Wednesday, April 1, 2009

“It’s Snowing!”, "Yeah right, April Fools" I reply.

... “No Seriously, IT’S SNOWING!”

I don’t have a window seat down at the puzzle palace, so I have to get up and wander. Sure enough, big white sploppy flakes. ‘Flakes’ is a misnomer, what was falling from the sky was more like splotches, or globs. Spoonfuls of shaved ice. Disgusting.

I’m from here. A PNW native, not one who usually obsesses on the weather. It's no place for weather whiners. Sure it's not the Arctic, or the Sahara but we do usually get a whole years worth of weather most years. But this winter, this spring, are for some reason trying my patience. Maybe it’s because I am trying to ramp up my riding, trying to climb out of this cavernous hole of un-fitness I find myself in, that it seems just a little more insulting than it otherwise might. I used to think of myself as the NW version of a flahute, now I’m morphing into a whiny old couch surfer, someone who can't appreciate the finer points of an evening of barbershop quartet, or soaking for 11 hours in wet wool. What’s happening to me?

A post script on that ride last Saturday:













Perhaps I miscalculated the epicness rating. So, how epic was it? Really sub epic I initially thought, but the ride may be a candidate for re-rating based on subsequent discussions I have had with other stalwart northwest riders. Here are the factors to reconsider:

A) I actually restrained my inner whiney old person a fair amount in that ride report. I didn’t mentioned that I rode in a new(ish) pair of 100% wool bibtights. They were about right for temp, but being 100% wool means that they were exactly 0% spandex and when 100% wool gets soppy, and is then subjected to 11+ hours of repetitive motion, certain parts get a little stretched, get a little baggy, and may result in ‘fit issues’ in certain areas, namely the nether regions. The net result is I now have a doozy of a saddle sore. This will be chapter 200 in the Big Book of Rookie Mistakes To Make After Having Been Off The Bike for Awhile. I tell ya, this is shaping up to be something more like a multi-volume compendium than a quick pocket guide. And as long as I am going to let the whine out, there’s more.

B) I might as well mention that I did incur another bloody nose, though it wasn’t too bad. Foul weather seems to exacerbate the sinus problem and with enough ‘exacerbation’ (that sounds kind of nasty doesn’t it?) sooner or later you run a little short on snot for snot rockets and, well, there will be blood. My ride pals didn’t notice (this can be really alarming for folks) but I could not hide the fact that I had to stop a few times for inhaler use. (thanks John and Steve for allowing me to catch up, again, and again).

C) So Monday it was back to the Doc and now I am once again taking peformance enhancing drugs, namely steroidal anti-inflammatory meds. They work, I ‘m coughing and blowing less. But that saddle sore is taking it’s time and letting its presence be known. The SIR 300K next weekend is looking more and more like a less and less proposition. Pity, because at this point anyway the weathe looks favorable. Shades of the SIR 200K.

D) I was having some shifting issues, and while riding along I tried to recall the last time I had the big horse in for a check up. I broke a chain in Feb but there was not much attention paid to the shifting. So I dropped it off at the LBS and my good friend and great mech, Cory gave it the once over, replacing the little bit of cable housing at the back. He also kindly emptied the water out of the wheels; said he could hear it sloshing as he rotated them on the stand. Water in the wheels is not unheard of, but it is unusual for me, and definitely cause for reconsideration of the epicness rating.

E) On Sunday, the day after the ride, as I was puttering, a couple of rando pals rode up for a chat. They were out for a little training ride. They had registered for the Berkie but I noticed that they were conspicuously absent at the start.












Rick said ‘his knee was acting up’. We all know that recurring knee pain is a perfectly acceptable excuse to bail on a ride. It appears there is some credence to the idea that knee pain is somewhat weather dependent (it wasn’t raining for the training ride). Dave’s excuse was a little more high-tech. He suffered a snap case of 'Advanced Internet Enabled Weather Report Syndrome', or AIEWRS. Some folks rely on the radio or weatherDOTcom but those with advanced tech skills know where to go on the internet machine to get accurate, graphic depictions of weather forecasts for the next 12 to 24 hours. His eyes didn’t bulge but seeing the big, billowy cells bowing in off the Pacific (moist onshore flow we call it here) heading directly for the Berkie, he bailed. Intelligent decisions are often highly underrated. So here they were out enjoying a dry spring training rode on a Sunday while I was sorting through the soppy stuff from my soggy, Saturday brevet. I think I mentioned character building the other day. Frankly, I think my character is being de-constructed.

If I miss the SIR 300K next weekend I’ve got a couple things in mind: Maybe another trip south of the border to ride OrRando's fabled Three Capes 300 . It's got a great rep and like Goldilocks, when it's good it's very good. On the other hand ... it would mean another night at the Grand Lodge, and if the weather is anything like it was last weekend, well, I shudder to think.

Or, I’ll do a little suburban round the house stuff, (checking off items on my own personal honey doo list) and I also plan to post a ‘how to’ primer on making the perfect bag stiffener for your Berthoud front bag. I’ve noticed in person and in recent photos that there are a number of these beauties who also seem to be suffering character deconstruction. The fix is cheap and easy, it has to be if even I can pull it off. Stay tuned!

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