"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." — Mike Tyson

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jeff Bates

I went to see my buddy Jeff yesterday.  In a word, hard.  He's really weak from the daily radiation treatment and it's knocking him for a loop.  The treatment for the cancer, bio chemo every 3 weeks for 4 hours a pop....is killing him, literally.  He's frail and is in bed a lot.  I fucking hate seeing him this way and I told him as much.  I got all welled up...he just took it like a man.

I'm gonna spend some time with him Saturday....gonna take that all in and bank it for sure.

I don't know what to say about it anymore....I don't want to trivialize it but the best analogy I can think of is the video below.  At about 3:20 in is where it's at for Bates...

Dragline (cancer): "Stay down, you're beat.."
Luke (Bates): "You're gonna have to kill me..."

I can't put it any better than that....  Fuck yeah...get some Bates.

If you pray...throw one out there to the ether for him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

45 miles, 3 hours, roto-milled road,1 flat = tired legs.

It started rather like any other ride I've been on....asking for permission.  Once I got the go-ahead, I decided to try a little "adventure".  I decided to ride toward Heber City and then hit the East side of the Jordenelle....I'd been out there years ago and it's a pretty ride.

The route was Park City to Heber up River Road and on to Francis then Kamas then back to PC over 248.

I looked on google maps to see if there was a better way to Heber than riding US-40.  I thought I found a secondary road that would do the trick....

Ooops....  So, reminding myself that all good rides sometimes include roads like this one and assuring myself that this is the road I saw on the "map"...I headed out.  The road climbed for a bit and wasn't all that bad.  I'd ridden worse roads (rim deep sugar sand on fixed gears) back in the day with my buddy Brian.  I traipsed up this little path for a bit and came across something a bit more smooth and decided to give that a try.

Stupid is as stupid does.

This path didn't go very far but it was a might better than the gravel.  Needless to say, the gravel petered out after a while and turned into dirt.  Yep, you guessed it....I followed that for a bit until common sense over whelmed me and I turned back only to find a gap in the deer fence paralleling the highway and bushwhacked down to US-40.  I musta looked a sight to all driving on the highway but whatever.

Once on the highway I was in the company of tractor trailers, diesel trucks towing boats and everything in between....needless to say, not fun but direct.

After about 5+ miles of this, I got to the turn off on River Road.  It's a beauty of the climb...nice and steady at about 5%.

Once over the top of that, the road undulates a bit and then ends with a great descent into the valley that leads to Francis.

It's not North Carolina, but it'll do....  10 miles of this to Francis.

The rest of the ride goes like this.....I hit Francis and went up a punchy little climb...short but sweet.  Over the top and down to Joe's Country store for a powerade and banana bread.  That's where tail wind started.  Only 2 miles of it but I'll take it.  Next stop Kamas and 12 miles to PC and home....sounds easy right.

Once on Hwy 248, I encountered roto milled highway up and over 2 climbs....that's where the legs went south.  I did "ok" over the first....until I saw Levi Leipheimer TT'ing the other way....flying....he did have a tail wind...but that didn't seem to matter to my ego.  But he is a PRO after all so I said "fuck it" and kept riding....as slow as humanly possible without coming off the bike.  I then descended toward the next hill and flatted.

After fixing the flat with a patched tube, the smallest mini pump known to man or beast and an CO2, I limped up and over the last hill and rode it in...  All in all....a good ride....actually a great ride because I got to ride.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An open letter to my friend

I have a friend who's pretty sick.  It sucks watching him go in and out of this pain cave made for him by cancer.  He's use to the pain cave....he's a baller for sure.  But this is a horse of a different color....not self induced.

We all know he's sick but not really how sick.  We really don't wanna talk about that....too scary...too close.    He's such a great guy and, I for one, am torn on whether it's better to see him get crushed by the treatment for another year...month....week....or for him to sit back and try to take it all in one last time.  I've seen what the treatment can do...on him...on my mother.  It's ugly.  It's necessary for hope.  It's necessary so he can try to last a bit longer...maybe this time will work.  If he goes through it just one more time, I'll see my friend kick this demon.

He's not one to give up.

It's hard for me to get my brain around the possibility that I may not see him in the near future.  This demon is insidious...unrelenting....evil.  I want him around for a long time.  I want all the Pro's to put down what they're doing for everyone else and work on his case...only his.  Fix him for me.  Fix him for his friends.  Fix him for his wife and son.  Fix him so he can ride again....live his life...raise his son...love his wife.  I know it's not possible but I'd really like it to be so.

I'm not really sure where this is going...I just needed to get it down on "paper", as it were...  I guess I just want my friend to know that he's not letting us all down by not crushing this demon.  We love him regardless and want him to know that any of us would take a part, if not all, of his pain so he could be well again.  I don't want to see him suffer....not this way at least.  I want my friend to know that I will be there to help him or his family in any way.  He needs to know that he and his family are loved by an enormous group of people.  He needs to know not to be afraid....that everything will be ok.

Be well, my friend.  Keep your chin up.  You are hard as nails.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jeff Bates

The fundraiser benefiting Jeff and his family was held last night.

Wow, what a turn out.  Wow, what a great bunch of people. Wow, what great music.  Wow....

You can read/see all about it here: Tons of fun...

I am lucky enough to know Jeff.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Business is business and bike racin's bullshit

Hell of the North, Utah style, was held last Saturday.  I hold a particular fondness for this race.  Dunno why.  It's a flat, 5 mile square out by the airport.  1.5 miles is hard pack gravel.

I raced it in '08, as a lark, on an old Bianchi set up as a single speed.  51x15.  I spent a couple of weeks prior to the race sitting on the rollers to try to get some miles in my legs.  I just wanted to go out and ride the Masters 45+ and sit in to finish.  It's usually cold since it's in April, might be rain or snow too but that year, it was just cold.  I actually was surprised at how well I did...considering.  I stayed 4 of 7 laps and got gapped in the head/cross wind section...finished alone....dead fucking last.  Half of the starters DNF'd so I considered it a good day.

This year was a bit different.  From the onset of Fall, I wanted to get back on the road after a decade of MTB riding/racing.  So in November I started putting in some miles outside on the fixed gear.  I'm a stay-at-home dad raising two small children so getting out to ride is always a challenge but I was able to get out a couple of days a week when the weather cooperated.  The weather didn't cooperate much so my riding was either non existent or sporadic at best.  December came and so did really fucking cold weather...single digit cold....for a month.  Riding outside didn't really happen.  March rolled around and with the race to be held on April 2nd, I was needing some outside time.  Again, cold/wet/snow plagued my "training" regimen.

I'm not a gym rat...can't fucking stand doing any kind of exercise indoors.  So, suffice it to say, that I put on what clothes I had and rode in the wet/cold.  I used to do this fairly full time when I was in college but that was then and this is now...I don't have to ride in the shit anymore.  But I'm OCD if I'm anything so out I went.

The Bianchi was fitted up with gears, 7 spd cluster and downtube shifters.  It's a nice ride but very out of date.  23 lbs worth of out of date but it's the only road bike I have.  As the race grew closer, my anxiety about how I would do grew too.  I thought I was feeling pretty good even though my riding wasn't steady.  I'd gotten outside...and when I rode, I tried to ride hard hoping that my legs would remember the feeling of how to push the big gears.

The week of the race it snowed again and I wasn't psyched about maybe not having any outside days.  But then I heard we were in for a big warm up...might be close to 70 deg on Saturday.  I was stoked.  I had gotten out a couple of days that week and it was 60's and sunny...had a couple of nice rides.  There's something to be said for riding in the sun with arm warmers and heat rub on the legs.  It felt like Spring was on the way.

I woke up race day to clouds and wind.  A cold front was expected to arrive later that day and it was gonna get colder by the hour.  I wasn't happy but the race had gone on in previous years despite the weather conditions so I was committed one way or another.  Babysitter got to the house on time and I was off.  I drove to the course, got my number and set out on the task of number pinning, warm up and heading to the start/finish.

I was warm-ish so I didn't don knee warmers but decided instead to try out some heat rub on the legs.  I got to the start/finish area with about 5 minutes to spare so no pre course ride was doable...I was to regret that move.  There was about 20 45+ Masters lined up.  I knew one guy.  The official gave us our instructions and we were off, just like that I was racing again.  The start/finish straight was all head/crosswind, the section after turn one was a gradually increasing headwind.  Next section, cross/tail wind and then on the gravel...BIG tail wind.  I decided to start with the front this year instead of dead last...my plan was to stay up front through the whole race, be aggressive and try to do something other than get dropped.  Mike Tyson once said, "..everybody has a plan 'till they get punched in the face..".  That's what happened to me...we hit that tail wind section on the gravel and it quickly ramped up to 30mph+.  I was holding my own until I hit the first of several big holes that almost dislodged me from the Bianchi.  Before I got gapped, I was actually in the weeds on the left hand side loose gravel....I'm happy I know how to ride or I would have hit the deck.

Before long, I was off.  My heart rate was maximum and I was on the 13 just trying to hold my own and not get too dropped.  Maybe I could bridge...  That was not to be.  Fuck....  Now I had to ride, by myself, for the next six and a half laps.  Getting dropped isn't new to me....I've been dropped more times than I'd like to admit but I felt particularly bad about this instance...I thought I was fitter.  Anyway, I accepted my fate and since I'd payed my money, pinned on a number, got kitted up and on my bike...I figured I'd ride the whole distance...for training.  Ya never train as hard as you race...

I picked up a couple of guys along the way but, even with my enthusiastic encouragement, they had packed it in.  I couldn't believe it..."c'mon", I'd say, "let's just ride it in together"....nope, nada, zilch.  So...lap after lap, I'd eat the head wind and try to drill in the tail wind section...racers race.

I ended up finishing 11th, the 6th Master Cat 3....DFL outta 19 guys, 18 starters.  Out of the finishers, one guy is a Cat 2, six others of us are Cat 3's and one Cat 4.  On one hand I'm pretty disappointed.  But on the other hand, I'm happy that I gutted it out and just got to race again.  I'm planning a couple more "festivals of pain" in the near future....mainly 'cause they're 5 mins from my house and about 45 mins. long.  I'll keep ya posted.

Monday, April 4, 2011

They're all for sale....

Well folks, here goes.

I'm selling my beloved Bianchi for the right price.  I acquired this bike from my buddy Tony Pereira when he was moving to Portland a number of years back.  It was outfitted with a Shimano fixed setup.....he got a King HS and I got the bike.  Gave him all the parts back and put all my old Campy SR stuff on it.  I'm unsure of the model and year but I'm guessing it's mid-80's vintage.  C-C seat tube is 51 cm, C-C tob tube is 52.5cm.

She's lived a couple of lives prior to what you see in the photos but she's all road now.

There's a lot of Campagnolo...albeit old Campy...on the bike.  Brake set, shifter levers, front and rear der are Campy SR.  Cranks (170's) are from a Chorus 10 spd group.  Wheels are hand built, Mavic Open Pro 32H's with Superbe Pro hubs.  TTT stem (120 mm), Salsa bars (42 cm), Tektro levers  Chainrings on the bike are 51/39 (i got a 51 back in '91, I guess was riding compact before compact existed).  I have a 53 and 42....so there are a couple of combinations.  Freewheel is 13-25, 7 spd.

I'm selling her because I wanna fund the purchase (read: throw more money in the toilet) of a new road bike.  Not that much more modern, but I'd like to leap into the 90's.  It's on Ebay right now at:

If I get a decent offer, I'd consider ending the auction early.  So, think it over and let me know.  I have more photos if anyone is interested.  Email me at jusridnround@gmail.com with any questions.

Ciao, Mike

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

been ridin' some

so...i'm on this kinda mid-life (is 50+ mid-life?) racing comeback kick....  i'm gonna try to do some races this year with the RACERHEADS, my old bunch of pals.  got some new kit, got some new members inducted (Tiffany and Steve)..psyched about that.

i'm fooling myself back into training...like it's really gonna pan out.  did some great miles today.  longest in a while.  super nice day....50 and sunny.  knee warmers, one LS and one SS jersey kinda day.  rode on the big meat some....climbed ok.  just worked out.  had a few hours of free time to kill...so i kill 'em.  felt good..like old times.  maybe do the training crit (some people call it a crit, i call it a curcuit race) this weekend.  weather might be shitty but if i get a chance, i'll do donuts for a half hour.....what the fuck.  "C" flight...drill it with the nabobs.  i'm an old cat 3 with cat 5 legs right now.  hope i don't get shelled.  but as tiff says..."i know how to be efficient"...that means i'm an old wheel sucker...."can't drop me".

we'll see.  at least i'm excited about something for once.  i just need to get someone to help me with the girls and i'm all set.

blah, blah, blah...