Putin. Trump. Clinton. Election. Meddling. Special Counsel. Dossier. Boogers. ________________________________________________________________________
Lately I've been seeing some Russian traffic for this blog. I seriously doubt there's any interest in that country of a mere 144 million souls, even among what would be my target demographic- old, untalented, and overweight road bike racing idiots. Then again, my entire knowledge of their racing scene is centered around my belief that Belov from American Flyers and Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds were separated at birth.
...but I digress.

The infrequent-but-rhythmic nature of the Russian hits indicate they are from bots triggering off something I said. I'd be interested to see what that was. Then again, I'd also be interested in seeing what attracted and maintains the interest of my faithful French porn bots. Wait... maybe not. At any rate, I'd be remiss if I didn't welcome these new consumers of my garbage and work t…

Big, Empty Boxes.

Our Sears is closing down, and by now they're getting down to a lot of stuff that nobody wants (most of their clothing lines) or is otherwise not an impulse buy (appliances). I went early on and picked up a bunch of Craftsman tools and stuff that I didn't really need but could see a viable use for in the future. The little 3/8" sockets sets were cheaper than buying the ratchet alone, and I'm always losing sockets. I spent more than I should have, but I rarely regret buying tools. We bought a bunch of other stuff while we were there- far more than we ever have before. Might as well take advantage of it while it lasts, because soon we won't have the option.

Our Sams Club closed down a little while back. They went fast. The locusts cleaned them out in short order. We weren't members, so it was no great loss for us (we've always shopped at Costco). Still, another option gone.

Last year our Sports Authority stores closed, and that was a bigger hit for the family.…

Building A Casket.

The other day the Fairbanks Cycle Club March newsletter popped up in my FaceSpace feed. In particular, this caught my eye:

We have had a lot of inquiries about the 2018 Tour of Fairbanks 5 Stage Race. The FCC Board has set tentative dates in June; however, we have yet to secure a race director for this event. Without a race director, the event will be cancelled for a second year. How can you help?
Spread the word that we are still recruiting. FCC is offering a $2,000 stipend for a person or team willing to coordinate all 5 stages. This includes determining the courses for a Prologue, 2 Road Races, a Criterium, and a Time Trial; acquiring permitting, promotion, and updating existing race information. Specific terms are available in the TOF Contract, which you can download here.
Time commitments vary through out the process. Early in the process it may take only a few hours per week, with more hours required as race day approaches. Much of this depends on the efficiency of the race directo…


After overdoing it a bit a couple days ago, I figured I'd pay for it. I did yesterday, and hoped with poor nutrition and inadequate sleep I would bounce back to my normal level of mediocracy.

Yeah, and no.

I managed to get a couple 30 day PRs on segments I hadn't really tried all that hard on recently. Everything was ticking along fine until I got to the halfway point, when my legs switched from "pretty good" to "flat". It wasn't like I was bonking or otherwise drained, but I just didn't have the same energy as I did initially. I backed off a bit to see if they would recover, but it was soon pretty obvious that "all ahead meh" was about the best I was going to get out of them.

I finished out the workout with a conflicted sense of accomplishment. There were some good efforts in there, but it showed I'm in no shape to do a stage race at the moment. I'm just not recovering from hard efforts quickly enough. Good thing I have a couple mont…

Very Likely A Bad Idea.

The other day I had to cut a workout planned for an hour to 35 minutes because of time constraints. This trend has to stop, so I got on the bike after work to make up the time and put a little more in the bank in case it happened again.

The 35 minute workout had gone well enough, as I was already rattled by the clock, so I poured everything I had into the time I had. Even if I hadn't gotten back on in the afternoon, the Intensity Factor and Training Stress Score were high enough that my Chronic Training Load wouldn't have been affected. That's a fancy-pants way of saying I hammered the piss out of it. Still, I was 25 minutes short, and my obsessive compulsive side just wouldn't let that stand.

My workout after work was delayed a bit. My wife had class, so dinner was early. A heavy meal of pot roast and potatoes isn't exactly what you want in the gut before a workout, but I figured I'd just ride easy-ish for a while and then call it quits. Any moderate effort was …

The Itch.

Earlier this winter, it was looking like it would be an early spring. We just hadn't gotten a lot of snow, and what we did get was relatively compacted by warm spells. A warm March would have killed the piles enough to get me back on the road early.


Stacked snow storms piled up a decent amount of late-season snow. The snow plows are running out of room on my road to store it. What this means is that the freeze-thaw cycles of early spring will be take a while to clear away those piles. Runoff will create skating rinks across the roads as the piles melt. Until the sewer drains clear, the puddles will pool and freeze, thaw, and re-freeze in areas. There isn't a huge amount of dark sand in those snow piles, which will also slow the melting process. In other words, it's going to take a while.

Meanwhile, my enthusiasm for the trainer is at its seasonal low. I would much rather be on the road bike, searing my lungs out in the cold air, over- or under-dressed for conditions and…

Shifting Gears.

I was talking to Richard about this or that Sunday at the Dome before we got rolling. My bike was leaning against me, and as I shifted to emphasize some meaningful point it fell to the floor, bumping against Richard's very expensive carbon wheels. This was my TSA-proof ti bike, so I was more worried about Richard's TT machine. It wasn't untilYrjö noticed that my brake lever was sticking out funny that I realized that something was wrong with my own bike. One of the tabs that the right brake lever pivots on broke when it hit the concrete. I jammed it back in place as best I could, confirmed it would still shift, and started riding loops. I wasn't going to let a small bit of plastic ruin the fun.

After a few laps of warmup, I jumped behind a small pace-line on the inside lane. The guy in front was on a disc brake bike, then came Yrjö on his brakeless fixie, and then was me. The guy up front would brake slightly for some reason in the turns, Yrjö  would apply a little back…