Monday, March 31, 2008

Come On Already!

I got out for 12 miles today. The snow was coming down so hard, that my glasses would cake up in less than two minutes. When I'd take my glasses off, I had to squint so tight that I still couldn't see. The snow didn't let up until about 9pm tonight.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Coffee

Good friends, nice scenery, no wind, great conversation (everything bike), delightful temps, sunny...I didn't want to stop, but after yesterday, knew I had to come in. God I love riding my bike! 51/17.5

Saturday, March 29, 2008

White Bear Lake, Stillwater, Afton

First Orbea ride of the season, temps in the mid 40's, 4 very strong smart riders, big hills, brutal head wind, tail wind home, 92 miles, 19.3 mph average...priceless.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Two Bikes One Ride

Took the DeRosa out for it's maiden ride today. It's a nice ride. Over the Winter, I finally figured out the problem with the headset, and it's as solid as a rock now. The steerer plug had come just slightly loose. A simple problem to fix, but it was hard for me to figure out what was wrong. The issue with the joints, where the aluminum rear drop outs and carbon seat stay come together, appears to be unfixable. Over the miles a lot of play has developed. It's just worn to a point where there's now a lot of give and I get movement in the rear wheel like the cones need to be tightened. Still, with the minimal amount of riding and its single speed status, I should get some great leisurely miles out of it.

I'm taking the Orbea out tomorrow and wanted to do a pre-ride just to make sure everything was working well. It's a good thing I did. The front derailleur needed to be adjusted. It rubbed on the chain in the big ring when I was in the 21,20, and 19 cog. I know. I don't need to be told I'm not suppose to ride it like that. Climb Ohio , or High Bridge with me and tell me I'm doing it wrong then.

Great ride tonight. Lots of sun, the bikes felt great, and oooohhh the shear ecstasy of being on my Orbea. What a bike! 25/15.5

Thursday, March 27, 2008

That Was So Much Better

Dressed a little warmer today, that made all the difference. It felt great to be out, even if it was in the thirties. The sun was even out. I was all wrapped up and felt like eighty degrees...perfect! Went up into Theo Wirth and then over to 2nd and along River Rd into Downtown Mpls. I got buzzed by a guy in a Honda (car) along River Rd. I'm used to it, but he got closer than most of the other assholes do. (In my experience on the road the large majority of drivers are courteous and patient) When he went by I saw on the passenger side of his windsheild, (it covered the whole passenger half of the windshield) that it was all smashed. It looked like it was ready to fall into the car. That made me a little nervous figuring he had already hit one cyclist and wasn't worried about hitting another. Cars are like guns, they kill or maim people based on how and by whom they are being used.

Little slippin' and slidin' on Minnehaha Parkway. They're doing some work on shoring up the banks of the creek. The machines are bringing mud and dirt onto the road, and my rear wheel moved to the right when all I expected was for it to go forward. That maxed out my heart rate. Got it 236 miles for the week. Considering the shity weekend weather, I'm very pleased. 40/17.3

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Tough ride tonight. Don't know why. Maybe it was the wind. Just didn't feel on top of it. Did the Bloomington hill ride, but cut it short. 30/15.5

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


It was like I was being followed, for the last half of my ride. The sun brought out a lot of cyclists, and runners. The kite-boarders were out on Lake Calhoun again, and I got to ride with my shadow, which I haven't ridden with for quite awhile. Nice ride! 37/16.3

Monday, March 24, 2008


Took the cx out tonight. The roads are in good enough shape for the "B", and I'll be out on it tomorrow. It was good to be out. 35/15.9

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Services

Shortened up the ride a little today, because of more snow and I'm having the family over for Easter Dinner. I gotta get all the pies, the ham, potatoes, salad all the good stuff ready for when they show up. There'll be grand kids bouncin' all over the place.
I went up through Theodore Wirth Park today, and just stayed on trails. Like the last couple of days, it was beautiful, with the snow. I came home through Downtown Minneapolis, across the Stone Arch Bridge, and along the mill ruins. Lots of really cool stuff to see. The view of St. Anthony Falls from the Stone Arch Bridge is always a little scary. The falls look and sound so powerful. 32/14.3

Saturday, March 22, 2008


December 1st of 2007 we took off on a ride out to Excelsior, about 15 miles. 5 hours later we got home. The snow was deep and there was a brutal head wind on our way back. There has been snow on the ground since. I took the Cannondale out on it's inaugural ride of the season back then.

Today I took the Cannondale out for what I hope is it's final ride of the season.
I hate to admit it but it was beautiful out again today, and I enjoyed my ride. I went solo not knowing what to expect from the snow, and found that after about an hour of riding, the temps warmed up enough, that I didn't really need the all of the hardware the Cannondale gives me.
Nevertheless, it's a cool bike that I've modified over the years and turned into a hardtail that can take on some pretty extreme weather and terrain. I bought it in 1998.
Lake of the Isles has some hellacious pot holes in the road around it. This bike is so tough that I was passing cars, because I could fly through, around and over all the moon like craters.
I'm really in the road mode now, and just want to be going long, hard and fast. Hopefully I can be on the Orbea by the first of April. Again, it was a nice ride today, but I am so ready for smooth, dry, fast, roads. 3 1/2 hours 49/14.4

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beautiful Agony

It's amazing what you can see in just an hour of riding. It's hard to be upset about something so beautiful, but today's snow puts a crimp in tomorrows plan for 80 miles.
These pictures were taken at Lake Calhoun and along Minnehaha Creek. I've lived in Minneapolis all my life except for a stint out West for college, and getting my career off the ground. I never grow tired of the beauty here in the heart of the city. This is a delightful place to live, for many reasons, but it's beauty has to be one of the top five reasons to live here. Winter in Spring is one of a few reasons I'd leave, but I'm not going anywhere.
Just a spectacularly beautiful ride today. 13/13.5

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good Week

The Hammer is everywhere!
It's been a good week of riding. I felt strong and have even noticed a little Spring in my legs. Just took it easy tonight and rode over and along the Mississippi. Saw quite a few cyclists out. Got in 275 miles for the week. I'm very pleased with that. 35/16.7

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Feeling Good

Warm temps, road bike, good company are all the makings of a nice ride. I've got a little hill ride route down into Bloomington and back, that I like to do. A friend likes it too, so we've been doing it together for almost a year now. Our best average speed last year was about 16.5mph. Today we clocked in at 16.2mph, and feel pretty good about that, since it's early in the season.
I felt strong yesterday and today. Building up the miles and then the speed seems to be working again this year, although the weather and being sick has put me behind where I was last year at this time. I think I'm about a week or two back. I've got all of April to catch up, and don't see a problem.
My friend is great. She carried the water bottle for both of us while we were doing the hills.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thoughts About The Last Five Years

It's unbelievable how inept Pres. Bush has been at everything he's done. His inability to speak English is only surpassed by his willingness to give our money to his friends. Then there's the "my way only" attitude, which alienates the rest of the world. His arrogance at claiming he is the "decider" shows just how out of touch he is with the people of the United States. We are the government, we are the deciders, we are who he answers to. He is our employee. We pay his salary. Nevertheless, he treats us as if we don't exist, by not listening to the will of the people. At best he acknowledges our existence by raising his middle finger to us.
He lied to us, like a little child to his parents, so he could get his way and go fight a needless war in Iraq. Wednesday March 19th will mark five years of lies, wasted money, devastated families, kidnapping, false imprisonment, pardons for cronies, and death, so much needless death.

I've thought a lot about all the things that are wrong with the world. We divide ourselves into parties, religions, race, blue and white collars, gender, sexual preference, education, money, us and them. The problems that face us are not going to discriminate, but like the Christmas tsunami, will destroy anyone and everything in it's path.We need to come together to solve our problems. Pres. Bush has set us back, and created even larger divides between us. Our problems are greater than they have ever been, and we are wasting precious time.
My rides always bring peace as I see hope in beauty, people, animals, landscapes and even weather. Everything that I see has some type of renewal, some kind of change, some hope for newness and change. Maybe Pres. Bush was our Winter. Spring is almost here.

I got to see a good friend tonight, twice. 36/17.1

Monday, March 17, 2008

CX Again

A sloppy snow storm put down, not even, an inch of snow, so I brought out the cross bike and cruised along the bike paths this evening. Hot, sunny, and dry can't come quick enough. I'm still very tired, and sore from this weekends rides, and kept it to only 30 miles tonight. Got a call from a buddy who wants to do a century this Saturday. I'm not sure I'm ready for that. Maybe 80 miles, but 100, I just don't think so. We'll see how I feel later in the week. 30/15.0

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Coffee Ride

Went out to Wayzata with some friends from the team. A nice easy pace, with tons of sunshine, light winds, and a creative loop up into Baker Park Preserve. I thoroughly enjoy that route. It's beautiful, quiet and has a rural feel to it, that soothes the soul.
I'm tired. More miles in the last week, than I've put on, in any other week since December 1st. I'll just keep on building, and hope to be up to 300 miles a week by the 1st of April, and also hope that I keep on getting faster. It's all about the speed, you know. 52/16.5

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Am That Strong

Took a look at my fixie rear hub last night. Yeah, I know how to enjoy a Friday night! I stripped the threads on the hub. I am such an animal! I made a temporary repair by placing some spacers between the hub and the cog preventing the cog from engaging the stripped threads, but I've got to get a new hub, which means rebuilding the wheel.
Great ride today! Got chased by rabid dogs, that were foaming at the mouth. (there maybe a little embellishment in that last statement, but there were dogs and we did get chased). Had a woman say to me, "Hey, yours is different than mine", which kind of made my day. The route was detoured up by Delano, but we rode through it anyway, and didn't have to turn back. Saw some beautiful rural landscapes, and breathed real country air, that smelled like Spring. God it was great!
Started out with 4 of us. My buddy Ron called last night and said he was sick, then he told me way more than I needed to know about what he'd gone through that day. I'll spare you the details I had to endure. Needless to say, he didn't show. Two of the riders peeled off at Excelsior, but we ran into some cycling friends there and got to talk for awhile. After we left Excelsior, since there were no more women riding with us, we put the hammer down. We got to Watertown having averaged 17.2 mph. Heading North to Delano we were treated to a refreshing head wind, but got the sweet rewards heading South along the other side of the river. Got on County Road 6, where the last rider fell off the pace, so I was on my own into Wayzata and finally home. It felt so good to be on a road bike for a little more than four hours. I kept the hammer down for 75 miles and averaged 17.8 for the entire ride. I'm pleased with that, for this time of year. It looks like it's coming back. 75/17.8

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fixed Unfixed Ride Walk

Weighed 178.2 again today. Same as last week. No complaints.
Ran errands on my fixie, and expanded that to riding around the lakes. Leaving Lake Harriet heading north on the path from the band shell is a slight hill. Heading up the hill all of a sudden, I'm spinning and there's no effort, and the bike is slowing down. Now I'm strong, but not that strong. It looks like the rear cog has come loose, or worse it has stripped the threads on the hub. Well, at least I can coast now. So a twelve mile ride turned into a seven mile ride and a five mile walk. It was actually very nice. As I was watching a kite-skier on Lake Calhoun, I saw him or her, leave the ice and become airborne. It looked very cool, but I imagined it must have been scary. Being up in the air for 30 seconds could seem a lot longer, and I'd guess the feeling of loosing control at 10 feet in the air could inspire some heavy breathing. The skier came down safely and made it look like an everyday occurrence, which it probably is. 12/

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oooooh! Pretty Colors

My bruises from the crash on Sunday are starting to blossom. Purples, greens and yellows...very nice. It's all on my right elbow, both above it and below it, and my right knee on both sides of the knee cap.
This has been a delightful week of riding, albeit slow. I've just been concentrating on getting my miles up, which hasn't been a problem with the Spring like weather we've been having. I haven't wanted to come home from my rides. Tonight there were so many people out. It got up to 51 degrees. Where were all these people two months ago? Fair weather cyclists. In the Winter you've got to watch out for slick spots, now I've got to watch out for pot holes. 266 miles this week. Not too bad. I keep track of my miles from Friday through Thursday. One of these posts in the future I'll explain how that came to be. 44/16.5

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Weather Or Not

Good ride tonight. Got some hills in with a friend. I was telling her I'm behind where I was last year at this time. The main reason I'm behind is the weather. For example: last Saturday I did 70 miles at 16mph on my "B" road bike. The temp was 19 degrees when I got home. Last year, on the same Saturday, I did 75 miles on my "A" bike at 18.7mph. When I got home from that ride the temp was 70 degrees. I'm sure my stats will improve as the weather gets better. Who knows? Maybe I'm just getting old, but for now, I'm blaming it on the weather.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Who cares? Didn't want to stop. 49 degrees in the Spring will do that to you. It was great riding with an unbalanced friend. We saw the city and I found out that you can access Cedar Lake Trail from downtown. The baseball stadium isn't in the way anymore. 36/15.1

Monday, March 10, 2008


Day light saving time brings the hope of warmth. It was beautiful out tonight, but man it was still cold. I'm not complaining, because 32 degrees beats 5 or below anytime.
It's hard to believe that Pres. Bush came up with a good idea, but adding a month of more light in the evening, in my mind, will be his legacy.
Cedar Lake Trail is still pretty icy between Hwy 100 and Virginia. Had to get off the bike several times to navigate some major slick spots. I was on my "B" road bike (Salsa).
During the ride tonight the hammer told me there was a lie circling around about me. After trying to discover the truth, she found out it wasn't a lie.
Elbow is sore and stiff, from the crash yesterday. I noticed some road rash on my knee, that I hadn't seen before. It's all just bruise kind of sore. It doesn't slow me down, or keep me off the bike
Good time riding tonight like always. 35/14.8

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wintery Crash

Bunch of friends from the team got together for a nice easy paced ride out to Wayzata and Excelsior. With about a quarter of an inch of snow on the roads, I opted for my cross bike and headed over to the band shell. I think there were 6 of us all together. We stayed pretty much on the more major roads, as they were wet, but clear. The side roads had snow on them. It was pretty much single file, and I headed for the front of the group so I wouldn't get road spray all over me. You couldn't recognize who was who when we got to Wayzata, because everyone was covered with road salt, and sand.
About half way to Wayzata Chris decided to ride on the part of the road that still had snow on it, and comes up on my right. He's doing pretty good, but I keep my eye on him and give him a little space, without going too far out into traffic. He's about two arm lengths off my right and maybe a half to a whole bike length ahead of me. Then, Chris hits a rut and swerves to his right away from me. He bounces around for just a couple of seconds, and I try to respond and give him some more space, when he veers sharply and quickly to his left, directly in front of me and goes down. I reacted as best I could. We are both out in the middle of the traffic lane, and Chris is on the ground. It was too late, I couldn't get around him and I couldn't stop. I rode directly over his thighs. I think it was his left leg that took the brunt of it. When I hit him I went down hard on my right side. The force jarred my stem and brake lever askew. I did hit my head, but very lightly which only caused my glasses to jostle slightly. Of course, I had my helmet on. Todd S was behind me and he also went down. I was only a foot or so from going into oncoming traffic. We got off the road, out of traffic, and brushed ourselves off. I made some repairs to my bike. My front tire had also partially come off the rim, so I let the air out and got the bead back in place, and then pumped her up.
After the adjustments my bike was fine, with just a little road rash on the right brake lever. My right elbow has some road rash and is slightly swollen, my right knee is also just a little sore. I must have landed on my butt too, because it's sore. I had a bad case of the shakes, but once on the bike and riding again they went away. We headed for Wayzata and the rest of the ride was uneventful.
Fortunately it's that time of year when there is an abundance of soft fleshy areas on my body to land on.
I recalled riding over Chris' thighs several times during the rest of the ride, and still see it now, which I'm finding pretty unpleasant. Chris was able to continue to ride, but his thigh was sore. He's concerned that it will be even more sore tomorrow. I remember as we were all getting up off the road Chris said, "Hey somebody rode over my legs". I fessed up and told him it was me. 48/14.8

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Screaming does not describe my speed today, but my quads. They are pretty pissed at me right now, and are really letting me know. God they hurt!
Left for my ride with the temp at 5 above and got home with the temp at 19. My buddy bailed so I was solo. There was a tough SSE wind. The cold wasn't the problem. I was warm the whole ride, but the wind was brutal.
The first road bike ride of 2008 was very painful. The old "B" bike felt good, but I was having major drive train issues. My chain was hopping all over the place. I'll work on it tonight.
I got 72 miles in, but only at 16mph. I was hoping for a little more speed than that. I'll blame it on having been sick.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day Off

Took the day off. I'm planning on riding about 70 miles tomorrow, so thought I better take it easy. I got on the scale today and was at 178.2. It's nice to have lost some weight, but being this sick would not be my first choice on how to take it off.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Stronger Still

Another improvement in my workout. I'm still coughing a small amount of stuff up, but I'm back to the intensity that I had in my weekday workouts before I got sick. The only thing I worry about now is the duration of my workout and the intensity on Saturday. I'm good for two hours now, and I assume that I could go for 60-70 miles on a bike without too much of a problem. It's so cold right now that it'll be hard to judge this Saturday how far I can go. But, if I can get in at least 50 miles at around 17mph, I'll know I'm back on track. I was about a week ahead of my training schedule, before I got sick. Now I'm about a week behind, which is not really a problem, because I've got about 6 weeks before I'll race and start up my hammer rides.

It's amazing how the simple things in life like, swallowing, no aches, and a comfortable body temperature can make life worth living. It sure feels good to feel good.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Another 2hrs at the gym on the elliptical. I'll be ready to be outside by Saturday for sure. It's going to be pretty cold tomorrow, so I'll play it safe and stay in. 2hrs/2120

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Feeling Better

Got over to the gym and put in 2 pretty easy hours. I think I got this beat. It's predicted to be cold through Saturday, so I'll stay inside for my work outs until then. I think I'll be feeling OK enough by Saturday to ride outside, even if it's unseasonably cold.
It really felt good to be able to get a work out in. 2hrs/1950

Monday, March 3, 2008


No energy. Haven't worked out or ridden for 4 days now. I'm going nuts.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


My intent in starting this blog was to only write about my riding experiences, and things that relate to riding. I've veered from that in the last few days, since I haven't been riding. So, since I'm a little off track anyway, I thought I'd introduce you to the most important things in my life. The picture above is of my family taken February 17, 2008. My son and his wife are directly to my left. My two daughters are on my right in front of their boyfriends. Standing on either side of my ex are two of my grand kids, and my youngest grandchild is being held by his mom. Pretty cool huh? Nothing comes anywhere near the joy that I've gotten from my kids and grand kids over the years. Nothing!

OK, back to the tedium that is my blog.

I woke up this morning feeling much better. The most significant improvement was my throat. I don't dread swallowing any more, and am not afraid that it will swell shut. I even had a bit of an appetite. Don't get me wrong. There's still plenty of snot, raspy throat, and achy muscles, but my death wish has ended.

One of the difficulties of being sick is boredom. I did venture out this afternoon for a short drive, and even got out of the car and walked along Lake Harriet for a little. It felt so good to breathe real air, even if it was only for a mile. It seemed to help. Maybe it was just the excitement of being outside, but that first breath filling my lungs...I could feel it going through my entire body.

I was surprised how invigorating it was to be walking outside, but kept on telling myself, "nice and easy...don't over do". I turned around and headed back for my truck still feeling strong. By the time I got back to the truck I was wiped out. It's amazing. Last Sunday I rode for over 50 miles and didn't want to stop. Today I walked very slowly for one mile and was exhausted. Where did all that energy go? Does it really take that much energy for the body to fight off illnesses?

I hope I'm past the worst of it now, and that I'll be back in the saddle soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sick Sucks

Just didn't feel good enough to get out on the bike today. Beautiful and sunny wasn't even enough of an enticement. No fever, but just no energy. What do most people do with themselves on Saturdays? In the last 10 years, I think the only other time I missed a work out or a ride on a Saturday was when I had surgery on my shoulder after a bad crash.
Rough night again last night. Didn't sleep well, and soaked my bed again with night sweats. No fever stats to report so far today, other than normal.
I got a note this morning from a friend who thinks she's coming down with something again. This will be the 4th time she's been sick since December. She's pissed. I guess it could be worse. Thanks for the nice notes and advice, it makes it easier.
I had like a bowl of cereal today! That's it! I'm not even hungry!
No cycling! No Food! What's the point!

Update as of 7:30pm: fever 99.8 the Osmonds are on channel 2 and I don't have the energy to change the channel. Just fuckin' shoot me.