Friday, December 23, 2011

A Wonderful Joyous VICTORY

A couple mere minutes ago some time in the past I typed some fateful words into an internet comment box. I said-

Smith hat would match me
Maybe make THE Joe Holmes proud?
Probably maybe

The reason for this occasion? Simple. A Glider Bison Giveaway. I've entered many of these in the past, simply trying to win things that were once handled by THE Sam Johnson. But this time, something quite magical happened.

I was a winner!

To tell this in a format that might make more sense, let me interpret this message via......


"Krogg hold huge contest. Prize worth three whole turkey leg fresh off fire started from huge clump Mammoth belly hair! Krogg no like this hat, hat makes Kroggs ears look big like Mastodon tusk growing off face of KING MASTODON! Krogg have idea- make people write funny things into comment box and let number generator pick the "random" best one! Krogg know however, Caveman-Ian write good Haiku many times over- more times than Krogg climb mountain to chop tree for fire- AND Krogg know that THE Joe Holmes feel good about sponsor related products! Krogg KNOW that Ian haiku worthy of hat-prize. Krogg number selects WINNER. Celebration of five successful-hunts!"

Ok, I promise to leave that form of writing to the expert from now on. I'm quite happy! Ever since I lost the Haiku Favorites Runner Up Contest I've been scheming. FINALLY!

What's this?!?!


Thanks Sam and Team Exergy for the swag.

Friday, December 16, 2011

California related title

I'm too sleepy right now to think of any sort of creative lyric or sonnet or anything to post as the title. Titles are usually the hardest part of writing a blog because how can you really categorize the crazy things that run through my head into a simple sentence or phrase? It's difficult. It's also probably pretty difficult to come up with titles when you write about something that happened 6 months ago. Not that anyone I know does that.

Here's a fun game for you to play. Try to think of as many song TITLES that have some sort of California related connection in them. It sounds pretty easy, right? Here are some obvious ones-
  • California Love- Tupac
  • Beverly Hills- Weezer
  • Back to Cali- Notorious BIG
  • California Girls- Katy Perry
  • Dani California- Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Compton's in the House- NWA
  • Say Goodbye to Hollywood- Eminem
ETC. So now try and think of any more. It's actually pretty difficult, huh? The first time that I made the driving trip down with T$ to LA last Nov. we played this game (whoa! blogging about something a year old!), and came up with list roughly 11 things long. We thought that was pretty good, but since the internet knows everything I did some research. Turns out there are a lot more than 11 songs about California and that there is an entire Wikipedia page devoted to these songs.

So now that I've made up for a lack of title with interesting trivia, let me catch us up on our journey, California style.

I flatted again today. But instead of talking about that, let me engulf you into a story about a man and wildlife. A man and nature. A man and his bike.

I was riding my bike alone, just doing some simple through and off on PCH. Unimportant to the story, but relevant to the mood, I was wearing my Summer Whites, aka my white HB jersey. As I was through-ing up a hill (NOT THROWING UP) I happened to glance to my right into the vastness that is the Atlantic KIDDING Pacific Ocean and I saw something. The unmistakeable excitement that is a shark attack about to happen. I'm talking several fins Jaws-theme-songing their way through the shallow water, about to team up on a helpless something, much like in the excellent Sy-Fy original "Malibu Shark Attack".

As I was preparing for an epic Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus type battle between this herd of Sharks and whatever they were about to choose to eat for brunch, I was disappointed, or maybe overjoyed, to see that these sharks weren't actually ferocious killers, for they weren't actually sharks! They weren't just flotsam either. I wasn't fooled by something floating at me like the dumb girl from the movie "Deep Blue Sea" but I was just incorrect in naming my species. They were either a pack of Porpi (my way of saying porpoise plural) or a dollop of dolphins. Because once they started jumping in and out of the water like a graph of a function that kept going from negative to positive along the X axis I knew that they weren't sharks. Sharks can't be bothered to jump out of the water like that, unless they're really hungry-

That was a clip from an episode of the excellent television show "Planet Earth". Everyone should check out that series it's quite stunning.

But yes, I saw a dollop of dolphins on my ride today, and since I'm in California, why not?

Ok, the next exciting thing that I am choosing to talk about instead of talking about how I've gotten more flats in three days of riding here than I did all last winter and the beginning of this winter combined is this awesome structure that I saw today. And yesterday.

From a distance, this son-of-a-gun looks like your simple water-tower. Ya know, like a candle on stilts with a roof on it sort of thing. Wait what? A roof? Yes, this "water-tower" is actually a vacation rental home.

Since we all know how much I enjoy living in luxury, I have some respect for this $4000 a week rental. In fact, as I was changing a flat in its shadow I sketched a quick picture!

But srsly, check this place out! Really cool.

And plus, you'd be renting from this guy.

He looks like a mix of John Waters and Johnny Bravo!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Learning the Truth About Myself

Last week, I tweeted something along the lines of "hashtag I'm so weak I had to lift the xmas holidayz tree my arms are so little". This was a fun experience because when I lift a 8 lb medicine ball it does not equal a AT LEAST 15 pound Christmas tree. Yikes! That fun continued yesterday on my bike pedal.

I rode with two track riders, and I attacked them on 12 occasions. However, that is not the story.
It starts roughly 47 minutes into the ride, when I flatted my rear tire. Simple, I removed the tire, checked for debris, and put in a new tube. I noticed that my rim-tape was sort of crooked. So I straightened it out, and then I used a hand pump to put roughly 3 hours worth of riding PSI into my tire. My right arm felt slightly tired.

One hour and four attacks later, I felt the rear starting to get soft again. Pulled over, removed the tube, found some glass, noticed a off centered rim strip. Changed the tube. Pumped it up to slightly less PSI than before due to horrible, horrible pains in my arms. Removed the hand pump. PSJHSDKJHKSHFGJHFHJSKL:LKJHGFDFGHJKL. With the removal of the hand pump came the removal of the valve stem. NOT HAPPY. Now I am no longer on top of things- since I only brought two tubes. So I borrowed a tube. Down to one tube for 3 of us. This time I used a C02 canister because my arms felt as if I had just competed in a handstand-handwalking marathon with a midget doing a tango on my feet.

PS, my tires are ~680 cc so they don't come on and off easily. At this point my hands are now throbbing and my knuckles are bleeding from smacking them into my spokes. Repeatedly.

So we start riding. Collin and I drop Ian up a climb. Four minutes later I flat the rear, AGAIN. This time, I'm assuming that my rim-tape is F'ed out the Ying Yang (twins).

So instead of changing this flat, I was conned into believing that there was "a bike shop like, 2 miles from here!". So I decided to ride the flat to the bike shop. Since I had no air in my tire, I was riding out of the saddle. Which is doing a reverse pull up on the front of my bike as I held my girth away from the rear wheel. About 7 minutes of that later and 400 arm twitches it was decided that this bike shop was still maybe 3 miles away. So we pulled over, and I hand pumped the tire back up to riding PSI so that I could do 12 seconds of really fast riding before the tire went flat again. This is 3 times with the hand pump now. 

A couple minutes later it became time to pump it up again, so I pulled over right after a construction sight, and got to pumping. For those of you that have never seen a cyclist on the side of the road using a hand pump to put air into a tire, it may be the reason that the average American citizen tries to run cyclists over. Imagine that video of the guy at the Texas Tech football game ringing the bell. It may look like something else.

I get around 50 psi in the tires and hear some laughing. Look up and the construction site is LOL'ing at me pumping up my tires. Ok, continue.

And we made it to the bike shop! But it was a BMX bike shop, and when I asked if they had road tubes, the employee said "uhhh... maybe". He did! So then I took the tire and found a staple that had worked its way into my tire. I had to dig the sucker out with a razor blade! And then for kicks and giggles I bought a new rim-strip. And made it ALL the way home without flatting again!

3 flats, 4 tire changes, 1 million mini-pump pumps, bloody knuckles, and sore arms.

Then Tela made me carry a milk jug home from the grocery store! OUCH!

OK, bye kids. More bike pedaling!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

California, Knows How to Party

I left you in a state of despair. In fact yesterday I ALMOST did something ridiculous. I just about, was planning, was on the verge, around the corner, pick and choose, or non-debatable going to ride the...rollers.... yesterday. I was originally going to try and ride on the track, but since my bike is in the attic in Bham and my road bike tires don't accept the proper PSI (proper strength indicator) for the steep banking, I couldn't.

So I took all my stuff to the track and by the time I had gotten there I had made up my mind that I wasn't a soft-pansy-child and I came to California to ride the bicycles outdoors in the sunshine, and I'll be G'D if I don't end up doing that. So I chose to ride outdoors. As I was preparing for rain riding, here are some of the statements that these other bike racers said to me-
  • Did you know it's raining out? (yes I did) Here in California a rain day means a rest day!
  • Why did you bring this from Seattle?
  • It's probably not going to be very much fun out there?
  • Eat a Burger!
  • This wasn't very kind of you to bring this weather from Seattle

So far, 7 people have blamed me for the weather. Which c'mon, after a quick Google search it's pretty clear that it is physically impossible for me to carry a rain cloud with me from Seattle. So I ain't no hollerback gurrrrrl.

I've been making some connections and plotting some lines on Mapmyride, Ridewithgps, and Strava to try and find some good rides for me to go on in the next couple of days. I planned a really awesome ride with tons of climbing all within a pretty close distance to Cypress, which was sort of odd. So I google map zoooooooooomed in on it, and turned out that both of my climbs were dirt hiking trails. Problem? No, not really. Then I found this. I'm still all set to give it a go, but I'm pretty sure that I should wait a couple days so that the dirt roads have a chance to dry a little bit before I begin the madness.

In other related news (not actually related to anything I've talked about) (but related to this trip), my sister is weird. True story. Somehow she got in a conversation with someone about something. And this something is a taller, crazier tale than the time that someone else did something taller and crazier. Tela and her associate discussed sleep patterns. What happens when one sleeps? What really goes on in the depths of dormir? What occurs in dream-land? Inception.

So Tela downloaded a "Sleep Talk" app for her phone. This app is designed to turn on at any indication of noise. So turns out T$ is a crazy mo-fo and potentially is possessed. Most of the things that the phone recorded were along the lines of an agressive roll over, or perhaps a deep breath. But then there was that one recording where Tela started talking about nonsense like a demonic satanic cray cray loco person. The key words were "rabbits" and "that's it". So take what you like from that.

So naturally, since I needed to know that I am not a crazy person and demonic-sleeptalk doesn't run in the family, I downloaded this same app last night.

Some may hope for a happy tale, one ripe with song.
Or even a night filled with wonderful stories, some right, some wrong.
But in fact I'll tell you, that on this very night,
I said nothing, nay, my mouth, yes it stayed shut tight.
So if you think that perhaps, this night chatting runs in the Fam, PLEASE
For since when you listen to my recording, yes, all you'll hear is Zzzzz's.

Ok I'm going to go to bike practice now.


Monday, December 12, 2011

California Vacation

Let me share some gospel from some of the most intelligent thinkers of our time-

Cry me a river- Justin Timberlake

Tearin' up my heart- Nsync

You got it you got it bad- Usher

It's GON RAIN- The weatherman

In fact, I just walked outside and I got very wet, much like someone who walked into a very wet place. The tragic part of this situation is that I am not in Bellingham or Sammamish, but I took a jet plane to Californiaaaa to do a good week of bike pedaling all while hanging out with my sister. The good news behind this weather travesty is that since I am not a soft child I will still be doing some good bike pedaling, but as my coffee consumption is going up my cortisol levels rise along with that as the residents of Tela's house blame me for bringing the weather from Seattle to LA, since it "hasn't rained like this in FOREVER". Srsly though, come on how can I possibly bring a weather cycle 1000 miles South on a 48 passenger airplane? NOT MY FAULT. But this airplane, I now know how it feels to be a Giant in a humans world, or potentially Steve in a kindergarten class: HUGE. This plane was tiny, but it seemed like I was the only person with any problems. My head scraped on the ceiling while walking, and no one elses did. Then I had to use the bathroom, which was the equivalent of 30 people trying to get into a smart car, or Kennett trying to get into an SUV. It was a tight fit.


Oh look at the scenery, beautiful palm trees!

Tela and I were going to go on a ride this morning and then I was going to ride again for 4x that length. Tela ended up riding the rollers on the deck wearing LS Jersey, Leg Warmers, and a beanie.

What I just overheard- "Only drug and crack dealers don't have drivers licenses!"

To continue.

Tela picked me up from the airport with the joyous news of "Let's go do laundry!!!!!". Celebrateeee goood times c'mon
Choose what to think about this Cafe name

So today I will scratch my nose and twiddle my thumbs and listen to rap music until Inti comes to play. Or perhaps I will challenge the track sprinters to a 12 lap race.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How Could I Forget?

I am seriously ridiculous. I forgot to talk about three great moments in the history of Hagens Berman 2011 and since I know that all of y'all are missing the adventures of my teammates (the actual interesting people on this blog) I decided I would share three more bite size morsels of excellence. I've already introduced you to the characters here. This mini-novella will feature Cody, Dan-Land, and Kennett. Awwww I'm so sad I miss my friends :( :(.

So we begin.

Morsel 1 ------------------->

Daniel ____ Bechtold: hero, innovator, and legend. Dan-land knows how to travel. Like when none of us knew if he was racing Univest and I stumbledupon (not the website, Spencer) him in an airport bathroom. In Pennsylvania. I guess he was racing! But that is not the bite size tidbit that will keep you occupied until we begin our madness again in March.

Flash back in time, yet flash forward this story to the ending. Where we convene in some airport that we all had different connecting flights to and Dan is joyfully explaining to us how he JUST about missed his connecting flight out of Denver. They had to re-open the doors of the gate for him and everything! How did this happen? In the Denver Airport, Dan-Land discovered a special area. This area was a separate level, one that was quieter, calmer, and more serene than the first floor. Dan knew what had to be done. A nap was in order. It's ok though, don't fret readers- he remembered to set his alarm. Phew! In fact, how do you get the most out of layover nap time? You sleep for as long as possible. For Dan, that meant you set your alarm for 5 minutes before the plane... departs. Snoozin! Cheers to the innovation!

Morsel Deux ~~~~~~~~~~>
Let us continue on the journey that is traveling.  Cody J Campbell is the protagonist. I am not a gambling man, but if I haddddd to be, I'd say we were in the Chicago Airport. If I remember correctly, this is the airport where we saw the man with the tail. Lion King! Cody was sooooo hungry, that boy needed some SNACKS. We are lined up, as per SWA boarding procedures, and notice that our lone Canadian has gone missing. Big trouble in little paradise! We board and giggle about how Cody is missing that precious B17 boarding spot. All of us end up sitting in a similar location, and as the minutes tick by and the seconds climb higher than everytime Kennett gets on the scale, we start to get worried. Where is our Canadian friend? Had he snuck on the plane without us seeing? Was he deported? Did he lose his passport that he always keeps around his neck? The flight attendant gets on the speakers "Is passenger Cody Campbell here? Hello, does anyone know Cody Campbell?" We cheer from the back of the plane. She comes back to us, and asks if we've seen him. "Yes, just recently!!" "Well can you call him?" And then we simultaneously laugh about the his Canadian cell phone. With just minutes to take off Cody rushes on board with a gleeful smile on his face that could only mean one thing.

He got some snacks.

Morsel III >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Traveling has happened, now we are at some bike race. Kennett Tabernackle Peterson is your vicious beast on this one. It's funny, because Blogger thought I meant to write that Kennett is viscous. Which is giggle worthy. Get yer giggles in. We were doing this bike stage race tournament in Bend, Oregon. It hurt a lot, and we all were racing for the elusive 150th GC spot, which would be the last person allowed to enter the crit the following day. Logan ended up being Lantern Rouge, because he's only 16. The tricky situation about this is we literally had no idea what was going to happen with time gaps, people in front of us, etc. So the stage before the crit was very important. The final climb of the day is a really uncomfortable drag up to Mt Bachelor, and after 3+ hours of racing the 20 minute climb is a P.O.S. We all knew we had to go as hard as we could on this climb because just like when you're sleeping in an airport, every second counts. Everyone knows that the most important part of bike racing is beating your teammates, and when Kennett hit the base of the climb and powered away from me there was nothing I could do. His huge muscles are quite beneficial for those climbs of 7 minutes in duration, but around the 8th minute my group caught up to his and went right by. Booyah! Basically that meant I could coast in because I was going to beat Kennett. As our group rounded a bend (in Bend) I heard the sound of a dying pickup truck being attacked by a catfish with pneumonia. The unmistakeable Kennett Peterson suffer sound. I had to attack. I kicked once, and I heard from a couple pedal strokes behind me a slightly louder noise, this time sprinkled with a small noisy taste of Cat-Fight. The gasping and heaving got closer, louder, and more vibrant as the mountain continued. The beauty and serenity of the wildflowers, mountain goats, and the Illegal Feed Zone were shadowed by the sound that a frog would make if you forced it to play saxophone when it was drunk. I didn't dare look around. I attacked again. The noise followed me. It haunted my future dreams. It finished with me.

Some say if you attack a man hard enough, you can hear his true soul. For this reason I am thankful that Kennett Tabernackle Peterson is my teammate, because I am scared to death of his true soul.

Thank you very much for your time and have a fantastic day.