Friday, October 12, 2012

Organic Nerdliness

Looks like I have a winter project. I'd love to automate some of my gardening tasks, since I didn't have enough time this year to properly care for the garden, and as a consequence got squa-doo for vegetables.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

I'm now enrolled at Stanford!


 I just signed up for "An Introduction to Computer Networks" at Stanford. Between this and MIT Open Courseware I might actually get an education that makes me qualified for my current job.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

FInished the MS150

I finished the MS150 last weekend. Not that I was worried about finishing, but I'm pretty pleased with how well I did, especially on day two. (Ow - arm sore from patting myself on the back).
I actually got a late start on Saturday, since a co-worker was going to join me for the ride, and pulled an ultimate asshole no-show and no-call move, making me miss the connecting train (Yes, I rode the train to a bike ride - why not, it started at the train station) and consequently, the beginning of the ride. I hopped a ride on a bus, caught the sag car at about the 10 mile mark, and pulled the last guy in the MS150 for the next 15 miles so he could make the first rest stop before the deadline. He was really struggling, riding a heavy hybrid and from the looks of it, hadn't really trained for the ride.
He hadn't ever ridden a pace line, and was amazed at what a difference it made sitting behind someone. We were only going 17 MPH or so, but that was a lot faster than he was going before I came along, and unlike before he wasn't wheezing. We passed a road side "Your Speed" radar trailer and I picked it up a bit until it flashed "20" at us. The guy on my wheel seemed pretty impressed by that number, and asked if I could do 20 MPH "all the time". I really felt like Ricky Racer at that point.
After the first rest stop I managed to hook up with a couple of faster riders, and we formed a pace line that ranged from 4 to 10 bikes depending, and kept our pace up above 20 MPH most of the way. I called my wife from the last rest stop and discovered I was going to beat her into Ocean City by about a half hour, even with the late start.
After a couple of hours on the beach, boardwalk, and a roller coaster ride with Evie we hit dinner (pasta, of course) and I hit the hay.
Or tried to. Kids sharing a hotel room with you? No. Sleep. Day two on 3 hours sleep? Rain? Sure!
Luckily the rain passed, and I was left to deal with 50 degree temperature readings for the first couple of hours, but it could have been worse. Cold is better than wet and cold in my book.
I hadn't had much of a chance to ride back-to-back days this summer. Two kids will do that to you. Wasn't sure how my legs would react to a second 75+ mile day, but they felt fine to start. I managed, again, to hook up again with a decently paced line of bikes after the initial traffic jam getting out of Ocean City. Unfortunately, the group couldn't maintain the initial pace, and I wound up sitting in a long line going 17. On a fairly busy two lane road, so I wasn't about to hop out and try and pass the long line on my own, would have been dangerous and ultimately, pointless.
Luckily, a faster paceline rescued me. I heard those wonderful three words "On Your Left!" Last guy in line? Riding a full-suspendered Cervelo in XXL - had to be about 6'7" tall - man did I love hopping on that wheel! Dude threw a wake like the Titanic! He waved me by and dropped off after another mile, and I congratulated him on keeping up with the line, knobbies whirring the entire time.
At this point the line was up over 23 MPH, and after another couple of miles the lead switched. When the second guy in line took over he started stomping, and the pace picked up over 25 MPH. I followed up a rise, which dropped the guy in front of me, and continued at that pace for another few miles, before seeing a sign announcing 39 miles to go. I realized I couldn't do 25 for 40 more miles, and waved goodbye. Another couple of miles and a paceline (with the guy that got dropped on the rise sitting on the back) passed by, and I hopped on for a more reasonable 20-22 MPH pace.
Got back to Philly before the wife and kids (theme of the weekend), picked up Chloe at the kennel, and tried to nap.
Wife and kids arrived home. Oh well.
Not sure if I'll do it again next year, but really glad I did it this year. Fun ride, and it served as a "moving goalpost" for my riding this year. Finish the MS150 was my original goal. Easily finish the MS150 became my goal as my fitness improved. Goal met.

Sununu Wants You To Sit Up and Beg

Why else would he blow that dogwhistle?