Saturday, May 30, 2009

Of Blessed Tegaderm and Favored Jerseys

I have a beautiful long-sleeved jersey. It's red. It's slim. It's sleek. It's pretty. It’s fast. It's got an M. C. Escher-ish print on the front. It's my fav. It goes with the bit of red on my shoes and ties in well with the silver helmet and black tights old racing saying: if you can't be good, ya gotta at least look good. I wear it whenever I can, but its days are limited to those few chilly spring and fall rides after winter is gone and before summer heat.

I headed out the door last night wearing Escher...the temp was a sunny 70. Thirty minutes later, I walked back into the house: You OK? Wheel asked.

Yeah, I just overdressed. I grabbed a short-sleeved jersey from the pile. It's one that I can't wear often -- doesn't breathe well when it's toasty out, but is perfect for 70. It's one of those bought-it-so-I-wear-it-when-I-can items. I'll even wear it mountain biking, and I always wear my old stuff mountain biking. It's far from cute. Far from my fav.

I dropped my favored, beautiful, red Escher onto the table as I headed out the door.


I just don't spill on the road bicycle. Sure, I gathered my share of road rash during my racing days, but really, given the mileage I was putting in then my percentage of biffs was low. Ideally, it would have been zero, but I was a pretty aggressive cornerer and caught a pedal in training once on an off-camber corner. The other time I was taken out by a teammate who couldn't hold it together after being bumped during a crit. I tried holding her upright, but the bicycles ended up in the curb and we slid off along the sidewalk, right past all the parking meters, street signs and coffee carts.

Back then I learned about Blessed Tegaderm genuflect. It's a bit of heaven, in the form of medical Contac Paper, for road-rashed bodies. Without it, a person faces a month of dried, cracking scabs and a lifetime of scars. With it, new, pink, moist skin forms underneath a protective cover and is one day free to face the outside world again, basically scar-free.

During those racing years, I also taught a beginning racing skills course put on by our club. I worked with the group that really didn't intend to enter into racing; and basically, people came out of class being in more control of their bicycles rather than the other way 'round...pack riding, physical contact, wheel touching, cornering, etc. I came out of it all with some decent riding skills as well...when compared with Joe Recreational Cyclist, at any rate. It's all about about the efficiencies of riding: those subtle position and weight shifts that make cycling safer and easier.

So, I get a bit haughty when it comes to others biffing on the road during a recreational ride. I'm supportive, but in the back of my head, I'm always thinking there's no reason for him to wipe out because of gravel in the corner...she ended up with a broken pelvis because of a paceline blip and she picked a spot she shouldn't have....


When I showed up back at home early for the second time yesterday, Wheel wondered what was up. I did a Superman I told him. My past spills: a Barnum and Baily arse-over-teakettle and a Roller Derby shove from the side. This time, as a friend and I were blabbing, my front wheel caught in some deep sand overwash where the trail curved. It's a spot that's always a bit hairy, but I typically don't think twice about it. I don't exactly know why it happened...probably too light a touch on the bars due to miscalculating the sand depth.

The front wheel immediately pivoted to the side and I launched over the top, except at the slow speed we were going it wasn't spectacular...more like the old Laugh-In bits with the guy on the tricycle. I slowly tipped forward and to the side, arms out to break my landing (luckily nothing injured there). Landed on my stomach of all things. Scraped an elbow and a knee. Humbled.

At home, I showered and began applying the Blessed Tegaderm genuflect. Wheel looked at my jersey: Oh, that's too bad, your jersey is ripped!

I grabbed my favored, beautiful, red, long-sleeved M. C. Escher jersey still sitting on the table from my earlier change. I smiled.

No it isn't!

- OB whew!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Besides Riding

Wheel likes buildin'

I like getting my hands dirty

Finished, but not quite

- OB I am so tired....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekend Stats far...

Miles Ridden
: 120-ish
Number of Intervals in Zone 4: 4...I used to know my zone 4
Heartbeats per Minute: wait a minute -- like, wear a monitor?
Weight: +-5 lbs from where I was last week, last month, last summer
Length of Time Sitting at Coffee Shops During Rides: 2.15 hours
Coffee Consumed: 2 depth charges
US Issues Solved while Sitting at Coffee Shops During Rides: bailouts, domestic car makers, bankruptcy
Guys Pretending to Read Newspaper but really Listening-in on our Conversation at Coffee Shop: one
Guys Now Enlightened due to Listening-in on our Conversation at Coffee Shop: one
Guys Wearing Gym Shorts while on Tri-Bicycle:
Friend's Shifting Issue Solved: one
Number of my Arms Developing a Well-Defined Farmer Tan:
two :-(
Sun on My Nose: lots
Muscles Tired: all of 'em

-The now I'm Old off to Bag take a nap

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thanks 'Bite

Last weekend, Wheel and I headed to South Dakota for my nephew's graduation I've gotta lose a couple of years if I'm going to party like that and we hooked up with Snakebite and his SO for a ride around Sioux Falls. The 19 mile trail shows off all the faces of Sioux Falls: plains (obviously, from the pic below) and the beautiful Falls Park; and winding trail next to the river, through neighborhoods into downtown. It was a great ride after nearly four hours of sitting in the car.

Me showing off awesome cycling form while snapping photos.

Snakebite does a better job of it.

Every day on the bicycle is a good day.

Gotta have a coffee stop.

Over the years, with only the blog as an introduction, I've met up with 7 or 8 other cyclists (and family in some cases) in places as far away as Arizona and Alaska. Pretty cool.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Days

just don't


- The 14 more days 'til real summer begins Bag

Monday, May 18, 2009

Is it the Same?

Time isn't holding us
Time isn't after us

- OB what are you doing with your time?

Thanks, Pilder, for the reminder:
you may find yourself
in a place where

Can’t Do
Can’t Do Without

and you may ask yourself
how did I get here?


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Of Frosties and Free Will

I can easily ride past Wendy's without stopping for a Frosty.

I do not need a Frosty every time I pass Wendy's on the commute home.

I am fully capable of riding right past Wendy's on my commute.

My commuter is able to stay on the trail as I ride right past Wendy's.

It's not like I have to have a Frosty every time I commute.

- tob I can quit any time I want to

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

When All Hope is Lost

...what else

is there

to do

but to




- OB thanks Tim!

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy"
-Benjamin Franklin, via my Sock Guy cycling socks so I know it's true

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's not About Being Efficient

Work is a bit sucky these days...budget shortfalls, bla bla. Today, we heard from the hill that they wanted our suggestions for "efficiencies". In other words, whose job isn't worth what yours is worth...justify your own in five words or less.

You know, elementary teachers are inherently kind, middle-aged, motherly types. It's why we're drawn to spending our days with 8-year-olds. Some of us are there because we're plump and we hug well. Some of us are there because kids make us laugh. On Halloween we actually work dressed as pumpkins, robots and scarecrows. People leave the business world for teaching because there aren't enough scarecrows in the workplace.

Bottom line, it's fun. But, it's also tough work. There are kids who aren't so huggable. There are heads that are a bit scary to look inside. There's required testing that masks real learning. There are constraints in budget, manpower, materials and assistance. But, we're all in it together, and there's the beauty: it's a place of support, honesty and ethics.

Given who we are and why we're there, it's tough to diminish each other's work to the point that it's an efficiency.

In the middle of the day as the buzz in everyone's conversation was on the morning's lousy beginning, my mind was on the morning's beautiful commute...and on the fact that I would be getting back on the bike at the end of the day for the ride home.

And my mind was on the couple we laughed with outside Cub Foods yesterday as we wolfed down brats and chips during our grocery-getting ride...and on the guy on a smoke break outside Costco wondering how-the-heck we were going to haul a load from the warehouse home on our bikes.

I have no neat or cute wrap-up message for this post. Things just suck sometimes.

But you know, life isn't only about what we do during 8 hours of our day.


Sunday, May 03, 2009


a baiku

must be warm spring temps
after a winter of fuzz
my legs finally shaved

- OB ....and no, I'm not posting a picture....