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.