America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

30 August 2005

Reis'in 2. Dogum Gunu- Happy Birthday Reis!

Yesterday we celebrated our son Reis' 2nd birthday and had lots of fun cooking out on the grille, opening presents, eating cake, etc. Reis was so happy he couldn't fall asleep, even though we took him into our bed, which is where he prefers to be. In fact, he hasn't slept in his own bed for a few weeks! Not a good habit, but he screams when placed in his crib, and when I need to get up early for work the next day, we can't allow this. Here are some pictures from last night's party. Many couldn't make it and were sorely missed.

28 August 2005

Wells Ave Criterium 8-28-05

Made it just in time for Wells today- they decided to combine the A/B riders per usual, on the day I am running behind. I missed the first lap, and had to pee so I skipped the 2nd also. I believe I had a pretty good day. We had many Colavita riders- Ben, Brad, Rick, Keiran, Bob and me. Of course since we have hardly ever raced together there was no plan to work together or make anything happen, besides I was late and we didn't get to chat before-hand. At any rate, I have really improved at positioning myself for the sprints. I actually contested 3 or more prime sprints, coming up short every time, but still 3rd-4th across the line. I avoided getting into stupid breaks and did a little bit of chasing to close a few gaps but other than that I tried to conserve for the finish sprint, which payed off. I could have been closer to the front than I was, but I made the best of it and finished 7th out of about 80-90 riders. I thought I grabbed 6th and finished in the money, but the official didn't have me listed, so I guess 7th it is. I am happy with this result, moreso because I was able to sprint for primes and recover quickly and I never came close to popping (okay maybe a little, but I had no fear). Would have been nice if we could have coordinated some lead out at the end. I sprinted alongside Ben and he finished right on my heels. I don't know how Brad, Rick or Bob did, but I think Keiran bagged it early feeling sick or tired. Overall, I am very pleased because I was able to pick the right wheel in the sprints and more importantly, I was able to thrust myself into the top ten riders when it counted. This is harder mentally than it is physically, because it takes some courage to go 90% just before you know you must give 100% for the finish line. Sorry no pics taken today, but I will now find something I like.

Busy Week

Lots going on this week! At work I have three projects that have mobilized, meaning I have carpenter crews working at them installing woodwork. Have traveled almost every day to jobsites, which limits the amount of time spent keeping up with paperwork- I am way behind on a lot of things. The house has received no offers- or appointments for that matter. Perhaps we are priced too high and should consider a reduction. Today I installed the new powder room window and trimmed it inside and out. Looks pretty good- the window has been kicking around the garage for three years, since I bought it. Tomorrow I'll install some Pergo-like flooring in the side entry foyer, install a faoucet and toilet in the powder room, hopefully in time for our open house. Planning on racing at Wells Ave tomorrow as well. I raced at Wompatuck on Tues and Lincoln on Wed. Didn't get any great result or anything- due in part to the fact that I took four days off the bike and lost some of my edge. My mileage this week is light, but I made up for that with high intensity racing Tues and Wed. We just returned from a bar in East Greenwich which was right on the water. Had a couple of beers and spent time with Kaan, Laima (who are engaged) and Pete and Tulay (who are married). Need to get up early so I'm cutting this short. The picture was taken by Ebru at the finish line of the Lincoln Crit Wednesday. I crossed the line top 20-ish. It was a fast race both nights this week- both over 27 mph. Tomorrow I hope to make something happen at Wells. Goodnight for now.

22 August 2005

Open house yesterday

We worked our fingers to the bone fixing up deficiencies in time for Sunday's open house. Apparently we had three visitors total- no offers yet though. We continue to search for our new dream house- I don't think it exists. Every property seems to have at least one negative mark, and it could be something really trivial but very vexing at the same time. The house we made an offer on is still available, but Ebru thinks it's too far from conveniences like shopping, gas stations etc. Well duh! I want to get away from it all when I am home. I don't care how far away shopping is. When it's too close, you tend to go kill time walking around looking for a place to spend money anyway. Oh well. We might still get that house yet, I have seen no equal to it's lot size, large distance from other homes, neighborhood, landscaping, walk-out basement etc. To me it's almost perfect, except for one thing, Ebru doesn't love it like I do. . Meanwhile, our laundry room, powder room and side entry foyer are almost completely remodeled. Our house has two staircases- one center hall and one "butler staircase". We believe the third floor was used for either slave quarters or servants at one time. Now it's an in-law apartment that we have rented to friends. After the next open house, if there are no offers we may lower the price again, regrettably. Took four days off the bike and today I went out and punished myself for almost 2 hours. Seem to have lost a tiny bit of fitness, but in 2-3 days I'll be right where I left off. Hope to race at Wompatuck tomorrow for the1st time, and Lincoln on Wednesday. Hopefully no crashes this time. A few guys hit a tractor trailer last week at full speed.

18 August 2005

Our Offer Was Rejected- But Hope is Not Lost!

Today we learned that the sellers of the home we want to buy will not accept a Hubbard Clause- meaning that the sale would be contingent upon the sale of our present home. We really believed we gave a strong offer- what do they have to lose? If another buyer came along and offered, we would be given 48-72 hours to remove the contingency and proceed to closing. We even considered offering liquidated damages of $50 per day beyond 60 days, but our agent advised against it. Perhaps a new offer with different terms will be proposed. They are having another open house this weekend, and we're fearful that they will sell the house before we get a chance to buy it. This weekend we are having our own open house and hopefully we get an offer- or two! We really like the new house and hopefully we can buy it- but first it would help to sell ours, that's for sure. We're remodeling the deficient areas- laundry room, powder room, side entry foyer etc. The more we fix it up the more we question why we're selling. Seems a normal reaction to me. We just definitely want to be in a different, more remote and private neighborhood, where all the homes are the same age- 0-5 years old. Our colonial was built during the Civil War! This weekend's open house is hopefully very fruitful.

Pictures of my Cousin NILAY and her Fiancee

Nilay is the same age as my younger brither Ali. She lives in Bursa with her mom and dad- Guler and Mustafa. Nilay is a maternal cousin- our moms are sisters. She was recently pre-engaged to the handsome lad you see pictured. Regrettably, we couldn't travel to Turkey at that time, but we hope to definitely attend the wedding! I think they are an adorable couple and I very much look forward to meeting my new cousin-in law. The center picture shows the groom-to-be's parents and family members. Nilay's mom is at the far left. Congratulations!

Teklifimiz Verildi- Cevap Bekleniyor

Resimdeki evi cok beyendik ve alim/satim anlasma hazirlayip faksladik emlakcinin ofisinden. Umarim bugun cevap aliriz karsi taraftan. Evin sahipleri Florida'da yasiyor su anda, ve belki hemen cevap alamicaz. Bizim ev daha satilmadigi icin, teklifimiz cok cekici gorunmeyebilir, cunku yeni evin kapanisi, bizim evin satisina bagali. Bizim evin web sitesi:

Almak istedigimiz evin sitesi:

Simdiki evimiz 1860 yillarda yapilmis. Uc yildir restore ediyoruz ve artik tamir isteyen ev istemiyoruz. Istedigimiz ev 2002 de yapilmis, arsa cok buyuk (4500 m kare), ve super iyi bir mahalede. Cevap gelsin buraya sonucu veririm. Eve $424,000 teklif ettik. Hoscakal!

13 August 2005

Remodeling (again) HOMES FOR SALE

Hey everybody. Been a few days. It's hot as hellllllll. Why does it always turn out that on days that I plan to work on the house, the temp is 90+???? Today I bought a new table saw at sears- a nice DELTA model on close-out, with a cast steel table and a good fence, mini-version fo the Biesmeyer. This thing is HEAVY compared to the crappy Sears one that I used for 5 years and sold at our last garage sale. Today I cut up all the remaining Arthur Andersen figured anigre veneer panels and built a nice entertainment center- I will post pictures when completed tomorrow. (Wood paneling I salvaged from the now defunct accounting firm's former corporate offices in Boston) This was done outside in the nearly 100 degree heat. I also installed one of our a/c units in the living room- that thing was heavy too. Now we have at least one room (out of 10) that is cool and comfortable. I think we're sleeping down there tonight, as it is about 90 degrees on the 2nd floor. Before all of the remodiling activity, we went and saw the house on Audubon Lane- picture of it was posted below someplace. It's a nearly new colonial, 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, 1800 sf, 1+ acre lot, well water, septic system, large unfinished but finish-able basement with walk-out, no deck, central air, oil fired forced air heat, security system, fireplace, taxes are $5500, BRAND NEW elementary school around the corner. Asking price is $429,000. This home is on a beautiful street off of a winding country road- one which I train on regularly- riding the bike of course- that's how I found it in the first place. After all the remodeling, I went for quick 1 hour ride at 6:30. Ebru made fettucini with cream sauce and shrimp. I ate waaaay too much, but left some food on the plate, so I DID manage to stop myself eventually. Weight is around 166-168 neighborhood, depending on hydration level. Tomorrow I hope to race the Fall River Criterium at 4:00 pm. It's a Pro-1-2 event which promises to be very challenging. My form seems to have improved over the past few days. The chest pain has subsided and the twins are back to normal. Received my 2nd FLOW saddle replacement the other day. The bike saddle made of mesh- much like a Herman Miller Aeron chair. I have broken two so far. This time, they sent me the titanium version which is very generous. The new shoes are also in action and they look so cool- bright "shock blue". Lastly, I ordered 5 Colavita jerseys and a skinsuit last week, got them Friday. They were 2004 close-outs- 40% off. I got size small jerseys, which are hard to put on, but look better on me than the floppy med and large I also own. The skinsuit is a tiny bit small on me also, but it looks fantastic and should stretch out after a few washes. Now I must stay fit and lean or else my cycling clothes won't fit! I am getting three pairs of the Colavita pro shorts next week- they were back-ordered. Well hopefully I can be a force in tomorrow's race. It would be nice to break top ten. The field promises to be pretty stacked with the McCormick family- Mark and Frank. TTYL. In the picture- my son Reis at East Matunick State Beach in RI- last weekend.

10 August 2005

Lincoln Crit- Where's the Pain?

Just a quick update- I raced tonight without any trouble, in spite of being fatigued and having chest apin for the past two days. We averaged 26.4 mph, my average HR was 163, and I finished about 15th or so out of about 80-90 riders. Picture was taken right afterwards. Tonight we had the company of fellow professional Colavita riders, Frank and Mark McCormack.

09 August 2005

Recovering from Fatigue & Exhaustion

Sat Sun did not touch the bike. Monday I forced myself to ride even though I didn't feel like it. Flatted, changed tire and returned home, changed wheelset to my bulletproof Gippiemme clinchers and rode the bike path. Felt LOUSY. The two days off the bike really affected my form, even if I needed to rest. I felt better Friday, BEFORE the rest!
Today I was completely exhausted. Drove to two jobsites in CT, couldn't stay awake and pulled off the highway and into a Home Depot parking lot, where I napped for 1/2 hour. When I got home, I took another power nap of 30 minutes, did some stretches and forced myself out on the bike. Felt WORSE than yesterday! But I sucked it up and rode for 2+ hours without getting HR over 135 or so for the most part.
We found a home we like, in a beautiful new neighborhood in Coventry. Taxes are very high, but this community is to die for. Homes are on 1 acre lots and lots of breathing room between the houses, most built in 2000-2001. Price range is in the low-mid $400s. Here's a link:

07 August 2005

Two Rest Days, Beach and Waterfire

Today I am in so much pain that going to Wells Ave to race is out of the question- just took 3 Advils. I have general body aches all over, plus some very mild sunburn, plus the abdominal pain that started yesterday coupled with the testicular tenderness which started Friday. This will be the first time all season that I take two rest days in a row- but it's still early- I may do a light spin later and eat my words. Friday night my sister and Steve arrived (it sounds goofy to call him her "boyfriend") Needless to say they are partners and have been together many years. Saturday morning we had breakfeast and headed out to East Matunick Beach around noon. We spent the afternoon swimming, sunning, kite flying, taking digital pictures, eating, sleeping and playing with sand. On the way there, we were fighting with a local resident angry over being cut-off. Said driver and Steve exchanged some expletives. We called the police to report his "road rage". Why just last week a man shot another to death in a road rage incident, in Brockton, Mass. I will not tolerate such behavior, especially when the "infraction" wasn't deliberate. Upon return we had a nice barbeque of steaks and kofte with rice and potatoes. After that, we went downtown Providence to see Waterfire, we met Kaan and Laima (who are conducting a home search- they rent the 3rd floor of our home) and we listened to some live Salsa music. Elif and Steve even danced for a bit. Ebru was wiped out tired and stayed home. It was a long and fun day. Today might be an abridged version of yesterday. The weather out seems very nice. The Advil is doing it's job and I feel much better. Now that our home is on the market for $549,000 we must do everything in our power to get the loose ends and minor repairs completed in time for an open house in two weeks. First thing is to dispose of all the tree trimmings that we've accumulated out front- it look awful. I'll try to post pictures from yesterday ASAP. Thanks for reading. Picture was taken on the beach near the ruins of Olympos, outside of Antalya Turkey, back in May 2005.

05 August 2005

Chest Pain Returns, Testicle Pain Begins

The other week I was complaining about pain right beneath my left rib cage... Well it happened again on Sunday, on Wednesday, yesterday and today. I just rode home from work, in a rainstorm. I thrashed the pedals to get home quick, dodging lightning and fighting 50 mph wind gusts. It seems whenever I push to a certain limit, the pain returns, making it uncomfortable to push hard on the bike. I hope it's just a sore muscle, recently activated from the large amount of out-of-the-saddle sprinting I've been doing. I hope it's not my lung rubbing against my ribs and getting inflamed. That's what it feels like, and the tming of the pain suggests that this is so. Another ailment today: for the first time in my life, I have a slight pain in my right testicle- it seems larger than the left, and is tender. I wondered if I simply needed to release, if you know what I mean, but I couldn't get myself to do it while in the shower- I tried. Sorry to be so graphic- it's the plain simple truth. I couldn't do it perhaps because of stress and fatigue. As of today I have 180+ miles ridden this week. Tomorrow's ride will give me the 200+ total, if I'm up to it. My sister and her boyfriend Steve are visiting from Brooklyn tonight. They're staying a few days and I might have to limit my riding/racing, which might be just the thing I need. Tomorrow I hope to pick up a new pair of Speedplay Zero pedals from our sponsor bike shop- Landry's. The team gets 20% off, and I wanted to install brand new cleats onto my new DMT shoes. Besides my present Speedplays are pretty much shot. TTYL. Thanks for reading.

04 August 2005

A New Personal Best on my "Hilly TT" Course

Usually the day after a race, I take it very easy on the bike. For some compelling reason, today I felt I NEEDED to go out and push myself to my limits. So after work, I came home, suited up and resolved to beat my previous best time on the "hilly TT course". I have reported about this before, back in mid July- you will find my Polar reports posted from mid June and from July 14th, showing a huge improvement. TODAY, I put myself out there- on a ride that is always dreadful- and beat my previous personal best by 50 seconds. The majority of this time was picked up by the crest of the main climb at the conclusion of mile 8 (out of 26 total). It seems all I could do after that is hold the same time as my previous attempt. That's okay though, could have been worse- I could have given back 50 seconds on the last 18 miles, but I didn't. It felt a bit sluggish and it was windy riding on Route 117, that's for sure. I am happy that almost a minute was shaved after only three weeks. The law of diminishing returns is setting in though. The fitness curve is very steep the first few months, then it starts to level off and you must fight very hard to make improvements in very small increments from then on. It's easy to get a little burnt out from all the training and suffering and sweating and the pain in the arse from being in the saddle. Perhaps this is a mini peak for me, and it might be a good idea to take a rest week- ride 25-30 miles a day- no racing, barely pushing the pedals- let the dorks on the bike path pass me and feel good about themselves. (Okay that's arrogant, but so what.) I might lose some "snap", but overall it will be very good for the body to let it repair itself completely. I think I'll race Sunday at Wells Ave and skip Lincoln next week. Or skip Wells Ave too. My weight is down to 167, which will explain the relative ease with which I climbed Tunk Hill Road today. I put it in a very small gear and spun the whole way, never letting myself slip under 12 mph. At the 1/2 way mark (this is a one mile hill) I was able to shift to a bigger gear and accelerate, and again at the 3/4 mark. Typically, I bust about 1/4 the way up and start doggin' it at 9-10 mph until I recover a little. This time I paced myself very nice and very smoothly. The new carbon bike is lighter too, plus I used the Rolf Vecot Pro tubulars and was powered by my new Amino Vital drink mix. I couldn't find my frame pump, so I left the spare tire at home and took my phone instead. Wifey would have had to come get me if I flatted, but I didn't.
This morning I golfed 11 holes at Cranston Country Club. There were four of us playing 'best ball'. My ball was used quite often. Not bad for one who plays twice a year! I had to split early to meet our real estate agent- we listed our home for sale today! It's on the market for $549,000

03 August 2005

Lincoln Criterium 8-3-2005

Been a few days- no posts from me. Tonight I am just completely spent after the Lincoln race. My mom my mother in law, wife and son tagged along and cheered me on, which was wonderful. Last Wednesday it had rained and slowed the pace a little, today there was no rain and we averaged a pretty high 26.3 mph. My avg HR was 164. Proof positive that Lincoln is a harder race than Wells Ave. I attacked right from the start, and within a 1/2 lap a small group of 6 riders were together with me off the front. The field would have none of it though- they felt threatened and chased us down after another 1-1/2 laps. Every 4 laps or so I went to the front and pulled as hard as I could, especially on the small climb. After our small break was caught, a new one emerged that I could not respond to. So all through the race we chased this break but the breakees had team mates making it difficult- they were blocking. At any rate, I did as much work as possible- after all I want to get the maximum benefit from this work-out. With 2-3 laps to go I was red-lined pretty bad and had to really grit my teeth to stay connected. In the field sprint I moved up from mid-field to catch the top ten riders, so I believe I broke top 20 at the very least. Not as good as last week, but this was simply a much faster race. Acceleration and sprinting are deficient and I need to work on both. Here's some cool pictures. One is with me and my mom on my left, the other is me and Ebru's mom on my right. The third pic is me working at the front to close the gap on the break. I was accelerating and after another 1/4 lap I had the field strung out single file, or so I like to believe. It's true. Tomorrow AM I play some golf and go to work after lunch. Planning a nice recovery ride after work. Thanks for reading!