Friday, October 30, 2009

Sometimes a Man Needs His Beef

Roasting beef on sale at the grocery... stuff it with garlic, cover with red, black pepper, and salt.

Roast it...

Slice it...

Gotta like garlic if you're gonna eat at my place!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Changes In the Winds

The weather changes fast this time of year. The pics in today's post are from Tuesday. It was cloudless perfection. No pics from Wednesday's ride because it was raining. About 2:00pm it was bright and sunny. By 5:00pm leadout, misting rain later turning into steady rain. The rains have not yet grown cold. No complaints. When doing a challenging threshold ride, they feel nice and refreshing. The slippery roads make the normally boring road ride much more mentally engaging. I'm glad I'm a mountain biker when the rains come.

I'm still reeling from the Terlingua cancellation. Perhaps if there is anything good about it, it forces me to evaluate my goals for next year. I have never had specific goals about racing, but I want them now.

I worked out some very meaningful goals that related to Terlingua. They can't readily substitute into another race. There is only one Tres Cuevas! It's great to have ONE BIG RACE in big red letters on your calandar to keep you going through the long winter months.

My goals have to morph. But to what? I'm not quite sure.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It is with a heavy heart that Desert Sports must announce the cancellation of the 2010 Starlight Theater Mas O Menos 100k Moutain Bike Fest.

It's been a great ride, since back in teh day (way back i n'04) when we first convinced the fine folks at the CASI site that this whole mountain bike thing was a possibility. We had visions then of how great it could be... but we never truly imagined how fabulous it would turn out! Dancing! Riding in sixty foot rattlesnakes! Racing! Eating!
CRAP! This is my favorite race of the year. There's nothing better than getting away from the cold, rain and spending a wonderful week camping out in the desert!

It was a festival-like atmosphere in one of the most unique places I've ever been. I've been excited about going back since I turned north on Hwy 118 last February. It's the perfect way to light the fires and kick start the spring season. Alas, it will not be... and. I. am. sad.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

MR2 Headlight Motors

Spilled the bike yesterday on the way home from work. Luckily, I was wearing commuter shorts. That saved me from the road rash. Didn't save me from the bruise and pains on my hip. I'm seriously sore today. Enough to not want to get on the bike, or drive to Ruston. Blah. After beaucoup asprin... I decided fix the headlight motor on the MR2. I pulled off the headlight motor, which was not working at times.

I suspected an electrical problem. And after removing the cover, this was what I saw...

Lotsa corrosion. Some brake cleaner and working over with a scrub pad yielded this...

Still a lot of corrosion. The copper plating is gone at the parking spot. But I though why not try. No go.

Hmm... Here's why folks that work on old cars are packrats. I saved a motor that had a bad bearing on the worm gear. Let's see what's inside. First, I have to get out the power tool to get the stripped screw loose...

After some efforts, a small abrasion, I crack it open and find...

It's pristine! Glad I saved it. Now I simply remove the lift arm, and tap out the gear. Be careful here. When you loosen the arm bolt, hold on to so you don't torque against the plastic gear. Sure way to crack it.

Much better condition here...

I just swapped the gears into the good housing, and put it all back together. The result...

It was a good afternoon on a picture perfect fall day. This job took twice as long as it should have, but I'm moving pretty slow today with the soreness. I did a lot of planning to ensure all my tools were within arms reach today!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

For a Wet and Dreary Wednesday...

... homemade chicken soup is the perfect prescription.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The UPs and DOWNs of Training

I'm ready for cold weather. Those that know me are now in shock! Yes, I said it. I'll say it again. I'm ready for cold weather. This summer's heat was one to remember. And I'm tired of it. Here we are in October, with temperatures in the mid-90's. I think training through the summer's hottest heat may not have been the smartest idea. As I near the end of the season, I'm tired. Seriously, seriously tired.

The training has been weak and sporadic the last two weeks. It's felt more like work than fun. Training shouldn't be this hard. The hardest part of training isn't actually doing the training. That part is fun. At it's worst, I'm outdoors riding my bike. That's where I feel the best, even if the ride is intense. But for the last couple of weeks the hard part has been mustering up the motivation to get moving. Maybe it's the heat?

I'm tired, but not worried. Earlier in my training this type of down period worried me. Scared that I'd give up the sport. But not now. I know that with a few days rest I'll be itching to get back on the bike. I already am in most ways. These ebbs and flows are just part of the training process. Everyone gets them (I think?) but few are willing to admit it. Key point is to shed the guilt we as athletes put on ourselves for not training. It takes some honesty. Honesty to see that if you're training, but not doing a good job of it... you're better off resting. Gathering the motivation to rest is hard. How does one get psyched up to rest? That's an underrated skill in this business.

Luckily I've got some time before the Ruston race. YettiCross is canceled, because Harris County Flood Control are jerks. [SEE HERE], and there's college football on TV all day Saturday. Seems like a great time for a break.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Racer's Program for Dating

If you aren't reading Embrocation Cycling Journal you should be. It's very well wirtten. An example: A racer's porgram for dating.

Bicycle racing is already a lonely pursuit. There are long hours training and long drives to and from races. If, like me, you are struggling to find your place in the peloton, there can occasionally be lonely time spent off the back of races.

Now, if you’re single, you’ve got to throw the following into the mix of misery: solitary nights sitting at home when non-racing friends venture out to enjoy a normal night life, leaving you behind to clean and lube your bike, because you’re racing tomorrow and adult beverages, late nights, and drunken snacking are not conducive to fast racing.

[. . .]

To avoid lonely evenings in the season’s busiest months, I respectfully suggest the following dating program for anyone currently single and racing, racing and contemplating being single, or currently single and contemplating racing. You’ve got a coach to create your training program. Consider this your program for dating-while-racing. . . the rest at: