Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I got a nice package...

in the mail yesterday! Thanks CB!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I will learn from this mistake

Day 2 of my midweek weekend. I thought that I'd get an extra trainer session in this week at the LBS. Had to make a phone call afterward.

Me: Hi, Honey, I'm going to be a bit late from training.
Julie: Why?
Me: I need to make a quick stop at the clinic. I think I need a few stitches in my head.
Julie: What happened!?
Me: A bike wheel fell on my head.
Julie: What!? Are you okay?
Me: I'm fine, the bleeding is pretty much stopped.
Julie: Do you need me to pick you up?
Me: Nah, I'm fine.
Julie: You sure?
Me: Yup. If the walk-in clinic is isn't open yet, I'll go the to ER. I'll let you know where I end up and then I'll see you when I get home.
Julie: Okay. Love you.
Me: Love you, too, Hun.

I think that calling Julie two monthes into our dating, from the ER at 10:30p, with a broken leg suffered during a hockey game conditioned her to be quite capable of handling these types of calls and situations.

So, I thought I'd help the LBS clean up before they opened and hang my bike up where they store them. I was very much paying attention to the Madone and Cervelo on either side of my hanger and failed to noticed the tireless wheel that my saddle was knocking off its hook. Because I didn't notice this, the wheel came down and landed pretty much square on my head. It hurt a bit, but I was actually more concerened about whether or not I had knocked the wheel out of true. I didn't think much of it until the shop owner looked at me and said, "Yeah.... you're bleeding, ya better let me take a quick look at that."

Made the pit-stop on the way home to see the doctor. 2 centimeter cut. Nice clean cut. No stitches. She super-glued it back together. We chuckled a bit about what had happened and I was on my way. Only a half an hour delay in my day and I was on my way to the grocery store and then home.

Two very good speed workouts this week with some ply- and isometrics thrown in the middle of the sessions. Legs spent at the end of each, tough to walk up the stairs when I get home, but the next day feeling great. Hoping to maybe get an outdoor ride in on Saturday or Sunday.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Two days off mid-week with my bride, child in daycare today, mall pretty empty, 3x shot breve, full family day tomorrow. No complaints here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Circled

Have a weekend circled in April so that I can go ride the ST in this video. Thanks to Back of the Pack Racing for posting this on their blog and allowing it to be copied.

The course venue is near Gallup, New Mexico. The race is Dawn 'til Dusk. I had fun out there last April even though I had absolutely no business going out for the last lap that I did.

The workouts have already started and I cannot seeing my performance being any less than waaayyy better than previous.

Now I just need to find a cheap flight. I really wish that it weren't such a long freakin' drive. Would love to be able to load a few bikes into a vehicle and have choices of rides while out in NM and AZ for nearly a week.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I had a son who finally decided that it's okay to use the toilet at times other than when being told to, a dog that finally decided that it's okay to crap outside and I got out for a ride on the Rocky. Life is good.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Better to Build than Burn

Got together with Jay today to rebuild Apex Bridge at Beechwood. The large willow trunk that it crossed cracked some more and it had become quite sketchy. We pulled out the old pieces, did some eyeballing, some marking and Jay free-handed a few cuts with the chainsaw. Voila! Level anchor points. Okay, they're off slightly, but we'll call it close enough. Put the pieces back on. A little bench-cutting on the trail at the entrance and exit, and some anchoring. Solid piece of work. Sam and Josie were rolling toy trucks down either side and even they stayed on all the way down the declines. Maybe we now made the crossing too easy. But, that remains to be seen. When at the peak while riding over, looking to the right will have a rider seeing seven feet of nothing but air down to the ground.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Andy and Ron...

if you see this bike in the Madison area and the rider on it isn't named Conner, please remove the rider so that the bike can be returned to it's rightful owner. Thank you.

Since I haven't been able to ride, I started catching up on some builds. This was one of them on the list. Went to a neighbor's college son who moved off campus for his sophomore year. He had originally brought up a 24"-wheeled Roadmaster MTB that needed about $30 dollars in parts just to get anywhere close to being reliable. He hadn't ridden it for what he figured was about 6-7 years. Not to mention, Conner is just a hair under 6' tall. I wasn't about to let it go down like that. After a brief chat, and asking for his trust I started the search. For less than the value of the parts needed on the R-master I found and picked up this old steel steed that had been sitting in someone's basement for the last 5 years. Added fenders, picked up a lock and a seat leash and replaced the derailleur cables. Even had some leftovers on the shelf from previous projects to seal those two cable systems. The shifters were pretty gummed up, but got them working well. I had forgotten how many parts were in those trigger shifters.

Took it for a spin and it was working very well. I was quite pleased with the outcome given the small investment. Sold it to Conner for pretty much my cost. He was blown away with what he got for the money. The cost was equal to or less than what a lot of people are listing their used department store bikes. Was happy to help out a "poor college student" who is working hard to put himself through school.

Happy commuting, Conner!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not Happy at All

Was getting ready and looking forward to this, but ended up with this instead. Doing something simple, no warning. I'm now on my 3rd day being down. Don't know if I'll be able to climb onto the saddle or not.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Backyard veggie pick
Brutal mosquito haven
Much left on the vines.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Humidity high
Temperatures are as well
Hot, sticky and low

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bike to get popcorn
Support the local kids
Fam time is the best

We went to the zoo...

and saw dinosaurs! Except it seems that Julie and I no longer no the names of the dinos. They nearly all have names now that we can't pronounce. What happened to the simple brontosaurus, pteradactyl and triceratops? At least they've left the tyrannosaurus rex alone.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Sunday Wrap-up

Tour is over,
But it's not Schlek,
Contador again, what the heck!?

In the yard,
Mulch not spread,
Two bushes removed instead.

Cracked the shovel,
Trip to the store,
Spending money, not less but more.

Open the truck,
But the lock is broken,
More than a few choice words spoken.

Ton of rain,
Yard of mud,
Can't cut grass, may as well pound the p*d.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Alterra cancelled today. Some of the course is still under water. Not surprising as the hill in our backyard is still wet. Can't even think about cutting the grass.

Now have a month to get ready for this race. May even attempt it on the ss.

But for now I guess I'll try to finish spreading the mulch.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two pyramids of cucumbers. The inside height of the fence is 36". Lettuce, spinach and carrots in foreground look a bit wilted. Amazing how watering can make things look bad for a bit.
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The mess of squash. And this is after yanking a few because they were taking over the area.
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Julie behind our wall of tomatoes.
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Evening watering
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Washing the evening's harvest for dinner.
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Meant to get this up awhile ago. Sam's first night in a tent during the 4th of July. Did quite well. Hope to make a couple of camping trips with him.
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Monday, July 19, 2010


The spinach is nearing an end. The lettuce is still great. We may even be able to get a 2nd planting in before cover-cropping.

Salsa tomatoes are starting. Cayenne peppers are getting close. Green peppers are close. Plucked a Pinot Noir pepper last night. It was outstanding.

Tomato plants are 5' tall. Had to yank 2 squash plants because they were out of control. Cukes, peas, beans, carrots, watermelon and onions are coming along nicely.

Seems we did well on our first attempt.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Ride

Went out to Beechwood last night for the first ride on the new niner.

This is the build:

niner SIR9 frame
Vassago ODIS fork
crank bros Iodine headset
crank bros eggbeater sl pedals
Stan's ZTR Arch rims on Phil Wood SS Disc hubs
Sapim bladed spokes
Race Face Deus stem and bars
Avid bb7 brakes
Avid speed dial 7 levers
ergon grips
Race Face evolve SS crankset/bb
Thomson seatpost
WTB Laser V saddle
Alligator Fortress brake cables
Schwalbe Doc Blue sealant
Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires 2.25 rear, 2.4 front

There are a couple of changes that I'd like to make, but overall it's very close to exactly what I want. Current gearing is 34x19.

Did the parade lap just to feel the roll. Rolls very easy. A couple of brake and saddle tweaks and I was back on to head out for my lap. First two bridges felt good and I noticed that the bike when uphill far better than my old SS. I attribute that to the huge weight difference... especially in the wheelset and tires. I got into the first singletrack and tried to get a flow going. The bike responded well and went wherever I pointed it. That can be both good and bad in my case. It was also quite apparent that I chose wide bars. Tagged a couple of the trees.

As I got into the more rocky parts of the trail, I noticed that the front felt twitchy. Thoughts are I'm no longer used to a rigid fork, the contact patch on the 2.4 was just grabbing more or tire pressure was too high and I was bouncing off the rocks. I'm going with pressure at this point. I don't quite have this tubeless thing figured out yet. Heck, I'm still nervous about not having tubes. I get plenty of input from others about pressure from others, but I'm also nearly twice the size of some of the others.

I was able to roll the rock gardens better than ever. Got up some climbs that I didn't think I'd make my first time out. The tighter sections where aim and go. Steering didn't require much input. The bike is quick and even more comfortable than I thought it would be.

It all added up to the best first lap I've ever had.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Latest Build... This One's for Me

Finally finished this... seems like I was waiting forever and a day for some of the parts. First ride report to come shortly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Build

A few months back I arrived in AZ days before my bike frame did. I did my miles on the NM course on a borrowed trusty old steed. I enjoyed the ride of that brand so much, I had to build one.

Who knew that you could find these frames for $95?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Had the chance to work outside all day today. It was wonderful. Fresh air, nice temps. I have the same possibility for tomorrow, but it's supposed to rain... I think I'll delegate the task tomorrow and see what the weather will bring Monday.

Other things? Not much at all really. Just in a funk. Don't know what will take me out of it. Hope that it ends soon.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just watched our 13 year old pug defend our yard from our neighbor's 1-1/2 year old golden retriever... twice. Bella 2, Midas 0. Now that's entertainment. Good girl, Bella.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Urban Ride

Well, Flagstaff urban. A bit different from normal urban. Did the urban trail with some built in sight-seeing with Dana, Chris' wife... aka Rocket Girl. She was very kind to me today and there was no dropping of the big guy. Have no idea how far we went battling with the wind off and on. Think we were out for a bit over an hour. Pavement, gravel, some dirt and a little cyclocross up an embankment at the end of a double track. Nice little spinning ride. Big thanks to my tour guide. Oh yeah, the dos finally arrived... in one piece even.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fuel Hits New Mexico

Packed the bags for a AZ-NM-AZ-OK trip. Shipped out the bike and wheels and hopped the plane bound for Flagstaff to meet up with CB.

If you look closely, you may notice that my bike is not on the back of the car. Thank you FedEx for shipping it to California instead of Arizona. Luckily Chris still has his old 26" hardtail Diamond Back around. That was to be my ride for the weekend.
We headed east toward Gallup, New Mexico on Friday with Chris' friend Joel. Started the pre-ride and found that I was really struggling for air at nearly 6,500'. That's quite a change from the near 800' where I normally breathe. Took the climbs slooowwww and steady and just enjoyed the mesa views and surroundings. The course is a thirteen mile single track loop in the high desert just west of Gallup. Nice flowing spots with moment climbs thrown in. Trail was hardpack... unless you got off the side. Then, sand would easily grab your front wheel and throw you into the air. Trust me, I know. A couple of the climbs were grinders and there were some fun techie sections as well. Had a few places where missing the corner was not an option, unless you preferred to be on a steep, rocky slope that would put you far below the trail line. While I didn't get the miles in that I wanted, I did get in a lot of saddle time that really worked the handling skills. Great venue, great hosts, great vibe.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Opening Day

Nope, not baseball, something much more important.
Merklein, Jaybird and I hit the trail. MC joined us later, but is still being hampered by a hockey injury.
So glad I didn't have any other plans and was able to make it out to the dirt.

Suddenly, 2010 seems much more balanced and right.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

a couple rides

Last evening, we put a couple new goodies on the bro-in-law's roadie. A 10-mil shorter stem and pedals to be specific. We burned 20-25 minutes of daylight so we opted for the backyard crit. It is really nice having a 1-mile 'round the block adjacent to my back lot line. A few warm-up laps and the 'call your sprint' sessions began.
"2nd fire hydrant. Go!"
"Street sign past the driveway. Go!"
"Driveway at the top of the incline. Go!"
You get the picture. After a number of these little burners, we did a few sunset cool-down laps and called it a night. Wobbly legs going up and down the stairs afterward. Must have been a good night... or so I thought. Called Chris during lunch today. He wasn't sore, I wasn't sore. Guess it wasn't as good as I thought. I told him that it's easy to modify the crit lap to include a climb that can be sprinted every lap. I'm not sure how keen he was on that idea. I'll talk him into it Wednesday night. Weather pending of course. If we end up indoors, I have just the DVD in mind.

This evening, Julie and Sam went out for a walk with "Aunt" Meg and I hopped on the old steel steed. 70 minutes in before sunset. I hate uphills. I hate headwinds. I really hate uphills into the wind. I love being on my bike. Especially when it's still mid-March in Wisconsin and there's no need for booties, long fleece-lined legs or long sleeves.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Today's Question

What would give you more joy - a master suite or a sibling for Sam?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

The other day

I was waiting to pull out of a parking lot. A first generation Saturn was in front of me. In the rear window was a large sticker that said Bad Boy Club with some type of pseudo-tough looking cartoon-like face in it. I snickered to myself a bit and then realized that I had better stop so that the driver didn't notice what I was doing. Because, after all, the plastic chromed hubcaps and the mock chainlink license plate frame screamed Bad Boy.

The Toyota has been in the shop and I've been driving this:

Guess I better go get a sticker.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mmmmmmmmm... Lunch

Was out of coffee at home. I have now discovered that I can get to Fuel Cafe and back in well under an hour with two pounds of coffee and a pesto melt. Yum.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good, but smart?

Started the day with some scratch oatmeal/apple/cinnamon pancakes thanks to Julie. So tasty and so much to stick the ribs. That and some fresh perced coffee and the day started just right. Time with the youngster this morning. I am still in awe of how quickly he changes. Not the drastic changes that I say when he was less than a year. Now the changes are things like new words and phrases just "appearing" and seeing the cognitive thought process starting. Life is amazing.

Took Rocky-cross out for a spin today. Thought I'd get some base work in outside rather than in the basement. Just set out and didn't really have a plan. Before I knew it, I was out near DoubleB's homestead. I had, earlier, reached down out of habit and realized that I truly wasn't on my road bike... no cages. I was now well past an hour in and had no fluids to replenish what I was burning. It may have been only twenty-six degrees, but I had worked up a powerful thirst. I made a few turns and I was in a friendly subdivision. Pulled up to the door, knocked, no one home. Dang, had been hoping for a big glass of H2O. Called Ben just to be sure that he wasn't in the basement too into his arcade games to hear the doorbell. Turns out I missed he, Jess and Quinn by about ten minutes. Oh well. Back on the saddle, clipped and turned toward home. Came into the driveway with 1:45 logged today. Felt good except for some early inclines. But I think that may have been due to no real warm-up. But then again, I'm not sure I feel good on any inclines. I'm trying to address that with a two-pronged approach. Hope it works.

Weekend is nearly over. Presentation to senior staff looming tomorrow. Hope to sneak a day off this week. I'll need to look at the forecast. The outside time was good for the soul today.

Happy Sunday all y'all.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just fixed the doorbell on our Distribution Center with my Leatherman.
Just fixed my cubicle with my Leatherman.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Not Base

Last night Chris and I spun. We've been going mostly pretty easy during these Wednesday night sessions. Last night was not that way. The set that finally really hurt was 4x3mins in Big x 15, 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off. The minute between intervals seems like it was barely enough to get some fluids. Today, quads are sore. But, the good news is that my hams and calves are feeling the work as well. Maybe my circles are getting a touch better. Will burn some acid out tonight and then work on some more base.

Sam told Julie that I'm sick today. Wish I had known. I would have stayed home.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blame Favre?

Answer from me? No. While he did have the dagger, there were far too many mistakes made before that time. The better team lost. But given the fact that they gave the ball away 5 times means that they didn't deserve the win. It's fun listening to all the rhetoric going around now.

Now, Vikings fans, prepare for five months of, "Should I stay or should I go?" Will he be back? It all depends on how much you feed the ego. If he does come back, bet it's not for an entire training camp.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Julie's away for the weekend. Last time she did that it meant rough-housing for Sam and some quiet time for me. That quiet time included a lot of Guitar Hero with a number of real Whiskey Old-fashioned Sours. Wonder what it will bring this time. Some sledding, some trainer time with the bro-in-law, some football, some pizza... and maybe an Old-fashioned or two.

Happy Friday, All y'all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Outdoor Spin

Predicted temps for yesterday were near 40. That made the cabin fever set in a bit. Took care of some small items in the morning in hopes that the low 20s would make it to the near 40s. I waited and waited and waited. The mercury - well the digital thermometer - struggled to break the freezing point. But, it was sunny and didn't look bad out. Layered up and hit the road and scattered-slippery-spot multi-use trail for about 1:10. I was hoping that the Bugline had seen more hikers, but it was far from being packed enough to be rideable. 32.9 degrees when I left; 32.2 degrees and falling when I got back. Seems I hit the high mark of the day. Saw many others out. CC skiing, walking, jogging and sledding. Good to breath outdoor air rather than basement air. I also hit one of my many mini goals on another journey I'm taking. It makes me smile but I must now press on to the next one.

Happy Monday, all y'all.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Higher Temps

Julie is out running a few errands this morning. Sam and I just made a few adjustments to the Rocky-cross. Sunny, warmer... no basement trainer today.

Hope all y'all can get out today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Clark, Late Fall 2000 - January 10, 2010

This is difficult to type, but I wanted to let you know that our sweet and gentle pointer Clark passed away this morning after seven years with us. Looking back, we cannot believe that it has been that long. Looking ahead, we have trouble picturing our lives without him.

After surviving the abuse and starvation that he endured at the hands of his original owners, we were lucky enough to have him end up in our home. His spirit and gentle ways were qualities that rubbed off on everyone that he was around. His personality made us laugh. His loyalty made us proud. All of our family and friends felt comfortable and secure with Clarkdog. He was a warm pillow for Sam, a playmate for our twelve year old pug, the best dragonfly hunter around and a wonderful hiking companion.

About 3am this morning, his breathing was a bit labored and it seemed that he wasn't able to get comfortable for very long periods of time. About 9am, he had another small seizure and I laid back down on the floor to help console him while he went through it. After a bit of time, his eyes started moving around again and his breathing came back to normal. I was talking to him and petting his head when he lifted his head, looked at me with those sweet amber eyes of his, put his head back down, took three deep breaths and expired.

He looked so quiet and peaceful. All I could do was shake in disbelief as I pet him and gave him a hug.

The house has been oddly quiet today. No clicking of his nails. No tags jingling as he did his "squirrel dance" at the front windows or patio doors. A huge, loving part of our family is gone. The seven years we were fortunate enough to have with him now seem like a blink in time.

Thank you to the GSP Rescue for bringing Clark into our lives. Thank you to "Aunt" Mindy and "Aunt" Patty of the GSP Rescue of Wisconsin for nursing Clark back to health so that he could come to our home and be part of our family.

Clark truly was a good boy. He will be forever in our hearts and will be missed dearly.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Does Anyone Have Trike Rollers?

So, Santa brought this for Sam.

Last night when he saw Chris and me on our dreaded trainers, he moved his bike to join in. He did his part to keep us motivated. Guess it's time to custom build some rollers.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Big Dog was doing well this morning. I know he was feeling better because he ate. Not at his normal feverish pace, but he ate. I'll take small pluses with him right now.

I hate being on a trainer, but I'll be on it in the basement tonight. Bro-in-law is coming over for the restart of our Wednesday night rides. Soon will be Beechwood Tuesdays. Throw in a couple more rides for good measure and all will be well. I'm growing impatient already.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Clark wasn't doing well last night or this morning so Julie made a call to the doctor and I was able to take him in this evening. It doesn't look good. After nearly five years of clean health, it appears that the cancer is back. Unfortunately, it seems as though it has come back as Cushing's Syndrome and it is very likely that there is a tumor on his pituitary gland. This means that it is inoperable. We will do our best to treat the symptoms and keep him as happy as possible. He will have good and bad days and we will prepare for something that we don't want to have happen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I am very sad and concerned. Our big dog had a seizure this weekend. He seemed to recover well, but he's acting a bit out of character tonight. I hope he didn't have another episode during the day today. Doctor for him on Thursday.