Harbor SEals Challenges

I's is Harbor SEals Challenges... Ask mes about it in 62 days when I's is dones. Yup. It's a spiritual challenge...


Sunday provided a short weather window for another great weekend ride. Spiz showed up at my doorstep and we departed shortly after 8am, Chugg and The Furnace ready for a nice, fairly flat, 60 mi day. We churned through the miles, save for the two flat tire workshops (front and rear, for good measure) and as many potty stops. During the return we ran into a strong headwind, 15 knots or so, and we passed another cyclist struggling against the gusts just south of Lake Stevens. He quickly tucked a wheel in behind me and so we three formed a paceline. We held it strong for about 5 miles, until we reached Machias Station and the old guy dropped off with a "Thanks for the Pull," shoutout. Spiz and I took turns up front, switching every mile or so, and were holding 17.5-18mph the whole time. We all need to work on our pack riding skills, but it's certainly easy to measure the benefits in a short situation like that. Continuing our journey south we moved back to riding abreast, sacrificing aerodynamics and speed for conversation.

And that was my literal downfall.

Nearing our destination, on Homeacres Road just shy of Ebey Island, we were chatting about something. I don't remember exactly what happened, and I think I was talking with one hand off my bars, when they twisted around in front of me with a CLANG. Then I went THUD and SCRAAAPE across the chip sealed asphalt. Then The Furnace CRASHED into Chugg, then my front tire went PPOPP (still not sure what caused that).

Damage list (still not totally assessed):
The Furnace's front tire is out of true and rear brake needs a realignment, also some paint chips.
Chugg's front tire shredded, bartape shredded, scrapes and scratches in shifter levers and rubber hood. Rear blinkly light exploded too.
My jacket has a new ventilation hole (see 3 foot day-glow orange streak on the pavement).
My jersey also breathes better than ever.
My shoulder also breathes better than ever.
So does my elbow.

I need to thank 'Mike the Samaritan' who stopped and drove us other two shaken-up-Mikes the rest of the way home in his truck. We were in no shape to make the rest of the trip home.

Swimming with Jay

Swimming laps for the first time in years went much better than I thought it would. Mostly because Jay had the facility and training plan wired. It was a little embarrassing when the life guard caught me peeing in the pool. Maybe I should have gotten in first. Or been wearing a swimsuit. Next time the plan is to steel the water polo team's varsity jackets for kicks. Shelden High Water Polo Rules!

Spiritual Well - Being

Yesterday's ride was great, a fast time up Harbour Heights and a sunny ascent on the Goat Trail.
But easily eclipsing the well-being to my body was the spiritual boost I got from the 4-0 trouncing we gave to the 'Blueberries' in yesterday's foosball matches. That felt good.

sign it. do it.

The folks at Bike There have an online petition to Google to add some cool new cycling related features to their online mapping tools. Different than many other cycling related g-maps mashups, they envision actual route finding features catered to the non-road-law-abiding cycling community.

Sign it.

juss sayin

so. anyways. i'm a bit drunk right now. two scotches (three fingers) and mor than a few glasses a wine.

but you know what?! I met somebody with their own wikipedia entry. right now I'm watching American Dad, but for the last few hours Kinnard & I (& half of the QT, but mostly Kinnard & I) have been down in the Pump Room. And we've been hanging out with this guy. When we told him we were some heavy hitters from Seattle he tells us he pretty much built the Space Needle (you might have heard of it). He comes in every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday (for the last 48 years). He hangs right at the corner of the bar and drinks a Grey Goose and Orange, Up. He introduced us to this other cat that owns Wilson's (the busiest restaurant in the Windy City, third busiest in the World, according to Max).

As full of his own retired self as he is, this guy is awesome. If there's anything I can drink, or smoke, so that I wind up sounding like this guy, just tell me. I'm willing.

Epic Week ended with an Epic Ride

...and all I got were these wasted legs.

Bri and I took Monday off, but started training properly Tuesday. After all, off-season is now over, it's officially pre-season now. Whatever that means. I blasted up Harbour Heights (aka Houston) in my best time yet, well under 4 minutes, stop sign to stop sign. We then explored a new lunchtime route, a nice long flat one where one can really turn on the speed. It felt good to shuffle loose from the last remaining D.C. aches and leave them on the Boeing Freeway. Ah man, I love those stretches. Yes climbing is fun and rewarding, but I bought my road bike and haven't turned back to my x-country for one reason. Sheer speed. I love it.

But Wed was back to the hills.

Houston of course, can't get around that. But then we followed that up with two trips up and down St. Andrews Blvd. You know, for kicks. All in all a pleasant ride though, shedding some of those winter layers really helps and both ascents on St Andy were quick, I was able to keep my cadence up well enough and had some kick left for the last push.

Thursday we rode down the Goat Trail. And up the Goat Trail. But another great ride (and another day of leaving Bri in the dust). I rode this route in my best time yet, too.

Friday (yesterday) we retired the bikes and and made it a run day. A relatively slow 5 mi slog to the park at 92nd St. Also, I went out with some friends to an $8 show down at the Tractor Tavern after work. And after the bottom half of a bottle of wine. 4 beers and 3 bands later it's 1am and I'm not even home yet. Yikes, Brian is going to be knocking on my front door in just a few hours.

Which happens at about 7am. Bleary and bloodshot, I roll out with Brian for our 'Hilly Forty.' A quick lap around north Everett, including a 1.5 minute lap through the arboretum at Legion Park, then on to Mukilteo. A long climb up from the ferry (we opted out of the Goat Trail, thank gawd). Flat Tire. Brian's house for a quick pump. A call (while still riding) from my hair stylist, setting up an appt to tame the mane makes me feel ridiculous, no one else would field such a call apart from the overly-coiffed Italian himself. Back to Everett, but only momentarily as we quickly head east out along the Sno River. We get passed by a club ride (my legs are complaining today). Another Flat Tire and another 20 minutes down the tube (is that a pun? I can't tell). Hunger pangs pining for pho. Loop through Snohomish, then back home across the Ebey Isle flats.

Bid Brian goodbye and good luck at the airport, his mom flies in today from IL (where I'm headed in a week, coincidentally). But that's not the end of my Ride. My buddy Mike shows up and we head out to help him break in his brand-new ProjectOne Madone. This guy is green on his bike I'm expecting a leisurely 20 to finish my day with. But no, this kid has legs! I follow him for most of the ride and suck wind whenever I can get close enough. He can't climb yet, but I think we have more than an honorary contender for this year's TdM.

68 miles on my 'puter later we get back, I realize my pho dreams and bask in the sunshine with the kids for the last remainder of the afternoon.

My legs are toast. Shaky and achy I'm so looking forward to a day off tomorrow. Good night all.