Tag Archives: cado motus

Ice to meet you

In the course of events in this thing I call my life, I need to mix things up. I’m not the kinda guy that you can expect to sit still for more than a few minutes at a clip, at least with my pants on…

REVEALED: This is how I cop so much time on SkateLog Speed Skating Forum.

I need to be busy. Need to be doing something. And no matter what it is, if I really find it interesting, I can become very disciplined, very quickly and develop routines that I’ll adhere to, religiously, for years without interruption. But once I start getting bored, the routines get hard to maintain, and I need to find something to spice things up, or I’ll start getting lazy and I’ll start relying on anything I can find to use as an excuse to get distracted from that thing I was so engrossed with that it became a part of my daily life and part of the definition of…me.

My career as Skatey Spice was short lived...I just couldn't bring myself to shave my legs.

I’ll admit it…I started getting bored with this thing of ours. That’s right. I started to become a slacker skater. If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you’ve seen the ups and downs. What I’ve published here really only scratches the surface. And yes, my posts do tend to exaggerate the state of things, and go more for a cheap fart joke than any real substance, but that aside it’s a pretty honest portrayal of my skating life. I’ve added emphasis there because my skating life is truly more than roller skating, or, you know, inline speed skating. Ice has become a part of this thing I do. To the extent that I should really just say I’m a skater, as opposed to an inline skater, because the latter implies a singularity of purpose that just isn’t in my make up anymore. It’s like saying “I’m a road-skater,” or “I’m a trail-skater,” or “I’m an indoor speed skater,” or “I’m a marathon skater.” The label “inline skater” has become too restrictive. And since freedom is so much of what I love about this sport, I think saying “I’m a skater” is about as liberating as I can get. That said, inline is really my core so I’m not dumping the label. I’m just more open-minded about this thing I do.

We're just not coming at this from the same place.

Being one of such open mind, I decided that since nude speed skating is flat-out too dangerous and just wrong (God knows the view would be hanus trying to catch a draft,) 2011 is the year of doing things differently. By that I mean setting new goals, tackling new challenges and stretching past my comfort zone. It’s one thing to try to break a personal best time, whether it’s for 100m or 26.2 miles. It’s another to try to become somewhat competent in another discipline, and that’s what I’ve chosen to focus on. I’ve moved to ice. Not in the epic sense of a Jondon Trevena or Derek Parra or Chad Hedrick. No. Just in the sense of being me and trying something new. And it’s been a humbling experience, one that’s done the ego some good.

Taking a similar track to what I did my first year on inlines, I jumped right into the deep end of training and competing. Honestly, the main reason I haven’t been updating these pages all that much lately is that I’ve been using all the spare time I can find to get me some quality ice time on my new Marchese One boots and Marchese Zero blades. (Full disclosure…CadoMotus makes these Marchese’s, and CadoMotus is a sponsor of First Loser.)

These skates kick butt.

Yep…I’ve become a short track slut, puttin’ out on the ice as much as I can, and gettin’ my money’s worth out of the Ice Center Super Pass I bought in February. But I digress…

To really kick up the excitement a notch, I competed in my first ice meet earlier this season, The 2011 Colorado Speed Skating Championships. The meet was organized by Colorado Gold Speedskating, and they’re just awesome! anyway…this meet was a quick test of my ego-resiliency. Considering that my only real competition was a self-described “old lady” and some guys that have been doing short track for all of maybe eight months to a year, I was thinking I was on my way to gold, or at least the claim of having my First Loser status carry over in my ice debut. That wasn’t to be the case. I did pretty well, in that I got the entry fee’s worth out of the event by placing in my heats and skating all the finals, but the podium was a bit further away than I thought it would be.

Turns out I was competing in the masters division. So even though I was on the ice with the Bony Pony’s, or whatever we were being called, I was skating against those guys I was watching and going “Holy S#!t look at that!” So needless to say I didn’t come home with any medals (not even a freaking participation award or a chocolate bar) but I did skate away having had a great time and really falling for this new discipline. (Father’s pride: Freezy Weezy took third in his division!)

Freezy Weezy takes Bronze!

As it stands right now, I’m on the fence about NSIM this year. I honestly don’t know if I’m going to go. It’s a lot of effort for a little better than an hour’s worth of skating time. Yes, it’s the premiere event for me, no doubt. But I’m not excited about the idea anywhere near as much as I’m stoked to go to a short track clinic at the Oval in SLC in June, and compete here in Fort Collins at our first ice meet in October. I’m truly excited and I’m working hard to try to improve my technique so that I can show improvement versus what I did down there at the World Arena in April. That’s got me fired up man. Honestly, I miss that about inline. That same fire just ain’t there anymore.

DON’T GET ME WRONG DAMNIT! I still love inline skating more than any other sport. And now that the weather is somewhat improving here in NoCo I’ve been able to hit the trails with gusto again (94 miles logged last week!) and I’m truly amazed every time I skate in my Pro M1’s on the trail and feel truly in command of every facet of my stride, but it’s that, I don’t know, maybe it’s the novelty of new-found passion that I just don’t have for inline anymore. With inline, it’s like I have something to maintain. I’ve achieved a little something. With ice, I ain’t done s#!t, so I’ve got the world before me. And with a 1:07 500m time, I’ve got nowhere to go but up…at least I hope.

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

Crazy F’in Glenn is at it again! Just to make things nice and tidy, he’s offered up a really schweet deal on Bont Patriot Short Track boots and Bont ice blades. Check it speed freaks:

Any in-stock Bont Patriot short track boots, normally $225, this month only, $175. 

Any  in-stock Bont Platinum blades (top-of-the-line!), normally $450, this month only, $375.

NEW – full custom Bont Patriot boots and Platinum blades, $1000!  Note that the blades alone normally retail for $450.  Shipping and applicable taxes extra, please.

Email Glenn today: glenn916@yahoo.com to get this crazy azz deal before it’s too late. Sorry Rick! (Inside joke.)

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The Fourth Day of Inline Christmas

The song remains the same…

T’was the fourth night of Inline Christmas when…Down the chimney Crazy Glenn came with a bound, he was dressed all in neoprene, a tho’ the room be quite dimly lit, I could see he was wearing a full-body EzeeFit. A bundle of Bonts he had flung on his back, a couple o’ grand worth o’ skates in that pack. Just as I reached for a fresh pair of Vaypors, my wife slapped me hard with rolled up newspapers. “Hold on there Hot Shot, there’ll be no debate, for you really don’t need one more pair of skates.” “But honey,” I said, “Santa knows I need more, I really can’t rest till I have three or four…from each boot maker I need more and fast, for each model skate’s made from a one-of-a-kind last. It’s the deck height and spacing, carbon content and fit, no one’s like the other and till I’ve tried them all I can’t quit.”

“Be they Simmons, or Rollerblade, Bont or Luigino, it’s better than dropping our cash in casinos! Don’t forget Pinnacle, Powerslide, or Verducci, (last night I watched Big Night with that guy Stanley Tucci.) Then I must try X-Techs, Canariam, EdgeTek and Hyper, Cado Motus and Schankel, before I’m old and in diapers. Cause skating keeps me young no matter how old I get, but this rhyming’s for the birds, tis making my head split.” She looked at me sideways as she dropped the club, “Your just do what’s best for us, I’ll be in the tub.” So I asked Glenn to leave, but in a move I found daring, I had him leave me a gross of Buck Bearings.

And it was in bath that I found her later that night, her skin glimmering in the soft, pale moonlight. She shook her head slowly as I got undressed, and said she still loved me, tho’ I’m so skate obsessed.

"Yeah, so we get to Rollerdome, and it's closed. We're like, 'well this sucks.' Then Walter dropped his phone in the toilet. Come get us, Dude."

Whew! I’m throwin’ rocks tonight. I feel like the Dr. Seuss of skating! Trying to write this stuff is like a natural caffeine. I’m naturally wired.

Yep...here's why I won't be competing in 2011. I'm making the transition from inline to skatecycle. I'm gonna own this s#%t!

This is the skatecycle–the next generation recreational vehicle that won an International Design Excellence Award and a permanent place in the Henry Ford Museum. I’m usually leery of these things, but this one looks pretty cool. It combines the foot control of snowboarding, the balanced turning of skateboarding, and the nimble, undulating movements of casterboarding. (Undulating is a perv-word, isn’t it?) Anyway…both feet are placed onto two slip-resistant footboards, and its double-jointed, twisting axle allows riders to move either of the 9″ polyurethane wheels individually by twisting the feet inwards and outwards. This continued foot motion, in synchronization with a twisting upper body, “drives” the cycle over flat, level ground. Dunno…could this be as cool as the Land Rollers were when Apolo was pitching them? Durable aluminum and composite frame supports riders up to 220 lbs. 30″ L x 6 1/2″ W x 9 1/2″ H. (7 1/4 lbs.)

Anatomy of a skate bench

Ah, hoarding. The excessive acquisition of items, and the inability to discard them. I’ve seen that “reality show” on A&E and while some of you may find entertainment value in these people who are desperate enough for fame that they’ll allow cameras to document their squalor, and sit idly by as their family and friends besmirch their reputations and community standing, others look on with sympathy, seeing the human tragedy and emotional neglect amid the rubble of these people’s lives. I tend to empathize with the show subjects…does that make me one of them?

I really am researching ways to recycle pizza grease in speed bearings. Really.

You might be a hoarder if you look at the clinical definitions of pathological hoarding or disposophobia and defensively argue in favor of the term “collector with purpose.” While my buddies the Collyer brothers and I would tend to think our shared behaviors more in line with the eco-friendly mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,  I think we all know that deep down inside most serious inline skating enthusiasts, this twisted psychological disorder claims a small part of us all. One look at my skate bench tells my story. Why is it that I can’t seem to part with that 100mm wheel that’s been chewed down to 76mm? HA! Because it will come in handy some day, I just know it.

As I sit here looking at my skate bench, waiting for the A&E film crew to come in and hand me a big ‘ol slice of public humiliation pie, I decide I’m going to take the first step and inventory my accruement. When the hazmat team comes to dig me out, here’s a sampling of what they’ll find in my little corner of the garage…NOTE: this picture was taken in May, 2010. The bench is now much worse than this, but I’m too ashamed to show it:

Touch anything and you'll never write again Slim.

I’ve got everything exactly where I want it:

A. SpeedyWeezy’s first “speed” skates – a pair of adjustable kids rec Rollerblades with the cuffs cut off.

It was a start...

He actually did pretty well on these for a month before we ordered his first pair of Luigino Mini-Challenge. We’ve been saving these in case he becomes the next Joey Mantia, because surely The National Museum of Rollerskating is going to want these for the permanent display.

Can't believe he didn't snap his ankle. Bad Daddy.

B. My first pair of Rollerblade Lightning 10 fitness boots. I’d just popped off the buckle to use on my buddy John’s pair of Powerslides pictured here on the bench. The liners for the Lightnings have been used to make a pair of boots I use on my slideboard.

The chicks really dig these, especially when it's all I'm wearing.

C. Mailing label with Stephen Charrier’s home address so I don’t forget to send him a Christmas card.

D. The Black & Decker heat gun I used to put a hurting on…

D1. …a brand-spanking-new pair of CadoMotus Pro110 boots, now with nasty burns on the inside lining of the left skate.

E. A foam earplug used to make ear-candy bud covers. (Do you know what that means?)

F. Set of Buck Bearings I used to become First Loser in Duluth in 2009 (I think they’re still there, rusted to the table.)

G. 2nd Gen iPod 8GB Mini that I used as the soundtrack to my skating for 4 years. Needs a new battery, works when it’s plugged in so I can’t throw it out. Worth -$10 on Gazelle.com.

H. One of Jondon Trevena’s Rollerblade Lightning race skates – 5 x 80mm set up, all plastic frames, all leather upper, zero support. He actually won races on these things, he thinks he even wore them on MTV back in the day. Yowza!

I think I had a Members Only jacket that would have matched these.

I. eZeeFit Slider Gloves – they’re just sweet.

J. Bowl of miscellany (stripped axles & mounting screws, cut washers, credit card shims, small screws, all crap. But you know…useful crap.)

What my camera missed, but the A&E crew would find…the boxes of used wheels, bowls full of beat bearings, 4 or 5 empty skate boxes, 1/4 full bottles of lube and WD-40, old pairs of protective pads, 1/2 gone boxes of fabric softener, full box of industrial latex gloves, open tube of synthetic axle grease, 16 98mm scooter wheels with bearings rusted firmly in place, cut pylons, instruction manuals and spare Allen wrenches from every new pair of skates I’ve ever acquired, 6 or 7 heel-break assemblies, a set of wheels with disc breaks built into the axles, wheels from my very first pair of fitness boots, old wrist bands, a broken heart rate monitor, two helmet lights, a fanny pack, 2 hydration belts, and holy crap…and a stainless steel coffee pot full of, um, well, it was for those pinch situations when you’ve got your skates on already and can’t go back in the house…we don’t have a floor drain – you figure it out. And all of this is just what’s on or under the table.

Then, there’s the 6 ft. shelf…

Yes, those ARE anti-gravity bounce boots (no homo.)

The shelf is actually a place where I’ve made a little progress since May, in that I rearranged some crap and actually got rid of 1 pair of skates…

These Problades now live in Kenya. Frealz.

Then there are all of these pads, which I’m saving on the bottom shelf for some poor little field mouse who’s going to want a warm place to live this winter…

Seriously, I found a dead field mouse in my knee pad last winter. It was the salt in the liner that killed him.

So in surveying all of this, I think I counted 13 or 14 pairs of skates out there. Some belong to my family, but yes, most are mine. Imelda Marcos ain’t got nothing on me. I’ve got a deeper selection than Zappos. And I can’t ignore all of the frames, cracked helmets and old Ezee Fits out there too. There could be a Yeti living out there in the corner for all I know. It’s a complete disaster.

In May, the lead in to this post was: “I swear, this bench was completely cleaned off two weeks ago…” And it was man. And it was my intention to keep it clean so I could have a place to hang out. But that didn’t happen. With each passing day I was more interested in gearing up and heading out. I’d just keep the important stuff (CadoMotus torquing Allen wrench, indoor & outdoor wheels, Garmin Forerunner) in my skate bag, dump the garbage or unnecessary accessories on the bench and go on my way.

The junk really started piling up once I got my Pro M1’s. These skates don’t live in the wilderness of the skate wasteland I’ve documented here. No sir, they stay in the house, in my ventilated skate bag, with charcoal Stunkies, in my climate controlled closet. Once I got these it’s like nothing else mattered. I didn’t really have time for any of this stuff I’d been “collecting.” And now it all just sits there, a living monument to my mental illness.

What does all of this say about me? That I’m lazy? That I’m a slob? Probably both. But I’ve definitely got a bit of that hoarding gene, and I know I need to shed some gear, toss some crap and get in touch with Dr. Phil. And when he asks me how it’s workin’ for me, I’ll tell that snide bastard to go to hell, cause you never know when your extra junk is going to come in handy and help your kid with his “simple machine” project.

Speedy Weezy's Popcorn Flipper

But seriously, I can’t even find a good way to close this post out…it’s embarrassing. WTF is that all about? Look for some gear to be posted to Nett Racing’s used board soon…maybe. I’m not sure. Ah, I should probably just keep it. You never know…

I’m a freak, this I know…

In a world where it’s news that Mariska Hargitay is proud to be a size 8 – a news story that actually warranted an update 2 hours after it was originally published – I’m declaring my freakdom. I’m a skate spaz, the kind you don’t bring home to mother. I’m a skate-tweaker if there ever was one. When it comes to skating, I think I think too much.

Funkin' up your pace line, b!@#$!

It’s taken me forever to decide which skates to roll in the upcoming Northshore Inline Marathon. It’s a big deal for me. It’s the only race I’ll skate this year. Wanting to beat my time from 2009 and finish with the lead pack becomes a tall order when you consider the field I’m rolling in is filled with the best skaters in the country in this age class – Norm Kirby, Tony Muse, Ryan Chrisler, Richard Cassube, the list goes on…including my bud Noel Creager – we came up together this year! I’m truly excited to have the opportunity to start with these guys. I’ve been visualizing the pace lines, breakaways and speed all year. I’ve watched several of these guys break a few records and win a race or two this season. They’re inspiring to watch. Hell, my coach skated with and against a lot of these guys back in the day…they know how to skate. They’re truly a different class of skater. If you’d have asked me a few years ago if I thought I’d be in the same wave with any of these guys, the answer would be…ah, no.

I’ve been training hard. All with a mind to be able to grab onto that pack and hold on till the finish, just to beat my time from last year. All things being equal in terms of weather and road conditions, that’s my goal. I’ve trained religiously on my Rollerblade Racemachines modified with a CadoMotus 4×110 DualBox frame and Road War Reds (thanks to CadoMotus.) The coach downgrade my wheel size about a month and a half ago, then we ruined a perfectly good pair of Buck Bearings by loading them with axle grease. To top it off, we added in a few extra pounds of weight per ankle with some strap-on weight bands. We came to call this “Beat Feet.” It was brutal, but I did what I was told to do.

I've been training on these all year. Great training skate, at 3 lb, 02 oz.

Hills in the heat. Intervals and sprints. Tabata and Super-slow, 5-6 days a week. In Beat Feet mode my goal was to get my speed back up to where it was before Beat Feeting it. Talk about tough. But I’ve heard through the grapevine that these guys I’ll be on the line with work harder than that. Thus, I’m super obsessed with the idea of doing my best.

When I start thinking about this stuff too much, my mind is a dangerous place. I become my own worst enemy. Like Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant, I go places I know I shouldn’t, thinking things unspeakable, and smoking way to much crack…

How'd I turn my skinsuit inside out?!

Not quite OCD, it’s disturbing nonetheless. I lose sight of the original goal. It gets perverted into something Nick Cage will try to remake 20 years from now, and it’s ugly.

Last year it was all about form. Early in the season I read 10 Minute Toughness and I crafted a performance statement that I repeated as my skate-mantra (Get Low, Down in the Heel, Full Blade to the Side, Fall Forward.) It served me well.

This year it’s been form and function. Function of form and function of equipment. For me, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to focus on function of form. I’d even say it’s more beneficial in the long run. But you know as well as I do that any skate-gear-head will ultimately come around to, (ah-hem,) evaluating his equipment. And when it comes to playing with it, (my equipment,) I have a lot to learn.

One of the things I’ve learned this year…if you’re going to put 110 frames & wheels on your boots, it’s best if the boot was actually designed to be used with 110mm wheels. The Racemachines I’ve been working with were designed for a max 104mm wheel. Since everyone and their Grandma will be on 110’s this year, it’s really where I needed to be. So I got the 110 set-up and discovered that the second wheel wasn’t spinning freely under the mounting block. So, I made a simple retro-fit using slices of credit cards for shims to jack up the front deck height to get the second wheel to clear the bottom of the boot. Easy, peesy…

For most of the training season I was skating just fine with the front of my boot about 1/4 inch higher than the heel. It really helped me get “Down in the Heel” with my push. I was hitting record times! Then, I got the CadoMotus Pro 110’s and immediately learned that being able to “feel the blade” under my entire foot, from ball to heel, made a big difference in the amount of power being generated by my stride. But my heel and toes were level. This was a great discovery, but as fate would have it I would end up trashing the CadoMotus boots before having the chance to really skate in them. Bummer…but great learning experience & knowledge gained.

Shortly after this discovery, Joey Mantia put up a video blog talking about foot pressure. Another validation point along this path to discovery of a new push.

Then, to my horror, my wife and kids accosted me on my birthday…freaking held me down on the ground by my throat, burned me with a crack pipe and forced a new pair of Simmons Pro M1’s on me for my big 4-0. I took it like a man, but in my shock and confusion over their grotesquely violent presentation of this milestone birthday gift I made a retreat to the internet and did a lot of reading about about how the Pro M1 boot was made. Putting aside my PTSD over the gift giving smack-up, I came to learn something new about the power-points that we should all be focused on if we want maximum control and power transfer. It all dovetailed with what I’d learned on my own with the CadoMotus boots, so I knew I was onto something important. I put the trauma of my birthday behind me and moved on.

With all of this knowledge (and a seven week wait for the Pro M1’s) I resumed my attack on the Racemachines. I was steadfastly determined to wear these skates in this years NSIM as a way of saying thanks to Rollerblade for all of the support they’ve given me and Speedy Weezy this past year. So, the next mod was designed to correct the lop-sided deck height.  It was another simple one…I raised my heel with another 1/4 inch of shim. This was too easy!

My wife was very happy to see such a productive use of my credit cards.

Well, the saggy trumpet began playing because I immediately noticed a significant loss of power transfer in my stride. Having the frame separated from the boot by 1/4 inch of credit card at both mounting points pretty much opened the door to have the energy I was creating just swoosh right through the mounting screws and into thin air, leaving very little to be passed through to my push and roll. I also started getting hot spots on my ankles and insole that hadn’t been there before. I had to work a lot harder to make the skate responsive and I started going through a lot of band-aid donuts and eZeeFits (I cut holes in a thick pair of eZeeFits hoping that would relieve pressure on my ankle bone…it didn’t.) All this because I was trying to wear a boot that I was forcing to do something it’s not really designed for…

After Beat Feeting it for the last six weeks, I’d become painfully aware of how much the weight of your skate, deck height and the design of the foot bed impact you ability to achieve top speed. There was no going back on this stuff. Knowledge gained makes half-assed efforts fall even shorter, because you become aware of your massive half-assed-ness and lose ground you once held through ignorance. To make matters even worse, my Pro M1’s arrived, but they were clearly going to need to be broken in before attempting any serious distance in them. And again, being determined to make the Rollerblade’s work, I didn’t really even consider that I’d wear the M1’s in Duluth this year. Sooo…

Changing the frame .05 oz per boot.

With a firm sense of purpose, I next set out to see if I could improve my situation with the Rollerblade’s through chop-shop methodology. The first thing I did was try and shave some weight by swapping out the frames. I took the Simmons 411’s that came on my Pro M1’s and put them on. Not only did that shave some weight, it lowered the deck height and corrected some of the power transfer issues. Wow – that was easy!

Um, yeahhh…not quite. Try as I might, I couldn’t keep my foot down in the bed (the RB boot is a half size too big, which was never an issue till there was a frame under them that fit the boot without shimming) and now my heel was actually rising because of the new method of pushing I’ve been practicing. What to do…

Give in. And that’s what I’ve done. The itty-bitty committee in my head went on way too long, got too far down in the weeds and ultimately lost sight of the goal. Instead of trying to do my best and beat last years time, it became all about trying to “do the right thing” by Rollerblade. And I know that’s not how they’d want me thinking. They want me focused on achieving a skating goal, not a political goal. So here we go…ready or not, I’m rolling my Pro M1’s in Saturday’s race. The Rollerblade Racemachine’s have been an excellent training tool, and they’ll remain in the feet-fleet. But this weekend I need free my mind of the clutter I tend to create and focus on my goal. To give it my best this weekend you’ll see me on the starting line in these…

All that to get to this...Simply The Best choice I could make.

The Pro M1’s are a skate fiend’s dream. Happy birthday to me.

It's how I roll, run and tell that, homeboy.

See you in Duluth. May you achieve your goal, whatever that is!

Training Log: It’s been a lot of the same you’ve come to expect…I skate a lot. Tapering this week has been made easier by all of the smoke in the air due to the wild fire burning down in Boulder. Lot’s of folks out of homes and lots of destruction. All this skating stuff is somewhat meaningless in comparison. Hoping and praying that the fire is contained as quickly as possible and that no one gets hurt.

Brand new inline skates…

Seems like 90’s commercial grunge / pop-punk won’t go away…

You’ll be singing it all day. Earworm courtesy of my high school friend John.

And I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new CadoMotus 4mm Hex Torque Control Skate Tool…admittedly, not as catchy lyrically, but more inline with…me.

Skate Porn

Rock & Roll S8ers!

Oh baby...

I’ve been actively training in my 2009 Rollerblade Racemachine skates with a 4 x 110 CadoMotus Dual Box frame for this years Northshore Inline Marathon. I’ll be wearing those skates when I roll Duluth, but I’ve been breaking in these Pro M1s a little bit every day. A full review is coming, along with a bunch of other piled up blog posts.

Training Log: Oh yes, I’ve been training. Skatie, skate, skate. I skate so much it’s ridiculous. And really, really great.

Out sk8ng

Sorry – I’ve been lax in the posting department this month. It’s actually been a huge skating month, and I rather be doing it than writing about it. Sorry to burst your bubble.

'09 Rollerblade Racemachine & Cado Motus 4x110 - Problade Updated

It’s all good…what a month! Indoor Nationals, 100 Mile Skate from Hell, Making heat molding work at Cado Motus’ expense, Reorganizing my skate bench (a major freaking accomplishment) and Sum, Sum Summertime skating in Colorado. I’ve got lot’s of material saved up. But the biggest “up” I’ve had…Horseypants is coming with me to Duluth this year to skate her first 1/2 marathon! Can you say “BOING?!?!” My skinsuit just got tighter in the pants. Her training started today…I’ll be working hard on her.

So, consider July a “build up” month. I’ll pop a writing laxative soon, and have lots of blither blather to dull your senses. Until then, I’ll just shut up and skate…

7/2/10 – 7/19/10 Training: I took the week of indoor nationals off and gained like 5 pounds from eating at Perkins & the Pershing Center concession stand every day. I was able to take all that weight back off in the first four days back home skating (7/10 – 7/13). I’ve basically been skating outside as much as I can, mixing up days between 16-18 mile or 10k morning skates and light mid-day skates. The afternoon sun has been intense. Just sk8, sk8, sk8!

National skate to work day…interrupted

Nothing like a National Day of “Boogie Flicking” (“insert sport/activity here”) to get a nation of weekend warriors off their collective duff and out on the roads and trails and in the way of those of us who’re out there everyday workin’ it.  Like so many couch-commandos that flock into the gym every January 2nd to stink up the place for three weeks of paying their resolutions lip service, these people are generally a menace to society, my senses and themselves.

"I SAID ON YOUR LEFT ASSCLOWN!!!"

I mean, come on, even most of of the regular recreational cycling crowd are a laughable lot. (Dramatic note: here I take on the role of elitist inline skater snob…the speed weenie.) Most of these guys, and unfortunately some gals too, cut an impressive Big Bad John figure in their phantastic spandex get-ups. They seriously believe that 2 hours a week spent pedaling around town clipped onto their $7,000 carbon-fiber, rolling 2nd mortgages with a long and firm leather saddle jammed up their crack is akin to a healthy, active lifestyle. God bless ’em, I don’t know how some of them do it…

Screw that biggest loser diet, I'm making progress with this bike, one mile at a time. Mmmm, is that Burger King I smell?

While it’s true that I foster a general disdain for cyclists of all sorts, it’s the “roadies” I’m speaking of here. It’s only because of their own arrogance, ineptitude and outright stupidity. I’ve witnessed Lance-wannabes doing some very dangerous stuff on the trails, and I’ve got friends who’ve met a few of these crank-wankers up close and personal-like, with blunt, traumatic force and righteous indignation.

I don’t deny the Rancor-like brute strength of the need for speed, but left unchecked by reasonable restraint in the hands of Johnny Sprockets and the Saddle Stains and it’s a recipe for rec-trail run-ins that you end up reading about in the police blotter. It’s the hot dogs who zig-zag in and out of everyone’s path going 30 miles an hour that are the single greatest cause of bad reputations, poor inter-sport relations, unenforceable trail speed limits and unnecessarily perforated colons. (Actually, that last one is a twisted revenge fantasy not unlike the NYPD/Abner Loima incident that I indulge every time I see a cyclist in full-moron mode.)

At this point, responsible adults would start to wonder about this public display of unbridled hostility…after all, I do coach a team of younglings. My skill at outsmarting nationwide criminal background checks with Force abilities that some would consider “unnatural” notwithstanding, I like to think of myself as a reasonable, safety-minded person. By that I mean that when I’m on a multi-use trail during high-instance of human encounter hours, I have a healthy respect for limits, personal space, common courtesy and trail etiquette.  I can’t say that for most of the Tony Trek-offs I see on a weekly basis. And today was the icing on the cake.

Can you say copyright infringement? Go get 'em Team Rollerblade Legal, LLC!

National Bike Your Slack Butt Into Work Day always brings out the fork-flakes. It’s bad enough when Schmucky Shimano thinks he owns the trail when you come up on him and he’s out there by himself, but put him out there with multiples of other pedal pushing pecker-heads that dust off their seats once a year for “the big two mile ride!” and you really see some amazing stuff. Really – these folks are driving cars the rest of the year, I think that’s an even scarier thought. It’s as if their IQ drops 40 full points just clipping one foot in. All knowledge of basic road safety and decency evaporate quicker than Lady Gaga’s popularity in the Seinfeld home. In the 6 measly miles I skated from my start point to my office I saw 2 stem-rods in Discovery Channel jerseys terrorizing young children and a new mom, a dog walker, a jogger and an elderly woman by flying by unannounced, then flipping the bird when one of the spazed-out victims had the unmitigated gall to call them on it. It’s pedal-power-tripping and it’s disgusting. Really fires up the ‘ol Irish in me. That’s why I enjoy dusting them when I can, every time I can, just because I can. I was able to get one chain-grease choker, and it felt good. Could have been the good Reverend Smedley out there for his morning 5 mile ride, I could give a rat’s tail. No more Mr. Nice Guy. From now on with all of these guys, you see me coming, you’d better move…over…as far right as you can. On your left, Louima!

(Editorial note: Please be sure to start flaming me when I begin posting that I’ve begun cycling cross-training later next month.)

6/12/10 Training: Just did indoor with the Rink Rabbits, helping a certain someone get ready for Nationals.

6/13/10 Training: Got my butt kicked by the kids for two hours in the morning. Set a personal best 100m lap time so I’m not complaining. 110 mm wheels and better technique are helping me level the field with some of the faster guys too.

6/14/10 Training: Day off from skating. Still one of the hardest things to do of all the training, but absolutely necessary!

6/15/10 Training: 19 miles in the hood in darn good time. Happy with the way these training skates are going. Spent the evening being filmed for a music video at Rollerland with Speedy Weezy, Speed Demon and Lionheart, and a few dozen friends from work. Will post it up here someday…

6/16/10 Training: Tabata Protocol for lunch, up the big hill in 85 degree heat. Had to rush back for a company meeting, at which I was sweating profusly, coughing uncontrollably and wondering aloud why the hell I’m doing this to myself…

6/17/10 Training: 10k for lunch, just to keep the blood flowing and the motivation up. Did a special make-up practice with the Rink Rabbits in the afternoon, working on foundational drills and this. If you’re smart, you’ll click that link.

6/18/10 Training: Day off from skating, but took a one hour power-walk at lunch. Sorry, power walking is for people who want to desperately convince themselves they’re working out. Brahahahaha – NOT!!! (Someone is gonna hate me for that one – can’t shake my cycle-rant character!)

6/19/10 Training: 19 miles at sunrise. Beautiful day but I wasn’t happy with my pace. Felt like I couldn’t get out of my own way. Rink Rabbits were awesome, these kids are flying! And the rink now has air conditioning! Wahoo!

6/20/10 Training: 20 miles at sunrise followed by 2 hours indoor with the fast kids. The Fast Kid and Smiley Sk8s are burning down the barn, but of course they don’t feel ready for IDN! Father’s Day was awesome, Dadioso had a very good day!

6/21/10 Training: 10k for breakfast,20k+ for lunch, could not stop eating! Nice sunburn on the back of my arms from wearing this jersey.

6/22/10 Training: Tabata Protocol for lunch. A little easier to breath afterward this time. Rink Rabbits in the afternoon, had fun playing chase the rabbit!

6/23/10 Training: 29 miles today total. Getting ready to skate 140 continuous miles this Friday…oy vey, what have I gotten myself into?