A Weekend With Grady

gwilsonSICKI have no idea why, but for years I have been saying to anyone that will listen (no one) that Grady Wilson from the old 70’s NBC TV show Sanford & Son is what the flu, head cold or similar ailment would look like if it took human form. I say that with not one ounce of disrespect to the late Whitman Mayo who portrayed him, but a fact’s a fact. Or at least an outlandish proclamation is one oddball’s point of view.

I bring all this up for a reason, that reason being that early Friday evening as I sat in the corner of a local junior high gymnasium watching B-Man take part in some winter soccer drills, I knew that Mr. Wilson was about to pay me a visit. In other words, I knew that illness was setting in.

Shit.

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A Small Mental Victory Over Winter

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Since Tuesday’s 30+ mile per hour wind gusts and -25˚ wind chills moved on, we here in central Michigan have been treated to a few days of brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Of course the lack of cloud cover also means that temperatures are struggling to get out of the single digits until well after lunch. Unfortunately, my time slot to ride is around 10 a.m., when the thermometer is grunting, groaning and moaning to get above zero.

Because of those high winds earlier in the week and the frigid temps that followed, I spent the first three days of this week hunkered down in the Stankment™ putting in miles running on the treadmill and riding the trainer. You would think that after forty-three years of living in the cold winter climates of Pennsylvania and Michigan I would be used to the cold and snow and would have learned to love it. Nope.

Like many of my cycling friends in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota I try my best to be active through it, but unlike many of them, I always fail to embrace or love the winter. For me the result is always the same; I tolerate winter and merely try to survive it with my mind and liver still functioning properly and my pant size unchanged come spring.

But enough of that winter hating hyperbole, lets’ get to the winter riding hyperbole…

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Rubber, Beans, Balls & Whore’s Chicken

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I took delivery of some new rubber today in the form of the WTB Nano TCS 2.1. I picked up the 700 x 40 version of the tires for the Jake The Snake late last fall and really liked the way they rolled on Michiganderburgh’s shit pavement, dirt and gravel roads. Sadly, I am less and less enamored with using a that cross bike for dirt road and gravel riding/racing and have been turning to my 2010 Salsa El Mariachi 99% of the time. So I decided to pick up some tubeless ready Nanos for the coming season of shit road riding. The wider girth and tubeless compatibility should be just what I am looking for. Hopefully they will be just as at ease on  [dry] Michigan singletrack for days when I want to roll the hardtail.

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Finding Blog Maturity (Sort Of)

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Earlier today I had the idea to take a look back at one of my early endurance mountain bike races and rewrite the race report from my current perspective to see how different I might write it now, nine or ten years removed. I still plan on doing that in the near future, but as I read over some of those old posts on the Soiled Chamois v.1 blog I found myself sidetracked with some mild embarrassment and distaste for the way I wrote and approached blogging writing back then (mostly in the ’05 to ’08 era).

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At Long Last

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Like my grandmother** (God rest her soul) used to say, “Jason, no matter how much of a disgusting, big, fat, lazy, good for nothing douche bag you are, something good will happen sooner or later.” I guess she was sort of right, because after two weeks of failed attempts at riding outside, I FINALLY got out for a ride on Saturday. It was nothing great; a short 20 mile ride on dirt roads that alternated between snowpack, solid, bone breaking ice and bare dirt. Still, I was out riding shortly following one of the coldest spells of the year and I have to say, after temps that were in the -25 degree range, 30 degrees in the sun felt like a warm, heroine enema covered in chocolate and espresso, scented with that Victoria’s Secret perfume that strippers wear. Mmmmm(ish)…

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Tony’s Ride

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I didn’t ride today. Or yesterday, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that, or the day before that. The day before THAT I did though.

Sweet Jesus it’s been two weeks since I rode my bike outside!!

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A Plan

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It’s been a while since I had a plan or a goal when it comes to my riding and/or racing. The last time I had a plan was probably back in 2011. We moved to Michigan in the fall of 2010 and my goal for the coming season was simply to race as much as I could so I could get a read on the scene, the riding and the trails. And that’s what I did…

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Sicily, Tuna & Pasta

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I briefly mentioned in the opening paragraph of my last blog post that I made baked ziti for Wifey on Saturday to celebrate Valentine’s Day, what I didn’t mention was that while Wifey loved it, I wasn’t thrilled with it. For some reason I love Italian food but anytime I use red sauce I am left wishing I had made something else [also mentioned in the post Crush Pasta IV]. Sadly, my Valentine’s ziti was no different and I found it a sort of just “there.”

Whenever I feel I could have done a better job on a meal, especially something as simple as baked ziti, I try to make up for it as soon as possible. And that’s what I did today, poo-pooing Americanized Italian comfort food and embracing the Mediterranean flavors of Sicily.

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I’m NOT homesick!

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I woke up today around 8 a.m. when Wifey came in the bedroom to fetch her eye glasses. I assumed she had been by my side all night, but it turns out she fled the room at some point, claiming that it got “too hot” in the bedroom. Since it was roughly -15˚ outside, I doubt that was true and this was most likely her way of telling me that the baked ziti I made for our Valentine’s Day celebration had taken the form of a vile, warm, humid gaseous cloud of digested red wine, garlic and sausage and had exited my flabby rears way too much though the night and had caused her to seek refuge elsewhere. Much apologies to my ginger haired, bosomy Valentine of what is now 20 years. You deserve better…much, much better. But I’m sure you know that already.

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