Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I'm finished with my time at Gold's Gym and Rain Fitness (for the forseeable future), and it's time to focus on my immediate future. I'm very thankful for my opportunities at those gyms this summer, and I was fortunate enough to do some good work with some good people, learn a lot, and have some great times.

Less than 2 weeks until we leave on the Border2Border ride - get excited. Check out all of the details at www.takeyourbike.org and see exactly what I'll be up to through November.

Also, we're selling TYB shirts and wristbands now (the eStore will be up and running today) - if you'd like to support what we're doing and look good doing it, shoot me an email at chris@takeyourbike.org and I'll see to it that you're taken care of.

I'm looking forward to 10 days with good friends here in Seattle (I can't believe I'm leaving again), and overwhelmed with the excitement of my new adventures this fall and winter. Onward and upward.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Riding Bikes

I'm riding more this weekend, and you should, too. Check out some of the cool stuff that has been going on at www.takeyourbike.org and www.officialtakeyourbike.blogspot.com

Then go ride your bike! It's good for you...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My First Triathlon

Yes, I know - it's a little ridiculous that I'm writing about doing triathlons. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I've hated running for a lot longer than I've loved cycling. Moreover, it's a little weird that I'm just now even remotely interested in the sport, given that my dad raced pretty seriously for much of my childhood (and yes, I know that my lifestyle quickly approaching "I might as well just join the Navy" similarity with my father's...)

So here's the breakdown: because I saw an out of shape woman with an Ironman tattoo on her leg (and was subsequently infuriated that, despite me being fitter by leaps and bounds, she wore the "cooler athlete" crown at that soiree), and because when I called all of my athlete friends one of them thought that it might actually be "fun" (thanks Eric), I signed up for the 2011 Coeur D'Alene Ironman Triathlon. Dumb, probably, but I need to prove that a.) I'm a cooler athlete than that one lady and b.) when I tell my body to shut up and do what I tell it to, it will listen. What better way to accomplish those things than by running a 140.6 with just this one triathlon under my belt (so far). Side note: I actually signed up for the Ironman before I signed up for this past weekend's sprint tri. I'm a weird guy.

For those of your not in the know, an Ironman triathlon is composed of a 2.4 mile open-water swim, a 112 mile bike leg, and a 26.2 mile run (yes, a full marathon at the end.) Back to back to back. The winners times are usually under 9 hours (think about that for one second - it makes no sense). My goals are (in no specific order):

- survive the swim (I'll elaborate on this later)
- ride a sub-5:36 bike leg (avg. 20 mph or better)
- finish.
- finish.
- finish.
- finish upright and coherent enough to talk with the volunteers at the finish line and hug my mom (you're coming, right, Mom?)
- finish in under 12 hours (this may change as I get more involved with the training process this winter)
- beat Eric (hey, one of us has to finish faster than the other, and you're nuts if you think I'm going to concede defeat before we even toe up at the start line. We're athletes, remember?)

So, to recap: I'm signed up with an Ironman next year with my friend, and I've got this one tri under my belt. What did I learn at the race this past weekend?

Well, I am awful at competitive swimming. I mean I'm aggressively bad. Fortunately, I have lots of time to get better, and I'll be spending 2 months training with my dad (I should hope that during his storied tenure as a competitive swimmer he picked up a few things that he can contribute as advice). I had one of the worst swim times in the race, and breast-stroked my way to the shore after blowing up in the water. If I swam even an average time, I would have gotten top 5. I suppose that's why they make you race all 3 disciplines. I got by in this shorter race, but I need to learn how to swim more efficiently, more effectively, and more under control by the June 2011.

I can ride my bike fast. Although I didn't get the goal time I set for myself, I didn't take into account how wrecked my body would be coming out of the water. It took me a good 5 minutes on the bike for my muscles to shift into gear and for me to actually get up to race speed. It was a pretty weird feeling to have my muscles just not work. I gained a lot of respect for what makes triathlon harder than just swimming, cycling, and running in that moment. I did have the 3rd fastest bike time in the race, but the two guys that beat me came in first and second overall and rolled up to the race with $10K+ bikes and Ironman finisher's jackets on. So (sorry, mom) screw them.

Although I still don't "enjoy" running (I've yet to think "Let's go out for a run!", and still think "Let's go out for a ride!" 1,367 times per day), it's something that I'm better at than I thought I'd be. My aerobic fitness from cycling crosses over well, and I ran a respectable 5K at the tri.

Final results: 10th overall and 3rd in my age group. Pretty cool considering it was my first one. I even won a wine glass for placing in my age group (photo above).

The other photos above are of the race venue (pretty, huh?), my race number, and my friend Mark's dog, Charlie. She's a sweetheart.

I've got a much more acute awareness of what this IM is going to take, and I'm looking forward to seeing just how strong of an athlete I can become this winter/spring. After all, isn't IM triathlon the "ultimate human endurance test"? (Their words, not mine.)

If you know of a more ridiculous athletic event, other than this (which I'm doing next Sept.), let me know. I'll play.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This past weekend was easily the most epic cycling undertaking of my life. What was originally meant to be my "victory lap" riding weekend of the season here in the PacNW (funny how things change, isn't it?) turned into an endurance test of (for me) monumental proportions. 384 miles in 3 days, with the last 171 miles solo.

Seattle to Bellingham, WA on Friday and Bellingham to Vancouver, BC on Saturday were a part of the RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver... and Party!), an annual event hosted by my friends at the Cascade Bicycle Club. Myself and 1300+ of my closest friends departed Seattle on Friday morning with Bellingham in our sights, some 105 miles of gorgeous riding away. On our way we passed through a number of small Washington farming towns, saw a bit of the coast, and had a great time. As I mentioned earlier, this ride is usually a pretty low-key undertaking for most riders - the distance is respectable but the pace is usually kept to a social level. I don't even think we averaged 18 mph. The low key pace and relaxing vibe was a thrill for me, as most big rides I've done this year have involved some masochistic pacelining and caution-to-the-wind sprint climbing. After some great sightseeing and a lot of free Clif bars, we all arrived in Bellingham around 4 PM.

My cycling buddies and I all went out for Mexican in Bellingham, which was pleasant. Afterwards I met up with some of my more youthful compatriots for a drink and some socializing, but after 100+ miles of riding in the hot (yes, hot - 90 degrees and rising) weather we were all pretty spent. Within about 15 minutes of getting back to our host's place pretty much everyone was knocked out. I'd like to thank my host for supplying me with a place to lay my head on this night - it was a great alternative to ninja camping.

ninja camping (noun): stealth camping that usually involves 1-2 people and a tent ambling into a forest, the back of a secluded parking lot, the backyard of an under-construction house, or other low-traffic area and sneakily spending the night under the cover of darkness. Utilized to avoid financial expenditure on lodging or campsite reservation fees.

After a 5 AM alarm in Bellingham, I met my cycling buddies for a ninja breakfast (similar to ninja camping, but involving the acquisition of free continental breakfast from a hotel at which you didn't stay) at nice little hotel outside of downtown Bellingham. Over coffee and embroidered waffles ("embroidered" probably isn't the right word, but it's the first that comes to mind - the hotel's logo was imprinted in the surface of the waffle) we discussed the ride ahead and the allure of riding into the Great White North later that day. Canada in our sights, we rolled out of the hotel at 6 AM for the "start line" of today's leg of the ride.

Saturday was a little different than Friday in that our group started faster and split up fairly early in the day. It was clear that a few of us had some fire in our legs, and by about mile 20 4 of us had separated ourselves from the pack. I didn't mind - everyone was enjoying the ride at a pace that they chose for themselves, and that's what matters. The 4 of us with the accelerated pace rode on ahead, and enjoyed a great day through northwestern WA and British Columbia. Passing through the border on my bike was a highlight - my first ever multi-country bike ride. It was so much fun, I think I'll do it again (twice) this fall...

Some great sights (including downtown Vancouver) and some quick miles later, we arrived at the finish line at about 12:30 and commenced the celebration with our fellow riding buddies. We were among the first 30 or so riders in, which pleased me - not only because of the honor, but because it was crazy hot and sunny outside, and I was thrilled to be off the bike, throw my feet in the pool, and enjoy a Canadian beer.

The whole afternoon/evening was very pleasant, and we capped it off with some all-you-can eat sushi. Probably the most wholesome dinner I've had in a long while.

This is where it gets a little ridiculous. So I had plans to hitch a ride back on Sunday with my friends Steven and Brittany, who originally planned to camp up in Canada on Saturday night. We planned to meet up Saturday after dinner, camp, then drive back to Seattle on Sunday. Unfortunately, they had some other obligations pop up, and pulled out the week before the ride. With my new situation featuring me being "stranded" in Vancouver, having my bike with nothing holding me back, I decided there was only one option: ride back.

Let's clarify this: the best plan I could come up with was to wake up around 4:30 AM, eat breakfast, then ride by myself from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA. 171 miles. In the same heat that forced us to ride fast and early the day before. Only on this day my ambitious goal was to arrive in Seattle at 5 PM - I had prior obligations in the form of a kickball tournament that started at 6. So....

Somehow (this happens when you hang out with bike nuts) I convinced 2 other people to sell their bus tickets and ride back "with" me. Unfortunately, they were nowhere near as fast as I am, and I knew that our partnership was destined to be a brief one. I must say, however, that it was very exciting to know that some other people thought this was a good idea, and it gave me great confidence. We rode together for about 15 miles, then parted ways. They arrived in Seattle some 5 hours after I did, but I heard they had a great time, and I'm very thrilled about that.

So 15 miles into my 171 mile trek, I was solo - just man, machine, and the road. Just how I meant it to be. This ride was an exercise in mobile meditation - a test of will. If I accomplished my goal pace, it was to be an 11+ hour day in the saddle. That's tough to do with support and friends at your side, for those of you not into cycling. I honestly don't know anyone personally who has tackled that kind of ride aside from ultramarathon athletes and bike-touring legends. I don't have the ego to throw myself into that elite group, but I'm apparently ambitious enough to give that kind of ride a shot.

It was absolutely incredible. The views were fantastic (I planned a different route that took more of the coastline down than our route up did), and the serenity was unmistakably profound. I learned a lot about myself on Sunday, and I found a lot of perspective. I pushed my body to the limits, and it held up. After a long ride down the NW Washington coast back through Bellingham, I took a right up to Deception Pass, shot down Whidbey Island, took a ferry to Mukilteo, and rode the last 20 miles on comfortable local roads in the Seattle area. I arrived back at my car with 13 minutes to spare on my goal, with an average speed of 18.8 mph for the day. I'm pretty proud of that, considering that my legs had 2 long days under them already this weekend, and considering that I did all of the work on my own (if you ride bikes seriously, you know what a big difference a team makes). I think I'm ready to tackle the whole coast next month.

The whole weekend was a tremendous success - no injuries, no flats, no mechanicals, and nothing negative to speak of. I did get a pretty mean sunburn, though - check it out in the slideshow in the post below. Enjoy!

RSVP Slideshow

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My September and October

Pretty cool, huh?

September 12, 2010

Sumas, British Columbia, Canada to Lake Cavanaugh, WA

about 66 miles

Our first day! We're going to start the day in Canada with a cold Canadian beer (after all, we're bookending this tour with a Tecate in Tecate) and a few miles in the great white North, then head south to Lake Cavanaugh in Washington state.

September 13, 2010

Lake Cavanaugh, WA to Seattle, WA

about 75 miles

Some more pretty riding in rural Washington, all funneling toward the Emerald City. We'll be leading a group ride in Seattle in the evening.

September 14, 2010

Seattle, WA to Olympia, WA

about 82 miles, including the Bremerton Ferry

This day starts in Seattle with a morning ride to the ferry dock and the always-pleasant ferry to Bremerton. From there we'll be riding the peninsula to the state capitol in Olympia. We'll be leading a group ride in Olympia.

September 15, 2010

Olympia, WA to Bay Center, WA

about 80 miles

We'll be riding through the rolling hills of rural Washington toward the Pacific Ocean, and starting our first of many miles on US 101. We'll be camping at the Bay Center Campground.

September 16, 2010

Bay Center, WA to Jewell Meadows, OR

about 74 miles

Today will mark our first sighting of the western coast of America - we'll be laying our eyes on the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach, WA before crossing the Oregon Coast Highway Bridge to Astoria, OR, and our second state of the trip. Our day continues past Astoria into the Catsop State Forest and Jewell Meadows.

September 17, 2010

Jewell Meadows, OR to Portland, OR

about 70 miles

The City of Roses! Our 5th day takes us from the forests of Oregon to it's capitol city. We'll ride from Jewell Meadows to the capitol building in Portland, and lead a group ride in the evening in Portland.

September 18, 2010

Rest Day/Awareness Ride Day in Portland

Although we won't be putting a dent in our touring miles, we'll be leading at least 2 group rides in Portland and doing some promotional work with a few local shops and clubs. Come join us!

September 19, 2010

Portland, OR to Lincoln City, OR

about 93 miles

Our legs "fresh" after a down day in Portland, we'll be knocking out 90+ miles for the first time in our trip today. We'll be heading west all day in search of the Pacific Ocean, arriving in LIncoln City and spending the night on the beach. We may be leading a group ride in Portland first thing in the morning - keep posted!

September 20, 2010

Lincoln City, OR to Winchester Bay, OR

about 97 miles

Even more miles! Inching toward a single-day century now.... Today's ride is simple: take the Pacific Coast Bicycling Highway south while looking at the Pacific Ocean all day. If you don't like good scenery, this isn't your kind of bike ride. If you like jaw-dropping postcard views all day, then come join us.

September 21, 2010

Winchester Bay, OR to Port Orford, OR

about 93 miles

Well, after waking up on the beach after yesterday''s ride, we assume that we'll be into doing pretty much the same thing. So we're going to stay on the coast and take 101 south to Port Orford, enjoying more views and great roads along the way.

September 22, 2010

Port Orford, OR to Klamath, CA

about 105 miles

High five! Our first single-day century of the tour also takes us into our third state, California. We'll be staying on the Pacific Coast Bicycling Highway all day, crossing into California about 2/3 of the way though our day. Camping on the beach is still the accommodation of choice, and tonight's venue will be Flint Ridge.

September 23, 2010

Klamath, CA to Eureka, CA

about 73 miles

We'll be sticking to our oceanfront riding+forests theme, enjoying both the Pacific Ocean and the giants of Redwood National Park today, before ending up in Eureka, CA. We'll be sure to explore some of the famous mansions and architecture the town is known for while we're there.

September 24, 2010

Rest Day/Awareness Ride Day in Eureka

Going to rest our legs and spread the word with the friendly locals of Eureka - we'll be leading a group ride this afternoon.

September 25, 2010

Eureka, CA to Leggett, CA via the Avenue of the Giants

about 88 miles

Well, this has all of the makings of one of the highlight days of our tour. After our "rest" day in Eureka, we'll be heading inland to the Avenue of the Giants - one of the most popular natural attractions in the world. Trees bigger than houses? Why yes, thank you.

September 26, 2010

Leggett, CA to Point Arena, CA

about 90 miles

If there's a way to one-up the natural beauty of the Avenue of the Giants, the ride on California State Route 1 all day might just do it. We'll let you know. Want to see for yourself? Come ride with us.

September 27, 2010

Point Arena, CA to Santa Rosa, CA

about 82 miles

Another gorgeous day riding the Pacific Coast Highway in California to on of the biggest cycling towns in the world, Santa Rosa, CA.

September 28, 2010

Rest Day/Awareness Ride Day in Santa Rosa, CA

We'll be leading some group rides and meeting some of the local cycling population in Santa Rosa - come say hello!

September 29, 2010

our own King's Ridge Gran Fondo

103 miles, about 8,500 feet of climbing

Some of us will be retracing the 2009 Gran Fondo route (yes, just for fun) while the rest of the team will be enjoying an additional day in Santa Rosa. The King's Ridge Gran Fondo is local pro Levi Leipheimer's home ride. We can't make the event this year, so we're setting out on our own ride. It's going to be awesome.

September 30, 2010

Santa Rosa, CA to Napa and Sonoma, CA

about 70 miles

All of this cycling has made us thirsty, so we decided on a detour day out to California's fabled wine country. Nothing like a few vineyard tours to relax those aching muscles...

October 1, 2010

Sonoma, CA to Muir Beach, CA

about 61 miles

A nice short day is on the calendar for our first day of October - after numerous vineyard tours the day before, we'll probably be glad we've only got 61 miles to go today! The day's ride ends on scenic Muir Beach, CA in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Another night spent sleeping on the beach....

October 2, 2010

Muir Beach, CA to San Francisco, CA

28 miles

Definitely going to be one of the best days of the tour. We're going to rise with the sun on the beach, then enjoy the ride into San Francisco over the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. The day will then be spent touring San Francisco and meeting some of the enthusiast commuters that tackle those famous hills every day. We'll be leading 2 group rides in San Francisco today.

October 3, 2010

Rest Day/Awareness Ride Day in San Francisco, CA

We'll be leading some group rides and touring the city - if you live in San Francisco, come show us your roads! We're excited to also take a trolley somewhere while we're here...

October 4, 2010

San Francisco to Opal Cliffs, CA via Half Moon Bay

about 82 miles

Leaving the City by the Bay, we'll head south along the coast to Half Moon Bay, one of the more famous beaches on the California coast for an unwinding day at the beach (and some bodysurfing!). After dinner, we'll take a twilight ride on to Opal Cliffs, CA for a night's sleep on one of their lovely beaches.

October 5, 2010

Opal Cliffs, CA to Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

about 50 miles

Taking it easy today with only 50 miles, but with all of them along Monterey Bay, and with the day ending in Carmel-by-the-Sea, I think we'll manage.

October 6, 2010

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA to Morro Bay, CA

about 123 miles

Well, here's where we put those legs to the test after an easy day yesterday. Tackling all of Big Sur in one day - a California cyclist's dream. Despite the mileage and the thousands of feet of climbing (or maybe because of the miles and climbing), the consistent views of the Pacific should make today one to remember.

October 7, 2010

Morro Bay, CA to Gaviota, CA

about 93 miles

More coastal riding and stops in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria should make today's ride a real treat. And at the end of the day? More camping on the beach!

October 8, 2010

Gaviota, CA to Ventura, CA

about 60 miles

A pleasant coastal ride today, with a stop for a Friday afternoon group ride in Santa Barbara. We'll then be cruising along Highway 1 around sunset all the way to Ventura and yet another night spent on the beach under the stars.

October 9, 2010

Ventura, CA to Beverly Hills, CA

about 83 miles

Starting the day with a Saturday morning group ride in Ventura, CA, we'll then head out for LA, stopping in Camarillo for some sightseeing (Chris was born there, and wants to see the town...). Up next, a stop at the Santa Monica Pier and some time at the beach! The day ends with a self-guided tour of Beverly Hills, a evening cruise down Sunset Blvd. and a nighttime view of the famous Hollywood sign.

October 10, 2010

Rest Day/Awareness Ride Day in Los Angeles, CA

We'll be leading some group rides and touring the city - if you live in Los Angeles, come show us your roads! We know there's a lot to see, so give us some ideas of some good places to see and things to do while we're here!

October 11, 2010

Rest Day

Okay, so we're going to be tourists for a day and enjoy Los Angeles.

October 12, 2010

Los Angeles, CA to Palmdale, CA

about 67 miles

This is the setup ride for tomorrow... 67 nice and flat miles...

October 13, 2010

Palmdale, CA to Big Bear Lake, CA

about 136 miles with about 14,200 feet of climbing

Ouch. Yes, we're bold enough to think we can complete stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California. It'll be fun to look at the ProTour riders' times when we're done.

October 14, 2010

Rest Day at Big Bear Lake, CA

If you think we're doing anything but sleeping and eating under the sun at Big Bear Lake after yesterday, you're nuts.

October 15, 2010

Big Bear Lake, CA to San Bernandino, CA

about 42 miles

Nice, easy day through the San Bernandino National Forest, culminating in a group ride in San Bernandino.

October 16, 2010

San Bernandino, CA to Long Beach, CA

about 85 miles

Our Saturday takes us back through the concrete jungle of suburban Los Angeles, stopping in Pasadena for a group ride and a sightseeing trip to the Rose Bowl. Then on toward the Pacific Ocean once again - we'll be spending the night in Long Beach/Huntington Beach.

October 17, 2010

Group Rides in Long Beach, CA and Huntington Beach, CA

about 18 miles, plus group rides

Ah, Sundays. Nothing like meeting new friends over a few miles of Pacific coastline riding.

October 18, 2010

Rest Day in Huntington Beach, CA

We're going swimming and working on our tans.

October 19, 2010

Huntington Beach, CA to Oceanside, CA

about 52 miles

A full day back on Highway 1 on the Pacific coast, stopping in Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente for some sightseeing.

October 20, 2010

Oceanside, CA to San Diego, CA

about 40 miles

Another pleasant day on Highway 1 - this one is to be the last of our tour. We'll be passing through Carlsbad and Encinitas en route to San Diego, our last big city of the trip.

October 21, 2010

San Diego

We may go to the zoo..... who am I kidding, we're going to the zoo.

October 22, 2010

Group Ride in San Diego

We'll be leading an afternoon group ride to celebrate Friday evening - come join us.

October 23, 2010

More group rides!

We'll be leading a morning group ride, spending the day exploring the city, then leading a twilight ride. It's going to be fun....

October 24, 2010

Our last group rides!

These Sunday rides will be the last TYB group rides of the Border2Border tour, with one in the AM and a low key ride in the PM. Ah, Sundays...

October 25, 2010

San Diego, CA to Tecate, Baja California, Mexico

about 50 miles

THIS IS IT! Our last day of the tour! All of those miles have culminated in a short ride from San Diego to the Tecate Brewery in Tecate, Mexico. It's going to be a tasty beer....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Life, Bikes, and Jobs

It's been an absolutely hectic week, and I'm thoroughly enjoying elevating my legs for a bit as I write this. It's 10:42 on Friday morning, and I gave myself the day off today. I've spent my morning resting my legs, learning how to swim (in theory - I'll try it in the pool tomorrow), enjoying some jazz music, and making dents on my to-do lists (yes, I have several, and yes, they are "comprehensive"). I feel like I'm starting to catch back up after imposing an easy day on myself yesterday (both with work and with training) and forcing a rest day (no work and no training) on myself today. This may sound a little feeble, but I might have to admit that I ran myself into the ground. Last week I "enjoyed" 24 hours of training, worked 36 hours, and only squeezed in 37 hours of sleep - when that's the case you know you've got issues. I know that my body can take a lot (and I even know that my body can take a week like that), but add those up and you hit a wall pretty quickly. I feel as though I need to be a bit more aware of how my ambition and "I'm 24 and my body can handle it" mentality interact.

All things considered, though. I couldn't be happier. I'm healthy, and comfortable, I have great things on my calendar for the next 12 months (well, 10 - I have no idea what I'm doing next July), and I have better friends and family supporting me than I could ever dream of. All of the hectic and exhausting aspects of my life are reflective only of my own ambitions and doings, and I can live with that.

Fortunately (maybe not the right word), my leaving the Gold's Gym Washington family at the end of the month has leaned down my client load considerably, and I have a fairly relaxed week ahead of me. The down time should allow my mind to refresh itself, allow my body to recover, and allow me to really put some time into the TYB support outreach program. We leave in just over a month, and there's still loads of work to do with regard to sponsorships, equipment support, ride food support, brand marketing, local bike shop networking... ugh. I should stop blogging and get to work.

Our TYB t-shirts are in, and so are our wristbands (check them all out in the photos above). We're selling both items as a way to help support the Border2Border tour - all money raised goes to support the ride and its riders along the way. We're a not-for-profit organization, so if you dig what we're doing and want a cool t-shirt/wristband email me at chris@takeyourbike.org with what you want and your address. Your purchase will help make all of this possible. Tell your friends!

In other personal cycling exploit news, I entered a charity event tomorrow called the Cougar Mountain Hill Climb - a 2 mile time trial up Cougar Mountain at a 7.8% average gradient. My kind of ride. Coupled with the early AM ride there (26 miles including my favorite jaunt around Mercer Island) and the ride home, it should make for a good morning (wasn't I just talking about how I'm overworking myself?). Next weekend is RSVP (the Ride from Seattle to Vancouver... and Party!). I'm doing it with a bunch of friends, and making plenty of new ones. I hope to document it well, since it's sort of a 2-day goofball ride with lots of hydrating with beer, camping, etc. I'll be brining about 400 TYB.org wristbands as well, and hope to spread the word like wildfire.

The next weekend (every weekend I must do something ridiculous, of course) is my first-ever triathlon. I feel overly confident about the bike, good about the run, decent about transitions. I am absolutely wrecked over the swim. I tried swimming two days ago in Green Lake here in sunny Seattle, WA (over 4 weeks straight of no rain to speak of!), and struggled mightily. It's not that I can't swim, it's that I can't swim efficiently (read: well). I need to spend some serious time learning about stroke and breathing in the next 2 weeks if I'm going to do respectably in my first attempt at triathlon. And I'm definitely going to have to spend a lot of time this winter learning how to be efficient in the water if I'm going to achieve my goals at next year's CDA Ironman in June (yes, it's very weird to write about how I'm going to do an Ironman triathlon..).

The notice has been put in at Gold's and Rain in Seattle, and it's time for me to add "find work in Tahoe" to the ad-infinitum to-do lists. Here's to finding work in the fitness industry this winter.

More info to come on the TYB ride, the impending triathlon humbling, and all things life in the next week or so. Say hello sometime, I'm on the Facebook machine.