walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

Last year, in May, I think I was still in my 'maybe I'll race someday but probably not' phase.  Then I decided to do some 'cross, decided to give King's Cross a whirl, and had a blast (can you say 'masochist,' kids?).

Over the winter, I beat around the bush.  I told DD I might not race this season.  He said, "Are you sure?"  I said, "Well, no."  Later, I said, "I'm thinking about racing," and he said, "Weren't you thinking about not racing?" and I said, "I was."  Then I wavered back to 'not racing.'

And then, perhaps stupidly, I decided to see what's going on cyclocross-wise in the immediate area this year, and realized a race that I missed last year because I was too chicken or under the weather or something is going off again this year -- Huber's 'Applecross' festival, which combines apple orchards and bikes, two of my very favorite things.

There is also rumor of excellent jam and probably other food of some sort to be found at Huber's.

So I pretty much can't not go.

There's also a race in Fisherman's Park, which opens OVCX this year, called 'FishStiCX.'  How could I not want to participate in something called 'FishStiCX?'

Besides, it's nearby and the course can't possibly be as murderous as King's Cross was, or at any rate probably doesn't involve anything that looks like this:

And assuming I don't entirely run out of money by then, I would love to do 'Bloomingcross' in Bloomington, IN (16 October) and of course Storm the Greens, right here in Louisvlile (30 October).

That's about all the racing I think I could possibly manage during fall semester, and I don't feel a great impetus to pursue anything else on the OVCX calendar.

Right now, our shop-team-in-the-making has run into the problem of not owning a single proper 'cross bike between the lot of us (though most of us are of a height that would allow us to share one, if we weren't all destined to ride in men's Cat 4 except Erica).  Given dry weather (and possibly a different wheelset -- I'm not sure I really want to bomb around offroad on the low-spoke Aksiums that are on there right now), I would be more than happy to run Hg in a 'cross race, but he has no mud clearance to speak of (likewise, if I have my way, QS will never see another spot of mud or slush for the rest of his years).  Thus, at least one of us needs to acquire something 'crossy.  If we don't manage to pull it off, though, I will be more than happy to ride with Rogue again this season (speaking of which, the Short Track Series is coming up -- w00t!).

I think I might buy one of the shop's CX200s after all -- I don't think I'll be able to afford the Jamis Nova Pro I was hoping for, nor the Specialized Crux that I lust after in my darkest of heart-of-hearts (I assume this is the same darkest-heart-of-hearts that makes me look forward to punishing myself on the 'cross course this fall, I assume).  Besides, they look like they have nice road manners, and DD seems to enjoy road bikes but finds mine a bit scary.  The longer wheelbase and slightly-more-upright ride might suit him well.  Also, a CX 200 could pull double-duty as a grocery bike, thus freeing QS from his unending torment.  I am currently attempting to come up with a plan that will allow me to pull off purchasing a CX 200, making a fairly major purchase for DD as a wedding present, and still having sufficient funds available for school.

As you might have guessed, I am also starting to feel more like a human being again.  I woke up this morning, hauled my butt out of bed at eight on a day that I don't have to be anywhere 'til 3:30 (though I'm going to try my darndest to get over to the Portland Clinic and finish up my paperwork), looked at the house and felt well enough to both think, "Man, this place has gotten out of hand," and "I can do something about this," and actually did something about ... well, some of it.  Then I played the organ for a while.

Oh.  I have probably failed to mention that DD bought me an organ.  Apparently, they're hard to sell.  This one had been on the market for a while, and the seller -- who very much wanted to see it in the hands of someone who would actually play it, and not strip it for parts and turn it into something else -- was offering it again for $50, so now we have an adorable little Baldwin Orgasonic.  Built in 1966, it's both very pretty (I'll post pix once I get some good ones) and sounds quite good, though there's a short in the speaker for the pedals, which drives DD's engineering side a little nuts, since it makes funny popping noises from time to time. 

Needless to say, I -- for one -- am absolutely delighted.  I never would've imagined I would have my very own organ this soon, and would happily have settled for something quite a bit less pleasing to my ear.  With the appropriate settings turned on, this one sounds about as close to a real pipe organ as one could hope from such a diminutive instrument -- and that's actually pretty close indeed.  It also has two manuals and a full octave in the pedals, so it's an invaluable practice instrument.

So, I played the organ.  Then I came in here and looked for races.  Now I'm going to go put some sunscreen on so in twenty minutes or so I can wheel on out into the sun and enjoy the day (and, I hope, keep the rubber side down).  That said, I am trying hard not to overdo it (the mistake I usually make), so I don't plan on riding too fast or too hard (note that I use the word 'plan' to excuse myself from responsibility when, inevitably, I do ride too fast and too hard, heh).


  1. I don't race, and in fact I'm incredibly un-competitive, so I have no desire to do so. But let me know if you make it to Bloomington (that's where I live). I won't race but we could meet up for a ride, or I might go to the race as a spectator.

    About the organ, that's very cool! I have seen quite a few come up on Craigslist -- some even for free -- and that's the kind of thing that I'd sort of like to have, but I have to stop myself because I know I wouldn't play it much, I don't even know how to play one, really, and they take up a huge amount of space, and can be extremely heavy. So I haven't done that. But I have noticed what you have -- that sometimes they are available cheaply and no one wants them.

  2. I posted something here before, but I think Google ate it.

    The organ sounds awesome ... let me know if you make it to Bloomington, maybe we could connect (I live in Bloomington)!

  3. The organ is fantastic. I am madly in love with it. Don't tell my bikes! (It's bad enough that I'm two-timing on them with each-other. They would never understand. The organ doesn't even have wheels...)

    I will definitely let you know if I make it up to Bloomington. I may wind up doing my graduate work there, so I can definitely justify going up there for a 'check out IU Prime' trip ... one that just happens (ahem) to include a bike race and a visit with another bike-blogger! :D