Monday, February 23, 2009

Naming the Babies

I name my bikes. Some do it, some don't. There has been many questions over the years as to why I name my bikes, why each name is picked and why they have a chosen sex. Well, let's just clear this up a little. I guess it started in high school with my first car. It was a Ford Fairmont, it was black, square and very sturdy. Being that we had 4 Ford's in my family at the time (Mom, Dad, Sister's and mine), we would often drive each other's cars. If someone asked "which car are you taking," we had to get specific. Instead of
 saying the model details we decided we needed to make it easier with names. So my Fairmont became Black Velvet. Velvet was short for velveta cheese box which she reasembled in shape. Pow! The naming began.

After that anything that was depended upon was given a name if they were vital to everyday life. Like my bikes, my GPS, etc.
 Now you just can't name anything right away and out of the blue. It has to be a part of your life, you have to get a feel for it over time and figure out what it should be. I love when my patients at work wait to name thier baby when it is born until they see if the chosen name "fits" the baby. It just seems right. So that's how I name my babies. Let me explore the details of each of them currently.

"HORSE WITH NO NAME"-Jamis Quest, steel road bike used for daily comm
ute to work and errands.
I love this bike. She was my first ever road bike and she may not be as sexy as the rest, but if I could only keep one bike she would be high up on the list. She is a workhorse. She will always feel good. She is steel and she is the Monarch of all the other horses in the family. She was my only way to get around Chi town when I was poor and we have been through a lot. I always knew she had the raw feel of a powerful horse- but for years I just couldn't come up with a name and she was my only bike, so she went namelsss. Years later she was joined by several other ponies and she needed a name to not get her confused, therefore she became the horse with no name. But don't confuse the lack of a specific name for lack of respect. She is the Queen!

"STAR"- Independent Fabrication Deluxe, custom singleseed.

Star is like the rock star of the bikes. Punk rock maybe. She is in a class all her own. She's a freak of the bike world, always ready for a laid back party, and can drink all night 
without passing out. She is a complete custom build, built together by Isacc Neff and Robbie Gast at the Trailhouse in Winona Lake. I put hours of thought into every detail of this bike and she looks like a super model! I have always had a affinity for the symbolizm in stars and it has snaked through several aspects of my life, so why not build a custom with stars in the paint? That's what I did and this made her easy to name. I think she is like my first born, she is special and spoiled. I love her. She is like the bike I always secretly want to rip the sweetest singletrack on even when I'm killin' it on a geared bike.

"C, C" - Specialized Tarmac 

CC= Carbon Chick. She was my first carbon craze purchase and it was a very distinct feel for me at the time when I got her from Barry "BMX superstar" McManus at Summit City. The carbon thing made her unique to me at the time so it was natural to keep her name true to her roots of carbon. She was shortened to CC because that had a nice ring to it.  I was fresh off shoulder reconstruction x2 and needed a bike to try out the road racing thing. Star would have to sit out the mtb season while the shoulder healed, so I got this road bike to pass the time. I have to say she is the worker bee of the bunch. She gets worked hard, payed little, cleaned less often, and gets less attention than all the other ponies, but she is the roots of my conditioning.  Ironically enough, she will be torn apart soon and parted to the new cx tricross and sold on ebay. I feel so dirty.  CC, you have been a good soldier. 

"Piggy"- Giant Anethem 1
Ah... the Pig. What can I say, she is the pig of the bunch. She ate a few too many oats, but it isn't her fault, its how she was made. The Pig was bought strictly for the Xterra National Championships in Lake Tahoe. I only had Star (singlespeed) at the time and I needed a geared bike for the Sierra Nevada's.  She is only about 25 pounds, but after strictly riding and racing a rigid ss for a whil
e, she felt like she weighed a ton and the suspension felt like riding on fat. That definitly equals a Pig. I'm thankful to have her though, she has made several appearances and she loves to travel. She just hangs out in the basement most of her lazy days, but she can turn it on for the few short moments during the year when she is called upon. She has reaped the benefits of her indulging lifestyle- she packs super sweet green Chris King Iso hubs! Its good to be a pig, not a bad rap if you ask me. 

"Trusty Steed, aka Trusty"- Jamis supernova cyclocross racer
Trusty is just that. A bike that can work through it all no matter what the conditions. He's a workhorse for sure and hence the name trusty steed. I got this bike on a whim after trying out my first cross race in Michigan. I was coming into form after getting a late start to the season from the shoulder surgery. I thought I would just try this weird cyclocross thing 
out and if I didn't like it I would sell the bike. Ha! Trusty and I have fallen hard for cross . I  went PRO after 1 short seasons and after several elite race wins last year, we saddled up and headed to the Nationals in KC. Believe it or not, I jockeyed him to a B class National Title there! How's that for trying it out? He has been a trustworthy guy... kinda a rare find. Now I will sell him to my girlfriend for her good use (that doesn't sound good). So yeah, Trusty has been my only male, sometimes a women just needs a man to do the dirty work. 

"Mustang Salli"- Specialized S-Works HT
She's black, fast, she's all about precision, and she has one purpose for me-to win races. She knows her lot in life, she was built to race, just like a Derby horse or a greyhound, she doesn't want to go slow, she needs the rush just as much as I need it.  Remember when you stole your friends brother's cr500 when you were 14, and you took off to ride in the woods so fast you did a wheelie for about 100 yards? Remember the thrill of knowing you were flying, but knowing you were gonna kill yourself at any moment but you still held on? And you eventually wrecked into a tree, split your chin open and got up and did it again with blood pouring down your neck until the cops came (yeah that was me)? Well, Mustang Salli is all that and more. Don't mess with her, she will slam you into a tree if you can't keep up, but you will always come back for more with a shit eating grin on your face. She is like an only child. She gets anything she wants, needs, and always has her hand out, and I always give in. It's okay, she always pays me back. 

"The new ones"- Specialized Tarmac SL2, Specialized Tricross A frame, Specialized Tricross B bike.
So they wait. Wait in the wings until I heal from ankle surgery so they can be let loose and find their place in the family. I can't wait to let these ponies run! Watch out. 

....and by the way; most of the bikes have female names because it is a rare find to have a man that can completely be trusted in times of need like a women. Besides,  girls just wanna  have fun and we sure do!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I'm a little off, but back on.

Yeah so I think I have been pissed long enough and I am going to try and post a more chipper update. That's not so hard is it?
So the cast is finally off! I have been walking on my own 2 feet for almost a week now and that feels very strange. It feels like my left leg is just along for the ride. It just kinda flops around. Especially since I have no feeling or motion in my great toe from the nerve damage. You know... the captain of the toes. I have no captain. It does do a cool trick and turns blue in about 2 minutes of dependency though. 


 I must say, it is a very painful experience and a little more so than I had prepared for. I also have a huge difference in my leg sizes. Especially my left calf, it measures 11.5 inches and the right is 15 inches around. That's a little off. Good news is that my back is feeling mucho better, thank goodness. The best news of all is that I have been back on the bike! It is a weird feeling, but after 3 rides it is starting to get familiar again. I am not able to clip out so I have some sweet BMX platform pedals on there right now. Getting back to the roots!

Hopefully in the next couple weeks I will be stable enough to venture away from the trainer and go outside into the big world. Until then, Anne and I will be watching the ToC on the trainers. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Officially Pissed

Okay, so I'm done trying to be chipper about this whole ankle ordeal. First, the surgery was bigger than expected and I put my chin up. Then I had nerve damage from the cast and severe pain from neuropathy. My great toe is going to be numb for a while (we hope)... I put my chin up. I couldn't ride my bike when they expected that I would be able to, I tried to work round it. I invested in every resource I had to try to keep in shape and didn't have much luck. I kept my chin up. I did research on my own then and came up with my own plan and got Darrell the corrective fitness trainer that has kept me busy doing some work. That helped me keep my chin up.  But last week after cheating on the bike I had another major set back. I had major back spasms from the inbalance from the height of the cast boot throwing my hip out of whack. It was so bad that I spent 2 days in bed. Again. Even though chiro Matt J. has faith that this will pass, I am tired of all the drama and tired of keeping up the faith for now. I am officially pissed with it all and am venting an unusual side of my personality on my blog. I am not happy, but I will report back when I somehow find an attitude adjustment. Ahhhh!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm in trouble...

becuase I was caught in the act of doing a ride I was not allowed to do. I knew it was wrong for a few reasons. Number 1 because I was not given permission from my surgeon, number 2 since my PT told me "no" when I asked,  and three because I had to rig up the bike to make it work. I knew it was really bad when I had to sneak in a ride when all of my family and friends were not around. It was like having an affair with my bike! I road 4 times last week and would have kept on until my friend came over and snuck this shot. Next thing I knew my family, friends, surgeon and colleagues knew I was cheating. I finally confessed it to Coach Don G. Now I know it was totally wrong and crazy for doing it after major ankle surgery, but my love affair with the bike got the best of me. 
No longer though, I hope to have 8 more days in the cast and I don't want to screw it up now.  I guess I will go back to the boring arm rower at the gym. That's okay for now, but I miss my bikes.  One thing this down time has helped me realize is that when it comes down to it, I really just miss riding my bike.  I really do love it. It keeps me stable.

Let the 8 day count day begin!