Sunday, February 21, 2010
By Rebecca Teasdale
Bell Lap Blues
Mud and thick sand,
Gravity and goat heads conspire,
Seventeenth and first not finding me on this lap.
Composure and patience
Not outlasting her commitment
To making an ordeal over cereal.
A missed call-up for forty-five
Plus, years for bike and body only.
Yet meaningless in real person and heart time.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Friday, April 03, 2009
Since I have serious OCD problems, I just couldn’t run for exercise or to simply impress my future wife. I had to start running in races, training harder, etc. I got a little faster and at one point clocked some 6:29/miles in a 5k race, which qualified me for the AA wave at the Bolder Boulder one year. Now I don’t want to sound braggy, but being in the AA wave at the Bolder Boulder in kind of a big deal, even if you don’t actually deserve to be there. The best part about being at the front of the Bolder Boulder is the sound of thousands of thundering footsteps of each successive wave as they catch you and drop you. I’ve gone backwards in a cyclocross race many times, but it’s nothing like the humiliation of going backwards in the Bolder Boulder.
So I did this running thing for a time. Sometimes I would enjoy running, but mostly I didn’t. Then I got married and thought less about trying to impress my wife. At the same time I discovered, thanks to my wife, the Tour de France and some guy by the name of Lance Armstrong. It wasn’t long before I bought my first road bike and stopped running entirely.
And you know what, I enjoyed it!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Like most bike racers I'm superstitious. Well, I'm not really a bike racer, but since I'm pretending to be a bike racer, I must be superstitious as if I really was a bike racer. There are the standard race day rituals. Eating certain foods in a certain order, packing your race bag, etc. However, there are two big things for me.
The first is what coffee cup I drink my pre-race cup of coffee out of. It goes without saying that the coffee in the cup has to be the same, but I HAVE to drink out of the same cup.
You would think that any of these would do the job and normally they do.
But on race day, it has to be this one.
Don’t ask me why because I don’t know why. It just is what is. But trust me when I say that the psychological damage that can be done to my psyche on race day if I don’t have this cup to drink my coffee is untold. It’s even gotten to the point that I’ve started taking the cup to travel races. I did, however, forget to take it to cyclocross nationals last year and this would clearly explain my lackluster performance.
The second is what pair of socks I wear on race day.
Again, you would think that any of these would do the job.
I must confess that my superstition with socks is not quite at the level of with my coffee cup. There’s a couple pair in there that will work, but when push comes to shove and it’s an important race, only these will do.
The only known negative to these socks are that they’re black. It is well known in the European peloton that it’s not cool to wear black socks. However, I’m not in the European peloton and it seems to work for me. That is if being pack fodder in the local race scene is the definition of what works.
So, yesterday I was getting settled into my pre-race routine and rituals for the Koppenberg Circuit race. However, we had this big snow storm the other day. They like to call it a spring blizzard, but where I come from (Colorado) 10 inches of snow doesn’t meet the litmus test for a blizzard. Anyway, the snow made the dirt part of the course turn into mud and they had to postpone the race.
So instead of racing today, I just went for a ride. Here’s the gratuitous self-portrait. Bonus points to those who were on the ride AND read my blog (that’s one person) if you can tell me what’s wrong with this photo.
So, we headed up to Carter Lake and Bret and Chad made me hurt a few times today. This is really not the gentleman thing to do, but all is fair in Love and War.
Here’s a shot of Bret and Chad as they laugh amongst themselves after dropping me on the dam road climb.
All in all is was a good ride, but in retrospect it might have served me better to drink my morning coffee out of my favorite mug and don my favorite socks. There’s always next time.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
So, we went for a ride.
We road some on the pavement and some on the dirt roads.
And some of our other favorite dirt roads.
Things were going along just fine. And then it started to happen. It started with the seat. It started twisting and slowing slipping down. That's strange I thought. So, I stopped to check it out. And that's we it really went bad. You see, I was twisting the seat and trying to get it to come back up to its proper position and my back goes out! Seriously, my lower back just seizes up.
You see, Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.
Somehow I got myself back on the bike and got home. I had time to reflect on what I had done. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry for the way I treated you. How I just walked away without even saying goodbye.
Friday, March 20, 2009
In some ways it makes up for the fact she doesn't follow me on Twitter. You see, I started following Sonya Looney on twitter a few months ago, but she didn't follow me back. Of course, I was hurt at first, but I have managed to get over it. But just barely. PSA - this is the start of the guilt and shameless plug - I think she could completely make up for it by agreeing to race our UCI Cylcocross race, the Blue Sky Velo Cup, on October 31st, in Longmont.
So anyway, I got together with a few Blue Sky folks at lunch today and did another Top Secret training ride out at the Koppenberg. The climb is in top notch shape and will most likely wreak havoc on the peleton. Predictions of some precipitation early next week would do the course some good.
For me, my expectations of doing well this year are fading. You see I’m pretty fast. And on top of that I’m a real good climber. That is until I go out and ride with folks who are REALLY fast and REALLY good climbers. It’s not like I didn’t try. I put some extra effort in over the last couple of months in order not to lose my entire cross fitness.
Don’t be sad. I will give my best. And this year I will hopefully be sprinting for something better than 64th.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Met up with Pale Power for some top secret training.
Here's Pale getting his climbing sticks out.
So much handsomeness it's hard to look at. Or is it just the glare?
Here's his Sonya Looney "E'" face.
Watch out come cross season folks. Pale is on a mission. He even told me he did 70 sit ups the other day.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I fondly remember the first time I shaved my legs. It was stressful and it took me what seemed like a half hour. A half hour per leg. I'm much faster these days (shaving my legs that is), and on any given day my legs are likely to be smoother than my wife's. She says that she doesn't mind, and it's probably true. She's used to being the man of the house.
So, last Saturday we strapped it on for one last time this cyclocross season. It was an experiment of sorts having a cross race in January. I can't say that I didn't like it. It was less formal. Less stressful. Hollywood won the plate of cookies prime that Mrs. Prieto baked, but he didn't share. Pale power got interviewed by the Mountain Flyer. I didn't get girled, but I did get geezered. I guess that's what happens when you race with a national champion. All in all it was good day.
So, the end is here, for a time. I may shave my legs less often, but I probably won't. I like them smooth, even if it doesn't help me go any faster.
Off season is officially here, in earnest.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I think one of the good things about the economic recession is that it forces us to pause and think about what we really need in our consumption driven society. To take inventory of what we have, what we really need, and how we can live more simply. I find this especially true with my children. They are masters at collecting stuff. And they are blessed with an abundance of stuff. And with the influx of new Christmas presents, it was time to take inventory. It was time to think differently about our stuff.
There is just so much in our lives that isn’t necessary. And it’s not just our physical stuff. It’s also the stuff of our thoughts. I spend a lot time inside my head in what I like to call it the introverts trap. Thinking. Sensing. Judging. I get lost in my thoughts. Thoughts of the past and thoughts of the future. I fondly remember the time my wife and I were having an important discussion. She was talking. I was thinking. And then she said to me in an urgent tone, “you’re not hearing what I’m saying!” I paused for a moment and then dead panned, “that’s because I’m not listening to you.” Start PSA - saying you're not listening to your spouse is closely related to saying whatever to your spouse and is not recommended - End PSA.
I wasn’t present. And when you’re not present, you’re not there. Not there for your friends, your kids, your spouse.
New Years Resolution #3 - Be "Present"
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I think when each guy is born they're allocated one of what I'm going to call a "girl trick" card. Guys don't really know they have it, but on instinct when they find the girl of their dreams they play their "girl trick" card. It's kinda like a cloaking device, like the one made famous by the Romulans as a way to camouflage or hide themselves from Captain Kirk and the rest of his clan.
Applied as the "girl trick" card, one is able to camouflage or hide oneself from their true identity, and thus become something to their future wives that they find appealing and thus trick them into getting married. I know this to be true, because my wife is smart, and I'm not, because if I was, I'd have some prestigious title like Fellow, which I don't. And she did marry me.
So, anyway, my wife is really smart and always looking for ways to get smarter. Recently she's been getting certified in a new "tool" as the folks her in line of work like to call them. This most recent "tool" (no, not me) is the Insights Discovery profile. You could spend a lot of time reading about it here or the cliff notes version is that it's a "tool" for self-understanding and development. Part of getting certified means that I become a guinea pig and get profiled, which last time I checked was against the law.
Going through this process is pretty cool as I'm into self-understanding in a non-understanding kind of way and am always open to development as long as it will help me become a better cyclocross racer and what better way to come up with some cogent new years resolution. So, here's the little gem I pulled from the report.
"Can have difficulty working effectively with spontaneous creativity"
New Years Resolution #2 - Be "Spontaneous"
Friday, December 26, 2008
I remember growing up and using the the flippant version of this powerful word. You used it with your friends as often as the Federal Reserve cranks up its' money making machine. Bam, there goes another trillion dollars! But I digress. Timed right, "whatever" is a very effective tool in a sardastic bag of tricks. But every good tool not used properly has it's bad side.
I remember the first time I said "whatever" to my grandmother. My grandmother didn't hit, well except for the time she tried to spank me with a ruler and it broke and I started laughing, but that's a whole different story entirely, and I'm sure it was the last time I ever said it. OK, it probably wasn't the last time I said "whatever" to her, because kids really aren't that smart, even if your kids already think they're smarter than you.
So we grow up and become less sardastic and maybe a little more sarcastic and use "whatever" less. But even when we grow up and get a little smarter, we're still really not that smart. This can be evidenced by the first and only time I used "whatever" with my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, and quite honestly jeopardized the chances on making my girlfriend my wife and then what would have been of my two children? It's kinda like a sliding door experience. You say whatever and your girlfriend becomes your ex-girlfriend or you don't say whatever and your girlfriend becomes your wife, you have kids, and live happly ever after.
Warning - the video below has suggestive content. You probably don't want to show your kids, but you may, at the right time, want to show your wife. Just don't say whatever when she says no.
Somehow I repaired the damage of the atomic bomb I dropped that day, got married and passed on my sardonic genes. Your kids, who think are smarter than you (because they are) will think they're smarter than you, even at age 7, and tell you whatever! START of PSA - for those of you who don't have kids or your kids are too young to tell you off yet, they will and don't be surprised when they do it. Also, don't spank them with a wooden or plastic ruler, because it will break, they will laugh at you, and this will make you really mad - END of PSA - and so continues the circle of life.
And so where are we going with this? Since I'm not that smart, or funny, or creative, and everything I talk about or write about for that matter has to do with biking, here comes the tie in.
This is me trying to get my game face on at the start of a cross race.
And what is really going on in there (that being my brain) is some version of whatever. It's not a sardastic or even a sarcastic whatever. More like a whatever happens whatever. And as we've have discussed, this is not good. It's not good for relationships, and is not especially good for cyclocross racing.
New Years Resolution #1 - No more "Whatever"
P.S. - I don't really know what the word sardastic means. I think I heard my wife say it once. She's really smart, so I thought I'd use it so that I sounded smart too. You can look it up in the dictionary like I tried, but you'll find, like I did, that it's not in there.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
You probably feel frustrated as you've no doubt put in a tremendous amount of work and you can't put that final piece into place. You can see the picture in all it's detail, but you don't really feel like you got the job done. It becomes a hole that will never be filled.
If you go fishing and never catch a fish is the time spent lost? Do you even really need to catch a fish? Does it become an emptiness that somehow needs to be filled?
Or is it simply about the process? When we focus all of our energy on what we think we want at the end, do we somehow miss something far more important? Do we miss what's happening along the way?
Sometimes the puzzle will have a missing piece, but does it really matter?