Thursday, May 22, 2003

May 22nd...went to see Coldplay with Tony last night. Snuck in with employee passes. Cool! The concert was very good. The Music opened for them, sort of interesting, not my type of music, of course. Coldplay were excellent though. Even moved me to go and buy "A Rush of Blood to the Head" this morning.

I have mixed emotions about the Bikes on Broadway SR last wknd. Despite the challenges of the weather, the weekend ended up being pretty fun. Ryan Correy and I couldn't shake the trauma of missing the turnaround on the road race course on Saturday. Going from the lead of the lead pack to 19th is hard to take. I guess we could be satisfied with the effort we put in to get ourselves back into the top twenty. Winning the time trial on Sunday morning with a 12:10 time was a pleasant surprise, and I can't say I wasn't relieved to be eliminated out of the first round of hill sprints since the weather was so cold that day. The criterium on Monday morning sort of made up for the entire weekend. Considering JP Roy was still in the top five in the morning led us to develop a bit of strategy to protect him until the end when he could sprint for a placing. The team worked very well together (JP, Ryan, Chris Hooper, and myself - Brian Kullman dropped out early) and we all took turns pulling. I led the lead pack for four laps around the downtown S'toon course and came in third on the second preem - this is where I fell back into the pack again. Chris won three out of four preem races, and JP ended up fourth in the GC. He gave $20 to each of me and Ryan for our efforts - what a totally honorable thing to do! Chris took us all out for McDonald's after the race with the preem money. What a great team!

Earlier on in the wknd, I had said that I wouldn't come back to race BoB again because of the race organizer's disorganization (no official at turnaround, entire race official group picking up and leaving before CP was done racing, no results/TT seeding posted until Sunday morning, the odd organization of the hill sprints, esp. considering how cold it was, Ryan's "DNF" placing after the road race and the Cat 4 commissaire's knowledge of our disaster at the turnaround, and the mistiming of at least two other racers that we knew of), but after the pick-me-up of the crit, I may do it again - DEPENDING ON THE STUPID WEATHER.

This weekend in the Bikeshevik. I am definitely racing Saturday, however Sunday is the Lilac Festival - planning on getting a bunch of people together, plus Natasha is in town and we're all planning on going out on Saturday night...could make Sunday morning a little scary. I need to get some mileage in next week before Prairie Steamer on the May 30-June 1st wknd.

DJ Tiesto plays the Whisky on June 4th, the Pride Parade is on June 8th, dance on June 14th, Joe's grad on June 9th and his mom comes into town on the 7th (in time for the parade - interesting). Pigeon Lake is the same day, so I'll probably be missing the parade and beer gardens. I'll have to make up for it this wknd at the Lilac Festival and the Pride Dance.

Friday, May 16, 2003's May 16th today. I'm anxiously waiting for the end of the work day so I can get out and enjoy the first long weekend of the summer! Well, apparently it's not really supposed to be summer weather, but it's an extra day off from work nevertheless. The FVK-Synergy team is heading to Saskatoon this weekend for the Bikes on Broadway Stage Race. There's seven Synergists going - pretty good cohort considering the distance and the fact there are a lot more things to be doing this weekend other than racing bikes. I've been told it's a really good race weekend, plus I haven't been to Toon Town in a while, so hopefully it shapes up to be a good weekend. I've been battling a cough and been on the verge of a cold this week...I hope I feel well enough this weekend to race.

Last weekend was the Ardrossan Stage Race. Our team did very well with our 13 racers present. I ended up 14th overall in the GC with a time of 3:04:52, which was actually more time than last year, however the conditions were considerably windier this year. Moving from 35th to 14th is a considerable improvement. I was involved in a crash on the Sunday road race. A guy flatted in front of me and lost control. Three of us went down. Luckily it was on the windward side and we were going at a lot slower speed than the side with the wind at our backs, where we may have been going down at 60kph. I ended up with matching bruises on my elbows - not quite sure how I landed, but no worse for wear.

Two weekends ago was the Banff-Calgary Relay Race. We had another CPRIS team in the run. I think we ended up 19th overall this year with an overall time of 11:10:03, which is still pretty good, but not as good as last year (13th - 11:06:12). I ran a 1:28:31 on the 22km Banff-Canmore leg, a fifth place finish, improving my time over last year by 50 seconds (1:29:20), which was good considering the conditions were much worse this year. The weather has certainly been frustrating, considering two races (Fish Creek #2 and the Policeman's Half) and a Thursday night track race series night have already been cancelled due to snow/ice/rain/cold.

Joe and I bought our season tickets for Alberta Ballet's 2003/04 season. Quite a bit more expensive than last year. Joe can no longer be considered a student, and we ended up getting another performance, for a total of six for the season including the Nutcracker. AB is partnering with the National Ballet and the Royal Winnipeg for several performances this year, so we're really looking forward to it. Total on tickets - $514.

Scott and Jen's wedding was fantastic. We had a great time, and everyone was very accepting of Joe (even if it only was lip service for many, they made it look genuine). Lots of pics, lots of partying. Next is Kent and Shalon Myers' wedding in Red Deer in June. I think Ryan Yarush (who just moved to Calgary two weeks ago) and I are going to make the trip up for the wedding and party.

The August long weekend trip to Vancouver with Jeff, Jeanette and Doug is confirmed. We have hotel rooms, campgrounds and Cruisy-T tickets booked; the only thing left is the dance tickets for Saturday night. I'm so looking forward to it! I don't have any other holiday time booked until then, although I really feel I could use a holiday right now.

I got my items in the mail at the beginning of the week. I was disappointed, but it's rubber nonetheless. The bondage balloon that showed up was black instead of transparent rubber, and the hood (large) was too big for a tight, tight fit, however they both do the trick. The bottom of the bondage balloon broke when I was first trying it on, but in a way it works better because now I can put it on in the shower and walk to the bedroom if need be. I can pull the rubber down around the feet and get the same positioning and enclosure that one would get with an unbroken suit, it's just that vacuuming the air out will now be a little more tedious and require a bit of help and the legs aren't quite an enclosed as I would like, however when you're lying down the balloon is completely tight against the body. Very arousing. The vacuum enclosure is something to try with Joe in the near future. He played with me while I was in the balloon on Tuesday night - I'm not sure what he thinks about the whole thing. I was worried that the items weren't showing up from Manchester at all because any emails I sent asking questions were never answered. I was relieved that the package showed up at all. I would like to order again (smaller mask, transparent bondage balloon, but if the wrong order comes again, I'm not sure if I would tolerate the return charges, etc. Owning two suits would still be cheaper than buying a vacuum bed, however there are Canadian manufacturers of those. I haven't found anyone in North America yet that makes great skintight rubber items. A potential is Polymorphe Montreal who sell their items in U-Bahn. Never checked the store out before. I'll have to do it on my next trip East.

Natasha is coming to town next week for her sister's graduation. We're hoping to get everyone together sometime next week.

Joe's convocation is June 9th. His mom gets in on the 6th and is here for a week. Joe's taking the week off. I hope they have a great visit, since Joe hasn't seen her in three or four years.

Gotta go. Work beckons.

I also got my unitard and leotard back from Peter at Textile Outfitters. He did a fantastic job on thonging the leotard. It is a hundred times more comfortable now. The only thing is that his stitching is only double as opposed to industrial triple, and it seems pretty loose (ie, could break easily). I'll have to be careful with it.