Saturday, March 28, 2009

trail time is happy time

got out this morning with jeff and trevor. made it out earlier than yesterday so the trails were actually better, frozen a little more solid. another fun ride. good to get reacquainted with the jabber with ouachita just around the corner.

Friday, March 27, 2009

cold nights and stolen shit

took advantage of the freezing temps overnight to get out on the trails for about 2 hours this morning before the sun worked its magic. not wanting to damage the trails and having ridden almost everything in the ice cave and van peenen area (some of it both ways) i decided to call it a day. good to be back on the jabber and back on the trails. hopefully getting back after it again tomorrow before biddy basketball. hoping to roll out around 7:30 if anyone's interested. ogaras a maybe. speaking of ogara, you can read his take on what happened here. i can honestly say to whoever did this, it is in your best interest that the police figure out who you are before jeff does. it is unfortunate the number of people in this world that just plain suck. the amount of trash dumped from cars along our trails, riders leaving blown tubes along the trail, empty wine bottles left in the glory hole (although it did cause me to smile briefly), people riding through the mud and tearing up the trails before the trails are ready, thieves. get a job and buy your own shit. pack out what you take in. there's plenty of days to ride, don't fuck up the trails for everyone else because you're too impatient to wait a few more days. i don't like getting on a soap box but come on people...just try not sucking.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

transiowa on the brain

took off yesterday and rode up to rochester to pick up the vue with her newly replaced tranny. it was a good day/excuse for doing some gear testing for transiowa. cold, rain, wind and a good mix of all kinds of gravel conditions. 92 miles total with somewhere around 50-55 of it on gravel. picked up the vue, devoured some chipotle, headed to blockbuster to pick up some new music (slipknot and jack johnson) for the transiowapod, then to kathy's for a beer, and finally hit burger king on the way out of town. very happy with how the body handled the ride. looking back on yesterday's ride leaves me with a few thoughts:
1. hands down number one....listen to my body. i paid very close attention to how i felt yesterday and continued to feed the mechanism. this was the best i've ever felt on a long ride.
2. the gearing change was a good idea. no more stubborness. in fact, if the weather looks potentially crappy for trans then i will drop a few more teeth and run a 34x16. legs felt good even after i finished yesterday.
3. meat. yesterday i took some venison with me and it was awesome riding food. had a fair amount of energy bars and gu but when it was time to eat, a few slices of venison summer sausage was perfect.
4. i'm getting bibs and i'm getting bib knickers. no more waist bands and no more knee warmers for long rides. the constriction around my thighs/hamstrings encourages cramping.
5. heavy packs suck but i'm gonna go with one again this year. would have made it 100 miles on two bottles and a full bladder. tools in the seatpack. food, clothing, ipod, light/battery in the pack.
6. last year's set up proved itself useful again using a topeak bar extender to attach directions to.
7. guitar ted, if you're listening, we need to install these little cabins like they have on the root river trail along the route of transiowa this year. preferrably with someone grilling for participants. made a great place to stop and eat and throw on a rain jacket when the skies opened up yesterday.
8. "b" roads may be nasty but choosing to ride through road closed signs into a stretch of hilly road construction may seem like a shortcut but after walking a mile and a half in ankle deep clay with wheels unable to even turn left me wishing for "b" roads.
9. tire selection. still wrestling with this one. hard not to go with 32's cause they roll noticeably faster. but the 38's are more comfy and actually lower tread so not giving up as much as you'd think in the rolling resistance. for now i need to at least replace the slow leaking tube up front. started yesterday at 60psi up front and i'm guessing i finished between 30 and 40.
10. transiowa's out there. no bullshit there. its out there and its coming fast. happy training to anyone smart enough (?) to throw their hat in the ring.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

stubborness only gets you so far

and cirrem served up a healthy dose of humble pie. and somehow in the process of learning this lesson for the umpteenth time i lost 5 teeth. i've known for a long time that the gear i've been trying to push on my fisty is extremely tall. my rationale all the way along has been that i don't want to be spun out in the flats. i've been pushing this gear for a year and a half and two of the worst condition days i've had have been last years transiowa and this years cirrem. lesson learned. when the conditions get too windy or too wet i am simply forcing too much lactic acid into my legs by trying to push that gear. i've known this for some time but i've been too stubborn to change it. not really sure why....felt like i was letting myself off easy by not sticking to my original plan of how i wanted to finish transiowa. whatever. so i'm no longer running 42x16. i've dropped 5 teeth on the chainring and am currently testing out a 37x16 setup. conditions are supposed to be rainy and cold tomorrow so i think i'm gonna try to push it to rochester. should be a stiff tailwind mixed with soft gravels which should give a good idea of how i like the gearing in less than favorable conditions. i've done this ride before and been anywhere from 85-100 miles depending on the exact route and how many turns i miss. scott was there for the 100 miler and we sucked at following directions that day. guessing a 6-7 hour ride ending at the saturn dealership to pick up the vue with a new transmission, which somehow ended up being replaced under an extended warranty that i didn't even know existed. so the ride will most likely end up cold and wet and followed by some pretty interesting looks from the fine folks at the dealership. from there i plan to murder some chipotle. best. restaurant. ever. this will probably be one of my last real long rides for a while as i'll be tapering for ouachita and then racing too much in april to put on big miles which will effectively turn april into one fairly long taper leading into transiowa the first weekend of may.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

yesterday's abuse

that i received for riding a road bike three days in a row took its toll on me so i got out before work today and got another metric in. 62 miles of gravels from here to harmony and back. hopefully now i'm back in the cool club. had a few cobwebs to shake loose from celebrating st. paddy's day but otherwise an absolutely gorgeous morning.

somewhere just south of the minnesota border

similar to yesterday's picture, but better

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

three in a row...

yep, three straight days on the road bike. three straight days of riding without seeing a speck of dirt. three straight days of shifting. gonna try to get in a fixed gravel metric tomorrow before work to cleanse the soul a bit. unless of course st. paddy's day has something to say about my motivation tomorrow morning.

my best roadie impression really is a road bike

Monday, March 16, 2009


late night at work saturday led to sleeping in a bit sunday. woke up to the promise of warm temps so started the day getting the motorcycle running. headed out and got the tank filled up then opened it up on the highway just long enough to get it good and warm and let my face freeze remembering that going 70 mph without a windshield creates a pretty serious wind chill effect. then it was time to hop on the...wait for it...road bike *gasp*. yeah...that damn torture maching that does that shifty thing and shudders at the sight of a small piece of gravel. but met up with a group of 5 roadies and let them beat me into the ground for 4 hours. rode in knee warmers and a short sleeve jersey...felt amazing. i don't ever remember getting a sunburn this early in the year but unfortunately my gingerness reared up and i got fried. for those that don't know, sunburns affect me physically beyond just the pain of the burn. really bad ones will make me physically sick for a couple days. the kind i got yesterday just wastes me. went to a movie with the fam shortly after the ride and actually fell asleep in the theater. dinner of smoked salmon and cheese and a couple boulevard dry stouts and it was lights out for me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

trail/ride report

as requested. first off, yes we rode and it was a riot. jeff and i headed towards palisades first. the new section of dead pet is rideable end-to-end. a couple small sections are difficult but its a difficult trail. the original parts of dead pet are very sketchy. riding over glare ice on top of a rock garden certainly leads to some laughs but you're definitely looking at some pain if you go down. middle pali is all rideable including the log ride. the switchbacks were soft and difficult, the road crossing is treacherous. upper pali is still a no-go. turned around and rode back down, riding everything we had ridden on the way up. a mixture of mud and ice here and there but otherwise worth riding. took the road toward the old wold's entrance. hike-a-bike up the crappy asphalt hill and head left instead of going up boa. super sketchy walking up the first hill but you get to the mother's day trail soon enough. every bit of mother's day is rideable. went up and down almost everything at least twice. its in great shape as long as you pay attention for the occasional spot of ice. pretty sure the rest of the trails are worthless. oh, we did ride river trail west to east and rode the whole thing. again, a fair amount of ice but toilet bowl is actually in good shape and the climb is clean. if you're jonesin' for dirt, there's plenty to be had. pali was fun but if you want something more continuous i'd just head for mother's day and ride some loops. i wouldn't expect much else to be worth riding right now. for that matter these trails are probably getting too soft as soon as the sun comes out and the temp starts pushing 32. it was awesome to ride dirt again and i'd guess any night that gets below freezing might lead to a decent 7 a.m. ride if you're willing to get after it that early. i think jeff and i ended up getting in about an hour and a half of riding. on dirt. on march 12th. i'll take it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

hanging out with joe dirt tonight...

pronounced "deer-tay". that's right kids...first dirt ride of the year tonight. ogara's been out doing recon and we've got enough bare trails to make a decent loop and with the temps staying low they should be hard and fast. most likely won't be able to ride them again for a while as the temps warm up and the ground starts heaving some more so come get it while you can.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

re-evaluating the weekend

in light of the repair estimate on the vue that took a dump on my way down to cirrem, i'm attempting to change the way i look at the weekend. here's what i've come up with so far...
-i purchased a $6000 sculpture from squirrel, however he gets no part of that money (sorry man)
-i bought a pair of $6000 oakleys rather than accepting them as schwag for winning the fixed gear category
-i was fined $6000 for poor taste in facial hair
-my cirrem registration, although posted as a free will donation, actually came out to $100 per mile
yeah, none of this is really helping the fact that they want six grand to replace my f-ing transmission. this is worse that triple d ruining my cell phone the first year. even to get a used one put in there would be over four thousand after labor. so i'm now on a mission to find a rockin' ass minivan to haul me and my bikes around the country. i'm excited about that part but not the thousands i've lost in trade-in value. so it is.
more thoughts on cirrem...first, photos here. there's a couple pics in there that start to capture the misery that the sky dropped on us. second, thanks again to kent and jed for throwing this little party. do it again...i'll most likely be back. i was absolutely impressed by the difficulty of the course given its central iowa location and my northeastern iowa bias. third, congrats again to anyone who threw down whether you finished or not. you could have been sitting home watching the t.v. and stuffing your face. you're better for it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


cause i'm spent and i hurt. car broke down on the way to des moines last night. waited two hours on the shoulder with a 5 year old watching scooby doo til the sis came to get us and take us to des moines so i could still race. conditions were miserable beyond words. 2" or so of rain before we started and 35-ish degrees with driving hail/sleet/wind/shit during the race. 62 miles of gravels took me five and half hours. 1st place fixed. would have put me in the top three ss and i think i was 9th overall. i'm happy. half the field dnf'd. i've ridden something like 2000 gravel miles this winter and this was the first time i've had to walk a hill. and i walked a lot. it was a thorough beatdown and i had to battle demons i haven't faced in a long time. bonked. cramped. frozen and drenched. felt like a huge accomplishment just finishing. more later.

Friday, March 6, 2009


-fixed gear trophy for cirrem looks super cool. no idea who's gonna be there let alone who i'll be racing against in the fixed category. but know this...i fully expect to get throttled by the roadies that show. oh, and the weather is supposed to suck. that kinda makes me smile.
-being sick has taken me off my bike. while this means i'm not getting any faster or adding any base this week, it does mean that i'm truly starting to rawk at guitar hero. ok, i still kinda suck but i'm getting better. i don't really RAWK!!! i just kinda rock.
-ari is right. transiowa is right around the corner. yes, its 2 months away but this beast sneaks up on you like a silent ninja assassain. you spend so long preparing for it, so many brutal winter miles with no sign of t.i. then one day you wake up and its 4 a.m. and you're sitting on your bike wrapping your head around what's in front of you. 2 months left of training and its about time to start getting in some gear training. full pack of everything i think i might need over 30+ hours on the bike so i can start adding/subtracting til i think i might be as minimalistic as i can possibly be and still get through.
-jabber and fisty are shiny...crazy freakin' clean. pretty much thanks to the weather and my health. now that those are clean its time to get this guy ready...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

so far

the following remedies have been tried in an attempt to kick this crap out of my body before cirrem...
sleep...lots and lots of sleep...mostly nyquil induced comas.
no biking.
echinacea (in 2 different forms)
saline nasal spray
herbal ear cones
drastic increase in vitamin c intake
daily water consumption equal to most weeks
2 trips to the chiropractor
lemon chamomille tea with honey
blackberry brandy, honey, hot water and lemon
humidifier placed roughly 12" from my face while sleeping
hour-long professional full body massage
healthy dose of fresh air today-it was over 60* so i picked larsson up from preschool and headed to the trout hatchery where we ran into bill and zoe and got to see some MONSTER broods

i absolutely hate being sick. hopefully turned a corner on this thing today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

feels like

i'm swallowing these...
i'll be on the couch if anyone needs me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

happy birthday chris!

yeah...another birthday post. if it seems like a lot lately that's because both my brothers, my son and myself have birthdays within a span of like 3 weeks. pretty sure chris is the reason (despite genetics) that i have the aerobic abilities i do and the desire to push myself the way i do. he's six years older than me and i grew up watching him run. its why i got into running cross country in the first place. he made his appearances at state in high school for track and cross country and ended up an all-american in the 800 while at luther. he's also pretty much the reason i ended up at luther as well. his competitiveness was beyond contagious and i think adam would agree what our drive in athletics was influenced greatly by chris. i'll never forget the sound of his bark on those days he came home from college to make it to my high school cross country meets. way better than a packet of gu. by my calculations i wouldn't say chris is really starting to push 40...more of a gentle nudge at this point. hope you have a good one chris.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

thanks scott

for the well deserved kick in the ass. three and a half hours in a sub-zero wind chill and felt good in the legs despite falling off the sleep wagon pretty drastically friday night. looking forward to getting back into competitive mode this weekend in des moines.

requisite bridge pic with evidence of the recent massive ice migration