Catchin' up

Catching up is a theme here, huh? Always behind and always some lame excuse as to why I can't spend a few minutes updating my blog. This time I'm going with lots of family sickness and deciding to spend less time looking at my computer while at home. Yep, those are my current excuses.

The sick part was rough. Everyone besides Molly had the full blown flu, mine and Whitney's turned into pneumonia (Whitney's worse than mine). The icing on the cake is the discovery that Whitney will need surgery in the very near future. Good times.

The "less time on a computer" thing is the result of thinking that I have probably wasted a LOT of time constantly checking various message boards, websites, my email, etc. and it really has become a needless distraction and to be honest, a pretty hard habit to break.

The good news is that there is always some cool stuff going on. Molly and Will's birthday, planning a family vacation and day light savings time.

Molly showing off her princess cake.

Will spitting on, err...I mean blowing out his candles on his dinosaur cake.

Will cleaning up.

New big wheel!

To say Molly was excited about her High School Musical video would an understatement.

The family vacation will be heading to my aunt and uncle's (Susie and Carl) place on the Potomac in June. We are really excited about doing something new, spending time with my extended family and enjoying a kid friendly beach. Susie and Carl are great hosts and we can't thank them enough for sharing their weekend home with us.

Daylight savings time just makes life better. Longer days, warmer weather, green vegetation and being outside more (especially after the most dismal winter in recent memory). Hopefully the longer days will allow me to sneak in an extra ride during the week after the kids head to bed. Three weeks off the bike was too much and I'm anxious to get back on track. I even had to back out on my buddy Brian for the PMBAR which was a real bummer. PMBAR was what motivated me through my 20 degree rides this winter, but I'm afraid that missing that much riding 6 weeks before what could be a 10 hour mountainbike race might leave me holding up my partner.

My goal is to start posting at least once a week, so hopefully I'll be adding some words and pictures soon.

Kickin' off March...

...with more crappy weather!

My first ride of March was a tough one. Tough to get started, tough to stay out in and tough to recover from. I have never done a road ride in worse conditions. I experienced all forms of precipitation in the two hours I was out...rain, sleet and snow, all at a balmy 34 degrees. Epic conditions and I actually enjoyed it on some level.

A week ago I did the final race in the local cyclocross series. The finale was held at the Worlds Fair park. It was an awesome mix of concrete, off camber grass sections, stairs and tight corners which seemed like it was designed just for me. The slick tires (I wasn't spending $100.00 for cross tires) held me back in the mud, but not enough to matter and it made it more fun sliding around the course.

The morning of the race I decided my fitness needed more than a thirty minute race for a workout and riding to and from the race would be a great way to add some miles. The plan was to have a gentle spin (10 miles away?) to the race site as a nice warm up, but fate had other plans.

This is where your chain belongs...

...not here.

My gentle spin to the park was interrupted by "". The sound of my chain breaking. I picked the chain up and rode my bike skate board style for a mile or so before coming to the realization that this would put me at the park a few hours after the race. I called my good buddy Bob Davies (all around good guy and team mate for racing this year) who interrupted heading out to lunch with his wife to come rescue me with a master link and chain tool. Big thanks, Bob. All this put me behind, so my gentle warm up turned into a leg searing sprint to make sure I didn't miss registration.

Turns out the sprint wasn't needed as, like most races, it went off a bit late and I had plenty of time to register, chill out and catch up with some peeps I had not seen lately. I caught lots of flak with questions like "are you riding that?", "did you bring some other tires" and just general "you're doing it wrong". Good times.

The single speed class went off 30 seconds before the Cat 4's, so I had a great motivator to pedal hard and keep the real racers at bay. It lasted for a couple laps before the fast guys laid it on me, but I was happy to be able to stay away from most of the field.

Ended up third and only 20 seconds back of second place in the singlespeed class and my time would have put me in seventh in the much larger (and more competitive) Cat 4's. Overall pretty happy with the results considering most of these guys are "real" racers that put in some serious miles.

A couple pics from the race featuring my new super stylin' Bike Zoo jersey.

Photo credit to this guy, Endurance Dave.

A huge head wind and very tired legs made for a brutal ride home. Brutal.