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January 14, 2009



-22C is 7.6F and well, I'm sorry to say this Sara, but that SUCKS!!! Because right now I went and put on sandals and ate my lunch out under a tree in the SHADE because it is 83F at 1:38PM! That's 28C for you, young lady!

And Nikki, CVV has a twitter acct now, too! (christianvdv) And we're doing one for the team when we post new stuff under TeamAstana. If you haven't been to our website lately, give it another peek. We have some very unique content coming about these days--check out Steve's photo blog of his 35 hour trip from Switzerland to Australia! (The guys are so sweet that take time to contribute to the site--I am going to take them cookies when I go to camp in three weeks!)


OMG - I avoid the computer for a few days and look what has happened! The IA is back!! Hooray!

Sara it is delightful to have you back writing and, as I've said before, you can write about ANYthing. I really enjoyed your resolution about fewer goals and the news of your son getting on the "big bus" :) I'm just so happy to have you back!!

Speaking of INSANELY jealous -- Matt and Cathy you're killing me here! We're supposed to have -22 temps (-45 with windchill) here for the next two days and just thinking about riding the bike (without tights even!!!) or wearing sandals makes me want to pull $ from the savings account, leave my husband a note, and find an airplane headed out your way. I know, I know, what do you expect from the midwest in January? But still....... -22 ???????

Yes, I'm also jealous that Nikki gets to head to the ToC and meet up with some of the gang. That should be a blast and I can't wait to hear about the race from all of you.

Wow. Suddenly I'm all psyched up for the cycling season to begin! More psyched though to be able to look forward to visiting my favorite blog again ;)


I know everybody has to live somewhere...but Ya'll need to get OUT of the cold...somehow, someway! I grew up in the cold (Wyoming & Montana) you have my complete sympathy. In High School, I was on swim team all 4 years..after morning practice in the winter, we'd have to hurry to 1st period...practice was at the YMCA pool half-way across we'd have to drive to school. My lowly car is parked outside at home (mom & dads cars get the garage) it has a block heater to give it a chance to start in sub-zero weather. After 2 hours of swim practice, it's pretty much frozen and barely starts every day. It's so friggin cold that the defroster/heater don't help at all on the drive to I had to carry a litte JC Whitney 12volt plug-in defroster gun thinggee...and by the time I'd get to school, my hair would be totally frozen stiff...I'm wearing my down ski gloves/parka...and I'm driving by peering out thru a little hole I melted in the windshield frost. (don't ask my why I didn't wear a hat...I just remember frozen hair everyday...strange things kids do I guess). Ahhhh...the memories of the cold.

Of course, things like Cross Country skiing mt biking w/ studded tires are pretty fun...I did a lot of that when I lived up in North Chicago. Had friends lived up in Milwaukee...and they'd open up golf courses in the winter for skiing. So we invented cross country golf. You get one club...your choice..but you do everything with that (including putting...we'd usually go for a 5 iron). We tee off simulaneously...then skii like mad to YOUR's a running clock...1st one to within a clubs length of the pin wins that hole and deducts 5 strokes from that holes total (you are hitting pretty short you don't want to lose your ball which you will if you really whack it...a typical par 4 hole would take us around 15 strokes). We'd use orange balls so you can HOPEFULLY find it in the snow. PLUS...we allowed full contact-nearly anything goes...if you get to your opponents ball before he does, you are free to stomp it into the snow. No picking it up and throwing it though..kind of soccer type hands allowed. We developed a cool 'flick' with the tip of the ski...and if you do it right, you can really fling his ball quite a ways...of course, he will tackle you while you attempt this if you dally, or just go directly to YOUR ball while you mess with his...lots of payback in this game.

All GREAT fun I can tell you...and after 9 holes you are totally whipped. (the other main rule is you stay in your skis the entire time...even when teeing you have to stand at a strange put your skii tips as far away from each other as you's a very awkward stance, and then TRY to actually hit the ball when we'd both count down...3, 2, 1, swing...and off we'd go). Also we had a hankey-panky moratorium once you are on the green...kind of a safe they don't want the greens messed up. Thats why you only putt to within a clubs length, which is considered 'in the hole'. You were also allowed to grab his ski pole and (try) to pull him to the ground, or just spin him around while you zip away, or even wrestle it away and throw it so he had to go get it, but he was free to club you with his other that move was a gamble...and whatever you do, he will surely try to do back to you.

I always thought we should write this up and make a league or something. Lots of other strange games have made it...frisbee golf, walleyball...stuff like that. CAN have fun in frigid weather...and after that there'd be hot cocoa w/ marshmallows...and the roaring fire...all good. But I have to say I still prefer NOT being in the cold. I'm now more of a sub-tropical kind of guy.


Gosh, Matt, your story made me so cold that I'm glad I'm reading your entry while sitting on the beach enjoying the morning sun while gazing out over the Pacific!!


Cathy, I got chilly just writing it! However, as you's another beautiful day out here in (near) paradise.

Not yet sure where we will go tonight, but our ride is on and the lights are charged and ready. And this weekend is also supposed to be in the 70' I'm leaning towards doing the Figureoa loop from Los Olivos (for those that aren't familar w/ this ride, it's a 40 mile loop ride with a 4500' climb up Mt. Fig). That would be a good test to see where I'm at fitness wise. Last time I rode this (back in Oct) I broke my carbon handlebars on the rough dirt section. Now I know to take it easy on that part.

Make sure you keep us up on how things go at very fun that will be for you!

And Sara, very cool you will be doing the ToC reports for US Cycling Rpt...thats AWESOME! It
s GREAT to have you back!


Matt, you have a imagination!! And so creative! enjoy your ride, tonight.

Thank God, we are far enough south that the deep freeze is moving out tonight. It's going to be in the 30's tomorrow!!!

It's funny how one day, you are thinking the cycling season is ages away, then boom! It's almost time for the Tour of CA!!!

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