Monday, May 26, 2008


Motivation is a fickle mistress.

My good friend Bobby T says that Mother Nature is a fickle mistress, and I agree, however reading the KNW blog on THE WELL has made me realize that there are many fickle mistresses.

After an eventful but unproductive spring for cycling, it is difficult to get back into the saddle...consistently. I watched my weight go up by eight pounds. My diet is more "carefree". Time spent with the kids is more deserving. Work is more demanding. The weather has been for shit...The list goes on. It is time to get back on that horse, cast away the depression, the doubt and the excuses. Ride or get ridden.

MAY 06, 2oo8

I planned out a brutal course for 5 of us, hilly enough to make us hurt a bit, but I never planned on wind that nearly blew us off the road. We normally start riding into the wind, so I was fortunate that the wind was in the right direction for this ride. Supercrash brought a first timer, and although I was quite doubtful at the start, Brian gave me a lesson in judgement. It was 50 miles of wind and hills before he showed signs of weakness. Now, we don't have mountains, just hills that are short and steep. This picture by Supercrash shows Brian at his breaking point that day. I had plenty of pain in my legs at this point so the photo is by no means a shot at Brian, merely of him.

This was also the first day on a new ride. I decided sell my Trek 2100 because the geometry was different than my Cervelo Soloist. The logical choice was another Cervelo, this time the Team aluminum. After buying a complete bike, I needed to swap parts to make it the way I wanted. Other than the seat, it was a great first day on it. There have been a few adjustments since that time, but nothing major. Cervelo makes a great bike in my opinion.

The Cable Area Off Road Classic kicked my unconditioned butt recently. I have video that I would like to post, but it all takes time. Next time....right? Here is to Scope, off to Japan for two weeks. May you find a bike, good fast sleep and warm sake at your beck and call my friend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Out Of England, Into The Fire

Blogging has fallen behind. Life has gotten in the way. April was a shitty month....Period.

From the moment I landed in England I learned that my son was sick with flu-like symptoms. No big deal, right? Well it is a bit of a deal because I am thousands of miles away and he is only five. I feel for him, and my wife who has to deal with it in my absence. To make things a bit worse, two weeks earlier we found out that her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Not a great two weeks.

But wait, it gets better. After I got home, and retrieved my truck with the new transmission, things looked good. My son had seemed to recover; my mother-in-law was starting treatment. Life was on track. But as you know, things are rarely what they seem. Two days after my return, there was trouble with my mother in law. Things were getting worse, fast. I took the first bike ride in a long time on Wednesday, April 23rd. Bob and I went for a quick 27 mile ride and finished in time for me to make it to my son's first soccer practice, with pictures afterward. At the exact same time that my wife got a phone call from her sister, my son started complaining of stomach pains. I figured it was from the Gatorade he slammed during practice, but he barely made it through pictures before running to the toilet.

You guessed it, my wife's sister was the bearer of bad news and her mother was gone. Six weeks is a short period of time for cancer. I find little solace in saying that "perhaps it is good that it went quickly". Pavel (my son) was oblivious to "nana kitty's" passing as his stomach pains worsened. Three hours later I woke a riding friend that is also a doctor and gave him the lowdown. Here comes a trip to the ER!

While I was in England and he was sick, a stool sample was sent out for analysis. Tested positive for the Norovirus and that would prove important over the next 18 hours. Getting an IV shunt, blood drawn for testing, x-rays, urinalysis, drinking barium and a CT Scan in on a five year old before 5am is not easy. I am utterly amazed that we actually had all that done that quickly. Glad I have insurance.

Nothing came back indicating appendicitis as they expected. The only explanation is that the Norovirus had cause inflammation in his lymphatic system and caused pains that mimicked appendicitis. After another round of blood work showed his white blood count to be back to normal, he was allowed to eat. First time in 28 hours. He was extremely happy. At 5:30pm that Thursday we were dismissed.

My wife had zero time to come to grips with the fact that her mom was gone because our son was in the ER. After a few days, it was off to the visitation and funeral in Hector, Minnesota. Everything happened so fast that I am not sure we still understand what our family went through.

Time will allow us to heal, but six days after the funeral, Pavel is running a fever for the third day. Elementary schools are a lab experiment. I am convinced of that. As I write this, I am sneezing and blowing my nose repeatedly. Virtually four weeks without a steady ride pattern has left me with little care about my weight gain and lack of training. I would settle for a reprieve for my family. Biking is always been second or third.

Some good news bike related. I made some decisions about my rides and have made many changes. I hope to write about them tomorrow and include plenty of pictures. Yes Supercrash, I will post yours as well.