Power Love

Your definitive resource. That's all, just your definitive resource.

31 May 2006

During my break this morning, I went on ask.com and typed in, "Why?" Here are two links worth checking out:

1. Darwin Awards

2. The Why Files

Check out the penguin video on the Darwin Awards site. I sat there watching it over and over, laughing hysterically. Someday, I hope I can be a candidate for a Darwin Award.

29 May 2006

The sun sets on the Tour d'Oyster.

Thanks for the great road trip, Ginger. Cheers.

28 May 2006

As every serious cyclist knows, "Road Closed To Thru Traffic" is cyclingspeak for "Bikers Only." This road took us on one mighty fine ride through St. Paul, MN.

Here's a gas pump in Cobb, WI (pop. 442). No, this isn't an antique, it's an actual working gas pump. Note the absence of both a credit card slot and rolling ticker that coerces the customer to get a free car wash with purchase of a full tank of gas.

I'm arty.

27 May 2006

In order to get to this place, you have to climb into the clouds.

Here is a beautiful picture of the view, taken by resident photographer Ginger Sides.

While Ginger climbed, I stayed at base camp and made sure the historical marker sign didn't run away. They are prone to do that, those rebellious historical marker signs.

The Sides sisters discover a new lake. Minnesota has been officially renamed, "Land of 10,001 Lakes."

26 May 2006

Ginger and I have decided that the world is our oyster and therefore we are currently riding in the Tour d'Oyster. In the Tour d'Oyster, there is no need for team cars or support vehicles. Instead, we have a Pez dispenser.

Here are our fans cheering for us at the top of Mount Cowpie (a hors category climb).

No kidding, we are really riding on roads like these. Ginger is executing one of our expertly-planned team tactical maneuvers. This is just after we smoked the field on a 25% grade.

I had to pose with the sponsors.

25 May 2006

Props to Wisconsin! Thanks for the warm welcome.

Since it rained today, we had to figure out what to do with ourselves . . .

As every serious cyclist knows, hydration is very important.

And so is fried cheese. I mean, protein . . .

24 May 2006

Micah was going to come with us on our bike trip, but the last time we rode with him, he dusted us. We were not happy. The guy just has the VO2 max of a horse. And a very smooth cadence. And he laughs at us when we start breathing heavily. So we told him he couldn't come with us.

No one wants to ride with a show off.

23 May 2006

This is what gettin' the hell outta dodge for a six-day bike trip looks like.

20 May 2006

How to Have a Ridiculously Good Time in a Bicycle Race

1. Make sure you arrange to have weather that is 71 degrees and sunny.

2. Drive down Lake Shore Drive. I don't think this needs any explanation whatsoever. Unless you are not from Chicago, in which case, you should drive down Lake Shore Drive right now and then you will fall madly in love with Chicago and you will know what I am saying here.

3. Listen to the new Snow Patrol CD.

4. Race with a friend that you love hanging out with.

I raced in the 1,2,3 women's race at Monsters because earlier in the week Kristen said, "Hey, why don't you race with me in the 1,2,3 race?" And I was like, "OK," because what fun does that sound like? Lots of fun.

Until I got to registration and the academic-seeming guy in the University of Chicago jersey who was talking to his friends in big long words that only people who go to Ivy League universities use said, "I'm assuming you're registering for the 1,2,3 race?"

Yes, I said. I am registering for the 1,2,3 race. I had to look down at my paint-stained Sun Valley, Idaho, t-shirt (long-sleeved, from a ski trip) and my grungy cargo pants (paint-stained also, from a clothes swap) and I wondered if he could see through me. No doubt he is a Chem major and he has invented some kind of potion that allows him to see the blood coursing through my veins and the muscle hidden inside my body and he has no doubt invented an algorithm that can tell him, just from looking at me across a table, how many watts I can produce at any given time and he can no doubt smell my cat 4ness.

That's when I took out my money.

Every bike race needs money, despite invented algorithms and poser open racers. And so, with the filling out of a few forms, I was in the women's 1,2,3 race.

My goal: stay with the field for 20 of the 45 minutes and then make sure to tell Kristen at the end that I am never doing this again.

Except that after 20 minutes was done, I was still with the group and thinking that I needed way more of a workout and also, it's 70 degrees and sunny so we should haul as much ass as possible because no doubt it's going to rain any minute and once it does we will have to go hide inside and then we will be really mad that we didn't take the opportunity to haul ass when it was 70 degrees and sunny.

There were attacks and none of them stuck, except that I was trying to cover them because I am trying to learn how to capture that moment right before an attack. There is a shift in the wind and a seemingly quick intake of breath from the group and a sudden slow motion of gear changing and then someone shoots off the front and you can catch that--that wave, that motion, that whoosh of whooshness--and you can go with it as long as you pick the right gear to go in and as long as your legs let you. So that's what I was doing, paying attention to those moments and trying to grab them. It's much like trying to grab fireflies out of the air on hot summer nights when you are six and playing with the other six-year olds in your neighborhood--you have to time it right.

As I said, nothing stuck. I think it's because the wind on the front stretch was pretty unkind. And the course is Illinois flat. And then a 2CC rider went off in what appeared to be an attack but may have been an early move for the prime and I went with her, but not really, since I was enough behind her to technically not be with her by anyone's definition and I just could not get my legs to turn over hard or fast enough. Kristen came up on my side and then powered up to the 2CC rider and they were off on their own little break and it was truly magnificent to see Kristen up there rocking it like that and the only thing better would've been to be there with her. And of course, to have the energy to say, "This is really fucking cool that we are in a break right now." I think I will save that for a race later in the summer, actually.

So I'm trying to get up to them, but I can't and I look back at the field because I think they are probably right on me but they are not. There is enough of a gap that I have to wait for just a few seconds, but those few seconds are all my legs need to turn to stone. I figure I'll just jump in the middle of the group and pray that I can catch a ride. But no, the group is pushing it because the 2 to go sign is up and now is so not the time to have stone legs. I try to get up in my saddle to catch the back end of the group and even that doesn't work. There is just no going with anything at this point and man, I am rethinking the chasing after the gaps earlier on except, no, I tell me, I am not going to rethink that because I just learned some profound lessons today and also, I am in a 1,2,3 race and I am STILL IN THE 1,2,3 RACE well after the 20 minutes I'd thought I'd be here and that is so way cool and then we take turn 1, turn 2, and the group goes and I have 1.5 laps left and I am all alone except for an ABD rider, who is nice, but obviously shot too and I am not about to hang my head.

Here comes Kristen coming back to me so I catch up to her, which is very painful, and tell her what a motherfucking goddess she is. She says, "Let's go get them," because the field is only a straightaway ahead of us. Little does Kristen know that at this point, the legs were already fast asleep. They mutiny at all the wrong times, these legs of mine. So we finish it off, coming in at the way back and I will tell you this right now: if you pay attention only to results pages and you never read race reports, you will never know what a rock star day this was. I highly recommend everyone racing with Kristen because, despite my insecurity at registration, I would do this a million more times without thinking twice about it.

No squirrels in the corners, either.

Shine on, you crazy diamonds.

17 May 2006

Day after day of rain really sucks until you see this.

16 May 2006

So Pascale leaves for France today. Why someone would want to go to France when she could road trip with me and Ginger around western Wisconsin is beyond me, but these subtle differences in human nature are what make our species so intriguing.

I took the liberty of posting some pictures of France in honor of our dear friend.

Here's where Pascale is going:

Here's her house in France:

That is not Pascale riding her bicycle. It is the servant coming out to meet her.

Here's Pascale riding her bicycle:

Pascale is the one in front, filing her nails.

15 May 2006

The 2006 Team Apache race bikes arrived today.

I plan to race with a bouquet of tulips in the basket.

I thrive on challenges.

14 May 2006

Beautifulest human ever. Happy Mother's Day, Mommers.

13 May 2006

The Brown Line at the Western stop . . .

. . . closing its doors in my face. That CTA--not only a public service, but gobs and gobs of humor, too. The closing-door-in-your-face joke is especially funny on cold, rainy mornings when you're running late for work.

12 May 2006

OK, God, I get it--I'll slow down on the training. Geez.

(Apparently, God speaks Mandarin.)

11 May 2006

Here's where I am right now:

It's my back porch.

Here's my fountain:

Oh, no . . . here come those guys with that restrictive white jacket . . . I hate those guys . . .

I laughed so hard at this blog that I ended up shaking and making no sound whatsoever, which caused my coworkers to gather around me and ask if I was choking and since I couldn't answer they walloped me on the back, but I just kept laughing in that silent laughing-too-hard way so eventually they told me I should go home so I did and I promptly wrote this post because I am very good at using my time wisely.

07 May 2006

A successful evening at Webster Wine Bar. Jeff is a renaissance man--he writes and he reads. Bravo on a fine performance, friend. 2nd Story rocks out. Me and Wanda are big fans.

However, in Chicago, there is an ordinance that requires writers to wear all black when attending arty events at wine bars. Jeff is in clear violation of this ordinance, so, despite his fine performance this evening, I was obligated to make a citizen's arrest. An ordinance is an ordiance, after all.

Here we are closing in on the perp:

06 May 2006

These women are about to embark on a four-hour ride in which they will become very intimate with very long, very steep hills.

Why are they smiling?

04 May 2006

The collective good energy of these humans could power a rocket to the moon.

By the way, Andy was recently inducted into the Face Contortionist Hall of Fame. Top job, Andy!