Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy Weekend

Last weekend was one of those rare weekends when I got 4 days off in a row. I tried to squeeze as much as possible into it to make the most of it. I started Friday by sleeping until 11am, something I haven't done in forever. When we finally got up, we decided to go to Best Buy to look at TVs. I picked out a couple of Sharp TVs but wanted to wait until I shopped around. Chris really like the Samsung but the one in our price range was too wide for our wall unit. Later Friday we went to the NEX to look at their selection. They had the same TV as one of the Sharps I saw at Best Buy. It was $100.00 more than Best Buy but I thought if I could price match, I would save the sales tax. Unfortunately, when they called Best Buy the sales clerk said that they didn't have any in stock, even though I knew they had two when we were there earlier.
Later Friday, Courtney had an end of year ceremony for her Girl Scout Troop. The girls had fun showing off their accomplishments for the year.

Saturday morning I got up early and headed to Schofield to ride. My goal was to keep both wheels on the ground and avoid any accidents or mechanicals. Something I hadn't been too successful at during the last few rides. We had a nice easy ride, saving energy for Sunday's State Championship 40 K Time Trial. My shoulder felt pretty good for the entire ride so I knew I would be ready for the TT. We finished early so I stopped at the other Best Buy to look at TVs. I thought they had a Samsung in our price range that would fit so I grabbed it. Unfortunately, I looked at the wrong tag for the dimensions and when I got it home, I figured out it was too big for our cabinet. Luckily, I was able to slide the doors all the way forward and get it to fit. Unfortunately we aren't able to push them back like we used to but it looks pretty good.

After we got the TV set up we headed to Kaneohe to my friend Robert's for a pool party. I over ate and drank a few too many which was probably not the smartest thing to do before the race on Sunday. We had a great time and decided to get together with them again on Monday.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 0400 not feeling the best from the night before. I filled up the jeep (not much fun with $4.00 gas and a 20 gal tank) and headed up to the northern most tip of the island. Most of the HACCers were already warming up when I got there. I got my number and free socks and started warming up on the trainer. I wasn't feeling too bad by the time I was at the starting line. The first half (12miles) of the race was into a pretty stiff wind. I was able to keep it at about 22 mph telling myself I would pick it up on the way back. When I was about 2/3rds of the way to the turn around, I started passing racers. I figured it was a pretty good sign. When I turned around, I kicked it up to 26 mph and kept passing more riders. I miscalculated where the finish line was and picked it up a little too early. I still finished pretty strong. I had to leave early so I missed the awards ceremony. John called me after church and let me know that I finished 2nd in my category. Now I have a 1st place state championship medal from the team time trial and a 2nd place from the individual tt. Ben finished first in our category beating me by a little under a minute. Casey finished 1st in his category, John 2nd in his. I invited Ben and Casey over for supper Sunday night and we celebrated with Beer and Steaks.

Monday started as a lazy day. We slept in until 10 then headed back to Roberts in the afternoon. This time Courtney and Ginger joined us. Ginger loved the pool. She swam all over. Marty had a kids inflatable vest that we put on Ginger so she wouldn't have to work so hard. She looked ridiculous but that didn't seem to bother her. She also enjoyed sitting on the floaties.

On a somber note, this is the first memorial day since my brother was killed in Afghanistan. My sister and Mom went to DC for a ceremony for the families of the fallen. It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year. I still expect to see him driving his truck up to my house.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


My riding luck hasn't been going too well. Saturday I suffered a major mechanical which disrupted my weekend riding. I was really looking forward to a good Tuesday ride. I managed to leave the office pretty early so I could start with the group. We had a record 26 riders. Ben and Casey took off during the housing warm-up. I stayed back with the peleton until Scott passed me and picked up the pace to about 26. A couple of the new guys also came around so I picked up the pace to stay with them. We slowed as we rode through the traffic circle then we picked it up to try to catch Ben and Casey. Unfortunately I forgot about the big bump in the road and I hit it square on making me lose control. The next thing I knewI was sliding across the pavement. My head hit the curb but luckily the helmet absorbed the impact. It felt like my head was hitting a pillow. I slowly got up and felt around for the typical injuries: broken collar bone, bleeding, concussion. Everything checked out except my shoulder was a little sore. I check the bike which surprisingly suffered very little damage except for the rear dérailleur cable stretching which I didn't notice until I started to ride. I got back on the bike and proceeded with the ride. Everything seemed fine until I tried to lift my left arm to signal a turn. I felt a sharp shooting pain and wasn't able to lift the arm. I went back to work and called Chris. She told me she was coming to take me to the ER. 3 hours later I found out that I strained my rotator cuff. Not a real serious injury, just a painful one. Luckily I should be able to ride in the 40 K TT. My Helmet didn't make out so well. Hopefully Rudy Project will be sympathetic and send me a new one.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bike to Work, Mechanicals and a Computer Virus

I started Friday morning off with a nice bike ride to downtown Honolulu to the Bike to Work rally. Friday was the official Bike to Work day and the Hawaiian Bicycle League held a rally to kick it off. There were about 10 of us from the base that rode down Nimitz with rush hour traffic for a free cup of coffee and to meet with other riders from accross the island. Lt Governor "Duke" Aiona (green shirt below) rode his vintage "old" fuji from Makakilo to the ralley and spoke to the crowd. He took time to talk to alot of us and took a picture with the HACC.

I finished the workday off Friday with a round of golf at the Par 3. I putted pretty well but could not get any good shots off the tee.
Saturday morning I woke early and headed to Schofield for the north shore ride. I was really looking forward to a nice ride with some hard efforts to prepare for next weeks State TT. We were just starting to climb Koli Koli pass when I shifted into the small ring. Some how I threw the chain off and the torque pulled my derailleur hanger off the frame ending my ride prematurely. Luckily we weren't far from the car and Jon L who wasn't planning a hard ride to save his legs for Sunday's tri rode back got his Exterraand gave me a ride back to the jeep. I spent the better part of the morning cannibalizing old parts and was able to get the bike back running with out spending any money. I still need to tap out a some threads for one screw but I think I will be ok for Sunday's TT.
Saturday evening we picked up a virus on the computer. I tried to download a spyware program but found out it did more harm than good. Luckily with patients I was able to get the computer back up on Sunday.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Northshore Hammer Fest

I finally had a weekend where I could have a long Saturday ride so I headed up to Schofield Barracks to do the HACC North Shore ride. John had originally planned on riding up Pupekea instead of going out to Dillingham then doing 3 pineapple hill climbs. Some of the other guys who were doing Tri training wanted to go to Dillingham then up to Turtle Bay. I didn' t have a preference so I suggested that we do Dillingham then Pupekea which would stretch the ride out to about 65 miles. One of my German riding buddies used to say, "If you don't ride 100 K, you might as well stay home. "
I couldn't believe how light it was when I left the house at 0545. I was a beautiful morning but a little chilly "68 degrees" when we started. I took it easy climbing Kole Kole but decided to give it all I had heading out to Dillingham. I wanted to see if I could do a breakaway and make it to the beach park before everyone else. When we turned on to Snake Road, I picked it up to about 27 and made my break. I was able to make keep the gap. After a short rest at the "most picturesk Beach Park in Hawaii" We headed towards Pupekea. One the way, we saw Bryant sitting on at the Church. We thought he was waiting for Mary Ann so we just waved and road by. Come to find out, He had blown his tire out and needed help. Sorry about that Bryant.
I tried my damnest to keep up with John going up Pupekea and was able to hang on through the switchbacks but He stood up and gunned it and I fell back. I was able to keep him in sight but could never close the gap. I thought I would do better on Pineapple but my muscles were not recovered from the hard efforts out to Dillingham and Pupekea.
After the ride I met Chris and Courtney at the Outlet Mall. I forgot to bring any clothes to change into so I was shopping in my HACC kit to include the socks and my birkenstock sandals. I don't think Courtney was too happy walking around the Mall with me but she didn't seem to mind me using my credit card.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It is easy when the food tastes great.

Since starting our diet Chris has been doing all the cooking so I could work on the paper. Not that I turned it in it was my turn to cook supper. We talked about going out to eat but decided since we had just spent a ton of money on groceries we should eat at home. Our menu plan for tonight was a dish called Big Easy Shrimp. It was basically Shrimp Creole or gumbo. I had chopped onions, bell peppers, celery and diced tomatoes. It also called for 1tsp of hot sauce (Tabasco). It ended up being a little hot so I added a couple of small cans of tomato juice. It still had a little zing but with a glass of skim milk, it went down pretty well. I cooked some brown rice to give it a little more fiber.

Tomorrow I am going to ride at the North shore. It has been over a month so I am looking forward to a great ride.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Master's paper complete. Now back to the fun.

For the last week, i have been sequestered at this computer completing the last requirement for my master's degree, A research project on opening a bike shop near my home town in Galesburg Illinois. This morning I emailed the paper to my professor hoping that I did well enough to pass so I can graduate in June. I don't mind writing; if I did, I probably wouldn't do this Blog, but I hate the anticipation of hoping that my writing is well enough to pass. When it comes to math or taking tests, I always strive for an A but when it comes to writing simply passing is good enough. By the looks of my computer nook, you can see that I am not the most organized person and I put the project off until the last minute as I tend to have to be under pressure before I can get the words to paper.

Now that I am done with the paper, I can delve into organizing the house we moved into last month. I am currently working on turning the garage into my "man-cave". I just picked up a nice blue Craftsman tool cabinet. I still need to clean and organize all the bikes so I can have room to work on bikes. I have managed to keep enough room to drive the car in which has been so nice since, it used to get covered with dust from all the construction in the old house.

Two weeks ago, I competed with Ben, Casey and Steve Chirco in the Hawaii State Team Time Trail Championship. We were a very well matched team. Steve is an animal and was willing to take long pulls keeping our average speed over 25 mph. The rest of us would give it all we had for as long as we could. The combination worked superb as we won our category and had the 6th fastest time of the 30 plus teams.
Two weeks ago, Chris and I started doing the South Beach Diet. This time Chris took care of the cooking and menu planning which made a huge difference. I tend to half-ass it when it comes to the cooking taking short cuts and trying the easy meals like grilled chix breast and green beans. Chris has turned it into a gourmet cooking competition. The meals have been great and I am shedding the lbs. I am down to 184 which I haven't been at in over 10 years. I was a little concerned that the lack of Carbs would hurt the bike but it hasn't. I seem to be a lot stronger on the hills and as strong on the flats. I have been supplementing with some carbs but only complex ones with lots of fiber. I had even gone for almost 2 weeks with out a beer but broke down and had one tonight.
Last weekend I took the entire weekend off from the bike. This weekend I am heading up to the northshore for a nice ride with the HACC. I love the northsore rides but haven't been able to ride up there for over a month due to other conflicts. Next week I start training hard for the 40 k TT. I hope for a top 5 finish. We will see how many pro triathletes show up to rain on my parade.