Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It’s Not You, It’s Me

I wanted to love you. You have everything I’m looking for...that fun side, a bit of a flash.
You’re not afraid to put it all out there. Yet you’re flexible enough to fit into a variety of situations.
I know you’d work hard and even show me a good time. I appreciate that about you. But after three go-rounds, it’s time for me to admit the passion just isn’t there. I’m sorry.
I’ve met someone...not someone better. In fact, this one is even lacking some of the things you have; but I can’t deny the bond. It was immediate.
And the thing is, I know our time together won’t be without its frustrations!
But we flow. All I have to do is think it, and we’re heading in that direction.
You have everything! But it's me. I can’t go through the years feeling just OK about your ride quality. I’d resent you, and you deserve better.
I know you’ll find the right one.


- The Old Bag really wanted to like the Salsa

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Triglycerides 71 (optimum levels are -150)

HDL 85 (optimum levels are +40)

LDL 144 (optimum levels are -130 with -100 the best)

My doctor didn't seem too concerned given that two numbers are really good. Two goods somewhat outweigh one bad, but I still don't like it (family history is against me on this one). From what I've found, the biggest influence on LDL is diet yeah, yeah, exercise. I tend to eat fairly healthy, but I allow myself some indulgences -- maybe I've lost track. Suddenly I'm seeing fat ooze from what was once fare game:

ice cream

pastries...the flaky kind

pepperoni with sausage

with peach mango salsa!

wild rice soup



Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hot as a Pistol

We May THINK We Are, but....

An unlikely competitor -- thanks to Trée over at Decadent for the link.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cheap Good Stuff

I eased outta racing a few years ago do ya ever really leave it behind? but continued to volunteer with the club: coaching and communications, mainly. I finally cut the ties at the end of '05 after having decreased my involvement even more. It was time. I still like my racing connections, but over the years our largest-in-the-state women's team has splintered-off into indivudual directions: marriage, kids, doctoral programs, lifestyle commuters, recreational clubs, other teams. Time for me to move and shake as well.

As a thank you from the club, I'm getting-in on some steep discounts on the goods: framesets, builds, wheelsets, tires. Now, I'll be the first to admit I don't need another bike, but I've been keeping an eye open for some type of 'cross frame...something I can build up as a commuter for any season...a distance workhorse with fenders and a rear rack...equipped for disk brakes. I've got some cannibalized Ultegra and XT components, but would need stem/bars and seat/post. Essentially, the cross frame I'm looking for is just coming to market so there isn't a ton of choice yet. And, I rather like the idea of building up Herman Munster -- everyone around here has one. It's their spring and fall crud-roads ride. It's where our old components go when they die...and then they really die.

In the meantime I've got a nearly half-priced Bianchi Cross Concept waiting for me...full bike or frameset. It's a great deal on a nice bicycle, but it's not exactly what I want. Can a ride be too nice? I know I'll like the frame -- I ride a similar road bike. I'm not big enough to be tough on it. What's missing? Damned eyelets. I want a workhorse that will carry my pack. Not that I haul a ton of stuff on the commute (I leave most of it at work...maybe I need to leave more of it at work!), but I'm tired of it being on my back.

According to our sponsorship agreement, we can sell the bike after a year.


Do I jump on the full-meal-deal, ride it for a year and then consider my option of selling? with a good possibility of a profit? or maybe I'll like it enough to keep it?

Do I go cheap and get the framest, put all my old stuff on it (I think I've got wheels that will work) and then in a year exercise my option to sell it and get a disk-braked commuter (which would require a new wheel build)? Will I run the risk of needing new components? Am I putting out more $ in the long run? Again, maybe I'll like the Bianchi.

Do I skip it all, save my $ and build the Herman Munster?

Do I skip it all, including Herman, organize my commuting shtuff, and commute on the race bike just because it's so much fun....

- TOB needs some advice, here

9/03/06 Update

Monday, February 20, 2006


A few friends have expressed concern at the way I've labeled myself.

The Old Bag.

The words old bag tend to illicit images of someone who has grown old too soon...someone who clutches her purse and words close to her breast, who views herself as an odd fit in what today's society has become, someone who finds solace only in the comfortable surroundings of her old house.

A work friend who turned 40 around the same time as I did started it: how are ya doin today, ya old bag? And we’d laugh. It was a contradiction and we knew it. We weren’t old bags. Never would be. Women and men codgers?? who get-it know baghood is about the paradox, the humor, the eyebrow raise: you’re how old and you’re doing what?

We grow deliberately and purposefully into our bag/codger-hood. We work hard at shedding our expectations of others, at being strong mentally and physically, at expanding and challenging our brains and preconceived notions, at realizing the coincidental may not be. Yet we’re stronger in our convictions than we’ve ever been. Life makes more sense as the years behind increase.

True and joyful baghood is tough to achieve, however. There’s a degree of grace involved...not a thing to grab onto, but a characteristic to grow into. We sit on its continuum: some days we’re off the back and some days we’re in the break...most days we hope to be with the pack observing, learning, assisting, knowing that after the sprint there are other rides to be had.

- OB says get yer old self out there!

: EDIT : that pic just has a tad too much similarity to the OB's profile headshot!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

25 Miles to Go

Jill's Outta Flat Horn Lake

A friend of mine, Paula, once running her first marathon, said there are three things well-meaning spectators tend to holler out to a runner -- and if any one of said phrases is hollered, the runner has every right to pound said spectator into the ground.

The one phrase I won't send to Jill via mental telepathy is ALMOST DONE!

She made it past mile 75 and left Flat Horn Lake during the wee-hours. One more checkpoint left at mile 87 -- 13 miles from there to the finish. It's easy to look at distance alone and see that only a fourth remains; and it's easy to assume that distance only gets smaller. Those who have never set the challenge in front of themselves won't realize that while 3/4 of the physical distance has been covered, the majority of the ride still is still out there to conquer.

Now an endurance athlete needs to pull from her mental training. Leaving a checkpoint with 3/4 behind is exhilarating...until the reality of 25 miles remaining hits home. The body is tired, muscles have been strained, rest has been fitful, and 25 more miles to go means hours more in the saddle pushing that tired body forward. Mentally, that finish line isn't getting closer.

According to Paula, NOONE is allowed to say to an endurance athlete that she's almost done...unless the finish line is literally within sight. With cycling, perhaps one can say almost done once the miles left reach single digits.

So Jill, we're all still with you cheering from the sidelines even harder now. Thank goodness you've got people from all time zones watching your progress -- whether or not you knew it someone was sending positive thoughts your way all through your night.

- OB

Saturday, February 18, 2006

We Do it for Those Who Can't

Pete, you're good. Laptop, easy chair. I only hope I can one day match your perserverance.

Tim, your dedication is awe-inspiring. Le Grand Noir? Man, you've done this before.

Supporting Jill and others out on the Alaskan tundra is serious business, and I almost cracked. I know I need to sleep for those who can't. I know it's my reponsibility to have a hearty home-cooked meal in support of those who are sucking down frozen PowerBars. I won't feel right if I can't hunker-down on the sofa just for those who are sitting on a frozen saddle.

My training methods have shown-up in a bit of inconsistency today -- I nearly cleaned the basement...and at the last fraction-of-a-second as my hand was going toward the running shoes my mental game snapped back at me: what are you doing? get your head in the game now, or you'll lose it all! Concentration has always been my downfall. I shook it off and grabbed the walking shoes and car keys instead as I headed out for an hour of grocery shopping. Thank goodness I took that two-hour nap underneath the down comforter. I had the energy needed to try all the samples pushed by the hawkers in the the aisles. Now, all I have left is to finish off my day by crawling underneath the electric blanket. It's late...I hope I'm not shirking my responsibility.

- The Old Bag still has alot to learn
  • Jill's through the second checkpoint!

So, Whad'ya Do

when it's just too cold outside?

5:38 AM: -17 degrees -24 windchill

MEW mmmmmmphfffggllluuhh MEOW mggrrrffff cats MEW I have cats? why-the-heck do I have cats?

6:17 AM: -16 degrees -22 windchill
I still have cats....

6:45 AM: -13 degrees -18 windchill
Bathroom damn the Fri. evening beer. Saturday. Open curtains. Start the coffee...black gold, Texas T Jethro?? I can nap today!

7:05 AM: -12 degrees -18 windchill
Email. Check the outside thermometer. Check the inside thermometer. Turn-on the space heater. Read blogs. Knox thinks he’s over winter just you wait...a day? two days? Tim’s doing the marathon in support of Jill I’m all over that one. Tree’s thinkin’ his choice of cities is just right now just isn’t a good time for me to comment. Nathan rode yesterday...damn! Pete didn't...word. Write entry.

9:23 AM: -8 degrees -18 windchill
Check thermometer. Wander downstairs and put basement cleaning on today's task checklist since I won’t be going anywhere. Temperature in basement: 58 degrees...INSIDE the basement.

10:14 AM: -3 actual degrees -19 windchill
More coffee. Why is noone blogging on a Saturday morning? I need reading material here! Look at carpet. Mental checklist: vacuum, since I won’t be doing anything else today. Write blog entry.

11:13 AM: -0 degrees -19 windchill
Check temperature. Read paper.

11:52 AM: 4 degrees -13 windchill
Check blogs. Look out window. See thermometer. WAHOO -- above zero! still not going out.

1:10 PM: 5 degrees -15 windchill
Eat lunch. Check blogs find a couple new entries. See desk clutter and, since I'm not doing anything else today, it'll be the 3rd task for the day.

4:13 PM: 7 degrees -10 windchill
Shake-off two-hour nap -- HEATWAVE! Check blogs Ptelea was out taking pictures in this stuff?!

4:42 PM: 7 degrees -10 windchill
Back from a roundabout walk to the corner service station...the three blocks with the wind at my back in full sunshine was beautiful. The three blocks in the other direction cost me my face. Whole thing. Fell off. Crashed into pieces on the sidewalk but I got lottery tickets 'cuz it's gotta be me

6:57 PM: 7 degrees -14 windchill
Grocery store strolling is considered a workout.

7:16 PM: 6 degrees -6 windchill
For this evening: a couple NetFlix, the Olympics and lots of fleece as I contemplate what to do with my cool $367 mil Tomorrow's forecast: +18!

- OB

Does it Hurt Yet?

Thanks to Tim over at Bicycles and Icycles for starting the movement. I'm on board as well, sacrificing for the cause...givin' my all for those who are givin' it their all...keeping an eye on the progress.

Dear reader, can you find it within YOU?

- The giving Old Bag

P.S. Good on ya Jill! Thanks for taking us places we can't, don't or won't go!
  • Through the first checkpoint at 12:50 AKST (3:50 CST)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Now This is Just Cold

- The Bag's hunkerin' down

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Need My Commute!

I admit it
I'm a winter commuting weenie
I'll commute if it's above 30
even if it's above 25 and calm
but at 10 I fear the flat
the ice
the clouds that will turn on me in 4 hours
and dump piles of snow
or an inch of snow
or simply
the snow
a r o u n d
12 miles=great distance when the weather's decent
I head out of the city in the morning
and back in at the end of the day
bus routes don't follow my commute
where's the light rail for the southwest metro
I need a bail-out!
or a new ride with studs
...or to ride with a stud


- TOB's jonesin'

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Camp Three: Confluence

My old Smiths have been a conversation piece for years: What’s that thing on your glasses?

Oh man, the first time I wore these back in like 1999 we were heading to Northfield for coffee when...popped into a little bead shop.... Laughs and nods. They’ve been there.

Besides getting a good story, I got USE outta those glasses! They covered my eyes and kept out the wind for over six years. Four sets of lenses were hazy and scratched from years of use. Until this fall. I lost my spare lenses. Now all I’ve got is clear. I started the hunt.

Man, I had no idea. I thought I was looking for sunglasses. Turns-out I’m looking for optics.

I came across issues in my search for optics. I support the local guys. I buy from the LBS. I went to a couple. They tend to carry only one brand, sometimes two with a limited supply of each. Variety! Where’s the variety? I want to walk through a veritable garden of shapes, colors and sizes, pick a bunch and pluck-n-ponder as I twirl through the store and end-up with just the right one for my face and attitude...yes, end-up: a woman finding just the right item is a mysterious and otherworldly confluence of deliberation and fate.

So I went online only to find that online stores carry a myriad of brands but a limited supply -- and the description of each is limited as well.

Targeted search. I’ll go to the brand website. I’ll traipse through and say I’ll take these and find the store locally that carries them and actually be home with enough time to get a decent night’s sleep. But one doesn’t traipse through frames for medium faces, small faces, more coverage...technical glasses, performance attitude line, tactical frames, black lens, smoke lens, polar brown laser lenses, action brown, racing red -- only to get to the local store and find that sorry, we quit carrying that line this year...just gimme me a pair of glasses with red frames that make me look fast!

Optics tend to look great online, but in reality they have hinges that are attached so one side is tighter than the other side leaving them crooked on my face, plastic that looks like it was just pulled off the top of a gallon milk jug...glasses that make me look like I should be carrying a graphing calculator instead of riding a fine piece of technological marvel girl, are you sure that’s your ride?

Through a couple online forums I found two camps when it comes to sport glasses:
Camp 1. Buy cheap! Go to Performance (or to Home Depot for that matter...serious, Home Depot) and drop $20 for clearance glasses. If ya lose ‘em, you’re out $20! All ya need is something that keeps out the sun and crud!

Camp 2. Eyes are things you might not care about, but I care about mine! To keep them safe from projectiles while I’m riding it’s worth it to me to spend $548 every season for lenses that could survive a flying boulder. But I don’t wear those while I ride. I use my $324 ones. You go ahead and mess with your eyes, but I won’t do it!
I ponder this. Where do I fit? I want to not spend an airline-ticket-worth of dollars. Neither do I want to buy Rudys that sit cockeyed on my face. I want lenses that are versatile for changing weather conditions. Red frames. I want deep, rich, cranberry red color that flows around my face shielding it from whatever nastiness is out there. Color and shape that draw the double-take man, she’s fast!

And I want them to match my outfit.

- The Old Bag's lookin' for the magic

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Have WE got a Winter Race

Tour de Skyway

Only 20 degrees out? We're takin' it to the skyways of St. Paul! (if the vid is no longer the featured one on the page, hit the search tab and enter skyways -- you'll find two).

To find the full headcam of the race, hit the search tab and type in full headcam -- about 4 minutes worth, with the best section riding down the flight-o-linoleum-stairs! St. Paul Pioneer Press has articles from 1/15 and 2/9 and one more video.

- TOB's thinkin' Minnesota's alright

Friday, February 10, 2006

Spelling B

From Gwadzilla through Rocco: spell with FLICKR.

Hit refresh to spell with different letters. Click just one letter to change it. But not here. Go there.

- TOB can't really handle much THINKING tonight

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Steel Bikes, Black Coffee, Black T-Shirts


Go here.
Buy a shirt.
Ordered 2/2.
Arrived on 2/8.
Six short days from keystroke
to my bod. Soft. Quality.

- TOB's is glow-in-the-dark and ya can't have it

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I'm still around, really I am, but between being under the weather for too many weeks of '06 and having great weekend company and having to make some work-related decisions I'm hanging low for a few...

...if all we had to think about was the ride...

...which maybe means I haven't been riding enough!

- The Bag's refueling :-]

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Winter Again

we celebrated the snowfall
partied on our skis
excitement was pervasive
this could be the year
until the warm breezes rolled
sidelined but we knew
cold would come again
waited with anticipation

a late-year snowfall kissed us
dancing on skies
through New Year’s weekend
Happy 2006!
to mid-January

warmth wandered through
a second time
knowing it wouldn’t
couldn’t stay
yet hanging-on long enough to be a pest

we over-filled our days
epic cross-country skiing
snow was perfect trails perfect
temperatures perfect
rising and falling with the terrain
tied to the forces beyond us
the silent sport
became joyously raucous
thirty of us reveled in
the rhumba on the skinny boards

returned home
exhausted endorphined
the warm damp ground
smelling of grass green-brown
skis came inside
retired at the height of their performance

the ride sensed the roads
somewhat hesitant
knew it didn’t quite belong
to January
not content to stay inside
bicycled to work
pet food
in the warmth of January


it was too soon
knew it
fell for it
and then temps
as well

winter is loved for its intensity
brightness and sparkle
the chill that allows us to partake
sometimes reminds us
of the benefits of cozy hibernation
but now it’s just playing
a nasty game
with a cyclist
who skis in the off season

- TOB got the skis back out and had a nice cold weekend....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Can We Which?!

chances here now there
freezing thaw clouding-over
bright sunshine the snow

the bicycle the skis the
excitement calm excitement
can we which one which

warm sunshine this day
in marrow the next freezing
snowfall day after

which one which is it
day starts cold drab brightening
enough to melt tracks

the ride patiently
waiting the skis bound alert
the bags filled to run

which one for how long
trails the road both in a day
which one which is it

can we please ahead
make the decision to be
or to not


- this Minnesota weather is getting to the OB