Who the Hell is maadjurguer?

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I like to ski, mountain bike, drink beer, cook and listen to any jam band I can get my hands on; all while making a complete ass of myself. Hopefully this catharsis is as interesting to others as it is to me.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I flatted....it turned

It's never fun, especially on mile 2. It ruins the flow....and when you have to get back home to go to work, it just plain sucks. It sucks because the days are getting shorter and the temps are coming down. Less time to enjoy the daylight before work, less time to turn the crank on the bike. Of course I had a spare tube and I was back on the saddle, but that's not the point. I guess I let myself get in a hurry and these days, that's never good....especially on the bike where we're supposed to let it all ride out. Even though I picked up the mountain bike thing for the 1st time back in April, I still don't instinctively brake the way I should. I have to constantly remind myself to go easy on the front brake, especially when descending...especially when it get's technical....especially when I'm descending a technical switchback. There were warning signs and near misses leading up to it. I told my self to go easy on the front and let it roll minutes before it happened....but the instinct was not there.

Taking a week off usually lets this slip to the back of my mind instead of right in front where it should be. It takes a ride like this morning to remind me of this. I did not hurt myself, but almost went OTB; performing a delicate endo before shifting my weight back and releasing the front brake to resume the descent. As if to reinforce the lesson which I was unconsciously being obdurate about, I stalled a few times on the switchbacks, flopping over; resulting in nothing more than hurt pride and a sore hand. It just goes to show that some days you can send anything out here and other days the trail sends you.

The irony is that after I repaired the flat and cleaned a tricky climb that I sometimes dab on, I was feeling pretty good and had a choice. I could continue on and push it, or I could return the way I came; building on yesterday's 1st ride back in a week for my all out push back to 100% on Friday. It's obvious what I chose. However lessons were learned and the catalog of experiences continues to grow, strengthening my skills. It still amazes me how just 7 days, one tiny week without riding for me; can reverse skills gained through repetition in an equally small time frame.

I guess this is to be expected as I close out my 6th month on the bike. I'm not sure what the next 6 months will look like. Part of those months, I'll be on my skis and not on the bike. Whole weekends will stretch by without even a glance from me at my bike, sitting in it's stand, watching me back the truck out out of the garage only to return late at night exhausted with my skis. With weekends, holidays and powder-days consumed by a different kind of turn; the source of my enjoyment these past 6 months will be relegated to 2nd place. But I'll still have these short rides squeezed in between sleep and work to keep me anchored. And I imagine without the constant lessons learned day in and day out on the bike, each ride I manage to squeeze in will take on an even more important role in lesson building; some harder than others.

But as the seasons turn, and my mode of turn changes from rubber on dirt into p-tex on snow; I'll constantly be reminded of the lessons I'm learning as much as the lessons I'm not. I realized today while I was turning the crank that the turns themselves are the lessons we learn, regardless of where, what or how they turn us. The turns I was not able to make on a desert switchback today are as important as the turns I will make above an exposed icy traverse sometime this winter. I don't know how I'll be making my turns in the next 6 months, but find solace in the realization that regardless of the mode or style of the turn, what's really turning is me.

Not a big day, but sometimes the journey is the answer; not the gain.
9 miles, 925 ft of elevation gain

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stay thirsty my friends

The cut is healing up on my hand thanks to some medical super glue. I was able to take my first ride in 10 days today and it felt pretty good. I took it easy though since I've noticed it takes my knees (IT band) a while to get back into the groove. Plenty of stretching and low-angle rides for me until I get things springy again. Hopefully I will be ready to hammer down on a long day this Friday since it is my off-day. Taking a week off due to an injury sometimes does more damage than good. I'm also looking forward to getting back to the weights since I was unable to do anything to include a simple push up as long as the gash kept splitting.

On the OU-texas front, Bevo shipped today and is arriving on Wednesday. I ordered one extra rack for use during some preliminary tests based upon two different theories as to how to tenderize this tough cut of meat with a marinade. The back ribs are generally lean and tough on a corn-fed cow...so the Longhorn being extremely lean will provide for an even tougher back rib. I'll give a full after-action report this weekend, but I will say one marinade we will test with is a live-culture yogurt and buttermilk marinade, the other will use Dr. Pepper. Obviously one approach is the bio approach utilizing enzymes to break down the meat; the other is the chem approach to use the acidity to break down the meat. The rest of the preparation will be the same (Tuck Fexas rub, slow and low with mesquite smoke). I also have the Oklahoma grown pecans arriving on Thursday as well as a gallon of Jakes Rib sauce from none other than.....Jakes Rib in Chickasha, OK. Lastly, Dr. Sooner down the street has generously paid for and ordered a keg which we will be picking up early the morning of Friday the 10th. I guess I could also mention that OU is now in the #1 spot thanks to some horrible performances by USC, Florida, Georgia and a bunch of other teams which should not have lost...but it's all moot until we send Bevo packin.

And last but not least: Not to be outdone by himself, Dr. Sooner is not only providing the beer, he has also arranged for a special guest appearance by Billy Sims. Stay thirsty my friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pinata Help

I'm back from my trip and a little frazzled. No riding and no lifting due to the hand have left me feeling pretty lame. I tried a few pushups this morning, but the wound kept ripping...so I'm gonna have to lay off of it. So, given this; I thought I would solicit your help in generating some ideas as to what to do with this beast shown on the left. I've ordered an orange cow pinata that looks a lot like Bevo for the dance down in Dallas coming up here in a few weekends. The question I have for you intrepid folks is twofold: 1) What to fill the pinata with and, 2) What sick twisted game can we play with it other than the standard blindfold, bat and "Oh, the suspense, the drama, will she hit it, oh god, there goes the glass window".

Please consider the following: I have already thought hard on filling it with beer, our demographic for the festivities will be noticebly older (>30 annum), we will most likely be inebriated.

First of all, the physical constraints prohibit me from stuffing this full of canned or bottle beer for the 2009 OU-texas game. Given that particle physicists are STILL searching for the Higgs Boson....all because some jackass at CERN gassed up the LHC a little too fast by releasing a tonne of liquid helium which melted down a few superconducting coils....we will have to cancel the beer filled pinata for the 2009 OU-texas game. Oh, and regarding the amount of helium released; you saw it right folks...a tonne...not a ton....a tonne. I had high hopes that when they fired up the Large Hadron Collider prior to OU-texas, we would be well on our way to enabling the rollout of a beer filled pinata, but alas; it goes to show you that one can never trust a room full of multi-national, post-graduate and distinguished members of the Max Planck Technical Staff with a 6.4 Billion euro piece of equipment. I guarantee you this would not have happened had you employed a few Geologists on hand! Ohh...and by the way...those superconducting coils that are now melted down...that's gonna cost another 120 Million euro.

Secondly, the demographics of the celebration will be a little old for the whole, "Oh whoopy"....candy is falling from the sky trick. Surely there must be something we can stuff in the pinata which is much more age appropriate than a bunch of high-fructose pills. Again....get over it.....we just can't put beer in there.

Lastly, I'd like to see if we can contrive a different game than the traditional, blindfolded whack-a-mole exercise. Granted, we will have been up since 0-dark-thirty drinking and the thought of blindfolding any of us with a Wiffle-ball bat in hand is pretty funny....I think we can make it even funnier. Golf clubs, chainsaws, shiv's made out of toilet paper...all fair game. Also consider sick and twisted rules like running a 40-yrd dash with your left and right shoes switched before running through a flaming hoop....and then having to smash the pinata. Before you all get up in arms about actually having to run 40 grueling yards all by yourselves....I would propose a 10x4 relay with drink stops in between each relay.

So....let the creative juices flow. Just remember: No beer in the pinata, what to put in the pinata (other than beer), and how to kill the pinata...er...bevo. Let the games begin.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Off to DC

I have a business trip to DC for a few days and have arrived here on Sunday afternoon for an early start on Monday. On the last day of summer in NoVa, we decide to take a trip to our favorite brewery, Old Dominion; only to discover that they've been bought by Capitol Brewery and have closed down the brew pub in Sterling.....bummer. On to Sweetwater for their own beer, which is pretty good...but not as good as Old Dominion's. On waking up monday morning, 545 DC time....245 AZ time....I discover that my meeting is not until 100pm DC time. Ughhhhhhh. On the good news front, the new Maadjurguer mobile has left the factory in Ingolstadt and will be arriving via slow boat on 10/20. More on that later.

Friday, September 19, 2008

There's little white pebbles in my wound...wait, those aren't pebbles

It's always funny to see one's fat cells after a long hiatus. At first, your curiosity draws you in. For being fat....they're awfully firm. I mean, when you poke at them; you'd expect to get some jiggly action, but instead, they're kinda like tapioca colored, small ball bearings. I guess the jiggly action only comes into play when you have a lot of those tapioca colored small ball bearings all moving together.

Which gets me to my post...went for a ride on my Friday off, and now I'm drinking a beer and listening to some Bitches Brew to mellow out the reason I came to view my fat cells for the first time in a long while...fat cells which had been torn out of my palm, just hanging there. I won't bore you with the details...long story short; I went down at about mile 15, I went down hard, I went down fast, my left palm took the brunt of the impact on some rocks through the hole I ripped in my glove two days ago. Got blood on my fork, it looks kinda cool...so I'm gonna keep it there. If that ain't arrogance, I don't know what is....or is that ignorance....screw it...it's arrogance.

Before that, got some good pics of Red Mountain and a cool formation you get to ride under which I like to call Jabba. Also, a pick of my goat whom I affectionately call Jenna Bush.

After the fall, I rinsed the wound the best I could with stingy amounts of electrolyte mix which I drink out of my camelback. At the time, I was a little concerned that it was less than sterile, what with the fungus growing in my camelback...but figured the alternative was far less sterile...so i did it anyways. I then pulled out my med kit, patched, taped and put my glove back on. It really sucked gripping down on my bar with my left hand, and every bump just shot pain into my forearm. I strongly considered riding out to the road and heading home the easy way...screw it, I came to ride. 6 miles later over a few bumpy rocky sections, a few grunts and groans and one throbbing left palm, I was home.

On a tangent...I was watching a show last night on the History channel regarding cooling vests used for NASCAR and originally developed by NASA for astronauts. NASA determined in the 60's that pilots made on average 60 errors per hour when the outside temp was 95, but when the testers dropped the outside temp to 90, the average errors dropped to 9/hr. The tests they were running were basic coordination tests, flipping switches in a cockpit, etc. You know, stuff Coco the Monkey could do. Now that Miles Davis is getting into the middle of the jam and the Arrogant Bastard is taking hold...my mind is wondering if the heat had anything to do with my physical reaction (or lack of one) which led to me going down. Hrmmmmm....I'll have to think on that over another beer and test it out tomorrow.

20.8 miles with 2284 ft elevation gained

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I don't roll on Shabbas

I normally don't miss my morning constitutional, but yesterday was the exception. Since then, I've been a little behind schedule. Yesterday was also my mid-week day of rest, kinda like my bike version of Walter Sobchak's, Shomar "I sure as shit don't roll on" Shabbas. Check out his MySpace page here...who'd of thunk that Walter was 63?! I guess time has rolled by since I first met him. Those two factors left me feeling a little like ole' Walter last night. It was that feeling which greeted me on the ride this morning.

Anyways, I rolled today with the usual loop of Hawes to include Mud Flaps. Sometimes I send that hill and sometimes it sends me...not that it's technical...but when your heart is pounding it out at 97% of your max HR for more than 30 seconds and your balance begins to wane....usually after the 3rd Mud Flap and while trying to navigate a bunch of baby heads floating on top of some nice grunnel; you tend to just want to fall over as a precursor to catching your breath. If it were not for the cholla guarding the 2nd to last mud flap on the right side, I just might choose to fall over...forget the dab...just fall over; but my tingling legs just managed to dismount from the pedals to arrest my fall towards prickly hell. Now before some of you folks get huffy and say you always send that hill and I just suck, you're partially correct. I've only been rockin the fat tire for 5 months now and am still learing the painfull lessons daily.

What pisses me off is that I've been sending that hill more and more lately and it seems like when I do, my HR is somewhere around 183 the whole time. Guess the digestive mysteries of ones inner workings keep us coming back for more. The fact that I'm even bitching about Mud Flaps rather than that tricky, off-camber with drop off, kitty-litter over hard-pack, descending 150 degree switchback on Mine trail; or the slot boulders which always seem to clip my pedals when I've nearly topped out in my climb up Twisted Sister just chaps my hide. That's what I want to get beat by, that's what I live to try again, that's what keeps me up at night with excitement; not the non-tech, pure cardio climb whose only reward is still at least 2 months away on a skin track up a snowy summit somewhere in SW Colorado. You see, after a long ski season; the pure cardio did not bother me because I still had the smell of fresh wax in my garage and I could visualize the benefit to hammering. That tends to get lost after daily grinds through the desert in 110 degree heat, sweating and cursing in the dust. I guess that after 4 months of this heat and cross training and this lengthy rant.....What I'm really trying to say is......I'm ready for the snow to fall.

10.3 miles, 1440 ft elevation gained

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The weather is turning

I took my usual Tuesday morning ride before work and the weather was phenomenal. For starters, the wind which has been blowing out of the SW since June, was blowing out of the NE; so all the pollution from the valley and the farming districts south of town were pushed away from the east valley affording crystal clear views of 4 Peaks, Mt. Ord, the McDowell's and last but not least, Red Mountain. The temps were in the low 80's, the breeze was dry. I didn't feel like self-flagellation for flagellation sake since I've done too much of that lately, so I skipped the mud flaps portion of Hawes today by taking Saguaro from the Pig/Hawes intersection and following it up to the middle unnamed trail, east to Saddle, then the usual loop (Saddle switchbacks, Mine, Ridge, Pig, Hawes, home).

10 miles, 1275 ft elevation gained

Monday, September 15, 2008


I'm hosting the 6th Annual Tuck Fexas celebration at my place again this year. Kickoff is at 900am....so the folks staying here will either not go to sleep the night before...or we'll be setting our alarm clocks to begin drinking. I've found a wonderful supplier of Texas Longhorn this year outside of Texas and have upped the ante with a new tenderizing technique bound to punch through that Texas stubbornness like a Sam Bradford passing attack. Please respond with your RSVP below by commenting to this post so I can start to get an accurate count of how many racks to buy. Some of you may be coming at halftime given the early start, if so; please indicate that in your reply. The menu for the day is listed below for those of you who have somehow forgotten from last year. To get the stoke up, here's the "Roy Williams kills UT" video from 01'.

Boomer Sooner!

Tuck Fexas Menu

Bevo – Certified Texas Longhorn Back Ribs: Organic, free-range, all grass-fed, no additives or preservatives from the RidgeRun ranch in Wagon Mound, New Mexico. I tenderize em’ (he’s already kinda soft, but I kick the shit out of’em for good measure), rubbed generously with my Tuck Fexas blend of spices and, smoke’em slow and low with Mesquite chips while surrounded by a bunch of jackass Sooners with nothing better to do than set their alarm clock so they can start drinkin’ before 7:00am.

Tuck Fexas Coleslaw - The usual, time-tested recipe with my Tuck Fexas blend of herbs and spices…ok, no herbs…just spices. Hell son, you gotta have something to chase that Bevo through your lower GI with. With all the beer, Bevo and Burbon you’re gonna consume this fine day, you need some greenery otherwise you’ll be swearin’ that Bevo hisself is poppin’ out your poop-hole.

Grilled Polenta – Polenta mixed with freshly roasted Hatch green chiles, aged cheddar and fresh grilled corn, grilled and served in wedges. I know what you’re thinking, Polenta? It sounds like one of those Texas Tech-“Harvard on the Plains” fancy-nancy recipes that’ll have you dancin’ round like Graham Harrell without an open receiver. It's fancy allright, but believe me, this is the real deal.

Pecan Pie – My Grandma Jewel’s recipe complete with the attitude her Cherokee 1,000 yard stare warranted. If you don’t know what goes into a pecan pie, don't bother asking; your pancreas will remind you later. I, of course, will only use Oklahoma grown Pecans.

Beer – Lots of it. If you don’t know what this is; I believe Cornell is playing at Harvard during the OU game and suggest you go watch that instead. How you deconfict that with the scheduling nightmare that is Yale at Dartmouth AND the Cornell-Harvard game is your problem, not mine.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ty Willingham is not a good coach

Granted....OU is a pretty phenomenal team this year compared to the Huskies, but ole' Ty just can't help himself. His guys looked tired the whole time, committing stupid errors and generally looking undisciplined....kind of like his past teams. Maybe I'm being hard on the guy, but not nearly as hard as his AD will be at the end of the season if he keeps this up.

Anyhew, after watching that rout; I was feeling a little....ahem...dehydrated this morning ahead of my ride. At least the temps were down from what they were two weeks ago. However, that did not stop me for exclaiming to myself and the ants I was staring at while catching my breath that "This is f-in hot!" To add insult to injury, I got smoked heading up the hill today by a Lycra clad cardio-freak....I could hear the guy breathing 3 minutes before I even saw him. He sent the hill....I hike-a-biked part of it. This was not the hammer weekend I had anticipated a few days ago. Did just 8 miles with 1070ft of elevation gain this morning before doing some yard work. Damn OU football....too many college football games and good beer, so little time.

I'm off to go do some yard work: Crazy mesquite tree is growing into the neighbor's driveway again and the pool is looking a little swampy after last weeks rain. While I'm choking on the intolerable heat, enjoy this winter stoke from earlier this year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cylindropuntia fulgida sucks!!!!

I decided today was the day to stop being pathetic by hammering out a ride today to start the weekend off right. Unfortunately, the Cylindropuntia fulgida had other plans. For starters, I have been feeling pretty weak since I took one week off in SW Coastal Washington to visit with the in-laws. Lots of 12-oz carbs, fish and chips....no riding or weight training. To top it off, I came down with a nasty head cold which found it's way into my lungs. So, I went a total of about 8 days without spinning a damn thing. First time back on the saddle was on Monday of this week when I decided to head out to Hawes to get myself back.....stupid. I was still feeling very weak, my lungs were still full of butter and it was about 105 out. Suffice it to say, I rode the bike more than driving it. After that, I took another two days off and finally hit it on Thursday, doing the loop at Hawes (Hawes-Saddle-Mine-Ridge-Pig). I still felt not quite back, but it was much better than sucking it up in granny gear wishing I were dead like on monday. Which gets me to today, which by the way, was a stellar day with low temps thanks to that haboob which blew through last night.

I left the house at about 900 this morning and it was in the low 80's, and dry for once. I decided I was going to head out to Twisted Sister and Wildhorse to see how the wicked rain we've been getting has thrashed the trail. I have to say I was very surprised at how well things have been holding up. Anyways, all this rain also means some crazy growth on all the green things...and out here...all the green things have a way of hurting you. I was rocking down into the major wash, coming down off of Twisted right before it heads east and, I guess I must not have seen it coming....but out of the corner of my eye I see a lone tendril from the cholla out of the right corner of my eye. It only took a millisecond, but it had a single arm extending from the right side of the trail out to about the midpoint of the trail. Because it was a lone arm, I did not see it initially when I came around the corner and started down the incline. Well, I nailed it...but that's not what entered my mind. What entered my mind, or more appropriately, my right fist and cuticles on my trigger and middle finger were white, hot, lightning flashes of pain. My next sensation was of the trail grinding the flesh down on my left forearm and shoulder, with my bike on top of me along for the ride. I guess what my mind and body did when the thorns from the cholla hit my hand was twofold: The registration of pain and the instant jerking of my my hand (right hand) away from the offending sensation (white hot, searing pain). Unfortunately, my brain did not automatically remove my fist from the handlebar prior to this automatic reaction....so my fist took the handlebar with it, thus turning my wheel almost 90 degrees to the right....I was going about 15mph at the time according to my Edge.

From here, it was simple physics.....homo sapian turns wheel 90 degrees to the right, sudden deceleration due to braking motion on "snow plow" of a front tire, upper body momentum continues, clipless pedal's hold homo sapian in bike, forward rotation of homo sapian and bike, rapid deceleration as body of homo sapian smears into desert trail. Damn....wish I had a video of that. Other than the dust, some trail rash and a healthy coating of dust; I was surprisingly fine. So I got back up and started pedaling....but anyone ever hit by cholla knows....once the adrenaline drops down...that's when the discomfort begins. Itching, burning, swelling=Good fun. So, my attempt at "Hammer Time" after a long hiatus turned to be a hammer fest in more way than one. However....I'm no longer feeling weak and am ready to hit it up again this weekend.

18 miles with 1817ft elevation gained