Saturday, October 27, 2007

Anyone interested in some nose bleeds?

Having just finished a hard ride, I roll home and plop in the couch turn on the tube and subsequently fall asleep.    Sometime later, in a semi-lucid state, I hear this commercial, “Would you like in some nasal sores, nasal fungal infection, glaucoma or cataracts?”  My interest is piqued, so I crack one eye open. 

It continues, “Well, then step right up and grab a bottle of Veramyst.  This stuff is your answer to treating your nasal symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose.”   

Wait.  Did I hear that right? 

“Be sure to ask your doctor if Veramyst is right for you.”

Say what?!?!  Am I supposed to ask my doctor if nasal fungus is “right for me?”  I am not a doctor, but I think I can figure that one out. Ok, so maybe that is not exactly how the commercial went, but I could swear that’s how I remember it. 

Regardless, isn’t that what all the drug commercials are saying nowadays anyway?  Aren’t all of them saying stuff like, “Don’t use [insert product name here] while operating a motor vehicle, or if you have kidneys which need to function.”  Well, obviously, they really don’t want the public to know that their product has all kinds of horrible side-effects, so there has got to be a law compelling them to do it.  Right?  I am sure they’re not killing sales out of respect for full disclosure, or out of sheer altruism. 

Maybe they are doing it to shield themselves from lawsuits.  “Your honor, despite our warnings that his eyes would fall out if he used our product, the plaintiff continued to use our product.  And, as you can clearly see, the plaintiff no longer has bloodshot eyes.”    bigburger.jpg

I have noticed though that other types of companies are not talking about their side-effects.  Can you imagine watching fast-food joints try and hawk cheeseburgers?  That would be excellent:  “Warning, excessive use may cause high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, and in remote cases, death.  Some people have been known to have very large bowel movements 1 to 2 days after ingesting a triple cheeseburger.  Ask your doctor if cheeseburgers are right for you.”  

Of course, this would never happen.  What doctor in their right mind would write a prescription for that!?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Believe in the Bike?

Last week I was reading in Bicycling magazine about how Tyler Hamilton got to keep his Olympic gold medal because the authorities lost his drug test B-sample,...and about how he’s on the Operation Puerto list,...and how he was recently booted off his team because of doping, etc.  I began to think, "What is wrong with this guy?"  "Why was I such a fan?" and,  "Who in the world could sign him ever again?"  That's when I come across a mention of this group of Tyler supporters who’s mantra is “BELIEVE.”  Believe in Tyler?  I would hope people were more objective than that, but hey, if people can believe O.J., why not Tyler?  I figure if they want to believe that Tyler is some hapless victim of the well-oiled anti-doping police, then more power to them.  Everyone needs to have a hobby.  But then the story goes on to say that BELIEVE no longer is reserved to mean believe Tyler’s claims of innocence.  It has instead evolved into something much greater.  No, it doesn’t mean believe in yourself, or believe in God.  It has evolved into believe in the power of the bicycle.

Say what?!  Please people, if you want to be stupid go right ahead.  But come on, at least you can come up with something better than that!  Shoot, when I was three, my Mom told me that I could believe at least in myself.  Heck, remember the ant that moved a rubber tree plant?  Or the “little engine that could?”  Even a choo choo train has enough common sense to believe in himself.  So now we have devolved into believing in a bicycle?


aerotic.jpgGranted, in a moment of weakness you might catch me kneeling before an Isaac Joule Aerotic, or genuflecting to a 14 lb. Specialized Tarmac SL2, but let’s get some perspective.  I am not a religious zealot, but I can tell you for certain if there is a higher-power that we should believe in, it is certainly not a bike.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Road Rash Ain't So Bad

There are certain life-changing elements in this world that so exceed their purpose, that lift up all things around them, that propel humanity to such great lengths, that I refer to them as “magic.”  These are the things that raise the proverbial “bar” so high, that to forego their influence sets back human evolution by decades.  Let me give you a few examples:  In food, those things that have achieved magic status are, roasted garlic on garlic bread, nutmeg in Fettuccini Alfredo, and peanut butter in chocolate chip cookies.  Don’t believe me?  Give it a try, and you’ll be taken to a place where you can’t help but wonder how you had previously lived your life in such relative despair.  In wound care, there are two items that have attained magic status.  These are Tegaderm dressing and PolyMem QuadraFoam.

I was introduced to these items a few years back after executing a dive so perfectly, it would make Greg Louganis’ own mother lament, “Why can’t my son do that?”  Unfortunately, my ‘dive’ happened to be a 30 MPH bicycle end-o while descending Mt. Hamilton.  

A few hospital visits, and copious amounts of bandaging later, I was completely sold on the value of proper wound care.TegadermTegaderm looks like nothing more than clear plastic wrap.  However it is a hellava lot more expensive and works a hellava lot better.  After cleaning the wound (no alcohol please), all you do is apply this stuff just like you would a bandage.  Then you leave it alone.  It sticks to your skin, but doesn’t stick to the wound.  No more agonizing bandage changing.  Anyway, the wound never dries.  This lets it heal while minimizing scarring and avoiding all of the problems with peeling, sticking, and cracking scabs.   Don’t ask me how it does this, just accept it as magic.   

The only real ‘problem’ with Tegaderm, is that it leaks.  Sorry if I get gross here, but the puss, yellow crap, and any other kind of liquid that oozes from your sores will find its way out from under the Tegaderm and onto your clothes.  Enter QuadraFoam.

PolyMen QuadraFoamPolyMem QuadraFoam seems like nothing more than a pink sponge.  However, it is excellent at absorbing all the exudate (aka. ooze), and if you believe the manufacturer, it “provides a warm, moist, healing environment that promotes formation of granulation tissue and reepithelialization.”   I don’t know what that means, but I believe them.   

Road rash is certainly something we all would rather do without.  However, if you ride more than a few thousand miles a year, you are bound to accumulate your fair share of it.    Plan ahead people!  Get some Tegaderm at the drug store or on-line, and some QuadraFoam anywhere you can find it.  This stuff isn’t as cheap as a bandage, but doesn’t work like one either.  No joke people, once you try these, you’ll never go back.  They are Magic.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Free speed. Enough said.

This blog is definitely boring.  Neither funny stuff, nor ranting about the screwed up world is included.  But don’t give up on it.  This blog will enable you to get to the next level.  If you have Cat 4 talent, this blog will make you a Cat 3.  Cat 3 people will be capable of achieving the kick-ass status of a Cat 2.   If you are a Cat 2...well, I can’t help you.  You already know this stuff.

Those of you who have raced with me, know that I am a pretty good rider.  I won’t lie and say that I’m an  average Joe, but neither will I claim that I even approach the talent level some of the guys I race against.   I am pretty good.

That said, over the years I have been reasonably successful in races, despite almost never having the climbing ability to stay with the climbers, nor the sprinting ability to beat the sprinters.  Some of my best races are ones where I have been either dropped and clawed my way back to the pack, or have been ‘lucky’ enough to have been away in a break so I do not have even have to try and out muscle the sprinters.  I attribute my luck in these matters to certain core beliefs I have when approaching bike racing.  These are what I feel enables us pretty-good-guys to still have a blast on the bike, despite not having first pick from the gene pool.

Recently, I found this video on YouTube.  It is of Jens Voigt talking about the Tour of California.  Jens has always been one of my favorite riders; not because of his talent, but because of his riding style.  He doesn’t show up to a race to ride – he shows up to a race to race.  Here, he gifts us with a few words of wisdom.  Fear not, for the truth awaits.  Don’t pass it up.