Saturday, October 31, 2009

Can someone tell me What is it that we're doing under the lights Can someone tell me Why once again we're food for vampires tonight

Longpost to make up for longtime no update.

Did a couple of races, one decidedly more eventful than the others.

Last week, I intended to go to New Gloucester, ME to race out there, but the other people that were going to go ended up bailing because of a little rain, and then so did I, but for totally way tougher reasons (more rain).

I already had a reservation at the Super 8 Motel out there, and when I tried to cancel it, they said I couldn't because I had made on online reservation, and referred me to the head office. Then the head office said it was the branch's call and I should call them. I did and I was told the manager had "gone into town to get breakfast for tomorrow." Thanks, Maine.

I went out to Western Mass and hung out with the UMBRC people, drank too much, tried a balance board, good time had by all.....

Saturday was indeed rainy, so Jelie and I went to Sylvester's for brunch, and then stopped by the bikereg home office, which is around the corner. I assumed it would look like Lorenzo Lamas's workstation in Megashark vs. Giant Octopus, but it really looked more like an office. I'm guessing I wasn't shown the secret underground layer where the magic happens, presumably accessed by pulling on a candlestick somewhere.

I ended up racing on Sunday in the Saratoga Spa race in New York. Overheard at the gas station: "drink too much Roy?" "Ohhh Yeah." I registered for the 4 and 3/4 races, on principle..more on that later, and I missed the start of the 4 race, so I had to jump on and chase through the women's and kids races, making me think I had just jumped into the wrong race. I made decent headway and then I crashed into a divot (this very one, though that's not me) and cracked my fork (though I don't know if I did it there or it had happened earlier). The race promoter said that usually there's no refunds on entry fees, but a broken fork counts as extenuating circumstances, and he gave me my $10 back, which I appreciate. I ended up at 18th place of 31 finishers, which is pretty frustrating, as it means I probably would have been in the top 10 were it not for the aforementioned snafus. Some good news too though, as Jeff Elie won the 3/4 race in dominant fashion and Jeff Cronin got 2nd in the 4 race.

On Halloween there was the Canton cross race, which is especially nice because it's about 35 minutes from my apartment, and about 20 minutes from the shop, which came in handy
Photo credit: Geoff

Because it was so close, I was there on time, and as a rule, if I'm there on time, I'll forget something. This time it was shoes, so rather than warm-up on my trainer (which I've only done at one race this season), I ran around asking everyone if they had any extra shoes. There were some Geekhouse and Wheelworks guys who were nice enough to offer some platform pedals, which is almost what I ended up using, and I suppose platform pedals and Asics count as a Halloween costume, but luckily, team IBC's own John Fennel had some shoes and pedals he wouldn't need until the 3/4 race, so I threw them on the bike with 2 minutes to go before the start of the race, and spun over the line, squeezing into the 2nd row. There were 110 finishers, which means there were more than 110 starters, which is insane. It was a super fast course, with a few slick, slimy tarmac sections, though they weren't as slippery as all the warnings made them out to be. I ended up at 37th of 110.
Photo credit Thom P.

Shortly after the 4 race, I sped back to the shop to grab my B shoes, a pair of Diadora Ethos Ice Techs (or as Jeff Cronin calls them, "Bike Jordans"). They're totally as awesome as the name would make them seem.

It became clear in the first race why CX is generally done in the 50s (temps, not decade) or lower, but I did the second race anyways, out of principle, as it was only $10 more to do the 2nd race, even though I knew I would not do well and my crossresults points would take a hit.

It was faster the second time through, though with about two laps to go, I could taste ammonia and see spots, but I finished the race, and not even in last place (by 7!).

I wonder if Jesse is doing any CX out west.

The fatigue of the day meant that I fell asleep around 8 pm, and woke up at a daylight savings adjusted 6:50am, Sunday morning, which works out as I didn't have a costume (though as per normal, I thought of a great one around 6pm on Halloween), and is also why I'm writing this (or at least starting this) on Sunday morning before work.

No Jesse this week due to technical frustrations. I hope Bryan's not too upset.

Oh well. 'Till next update.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Unit three thousand twenty one is warning Makes a humming sound - when its circuits Duplicate emotions

Sorry about the lack of blogupdate, I suck. I'll try to stay more on top of it, but more riding+more work=more tired.

I haven't updated since Gloucester, but I did take a whole bunch of pictures there. That full album can be found here. (Kevin Sweeney pictured here)
A couple more cross races have reminded me why I like that the inside of my car is all plastic, and Dan the mechanic has fixed the Spooky (undoing my screw-ups), so it's running like a champ. Today's race, which was pretty rutted and dry proved to me that I still don't totally know what tire pressure I should be running.
A bunch of people went out to get sushi with Todd. He's going to TX. I ate a boat. Have fun Todd.

I unfortunately don't have the video to back it up (still don't have one of these) but it seems as though the cars of Newton are unable to completely stop. They roll into intersections, streets, rotaries, and mailboxes to a comical extent, theory being that the opponent (traffic with the right of way) has no choice but to stop. The instigator then stops in the way of both perpendicular traffic and those behind, letting everyone absorb the absurdity of it all, Hand gestures are undertaken and the dance is complete.

On the topic of Newton driving, Volvo has brought to market the logical conclusion of the trend toward eliminating driver involvement. While in a general sense I would consider this a bad thing, given the type of driver that tends to gravitate toward Volvo (specifically Volvo SUV) ownership, I prefer robotic involvement.

Jesse's out in Cali, but I haven't heard from him, so I assume...

I had some fun with long exposure shots.

I saw another cool application of VW/Audi/Porsche's compatible BCDs

I learned about one more of Bryan's talents.

This week's video is a collection of outtakes from a Saturn commercial Jim Gaffigan did way back in the 90s.