Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Catan Board is DONE!

Check out my home-made Settlers of Catan Board. I just finished painting it!

Friday, November 6, 2009



We're going to space, people! On my watch no less!

Responses to My Post

Thanks for all the responses. For those of you who don't read my blog via Facebook, I had some really nice comments from other racers in my community on my Facebook feed. Here's a few of them -- thanks for commenting guys (and girls).

Comment 1:
Yeah, you can't say that simply because he chose a drug that doesn't actually do anything makes it not as bad an offense. Tyler Hamilton received a life ban for using the same drug earlier in the year, and it's clear both knew it was illegal.

I don't like the pattern that's emerged when someone "apologizes" after getting caught, claiming up and down it was his first and only time and how sorry he is. I'm not saying Kenny ever did anything else, but in general, it seems a little overly coincidental that EVERYONE caught for doping was caught on his first and only attempt.

There's a big difference between being sorry for getting caught and being sorry simply for having acted. I see no reason to pat him on the back for "coming forward" in this way. Had he NOT been caught, but voluntarily came forward, and voluntarily stopped racing for some time, that would be a much different story.

11th hour repentance is not the same as having led a pious life even if the outcome looks the same on paper.

I'm sorry for him as an individual, but not at all as a competitor. At the most basic level racing is a huge privilege, and at another it's a source of income. What he did cuts to the core of both those systems.

Comment 2:

Kenny cheated. It was intentional, it was premeditated and the worst offense one can make in sport.

As an athlete and competitor i am offended that people would use the words "honorable" or "fair" when mentioning him. He lied and he cheated.

An apology AFTER one is caught doesn't make it any less offensive and can not give the real athletes he cheated the experience of victory that they deserve. Nor does it undo the damage to the reputation of a sport already severely tarnished.

I am outraged at his behavior and equally outraged that anyone (especially athletes or people involved in sport) would show public support of him. There are local athletes that race fair, with commitment and dedication who deserve that attention.

Comment 3:

I just think it is sad that he would feel the need to dope for masters track nats. In the grand scheme of life, it's really not that big of a deal. I guess people sometimes lose sight of the big picture... Sets a bad example that sport is only about winning. It would have been much more honorable if he went to track nats and did poorly. Isn't coaching rule #1 to focus on effort, not results? Or focus on what you experience, not so much what you accomplish?

Comment 4:
You guys are inspiring. There may be hope for the future of athletics after all.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Local Dopers

Well the big news around here is local racer Kenny Williams, and his recent doping confession:

From the WSBA listserve:
To my friends, clients, competitors and USA Cycling officials,

My name is Kenny Williams and I've been racing my bike for 20 years. In June 2009 I broke and had surgery on my left collarbone. In my haste to return to the top of my game I purchased DHEA at the local Drug Store, without consulting anyone. 6 weeks later at Masters Track Nationals in Colorado Springs I was tested positive for this illegal drug. I do not deny the results of the test.

I am ashamed that I’ve done something that hurts the sport of cycling and the community of people who have become the most important part of my life. I’m facing the very real possibility that I can try for the rest of my life to regain the confidence of the cycling community and my friends, but this cloud will be with me for the rest of my life. I am not asking for forgiveness, because I am admitting to my mistake and own all the horrible feelings that come with my bad decision. I am hoping for compassion and understanding. Compassion that I never intended to hurt anyone and understanding that if I could have one re-do in my life that this would be it. As I have done throughout my whole athletic life I will fight to re-gain my reputation as a fair man, tough competitor and drug-free cyclist. You can trust me when I say that I will never take a short-cut like this ever again.

Bike racing is one of the most important things in my life, second to my wife, whom I owe the biggest apology to for being so irresponsible. I am sorry Annette. I also feel horrible about the results I took away from the other athletes that I raced against. I am very sorry to have disappointed all of them. To my sponsors and my clients, I am sorry. To all in the cycling community and my friends, I am sorry.

Sincerely, Kenny Williams
The reaction thus far (at least over internet listserves) has been surprisingly supportive: "we know Kenny fucked-up, but he's still a great guy, and he's a valuable member of our community, and it took a lot of courage to publicly admit what he did, and DHEA isn't that much of a performance enhancer anyway, and poor poor Kenny Willaims," seems to be the predominant sentiment. Maybe that's all true -- and don't get me wrong, I'm glad Kenny came clean instead of lying like a lying liar; however, I am one of those racers who Kenny displaces from the podium when he wins*. I am also trying to make a living riding my bike. The rules governing doping are admittedly inconsistent and arbitrary, but that's not the point: they're the rules goddamit, and if we all follow the rules, the sport is interesting and fun, and fair enough that I can abide. Kenny knowingly cheated, and only admitted it after he got caught. Fuck that!

Am I disappointed in Kenny's actions? Of course -- he's lost a lot of my respect.

Am I glad he got caught, and hopeful he'll serve a ban from competition? Absolutely, that's what cheats deserve.

Will I race against him once his ban is over? Without complaint -- he's admitting his wrongdoing and is prepared to do his time. Once he's done I'll gladly line up next to Kenny Williams again (and with a great deal less resentment than I feel towards dopers who also happen to be lying liars).

I'm not through digesting this news, and I'm sure most of the Northwest cycling community isn't either, but I will say that it's not fun to be reminded of how immediate ethical problems in sport can be. Doping, as Kenny Williams proves, is not a problem confined to "the pros."

Call me naive, but I just want to put my head down and train hard, and prepare well, and want it badly, and have that be enough to be the best.

*Example: here's the finish photo from the Seward Park season closer (thanks, the weekend after Masters Track Nats. I remember being off the front for the last half-hour of the race, only to get passed by a hard-charging Kenny Williams in the final turn of the final lap.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen....

I present to you the 2010 Blue AC1, the bike of the Hagens Berman Elite team.
This should complement my (now fully built) Blue Triad nicely.

That's the new BB30 bottom bracket that thing's got there. As everyone knows, it's better when it's beefy.
Internal cable routing. Nice.
Aero seatpost. Very nice.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Long Overdue NASA Pictures

So roughly three weeks ago, I made a trip to Houston with my girlfriend to attend a wedding. While we were there, I had the luxury of going to the Johnson Space Center, and seeing all kinds of awesome NASA stuff. I won't explain how we got to do some of the things we got to do, but let's just say my tour of NASA included a lot of things your average tourist doesn't get to see.

For starters, here's part of the astronaut training facility. It has mock-ups of every module found in the ISS.
Here's a little model of the ISS. There are (and have been for years) human beings continuously living in space. We're really neat animals, no?
Here's the mock-up of the space shuttle.

I got to fly the simulator for the space shuttle. This was the same sim used to train astronauts for decades. Since it was built in the early 1980's, it is powered by a refrigerator-sized computer with about the same processing power as a cell phone -- however, according to the technician who fired the thing up for me, the physics of it are quite good (even if the graphics are a little wanting). I got to practice several simulated landings, some of which resulted in the simulated astronauts actually surviving.

Next we see one of the humongous Saturn V rockets that took astronauts to the moon. The sheer size of this monster was downright staggering, especially when compared to the payload; the little lunar module could have easily fit inside our living room, but it took a rocket longer than a football field to get it to the moon.

Then we went to old-school mission control -- yes, the one from Apollo 13.

And after that, we got to see new-school mission control for the ISS. Holy shit, how things have changed! I was blown away by how cool the place was -- it put every evil villain's command center that ever came out of Hollywood to absolute shame.
Notice how the number of screens each flight controller has to look at has tripled since the Apollo days. These people are some of the best multi-taskers I've ever seen. Not only does everyone pay attention to the big screens projected on the wall, as well as the six (or more) flat-panel screens at their desks, everyone is also listening to upwards of fifteen simultaneous voice conversations, or loops! See that orange and black screen to the flight controller's left in the picture below? That's the screen which controls the headsets, and determines which loops the flight controllers can hear. The guy working the ECLSS (Environmental Control and Life Support Systems) station is listening to about twenty conversations right now.

Note: while I didn't get to snap any pictures of this process, I did get to "blow something up." I got to fire off an NSA (NASA Standard Initiator), which resembles a spark-plug, except it's packed with high-powered explosives (basically the stuff that makes C-4 plastic explosives go boom, without the extra crap that makes it "plastic"). Those NSA's are used all throughout the space shuttle, 102 of them every launch to be precise, to preform all sorts of useful tasks. They deploy parachutes, separate rocket thrusters, blast off nose cones, and much much more. The amount of explosives in each NSA is pretty small, less than the volume of an eraser on the end of a pencil, but it made a much bigger bang than I was expecting, and I jumped pretty high once it detonated, much to the delight of the people watching (who, knowing much better what to expect, were all standing a solid ten feet further back from the explosion than I was). Next time, I'll be ready for it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The HB Newsletter I Put Out...

Here's the newsletter I made for our sponsors, and/or any interested parties. Click to enlarge. Oh -- and I in case you haven't heard (I haven't blogged in a while), I WILL be racing the 2010 season with Hagens Berman. FUCK YES.

Seattle Sure is Swell

So the longer I live here in Seattle, the more I like it. The funny thing is, when I say "Seattle" I'm almost always referring to Wallingford, my neighborhood. I can do pretty much anything I want here, and it's all within walking distance -- not only that, the longer I live here, the more swell stuff I find. The power of Seattle's neighborhoods is rather impressive -- each little piece of this city has its own identity, and provides most necessary services to its residents. The list of neighborhoods is long.

Here's that I found today -- the headquarters for Seattle Tilth. It's roughly five blocks from my house, and they have a humongous demonstration garden!

Also, check these blogs out for info about goings on that are spesific to Wallingford, or GreenLake (seeing as how I can claim I belong to either).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good God I Want To Feel Like This

My teammate Adrian just landed a job on the best domestic team in the country. His thoughts are both touching, and profound. Read here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

So This is Really Exciting

Good things have been happening in the life of GliderBison.

The 2009 road season is in the books. I'm happy. Sure it could have been better, and it played out different than I expected, but hell -- it was a good year for me, and a great year for the team. As usual, the end of a road season is a good opportunity for reflection: what went well? what could I have done better? what do I want from this sport and did I get it?

It's also a good opportunity to re-evaluate for next year: where should cycling fit into my life? how much more, or how much less of myself should I give to this activity? I hit some pretty low lows this year, and if I keep doing this, I need to do a better job of predicting and then mitigating those valleys that come in between the peaks. Very few things feel worse than the discord found in a cyclist who hates racing his bike.

Here's what I've learned (or in some cases relearned):

  • Stability is a Good Thing: The stresses of racing are many and varied. Obviously the racing itself is taxing physically, but the travel, the prolonged exposure to teammates, and the disrupted routine are not to be underestimated. The more stable, restful, and relaxing I can make my life in-between races, the better.
  • Steady Income is a Good Thing: Racing is expensive. When in a financial pinch I find it easy to rationalize going without certain things. This is not a good approach. Racing on low-quality or worn-out parts is not a good idea -- the peace of mind that comes with racing on new, grippy tires is more than worth the day's labor it took to earn them.
  • Balance is a Good Thing: All work and no play makes Jake a dull boy. Likewise, all bikes and no ______ [insert enjoyable activity] makes Sam a dull boy too.
  • Everything is Secondary to the Mental Component. This isn't a chicken and the egg problem; I can do a lot with bad legs, I can often recover from bad luck, I can even perform well without the best preparation -- but without the right mindset, I shouldn't even kit up. I'm like the horse that can be lead to water, but can't be made to drink.If I don't want to be in that race, mark my words, I'll find a way to take myself out of it.

In other news, Cycle University is starting it's Fall InCycle session soon, and that's good news for me. Once things get rolling, I should be teaching six sessions per week. Getting paid to help myself and others get faster on a bike? Sounds too good to be true!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Match Made in Heaven

The author of this webcomic (click the comic to read it all):

Should meet the author of this song:

HTML - The Hot Toddies

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mario Kart Love Song

This should please my friends over at TheMonstro, many of whom spent more time playing Mario Kart in college than they actually college. Now all this guy would have to do is come out with a Super Smash Bros. song.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So StarCrossed Happened.......

Friday, September 18, 2009

How Do I KNOW It's The Off Season???

Here's how:

Top Three Pennsylvania Dutch Desserts

So our time in Souderton, PA was a grand one. We raced an epic race, we stayed with a wonderful couple of Pennsylvania natives, and we were exposed to several traditional Pennsylvania Dutch desserts. In fact, we were exposed to so much of these glorious confections, I now consider myself and expert. Thus, in no particular order, I give you:


This molasses-based concoction is utterly delectable. Apparently, shoo-fly pie was named so due to its ability to attract flies when placed on an open window-sill in order to cool after baking. While I find this to be a trait held by just about any pie worth its crust, the name is catchy nonetheless, no? The pie consists of a traditional pie crust, a gooey molasses bottom layer, topped with a lighter molasses based cake, and covered in graham cracker crumbs.

A funny cake was more discovered than it was invented. Apparently, as legend goes, someone wanted to make a cake with chocolate on top, so they took some vanilla cake batter and put chocolate on top -- but after they baked LOW AND BEHOLD, THE CHOCOLATE SUNK THROUGH THE CAKE, FORMING A LAYER BENEATH THE CAKE BATTER!!! This was found to be so humorous (chocolate sinking through cake batter? What a knee-slapper, huh?) that they named it the Funny Cake Pie. It's got gooey chocolate on the bottom, vanilla cake on top, and a glaze of, you guessed it, more chocolate.


This one is pretty self explanatory: it's a fruit pie made with a ground cherries, a local staple. Ground cherries are about the size of large blueberries, they grow on the ground, and come wrapped in a thin papery husk. They taste a lot like grapes, and have a texture similar to a tomatillo (lots of tiny seeds, but rather juicy).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Big Big Ouch

Today Krogg have big big ouch from team time trial. Adrian much stronger caveman, and for first time in Krogg's life, Krogg on the receiving end of stronger riders in TTT. We start good, but before long, we down to only three riders -- minimum number for finish today -- oh no....Krogg start to have bad pain in legs, ouch ouch ouch! ADRIAN, YOU GO TO FAST OUCH!!!!! SLOW DOWN PLEASE HOLYSHITTHISISWAYTOOFAST

Then Krogg remember all those times in college when he smash teammates legs into pulp in TTT and have no mercy -- for all those times, Krogg now understand receiving end of this scenario.

Adrian once again have good race report -- him deserve all camera time he get.

Also, interested parties can see re-cast of race at this place.

UPDATE: apparently we got 6th place. not bad. I know their A-squads are all at Missouri, but it still feels good to stick it to teams like OUCH and Kelly.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We are out at Univest. Univest is awesome, and will be awesome to watch. Universal Sports is going to show us racing tomorrow. It will be streaming live on starting around 11 AM Eastern Time (our start time is roughly 11:40 AM). Go to the website, AND FUCKING WATCH US ON TV, OK?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Krogg Find New York City Magical City of Wonders....

Krogg don't know how exactly he wind up in New York City, but holy mastodon, this one crazy place.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Here's Adrian's final report from GMSR. I didn't do very well, but gosh, it was fun, and Burlington is awesome. That's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our Homestay in Vermont

We're building up quite the reputation out here -- and between how we're riding, and what we've been driving around to the races, we deserve one!

Also, here's Adrian's recap from the stage:
The good news: turns out I got the jersey yesterday! I tied Vaillancourt for the GC but going back to the prologue I had the lead by about 3 tenths of a second. A little bummed to have missed out on a podium presentation (they didn't do GC until after tearing down the race), but psyched to be the shirt.

The bad news: wearing the jersey pretty much marked me out of the race today. It was another case of faux-GC, where somehow everyone just watched what I was doing and seemed to ignore all the guys who were nominally behind in time, had full teams, and had a much better shot of placing.

We rode a good race though. Sam bridged into a big early move just before the first major climb, and I watched the other GC guys back in the field. The move was really big and not working too well, but with nearly every team represented it neutralized the race. I wound up doing a little chasing on the descent from the first climb just to keep the pace up, then Sam sat up out of the break to help. He came back right before the few miles of dirt road and KILLED it, basically single-handedly towing the field up to the move. He got lots of compliments from the chuckleheads in the field.

Going into the final climb it was all together and I marked a few moves on the lower slopes. Over the first summit Driscoll attacked and one of his teammates and Vaillancourt, both on his wheel, threw out the parachutes. Somehow no one else in the 30-40 man field wanted to do anything, so I wound up having to chase on the flat/descent going into the final 5km climb. Again, a case of everyone watching the race ride away from them just because of the dumb jersey. I actually had a gap for a mile or so because guys were racing so negatively they let me ride right off, but it wasn't enough to stick and I was wasting energy in no-man's land.

I wasn't feeling stellar at that point and didn't particularly fancy my chances on the steep, pitchy final climb. I definitely didn't give up and ride it in, but just paced it all the way to the top and focused on limiting my losses more than on trying to follow accelerations.

No results yet, but I definitely lost the jersey and fell pretty significantly on GC. Obviously not psyched about that, but I could see it coming, and we rode a very solid, respectable race in defense of the lead. I'll look over the results and figure out whether it's worth going for time bonuses in tomorrow's crit to move up on GC. If so, there are three time bonus sprints plus the finish, altogether worth around 40sec. If the overall is well set I'll just go for the stage and primes. Regardless, after two podiums, a day in yellow, and making it through today without crashing, I can come away satisfied with the weekend.

I haven't really figured out what happened in the 2's race, sounds like it was a pretty tough day with lots of cramping to go around. I'm pretty sure both Bing and Stoney were in the top-20 though? Solid.