Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Inner Harbor Sunrise


Here's a shot from my camera phone of the sun rising along the Inner Harbor as I walked to work this morning. I like my commute.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Eyewitness Report from the Tsunami

This is an email from some very good friends of mine that live and work in Thailand.
I was very happy to hear that they escaped unharmed.

> Br. Bass,
> Thanks for the e-mail and happy holidays! We're all
> safe. We (Me, Eleanor, Miles, Eleanor's brother, his
> wife, and her parents and brother) were all together
> on one of the islands that got hit. Everyone is fine
> and we are now back in Bangkok. We were on an island
> called Railay Beach which is about 40 miles from
> Phuket. Railay Beach is only accessible by boat and
> there are no cars/roads on the island. Phuket is the
> beach resort town that has been in the news that got
> hit hard. Eleanor was on one of the beaches when one
> of the big waves hit. Fortunately, we were staying on
> the east side of the island that was well protected
> and not hit. The west side got hammered. People were
> badly injured and some people were killed. We had no
> warning that a tsunami was coming because it is such a
> freak occurrence. As soon as the waves hit, we were
> told to get to higher ground. We were on a hilltop
> from 11:30 A.M. to 9:30 with about 1,000 other people.
> It had the feel of a refugee camp, but the spirit was
> great. People were helping one another out, sharing
> food and water. It was a nice thing to see. The reason
> we stayed up there so long was because people were
> afraid of after shocks and more tidal waves. Every
> half hour we were told that the "Big One" was coming!
> I felt like Fred Sanford waiting for the "Big One."
> Fortunately, the big one never came. At 10:00 El,
> Miles, and I went back to our place. I must admit, I
> slept with one eye open the entire night on the
> lookout for water. Fortunately, none came.
> We had a 2:30 flight back to Bangkok today. The hotel
> arranged a boat for us to get back to the mainland
> where the airport was. When we got to the airport and
> we started talking to people, it became even more
> apparent how blessed and fortunate we were. Eleanor
> spoke with a woman who only had the clothes she was
> wearing. Everything else she had was gone and her
> hotel was destroyed. I spoke with a gentleman who was
> staying on an island close to us and he said all of
> the hotels on his island were destroyed. He spent the
> night helping the hotel staff. The only thing we had
> to contend with was being displaced, hungry
> (everything was closed), and we were without power
> most of the day. Other than that we were ok. It's
> great being back in Bangkok. When we went to bed last
> night the death toll was 11,000 now it's up to 23,000
> unbelievable. Miles has been a real trooper! He has
> been wonderful throughout this entire ordeal. He' s
> slept, he's played, hasn't been fussy. We are so
> blessed. Thanks for thinking of us.
> Sincerely,
> Ryan

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Christmas 2004

Christmas 2004
Originally uploaded by cbnystrom.

We had a nice time at Jon & Sally's new house last night! The house, lot, and neighborhood are all fantastic. It makes us yearn for the day when we are out of the city. We're still enjoying city living, but space is becoming an issue with a baby on the way.

In the morning Mom made her breakfast casserole which is always a nice treat. After eating we exchanged gifts and went out to a movie (that other Christmas tradition). We saw "Meet The Fockers" and it was hilarious!

Friday was Melanie's birthday and after she had a relaxing facial (Thanks Mom and Sally!) we went to The English Garden for fancy tea. That's the first time I've been to a tea party and it was really nice. It's amazing how many of those little sandwiches and cookies you can go through while putting away pot after pot of tea!

All in all we had a very nice Christmas...and even made it home early enough on Sunday to get in a mountain bike ride!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Gotta Ride

I can't stand it. After almost 2 weeks off the bike taking it easy I'm craving a ride.

It'll be a slow and very mellow trail ride on the 'cross bike this morning so this is NOT training.

This is fun.

This is a mental break from the craziness of the holidays.

Then I'll do my Christmas shopping.

Once I'm done I'll celebrate with cold beer on the couch!


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Capital Classic Cross Photos

Fitness Concepts Capital Cross Classic UCI
Sunday, December 5, 2004
Lake Fairfax Park, Reston, VA
B race

Reston pre-race

Before the race all was good. The weather was a balmy 60 degrees and sunny. The course was generally very fast with a lot of surface transitions, quite a bit of climbing, and some tricky technical spots. I arrived plenty early to ride some slow laps getting to know the course.

Reston head down

When the race started it was all business and I was focused riding hard and staying with the front group as long as possible. I started fast and stayed on the tail of the leading group for a couple of laps before I had to back off just a bit to avoid blowing up. The pace was very fast and I had pushed my limit at the start. This strategy paid off because by the time I went out the back of the group there was a big gap back to the next riders on the course.

Reston 04 Gravel

Everyone found the ~secret~ line on the right side of the gravel. There were few spots on the course to get any recovery, but as you can see we were looking for any draft at all. The faster paved sections were good for group riding, but the group I was in was splintering as the attacks came from riders looking to get clear and into the top 10. Each time up the road someone would jump and force the rest of us to try to latch on. This took it's toll...

Reston 04 Me and JH

I'm gasping for breath as John Hostetter catches me after the hurdle hill. At this point I'm in survival mode. I held John's wheel for a lap, but was gapped as he was riding the technical stuff flawlessly and powering away on the grinding sections. The gap was around 15 seconds the last two laps, but I kept riding hard to hold off the rider behind me, who seemed to be getting closer.

Reston super fan

Luckily I had a lot of family and friends cheering me on, including SUPERFAN and little brother Scott ringing his monster cowbell every time I came by! I was tired and suffering but the cheers kept me pushing myself, especially on the last lap as I caught back up to John on the final climb.

Reston 04 me

Reston end of race

Just after the finish my heart is still pounding, but I'm pretty excited to have caught up to John on the last lap and taken him in a very close sprint. I ended up 16th, my best finish yet in a MAC race. In fact, our whole crew rode great all season long, getting better every race. Most importantly, we had a lot of fun practicing and racing.

Reston Me Mel Scott

Here's to a fun day and a fantastic 'cross season. I'm happy to have some time to relax and get away from training. I'm glad that everyone came out to check out the race.

Monday, December 06, 2004

MABRA 'Cross Championships Photos


Me and John slogging through the mud.

MABRA CX remount

Preparing to remount after the hurdle run-up.


Approaching the steep drop-in.