Wednesday, January 30, 2008

UDOT Meeting - A Public Service Announcement

On the way home from snowshoeing yesterday, my friend, Karen, and I got to talking about some of the road construction going on around Utah Valley. She's on the city counsel and knows a lot about stuff going on. I got the idea from her that the Utah Department Of Transportation (UDOT) seems to have the opinion that if they ever need to widen a road, they will just use the road shoulder as a car lane and leave the road shoulderless. Um, isn't this where the cyclists ride? UDOT doesn't seem to care.

Today, I got an email from Karen telling me about a UDOT meeting coming up:
On Wednesday, February 13, from 5 - 7:30 p.m. UDOT is hosting a public open house for city representatives, business owners, residents, commuters and anyone else who would like to be involved. At the meeting, the study team will gather any input on potential issues and alignments that should be evaluated. The meeting will be held at 5050 W. 6400 N. in American Fork.
Your input is critical to the study team in order to develop a roadway corridor that best meets the needs of the study-area communities. In addition to attending the open house, you may also comment via e-mail at, by phone at 801-753-7343, or by visiting our Web site at

"This is an important event local cyclists need to be aware of. It is an opportunity to ask UDOT to include cycling in the road cross-section for the Vineyard Connector Road. I think it is important for UDOT to plan for cyclists rather than put them on a road shoulder that could potentially become a travel lane in the future," says Karen.

It would be awesome if a whole bunch of us cyclists could come to the meeting and let UDOT know that we do exist, and we do care about the future of our roads.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snowshoeing with Lifesgreat

I got to be the snowshoe-trail breaker at Sundance today! Yesterday's storm had left the trails really snowpacked. At some points, I couldn't even see where the trail was supposed to go. I made up some new trails.

Saw lots of little animal tracks, but no actual animals.

I tried a new section of the trail today called something like Feloneous Coloneous. It was really steep! And it was only an intermediate trail. I'm scared to see what the expert trails look like.

The best part about the day, besides enjoying the company of a good friend, was that I made it out when the weather was beautiful: After yesterday's blustery winds and today's afternoon/evening ice-storm.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There's No Business Like Snow Business

More snow again today. Good thing too. Coachy-man didn't assign any weight lifting for me this week. I'm unsure if this was an oversight or if he figures that I'm tired. Either way, I was beginning to feel wimpy without pumping any iron for a few days. You'd think I would just haul my butt to the gym and lift weights without being told to. But that's not how I operate. I have to be told what to do. That's why I have a coach. Anyway, I got some good time in today shoveling the driveway, the sidewalks, and the road in front of my house. Yea, the jr. high kids look at me funny when I'm out shoveling the road, but what can I say? Speaking of shoveling snow, when am I going to learn not to hold the shovel handle in front of my, well, the area lower than my belly button? Ouch! It hurts when you hit a crack in the sidewalk! Oh, don't tell me you've never done it!

To my teammates: You've probably all left already, but I wanted to say GOOD LUCK at the race this weekend! What happens in, must be posted for all to see later. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Most Boring Post Ever

Mostly I'm posting this post to bump the previous post down so I don't have to look at those hideous VO2max pictures anymore.

Anyway, you know it's time to get out more when you're excited that you get to go to a team meeting at work. I do internet security from home, so a team meeting means I get to go associate with real people. Yipee!

It seems like all I do lately is go from one job to the other. I hardly have time to eat. And when I add training in, work suffers. I'm supposed to be working right now, but blogging breaks up the time a bit for me and keeps me from going crazy.

I think I'll feel better about things once the sun comes back out again and all this snow melts off and I can see the ground (hopefully with some sprouting flowers and green grass buds) again.

Ugh! I just looked outside and it's snowing...AGAIN!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

VO2max Test

Today I got my reward for participating in the U of U study: a VO2max test. What fun!

The test really isn't so bad once you get over the feeling that you're being suffocated. The test started with me doing about 25 watts (? I can't remember, but something really low). Every minute the computrainer would increase the wattage by 25 watts. I think I got up to about 250 watts before my cadence started slowing down. I really feel like I could have gone a little longer, but they stopped the test once my cadence slowed down from about 86 RPM to 73 RPM. I never really felt like I was making a huge effort, and the test went really quickly. So other than looking really stupid with a tube coming out of my mouth, it wasn't so bad.

My car knows the routine on the way home from SLC: get off on the 123rd South exit and drive to Canyon Bicycles. I felt the need to go stroke the SL2. But I ran into a problem once I got there: no SL2 to stroke. Sure, there was one hanging from the ceiling too high for me to reach, but not one in my size. I guess that's okay. Touching it would just make me want it more. Must...resist...temptation!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Somebody Save Me!

I think I eat fairly healthily and all. I buy only lean meats, drink skim milk, use only fat-free dressings, and eat my toast with no butter. So if I die of a coronary, it will be because of this:

The Tunnel of Fudge Cake

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups butter, softened (yes, folks, that's almost a full pound of butter!)

6 eggs

2 cups confectioners' sugar

2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans


3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

4 to 6 teaspoons of milk or half-and-half

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan using butter and flour; set aside.

Combine flour and cocoa powder and set aside. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in flour mixture by hand until well blended. Gently stir in the nuts. Spoon the rather thick batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the top is set and edges are beginning to pull away from sides of pan. Cool upright in pan on wire rack for 1 1/2 hours to allow the fudge to set. Then invert onto serving plate to cool thoroughly.

To make the glaze, combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder with 4 tablespoons of milk or half-and-half. Mix thoroughly and add only enough milk to create a smooth, but pourable, glaze. Spoon or brush the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing some to run down sides.

I made a nutless version tonight. The batter is to die for. And the cake's not so bad either. Well, actually the cake's so good, it really doesn't need the glaze on the top. It's a gooey, heavenly treat!

Somebody, keep me from eating this whole cake!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I just can't get enough

Back up to Sundance today for a fun time in the snow with some friends, Lifesgreat and Coach Girl.

We pretty much covered all the trails today. It was quite breezy and cold.

It took us about an hour and a half. Coach Girl and I decided to redo some of the trails to get in a two-hour workout.

We saw more wildlife today than usual. I'm still trying to identify the bird. There were several of them, and they were about the size of a robin.

We spotted a herd of elk up on a ridge as we were driving back down out of the canyon. There were at least three huge bulls. It was awesome.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Fun in the Snow

It was a beautiful, sunny day today. I went to the Sundance Nordic Center dressed for the snowy, frozen days I've been used to. I was too hot on the trails today. Way overdressed.

Today, I went snowshoeing for the first time. I took along my good friend Ragla. We had a lot of fun. She's one laugh after another. We laughed, yelled, cheered for the xc skiers we saw, and threw snowballs at each other. Totally broke up the peace and solitude that I'm sure most people go to the Nordic trails to find. That's the way it is when Ragla and I get together -- totally irreverent.

When we got back to the yurt we decided we weren't quite done having fun yet. So we strapped on some xc skis and took off up the trails again. It was especially funny to ski with Ragla. She had never skied in any form before. I've never seen anyone fall down so many times, and have a blast doing it.

2.5 hours on the trails.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

An Introspective

One of my new favorite songs is "We Used to be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols. I wanted to put up a video of the song here, but I don't have the time to figure out how to load a video (especially one I don't own), so if you really want to hear this song (and see a corny video), click the link below. Wait! A word of warning before you click. If you watch this video and you decide the music's pretty good, you might be tempted to watch other videos by The Dandy Warhols. The video called Bohemian Like You (uncensored) really is UNCENSORED. You might want to avoid this one. Okay now you can click here:

Anyway, the lyrics to this song say, "A long time ago, we used to be friends, but I haven't thought of you lately at all." This has gotten me to thinking about some people I haven't thought of for a long time.

There's Claudette, who was my best friend from about first to fifth grade. It was with Claudette that I finally learned to ride a bike. My dad had tried and tried to get me to learn to ride, but he was pretty scary when he was frustrated, so I couldn't learn from him. One day I just hopped onto one of Claudette's bikes (as I recall it was a huge, yellow 10-speed) and we rode and rode. I didn't ever want to stop. She got tired of me going around and around the block and went home. Claudette and I departed ways when I came out of my shy shell and she didn't. Claudette was so shy that she would be embarrassed if I clapped at a basketball game. As long as I knew her, she remained incredibly shy. I wonder how she's functioning as an adult.

And I haven't thought about Anna for a long time. I hung out with Anna in the fifth and sixth grades. But only at school. See, Anna came from a different family. A family outsiders weren't allowed into. Anna came from a polygamist home on Buckhorn Flats. I never went to her house. She never came to mine. After sixth grade Anna quit coming to school. I guess she'd gotten to that age where she had to get married and start a family. The next time I saw Anna was in the tenth grade. She had three little kids with her. Sad.

Then there's Chris. I met Chris during my junior year of high school while working at KMart. He was the sexiest thing I had ever seen. We dated for about a year. Then he told me that he loved me. What do you suppose I said? Was it something nice like, "I love you, too" or "Really, I'm so happy"? No. What I said was, "No, you don't." It pretty much ended our relationship. Which was probably a good thing. Our relationship was totally based on physical attraction and it wouldn't have been good for us to stay together. Chris was the kind of guy who was not shy about letting me know how unhappy he was if he thought I had gained one pound or didn't look just perfect. I don't need that kind of guy in my life.

I'm sure there's more people who I could write about, but, well, I haven't thought of them lately at all.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Playing in the Snow

After teaching a hard interval class this morning, and even though it was snowing really hard, I still had the hankering to go skiing.

The road to Sundance wasn't too bad,

but the road to the Nordic Center was pretty snowpacked.

Sundance had gotten hit with about ten inches of fresh powder this morning.
Once I got to the Nordic I discovered that the trail-groomer machine was broken, so none of the trails had been groomed all day. This made for some interested xc skiing. It's a bit more of a workout when you're plowing your own trail.
About a quarter of the way up the trail my goggles got all fogged up, so I put them up on my forehead. I became quite snowblind without the goggles on. I hit a bumpy patch I didn't see and went down. Flat on my back.

You can't really tell from the picture below how deep the snow was. And this wasn't even the deepest part. Once I got off the main trail and got a little higher on the mountain, the snow really got deep. I tried to get a better picture, but my camera battery had died.

After skiing for about an hour my ankle started really hurting. Toward the end of the run I could hardly move my left leg. I came home and took my sock off to discover a dime-sized
blister that had broken open. It hurts even more now that I've seen it.

Regardless of falling down and getting a big blister, I had a fun day.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm Burning Up!

There's something that I want and I can't have.

I hate that.

(Hint: It's at the bike shop right now.)