Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eating cereal in a skinsuit.

No matter whether the feeling is anger, disgust, self-loathing, pride, joy, a nearly orgasmic realization that one's goals are becoming achievable, and even often that fucked combination of some of the prior there is always a feeling that creeps in as most nagging: hunger. Napoleon said "An army marches on it's stomach" and that holds very true for cyclists. Some people fill that void in their stomach with chips and cookies, fast food and take out pizza, others make something at home, other people cook a meal that will fill the stomach and soul with the nutrition and love needed to face the world again. I think I fall into the latter of those three categories.

I have never been trained as a chef or even taken the most basic culinary class but I have always cooked. Over the last few years I have learned to cook more from my roommates. Also, having other people to cook for is actually good for me to cook more. I feel if there is someone who can eat what I make I will be much more likely to take the time and effort to make a worthwhile meal. Very few people are such jerks they will complain that dinner is bad. Of course on rare occasions a meal is so bad everyone has a laugh and everything goes in the trash, cupboards are emptied and dinner is a snack of what was found.

I don't think that I am the best cook in the world. I do, however, think I can make better food, more consistently, cheaper than could be found in a restaurant.  Sure, there are some places that make better stuff than me, but not that I can afford even on a semi-regular basis. Some places may be cheaper than me, but it definitely isn't better. As far as consistency, it can probably be agreed that eating out is usually pretty hit and miss.

Sometimes a simple peanut butter and nutella sandwich will hit the spot so perfectly it is hard to imagine any food tasting better. Other times you have just destroyed a long training ride and come home to a bowl of watermelon cut in the fridge that feels like heaven melon in your mouth. Maybe you just did a really cold ride and you have a cup of coffee with sugar and cream.

I know I am not alone in the comfort of food, but I think that Chili's, Olive Garden, and all those other places have gotten us distracted from what is good as food. And why we should enjoy it.

Fried Rice, Avocado, Pan Seared Tuna

Homemade bread. One of the best tips ever.

A hell of a lot of kale.

Eggs, Bacon, Sweet Potatoes.

1 taco per 1 hour ridden. Doctor's orders.

30 scrambled eggs? No problem.

Mexican night.

Pizza squares and ketchup.

Those pickles were grown and made 4 miles from my house.

Burger, steamed veggies, fries, rice. My favorite meal.

Pork Chops, green beans, garlic toast.

Breakfast. Syrup approved.

Sometimes it gets fancy.

Sometimes it's just bacon.

Or maybe a post ride/pre-dinner snack.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why I don't blog as much: The slacker story.

So I used to fill everyone in over here on a semi-regular basis. You know, like someone who ate fiber sometimes, but not everyday so just semi-regular. Because we all know it takes fiber to keep you regular. Over the last few years a lot has changed for me. I have a new job, I feel like I am a much different bike rider, and overall I am in a different place. Here is where I could make the argument that I am too busy to write posts on a regular basis or I could just not post anymore. Am I taking this blog to the farm to live with Grandma? Here is where you could argue that has already occurred. I will try to catch things up so everyone can understand what is happening and where this thing may head.

This season of racing has generally been good yet unsatisfying in an odd way. I feel like for the effort I have put into riding over the last few months I am riding strong and feeling good. Overall though it has been a season of disappointments due to my unreasonably high expectations for myself. I will give you a rundown:

-Slobberknocker/Memphis Velo Omnium Weekend - I didn't race because I didn't feel like I was fast. I had this pride thing going where I felt like I needed to be in a better place before I went and raced. I was hoping to have a "dafuq did he come from" reaction after my first race of the season. I ended up heckling at the Velo race which must have been awkward to see from the racer side.

-Rouge Roubaix - I did great, I had a great race, I did way better than I expected and it really got me gassed up to go race and do well. Andrea of Brickhouse was hit by a car. It puts a black cloud around that race for me because it is impossible for me to feel super pumped looking back at the race when I have to think of being told my friend was hit by a car as soon as I crossed the line.

-Spa City 6 Hour - this was the weekend after Rouge. I decided to go race and get some long mountain bike time in. I drove over the night before and slept in a hammock under the stars at the venue. I was riding the rigid geared bike. First lap of the day I turned a smoking ass lap,was feeling strong. I had the Rouge Roubaix juices flowing through me. I knew I could keep turning these fast laps and probably do pretty well for my age group. I was feeling it. Then I flatted on lap 5. My co2 didn't work, my pump was in the pit, I had to take outside assistance. Rather than cheating I rode the road back, was given permission to continue racing after pitting but restarting lap 5. So it sucked a lot of ass. That was really discouraging. I knew I was doing ok. I knew it was going great. But damn-it-all-to-hell I had left my pump at the pit. Upon later inspection my co2 head is actually not compatible with Big Air 40g cartridges. There was a lip that hit the canister that prevented it from screwing on all the way, which kept it from piercing the canister enough to actually get air out. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

-Ouachita Challenge - I raced really hard, the course isn't really a single speed friendly course. I don't want to hear that crap of everyone is on single speed that is racing one another. People get shady. I know some people can spin faster than me, but to go with lead geared men after a few miles of gently rolling gravel. . . is a tough one to swallow. I personally went as hard as possible down the gravel and it ended up with me going into the woods behind a BUNCH of slow people. Granny gear at mile 6 slow. It wrecked me. Also, that race is really hard. To go full bore and get handled is a rough one. I was happy with how I did for the first time there and everything, but I wanted to be faster.

By this time everyone should be seeing a theme of "I did ok but still beat myself up afterwards".....

-Syllamo's Revenge - I don't think I even wrote a post for that race. Again, the feeling of intense pride of everything working well immediately coupled with the feeling of being a complete and total fucking failure. I had a perfect race. I smashed my course PR by a lot, on a hands down slower and much harder course based on trail conditions. I went up the first climb harder-dan-a-motherfucka and went into the woods in 10-12th place. Overall. I rode hard all day. I didn't flat, I didn't wreck, I didn't make a single wrong turn. I was fast enough to finish 12th overall on my single speed. It just happened that was only good enough for 5th in single speed. I had a year long battle of really wanting a rock (the trophies at this race are rocks engraved just like a tombstone would be. Much cooler than it sounds. It is a unique and tough trophy just like the race). And I didn't succeed. I cried a little, tiny bit at that one. Seriously, when I looked at the results and saw that I was 5th single speed I got teary eyed, said my goodbyes to everyone I knew there, and had to leave. I couldn't stick around. I had put so much into this race and just ended up not being fast enough. If I had signed up age group that day I would have been 2nd. That is a tough one. Hindsight is 20/20 and shit.

-Fast forward and I didn't really race again until the state champ race, it was a tough one. It has been an entire month since then and I shuttled a truck to Colorado again. This time I found some cool stuff along the way, made some plans that opened up a few really cool opportunities, and really got excited.

Since the state championship race I have gotten a bunch of great parts for my Specialized Carve which allows me to run it geared as XTR 1x10 with a Reba Suspension fork, Enve AM 29 Wheels, and a Stages Power Meter. It is a really cool bike. I haven't ridden it a ton but I will be soon.

Below I am going to just dump some photos of what have been going on over the last while.

Chunky Cat
Pain cave.
Blue skies and clouds in. . .ARKANSAS
Different strokes for different folks. Fun isn't universal.
I tried to win a state jersey
Shorts were chafing so I rolled em up
Shredded after a century ride.
I rode a bunch of bikes.

See, I was in CO
Enves added