Sunday, October 26, 2008

No Cyclo-cross today - Instead a little bit of Obama

Today’s post was originally going to be a post on the cyclo-cross race in Boulder. Up until late Thursday I had every intention of racing, but then I found out Obama was coming to Denver Sunday morning and plans changed. Obama was scheduled to speak around 11:30, so hoping for a good viewing point Seamus and I left home at 9:15. By the time we got downtown at 10ish it was clear a good viewing point was out of the question, hell we would have been lucky to even see Obama.

Estimates say 100,000+ people showed up. All I know is it was an incredible site. The mix of cultures, families, young, old, gay, straight, white, black and even Republican were there to see and support Obama. After seeing the crowd and listening to him speak I now have a different (perhaps better) perspective on his appeal. Obama is a man who wants to lead, but knows he cannot create a better world on his own. He needs the help of everyone. All 100,000 today in Denver need to help in their own way. Far more than voting though, Obama wants people to help every day. His priorities are clearly different than McCain, but what is really different is how he wants to go about accomplishing priorities. Obama can allocate money to educate, green energy and health care, but without each of us acting individually to change our lifestyles the money will do no good. John McCain can allocate money to the same causes based on his world view, but what it seems to me John McCain can’t do is inspire people. Obama inspired 100,000 people to come out on a cool fall morning in Denver. He called on each of us to do our part to lessen our energy consumption, to turn off the TV and do homework with our children, to take care of our health to reduce healthcare costs.

My lame crowd shot, there is no way to do justice to the number of people.

After seeing Obama in person his inspiration really comes through. He can clearly lead, now we just need to let him.

Seamus and his sign cheering for Obama.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Like so many pro cyclists who visit far off doctors, I started the off season with a visit to a doctor in Chicago. After an initial meeting of over an hour the first part of a plan was hatched and between Adrienne and I 19 vials of blood were “donated” to science. Lucky for me only three of the vials were mine. A trip to meet a doctor in Chicago may seem extreme, but when you are searching for answers on why you can’t get/stay pregnant you may as well see the best. After getting test results back we’ll see the next move.

Given that we were in Chicago, we made a little vacation out of it and tried to enjoy the town. Going there gave me a good start on a few weeks away from the bike, by putting me in a city where I didn’t have a bike and therefore couldn’t ride. We did however walk. We walked through many areas of Chicago, up to Lincoln Park, along Lake Michigan, up and down Michigan Avenue and to the Art Institute. Adrienne had never before been to a “big city” and seeing the size and magnitude of buildings in Chicago puts the relative smallness of Denver into perspective.

We went to the top of the Hancock building (2nd tallest in America right behind another Chicago building the Sears Tower). From up 93 floors the view is amazing. The realization that you are essentially in a building two times the height of any in Denver is incredible. On the second day, a little sore in the feet from the many miles of walking the first day, we went to the Art Institute. It is pretty incredible to see paintings in person that are (somewhat) remembered from Art History in freshman year of college.

The good news was we were there for two days, saw a lot, had some fun and were gone for a short period of time. As much as I enjoy Chicago, New York, Houston (ok I don’t really enjoy Houston) big cities are only fun for 2-3 days. After that the crowds and energy are just too much.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Google Ads

So I've got the Google ads up and I'm checking the site for changes I've been making and I see this No of 58 ad. Amendment 58 is a tax issue on oil and gas taxes in Colorado, no big deal that it is on the site right? I've been writing a lot on politics so it shows me Google knows what is up when placing the ads.

Except for one thing. I support Amendment 58. Voted Yes on it on Monday.

So this is really just a way of saying I don't have any control over the ads, except Google looks at my text and places ads. You'll probably see ads on politics (Go Obama), cycling and other things. Some products I may support. Some I may not.

More Edits

I'm still working on the site, trying to bring it into the realm of current technology. The book list now has links, blogs are now coming in with feeds and even though nobody visits the site ads to help make google some money (and if anybody clicks on them me someday).

It is still a work in progress, but it is getting better. Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vote Obama and a few weeks rest

I went out today and voted. The first day of early voting here in Denver. There was a fairly long line at the Denver municpal building for voting, at least a couple hundred people at 11:30. Notable figures included me and Govenor Ritter who was behind me in line. I think we both voted for Obama. It was great to see so many people out voting early. Two more weeks and we'll see what everyone thinks.

Two weeks is one week shy of my goal, three weeks without "training". Every year cyclists need to take some time off. I was going to try to train through the UCI cross races in Boulder, but I just don't have it. On Saturday I went out for 2 hours and it felt like a lifetime. I'd rather take my time off now and be excited for long rides in the winter. I may ride some, hell even rode home from work today, but the main plan for the next three weeks is to not worry about riding, try to fit in some yoga and running, not gain much weight and relax. It shouldn't be hard to accomplish given that I'll be in Chicago a few days this week and in New York all of the third week. After that I'll get a plan going and start to train for 2009.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Amendment 48

In the upcoming election there are some critical decisions to be made that can and will affect reproductive rights here in Colorado as well as nationally. In Colorado we have the proposed Amendment 48 ( that will define what a person is and nationally we have two presidential candidates with different views on abortion. Given one of these two men will most likely appoint one (if not more) members to the Supreme Court their view on abortion is critical

For a little background let me tell you (as many of you may know) I have one son, seven years old. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “when are you having another?” or “about time for number two”. Well the fact is the absence of a second child isn’t from lack of effort. We’ve been trying for five years to have a second child with (obviously) no luck. I’d say we are a stable, loving family that has done a good (and at times great) job raising our son and would likely be no different if we had a second child.

Given our struggles to get pregnant V2 there may be a thought from some that I (and my wife) would have a perspective of being strongly pro-life; however, when you’ve struggled trying to get pregnant there is some underlying fear that if you do conceive your “tricking” of mother nature may end up causing serious issues for the mother or child. Spending time and money on attempting to get pregnant you have to understand and accept certain risks. Some of those risks very well could mean a decision between life and death for the mother. They could mean the choice of terminating a pregnancy that realistically (without extensive medical assistance) would have been unviable, or would potentially have a child born with severe medical issues.

My wife and I accept these risks with every doctor’s appointment, prescription and (unfortunately) miscarriage. We both cherish life and would never choose an abortion given our struggles in most circumstances. I do feel however, that by defining a person in the way it is defined for Amendment 48 or by at all restricting a woman’s (and man’s as it should be a two person decision in many cases) right to choose we put many lives (both literally and figuratively) at risk.

Amendment 48 will effect reproductive efforts in the medical field, may limit (prohibit) popular forms of birth control, and may severally jeopardize the life of a pregnant mother. It is an effort to enforce another persons moral views on medical events.

As Obama has said, we as a nation may not agree on a woman’s right to choose but we can all agree to educate and limit unwanted pregnancies. Let’s focus our attention on education and allow families and doctors (and religion if that is your choice) guide each of us on the medical decisions we need to make. If I were in a situation where I had to decide between saving my wife or an unborn child we’ve struggled for years to have I don’t know how I would come to a choice, but a choice is what I would want. Please vote No on 48 and Yes for Obama.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bike Racing

I think I’ve mentioned before that fall is when cyclists tend to sit back and contemplate racing. Every year I hear a few people mention they are going to up their training and racing schedule for the next year. Every year I hear a few people ponder why they race and if they will continue to race. From this group, every year, about half race again and half don’t.

I’ve never fallen into the second group, never will. I like racing too much. I know I’m never going to win a lot of bike races (hell I’d be happy to win another since the first and last win was in 2004) but I know I’ll race every year. For a long time the question I’d ponder was between the MSC (or CORPS back in the day) or Winter Park. Sometimes I’d concentrate on one or the other, a couple years no series concentration just racing some of both. For 2009 though, I’m thinking there will be some big changes.

I’m still going to race and I’m still going to race on the dirt, I’m just going to take a new focus. This year instead of spending time on regular cross country races I’m going long. Reduced schedule of races, but probably about the same number of miles raced. Right now the plan I’m hatching involves two 50 mile races and (hopefully) the Leadville 100 (assuming I get a start spot). These new races will give me a change of pace from the racing, more family time on the weekends and I think suit my riding style better (assuming I can get a handle on the race nutrition for the long events). I’m still developing the entire plan; including pondering an endurance racing coach, but I don’t really need to start training until December so I’ve got a few weeks to get everything figured out.

For this weekend though a few short rides are on the schedule.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Presidential Economic Plans - A Fighter or Actual Ideas

I keep reading stories on the upcoming election and one of the big things undecided voters keep asking for is specifics on how each candidate is going to help them. Today both campaigns promised new plans and ideas on the economy. From CNN the McCain campaign had this to say:

Earlier Monday, McCain delivered a speech that a senior aide predicted would "begin a turnaround for the campaign."
On the new tone, the aide said the campaign decided to go "back to basics" with McCain on what he can offer.
McCain told voters Monday that they should elect him because "what America needs in this hour is a fighter."
"I will fight to take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it," McCain said at a rally in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Word from the McCain campaign over the weekend had been that he would announce several economic proposals beginning today in the effort to turn around the campaign. Instead it appears Senator McCain has told America nothing more than the fact that we need a fighter.

Obama on the other hand delivered a speech on economic policy and outlined multiple points including:

Tax credits for companies creating jobs in the US
Eliminating penalties for 2008/2009 on withdrawals from 401k plans
A freeze on foreclosures for people acting in “good faith”

Obama’s plan is designed (according to his campaign) “to immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities, and help struggling homeowners”.

Clearly the economy is on everybody’s mind and an 11% increase in the stock market today is not “stabilizing” by any stretch of the imagination. I would use the term volatile. At least one candidate is actually providing details on what they want to do (though I will say McCain did outline his mortgage plan).

Can either of these guys really help the economic situation? Not single-handed, but without a comprehensive plan, besides being a fighter we won’t see any improvement.
Check out more details at the links below:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Blog

I’ve been pondering the blog a lot recently (hence the new look), what it is for, why I do it etc. It started as a way to discuss cycling and I’m pretty sure it will always do that since cycling is such an integral part of my life. Recently it has taken on more of a political focus, which I like. It might piss some people off, but really I’ve been political since I started the goal of increasing awareness on global warming. I’m a liberal and I admit it. Hell I think Obama is a conservative to be honest, but I’ll still vote for him. Maybe I could write some on my views of politics versus religion; in a lot of ways people I feel the government should address many issues a lot of church going folks feel church/religion should address. Education is another issue I keep thinking of writing about, it gets more important as Seamus gets older, which brings me to another topic I should write more about; family.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell people I’m going to start writing about all these things cause the reality is I may not. I will say I’m planning on branching out on the writing. Less cycling, more on other topics.

So let me tell you the biggest joy of my week, in some ways it ties all the “new” subjects together. I bought Seamus “Where the Sidewalk Ends” this week, he’d mentioned it a couple of times over last weekend. I ran into Adrienne walking back from the bookstore at lunch, her thought was it would be a great Christmas present (true) but I decided to give it to him that day anyway. When I got home from work I gave him the book as he sat watching tv. He immediately stopped watching whatever was on and started reading us poems as I cooked. He must have read for 30 minutes straight, talking about the poems, laughing at the pictures (and learning) it was fun.

Cyclo-Cross #4

Raced cross again today and this time in true cross weather. It was wet, cold, some rain/drizzle and mud in a few sections of the course. As to the course, well let us just say I’ve seen better. The finish was a run through sand, who has ever heard of a running finish in cyclo-cross? Also there was a ton of twisty single track. It was fun but didn’t make for great racing. Maybe I should have brought the mountain bike instead.

I ended up starting in the back row of a 60+ field and my result shows that great start position. Ended up in 36th, which all things considered wasn’t bad but clearly not very good. Given the weather I was surprised with the number of racers but I guess that is the show now. It is strange to see the different approaches to cross too. I’m using it to stay motivated and in shape until a winter break (probably starting after the first weekend in November) others are just now getting their cross game on and are getting fast. For me this is the only “effort” of the week and all other rides are short and slow, with the results beginning to show that. I may ramp up the training until the races on November 1/2 since they are part of the DBC Boulder Cup races. Big crowds, great courses make it fun to try and go fast.

I’ve been working on updating the blog too. Seemed to be getting a little stale so here it is. Adrienne said it looks generic, I prefer simple, but it is a change. Maybe if I get more motivation I’ll do some more changes.

Next up though is figuring out racing for next year. I don’t think I’m going to run a team again as I have a little too much going on and to be honest parts were a pain in the ass. I was thinking about joining another team, but have to admit racing for somebody besides Pedal Pushers doesn’t seem right. Jason and company have always treated me right so maybe I’ll go solo again and wear his shop kit (it is looking pimp these days, all black and orange). I’ll figure that out in a week or two. I also need to figure out what races to concentrate on, Winter Park, the road or endurance races, the idea of Leadville 100 is interesting, just need a lot of prep work to make finishing it realistic.

For now though it’s time to relax and help Seamus with homework.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On Friday morning I watched George Bush tell the American people to not act in fear with the stock market to quote directly from his speech,

“Good morning. Over the past few days, we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market -- much of it driven by uncertainty and fear. This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments, and their economic well-being”

And while I agree that much of the recent downturn of the global stock market is a result of fear I must ask how that fear was perpetuated? Could it be George Bush himself? Let’s not forget his statements urging America to support the economic package his team created to help with the liquidity crisis? Again his own words speak volumes.
U.S. President George W. Bush, saying "our entire economy is in danger," urged Congress to approve his administration's $700 billion bailout proposal.
"We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive actions," Bush said in a televised address Wednesday night from the White House.
Bush pointed out that the collapse of several major lenders was rooted in the subprime mortgage market that thrived over the past decade.
He said passage of the $700 billion bailout proposal was needed to restore confidence in the market.
"I'm a strong believer in free enterprise, so my natural instinct is to oppose government intervention," he said. But "these are not normal circumstances. The market is not functioning properly. There has been a widespread loss of confidence. From CNN
The heart of Bush’s speech on the 25th, it seems was to scare people into supporting his plan. Ultimately people supported it, but the fear Bush pushed has continued to prevail and the economy is paying the price. I’m sorry but you can’t have it both ways Mr. President. You can’t scare people to support your policy and then 15 days later tell them fear is the reason for the stock market problems.
Had Bush described with logic and intelligence why the economic bailout was beneficial to every American (not just as many perceived Wall Street investment banks) perhaps the stock market would have been more stable. Instead of scaring people into supporting policy, educate people on policy and get the same result. In the end Bush has reaped exactly what he sowed on September 25th, a large set of investors scared about the economy. Had he acted as a leader he would have had a bailout package and people who felt confident that the economy would turn around.
To be honest I fully supported the package put together. Was it/is it perfect? No, but it addressed the critical issues allowing banks to have confidence to loan money. This is a good thing as it gets houses built, loans for buying houses, improvements to business done in a timely fashion. The plan was not the problem, how it was marketed was the problem and we now are dealing with that poor marketing with the stock market everyday.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Presidential Election

The presidential election continues to heat up, Palin making claims about Obama hanging out with terrorists, ads on how many times Obama voted for tax increases and a general negative view from the Republicans.

The good news is that Obama is sitting around and letting McCain dictate the campaign. Today he released a web site that deals with McCain’s actions in the savings and loan crisis of the 80’s. There are some scary parallels between that economic crisis and the current liquidity crisis. Please take a few minutes to read, view and consider at

Over the weekend, John McCain's top adviser announced their plan to stop engaging in a debate over the economy and "turn the page" to more direct, personal attacks on Barack Obama.

In the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to change the subject from the central question of this election. Perhaps because the policies McCain supported these past eight years and wants to continue are pretty hard to defend.

But it's not just McCain's role in the current crisis that they're avoiding. The backward economic philosophy and culture of corruption that helped create the current crisis are looking more and more like the other major financial crisis of our time.

During the savings and loan crisis of the late '80s and early '90s, McCain's political favors and aggressive support for deregulation put him at the center of the fall of Lincoln Savings and Loan, one of the largest in the country. More than 23,000 investors lost their savings. Overall, the savings and loan crisis required the federal government to bail out the savings of hundreds of thousands of families and ultimately cost American taxpayers $124 billion.

Sound familiar?

In that crisis, John McCain and his political patron, Charles Keating, played central roles that ultimately landed Keating in jail for fraud and McCain in front of the Senate Ethics Committee. The McCain campaign has tried to avoid talking about the scandal, but with so many parallels to the current crisis, McCain's Keating history is relevant and voters deserve to know the facts -- and see for themselves the pattern of poor judgment by John McCain.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cross part 3

Well the cross race yesterday hurt. Didn’t finish near as well as I had wanted and still not sure what happened. The whole family went up to the race in Frisco to watch and then go check out the fall colors. Before enjoying the family time 45 minutes of pain in cross.
Got in a good warm-up as I expected the race to be fast from the start and have learned that getting a good start is key to having a good cross race. We started on a climb and when the gun went I didn’t.

The whole race was a cruel duality, when I rode as hard as the legs wanted to go I couldn’t breath, when I went at a comfortable (for a race) pace breathing wise the legs didn’t feel like they were under any pressure. Finally I had to settle in to a pace where I could breathe and rode a steady pace from there. I finished up in 21st, one place out of points for the cyclo-cross series. This seriously sucks as those points are key to getting a good call-up at races and therefore a good starting place.

After the race we went to Breckenridge for lunch and to check out trees changing colors. We drove up part of the Firecracker 50 course to the Sallie Barber mine. Seamus thought the abandon mine was pretty cool. We found some rocks and ore to take to school as he is studying rocks and minerals (I never did anything that in-depth in 2nd grade). The view from the mine is pretty incredible. I’ve never really stopped and looked when I’ve ridden or raced up there so it was fun to have time to enjoy the scenery.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Credit Crisis

The current liquidity crisis in America (otherwise, and poorly named, the Wall Street bailout) is an issue that should concern everyone. By not passing legislation to lessen the impact of our dried up credit market every American faces day to day impact. The biggest problem, in my view with the bill in front of Congress is not what is included/excluded but the fact that our elected officials have neglected to properly explain the impact to voters.

With no money to lend from large investment banks the smaller local banks are less able to loan money. These smaller banks are the mainstay of local businesses, loaning money to the new small business, loaning money for a home equity loan, loaning money to purchase a car. With the current limited liquidity in America credit is harder to come by. People can’t buy a new washer and drier, people can’t get a new (or used) car to get to work, and we are being impacted.

Ok, so you say I don’t need to buy anything this still doesn’t impact me. This is again a misunderstanding of how the financial markets impact each of us. With less money to loan credit card companies will start to reduce credit limit, this lessened credit has a direct impact on everybody’s credit score. A lower credit score impacts insurance rates. Even a small increase in your personal car and homeowners/renters insurance will be a noticeable impact. If we do not act to address the credit issues now very soon all of us will be impacted.

Congress, specifically the House, acted poorly on Monday. The purpose of elected officials is to put the good of the many above the good of a few. On Monday the House showed it was more concerned with the perception of local voters, not the impact not passing legislation would have on the entire country. While the current legislation may not be perfect it is better than not acting at all. On Monday the stock market lost $1 trillion far more than the budgeted $700 billion to help the credit crisis. Before assuming the only people who will benefit from this package are wealthy CEOs take the time to read and investigate how less credit (money to borrow/loan) will affect you. Then take the time to demand that your elected officials in Washington educate themselves on the issues as well and act on behalf of the country, not on behalf of their needing to be re-elected.