first of all, the beagle diet is probably not what you think.  i am not eating beagles, or anything resembling beagles.  in case your second guess was that i am eating the same food as my beagle; you are wrong again.

not too long ago we added a beagle [ziggy] to our family. he has been an awesome dog so far.  he lives in the house with us.  since we got him in the winter it seemed kind of cruel to keep him out side, besides he was only 6 weeks old.  we keep in this little play pen near the kitchen.  from there he can see almost everything that is going on around the house.  when ever someone wakes up, goes to sleep, comes home, leaves…ziggy is right there.   he can see me right now when i am typing this post.  actually he is not watching me right at the moment, because i guess he got bored some time ago and now he’s sleeping.  so basically ziggy is in the “watch tower” type position in the house.

another cool thing about ziggy is that he has this beautiful howl that he got from his ancestors.  the howl can be heard from across a field, it’s meant to let someone know that he is “on to” something.  the thing that is not so cool about his howl is that when he’s in his “watch tower” he’s “on to” everything!  when he howls in the house you can’t hear anything.  in fact you can see the glass on the windows vibrating, even our fish act a little weird during the howling episodes.

ziggy always seems hungry.  at least he always wants to eat.  back in the old days when ever he saw someone eating he would stare at you until you got uncomfortable and left.  me however, i didn’t like to leave and besides, what’s a little corn chip going to hurt?  now, whenever someone eats around him he stares at them as usual… but when i eat he’s “on to” it.   i can no longer eat in peace.  i try to eat when he’s sleeping, or when someone has him outside.  everybody yells at him to “shut up” but he knows that if he gets inside my head i will break down and give him some of my food.

so i guess by now you have a pretty good idea of what the beagle diet is.  i hardly snack anymore when i am at home.  saturdays and sundays used to be my big grazing days and also the one day a week when i would work from home.  now i hardly eat anything, i only eat when he eats. and as a result i have lost 8 pounds!

i owe it all to ziggy :)


Distance: 4.59 miles
Elapsed Time: 37:32.2
Avg Speed: 7.3 mph
Max Speed: 21.7 mph
Avg Pace: 08′ 11″ per mile
Min Altitude: 5,667 ft
Max Altitude: 7,556 ft
Start Location:
Latitude: 39.999325º N
Longitude: 105.290671º W
End Location:
Latitude: 39.983357º N
Longitude: 105.323465º W

View Larger Map

this time i have a map… don’t pay attention to how long it took…. we stopped a lot!

Date: Mar 22, 2009 1:21 pm
Distance: 16.7 miles
Elapsed Time: 2:53:32
Avg Speed: 5.8 mph
Min Altitude: 5,266 ft
Max Altitude: 6,699 ft
Start Time: 2009-03-22T19:21:03Z
Start Location:
Latitude: 40.210457º N
Longitude: 105.287840º W
End Time: 2009-03-22T22:14:35Z
End Location:
Latitude: 40.210435º N
Longitude: 105.287870º W

View Larger Map

one lost man

so my ride to work yesterday went pretty “well” i got in a ton of exercise.  i rode from 120th in northglen to denver.  if you have ever ridden in that area you know that there are a lot of bike paths but absolutely no bike lanes.  commingling with traffic is not an option. the problem with the bike paths is that they don’t easily connect.  you can ride one for a few miles then it will just end.  there will be no map of where you are and no bike lanes to lead you out to the cold cruel world of cars.   i’ve been doing a lot of trial and error… and yesterday was my “error” day.  i’ve tried to embed the rout i took, so you can see that i turned a 12 mile ride into 17miles!!


View Larger Map
here are my stats for the day.

Date: Mar 25, 2009 6:08 pm
Distance: 17.2 miles
Elapsed Time: 1:29:52
Avg Speed: 11.5 mph
Min Altitude: 5,022 ft
Max Altitude: 5,363 ft
Start Time: 2009-03-26T00:08:27Z
Start Location:
Latitude: 39.772192º N
Longitude: 104.982240º W
End Time: 2009-03-26T01:38:20Z
End Location:
Latitude: 39.913293º N
Longitude: 104.981660º W

pretty slow i know, but in my defense there was a lot of stopping!  and did you notice the big unnecessary loops that i did?

btw, this map was from my ride home. the ride to work was not much fact it might have been worse, but there was no up hill. my iphone crashed 3/4 of the way through my tracking and i lost my data…


moon struck

a few weeks ago i was at work trying to solve a problem that somehow eluded resolve during normal working hours.  the last coworker left more than four hours ago, and each noise and creak in the building is getting creepier and creepier.  i rode my bike into work this day and as midnight approached my enthusiasm for riding home diminished to the point of becoming dread.  i phone my wife one last time to see if she would be able to pick me up after her work finished.  her work is about 30 miles in the opposite direction so both of us were a little hesitant to make this plan work.  i didn’t want her to go so far out of her way to pick me up, after all i wasn’t stranded, just unmotivated.  motivation is difficult to salvage in this situation, since each passing hour devours more and more of the once plentiful reservoir motivation i had at 6pm.

just after midnight i resolved my work issues backed everything up and had a little “come to jesus” meeting with my self.  no one was sitting outside waiting to bring me home, no one was standing over my shoulder helping me pack up…. just me.  every time i ride my bike to work my plan is to ride to work, and then ride home from work.  sounds pretty obvious and simple, but sometimes laziness takes over and my plan becomes, get home whatever it takes….if it takes hitching a ride, calling home, whatever.   well, this night there weren’t too many options.  i put on my riding clothes, turned the building lights out, and out the door i went.  by the time i left the building it was nearly 1am, 28 degrees and hardly any cars in sight.

the cool winter air was not enough to spark motivation into my tired body.  still, i cranked away at my old bianchi into the unlit bike path in urban longmont.  without cars the night is super quiet…. and with the silence i can enjoy the smoothness of my bike.  after leaving longmont and all the light polution from the north wallmart, it was time to ride the shoulder of the concrete abiss called hwy 287.   after a mile or so down the highway the darkness was only broken by my small cheap plastic handlebar mounted headlight.  usually this light is not nearly bright enough to use as my sole lead, but this night it shined like the most expensive light money can buy.

three quarters of the way home and i am starting to feel pretty good.  still super tired and kind of sleepy but very relaxed.  just about when i had the thought that it was probably a good idea to ride home after all, i  looked up for some reason.  into the sky i right over my left shoulder i noticed the full moon.  alone in the sky with a beautiful halo as visible as the moon itself.  i actually had to stop pedalling get off my bike turn around and enjoy the sight.  there i was one something in the morning standing next to the road holding my bike looking back and into the sky.  it really was a rare moment….and i can’t wait to experience it again.


this last sunday was kind of a screwed up day.  i had promised my coworkers that i would come in to work to help out on this really late project, but i had so many things i wanted to do at home.  i woke up extremely early, thinking that if i somehow started early i would have more time to get everything done.  however i ended up just sitting around my dining table till nine o’clock drinking under powered coffee and surfing craigslist for killer bike parts.  i had no plan on how i was going to accomplish everything…but now i had less time to do it.  alas i was committed to my company, and i would have to work.

i optimistically packed my sweet gary fisher “rig” into my car, and reluctantly headed off to work.  i bring my bike with me almost everywhere i go.  it has almost become and accessory for me, i feel uncool without my bike.  also,  you never know when an impromptu bike ride might break out.  as a mortal cyclist, one should never be very far from his bike and helmet.  in fact, the further you are away from your bike, the further you are from “nirvana.”   it was about 9am when i started driving into work. i could already tell that it was going to be a beautiful day.  it was nearly 70 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, and i could see the mountains as if they were moved in a little closer this morning.  especially the area where the mountain bike trails are.

i arrived at work about 9:30 and i could tell by the number of cars in the parking lot that i was the last one in.  my first thought was,”hey, everyone is here, they don’t need me.”  i tried to figure out a way to justify not being there, but i drew a blank.  after about 30minutes of assessing the situation, i finally came up with a plan.  i would start up my laptop, copied a bunch of the project files over, and told a few key people that i was going to “work at home” and i would be back a “little later.”  i bolted out of there, and headed off to the trail.  the plan worked perfectly!  actually since i left so quickly i didn’t wait or look for any reactions…frankly i don’t think anyone had time to respond.  i probably could have just said, f@##k you guys i’m out of this hell hole and run out the door with the same success as my well thought out plan.

within 15 minutes i was sitting at the trail head in my work clothes, waiting for people to drift away so i could change in my car.  i’m really quite modest about changing in public and having a small car, makes it difficult to hide.   i always end up changing while sitting in the drivers seat. this is kind of hard to do, but it allows me to monitor the parking lot through the mirrors and windows.  i can see if anyone is getting too close.  i always have this fear that right when i am in the transitional period of my wardrobe change, someone is going to come up to the window and ask directions.  to date, it’s never happened, but you can never be too cautious.  this time my head was clouded with anticipation of the ride and i failed to get my cycling clothes ready before i removed my work clothes.  so there i sat naked in the drivers seat, frantically looking for my cycling shorts.  of course they were tangled up in something else, and they were inside out.  i quickly put them on and then threw my baggies on over the top.  the cycling shorts i use are actually an old pair of pearl izumi micro sensors that have become a screen door to my backside.  since the padding in those things are way better than anything else, i usually ware them underneath my baggies.  i think i made it without anyone noticing me, at least no one gave me a dirty look when i got out of the car.

i finally got everything together and i was out on the trail.  after about a mile or so i could tell that something was different.  my seat height moved or something.  it was kind of weird, because i am usually really compliant with multiple heights.  i change my seat height all the time.  in fact, i have a  multitude of seat heights one for every situation; climbing, technical, downhill, and bonking.  all of these heights with no markings at all.  i stopped and lowered it a bit.  the bike still didn’t feel right, and now my knees were hurting.  i stopped once again and this time i tried raising it to my “climbing” position.  without success i started to wonder if my handle bars had moved somehow.  i stopped and checked them out, but i couldn’t find anything wrong with them either.  i finally decided that maybe i was just tight and needed to loosen up.  the next five miles were all up hill, and about half way up my back started hurting a little.  this was not serious,  but i usually don’t have any back problems.  i made it up the 5.5mile climb with a rather good pace considering all the weirdness.

the down hill part of this ride is usually awesome.  it’s filled with winding single track and sharp blind corners.  i usually bomb this part of the ride, and i took off like all was well…..but it wasn’t!  right away i missed a turn an rode off into the weeds.  no problem, i got back in a hurry and a hundred yards later i’m back in the weeds.   so after the second recovery i noticed my back tire getting a little sloppy.  this distracted me for a while sending me off course yet again.  thinking that the semi-flat tire was my problem all along,  i stop and put some air into the massive 29’rs with my 6 inch pump.  with my arms now slightly worn out i got back on track with a whole new attitude.  a couple of successful turns and i was ready to prematurely declare that the crisis was over.   then suddenly… a couple of back to back near misses with a rock, tree…and another cyclist.   i slowed down a bit and then i noticed my back tire was still loosing some air, and i developed a pig-squeal on my front wheel somehow.   i must have hit a goat head in the weeds, but i don’t know about the squeal.  i changed the tube filled it with air and headed back down the trail.  this time i finally decided that today was not my day to achieve “nirvana”.  i slowed down and nonchalantly rode back to my car and drove home…with my tail between my legs.  i wasn’t completely down, i had things to be happy about, like i was still alive and not working on this beautiful day.

in the back of my mind however i knew something was wrong.  some days are better than others …i guess.  so i went to take a shower and removed my baggies first, leaving my road shorts on……. and what do you know?  my pearl izumi micro sensors were on backwards!  these things have a huge pad and definitely meant to be worn in one specific direction.  if you have ever put them on backwards you will know how awkward they are.  i guess the discomfort was making me shift my weight in a way i was not used to, and this threw everything off.  i must have been so preoccupied with everything else being wrong that i failed to noticed the obvious.

this past summer the family and i drove out to the west coast for our vacation.  we stayed in sacramento for a few days, but for the most part it was one-night stays at cheap motels and campgrounds.  we actually made it all the way to vancouver canada.

we were heading back from vancouver and we just passed the border back in to the us.  as soon as i could i headed west so we could drive along the strait of georgia.  it was getting pretty late as we followed these misleading signs to some camp ground.  it could be just me, but i’m pretty sure the signs were misleading, mostly because they didn’t seem to add up mileage wise.  one sign claimed it was 5 miles ahead, the next sign 5 miles away, claimed it was 3!  anyway, that’s not my story…. we finally found the camping area and quickly put our camp together.  since we had been driving by the seats of our pants [so to speak], we really didn’t know if we were goign to stay in a hotel, or camp, eat in a restaurant, or hunt and kill our food.  we had no food to speak of.   luckily there was a store less than one mile away, where i bought some marshmellows, hot dogs, buns, and some really long forks for roasting stuff over a fire.

i’m not a very good pyro-technician so it took me several tries to get the fire going.  i was a little worried that i was going to run out of matches, but i still had about ten left as the fire became self sustained [i am not going to tell you how many i started with].   anyway, we grabed our long roasting forks and started cooking the dogs. the first round went flawlessly, with the exception that some of us may have over cooked things a bit.  my younges kid was the first to start off the second round of cooking. … i guess he was really hungry.

[flash back]

so as a kid i grew up camping with my father and older brother.  i was used to doing a lot of unsanitary things…like eating without a napkin, picking food up from the floor and eating it, eating without washing hands, etc… my kids are not like that at all.  every once in a while i feel compelled to teach them the same basic “survival” skills i grew up with.

[end flash back]

as my kid got about half way through cooking his second dog, it broke free from the stick and fell to the ground just outside the fire ring.  it landed into the soft powdery dirt which was a combination of dirt and ashes from previous fires.  the dog was a gonner, half cooked, completely engulfed in black dirt and miscellaneous particles.  my kid started getting all upset because that was the last hotdog and he now wasted one.  well, that’s about when i stepped in.  i told him it was just a little dirt, if he washed it off and finished cooking it he wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference.  we argued back and forth a while, with him finally refusing to ever eat that hog dog.  i called him a big sissy [and maybe a crybaby i don’t remember] i took the disgustingly dirt coveredhog dog, and washed it off with the run-off from the ice chest.

[note] the water coming out of the ice chest was not the ideal water source to be washing anything off with. for one there was no back pressure to knock off any small dirt particles that may have found a safe place to cling on. two, the water was from melted store ice that had been commingling around with everything in the ice chest.

i did the best i could before i ran out of “water” and put the hot dog back on the stick.  i tried to slowly cook it, so all small germ would be killed and i could avoid ebola.  the whole time i was cooking, i started preaching to the kids about how “soft” they were, and that they need to get tougher….blah blah blah.  my hot dog was finally done.  i put it in a bun, add a little catchup, and took one overly enthusiastic bite.

as i bit into it i could feel a little crunchy dirt particles that some how didn’t get blasted off when i washed it.  i forged ahead and kept chewing.  before i took the second bite, i decided to look more closely just in case there was some big particle that i could preemptivly remove.  when i looked closely i found nothing, but i did notice that my hot dog had small linear grooves cut along the length, to help it cook inside better.  i usually do this when i cook hot dogs because i like them cooked inside a little.  i went ahead and took the second bite, with all eyes still on me.   this second bite was no better than the first only it was much smaller, but still filled with dirt and what not.  as i was about half way through chewing the second bite, i asked my son how he made the cooking grooves in the hot dog.

he said, “with my finger nails”

the moment he said that, i stopped chewing and viciously gaged.   the kids laughed… they started mocking me, by telling me how “tough” i was…it went on and on.  i didn’t back down, i told them i was just pretending and took another bite.  this time i though about the dirt, the fingernails, and the dirty ice chest water…… another gag.  i continued to play it off as if it wasn’t a big deal, but inside i was going over my will. i knew i was going to die of something from that disease infested hot dog.

i finished it, and don’t really think i proved anything to my kids…..

here it is three months later, and i am still alive!

i’ve been in pain since yesterday afternoon. the lactic acid from f’n “fitness friday” is making me feel like i have total body arthritis.  the pain is mostly isolated to my arm, stomach and calves…but since they are involved in most my movements everytime i move i am reminded of 3f. i was too stiff to do anything yesterday….and today…..i felt just as bad, but went out an ran 7 miles on the trail.  after a half hour or so the stiffness went away and i finally stopped thinking about it.

as soon as i got home…. my memory returned.

another weird thing from 3f was that i have been cold every minute of everyday, since that epic lunch.

i figured out some new ex-math to help you improve your ex-miles-per-gallon in you vehicle.  the way i see it mileage is the number of miles that it takes to get you from one place to another.  it takes me 17 miles to get to work.  if i ride my bike one day that is 34 miles i didn’t drive my car…i can add it to my car’s total mileage.  if i go out for a 100 mile weekend ride, i can not add it to my mileage.  however if i ride out to a bike trail and ride the trail, i could arguably add that to my car’s total.    here are some rules:

1. only add miles that you used to replace a car drive.

2. do the calculation after each fill up.  don’t just drive a mile and fill it up after a really long commute and get like infinity miles per gallon.

3. do it for a long period of time, just to see how much you save.

sample calculation for this tank:

miles driven = 420

miles ridden=  102

total miles = 522

total gallons= 11

ex-miles per gallon= 522/11=  47.5 emg!!!  [note this is with only 3 days of bike commuting]

..only i’m not “in” the race.  i was just out for a sunday run….when all of a sudden people on the trail are telling me that there is a marathon going on up ahead.  first off, it was strange that people are even talking to me. secondly, a marathon?!   i get a little further down the trail and there are some people running with numbers/race bibs on.  i catch up to them and start talking to them a bit.  the guy was friendly enough and didn’t hesitate to talk to me….but the girl never even said hi :( so, yeah! there was a real full length marathon going on right in my “backyard”  i ran with them for a few miles because it just so happened that my trail was part of the course.  so as i was running spectators along the trail and runners going the opposite direction were telling me what a great job i was doing, and to keep it up.  i had to explain to all of them that i was not running the marathon, and that i couldn’t run a trail marathon due to my excessive weight and out-of-shapness.  i was really getting quite tired of explaining this to everyone, but they had to know.

so as i was running my trail all 7 miles of it…i began to contemplate running the whole marathon…. “if only i had known about it, i could have run it.”  then reality joined in my monologue, adding that i should worry about finishing my run, since i have not run 7 miles in months.  ok back to reality, no marathons for me, at least this year :)