Sunday, October 30, 2005


Gloucester...blizzard, cold, top 10 finish. Tonkin top 4 finish. Molly top 20 finish. Cold.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Fine...more pictures, less words

Gratuitous gettin'er done shot

Gratuitous butt shot

Friday, October 28, 2005

East Coastin

So here I am on the East Coast, getting ready for these races this weekend. Even though I'm from the East Coast, I'm always amazed at the differences between here and Portland. The coffee in Portland is great, especially old Stumptown, here it's all Starbucks and whatnot. Even on rainy days in Portland the sun will shine through every now and then, here it's been gray since I got off the plane. Voodoo donuts are amazing compared to the crap I've been getting at Dunkin Donuts. Another difference I noticed is that I have a car in Portland, here I have to "borrow" or "rent" one. And what's up with the time difference? It's 11 am in Portland but already 2 pm here? Bizarre.

More to come after the races.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Walmart to spend $500 million on technologies to improve environmental practices

$500 million is 5% of their annual $10 billion profits. But that's still a lot of money. Supposedly it will help the bottom line by reducing operating costs. It's hard to believe that improving their public appearance doesn't greatly factor in, but it's still a step in the right direction.

I'm not sayin' I love Walmart now or anything.

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The touch

It looks like in order to win a race, you have to know me...
example 1: Matthew Slaven singlespeed Scouter's Mtn Cross Crusade-1st place!
example 2: Erik Tonkin Mens A Scouter's Mtn Cross Crusade-1st place!
See where this is going?
I know myself, and therefore could have won a race, but an untimely flat tire took me out of the running.
If you want to win your next race, it looks like your chances will be dramatically improved if you are my friend (I like coffee--especially double americanos).
I wonder what Ping-Pong's doing?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Did you know...

At my first cyclocross race ever, I got 7th in the A's?
I have an asian helper named Ping-Pong?
Photographers find my arm hair "distracting"?
Clothes make the man, accessories make the man fabulous?
I used to work for Burton snowboards?
I'm married and a homo-ner
I have the most ripped calves out of all my coworkers?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

TV Report

I made it to the couch early for my favorite weekly TV show, "Lost". This has been one of my favorite shows since it debuted on ABC last year. I got to the couch at about 8:45 with some orange juice with enough time to get settled in before the show started.

The show started right on time at 9, which is nice when you think about some other shows that always start later than they're advertised. That always throws off the schedule, especially if you have to be on another channel for something afterward. From the beginning, it was exciting as usual. I was on the rivet for the full hour, except for a couple short intervals when I could relax during the commercials. I think I even used one for the opportunity to go to the bathroom, but as soon as I was done I started focusing on the show again.

As soon as the show was over, I started thinking about the next one. The previews were calling for somebody to die in the next episode. I'm thinking it's going to be Sawyer kicking the big champagne bucket. But maybe that's too obvious and it will be Hurley. Or it could even be that girl while she's trying to save Sawyer. That's the great thing about TV; no matter how prepared you are, you don't know what's going to happen when it plays out. I'm just bummed that I have to wait three weeks before the next one.

Afterwards, I cooled down with about 15 minutes of the the show "Invasion". I was in bed pretty early with help from a little wine, but mostly I was just tired from the show.

I wonder what Tonkin's doing now?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Solving the issue of global climate change*

Ok, so the title is fairly inaccurate. This post will not solve much, but it will present a different way of looking at things. So the problem with global warming is that certain people (many of whom are currently running the government) have no incentive to acknowledge that it even exists, let alone that it might be a problem in the not too distant future. Why? Let's take a developing country, China, for example. Pretend that there is a world governing body that can effectively regulate environmental emissions country by country. So this governing body assumes that China is polluting too heavily, and decides they need to cut down on their emissions. What does this do? It encourages foreign investors (in this case, Americans might be foreign investors) to not invest their money in China. This is because the newly imposed environmental regulations make it much more costly to invest in China. This means that the economic development of China is greatly depressed because there isn't much foreign money flowing in, and domestic investors spend more money on meeting those regulations that could otherwise be invested in development.

Let's assume there is no (or little) environmental regulation, and China develops quickly, and once they reach a reasonable level of wealth, they can then focus on cleaning up the environment. That's what the current U.S. administration is banking on. However, that's basically the position the U.S. is in now, and many people would argue that there is far too little being done in terms of environmental regulations here. Why? According to standard economic models, it is always better to invest in the development of a country and push those regulations further and further into the future. If you had a billion dollars to spend and you were promised a 7% return in one year, would you agree to spend only $750 million to invest and spend $250 million on cleaning up your industry? It would make more sense to say let's invest the $1,000,000,000 this year, take that 7% return, then we'll have that much more to work with next year to help clean up the environment. The problem is that there's always a next year.

So that's the problem. Bored yet? Oh wait, there's actually an even bigger problem. Nobody really knows what or when something is going to happen. So potentially, many pundits of global warming could be absolutely correct and maybe nothing bad will happen. Maybe recent warming trends are nothing more than normal fluctuations that play out over billions of years. Or maybe something disastrous is looming right around the corner.

Therein lies the solution. In order to convince certain people that something must be done, the problem has to be framed differently. Let's take a look at terrorism. Before September 11, 2001, I would venture to say that very few investors took it upon themselves to judge the risk of a potential terrorist attack. However, it's probably one of the first considerations now for American investors in foreign countries, especially ones with which we have volatile relationships. There are even insurance policies against terrorist attacks for many industries.

Why, then, can't the possibility of global climate change be viewed as an insurance problem? Investors pay a premium to hedge against risks of fires, floods, and now terrorist attacks. Why not global climate change? I see two main reasons why this hasn't happened yet. First, there are few comprehensive studies that predict the effect of climate change on various industries. There are some that predict effects on GDP, but what we need is something like this: 1 degree Celsius rise, fishing industries may suffer; 2 degree Celsius rise, increase in hurricanes that affect economies of coastal towns; 5 degree Celsius rise, New York, San Francisco, L.A. are swallowed up by the ocean, Missouri is the new east coast, and the American economy collapses. And so on and so forth.

The second reason why I believe not much has been done is that people are in their nature very reactive rather than proactive. But that's just stupid. Let's learn some lessons from history. Do we really need events like Sep. 11 and Hurricane Katrina to drive people to action? Aren't there enough creditable people predicting doom if nothing is done to address the current situation? It's not as though addressing the problem in this way requires too much out of the government. Basically, all that is needed is a centrally sponsored program (somebody's got to pay for it) to do research into the effects that POSSIBLE changes in global climate may have on industries. Then the onus is on the people involved in those industries to decide for themselves and "buy their insurance policies" in the form of polluting less. I have health insurance and car insurance, and I would have them even if it wasn't so cheap through work or required by law. And if I was the CEO of a big company and there was research done that a small change in the global temperature could drastically affect my earnings, I would definitely spend some money to try to prevent that from happening. That's self-enforcing, and that's the beauty of the free market.

Comments? Questions? What am I not thinking about?

*views expressed in this commentary are not necessarily those of Shannon Skerritt's.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Pre-race post-cap

After tomorrow's race, I'll be pretty tired. I like to eat hamburgers after races, so I'm probably going to eat one of those, maybe with a glass (not pint!) of beer and a pitcher of water.

Recovery is always important after races, much like it will be tomorrow after this one. I'll be looking forward to a short massage on Thursday, then a full one next Monday before I fly out to the East coast. I think I will wait until after those races to report what will happen.

Race Pre-report

Tomorrow is the Veloshop race at PIR. After a couple huge races last weekend it will be nice to have a smaller race to enjoy. Here is how it will go down:

I will arrive at the race before my start. I'll spend some time warming up, riding the course a couple times until I get to know the lines to take. I'll probably get to the starting line after everybody else has lined up because I'll have spent a lot of time getting coffeed and sugared up. I'll probably still be able to squeeze in the front because people know me from my blog.

At the gun, I'll have a good start. I like to start fast.

The race is a blur, partly because I will be going pretty hard, but mostly because it hasn't happened yet. I will call on my power animal, the donkey (a trick I've picked up over the years).

At the finish, the race will be over.

Tune in for another exciting report next weekend.

By popular request...

Givin' er

Friday, October 14, 2005

Interview two

In part two of our two part interview series, Too Vanilla For You talks to Oregon BAR (Best Asian Rider) Eric Tsai.

Too Vanilla For You: So how do you know Shannon?
Eric Tsai: For every elite athlete, there's someone behind the scenes, someone supporting the athlete, giving him encouragement when he's down, someone to push that athlete to his limits. I guess you could say I'm in charge of finding that person for Shannon.

TVFY: Don't you work with him?
ET: Yes, that too.

TVFY: Why should anybody bother to read this interview with you?
ET: I know what it's like to personally know Shannon.

TVFY: What's your favorite story about Shannon?
ET: One time he caught a shoplifter with three cycling jerseys down his pants, including the hangers. Another time he caught a woman with some Burley jackets stuffed in her mumu, then chased them out the store and they backed their car into a telephone pole. He likes to tell a story about how he once accidently ate mouse poop.

TVFY: Can you eat more or can Shannon eat more?
ET: Shannon can eat more without getting fat.

TVFY: Are you really Oregon's best asian rider?
ET: Define "asian". Is this interview over yet?

TVFY: Yes.

Thanks for your time, Eric

Work, a redux

11:44 a.m. Made it to work, safe and sound.


Today I think I'll go into work at noon instead of 11.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


A lucky few have the honor of calling Shannon Skerritt coach. Here, we take an in-depth look at singlespeeder Matt Cardinal's weeklong training run-in to the Veloshop race this Sunday. Matt has been working as Shannon's personal mechanic in exchange for the training advice.

Sunday-25 mile cyclocross ride through Forest Park
Monday-Easy day. Commute to work.
Tuesday-Easy day. Commute to work.
Wednesday-Easy day. Commute to work.
Thursday-Easy day. Commute to work. Forget to go to the Sellwood cyclocross practice.
Friday-Easy day. Commute to work.
Saturday-Easy day. Commute to work.
Sunday-No work. Race instead.

Things we can learn from this program:
-a lot of rest is important
-commuting is a great way to get miles on your bike

See? It's just that easy to be fast.

Too Vanilla For You's first interview

In this post, Too Vanilla For You interviews a co-worker, one Elizabeth Worley.

Too Vanilla For You: like dudes?
Elizabeth Worley: I do. Very much.

TVFY: So Shannon broke both his elbows last year. Have you broken two of anything?
EW: I've broken two of my forearm bones-bike riding-bmxing, to be specific.

TVFY: At the same time?
EW: Yes. Snap. Two at once. And then again. Twice. 6 months later.

TVFY: Bike riding again?
EW: Roller skating.

TVFY: Do you think you get asked more about your broken forearms or does Shannon get asked more about his broken elbows?
EW: about my broken forearms because I have better scars. Do you know what Shannon's blog should be called? "Are you ready to get famous".

TVFY: Hey-I'm asking the questions here. What do you think are Shannon's favorite things about you?
EW: My hoop earrings. I think that's all.

TVFY: And your favorite things about Shannon?
EW: Um...he delivers coffee to me. Sometimes. He brings me coffee. Sometimes.

Thanks for your time, Elizabeth.

First Post

Welcome to the blog of Portland's fastest clean-shaven cyclocross racer, Shannon Skerritt. Here you will find posts by and about your friendliest, favoritest local fast guy. Need to glean some info on how to get fast? Check back here! For instance, did you know that Shannon can eat one whole Chile Relleno burrito from Cha Cha Cha and then eat lunch 3o minutes later? Try it before your next race!

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