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Showing posts from August, 2017

Rebuilding the Dungeon.

As much as I wanted to jump right back on the bike, I couldn't. With the slow healing, the weather, and the shagging wagon remodel, I just didn't have the time or the ability. I'm starting to realize there is a distinct possibility that I might not see much of the road this fall before the snow locks me away again. Snow is already dusting the back ranges. It's only a matter of time.

With this in the back of my mind, I decided to start prepping the trainer dungeon a little earlier this year while I had the free time. There's a good chance my first ride will be on the trainer, and I have a lot of work to do before I can jump on Zwift for a few laps of whatever course is on that day.

The Storck was more or less rebuilt when I swapped on the Rival drivetrain. It still needs a power meter, so I'm thinking of pulling the Riken off the crit bike. It's barely been used, and maybe I can work out some of the negative energy retained in it from the crash. I'm not a …

The Grand Vision.

When we bought the motorhome, in all of it's orange shag carpet glory, we had grand visions of what it could become. Our expectations of what we could accomplish were colored by our near-new rental RV from a few weeks back and internet "research" (RV porn) on renovations of older campers. Through all of this, we overlooked the obvious elephant in the room. I'm a better wrench than a carpenter, and I'm a shitty wrench.

Still, as the project moves to a "not-finished-but-finally getting there" stage, I think it looks light years better than it did before. Replacing the dark carpet with lighter linoleum and painting the walls made the place seem much larger, even if the paint scheme we ended up reminds me of WWII battleships. We'll brighten it up with throw pillows or something. Removing the 35 year old fabric eliminated much of the musty smell, which I replaced with poisonous paint fumes. You ever paint fiberglass (in this case, the countertop) in an en…

Catch 22.

The front wheels are still on my back seat. The aluminum wheel from the ti bike and the carbon wheel from the crit bike. I never removed them after the fall.

Helmets and gloves and sunglasses litter the front seat. A couple pair of cycling shoes are on the passenger floorboard. The back is piled high with race gear.

As I use the car on a daily basis, I shove this pile or that mess to one side or another to make way for whatever else I'm carrying. While race season is over for me (and almost over for everyone else), I'd like to believe I'll need some of it in the near future, so I keep it all in the car. Plus, the garage is a disaster. A toothpick would have a hard time squeezing in there.

I want to ride, but I can't. My hip just isn't there yet. My back is tied up in knots and jerks around in painful spasms. The change to lower temperatures and steady rain recently has also given me pause. A cold soak would do me absolutely no favors when it comes to recovery.

The back…

Maybe It's That One.

Yesterday I was trying to remove the propane oven from the RV so my wife could prime and paint the kitchen cabinets. Removing the oven allows access to some hard-to reach areas and allows removal of other components. It's like a giant Rubik's Cube. To get a block to a certain point, you have to make several other moves in sequence.

To remove the oven, I have to figure out how it's mounted. Mainly that involves looking around for screws with a flashlight, loosening them to see what they do, hearing the clink as the hidden nut drops somewhere in the interior of the oven, realizing that wasn't a mounting screw, then starting the process all over again. When I finally get what I think are all of the screws out, I yank on the oven and find I missed 20 or so more of them.

It's almost exactly like working on a modern carbon fiber bike, except the bike has a greater chance of having instructions readily available somewhere.

That one there looks like a good candidate.

Clink.

No FOMO.

Ever since I fell down, something interesting happened.

I don't frequent Facebook as much anymore. I don't spend time scrolling through other people's posts, scared that I might miss something important. Facebook isn't important.

I don't visit cycling websites obsessively, mainly because it reminds me I can't ride myself at the moment.

If I do get on the interweb, it's to look up parts for the RV or look for how-to articles/videos. Nothing about the bike.

I've even stopped listening to NPR as I drive to work, but that has more to do with the constant stream of negativity that characterizes the world at the moment. Without my daily dose of endorphins to blunt the onslaught and put it into perspective, I find I just can't deal with it at the moment.

I have no fear of missing out, because I've opted to ignore the world for the moment and concentrate all of my energies into a smaller space where I have some influence.

I'm sure once I'm done and he…

Hobbling Away For A While.

When I broke my collarbone, I was back on the trainer in about a week and blogging away about it. I never stopped.

This time, with a bigger break from being able to turn the pedals and nothing to ride into shape for, I've stepped away from cycling-related things. They just frustrate me, because I can't ride. That includes this blog.

Instead, I've poured my time and energy into the RV. I limp around and tackle thousands of large and small projects. At the end of the day, even if I haven't accomplished much in the big scheme of things, I can see progress. Even when I spend eight full hours cutting and fitting mitered plastic pieces that don't completely line up, I can feel like I did something.  That is a positive thing. I'm making things better.

I ran into my teammate, Craig, at Lowes the other day. He hasn't been riding much either, and has been building up a Sprinter-style van for bike-oriented travel. It's the latest trend. Don't ride your bike and b…

Bloggus Interruptus.

I've been neck-deep in the new RV. 18 hour days of demolition, flooring, re-paneling...

If I can't ride (and I still can't), I might as well do something. A fist-full of pills and I'm good for a day of construction.

It already looks a lot better, even if there's not a 90 degree angle on the whole thing, which makes cutting mitered edges an exercise in futility. I guess after almost 35 years, things kinda settled into whatever they wanted to be.

The new cushions for the benches that fold down into a bed were fielded out to a local upholstery shop. This was the expensive bit. Jaw-dropping expensive, but as I'm going to be sleeping on them, I want them to be done right. I'm too old and broken down to sleep on what's left of the old cushions or a poorly conceived replacement.

When I get done, I'll post before and after pictures so you can see why I haven't been posting like normal. I just don't have the time right now for much blogging.

Right now I …

Sorry 'Bout This.

The Tour of Anchorage was this past week. I didn't race. From the looks of it, a lot of people didn't race. We're going to move heaven and earth to fix that next year.

I'm still broke and pretty much off the bike at the moment.

I did catch the "glamping" bug, and am in the process of acquiring a brand-new 1983 Lazy Daze 20' Class III motorhome. It's like a full-on shaggin' wagon, with orange shag carpet, orange/brown upholstery, and pretty much a lot of other brown. Yeah, it's going to be gutted.

My body just can't handle tent-camping anymore up here. When we camp, it's usually on the coldest, rainiest days of the summer. Wet tent, wet sleeping bags, wet kids... For us, an ancient camper that smells of moldy socks is a giant leap forward. Warm and dry is a serious upgrade.

I also began looking at the bike-related possibilities for the rv:
Stage race team bus. It's small, but I'm the only guy on my team that shows up for road races,…

Don't Go There.

Remember when you were a kid and you would avoid stepping on a particular color tile or other portion of the floor because it was "hot lava" and would burn you? You'd go through all sorts of contortions to avoid being incinerated as you navigated to a given destination.

My life is like that recently.

Certain movements encourage searing pain to shoot across my hip. Unfortunately, these movement are integral to activities I do every day. Getting in or out of bed, a chair, my car, opening a door, reaching for the phone... I've learned when to expect "hot lava", and I can either find another way to do the movement or just brace myself for the pain.

Sometimes I get caught unprepared, and it usually results in a whimper or other involuntary sound. The other night my wife witnessed such an incident and remarked, "I've never heard you make that noise before. It kinda freaked me out." I just sit a still as possible until the pain passes, then try to get …

Not Pretty.

I got home from work the day after the accident, sore but otherwise semi-mobile. Staying in one position (like in a chair or on a bed) is fine, with just a dull ache to remind me. Changing positions makes things interesting for the affected limb. Standing up is not fun, as reminders of all of the injuries come flooding back at once. It always brings forth a moan and a grunt as I transition. Sometimes I cry. The first dozen or so steps are the worst, and then the body realizes I'm committed and gets with the program. For brief moments I can almost fake a normal walk. So far it's getting better, although people keep warning me the worst is yet to come.

As I removed my uniform (slowly), I recoiled in horror. Blood had pooled around my pelvis and other spots in most unattractive ways. I don't usually bruise, and this went far beyond bruising. It didn't hurt, but it scared the hell out of me. I called my wife, who took one look and said flatly, "I guess we're going …

Ruining the Wife.

I ruined my wife.

She used to love Applebee's. "They make the best steaks!" Especially if they were cooked medium well to well done.

Then I took her to better restaurants that took good cuts of meat and treated them properly. I introduced her to medium and medium rare steaks, which she now demands.

My wife wont step foot in an Applebee's anymore. Date night is incredibly expensive these days.

This past weekend I rented an RV. It was the only weekend open before the Tour of Anchorage (I reserved it before dropping my bike in the Kulis crit), so I felt like I owed the family a weekend of fun.

We'd always tent-camped previously, and invariably it had been cold and rainy. We have a spacious tent that is a veritable mansion. I used to just go out with a sleeping bag and a shower curtain, wrapping up like a burrito and sleeping under my Jeep. The family camping in a big tent in a prepared campground, with thick air mattresses and comforts I would have never conceived of in…