Saturday, June 14, 2008

Short Monson Report

I had a bad feeling about this race before it began. Everyone in the parking lot had their 'game faces' on and this usually means trouble. In general, the atmosphere was not as relaxed as it has been during previous races this year. Why do I feel this way? I don't know - were a lot of guys anxious about this race? They shouldn't have been. Its only 56 miles and there really aren't major climbs to overcome. Regardless I was in a hurry in the AM and forgot water bottles. I picked up some at the store on the way out. No problem. They fit in my cages well & they were in there tight. I raced with these Gatorade bottles for the first couple years I raced and nothing bad happened they always fit fine. I got dressed and took my position at the rear of the field as about the entire field lined up :20 minutes before the race was supposed to go off. Classic. We began the event by going down a medium sized hill and taking a left onto a main road. It was neutral down the hill which is something I welcomed. Since I was at the rear wanted to move up. I already saw some stupid riding going down the hill - going after places that really weren't there, excessive side to side movement. Everyone knows what I'm talking about so I won't belabor the point. At the bottom of the hill there is a left. I took the left and had to move over because someone took the turn too sharply. OK, no problem. Well I slammed into a deep mean pothole which jettisoned my water bottles. Both of them. Remember, I'm still at the rear and I'm still moving away from Mr. Sketchy. I did not stop to pick them up - I decided to go on. Nate Turillo saved my ass by giving me an extra bottle.

The race was fun and kinda fast from here on out. I moved up into the first 20 bikes or so and stayed there. A few attacks went off but nothing really powerful. About mile 20 it began raining. At mile 30 or so there was a diagonal railroad crossing. I hopped it - it was slick but it wasn't that bad. The next mile there was another crossing & yes, someone hit it wrong. They went down, taking me down and a bunch of others. I didn't really get hurt, just cut up a little and bruised a little bit. I think the bike is ok. This was the end of the race today. Like I said, I knew something was going to happen. From now on, I will be very careful in my event selection. This is usually a good race and I felt very good in the race. I really felt I could have made an impact - especially once I heard the race came apart about 20 miles left which I think would have suited me as I was able to ride through the field on the climbs but whatever, I'll race another day.

No Housatonic for me - I'll do an endurance ride tomorrow.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Consecutive Posts

I'm into this posting thing lately. Today I woke up at 445 AM and could not sleep any longer so I decided to start my day. I felt pretty good actually - I had some work to do which I was glad to get done. I'm so much more productive in the mornings as opposed to any other time of the day.
Whenever I go really hard I wake up super early so this fits the pattern. I also had a splitting headache for part of the day which means I was dehydrated. So I didn't go up to Wells. I'm also have such a sunburn that even when I go outside into the sun it hurts. I decided to ride around Providence for a while. I did some east side loops for a while - then I went down to the Wickenden area because I never go down there.
The new pedestrian bridge is up over 195 and the gate is open and you can ride over it - although you are not supposed to I guess. The cop that stopped me watched me go into it, then watched me come out over it then decided to stop me. He was on a scooter and intentionally pulled in front of me with what one would call a siren. He was cool though and didn't give me a super hard time so I left on good terms.
I forgot how much I hate hot weather. We don't have AC at work. It will be like between 85 and 90 in there - the third and fourth floors will be hot as hell and I mean hot, sweltering, no escape hot. On a positive note, one of my favorite shows is on...Ice Road Truckers.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Spring to Summer

Yesterday it was spring. Today it is summer. Go figure. Well, I did take the bus down to Ninigret today - It dropped me off on the corner of Waites Corner Rd. and RT 2. About 12 or so miles down to the Ninigret venue. A good warm up. So I warmed up and just rode around the lot a bit, chatted with some folks and hit the start line. Race started well - some early attacks but nothing substantial. Yabroudy took off about halfway in and took about 6 guys with him. A few others joined in the break after Yabroudy soloed the final 8 or so laps and the break thus slowed down a bit. There were about 12 of us in the break, pace was decent - a few guys attacked the break which isn't wise as they didn't have the staying power to stay off - they dangled 20 meters off the front for one minute. One unmentioned guy was getting pissed that folks weren't pulling through hard enough and jammed on his brakes a few times when he was done pulling through in frustration.
One word for this stuff - Lame.

Anyway I got pushed off into the grass in the final approach so I didn't get in there but whatever, it was a good ride anyway. I was on the outside before the last corner and today the move went from the inside/middle. The wind was an issue also and I think folks were trying to stay out of it as it was a tailwind in the finish and thus was a crosswind on the straight before the final corner.

So I saw Chris Burke warming up and we made plans to ride back to Providence. Alfredo from Bikeworks was with us too. We went the long way through Hope Valley and Arcadia. It was hot and the sun was very, very strong.
Sunburn is kicking right now - I was wearing sunblock but I think it wore off. Damn. Its a very specific sunburn - hands are white, area around eyes where sunglasses were is white, feet=white, watchband=white. Upper arm: permanent line of white to where jersey is where freckles and today's sunburn take over.
This ride featured all of us sweaty and sunburnt riders stopping at the pizza place on RT 3 and 165 getting a sit down meal of spaghetti at a restaurant - sitting our sweaty asses on their furniture and having a waitress. Classic. Despite my reservations about eating stuff like this I felt great by the end of the ride. We were attacking the hills close in to town even. Of course the first hour or so after the meal was at a good aerobic pace. I ended up with a sunburn, 5:30, a sore left knee and 92 miles for the day. I might go to Wells tomorrow but I might not. I just might do an hour and half of moderate/easy fun type stuff. Maybe even a mountainbike. This is the second time in a week that I've got knee stuff so it might be wise for me to chill on the miles.

I'm trying not to use AC as much as possible but that might be a challenge. I'm on the third floor. It is hot as hell in here. I mean hot...candles and soap become soft. In goes the AC tonight.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

No Ninigret 4 Me

Not able to hit Ninigret tonight, something I'm okay with this week. I've got a presentation due tomorrow and I have some other obligations that I want to take care of. Ninigret next week and hopefully every week thereafter. This will be three days off the bike - I did some commuting yesterday but does that really count? I'll end up doing commute stuff tomorrow too - maybe I can get away with one hour with some intensity stuff in there.

I want to explore the bus option to Ninigret just to try it maybe on Sat. First race at 1210, leave at 940 and get to 138/2 at 1021? Put in a hour ride down. Wouldn't it suck though to have all the bike racks taken - well it wouldn't be that bad to have a long ride back..

I did an experiment today at work. I've been taking my pulse regularly throughout the day. When I'm at work, in the building I work in my pulse lies between 55 and 62 beats per minute. Yesterday when I was a conference, outside the building my pulse was 44 bpm - consistently over four readings. I'm going to continue to take measurements to see if I can link together stress and consistent elevated pulse rate. There has to be some connection.

Celtics/Lakers tomorrow. I'm totally going to watch this game - maybe at a bar somewhere at that. My class gets out at 9PM so thats about tip off time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Went to the Union Rally and All I Got Was a T-Shirt

I also got some video. I'm specifically referring to the union rally I went to today @ the state house to protest all the cuts the governor is proposing. There were a lot of people there - 3,000 to 5,000. Has it made the papers yet? No. Has it made channel 10, 12 or 6? No. Is it on Youtube? It will be shortly when I post my video. Said video will also be sent to the mainstream media outlets. None of them were at the rally. Why not one may ask? Perhaps it has something to do with the corporate ownership of these companies and their management's overall hatred of unionized labor. The fact that this rally was not publicized is unacceptable in all regards. It may get an inside page in the Journal, maybe only in the Metro section, maybe in the editorial section. It might not get anything at all. It might get a big write up with a photo, or it might get very little. Who knows?

On the heels of the apparent Obama victory, an event which I regard as a major positive to the majority of people in this country we need to decide what kind of society we are going to tolerate. Our media outlets do not convey the truth all the time. None of them were there today so I'll be shocked if there is much positive press on this. Of course all the talk radio people and local pundits will be out gunning for unions on the airwaves. Ed Achorn will have another bad editorial about how unions are bleeding the state dry while good hardworking upper middle class people you know, the same people who have attained such a degree of security and prosperity that they forget that 1. They are privileged and 2. the economic situation they enjoy may or may not be due to their hard work as much as it could be due to birthright or luck. Of course, the anti-union, anti-labor forces would like you to believe that a vast majority of the population of the state owns businesses or are CEO's. Do this activity: Go to a place where they don't pay their government workers well. Come back and report to me how life is there. Did you feel safe? Would you like to live there? Think about it. Believe it or not, most of the people listening to these folks would directly benefit from some form of unionization in their workplaces yet have resigned themselves to passively agree with a person they identify with because they make extremely complex issues seems black and white - simple to understand. I'm going to sleep now before I get started on taxation. I implore everyone to become familiar with the tax code.

Yes RI is a high tax state, but for whom? Yes, sales and income tax are here. Gas tax too...roads don't build themselves. What about capital gains? Are fees taxes? (yes they are) Have fees gone up? Yes. Property tax - up or down? Up. Regressive? Yes. Most regressive states - surely not Florida, NH and Tennesseee. Yep. FL and TN - sales tax high, massive property tax as the state levies a property tax to support itself whereas property taxes are levied by the municipality in RI, MA and even NY (NY has America's highest taxes all around). NH - New England's tax haven (for now) - no sales tax, but state property tax, local property tax, and high fees. Who is hurt by high property taxes? Quiz time: Retirees on fixed incomes or people that own million dollar homes? Both of them but who hurts more?

I'm done. Good night.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Western RI has a lot of little hills

that really hurt me today. I rode with a couple new local guys today - I was very impressed how strong they were. Tempo/tt efforts the entire time, yeah the time - 4 + hours, 76 miles. So I'm pretty beat right now. Left knee has some issues...if you call shooting pain on effort inside your knee an issue and thus had to be the lame guy on the ride on the way in who says "you guys take off and I'll roll on in." But whatever, I'm going to ice it down and it should be alright. Its happened before but this time was a lot of pain so I've got be careful. This ailment probably has to do with the sheer number of hills we did - we were either climbing or descending most of the time and most of the time I was in the big ring spinning a big gear which felt comfortable but must not agree with my muscular-skeletal system. I made it for about three hours before I didn't feel good anymore which isn't bad considering I haven't ridden for over three hours since February. I'm going to make a better attempt to put long rides in more frequently although I'm convinced that they can take away from your fitness...especially short distance fitness, if done too often. Since most races are crits I'm going to be very careful about mega hard long distance efforts.

Ninigret on Weds. A group got off and I missed it. Same old story. I tried my hardest to get into something else but to no avail. Steve, Kellogg and myself tried to put something together but it didn't make it - one of these days I'm getting into the break. Arc en Ciel blocks so well too - all of us have to be aware of this in the field and if an Arc en Ciel guy is there - especially one of the really strong guys, then we should just concede that he is not going to pull through and the person who is in the third position should come around.

Ninigret on Wednesday and on Saturday. Lots of flat road, wind and spinning in circles. Hopefully something can happen. Probably hit up another torture ride on Sunday.