I've been blogging less often and I'm really missing it.  That said -- I've been mostly sitting on my butt today looking through my photos and even though work is tormenting me, it's near the end of the day and I have some time.


So here I am -- figuratively and literally.

I'm back in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho -- the town and a race have treated me well not once but three times.

I'm part of the class of 2008, 2010 and 2011 and my best on this course is 9:54.  I'd like to make that number smaller this year. :)

Each year seems to get a little more hectic and to add to the excitement, this year it's a His and Hers Ironman trip...

His and Hers Ironman Bracelets

The trip was quick due to a long and interesting conversation with my buddy DL and his wife Jen.  The time flew by and before I got antsy, the trip was over and we were on our way from Spokane to CdA via this giant SUV we nicknamed "Gigantor".

GMC Yukon

With his and hers bikes, we needed a monster truck in order to transport our gear and luggage.  When we were renting, I said "Go big!" and so she did.

Everything seems much smaller from inside gigantor including normal sized SUVs.

Gigantor easily fit two bikes boxes horizontally along with our luggage and plenty of room to spare.

When we arrived at the hotel, check-in was early and quick and I found myself in the elevator staring at an odd sign.

Elevator Sign One

Upon entering the second elevator on our way down, I was again greeted by an odd sign.

Elevator Sign Two

It's almost as if there were a number of complaints that should frighten me but they've now solved the problem by washing the crap out of everything and posting signs to let you know they will not tolerate any kind of cooties whatsoever.

It's clean b*tches so quit writing your complaints on the comment cards cuz the signs are freaking me out.

After checking in, we drove down in Gigantor and we grabbed a bite to eat.  I've seen this lake a bazillion times but I never get tired of it.  Life it tough...

Lake Coeur d'Alene

After dining at my favorite hole in the wall, The Pita Pit, and getting my frequent diner card (from last year) stamped cuz I'm saving up my point for a free meal, we strolled back to the car and I noticed this sign on the sidewalk which is pretty much ignored by everyone...

No Bicycles

We pretty much settled in for the rest of the day and the following morning, we got up and started unpacking the bikes.  This is when my wife declared:  "Houston, we have a problem."

The short version, we had a shifting problem but thanks to Sag Monkey...

Sag Monkey

... and his infinite patience, we (he!) got the problem resolved.

The real coincidence is that I've been trying to get in touch with Sag Monkey, aka Nick, to hire him for a supported ride I’m planning back home.

And even better than that, it turns out Nick is also delivering bikes to 70.3 Worlds and IMAZ.  Bonus!

The bike chaos killed the afternoon but it wasn't like I had much planned other than sitting on my butt anyway so chatting with Nick while the Mrs. hopped on and off the bike several times was a great way to kill some time.  Plus Nick's dog Jack is the coolest dog ever and I had a lot of fun kicking the ball and watching Jack chase it around.

With the bike issue resolved, the stress levels dropped and we were cruising around town taking care of errands and eventually found our way back to the meal table.  On our way to the restaurant, I saw this odd sign and I almost missed getting a picture.

Economy Dentures

Ummmm.... what material are they using for the "economy"?  "So over here, we have these things that look like teeth but if you can't afford those, we've strung together a row of Tic-Tacs."

Dinner was delicious and afterwards, the Mrs. was on the hunt for gluten free oatmeal.  We stopped by what appeared to be an organic, or at least healthy looking, grocery store.  For some reason, this wall of oatmeal products struck me as funny...

Wall of Oatmeal

Actually, I don't think it was all oatmeal but there were a lot of oatmeal products and the choices seemed overwhelming.

Mission accomplished -- the Mrs. found her brand and we went back to the hotel to call it a day.

And finally today --

We got up this morning and jumped into Gigantor for a look at the new section of the bike course.  I'd ridden a good chunk of it yesterday but I wanted to get a full look while not paying attention to the bike.

The Mrs. has been on the course as a visitor but not as a racer so we decided to drive the entire course.

This is why drivers do not like cyclists and this is why some towns are not friendly to Ironman...

Gaggle of Cyclists

It seems like I get preachy every year -- despite what we might think, we do not own the roads nor do we own the town.  Nuff said about that.

Now to a funnier comment -- I bet I see something similar to this on race day.

Back to the course --

It's interesting and I think athletes will need to exercise restraint on those climbs.  They look harmless, I think they are not.

This sign is a clue...

5% grade

... four times on this one alone.

On our way back into town, I saw this sign and my inner child leapt for the camera...

Cougar Bay

Nothing more to add; you think it's funny or you think I'm a child.  Both are true.

This final picture, from a chronological perspective, would go at the beginning but for some reason, I feel like this is slogan for the weekend.

It's Go Time!

That pretty much sums it up.

As I wrap this up, I can either proof for spelling and grammar or I can take a nap.  It's nap time.