Monday, November 18, 2013


I recently was overhearing a sort of doomsday conversation that I decided not to engage in even though I could certainly have added a few things to. It's actually a stance that I have encountered before and unfortunately I don't think it's a rare sentiment. It went a little like this.....

A guy was talking to a co-worker who is building up a store of food for the apocalypse. He has a year's worth of food stored and he asked if the other had any stored. The other replied no but that he had a year's worth of ammo cached though. The other said "Ha, you can't eat bullets!" at which point the other replies "No, but you just told me where there is a year's worth of food."

It's funny, but not. Funny in jest, but not so much when you think of the possibility of that reality.

It's a typical short sighted, individualistic approach.

When faced with the possibility of a grand collapse of the systems we currently rely on, you can either choose to educate yourself on ways to live without those things.....or you can focus on ways to prolong the supply of these things well beyond the death of the systems that produce them. I wonder what these folks think. An apocalypse is going to just be a temporary thing. Like everything is going to just fall apart for a year and then all of a sudden go back to normal. Who knows? Maybe. More than likely any major collapse will be extensive and re-inventive for humanity, in which case these people will shoot all their neighbors, eat all the food, and then die one year later.

No one can really predict how a collapse like that would occur. It could come from so many places, but one thing we can be certain of......banding together with a community is going to get a people much further than shooting and looting. However, I'm starting to wonder if I should be thinking about protecting myself from people like that. I feel like I would have a lot to offer a post-apocalyptic world.

Friday, November 15, 2013


To get back into the swing I attended a NYCROSS event in Troy, NY. Fun race. It wasn't as low key on my body as I had hoped though. I spent the whole weekend chasing back after breaking stuff. Broken chain and saddle on Saurday and then two flats on Sunday.

Since getting sick prior to Gloucester I kinda set the bike aside to recover a bit. I feel like I had to to rid myself of the virus and to get my head/face healed up, but I was starting to feel slow. Combining my lack of power coming from the left leg and some unimpressive form is not pretty. The first day at Vermont I came really close to being lapped, which has never happened before. I was crossing the line as Tim was entering the final straight. Fitness had gone downhill since then and I would hang on for a dismal performance on Saturday of Rochester and then scratch this whole getting lapped thing off the list on Sunday. Well, I got 80 percented. I was about to be lapped when Alan Atwood saved me from the misery of being crushed by my peers.

I was mentally injured but physically healed from my cold and injuries so i had to get going again. I had a weekend off and a couple weeks to squeeze in some training, which is exactly what I did. By the time Cyclesmart rolled around I had recovered a bit of fitness. I made the lead group of the race and looked pretty good as we road away from the chase group by a wide margin. I couldn't hold on with one leg when accelerations came but we had such a big gap over the chase that I safely came in 6th. Pretty happy with that.

I paid for the effort on Sunday and checked off another DNF. My feeling on that is if I am a little off and don't make the lead group and I throw up my arms and quit.....that's kinda lame. However, these days where my left leg is just not moving and I'm getting lapped, I'm really OK with calling it a day. In fact, in my case I may not be physically doing myself any favors by "toughing it out". When that leg doesn't have it and I keep pushing, other things have to make up for it. Usually my back. One side of it that is overworked and hurting as it is. I have no shame in pulling out of these situations.

Things looked decent going into HPCX. I had gotten back to some good training and recovering and this was looking like a manageable field. The course was not ideal for sub-par pedaling as it went up and down a hill three times a lap, but maybe they would be short enough that I could get up them anaerobic and recover on the way down. That did seem to be the case for two of the three but the first one was just too long and I started coming off the back there in the second half of the race. I was able to get back on via the downhill every time though. On the last lap I again was barely able to make contact again right before the final downhill. Basically too late to do much, except that a couple guys rode into each other and I went around smoothly such that it was then too late for them to get back by me. I picked up 4th for it. Happy with it, but races like that are a bit frustrating because I know how much I would have been able to crush it in the years past. I used to like climbing quite a lot. Especially punchy climbs in CX races. Used to love courses like that.

This brings us up to another weekend off. Well not "off", but off for those who stick to New England. This year seems to have spread the racing out a bit and we are ending up with some holes in the eastern UCI schedule. If I was going well I'd be likely to venture out but not under the current circumstances. These days I'll thoroughly enjoy another weekend off.

Baltimore through Providence

Gosh, I really haven't written anything for a while. My bike racing season has been lackluster, but all things considered not as bad as it could be. I have generally struggled on Sundays due to the floppy leg. My good leg can take a heavy load when the bad one lags.....but only for a while, and I pay the price on day two.

I had a decent result on Saturday of Baltimore with 4th place. In addition none of our team was robbed. Pretty good day. Day two I paid for the effort and lagged behind a bit.

Then things got interesting. I got a cold that week and didn't feel so good going into Gloucester. I gave it a good try Saturday, but I wasn't helping the sinus situation. I pulled off into the pits and called it a day. I watched the finish and went about my post race day as usual. That night, after dinner with my old teammate and buddy I was leaning on Chabanov's car just chatting when I started to feel dizzy......kinds barfy.

Then after what was an undetermined amount of time I found myself pushing myself up off a granite curb, bleeding out of my head while Brittlee ran over shouting "Oh my god, are you alright?". WTF? Apparently I just lost consciousness and fell straight down to the curb. Well, I had a pretty good gash in my brow and a big smack in the cheek. Nothin like a good ol trip to the hospital. Not that this means much, but at least I now have health insurance. They put in some stitches in my brow and did all the test they are supposed to do.

Everything came back fine, but a question lingered amongst everyone around. Did this have anything to do with the bloodflow problems in my leg? That teammate I was chatting with happens to also have the Iliac artery endofibrosis. His case is actually the first I had ever heard of this back in '07. Well, the best option was for me then was to DNS Sunday's race and head home. Everyone was very worried about me driving and I'm not gonna lie that I wasn't a little wary. I stuck around half the day to make sure I was OK and went home to see my doc. After reviewing all of the data from the tests it was concluded that this had nothing to do with any problem in my leg and this was just a case of dehydration, hunger, fatigue, etc. I was skeptical. I have been WAY more depleted in all those departments over the course of my career. The reason it was believed to be unrelated to the artery problem is due to the fact that this restriction is only at high blood flow situations. I'm still a bit skeptical here as my low flow leg showed up in a zoomed out view of my thighs while I was half asleep, laying down on a table. It seems to me that if it is noticeable there then it MUST have SOME effect in everyday life. I don't know, I'm no expert.

Well, after that debacle, I was given the OK to skip Providence altogether.


The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes region of New York State took a bit of a hit last week. Another election decided by financial gains. Across the region not only were pro-hydraulic fracturing folks folks elected to town boards, but a proposition passed to bring in a bunch of massive Vegas style casinos to the area.

This makes me wonder if the zombie apocalypse isn't some imaginary catastrophic event in the minds of certain weirdos, but it is actually a process that is happening in front of us right now. The folks that are looking at our future and concerned with our well being, are continuously steam rolled by a mass of brain dead zombies who mindlessly lurch after any and all capital gain. What is scary about the whole thing is that these people are just doing what our system says they should do. Money good, no money bad. They never questioned it. I don't know what it is that causes some people to just fall into line right over a cliff and some to step back and question what's going on, but as someone who has stepped back......way back, I can see, plain as day, that capitalism is creating a false incentives to do the wrong things.

First off the system is based on rapid and continuous growth. I am in awe of the fact that this aspect of capitalism is ignored. It really doesn't take a smart person to point out that continuous growth can't happen. Collapse at some point is inevitable.

That's the obvious problem. However, I think the most alarming trait of capitalism is the fact that the real value of everything has been replaced with profits or losses and that drives most of our decision making. The fracking debate is a good example of this. This is something that none of us would consider if it weren't for financial gains. Rape our own land for the benefit of others? Let's put it to a test in a hypothetical situation. A capitalist finds an apple tree. What do they do? Pick every last piece of fruit on the tree because each apple is a certain value in dollars to be earned to them and then starve with a fistful of dollars. To the human animal and all other life on earth who comes upon this apple tree they see nutrition. They eat and with every bite they would be thinking of how to sustain this sustenance. They would not eat too much because they would not have any for the next day. Our lives are full of decisions like this that capitalism makes for us. We all march forward chasing dollar bills while the ground crumbles beneath our feet. Unfortunately it seems things won't change until the whole thing collapses and we find out that no, we cannot eat money. If we were strong, we could break free of the addiction.....bring it local.....let things hold the value that they really have. Unfortunately, this is very engrained in our everyday thinking and there are many people who are really benefiting from this system who are very unlikely to change.