Sunday, October 23, 2005


I filled my truck with gas on Thursday. Exactly 53 days since the last time I filled the tank. On the day Hurricane Katrina hit I cruised to the local hadji-mart and paid $2.52 per. By the end of that week it was $3.39 per. When I filled my tank on Thursday it was $2.46 per. I gleefully missed all the gouging that took place. Nice.

My first ‘cross race was last Saturday. Also my first B race. It went well. 9th place. I suffered like a dog for the first couple laps. Just didn’t feel great at all. The start was a gradual rise on a dirt/stone road that got steeper about a minute into it. I started in the back. No bigggie only about 25 on line. I’m amazed at the gears some people choose to leave the line in. Regardless of where I start, but especially if I’m starting in the back, I want a gear that will get me haulin ass in a hurry. I use a 46-21 on starts and shift to the 19 pretty quick and go from there. So, about 20 seconds into it, I was hovering around 10th. That’s pretty much where I stayed. Some came back from the front and some went to the front from behind. I raced with a couple dudes but one in particular, who finished just ahead of me, I spent the entire race back and forth with. He was terrible in technical stuff. The barriers, cornering, single track stuff through the woods. I was faster in those spots. But this dude was strong as a mule on straights and the dirt road stuff. His strength was my weakness and vice versa. In the end I was pretty happy with a top ten. The winner was two minutes in front of me. Not bad. My next race will be Lower Allen. 2.5 miles from my humble abode. It’s where do my ‘cross workouts. I’d like to do well. It’s a MAC race so I’ll be racing 60 other ‘crossers instead of 25. Can’t wait.

Coach Hebe crossing the line

This dude was strong where he needed to be

Inflicting pain on eventual 4th place racer

Big Hink is getting married next Saturday. Of all the friends I have in this world, Mark has been there the longest. When I moved to East Berlin way back in second grade my mom rented a house from Mark’s parents. His parents also had a service station/garage behind the house so Mark and I would do what little boys do at that age. Terrorize the next-door neighbor. We called him Mr. Meanie. He would bitch at us if we set on toe nail on his yard. Hell, we had baseballs, kickballs, footballs, any ball you can think of in his yard at any given time. It was a real sense of adventure getting our stuff back. Anyway, good to see Mark and Phylis getting married. The “bach party will be a round of golf at the Dauphin Highlands across the river. Nice joint. I played there once. I haven’t “swung a club in anger” in two years. It will be fun to see how it goes. Hebe, I think you should come out of retirement and dust off your clubs.

It’s now, in my own mind, officially ri-god-damn-diculous how fast years are ticking off. I swear it was only a month ago that spring arrived. Now everything is dying and it’s getting cold again. Next week we turn the clocks back already. Shit. The winter blues won’t be far behind.
No mas.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Wow, Fall has arrived! It rained like hell the past two days. Today I rode to work in a pouring 67degree rain, doing a few hard seated efforts along the way. I’d rather do that than ride indoors. Nothing drives me up the wall and kills my spirit more than setting up indoors on a trainer. By the time 5pm rolled around it was still pouring but the temp dropped to 53degrees. The Legend offered to give me a ride home, (Thanks again for the offer, Coach) but, there is just something exhilarating about riding in weather that makes people question my sanity, or for that matter, my intelligence. Either way, the ride home was a great time.

Tonight we went in to NewCumb to Erin’s parents to watch a highly overrated Ohio State lose to an even more ridiculously overrated Penn State. Big Eleven football rots. No bigger collection of mediocre football teams that get more unwarranted pub and respect has ever been assembled. Needless to say, I despise PSU and root every week for the team playing PSU.

Once again, I know I’m in the vast minority in voicing my love for Hockey, but isn’t it great to have the NHL back. Seems to be a lot more goals being scored and ties have been eliminated. Gotta win in OT or a shootout now. Long overdue rule change IMHO.

My first ‘cross race will be next Saturday at Carlisle. It will be nice to “turn the pedals in anger” as Mrs. Legend’s favorite cycling announcer of all time would say. Should be a fairly low key event to shake out the cobwebs a bit. Perfect. I was talking to Coach Hebe earlier this week about training. In my mind after taking a week+1 off totally from exercising I feel like I’m waaay behind. Especially cardio. Tomorrow I will head over to the park for a structured workout. I can’t wait to see how I feel during and after.


Thursday, October 06, 2005


Erin’s sis Emily dropped us off at HIA at 5AM. What a joy to not have to drive down to BWI. Not that BWI is a shitty airport but if I can be at HIA in less than 15min for a few $$ more. Why not? We landed in LV around 11AM/PST and was greeted by a taxi line of about 9000 people. I just about had a meltdown but the line moved quickly and we were at our hotel pretty quick.

I had slept about 3 hours the night before our flight mainly because I stayed up to watch the Phillies lose 6-5 after leading 5-2 in the 8th. Aholes. Put me in a grumpy mood. Cost them a trip to the playoffs. At any rate, when we got to the hotel I was spent. I wanted to go check things out but I had to take a nap. So I did. We stayed at Circus, Circus the first two nights. Not a bad place. More on that later.
The main mission on day two of the Las Vegas trip was to hit Interbike in search of cool schwag and to see new goodies. It did not disappoint. I could have spent at least another half day at the show. More crap on display than I expected. We chatted with Phil about Harrisburg/Hershey which he remembered from the Tour DuPont days. Got an autograph from him on a couple copies of Mike & The Bike. We also got Magnus Backstedt to sign a poster and pose for a pic. He’s tall but not as huge as I expected. I guess he is a roadie after all. Not like he could be as big as Shaq-Fu. Erin also got Levi Leipheimer and Gord Fraser to sign some goods while I was off on shop business. I think Erin had more fun than I did. She had a blast.
Thursday morning we picked up our rental car first thing and hit the high desert road in the direction of Sunny San Diego. I love SD. I always wanted to drive through the desert southwest. Now that I’ve done it I can say without a doubt that I never want to do it again. It only took us 4½hrs to get to SD. Roughly 335 miles in 270 minutes. Do the math. But the first 2½hrs were brutally tedious. Mentally exhausting. If you look at the picture you can see the road in front of you and swear that you’d crest a mountain or pass a town, all in plain view right in front of you, and it would take forever to actually crest that mountain or pass that town. After hours of that I was gassed. And the road signs were telling me I still had over 100 miles to SD. Admittedly the scenery got a little better once we blew through Riverside, CA and further south into SD County. By that point I could already taste the fish tacos or the carne asada.

We hit SD and immediately went to Ocean Beach for some grub. Then cruised over to Coronado and hooked up with our gracious and terminally hyper host, Glen, at the Island Saloon for a couple Pacificos. Then back to his crib where his wonderful wife, Lupe, had more food for us. Steak, taties, and corn. Mmmmm. I couldn’t finish it but it was tastey.
Friday in SD. Back to Coronado for breakfast and then a ferry ride across SD Bay to the USS Midway, A monster aircraft carrier that has be decommissioned and turned into a floating museum. This was one of the things I definitely wanted to do on our trip. We spent 3hrs checking it out. I’m amazed at the sheer mass of this ship. How small the sleeping quarters/bunks are. The tiny little rooms here and there. No wasted space anywhere. 4500 Navy personnel called it home at any given time. Erin’s dad spent time on a ship during the Vietnam War. I think we both took something from our tour of the Midway. The deck was full of jets, planes, and choppers from its era. Pretty cool. I was fascinated by the ridiculous amount of trust a pilot had to have on his own skills and instincts as well as a number of other people on the flight deck just to land. Nutty stuff.
Friday night back to Coronado to the Hotel Del Coronado for dinner. Top shelf stuff here, friends. Maybe next time I’ll spend a weeks pay just to spend the night there but this time dinner would have to do. The marine layer hanging over the coast all day crept inland as the sun was going down. Basically it was sunny in SD but as soon as we crossed the bridge into Coronado halfway down Orange Ave we drove into a thick bank of fog. It would have been nice to see the sun set over the Pacific but we had a nice time anyway.

Saturday we had breakfast in Pacific Beach. Best breakfast of the trip. I had an omelet with all sorts of wonderful veggies and meats. Then we hit OB again for an afternoon sunning at the beach. We took a swim. The water was a bit chilly but saltwater does seem to have a therapeutic nature t it. Then I proceeded to burn the hell out of my pastey belly which doesn’t get sun while I ride all summer. The main event Saturday eve was a trip to Petco Park downtown for a Padres game. Dinner at Chuey’s in Barrio Logan and then a quick trolley ride to the ballpark. What a beautiful stadium. Padres lost but they did have a killer 20 minute fireworks display after the game.

Sunday morning after thanking Glen for putting up with us we were on our way back to LV. 335miles in 255 minutes on our return trip. Good stuff. Once back in LV we checked into Excalibur which is on the opposite end of The Strip. What a HUGE difference. Not that I minded Circus, Circus but on the south end it’s a completely different cookie. You’ll spend a little more but you can see where that extra moola goes. We had lunch in the Luxor(where Mr &Mrs Legend hang) which is connected too and situated between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay. Nice. Luxor is the one shaped like a pyramid. If I ever do go to LV again I will stay there. After lunch we cruised The Strip to do some sightseeing and some shopping. I saw Elvis but he wasn’t signing autographs. Weird thing was it was a skinny Elvis in the fat Elvis get-up.

Back to the hotel for a short nap before a 3:30AM trip to the airport. Monday was spent either in a plane or in an airport. Home by 7:00PM. Long day in the saddle. In summary. LV was exactly what I thought it would be. It didn’t exceed nor did it fall short of my expectations. I’d go back. The Wifey would have to know ahead of time that I’d spend an ENTIRE day in one of the casinos sportsbook. A sports junkies heaven. SD was fun as it always is. I’m never disappointed there. Other than the fog bank we drove into we had great weather the whole trip. And after the fact I realized that Erin and I were never separated the entire trip with the exception of approx 30 minutes. We really had a great time.

Erin double-fisting $8 a cone ice cream at the Billagio. It was damn good ice cream.

More later

Just one of a few celebs we saw from the cycling industry. Phil is a friendly dude. Nice guy. Despite what Mrs Legend says.

Quick Update

What a great time The Wifey and I had out West. Lots of sun and fun. I’ll post a couple pics and a full summary shortly. When I feel less lazy. I didn’t exercise for 8 DAYS! That was the only sucky thing about the trip. I guess we did walk miles every day but that doesn’t count, does it? My heart rate never left double digits. Now it’s back to the drawing board.

It felt strange getting on my bike Tuesday morning to ride to work. After a couple days now I feel my legs coming back. I got out this morning and felt good. Fairly easy ride but I was comfortable. This weekend I’ll step it up another notch.

Flyers lost last night. Aholes. Just prolonging the sting of the Phillies missing the playoffs by one game.