Belgian night was a rousing success last night. My arteries will be in rehab for weeks. Croque Monsieurs, Frites and beer. Waffles for dessert. What was the occasion? Those of you who have VS might have noticed a little ass kicking going on last night say around 5pm. That was a pretty sick race. Anti-climactic for the last however long, at least in retrospect, but still riveting. It always amazes me how far out these successful moves start, especially in Flanders. It's also astonishing how much more fun it is to watch the race when you have no idea who won, so I'll be avoiding any cycling news whenever a good race like that's going to be on.
Apart from getting to spend lots of quality time working this weekend (this schedule is getting seriously f-ing old, it was supposed to have mellowed out a long time ago but design on the fly has ensured that it hasn't, and won't), I got to spend some quality time on bicycles this weekend. Fountainhead Saturday afternoon, where the missus took the piss out of me the whole time except on climbs. Last week's cavalcade of riding too hard too often left me in a pretty sorry state, compounding by pretty massive sleep deprivation. My internal clock is all wronged up. Anyhow, wife = fast, I = slow. Conditions on trail = nearly perfect, even to almost just a bit overly dry. Two weekends ago it was perfectly tacky, this weekend it was a little dusty in places. This is like complaining that the strawberries were too fresh and red.
Sunday was two rides. Ride 1 was with the team. As much fun as it was to rock out in the AC/DC kits, the new stuff is awesome. Mike just absolutely killed the design. The pieces seem pretty nice, but time will have to tell. There's a strange thing that goes on with the bibs for the first few times you wear them. Say that they're somewhat restrictive in the junkular region and leave it there. But the jersey materials are wicked pissah, and the whole thing looks really pro. I don't capitalize pro.
So there was talk of us all keeping it mellow during Sunday's ride, but when the reason for keeping it mellow didn't happen, all bets were off and it became something of a fart-lighting extravaganza. I was still hurting badly (my hip flexors needed to be hospitalized by that point) but tried to animate things as well as I could. At one point I was accused of being a sandbagger in light of my protestations of what a leaky bag of poo I felt like, and very honestly replied that I was subjecting myself to the mental training of riding hard when I feel like ass. And I was, because I did. Mike has all the charts and graphs (please note the blogger link thing seems to be somewhat semi-permanently f'd up, and it won't let you fix the mistakes it makes, so the link she don't work - the site is brilf.net). Mine looks a little different from his as we did some different efforts in various places.
Speaking of charts and graphs, the new PowerAgent software is a huge improvement. If you use a PowerTap and haven't yet gotten the update, get it. No, I don't use WKO or Golden Cheetah. I have a Mac and I'm just not into dorking out on numbers enough to go there. The only thing that really seems missing on this is the whole chronic stress thingamadoo. I'm not sweating the lack of that.
Sunday's second ride was with the missus and Drew. We chilled. Then we stopped for coffee. It was cool. Wife's new bike suits her down to the ground. Thanks Jen.
Armageddon in the housing markets, round whatever. The housing market has been so artificially stimulated for so long that as the layers of stimulus get peeled back, the market will catch junkie sickness. Interest rates will be under cataclysmic upward pressure. The homebuyer tax credit will go bye-bye. The Fed will do whatever it can to keep interest rates low. Foreclosures will still rise to eye-popping levels. Local markets could stay strong, but the ripple effects of some markets getting ULTRA cheap may undermine the fundamentals of some of the markets that remain strong. Demand in strong places may shift to those places that are weaker. Equilibrium, it's not just a good idea, it's the law.
Some good stuff upcoming on the old GJ site. Stay tuned.