Monday, September 14, 2009

Fish on the Grill

We made a super easy fish recipe last night. I started with a 24 inch length of foil, placed 1/3 cup of orzo (a type of pasta), then poured 1/3 cup of chicken broth over it. Be sure to fold up the edges of the foil to prevent runoff. Place a piece of white fish (cod, haddock, etc) on the orzo, then add salt and pepper and Italian dressing on top of the fish. Bring the edges of the foil together to seal it up, leaving some room for steam to be created. It was cooked on the grill for 12 minutes or until done, then I sprinkled parmesan cheese on the fish, added a handful of spinach, then closed it back up for three minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the spinach to wilt. It was served with a side of roasted butternut squash, cooked with olive oil, brown sugar, pepper and a diced apple.

Nice fall dinner, that was reasonably healthy.,

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Friday nights are typically pizza night in the Brooks house. But when the temps reach 85+ with near 100% humidity, turning the oven on at 450 isn't an option. Earlier this year we tried cooking pizza on the grill and had good results. Thanks to Jaime, we tried the dough directly on the grill surface. Starting with a good spray down of Pam, then cooking the dough on one side for five minutes before flipping it and ading the ingredients produced a crispy crust. For toppings we used standard pizza sauce from a jar, some artichoke hearts and cheese. But the special topping was corn relish. The relish provided a spice that is not standard in our pizza's. This could have been about the best pizza ever. Aside from the grill, leaving the dough in the fridge for several days (like I said, pizza night is Friday, and last Friday we had plans to have pizza, thus starting the defrosting process) made the dough very easy to stretch out and cook.

Great pizza night!!! Pairing with Pacifico Sol cabernet is an excellent dinner.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Red Bones and NEMBA

Every May the Boston Bike Week activities are kicked off with a biker block party at Red Bones. You know it's time for the party when the skies start to get dark and rain is pending. In an effort to get better weather, the Red Bones party was moved back to June. ML and I decided to park the truck in Lexington and take the ever convenient bike path right to the party. This wasn't going to be a race, or even a training ride, so I geared down, put mountain bike pedals on the singlespeed, dressed in baggy shorts and a casual t-shirt and even donned my helmet with a light in case we stayed longer then expected. As I'm throwing my leg over the top tube, I pray that none of my biking friends see me dressed like this. I also realize that the thought of being ashamed to not be wearing spandex is very unique.

I've done the bike path a couple of times. Typically the middle of the day when I'm looking to do a super easy spin at lunch time. For a roadie who is accustomed to the dangers of the road, getting onto the bike path at 5:30 in the evening was like a hill billy jumping on 128 during the evening rush. A yellow line painted on the ground separated those coming one way from the other, but this was mearly a recommendation. Riders on every sort of wheeled contraption are making their way to and fro, swaying from one side of the path to the other. Rollerbladers taking up the whole lane with their full pushoffs, walkers three abreast, riders with cobbled together bikes just make up this interesting. I still remember the first time I took the red line from Quincy to Boston. I went to work the next day marveling at the wonders of this public transportation. It picked me up right next to work, dropped me off right next to school and was super cheap. Hopefully the shine of the bike path doesn't wear off, because years later, I would rather drive to Boston to ride the t.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Winsted Woods

I arrived at the race, with enough time to register and change, but not enough time to pre-ride the course. The temps were in the lower 50s which was pretty darn cold. Standing at the start line, I was pleased to see that the numbers swelled from 2 pre-reg names to 11. Glancing around, I realized that I didn't know anyone. I'm still very new to this sport. The course started in a lower parking lot, then up a hill to the fields with a quick right then left and into the woods where it narrowed to singletrack. Knowing the importance of positioning, as soon as the whistle blew, I attacked. Going up the rise I had a small lead and was able to make it to the singletrack first. With a previous days rain creating lots of mud and puddles, and coming from years of road racing, I immediately started to slow. First one, then another and a third guy passed me. I settled into fourth place and comfortably rode with this group for a couple of minutes. As we made it to the first fast downhill section on a fire road, I realized my rear tire had gone flat. No neutral support in mountain bike racing, so I pulled to the side of the course and set to fix my tire. The entire field I started in passed me, as did the entire field that started two minutes behind, and I'm pretty certain a third field passed me. The effects of starting cold, red-lining for 10 minutes, then stopping and changing a tire were very overwhelming. Staying calm, I completed the repair, got on my bike and tried to start racing again. The next two laps were almost absolute solo events. The hardest thing in cycling is being off the back of the group and still trying to go as hard as you can to reconnect. Just when I was about to give up mentally, I passed a friend who supported my effort by telling me that everyone else was tiring, that I still had the strength to go. This was enough to snap me out of my funk and get going again. The next lap and a half saw me passing loads of riders. Although, in mountain biking, it's almost impossible to know who you are racing against, as many fields are on course at one time. All I could do was just go..go..go. Two hours and ten minutes after I started, I crossed the line in seventh place. There's always the would have, could have, should have thoughts, such as if I hadn't lost three minutes with a flat, my time would have been good enough for...but those thoughts won't change the standings. I'm pleased with just mentally hanging in there. Reviewing the series points, my seventh place was good enough to move me up into third place overall in the series, that is enough of a reward in itself!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Survey says...?

Yes, she said yes! After years of waiting, and duping everyone two weeks ago, I'm extremely stoked to announce that Marylou said yes when I asked her to marry me. More details to come later, but we are moving forward!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And the answer is...

After lots of talking, and lots of deep soul searching, I finally decided to ask ML. She wasn't overly surprised, I'm betting that she knew it was inevitable, and agreed pretty much immediately. I'm very pleased with the decision to add another bike to my collection. The question was do I really need another bike, especially a mountain bike. No, the bike isn't broke, it's meant to have one gear. Yes, I can ride it just about everywhere that a geared bike can go. And no, it's not the same as my other bikes, it's unique and special and I like it. Here's my photo of it.

I appreciate everyone's interest in my decision. I'm sure I will be very happy with it. I do apologize that I didn't post last night as promised, but Betty (that's her new name) and I were just wrapped up spending time together.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

YES or NO???

Yes or No?
Yes or No?
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Check back on Tuesday for further details.
Yes or No?
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Yes or No?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

TOC Recap

My time in Cali was very well spent. From a vacation perspective, there wasn't a need to do a whole lot, so even though we spent hours over hours riding, there was plenty of time to chill out and do nothing except watch the view from the porch.

It felt so great to have shorts on and not freeze. Even the cold days were exceptionally warmer then the temps back home. In fact, when I landed there was snow on the ground (not the same novelty as the top of mountains in Cali) and a chill in the air. Within a week of being home, a blizzard is bearing down on us threatening 15 inches of snow. Seems like the skiing isn't over yet, nor the massive trainer time. Only home a week, and I'm already counting down the time until next year.

I want to close my trip to Cali with some observations. There were over a dozen cars that started to pull out into the street, then when they would see cyclists, would back up and let us pass through, amazing. Dedicated cycling lanes through many of the city streets. Very strange when the cycling lane is in the middle of the road, with straight traffic on your left and right turning traffic on your right. Temperature is relative, cold for some isn't nearly the same as cold for others. While the climing was epic and never-ending, I still think it's harder to climb in the east. My reasoning is out west you can really get into a tempo and ride at your threshold. In the east the hills roll so constantly, that you are spiking over your threshold for a minute, recovering, then doing it over again. And even though the majority of cars are driven by conscious minded individuals, they still have assholes, as evident by honking horns and the one lady who passed a very large group by overtaking us into the lane for oncoming traffic and almost pasting the front several cyclists who were taking a left. Of course, as wrong as she was, the front several cyclists never looked to see if there were cars. Amazing. Amazing good and amazing bad, but I will be back for next year.

Final tally; nearly 500 miles, over 31 hours of riding, 40,000 feet of climbing and awesome memories.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

TOC Day 7

With the shenanigans of Friday night still ringing in everyone's head Saturday morning, Gary alone took off to start his epic day. Once he left the house, things quieted down for a bit, until Steve had had enough and roused everyone up. The sun was out, the day was underway, time for a ride. I'm not sure if it was the drinks or lack of sleep or excessive climbing this week or all of the above, but the ride down to Santa Barbara was the most relaxed chill ride. Chances are that it was the fact that we were Gary-less up until then. Because once we hooked up with him, the ride got much harder. We hadn't been up Gilbraltor, so he thought it would be a good thing to do. I was told that it went through the burnzone from last year, something I had seen earlier in the week without my camera and wanted to take photos of. What it is though is a never ending climb from sea level to God. The climb was literally 10 miles long, and went through burn sections, cool temp changes and even snow at the very top. Once over the top, we dropped down a bit then continued to climb more. I joked that even the decents around here have climbing. With the ocean on the left side and snow capped mountains on the right, the ride along the ridgeline was one of the most beautiful quiet rides we've done. It didn't matter that we had to climb over 5,000 feet to get there.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

TOC Real Deal

Friday started like every other day in California so far. We woke up and went for a ride. Instead today, we headed over to Solvang to watch the amateur and pro TT. The ride started with seven minutes of warm-up, then an hour climb. Not a pansy east coast ride, just a straight hill with nothing but five miles of climbing. Once over the hill, Tom and I bombed down 154 and towards Solvang. As we arrived in town, coming towards me was a familiar looking jersey, and as we passed opposite directions, I realized that Lexi from the club back home was out here. It's always great to see a familiar face. Walking around the town looking for free schwag, I noticed one of the USCF officials from back home was walking towards me. Again, a familiar face. We chatted for a couple of minutes, compared differences between home and here, then parted ways.

Having been to the Tour in France, walking around Solvang was so much better. Being the Tour de France, it attracts such a large number of people. Getting near the riders was impossible in France, but in Cali it was great. We saw Tyler Hamilton, Levi, Lance and a number of other athletes. While the pro's were great, we didnt' get nearly the same access to them as we did to the amateurs. Maybe it was the fact that they weren't pro's (yet) or perhaps it was that they were friends, but we got to hang out in all the inner areas early on.

Gary went off 24th, out of 30 riders. The amateurs got the same pro deal, from weighing the bikes, to checking position, to getting the name call out while staging in the start ramp. As the TT is a large loop, once Gary took off, we really didn't know how he was doing. With riders started to cross the line, we could guesstimate what a decent time was but couldn't be sure. Well faster then any previously posted time, Gary's teammate Cooke came flying around the final turn. Cooke started a minute ahead of Gary, so we anticipated him at any moment. No sooner then you could think this then Gary came tearing around. He nearly caught his minute guy by the line. His final time was 33:45, good enough for the WIN! Cooke came in second about a minute down. Being teammates, this was a fantastic result for them.

Following the amateur race, the pros took to the course. Everyone knows that Levi, DZ and the other top names, but Gary's time on the same course would have put him ahead of 1/3 of the pro field. Awesome job good buddy.
Once the races were over, the podiums done, Tom and I hit the road and headed home. By the end of the day, we had logged nearly 70 miles, 6700 feet of climbing, Gary took a win, and we saw one of the best pro races of the year.

Oh, then we went drinking and dinner. Those stories are for another blog. Good times were had by all, and the stories rolled the entire next day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

TOC Day 5

Today was the infamous Thursday morning group ride. Tom, Gary and I headed out at what was crazy early for vacation (7:25) (but more reasonable for work or a race) and rolled down to Santa Barbara. For reasons I've been unable to figure out, about 30 guys were gathered together on a typical workday, but they were going out for a ride at 8am. What, no work guys? We noodled around for the first ten miles before the pace picked up and we hit the first climb. After four days of hard riding, I felt every mile of climbing I had done this week. No worries, we did this ride two days ago. Over the top and down the backside and I picked up two other riders. 400 yards after catching these guys, the road forked and each went one way. DAMN, who to follow? I beared right and headed up the hill, same route we did previously. This rider and myself continued on for about a quarter mile, before he looked at me and asked where that group usually rode out of. DAMN, I picked the wrong guy to follow. I motored around the area looking for signs of the group and couldn't find anything. Knowing Gary was focused on riding, I was screwed. This realization was actually a blessing in disguise because I was able to look at parts of the area that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to see. From downtown Montecito (no, I didn't see Oprah or her house) to the burn areas from last Octobers fires to the highroads in the hills. Some of the climbs were crazy going up, and even crazier coming down. After four hours in the hills, and over 6,000 feet of climbing I moseied home.

Once back in the house, I share my story of my ride with Steve and John, and Steve knows exactly where I took the wrong turn and told me that I should have gone left. That the ride we went on the other day doesn't follow the same path as the Thursday ride. DAMN, that little nugget of information would have been handy to have four hours ago.

Literally five minutes after sitting down, Gary and Tom came in. Apparently at some point they realized I wasn't there and got coffee. They won't admit when they lost me, but it was at least before they had coffee at the local shop, and well after the first climb. No worries, the ride was better not worrying about following wheels or groups.

No pictures today, as I was expecting a group ride and encountered a wonderful spin through the countryside.

TOC Day 4

OMG, Solvang, California was about the most Disney looking town outside of the Magic Kingdom. Some people feel that it was intended to look like a Danish town, but it really feels just like Disney. The small group of us rode out of Goleta, up OSM for a "little warm-up", 1,400 feet of climbing in 30 minutes. This was the same route we rode the night I arrived, except two-thirds of the way up, we took a left and headed towards Solvang. I had been led to believe that this turn would have been the end of the climbing for a bit, except the road went up another 1,000 feet. Nothing like 2,400 feet of climbing in the first hour of a ride to warm you up. From there, we descended into the valley and rolled along some amazingly scenic roadways. I've heard for years that in California you can drive an hour one way and get to the ocean or an hour the other way and get to the mountains, but until you really see if for yourself, it's tough to comprehend what it would look like either way. Snowcapped mountains, rolling fields and ocean views were fantastic.

Arriving in Solvang, our group was set upon having some lunch while we waited for Gary to take a couple of laps on the TOC TT course. The same course that the pro's will ride on Friday, and that Gary will be participating in the amateur race earlier that day. The intention was that while Gary was riding, we would check out Solvang, something that was missing from last years trip. I'm proud to say that after two and a half hours, we checked out a single outdoor cafe. Two of the triplets, Tom and myself plopped outselves outside a nice ladies cafe, had lunch, a beer and a whole lot of sun action. Fair-skinned Scott has some nice red legs from the rest.

Once we collected Gary, we did tool around a very short bit before heading home. Gary in the car, and us on our bikes. Again, as soon as we left the town, the horse farms, national park and other open fields were amazing. Great, quiet roads to ride on, and about another 1,000 feet of climbing. It pretty much felt like we just started the day over. This was about the height of the climbing for the day, a quick cut across four lanes of highway traffic, and a monster descent (four miles and 1,000 feet, the climbs giveth, and the descents taketh) and we were on our way home.

Thoroughly exhausted, beat red, full belly and new brakepads, and I've completed the "rest day". Tomorrow is a hammerfest with the local pros for about 80 miles or so. All in time to be home to have lunch and watch the TOC on television!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tour of California Day 3

When we checked the weather for the final time last night, we were convinced that today was going to be a total washout. Sure enough, the hell that rained down in the middle of the night seemed to confirm that Tuesday was going to be spent inside taking it easy.

Waking up early though, the clouds had parted, the sky was blue and it looked like the roads were drying up nicely. An updated forcast showed that it was going to be clear for several hours, just enough time for a good solid ride.

The triplets and I headed down to the coast, through Santa Barbara and Monticeto before cruising into the countryside. The views of the hills and valleys were fantastic. Unlike the first couple of days, today didn't include any crazy long hills, just rolling big ups and downs. About 2 and a half hours of riding, it was time to point the wheels home and roll back. Within moments, the skies started to rain and picked up from there. The rain was coming down so hard and cold, that it hurt when it hit your face. My back and neck were hurting from holding them in the same position for so long, but when I tried to move them, parts of my body were exposed to the cold and it sent a shiver through me. Back to the same position of warmth and another ten minutes or so holding still before trying again. The roads were amazingly twisty and turning, and if the conditions had been dry, we could have railed them hard to carve down the roads.

Rolling back to Camp Douville, we ended my first long day of riding. Well, almost ended it. We chilled out for several hours, then after watching extended coverage of the true Tour of California on television (short rant, if you want to be taken seriously as a network, you can't cut away from the end of a sporting event and tell the audience to catch the conclusion on the Internet. ) the fifth member of our groupetto arrived, Tom, and we took off for another ride. Only an hour and six minutes of riding, but it put the days total climbing at 5,550 ft. Sadly, there wasn't any monster climb in there. I'm not sure if I think long steady climbs are better, or a lot of short punchy ones are. I'm pretty sure that crits are the best though.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tour of Califonia Day 1 and 2

My personal tour of California started yesterday when I arrived in Santa Barbara for a little week of training camp with the Triplets of Douville. Pretty much from the landing, we headed out for a little ride to the top of Painted Cave. There's two ways to describe this ride, up and down. You go straight up for about six miles before turning around and going back down the same six miles. Nothing that I have ever ridden on the East Coast matches this. This climb started at 75 feet above sea level and rose 2600 feet. Unknowingly, the temps dropped by twenty degrees over this time. I was sweating profusley, only aware of the temperature by the feel of the cold water in my bottle. It was fantastic. One day in California, and an hour and 45 minutes of riding. Less impressive was the sub 12 mph average over that distance. It was that slow of a slog uphill, because coming down we were moving.

Day 2 started a bit ugly. By 2am it was raining pretty hard, by 4am the winds were picking up, and by 6am it was like being in the middle of a hurricane. If not for the window of clearing around 10am, the day might have been a wash out. John, Gary and I took to the streets looking to get about an hour into our two hour ride before. It's tough to head out for a ride in the rain, but if you are out and it starts, there's no reason to head home early because you are already wet. Five minutes into the ride, the skies returned to hurricane forces and we were instantly soaked. OK, time to continue on. 45 minutes or so later, the rains subsided, but so didn't John's enthusiasm for riding. With the second smartest decision of the day (Steve staying home took the top honor) John turned for home. Gary looked at me and asked if I wanted to do something epic. Always up for something cool, we took off on rt 101. This isn't some sissy New England highway, this is the real deal. The sort of road that on the entrance ramps has signs back home that say "no pedestrians, no bikers, no horses, etc" and you wonder what knucklehead would ride on this sort of road. On ramps and off ramps, coupled with tractor trailers spraying the remnants of the storm, were mixed in with some nice rolling roads. After about 9 miles of screaming TT pace, we came to our exit and headed for Refugio Rd. The pretty lemon and avacado groves gave way to Columbian countryside. Having never been to Columbia, and referring to Hollywoods version of it, we started to climb. And continued to climb. After quite a long time, I told Gary that I felt like we had been climbing for an hour. Nope, closer to an hour and fifteen minutes. Another 20 minutes later and we came to the end of the main road. "What's that way?" I asked, "Oh, it continues for another 3 miles to the tower" was the response. Off I went. At this point we were well into the climbs, and while it wasn't raining any longer, it was 100 percent humidity, so we effectively rode through rain that was getting ready to fall to the ground. After 35 minutes, and Gary saying it was only another 500 meters until the tower, we pulled the plug and called the calvery. Steve thankfully pulled himself from live coverage of the Amgen Tour of California and met us back at the bottom.

After two days of riding, my mileage is super low, but every mile has been straight uphill. Day 2 has been awesome, day 3 calls for riding of the Solvang TT and epic climbing on the way home.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Year - New Outlook

You never know when your life might change. It truly can happen at the strangest of times. Several years ago while in grad school, a fellow student had made a comment about how he was going to quit whatever job he had after Y2K and travel the world. The next week while at work, the same student came out of my bosses office from an interview, when we passed each other going opposite ways. We didn't really know each other, just recognized faces and continued our ways. When my boss came back from walking him out of our offices, he asked what I thought of the candidate. I told him that I didn't know him too well, we just had class together, but when Jan 1 came around, he was quitting whatever job he had and travel the world. Needless to say, he didn't get the job.

More recently, I was on a conference call for work when several of us were talking socially and a coworker from Alabama was talking about how cold it was there. That he couldn't function in the cold and would take heat any day. It was in the 20s there, and at the same time, the Boston area was going through a bitter cold spell with highs in the single digits. He asked me what people do around here when it was that cold. We continue on with life. We go skiing, snowshoeing, even biking or running. You can't let the weather keep you down. Even as I was saying this, I realized that I had let the weather get to me. There was a time when ML and I would go camping in upstate New York in January, or snowshoe in the White Mountains. Heck, last year I bragged about spending almost four hours on the trainer in my living room. None of these things are about continuing on with life despite the cold. With January bringing a new year, I'm returning to being divirse. Already I've spent a half dozen hours cross country skiing, and twice that snowshoeing. Unfortuantely, I've also spent about 20 hours shoveling snow or chipping ice. I've not hit the road on my bike, but I've headed back outside. Also with the new year, I'm going to blog more and enjoy things more. Here's to a new year and an old me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Things that go bump in the night

A couple of weeks ago I resigned myself to riding indoors. After all, the days were getting shorter and it is pretty difficult to do quality interval workouts outside. I mentioned this to my friends and Johnny B was quick to respond that it was too early for indoor riding and there would be no mention of trainer time until December. Johnny is an laid back 24 year old, for him to get this fired up about something, forced me to reevaluate my indoor riding. I gave it some thought and really decided that he was right. I've spent a bunch of money on lights, both to see and be seen, as well as clothing, fenders and more. Why couldn't I ride outside? With a new found energy, I bundled up and went outside. There are some great, quiet rodes near my house, REALLY quiet roads.

On my first ride out, I was off in la-la land thinking about other things, when I literally heard a voice talk to me. Picture this, middle of no-where, no street lights, just me and some distant houses, yet a voice. Holding my breath while I coasted (although ready to sprint away, not sure where, but away), I tried to hear it again. I know this was outside my head. Sure enough, it was there again, except now that I'm listening I notice that it's a recorded message. Riding by the end of someones driveway, I triggered their Halloween motion detector and started some cackling. Phew, that's now funny. With my elevated heart rate, it was like doing an interval yet coasting.

Another week, another opportunity to ride outside. I've found a good route by this point and am just spinning along, getting ready to start my workout when I hit a pothole pretty good. THUMP. I continued along, tires all set, but realizing that I need to pay extra attention to potholes, because they are tough to see and can reek havoc on THUMP (another pothole) a night ride. I'm not as fortunate through the second pothole and start losing air in my front tire. No worries. After a couple mid-summer flats where I was totally unprepared (who goes on a 70 something mile mountain bike ride without a pump or tire? ME!) I had stocked up all my bikes with tools and supplies. Being my singlespeed rig, I had even brought along a box wrench to remove the front wheel for a quick change (seriously, why don't these bikes also have quick release?). I pull the tire off, take out the tube, slap a new tube in, put the tire back on, all the time using my new tools and light. Even as I am doing this, I'm thinking that MKR would be pleased to know that I was fully prepared. I apply the CO2 to the valve stem and immediately freeze my hand off. All the CO2 is doing is spouting onto my hand and not into the tube. The cartridge is exhausted and my tube still has no air. No worries, the newly prepared Scott has a second cartridge. I again apply the CO2 to the valve and again freeze my hand off. No air again. STUPID SINGLESPEED, STUPID TOOLS, STUPID CO2, WHERE IS A QUALITY PUMP. With desperation I use my final tool, my cell phone, and call home for a ride.

CO2 is only nice and quick if the applicator fits on the valve. Otherwise, have a pump. In 30 seconds at home, I pump up the tire and get ready for the next night's ride. Hopefully I'm prepared then too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Happenings

What happens in Vegas, really doesn't stay in Vegas. All that really happens is as soon as you do something, your best friends are going to rat you out at home. Well, what happens in NYC, certainly is going to stay there, because the alcohol is going to insure that. Saturday morning, a crew of seven from Boston headed to the big apple to bid farewell to our bachelor friend J-Ho. After years of procrastinating, J-Ho finally decided to propose to his girlfriend, as he put it "just when she had given up all hope" who says romance is dead?

The plan for the night was simple, meet up with two other guys from his past, grab some dinner and hit some bars. What happened started with a case of beer in the hotel room, Brazilian BBQ (awesome) then four hours at Libation. Once we left the bar, rumor has it that we went to another bar, then another before making it home. The booze flowed, and good friend O did his best to drink as much as he could. Now O is a very funny drunk. Funny in the sense that you just sit back and watch what happens. Seems he needed to speak to every lady he met Saturday night, only to have every lady be annoyed by him.

In the interest of not ratting out anyone that was there, we went, we drank, we were conquered, and we went home. Sunday was a long drive home. Thank god that no one else is getting married any time soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Canton Cup

Well, the back felt fine today, but boy the legs were shot. Between taking two weeks off the bike and racing yesterday, I just didn't have anything there. With a great start, C.Bailey passed me like a bullet. To this point, I'm still unsure whether he was going that fast, or I was racing with a parachute, because I kept going backwards through the field. I finished up 24th, just behind Johnny B and new cat 3 racer J.Gibby.

No racing next weekend, rather lots of drinking in NYC, with some biking before and after as we mourn the end of our bachelor friend Justin. He's taking the leap and getting married in early Nov.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm Back

Well, it's been several weeks since I posted. In that time I raced Suckerbrook in NH, and was having a good race until I crashed slowly in the sand with just over a lap to go. Then I was in VT for the Catamount race weekend, the first in the Verge series. Saturday was perfect for me, fast enough to keep the mtb'ers behind me and technical enough to make the roadies hesitate. After a strong road and mtb season, I put it together and finished up 8th. Great result for me. Going into Sunday, I was on cloud nine. I was pumped for another great finish. With a guaranteed front row spot due to call-ups, I headed out on the course for one last warm-up lap. Racing a little too hard and a little too fast, I came around a corner, hit a ditch and went flying over my handlebars, landing on the small of my back. This would have hurt enough, but killed when I actually landed on my waterbottle that was in the center pocket of my vest. Something I do when warming up. Limping back to the start, I was in so much pain. Even racing, whenever I tried to get out of the saddle, my back hurt. Whenever I tried to put some power down, my back hurt. Bumps, my back hurt. The entire race was spent going backwards. I barely cracked the top 30, and sulked on my way home. For the next week or so, I tried to ride the indoor trainer, but that too hurt. Finally I started vacation a day early and stayed off the bike. The next day I went to New Mexico with my mother to visit my grandmother for a week. The time off the bike was good.

Returning to racing today, I headed to Mansfield Hollow in CT. For some reason this isn't a wildly popular race. The course is old school New England, lots of mounts/dismounts, run-ups, sand, fast sections and a huge off camber section. I started great, settling into fifth place after two laps, then ran out of steam as the race wore on. I ended up finishing 8th, just out of 7th, by about a half wheel length. Because this race is so awesome, they give prizes ten deep. I took home a t-shirt, bag and a video. Looking through my goodie bag, I have to wonder why cyclist clothing companies make size extra large clothes. I'm a pretty decent sized cyclist and I swim in size XL. If they are going to give away prizes, they should err on the size of small. Oh well, swag is awesome, so that's not a complaint.

Tomorrow is Canton, another great race.