Monthly Archives: March 2007

Trial by time

If that was a trial, I’m guilty. Toss the key.

Raced the Conquer the Canal Time Trial, a 12-mile out and back race against the clock on the old Route 17 in Chesapeake, this morning. I arrived a little late and did a few miles warm-up. Then I noticed it was getting kind of late and I booked down to the start.

Too late. The guy who was supposed to start about a minute behind me was getting ready to go and another guy who should have been behind me was already well down the road. They yelled at me to go, so I just kept rolling at least 45 seconds to a minute late. So much for mental prep. I rolled south into the headwind, which was more annoying than I’d anticipated. I pushed along flickering between 21.5 and 22mph, thinking I’d power it up after the turn. Well I did, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped. I rolled back between 24-25mph, hurting the whole way. About halfway back, I slowed and had to stand to get my speed back up. I passed three guys on the way back and another caught me just before the end. The last mile or so, seeing the finish, I was able to get it up to between 26-28mph.

My official time was 31:22, not great at all, but within the top 20 out of 48 registrants. I doubt they adjusted for my late start, but I don’t know. I also don’t know what difference riding a time trial bike would have made. Don’t own one and won’t unless it magically falls in my lap. I was on my road bike in the drops the whole time.

The team did well. Bill G was second by 7 seconds in Cat 4, the women dominated with a several first places and top 3s.

Tomorrow is the TowneBank Criterium on Langley Speedway over in Hampton. As long as it doesn’t rain, I have higher hopes for that race.


The Flying Scotsman

Can’t wait, but I may have to. Hear it’s only getting limited release in the U.S.

Holy mackerel!

Literally. The dude can swim like a fish.

Check out Michael Phelps, smashing his own 200-meter butterfly world record at the World Champs in Australia.

And he broke the 200-meter free world record the night before.

Maybe it’s the skepitcal editor in me or the jaded fan of pro cycling, but I hope Phelps aint juicing.

How on earth?

Did he do that?

Long and solo

Headed south this morning on the bike deep into Chesapeake, all the way down to Ballahack Road. Rolled up 61.2 miles after I’d slogged back home straight into the stiff northeasterly. It was hard toward the end, but felt good. Oddly for such a nice day, I saw very few other riders out – two in Great Bridge and one in Deep Creek, though a bunch of people were out enjoying the old Route 17 bike trail, which I rode back north.

What a day!

Ellie takes a bow. She deserves it.


Wow. I can’t believe I survived Saturday March 24.

It was the trifecta of youth activity insanity. It was going to be hard enough because Ellie had a soccer doubleheader the same day as the championship swim meet for the league in which she swims. Then Ellie’s science project won first place for her grade at her elementary school and we got an invitation to the citywide science fair, also on the same day!

Ellie wanted to do it all, so I agreed to chauffeur her everywhere. The science fair was her first priority, since it was such a unique opportunity. But she also wanted to swim and play soccer.

I got her to Nauticus at 8:30 to set up her project and initially we were told we couldn’t leave because we had to attend orientation at 9:30 (the meet started at 9am). Someone else overheard she and I discussing it and told us we could leave as long as we were back by 10:15 when the judging started, which gave us plenty of time for at least her first event the 50 free.

We drove over to Huntersville Rec and Ellie had time to change there and get in the zone. She swam a great 50, leading for much of the race, but slipping to 2nd by a hair at the end. Still she broke 40 seconds for the first time with a 39.72, which moves her up another level in the USA Swimming qualifying times. She now has a BB time each in free and in breast. And she’ll get a medal for the second since it was the championship!

Then we headed back to Nauticus, arriving in time for the orientation, which started 20 minutes late. Then Ellie went off for the judging. They weren’t through with her until 11:30.

In the meantime, Michele went to the pool to buy Ellie a meet t-shirt. I called as we left and found out that Ellie’s breast stroke event was next. We had four heats to get her there. I got lucky with the lights and flew over there while Ellie changed into her swimsuit in the car. We pulled up and she jumped out and ran barefoot into a back door of the pool that Michele held for her and onto the starting blocks. She swam the event, but had probably shot any adrenaline getting ready, so she didn’t place. But still, she was game and happy she got a chance to swim.

I wrapped a towel around her and ushered her out to the car quickly. And we were off for her first soccer game at noon at Lake Taylor. She changed in the car again and we arrived minutes before the game kicked off, wet hair and all. Her team got behind early, but fought back and only lost 4-3 to a tough team with good ball handlers. Ellie had a couple of chances, but couldn’t convert.

Immediately after the game we drove back to Nauticus to pick up her project and attend the awards ceremony at 2pm. To make a long story somewhat shorter, Ellie’s project won first place in life sciences for the 4th grade citywide! I was shocked, awed and so proud.


But we still had another soccer game to play. Back in the car, back to Lake Taylor. She had time to warm-up with the team. This game went better. They got behind again early 2-0, but roared back. Playing much better together in the second game, the girls scored 7 unanswered goals, including two by Ellie.

We finally got home about 5:15, but we weren’t done. Michele and I went to the Virginia Press Association banquet at the Marriott. It was hard after an exhausting day. I just wanted to sit at home and enjoy a beer instead of hobnob. But it was definitely worth it. The Pilot’s Business section won first place among the state’s large dailies and the team got several second places, mostly related to our coverage of the Ford plant closing. And the newspaper won the sweepstakes overall award. Very cool.

Now I must sleep.

Ich verlange ein Speedvagen von Vanilla*



* – I desire a Speedvagen from Vanilla

I’m getting obsessed. This cross ride is soooo sweet looking.

Sacha White’s Vanilla Workshop in Portland, Ore., will make 30 Speedvagens before the 2007 cross season. It’s a way to circumvent the otherwise four-year waiting list for one of his custom steeds. And it’s his first stab at limited run production as opposed to all-out custom. He starts taking “applications” at 8am April Fools Day, first-come, first served. I’m guessing West Coast time. Am I a fool?

Did I say I want one? Anybody have $3K they just want to give me?