salty parched feeling so I knew I needed water. Never so happy to see a Casey's as I was today. After another 20 miles or so I came back around and threw a break on the last mile that Jay actually had to put down some effort to cover and I didn't completely die on the last hill. Good ride.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

30.4 @ 25.6

Stayed up too late to watch Katherine Reutter qualify and put down a great effort for silver in the 1,000 meters, the 1st individual short track medal for US womens short track skating, absolutely beautful effort from a local talent. Bright futures ahead for her, she was called the "fulcrum for an overhaul of the US womens program" by an Olympics speed skating announcer. I've had the honor of sharing a ride with her father once where we talked about my use of maltodextrin for cycling.
Mens relay was pandamonium, loved it, Ohno finished strong for Bronze

Woke up at 5 and took a hard look at how I felt at 5:45. Combined with thoughts of how my knee might feel with an 11-21 in the Kickapoo hills I decided to be conservative for this one. Maybe with an 11-26 or something but my knee is still complaining from the last time I did those hills on 11-21. A head wind for the return trip and my old man back and hips not feel aligned after missing a few weeks at the spinal hypnotist were all I needed to pull the plug. In other words, I decided it was a lack of planning and feeling crappy that conspired to kabosh this attempt at long miles and I was OK about it.

Went back to bed and woke up without an alarm at 10, ran an errand and managed to scrape together a decent solo ride to the west, winds from the NW at 14 and 32°.

Loved my Kozie Prery cap, performed wonderfully although the bill did slip behind my glasses once. It was still comfortable to wear and provides about the same amount of wind block to my eyes with the bill outside the glasses shown here: Did some exploring and found some nice country roads:

I've been wanting to capture the elusive snot rocket in a photograph and today it happened:

What can I say.

Yeah, I know, pics or lies:

Learned today is the opener for the spring classics with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad today, Kuurme-Bruxelles-Kuurme tomorrow. Need to lay mine eyes on those contests.

Cant forget to exercise the ohter muscles:

Update: Head wind return trip proved brutal for those that rode out to Kickapoo from Chambana. I've got a 12-25 and dreams of finishing that route tomorrow. We'll see.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Palming the Blob

Rode the bike to work all week, woohoo!

Continuing the theme of older men in beige sedans crowding me out in the lane, I had the guy pictured below try to force three wide through the intersection of eastbound Springfield and S. 6th. Car in the left turning lane, me in the going through the intersection lane and him trying to split the difference, well within the 3' distance and no where for me to go but the curb. Still under power and holding my line just off the gutter seam, I nearly brushed his front quarter panel as I made leftward sweeping motions with my hand, hoping to regain some room. He finally slowed and waited untill he could pass in the center lane after we cleared the intersection, giving me more than three feet. I noticed him further up my route and decided to ask if he knew about Illinois' three foot law. He didn't and was visibly irritated and among other choice car-centric observations, stated I wasn't far enough to the right to which I replied, "I can't ride in the gutter. I just wanted to make sure you knew about the law because you made me very nervous back there. Thanks, have a nice day." My parting gift as I rode off was the gruff, unintelligable yell of an old man. Inspiration for what not to be abounds.

My favorite part of that whole interaction? He was in such a hurry soas to feel it necissary to force a dangerous situation only to be sitting idle 2 blocks down the road. Really? It really doesn't take that much extra time or effort to share the road. Maybe motorist think if somone is crazy enough to be riding their bike in the road they wont mind being passed within inches by a 3k lb kleenex box. Maybe they just don't care about others. Who knows, but today I live to ride another day, agian.

Sun was shining, illuminating the hints of spring:

Listened to a presentation by a UIUC engineering alum last night and walked away with the notion that personal differentiation is essential. Contemplating how can I set myself apart from the crowd in ways that are aligned with my gifts and abilities and also generate a steady, comfortable income.

Soakin' up rays and words for lunch:

Currently experiencing a prickly anxiety born of a looming self-reckoning, like a deer transfixed in a semi's headlights just before impact. If struggle implies growth maybe there are new rings around here to show for it. Like a tree in harsh conditions, I get the sense these rings are too close to discern with my current perspective and focus, so I just keep pressing onward without confirmation.
Strong desires to comingle with exquisite minds are tempered with my seemingly natural tendency to be reclusive and an inabilty to actively support change and consistency in unfamiliar and volitile conditions. Here I take time to consider the wise words of my mother, "This too shall pass." "Focus on allowing truth to soothe your soul" "spirit works through our set a goal and let go" "" know that you will pass thru this phase of growth and be on the other side of it, then you will chuckle and think..."This was a learning experience" and you will even be grateful for it "" Thanks mom, I'm so grateful to have you in my life.
Eclectic ride:

Looks like ~120 miles for tomorrow if I make the Kickapoo ride ... still undecided but leaning towards going. Would be the longest ride to date but a 5 am wake up may be the deal breaker.

Are the faces always there and it just took a special sequence to see them ?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Deep Yearning

Woke up with the word doggerel in my head, wondering what it meant. Maybe it's a result of seeing myself lately, in glimpses, as a wolf-like dog attracted to smells in areas of the woods I know I should not be. I keep smashing a giant newspaper on the ground to scare myself away and somehow find myself following my nose back to the same place. Mostly unused except by poets, Wikipedia's entry hints at why the word visitied me today - overly sentimental content and inept handling of subject. Doggerel is usually the sincere product of poetic incompetence.

Maybe it's a clue that I need to figure out a way to satire myself so that laughter can work it's transformative magic.

Nice bus driver gave me plenty of room to pass but didn't leave enough time to overtake safely before a bit of a blind curve that would have pretty much ruined someone's day had they been travelling towards us.
Busy, busy at work, managed to escape for :20 to spin the pedals and sip more of Jim's words.

Busy at work reminds me of this quote:
"The harder I work, the luckier I get." – Thomas Jefferson.

Mom gifted me with a piece of moldavite, pretty special stuff. Looking forward to my vibrations being raised and feeling less weighted with ruminations. Wanting clarity and peace and to be free from frustrating and repetitive thoughts that are seemingly moot.

Hello Kitty!
I liked this rig and accidently hit the inverse key when I was resizing and liked it more:
Arrived home to a much anticipated treat, my custom Kozie Prery cycling cap!

Believe it or not this is a look of joy:

Looks like theres a small pack forming to ride out to Kickapoo on Saturday, do a 50 mile loop and ride back. Thinking I may join but am reluctant to push my knee to the point of complaints so who knows.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life Tide: Ebbs and Flows

16° with 15 mph winds from the West for my dance with the drones. Clear sailing with tailwinds and a belly full of pressed bean juice fueling the glowing embers needed to meet the day's challenges.

Light snows on mostly clear streets means the cracks in the road that have captured so much of my attention latley are filling with a contrasting whiteness that piques my already heightened curiosity. Result of rear tire skid on ice with Schwalbe Marathon Winters:
Usually it's me who's first on the snowy bike lanes I travel:

Like fresh air in the stifling, congested and fast-paced pressure cooker.

I suppose I should be thankful my motorist interactions don't look more like this:
"That's what I have a brush guard for." (Quote from the cop, link at the bottom of his post)

Parentals treated me to Thai food lunch and we noticed this sign as we walked, must be fairly new:

Ruminating quite a bit, wondering, wishing, running what-if scenerios like any of it really matters. Sometimes I wish I could find the stop button on my head.