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Oct. 26th, 2012 | 07:19 pm


I'm a drawer, print maker, traveler, performance artist and a hack writer. Like many, this journal is mostly used for a few communities.

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Colorado Public Radio

Jul. 20th, 2011 | 10:31 pm

Here's the segment on Itchy-O that was aired on Colorado Public Radio today:

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(no subject)

May. 4th, 2011 | 08:16 pm

In reply to:

And, do you have experience with schlepping bikes around by train in Europe? We're flying in to Amsterdam and would have to get the bikes from there to Paris.

I've done this! More often than not the train will allow bikes. You can make sure on the train travel website, but it's pretty much a given. They'll be an extra added cost. If you can pay for it, that's a good sign it's supported. This may help:

For Amsterdam to Paris, you're looking at one of those whizzy fancy super-fast trains (TGV) (perhaps with a change of trains in Brussels) and they have specific sizes that they'll allow - a cardboard bike box just so happens to be the right size (I know!). They'll want them boxed up. You'll probably get into Gare d'Nord. The canal trail is pretty close to there if you want to ride into the center of Paris, but I'm not sure if you're doing that with your hard case.

Once in France, most all commuter trains (RER) and regional SNCF trains *also* allow bikes. Don't try the Metro, but Paris is actually really bikeable, with a ton of bike lanes and the city itself is really really really small - don't be intimidated - French drivers drive really small cars with amazing pick up, until around 40km/hr, where you realize it's just a really small and *light* car. As always, be extremely wary of buses and cabs. Thankfully lorries just don't exist.

For RER, there are specific train carriages you go into and you just sort of hang out with your bike. For regional trains, there's usually a specific bike carriage (I know! again!) Look for the sign on the train door or ask the conductor. I can probably whip up some French you'd need, if you need it. You usually won't need a boxed up bike, but different trains are, well, different. I think for most regional SNCF trains, you're safe without a box, but if you go to a different country, they'll use a different company, with different rules.

It all sounds confusing, but it all works out. If anything brush up your French and act as if you're in a state of total and complete panic. French people love to help out those in distress. It's more of being the hero of the common person :) I wouldn't be too concerned over the size of the case, as long as it's not enormous. The conductor will figure it out and look bored doing it.

Ever been to Amsterdam? If not, it'll BLOW YOU AWAY. Bikes always have the right of way, Bike/Car accidents always side with the bike. Cyclists are automatically insured. Bike lanes on almost every street. Bike HIGHWAYS!

Sorry I can't help with the hard-case findings, I've always just used a cardboard bike-specific box or a soft case.

If I can help out with the trains some more, let me know. It's super confusing at first, coming from an American viewpoint, but the trains in France/Europe are so rad and super essential and amazingly convenient. I broke a spoke between the Loire Valley and Paris in the middle of nowhere, attempting to ride between the two and the first tiny spec of a town had a train leaving directly to Paris within 15 minutes of me getting to the train station. Totally unreal in its awesomeness.

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Training Log Week of 2/5/11 to 2/12/11

Feb. 12th, 2011 | 10:47 pm

This week I did nothing that really fits into a report. Basically, I took the week off - I felt achy and tired and I've been killing it. Time for a break. I'm extremely excited at how well the first "month" of "training" went - I feel in good form and happy that there's 5 months more to go to get into better form.

Not to say I hadn't been riding - Monday found me in 6+inches of newly fallen snow, attempting to make the best of it in adverse riding conditions. But, like most of the week, it was only errands, even if the errands added up to >30 miles/day.

The rest of the week was similar, culminating in today's little ride out to Arvada w/trailer to find supplies for my next performance piece, which will be in a week.

Next week, I MAY take a huge ride on Tues. to Boulder, try to summit three (small) peaks and then head home, but I don't know if I'll really have time for such things - the thing for Sat. will probably have me busy attempting to figure out all the art stuff.

Saturday already has me double-booked, as I have the art performance for hours, with my only break being marching band duties. My cymbals on Thur. gig were around 5lbs each, no joke.

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Training Thoughts

Feb. 7th, 2011 | 11:50 pm

I've been "training" for the Tour Divide Race for about a month now. I wasn't really slouching in my physical condition, but the year started out slow with my knee injury, ending in very successful physical therapy and a wonderful summer spent in Colorado riding bikes and discovering the fun of doing all the walk up hikes up 14ers. I would say some of those trips, like riding to Leadville, hiking Mt. Massive and then riding back (3 days), riding to Longs Peak, *attempting* to summit on October, riding bike (3 days) and doing the same for Pike's Peak (26 miles of hiking, 200 miles of riding - much on country roads) - plus the week of peak bagging and going up and down 13,000 foot Argentine Pass with a touring bike is a little more than poking around Denver environs. I feel mostly like I'm in the condition I was, before I did the Pacific Coast or France, which is great - since I know have 5 *months* to hone in on just getting distance done.

From my knowledge of doing those longish tours, the condition I'm in after wards is mixed: you get the feeling that you can, literally, ride a bike, all day (and you can), but I'm also in the throes of some sort of cold that doesn't shake for a month (at least), feel weak and generally don't do much, until my body recovers.

That leads me to believe that I'm really and truly on the right path to getting ready doing 100-150 miles a day for 3-4 weeks, but mileage should be added slowly, or I'll hit my actual peak much too soon and will feel less than up to it, come June. If I really crank out mileage in the next month or two, I'll be at peak in March and that's too soon.

Anyways, All good stuff.

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Training Log 2/7/11

Feb. 7th, 2011 | 06:48 pm

Sunday: Rode to Red Rocks and back. Looked like this:

Red Rocks Feb 6th, 2011

It has snowed the last couple of days, so my route consisted of bike paths that were:

* well shoveled,
* barely shoveled
* not shoveled *at all*, where forward motion was very slow

or, roads that were somewhat sketch and filled with snow, dirt and slush. This combination has a tendency to freeze to a bike frame and wheels, making your bike weigh much more than usual.

Upon getting to Red Rocks park, proper, it began to snow and making it up the steep road to the amphitheater was proving tricky. Luckily, I also brought my hiking shoes, micro-spikey-things and suited up for mountaineering and was able to get up, no problem.

Left at around 9:30 am, got home around 4:00 pm

Today, I am very, very sore from the effort.

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Training Log 2/5/11

Feb. 5th, 2011 | 06:27 pm

Wednesday: 2 hours on rollers.

I managed to crack the frame on my Surly Steamroller. AGAIN. Some place as before, when randomdreams was kind enough to put it back together. The weld held for years of me abusing the frame (and really, I abuse bikes by doing things on them you're aren't supposed to do) Aww, well. I have no money for a comparable frame, especially since I want to buy an MTB to end all MTB's, so we'll just have to see what happens and troll CL.

Friday: Up at 6:30am, was going to ride the Steamroller, but found the crack, so rode my touring rig in the snow-ish environment. It had snowed the day before. Here's something funny:

Denver doesn't seem to be plowing anything other than major streets (and even then it's iffy) BUT, it does plow the bike paths. TAKE THAT, PORTLANDIA!

Road just to Cherry Creek Res., turned around, did the loop again and back home. Took ~ three hours, a little more than my 1hr 40-something time trial. Ha.

THEN, went to the gym and:

Row-Machined: 20 min, attempting to do 5,000 meters in 20 min. Got a stitch in my side and my bike shoes weren't the best interface to the foot rests, so that was a no go. I had eaten at the halfway point of my ride, knowing I was going to go to the gym and I didn't want to collapse. Aw, well.

Took it sort of easy at the gym after that - I didn't know the usuals on Friday, and they seemed *strange* to me, I like my usuals on Wednesday, since I know them all, at least by sight. So, I did a pretty normal routine:

Squats: Started with 95lbs. Yes. And did sets of 10, adding 10lbs per set, until I couldn't do a set of 10 in perfect form. I think I got up to 135 pounds. Not much, but after, you know, 3 1/2 hours of using my legs to propel myself, that's fine.

Deadlifts: same idea: Started with 135lbs and did a set of 10, and went up, 20lbs per set, up to 195lbs, far below my 1rep, but working on endurance, that's the type I want to do. My form feels great and my core feels really really than it has.

5-ish sets of 8 dips
5-ish sets of 5 pullups

1 wall sit for a minute (felt pretty spent)
1 plank for a minute
2 side planks for 30 seconds
3 x 15 leg raises

and rode home.

Legs did cramped up around 11:30pm last night, so walked a mile or so the movie theatre and gorged myself on popcorn while watching hedwhig and then road slowly home.

Pretty tired today, so I'm takin' it easy - gonna try to squeeze some sort of ride in tomorrow.

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Training Log 1/31/11

Feb. 1st, 2011 | 12:07 am

Friday: I think I did 2 hours on the trainer. I don't think I even made it outside. At all. That day.
Saturday: Rest! Because:
Sunday: Snowshoed from sun up to sun down - 9 1/2 hours in total. We started at Echo Lake on the Mt. Evans Massif and hiked the Chicago Lakes trail. Got lost, summited some unknown little thing and cut trail to lower Chicago Lake, which is not easy in hip-deep snow and steep faces. SO MUCH FUN. We tried to get to Upper Chicago Lake, but the route we thought we could take was also hip-deep and steep. The willow trees dotting the route worked well in keeping the snow from blowing away.

And then, we attempted to get back. We circled the lake and then attempted to find the actual trail. Didn't happen. So we again cut trail, or attempted to. After around a half our of movie a few hundred feet, I asked N. for a contingency plan, if we do, in fact, get stuck at 11,000+ feet past... midnight.

We decided to attempt to find the route we originally took and headed back up whatever mount we had descended from. We lucked out - really and truly and found a trampled down trail, which lead us all the way to the trail head. That day wiped me out as so few days can.

And that's how I'm getting ready to hike up snow-laden passed in Canada, in June, with a mountain bike weighing 35+ lbs, laden with all my gear for 3 weeks: expose myself to situations much more difficult than what I'll find on the actual course ;)


Monday: Other than errands, I'm just hanging loose. Still wiped (in a good way) from snow shoeing.

Bought mountaineering boots! The big, heavy, plastic ones. They can do Mt. Rainier. They could probably do Denali. Meaning: they're completely ridiculous. Don't even have crampons :)

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Training Log 1/27/11

Jan. 27th, 2011 | 10:00 pm

Wed: Rest. Yeah, rest!

Thur: Gym, weigh in @ 183lbs. I'm not really budging. This is good. I love food. My body is starting to show visual effects of all my hard work. aka, I'm starting to look hot, again.

Ran to the gym a full minute faster (20 min) than last time. Wow.

Rowing for 5,000 meters - around 2...3? minutes?
5 sets of 20 seconds of pushups, then 30 seconds jumprope, no rest between sets.
5 sets of 20 seconds of Wall ball, 10 second rest
three times around the tiny basketball court (with rest in between) of walking lunges holding 10lbs in each hand. Ugh!
5 sets of 10 deadlifts at a paltry 135lbs w/5 sets of kipping pullups interspersed
3, 1 minute planks. You just hang out in that position.

And then, I ran home - but went around City Park, before heading back. That took ~ 50 minutes. Never have a run so much in one day - as pathetic as it sounds.

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Training Log 1/25/11

Jan. 25th, 2011 | 06:47 pm

Yesterday: rest
Today, I thought it'd be fun to see how fast I could go from REI, around Cherry Creek and back, time trial mode. My road bike is out of commission with a broken shifter and my touring bike is too slow to really make this any fun, so I just used my brakeless fixed gear.

I wasn't expecting much, especially with the long ride on Sunday, but maybe I could get a baseline to work with and see if I'm progressing at speed, or whatever. It's a relatively flat route, but there are some tiny hills, that will sap my time.

Managed to do it in 1hr 42min - cripes! From where I started, it's around 33.4 miles (so says Google Maps), which gives me a average speed of 19.6 mph. Heh, that included a small pee break, someone attempting to race me (???) on the trail and me throwing up, just slightly.

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