Friday, December 29, 2006

A Skinny Day

After a leisurely morning, we made our way to Skinny Skis to guessed it...skinny skies. In the shadow of the big steeps we stuck to the flats and rollers trying to get our skate legs back.

After hearing about all the snow in Denver, I was surprised to see how little snow there is on the ground here in Jackson. The 'snow snakes' were out in abundance, sunning themselves, on some of the wooded trails but we managed to avoid most of them.

Like XBunny, I felt that my cycling training has transferred well to my skating....which was nice. When we get back to Cali I need to make time to get up to the snow again for more cross training.

Lastly, we learned that Jackson isn't really the place to come for skinny skiing if you want to ski on groomed tracks. Our best option here has 17 Km of groomed trail (we skied every trail at least once in about 2 hours). In comparison, in the north lake our favorite areas have 115 Km or 330 Km of trails.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Getting down to business

We got out on the slopes today. After the normal rental rigmarole, we got out for many great many as our little legs would tolerate. We even did a little hiking OB for some short powder runs. Here's a lucky shot of BK killin' the pow-pow.

Half the Fun

Jackson Hole, is a small town, if you've ever been to here you know what I'm talking about. It does have an airport but it closes frequently for weather and Vice Presidential visits. Small airports are also frequently serviced by small planes. In our recent Tag entry we didn't mention our feelings about small airplanes...but we easily could have.

Our trip was relatively uneventful. Despite very high winds in SF and storms ravaging most of the Northwest, we only had to deal with a 4 hour delay. Ali's parents, on the other hand, took 40 hours to get from Chicago to Jackson Hole, and no, they didn't drive (at least not all the way). On their round about trip here they encountered airplane mechanical problems, bad weather and ill timed Vice Presidential visits.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

You're it...

OK, we were tagged many days ago, but haven't found the time to conspire on a post.

We're adding our own twist. Here are 10 things which we don't think you know about us, but we aren't telling which of us they apply to. That's the job of your inquiring minds:

1) "I" have lived all but 4 years of my life within 5 miles of interstate 80.

2) "I" once killed a guinea pig which was later served to me for dinner.

3) "I" was high school math student of the year.

4) In middle school "I" was bussed to the high school for math classes with 4 other students. We regularly we able to bribe the school bus driver to take us out for breakfast at a local diner, causing us to miss English class back at middle school.

5) On several occasions "I" went to my high school English class having put back a few.

6) "I" hate, truly hate being on the ocean. It's pretty and all, but I have had far too many sea-sick moments. Once, on a trip to the Galapagos, I threw up over 20 times in one evening.

7) One of "my" favorite memories is encountering a hammerhead shark on a night dive in Belize. Having read #7, I apparently won't be bringing my partner to join me next time.

8) Once, while riding my bike, "I" noticed that the quick release looked open. Lifting up on the handle bars, watching the front wheel fall off, I realized that I was right.

9) Of the 2000+ starters in Ironman Utah, "I" was one of less than 50 racers to finish the swim. Six foot swells caused race organizers to pull everyone out of the water about 5 min. after the race had begun. I was close enough to the lead group at the time that I had no idea. By mid-race, all the buoys had uprooted from the bottom of the lake and drifted away. Our small pack stayed together, did the turn around (it was an out and back 2.4 mile swim), and landed back at some distant shore. It was a 20min. drive from where we landed to get us back to the race start. The swim was officially cancelled and hours later the course was re-opened as a duathalon. This was the one and only year of Ironman Utah.

10) We're always willing to try new foods. Between us we've eaten grasshopper, ants, alligator, guinea pig, the lining of a pig's stomach, sweet breads, raw sea snails, and snails cooked up from our California garden.

You're it...Panda, Ms. Frost, Chico Cyclist, Little Pedals, Dr. X

And we're back to Jackson Hole for a week of skiing with "my" family. Those of you who followed our blogs of our trip there this summer won't be disappointed.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Update on MaryAnn

From what I hear, MaryAnn is making an amazing recovery, despite some incredibly horrific details about what happened to her. Since I'm not sure of the extent of the audience of this blog, please email me offline if you'd like a more specific account of her injuries. My email is my first name dot my last name at And if you're not sure of my first or last name, you can do some detective work on the blue dots racing site. After that, you're on your own.

In the meantime, if you want to do something, many of us are attending the arraignment of the drunk driver, which is scheduled for Tuesday the 26th at 1:30PM at the Court House in Redwood City (400 County Center). I will be there along with some teammates and I say, let's fill the house.

I have heard from MaryAnn's coach that he is a 70-year-old man who was driving a beat-up pickup truck and swerved from the left lane to the right lane. He attempted to leave the scene, but other cyclists and drivers who witnessed the accident prevented him from doing so.

I want this man to know that he is being watching by an entire community of friends, family, and cyclists. There's a hell of a lot more than that which I need to tell him, but I might just have to keep that to myself while inside the court house...

Sunday, December 24, 2006


A horrible accident happened this weekend. Damn the reckless holiday drivers!

MaryAnn Levensen, our new Cat.2 teammate, whom many of you know, I'm sure, was hit by a drunk driver while on her bike on Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto. Her coach emailed some of our team last night, but as of now, we know only a few details. I heard this morning that she underwent over 9 hours of surgery and is recovering in the ICU. Scott, her husband, has requested that people send cards to their home address, 21 Politzer Dr., Menlo Park, CA 94025, and he will deliver these to her at the hospital. MaryAnn will be in the ICU at Stanford for a few days and is unfortunately unable to see visitors. Her coach has requested that we all give Scott a little space right now and please avoid calling the house or emailing him.

I've only just met MaryAnn a few weeks ago, but she's one of those women who you know, right away, is a fierce, strong-willed fighter in addition to an incredibly positive woman. Send all your good thoughts, prayers, and positive energy her way this week, both for her, and her family.

Friday, December 15, 2006


this is the first story I've read about Tyler that makes me wonder...about the whole process. How accurate is it? How objective is it? How political is it? Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the article.
"The way the test was designed and implemented would never pass muster in any other regulatory situation."

"Lausanne was keen to rush through the test, perhaps prematurely," he said. "But it was only a matter of days before they started to get the results we wanted to see."

I'm sorry but I thought the tests were supposed to be done anonymously and objectively. If you're potentially going to destroy some one's life you better conduct yourself in a manner that is beyond reproach! Otherwise the UCI should just pick the winner of each race and we can all go watch Cirque du Soleil.

There are more parts of the story here and here.

What a difference

a day makes!!

If you have to get the flu, make sure you order up the 24 hour variety.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Kiss of the Flu Fairy...

Yesterday I felt GREAT on my bike. Climbing was pretty effortless, power output was good!

Last night the Flu Fairy came to visit. Guess it's time for some extra sleep.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trainer Day

Today was a day for the indoor trainer...unfortunately I didn't realize it until I'd been on my bike, in the rain, for 30 minutes.

Ok, so some mornings I'm a little slow.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Weights and Measures

Weights and measures
mute gastronome pleasures
as we approach this season of cheer

Progress we plot
with a kilo and watt
while abstaining from Malt Balls and Beer.

A foodies true test:
Abstain when noshing's the best
and just watch with a grin and a tear.

Is it worth it? Who knows?
Surely the races will show!
But for now know there's less of us here.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mind Kaegels

or something like that.

Many of us spend a lot of time training our bodies for cycling but do we do enough training of our minds. This weekend I did a little of both...sort of.

It started while I was sitting on my trainer, grinding away and my mind began to wander. I started thinking about the upcoming season, places to attack and visualizing some finishing sprints. At some point I stopped and realized my adrenaline was pumping! I looked down to see my heart rate had jumped up 15 bpm but my power output hadn't changed. I took and deep breath and as the adrenaline dissipated my heart rate dropped back to the 'right' value.

So then I tried an experiment. I tried to think of the most peaceful thing I could, for me this was waves gently rolling onto a beach. Sure enough I looked down and my heart rate had dropped 5 bpm but my power output was the same.

Throughout the rest of my workout I continued to try to manipulate my heart rate by changing the images in my head. It was an interesting experiment.

Who knows, maybe with a little practice I will be able do something useful like bend a spoon.

It's official...

A bike dork to be specific. Many of you are saying to yourselves 'Duh M, we've known that for a long time'. Well, today I was convinced too.

This morning I'm walking the dog on my typical Monday loop. We walk to the local Peet's/Bakery combo for the morning transfusion. As I step into the Bakery I see two guys standing at the counter and think 'Cool, short line today'. Then I notice that these guys are none other than Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Hincapie. Holy Shyte!

Now I've had quite a few close encounters with public figures (I'll spare you the name dropping) and have always been able to keep my cool. Today I was a dork! I froze, I blushed and was clearly awe-struck. I wanted to say something but felt stupid at the same time. I'm pretty sure I looked like one of those old news clips of Beatles Fans...without the screaming. When George turned and looked at me I managed to ask how his Sunday Ride went. I think he said it was a 'Good Turnout'.

After they left I'm sure the woman behind the counter was trying to figure out what I was on. I was going to explain but decided she wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about.

Fred and George were in Peet's too but by then I regained my composure.

What a dork!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sporty politics

I'm not a football fan.
At all.
But I have a long U. Michigan legacy in my family.
This is crap.
I'm sorry, but total crappy politics.
Just cause Ohio State already played Michigan, doesn't mean the #4 team can mysteriously become #2 overnight.
Who paid off the damn coaches? That's what I want to know.