Archive for December 2010
My goal going into both the week of Christmas and New Years was to take 1 day off from work each week to ride. Why? Because both holidays ended up falling on a Saturday resulting in a weak ass break from work. I took last Thursday off to ride with Coach Hanna, and for this week I took off today to finally feed my Grapevine craving. I’ve had Grapevine on the brain for weeks now and I had to scratch that itch – or it was going to kill me. I met up with Hanna and BW at Starbucks in Golden with the intention of riding Lookout with them. The three of us ended up running into Bachick, Applebottom, and Welker on Lookout too. After riding a mild TEMPO pace up Lookout, we re-grouped and discussed where we all intended on heading. I had just one thing on my mind: GRAPEVINE. Of course no one wanted to accompany me to Grapevine, which was fine by me, I needed no one else to have fun climbing my favorite climb in Colorado. Off I went to hit Red Rocks, then climb Hwy 74 to Grapevine. I hate to sound like a broken record but Grapevine lived up to the billing. Each and every time I ride this climb I’m in heaven. There were no clouds at all in the sky and the sun was shining. I danced my way up Grapevine to the first overlook on the right hand side. The view was breathtaking. I climbed further still to begin the dirt section. Dirt freaking rules. It was nicely packed and had few patches of corduroy. I crested the top, popped a gel and bar, and was on my way down again. I took a look at Shingle, then looked at my clock and decided it was prudent I continue to Bang so I could have my much needed Americano and Wall Street Journal. Sorry Shingle. I’ll hit you up later.
I bombed down Rt. 40 and into Golden and then onto the Cherry Creek path. When I finally arrived at Bang I was starving for that sweet sustenance only an Americano can deliver. I indulged a little and got a grande instead of my usual tall. It was perfect. I grabbed the Journal from the shelf and read my heart away while sipping on pure joy. After an hour or so of reading I headed home. The weather was stellar. I even took my gloves off for most of the ride home.
Here’s another joy of cycling: riding bare-handed while wearing winter gear. So Euro.
I arrived home with 71 miles, 5,000 feet of climbing, and 2,600 KJs in 4.25 hours. I could not have asked for a better ride or a better day. When I got home I realized that a Fulham game recorded while I was out. SCORE! I sat down with a gigantic smile on my face and watched my favorite team stomp Stoke City. A much needed win indeed.
In sum: I rode my favorite climb, went to my favorite coffee shop, drank my favorite Americano, read my favorite newspaper, and watched my favorite team while wearing my favorite robe. It doesn’t get much better than this does it? Life is good.
“Your government cannot protect your property by stealing half of it first.” (For us in the United States, it might be more like 40%, not half).
“It cannot protect your money by forcing you to use a currency it counterfeits at will.” (The Federal Reserve).
-from Stefan Molyneux’s video, the Story of Your Unenslavement. I’m not too crazy about his conclusion, as is typical for Stefan it focuses entirely too much on child rearing, but I couldn’t get away from those two quotes. How incredibly succinct he made two complicated ideas. The video as a whole is definitely not one of his better ones. But…
The first quote touches on what originally troubled me about minarchism. The contradiction (as Walter Block puts it, a “rights violating rights protector”) really jumped out at me as I first read Bastiat’s “The Law” long ago. It made me question the idea of a government at all. Which of course led me down the path to market anarchism via Murray Rothbard, Hans Hoppe, David Friendman, Bob Murphy, etc.
Ohhhh the holidays. What’s not to love? Family, friends, presents, and loads of time off to put in some serious work on the bike.
The Thursday before Christmas I took off to do some riding and take Briks out for a movie. I rode in the morning with Coach Hanna. We decided to hit up a couple Boettcher repeats. We didn’t take it too hard, just easy TEMPO riding for me. We ended up doing two full repeats, so I clocked around an hour and change in my zone 3. I got home much earlier than I anticipated, so instead of seeing the later showing of Black Swan, Briks and I got to go earlier and see True Grit. And let me tell you: TRUE AWESOME. The script was unbelievable. The acting was top notch. Jeff Bridges and the brand new girl, Hailee Steinfeld you’ll be hearing much more about in the future, were phenomenal. Highly highly recommend it. You really can’t go wrong with the Coen brothers can you?
Friday was our Christmas Eve team ride, and luckily for me, we met up in Golden at 10 so I got to sleep in. This time it was me, Hanna, Jordo, and Brad Swenson. We headed towards Morrison via Heritage Square, and took Rt. 8 towards Deer Creek Canyon. When we got to Deer Creek, Hanna broke off and the 3 of us took a little detour for the Grizzly climb – up and over to Valley Road. We cut through Chatfield to get to the path and took that sucker straight up to REI. Jordo and I did an hour straight of zone 2 on the stupid path. Jordo was in heaven. I was just kinda bored. But I know that type of non-stop zone 2 is exactly what the doctor ordered for this time of year. It ended up being a shorter day – only 3.5 hours. But a damn good ride for Christmas Eve.
Saturday, Christmas Day I rested. Like little schoolchildren, Briks and I woke up at 7:45 and began our first ever Christmas together. We went straight for the stockings and watched each other open them up. It was awesome we even had stockings. My parents sent them along with the gifts, and I really didn’t think much of it until Christmas Day. They were a hit! We got some awesome Trader Joe’s food! And that rules because there is still no Trader Joe’s in the state! BOOO. Then we had the amazing quiche she made, along with some cuties and coffee. After that it was the pièce de résistance: the presents! What a Christmas. We both spoiled each other, along with the spoiling our families gave us. I can’t even go into all the presents we got, but let me say that I am extremely fortunate to have the parents I have, the future in-laws I have, and wonderful fiancee I have. It all came together beautifully this year for our first holiday season away from the East Coast.
And now we’re at today. Instructions were to meet at Bang at 8:30, which entails me getting up at 6:45am, per the usual. I could barely sleep last night for some reason so getting up that early was no big deal. When I finally headed out the door at 7:45, my Garmin decided to run a software update when I turned it on. Needless to say, I lost the first 3 or 4 miles of my ride as it was figuring itself out. I somehow got to Bang early – per the usual – and tried to piece my Garmin back together again. All the settings were set back to factory settings. And factory settings suck ass. About the ride, yeah. The ride was pretty epic. It was a real east coast sorta ride. We headed out to the Airport to do our loop out and around, then up through Brighton. The pace was super steady the whole time. No lulls, no bullshitting. Just lots of zone 2. Instead of taking the path back from Brighton, we took Brighton Rd to York through Denver. I headed through LoDo and got caught up in the Broncos game traffic at REI. Stupid Bronco fans. Stop showing up. Your team sucks. I ended up with 95 miles in 4.75 hours and a whopping 2,900 KJs of work. Pretty awesome for no hills. And we ended up riding the coveted east coast Fred’s life’s goal: a 20 mph average for 100 miles. Funny thing about that: we accidentally did it. Silly Freds.
Now I’m sitting on the couch after eating some food and having a delicious cappuccino from our brand new espresso machine (Thanks Lyga family!!) We’re going to head out in a bit and see Black Swan. It’s gonna be awesome!
This video is short and to the point. It simply begs the question, “if you aren’t willing to use violence or make threats against peaceful people yourself, why do you take for granted that others are doing this in your name, with your money?” If you aren’t willing to pull a gun to rob Peter in order to give to Paul, then what makes it okay for others (with fancy uniforms or titles) to do the same thing supposedly on your behalf? And if it is okay to to threaten violence against Peter to give to Paul, why would it be immoral to threaten violence against Peter and to give to yourself? Theft is theft. If theft is virtuous in some instances, why not in all instances? What is the distinction in your mind?
Just some questions to ponder. The links they give at the bottom of the page are great primer’s on a voluntary society – where theft and other forms of initiating violence is immoral forever and always, in all circumstances.
My steez = good steez.
This steez = bad steez.
Hello Kitty? Really? Whack steez Alerio Agnoli. Real whack.
Remember that classic Eddie Merckx quote in response to someone asking him the “secret” to becoming a great cyclist? “Ride lots.” Turns out, the great Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi said something similar years earlier when asked how to train. “Ride a bike, ride a bike, ride a bike.” Aldo Sassi, in his typical brilliant way, made an addendum to Coppi’s remark – and at the same time, whether he knew it or not – to Merckx’s remark: “but first choose your parents carefully!”
There are a million great cycling quotes out there. (Phil Liggett is a source of at least one million quotes himself). One of my other favorites is Greg LeMond’s classic: “It never gets easier. You just go faster.” And like Applebottom told me, almost the entire book, “The Rider” is quotable.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this, but I guess I was inspired by Aldo Sassi’s addition to the “ride your bike” training advice. Genetics play a huge part in how much we can achieve in nearly every area of our life. Don’t believe me? Try becoming a scientist with your awkwardly low IQ. Better yet, forget the NFL, try making your high school varsity football team as QB while standing 5 feet 7 inches tall. It ain’t happening. No team wants a QB that can’t see over the linemen.
Cycling is no different. I’ll never be great. In fact, I’ll never be really good. All I can hope for is getting as close to my physical ability as possible, while having as much fun as possible.
That is success.
Another solid weekend of work on two wheels.
Friday: Rode with Coach Hanna before work. I wanted to do a couple Lookout repeats, with the first effort near full gas – aka, near FTP. First time up, I clocked 261W for 25 minutes and change. Didn’t feel terrible, didn’t feel great. Just kind of meh. But not too bad an effort. Second time up we took it pretty easy. Ended the day with 2.5 hours under the belt.
Saturday: I took the morning off to hang out with my lovely fiancee. We didn’t set the alarm that morning, and what a great feeling that is. When we woke up we headed up to Forza Coffee Company in Westminster. It’s a real cool little place with lots of character. And damn good espresso. We got our Americanos and breakfast sandwiches and just like last time, they were dee-lish. Highly recommend that place. Unfortunately, they only have one location in Colorado. They told me that their Westminster location is their test site, and if it is as successful as they think it will be, they will indeed expand to other Colorado locations. In other words, GO THERE. For our sake.
Anyways, after coming back from the coffee shop, I had to go out for a spin and try out the new steez. I won’t go into that ride again, but it was fun. Lots of zone 2 and easy spinning down south to enjoy the scenery. Ended up with another 2.5 hours.
Sunday: I woke up this morning with a slightly, okay, very upset stomach from all the gorging last night at Mark and Adrienne’s house. I won’t go into the gory details, but I will say this: MANY treats were consumed with total disregard for my well being. Needless to say, I paid the price the following morning, and was unsure I’d make it out to the ride. Fortunately, the ol’ stomach came around by the time I made it out to Golden to meet Jordo and Applebottom. Again the steez impressed me. It was frigid on my way out. I think it was around 22 or 23 degrees when I left. And I ended up riding the whole way out there with my steez fully up and protecting my face. My sweet, innocent, baby bottom of a face. Once we left the ‘Bucks, the cold became more manageable as we climbed our way to Morrison and eventually to High Grade. Jordo split off and Applebottom and I broke off High Grade. I tried to pin it on 230W the whole way up for some solid tempo work. The legs felt great and it ended up being pretty enjoyable – and stinkin’ warm. After heading down to Conifer to get some treats at the gas station, the wind kicked up into gusts and once again I had to call on the protection of my steez. Thank you steez.
The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful, save for the hairy (read: icy) descent through Tiny Town and 285 N. We took Garrison back home, mostly into a headwind. Logged just under 5 hours with lots and lots of solid tempo work. I feel like gorging on food everyday while training gives something akin to ENERGY LEGS.
Weekend totals: 10 hours, lots of KJs, lots of tempo, some solid LT work, and one face-saving steez. Epic.
It’s been three solid weeks of work in a row so now I’m ready to take a mini-break before this coming weekend. I deserve it.
Today’s ride was a revelation. I decided to head out for a couple hours just to stretch the legs and see how my new 3 in 1 solution works out. And survey says… AWESOME (and steezy).
This might have been the only ride I’ve ever had where I actually wanted some wind in my face. I headed down to Wash Park and took Franklin further south to Dartmouth, which to my glee was quite windy east to west. I took Dartmouth east to have the wind at my back first. Then looped around to take Yale back west to have a straight headwind. It was perfect. Not only did I have a straight headwind, but I was also going downhill – this is the norm for riding around here for some reason – descending with a headwind. I went from having my steez around my neck, to fully pulled up over my mouth and nose and just under my eyes.
This is what the steez looks like fully on:
Anyways, it works quite well, even when pulled up over my nose and mouth. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to breathe well and/or my glasses would fog with each breath I took. Fortunately, when pulled all the way up, there is room made over my mouth for breathing via my big Italian nose. Thank goodness for big noses.
I definitely recommend checking it out, or anything that is versatile like my steez is. It’s easy to pull down and up, and doesn’t inhibit breathing like you might think. And the best part – NO RED FACE! Hooray for steez.
No more red face for me after long, brisk winter rides. There always seems to be a strong headwind on the descents that turns my face into a windburned mess. One solution, so I’ve been told by Brika, is Vaseline. Gross. I don’t want to ride around looking like a porn star after finishing off an award winning scene. No, I needed something like a balaclava that would cover my face. But even a conventional balaclava has huge drawbacks. I can’t easily take the damn thing off when I’m climbing or when it gets too hot out later on in the day, and then easily put it back on again for the headwind sections and fast descents. There’s no versatility. With the balaclava, it’s all or nothing. Hmmmm… that got me thinking. I remembered seeing pics of a certain doper sporting a multi-purpose face and neck warmer thing. After some googling, I finally found what I was looking for. A 3 in 1 solution: face, neck, head.
Let’s just say, it won’t be the clenbuterol that keeps my face my cracking this year…
In case my references above didn’t click, maybe this picture will clear things up:
I’m going to give a try today for a little bit. Hopefully it works as well in real life as it does in my head.