Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Ahh, the circulating Fat Cyclist "getting to know you" questions.

Forwarded to me by the lovely Ali B, she's so cute I must play along. :)

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
Hmmmm, only one bike to do it all? Since I participate in all kinds of cycling related activities, I'd pretty much be screwed, my only saving grace would be a 29er that I can setup as rigid with skinny tires for road duty and toss a suspension fork up front and run the fatty's for off road duty. A Moots YBB would be cool, or doing something a bit more obscure like a Funk hard tail or that Independent that I was drooling over at the shop.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you're not working toward getting it, why not?
I don't think I'll ever obtain my dream bike as it's always a moving target. Either you are the type that likes to sell stuff off and try new or you just ride the snot out of what you have. If I got the Moots YBB for trail works I'd be well on my way though. For the road and tri machines, I really don't know what speaks to me as those bikes tend to set them selves apart less. They are all fancy aero designs and not really *that* much different from one another unlike some of the mountain bike designs, especially dealing with soft tails and suspension bikes. I guess I'd just stick with my BMC Time Machine, add some Zipp 1080's and the Vuka bars. For a road bike, the Colnago Extreme C is pretty sexy. :)

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
The route that Ali and I can enjoy equally, she's my life partner, riding partner and best friend. Not being able to ride with Ali would really cut my cycling life short. Single track and dirt roads is a great ride for me. You get to put in lots of peddling time, mix it up in technical sections and then veg out on the roads where you can chat and spin. There must be hills though, I'm really loving hills these days. Oh and as long as there isn't Santa in the back of an Oldsmobile on the back roads we choose. :)

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life?
I say beat them!

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrow minded?
Love both equally. The road is pure fitness and speed, you can blast along at 20+ and
break 40 easy on downhills. There is less slowing than on the trail and it's way easier to get a killer cardio workout in as well. Group rides can feel more like races and are totally exhilarating.

Riding single track gets me away from cars and out in nature. I can roll along slow and enjoy my surroundings or pump it up to get the adrenaline flowing as you weave around trees and bomb downhills that leave your heart in your throat. While all downhills are intense, I'm more likely to let out a big hoot or a yahoo as I blast down a banked downhill at a place like Pontiac Lake or Hanson Hills.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent. Nope, I'll give it a shot in another 30 years or when I'm too injured to ride upright.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
Yes, have done several and usually do pretty decent. Looking to age group consistently, but for that I'd have to run more, well really I'd just have to run as I usually don't do it until race day. And I do floss, but not as often as I should.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
Hmmm, I'd rather just eat a bullet, you can't have my wheels or my moose tracks dammit!

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
What has been your biggest cycling related accomplishment or the best thing that has happened to you because of bikes? My answer is simple, I met Ali.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
Ask him if he's seen any forest fires.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.




Thanks for playing folks, I'm off to slumber land!

All clear!

To the creators of this stuff, wow, I didn't know my body could do that!

Tomorrow I shall eat a horse after this is all done!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Found at the dig site

Amazing what you'll find under decks upon removal, I just can't believe I never smelled this guy under there. He must have pounded too many beers with us one night. ;)

Urban archeology at it's finest.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


My first century.

Kensington twice, Proving grounds, Milford, Commerce and two loops through South Lyon.

Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Getting sick

So this morning I woke up feeling feverish, totally unfocused, scratchy throat and horrid sinuses. My body is in the middle of a battle with something, so of course I have to feed it.

With what you ask? Well this evening I've managed to have an entire roasted chicken, a quarter of a watermelon, an entire package of pita chips and four Popsicles.

I'm am now rather satisfied hunger wise and ready for bed. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carl's Family Triathlon

Out of the gate, I must say that this was the most well organized triathlon I have done to date. Registration was a breeze, there were tons of volunteers for body marking, great lake coverage and course marshalls all over the place. I was really surprised that 3D was involved with this event as I've become less and less enamored with them and their ability to put on a quality event. Being their primary role here was to run timing and awards it worked out great. The YMCA did a superb job with Robert to make it a fun event.

I rolled into the park around 6:30, go my stuff, met up with Kimm, set up the team tent, my transition and was just able to chill for a while before the race. Considering we had a daunting course to ride ahead of us, I was pretty calm. Jo was there with her family and Marian brought out her personal massage therapist, trainer and all around nice husband to help cheer her on for her first tri. The vibe in the team tent was cool, loved having all the support, family and friends around. Kevin Dittmer aka K-Ditty who is primarily a MTB guy came out for some fun today as well. I knew we were evenly matched run and swim, but I'd have a hard time with him on the bike. Little did I know he brought his A race that day.

(Keeping it light before the start)

Afer a bit of warm up we were off, I felt decent on the swim. About 500 meters into it I was passing people again as they couldn't continue the max burn they were running at. Good enough for a 9th out of 30 rank in age group for my swim. My adversary K-Ditty pulled off a 5th, amazing for a guy who has swam once in the past few months.

My transition 1 was sloppy, fumbled with shoes and my wetsuit but I was off and rolling pretty quickly. Right out of the gate you are going up hill, then screaming downhill at 40MPH+. Onto a flat, into the wind, back up to the hill, grind grind grind, more hills, ugh. I actually changed my rear casette to e 12/25 for this race from a 11/23 and I'm glad I did. My legs were pretty fried from it. Bike rank, 4th of 30. K-ditty, rank 2. Dagnabbit!

(Uphill out of the gate, sheesh!)
T2 went a bit better considering my socks were all wet and hard to get on. I lost some time, but I think everyone else did too. On to the run, once again straight into a up-hill out of the gate.

(Off I go!)

The run was cross country style for half of it, lots of grass areas between paved paths down by the lake. Flats were brief, and the uphill just after the lake was killer. I made the mistake of downing a gel too late into the bike and it was sloshing in my stomach on the run. If I pushed my heart rate past 170 I felt like it was puke time, my run was going to be off and I knew it. I managed to let it out to a mediocre 14 out of 30 rank on the run. K-Ditty 10 of 30. Damn he's a fast dude.

My results were good enough for a 5th in AG, and a 33rd overall. K-Ditty pulled off a 3rd in AG, and a 17th overall. Way to go dittyman!

The biggest success story of the day began in another wave and ended with a smiling Marian crossing the finish line. That day Marian became a triathlete and I couldn't be more proud of her. The amouot of support we give one another on this team is fantastic and days like this.

A big thanks to the family's who came out, to Kimm for the support and tent duty, Jaclyn for volunteering for the event, and to Danielle, Brian and Kevin for coming out to cheer and take photos.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Any race worth doing

Is worth doing right. (And with the right jersey)

This past weekend was the Boyne Marathon race, which for some reason was totally uninspiring to me. I had a off couple weeks of training, my planned hard workout a week in advance was shelved thanks to a nice downpour and I just didn't feel the burning in my belly to do my best. From forgetting my team jersey to a terrible morning breakfast experiment, I was just off.

Despite the race, the weekend overall was quite enjoyable. Time with Ali, staying at the swanky yurt, hanging with C-mo, Bryce, Erin and the whole Greyhound squad who braved Boyne was fantastic.

Saturday AM it was windy, a bit of light rain was falling and I was already talking myself out of it. My stomach was a bit bloated so I had two cups of coffee, a chocolate bar and half a pack of ghram crackers to get things moving. While it did work, my stomach was now a little pukey feeling and not long afterwards I was crashing from the caffeine and the sugar. The whole time I was eating it I knew it was a bad idea, I just couldn't stop.

Ali and I depart for the race and I'm feeling just lazy and hoping it would just rain so I could sit back, drink beer and watch the others duke it out with the hardest course in lower Michigan. After some bugging by Ali and the team I go and sign up since there was no more rain.

I sign up, put the number on my bike and go to get dressed, crap, forgot my team jersey and ended up wearing my MMBA jersey that looks like our competition. I was still rockin the plaid shorts though. ;)

Clothes are on, I make up my bottle of Cytomax and extra Endurolytes, toss two extra gels in my pocket and confer with Ali on my second bottle that I'll need for lap three.

I do a short warm up, way too short, just feeling like I can hang on just a bit back from the lead and warm up on trail. Stupid.

Soon we are off and going, the two guys who I knew would be pushing the pace did just that, I held back in the middle trying not to feed the frenzy. It worked, but once again I got too lazy. After getting held up by some of the slower guys that got in between us and the fast guys in the group behind that caught up, they just started to pull out of sight without me even noticing it. The boost from the faster guys must have helped them a bit, me I was silly thinking that it's Boyne and there was three laps to get them. Ha!

Lap one goes by and it's hard. There are three sections that are flat out not ridable, you spin your granny like crazy up some serious climbs up the back of a ski hill and enjoy some very fun single track and flowy downhills while your heart is not in your throat and your quads are not on fire. Some time between lap one and two I lost my team mate Phil who I had been pacing with me since the start. At least I get to see a smiling Ali with her encouragement as she helps us all by volunteering at a road crossing. I kinda like not being hit while I race, but I wish she had been feeling well enough to join us.

Soon I was in no mans land. I'd pass a rider now and then, a rider would pass me and I'd get a boost, but I would just settle back in and get lazy. I saw quite a few people hurting and I was too. There was a beginner girl on the trail who looked to be on the verge of tears pushing her bike. I gave her some encouragement, but she just looked completely blank. I still wonder if this was her first race, because the one she chose is like signing up for the rose bowl as your first football game. This is a seriously technical trail that gets really loose in spots. The climbs sap your legs, the white knuckle downhills have you gripping the bars hard. Your hands, wrists, arms and shoulders start to hurt as you keep yourself on the edge of control, it about killed me as a beginner last year. A while after seeing the beginner in blue I was looking at that last major climb and the rocket ride down the cart path to the start/finish line. Over the line I went, Jenny handed me the bottle that Ali prepped for me.

After grinding out lap two I start to get a bit pissed as I'm out there working and I knew that my competition just got out way faster than I did due to my lack of wanting it. While I'm not doing the CPS series for points this year, I'd still like to show up and be the spoiler for two or three races. My shot at spoiling anything was gone and I knew it. I pushed like hell for a while to make up for it, but I realized that it was pointless, I was probably going to be back of the pack on this one.

Around this time I came rolling up on Greyhound Gary who was walking his bike from cramping up. Gary is a super fast rider, but he's never ridden a course that was so difficult and for that length of time. His body was unhappy with the uncharted territory so I rode with him for a while figuring my race was toast. I gave him about half my bottle full of Cytomax and extra Endurolytes. (We passed the bike pushing girl again, ouch!) The drink helped, but he was still cramping. We'd walk a bit, spin easy for a while and after a couple more walking climbs he wouldn't let me hang with him anymore. I felt bad leaving him there, but he told me to get lost, so I did.

Within moments of leaving Gary, Chris came upon me and I knew I had to step it up. I had forgotten about the leaders in my group and how ever many of the rest of them that passed me, but my new goal was to beat Chris. :) After a couple more miles of single track I was nearing the big climb. I had just gotten into a tight gradual downhill when a elite rider came up behind me yelling to move, rider back. I told him I'd get over as soon as it was clear, he's still yelling and yelling. "Let me find a spot, I'm not going to stop or crash for you." Yell, yell, yell "he's right behind me" yell goes the prick from Fraser Bike. I say screw it, hammer my brakes, skid off the side, ruin my momentum and nearly stop inches from a tree so the jerk can pass. Upon doing so I started to yell back, I was just pissed and there was a stream of expletives flowing from my mouth. "Where is that guy who is right behind you dickhead?" "I don't see anyone back there you assfuck." "You must let lap traffic by" he whines. "As soon as it's safe to do so asshole" I yell back. He yells some gibberish back and I just quit. I've never, ever had a passing issue until this guy. While it's my duty to get over for lap traffic and riders in different age groups, it's not my duty to stop or hit a tree in doing so. I was pissed so I hammered and stayed on him, low and behold, 15 yards later there is passing room, 50 yards later it's practically two track. Could be fun in the parking lot later, but he sounded French so I had no real worries other than not wanting a police record or to be kicked out of Fun Promotion events. The best part was just pulling over for the next two guys chasing him and telling them to go get the prick. ;)

Finally, the last climb, just another mile of single track and I'm home free. A few technical turns, a light lean here, a... Thwhump! I lost the front end and just washed out hard with less than a half mile to go in the remaining single track. It hurt, but I got back up and kept going, flew down the cart path and enjoyed rolling through the sprinklers as I hit the finish line at 3:2x. I was certain I was middle of pack at best.

I headed to the tent, grabbed some recoverite, drank more water, had a bagel and let my body try to recover. I washed off with the hose on one of the buildings and it felt fantastic to get the dirt and sweat off my body. The cooling effect was just what I needed.

I was busy grabbing water for Ali when I saw her come walking back to the compound looking tired, she had been on her feet all day long, in the sun keeping us safe.

The funny part was when another Fraser bike guy came up looking for a bottle opener, I was certain it was about to begin, but nothing ever came of it. I popped the top off his beer with a SPD pedal and he went on his merry way.

As it turns out I actually got third place, but missed 1st by about 9 minutes. Bryan Deal had a great race for first, I doubt I was going to keep up with him had I done anything different that day, had I gotten serious with a plan, stuck to it and put my game face on I know that slightly larger cheap second place plaque would be in my cube at work today. :)

No matter what, it was a good weekend and we all survived Boyne despite battered bodies and bikes. Gary made it out of the woods to finish and Phil rode a bike with no rear brake for half the race. Pimpin got even with Boyne after a DNF last year and not a single DNF Greyhound on the list.

I also learned a lot about myself and how I work. From now on, I won't race unless I'm there mentally, the game face goes on the night before and stays there until the race finish.

The rest of the night was a blur, I was totally whipped. Food at the Red Mesa was decent, so was beer on the deck. But nothing felt better than curling up next to Ali for a good nights sleep.

I'll be back for you again next year Mr. Boyne, for now, it's on to carls family Triathlon and Ore 2 Shore!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Next up, Rats!

So after a month of silence and being left alone by the raccoon, my neighbor told me they saw two rats running into the crawlspace under my house the day before I left for my fun July 4th. Sure enough, as I was loading hte car I saw one go running bay the garage. :(

Great, more four legged folks that aren't going to pay their share of the mortgage so they have to go.

Monday I hit the hardware store, bought some DCON for the garage and a snappy little trap to give it a go.

So far, the snap trap has been triggered twice and nothing. :( No dead carcases in the garage yet either.

Since nothing is working yet, I placed an order for four more aggressive looking traps and a live trap to try and cover more ground. I can actually put the live trap in the crawl space unlike the poison which will only results in a rotting carcass under the house. While I'd love to keep them all alive and re-locate. My problem will become some one else's so I'll feel better just eliminating the disease carrying bastages. Rats raised by hand are cute and fun, rats that start out as pests can't exactly be socialized.

Sorry guys, but I will be unleashing the gauntlet on you next week. >:(

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun 4th!

What a fun and relaxing long weekend it's been. Skipped out of work early on Wednesday, picked up a cross bike for Ali and headed north.

Thursday to Sunday was half a blur and half just laid back and relaxing, here are a few of the things I learned:

Traverse City near the 4th = nightmare

Manistee + Kayak + Ali = Bliss

Seinfeld makes a cool bee

Bats can squeeze out of some pretty tight places

I can swim a mile with no issues

I need to run more or endure the post 5k pain

You run faster when challenged

Buffalo BBQ is popular stuff at the best 4th in the north

Train tracks for the best view

Train tracks for the worst language

Corn dogs rule

Camping gourmet is tasty, but too hard to clean up

Looking at history makes us all seem temporary

I eat too much sugar

Ali is dangerous with loppers

Naps on summer breezy days = perfection

Ready to serve you next year!