Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Yesterday I got the official word that I do have a sleeping disorder. I have pretty significant sleep apnea. I knew there was a chance that I might get one of these CPAP machines to help keep my airway open but what I didn't know was that my oxygen levels drop to about 80% during the night and this is concerning. If you think about it, with all of the riding I do, my organs are still starved for O2 each night so I probably am hardly ever recovered. Not to mention how hard my heart works during super long rides and then it has to work just as hard at night.

The machine on my nightstand is 2 parts. The left part is the CPAP portion and the right part is a humidifier. The humidifier just keeps the nasal passages and mouth from becoming dried out. The suitcase sized machine on the floor is a condenser. It actually draws air from the room and compresses it into more concentrated oxygen. I need 2 liters of oxygen every hour. What's weird is that my father-in-law has just a CPAP and humidifier and he runs on a level 12 (scale of 20). So do I. So I'm a little concerned about all of this. I wasn't quite sure what to say last night. I'm 38. I'm in great shape. I now have to have signs on my doors and bedroom windows stating that there is O2 in the house.

I know this is going to make a huge difference in how I feel. I won't be as tired. I won't be as cranky. I'll probably enjoy my job more. Training will probably go through the fookin' roof. But....what happens when I do an ultra race and sleep in the woods without these machines? I may have a hard time sleeping/recovering without them. I don't even know if I'll be able to ride. I might be ok but not perfect. I guess I'll see how things go as I get more into my training. I am worried though. I'm super psyched about this year. I'm ecstatic to be with Honey Stinger. I'm jazzed about LW Coaching. I have HUGE hopes for the CTR.

As I was setting everything up I was a bit bummed. I couldn't help but take note of the contents on my nightstand. I have my glasses there. I'm sure the prescription will continue to get worse and worse. There's my mouth guard for my teeth grinding. Now there's my new CPAP and O2 machines. There's a variety of knives there which wouldn't do me any good anyway. If someone were to break in, I'd have to get my mask off, shut down the oxygen, remove my mouth guard, and then grab my spectacles so I could see what the hell was going on. Next year there will probably be a box of Depends and some Metamucil. Im gonna have to add on to the house.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Taking the plunge

The ultra endurance stuff is still kind of trial and error for me. Today I rode with a hear rate monitor just to see what the numbers looked like. They were high. I'm tired of not knowing exactly what to do in terms of training. I remember 2 years ago I tried to keep my heart rate at about 155 beats (85% of my max heart rate) but, after some math today, I think that puts me ever so slightly into Zone 4. which is an anerobic stage and it's not one you can be in for 5 days at a time. 155 doesn't seem like much but when you're talking about a 16 hour day or even longer, those extra beats can put the body into a totally different system for finding it's energy. That combined with dehydration and caloric depletion is not good. I have a very big goal this year in terms of the Colorado Trail Race. So...I made a decision today. This year I am going to get some help from Dave Harris and Lynda Wallenfels. This is the duo that runs LWCoaching out of St. George, Utah. They are both very accomplished bike racers in their own right. In 2009, they both won the 24 Hour Solo National Championships. I'll be getting coached by them. I'm very excited about this year. I know their help will make a difference in getting my fitness and, perhaps more importantly, my mental game on track come August.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rampart Reservoir

This morning I decided to go check out Rampart Reservoir. The temps weren't too bad. I made it up to the trail in 45 minutes on a fully loaded Alma. There was a few people fishing but I saw 1 hiker on the trail and that was it. Some of the shady portions of the coves had some snow and ice but, overall, the trail was in great shape. The water was gin clear. I did not think that much of the reservoir was going to be free of ice but we've had some pretty mild temps. Fishing is right around the corner!! The ride was super fun and I was out for exactly three hours so I made good time on the singlespeed.

I had one little accident. About 3/4 of the way around the reservoir, I came across a sheet of ice that was about 30 feet long. Even though it was flat, I told myself to be careful. I unclipped my left foot and was barely moving but I slipped and landed flat on my rear no more than 5 feet into it. I thought I might have done something to my tail bone. I laid there in pain for 5 minutes while trying to figure out what I was going to do if I really was hurt. Luckily, the pain subsided and I thought I was going to be ok. I made it home fine. It's sore but I really lucked out.

I'm trying to be like Mike (Curiak) with these photos. I think it turned out well. Next time I'll take more pictures though now that I've figured this out.

rampart reservoir from Chris Neumann on Vimeo.

OK...I re-worked the video and now used Vimeo to upload it. If you happened to see the original, let me know if this is easier on the eyes. With Vimeo, if you view it full screen it doesn't distort the pixels nearly as badly as it did when I uploaded it straight from the Mac.

Thanks for checking in.


There's loads of testing that needs to be done this year but, in my head, this is what I'm thinking things are gonna look like. Pay no attention to the curb finder webbing up front.

Also pay no attention to the fact that you are looking at a singlespeed. This bike WILL have gears on it come July. Right now the bivy is in the seat bag and that's it. Depending on some things (weather, how I feel, how mad/determined I am), there will also either be a down sleeping bag in there or just a liner of some sort or nothing else at all. The 1/8" closed cell foam pad you see may not go as well. It only weighs an ounce but we'll see. There should be plenty of room for some junk in the trunk (mainly food). Up front will be the same gear as last year just minus the Carousel Designs bag. This just keeps me from bringing too much crap. One of the debates this year will be whether or not I bring my down vest or the down coat. They are both stupid lightweight and really warm. Of course the other change from previous years will be the gas tank bag which will be stocked with plenty of Honey Stinger goods.

I remember that first year and all the stuff I lugged along and my jaw drops. I also remember looking at guys like Jason Shelman, Ethan Passant, Plesko and wondering what the hell they were thinking by not bringing more stuff (especially Jason). I don't think I can get too much more refined now. I think last year I was about 34lbs for the bike. Soon I'll start getting some ideas of how things are going to shake out this year. I know it's early but I'm pretty excited.


I picked up a new bivy yesterday. The one I currently have and really like is made by Outdoor Research. It has poles that you can use with it and they keep the fabric off your face. It's cut really wide. It's awesome for backpacking but it was always heavy to take on the bike. Having the bag on my face or being in a tight space doesn't bother me at all. I saw this one at REI a few months ago and liked it. Personally, I have to have a way to keep the creepy crawlys out of my sleeping area. Some of the ultralight sacks from Rab that I have tried are just completely open. Here in Colorado I don't ever have a problem worrying about things snuggling up to me in the night but if I were to sleep in the desert it would be a concern. I wasn't so much worried about having the ability to completely seal the bivy off from the elements with this one. In my head, I know what my strategy is for this year and it's very different than I've used before. I don't plan on sleeping if it's raining. Right now, I don't plan on sleeping much at all but we'll see how I feel near the end of July. One important lesson I have learned in doing these events is to try to make gear do multiple things. If I get in a situation where I need to protect myself from the rain then I'll use my rain jacket as a tarp since the screen on the bivy isn't all that big. Right now I'm planning on just draping it over the opening for short time spans but if I needed to hunker down (if injured) for longer times, then I can always make an elevated tarp with it by using some paracord and trees. This bivy weighs 16oz even with the stuff sack. It's got a huge opening to get in and multiple zipper pulls so I can stick my arms out (or my head) and do things like cook or fiddle with gear while still being protected. I'm 5'11" and this is the regular cut. It's perfect.

I still have my 45 degree North Face down sleeping bag but, right now, I'm not sure that I'll even be packing that. I'll know more when I get to do some testing but I'm hoping that I can stay warm enough in just the bivy to catch a 3-4 hour nap when I start seeing things. With this new bivy alone (even if I bring my sleeping bag) I have cut 20oz from my sleeping system. That may not sound like much but it is. Perhaps more importantly is the bulk that I've lost in the system which will allow me to carry more food in that dreaded 200 mile stretch of nothingness.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ahhhh yesss.......

More fun with automobiles. Yesterday the UPS guy delivered all new steering components for the Jeep so I decided to tackle that job. Everything was moving along splendidly. There is a tube that is threaded on each end and into each end threads a tie rod. In an effort to save about 40 bucks I decided to not order said tube. That was a mistake. I bet it took me 2 hours of cursing and torching to get those ends off that tube. After that, it all went back on the Jeep quickly. The last step was to connect the trackbar at the axle. It's held on with one bolt.

This is kind of hard to describe but, the area around this nut is completely boxed in. It's kind of like that game we all had as toddlers where there was a sphere shaped thing with all kinds of different holes punched in it (stars, squares, triangles, etc.) and you had to put the different shapes through their appropriate hole. It's darn near impossible to get a wrench in the few access holes to this nut. Jeeps solution to this was to use what they call a flag bolt. This is a nut that is tack welded to a thin strip of metal. Once you get it in place and start tightening things, that strip of metal hits the axle tube and keeps the nut from spinning and lets things tighten up. Well...I broke all of the welds on that nut before it was even close to being tight enough. So now I'm laying in my garage staring at this mess trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get that nut off.

After several hours of trying different things I actually began to get mad. It would have been very easy to just cut out a big enough section in that box so I could get a wrench in there but that would weaken that area. To make things worse, a 15mm wrench was too big and a 14mm was too small. And yes, even though it is an American car, they did use a 15mm nut/bolt for that area. So in the end, this is what I came up with. I took a crappy 14mm wrench and went at it with a grinder. It was easier to get in with the open end of the wrench and I knew that nut wasn't that tight yet. Once I got it to where the wrench fit inside, then I carefully hand filed the opening of the wrench until it would fit snugly on that nut. This nut was more like a 14.5mm. Eventually it fit tightly and I got it out. I ended up replacing the nut with a standard one in 17mm size which was just easier for me to get in (I know that sounds weird that a bigger nut was actually easier to deal with in that tight space so just believe me). Here's the wrench after some modification.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Break

This has been a busy week for a vacation. Heather and I are redoing the bathroom. We considered gutting it but ended up doing paint (again), granite counter, new sink, fixtures, and I'm doing something special for a mirror. Our entire house is oak on the inside (moulding, cabinets, etc.). I hate oak. So we're redoing some of it as well. It's a long process that mostly Heather has been doing and it looks great so far. Should be done in another day. I did some work on our flower beds today and I also told a co-worker that I'd come over and check out her deck. Seems there was an incident involving ashes from the fire place and a small fire that developed on said deck. The fire did some damage and I ended up having to pull up 4 boards and replace them. Then I had to prime and paint them. I got into it with her 5 year old while waiting for the primer to dry and we played with light sabers. I cut off his head.

Next up (tomorrow if the parts arrive) is replacing Heathers entire steering setup on her Jeep. I'm also trying to figure out what to do with the Subaru. It developed a real funny noise about a week ago. For a few days I worried that it was the rear differential. Now I'm 98% sure that it's the drivers side rear wheel bearing. It's always nice to know what's wrong but in this case, not so much. The repair is an absolute nightmare. You have to remove the hub with a puller and then remove all the drum brake parts and take the knuckle to a shop and have them press out the old bearing and pop in the new one and the get an alignment. I could do all of the repair in my garage but I'd have to buy $200 in tools (for 3 new tools) but it mean that I don't have to get an alignment since removing the knuckle is no longer necessary. I absolutely hate having someone else work on my vehicles but it may be more cost effective this time. I'll decide tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Black Sheep

Black Sheep is a custom frame builder up in Fort Collins. I think they've been going to the North American Hand Made Bike Show for 4 years now. This was a bike they brought this year. It's called the Stellar. This bike was built for a guy named Jake Kirkpatrick. He's from Boulder and he's one of the many racers that will be traveling to Banff for the start of the Tour Divide. This is a very good looking bike. It's titanium and, even though there's a lot of tubes, this thing weighs just over 20 lbs. The racks are gorgeous although part of me wonders if they'll hold up.

Words that I don't care for

I'm going to start a list. Here's what I have so far and these are in no particular order:

1. Kiddos: This is a word that I really had no ill feelings towards until I moved to Colorado. This word is only rivaled by the sheer number of medicinal marijuana shops located within the state. Personally, I think nothing sounds worse than when you're sitting in an important meeting with other adults and professionals and you refer to the student(s) in question as either a kiddo or kiddos. It's always most appropriate to refer to them as students (not kids, not children, definitely not kiddos).

2. Kit: I think I've talked about this one before but it's worth touching on again. When did people start referring to the spandex that cyclists wear as kits? This word makes me cringe. Do people really walk into bicycle shops and ask, "Where do you keep your kits?" Stop trying to be cool and just call them what they are. They are cycling shorts or cycling jerseys. When speaking about them both I really prfer to call it a cycling outfit. I think it sounds much more festive. I find it infinitely more annoying when folks use it as a verb and state that they are, "Getting kitted up." Like you're cycling cronies are waiting outside on you and they yell up, "Dude....what's the hold up?" You yell back, "Hold your horses......I'm getting kitted up!"'re getting dressed. If I am ever waiting on someone and they tell me that...I am leaving.

3. Pop: Heather watches a lot of home make over shows. She also watches a fashion show called, "What not to Wear." You can hear this word on both. Examples include, "That scarf really pops. The counter top makes this room pop." A scarf or counter top or earrings do not pop. They can make you look nice or make a room look nice but they do not pop. Not ever.

If I ever hear anyone say, "The kit that this kiddo is wearing really makes him or her pop" I will punch them.

That's all I have for right now. I know a guy that doesn't care for a certain word. I know he's reading this and out of respect for him I don't want to say what that word is as I know the impact it will have on him. It rhymes with Shmoist. I think Heather said this word the other day. I can't recall the context in which it was used but it really doesn't matter. Whenever I hear it, I think of him. I reminded Heather that he didn't care for that word and it led to a discussion on similar words. I texted him right away and asked how he felt about the word damp. Interestingly, he is fine with damp. Not moist. Oooops. Sorry.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Citizen on patrol

During my 2.5 hour ride today I came upon 2 horses that were on the loose down in Green Mountain Falls. I know where they live and they were definitely not near home. I went over to their house and could see the wind had knocked some of the fencing down and that's how they got out. The owner wasn't home so I sprung into action. Spandex and all. One of them freaked as I got close and I worried about getting bitch slapped by it so I re-thought my strategy. In the end I told them to stay put and, like Lassie, I ran and got the Marshal. Not Marshal Bird. The actual Marshal in town. For a moment I considered doing my best John Wayne impersonation when I came in the door and said, "Welllllll Marshal.....we got ourselves a problem here pilgrim." Then I remembered that I was in spandex. My Father in Law would have been proud of at least my equestrian efforts. Or embarrassed by the fact that I was near horses at all in brightly colored spandex. Really I just want his approval.

On my second lap, I came across a young bird that was trying to learn to fly. He appeared to be resting in the lane of oncoming traffic and right in the spot where a tire would have made him a brown spot. Again....I sprung into action. I was able to scoop him up and deliver him to the safety of the trees. I stood for a second afterwards. Hands on my hips. Chest out like some super hero. A horn startled me and then the driver yelled out, "Hey you queer.....get the %$!@ outta the road in that get up!!"

Holy Sh!t!!

This morning I was initially impressed when I checked the 2011 Tour Divide start list. As I've gone through the list from top to bottom, I'm now at the "Holy sh!t" stage. This is gonna be a slug fest. As of today there are 82 racers set to start in Banff and 10 set to start from Antelope Wells. There is no shortage of serious talent on the list. Of course, everyone on the list has some impressive nuts but these names have me jazzed:

Dejay Birtch, Jefe Branham, Cricket Butler, Aidan Harding, Jake Kirkpatrick, Eric Lobeck (woot woot!), Ethan Passant, Kurt Refsnider, Caroline Soong (now I know why she's been logging BIG miles with KR), and many others. June is gonna be interesting.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I think I'm overtrained. It almost embarrasses me to say it. This is the end of my 3rd week and, for this week, I'm not sleeping well, resting pulse rate is higher than normal and my motivation is at an low. I also noticed that during my 5 minute intervals this week that I was not able to click down a gear halfway through them like last week. I may have been able to but it also could have meant shutting things down early. I think I'm getting old. I had visions of getting in 300 or so miles this week but that may not happen.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It was the operative word of the day. The wind was horrible all night long. I could hear the chairs sliding across the deck and an empty trash can that I hadn't brought in the garage yet found it's way down the driveway. I was not really excited about today's ride. To make matters worse, this was one of Colorado's swirling winds. It was a headwind no matter what direction I turned. Very frustrating. Gusts had to be in that 40-50mph range. I rode all the way up to Palmer Lake and back and had 50. I was really wanting to call it a day but then I thought I'd head south on the trail into the less desirable sections. I saw the usual questionable transients, trash, and eventually rode through the neighborhood that clearly seems to be marked as belonging to the Sureno gang. I got through it unscathed but I'm always riding with a swivel neck down there. I rode another 10 miles south and then turned around to head back. I had a full on headwind on the way back and it was puttin' the hurts to me. I ended up with 70 today and 5 hours of ride time.

Today I was drinking some Perpetuem and it didn't sit right with my gut. I was heading south just out of Monument when I began to realize I might have a situation on my hands. I stopped at this gazebo and got some solid food in me and then figured I'd try to ride through it. It worked and I felt much better.

This is Monument Creek. The trail runs along this for about 20 miles. It is not an attractive creek by any means stinks. The trail is nice though but I'm always guaranteed to see at least one person lugging along a sack of belongings behind them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


For the lose!! I was hoping to pick up my new bow on Friday. The deal was all but done and now the knucklehead won't return my calls. What's with people? I hope he drops the bow (in the hard case) on his big toe.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Got boost?

I'm a sucker for nicely done fabrication on a vehicle. Most of the Cherokees running around have the inline 6 motor and it's a nice engine. Some guys stroke the motor to get more power out of it. There's a guy named Bryson here in Colorado that likes to turbo things though and he's starting up his own company. He does really nice work.

His welds are not ugly.

This manifold was made by him.

There's not much room in the engine bay of a Cherokee and you can see just how close the plumbing for the turbo comes to the motor and the oil pan.

Normally the battery is located in that front corner. You can see the turbo tucked in just below the intake manifold. The cone filter is gonna go right where the battery normally would be located and the plumbing from that runs straight back and then dips down just below the drivers side motor mount and then enters the turbo.

Here's the finished product. He used a water to air intercooler because of the lack of room.

Super clean work. Our white 2001 Limited would look killer with this stuff on it. Heather's Jeep needs new tires and I've got to do some work to it next week. I'm actually thinking about lowering it about 2 inches. Some sticky tires and tighter suspension and a fat turbo would make hers damn near as cool as a newer Grand Cherokee with the SRT8 motor.

His company is

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today was my big ride. Again, I headed down to lower elevations and, again, I got screwed the farther north I headed. For a while I was actually sweating but then I had to dawn a down vest because of the cold. I started from the same spot in downtown Colorado Springs and took the path all the way up to Palmer Lake. Then I decided to go further north and went up and did Kipps Loop that's darn near to Castle Rock. It was bitter cold for those miles and the wind was punishing me. Then I headed back to Monument to get a coffee before continuing on back to Colorado Springs. All in all I was 5 hours and 40 minutes and about 80 miles. I feel much better than I did last week but that's because I drank and ate way more. I feel pretty good but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about being able to do 115 in Durango. I still have what I think is enough time to prep and I really don't care about how I do, I just wanna use these events from the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series as little stepping stones to work towards. I do think it will help come August. I have never ridden this kind of mileage in March.

I saw this puppy about 10 miles from my car. She was recently sprung from the joint and could not have been happier about being out for a walk.

A while back, Marshal and I stealth camped just beyond this grave. There's not much in this area. The wind usually blows hard. It's usually cold. You usually hear every train in the state at some point in the night. And...the coyotes howl most of the night. Of all of those things...I actually don't mind the coyotes at all.

This is just before hitting Kipps Loop.

This looked damn tempting.

This eagle was circling overhead for a while.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Can I get a break?

Please? The Jeep Cherokee can develop something that most owners refer to as the Death Wobble. My 96 did it right after I got and then it went away after I lifted it. It can occur for a variety of reasons. It generally presents itself when you're doing 55ish and hit a small bump or expansion joint in the road. Then the entire front end shakes violently. I remember the first time I felt it was on the highway. You could have used my anus as a cigar cutter. Basically what happens is the front wheels go from slight toe in to slight toe out very quickly over and over. The only way to really stop it is to stand on the brakes and slow it down. Heather experienced this pleasure cruise in my Jeep a few times so she knows what it feels like. Hers did it today when she was driving down the mountain. I know hers is because the trackbar and draglink both need to be replaced. It's not a real difficult job but it is a job nonetheless. She was supposed to eat dinner with some co-workers so I got her on her way after making sure that nothing catastrophic was wrong and then I looked at the bikes.

I never found that washer I lost the other day but I did make due with some regular flat washers. In the process of putting the seat post back on the bike, the binder bolt stripped out. Luckily, I had a nut that was the right thread pitch and another larger washer. It's not pretty but it is functional. The green bike is a mess. Then I remembered that I had a set of Larsen tubeless tires and figured I'd throw them on. After I got the tubed stuff off the wheels I realized I didn't know where my tubeless valves were so I abandoned that ship. I picked up one of the Larsen tires to look at it and it was really wet. Ruh Roh. I slowly opened up the closet door from wherest the tires had been stored. I knew what the outcome was before I even shined a flashlight in there. The water heater was leaking. It's been making some racket for a while and we've been running out of hot water for a while but I figured it was just sediment. Now it doesn't really matter. I don't even wanna know what that's gonna set us back. I do have a buddy that I think may be able to get me an insiders deal on one though.

I decided to call it quits and go in and relax. I didn't even bother to clean up the garage. When I got to the top of the steps there was a puddle of puke and there Bodhi sat thumping his tail so hard that puke was now all over the place as he flailed it around. Dogs are the best. I couldn't help but pet him a bit before I started cleaning things up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm not even mad

I normally do my really hard trainer workout on Friday night but I swapped it to Wednesday nights now since I'm trying to get in one really long day on the weekend. Things are going well. Tonight I was able to bump things up and do a few more shorter intervals than last week on a bigger gear and still maintain the cadence. I was also able to the same on the longer intervals too. Five more weeks until the Durango Gravel Grinder.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weeeeeeeeeeee would like to play

Heather and I bought a Wii recently. Now personally I feel that if you're too old to go trick or treating, you're too old to play video games but I think the Wii is a bit different. One of the things that's pretty cool about this thing is that we get Netflix through it and so now we can watch movies anytime we want instead of having to get them mailed to us. The other cool thing that we are hoping to try real soon is playing against other people through the net. This way, we can see if any friends back home wanna get their asses kicked in golf or bowling.

So...even if we don't know you and you wanna piece...pack a lunch and say the word.

30 minutes....gone!

Tonight I was going to work on the green bike a bit. It needs a new cassette and chain and I was gonna go tubeless again. I also decided to switch back to my Thompson seatpost. I have no idea why but I was all thumbs putting the seatpost on. Then I dropped one of the bolts and, of course, the washer came off. That stupid bolt has gotta be an inch and a quarter long and the washer popped right off. I heard it hit the floor and figured I'd get it in a minute. It's gone. The bike was actually leaning up against the garage door so it was pretty contained. I'll try to find it tomorrow in daylight with the door open. The washer is actually concave a bit on one side. I'm sure I could use a flat washer and it would hold just fine but I'd rather find the real one and do it right. Grrrrrrrrr.

In other news...a few of my neighbors indicated to me today that they would like me to serve on our homeowners association board. Who the hell are these people kidding? Honored as I was, I did not inform them that, even though I am 38, my wife gives me an allowance. Several of the owners are upset about the way the HOA is handling our money. I don't even balance my own checkbook for cryin' out loud. Try as I may though, I could not stop thinking about Seinfeld when Morty was condo association president for Del Boca Vista or when Kramer moved down to Florida to retire and ran for president so that Morty could operate a puppet regime via the K Man. When I told Heather about this, she asked, "Are you sure they didn't ask you to ask me to do it?" Now that's some disrespect. I made her pay for it though when I destroyed her in Wii ping pong.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I did get out for a bit longer rode today. It looked like it was gonna snow at any moment so I headed down to Colorado Springs. I started right downtown and then headed south. I guess I rode about 15 miles and then some barbed wire ran across the trail. I didn't see a sign but I also didn't wanna piss anybody off so I turned around and headed back to where I started. The trail is a mix of pavement and well groomed trail but I always find myself on high alert when I ride it. There's homeless people all over and some of the areas are a tad creepy. I wanted to ride longer today so I kept heading to Monument. I turned around just shy of there and headed back. All told I had 5 hours and 70ish miles in.

Normally you can see the mountains but not today.

I got a lotta mileage outta this summer sausage.

This is a park in downtown.

Lotta this today.

Lotta this too.

Today I had 2 flats. I NEVER flat!! Both times were on the extreme south portion of the trail and both were from thorns. I have Crossmax wheels on the green bike but they are set up with tubes b/c the last time I rode that bike was at the Leadville winter races and I wanted as wide a tire as I could find. I think I'm gonna set it up tubeless again. Super fun day. It was a tad cold and I was actually getting a bit dizzy in the last 15 miles but I don't recall the last time I was able to ride that far this time of year so that's cool.

Saturday ride

I got out yesterday for a pretty nice ride. We don't have any snow to really speak of here in town but once I got up above town I found plenty of it. I was planning on doing a loop that drops me down at a lake outside of town and then take the bike path back home but once I got to the turn off point, no vehicles had gone down that forest road yet and I didn't feel like breaking fresh tracks or dealing with the ice that lingers there for quite a while after things have melted every where else. It was also a lot colder than when I started out by the time I got there so I decided to just turn around and head back home.

I installed a suspension seatpost on the green bike but spent plenty of time messing with the height of it. I never got it quite right and I think I may take it back off. Something just doesn't feel right.

It's supposed to be a little bit warmer today so I'm planning on getting out again but I think I'm gonna head to lower altitude and try and get a longer ride in.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cranky pants

I've had mine on for almost a week straight now. I think they're chapping my ass. I hate being cranky. Probably the majority of it is my poor sleep. Work has been hectic but not THAT bad. We're in the middle of our state testing and that's always stressful. The bigger issue at work is the budget cuts that are coming. The estimate indicates that my district will cut another 1.7 million this year and that's A LOT to squeeze out. I think it will bring our total to about 3 million for the last 2 years. Tempers are starting to flare and rumors start running wild about who's getting cut and that's never good. I'm fairly confident that I'm safe but everything is on the table this year and none of us will truly know if we have jobs for the next year until probably closer to spring. It is absolutely stunning to me that our government officials are cutting education this much. I believe public education (at least here in Colorado) is going to see a pretty major makeover in the next few years.

In other news, I went back in for another sleep study last night. Let me tell ya...those are good times. After getting all hooked up with wires, they picked out a mask for me to wear for the CPAP machine. I decided to try one that just went into my nostrils. It seemed ok initially but by 11 my nose hurt so badly that I actually thought it was bleeding. Turned out it was just running a bit but man was it sore. Then we tried a mask that went around the entire nose and that felt better but it was large and kind of hit my upper lip and that's irritating. They woke me up at 5:15 this morning and I felt recharged but that was probably just because I was on oxygen all night. My apneas definitely decreased with the machine so I'll be interested to see what the results say. Maybe I'll get to buy a $1300 machine. Cuz we all have 1300 clams laying around right now right?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Embarrassed to say this

It's been quite a while since I've turned the pedals over in anger. For the last 2 nights my sleeping has been really bad. Bad enough for Heather to have to either come down stairs, punch me, pinch my nose, or physically roll me to my side (since I tend to not have as many apneas there). All of these techniques failed. So this morning I was absolutely wrecked. By 9 this morning I had consumed 2 pots of coffee and was still exhausted. Then...adults started pissing me off. Really pissing me off. That's all I'm saying. I did not think there was any way I was going to be able to ride when I got home. I was mad when I left the building. I pedaled home upset. I played loud, jaded and bitter music when I got in the door. After a PB and honey samich, a Coke and a handful of coffee beans I did my old standby trainer workout (the 20/40). I was able to do it in a harder gear than last week and feel so fresh and so clean clean while doing so. I feel better now. I can usually relax by riding and looking at flowers, animals, or the landscape but it's hard to do that in the garage.

Hope your day was enjoyable. Thank for checking in.