Friday, March 31, 2006

so have i mentioned

how great my wife is lately?
it's like this and like that

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lance don't lie


This recipe for the other white meat was primo, working the crockpot magic.

Big Love

This show is great, it's just like the Sopranos but replace the organized crime with polygamy and move the show from New Jersey to Utah, well maybe it's not like the Sopranos at all, but it is about 50 minutes long. It's kind of like Twin Peaks but without the surreal Northwestern forest-based mythology and the David Lynch weirdness, okay it's really just a soap opera about having multiple wives but check it out.

Monday, March 27, 2006

down da bayou and bonsai

Sunday we headed down da bayou to Houma to see Karen who was passing through town on her way back to Colorado from Itlee. On the drive we passed a sign pointing towards Chauvin, or what is also known as Lance Town. We had a great time, i can't show you any photos because we are a poor family with a broken camera, but Karen was kind enough to post some photos on her site. Her family threw a great BBQ and it was a blast seeing her childhood stomping grounds.

For kicks on the way home, like a cajun Alex Haley, we headed back via Thibodaux, Paincourtville, Labadieville, Napoleonville, Donaldsonville, Plattenville. Lots of "Ryan, that's where your great grandma is from" or "Ryan, your Maggie is from there" etc. etc.

Somewhere around White Castle was where we got the phone call about winning the Bonsai Tree which i picked up Monday night. Mr. Merryl, the president of the Bonsai club, lives at the Northern end of Flannery, near Greenwell Springs Road. I'd never been in that area before and it felt like a whole new town. Talk about a surprise, his back yard is like a Bonsai exhibit. He took me around and showed me his collection of trees, explaining the finer points of the hobby. It was awesome, i had a lot of questions and he asked me if i'd like to watch him construct a tree. Come on now! too cool, so he did. We constructed a new bonsai tree from a juniper potted plant, probably in about 30 minutes. It was very relaxing, i'm hooked.

you are a walking city, you are a walking city, you are a walking city...

With huge HGTV-induced visions in our head, late Saturday afternoon, we headed over to the Parker Coliseum for a garden show which was pretty cool. There were representatives from the BR Rose society, Camelia Society, Hybiscus Society, Pond and Koi Society, Louisiana Bonsai Society (which would prove key later) and many many more. More society than you could shake a garden stake at.

Of all the booths, we had the best time talking with the Bonsai folks and bought a chance to win a tree of our very own. Just to cut to the chase, the drawing was Sunday afternoon and ... we won. I'm picking up our baby (tree) this evening. Very cool

After the show, we decided to strap Ryan into the stroller and take a hike over to Highland Coffees across campus. The weather was perfect and when we got there we decided instead to keep on to the Serrano's baby-friendly patio for some primo dining and brew while watching the Tigers work their way into the Final Four. We tried to catch LSU's sidewalk chalk art show on the way home but unfortunately it was only on Sunday. Great walk though and Ryan loved it.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

LaPlace Report

In team time trials, your performance usually falls into one of two roles, that of pilot or baggage. Saturday morning, i worked hard at being the former but ended up spending a fair amount of time as the latter.

In our warmup i could tell Norm was on for another good day, and i was feeling flat having not ridden much lately. All i could hope was that i'd feel better as the ride went on. I think in my second pull my foot came out the pedal which was foreshadowing on the sloppiness to come.

The wind wasn't strong but it was cross for just about the whole out-and-back flatter-than-IHOP's-finest course. The first few miles we managed at 23-24, then it just went up for the rest of the ride. Norm was doing a number on my psyche, it started off with pulls a mph faster than me, then they went up 2-3 mph more than i could put out there. This threw off our balance, so i had to shorten mine to keep the pace up.

Maybe around mile 10, Troy and Frank passed us for 2 minutes. Little did i know that they were on pace for an eye-popping 51:59. By the time we hit the turn around i wanted to quit. After getting caught and my lame pulls i just knew we were stinking up the course. In between tossing up my breakfast and negotiating with the side stitch i was wondering how much i could get for my tt bike on ebay.

I guess around mile 18 or so, i cracked more. My pulls were way far apart, they'd start around 28 and finish at 26. Norm was keeping it 28-and-up for what seemed like minutes at a time. My cadence was all over the place 82-100. Anything to be there, I was reaching. FINALLY the line came and i had no idea what to expect, i clicked my computer and saw 56:26 which blew me away, that's why i felt so damn bad.

Officially 56:20. Having seen what that takes now in a 2-man, i've got new respect for anyone who does it by themselves. It's our second 3rd place of the year and the second time i've scored points in the LAMBRA 1,2 category and gotten zero which is a bummer but making money in tt's is nice so who cares.

I hit the velodrome tonight and my legs are just fried, they didn't really feel bad until i got back on the bike. We'll see what the week brings...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

one more on la primavera

With such great cycling names out there as

Fillipo Pozzato
Alessandro Petacchi
Luca Paolini
Stefano Garzelli
Alejandro Valverde
Marco Velo

what a let down it is to here Paul announce the name Frank Schleck, granted the Luxemburger rode his legs off on the Poggio, but it just doesn't roll of the tongue the same way, know what i'm sayin.

weekend items

Fun weekend, i did the Training Race - Saturday Edition for the first time. Good turnout, then once the speed picked up it turned into an inpromptu 4-man ttt practice with Shawn on his new bike, Kyle, Stan and myself. Towards the end of the loop we picked up some stragglers and met up with Brian King o'Texas Darby on his new ride. Kyle and i rolled off the front towards the end into an unholy headwind. It was fun.

From there, it was back to the book sale for a few good finds, then over to the Bluegrass Festival for a while. Ryan dug it, and the weather held up. There weren't too many people at the festival, i think because it was competing against St. Patty's Day, March Madness and the weather.

Sunday, we did some serious furniture shifting around the place. Ryan and i caught the OLN coverage of Milan-San Remo which was awesome. Boonen rode near the front at all times. Going over the Cypressa in the top 5. He looked unstoppable, really great to see the world champion beating the curse of the jersey. Can't say enough about Quick Step who really handled every move that mattered at the end of the race.

Oh yeah, and Tony lives on!
Fav quote was He Marvin-Gayed his nephew!

Friday, March 17, 2006

a perfect day

don't go to work,

go back, speak to students, answer questions.

shoot the bull with old friends, teachers, classmates.

now bring shrimp poboys to your wife, kid and grandma.

drink the coffee, grab the boy, swing by mom's.

watch her show him off, head home.

clean the bike, two hours rolling, stare at cows.

suit up, go out, dine on the empty patio

the food, the beer, and you and the fam with three waiters

under the stars, alone with the traffic

exit past the line waiting for ac

home again, baby asleep,

it's perfect

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

3.14

Happy Pi Day to all!

Just a few bits again, Paris Nice made for some great TV. The way the Spaniards attacked Zberg on the Col d'√ąze makes Frank Breure look like a fat house cat. It was super agressive and impressive the way Floyd defended his win.

Speaking of great TV, awesome to see the family back in the rotation. I wish i could have been at Lance's place to see it and eat, sounds like they did it right. Won't ruin anything if you haven't caught it yet, but is he or isn't he? I'm thinking if he is, then they would have confirmed it for the greater shock value, the fact that you don't know means he's isn't.

Some great lines too, i love Chris in the hospital to Hesh's son-in-law, "Is that a f***in catheter?".
Or Tony at the funeral, "Does he have to be here? ya f****in AA sponsor?"

The tivo caught Conan's trip to Finland which was hilarious.

Pretty interesting reading about making a messenger bag out of vinyl poster material and the connections with the golden ratio.

Friday, March 10, 2006

friday is link-tastic

Floyd's still got the lead at Paris-Nice.

The cricket crashed out at Tirreno-Adriatico.

This is just dumb. Next there will be electric brakes, then a dashboard, then low and behold we're in cars!

Here's the winner's account of Rouge Roubaix.

Hands down the most important event, more important than what goes on in the classrooms, on the football field, the diamond, the track, or even Mike's cage,happens next week at LSU, so mark your calendar.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

the Hasidic Reggae Superstar




Why didn't i listen to Eric sooner?

This album is incredible.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Boonen is Boomin

The greatest device ever constructed, well maybe that would make the tv the greatest, and tivo the second greatest. Either way, it picked up the Cyclism on OLN which covered a little of Paris-Nice.

Hats off to Amy's childhood little-league nemesis Bobby Julich who took the prologue by a second.

What about Boonen? He won the first two stages, and was incredibly close in the prologue. The footage of his wins at Qatar makes him look like unbeatable. Eight wins already, no curse on that jersey for sure.

simpsons opening bit

done with real actors here

quick

how could Austin be more attractive?
Answer

Now if they only had any IT there to speak of...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Rouge 8

The Rouge is in the books and that makes me happy.

It was another great turnout, when i registered i was #71 for the A race, a combination of 1,2,3's and Masters riders. The weather was really perfect, probably around 46 at start time with an ending temp in the 70's and very dry. Foremost in my mind was the talk that the parish, only a few days prior, had dumped new loads of dirt and sand on all the gravel roads that we would be racing on. The word was that the one mile gravel Pond Store climb, usually the launching pad for decisive moves in the race, was largely unrideable. Rumors at the start line were that we would skip the entire first section of mostly flat gravel due to it's condition and have a straight out road race to the Pond Store.

The race began smoothly, i was expecting a flying start with most of Herring and over a dozen Memphis MW guys there, but instead it was steady. When we hit Sligo, Will who was in his first 1,2,3 race asked me if this was fast or slow. It didn't seem that fast at the time, just mad-cap wild heading down the curvy road 5 across from one side of the road to the other. I overheard some out-of-towners remarking how nice it was to have a rolling enclosure. I don't think this is the case, but that's the way we rode it. Irondale was also gutter-to-gutter pot-hole filled and brisk. On to Pinckneyville and Norm came over and asked me about the first gravel section rumor, from what he heard it was on and all that he had talked to expected to hit it. Sure enough, it was just a rumor.

I came in around the middle but immediately got sucked in by a sandy section on the left side. I got sideways and nearly had to stop completely. The pack rolled away and i overheard a lot of "Come on Dave", "Dave!", "Get back on Dave" whirring by at 25 or so as i probably dropped 20 spots. I got righted and started passing people back, but couldn't get back on with the group. Instead i started picking up teammates, Josh, Shawn, Jerry. By the time we got back to Pickneyville, we were a group of about 6-8 and we started to chase. Luckily for us, the pack wasn't at warp speed, in fact they were sort of chilled and after 4-5 miles of chase we were back on.

From this point on, there were regular attacks. Usually each with a Herring and an MMW in them and so it was all the way down to Fort Adams. Kyle and Norm were super active trying to get across to one of the larger breaks that went, but it all came back together. I pretty much spent my tokens in the gravel and chasing back. It seemed like we dropped about 20 riders between the gravel and the Woodvillle route. We hit the 180 that leads to the gravel climb and i stood up to move up some places and cramped. This wasn't good considering what was ahead. I had a bad position on the rickety bridge and ended up just settling in at the back, waiting for the climb drama.

What happened next was wild, all 50 or so riders in the field dismounted and the race became a hike. As far as the eye could see there were guys walking their bikes in the thick sand. Kenny B. drove by in the back of the Schuler jeep and told me that i should walk faster. It was comical. I shouldered my bike and semi-jogged cross-style to Keith but he still managed to drop me walking. It was surreal. The descent and climb after the big one weren't any better and i still saw lots of walkers. Out of the gravel finally i rode on by myself. Eventuallly i'd catch a few stragglers. Who knows what happened at the front, Scott told me that an MMW went on alone at Pond store and eventually won solo. From what i can gather it was Master's National Champ Michael Olheiser due to the Captain America jersey.

The Tunica section was steep as all get out as usual, but the surface was fast. The part that really hurt was the ending section in Solitude which was really rough and in bad condition. The post-race jambalaya tasted like manna from heaven. Thanks to the Cappo family for putting on another dramatic one-of-a-kind type event.

As of this morning, serious serious soreness continues...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

i'm published bi-yatch!

The 225 website is up and looks pretty cool...

Here's the commuting story and the latest ironman piece.

Friday, March 03, 2006

all over but the sufferin

Two days from now, there will be some serious wincing going on everytime i try to stand up or sit down.

Randy posted a photo from last year's Rouge that brought back some of the pain that will be felt.

For more inspiration and meditation here's last year and the last time i did it, when Brice showed up.

It's going to be fun.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Chuck on Cheaha

Only two months to Cheaha

Chuck Norris heard that it was the hardest century in the South, so he pushed Mt. Cheaha into the North.

Ed Chapman once told Chuck Norris "things are about to get serious...real serious" and Chuck leveled him and Mt. Cheaha with one well placed roundhouse kick.

Chuck Norris doesn't believe in compact cranksets, instead he compacts the climb with his fists.

Seven years ago Chuck Norris did Cheaha and wanted a beer after, the region is only now recovering from the terror that ensued.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Where's the wampum?

So did anybody else feel bad for Floyd, winning the Tour of Cali last week then hoisting up that big old humongous check for $15,000?
I looked at it and thought, 8 teammates, 2 mechanics, a soigneur, the masseuse, and the d.s. and what does he take home?
Granted, it's the inaugural edition but i expected more for the overall.

The Scoop ... Saturday March 11th

This will undoubtedly live up to all the hype that i've tried so hard to build, so here goes...

On March 11th, the greatest event that has ever happened to Baton Rouge, the River Road Training Race, will begin a new chapter in flatland pain history. The Tuesday Thursday will begin a new Saturday version.

That's right! all the drama that could have only happened before on a Tuesday or a Thursday is now free to happen on either Tuesday or Thursday or ... Saturday. I know this is groundbreaking stuff, i'm sure it will take a while for us to get used to it.

It will be awesome, it will be stupendous, it will be something to tell your children's children about and due to work constraints, i won't be able to make it. But, that's ok because just like the Tuesday Thursday, it will happen again on March 18th and the 25th and so on and so forth.

So spread the word, 8:00 start time from Farr Horse Park. Here's hoping this will attract some riders who can't make the 5:30 start like G-town Homeys or out-of-towners, etc. More hype will be distributed next week.

Peace out

Olympians might not have it this good...

Sunday night i hit the track's 6-8 pm workout slot. I'd never ridden at that time, but it seemed like a nice way to end the weekend.

Really odd, i showed up at about 5:55 or so to find 8-10 skateboarders tearing up all the stuff, (tabletops, rails, quarter pipe?)they have in the warm-up circle. The track/skate director rolls up to me and asks me what time it is, i tell him and he proceeds to tell all the skaters to shut down. They really didn't have to leave on my account, but just like that they're all gone.

The next thing i know the velodrome is empty and the big lights are on JUST FOR ME. This has happened to me before, but it was just strange to see the place empty out like that. Who knows what the bill was for the lights, but let's just say it made me proud to be a city-parish tax payer.

Next up, Shimano pulled a practical joke on me. I'd asked for a 48x15 but on my first ride i found the gear huge. At first i blamed my fitness, but i decided to count teeth and turns out they stuck a 13 in a 15 box. Trust me, two teeth matter... according to Sheldon" that's good for 13 inches per revolution. That adds up quickly.

Anyhow, good to be back on track again...