Hard to believe that I haven't blogged anything since March 8th. I guess I have been pretty busy. My company, which has weathered the economy pretty well laid off some staff and on April 1 started a major re-organization, so I have been pretty busy with all sorts of things. Better than the alternative though. Most of our engineers that were let go have got jobs with smaller local firms, which is something I was worried about, I wanted to make sure that they all landed on their feet. I got to go to Dallas for the Geo-Institute conference, I am the incoming chairperson of the Computational Geotechnics committee, which means that I have more things to do outside of work now. Following the conference I gave a presentation at our Dallas/Ft.Worth office and then a presentation to the Ft. Worth District of the US Army Corps of Engineers. I think both went really well.
Unfortunately travel makes my training difficult, but I was able to go running a couple of days and was able to get back to riding when I got back.
Cathy has been having test after test and we still don't know what is going on with her, eventually we will find out, but this seems to be going on forever and I know she gets frustrated. They did find some growths on her thyroid, due to an MRI she had so we went to have a needle biopsy last week. This was a lot of fun since Cathy hates needles of any type and there isn't a good reason to have a local anesthetic since it would hurt just as much as the biopsy, so no numbing at all. They did manage to get some cells, hopefully enough to run their analysis.
We had another IEP meeting with Drew's school, it looks like they are going to give him some mental health services, which he desperately needs. His birth mother certainly didn't do him any favors. Her use of drugs and the fact her brother was diagnosed schizophrenic leads us to believe that we may be dealing with some similar issues. We know that this means we really need to make sure we get him all the help he needs and give him all the support and love we can. He is such a great kid and we love him dearly.
Had a great ride with the Cycle Folsom guys on Saturday, we did 50 miles with roughly 4,000+ feet of climbing. The amount of climbing will be similar to the ride I am going to do on May 16, which is Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC). Stage 2 goes from Squaw Valley (Tahoe) to Sacramento, up over Donner Pass. It has nearly 5,000 feet of climbing, but drops a total of 11,000 feet so it is a net downhill stage. I can see why 5,000 feet of climbing can still be considered a sprinter stage though. The ride Saturday was really pretty easy, the climbs were tough, mainly due to my weight, but I recover pretty quick and at the end I felt like I could go for another 50 miles. This is good since Stage 2 is 133 miles long. Needless to say I will be pretty tired after that, but it really gives me an appreciation for what the professionals go through even on a short stage race like Paris-Nice or the Tour de Suisse, let alone something like the Tour or the Giro.
Speaking of the Giro, it looks like a really tough one this year. I am rooting for Vincenzo Nibali, but I could also root for Roman Kreuziger, although I don't like Astana. I am so skeptical about just about everyone these days, doping and all. The one team I really "trust" is Garmin-Cervelo, I think they are at least making significant efforts to ride clean. I think Tyler can win some stages, but I don't know if Le Mevel can do anything on the general classification. I think Leopard-Trek sent a team for stages as well, I don't see anyone that can challenge for GC. I really don't like Contador, I didn't like him before the doping accusation and now it is all the more reason to be weary of him. I think the Schleck brothers will do well at the Tour. Leopard is bringing Andy to the ATOC which will be great to see, and I understand why, the Giro is going to be a meat grinder of a race and with the Amgen it really isn't that difficult if you aren't riding it for anything other than advanced training. Who knows though it isn't like I talk to these guys and know their reasoning for choosing one race over another.
We (the Cycle Folsom guys) are going up to Tahoe on Sunday so we will be in town right after Stage 1, but we are sleeping in a cabin overnight and starting the ride about 3 hours before the pros. Hopefully that will get us into town before them, but they will be averaging around 26 to 30 mph on the stage most likely and we, me in particular will be lucky to average 18 mph, maybe I will surprise myself and be able to climb decent and keep the average up. We have to enter Beale AFB as a group, we have made special arrangements to get through the AFB which we exit at mile 90, only 43 miles more at that point.
I will post a post-ride report a day or two following depending on how I feel. Well I think I have covered enough distance for one post. Take care and keep riding!