Gear Report

I’ve copied Lary’s Gear Report idea.  But I have his permission. He’s got six or seven gear reports that are worth checking out.

Gear #1: Shimano Winter Boots SH-RW80.


1. Warm
2. Cool Looking
3. Water resistant
4. Pretty light despite their appearance.
5. Very high quality

1. They’re pretty expensive. $300.

My vote: BUY. They’re the single most important piece of equipment other than the bike. My feet are actually comfortable for the first winter ever. I’m even going to race in them when it’s cold and wet out. They’re awesome.

Gear #2 Cycling hat with sewn on sock ear flaps.


1. It’s a hat with pieces of wool sock sewn on for extra ear coverage.
2. Stylish
3. Keeps your ears warm
4. Cheaper than buying a decent hat that covers your ears.

1. none.

My vote: BUY/construct.

Gear #3: Diabetic Compression Tights from any pharmacy store


1. Stylish.
2. Keeps the blood out of your legs after workouts and long car/plane trips–speeding recovery.

1. Expensive. They usually cost around $30.
2. They rip easily and get worn out after a month or two of use.
3. They’re white, which means you have to wash them or else be ridiculed for being a dirty slob.

My Vote: BUY. They may not be “Proven” to work, but they give you peace of mind.

Gear #4: Bento Box


1. Holds over four cliff bars.
2. Keeps more room in you back pockets for other food.
3. Easy to get to while riding.
4. Stylish

1. Pricey at $15. unless you find one for free from someone who doesn’t want theirs, which should be easy because they look really stupid.

My Vote: BUY/find a free one. I keep permanent cliff bars in it just in case I need more food on some long ride I didn’t plan accordingly for.

Squirrel Chase

Thomas was barking outside at something for five minutes straight this morning, so I went out there to tell him to be quiet. As I rounded the corner of the house, I saw him at the base of a tree, looking up into the leafless branches. The squirrel that he had been barking at made an escape attempt and jumped from 20 feet up down onto the gravel driveway and made a quick get away. But not quick enough.


Thomas got to the squirrel before it had time to get more than a few meters, then grabbed it, shook it violently as it let out a few squeaks of terror and pain, and took off with it around the house.  I ran inside to get my camera.  Thomas sprinted around the house for about 10 minutes, not letting me get near him–afraid that I would steal his prize.

He eventually ran inside with it through his dog door and found an adequate spot to leave it.


On the sheep-skin rug in the living room.

I made him pose with it.



Thomas didn’t want to eat it, and I didn’t want it to go to waste so I chopped it up with some sweet potatoes and made a nice lunch.


Too many flats make kennett ANGRY

I don’t like religion but I like religious people.  They always seem to pick me up when I hitch hike.  Monday morning: I bought a new rear tire (Continental prix 4 season) because of my SECOND faulty Schwalbe, which I returned to the shop again.  I also bought a frame pump because I’m sick and tired of running out of c02’s and also having to spend money on them every time I get a flat.  So I set out to Sherwood with a new tire and a new pump.  I got a flat 60 miles later.  Continental Prix 4 seasons=wimpy light weight piece of crap.  I ran over a large chunk of gravel on hwy 99 going from Eugene to Sherwood, and the brand new tire blew out.  Even the Schwalbe would have survived that minor blemish in the road.  I’ve had 10 flats in the last 11 days.  I was not happy.  

Saturday was a hard day, riding down from Sherwood to Eugene, where I spent Saturday and Sunday night on Will and Larry’s floor.  Sunday’s ride was short, but I did a few long sprints and my legs felt more sore and tired than I had wanted them to be considering I had 115 miles the next day–the ride home to sherwood.

Monday Morning again:
I left the shop after buying my new tire and pump, made it to Corvallis and had to stop at Burger King for two hamburgers because my energy was so low. Then I continued on.  “Only 75 more miles,” I thought.  A little later, “Only 70 miles to go.”  A little later, “Only 69 miles to go.”  It went on like this until I heard a whoosh of air escape my rear tire and the rim met the pavement for the 147th time this week.  

I got off the bike, took the tire off, replaced the tube, started pumping, realized I had bought a shrader pump instead of a presta valve pump, chucked my old tube into a farmer’s field, spouted out a couple sentences of foul language to the bike gods, and angrily ate the pancakes from my back pocket as I contemplated throwing my bike in the drainage ditch on the side of the road.  I did not throw my bike of course, because this wasn’t the Giro.  Instead, I stuck my thumb out and got a ride from a very nice religious guy.  He drove me the 50 miles home, right to my doorstep, while we talked about faith and hope.  He (Rob) was a pastor, and was working to raise money for a mission in South America, where he and some other people were going to go save some heathens, no doubt.  I’ve never liked the idea of “saving” people by converting them.  What are they being saved from?  Hell?  because they don’t believe in a Christian god?  Because I sure don’t.  And I don’t want to be saved.  But, I was today.  Just like the poor guys down in South America that Rob and his fellow Christians are going to go help out.  The tribe he’s going to go help probably figure, “Hey, free food and medical supplies, sure I’ll listen to the nonsense this guy is spouting about.  I’ll even pretend to pray if it’ll get me a Snickers bar or two.”

I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter why someone does something nice for you (religious reasons, guilt, or compassion) it only matters that they’re doing it. Thank you, Rob.

Lactic Acid testing

Yesterday I went up to Portland to meet Jeannette Rose and Russell Cree at Upper Echelon Fitness for a little LT testing and discussion about the racing year ahead.  But first, I carpooled into Portland with my dad to attend one of his classes at Portland State University.  The class was general oceanography, and he spent more time making jokes than he did anything else!  It was actually a very entertaining lecture–better than most of my lecture classes at the UO.  Topics of interest were: making fun of the midwest because it’s smack dab in the middle of a continental plate, therefore making it boring, explaining how plate tectonics are responsible for the variation between different cultures (and more importantly the amazing variety of lunch food street vendors down the block, which include thai, indian, mexican, italian, and greek), and cool names for metal hair bands (The Lava Sharks).

After the lecture, we got milk shakes, then I went over to Echelon Fitness (which is very hard to find), and took the tour of the place.  It is very cool, and shares a workout facility with Therapeutics Associates.

The LT test went well, although I wasn’t expecting to have to crank up to 525 watts.  Russ started me out at 150 or so, and gradually increased until my legs were almost done at 525.  Then he took me down again to 150, and increased the wattage again slowly, going up to 450 briefly before stopping.  

My lactic acid clearing rate was very good, and my power at LT was good too.  Russ and Jeannette were impressed, but worried that I was in too good of shape this early in the season.  I assured them that 95% of what I’ve done has just been endurance and tempo miles.  Although it may seem like I’ve been doing a lot of intervals since I write about it a lot on this here blog, that’s just because I write about intervals almost every time I’ve done them because I get excited about them.  I feel like I have successfully built a very good base platform to build on this year.  My endurance is great right now, and I feel super fresh and excited to ride every day.

Well, I’m off to Eugene now to go mooch off of Will, Larry, Tony, Chad, and Mike.  And whoever else stands in the way of Hurricane Peterson, the eating machine.

BOO Yeah #2

I don’t know where it came from considering my heavy training load last week and Monday. But damn. My legs felt like letting me know they were alive today. And they did so by kicking my ass. I went out with the intention of going moderately hard between 4 and 5 hours, depending on how I felt. I felt good. 300 watts for 5 hours, then a 30′ cool down, which was the most difficult portion of the ride. I got my cadence up to 106 on several occasions, as I’ve been training to increase my cadence skills. Cadence 106 for 12 seconds. I’d like to see you try that!!


For all you non-bike people, this is what the power charts look like that I’m always talking about.

After an hour of tearing up the hills and gravel roads of Parrot Mountain, I headed down south to Salem, then to Woodburn, then to Silverton, then to Woodburn again, then to Newberg, and finally home. I felt strong until about 4:48 hours. At 4:30 hours I could feel my legs beginning to fail, so I stopped at a convenient store. I dug into my bike bag and pulled out 65 cents in nickles. “Idiot,” I thought. I never put enough money in my bike bag.

I staggered into the store with my blood vessel eyes blurring over, and looked around for anything in my price range. There weren’t prices on anything which made me mad immediately.  So I grabbed a piece of candy and took it up to the counter to ask the guy how much it was. He was scanning loto tickets and had his back turned to me and the other customers. There was a line of 6 people in front of me. I stood there for about 4 minutes, growing more and more impatient as the idiot kept scanning loto tickets without helping anyone. I went up to the counter and asked him how much the candy was. “99 cents,” he said. This, combined with the wait, made me extremely angry. I snorted my disgust, dropped the candy on the counter and walked out with my nickles. As I got on the bike, I got more and more mad at the guy and the price of that stupid piece of candy. Sometimes I get mad for no reason, and this was one of those situations. But it did fuel me for about 12 minutes, then I completely died. I spent the next 15 minutes struggling to push 200 watts, where before I had been doing mid 300’s. It was only 15 or 20 minutes to home from there, but I had to stop at a Taco Bell and steal some lemonade from the fountain drink machine to make it back.  Very hard ride.  Very fun.

Oh, and I just rememberd something from the ride.  Two bulls raced me.  Like the cow type bulls.  They were surprisingly fast.  If I was going to combine three species, I would do a liger, bull, and Clydesdale.  A “Blydesdiger.”  It would be massive like a clydesdale, have fangs, claws and eat meat, and have giant horns and a ring in its nose.

Good Training in Oregon So Far

It’s cold up here but the riding is going well.  This weekend I went down to Eugene to get my bike fixed up and ride with some friends.  Yesterday Will, Chris, Mike and I went up to Salem to ride the Team Oregon group ride.  Unfortunately, the team is now probably going to avoid riding with me because I ended up getting three flats.  I had a faulty tire, a brand new Schwalbe, that was causing slow leaks.  It was very annoying and I ended up riding with about 15 psi for most of the time after we realized that putting new tubes in wasn’t solving anything.  Every 15 minutes Chris and I would pump my tire up with his frame pump.  The rest of the guys were more understanding than I would have been.  I think it’s going to be a great year racing with them.

Today Will, Chris, Mike, and I did a five hour ride after eating breakfast at Mike’s.  When Will and I headed over to his house at 8:00 it was 24 degrees.  It was difficult to leave the heated house after breakfast, although the temperature had warmed up to 27 degrees, almost too hot to ride!


That was a shock. 70’s to 40’s in a day. Let me remind you all that when it’s 70 or more degrees, all you need is a pair of bibs, sunglasses, and a jersey. And SUNSCREEN. And lots of water stops. It feels very good, by the way. This does not. I know the weather is awesome right now (no rain). But still. Wow. It’s a shock; you’ve got to remember that I’ve been enjoying summer for the past three months and to go from summer to 40 degrees and getting dark at 5:00 pm…doesn’t feel too good. Although, I am happy to be back in Oregon and see all my friends and family. I’ll be in Eugene on Friday through Sunday this weekend. And I’ll also be riding in Salem during my first Team O group ride. Any of you guys down in Eugene are welcome to hitch a car ride with me on Saturday morning to go up and join in. I hear it’s gonna be wicked cool. I’ll see you Eugenians on Friday at the shop/on an afternoon ride/at a movie/at a party/in a tree-fort/on the streets slumming for crack money/in the county jail/at Derek’s mother’s house/wherever.

Best Damn Banana Ever

It was harvested as a young, green fruit back in the late days of 2008.  It lived a peaceful life, growing in the shade of it’s parent tree’s broad lush leaves.  It had many brothers and sister fruits, all approximately the same size and shape living in a pesticide Chlorpyrifos-coated bag to kill insects and diseases.  Every few days, our hero and it’s family was sprayed with a refreshing shower of another kind of pesticide to further discourage any unsightly blemishes on it’s fine green skin.  Along with the pesticide, it was drenched with an aerial spray to kill fungi in the air, nematicides to kill worms, and herbicides to kill weeds.  Our friend liked to be kept clean, that’s for sure!

It didn’t think of itself any different than the tens of thousands of others living close by, but it had a great unknown destiny in its future.  For the time being, our hero of the story led a simple and cozy life in a 75-acre banana plantation in Panama, spending its days lounging in its plastic bag-house and staring out into the world.  The banana grew bigger and bigger, and one day, it, along with it’s entire family, was rudely chopped from the tree.  The banana was devided into a seven-fruit bunch with its brothers and sisters and was carried away, never to see its sunny home again.  After being thrown in a tractor, it was crated off to a dingy warehouse.  From there it was boxed up, shoved in a plastic bag, and shipped of in a giant refrigerator with thousands of its kind to the United States.  Our banana cried itself to sleep each night.  It’s only comfort was the intreaging fresh Dole sticker slapped on its still green skin.  Our banana didn’t see the light of day for weeks.

The banana squinted its eyes as the bright light of the world shined in on it as the cardboard box was opened.  After being manhandled out of the box, its plastic bag was removed and the unkind hands rapidly ripped it from its seven companions.  They were placed in a small bin, along with thirty other almost yellow bananas.  Yellow?  “What’s this?” our banana thought to itself.  Looking down on its body, the banana could see the beginnings of a new yellow coat taking the place of the green.  It could hardly contain its excitement, and sat completely still in the bin practically buzzing with enthusiasm over its amazing transformation.

Our banana grew restless, though.  After a few days, half of its friends had been bought.  Only thirteen lay in the bin next to it, each hoping that they too would be selected for some unknown quest.  But alas, our banana was not.  It watched as every other banana was taken away out the swinging doors of the Tucson Circle K.  It became lonely, and leopardy spots of brown began speckling its once-sterling yellow skin.  It’s glory days behind it, our banana began thinking about taking its own life by throwing itself out of the bin and onto the floor, where its now delicate body would surely burst out all over the ground.  As time went by, and the banana became older and older, the idea began solidifying, unlike the banana’s insides, and it planned out its death in detail.  The time was here.  If it waited any longer, it wouldn’t have the strength to lift its limp, brown body up and out of the bin.  Our banana decided to rest up for one more night, and if the next day, its remained un-bought, it would commit suicide.  

The Next Day:

After five hours on the bike, a hungry cyclist aproached the doors of the Circle K.  He had just finished his third 9-mile hill repeat and was exhausted.  Not having taken nearly enough food for the 5,000 calorie day, he staggered into the store with limp legs and a dazed expression on his spit and salt incrusted face.  His eyes were slightly crossed as he scanned the aisles for something that the thirty-five cents in his tightly clenched fist could buy.  He searched the candy bar aisle in vain.  Then the chips aisle, the candy aisle, and the drink aisle with the same outcome.  His situation looked bad.  He only had thirty more minutes to ride until he was home, but it was now dark outside and he dreaded the thought of drifting into oncoming traffic due to hunger.  Plus he felt weak as hell.  He needed food.  But what could 35 cents buy?  

The banana near the cash register had been dragging its listless carcass closer to the edge of the bin since noon, and was now beginning to climb over the 2-inch lip that separated the brown fruit from a death of old age and a death of a sickening drop and splatter on the ground.  One last effort and it would be up and over the last barrier to its sorry existence.  It heaved itself with all its might…

The tired biker saw that bananas were 20 cents each.  He picked up the banana and payed for it with two dimes and walked out the convienient store, peeling the banana as he went.  He placed it to his mouth and devoured the sweet fruit in a few bites.  Immediatly, the sugar from the banana hit his legs and his eyes lost their glaze.  “That was the best damn banana I’ve ever eaten,” he said.  He got back on the bike and rode home without being hit by a car.

Second thoughts

My time here in Tucson is coming to an end. I plan on returning to Oregon on Wednesday, although I fly standby so I could change my mind if I wanted. My plane will lift off in the early morning air, leaving the tall Saguaro cacti and dry, beige mountains behind. Ahead will lie rain, moss, trees, and lots of intervals. Part of me regrets my decision to leave Tucson so early. I had planned on staying here for another month to race in early February, but I was becoming bored by myself and missing my true riding pals, friends and family back in Oregon (plus I’m almost out of cash). But as I think about the time I’ve spent here the past couple months, I know I’ll miss it. The sun, Mt. Lemmon, long rides out to Kitt Peak, the Shootout, cheap mexican food, which I regretfully admit I’ve only indulged in once before today. But I’ll miss smelling it as I ride by. Tucson is a great place for a few months, but much longer and it begins to wear on you. I need a change of scenery. There, I just made up my mind. As I started writing this post, I thought about deleting it and pushing back my departure another couple weeks. But no, I’m confident now that I’m making the right decision. My bike needs to be fixed once and for all, which has to happen at Life Cycle because it would cost a fortune down here, and I need a fix too. A food fix. I can’t survive much longer on oats and pasta alone! My dad left a message the other day informing me he has stocked the fridge with all the makings for a feast of huevos rancheros. For all you non-spanish speakers, that translates to “breakfast of kings.”

What I’ve gained from Tucson: good tan, new friends, and the realization that becoming a world champion may take a while (yes that is my goal). I don’t feel like I’m fast yet, but I do feel like I’ve built a good base to work with this year.

What Tucson has gained from me: the dying cactus that I pee on at the base of Lemmon is looking greener…huh. I’ve been thinking for about five minutes now and can’t think of anything else. Well if you affect one life then you did your job!

And now for some pictures to keep you guys entertained.  I brought sewing thread down here, but no needle.  So I’ve been trying other options for a tear in my bibs.


Staples didn’t work.


Tape didn’t work and now it’s getting pretty big.


Unrelated to the tear problem.

Too much fruit

When I catch a cold the first thing I do is go to the grocery store and get all the ingredients to make chicken noodle soup.  I know that chicken soup isn’t a magical cure to the common cold, but I’ve trained myself into thinking that it is.  And the placebo affect has been proven to help people overcome sicknesses and accomplish other things they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.  So every time I get sick I make a big batch of soup.  And I also buy a ton of fruit, no matter what the cost.  Fruit is the key to getting rid of colds. Fortunately (and unfortunately) fruit is super cheap right now.  Apples are a little over $1 a pound, oranges are 33 cents a pound, and bananas are always cheap.  So I bought a lot. The unfortunate part of the low cost and therefore huge quantity of it that I bought comes a couple hours after consuming it.  While eating this particular platter of fruit, my roommates questioned my reasoning.


“Uh, are you expecting people to come over to help eat that?”
“You’re going to be sick.”
“That’s a lot of fruit!”
“How can you possibly digest all that?”

I laughed it off at the time, happily chowing down on a fruit salad big enough to give a chimp a panic attack, but four hours later I was hurting. NO. It is not possible to digest more than 10 pieces of fruit a day. Especially when combined with a diet mainly comprised of oats and whole wheat pasta. Add in the three habineros I ate today on top of it all. Now I am two kinds of sick.