Monday, April 30, 2007

Six hours of riding

Damn I'm tired, busted out six hours on the bike today. I haven't put in that much time in probably a year and half. To make the ride even tougher I spent the whole time on the mountain bike. I figure if the FireCracker 50 is on the mountain bike I'd better get the body use to time on that bike.

I rode most of the time on the road today, but had two major off-road sections, climbing from Morrison to the top of Mt. Falcon (and back down) then a loop of Green Mountain, maybe a total of 2:00 hours off-road. Putting in those kind of miles makes me have some solid confidence for Breckenridge and other upcoming races. While I'm tired after riding I don't feel completely wasted, overall a good sign.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Long Week

It was a long week for me with little time to ride. I went to New York on Tuesday and Wednesday then headed up to Springfield, MA on Thursday for work. Between all the travel, trying to catch up at work and spending time with the family I didn't get a lot of riding in. Oh well, I'm taking tomorrow off and going for a 6 hour ride.

I did get a change to write my April newsletter, for those not on my email list let me know if you'd like me to send one.

Better get to sleep soon if I'm really going to ride that long tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I've hit the big time, made Sly Fox's blog role. As crazy as Cris is he sure gets a lot of hits. I've met Cris many times over the years, and been beaten by him at least once last year at Deer Valley. For all the new Utah readers I'm the slow brother in law of climb um as Cris calls him. Catch me at Deer Valley in June for an in person meeting, until then enjoy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Education not Legislation

I’m off to New York this morning, flying of course, global warming be damned. Sometimes you need to fly; at least I guess you do, to get from point A to point B. But the time on a plane has some great benefits, like a few hours where communication is completely cut-off and I can work on whatever I want. I’ve been mulling over this entry/writing for a few days and just not had time to write it down, so I’ll take the time on the plane to get it written.

Part of the problem with trying to write is the issue of when do I have time to write? I tend to do most of my thinking while I’m out riding which very much limits my ability to write anything down at the same time. When I’m not out riding I tend to be working, which although in front of a computer hasn’t allowed much free time for composing recently or with Shay and Ade. Time with Shay and Ade may allow a few free moments here and there to write, but not a prolonged period of time to think. Maybe I’ll have to invent some sort of computer interface that will allow me to telepathically transpose my thoughts while riding.

But onwards, as Earth Day this past weekend, teaching Shay’s class about how they can protect the environment and meeting with Diana DeGette’s office the previous week have gotten me thinking about what we need to do to really make changes to the way we live in an effort to protect the environment. When I went to DeGette’s office there was a great deal of talk about legislating and requiring people to use electric cars etc. And while legislation may (and probably will) play a role in protecting the earth it is not what is needed at this time.

Legislation without education will lead to extreme opposition to the efforts being made and will ultimately fail. However, legislation coupled with (or proceeded by) education will lead to real change. When I was in front of a group of five and six year olds talking about recycling and how to help the earth not get sick I really felt that the kids were listening and wanting to help. Since that time, Seamus has been picking up liter on the streets, trying to recycle, and drawing on both sides of paper. Admittedly all small steps, but the little things we can all do to help the environment. In fifteen or twenty years (with continued reinforcement) will Seamus buy into and agree with legislation to protect the environment? Hell yes, not only will he buy into it he will require stringent legislation. He will require companies, the products he buys, to take environmental stewardship seriously.

The only problem with this is Seamus is just one kid, or at a max his class is only 20 kids, and it will take 20 years before they are in a position to effect change and we must act now. So we must accelerate education, not just for children but for adults. When I first started this effort I undertook a huge effort to read and educate myself. In a small way I hope to be teaching people through this effort, though I know my posts are limited at best for education content, but even if I can’t educate hopefully each of you will start thinking about the environment and take the time to educate yourselves. Since I concocted this idea in November I’ve learned what greenhouse gases our, Ade has learned what fossil fuels are, Seamus has learned that he can help make the earth not die. I’ve bought into the information I’ve read, I believe that at least in part humans are causing harm to the environment and that with our own efforts we can help to make changes, educate our friends and most importantly educate our elected officials about the importance of environmental issues so that the legislation they create is supported, strong and most importantly helpful to the environment.
I wish I had more time to help educate, and I will try throughout the course of this season, but each of you must make the effort on your own. I can recommend reading, starting with Al Gore’s An Inconevient Truth (or if you are lazy watch it). Other books include A Field Guide to Catastrophe, Bush Versus the Environment. Web sites from Environmental Defense, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resource Defense Council,, and the Sierra Club all offer huge amounts of information. Take time to read and review, take time to learn and educate yourself and educate others. Then start making the small steps like Seamus has to protect the environment. Start to ride your bike, use canvas bags for grocery trips, next time a clerk offers you a bag turn it down, use a manual lawn mower, bring your own mug to the coffee shop, pick up the trash on the street, force your schools and offices to implement recycling programs. Finally once you feel comfortable with the changes that need to be made write your elected officials, harass presidential candidates, make environmental issues front and center in politics, but base the issues on facts and legislation on efforts that will work and help. Legislation will play a critical role in the end to protect the environment, but unfounded legislation (legislation that has no broad based support or understanding) will not work. So, what have you done to protect the environment today?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Earth Day

Tomorrow is Earth Day, so what does that mean? Not really sure, seems as if the event was started in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson as a method to shake up the political establishment and make people aware of issues surrounding our environment ( Earlier this week I went to Seamus' school and talked to his class about the environment and what they can do to help protect the earth. His teacher is really into environmental protection and was happy to have a parent come in to build on her lessons related to Earth Day. She even has brought her own recycling bin in to school since the school doesn't "participate" in a recycling program.

I tried to keep my talk interesting and fun. Showing the kids every day things they can do to help, such as recycling, how they can reuse items, and what reducing means. I have to admit I was surprised and happy with how much a group of five and six year olds new. It was also a lot of fun to just be in class with Seamus, maybe just a little way to show him how much we care about school and the environment.

I think my big action for the upcoming week will be harassing Shay's school to get with it and start a recycling program. I know how much paper he goes through coloring, seems a waste to not provide recycling in all the classrooms. The way I see it is start them young and taking care of the environment will be second nature by the time these kids are adults.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Seamus finally got in a real soccer game this weekend. It was pretty funny, the kids were pretty interested at the start, but as the game progressed things kind of fell apart. Kids would walk off the field mid-shift, start playing with the net, tackle each other, basically anything but play soccer. It was fun to watch though and Seamus seemed to have some fun.

Here is Seamus and his buddy Ethan mid game. Seamus had to come off the field and put his sweatshirt on under his jersey cause he thought it was cold. Don't know why he thought that, I got a sunburn on my head.
Here's Seamus doing some sort of soccer thing early in the game. Sorry but no pictures of the blue shoes really turned out, I'll need to take a close-up next time.

I put in a 14 hour week of training, which for me is pretty big. I'm trying for another this week, but it may be harder given that a few people are out at work (means more hours for me) and Ade is going out on Thursday. Hopefully if the weather is good I can go big on the weekend again. I rode my favorite ride today, Lookout (twice) and felt pretty good. I decided next time I'll ride the mountain bike to Golden then ride the Chimney Gulch trail (which pretty much follows the road) up and down. It will make a 3.5 hour ride about 5 I think so it should help get me going.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Taking it to the streets

So today I went to the meeting at Congresswoman DeGette’s office on behalf of the LCV. Met with my neighbor Chris and the district manager (forgot his name) on behalf of DeGette. I wouldn’t say we were overly organized or influential in our meeting, but it was great to have an opportunity to express interests and concerns as constituents. Although the LCV is a huge, politically active group that allowed us to get our feet in the door, clearly this was a meeting of concerned citizens and not big money.

There were a lot of differing views, even within a group of people who theoretically have the same interest in the environment. A few people were very (overly perhaps) passionate, single minded and from my perspective not very realistic in their views. Most others were concerned and just want to express support for legislation and efforts to improve the environment. Issues ranged from alternative fuels to solar, to education (my topic/interest), to the economics needed to really move us forward. At the end of the day it was a good meeting, though the reality is given DeGette’s very favorable environmental record, though nothing earth-breaking in terms of legislation or action will evolve from the meeting.

So if I feel this way am I glad I went? Hell yes. I made a commitment to raise awareness on global warming and if I can let my congresswoman know I’m concerned then I’m making another small effort to raise the awareness. If I’m not involved and expressing concerns then can I really bitch about how our government is dealing with environmental issues? No. Will I go again, given an opportunity? Yes. Take the time this weekend to email your congressional representative and let them know you support current legislation entitled the Safe Climate Act and you expect them to pass the legislation. If you can’t ask the question what have you done today, then give an honest answer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I’m trying to get in two big weeks on the bike this week and next, trying for about 15 hours per week. Given that the weather isn’t scheduled to be great this might be a little tough, but I really want to get in some long hour weeks prior to May when the racing season really starts. Once I start racing training a lot of hours becomes more difficult because so much time is spent recovering from the hard race efforts. Between the recovering from races and still needing to get in long rides in May and June to be ready for the FireCracker 50 this stretch is most likely my last block of consistent high mile and intensity work for awhile.

In an effort to get in the extra time I want I’m trying to etch out any riding I can. Both yesterday and today I put in 1.5 hours on the trainer before work (4:30-6:00), helped get everything/one ready for the day (making lunches for all of us, helping get Shay ready etc.) then ride into the office and ride home. This is getting me about an extra ½ hour of riding each day. If I’m lucky (and the weather holds out) I’ll do this tomorrow, and try to do a longer ride home maybe an hour or so, before a recovery day Thursday. This morning was pretty damn rough as the trainer didn’t seem like much fun when the alarm went off, but I managed to force my way downstairs and put in the miles. Then the ride in was a bit cold and wet due to rain last night. I guess this is the time to prove it if I want to race well this season.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Getting Ready

On the Global Warming front I’m getting ready to take it up a level and take on two new (short term) commitments. The first is meeting with a local politician (DeGette) with others from the LCV next Friday. This should be a good way to express concerns from real people not a PAC. Meeting will be really friendly, especially since my next door neighbor works for DeGette and will be at the meeting.

The second task I’m doing is teaching a session on environmental impact to Seamus’ class on the week of Earth Day. This should be fun as it is always cool to go into his school and see him and work with the kids. I’m going to go over ways the kids can recycle, teach them about how bike riding helps the environment and give some safety tips on riding, and an interactive session of planting organic veggies to explain how choices on food etc. impact the environment. I know it will be fun and his teacher is down with it, but who knows about other parents. You certainly put yourself out there when talking about issues that for some unknown reason (Bush) have become political. I really want to bring awareness to people on the environment, not piss them off; however, in this day and age all issues become political so I’m bound to piss a few people off. At least they get some free tomato plants out of the deal.

Today was cold and snowy at times, but I’ve hit my limit with riding the trainer so I spent 2+ hours outside on the road bike. Felt pretty good considering I’ve had a slight cold all week and was way to busy at work. I’m going to try to sneak in another ride tomorrow (Easter) to make up for the easy week, but if the weather is still shitty I may just skip the day. Although I need the training as it seems like I will be going to India again, probably in early June, which will really kill last minute training for the FireCracker 50. By that point I’d better have my endurance anyway so hopefully I’ll be able to ride an exercise bike some during the time I’m there to not lose to much fitness, then have about 2 weeks to fine tune everything. We’ll see though, I could just slack at work and not finish anything that is needed to go to India until after the 4th and then go, but that may not be the best idea to stay employed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April Fools

Sometimes the blogging gets slowed down by life, sometime it picks up when there is more free time. Right now there really isn’t a lot of free time so infrequent posts are the current state. Saturday’s soccer game for Seamus was cancelled because of the snow last Thursday. I think the game could have been played, as it was warm and dry by Saturday morning, but I’m not in charge.

Just wait till you see pictures of him though, I bought him some sweet bright blue soccer shoes. One thing is certain he’ll be easy to pick out on the field.

I did a road race on Sunday, up near Boulder. I raced with the old slow guys (Cat 4 35+) and had a good race. Not really sure if slow is a great term for the race though as we did 22 miles on a rolling course (with about ½ of it on dirt roads) in less than an hour. I don’t have a cyclo-computer any more but my calculations have us at about 23 miles an hour. There were really no breakaways in the race, just guys coming off the back because of the constant pressure. I was in the lead group until about a mile from the end when I couldn’t respond anymore. I ended up in 13th place and was the first finisher outside the lead group. The race gave me a good indication that my fitness is progressing well and that I really need to work on the anaerobic side of things (short efforts of less than 3 minutes). While I often think these efforts aren’t key in mountain biking I’ve learned that I’m probably wrong. The start of the race, hard pushes at the top of climbs, trying to catch other racers all require this effort. In the past few years I haven’t spent much time working in this area, but I’m going to start adding some of this work in over the next few weeks.

Looking at my schedule I think the first mountain bike race will be May 6 up near Buffalo Creek. This is a location fairly near Denver that hasn’t had many races held in it although there are a lot of trails. One of the main reasons is the fires and floods in the area of the past 10 years. It should be pretty cool to race and see what is happening after all the disasters.

My company of the week (not really weekly) is Fed Ex, for what they are doing to help the environment. As I was leaving work the other day I noticed a Fed Ex truck on the loading dock that mentioned it was Hybrid powered, then I saw a sticker for environmental defense. FedEx is working with the Environmental Defense organization to develop trucks that are “50 percent more fuel-efficient (yielding a 33-percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions) and produces 90 percent less air emissions of soot and smog.”

FedEx has also worked to redesign packaging materials, reduce emissions from planes and use more environmentally friendly printing methods on packages etc. All these efforts combined show a company that seems to realize that they do have an impact on the environment and can help keep it healthy.