A not so happy ending to a good day

I took Justin’s mountain bike to go ride with Dave last night up at Ridgline.  It was great.  But the result of riding his bike is not.

Yesterday started out pretty good.  I was staying at Geoff’s house over in Springfield and woke up from a great night of sleep.  I’m staying there for the next two weeks while he and Annah are in California.  And I might paint the exterior if the weather permits.  I made a big breakfast and rode over to the bike shop under a warm and sunny sky.  I was feeling good, happy.  Every day brings me one day closer to training! 

So I got to the shop at 10ish and the guys and I did a little clean up at the shop.  It was lookin real nice, very spic and span.  We were ready for some serious business, especially since I had 3 confirmed customers coming in to buy bikes.  We were definitly going to exceed our $2,000 quota for the day, ensuring our bonuses for the week.  (Gilad and Levi are at Interbike this week so Zack, Colin, Dave, and I have been left to run the  shop on our own.  And we each get a bonus if we average $2,000 for the day). 

But yesterday proved to be the slowest day ever.  Not one of those people came in and bought a bike.  But not to worry.  I stayed busyish anyways.  I rode down the stairs in the shop on Gilad’s DH bike (about 20 steps).  I have no mountain biking skills, so I wore a full face helmet and shin guards.  I did not crash.  The rest of the day Dave and I tuned our manual, bunny hop, and stair jumping skills outside in the parking lot.  I was able to ride up a flight of 5 stairs, and learned how drop off them too.  We ordered a couple pizzas for lunch and just hung out all day attempting to get customers to come in.

Which brings us to the point in the story where Dave and I went to ride Ridgeline.  I got permision to ride Justin’s Kona Kula Deluxe 29er single speed.  I tore it up the climbs and Dave tore it up on the descents.  It was a great ride and we got back after dark.

I stopped by Mike’s house to see what everyone was up to later that night, and was surprised to see Andrew, Karey, Chris, Mike, Mckenzie, Leeahnn, and Steve already getting ready to eat.  They had called me but I left my phone back at Geoff’s that morning.  So I rushed over to Springfield to throw on some clothes and drop the bike off at the house.  But I realized that I had forgotten the keys and my wallet at the shop, which was now locked and closed up for the night.  I jumped Geoff’s back fence and tried to get in a window, but it was locked.  So I reached through the cat door of the back door to unlock it from the inside.  But I forgot about the chain like up above–where I couldn’t reach with my arm.  So I squeezed through the cat door to my waist and got the door unlocked.  But I couldn’t get out of the cat door.  I struggled there for about five minutes before I finally managed to get out by taking my shirt off and exhaling as much as possible. 

I got back to Mike’s and ate dinner while we tried to figure out how to get my Wallet, which had my ID in it, from the shop.  We were going out to the bars, which is why I needed my ID.  Zack had the shop keys, so I tried to find out how to get in contact with him.  I ended up finding his parents in the phone book and calling them up for his cell number.  But his phone was on silent so it took forever for him to answer it.

We met up with Derek and hung out at the downtown bars  and met up with a bunch of people there, and almost got into a fight with a group of guys that worked at Paul’s Bicyle Way of Life.  (just kidding, we all hit it off great). 

So anyways, I walked home to Mike’s house and called it a night.  BUT…

Here’s the crappy part: I left Justin’s pimped-out Kona in the back of Andrew’s car earlier that night (very stupid).  And when Andrew got back to it to drive home, he found a hole in his window and an empty car.  The thief stole $1,000 in cash from Andrew’s car (left there from earlier in the day when he sold his stereos for his Power Tap money).  They also jacked his ipod, back pack, and oh yeah….Justin’s $3,000 bike.  So I’m going to sell my Kona Zing Supreme to pay Justin back (I already gave the Cervelo back to the shop).

If you want to buy a 60cm 2007 Zing Supreme, I’m selling it for $1,500.  It retailed new for $3,000. 

I found out about the theft this morning, which made me need to write about it to get it off my mind.  I went out riding around town for an hour searching for the thief and imagining what I would do to him if I found him.  I hope he/she dies a slow horrible death caused by all that meth he/she bought with the stolen stuff.


I took the train up to portland yesterday after a night of mayham, which I cannot talk about.  The train left at 5 AM, and I planned on waking up at 4:30 and running over there from Larry’s place.  But my cell phone battery died and my alarm never went off so I slept in, but caught the next train.  (reader’s note: I hate taking Amtrak.  I hate it with a vengance.  One time I spent 5.5 hours going from Oregon City to Eugene because the freight cars kept forcing us off the track.  I could have ridden my bike from Sherwood  (my parent’s house) to Eugene in that amount of time.  Another time I was charge extra for not picking up my ticket at the ticket booth.  I was furious and swore loudly at the ticket guy, who was being a jerk about it.  Another time I didn’t have my photo ID with me and they wouldn’t let me on the train for security reasons.  What is a terrorist going to do on a train?  Run it into a building?  Take the three other passengers on board as hostages?  I ended up having to hitch hike up to Portland that day.  Plus they didn’t give me my money back from the pre-paied ticket I purchased.  The list goes on and on.)

I arrived at the train station and walked around freezing cold Oregon City until my brother, Galen, came and picked me up, an hour late.  When we got home, we got Thomas (our dog) into a frenzie and he bit both of us in the hamstring as we ran around the house playing keep away with his squeeky toy.  Thomas is a big white husky-type dog called a Samoyed.  He is very insane at times and gets a crazed look in his eye when you run away from him.

That afternoon we headed out to explore some caves.  Two of Galen’s friends came with us, Chi and Quinn.  We all forgot to bring a camera, so you’ll just have to imagine what the cave looked like.

A small opening in the ground was our entry point.  We squeezed into the hole and turned out headlamps on.  The inside of the cave became moister and colder as we descended, climbing and pulling our way down into the earth between giant boulders.  This cave system was formed when a massive avalanche of house-sized boulders came careening off the side of the cliff that towers above the entire cave-sight area.

We explored different caverns and pushed ourselves through tiny openings for about an hour when we decided to try a different cave.  This one seemed to be a dead end.  We had tried every passage and hadn’t made it farther down than two or three stories.  We climbed up the vertical shaft, heading for daylight.  But we found a new crack to slither through, which prooved to open into a number of different rooms.  The size of the caverns were no bigger than a very small room, but sometimes pretty tall or very long and wide.  But for the most part, we were hunched over or on our hands and knees.  An example of the conversation as we explored different caverns:

“Woohh, this is huge.”

“That’s what she said.”

“I don’t think you can fit through that hole.”

“That’s what she said.”

“It’s a tight fit.”

“That’s what she said.”

Don’t blame me, they’re all in high school.  I had no part in this kind of talk.

The cold wet rocks were sharp and cut into us as we scrambled on our stomachs through a tiny crack that lead into another series or rooms.  We had brought string with us to lay down a trail so we wouldn’t get lost, but we hadn’t actually laid any down at this point.  Good plan…

We all got through the crack and explored the new cavern’s exit points until we found that it was a dead end.  I suggested we turn our lights off for a few minutes, so we sat down and enjoyed some pure darkness.  Although there was no light down there, we could all imagine seeing faint outlines of our hands in front of our faces as we waved them in front of our eyes.

We headed back to the surface, but ended up getting a bit turned around and lost.  We were climbing straight up a 15 foot chimney when a giant boulder shifted and clamped down on Chi’s hand.  It pinned him there as he dangled from his trapped hand; his feet flung about wildly, trying to find a foot-hold.  I got over to him and pushed the boulder off his pinned hand and he scrambled up the rest of the way.  Galen finally found the way out and Quinn and Chi let out a sigh of relief; they had been panicking just a little by this point.  Another 15 minutes of climbing and squirrming through the boulders and we got out into the warm open air, which had turned from a sunny afternoon to a cloudy night sky.

I was goning to meet with some people about the team today, but that’s not happening.  So we’re going to go back and explore a different cave today.


I don’t have very much to talk about now that I’m off the saddle.  Life is a little more…meaningless.  And boring.  It seems like I don’t have a reason for getting up in the morning, or getting dressed, making plans for the day, or eating.  The eating thing is the biggest change.  I am used to eating once when I get up at breakfast, once after I eat breakfast as I head out the door, once in class, once when I get home from class, once before my ride, during the ride, after the ride, dinner, food at a friend’s house later that evening, and maybe a snack before bed.  The sole reason for my existence was not to ride, but to eat.  I thought about food all day long: as I fell asleep at night, in my dreams, as I got up in the middle of the night to pee, as I woke up, in class I thought about what food I would eat when I got home, on the bike I would fantasize about all the food I wanted to eat but didn’t have back at home.  But now I no longer think about food.  And I don’t think about training or racing.  So what the hell am I supposed to do now?  Girls?  Yes, but not 24 hours a day.  Working at the shop?  No.  The new team?  Yeah, but I certainly don’t fantasize about it as I go to sleep at night.  Well I do a little, actually.  But my point is–I hate the off season.  The bars/parties are already getting old, TV sucks, movies are boring, sleeping is boring (another thing I used to look forward to), and eating the cheap, bad-tasting food that I am used to eating no longer tastes amazing because I don’t have a humongous appetite.  Anyways I’m rambling now.  I had a good idea for a post/story but I forgot what it was and I was left with this garbage of a post.  Oh well.  I may be going climbing/caving with my brother up in Portland this weekend (I’m also going up to talk to some people about the team.)  Or I’ll be down here in Eugene, where I’ll get to go ride horses with AlexAnne.

Other news.  I am sad to say that I just left Mike and Steve’s house.  It was a comfortable couch and I enjoyed living there eating their food for the past two weeks and using their shower, but my time was up.  Now I’m at Larry and Will’s couch.  I’ll leave you with a thought:

If you were a sea lion, would you rather live in great white territory or orca territory?

How much money would it take for you to not speak for an entire year?

If you believe in patriotism, is it a good idea to support your country’s decisions no matter what? 

If you had to choose between only eating cheese-its or cream cheese and pretzels for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

On second thought…

After consulting with my business partners I’ve come to a new conclusion. “Why don’t you just use more helicopters?”  They asked.  “True,” I thought.  “Maybe a million helicopters.”  And then I thought—No just ONE giant helicopter that will take one trip.  Much simpler.

The Cleansing of the Midwest

I’ve been in Eugene the past week working on the new team.  So far it’s been a little depressing.  A number of bike companies are interested in us, but no luck with money sponsors.  I was hoping I could nail down a half million in the first week, but I think it might be a bit more difficult than I thought.  

Other then the team business, I’ve been having fun catching up with friends down here.  I’m currently chilling at Mike’s place on his roommate’s couch.  My search for a place to live only lasted a day.  I’m waiting for an opportunity to bring itself to me now, like waiting for the right break to go in.  I suspect Mike and his roommates may have a different opinion.

Here’s a quick blurb about an idea that has been coming up in conversations around here lately: If one was to fill the entire Midwest with water to make another ocean, how many giant helicopters would it take to complete the task?  We’re talking about filling everything between the Appalachians and the Rockies.  The reason for doing this is that we don’t want or need anything from those states other than corn.  And instead of eating so much corn we’ll eat more fish.  But there aren’t any fish left in the current oceans that exist.  So we’ll fill the new ocean with tons and tons of fish.  30-foot genetically modified sturgeons.  

The biggest helicopter can carry 28 tons.  To find out how many trips it would take an army of helicopters (say 187,023 helicopters), we need to figure out the area we need to fill.  It’s roughly 1,000 miles by 1,000 miles.  That’s 1,000,000 square miles.  And we need to have that ocean at least a mile deep.  So it will take one million cubic miles of water.  A cubic foot of water is 62 pounds.  there are 2,000 pounds in a ton.  that means there are 32 cubic feet of water in a ton.  Multiply that by 28 (the number of tons that one of these choppers can carry) and you get 896.  Round that sucker up to 1,000 because I’m guessing these choppers could carry a bit more weight if we gave them Nos. injectors.  There are 5,280 feet in a mile and 16,169,472,000 feet in a cubic mile.  Multiply that number by 1,000,000 cubic miles and you get 161,694,720,000,000,000 feet in a million cubic miles.  Multiply that by 62 for to get the pounds in a million cubic miles.  Then you get 10,025,072,640,000,000,000 pounds of water in a million cubic miles.  Divide that by 1,000 (the number of cubic feet a chopper can carry).  That equals 10,025,072,640,000,000.  Then divide that by 187,023 helicopters and you get 5,360,342,118 trips each chopper has to take.  That’s a lot of trips.  Costly. but do-able. and of course worthwhile.

Sponsor search for 2009

The Life Cycle elite team is on its search for sponsors for the 2009 season.  We’ll be taking a young team of local Eugenians, as well as a couple guys from Israel, to compete in Europe and the States.  We will be competing in Belgium during the early spring, and NRC races throughout the rest of the year.  Funding-wise, it’s going to cost a bit.  So far I’ve put all my marbles into winning the lottery.  Gilad wanted me to start pan-handling, but that’s just stupid.  Any leads in our funding endeavors is appreciated.  If you happen to stumble upon a lost bag marked $$$, send it our way.

The team is also expanding its women, men, and masters cat 5,4,3, and 2 squads.  If you’re thinking of switching teams, why not join the team with the coolest looking jersey?  They’re even better than last year!  

It costs a lot to feed a Belgian work horse like this one.

Things I’ll Miss

I’m back in Oregon and the season is over at last.  I don’t want it to be, but the legs aren’t willing to go any further.  It seems an impossibility that I won’t get to race again for half a year.  An eternity.  I’ve gotten pretty addicted to cycling this past year, and there are some things that I’m already missing.

I miss the smell of carbon break pads burning up on a steep descent,
the taste of mold in old water bottles,
the subsiding of pain in the last 500 meters, when pain no longer exists,
six-hour days in the rain and snow, followed by two more hours on the trainer back at home,
the relief of the warm Arizona sun in mid December after weeks of cold Oregon rain,
mom jokes during Monday night workouts,
rubbing the rear wheel of an angry Belgian through a tight corner,
bone-jarring cobblestones,
getting home and pigging out after six-hour days in the cold,
Nectar Way torture,
Clydesdales in European fields,
goggle and helmet strap tan lines,
the content feeling of hearing the clash of metal on pavement behind you in the peleton,
the pain of numb toes regaining warmth in the shower,
ice baths in January,
pulling through when you’re so tired it’s suicide,
long van rides with teammates through eastern Oregon,
explaining to Gilad why you didn’t win,
compression sock life style,
living out of a duffle bag,
jamming earplugs in as far as they can possibly go, attempting to blot out the snoring in a crowded room,
jam on bread, jam on bread, jam on bread, more jam on bread, jam on bread,
the loud squeaking, chipped paint, old tires, crap chain, and untrue wheels of a four-month old bike,
the intoxicating flavor of jam on bread with Nutella, after weeks of just jam on bread,
the cruel length of five-minute uphill intervals on Fox Hollow,
Wolf Creek in the rain, snow, sleet, sun, hail, but mainly rain,
High Rev. mochas at gas stations right before bonking, (try it)
the first week with a new chamois,
discovering new calf veins,
crushing souls,
all day breakaways,
the rare victory.