Friday, November 26, 2004

When Black Friday Comes

Well, at this point it's come and gone, and taken Thanksgiving with it. Definitely a good holiday this year, here are some high points:

Thursday Morning: no ride. Rain and thunderstorms allowed me to sleep late, then I read about half of Travis Hugh Culley's The Immortal Class, really a great book, though I'm usually not sympatico with that whole bike messenger thing.

Thanksgiving Dinner: was at my parents' house. For once the drive wasn't intolerable, even Route 9 wasn't too bad, at least not bad considering that it was Route 9 South, south of the Raritan River, on Thanksgiving... But I got down and had a really nice dinner with my parents. Mom wasn't too happy with the turkey (substandard bird), but dinner was fine by me.

Dessert: We went down to my mom's cousin Laurence's place, had dessert with Laurence and Marie and their two kids, also Marie's aunt was there. Very lively conversation, mainly about cool movies and bands etc -- influence of the college girls; when family friend Brian showed up, about the same age, things got very lively, very 20-something, young-adult vivacious, kind of neat the energy they all brought to things. Alas, we were old and went home around 10:30 or so...

Ride: I got up a little late, but went out about 10:00 to ride Huber and Hartshorne Parks in Red Bank, actually just down the road from Laurence and Marie's. I brought the Surly, and was riding by about 10:45. It was really sweet, but I think I'm getting a little afraid of that bike -- I can ride just about anything when I'm fresh, but I lose my freshness very fast. About two hours into things I got so tired (arms and back as well as legs) that most hills became either hike-a-bikes, or at least required a rest partway up. It's literally like I'm starting over with this bike, at least in terms of fatigue levels I'm like a neophyte. I rode for almost exactly 3 hours, then went back to Englishtown.

Lunch: My brother and his family went to his wife's parents for Thanksgiving, so they came over today for leftovers at my parents. I got there and Chris was setting up my mom's computer in the downstairs bedroom -- my mom gets that tendon surgery on Tuesday, and she will be living downstairs for a while. Everyone else was in the kitchen, eating Turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce, so I joined them in the kitchen, played with my nephew. Good times, then they took off about 3:45: Tara to work, and Chris & Christopher to see the Spongebob movie. I got out of Dodge myself not long after.

Now I'm home, just did some laundry, and the traditional weekend is just starting. After a quick shower I'm heading down to Which Brew for to catch the Insidious Rays. Later, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Morning weigh-in: 180#, 14% BF

Well, not really, but I do feel odd and tired... went to the gym kind of late last night (they close at 9:00), so I decided to skip my regular long workout and do legs, for the first time this offseason. It was good to see that my strength hadn't really dropped since the spring, but I hit the weights kind of hard, all parts of my legs plus a few upper-body things, and I think that's what's dragging me down now.

Hit Which Brew afterward while my laundry dried, got there just in time to put in a dinner order. Place was empty: just me, bartender Maura and that dude Scott -- nice guy, but once he starts talking he never, ever stops -- I can't get a word in sledgewise, can't even sit in peace, and he's physically loud like he's deaf... I like going there Tuesday nights, it's a nice routine: gym, laundry, and dinner at WB, but if Scott's there to harsh my buzz every week I'll pick a different day.

Cool song on the radio last night: "Stranger Blues" by Elmore James

Reading (re-reading): Gravity's Rainbow

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

More Culture

Morning weigh-in: 179.5#, 14% BF

Did laundry, played with computer, had dinner, passed out by 9:00 PM, got up at 7:06 --doh! No running this morning, but will hit the gym tonite & do some sort of stationary machine (blech) before the regular workout -- maybe I'll toss in some leg exercises.

Last night's dinner: A nice big salad of baby arugula, then baked stuffed tofu, and saurkraut with a little kim-chee I mixed into it . Microbes are my new friends? Maybe I'll grab a beer downtown tonight...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Monday Morning Blues

Morning weigh-in: 177.5#, 13.5% BF

Suppression weight loss, dehydration etc, I expect to see the numbers bounce back up in a day or two.

I'm sooo tired right now. Napped yesterday afternoon, went to bed before 10:00, got up after 7:00 AM (uh-oh), and my body feels totally drained... I suppose it's the "good kind of hurt" to be feeling after a weekend, but I think it's time for a rest day.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

And It's Good!

Morning weigh-in: 179.5#, 12.5% BF

I picked up my new singlespeed from Curt's Cyclery Friday night, and took it out on the towpath as soon as I got home. That's not the place where a bike like that necessarily shines, but I still had a blast. I ran into Joe and Cindy out by Freemansburg, rode back with them. Doing the old hamster legs, 12-15 mph especially on the way out and my legs were spinning; on the way back we had a a more relaxed pace (they had their dog, and they didn't want to overwork her) butI still had a good cadence, and the gearing felt easy. That changed on the way up from the river though: 5 minutes standing climb, ouch.

Friday night was Which Brew for dinner, met Brian and saw Stu & Kathy, also a bunch of the peeps who just got back from Prague. Two guys I didn't see were Heath & Hans; I wanted to invite them to the Chili Ride on Saturday. Oh well, I tried via email earlier in the week. Their loss, since that was a good day as well.

The Chili Ride: I thought I wasn't going to make the start, but I wasn't even the last to arrive (not many showed up to ride in the November drizzle anyway); unfortunately I realized, partway into the ride, that I'd forgotten to change to my riding lenses, so I rode back to the car and played catch-up for a big part of the day. I missed a turn, didn't see anyone and so rode around semi-lost until I found myself on the old racecourse by the scout camp, then everything was gravy -- and then I ran into Beth and two others coming the opposite direction. They were the "slow group," and I hooked up for the last few miles and we rode out together. Back to Beth & Kevin's, where they had a their 10th Annual Chili Contest. A total blast: beer, chili, prizes and even a bonfire though it was kind of drizzly so we trooped back inside after a while...

Saturday's ride was on the Turner. Sunday we (Doug, Brian, Pete, Eric, Joe and myself) went to Riverside Park (or Walking Purchase Park, depending on who you ask -- it's in Salisbury behind St Luke's Hospital), where we helped the VMB with their ongoing project to build a trail system there. Amazing job so far, mostly done by that guy John, and also by Creepy Dave (hey, credit where it's due). We did about 4 hours work, put about a mile's worth of new trail in, then Doug Joe and I rode for about 2 hours -- Joe and I on our singlespeeds, Doug on his Turner.

I was a little afraid of how things would work out with the new bike, since it's completely rigid (no suspension front or rear), and Salisbury is a tough place, but the Surly is a well-set-up bike, good geometry and fit etc, and I felt very confident riding just about anything I'd take the Turner over -- more important, I was able to ride it all too. (The only negative is that the ride is harder & way more tiring on the upper body.) The singlespeed part of it was a bit harder to deal with, since I ended up going a little slower than I'd have liked for that gearing. Twisty, rough surface, lots of slight uphill grades after tight-radius turns, I had trouble maintaining momentum and staying on top of the gear. It was tough, but that's why I got it.

Anyway, now I'm filthy, just woke up from a nap while the laundry was cooking. Now it's my turn in the shower.