Friday, March 31, 2006

Nothing to do with bicycles

I think my Tacoma might have numbered days... the new FJ Cruiser just tickles my sphinct! I figure I'll give em a year to get the first run kinks out though before I do anything rash... (sorry Claire).

On the production model, they even went with the old skool TOYOTA across the grill rather than the new Toyota mark. Sweeeeeeet. The big question is: Can I lie down in the back?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Awake is the New Sleep

Having insomnia is interesting, to say the least. I can't imagine having this problem all the time. So what does one do when one can't sleep after 20 hours awake? Why, read about cycling and insomnia, of course!

In this article from Dr. Mercola he recommends exercise, and more specifically, swimming as the best exercise for insomnia. He has this to say about the bike:

"For most of us, cycling is not a good practical alternative for two reasons. One has to cycle up to four times longer than most other aerobic activities to obtain similar cardiovascular benefits. However, the more important issue is that most of us ride on the roads and expose ourselves to being seriously injured or killed by cars or trucks."

It's a fascnating place to be; my body is telling me that I'm exhausted, and yet I can't close my eyes. Prednisone, I'm learning, makes me squirelly as hell. No mood swings yet though - I feel pretty darn tootin' and cheery right about now!

I have to start triathlon training again. I want to compete in least one off road tri this year. Any suggestions? It'll have to be late season.

My new friend, Mr. Insomnia

My new buddy, Mr. Insomnia, seems to have wasted no time in introducing himself. World, meet insomnia. Insomnia, world.

Gotta love that Prednisone... been up since 3:15.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

CT scan results, new meds

I got my CT scan results today:

No anatomical problems other than a very slightly deviated septum. It's not enough to even worry about, but it might be a contributor to my improper sinus drainage. No polyps, no bone problems, no surgery. Hot damn!

I'm about to start taking a mother of a medicine regimen that will have me out of commission for most of April.

Above is the chemical structure for Avelox, a nasty a synthetic broad spectrum antibacterial agent. It's the 3rd antibiotic I'll have taken this year, and I have to take it for three weeks. On top of the Avelox I have to take Prednisone to reduce the burly swelling of my sinus tissue. Possible side effects of these two: a greatly reduced immune system, insomnia, mood swings, dizziness, seizures, water retention. They say one might gain weight because Prednisone makes you so hungry. I could stand to gain a few pounds - I weighed in at 136 two days ago.

Also with the Prednisone, there's a big warning that says, "This medicine makes you susceptible to illnesses. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people who have colds or other infections."

Now how the f*ck am I supposed to go to work during this time period? The office is where I picked up this virus in the first place, and the office continues to be an international petrie dish and a constant cacophony of coughing fits, sneezes, nose blows, and throat clearing.

Anyway, that's the story. When I get a chance I'll put the images from my CT scan over on Flickr.

2006 has been a real bitch, and I'm looking forward to getting through this round of meds. I guess things do come in threes. Three months off the bike. Three sinus infections. Three types of antibiotic. Three weeks of pills. Maybe all these threes are telling me it's time to start triathlon training again when I'm well.

Don't cheat in a race

Because the fans might get pissed...

Cyclists in the news

There are a lot of people that die on bikes every single day. Crazy when you have news aggregators to find them all for you.

Stoke of the Day

Don't forget to set your clock ahead an hour on Sunday night. Daylight savings time, here we come!

(Man, I'm going to miss spending every summer evening in Chico this year!)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I wonder what kind of roof racks she uses

A New Zealand cyclist has lost her bicycle less than 24 hours from her Commonwealth Games event.

(Or perhaps it was user error?)

We ride so you stay fat and happy

Can someone tell me what is wrong with this?

New Delhi: McDonald's India (North) has announced a new delivery system - `McDelivery on Bicycles', an initiative restricted to the area of Chandni Chowk in the Capital.

McDonald's has deployed five bicycles, to be ridden by a team of delivery squad members of the company.

According to Vikram Bakshi, Managing Director, McDonald's India (Northern Region), said, "In our constant endeavour to offer convenience, we took this initiative as a challenge to overcome the accessibility factor. McDelivery on Bicycles is another interesting innovation, which is primarily driven by customer needs and aspirations. We are sure our customers will welcome this initiative and we are confident of making it a success."

This is simply fascinating in that India is over 80% Hindu, and Hindus do not eat beef. I guess in a country with over a billion people, that leaves several million to take on Quarter Pounders with Cheese.

Bicycles and Icicles

I just added Tim's blog to the 'Cycling Blogs I Read' category on the right hand side of this page. His writing style is great, and his tales of riding in the Alaskan winter make me feel pretty lucky to have gotten in as many rides as I did this winter in Chico before I got sick.

On a different note, I haven't shaved for about a week now, and I think I might keep the beard. I'm thinking a beard might scare away the sinus infections. I'm thinking of becoming that guy who shaves his head and beard at the same length. Claire thinks I'd look like a tennis ball. But I'll still shave my legs! I could always go back to the handlebar mustache too...

Can you say 'cabin fever'?

Cycle Facility of the Month

The Warrington Cycle Campaign in jolly old England is an effort to encourage safer cycling and generally more cycling. They have compiled a hilarious catalogue of photos called 'Cycling Facility of the Month' from that area that illustrate how poorly designed cycling paths actually are. Accompanied by typical dry British humor, they're definitely worth clicking through.

Beyond the humor factor, I'm not sure what to think. Are English engineers simply *that* bad? (Sorry Damien.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dignosis: Chronic Sinusitis

I went to an Otolaryngology (Ear/Nose/Throat) specialist yesterday, and I've been tentatively diagnosed with Chronic Sinusitis - also known as chronic sinus infections. Rather than mess around with any more doc-in-a-box types, I've made two appointments at Stanford.

Next week I'm going to the Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto to get a CT Scan on my head and sinuses to see if there are any anatomical problems that can be fixed with surgery. It is highly likely that the inside of my head is F'd up, and at this point I'll take some lasers up the nose in an attempt to fix it over the 101 degree fever I've had on and off for nearly two months.

I'm also going to an audiologist to test whether or not the hearing loss that I've been experiencing for the past seven weeks is permanent. I've had worsening sinus-related problems over the past ten years, and it's time to do something about it. The idea of being a cyclist and musician with little hearing doesn't exactly get me stoked.

In the past seven weeks, I've been able to ride my bike three times. That's no way to live! Not looking forward to what's to come, but if it will get me back to work and back on the bike, then let's get 'er done!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Chico resident gripes about Chico drivers

In this Chico ER letter to the editor, middle school teacher, Pamela Beeman, complains that Chico drivers blow through lights, cut cyclists off, and generally suck.

Personally, I've had very few bad experiences with drivers in Chico. I've been soaked and given the bird once or twice, but nothing worse than that. I'm a hyper-aware rider, but perhaps I've also been lucky.

In the Bay Area on the other hand, I feel like I take my life into jeopardy every time I ride - even on my short commute to work. In fact, I rode to work this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks (been sick), and a lady cut me off with the old 'right turn without looking' - to the point where I stopped by putting my foot on her bumper... and then gave her a healthy knock on her driver side window to let her know her error.

Anyway, is it just me, or are Chico drivers generally bicycle friendly? Oh, and I don't recommend riding a bicycle with vertigo. I won't be doing that again.

Small world

I bought a Sierra Nevada team issue jersey on the cheap over on eBay a couple of days ago. The guy I bought it from happened to live just down the street from my place in Santa Clara, so we just made arrangements for me to pick it up rather than pay shipping charges. When I showed up, the dude came down the stairs decked out in Sierra Nevada hat and shirt, and I started to wonder if that face looked familiar...

Turns out, I bought a jersey from Ben Jacques-Maynes, who is the sole remaining Original Gangsta on the Sierra Nevada / Kodak team!

It's pretty cool to own a jersey from my favorite pro team and my favorite beer maker, no matter how much of a poser I might be. And the way it came to me is even cooler. It's a small world, and I'll rock my used jersey with pride!

Now if I can get rid of the damned virus/cold that has plagued me for seven weeks now, I might put some more miles on the new threads. Tomorrow, it's off to the Ear/Nose/Throat specialist. Sweet.

Oh, and I can't forget to point you over to the Jacques Mayniacs site. Good luck with the rest of your season dude. Maybe the Schwarz be with you.

Maybe Ben will eBay me a little of his legs and lungs.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Introducing Distance Logger

Zahnd Industries has been working on an innovative online product called Distance Logger, and we will begin beta testing in late Spring.

Distance Logger is for anyone who participates in distance-based sports. Distance Logger helps you:

  1. Set goals and stay on top of them
  2. Log your workouts in as much detail as you like
  3. Track your progress
  4. Find and meet real people doing the sports you do
  5. See the ways that other people are making progress and succeeding

If you would like to help us take Distance Logger for a test spin before we launch it this summer, go to and sign up.

We’d love to have you on the team!

Gino & Team Distance Logger

Update: Not surprisingly, I've had several people asking about what distance sports we will be launching with. This isn't the final list, but this is where our thinking is right now. Get in touch if you think we're missing something.

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Running
  • Mountain Biking
  • Stationary Bike
  • Snowshoeing
  • XC Skiing
  • Hiking/Backpacking
  • Wheelchair Racing
  • Walking
  • Speed Skating
  • Treadmill

Zahnd meets Zirkel

I never look at Moots bicycles. They're just too expensive for my blood. But last night something changed (maybe the dizziness has affected my brain) and I wanted to see what they were up to with their mountain bikes these days. And now I can't stop ogling this thing. Not that I'm going to buy a frame and build it up; the Moots Zirkel in this photo comes out to about $8,000 from my calculations, but ain't it sweet? (Click the photo to see details)

I have a question. Where are the pros riding Moots bikes?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hantavirus update, Neti Pots

In my quest to rid my body of this amazingly stubborn virus, I picked up a Neti Pot (see video for gory details) based on a tip from a coworker. I'm generally skeptical of any hippy voodoo, but any time I get to jam something up my nose with the possibility of stuff flying out other parts of my head, I'm game!

When I saw the above video, it looked like something my buddies and I would've done in highschool, only we would've used milk or beer, and there would have been dudes standing around cheering...

Last night I gave the Neti Pot a shot, and here are a few observations:

  1. It's amazing how much water you can pour into your head before water starts coming out some other hole.
  2. It's amazing how much garbage one can store in one's head
  3. It was surprisingly painless. I expected it to be like surfing - where Mother Ocean fills your head with Coli-sodden saltwater against your will. It was not.

And the results? Well, for a short time my sinuses were as clean as a whistle. In fact, I might've lost weight from the amount of junk that came out of my head. Today, my sinuses are still clear. And my cough and post nasal drip are all but gone.

My one remaining symptom is that I can't hear anything. The ears are totally plugged to the point where it sounds as if I have earplugs in. I figure since my sinuses are cleaned out, it's just a matter of time before the rest comes rushing out as well. In the mean time my equilibrium feels like a six-beer dizzy. I can barely stand up straight! But if I can rid myself of this ear garbage...

it looks like I'll be on the MF'ing bike this weekend, beeotches!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Microscopic Nasties, and that Handmade bike show

I'm still sick. It's a PR for invaders of my body.

Anyway, I found some pics from the Handmade Bike Show over on Flickr. And more here. Enjoy.

Maybe I'll be well by April! :-)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Disaster II: Etech, flu relapse

I'm sitting here between sessions at the Emerging Tech conference in sunny San Diego, and I'm sick AGAIN!

I had a lingering nagging cough from my first bout with this crap, and after four weeks I decided to break down and go to the doctor. Last Friday I picked up some antibiotics in hopes that they'd knock it out once and for all, and bam! Relapse! Fever! Cough! Snot extravaganza!

Does anyone have an explanation for this? Could antibiotics make one sicker before they make one better? Was the infection trapped in my body, and the antibiotics are exorcising it? What gives?

Hopefully this thing will run its course sooner than later. It has worn out its welcome.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Disaster: no chance to get to the bike show

I was slammed today at work. I barely got a bite of lunch, let alone get away to drool over all the handmade machines at the National Handmade Bikeshow.

As Red Foreman would say, "Work isn't fun. If it was fun they wouldn't call it work.. they'd call it happy fun time!"

So there you have it folks. No bike porn to provide you. No bamboo frames. No hand carved lugsets. No custom paint. No schwag! Dear lord, no schwag!

I'm leaving in the morning, will be in San Diego for a geekfest all next week, and it looks as if I won't be on a bicycle until next Friday, or maybe not until the time trial next Saturday Sunday! How's that for a training schedule?! Training? I don't need no stinkin' training!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cycling and Animal Encounters

Anyone who spends any time on a mountain bike riding real trails comes to expect encounters with wildlife. I've nearly smashed into countless bobcats and deer. I've run over a rattle snake (on accident), and probably many of his reptilian cousins. I'd never do it on purpose though. But when you're on a road bike, you generally don't think of animals as a concern. In my case I'm much more worried about cars and careless drivers, drunkards and cell phone talkers than anything with four legs. I did get into a bike-totaling crash with a bicycle cop on the Golden Gate bridge, but that's a story for a different post.

When I lived in Boulder, Colorado I was blazing down a hill (on the bike that was later totaled in SF) just after dark at the end of a ride, and an adult male elk walked out into the street. I didn't see him until I was about a foot from him. Luckily I missed him by about six inches, because if we had made contact I have a feeling the photographic evidence would be a lot uglier than this pic from Blue Collar Mountain Biking.

Squirrels are always so indecisive! And I've always had a hunch that bladed spokes are dangerous!