Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh -

I forgot. Happy New Year!

2009 - resolved

I'm hesitant to list any resolutions for 2009. In 2007, I hit all of my resolutions, which, if I remember correctly was to ride four centuries (I turned 40 that year) and something else that I'm not remembering right now but I'm pretty sure I did.

In 2008, I failed miserably.

1. I was going to win a Larry Schwartz award from the UMCA by riding a century a month.
2. I was going to ride the Desperado Dual. Sorta Fail. I did ride, but bailed halfway through.

So, for 2009, the following:

1. Finsh the Desperado Dual.

2. Track my real milage for the year (I've managed the last two years to either lose or break my computer on my bike, causing me to loose track.) So, tonight, I'm resetting the odometer to zero.

3. Raise my goal (currently $3,000) for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and ride in the Livestrong Chalenge in Austin in October.

4. Ride over 3,500 miles (which, while it sounds like a lot, isn't. I can ride 2,200 miles a year just by commuting to work.)

There may be more to come.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

2009 - the plan, so far

I'm probably going to regret doing this because last year I did and then I miserably failed at attaining my goal and now everyone who reads this (me) knows it. But, since part of the joy of cycling is suffering and humiliation is a form of suffering, I'm doing it again. For 2009, here are my plans, so far:

28 February, 2009: Zion Spring Century, St. George, Utah (100 miles)

28 March, 2009: Tour de St. George Spring Century (100 miles)

Some time between 27 March and 17 April, go up to Yellowstone again and ride from West Yellowstone (West Gate entrance) to Gardiner, Montana (North Gate entrance) and back with the guys.

2 May, 2009: Ghost Town Century, Tooele, Utah (100 miles)

27 June, 2009 - Harmon's MS-150 (100 miles)
28 June, 2009 - Harmon's MS-150 (75 miles)

24 - 25 October, 2009 - Livestrong Challenge, Austin, Texas (100 miles) Which, by the way, if you haven't donated yet, you can here. Or here. Or here.

Planned, but not yet scheduled rides:

Desperado Dual, Panguitch, Utah (200 miles)

Salt Lake Century, Salt Lake City, Utah (107 miles)

ULCER, Utah Lake (111 miles)

And, hopefully either RAGBRAI or Seattle to Portland...if I'm lucky.

All of this, of course, dependent on me getting off of my lazy ass and back on the bike, which I've not really ridden since September. Partially because of this, and this but now also because of this:

That's the view out the window to my left as I write this.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cancer sucks

Seriously. I just found out about yet another instance of cancer in my immediate circle. A friend's wife had a tumor removed a week or so ago. They needed to do a biopsy to determine if the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. He just let me know that they got the test back and it has. I have no idea at this point what it means or how bad it is, I'm not sure that they do either. All I know is I'm tired of stories like this. If you haven't already, donate to my LAF fundraiser. Hell, donate to anyone's. I don't care. Just help us raise money to do the research that's necessary to make these stories a thing of the past.

Imagine, it's the middle or end of the 21st centrury, your grandkids are reading their history books about the plauges of cancers that used to devistate families. And they read about the simple cure and all of the research and development that went into finding it...and you tell them that you helped, it was just a small way...just a few dollars really, and you didn't receive any awards or recognition or anything but that it was okay becasue you knew that every dime raised was a dime that would help find a cure and they did find one, and you did help and that's all that matters. That they will never have to worry about cancer, that's all that matters.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This is decidedly NOT fun

Just got back from the dentist. Second visit in as many weeks. This time for two fillings. They decided it was a great idea to numb my entire left side of my face, nostril, bottom eyelid, cheek. Everything.

Everything, that is, except the area directly where they were doing their work on the second tooth.

In fairness, it didn't hurt as bad as it would have without the numbing, I assume.

This sucks, I feel like I got kicked in the head and it hasn't even worn off yet.

Why do I think this is really going to hurt a lot in a few hours?

So, four fillings on the right side on the 8th, two on the left on the 17th, with the added bonus of yesterdays little foot post extraction thrown in for fun. And it's only Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Well, that was unexpected.

I wrote the other day about the pain I started having in my foot.

Turns out it wasn't in my head after all (I'd sort of convinced myself that it was.) I called last week for an appointment with Dr. Clark, who did my surgery, and even after a little whining about how painful it was, the earliest I got in was this afternoon. I expected him to tell me that it was normal. That the nerves were just healing or something and the pain I felt was to be expected. Instead, he told me what I secretly feared...the pin that he'd put in my foot to hold the bone together was coming out.

Better still, he thought we should cut on in now and pull it out, since it would only get worse. And since I could think of nothing more exciting to do with a Tuesday afternoon than to lay back, have someone numb by foot, cut into it and take a pair of pliers and pull a pin out of a bone, I said, why not. Thirty minutes, and to be honest, a little nausea, queasiness and dizziness (I've become such a freakin' wimp!) later...the pin's out, I'm stitched back up and I now (again) can't wash my foot for five days... yippee.

And I suppose, when the anesthesia wears off, I'll be happy about it, assuming it doesn't hurt like I'm imagining it will.

I'm off to make enchiladas. Comfort food.

Tomorrow, the dentist...

Friday, December 12, 2008


Robyn's out of town this weekend. The only thing about that I like is that I was planning on getting out and doing some road training on the bike. So, what happens?

Saturday: Low: 19 High: 33 Chance of snow 80%
Sunday: Low: 17 High: 30 Chance of snow 60%

If I didn't know better, I'd think I was supposed to go skiing. Well, if it's not too bad, maybe I'll hit the road anyway.

I sent out my first mass e-mail to family and friends regarding the LAF fundraising. So far, no response...nope, just checked again, nothing. Maybe I should have begged more.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Since I wrote last Saturday about not having any pain in my foot when I rode, and I truly didn't, I've had at least three episodes where I've taken a step and had such excruciating pain shoot through the top of my foot, seemingly along the line of the scar (thought I'm pretty sure it's not the scar itself) that I double over. I really don't think that it was riding, though I suppose that putting that kind of pressure on the ball of my foot may have contributed. I first noticed when I put the wrong shoes on. Not the wrong shoes as in not my shoes, but since the surgery, there are a few pairs of shoes that I just cannot wear. They either have a seam or the tongue lays right across the scar and it hurts or they've got a weird toe box (most likely stretched out from before the surgery) and aren't comfortable to walk in. Well, I was getting dressed for a party and put on a pair of black shoes that just killed my foot. So, they're going in the "do not wear" pile, no big deal. Problem is that since then, even in my shoes that I've been wearing a lot since the surgery, I still am getting the same shooting pain. It's not constant, and it's not even predictable. I've had it once while sitting in the car not putting any pressure on my foot at all. Weird. If it happens again today, I'll call the doctor and see if it's something to worry about. Otherwise, I suppose I should just HTFU I guess. Damn foot.

In LAF news, I've now raised $25 of my goal. Yippee! (Of course, I donated it myself, but hey, it's a start...)

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Hey, I just noticed that I've had a couple of comments to some of my post! Two, to be exact.

Back in January, I wrote a post about supporting Barack Obama, or rather my conflicted feelings about not supporting him, called White Man's Burden. Someone named Britany cared so deeply for my feelings that she wrote that it was "great info to know." That's fabulous! Until I realized that she was probably writing up an insurance plan for me to cover my angst caused medical condition or something.

And then in October, when I wrote my post about my first week post-operation on my foot, I go another comment, this one from some guy who tried to scare the bejebus out of me because of the pain pump that they'd used on my foot. Too bad it wasn't my shoulder, I could got a piece of the action from the class action lawsuit!

Wow! People like me! They really like me!

Leaving well enough alone.

As much as I like the status quo, I do tend, every once in a while, to try to crank things up a notch to put a little extra challenge into something that I've agreed to do. One of the most difficult ones off the top of my head was when I entered into a story writing challenge with a group of people over on the Zoetrope writers workshop site. If I remember correctly, the challenge was to write a short piece that contained four things. It had to have a couple, someone had to die, there had to be mention or discussion of the afterlife, and it had to have a key. Not satisfied with those restrictions, I decided it would be fun to write it without the letter E. That's right, without the most common letter in written English. I dare say that I did an alright job, it ended up having only one E, at the end, as a sort of clue to the reader as to what had been missing, since some of them seemed to not notice. It was fun, challenging, and I took a little measure of extra pride having met my own personal challenge.

Well, I'm starting to get the urge to do it again. Only I can't really decide how. Yesterday, I was the 86th rider to join Team Fatty for the Austin, Texas Livestrong Challenge. The more I think about it, though, the more I want to do. See, I made a list. It's a list of all of the people in my family who have had, have, or died from cancer of any type. Well, there are twelve people on that list, including Robyn's immediate family that I know of. There's her father and grandfather; my father; my great-uncle (who just lost his battle on November 29th); my grandfathers (both sides); grandmother; step-grandmother; an aunt; an uncle; a niece.

And that's not counting the three or four friends who I can think of off the top of my head.

If you'll pardon my French, that's just too fucking many people. This thing needs to be beaten and beaten badly.

So, just raising money and flying to Austin and riding 90 miles doesn't feel like enough.

So, I thought I might ride a little more. And try to raise a little more.

I won't lie. I was already mulling over the idea of trying for the century a month thing again in 2009, especially since I had such a great go of it this year. (sarcasm) And I'll admit, if I somehow raise over $3,000 and get invited to the Livestrong awards diner in Austin on October 24th, that would be cool. And if I, by some miracle, managed to score an invite to ride with the man himself in the Ride for the Roses by raising $10,000 or more, that wouldn't suck, either.

But, really, I think it's because I feel the need to do more and I'm not a doctor or scientist or hospice worker and honestly, me changing my life now to become any of those things would be a lot harder than what I'm thinking about doing and since, you know, I'm a little lazy, I'm going to do it my way. Symbolically.

I'm thinking about riding a century a month and somehow using that to try to raise even more money for LAF. So far, the following thoughts have crossed my mind.

  1. I could try to get people to sponsor, like for the walk-a-thons I did for something as a kid, you know, so much per mile. So, if you pledged 50 cents a mile, or better, a whole dollar, for every century I completed, you'd donate $50, or $100. I know there'd be a certain amount of trust involved in this, there are plenty of months around here were there are no organized rides, so I'd have to document a personal century and you'd have to trust me. My thought is to sign up again for the Year-round challenge with the Ultra Marathon Bicycling Association and follow their rules for personal centuries. That way there's an organized body tracking my rides and I could show this as "proof." This has the added benefit of qualifying me for that Larry Schwartz award, that I wrote about last year, if I ride all 12
  2. I could try to get some local companies on board, to either donate or let me raise money by putting up signs at their locations or something. This one's not so well thought out, yet.
  3. I could get some other local riders on board to try this with me. Hey, maybe I could get Fatty himself (who I've never met but who sometimes feels like a close friend because of his amazing way of sharing his life on his blog, which if you haven't read, go read it, it's way better than this one and not just because other people read it. I've thought about stop writing "you" and just write "me" instead, since, to the best of my knowledge I'm my only regular reader. But, I digress.)
Anyway, this is just a rough idea. If I know myself at all, and I'm finding out regularly that maybe I don't, I'll loose my excitement about this, realize how overwhelming the idea is (for me) and just give up. Maybe.

Oh, speaking of riding. I just rode my longest ride since before we went to Guatemala in September. I rode 20 whole miles this morning (hey, it was 32 degrees when I left home!) I am so pathetically out of shape thanks to my foot surgery that I feel like a slug. So the thought of a century a month starting next month scares the hell out of me right now. But, hey, it's nothing compared to what cancer survivors deal with every day, so who am I to complain. The good news is that the foot felt mostly fine. The other good news (see how I avoided calling this the bad new? I'm still in the optimist stage of the idea) is that it gave me time alone to think and this crazy idea is what I came up with.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm in!

I'm in, and I'm going big. I just signed up for the Austin, TX Livestrong Challenge for Team Fatty. And I'm going big. I want to raise $3,000.00. So, if you can, donate. It's not a great time, I know, to be asking for donations but if you can't know, remember me when you can. It's a great cause, it's a great team and it's a horrid, horrid disease.