I Can’t Brain, I Have the Dumb…

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I’ve been a tad upside down lately and apologize for the lack of updates.   It’s been hard to find the time to sit down and type something that people actually understand compared to the gibberish I toss up on my Facebook updates.

I’ve left Cochran, Inc.  It was expected, really, since I was quite vocal in my opposition in the direction they were going.  It would be uncool to describe it all here right now so I’ll give all the details at a later date.  I must say though that my time there with George B, Nate M and a few others was a great period in my career.   Their attitude, knowledge and support have inspired me to jump into where I am now, a company that has a little risk involved but with a lot of hard work and attention to detail, it will be a dominating force in the region.

I’m excited to say the least!  So far I enjoy everyone I work with.  A very passionate group of people commiting to grow a “mom and pop” contractor into a powerful commercial / industrial shop.  It’s fun :-) and just my style.

Racing has taken a back seat right now.  I need to get this handled and get the house in shape before Ro throws me out on the street.  I have been riding alot.   I dropped more weight (159) than expected (mostly from not eating) and feel I have lost a lot of strength in the process, as was well detailed at the Enumclaw Omnium.  Watched my team kill it in a few crits and am looking forward to Boston Harbor and the LWV series.  I might throw down in a few criteriums but they aren’t my favorite.  You only get better by doing them though.

Back to work I go.  Thanks for coming back and checking in on me.  I promise I won’t go this long with out writing again.

bps-

Eleven Years Ago Today

Posted: Category: Back in the Day, Family 6 Comments

 

We lost my father 11 years ago today.

Dad was a strong quiet man, a provider and protector. He was very careful about how he did things, always reading, observing, studying and then addicted to whatever it was he was pursuing. Very determined and to the point, when dad set out to do something he would never waver and 98% of the time came out on top.

Way before we became a bunch of health crazed bike riding nut jobs, My dad was a pack a day smoker. That is until he realized he was killing himself and his family so he threw the cartons away, woke up the next morning and never smoked again. It was all about succeeding to him.

I remember the day my father went on his first bike ride. He left the house on a brand new Schwinn High Sierra and set out for an “Around the Golf Course” loop that I think was maybe a 5 mile ride. He came back 45 minutes later, red faced- half way to a stroke and staggering to the shower. The next week he bought his first pair of “real” cycling shorts and never looked back. He was a member of Cascade, Tacoma Wheelmen and his own club at work Team N.E.D (Nuclear Engineering Dept.) He racked up the rides, STP 1 day, RAMROD, Daffodil, PMC and many others and went on to buy a tandem that we all (Mom, Evan and myself) stoked on but it was with mom that he found the most fun riding with at multiple tandem rallies across the area.

In late 1994, My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was a shock to say the least. I mean, prostate cancer is an “Old Mans Disease”, right? Dad was only 46! With the same determination he charged headlong into the fight. Pouring over articles and online support groups he was very involved with his own treatment. The occasional cry over an AT&T commercial or a trip to a Sears White Sale (due to hormonal therapy) brought a bit of levity to the situation and dad did keep a sense of humor through it all.

Though he fought hard the next few years, he lost his battle in our home on May 24th 1998.

Dad is in our thoughts everyday. He is and always will be part of our lives. Every time I ride he is right next to me reminding me to keep my elbows bent and to always try the hardest I can at everything I do. Evan has some great memories too that we always gravitate to whenever we hang out.

We love you dad… keep on riding.

dad

Flashback….

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and… Discuss

:-)

A Great Dream Last Night… A Long Time Coming.

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I normally don’t wake up remembering dreams, just vivid emotion.  To be able to revisit the actual content is a rarity and something I can’t shake right now.

And I don’t WANT to shake it…. well kind of.

In 1992, Dad and I did a few training rides for my upcoming solo RAMROD.  The first ride consisted of a super long and hilly ride around Hood Canal starting from Port Orchard which hurt pretty bad.  He and I both barely made it home as we hammered the South Shore pretty hard forgetting the hills coming out of Belfair and the headwind that usually accompanies it.  The second was the Penninsula Metric Century course that winds from Southworth, through Port Orchard, out to Gig Harbor, Ollala and then back to Southworth.  We did the rout twice, once clockwise than counter clockwise.  I remember bonking that day pretty hard coming out of Purdy, stopping for a Coke and a Snickers bar at the gas station.  Dad took the time with me I needed to feel better and then we headed on out.  Our third ride, 1 week before RAMROD, was from the base to the top of Hurricane Ridge (next to the climb to Paradise this is one of my favorite routes) and dad and I planned on not racing to the top but pretty much hitting it as hard as we could.  The stretch to the Ranger station hurt pretty bad and I remember telling him that my legs didn’t feel so good, maybe lack of a decent warm up.  He backed off a little until I found my legs and then we were off.

It was a great tempo.

This is how climbing should be, setting pace for each other, encouraging words, a longer pull to give the other a breather when you can.  I was feeling great.

but then I did something completely stupid.  I surged and dropped my dad.  I looked behind me and didn’t see him around the last corner.  I hesitated for a second but then pressed on.  In my mind it was a training ride for me so I should make the most of it.  Looking back, it was probably more than that for him.  He just wanted to ride with his son.

I got to the top where mom and Evan were waiting for us with food.  Obviously mom was a little worried about where dad went so I turned back around and headed down for him.  He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the ride back up or through lunch.  In fact  He blew my doors off on the way down and I couldn’t even touch his descending skills.

Ive lived with that almost everytime I touch my bike now.  It hurts.  I would give anything to have that day back and finish the climb with him.  Not everything is a race

Well last night, in my dream, dad and I finished together.  Every turn, every pull, until that last corner to the top when he dusted me at the sprint to the RV sign by the picnic tables.

Thanks for the ride dad…  We’ll have to do it again soon

Long Awaited Confession?

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Let’s put “the way back machine” into drive.

Years ago.. and I mean YEARS.  Let’s say… 1987 ( I guess that’s not TOO long ago for some of you old farts) there was a family that lived behind us, The Vesey’s.  Cool folks they were.  Our parents were friends and Evan and I rough and tumbled it with the three kids all the time.  They had a woodsy back yard and lived in a cul-de-sac so it was always good to play kick ball or hide and seek.  Good times.

One afternoon in the middle of a kickball game, my mom shouted from the back fence that we had to come home.  I underhand lobbed the ball to Adrianne (the oldest of the Vesy kids) and ran home.

Sounds innocent, doesn’t it?

Little did I know that when I walked in the front door I would be confronted by my parents asking why I flipped off the Vesey’s.  My mom and dad were PISSED.  I told them I didn’t do it… begged them to believe me but to no avail.  I got a butt whoopin and was made to write and hand deliver an apology that read. “I’m sorry I was rude and obnoxious.”  Mr. Vesey was a naval officer and pretty intimidating for a kid of my size so with him standing in the doorway i felt as small as an ant.

To this day I remember this incident.  You know why?  Because I was innocent. I didn’t flip ANYONE off.

I guess it was future punishment for all the times I snuck out to throw pine cones at cars and drink beer with my friends.  They knew I would need it!

:-)

Christmas in August… it’s Tandem Time!

Posted: Category: Back in the Day, Family, Life as I Know It 5 Comments

My package of goodies arrived from Excel today and I am super happy.  2 new bars, pedals, stem adapter, front and rear derallieurs, chains, bar tape, cables and a cassette all to build up the tandem for Rosanna and me.

Tandem?  What Tandem?

Back in high school (I won’t put the year down) I worked in a large shop in downtown Port Orchard selling Cannondale and Schwinn.  Over the years I (and my father) amassed a large number of two wheel adventure machines.

Let’s see if I can remember them all-

Schwinn High Sierra (dads first bike)
Schwinn Traveler (my first bike)
Schwinn Tempo (2 of them!)
Cannondale 3.0
Cannondale 2.8
Klein Performance Touring
Terry Womens
Paramount OS 50 mountain

And a Cannondale Tandem, which was ridden way more by my mom and dad as he and I had two completely different ways of riding. Dad was a big gear pusher and I liked to spin. I stood a lot and he always stayed in the saddle. I blew through stop signs and he didn’t :-)

When dad passed away, the tandem hung in the garage for ages. Dad and Mom’s Giro helmets still hung from the captain and stoker bars and it was begging to be used again. I thought it would hang there forever, untouched, that is, until I met Rosanna.

Rosanna is a kick ass cycling chick. She’s raced both road and Tri, she loves spending time on the bike so much that she started her own womens cycling club, Seattle Tailwind. I brought up the idea of riding the tandem together and she was totally stoked.  (pun intended)

So here I am now, the tandem in my shop down to bare frame. The new wheels, drivetrain, bars will be on by the end of the weekend ready to roll.

I’m gonna keep dads bell on it though. I think everyone knows why.