Saturday, December 29, 2007

pudddin' defined

A couple years back Bill and I were riding along talking about our bikes. Bill's was making a funny noise, I can't remember what is was. We talked for a few minutes about what the source of the noise might be and then decided the bike would have to go back to his buddy's shop for squeak diagnosis. The sad reality was there was no hope that either one of us would be able to fix the squeak. That is when we realized that we are both puddin's. puddin' is both a noun and an adjective.

puddin' is the antithesis of PRO (an excellent term defined on Belgium Knee Warmers). I spell it in all lower-case letters to emphasize its insignificance. It is a term close to geek. A complete and total enthusiast who is maginally competent. Someone who pays the big bucks to particiapte in the sport for the love of the sport. Someone who doesn't have a complete set of matching cycling kit for every day of the week. When I look at my group of riding buddies I see a group of puddin's.

puddin's celebrate Paris Roubaix by getting together, eating Tacos, drinking beer and cursing OLN. puddin is a triple chain ring with a 11-34 casset on a road bike. puddin' is wrapping your bars in two different colors. puddin's get their miles in when they can between earning a living and raising thier kids. puddin's might race and they might even race to win but to never race is truly puddin'. puddin' is waiting til March to come out on a ride and not care whether you get dropped. A true puddin' aspires to PRO-ness but accepts the reality of his or her puddin-ness.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My injury and recovery Epic

The purpose of this post is for me to acknowledge the shit that I am in right now. If you don't want to read my bitching about my body then skip this, it 'aint for you. its for me.

It has been hard for me to write about this. It is hard to fully acknowledged it for some time. I am resistant to put it into words because acknowledging it might mean that is has more power over me. Fact is it is so affecting my life that everyone around me must realize it as much as I do so I might as well just acknowledge it. The amount of pain that I've been in has really started to take a toll on me.

It is not that I am in that much pain. I mostly don't have much pain at all when I sit still it is just when I move around. Getting up and walking take mental effort to prepare for. Sit straight, straighten the back. Find a place to put the hands. Thrust the chest forward. Rise. Put full weight on legs. Wait for a shot of pain. Bear the pain. Mentally calm down the spasming hip flexor or glute or whatever and get ready too take the first step while waiting for the next shot of pain to hit the hip flexor. After that I am pretty OK to keep moving... Walking. If you can call it that. I've got this stiff backed, straight legged hobble where I lead with might right foot and left hip respectively. Being like this for day and weeks has spread to other parts of my body. My back was all racked up two weeks ago when I went to Dirk the PT's office. My left middle back was all spasmed and my right side felt like I had been kicked in the ribs. He set me straight though. The mission that week was focus on stretching the side body and ab work focusing on the right side.

I went and saw Alice the massage therapist the next week. She said that the aches and pains and sore muscles are like a toothpaste tube. When we work on one spot, the inflammation will move to another part of my body. Push here bulge there. That is really true. Lately it has been my left hip flexor that is tight and sore. So I've stretched, heated massaged... The inflammation moves out and next it is my right glute that hurts. I am chasing it all around my body. I want to just move it out! I called the acupuncturist today to try for an appointment. They are closed this week. I am ready to go back to that. Perhaps I'll right about that experience in the future. Not now.

Since I've had this blog, I've had this shit going on. I haven't written much about how I got like this because I am not completely sure what all happened. Since my primary goal in life is to get through this stage of my life I might as well explore it here.

Last Spring, in early April I was going great. I was getting real fast on the bike with a bigger endurance base than I've ever had. I was strong in the core. I could drive hard across flats while in the drops for long stretches. My climbing was getting strong. I hit my PB time on Prospector (the most difficult local climb.) I was stretching regularly and doing lots of good core work. I was going great. Then one day my neck felt sore. Then it spread to my shoulder then my shoulder because so sore I went to the orthopedist to get a cortisone shot. That helped a little. But it kept on. Of course I kept training form my big ride in July the Death Ride.

May and I was still getting stronger and doing lots of hill repeats. Then June I eased up and did easier but longer rides to consolidate my gains. I felt good but my shoulder was really really getting sore. Some where in there walking got really uncomfortable but I sucked it up and kept riding. I did yoga and got a foam roll, and started doing exercises that Dirk suggested. The shoulder started to ease up. I did death ride with my best time yet and taking 1hr of my previous best.

Then I redoubled my efforts away from training and back to healing. I went to acupuncture and PT and had massages and started to feel much better. In early August after it pretty easy, I did a 50 mile solo ride with an average speed of 19 MPH. I did a bunch of miles that week and was going great. Then in Mid August I started feeling sore. I can't actually remember how I started back then but i think it was my left hip flexor that was buggin' me.

So I went back to Dirk and he discovered that my pelvis was out of alignment. So we put it back in which is another thing I should write about separately. Then I discovered that my saddle, a WTB laser V was all collapsed on one side. I was riding around all cockeyed for god knows how long. I replaced the saddle and started doing the squats and lunges that Dirk prescribed. I started feeling better until early September when my buddy knocked me down on a dance floor. I felt my pelvis go out then and there. I went home in pain and tried to stretch my way out of it for a week before I went back to Dirk. I started on the path again... And had a series of stupid accidents that knocked me down and knocked my pelvis out again and again...

So now. My pelvis just goes out of alignment on its own with a good stretch. My challenge is to rebuild strength in my core to the point that it will hold together.

My goal now is to get pain free. To get to where I can walk normally and then, to get to where I can run. Then to race cross in the fall. Strong and fast. The hardest part right now is not knowing when I am going to be able to start real riding again.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My rebelious body

I'm in the two steps forward part of my two step forward one step backward recovery process. I went to PT and MT yesterday. I am able to sleep on my side and to get out of bed without excruciating pain now. On Monday I walked out of Yoga feeling like a normal human for the first time in a long time. I went to the gym on Tuesday and today as well. Just light stuff. Right now the thing that is flaring up is the hib flexor. Sitting in a chair all day doesn't help.
If I can avoid the one step backward step this week then I am gonna be golden. We'll see...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Jibberish

Well, Its been a busy week in Puddinville. The pain has been washing over the body from the hip flexors to the back and ribs to where from day to day I couldn't tell you which was worse. It was one of those steps backwards in the two steps forward and one step backward recovery that I have been running lately.

Went and saw PT Dirk yesterday and sure enough my pelvis was back out of joint again. I didn't have to crash off my bike or anything glorious for it to happen. My torso is so mushy right now I can pull the pelvis out by stretching too hard. Nice. I've been avoiding ab work because the ribs have been hurting. That is starting to improve; I did limited mobility ab work last night to isolate the rib cage away from the pain and it seemed to be OK. I feel better today. The left hip flexor is still painful and weird. I wonder if the pelvis has already pulled out of join since yesterday. I am so paranoid right now...

Lots going on in the world. Too much to comment on all of it. The Fed seems like it is hell bent on pushing the bubble off the cliff. Bush seems like he is still unwilling to take responsibility for anything he does. The Dems are still afraid to stand up to the Reps. And the whole world is in deep doo-doo.

I hope I can get on my bike this weekend and forget about it all for a while.

Link Dump:
Residential Wind Power: NY Times
Holyer than they: Times
Worth Listening or reading: Al Gore Nobel Laureate
Up to the moment: Cross Nats

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Today from Move On


It is good to be busy at work. The pipeline is up and for good reasons. There are deals to be had in this market. It is nice to be working hard but I am not getting much work in on the bike. Legs are still sore. Ribs still feel broke even though I've been to the Chrio and to Massage therapist. Cant do core work because the ribs hurt and had to skip riding this week because I couldn't deal with the pain of breathing deeply. My attitude is mostly hanging in there though. I try not to get too tweaked, and right now riding hurts more than not riding so it is a bit easier to not ride.

I've been reading American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. It is an awesome, well done book that draws direct parallels between the current American fascist movement and ones that the world has had to contend with in the past. One of the concepts that is so disturbing is Dominionism which espouses the replacement of our current form of government with a sort of christian caliphate.

Its most common form, Dominionism, represents one of the most extreme forms of
Fundamentalist Christianity thought. Its followers, called Dominionists, are
attempting to peacefully convert the laws of United States so that they match
those of the Hebrew Scriptures. They intend to achieve this by using the freedom
of religion in the US to train a generation of children in private Christian
religious schools. Later, their graduates will be charged with the
responsibility of creating a new Bible-based political, religious and social
order. One of the first tasks of this order will be to eliminate religious
choice and freedom. Their eventual goal is to achieve the "Kingdom of God" in
which much of the world is converted to Christianity. They feel that the power
of God's word will bring about this conversion. No armed force or insurrection
will be needed; in fact, they believe that there will be little opposition to
their plan. People will willingly accept it. All that needs to be done is to
properly explain it to them.

This is the sort of thing that reasonable people need to decry if we are to preserve our democracy.

Link Dump:
Buffet on the Mortgage Crisis and income Gap: SF Gate
Wackos Shooting Each Other: NRA's wet dream
Weak Dem: Alternet
Every little bit helps: NY Times

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I've got a house full of family and plenty of food. It seems like a good time to reflect on what I am grateful for.

  • My Wife, the chickenhawk. 20 years and she is my best friend, confidant and playmate. She is waaay hot too.

  • My kids: the sweetest girls in the world that bring me joy humility and make me a better man.

  • Health: I've got a lot of health around me. The family is all healthy. I am working on being perfect. Despite my maladies, it could be a lot worse.

  • My Home. My house it perfect; Small, unassmuptive warm, inviting and not too much of a burden.
  • My Family, they made me who I am and I like what I've got.
  • My Community; The valley is rich with great people who really truly care about each other and have a great time playing together. Truly a blessing.

I could go on all day. Despite all the bitching I do about my recovery, pain and lack of riding I've got it really really good.

I did ride the trainer yesterday at low intensity for .5 hour. I also did squats and lunges. I've still go the front hip pain but it is getting better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Black Mood

Two weeks since the last time my pelvis went out of joint. I've still got a lot of pain today. I haven't walked normal for months.

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

I took yet another Alleve today. God knows what it is doing to my kidneys. Such a hard call, to try to move the inflammation out medically and speed the recovery or tough it out and wait for the pain to go. Life without pain is becoming more of a memory than a reality. I am believing in it less and less.

I see a line of cars and they're all painted black
With flowers and my love, both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby it just happens ev'ryday

Days of spending hours in the saddle sweating, rolling, pushing power into the pedals. It is like a distant hope. I'm trying to look forward to it. Trying to count my blessings. It is just hard. I feel like I am missing crucial part of my life by staying off the bike.

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black

My gut is starting to get fat. My legs are loosing their muscle and definition. My max heart rate is dropping by the day. Fitness is going away. I know I can get it back. I look forward to working on it. I just wish it could be now.

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not forsee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I'd like to top out a big climb feeling strong and ready for a couple more. I'd like to take a sprint once in a while. I'd like to feel like the cookies I am eating were earned. I'd like to come back from a big training ride and eat the frickin kitchen.

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Hmm, hmm, hmm...
I wanna see it painted black, painted black
Black as night, black as coal I wanna see the sun, blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Mark Morford is brilliant. I read him as often as I can. Here is a link to his 11/14 column on . The premise is outrage fatigue. Consider this

"Smart, informed outrage engages you and fires your heart, your mind. It is fuel. It is the reason you claim you enjoy being an American, to question malevolent government actions and take a stand and demand accountability where there has, for the past seven years, been none. Bottom line: We simply cannot let them convince us, by way of an all-out assault on science, sex, love, et al, that the good fight just ain't worth fighting."

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I can't belive the shit that people get up in arms about these days. Ellen DeGeneres's whining about a dog adoption. Brittany Spears in her latest escapade. Give me a fucking break. There are some real things to be outraged about.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Car

Last week oil topped out at $97 a gallon. It was too much for me. Gas prices around here are at 3.45 a gallon. That was the last straw. I have been eyeballing the Honda Fit for some time. I went out and bough one this weekend. The Chickenhawk thought it was a good idea. The truck is going up for sale and that will just about pay for the new sled.

It is far from manly, when I pulled up at Curits's the other day tom said it looks like a bitch car. I dont care. Keep driving your 15 MPG tundra bubba. I'll save my sheckles for bike parts and beer.
I've gotta go find some racks for it now. The bike fits in the back but not with the kiddles riding in there too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


From NPR's All Things Considered today: Ahmed Raza Kasuri, senior legal adviser to Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, tells Michele Norris that the extraordinary steps Musharraf has recently taken are no different than what the U.S. did after the Sept. 11 attacks. He says they are necessary to bring peace to the country.

Link to the story.

This is worth the listen: The adviser tells Norris that the US has no right to point the finger at .Pakistan since we have basically been doing the same thing since 911 in the name of security

And he is right. The U.S. has lost all credibility in the world stage when it comes to human rights and due process of the law.

Thanks a lot Bush.

Lunch Ride

I unabashedly took a 2 hour lunch and went for a ride around lake natoma. It felt great to loosen up the legs after last night's squats and lunges. I am trying to get the volume up a bit this week so that the fitness will start coming back. It feels like it is working so far. Soon I'll be able to do some core work again. I can hardly wait the spare tire is starting to grow back.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Staging a Comeback

I have done it several times. Like two years ago when I broke my arm and spent 6 weeks off the bike. Or last year when i went on an extended vacation and didn't get my hear rate over 100 the whole time. But this one feels a little bit bigger. The good news is I am back on my bike with only the regular, suffering thorugh a bike ride, pain.

I re joined my Sunday group ride for the first time in about two months. I was happier than a pig in shit. We rolled out down 49, thanks guys for going the least step way, and out to Cool. Then up 193 to Greenwood. Some of us went home from there but the rest went up past gtown to Wentworth springs rd. I've gotta check the mileage but it is 30 or 40. To do the loop with some pretty respectable climbing in there.

I was slow. I meann slower than usual. We rolled out slow and respectable. It was great sitting in the pack. Whenever the pace picked up, I went straight out the back. Fine with me. I did a lot of the ride at z4-5 and by myself. It just felt good to be out on a beautiful warm November morning. And even better to finish the ride and be able to walk normally. Huzzah!

I am really looking forward to spending the winter months regaining base and then working on a rebuild of power. Come April there is going to be a faster, stronger me that doesn't get injured from muscle imbalances because I've learned yet another hard lesson in the school of road biking fitness.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Great Article from John Nichols at The Nation:

"Broadcast media's gate-keeping "stars" have done just about everything in their power to keep the matter of presidential accountability off the radar of the American people. That was evident during the most recent Democratic presidential debate, when NBC anchors Brian Williams and Tim Russert meticulously avoided following up on Congressman Dennis Kucinich's three references to impeachment but somehow found time to grill the contenders on UFOs and what costume Barack Obama would be wearing on Halloween. "

No Shit!

What are they thinking and why are they ignoring the calls?

"The greater level of support for impeaching Cheney parallels the few nationwide figures that have been ascertained. When the American Research Group conducted a national survey in early July of this year, it found that 54 percent of American adults wanted the House to begin impeachment proceedings against Cheney -- with 76 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of independents and a striking 17 percent of Republicans favoring the step.
Forty-six percent of Americans surveyed backed impeachment proceedings against Bush -- with support for impeachment at 69 percent among Democrats, 50 percent among independents and 13 percent among Republicans.
What is notable is that, when Time magazine surveyed Americans in the late spring of 1974, after the Watergate scandal had evolved into a full-scale crisis of confidence in Nixon's presidency, only 43 percent favored impeachment."

What is wrong with our freakin government that they have stopped listening to us? The whole system needs a reboot.

Check on KK

Kelley has moved to UC Davis and is fighting hard to recover. Julie M. Has posted a blog to help keep track of her progress. You can go there to find out the latest.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I feel like I spend a lot of my time bitching about my pains and my recovery blah blah blah. I am ready to move beyond that right now. I've got two count 'em two friends that are in the dire straights health wise. I've got a lot to feel gratitude about. Terry, the toughest women I have ever had a chance to ride with, just got diagnosed with some sort of brain tumors that I can't spell well enough to google it. What ever the hell it is it aint good.

Kelley is the toughest chick I know. She has been through more injuries and recoveries than most pro football players. Then BAM a fricking virus comes along and paralyzes her from the waist down. She has a chance of recovery but holy crap, I cant imagine being in either one of their shoes. Either way I've got no business complaining about my sore legs or anything else.

I am grateful for:
My wife
my kids
my health
my job
my house
my bikes
my community
my wealth
the list goes on. I am sooooo lucky and life is so beautiful I can hardly stand it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Two Steps Forward...

Yesterday went home feeling like a million bucks. I spent an hour during lunch at the gym doing squats, lunges and hip ab/aductors and a bunch of Yoga. I told the Chickenhawk that I was feeling the best I've felt in months. The next time I say that I wouldn't be surprised if I immediately fell on my ass and broke my leg or something. Note to self... Don't say that anymore!

So this morning David joins me for the regular lake ride. Coming into a corner we miscommunicated about which way we are going and he takes out my front wheel. I unclipped in time to put a foot down and landed on my right hip. I tell ya! that is the fourth time something like that has happened in as many months. It didn't really hurt at the moment and now 4 hours later i still feel OK but I suspect the pelvis is back out again. I'm going to see Dirk to get my body checked out yet again. Hopefully I'll move through this quickly and keep on with my low key training for now.

Of Note: After 7 years and god knows how many miles of road riding, this was my first time to touch the pavement on / from a road bike.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Welcome to Mountain Biking Kid

They say that in road biking if you crash often you are doing something wrong and with Mountain Biking if you don't crash fairly often you are not trying hard enough. Well I did not have that in mind when I took my kids out for their first mountain bike ride last weekend.

Daughter 1 who is 6 just learned to ride a two wheeled bike just three weeks ago. Daughter 2 and I have been shredding on the tag-a-long bike for a year but #1 never really took to it. She is a control freak at an early age. Well, D1 has at least 5 miles and 30 hours of riding under her belt it is time for her first Mountain bike ride.

We headed out on Sunday to a local trail. There is a loop that the chickenhawk and I can do in about 10 minutes if we hurry. Single track contours around a big hill most of the way. There is very little elevation gained or lost and the trail mostly smooth packed dirt. Mostly.

Rolling out the girls were amazed by the amount of horse poop on the trail. I had to talk to them about not yelling about it every time they saw the stuff. After about 10 yells in .5 mile it was getting old. We rolled along through the woods. Me leading with D2 on the tag-a-long with D1 on her hand me down single speed 12incher with some sweet coaster breaks brining up the rear. I keep talking to D1 as we go, "Are you OK?"
"Yes Daddy."
"Are you having fun?"
"This is great Daddy!"
"Are you back there?"
"Wait up Daddy."

And so it went for a mile or two. Then we came to a small downhill. The kind that would make a rather boring single track ride interesting. Maybe 10 feet of elevation lost in 30 horizontal feet, and there are some small rocks exposed.

I slow down and start yelling for her to slow down. Stop at the bottom, yell warnings again, and here she comes full speed no brakes. She bumps down the incline and crashes and burns at the bottom. Daughter 2 and I set the bike down and run to her. D2 starts talking about the cut lip. I dont see it. I just hold her to my chest in my best daddy bear hug. After a minute I hold her away a little and see she's has got a fat lip and about 1/8th of a thimble full of blood.

Disaster narrowly averted. We regroup and the trouper D1 gets back on her 12incher and rides the 1.5 mile back to the car. The crying kept going for a while but afer she started focusing on the riding she was laughing again.

We stopped for popsicles on the way home. I figured the cold would be good for the swelling and we all needed a little treat. I've got some tough kids, they must have got it from their mother.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well Awright

Did the standard loop this AM. Stayed in z2 the whole way. The hips are feeling better and not too sore afterwards. Damn it feels good to ride with out pain.

An employee gave notice today. She has been with me for 2 years and is a great member of the team. Not completley a bad thing rght now since we needed to cut costs with the market slow-down anyway. It doesn't stop me from feeling sad.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pain: tolerable but not high.

I don’t want to start at the beginning because it is too long ago after all I am 40 years old. And that is a big part of the problem. My body is just plain not what it used to be. I could go on with the catalog of stuff that hurts for too long. I’d rather focus on the recovery and come back.

My goals for the winter are:
1. To be pain free.
2. To be able to run.
3. To go in to next year with good base fitness.

I got to this miserable place in part because I have been pushing through too much pain. So now I don’t trust myself to not go too hard.
My PT rocks! He really has helped me through these weird injuries I keep getting. I asked him yesterday how much pain I should allow myself to ride with. He says, “it is probably not a good idea to try to push through the pain but to keep it a tolerable (but not high) level.”
So I’ve got a mission. I’ve got to drive to ride for a while so I can ride flats. It is all climbing in my neck of the woods. So it is off to Lincoln on Sunday. I’ll see if I can get any of the veloloco boys to go with but I’m not holding my breath