Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Vegans Attack

Seeing how most people will never be exposed to a Clutch! song, I must share this goodie. I find it humorous, I do, or have fit, many of the qualities described.
How’s that hardcore fanzine? Still take the piss?
Y and T got records, demos on cassette.
Summer of the seven inch. Too cool for school.
Manifestos at Kinko’s, pinko commies play no fools.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
There are clouds beneath my feet.
When vegans attack on ten speed bikes.
Tattoos with meaning, American Spirit Lights.
It’s hard to smoke ‘em when you got to be runnin’
Congressional and D.C.P.D.
Lafayette Park undercovers,
The saddest sight you ever see, ever see.
Tear gas electric! You know I can’t quit this riot.
Strictly professional insurrectionist kid, and I can’t deny it.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
There are clouds beneath my feet.
When vegans attack on ten speed bikes.
Tattoos with meaning, American Spirit Lights .
Freshmen in fatigues. You know he’s fighting for his right.
Copious note taker. American Spirit Lights.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
I feel the spirit moving over me.
There are clouds beneath my feet.
When vegans attack on ten speed bikes.
Tattoos with meaning, American Spirit Lights .
Freshmen in fatigues. You know he’s fighting for his right.
Copious note taker. American Spirit Lights.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Short STL Trip

About a month ago I decided that a trip to STL was in order to visit friends and ride. I thought that going in the end of January would at worst be super cold, at least for STL. What I didn't expect was to basically get rained out.

The trip down had its own excitement as I battled freezing rain and then dense fog throughout IL. It put me about an hour and a half behind schedule. Once I got there though I found Matt, Matt, Eddie, Mike, and later Greg waiting for me. Coarch had some braquitos grilling up and thus we relieved days past while watching Lawman on A&E.

The next day we rode, despite the mid 30's temp and rain. We had big plans but the ride was cut short due to miserable conditions, only getting in about 2 hours. The rest of the day was spent hanging out with friends and stuffing my face with local food. I was on the road bright and early the next day, tired, but glad that I went. I only got one work email the entire visit! Sorry, no pictures. I forgot my charger and so I was saving battery power.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday Night Ride

I've been able to get some good time in on the winter bike lately. I have to say that the studded tires give me a lot of confidence to go out and ride. I haven't broken free and fallen yet on them, something which was happening at least once a ride before I got them.

I was traveling south on Sunday, following the Oak Leaf trail, when I saw a packed snow trail in Grant Park. I hopped on it. It took me right along the lake shore bluff. Check out these blurry shots.

It's hard to tell, but that is a long way to the bottom. I ended up having about three quarters of my ride be after dark and I hit these same trails on the way back. I was cautious to say the least. I also opted for a few routes that avoided some of the diciest parts.

Looks like I'm heading to St. Louis this week to ride and hang with some friends. Should be fun, even if it does rain a little. If you are around MKE, get out and ride. The trails are packed down and a lot of fun. Anyone have a report on the Southern Kettles?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why I don't defend Jesus

I know that a rather large contingent of readers of this blog come for bicycle related posts. But I also right articles for the Reconcile Church website. Some are good, some are so-so. When I think I have actually written something interesting, I am going to post it here too. You're here to waste time, so why not read it anyways. So here it goes, I encourage comments on these as well, no matter what your stance is on the subject.

As a Christian I am personally hurt when I see or hear things in the media, or that someone says in my presence, that denigrates Jesus and Christianity. I used to get very upset about it. I would argue with the tele or anybody who would listen about how whatever was just said is wrong. I used to engage in apologetic (logical lines of reasoning) arguments all the time. In fact, I fancied myself quite good at them.

Then something changed in me, and I am not sure when it happened but I stopped getting in those arguments. I even stopped seeing the value in them altogether. I think it is because I realized that I had the relationship between Jesus and myself topsy-turny. Before, I had thought that it was my job to come to Jesus' defense every time someone put him down. I thought it was my job to convince non-Christians that they are wrong. The problem is, I don't see that attitude reflected in scripture. Instead, I see that Jesus is the defender of me. He is God, he is in control, he executes judgment. If someone chooses to reject Jesus they have already defeated him or herself. There is very little I can do besides further entrench that person in their disbelief.

I don't defend Jesus anymore, I let him defend me. Some Christians may get upset about this, others may think I that I am validating their silence. So let me try to use this metaphor to explain why I don't defend Jesus.

Think of me in a holding cell at the courthouse. The bad news is, I know that I am guilty of a crime. The good news is, my attorney promised to get me off because he is a close relative of the judge. My attorney says he knows I am guilty, and he knows that the judge will always execute punishment on guilty people. The punishment is always a fine or life imprisonment and there is no way anyone can afford the fine. It doesn't sound good, right? But he promised he could get me released.

My attorney says the way he guarantees my freedom is that he will pay the fine, I just need to trust him. In fact, he says he will pay anyone's fine that trusts him, so I should tell the other people in the cell with me. So I do.

I share with the other prisoners everything my attorney told me. I get all kinds of responses. Some say they are not guilty and they don't need a lawyer, some even deny they are in a holding cell. Others say that the deal is too good to be true, my attorney must want payment from them first. Some say their crimes are too horrible, so they don't even want to think about it. A lot of them call me and my attorney liars; they say that they heard it was illegal for family members to be attorneys in the judge's court. Still others, hear what I have to say with open ears as if my attorney is speaking directly to them, and so they employ my attorney.

All I am able to do is share the message with the confidence I have in knowing my attorney is speaking the truth, after all he has always kept his promises thus far. The very least I could do is listen to him and spread his message of hope to everyone else doomed to life in prison. It is never ever about me defending my attorney, that would be nuts! He defends me.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Storm Ride

Last year, in order to make the snow something to look forward to, I started riding during every winter storm and then I would grill out afterward. Yesterday, there was no grilling done due to time restraints and general body toastedness, but there was a ride.

Ian and I headed out towards the Tosa trails again to do some more exploring. It was only my second time riding those trails and the first time was half in the dark. Road conditions were cruddy, so much so that we had little trouble keeping up with many vehicles. My Nokian 45mm studded tires worked great because every time I would spin out through the snow, my tires would find pavement or ice underneath and grip up.

We wandered out to the trails and after a while stopped to share some disgusting cola flavored power bar gel things. Ian was sans balaclava, thus his frosty facial hair.
Shortly after this he had to turn back to meet his lady friend. I kept going, determined to find the Harley woods trails. Which I did, after searching the wrong side of the river for about 20 frustrating trailblazing minutes. I knew it was supposed to have signs, I just didn't expect it to be where it was.

It was clear that I was the first person on these trails for at least a few snows. The snow was deep and I was pedaling down hills. I had done heard tale that the trails had been expanded and that I could just follow the marking. Well, I thought, I finally found this place so I should explore. I got to a fork in the obvious trail and saw more, very unused trail, so I pushed on, and by pushed on, I mean every pedal stroke was like riding up a very steep incline.

It was tuckering me out. I had already been riding over 2 hours when I got to the sign post on which my bike is leaning.
This sign pointed to several trail directions. Do you see any trail here:
Neither did I. So turned around and eventually found the rest of the originally trail. From there I back tracked my way out route until I could no longer ride trails and opted for the sloppier but less muscle sapping road. It was only a little over 4 hour ride but by the time I got home it felt like 6 or 7.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I want Walgreens to sponser my racing!

I love Walgreens. Why? Because when I first got into riding and racing I got pulled into buying a lot of things that advertised great results for cyclists. And after racing a few years I got tired of spending so much money on nutrition and the like. Especially when I wasn't seeing the "dramatic results" the products promised. Plus, experimenting with the products proved costly and I noticed that some things worked right away and then I found I couldn't count on them.

I then I started to eat real food during races, like the euros tend to. The problem was that while I could eat bagels, cream cheese, and jelly during a road race, it wasn't happening on the mtb. Which is what I do now. I wasn't sure what to do.

I was reading the blog of a great racer who was talking about talking gas station energy elixir near the end of his races when it hit me, "what else is out there not marketed for cyclist per se, but could still work?"

Off to Walgreens. The beauty of Walgreens is A: the price of the house brand, B: they are open all the time and are located everywhere, and C: the products are often intended for babies and the elderly, which is pretty much what I feel like during a race. So here are some things that I have found to work great from a company that should sponsor cyclists.
Top of the list is Faux-sure (pronounced fo-sho). This Walgreens version of ensure is the best pre, during, and post ride, or race drink that I have tried. It is easy on the stomach and gives what you need to keep on going, fo-sho.
Next, is the Walgreens version of pedialyte. Once again, great for before, during and after the ride or race. It is like super gatorade without the sugar. Keeps the cramps on lock-down.
Then there is ener-c, which is Walgreens emergen-c. A half a stick in a bottle of water/pedialyte will do you well at the end of a race.
Last has nothing to do with riding or racing per se, but the results of said activity. This powerful one two punch will take care of most saddle sore issues in a few days while still riding.

So, try 'em out. Anyone else have ways to save some money and get good results for the products used? Oh yeah, if you know someone who can hook up a Walgreens sponsorship, send 'em my way.