Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Catching up

I've been fighting off a cold the past couple days, ever since I had to go sit in meetings in the basement for a couple hours. Haven't been sick all year, and all it takes is a morning full of meetings to give me a scratchy throat. Figures. At least it's the best time of year to get sick. Better now than three weeks ago.

Anybody tried fig newmans recently? For the past few months, they've been all dry. But I kept up with them, and the last pack was back to their wonderful, moist, goodness. It's just like bike racing. Things may not be going well for awhile, but if you stick with it, chances are they'll turn around.

Speaking of bike racing, who's excited for the first road race? I'm not. It's coming up here in 7 weeks or so. Seems like I just stopped racing two weeks ago. Oh wait, I did. The off season is too short. Maybe I need to pick up another sport, like speed skating. That way I could race every weekend of the year. That's exactly what I need. More racing. What I'm most excited about is my trip to Italy this summer with my wife. That's right, I'm spending a week in Italy with no bike racing, just bike riding. It'll be the first time in years I've taken time off of work just for relaxing, not for racing. It will be great.

Got my wife a sweet Trek 1500 for Christmas. It's this really nice baby blue color, sort of like the color of my too vanilla for you t-shirt. She hasn't ridden it yet, but I can tell she wants to. I know because she told me, "I want to ride it".

Had our team meeting the other night. Sat down with a couple guys from last year and a couple new guys and hashed out what we're doing for next year. I'm pretty excited, we'll be sporting a different look with more black and less purple. Hopefully Ping Pong's butt will look less like Grimmus from McDonald's and more like a bike racer's. I'm putting him to work this year.

And for the record, I don't hate Veloshop or River City. Or the Bike Gallery. I do, however, hate how I cracked the rim on my carbon wheels. That'll hurt the wallet. Well, those things have seen so many seasons and so much racing that I suppose it was about time. I'm still riding them, anyhow. All I did was set the brake pads lower, and they finished out the rest of the season.

My wife and I saw that movie Syriana on Christmas day. It was good, but I think I'll need to see it again to fully understand what was going on. There were about 5 plot lines going on, all intertwined. It really makes you think whether or not the filmmaker sensationalized anything. If not, that's some crazy shit going on over there.

You know what else is good? Mandarin oranges. That's what I'm talking about.

More later. Boo yah.

Monday, December 26, 2005

From yesterday's Oregonian...

"Oregon could be the next state with an anti-steroid bill"

Apparently New Jersey will begin random drug testing of high-school athletes, and the Oregon State Athletic Association (OSAA) is considering a plan to do the same.

This is stupid. Athletes are given every incentive to dope (except the line that it's ethically "wrong") and the threat of random drug tests is supposed to deter someone? Probably not, especially when doping may lead to a state championship which may lead to a successful college career which may lead to a multi-million dollar contract. Seems to me like they're attacking the wrong end of the problem.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Where's Waldo?

Can everybody spot the three times a Vanilla kit shows up in the new issue of Velonews? There's one of Molly, two of me. First person to identify them all gets a free Vanilla (sandwich, between me and Molly, but only if Molly agrees to it).

So I think the winner of the date with Cliff has to be Sommer11, mostly because it seems like she's the only one cares. So let us know when you want to go out, and we'll make it happen.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

News Wrap-up

Some interesting tidbits of news today...

Pennsylvania court bars teaching of intelligent design.

Saddam Hussein claims he was tortured and beaten by US forces.

Shooting at Walmart in New Mexico injures 6 year old girl.

I had soup and rice pudding for lunch.

Trebon reports that Tonkin trimmed up his beard.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to thank Mark Peterson from Kona for pitting for me at nationals.

Massage later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Anybody been following what President Bush has been up to the past couple days with his Oval Office speech and press conferences? Here's some food for thought:

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

Herman Goering, Hilter's designated successor, before being sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials.


Monday, December 19, 2005


There's only one thing to do on a cold, wet, slushy Portland it, with style.

Did some saddle time with the stateside half of the twin-towers yesterday. It was cold, but that was nothing compared to when it started raining sheets of ice down later in the day. I heard Ping Pong did 4 hours on his single speed cross bike. Supposedly he's trying to get fast for next year (or at least faster than some cat. 5's).

Friday, December 16, 2005

Here's the new kit for next year...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Life Update

Hey, I'm back. If you guys didn't know, I was out on the East Coast doing a big bike race. I just wanted to check in and let everybody know what I've been up to.

First off, a big shout out and thank you to Dave, Althea, and Colt, my three great hosts in RI. You guys were awesome, and I'll try to get some Stumptown out to you guys so you can start spreading the gospel out there.

Also, thanks to Ping Pong for keeping the blog updated (although some of the drivel he wrote was kind of worthless).

So here are some interesting things that have come up over the past couple weeks:

1. I've got a cameo in the new cross DVD called "Transition". It's me givin'er past the main character, Myerson, at national's last year. Check it out, it's a cool video.
2. When I was at the jersey presentation, somebody shouted out "Where's Ping Pong?" He's getting famous.
3. Cyclingnews wants to do a feature on my bike.
4. Surprisingly, I missed my dog. Oh, and my wife too.
5. Slaven's belt is cooler than my jersey. Maybe I should do single speed next year.
6. Richard Sachs and Ryan Trebon both commented on my blog.
7. After the race on Friday, I was so f-ed up that I couldn't function. Thanks to Dale from Kona for getting me in my car and warmed up. I almost lost it, but I didn't want to break my 8 year streak of not vomiting.
8. Ten interesting things are too hard to come up with.
9. More later.
10. Everything's better in list form.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Interview with the sponsor (part one)

Too Vanilla For You: So what bike are you going to build for Matthew?
Sacha White: Can I get a beer?

TVFY: Please answer the question.
SW: For Matt? Cardinal?

TVFY: No, Slaven.
SW: Umm...If I had my choice, a single speed commuter with built in lights, super streamlined. But we're thinking a single speed road bike.

TVFY: Is this your first national championship with Shannon?
SW: My first championship? My first Win? Yes.

TVFY: Are you more vanilla or shannon? Or molly?
SW: I'm definitely more vanilla. Like twice as much vanilla. I've actually got the tatoos.

Tvfy: That's a bold statement. What's your favorite burrito?
SW: Southwest green chili. Broccoli no pico.

TVFY: From Laughing Planet?
SW: Yeah.

TVFY: Do you love or hate Walmart?
SW: Jeez. Wow man. Um, I haven't gone to Walmart for 18 years and I don't think I'd go to walmart.

TVFY: But you bought a computer from Sears.
SW: Yeah, it seems different somehow. I don't know how we ended up at Sears for a computer, and we probably wouldn't end up there again.

TVFY: What's your favorite thing about Shannon? And remember, speak slowly.
SW: Definitely his ripped calves. He talks to me and that makes me feel special. Right? That's pretty special, dont' you think?

TVFY: Do you like SW green chili burritos more? Or Shannon's calves?
SW: Green chili burritos or shannon's calves more?

TVFY: Answer the question.
SW: Well, I think that the way that I like green chili burritos is different than the way I like Shannon's calves. So I don't like one more, they're just different.

TVFY: That sounds like a cop out to me.
SW: If I really had to choose one or the other, I'd go for the calves. Wrapped in a flour tortilla.

TVFY: Thanks for your time.
SW: Well, thanks for honoring me with the invitation

Thanks to Sacha for giving us his time for the interview. Stay tuned for part two of the interview with the man behind the bikes behind the man.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tonkin update

race cancelled because of the weather. Tents are all blowing away. hypothermic conditions. hypodermic needles found on course. full on blizzard.

Shannon Update

We heard from Shannon, here's what he had to say...
Conditions went from freezing rain to snow to sleet during the race, super slick. Richard Feldman and Shannon duked it out off the line, Feldman went into the first corner way too hot and ate it. Shannon gets a gap with another guy, drops him, and rides away by himself. He said he was bonking the last couple laps, and was so cold that he thought he might not be able to get his legs back around for the next pedal stroke. 30 minutes later he's still in his car trying to warm up.

Tonkin's also racing the old man's race now, we'll let you know how he does.

Ping Pong

You heard it here first (for the second time)

Shannon takes it!
Brings home the stars and bars!
Does his blog proud!
File that one!

You heard it here first...

Dale Knapp wins!
and Dale Plant takes 8th!
in the masters race.

We'll keep you posted when we hear anything about Shannon. He's racing right now as I type.

Ping Pong

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ping Pong's Pre-race wrap-up


1. Page (sorry Trebon, he's really fast)
2. Trebon...I'll give you second
3. Wicks...and your teammate third
4-6. Too close to call
7. Tonkin
8 through 12. I don't know
13. Shannon
14 through mid-pack. Other racers
Mid-pack + 1. Tony Wilhelm, on a fixed gear
And the rest

Latest Shannon update: apparently Shannon somehow sprained his ankle running from the registration table before the race on Sunday (maybe trying to get away with an expired UCI license? He does that kind of stuff) but still finished 8th or something. He's also planning on racing the Master's race on Friday since he's old. But he may need a cane to get through it with his arthritic hips and sprained ankle. But I'll still predict a top 5 for him in that race.

That's pretty impressive, huh? 3 kona boys in the top 7, 4 Oregonians in the top 12. Maybe even 5 with Horner.

After the race, Shannon will have 1 glass (not pint) of beer and a hamburger, then it's time to start training for next year! Oh yeah, and back to work on Tuesday. A great reward for another great year.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ping Pong's Poll

So here it is:

Matthew Slaven has agreed to stick with whatever the adoring public wants him to do. If you want him to race geared, let us know. If you want to see him sticking with one gear, tell us. If you want him not to race so you can win, too bad.

Post in the comments section!

p.s. there were no mini hot dogs, but there were plenty of meat balls

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Ping Pong again

Latest Shannon update: heard from Shannon today. 11th place in cold (34-35 fahrenheit) and windy conditions against a pretty stacked field. He felt a little rusty. Tomorrow's forecast is for 1-3" of snow. Ouch. Another Gloucester?

On to the important stuff...apparently the blog is reaching out to distant places such as the far east (coast). Shannon's fielded multiple questions about his post on East coast coffee. Hey, it's good, but once you've had Stumptown, you'll never go back. He even offered to refund your money if you come to Portland, try Stumptown, and don't like it.

On another note, I (Ping Pong) am going to be attending a holiday party tonight at my friend Joe's girlfriend's house. I'm going because I was promised cocktail sized meatballs, mini quiche, and tiny hot dogs. Mmmmm, hot dogs. Cross Crusade party be damned.

(Stumptown rules)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ping Pong's Post

Latest Shannon update: no updates yet.

It was requested that I share with everybody what I did over Thanksgiving. In my country, we have nothing to give thanks for, but since I live in E-merica I decided to partake in the annual celebration of the day that Pilgrims learned to live with the Indians.

So my housemates and I had 25 people over (including ourselves). It would have been 26, but there was one no-show. There were two other cyclists there, as well as two cyclists' wives, plus my lady friend and some of her friends, plus an assortment of friends, friends of friends, and I think one guy who walked in off the street because he didn't seem to know anybody.

It was a potluck, and I made two pumpkin pies to go with the three other pumpkin pies that were there. I actually didn't eat too much (I need to lose 3 pounds), but I did wake up at 4 am that night to finish off the rest of the pie.

I need a 52-54 cm road frameset cheap for the winter. Anybody got anything? I can pay you in egg rolls (or money, if the price is right).

Who's going to the cross crusade party tomorrow night? Or if you're reading this afterwards, did everybody have fun at the cross crusade party?

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