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Entries from February 1, 2008 - February 29, 2008

Pile it on

Friday. Beer day. Pile that shit on, yo. Everybody's workin' for the weekend, right? Maredsous this evening. Pile it on, yes. I need the brown gold to somehow create the channel zero. Does that segment me into the 'he's got a problem/he can't deal' category? It is "off season" and man, I feel like I will never be fast, never be skinny, never be....waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!...young again. (you have permission when you see me to b-slap me for saying that). It is this incredible vicious circle that I can not seem to break out of these days with such intensity at work, that I am in an all out fire fight to combat the unbelievable dickness that seems to have engulfed my spirit. I will f-ing fight back. I will smash anything that gets in the way of my family or my spirit. Today I will keep in my pocket. I will take it out of my pocket like a stiletto when I need to and if I need to plunge it into the heart of the thing which presents itself smiling, with that smug smile it so often presents, while I look right at its smug eyes while it sinks in. "It" won't be so smug any more. I've tried, Lord I've tried, and it won't learn.

I like my world in its compartments. I admittedly fall apart when the compartments start to abut or, God forbid, bleed into each other. Chaos ensues. Herculean efforts to keep the compartments at bay but the reality is that the compartments are like giant cast iron boxes...as large as a house and they and I are on a pitching steel deck of a ship the size of the universe, the deck covered in grease, with me....arms outsretched, palms on each compartment...trying to keep them from colliding.

Too much. The deck is pitching too much. The iron boxes weigh too much. The grease, too slippery.

Chrissakes, why am I such a wuss. I think I may be manic.

Openers today to remove thoughts of compartments...or stillettos or...anything bad. Purge it. It ain't me. Taro in my head and it's not even the season. But to do them made me smile as it felt like fall even though it's spring and that was enough to proxy channel zero for the moment. And I didn;t even need to endure suffer-snow in my eyes. Crisp air in the early morning but enough sun that ensured all the black bits of my uniform warmed me up in those places. I love that.

High.

Low.

I guess this is the season.

White repulsion

The opposite of white sex, is white repulsion. And this guy looks like he got caught in a white wash. I dunno about these youngsters trying to unPRO the PRO white with this kind of nonsense. He looks like a ballerina fer chrissakes with those leg warmers. Weak. 2 out of 10.

Photo ©: Emmanuel Isnard

Rouleur

So my homeboy Joe B, the gracious giving man that he is, sends me a package with this wonderful present in it. Rouleur Magazine...a UK publication which is available here in the US via Competitive Cyclist.

Pound for pound, it is a magazine that is synonymous with how I see and adore cycling. It's grainy, cult-y, artistic and printed on beautiful stock with writing that is engaging and interesting rather than the pedestrian drivel you unfortunately get in the usual suspect/volume-oriented rags.

To prove the solidity of their mag (OK, through my biased eyes), there is a fantastic article on 'cross which needs to be read and will be appreciated immediately by core crossers, but gives anyone interested in the sport a great lens into it.

I am subscribing ASAP.

The Fortress of Truth and Righteousness

Ah, back from the paradise that is otherwise known as Romania. Mmm. Romania. Mmm, business travel. Sometimes I hear people talking at the airport about their travels. You know, business people discussing their goings-to and comings-from in the small-talkish....or possibly one-uppish....manner you often have to resort to with fellow business travelers to pass the time. I often hear: "Yeah, just finished up 3 days in Vegas. Whoa! is my liver tired." Responded to with a "Yes, my clients in New York City took me to a show with dinner in SoHo." Alas, here's what I hear:

"Greg, we need you in Romania, pal. You do you have your shots, right?"

Shots?? Romania?? This is the story of my life.


These trips take the tar right out of me, and unfortunately I do about 100K worth of these a year...which you all know by now as I rant how I balance all that with trying to be uber husband and dad and a bike racer. I am naturally high strung so it's hard to let stuff roll off the back, so business -travel...which by its very design is neither fun, nor relaxing...is the Darth to vacation-travel's Luke. It turns me into Postal Rager....at least on the inside of my overactive brain because I can't stand those fat slob million mile flier fools with bad business guy shoes and haircuts with their idiotic blue tooth things sticking out of their fat heads going ape-shit on the United person behind the desk.

Whoa. Sorry.

I want to now dip into some dark secrets of (my) travel. That being my nemeses and my love all intertwined in this inseparable helix of mind-strain passing guilt and pleasure like a ping pong ball between the hemispheres of my brain crescendoing in ever increasing volleys as if miniature Koreans have entered and made my brain their ping pong table. This dark secret I speak of is of course...

Beer.

I try so hard when traveling to be Pope-like. I figure if I can avoid the sauce, I can maybe try and keep some sort of fitness. Ha. I was DETERMINED on this week long trip to avoid it. I get in my car to DIA and I am chanting it. "Long week man. Stick to your goal. Get the work done, skip the beers, get home. One week. You can totally do it." I get on the plane, first flight, sit in my seat, take off and the lady swings on by like clockwork once we've reached our cruising altitude. "Can I get you something to drink, sir."

Oh my God. Moment of truth.

"Um, sure. I'll take a Ginger ale." She turns her head and begins to start to walk down the aisle and my Fortress of Truth and Righteousness suddenly caves in like the walls of a communist-era pre-fab building in a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. "Oh, miss! Sorry, and whatever beer you have in there. Please."

And so, I have a series of after shocks while in the great City of Iasi, Romania taking on board their golden brown and bubbly delicacies as a mechanism to cope....and because I did not trust the water.

But, I digress and am home. Back in the Republic with fam and friends. I get in Friday night late and spend the day with the fam. My kids never leave my side and we get our play on something fierce. Sunday is riding day with the RM-Izze crew. Can't wait to just BE with my compatriots. We assemble and we have a great crew. Newbies and old crew alike. Men's team and womens. We set the compass to Carter Lake and get our game on. The ride out is civilized and fun. That is until, of course, yours truly smiles, looked a Boups and we go. Game on. I start the first salvo on the rollers out there and go from a nice and calm 144 BPM to a vomit inducing 182 in a matter of seconds. It goes on like this to the top of the climb including sprints and other throw down frolics. We take a breather at the lake's crest. I am absolutely, positively going to vomit. I've never had this ball of not in my stomach. Water rushing into my mouth. I'm done for. This is what you get for not touching the bike or raising your heart rate for 8 days at sea level. OK, 285 feet.

We turn around and I am done for. I have to let the boys go and spin my spin and ensure that if it comes, they won't see me boot. Of course, God himself kicks up an insulting 45 MPH head wind which seems to change direction to face me no matter which way I turn. Indeed, I make it home, vultures circling above me. I crawl off my bike and limp inside. Done.

Oh, yes, we'll be getting it on again next weekend. Wouldn't want it any other way.

Some digital celluloid before we kicked off and I proceed to forget I have the camera.





Look, ma, no hands!

All of you remember when Georgie's head tube sheared off his Trek on the pave in the Paris Roubaix a year or two ago, Brutal. If not here's a video to remind you...

So with that fresh in your mind, imagine you're driving 120 miles an hour in your (race) car coming into an apex and your removable steering wheel comes off. HA! Well, this is my bro from work. Check out how cool he is when this happens...

The Pros Closet

I'm going to do a more thorough posting on Nick and the boys great little biz they've opened up here in Boulder called The Pro's Closet. As an 'experiment', I am utilizing their very capable services to sell my 2004 Moots. Go ahead! Lob in a bid!

Cyclocross training and the art of mad dog avoidance

I'm lucky. I mean, REALLY lucky. I count my blessings every day. Beautiful family, thankfully good health. Trust me, I know the blessings when they are in front of me.

Another huge blessing is being able to be competitive in the sport I love and I race with some of the best guys in the country, weekend in and weekend out. But to do this, takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication. So, of course when the time comes each year, I get on it and watch the diet, train in the wee early morning hours to ensure the balance with fam and work, etc.

But this element, called "work" often injects some fairly sophisticated barriers to surmount (puns semi-intended) in order to be as on top of my game as I can. Heavy stress, people management, business growth, and of course 100K mileage years on United are all part of the drill managing a world wide product management organization and product portfolio.

On the travel tip, I get to see some crazy places around the globe and meet super passionate software geeks like me. But then I get exposed to things like the following IM I had this AM with my lab director in Romania. Put this into context on how I need to try and keep some fitness while on the road...especially in the late summer as I am trying to ramp it up (lots to do with keeping my mind sane, less the body at this time of year):
So many obstacles. So little time. So next time you see me out there smile and it will surely mean the dogs didn't get me.

Absurd.

At the expense of sounding like a weenie/show off, I've always been a good wheelie-er. I guess it's my BMX stuff that's never left me. But Chance shows some absurdity here on this vid...

Title no. 8

What did you do today to elevate your heart rate folks? I mean besides throttle your computer? Whatever you, me, all of us with the taken-for-granted ability to wiggle all of our appendages are doing by staring at our PowerTaps and putting in our miles to keep fit and reach our goals this season pales in comparison to the depth Chris digs day in and day out to get it done. My boy Klebl, the same kid who is responsible for getting me on a mountain bike in 92 and falling back in love with two wheels (Damn you Klebl. Damn you. I could be a happy fat drunk Irishman at this point), won his 8th national cross country ski title amongst throwing down in Europe. Read his blog here and next time you throw your leg over your carbon fiber, smile and get it done. Chris is.

Valmont 'Cross Park - On the FAST track!

The system works! I do not know what else to say. Over the course of a year or so, the Parks and Recreation board and City Council members of Boulder have listened and reacted to the needs of cyclists...in in our case 'crossers in particular...to prioritize a facility in Boulder designed to allow for us to get our knobby tired game on. I've posted on this project in the past, but it is amazing to see this project get wings. Bobby and Pete have been using an incredibly soft-style evangelism with the City that has expressed the needs of mountain bikers, 'crossers and off road enthusiasts in a manner that wasn't condemning 'the System' and shaming it into the realization we have no facilities, but rather enrolling them with the true need and a participatory manner. It worked! The project is now top priority and being examined for implementation as early as next year. That is unbelievable considering I was prepping myself for the fact that *if* the project got approved, it likely would be something my children would benefit from when they come of 'crossing age.

The conceptual image of the park above is still in major flux but as you can see, so much is being accommodated. Awesome. Smooth trails, cross specific trails, technical single track...you name it! I love the fact that a staircase feature was injected into the plan for cross specifc needs. Imagine if you will a set of stairs with a bunch of local sponsor labels on it. Look at the image to the right and replace Duvel with New Belgium and inject RockyMounts, Boulder Cycle Sport, VeloNews and so on. Rad. A set of barriers along the cross course would also be great. Perhaps something that could be moved in terms of location.

In other news, there may be some surprises this year with respect to some yummy UCI courses here in Boulder. New courses that is. Stay tuned....

'Cross on.