Saturday, October 29, 2005

Corn Fed

I'm somewhere in Nebraska. Back on the road, obviously.

Not much new to report. I had a good couple of weeks up in Wisco. Catching up with people is always fun. The idea of me working there full time came up. I just can't do it. There are other places I'd rather be, despite the fact that I really like everyone that works in the office. I know what it's like to make a move for a job, and it's not something I want to do at this point, unless it's east a very long way.

Maverick Ray turned up at Trek before I left today. I knew he was in Madison, but I wasn't expecting to see him there. Interesting how things work sometimes...I met Ray when he was at Trek. Now he lives in Boulder and I see him more often outside of home than I do when we're both in town.

No sheep sightings lately.

That's it for now. Hope everyone is well.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Mass quantities of Kool-Aid

It's like a brief trip to an oasis in the dessert...I'm spending the weekend at my boss' house, which is complete with wine and wireless, both of which I've had a hefty dose of this evening.

I'm halfway through my two week stint here in Wisco. It's been chilly here, and I haven't quite brought the right clothes for riding in this weather. I did manage to commute into the office twice last week, and got in a road ride today as well. I really want to get back to the trails across from the office, but my time during the day leaves little for checking email, let alone getting in a proper ride.

I've been trying to wrap my head around suspension designs. It's an education that's been a long time coming. The only problem is that I'm being told to preach the merits of one sort, while at the same time having a hard time finding the same flaws in other designs that I'm being told to speak of. I've never been refined enough to feel the difference in suspension. Perhaps I need to pay more attention from here on out.

I'd much rather talk about other things...I'm going to have to talk about suspension 52 times over the winter.

I've been following the Podcasts of Andy and Tim. It's been fun 'watching' the two of them get into this and turning it into something viable that they want to share with their friends. From my perspective, it's just nice to hear their voices. It makes me feel less far away from it all.

I was chatting with Ferrentino tonight. I told him that I have an emotional need to stay in touch with my friends. I think the wine has actually made me think more clearly, because I deduced that it must stem from a desire to be accepted. Doesn't seem like that big of a deal, really. Doesn't everyone want people to like them? I guess for me, it matters which people that includes, though.

Dan is getting so good at photography that I am seriously jealous. If there's one thing that my lack of time makes me frustrated about, it's not being able to practice with the camera. I think this is just another example of me really having the desire to be good at something, without possessing any sort of 'natural talent'.

I have one more day of unlimited internet use before returning to the techno glut that is the cabin. More Kool-Aid next week, then back on the road to a destination that promises warmer weather: Phoenix.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Old Speckled Hen and Fish n' Chips

Last night, I was riding my bike to do some quick errands (renting a movie and going to Safeway) when I got a call from Maverick Ray. He was trying to find Skurlock's house to drop something off, and in the process asked if I'd eaten. I called CJ to see what he was up to, and the three of us went to this place that Ray had heard about, but not been to yet.

At first glance, The Hungry Toad looks sort of like any other Boulder cafe/restaurant. Small enough to be niche and crowded. Corner location across from one of the 'hip' shopping centers in town, maroon awnings, neon in the window. But step into the place, and it takes on a somewhat familiar look: a US restaurant trying to look like a proper pub. Actually, it's not a bad effort.

I usually check out the beer list first in the desperate hope that someday, I'm going to find my beloved yet oh-so elusive Banana Bread Beer. I've yet to find it. Anyhoo...this beer menu did have some rather fine choices for a Yank establishment, including Old Speckled Hen, Fullers ESB, Young's London, and Boddington's. Good enough for me! I'll take a Speckled Hen, please.

Not knowing what type of fare to expect, I took a look at the menu. It had the usuals, like burgers, pastas, salads, and some 'house specialty', but it also included bangers and mash, Shepherd's pie, and beer battered fish n' chips. After a discussion of what people were having, it was decided that Ray would order the Shepherd's pie, and I would get the chippy option. CJ, fresh from a visit to a nutritionist due to acid reflux, was on salad.

Imagine my delight when Ray's pie was proper pub style with mashed potato layered on top of that serving dish that looks like a flattened gravy bowl. It was made with beef, not lamb (whew!), so I tried some and it was almost like being in the Staff of Life! I was also pleased to be offered vinegar for my chips.

What a great meal.

I bought a hip flask today. It's a small one, with pink fake snakeskin print. I've got a small bottle of Isle of Jura sitting here that's going to get decanted right in there.

So, I now have a hip flask, some Tangfastics, and a halfway decent pub.

Anyone fancy a trip to Colorado for the Thursday night ride??

Sunday, October 09, 2005

False flats

So yesterday, I was in my car on my way to find this new place to ride when I got a call from Maverick Ray. He invited me to the Maverick HQ for 'Margarita Friday'. I did a bad thing and turned the car around. I was having trouble finding the place to ride anyway, a problem which has since been solved using the aid of Google maps. I did ride from the house to the office, though, so in a way I did ride yesterday. Anyone who's had one of Ray's marg's knows that it's just not something you pass up.

Today I was supposed to meet up with my friend John to do a ride on the southwest side of Denver. I had my alarm set, and when it when off I reached over, turned it off, and promptly fell back to sleep. I woke up an hour later and realized there was no way I'd make the ride on time. I had to make the phone call of guilt to let John know.

I did manage to break myself free of the sloth to go for a road ride though. I was planning to head to the place I couldn't find yesterday, but the need for more immediate ride satisfaction, combined with the ease of the road being just out the door, was enough to override myself and pound the pavement. I have to say that this particular loop that I do here is rather breathtaking. It goes along the foothills north out of Boulder, then turns to the east away from the mountains. Since it's a big square, the ride back into town is rather picturesque, with a great view of the tall peaks that goes for miles. Of course, around here any ride that takes you away from the hills is going to mean you'll be doing a gradual climb all the way back. Funny how terrain that looks flatter than any flatness can make your heart rate jump and the lactic acid build up in your legs.

I found out earlier this evening that we're under a winter storm advisory until Monday. Hard to believe since it was 80 degrees here today. The forecast calls for snow to start falling sometime tomorrow afternoon and continue through the night. Ah, the transition of the seasons. I'm hoping it holds off long enough for me to squeeze in a ride. 'Course that would require me to get my ass off the couch before noon.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Pumpkin Ale

What's great about Fall? Seasonal beer!

The seasons are definitely changing here. The sun has been out (of course) and it's been crisp. Feels great, actually. I've worn a wool jersey riding the last 2 times which of course reminds me that sheep are great. I've been having a blast on the singlespeed, and today took along some Tangfastics. All that was missing was a hip flask and a fun group of friends. It occurred to me on the ride that it's probably good that I'm riding alone for the time being. The trail I've been doing isn't hard by any stretch, but for someone who isn't a good climber even with gears it's doubly difficult on a 1 speed. It's a one way trail that the parks service changes, and this week it flip flopped. I rode it in the opposite direction for the first time since my very first go on this trail earlier this summer. It's more flowy on the singlespeed, but the uphill is harder. This trail basically consists of a downhill stretch at the beginning, and a climb at the end no matter which way you go. The result is that I stop to catch my breath a lot, which is why it's probably good that I'm not torturing anyone else on the ride.

At the end, I always have a feeling of satisfaction that I don't quite get on my geared bike. At the same time, I still feel like I'm a pretend singlespeeder. Surely someone as bad on a 1 speed as I am can't really call themselves a 'singlespeeder'. I don't think I'm doing the clique any justice. Damnit, it sure is a load of fun.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Small rant

I'll warn you now that I'm about to drop the F bomb. Continue reading at your own discretion.

I am fucking sick of commercials for anything weight loss related. This includes things like Special K cereal bars, Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centers, Weight Watchers, and the like. In 99% of these, women are featured and in the case of the cereal bar, one women is looking admiringly at her coworker who, as a result of eating the bar, is suddenly light as a feather while the other one looks frumpy and unhappy. As if we needed an ad agency to remind us that we are all insecure and generaly feel inadequate. Don't even get me started on this culture's view of how women look, or more aptly should look. I am absolutely tired of it all. Bill Hicks was right.

It occurred to me while I was fuming after the latest installment of this type of ad that there are an awful lot of problems that can be resolved by riding a bike. Some of them may be only temporarily placed on hold while others, such as one's self-esteem, can be fixed on a more permanent basis.

We should all be riding bikes more.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The end of Summer camp

Vegas, baby. Wow. What a week. It's hard to know where to begin, really. I've been to Vegas enough times to know that there is absolutely no way that I'd go there intentionally for a vacation. It's not a destination spot for me. I went to do some networking for the demo next year, and to help Chipps a little, and to see my friends. The friends thing was definitely the most significant part.

Amid the roaming of the aisles and the schmoozing, I had a chance to catch up with some friends and reacquaint myself with others. Sideways was the first to arrive after me. If anyone ever has any doubts about that guy, I'd go a very long way to make sure they knew just how great he is. I could list many, many examples to prove it just from this week alone.

My roommate was in town along with some of the guys from his shop. It's funny that we both had to go all the way to Las Vegas to see each other. Just a testament to the type of schedule I have these days, I suppose. My Maverick friend Ray was also in town, as was Chrissy. It was like a mini-Boulderite party at the Maverick bash, the details of which I think I will keep to myself. ;~)

Mike D. My interaction with him was very limited up to last week. I figured that he'd be in town, so I wanted to take the opportunity to meet up with another of the Cheeky crowd. I had a really good time chatting with Mike. What a top guy. He's going to make a great father.

Michael and Jessica "Spot" were there, of course. Again, two very quality individuals that I feel very fortunate to know.

The Surly guys, Hurl, Donna from Kryptonite, Pat (of course), and everyone else I got to see made it a worthwhile week.

Good grief, I have some absolutely fantastic friends. I can only hope that I can be half as great as they are. I'm only sorry that more people weren't there.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Chippendale. The first time seeing him since his "decision". It was impossible to hold back the flood of emotion that I sort of expected would hit me. I'd say that with the exception of one very brief moment though (sorry Tim), I was able to keep my internal battle completely under wraps. I suppose it's safe to let the cat out of the bag now. In many ways, it was like nothing had happened and we were up to our usual tricks. We spent a lot of time together and had the same type of fun that we always had. The obvious difference this time was that we weren't "together", which I was reminded of at the end of every day. I think this is the toughest breakup I've ever had to deal with. I feel like enough time has passed that it should be getting easier, and instead it's almost harder. Someone told me that maybe if he were an asshole that it would be easier to deal with. He isn't an asshole. Everyone loves him, and it's not hard to see why. This sucks...still.

I think there's a skunk in the front garden somewhere. The smell is wafting up into my room. Ew!

So yeah...Vegas was a great time. I'm not a big fan of that place since the whole thing is based on a fantasy world that is based on the concept of separating people from their money. Still, it's worth going to Interbike just to see nice people.

I spent my first day at home vegging on the couch and watching TV. I finally got myself out the door and took the singlespeed for a ride. Again tomorrow, and again the next day, and hopefully the next. I have two weeks here and I intend to maximize the ride time as much as I possibly can.

Here's a shout out to all the UK posse that I didn't get to see this week. You're all still in my thoughts and I can't wait to catch up with you as well.