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