Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What a lunch

Today we had our Christmas party at work and lots of good food makes one a glutton. I ate until I could eat no more. Everybody at work was surprised at the stuff I was eating and how I was eating since I'm always holding back on the cakes and stuff that people bring to work. I went back for more 4 times including pastries and fruit plus a peanut butter pie that was to die for. And the worst part of it, I don't feel guilty at all, I needed a day like this. I probably had more sushi today that I've had in all my life, and it was goooood.

And here's proof I had healthy food too here's a couple more pics.This might be my last post for a couple of days, we take off tomorrow at 6:30am after our house sitter drops us off at the airport. I'm going to try to figure out how to post from my phone. Check in later to see how Zen liked his first airplane ride. I wonder what he's doing now...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Early Christmas gathering

Since we (as in wife and me) are going to PR on Thursday we decided to have our gift exchange early this year. we went to a Christmas musical play at Grace church that was great, very well done to honor the KING, Jesus.
Anyway, we came back to the house for coffee and cheese cake which by the way I had none of it, I'm down one pound and I'm not gaining it back, (well, after tonight I probably gained it back, had a couple of Honey Browns and 39 cent wings at Cleats did me in) and tomorrow is the office Christmas party with lots of good food. I bought two sushi platters and I'll probably eat half of one. I'll be getting up early tomorrow to run and by early I mean early, 4:15am.

The Zen man got into the act too. He drank a whole bottle of Sprite and got up twice as many times as I got up to pee. Stuffed his face with cheesecake too, the little pig. He's going with us to PR so I'm sure he's going to have some stories to tell you.
I'll let you know tomorrow how the office party went.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Findley, again

With the temps in the teens for a few days we decided to go and give Findley a try and see if the ground was hard enough to ride. A trace of snow on the ground and a few muddy spots was all we found, the trail was perfect and a 100% rideable. Wow, is December and we are still riding off road up here in the Cleveland area. Of course the ride is not complete if I don't fall. Coming around a corner the sun was in my eyes and didn't see a small tree, hit it with my handlebar and went down, it's just part of my ritual as a mountain biker.
put in almost 3 laps with Ken, Ray and Chuck all of us riding single speeds.

I wonder what Zen is doing now...

The bike did get mud on it and it turned into cement because the temps were in the low 30's. On the way home dropped some stuff at Kevins house and took 71 back home. As soon as I hit the exit I could see the line of cars going to the mall. It took me 15 minutes to drive 1/4 of a mile. Then I started thinking, the bike is muddy, my water hose is probably frozen since I left it outside the car needs a wash from all the salt hmmm...
took a quick right at the Lazer car wash and both bike and car were nicely washed and waxed,all I need is to oil the chain and a little more cleanup in a couple of spots the water didn't wash off the mud.
Below is a short vid of the ride.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Click on the link and take a look at Man Pushing the Limits.


Have you ever...

Have you ever set the alarm to get up at a certain time and re-set it midway into the night?
I've done this a few times in the last few weeks, too many times if you ask me. I set the alarm for 4:15am last night thinking I was going to hit the gym in the morning but I stayed up to watch the Browns beat up on that team east of here and didn't go to bed until close to midnight. I got up for my usual trip to tthe bathrom around 2am and convinced myself to get another hour and a half of sleep so I reset the alarm again I thought for 5:30am. Wrong again, it went off at 4:30am and I didn't even bother to check the time. Took a shower got dress  made coffee, had my usual Brueggers bagel with pbj and sat on the table to read the PD. Then again took my usual trip to the throne and while still reading the PD glanced at the clock on the wall (I don't know why but the other half has a clock in every room of the house) and it was 5:15am I reset the darn alarm to 4:30am. So, I made more coffee and sat back on the breakfast table to finish the PD.
As I sit here and type this I can feel I'm going to need lots of coffee today, I'm on my 4th cup and wired. And I can already hear over the cuby hole the abuse the Pitt fans are taking here at work. Got to go get another cup.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It has started

The weather has really started to take a nose dive and making many of us to start hitting the trainers regularly.
The wind has been howling today and it's going to stay that way for the next few days. Wind gusts of up to 55 mph. I'm glad the willow I had in the back came down a year ago during another wind storm and blew it away from the house. With the way the wind is blowing today it probably would have hit the house.

Anyway, I hit the trainer tonight for an hour and did some core work and upper body weights. Tomorrow morning is the spin class and leg weights. Packed up the bike and took it to work to ship via FEDEX or UPS from work and it turns out I'll spend less money taking it with me in the airplane than shipping it to my parents. FEDEX and UPS wanted $187.00 and that's with the company discount, one way. The airline charges $100.00 one way. $200.00 round trip but I think it's worth it. I'll ride almost everyday and try to put in at least 250-300 miles in 9-10 days mostly off road and wearing short sleeves and shorts, yeah, it's worth it and I'll think of all of you here freezing your buns and toes while I sweat.

All packed and nowhere to go. I wonder what Zen is doing now...
Had a good day at work today and even had time to take a picture of all my friends.. my little friends that is.
Wanted to show the extraordinaire suspension on my little bike but the picture came out just a little blurry.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Nice weekend

The temps were in the 30's but overall it was a good weekend. Yesterday did my two spinning classes and the first one was a killer. I call it the L.A hill climb. All we do is climb for 30 minutes with lots of resistance and speed changes, which I call "pick ups" almost like hitting switchbacks on your road bike. I split it in 30secs, 1,2,3  minutes sitting and standing for that amount of time.
Today I went out around 1:45 and put in 3:05 and 45 miles on the mtb going down to the boat docks in Rocky River and back. Nice ride just one short steep hill everything else is flat with a little grade once in while. Coming back I was dying the last two miles, I had the wind in my face  all the way back. All I wanted to do was spin around 80-100 rpms and that's all I did. Didn't care how fast I was going as long as my legs were moving fast.

Did manage to do some more clean up and started to give the tools a place were I can find them without having to search all over the place. It's looking a lot better. After todays ride I had lots of food rested a bit and went back down to start boxing the bike to FEDEX it to PR on Tuesday. Put new tires on new stans and new stems and valves, I'm getting to be an expert with tubeless tires, gets easier every time.
Then I caught Mr. Zen using up my minutes, searching google for Barbie.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Week in review

Haven't had time or haven't made time to write anything, take your pick.
Have had a decent week in terms of training...done something everyday if you can call that training. I decided that the official training season will start in PR when we go down to visit my parents. Yeah yeah, I said that training was going to start in November, well it did, it just didn't officially start as organized with a purposse I want to do this kind of training. For November, I did hit the dirt quite a few times do to the nice weather and that's a plus since I hate muddy trails and getting mud all over. The summer of 198? (can't remember) still haunts me. That summer I raced almost every weekend going to WV, PA whatever races we had here in OH and all over and they all were wet and muddy. Many rear derraileurs and many other parts left me broke and with countless "discussions" with the wife on why I needed this or that. Didn't spend that much time with the kids either since I was always racing or fixing the *^%(^ bike which I regret...all of you racers out there that have little ones, spend all the time with them that you can now because they grow too fast and you are going to be left wondering " where did time go". Enough of Doctor Phil and Oprah time, back to bike realted training. Anyway, since that time I've had a couple of part time jobs where I make enough money to buy almost everything I need. I was a soccer ref and I still do a lot of spinning classes during the cold months thanks to the Rec Ctr where I live.
I started running again and have been running 2-3 times a week on the treadmill for 25 minutes each time and will be increasing to 30 minutes soon. I'm taking it real easy I don't want to get hurt again. Last year i was running hard, my times were starting to come down and hurt my back. Before I was a cyclist I was  runner and once ran a mile in 5:35. May not sound that fast these days but when you are a distance runner it makes you feel good. I once ran a 10k in under 39 minutes, but doing ruing races it's not for me anymore, I just run because I like and it gives me something else to do besides doing the trainer for an hour or longer every night,
it gets old, really old after a while.Anyway, back to vacation talk, I'm planning on putting in at least 200-300 miles during the two weeks we are going to be in PR. That's a good mid-winter goal, I think. I'm just going to try to do a few long distance rides to start building the endurance toward the first race next year (Cohutta)
plus a nice long weekend at the end of March in Asheville, NC. Hopefully we'll have a decent winter where I can do long rides on Saturday and Sunday starting in January without having to wear 20lbs of winter clothing and still freezing your *&#@ toes and fingers. I don't know if any of this crap makes sense, I just write what comes to my mind which isn't much these days. Anyways, My dad is 91 years old and that makes me wonder if I'll live that long and if there'll be a 90+ plus division at the NEO series, Kevin, I think you should start thinking about the 3 wheel division now. Talk about the NEO series click here and see what the gang has been doing at the Vultures Knob roost. The place is going to be awesome to race at with all the stuff they are doing there.
This just in, my cuby hole finally looks like a cuby hole, the boxes are gone. I don't know what I'm going to do with all the space I have now.

Enough rambling, blabering, nonsense whatever you want to call it, I've taken to much time from work writing this nonsense. I'll be working through brakes and lunch to make up for it. i'll come back for more nonsense later. And I don't have time to edit all my mistakes, so live with it until I have time to look them over.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Don't get sick with the prepared

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Clean up in aisle 5

Spent a couple of days this weekend hanging Christmas lights and cleaning downstairs.  I have to admit that I haven't kept the basement in order for a long time, I have bikes and bike parts all over the place. Finally I put a top over the old dresser to make it a bigger area to work on but it didn't take long before there was no area to work on. I did make room for the bikes (see picture) and moved a few things around. I'm hoping to finish cleaning and make it look good by the end of this week after I buy a peg board to hang all my tools. But before I do that I think I should finish patching up the hole in our bathroom by the baseboard. I started working on it just a couple of years ago and haven't finished it. When we moved to this house we did a lot of work and finished everything as fast as we could but now it's like, I don't want to do anything else but ride. I cut the grass and do the trimming to keep the yard looking ok and that's about it. All that stuff takes time away from riding.

Anyway, on another subject, if you haven't made it to Findley State park you may have lost your window of opportunity. The snow and rain we got Friday morning didn't even make it there. I went again today in the afternoon after Church and it was completely dry and fast. As you can see my bike hardly has any mud on it, but the tires. I changed the riser handlebar to a flat carbon fiber bar the Jeff had given me and I felt more in control of the bike. This bar is also a full 3.5 inches shorter, the bike handled better. All I need now is a bit longer stem to see if that makes me feel more at home on the bike, there's times I feel I'm riding a cruiser bike. I was going to ride early in the morning with Ken and the gang but I didn't feel very good when I got up this morning and went back to bed to get some rest. I've been getting up early and going to bed late and it finally caught up to me. I felt a lot  better in the afternoon, specially after been able to put in two laps on the dirt with just one more day left in November. Can you believe that Tuesday is already December. Here's is hoping we don't get to much rain this week.
Thanks for reading, later.

Friday, November 27, 2009

First Snow

Had our first snow this morning. First time for Zen. It'll not be te last time, the Farmers Almanac is predicting a very cold and snowy winter. Yesterday 4 of us went to Reagan Park to ride off road and it was good. The entire 9 mile loop was rideable. Some spots were muddy and others it looked like  the little rain we had didn't even touch it. We were planning to go to Findley Sunday morning but I don't know now with the snow we just got it might be too muddy. Can't get enough of my 29er single speed.

Zen's Thanksgiving

Had a nice time at my sister in law for Thanksgiving dinner. Zen had his share of food and wine.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Monday, November 23, 2009

When did I...

Since the end of September I've gained 4+ pounds. I'm not riding as long as I did before but I'm still eating like if I was. I can feel it, may not sound like much but when you are used to 138lbs and all of the sudden you are a few onces shy of 143 that weight scale doesn't look good. And with the holidays coming up, it's a dangerous season. But I'm betting myself that even with the holidays coming up, I'll loose the weight. I'll be down to 138 by January first. Just don't put a full slab of ribs in front of me, or pumpkin pie, or turkey or apple pie, or... well you get the picture. I'm picking the worst time of the year to loose a few pounds but I'm out to prove that I have will power. The will to eat whatever I want, the will to stuff my face with food, the will to...why I'm I doing this to myself? I'm not going to be crashing a lot, I need something to hurt me and that's not eating a lot of what I like, or maybe not. Maybe I'll hurt myself more if I eat more. Hmmm sounds like a good plan. But no, I have the will power to do it even this time of the year when I'm going to PR to visit my parents and eat my Mom's cooking. Darn, why I'm I doing this to myself, because I want to be ready for next year that's why. I thought I had a descent year but I want a better one and I have something to prove at a race or two. The countdown is on, 138 by January first. Go to go, food is calling me.

Maiden SS Voyage

The SS 29er hit the dirt at Findley SP for the first time Sunday afternoon. I stopped a few times to make adjustmennts to the saddle and seat post. For all the talk about 29ers being slow on tight single track and slow to acelarate, I didn't find that much difference. Yes, on some really tight corners I felt I slowed down more that with my 26er but I atribute that to riding a 29er for the first time. I rode over roots that I would normally look for a better line with ease and without fear off slidding off. I felt like " I want a fully geared 29er now" but that will have to wait until my daughters last two years of college, some things are more important than self indulging. Any way getting back to the bike, the big wheel soaked up the roots, rocks and bumps better than my 26er. After a few adjustments I was able to ride most of the trail without stopping to adjust anything and the ride was great, cleaned every bump and little hills with no problem. Got back to the car, picked up another bottle and hit the trail again only to find my rear tire had a leak and it wasn't going to last  another mile. Turned around and was able to ride out. Had no spare 29er tubes since I had just picked up the bike Friday and I really didn't want to sit there and put a patch on the tube because I had NO patches either. I went home after only one lap but happy I was able to test it before the trails are to wet to ride.
Here she is, nice and dirty. Actually the trail was  in great shape and the only mud I got was on the tires.
One thing, I'm choppping one inch off each side on the handlebars, I can't ride with such wide handlebars.
If I had gears I could probably take off down a runway and get some air. Too wide for me. Let me know if anybody wants to trade a riser specialized handlebar before I trim them. I'm trying out a fllat carbon fiber handlebar frst and see how it goes. Risers are not for  me, I feel I'm on a cruiser bike.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trying out the 29erSS at Findley today

Going to Findley to try out the 29er SS this afternoon. Can't wait, rode it around the neighbohood and it feels the handling is going to be good. Want to "feel" it on the trails. Ride report later tonight.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Single Speed build up

The SS arrived at Solon Bicycle, picked it up after work and quickly started putting it together.Love the ride, can't wait to take it off road. Thanks for the deal Dan. The old SS was looking on in the background.

Finished product below.

Today's Zen adventure

Not much to report about Zen today. He had quite a good day. Here he is always dreaming about vacation

Get away from me you little germs or I'll germ-X you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zen and his workout

I went downstairs for a little core work and Zen joined me for a workout. He rode the trainer and did some weights and core work. Even though I told him not to get on the treadmill, he did and had an accident.

The little dude it's pretty strong.

Zen and the treadmill are not compatible. Sorry for the bad picture. Until I get a new camera it'll have to do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Still in pain

Got up at 4:06 am as usual to go to the gym and do my spinning class. Thought about getting a sub but decided against it. Crashing on a bike is like when you have a car accident, you start feeling the effects of the crash a couple of days later. My tail bone is killing me, add to that another spin class tonight and it really hurts. I must have hit the saddle with my tail bone. It was a good day though, two spin classes, weights and streching. Getting up early again tomorrow to run for 25-30 minutes. I've been building up my running a minute at a time, I don't want to get hurt again. I didn't run for a whole year after I tweaked my back last November.
You know when you write a lot you don't see your mistakes until you post. There's times that I go over what I write 2-3 times and still find mistakes later on.
Later, have to edit the last post, I wrote whether wrong.
Come back again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

After a visit to the Doc.

It's official, deep deep chest bruise. hurts like heck. They took chest and left hand x-rays and I have nothing broken, thank God. My hand still hurts since my fall, let's say hard crash (sounds better) the week before the Reagan Time Trial but nothing showed. Have to live with it for now I guess.
I'll see how I feel by Wednesday and make a decision whether I'll go to Raystown lake to ride the Allegripis trails this weekend. I have to get a sub for my spinning classes, should not be a problem I hope.
Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Findley one more time

Trying to take advantage of the weather I headed out to Findley State park again this morning and it was better than yesterday. Ken, Ray, Randy and Chuck joined me. We did a fast 51 minute first lap and I decided to go on my own since I put in 3 laps yesterday. Yesterday I did a one lap warm up and then went for it and did a 49:35 lap with one nasty fall that bruised my left calf when the left pedal hit me. Today it was worse, I may have bruised ribs, can't take a deep breath and my chest hurts. In two days I did this section 5 times quite fast and today my front wheel hit one of the roots the wrong way and went down hard landing on my chest. I took a different line than the first 5 times and the 6th time was the winner. My saddle got all screwed up and it's going to saddle heaven. I need to get a new one it can't be fixed the rails are uneven now. That should tell you how hard I went down. For the weekend, a little over 5 hours and almost 50 miles, all off road. Not bad for November. Couple of short videos below.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Went to Findley State Park again this morning and put in 3 laps. The place is completely dry and fast. It was good to see quite a few people out there, specially entire families riding their bikes through the trails. The family that bikes together stays together.
Some people are going to Westbranch tomorrow, if you are not, go to Reagan or Findley. Tuesday night we did a night ride at Reagan and it was awesome. First time out for me riding the trails at night and it was a totally different experience. Great fun.
Get out and ride, who knows how many more good days we have left. Hoping to get one more week of dry weather so I can try out the Single Speed I have on order and get next week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Zen has, had, has a friend

Didn't take Zen to work for a couple of days to let him cool off a little bit and to my surprise when I opened my bag to dig a snack out of there he poped out.

He quickly went to work trying to find me a new camera since mine died and I've been using my
He also rang the bell in my cubi-hole. We ring the bell for orders over 10K for everybody to know in the
He also got to talking with Grouch and spent a little time getting to know him until they got into a fight and we had to separate them

But they quickly got back to talking and being friends. That is until Grouch sees this picture and the two little fingers on the back of his head.

I hate this new template i'm using, it screws up everything. I don't even remember how to get the old one back. If anybody knows how, leave me a comment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Long day

I swear Zen was on drugs or something today. I took him to work with me again today and he would not sit still. I caught him on the climbing wall and he quickly climb into my coat.

Then I walk out of the cubi-hole for a minute and when I came back he was tanning himself. This little dude was driving me nuts today.

After he finished tanning himself he insisted on helping me move some boxes with last fiscal years files (my hole is a storage area too). The joy of being the only man in the sales department. We have to keep the ladies' cubi-holes nice and clean.

Here he is lifting with his legs the way you are supposed to.

But then somebody called me and I kind off jerked the box and poor Zen took a nasty hit.

We had to call maintenance to come get him out, boy was he mad at me. It took us about 5 minutes to lift that box off him, we had to be very careful and block off the area while we worked getting him out from under the box.
After we got him all cleaned up and made sure he was ok. we gave him ibuprofen and a chocolate chip cookie and he was happy again.
Didn't I say earlier in a previous post he was going to get his, well there you have it. You better learn your lesson dude or is going to get worse. My camera pooped today and took my daughters camera and is still showing 2004. Change the date girl.