Back to Archive

Subject: It's Baaack!

Alt.Henry.shut.the.hell.up, that is. Having recently received some remarks (from more than one person, too, even) regarding my recent reticence, I have decided to crank up the purple prose machine and just let it run for a while.

Yup, right here, right now. Typing up a storm.

Probably the main reason I haven't been assailing everyone with exciting details of my everyday life is that there has been very little excitement lately. Perhaps I am just getting jaded, and my life is really still quite exciting. Well, I'll let loose and you all can see for yourselves. Remember, some of you even sort of asked for this.

So, what does my life consist of? Biking, chicks, swimming, and oh yeah, work. And classes started up again this week, so something is going to have to go.

But in strictly random ordering, let's talk biking first. My Merckx is still being worked over by Belgian bike gnomes, as far as the Colorado Conspirator knows. Unless there is something they aren't telling me... Like the fact that they charged the full amount to the credit card on the next business day after I ordered the bike. Boy was I surprised when that showed up on Dad's Visa bill, since Keith buddy said nothing would be charged until it was shipped to me. Luckily by that time I had enough to cover it, so now Eddy is paid off except for the cages and floor pump that I threw on the order when I got my new MTB rim. I will probably add another Avocet AirO2 40 since there are none to be found at the local bike shops, and I am getting bored with swapping my existing saddle between bikes. Last week I finally did call Keith, and he immediately, fawningly, straightened out that little matter of the $2800 CC wasn't supposed to have yet. So he said. We'll see what's on the next Visa bill. One wonders, his assurances to the contrary, whether it _is_ really CC's policy to grab the money immediately even for backorders.

So much for biking that hasn't happened. Biking that has happened: some weekend rides, on and off-road; rides home from work; rides with "shop team". Weekends I have been hanging out with Super Dave and Jim. two weeks ago we went for a mountain bike ride starting at the top of Pine Creek Pass (elev. 6720) and ending up in Swan Valley, 10 miles away on the valley floor. The ride was great while it was swooping downhill on fire roads, but then we passed a trailhead and it turned into more of a horse trail. Lots of loose fist-sized rocks, and larger rocks that were not as loose because of their mass. It sucked big time. Yet I managed to survive.

Rides home from work were pretty lonely for a bit, as my regular companions all went away to the Tour of Oregon for one week and then took the next week off. Rides with the shop boys were pretty random after the first one that I described previously, since all the goonyers appear to have quit riding either to go away to school or to sulk about the others going away to school.

Last weekend I did two rides, count them two. Saturday I went with Super Dave to Heise, a little under 20 miles starting from my house. He had a ski patrol cookout to attend, so I dropped him there (or on the bump the road goes up to get into that little nook wherein sits Heise) and continued on my merry way up the hill towards the Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. Ski resort is rather too grand of a title for the place, but there you are. And we have all been up this particular road before, so I won't bother to describe the hill. I got to the top, or rather the end of the pavement, coasted back down, waved to Super Dave who had just started his golf game, and was on my way. Which took me, just for the heck of it, home by way of Rigby. Added slightly more than ten miles, so I ended up with about 54 miles for the day. I was kind of tired the last couple miles since I had only had a couple bananas for breakfast after going swimming earlier in the morning. And before I went swimming I got a new cogset because my new chain did not want to cooperate with the old 17, 16, or 15 cogs. DA seems to have shiny spacers now just like Ultegra. Of course it has been about two years since I last purchased a cassette, an eternity in Shimano marketing. But then one of the bike shops in town has some 3-year-old C'dale road bikes sitting around that nobody wants to buy, so who knows how long those cogs were sitting there.

Sunday we headed back for Pine Creek Pass, Dave and Jim and me. On road bikes this time, we started in Swan Valley and went over the pass to Victor, then came back. Here is an amusing episode: Jim, claiming to weigh ten pounds more than me, takes it easy on the first part of the hill. Super Dave drops his chain while attempting to shift from big_ringXsecond_largest_cog to small_ringXsecond_largest_cog. So I am alone pretty quickly. Almost as quickly, my knee begins to hurt from the poorly adjusted seat. What idiot slaps these things on, and does he not check to make sure it has the right angle? I hop off, and as I am discovering that my $1.69 set of hex wrenches are no longer quite Metric enough or hexagonal enough to do me much good, Super Dave goes by, followed by Jim. I hop back on and chase down Jim, but Dave is nowhere to been seen. I drop Jim, looking for Dave. He must be feeling really good today, I think. Dave is nowhere to be seen, and remains there until I reach the top of the pass. I start my timer, and start eating Fig Newtons. A minute later, I look up and see Dave arriving at the top of the hill. He says he stopped to pee after passing me, and must have been too far off in the bushes for us to see him. Dave wants to work on his pissing-from-the-saddle, which none of us three are any good at, for the LoToJa. He thinks he wants to do this race, three weeks from now, which is 210 miles, three mountain passes worse than this one (Jim only showed 2500' on his Avo50 for a round trip over Pine Creek) and most likely a couple thousand feet of net gain, since Jackson is at 6000' and Logan is surely not much more than 4000'. And I beat him up the hill. By a minute. Assuming equal goofing-off time, I am therefore in better shape than him, especially considering he weighs maybe 20 pounds less. Yet I feel no great confidence that I can even finish LoToJa. All these thoughts and many more flash though my mind before Jim arrives at a leisurely pace seven and a half minutes later. Dave appears to have talked him into LoToJa, too. So at least I will have somebody to ride with. After consuming most of the Newtons, we zip down the other side to Victor (elev. 6100) briefly registering a maximum speed of 49.5 mph. Jim and Dave buy out the Victor convenience store, and I munch a couple more Newtons. We head back up the hill. Since this side is shorter, if slightly steeper, Dave is pretty much right with me at the top and Jim is 5'30" back. We attempt to cruise back down to Swan Valley, but find this difficult because of a headwind that has sprung up; we must actually pedal downhill. Sucks to be us. But we eventually reach the valley, and I once again hold off Dave's weak attempt at a sprint. You can hear him jumping from a mile away as his Cannonwhale clicks and creaks at the BB. I relayed to him the advice on how to cure such noises, and he said he would do the greasing-threads thing if he had time.

So this weekend is the Lava Rama, a 17-mile Cannondale-Cup-series NORBA race on Saturday at Lava Hot Springs (30 miles south of Pocatello, don't you know) followed by a 33-mile (for us Citizens) road race on Sunday. Dave is going down there tonight to establish a camp site, and I will get there before the race tomorrow and then crash in his tent for the night. Expect a full report next week.

Next weekend Dave (Weatherston, not Super Dave but the Dave who won the Ashton Hill Hop) wants to go for a 150-mile ride. Certainly would be good training for a 210-mile ride, wouldn't it? Especially if I have never even done a century. I will try to get Super Dave to do it too. Then some weekend between now and LoToJa is a mountain bike race in Wells, Nevada that Super Dave wants to go to. So I could be doing some heavy weekend travel.

One more bike thing, before moving on: I just realized (yes, just now) that Dave, Jim, and I each specialize in a certain type of bicycle. Well, the first time I saw each of Jim's bikes I noticed that they were three-tube carbon Treks, but I didn't see Dave's road bike until last weekend, which is a mid-range C'dale like his mountain bike. Which leaves me as the representative of sort-of-decent chromoly frames with few or no remaining original cheap components. Oh, not for long, though. I'm sure Eddy's ship is just about to come in.

I guess we are to chicks now. I appear to be pretty much officially dumped by Jen, who now has a tattooed picture of her dead baby over her right scapula. Her goodbye-I'm-joining-the-Air-Force party (thrown by the swimmers) is in two weeks. Oh well. Kim and I kid each other about eating too many Oreos, and yesterday I taught her to play Hearts (on the computer, get your mind out of the gutter). She was down here just now dithering about going to Portland or not, and how Jason is pissing her off. Oooh, now's my chance. Haven't been riding with Kim in a while, since she was always going up to Kelly Canyon on Wednesday nights when I either rode in from work or rode with the boys at the shop. Guess we are just at-work chums now. Oh well, sucks to be me.

But the object of my lust-of-the-moment is a fairly new lifeguard at the pool. Oh no, you say, not another pool romance. Well, not yet, since I haven't even talked to her. Apparently her name is Amy (for this is what the other lifeguards were yelling at her Tuesday night) and she swims with, or at roughly the same time as, us Masters about once a week. In a swimsuit that is far too thin and unsupportive of her attributes. And her eyes, oh Amy's eyes. Nice hair too. She is one hot babe, and I really should just talk to her one of these nights. Yet I haven't. Go figure. I am probably afraid of tripping over another "age thing" (Kim was, shall we say, mildly surprised when she found out my age this week) or so I can rationalize. She's probably still in high school, or little older than Tattoo. And what is she doing working at a pool? See, I can find all kind of reasons. Sucks to be me.

Which brings me to work and school (I sort of covered swimming in the last paragraph, right?): sucks to be me. Still getting squeezed in the middle by schedule at work, and about to be hammered by a nasty math class in school. Theory of Computation, anyone? Ick. At least the text was written by a Rice graduate, now teaching at North Dakota State (mascot, Tricky?) so some of the $70 cost might get back to Rice if he makes regular contributions. Perhaps my increased maturity and fewer time commitments (once I give up biking for the winter, most likely immediately after LoToJa assuming I even do it) will enable me to get a better grade in this abstract-math-type class than, oh, say, a particular discrete-mathematics CS course at Rice. The instructor says he has given only one C in the past ten years of teaching, so here's hoping he can still say that at the end of the semester. He is also one of the five bike commuters in town. Well, maybe there are more than five. Like seven. What I want to know is, what does he do in the winter?

Joke heard at lunch the other day - An Idaho resident was asked how long the winters last. He said, "I don't know, I've only lived here three years."

Wahh hahh hahh.

Gosh, the well sort of seems to have run dry here all of a sudden, hasn't it? Well, it is almost time to go home and try to stuff both my bikes in my car without messing up any derailleurs.

And so, later, hah