Category Archives: Just Life

St. George Utah / Porcupine Rim Issues

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That is where I’m at.  Vincent has some computer work to do here this week.  St. George is an interesting town. I’ve only been here once, for a day, so I didn’t get the lay of it much.  But, I’m sure I will now.

We drove here yesterday.  I didn’t drive.  Both Vincent and I had “issues” riding Porcupine Rim Trail on Saturday.  Vincent dislocated his ring finger, like really dislocated it, going over a cattle guard, through a fence, with wet tires.   He did it pretty early, up above the normal Porcupine descent, where there was still snow.   So he was having trouble holding onto the bars.  And still is.

I fell nearly at the bottom, right before the trail turns to singletrack by the river road.  I was following Vincent and went off a small, maybe 1 foot drop, but Vincent’s rear tire moved a loose rock over and I landed on it with my front wheel.  And I got crossed up and high-sided onto my left side.  At least I think that is what happened.

I was going pretty fast and slid on mostly rock.  Incredibly, I didn’t lose too much skin.  The downside is my left shoulder isn’t working too well.  The worse part was having to ride the last 10 miles back to Moab.

I’ve been icing it and taking a bunch of ibuprofen.   I should probably get it looked at, at least a picture of it.

KU advance to the Sweet 16 yesterday fairly easily.  At least the last 6 minutes of the game.  I was reading the score on my phone on the drive.  It was close most of the game and the final score didn’t really show how close it was most the time.  The next round is in Kansas City, a real home court advantage for Kansas.

How about Coryn Rivera winning the Trofeo Binda race last weekend?  Pretty big result for her. I’m going to miss watching her win all the US criteriums this year.  She has been racing forever, but is still young, so should go and experience the European scene, not that she hasn’t dabbled in it some already.

Okay, I’m going to take Tucker out and let him run some.  Then dismantle Vincent’s tandem so he can send the fork and shock off to get repaired.  I probably should figure something out with my rear shock too.  And maybe get my shoulder looked at.  Guess it is a busy day, kind of.

 

Porcupine is pretty technical. I was riding this stuff pretty well. But guess not so good on the more wide open, faster stuff.

There were a bunch of people riding unicycles down the trail. I have no idea what that is about. They have disc brakes. I assume it would take a really long time.

Most of the trail is along the edge of a canyon. Sometimes it is just narrow and off-camber.

Nice views from Porcupine Rim Trail.

A guy rode by with a 50 tooth cog on his rear. I would have just used a smaller front ring.

My elbow is alright even though it didn’t look that good initially. It is really my left shoulder.  This is taken in a mirror.

Tucker exploring a stream in Moab.

Bike wash at a hotel in Moab.

Someone was selling this stuff at a rest stop on I-70 in Utah.

KU box score.

Sunrise this morning in St. George.

 

 

 

Landrun 100 is Today

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There is a 100 mile “gravel race” down in Stillwater Oklahoma today.  It is called the Landrun 100.  I’ve never done the race.  I’m not sure I’ll ever do the race.  3 out of the last 4 years, it has rained close to the race day and the course has turned into a mandatory walk for miles.  Miles in red dirt that is sticky.

I know a ton of people that are racing today.  I’m hoping for the best.  I heard that the course was switched up some and that it hasn’t rained there for a long time, so even if the predicted rain comes today, it should be able to hold up better than previously.  I’ll cross my fingers for that.

I actually just checked the weather out and it is raining there currently, with the temperatures in the 30’s.  Man, what bad luck.  It is so hard to stay warm when it is in the 30’s and you are wet. Wet and muddy is a hard thing to persevere through.   Best of luck to everyone.

Tucker got neutered a couple days ago.  He was a very unhappy camper for a day.  I think it was more from anesthesia than from the procedure.   He woke up the next morning feeling much, much better.  He can run off leash for a couple more days and has so much energy now.  He is going a bit stir crazy.

I found a pipe wrench a couple days ago riding.  It was too heavy to carry, so I threw it into deep grass by a highway sign and drove out there yesterday and picked it up.  It had a bunch of surface rust, but my brother Kris, cleaned it up and it should be fine.  It is an 18″ Trimont pipe wrench.  It is an antique, which means that it is a nice tool.  I’ll make good use of it.

It is supposed to start snowing here in an hour or so.  It is in the 30’s, so 30 degrees colder than a couple days ago.  The training race today has been cancelled.  Hopefully the Perry race will be fine tomorrow.  It is only supposed to snow 1 inch and it is supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow, so it should be fine.

Alright, guess I need to get some inside stuff done today.  I’ve ridden nearly 400 miles this week already, so if I ride to the race and back, plus racing, it should be enough miles, so I don’t need to worry too much about getting out today.

Landrun 100 start this morning.

This is Jason Irwin last year. He went out to finish 12th overall, 2nd singlespeed. This is 40 miles in.

This is when it gets really ugly.  Here is a link to more photos.

Tucker was getting a lot of attention from Wink.

Pipe wrench.

Pipe wrench cleaned up.

Caffeine potentially on WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances

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I saw a Washington Post’s article this morning that said that caffeine is on a list at WADA that lists it as a on  a “waiting list of prohibited substances”.

The article says-

WADA added caffeine to its Monitoring Program for 2017 so experts could study whether athletes are using the substance “with the intent of enhancing performance.”

WADA’s study will continue through September, at which point the agency will issue a three-month notice that the substance will be added to the Prohibited List the following year. To be added to the prohibited list, the substance must meet two or three criteria: 1) It has the potential to enhance performance; 2) It poses a health risk to athletes; and/or 3) It violates “the spirit of sport.”

Caffeine, ie coffee or caffeine sodas, was banned for use in competition before 2003.  But there was a threshold, so you could drink coffee, but not just 5 double espresso before the start of a race.

I guess they are going to do a study to see how much caffeine an athlete can ingest to add in athletic performance.  I hope they aren’t going to be super strict, because from personal experience, just a small amount of caffeine aids in lots of different things, but for sure, athletic performance.

I assume that they are going to set thresholds once again.  The thresholds were pretty high before, so maybe they need to lower them a bit.  I’m sure there are guys out there consuming a ton of caffeine in athletic competition, so I, hesitantly, have to agree a ban needs to be enacted.

Pretty Nice Weekend for Cycling

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Today it is “only” going to be around 60 degrees.  Then it is supposed to get nice.  I think that 60 is going to be the low high for the next two weeks.  So much for March still being winter here in Kansas.

I know a bunch of friends that can hardly wait until daylight savings time starts on March 12th.  So that is a week from this Sunday.  That is the day that all the guys that work can actually get out and ride, with having to use lights. I understand their anticipation.  According to the forecast below, it is only going to be 69 here that day.

I’ve been riding some.  Not huge miles but okay miles considering.  The problem here is when it is so unseasonably warm in the winter is that it is nearly always pretty windy.  And Kansas can be windy.

Kansas is one of the windiest states, either 2nd or 3rd highest.  If you click here, there is an active map of where the wind is currently blowing today in the whole US.  A big whoosh of wind is blowing from Texas right up through Kansas, to Canada.  It shows it as in the 30 mph range.  I think it is closer to 20 here, but that is still enough.

Like I said, I’ve been trying to ride more.  Still have a little sickness thing going on, but I’ve been better than most of the people I ride with here.  Topeka got some flu thing bad and so many people have really been down and out.  I heard they had to cancel a high school basketball game because of lack of players.

The wind is hurting me riding solo so often.  Yesterday I decided to ride mostly tailwind first, thinking I could shelter myself on the way home.  It was on gravel both directions.  It sort of worked, but I was still pretty much done after only 70 miles.

I’m not sure if it was lying around for 10 weeks in bed or what, but my endurance, not just in cycling, but in everyday life, has taken a hit from this traumatic brain injury.

I thought, initially, that traumatic brain injury was way too harsh of a description for smacking your head, but there are different severities to whacking your head and somewhere it changes from just a hit or concussion to something that “earns” the name TBI.    I’ll try not to step over that line again if I can help it.

Anyway, I don’t know how I’m going exactly.  My power, according to historical data saved at Strava, seems okay.  But I have no change of pace or top end.  I would love to race a couple short races, just to start getting a some top end form.

Okay, enough of this.

Strade Bianche is tomorrow.   That is a super cool race I wish I could have done once, at least.  WIthout Cancellera around to dictate the end, it is going to be more interesting.

Hope it is good weather where you might be.

Pretty crazy early March temperatures.

Map of the US and how far ahead the season is in days.

The farmers are dumping a lot of ammonia on the fields recently.

Plus, the burning has started. It is supposedly too windy for them to burn, but that doesn’t seem to ever stop them.

Started getting cold coming back yesterday .  Long shadows.

Another one of my favorite houses on the River Road.  This one has always been empty.  I’d like to own it.

 

 

Another Birthday

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Today is my birthday.  Another one.  They keep coming in constant procession.  I’m not normally too big on celebrating birthday.  Still aren’t, but this one is a little different, I think.

This head injury deal has made me appreciate life a bit more.  Not that I didn’t appreciate life a lot already.  It is just that when you might have come close to not having it, you tend to pay a bit more attention to it.

I’ve already lived a couple years longer than my father.  When he died, I didn’t really take into account how old he was and how much potential life he had left.  You don’t do that when you are young.  At least I didn’t.  Now is a different deal.

Both my mother and father aren’t alive.  They lived their lives and I didn’t have much control over them.  They were great parents, but rotten on their own preservation.  They aren’t alone in that category.

Maybe I’m not so good at it either.  Maybe I am, I guess I won’t know that for a while.  I do know that I like living and would surely be disappointed if I quit doing that shortly.  But, it is life, and as we all know, we ultimately don’t have all that much control over the endgame of that.

I have a doctor’s appointment in a couple hours.  Guess I’m going to try to retrain my eyes and ears to work together with my brain better some.  Plus, get some more ear crystals to go back to where they belong.  Seems a little weird, but I tend to be more dizzy after I leave the dizzy doctor than before I went.  Maybe it is like getting active release or something.  It might hurt initially, but is good for you in the long run.

I try to ride my age in miles on my birthday.  I had a friend that used to do that running.  He did that until he was around 50, then switched to kilometers.  Anyway, I haven’t done it in a couple years.  I should skip it this year again since I have a bad head cold, but sort of feel like riding.

Catherine is taking half a day off work, plus Bill is feeling a little better from being sick, so we’ll probably just ride over to Lawrence, just some coffee and ride back.  That is the correct mileage. It is supposed to be nearly 70 degrees today and tomorrow.  I’m not sure we’ll make the one mile for every degree temperature winter rule.  Maybe, but maybe not.  It is supposed to be windy and when that is the case here in Kansas, it is pretty windy.  Should be fun either way.

Okay, I didn’t sleep much last night, from coughing most of it.  Think I’ll try to sleep another hour before heading to the doctor.   It is my birthday, I should be able to sleep in.

Nice picture someone made.

And then I got an email with this, early this morning, like last night. Seems appropriate.

 

 

 

Little Sick, But that’s Okay

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I have feeling like I’m sick for a couple days now.  I’m not sure if it is from flying or from hanging out at doctor’s offices.  Or from something else.  Bill is sick too, so maybe that is the deal.  It is February and it isn’t unexpected.

It has been nice in Kansas weatherwise.  Not today though.  Or yesterday, really.  It was supposed to be 63, but it was only 40 by the time I got out and it dropped from there.  Today the high is 30, windy and a winter mix of precipitation.  Ouch.

I went to a doctor yesterday that specializes in dizziness.  He was good.  His name is Dr. McKnight.  He was a doctor like doctors of old.  Took lots of time to talk to me.  Asked me the right questions, I think, then explained the results of the battery of tests I took.

It gave me hope.  Not really hope, but made me feel more confident in coming out of this TBI (traumatic brain injury) less scathed that could be the case.

I did a lot of balance tests.  Some wearing goggles that recorded my eye movements, and some with complete darkness.  I was pretty stellar when my eyes were open.  In the 98% range, which he said you can’t score any higher because the earth is spinning.   I don’t know about that statement, but I felt pretty stable.

I wasn’t as stable doing the same balancing with no sight.  Only in the 80% range.  Still not bad, but I know I have less balance here than before cracking my skull.

So need to do some vestibulo-ocular reflex exercises to help my brain compensate with the balance issues.  I’m going back on Friday, my birthday, to see his guy that will give me some exercises to do at home to help.

He also said that I have loose crystals in my ear canals still, BPPV, which causes dizziness too. Loose crystals in liquid that throws off equilibrium.  That is a supposed easy fix, but I haven’t had that great of luck with it so far.  He did it again and I guess I’ll see if that worked.

So, that is good.  I haven’t had any dizziness issues recently riding.  Actually, only twice since I have been riding outside, have I even felt anything.  Both times it was just for a second or two and not bad.  That was awhile ago.

I’m going to KU Medical on Monday so see my neurology rehab doctor.  She is great and I am looking forward to seeing her.  I haven’t been there in 6 weeks now.

I am really lucky that I’ve had really good doctors that take time and seem truly interested in my health.  I don’t think that is the norm so much nowadays in medicine.

Anyway, I have a head cold now and feel pretty crummy, but it is sort of funny, because before this head injury, I would have been pretty depressed about being sick.  It is just a flesh wound, not even that, now, compared to what I went through the past 3+ months.  I guess that is one upside to being really bad off for abit.

Tucker has no balance issues. He’ll stay like this forever, or at least until I tell him it is alright to go run.

Release the hounds.

He loves swimming. Even if it is freezing out, if he can find water, he is in it.

He’s an exhibitionist at night, usually.

 

 

A Few Photos from the Past few Days

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I flew into LA and met up with Seth Davidson and his wife.

On a ride with Adam Mills and Robin Carpenter. This is in Solana Beach at Lofty Coffee.

A church on a ride North of San Diego by Couser Canyon. I’m not sure what Revelation 22 12 is, but it must be “moving”.

Sue climbing Couser. I was riding up it with Corky. On Strava, Ned holds the KOM. He was only a bit over 10 minutes faster than us. I bet he was using carbon tubulars.  It’s only 5 mph faster than I climbed it.

These border cops were rifling through a woman’s car. I talked to her after and she said the reason was because she lives in LA and was driving to Chula Vista.  This was in a parking lot at a fruit market in Rainbow.

After the ride Couser ride with Corky and Patty.

Corky and Patty have two horses that wander their compound.

I liked this guy. He is 27 years old.

Mobile tire repair by Mission Bay.

Keith and Tucker returning a lost dog after the ride yesterday.

Lady Gaga warming up before the Super Bowl.