Monday, June 30, 2008

Mission Accomplished!!

(All photos courtesy of Claudia.)

Claudia and I successfully completed the MS Ride on Saturday. I didn't find out until today just how successful the ride was though -- Claudia raised $32,548!! I couldn't be more proud of her and Knitters Against Multiple Sclerosis.

As the #1 fundraiser from last year, Claudia was the first rider to start.

This meant that the two of us got to "break" the ribbon at the start line (actually someone was ripping apart the plastic strip for us and I was afraid he wouldn't finish in time) while 1700+ riders applauded. Then we got to ride at the front with a police escort for a few miles. Very cool! We got passed by probably about 100 riders over the ensuing miles, many of whom congratulated Claudia. Of course there were a few obligatory comments about how the stoker gets to cruise while the captain does the work -- and having ridden in both positions, I can't stress enough how untrue this is. But everyone's a comedian! :)

We stopped a couple of times for snacks but mostly kept turning the pedals at a pretty steady pace that had us actually passing some riders on the final rolling hills past Myles Standish State Park. By the time we reached the Cape Cod Canal (back-of-the-tandem cam pic below), the clouds and fog that dogged us through most of the ride had cleared. What a beautiful day it was!

At about 77 miles, this was the longest ride I've done since the May 2007 Century of Misery (in which Ed and I rode our bikes 100 miles voluntarily in pouring rain, both of us putting on a needlessly brave front and refusing to suggest to the other that we take the turn-off for the metric century). Claudia and I were both glad to reach the finish and get cleaned up. I was a filthy mess but Claudia is one of those riders who always looks elegant no matter how hard she's working.

All in all, this was a wonderful experience and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it. Thanks to all of you who sponsored me and thanks to Claudia, who was endlessly patient with my often-poor captaining technique, not to mention a great conversationalist on those long rides.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Racing at the New England Velodrome

Mark Bowen shot this while riding a bike.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Not again!

I did the New Britain Crit on Saturday and had two pretty bad races. During the first one (30+) I felt like pulling over and taking a nap in the grass. I started getting sore lungs, which I attributed to the pollen. I felt a little better at the start of the second race (P/1/2) after some caffeine, but still rode poorly. Silke was the first CT finisher in both races though so I'll be posting some grainy cellphone podium shots on the team blog later.

I had a fabulous tandem ride with Claudia on Sunday (Ed came along and took some pictures). Lungs were still sore.

When co-workers asked me yesterday if I was sick, I would very firmly say "No, it's just the pollen," making myself believe it. After work, I went to get a massage from my friend Neilie and attended Laura and Rob's going-away party (apologies if I made anyone sick).

My denial about this cold (my 5th or 6th in the past year -- I've lost track) continued until about 4 a.m. today (Tuesday) when I was awoken by both congestion and the sound of cats running around the bedroom. Sigh. I WILL be better in time to do the MS Ride on Saturday. I had three races planned on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday -- we will see about those.

In the meantime I'm keeping my germs at home. Maybe I'll take a nap later.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation was excellent. The audience was clapping and cheering the whole time. See it!

Here are a couple of articles on the film:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A very busy few days

I turned in my last paper on Friday at noon. Yay! Ed and I then went to a graduation luncheon for the Sloan Fellows and then I headed out for a bike race. I stayed with my teammates Silke and Pauline and my former teammate Marianne in Bennington VT. We had so much fun talking and laughing. The race, on Saturday in Cambridge NY, was awful. I think I sweated off all my sunscreen before we even started. It was just so hot and I was so miserable. The hills were unusually painful. I quit after one lap, as did Marianne (who needed to save her legs for a big MTB race the next day), and we cooled off in the shade. Silke soloed the second lap and won decisively.

I had the following encounter at a Cumberland Farms where I stopped for some junk food. The man in front of me in line was sporting a FULL plumber and was buying a six-pack of cheap beer and some cigarettes. I was trying to avert my eyes from the plumberly glory.

plumber guy: Which lottery tickets are $2?
clerk: (very politely) The ones that say $2.
plumber guy: (long pause) Okay, I'll take one of those. (He pays and leaves.)
clerk: (to me) I'm so sorry about that.
me: (not sure how to react)
clerk: (earnestly) Working here is killing my faith in humanity.

He was very much like Ed must have been at his age when he worked at a video store. It made me chuckle all the way home. If I were a single 18-year-old living in Hoosic, NY, I would have totally tried to get his number.

After that it was back home on scenic Rt 2 (including a sighting of the very strange Big Indian Shop) and I finished listening to the abridged Guns, Germs, and Steel. I stopped in at another Sloan Fellows party. Brad, Kris, and I shared some early birthday pie with Ed (his birthday's today!). We again went with 8-bit architecture for the birthday candles.

On Sunday the kitties sort of called a truce.

Then Claudia and I rode the tandem. :) And it turns out many roads around here are totally ripped up right now. Apparently this is especially not fun for the stoker.

Afterwards Ed and I had some people over for dinner, I think for the first time since I started graduate school. Yesterday it was back to work and then off to a Syracuse networking event downtown. Now I'm enjoying being in for the evening and I'll probably skip the track tomorrow, just because it's so nice to be home. I need to sleep.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What I Am Doing Right Now

- Not writing my final paper. Argh!
- Keeping the spray bottle at the ready in case Lola chases Betty up the stairs again.
- Thinking about going to my sister's house soon to let Lani out for her midnight pee break.
- Hurting from a 8hr 30min training week, including 5 hours of tandem riding. That used to be a rest week for me back in 2000 and now that volume is like a training camp or something. Geez.
- Looking forward to picking up Edward at the airport tomorrow afternoon!