Friday, February 24, 2006

The past week has been a great day for the American cycling community. The 1st Tour of California began last sunday and has been a great race so far. The coolest part about the race (besides that American's are dominating the race despite a number of very good European professionals being present) is that stage 2 of the Tour went through San Jose. The stage started up in the north bay and wound it's way down the eastern foothills into San Jose. My inlaws live in San Jose and last summer, before coming to medical school, my wife and I spent a month with them hanging out in San Jose. We brought our bikes out with us (of course) and found some incredible roads out there. Our favorite ride was on a Calaveras road out to a small town called Sunol and back. We would finish the ride by riding down the steep and extremely fun descent of Sierra Rd. We did this ride a couple times a week while we were there. I was stoked back in the fall when I found out that stage 2 would in fact be riding on Calaveras and then UP Sierra rd. One day last summer I set out to ride up Sierra. It was an incredible and extremely painful experience. It's an amazing climb, steep andn killer. This stage was touted as being crucial in the overall of the Tour. Unfortunately my academic constraints kept me from flying out to Cali for the Tour, but luckily my wife went and had a great time. This pic is of the leaders after the shattered the peleton on the Sierra rd climb. You can see Tom Danielson of Discovery on the left, Levi Leipheimer of Gerolsteiner (then the leader of the Tour) in the middle and Floyd Landis of Phonak (the current leader as of today) on the right. All American, all kicking butt on this climb. It is incredible to be so close to world class cyclists during an event like this. If you ever get a chance to attend a professional bike race (try to make it a "Tour" they're the best to attend), DO IT! It will give you an appreciation, not only of the sport of cycling, but for the tremendous athleticism of the people. Plus it's like going to a traveling tailgate party. And if you are ever in the bay area and happen to have your bike you got to check out Calaveras and Sierra roads. If you want more info about the Tour of California check out their website at They have daily updates with pictures and even some video of the stages. Enjoy!

Friday, February 03, 2006

my head is going to explode...

I think that going to medical school is a lot like the "milk challenge". For those who don't know what the milk challenge is (this is what my friends used to do for fun when I was in high school) to drink a gallon of milk in one hour or less and keep it all down. 99% of the people can't do it, its just too much dairy and lactose for the body to deal with. Usually what happen is that the person throws up a couple times and then swears off any dairy product for the rest of their lives. It's a great American teenager pastime.

Medical school feels like I am doing the milk challenge every week. The only difference is that right after I hurl I pick up another gallon and go for it again. And the kicker is that I am paying a hefty sum do all this. It actually sounds like it’s just a cruel joke. We are expected to sit in lecture and soak up all this info, then go home and re-soak it again and retain it. Weekends don't come soon enough and by the time they do I feel like my brain is about to vomit out everything it has ingested. This is all part of the process and the experience but nonetheless I had absolutely no idea how I am going to remember all this someday. Actually forget remembering ALL of it, I have no idea how I am going to remember ANY of it. If I could retain 5% I'd be in good shape. My only hope is that later in my education the next time I hear something I learned during my first year it will stick more the second time, or the third time, and hopefully the fourth time. Repetition is usually a good thing. So if anyone knows a good way to remember all the organs, blood vessels, ligaments, bones, and nerves for the pelvis, let me know by Monday cause my brain is feeling a little nauseous.