Friday, February 27, 2009

Gangs in Salt Lake?

"Salt Lake City police reportedly made an arrest in the home burglary of Garmin-Slipstream cyclist David Zabriskie on Thursday, but have only recovered one car of the numerous items taken. According to the Deseret News, the rider's Toyota Scion was recovered by a Salt Lake City gang unit while it was staking out the home of a fugitive in South Salt Lake. " (from Cycling News")

As God is my witness, I thought that only Osmonds lived in Salt Lake...

I hope that now that the leads are there that DZ gets his stuff back, especially his Marvel statues. A man has to have his stuff, you know.
I worry about my bike stuff all the time. But, I really do have the best security system... no, not the ADT, and no not the 12 gauge... its Dallas, my very sweet, very big, doberman. Yeah, come on into my house... Dallas looooves strangers. While Dallas has you pinned, little Petey-wheetie will rip out your ankles.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things you don't want to see...

I work in the top floor of a building on the top of a hill. Prime buzzard territory. The buzzards use our building as a launch pad to soar. All in all, I think its pretty cool. Watching them as they glide, and change direction by twisting a feather... I have pure envy.
Except it's spring. And little baby buzzards come from somewhere. Buzzards inflagrante delecto on my window sill is just not one of those things that does it for me.
Really, get a room. Somewhere else. Please.
It could be worse. A friend of mine had the pleasure of working in the Old USFG building in B'more when the peregrines were such a big hit. He loved them. Except that they tended to choose to eat their lunch outside his window. Usually at the same time that he was eating his lunch. Fresh pigeon entrails anyone?

One week, no one died

It's been a whole week since I've run, ridden, or walked for more than a few hundred yards. I finally decided that if I didn't let my calf tear heal, I was going to be in for a long, and very frustrating season. So instead of that, I've been subjected to a very long and frustrating week.

So far... no one has died.

It's been a very close call though.

I have a new co-worker who insists on listening to all my negotiations from over the fence. Before I hang up the phone, he is prairie dogging it, wanting to know all the details. We may just have to play a game of whack a mole if this keeps up.

Its really funny how your body gets used to a certain level of serotonin from exercise. Quit cold turkey and its like your local crack head decides to mind meld with you. My body is screaming for a fix. Those nasty little lbs that have decided to join the crack head in my body haven't exactly been welcome guests, either.

Tonight I have my tt bike in the Queen Cab, and I'm going to throw it on a trainer and spin easy as the rest of the team does a maniac drill on the computrainers at Endorphin. I'm hoping that I can trick my body into thinking it has done something.

And maybe I'll get thru the rest of the week without getting arrested.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Saddle Review- Terry Butterfly

The saddle that works for you, probably wont work for me and vice versa. I've given away more saddles than I have shoes, and I have a lot of shoes. My saddle for the road bikes, the Terry Butterfly. Like 99% of women I know, its the one saddle that women can actually sit on their seat bones on, and that isn't so wide that it chafes. After about a year the saddle "stuff" gets too soft and I get a new one and give the old one to a new rider to start on.

I've had Fizik saddles, Bontrager saddles, the Felt saddle on my track bike is a torture device. Strangely enough, the only other saddle that I've tolerated for any length of time was the cheap Fuji saddle that was on my cross bike. Why that one was ok, I don't know as it was hard as a brick.

I went thru a whole mess of saddles to find one for the tt bike. Getting off the bike after a particularly hard tt and be bleeding... not too nice. Believe it or not, the best tt saddle for me was the cheapest one... the Performance Bike Forte TT one. I think I got it on sale for about 30 bucks.

Unfortunately, unless I saw about 5 cm off the front of the saddle, my bike is not UCI legal and I wont be able to ride it at Masters Nats unless I get an exemption. So I bought one of the Adamo saddles, and got a zip tie to cinch in the rails in the front to make it narrower. Its been sitting by my computer all winter begging to be put on the bike. And I keep looking at it wondering how bad its going to hurt me until I get used to it. I've heard the first few weeks are right rough.

Swannee got one though. I guess riding on the Adamo is much better than riding on his old tt saddle's rails!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Juice Plus is gone

All the women down here in Virginia were thrilled when little Rachel Warner got signed by Juice Plus. Here was a local girl, who worked her tail off, making good in a big way.

Then Tony Billota was so thrilled when the team signed Laura Van Gilder, and it looked like the team was poised to really do things in a big way. He was telling me how the Van Dessel team was going to put on a big women's race in Waynesboro, that would feature his girls.

Its a shame that when the economy tanks, so do women's teams. It takes so much effort to get a good women's team going, and so little to put them in the toliet.

I sure hope that all the girls, especially Rachel, land rubber side down.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cure for what ails ya

Lets face it, saddle sores suck. J says that I have a Princess Butt, and I have to admit that she is right.

When I do my new women's rides, I always start off with the hygiene lecture. And everyone is always grossed out. Hey, hygiene is very important when you are talking about hot, sweaty, dark areas.

Rule 1: As soon as possible, take off those nasty shorts.
Rule 2: Never wear shorts two days in a row without washing them.
Rule 3: on short rides you probably don't need chamois butter
Rule 4: On long rides, and tt's you do. On really long rides you may need to add more later in the ride.
Rule 5: some chamois creams come off the shorts in the wash easier than others. Vaseline has a bad habit of not coming out...
Rule 6: deforestation is a good thing... (no, I'm not explaining it here, you know what I'm talking about!

I used to make my own chamois cream. Hey, the stuff is expensive. Usually we're talking about a tub of Vaseline, and some antibiotic ointment. The Vaseline has the added benefit of polishing your saddle for you. But see Rule 5 about stuff not washing out...

So I have a few favorites;

Moo Cream: What I really like about this stuff is that it was given away for FREE by the caseload at tt's a few years ago. i still have some of the individual packets which conveniently store in a back pocket for on the road usage. Its cool, not too thick, washes well, and does a decent job for a fairly long time.

Badger Balm: Comes in a little tin and is kind of pricey, but when you already have a sore, it does wonders healing them up.

Bag Balm: Almost as good as Badger Balm, but it comes in a bigger tin, and costs alot less.

Butt Butt'r: Ah, relief! I generally use this before I have issues and switch to the Balms when I have issues. Its good, it lasts a pretty long time, and it doesn't have that unpleasant tingling you can get with some creams.

If you get a boil... you have to take care of it. Hot washcloths, and sometimes a drawing cream will do. If you keep getting them in the same place like I do, you probably have a fit or structural issue. I have a structural issue, and there isn't much I can do about it. But having to have to get a scarred up saddle sore cut out is not fun. Trust me on this. Prevention is a much nicer option.

See I was able to say all that without having to resort to pictures. The girls on my rides will be shocked!

Hello from India

I used a JC Penny credit card a month or so ago, the first time I've ever used it. Got the bill and sent off a check. Then I got another statement with a 20.00 late fee attached. I mailed the check in plenty of time to get there, so needless to say, I was a bit miffed and decided to call.

Where did my call go? Why, India, of course!

Sorry. Please direct me back to the US. Not that I have anything against India, or people in India, but I live in the US, and I want US companies to keep jobs here. So I figure the more people who demand to be transfer ed back to the US, the more those companies who shipped the jobs off to save money will have to staff offices here, which at some point in time will negate any savings in shipping our jobs overseas.

Yeah, it probably wont work, but I'm a fan of tilting at windmills.

And kudos for JC Penny for taking the charge off. It never hurts to ask, especially when you are sure that you are right.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happiness is...

J giving me a FREE Chipoltle card from her hubby Dave's race packet from a Sweetheart 8k he did. Yum, steak soft tacos with hot salsa... Yum

And better yet, FREE!

Life is good.

And wasnt it a cool thing to see the little Garmin/Chipotle rider Tom Peterson hanging onto Levi's wheel yesterday when everyone else went by the wayside. I think he deserves some soft tacos, too. And class act on Levi to let the little guy shine at the finish line. Levi didn't need the win, he needed the time. But this win to Peterson will make him a STAR.

I was awful glad to have been watching from the sofa yesterday. I hate decending in the rain... But I do want one of the Specialized helmet covers. Come on Specialized, make them available to the rest of us slobs!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Too much wine makes a whole lot of whine

Friday I scored 2 seats to a Spanish wine dinner at TJ's at the Jefferson. It wasn't as nice as when Lemaire was open, but it was still the Jefferson and it was still the best meal in town. The Jefferson throws these every now and again, and if you happen to hear about one, you'd better jump on it quick, or you'll be like J, on the wait list... sitting at home.
Openers- cornmeal crusted oysters with Palicio Bornos Verdejo Rueda '07. Yum. I hate oysters. I could have eaten a bucket of these, and the wine was perfect. (inexpensive, to boot.)
Course 1- Lobster bisque w/caramelized fennel, tarragon, and semi-dried tomatoes served with Valminor Albarino Rias Baixas '07. I love Albarino's. They taste like the shore. The lobster bisque was wonderful and i thought Cliff was going to lick the bowl...
Course 2- Duck 4ways... seared breast, leg confit, "dirty rice, and foie gras- served with a wonderfully, earthy Finca Sobreno Crianza Toro'05. If there was ever a year for wine, it has to be '05... This was the best dish of the night and reminded me of the pheasant and wild rice my Mom used to cook after my Dad and I would go pheasant hunting. And the wine... if you bbq... you should run buy some. Its very inexpensive. It's perfect for meat. (and was pretty good alone, too.)
Course 3- Mustard crusted rack of lamb, sweet garlic risotto, brussels sprouts, smoked bacon - with Mas Sinen Priorat '05. If someone asks you what you want, you want a case of this wine. Its pretty expensive- about $50 a bottle, but man, was it good. I drank waaay to much of it, and was really glad at the time that I did.
Dessert- Grand Marnier Chocolate Molten cake with Balsamic marinated strawberries and Patricia Cream "sherry" montilla Morales NV. I hate Sherry, nuff said. But the strawberries were killer.

All that for $75.00, which included tax and tip. Jealous?

You should be. No worries though, you eat that, and then the next day get on a bike and you are guaranteed going to suffer...

J's hubby went down to run a race and dropped her off at my house at 0'dark 30. I handed her the clicker and went back to bed.

An hour later I got up and we slowly headed out on the roads for 30 miles of whinefest. My head hurt. My leg hurt. It was cold. It was windy. Damn, it even snowed. I think my hair even hurt. Three glasses of $50 wine will do that to you. The other glasses joined in there to beat on me as well. It was not a ride that I'd care to repeat.

Sunday was round two. Col. Sweatsalot, J, and Cliff took turns ripping my legs off on my hilly Hadensville ride. For as bad as I felt, and for as much as I tried to hide what horrible shape I'm in, I had to be thrilled with J and Sharon. Sharon was like a very fit race horse, all up on her toes, grabbing the bit, and throwing in a little exuberant buck every now and again. It was fun to see. And J, what can you say... even with a dead headwind the whole way out, she would charge to the front and sprint up the hills.

And the friendly black lab was back... and ran in and out of the pack for a good 1/2 mile until Cliff scared him. (Big meanie...)

So today is a recovery day. If I get the gumption up I may just finish my taxes... or I may just take a nap.

Oh, and by the way, congrats to Dr Marc on his win yesterday at the Wolfpack crit... even though he sprints like a girl. Oh, yeah, maybe that's why he won!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I went out for an ez run last night since J decided that she was going to run with me today. J BERRY BERRY FAST, and me not so much any more... so I was going to save up whatever speed that I could muster for tonight so that I could almost keep up with her without barfing.

Probably a bad move... whenever you change your stride, bad things happen. About 2 miles in, I took one too many strides and the calf just went. Or maybe its the Achilles attachment. Whichever, that was the end of me running last night, and I had to hobble a mile + back to the Queen Cab.

It would have to be on my good leg, too.

On the bright side, I did find a dime. So while I'm sulking about not being able to run, I can treasure my new found wealth.

Monday, February 9, 2009

From the frying pan to...

Saturday was blissfully warm, and I yondered out to get a season's worth of Vitamin D. Too bad there was that pesky wind stuff, oh and the fires everywhere. I can understand people being addicted, but I can't understand why they feel the need to throw thier cigarette butts out the window. If they were so dirty that they couldn't have them in the car, maybe they shouldn't be smoking in the car. Just a thought...

Those flying cigarettes were causing fires all over the counties. I drove thru one, with the good ole' volunteers working hard to put it out before it burned a house down. I bet the a-hole who threw the nasty thing didn't even realize the heart ache he was causing his neighbors...

Sunday we got a group together to do my hill ride. Just head out 250 towards C'ville and the road goes up, and then down, and then up, and then down. Nice long, steady hills to get the body thinking about the season to come.

Col. Sweatsalot showed us all what valor under fire really is when she selflessly sacrificed herself to fend off the nice Lab that came out to run with us up the road. Sharon veered into his path so that he couldn't lick us to death and then proceeded to try to give him a drink with her bottle of Heed. She might need to go back to the firing range, as her aim in the wind was a wee bit off. I was the lucky recipient of a full body wash with Heed... enough that if I was stranded in the woods... and had nothing to eat for days except the Heed coating my body, I would have survived. What are friends for... Thanks, Sharon. Me and my sticky bike salute you!

Oh, and a nod to J... J couldn't make it to the ride since she was up in F'burg kicking every one's ass in the Sweetheart 4 miler. When I talked to her last night, she didn't say that she won, just that she and her hubby, Mr. Negs won the couple's combined division and scored a nice dinner at a swank restaurant.

Sweethearts 4 MileFredericksburg, VA02/08/2009 Cat Time GrandPlc Place Name City ST Time min/mile Ag Prix--- ----- ------------------------ --------------- -- -------- -------- -- ----- Women's Overall 14 1/1 Julia Smith Tappahannock VA 00:24:56 6:14 40 1000

On a tough course- I think I'd be happy with that one.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

There's money out there

Ok, I am El Cheapo Delux. As a friend once told me, it's not what you make, it's what you spend. If you don't believe me, that little old man who froze to death when the power company put the regulator on his house because he didn't pay his bill... well he left approximately $500,000 in his will to local charity. ( Now I probably would have paid the bill out of that hunk of change, I must admit.)

Anyways, coming in to the office I was listening to NPR and this frosted me... You know that huge bill you get from your kid's college, and how they kind of lump fees together? Are you paying for health insurance for your kid in that lump fee? Do you have health insurance on your kid? Are you paying 2x for health insurance for your kid without knowing it? Call the college and ask. The guy in the story was paying $1100 to the college every semester (that's $2200 a year boys and girls) for something that he already was paying for. The college fessed up, and after proving that he had insurance on his kid, cancelled the charge GOING FORWARD.

It really does pay to read things. Like contracts. You'd be amazed what gets stuck in contracts that people never read. Like a car that I bought... I had told the sales manager that I wanted the car and was not paying for rust proofing, insurance, paperwork, sunshine, or any other crap. I go to the paperwork dept, and they hand me the contract, and tell me to sign at the sticky. Being anal, I insist on reading everything... and find over $1000 in hidden charges. So I walked out. See yah, wouldn't want to be ya. The sales manager almost had a stroke chasing me down. They expect to get away with this stuff. Read everything.

And if you are like me, and you surf for hours to get the best deal... look at your receipts and the confirmation notice. I understand that Nashbar and Performance are notorious for adding charges or taking off discount codes on the final bill. Check your receipts.

I really don't mind paying fair prices for things. I do mind paying more for things than I have to. And I sympathize with US cycling shops who pay more for parts than I can buy them for overseas. Talk to Shimano. There is some kind of a deal going on here, but while I sympathize with you, I can still guy a grouppo from Probike Kit for about 2/3 of what you pay for it. Go figure.

The way I figure it, on my little person's salary you had better be tight. Make the nickles' scream. Paying too much thru inattention is just wrong.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's a whole new ballgame

That's what one Senator has commented. It's a whole new ballgame. Citi Group has announced that they now "Get It." Meaning that they are actually going to use that money that you and I, thru our good friends in DC, gave them to do what our good friends meant for the money to be used for. You know, making loans and stuff. They vow not to use that money to pay for other things, like naming a ball park after themselves.

Oops, except that is still what they are going to do. But not with our money, they are going to do it with their money.

Riddle me this... you have this big pot of money, this side came from DC, the other money came from other investments.... now when you go to give bonus checks, pay for parties, or name a stadium, doesn't that money still come from the same big pot of money?

It's hard to justify your corporate name on a ball park, tennis match, party, or gasp, a bike race if you are laying your employees off. Look at all the big name bike races that are getting cancelled right and left.

Strangely enough, there was an article out yesterday that the grass roots cycling is doing just fine, thank you. Our little races, and racers are marching on.

Pay outs might suffer, goodie bags might go unfilled and some teams that have always done race reimbursement may not get to do it this year. The local race scene itself should do just fine. I still believe that while some people might holler about payouts, they really aren't racing for money anyway. Heck, most of my payouts wouldn't pay for the gas to get to the race, and few actually pay for the race entry itself.

It's going to be a very interesting year...

Monday, February 2, 2009

What do you do while recovering?

Well, if you are my teammate Mark... you buy a cool new Alan frame to replace the one that was crushed, ripped, smashed, basically just obliterated in the crash. Then because you are bored to tears, you surf ebay day and night until you find the tricked out Trek TT frame of your dreams. Flames, he had to get the bike of my dreams...

If you find Mark in a ditch somewhere, and the Trek is missing... I'm sure I can come up with an alibi.

Go back to work, Mark. I cant stand the jealousy anymore!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Welcome to all the new officials!

How cool was it to be in Toano today and see some 30 newbie officials taking the test! Too cool for school! Special congrats to Mr. Nasty and Col. Sweatsalot for passing the test with flying colors. And Carolyn, I bet it's been a long time since you had to take a test, open book or otherwise. Congrats to all y'all!

And a quick interuption to mention that the other Karen who got creamed by the car... (God love her and I hope she is very happily in a percoset haze about now...) yeah, that was NOT me. Thank God for small miracles. Now I might have been hoping to get hit by a bus (not happening in rural Goochaland) while I was dealing with the wind this afternoon, it did not actually happen. Look Ma, no stitches. So stop calling me, or send cash to make me feel better. You know, from riding in the wind, not from getting hit by a car. Cause that didn't happen...

Anywho, the officials clinic is always fun because you get to catch up and get the gossip from the rest of the folks.

Like poor Swanee, slaving away at Contes, only getting to ride 200 miles a week and is soo behind the 8 ball (bite me.) Sally found this cool website cheapo air (?) and scored 2 tickets to California for 250.00 and Pete is going out west to train. Sally is a girl after my own heart. We might have to call her El Cheapo Delux 2. Sally even uses Priceline. Pete, if you rub it in one more time that you have time to train 200 miles a week, I'm going to have to hurt you. Not that I'm cranky about my lack of training time, or anything. Grrrr....

Then there was our favorite chief ref and Ruth protoge', Danielle, telling us how not to fry a camera. I live in fear of frying cameras. Now I have one more thing in my life to be a techo-phobe about. I can just hear people whispering, "yeah, we used to have this great equipment until Karen got her wicked little hands on it... now its toast, like all her phones..."

Officiating, its scary stuff. Bike racers, easy. Equipment... now that's another story.

And my ride when I got home. It was warm. Yeah! And it was some kinda windy. Boo! But any day on the bike is a good day. Thats what I kept telling myself as my legs fell off on the big hill with the head wind.

And no, I didn't steal one of those great massage tables from the wonderful facility we were at this morning. What good is a massage table without a handsome Swedish guy to put the moves on you? Oh, well...