Happy 2013!

Well, 2012 is done and we are already 6 days into the new year. So far I have mis-written the date both as December a few times and as 2012 a few times. Although I had a very good 2012, I am not at all unhappy to move onto the new year.

My first Cyclocross season was successful. My venture into the world of the bike mechanic was also successful. I am happy to be back to teaching and anxious to see what the new year will hold.

I went on my first mountain bike ride of the year yesterday (it wasn’t just the first mtb ride of 2013, it was the first mtb ride in AGES).My beautiful picture

I hit Trail 100 for an hour and it was basically perfect. I expect to head out there again this afternoon. Now that I am living in Phoenix instead of Mesa, I reckon it will be my home trail. I started working at Paragon Cycling in January of 2012, and that was basically the end of me actually getting out to ride trails. Now that bikes are no longer my job, we will see if I cannot do a little more riding.

I also swung by Focus Cyclery in Gilbert yesterday to pick up a kit I won from Velocraft in a drawing at the the last Focus Cross race of the season. I have always ridden in cut0ff jean shorts and flannel shirts or t-shirts, and I am pretty stoked about my first official kit. Thanks a bunch to Brian at Velocraft.My beautiful picture

I am excited for all that 2013 promises. Have fun riding your bike. Peace

Cyclocross is over




Cyclocross season is over. The last¬† race (put on by AZCross) was at Freestone Park in Gilbert. It was a grind – by far the hardest of the season. The grass was so soaked that even downhill required pedaling. The penultimate race was held once again at Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert. The first race there was the first Heavy Metal Hammerfest and this one was put on by FocusCross. It’s been an awesome season and I am thankful for the events put on by all three organizations.

I have done very little cycling outside of the cyclocross events. I do commute to and from work everyday, but it is a distance of 0.8 miles either way and I have a hard time counting 1.6 miles per day as a big bunch of cycling. I put the gears back on my cross bike a few weeks ago so a friend could use it for a triathlon, and I plan on installing them again to extend my range in the valley beyond my short commute.

It’s impossible for me to find music to listen to lately. I do not know if it is some sort of slump or transition, but now that the christmas season has come and gone, I find myself listening to very little music. I think that the music slump hit before the holidays, but the holiday music briefly filled the gap.

I still have 1.5 weeks off of teaching for winter recess, and plan on using it to catch up on reading. I just finished The Making of Karateka by Jordan Mechner. I also started reading Notes to Myself: My struggle to become a person by Hugh Prather. It, among other books were Christmas gifts that I am excited to get into. We are also to begin discussing the Science Fiction Omnibus published by The Great Book Foundation for faculty inservice in the spring, so I better start reading it as well.

I am looking forward to starting the new year. I haven’t written resolutions for a few years now and may take some time during my break to come up with a few for 2013.


It’s November



Can anyone believe that it is already November? I spent the first 9 months of the year wrenching & learning how to wrench at Paragon Cycling, and now I’ve spent the last month teaching high school.

I am thankful for the time I spent with Ray & Travis at Paragon. The time I spent at the shop was instrumental in my decision to try out cyclocross racing. My first race was last weekend, thanks to the folks at AZCross. It was awesome (and hard). My next race is the first Heavy Metal Hammerfest next Saturday. I am planning on doing the Focus race on Sunday, as well.

Teaching is going great. I’ve commuted a few times by bike- it’s a pretty great ride from Mesa to Phoenix. Again, thanks to my time at the shop, and the commuting & riding I did while I was working there, my range expanded. My girlfriend & I are making Central Phoenix our home base next week, and I am stoked to explore from there.

Have fun riding your bike

Back To School

In my last post, I was wrestling with some pretty heavy-duty decisions. I tried to just let them marinate while I turned my attention to other matters. I do not know if I was avoiding them or if I actually thought matters would sorry themselves out. Eventually, I took a more active approach. Now, as the changes approach, I cannot tell whether I made them happen or if things simply took care of themselves.

Friday is my last day working at Paragon Cycling. Although I have mixed feelings about leaving the shop, I do not have mixed feelings about teaching high school again – I am stoked.

I haven’t made much time to ride over the last couple of weeks, but I have been to a few cx practices and I am getting pretty excited for the season. I have high expectations for the season. I expect to work hard and have a ton of fun. I expect to get in better shape. I started converting my cx bike to single speed this week. I’ll post some pictures when I finish. I’ll also post some pictures of the vintage Bianchi fixie I picked up a while back.

Have fun riding your bike

Riding, Reading, Decisions



I got some good riding done this week. In addition to a couple of commutes to the shop, I went on a couple of night rides with some friends. We did intervals the first night, they were the first intervals I had ridden in a long time, and I don’t believe I had ever ridden max effort intervals. I threw up a little on my ‘cross bike. It was a great ride. The next night we rode hills, and I think I was still recovering from the previous night. We were out for nearly 3 hours. It was a great ride, too.

Doing some of my riding at night opened up some free time in my mornings this week, and I caught up on some reading & coffee time. I finished A Clash Of Kings by George R.R. Martin and also read Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson. I was tempted to start the next book in the Song Of Ice And Fire series the minute I finished, but am pleased that I took a break to read something different.

The shop is closed tomorrow for Labor Day, and I am super stoked to have 2 days off in a row. I spent the day today relaxing, reading, and napping. I think that I am approaching a cusp and have some decisions to make. I’m not really concentrating on them today. Instead, I’m just making the most of my days off and letting my subconscious work on them in the background while I relax.

Bad Melon

I have been feeling a little defeated lately. I always hesitate to share any feelings of desperation with other people, because it seems there is some sort of unwritten covenant that we must always tell people that we are doing fine and things are good. I don’t like spending time with victims, and I understand the power of positive thinking, but come on. Can we not acknowledge the fact that there are problems on our minds that we are trying to solve? When someone asks how I am doing I would like to say “troubled”.

I spent a little more than 2 weeks off of the bikes. It started with a week of driving the shop car to work while the boss was out of town, and then turned into a summer cold. I am sure there are ways that the time off of the bike did my body some good, but it certainly left me feeling slow, stiff, and lazy. Fortunately I commuted to work yesterday morning by bike and also got in a good ride with my buddy Jimbo after work. I had cancelled the last two or three rides with him due to the cold – I figured I was going to be one riding buddy down after that. He still wanted to ride, which was awesome. He went pretty fast and I had to work hard to keep up. He told me to get a road bike and to spin more. I am not yet interested in either of these things.

I worked some extra time at the shop two weeks ago, and then dragged myself to work during the cold, and finished those two weeks feeling like all I was doing was working. That is no way to live. I heard a radio show about how surprised people would be to discover the amount of time that is actually available to them each day. I didn’t feel like listening, so I changed the station. I am sure that they are right, though. I need to take better advantage of the time I have – to see friends and family, relax, read, write, and listen to music (yeah, chores, too).

Is It ‘Cross Season Yet?

I have been looking at the AZCROSS schedule and just got the details for the Heavy Metal Hammerfest yesterday at the shop. I am pretty stoked for the season for sure. I don’t really know what to expect from my first racing season, but I want to go into it in better shape than I am in now. Hopefully I will be racing on a new All-City Nature Boy.

I spent a considerable part of my day today just working on my stoke. I rewatched the video from the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race and also  just watched a pretty amazing video about a custom bike shop in NYC called 718 Cyclery.