Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chaos, continued...

Phloyd! Phloyd! He's our MAN! w00t! What a kick-adze Tour de France that was - there wasn't a clear overall favorite until the last time trial, the day before the last. With Lance and his squadron, it wasn't so much a question of who would win as it was a question of how they'd do it, and by how much. That certainly had entertainment value, but it was sort of like watching Mike Tyson clobber some poor schmoe who had the temerity to get into HIS boxing ring. Watching Floyd collapse and then pull off a Merckxian attack was just inspiring. The fact that he did it with a gimpy hip added that perfect "overcoming adversity" aspect that American sports figures have to have, and it's real adversity, not the NBA player's horror of not being able to find 26" chrome wheels for his third Escalade.

Well, inspired or not, I took a whole week off after the Tour de Allegan County (aka the Holland Hundred), and my legs actually appreciated it. We had a nice JDRF team ride and pool party on Sunday the 23rd, and I was pretty comfortable riding a total of about 65 miles between the optional/extra ride from Holland to Pullman and the actual 40 mile team ride. No hardcore points for me, though, as I skipped the ride back to Holland in favor of a nice air-conditioned car ride home. The pool party part of the day was truly delightful, with a heap o' kids, burgers and brats, chips and salsa, and brownies and oreo/ice cream pie. Nummy.

Monday I came home with eight boxes of self-adhesive vinyl floor tile. Hooray for half-price sales at the Home Despot!

Tuesday (yesterday) I tucked in a nice 33 mile ride from work, and included a stop at a co-worker's house to see her kitchen, which was done by the same guy who's doing ours. It's verr' niice. Said contractor today relieved us of our washer and dryer, so the next loads of stinky bike clothes will have to be done by hand or at the local laundromat. Kirsten's updating the pictures pretty much daily, so check in there to see the emergence of a real, useful, modern kitchen. Which will eventually have cabinets.

Back to work for me...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I tell ya, everything always happens at once.

First, my dear cat falls ill and declines. Increasingly frequent trips to the vet make the choice obvious. This past Friday morning, the very day our Gus was to make his last car ride, we found him lying still on the kitchen floor, next to his food bowl and the trash can that he loved to sit on. It was a sad relief to not have to take him to a cold, bright examining room for his last moments. He wasn't that old at about 12 and a half, but we think he had one or more strokes in the last few weeks.

Sad as that was, there was no time to feel bad, as our kitchen is no more. The remains of the horrid thing are in a dumpster in our driveway, and we're doing dishes in the bathtub until we have a new kitchen. With lots of structural work to do, it's not going to be real soon, but when it's done we'll have a real, solid, decent kitchen to live in and sell with the house. Day 1 pictures are here:

The twist to the kitchen is that I've elected, quite insanely, to make my own cabinets. They're not overly complicated, but they do have to be done before we can have a sink again, so I've got my work cut out for me.

Naturally, this is putting a kink in the bike time. My last solo ride was over a week ago, and I've missed the last couple Thursday rides as well. I did, though, have a good time on the Holland Hundred on Saturday the 15th. I rode mostly with a couple of co-workers, and covered the 102ish miles in about 6 hours and 20 minutes. It was a pretty hot day, but not to the point of feeling dangerous, and I carried lots of water. The course was nice, heading more or less South all the way through Allegan county and then back up the lakeshore. It was no where near as challenging as the Asheville century - my legs were tired the next day, but not particularly sore. Incedentally, I'm at 1056 miles for the year now.

And work is the busiest it's ever been, pretty much, so I'd best get back to it!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


44 and a half or so on Saturday with the JDRF team, including another bee-in-the-chest episode for Stacey; this bee was less happy about the encounter, and stung her. We'll have to come up with some sort of insect deflector for our executive director.

The riding hightlight of the weekend, though, was Dane's first ride on the trailer-bike today. He's just barely big enough for it, but with the handlebars way back and the seat all the way down he can pedal comfortably, so we did maybe as much as 10 miles, enough to make his tuckus sore. He's got little bike shorts (not little enough, though; they're baggy on his skinny legs and butt), tiny gloves, and a real jersey complete with three pockets in the back. A typical conversation:

d: "I'm going to win the gold jersey when I grow up!"

D: "You mean the Yellow Jersey?"

d: "Yeah, I'm gonna go so fast!"

D: "Are you going to be a sprinter? The fastest sprinter gets a Green Jersey."

d: "Like Robbie McEwen!" (yeah, my kid knows who Robbie McEwen is)

D: "Maybe you want to climb mountains and get a Polka-Dot Jersey!"

d: "No, I want a blue jersey."

D: "I don't think they have a blue jersey."

d: "Well, I want a pink jersey, then."

D: "You'll have to ride in the Giro d'Italia to get a pink jersey."

d: "Yeah, I'm going to ride in the Giro d'Gublia!"

D: (Tries to stay upright laughing)

That's my kid, in the Maglia Rosa, in the 2026 Giro d'Gublia...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth...

Celebrate America by blowing up a small piece of it!

To recap the last weekish:

Sunday the 25th was a nice JDRF ride and cookout from Coach Mike's house. We did a comfortable 42 miles or so south of Holland, including a couple of decent hills, and then chowed hearty on grilled chicked fajita wrap things, chips and dips and salsas, and all whatnot. Good stuff.

Monday I still had my bike in the car, so I did my 26 mile Stonehenge loop from work (scroll down to see the 'henge that someone built in their yard). It's a nice mix of flats and hills, and a Neolithic replica never fails to be interesting.

Thursday was the group ride; before setting out, I had my rear tire replaced as I'd found a lot of cuts in the tread. Naturally, not 5 miles into the ride, I picked up a little piece of metal and flatted the new tire. D'oh! Tim got my new tube installed nice and quick, and we were on our way, though the rhythm was gone and the ride ended up being relatively slow with a 20.3 average or so.

Saturday I dodged raindrops down to North Muskegon and back for a 35ish mile ride at a nice quick clip. Rah.

And finally, this morning, I dragged my carcass out of bed at 5:40 and joined the Rock N' Road group for the Breakfast Canadian Century. The weather was great and starting at 7 the roads were largely deserted, so it was a really nice ride despite getting pretty dropped from the A-ish group after only 25 miles or so. Breakfast was at Murphy's in Allendale; they had a nice buffet for $6. The challenge, of course, is to not eat so much that you can't keep a tolerable pace for the last 28 miles back to Grand Haven. The french toast sticks and fruit salad hit the spot, and the ride back was comfortable.

Now, off to Twin Lake to watch the fireworks...