Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Bit About My Racing Experience

Over the years, there have been a number of moments that make me want to race my bike forever. When I moved to Boise and a huge opening to my racing world was presented, I couldn't have enjoyed anything in life more! Real racers to compete against all the time, none of whom I had figured out how to race against. That drive made me fairly good at what I did and within a couple years, I was racing more and more and more and... eventually found my physical limits and I was going to races that I didn't really stand a chance of winning. Until that time, all I knew was that, with enough persistence, I could find a way to beat anyone that I'd encountered. When the likes of Svein Tuft came around, I thought that I just hadn't had enough time to figure out how to beat him. Turned out that after trying for years and years, I couldn't beat them and my physical limits glared back at me in the mirror of truths.
At that point, I looked back at what I'd done in the sport and realized that even if I wasn't numero uno, I'd had a great time trying! The sport brought comradery, taught me to max out my physical limits, showed me new places and gave humility to a cocky little punk (that tried hard not to show it).
I Made The Grade was goal number one for many years. It's a citizens race that not too many USCF guys showed up at, but enough that it was what I aimed for. In my first year of USCF racing, I won my first juniors race ever with a solo breakaway. It qualified me for a series of qualification races in California to make it onto the regional team. Surprisingly, my family decided to take me to it! Many racing families today would think nothing of such a trip, it happens all the time. That wasn't the case for me. This trip was my ONE chance to shine! Don't blow it 'cause this one's big. Sure enough, I barely squeaked in with third in my age bracket and made the regional team. This meant a free trip to Colorado Springs for the U.S. Olympic Festivals, an event that was at the time, similar to nationals. At the age of 15, I was eighth in the time trial on a road bike with aerobars, racing against guys that were up to 18. Since I was the last guy to start, I knew my placing as I crossed the line. Eighth was an unreal amazing feat to me. There is no real way to explain the joy I had!
From there, it's been ups and downs from race to race. Some stick out in my mind as better than others for various reasons. The reasons that I've found to enjoy certain races more than others always seems to be linked to a feeling that the race is neither easily won nor do I have zero chance of doing well. Also, the hardest races seemed to place the biggest pressure on me to perform, I enjoyed them less. I always performed better out of my own desire rather than when there was a feeling of "keep pulling better results or lose sponsorship." Once I began feeling pressure, the enjoyment was diminished to the point that I no longer really wanted to race. It felt more like a job... perform this action better than anyone else or you lose the cash that you need to survive. Push rather than pull response.
If every race could be like those in 2004... every course new to me, every racer with different skills that I didn't have preprogrammed in my memory banks. Going to regional races that year was the greatest time I've ever had in my life. Columbia Plateau, Elkhorn Classic, Walla Walla, Cache Classic, Eugene Celebration... if every race could be like those, I'd race 'till the day I turn to dirt. Those races were more than just big egos butting heads. Seeing the old pictures of a graduating class of five in the halls of a school in Fossil, Oregon where everyone stayed the night in the gymnasium between stages of the Columbia Plateau Stage Race is a memory that will never be erased. Lining up for a meal with all of the other racers in a school cafeteria... what other race does that?!
Big money races bring fans, big roller teams and great organization behind a race, but they do little to bring about a feeling of community. My experience in cycling has shown me that, it too, goes the route of chasing the all mighty dollar. Those chasing results only and not a good time hopefully won't destroy the sport.
So here's to you bygone days of great regional races. Rest in peace Columbia Plateau and Cache Classic. Lets hope that other such races as Walla Walla, Elkhorn and Eugene don't disapear as well. Remember to thank the promoter of your next race. They make these things happen because they know it's a great thing. I regret that I haven't thanked more promoters, even of the races that weren't planned out so well. When I hear people gripe at promoters, I wonder, do they really want this race to not return next year?

It's not always just about the results. Sometimes it's about being camped out on a small eastern Oregon town's tarped gymnasium floor.

Mixed with a few hundred top end bikes in a school hallway

Other times, it's about hanging out in the Waitsburg fire station because the race was called due to lightning.

And then there's those times that a not participating teammate will hand up a bottle full of beer for inspiration. For the record, Chris did finish it!

Sometimes the race even starts by downing a bratwurst and two beers.

Then the team jerseys don't come in on time, but we all have to start in the same uniform... note Rusty's U size and placement.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Clear Night At Bogus

Charlene and I braved the four degree temps for a few hours. There was a little fresh snow and Charlene is getting a lot better!

Charlene's third time skiing

From Pioneer Lodge

Boise with no brown haze or inversion for a change!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Religion

Yep, I'm going to blog about it, but before I do, I'd like to put in a foreword. If you are religious, this will enrage you. That is not the purpose of this writing though. It is to inform you about how religion is extremely socially divisive.

Religion has messed up too many things in this world for me to not be absolutely furious at it! Religion creates very large divisions in social behaviors. One religion (doesn't matter which one) says "we're the best because we do things this way" (whatever "way" their religion practices) and another religion says "we're better than you because we do it
this other way." That means that no matter what religion you believe in, the closer you follow it, the better you feel about yourself in society because it has convinced you that you are now superior for following the religion very strictly and blindly. Since you are superior, you must have the right to push down inferior people, which is anyone of another religion and especially non-believers. Repression of other people is the root of all evil! Religion is evil! Diversity of all sorts is a good thing! Just so that you can comprehend what I'm saying, maybe consider this... the only thing you can eat for breakfast from now on is Wheaties. For lunch, a turkey sandwich. For dinner, McDonalds Big Mac and fries. This might sound appetizing to most and you could handle that no problem for a long time. Eventually, you're going to want a big burrito or a steak for dinner. Then you'll want fettuccine alfredo for lunch. And why does it always have to be cereal for breakfast, what about omlets, yogurt or oranges? You're going to want to try something different! Diversity of foods in your diet, what a concept!

The closer you become in your religion to fundamental (meaning you believe and follow through with every last word their book has to say), the more dangerous you become to society. The people who flew jumbo jets into our Twin Towers were as fundamental to their religion as it gets. All other contries have their own version of fundamentalism to whatever religion they practice most. The U.S. loves violence on t.v., but hates nudity in any fashion (although they obviously get hooked on pornography when nobody else is judging them for it). "The Passion Of Christ" was the extremely violent version of the story of Jesus and it outsold all other movie versions of the story by leaps and bounds. What does that say about our society? We're hateful and violent... the same thing we hate about those stupid terrorists in the middle east.
Lack of intellect is what causes this problem. The less women in the middle east have access to schooling, the greater the number of Al-queda members (consider reading Three Cups of Tea if you don't believe that statement). The more people in the U.S. fundamentally believe in their religion, the more President Bush's we have. Do you fully comprehend what he has done to our economy and way of life?! No more will I sit back and be quiet about this bullshit. Religion's divisiveness has thoroughly pissed me off! Oddly enough though, I'm not anything that really pisses off religious people until they find out that I'm an atheist. I'm not gay, I've got better morals than 95% of society, I'm as physically fit as possible, I eat right, I consciously mull over the good and bad in every decision that I make and I give everyone a shooting chance to prove the quality of their character. In return, the moment I've been determined to be an atheist, I am judged as some sort of Satanic being. As the original George Bush put it: "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." If there is a way to irritate me, there it is! Arrogance built from ignorance is unacceptable!

Go ahead and give your comments to this, I know beforehand that they will be with hate and anger since you feel like you have been ripped on unfairly. You the reader is not the intended target. The religion that you have been pulled into via social manipulation throughout your life is what I'm attacking. The attack is on ignorance brought forth by blindly following an old set of rules that is extremely black and white with extensive divisiveness.


Post script
Did you know that there were a minimum of four decades
between Jesus's death and the beginning of the writing of the Old Testament? And that Old Testament, it had to evolve into the New Testament as it was just too violent to do the job in modern times

Friday, January 23, 2009

Loftus Hot Springs

We got even more time out of the inversion by heading to Loftus.

The Middle Fork of the Boise River at the pullout for Loftus

It was just barely warm enough for a soak, but it did the job

Loftus could use a bit of patch work with some concrete. It's about a foot low and I'm sure that the leak won't get any smaller on it's own.

Seven elk hanging out in the river at Twin Springs Resort. The seventh is that set of ears you see on the far right.

Stolen From The Griller

Ok, this can't be 100% accurate since search results pull up all of TWO Matt Weyen's in the U.S. The other is a golfer in Illinois.


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
1
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Monday, January 19, 2009

More Getting Out Of The Inversion

A weekend with the family in McCall is a great getaway this time of year! Saturday: hit the tubing hill and play bingo. Sunday: skiing at The Little Ski Hill and then hot springing at Goldfork. Charlene and my nephew Rhett have recently taken up skiing and are making leaps of improvement each time out! All-in-all, a great way to break out of the grip of death that the ocean of nastified air has taken on the valley!

Upon reaching McCall, the time machine was showing signs of extensive use

Maybe I should have taken a few more steps to avoid the port-a-poopers. We witnessed a really little kid, maybe four yrs old, narrowly miss losing his fingers. He held onto the cable and then proceeded to continue holding until maybe a half inch before hitting the giant pulley at the top. He slipped out of his gloves and dropped maybe ten feet! Initially, some people feared that he'd lost the fingers on the first hand towards the pulley causing the release of the cable. Luckily that wasn't the case and he'd made the right decision at the very last moment.

And I couldn't leave out a shot of good ol' Goldfork Hot Springs

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bogus Basin Evening

Getting above the inversion has it's benefits. Here they are:


A Tribute To Beer

Here's to you Arthur Guinness. You've made what's considered a healthy concoction that treats my palate to a welcomed break from the same-ol', same-ol'. Upon ordering round one of the frothing happiness is the breaking point that my brain knows without any doubt that it gets to roll back a little maturity. As I hoist beer one, I'm your common 29 year old, semi-sophisticated, mostly politically incorrect yet moral, farm town raised, city slickin', outdoors adventuring, unemployed Idahoan. Concerns about anything that a functional adults mind goes through begin slip slidin' away. The switches in my brain that are normally connected and working properly to protect me from being swindled or ripped on for some sort of a slip up begin being unplugged. Rows 4,986,884,122 through 4,118,436,994 of Matt's neuro connections have been scheduled for temporary deactivation. Somewhere around neuro connector 4,588,975,124 being disconnected, the waitress brings round two. Neuro connections 4,118,436,993 through 3,855,433,801 know that they're about to get a break too! Continue this trend for as long as is necessary to maintain a safe "happy zone" without going into "tomorrow sucks zone." Once the happy zone has been met, leave it at that and enjoy. At this point, Matt usually has the concerns of a 12 year old, but the functional thoughts of about a 24 year old. Thank you beer, you make me temporarily dumber. "A little non-sense now and then is relished by the wisest men" -Ronald Dahl.
Eventually it's bed time since the remaining connections are worn out. The next day, you wake up with most or all of the connections going full on again, but don't worry, you didn't drain the reserves. It turns out that there are enough people who enjoy this process that the reserves don't ever go dry!



On a totally different topic... take a look at the local news article about Kip Ramos. Pleading not guilty to an action you can see plainly in the video on the same link. Just another example of accountability going out the window!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Hot Springs Adventure

A trip to a hot springs is virtually never a disappointment. How many things in life can you say that about? Alright, you can stop counting now. Why is it that such a simple thing like hot water in a pool makes a person feel so much better? Here goes the answers:
A drive into the woods takes us away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Immediately stress starts to diminish and that's just the beginning of the story. Some hot springs require a trip in and others are road side, so once you get to the end of the drive, your adventure can go a few different directions. Personally, I prefer the harder to get to hot springs as substantially less people venture to these. Cross-country ski into the hot springs and odds are that you'll have them to yourself! Whatever method you use to get to the springs, you will likely be rewarded once you get there. The moment you submerge yourself into water that is warmer than your internal core temperature, you know that you've got something good going on! You're typically out in the wilderness, free from insecure judgment by your common man to boot! The question as to why hot water is beneficial has been pondered for centuries (maybe millenniums) and some have presumed that you sweat out toxins, but even that has more or less been proven wrong. Here's my "theory." When you raise the internal core temperature in any fashion, the body goes into cooling mode, increasing circulation to every part of the body in an attempt to get the heat to the skin surface and release the excess heat into the environment around the body. Circulation is key to keeping the body functioning properly. The bodies goal is to get nutrients into all sections of the body to make sure that the cells tasks are completed as scheduled. During our day-to-day life, we have a tendency to over and under emphasize various parts of our bodies. If you sit at a desk all day, your butt gets too much pressure on it and fresh blood isn't pumped in enough. If you stand all day at your job (i.e. hair dresser), the blood in your legs has a tough time pumping back up to your heart often enough to keep up. The list of examples goes on and on; even your job probably fits in there somewhere. When you sit in a hot springs, the muscles of your body aren't being taxed, but circulation kicks up big time! Big win situation if your body is beat up in any way. It would even be a win for people who aren't stressed (have you ever met any of those?) as there's no limit to how much increased circulation helps the body function better.
There's one other method that a hot springs soak may be beneficial to the body. It's an off-shoot theory of the toxins theory. Think of it this way, when your white blood cells can't fight off some sort of infection and your body knows that it's getting tanked, what's the next line of defense? It forces everything out however it can! Fever, tossing cookies, diarrhea... all the things we don't like, but eventually fight off danger and we (usually) survive. What could hot springs have in common with any of that?! A fever increases our internal core temperature and increases circulation which helps boot out the offender. A hot spring increases our internal core temperature and increases circulation which helps boot out the offender. Basically, when we aren't sick, we don't have some huge amount of offenders to begin with, but getting rid of whatever may be in your system feels good anyways. It's similar to getting a massage when your body isn't sore. Sure it feels good, but a massage does the job waaay better when you are sore.
Increasing circulation is a win-win no matter what situation your body is in. Sure, there's lots of ways to increase circulation (saunas and hot tubs come to mind), but how could it get better than sitting out in the woods away from society in mineral water?! Workouts increase circulation and even make your muscles function better, but there comes a point when the muscles need to recover. When that point comes, how's about a trip to some hot springs?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

2005 Emmett Roubaix Video

Here is the Action Sports Idaho coverage of the 2005 Emmett Roubaix. I cut it into seven pieces to make it easier to share on Youtube.












Monday, January 05, 2009

Catching Up After Getting Not Free Internet

Ugh, the perfect neighbor moved out. No more free internet! It took a while to decide to go back to paying for the web again. It was a tough call between CableOne for cheaper and some degree of monitoring or Quest for more and no monitoring. Cheap won out the head-to-head. Also, a different neighbor decided to drop my cost per month by $18, all in exchange for a password!
I'm a little behind on the blog, so I'll just try to fill in the gap with pictures. Also, I managed to get in a three and a half hour ride on Saturday in 21 degree temps with the LAC/Bob's group ride. Thanks to six layers (two shells), I even worked up a good sweat.

XC-skiing near the Boise ridge line:

Charlene headed up the tracks from Kendrick

Dad too... sorry Raina, somehow the camera wasn't out at the right time

Me too

A trestle over Bear Creek

A Kazakh vodka New Years. Thanks Tara, that's the best vodka I've ever had by soooooo much!

We went to check out the Indian Bathtub hot springs, but they were too cold and the top pool hasn't recovered from the drought. Instead we went to the Bruneau Canyon Lookout

The other direction was more impressive, but the lighting kept me from getting any good shots.

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