On February 4th 2010 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was completely stunned. I'm starting the "Scope That Colon! Initiative" to help others feel more comfortable dealing with this disease.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So that's what my life has been lately. Having 7 and 9 year old boys at home constantly makes this house look like a tornado has hit it. Black Friday and the holidays are coming up at work which makes for a constant state of bedlam there. Then throw the freak snow storm in the mix....

I don't handle chaos well anymore. My brain just doesn't look at the big picture and say "OK Todd, here's what we need to do." I don't function that way anymore (never really did to begin with). I'm contantly loosing things, forgetting things or just not using my time efficiently (I'm one of those guys who's going to be late to his own funeral). I am taking steps to fix it though, not sure if it's working, but I'm trying.

So a couple of weeks ago I found that my wallet, cell phone, camera I take riding, and probably my IPod, were stolen out of my car. I grew up in a small town where you don't lock the car and leave everything in it. Old habits are hard to break. Now I live in a descent sized town and I need to be more aware. That just added to it all and I beat myself up pretty hard over the incident and promised that I will be more conscious of what's going on.

So here I am, last week, a school day, wife commuted with her friend to work, scrambling trying to get breakfast ready, kids dressed, and lunches made .. My yelling was in rare form that day. Walked the neighborhood kids to school (daily ritual) .. just another typical chaotic day... with work @noon....

Crap, I didn't do laundry so I have no clean clothes to wear (we have a dress code).. express wash time (which by the way, takes way longer than the 28 minutes it says on the machine).
Let me run a quick errand to the bank to activate my new debit card... Connie is parked right behind me and I can't get out... where the hell are the second set of keys? I just had them the other day... How can I loose them AGAIN? CRAP.... the laundry isn't going fast enough... where are the keys? what about my debit card? I need to get to work!!!!!!!!
Just another typical chaotic day.

Then I found the answer as I walked thru the garage. hanging on the wall was my Delta cross bike.... I haven't had a chance to commute to work at all this year (I'm usually late, remember?) but this was the perfect time. It was almost 11... I had one hour to get to work.

I dug around and stuffed my back pack with sneakers, deodorant and some work clothes that MIGHT not have been the cleanest in the world. Got my riding gear on and hammered... I can't be late...

Suddenly the chaos in my life disappeared... I found the rhytmm I needed and for that brief 30 minute commute, I put it all behind me. The bike and I were one and everything in my world was good again. Got some funny looks walking into the building with my riding garb on but I knew I was ready for the day. I needed a drug and the Delta was my prescription.....

Walked in, realized I was an hour late (I was supposed to be there at 11, not noon), there were a couple of pallets of freight to be put away and oh, my wife had both sets of keys in her pocketbook....
Just another typical chaotic day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Total Tear Down....

Yep... that's what's going to happen now from this point on out. Total redesign of my "sporting" life. Things just didn't work out this past season quite like I had hoped. It was still a fun and great year, but not what I had hoped and promised.

Not really sure what happened toward the end of the season, my body just kind of fell apart. I think I can trace the reason back to last fall when I finished my chemo. I went all out balls to the wall and tried to pick up where I left off. Not the smartest decision on my part. I think I just plain over did it and ignored the little stuff that I needed to do for proper recover.

Then I did stupid stuff like screw my ankle up a Warrior Dash (oh, and we're signed up for next year) and then messed my knee up playing Ultimate Frisbee in the dark with glow sticks (oh, I'll be there this week, BTW).

So here's the deal... totally starting over with what I need to do. Starting from scratch and doing all the little things I didn't do. Unfortunately it won't be all that glamorous, so certain people are probably going to be a bit frustrated with me and my lack of "content" on the subject. Not sure where this will take me, but I think it can be a fun ride.

I've already started the steps to the "new me" and I can already see and feel the changes. Things are getting done (although the storm may have pushed me back a bit) and I can't take anything for granted anymore.

The other thing planned is a new blog/website. This one has kind of worn out it's usefulness to me so I have something new planned. Not sure if you folks noticed, but I'm not the most computer literate person in the world

May have to call in some help for the new one...
Ok time to rake leaves and wash the Goblin and Delta... more on that soon....
Take care all.....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Time Machine

I remember the day well. I was sitting at the desk of the health club I was working at (OK, it was more of one of those Nautilus "clubs" that were all the rage in the late 80's/early 90's) reading the newest issue of Winning magazine waiting to get out on my steel Trek road bike for another training ride.

Bob Harrington of Wayfarer Bikes struck up a conversation asking me about my riding and we chatted about general bike geek stuff. Then he asked THE question... "Have you been mountain biking yet?"

Mountain biking? Really? LeMond didn't mountain bike... Hinault didn't mountain bike..Indurain, Delgado, Roche... none of them! "This mountain bike thing is just a fad... it'll never last", I argued. Well I stubbornly agreed to try it out and I've been hooked ever since (even quit the club and went to work for him for a bit). I was a bit off on my "fad" prediction, huh?

Fast forward a few years, I moved up toward Hartford to live with my college friends and drink beer and ride and race mountain bikes. I actually got pretty good at both. My favorite place to ride was Penwood State Park. A pretty darn technical place to ride. Fun place, but for what ever reason, haven't been there in years...

Well today I hit Penwood up again and boy did that place take me back. It was like I traveled back in time. I felt like I was 23 again riding my Kona Kilaua with it's SoftRide stem, Umma Gumma tires and wearing my Bell V1 Pro helmet. Tearing up the trap rock covered single track seemed so naturally to me again. Back then all I cared about was riding and partying so most of those "training rides" were often done hung over. My metabolism allowed me to eat anything I wanted, drink copious amounts of beer and still weigh in at 170 pounds and ride hard the next day. I didn't have a care in the world except to pay the rent and have fun.

Well back to reality, I'm sitting here typing this taking Advil, icing my knee, 25 pounds heavier, wife and two kids, cancer survivor, dealing with bills and wondering if I'll ever race again....
It was a fun trip back in time today... everyone should try it...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I've got the moves like Jaggar

That was the song that I couldn't get out of my head today... annoying, but appropriate...

Headed out to a new to me place in near by Cromwell today called "Hyland River" State Park. I've heard alot about this place having ramps and stunts and such and I was pumped to explore... Got home from dropping the kids off, put on my best free-rider Lucas/McKenna baggy shorts and off I went with the Goblin.
"Nice place, but where the hell are the stunts?"... I've got the mooooves like Jagger...."

Neat little place tucked between the golf course and the river so there were some cool scenic over looks of the mighty Connecticut River and lots of fun twisty stuff.... but still no stunts... what the hell?

Ever since the Death of Racer Boy, I feel like I've been re-invented on the bike. This was the first ride in quite awhile were I really had fun. Didn't care about how fast I was going, clearing a hill, bike parts, blogs or pics (much to Airborne's dismay, I'm sure). Just a fun time in the woods by myself. Hell, even the knee and ankle even enjoyed the ride.
But where the hell where the stunts? I've got the moves like Jagger...

So if you live in the area and looking for a fun quick ride, great place to go, hit me up for directions. I wouldn't go out of your way to go there to ride, unless I missed something.

Got home and looked up some reviews and pics of the area and where the stunts were... The reviews were from 2003... DOH! I may have to sneak back in there this fall and re-build some of them... stealth mode...
Still a fun time because I've got the moves like Jaggar....

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Death of Racer Boy....

Sometimes the worst rides end up being the best for you... read on and this will make sense.

As most of might have noticed, I pulled myself from the "Grid". Frustration at myself has put in a place that, frankly, I didn't want to deal with any of this crap anymore.

Let start off by saying I'm hurting. Every part of my body is either injured, tweaked or tired right now. Unfortunately my brain says "You're still 20!" but my body says "Eh... more like 50".

As we get older, we tend to forget that. I really need to learn to recover as hard as I workout. Not doing that is coming back to haunt me. When I got a clean bill of health last year I went balls to the wall into physical activity with doing a poor job of rest and recovery. "You rested all last year" I kept telling myself. Well I'm paying for it now. Ironically, after you fight and beat cancer, you would think all of this would be alot easier.

There's been alot going on here, both mentally and physically that I won't get into right now (Some of you already know about some of this). When we get a hold of what's going on, hopefully the stars will align again... right now they're all over the place.

So yesterday I went out for a short ride around town and thru the meadows. Let's just say I wasn't really enjoying myself. Sore ankle, tweaked knee (who the hell's idea was it to play Ultimate Frisbee @9 p.m.?) , stiff neck and all sorts of other things contributed to a ride that, frankly, sucked. But I did get something out of it. It ended up being a pretty important ride.

I need to step back and forget about racing again, both mtb bike and cross. I just can't push it anymore with out taking care of myself. Not fair to my family, Airborne and frankly... me. Time to get back on the bike and ride for fun and fitness. Riser bars on the Goblin...more comfortable fit on the Delta...not worry about hammering the hills... and not getting on myself anymore (It's a vicious cycle...Over do it, get hurt, get on myself for being stupid.. recover.. repeat cycle).

There's other things important to me that I miss because of this repeated sequence. I'm lucky enough to be able to surround myself with bikes most of the time, so it's time to start using my situation for good, not evil.

R.I.P Racer Boy... We'll miss you.

For now anyways....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Uh oh... The good, the bad and the unsure...

Where the hell did summer go? The kids are thrilled.....

But now what happens to me? Back to school will be both exciting for me and scare the crap out of me.
Now I have a kid-less schedule which allows some flexibility in rides, work outs and getting much needed crap done around the house.
But since both kids are in school full time now and it's now time to start a "career". This is the part that's starting to freak me out. I have no place to go.
Looking through my options looks kind of bleak at the moment...

1) Stay at Dick's. Descent money and I can pretty much call my own shots for hours and such. A part of me really wants to attempt to get the Newington store more of a player in the bike game in the area, but it's hard when everything falls on deaf ears or is ignored. I don't think they realize I do know what I'm talking about. If it stays like this with no interest or not caring about my department, I'll be looking for other work in no time. Hey Dick's Sporting Goods, Help me help you.....

2) Go find a bike shop and work there. I hate to be cocky, but I can walk into just about any shop around here and get a job. problem is that pay wouldn't be as good, no flexibility and crappy hours, like Sundays...ughh... Plus I don't see getting hired going into winter.

3) Open my own shop? Not sure if I'm ready educationally or financially to go down this road... yet.

So looks like it's time for some soul searching and figure all this out. Probably take a class or two, do some welding and do my best at Dick's to get the job done and see if that can be a stepping stone. Maybe just get out of retail all together and go in a new direction.... who knows?

Don't get me wrong, I'm very lucky to be where I am. I was able to raise my kids, great marriage, beat cancer, make some great close friendships and I get to ride alot. But when we try to figure out my future, it's frustrating and scarey that when asked "Well what do YOU want do?", all I can do is shrug my shoulders....

Back to happier thoughts...
The ankle is healing up fine. I'm walking without a limp, it just gets tired a bit quicker. Should be back on the bike this week end. I'm so pissed that this happened... I'm gunning for 40 minutes at Warrior Dash next year.

Had to submit a rough itinerary to the great folks at Airborne on what my bike plans are for the next 90 days or so. Getting to be the time of year where they are deciding who to carry over to next year (Not sure if I deserve a spot or not) but I hope to be back. Great group of people and I enjoy helping them out.

The 28th I'll be doing the Rockwell Ride & Walk charity ride to help the homeless. The great guys at Biker's Edge are sponsoring it. That shop does ALOT of good work for the community...check them out here...
The Delta is ready willing and able, but might need some new tires....

Then it's all cross from that point out... some big races mixed in with the fun low key local races. Again, the Delta is chomping at the bit....
But we also are trying to plan a trip to Killington so the Goblin will see some love too....

Well that was the short update on what's going on... hope everyone enjoys the final countdown to summer....

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ridin' Dirty...

Well really, it was runnin' dirty, but you get the idea...

Warrior Dash 2011 is in the books. We had friends, old and new, converge in Upper NY State to take on a course that was full of mud, hills, obstacles beer and some "interesting" costumes (gotta love Naughty Nurses covered in cold mud, but that's a whole other post in itself...)

I actually remembered my GoPro camera and took video, here's an unedited small clip of what we were up against. I couldn't get it to download onto the site so link up to it here....

The highlight of the race was seeing my wife at the finish with a big smile on her face and a Warrior Dash medal around her neck. She and Pam H. started in the wave before us so I wasn't there to see how she did, but from the looks of the mud and bruises, she did fine. She worked hard to get there... I'm proud of her (You too, Pam)!
Low Light? Well that's an easy one. Tearing a tendon in my ankle on the way down the hill meant that I couldn't keep up with Rob H. and Dan H.... I finished by making it through the final few obstacles like the fire jump and the Army crawl thru mud under barbed wire... but later there was a trip to urgent care for a splint and crutches. Beer helped ease the pain.

So where do we go from here? Well I assume there will be about a week or so of ice, ibuprofen and some hobbling around then it's back on the bike. The new cross season is just around the corner and I need to be ready.

BTW... I beat Carrie W......

Monday, August 8, 2011

Yep, that's a video of me running this morning. I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. Funny thing is, that I used to be able to hold my own, but now... not so much.
"But Todd, what the hell are you running for? You're a cyclist" Good question. There's actually two reasons.

The first is that cyclocross season is right around the corner and there's a bit of running skill involved in this kind of bike racing. I've posted a few videos on here to give you an idea of it is. Watching is a BLAST. I'll post dates to some of the big races later.

Second, my wife and I agreed to do a Warrior Dash this year with our friends (I think alcohol and bragging were involved). Being a non runner, I don't know what I was thinking and nothing like waiting until the two weeks before to start training for it.

I have one goal and one goal only, beat a certain neighbor who's initials are C.W.... OK, I'm giving her a hard time and let's be honest here, she'll probably kick my ass. But if I can just hang with her until the end, I think I can take her in a sprint, if not. I'm not above cheating....
Old sneakers and a case of 'Gansett Summer Ale are ready. There's 15 or so of us renting a house so it should be a good time. That is if I don't die on the course.
Look for video and pictures next week.

I wonder if they'll have a downhill mountainbike course open that weekend too.....

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Situation....

So I haven't posted in awhile. There's a few reasons for that, but mainly I've been lost. Don't really know where I'm going from here or how I'll get there.

Don't get me wrong. it's not like I'm walking around here with my head down and shoulders drooped. This has been a fun summer with it's normal ups and downs. I've spent lots of good times with my family and friends, which hasn't happened in awhile (especially after last year's debacle). My wife and I have been getting along fantastically and we owe it to all of you out there.

But there's something missing. I was lucky enough to get a second chance last summer and I promised myself that things would be different if/when I made it through. Well maybe you can't
teach an old dog new tricks, because it's the end of summer I'm not anywhere near where I was hoping/needing to be.

I really wanted to promote colon cancer awareness and pay forward everything that was given to me last year. Well I might have a bit, but lets be honest, no where near the scale I know I should have.

I did a few races and rides...meh... I'm unimpressed with myself. Physically speaking, everything has just been inconsistent.

This year I was a full fledged Airborne Flight Crew member with the responsibility of reviews, promotion and contribution. Well I'm feeling I might have let them down a bit (who knows, you'll have to ask them). Those guys in western Ohio deserve so much more from me.

Now that the kids go back to school and both are there full time, I need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. All I've known for the last 20 or so years is retail... it's a tough life, especially if you want to be successful. I sold my sole to the Dick's Sporting Goods devil again this past year and I've had discussions about staying there and really trying to further the store regionally in the bike scene. That's a possibility. Go back to school? Start my own business? Get back into welding? Time for some sole searching.

So where do I go from here? Time and the effort I put in will tell if I can make the necessary changes.
Time to step up my game...

Monday, July 18, 2011

So now what?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... or something like that.
That pretty much sums up my return to the famed "Wrath of the Boneyard" mountain bike race. The picture pretty much sums up my personal performance...

I knew that it was going to be a tough day when I couldn't eat my breakfast with all the knots in my stomach. From there, I went down hill.

The cool part was that both kids raced the kid's race race right before hand. I know they were both nervous (and Luke took a few good diggers on the warm ups) but I'm so proud of them.

Noah grinding the climb...

Luke with his game face on... he wore that shirt because it's a Tony Hawk shirt...

If he's looking to me for race strategy and advice, he's screwed....

A job well done... They rocked!

So, you may ask...how did I do? Don't ask... Never made it past the first lap...
Boneyard is the hardest, most techy, gnarliest course on the Root 66 series, by far, and it reared it ugly head on me yesterday.

I don't know what happened, but the in the end, the heat combined with the rocks (LOTS of pedal strikes) and generally poor fitness leading up to race day, lead to my demise. I could tell right away I was dehydrated and the fear of heat exhaustion was kicking in.

I was around mid pack going into the first climb, which was a narrow single track "punch it" type of climb... not one of my strong suits. Well as one guy in front of me stopped, two of us went for the only line and I didn't win, going off track and down a slight embankment... game over mentally at that point.... couldn't hold a line... couldn't climb... and just bobbling all over the place...

List of excuses? There's plenty...
- Dehydrated
- It was hot
- Didn't really warm up properly because my kids were racing
- Crappy training
- Crappy eating habits
- My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!

Ever since our vacation and the kid's being home for the summer, proper training has diminished to zilch. But in all reality, it was gut check time and I didn't deliver.

So where do we go from here? I think it's time to take a few steps back and re-build my fitness.
That means early morning work outs, better diet (as always) and be more efficient with my time. There's still some mountain bike races left that I hope to do, then it's on to 'cross.
The Goblin needs some TLC... that thing is beat up. Chipped paint, wobbly wheels, bad shifting and all.... A total rebuild may be due soon....
From there, we'll see what happens...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Final Delta thoughts, while it's still relatively stock anyways...

If you've been reading this blog you probably know that I've been riding my Airborne Delta ALOT lately which is quite the feat considering I am a mountain biker through and through. Right now I'm hovering around 400 miles on this bike and except for the cockpit, it's been a stock ride.
Because of my enormous size (easy there ladies...) I had to swap out the bar and stem to something wider and longer (again ladies... calm down).

You all know I LOVE this bike and I will gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a new cross ride (What is cyclocross? Look here...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRZOa_E9Qs8).

But here's a final summery of some small detail stuff and thoughts I have.

Airborne is stepping up to a leadership position with this bike. They're taking a spot at the front of the cross bike line by offering it in a disc brake only version while others are still on the fence by offering disc brake mounts, but keeping canti brakes on it (Canti brakes don't consistently offer the stopping power of disc brakes). Bravo to them, but in this situation it will be really important to be sure the discs are set up properly.
Here's what I mean. Mine stopped descent enough, but offered a horrible noise that let everyone know I was coming. Get rid of the noise, affect the stopping power. For a while I kept asking myself "why bother with the extra weight of the discs?"
I did some research and found and answer. If you take the pads on the BB5's and round out the outer edge just a tad with some sand paper, the "turkey gobble" goes away. Great trick. Now I have mondo brake power with out the noise.

I'm still not sold on the Double Tap shifters from SRAM. STI from Shimano seems more natural to me. Something I'll have to get used to. Also, I sometimes find the shifting to be a bit vague. It shouldn't be but my next step is going to be to upgrade the cables (for the brakes too) and see if that helps at all. That or learn the right way to set up Double Tap.
That being said, the wide range rear end is kinda nice

I hate the hoods on the Apex shifters. Thin and flimsy. Looks like I'll have to get some Hudz that will be sturdier and they come in cool colors to boot.

The FSA post with the side by side double bolt system is rock solid, but a pain in the ass to adjust.

I do enjoy riding this bike on the road alot, but keep in mind it's not a road bike. Did 50 miles on it last week end and noticed the weight penalty and the lower high end gearing. I'm beginning to enjoy the ease of road riding again, so a true road bike will have to be in my future. Maybe Airborne has something cooking? I have a set of wheels on loan from a friend and that made a big difference.

I can't really fault anything much on this bike besides nit picky stuff. For $1200 it's a winner out of the box. Of course, I have to upgrade a few things on it for this fall to bring the weight down a bit, but it's not necessary...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't wear bib shorts with sun burnt shoulders... (and other things I learned on vacation)

Well we finally made it back from a week at Cape Cod. That combined with the extended week end and Con off for the extra week means I wasn't able to post... too much partying. The above pic is about 100 steps away from our cottage...sweet.
The weather was great and got to spend some time with family I don't get to see often enough. Great times had by all. This year a friend of Connie's came up with her kids so I was able to bring my bike and ride relatively guilt free....
Four year old dog in an 11 year old body... poor girl tries to keep up... sounds familiar...

Most of you know that last Sunday I did the Ride for the Flame... thanks to many of you, I raised almost three hundred dollars to help Special Olympics! The ride was a fun 50 miler around the shore line where I grew up. It brought back alot of memories. Hardest part was getting back here from the Cape. Three hours up on Friday afternoon, three hours back Saturday night , ride Sunday morning then three hours back to the Cape that afternoon again... way too much driving. Big group road rides like these remind me me how much I really DON'T enjoy doing it with big groups... way too nerve racking watching others ride on the streets. Another plus though, was alot of people were interested in and asking about the Delta, so that's good.
The peloton waits for no one....

A few other things I learned this past week, and some general opinions...

- First, obviously, is not to wear bib shorts when your shoulders are sun burned... not fun.
- Fried Clams and fries aren't the best fuel when you're trying to ride. Great when it goes down, but you pay for it the next day (insert dirty joke here....).
- Ladies, if you are over 40 and your name ISN'T Jennifer Aniston, there is no reason for you to be wearing a bikini, NO REASON. I appreciate the woman form as much as the next guy, but damn girl, have some pride! They have these things now called mirrors, use them...
- How did I use to survive 2 weeks at the Cape with no TV or video games when I was a kid? At some points , my kids had a hard time with one week... Who ever invented the DS, thank you...
- I'm sorry, but there's no way the biologists on the whale watching boats can tell the difference between all those whales, they are just making those names up. And no kids, I'm not going to buy you another $2 bag of potato chips from the galley.
- The Cape Cod Rail Trail is the nicest one I've been on. Paved, marked, mapped and gorgeous scenery...
You don't see this view on the Vernon Rail Trail....
The Delta on vacation

- Why don't people say "Hi" or at least smile when they ride their bikes anymore? I did a non- scientific experiment on one ride and out of 20 people I rode past, only 3 smiled, looked my way or acknowledged me in any way. People, you're riding a bike on the Cape, enjoy yourselves! This isn't a stage of the Tour de France.
- BTW, the guy on the Lynsky tri bike, you're a tool if you expect your wife/girlfriend to keep up with you while she's riding her hybrid bike....
- Bike shops really need to teach people how to change gears. I saw way too many people in the highest (hardest) gear struggling to pedal. The bike industry needs to work on that. (maybe that's why no body was smiling...)
- If you see a seal swim up on the beach, leave it alone, there's usually nothing wrong with them. According to another marine biologist on the scene, stay 150 ft. away. This did happen, but I didn't have a camera...

We had a good time this past week. Threw in a water park trip to Six Flags yesterday, too. I'm so glad my kids aren't afraid of the water. At the Cape, they had a blast boogie boarding at high tide, too.

Scan on the ole' colon today. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Look for a "final" Delta review from me tomorrow or Friday.

Glad to be home... see ya

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day Reflux...

Well it was another great Father's Day here at the Haskins' compound. I have to say the my wife does a really great job in supporting me and celebrating holiday's that are specific to me. Looking back, I really need to start stepping it up. Starting to get embarrassing....
This year's gift was totally unexpected (and really, undeserving). She spent the whole day (hauling too bored boys around) hunting down a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS for me! This thing is really cool! All sorts of worthless, yet fun, info. I have some big plans for this thing... now I just need to learn to use it, big book with small sized type....

The other high lite was my Father's Day ride down to my folks. Hopped on the Delta and did the 38 mile trek down to Chester. Most of you know I have the Ride for the Flame coming up and this was a descent little training ride for the 50 miler I have on Sunday. Ride went pretty well and I was able to finish up reasonably strong. The Airborne Delta continues to impress me everytime I hop on it.
Played around with my position too. Swapped the stem to a negative rise to stretch me out a bit. My friend mark also hooked me up with a set of "try before you buy" wheels that lightened the ride up. This is a fun bike

The other thing I tried this time around was doing the route thru Google Map's "Bike" option. It's very cool to see that bikes are being considered as a serious form of transportation. This had it's pro's and con's, though.
One thing that's great about it is the fact that it does a really great job of by passing some busy stretches of roads that alot of folks may not want to ride on. They take you along routes that you would never know were there. You get to see some really neat things and realize how beautiful of a state we really live in, when you slow down.
This does kind of come with a price though. Directions can be hard to follow, especially as you are riding thru neighborhoods with small side streets and lots of quick turns (if only I had a GPS...wait...). The other potential downside, is that it can really take you way out of the way. I found myself in parts of Middlefield and Haddam I didn't know existed. One part of the route had me going up and old washed out dirt road into Chester. Lot's of climbs and deep into the woods. I skipped that part and took one of the main roads in... maybe next time.

Finally a big THANK YOU to everyone who sponsored me for the ride on Sunday. I exceeded my goal and will be helping out a great cause!!! Hopefully more to come in the following months.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oh How I Love Thee...

Well schools almost out and my "free" time is going to be going away relatively quickly. Summer will be the time of year that if I'm working out, I need to really schedule it in ahead of time and get up earlier in the morning.
I've been logging some serious saddle time on the Delta and didn't realize how much fun (and easy) it is to just open the garage and go for a ride. No packing up the Goblin and driving to go mountain biking (plus it eats up dirts roads for lunch). I'm loving this bike... THANKS AIRBORNE!

One of the places the Delta will be taking me is the Ride for the Flame. A charity ride on the 26th that benefits the Special Olympics. I'm doing the 50 miler. We'll see how my ass and back responds.
In fact I'm leaving our vacation at Cape Cod for this.... Look me up and donate if you find some loose change in the sofa.

That's all I got... two quick shills today. Talk to you all soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Delta follow up....(and do Disc brakes belong on a cross bike?)

Well I have some pretty solid rides on the Delta now so I thought I'd let you all know what I think.

"What brand of bike is that?" I've been getting that alot... (I need decals)

Today I did a quick loop that incorporates tar, bike paths and meadow dirt roads that aren't kept up with, and the Delta shined. Very comfortable ride. For this ride I put on some fatter slicks that I had laying around and the difference was a huge improvement over the Kenda Kwick's (For what I'm using it for right now). Keep in mind, this isn't a road bike so you're going to still feel a bit bogged down. If you're looking for road performance, look else where (although I do hear rumors about something road-like cooking in the Airborne hanger...).

If I was commuting to work (I don't need a bike to get down to the kitchen) or wanted to be able to explore dirt roads and bike paths this is the bike I'd reach for. It is perfect the way it's set up right now with the slicks. Comfort, efficiency, and reliable shifting and braking are all here.

Now this is a cross bike, so let's look at it from a cyclocross racing point of view...

There's alot of debate on the forums and such on whether or not cross bikes need disc brakes. Too be honest, I can see both sides. To me, nothing is sexier than a nice clean cross bike with canti's (OK, maybe there's a couple of other things sexier...) and when you gotta lug a bike over barriers for an hour in crappy conditions while there's a bit of throw up in your mouth, every ounce saved, counts.
But, discs do over reliable braking in all conditions and if I stop eating Funny Bones, I can save the extra weight on my mid section...hmmmmm

Well I can't teeter on the fence anymore. For the technology that is available to us as of today, I would say discs make sense so everyone but the highest of levels (and snobbiest of snobs). They just offer so much more consistent braking that I can't see how they'll not help anyone... especially mid pack fodder like myself.

What will it take to get to get discs to the elite level? Well first is going to be weight. Right now the only thing available that's not crap is the BB5/7's from Avid and they are kinda portly. I don't think they need to be that heavy.

Another step will be to develop a 140 rotor size for the front. I do find the 160 standard up front a bit over kill on a cross bike. The front brake seems to overwhelm the bike, but in a race situation, that may change. Plus, it will save a bit of weight...added bonus!

Next step is going to be to develop hydraulics. Although I think mechanicals work fine, they won't be fully accepted until a hydraulic/closed system is available. This is what I think is holding Shimano and Sram back. Where to put the master cylinder is the sticking point... there's not alot of room in those brifters.

So what's my take? This is really a great do-it-all(almost) bike. Touring, commuting and exploring are spot on out of the box (except for maybe tires). Racers? A few tweaks to save some weight and this has the potential to be a great weapon for most.
Now I just need to unload these canti's I have laying around....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Grip review and other stuff

I hope everyone had a great week and enjoyed the holidays last week. Things have been going ok here. Crazy weather with temps kind of all over the place, but nothing like what Springfield Mass went thru last week. That area was devastated by a tornado. Scary stuff... can't believe they are coming out this way (our house got hit in '09 by a tornado). We're all thinking of our neighbors up north.

Health wise things have been ok. Fighting off some old age back issues and soreness, but nothing I can't handle. The caffeine ban has been rough. To be honest, I have been sneaking a soda here and there, but I can say I don't drink the whole thing (I didn't inhale either...). It seems caffeine related issues are under control.

In trying to stay with the Tuesday's Treatise theme, I'm going to post up a review of ESI's Chunky grips.

First a bit of back story. When I went out to Sea Otter, one of the things on my bucket list was to get some new grips. I was eye balling Ergons, but damn, they're expensive, and you can either run bar ends or not, can't swap back and forth...not a bad thing, just not a fit for me.
Then Eric, one of the cogs in the Airborne machine, mentioned ESI's and how much he loved them. Hell, the price was right and they come in cool colors, why not?
"But isn't a grip just a grip?", you may ask. Au contraire mon frere....
Being the first of any ride input, hands are an important contact point that gets overlooked. If your hands hurt, they're not happy...if your hands aren't happy, the rest of your body won't be either... result? A crappy ride. Get comfortable people!
ESI grips are 100% silicon which seems like the perfect material to me. Excellent job in "molding" to my hand a bit and the vibration damping is amazing (check out their website, they have a cool graph on there http://www.esigrips.com/Silicone_Grips_Shock_Absorbing.htm) and as I mentioned earlier, very cool colors...
On the Goblin,I've been able to try them now in a few "concerning" conditions:
Rain and mudfest race conditions... no issues
Really humid with gloves... stuck like glue.
Gloveless... velcro baby!
These grips rock!
Next time your hands are hurting and you need new grips... check the ESI Cunky's out. They also come in a thinner "Racer's Edge" model if you have dainty hands...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memeorial day Weekend

A little over a year ago my father in law passed away. Although we didn't always agree on everything, he did teach me one thing. He loved his country, was proud to have served, and appreciated and respected all others that also served. Remember that this weekend in between your hot dogs and sales. Please stand up for the Flag at the parade, buy that service man a coffee at Dunkin Donuts or simply shake a service woman's hand and say "Thanks for protecting my family, my friends and my country"....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday's Treatise..or "You want to do what...?"

It was around the end of last fall when I got the word from Jeremy, Airborne's bike design swami, that the new cyclocross bike will have... GASP... disc brakes! I live in New England, a hot bed for cross, I can't be seen with disc brakes on my cross bike... the Mafac gods would be turning in their graves...

A couple of weeks back I saw a big box (BIG box) sitting on my front door when we got back from school and I felt like a high school junior trying to get into his prom date's dress (or at least this high school junior)... that sucker was boxed well.
Yes, inside was Airborne's $1099 (Yes $1099) Delta. No decals meant that it was another pre-production model (I see a disturbing trend here). But that's OK, this one was a bit larger size that isn't slated for production...yet. I'll push for it for all us Sasquatches.

Here she is in her full build form. I kept the bike as stock as possible for fairness but I had to swap out the bar and stem to something a bit larger. Everything went together very smoothly.

So here's the problem... how do you test a 'cross bike? By definition cyclocross is a race usually run in the Fall, so that aint' happening. So what do you do? Go out and have some fun on it... dirt roads, bike paths, a bit of woods and some urban exploration are all open to you now. Let's be honest here, it's only a small percentage of cross bikes that really see a race anyways, so it's not a stretch.

So I headed out to the meadows on it the other day. Nice and rough and perfect for a compliance test. I came away pretty darn impressed with the ride quality of this bike. Purty darn comfy if you ask me. The BB30 bottom bracket was nice and efficient and the frame design made me feel fat dumb and happy.

Alot of it had to do with this... this was my first real foray into carbon fork goodness. Great design based around the disc brakes with no shutter and plenty of comfort.

Another feature is the Apex drivetrain, which is unheard of at this price point. Crisp shifting every time but I have to be honest here. I'm not completely sold yet on the SRAM Double Tap shifters. It seems like alot more throw is needed for that second shift... I think STI is easier, but the jury is still out. An 11-32 cassette will get you anywhere a bike like this should go (but more on that later).

And now to the crux of this bike and it's uniqueness, the disc brakes.
Like it or not, disc brakes are coming and I have to applaud my Ohio friends for taking a lead and putting them on the bike... most will do by the fall. 160 rotor up front with a 140 in the back gave me plenty of stopping power... I'd be curious to know why they didn't do 140 both front and rear. After playing a bit with the set up, I found the perfect balance between power and modulation with the BB5's. As for weight, I don't know yet. I'm rightfully assuming that they add a couple of pounds and I don't know how that will translate when you have to carry your bike up over hills and barriers when you're in oxygen debt. Time will tell. For commuting/ touring/monstercross... this is a perfect set up.

So what kind of bike is this? It is a cross bike, but any company would be silly to build and market a bike strictly to cross racers (low #'s) but on the flip side, racers may look at it and say "It's just a touring bike, I don't need discs"... it's an argument that is never going to be settled until some Belgium hotshot wins on a disc bike.
That's the beauty of the Delta though, $1099 gives you an opportunity to do what ever you want with it. Race it, tour it, commute it... it's all good.

If you want a true racer bike, you'll definitely want to work on shaving some weight.. best spot (with out going crazy) would be the wheels and tires. That's an area I plan to work on in the next month or so... You can also do OK with smart cockpit swaps too. The other thing to swap would be the cassette. There's no need for a 32 tooth on the back of a race bike.

If you plan on touring this would be a nice way to go. Comfortable efficient frame with plenty of gearing and powerful and reliable brakes. Just be warned that even though there are rack mounts on the stays, there aren't any on the drop outs due to the disc brakes. Any descent shop should be able to help you get around that.

Are you a commuter or just want to explore? Go ride and have fun. I'll have to try some bigger tires for a MonsterCross set up. I'll let every one know when that happens.

In short... fun bike... go get one here...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Musings....

So it's another Monday in which the week end wasn't nearly as long as it needed to be. I think the dreariness that is currently hanging over our wonderful state has alot to do with the cranky moods that Mom and Dad are being subjected too. Where the #%*& is the nice weather already?

Of course no weekend would be complete with out my usual Friday nite/Saturday shifts at Dick's. Not sure what I'm going to do about that job. I really can't keep going with the way things are right now but I'm also in no position to change the "culture" of what goes on there. It all starts at the top, and I'm no where near there....I have three months to figure out what I want to be when I grow up... frustrating...

Here at home, things were kinda lazy... movie time and Wii seemed to dominate in between rain showers... Finally got to see "Grown Ups"... ehhh, I thought it would be funnier.


The other day I had to go see the internal surgeon that did my resection. This whole cancer deal started with a problem with rectal itching that at some points becomes unbearable. That lead to the colonoscopy that discovered the tumor. Well the itching still hasn't really gone away so I went back in to see what we can do.
First thing he did was take me off caffeine. For those who don't realize it, the anus is one of the few muscles that contract when in a relaxed state. Caffeine irritates that area for alot of folks and affects the contraction and it's inability to do it's job... go figure.
Also it seems like my pH is off in that area so he gave me some lotion to use.
I took the week after the race off the bike hoping that it wasn't riding that was irritating the condition... thank heaven it doesn't seem it.
So anyways, I'm off caffeine now... if I'm mean and irritable, please understand....

Look for a Tuesday's Treatise on the new Airborne Delta. I spent some extra time on it yesterday and I'm pretty excited to share the ride with all of you....

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a difference a year makes....

Hard to believe what a difference a year makes. This time last year I was a few weeks into my chemo and still sore from the colon resection that left an 8" scar just bellow my belly button.
Wind ahead to yesterday, and my biggest complaint was that I didn't want to get wet...
Yesterday was my first race post-cancer. A fun little race in Winstead put on by my good friends (and favorite shop) Biker's Edge in Bristol and Torrington.
When I got up Sunday morning it wasn't just raining, but pouring. That wasn't going to stop me... but maybe become less interested? Con and the kids decided to stay home instead of brave the monsoon... good call on their part.
I finally found the venue after getting a tad misplaced but then realized I had no money to enter... back down the hill to the ATM. Well warm ups didn't go quite like I hoped... just riding trying to stay warm but it was fine... I just wanted to finish and that I did!
It was a muddy, greasy race of attrition but I did it. Best part was passing a guy thru the Start/Finish straight before the single track and hearing Charlie Beal cheer for me on that. Found myself tearing up on the final lap when it really hit me how far I've come... Called Con when I finished and we both had a good cry on the phone... it was kind of embarrassing actually but I don't care... It was one huge step.

I owe a ton of people a ton of thanks... Airborne, Bontrager and Biker's Edge have all supported me on the bike.
But the amount of support and good will that my family and great friends that I've been lucky enough to surround myself with, is immeasurable... THANK YOU ALL!

Muddy bike pic....

Muddy self portait

Hmmmm ... when's the next race?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday's Treatise (Yeah it's a word, look it up!)

So in my quest to inject a bit of life into my blogs, I've decided to start "Tuesday's Treatise". I'll do my best to review stuff in a some what entertaining fashion. These reviews my include bike stuff, TV shows, women...who knows. I'm also open to suggestions...
So here goes...
Today's first review...my garage and work space.

This place is a wreck... One of the problems with our house is that we live in a flood plain and don't have a basement. So therefore, anything that you would put in a basement, is also in the garage...which REALLY sucks. Look a the pics...Beverage fridge, freezer, shelf of food we never use, shelves of crap and toys that we can't throw away but never get used... how am I to function there? Plus I'm always in a rush so nothing really gets put away like it should.

I love working in my garage during the summer. Put the Sox game on the radio maybe pop open a Stoney's (or PBR) and work on a bike or do some welding. But it's really hard when you can barely walk thru it at all.

I have two bikes sitting here that are extreme fixer uppers. Not sure what to do with them... maybe donate them curbside on garbage day. I know there's some one out there who could really use them. Then I have a few new Airbornes to build and put some place and then get the really nice (albeit, really BIG) bike boxes out of the way. They do a fantastic job packaging those suckers up....

Here's my bench and it looks like Mr Goodwrench threw up on it. When I got back from my frame building class I built this to give me room to work. Now it's just a gathering place for more crap... I need an Extreme Garage Makeover....But notice how safety conscious I am with the fire extinguisher?

Another annoyance of working out there in the summer... mosquitoes. You have to have the door open but then you get nailed with them... I'm going to have to invest in one of those garage door mosquito nets that are all the rage in Florida.

So there you go, my first treatise... on a scale of 1-5(5 being the best)... I give it three stars (I need to come up with a better scoring system...haven't completely thought this out yet). Bump it up to four if I can get it organized and clean.....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Help a fellow Crew member out...

So Marty Tank is a guy who does some very cool mountain bike videos and is a fellow Flight Crew member...
Anyways, he's trying to win a video contest for the Wisconsin Off-Road Series and needs our votes...
Check out here and vote, it'll help a pretty cool guy out.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Last of Sea Otter ..and an apology...

So as I was working on bikes last night in my quiet corner of the stor (I'm sooo lonely over there...) I was thinking about the day and what I could/should have done different. Thinking about what I wrote yesterday left me feeling quite ill... I need to apologize. After re-reading it again last night, I came off whiny and insensitive. I realize that what I complained about last week was life and I promise to get over it. I'm pretty lucky to have the life I have and if I take a bit more initiative, I might be even to ride more...Thanks for listening.

Well let me wrap up some other little Sea Otter goodness here....

FRS, my favorite energy drink, was there handing out FULL CANS of their product. At least they were until The Man shut them down. Food vendors were complaining that no one was buying their beverages so FRS had to pour everything in cups. Still pretty awesome, but lets be honest, not as cool. I love this stuff, starting to replace my Diet Coke supply when I can afford it...lol

A bunch of us went out to attack the XC course on a few Goblins.... Well sorta. As we rode up to the entrance we stopped for a bit to watch the pro men short track race (those guys are soooo fast, and of course I forgot my camera) then headed out.
A few of us realized that a couple of us weren't keeping up. Turns out Jim Davis (husband of Wendy Davis of Flight Crew fame) had rear wheel issues and couldn't ride. So me being the nice guy that I am, gave him my wheel thinking I could go back to the tent swap out and catch up... boy was I wrong! never saw them again until I got back to the tent.
The XC ride was by myself and I had no idea where the course was taking me, but it seemed way out there. Lots of sandy dirt roads and singltrack. One "technical" down hill was just rutted from the rain. What's that all about?
The the cat 1 race started so I wanted to get of the course and wind my way back. All hilly dirt roads... good times. I was missing the great techy stuff we have here.
Of course the Goblin was great, but I missed my personal one.

Speaking of Wendy, what a super cool chick. Her husband is alright too...lol. You can read about her pretty amazing story here...http://apabstsmear.blogspot.com/.
Now like most of you, I thought what a strange title for a blog, then it hit me. Pabst Blue Ribbon! PBR Baby! A woman after my own heart and liver. Check out what she gave me...
I know, you're all jealous! Gotta get it on my bike today!

I also got to spend a bit of time on the new Delta cross bike and the Wingman dirt jump bike. I wanted to take the Delta out a bit longer but was afraid I wouldn't get let back in since I didn't have my wrist band at the time. That bike is so cool. When I heard about it, I thought "You can't put discs on a cross bike!" (We don't do that here in New England) but this idea has potential. Jeremy did a great job in ride quality, weight and value.. as usual.
Check it out here....http://www.airbornebicycles.com/category/56-cyclocross-cx.aspx... I WANT one of these!

I also enjoyed my limited time on the Wingman, which surprised me. If I was a few inches shorter and did more Mt. Dew commercial stuff, I'd be all over this. Solid bike for a great price...
http://www.airbornebicycles.com/category/59-dirt-jump.aspx.... Goose would be proud.

Alright.. I got crap to do today... thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Sea Otter news and notes (and other crap that happened last week that kept me off my bike)

Well it's been a week and a half since I've been home and the shit hit the fan fitness wise...More on that in a bit.

One of the cool things I found at Otter was www.Plus3Network.com. Last year when I was diagnosed and then realized I was going to be OK, I told myself I was going to give back and one way was to start a website for locals here in town to help them solicit funds and sponsors online for their charity events.
Well, me being the tech savvy guy I am, I never was able to figure out the best way to go about it. Well some one did. Basically they set up a website that allows you to choose a charity you want to support and then log in your work outs. They went ahead and matched up corporations for each charity who will pay dividends for your work out time. How cool is that?
I'm working on putting a local team together and get in touch with those of you interested.

I didn't get to do quite as much riding as I wanted to out there due to an sinus/ear infection I brought with me, but when I did get out, it was "interesting". Looking back I'm glad I have an opportunity to ride where I do, the trails out there were, let's say, boring. Great if you like to climb fire roads all day, but where's the rocks? The logs? Roots? Riders of New England... enjoy what you have here....

When we got back the family did do a day trip to NYC to hit up the Museum of Natural History and some Time's Square action... Place was PACKED and the kids didn't get many thrills out of the Museum. It would be neat to go there alone and be able to actually read some of the exhibits. We also bought the most expensive 2 pounds of M&M's in the world at the M&M store in Times Square.

Because the bike department at work pretty much shuts down if I'm not there, I picked up some extra hours at work too... Still not enough.

The sad news of the week was the loss of a family member. Connie's sister-in-law's grandfather passed away while I was away too. Don "Bompa" Griffen was a really cool guy. He served 65 years on the Hebron Volunteer Fire Dept., 25 as Chief. He loved the Sox and Uconn, and was fantastic to his family. We'll all miss him.

So basically with all of that and other stuff (kid's, soccer practice, house work).. I haven't really been able (or maybe , chose not to) to ride or work out since I got back... and lets not even talk about holiday time diets....
I need to get back at it now.... First race on the 14th (Winstead Woods) and the doing the second part of the Angel Ride (http://www.angelride.org/) on the 29th... I'll be hitting you all up for donations soon...
I'm going to need a road bike for that sucker...

Talk to you all soon!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Man Do I Take Crappy Pictures (At least when I remember the camera)

So it's been a week since I've been back from Sea Otter out in California and I'm just getting around to posting about it. It really should have been sooner, but this ended up being a long week.
The kids were off from school, we took a day trip to NYC, worked some extra hours, a holiday and we lost a dear member of my "extended" family.
Nothing personal but the blog was low item on the totem pole, if you know what I mean.

The trip to California was FANTASTIC! The trip out was kinda lame. I knew I'd be in trouble when I washed my phone the night before I was to leave and had to scramble looking for a new one. The other issue, a guy who is pushing 6'5" and can't sit still is NOT built for long trips on a plane... And the food sucked.

It was great finally getting to meet everyone that, up to that point, I only had e-mail or Facebook "relationships" with. What a great group. Intelligent, funny and very down to earth, my kind of people....
The venue was just as I remembered it... gorgeous. The sun was shining and the temps were great. Perfect weather to hang out with thousands of other biker geeks like myself.

One of the big surprises were set up at the tent.... all of the stuff Airborne sent us home with....

Look at all that stuff...just for us!
Here's my stash...

Can you believe it? 2 jerseys, 2 bib shorts, one long sleeve, one downhill jersey, 2 Dickey work shirts, new hoodie and a beanie... I better sell some bikes or some one in accounting is going to be very unhappy...

Here's some random pics with some witty banter .....

Lot's of people all week end... and this was just the first row...

Eric of Airborne (and Emily Batty fanclub) fame getting one of our demo bikes ready. Digging the hat too, not bad for an Ohio guy...

Bikes, bikes and more bikes...

Goblin goodness...

Arm wrestling for handle bars at the Truvativ tent....

Beautiful blue skies all weekend...

This was on my "Bucket List" for the trip... but I chickened out

This was about 1/4 of what they brought...I wonder why Specialized bikes cost so much...?

Kevin's new best friend....

Compared to some of the stuff the other guys did, these pics are really LAME (check out their work on the Airborne FB page)... plus I usually forgot my camera most of the time.... I promise to do a better job with my photogenic eye as time goes on....

Flight back was much better then out... cute redhead sat next to me on the short leg to LAX then there was open seats on the final two legs of the trip so I could spread out a bit....
Glad to be home... I missed everyone.

Check back later for more stuff that went on out there and here at home...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Title Town, USA

Well the big news around here is that UCONN men are the national champions. I'm not a true hoops aficionado but from what I watched last night (not alot) what an ugly game. But they played great D and a win is a win....

Training has hit a bit of a road block. Yesterday was supposed to be another ride but I was COMPLETELY wiped out so I took the day off and napped. I've been battling a sore throat and have been a bit run down the last few days so I'm going to go checked out and rule out anything (like Strep) before the trip. I'm thinking it's just a cold and a bit of post nasal drip...

In 8 days I leave for the big trip with Airborne Bicycles. This is going to be an epic time, bra... (sounds better in aJeff Spicoli voice...). Anyways I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone, reconnect with some old friends, ride some great bikes and check out the national scene. It's been a few years since I've been involved with anything on this scale.

When I get back, the plan is the first race of the season should be the Massosoit Lung Opener in East Taunton, Ma. We'll see how the schedule allows. Body and mind is starting to feel good, so if I can keep up the training and such, I should be ok... If anything fails, it's not the Airborne Goblin, it's the rider....

I'll check back soon...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Follow-up

TGIF !!! Or something like that....

I'm a bit late in getting back to everyone on the oncologist visit on Wednesday.

Things went really well there. I guess the scan last week showed a cyst on my kidney which is pretty normal. Still kind of scary after having a tumor and 14" of your colon removed, but she assured me there was nothing to be worried about.

She was really impressed that I had the energy to work out and ride as much as I am. Of course after she said that I've been a zombie and I haven't done anything the last two days...
Energy levels are still going to be inconsistent and so will my ammune system as it starts to build itself back up after 6 months of chemo.

The only black cloud of the visit was some white spots on my throat that might have indicated strep. She just went ahead and got me on some heavy anti-biotics to knock it out. Maybe I'm the carrier all this time and have been wrongly accusing my son, Luke (he's usually responsible for everything else, so why not). I never even noticed the spot were there.. go figure.

In about three weeks I'm off to Sea Otter in California with the rest of the Flight Crew. I'm really looking forward to this trip. Even though I was on the Crew last year, I obviously wasn't able to travel or actually meet anyone in person. I'm looking forward to shaking some hands and buying some people a beer or two.

Doesn't look like I'm going to race. I'll be there to soak it all in, help out in the tent and hopefully some of the other crew members can teach me the "Art of Getting Air". This trip will be a blast!

In other Airborne news...The new Crew was finally announced to the free world via their Facebook page! Check it out here ... http://www.facebook.com/Airborne.bikes.
I'll be posting their links and such as soon as everything is up and running.

Some of the "senior" members were allowed some input in the process and let me say, there were some solid submissions from everyone! Glad I didn't have to make the final decision.

That's it for today. Check back here often for pics, video and reviews of stuff that interest me (I'm waiting on something very cool from a certain bicycle company) and some ideas on how our community can do things to help others.

2011 is going to be BIG!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Musings ..or... Why I should Always ride with a CamelBack

Well Spring is here... or at least it was, the weather this week isn't looking all that promising...

As most of you know by now I went in for a scan last week and everything came back clear. That was great news to my ears. As I wrote earlier, I was nervous this time around.
Next step is this Wednesday when I see Dr Davis (oncologist), get some blood work done and find out the next step. It's been a long journey but maybe there is an end in sight.

Got out for a ride yesterday and I set out thinking it was going to be one of those short "too much mud and I'll damage the trail if I ride" type of outings. I couldn't have been more wrong. Conditions were perfect. The Airborne Goblin took everything I threw at it, which isn't much this time of year, and I had a blast. Couple of other riders stopped me and asked some questions about the bike and Airborne in general. This Airborne re-birth could become HUGE.

The only down fall was that, expecting a short ride, I only brought a water bottle and being one that dehydrates very easily, ran out quickly and had to cut the ride short. Next time I'll bring the Camelback...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where's my Optimism?

Well tomorrow is another scan. For some reason I'm not feeling to optimistic this time around. No real reason to feel this way, but just a gut reaction. I know I'll be OK, and if I'm not, well then I just Cowboy Up and do what I need to do to beat it down again.

On another note there's about 4 more weeks until I'm off to Monterey California. (If I miss the trip again this year due to being sick I'm going to be sooo pissed off!). Training is going painfully slow with all the germs and disease being brought home from that Petri dish known as elementary school. I've been living on Emergin-C and Airborne (no relation to the bike company of the same name)

The Goblin is done, decaled and ready for season...
The question is, am I ready? lol

Monday, February 28, 2011

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Ask Ben Buttson... He'll tell you to get checked!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Be like me...

Want a couple of free bikes?
Want to go to Sea Otter with me?
Want to live the Flight Crew life you've been jealous of?
If you answered yes to these questions, here's your opportunity...

Good luck!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23, 2011

Yep, that's the date today.....
I haven't written in awhile only because well, there hasn't been much to say. It's hard being a writer when there's no news.

One thing that is exciting is the fact I've been officially picked up for the 2011 Airborne Flight Crew! This is going to be a really fun year working with them. As most of you know, I've been working in bike shops and the like for most of my adult life and it's been interesting talking with Jeremy over at Airborne and learning how things go "behind the scenes". From the outside it looks like a fun kick ass job, but I've learned that there are ALOT of headaches that go along with designing and then implementing cool bike ideas. You have to patient and thick skinned. Maybe if/when I go back to being a regular bike shop rat again, this knowledge will come in handy.

Still working out pretty regularly, until sickness or life stalls me out. Still trying to eat better more consistently. That seems to be my weakest link. I was able to actually get outside last week for a couple of rides, but that was just a cruel tease on Mother Nature's part. Back to our regularly scheduled 20 degree weather....I think it might be time to try a video of me working out... Kind of "Rocky/Eye of the Tiger" style....

DoIt4Others isn't really taking off like I'd hoped. Companies are really slow at getting back to me on sponsorship opportunities. I'm going to give another push in the next couple of weeks and then get it up and running officially. We'll just have to keep it "grassroots" I guess. I have a few people traing for marathons and such asking about it, so there is interest there.

My bike is stripped and back at Airborne for the "pimp my ride" decal treatment. Can't wait to see what it looks like.

On another note, 40 years ago today we were blessed with a wonderful girl who grew up to be a beautiful woman and loving wife and mom. Happy Birthday hun!

Well off to go find something really worth writing about....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes...

Well it was one year ago yesterday that I got the news that I had cancer. It was a dark and trying time for us with my wife away attending to her dad's affairs due to his death and me up here waiting for 'the call"... it's really hard when you need to be with your spouse and you can't. Thank heaven for all the great friends and family who we are fortunate enough to have surrounded ourselves with.

So what has changed?
Well I think Connie and I much closer and more tolerant of everything in our lives. We realize how fortunate we are.
I'd like to think I have more tenacity when getting things done, but unfortunately it isn't really showing lately. I'm having a hard time dealing with the tedium of things I need to get done and accomplish. Something I REALLY need to work on.
If anyone has any suggestions on overcoming this, I'm all ears....Cabin Fever isn't helping.

My goal this week is to get all the sponsorship requests out for the new website and get that going...again, it's the tedium making this process so slow. Airborne has stepped up with their support so I owe people to add to that

Like everyone else, I'm TIRED of all the snow.... enough already, the novelty has worn off. I need to get outside and do something besides shovel. Can't even hike or anything. If anyone wants to donate a trip to someplace warm... I'm available.

Well I don't have much to write about right now, but I had to say something to mark the anniversary.
I promise to do better next time....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow, Strep and a Quiz....

Miss the summer yet? This snow crap is getting ridiculous. Here I am typing and it's snowing AGAIN, and the kids have a snow day AGAIN and I'm starting to go stir crazy AGAIN. Looks like that except for a short break tonight, it's going to snow right though to Wednesday night. So that brings the snow total to what, close to 7 feet and it's just now February?

On a related note, strep throat has ravaged our house this year. Noah just finished up round #4 and Luke is on #2. Wifey and I each have had it once. Between snow days and strep, I don't think Noah has put in a full week of school since Thanksgiving.

On the bike/fitness front, working out has been limited to indoor stuff. Not the most ideal way of doing things but when life gives you lemons.... Maybe a video of the work outs are in order.
I'm still determined to get racing again this season and do some things to "pay it forward". I owe alot of people so I need to keep plugging away at it.

Now it's pop quiz time. The Livestrong Foundation has written a quiz to test your knowledge about cancer awareness. Take the quiz and pass it along. Taking it also gets you discounts on really cool Livestrong gear! Follow this link

Well that's all I got for now...See ya!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Well I finally did it...

Just a reminder of where I was and how lucky I am....

Friday, January 21, 2011

What the Hell Happened? A P90X Saga....

Well in the quest to get back into my normal life (riding, health and fitness, etc.) I was finally able to REALLY start P90X (A bout of strep derailed my plans to start earlier).
For those of you who don't know, P90X is the workout infomercial that you see late at night while you're eating Cheetos on the couch.

There was a time where I though I was in descent shape... maybe not stupid O'Leary shape (the locals know what I'm talking about), but able to hang with most....
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? I can't even make it through a work out now.
I guess all I can do it keep at it and keep pressing the play button.

A side note... Props to my wife who has been kicking it hardcore at the aforementioned O'Leary's 5:15 interval class! I'm proud of you!

On the bike front, the brains behind Airborne bicycles are just coming back from a press junket and they have been getting some amazing reviews... Here's one...
I truly hoped I'm picked to represent them again in '11... I owe them alot and would love the opportunity to pay them back (another reason why I'm killing myself now...lol).

On the DoIt4Others.Blogspot front, things are going really slow. Companies are making it super hard and tedious (and anyone who knows me knows I hate tedium) to solicit sponsorships. Again, I'll keep at it.

I have a surprise coming up to show you guys soon... stay tuned...

By the way... enough with the snow already!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shape of Things to Come?

I have a feeling this is where the "Scope That Colon" Blog may be heading...

Stay Tuned....