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