Diaper ice packs

Let’s say you come home after another long, hard five hours on the road. Your legs are sore, tired, and beginning to fill with blood at a breathtaking rate–prolonging the time it takes to recover. What do you do? Every cyclist knows the answer to this question. It’s easy. First, of course, you take a recovery drink. Hop in a hot shower for a bit. Stretch. And then cover your legs with diapers. It sooo simpo!!!


They work. I finally found a way to cool down my legs without spending a fortune on ice baths or ice packs. Although now the freezer is completely full of frozen diapers. I’d like to have one more on top of each shin, another for the quad, and one for each butt cheek, but like I said the freezer is packed.  So I just shift them around.


Yes my tan lines keep getting worse, despite sunscreen.

Directions to make your own diaper bags:

Buy some diapers. I bought the jumbo size for 22-37 pound babies. (Unused.  Don’t make the same mistake as me.)
Open it up and saturate the chamois part with agua.
Fold it back up and stick it in a zip lock bag. I use two diapers per bag.

Thanksgiving ride

The weather was great today.  65 degrees with clouds and a bit of sun. I got dumped on during the last 15 minutes of the ride, and the cool rain felt great. I pushed it somewhat hard for the last three hours, which put my average watts at 268 for five hours. I’m down to 170 lbs, and I don’t think I’ve lost any power, especially after feeling so at ease today.  When I got home, Aaron and Tony had already started the turkey. We made mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing too. Plus pie.  The stuffing was the best I’ve ever had. There were two sticks of butter in it. Amazing.


Chops vs. the uhhh….turkey neck.

Ice pack mayham

Today I had one of those rides where everything goes perfectly.  First of all, today has been the coldest it’s been since I first got here.  It was a cool 70 degrees with overcast skies, which meant today has been the first day I haven’t overheated.  Even though I’ve been down here for three weeks now, I’m still not used to 85 and 90 degree temps yet, considering I came from 50 to 60 degree days up in Eugene.  So the weather today felt great.

I rode out to the base of Mt. Lemmon, filled my bottles at the McDonald’s, and rode up into the clouds to Windy Ridge, 14 miles up.  My legs felt great, easily pushing 260 to 320 watts without any fatigue.  I ate my first bite of food at two hours, and shortly after turned around back down the mountain.  The descent went by quickly and I rode back to the outskirts of town to the McDonald’s for another water refill.  From there, I headed back to the mountain, and rode up at a quick pace, getting to the 18 mile post with ease.  I figured 32 miles of climbing and about 10,000 feet of elevation was good for the day, and sped back down the mountain and got home with only having to yell at and flip off one driver the entire day.

I came home to find all my homemade ice packs lying in the sink with their insides leaking out, some already just empty, wet zip lock bags.  A note on top of the pile of bags in the sink read, “salt ice packs=huge fucking mess in the freezer” with a frowny face.   After making a small test bag filled with salt water a few days ago, I went to the store, bought a thing of salt and a box of zip lock bags.  I should have bought the real zip locks instead of the cheap store brand, but I saved a buck doing so.  My second error was not paying attention to the failed test bag I had made.  It worked well for a day, but then started leaking and I had to throw it away.  For some reason, I figured bigger bags would mean less leaking.  Wrong.

The bags leaked and filled the freezer with 2 inches of salt water, which one of my roommates (TJ) kindly cleaned up for me.  But the mess doesn’t end there.  While I was making the bags yesterday, I laid them out on the counter.  They were already leaking at this point, so I quickly put them in the freezer to start freezing and therefor stop leaking.  Those few minutes of counter leakage were enough to cover the counter tops with huge, white salt crystals.  I keep wiping them off with water, but the salt won’t go away.  And it’s not just the one counter I set the bags on, it’s ALL of the counters.  I think the salt crystal disease outbreak spread to the other counters due to “Used Sponge Transfer,” or UST.  UST not only causes the spreading of salt crystal disease, but can also be attributed to many other Counter Top Dysfunctions (CTD’s) .  Such as: hot sauce saturation, which gives everything a hint of hot sauce because the sponge used to clean the dishes was saturated with hot sauce that spilled everywhere on the counter.  (Maybe not a bad thing, actually).  Another CTD caused by UST is dog hair infestation.  The sponge drops onto the floor, gets a healthy dose of dog hair, among other things, and the dishes and counter tops start resembling shag carpeting.  The list goes on and on.  Well, no.  That’s about it.  Other than bacteria being spread everywhere.

My next ice pack creation will be much cleaner and easier to manage.  And what keeps things cleaner than a baby diaper?  Fill a baby diaper with water, fold it up, and put it in a zip lock bag.  I found out about this idea on Instructables, which is a cool website that has tons of ideas on how to make things you don’t need.

Feeling good.

I missed out on the group ride this morning because my bike was still in the shop.  So I ran to the YMCA instead and lifted.  I looked at some pictures of the UO team’s ride today on Facebook and was chilled to the bone at the sight of all the fog and warm clothes people were wearing up there in Eugene.  Every time I step outside in a pair of shorts, T-shirt, sunglasses, and sandals, I can barely believe it’s November.  And because of this, even doing seemingly boring things like walking to a store or the Y are filled with joy.  In case any of you forgot, the sun feels really really good.  

After I got back from the gym, Aaron and Tony and I went to Costco, where I salivated over the samples in my quasi-sane state of mind.  Stupidly, I hadn’t eaten (very much) before we went shopping, but I resisted buying any junk food.  Although I did eat a piece of pizza.

My bike was finished up by the time we got home, so I went and picked it up at Fair Wheel Bikes and had enough time to get in a little over three hours before it got dark.  I felt great today.  I had an unbelievable amount of energy.  350 watts felt like 200, and I had to force myself to calm down.  It was hot out, but later in the evening it started cooling down and if it hadn’t started getting dark, I felt like I could have done another seven hours without tiring.  Near the end of the ride, I caught up with the tail end of the Tour de Tucson, which is a giant bike tour that attracts thousands of cyclists from all around the country.  I began passing these stragglers like they were standing still and I was in a rocket ship powered by 10,000 Clydesdales.  The other riders, the police controlling traffic at intersections, and the volunteers along side the road handing out food, must have all thought I was part of the tour.  Because they began cheering for me and calling out times as I went through each intersection.  I passed a large food stand and began slowing down, contemplating how I would explain that I had lost my bib number because I forgot to close the safety pins.  And then greedily stuff my pockets with power bars before they had time to think about what I had just said.  I thought better of it, and decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.  But tomorrow I’m definitely going back and picking up as many discarded water bottles as I can carry.

GM, Ford, Chrysler…HA!

It’s about time. The only way people are going to stop driving cars is when it gets too expensive. And luckily, we’re approaching that stage. 3 million auto jobs lost in the first year? Good. Thats 3 million more people to build and sell bikes. I hope the chinese auto makers go under too.

In other news, I have an off day tomorrow. Which is good because my bike is very messed up right now. It’s currently in the shop being worked on, maybe. The mechanic said they would try to get to it tomorrow, but they’re extremely busy because of the Tour de Tucson on Saturday. My crank keeps getting loose and I have to get off and tighten it every 10 minutes.

One last thing. Last year I always took an ice bath after every workout for 10 minutes. But I didn’t use ice, the water in the faucet was way below 60 degrees, which is what you need for an ice bath. But the water that comes out of the faucet here is too warm. The coldest it gets is probably 75 degrees. There is no room in the freezer for ice bags, plus buying ice every day is too expensive and impractical. I’ve been contemplating buying a bunch of re-freezable ice packets to strap to my legs, or I could soak some small towels in water and then freeze them, then wrap those around my legs. If you have any suggestions, let’s here hear them.

Death march ride

Damn you Gilad. Today sucked. It was hot, I got super dehydrated even though I drank 10 bottles, and I could barely push 220 watts at the end.

Usually before a ride over 100 miles, I like to eat a big breakfast. Not today. I woke up, fried 1 (one) egg for breakfast, and started riding. I went for 2 hours before I was allowed to eat anything on the bike. I ate a banana. About half an hour later, after eating some more food and drinking some Gatorade, my watts started dropping drastically. I had averaged 245 for two and a half hours, but now I was having trouble keeping those watts up. Pretty soon my average had dropped to 235. The sun was baking me, and I realized that I should have picked a route with more shade…..wait. It’s a desert.

I got to the three hour mark and turned around, deciding to just go back the way I came instead of making a loop. About 3 minutes later, my crank fell off. The ironic thing (this is for you Erich and Tony) is that it was the same road that this exact thing happened to Erich last year in Arizona. Except I was way farther away from town. But that didn’t matter anyways, because I wanted to just fix it there and keep riding instead of hitching a ride.

After flagging down about 10 cars in a row that didn’t have any allen wrenches, I stuck the crank in my back pocket and rode six miles with one leg to the nearest gas station–the whole way imagining that I was riding the last few miles of the Paris-Roubaix and my crank had fallen off during my solo break away, and Fabian Cancellara was closing the gap.

After finding the right size allen wrench (my multi tool conveniently did not have the right size, by the way), I was back on my route.

I kept on grinding away, despite my legs cramping horribly. Actually, I’m just going to say it. My legs were “tired.” Cramping is just a way to say your legs are tired without actually admitting it.

At 4.5 hours in, I upped the watts to 300-320 and turned on my Bile Intervals playlist. But even Rob Zombie couldn’t usher those kind of watts from my torn up legs. I would grit my teeth and do 350 for a few minutes, then the watts would slowly creep down to 250. I would look down at my CPU and see the fleeing watts on the display, and grit my teeth again for as long as I could bare. I did this for half an hour. I was supposed to do it for a full hour. But my headache and legs were throbbing, so I soft pedaled for 20 minutes with my salt-stained head hung in defeat.

But, out of the rising mist of the desert air, up ahead of me a bright white light glowed around my saviour like the gates to heaven. It was like finding a drinking fountain in the middle of a Saharan sand dune, a buffet line in a jewish concentration camp, an answer sheet for a final you didn’t study for, a wad of one’s out in front of a strip club, a cruise ship full of bikini models ship-wrecking on your desert island after you’ve been stranded for 11 years, or a really really really good burrito…..there it was: A convenient store with a Slurpy machine. I indulged in blue frost blueberry, and had just enough energy to bust out another hard 20 minutes before getting to town and soft pedaling for the last 15 minutes home. And yes, I did get passed by a number of commuters in those last 15 minutes and I don’t care.

Bored out of my mind

I hope life as a pro rider isn’t as boring as what I’m going through right now. All I do is ride, lift weights, go shopping for food, and lay around watching movies and taking naps. I feel somewhat like the family dog, eagerly awaiting the arrival of my roommates as the come home in the evening. My job search is going so-so. I stop by either the pizza place or grocery store about every day (both of the places that I’m trying to get hired at). At least working will give me something to do for part of the day.

I think the main reason I’m bored is that I haven’t been riding with anyone and I don’t know anybody here other than my roommates, and I don’t know them that well either. So I’m hoping that in the next few weeks, as I meet more people, I’ll be less bored and lonely.

I took it easy in the gym and on my ride today. I was still feeling a bit tired from last week, and it was over 90 degrees out on the pavement this afternoon. Tomorrow is a long day. In fact it’s a pretty loaded week, which I’m looking forward to. As an added bonus–to make things more difficult, which I always like, I won’t be eating for the first two hours of my rides from now on. The objective: to lose weight. Plus for tomorrow’s breakfast, all I get to eat before the six hours on the saddle is one egg. Ha! I’ll let you know how it goes. Should be fun!

Windy, but still warm and sunny

When I walked into the weight room this morning, I was disappointed to see that there was someone else using the only squat bar. So I started out with some other lifts, which I don’t like to do first because then my legs are already a bit tired for the squats. After a set on the leg press, I looked over to see the elderly women using the squat bar replace the 35’s with 45’s. And she wasn’t done yet. She did another set of those, then put five pounds on each side. This must have been her fifth set of 10 too. I was impressed. A sixty something year-old, thin women squatting 145 pounds, which is more than most guys do (Tony and Will).

Today’s wind attempted to blast me backwards the entire day with gusts up to 40 miles an hour. It was slow progress making my way over to the base of Mt. Lemmon. I thought that the wind would subside once I gained some elevation, but it did not. And then I realized that that logic made no sense. I pretty much got blasted all the way up to where I turned around at ten miles, flew down the mountain with the wind at my back, and then rode back up another five miles before heading home, now with the wind, at 40 miles an hour on the flat.

Cool animals I have seen on the side of the road this past week:

Dead coyote
Dead skunk
Dead bloated cow with stiff legs and intestines bursting out of its anus
Dead deer
Dead squirrel type things. Must be ground squirrels
Dead rattle snakes
Dead cats
Dead dogs
Dead rabbit
Dead big green grass-hoper type insects
Dead birds
Dead human beings (on the news)
Dead raccoon

The tarantula was pretty cool, but kept heading back towards the center of the road despite me nudging it with my cell phone back to the side of the street. So it probably ended up dead too. I hate cars.

Oh and I did see a pack of wild pig type things called javlinas. I came upon a group of twenty crossing the road in front of me. I tried to get some pictures of them on my phone, but they were skittish and ran away from me. I oinked and snorted for them to return, but I realized too late that I was using an incorrect dialect.

Belgian workhorses, zebras, donkeys, mules

Here are the top three searches people used to find my blog today before clicking on it (not counting bookmarks or links from other blogs or websites).

–kennett peterson, Zebra mix with a donkey, belgian workhorse

This, or a similar variation, is usually what the top three are. My first question is why so many people are always searching for belgian workhorses. Are they that common of a subject? My second question is why someone is trying to look up mixes of donkeys and zebras. Are these people drastically disappointed when they click on my site and find out they’ve been tricked? Or do the first few sentences grab them and persuade them to finish reading?

I just realized that by re-typing the words “belgian workhorse, donkey, and zebra,” I just made the situation worse. Maybe to grow my readership, I’ll start writing more about barnyard animals and farms, which should make about two thirds of my audience happy.

Training news:

Yesterday was an off day, much needed after my 7 hour ride the day before. Today was a little under 80 miles with 18 miles up Mt. Lemmon. I’m feeling better and better, more like a cyclist. The first few real rides I’ve done over the last few weeks have felt kind of off. But my legs and stamina are coming back with each ride.

Other news:

I finally have a bed! This is great news because sleeping on that damn couch was really getting uncomfortable. When I laid the couch cushions on the ground, they would slide around everywhere during the night because the ground is tile. And sleeping on the cushions while on the couch cramps my legs and neck. Tonight will be a great night of sleep. I also grabbed a bunch of plastic crates from behind a store yesterday with one of my roommates and they are now stacked up in my room leaning against a wall. They serve as my dresser, and they look pretty cool in my opinion. Plus now I have much fewer clothes on the ground. I think I’ll go back tomorrow and grab some more.

Price increases:

The price of cycling is getting ridiculous. I’ve gotten a couple flats this week, which means I’ve had to go to some bike shops for tubes and co2. One co2 down here costs $5. One tube is between $6 and $7. I’m hoping that when Obama gets into office next year, he’ll start subsidizing bikes and bike accessories.

First of many

This post’s for you David W. Very few unneccesary words.

Woke up at 8:15. Ate oats. Went to the YMCA to lift for an hour. Came home. Ate 2 bagels with almond butter, 3 pieces of toast, three eggs, 4 pieces of bacon. Bathroom to make room. On the road a little after 11:00. Rode over to the yogurt place to see if I could get a job. Not open yet. Continued on my ride up and around Gates Pass then way out of town up to the top of Kitt Peak (12 mies long and 7,000 feet). Averaged 300 watts up. Flew down the entire mountain in 15 minutes. Front tire skidded on a large piece of gravel on one of the corners. I gave a yeee haaa!! and pedaled harder. Got back on Ajo hwy and began grinding my way home. Two hours later it was getting dark and I was getting tired. Turned lights on. Down to my last piece of Kennett’s Energy Bread TM. Half an hour to go. Quads tired, calves tight and cramped, eyes blurry, body slightly shaking at stop lights. I found some extra energy. Got to campus, soft pedaled home. Done. Recovery drink. Shower. Stretch. Compression tights. Food. More food. More food. 125 miles. 245 watt average (zeros included). Calories burned today during ride, weights, and being alive= 9,000. That’s why I spend so much on food, mom.

For all those concerned that I’m doing too much too early. Don’t worry I won’t do this every day!