Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Damn, I HATE the wigged out feeling I sometimes get from starbucks coffee. I'm strrung out right now. GRRRR So I wonder if I should make July 1st a date to quit drinkin it? Is that even possible? I would save the money from the coffee and buy the painkillers I will no doubt NEED when my head starts freakin because there is a lack of caffeine...

the thickness of a dime

It's amazing to some but a simple fact to those who spent years on a bike. I've recently had to replace a seatpost on my bike, it's one of those things(along with setting up new shoes) that I dread. The reason MANY of you LOL may be wondering? I can tell if the height or saddle position is off/wrong. Sure I take the necessary steps and measure the existing height etc, but muscle memory in my legs can tell if it's not exact. That in and of itself can drive you crazy. Thats why you see me on the side of the road making adjustments more times than I care to admit when on a new bike. SOOO, yesterday after a couple roadside stops, I felt like I may have dialed the position in. I went home and later pulled out a tape measure that had been marked in years past with a spot that was right on. Low and behold what I adjusted the seat to on the side of the road, was EXACT to the measurement on the tape measure. The adjustment was no more than the thickness of a dime. Merckx would be proud LOL

Monday, June 29, 2009

dietary observations and the quest for youth

I've made mention here to (all my regular readers) LOL every now and again about foods eaten and diet concerns. So what I've done is made a point of focusing on fruits, vegetables, no red meat and limited if any fried poultry for a week. I then followed that up with a few days of your typical summer time barbecue, comfort food, fried, and red meat meals. The results are in.
I did indeed feel much better when eating the somewhat strict diet of fruits vegetables, some poultry, salads, NO red meat, no fried foods.
I felt lousy coming off a 3 or 4 day of typical eating. SOOO since I've proven to myself what makes me feel better, I am now going to go down that road. As an added bonus I dropped a couple pounds while on the GOOD diet. The kind of cool thing is my mom has recently had to completly change her diet after being diagnosed with Diabetes. It is not an easy transition for her, but I think it would be cool to do something along those line in her honor. The end results will be beneficial...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday morning reflections and lessons in life

All week I could not wait for yesterday afternoon. We held a graduation party, and jr and his band was playing. I LOVE watching them play, and did all I could to help set them up without being the overzealous parent LOL It was LOUD and it rocked. I often say that he and his long time partner (the drummer) are like the Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band. It's going to take a very special someone to step into the additional musician roles of their band. I'm so proud of him... I've noticed on a few occasions recently that he has made some very kind comments and observations about us(his parents) and the things we do for him, as well as suggest to him. Just when you thought all teens are idiots, LOL I'm proved wrong.As if their has been some recent divine teenage intervention :) Another interesting thing about the party, it wasn't anything close to any kind of bash, but I did have a certain level of discomfort with those around me enjoying the brews. I'm not about that anymore, and still find it a bit uncomfortable at times. I've also been reminded that I REALLY have to watch meds. I was prescribed a chill pill a while back, and EVERY time I wind up taking one I DON'T like the after effects. I find the pure approach to living is best for me. My Doc may not always agree, but nobody knows me like me. I still need to continue to work on a more relaxed approach to living. In time I guess. Lastly, I decided to strip the guitar and completely redo it. I learned in retrospect that I fell short by being impatient. I rushed it, and when all was said and done the results were less than satisfactory. There is a lesson there that coincides with a shortcomiong I need to work on. So this morning I disassembled it and will be stripping it down to bare wood and starting again. It will have a different color altogether. I've been entertaining burning the wood grain and clear coating, or clearcoting the bare wood. Whatever I decide, I plan on not rushing the process. This in and of itself is a practice that I need to carry thru lifes daily decisions and actions. A valuable lesson at that. I'm looking forward to the growth in this process, and what I envision to be a great looking guitar I am happy with :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

what a ride....

This has been one hell of a week as far as personal events and emotional rollercoasters. Tuesday when I got home from a very emotional funeral, I went out for a ride. I wanted to get out to clear my head, and in remembrance. It was hot. "Hells bus stop" HOT, with temps in the mid 90s and the heat index probably near or above 100 degrees. So they say it's not if but when and today was when. About a 1/3 of the way into my ride I crashed. Tore up the elbow, knee, ankle hurt, and later found a bruised hip. It wasn't going to turn me back, and the bike was absolutely fine. I was frazzled over the incident more than anything (at the time). I finally got out to the biggest climb of the day, and got my heart rate up to 191. I don't remember the last time it hit that number. The thing that sucks is upon finishing the climb I began to get quite dizzy, and immediately pulled off under a shaded tree to regroup. This happened to me once last year on a similarly hot day. SUCKS... Not sure if was the high temps, or the combination of a medicine I take and the hot temps, or the fact I'm not as young as I used to be. Nonetheless it bugs me that this happened. I'm sure a number of my regular readers LOL are saying "DUH!" right now considering I was riding in extreme weather, but it still bugs me. That was definitley a hellish ride that showed my tenacity and preserverance, but had too many problems to group into one event. What a ride...


I ALWAYS take off my families birthdays. I want to be there on their special day, and do something with them that makes it special. Wednesday was another of those occasions. We made plans to go to a theme park, and when he awoke and we told him, the first words out of his mouth were "I don't want to go". Typical for a teen right? RIGHT... BUT the day turned out to be fun. He enjoyed himself (as we all did) It was HOT so we spent most of the time on water rides and at the water park. The best part of the whole day was him thankiong me for treating him like royalty. I wasn't expecting that, and it was wonderful to see his appreciation. Sometimes things catch you off guard, and this was one of them. I'm grateful I was able to be there for him, and grateful he apreciated it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

reflections of a father

Today was/is Father's day. I spent the morning on the bike out for a road ride. Of course I went out and did my favorite climbs that I always do when I get some extra riding time. I also stopped by the Mary sanctuary, which is somewhat of a ongoing tradition, and offered a prayer of thanks, remembrance, and hope. I've been very grateful lately for the family I have. Grateful for my father, and mother. Grateful for my kids, grateful for my wife. I shed a tear of happiness, sorrow, and hope. I returned home and ran 6 miles with my "long time personal manager". I was grateful to be there for her. So... YES I did get some cool stuff today. Particularly, the Paris-Roubaix Coffee table book, and another called Ascent - a book about the legendary climbs of the tour. Reflecting on how the day went reminded me of a few things. Cycling is and has always been an important part of my life. I absolutely love the sport. It's provided so much to me, and it continues to be one of the positive driving forces in my life. Looking back, I'm grateful I had the opportunity and good fortune to have had such a successful racing career. Those years were wonderful. I entertained the notion of returning to racing this year, but realized early on in the year that me being a father continues to come first. THAT was the reason I stopped racing when I did, when the boys were of age to need me around for THEIR activities, and today it's still the right decision. I'm grateful that I can still ride well. I still have the legs, and when I'm lucky enough to put together a few weeks that allow me to get some miles in, it still is evident that I "have it"(at least in my little world). I'm grateful I have a passion that I can both enjoy, and be good at. I tell people to always look for that one thing in life such as this and never let it go. Those of us that find "it" are lucky. Today (Father's day) I'm grateful to be surrounded by the love of my family. The best way for me to give back, is to continue to try to be the best father to my kids that I can. Mistakes, shortcomings and all. The love that I have for them is unmatched. I wouldn't trade being their father for anything and as my life has shown, EVEN cycling...

Friday, June 19, 2009

bummer cycling news

With tonights bout of insomnia, I happened to come across two unfortunate cycling related stories that are real a bummer.
First and most unfortunate is Laurent Fignon is battling cancer, and it doesn't sound good. He is one of my long time favorites, and I may be the only American who was bummed when Lemond beat him by 8 seconds. He has recently been quouted as saying he is blaming drug use during racing for his illness... May God watch over him in this battle, and may he find good health once more.
The other news is Tyler Hamilton has been given an 8 year ban for testosterone use, which closes the door on his cycling career. He has said he will be focussing his time on family and spreading the word on the fight against depression. Such a shame. I like that guy, and am greatful to have met him at the end of last season. Memories of The Tour stage he rode with broken shoulder will always be one of the most inspirational.
This weekend I ride for both of them!


My mom called late in the afternoon crying hysterically. She told me my Aunt and Uncle were killed by an Amtrack train. It was painful hearing how emotionally beside herself she was on the phone. When I had hung up, every part of me was shaking in fear. I thank GOD that my mom and dad are alive. I always do... I KNOW it's selfish, but thank God the news wasn't worse (not that it could be). Thank God (with all the recent health scares lately) that it wasn't worse. I'm sad, and feel very bad for those that lost these loved ones. It's strange. My mom has made it a point over the last couple months of getting close to them again. Almost as if by Gods plan. I also felt the presence of something tragic over the last number of weeks, and I blamed it on the health scare we just went thru. The most ironic part of the story is driving down the highway yesterday afternoon I had been passed by a good number of Joliet police cars. It was a strange scene, and I was wondering why they were out that way. My aunt and uncle lived in Joliet, and these police cars were more than likely dispatched to the accident scene. EERY to say the least. The both of them had health problems and my aunt's health seemed to be deteriorating recently with a disease that was causing her to go blind. SAD....

Monday, June 15, 2009


I have a fortune from a fortune cookie that I saved for some reason. It says
"You can undertake and complete anything". I've been reminded that this is true, and am taking that into strong consideration. I need to remove some self limiting blocks and move forward. I'm sure the limits we set on ourselves are limits we create, and I need to open my mind, and remove the blocks I find. Anything? YES Anything...

just ran back from Madison, BOY are my legs tired LOL

What a great event. As I mentioned in a few earlier posts,I was a bit daunted by this race, but it was AWESOME! Myself and 9 other people (including my boss LOL) did a relay race from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago. Started at 9am on Friday June 12th and we finished in Chicago. What a great, great experience. Our team did indeed talk smack and made sure everyone knew who we were Team "BAD IDEA",but it everything but a bad idea. YES you saw the van as we honked thru the state ringing the cowbell and yelling out the windows. Even though we were the loud ones, we were also the ones who would, and did, give you water and words of encouragement the whole time, not only to our team members, but to every runner we encountered as we journeyed thru the race. CRAZY-lack of sleep (maybe an hour or 2 total), living out of a 15 person van for 30 hours. No arguments, great synergy among everybody in the vehicle. It was split up 5 per van, so I spent time with 4 others. Ran in the heat, rain, sleet, cold, day, night EVERY which way. It was a great way to feel alive. I loved it. There were tough times for sure, and looking around on the 2nd day as daylight broke, and the heavy rains started, the participants looked cooked (most of us anyway) but the madness continued... My gameplan worked really well. The first leg was a bit rough, and ironically happened to be my shortest leg. However the 2nd leg I flew. It was my finest hour. The funny (not so much at the time) was, as I finished what I knew was a very good run, the other van's runner was nowhere to be found and EVERYONE within shouting distance heard me YELLING for the team. "BAD IDEA"! I would be lying if I said I wasn't pi$$ed at the time. Minutes later a sleepy eyed runner emerged from the other team van and hit the road with running tail between her legs. It was the last time we would encounter a transition screw up such as this, and everybody stepped up. It got a bit stressful on the final legs as lack of sleep turned all of us stupid. We got REALLY turned around when we were getting to the transition area for one of our runners who was hurt and VERY questionable due to an unfortunate injury on her first leg which wreaked havoc on her Iliotolobial band due to reletless hills. She dug deep, and finished all of the legs she had to do. We pulled up JUST as she was entering the finish of her leg and the next runner took off without incident, WHEW! That was the craziest moments of our race. As the race went on, we all dug deep, and I'm sure each and every one of us learned something about ourselves this weekend. It's epic events such as this that makes you feel ALIVE. I certainly did. Thirty hours of pureness allows a lot of time for reflection... So, Yes, my prep leading up to it was smartly planned, and worked out well. One of the things that I was reminded of was to use my gift's from God, and use them to the best of my ability in thanks. With so many things to sidetrack us in life it's sometimes easy to get a bit lost, and not remember that VERY important philosophy...

203 miles 29 hours 51 minutes, and an experience that I'm sure changed my life and everyone else who competed - at least a little bit...

Thursday, June 11, 2009


By this time tomorrow I will be joining up with a team of 10 runners to complete a relay race from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago. I would be lying if I said I didn't have butterflies in my stomach. I've ran long runs of 8 or more a number of times over the last month etc, but this is going to be something I have no idea what to expect, so I'm TRYING to take the attitude of enjoy the adventure! I always think I should be doing more, and I also got in some good rides to add to the training. I do feel unprepared for some reason. Mostly because I've been lax in preparation compared to other races. I have a total of about 23 miles to do in the course of a day and a half, and will be living out of a van with 4 other people including my boss CRAZY. I already have a headache LOL
I hope it goes well :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

from the fence

I had time off from work at the end of last week. I almost loathe getting back in the routine after even a brief amount of downtime. The problem is it was too much downtime. I feel like I wasted the days off, and it's partly, if not all my own fault. YES, it was time to remove myself from the routines, but the routine of removing myself regardless of how good of an idea it was, turned out to be something that didn't work. I sit here now thinking how many things I should have accomplished. Learned a lesson. This AM I saw a remembrance for a woman who worked at the local bux. She passed away over the weekend, Only in her 20s... I'm still shaken over the sad, sad news. All the times I seen her on my trip to "the buck", never knowing of her sad, sad road. I hope she is resting happily in Heaven. I HATE the curent feelings inside.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

As of June 1st...

I talk about my diet every now and again and recently decided to make a change. SOOO effective today June 1st, I am making some serious changes. It's NOT that I have the worst eating habits around, but everytime I eat what I consider a comfort food meal (giant burrito, quarter pounder, beef and sausage combo etc) I regret it. In my head nothing sounds better when looking at the menu, but the bloated heavy feeling afterward sucks. I've never complained or felt bad after eating any combination of fruit or vegetable, so I'm going down that road. I don't know if I want to call it a switch to vegetarian, but it will be an avoidance of red meat, and I should even walk away from fried stuff. That one will be hard.... I'm sure the benefits will prove to be worthwhile, and as time passes it will be easier to choose (hard when I'm hungry and or stressed) So here goes. Time to hand out the couple of free burrito coupons I have in my wallet LOL Benny is out of here as well...