Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cars make people fat


Interesting statistics -- the more you drive (and correspondingly less you walk/bike) the higher the rate of obesity.

Monday, November 10, 2008

banana diet

I thought this was interesting

Banana Diet

Of special note

At meals, eat only until satisfied but not full (The Japanese expression is "Hara hachibu ni isha irazu" - "A stomach eight-tenths full needs no doctor."

Interesting concept. HuHot buffet for lunch anyone? I want to get stuffed!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I absolutely, positively, do not understand why the instructor in my spinning class insists we keep our RPMs in the 60-65 range.  How is it a spinning class if you plod around?

I usually ignore her and just spin at 90-100.  

Plus, every time she's like "here comes a hill" and expects us to stand.  pshaw, spin up the hill baby, spin spin spin.

In other news, spinning and circuit class (with some swimming when I'm able) and a focus on eating right lost me 7 pounds in October.  Not quite as much as I'd like, but totally do-able.  I'd like to think that all the weights in circuit may have put a little muscle on too.

Other than that, the bike is upstairs for the winter.  Here's hoping for a short winter and an early spring (not like 2008).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Changing Focus: Part 2

So, in a month and a half of ignoring the scale and just trying to do the right thing we found

I gained a couple pounds.

that sucks. So, we're trying something new. I signed up for an online food diary(myfooddiary.com) that tracks everything you eat, records calories, and you can "earn" more calories to eat by exercising (put in the type of exercise you do and length and it calculates how many calories you burn). It's the accountability that my simple online spreadsheet has, along with a ton of nifty number crunching features (including body size/changes, exercise graphs- how many days you exercised in the past week/month), a chart for weight, pounds to go, etc).

I'm totally digging it and I hope it keeps me on track for the winter. I definitely need to drop some weight (duh) and, after talking with my trainer at the gym, nothing else will improve my performance better in the pool/on the bike/on the trail than losing weight.

I think one of the problems I've had is a focus on being a better cyclist/swimmer, which unfortunately leads to eating a lot of food (carbs and otherwise). Fancy biking and swimming workouts make me faster/stronger, but haven't had much, if any, affect on weight.

So the current plan is to track everything I eat (so far so good), eat less calories than I burn, and exercise 5 or more times per week. Exercise is going to primarily be weight training, with jogging/biking on occasion.

Friday, September 26, 2008


So I'm back.  
San Francisco and the bay area has 8 million people on bikes, most helmeted.  There were people all over riding, tons of bike lanes, bikes for rent (by the Golden Gate Bridge) and tons of runners.  On Wednesday night we went down to pier 39 (and Ghiradelli square) and saw at least 4 different groups of runners.  I never see groups of runners out here... maybe 1 or 2, but you don't see a pack of people running together somewhere.

The conference and meet & greets were great.  Being cramped in a plane was not.

Next week Biking Brady is hosting another Bunyan to Bob's ride-- fall colors.  Anyone want to go with me?  We should carpool and stuff.

Read more here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm off to glorious San Francisco for the rest of the week. No rides til saturday - I'm bringing swim and run clothes and hope to see something cool. If my hotel is close to the golden gate bridge I will have to run across it.

This past weekend was the margarita ride in vermillion and the sanford breast cancer ride in SF. Kari and I went to verm and had a blast- it was raining so we took the 30 mile route as Kari had never ridden in wet conditions before. We were teamed up with fellow sioux falls folks (Jody, mayor, Barbara, John-surf shop) and had a nice pace, good conversation ride. When we got back we had time to kill so we rode over to Bunyan's for a root beer/beer bomber. When we got back we had our margarita and tacos then rolled back to SF.

In SF we stopped by Spoke to chat and hear about the SF ride. Apparently it was crazy w crashes, broke bikes and hospital visits. We met recent ironman Jon G who was shopping for a new tri bike. Then it was home for naps and bike cleaning.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Armstrong out of retirement!

Read it here

I have no idea if this is accurate, but it's (of course) really exciting to me. I didn't get into cycling until after Lance had retired-- it'd be crazy fun to watch him in the big Tour (and, it looks like, a bunch of the U.S. races).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beer and Pizza and 36 laps

Who else thinks that beer and pizza taste far, far better after exercise?

Who would like free beer and pizza after exercise this coming Saturday, Sept 6th?

Kari and I move from Brandon to SF on Saturday. A few fine folks have offered to help, but we could use more assistance. Here's the plan

1:00pm - meet in brandon at the duplex. load trucks with furniture first, boxes second. Hopefully the trailer will be filled with boxes.
1:30pm - first couple vehicles leave Brandon and head to SF. The new apartment is roughly 100 yards West of Sertoma park. Exact details will follow.
2:00pm - Unloading begins. If you don't have a truck/can't help at 1, ride your bicycle over at 2. Carry stuff to apartment. Continue carrying stuff.
3:00pm - eat pizza, drink beer.
3:30pm - go for a bike ride

I should point out that the FAB Helmet Hut will be on Saturday as well. I think a couple fine folks are planning to be at the helmet hut, then bike over for food and weight training. This would be an excellent idea IMHO :)

In other news, my finger (poor, poor swollen finger) has continued to heal. It still hurts gripping things (hence the bike has not gotten any love) but swimming (with a minor hand modification) is bearable. I spent yesterday in the pool at lunch working on speed-- after some warmup laps I'd sprint 50 yards, cool down, then do it again. Today I hit the pool with the plan to swim a mile nonstop. I got in the pool, start swimming, and didn't stop for 36 laps (1mile). That was one of my goals I set a couple months back and I'm happy to say I achieved it.

My time, for those interested, was 41 minutes. A bit slower than I'd like, but I'm totally happy being able to do the distance. I want to work it down to 36 laps in 36 minutes by the end of the year. Moving next door to the gym and pool will certainly help.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

busted finger = no triathalon

so, in a completely, utterly, brain dead move thursday I managed to slam my finger in the car door. It's swollen up to double size but, and the x-rays confirmed, it's not broken.

The downside is it hurts to touch, type, move. I tried swimming (way too painful), tried gripping the handlebars (way WAY too painful) and it throbs when walking (so running sounds worse).


Oh well, more time to prepare for next year (altho I'll be out of the water/weights/bike for a few weeks while this heals).

In other news, we're moving back to Sioux Falls. A quick search of apartments and we found one in the location we wanted (across the street from Sertoma Park). Good school for Taylor, great location (gym, park, bike trail), close to work, close to grocery store/mall. We move this coming week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

changing focus

I decided to give up on weight for a little while... I still want to lose weight, definitely eating good (or great), tons of veggies, tons of lean meat. I'm just not going to obsess over the scale.

I will obsess over what I can control, and that's biking, lifting, running and swimming. Those activities definitely work for losing weight-- or more importantly, losing fat and gaining muscle. Because in the end it doesn't matter what you weigh, but what you look like. If, by some crazy stretch of the imagination, I end up covered in muscle and heavier than I want to be (for going uphill) then I'm certain I can lose muscle weight.

So, I've already been recording things like miles biked, I'm just going to be a little more diligent on the swimming/running/lifting. That's now prominent in the "about me" section, and easy to update.

In a month or so I'll hop on the scale and see where things are at.

A few updates on friends

one friend's daughter has my sister for a teacher
another friend was back at the gym (and in the pool) the other day
another friend got engaged
another friend broke 2 bones (rib, collar) and won't be competing in his Ironman
another friend has been ring shopping

and finally, there's some travel in my future. I'll be running in California in a month :) Details later.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

fat guy on a tri

A quick training update

Next Sunday is the Yankton Triathalon. I believe it's the last tri in the area, so I'm going to drag my butt down there. The distance is within my capabilities, so I'd be foolish not to do it.

Swimming-- my earlier post that linked the "Zero to 1650" swimming training plan really works. I'm up to 1000 yards nonstop in the pool. A nice older gentleman named "Mike" has been coaching me a bit Tuesdays and Thursdays at lunch. Lot's of little things that might have taken weeks or months to change got noticed right away by him. So far the lessons
breath out underwater
take smaller breaths
roll from side to side
keep 1 arm forward
keep the forward arm pointed straight out, not down
ditch the air under your hand when your hand enters the water (the catch)
don't wimp out on the push
kick for lift, not propulsion

There's more I can't think of now, but it's been much appreciated-- I'm not "great", but I'm certainly "less suck" in the water.

Kari and I started the weights on Sunday. We're doing the workout plan Joe Friel outlines in the Triathletes Training Bible... currently doing the "Anatomical Adaptation" or "get your body used to lifting weights" phase... high reps proper form low weight.

Today I hopped on the treadmill for a run after weights and ran 5 minutes at a decent clip. Nothing hurt! The new shoes (the new running store in town is great) helped, plus all the cardio (swimming and biking). awesome!

In bad training news, a friend suffered a crash and broke his collarbone and a rib and is out for 4-6 weeks, which will keep him from his Ironman race he's been training for. I'm not going to IM this year, but I'll be doing a bit of training the next few weeks in his place with Jon. We're going out for 6 hours on Saturday (4.5hr bike, 1.5hr run). Should be fun (or horrible).

The olympics swimming is over, so maybe the pool crowd will thin out and getting my laps in will be easier.

Finally in bike news

Check the results of the 212 Gut Check-- a ton of great guys raced this year. Harlan and Chris are both good friends and I'm extremely happy both of them completed the ride with time to spare. Mike killed it, averaging 19mph on the bike (and only taking an hour or so break) to complete the race in 22hours 45minutes. In case you don't know, this is a race from the Wyoming/SD border to the Minnesota/SD border all along Highway 212. A great accomplishment.

Big rides coming up include the Sanford Breast Cancer awareness ride, the Lanehogs Margarita ride, and in October the annual meeting and voting for FAB.

There's also a bit of bike-helmet related stuff going on, check your messages from FAB (and the news) for more details, but plan on riding the east side of the bike trails on Sept 6th and look for a giant FAB sign.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Single speed

Today's Wandering Wednesday was the maiden voyage of my single speed. You can see in the pic what a fine job of assembly and tuning the wrenches at spoke n sport did. The wheels were built by senor snakebite. I paid for everything and attached the aero bars.

Everyone seemed to think aero bars on a single speed were a waste but little did they know this would let me pretend to be a track racing star like young Phinney at the olympics.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised how easily the bike challenged the hills on the harrisburg loop. I'd almost want a little harder gearing on it... Maybe after a few more rides.

Oh- the steel is totally comfortable to ride on-nothing hurts from the ride. O may also have to consider checking position and the saddle and look for a similar setup for the race bike. I think for my next bike I will look at a surly or hampsten steel frame single that can take some big tires.


Saturday, August 2, 2008


If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?

A Titanium Strada Bianca built up with Campy Record and some 35mm tires so I can take it on gravel, over grass, on the road etc.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not? It's a long term goal... a house and such are more important now. Maybe in a couple years (of course, my dream bike may change by then)

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
I'd say the route from wherever i live to work. that'd be good.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrow-minded?

I've only ridden a proper mountain bike 1 time-- the Big Mick. Otherwise road road road (or hybrid with the kids)

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.

if I had back or other medical problems that precluded me riding an upright then, yeah, I'd ride a recumbent.

Have you ever raced a triathlon?
Plan to. Note the swimming.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
Ice cream. Dairy is causing all sorts of "down there" problems for me anyway.

What is my favorite thing about cycling?
exercise and fun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I've actually had people ask why I have "biking running and swimming" and the blog has had a complete lack of running/swimming posts.

Well, that changes today.

So, my boss (and his boss) are both triathaletes. I've got cycling buddies who are triathaletes. Most of the guys at the LBS are triathaletes. And of course, triathaletes get to buy more cool toys. So, I signed up.

I signed up for a Triathalon July 20, 2008. You may have noticed that date came and passed with no tri completed. See, there are a lot of reasons for that. The diabetes flare up over the winter, putting on weight, losing motivation, playing too much video games... they all contributed. When the cycling season rolled around I used the extra money I had to get Kari into cycling and a trip across the country for a race (and it's not like I would have even been competitive) didn't make sense. So I skipped it.

Two weeks ago I decided to start swimming again. The first day saw 6 or 8 laps in the pool... maybe 9. It wasn't many. Awhile ago I found (and put on my wall) a swimming routine called Zero to 1650 in Six Weeks. The training plan is built on the theory (like all good plans) that you have to stretch yourself-- put yourself in a bit of pain-- to force your body to adapt and grow stronger.

Today marked the first day of week 2 and I did 250 yards without stopping (and felt great... I could have done more) and then completed the whole workout (900 yards, or about half a mile). Thanks to a pretty good aerobic fitness level (all the cycling) my heart rate recovers greatly every rest break.

I want to make sure to have swimming (and some other exercise habits) fully ingrained so that the end of the cycling season doesn't signal the end of fitness-- I've got some very important reasons to get in shape and take the weight off and I don't want to wait until spring to start again. More to come....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lack of updates remedied

So a bit of recapping the past few weeks

I moved in with Kari. That has gone great.
Got in a bike wreck, not so great.
Finished my single speed bike-needs stickers and a pic on the blog.
Bought some new shorts-chainlove.com is wicked if you get lucky.
Went on a road trip
Got a flat car tire on my way to wandering wednesday. When I was ride leader no less. Didn't make it there.
Bought new tires for my car on account of the flat.
Watched Carlos Sas-"TRAY" (as bob roll says it) win the tour de france. Also saw Christian Vande Velde ride to 5th overall - a great race for him.
Started swimming again. I definitely want to do tris. Week 2 of the swim program starts today.

That's all for today. Hopefully the pool doesn't hurt too bad on the road rash.


Monday, July 14, 2008

New Bike shop

This just looks cool! Bike repair, energy bar purchase and more. I'd love to see a few of these around (Harrisburg, Brandon, etc). I wonder how much they cost and if they turn a profit...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Early morning riding

So, I'm not sure if I'm cut out for early morning riding. I'll give it a bit longer before I decide for reals.

Thursday I woke up to meet Jon and get some riding in. Of course, I rode to the meeting point while he decided (based on cloud cover and darkness) to wait a little while before starting. We missed each other by 10 minutes, so I rolled around the west end of town, thru Ellis, then back to SF and home the long way through town.

Friday morning was different. I was meeting up with Larry from Spoke&Sport for a ride. I needed to get new tags for my car and didn't want to spend 8 dollars in gas driving to get them. So instead we met at 6:15 outside my apartment, hit the cash machine down the street, then turned South.

The wind was bad in town, and got FAR worse as we got out of town. 20mph out of the South, and we had 14 miles dead into the wind (6 miles were crosswind). Fortunately Larry and I worked well together, trading off pulls (200-300yards) so neither of us got too wiped. We rolled into Canton just before 8, then walked around the courthouse (under construction) to find the new entrance. I was the 7th person in line, and just a few minutes(15) later I was able to spend 46 hard earned dollars on a new stickers for my car. Yay!

We stopped at the gas station for a little refreshment (energy drink!!!) and then rolled home. The trip home was arguably worse-- high humidity and no wind (because it was at our back) made for a sweaty sweaty trip. I was thrilled to get home and showered before heading to work.

I'll miss WW next week, the boss and I are traveling.

Monday, July 7, 2008

FABRAD! (sorry for the late recap)

My apologies for recapping FABRAD days late (well, just 2 days). I have no good excuse other than being lazy and spending time with a lovely young lady and, of course, watching the Tour. On to the story (pictures below)

FABRAD got started a day early for a few of us. The Kernel and Briman took of early in the morning of the 4th in Mark's truck to paint the route. Green and pink arrows (along with nifty laminated signs) showed the turns for the riders. Gregg, Dirk-Billy and myself left 69th street at 7am (or shortly thereafter) to ride the route since we'd be helping and unable to ride the next day. The three of us had a nice ride into Iowa, up the hills leading to Inwood, down the Loooooooooooooooooooooooooong descent into Canton, and then back home.

On the way home near Lake Alvin we stopped to stretch and saw a curious sight-- a man riding a hybrid bike that looked all sorts of the wrong size for him. The reason was made clear a mile down the road, as we saw a nice lady pushing a road bike. We quickly determined that she had swapped bikes with her husband (who was riding back to Canton to get a vehicle). She had no spare equipment(people please, carry a spare tube -- you'll always find someone to change your tire for you, but not always someone to donate patches/tubes), so I donated a tube and a bit of expertise to fix her flat and let her ride home. A few missteps slowed my flat-changing time, and the arrival of 4 riders on CPC training ride didn't help much. Dustin did show me a trick I didn't know for helping keep the bead on the rim which will be helpful in the future.

The CPC boys took off while I was still cleaning up and re-mounting my bike and I decided to catch them. The long steep downhill into Lake Alvin provided an opportunity for gravity to work in my favor and I shot past, keeping the momentum going uphill. When the 4 caught up at the golf course I hopped on with them for a VERY fast few miles back to Sioux Falls. I don't want to say those speeds are commonplace for me, but I was in control, HR reasonable and was ready/willing to do more. If I can keep up the weight loss going through the offseason (which I didn't do this past year) I'd like to join the team next year and go to a few races.

Post ride I returned a call from Josh, who bought my old road bike. It seems he was riding Friday morning also when his rear derailleur came off (we're not sure if the hangar broke or the derailleur broke or the screws came undone-- more details to follow). I spent the rest of the afternoon in recovery.

Friday night Kari came over and we suited up and rode downtown to meet Gregg, el presidente and the first lady. We had some excellent food at the diner, then rode our bikes around the trail to watch the fireworks.

See... I had this vision that we'd be practically alone and have a great seat to watch the show. Well, 300+ other people (most of whom brought fireworks to blow up right next to us) also came. It was chaos, and I was glad to leave(see more of the story on Kirk's blog)

Saturday we woke up, stopped at Hy-Vee for energy drinks and FABRAD snacks (people love some snickers out on the road) and then drove down to Cherry Rock park. Kari got registered for FABRAD and found Amy to start the ride. I found Kirk, Mark's truck (to run the food stop) and we were ready to roll. After Kirk's short speech (be safe and stuff) the riders were off.

Kirk and I high-tailed it out to the rest stop at Lake Alvin, passing the main bunch of riders on the way. CPC was leading out a large group of riders into strong headwinds (20-25mph). The lead train didn't stop for refreshments, but most of the remaining riders were happy to stop for a chat

Mark and Eric talk to the Prez

Energy Gu from Kyle A. (Spoke-n-Sport's mechanical support)

An interview with KDLT (the sisters from Iowa)

or like Craig, a quick repair from Danny T. (Two Wheeler Dealer)

I should point out that while Kari and Amy were the last riders on the 100k route to come in, they were still in great spirits (rumors of crazy women singing while going uphill were heard more than once).

KDLT sent one of their reporters out to do a story about FABRAD. Their reporter did a great job (the story played at 6 and 10) but their website leaves quite a bit to be desired.

WARNING: Rant ahead The video is already gone (and attempts to link to it failed-- they don't have permanent links available) and the story is about to scroll off the page. I'm really disappointed that in 2008 they are unable or unwilling to do simple things like post content with a permanent link (so I can send a link to friends and family) and leave it online for people to view later. Sure there's a slight cost in disk space and bandwidth, but it would drive traffic to their website for weeks to come. Instead, I can't direct people to view the news clip any longer.

I did record the news on my DVR-- but again, that does me little good. Without taking extraordinary measures, mom (who's vacationing in Boston) won't ever see the story. The old media companies and cable companies are so slow to embrace the internet-- they only see people viewing the story/show online (rather than live on their TV) as a threat to their business model. They need to change with the times-- my generation doesn't want to watch the news from 10 to 10:30. I want to check the website, find a couple key items that interest me, read the story/view the video, and move on with my day. Similar to the plight of many newspapers, the media and news companies need to come up with alternative ways to monetize an audience -- selling commercials for TV shows and the nightly news might not last more than 5-10 more years.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Good Samaritan... or, TWENTY DOLLARS!

Today I didn't think I'd get any riding in (work, pick up boy5 immediately after work, etc). Well the boy and I were talking (I do my best to get him excited/interested in exercise) and he asks if he can ride his bike back to his mom's house-- he wasn't spending the night with me today.

"heck yeah" I said! We hooked the Giant Half bike up to my hybrid, attached helmets, and took off. We road thru neighborhoods, waving at people, saying hi, and enjoying ourselves.

As we rode down the bike path on Bahnson Ave I noticed a cell phone laying on the road. We stopped, boy5 hopped off and grabbed it for me, and we continued to drop him off at his mom's.

I looked at the phone and called the most recent/prolific text message person, "Sami".

"Hi, I have your friend's phone. Who owns this phone?"

"blahblah blah, my friend lives at 1234 blah street"

"awesome, it's practically on my way home."

"ok dude, i'll call my friend's house and tell her parents you're on the way"

So I ride over and the dad is in the driveway. Hand him a cell phone, he offers me 20 bucks (which I take, woot!) and then I ride for home. Meet some friends along the way, grab groceries (and I get to splurge thanks to a free $20!) and call it a night.

Moral of the story-- save money (and earn money) by riding your bike.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

With all due respect

You sir, are an idiot.

So, last night after the kids, Kari and I got home from the Canaries game I got my bike stuff together, cleaned my chain, aired my tires, and got ready to leave in the morning. I was supposed to meet Gabe down the street at 5:15am.

now, my brain doesn't function very well early in the morning, so I got everything in one place before I went to bed-- jersey, shorts, socks, shoes, headband (Halo), helmet, gloves, food. I got a bottle of gatorade and a bottle of energy drink and a bottle of ice. All set.

I woke up, geared up and rolled down the street. Gosh, it seems awful dark.

After sitting in the gas station parking lot for a few minutes I pulled out my phone and, much to my surprise, it was 3:21 am. No Gabe, I'm an idiot, and I just drank half an energy drink.

So i rolled home, stripped, PJs on, climbed back into bed. I got about 30 minutes sleep before my alarm went off (for reals this time, not just in my imagination) and i repeated the process I had 2 hours earlier. This time it wasn't so dark out and it was time to ride.

I should mention, riding in the insane winds Saturday wasn't nearly as fun as it sounds. I got in 42 miles before stopping at Harmodon park @ 7:45 to meet the FAB ride. I rode along with them for about 4 miles before my legs decided they were well and truly shot and I turned for home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Teepee on my bike trail!

I brought my bike to work today (I got up too late to actually bike in) and went for a ride after work. I went north and up by the airport the city must have been fixing cracks. There is a couple miles of hot tar covered in white paper on that stretch.

now, I'm happy the city is doing something, but the tar just seeps into the crack after a while and, while it's better, it's still rough. Is it my imagination or are the roads in better shape than the trail? How do they make roads that (for the most part) stand up to winter but the bike trail can't (I'm assuming its the hot/cold of south dakota that cracks the trail).

Wouldn't a bag of quick dry cement fill the cracks (and actually leave a smooth path) work better? There are a lot of cracks (and worse, potholes) by O'Gorman. Anyone want to experiment with me some night? I don't actually know anything about cement, other than some combination of powder and water combines and turns into hard stuff.

Monday, June 23, 2008

the Big Mick (long version)

This story begins, like most good stories, with Snakebite. See, he advertises on his blog all sorts of cool stuff he's doing and is always looking for partners in crime. He's been talking about the Big Mick for awhile, and I had a free weekend.

The Big Mick is slang for the Mickelson Trail (old railroad lines that the state turned into hiking/horseback/biking trails about 10 years ago). In the fall they have a ride on the trail that's 30 or 40 miles each day. The Big Mick, on the other hand, is the whole trail in 1 day.

So Friday I left work a little early to get home and get ready. I packed all of my clothes in my Camelbak, grabbed my new pedals (which I got from Darren Thursday night), bike shoes and a bunch of food. The Owner came to pick me up, then we rolled down to the LBS to grab the demo bike that I was going to be riding. For the record, that thing is worth every penny. Wow, I never thought I'd ride a century on a mountain bike and the next day my rear would be 90-95% fine. Then we rolled downtown to grab Snakebite and his mountain bike (Chad's bike was packed in the back of the car already).

After that it was off to the races.
Chad drives like a speed demon
we made it to the black hills in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 42 seconds.

We got to Lead (which, I was surprised to learn was 2 miles away from Deadwood) and checked into the hotel. Aleen had left our packets at the front desk (we got some postcards, some misc coupons and handouts, a water bottle, a BRIGHT green shirt, our wristband and some food coupons for the next day. We did a little pre-ride bike stuff (pedals onto my bike, lights on snakebite's bike, a little chain lube, etc.

By virtue of the fact that I didn't drive and didn't pay for the room I got the rollaway bed. Imagine if you will, two large metal rods. Now put a layer of mattress the thickness of a napkin on top of said rods. Now try to sleep. EVERY position I tried (and I know a lot of positions) I was getting poked. Finally I gave up trying to get comfortable and smashed my head into the wall until I fell, unconscious, and was able to get a little rest.

My phone alarm was setup to play an annoying tune at 4:20 (heh heh). We all started waking up. We started layering up (well, the smart ones did... more on that later) and began the checkout process. My outfit
Bike shorts
Second pair of shorts
bike jersey
second shirt
underarmor sleeves

Snakebite decided to roll out with shorts and a jersey. It seemed warm in Lead and was going to be in the 80s later.

We headed over to the starting spot and ran into a few other SF folks (Deb, Darla, Doug) and talked to Aleen about our ride back Sunday. We decided to shuttle back (instead of trying to bike it) and look for something else to do/ride Sunday. We didn't see Dick H anywhere (he came out the day before and went riding on his road bike).

Right away I was regretting my decision. The first stretch was a LOT steeper than 3% grade and I watched everyone fly up the hill past me. Chad and Chris left me and I wouldn't see them again until breakfast. At the top of the hill I snapped a few pictures.

The next hour and a half was spent riding hard uphill, or bombing downhill (and freezing my fingers).

I got to the breakfast stop and found I was just a few minutes behind C&C. We ate fabulously (biscuits & gravy, eggs, fruit, pancake, orange juice) and then waited around for it to warm up a little. Finally we started rolling again. The next stretch was up up up hill, but gradual.

Here's Chris (left, wearing an extra shirt he scavenged from my bag since he was so cold) and Chad (showing a strip of flesh that would later become very sunburned).

A bit later I tipped my bike over, fortunately taking the brunt of the damage on my arm (still covered by the under-armor) and leg (not so lucky). I wish there was a good story, but this was just a dumb fall.

After a stop for water we kept going and we started uphill again. We ran into snow (fortunately only on the edge of the trail)

In the next town I saw the craziest thing ever- a ton of tourists (in decent shape, presumable not disabled) riding around on Segways instead of walking to the sights.

I wanted to scream or curse or laugh, but instead took a picture and kept rolling.

The next 10 or 12 miles was nearly all uphill to the lunch stop. As I was eating and relaxing Dick (our long lost 4th member) showed up.

Dick was riding a brand new mountain bike (with Cross tires) that has some considerable mechanical problems. Suffice to say he was hot (and I'd guess the store he bought it from has gotten an earful or two by now).

The next 20 or so miles were pretty uneventful, oddly windy, and otherwise fun. Dick and I chatted as we cruised down the road. He ended up catching a ride in Pringle (due to his mechanical problems) and I continued to Argyle road (our turn off to Hot Springs).

The picture here was the ONLY time I took my hands off the handlebars for the next 20 miles. The road was loose gravel, full of crazy up and down hills like the one pictured, and tons of turns. The uphill stretches came SO quickly after the downhills that I was halfway up before I even had to pedal. Gaining enough speed on the downhills means throwing caution to the wind and hoping I didn't skid out or fall. I made it, and was thrilled to stop and catch my breath chatting with a nice gentleman that was waiting at the last stop.

I waited for my friends the Phatt Butt Tired chicks from Colorado to show up and then we took the scenic road the rest of the way into Hot Springs.

I got a text with hotel info, and then found Snakebite in the hotel room smiling with the owner passed out on the bed. I stripped, showered, re-clothed and we made our way to dinner. I reloaded with the following
Bud Light
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Potato Salad
Steamed Vegetables
Lemon Drop Cheesecake (cheesecake factory!)

And then passed out in the hotel room before 8:30.

Thus ended the Big Mick.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

104 miles

I survived the big mick (and rode every mile of the century+ ). Full post and pictures starting tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Off to the hills

I've got a spiffy new camera to bring along (thanks Kari!)

I've got 2 good friends to go with.

I've got money, pedals, a great bike to ride(testing a demo mountain bike) from the LBS.

A well supported ride with tons of food (it takes a lot to drag me up and down hills).

Should be a great weekend. I'm going to take lots of pictures to put up when I'm back. If I have cell phone service I may try live-blogging a few pics.

have a great weekend


Next up, FABRAD in 2 weeks, then RAGBRAI 2 weeks after that-- I'm arranging a bunch of local yokels to head down for the first day (it's about a 2 hour drive). If you're interested get in touch with me so we can start arranging cars, bodies, bikes etc.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

4 dollar gas

This was funny, so I stole it from Biking Brady

Monday, June 16, 2008

Slipstream wins!

This weekend was full of good news on the American front in pro cycling. Team High Road (used to be T-Mobile) secured a new sponsor (and will change names for the Tour de France), Team CSC got a new sponsor, and Slipstream Chipotle won a smallish pro race . Levi Leipheimer also finished third in the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré which, if they'd Let Levi Ride, would have been a great tune-up for the TdF.

This week the Tour de Suisse continues, and you can catch the highlights Sunday afternoon on the Vs. network. I may not care for the cagefighting and bullriding on Vs. but I love me some bike racing each week. It's relaxing to listen to Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett (the same guys that announce the Tour de France for English speakers each year) detail bike races while I'm cleaning chains, fixing tires and fondling the bikes.

Just under three weeks until the tour. I need to make sure to clear enough space on my DVR before then. I also need to learn how to get data off the DVR and onto DVDs or hard drive space so I've got something to watch this winter on the trainer... anyone know how to do that? Sound off if you do. Thanks

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Just to be the man who biked 1000 miles

I couldn't find much for songs on youtube about biking 1000 miles so I figured a song about walking would have to do.

Anyway, just a quick celebratory post. I broke 1000 miles this morning on the road back from Canton. Kari gave me a great Father's day present watching Alex so I could go on the breakfast ride (she went out for her own ride later in the afternoon). I lost the sprint into Canton not because of a lack of power but due to poor strategy (namely, not getting right behind the motor that is Dick H. ) Next time I've got to bridge up quicker (I was 10 feet behind him and couldn't catch up without going in the red).

We had a helpful wind, but I was still pretty impressed by the numbers on the bike computer (we were holding 27-28 the last couple miles into town, and I topped out on the sprint near 33.

The rest of the day was spent casually, cleaning the apartment, then the four of us went to G&Gs for supper. We had all sorts of grilled meat products, beer, wine, treats, a huge fruit spread and more. Mom made carrot cake w/ cream cheese frosting (sooo delicious) and then the kids played kickball (Alex/Ali/Kari/Rob vs Taylor/Erika/Lance/myself) with Grandpa and Dad watching on. I think Dad was frustrated that we weren't calling foul kicks, runners out, etc-- we were loose with the rules to keep it fun.

This week will be filled with work work work, then leaving a little early on Friday to head to the black hills for The Big Mick. 100miles (and change) on Saturday, and the option of doing another 100 back to the car on sunday. I've also paid for a shuttle and plan to pack a book, so if I shuttle back I have something to do while waiting for Snakebite to arrive.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The boys

All 3 boys Taylor (boy12) Alex (boy5) and Nolan (boy1)

Me and the boys

This morning we (Kari, Taylor, Alex and I) got suited up for a ride. We took off and met the FAB coffee and donut ride at Scooters for treats. We left there and rode to Breadsmith to pick up a loaf of cinnamon walnut raisin bread for lunch before continuing to Pasley. Sarah and my youngest son Nolan met us there for lunch. Nolan devoured his bananas and carrots. Then we all left in different directions.

Ride on (w/ kids)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Windy Wandering Wednesday

So after work I raced home, dressed for biking, loaded up the race bike and drove over to Hot Stuff Foods/Orion Cul de Sac for the wandering wednesday ride. I called Jeff the racer (he doesn't like riding in the wind and stayed home) so I just putzed around to see if anyone showed.

Shortly after I got off the phone Amy (new in town) drove up in a huge pickup... seemed really weird seeing her step out of that beast. We got dressed and were just discussing taking the bike trail instead of the road when Tony and Beth drove up. We waited for them to get ready to roll (Tony is sporting a nice new Jamis road bike) and headed out of town.

Now, I'm not the top roadie in town by any stretch, but I do try to read and talk about cycling a lot. Biking Brady's recent posts highlighted that it's not enough to just be a strong rider, we need to take the opportunity to educate fellow cyclists. Since we had a group of mostly newbies tonight we discussed various tactics and tricks as we rode down highway with a fierce crosswind. We setup a sheltered spot from the wind, discussed railroad track crossing (hit it at a right angle), rode a nifty little paceline for the 2 miles directly into the wind, etc. All in all it was a fun trip. When we got back to the cul de sac there was a lot of phone number/email trading so we can all find more riding partners.

Tomorrow is the Time Trial, and with most of the riders out of town, it's all mine baby!*

*if nobody else shows up and Jeff is dumb enough to give me the prize for lazily pedaling 5 miles.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I hurt

I need to put up a pic of the damage to my bike shorts. The shammy cracked and split in half. Short rides would be a little uncomfortable but bearable. It wasn't until the stitching wore out and I could look at the chamois pad that had a 1 inch gap that the truly horrible red raw sores on my tush made sense.

Other, related saddle sores (the worn out stitching led to a lot of chamois sliding around causing chafing) make sitting on the toilet --usually a favorite activity--hurt lots.

I'm glad to be off the bike for a couple days. I can't wait to rejoin the tour thursday night/friday morning for more riding and eating and drinking


Saturday, June 7, 2008

101 miles.jpg

Kari and I had an epic day, riding Brandon to SF, then we drove to Mitchell. Biked back and stopped to meet Snakebite, Biking Brady and Mrs. Brady for a drink at Monks then rode home. We got in just as it started raining.

Our fuel
4 bags sport beans
2 16oz Amped drinks
112 oz gatorade
Boatloads of water
2 personal pizzas
18inches of subway goodness
2 bags cliff shots
1 beer
1 glass of wine
2 cliff bars
Lots of pride and stubborness

Now since my stupid car is in Mitchell we have to bike back tomorrow.

3 bike tubes
1 fancy michelin race tire (cut in the sidewall)
1 pair of cannondale bike shorts
Scuffs to Kari's bike


Monday, June 2, 2008


Tomorrow is the state democratic primary, which, by all accounts, will be very close.  In a weird twist of events, I was downtown on Friday afternoon for a work outing.  We were scouring Phillips ave for a scavenger hunt when David Kranz (the political columnist for the Argus) walked up and asked us a few questions about who we were supporting.  Too bad I couldn't work in anything about cycling (if he'd asked me about gas prices I'd have mentioned increasing bike commuting (fun, errands, work) keeps my gas budget the same.

Read on


Saturday, May 31, 2008


Finished in brookings with 78.4 miles. I'm wiped and loving the air conditioning in the car.

plus rick.jpg

We picked up Rick in Colton and he is riding up to Brookings with us

snakebite consults map.jpg

Snakebite consults the map on our epic journey. Why did that last sign say "now entering Wisconsin???"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weekend of fun

So this weekend is totally bike (and politics) filled.  Here's the agenda.  There's still time for you to participate in the various rides and fun times.

I answered a political telemarketer type call from the Obama campaign.  I'm a supporter (donated money) and will help out where I can.  Friday is some sort of meeting/dinner/something that "Ben" at the Obama office is emailing directions to.  I think when I get to the door I have to knock 3 times and repeat the secret passphrase to gain entrance.  An early night (I need sleep) will follow.

Saturday starts about 5am, as I'll need to meet Snakebite, the Mayor, Pedalpower, Biking Brady and Jody (no known blog).  We're pre-riding part of the Tour de Kota and, for Snakebite this is a gut-check practice weekend, as he's aiming to do 300miles between saturday and sunday.

I'll be coming back at noon so I can hit the FAB kickoff/spring meeting/pizza feed with Kari and the kids.  A short casual bike ride will follow (I'll be dragging Kid5 on the trail-a-bike).

Sunday is the FAB Family Ride (more kid5 on the trail-a-bike) and hopefully some Ice Cream.

Be there for 1 of the above events, or be square.

Oh, and super good news, the LBS is going to let me ride a loaner mountain bike for The Big Mick in mid-June!  100miles of gravel, yay!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Bikes

Kari and I in front of our new bikes! 

SIX 13 Feminine for her and TCR Advanced for me. Our first ride on the new bikes averaged 14.4 mph in fairly heavy wind.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a day of rest

Kari and I ended up riding Monday with the Mayor , Greg D and Road Legs on Monday. We left from Annie's in Rowena and went south, east (to iowa), north (thru Minnesota), stopped in Manley (I didn't know they had a town named after me!) and then back to South Dakota. It was a good day of riding and my second experience in my new road shoes. After 4 days riding I'm taking the night off (plus it has been sprinkling) to give my quads a break-- they've been tight all day.

A quick review of the new road shoes (Diadora Speed Racer)

1- velcro and adjustable ratcheting straps- way better than laces.
2- walking is for the suck
3- clipping in is harder with SPDs. SPDs and my "comfort" style recessed cleat shoes go together great (and clipping in is easy). I'm hopeful ultegra/dura ace style pedals and cleats work better with the road shoe.
4- the numbness that was plaguing my feet is not present.
5- climbing is great. I got out of the saddle and sprinted up some of the rollers and felt really stable.

These will definately be my long distance serious shoe. I'll probably stick with SPDs in some regular recessed cleat shoes for the casual rides (coffee & donut, pub crawls, etc).

In other news I should be picking up the new bike this week. I'm hoping to get it Thursday or Friday so I can take it for the ride on Saturday up to Brookings. If you don't know about it, Snakebite sent out a missive about a long weekend of biking (sf-brookings-huron saturday, huron-brookings-sioux falls on sunday). I'll be riding the sf-brookings leg of the journey saturday morning. If you want in for part of it, drop a line and we'll see what transportation can be accomodated.

Monday, May 26, 2008

it's been a great weekend

Friday was the inaugural HuHot to Monk's ride. Kari and I rode down to meet the gang before gorging ourselves on meat, noodles, vegetables and sauce. We had a LONG wait (the place was packed) but got the corner table so it was a little private. We rolled ourselves out and to our bikes, where we proceeded to roll downtown (minus a couple) to Monk's. Kari couldn't get her wine (they had it wednesday, but don't serve it by the glass on Friday.. wtf?) and the bartender was still a jackass. I like Monk's, but that guy needs an attitude replacement. Finally we rode home (lights on the bike for safety) along the bike trail.

Saturday morning saw us wake, slightly behind schedule to meet up with the coffee and donut ride (we had a good excuse! we were up late). It was cold and windy, so we were bundled up (3 layers on top). We rode down to meet the rollers (9 total) and went to the east side for coffee and treats at Dunn Brothers coffee. I'd never been there before and was really impressed with everything.

after we got home and cleaned/warmed up we went shopping, picking up bread and other goodies at breadsmith, fruits and veggies at hy-vee, test rode a couple women's bikes at SnS, and chatted up Jeff K at Two Wheeler Dealer. Then it was home to pack food and off to Luverne to watch Indiana Jones and Ironman at the drive-in. Indy was "ok". I like that they didn't try to lather a bunch of makeup and hair-dye on Harrison Ford and pretend he was still young. Shia was cool. Otherwise it was eh... there were lots of things where Lucas wanted a cool visual, then just ignored physics to make it happen (waterfalls, magnetism, everything in a star wars space scene, etc)

Sunday we slept in (LATE!). I had a text from Curt asking if I wanted to ride. I summoned 2 more fabbies (Darren and Craig) and we met down at falls park for a lil ride around the bike trail. Darren's new bike ( a touring bike called Creme Puff) is totally sweet. By the time we got home we had to rush thru cleanup and I drove to pick up Alex and Taylor. Got back after Kari had showered/dressed/shaved legs and we went to my parent's house. My youngest sister has been living up in Minneapolis while she goes to school for hair. She wanted a special family meal which mom dutifully cooked (and we attended). Fun was had by all.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

weekend rides

better get the word out early

Friday night there's a group of rollers meeting for supper at Western HuHot at 7pm (41st & Western Ave). Then we'll roll downtown to Monk's for conversation and/or more. Wear a helmet and bring bike lights (front and rear).

Saturday morning is a casual ride- FAB's coffee & Donut ride, meeting at O'gormon at 8am. There's also a ride that heads out of town, Harmodon park, 8am.

Saturday night they're playing Iron Man & Indiana Jones at the luverne drive-in, i'm not riding there, i'll take the car and enjoy the hell outta that double feature.

Sunday morning there's a breakfast ride, 8am 69th & Cliff down to Canton.

Monday morning I've been told there's a fast paced ride to Luverne, MN. It's a tradition apparently. I don't know much about this.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two of my good friends I met last year (Chris C. and Crystal S.) are in this Public Service Announcement our fair city put together. I don't know all the details, but this is pretty great. It needs airtime both for cyclists (buckle up for safety) and for drivers (bikes belong on the road, and your inattention can maim or kill them).

I was actually having a conversation yesterday about helmets. I'm less worried about a horrific accident (car slamming into me) than I am some stupid accident (of which I had a couple last year). A little inattention, someone else's carlessness, swerving to avoid pets/rollerbladers/swervy little kids on the bike trail, etc. Any of these things can cause a fall-- and most falls will end up with your head swinging into either the grass (if you're lucky) or the pavement (not so lucky) or sharp rocks (really unlucky). I'll hedge my bets and buckle up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


So I was down at the LBS today and saw they had the new Camelbak water bottles. I had just read an ad in Bicycling magazine about these bottles and had to give them a try. I bought two and gave one of them a try tonite- I love it.

It's weird, but I really like well made items. Some things have a level of craftsmanship/precision that makes them a joy to touch/use. Like the difference between an iPod and a generic MP3 player. Sure they both play music, but one has the right "feel".

This water bottle evokes a similar feeling-- it just feels "better". It has a bunch of features that make it slightly better than a normal water bottle-- a coating inside so your liquid doesn't taste like plastic. A very snug cap (won't pop off if you drop it-- i tried). A twist open top that you can use to select high/medium/low/none for the speed water comes out. But at the same time there's no dripping-- you can set the twist top for "high speed water" and tip it upside down and nothing comes out, not a drop.

Everything about the bottle evokes a feeling of craftsmanship-- they kept fixing/improving everything about a normal water bottle until they had a new, better creation.

I also picked up a pair of road shoes. More on those later. I don't have enough experience with them (22 miles) to really give a yay/nay about them.

But the water bottle- Totally worth 10 bucks. Go buy one!

Monday, May 19, 2008

100 mile weekend

I figure everyone else I ride with blogs, I'd better do the same. I'll pick up a camera and start taking pictures while riding soon.

Friday was Bike to Work day in my fair city. I wanted to wake up early and bike downtown for pancakes, but, eh... I'm SOOO not a morning person. I did manage to shower and pedal 12 minutes to work. Hopped in the bathroom for a lil presto-chango and it was work time.

Rode home at 5, showered and drove to pick up Alex from daycare. We drove out to Brandon to meet up with my gf and her son. We hung out at their house awhile, then zipped a few blocks away to pizza ranch for non-diet food/cake/soda (but what the heck, I'm carbing up for Saturday). Taylor, Alex and Taylor's cousins all played games next door at the County Fair, then opened presents. We went home and went to bed shortly thereafter.

The alarm at 6am was far too early, luckily I'm a boy and don't have to shower. I grabbed my bike clothes, dressed in normal clothes, threw the bike on the car and drove to mom & dad's across town. Kirk was picking me up for our trip down to Vermillion to a crazy ride Biking Brady was putting together. We got there about 8am and saw the first couple riders show up.

Kirk and I settled in with a beer, signed the waiver, then waited for the rest to show up. When they did we did our "Bunyan's Bombers" and started rolling out. The trip down to Martinsburg was easy and fun. At the first big turn I noticed a few riders had fallen off the back of the bunch (the trip across the bridge was about a mile uphill). I was pretty sure some of the riders didn't have a map, so I waited and Darren rolled up a minute later. We rolled alongside each other down thru Ponca, then west to Martinsburg for lunch. We were the tail end of the group, but had an enjoyable ride and still had plenty of time for food.

The food portions were enormous (suffice to say I didn't come close to finishing anything) and I was certain the grease wouldn't sit well with me. An hour or so after sitting down we started to roll home. A number of riders had arranged for rides and were taking a trip home by van/suv. The wind was considerably stronger now, others said 25-30mph with gusts in the 40s. I'm not a small guy and I was being blown around the road (I was blown off into the gravel once). Darren and I slogged our way home, taking frequent breaks.

On one of the uphills (there were tons, it was a hilly route) I looked down and saw my speedometer pegged at 4.6mph. Wow, I can run faster. The nice thing about all that wind was I was in no danger of overheating.

We stopped a couple times (and had 3 offers to ride home in an air conditioned vehicle) but I couldn't justify leaving Darren behind or wimping out. Roughly four (4) hours later we made it to Vermillion. I think some of the other bikers were worried about me-- I was a bit delirious, totally parched, seriously low blood sugar. It was rough.

16 oz of water, 20oz of grapefruit juice, liberal splashing water on my face and a change of clothes and I felt considerably better. Kirk and I headed for home.

Other stuff happened (saturday nite, sunday morning, sunday afternoon) but I'm running out of time and need to get to bed so I'll just tell the rest of the bike story.

Sunday night after dropping Alex off I was calling around looking for a recovery ride. My neighbor Curt was home so I rode around the apartment complex to his place, then we started rolling. He's on a Cannondale hybrid his dad bought him for xmas (his dad bought himself and all the kids bikes for xmas). We rolled down Tomar, over to the bike trail, then kept rolling around the trail. Curt was originally only in it for 6-8 miles (his longest ride to date was 10miles) but we kept going until he wanted to turn back. By the time we hit falls park we were starting to think about a full loop. Curt dropped his water bottle (and it spilled everywhere) so I gave him half of my bottle of gatorade. I didn't think we were in for a long trip, so I only brought 1 bottle.

I was awful proud of Curt, we rolled up Penitentiary hill and kept going. The lack of liquids (we were both out around the airport) started to wear us down. When we got to 41st street we had to get off the bike trail, so we used that opportunity to hit a gas station for water/gatorade. A bit more riding (we took city back streets-- it was too dark for the bike trail without headlights) and we made it home. 22miles of recovery ride, and I dinged the 100miles (give or take) for the weekend.