Sunday, August 19, 2007

new location

ok, i finally got tired of blogger. it's been good to me, but it's time for me to move on....

http://ex-cyclist.com

check out my new bike!

enjoy


when i get some time, i will try to archive the posts from this site.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

first morning in california


i was very excited to be in the california mountains again. so excited that i woke with the sun [5:00am]. i never checked my watch, but it was pretty early i could tell.

my first goal was to climb donner pass and get some pictures along the way:

you can see the old railway along the top.





this picture on the left is looking down at donner lake.

the climb up to the top was pretty easy... at least easier than i remember. after all i did this climb twice last year, once on a rented mountain bike, and once on my unicycle while carrying a huge back pack. this was nothing like that, thank god!!

i got back to camp pretty early and decided to do some more exploring on my bike. i am so happy that i decided to bring my old bianchi with the cyclocross tires rather than my mtb bike or road bike. since i had a bike that could go anywhere i found a pretty sweet single track not far from camp.


if anyone knows "jp" please thank him/her for me. this trail just climbed up the mountain on the south side of donner lake. it was full of switch backs and until i got a peek of the lake i had no idea where i was. it was one of those trails where you want to turn around because you're getting further away than you planned, but because it's so unknown, you're all alone, and the gound is perfect.... you keep going.






so i kept going and i am so glad that i did, because at the top of the trail i found the railroad tunnel....and i just love tunnels.











it was really freaky to go inside because it was so dark, damp, and full of bat noises. there wasn't much room on the sides to dodge a train if needed either!






but i had to get this shot :)

first night in california.

after driving all through the night we arrived at donner lake about 6pm. it was still pretty light and we were able to find a pretty cool camp spot, and put up our tent. we had dinner at taco jalisco in truckee [best mexican restaurant ever!!]... with our full bellies and still a bit more day light left we headed off to lake tahoe.







we stopped several times along the way to take some pictures and by the time we got to the lake it was starting to get a bit dark. i don't have any pictures, but me and the boys took a little swim that night. it was pretty creepy swimming in dark cold water, but very refreshing!

sacramento

it's been about a week since my vacation was over and i've been busy catching up with work and home projects. actually it's been so hot i just sit around all day and try not to move.


i think that right now i am hotter than i was when i was back in sacramento. weird, but for the first time in a long time it was actually cooler in sac than in colorado. speaking of sacramento:


while in sacramento i tried do as much as i could but we only had a couple of days, and doing just "me" stuff would have pissed off the family.


i did a little bit of running one morning around william land park. when i was younger, i used to run this every day.... twice a day!

i know it may not seem like anything special, but it was about 3.1 mile around, and almost completely shady. on this morning i only ran two laps, because i'm not in the greatest running shape right now.


anyway it's a beautiful park, and it reminds me of home.... speaking of home, it seems that the neighborhood that i grew up in turned into a ghetto. i'm not using the word loosly either.... it's really bad. my old house looks pretty good however, and it still has our family name on the driveway.

Monday, August 6, 2007

while running on the beach part i.

There guys were holding what looked like a shark

running at morro bay

where in the world is the ex-cyclist?

while running part ii.

my bare feet were killing me at this point, but i still managed to climb this coral covered rock to get this picture

lame sand castle

I did not build this

mary jane sand dollars

I was going to carry these back with me but then i decided that a picture would do

Friday, July 27, 2007

From above

descending monument

A little bit scary going thru this thing especially going down hill. I was trying to out run a truck, and this tunnel was lot bumpier than the rest of the road. after coming in out of the sun, the tunnel almost seemed completely dark. i couldn't see the wheels or the ground... only the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm not sure if i already posted this or not... So I'll do it again. This was from my ride up monument. In grand junction

Friday, July 13, 2007

dumb ass

so this week has been kind of a busy week for me at work. the ceo was in town and i had to give a little presentation to show what i had been working on for the past 3 months. the ceo is actually only a few months younger than me, and he's in pretty good shape. he rides his bike a lot from what i hear and does a bunch of other things. so, since i don't really have anyone to ride with these days i thought it would be a good idea to invite him on a mountain bike ride. since i've been working here i have invited about three people so far, and no one has accepted. a couple of them were vendors that stopped by and one coworker.

the ceo was only in town for a few days and had to fly back to va this morning. he accepted my invitation but he was going to need a bike. i found a place near by that was open pretty late so we could rent one after work. i was pretty excited about the whole thing. i was even getting ready the night before. i always like riding with someone for the first time, but this time it was my boss. since i don't golf, i missed a lot of opportunities to schmooze in the past.

after work we drove down to the bike shop and picked up the bike. it was an ok bike with low end components, but it looked brand new. when things are new they tend to work better... at least low end bike components do. i put the bike on rack, and my boss put the wheel in my trunk, and headed out to the trail. i was a little embarrassed that he had to see all the crap i had in stored in there. i have just about everything i need in there; my unicycle, unicycle shoes, spare workout clothes, swim trunks, flippers, snorkel, running shoes, rain jackets, bike tools, helmets, misc bike tubes. [i think that's about it..hmm]

anyway, the trail was about 12-15 mile away, and it was now a little after 7pm. a little earlier in the day it had sprinkled some and trail was nice and tacky. when we got there the sun was behind the mountains and it was getting a little cool. we changed into our cycling clothes, put our shoes on, and packed our camel baks. i got his bike down from the rack and went back to the trunk to get his front wheel. as i grabbed his wheel from the back of my car, i noticed something very very bad... my wheel was missing!!! mother fuck! i organized this whole fucken event drove all this way out here, had my boss rent a bike so he can ride with me... and now we were going to have to call it off, or i would just sit there in the parking lot while he rode an unfamiliar trail.

this is the first time i've ever packed my bike without a wheel. i've come close a few times, but i've always had the where-with-all to run down my check list of things before i leave the house. i have a mental list of things i need for myself starting from toe to head. i have a similar list for my bike, and it goes from front wheel to back wheel. if i could have only remembered to run down the list i would have gotten it right off.

this is so embarrassing, how am i going to save face? just for the record, there is no graceful way out of this situation. i've already done a pretty stupid thing, now it's important for me to not do anything else stupid. so i stayed calm, and browsed through my trunk. i thought about unicycling while he rode, but that won't be good for him. he would get about 3miles in for the ride... and it would take about an hour and a half. then i noticed in my back seat that i had some running clothes... shoes and all. i suggested to him that i was going to run while he rode his bike, and i could tell that he wasn't too keen on the idea, but it was better than nothing.

it's a pretty technical trail with lots of hills at the beginning. i was able to keep up with him on the up hills and i actually had to wait a little bit. on the way back however, i could not keep up with him, but he was nice enough to wait for me pretty regularly. i felt badly that he had to wait, but i wasn't about to tell him that he didn't have to, because it was getting pretty dark, and i was getting pretty tired.

i didn't really save face, but he was pretty impressed with my running skills. also, i think it actually worked out better, because i think my bike skills were a lot better than his, and i might have frustrated him on some of the technical sections. this way, we were just an apple and an orange, no competition, no judgment, just having fun.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Well, here it is the 21st century and we still don't have flying cars. We don't have automated houses. Where did we go wrong? Well, at least we have high speed internet... at least we usually do. how about on-demand cable?.. nope, not today. ok then, nice clean water right from the tap? WTF is going on? this morning i woke 2 no water, no internet, or no cable. at least i have electricity and phone....hold on....ok, i still have phone. i have to figure out how to shower before work.

p.s. this message was originally sent from my phone.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Part 2

The back bone

Yellow on black friend of jack... Or was it black on red you are dead

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007

a summer's morning

before riding in this morning, i was exceptionally late getting ready. one of those days where i had plenty of time when i started, but then i kept adding thing and forgetting things and the next thing i knew i was going to be late again. no one at work really cares if i'm late or not, but if you are late too many times in a row you tend to get labeled as a slacker. so i finally got everything in order and i rolled down the drive way.

boy it was hot for 7:45 in the morning. i got about a block away and decided that i needed some sun block. i turned back home and got some from my car. as i was home i realized that i probably should use the bathroom one more time before i leave for good.

ok, i got on my bike and rolled off once again. for real this time. i got about a half mile from home and decided that i needed to listen to some tunes. my ipod was with me but it was buried in my panniers somewhere. so i stopped and got it out and flipped through some artist. seems that i have been listening to quite a few artist lately. there was still a bunch i haven't gone through yet, but i don't like experimenting with music while i am in a hurry. i opted for some prince.

i have been a prince fan for years, and there are a ton of dance tunes that can get the blood pumping. that's just what i needed. so i started off with house quake and then as if my ipod knew that i was heading for a small climb, it automatically chose the next song to be let's go crazy. perfect i hammered up that hill like it was nothing. next is was flat land and i don't remember the song. next hill up ahead. i remember it was a fast song before the hill and i was really sweating at this point. i got to the hill and the song was over, next song was a ballad.... in fact it was one of the slowest song you'll ever hear. i had no motivation to climb. i tried to block it out of my head and think about the previous song. i tried to not think of any song as well. it was no use, the ipod was cranked up so loudly, i could not avoid the song. i also had the ipod locked so i couldn't reach back in my jersey and flip the song. when i got to the top of the hill i was so burnt. i felt like i could not turn the cranks any faster. i was probably only going about 11-12 mph. finally that ballad ended it was a 7 minute song [wtf]. i guess when you're romancing your woman 7 minutes is nothing, i'll bet the time just flies buy. that just goes to show you.... there is a time and place for every song! and climbing a hill is not romantic. i actually thing there could not be two things more opposite in life.

so with all the life sapped out of me, i rolled on for a bit until the next song came on..... crap another ballad. alright enough is enough, i stopped pulled out my ipod and put on some primus. they have no ballads and all you ever hear is a heavy bass guitar that can get you through any thing..... however, you don't want to play any primus when you are romancing your lady :) ... in fact you don't want to play primus if there are any females within listening distance. i don't know any female that likes primus.

so the moral of the story..... don't underestimate the importance of play lists. i'll probably make a few this weekend :)

later.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

the evening

last night we went to some friend's house to watch the fireworks around the lake. these were some store bought works, just until the professional one start.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

early bird...


gets the flat. at least that is what happened to me this morning.... my dislike of birds has extended to expressions with the word "bird". this was kind of a weird flat. in fact, i am not really sure it was a flat to start with, my front tire just looked a little low. so i stopped and pulled out my pump and started filling it with air.... one 6" stroke at a time. when i disconnected the pump, i must have broken the valve and psssssttt all the air came streaming out.

[postmortem]
in retrospect what probably happened is that i unscrewed my presta valve too much before i started pumping it. the lame 6" pump is so small it moves a lot while being pumped. that may have caused the valve to weaken and eventually break when i pulled it off.
[/postmortem]

i was lucky that i had an extra tube with me. i got to finish off my day which was about a 2 hour ride.

right after i got going again i found this awesome looking weed/flower all by itself amongst the dried grass.

when i got back to the car i put my bike up on the roof rack [no, i didn't ride out to the trail today. i had to take my son to swim practice this morning, so on the way back i stopped at the trail]. anyway, after i strapped it to the rack, i walked to the back of my car and all of a sudden.... pssssssttt! what the hell? my other tire just went spontaneously flat!?!?! i haven't had time to look at it yet, but my guess is that the other valve went out.


happy 4th :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Here is the sky... As i wait

well... i try to ride when i can these days. there are so many days that i have to drive to work, today seemed like a good day to ride in. however, no one said anything about no lightning! so this picture is of me hiding out at the longmont walmart....waiting for my wife.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

unicycling is not cycling!



i've been unicycling every weekend [two so far] with a new buddy of mine. it's pretty fun to have someone to ride with and challenge. each time so far i feel myself getting better and better.

here is a picture of me doing a log crossing:

and here is a link to all the pictures from that day.


if you like videos, here are some videos from our trip to hall ranch this weekend.

swim forest swim!

i have been so busy with everything i haven't had time to post. actually i think i just got lazy again. it's easy to get lazy when you are me :) i'm not sure what that means but it's true.... really!!

i actually have been really active lately. i added another sport to my ex-cyclism: swimming. i know what everyone is thinking, "i thought he was allergic to water?" or "isn't that dangerous?... for you?" swimming has been a life long dream of mine, i can remember being a young kid wading in the lake watching my tube float away to the water that was just deeper than i was tall.
i have to get up early every morning to take my oldest kid to swim practice by 5:20am!!! it's very difficult to do this 4 days a week, so i thought that i would make the most out of it, by stopping at the rec center and experiment with swimming. the most amazing part is that i was able to talk my 12 year old into going with me and being my coach. the first day out i just got a kick board and kicked across the pool. i could not believe how slow i was. it took almost 2 minutes to go 25 yards. i'm not used to doing anything that slowly....it's just not worth it. alex suggested that i use fins to help out a bit.... at least it helped my moral. so for the next couple weeks i would alternate between fins and feet... and only using the board. now my kicking has improved quite a bit and i can get across the pool in a respectable time.

my next step was the arms. i have to figure out how to get the arms going. breathing is too much to ask for someone with my skill level. let me explain something for a second... i can not swim. i have taken lessons as a kid and spent some time in a lake, or on rivers, but i still can not swim. i think it is because i am not comfortable in the water and i am too uncoordinated. i am coordinated enough to unicycle and juggle, but i can't swim....or dance [that's another post :)]. so my strategy for learning this time is to do one part at a time. first learn to kick very well. not just able to move my feet, but be able to propel myself at a very good pace without thinking. it has to be automatic. next: learn the most efficient stroke i can. again, i want to be able to propel myself at a very good rate, without thinking. finally i need to breath. i am not sure how i am going to figure this part out but currently i am using a snorkel. the snorkel is great, i wish that i could use it all the time. however, i don't want to get too dependent on it. so what i have been doing is timing my breaths to match my strokes. maybe this week i'll try to go with out the snorkel.

so where was i?

i don't remember... so i'll just finish up here. it's been very challenging to learn to swim. my arms are not used to doing anything, so they have been stressed as well. i think by the end of this month i will be able to swim. my goal is to swim 500 yards by the end of august.

wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm at the robot and vision show in chicago. This was the most realistic robot i could find. Granted he could only move his head and blink his eyes...i guess that is what makes up human after all. Can u tell which one is the robot?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

This was a common sight along the bike path

It was so windy today, and to top it all off i had to ride into the stars.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lost pictures from my trip to ward.

The start of the trail.

more flowers

More flowers

return of the ex-cyclist

The ex-cyclist is back! I haven't been on my bike for while, and today i rode out to the trail and then ran it. It felt pretty good to not drive. This was a flower on the trail

Friday, May 18, 2007

words from the ex-cyclist.

well, it's been nearly two weeks and i have not ridden my bike. i have been driving to work every day since then and i am feeling horrible. i really hate using my car so much. i see lots of people riding to work now, more so than usually, most likely because of the high gas prices. people really need this however. spending money on gas seems to be a bigger motivator than a used up planet. perhaps people would be more motivated if some economist could put a price tag on how much it's going to cost to have fresh air pumps in your house and car [most likely what ever happens with global warming...we will still drive cars]. perhaps getting a sample of the future cost of all this would motivate people to conserve.

i know that i talk from a pretty high place, but i practice from a fairly low stand, but at least i am trying...and i have been trying all my life. a lot of the problem for me is that everything takes an initial investment. solar energy wind power, hybrid cars...etc. as for me, well i really think that things are completely screwed up. i really think that these are band-aid solutions to the problem in general.

here is the problem. every city and town in this country is controlled by short sighted money hungry baboons. how can something like a strip mall become such a standard? have the buildings surround the parking lot! what a fucked up idea that is. it is everywhere however. they have become so huge, that it is very difficult to even walk from one store to the next. unless you are very ambitious and the "mall" is reasonable, most people drive from one store to the other. this concept of the strip mall has been incorporated into the huge super malls. these are the malls where we find best buy and dick's sports, circuit city....

why is it that we never see a super market next door to a best buy? or a doctor's office next to a dentist? and either of those next to a restaurant? because everything is fucked up that's why. most people never get more than two destinations from one drive. that needs to change.

i would love to be able to ride my bike to one place, get some hardware, groceries and bike parts with one trip.

anyway, this zoning needs to change, and development on these new projects needs to be flagged. it's the best way to lessen our dependencies on cars.

also, what the hell is going on with all the drive-throughs lately? don't people know the impact of idling cars? this should be the first thing to go in our societies. in my experience drive-throughs only have about a 50% chance of getting your order right to begin with... so get off your fat asses and walk inside.... no excuses.

ok, i am sufficiently fired up now.... but i have to drive into work again :( hopefully next week i can do a better job.


please comment!

Monday, May 7, 2007

well...at least it's not my leg this time

sunday's ride seemed to have longer term effects than just the normal sore muscles, aching back, and fainting spells. i think i also got a stress fracture on my arm. about a third of the way up from my wrist to my elbow. i didn't bump it or anything, i think it was just from the constant pounding of the road. my arms were numb most of the ride up and ll of the way back... so i couldn't feel any pain. today it was very swollen, and everything hurts. it hurts as i write this.... and when i pick up stuff. i'm pretty sure it's a stress fracture, i would go check it out tomorrow, but i am in between jobs right now and the new insurance doesn't kick in for a couple of weeks... and this visit would have to be a cobra visit....yuk i hate having to worry about stuff like that... i thought insurance was supposed to make it so you don't have to worry.

sunday....sunday

well, i don't know what is going on.... each weekend ride is worst that the previous weekend. last weekend i had the disastrous 96'r, and this weekend, i tried to take a trip up to ward.
once again i was running quite a bit late, and so i ended up hammering from loveland to longmont. i knew it was going to happen since i was over 20 minutes late, and i severely underestimated the distance. i really wanted to just rest as soon as i got there, but since my friend was patiently waiting for so long, i didn't want to ask to chill for a bit and have some lunch talk about work or something before we took off. instead, we just jetted off to the hill as soon as i arrived [no rest]. we chatted most of the climb at least the first 90% or so until i just couldn't breath and talk at the same time. my friend just kept motoring up the hill while i just dropped back and climbed at a leisurely 20-30 rpms. i was hurting pretty good for the last part of the climb, and it was so freaking cold my arms were starting to go numb. there was a little bit of snow on the road, but most of it was on the trees. when i got to the store, my friend's bike was parked outside and i couldn't wait to go inside and join him. i was going to borrow some money from him because if you've ever been to ward, you know that they are lucky to have electricity...let alone credit card readers. unfortunately my friend didn't have anything either. i sat around the store digging through my camel bak looking for that elusive ... perhaps non-existent $5 bill. the guy at the store finally felt sorry me and let me buy something as long as i promised to send him the money... "two hot chocolates please" :)

the ride down was no picnic. i had this wind breaker that had been through the wash a few times and seemed to have lost its ability to "break" the wind. it was an endless decent that was just unbearable. i kept slowing down because i kept thinking that i was going to get frost bite on my nose. funny, last week i was worried about heat exhaustion... this week it's frost bite :)

when we got to the bottom of the hill, my friend parted his direction and me mine. when i left him i had already bonked... actually i couldn't tell if i bonked or i was just depleted of all my energy reserves and on the edge of consciousness.... in any case i was still about 20 miles from home and about 1 mile from death. i decided to call my ace-in-the-hole, my rock, my till-death-do-we-part, unfortunately she was too busy getting ready for work and didn't have time to go get me. :( i even thought about having my 15 and a half year old drive out buy himself and get me... i'd better not. i finally accepted the fact that i am going to have to tough this out by myself, and so i stopped at the seven eleven for some food.

after a relaxing meal that seemed to make me even more tired, i started my journey home. the skies were getting dark and the wind was picking up. and just like a poorly scripted sitcom where predictability and canned laughs are the essence of its being.... so to was the direct head winds that beat upon my body as i forged ahead into the sapping wind. if you think this paragraph is overly dramatic, you are correct....however, you should have seen my face, and heard my cursing under my breath as i struggled to forward.

i finally made it but it was so horrible. the wind kept getting stronger and stronger as i got closer to home.... serious!

i miss the days where i kept everything in my panniers and rode as fast or as slowly as i felt. there is something a little different when i get on my road bike.... i don't know why ....it's just different.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

foot prints


my carbon foot print has been pretty big lately, so i was really wanting to ride to work today. last week didn't work out because i had to do a bunch of things before and after work almost everyday. so today i was going to ride in. i hadn't ridden since sunday's 96'r.

i don't think i told you about my 96'r. i went out riding with my friends on sunday. we were going to do about a 40 mile road ride. so i decided that i needed something epic, and rode from my house to the meeting place. this added another 30 miles each way. this would make the entire day a little over 100 miles....so i thought. as you can tell from my mobile blog post , i barely made it back home. everything was bothering me... my butt, my head, my skin [forgot sun screen]... oh yeah, my stomach. it was a tough day, and i am just happy to be alive :).

i took monday and tuesday off and wednesday was my next chance. last night my wireless thermometer came in and i really wanted to hook it up to the webcam. this morning i was trying to get my web software working and the time was going by quickly. i wanted to leave home by 7:30... next thing i knew it was 8:00 and i still hadn't taken a shower.... yikes 8:15 i just got it going, and ran off to take a shower. boy! the shower was feeling good this morning. i was just relaxing... then i remembered that i was in a "hurry". i quickly got out, got dressed into my bike clothes, packed my cycling stuff, and out the door i went.

i started out pretty hard, because i was already late. i got about 5 miles out and then i remembered that i didn't have any shoes to wear at work. bummer. when i'm on my bianchi i never had this problem. since it has platform pedals i always wear regular shoes. not so with my road bike. i called up my wife to see if she was going to longmont today...but NOOOO. i went to work anyway, walked around most of the day with my clicky clacky cycling shoes. i tried to stay at my desk most of the day so i wouldn't have to walk around.

except for the shoe thing it was a pretty good day.

compost cam is here!




i finally got my "compost camera" setup. it's actually a thermometer cam. my kids told me..."just think, there are kids in ethiopia that don't know their compost temperature."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

huh?

I must be getting delirious... doesn't this look like a rice farmer on a bike? As i rode through longmont i noticed that the decals were kind of changing, toward the end they actually started looking like the grim reaper... I wish i lived in longmont right now. not because of the crazy decals, but because i am sooo tired right now. my emergency ride [a.k.a wife] has left for work already, and now if i need a ride back home i'm going to have to bother a friend, or else just suck it up.

Somewhere west of longmont...still feeling good at this point. Only half way