Friday, December 28, 2007

I live in the southern Puget Sound. I like to paddle around Fox Island. It is about 12 miles and takes me between 2:15 and 2:30 depending on the weather and tides/ It is generally nice and peaceful but can get nasty on the south side sometimes. This is a pic of Gibson point on the SE side of the Island.

This one is looking back SE toward McNeil Island which has the state pen

And looking NW along the south side of fox Isl. On a nice day the southern Olympics are all lined up to see. Today we only get the Navy undersea warfare center where they train dolphins. Middle right

And finally on the way home heading NE through Hales passage. The tides get rocking through here I canusually get the kayak up to 7 or 8 mph. Got to love Rainier in the background.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

RVG, Aaron, Maria and I have been spending our Friday nights learning how to roll our kayaks. I would say the RVG is the best so far. We have been having a great time learning with the Outdoor Adventure Center instructors. And it is great to know how we will all react when we roll in the real deal.

These are the guys to call when you want to improve your kayak skills or you want to take your less adventureous friends and family out on an adventure. They lead guided sea kayak tours up in the san Juan Islands, whitewater rafting trips down the Skykomish and many other great adventures.

Jen was commenting on RVG's new found growth. Apparently, it has gotten a bit thicker since Jen got Pregnant.

Practicing our form before we go over and then replicating it once under.

The boys had the benefit of a practice session the week before the lesson so Maria was at a disadvantage. Below is aaron's first successful roll. Good form except for his upturned head.

I'm am getting some sweep practice before being turned loose on my own. Below is my solo try. I am not sure if the splashing is bubbles or just thrashing about

We had Bucky there to give us a hand when we couldn't make it.

Happy face when I actually got er done. Too bad I couldn't repeat with any consistancy

Found this old pic from last Halloween. not sure who it is but he clearly put alot of effort into his nacho libra outfit (including the extra bulge around the middle)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

If you are like me and have lots of stockings to fill every year. Every year I struggle to get good gifts that are inexpensive, good for the environment, and make a difference. This year I think that I have found the best gift of all. Really inexpensive carbon offsets. Since they are such a great deal, I got 10,000 for each of my kids, 100,000 for my wife, 5,000 for my extended family, and 1,000 for each of my neighbors. Yes even the crappy new neighbors that are putting in the heat pump right on the property line. It is Christmas after all. Have a look here

Friday, December 14, 2007

Forget about global warming. At 1:45,000 we should all do our part to avert this catastrophy. It really doesn't matter how much we have to spend because if we don't do it, well, you know the rest.

Friday, December 07, 2007


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run-
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And-which is more-you'll be a Man, my son!
-Rudyard Kipling

Now take a deep breath and read it again slowly this time. I enjoy writing it because it forces me to read it slow and anticipate what will come next. This is one of my favority poems. It says it all. How many of you can find part of your lives in the words of this poem. And once found, how do you measure up? Are you a man or have you fallen short.

Lord Cromwell

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I give up. I am facing the fact that I can't deal with it anymore. It is going to be hard to believe but I just can't stand it. Most of you know that I have dail-up. I have had it forever. I still have my first and only email address that my wife got in the 90's. I am not good with change and I am a cheap ass bastard. The problem is that I just don't know how to make the conversion. Frankly, I don't want to know how. I just want it to happen without me knowing anything, or seeing anything, or costing anything. I just want my computer to work faster.

I asked prodigy once why it is so slow sometimes, like every sunday night and at random points throughout the week. Their explanation is that they are only allowed one phone number in my area for their servers. I am not sure if this is true or they just don't want to invest in dial-up. my alternative would be to program in a long distance number to another server or something like that.

So want is a person who is completely ignorant to do. We don't have cable. I don't want cable TV. Do I need to get cable hooked up? Would I then have to pay an additional fee? Would I have a choice of cable or is there some governmet granted monopoly that limits my choice. Would I need to change my long held and loved email address. Somebody who knows please help. I know that some of my friends are or were microsoft geeks and most surely should know this.

I am real good with written instructions. If somebody would write it all out for me in easy to follow steps I would be most grateful. I might even throw in a jar of this year's blackberry jelly. I would offer salmonberry but it is much too good. Maybe I would follow up with a jar of salmonberry next year when we make twice as much.

Michelle, I am working on the tag thing. I have been trying to sort out my facts.

Lord Cromwell

Thursday, November 15, 2007


That is the only way I can describe the feeling of a car driving straight toward you without seeing you and knowing it will soon hit you and there is nothing you can do about it.

Last night Cheryl didn't have school, the dinner was made for all 5 kids and the night was mine. It was dark and starting to rain and I was himming and hawing between riding my bike or just driving to the Y. I committed to riding. There was Yoga at 6:45, spin at 7:45 and then a 30 minute core class. After that I could just get back on my bike and ride on. This was going to be great. I could get 4 focused hours in.

Back in the work world I had guys that worked for me at the Chicago Mercatile Exchange "The Merc" and the Chicago Board Of Trade. These guys worked in the pits and were hooked up to me electronically in NY. Occasionally dealers in the pits would put on bad trades. These were positions that would go really wrong. Sometimes they would just keep loading it on getting deeper and deeper. In fact, it was my job to blow them up, sometimes. I had a big firm behind me and after all, it was a zero sum game and they were trying to do the same to me. Occassionally, these guys would be physically removed from the pit when their capital was expended. Sometimes they would have a heart attack and they would be removed. In either case the guy was "Carried Out" as in "that guy just got carried out". It would be said with a laugh and snicker but deep down we all hoped that our number wouldn't be coming up anytime soon.

Last night I got carried out.

Riding on the road scares me. I prepared well. I went for the best light. I dug out the team Light and Motion HID. This is one intense som bitch. I put the flashy red on the back, I put on the reflective vest, heck, I even had reflectors on my wheels. It wasn't enough. I was riding well and felt safe as I headed up Wollochet towards Hwy 16. After I crossed the overpass, there is an intersection. Oncoming traffic has a long approach left turn lane. One car turned left way in front of and across me and a second was approaching to turn. As always when I am uncomfortable with a car, I pointed the HID straight at her. I illuminated her interior. I wiggled my head back and forth in a no motion to signal her. She appeared as though she was slowing and maybe stopping. But she didn't so I spotlighted her again. As she entered the intersection it was clear that she wasn't stopping and I was already in the intersection. I gave it one hard push to try and avoid her. She never hit her brakes.

She clipped my rear triangle and immediately threw me airborne. I can remember watching her bumber hit my bike and then I was down in the middle of the road pounding the pavement. I was pissed. I got my ass up and out in this crappy night, had a good workout planned and now I'm laying in the middle of the road in the rain. at least I had my Alpha SL keeping me dry. After sufficient pounding to get my anger out I got up and knew that nothing was seriously dammaged. A guy came up to me as I was dragging my bike out of the road. he kept telling me to sit down and I kept trying get up and assess the situation. You know check the bike check me. I told him I would just ride home and he told me to sit down and shut up. People were standing around on their phones horns were honking and I just wanted a little yoga. I took 600mg of ibuprophin (reflext action) and asked him for some dirt.

In my mind this guy was in the car that hit me. yah, of course if you hit somebody you rush to there aid right? So I was nice to the guy but eventually ask "did you hit me?" Of course not, it was a woman so were is she. I see all sorts of people but not her. She is gone, drove off. I felt sorry for her. More action now cops/firemen. now I really just want to ride home into the dark. But of course my bike doesn't work anymore.

Free ride in the medic car complete with tests and a policeman to take the report. Cheryl is now on her way and the policeman tells me that the woman came back but I don't see her. My blood pressure is through the roof 167/110 as I am still pumped but in fact I was so out of it that I wouldn't realize until today.

But I am alive. Kevin tells me he missed me and doesn't want me to have an owey. This morning he broke out his tools to fix my bike. My left side is knackered and I have been shaking all day. Notice the piece of car stuck to my bike

Post Script:
I went to get the police report. The lady claims she had a green arrow. I called her to get her insurance. She hasn't called me. What a let down. I sense another long drawn out saga.

Post Post Script:
I went to my kids conferences tonight. We I walked in the band teacher comes up to me and asks how my hip was doing. I said WHAT...did Sarah tell you about it. He says "I was the guy ho pulled you out of the road" He was the guy that kept telling me to sit down. I remember everything so vividly except his face. I know this guy really well but i was just out of it. He told me that he was behind me and saw the whole thing. He couldn't believe the lady hit me and how much air time I got. He also confirmed that I had the green light. What a roller coaster 24.

Lord Cromwell

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Originally uploaded by gtrogers.

The team at nationals receiving our third place plaques

Originally uploaded by gtrogers.

Glenn only drinks the best. Bulliet bourbon cut with nuun lemon-lime.

Originally uploaded by gtrogers.

The results of drowning one sorrows in a third place finish. Notice the gloves. They were our prize.

Monday, November 05, 2007

United States Adventure Racing Championships

This past Weekend Mari Chandler, Matt Hayes and I went out to Missiouri to bring back the trophy to the pacific northwest. We gave it our best and came close to pulling it off. but in the last few hours of the race a key navigation error cost us first and second place.

I wasn't sure what to expect. I have raced large races before like PQ but these usually have the best in the world because of the huge prize money. This race had a large field of 80 three person coed teams. Some I knew were good most were unknown to me. since this race is so late in the year, it is hard to be in peak condition for it. At the end of
September, I was completely burned out. October would not be a month to inprove my fitness, I would need to just not lose it. This together with some weight gain had me worried that if a top team showed up in there best condition, I might have a real dissapointing race.

I surrounded myself with a great team. Matt is unbelievable on the bike and Mari is a driver on foot. And these are just their strengths. Their weaknesses are better than most other teams strengths. I have raced with both of these mates before but this was the first time that we all raced together. knowing both of them, I knew that there wouldn't be any problems (either physical of personnal).

We flew into clear cold blue sky Missiouri on Thursday. The race was organized by Jason Eberhart and his Wife Laura of Bonk Hard Racing. They put on the Might Mo last year. This guy puts on a great race. Well organized, great volunteers and a good course design with no control placement problems. I wanted to do this race because i knew it would be well done and we would be able to go up against some of the best amatuers in the nation. It is easy to think you are real good when you just stay in the PNW and never face off against new teams. So we were off to terst our metal.

Thursday we checked in, assembled our bikes, went to the prerace meeting, and had a great dinner. Maps were to be handed out at 5 AM so there was really nothing to but socialize. I tried to talk to as many teams as possible. I wanted to catch up with some old friends from ATP, EMS and other teams. I also wanted to meet new teams who i am sure have heard of DART before and now could see who we are. I tried to do what Cyril would want and made the team wear their jersies and be nice.

So after a long night of sleep we got our maps. A short paddle on the lake, short o course, bike, run, paddle, run, bike. 18 hours, 25 controls (plus 10 O controls) and no bins for gear. Everything you needed you carried with you from the start. I was tempted to go light but I remembered that RVG packed well at the 4th DAR race so we all used the ISO and didn't skimp. It was cold out there and it was going to be cold and wet the next night. I was glad I brought my Arc Teryx set up. I wore my full kit and in my drybag I put an extra pare of gloves, my Tau, and Alpha SL. The SL may have been overkill because no rain was expected but I knew the when we got out of the boat, we would all be cold and wet and this is a great all around jacket that serves me well as a heavy windbreaker.

The start had us running. Matt and I to the boat and mari up a road to get the o course control card. We got to the bopat and I raced around and just yanked one into the water. I think that I shocked everyone with my unglamourous yank into the water. And we were off. Matt and I have been OC paddling for the past month to get ready for this race so once on the water we just rocked the place. It was dam cold and foggy. By the time we got to the end on the lake to meet Mari, the boat and paddles were covered in ice and we couldn't move our fingers. We attempted to put Mari's seat into the boat but our hands were like clubs. These boat were wider than the ones we had been training one and it requires some adjustment that we just couldn't do. Finally we got it loosened up. Thank goodness I had reiforced the seat with two quick relase buckles otherwise we would have been dead last. RVG you are going to really like the new setup.

Once we were all in the boat, we were in the middle of the pack and only a short paddle to the next CP. This means that if we arrive to the cp in the middle of the pack, we would be waiting in line to punch the control. We all knew this and we dug deep and hammered. Matt is a real easy going quiet type. Since he was in the back, be was supposed to call the switches with a loud "HUT". This is ment to keep us together but I like the intimidation factor of closing and dropping other teams to the steady cadence of HUT. But because to boat was shorter and wider that we trained in, it was even more difficult to keep straight so matt was back and forth and Mari and I were opposite and in sinc. so not hearing the cadence i took over to keep Mari and I together while Matt paddle on whichever side was needed to keep it straight. And the paddling practise paid off. We were passing team like they weren't moving. We finshed this three mile paddle in about 5th place and we were off on the O course.

We could get the controls in any order and we went off in a clockwise direction. in hindsite, counterclockwise would have saved us about 500 meters running. I hit all the controls but one. I went up the wrong rentrant and it cost us about 10 minutes. We say Mike Binton Taking pics along the way. It was great to see him. we finished about 7th with golite and we were off on our bikes with a fast TA in 5th.

The biking was great fun. There were great trails in open hardwood forests. Lots of small ridges and hollows. Lots of small but continuous ups and downs. We reelled in our first teams at the second control. We had caught EMS and Springfield bikes and proceeded to drop them. now we are talking. This is where we should be. there was some funky control were they sent us to another control. When we got close MOAT caught us. They were in the lead but made a bad turn. right on now were are in 1st time to put on some distance. NOT...we made our first couple of nav errors that cost us no more the 15 minutes and were were quickly put be in 8th. OUCH. Hammer time. All great trails fully ridable and nice technical swoops and we just worked it. We came into the next TA tied for second with EMS, ATP, etc and left on foot.

This spot and trail section was part of the mighty mo race and I recognized it. We needed to run down a road and get on a the Ozark Trail. As we were going down, I was getting my maps and crap together so the other three or four team were 100 meter ahead of us and they blew right past the trail. I quietly said to my mates, we are taking a hard left up here and hitting it hard and quiet. Back in second and feeling great. We nail the next three controls and arrive at the boats to find ourselves in first place.

We were warned that there was going to be alot of hike a boat because if the low water. We had 20 minutes on MOAT when we started but our lack of coordination allowed them to caught us after 2 hours on the water. As they went by we watched as they were able to get over logs and shallows were we had to get out of our boats. Finally the water was deeper with more paddling and less dragging and we would catch up while paddling and drop behind over obsticles. It was very frustrating but we finished together. It was just getting dark and it was cold. I broke out the Arc Teryx and was thankful I brought it along.

We had about 10 miles and 6 controls of this trek back to our bikes. We nailed the first 3 but I chose a longer route on road and MOAT went straight up a creek bed to the fourth. In Washington, travelling in a creek is never advised but in open hardwood forest, it is fine and we were now back in second but strong. It was shaping up to be a mountain bike race until we got to the last control. EMS had also caught up and now the three of us were looking for this last trek control. However, I made a significant nav errorand our race was over. We were no an hour behind and there was only a two hour mountain bike back to the finsh. The nav wasn't real difficult on this section so there wasn't any chance of closing the gap.

The team was clearly deflated. We had the ablitiy to win this race. We were just as strong but I couldn't close the deal. After the race, Robin Benecassa said she was hiding at the control in the dark as we passed within 50 meters. I will bring the trophy home to the PNW next year.

I want to thank our many sponsors that made this all possible.

Hammer nutrition fed me with perpetum and tropical gel and kept me strong with race caps, mito caps, and anti fatigue caps.

My Gregory ISO pack fit great and held all my gear

My Montrail Hardrocks were a perfect fit for this race's conditions

Arc Teryx kept my warm and dry throughout

Michelin Dual compound AT tires provided unmatched grip and no flats while other teams had multiple flats

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What a beautiful day. I feel like going out and riding a hundred miles. I am getting primed for this race. I wish it could have been a bit earlier in the year so I wasn't so much past my peak but such is life. There will be some good teams there from around the US. It will be interesting to match up against them and see where the chips fall after we kick some serious butt. After this race it will be nothing but fun trainings in the PNW and planning for next year..

In the past it took me forever to get packed for a 24hr race. Now it seems easy compared to other races. The hard part is geeting the bike there. I am looking at shipping the wheels and putting the bike in a cardboard box so I don't get penalized by the airlines. We will see how it works out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My body is knackered this morning. I had a great weekend up on Whidbey Island this weekend. ran, biked, and paddled all around Fort Ebey and Casey. Have a look at for the details.

Mentally I am getting more focus and excited every day. Matt Hayes, Mari Chandler and I will be represent DART-nuun at nationals in two weeks. After my last race in September I had a serious case of over racing/training burnout. I just needed to hide in my house for a while. Doing my taxes didn't help any. I would use any excuse I could find to avoid a workout. Now I am back on track metally and look forward to driving hard. I can remember cycles like this when I worked. There were times when I just couldn't get myself out of bed and other times when I couldn't wait to get into work and make it happen.

Now I find myself metally planning my base training for the next 4 months. Thinking about all the cool trainings we are going to be doing. After nationals, I will take some time off. I am planning on going camping with Mathew and maybe Sarah up in the Olympics. Fishing, target practise, hiking, biking, and just takin it easy.

What does it take to improve my bike? Aaron, RVG, Matt, these guys are great bikers and can easily drop me - always. I need to improve my abilities this winter. I hate pushing at 85% while they are at 65% talking and leaving my in there tracks whilst climbing. So this is the plan:

TOP every wednesday night for technical training
Joining Old Town road team
Begin teaching spin class
weight training focused on legs

I think that training by myself doesn't provide maximum output as compared to training with better bikers who push me, hence the OT road team. Every sunday morning

Teaching spin class will require a committment that i show up at least once a week and put out at threshold. This will help for that "I like to go out hard" as RVG describes it.

Now to clean gear

Monday, October 08, 2007

Originally uploaded by ledusledus.

This weekend was the rainfest. I have been shut up doing taxes for the past week and I need to get out. Nationals are coming up and I need to step it up and get ready to rock. Saturday Aaron, matt and I went out to the Olympic Peninsula to collect flags from the 24hr race. I thought that it would take us about 4 hours. 7 hours later we were soaked and back at the car have covered about 40 miles and 7,800 vertical feet.

Sunday Matt and I teamed up for the first annual Peterisoba. It was a Latvian style bike orienteering event that included plenty of bikewhack and hike a bike. We were given a set of 92 directions. These were distances and a picture of an road intersection and the direction to go. There wasn't much elevation gain so it was a nice recovery day after Saturday. However, because of out lack of Latvian orienteering skills, we lost the race and spent another 6 hours in the pouring rain. The race was suppose to be only 3 hours. kundos to Manny's for their solid performance.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'm back!! Where did the summer go? It has been a blur. I spent two weeks with boy scouts, two weeks traveling and racing in Montana, been to Tahoe twice, Oakridge once, and spent countless hours in the Olympic Peninsula designing an AR course.

Kids are back in school and my life is settling back in. Time to do my 2006 taxes

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Roger getting a rub down
Originally uploaded by gtrogers.

Right before the rogaine last weekend I caught roger and Yumay lathering up Rog for the big race. I didn't ask what was being applied but the whole situation looks like something that should have taken place in the bedroom.

Also notice the fancy short shorts. I wore a pair like that once and Cyril let me have it. the whole camp gave Roger unending grief about them. But alas Roger did make it second and mike and I had to stop early. Mike's stomach completely shut down on him. It was quite scary. Whenever he ate or drank he would throw up violently.

Next time I am going to get Mike on a Hammer nutrition diet for the race.

Lord Cromwell

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spider's eyes glow at night when you shine your headlamp on them.

Monday, April 30, 2007

I have been in a bit of a funk lately. Its amazing that how most of my friends have the same types of funks. I sometimes wonder how they deal with them and get out. It seems for all of us we are at are most upbeat when we have a goal in mind and are training hard for it. Once we get injured, distracted or otherwise have the wheels come off it is hard to find the on ramp that gets us back on our merry way.

My family helps me alot. I like the noise and chaos that happens when there are 5 children and two adults in a house. David the baby just lays around and watches the show. Kevin is naked and running around in circles yelling naked boy having just got out of the tub. Mathew is chasing him with some invented gun. Laura is playing her clarinet at 100 decibles. And Sarah is just in a foul mood yelling at anybody who passes by.

It has really been a tough month. Not my worst mind you. I had to remind myself at one point that it was actually nothing compared to the first few months of 2001. first, after all the work for baja, it was over the first day. Then as you know our car broke down in the middle of our family trip that was suppose to be relaxing. What do you do when your car is broken down on the side of the road in the middle of nowwhere with you family in it, twice? And then Sea Otter; I am smart enough to know that in a short race my ass gets toasted by most everybody else on the team. I am older and they are just bad ass racers. I specifically didn't elect for any sprints with the team. Then Matt blew up his knee.

Matt would have been great in Sea Otter. I think that it was a race that was tailored to his abilities. When the teams got set, I made the mistake of racing a short race and doing the nav. It is hard enough to keep up with Seegs and Aaron but to nav as well is just more heeped on the pile. I should have insisted that Aaron nav since he is such a strong biker. So in the struggle of the race they see me at my worst and I feel like I let them down a bit. My performance was less than optimal.

Finally, I got to spend another week away from the family and that's propably the worst. When I am going away to a long race and I am in the middle of it, I always tell myself to go fast and get it done so that I can get home or at least talk to my family sooner. That's my motivation.

So I took last week off from everything. Spent time doing what needed to be done. Maybe it's God's way of letting me know what's most important. In the end, it doesn't matter how many hours I train or how well I do at a given race, I have my family and that's where my real life lies. I just wish I wouldn't eat so much when I'm in the funk.

Now, I'm hungry to get back in it and I will be doing more speed workouts and short races so that I can suffer well when RVG is riding me like an old mule.

Lord Cromwell

Saturday, April 21, 2007

So I went to the dealer. We are nowhere closer to fixing the problem. After two weeks and who knows how much money. Know they know we have a problem and don't want to talk to me until the manager gets back on Monday. I am afraid that it will get ugly. I am going to try to negotiate a fair price to get my car back. If they play hardball, my sister has found some CA consumer laws that should be on my side. I will tow it home and take it to a reputable dealer.

I called my wife and told her I was riding home. She would have nothing to do with it. She said I could start riding but she was coming down to pick me up. she said I was away long enough and to prove her point she put Kevin on phone and told me to explain to him why I was going to be another two days.

I rode for 8.5 hours and about 112 miles on my mtn bike. she ran into me at about 12:30 AM halfway between Cresent City and Grants Pass.

It was still a great ride but I'm happy to be home.

Lord Cromwell

Friday, April 20, 2007

I am being held hostage in Eureka.

I try not to communicate with the toyota dealer because last week they told me if I didn't like the service I could take my car elseware. So Weds afternoon, I just drove by to see if my car was still in the back lot or actually in the shop being worked on. To my surprise it was in the shop. Hence, they got the heads back are were putting the car back together. Ya baby that means that the car should be done by Thursday afternoon. Only one more night here.

So Thursday I plan a bike/run. On the run I get real excited that the car will be fixed and I can drive home. I push real hard and had a great run in the big redwoods. When I got back to the ranger station I call the dealer. Yes the car is back together but there is a funny sound that the mechanic is trying to sort out. Funny sound WTF. They have had the car for over 2 weeks and after that time and who knows how much money all they can say is that there is still a funny sound???

Needless to say I was crushed. I got another hotel and talked to cheryl 3 or 4 times as I tried to sort this out. I want to got home not stay another week. I was very depressed. I actually went out and bot some ice cream. We decided that Cheryl would drive down to pick me up if the car isn't ready today.

I found a pool this morning and went swimming. When I am not pushing hard, the pool is the best place to think. And I had an epiphiny. I have everything I need, I will just ride my bike home. It will take a couple of days but what the heck. It will be an epic bike training. The rental car needs to go back at 2 so I will go to the dealer at noon and make a decission.

Here are my limiting factors.
I only have the Gregory Reactor So I can't carry too much
I don't have adequate clothes because the RD at the last race has the bin
I only have 1/2 tube of nuun
I only have enough perpetum for 6 hrs so I will need to get food along the way
I only have enough light and motion batteries for 8 hrs so I will need to conserve

I do have a tube of hydropel. I figure it should take me 40-50 hours. I am not sure if I can do it but at least it will save Cheryl some driving time. If I do ride it out at least my life will be back in my own hands. If you read this and live along I-5 in Oregon look out for me or give me a call. I could use more nuun and perpetum.

Wish me luck. I am going to now go clean the rental car and pack my gear. I am tired of this crap.

Lord Cromwell

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Greetings from rainy Eureke. This place is a real piece of work. The bum to normal person ratio must be the highest of anyplace in the world. Or at least it would appear that way. There are also four high end bike stores in this tiny town. Is being a bum in NorCAL just a way of life? Why do they all sleep in the village green and have signs asking for gas money?

My car may not be ready until Friday so I have found some riding and if the rain lets up from the downpour, I should be able to get out. Maybe tomorrow i can find somebody to work on surf entry exits with me.

Lord Cromwell

Monday, April 16, 2007

I am here in sonoma waiting for my car. My saga didn't finish with a ride home from baja. On the way home the family truckster broke down and is sitting in Eureka CA. We rented a car which I still have. Since Matt injured his knee, I filled in at Sea Otter. Now I will work my way north running and riding as I go. Hopefully my car will be runing in the next couple of days.

Sea otter was a tough race for me. I tend to stay away from shorter 6hr or less races because my old body can't keep up. I was racing with Seegs and Aaron. We had a great paddle. We were almost the last on the water because we took more time to plot but we came off second.

The bike leg was real long. I didn't eat or drink properly and cramped up badly after 2 hours. Seegs and Aaron could have moved much faster but for me. The good news was we were racing with Nike for an hour or two. The RD misset some controls and the four top team were in a cluster. unfortunately it came down to luck as to whom would find the wayword controls. While DART-nuun was in the lead early on, Nike got lucky and found 14 to take the lead. Our team finished 2nd, DART-nuun 3rd, and wingnut 4th.

Races shouldn't be decided by luck. If I get back Home

Lord Cromwell

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I have resolved to write down the first day of our Baja Travesia Race. It might be a bit long and there are no pictures because our camera is at the bottom of the pacific. I am writing it down because it is helpful for me to understand what went right and what went wrong. Hopefully, I have learned from this experience and those who read this might learn as well. I encourage any additions, corrections, or clarifications. Also, the headings may become cumbersome and a drawing could help.

I take paddling seriously. I live in the PNW and due to the cold water; any paddling in open water can turn deadly. I am not exactly sure why I let my guard down for this race. Maybe it was the warm temperatures or the fact that the water was glass last year. In any event, no serious piece of emergency gear was required and I didn’t bother to bring flares of a waterproof VHF radio like I would around home in more favorable conditions. The basic required emergency gear was a whistle and “family style walkie talkie”.

After the surf entry/exit testing the day before the race we noticed that our rear hatch had some water in it. It was a red flag that was not noticed at the time. For big water in rough conditions, it is recommended that inflatable bladders be placed in hatches and compartments. This ensures that water taken on is limited and the boat will always remain buoyant with the cockpit cowling above the waterline. Unfortunately we did not take action to remedy this situation.

These gear issues would not prove to be catastrophic but in the end they would effectively limit out choices at critical points.

Race Start

We were configured with RVG in the back, JVG in the middle and myself upfront. We chose this setup because RVG is the heaviest and should be in the back. He steers and keeps a visual of everything around us and calls out instruction from his vantage. I paddle a great deal and would focus on power and cadence. My focus is the 5 to 10 feet in front of the boat. JVG has great power to weight ratio and while paddling hard, she also focuses on keeping me steady.

The race started with a 1 kilometer paddle out of the harbor in calm water. We were paddling well. We had paddled so much together that this pace was easily sustainable compared to our training paces. By our conversations and feel, I could tell that the team was in a good shape at the pace. We were leading the pack and pulling away.

We were warned the day before that swells were predicted for up to 9 feet. As we rounded the jetty we immediately faced 3-4 foot swells and a wind off of our starboard quarter of about 10-20k. Our first checkpoint, CP, was the southern tip an island about 8 miles out in the ocean at a heading of WSW 247d true. The swell was from the NW 315d and the wind was from the NNW 337d. Also, there was a 2K southerly tidal drift. We opted for a heading of approximately W 270d to compensate for the above factors. This was approximately the northern tip of the island. It also allowed us to take the waves more frontally which is safer and efficient and we would spend some time approaching from the lee side of the island which was calmer. Our heading did ultimately give us a 247d course made good. However, the pack behind us opted for an unadjusted course of 247d. While we were putting distance on the field, we were also taking a more northerly route. If the pack continued their heading, they would need to make constant course corrections to the north while we started more to the north and drifted south toward the CP as we paddled.

I expected the crossing to take no more than 2 hrs, or 4 mph. I took us almost 3 hrs. During that time the swells had grown to 6 feet. At approximately 2hrs, we started pumping. Going through large waves in a 24ft kayak water naturally works through your skirt and into the cockpit. We were constantly blasted by waves as we moved forward. Being in the front, I would take them full on right over the top of me and could occasionally feel the water drain down my wetsuit and out my legs.

We had also noticed the day before that the bulkhead between the first and second cockpit wasn’t sealed at the bottom. This allowed water to pass between JVG and my cockpit. It also meant that JVG could effectively pump both of our compartments. At regular intervals JVG would crack the leeward side of her skirt, slide the pump in and empty our compartments while RVG and I kept it steady into the waves and wind. We attempted to have RVG pump but the boat would become too unstable when he ceased paddling.

I can tell you that waves come in sets. Three to four big ones would come through and then we would have a minute or two of small waves. Without speaking, we could all see the pattern and we knew what needed to be done. When the way was clear, I could feel the boat lunge forward as we all dug in hard.

When we got to the island, we rested near the southern tip in a sheltered cove. We had hoped to go ashore and pump the boat and check the hatches but the shore was covered with seals so we took turns pumping, eating and drinking as we floated in the cove. We knew that it was going to be a long day and eating whenever possible was imperative. We headed S about 200m to the southern tip of the island expecting to find the floating CP. It was nowhere to be seen. We assumed we just beat the race officials out to the island. We took a picture and headed off to the next CP.

Our heading was down the coast SE. As we cleared the southern tip of the island, we entered a confluence where the waves had grown to 9ft from the WNW and the wind, still from the NNW, had grown and was creating 1-2 ft swell across the larger swells. We had about a 3 to 4k open water crossing to a point of land. We were now almost running with the waves. About ¾ across, we dumped the kayak. We quickly sorted out the most efficient way to bail out the boat. First RVG and I would get the rear compartment while JVG worked up front. When the back was empty, the boat had enough buoyancy to keep the cowling above water and we could finish the front. We would do this 4 more times before the day was done.

I always paddle in a neoprene wetsuit. I get ridiculed and hot but a good farmer john and booties are your last defense against hypothermia. RVG had brought his neoprene but opted for tights and JVG had shorts and my paddling jacket. Since I had my wetsuit on, we would get JVG in the boat, followed by RVG, and I would get in last.

Going with the waves is much more unstable that going through them. I learned this from the small swells I encounter at home. In addition, our heading necessitated that we take them at an angle off the rear starboard quarter. If we just went with them, they would ultimately run us into the cliffs. All kayaks are designed to turn into waves. So the effect of these waves if taken at out heading would be to turn us perpendicular to the waves. So like everyone else, we would ford out to sea, and then take the line back toward shore. It was almost like tacking in a sailboat. Unlike everyone else, our boat was more instable because our rear compartment was slowly filling with water from the waves coming over the stern.

We would dump one more time before CP2 but got in and expected to be first only to find out that the course had been shortened, CP1 Eliminated, and we were now over 2 hours behind the leaders. This is something that we went over again and again. One of the race directors admitted that he did not check the conditions before the start of the race. After the start, the other RD went out in a powerboat, saw the conditions and told the “lead teams”, those on a more southerly heading, to just go to CP2. The other DART team told the RD that we were ahead and to the north. I was told that he looked for us but I am not sure how hard he looked. From my perspective, he had an obligation to account for every team and inform them of the change. Unfortunately, he had no water safety director and we didn’t see any of the promised safety boats. He was overwhelmed and undermanned. From his perspective I can only guess that he performed a risk assessment that placed us, a strong lead paddling team, at less risk than the under qualified teams that were already being picked up by boats and returned to the start.

Throughout the day, the swells were building. By the time we had pumped out the boat, ate and pushed off, we would be about 2.5 hrs behind the leaders. They would be finishing in less than an hour and we were just starting out into the teeth of the growing seas. Once again, when we checked our rear hatch, we found it was 1/3 full of water. Another red flag but the urge to catch up and get back in the race precluded common sense.

Soak this up. In the hours that followed, the real mud hit the fan. We happened to be at the right place at the right time and do what need to be done. I will finish the story later.

Lord C

Friday, March 30, 2007

We are all safe and now on the east coast of baja. It was quite an experience. I looked at some of the pictures that Erik posted and they don´t quite show just how big the waves really were. We are all a little dissapointed but happy to be here. Now we have to deal with the aftermath of all the lost gear and boats and the fact that many racers were put in such dangerous conditions without an adequate safety plan. I was very dissappointed with myself for not looking after my own safety. What kind of moron sends people out in 20 foot swells with no flares and a "family style walkie talkie".

On a good note, I got to meet Dean´s wife and son last night. It was nice talk with them about the experience. In the coming days, I will write a complete account of the that day.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

I am here in Ensenada. It is 60 and very sunny. All the race related details have been posted on RVGs blog and at under the news tab. Erik is updating the info daily. When the race starts tomorrow are we are out, it may be hard to get internet access.

I left Seattle on early Saturday morning in the pouring rain. When we arrived in SD it was sunny and 70. It is really nice travelling with Ryan, Jen, and Erik. Nice and casual, no stress. Whe got Jen's bike, some breakfast and headed on down to Mexico. when we got here we settled in and did gear checks. After that, I went out for a run looking for the church. Got some directions but just ended up running up the highest nearby hill and loking for it. In an old city like this, it it the largest building outside of the tourist area. I run down to it and had a look.

Sunday morning, Cyril, Aaron and Jen arrived. Aaron was supposed to be on our flight but he was late. I went to mass. The Cathedral is unbelievable. One of the most beautiful I have eer seen. It's amazing that you can travel the world around and feel completely foreign but when you go to Mass we are all the same. It was in spanish but I could pretty much understand the whole mass.

During Sunday we had to do skills testing which included some ropes and then kayak. We have our triples down here and and surf entries/exits are tough. We dumped it on our final approach. Today we have meetings maps bd then final packing. The pressure will rise from here.

The is a great lpace for a race. I hear that we will start off with an eight hour padle. What they didn't plan on was the strom that is coming in. Predicted 25-30 knot winds NNW at the start. It could mean a real cluster. In the end it means a slog that will be a lot longer than planned. At least the water is warm. If we are lucky we will be able to use the sail and rock on down the coast. After that, we go into the mountains. I also heard that there is more treking this year which should be better for our team. they plan on having us is the canyons for 24-36 hours.

I need to go, its the captains meeting. I will write more from San Felipe in a few days.

Lord Cromwell

Friday, March 23, 2007

It is pouring down rain outside and cold. I think that I have everything packed for the race and for Cheryl's trip to meet me in San Diego. We fly out tomorrow at 6:00 AM. That means I get to rise at about 3:30.

I will not be updating until April 7th when I return. Unless there is internet access somewhere along the line. Cheryl will meet me on the first and we will spend a week in the hot south.

There may be race updates at

Keep me in your thoughts. The suffer fest will begin on tuesday and we will hopefully get it over the fastest so that we have the most free time at the end.


Lord Cromwell

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Roger's Family Sh!t Hole
Originally uploaded by gtrogers.

I can remember when I was a kid my father would get so upset about my messy room. I can remember him standing over me sitting in the middle of my crapulence saying that my room was a sh!t hole. He truely has no idea what a sh!t hole really is. For those of you that live in a city with a sewer system, you most likely have never had the fine experience of getting your septic tank pumped. For those of you that that do have a septic tank, you probably do not have a 100 year old, extra small, overloaded septic tank.

I told Kevin that we were going hunting for buried treasure. we got out the treasure map and started digging. I told him that once we found it, the slurpy truck was going come and suck all of our treasure out for us.

Lurking peacably below our entryway about a foot down is our tank. It is 300 hundred gallons which is very small. Most new homes have a septic tank that is at least 800 and that is for four people. Well we have 7. I let this thing go for almost four years. It should probably be pumped at least every other year. The pipes were starting to back up.

In the picture above, I have spent a number of hours just digging down to the cover (the square cemet block sitting on top of the tank) . It is sitting there waiting for the pump guy to show up. When he gets there and opens it, he proceeds to tell me that the tank is one big compacted loaf of sh!t. Normally it is a mixure of crap and water. In my case there is so much crap that there is no room for water. Imagine that, one large 300 gallon loaf of sh!t. Fortunate for me, I get to add the water with the hose while he sucks. I just couldn't add the picture of inside the tank.

A couple of hours later, I am filling the hole back in feeling very disgusting. The suction truck has taken our treasure away. I wash five times and take two showers. Kevin is a little skeptical about our treasure hunt.

these are the kind of things one does when he is, the father and tapering for a big race. Tomorrow i get to sail the boat home from drydock with Mathew, Kevin and Riley the master fisherman.

Lord Cromwell

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The good news is that Mathew knew to stop before he chucked up. He got about halfway through in 15 minutes and then the wheels came off. After the bread, he tried walking around the outside of the house but to no avail. He spent alot of time peeing in the bathroom afterwards.

Today I did some final shopping before the race. Walmart is great and has just about everything. My cart must have been a bit strange.

Clear shelf paper for maps
yoga square for foot brace in the kayak
jumprope I saw it and always wanted to incorporate it into my training
glowsticks 8
tide table I am bringing back the sailboat next week
coffee filters Cheryl bot a new coffee pot but the 5000 filter left over from costco don't fit
electrical tape
space blanket
condoms 12 you never know what might happen in that space blanket in Mex.

Just kidding about the condoms. My faith frowns upon contraceptives

Lord Cromwell

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

As I sit here, Mathew is beginning his gallon of milk in an hour challenge. I bet him he couldn't do it. told him that i have seen many others fail in a hurl of curdle of milk. He is probably 1/3 through the jug. He wants that game real bad.

He is now decided to try some bread with his milk. this is going to get real ugly. i am taking pics and will post them tomorrow. BTW, he is moving outside when he gets to 1/2 a gallon.

Lord Cromwell

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mathew's First Two
Originally uploaded by gtrogers.

Mathew's fish count is up two three in his quest to catch ten. These are his first two. Nice young silvers baby. I am going to add a qalification that his last two are caught by himself by our house. I want to ensure that he can catch fish independently whenever I need him to get dinner.

I brushed my hair today. I believe that it was the first time since 2001. I usually just grow it and shave it. I brushed it in order to get it ready for the new baja doo. I had to cut out some of it. It seems that when I eat PG&J, some of the PB splashes into my hair. i think that I actually had the makings of a dread lock or two.

I also went swimming today. I have not been feeling well the past week and running scared about not shaking it before baja. It is hard for me to get going again. It is a bit overwhelming. I am off plan and not sure where to start. So I went back to my roots. Back in the day when I first started "waking up" but still smoked a pack and weighed 230 I thought that my first attempt at anything should be low impact. So I went to the Y to go swimming. In suburban NJ, in the middle of a weekday there are three types of people; seniors, mothers, and gardeners. The pool was packed with seniors. It was a 25m pool that was 6ft deep. I got halfway down and started drowning. I can remember this old guy yelling at me to "Just float on your back" That's when I started taking my life seriously.

Lord Cromwell

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I began my annual bike breakdown and cleaning yesterday. It begins by taking all the major components off the Turner frame. I leave the brakes, fork, and bottom bracket but everything else gets broken down cleaned, repaired and lubed. I start off outside with a hose and a bucket of hot soapy water. I try to meticulously wash everything including the frame with various size brushes, the smallest being a toothbush, and rags. Then I let it dry overnight in a freshly cleaned spot in the garage.

Today I continued to clean and rub down the pieces as I put them back together. It is unbelievable how much capitol forest red clay gets all over everything. As I was putting her back together, I noticed that my derailliuer was cracked right at the limit adjustment screw. This is the same spot that fractured last year at the Mighty Mo. Luckily, I have the rebuilt derailliuer from last year so I just put that unit on. WARNING if you use XT, I would check this spot real careful. It seems to be the spot where sticks get sucked up. Next, I noticed that the bottom bracket has a bit of play. This unit has two years on it and I knew it was getting old so I order a new FSA carbon crankset. Problem is, it will not be here before Baja. In the garage, I pulled the fork and cleaned/lubed the stearer tube and headset. I got my wheels all cleaned and set up. I am running Michellin tires, dry on the back and wet on the front for better handling.

Finally, I loaded the bike up with all the AR extras, rear light, tow, clean saddlepack with gear, double cages, pump, and odometer. Tomorrow, I will take the bike in for service. They will pull the BB and give me the bad news, service the fork, run the cables, new chain etc. It will be like brand new. I think that part of our success is that we all are very anal about our gear. We rarely have mechanicals. Well once, RVG lost his crank arm in the middle of a race. And we are all pretty pissed when somebody's bike breaks down because of maintainence or something they knew they should have fixed.

And then the shakout ride. JVG and I will hit Green next weekend. I will do all the final adjustments. Get the handlebars and levers straight and fix any cable stretch.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Garage

Originally uploaded by gtrogers.

This is my garage. I sometimes think that it is a metaphor for my life and maybe the grey matter between my ears. CHAOS. I live in Chaos. I thive in chaos. It has been my strength. I have an ability to find a path through the chaos of my life. To see an end result and work toward it like through one of those huge mazes made out of hedges. Sometimes I think that I have ADD, in reverse. It doesn't matter about the noise, distraction, clutter, or even pain, I become obsessed with the goal and nothing can diveert my mission.

My wife hates it. She struggles to deal with me. She hates my 100s of unfinished projects. She struggles to deal with the fun that chaos can create especially when kids are involved. I cleaned the dining room today. Maybe I will get to the garage by summer.

Lord Cromwell

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The creative use of leverage is the most powerful tool a parent has. However, if a parent allows their child any leverage, there all done. Leverage is, after all, just power.

Case in point: Our neighbor who has a son in the same class as Mathew, is an excellent fisherboy. He catches the local fox island silver salmon. He is a master. He can cast his pole and just real them in. We often get his extra fish. We eat them fresh the same day.

I would like to get a more reliable source of salmon. Of course I am too cheap to pay $5+ a pound for the stuff when ultra fresh can be had for free. Since Mathew is under 14 he doesn't even need a fishing liscense. so I offered Mathew $1 a fish. I told him to go hang out with Riley and learn to fish. But he couldn't be bothered. He would rather read or build or play a computer game.

Then yesterday he asked if he could use his savings and buy a $20 computer game. He visits a friend and comes home and asks for games all the time. They get used a bit and then forgotten. But while he wants them, that's all he can think about.

So here's the deal, if he can bring home 10 fish I will buy the game. I had to sweeten the deal a bit over $1 a fish. He still thinks that this is an impossible task because Riley is so good. But I told him that some of his 10 fish can be caught by Riley. Now the gears really get moving. He came home yesterday and set up a fishing date for today. Now I get fresh fish and he might get a computer game. Win win Yes? The beauty is that if he spends enough time with riley trying to catch 10 fish, he should be a master himself and I will have all the fish I want in the future. A minor investment of $20 will get me free unlimited fresh salmon in the future.

The picture is of Kevin at the Orcas Island FA 50k. I have been working with him on the finer points of operating a keg. Kids are great aren't they? thanks for the pic Ty

Lord cromwell

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Intergenerational Learing

When I moved back to Washington, I had a lot of time on my hands. Since my grandparents lived so far away, I thought that I would volunteer at the local assisted care facility. Its a place where old folks live in their own apartments but have all the services provided for them, like meals, cleaning, laundry. I began by playing cribbage with Jack. That was 5 years ago and we still play every Friday morning.

He is in his early 90's but is still fun to hang out with. I bring Kevin, 3 year's old, and he rides his tricycle around for everyone's enjoynment. People come and go. It is hard sometimes watching some of my friends as they become less sharp, fade into dementia, or get struck with sudden illness.

What I have learned is that over the last 50 years families and the teaching that goes on from one generation to the next has disintegrated. One of the reasons I moved back was to be closer to my parents but frankly, I still see them only occasionally. And before they died, my fiercly independent grandparents would never have thought of moving any closer to us.

When I got married, I thought that the plan was for me to work and my wife to stay home and raise our kids. I just assumed that she knew how to do this. I sure didn't. In the first 25 years of my life I spend very litttle with small children or infants. Surely since my wife is a woman it is natural. What I didn't realize is that there is no natural ingrained kid birthing/raising knowledge in females. Also, there is no specific instructions that mothers usually pass to daughters. In the past families were large and the older kids helped with the younger and when they started have they own famililes all the sisters and brothers helped out. So in our family all the older kids help out and when they have their own families, I hope that they stay close so that I can stay involved and help them with their kids. And so that when i'll real old, they will be there to change my diapers.

Lord Cromwell

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursdays are usually my easy day. I take a yoga class because I am not very limber. It is also great for strength and balance. Of course I am a complete klutz. Its like when I began playing soccer 5 years ago. The good guys would just take the ball away from me or dribble past me. In this case, I try to stay in the back of the room because I look like a dork and fall over all the time. I can also check out the moves of the women in the class. I can't beleive some of the things they do.

At the end of class they spend about 5-10 minutes laying there quietly relaxing. There is some wacky name for it, like all the other moves, but I can't hear or understand what the leader lady is saying. As I was laying there I fell asleep which is not too unusual. I was having a great dream. I was ride my mountain bike down some great trails. They were like ToP with nice squishy mud. I was leaning back so I wouldn't endo in the potholes. As I was riding, I slowing became aware of this loud noise that was waking me up. The more I came out of it the louder it got until I finally realized it was me snoring, real loud.

Is it bad form to snore during yoga?

Lord Cromwell

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

With lots of time hanging out, I should have cleanned the house and garage but I went to the Goodwill and got books instead. They sell for $2.00 used. A great deal but I will soon run out of room in my house. (with five kids, a wife, dog, cat, 8 birds, and who knows what else).

The first book was probably the biggest dissapointment. I was recommended Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. It had some interesting history on fast food chains but beyond that, it was rather empty. He clearly has a political bias and I generally try to stay away from those books. He also infers that fast food resturants are the cause of our country's demise. Now if the public didn't demand the stuff the stores wouldn't exist. Now his critique about the quality of the food is the biggest no duh. Like he was telling you something you didn't know. Does he really believe that people don't know that the stuff is bad for you???

Finally, the meat packing industry. If anybody wants a good book on this subject, read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. I worked for 5 year as a meat cutter. I wasn't in a packing plant but I worked side by side with some great guys. I have the scars on my hands to prove it. My hands still hurt when they get cold. I worked out of the union hall at many different shops. Some were good and some weren't. The ones that asked me to do things that I considered questionable, I would not return. Once again, if you shop based on price alone, your going to end up buying crap.

Finally, he could have chosen any industry and come up with bad stories. If he wants to be a muckracker, he needs more schoolin.

The Korean War by Max Hastings. This book was written in the late eighties so it has none of the current politic bias involved with the current war. What is amazing is that this book could have been written about Vietnam or Iraq. American has good intentions but there are always unintended consenquences and democracy cannot withstand war for long. All three wars were or will be fought to a stalemate mostly because the political will of the people changes. The only difference is that the first two were started but Dems and finished by reps and this one will most likely be finished by a dem.

My best read was Black Hawk Down. You got to read this one. It was gripping. I couldn't put it down. It was so sad. Once again good intentions gone awry. Sure it was about the military but it was much broader. I think that every person who wants to join the military should read this book. I hear there is a movie as well and I might have to get it.

That's all I got.

Lord Cromwell

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Baja Travesia

Now I getting pumped. We have all been training hard. Below is a copy of the most recent racer update. I included only the canyoneering section. i think that this is going to be the crux of the race. This section will most likely determine the winner.

6. Ropes/Canyoneering – All ropes gear MUST be in good condition and MUST be UIAA approved. Gear that is in poor condition will NOT be approved and we will not hesitate to forbid a team from starting the race with bad gear. The Ropes/Canyoneering course at this year’s race is serious business. You must be prepared to rappel and use your ropes gear in many challenging and potentially dangerous situations. Do not come to the Baja Travesia with less than 20 rappels under your belt (not just gym rappels). You must know your gear and your teammate’s gear. You must have used the gear before you arrive – no tags on your gear at the check-in please. The Ropes Skills and Gear Check will be very strict. Any team that shows any doubt in the use of their gear or the demonstration of ropes skills will NOT be allowed to race. Do not take this information lightly, we cannot and will not let any team start the race who gives us any reason to doubt that they are 100% prepared for the ropes section you will encounter. Now all that being said, if you take the time to prepare and come with ropes experience you will enjoy the ropes and canyon like no other race you’ve ever seen. The canyon will test every team’s ability to work together and problem solve. If you are all prepared to help each other you will have the absolute time of your life. We made the first descent of this canyon and it was absolutely incredible. You will be some of the first human beings ever to descend this canyon, an opportunity you won’t want to miss.

If you are uncomfortable swimming we offer you the option of bringing a PFD in the canyon section. There will be some swimming sections that are unavoidable. A thin neoprene top is recommended for night time swimming in the canyon. Teams need to be prepared for the swimming sections. Though they are all quite short there are some things you must consider:
How to keep your gear dry
How to warm your team mates who get cold from the water
How to avoid a heavy pack when you get it wet
We have made it very clear in the race description that Canyoneering will be a major element of this race. This section will take from 20 to 30 hours and the good news is that water is abundant throughout. Most teams will opt for a sleep during this section and there are many, many nice camping options (nice is of course relative).
As we have mentioned this is completely unspoiled, virgin terrain that will require the utmost care in low impact and haul out your waste ethics. The only piece of trash we found in this canyon was the remains of a helium balloon. We want to find it that way following the race.
A secondary back up headlamp has been added to the gear list for the Canyoneering section. Every athlete must have a backup light. Shoes for this section should have good traction in wet and dry conditions. Your altimeter will be a very, very important tool in this section. A back up altimeter is required and a third is highly recommended. Sturdy gloves are also very highly recommended for the canyon section. The rocks are rough and eventually wear down your hands. The best gloves we found were the blue plastic coated gloves that you can find at Home Depot or your local hardware store. These gloves are good for rappelling and give you some added
traction on the rocks. You will likely spend a good deal of time sliding on your butt in the canyon section to scramble down some of the slick rocks. We recommend you get your team mates to wear some sturdy shorts or face looking at their bare butt during this long section.
The climate in the canyon ranges from open air alpine breezy conditions that can be near freezing to shaded, wet canyons to sweltering dry hot, exposed to the sun. You will definitely want to wear long sleeves, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect you from the sun. The heat and glare off the granite walls can be extremely intense.

Monday, February 26, 2007

There are some things that I don't like to do in the rain. I don't mind running. I just throw on the Alpha SL and don't even notice. Biking is absolutely miserable. Even though I now have fenders, the cold wet wind means that I will be cold and wet no matter what. Now paddling is somewhere in between. It was real cold and windy this morning. I knew that I should go. I hadn't been in a week and it really wasn't too bad. But getting on a cold wetsuit really sucks. I himmed and hawed and was finally ready to go in about an hour.

The current wasn't too bad but the wind from the south was huge. From my house to the NE tip of fox isl I was sheltered a little. The wind was still 10-20 but because the channel is narrow, the waves couldn't build too much. Once I rounded the NE corner, WOW.. the waves had 10 miles to build from the south sound and they were huge. Being a wimp in the morning I opted for a semi dry top over my wetsuit which turned out to be a good choice.

Paddling along the island is nice because I mostly stay within 50 meters of shore so there is no risk if I go in. On this leg of the paddle I was taking 3-4 foot swells straight on. BAM I would go over the first in a set, drop in the trough, and then right through the second taking the full force of the wave on my chest. This is as fun as riding my mtn bike down fawn ridge with no risk of pain if I roll off the trail. I would occasionally look at the GPS and see that I was making little progress but it didn't matter.

Around Gibson Pt on the SE tip of the island, I went from straight on to taking them at the beam and then riding them from the stern quarter as I head NW. This is another great ride. I would paddle out to the middle of the channel and turn in to take em right up the rear. Paddle hard, catch the wave and just keep it straight.

It was a longer paddle around the isl than usual but it was a great day. As I was paddling, I was thinking that it would be great for JVG. She would probably hate it at first but with a good stable boat it is great fun

Lord Cromwell
I can really understand how an influenza outbreak could spread rapidly and kill millions. I read a book about the epidemic of 1917 and how it would spread just by close contact and some would get it and others wouldn't just because they were randomly lucky.

Over the past couple of weeks my family has been a laboritory of germs. Two of my kids got it first and I knew it was just a matter of time. Their schools have had 20% of the kids out sick. I take alot of supplements but this stuff is nasty. It finally caught up with me last Sunday. A couple of years ago I got sick and just trained through it. I ended up getting pneumoina. So with baja coming up in a month, I decided to lay low last week and hopefully get better.

I have been planning on going with the family up to orcas island for the fat ass 50k. I didn't want to miss this race because it is so beautiful up there. In addition, it was a whole weekend event so I would get to hang out with friends and family. Up until Friday, I wasn't sure if I was going to do this race. When I got up on Friday, the crap in my lungs wasn't as bad and it seemed to be moving to my lungs, so I decided to go for it.

I went out real easy and chatted with Roger, Franklin, Murry, Scott, and Brandon. We did a 9+ mile loop and came back to the start for our drop bag. Everyone seemed to daudle and apparently Roger got lost so I ran the rest of the race by myself. What a beautiful course. nice swoopy trails, hard climbs, and if it wasn't a blizzard at the top, the views would have been great. I would like to go back and bring my bike and boat and spend a week up there. the only problem was the ferry it was massively backed up. We had to wait three hours!!!

Well since I was sick, i read a few books and will get some reviews out later.

Lord Cromwell

Sunday, February 04, 2007

What a great weekend.....

Sarah and I went on a road trip. We left Saturday morning for the O-meet up by Lake McMurray. I had a great run but at the farthest point out on my course I ran into her and knew she shouldn't be out that far. I showed her were she was on the map and then went out looking for her when I finished. It's tough. The course level below her is too easy and this one is a bit too hard.

After that, we drove up to Snoqualmie for Roger's winter adventure race. I wanted to get up there that night before and take advantage of the Hyak Lodge. It is always nice to have time to hang out with old and new friends. We watched PQ ate and even had a couple of beers. We didn't have any maps to do but we couldn't go to bed early because you never get any rest before an adventure race.

This is the first "A" race of the season and the first time I have raced with RVG and Aaron in a long time. We were also lucky enough to scoop up Georgia for this one. RVG and Aaron have been doing alot of racing together in the past year and they have been kickin some butt. I was a bit nervous going into this race. It is always the same. You never want to let your teammates down. I know that I have putting in the time effectively but the pressure remains. On top of that, RVG offered the nav job to me. Now we are all good navigators but it is efficient to only have one lead especially in a sprint race. How could I saY no? But that always just increases the pressure.

Roger put together a great course. His course lay out was nice with no unnessary out and backs. Nice loops with great control locations. They were mostly in strong features like hilltops or beside lakes. There was also a nice mix of routes from long bearing runs through the woods to fast compact trail runs. The legs were intermediate navigation but the close in control finding was always generally easy. We ran without snowshoes for as long as possible but were finally forced to put them on when we got to the Hyak Ski area. It was fun trudging through the snow in the back country.

We held the lead for the entire race. But it is always hard to know how much of a lead you have so we all kept pushing. You are always only one bad nav error away from losing the race. Finally toward the end, we completed a loop and found out that we had a good enough lead to win.

I think that the best part was the plastic squares that RVG brought for us to sled on. At the end we needed to go down Hyak ski area. Those things were unbelievably fast. In a minute, RVG was at the bottom yelling and waving at us. That was a blast.

An the special test? Throwing snowballs at a soda can pyramid. RVG and Aaron handled this no problem. Momar came in second with manny's and Steve Wart's team close behind.

Thanks Roger

Lord Cromwell

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Evening at Cromwell

This is what our deep water port looks like on a nice evening. It took me a while to figure out how to post pictures so I thought I would start with a good one. The other night I was doing something on the computer and the room just got real orange.

As I said before, I spent many years in the grimy canyons of New York. Whe you are there in the middle of it, you forget the beauty that is not there. It is like the frog that is slowly boiled.

I'm glad to be back
Where did you find that antique?

That is one of the comments i heard when I did my first triathlon. I was too cheap to buy a bike so I used my wife's Schwinn Varsity that she got for gaduating high school in the mid eights. BTW the tri was in 2003. I started in the first wave so there were lots of guys passing me as my knees kept hitting the handlebars.

That was how I felt yesterday. My daughter Laura got straight A's so I took her skiing. We rented gear for her and I used the old Solomons circa 1988. Nice straight long 210cm downhill boards with matching green poles. There was nothing even remotely close to what I had on the slopes. When I was a kid in the 70's old folks would show up with leather boots/bindings and we would laugh at them. Now I am the fooool.

We had a great time. Unfortunately I dressed for a trail run or snowshoe and was a bit cold sittin on the chair that kept stopping. I now understand why I migrated away from downill skiing. Too much time in line and on the chair doing nothing.

We will do it again may over winter break

Lord Cromwell

Monday, January 29, 2007

TRI NW Long Course Triathlon Masters Champion

That's right!!!! What a surprise. I just got the Racecenter NW event guide and there I was. It turns out that the Pacific Crest 1/2 Ironman that I did last june was the championship race and since I won the masters division, I won the championship. Yea baby.

It's pretty cool to have your name in print. The kids and I did a little dance. Thanks to all my supporters who made it possible.

My family
Hammer Nutrition for fueling me and keeping me strong throughout
nuun for keeping me properly hydrated and my electrolytes in balance
FSA for quality bike components


Sunday, January 28, 2007

What another great beautiful day.

Today I took the ferry up to Seattle and once again met up with RYG, JVG, and Aaron. Our plan for today was to get in 4 hours of paddling. Our plan was to paddle from Lake union out to St. Edwards park on the NE end on Lake Washington. Still working on the base so this was a fun distance paddle were we could talk about technique and shake out the cobwebs.

I have been paddling a bit more lately that the rest because my last serious race was in September and they finished brazil in November. My base started much earlier than theirs. so I paired up with Jen to take to boats out. I thought I could use the first 5 miles to Magnuson Park, which is the halfway point out to St. Eds, to sort out where we all were. We could switch up there if we needed to. I felt great the whole way out. It was nothing like the struggle last weekend. Then, I honestly thought I was losing it. In reality, the wind and tide were stronger than I anticipated last week. Today, I had my GPS with me the whole time and there was no wind and obviously no tides on the lake. This made the GPS like a power tap on a bike. you have no excuses and only real data. The first five out to Mag we made about 5.5 MPH. and it felt so smooth and fluid. Its nice being in a double and working together. I gave JVG some tips and asked RVG and Aaron to demostrate the difference between proper rotation and all arms. I think that it would have been more effective if they weren't completely bundled up in dry tops. i of course opted to work on my tan.

When we got out by Magnuson, RVG dropped his rice krispy in the water, what poor eating habits. And this was after a bear claw, boston cream, honey glazed muffin and who knows what else before I got there. I wish I could eat like that. So, they had to go around to get it. Jen and I continued on leasurely pace. Then I though, they screwed up, they can work to catch up. so Jen and I pushed it back up to 5.5mph. Then I heard em chattering and thought, if they have it easy enough to chat they are obviously not working hard enough so with 2-3 mile left to go we stepped it up to 6 mph. Knowing the boats, i knew if we could keep it up there they couldn't catch up without a bit of effort. Besides, those two guys are great paddlers and JVG and I shouldn't have a chance, except for our quarter mile headstart ha ha ha.

When we pulled into St. Eds, we proceeded to get into this rediculous argument with a guy about his pit bull and rot wilder not being on a leash. I was quite surprise by the obscenities this guy was throwing at us when was nicely asked him the put his dog on a leash. However, when RVG and Aaron paddling behind us laughing all seemed to calm down.

We kept the same setup on the way back paddling together and enjoying the weather. All told we got in 20.4 miles averaging 5.57mph on the way out and 5.15mph on the way back. Finally, when we got back to the NWOC Aaron dropped his keys in the lake. He went in the water after them. After his first try, he came out freezing. I loaned him my wetsuit and booties and JVG scared up a mask and flashlight. And he was able to retreive them and drive home.

3:49 paddle time
20.4 miles
64 oz water with three tabs tri berry nuun
perpetum paste
some ibuprophin
GPS track at


Lord Cromwell

Saturday, January 27, 2007

SS'en 103 the hard way.......

Today I had a great ride on the old singlespeed. I have been riding it and building up and today was the moment of truth. I went out with some of the team and went head to head with their geared bikes. I rode up to the ferry dock at southworth and caught a ride over to Vashon were I met up with RVG, JVG, and Aaron. We then proceeded to cover 50 miles on the island alone. I honestly didn't believe that this was possible. It was great to see Aaron again and to be out with the team where we could spend a few hours talking about and planning for our upcoming races.

Ryan wanted to know if the SS was so that I had an excuse if I couldn't walk the talk. I don't think that any excuses were necessary today. I logged 25 extra miles before and 25 more after the island ride. And I feel great. My knees are a little knackered and my upper body is sore from the climbs but I am ready for our long paddle tomorrow.

I used the following to keep it strong.

Perpetum 2 flasks, 4 scoops(520 cals) by 2 oz water
Hammer gel 1 flask
every hour: 1 race cap, mito cap, antifatigue cap
And sweet nuun in the bladder to keep my electrolyte profile topped off.

Have a look at the gps tracks at
pics will be added soon. Now it is time for a mexican gut bomb.

Later Lord Cromwell

Friday, January 26, 2007

Secret Weapon......

Jen, RYG and I went snowshoeing last night up at Snoqualmie. When it comes to adventure racing, we don't like to leave anything to chance. I have never showshoed before so we thought it was a good idea to get some practice in before the Winter AR next weekend. It was really no problem. Ryan loaned be a great pair of Atlas snowshoes.

In addition to snowshoing, the race will have a special test. Roger always likes to throw these in the mix. His first one was an anagram. That was kinda funny. At the start he gave everyone the same anagram. You could solve it and go straight to your bike or run a couple of miles up the road to get the answer. The answer was the name of the ridge we were going to be climbing. I was the only one to try and figure it out and since i looked at the map the answer just popped out at me. I had a great headstart. but I digress....

We were trying to sort out what the special test might be this time around. We figure it has to do with snow and maybe some feat of strength and phyiscal agility. With that in mind we then narrowed it down and practised our skills.

I can now walk on my hands with snowshoes attached
Jen can cartwheel forever with snowshoes attacted to both her hands and feet.
and Ryan??? Well his trick is the best of all

I have friend who is a food additive specialist. He loaned me a new non-caloric silicon based kitchen lubricant that his company has been working on. It creates a surface 500 time more slippery than than ordinary cooking oil. We applied it to the bottem of Ryan's sled. It has never been used on a sled before but any edge is well worth the try.

Ryan didn't stop until he got to North Bend. When we finally caught up with him, the state patrol was issuing him a ticket for speeding and operating an unregistered vehicle on I-90.

this is going to be the bomb!!!

Lord Cromwell