Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Christmas Cross

Christmas is over and it time for the cross world to move on to Nationals and Worlds. Here in KC we have a week of cross in preparation for those races. This week it's races Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday. Perfect for the crew that is heading off for Madison WI the following week. JoBro and I headed out to the races today with Carly just to get a little fresh air in the warm (for KC) weather. We hung out for a while and then headed for home to begin the process of packing up for a trip. I originally thought I would be going south for some warm weather training but now it's going to be a bike free trip. That's ok, it's been a while since I saw my Dad and brother so I'll just make my time off the bike a little longer. So the dog/house sitter is set so I'll leave you with a few pictures from todays events.

Zach McDonald kicking butt in Belgium today for his first podium!

Starting them early, way to go Ty!

Shadd rolling along to a win today(I think, I left before the end)

JP continued his string of strong rides.

Bill was out doing some work.

Most of these guys are heading off to Madison for Nationals so the prep work has begun. For me, I'll start prepping for something else when I get back.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Schools out, Christmas Break

Yep, it's that time of the year, Christmas Break. The kids are out of school for a few weeks so it's time for some quality time with the boys. Break comes at a good time as the shop is slow and this year I'm injured so I've got nothing but time on my hands. It's probably a good thing that I've got the boys to keep me busy, a injured bike racer gets pretty grumpy with out time on the bike. There is some pretty good videos out there this week from last Sundays World Cup Cross race. The one of the Woman's race is really good with a little more artsy angle to it. The men's race is good and I'd love to watch the whole race over again. Maybe I will, just to figure out how Sven Nys managed to win after 2 flats!

That's my kind of course!

Here's the video of the women's race.

Just in case you missed this on Facebook or Twitter, this is a x-ray of my knees. I've been complaining about my knee forever so I figured I'd let people see what's going on. The left knee is what a relatively healthy 50yr old knee looks like. The right knee shows the scars of 5 arthroscopic surgeries to remove damaged cartilage and bone, and 1 Andrews Procedure (major Surgery) to tighten it back up. So now, 25+ years later I have what you see above, bones grinding away with no cartilage and a few strands of ligaments holding it all together. The pin you see is actually from the last surgery where they used a chunk of my IT band to tie it all together. Bottom line is that I'll be getting a new knee sometime in the near future. It just depends on when I want to slow down enough to do it. I'm thinking 2 yrs but it all depends on how things feel. When I asked the doctors how long my knee would last like this they just said that I would know when it's time to get it fixed. I guess that means whenever I can't deal with it anymore. On the positive side they also told me that they have never seen someone wear down the bones so bad that they could not replace the knee. Then again, they also said that they have never had a patient make it this far with the severe arthritis that I have.  So that's my story. It is what it is and I'm going bike racing!

So now I'm off to make cookies with the boys. I can't wait for tomorrow when they have a Euro cross race at night. Yea!!!! I love night races!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Concerts and cross

Mathgeek and JoBro are off camping with the Boy Scouts this weekend so it's just Curly and I hanging out this weekend. Got up early and watched the Euro cross race. Super muddy today so tomorrows World Cup race should be much the same. First race for Ryan Knapp, Tim Johnson, the Euro cross camp crew, and a host of other Americans. Should be fun to watch.

Cal Giant Cody threw something up about this concert/festival that happens every summer in Belgium. Pretty amazing how many people are there and everything that goes with the music is pretty over the top. The boys checked it out and Jobro thought it was really cool. What was I thinking, planting that music festival/concert seed in his head!

Tomorrowland 2011
That's a lot of sand to ride!

Another weekend off the bike but the end is in sight. Last treatment to the knee Monday and a few days after that I can get back on the bike. Time to get ready for the Road/MTB season.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cross Weekend

This past weekend was was all about cyclocross but the weird part was that I didn't race. Really it was a trifecta of cyclocross events, 2 events in Europe, the USGP series in Bend OR, and 2 local races one of witch was the Kansas State Championships. At this point I've come to the realization that my cross season is done so it was a weekend of watching racing for me. Mathgeek warned me that too much race watching was going to make me grumpy. She knows me so well, it's tough when you want to get out there and race but it's just not in the cards. The cross races in Europe were great. The courses looked like they were fast and fun. Pretty easy to excited about racing once you see the action across the pond. Then later in the day the USGP races came on. In both cases I watched the races on the computer through live streaming. The coverage of the races in europe is really good and the USGP, well, not so much. I really can't complain, without Velonews/cycligdirt there would be no video coverage at all so spotty coverage is better than none at all. The USGP coverage was killing me. I probably could of got my spot back for the podium for the overall in the 45+ but I didn't go so I'll never know. Then there's the Kansas races, from what I hear there were fun courses and everybody had a good time, sounds like a good time.

                                             So here are some pictures from the weekend.

This was my place during the last 3 years at the USGP races. Even though it was on the computer it was pretty enjoyable watching the Elite race from somewhere other than the pits.

Little bit of history here from the shop today, it's a Dura-Ace, Mavic MA40 rear wheel with 7sp cassette straight block. I've got a toe strap full of cogs if this guy ever needs them.

Saw this while I was out on the MTB Saturday. Funny how an old engine block is out in the middle of the woods.  Looks like the hikers are having fun with it.
The freeze thaw cycle is playing havoc with the trails lately. You have to get out early before it gets slimey.

Euro cross fun!

Sven is the man right now.

More USGP action, the Cannondale guys have a nice setup and you know its cold when the riders are dressed like this inside the tent. No snow in Bend but it was cold both days.

Here's my race at the USGP, the 45+. Points leader Mike McShane leading Tim Butler who was 2nd in points going into the last weekend. Both guys rode hard all weekend and traded wins. Mike kept the leaders jersey and won the series.

So overall it was a pretty good weekend for cross racing no matter where you were. There are still a few more races locally that lead up to Nationals and then Masters worlds. I wasn't be making the trip to Nationals but maybe I'll get down to Louisville to check out Masters Worlds. I won't be racing but  I should be fun to watch the Kansas/Missouri crew give it a go.

Photo credit to Wil Matthews, Lyne @ PodiumInsight, and a few others I just don't know.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Are you a Introvert, read on....

I saw this article posted on the inteweb by a friend. It's written by Carl Kingdom and you can find the whole thing here. Mathgeek and I were talking about it at dinner last night and we decided it definitely discribes Curly. Like most things, Curly and I share the same tendencies and it kind of explains why I am the way I am.

10 Myths About Introverts

In late-2008, I was lucky enough to discover a book called, The Introvert Advantage (How To Thrive in an Extrovert World), by Marti Laney, Psy.D. It felt like someone had written an encyclopedia entry on a rare race of people to which I belong. Not only had it explained many of my eccentricities, it helped me to redefine my entire life in a new and productive context.

Sure, anyone who knows me would say, “Duh! Why did it take you so long to realize you’re an Introvert?” It’s not that simple. The problem is that labeling someone as an Introvert is a very shallow assessment, full of common misconceptions. It’s more complex than that.

A section of Laney’s book maps out the human brain and explains how neuro-transmitters follow different dominant paths in the nervous systems of Introverts and Extroverts. If the science behind the book is correct, it turns out that Introverts are people who are over-sensitive to Dopamine, so too much external stimulation overdoses and exhausts them. Conversely, Extroverts can’t get enough Dopamine, and they require Adrenaline for their brains to create it. Extroverts also have a shorter pathway and less blood-flow to the brain. The messages of an Extrovert’s nervous system mostly bypass the Broca’s area in the frontal lobe, which is where a large portion of contemplation takes place.

Unfortunately, according to the book, only about 25% of people are Introverts. There are even fewer that are as extreme as I am. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, since society doesn’t have very much experience with my people. (I love being able to say that.)

So here are a few common misconceptions about Introverts (not taken directly from the book, but based on my own life experience):

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

“You cannot escape us, and to change us would lead to your demise.” <-- I made that up. I'm a screenwriter. It can be terribly destructive for an Introvert to deny themselves in order to get along in an Extrovert-Dominant World. Like other minorities, Introverts can end up hating themselves and others because of the differences. If you think you are an Introvert, I recommend you research the topic and seek out other Introverts to compare notes. The burden is not entirely on Introverts to try and become "normal." Extroverts need to recognize and respect us, and we also need to respect ourselves. Let me know your thoughts. -Carl.

I usually don't post articles like this but it seems kind of important to me. Anyway, on to some fun stuff. I found a few more pictures out there of Jingle Cross to post. It really is a great race to attend, if you are looking to hit a bigger regional race next year put this one on your schedule, you won't be disappointed.

The run up at Jingle cross is epic, really, that sucker is long and steep. Once you reach the top you have to get on your bike and ride the rest of the way to the top of Mt. Krumpet
Bill on the decent of Mt. Krumpet. Sunday the switchbacks were ride able, Saturday, not so much....

Here's a better way to see what Jingle Cross is all about in a video shot by Keith Walberg.