Archive for March, 2011

It was such a good plan.  Suzanne Lever, Julie Haight, Aneis Andreoli and I met at IOS and planned to roll out for the FS Series Greenville Duathlon at 0600.  Once there we win our respective age groups and celebrate all the way home.  We are impervious to rain and cold.

We quickly loaded up the The Shit Box with our bikes and transition bags.  (Lawrence, we really need those bike racks buddy) And yeah, I probably should have dumped off the broken dryer before the weekend.

I overhead one of the passengers (whom shall remain nameless) snicker a bit at my 1996 Jeep with 198,000 miles.  “Yeah, this baby is rock solid,” I boldly stated.

As we roll out the doubt ramps a bit, “have you ever driven this thing?”  “Yes, I have pulled the trailer many times,” I reassured.  Soon, thereafter, “you have pulled this trailer with this Jeep before?”  Clearly this was the jinx.

I recognize that as the male and being the driver I was supposed to get the directions.  Well guess what – I can’t think of everything.  A mad scramble ensues as Julie brings up directions on her phone as does Suzanne with Rick being awoken early to assist.

It is still dark as we wrap around the beltline.  Aneis catches a whiff of smoke.  Suzanne and I didn’t smell anything in front.  Soon Julie smells it.  Why are they both so skeptical of my Jeep and are they going to be big babies the whole way?

About Wilson it is obvious that we have a giant issue.  Smoke is billowing out the back.

“OK, guys we have to stop and check this out!”  With the the little light inside the hood, we can see that oil is pouring out the side of the engine near the oil filter and the dipstick.  The girls run to the convenience store and buy four quarts.  On the bright side the report is, “they have the cleanest bathrooms – ever!”

Oil is all over The Shit Box.  Even Margo improved her tan on the back door.  I can’t ruin the new trailer.  Will oil stain the new graphics??

Despite our two navigators and the fact that I have driven to G-Vegas about 40 times, we miss the turn to 264 and veer Northeast on 64.  Ok, this is the final straw.  We are 30 minutes from the race site and it is now 1:20 before the start time.  Oil is staining the trailer and who knows when the engine will finally explode.  The decision is made.  We are heading back home.

We leave the The Shit Box, covered in oil, with Mike Wells.  He takes it off for a much needed bath.  The ladies and I head back to IOS.  Breakfast?  Yeah, we are all hungry and laugh off the crazy day at Brigg’s over a giant mound of food. Thanks for buying Suzanne.

Suzanne heads home, while Aneis and Julie help me wash the Jeep.  After we drop the trailer, it is no longer leaking.  This may be a clue for troubleshooting the issue.

Mike brings back the trailer looking good as new.  Then Julie, Mike and I head off for a great 2.5 hour ride.  Six feet were frozen as was the smile on our faces.

What a crazy day!  What a great group to spend it with.

That’s racin’.

The Shit Box

Posted: March 25, 2011 in It's All Important Stuff

The IOSDT Triathlon Team serves as a fabulous outlet for Todd.  This has been lovingly nurtured into, what I hope is, a supportive environment and a great deal of fun for a lot of athletes.

Most friends know that Cool Factor is very important to me, especially with the team.  We have seriously cool team kits, a tent, website and NOW a new team trailer.  And, I love being king of the cool kids club.  This is the most selfish thing that I could ever do.

Getting the trailer ready has been a boat load of work for a lot of people.  Mike Wells of Wells Design Build and Bryan Rierson of Rierson Photography combined forces to create a very interesting and catchy graphics wrap.  The most photogenic triathletes, ever, complete the story.  Many thanks to Erin Cutrell, Erin McKee, John Mitchell, Margo Pitts and Edde Burgess for the indelible use of your images.  Cid, Jr. and I really appreciate how the photos tell the story of the team.

Mike Wells told me that this baby really turned heads as he brought it over to me. So today, wanting to show off our latest leap in cool factor, I drive it to a restaurant to show Margo Pitts and Mike Beaman.  Pulling through the parking lot I see a heavy-set lady in a brown Mercedes coming toward me.  I was being kind – she was fat.

As she approaches she honks her horn as she looks right at me.  She slowly slides by as I roll down my window.  With the most sincere sense of entitlement, she says, “get that Shit Box out of my way!”

In a quarter of a second I was completely deflated, but recovered a bit just in time to make some suggestions of my own.  Hours of work and my picture of coolness were so seriously challenged with just one comment.

Then I realized that, yeah, this baby is cool – seriously cool and some people just can’t handle that.  More importantly, single-handed she named our new team trailer.  It forever shall be known as “The Shit Box.”

Cherish the friend who tells you a harsh truth, wanting ten times more to tell you a loving lie.  ~Robert Brault

Being in a relationship, whether as a partner, friend, coach, or boss, often places you in the uncomfortable position of choosing between telling someone something that they absolutely will not want to hear or massaging the message into a false reassurance.  The truth can be colossally inconvenient.  A loving lie is so much easier to deliver and hear – in the short run.

Relationships cannot advance this way. Period.

We often kid ourselves into thinking that avoiding others anger and hurt is a loving thing to do. We can conjure all manner of justification for the convenience.  Face it, this is often just as much for you as the “feelings” of the other.

Telling your truth, without blame or judgment, can be deeply empowering – to you and the receiver. This comes from having the courage to speak your heartfelt truth when your intent is to support your own and others’ highest good.  People can handle way more than we often give credit.

Seeking the truth from your spouse, coach or boss – and being willing to listen, regardless of the message – can be just as daunting.  Sometimes you have to ask, then ask again and prove that you can hear what needs said.

If you have something that needs said, please do so.  I am pretty sure I can take it.  In return, I will try to do the same.

Other related posts:

Ask For What You Want

Set Someone Up For Success

Part I: Starbucks

The only reason I want an iPhone is to have the Starbucks locator so that I can easily find my fix when I travel.

A Grande Latte now costs about $3.70.  I have at least one every day.  That would be $111 / month and over $1,300 per year.  This is a serious habit which I have no interest whatever in breaking.

No, I will not drink McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts or any other coffee slinger.  I like Starbucks Lattes.  This company has coffee dialed and are incredibly consistent at delivering what I crave.

In return for my investment, I enjoy a sense of community wherever I travel and most certainly as I regularly visit one of my seven local establishments.  Somehow Starbucks has managed to maintain a vibe at thousands of locations around the world.  In the busier parts of Beijing you can look down the street and see 4 or 5 Starbucks signs in every direction.  Walk in to any one and you will be instantly transported back home.  Smell is a powerful emotional trigger

The best match of all is Sbux and bike riding.  Bike riders, as a group, are very civilized and the pre and post-ride social aspect of cycling is perhaps as much fun and interesting as the miles themselves.  Nothing tees up a cool morning ride better than a great coffee.

There is no shame.  I am a coffee snob.


In 2009 China consumed 18% of the worlds energy resources.  Within the next 15 years, or so, they will pass the U.S. as the largest oil consumer in the world.  For this to happen, world oil production will have to be increased by 13% per year for ten years.  Oil production has averaged a 1% increase per year for decades.

In our lifetime, China’s oil, paper, steel, grain and other resources will exceed the current production level of the entire globe.  Wow!

And then there is India and Brazil as the second and third fastest growing economies in the world…  The implications are immense for all of us as all three countries are becoming more and more dependent on the same world resources that hold the U.S. hostage.

I saw a bumper sticker this week that said “Clean, Renewable Energy Is Homeland Security.”  Going GREEN may be the most patriotic of actions we can take. (Ten things you can do) Maybe it is time to ride our bikes a bit more frequently.

The big world is changing, more rapidly than at any other time in human history.  I am trying to determine whether I should learn Mandarin, Hindi or Portuguese.

Chapter Two

Posted: March 6, 2011 in Lyrics & Poetry

Chapter two begins
All time is anew
A healthier picture
A whole new you

Simply amazing
in black long flowing
Exit the bosquet
with passport you’re going

The world to embrace
lost is hate
Freedom resets
as sensual excess

Slowly opening
lifting the veil
The timorous journey
unbalances the scale

With considered steps
the launch takes shape
The door is open
your future escapes

The Capital Cycling Club ALWAYS puts on great rides.  The 2011 Ride For The Rock was also a great deal of fun … mostly.

This year the 100K began with a fairly quick pace.  The large pack began disintegrating about mile 3.   The IOSDT Happy Hour was the night before, and I was not feeling super good.  Inside I was screaming “please slow down just a bit.”

We roll up to the first sag stop in New Hill.  Where out front I am met by my very good buddy Dileep Dadlani.  I knew that Dileep was part of the organization, but it was super of him to give up riding in favor of taking care of the riders.

Dileep and his huge grin greets me as I roll to a stop.  My right foot barely makes it to the ground before we shake hands.

Here comes the ‘tard part…

Attempting to move out of the way, I press down on the left pedal and my front wheel rolls about 4 inches into a gravel filled pothole and turns sideways.  I damn near buy it, but quickly yank my left foot out of the pedal and smack the ground.  During this ballet maneuver my right calf snags the chain ring.

Not thinking too much of it I grab some food, say goodbye and roll off down old highway 1.

Several people commented about the blood gushing out, but I bucked up and rode the 2+ hours more to finish the ride.  It is remarkably difficult to see the back of your leg so I thought it was just scraped and bought some simple supplies at Rite Aid before heading home.

The advice from fellow riders to go to the hospital started to make a lot more sense when I took a shower.  It was starting to hurt and bleed like crazy.

I was a bit surprised when the doctor told me that he put in 13 stitches.  My lucky number.




Training with Todd occasionally requires significant patience,  because I am a ‘tard.

This week Julie Haight, who was clearly desperate for a riding partner, convinced me to skip out of work a bit early in exchange for a couple of fabulous hours out on the road.  This turned out to be the perfect Carolina blue day with a slight breeze, sunshine and 72 degree temps.

I show up early and find Julie already getting ready to go.  The bike is retrieved from the back of my Jeep, tires are pumped up, water bottles in.  Check, check, check…

…CRAP, I forgot my cycling shoes and my helmet – I left them in my car at home.  I get the Jersey Girl look as I speed off to retrieve them.

Twenty minutes past the agreed start time, we head off.  Thankfully, my faux pas is laughed about.  The ride was perfect.  It was one of those days where the other person pushed you just a bit when you were tired and vice versa.  2.5 hours pass very quickly and we just make it back as the sun is setting.

I pull up next to the Jeep.  HOLY CRAP, I have the key to my car in my jersey pocket.  I locked my keys in the Jeep.  Julie, can you give me a ride home to retrieve my spare key?  <imagine a somewhat laughing Jersey Girl look here>  Ugh no that won’t work, my apartment key is in the Jeep.  I ring my son to come over and unlock the Jeep.  He needs an hour.

How about a quick Mexican dinner while we wait for the unpaid locksmith? I realize that I don’t have any shoes as we walk in.  We meet Coach and Mrs. Daren and, of course, recap the entire series of doofy moves with a Margarita.  Oh by the way, I also left my wallet in the Jeep – can you pay?