Saturday, February 28, 2009


I've always been a pretty independent operator.  I'm comfortable sitting alone in a cafe watching the World.  I don't mind silence.  I can entertain myself quite nicely, thank you.

However, we all need companionship.  Although I've been surrounded by people, I've felt alone for the past 6 weeks.  I was missing the sense of connection that I find when I share workouts with others.

Today, I awoke to a clear sky for the first time since arriving.  The weather was warming up and I even had a group to run with.  I think today signaled a sea-change for my time here as I finally began feeling connected with like souls.
The group of us ran 12 miles (4 longer than my goal, but I was just so happy meeting other athletes).  This was one of the places along the trail.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gossip Girl...

The new wind trainer vice...

From the makers of the O.C. comes the O.C. in NYC...

Simple vices for a simple man:-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A weekend dedicated to German cars...

I'd be lying if I claimed to be a "car guy."  In truth, I view most cars as transportation.  However, I admit to a special fascination with German cars.  Why?  I think it's because they are frequently the best combination of function and form.

This weekend proved particularly interesting from that perspective.  

Last night, I had the great fortune of having dinner with Grant Larson.  Grant is a Lead Designer at Porsche (notably, a key driver of the original Boxster in 1993 and the new Panamera).  His graciousness and willingness to spend an evening sharing thoughts about cars was fascinating.

Today, I visited the Mercedes-Benz Museum.  It's definitely worth a visit if one is passing through Stuttgart.

Of course, I became a much bigger fan of Mercedes-Benz when I learned they made a significant number of bicycles in the 1920s.

Wilhelm had it right.  Cars (at least those driven by the Otto-Cycle) will prove transitory... Just wait and see.  However, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Engineers at Porsche and M-B will have the ability to adapt.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I like Navy Galley food...

Gravy, rice, mystery meats... But, it always fills you up and tastes good.

For $4.25, I can have a complete lunch and then take it easy at dinner since I'm a lazy cook.

My first group run is scheduled for noon tomorrow.  It should hurt.  I'll be nursing the Fuel Belt the whole time...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It finally arrived!!!

For 3 months, I haven't had the ability to ride with any consistency.  Illness, moving to Europe, waiting for my bike, a bunch of snowfall after my bikes arrived, and then waiting for my Tacx trainer conspired to make me a real dough-boy.
I was thrilled to receive my Tacx Satori Trainer in the mail today.  Low-RPM/High Power resistance, stable base, reasonable price, all the accessories you could possibly need (towel, sweat guard, bottle, carrying bag, headband, and wristbands), and it's ORANGE!!!
Now, I have no excuses.  7 weeks until the Tour of Flanders ride and I need to get after it... Fortunately, I've got the right tools for the job now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lost and cold...

But, having a great time riding.  My 2:30 ride ended up lasting 4:15.  Fingers were pretty frozen, but my HUP clothing and lots of climbing kept the rest of me pretty comfortable.  

I had a nice bowl of Clam Chowder when I got home and all is well.  I'll sleep like a baby tonight.


Despite snow and bitter cold, John, Hector and I hit the road for Prague this past weekend.  I'd been hearing about Prague since I lived in France in 1992, but had never visited.  I should have visited sooner.

I look forward to returning later in the year when I have more time and it isn't bitter cold.
Just a few people participating in Carnivale.
The entrance to the Old Bridge at night.
The Cathedral at the Castle.

I look like the Michelin-Man because I'm wearing 5 layers of clothing... I can't imagine what the guys standing watch could do to stay warm.  

Monday, February 9, 2009

Just another 900 year old walled city with a Cathedral...

Just kidding... I drove to Rothenburg with friends (John and Hector) on Saturday... The city was in great condition.  We ate treats (does EVERY European city have a special fat-pill to tempt me?).  We visited the prison/torture museum.  We walked the historic wall.

The final frontier...

I worked with a lot of "rocket scientists" at Intel Corporation, but I'd never previously met an actual Astronaut... Until last Thursday.

Better yet, SHE'S A NAVY DIVER!  HooYah Deep Sea!!!

Yes, she did lose her tools in space, but she's also a brilliant MIT graduate, mother, Navy Officer, and great public speaker.  It was truly an honor to have a few minutes to share with one of America's rare breed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The new apartment

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One of my favorite images from the weekend...

Katie Compton in the lead on lap 2...

We've come a long way when 3rd place at Worlds is a "disappointment" for American cycling...  Katie made us proud with her great season and attitude.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cyclocross World Championships...

More pictures can be seen here:

Plan-less adventure... Sometimes things just work out.

The Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, NL was the first road-trip for me and the Beamer.  With a can of Red Bull, 150 Euros, and 600km of driving; I hopped in the car Saturday afternoon with little else in terms of planning.

However, sometimes things just workout.  I arrived in Holland at a small town around 5km from Hoogerheide at 2200 hrs. and stopped at the first hotel I found.  Lucky for me, the Hotel Dekker had one room available.  Even better was that it was the hotel for the Belgian, French, Luxembourg, and Japanese Teams.  

Noticing some activity across the street, I accidentally stumbled upon "Carnivale" which is essentially a BIG PARTY for the Dutch who live "south of the river."  With dancing, drinking, and lots of people, it was great fun.  The Dutch I've met have consistently been amongst the friendliest people in the World.

With little sleep, I made my way to the race on Sunday... And promptly ran into friends from Oregon and teammates from around the U.S.  We caught up, cheered hard, ate (lots), and enjoyed some great racing on a cold day.