Friday, August 29, 2008

In Paris

I made it. Time for some crêpes.


I think this is the first time I've taken this Denver->London fight where the plane has actually parked at a gate. Usually they park you in the middle of the tarmac and bus you to the terminal. That's not to say there wasn't still a lengthy transfer.

After getting off the plane, I walked for 10 or 15 minutes before finally getting on a bus for another 15. I have no idea where I was walking because they were hallways without windows. We were just following signs.

The bus took me to the new Terminal 5. My first visit to this terminal. The loooong security line I'm used to seeing in London was nonexistant. That was a welcome sight. It seems like they streamlined things. Either that or there just wasn't a big crowd today.

My flight was good. The flight wasn't full and I had a row of 3 seats all to myself. That was awesome for sleeping. I tried to watch a movie (What Happens In Vegas), but it was horribly unwatchable. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood. Instead I watched episodes of Arrested Development on my iPhone before sleeping.

Soon I'll be on my plane to Paris. (Actually, by the time I post this I'll probably already be in Paris.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys

I'm at the airport waiting for my flight to Paris (via London). I'm taking a short trip to see Christine. It's funny to go all the way there for such a short time, but we're going to make the most of it.

I gave myself plenty of time to get to the airport because I wanted to be sure that the Democratic National Convention didn't have any far reaching effects on the highways. They're closing down a major section of highway today during rush hour because of Obama's speech. Sucks to be commuting through Denver today.

Speaking of the DNC, the green washing is in full effect. There are signs about our green energy, recycling, and even a big field of new solar panels on the road to the airport. If they wanted a "green" convention, how about you don't have it at all? If carbon is the gold standard by which we measure our green-ness, how much carbon was spewed by everyone flying here and renting cars/limos? Couldn't this crap all be done remotely these days? I guess that wouldn't get as much news coverage.

I was behind some hillbilly going through security that couldn't understand that he needed to take *everything* out of his pockets. This includes your can of Skoal and your pouch of other chewing tobacco. I hope they gave him a full body cavity search.

The airport has free WiFi. Surfing the web on an iPhone is pretty annoying because they put a banner on the top of the screen and it apparently screws with the way some pages render. I can still update my LJ via email though.

That's all for now. Next stop London.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Clear Lake

I headed for the hills over the weekend and went camping at Clear Lake in the Colorado State Forest State Park.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Up and Over

A couple amazing things happened on my lunch ride today. First, the entire group came to a stop at a stop sign. This is after multiple people have gotten tickets for rolling stop signs around here. While I think the ticketing is a waste of resources, I'll be happy if people in this group can follow the rules.

The second amazing thing happened when we were on a bridge over an irrigation ditch. It's a pretty crappy old bridge and there 3 inch gravel filled gaps that go in the same direction as you would ride. On a road bike this is dangerous because it's really easy to get your wheel into one of those and have unpredictable things happen. For the first time I've ever seen on this ride, someone got into one of those gaps today. At first he was thinking he was going to go down, but somehow he got tossed out of the crack and started veering directly toward the guard rail. He hit the rail hard and both he and his bike went over the edge and into the ditch.

There are many times (probably most of the time actually) where this ditch would be nearly dry, but thanks to our heavy rains last week it was full of water. The 6 foot drop into the water wasn't anywhere near as bad as an equivalent drop onto dirt. The rider made it relatively unscathed thankfully. His shifter took the biggest force and is broken, but he didn't get anything more than a couple scrapes. It didn't look like he hit his head or anything, but as I precaution I rode back with him to make sure he made it back safe.

That will sure go down in the history books of this ride, and I'm sure we'll be bringing it up for years.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A rainy day at the airport

Today I had to bid adieu to Christine as she left for Paris. The morning started with plenty of raind and a trip to the airport where we dropped off Livia for her early flight. I can't believe the rain we've gotten the past few days.

After killing some time at REI we arrived back at the airport with plenty of time before Christine's flight, which was good because we had some luggage issues to deal with. We knew her suitcase was going to be over the 50 pound limit, but we didn't realize it would be over the 70 pound limit. (In fact, we didn't know there was a 70 pound limit.) It seems like the the fee for luggage goes up exponentially once you hit 70 pounds because her 80 pound bag and her bicycle was going to cost something like $400. Wow! However, since she was flying business, she was allowed 3 pieces of luggage so we pulled the heaviest thing out of her bag: 18 pounds of bicycle trainer. The Denver airport has a post office, so we bought a couple shipping boxes and tape and created a large box for her trainer which we checked as luggage. $10 in packaging supplies saved hundreds in luggage fees.

We were lucky to have a very helpful gate agent and we'll be sure to let Delta know about it. He was very patient and helpful with our luggage and some other confusion with Christine's ticket. Since Christine was looking helpless on crutches, they gave me a pass to get through security and help her to the gate. It's a rarity these days to be able to hang at the gate before saying goodbye, and I was thankful for the extra time together before we said goodbye for a few weeks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Sickness - Part II

Saturday morning, I was finally starting to feel reasonably well. I would have loved to have raced in the Prospect crit, but there was no way my body was up to it. Total bummer. I've never been more disappointed to miss a crit (which is to say I've come a long way since my zero crit '07 season).

We drove down to the race anyway, since Christine's friend Julie lives there. It was hard to watch a race I'd rather be racing, but fun to be out nonetheless. We hung out for most of the afternoon and went home when Christine's hip was really starting to ache.

From there, the sickness went quickly downhill. I'll spare the gory details, but it became clear that I was going to need a trip to the doctor. By the time we went to bed I was feeling like I could hold off until morning and go to an urgent care facility instead of the emergency room, but around midnight I decided I needed to go sooner than that. I'm pretty tolerant of pain, but I finally got pushed over the edge.

We went over to the emergency room at the local hospital and sat in their waiting room for a while. It was freezing in there, and nothing about the place was meant for comfort. It's 1AM and there's no place in there to lay down. You couldn't even slouch on the seats to get comfortable because there was an uncomfortable bar underneath the seat. After having spent so much time at Steadman Hawkins in Vail where it was all they could do to make your stay easier, the Poudre Valley hospital was pretty rough.

Eventually they put us in a room. Long story short, the doc poked me in places and with things that I wished she wouldn't have and then prescribed me some antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. By the time we got out of there it was 6AM and the sun was out. What a night. I'm still waiting for results on some tests. Hopefully they don't need to do anything else. I'm already starting to feel better, so that's good. I'm going to finally get on my bike today for the first time in a week.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I don't get sick often. Probably because I've told my body that it really sucks, and I shouldn't be sick.

It didn't listen last night, and I've been out of commission all day. Over night I was cold, even though I was warm. I put on some warm clothes and sweat it out for the rest of the night. I went in to work figuring that it would blow over, but it didn't. I was cold at work and nursing a major headache, so I came home at lunch. Hopefully I didn't infect anyone. I tossed on a big fleece and long pants when I got home, which is funny since it's like 80+ outside. My body is super sore. I feel like my legs are filled with lactic acid. My hair aches.

I think I'm finally feeling a little more normal again. We'll see what the night holds. I really wanted to race on Saturday, but I think this may put it out of the question. Harumph.