I rode my bike, and then I didn’t ride my bike (bikes)

So yeah on Thursday it was 200 on 100 party time. In addition to Ben Wolfe and Chris Lyman, Ted and Tim decided it would be “fun” to invite their pal Guillaume Boivin (of “winning Canadian road nationals four days prior” fame) to join us.

The mayor of Chandyland decided it would be a nice to welcome our northern neighbor by comparing his win at road nationals to winning Ninigret.

Guillaume doesn’t know what Ninigret is, but he was able to infer it was an insult by everyone’s reaction.

(don’t worry folks, Chan pays)

We spent the night making piles o’ rice cakes, Periscoping dumbness, and I particularly enjoyed being around a 22 year old, because I am old and the continuous joy and wonder of a 22 year old is refreshing and also rage-inducing.

So then it was wakeup time, someone decided it was a super idea to put maple syrup IN THE COFFEE GROUNDS in the coffee maker, which obviously caused the syrup to become thick and clog the filter and back up coffee all over the counter at 5 a.m. before a 200 and something mile ride THANKS NAMELESS PERSON WHO LOVES MAPLE SYRUP.

I ate three eggs. And maybe some of the weird leftover Skratch cookies we tried to make that Ben totally screwed up because he’s 22. I think I drank some coffee.

Please note that there will be no pictures from me of the actual ride because my phone is dumb. Ted posted some, but I’m not really featured, send me an email if you want some pixxxxxx.

Stolen from Ted. Or Meg McMahon. I don’t know. Also please note how cold Chris (far left) looks.

We got to the border at North Troy at 6 a.m. There is a photo from the first year just like this, maybe Chandler has it. I certainly don’t. I don’t know where my photos from 2011 went. GOOD WORK RYAN.

Then we started riding.

And as soon as Guillaume got to the front I realized “oh dear this is not going to work out well for me and my 7 hours a week of training but maybe at the halfway mark there will be an Excel challenge and the winner gets bonus food and I’ll certainly win that?”

I kept my pulls to 2 – 3 minutes, as did Andrew Gardner (aka AG), because we have jobs that do not involve crushing it on the bike every day or being a professional fit person. Chan was smart, and kept himself on the back, muttering about how screwed he was.

We covered the first 100 miles with an average speed of 24 miles per hour. With a head wind.

Which makes sense, as the first 100 miles is less climby, and also every time Guillaume went to the front we were going THIRTY MILES AN HOUR and he would pull for about FIFTEEN MINUTES and then he would come back into the rotation with a shit-eating grin on his face because he was clearly having fun and that dude just loves riding bikes and making me feel like garbage.

First 100 miles profile from the Stravs
First 100 miles profile from the Stravs. Rolly.

I also nailed a pothole at 30 and flatted, killing my S-WORKS TURBO tires which makes me sad.

And yes I rode tires that have a lifespan of 800 miles on a 200 mile ride because I needed every advantage I could get.

ALSO I flatted five times total. Not a great day for me (thanks Chaz for keeping me moving!)

The first 50 miles of this ride was also the worst pavement-wise.

At some point we picked up a gaggle of 1k2go’ers, and eventually ASG and Carl, I don’t even know where or for how long because I was at the front trying to reconcile how much fun Guillaume was apparently having with how terrified I was of him keeping this pace up.

My body started throwing up warnings on the climb into Killington (around mile 106). A few cramps, getting gapped off the group and realizing I should probably not see the front for a while.

Obviously we were hammering from there until the climb out of Ludlow, which I remembered from 2011 as being the really terrible one, and there was some cramping and some stomach distress. Chan had decided (or was told by his body) to go hang out in the car, and he gave me a Red Bull Cola which has GINGER in it, which helped me keep my stomach together.

I think we picked up Elle Anderson on this climb. She asked me how I was doing, to which I responded “Generally good, but at the moment pretty terrible.”

After Ludlow is a nice descent into the town of Weston, which you may remember from “Ryan Starts Acting ‘Odd'” in the 2011 video.

Well, I was probably 80% of the way to being that cracked this year. My IT band was killing me, I’d started cramping (which is not a frequent occurrence for me, but neither is riding 200 miles), and the only food I’d been grabbing from the car had been rice cakes. Which, while good, were starting to get old and destroy my stomach.

So I had an iced coffee, and a Red Bull, and AG did some sort of secret ski coaching trick where he basically had elbowsex with my lower back (he was out at this point because of a Di2/outlet on a light switch issue), and then we were back on the bikes and I went to the front for the first time in three hours.

At this point in the ride I realized I had passed the point where my brain shut down in 2011 because I don’t remember having ridden any of this stuff before.

I think the climb out of Wardsboro saw me holding onto the side of Tim’s Touareg while Chan shoved gummy worms, gummy sharks and maple candy into my mouth while I used my free hand to massage a cramp in my right leg.

Eventually we got to the point where, in 2011, we decided that we should just go straight to the Mass border instead of continuing on some other road that looked like it went up hill.

FUN FACT: that road was the last 25 or so miles of Route 100 and they are ALL BASICALLY UPHILL.

hahahaha oh god

yeah I started falling apart pretty rapidly here

Some FUN FACTS about this final section because it’s all pretty spotty in my memory because I think my brain didn’t have enough oxygen or calories to create new memories:

  • I bunnyhopped a pothole and my calf cramped in the air and I almost crashed upon landing.
  • I flatted, and had to get motorpaced on a descent back to the group because Guillaume.
  • My Garmin mount broke and my Garmin was in my pocket which was great because if I was looking at how many miles we had ridden I would have been even more sad.
  • I stopped drinking and eating because who cares.
  • I found that if I thought about Margot smiling and laughing when I went into her room when she woke up in the morning that I didn’t hurt anymore and I would smile so that was nice.

Tim was riding at the front towards the end. I knew that the road we were on was the last road of Vermont, and I was watching mailbox numbers to get an idea of how much road we had left until Massachusetts.

And then I took the sprint because haha suckers

After 218-ish miles @ryantkelly easily wins the state line sprint. Welcome to MA #200on100

A photo posted by Todd Prekaski (@20poundskull) on

Wait were we sprinting? Who cares. It’s going on my resume.

Then we laid on some person’s lawn and drank um seltzer and pulled our crap together and headed into North Adams to eat. I had some mozzarella sticks and a gyro and it was great and then I shouted at Tim, Ben and Chris to GET IN THE VAN because they went to a “fancy place” that “considers food allergies”.

Then I got home and ended up not doing Gnar Weasles because that wasn’t gonna work out with my life, but I donated my entry fee to Colin and he didn’t have to deal with my dumb ass on Sunday.

It’s not every day that you get to ride bikes with some of the best cyclists on the continent, so I feel pretty hashtag blessed to be a part of this ride once again. It was glorious seeing Ben Wolfe crack, Tim had my back when he was on the front by keeping the pace sane, I am really glad I don’t have to ever race Guillaume, Ted is annoyingly chipper, Chris needs to keep his sodium intake up and Cooper Willsey is an overly-energetic youth who needs to stop popping wheelies when his elders are cramping and looking for someone to punch.

I have no idea why Meg McMahon and Jenn Blazejewski and Chaz and Todd and Chris Milliman came out to help us but it’s probably mostly because they are very nice people and partially because they enjoy seeing people complete collapse while riding bicycles.

#So #much #content

If you don’t want to read what I have to say about my bicycle riding (which is Very Important Stuff) you should go read some other blog that is less masturbatory (does such a thing exist???).

Anyway, last week was crap because it was sales meeting at work (GUYS LOOK AT THESE BOOTS, RYAN HELP US FIGURE OUT HOW TO SELL THESE BOOTS) and then I announced/quarter-promoted Exeter on Tuesday night and other things so I didn’t ride.

This Thursday is the 200 on 100 (for real this time, on route 100), and the last time I did a ride of this magnitude I was in substantially better shape.

For example, going in to the first ride (in 2011), I had ridden 5611 miles (297 hours). This year, I’ve ridden 1646 miles (217 hours, because my whole winter was spent on the trainer playing Gran Turismo 3). My longest ride in 2015 has been 69 miles (awww yeah), usually I’ve done a few 100+ mile rides by this time of the year. I only have 90 minutes of fitness in me (see: where I exploded at Sunapee and Purgatory, and oh yeah that time I got SUPER COLD and things got FUZZY at the 90 minute point of the Exeter Ride).

WHAT I’M GETTING AT is that there is a good chance that somewhere around the midway point of the ride this year I am going to single-handedly increase the price of balls in Vermont because I will be tripping all the balls. There will be no more balls to trip.

If you are a fan of me looking exhausted, then YOU MY FRIEND are in for a treat! Because yeah I’m gonna be real tired from all the pedaling.

However, I am mentally stronger than any of the fuckers on this ride, so there’s no doubt I’m going to finish the ride as, if I have to, I will do so through sheer force of will. As it is only a bike ride. Though I will be tired.

You should come do the bike ride! Just meet us at the North Troy, VT border crossing at 6 am. Or just see us somewhere along Route 100 on Thursday. We will be the three or more people on bikes, I will be the one with a beard screaming obscenities.

AND THEN if that wasn’t enough of a “fun time” on Sunday I’m gonna do my first mountain bike race since 2006 (Pretty sure there is a blog post in a WordPress database backup about that race) at Gnar Weasels,  because Colin is my friend and I like to give my friends gifts. In this case the gift is “reading my blog post after the race”.

I have been mountain biking a bit in Hampstead, so I am approaching the race as “a mountain bike ride in Rhode Island I paid $25 to do”. And it will probably be fun, and Paully will be there too and he will be equally miserable and then he and I will conspire to make Colin’s 2015 Gloucester as terrible as possible (aka not playing “Battleflag” in the Elite race).

Oh holy crap a blog post about a bicycle race

FIRST: PLAYLISTS.
– Women
– Men

WHAT????

It’s Friday, and the bicycle race in question was on Tuesday, so at least this isn’t timely or anything.

SO HERE’S THE RUN DOWN of what happened leading up to the race, and the race itself. If you’re a friend of mine I’ve probably told you these tales through many Google Chat conversations, or maybe you could piece it together from Twitter like assembling really boring Dead Sea Scrolls. I’m writing this run down because Drew is just now getting good at using the Internet, and he uses exclamation points way to much.

Drew and I have been involved with the race since we were in college, as it supports a scholarship at UNH and was previously promoted by Ed Spuler, former UNH coach and fan of Eddie B’s cycling tactics. We’ve worked at the race, raced the race, announced the race and I even sponsored the race one time.

This year, Ed wasn’t able to handle promoting it, and Drew really only took over promoting it in mid-April. I was unable to help with any of the actual “work” of promoting the race – getting sponsors together, finding hay bales (thanks Dodge’s Agway!), putting up fliers, getting city and USAC permits, getting volunteers, getting the worst of the potholes fixed, getting fencing, all the other shit that’s needed to run a bike race – basically I was just Drew’s good-looking friend who couldn’t commit to anything other than shouting on Twitter, sending some emails and reminding him that he is a wonderful man.

(This last paragraph is in here because I think a lot of people didn’t know that Drew essentially did everything by himself. It was a tremendous amount of work, and he managed to do it all without choking me.)

Early on we decided it was important to have a women’s race with equal prize money, and Drew expected 25 racers in that field – because that’s roughly what is reasonable to expect from a women’s field in New England. Colonial Bicycle Co. came on board pretty early as the title sponsor of the women’s race, Exeter Cycles sponsored the men’s race, and WE WERE OFF with a high likelihood of the race not making negative dollars (positive dollars go to the Barrow/Bogart scholarship at UNH). Also Todd Rowell was a sponsor (seriously).

NHPR did a little story about the equal prize money, and it’s awesome to hear there will be equal prize money at Portsmouth!

Soooo fast forward to race day. 40 something women pre-registered (holy crap). There were a couple of day-ofs, so we had a women’s field of 50 (holy crap)!

HEY OTHER RACE PROMOTERS IN NEW ENGLAND – you can have a big women’s field. It’s possible. Some things that worked in our favor:

  • Equal prize money. Doesn’t really cost that much to do, but it shows that you’re committed to the event, and that you do actually take it seriously.
  • It was a women’s open, so if you’re doing a Women’s 1/2 your numbers will obviously be different. I think a Pro/1/2/3 is a good way to go to keep numbers healthy. Also, the women’s race winner was a Cat 3, and with the few opportunities to get upgrade points, there are a good number of strong Cat 3 women that wouldn’t be around to animate the race if it was a Pro/1/2.
  • I politely emailed friends who are women racers, or are on teams with women racers, and said something along the lines of “We are absolutely not going to cancel the women’s race – this is not this kind of email. I just want to say that if you’re on the fence about racing, if you could make it out to our race (with equal payout), that would be totally awesome!”.
    • I used to be a big fan of the “HEY BUTT HEADS PRE REGISTER FOR THE RACE OR ELSE YOU ARE A BUTT HEAD” school of thought, but JD said “hey try not doing that”, and he was right.
    • So what I guess I’m saying here is do not make the women’s field contingent upon registration numbers, but do try some polite encouragement/reminders that aren’t BikeReg auto emails.
  • It is part of Crit Week, so people are stoked on racing anyway.
  • I took playlist requests. Most of the playlist for the Women’s race was requests.

I was announcing, Alan Cote (of Longsjo/New England Crit Week/Announcing sans Sonic references) joined me which was great because this was the least prepared I have ever been for announcing a race. Probably because this week was Sales Meeting at work, I was spending time helping Drew (NOT THAT MUCH TIME BECAUSE SCREW YOU DREW) with final things, and a third excuse.

(oh shit I just realized I didn’t have the NBA Jam soundboard at the race what the hell ryan your shit was not tight)

The women’s race was friggin AWESOME. Gabby Durrin came out and took a bunch of the early primes. There were a LOT of primes – probably $500 up for grabs in the women’s race. People were also just walking up to me and handing me money to give out as primes. We had a problem because there were TOO MANY PRIMES.

It was very active, not much “big bunch” riding – field was strung for most of the race.

Then Gabby and Becca Fahringer got off the front in some business, Becca took a $100 prime out of that move and then ground her way off the front to take a solo win!

The men’s race had 105 riders, and about halfway through Connor Jennings (TEAMMATE), Bobby Bailey and Cole Archambault got off the front and did a bunch of impromptu teamwork to stay away and take a ton of primes. Bobby won out of the group, with Cole in second and Connor in third.

This poorly written race recap was pretty pointless. You should scroll through the @exeterclassic timeline to see the fantastic live tweeting by @necyclingexpert.

Some how the Exeter Running Club was at the race and helped us marshal and take down hay bales? We had a lot of great volunteers.

This post isn’t supposed to serve as a recap/thank you post, so, um, yeah, sorry I guess? I don’t know, I don’t really blog any more. Also I haven’t had any lunch today.

I sent out a survey about the race, and have already gotten some great feedback (which echoed what I knew we needed to do for next year). Now that Drew and I know we’ll be promoting the race with a bit more lead time, things will be better planned and his blood pressure will be healthier. Also I can actually help him on it as my life is less chaotic now than it was three months ago.

Okay thanks for coming to the bike race.

A thing I thought of about doctors

Amongst your coworkers, there are people who:

  • suck at their job
  • are competent at their job
  • are great at their job

So when you are working on something, you may be working with someone who sucks (“gah frig”), who is competent (“okay, this is fine”) or who is great (“BOOYAH I DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING CAPT GENIUS PANTS HAS IT UNDER CONTROL”).

Doctors are just people at work. Some suck, most are competent, very few are great. So when a doctor tells you something, just pretend it is coming from a shitty or AT BEST mediocre coworker, and then react as you would normally (calling them useless? getting a second look from someone else who is actually good at their job?) to a coworker – and don’t automatically assume that just because they have the training that they are good at their job. Plenty of MBTA bus drivers have training, but a whole lot of them are terrible at driving a bus.

The kids

They keep (or, maybe they just had one but my memory is bad and I think they had more) having workshops and seminars about how to manage millennials at work – aka “break these kids spirits and fit them into the corporate form”.

This came up in a meeting with my team at work, and my boss (or someone) pointed out that it’s silly that corporate is trying to make the new workforce fit what it needs, instead of adapting to what the workforce has to offer. Though it is good for people to get a little more “corporate” as they become adults…I’d also argue that some corporate mentalities are just there because “it’s how we do things”.

It’s also funny that the office “problems” with millennials – always expecting praise, everyone gets a trophy, etc – are a product of the way they were raised, how society at that time said they should be raised. And that parenting/societal mindset was created by the same generation of the corporate leadership. So when higher-ups are all “friggin millennials! what the crap!”, do they not realize it’s basically their kids that they are hiring, kids who are a result of the parenting strategies of the previous 25 or so years? (obviously they don’t)

[obligatory snapchat/emoji “joke” that i’ve made a thousand times]

You guys can’t see the numbers but they’re…really bad numbers

Because the weather is shit and my legs are shit and I want to un-shit them before I race Sunday, I’ve ridden the trainer at work for the last two days. I did this a lot over the winter, too.

Anyway, it wasn’t until today that I realized the trainer is pretty quiet (compared to the general din of the fitness center TVs blaring HGTV show designed to trick people into buying homes to keep their advertisers in business why yes this is a tin foil hat), so when I am flogging myself during some interval, sweating all over the fucking place and trying to pull in air through my big dumb mouth, people probably just think “damn, that guy sure looks like he’s dying but he’s just…pedaling a bike…inside…okay”

Hello, Internet

For some reason today (well, tonight, for like fifteen minutes) I had this grand plan of nuking this website and making a new one to reflect the different person I am right now – a person whose web publishing activity has changed almost as much due life circumstances as changes in web 2.0 internet technologies (tcp/ip, nasdaq, intel, http, ram, itt tech, etc).

So my plan involved some new site and some other such shit, and in this fifteen minute fantasy I though I’d share with the world all of the things that I’ve found interesting in the one year I’ve just spent hanging out with a new human being, and the very special anger I have towards basically everything and every one, and maybe some stuff about bike racing because that’s why so many of you are here (anyone here? maybe? fuck it, I don’t need an audience to shout nonsense, I will yell nonsense into the void goddamnit).

Tomorrow will be the 30th anniversary of my mother squeezing me out of her vagina, which means tonight is the last night of my 20s, which also means today I reflected on the experiences of my 20s, which is the decade that modern Americans have crazy growth and go from idiotic post-teens to idiotic proto-adults. The early parts of this decade of existence were focused mostly on consuming alcohol and ignoring responsibilities, the middle part on learning how to not be an asshole, and the last part on saddling myself with responsibilities and trying to keep it together.

I didn’t remember what I did on my 20th birthday, so I checked an old localhost.sql file for this site (a back up from before I nuked the database because also in this decade I learned how to be a web developer – thanks coffee and Google and Colin) and there was nothing. But in my Lightroom library (migrated from iPhoto because iPhoto didn’t like the 25,000+ photos I had) I found photos of hanging out with high school friends, so that is what apparently happened.

I also had some grand idea to tie this all in to technology, and to this screenshot of Flickr, but I’m tired so I’m not going to try. Figure out some connection yourself.

The last photo I uploaded to Flickr was from 2011
The last photo I uploaded to Flickr was from 2011

Raika lives with Amanda’s mom, and the photos from July 13 were from three days or so before the 200 On 100, which was also the same day that I sold my car and became a member of a one car couple. Which lasted until this summer.

I’m not getting at anything here, sorry if you were expecting that.

I did fix it so I can post to this from my phone, so, um, hoooray? But it’s still on a site that I’m hosting so when I stop paying the bill BOOM everything is gone.

I’m talking an awful lot about the production of having a website right now, huh? I’ve had a website since 2002, I’M KIND OF A BIG DEAL. Pretty sure I wrote my website address in people’s yearbooks in high school – and that site still exists, with a link to this one, so perhaps Jenna Robb will find me and we WILL BE FRIENDS!!!!

Thoughts I had on the trainer

I posted some of these on Twitter already on Thursday. But then my site was being dumb and I wasn’t able to post them on this here blog BUT HERE THEY AREEEEE.

1. Take the live power data from road races (like upcoming classics), send it to the CLOUD (?????), then send it to your computrainer (via the CLOUD), and make your computrainer demand that you put out 650 watts for two minutes or something until you quit bike riding forever.

2. Enter into your Garmin (or maybe on Strava or Trainingpeaks or whatever) food kilojoule units, so you can see your ride in terms of “bags of BBQ potato chips”. Not that you should feel guilty about eating an entire bag of chips, but maybe this will make you feel better (need to talk to therapist about this one)?

3. A klaxon that goes off any time Tim Mitchell shifts down three gears, warning everyone to get ready to party or get out of the fucking way.

4. Shut up colin

“Choking on dicks forever”

I love this.

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 4.46.46 PM

I’ve started reading “Hark, a vagrant” after having followed Kate Beaton on Twitter for a while (she is at her best when she as at home in the Maritimes writing quick comics about her family), and it’s totally super.

You may also be thinking “Hey Ryan, this seems like a thing that you should be posting on your Tumblr!” (no, you are most certainly not thinking this, because who the hell thinks “this guy is posting this content on the wrong media platform”), that is because I think my Tumblr is cursed.

Selling crap on eBay, finding weird old Sega promo stuff

As the title says.

Over the last month or so I’ve been going through the bins of video games and other crap that I have in the barn, getting rid of things that I haven’t used in several years. Like Kolibri.

When I opened up the box, I found that it still contained a subscription card for Sega Visions (which I do recall having a subscription to at one point in my life), as well as this TOTALLY SWEET PAMPHLET FOR SEGA GEAR!!!!ryantkelly_2015-Feb-08 ryantkelly_2015-Feb-08 1

 

OH MY GOD I WANT A SLEEVELESS SONIC AND KNUCKLES DENIM JACKET!!!!!!

I should probably scan these at work (because nothing screams professionalism in an office than a man scanning a 20 year old Sega merchandise pamphlet) before they get mailed off to the lucky winner of the Kolibri auction on eBay.

NOTE: I bought Kolibri at some point after the 32X went bust, so the game was probably $10 at Electronics Boutique (in MY DAY, it was called ELECTRONICS BOUTIQUE). I think I’ve played it once or twice, it’s really weird and not that fun.

I checked eBay before I posted it to see what I should set for a Buy It Now price, and holy crap it’s going for at least $100 when it has the box and manual. Not worth hauling the damn thing around in a bin of other games for the last seven years, but interesting.