Men Don’t Cry

Men have violent “sad seizures” in which there just so happens to be a large amount of liquid lost from their eyes, nose, and possibly mouth.

I like to make fun of Adelaide for crying a lot. Not while she’s crying (I’m not that dumb) but later at some point, at least a few minutes after she’s finished. She claims that she doesn’t cry that often, so I’ll remind her of all the days in the past month or week that she cried, which leads to her saying that a lot of girls cry just as much as her and that she isn’t that abnormal. I roll my eyes at this. “Mm-hmmm.”

I pick on her for crying about what I think are somewhat unimportant, minor things. Things that I would personally just mutter a few nasty curse words at. Or if it’s something more significant, I’d just bottle it up and keep it to myself to silently obsess over for the next week or two while losing sleep. But I rarely cry. I just don’t feel the need for it. In addition to making fun of Adelaide for crying, I like to brag to her about how seldom I cry. “Before I met you I went for seven years without crying. I was 21 when I cried last, Adelaide! Can you believe that? And the time before that I was 13! I bet you’ve cried more in half a week than I’ve cried my entire non-baby existence!”

To be fair, I shed more than a bucket full of tears when Adelaide was hit by the car, and many more in the week after. But after that? After that I was all dried up.

I was three and a half hours into my ride today when I was passed by a firetruck with its lights and siren on, heading west into Lyons. I didn’t think much of it at first, other than hoping it wasn’t another cyclist like the guy who was hit two days ago (at the time of this writing I don’t know what it was for). I made the left turn to head south back into Boulder on 36, which takes about half an hour. A few minutes later a police car flew by in the opposite lane with its lights and siren on, heading to Lyons as well. At that moment I let the horrible thought that I’d been holding back finally enter my consciousness: Adelaide was going to ride with Rhae at 1PM. It’s 1:53 right now. It would take them 35 minutes to get to Lyons from our house, meaning that if they were hit in Lyons it would have been 20 minutes ago, which was just a few minutes before the firetruck passed me.

I was getting pretty tired and hungry at that point and only had one gel left, which was a nasty, old, stale flavor that I despise. And it wouldn’t be enough for me to ride into Lyons and back without a bonk. I had $10 in my seat bag though. Assuming it wasn’t Adelaide and Rhae that were hit, I could stop at a gas station on the way back for a burrito. No, I’m gluten free now. I can’t have burritos. Two more police cars went by while I thought of this, right as I was half way up the hill that Adelaide was hit on a year and a half ago. I began losing the ability to pedal. My legs felt like mush and it wasn’t from being tired and hungry. I began doing the hyperventilating thing that a crying person does without the tears. I slowed and was about to do a U turn to head to Lyons but held back just a moment. I didn’t want to see whatever was waiting for me there. In my mind I already had images of blood, bodies on stretchers, and flashing lights everywhere. If it was Adelaide and Rhae, there was nothing I could do at this point and I’d rather not see another crash scene. If it was another cyclist, I certainly did not want to see that either. I kept riding back into town, speeding up with a small jolt of energy, knowing that the sooner I got home the sooner I could call them to see if they were all right.

The first thing I did when I walked into our apartment was to go find my phone upstairs under the pile of blankets on our bed (I don’t call anyone and no one calls me so I leave it upstairs as my alarm clock, which is its main purpose). I called Rhae first since I knew she rides with her phone. It range five or six times and went to the answering machine. I immediately called her again, with no answer. I called Adelaide next, pacing back and forth across the room. Her phone rang and then went to the answering machine too. I called it again, this time looking for it upstairs, hoping to see it there buzzing on silent—that the reason she wasn’t answering was because she left it at home. I didn’t find it. I became more frantic, fully realizing how irrational it was to be freaking out like this since there were hundreds of other cyclists out on the road and the chance of them being the ones that were hit was tiny. I called Rhae again, and again, and….

“Hi Kennett! What’s up?”
“Hi Rhae, are you riding with Adelaide right now?” I asked.
“Yeah, we just stopped to eat. You want to talk to her?”

I spoke with Adelaide for half a minute, hung up, and immediately began sobbing. It was a quick cry (a man sad seizure). It only lasted about 27 seconds but by the time I was done there was snot touching the ground, still hanging from my nose (I was seated, not standing).

“Damn. That definitely counts.”

Like a factory with one of those “397 Days Without An Injury” sign, I just set mine back to zero.


Fuck This World

For all you other white people (men) out there that don’t know what it feels like to be segregated, hop on a bike. It’s the closest thing you can do to feel the discrimination and hatred that people of color live with their entire lives. It is just insane to me that I rarely go a day on my bike without having a serious close call or someone purposefully endangering me to make the point that I shouldn’t be on their road.

Almost every day I see articles such as the one below. Sometimes they involve my own acquaintances. Not only do these completely avoidable “accidents” make me hate humanity, they make me relish the thought that one day none of us will exist. That these disgusting excuses for people, along with me and everyone else, will be dead and gone. That all of the absolutely horrible, inhuman shit that we’ve done to each other and to the world won’t matter because no one will be around to remember it. I can’t even imagine the hatred and lack of hope that people in third world, war-torn countries must have. As for the person who committed the crime below and fled both the scene and the dying victim on the side of the road, I really hope they just walk into the wilderness and die. They have nothing worthwhile to offer this messed up world.

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5280 Elite Video Interview of Pennett Keterson

It’s not me I swear. My voice doesn’t sound even close to this nasally in my own head.

I don’t really need to be making this into a blog but I’ve got to get to 1,000 posts somehow. This video was made by Kenny Withrow of 5280 Elite. In addition to racing he does photography, videography, and some pretty awesome marketing* for athletes. I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting a few crates of UmkaCare in the mail once they lay their eyes on this bad boy. We did the original take on the bike during a cold December day but there was simply too much mucus to have on film. Way too much mucus. Enjoy.

*I realize I’m marketing for a marketer. Irony noted.

Tucson Cycling House

This past fall Adelaide directed me to a the Cycling House’s website to enter a contest for an all-expenses-paid trip later that winter. It required a short essay explaining just why you were so damn awesome. As I read the rules I thought, “Wait…all I have to do is write really good things about myself? The competition didn’t stand a chance!” And it was true. I’m pretty much in my own league when it comes to blagging (blog bragging). See, I just did it right there without even having to try.

But before I was awarded the Cycling House scholarship I actually had a long phone conversation with one of the owners, Shaun, about working for them as a guide. It sounded pretty amazing: riding in the sun all winter long and getting paid for it. But the more I thought about it the more I knew being away from home for four months wouldn’t work out…being a dog owner and all, and married. I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to get the type of training I had to do in order to be competitive for racing, so I held out hope that I’d at least get the scholarship and get to spend the better part of a week down there at camp. When I heard that I had gotten the scholarship it couldn’t have come at a better time to lift my spirits because the day before I’d found out that I had NOT won the top prize in a literary competition (for Narrative Magazine) that I’d entered last October. In fact, my story wasn’t even one of the top 10 finalists. I sent them an angry postcard: “I’m disappointed in your literary acumen, and in the words of Ernest Hemingway, ‘Damn you with eternally crusty anus scabs.'” I am fairly certain he said something like that.

Anyways, for those who don’t know, the Cycling House is located in Tucson near the base of Mt. Lemmon. They also do guided tours all over the country and world, but this trip isn’t a tour. It’s pretty much identical to a host house at a stage race, except you don’t have to quietly sneak food out of the pantry when you think the hosts are occupied with something upstairs or out of the house. The Cycling House is a big, cool stucco mansion surrounded by saguaro cacti. They serve three huge, delicious meals per day, and all the rides are supported with a vehicle stocked full of ride food, water, and your extra clothing so you don’t have to have a back full of sweaty arm warmers and jackets.

I had the idea for the Cycling House about four years after it had already been created, though I still take some credit for it. It is exactly what every cyclist that goes down to Tucson during the winter dreams of when they’re stuck in a $200 closet they rented from a Craigslist pedophile. I’ve had some good years down in Tucson training with teammates and staying with friends, but I’ve never been this pampered before.

Day One: Travel to Tucson then an easy 90 minute spin. The sun was shining and there was zero snow on the ground. My legs did feel like bags of rotting manure though. Or maybe that was the stench of my unwashed bibs. Note: traveling with unwashed bibs spoils 100% of the other clothes in your bag. I have known this for years yet have done absolutely nothing with that knowledge.


Left to right: Chef Drew, David, Tom, Sheila, me, Judith, Tarak, Guide Brendan (Guide is actually his first name), George, Kem, and Guide Cory. The photographer must have been the fourth guide, Ian.


Drew on the right, Brendan on the left.


Day Two: Five hours around Saguaro National Park East, then a few times up to mile post nine on Mt. Lemmon for good measure. It was decided that I’d be able to ride on my own since my speed wouldn’t match that of the group’s.


Snacks galore with the Cycling House. I really had to go out of my way to not eat in order to bonk that first day. Here we have Tom refueling while Brendan refills bottles and Cory poses to look pretty for the camera. Work them hips, boy.


I’ve never ridden a LOOK before. Here’s my user review: It was made of carbon, rubber, and metal. It felt like a bike. I liked it.

Day Three: Five hours of Gate’s Pass and Saguaro National Park West. The highlight of the ride was eating at a Mexican restaurant a few blocks from A. Mountain afterwards. I actually preferred Chef Drew’s cooking, amazingly enough. The meals at the Cycling House are that good and large quantities of Drew’s blood, sweat, and tears go into that food.


Day Four: Five more hours of Mt. Lemmon. I also forgot to add that these past three days also included 30 minute swims to keep that all important water-feel (for us triathletes). Our group was half triathletes and half cyclists, with the triathletes going out on their own for trail runs just outside the house and a group swim sesh happening late afternoon (there was also yoga/core/stretching every morning and a number of clinics in the afternoons such as bike maintenance and descending skills). The third day of swimming included a winner take all team relay. Glory, that is. It was me and Tarak Vs. the guides, Corey and Ian, in a 2×100 race. Corey and Ian were given a handicap of having to “fist” 50 of each of their 100. For those not in the know, fisting is a drill used to work on the catch segment of the stroke and it’s exactly what it sounds like, you take your fist and firmly insert it…just kidding it’s actually not necessary exactly what it sounds like. Fisting is swimming normally but with fists instead of open hands. Anyways, the guides handily, or fistily, beat Tarak and I. I won’t go into detail about what the punishment (or reward?) for winning was.


Brendan and Sheila on the lower slopes of Lemmon.


Brendan, George, and Kem (not Kim–it’s a Canadian thing apparently)


Tarak and Cory doing what I assume is an in-air arm wrestle. Let’s just pretend this and some of those other photos were actually from Mt. Lemmon and not Gate’s Pass.


Judith and Brendan (how is Brendan in all of these pictures?) taking a break on Lemmon.


Ian and Judith.


It was one of the warmest days on Lemmon I’ve ever had. I didn’t even really need the vest descending. Even better, I got about 11,000 feet and 90 miles in that day and felt like I could have kept going. It probably had something to do with eating 9,000 calories for every meal the past few days.


One of the best views of a road anywhere.

Day Five: Five more hours! I rode out to meet the group at Madera Canyon then went up it three times. I had planned to do the Shootout that morning but was too trashed to wake up in time for it. As always, I hated myself in the morning for not doing it.


IMG_4450   Not actually Madera. Another photo of Gate’s Pass, but I needed another riding shot here.


The last meal was tacos with all the fixings, including 20 kilos of freshly made guacamole. Just about all the food at the Cycling House is made from scratch, including tortillas, the cheese, wine, and the plates.


You can’t tell from the picture but that is a human sized bowl of guac that Drew actually uses for bathing.


That’s all she wrote. The Cycling House was an amazing way to start the year of training off right.I highly recommend it. Plus Tucson is always sunny and warm while the rest of the country is frozen, so there’s no better place to ride December through March.