Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cellphone Angst

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I drove up to Los Angeles and didn’t bring a phone charger. I didn’t think I would be there that long. Little did I know. Traffic in LA is beyond horrible. For sure, it is one place I could never live. It is impossible to plan anything when you have no idea whether it is going to take you 15 minutes or 6 hours to get to where you’re going.

My iPhone is still not working all that great. The main complaint is battery life. It sometimes lasts a few hours, but not normally. Apple put a new battery in a couple months ago, but that didn’t fix the problem.

So, about half way into the “trip”, my phone’s battery is showing red, which isn’t good. I’ve had some time to think about it now and I truly don’t understand the stress. Intellectually, I can figure it out easily. No phone, no problem, really. But, emotionally, your mind starts playing all these tricks on me that tell me I really need my phone. Like really bad.

I’m thinking about all the potential calls I might be missing. Or if I’m not going to meet up with the people I supposed to see. All these things that rarely ever happen. Plus not being able to check in with people. I think that is the weirdest one.

Somewhere down the line, cellphones became a way to update people we’re close to, what we are doing and where we are at. Like it really matters. It is so strange that we feel that is an important part of our lives. And people that are used to the updates, sort of get worried or stressed that they aren’t getting them. Intellectually it makes no sense, but emotionally it is just there.

I’m half way thinking about just leaving my cell phone at home when I go out and ride. I have only once, that I can remember, had to call someone to come get me during a ride. And if I need that, I’m sure just about anyone I ask will let me use their phone for a call.

The key is having a phone number. I used to have dozens of phone numbers memorized. Now just a few. And maybe only one or two of those are cell numbers. That could be a problem.

I’ll think about the whole thing awhile. Cellphone both add and subtract from a good life experience.

Anyway, I finally made it up to Shimano. I got a few new pairs of shoes and some wheels. Shipping is so outrageously expensive now, I feel it is my obligation to personally pick up stuff when I’m close by. Plus, it’s always nice to catch up with Wayne and the guys up there.

It seems like Wayne is nearly all dressed to ride when I show up.  Kind of strange.  His legs look amazingly fit.

It seems like Wayne is nearly all dressed to ride when I show up. Kind of strange. His legs look amazingly fit.

I haven't had any black cycling shoes for quite a while.  Makes sense for cross and MTB racing.

I haven’t had any black cycling shoes for quite a while. Makes sense for cross and MTB racing.

I stopped in Laguna Hills and visited an old friend, Marcel Calborn.  He used to own Celo Europa in Manhattan Beach and now is down south.  He is a true master mechanic.  His current shop is almost of mirror image of his old shop.  I can't believe the number of steel frames he has.  Very old school, which is appropriate.

I stopped in Laguna Hills and visited an old friend, Marcel Calborn. He used to own Celo Europa in Manhattan Beach and now is down south. He is a true master mechanic. His current shop is almost of mirror image of his old shop. I can’t believe the number of steel frames he has. Very old school, which is appropriate.

This Delorean passed me right by the nuclear power plant north of Camp Pendleton.  I hadn't see a Delorean in a long time and it made me chuckle it was right near a nuclear power plant.

This Delorean passed me right by the nuclear power plant north of Camp Pendleton. I hadn’t see a Delorean in a long time and it made me chuckle it was right near a nuclear power plant.

Taking Nothing for Granted

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I was reading an article at Cyclingnews this morning about how the Worlds was David Millar’s last bicycle race. He had a couple quotes that resonated with me. “It’s not how you dream it’s going to finish. DNF-ing at the Worlds. But it doesn’t really matter to me, I sort have an over-riding sense of relief I don’t have to go through this sort of suffering any more.” “I’m really relieved, it’s unbelievable. I’m happy that it’s done and I can move on and leave it behind.”

After reading these, it seems like the guy didn’t quit early enough. This sport is way too hard to be having this sort of response about his last race. Or maybe he was just in a complete funk from not finishing his last race? Whatever the reason, I guess he is “lucky” that it is over for him.

I’ve never had those kinds of thoughts. I truly enjoy the sport, the lifestyle and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Recently, being hurt so badly, I’m a little up in the air about the future, but nothing like, “I wish I could quit bike racing and be relieved.” Or even worse, “leave it behind.” That guy has some demons in his closet, which he should. I’ve never been a David Millar fan. I’ve posted a couple times about his stupidness. I think he’s going to just have to try to live with his legacy now.

On a more positive note, I had a pretty good weekend, yes, riding my bike. It was warm and blustery in North County. My knee is feeling a little better, which is a relief. I normally wouldn’t even worry at all about a squeaky patella tendon, but it seems, as I age, these things can become chronic. So, it’s better to address them early.

It always amazes me how many people ride up and down the coast in North County. Especially on the weekends. Hoards and hoards of them. I’m not sure why, but it is always more fun riding when others are out riding. At least that was the case yesterday.

The temperatures have “dropped” here today. A high of 73, instead of the upper 70’s. Time to get out the parkas. In Cable, it was the upper 70’s yesterday and now today, the 40’s. Plus rain. That is a big change.

Okay, here are some pictures from yesterday.

Dog beach, in Del Mar, was pretty crowded yesterday.

Dog beach, in Del Mar, was pretty crowded yesterday.

I saw this solar panel structure out east on the ride yesterday.

I saw this solar panel structure out east on the ride yesterday.

Sue out riding yesterday.  She has sort have become a weekend warrior, being super busy at work.  She does commute, 16 miles a day, though, staying amazingly fit.

Sue out riding yesterday. She has sort have become a weekend warrior, being super busy at work. She does commute, 16 miles a day, though, staying amazingly fit.

Stopping at Pannikin.

Stopping at Pannikin.

I got a pretty good cinnamon roll at the Farmer's Market in La Jolla yesterday.

I got a pretty good cinnamon roll at the Farmer’s Market in La Jolla yesterday.

I got these mini-bands from Steve Myrland,  a strength and conditioning friend from Madison.

I got these mini-bands from Steve Myrland, a strength and conditioning friend from Madison.

It is kind of creepy that a magnet sticks to my leg now.

It is kind of creepy that a magnet sticks to my leg now.

On the way back up to Mt. Soladad.  I've never seen anyone in this house.

On the way back up to Mt. Soladad. I’ve never seen anyone in this house.

World Road Championships

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Did you get a chance to watch the end of the World Road Championships this morning? The organizers made a pretty good course with the final selection coming at the very end. Pretty good finish. I think it is so interesting watching the dynamics within the country teams compared to trade teams. I think the rain made a huge difference, taking risks on the final descent reaped huge rewards. Kwiatkowsk made his move on a descent, held it up the climb and railed the final descent to maintain his gap. Here’s the last few kilometers. Like I said, pretty good finish.

Universal Sports sure jacked up the end of their coverage, not showing the final podium.  This is the only shot of the jersey presentation.  Kind of anticlimatical.

Universal Sports sure jacked up the end of their coverage, not showing the final podium. This is the only shot of the jersey presentation. Kind of anticlimatical.

SoCal

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I flew out to Southern California a couple days ago and time has flown. I came out looking for a new car. I’d like an AWD Sienna van, but it isn’t working out, as of now. But, there are a ton of cars on Craiglist, between San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles.

A couple days ago, I drove from Cable to Winona and got a permanent fix for my front teeth from Dr. David Gilmer. We had to leave Cable by 5:15am to get there by 9. David was super quick and the fix is great. Trudi and I then drove straight to Minneapolis, which is just a couple hours, and headed over to Grand Performance, where Pat and Gwen live above, to borrow a bike bag. It worked out perfect, better than perfect, because Pat pretty much packed my bike for me.

I got out here and made it to La Jolla good. Then things started going sideways. Somehow my I sort of hurt my right knee somehow. I was riding singletrack with Bill or Pat, in Cable, and it popped a little, right on the patella tendon. Then when I started riding here, just on the coast, my right knee, right above the kneecap, by the tendon coming off the IT band, started aching. I’ve not been riding much and have been taking ibuprofen.

So, I’ve been a little bit of a handyman around Don and Sue’s. Their washing machine and toilet broke, so I put in a new pump in the washer and a new pressure regulator in the toilet. I also went swimming in the ocean twice now. It is amazing how buoyant I feel in the salt water. The water is pretty warm compared to the lake water up in Cable. I haven’t been in the ocean for a long time. There are pretty big waves going on right now, so I have a hard time, with my gimpy hip, getting out at the beach. It is super good my my hip, other than that. I frog kicked for nearly a half hour yesterday. Plus walking on the beach is way easier on my hip that on pavement. Pretty good PT.

Yesterday was sort of a write-off, initially. I was fixing the toilet and left the garage door open. Next thing I knew was one of Sue’s dogs was out front. They have two new German Shorthairs, both adopted in the last few months. Hunter, which is 9 years old, tends to like to wander. So, Hank, was out front and Hunter was nowhere to be found. I looked around the house and yard and finally came to the conclusion that he had run off. I got on my bike and started doing laps. I rode down to the park, where they are walked twice a day, but no luck. I did laps around the neighborhood on my bike, then on a scooter. Finally, after a couple hours, I decided to call Sue and tell her. She told me I should go out back and look under the deck. I went out there and, of course, Hunter was hiding under the deck. I was relieved. But, it pretty much blew most of the day. I had been planning on driving up to Shimano in Irving, but that obviously didn’t work. Trying to drive around here on Friday afternoons and evening doesn’t work too well.

Today I’m going to ride up the coast and check out my knee. Plus, there is a car up in Oceanside I want to look at. Hopefully both will work out.

Pat washed my bike before packing it.

Pat washed my bike before packing it.

Pat and Gwen measuring for a tent at the Rivers Eatery.

Pat and Gwen measuring for a tent at the Rivers Eatery.

All tidy.

All tidy.

Dr. Gilmer working on me.

Dr. Gilmer working on me.

There were doing some sort of color guard funeral at the Denver airport.

There were doing some sort of color guard funeral at the Denver airport.

Hunter emerging from his daytime hiding spot.

Hunter emerging from his daytime hiding spot.

Hunter above ground.

Hunter above ground.

Hank just hanging.

Hank just hanging.

And Kaya, their reservation dog, just bouncing around.

And Kaya, their reservation dog, just bouncing around.

At the San Diego airport.

At the San Diego airport.

New washer pump.

New washer pump.

Dismantled toilet.

Dismantled toilet.

Beach where I've been swimming.

Beach where I’ve been swimming.

I’m Sick of Pinning Numbers

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The above statement isn’t true in the short term. I’d love to be pinning numbers on each and every weekend right now, but I’m still hurt, so I can’t. But, long term, pinning numbers is a drag. I can’t believe that someone hasn’t come up with something better to hold the numbers yet. I did a post a few months ago about pinning numbers. It was more about proper number pinning, not the whole process in general.

In general, it sucks. Especially this time of the season, cyclocross. Trying to get your numbers on at a cross race without someone else’s help is nearly impossible. Gettting 4 numbers to lay flat on a skinsuit, while not wearing it, is beyond impossible. Plus, safety pins tend to rip holes in lycra much easier than just a normal jersey. It isn’t close to optimum.

I had heard people using rare earth magnets to hold numbers. I finally got my hands on some and think that it is a good start, but might take a little refining to get it right. If you’ve never had a chance to mess around with super strong magnets, you should order some just to play around. They aren’t expensive and they almost seem magical. Here is a link on Amazon.

I tried to put a number on with just some small magnets and the number slipped out from underneath. But, I see the potential. I saw a company, Racedots, that is making number specific magnets. They are shaped a little different and hopefully will hold the number more secure. They are $40 for 10, which won’t get you to the line in a cross race. I figure you need 9 for a big number(if you’re using the pinning pattern below), so that would be 18, then at least 4 more for each shoulder number, so you need a minimum of 26.

On my earlier post, someone left a comment about using 3M Spray Adhesive 77 to secure numbers. I’ve never tried it either, but right after the post, I was at a local race in Lawrence and saw a guy spraying his number and he raved about it. A can of it is 40 bucks, so you’d better be able to secure a lot of numbers with one can. I’m planning on getting some and trying it out, on an old, junky jersey first.

Okay, I’m just throwing this out there again, trying to get some comments, ect. about how to get rid of these stupid safety pins. I have probably gone through 100,000 pins in my life. Seems like a total waste. There has to be better choices.

Rare Earth Magnets.

Rare Earth Magnets.

I usually pin the number on all side, including a pin on each side, between the corners, plus it is becoming standard, a pin in the middle on the number to hold it down flat.

I usually pin the number on all side, including a pin on each side, between the corners, plus it is becoming standard, a pin in the middle on the number to hold it down flat.