Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Happy Birthday to you.....

Erin turns 27 next Monday. She has NO idea what I bought her. I won’t give her any hints either. She’s going to love it though. No doubt in my mind. Can’ wait.

Glen and Lupe

Erin and I cruised down to York last night to hang with Glen and Lupe. Glen married off his daughter Sunday without a hitch. He wanted to get some hardshell crabs to stuff himself with. Can’t get those Maryland blue crabs in San Diego. We went to a place called Kelly’s. OK place. The rest of Glen’s family was there. His Dad, Bro, Sis and their families. They’re all from SD so it was kind of a last night in PA celebration. Or a thank god we’re going back to SD celebration more like it. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. Glen is as funny as always. You can tell being married to Lupe has affected him in all the right ways. Lupe is a class act and a tough chick to settle his ass down. Love ‘em both. Can’t wait to see that whole gang again in a few weeks. We didn’t have any crabs because this Sunday we’re scheduled to power some hardshells down at Mike & Amy’s. I don’t want to ruin my appetite for the little fellas.

Sano como un Caballo

Last Thursday I made a visit to the doctor’s office for a routine physical, my first in17yrs(half my life ago). I wanted to get my cholesterol checked as well as blood sugar and homocysteine levels looked at. Cholesterol is obvious. Are my arteries clogged? Is my heart going to explode? The blood sugar test would tell me if I’m at risk for diabetes. That would suck. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood which, if levels are high, can lead to coronary disease or stroke. Both of which also would suck.

First thing I did was stop eating the night before the visit. Fasting. That sucked. I don’t get home from work until 8:15. I couldn’t eat after 9pm. So I crammed down my usual post work snack goodies quick and drank a bunch of water after 9. I couldn’t eat breakfast the next morning either. So I get to the office and the doc wants to weigh and measure my height. 147lbs and 5’7”. You read that right. Five feet, seven inches! Insert smart-ass remarks at your leisure.

Then the doc sits me down and asks me why I’m there. Huh? I was a bit confused but she explained that men my age don’t just walk into the doc’s office unless something is wrong. Otherwise, they just don’t come in. Made sense. Afterall, without the nagging of my beautiful wife, Erin, I wouldn’t have been there. Once my intentions were clear Doc took my pulse, listened to my heart, poked and prodded a bit and that was that. She split, the nurse came in and took my blood and I was out the door. 30 minute ordeal. Easy stuff.

Today I got the results from the tests in the mail. Seems as though all is well. A chart to make sense of all these numbers http://wellness.byu.edu/screenings/cholesterol.php . Total cholesterol is 166. Over 200 is bad. Under 150 is supergood. HDL was 55. Below 45 is bad. Above 60 is phenomenal. LDL is 88. Above 130 is bad. Under 100 is mucho grande. I aced the LDL’s. Triglycerides was 113. Above 150 is bad. Below 100 is fantastic. Blood sugar was 75. Normal range is 70 to 100. Over 100 is considered prediabetic. Over 125 and you are diabetic. Looks like I aced this one too. Last but not least. Homocysteine was 6.9. Over 10 is not good. Over 12 is bad. Sweet. Looks like no worries.
I eat pretty well. Usually a couple bowls of Total in the AM. Red or green tea when I get to work. A yogurt. Sometimes an apple. Always a banana with kiwi and mango all diced up in the afternoon. The guys at work are probably sick of my daily fruit rituals. A little later I’ll have a Hershey’s chocolate bar and a handful of cashews. Love cashews. Chocolate makes ‘em taste even better. Usually dinner(lunch?) is a veggie burger and a can of baked beans. Somedays I’ll get sick of eating this suff all the time but for now all this stuff tastes so good. I can’t stop eating it. I eat like crap when I get home but I’ve eaten so well up to that point that I reward myself with pretzels or chips/salsa and sometimes cookies & cream sneaks in there. Italian ice. Aaaahh. Now it’s Erin’s turn to get her blood tested. My turn to nag. Speaking of which. Erin is up to 739 miles for the year on her road sled. We rode together Sunday for 30 miles and I must say I was impressed. She’s definitely getting faster.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Monday, August 22nd

For those of us who like to look at local cycling results, did you ever notice that some promoters get stuff up real quick and others take days. With today’s cutting edge tech why should it take any more than a few hours. Just a peeve.

I bought little DJ a new bike a couple days ago and gave it to him last night. He’s 7yrs old now. Hard to believe. He’s on a 20” bmx bike now. He wanted to do tricks and jumps so he’s got the right rig for it now. He seems to have pretty good balance for a little punk. Maybe a future ‘crosser. I’ll work on that.

I went shopping Saturday night with Erin after work. I’ve been wanting a new cell phone. Picked up a Motorola V551. Nice little phone. It’s a flipper w/ a built in camera. I gave Erin my old Nokia because she hated her Sony Ericsson. Too small and hard to navigate it’s features. Now everyone seems to be happy.
I rode about 100minutes yesterday in the morning while it was still warm and humid. By the afternoon it cleared out nicely but still hot. No humidity though. Just in time for me to mow the yard. Joy. Made a huge difference. The rest of the week looks awesome. Maybe drive-ins this weekend?

Friday, August 19, 2005


Nate has a blog he put together some time ago. He’s over in Spain so it’s really the only way to see what’s happening over in his neck of the woods. Check out his blog http://thenateblog.blogspot.com/. He found a picture of Bohemia Beer. Mexican’s can really make a fine beer. All of them are NOT named Corona. Most of my visits to MX have been to the northern parts of Baja while out visiting SD. I did go to Puerto Vallarta for our honeymoon. So, keeping in mind my exposure to this matter is somewhat limited, I’ve noticed that Mexicans don’t even drink Corona. Sure they’ll sell it to us gringos but you won’t catch them drinking that crap. Find yourself a Pacifico or a SOL or the aforementioned Bohemia. All stellar choices. My fave is Pacifico. Bohemia is tough to find in the US.
Speaking of Puerto Vallarta(PV). If your ever down in those parts do yourself a favor and forego the big fancy all-inclusive resort type joints and find a B&B. erin and I stayed in a place called Casa Amorita. Centrally located in the downtown or oldtown area of PV. I imagine most people who visit PV stay in a big resort north of town and never get to see the cobblestone streets and eat in the many neighborhood bars or family owned restaurants. What a beautiful part of the world. Check out the B&B http://www.casaamorita.com/. The place is run by a 50ish woman named Rita Love(wonder where she came up with naming her place Amorita?) who was super friendly. I’d enjoy visiting PV again someday.


There is just something soothing about a rainy cool morning. Perhaps it’s knowing I don’t feel as though I MUST go out and ride an hour before work. Two more weeks and we cut our hours at work back to 7pm closing time. It’s only an hour but it makes a huge difference.

I may be one of a dozen or so people to truly be excited by this but Hockey got their act together and will start a new season October 5th. The Flyers have made some pretty nice moves to put themselves in a great position to dominate. Although anyone who knows anything about Philly sports knows that you can’t celebrate BEFORE the season starts. Phillies, Flyers, Sixers, Eagles. In fact the reason I’m a Raiders fan today is because way back in 1980 the Eagles went to the Super Bowl to take on the mighty Raiders. I was in 4th grade and loved the Eagles. The freakin Raiders crushed them poor little Eagles. I was devastated. I went to bed and cried. I swore I’d never let a team let me down like that again. So at that point in time, my only logical course of action was to root for the champs, The Raiders. Not that they accomplished a whole hell of a lot since then either. Anyway, hockey. Mark it on your calender. 10/5/05. Flyers v. Rangers. HiDef.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Moss admits smoking marijuana since entering NFL
Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Oakland Raiders receiver Randy Moss admits he has used marijuana since entering the NFL seven years ago and still smokes it "every blue moon."

As a Raider fan, I can't wait for this season to get underway. It should be a helluva year with this clown on the feild. And by clown, I mean an incredible football player and an even better entertainer.

Little did we know......

Another funny old pic. Halloween 2000. Me, Mike, Amy, and The Future Mrs. Kessel. She didn't know it yet, but she would marry me 2 1/2 years later. My magic was working well that night. Check out Ragedy Ann & Andy.

New Holmes Unis

Way back in the beginning of the year I started the task of creating a new Holmes’ Cycling jersey and short for the masses to wear. We used Garneau for the actual garments which turned out fantastic. My original plan was to approach the local Market Street businesses to see about logo placement/sponsorship type stuff but not a single one was interested. We weren’t even asking for a big commitment. Losers. So plan B was customers with business and that worked much better. We signed up an eye doctor, a realtor, and EDS. Along with them we got Giant, Trek, and Serotta on board as well. The end result is a pretty sharp jersey. Orange and navy blue. Bibshorts kick ass. I’d especially like to thank TeamPete/ReMAX for stepping up big time to buy the prime sleeves/ass logo spots which are primo. Although he’ll have to forgive me for cutting the sleeves out of my jersey. Just too damn hot this summer for sleeves. I’ll wear sleeves this Fall. Look for the Holmes team uni at the rear of a ‘cross field near you shortly.

Which brings me to my gripe of the day. Hebe called me yesterday to inform me that I will NOT be racing 35+ this fall. The way age is calculated was changed from last year. Now my race age as of January 1st 2006 is what I go by. Which means I’m no longer 35. I’m 34. No biggie.
Today was such a beautiful day. 85 and low humidity. Not much wind. I put in almost 3hrs. mostly flat stuff but I did do the Whiskey Springs climb which is always a good time. Now I feel as though I need to lay down in the hammock and nap. Later.

Old Pics

Flaze, Eric, Me, Mike, Steve
Mike, Eric, Me, Steve
Years ago we gathered at Mike and Eric's mom's place for July 4th festivities. To add to the fun we worked a theme into the mix a couple of the years. These pictures are the incriminating evidence.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Old Friends

In the next couple weeks I will see some friends I haven’t seen in years. Nate will be home, it seems, from Spain. It’s only been since late last year that I’ve seen him but his appearance gives me more indication that ‘cross is near. Someone to talk euro-pro cycling with.
Then there is John Parham. He’ll be visiting PA for a few days. He worked at Holmes’ way back when we were still in that hole-in-the-wall shop down the street from where we are now. That’s been 11 years or so. JP turned me on to some good writers back in the day that’s given me plenty of reading enjoyment throughout the years. Hunter S. Thompson. Brautigan. Tim Cahill. Road Fever is still one of my favorite books of all time. JP lives in Argentina, which happens to be one of my favorite parts of the book. Good stuff. A High Speed Travelogue, for sure.
Last but not least, my old buddie Glen from San Diego. I met Glen waaa back in ’90 when I had my first and only REAL job. Concrete curbing and things of that nature. Hard work. Glen moved to Hanover(Hangover) PA with his wife and little girl to check out the scenery. Glen and I got a job with the same company around the same time. He was somehow related to the owners of said company and I was not but we both ended up being the two clowns no one wanted to work with so they made us work with each other. I never had so much fun working that hard. We drove all over Maryland and southern PA sawing expansion joints in miles of curbing at a time. It’s all the stuff we did to and from and everywhere in between all that hard work that got us “layed off”. I got work at Holmes’, Glen went back to SD, his wife and little girl stayed in Hangover. Now, 15 years later, his little girl is getting married. I’ve been out to visit Glen in SD quite a few times but I believe this might be his first visit back. Then Erin and I will be staying at his new joint in SD a month later. Can’t wait for that trip. Erin’s sister is moving up here this coming weekend. The whole family is back together again. She’s cool. She’ll give Erin someone to chill with.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Raw Fish

Last night I went out for some sushi with VisitPA Ray, Steve, Allen and Scott. I work with Ray and Steve and Allen is the big boss man at Holmes’ Cycling. Scott is our finance/retirement guy. He was sponsoring last night’s food. So, of course we ordered waaay to much sushi. A lot of dead fish on the table. It was super tastey. Love that stuff.
Looks like rain today. I’ll try to commute in anyway. Maybe I can miss it. 10-8.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Ode to fast guys

Holy shit, it’s hot outside. I told you it wouldn’t be 3 months ‘til my next post. 3 hours. Just got back from a 2hr ride and just about melted. Stiff little breeze for such a warm day. Ordinarily you’d think such a stinkin’ hot day would not have any wind to speak of. So, today’s ride brings me to 2150+ road miles. Last year at this time I had approx 1100 or so. Just about double to this point. And yet I still have all kinds of self doubt about getting anything accomplished this fall. Maybe it’s the heat. I never minded the heat. It’s far from what I’d call great weather but maybe I just don’t respond well to 95 degrees. To be a top cyclist, someone who races and rides at the front, takes drive and determination that I admire and respect and, quite frankly, don’t know how they do it all year long. My hats off. Out.


Is he trying to fart/poop his pants/hold one in?

Go West, young man

I believe when I last posted I had every intention of making it a regular post. That was 3 months ago. Summer has come and almost gone. Not like I’ve been busy. Other than the bike shop being a complete zoo all summer, that is.

We had a big party here at the ranch on July 3rd. Beer, food, friends, badminton, did I mention food. A good time was had by all.

I bought our tickets for the Vegas trip. We’re headed to the Bike Show for a couple days then we’re going to drive to San Diego for 4 days of r&r before driving back to Vegas to catch our plane home. I’ve never been to Vegas so I’m looking forward to it but I must say the 4 days in SD is what I’m most looking forward to. I love that town. We’ll be staying with my old friend Glen and his wife Lupe. I wish Glen didn’t live so damn far away. Fun dude. I’m going to try to talk him into cruising to Mex to hit Puerto Nuevo, a little village about 45 minutes below TJ. It’s best known for the fresh lobster served with all you can shove beans, rice and tortillas. Throw in a few Pacificos or Bohemias and an awesome rooftop view of the Pacific and that’s what I call a killer way to spend an afternoon. Add in some quality street shopping too (picture a flea market combined w/ town wide yard sale). I bought tickets to see the Padres play the Dodgers in the new ballpark. We’re also going to tour the USS Midway. The Midway is a WWII era aircraft carrier that’s been decommissioned and now acts as a floating museum/attraction in SD Bay. Not that I’m a war nut or a military fanatic but I do think it would be fascinating to see first hand the grand scale of a carrier. Those things are HUGE.

Anyway Vegas will be fun too. I’m going to pack an empty suitcase just top bring back all the schwag.

The ‘cross scheds are all posted. I’m excited on one hand but I’ve been struggling all summer to stay motivated. I’ve ridden more miles on the rode this year than ever before. And it’s still only 8/11. All it’s done though, really, is kept me skinny. I guess at this point, I should send Hebe my annual groveling email begging for training help. I kept last years workouts on a floppy but I’m looking at ‘em and thinking, man this sucks. Why is it that I know what I should do, but I can’t motivate myself to go out and do it? I need Hebe to tell me all over again what to do and when to do it. Somehow it’s totally different when I get that email Sunday night with the coming weeks workouts. Besides all that, I haven’t really decided which races I’m doing yet. I’d like to do the Baltimore race 9/25 but then I’m out west for a solid week after that with no ability to train while out there unless you count a hotel exerbike. Maybe I could do some running. Scary thought. Anyway, Carlisle on 10/15 is definite. Hebe’s race 11/05 is definite. PA States 11/19-20 for sure. Everything else, who knows. I loved Beacon but it’s a long haul and my in-laws don’t live down there anymore, plus the wifey needs to be home Sunday night for a work thing which eliminates all possibility of staying in Cape May for an extra day or two. We’ll see. Hebe might set me up to wrench for the Fort/GPOA team at nationals in Providence, RI 12/9-11. From what I hear they’re a good bunch of guys. VisitPARay races with FlyinRyan and SSwes on the MTB team and has good things to say about both. I met Fergie out at Hebe’s a month ago. Should be a good time. Hopefully not too cold.

Hinkles wedding is 10/29 at the Hershey Hotel. Should be an amazingly good time. Top shelf all the way on that one. Josh and Beths wedding was really cool. Which is not to say it wasn’t hot as a mf’er(it was) but to say that it was fun. Good to see those two. We need to visit them one of these days. NoCal.

Speaking of VisitPA.com. I must say I’m really impressed with what Ray and Kuhn put together last winter. Those guys did a lot of work to put a sponsor together with a bunch of fast mtb’ers to come up with a pretty successful year so far. Nice work.

It won’t be 3 months ‘til my next post.