Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Night watchman

It's 3:00 a.m. & all is well.

It's 3:30 a.m. & all is well.

It's 4:00 a.m. & all is well.

Katie is now sleeping, but I'm not. She is getting over being sick or a growth spurt or something, but for about a week she has been waking up between 2 & 4 A.M. & chowing down. Like a trooper Jules has taken the brunt of it. Unfortunately, I can't fall back to sleep, so I thought it was time for my obligatory monthly blog.

Just got back from a Captive Insurance meeting in Quebec. What a beautiful city...VERY French/European. Stayed at Chateau Frontenac. Google it! I was able to catch a little of the Tour TT, but tough watching in French. Really missed Phil & Paul.

End of the month going to Banff for work. Supposed to be equally cool hotel (Fairmont Banff?), but the setting in Canadian Rockies is spectacular.

Finally getting tired. Night Watchman over & out.

Peanut @ 8 mos.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Philly Bike Race

A quick recap of the philly bike race. I ended up going it alone this year. First of all it was hot as hell. It ended up being the slowest time in race history... hot,hot, hot. After almost 10 years of spectating, I have a pretty good game plan for the race. First, a mtn bike is essential. Whether or not you head to Manyunk or not it makes the course totally accessible.

I went right to boathouse row to wait for the riders to head out of town. Great spot for "bits & pieces" Early in the race I scored a High Road musette. I then road around to Lemon Hill & the feed zone at the Art Museum. I met up with Ian & some folks to catch the last few laps. Ian & I were on a mission, with any Rock Racing schwag a great score. I'm sure Julie is happy, I only got 1or 2 bottles. My day was quite good, several musettes & then it happened. The peleton was rolling out of the feed zone. Then Tyler Hamilton drifted to the left & tossed. I caught a full RR musette...winner. I gave Ian the team bottle, which we immediately drank. I did eat the contents of 2 musettes. Good friggin stuff. Might be worth taking up racing :).

Thanks to the tight security, Ian & I sat on the curb at the end of the feed zone for the last several laps. The accessibility was awesome after the race. Hanging around the Rock Racing & Slipstream tents. We both got pics & autographs with Tyler. Ian will vouch for the musette's authenticity too!!
I was hoping to see big Maggie again...after our Flanders photo op. I found out the race hotel was the Sheraton, so I set off to find more racers. As I left the hotel I saw some teams trucks, so I walked over to Slipstream & who but Magnus was sitting on the curb. He was awesome. Very gracious, gave me a autograph & talked about the race & his season. He signed our "Flanders" pic and said he remembered it. I'll be a big fan of Maggie's for some time to come.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Purgatory Ends!!!!

Well, my personal hell is over. I have rec'd a job offer. I/we are thrilled that a long 4 month job search is over. I will be joining The Addis Group as an Acct Mgr/VP (sounds important huh?) on May 30th. I'm sure the 3-5 people who look at this blog already know, but here it is. The timing went down to the wire, but I guess things happen for a reason. Thanks for the paid, yet stressful vavcation Zurich. I have said many times, I wouldn't have ever planned my job change, but it was a blessing to spend 4 mos with Julie watching Katie grow. She is such a joy. Back to the job. I'll be working in a Captive unit(off shore ins. co.) managing a book of business. This captive just happens to be domiciled in the Cayman Islands...nice. Looking forward to joining the working world.

This also brings more change to the Hebe home. Jules goes back to AZ on Tues, after a 6 mos maternity leave. She will also be in a new position. Another total BS move handed down by corporate America. Oh well, things happen for a reason. I'm sure still kick butt on her new team as well. Another HUGE change will be for little Katie. Since Mom & Dad are 9 to 5ers again, Peanut is off to daycare full time. We did a test run this past week. K-Mad fared better than Jules I think. It's tough to give your kid to someone else for 8+ hrs a day. Jules is positioning herself for full time Mom duty, but that will be down the road...maybe. Tough to think we will only see Katie awake for 3 hrs a day. The other kick in the ass is she got sick after her second day. Damn snot nose kids. I know it will build her immune system. Little consolation now. We will make the best of it for now.

Finally, I had to get a new car. What a pain in the ass that is. After lots of internet reviews, spreadsheets & test drives, I ended up with a sweet '05 Volvo S60. What a Dad car.

Looking forward to a nice last weekend home for everyone. Hope to get to the Ledges Pic A Nic.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tour of Flanders recap

Well, I'm home safe and sound. Body felt pretty good afterwards...maybe not ride another 85 miles good, but good none the less.

De Ronde - I was joined by my Irish friend Ian, who talked me into this, & his mate Mick, our English driver. The rest our the gang was Tony (RVV '07) Eusketel fanatic & Paul, our UK host & London black cab driver. I was chastized all weekend for riding an off the peg American bike, but I had to remind the boys that a Trek has won the TdF 8 of last 9 years. I will admit Colnagos & Pinarellos are "sexy", they're just not in BBP's budget.

I was signed up for the 140 km sportive version. This included 15 of 17 climbs the PROs would ride the next day. I was hoping for '07 conditions (60 degrees +), but it is Belgium in April. We drove from Brugge to Ninove for our start. It was between 36-40 degrees, not bad considering. We rode the first 19 miles pretty comfortably. Then we hit the Molenberg. My first experience with the dreaded Kaissen. The cobbles are rough, misaligned & have gaps that would swallow a 25 tire. The climb came to an abrubt stop as a knucklehead on a recumbent fell over in the first 25 meters. Thank god for mtb shoes...I hiked to the top & rode on. The next obstacle was a 2500m section of cobbles. What an experience. Pros use big gear and power through, BBP used 34-20 something bouncing along for over a mile at maybe 10-14mph. Back on the tarmac I greet Ian & all I can do is laugh. Off we go for a killer threesome...if only.

To add to the fun, after almost 2 hrs of riding it begins to rain, hard at times. Remeber it is in the low 40's at best. This keptup for almost 3 hrs...ahhh Belgium.

The first of the 3 is the Oude Kwaremont, 2,200m, 1,600m cobble, max 11.6%, avg 4%.
I rode the majority, only coming off in first few hundred meters because of two stopped cars. The Belgies are great. I'm sure an ugly American driver would have beeped, screamed at, etc. the hundreds of cyclists that blocked his way. He just waited to drive off when he could. Next was the Paterberg, 360m, all cobble, 20.3% max, 12.9% avg.
No chance on the Paterberg. Steep,wet & slimey, & filled w/ bikers. I rode as far as I could, then walked the majority of the climb. This was the lead up to the legendary Koppenberg, 600m, 22% max, 11.6 avg.
At this point I was feeling the effect of the previous climbs. My goal was to ride until I reached a roadblock of cyclists, or I reached the top. The Koppenberg is an awe inspiring climb. I had to put a foot down on my own, just couldn't climb it. FYI, Pros walked it this year.
So that is the first 5, only 10 to go. The Belgian countryside is beatiful. Narrow country roads. rolling hills, and quaint villages. How fitting, hills in Flemish is Helling. There were only 2 I was concerned with now, the last 2. The Muur -Kappelmuur (Muur van Geraardsbergen, Muur de Gramont). My disclaimer is that is is probably 500m of climbing to reach the official start of the Muur. 475m all cobble, 19.8%max, 9.3% avg.
I was in the 34-27 on the early part of the tarmac climb. I continued to grind away, making the right onto the cobbles. Low and behold BBP climb the ENTIRE effin' Muur. I did look at the computer and saw 3.5 mph. Oh well, I DID IT. There are a few epic cycling feats, and this has to be one of them. I have done something on the bike that the Legend hasn't (with his aversion to overseas travel I may hold the title of only Hebe to climb the Muur).

Lastly , onto the Bosberg. Almost a kilometer, half cobble. It is wide and well driven, making the cobbles somewhat smooth. Ian & I were together, only because he punctured & lost over 30 minutes, to climb the last hill. I was able to jump into a group for the dash to the finish. Was actually able to wind it up to 25+mph at points in the last 10km.

I am so glad and pleased that I rode Flanders. The Pro race was a good time, made better by the accessability of the teams post race. I am becoming more & more of a Slipstream fan.

Me & Magnus

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ronde van Vlaanderen - 3 days 11 hrs

The time has come. I'll be on my flight to Europe this time tomorrow. The biggest concern now is Mother Nature... 47 & cloudy. Pray it stays that way. A big thanks to all who support my foolish quest & have tried to make me technologically better, Jules, little Katie, mom, Mike (everyone laugh, I'm wearing his clothes...maybe the Belgies will like the look), Steve (wrenching, teaching me about sitting light & a sweet compact to tame the Ardennes), Brian (shoes I can walk the Koppenberg in), DK and many others who have listened to my tale.

Friday, March 21, 2008

RVV - 15 days 18 min.

What have I gotten myself into?

This plus 14 other Belgian treats.

Just for S & G

Ha, here you go Leg, multiple posts in a day. Add my link to your page. Aslo tell me how to add pics where I want them.