Sunday, July 31, 2016

5 Days on the JMT/PCT

Dave and I drove up to Mammoth Lakes for vacation, with the intentions of enjoying the Ansel Adams Wilderness, summiting Mount Ritter, and eating all 21,442 calories in our bear canister (plus another 6,000 or so in our pockets). Let's just say it was a partial success.

Day 1: Agnew Meadows to Thousand Island Lake
We took the River Trail and PCT north from the Agnew Meadows trailhead. When I took the bear can out of my pack at lunch, I found that everything in my pack was wet and oily. Oops. Part of my tactic for cramming all that food in the bear can was to jump on the pile and compress things down. Not a good idea when there's a pouch of jalapeno-flavored olive oil in there. Now my pack and sleeping bag smelled like hot peppers, and most of our food had taken on a spicy flavor. We considered hiking out since my sleeping bag now smelled like food, but I wanted to risk it. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in bear spray, so my stuff didn't smell all that tasty, right? We got to Thousand Island Lake with plenty of time to perform a somewhat thorough oil spill cleanup.

Day 2: Thousand Island Lake to Ediza Lake
Shadow Lake Trail
After a windy night at Thousand Island Lake, we packed up camp and took the JMT south to Ediza Lake, which would be our base camp for the attempt on Mt. Ritter.  We met a party of three women who also planned to try Ritter the next day.  

Day 3: Mt. Ritter Summit Attempt
Ritter (center) and Banner Peak (right) from the talus slope
Waterfall on the approach
After a failed attempt on Ritter in 2013, we knew the route to the approach was confusing. This time, bolstered with better maps and a breakfast of jalapeno-flavored oatmeal, we had high hopes. The 13,143' high mountain is not the highest peak in the Sierras, but its remoteness and glaciers have eluded many climbers since John Muir's first ascent in 1872. Dave and I arrived at the base of the talus and snow slope confident that we were on the right track. We saw the three women ahead of us and yelled greetings. They were attempting some class 4/5 bouldering (without ropes or helmets), while we were trying to stick with less technical snow travel on the Southeast Glacier Route. Summipost says this is an easy class 2/3 route, but the snow from the El Nino winter made it seem pretty sketchy. With the rocks looking dangerous, we attempted to go off course and climb the Upper Southeast Snowbowl to get to the ridge sooner. At this point it's important to note that Dave decided not to bring an ice axe, thinking he could save some weight and get by with crampons and trekking poles. Even with an ice axe, I thought the 45+ degree slope was sketchy, and there was nowhere to stop sliding if you couldn't self-arrest. 

Is that the southeast col on the left?
Upper SE snowbowl. Too steep.
We went back on the course for a while, only to find the next snowbowl equally sketchy. After much discussion, we decided to give up and go back to the tent. Were we off the route, or is it just more dangerous than people say? We never saw the three women again, but I hope they summited safely! Dave and I returned to camp and packed up by 1pm, taking the JMT south to Rosalie Lake. The trail to Rosalie is a tough climb of its own, and the lake is gorgeous without wind or bugs. A couple camping near us was fly fishing for rainbow trout, while Dave and I took a cold swim in the lake. We treated ourselves to one of the rare foods that did not get penetrated by the jalapeno oil: those expensive backpacker/doomsday prepper meals in indestructible bags.

Day 4: Rosalie Lake to Devil's Postpile and Red's Meadow
Rosalie Lake in the morning
Devil's Postpile
Rainbow Falls
We took the JMT south, descending what seemed like a zillion feet from Rosalie, while being eaten alive by bugs. This section of the trail is relatively boring, with few opportunities to get water. We stopped at Devil's Postpile, a pile of basalt formed by lava that cooled and cracked into hexagonal columns. We continued south to Rainbow Falls, fighting hoardes of tourists and strollers. Speaking of tourists, we had now turned north onto a section of the PCT that goes through a lot of civilization. My goal of finishing the food in our bear can was being threatened by the proximity of Red's Meadow Resort (which is not a "resort" per se, but more of a general store with showers and a diner for backpackers). I tried to illustrate to Dave the benefits of self-sufficiency, but his desire for a milkshake was stronger than my argument. We camped at Red's Meadow Campground, also quite civilized, but with a walk-in section for backpackers. That was getting full when we arrived, but we ran into the fly fishing couple from Rosalie, who offered to share a real campsite with us.  Note: apparently when backpackers enter civilization, strangers just start giving them stuff.  In addition to the shared campsite, we got bug spray and two more dinners (which we gladly ate now that my goal of finishing the bear can was out the window).

Day 5: Red's Meadow to Agnew Meadows
Upper Soda Springs

Agnew Meadows Pack Station
PCT with Ritter and Banner in the distance

Our final day was a straight shot north on the PCT. It was hot and buggy, with the one highlight being a quick stop at Upper Soda Springs to get our feet wet and drink some spring water. Dave brought up a topic that he had planned to discuss on our would-be summit of Ritter: marriage. A discussion ensued as we hiked, regarding the hard work we expected marriage to be, our life goals, and how much we like our life together. The topic remained open. We got to our car at the trailhead in the early afternoon, but we still wanted to camp that night and try to finish the stupid bear can. To kill some time before setting up camp, we changed out of our hiking boots and got sneakers and daypacks from the car (so comfy!) and headed for a dayhike on the PCT/High Trail. We ran into someone who had just summited Ritter the week before! We exchanged information and some tips, so we can maybe try again in the future. Maybe. 

Day 6: Living It Up in Mammoth

After we packed up camp (and I unsuccessfully suggested that we eat the gross dehydrated eggs that remained in the bear can), we decided to drive into Mammoth Lakes and go to our favorite coffee shop. When Dave walked outside to get something, I borrowed a marker from a stranger to give him my answer on a rock from the PCT. Lessons learned on this trip: don't jump on your food, strangers make great friends, and you can make good life decisions without summiting a mountain to get there.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mount Whitney Fail

When four of us drove to Lone Pine, CA to attempt Mount Whitney last weekend, we thought we had this in the bag.  The highest peak in the contiguous US is known for having an easy 11-mile trail which you can basically roller skate up.  The hard part is supposedly getting a permit, which we got suspiciously easily.  Why didn't anyone want to try casually walking up the summit with their kids, grandma, and a picnic basket on a nice weekend in May?  Because it's still covered in snow and ice.  Oh.

The locals told us that no one had summited for two weeks, due to waist-high snow hiding a  narrow ridge beneath.  Everyone seemed to think that a more reasonable goal was to turn around at Trail Crest at 13,700 feet.  Under less snowy conditions, this is where you would walk the final ridge up to Whitney summit, at 14,508 feet.

Base camp with the Sierras in the background
After base camping in the Alabama Hills (of California), we started on the Whitney Trail toward Trail Camp, where we would spend the night before our summit attempt.  The peak looked intimidating in the distance, as if it didn't want to be climbed.  Everyone who passed us on their way out had different stories of why they hadn't made it: too cold, didn't have the right equipment, ran out of food, etc.  Soon we foresaw what might be our own excuse.  Everyone started to get headaches from the altitude, and we had to stop and take a nap before continuing on.  We took off our packs and attempted to find comfy spots on a rock.  I found a nice inclined rock and tried not to hate on the putrid smell wafting around.  There were some cute marmots peeking out from behind a rock, and we must have been resting near their adorable marmot bathroom.  I tried to appreciate nature and go to sleep, when I noticed a piece of toilet paper next to my arm.  Oh crap, I had been lying in people crap.  Everyone who gets a Whitney permit is assigned a potty bag and instructed to carry their poo back out with them!  This made me feel extra lame, knowing that altitude sickness had barely allowed me to hobble up to a point where some jerkface had arrived with enough energy to poop everywhere.  Not feeling refreshed from the attempt at napping, we slogged up to Trail Camp at 12,000 feet, eating ramen and pop tarts for dinner.  A snow storm during the night pounded our tents, and we had to take turns knocking the snow off lest we suffocate.

Trail Camp in the morning

In the morning we left our camp set up in order to get an early start.  My first use of ice axe and crampons was tenuous on the way up the steep snow chute to Trail Crest.  At one point I lost traction and started skidding down the chute, almost taking another climber with me.

The chute where I slipped
 Motivated by the disappointment of a previous failure in the Sierras, I made it to the crest last, with everyone else cheering me on.  We beheld the breathtaking and terrifying views for a minute, then decided that we were satisfied enough with the level of accomplishment and/or danger to not go any farther.  We descended in a similar fashion to that of the ascent, with me far behind everyone else.  Eventually my meager pace put us in danger, as we were hoping to hike out and get a shower the same day (and when your gear smells like human feces in the middle of bear country, a shower might be more of a safety concern than just a comfort issue).

Little avalanches started to scatter down the chute as the day got warmer, and I was still inching feet first downward, as if descending a ladder.  My face felt like it was melting off from the sun's reflection in the snow, and my crampons kept falling off.  It seemed like the appropriate time to do something stupid, so I took off the crampons and tried glissading down on my butt.  Dave was forced to do the same thing after losing a crampon.  Using my ice axe as a rudder, I tried to slide in a controlled fashion.  This worked well for about 5 seconds, then I lost control but miraculously pulled off a self-arrest with my axe.  I repeated this process over and over, completing the bottom half of the chute in a fraction of the time it took me to descend the top half.

We reached the tents exhausted, soaked, and hours behind schedule.  I was resigned to spend another night until we noticed that the tents were floating in snowmelt, and our stuff inside was getting wet.  That's what we get for camping in a cirque.  We knew we'd have to hike out that night, so we made some coffee and food, and attempted to lighten our loads by giving some stuff to other hikers.  By the time we got down to 10,000 feet, the trail got easier with less snow.  We made it to the trailhead just before sunset and ordered all the food and beer at our favorite diner in Lone Pine.  Unfortunately no one had the appetite to eat much of it.

Even though we didn't summit, it was an awesome experience.  I hope there will be another attempt, as soon as we learn how to keep our crampons on, and maybe get an extra day off to acclimatize.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hammonton, New Jersey, the "France" of...Hammonton, New Jersey

Julia destroys it once again!
The New Jersey state championship time trial left me feeling very non-pro.  Not that I’m attempting to become a professional cyclist, nor do I think it’s a good idea for amateurs to compare themselves to the pros, but a few circumstances led me to compare myself to these amazing athletes.

First off, I recently got a fancy DVR to watch the Tour de France whenever I want, so July is a fun month to be obsessed with pro cycling (well, mostly men's pro cycling, but the women are finally getting some exposure).  Wait, I have cable?  NOT PRO.  If I were training to be a pro cyclist, I should be living out of a car on $10 a day.  Secondly, I finally found a 40k time trial course (longer than most local TTs) and it even had two beautiful podium attendants (ok they were dogs, but whatever).  VERY PRO.  The course was flat with several corners and a U-turn.  I started out really hard and passed my teammate Kristie after a few miles.  Wait, my 30-second woman was my teammate? NOT PRO.  Everyone knows that teammates shouldn't be given adjacent start times, but a Bikereg snafu messed things up.  I passed the turn-around and started to fade.  Oh crap, I had pulled a typical Wander and blown my load too early.  Kristie, who meted out her effort more efficiently, passed me.  I drifted into la-la land for most of the second half and stared at the passing scenery: farms, and purveyors of blueberries, guns, and jet skis.  I snapped out of it for the only “hill” on the course, which was a small highway overpass.  I imagined it was a Pyrenean summit and accelerated in excitement, passing Kristie who continued to keep it steady.  After I secured the imaginary mountains classification points, Kristie passed me for the last time.  My legs hurt and I suddenly felt very cranky.  I thought about quitting the race, but then I thought "WWATD?"  Well, Andrew Talansky would wait for the team car to service him, and then he would finish the day’s race like a champ.  Oh wait, I had no team car.  NOT PRO.  So I serviced myself with some sports drink and continued to chug along to the finish.

End result: I took second place in the out-of-state category, with the third women’s time overall.  QCW had two riders on the podium, with Kristie taking third in our category.  Pretty awesome considering I paced myself like an excited puppy, and Kristie had to deal with an annoying teammate lurching back and forth the whole time.  We rounded out our awesome day by sharing the podium with Italian greyhounds Gi and Gwen (yes, they are full-grown!!).  Not exactly pro, but very Euro.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Route 29 Time Trial

Just another reason to always train with a heart rate monitor...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2014 Philly Phlyer TTT

My annual race report:

Perhaps racing will become a semi- or tri-annual thing, but we'll start with baby steps.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

FT takes 1 & 3 in the 2-1-5

Philly Phlyer Circuit Race, Women's 123.  Small field, rain, snow, hail, Philly soft pretzels.  Raquel gets away with a PB&Co rider.  Jackie calls the shots and controls the field, I bridge up to help Raq.  Raq takes the win, me 3rd, Jackie 6th.  Team celebration with pretzels.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Another in-your-face, season-ending race result (!!)

OK, I realize that a DNS isn’t a very hard-hitting result for the last effort of 2012 (and for the record, I did actually “start,” twice).  It was literally quite soft-hitting.  I pulled a typical Wander at Ernie Simpson Time Trial, but I still managed to wake up the next morning like, “Booyah, I showed up to my last race of 2012!  In your face, losers!”  Here’s how this gloriously soft-hitting season-ender happened:
While warming up I broke a cleat and couldn't clip in.  I continued to warm up barefoot while a friend jury-rigged it, cautioning that I could only clip in one time before it would fail again.  Uh oh, I don't know how to unclip with the other foot, so this resulted in a low-speed crash at the starting line, right in front of some of the same officials who have seen such awesome performances as Parkesburg.  Whatever, the soft landing didn't hurt, and I lost my sensitivity to embarrassment at some point last year.  So I took off, and my perfectly executed rest week definitely helped my leg flail extra violently when it came unclipped from the broken cleat.  I didn't crash this time, but tried once more before calling it on Racing Season 2012.  Ho hum.  I went back to the car and ceremonially absconded another toy unicorn in the possession of a new owner, while she was busy winning.  Closure on 2012?  You betcha.  Time to recover and get ready for off-season training.
Ok I think I’m ready.
2012 Racing facts and outrageous claims:
Stupid Mishaps: 7
Concussions: 0
Money spent on fancy cycling goods and services: Less than last year.
Mental blowouts: Greater than 0 but fewer than last year.
Good individual results: A few.
Good team results: Many.
Did bike racing save the world this year? Again, nope.
Did training help to manage my insulin this year? Probably.
Despite the mishap, the beautiful course was worth the trip

Monday, August 20, 2012

Regulating in Millersburg

So my most recent mental training objective has been "emotional regulation."  I'm supposed to leave my fears aside and just race with my legs and brain.  This is hard when you have the emotional capacity of a 2-year-old, but I came to Tour de Millersburg feeling thinking that I was pretty well regulated.  The problem turned out to be that my sprint could use a little less Gramm-Leach-Bliley and a little more Warren G.

The time trial was a 10-mile flat course.  I passed 5 people and took 2nd place, with teammate Jenny taking 5th.  Although the GC was based on points rather than time, the leader's 34-second cushion suggested that it would take some serious teamwork to race with the strong riders of ABRT.  The team rolled back to the hotel to discuss the plan.

With our GC standings to protect, Kace Dogg and Jenny I. had to regulate on the technical crit course.  Jenny attacked with me on her wheel, while Jenn and Emily worked to control the pace in the pack.  We got away with two other riders, including the GC leader.  The leader attacked on the final lap, taking the win, and Jenny and I took 2nd and 3rd. 

The 54-mile road race was mostly flat with a few tight corners.  The slow first lap kept the pack messy, and I was on a mission trying to find Ms. Jenny I.  I fought my way to her wheel just in time for us to get away in a break of 6.  As we rolled into town for the last time, the GC leader attacked, with 2 of us along with her.  After the finish I was relegated to 2nd place for irregular sprinting.  Luckily, our team has some talented riders to help me work on this, including Emily, who arrived with the main field and took the sprint!

In spite of my screw-up, the race was great for the team.  I was 2nd in the GC and Jenny 4th, and the team taught me a lot about working together and racing aggressively.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Catskills: Satisfying, Embarrassing, Wet

Tour of the Catskills was the best racing experience I've ever had, and it's not like I exactly won or anything.  I did, however, help with some successful teamwork and learn a lot.  The first stage was my kind of course: a 12-mile time trial that was mostly flat with a little kicker hill at the end.  Kristen had the best result for the team, taking 3rd, with me coming in 2 seconds behind in 4th.  I was pleased with our team's standing, and Kristen and I went into stage 2 being protected by our teammes.

Stage 2 was a 65-mile road race with the famous "devil's kitchen" climb.  I had heard stories about this climb making Appalachian Gap look like a cakewalk by comparison.  We pre-drove it the night before, and I thought if my car could make it up the mountain, I certainly could on a bike (anyone who has seen my car knows this is a reasonable statement).  I spent the majority of the stage at the back, while Kerrin and Kate brought back attacks at the front.  It was cool to have that kind of support, so I hoped to do well on the climb and uphold my part of the deal.  I started up the climb at the front, until I heard that familiar heavy-breathing-zombie-chase noise when the pack creeps up on you in slow motion.  It was so steep that my front wheel kept coming up off the ground.  Every man woman and child on that mountain was suffering.  And for the record, I know that there are plenty of people in the world who encounter gut-wrenching suffering without traveling to a resort town to suffer in a semi-controlled context while being followed by support vehicles.  That makes me feel both privileged and embarrassed.  Additionally embarrassing was the realization that I was getting dropped.  If I had known this would happen, I would have worked to protect my teammates instead of vice-versa.  Kristen took an awesome second place, moving up to second in the GC, and the stage without dying. 

Stage 3 was a 60-mile race with 2 major climbs.  After blowing my load on Devil's Kitchen the day before, I was now working for the team at the front.  That's a scary place for me, and it was good to force myself to be there.  I brought back attacks and learned a lot.  When the first QOM was close, Kate went off the front alone.  It was now our job to keep the pack as slow as possible and not catch Kate. She got the first QOM, and as long as she was out of sight, the team kept things slow.  It started to pour while we slowly climbed Airport Road.  Several miles of descending followed, and there was a crash in the slippery conditions.  Luckily everyone was ok, and we rolled in to find out that Kate had won the stage, snagging the polka dot jersey along the way.  When I asked her what was going through her head for the 40 solo miles, she said that she was confident knowing that she had teammates in the pack who were controlling the pace.  Wow.  That may have been my greatest contribution of the race, but I don't know if I really did that much.  Final GC: Kristen 3, Kate 5, Kerrin 8, Me 9. 

Kristen at the stage 2 podium

Monday, July 30, 2012

This win brought to you by Vaseline and denial

There's a fine line between satisfaction and complacency, optimism and denial, and when you're dealing with an ongoing deficiency of -reasons to be pissed off- you might not be able to distinguish one from the other. Case in point: I "won" the Nockamixon women’s 1/2 time trial. A more critical person might point out that there were only 3 people in my category, and that I was only the second fastest woman of the day, but at least the following goals were accomplished:

1. Beat my previous time
2. Practice TTing for upcoming stage races, and identify areas in need of work
3. Swim in Lake Nockamixon without getting caught by a park ranger

I pretty much smoked that list, beating the previous attempt on this course by 42 seconds.  It was great practice, and I now have plenty of things to work on, such as remembering to turn around at the cone instead of spacing out until the race marshals yell at me, and preemptively shoving an entire tube of Vaseline up my nose for the inevitable nosebleed when I get down in the aerobars (luckily no photos of this were taken).  So I’m in denial looking on the bright side and calling the day a success.  Now to do some left turn repeats for the next out-and-back time trial.

It turns out that skinsuits make very fast swimsuits

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This podium brought to you by self-talk and my 28-cog

We recently established that I might be in need of a mental intervention, whether it be positive thinking techniques or just getting really pissed off.  And although many friends have generously stepped up to the plate and offered to fight me, I still arrived at Lost River Classic feeling frustratingly happy.

The big descent was wet and sketchy, so the group took it carefully.  It seemed dangerous and/or unethical to attack there, so I waited til we got to the bottom and took off on the flat with 4 women in tow.  The pace on the next climb was painful, and I told myself I would get dropped from the break.  Oh wait Wander, Murray said you can't think that way anymore.   I shifted into my 28 and thought about how much I love climbing. 

On the last lap, the moto told us we had 2 minutes on the field, but this seemingly great news put an end to our breakaway's camaraderie.  Responding to a minute-long attack reminded me of how scared I am of anaerobic intervals.  Stop it Wander.  I thought about a recent workout and tried to recall how it felt: Morning coffee. Ipod. The top of "Mount" Presidential coming into view (yes I do intervals on that little jawn).  Having attained enlightenment with about 1k to go, it then just came down to my legs.  Ainhoa destroyed the final kicker hill, winning by at least a bike length.  I've got a lot more work to do on the mental stuff (not to mention those anaerobic intervals), but second place and the first podium of the year is a step in the right direction.  Now if you'll excuse me I have to go light some scented candles and meditate...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Iron Hill: The Race of Truth

Most people describe time trialing as the "race of truth," since it's just you vs. the clock.  But this year it hasn't really come down to me vs. any clocks, but rather me vs. dropped chains, me vs. dislocated ribs, and after Parkesburg's lap counter blooper, apparently me vs. regularly descending integers. 

There were no excuses at Iron Hill.  The team had great race support, I didn't make any "stupid mistakes," and yet somehow everything I managed to do was stupid.  I got scared before the race even started; every time we'd move closer to the starting line I'd give up a wheel or two in fear of crashing at the whopping um...3 miles an hour we were doing.  Jenny kept her cool at the front.

A crash at the beginning scared me and I thought about quitting.  Apparently even the people involved were less scared, since they all got back in on the free lap.  I slowly slipped to the back (even though that's not necessarily safer) and hoped to compensate for it later.  This is a technique that used to work for me, but when it was time to move up I just yelled at the rider in front of me to hold her line (she was not actually in the way at all, but when you're that scared, everyone seems to be in the way), then threw up in my mouth and sat up.  Jenny sprinted for an awesome 11th place, and I yo-yoed at the back for 26th. 

Obviously training can improve some physiological issues, but the mental ones might be tricky.  I've been given instructions for meditation and self-talk.  A less conventional suggestion came from my friend Rick, who suggested I'm just not angry enough this year.  He used to yell "Hey Wander, unicorns aren't real," at the start of races, just to piss me off.  I usually did well.  Just to cover all bases, I'll take both approaches here: let the meditation begin, and BTW, if anyone would like to stage a fight in the parking lot before a race, I'm in.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chesco Road Race

Yeah, OK this didn't go as planned...
This 4th of July we saluted the land of the free at the PA state road race.  The new course had a little climb coming into the finish but wasn't as selective as the old one.  I still managed to burn all my matches though...

Here's where match number 1 went: I attacked on one of the little kicker hills, got a small gap, and another rider caught on.  It looked promising, and we were about to bolt up another hill when I pulled a typical Wander and dropped my chain.  This is what happens when you try to do your own mechanical work, but hey, this is Amurica, and we're self-sufficient!  Speaking of self-sufficiency, a very eager moto driver came to help and kept getting in the way.  So I'm over here screaming at duder to let me fix it, and meanwhile he's trying to give me a push before I'm even on the bike.  I flailed around like an octopus while the pack slowly disappeared.  I thanked him for his very thorough servicing, then had to seriously put the hurt on to catch the group.  Goodbye match number 2. 

I caught on and recovered before we rolled into the feed zone at the start of the last lap.  Even though the race was short (the women's 123 seems to get shorter every year), it was hot.  Utterly terrified of feed zones, I slowed down to almost a stop and daintily took the bottle from soigneur Colby.  Unfortunately the deciding attack was made in the feed zone.  It was painful to catch the front group.  Match number 3. 

Four strong riders got a gap on the climb into the finish, and I rolled over the line like a slug, taking 5th place.  Not exactly mission accomplished, but hey, I did well, and all this bike racing is definitely helping me win the War on Insulin. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Parkesburg Crit: Free Ponies to a Good Home

A quick preride got me very excited about the course's climbing.  After yesterday's frustrating race, I was ready to put the hurt on myself and/or other people, whichever came first.  The hurt came on quickly, as Team Pure Energy attacked from the gun.  The pace started to slow on the second lap so I attacked on the climb to keep the hurt coming.  This seemed like a great plan until Pure Energy's next rider attacked right when I was recovering.  Oh.  We never caught her, and we settled in to battle it out for second.  I felt good after recovering for a few laps.  Then with one to go, I did that thing that everyone does once: I thought it was the last lap and I had won the field sprint. Some riders came by a few seconds later, and I chuckled at how hard they were going on their recovery lap.  I rolled triumphantly all the way around the course before realizing I had screwed up.  Oh.  

So here's the thing: I'm really pissed at myself.  The kind of pissed that might be justifiable for mistakes that really matter, like health safety and welfare stuff.  And here I am pissed over a bike race.  There are people who don't have bikes to race, let alone cars to get to the race.  I fumed about it all the way home in my fancy car (fancy as in, it exists) and then threw all my ponies in the trash.  I will probably take them out in the morning when I realize there are people who don't have ponies to throw in the trash, but they're spending the night there dammit!  Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go pout like a big baby.

In related news, if anyone knows of a good home for a whole lot of toy equines including but not limited to ponies, horses, and unicorns, please contact me ASAP. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dear Bicycle,

It’s been 21 days, 14 hours, and 17 minutes since I Lorena Bobbitted your top tube on a pothole.  Our time apart has been painful, and I hope you'll forgive me for riding another bike at Philly.  Believe me when I say I didn’t enjoy it; I was so torn up I could barely finish.  The other bike is actually in pieces over the whole thing, so I assure you it’s just you and me now.  Although the past few weeks have been a blur of painkillers, passing out on the couch, and smashing you like Pete Townshend wailing on yet another expendable Gibson, I promise that my wild days are over.  I’m so glad to have you back.

Let’s start over. 

The Green Weenie's top tube looks even better than before!  Thank you Aaron Ritz for saving this relationship...