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Officially Official

31 Mar

It took 9 months but I no longer feel like a tourist/visitor to Chicago.  I can now officially say Chicago feels like home.

In the meantime 3 parking tickets finally convinced that an out of state license plate does not grant you ticket immunity.

Illinois however, doesn’t feel like home yet.  The license plate and DL may say Illinois but I keep forgetting I’m in Illinois because Chicago feels like it’s its own state, it even has its own flag.  How many cities have their own flag?

Base Camp 2011

16 Feb

I’ve been at base camp for the last several weeks, no time to post  but plenty of time for riding.  Everyone does base camp right?  Here are some camp pictures, base building if you will, Chicago style.

Sometimes you just have to take it indoors, thanks to PWP for a nice space, music, videos, great folks and top notch instruction.

And sometimes it’s so bad outside you can’t even make it to PWP and you bring camp to the family.  Strictly emergency riding. Still got tan lines from 2010!

Being outside in Chicago never gets old no matter the weather, love it!

OK, maybe just tolerate it sometimes.

Even the week of the blizzard of 2011, Snowprah,  I got out for a couple rides.  Favorite thing  about Chicago so far – the Lake Front Trail was plowed days before my street.  Couldn’t drive anywhere but I could ride my bike.

Base camp has been a success! More saddle time in Chicago for this time of year than I ever got in Utah. I’m thinking a Chicago fly-in-camp for Winter training would go over really well, who’s in for next year?

The Chicago Diet

1 Jan

Disclaimer: The Chicago Diet is my diet while I’ve been in Chicago, not necessarily the diet of all Chicagoans.

I haven’t worried too much about what I’ve been eating in Chicago for the last 6 nonths (holy crap, I’ve been here 6 months!) because I have been racing my bike nearly every weekend and riding 3-4 days a week.

I should have been worried.  I can’t even count how many of these, yes, there is encased meat in there somewhere:

Or how many slices of this I’ve consumed in the last 6 months:

Like I said, I haven’t been too worried.

I had planned on taking a week off the bike (but not a week off my Chicago Diet) after a very busy race schedule before starting on training for 2011.  That week turned into 2 weeks after getting sick over the holidays.  The Chicago Diet caught up to me in that short 2 week period.  Caught up to me and run my ass over. I’m fat. I’m out of shape.  I’m sick of it.  I’m done.

2011 is here and the Chicago Diet is out the effin window today! Bring on the Kipper Snacks!

Bastardos!

29 Nov

First off, I must say that my Thanksgiving dinner was better than yours.  How could that be you ask?  Here’s how:

  • Blue cheese and apricot crostini
  • Deviled crab
  • Andouille sausage and chestnut stuffing
  • Japanese sweet potatoes with chipotle adobo
  • Roast chicken and riced potatoes
  • Pumpkin praline soufle

Told you so!  Bottom line, if you ever get an invite from the Bosens for dinner please, for the love of all that is holy, GO!  They are not the bastardos in the paragraph below.  Hands down the best Thanksgiving dinner ever.  Sorry, Mom.

OK, on to los bastardos.  Long story short we had a couple bikes stolen here in Chicago off an incredibly busy street out of  a full bike rack.  It felt pretty safe to leave them there with a burly lock and all the other bikes.  Wrong!  It took a while to sink in as we walked the 6 blocks home.  After the 3rd block I started to feel violated. It didn’t help that our bikes were the most expensive things we own, each worth more than our car.

I filed a police report as soon as we got home and spread the word via twitter (thanks for all the retweets!) and also filed an insurance claim.  They were just bikes after all and we can live without them.  No, actually, we can’t live without them.  Tasha commutes 25 miles a day 5 days a week so her’s is pretty important but she is learning to use public transportation.  The theft coincided with freezing temps here in Chicago so I’m not missing mine yet and what better excuse to take a week off the bike.

Moving on again.

Chicrosscup #11 last week marked my first top top 10 finish out of my last 4 races.  I got a great start, sitting 2nd or 3rd for half a lap, but parlaying that start into a great finish continues to evade me.  I’m not sure why.  One thing I am sure of however is that I belong on the SS, I doubt I’ll ever use gears again except on the road bike.

There is only one race left in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup and it’s the Illinois State Championship at Montrose Harbor next Sunday, my backyard!  I still haven’t cracked the top 5 this year so that’s the goal, hoping the home court advantage is worth something.

Results so far:

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th, 16th, 23rd, 13th, 10th (bold italics are geared races) Good enough to be sitting 8th overall in the series. 


Chicago Aint So Bad

22 Aug

It’s actually pretty awesome.

Several people enjoying the beach. I had no idea Chicago had a beach.

Luckily you can get away from everyone without even leaving the city.

I like to think we traded mountain views for city views.

Living in the city has its perks, you can go from this.

To this, all in one afternoon.

I’m digging it.

Tomorrow or maybe Tuesday Midwest race report #2 Palos Meltdown.  Is it  harder and more fun than an ICUP race?

Pain In The Hill

11 Aug

I thought the parking garage climbs were a fantastic solution to my mountain dilemma but I’ve had less than stellar results. Too much security or too much traffic or really, just not that steep nor long.

Today on board the community cross bike everything changed. I’ve actually ridden by this hill many times not giving it a lot of thought because its just not that long. I gave it a go and it totally kicked my corn.

And from the top:

20 laps all out and I’m temporarily satisfied and even think I’m ready for Park City Point 2 Point or at least a cross race that has a hill or two.

Abode

20 Jul

As hard as we tried we couldn’t get the whole trailer full of crap into our flat so what wouldn’t fit inside we left outside on the curb and overnight it magically found a new home.

I crouched on top of the washing machine to get this picture of the kitchen.

Here’s my favorite room in the house, the tree outside the window makes it feel like I live in a tree house and I’m pretty sure we have about the same square footage as a tree house.

I’m standing in the shower for this picture of the vanity.

And sitting on the toilet to get this picture, I can actually wash my hands without getting off the toilet. On one hand it may be the only sink in the house but on the other hand only 4 of us have to share it and it’s made of freakin marble!