Wednesday, February 13, 2008

not as well as I would have liked...

Well, I did end up riding on Sunday morning (the weather was perfect, if a little chilly.) Got nowhere near my unrealistic thoughts of riding 100 miles, though, which really shouldn't be unexpected, since other than my 9-ish mile commute everyday, I really haven't had much saddle time since probably October. I ended up with just under 36 miles, in about 2 1/2 hours. If I remember correctly (I'm at work and don't have the figures with me) I averaged about 14 mph and topped out around 32 mph. I decided to use the Cateye on manual mode this ride, meaning that I turned it on when I left and off when I was done, so my average and time are including any stops (lights, the one break I took, etc.)

Oh well, it is technically off season, right?

On another note, I got the coffee stout in the bottle last night.

Got it labeled and in the basement, where hopefully I'll forget about it and let it age for a while so it'll get good. I'm slightly concerned because it's not as dark as I'd expect. More of a brown ale color, really. We'll see.

I think next up is going to be an I.P.A.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I received in the mail yesterday my official welcome packet for my membership in the UltraMarathon Cycling Association. So now I have my member number, the official welcome letter and a submission form for submitting my rides. In case you don't know how this works, and I've no reason to assume you do, for the Larry Schwartz Award as a Year-Rounder, I have to ride a least a century in each calendar month of 2008. As I posted below somewhere, I didn't get one in in January, so I already need a make-up ride (you get two make-up rides a year) There are two types of rides that qualify, organized rides and personal rides. Organized rides are the easier of the two. You sign up for an organized century (with a published name, start/finish time, route plan, sign in, organizer, etc.) and have someone associated with the event sign off at the end that you did, in fact complete the ride. For personal rides, you ride alone, or with friends. You document these ride by obtaining a receipt (purchase or ATM or something) at points along the route that states the location and date / time. For centuries, you should get a receipt at the beginning (or within 10 miles), 1/3, 2/3, and end of the ride. More paperwork involved in the personal ride category but there aren't organized rides around here some parts of the year, so I'll be doing some of those.

That said, I thought I'd post my planned event schedule so I'll have some personal accountability to actually get off my ass and ride. This will evolve as things happen (vacations, work, schedule changes for the rides, etc.) but here's where I stand now.

January, 2008: none
February, 2008:
Feb. 10: I plan to try my hand at a personal century. Robyn's flying out to DC that day, so I have the free time. If something happens to keep me from riding Sunday, I'm taking off work on Monday, I can try again then. (We're having warm - upper 30's low 40's - temps and sunshine for a change, I've got to ride!)
Feb. 23: the Zion Country Early Spring Century down in near St. George, UT. This is dependent on me talking my friend and riding buddy, Jason, into riding this with me (so I can talk him into driving!) and whether we can get down to St. George on Friday night (start time is 8 am Saturday.)
March, 2008: nothing scheduled.
April, 2008:
April 26: the Cactus Hugger Century also down in St. George.
May, 2008:
May 3: the Ghost Town Riders Century in Tooele, UT. This one is personal. The 2007 Ghost Town was my first attempt ever at a century. We had temperatures in the low to upper 20's, sleet, snow and 20-30 mph winds. We (Jason and I) abandoned after ~68 miles. Thanks again to the family from southern Utah who graciously picked us (and a few other riders huddling by the side of the road) up in their mobile camper.
May 17: the Cycle Salt Lake Century (the 2007 ride was my first completed century)
June, 2008:
June 28-29: the Bike MS Harmon's Best Dam Bike Ride in and around Logan, UT. I'll ride the century ride on the first day.
July, 2008:
July 12-13: the Dual State, Dual Century Challenge in Tremonton, UT. A century on Saturday up into Idaho. A century on Sunday in Utah. Should be a good test of the legs!
August, 2008:
August 9: ULCER around Utah Lake.
August 23: the Desperado Dual my first ever double century. Two hundred miles around beautiful Panguitch, UT.
September, 2008:
September 27: the Heber Valley Century
October, 2008:
October 25-26: the Livestrong Challenge in Austin, TX.
November, 2008: nothing scheduled
December, 2008: nothing scheduled

So, that's 11 organized rides (the dual state ride counts twice, the Desperado, only once) so I'll need to ride at least one personal century. However, since I've already missed January and there are no rides that I know of yet for March, November and December, I'll need to ride at least two. And I need to ride one in March, and one in either November or December, since I can only not ride a century in two months. If I actually ride a personal ride this coming Sunday, that'll make it three personal centuries I'll need this year.

I'll let you know how it goes...

wish me luck.

hmmm...a theory

but first:

"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror."

So said Mitt Romney today at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC today, "suspending" his campaign for the republican nomination.

Fuck you, Mitt.

How dare you stand there and imply that electing either Clinton or Obama is tantamount to "aiding a surrender to terror." Fuck you and the fucking white horse you rode in on...or didn't.

and now, the theory.

I'm starting to notice a trend. If you read below, there is now a pattern developing. I blog about a candidate for president and within a day or two, they suspend their campaign. John Edwards suspended his campaign two days after my angst blog. Mitt suspended one day after my rant regarding the mo votes.

I'm not saying that I'm doing it. I'm not saying that they're reading this and deciding to quit (hell, I've got no evidence at all that anyone but me is reading this.) I'm just saying...

And that said...

(now the test)

Mike Huckabee. What can be said that hasn't been said. He's a baptist nut-job preacher (and I was raised Southern Baptist - my grandfather was a pulpit-banging-hellfire-and-brimstone preacher, so I know from where I speak) - who thinks we need to bring the Constitution in line with the bible. He's a former fat man who lost 100 lbs and found so much energy that he thinks he should be president. He's not at all convinced that Darwin was right about anything. He thinks the earth just might be 6,000 years old. He's a right wing religious nut-job in the absolute textbook sense of the phrase. And he's winning primaries. In fairness, that may be over, pretty much, because the so-called super Tuesday states favored him, we'll see if he can keep any momentum elsewhere.

This man may soon be the republican Vice Presidential nominee. (Or, god-forbid, presidential nominee.)

I really don't know what else to say. There's no way this man can be in office. No way.

(and now we wait...)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

mo votes

[WARNING: The following is a rant. It is in no way meant as an indictment of a whole religeon. It's a rant. If you want to have a serious discussion regarding the virtues of any particular belief system, I'm your man, I'll argue till the Jesus comes to speak. But this is a rant. Deal with it.]


Mit Romney got 90% of the votes in the republican primary here in Utah. 90%.

That's more than he won anywhere else, by far.

Perhaps it's because the republican voters in Utah, in their infinite conservative wisdom, saw something in Mit that few voters elsewhere saw. Perhaps Utahns are the most convinced that Mit's flip-flopping from the positions he held as governor of Massachusets to the much more conservative positions he claims to hold now, as a candidate reaching for the republican nomination, are sincere, and he's not just pandering...saying what it takes to get to the base. Perhaps Utahns see Mit's success with the Olympics here in 2002 as translating somehow to success as the most powerful executive in the world. Perhaps Utahns just like a nice haircut.

I don't think so. I think Mit wins Utah because Mit's Mormon. Hands down. No questions asked. It's just assumed and it just plays out. Not being mormon myself, I hve no idea if they are really, as rumor has it, told or at least hinted strongly from the LDS equivelant to a pulpit, who to vote for. All I know is from my experience (not in this election, 2006) twice as a poll manager for both a primary election and general election, I heard repeatedly in my polling place comments such as, "who did Bishop [so and so] say we should vote for, again?" I'm not making this up, either. I wish I was.

Now, the biggest problem I have with this is not, as you may be thinking, something against the LDS church...not any more than I have with any organized religion. If people want to believe stupid things to make them feel better about thier lives by holding to an illusion that so what if this life sucks, it'll all be better after I be it. But I digress...

My biggest problem with this is the blatent hipocracy. You have no idea how many letters to the editor I've read, how many conversations I've had and overheard in which the main point is how unfair it is to hold being a mormon against poor Mit. How a person's religeon shouldn't play into your thinking at all when it comes to elections. How he won't be controlled or influence by the "Prophet" or the "Quarum of Twelve".

Well, it only works if it works both ways. And the lock-step, non-thinking, follow the leader voting patterns that I see here in Utah (not just with this primary, but with this whole fucking excuse of a theocracy masked as democracy we call the Utah legislature) doesn't speak well for independence from the "church." If 90% of republican Utahs think the same way, I don't hold much hope that ol' Mit will be in that other 10%. The odds are just against it.

Now, I know that I've oversimplifies this. I know that I've posted no facts regarding the percentage of voters identified as mormon, etc. And I know that there are plenty of mormons out there that don't follow the stereotype. I know this because I know them. But 90%, really? I just can't see a more reasonable explaination.

Flame away.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


If you live in AK, AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, ID, IL, KS, MA, MN, MO, MT, ND, NJ, NM, NY, OK, TN ,UT or WV ...go vote.

It's your primary / caucus day.

And, if I may add. Vote your conscious, not who they think is viable. Even, maybe, if your conscious tells you to vote for someone who'e technically not running anymore but is still on the ballot. (Or, if they've "suspended" their campaign...) Make your voice heard. Let them know what's important.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Sheldon Brown


Sheldon Brown, of Harris Cyclery passed away yesterday of a massive heart attack, much too young to go. If you don't know Sheldon (and I didn't really "know" Mr. Brown, though I did have the distinct pleasure of gleaning some well needed advice from him over at he was (is) an iconic figure in cycling. His articles and humorous advise, given in the most delightfully unpretentious way to anyone who asked, was for lack of a better way to put it, how you learn stuff about bicycles. Without Sheldon's words of advice, I'd have never thought to install my Shimano 105 brakes on my old Miyata backwards (front in back, back in front) with the nut inside the fork when I upgraded a couple of years ago.

He was (and thanks to the wonders of the internet, is) a great repository of knowledge freely shared. More than any race hero or legend, Sheldon was truly an icon. A man of the people. Us weird cycling people.

To his family and to those who knew and loved him at Harris and elsewhere in this ever shrinking world, you are all in my thoughts.

May the wind always be at your back, Sheldon. R.I.P. (Ride in Peace), Captain.

(I swiped the picture from Sheldon's site without asking...I hope that his family and friends do not mind.)