NEW BIKE! NEW KIT! Health update and more!

Now that the world has settled back down here for the most part, I’m returning to my regular blogging schedule (4-5 times a week). I’ve been busy as all get out, and while that won’t change the hectic activity is starting to feel routine.

First, after some confusion and delays, my bike was FINALLY ready Friday night. Well, ready if you count an inability to shift the front derailleur pretty much at all as ready (which I don’t, so I took it back Sunday morning to get it fixed). Performance screwed the pooch on the build (ordered wrong parts, didn’t call when it wasn’t ready on time), but made up for it through good customer service in resolving my issues (at least the issues with the bike. The other ones can only be solved with electroshock therapy and a cattle prod).

When we pulled into the driveway, there it was: the box with my new kit in it. I was sooo excited that even though it was late, I HAD to get it all out, put it on and go for a ride.

ER couldn't have gotten a bigger advertisement on a billboard

I’m truly amazed by the quality of all the gear I got. I now own 3 different models of Rudy Project helmets! The CEP compression socks are a bit hidden in this shot, but they’re on and as awesome as everything else we got. Plus as you can see in this pic, the tri top actually fits, which I was really worried about considering KSwiss calls it a 2x. I’ve ridden 3 times now, and the Kswiss tri shorts are the BEST I’ve ever worn. I so should have ordered a 2nd pair. It’s funny, because I was worried about all the gear fitting and the only thing that’s too small is the sweatshirt, which is the one thing I was SURE would fit LOL.

Of course, the real highlight for me, the bike geek, was finally getting to ride my dream bike. The Talon is one of the bikes I’ve lusted after for the past 2 years, and while the airfoil and 4000 were the first Kestrels I wanted, I knew in the end this is the bike I’d get. I’m just so happy this years model is blue. And she already has a name. Kestrels are a type of falcon and the name comes from a french word. So when choosing the name of the bike, I decided it would be a french name, Le Chasseur. Kestrels are hunters, and as I’m hunting for a better, faster, stronger, thinner and healthier me, it seemed like the perfect name.

Le Chasseur is ready for her closeup

While I’ve been super happy to be on the new ride, my health has certainly limited me. I’ve been lucky in my life in terms of health; a few broken fingers and toes as a kid, and a bad salivary gland I had to have removed as an adult are the sum of my major health problems to date. That was until about mid april when every time the road would start pointing up or I’d try to crank hard through a flat, my breath would run away from me, and I couldn’t catch it without drastically reducing my effort. After a couple of doctor visits I’ve gone from no daily medicines to 3 daily medicines. The diagnosis is that I have allergies, and in combination between my training and said allergies I’ve developed exercise-induced asthma.

The good news is that I am feeling better since getting on the meds, and hopefully as summer kills all these damn plants, my body will start feeling more it’s normal self. The bad news is that I may have to temper my expectations for the sprint this weekend, because even during short-ish rides, like the 8 miler I did today; the top end of my speed is filled with way more pain and difficulty breathing than it usually is. I’m going to train hard this week hoping I’m teaching my body that I’m not dying when my symptoms flare up and I can get through it.

With all that out of the way, I want to revisit the cruise a minute for a point I didn’t get a chance to make the other day. One thing I saw that floored me in Mexico, Honduras, and Belize, is just how poor the average folks in each of those countries are. People whose income in our country is below the poverty line would be living quite well in any of these countries. When we visited Isla Roatan, Honduras, our guide told us the annual average income for a person living on the island is around $3,000 US. That’s less than Rach and I spent in our 9 days on vacation. It definitely reminded me that the problems inside our country aren’t the only ones we should be thinking about. I’m so thankful to be part of the Eleonore Rocks & Team Fight organizations and to be able to give back to such worthwhile¬†endeavors, but I also now realize I’m still not doing enough to help others who have less than I do.

Finally, Rach finished uploading all the pictures from the trip, and I wanted to share the photo I was most excited out. This is Rach and I with Bob Crippen: HE WENT TO OUTER SPACE. Ok, earth orbit space, but still, an astronaut. So cool!

Bob Crippen on the left.

2 thoughts on “NEW BIKE! NEW KIT! Health update and more!”

  1. Ben: You might be interested in checking out this charity I learned of recently. They had a speaker at our church and this group is helping greatly in Haiti and other very poor places in 17 countries and the Caribbean. Any amount of money will be helpful and they use only 4¬Ę of each dollar for Admin. costs, which is very impressive in the charitable world.

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