Monday, January 28, 2008

Memory full

Doh! We had guests over for the afternoon, and they stayed a lot longer than we expected, so we completely missed out on the swell ROY dinner. 2nd year in a row! Worse yet, Soulmate forgot a very important board retreat Friday morning as well. Senior moments, I guess. Seriously, I thought senior moments started when you were a senior in High School. They did for me.

Oh well, what with the Ultra-Secret GS Training Camp, I'm pretty well cycled out. I think I'll take a week or two off and watch some movies. Too cold to ride after today, which I'm missing out on because I'm at my outreach clinic in Alexandria.

I caught up reading everyone's blog last night, and leaving little stealth bombs on a few. Not much else to report. Good job on the GS rides, everyone.

Lanny, bring your CX bike next time. MTBs don't have enough gears when Doug, Dan, and Mean Dawg are on the ride.

The spy camera malfunctions:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Spy Video Three

Photos smuggled from Day Two of GrandStay's Ultra-Secret Training Camp:

Spy Video Two

More from the ultra secret team ride yesterday:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

GrandStay Secret Ride!

Grandstay had an ultra-secret team ride and dinner today, but somehow the Paparazzi showed up and got off a few shots of the team:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spy Video

Taken somewhere in the upper Midwest:

Sorry, Matt--what can I say? I promise to wear only GS spandex in all future videos...

Skunk Works

Here are some spy photos from the Skunk Works deep in the bowels of GCC where Luke and Gary weave their magic (well, OK, the pix were taken in my kitchen, but the bike was born at GCC):

This baby is so cool, even the fish want to try it (I guess a woman really does need a man, since these fish need a bicycle).

It's my old 2002 LeMond Zurich in its third incarnation. First it was a heavy but reliable road racer that took more than its share of punishment while I learned the ropes (some of you, if you're mean, will remark that it was in vain). I raced it as a cat 4 and 5 for 3 years.

Next it was a heavy but reliable TT conversion which saw precious little action as I moved up to Cat 2, since time trials don't like me, and the feeling is mutual. I felt bad for the trusty steed, like I had sent it out to pasture or like it was being punished for something it had no power over.

Its final incarnation is as a heavy but reliable fixie, and you can tell it is totally psyched for the job. OK, the pedals and the headset are a work in progress--my aim is to strip off anything black except the fizik saddle and the gatorskin tires, and add as much old school chrome as possible.

The rear hub is pure genius: a White Industries eccentric hub made for use on vertical dropouts,
so you can tension the chain as it stretches or you change gear ratios. And it's beautiful, to boot.

Gary built the wheels with Kswiss rims and White industries hubs with 6mm hex nuts. The stem and bars are the brightest Nitto Cromoly steel you can get--it shines like a pimped St. Louis ghettocruiser. The chrome bar tape is pure over-the-top genius (shouts to Luke who pulled it out of his boneyard).

OK, it has a front brake, but I'm hoping it won't stay for long. I've never been on a track bike before, so I figure it will take some time to figure it all out, and the tire clearance only allows a 700x25, so there's not much rubber to skid off for a quick stop.

Now for all the poser accusations in advance: I raced as a junior for a short while in the 70s, and when Phinney and Carpenter took to the track, I lusted after their track bikes and swore I would have one some day. That day never came because a couple things intervened, like college, marriage, med school, internship, residency, and private practice. Still, my love for track bikes came decades before the current fad.

I don't plan to ride this on the velodrome, since the BB is too low and the cranks too long. Besides, the track is an hour away in light traffic, and I can't even get in time for weekday training rides at home. This baby will be for training and cruisin'. I've been carrying the messenger bag as a briefcase for years; now I have the bike to go with it.

BTW, the Skunk Works is a division of Lockheed Martin that is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71, the F-117, and the F-22. I think my flyer rates a nod. Shouts to Luke and Gary at the Skunk Works, AKA Granite City Cycles, who did most of the work, not to mention keeping a pretty even temper despite my best efforts to annoy them to death over this project.

DOC'S ADVICE: old racing bikes never die; they just get fixed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Call Weekend

I'm on call this weekend, and it's been really good. I had a stretch from Friday night until Sunday noon when I got like 3 total phone calls, all for advice (as opposed to asking me to come into the E.R. to see a sick patient). I love call weekends because I can't make any firm plans, and if I get to do some fun stuff, I feel like I'm getting away with something.

Friday night I went to Granite City Cycles to help Luke put the finishing touches on my fixie. It's basically done now, but I bought some model paint and Soulmate has promised to work on touch-up areas for me (she is an artist, after all). Then I'll be ready to take some spy photos for my gentle readers.

Saturday I made rounds at the hospital, then Jim Bell came over to roll for 3 hours on the trainers. I can do such a feat with a buddy, but never have the will to last that long by myself. We watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and hooted at Larry David for an hour, then found "Syriana" on On Demand, and puzzled over it for 2 hours.

After riding, I headed back to GCC to pick up my fixie, but then decided to leave it til Monday so Luke can write up a tag for it (I got to the shop just before closing, and feel bad about keeping Luke after hours on his own time, since he works pretty hard as it is). Then over to China restaurant to pick up Soulmate's fav Chicken Almond Ding and my General's Chicken, and finally home to watch The Wedding Singer and put the chopsticks to good use.

Today I went to church, immediately got called back to the hospital for a consult, went home and ate some panini sandwiches, and just as I was leaving with my bike to ride at Jim's house, I got called back to the E.R. to see not one, but three patients. That was OK, though, since I got all the work done at once, and didn't have to leave Jim's to see anyone at the hospital.

We watched the playoff games while riding (TiVo'd of course, since I hate commercials). I'm not a Pats fan, and really wanted to see SD give them a run (which they kind of did), and I really am a Brett Favre fan, so I wanted to see GB win. Looks like I'm 0 for 2, but the Superbowl will be better because NYG are the only ones that have really given the Pats a run. That final game of the season was one of the best I've seen in years. I somehow doubt the rematch will be close.

I will be sad to see the Dolphins' perfect season bested, since I was a big fan of theirs back in the 70s. Oh well, nobody else can be the FIRST perfect team.

Oops, it's almost midnight, and I have an early surgery in the morning. Better hit the hay...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

January doldrums

Soulmate and I were talking over coffee this morning before work, and right in front of me a large raptor landed in one of our oak trees:

This is about as much excitement as I've had since my last birthday party ended 10 days ago. I say my last one because I must have had 5 celebrations this year, starting with a visit to J.R.'s with my friend Andy on the 3rd and ending with Cork's on the 7th. When I was growing up, I never got too much of a birthday celebration coming as it did less than 2 weeks after Christmas. Now, though, I don't care too much about presents, and it seems like a number of my friends want to take me out for a birthday meal, thus the 5 celebrations this year. DOC'S ADVICE: skip the presents and go for the cuisine. You know you're going to go out and buy whatever you really want anyway.

I get a little S.A.D. in January, especially after my birthday on the 7th. This is the time of year for Seasonal Affective Disorder, especially in Minnesota. The snow is beautiful, but the 10 below temps are getting old. I'm tired of X/C skiing and snowshoeing; I don't snowmobile (or do much of anything else that requires petrol); it's just too cold to ride outside (my personal limit for road rides is +15 degrees). Our recent 2 or 3 week thaw was great, and I got out riding several times with my friend Jim. That makes the coldest week of the year even worse, since I've tasted of the pleasures of early spring riding.

So, I splurged and upgraded my Charter analog basic cable to digital premium service the other day. Now when I ride the Revmaster downstairs, I won't be relegated to Monk reruns and bad B movies on TCM. I channel surfed last night through the HBO et al premium channels, and found no less than 6 movies playing that I really want to see. Not to mention the on-demand features which I haven't even tried yet.

I watched a couple of episodes of NCIS season 2 last night while I did a tempo workout, and the suspense and forensic gore kept my mind off of the pain in my legs. I have been doing all long and slow training up until this week, and I think my legs have complete amnesia for last summer's efforts. At least they are pretending not to remember.

I've spent a fair amount of time on my Revmaster watching football, including several of the best games of the year, and maybe ever. The NY Giants--Pats game was the stuff of legends. Watching Tom Brady dismantle Jacksonville was like Patton pushing the Germans out of North Africa. Any game with Brett Favre in it lately is the stuff of legends, and his thrashing of Seattle was classic Favreball. I'm really psyched for Green Bay and NYG. I think I only need to watch Patton kick the Germans out once, so I don't know if I'll make it all the way through the Pats game.

My Fixie is coming along nicely. I stripped all the TT gear off of my 2002 LeMond Zurich, and have fitted it out with Nitto track bars and stem. Luke is building me some swizzy wheels with White Industries hubs and Kswiss rims. They're on the truing stand as we speak. If the bike is done this weekend, I will NOT be trying it outside. I might try it on the rollers though. Probably watching Brett Favre.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Doc's 3rd Annual Birthday Ride

Bagley, Bell, Jake Cohen, and Doc took off on a balmy January day for Doc's 3rd annual birthday ride. It was both the nicest day and the poorest attendance yet. My bad on the latter, since I only tossed out an email invite to a few local riders this morning. Oh well, it's their loss. We covered 60 miles at an easy pace, especially after we sent Bagley packing to get to his son's hockey practice. Memorable ride, but no pix.

A little hint for you racer boys and girls: the Marty race course just might have a few new wrinkles when we race it in exactly 4 months!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

One final ski, then wheels!

Happy 2008, everyone!

What with the temps soaring this weekend, Soulmate and I have planned our *final* ski outing of the winter. The asterisks represent my view, since all my thoughts are turning to the bike now. SM has her heart set on skiing well into March, and she's pretty well connected to the Big Weatherman in the Sky, so if she prays for snow, I'd better keep my skis waxed up (or at least handy, since they're the cheap waxless kind).

I've got the anthem almost trail ready, except the blame handlebars are way too wide. Anyone who has ridden in the woods with me knows what I'm talking about: Doc can nail a tree with the bar ends under even the most unlikely conditions. Sadly, the bars are carbon, so I'm a little reticent to hack them off, so I think I'll try them as is, and hack them off after I've nailed a couple of trees this spring.

I'm working on a new TT frame for this season, so I'll be stripping down my old LeMond Zurich of its Ultegra 9 speed components to put on the new frame. Then I'll have Luke cobble together a fixie out of parts from the shop's parts graveyard. It'll keep us out of trouble for a week or two, and I should have a bullet-proof fixie just in time for the winter thaw, which is always hard on my CX bike's gears and other moving parts. I figure since I spend most of the winter spinning for hours on my Revmaster without ever coasting, I won't have any trouble adapting to a fixie outside.

Fixies are all the rage, and have been for several years. I've toyed with getting one, but decided to wait until I could make one out of an existing bike. I raced the Zurich in 2002-04 on the road, then converted it to a TT bike for 2005-07, and I just can't bear to part with it. It's a bomb-proof metal frame that's been crash-tested several times and comes up a winner. Finishing its life as a fixie is somehow right. Spy photos to follow once I have the basic bike together.