Apr 26, 2009

Oh, I almost forgot...

Tyler Hamilton! Hahahahahahahahahaha. Scum bag.

...and tomorrow is Monday.

Just got back from Santa Ynez for U.S. Cup #5. It was another rough one, but at least temps weren't near triple digits. It was windy and even a little cold at times instead. The Aussie, Sid Taberlay, stuck to us all again, but Aaron Olson and Andy Schultz kept him a little honest this time, or so I heard. I was too busy duking it out for another 15th place finish. Seems to be my magic number at the none ProXCT U.S. Cup races. I think if I could have gotten a better start, I may have been good for 12th place. But hey, 12th, 15th; what's the difference if it ain't a top 10.

Ryder and Denise came up with me this weekend. I got good feeds from D and it's always really cool to hear Ryder screaming, "Go Daddy!" as I ride by. The poor little dude roughed the elements for me this weekend with a cough, which eventually turned into an ear ache. I'm a horrible father for putting my kid through a weekend like that.

Next weekend is the Idyllwild Spring Challenge and then I finally get a well-deserved break. Actually, everyone deserves a break after riding the Spring Challenge. That's one helluva mountain bike race and with a thousand bucks going to the overall winner, you can bet it will be as fast as today's race.

I feel like a huge looser after this weekend and not because I finished 15th. Because I came home, yet again, with no photos and I didn't take a single drink of wine despite spending two days in wine country. Lame.

How about Andy Schleck at Liège-Bastogne-Liège? The Schlecks are insane. And how about the Dart finishing 4th at the World Cup in Germany this weekend after flatting on the first lap? The Dart is insane too.

I got a Blackberry Storm, but I'm having a hard time getting used to the touchscreen. It takes me twice as long to send a text than it used to, so if you're not recieving texts from me, don't take it personal.

Let's see, what esle do I have to bitch about tonight? It's 11:00 PM and I still haven't showered...

Apr 21, 2009

I'll take mine on the rocks

Four years ago last night I drank an entire bottle of wine for dinner and I remember that because it was the night before Ryder was born. Yep, the little dude turned Brett Favre's number today and celebrated with a party at school and another party tonight at Jump Zone. You'd think packing a bunch of kids into a warehouse full of inflatable jumpers woule be a bad idea, but no one bones were broken, no one bled, and I only saw two or three dozen tears shed throughout the night. Unlike my trip up to Monterey last weekend, the party was a success.

I came home from Sea Otter with no good results, no photos, but more importantly, no poison oak or no speeding tickets. I limited my chances of getting poison oak by taking bum baths in the Laguna Seca restrooms with Technu soap. And I almost completely eliminated the chances of getting a speeding ticket by driving my gutless four-banger Mazda 5 to the race. Knock on wood.

Saturday's Short Track was your usual deal only with World Champ Christoph Sauser and World Xterra Triathlon World Champ, Conrad Stoltz. Oh, and the Dart was there too. If the Dart is there, you know it's going to hurt. So 70-some of us lined up for what has become known as Frosty's Arbitrary Short Track Pulling and guess what? Frosty didn't pull me! Some UCI official did instead. Anyway, Sauser, the Dart & Wells got away early on and turned it into a Specialized photo shoot until Sauser burped a tire and had to pull out. With a lap to go, Wells rode away from the Dart (you probably won't see that happen many more times) and took the win. I got to see it all because, as I mentioned before, I got pulled.

On Sunday temps heated up, so the race was cut down from 40 miles to 30, but it didn't really matter to me because I miscalculated the amount of time it would take me to do the first lap and the amount of liquid I would actually take in under dusty and hot conditions. It's not rocket science, but for some reason I came up with all the wrong answers and spent a good 30 minutes riding without any liquids. Rookie move.

The final nail in the coffin was when I got a water bottle in the neutral feed and when it came time to chuck my empty bottle, I got caught in the heat of battle (pun intended) and ditched the wrong bottle. I know, I know. It doesn't make any since to me either. Rookie move again. Instead of suffering heat stroke like a ton of other fools did, I pulled the plug after just 20 miles. Too bad too, because I think I was running about 60th in a 155-man field. Around a third of the men's field DNF'd, but that didn't include Sauser. The rainbow jersey won with a nice cushion. Meanwhile, the carnage out on the course was a sight for sore eyes - people puking (Wendy Simms!), passed out, crashing, walking out, and crying. Elite mountain bike racing is so rad.

Thanks to Shelly and Jesse for letting me crash on their hotel floor, Shelly's dad for buying me dinner one night, and to Joy and Garnet for putting up with my music on the drive home. One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to pre-ride with Country James Williams. Those were the days, weren't they Jimmy?

The funniest thing I heard all weekend was that after Alex Boone finished, he was covered in salt from head to toe. He told Joy that he was going to be making margaritas later. I was so thirsty, I would have drank one, or ten.

Apr 15, 2009

Bruce Ogilvie 1952-2009

I first met Bruce Ogilvie around 1997, but believe me, I knew all about him long before we ever shook hands. As a kid growing up aboard Honda XR motorcycles in the desert, Bruce was a god to me. I wanted to be just like Bruce Ogilvie.

In 1998 when I was going to make a serious attempt at qualifying for the International Six Day Enduro (ISDE) in Australia, Bruce gave me a new XR250 to take to the Idaho and Washington Qualifiers. The only catch was I had to ride the bike virtually bone stock, but to help, Bruce sent out Johnny Campbell to test with me on multiple occassions so we could get the little Honda up-to-speed. As it turned out, it wasn't the XR that needed a power boost, it was me. But Bruce was just doing his job and I was honored that he was allowing me to help with the realiability and endurance testing of the bike. After my Pacific West Qualifier campaign, I let Bruce know the bike needed a much beefier clutch. He probably could have told me that I needed a much beefier riding style, but instead he took note of it and agreed.

In the years that followed I spent a lot of time sitting on the back of an un-marked white Honda box van with Bruce talking about racing and our favorite Mexican food joint in Riverside, Gay and Larry's. Bruce was a quiet guy, but something about him demanded respect, and it may sound vain, but I think I earned his respect somehow.

Days after the press launch of the new water-cooled XR650, Bruce gave me permission to ride the yet-to-be released motorcycle as the hare at the Dirt Diggers Winter Hare Scrambles. It was a big deal because the bike was a Honda and Honda didn't want any hiccups with a long anticipated model in front of hundreds and hundres of potential customers. Not long after that, Bruce got word that I was going to let Jim Rios at BRP fit the new XR650 with billet aluminum triple-clamps. I got a call from Bruce on that one. When you get a call from Bruce Ogilvie, you best take it and you best do what he says. In the end Jim and Bruce talked and the triple-clamps got Bruce's approval. Bruce had his eye on everything and somehow seemed to get everything handled.

My relationship with Bruce didn't change any when I went to work for Honda's PR and Ad agency. He didn't treat me like a vendor. He treated me as he always had. And when I left that positition, for a new world of life outside of the motorcycle industry, Bruce told me that I was always welcome at Honda. And those were the last words that I had with Bruce O. That put a lump in my throat then and puts an even bigger lump in my throat now.

Bruce was a quiet badass.

Here's a slightly edited version of Honda's press release:

Bruce Ogilvie passed away on April 13, 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer. Ogilvie fought cancer the same way he raced motorcycles all his life: with everything he had.

Most enthusiasts know Bruce Ogilvie as a master Baja racer - a champion whose personal victories in the San Felipe 250, Baja 500 and Baja 1000 spread out over four decades. The first was a Baja 500 win in 1975, with another victory in the 1000 later that year. Bruce was the only man in history to win the Baja 1000 overall in four different decades. Bruce also earned three ISDE medals.

Bruce O's talents and accomplishments behind a handlebar are indisputable and well known. But there was another side to Ogilvie that was equally impressive. For more than 20 years, Bruce was in charge of coordinating Honda's racing efforts in Baja. He led an army of racers and support team members for years while he applied his own personal philosophy to the challenge.
In 1984, Bruce was hired full-time at American Honda. He served in many capacities over the years. In addition to being in charge of everything off-road at Honda - including motorcycle and ATV racing - Bruce was most recently the Senior Test Evaluator for Honda's Product Evaluation department. In this role, Bruce's contributions to the direction and development of all Honda's off-road and motocross products was unparalleled. If you can't imagine racing or riding anything but your Honda off-road motorcycle or ATV, it is because Bruce Ogilvie helped make it that way.
Godspeed Bruce. You will always be remembered as our leader with that calm, assuring voice in our head guiding us through obstacles you conquered long ago.

Bruce Ogilvie was born on April 4, 1952. He died on April 13, 2009. He is survived by his wife Marcia, his 14-year-old son Nick and nine-year-old daughter Isabella. Bruce's family will have a private service, and because blood transfusions were so important to Bruce's battle with cancer for the past two years the family has asked for people to donate blood in Bruce's honor.

Bruce O. was my hero.

Apr 12, 2009

Thom Blaine

Thom Blaine passed away yesterday. I can't even begin to count how many hours the guy stood around in a hot (or sometimes freezing) and dirty feed zone for all of us.

It didn't occur to me until last night that Thom was selfless.

When Thom wasn't handing me bottles in the feed zone, he was handing me beer bottles back at the car after the race. It was quality beer too - none of that light beer junk. That in itself speaks volumes about the man.

Apr 10, 2009

Things are happening

Stijn Devolder thinks he can do the Flanders-Roubaix double?

Stoner fastest in Qatar?

I made and stayed in the break at crit?

Manning drunk dialed Turner from Flanders?

Ben is going to follow Locke's lead?


What is the world coming to?

Apr 2, 2009

I'm going to give it a go

Previously on Lost

Isn’t that lawyer the dad from My So Called Life?

That’s a crime burning up a perfectly good Volkswagen bus like that.

Sayid is rad.

Now, on to tonight’s episode.

VW buses make great ambulances.

How could anyone follow directions from a guy Horace? How could anyone name their child Horace?

Jack’s trying to take charge again. Just can’t leave well enough alone, can you Jack?

Now Ben’s drunkard dad is going to hit on Kate. Get in line Roger.

“That’s my kid.” – Roger Linus after seeing a young Ben Linus with a bullet wound. That’ll sober you up.

Now we’re back to the present with Kate and Aaron.

Cassidy is back! You know, the same floozy that Sawyer conned out of thousands before coming to the island. He couldn’t have conned her out of too much because Cassidy lives in a beautiful stucco box track home now and is raising Sawyer’s illegitimate daughter.

Take care of my illegitimate daughter!? That’s the big secret that Sawyer told Kate before jumping out of the helicopter? Big deal! What a disappointment.

Cassidy is smarter than she looks.

What do you want to bet that Kate leaves Aaron with Cassidy before she comes back to the island?

Horace needs a haircut. So does LaFluer, or Sawyer or James, or whatever he calls himself now.

Relax Roger. Have a Dharma Beer (or 12).

“Sawyer is just doing his job Jack.” – Kate. Freckles is already back to defending Sawyer.

I think Hurley wants to eat his own hand.

Decision time Jack! Save little Ben Linus’ life or let him bleed to death.

“Then he dies.” - Jack Shepherd. That’s brutal Jack.

Damn, a commercial.

Okay, we’re back on.

I’m beginning to dislike Kate as every minute passes. So is Jack now that Juliet is back in the picture. I don’t blame him.

Roger just interrupted Kate and Juliet’s conversation about Kate once being engaged to Jack. I’m beginning to like Roger.

“Roger, have a seat.” – Juliet. She can tell me what to do any day. However, what she should have said is, “Roger, have a Dharma beer (or 12)." That’s more like it.

Little Ben is still alive. His sucking chest wound hasn’t killed him yet.

Where did they get a Dharma jumpsuit big enough to fit Hurley? BTW, Hurley needs a haircut too. The island obviously needs a good barber.

Shoot him Hurley! Shoot him! Then you can eat him.

Don’t tell me Hurley is becoming the brains behind this operation.

Now Roger Linus is hitting on Juliet. I like your style Roger. Have a Dharma beer (or 12).

“Maybe there is something they (the “Others”) can do.” – Juliet. Does that mean Kate is going to take little Ben to the never-aging prince of the eyeliner?

Back to 2008 at the Marina in Los Angeles. Damn, we’ve only seen this scene like 10 times since this season started.

Of course he wants chocolate milk you amateur mother. What kid doesn’t? Hell, even I want chocolate milk.

Oh, he wants a juice box instead. I didn’t see that coming.

Aaron is lost! No pun intended. Way to keep an eye on your non-child Kate. That used to happen to me at FedCo all the time. I was always wondering off and getting lost.

False alarm. She’s got Aaron back. My God, that blonde is ugly. Is that Claire? Who was that chick?

Commercial. Carl’s Junior commercials are the worst. Nobody likes getting food all over their face when they’re eating.

We’re back on.

I knew it! Kate is going to leave Aaron with Cassidy! I’m good.

But I don’t trust this Cassidy broad any further than I can throw her.

Back to the island.

And now, a moment with Kate and Sawyer. Who cares?

Where’s Desmond? I miss Desmond.

Juliet and Jack are having a standoff in the bathroom. Take her Jack! Take her! Undress her and pull her intro the shower with you. Actually, she doesn’t seem to be in the mood.

“We didn’t need saving. We’ve been here for 3 years. You came back here for you.” – Juliet to Jack. She’s right you’re a selfish bastard Jack. Grow a beard, take some pills, and go jump off a bridge for real this time.

Back to a moment with Kate and Sawyer. Yawn.

Where’s Sayid? I could sure use some of Sayid and his killer instincts right about now.

This show is turning into a damn love story.

Thank God! The “Others” have come to our rescue with guns to interrupt a moment with Kate and Sawyer. Now I’m wide awake.

Back to L.A.

Kate is at the hotel room of Claire’s mother! Could I have been wrong? Does this mean Kate is going to leave Aaron with Claire’s mom? Kate is spilling the beans all over town.

There’s too much Kate in this episode. Show us more Juliet. We want Juliet! Remember when Juliet did that bedroom scene with Goodwin, because I do?

Yep, Kate is leaving Aaron with Claire’s mother. It’s official. Kate is lame. And I was wrong.

Richard Alpert is back! Or is that Dick Clark? I know a guy named Richard Albert. He crashed once over by the airport and knocked himself out cold. It was ugly.

Okay back to the show. Little Ben Linus looks like he’s wearing a tube top, but it’s just a bandage.

“… and his innocence will be gone.” – Richard Alpert about Ben. Wrong Richard! His innocence was gone when he stole his father’s keys and let Sayid out of the clink.

“If Charles finds out…” What? Would that be one Charles Whitmore? The plot thickens.

Now we’re back to adult Ben in the present on the island, which means either little Ben lives or… I’m so confused.

Adult Ben is waking up, but someone is there with him. Who could it be? Holy cow, it’s Locke! That’s worse than waking up next to a horse head.

“Hello Ben. Welcome back to the land of the living.” – John Locke.

The End.

This show is stressful. And documenting it like this was a lot of work. I’m never doing this again. I can’t wait to read the real Lost Diary this morning.

Apr 1, 2009

You knew this was coming

Now that Jan is out of the picture, it's up to Jens Voigt to single-handedly suffer for the WWII sins of his German ancestors. Last weekend the big Kraut won a record fifth Critérium International. True, he's German, but how could you not love Jens? No one works harder and carries the burden of his perverse nationality than the Saxo Bank rider. Too bad he rides a Specialized. Anyway, if someone forced me to go on one of those reality shows like Biggest Loser or Dancing with the Stars, I'd choose Jens as my partner if Brett Favre, Valentino Rossi, or Amy Winehouse weren't available. Come to think of it, if my musical career ever takes off, that foursome would make a solid backup band.

Speaking of music, when I sing the chorus to Ray LaMontagne's "You are the Best Thing," Ryder likes to sing backup without being cued. Rad. He also called me last night while I was riding to ask if he and I could work in the garage together when I got home. Rad. And we did.