Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I am two days into my "commute 15 times in 30 work days" self challenge. So far I'm right on schedule. I didn't ride yesterday, but I did today. Again, my math is not so good, but it seems like 15 is half of 30, and 1 is half of 2, so that is on schedule, right?

Well, it killed me. I'm not sure what has happened in the last couple of months, but I don't think 11 silly miles has been that hard for me in a long, long time. I am ashamed to say it, but I had to make use of the smaller of my two rings up front. It took me 20 minutes longer than it used to. What a sad sack I am.

As Tasha said, though, "[I'll] only get faster."

I imagine that is true. I like to think I have enough base miles in my legs that I will be back on track pretty soon. To ensure that happens, I have made some goals for myself.

Ride I Think I Canyons.
Not just plug along through it, actually ride it in a decent time. I don't know what a decent time is yet, I'll figure that out.

Get a top 10 finish in one of the local crit series races.
One top 10 might not seem like a serious goal, and it might not be. I raced a fair amount in high school, and I did ok a some of the races. But that was in high school and on a mountain bike, I haven't ever raced a road bike. I am also 25. I think most of the other 25 year olds who race the series think they are a few equipment upgrades away from going pro. I'll test the waters and adjust accordingly.

We will see how it goes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm kind of a joke

Last night I set my alarm for 6:30 this morning. I figure that gives me enough time to get ready, eat a bagel and ride my bike into work. So this morning the alarm goes off, I get up, look out the window to see no rain or snow, and a forecast of upper 40s to low 50s. The perfect day to start riding again after a much, much too long hiatus, right? The answer is yes, it was the perfect day. So what did I do?

I climbed back in bed and slept for an hour.

Granted, Morgan stared crying, so I fell asleep feeding him. And our kitchen sink is clogged, so Bruce is coming down with a drain snake at 5, so in order to be home when he gets there I would have had to leave work on my bike around 4. But those are justifications in the weeniest, laziest sense of the word.

Driving to the freeway with the window down made feel like enough of a tool that I decided I needed a shot of will power, so I started my lent a couple days early. I haven't developed any major vices since lent last year, so I'm giving up soda again. So far, so good. Water and grape juice all day today (which is big considering the fridge full of soda 20 feet from my desk).

I am also working on how to give up being lazy. Lent starts Ash Wednesday (the 25th, this year) and goes till Easter (April 12th, this year). Subtracting weekends, a conference in southern Utah, and accounting for my poor math skills, I'm left with around 30 work days. I don't think a goal of riding to work no less than 15 of those 30 days is impractical. Of course, I'll shoot for more, but let's honest, lazy isn't an easy habit to kick.

18 year old me would be bummed that my goal is 330 miles in 46 days, because that is around 7 miles a day. But 18 year old me can bite 25 year old me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


At first glance to day is going to be a relatively uneventful day. I woke up at the regular time, got Morgan ready for the day, got myself ready for the day, drove to work. Later I will see some friends, chat, then probably go to bed at a reasonable hour.

But looks can be deceiving, right? All of the regular thing that will happen today (I must say here that I truly enjoy the "regular things." I'm not doing too bad at all in the game of life) will be trumped by one plane taking off at 5:00 this evening.

See, Mike will be on it.

Now, as anybody who knows me knows, I'm not a mushy, sentimental, sad sack. But this is a big deal.

I have always had a cadre of friends. I'm not a social butterfly so this group usually consisted of a handful of people I consider close friends. However, I don't really think I've ever had a best friend, at least not in the standard elementary school definition of the phrase. Until I met Mike.

I will spare the details of our friend romance, but long story short -
I have lived in Mike's house
Been a witness at his wedding
He has been instrumental in me landing 3 of my last 4 jobs
We've built bikes
We got into fly fishing together
We've been elbow deep in deer guts
Camping buddies
Class mates multiple times
Graduated college
He is the other one in my profile picture
And on and on

Hell, he is Michael Charles Maahs and I am Christopher Mason Clifford (MCM and CMC), if that doesn't mean bro-ul mates, I dont' know what does.

He and his wife are off to New Zealand where he will start a Masters of Urban Design program. It is extremely exciting and he will do a great job. He understands what makes a city livable and he has a gift for visual representation.

So good luck Mike.