Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday funday....

See people, this is what happens when you don't leave comments! I stop posting! So get the comments coming! :)

This weekend was basically filled with cycling and other bike related things. Friday I went over to the shop to help a guy from work do some bike shopping. Little did I know I would end up being there for 3 hours, and sadly I wasn't officially working so I don't get paid. :( Saturday morning I woke up early and went out for a TNT ride, with a temperature hanging right around 30 degrees! Brr.... I actually had to walk up a hill at one point, not because it was too steep (those don't exist here in Illinois) but because it was covered in ice! Later that afternoon I headed over to the Chicago Bike Show. Not as exciting as I hoped it would be, but I looked at some nice bikes and talked the the American Bicycle Racing people about doing some Time Trials later this year! I'll keep everyone updated on how that develops! This morning I went and did a power test, I definitely did way too much riding this week, so I couldn't go as hard as I would have liked during the test, but I still reached my goal of getting an FTP of 200 watts! :) Then it was straight over to Village to work my first official shift! And I sold a bike! There is definitely a lot to learn, but working at the shop is definitely going to be fun.

Ok, well I'm gearing up for the trip to Austin on Wednesday! Can't wait to get out there!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

You've got to be kidding me...

So yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny 50 degree day. When I got home, I got out the single speed and rode up to the grocery store and finally had a nice relaxing evening.

Today is a completely different story though. Currently, it is snowing outside. Yeah that's right, I said snowing. Why must Mother Nature screw with me like this? Evil temptress!

Good thing I'm getting out of here next week and heading down to Austin!

Well back to working on Arena, and possibly having mind-numbingly stupid conversations with Jon. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pet peeve....

I would just like to state one of my top pet peeves....bringing your small child to work on random days.... Just thought I would mention that as there is currently a screaming child about 2 rows over here at work.... Great for the concentration.

Vision Quest...

So I had my first TNT@VQ session last night. For those that don't know what Vision Quest is, it's the coaching program run by Robbie Ventura, who once rode on the Postal Team with Lance. It's also the coaching program that was used by Floyd Landis. Which was probably my main decider in choosing to do it, if it's good enough for Floyd then it's good enough for me! Luckily our TNT Coach, Dan Jerger, is one of their coaches, so he was able to get some time just for our TNT team. There's also a chance that Robbie may stop in for one of our sessions, and that's just cool!

Going in, I knew this week would be tough, I am finishing up my computrainer classes with the bike shop this week, so I had class with them Monday night where we did 2 20 minute intervals at 96% threshold, along with plenty of other challenges like 1-legged pedaling drills, cadence spin ups, and stomps (i.e. pushing a ridiculous # of watts for 15 seconds). So I went in on Tuesday knowing my legs would not be up for top performance. So we get the bikes on the trainers and Coach Dan announces what we're doing. "Tonight we're going to be doing 2X20's at 96%." Seriously??? Didn't I just do that?? But I pushed through it. Coach Dan suggested I could lower my threshold power number if I needed to. At that point he didn't understand how stubborn I am about finishing any ride I start! But he understood by the end of the night. :) All in all, VQ is a great place to get a good work-out. Unfortunately our class is right at the end of the night so I couldn't stick around to utilize all of their great equipment for core and stretching out. (That's the main plan for tonight in order to rest the legs and get ready for Thursday's computrainer workout!)

The other amazing part about VQ is that all of the VQ athletes store their bikes there. So when you walk in you just see amazing bikes hanging everywhere!! Saw plenty of Orbea's, and even a Look, Quintana Roo and a Blue!! :) I was like a kid in a candy store! Can't wait to go next week and see what else I can find.

That's all for now, there will probably be another post about something or other later on today so that I can keep up with Colleen! She's setting the blogging bar pretty high!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bike shop fun!

So I have my first shift at the bike shop on Sunday! Yea! Hopefully I can sell a bike!

Ok, and seriously people, it's time for you to start leaving comments. It makes blogging way more fun for me!

Flawed argument...

So Tammy Thomas is a former female Olympic cyclist. Currently US District Court prosecutors have issued five perjury charges against Thomas for lying in October of 2003 to a federal grand jury looking into the BALCO steroid scandal by saying she did not use performance-enhancing drugs (steroids). Judging by her photo, I'm going to go ahead and say that she's going to have a tough time proving she didn't use steroids. Keep in mind we're talking about Tammy here, a female!

Friday, March 21, 2008


So for those that may be wondering what the 2nd day of Spring looks like here in Chicago.... I'm here to enlighten you. Take a look.
Yeah, that's right, it's snowing....and definitely still coming down. The forecast predicts 6-8 inches. Fun fun...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Seriously?? No really.....seriously???

I would like those of you in Austin to know exactly what I'm dealing with out here:

Yep, that's right, a snow storm on the 1st day of spring! Awesome.... I'm going to assume that I won't be riding outdoors on Saturday morning. :(

Velonews randomness....

So I spent some time on Velonews yesterday, and ran across a few things that I wanted to share. Some interesting, some appalling, and some just entertaining....

So apparently Fabian Wegmann of the Gerolsteiner team was riding electric dura-ace in the Tour of California. Yes, I know this is old news, but there was a letter from a reader that I totally agree with: "Am I the only one appalled that the greatest human powered device ever invented is being corrupted with motors and batteries, all in the name of what, quick shifting or lighter weight?" I'm all for technology and I do like having my computer to tell me how fast I'm going, what my cadence is, how far I've gone, etc... and I have been dreaming of a PowerTap wheel lately, but I agree with this guy that we shouldn't mess with the actual workings of the bike by adding electronics. But that's just my humble opinion.

Kevin Impe, a cyclist with Quick Step, was forced to give a control sample on Saturday or face a 2 year suspension. What makes this story appalling is that he was at the crematorium filling in the papers after the death of his newborn son when the drugs tester showed up. Impe reports, "He wouldn't even come back later in the day. It was either do it right on the spot or it would be taken as if I had refused". I understand that they are trying to crack down on doping in the sport, but that is ridiculous. Let the guy grieve, and if you really want to test him, then do it before the next race he enters.

And now for the entertaining. Will "Fresh Korn" Frischkorn offers this not entirely PC view of racing in different countries. He provides a warning before getting into it: "Warning: BIG GENERALITIES HERE". Needless to say, it's a good read. :)

Hope that's enough to keep you from being bored for a while. Sorry to those of you who aren't into cycling news, but that's all I've got right now.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Do the test....

This has been floating around the cycling sites lately, and is actually pretty interesting, check it out:

Do the Test

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A simple request...

The next time I decide to invite everyone over to my house after the bar closes because "I have beer" instead of just going home and going to bed, I would really appreciate it if someone would walk up to me and smack me in the forehead like in the V8 commercials...


Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

This year the celebrating hasn't been quite up to standards, yet. I sadly missed the famous Green Beer Day at Sue's out in Austin this weekend. Looks like Team Ohio could have used my help! I went out to Milwaukee yesterday for what I thought would be lots of fun, but it didn't quite work out that way! So today is the day to make up for it! I am of course wearing my green here at work, and the fun will begin as soon as I leave!

First off, I have computrainer class tonight. Plenty of fun people in the class tonight, so it should still be a good time. I also plan on bringing "recovery drinks" for everyone for after the ride, i.e. Guinness!

Then I head home to quickly make myself look presentable and then I'm heading up to the Irish pub with my sister and hopefully some of her friends as well, for some good Irish celebrations and bagpipes!

By the way, this picture may help you to answer that age old question of "what do they wear under those kilts?" Enjoy!

Erin go Bragh!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thawing out....

So we finally got to ride outdoors today with TNT! Unfortunately it was right around 32 degrees and cloudy when we started, definitely cold! Plenty of people showed up though, and we all got bundled up as best we could. I, unfortunately, left both my toe covers and full shoe covers at home, so I knew I was going to have some cold feet. :( I did wear my Texas jersey though, just to help me think warm thoughts! Sadly, I had to cover it up with my jacket immediately and no one saw it after that. Don't worry Central Texas TNT'ers.....I will definitely be representing the Texans on the rides out here plenty of times!

I rolled out with a group of 3 right off the bat and soon learned they were the fastest group on the team. Awesome! We were instructed to just ride out 45 minutes and then turn back in. Unfortunately because of some pretty nasty road conditions and lots of turns in the beginning of the ride we only got out about 12ish miles. I was feeling almost "warm" on the way out, but then we turned around and the wind hit us right in the face. And I'm cold again.... I could definitely feel my lungs as well, as they are really not used to working hard in the cold air. So sadly, I was doing more wheel sucking than pulling, but I stuck with the group all the way in. I hope to ride with these guys for the majority of the season as they will definitely challenge me. Apparently they were taking it easy today! If going 16 mph directly into a tough wind is taking it easy, then I know I have some challenges in store for me! Yea! :)

We then went out to breakfast, all I could think about was migas. But Randall's Pancake House in St. Charles, IL definitely doesn't have migas. So I decided to go with the Mexican omelet and sadly, it was very disappointing. I stopped in the bike shop on the way home to do some work on my rear derailleur, as it wasn't shifting right during the ride. And now I'm at home, happily sitting on the couch watching the Illini game, hoping they can pull out another amazing win! :)


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dropkick Murphys!

So at the last minute yesterday I decided to see if I could get tickets to the sold out Dropkick Murphys show, I knew my sister was going with a bunch of her friends and they had a VIP room, so it sounded like fun. Plus, who doesn't love a little Irish punk rock every now and then?

So I found a guy on Craigslist offering a ticket and arranged to meet at the show. I then hurried home and made it onto the 5:30 train heading for the city. I met some other people on the train who were heading to the show as well, so when we got off we decided to walk over to the venue together. It was supposed to be a 1.3 mile big deal, it was actually not super cold out. Well, I learned the lesson of never believing that the other person knows where they are going, basically we took a wrong turn and went way out of the way! The 1.3 mile walk turned into at least 2-3 miles. Awesome. Once we got there, everything went well though. Found the guy with my ticket at the will call window, which allowed me to bypass the line at the door, found my sister and headed up to our "sky suite". Got there in time to hear the last half of the set for "Big D and the Kids Table", they were just ok, so I wasn't too concerned with missing them. Then Dropkick came out!! Awesome, I definitely heart Irish Punk! :) I was very thankful we were up in the sky suite though. There was definitely some moshing going on down on the floor, and I really wanted nothing to do with that. My sister and some of her friends went down for a while, and she came back complaining of a bruised rib.....why does moshing sound fun??? All in all, it was a good night: great music, fun people, some drinks, new friends and very little sleep. Today is turning out to be a long one!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

OK, Mother Nature, now we're going to have a problem.....

Can someone please explain to me why Mother Nature is apparently so against me riding outdoors?? What day am I supposed to ride with TNT this week, yeah Saturday.....that looks awesome.

I am giving Mother Nature a few days to fix this, if not, we're going to have some serious problems!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I miss BikeSnobNYC...

Since BikeSnobNYC is on vacation (*tear*) I feel the need to share this with you. For those that don't read BikeSnob's blog, you may not quite understand, but trust me, he would have some hilarious comments about this one.

Some choice excerpts from the post:
"I have this bike, it is beautiful. people will stop you to tell you how beautiful it. they will also leave notes on your bike to tell you how beautiful it is. i know, because this has been my bike for some time. "

and my favorite....

"has pedal powered lights installed, but they've never really worked, the light is dim, and you have to pedal harder to light them, and they turn off when you stop pedaling. but they look cool!"

Oh BikeSnob, where are you when we need you?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hey Big Spender....

So there has been a lot of spending this weekend, some of it was necessary and some was just fun. On Friday I took my car into the shop to hopefully get rid of the terrible noises it was making. Turns out my power steering hoses were cracked and had leaked all of the fluid. So they replaced some hoses and that problem was gone. But then they also discovered that the thermostat didn't work. Which means 2 things, the engine doesn't operate at the correct temperature and you don't get heat in the car!! So that's why I've been so cold all winter! So that got fixed too, and now there is actually warm air coming out of the vents in my car, so much better! I blame living in Texas for not thinking to get it looked at sooner. I honestly had forgotten what a car's heater should do!

Now on to the fun stuff! So the forecast for the weekend was cold and snowy (it never ends!) so I knew we would be doing our TNT training in spin class once again, and I decided I was tired of doing spin class in running shoes since I don't have SPD on my cycling shoes. So off to the bike shop to utilize my discount (it's going to get me in trouble!) and get some new shoes! Decided to go with some mountain shoes since I will probably put flat/spd combo pedals on my single speed and wanted shoes I could walk in. So I went for these Shimanos, they're definitely white, but I wanted something different!

And now for the most exciting purchase, which was also somewhat necessary. 2 weeks ago my tv decided to stop turning on, so it was time to shop for a new one! I decided I would finally just go for the HDTV, so I headed over to Best Buy. I ended up getting one a little nicer than I had planned on, but I was able to bargain and get them to take $100 off the price and I get 2 years of no interest since I used the Best Buy credit card that I already had. So at the end of the day, it's a pretty good deal! :) And it's beautiful! A Samsung 37" LCD. I'm currently sitting here watching the UK/Florida basketball game, purely because it's in HD! :)

Today there is a ban on spending! Well except for taking Ginger to get all of her shots and a bath. She is not going to be a happy dog! But I'm sure she will be spoiled tonight with lots of loving and some special food as well.

Hopefully I will come up with something more entertaining for everyone to read soon! :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Socks!

So I went in for my computrainer class tonight, and knew I was going to need something special to get me through it. Lots of workouts this week and the Thursday computrainer class is the "at threshold" work-out, meaning lots of time at very tough levels. So I looked around the shop and found what I needed, new socks! :)
Yes they are cow socks and they say "Smell our dairy air". I personally find them hilarious, but then again I have been known to be amused by the little things. :)

Tomorrow is going to be a long one, up super early to take the car to the shop, and then to work early for an all-staff meeting (aka 2 hours of boredom), and then probably spending the rest of the day working on simulation stuff and then finishing it all off with simulation council (oh joy). But it's my mom's birthday so I get to go over there to celebrate with a fantastic filet mignon dinner! Yea!

Later gators....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Yoga goodness...

So I decided to give yoga another shot tonight.... I was going back and forth all day about whether to head over to the gym to take a class for free, or up to the yoga studio by my house and pay for it. I decided to opt for the free option. I had to drive to the north location of my gym, and I now know why I only go to the small express gym location by my house. This place was huge!! I circled around the parking lot a few times (stress level rising...) finally found a spot and headed in. There were people everywhere!! I walked passed the studio where the class would be held and noticed that it was pretty full already. At this point the stress level rose another notch, how was I going to relax if I was constantly worried about hitting other people during the poses?? So I marched right on out of the gym and called the yoga studio. "What time is your next class?" "7:30" "Perfect see you then" So I got back in the car and drove to the studio. Ahhhh relaxation. I went with the Level 2/3 class this time since the Level 1/2 kind of bored me last time. I definitely got plenty of practice on my downward facing dog!

All in all it was a great class, plenty of stretching and still challenging. It looks like this might get worked into the weekly routine for Wednesdays considering I bought a punch card and everything! Janelle would be so proud! :) I still need to work up to this pose though! Yikes!

And now it's off to bed for a good night's sleep. Good night all!

Hey Mother Nature.....wake up!!

Ok, seriously, apparently Mother Nature forgot that it is now March, aka spring time. Birds chirpping, flowers blooming, warm breezes....that's what spring is supposed to be! Definitely not this:That's enough, I really don't know how much more of this I can take!! It looks like I will be pedaling away in spin class this weekend....yea.....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sometimes you just don't understand...

I'm just going to say that sometimes I just don't get it. You think one thing happened, then it turns out that you were wrong, and you can't figure out why. Oh well.....

Very vague I know....but that's just the way it's gotta be. I promise they all won't be like this!

Later dudes...

The start of something new...

So apparently I'm starting a blog. Hmmmm interesting. I never thought I could come up with enough stuff to write about, but since a lot of friends have started them, and I really enjoy keeping up with their daily lives, I thought I would give it a shot. We'll see how long it lasts. :)

The blog will probably consist of me writing about a mixture of different things: cycling, music, adjusting to Chicago life, things that amuse me, and things I wonder about. There is no way I could ever pick a central theme like so many wonderful blogs do, so I'll just go with the "lets cover everything" approach.

So for your reading pleasure (or something like that) I introduce my blog, which may at some point have an actual title as soon as creativity strikes!