Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Notice to the DEA:

Take me off your list!
Hi, my name is Tom Zirbel, and I've been percoset-free for over 32 hours! If I can kick the habit, then YOU CAN TOO!!! I'm not going to lie, the heart rate jumped a couple of beats last night when I realized that I was going to try and sleep an entire night w/out my pain-saviour of the last 3.5 weeks. But I slept okay so that means no more happy pills for me...unless I reinjure my ribs again like I did last week.
So, if that's a valid indicator then I'd say I'm recovering well. I'm even starting to do real, honest-to-goodness training. How exciting! You should have seen me - I was even un-officially racing triathletes and sport riders alike during my ride today. I can tell that it's been awhile since I've had a competitive outlet, for sure. Is it time to shave the legs again??? I kinda felt like a bike racer for the 1st time in a month today.
I'm planning on being back for Nature Valley in MN which starts in 2 weeks so it's high time I log some hours and intensity in the saddle, I'd say. Nothing like being a little under-cooked for crit-filled stage racing.
Okay, thanks for checking in on me. And good luck to the Bissell Boyz who'll be tackling Philly Week starting this weekend.

Friday, May 16, 2008

upon further review...

Ah, remember that time when I updated after my gila crash, reporting that I had a strained shoulder, 1 cracked rib and a broken bone in my hand? Just kidding about that! It took 11 days to figure out, but it turns out I have 3 cracked ribs, a broken collarbone near the sternoclavicular joint (don't I sound smert?) - which is adjacent to the sternum, annnd still a broken bone in my hand. It sorta ruins your day when you go a week thinking you have 2 broken bones, only to find out that you actually have 5 - surprise! It's especially irritating when you've been moving your arm in hopes of gently stretching out the tendons rather than keeping it completely static to let the bone heal. Moral: get 2nd and 3rd medical opinions folks!!! I wish doctors were all-knowing but they aren't (except for Otis, the Bakers, Taylor, Andrea, and T-Bone).
On a happy note, the pain is getting more tolerable and I can even ride some. I just have to take it easy and let my body heal itself unobtrusively. And the Bissell boys are doing well at Mt. Hood. Kill it in the TT fellas!!!

having lunch down by the creek w/ mis amigos. must fill days w activities like this or insanity will ensue.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Keep on truckin...

On to that "recovery" stage where everything goes slower and takes longer than you hope/expect. I rode the trainer a couple days ago with some success but today I don't feel well enough to even walk around. No complaining though, Esparza from Tecos, who crashed on the same descent as me, is still in rough shape in El Paso. They have set up a fund to help pay for his medical bills. Donations can be sent to:
Wells Fargo Bank
1201 N. Pope St.
Silver City, NM 88061

Attention: Fausto Munoz Esparza Donation Fund

Next month, I plan to be doing this! But for now, will have to settle for this...on my good days:
this scuzzball hadn't showered since the crash 5 days previous!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sorry Mr. Guptill

Hey Everybody - I'm alive and well!! (relatively)
Man, I'd say we had an awesome Tour of the Gila! 2 stage wins, 2nd on GC, 2nd in the team's classification and we controlled the front of nearly every stage. Vega from Tecos is an amazing climber so Burke should be proud of his 2nd on gc.
I was looking forward to seeing how I would fair on the brutal last day but didn't give myself the opportunity when i overcooked a turn on the steep gila monster descent and slammed into Andy Guptill of Colavita who was just lifting himself up from crashing. Well, me and about 8 others crashed on the same turn. I guess we got a little carried away. I hobbled away w/ a strained shoulder (no broken collarbone), broken bone in L hand, and cracked back R rib. I'm a little sore of course but am actually doing fine. I have teammate Jeremy Vennell here to give me his special kiwi TLC when I need it, and my new friend Percoset has really come through for me too.
Thanks for all the emails, texts, phone calls, and blog comments first for getting the leader's jersey, then for the crash. :) Much appreciated. Here is a good pic of the week taken by Gleein.
we had to get a pic w this local after the crit (read his shirt)

Friday, May 02, 2008

It was a good day...

Bissell had a good stage 3 at the Tour of the Gila. I won the TT to squeak into the leader's jersey by a full 2 seconds. Plenty to spare - I should have sat up the last 20m. BJM was 2nd on the day to slip into the top 10 on GC. Which is pretty impressive considering he's spent about 95% of this race off the front in breaks so far. And Burke had a solid ride and is sitting in 5th GC at the moment. The top 7 are all within a minute. Yikes! And with Sunday's epic mountain stage, there are going to be some massive time gaps. Oh, and we're leading the team GC competition which may not mean much but is always a subject of pride for the teams. We have a fun downtown crit tomorrow that has a little roller coaster section on the backside and then the slugfest on Sun.
We're staying in a cool host house about 20 miles outside of Silver City. It is very, how do you say....remote. It is an awesome place though and it gives us a good feel for this beautiful southwest U.S. region where people don't move here to have a bunch of neighbors. I love the rolling, desert terrain of NM. With my occasional hermit tendencies I can see myself living here someday.
our host Jeff's backyard view. Hammock essential.

from TdG, to show how well they treat us, here is documentation that my hotel bed came equiped w/ 7 pillows. wow. I guess that means it's fancy, right?

Here, Mayo shows her Bissell pride during the Brasstown stage at Georgia.

Thanks for reading and if you happen to have any good luck to spare, could you send it our way for the next 2 days? Thanks.