The Waffle House Chronicles...

Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday afternoon…3:13 left until the weekend. Into the Blue will be awesome! Badger game should be great. Cross race guaranteed to be painful. My cross goal is to get one point, so I need to be in the top 20 overall in one race this season. Last year I think I got like 27th in the one race I did, but it was the most heavily attended race (WI State Champs.) Oh yeah, my team name was Racing with Jesus, how cool is that? It even made the official race results. This year our team can get WCA points so I guess it will be Schwinn Regional. Of course I probably won’t go anyways so it is a moot point! Maybe I should race A, they only get a handful of people and would be more likely to get my 1 point.

Just a guess but the Riz is likely seeing the History of Violence this weekend (unless he has seen it already…that is why no one will ever say I am Riz-like, even the things we have in common on the surface we don’t really have in common. Funny, our interests are more complimentary than anything.

Yahoo movies is funny, there is a new Johnny Knoxville movie out, never heard of it. Critics say it sucks…big time! Everyone says Into the Blue will suck too, but reuniting Lance Harbor with Tweeter is pure genius. I still have to see Four Brothers, I feel like a bad person for not seeing it yet. :(

So anyone else doing anything fun this weekend?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Games People Play!

I know you all are anxiously awaiting the games update, so here you go! The night started out with Tad, Hez, Jess and I playing Uno. I was continuously getting destroyed! But such is life I guess! Then Riz and Kari showed up toting some Qdoba burritos (for the record Jess and I had Papa Johns and Hez and Tad had Noodles.) Let me just say this, Kari either needs burrito eating practice or more skill. Who has to eat a burrito with a fork? Of course she had lots of excuses but the overall display was weak. That and I saw corn falling out of it which is never a good sign with a burrito. Anyways we played Oh Hell next, which is probably my favorite game. I won my second game in a row (thank god for trump on the last hand.) Jay showed up next, with guess what…a Qdoba burrito! Like Riz, he had no problem controlling the beast! We then proceeded to play Boggle. Playing Boggle with 6 people is tough as lots of words get cancelled out (and of course the two shortest people sat furthest away from the board) Of course the shortest of them all (Hez) took the title on Friday night with 16 points in 6 rounds. Her and Riz winning the last two rounds of Boggle? What is this world coming to? Next was Taboo, with the dream team of Jess, Kari and Riz kicking our butts (twice.) Once that was done we had a guest appearance from none other than Jason Vale. A little Imaginif was played next and somehow I was able to win (thanks Kari for challenging me and getting us both 4 points!) Finally charades! It has been a while since it was played and I’ve never played with Jay but with Vale there it was mandatory. Vale proceeded not to disappoint with quality acting and genuine frustration! All and all a great night of gaming!

As for Saturday…what a day! I finally hooked up the ice maker and we proceeded to have brown ice (stupid rusty pipe!) I also kicked some Jak II butt, hopefully I’ll be done with that game soon! We then watched the Badger/Michigan game, go Badgers! I can’t believe they pulled that one out! Jess, I and my parents will be there this Saturday! Finally as the night got late they showed the Ironman on TV. It got me excited for next year, the TV coverage was actually half-way decent. Jess and I rode the bike course the day before the race and I totally missed this very tight 40mph corner, I felt like an idiot as I went flying right up someone’s driveway right up to where 3 children were playing. Well on the TV broadcast the 3rd and 4th place riders chasing the leaders also bailed this same corner. It is the most insane downhill corner I’ve seen and since it was recently peagraveled, the surface isn’t great and it is easy to miss! Can’t wait to try it again!!!

All about Jess!!!

Here is Jess' Sunday in a nutshell...

The Bike 1
The Bike 2
The Bike 3
The Bike 4
The Bike 5
Trudgery 1
Trudgery 2
Trudgery 3
Finish 1

Oh yeah, one more thing...Can you find Mark in this picture?

The carnage: I cleaned the bikes last night, here is what I found:
Mark’s Bike: Bent derailleur hanger, sliced rear cable housing with broken ferrule (explains the shifting issues)
Jess’s Bike: Ruined chain and cassette, dirt in headset and front hub (needs an overhaul)

Anyone good at and want to repack some bearings?

Here is a picture of me on the first lap. Just a butt load of rain at this point, this photo was about a minute after the loudest clap of thunder on the day but before it got super muddy!

Oh yeah, there is a big debate over a specific bike racer who cheated during the elite race. He says he didn't, his reputation before was sketchy at best and about 40 spectators saw him cheat and turned him in. Technically he even broke 3 rules, not just one. So along with the weather, this race might be the most talked about race ever! For the record I didn't cheat in this race (or any race for that matter) and my 13th place in my age group was earned! :) No short-cuts, no performance enhancing drugs, no assistance from other riders, no bike swaps, no sitting out for a lap, none of that going on here, I rode (mostly walked & trudged) the whole course!

Oh yeah, another teammate...Shelley at the finish!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bike racing? More like adventure racing. So Sunday was the day of my least favorite race, The Sunburst Showdown at Kewaskum. Jess and I seriously debated if we should even go or not. Jess checked the radar and said, oh yeah, it looks clear enough, the storm will miss Kewaskum so we headed out. We picked Shelley up and went on our way! Looked cool and cloudy so if the rain held out, the weather would be perfect. After an hour and a half of talking and/or complaining about work we arrived!

I was hoping to have a good day. I cleaned and fixed my bike up the day before, I was well rested and coming off a great race at Chequamagon and the amount of racers seemed to be only about half of a normal race. The Sunburst Showdown is usually held in August and it usually is 90+ degrees so it was a welcome change. After my normal routine of warming up, chatting with Kenny, Garett and all the usuals we were lined up.

From the goooooo…… my legs weren’t ready. But Kewaskum is wide open so I could pass later. Unfortunately they ran the course a bit different and we got jammed up in the first singletrack and since I was near the back I lost many seconds (probably almost a minute in a 3 minute span to the leaders. That was the closest I would be to the leaders all day. We get out to the open field and all of a sudden…downpour! Uh oh, this race is all on dirt and grass, dirt and grass+rain = slow and sloppy mountain biking/hiking. It poured most of the rest of the race and I even saw a lot of lightening and a few large claps of thunder…scary!!! I made it to the base of the climb, second to last in the wave. I decided then that this was my best shot to make up spots so I went for it. I passed 5 people in my wave (2 in my age) and was one of few people to make it to the top still on my bike. That was the highlight of the day, followed by 2 more laps of low-lights. Once we got to the top field I was fighting my bike and getting mud in my eyes. Wasn’t fun. I finally realized that my rear derailleur was so gunked up my pulleys didn’t want to spin so my crank would freeze up about every three pedal strokes. I am not a very good bike mechanic. I first thought that if I switched it to my small front ring and big rear ring that I wouldn’t put as much torque on the system and it would work better. Later while thinking more while walking my bike, I decided I had to use my big ring. Big ring on the front and rear was the ticket (44X28.) I could climb everything that wasn’t too muddy and was power past people on the third lap. People were pointing at me when most people were in the granny gear and I am pushing my big ring. I figured the slow cadence gave me grip, when you are pushing 30rpms the traction is awesome, a new theory to mountain biking. Anyways, back to the race, I would say 75% of the course was ridable. The only problem, the other 25% of the course was so muddy that if you pushed your bike 20 feet it would gather up so much mud the wheels would lock up and stop. So carrying a muddy heavy bike through singletrack so slick you could barely walk wasn't much fun, but I made the best of it. It was more like survival than racing. After a lap or so the challenge wasn't beating people it was seeing what I could and couldn't ride and seeing if I could ride more or longer than those around me, the game within the game. Anyways, towards the end I was closing on Ebben on the third lap but already lost too many seconds to catch him. 13th in my age was my finish, guh! Seems everyone in our wave were in my age also (25 people in our wave, 16 starters in my age group.) And of course all the crappy racers (besides me and the guy that I beat and the two DNFers) stayed home and all the big guns showed up. It did however likely increase my sereis standing one spot (currently 8th) and I should get 8th-10th in the final standings. A disappointing season with a few bright spots. But look at how cool I look!

Anyways, after the race I only brought one set of clothes but I still wanted to watch the girls come in. So I sat In my muddy bike clothes and tried to take photos. The girls had a very tough time as they had rain from the start of their race and the course was wrecked before they could even ride it once. Shelley came in for 2nd place (her best career sport finish) and Jess came in shortly thereafter for 3rd in their age group. We cleaned up the best we could, listened to the depressing Packers on the radio while we drove home… I only wonder how much our bikes are damaged, I’ll find out tonight when I clean the bikes.