Sunday, August 23, 2009

Go Bernard Lagat!

It's funny... America is the land of immigrants, but in track and field, this guy gets no love. He came to America to go to college and has lived here ever since. In every interview, he is the classiest guy who ever spoke. He praises his teammates, congratulates all around him, and thanks his country, USA.

Today's 5000 meters... what a fabulous race. Usually the Kenyans box him in to punish him for changing citizenship. Today, running with stitches in his legs from being spiked, he just positioned himself correctly and the sea parted. Stride for stride with Bekele... two great champions heading to the line, I was riveted.

Bernard Lagat, class act, and American. You cant always win, but you can put forth the best effort to try. And immediately afterward, he went to hug his teammates.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thing 2 is a 3!!

We met Sharon a year or so ago at one of the Speedway races. All alone, in her Army kit, looking like a lost puppy. You wouldnt think that that face hides a killer instinct, but you'd be wrong.
Now that's the face we know and love. The take no prisoners, ride until you barf on your competition, and if you cant throw up on them, burp on them.
So congratualations! Colsweatsalot, aka Burpsalot Kitty, or Thing 2, has now been upgraded to a 3! With lots and lots of hard work, and a ride 'til you puke approach and good things do come!

Monday, August 17, 2009

How hot is it?

I get stopped on the road to help out strangers all the time. I bet you do, too. Yeah, I've shared my water with perfect strangers, but they usually are taller than my knee.

What happens when it''s 120 degrees in Australia? Koala's beg for water.

You wouldn't turn down a mate would ya?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trying to keep cool- Reivew of the Aspen Cool Collar

Some things you just know work. That's my Brittany, George... about to go into the show ring on a stinkin' hot day. What's that pretty blue blanket on him? That's a cool blanket. You soak it in ice water, which these crystals in the blanket suck up and it acts like a portable air conditioner.

I dont say it works. George says it works. George LOVES his cool blanket...

So when I got offered the chance to try out the Aspen Cool Collar, I was all over it. I'm a tough reviewer, but I pretty much already was sold on the concept.
Why? Well, because of George. Then because of Deena Drossin. Deena is a hero of mine. In case you don't know who she is, she is the chick who currently holds the US record in the marathon, and took the bronze medal at the Athens Olympics. When everyone else was out warming up, Deena had on an ice vest. And when the race really mattered, Deena was flying.
Then you have the Garmin guys with ice socks down their backs. I do something similar with a Camelbak at tt's. A little fluid, lots of ice. Its initially a pretty shocking thing, but anything you can do to keep your core cool, is good.
So how do the Cool Collars work? Pretty good with a few tweeks. This is one size fits all, so unless you have a huge neck, it will be loose. That's not so bad, on a hot day you don't want anything strangling you. Other than that, it works. Put it on, it cools you down. Put it back in the ice chest to cool it down again and it works again.
The instructions that come with it are a bit skimpy, so here is a Karen Cool Collar 101:
1. it looks very thin. When you soak it for a half hour, it plumps up like a sausage. That's what it should look like.
2. put it in your cooler or frig. You want it cold.
3. when it cools down, give it a quick soak in ice water to refresh it.
4. You can use it while riding, but I think it dries out in the wind and then becomes a bit irritating. Its better to keep you cool before riding, and to cool you off when you get off the bike.
Would I buy one... yep. Its been stinkin' hot and I've used it almost every day. George approves. Could it be better? Yes, but not at $15.00. Cheap is GOOD.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fighting the good fight

I have "issues" with dying. Not really being dead, but the whole indignity and suffering that sometimes goes along with the process of dying. What my Mom went thru, I would never have put my dogs thru. I sure as all get out don't want to go thru it myself. Modern medicine may be wonderful, but it sure does have some pitfalls.

Every once in awhile though, someone's process and acts of selflessness inspire others to do really great things. Thousands and thousands of people have followed Susan and Elden's struggles with cancer. From the desire to do something good, Fatcyclist raised over $500,000 for the battle against cancer.

Susan fought hard, and is now at rest. The fight goes on, and if you have some $$ to spare, you might even win a really sweet new Orbea. So head over to Buy lots of chances to win, and help Fatty defeat cancer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gam Jams Sock Review

I love socks. Unfortunately, so does my dog Bob. Bob loves stinky socks, and follows me around when I get back from a ride to get HIS socks. He doesn't chew them up, he just carries them, and lays with them in his face so that he can breathe in the wonderful odors.

He is a seriously warped little dog.

My favorite socks... Sock Guy. They actually fit my feet, and every now and again I get them on sale. As many people have noticed... when the sock fairies take a sock back to never never land, I end up with mis-matched socks. Ergo the Hottie-Bitch combo. I do have to be careful not to mix and match lions and zebras, ala Garanimals. It is a rare day that I am ever color coordinated.
What do I wear most? Decente Socks. Why? Because Probikekit had an awesome sale, they were like $3.00 and buy one get one free. Oh, and free shipping. I think I bought 30 pairs of them. Now I'm sure to have a match, even if they don't actually match any of my bike kits. They do the job, they last ok, they fit pretty good, and Bob's happy, they still stink.

In the winter, I found a few pairs of long Cannondale wool socks on a clearance table. Man, they are some kind of wonderful. They are thin enough to wear under bike shoes, and warm enough and breathe enough to wear when its cold. They wick sweat away very well, which is super important for when I have booties on. Did I mention they were on sale? I would buy those socks full price. You know, if I had to. They also pass the Bob test, which Bob thinks is MOST important.
Socks I hate... Defeet... Not only are they very overpriced, but the women's sizes are off, and within a few wears my toes poke holes in them. Any sock that doesn't last is not worth it. Expensive socks that don't last... just not right.
In the summertime, I only wear short cuffs. Why? Because I try to draw the line (forgive the pun) at the number of tan lines that decorate my body. Its bad enough that I have a farmer's tan, then the bike short lines, and the watch lines. High water marks on the calves are just bad.
Next winter though, baby I want a couple pairs of Gamjams socks.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A charming Encounter... NOT

I am a very blessed person. I remind myself all the time, just in case I get too big for my britches. You never know when the rug will get pulled out from underneath you, so you better count your blessings when you can.

One of the biggest of my blessings is that I live in a rural county, with mostly gracious people. Some are incredibly wealthy. Some are incredibly poor. For the most part, the people where I live, rich or poor, are just plain, good people.

When you City folks are getting honked at, screamed at, and run over by people in a hurry who are texting something wildly important... I generally get waived at. On the rare occasion that I get a flat, chances are good that I'll have a few people stop and offer to help me out. Chances are that those people will know Cliff or be related to him. I swear he is related to everyone out here.

Yeah, I get the occasional car that passes too close. I believe its accidental, and almost never on purpose. Truck mirrors hang out a bit farther than most people think. Occasionally I'll amost get taken out by a trailer... same thing. They are longer than most people think.

Today I'm out on an easy ride to loosen up the legs before tomorrow's tt. Just an easy spin, on a very quiet road, beside some of the most expensive real estate in the county. Horses, dogs, deer... my favorite road. 150' before I make a left hand turn and I'm in the left hand lane. And suddenly I have a car about 2" off my rear wheel. Revving his motor... Very angry.

Unlike most cars, my bike does have a turn signal... I'm on the double yellow line, with my arm out indicating that I'm turning left, and this guy is trying to pass me. As I turned left, he yelled at me, "Stupid bitch, get on the fucking bike path!"

Uh, I must have missed something. In Goochland we don't have bike paths, bike lanes, and now that I think of it, a good many of our roads aren't even striped.

No, I didn't waive at him, ring a bell at him, and unfortunately did not get his tag number.

Cliff called me and I told him. He asked me if I would recognize the guy again or if I could give him a better description of the car. No, I can't. And no, I don't really want to know who this person is. And yes, I bet it would be easy for Cliff to find out.

Couldn't you just see it... being introduced to this guy at some event and knowing that he is the jerk that was screaming at me. Couldn't you just picture it... as I'm shaking his hand in front of his family... " Oh, yes! But we have met before! Allow me to refresh your memory of a lovely summer day when you so robustly told me " Stupid bitch, get on the fucking bike path!" And what would I say to the wife? "Oh, you must be soooo proud to have such a fine example of manhood for your own..."

Nope, think I'll pass on figuring out who our hero is. My mouth gets me in enough trouble as it is.