Tuesday, August 17, 2010

909 Wake up Call

photo by GTLuke

909 wake up call at 2:03 a.m.: stomach cramps. Later in the morning I had them as well. I thought things were under control, so with no food eaten since my 5:30 breakfast, I lined up to race at 1:00 p.m. Start got delayed, and I may have cooled down too much. Sounds familiar, right? I got dropped off the start and by the time I caught back up to the last rider, stomach cramps set in again. I do get them on occasion, and I back off a tad and they go away in 5 minutes. I catch back, no problem. Unfortunately, This time they went for 15 minutes and got really bad. Plus some of the ladies are getting stronger, and pixy is getting older, so catching back up is getting harder.

I was backed off to a crawl in the twisty single track after the road climb. The twists nearly made me dizzy. Then everyone was out of site, and I was by myself … the last rider. This was not a new feeling, as I spent the first 3 years as a Cat 1 racer being the last rider on course. I just had not been there in awhile.

I had a moment of feeling sorry for myself and wanted to stop, but I thought about the ladies that were not lucky enough to race that day: Jocelyn, Stacey and Rebecca, and I found the will to pedal through some stomach cramps, even if it was slow. My thinking is: a slow day on the bike is way better than a day on the couch. Then I hit a fast downhill and spotted the first photographer, Luke and I felt distracted enough from the pain to let it go from my mind. The drops were next, with all their excitement and some much appreciated cheering, and I was able to regain my composure on the big climb. The descent that followed was amazing fun and seemed to go on forever. By the time I got to the anthills (yes the course wound through a series of anthills), the cramps were gone, and I reeled in my first rider. From there on, the race went well and I passed 4-5 more riders and pulled myself up to 4th place.

I am so pleased with my new Titus X. This is my second race on her, and the suspension is slightly more active than the Racer-X, and allows the rear tire to hug the ground in the most technical terrain. The Fox 15mm fork is also another big improvement. I did not think I would notice these upgrades, but they are instantly noticeable. I don’t know if I could have sailed down those rutted descents with such ease on the old bike. The bike rides like a rocket ship. I also really like the Sram XX 2x10 drive train. Besides dropping a pound off my bike, the stuff works flawlessly and seems to have all the gears you need. I find, I can stay in the big ring for much of the races, but may need to rethink my shifting rhythms. The X is now my favorite bike in the stable, and a great all around XC bike.

An uncommon site to see a smile on pixy's face when there is air under the tires. I must really be trusting my bike these days, rolling a 6 ft drop without even a finger on the brake lever. ...photo by John Coog

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day One of Sell My Life

Art and I arrive at the warehouse and open up the garage door. We proceed to clean up and price the last few pieces of furniture for our experimental going out of business/estate sale across from the farmers market. I call it experimental because the farmers market is opposite our warehouse and there will be a captive audience outside our door every Saturday. We really have no idea how to have a garage sale or estate sale, and we are not looking to make any big dollars at this, we just want to recycle what we can. So here begins day one of trying to unload 130 years of family stuff...

I drag some stuff onto the loading dock and stage an attraction: an old trunk, an antique typewriter, old basket, Chinese rug draped over the edge and a cattle skull. Art drags out a stereo, also for sale, to get some tunes going. We are noticed for sure. People start walking in yet I feel a bit uncomfortable with this whole thing. Art talks to a few people but no sales with the first few browsers. Then the cattle skull does it job and draws in the first potential buyer. An Antique typewriter and a wagon wheel are sold.

While Art is busy setting up a windsurfing sail for additional affect, I start filling in the history behind pieces to potential buyers. I tell them I am closing my family business dating back 130 years, selling a family estate and I realized I was selling a life-time of family stuff and all the memories that came with them as well. Every piece had a story, some accurate and some that may have been a tad fantasy enhanced dating back to my childhood. As soon as I told people where stuff came from, and the history behind it, they started buying stuff.

The skull sold too fast and I had to pull a broken stuffed fish out of the garbage can to replace the hook. Even the broken fish had a story: Citation king fish caught in the Florida Keys by my little brother in the 60’s on a family fishing excursion.

In a few hours, we recycled some stuff, made a few dollars and a lifetime of stories spilled out of my head. Day one as I sell my life was a good one. A lot of stuff still left to recycle, so I may do this again.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Eat Green ...Kale

sausage, mushroom and kale over pasta

With the middle of summer, comes a wide array of readily available fresh fruits and vegetables. I try to get the most bang out each bite, by eating dark green leafy vegetables like Kale. Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is considered to be an anti-inflammatory. It is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale also contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties.

Lacinato Kale: Cooked above with chicken sausage, leek, mushrooms, sherry and butter and then served over pasta with grated cheese and fresh basil. Tomato salad on the side makes a nice after ride meal on a summers night.

tomatoes, arugula and basil with olive oil

Sunday, August 1, 2010