I can see the future…and it appears to contain a pint-load of intervals.

If my intervals today had a stereotypical personality and accent, say–like the Character in South Park, Lu Kim, who owns City Wok and can’t pronounce the letter L–they’d likely have taunted me me with “Ohhh, your regs no feer so good today huh Kennett??  They don’t rike me very much do they? You want more rest you big baby??  Maybe you break your other corrarbone on purpose so you don’t have to ride a hard anymooore??  Maybe you cry rike rittow baby and mommy come craddre you and a change your messy diaper??”  But my intervals did not have a personality.  And there’s nothing funny about racist stereotypes either.  If you even cracked a smile at all you’re a racist.  I’m not though.  I wrote it with a straight face.

No, my intervals were emotionless, coldly quiet and calm–letting me soak in the fact that I currently suck.  No insults were needed to get the point across, for the brutal honesty of my performance alone left a bad enough taste in my mouth–kind of like phlegm and bile, which would make sense.

I’m in Bend for the next two weeks trying to get in shape quick for the fast approaching Cascade Classic.  If only there were some teammates around to do some through-and-off with.  Tour of White Rock, which unfortunately is no where near or is at all related to White Castle Burgers like I assumed, starts even sooner–in approximately 17 days.  How fit can you ‘git in 17 days you ask?  Pretty fit I say!  That’s under the surmise that you can get equally fit in 17 days as you can get UN-fit in 17 days.  I’d like to think I was pretty fit 17 days ago.  And look how slow I am now!  I’m happy there’s so much room to improve.  I managed to keep my weight where it should be during the last couple weeks, so that’s not an issue.  In fact I think I might have lost some weight (from my ego) and gained some modesty.  My plan is to find a machine that converts modesty into watts, either that or do a pint-load of intervals.

This one’s for you Spencer.  You said you had no appetite.  If this doesn’t get things going I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.

If anyone has any secrets about getting fit quick you should tell me.  An internet thread tells me there’s some sort of “special training” that can be implemented for a quick fix that’s all the rage in Europe.  What kind of training is this?  I’m guessing they’re talking about 2 minute intervals.  No one ever does 2 minute intervals or ever talks about them, and I’m a little suspicious as to why.  I’m guessing they could be the best kept secret in the pro ranks.

Joke’s aside, I’d still rather be hit by a truck than dope.  At least if I got hit by a truck there’d be some chance I could live with myself, if I lived.  I don’t know what makes some people capable of rationalizing certain things.  Heads of corporations, politicians, Alberto Contador–all born without a conscience and not a care in the world for the “little people” whose lives are destroyed by their greed and self-absorption.  You can only hope that you’re actually the only living human being in existence, encased in a fake terrarium world being observed by alien robots who are attempting to see just how much this strange being’s morale can put up with by exposing it to ridiculous scenarios where the most evil and vile people are the wealthiest and most beloved.

Take that picture of the White Castle burgers for instance.  Just burgers you say?  “No harm done if eaten in moderation, which is the responsibility of the consumer.”  No.  That’s wrong.  First of all, people are inherently stupid.  We don’t make good choices when faced with difficult decisions like, “do I make myself obese by eating burgers every day, or do I eat an apple instead?”  The people who prey on our stupidity and ignorance know just how stupid and ignorant we are.  The manufacturers of the burgers want the cheapest ingredients possible, health issues are of no importance, money is.  The cattle-raising corporations want the cheapest food for their cattle, health and humanity issues are of no importance, only money is.  The corn producing corporations (note: farmers don’t exist anymore) want the cheapest GMO seed and fertilizer, the fact that they’re responsible for the obesity epidemic in the US doesn’t matter, only money does.  The fertilizer corporations (responsible for the overpopulation of the earth) want the cheapest oil to make their product.  There you go.  White Castle supports the genocide we’re creating in the Middle East over oil.  It seems so simple a solution: to stop eating at White Castle or McDonalds or to not drive a car anymore or to not buy things made overseas, but if the easy option exists people will always take it.  If I were in a bike race and got off the front with one other guy and he said, “You have the option to sit on and I’ll take us all the way to the finish line where you can sprint me and easily take the win, or you can help pull,”–I’d say “yes please!” to the first option before he even gave me the second one.  It wouldn’t be right or the honorable way to win, but I’d do it anyways.  Unfortunately people in the States now think that socialism means communism and that capitalism is the only civilized way to run a country–all a constructed media ploy by CEOs to take control of the world, which they’ve successfully done.  We’re fools to believe Obama has any real influence on a damn thing.  Yes of course he’s better than Bush and he’s been able to make improvements in a lot of areas.  But we’re still driving gas 4x4s, burning coal, killing Iraqi civilians, fear mongering our citizens with fantasies of terrorist attacks, fast food restaurants and junk food corporations are seeing all time high profits, education is more costly than ever, and most importantly, bike races are still disappearing from the NRC!! (Utah)  I should go back in time to the dark ages and I’d have even more to complain about.

“What are you doing to improve the world,” asks Larry.  Well, Larry, I’ve got an answer finally: I’m biding my time.


New swear word

While driving up I-5 from Sherwood to Portland, yesterday to meet Eli for a bike ride, I found myself stuttering over the same two swear words in anger over the slow traffic.  I was at “Terwiliger Curves,” which sounds ominous, dangerous, and evil like a night-time mountain descent on a twisting road in a rainstorm while fleeing the haunted mansion up at the top.  But it’s actaully just two 45 degree turns on the freeway where a bunch of idiots always jam their brakes on and crash into each other.  “Oh no there’s a turn in the road, what do I do!!!  I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know so I’ll swerve underneath this semi truck here and slam my brakes on, that should be a safe place for me!”  I try to drive like I’m in a bike race, using as little energy as possible.  This means that when I’m driving I don’t like to slam my brakes on and sprint out of every corner and waste gas.  I like to coast down hills and jump in the slipstream of other cars right as I pass them to sling shot around.  And of course my director Joe Holmes can explain the intricacies of forming a proper car echelon when there’s a strong cross wind.

Back on topic, I was tripping over the same couple swear words, repeatedly using them in the same sentence like some idiot with a tiny vocabulary.  They were my two favorite swear words, yes, but still it sounds dumb and trashy to use them that much.  I thought that maybe I swear too much in public.  It would be nice to have a swear word that no one would know about  so you could use it whenever you wanted, even in front of little kids and old people.  Plus if you only had one swear word you wouldn’t feel like an idiot while trying to scramble a bunch of different foul words together to form a sentence.  It’s hard to think of an adjective AND a noun.  One word should be enough.  So I started thinking of single syllable words that don’t mean anything  but could sound menacing if shouted.  I came up with “pint.”  I haven’t yet decided whether or not to pronounce it like the measuring unit or they way that it rhymes with lint.   Regardless, it works as both an adjective and a noun.  Say someone is driving super slow down a hill where if they were going uphill, they’d actually be going faster because they’d be less afraid for some reason:  “You stupid pinting pint!! Stop braking on the pinting downhill, you’re in a god pint car for pint’s sake!”  Believe it or not I’d normally only use one swear word in this sentence anyways.  Actually two but only one of them once.  Now that I’m swearing off all other swear words I won’t have an excuse for not being original with my curses.  You can’t be original if you’ve only got one option.

Other news:  I’ve been able to get in two 3-hour rides on Thursday and Friday, and yesterday I rode the Bridge of the Gods route with Eli in the glorious afternoon summer sun.  We covered 109 miles in a little under 5.5 hours.  My legs are feeling mediocre, which is probably really good considering the circumstances.  It feels great to be outside on my bike again, feeling tired after rides, and eating.

Pint didn’t work very well in the real world and I ended up yelling good old fashioned swear words at a bus that pulled out in front of me and at some potholes that hurt my collarbone.  Speaking of my collarbone, it’s pretty much fully healed.  I can even get out of the saddle a bit now.  I’m not going to try sprinting for a few more days but it’s doing really well and is healing much faster than I could have hoped for.

Riding five hours yesterday didn’t bother my collar bone too much, but I felt it after picking strawberries today.  I went to a you-pick place and collected about 15 pounds, five of which bypassed the boxes and were collected directly into my mouth.  I’m excited to see the color of my bowl movement tomorrow morning.

Thomas don’t give a pint.

First ride back

I went on my first outdoor ride today.  I suffered for six days of no riding at all and then another four days of indoor trainer riding, which is the longest I’ve been off the bike (outside) in two years.  The trainer was so boring yesterday that I convinced myself that my collarbone was capable of riding outside today.  It ended up being partially true.  The first five minutes of the ride I had a huge grin on my face.  No pain at all.  I can’t put any pressure on my shoulder and can’t stand up out of the saddle of course, but I could ride just fine.  And my legs didn’t feel half bad either.  After about a half hour of riding my grin turned to a grimace and I wasn’t singing along with my Cheryl Crow playlist anymore either.  Instead I was cursing the potholes and bumps of Brookman rd.  A few minutes later, as I dodged traffic crossing highway 99, I miss-clipped getting into my right pedal which sent a jolt of pain up to my shoulder.  From then on I was extra careful, though the damage was done and I felt it throbbing for the rest of the ride.  But all in all, I was happy with how it felt.  Tomorrow I’ll go longer and see how two or maybe even three hours feels.

Since I don’t have enough riding or racing material for a full blog post I’ll pose some serious hypothetical questions:

Question the first: If you had to chose between every piece of food you ate for the rest of your life being either slightly too spicy or NOTHING every being spicy again, which would you chose?

#2: Choose between losing one eye–or–three fingers on one hand and a thumb on the other.

#3: You have the choice between having the capability to fly (like superman), but only once a month for a day and you can’t tell anyone about it or use it to make money–or–not being able to fly but you get 100 million dollars.

#4: Would you willingly lose the ability to read and write if it meant you could earn yourself a spot on Omega Pharma-Lotto? (Pro tour team).

#5: Choose between only eating vegetables and nothing else for the rest of your life–or–being slapped in the face (hard) every morning to get woken up.

#6: Choose between riding outside in the sun and taking the chance to re-break the flimsy, jell0-ee bone in your shoulder going over a pothole–or– ride the trainer in the garage.

#7: Chinese buffet or Indian buffet.

Now onto the real story of the week.  Imagine this dog:

Wow, never mind.  I just wasted 45 minutes trying to photoshop Thomas’ head onto a man’s body wearing a business suit.  Aparently I don’t remember anything from my Photoshop classes in high school or college.  And another thing: Why doesn’t auto spelling recognize “aparantly” or “aparently” as apparently?  I always have to look that word up on google to find out how it’s spelled.  Now I’m almost too distracted and unmotivated to even write what I was going to write before.  Actually I am.  So never mind.  I had a good story to tell (not really that good) but photoshop ruined it for me.

Just end me

A few weeks ago I wrote about dealing with set backs. I said that when you’re faced with adversity you should push through it and persevere (pshh), which everyone already knew from the lessons learned from any sit-com or movie. When I wrote that ish I had just had a bad couple rides at Mount Hood and after reconciling my overreaction about those bad rides, I shrugged them off, took my own advice and had myself a good last day of racing. Then, on the bike, I felt even better a few days later. And even better a few days later after that! Amazing. Things really were turning around, just like in the movies! But since then I’ve come to realize the errors of my teachings. I was wrong.

I crashed, got hurt, and now can’t ride for weeks, if not decades. When you fall off the horse you shouldn’t get back on because you’ll most likely get knocked off again and get paralyzed. When Life gives you lemons it’s probably time to just curl up in a dark place and let yourself slowly die from dehydration and malnourishment. In other words, you should admit defeat sooner rather than later, because we’re all going to die at some point and our short, stupid lives are pointless to begin with so we might as well just get it over with.

As you may know, I’ve been off the bike for four days now. It’s been…rough. My injury is not a great one. I’m in no pain and I’ll recover relatively shortly. But that’s not the point. This is the horse bucking me off. Do I get back on and open myself up to another bucking? Possibly the LAST bucking? Or do I humbly and shamefully admit defeat and spend the rest of my days as a normal simpleton, avoiding risk while also avoiding life’s thrills. The answer is neither, duh. I already said the answer in the first paragraph! I said to go find a dark closet and let oneself die of malnourishment. Come on, pay attention. I wasn’t speaking figuratively. That’s how all of our problems need to be solved. Then there’d be no more problems.

In other news my legs are extremely sore today. Yesterday I went on a walk and later did 200 squats in the kitchen while I was eating a couple bananas. Any wincing I catch myself doing is in response to my aching legs, not my broken collarbone, which doesn’t hurt at all and is a pretty lame excuse for an injury if I do say so myself. I mean, if I’m going to be sidelined it might as well HURT a bit, come on!

I went to the doctor’s today and was looking forward to some good news about my collarbone. First of all, since I was seeing a specialist, this could be information that I’d be able to trust, unlike what I was told at the Tulsa hospital, in which I had lost all confidence.

Turns out the doctor I saw today used to teach pre-med at Tulsa University–the university hospital that I went to.

Uhhh, whoa. Small world. Turns out I was basically given all correct information at that first hospital, so the ER guy there knew his stuff. My new doctor also said that ER rooms are always like that–they ignore you if you aren’t about to die. In my defense, they never asked me if I was about to die so how would they know, especially without even looking at any of my injuries upon the fist hour and a half of my arrival? I suspect that when they ask you what kind of pain you’re in on a scale of 1 to 10, you shouldn’t reply with, “Zero. Or one I guess. I don’t know, it doesn’t really hurt. I mean, if you punched me in the shoulder it would hurt like hell. Like a five or so.” I think they might rate the importance of seeing you based on the number you say. Next time, even if I go in for a large splinter in my toe like my brother once did, I’m screaming a blood curdling “TEEEENNN!!!” at the top of my lungs.

Anyways, the diagnosis: fracture near the end of the bone, no surgery needed, little or no AC ligament separation, 8 weeks to full healing time–meaning I could be back on the bike in two weeks (that’s what I heard anyways), though he did not recommend it in case I crash again. But what are the chances of that? Zero. Or 100%. Those are the only two options, so therefore the only two percentages. Just like the weather. What’s the chance of rain? Zero or 100%. It’s going to rain or it isn’t. Or if it’s Oregon, it’s just 100%. I didn’t pay attention during statistics in high school. I was too preoccupied staring out the window at the rain.

tulsa tough and broken collar bone

there will be no capitols spelling fixes or question marks in my posts for a while because im writing only with my lefy hand.  shit.  gonna stick to my word and not go back and change that.  Ah, never mind.  I just figured out I can type perfectly well with my right hand.  Though now that the challenge of it is gone, I don’t feel like writing anymore.

The first half of the day, as you remember if you read my blog post from yesterday, was pretty chill and somewhat boring.  After our morning ride we laid around eating and writing blog posts.  By the way, that video took me roughly four hours to make.  But eventually the day finally turned to bike racing.  We headed out the door into the heat again at 8pm and rode over to the downtown Blue Dome crit course.  I was feeling pretty good on the ride over and the adrenaline was building as we entered the gated off streets surrounding the course.  There were thousands of spectators lining the figure 8 shaped crit, but after a half hour of warming up they all left when all of a sudden it got dark and a huge thunder and lighting storm rolled into town, dumping billions if not trillions of tons of rain on everyone.  The cat 1/2 race ended right before the storm reached its worst point and I went out on the poorly lit course to take a few laps and get the feel of it.  I ended up taking 30 psi out of my tires.  It poured extremely hard for 15 minutes.  Lighting strikes were going off every minute and thunder boomed and echoed among the nearby skyscrapers.

sorry for not giving props to the photographer, I don’t know who took this.

It was still warm out, which was good, and the rain eventually stopped and our race got underway at 9:30pm.  I had a great spot and lined up right at the front.

The gun went off, but we had already started when the announcer said, “ready..”

I fell back pretty quickly, not from the pace but from taking corners like a puss.  It was extremely slick and crashes were occurring on every lap, sometimes two crashes per lap.  I got “stuck” behind a crash and took a free lap, which helped move me back up a bit.  Everyone else was doing this too though and I eventually realized I was too far back again.  My legs were feeling phenomenal though.  I’m not sure if the entire race was just super slow or if I was feeling really good, but I pretty much nosed breathed all of it, slowly moving up until I got into the top 30, which I felt was pretty safe (relatively) and waited there for a good opportunity to get to the front and attack.  The time never came for me because with about 30 minutes left to race I went down hard into a pile of crashing riders in front of me (not on a corner even, just on the straightaway downhill).  I went over the bars and landed hard on my right shoulder.  I let out a loud “UGHHHH” or two and a few guys crashed on top of me.  The wind was knocked out of me and I laid on the ground as riders got off of me and bikes were pealed apart from everyone’s limbs.  I saw Quinn on the ground, but he got up pretty quickly and headed over to the medical tent to stop his bleeding nose. Apparently my mom and a bunch of other people had seen the crash on Velonews’ live online coverage, with me at the bottom of the pile of carnage. I wish I could find the footage.

Yours truly before crashing. Photo from Lyne at Podium Insight. She was kind enough to give me a shout out about the crash and broken collar bone. Thanks Lyne. Check out her website for some awesome night time crit photos and great coverage of the rest of the races.

I thought I could continue to race, maybe, as I regained my breath.  I knew my shoulder was pretty screwed up but I lifted it to see if I could move it and I could, so my first thought was that it wasn’t broken.  As the massive amounts of adrenaline started to wear off though, I realized I couldn’t take a full breath of air (still can’t) and my shoulder and back began seizing up.  I began limping my bike over to the wheel pit area to get back into the race anyways, but half way into the walk over there I knew I wouldn’t be starting again.  I’d never broken a bone before, but I knew pretty quickly that my collar bone was broken. Damn it. It was a super exciting, fun race too…up until I broke something. The course was pitch black, wet, big crowds, hot out even at 10PM, and I was feeling great and finally taking the corners pretty confidently. Apparently I’m not indestructible like I had thought.

I got really angry for the next hour.  The race medics were dumb as shit and they didn’t think the collar bone was broken because they “couldn’t see anything poking through.”  No shit.  OK, for that matter these geniouses must be able to diagnose all types of internal injuries from just glancing at someone.  “Well, I can’t see any brain tumors from where I’m standing, so I think you’re in the clear, sir. Congratulations you don’t need chemo!”

After a lot of time standing around trying to organize a ride to the hospital, my teammate Ian and I were lead to a car by a woman who was going to the hospital anyways because her husband had just gotten out of shoulder surgery (from crashing earlier that week).  Ian was a super good teammate and friend and offered to go with me even though I said no at first.  He was basically my right hand man when we got to the hospital (I made that joke last night too–it was my right shoulder that was broken).

He did my paperwork, helped me hassle the idiot woman at the ER front desk about me not being able to sign my name properly because I was using my left hand to sign an “X”, cracked jokes about Sam’s mom, and made sure I sat down when I started seeing stars.  I had a pretty decent headache last night and right now, although my helmet doesn’t show too much signs of trauma.

My demeanor had been pretty poor up until we saw a chick with huge tits walk past us as we were lead to my second ER waiting room.  I mean, they were simply massive and not from being fat either, she was all natural and hot.  In a split second I decided I had the right to just blatantly stare, since I was injured.  Ian got the brunt of her apparent displeasure in my staring and got glared at since he wasn’t injured.

I began joking around a bit more after that as I realized I’d said enough swear words in the last hour to last me a month, and that being angry wouldn’t solve a fucking–I mean dang–thing.  I spent the next hour waiting for the idiot staff at that shitty hospital to get to work.  In the meantime I roamed around looking for bandages and things to steal as Ian shook his head disapprovingly.

Ironically I’d told Alan Adams, my teammate who broke his neck, that the injuries on our team were going to get slightly less dramatic over the next couple weeks. Turned out to be true. Also ironic, I just visited my other injured teammate, Chris, at the hospital a few days before we left for Tulsa and had felt extremely happy to not be stuck in a hospital, injured and off the bike like he was. So it goes.

We got to the run down shit-hole hospital, which was pretty empty, at 11:00PM and left well after 1:00PM.  This is what happened in the mean time, other than four different people coming in and asking for my address.

Turns out it was a teaching hospital. And a shitty one at that too. I imagine the University of Tulsa isn’t very high on the list of top medical schools in the states.

With all the time we had in our room to sit around doing nothing, I felt compelled to shoot a few wads of artificial semen–I mean foaming hand sanitizer–out onto the floor for someone to slip on.

Wheelchair ride to the X-ray room. Very excite!

The stickers are going on my laptop. Looking at the X-rays with the technician, I could tell something didn’t look right, but he wasn’t sure if anything was broken or not. I still held on hope that it was just tweaked weird or something.

No one came to clean up my wounds, ask if I had hit my head, look into my eyes with a flashlight to see if I had a concussion, nothing. So I was left to scavenge through all the drawers and find the necessary implements to scrub out the small bits of road rash I had and bandage them up. Ian helped me cut some bandages with the knife on my multi tool. Then I wandered around in the hall looking for food and found us a few free cans of soda. We hadn’t eaten anything after the crit and it was well past midnight by now. Ian was getting a crazed look in his eye and I feared that he might start scavenging around in the biohazard trash can looking for spare body parts to chow on.

The bottom of my shoes took a beating in the crash.

Finally the prognosis: broken collar bone. I got mad again. A nurse came in to give me an arm sling and she felt compelled to inform us that she “wasn’t from this hick state” when we told her we were from Oregon and Washington. “Oh, Oregon! I’m from Montana.” Soooo, you’re from a different hick state, that isn’t anywhere near Oregon? OK cool. Make yourself useful and go get us some damn sandwiches!. Ian was very rude to her because his blood sugar was getting low.

After another half hour of waiting for a ride, we finally got home around 2:00am and ate cereal. Spencer had held back on the five bags that had been there that morning and saved a quarter bag for us.

I wrote most of this the day after it happened (yesterday–Saturday), but now I’m home in Sherwood Oregon, missing the rest of Tulsa, all of Tour of America’s Dairyland, and Nationals. I’m guessing three weeks away from racing at least. I hope to be well enough to do White Rock and Cascade in July. Sucks to be off the bike now because I was finally coming into form like I usually do in the summer. But it’s bound to happen at some point. Broken clavicles are bread and butter injuries for cyclists. I’m not sure that metaphor makes sense. Anyways, not enough people clicked on my youtube video of Spencer, Ian’s and my ride the other day. So watch it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QltVg5uwxuU

Video of today’s pre-race ride at Tulsa

Last night I dreamed that I was living in a post apocalyptic world where only a handful of people had survived whatever holocaust event there had been.  I was living in a forest as a mother wolf/Native American (I’m not sure which one).  Previously in my dream I had been dreaming about a world where a bunch of different eras of people unknowingly co-existed in a land separated by large lakes.  Two modern era people got trapped here when a door closed on them and I think I was one of these people.  We spent a long time trying to break down the door to get back into the real world before we gave up and ventured off into the strange world we were now a part of.  Anyways, that dream eventually turned into the dream where I was the wolf/Native American, so I’m assuming this is where the wolf dream took place.

All of a sudden my pups and I were being chased by an invading army of white men, all in medieval armor.  The rest of the dream was of me teaching my pups how to avoid being detected as we ran from them throughout the forest.  Occasionally I’d hunt down and kill someone for us to eat.  It was a stressful time for the wolf family, but we survived.  Then we finally got cornered in a tree-house; we managed an escape by jumping down 50 feet but then we got trapped in a cabin where each knight came in to attempt to kill me in one-on-one battle.  By now I was in a human form and I had an entire arsenal of dark-age weapons at my disposal on the cabin wall.  The rest of the dream was very gory.  Then I woke up and ate breakfast and went on this ride:

(Don’t worry I’m not RickRolling you)


Tulsa Tough Morning Ride @youtube

By the way, the guys you see at the end are fishing.  With compound bows and arrows.  Yep.

Spencer and Ian.


PS don’t put your cycling shoes in the washing machine on warm wash/medium heat drying.

What I did today

Boy hidy it be dang gum hot down a heaaah in da south!

Last night I got to Tulsa, Oklahoma, at around 9:30pm.  Spencer and Ian arrived an hour and a half later and we were picked up by Tim, the race promoter and our host for the weekend.  So by 11:30 or so I stepped out into the dark outside the airport terminal and was blasted in the face with a gust of hot wind.  It was over 80 and almost midnight!  It’s summer here and has been summer for the last month and a half.  Oregon and Washington, not so much.

I woke up at the crack of noon and Ian, Spencer and I built our bikes and ate some bananas before heading out into the sun.  Immediately upon opening the back door I was blasted in the face again, this time with some 97 degree wind.  We rode around Tulsa for an hour and a half, checking out the Cry Baby Hill crit course and then some roads and bike paths out of town.  We were treated to some genuine southern hospitality as several cars honked and flipped us off.  They probably didn’t appreciate Spencer’s crude Canadian behavior in public, after this is the bible belt and there are standards to uphold.

We were riding along a bike path at one point and Spencer thought he saw a snake in a pond so we went back to check but it was just a stick….umm what else happened.  That was pretty much the highlight.

We got back home and ate some cereal out of the pantry.  Then we laid around for an hour recovering from the heat until we mustered up some energy to go ride to the grocery store.  I got a watermelon, some apples, some peaches which were on sale for $1/pound, keifer, bananas, apples, mushrooms, eggs, pineapple juice, and clams.  Upon checkout, the bagging guy asked about the bikes and what we were here for.  We told him we were in town for some bike races.  He himmed and hawed about how far we’d come just to race a one mile bike race.  I was confused by how confused he was.  Then we went to Whole Foods to go to the sample aisle.  Then we rode home.

Now we’re getting ready to go ride again downtown to El Guapo’s Mexican restaurant, which serves endless chips and salsa in huge bowls.  It’s the best Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma.  Quite possibly the entire world.

We just got back.  It was fantastic.  Soooo much chips and salsa.  We all got the rice bowl, which was really good because it meant we got to eat more chips with it.  As we left the restaurant there were three hot girls standing outside on the corner deciding where to go or something.  We pretended to talk about amongst ourselves while we gawked for five minutes behind them.  Neither Spencer nor Ian had showered for two days, so we left without saying anything.  I myself was looking pretty good in my super short running shorts and home-made V neck Mt. Hood Cycling Classic T shirt.  Then we rode home and Spencer ate seven bowls of cereal.

Letter to TSA

Dear TSA (Tremendously Shitty Assholes),

I recently traveled from Portland to Tulsa and found a note inside my luggage stating you’d raped my bag and its contents.  From the tape job on my bike box, it appears you thoroughly raped that as well.  I fear that when I open it I will be less than surprised to find out that some of the contents are missing or damaged.  (You broke a $2,500 bike frame of mine last year).

But back on the topic of hand.  The note indicated that you stole something from me: a bottle of “flammable” bike chain lubricant.  Your reasoning, I assume, being that it was dangerous and would cause a fire in the luggage compartment.  I’ve had this bottle of chain lube for many months and to date, 100% of the time it has never started any fires while harmlessly lying either in the garage or in my tool bag.  Likewise, it has never burst into flames during the many times I’ve traveled with it on airplanes.  This brings me to my first question.  Since it had never been confiscated in any of the prior flights I’ve taken, what kind of special technology do you have that allowed you to determine that THIS time it was certain that it would bring down the plane in flames?  This amazing technology is the only explanation I can think of because I’ve seen that you’re so good and thorough at your job that I KNOW you wouldn’t have accidentally missed it one of those other times I traveled with it.  You should probably contact the makers of the chain lubricant, White Lightning, and let them know about the new equipment that can sniff out how much time these ticking time bomb bottles of chain lubricant have before detonation.  I’m sure they’re eager to acquire a machine of their own and stop the growing number of customer deaths by printing the explosion date on the bottle and urging users to discard the product before it spontaneously combusts.  Finally we can end all these horrific bike shop and garage fires caused by exploding bottles of chain lube!

My next question: how do you sleep at night knowing the entire planet is anxiously awaiting each and every one of your suicides?  Are you too stupid to be aware of this fact or are you all secretly planning some gigantic, cool, televised, mass suicide event in the coming months?

Go something yourselves,

-Kennett P.

Mt. Hood Cycling Classic stage 5.

Stage 5 was a 91 mile saunter through the gently rolling hills below Mt. Hood.  Included in the torturous terrain were four categorized climbs totaling 10,200 feet of ascending.  A day for the climber.  Or…a day for the Kennett on a rampage!

I took my own advice from my earlier post and perseverance DID pay off today.  Not with a super great result, but with a decent one and earned with a lot of aggressive riding and hardcore suffering, the way I usually race and hope to always race in the future.  My mind was finally in a good place today, and along for the ride were a pair of fairly good legs as well.  In fact, somehow I felt better today than I did any other day this weekend, which is strange (and I’m not talking just comparatively to other riders either, I mean my power was actually better and came easier today than the past three days somehow).  I guess it just took me a long time to open up or something.  Who knows.  The only thing I can think of is that I’ve been able to sleep the past two nights and I’ve also cut way down on meat and junk food since yesterday (Off-the-bike junk food that is.  I still eat apple pies during the race, along with my Hammer bars and gels).  Evan Hyde and Dustin Ransom will back me up here when I say that the inflammatory effect that meat and most grains have on our bodies might outweigh their benefits by delaying recovery and damaging muscles.  I’m going to go back to my low meat, low grain diet focusing on fruit and almond butter (supplemented with iron-rich clams of course) and see how I feel the next couple weeks.  That’s what I had been doing for the three weeks before my diet went to shit for the beginning of this race and I didn’t have one bad day in that time period.  Onto the race report:

Our team’s super secret plan for today was to get me and at least three other guys (hopefully including Dan who entered the day at 8th GC) off the front in the first hundred meters of the race.  I warmed up on the trainer, getting flack from most of my own team as well as others passing by.  But there’s nothing worse than forcing cold muscles into a v02 effort, so warming up for 20 minutes was worth it.

We started just below the Cooper Spur ski lifts and the first 15 miles of the race were all downhill.  I thought the idea of blowing my entire wad in the first 10 minute of the race sounded appealing, so I was eager to get the hurt on as we lined up at the start.  GO!!  Spencer got clipped in right before me and took off in a full sprint.  I caught him and within 4 seconds of the starting pistol we were off the front, passing the lead motorcycles and yelling at them to get out of the way.  In hindsight I don’t think there was an actual starting pistol.  Only in my head.

For the next 14 minutes it was full gas.  Spencer was taking the sharp corners better than me but I was pulling through too hard and gapping him off, so our cohesion was somewhat lacking on my part.  I think at the very most, our lead got up to about 15 seconds, so not much.  We were caught as the hill’s steepness lessened and both of us were well into the red, having already spent a good amount of time above 600 watts in the race’s infancy while 95% of the field had just been coasting.  I continued to attack of course.  After a few minutes of rest.

After a while, Lang got away with a big group so Spencer and I sat on the front to slow the peloton down a bit.  I chased down some bridge attempts until I saw that I was off the front again, solo, midway between the break and the field.  It didn’t last too long, for the field caught me right as the road took a 180 degree turn and went up a steep climb.  I drilled the base of the climb and got up to some riders who were either falling off the break or had been just ahead of me and had been trying to bridge up to them a minute earlier on the descent.  That group exploded.  I quickly found out that my legs were not feeling so swell from all the attacking and sat up before I completely blew up.  I was pretty worried that we were on the first big climb, in which case I’d be fucked to high heaven since it was supposed to be like 10 or 15 miles long (we’d been climbing now for a total of 3 minutes).  The field caught me and I dropped like a stone, going straight back to the tail end, cutting through the peloton like a hot knife through cream cheese or something of that sort.

My worries were over before I knew it and we topped out on the short climb and began a very gradual descent.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I picked my way up the sides in the gravel, riding pretty ballsy and putting some good faith in the toughness of my Vittoria tires as I veered off the road through boulders and tree branches.  I arrived at the base of the next short climb (like five minutes long) near the front just in time.  It was the first of the single lane Forest Service roads and the field blew up.  I made the front group over the top, though the field came together pretty much entirely afterwards.

The descent after the climb was filled with potholes, which I hit two of head on.  Tires still held strong.  The descent ended and the road went up again, though not very steep and into a headwind so the group sat up, not wanting to take any chances of blowing themselves up before the climb got steep again.  I was not worried about this and attacked.  I had weaved my way from the rear to the front and attacked into the headwind.  Two guys had already gotten up the road a few minute prior, but I didn’t even try to bridge up there since they were booking it.  I pretty much sat up and started riding hard tempo to wait for some guys to come up to me.  I sat just below my threshold just in case the road got steep for the next 10 miles or 20 miles.

Part of me wishes I’d pre-ridden or driven the course, or at least looked at the elevation profile.  The other part of me is glad that I didn’t.  It would have been nice to know how much longer a certain climb was, but at the same time it might not have been, depending on how much pain I was in and my mental state.  Instead, I entered each climb without a clue.

Anyways, a RideClean guy bridged up to me as the climb eventually got steeper.  I sat on and didn’t pull, smartly so because he was tiny and didn’t seem to mind the increasing gradient.

All a sudden nine or more guys caught us and we began drilling it even harder.  Eventually it was down to eleven of us when the single lane road evened out a bit.  We already had a 1:20 gap on the field at that point.  I pulled through on the undulating climb/descent a few times, but didn’t really put too much effort into it since I was worried about getting dropped if things went ballistic, which they did.

As the road took a final pitch change and got up to 15% at the base of the final riser with 5K to the top, the break split up.  I was sitting sixth wheel when I realized a small gap was opening up with three guys riding away from me and the two guys in front of me.  There was already a substantial gap back to the remaining guys behind us.  I was still riding at threshold and a surge above that might have blown me up, or so I thought at the time.  The guy in front of me jumped around the guy who had opened up the gap and made it onto the back of the three up the road.  Me and the other guy slowly lost ground on them as we smashed our legs up the steep, broken pavement surrounded by 10-foot high snowbanks.   By the top the most of or all of the other guys who had been dropped on the earlier slopes of the climb caught back onto us.  I regret not just going for it all out and making the group with the faster climbers, because my group ended up losing two minutes to them over the next 20 miles.  I just had no idea what I was going to be capable of or what the rest of the climb was like.

We descended for a long time, almost had a head on collision with an SUV around a blind corner since the road closures today were absolutely terrible, then entered the loop again for one more lap of that climb.  By the top of that climb our gap to the field had gone from almost four minutes down to three.  Another blistering descent and the third KOM climb started.  I could see the field up on top of the clear cut hill to our left after we came down the mountain, crossed a river, and started going back up a steep climb on the other side of the valley.  I punched it hard, hoping to get as much climbing done at my own pace as possible before the field caught me.

It didn’t last long and I was eaten up in no time.  I dug super deep here and made it into the race leader’s group, just off the back of a few of the best climbers as they attacked up the climb.  I held on to that group for a while but eventually dropped off from what was left of this lead group and became part of an eight man group that contained Olhieser (the race leader) and a number of other pretty strong dudes including my old teammate Sean Passage, who’s riding superb this year.  From there on it was just a lot more climbing, a HUGE amount of crazy descending, and then a lot more climbing.  Long story short(er), I ended up placing 22nd and moved up to 43rd.

A lot of “what ifs?” went through my head as I laid on the parking lot pavement at the finish sipping on a Coke.  What ifs as in, “what if my legs hadn’t felt like shit the first three days of the race.”  Strange how your body works.  If I had had the legs I had today I certainly would have had a much better race and likely placed top 20 on GC (in my opinion).  As it was, even today’s ride got me 43rd, which is pretty crazy since I lost like 13 minutes on the very first road stage.  Whatever.  I was happy to finally have a good ride.  I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever feel good again this year (probably a bit of an unnecessary freak out since I’d only felt bad for half a week).

After Mexican food with the team, Spencer and I went home and made and ate a cheesecake.  Lang, who finished 4th today and 11th overall!, stopped by to see if it was ready before he took off to Seattle.  We had told him about it earlier that afternoon, but were having second thoughts about sharing once the thing was made and ready for eatin.  We didn’t say no, but we didn’t say yes either.  In fact, we had just been eating it when we saw Lang run over to our house from across the street in the pouring rain from the current thunderstorm, and we quickly hid it and wiped our mouths clean.  We’re good teammates on the bike at least.

Spencer enjoying some of the finest cherry cheesecake known to humankind.  Only 350 calories per serving! (of three servings each).  Lang, you don’t get any.

These are the only two pictures I took this weekend. I choose wisely.

I’ll do one more post tomorrow or the next day with all the pictures of our team that I can scavenge from facebook and other websites.

In other, more serious news, we had two teammates go down hard in crashes this week.  Alan Adams broke his neck during the first road race and also suffered a serious concussion.  He doesn’t remember how he crashed.  He’s up and walking around now and seems to be in good spirits, though he’ll have to wear a neck brace for the next 6-8 weeks.  A very close call (not that breaking your neck is a good alternative to anything) and we’re super happy it didn’t end up worse.

Chris Parish was taken out by a very careless motorcycle (not race affiliated) during the time trial and fractured his skull.  I drove the van with Colin to the scene of the accident upon hearing Dan’s frantic description of seeing Chris lying face-down on the road after passing him in his TT.  Chris didn’t need us though, since the paramedics and police were already there.  But after hearing what happened, it took all my willpower to not crush the motorcyclist’s face with my foot.  The next 24 hours were very scary for us as we didn’t really know what Chris’ condition was.  All we knew was that he had a fractured skull and was being transported to a hospital in Portland.  Turns out that he’s taking a turn for the better and everything is looking OK in terms of his immediate condition.  Chris, if you’re reading this we all killed it extra hard for you today after Joe’s corny speech to us before the race about “WWCPD?” and how we should dig just a bit extra deep today in your name.   Cliche as it sounds, it worked.  Get well soon!

PS I can’t remember how to download the SRM files onto Training peaks with my Apple… soooo when you’re up to it you should give me a call and tell me how to do it.

Mt. Hood stages 3 and 4.

This is going to be short and to the point because I’m tired, ready for bed, and actually sleepy for once this week!  For some reason I wasn’t able to sleep more than an hour the night after the prologue (too much coffee probably) and I’ve been paying for it ever since with a strange headache that won’t go away.  Last night was better and I got a few Zs, but not nearly enough.  A solid night’s sleep should do the trick–unfortunatley we just finished a late night crit, which is followed by an early road race start tomorrow morning.  Thank you race organizers.  Great planning.

The TT this morning: Wow.  My legs haven’t felt that bad in a long time.  I wanted to give it a hard effort and see what I could do or at least get some more TT work in, but warming up at 175 watts was killing me.  So, to conserve something for the crit and tomorrow’s stage I ended up riding easy and  at the very bottom of my tempo just to make sure I made the time cut.  Although, even riding easy hurt.  Looking at the results I’d say there were a lot of other people who felt the same or worse than me.

The crit went ok.  I definitely felt better than this morning, but I still didn’t have much kick in me.  I fought for positioning the entire race riding between 50th and 20th wheel, waiting for a chance to attack.  Mike Olheiser had gone up the road solo on the first lap and was slowly extending his lead every few minutes.  It went from 15 seconds to 21 seconds to 30 seconds 3/4ths of the way into the shortened, 60-minute race.  By then it was apparent that he was going to stay away no matter what.  My hopes of resting in the pack while the field chased him down so I could save all my bullets for a single amazing counter attack were over.  Instead, we were going to be battling for 2nd.

With 10 to go guys started launching themselves up the road.  The organized chase, if you could call it that, was over.   7 laps to go I saw a few guys escape after Dan was brought back from a move and I went hard up the first hill before the finish line, getting a solid gap and quickly catching one guy who was trying to bridge up to two others up the road.  I flew by him then caught the two up the road.  That hard bridge move killed me and I sat on them for a lap before taking any pulls.  The move looked pretty good and I thought we’d stay away, but it was short lived and the three of us were caught with 4 to go.  I attacked again immediately right as the field came up on us but didn’t get a gap and sat up at the start/finish line to get off the front.  By then I was pretty screwed for a couple laps as I tried to recover and I ended up just trying to maintain somewhat of a safe position in the top 30 until the end.  It was a fast crit but not hard enough for it to ever really get strung out or break things up.  I was amazed Olheiser could solo the entire way.  Simply amazing.  I’ll say that word one more time for good measure.  Amazing.  The whole HB team finished in the main group, with Spencer just missing out on the top 10 with an 11th place.