We make holes in teeth!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sick Week Done

Thursday back to work wasn't awful though I did wax and wane my way through the day. By the end I forgot to take my medicine on time and I didn't totally crash, which is a good thing. On the other hand I did sink a bit so I'm not completely out of the woods yet. I played the "better safe than sorry" card and stayed off the bike for a 4th straight day. I had the green light to ride after work but I don't want to screw up my weekend by being impatient.

Sitting on the Path on the way home, the man with the world's largest ass stands next to me. It's pretty gross. If you're 6-4 and weigh 350 pounds you really should watch where you put that thing. Thankfully he got off at the first stop.

More people stuff. A young girl talking to a young guy. No wait, 2 young guys. She's blathering on, saying stuff like, "So then Mark says he didn't know there was a turtle in the soup and Shelly was like NO WAY and I couldn't stop laughing and..." Both guys are wearing expressions like, "I wonder what you're like naked." Other than that they don't seem to care.

I found my bike manual online and got the specs for the bearings that would be in the kit and the cost was $25 before shipping. I threw in one extra bearing and with shipping it comes out to $33. That's for all the bearings on the rear suspensions, the 4 linkage bearings, the 4 dropout bearings, and the 2 swingarm bearings. Compare with the $95 I would spend at the shop and it's a slam dunk. Even if I totally screw the pooch I can go buy another set and try again. Then I can do it a third time and still only come up $4 short. So I take on more responsibility but the cost is considerably lower this way and I have more control.

I guess the only downside is that I have no squishy mountain bike to ride this weekend but I'm not willing to pay an extra $62 just for one weekend ride. I can rent a bike for cheaper. Plus I'd have to find the time to bring the bike down and pick it up. Each round trip usually burns at least 90 minutes so we're talking 3 hours right there which is one nice long road ride.

Still undecided about the weekend. I'd like to get 5-6 hours of saddle time in so that's the general plan. Unsure if I will get up to Four Bridges Road or not. Unfortunately next weekend is going to be like pulling teeth trying to get my time in so I can't take it too easy this weekend. It sucks because I was really liking the idea of the Marysville Enduro next Sunday but it looks like we'll be going to South Jersey and a 4th of July party. So any riding at all Sunday will be difficult at best.

General plan right now is to maybe get in a fast 40-50 mile loop on Saturday then tackle the Four Bridges ride on Sunday. Could also swap that out with a trip out to Califon to climb West Valley Brook and maybe Bissell. Or maybe both of them on consecutive days. I'm on a mission to chart every big climb in New Jersey and rate them all. Might give the Lebanon 52 a shot in 2 weekends, and Fiddler's Elbow isn't too far off the radar either. The big question there is do I drive to that or ride it from the house? That's a pretty big day if I do it all from the house.

I've mapped out a GPS route to get Bissell, Guinea Hollow, and West Valley Brook in a loop. It's about 52 miles with 4000 vertical. If I'm close to 100% I think I could knock that out in about 3:15, or possibly a sub-3:00 if I lay it on the line. The Four Bridges Loop I made is 45 miles and 3550 vertical. So it's a little shorter but a hair more vertical per mile. I'd shoot for a 2:40 on that loop I think, just 2 water bottles so no stops.

Either way I need to get back on the bike soon as I can. I have put on 8 pounds since I stepped off the bike Sunday. I am bloated beyond all control. I have started to retain water like a dam. It's so bad that I start to sweat profusely at any minor provocation. I was sweating Wednesday lacing my wheel back up. I wonder if this is one form of my body's way of compensating for being dehydrated on these long rides. If it is, I'm not a big fan. My first order of business will be getting back on the bike, followed immediately by the second order which will be a steady tempo diet to shed this useless water weight. That will also help me get back into the groove of riding after this very inactive week.

Didn't take any medicine overnight and woke up feeling generally OK. So I think I'm passing on riding again today and calling it a full clear for the weekend. Again last night Julia was a mess until about 11:30. She has the same cold and we gave her a decongestant, which just causes all of the mucus to drain into her throat and stomach. She then coughs profusely, wakes up screaming, vomits it all out, then sleeps really well.

Ah the weekend, just one measly work day away. It looks to be a good one so enjoy it any way you can. Terren, hope you feel better and get on your bike. Jake, sell the parachute. Steve, have fun tomorrow and sorry I can't join. Say hi to Kirt. ChrisG, dunno your plans but I'm reasonably certain your wheels will be on the ground. George, enjoy Switzerland, not fucking Suisse! And Walter, who apparently reads but doesn't comment, hope you have a good weekend making people think you're the worst dad on the planet as you jump curbs with your empty child carrier. Everyone else have fun in the sun.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One Foot Out of the Bucket

I'm no longer on death's doorstep today. Maybe still on his front yard on the way out of town which is the right direction. I'll make sure to crap on the lawn before I head outta Dodge.

When it rains it pours and last night Julia was breaking through a new tooth and her gums were bleeding. From 10 to 11 she woke up every 5 minutes which killed my sleeping, especially since that's when my medicine was in full effect. I need to time that better so medicine and bed time coincide. For the record it's 11:00 pm on Wednesday night as I start this post. You would think I'd be sleeping but no sir that's just not in the cards right now. Hopefully I can get to sleep soon and finish it off on the train.

I didn't go to the doctor but I called and they confirmed that Advil and a nasal decongestant was the solution last time. They wouldn't give me a prescription over the phone. So I went the DIY route and took 4 Advil and a Sudafed every 4 hours. By 2:00 I was feeling a new man. Thoughts of self-molestation gone entirely.

The problem, which I had in 2002 according to the doctor, is such. Basically you have sets of overlapping muscles covering your skull. The front ones are sinus muscles and the back ones are the ones that run down your neck and back and so on. When you have sinus problems it pulls the front muscles one way. When you are overtired or stressed it pulls the back muscles the other way. The result is a conflict which for some is a sinus headache. For me it feels like someone is nailing an ice pick into my head periodically. I consider it in the same ballpark as bad toothache pain. In other words, awful, sometimes worse.

After I became a new man I spent some quality time on my 4 different bike projects. So when I said I was going to start doing this myself I guess I really mean I'm going to do all of it myself, not just most of it.

The big result of the day was getting the SS back to being rideable. What I previously referred to as my SS was a former geared bike that had no derailleurs. So I had a bunch of gears on it but just stuck in one. I removed 2 of the front rings and broke apart the old cassette with a grinding bit to get the gear I needed. Then I spaced the gear accordingly. The last touch was the Surly Singulator which is being used in push down mode because there's too much chain slack. Lenny gave it to me free which was a bonus. He had bent the spring which explains why the push down never worked for him. I worked that out and got that out of the basement around 4:00. Then I raised the seat, lubed the chain, and now we're back to 2 fully functioning bikes. I need to do some work on the cockpit because it's all out of whack with what I like to ride. I'd like new bars, preferably riser bars, and some better grips if it passes as a legit bike. No reason it shouldn't but I'll need to ride it a few times to see.

The full-suspension Stumpjumper went on the DL Tuesday when I took the rear linkage apart and found the bearings on one side shredded. Gary has the kit for 50 plus 45 labor but at this point I can't afford it anymore. I found a full bearing set online for 40, so I'm going to buy that, their recommended grease (or is my Phil Wood good enough?) and have it shipped to me for 52 dollars total. If I'm in over my head I can always bring it to one of the shops.

That basically bags my KVSP race. One more H2H off the radar to be replaced by Ringwood. Not a big deal since a race off a sick week is probably a bad idea.

The road project right now is 2 part. I need to repack my hubs but I don't want to take them apart and find the races of the hubs grooved which would render the hub shot. So I decided to unlace my old Rolf wheel that came with the bike and try to bend the rim back to true a little bit. I did it but it wasn't easy. Those Rolf rims are heavy duty which is expected on a wheel with fewer spokes. I laced the spokes back up and now I need to get my truing stand which should be coming this week. I usually just use the bike as a truing stand but we're going big time baby!

When that's done I can swap the wheels and repack the existing hubs. I may leave the Rolfs on there since they are oh so much more sleek. As the year goes on I will probably look to build myself up a nice light set of wheels but that's just off the radar for right now because light rims equal money and right now money is still an object.

That leaves the old Trek full-rigid geared mountain bike which was, up until yesterday, a trainer bike. But since I'm done with the trainer for the season I took it off the stand and pulled the rear wheel off. I got the slick off the rim and found a Velociraptor read tire to throw on but then it was dinner time.

There are a few things to work out on that bike but until I get the SJ back rolling that and the SS will be my primary off-road rides. I don't think either of them will see time this weekend since I will likely be all on the road.

So that's how the stable looks right now. More or less as sick as the old man, I suppose.

I like reader feedback so I will post my last few comments here and reply.


"next time buy a trance and spend the 100 bucks on the keep it rolling program. 5 years, wear & tear replacement, baby. Expect to drop about $150 for tools if you choose to go that route. BTW, what team do you race for?"

While I would never buy a bike solely on the maintenance program, that surely makes it pretty darn attractive. I find it insane that they offer that since the drivetrain itself would blow that 100 fee out of the water in 2 years. Not everything I had done would have been covered but most of it would. I still think Gary should have tried to get me a new seat post from Specialized. Still not happy about my experience there. When I told him about the problems he said, "Sorry." Not much customer service there. Can you tell I have soured on my shop? Am I repeating myself? Sorry, I'm just not a happy customer. I'll stop now.

I'm covered on the tools as I have a mostly complete Park set. I just need a few parts here and there. The team I race for is p9 SortsGroup, which is that EdgeCrusher racing team that got lit up on MTBR. The guy who put the team together approached me and asked if I'd be interested. It's usually not my thing because I hate to be tied down to anything but I said sure, why not.


"IMO, a "holding" week followed by a "rest" week will not put you into a slide. Not with the way you've been training. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that you'd reap benefit in a couple of weeks, perhaps just in time for a lengthy goal event..."

Yeah I don't really know what I was thinking when I wrote that. Perhaps the initial stages of my sickness setting in. Mentally I was thinking rest week followed by a rest week, but a hold week is plenty. At this point it's moot anyway since I've been off the bike 3 days and the chances of me going for a ride when I get home from work are slim. I'm thinking rest week then hold week next week so I don't jump into it too fast from being sick this week. I just hope being sick doesn't offset any gains I might have made.


"Misery loves company... I overdid it on Monday and now have a summer cold."

Are you riding or jogging or going to the gym or what? What did you end up doing with the sports drink? Either way I hope you feel better soon.


"my head was all clogged up today along with not sleeping b/c riley was up at 5A. anyway, get well."

Thanks, and sorry you've been caught as well. I guess it's that time of year. Isn't today the first day of summer?

That's about all I have, which is plenty to read really. Not sure if I'll be on the bike before the weekend or not, but I hope to get 2 solid rides in this weekend.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Man Down, Day 2

Home from work again today, may end up going to the doctor's because I'm getting that stabbing pain in my head from when I get congested and I'm overly stressed from the world. Last time it happened I knew what people were talking about when they said that certain pains make you not want to continue to survive. It's not quite that bad today but it sucks ass. I don't really get how the body works sometimes. There can be absolutely no evolutionary advantage to making me want to off myself. I think he gave me an industrial decongestant then plain Advil last time but I don't remember. So it goes.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday in the Bag

Yesterday turned into such a mess that I made the decision around lunch to bag Tuesday's ride. I told my wife to tackle me if she needed to. As the day wore on the sickness settled in deeper and deeper and it was an obvious call to make. At the end of the day a few Advil and a bunch of trail mix helped more than I could have guessed. Perhaps I was so low on calories and spent from the big Sunday ride that I brought it on myself? I woke up feeling fine and probably needed a big nutritious breakfast desperately. You would think this would be second nature but I assure you that's not the case. These lessons you learn the hard way are the ones that stick the longest. Hey at least I was smart enough to take today's ride off.

Whatever, the end result is an off day Tuesday and a questionable remainder of the week. I could make this a rest week but that wasn't the plan. On the other hand, who cares? What's a plan but some gibberish on a piece of paper? What's a "build" period but a 3-4 week span where you waste yourself in an effort to get stronger? What does it mean that yours truly is starting to get philosophical?

It means it's probably time for a rest week. We'll see how I feel at the end of the day though I've pretty much bagged tomorrow's ride too. I'd really like to pound myself further on this 4th week but with 3 days off in a row it's a holding pattern at best. Not that there's anything wrong with that but if I follow a hold week with a rest week am I going to start sliding? And then do I turn the rest week into another hold week because I feel like I'm sliding too much?

What does it all mean Basil?

So let's look at Jake and his cramps. Better yet why not just point you in the direction of my post race discussions here. For me I think the 3 main problems were hydration, lack of event specific training, and pushing too big a gear. YMMV for sure but there is no one solution, IMO. I strongly believe it's always a combination of several things and if you screw any of them up you pay the price.

Cramps are complex, like an onion.

I did more reading on the sodium thing and apparently salt losses have been measured in the 115 mg to 2300 mg per hour range. It doesn't take a Professor Frink to be able to say that's a pretty fucking wide spread there Batman. Batman is, incidentally, a scientist.

So supposing we knock off the total upper end of that range your average person is going to be in the 115 to 1800 range. Given that my shirt and shorts end up with salt lines it's not unreasonable to guess that I lose 500 mg per hour at least. The endurolytes caps provide 40 mg per capsule, or 120 per hour if I pop 3. Queue Professor Frink again to identify that this is almost assuredly far short. I think my next big ride will be without (or with fewer) endurolytes, and with plain old salt.

These are all fictitious/ballpark numbers but even nutritionist Monique Ryan suggests that 400-1000 mg sodium isn't too much to supplement with. There's a good article about it here. I may just dope with pizza. It's good, salty, and has both carbs and protein. All this high priced shit is only going to send me to the Poor House eventually anyway.

You know I never did give Sean props for commenting on the blog. Check out his art site here.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Iron Bridge Road

Plenty going on this week, coming off a really hectic weekend. A pair of rides totalling almost 7.5 hours in the saddle, both sets of grandparents, and a graduation party. Damn Monday morning got here faster than usual and I am behind the 8 ball already.

Saturday morning was a rough start to the weekend as Julia woke me up at 3:30 and I was never able to get back to sleep. Ouch. Because of this I toned down my expectations for my ride at Chimney Rock. Just planned to keep a nice tempo pace and do my thing. Well I had a real good ride and at the end I felt really strong. Almost no stopping and a .4 mph increase in speed over last time I was there:

OK the downside. After dumping 371 dollars into the bike shop bill the goddamn thing still has major problems. Gary said there was one creak he couldn't find but he failed to mention it was the source of almost all the noise coming from the bike. In the first hour it was louder than I've ever heard it. My only guess is the bottom bracket does need to be switched out so fine, that's going to happen but I'm not dropping another 100 clams for them to do it.

Next is one of the mounts on the pivot arm is toast. I felt this almost immediately, got off the bike and yup, sure enough there's a new click sound when I pull the bike up by the saddle. This happened so early I have to conclude that they never put it back together properly. When I got home I could *see the bearings with my naked eye*. Ok more on this as the week goes on but let's just go with this:

371 dollars

The rest of Saturday was my parents hanging out at the house for lunch. Then we went to Woody's for a graduation party for someone we didn't know. Julia was beyond thrilled to stir the dog's water for an hour with a wooden spoon. She's happy = I'm happy.

Sunday was the big ride again, another colossal loop out to Whitehouse, Pittstown, towards Bloomsbury, Asbury, then Cokesbury, and Oldwick. This one is 2 links because the GPS is quirky:


I went up Iron Bridge Road which clearly proves the existence of Satan. Never have I been on a road so brutally steep. I was climbing it in my granny gear, standing, at a speed of 3.2 at one point. This is touted as one of the 2 hardest climbs in New Jersey with good reason. It's brutal.

So it was an OK ride but I really tailed off at the end. There was a bit too much vertical on this route and by the end I was crawling to get home. When I was done I was still 6 pounds lighter than when I started, which is well into dehydration at nearly 3% of my body weight. But I still had to piss badly which suggests my sodium levels are really low. Seems like endurolytes don't deliver enough of it though it's hard to say really what exactly is going on. I may bag the caps for the time being and go with straight salt on my next long ride which, for those scoring at home, is a hell of a lot cheaper.

I guess it's possible I'm just not built for these endurance bike rides. I took in 28 ounces of water an hour on the bike. That should be plenty but some combination of hydration, food, and salt and/or electrolytes isn't working. I'm right up against the theoretical maximum amount of liquid I can assimilate an hour, which is 32 ounces. So who knows.

Anyway at least I didn't cramp like Jake.

In conclusion, the work in progress continues. A little frustrating at times but then if I figure it all out it takes away some of the puzzle. A guy I know has nailed it down entirely, and then he quit 24 hour racing because he said it was mundane. After you get the nutrition details down all you do is go round and round, on and on, almost like a machine. I suppose it's possible there's no magic combination that works for me, and I'm fine with that. Life goes on.

In any event this week may be sporadic because I can feel myself getting sick in a rapid way as I sit at my desk at work. It probably doesn't help that I haven't eaten much today and the past 3 weeks has seen me do my best "eat like a horse" impression. I mean nothing is safe in the house including sicks of butter and Crisco. Julia picked up a cold and I can feel it crashing down hard right about now. I'm in a pretty colossal hole after yesterday's effort so it's not surprising. Oh well if I need to rest week this week I will. I'll sort out KVSP later in the week. I just hope this runs through me fast.

Labels: ,


Accommodation in aviemore