Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't you just HATE it when that happens?

I'd say there are quite a few motivators for staying reasonably fit. Better health, higher energy levels, more enjoyment out of life, etc. One of the often overlooked benefits of staying fit is being able to see your junk when your underwear starts to cause, um, "chaffing." Allow me to explain.

A dude named Al went on a trip to Hawaii with his wife back in 2007. This was a very big deal, so his sweet wife purchased a new pair of Hanes underwear for the trip. One thing lead to another (nope, the new briefs didn't lead to that), and he ended up in court, suing Hanes. I'll let the court document take over from here... but before I do, you can see the full case right here, in case you think I'm pulling your leg.
Plaintiff testified he believed sand that he picked up in his swim trunks while Enjoying the Hawaiian surf had irritated his penis. Over the next few days he and his wife "walked all over the place" until his condition worsened to the point that he "could hardly walk." Plaintiff testified his inability to walk was caused by defendant's defective manufacturing of his underwear which caused his "fly" to gap open . . . "and acted like a sand belt on my privates."

While most dudes would inspect their junk upon noticing soreness, poor Al never did, but for good reason:

He testified he is a "belly-man" and his "weight" prevents him from looking down and seeing his penis. He further testified he declined to use the hotel mirror to view the "injury" because that is "not something he would do." He also testified he did not ask his wife to examine his penis because he would never ask her to do such a thing."

I really can't comment on Big Al's statements in anyway without this post turning into potty humor (oops, a little too late for that). I will mention that somewhat ironically, Al won his trip to Hawaii as a reward for selling more than $20,000.00 of diet products. He's obviously quite the salesman, if you think about it.

Tragically, Al didn't prevail in his suit against Hanes. But it wasn't a total loss for him: he was allowed to keep the video of the injury on the Internet because "the court does not have jurisdiction to address this request."

So just to clarify - checking out the injury in the mirror or asking his wife to sneak a peek is "not something he would do", but posting a video of the injury on the Internet? TOTALLY OKAY!

So, as with many of my posts that are way out in left field, we are left with the question: What does all of this have to do with Shammy Time? Simple. Riding your bike a couple times a week will help keep your line of sight to your junk unobstructed, which will go a long way toward ensuring that you don't become another Hanes travesty.

Oh, and one more thing that is directly related to "shammies." My biggest fear about Rick's Helloween ride is not that I'll see Rick in a giant girl scout uniform. It's that I'll end up having to sue the manufacturer of my costume for causing unwanted "chaffing." You better believe I'll be wearing a shammy under my costume after reading this case.

Friday, October 23, 2009

5 and Under Singlespeed

The little misses has been wanting to race since long before the day she learned to ride on two wheels, so Saturday was finally the big day. Here she is with her little buddy at the start line:

She's ready to tackle the barriers, but needs some work on her remounts:
Motoring through the rough stuff:

This lap took the men's Bs about 7 minutes or so. This 5 year old did it in about 6. Or maybe it was closer to 46. To her credit, she stuck with it and came through with a big time finish:
After finishing, she asked if she won. "Um, I think you won the 5 and under singlespeed Category." She was pretty stoked.

Oh, and if I need to buy a $10 number plate and $8 for my 5 year old to race, at least hand out a ribbon or something. I realize that the manpower and resources at the CX races is pretty limited, but even handing a ribbon to each kid as they finish would make their day.

Great. I'm officially one of those parents. You know, the kind who tells their kids they won even when they didn't. The kind that rewards their kids with mediocrity. And whose kids grow up, enter the real world and wonder why people suddenly expect them to earn their keep, and then suffer from low self esteem because they come to the realization that they really aren't the best at everything they do, despite what their parent/teachers told them. But I still want my kid's ribbon, dang it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

24 Hours of Moab, 2009

Before we get started, allow me to introduce you to our 24 Hours of Moab team. First is our team Captain, fearless leader, and van driver, Jesse Sorenson, with his pain-cave face on:

Next is Tim Hodnett, our "fast guy", who turned a 1:06 on his first lap. Every team should have at least one fast guy. We had exactly one.

Here is our celebrity, "Press VIP", and face of the team, Adam Lisonbee. Maybe you've heard of him:

Finally, the Madder Doggers felt like they needed to bring in a really fast ringer from the outside to complete the team. Since they couldn't find one, they got me instead:

The race itself was awesome, but the team camp was really the icing on the cake. Organizational whiz Keith Payne (don't even bother, he never updates anyway), went all out this year, and I have no doubt that we had the best camp in the entire tent city. We had a full-time cook (thanks Abby), a full-time mechanic (thanks Brian... I think), charging stations, a warming tent, and even labeled plastic cups. He really thought of everything. And in case you haven't heard, Keith really sets the standard for team managers, and works non-stop to acquire sponsors and other benefits for his team.

For strategy reasons, most teams pick the fastest guy to do the run. But with the Madder Doggers, the tradition is that the rookie runs, so I was up. Lining up with 300 other racers, all chomping at the bit is an experience that everyone should try at least once. I was lined up next to Mr. Sabrosa Jon, who accurately described the crowd as one big cluster****.

****Jon was sporting his typical hotrod jumpsuit, as can be seen here.

The first lap was absolute chaos, and therefore, one of the most fun experiences I've had on a bike. I wanted to go out on the run fast enough that I'd have a descent position on the bike, but not so fast that I'd completely blow up. Considering that I must be the world's worst runner, I think I ended up up closer to the blowing-up side of things, without gaining the benefit of a great position on the bike.

My legs felt like they were filled with lead after the run, but the adrenaline and the desire not to get passed kept me going. The hardest part about that first lap is deciding whether the extra effort to leave the good line in order to pass is worth it, especially since there was usually a train of 10 riders in front of and behind you, so there was no telling how long you'd be stuck in the sand and rough rock.

At the end of the first lap, I decided to sacrifice a couple of seconds in order to take my bike off of a sweet jump that we built in front of our campsite. The reports vary, but it sounds like I got somewhere between 4-5 feet of air, and pulled off a no-footed 360 (extra points for difficulty with clipless pedals). Unfortunately, Kris' picture was taken just before I executed my aerial maneuver:

I came in from lap one just under the time I had hoped for, so I was happy. And then Adam and Tim went on to demolish my time. They were both on fire. My second lap went pretty good as well, only dropping about a minute from my first lap.

Lap 3 was my first night lap, starting at 10pm. My light setup worked awesome, and I was able to ride everything I rode during the day. I was really having a blast riding the course at night, and I felt like I was going to be within a couple minutes of my first two lap times. And then, after hiking down into nose-dive, my legs started cramping up. Both legs, calves and quads, were completely locked up. I spent a few minutes down in nose-dive gully trying to stretch them out. There were a couple of kids camping nearby who asked if I needed any help. I told them to carry me and my bike out of the gully, but they didn't oblige.

Once I finally got back on my bike, everything was fine. I blame the cramping on the running at the beginning, but Karl says I'm being a baby about it. He's probably right.

During the break between laps 3 and 4 I loaded up with electrolytes to help with the cramping. I think it worked, but it also kept me awake the rest of the night. Lap 4 was a tough one for me. We had a good lead, I hadn't slept a wink, and it was colder than I had dressed for, so I lacked motivation. My headlamp went out (yes, that one), so I was only left with the bar light. I pretty much soft pedaled the lap without incident, and figured at that point of the race, the main goal was to keep the rubber side down and not get any flats, so it was a success.

I finally got about 45-50 minutes of sleep between laps 4 and 5, which made a world of difference. Riding in the daylight was soooo nice, and I felt like a million bucks. My lap time wasn't spectacular, but the other guys were still riding strong so we were able to hold onto the lead.

I feel lucky to have been on this team this year. We had one really fast guy and 3 other guys who were consistent enough to hold off the other teams. I heard a lot of complaints about the course being lame, but I'm not sure where those complaints come from. The course was perfect for a big race, with plenty of technical climbs and descents to keep things interesting. The entire experience is crazy, from the run at the beginning to looking down on a glowing tent city at 4am in the middle of the desert. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cactus and Snakes

I wish I were reporting on a visit to Interbike from a few weeks back, or maybe Cross Vegas (can hacks like me even race in that race?), but alas, I was in Vegas for a riveting work-related conference instead, and missed Interbike altogether. And unlike last year's conference, I didn't even get invited to a strip club in attempt to land my company as a client.

I did, however, have a few experiences worth remembering. I headed out for a few rides in the Red Rock/Cottonwood area again, which is a great series of trails. Except for the fact that you can't cut corners quite the same way you can around here without risking some serious repercussions. I thought my shins were pretty well covered in callouses from riding the overgrown Timp Foothill Trails this year, but they were no match for this bad boy, which was strategically placed on the inside edge of one of the many fast corners:

The damage may look minor in this picture, but these little spines were rock-hard and were embedded almost an inch into my leg.
And to top it off, each of these needles was barbed. So for the few of you out there who actually have hair on your legs, imagine grabbing a 1 inch by 1 inch patch of leg hair, yanking it out, and then repeating about 20 times. That's basically what it felt like to remove these cactus needles. As if the pain of colliding with the cactus wasn't enough.

A bit later I hopped over this little dude who was strung-out across the trail. I think it's a bull snake, but I'm no expert.

He put on a pretty good show when I came back to check him out. Crank up the volume and listen to him hiss at me:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dawn Patrol, Anyone?

I think there's enough snow to get a few turns in somewhere up there...

or not.

I'm ready for the snow, but I'm not so sure about the 4am wakeup calls.