Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Deeds

Friday morning I'm riding with Daniel at Hains Point and I noticed this guy on the Marina Side changing a flat tire, NBD (No Big Deal). We continue and finish our first lap, when I see the same guy, still on the Marina side, working on his tire, but it looked like he had walked down a bit further down. Interesting. Daniel and I chat away as our third lap is completed and the guy, who is still working on his wheel, is now about two hundred feet down from where he started. WTF?. I make a mental note of that and when our fourth lap comes to an end, the guy finally decided to cross over to the Golf course side, in the hope that someone would stop. As we ride by I asked him if he needed help and with a smile he replied, "YES!!!, actually I do". For some reason he couldn't get his rear wheel back on and straight. I took care of that while Daniel tigthen the breaks and made sure nothing was rubbing. He borrow my phone to call work to let them know he was going to be late and we were off. Feeling good about helping a fellow cyclist.
On the trail, after coming down the 14th Street bridge, a rider yells at us something that I couldn't understand...all I got was, "turtle!!". Daniel stop to see a small turtle crossing the path, in a tricky spot. He picked it up and put it on the side it was heading. Two good deeds in less than 20 minutes. A good day.
Yesterday on my way home from the 7AM ride, my friend Chance and I were beggining to feel the effects of an early morning wake up call, and 70 miles in the legs. Feeling the inevitable bonk approaching, we throttled back down and were talking about eating bacon, a sign that the bonking was now taking full effect. Before approaching the overpass by the airport, Chance announces to a walker and slower rider infront of us our intentions to pass them on their left. The walker heard us, but the weekend warrior, with his Ipod in full blast didn't hear the two calls Chance made and started to veer into our direction. Chance extends his arm to keep the rider at bay and to avoid a collision and rides off, but as soon as I went by the guy, he just yelled, "don't put your hand on me, you fucking a$$holes". Feeling loopy already from the bonk, and not wanting an escalation of things, I slowed down and told the guy all Chance did was to avoid a crash, no harm done. "F..k Off", he tells me. Classy. The thought of putting a water bottle accross his head briefly entered my mind, but again, the bonk had me thinking about peperonni pizza and cokes and not of an altercation with this guy. I guess for once, bonking had a positive effect.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Even though the race ended almost two weeks ago, I just didn't have much time or energy to write about the last two days. But it went something like this:

Saturday's time trial was another logistical nightmare, with the organizers changing start times at will and without considering any of the riders' needs. Not that I was planning on smoking anyone, but it was a bit frustrating having to change plans every five minutes because nobody seemed to know what the hell was going on. Finally it was announced that the Masters A category would depart as soon as the last Masters B rider had completed the time trial. That gave me an extra hour to sit around and wait.
Time finally came to depart and since I had spotted a few others wearing their Ipods, I chose to do the same. Nothing like a little ZZ Top to get the legs going. Off I went and quickly settled into the uncomfortable time trial position and prepared myself for the next 30+ minutes of pure fun. The "pain" playlist on the Ipod was made specifically for this kinds of efforts and with the top Texas band rocking, followed by some AC/DC, Guns & Roses, Joan Jett, Ministry and a few others selections, it made the time go by quite fast. It also helped when the guy who started one minute behind blew by me. The only exciting thing was going down hill, tucked in on the aero bars and having two 18 wheelers pass me, creating a serious vortex that made for some fun few seconds.

Sunday's last stage had a bit more start time shannanigans from the organizers. I had noticed the team of the guy who had led the race for the first two stages, warming up quite early. That indicated one thing only, that the fight was going to go from the gun. As customary, the heat was oppressive when we started around 9:45am, but at least it meant we were going to be done before noon by all calculations and thus, avoid the serious blast from the sun and humidity.
Lined up and made small talk with a fellow rider, who wanted my contact info. Not soon had I started to give him my digits, the flag dropped and before I could clip in, the pack was single filed. It was an impressive display of firepower with the leader's team taking control of things, or at least, setting the pace so high that nobody could attack. At only 500 meters from the start, riders were popping and avoiding them was becoming quite hard since they were everywhere. Finally latched myself to the back of the pack and had thoughts of settling in for nice ride.
Those thoughts went quickly out the window when we hit the 180 turn at the bottom of a two step hill and the high pace never ceased. More riders were dropping and when I reached the top of the last step, there was a considerable gap between me and the pack, no man's land stuff. A glance back confirmed that the only two choices were, chase solo or wait for the second group that was forming behind. Decided to give chase, if anything, the chasers would catch me if my attempt failed. It did.
So I spent the next 42 miles in a group of 8, taking longer pulls to at least get a good workout out of the deal. The cool thing was because of the longer pulls, the other 7 asked me what we should do at the end. "we'll cross the line together, spread accross the road" I made for a cool picture.

And that was that, my second participation at the Vuelta Masters a Chiriqui was fun, despite the craziness both on and off the road. The level this year was twice as high as last year's edition and when I got the results early Monday morning, I was happy with my 33er place overall. 65 riders started the Masters A class, with 48finishing. Now I think I will skip next year's edition and wait to move up to the B class. But things can change by July of 2011 and I can find myself pinning a number at this growing event.

Friday, July 30, 2010

7th Vuelta Masters International to Chiriqui

It started yesterday with a short (5.6km) prologue. Fitting the bike with aero wheels and aero bars didn't help much and I posted 8:14, 1:18 slower than the stage's winner.
Later that afternoon, we were to face 53 miles, from the city of David to the border with Costa Rica and back. Although the race book stated that it was "flat", the race was a series of rollers throughout the entire distance. The A category (the Vuelta is based on age, 30 to 38 years young is the A, 39 to 48 is the B, C category runs from 49 to 58 and the whippersnappers of the D from 59 and up) lined up last and we had to wait under a blazzing sun for a good 30 minutes before the flag was dropped and we were on our way. Right away attacks came but soon the group of 57 riders settled into a blistering pace. Once again this year, water was the main concern and keeping the bottles full was the job of the follow cars and motorcycles. Consumption was at a high due to the hot temperatures, but I was managing good handouts from the car driven by mom.
Nothing exacting happened until the turn around point when the A cat caught the B and things got really crazy with both groups attacking. The chief ref and his group was having a rough time controlling things, and racing on the Panamerican Highway made things a tad more complicated, but soon order returned and the B guys were made to slow down and a second ref car was placed in front until the A group had a reasonable distance. People were dropping and I started to cramp a little, but nursed the right leg all the way to the finish and crossed the line with the lead group.

Today's festivites took us up from 152 feet above sea level to 3200 in 56 miles. Again it was hot and drinking was the order of the day, with mom again making sure I always had two full bottles. As soon as the group hit the gas for the first intermediate sprint, riders were dropping right, left and center. I had done the stage's route several times, but the speed during the race didn't even come close to my speed riding solo. Still, I was feeling pretty good.
Second intermediate sprint and up we went. Again, gaps were happening and the yellow jersey team was impossing a fearless pace at the front. The first serious hill appeared and I managed to get over it without suffering too badly. Rejoined the main group and waited for the second hill. This is were the damage started and I was in a bit of trouble for a few minutes, but kept a cool head and rejoined a second time. But not soon had I latched myself to the back that the leader decided to set things right and even the Costa Rican climbers were struggling. I was off on my own after that, having to face the last and harder, 7kms on a bumpy road. The only good thing was there were plenty of people cheering and the temperature went down. I crossed the line with two guys from the Momi team and one from the Sansom team, a good 6:22 back. But checking the results, I moved up from 31st overall to 26spot.

A 13 mile time trial is on the agenda for tomorrow and I'm feeling a little more confident about it. We shall see.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spoke too soon

Right when I thought things were falling into place, I had a severe case of allergies. The humidity here is pretty high, and it rains constantly. I remember growing up having all kinds of issues with my sinuses. But over the last 24 hours it came back in style. Funny enough the only time of the day it doesn't bother me is when I'm riding.

Speaking of riding, today was a mediocre day. I took the bike out to test the time trial setup and went semi hard and felt pretty good. The position was comfortable enough but I was sensing that something was wrong. My heart rate was jumping up and down and not staying in one particular zone. Maybe it was the big breakfast or maybe the allergies played a roll. Whatever it was, it made the return trip not a fun one.

Tomorrow is my last long training ride. I have to travel on Friday and will not be back until mid day Monday, so tomorrow will be the one and final checkup to see how things are. After that, Monday will be a short stroll (weather permitting) followed by 2 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday and then the start of the Vuelta.

Monday, July 19, 2010


After 20 days in Boquete (in the mountains in western Panama), I can say that the riding and preparations for the upcoming vuelta could not have gone any better. The perfect equation, with hard miles, long climbs, plenty of rest and most importantly, good food.

My dad has this nasty 20 mile loop that has about 200 meters of flat roads. The rest of the time you are either going up or down, but mostly, up. Since the country is in the middle of "winter" or wet season, it rains constantly, sometimes 11 hours straight.

Yesterday I did the route of the third stage and it proved to be an eye opener. Last year's event used the same route, but this year, and thanks to them for doing it, the organizers have taken the last 6kms up to Boquete off the route. Citing dangerous conditions on the roads (drivers tend to get too close for comfort), the stage was shorten. If you ask me, some of the locals suffered badly last year and can do without those dreaded 6kms. But, that doesn't make the stage any easier. It begins in the city of David, which according to Google Earth, sits roughly at about 150 feet from sea level. From there, the route will take the four different master categories east, towards the small town of Gualaca, where the flattish roads will end the proper climb begins. Eventually, the race will climb over the Chiriqui Dam and head north in the direction of Caldera (Furnace). That's where the race will heat up, once over the damn. And then, and hopefully I will still be around, the final 7 kms towards the finish. By then we have had gone from 150 feet above sea level, to an uncomfortable 2204 feet in the spand of about 62 kms. All fun and games.

If I'm not too shattered, I hope to write some and post some pics...this year's race has grown with riders from US, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina and the locals taken part. Radio and TV will have coverage and the newspapers will give it plenty of column space. So 9 more days to go. The next two will be a test of the time trial setup, a final two days of climbing and then off to Panama City to pick up my fiancee and friend who's coming to race from Texas.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Road Race, Panama style

A brief report on the race today in was 47 miles, up and customary, it started late...plan was to start at 9am but of course, things run in a different time frame here...and with the delay, the temperature and humidity climbed...

The Masters A category (30-38) had about 25 starters...once the flag dropped, attacks started right, left and center...stupid if you ask me, since they were going nowhere...after about 30 minutes of non stop attacking and me avoiding a dog that almost ran in the middle of the pack, a group finally went hard up a hill on a counter attack and I latched onto it...that was the race's main break...10 of us rode away with Recogo Sanson team putting three guys at the front and drilling the pace...once we turned around at the half way point, the temperature read 35Celsius and the humidity had to be about 300...drink, drink, drink...
On the approach to the Santa Rita climb, the attacks went thick and fast...not wanting to burn my matches, I set a pace that I could carry up the 2km hill and settled in, letting 8 guys go...two of them were later dropped and I caught them and worked together with them to catch back to the front group...
Nothing much happened until the Avejones hill, but by then everyone was pretty cooked and the pace was more reasonable, although I used the 39 while the locals were engaged in the 53....those fools...towards the top the pace was increased but I hung in there and then did little work, recovered and was hoping for a sprint...
With 15kms to go, there were only 6 of us left, with two Recogo Sanson guys pulling...they were happy to do the work and I was happy to let them do it...we were passing riders from other categories who did a shorter distance...with 2kms to go, I set myself in 5th position and waited for the pace to increase...with about 300m to go, and catching the slight downhill before the last flat 200 meters, I opened the a gap really quick...shifted to the 13 and accelerated more...looked under my arm and the gap was there, but the guy who won the Vuelta last year was chasing...went for the 12 and the damn thing hung...sat down, put my head down and saw the guy come by me...even with the 12 I don't think I would have taken it all the way to the line...he was I got second...really happy with it since last year I didn't even finish the race...

So here's the cool thing about the race...$5 registration...numbers??, who needs them...good thing I wear red shoes...I got $25 for my efforts and then the organizers had a meal for all the riders and their families...rice, chicken, pasta salad, sodas, beers...and all for $5!!!!!!....awesome...

Now the Vuelta Masters is in three weeks...4 days and 5 stages...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Packed and ready

Time has flown by. It was just 12 months ago that I was flying back home to visit my family and take part in the 6th Vuelta Masters a Chiriqui. Fast forward to today and the bags are packed and ready. Heading home tomorrow morning with the girls for six weeks of fun, and great home cooking. Some bike racing will be thrown in for good measure. Things kick off on Sunday with a road race, which should give me a chance to test my legs against the locals and see if all the wheel sucking I have done here will pay off.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dead animals on the grill

Today concluded the 4 day Memorial Day weekend with the ride in Upper Marlboro put on by the "Hains Point Crew". This was my fourth time going out with the crew and as usual, we were up to some funny shanningans. Although the pace on this year's edition was the fastest courtesy of some of Artemis' big engines.

After the ride, V Day's captain and my good friend, Daniel, invited us over to his house for some "dead animals on the grill and some refreshing beverages". I'm not the one to pass on such an invitation and despite the fact that I was feeling tired, we headed over and had the usual good times in company of good friends and great food.

Since I'm on the food theme here, I can't seem to get rid of the 4 extra pounds I want to shed before heading home in a month. Not that I'm helping myself by consuming large amounts of food, but man, it's like I reached a plateau. There's no real diet going on, only smaller portions of all my favourites, but with the odd visit to a friend's house for some grub and refreshments, things are just getting to be silly.

Form is coming along just fine, but I have concluded, after riding with some young NCVC dudes that the youngsters have about 15 accelerations in them, while, and since I'm getting old, have about four at best. Fun times nonetheless.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Not much to write about. My third time taking part in the event and IMHO, it was pretty tamed. Two crashes (looked minor) and one order to stop by the refs were the main attractions.

Personally, my usual McD's pancake and sausage, a meal that I have consumed prior to many a race, failed me for the first time in my cycling history. Dumfounded as to why I was feeling so crappy, I could only pin point my diet as the main perpetrator for the lack of power I was experiencing. During the first lap, right out of the dirt and on the short steep hill, I almost lost the plot (and my breakfast). Thinking positive and hoping things would turn around as the race went on kept me from looking down at my gears and wondering, why I couldn't turn the pedals with ease.

On the S turn hill/false flat part, during the last lap, the elastic finally broke. My brain made a frantic call to my legs to go for maximum power, but nobody in the leg's department actually answered the phone. Knowing that the line was just a few minutes away, I was trying, in vain, to close gaps. Riders in twos and threes were trying to fight the side wind and just end the suffering. I finally found Nick's wheel and drafted him for a bit before jumping across to a lone Coppi guy. He quickly got on my wheel and drafted me until about 200m before the finish where he jumped away. A sprint was non existent for me since I didn't have one and I was not going to do it for 20 whatever place. Shifted to the 39, crossed the line, Nick came by and I thanked him for the pull, made a right by the school and saw a DC Velo guy collapsed on the grass with what looked like two huge cramps. OUCH!!.

That's it for me, no more racing until July 29th in Panama.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back At It

About nine months, after my close encounter with the pavement and subsequent humbling butt kicking I received at the hands of my native friends in Panama, I reached the conclusion that my "racing" days were coming to an end. Not that I ever took the sport serious enough, after all, and as far as I'm concerned, it's a hobby. I never hung by the telephone expecting the bosses of Banesto or Saeco to call me to join their ranks. But my good friend Dani Meaurio FINALLY moved to cat4 and we talked of doing a few races together, just for fun.

So I entered Murad and Poolsville without the approval of the better half, but knowing full well, that racing with Dani is just an experience. It's not only the race itself, but the drive to and from, talking about how bad each other feels while navigating the back end of the pack, cracking jokes (mostly in spanish) and just having a grand time.

We got to Murad and the first order of business was to make sure Dani's upgrade was taking care of. A brief talk with the officials and he was pinning his number. Off we went for a warmup and then lined up with the rest of the pack. Murad is not a very difficult course, but the heat was an obstacle as well as the very few spots were one could move up, especially if you were riding in the caboose, like I was.

Aside from a few attempts of guys trying to break, the race stayed together, although I did see plenty of folks exit through the back door, because either the heat or pace. The crash on the last lap elevated my heart rate to uncomfortable levels after missing it by about an inch, and the subsequent quick, but well performed chase got me back to the tail end of the pack with enough time to recover. As the final approached, Dani moved me up towards the front as best as he could but it was a messy last kilometer and I'm getting up there in years to be mixing it for a $15 payout (it's a hobby, not a job).

I walked away knowing that I still can ride a little fast here and there, but most importantly, we had the usual good time. Now Poolsville is in two weeks, and I'm sure we are going to be jamming to AC/DC as we prepare for another fun day at the races.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

80s time

This is what I like, all things 80s. 80s music and the big hair, bad fashion, and total craziness of the decade. I also like the days when the temperature is in the 80s range. Muscles seem to just come to life after spending 5 months in frigid temperatures, trying, in vain most of the time, to muster some sort of function. After struggling in all of the local rides, I finally broke a good sweat, dished out about 4 layers of clothing and got down to working on a tan. Because of the 80s (temps), things have turned around and I can now say that I'm not the first one getting dropped. Mind you, I still visit the rear of whatever bunch I'm in, but it takes a while now to get there.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No time to panic, just yet.

Ridicolous, that's right, ridicolous was the amount of food I consumed last week while in the Lone Star state. We hit a place called "Salt Lick" near Austin and I think that was the closest I have gotten to heaven. The All You Can Eat feast was a non stop delivery of beans, potatoe salad, cole slaw, ribs, brisket, sausage and bread. You have to bring your beverages (of the alcoholic type), but that was no problem, since the cooler in the trunk of the car had a healthy supply of Shiner Bocks. That's not to mention the silly plates of lasagna, unknown number of burgers and a good dose of cheescake that my future mother in-law kept providing me with. And who am I to say no to such demonstration of love.

Upon return this past Sunday, I seemed to have also grabbed a sore throat somewhere between Houston's Hobby airport and Reagan National with a layover in Atlanta. I'm trying to not think too much about it, but for the last 48 hours when the alarm clock goes off in the morning and I want to get up to do a ride before work, the sore throat kept me grounded and under the blankets.

As Ryder Hesdejal would say, "no big deal or NBD" (using carbon wheels on training rides), my lack of form and high desire of a good meal hasn't sparked the alarm bells just yet. After all, Mark Cavendish had a rough time over the winter and beginning of the season and it took him until today to score his first win at Catalunya. And speaking of that vuelta, Andy Schleck had to pull out, continuing his streak of whatever it is he has (knee, stomach, lack of form, etc.). The younger of the Schlecks continues to have a positive attitude about it though.

The 7th Vuelta Masters a Chiriqui unveiled the route for this year's affair and it looks harder than last year's edition. Things get started on July 28th with the presentation, followed by a double whammy on the 29th. A 5km prologue in the morning and then a 92km stint to the border with Costa Rica. In 2009, the double presented its challenge in the form of the weather. Extremely hot in the morning prologue, and later in the afternoon, the opening of the sky, with rain showers of biblical proportions. The fun will continue on July 30th, with a mountain stage, although it seems they have taken out the last 7kms and that's fine by me since that's where I got dropped a year ago. Saturday, July 31st I will not be looking forward to, with a 25km ITT. I can't time trial worth a damn, but what the heck. And finally, Sunday, August 1st, a 62kms circuit race.

I still have a few months to get some sort of form and as long as I don't let it get to my head, I'm counting on things going my way. Using Andy's way of thinking, it's not time to panic, at least, not yet.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Forgettable February

Spring can't arrive any sooner. After spending a normal amount of days on the bike for me as far as January is concerned, the same can not be said about February. The snow storm (s), cold temps and wind were enough ingredients to keep him indoors for most of the months. Only last weekend was I able to do some riding, and it hurt so much that this past Monday, while at work, the top of my body was heading in one direction, while my legs were going the opposite way.

Inconsistent riding is the trend so far and it seems like it will continue that way until probably late March because a family vacation is fast approaching. This can only mean that instead of shutting things down in early August as it's customary, maybe this could be a blessing in disguise, that's what I'm telling myself.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The end is near

January 28th was the last time I touched the bike until this past Friday. All the freaking snow we got halted the slow progress I was making into finding some sort of form and rhythm into my riding routine. But as the sun peaked through the clouds and the calls from Jose to "get on the bike", I finally made it to Hains Point, driving of course, since the trail is not rideable and will remain that way for the forseable future. Short story is that the legs and lungs took a vacation and weren't to happy about getting forced to work extra.

Wanting to continue the trend, I ventured out to the 10AM clock ride on Saturday, which turned out to be fun despite the melting snow, but it hurt towards the end. And today was the 8:30am on the pain menu. Mentally I tend to throw in the towl quicker than I should, but there's no reason to dig deep right now, when the tank is on empty and hurting myself will not do much good (at the moment). So I settled into a comfortable pace after not helping (not that I didn't want to help, the legs were just not responding) Dani close the gap on the group even though there were within reach. After regrouping, I was feeling a little better, but the only thoughts then were about lunch and again, the Meaurio's were kind enough to feed me, which is always great because of the food and the company.

Over on the pro scene, things are finally going with the "desert race" over and done and some of the old hands are at it again (McEwen, Petacchi). And some young whippersnappers are getting into the grove of things. Team SKY had a bit of a "fight" in their hands in Oman and the season gets under way proper this Sunday in Belgium. Wind, snow, and cold-miserable temperatures. The peloton will have to deal it with mother nature's fury for a while, but winter will soon be over.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hurting, just a little

Seems like the phrase to throw around is, "I'm in better shape than I was at this time last year." I can honestly say that I'm not, but that's no big surprise. Unlike Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who's a bit worried after taking the winter seriously and his form is, you guessed it, better than it was at this time last year ("I am consequently a little afraid that the form could arrive too early. Therefore, I will make sure to rest"), my main concern at the moment is not to hurt too much. So far I haven't spent any quality time in the hurt box, since I tend to pull the plug these days as soon as the speed reaches 25mph.

Today I ventured to the Italian Store ride and found a couple of frisky riders to go out with. Small group of about 10 of us, who kept an interesting pace throughout the duration of the festivities. Nothing big to report other than I wasn't the first one to get dropped and even surprised myself that I hung in there. I find hills to be better (for me) than Hains Point. Once the "inmortals" get cranking at the noon ride, I don't stand a chance, even if I was in shape. But Thursday I will return to Hains to try and hang for four laps (last week's record was three) before having to make an appearance in the hurt box. Like Phillipe, I don't want my form to arrive too early.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold fashion

Since the temperature refuses to climb, it's another day of football, food and fun at home. The supreme leader is visiting a museum with a friend, so I had some time to scan the interent and found a couple of more team kits to review.

BMC's new attire is rather blend for my taste. They went from the predominaly black and white setup, to the red and black. Easy to spot I guess, but not much bang if you ask me.

A further search located the Futton-Servetto team colors. In my humble opinion, there's not much to say to the "artist" (Dario Urzay) other than, "that's art, huh". Those poor souls will have to wear that for an entire season, I can't wait to see the cars and buses.

Looks like Quick Step is going a little old school with the black shorts and that's cool, but they took a page from the Astana book and decided not to match their bike colors with the jersey colors. A no-no if you were to ask me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A week's review

Last Sunday I was at work looking at the weather forecast for the week. Since I was off but one day of said week, I was planning on getting a hefty amount of miles in the legs, but the thought quickly started to melt as the aforementioned forecast was looking to be in the "artic zone". One of my co-workers asked me if I was going to ride, and then I made up mind, "f#$% it, I will go out no matter what the weather is". Soon after I fired an email to my friend Dave in Texas, who was also not happy about temperatures the Lone Star State was about to embrace. I said, "if I ride Monday, then I'll ride Tuesday, and if I ride Tuesday, then I'll ride Thur and Fri"...that was it, I was in for the long haul...Monday and Tuesday came and went I was out there, getting dropped at Hains Point after only one lap of the noon ride. Wed I worked so no problem, Thursday I was back at the point, this time going a full three laps with the group. Then the snow came Thursday night and so did the National Championships and a late night watching Texas vs. Alabama and the consumption of several pictures of Shiner Bock and chicken wings, had me thinking otherwise about getting on the bike on Friday morning. No ride, but Dani managed to put the new fork on the spare bike, so some cycling was accomplished.
So far this morning (Saturday), I got up with the best intentions of riding, but soon I started to listen to the voice in my head telling me "it's too cold to ride"...the day is not over yet.

Switching topics for a bit, I tend to follow the pro scene here and there, and considering myself somewhat of a cycling fashionista, I couldn't help but vomit a little bit when I saw this. Come on, the kit color combination is just horrendous, but matching it to a red and black bike, someone in Kazakhstan is missing a sense of humor.
From the "don't drink the Kool-Aid your president is serving" department comes news that diminutive Venezuelan climber, Jose Rujano, is for real this time. I remember the same line when he broke his contract with Selle-Italia to join Quick Step (bad move), then when Caisse d'Espagne picked him up for almost nothing. So three strikes and you are out??...maybe, but he needs to stop visiting Hugo Chavez's Palacio de Miraflores and concentrate on riding and not talking.
Rabobank's Pedro Horrillo called it quits after riding 12 seasons and having survived a crash that put him in a coma during last year's Giro. Now he will dedicate his time to his family and writing.

As the pros are heading to the warmth of Southern Spain, South Africa or Autralia to get the tan lines going, the local bunch is bundling up and facing a pretty cold weekend. Nonetheless, as Jose explained to me this morning, "it's not that cold", that sounds just like when you hear,"we'll go easy". Maybe I'll go to Hains later and do a few laps, then again, I think the supreme leader may make some chili.