This year was my first ever Christmas spent by myself. At first it wasn't a big deal because it didn't feel like a typical holiday season here in Santa Rosa. As there was no snow! After I came upon this notion, a bit of loneliness set in. This depression was multiplied by being sick, spending the 25th in my underwear desperately selling crap on eBay, and only having Easy-Mac and Powerbars to eat for Christmas dinner.
On the positive side, after selling most of my earthly possessions online, I can afford my race uniform for the season. Now I just need someone to buy my road frame so I can pay my rent.
Sorry I have seemed to disappear for so long. Having not posted an update to this website in a week and everyone thinks that I got run over by a car and am lying dead in a ditch.
I have come down with some sort of cold/strep throat type illness. While I don't feel too awful at work or around the house, it absolutely humbles me on my bike. It has become almost impossible to make any hard effort. It all began last Friday with a long climb up Cavesdale. Normally climbing is really effortless for me. However on this particular climb I couldn't get my heart-rate to drop, and I was riding a pace that would normally have me in a recovery zone. I was pushing a 39x29 (cyclocross gearing) and every pedal stroke felt like it was to be my last. I usually would be riding in a 39x23 or 39x21 and still be just fine - something was obviously wrong.
So I decided to take the entire week off, and only ride my bike to work - hoping that whatever sickness I had would pass. However yesterday I went out on another long ride with a large climb, this time the Geysers. I felt like absolute crap from the get-go, but I would give it a try anyways. After all, my riding partner weighed 200 lbs and there was no way a person so heavy could beat me up a climb. After 50ft up the Geysers, he was 30 seconds ahead of me. This time my legs felt even worse. All I could do was watch as this person who weighed 60 lbs more than me rode up the mountain. On gradients where I would normally be riding at 10-12 mph, I never got above 6. I was weaving back and forth all over the road, struggling just to stay upright on my bike. When I finally crested the climb, my riding partner had been waiting for 10 minutes, and I was soaked to bone in sweat. This kinda thing just does not ever happen to me!
Where is my good luck? Why do I only have bad luck?
Why aren't I ever the dude who finds a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk? Why does the sun, after glowing warm and bright all day long - turn to horrible rain when I get off work early to go for a bike ride? When is it my time to shine?
I get a traffic ticket as I am pulling outside my driveway for not having my seatbelt on. I pay the aforementioned citation through the mail. I receive a last-minute notice stating that I haven't paid, so the ticket has to be paid by credit card over-the-phone and incurs additional fees. However this wasn't enough for the County of Sonoma's traffic division. I received a "courtesy" notice today informing me that I owe another $207 to register my car - which is no longer working.
I am also faced with the dilemma of purchasing a uniform for my bike team. I am required to be outfitted in at least a jersey and shorts - while the whole kit is gonna cost upwards of $300. And I almost though I would be able to afford rent this month.
I was due for a 4+ hour ride today, but I felt really tired the entire day. After running some morning errands on my bike, I was all set for a long ride. Instead I ended up going back to sleep for another 3 hours. Boom - my day was gone. This is the first time in over a month that I have skipped my scheduled training, so I feel pretty guilty. I wanted to at least life some weights later this evening, yet I can't seem to emerge from a catatonic state. Hopefully I'm not sick.
A few weeks ago I had lost my portable 15mm wrench attaches to my Topeak Alien multitool. In lieu of lugging around a full sized wrench, this portable wrench is the only way I can remove my rear wheel on my fixed-gear bike to repair flats while out on a ride. The garbage ridden roads of Sonoma County are no place to be unprepared for a popped tube. However all it took was one phone call to Topeak, and a free wrench arrived within a few days. Such excellent customer service will forever keep that company on my "not-shit" list.
Hey! Now my car won't fucking start! It's not the battery, not the sparkplugs or distributor, and there is even plenty of fuel in the tank. I am sure it is something a thousand times more expensive to fix.
I have no money, I don't know anyone, my fucking heater still doesn't work, my apartment is a shithole, and it has been raining around the clock for the last three weeks.
Life sucks, but it gives me anger to train even harder.
I need a tiny digital camera to take along with me on my bike rides. Compared to Minnesota, Sonoma County, CA has many more insane things happening out in the middle of nowhere. These things need to be documented! Today I saw a cow orgy out on a farm. There must been a dozen cows all trying to mount each other. A daisy chain of beef and milk. I also spotted what appeared to be the real life Cat-in-Hat stumbling around drunk with his bicycle about 20 miles from civilization. It was a man dressed like he was a city-goer in early 18th century America. Wire rimmed glasses, buckled shoes, jacked up pants, coat-tails and a vest. And a giant red and white striped hat. I actually thought he was a figment of my imagination. But then I remembered I was in California.
I bonked 3 and half hours into my ride today. I managed to ride through the dizziness until I located a jumbo sized Snickers bar at a gas station. 540 calories of peanut and chocolate sugary-ness. I thought it would satisfy my hunger (much like the slogan proposed) but within 5 minutes I was starving again. So I crawled home with visions of burritos in my head. And now my stomach hurts from aforementioned burrito.
Today was the best I have had on bicycle in a long time. It was one of those rare times when your two wheeled companion becomes an extension of your body. There were hills and headwinds, but it didn't matter. I was flying. I am already feeling the effects of my base strength regiment kicking in. Which is a little unfortunate because at this time of the year I don't really want to be. I want to be slow. My only intentions were to go out on a short 2 hour easy ride, with a few speed drills to liven things up. In the end I managed to keep myself under control and only let the throttle loose a few times. Hopefully this a sign of things to come and will certainly help keep my motivation through all these long rainy base-mile days.
So not only was I feeling super on the bike - but I had the most fantastic interaction with an automobile. As I was riding along a few teenagers driving their parent's fancy S.U.V. pulled up alongside me and started screaming out the window. I have no idea what they were saying, I was too busy listening to Lou Reed on my minidisk player. Probably something along the lines of "Get off the road faggot" or "Ride on the sidewalk asshole!" So I just glanced at them, laughed and flipped the bird. Meanwhile they are going insane inside the behemoth gas guzzler. Honking their horn and swerving back and forth along the road. Those dumb kids were so busy trying to irritate me that they failed to notice the line of cars stopped at the intersection. SLAM! Three car pileup at 20 mph! I had the front row seat to watch all the action.