Kennett’s big day out

I got my weekend started at the early hour of 7:15 am yesterday.  I’m not sure if yesterday was technically Saturday, but now that I’m no longer working at the restaurant for the summer, every day is pretty much a weekend.  Who am I kidding, all my days were like weekends before.  Anyways, my New Zealand triathlon buddy Geoff, heard about this great little bike to work event going on in Boulder/the rest of the nation.  To get people excited about bike commuting, the city put up like 200 breakfast stations for cyclists and pedestrians walking their way to work.  Free food.  I repeat:



All you can eat.






Rock &Roll.


Free food.

Fuck yeah.

Geoff and I rolled out of my driveway and crossed the busy street of Arapahoe, and low and behold there was a random breakfast table set up with yogurt parfaits!  Not even a quarter mile from my garage.  This was going to be easier than taking candy from a dead baby.  And we came prepared.  We’d brought backpacks.

Breakfast burritos were next.  Note: this picture may or may not have been taken during the National Crit last Friday.

After that was bagels, salmon lox cream cheese, fruit, juice, bananas, oranges, etc.  Basic bullshit.

A few minutes later we were munching muffins, just the tops.  Pumpkin and walnut?  I’m not sure.  We started on our second cups of coffee as we sat on a bench in the shade.  It was already 90 degrees and not yet eight o’clock.  The next place better have some cold smoothies!!!

The smoothies had to wait, for our next stop was another spread of bagels and cream cheese and hot coffee at Performance Bicycles.  I saw my friend Will’s decked out Sprinter van sitting in it’s usual spot in the parking lot, in front of Performance where he works.  Will was probably still asleep.  Geoff and I had already consumed more food than any other human beings in Colorado.

Our next stop required a little more pedaling than the previous few places, but it did not disappoint.  It was the Dushanbe Tea House breakfast station in downtown.  They were serving chai tea, a hot egg and potato dish, and scones with jam.  No time to mingle, we had a strict deadline.  The breakfast stations closed down at around 9:30.

Not even a full block away was a fitness studio that gave us some free passes and miniature spinach, egg, and ham panini sandwiches.  Geoff was starting to hurt.  I was holding strong.  I’d been training for this day my entire life.  Bike riding+eating massive quantities of food…I was born for this shit.

We grabbed some water bottles from a person in front of my old workplace, the Boulderado Hotel.  Water bottles?  That’s it?  Cheapskates.

Stop eight, not counting the Boulderado water bottles, was a real good one.  I didn’t even get to try everything.  They had miniature pancakes, miniature parfaits, Izze soda, breakfast burritos, hot chicks handing out the burritos, Skratch Labs electrolyte powder (plants love that ish), and smoothies!

And directly across the street…more smoothies!!

Farther down Pearl street, the Google building had more smoothies, bagels, fruit, coffee, etc.

I was no longer hungry by now, and had mainly just been loading my trusty Shimano shoe bag full of goodies for later.  I had to be able to pedal my bike hard at some point that day.

The last and 11th stop on our journey was Whole Foods…the grand finale.  This was no quick breakfast snack table, this was a full on meal.  We’re talking pancakes, sausage, egg frittata, oatmeal, fruit, berries, nuts, yogurt, coffee, and condoms.  Yeah, condoms.  No joke.  I asked how popular the XLs were.  The girl handing them out said not that popular, Boulder is pretty white.

Food bag that helped feed me for the rest of the day.

Geoff feeling pretty ill.  Geedy bugger.

After two hours of free-loading, I had to carry my oats back home for another day.  Geoff moaned and groaned on the living room floor for a half hour before he had to leave for a swim workout.  I hung around until mid day before heading out on my five and a half hour ride in the hot, dry, smoky mountains.  The Flagstaff fire from the day before had miraculously been put under control over night at 40% containment with no new growth expected, but a new thunderstorm brewed two more lightning-strike fires while I was on my ride.  I ended the ride down in Denver at Tricia’s house, where I was going to hang out and do the cruiser ride with her and Morgan that night.  The ride involved making homemade V-necks, riding to the capital plaza, and navigating the Circle of Death: a tight pack of drunken, terrible bike handlers that sped around in circles in front of a loud rock band.  It was awesome.  People crashed, pedicabs went the wrong direction, someone threw a glass bottle in the circle that was immediately run over and smashed, a girl threw a punk BMX biker on his ass when he ran into her, double decker tall bikes and high wheel bikes amazingly maneuvered the chaos without incident, dance circles formulated, everyone was in some sort of costume, and we all had a grand old merry time without even one police officer present to ruin it.  I was amazed at the turnout.  Every Wednesday this goes on with easily over 1,000 people participating.  With the bike to work breakfast festival and the Cruiser Ride, I got to experience two cool ways people are getting excited about riding bikes.  The more people on bikes and out of cars the better.

My shirt had a picture of lightning striking a forest on fire and a person below facing the other direction ignoring it and watching their plasma screen.  Very few people thought it was funny.

The world is on fire. Let’s get some marshmallows.

I looked up from the melting pavement as I rode from the post office to Suflower Farmer’s Market, my favorite grocery store of all time.  What I saw made me do a double take.  A huge plume of smoke was spreading into South Boulder, just a mile away, like fallout from a nuclear bomb.  The air was thick with nasty, brown smoke blowing quickly east due to heavy winds coming off the mountains in the west.  The sky was buzzing with helicopters and jets dropping red fire-retardant chemicals.  Shit.

Just an hour earlier, while coming back from my bike ride, I’d been hit by a few big drops of rain as a quick thunderstorm passed overhead.  I saw about a dozen lightning strikes nail the ground.  I thought nothing of it at the time; my mind was set on a cold frozen yougurt from Boom, where my roommate Kim works.  I finished my yogurt, rode home, packed up a half dozen items to ship to various people across the world who, for some reason, decided to buy a bunch of old ratty bike stuff on ebay.  I packed my backpack to the brim with bungie cords strapping large boxes on in every direction.  After annoying everyone at the post office by filling out the addresses at the front counter instead of earlier back in line, I got back on my bike and headed to the grocery store.  How many gallons of gas will it take to ship my crap to New York?  That’s literally what I was thinking about when I saw the fire on the hillside above Boulder.  It had reached 300 acres in an hour and a half.  The wind was violently swirling the out-of-control fire into massive swirling flame tornados, starting new spot fires a quarter of a mile beyond the rim of the original flame.  Houses were already being evacuated and it looked like another Waldo Fire, the one Colorado Springs is currently enjoying where the fire is presently spreading into the city.  32,000 people have been evacuated from Colorado Springs, which is just to our south, and it’s burning an area well over 6,000 acres.  It started just a few days ago.  Up north, Fort Collins has been ablaze for weeks, still only at 60% containment.  The flames are closing in from every direction.

As the brown smoke billowed off the mountain into downtown, I continued riding along in awe.  It was another scorcher today.  100 degrees, even higher on the radiating pavement under my wheels.  It’s been in the 100’s for weeks here in Boulder, with the only rain coming in the form of brief thunderstorms that only start more fires.  I parked my bike in a corner of the grocery store and went about my business, loading up on a week’s supply of fruit and veggies.  Inside the air-conditioned super market, the feeling of calm was enhanced with soft, pleasant music, played to enhance the mood for purchasing.  The capitalistic mantra of our nation: when fear looms in the air, spend more money.  Outside the world was a flame.  Inside, we were distracted by the great sale on cherries from Argentina.

With Colorado’s record cold and snow fall in the winter and now record heat, drought, and fires, it’s hard to ignore the presence of climate change.  And yet we’re doing a fine job of it.  I stuffed my backpacking to the brim with food, strapping on bananas and a carton of eggs to the outside because.  Like usual, I bought too much to fit inside.  There was one other bike parked in the store (Sunflower is awesome about letting the expensive bikes sit inside) and there was one bike outside in the bike rack.  Adversely, the parking lot was full.  Typical.  Even here in Boulder where people pride themselves on being green and conscientious of their waste, we still fall way behind the rest of the world.  We pack our SUVs full of plastic bags and packaging, processed food, and hamburger patties that require 60 calories of fossil fuel to create one calorie of actual meat.  The SUVs are driven one to three miles home, where they sit in gigantic garages big enough to house entire extended family in India.  It’s always rush hour traffic in Boulder.  I saw thousands of cars on my short ride home from the store.  I saw only five human beings.  Once home, our groceries occupy a fridge 200% larger than those in Europe, within air-conditioned houses packed, like my backpack, to the brim with plastic and other non-biodegradable crap that will end up in a land fill within seven years.  Just outside there’s a massive fire burning down what’s left of nature.  As long as it stays up there in the hills…who cares?  The deer maybe.  But the fire is no longer on the horizon, it’s here in front of us, knocking on our doors and still we sit inside and ignore it.  The nocking grows louder, so we turn up the volume on Fox News.

While my house isn’t air-conditioned, I don’t use any plastic bags, and I ride a bike around, I did just fly across the country a few days ago, emitting carbon high into the atmosphere where it’s twice as detrimental.  I bought bananas from Panama.  I shipped an old skin suit to Canada.  The problem is, even those of us who care, don’t really care.  Maybe we’ll take notice when we finally catch fire.  Until then…it’s business as usual.

National Road Race

It was a scorcher out there today.  Not so much extremely hot, but super humid.  I spent the entire day soaking wet from head to toe in a combination of water, sweat, drank mix, and, uhhh, other bodily fluids.  I think I went through around 25 bottles for the four hour race, half of them poured over me and half consumed.  My stomach was full and sloshing with liquid for the first six of seven laps, never requesting any of the water I kept force-feeding it.  But the super hydration paid off and I had terrific legs the entire day.  Unfortunately, the result was not there.  Typical.  At least I got to ride hard.

With just under 180 starters, our team of six had a 3% chance of winning–strictly by the numbers.  But judging by the way we started out riding, it seemed like a first place or at least a podium was guaranteed.  I followed some wheels into the early breakaway, which went about 500 meters into the race.  I helped drill it and get the thing established, which it eventually did despite a pretty large lack of cooperation amongst us all.  After about a half lap the break was set at seven or eight of us, with most of the strong teams represented with at least one rider.  One guy wasn’t pulling through, but with some mean verbal abuse from the rest of us, we eventually got him to start working.

Lap two (there were seven laps total, 104 miles, 7,ooo ft of climbing.): This is where my memory is already getting fuzzy.  Early on the second lap, Gabe and three other guys bridged up to us.  Gabe said he wasn’t feeling great (not quite true as it turned out) and that I should take it a bit easier than him and to “be smart.”  A few miles later I followed a Juwi Solar guy (Julian Keyer–the guy who ended up winning) off the front and the two of us worked pretty easily to stay 10-15 seconds away from the disorganized group behind us.  I was pretty hesitant to go hard, since Gabe had just told me to be smart and there was a lot of racing left to do, so I just rode a medium pace until we both decided to sit up since our gap wasn’t growing and no one had bridged to us.

Before the second lap ended and the the other guys caught us, I saw that the group had grown by another six guys or so, including another teammate of mine: Ian.  Now with 16 off the front and every team represented, some with two and some (like us) with three, I was certain we’d stay away.  The gap to the field was around two-three minutes by this point.

Lap three and four was basically Gabe sitting on the front keeping the pace going and chasing down attackers while small groups of 3-5 continued catching us, with almost equal amounts of guys falling back into the field, suffering from the heaat.  Our lead group turned into a strong group of 22 riders.  Ian and I sat on for the most part, under Gabe’s order, following a couple attacks now and again but not trying to get away.  With Gabe crushing it we didn’t need to waste energy trying to get away.  Just let him whittle the others’ legs while we sat on for a free ride, saving energy for the final laps.

Lap five and I was still feeling amazing.  It felt as though I’d just hopped on my bike after a week of rest, with the previous two and a half hours of hot riding never even existing.  It seemed too good to be true, and I feared the inevitable downfall to come.

A series of hard attacks went a few miles into lap six, eventually shelling Gabe after he’d done a TREMENDOUS amount of work for Ian and I.  Now was the time to step it up and go with moves.  I covered a number of attacks over the rolling hills and slight cross wind sections at the tops.  Our group slimmed down significantly, as well as our gap to the charging field behind us.  Finally, Ian got up the road with three other guys.  I covered moves and sat on, and eventually Ian’s and the others’ gap grew to over a minute.  The cooperation in my, now large again, chase group decreased steadily until we got caught by a small group just off the front of the peloton as we entered the feed hill of the seventh lap.  As we crested the top, a few moves went off, which I decided not to follow since the pack was now eating us up.  Ian hadn’t made it with the other three leaders over the final hill of the sixth lap, so we were now pretty much relying on the power of the peloton to bring back the three remaining guys up the road.  With one lap to go it seemed like the gap would come down and we’d catch them, especially since there were still over 100 guys left in the peloton, but there wasn’t a concerted enough effort made by any of the teams with the numbers left.  We were down to just me, Danny, Jon, and Steve.  Steve and Danny had raced the U23 race the day before, so them just being there was a feat in itself.  No one expected anything more out of them, but Steve went to the front in the final kilometers to help reel in the break, and Danny offered to help lead me out and position me for the finish, which was a 1 kilometer gradual climb that flattened out at the top for 200 meters around a 90 degree bend.  It was a great finish for me and I was still feeling remarkably good.  But I screwed it all up big time, entering the hill about fifty guys back.  I closed a lot of gaps and came around a huge amount of people as the field shattered.  (Okay, side note: if you know you’re going to blow up a half K before the finish, why do you have to get in my way and ruin my chances?  Seriously, just stay at the back.  Have some consideration please.)  Anyways…500 meters, 400 meters, 300 meters, I was still gaining on the front little group that had gapped the weaklings.  I smashed it all out with 200 meters to go and finally came to terms with the fact that I was doomed for only a top 20 and had entered the base of the hill way, way, way too late.  I finished 18th, with the three guys off the front sticking it to the end.  I shook my head in disgust at my ill planning at the base of the hill, let out a silent curse to myself for being in the break that long and not following the right wheels, then rode around the finish area for 10 minutes searching for our van.  Recovery: pedialyte, water, recoverite, snickers, twix.  I didn’t even feel that tired.  So much legs today and such a shitty result.  That’s bike racing.

Danny was 10th today, 10th in the U23 crit two days ago, Steve was 5th in yesterday’s U23 road race, and Logan missed out on first place in the 17/18 yr old road race by less than a tire’s width, so 2nd place.  All in all, it was a great trip with a few good results for the team and a lot of aggressive riding.  It was my first time in the true dirty south and I liked it, even though I never got to see an Alligator.

Thank you to Alan for making this trip extremely easy on us, for doing a great job in the caravan, and thanks to Marcel for feeding countless bottles to us today in the hot sun.  I leave you with this:

Crit Nationals

After bragging to Ian about how I’d stolen some of Marcel’s granola and coconut milk the day before, Ian infromed me that that granola and milk I’d stolen wasn’t Marcel’s, but his.  Uh oh.  I knew Ian would be looking for revenge in the crit, and kept a watchful eye out.  And low and behold, true to his evil spirit, Ian took his revenge.  Aproximately 2/3rds of the way through the race Ian snaked across the front of the peloton trying to put me in the fence, but caused a huge pile up of 50 riders instead, crashing out Horndog Brocal instead of me and destroying his bike in half.  After the race Alan had to drive 700 miles to Atlanta that night to pick up a new frame at Blue’s head quarters (Blue is our bike sponsor FYI).  Nah, just kidding.  That didn’t happen–the part about Ian causing the crash.  Everything else did.

Here’s a NASTY Vimeo clip of Jon’s crash.  Beware, there’s lots of blood and guts.  It’s worth a watch.

It was hot and muggy as we sat in the parking lot waiting for our race to start.  We’d set up camp in a mini blacktop Bayou.  A thick stench of septic water and urine wafted into our nostrils and eyes as we packed our backs and groins full of ice socks, trying to keep cool and our socks dry.  Alan had provided us with all the necessary tools to keep cool and hydrated for the race.  We had 80 bottles of water, six extra gallons, four or five coolers, gels, bars, all the normal powders plus a few extra kinds specifically for the heat (extra salt), enduralytes, ice socks, cold towels, and even a few liters of special prescription saline solution with 900mg of sodium per 100ml serving.  I added about 130ml in my bottles for the race.  First sip I tried to take, 15 minutes in, I squirt directly into my face by accident.  Good thing I have an extremely high pain tolerance (way higher than anyone else in the world) and I didn’t feel any discomfort as the salt water bleached my eyes.

When the race started, Ian took two laps to clip in.  I was stuck behind him the entire time.  Somehow he ended up getting to the front and attacking with Gabe and Jon, while I drifted far into the depths of the pack foder.  Danny and Steve, who’s birthday it was yesterday, were racing the U23 race after us, so we only had four guys in the race.  We just needed one more guy…

So while Gabe covered EVERY single move for the first 45 minutes of the race (and just about all of them after that too), I drove my bike like I hadn’t raced a big crit in two months, which I hadn’t.  Luckily the race was a long one at 80km, so I had enough time to re-learn crit bike racing and get to the front and attack.  I ended up towing another guy with me to two others up the road.  Our four-person break turned to 10 before long and we quickly put 20 seconds on the field.  We were off for a while but it became apparent we wouldn’t stay away, since only five of us were working.  With 13 laps and the organization completely going to shit, I attacked and got away by myself.  I spent the next few laps futily attempting to hold the pack off for the next half hour (long laps).  I did not.

Gabe attacked.  Ian attacked. Jon was in the medical tent.  His bike was in two pieces.  I got up to the front and sat there as Gabe’s last move was slowly reeled in.  I followed an attack and pulled through, dropping the guy who’d just attacked by accident because he forgot to keep pedaling.  I was half way between the peloton and Gabe’s two-man move now, with just 2.5 laps to go.  I didn’t quite make it.  I was absorbed by the field with 2 laps remaining.  Gabe and his breakmate were caught a half lap later.  Ian found himself on the very front with a lap to go and drilled it with a tiny gap.  He was caught.  All our cards were used up…except for our sprinter, who’d been sitting and resting in the field all day for the inevitable pack sprint.  NOT.

We went into the race with the plan of attacking the S outa that S and we did, knowing that we most likely would not win in the field sprint since there were two or three guys in the pack that pretty much had that wrapped up.  Our efforts were valiant but we didn’t win.  At least we entertained David in the process:

After the crit we rode home, showered, and ate Top Ramen to re-hydrate.  Then we drove back to the race course to watch the U23 race, where Danny, Steve, and Marcel suffered in the heat while Logan, who got 6th in the 17-18 crit, ate yogurt with a snicker’s bar.  He was DRIPPING with sweat.

Here he’s blowing a long stream of snot out his nose.

This is “Pat,” the guy our team cheered on throughout the race.  We were convinced Pat was going to CRUSH the sprint, since he conserved at the very back of the pack the entire day, but then he got dropped.

Danny after the race.  He got 10th!

This is the most unflattering picture of Danny I could take.  Upward angle.

Marcel and Steve.  Steve was an absolute animal like Gabe had been and spent the majority of the race smashing fools’ legs as he bridged gaps and drove it off the front.

After the race, Gabe, Jon, Logan and I went out to eat with a couple nice Southern girls.  Logan was only 17 and Jon has a girlfriend…so logically both those guys ended up sitting right next to our company while Gabe and I sat at the far end of the table.  Jon spent half the night on his phone and Logan spent half his time making pools of salt on the table with a salt shaker.  I couldn’t hear a damn thing the whole time since it was really loud and I was so far away, but nodded and laughed along with unheard stories going on at the other end of the table.  I’m not sure, but I may have laughed and smiled after the tale was told of someone’s dead aunt.  Gabe and I shook our heads in disgust with our seating arrangements while we all grew hungrier and hungrier.  Two hours later our food came.  Today we rest.  Tomorrow we do the real race.  Heads will roll.  As will eyes.

They sending me to Augusta Georgia…it’s this whole other country.

I’m only writing a blog right now because my teammate Ian is writing one next to me.  I need to keep typing at a good pace so he thinks I’m making progress in my blog post.  When in reality I’m not.  Let’s see, what else can I type right now?  I should laugh out loud a little to myself so he thinks I’m writing something funny and/or witty.   I just laughed.  He just said, “Already laughing at your own jokes are you?? Okay.”  I think it’s working.  He’s hitting the back space quite a bit right now, most likely thinking to himself that whatever he just wrote isn’t up to pare with what I’m laughing at.  The fool.  Haha, he just gave up and went into the kitchen to eat more food to console himself for being an inferior blog writer.

Here in Georgia, you got your Chick-Fil-A, Churche’s Chicken, and Popeyes, among others.  But the real deal is at the Waffle House, where Gabe, Jon, and Logan went last night without telling any of us.  We flew in plane, then drove in a few cars for a long time until we got to our host houses, just after dinner time, so I was really hungry and we had no food all night long!  So you can see how mad I was when I found out that they went to the Waffle House without me.  Anyways, it sounds amazing and I’ll write about it after I experience it first hand, but Gabe’s steak sounded delicious: fatty ground beef shaped into the form of a steak and cuttable with a plastic fork.  Just dripping with flavor.

We just got back from a ride, which was only two hours but FULL of excitement.  The highlights were A) seeing a bayou, B) making jokes about bayous, such as, “I’m gonna bayou a boat at the boat store.”  Q: “Where’s the remote?”  A: “It’s right bayou on the table.”  Neither of those were actual jokes we made, but they’re similar.  Anyways, back to the highlights of our amazing ride…C) Ian getting hit by a gigantic dragon fly, D) Steve being short, E) drinking a slurpie, F) riding into South Carolina, G) comparing Danny to Winger–in a good way, H) singing Colt 45 as a team and remembering 87% of the lyrics, and I) getting a LOT of room from just about every single car that passed us.  And I’m not even being sarcastic, it was really amazing considering how bad I figured we’d be treated, as cyclists, down in the south.

While we did see some smashed roadkill, my non bike-racing goal for this trip is to see these animals during our stay here: water moccasin, wild boar, alligator, and a snapping turtle..hopefully all at the same time eating each other in a bayou.

Riding along in Georgia before we head up north.





Note: I’m making the O face/Catfish face because of a road sign, not the dogs.  Never mind the dogs, they’re just there by coincidence.

See.  The sign.

We were pretty sure this counted as a bayou.

Steve and I found this other bayou while Ian flatted on a rock.  Ian weighs a LOT so his tube didn’t really stand a chance.  Poor thing.

We stopped for Slurpies after Ian did approximately 27 minutes of sprinting to warm up for the crit on Friday.

My room has some female company in case I get lonely at night.  Marcel, get your hands off my lady friend!

I also have an exercise bike for cooling down after riding in the heat outside.

Sunday’s road race is gonna be HOT and wet.  It’s really humid.

Nationals Prep

As many of you know, my teammate Ian Crane, has been doing some pretty important work preparing for elite nationals in Augusta, Georgia this coming weekend.  The biggest obstacle in the race, aside from the other people trying to cross the finish line first, will likely be the heat.  Ian, coming from the snowy, southern Alaskan town of Bellingham, is currently just coming out of winter hibernation, and although he’s lean from his long winter slumber, he’s completely unacclimated to anything above 49 degrees F.  So in preparation, he’s compiled a list of things he’s done to get his body ready for the heat.  To build new capillaries, he’s been training in a parka, much like Cody and Jesse do up in Canada every day.  While many of his practices sound sensible, such as listening to Riahna to feel the warmth of the Caribbean, I warn you–don’t take his advice!  I, Kennett Peterson, have all the best techniques for heat acclimation, which I’ll share with you right here.

Step #1: Shave everything.  This includes buzzing of the head, groinal region, armpits, and shaving of the torso, arms and legs.  Luckily for me, I have the power to control my hair growth and slow it down, diverting the hair energy into building stronger bones so that when I crash, I don’t get hurt as badly.

#2: Go really fast around corners.  The heat generated from the G forces when you corner really fast will get your body in the mood for Georgia-esque temps.  Also, the higher the angle of the corner, the better heat acclimation you get.  A 90 degree corner is only half as good/hot as a 180 degree corner.  Yesterday I looked down at my bike computer and saw that I was going 54.8 mph heading into a 200 degree corner.  Although I had to come way out into the left hand lane into the blind corner, risking life and limb and peeing myself just a little, the heat acclimation I got was astounding and well worth the risk of dying.  Later that day I didn’t even feel my hand burning on a stove while I was cooking spinach until like six seconds after I rested it there.

#3: Ride in the heat.  It’s been in the 90’s here all week except for earlier in the week when it wasn’t.  It was 101 today.  If you live where it’s cold, quit your job and move.  It’s amateur, I mean ELITE nationals for heck’s sake!  It doesn’t get any more prestigious.

#4: Deprive yourself of water on long, hot rides.  One of my old soccer coaches had us do this during summer practice.  He said that during the game we wouldn’t be drinking whenever we wanted, so to get used to it we would only drink like once during practice.  Today on my ride I only drank eight water bottles instead of the 31 that I wanted to drink.

#5: Load up on salt.  I’ve been putting salt on everything.  I do that usually, but lately I’ve been using even more than normal.  The body can store up a lot of salt, and it’s pretty much impossible, while you’re in the race, to consume as much as you’re sweating out during those 4.5 hours.  So stalk up on salt before hand.  Top Ramen is a good choice if you want some flavor with your salt.  Also, with your body super saturated (not really) with salt, you’ll be able to carry a lot more stored water along in you, while increasing your plasma levels.

#6: Eat lots of watermelon to replenish your water stores, post ride.  I really like watermelon, especially in the summer.  Science has proven the fact that eating one liter of watermelon is equivalent to drinking 7 liters of water.  I always carry at least half a watermelon on me from the months of May-Sept.  And despite its name, it CAN be brought on planes, TSA!!

#7: Never use deodorant or sunscreen, as both will clog your pores and inhibit them from secreting sweat.  It’s much better to get really sunburned than to lose even a single pore’s ability to cool you down with sweat.

#8: Stretch your skin to create more body surface area.  Like an elephant’s ears, you want as much surface area to mass ratio as you can get when it comes to cooling down in the heat.  More surface area means you have more blood being pumped to the outside of your body, effectively cooling the blood down when it’s pumped to skin near the air.  I recommend manually pulling and stretching skin for at least 90 minutes a day.

#10: Eat hot food.  I can’t remember if Ian said this or not and I don’t want to go back to his blog to give him even MORE hits, so I’ll just assume that he didn’t say it.  By eating spicy and hot (temperature) foods, you’ll increase your body’s ability to produce special enzymes to cool itself.  Don’t ask me about it.  It’s science.  Also, the hot, acidic food you’re eating will acclimate you in another way when it exits your body.  The spicier your poop, the more heat tolerance you’re getting.  Here’s a little poem to go by: If it smells overripe, hurts to wipe, and leaves a red stripe, congrats! You’ve no reason to gripe, so keep pumping that pipe with spicy foods and tripe.

#11: Have a large, fat cat sit in your lap on a daily basis for heat acclimation.  You must be acclimating all the time, 24 hours a day.  Not just on rides.  I don’t have a cat, but I do have a hot pussy to sit on my lap instead.  OH hahahah!! No, but not really.

#12: Fart in the shower.  And don’t have the fan on.  Farting in the shower increases the room discomfort level by 12 points, which translates to temperature by 23 degrees.

#13: Glance at the sun every now and then.  Don’t look at it for more than forty minutes straight, as it’s bad for your eyes.  I recommend the 20/20/20 rule.  20 minutes looking at the sun, 20 seconds looking at something 20 millimeters away, 20 more minutes looking at the sun, etc.

#14: Avoid products like Sensodyne, the toothpaste for people who can’t eat cold things because they’re weak-minded.  By using Sensodyne, you’re reducing the overall amount of cold you can feel.  The percentage of temperature your body can sense, increases towards hot.  If anything, you want to reduce the heat not increase it.  Don’t use Sensodyne because it will make you hot.

#15: I’m sure you’re like me and you can’t get enough fatty northern fish, like mackerel, sardines, and herring.  The pungently delicious odor of a good can of herring, wafting past my nose on a hot summer day is so appeasing that it’s making my mouth water right now as I type.  A few months ago my teammate, Dan, explained to me why this type of northern fish is good for you.  I didn’t really absorb or understand what he was saying, but basically the gist of it was that when you eat animals from the far north or south (cold places) the omega-3 fats your body absorbs helps your body stay cool.  So eating animals from cold places increases your tolerance to the heat.  You might (naively, I might add) say to yourself, “Wait a minute, Kennett.  Wouldn’t eating foods from cold places help you stay warm, since those animals have to stay warm in the extreme cold?  And even that logic doesn’t make any sense so what are you talking about?”  And to that I say: shut your dirty little mouth and be quiet when I’m talking at you.  It’s science.  Shut up.  There’s even a quote in the Bible that backs me up:

Page 312, verse 19 from the book of Jehovahs: “And they lord said on to him, thy kingdom come, ‘there shall be great chilling of the spirit when’st thy eats the cold, dead flesh of his fellow man.’”

#16: Build yourself an ice vest for before the race.  It can get hot just rolling around in the parking lot the 30 minutes before the race, and you might as well stay cool then.  I built a sick as ice vest a few months ago but left it behind at a host house by accident.

#17: Change your name to something that can be muttered in as few syllables as possible.  That way when people ask your name you won’t waste precious mouth moisture by going on and on, finishing your long, mulit syllable name.  While ‘LL Cool K’ sounded appealing to me, I decided on the more practical ‘Keehhh.’  I can say that without even opening my mouth.

If there’s one person who knows about heat acclimation, it’s Thomas T, who is pictured here stealing a cantaloupe rind.

Pictures of my bike ride today

I thought I’d bring a camera along for my ride today and take a bunch of blurry pictures of the road.  Here they are:

Here’s the Flat Irons.  It was really hot today.  Mid 90’s down low so I headed for the mountains where it was like 20 degrees cooler.  I drank one and a half bottles 11 minutes into my ride and had to stop at a Starbucks and fill em up in the bathroom.  11 minutes into the ride!!

First pitch up Flagstaff out of Boulder.

Still steep at the top.

Heading deep into the mountains now on the backside.

A lake.

Onto the gravel road now for a long time.  This is one of the places I keep an especially sharp eye out for mountain lions.  All I want is to get one punch in before it sinks its teeth into my scull.  Just one punch is all.

Finally out of the gravel, where I flatted.  Now I’m heading into the town of Coal Creek.  I spent a good amount of time lost up in the hills above the town looking for the road I’d planned on taking.

Chocolate wasn’t the best choice of flavors on a hot day like today.  Now I need new bar tape.


I stopped for a liter of ginger ale to wash down all the chocolate.

Rush hour traffic in Coral Creek.

Aspens er where up in her.

The most shade all day long heading out of Coal up to Golden Gate Canyon state park.

High altitude horses with hematocrits of 70 and v02s of 220.

Next gravel section.  I had no clue where I was.

Off the gravel and onto Peak to Peak highway.

I went downhill on Boulder Canyon when I got to Nederland, then up Magnolia.  I took pictures going up but they’re all pretty blurry.  Here’s one anyways:

It starts out REALLY steep and stays REALLY steep until the top, about infinity miles later.

At the top.  5 liters of fluid consumed by now, one and a half being stolen tap water from a gas station where the guy wanted me to pay 25 cents per water bottle.  For tap water!  I told him to…have a nice day.

Back on Boulder Canyon heading for home.  This is a tunnel.

A nice cold bowl of frozen yogurt and berries waiting for me at home after another 13K feet of climbing.


I’ve always thought that if I were a terrorist, I’d go around from state to state, country to country, purposefully starting forest fires.  I don’t know whether this is a practiced art of terrorism, but it sure seems like a great way to cause a lot of destruction without very much chance of being caught.  There’s a big forest fire brewing just north of Boulder right now, in the hills above Fort Colins.  You can see the smoke if you look north, and even the mountains to the West are trapped in a haze of smoke.  If you didn’t know any better, you’d assume it’s just dust or air pollution from traffic.  I’m not sure what the cause of the fire was or why it’s so badly out of control, but that won’t stop me from a few heavily biased assumptions that help further my already deep-seated convictions about life.  The authorities say it’s from a lightning strike.  My bet is a cigarette butt, because I don’t like cigarettes.  The authorities don’t mention anything about pine beetle kill in regards to the fire (this is in reference to the infestation of pine beetles , which, due to climate change, have become a huge cause of die-out amongst pine forests, leaving dead dry wood that may or may not add extra propellent to forest fires).  I, for one, do believe that the forest is burning more rapidly because of the pine beetles.  I believe this because I don’t like my or our civilization’s greed when it comes to consuming resources and our negative impact on the earth.  Anything to strengthen my beliefs.  If the answer you’re looking for isn’t there, look harder damn it and you’ll find it.

One of the key flaws in humans is our inability to learn new things, and our overpowering yearning to re-learn what we already know keeps us in a perpetual loop of ignorance.  We like to listen to the same old songs, watch the same movies over and over, and read books that we’ve read three times before.  But more than that, we like to re-learn things that don’t necessarily need to be re-learned.  If you know that you know a certain thing, but can’t give a good enough explanation about it at a dinner party, do you find yourself going home and researching it, with exclamations of, “ah, now THAT’S right.  I knew that.  I just forgot that one little detail in the krebs cycle and that’s why I sounded so uninformed.  Dag nab it!”  I find myself constantly re-learning things I knew years ago and either forgot entirely, or just forgot a little bit.  How many times have I been to Wikipedia’s page on the central nervous system or the amino acid L-glutamine?  One might ask the same question in regards to the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.  The world may never know.

When I hear a certain subject come up that I know something about, I blurt out the same thing I always say about that subject, almost as if I’m the only one who knows that thing and have to inform everyone about how and why it’s so.  If I know nothing of the subject, I absorb little of what is being told to me.  Instead, I wait for my opportunity to attack, just like in a bike race.  A slight pause, a questionable fact in the other person’s argument, or even the hint of hesitation as they say something, and I, knowing nothing of the subject mind you, go for the jugular.  Of course this isn’t always the case, and may be an exaggeration, but there’s some truth to it.  Is it my unwillingness to learn something new or is it my innate desire to disagree?  There’s something to be said for critics.  And that something is: fuck off!  Haha, no but seriously, questioning an authority, even when it comes to the true cause of a forest fire, is always worthy.  Especially when the root of the problem isn’t being addressed or if it has anything to do with someone’s profit, which almost everything does.

As creatures of habit, our foresight is small and our yearning for adventure is petite, as a society anyways.  The individual may be another matter.  But as a mass, we don’t look to the past as a guide for our future, because the past is in the past and the distant future isn’t relevant to what’s on TV tonight, which is re-runs of The Office of course.  What am I getting at, you ask?  Well I don’t know yet, because I just started typing whatever came to me that instant and haven’t really thought about what’s going to come next.  Maybe a period.

It’s not our fault though.  When something new is learned, a neural pathway is built that will never be destroyed (for the time being anyways).  As we forget things, the pathway to that memory is weakened but still exists, making it easier to re-learn in the future, as opposed to a truly new thing which is more difficult because it requires the construction of a new neural pathway.  Damn it, even right now I’m writing about something that I already know.  Or think that I know.  I guess if everyone knows a lot about a little, and we can successfully transfer the information to one another, continuous learning is unnecessary: just learn something and hopefully someone else doesn’t know it so you have some use  in the world.  Now that I think about it, maybe this is what already takes place.  But our ability to communicate, and our ability to listen to what someone else is saying, is so poor that this system doesn’t seem to work.  After all, ignorance and a lack of successful communication are the cause of the majority of our dilemmas.  Maybe there’s just too many people in the world.  It seems like that’s the conclusion I come to no matter what the problem.

I assume most people think they’re unique, based on what I believe about myself.  Either the way people think or how they feel, most humans believe themselves to be different, adrift in a life raft that only they know how to row, living in their own worlds.  Each person living in their own world, separated by nothing but separated nonetheless, unknowing that everyone else does, in fact, think and feel pretty much the same as they do.  I realized this years ago–that what I experience is the same as everyone else–and since then have based what I think about the world and what I believe about the human psyche, solely on what I myself think and feel.  So if everyone believes themselves to be unique, realizing that I’m not unique means that I actually am.  Congratulations, Kennett.

Recently, I edited a paper of my brother’s.  The subject was on education: Nietzscheism  vs Nationalism, sort of.  The idea of educating people to be unique thinkers, question things, and to be individuals as opposed to a mass, was a major goal of Nietzsche.  The end product is to become an Übermensch, a person who lives with their own set of rules, hopefully a set of rules “higher” than that set by society.  An Übermensch is a person who inspires and leads, though if everyone was an Übermensch I don’t see what the point of having a leader or an inspiration figure would be, since both of those things wouldn’t be neccesary anymore.  All of the Übermensch’s questionable traits of eugenics, sexism, and racism aside, an Übermensch is an enlightened person that realizes that the boundaries of society or traditional morality should be broken because they’re based solely on a particular country’s economic desire.  Nationalism, or being a part of a society that demands the good of the many over the good of the individual, requires a different kind of education: one that keeps the flock tightly grouped to be ready for shearing.  I’m not sure if this is what my brother’s paper is actually about, or if this is really what Nietzsche’s idea of an Übermensch actually is, but it’s what I’ve chosen to believe.  And in believing that and discarding everything Wikipedia told me about an Übermensch and going off in my own direction, I have, in doing so, become an Übermensch.

Instead of becoming an Übermensch pyromaniac bent on destroying forests who’s unwilling and unable to learn new things but has decided that it doesn’t matter anyways because society sucks, morality is a joke to get us working for the rich, and we’re all going to die after pointless lives full of constant bickering over miscommunications and stumbling upon our own ignorance, instead of becoming that PyroÜbermensch, I’ll continue on with being a hungry CycloÜbermensch.  That way I can be satisfied with a good long ride and enjoy a can of sardines afterwards as I reap the benefit of all that b-12 and omega-3.  Excuse me while I look those two things up again to find out what they’re good for.

Stuff I’ve been up to

So many things have happened in the past three weeks since my last post that I don’t have time to do a good job writing about them.  So many things, in fact, that I cannot even remember most of them.  My brain has space for approximately one week of new information before it starts to forget the old.  It forgets things on either end of my life, either things that happened years ago in the beginning, or it starts a chemical peel of the most recent stuff.  If I don’t get it out in a blog post soon enough, it’s gone forever.  So I’ll make an attempt to re-remember the events from the past three weeks since my Dan Harm weekend.  Here we go: I slept for roughly 3/7ths of the time.  During the other 4/7ths I ate a few large burritos, I ran over three already dead snakes on the road, I finished my tube of toothpaste, I finished a miniature tube of toothpaste, I brushed my teeth for a few days without any toothpaste (dag nab it!), which is not very satisfying, my dog Thomas ate a miniature tube of toothpaste that I found in a box at home and so I was forced to continue brushing my teeth with nothing but water, and then finally I found one more miniature tube of toothpaste this morning so now I have toothpaste again and I’m looking forward to brushing my teeth with full satisfaction tonight.

Okay, maybe a random list format isn’t the best way to go about all my adventures of the past month.  I’ll try the conventional way instead and list them in order with explanation.

May 18-20th Superior Morgul Omnium.  The weekend after my Dan Harm weekend hiking up in the mountains was the weekend of my first race back since Gila.  The Superior Morgul Omnium, where I ended up 10th overall, was a nasty reminder of how bike racing hurts.  After a long time away from the pain, I needed something drastic to kick me back into the routine of suffering.  The time trial was on Friday, before work luckily, otherwise I would have had to miss work.  I rode to the course, getting on my time trial bike for the second time since Cascade Classic of last year.  The course was 10K long  with two big rollers, one of which was pretty steep.  There was a downhill roundabout filled with rush-hour traffic and dump trucks that were piled up a hundred meters leading into the roundabout.  I, like everyone else, almost ran into the back of a car(s) in my attempt to not slow down at all.  If this didn’t get my heart rate up, the panic just minutes before the start certainly already had.  I flatted six minutes before my start.  Fortunately I hadn’t been able to find any fast aero or tubbie wheels to borrow, so I was on my clincher training wheels which made fixing the flat possible (notice how I slipped in the fact that I was on training wheels and therefor had a good excuse for riding slow? A slight slip of the tongue is always the best way to mention excuses.  Avoid the obvious).  Anyways, after the panic at the start and the hair-raising roundabout, I bolted up the steepest of the hills and suffered decently hard for the next 10 minutes or so until I suddenly found myself 150 meters away from the finish line, so I sprinted.   I  came in mid pack (and second place in the women’s cat 1/2!)  After the race I rode with my roommate Kim to the house she was dog sitting at, just a few miles away.  There, I ate a large sandwich or two and played with the dog.  The dog, named Casey, soon developed a huge crush on me and began air humping frantically in my direction every time she came over to me.  I disgustedly left for work.

The next day was less warm and sunny, and in fact it threatened to rain during the crit.  I rode out there for a warm up and we raced hard.  I followed a few moves in the first half of the race while the peloton split up, soon becoming just a group of 30 or so.  The pace was hard and there was a slight hill and a fast downhill turn that always required sprinting out of.  My legs were slowly awakening this weekend, but weren’t quite awake enough at this point to really hammer hard.  I ended up 11th but made up for my lack of glory by ransacking the vendor’s tents and scoring a free post-race massage and plenty of FRS to keep my quercitin stores fully stocked for the rest of the month.

Sunday: six laps, 80 miles, and seven times up “The Wall,” which is the famous two minute climb featured in the movie American Flyers that takes the racers in the movie approximately 10 minutes to climb.  I went into this stage with my highest hopes of a win for the weekend.  The steep finish climb on The Wall was well suited to my liking and the rest of the course was hard, with wind and plenty of small rollers to smash the legs real good.  I held my horses for the first lap, letting all the pointless attackers tire themselves out.  I followed a hard attack on the second time up the wall but didn’t have enough in my lungs to make it stick over the windy, false flat section at the top of the course and our four man move was caught.  Soon after that a large group of guys sort of just rolled away without any big effort.  They increased their gap on us over the next couple laps and I thought they were gone for good, taking up the top 11 places.  My legs were feeling more and more drained with every lap.  Basically after lap number two I was donesky.  Whatever.  I told myself to keep going on no matter what since I needed this race to open back up and prepare for the next hard block of training.

I think it was the fourth time up the wall that things blew apart once and for all.  I noticed a large gap open to seven riders up front as we got to the steepest section of the climb.  I gave it everything to move myself up to the front of the pack and then gave it everything once more to close the gap to the guys off the front.  I barely got on over the top.  Then it was false flat and crosswind.  I was hurtin’ somethin’ good now !  We were away, eight of us, and there was some good fire power in our group too.  I held on near the back and made myself as small as I possibly could, trying to recover before the next climb.  I did not.  I came off immediately once we hit the base of the next climb.  My legs were dead and I had nothing more to give.

The remainder of the peloton caught me a few minutes later and dropped me temporarily before I sacked it up and forced my way back on.  I spent the next lap wallowing in self pity, wondering why I couldn’t stick with the move that eventually caught the breakaway and won.  And then I decided not to be a little bitch.  I got angry at my legs and decided to punish myself, so I began attacking and finally got away by myself with a little over a lap to go.  I held the rest of the pack off and came in by myself in 14th, still in the money which was my main motivator for those last 45 minutes.  And then I went to work at the Ethiopian restaurant, late, completely out of it, dehydrated, and extremely tired.  Like usual.

May 21st-27th.  Training and de-icing iced water.  The next week was just a lot of hard riding and hours at Ras Kassas.  The day after the Superior Morgul RR, Scott Tietzel (Juwi Solar) and I went on a big climbing day adventure.  It was close to 90 degrees down in Boulder, which meant that it would be nice and warm up in the mountains as well.  For the Boulderites reading this, here’s where we went: up Flagstaff to the gravel road that goes to highway 72, the gravel road that cuts to Magnolia, back on to Peak to Peak, a bakery break in Nederland for a panini and a pastry, on to Ward, down Left Hand Canyon, up Lee Hill where Scott once saw a mountain lion as long as the yellow line to the white line (of a road), then up on a bunch of gravel trails in the Linden neighborhood, down to town, up Sunshine to Poor Man’s, down Boulder Canyon to the bike path.  Done.  It was about 5.5 hours, something over 90 miles and close to 11,000 ft of climbing.  I had such a good time that I decided to do it again the next day.

Next day: damn I was tired.  But it was so hot and sunny out that I HAD to do a big ride and got in 4.5 hours of mountains.  The next few days I spent some time on the TT bike and a lot of stressful nights at work (on Saturday night I made $173 in tips!!–super busy for Ras Kassas).  By Saturday I was sufficiently rested to attempt a Shaky Ride.  It stared out well enough, but by the time I began the threshold interval three hours in, I was cracked from the heat.  I finished off the 40′ threshold climb with another 40′ climb.  I sufficiently enjoyed the suffering and the heat.  I was feeling great being back on the bike after that long rest period post Gila.  After the ride I went to Ras Kassas and began serving people their food on Shaky legs.  I have one major pet peeve when it comes to serving customers.  I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but when someone doesn’t want ice in their water and I’ve just brought them water with ice and they have the nerve to ask me to get a new glass of water for them with no ice, well, that just doesn’t sit well with me.  I usually end up just setting their glass of ice water at the bar until the ice melts, and then I bring it to them 15 minutes later.  Okay, usually I don’t do this because I realize how irrational I’m being.  Usually I drink their water (so it doesn’t go to waste) and fill a new glass without ice, just  like a good waiter.  But sometimes I’m not in the mood.  Tonight was one of those nights.  Having just burned 5,500 calories on my ride in 90 degree heat, it’s a miracle they got any dang water from me at all.

May 28th.  The Boulder-Boulder 10K run is a pretty big event every year in Boulder.  There are thousands of amateur runners and walkers that participate in the fun run in the morning.  Then, mid-day, the pros start.  The start line is right in front of Ras Kassas, and the restaurant has a tradition of having a huge buffet and party for everyone that wants to come after the race, with proceeds going to a foundation in Ethiopia that builds schools and provides clean drinking water.  We cheered the runners as they started, then went back into the restaurant to continue getting things set up for the party.  A few hours later the place was packed.  One of my jobs was using taking people’s money at the door and counting the number of people who came in.  I got to use one of those little clicker things that counts when you click it, and before some little kids got hold of it, I’d clicked it 186 times.  It later said 1,100.  Those were some bored kids I think.

There was plenty of Ethiopian dancing and the place erupted with applause and singing when the African runners finally showed up.  Apparently a few years before when the Ethiopian runners came, they ate and drank so much they couldn’t walk out the front door.  This time wasn’t that drastic, but everyone left satisfied.  Almost all the food was eaten and we completely ran out of St. George (the more popular of the two Ethiopian Lagers).

May 29th-June 2nd.  This week marked the biggest week of training I’ve done all year.  Not in terms of hours, but in terms of overall stress.  Wise guru coach Sam Johnson was planning a peak for the upcoming races I was attending: the Mt. Hood Classic, Nature Valley Grand Prix, and Elite Nationals.  Three weeks of racing that I was going to CRUSH!  Tuesday: intervals.  Both vo2 AND sprints.  Wednesday: more intervals including threshold.  Thursday was a rest day.  Friday: vo2 and sprints.  Saturday: BIG climbing.  Sunday: HUGE climbing.  (I sort of cheated over the weekend and did more than what Sam wanted me to do and ended up getting sick).

Anyways, I slayed myself on both Tuesday and Wednesday’s intervals and just shredded my lungs.  I was wheezing and coughing for the next two days in a row.  On Wednesday night at like 3AM I picked up a friend from the bus stop/a random parking lot where his shuttle dropped him off.  He’d just come from the airport, or more accurately, New Zealand.  I met Geoff last summer in Belgium and he’s here in Boulder for a half year of triathlon training.  Just up and quit his job and moved to Boulder to live the dream.  Boulder attracts endurance athletes like slug bait attracts slugs.  Wait, I can think of a better simili than that.  It attracts endurance athletes like fish bait attracts fish.  Damn it.  That’s not very original either.

The next day, Thursday, I rode my bike over to an office building and ate a BUNCH of sandwiches!  I was there, not just to eat sandwiches, but to also participate in a paid study group that was surveying local Boulder endurance athletes on a top secret product that I cannot talk to you about because I signed a waiver thing that said if I talk about it to anyone I get my thumbs chopped off and stapled to my forehead like miniature devil horns.  All I can say is that I ate a bunch of sandwiches, approximately 500% more than anyone else there, and thoroughly upset the test group’s median.  You know those toothpaste commercials that say nine out of 10 dentists prefer Colgate to other leading brands?  I was that one other dentist.  Except none of us really liked the product the company was pushing.  The sandwiches though…yeah.  Pretty damn good.  I think I’m allowed to talk about those.  I had nine I believe.  All were on artisan breads and cut into small pieces.  1) apple/cheese, 2)ham/turkey/sprouts/mayo/cheese,  3) grilled onions/beef/tomato/lettuce, 4) cheese/veggies, 5) salami/pepperoni/ cheese/lettuce, 6) egg salad, 7) chicken salad.  Two were repeats.  My favorite was the one with the grilled onions and beef, followed closely by the chicken salad sandwich because it was DRENCHED in mayonnaise.  Just sloppy and wet from mayo.  I know  you think mayo is gross and you tell everyone that you don’t like it because it’s so gross and fatty, but secretly, deep down you KNOW you love that shit.  I rode home satisfied with sandwiches and a nice full wallet from the pay off from the survey says group, and found my longtime friend Spencer Smitheman sitting in my living room.

Spencer drove down from Alberta Canada for the weekend to visit.  Geoff came over to join for dinner and the three of us and Kim made a pizza that night.  I’ve been making pizzas for the past couple weeks with my mom’s secret crust recipe.  The key to a good pizza is the crust, and I’ve got it down now.  I think we made a chicken pizza with feta, onion, bell pepper, and spinach.  A few days earlier I made a Mexican pizza with beans, chicken, salsa, cheese, olives, onions, jalapenos, and tomatoes and lettuce as garnish.

The next day was a long one.  Spencer and I went out in the heat for a three hour ride, during which I crushed some vo2 intervals and 10×30 second sprints.  I was pretty wrecked after the ride, but there wasn’t much time for rest.  Spencer and I quickly ate some frozen yogurt Kim brought home for us, then rode off to my painting job.  I’d spent approximately 13 hours over the span of nine trips to Home Depot gathering the few essentials I needed to paint the small garage and dropped it all off at the house a few days before.  We rode up to north Boulder in a strong head wind, the sun beating down, drenched in sweat once again.  I’d never painted drywall before, and didn’t realize how much sanding is required.  Soon we were drenched in sweat and covered in itchy paint from the sanding of the drywall.  We had to close the garage door in order to sand the section that the garage door covered on the ceiling.  The temperature reached 100 degrees or so and the white paint dust seeped into every pore, our eyes, our noses, our ears, and worked their way through our masks into our mouthes and lungs.  We opened the garage door and went out for air, sucking in the relatively cool and fresh air outside in big gulps.  Next up was priming, which wasn’t nearly as difficult.  We painted until we ran out of paint, then made a mad dash on our bikes back home to meet friends for White Russians and a night out on the town, my first night out since New Year’s Eve.

The next day I did a big ride.  5.5 hours with 13,000 feet of climbing.  I came home and ate nachos and fajita burritos with Spencer and Kim.  This put my 2012 burrito count to 53 I believe.  Spencer took off that night for his long drive back to civilization (Canada).

Sunday: my last day of training before rest.  Today was a day of days.  A ride of rides.  A man’s man’s ride.  A day I’d been looking forward to for a week.  Geoff, Kim, and I drove to Golden, the city just south of Boulder.  We parked in a Safeway parking lot (a “car park” for you UK readers) and I began my long journey to the top of Mt. Evans while Kim and Geoff did their own rides and runs (triathletes like to run after their rides for some reason.  Sounds painful to me).  On my ride, I saw six foxes, four deer, an elk, and some long boarders who almost crashed into a car behind me.  I reached the summit of Mt. Evans at 14,130 feet elevation some five hours later, having climbed 26,500 feet in the past two days alone.  I was wrecked!  The last 14.5 miles of the ride go up Mt. Evans itself, starting at the base near 10K feet where it’s still warm and green with trees.  Pretty suddenly, near 12K feet, it turns to cliffs, rock, and snow with marmots as your only friends in sight, chattering in earnest for your success to the top…or for you to throw them a peanut.  The road is single lane, full of bumps and potholes without a guardrail to keep you from veering of the 500-foot cliff to the left.  The last couple miles are all super tight switch back.  The wind picked up and I began getting cold despite the hard effort I was putting out.  Wait, maybe I wasn’t putting out a hard effort any more.  My power meter read low zone 2.  I hammered and got it back to zone 3.  Not for long.  My legs were depleted and rubbery.  I got to the top, slightly dizzy and fully gassed.  It was snowing lightly and cold.  A few people in cars in the car  park at the top offered congratulations and a seat in their car to warm up.  I declined, stupidly.  This is probably where the cold viruses within me came out of hibernation and made their move.  Geoff and Kim met me with the car 20 minutes later and we drove a long, long way home to more nachos and a half bag of Cheerios that weren’t mine.  I didn’t get to bed until 1:30.

Spencer in a daze from so much good food.  Nachos: chips, cheese, garlic, (LOTS of garlic), chicken, chili verde salsa, pico de gallo.  Fajitas: mix of bell peppers, onion, chicken, beans, avacado.

Geoff and I before the Mt. Evans ride.

Kim and I in a Safeway parking lot.  Classic.  I made a huge nasty poop in the toilet inside right before two little kids went in to use it.  Stinking up a public restroom with undigested fajitas from the night before: classic.

Top of Evans.

While Kim and Geoff hiked up to the very tip top of Evans, I sat in the car and tried to warm up with this food I’d brought from home.  Wanting to raise my burrito count by one, I pounded this cup of spinach and onions with this tortilla and had an extremely sick stomach down the steep road for the next hour and a half.  One full bunch of spinach cooks down pretty small, but it’s still too big for a stomach with post ride trauma at altitude.

The shadow of Mt. Evans on the drive down.  (Note: the mountain is behind us, which is why the shadow is in front of us–because the sun is behind the mountain).

It was a long drive down the mountain and to home.

I finished up painting the garage on Monday, then flew to Portland Oregon on Tuesday, already getting sick.  I missed Mt. Hood this weekend because of it.  My spot on the composite team for Nature Valley was also a dud and I’m no longer doing that, so all the money I spent on the plane ticket there is for nothing.  To the Wisconsin team manager that’s responsible for making that happening: I hope you get sick.

Well, it’s been a long time since I posted and I apologize for that.  As you can see, I was just real busy!  Time to rest up and get over this cold so I can put all this damn training to use in a race!