Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This won't be funny. At least I'm not planning on it being that way.

I've had an interesting week. It's only half over but I've managed to NOT do a lot more than I actually HAVE done in a whole week's time. I'm sitting at my desk at school, looking at all the books I've collected over the last 6 years; chemistry, physics, physiology, anatomy, biology, nutrition, and my mind rushes back to past times. Times of stress from having to learn insane amounts of information, only to spit it out on a scan tron then forget it the next morning. Times of grief from having to spend beautiful afternoons inside memorizing cellular mechanisms and pretending to understand them as I stumble my way through pages and pages of research. And of course the good times. All the times I left my desk, with papers unwritten, power point slides unstudied, research unread, and quizzes untaken, to take the afternoon off to go pedal my bicycle around Utah county.

I have class right now, but my deep personal soul searching isn't be continued...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Confessions of an insecure single dude.

So this last week I finally did the deed. I bit the bullet and got a Utah State driver's license. It's something I was hoping I would never have to do, but in all reality I knew it had to happen eventually. It's kinda like when your at the park with a dog and it takes a poop right at the bottom of the slide. Sure there aren't any kids around at the moment, so you don't have to scoop it up right away, but somewhere in the back of your mind, you KNOW you can't leave that park until you do the deed and scoop the poop.

So that's what I did this week. I scooped the poop and got a Utah license. When I bought a truck this summer my insurance agent (How do you like that? I, Daniel Nelson have an insurance agent. He is very good at finding me cheap insurance. So whereas before I was paying an arm and a leg, he's managed to cut it back to just a little more than a forearm and an ankle.)

Anyway, my buddy Chris who happens to sell insurance, told me when I opened a policy here that I would need to get a Utah license sooner or later....I was hoping in after I'd moved to Colorado, built a log cabin and grown a beard long enough to put the Honor Code office into shock, and make Brigham himself jealous. That was the plan. Little did I know I'd be getting out the scooper this soon.

So as I was sitting there (at the DMV), waiting for Vern (I am only assuming his name was Vern. He seemed to be able to talk about everything and anything like he was an expert on the subject matter. Really the type of guy I always mentally pictured would hang out with Ernest P. Worrell, so I just assumed his name was Vern) to get the camera ready to take my glamor shot picture for the license, I noticed a gorgeous red head.

Red heads, as many of you know, are polar. They are either extremely attractive, or extremely...not. No middle ground on this one. Anyway, this one was gorgeous. (If by some strange coincidence, you are that red head, now reading this, I must first admit I am extremely embarrassed to be writing all this about you. Please stop now, as the rest of this will only embarrass me more. Second I must admit I should very much like to have your phone number)

So there she sat. Red hair and all. As she moved to a counter, a beautiful blonde made her way over and started chatting with the red hed. Here is where the insecure thought process all starts up. (and no, I am not prejudice against dark haired girls. They are equally attractive. One just didn't happen to be at the DMV this particular morning)

For some reason, as soon as these two started chatting, my poor little insecure mind ran wildly along, creating what MUST have been their conversation:

Gorgeous Red Head: Hey, you're good looking, just like me! We should start chatting here in line
Beautiful Blonde: Totally. And look, we're both too good for that boy over there with the white socks and highwater slacks.
Gorgeous Red Head: Like, for sure. He looks like he got his hair cut at Petco. Must have been a buy one get one free dog grooming day.
Beautiful Blonde: He he! Totally. He keeps looking over at us. What, does he think he could ever even hope to posses the level of intelect necessary to converse with us? He probably just failed his Endocrinology test at BYU last Tuesday night.
Gorgeous Red Head: Like, for sure. My rear looks totally good in these jeans right now, doesn't it?
Beautiful Blonde: Totally.
Gorgeous Red Head: I'm so glad we're friends. BFF!!
Beautiful Blonde: Totally. Let's go be friends somewhere else, where that boy will stop staring at us.

And so it goes. I am sure they were actually having a conversation about something serious like the economy, politics, or Paris Hilton's newest shnanigans, but being the ultra self conscious boy that I am, I always just figure everyone is out to judge me for the worst.

I like to think I've come a long way in maturity since the 7th grade. Like how I used to pull girl's hair when I liked them. Now I've moved on to poking them on Facebook. I used to hide my insecurities and self consciousness behind a No Fear, Mossimo, or Gecko brand T-shirt. Now I just put on spandex, very dark sunglasses and ride around on a bike. Definitely made some strides in the maturity department :)

Either way, the point is, mentally, I am still in Jr. High. Maybe that's why I am not married. Maybe that's why I can't seem to pass Endocrinology tests. Maybe that's why I stare at my feet when I am, by some unnatural force, found actually making conversation with a female. Who knows. Maybe its just a phase I'll grow out of sometime in the next 25 year segment of my life. Maybe someday I'll learn "social skills". Maybe someday I'll start communicating with real people instead of writing on a blog....who knows....who knows...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I have been in school for too long.
Now I understand that is a very subjective statement. I am in the middle of the first semester of my 6th year of college. A lot of guys go to college for longer. Yeah, they're called doctors. And they go for 4 years, then 4 more, then a bunch of stuff like internships and residencies where they get to call themselves doctors, don't make as much as real doctors, but probably still more than I will after almost as much school.
No, despite the apparent tone of this post, I am not bitter. And no, that last comment was not completely saturated with enough sarcasm to sink the Titanic along with Jack, Rose and the whole crew.

The point of this is that I have been her too long. I understand that many people have been here for longer. I am not trying in any way to say I've been here longer than anybody else. Just that I, for myself, have definitely worn my brain out.

Its like those stupid round rocks you used to get when you were a kid that when you smashed them together, they would spark and make funny smelling smoke. They were awesome. But like all good things, eventually they wore out. My brain is like an expired sparky ball. Worn out. It has lost its capacity to memorize enzymatic reactions, lost its ability to focus on the clinical applications of beta mercaptoethanol and why the inhibition of cAMP causes a myriad of disorders in young female rats with hypo-crap-face-ism.

I realized this today as I went up to take a test in the BYU testing center.

I used to be a chipper fellow every time I went in there. Usually quite well versed on whatever pointless material I had spent hours memorizing. I even used to get comment on my test results screen such as "Congratulations", or "Nice Work" which I am assuming now to mean "Congratulations, you are one hell of a bubble filler-inner" and "Nice work with that no. 2 pencil, good job completely erasing all your changed answers"

But now, I am just bitter. Tonight, I walked up to the counter, handed over my card and asked for my test.
"Which class would you like?" the attendant asked politely.
"PDBio 565" I answered, maybe just a tad less than politely.
"Wow, that's a really high number" the attendant commented excitedly
"Yeah, it means I've been here too long" I replied a tad less than excitedly
He then asked to see my student ID. I showed it to him.
"Wow, this thing is really old" He said grinning
"Yeah, your mom is really old" I said, now very much grinning.

Ok, so I didn't comment on the poor fellow's mother's age, but I was tempted. After getting my test I snuck back to my usual seat in the far back and began filling in bubbles. Sometimes I would read part of the question before filling in a bubble, just so I could get a feel for just what exactly I was being tested on, but most of the time I just went with what felt right.

After the test, I started my walk back to my office. I was feeling pretty angry for being so stupid. Don't get me wrong, I don't think all stupid people should walk around angry, just the ones who used to be smart, but now are stupid. The ones who have always been stupid have no right to be angry about it.

Anyway, I am done ranting now. I'll try to post something funny sometime. I am a lot better at being funny than describing enzymatic reactions in the posterior adrenal cortex in ACTH deficient patients. Or at least hope so. Cause, man, I suck at the latter.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nebo Thursday

So deciding to take full advantage of finals week once again, Thursday I went out for a rather epic ride: around Mt. Nebo.

The full loop, starting and finishing in Provo comes out to somewhere between 110 and 120 miles. Make 22 miles of that climbing up Payson canyon and you've got yourself a sweet/fun/long/awesome/beautiful day on a bike.

I planned on leaving around 8:00 am to avoid the summer heat, but yeah, like that ever happens. I managed to be out on the road around 9:30. Just early enough to be back in time for work later that afternoon.

Figuring the ride to take about 7 hours, I was right on pace.

As I left Provo the wind was blowing from the south, a good sign as to how the leg from Nephi back to Payson would be on the return. I have never ridden from Nephi to Payson without a stiff headwind. Oddly enough, the wind managed to change later that day and once again I was stuck making the dreaded stretch with a slight up hill and head wind...very ideal conditions (in case you are slightly confused, please google search "sarcasm")

The 22 mile ride up Payson canyon was beautiful. I wasn't in any kind of hurry to break any records, so I took my sweet time, stopping to take plenty of pictures. The ride down was nice, but like I said earlier, the ride back from Nephi to Payson was a bit monotonous.

Either way, the ride was incredible. Good enough to stop and take my ear phones out and just enjoy the scenery and natural surroundings. It was pretty great just being out there. A small reminder of just what a great planet God has given us to live.

Anyway, here are some more pictures of the ride:
Pictures coming later tonight, I have to go to class now....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Beat Mark

The last week or two has brought some significant events in my life, the biggest of which is that I, Dan, beat Mark....twice.
(oh and my little brother got married)

Now I know what you are thinking. It must have been in some obscure contest like how many bananas we could eat in a minute or who had the longest toe nail, but no, really, I beat Mark on a bike, twice.

So yesterday we decide to head out for a nice ride after work. We took off up the canyon and had a pleasant ride up the trail, conversing the whole ride, catching up on everything new.

I hadn't seen Mark in more than a week so it was good to chat for a while filling each other in on new life events, swap a few recipes, and tell him about the new quilt bordering technique I picked up from my aunt while home this weekend. (He called me gay)

Anyway, on our way back we decided to hit up the Country Club Sprint. The Country Club Sprint, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is a slightly uphill quarter mile section of road on University Avenue that starts at a residential turn off and ends at the intersection that goes into the Country Club.

Matt showed me the sprint years ago on a ride before I really knew who he was. Since then Kyle and I would duke it out almost every ride to be the first to the line. I used to beat him soundly, but by the end of our first season racing he was really sticking it to me. Kyle's fast. He can accelerate like a bat out of....a cave.

So yesterday, Mark and I go ahead and have it out on the CCS (Country Club Sprint, for those of you too dim to understand my abbreviation) and I am proud to say I beat him by about a second.

A second may not sound like much, but it's an eternity while in a full out sprint. We were going so fast that distance-wise, I was probably ahead by a good mile and a least.

Needless to say, Mark was very graceful in his defeat. We are very competitive (Ok so I am very competitive, Mark just goes along with it) but we take joy in seeing the other succeed. For example, I was happy as I watched Mark succeed in creaming me in the next two sprints down University Ave and over the viaduct.

Those don't matter. Cause I won the first.

Now, for my second success.

Today, Mark and I decided to go do both our favorite ride ever, the Alpine Loop. (The ride is so official that it is capitalized, very formal)

I didn't know how hard he wanted to drill it, or how hard I would end up wanting to ride, but was more excited just to do my favorite ride with my good buddy.

As we left Provo, the weather quickly decided which way we would go. There was an ridiculously tremendous wind coming from the north, so we opted to ride up the Provo side so we could take advantage of the wind coming back from American Fork.

(I realize that our logic in making this descion was completely erroneous in the proven fact that the wind will ALWAYS change directions as soon as it is time for it to be a tail wind. Anyone doubting this statement will please do a google search on "Murphy's Law")

As we started the climb up to Sundance, we both charged it pretty hard. We stayed together the whole ride, but were both pushing it pretty dang hard. My average heart rate was somewhere around 190 for the 2.25 miles. Either way, we did it in 13 minutes, my fastest time ever.

We kept climbing at a pretty good pace all the way up to the summit. As we got closer, I realized we were right on pace to break 50 minutes for the whole climb.

For those of you unacquainted with the Alpine Loop, the Provo side is about 9 miles long and you gain a few thousand feet in climbing. My previous best time was somewhere around 55 minutes, so breaking 50 would have been a definite success.

As we got closer and closer to the top I really wasn't even paying much attention to Mark. Granted, a large portion of my manhood wanted desperately to beat him as badly as I could, I found myself consumed with a bigger goal: Breaking 50 minutes. We drilled the pace as we got closer and closer to the top. It was going to be close.

As we got to the mile 19 sign, I knew we had about a half mile to go, but less than 3 minutes to do it. I almost gave up when Mark started attacking (Mark knew little of my time goal, he just wanted to beat me) I jumped on his wheel and followed him as long as I could. He surged again and started to leave me.

In a last minute attempt to at least help him push his own pace all the way to the line, I yelled "don't you let up for a second, I'm right on your tail" knowing full well that my legs were spent and I was about to blow.

Well, before you go and get worried now, there is something about me you should know. No matter how long or how hard I have been riding or racing, as soon as I feel close to the finish, I get this crazy reserve kick that takes over my legs. I'm the only guy at the mountain bike races that sprints all out across the finish line completely alone, but its just how I am.

So anyway, just as we were coming around to the last bend in the road, my body's 11th sense picked up the finish line signal and I was off like a bat out of....a cave. I pushed with everything I had and shot past Mark as we crested the hill and rolled across the line. More importantly, however, the whole racing Mark thing pushed us hard enough that we ended up breaking 50 minutes.

Double wins for Dan the Man.

Anyway, we had a great time descending and riding home with the best tailwind ever pushing us all the way back.

Sometimes, somethings don't change.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mt. Bike Racing Update

It has been quite a while since I've posted (when hasn't it....)
So here is a general update of my racing season over the last few weeks, including profound personal realizations I have come to realize.

Since the RAWROD I have raced mountain every Saturday. The Intermountain Cup Series gets pretty intense in May with races every week, and the weekly Soldier Hollow Series also starts halfway through May.

After my first mountain bike race down in Hurricane, I was pretty impressed with my result. I got second place in the mens Expert 19-29 category. Visions of quickly upgrading to pro raced through my mind as I got all revved up for the rest of the season.

Then the second race happened.

That changed things. A lot.

I flatted and had some mechanical issues out at that race, leaving me semi-content with a 5th place finish. Not too bad, but just a fluke to finish that far back...I should have won...or so I thought.

The next race up in Logan confirmed my deepest fear: I stink at bike handling.

Uphill sections of the Logan race were ok. I could push myself hard and even pass many riders in the non technical uphill and flat sections. However, the downhill corners proved to be my Achilles Heel.

Just to illustrate my point, sometime halfway through lap 3 of 4 I could hear people starting to pile up behind me on the downhill windy section. A brief conversation occurred which went something like this:

ME: I'm really bad at this downhill stuff...just let me know when you want to pass, dude

INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: You're doing fine, hang with it

ME: (realizing the voice behind me was in fact that of a woman...[yeah, an actual girl was about to pass me in a bike race]) I mean, just let me know when you wanna pass, ma'am

INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: (slight chuckle) I'm ok, I'll let you know

ME: (In my mind) Oh shiz!

INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: (after watching me unclip and put my foot down on a particularly hairy sharp corner) Use your body weight to turn, not your hands

(Yes, the woman biker behind me was actually giving me tips on bike handling in between small outbursts of laughter as she watched me struggle)

INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: Look further up the trail, not directly in front of you

ME: Thanks

INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: (More hysterical laughter at my plight)

ME: Sorry

INDIVIDUAL BEHIND ME: Ok, good luck, I'm gonna pass you now.

Then, before I could even say anything, she passed me just after a corner and blew by me like I was standing still (which, knowing how poorly I take corners, my being at a complete stop isn't that unlikely)

Fortunately for me and my male ego, I mustered up the energy to gas it on the next straight away and catch the woman, but I swear I could hear her laughing the whole time.

I managed to come in around 7th or 8th. Taken into perspective that really isn't that bad when you consider how big the field was (7 or 8) Ok, so it was that bad

Just to ensure the destruction of any lingering thoughts of confidence in my mountain biking skills, Soldier Hollow confirmed it all with a cute little wreck on one of the downhills (my knee still has a fat owie) and a near to last place finish.

Oh well, its still very fun.

Friday, May 9, 2008

RAWROD Report 2008

A few weeks ago, I had the incredible chance to ride in the annual RAWROD. Here we all are. I stole this picture from If there is any kind of copyright issue here you can call my lawyer, Fish.

One of the reasons I've taken two weeks to write up this report on the ride is that for the longest time I could not decide on a witty/informative/catchy title for this post.

Basically, the RAWROD is the Ride Around White Rim in One Day. A 100 mile mountain bike ride down in Moab. A large group of friends, associates, and random guys who somehow get the emails show up to camp out and ride bikes for a weekend late in April. After hearing about it for the last two years, I finally decided I was Mt. Biker enough to join in on the fun.

As mentioned earlier, I couldn't decided on a title for this post, here are several of the potential candidates:

Option #1 Mountain Biking is Really, Really, Really Fun

Basically I had the time of my life out there. It wasn't about riding faster than anyone else, or being better than anyone else, it was about having fun, seeing what I could do, and all in all, just finishing. (The above statement regarding a "non-compete" attitude becomes completely void when considering my only other goal to finishing was to beat Mark Johansen, more on that below)

Lately I have been going through a transition from a roadie to a "dirty" mt biker (as Barrett refers to us) and really had my eyes opened as to how much just plain old fun it can be to ride a bike in a pretty place with no training agenda. A completely novel concept to me.

Option #2 Bike Seats Get Really, Really Hard after 100 miles on the Trail

Ever since I discovered the Selle Italia SLR, I have wondered if my rear could ever appreciate another saddle. After about the first 60 miles last Saturday, I would have gladly traded in my ultra light 135g SLR: for one of the "Big Wide Comfort Seats" found HERE

Such as this one:
I would have gladly carried the extra 13 pounds up every foot of climbing those last 40 miles in exchange for a saddle that didn't feel like it was chaffing off layers of skin so deep I'd need a skin graft to my rear.

In all honesty, I was pretty dang sure I had discovered where the RAW in RAWROD came from.

Option #3 Beating Mark Is All That Matters

Lately I have gotten to be good friends with Mark...or so he thinks. Due to the fact that Mark doesn't even know how to open a "website", or what the internet even is, for that matter, I feel somewhat safe talking a little smack here.

Basically the only reason I am friends with Mark is to find out how to beat him. Beat him at what?


I want to be faster on a bike, have a sweeter truck, get bigger muscles, and be cooler than him in general. Pretty much just beat him at the game of life.

Last Saturday was an interesting chapter in the game called "Beat Mark" Here is how the "ride/race" unfolded.

The first quarter (miles 1-25) I was able to hang ok with Mark and John as we left the parking lot, but soon the hammer was dropped, the two started plotting against me, and I got dropped, giving Mark the early Stage 1 "W".

Lucky for me, John's wife and Fish were kind enough to slow down and ride with me for a bit. At the gate to the park we regrouped and after the descent I lit Mark up and took the stage 2 victory. After lunch I rallied it up, feeling pretty dang good from mile 60 to 85.

Good enough to take the W for Stage 3.

Mark, however, was holding a little somthing back for the last 15. He blew me away on the last leg of the ride and up the final 900 foot climb up Horsethief, showing me exactly what he had in those iron limbs of his to take not only the Stage 4 victory, but the overall "W" for the day. (I can't wait till I can finally beat that dude)

Option #4 Friends are Pretty Dang Cool

One of the most important things that happened over the trip was that I realized how much fun it is to have friends (even if you are trying to beat them up every hill)

I had an awesome time driving down with Mark and Shae, riding with lots of people I knew, and even meeting some new friends. I even found myself wishing Kyle was there to share in the fun. The more and more I mountain bike, the more I realize its not about the bike, its about the ride.


Here are some stats from the ride:

Total Miles: 99.7
Total Calories Burned: 8614 (A marathon only uses about 2700)
Total Cliff Bars/Blocks consumed: >10 (yuck, no wonder my tummy hurt)
Total Feet of Climbing: ??? (I'll get back on that)
Total Fun Points for the Day: Eleventy-Billion
Pieces of Pizza Mark ate after the ride: Like 20

Well, all I can say is I am excited for next year. I'm already making plans to buy a new seat from Wal-Mart, find some testosterone supplements for my drinks, and Ex-Lax for Mark's.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sea Otter

Last week while thousands of BYU students were taking advantage of reading days and finals week, I drove to California.

What better way to prepare for the tests that would determine a large part of my semester grades than to go spend some time somewhere a lot warmer than Utah to race my bike. It makes more sense if you think about it while out riding bikes...

So Tuesday, right after my last class, I took off for California. It was nice drive, other than the sand storms in Utah.
I got up early each day to ride and enjoy the beautiful California scenery.

That wasn't the beautiful scenery, that's just me. Here's some pretty scenery.
My friend Kirsten was kind enough to let me stay with her for a week in Sacramento, about 3 hours away from Monterey.

Thursday we headed down to Monterey for the race, which turned out to be probably the first sunny day of Sea Otter history.

After getting dropped like a sack of rocks at the road race last year, this year I decided to do the circuit race. Kyle tore it up in the circuit race last year, getting 3rd place. The Sea Otter circuit race takes place on the Laguna Seca race motorsport race track, home to several famous races including the famous 1996 race featuring "The Pass"

It was really cool to race bikes on such a sweet course. Each lap was about 2.2 miles and invloved 200 feet of climbing. 200 feet of climbing might not sound like a lot, but it was a pretty dang steep hill. This is the altitude profile of the entire race:

So I lasted about 4 laps with the group before getting dropped right at the top of the hill. I figured I'd driven almost 1,000 miles to race the thing, so there was no way I was going to drop out. I ended up getting 24th of the 30 guys that finished. And that's out of the 55 that started. I didn't feel too bad.

At least I finally got some sweet pictures of me on the road (thanks to Kirsten)

I was going a lot faster in that last picture than you can tell...

Anyway, it was a ton of fun. Getting dropped wasn't, but overall it was a sweet course, a great race, and awesome company.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mt. Biking is really, really fun.

Racer and I after the race down at the Cholla Challenge in Huricane, UT

I have always been a roadie. I got my first road bike when I was 14. A 1996 all aluminum Trek 1400. It had some of the first Shimano STI shifters, and a killer "Fire Ice" red paint job. It was worth more than twice my first car I would end up buying a few years later, but it was worth every newspaper I had to wake up at 5 am to deliver to get it.

As time went on I got into racing. I have always owned a mountain bike, but never been a huge fan of the dirt. Rocks, roots, and ruts all kept speeds low and possibility of injury high. I loved the simplicity and speed of the road. So as I made the decision to start training to compete, I naturally gravitated toward road racing, and am about to start my third season as a dedicated "roadie"


I have been having serious thoughts about the whole road racing thing. Not that I haven't loved the last 2 seasons I've competed as a roadie, I've just found something new that is just a tad bit more fun...mountain biking.

I went down last week to Hurricane, UT for my fourth ever mountain bike race. The only 3 I'd done before were an Intermountain Cup Race in Draper last year, a Wednesday night Sundance race, and the 12 hours of Sundance race last September. My experience on the dirt is somewhat limited.

The only reason I even own a mountain bike now is because of cyclo-cross. I like to think of cyclo-cross as a "gateway sport", introducing roadies slowly into the world of off road biking. I never would have even gone off the road if it weren't for cyclo-cross showing me how much fun it can be rolling around in the dirt, grass, sand, and mud (oh, and snow...can't forget the snow)

Anyway, I now own three mountain bikes. (I never use two of them, if anyone wants to buy a full carbon fiber Gary Fisher Caliber, let me know, dang cheap, like under $350)

So last week, down in Hurricane I had an epiphany. As I was out on my second lap, all by myself for a bit, I realized something.....I was having fun. No one else was around, I had absolutely no idea what place I was in, but I was having a blast rolling through the rocks and sand and dirt.Kyle and I after the race. Look at how big our smiles are.

Road racing seems to be all about how much you can suffer. Mountain biking seems to be all about how much fun you can have while riding as hard as you can. Combine that with the fact that you basically have to red-line it for almost 3 hours, and mountain biking really is pretty dang hard as well.

(Being a roadie I wasn't exactly used to riding hard the whole time, just for sporatic bursts to chase down attacks and one big effort at the end)

Anyway, I am seriously rethinking my racing schedule this year...and it will definitely have more mountain biking, cause lets be honest, its really, really fun.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

An Awkward Start to an Otherwise Particularly Pleasant Day

Here is how last Thursday morning unfolded...

After gently waking to the soothing sounds of Beyonce 4 or 5 times (Cami, I'm telling you, you should replace the baby with an alarm clock with a snooze button...) I got up and left for school.

I didn't have anything too exciting planned for my day, so I decided to ride my cross bike to school. (I'm telling you, I think I've had a small glimpse into the life of a obscenely rich middle-aged man who gets to walk out to his driveway each day and finds himself forced to make the decision of driving the Beamer, the Audi, the Hummer, or the Toyota Carolla)

(Yes, Carolla's ARE a frickin' sweet ride any rich guy's car collection should not be without. I've got a vintage '94 model I'm restoring in my garage. Talk about hot/exotic/commonly underrated cars...)

Anyway, the point of the above diversion, was to address/brag about the issue that on any given day, I have at least 5 different bikes I can choose to ride to school.

(6 If you count the tandem for those nights I feel like bringing a special lady friend home with me for a so I'm not exactly sure what I would do if I ever got a girl over to my house, but I'll keep you posted when I do)

So anyway, I rode to school, rockin' all the way to the sweet sounds of some of my favorite artists. My current "ride to school" mix consists of my five favorite songs at the moment:

-Bonzo's Montreaux (one of the greatest drummers to ever beat around: John Bonham of Led Zeppelin)
-California Love (Dr. Dre/Tupac)
-You've Got a Friend in Me (Randy Newman version from the Toy Story soundrack)
-Beautiful Life Techno Remix (Ace of Base)
-Some Celine Dion song I don't know the name of, just how it goes

So right about the time Celine's singing so loud I swear her vocal cords are going to snap off her epiglottis, I see my buddy Rich. Rich is an avid cyclist, and one of the few people I know that genuinely loves riding bikes for the pure fun of it.

Rich seems to like mountain biking quite a bit, but this particular morning, he was riding his Bianchi road bike.

Now Rich has a very distinct bike. Bianchi has a green color they use for some of their bikes that only they use. Something kinda like this:

So you can see why it was so easy to spot Rich. It's rather easy to pick that bike out in a crowded street.

This all happened as I was turning north on 800 N at Brickoven, just south of BYU campus. Rich was about a block ahead of me, so I hustled my little hiny up to catch my good buddy and say hi.

As I got closer to Rich, I saw his bicycle messenger bag, one rather typical of an avid cyclist, such as Rich was.

I saw he also had headphones in, so I decided to signal my arrival with a gesture common in cycling and (I swear) completely "hetero": a light tap on the bum (in much the same fashion as a "good game" in any other sport)

As Rich turned around to face the attacking "bum swatter" I made a quick observation. This wasn't Rich at all, but some complete stranger who's bum I had just tapped!!

I realized at that moment that I had exactly 2 courses of action to chose from:

(I immediately ruled out the 3rd: pushing the impostor into oncoming traffic. That'd sure teach him to go around fooling people)

1) Stop and explain myself that I simply got confused and mistook him for someone else.

2) Take off and ride away from the situation as hard and fast as my legs could pedal.

Well, like any of you probably would have done, I did what any mature adult would do: I took off like a bat out of hell. I've never ridden so fast in my entire life.

I rode all the way up to the door of the building I was going to, too scared to stop at the bike racks, too scared to even look back to see if he was behind me.

I ran into the building with my bike, headed straight for my office, and shut the door behind me as fast as I could. As long as I couldn't see him anymore, it never happened...right?

The guys in my office, who are pretty used to my slightly odd behavior, didn't say a word. Garrett seemed to notice that I appeared to be in a hurry, (which is quite normal) and was actually at school BEFORE my first class was supposed to start (not very normal) I simply mentioned that I had a good story to tell him later.

So I did. He laughed. I do to (now)

In a nutshell, here are the life lessons/conclusions I've arrived at this week:

  • Never jump to conclusions
  • Double check an individual's ID BEFORE the bum swat
  • Start riding a different bike and wearing different clothes and taking different routes to school everyday if I am going to start tapping random people on the hiny. Or at least a ski mask so as to hide my identity.
Since the incident I've though about ways to rectify the situation. I could:

  1. Forget about the whole thing and just move on with my awkward life
  2. Leave a note on his bike (I've seen where he parks it everyday) explaining the situation
  3. Get everyone I know to start tapping random people on the bum while riding bikes to school in an attempt to start a trend. I will then no longer look like a freak, but a cool trend setter.
  4. Stalk the kid out on Facebook, get his info from the BYU directory, and send him letters etc. from a "secret stalker" so creepy he completely forgets about the insignificant random bum swat
Well, let me know. Vote for which option you think is best in the comments, or come up with your own. Thank you for the input.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Morning Routine

Warning: This post is kinda long. You might want to break it up into different readings...

Just in case, on the off chance, anyone was wondering, "Just what exactly does Dan do every morning?"
Well I'll tell you.

First off, my alarm does a great job of abruptly jolting me from any kind of pleasant dream I may have been having. (Even mediocre dreams are better than this pathetic lonely life I lead)

Depending on the day, it's either Beyonce's "Crazy in Love" or Kelly Clarkson's "Since You Been Gone" that rings from my alarm and does the deed of killing Dan's slumber time.

After anywhere from 2 to 175 snooze button's later, I drag myself out of my queen size bed. (despite the significantly larger size of the bed, I've spent the previous 26 years of my existence cramped up on sleeping areas ranging in size from a twin to a futon to a couch; needless to say I only use approximately 24% of the total surface area of the queen bed as I sleep curled up in the fetal position)

Now, depending on exactly how many snoozes were utilized, I typically pack up everything I will need for school into my fatty 2000 cubic inches messenger bag. It is made by Chrome bags and is the sturdiest thing ever made. I would recommend one to everyone. Go here to see how spiffy they are.

My first class is either at 8:00 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or 9:00 on Mon, Wed, Fri. This is why I have two distinct ringtones.

In the confusion and haze of the early hour, I can never remember what day it is. So to make it easier for my pre-conscious mind to figure out when exactly I have to get up, I have a system:

Kelly Clarkson is the Musical White Female, (she rings on Mon, Wed, Fri) and Beyonce is Too Thin, (Tues, Thurs). In this way I already know what's ahead before I'm even conscious enough to realize I'm trying to roll out of bed into the wall...

So on a typical Monday, I try to get up at 7:30. This gives me time to get all my clothes packed in my bag for school, eat a nutritious breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, shower, shave, and sit around and complain about work/school with my roommate and discuss how much better life would be if everyone just rode bikes around instead of going to work.

I leave for class at 8:30, which gives me 15 minutes for the 3.7 mile bike ride to work and 15 minutes to change once I get there. This, however, is all theoretical. In reality it goes like this:

7:30:00 Kelly begins her 1st love serenade to me

7:30:01 I hit snooze for the 1st time

7:30:09 I'm asleep again already, dreaming of punching Kelly in the kidney much the same way I did to my alarm 8 seconds earlier

7:39:00 Round 2 of alarm singing

7:39:01 Round 2 of snooze button bashing

7:39:09 Round 2 of snooze sleep

The above outlined cycle repeats itself approximately 6-7 more times until I realize it is 8:30; the time I should be leaving for class. I gather together what I can in a rush, fit as many egg sandwiches I can in ziploc bags, throw on some warm clothes for the commute, and rush out the door.

I typically get a text a few minutes after 9:00 as I am usually halfway through my commute from a certain concerned classmate wondering where I am. There are only 4 people in my first class, so it's hard to inconspicuously slip in late...but you can't hate me for trying.

Now, here is the real reason I even started this post. Everyday as I walk into my office, the first thing I do is move the garbage can over and put my bike against the wall. This may seem insignificant to anyone reading this, but I have to move the garbage can EVERYDAY.

Every morning I come in and the garbage can is right there. However, that spot doesn't work for me.
So I move it to here. But every morning I come in and it has moved back to its original spot.

That means that at some point after I leave for the night, someone is moving it back. Now I have my suspicions, and I don't want to jump to any rash conclusions, but I am almost certain it is either a small tribe of miniature gnomes that live under the empty desk, or the nighttime custodial crew.

Either way, the only thing I can think of each morning as I have to move the garbage can back to where I left it when I left is: "Why?"

Now if it is in fact the mischievous gnomes, then it makes sense. Their entire existence is based upon annoying me. Well, gnomes, keep it up. You're fulfilling the purpose of your existence very well.

On the other hand, if it is the nighttime custodial I can't help but wonder why. Not that I (in my completely finite comprehension of the universe) could ever understand something as mysterious as why the custodial crew moves my trash can from where I put it everyday, I have tried.

I would think that the people who use an office day in and day out would know where they like their trash receptacles, but, apparently, custodial knows something I do not, and that is why they move my trash every night. And here are the best possible reasons I could come up with:

1) That garbage can "belongs" against the wall. It is its home. By me moving it away from its home, I am disrupting the very home-life social circle it contributes to.

2) There is some unwritten (or written in a very obscure place like the janitors closet) law that wherever a janitor puts something is where it is "meant" to be and I am challenging their authority as a steward of that building by deciding myself where that can should go.

3) The can is covering a hole in the wall leading to a Fraggle village. (Go here to see what a Fraggle is) (Go here to see them on YouTube)

4) The rotation of the earth speeds up at night just enough so that the garbage can can't keep up and slides back up against the wall. (I'll test this one by putting velcro on the bottom of the trash can this week)

5) I am just going senile in my old age and move it back myself each night as I leave....(Nawwww....)

Anyway, the point of this whole post is why does my garbage can get put back to the same place every night after I move it???

I am planning further testing to determine the limits of this mysterious nighttime relocation. I actually hid the can under the empty desk tonight as I left.

Tomorrow, I am going to put it all the way across the room next to the one by the door. I'll mark it with a sticker to see if the same one gets put back by the wall.

I'm even planning a night where I put it in a completely different room. I am determined to see just how determined this janitor is to making sure there is a garbage can against my wall.

Next week I am going to start throwing away the exact same things everyday in an attempt to confuse said janitor into wondering if he/she is experiencing dejavu, or just going crazy.

(Yeah, and its not going to be normal things, it'll be totally obscure items like old bike parts, tree branches, the same book, the same picture of me with Hillary Clinton, and the same hair brush, everyday)

(Don't ask where I am going to get 5 of each of those things to throw away day after day, but I will, and it will be amusing, this janitor is going to flip his lid)

Anyway, I'm off. I have some research to do...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Super Powers

I have a confession to make. I, Daniel Nelson, have super powers.

After years of attempting to conceal them, I have made the bold decision to come out of the phone booth (yes, that was a lame attempt at a joke. Don't worry, mature humor is NOT one of my super powers)

This may come as a shock to most of you, but to those of you who know me well, this may be no surprise.

Now, I realize that by going public with this I may only be putting those close to me in danger, but I am prepared to face any consequences that come with my enemies finding out about my super powers.

So here they are, in order of coolness, my super powers:


Yes, believe it or not I can actually turn invisible. I have the ability to be completely unseen. While I have absolutely no control over which moments this happens, I am absolutely positive that there are times I am completely unseen to the natural world.

Case and point. Last week as I rode my bike through Payson, UT, I was almost hit by no less than 84 cars in a single 3 mile stretch. The only explanation for this is that light photons MUST have been passing through my physical body instead of reflecting off, preventing any of the drivers from actually seeing me.

But alas, I have no control over this ability. (Trust me, if I did, I'd spend my time doing much more amusing things than writing about it on a blog) It comes with no warning, and oddly enough, pretty much only when I am on my bike around cars.

Feet in Mouth-ability

Now this one's a real doozy. I can figuratively (not literally, that would be disgusting) fit BOTH my feet in my mouth, at the same time. Yes, it's true. I have the ability to not only say things in public that are moderately embarrassing, but more often than not I do not stop there, I keep going and get the other foot in my mouth, AT THE SAME TIME!

You might imagine this would be slightly socially awkward for me, and, well, yeah, it is.

Statements like:

"Hey, I didn't know you were pregnant"

Followed by comments like:

"Oh, you're not. Well maybe you should get back into that exercise program you were on. Sears has stair steppers on sale this weekend..."

Are pretty much what do it for me. You'd think I'd learn by now. But I don't.


This, perhaps, is actually my strongest power. No matter what it is I have to, or should be doing, I can manage a way to rationalize out of it to do something more amusing. (If I could only control that invisibility thing I don't think I'd ever get anything done...)

For example, right now at this moment, I should be studying for a test I have this afternoon, but no, I am writing a blog on how good I am at not studying for tests I have in the afternoons.

Ironic, I know. Sad, but true.

I can literally find almost ANYTHING to do instead of work that needs to get done. My room gets insanely clean during finals week, because even cleaning my room is more appealing than studying for finals. (If you saw my room any other time you would wonder if "clean" was a status even achievable by such the mess it gets to be)

I can recall nights spent making diet coke and mentos rockets in parking lots, as opposed to studying, rigorous YouTube critiquing instead of reading for class, or wrapping and re-wrapping handlebar tape on my bike while I should have been writing a talk for church. Yup, bone-a-fide procrastinator here.

Well, so there is my confession. Let it bring what may. I hope it doesn't change your opinion of me. I'm still the same guy I was 15 minutes ago, you just know more about me now. Don't judge. If you do, I'll turn invisible and rob your house...if I ever get around to it.

Friday, March 7, 2008


So just what exactly does 70.3 mean? Well if you don't know, I'll tell you. And to be honest, even after I do tell you, you probably won't care.

70.3 is how many ml of oxygen per kilogram of body weight my body can use in a minute. Commonly referred to as VO
2 Max. You may wonder why on earth this has any relevance to anything. To be honest, not a whole lot. To me, it means a few things:

1) I beat Dave. Dave and I are in the Exercise Physiology masters program at school. Dave is smart. We are really good friends, but we like to beat each other at things.
He beat me on the last anatomy test. By a lot. I beat him on a bike test. By a lot. You tell me what's more important in the real game of life....some lousy school test...or how fast you can pedal a stationary bike in a lab. Yeah, I know, I'm tough.

2) I'm 82% of the athlete Lance Armstrong is. My VO2 max came out at 70 ml/kg/min. His was recorded somewhere around 85 ml/kg/min. I figure that means I should be able to beat 82% of the guys he did..right?

Ok maybe not, but in case you were wondering, here are the numbers of some famous folks

Miguel Indurain: 78
(Spanish cyclist, 1st man to win 5 Tour de France titles in a row '91-'95)

Greg Lemond: 93
(First American cyclist to win the Tour in '86, got shot in a hunting accident and missed '87 & '88, only to come back and win in '89 and '90. Personally, I think he would have kicked Lance's ball up and down the French countryside)

Yo Yo Ma: 57
(Yeah, playing the cello like that takes mad metabolic skill)

Rosanne Bar: 3.6
(To be honest I think I may have exaggerated this number by 2 or 3)

Ok, so you get the idea. Anyway, that is all I have to say about that. I gotta get some good rest so I can win against all the guys on the club ride tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Racing Update

A lot of big things have happened in the last few weeks. I'm gonna talk about them now, cause I guess that is what you do on a blog.

A) We went down to Phoenix for the Valley of the Sun Stage race back in February. You can probably tell by the fact that I am just now mentioning it that I didn't win it. I finished mid pack in the Road Race (40th of 88 finishers or so) and a bit worse in the Time Trial (55th??)

I felt ok about my results because I have been riding quite a bit (10-15 hours a week) but have done almost no intensity, (and by "almost no intensity" I really meant "only 3 rides with any kind of speed work") so I didn't feel too bad. It's a long season and there will be plenty of time to ramp up the intensity.

2) I got my USCF upgrade to CAT 2. I was pretty dang excited, (and by "pretty dang excited" I really meant "insanely stoked out of my mind") about the upgrade. It's one step closer to my secret dream of being a pro cyclist.

Its kind of bittersweet, however. As bad as I've wanted to be a semi-pro, now that I've reached the status, I have to start racing/training like one. And to be honest, I'm not as fast in real life as I am in my dreams...

Pretty much I've got my work cut out for me this season, and nothing to lose, so I guess that means its time to rally.

D) We went down to Baker, CA for a race this last weekend and I had my first race as a Cat 2. I got dropped like a sack of bricks. What's worse, is that is was going downhill. Yeah, downhill. Who in the world gets dropped going downhill!!! Yet as we crested the hill and started the descent I just could not get up with the was pretty embarrassing.

3) I think I'm still sick from a month ago. I just don't seem to be able to get rid of this sore throat. It comes back whenever I push it too hard. Maybe it's my wussy side telling me not to ride too hard...I don't know. All I know is that I wish it was warm outside, and that I could ride hard without feeling like my throat was going to burn a hole through my larynx.

G) I wish I didn't know what a larynx was. I have an anatomy test tomorrow and instead of studying for it, I am on here venting. I'm banking on the fact that my professor doesn't read student blogs, so when I go in tomorrow asking for an extension on the test, he won't know its cause I spent the night goofing off on my blog, instead of baking waffles for widows at the shelter like I'll probably tell him...

(just kidding, I go to BYU, abide by the honor code to the fullest, and have never lied)

[ok so the never lie thing might be a lie, but don't worry, I'm not going to lie to my professor, if he asks, I'll outright tell him I was wasting my night away on a blog instead of memorizing lower leg cutaneous innervations]

Monday, February 25, 2008

Catching Up

I have a lot of catching up to do. I haven't posted anything for a while, so I feel there is a bit to catch up on. Not that anyone has been dying from lack of Dan-Blog, but I'll try to get updated here.

New Ride

First off, I am pretty sure Valentine's day this year was the best ever. I took Buena out for several hours in the warm sunshine of Scottsdale, AZ. We had a wonderful time. (Buena is my new smokin' hot bike) here she is stripped down:Talk about a sweet ride. She's a Lemond Buenos Aires (Hence the name Buena. Does anybody else out there actually name their bikes???)

So she's built up with all my old parts from Felt ("Felt", oddly enough was a Felt brand bicycle, obviously not one of my more creative/imaginative names. One day I'll do a post on all my bikes and how they got their names....yeah, I can just hear the excitement in you eyes as you merely think about reading all about that)

Anyway, so I've been pretty stoked about the new frame. She handles like a champ and weighs less than steaks I've eaten in one sitting (950 grams to be exact..slightly less than the combined weight of the Olsen twins. Lance was always very weight conscience in his selection of bike parts, who knew it would carry over to his selection of women )
I can just imagine an after dinner conversation:

Lance: Hey Olsen Twin, I think we can shave about 35 grams if we cut your hair 3 inches shorter

Olsen Twin: You got it, dude!

Lance: And guess what else, if we got a chisel big enough, we could get some of that perma-stuck makeup you and your sister sell off your face to save another 454 grams.

Olsen Twin: You're in big twouble mister!

Ok, sorry for the diversion, I couldn't resist. Point of the story is that Buena is light, and fast, and pretty. She's kind of a project in work, however. Ever so slowly, over the next few months and as money becomes available, she will be getting upgraded to a full SRAM Red gruppo, new 2008 Race X Lite wheels, along with a few other hand selected tweaks.

That is all I have to say now. I'll finish the rest of the updates in a bit.

Don't forget to check out my ultra-whiny post on V-day, I finally finished it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My thoughts on Valentines Day.

A single guy's thoughts on Valentine's Day...

Ok, so here they are.
We live in a world, where the "have's" love to show off what they have to not only the "have not's" but also the other "have's". You can see this quite evidently in just about every aspect of life. Look at what kind of car people with money drive. I saw this first hand when we were down in Scottsdale this last week. Why on earth would you spend over $100,000 on a car unless it was to show what you had. Yet I saw more than one Ferrari, Bentley, Hummer, that I highly doubt were purchased for their "functional" aspect. They were purchased by the owners to show what they had.

I can tell you are already thinking that I am a hypocrite, and yes, you are right. I happen to have a nice bike that I like to show off. I have even been known to make a purchase of two in my life that maybe wasn't made on the basis of function, but more looks. (I once special ordered a seat from Colorado for full retail price just to get one that was the right color to match the yellow highlights on my bike. And the fact that I am even telling you this furthers my point even more)

The point is people generally like to be seen with what they have. It must be some kind of self esteem builder. Letterman's jacket sales across the nation are another prime example of this principle. Who really cares, other than the wearer of the jacket, that you lettered in debate, drill team, and football all in the same semester?

(once again, I make no claim to be exempt from this principle, I put patches on my jacket for anything I could possibly think of and wore the thing everyday, probably even to church if my parents would have let me, I had a blue tie I really think would have looked good with it)

So that is all Valentine's day is. Some lady back in the day decided to come up with one more way to flaunt what she had; a guy wrapped around her finger so tight he'd fork over whatever amount of money he had to to "show her how he felt".

(PS No, I am not bitter or anything)

Anyway, so what do girls want for Valentine's day? A small note expressing how much she is appreciated and loved, or a freakin' giant stuffed animal with balloons and flowers she "has" to carry around all day only to draw attention to what she has...a man wound around her finger. You tell me.

The best part of the whole thing is that we've associated it with a religious figure. (St. Valentine, who I can assure you would be rolling over in his grave if he even knew what his male descendants were being duped into doing)

I guess that is all I have to say about that. And no, I do not wonder why I am single, I am fully aware of several of the reasons.

PS The whole wedding ring thing falls under the exact same idea.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Squaw Peak in a Basement

Last Thursday I rode Squaw Peak.

This may seem odd to anyone who is aware of a few key points
  • It is February
  • Squaw Peak road is covered in several feet of snow
  • I had split pea soup for lunch on Thursday
While the 3rd point actually has nothing to do with the ride, the snow did. You see, I actually rode Squaw in Aaron's basement.

I realize some of you may be thinking that I've taken this whole mental visualization concept a bit too far, but no, I really did climb 1600 ft over 4 miles.

My buddy Aaron recently started an intense training company where he goes to people's houses, tests their physical abilities, and helps them train for things like cycling, running, fly fishing, and even triathlon (Author's note: Triathlon currently ranks 41.2 notches below fly fishing on the "Scale of All-Time Coolest Sports")

Anyway, with this new business he's started, he has also acquired computer equipment you can attach to your bike while you ride inside which controls your resistance and such. After entering such vital information as your age, height, weight, marital status, and shoe size the computer can generate virtual rides.

(Shoe size actually has nothing to do with anything. Marital status, on the other hand changes the programming significantly. Due to immense decreases in physical fitness after marriage, the computer lightens all resistance by 94% to even it all up)

So of course we had to program in Squaw Peak. Granted it is all the work without any of the view, which is pretty much what makes the whole ride worth the pain, but that is besides the point.

The point is how cool it was to be virtually climbing a mountain in February.

To answer your next question, no, I did not break any records this time around. I know what you are thinking. Something along these lines:

"But Dan, you've been lifting weights all winter to the point that you have to find fat freshmen to sit on the leg press machine to get enough weight to actually get a workout. Shouldn't you be able to ride up Squaw with one leg faster than that Killer Hiller kid yet?"

To answer your thoughts, no. No, I can't. And to be honest, I probably never will. Kyle "Killer Hiller" will forever hold the Squaw Peak record between the two of us. For a while it bounced between the two of us, until that fateful Saturday afternoon back in October of 2006 when Kyle laid down a whopping 23 minute burn up the hill to beat my previous best by more than a minute and a half.

Needless to say he's held it ever since. However, now that's he's married he should try the computer simulation. With that "marriage bonus" he could quite possibly break the 20 minute mark...if he could just get his body fat back down to 3% (Since getting married Kyle's body fat has rocketed up to an obese 6%)

Either way, I hope the points of today's post are clear:
  • Winter stinks for training
  • Riding inside is more fun when you are hooked up to a computer
  • Marriage makes you slow
  • Squaw Peak is important to Provo in ways other than enabling freshmen girls to get out of the VL club (you know who I am referring to)
  • Split pea soup and shoe size have nothing to do with anything
Well, I'm off to find a computer program that lets you set up virtual rides consisting of 24 miles of downhill.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Diggs

I am no longer homeless. To be completely honest, I don't even miss being homeless. I thought it might be kinda fun for a bit, living on the edge. Be in all reality, it's that same kind of fun that comes with riding your bike really fast across a large icy patch; a bit exciting at first, but when its all over, nice to be back on solid ground.

And so here I am on solid ground. It really is nice to not only have a place to call home again, but a pretty dang nice place at that. Throughout my time here in Provo, I have managed to find incredibly cheap housing. As you can guess, I have gotten exactly what I have paid for.

Some highlights of my past housing arrangements have included:

  1. Living in the basement furnace/heater/pipe room where the radiator pipes that heat the whole house ran all through the room and 3 feet from my face while I slept. I had to wear those little goggles they give you at tanning salons just to sleep at night.
  2. Living in a house so old the bathtub had feet. Not little feet like a table, but actual clawed feet like an eagle would use to scoop up unsuspecting fish out of a lake for supper.
  3. That same house had an incredibly efficient heater. So efficient, in fact, the property management people decided to lock it on throughout the months of June to August. This worked out well on the summer nights when I got a bit chilly and the temperature dropped to 89 degrees. That heater was right there to ensure my home stayed in the comfy zone of 190 to 240 degrees.
  4. Cinderblock walls at Cinnamon Tree. Enough said.
  5. Last of all, the list topper would have to of been the caving in ceiling in the house that did have a washer and a dryer, just across the room from each the to the slanted pool the room next the the fireplace we used to burn the excess trash that would not fit into the overflowing garbage can we all seemed to forget to take to the curb every week. I am 98% confident things were burned in that fireplace that gave off fumes toxic enough to pollute every drop of water contained in the great lakes 7 times over.
With that said, I must admit I really have enjoyed the adventure known as college housing in Provo. (in case anyone from the Provo Residential Zoning department or BYU Housing department does in fact somehow stumble across any of the above information, please keep in mind the statute of limitations on any of the implied above violations)

And now on to the new place:
Here is our living room with our new futon.
Here is the view from the futon. Since we don't have a TV yet, we like to sit down and watch the TV stand. Or we'll watch the cycling posters we haven't hung up yet that we just lean against the walls
Here's just another shot of our living room.

Moving into such a nice place has inspired me to raise the bar of neatness and cleanliness. A few of these changes/goals include:
  • Removing shoes before coming in
  • Cleaning the kitchen and all involved dishes within 1 month of the meal they were originally used for
  • Making my bed each morning
  • Taking the time to put everything away in it's place. (And just maybe perhaps it's "place" happens to be on the floor, next to like 20 other things that all happen to be their "place")
  • Showering more than 3 times a week. Ok so that's been a goal for a while now. With so many other fun things to do, like computer programming and WarCraft, regular showers are tough to get in. (PS Kyle, I just so happen to have the incredibly chiseled body I do, thanks to hours and hours of sitting with good posture while playing SimCity 2000)
Ok, so in all reality, the best part of the new house is the garage. I don't have a picture of it yet because every time I go down to take a picture of it, I get distracted by the bikes. Yes, we finally have a garage big enough for ALL our bikes. It 's like a little piece of heaven right here in south Provo.

Another great aspect of the place is that its about 4 miles from BYU campus, making for a lot longer bike commute to school. I like riding bikes so I like the extra time on the road each day. Better than that even, the first day I even rode to school, my good buddy/teammate/rival/life coach/role model saw me riding and thought I was tough. Kinda.

Well anyway, I'm off to go do something tough, like make my bed

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

An Open Letter to My Loyal Readers

Note from the Author: This will be the first of many "Open Letters". I got the idea from a guy who knows how to blog better than us all...

Dear Loyal Fans,
I must begin this letter by first, honestly admitting I never knew you existed. Up until yesterday I really didn't even think my blog was read by anyone other than the Quality Control guy at who has the lousy job of reading random blogs to make sure people aren't posting things they shouldn't, like immodest pictures of people in spandex biker shorts.

However, due to certain comments, I am now aware you exist. Thanks to "benson" (Who are you? Do I even know you?) and "austin" and their willingness to be heard, I now know that more than 3 people read this blog. Sure, as I write I imagine thousands upon thousands of people across the country are reading and appreciating my wit, epic bike stories, and random thoughts, and can't wait for more, but even I have a realistic enough approach to life to realize even my own mom won't read this unless I specifically tell her about a particular post. With that said, however many of you are out there, I thank you for being Loyal Readers.

Now, on with the update.

For all of you who are dying to know how many times I fell off the rollers while attempting to ride a TT bike on them, the answer is 0. Yes, zero. I didn't fall once. I would say the biggest reason why I didn't fall was because I haven't tried yet.

After bumping into a couple of Tri-Guys, (certainly a great group of guys, good friends from the shop, men I admire, but alas, they are after all Tri-Guys) they convinced me of how difficult it was to ride on rollers while down in the aero bars. Being the gung-ho go gettem kinda guy that I am, I decided I would try later, and just rode the TT bike on a fixed trainer. I'll post more on that later.

So with the first race only 28 days, 23 hours, 53 minutes away, I must admit for the first time, training is going great. I've been hitting my lifting goals, riding inside whenever the weather is bad, and have a good base under my legs. With that in mind, here are the bits of drama in my life as of now. For those who don't care, don't even bother to finish reading the post, there'll be nothing good after the boring stuff.


I've been homeless for the last week and a half. In an attempt to save a bit of money for new bike parts, I moved out of my old house way too soon. My new place won't be open until this upcoming weekend (or so we hope) bringing Dan's Total Homeless time to just over 2 weeks.

I've adapted quite nicely.

I shower at school, sleep on couches, and keep a change of clothing or two in my car. The best part of being a PE teacher here at BYU is that I can basically wear the same thing to school everyday, and no one says anything, bringing Dan's Total Changes in wardrobe to 3. Not bad for a 10 day span. (Mom, in case you are reading this, don't worry, I do change the unders everyday)


In case you didn't know, I had a girlfriend once. Yes, it's true. I've made mention a time or two on here about getting dumped last year, but it actually happened. You wonder why I bought a full carbon fiber bike with Dura-Ace parts worth more than my car last was my rebound. I got canned like an old diaper.

Don't worry. I'm not bitter anymore, but it sure did fuel me up more than a few steep hills last year. Time passes. Emotions fade. Pain subsides.

Now here is where it gets interesting. I've never been one to put anything personal on a blog, but hey why not give the Quality Control guy something interesting to read tonight. This girl who canned me almost a year ago, has been calling again. We've hung out recently, and had a good time catching up and chatting, but lets be honest, to go from seriously dating, to nothing, back to buds is a bit to fathom. Austin, here's you chance to counsel...

So with that said, that is all I have to say. I've probably said too much, but hey, when has there ever been a time Dan didn't say too much. Yeah not ever, really.

Well Loyal Readers, chew on that and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Countdown to Fun

The countdown has officially begun. According to the widget on my desktop, only 30 days, 5 hours, and 23 minutes until the first big race of the season, Valley of the Sun. I feel like a little kid counting down the days till Christmas. Only better, because it'll be 2 whole days of bike racing instead of 1 quick hour of opening presents, which typically I spend the majority of trying to sound interested in what someone else got, when really all I can think of is trying to figure out what my next present will be. I guess it's more like a selfish Christmas. Either way, it's less than a month away.

With that said, I feel the need to address the fact that some rather significant things have been unraveling in my life outside of cycling.

Ok, good. Now that I've got that out of my system, back to the real update.

So this bike race next month. It's down in Phoenix, AZ. Should be good weather. Which is the thing that makes me worry. While I've been up in Utah, riding inside 5 days a week due to excessive cold and icy roads, those pansy boys have been down in Arizona training all winter in warm weather. The few times I do get outside to ride, it's like 20 degrees out! Where is the equality in that? Maybe when I get down to the lower elevation and warmer weather, my legs won't be big enough to hold all the oxygen my lungs will be pumping into them and I'll blow off the front so fast no one will even think about reeling me back in.

Or not....

Maybe what'll happen is that my body goes into shock when I'm forced to ride faster than the 15 mph I've been riding at the last 4 months, and I fall off that back of the pack as we roll off the start line...

Or not...

Either way I'm getting ready to do what damage I can. The race consists of a Time Trial on Friday the 15th and a Road Race Saturday the 16th. There's a crit on Sunday, but I'm still holding strong in my conviction to not race my bike on Sunday. Maybe when I start making gobs and gobs of money like Steve Young I'll start. Until then I'll just keep trying to get one of those questions in Sunday School right. (One day...)

Anyway, I'll keep the updates rolling out, now that I have something to update. I'll definitely have to let you know how the Time Trial bike on rollers turns out.

And maybe a bit about all the other new drama in my life....

Or not...