Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fun On The Hills

Did the Birchwood Hill ride tonight. Made b2b swear on High Bridge. Hit 42 mph going back down. Good times. 50/17.6

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not A Cloud

Took off at about 4:30 to the East. Went along Summit and up High Bridge over to Mendota Heights. Came back on 55 through Fort Snelling, then followed the creek to Lake Harriet. From there I went over to Opus to watch the race. It's amazing how I always show up just as the women start their race. Instinct I guess. Nice ride tonight. Rode home from the race with some teammates. 49/18.2

Monday, April 28, 2008

No Smiles Tonight

Drudgery is the best word I can come up with. I just wanted to come home, and didn't want to be out. This does happen to me, but it is rare, and usually comes on in the winter. What a coincidence it feels like winter. I'm sure the weather has a lot to do with it. There were some others out, but they weren't smiling.
I have to say the weather sucks, but my bike feels and rides so good. I noticed it several times tonight, just a good, solid, quiet, and a nice responsive ride. I love my bike. Don't get me wrong, I love all my bikes, but my Orbea... 37/17.2

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Another Standard Sunday Ride. The numbers were sparse today. I figure it's because of racing yesterday, crit today and also the Ironman. I had tuned up my Orbea in prep for the race yesterday. Man it was running so nice and quiet today. I could hear the tires on the road. I love that sound, especially as I was digging in to power up the hills. Little chilly today, but it really was pretty nice...just a little wind, dry roads, and a couple of friends. 76/17.2

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tough Very Tough

Woke up ready to hit the road and race. Looked out the window and what did I see? Snow, but it wasn't coming down it was going sideways. I've been there and done that. About 6 years ago I was in a race at Ken Woods where the conditions were just the same as today. No excuses, I wasn't trying to be wise, I simply didn't want to race in these conditions. I still remember how bad it was in 2002 (I think it was 2002). I went to bed last night, and said to the book that I slept with, "I'm not racing if the roads are wet". 25 mph winds with gust up to 35 mph and temps in the low thirties, had misery and crash written all over it. I just didn't want to do it. At 9am I emailed my teammates and told them I was out for today.

I did take off on a ride at about 10:30. It was miserable. Easily my most miserable ride of 2008. Not the coldest, or even the windiest, but a major pain in the ass. The Salsa is no longer clean.

I went out to Excelsior right into the wind, north up to Baker and then caught the tail wind home. I was going to head up into Theodore Wirth Park, but got a flat just as I turned north again to head up Texas and Golden Valley Road. This was no ordinary flat. It sounded like a gun shot, which is never good. I was about 6 miles from home so I knew I could walk it. I took a look at the tire and saw that it was a real problem. About an inch square flap had blown out of my tire, not my tube, my tire. I always carry a tire boot with me, so I thought well I'll try to fix this, and see how far I can get on it. The tire blowout was just above the bead, so fitting the boot to give it all the support the tire needed was going to be tricky.

I put it all together, filled it up with air, and it held. Cool! Got on the bike and rode a little way and realized I should run the tire a little softer. Let some air out and gingerly continued on. As I rode I could feel and hear the flap and bulge in the tire hitting the chainstay. I figured the farther I ride, the shorter the walk, so just kept on going.

I got home with the tube still full of air. 50/???

This is after my repair and how I had to ride it home.

This is the boot that made it all possible.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Took the day off. Kind of shitty weather, otherwise I'd of put on 10 or 20 miles at about 13mph. Pre-race dinner: 1/2 pound hamburger, 2 slices of provolone cheese, 4 slices of bacon, mayonnaise, guacamole, tomato, whole wheat bun, and fried potatoes. I'm sitting down to watch Charlie Wilson's War right now, with two hot chocolate chip cookies and a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bike Wash

Wanted to get out even in the rain, so I donned the rain gear, and with a bar of soap, got on the dirtiest bike I have. My Salsa hasn't been touched since a salty sandy ride at the first of the month. I know I'm bad about keeping my bikes clean. When I left there were clumps of sand and salt all along the drive train, on the seat stays, and even the wheels. After 20 miles in a good rain, the old Salsa was looking pretty shiny. Kind of got a two-for, a good ride and a much cleaner bike. I took it very easy tonight, in preparation for my race on Saturday. I might put 10-15 miles on tomorrow, but the weather looks shitty, so we'll see. I had a 331 mile week. Tonight 21/15.3

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trauma Surgeon, Physical Therapist...

Nice ride tonight. Rode over by Como Park, Lake Phalen and Mounds Park. As I went by the new UofM football stadium another rider came up on me and started talking. He had ridden in from Stillwater yesterday and was heading home now. As we talked I asked what kind of job he had where he stayed overnight. He said he was on call as a trauma surgeon at HCMC. It was a very nice conversation. After riding through downtown St. Paul, I rode down Summit Ave. This time I remembered how much I hate Ramsey Hill and took the switchbacks. Another rider came up on me and started talking. He told me he was a physical therapist. I would have been in good company if I'd crashed tonight.
Lots of cyclists out tonight. I also saw Scott and Laura from Birchwood.
I just took it easy trying to keep the legs moving, not wanting to work too hard before Ken Woods. I'm already over 300 miles for the week. Great weather, good conversations and lots of people out, always make for a good ride. 44/17.7

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Easy Again

Just took it easy tonight. Stayed away from hills. I went over to Opus and watched the races. Lots of blue around. It's always nice to see friends. 39/17.6

Monday, April 21, 2008


I had such a blast this weekend and rode so many miles, that I've got to be real serious about taking it easy this week. I'll be racing at Ken Woods on Saturday, and can't have cement legs. I'm actually not looking forward to racing. I've convinced myself that this will be my last race. I've loved racing in the past, but to be honest I enjoy what I did this past Saturday much, much more. I find myself wishing I wasn't going to race, and instead, heading out on some 100 mile adventure, with friends or solo.
Took it very easy today and avoided all hills. 37/17.2

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Boy And His Bike

I couldn't stay in when I got home from the coffee ride. Took the fixie and rode down to the Stone Arch Bridge, then over to Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. I'm sure every person in the state was also there, at least that's the way it seemed. What a gorgeous day. Another 25 miles at an observational pace.

Another Great Coffee Ride

Lots of people today. Some new to the team and some old. Speaking of old, I got called old at least once. I think the actual words used were "older than anybody else".
Great people, pleasant route out around Lake Minnetonka, nice conversations, and we even mixed it up a little playing hard a couple of times. 60/18.8

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tom Turkey

Started out with some friends from the team, and then took off on my own. We came across some wild turkeys and they weren't going to give up their spot on the road. At least one was a Tom, and as we got closer he fanned his tail feathers and puffed out his chest. I'd never seen that before, and they were like 3-5 feet away from us. Then as we went by he told us the way it was, with a couple of gobbles.
I rode to White Bear Lake with everyone, and then turned up North, and rode to Marine on St. Croix. This is some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. Rolling hills, with lakes everywhere. Pine trees that look old and gnarly, and farms that look even older, but somehow quaint and serene. Even the dilapidated barns have a look to them of reverence and awe, for what they once were.
I came out of Marine and up pine tree lined Nason hill. I'm getting old, but the tail wind was rejuvenating as I picked up speed moving south towards Stillwater. I stopped in Stillwater for the requisite Gatorade, Rice Krispie Treat, and Baby Ruth Bar, which today wound up being a Snickers Bar.
I was having a hard time deciding if I was going to go all the way to Afton, but the tail wind kept telling me it would be fine. Once across 94 the scenery gets better again, and I enjoyed descending along easy curves into Afton. What goes down definitely goes up again, and with 75 miles on the old legs, the two climbs out of Afton, although picturesque were challenging.
Now that I'm worn out from the hills I get to head East and fight a cross wind. It really wasn't that bad, but being tired made it seem worse than it was. The thighs started to moan a little, they weren't screaming, but I knew they were a little displeased with me.
I got into St Paul and decided to come across on Summit. I don't know why I decided to go up Ramsey Hill, but I did. I have always hated that hill. With 95 miles on my legs and 4 good sized climbs behind me, my hate has not been tempered against Ramsey.
Along Summit and the Greenway I got a little spring back into my legs, and it felt like I had a helpful tail wind.
I pulled into home with 110 miles a 19.3mph average and one of my more enjoyable rides. I'll be out on this route again soon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

No Sun No Pictures No Ride

I was planning on heading out on my bike, and taking some pictures this afternoon. Unfortunately the rain came, so I'm going to be lazy, and take the day off the bike. Although, it does appear to be clearing up a little...who knows? We'll see what happens.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Now 50 is cold!

Today was a typical ride, just took it kind of easy. I had a good week of riding with 330 miles.

A buddy came over tonight and we put a new bike together for him. He was cool and very grateful. He even left me a 12 pack of Fat Tire. I work slow, but I don't think the bike will fall a part, at least within the first hundred miles or so.

Felt a little wussy when it seemed cold riding this evening. It's great being out and I love how long it stays light. 40/18.1

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Spring weather brings with it so many wonderful things. Tons of people out, so the people watching is great and lots of cyclists who want to challenge you a little. I got behind a guy on a tt bike and honestly was having kind of a hard time staying with him. The thing that bugged me was, I could see his Under Amour underwear waist band just above his cycling shorts. He had some good power for a novice.

I shouldn't complain. I went out in shorts, so everyone got to see my knees. That hasn't happened since November 2007. I'm proud to say they were very hairy, and will stay that way. No pretty boy, silky smooth, looks great in high heels legs, for me.

Road up into Theo Wirth Park to St Anthony Park Way. Came down along 2nd Street into Downtown Mpls across the Stone Arch Bridge and over to East River Road to the Ford Bridge and then basically along the Parkway home. Great ride! 40/18.8


Man that wind was amazing. The report was that we had gusts over 40mph. Just as I was leaving, I got a call from a buddy that I haven't ridden with since November. He's at the Depot and wants to ride. We had a blast. Of course, we head into the wind down to Bloomington and do a few steep, interesting hills and he's in his big chain ring the whole time. Coming back with the wind was pure heaven. We stopped over at Opus to watch the races and got there just as the women had started. Birchwood had a woman come across 3rd in the 1,2,3's and she's a 3...pretty damn good, if you ask me. 38/17.3

Monday, April 14, 2008

This Is The Way It Should Be

A long Winter sure has made me appreciate warm sunny days. Up into the 50's today and the 60's tomorrow make my rides kid-like. Just rode around the city. Went across the Mississippi at St. Anthony Falls, which are fuller than I've seen them since last Spring. The falls are not tall at all, but there's something about them that just looks, feels, and sounds so powerful. I've got to remember to take my camera and get some pictures. I saw some kids out playing around their house today. They were in their own little world. 40/17.5

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Racing Ducks

The sun makes all the difference. Ice-less roads help too. Took off for Excelsior with some Birchies, and then headed out to Watertown, Delano and Rockford on my own. It was still a little cold, but it was hard not to be smiling with the sun out. That nasty North wind was still blowing, but being out in picturesque farm land, with great looking old barns seemed to take the edge off the wind. From Watertown I went North along the Crow River to Delano and Rockford. The road is up above but, runs right next to the river, so I was looking down at it. Two ducks were flying low to the river. They couldn't have been more than two or three inches off the water, and the were moving. Their wings, or something would just lightly disturb the water as they flew over it. I was moving along at about 20mph, and they came from behind me and passed me, so they were really haulin'. We were moving along together for a few hundred yards, I suppose, then they'd had their fun and landed on the river for a breather.

The farther north I went the more snow was still on the ground. Some of these areas must have really gotten dumped on 'cause there was a good 4 inches still on the ground. I came home from Rockford along Pioneer Trail to Hamel Rd, and then took Tamarack down to Long Lake. It is so beautiful with little if any nice!

Unlike yesterday, the closer I got to the cities the more cyclists I saw. Yesterday no one else was out, but today the roads and greenway were crammed. I got a hey Tommy or two from some of the people I knew.

I got home with 81 miles and a 19.1 mph average. I'm very pleased with that. I went out on my De Rosa fixie for an additional 10 miles just to check out my new adjustments. I like that bike a lot. It was nice to be movin' slow on the bike paths around the lakes, and enjoyin' the scenery.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Like It Long And Hard

A cold North wind, and icy roads made it an unpleasant ride today. Fortunately the temps got above freezing about an hour after we started , so ice wasn't an issue any more. It was frustrating too, because I always want to go long and hard on Saturday. I rode with good guys, but all of us were just feeling kind of cruddy. I think it may just be the lousy finally starts getting to you. Got 72 miles in today at 17.5 mph. Not great, but considering the conditions I feel good about the ride. I'll try to get another 75 to 100 miles in tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

Finished my De Rosa fixed gear last night, and took it out for a quick 8 mile spin today to see if I got it all put together right. I needed to raise the saddle a little, and the handle bars were just a little off. Otherwise she's a sweet ride, and not too hard on the eyes. Here's a little bike porn.

Friday, April 11, 2008


God! I can't believe how hard it is to stay inside, and not be riding. I suppose it's exacerbated by the prospect of shity weather tomorrow. I need to go long real bad.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yeah Right!

38 degrees, winds out of the East at 25 to 35 mph, rain mixed with snow-I did a nice, easy, comfortable workout at the gym. I'll probably take tomorrow off of the bike as well.
1 1/2 hrs/1606

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wild Ride

Rode over by the State Fair Grounds, Como Park and Lake Phalen. Came up to Mounds Park and then down into downtown St. Paul. The Wild are playing their first playoff game tonight and had a festival in Rice Park. I stopped and listened to some music. Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline was playing as I rolled up. There was plenty of beer, peanuts and Wild paraphernalia to buy. I left downtown and headed along Summit Ave to the river and then home along the greenway. I like that route a lot. There were lots of cyclists out tonight. 40/18.1

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Flat Tires

Well I've had two in the last 2 weeks, but I didn't have to change any of them on the road. Both flats were discovered prior to my ride. The first one was the result of an old tube and the stem just broke through the tube. Today's flat must have happened late in my ride yesterday. Just as I was ready to leave, I noticed the rear tire was flat. Took out the tube, found the hole, patched it, and noticed the tire casing showing through in a couple of places, so I replaced he tire as well. The work delayed my departure, but that turned out to be nice, because I saw Dan, Amy and Laura on the ride. Thanks for the waves!
I went across the Stone Arch Bridge, and noticed the Mississippi much stronger over the Falls than the last few days. It's a beautiful city scape, with the dam, the falls, all the bridges, the mills, and the skyline. 38/18.0

Monday, April 7, 2008

Nothing New

Just kind of an average ride. I did a few things different, just to mix the route up a little. The ice on the lakes is getting dark, almost black. I'm sure it will be out in another week or so.
It was cold, but the bike felt great. I enjoy all my bikes, but the Orbea is the one that fits me and rides exactly the way I want it. 43/17.5

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Cold and wet coffee ride today, so just made it out to Wayzata and back. 35/17.5

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Solo Century With A Surprise

Did my first official century of the year today. Took off on roads that I'd never been on by myself before. I was really just trying to learn a good route out to Afton. I basically followed the route I was on, with friends last week, but did it backwards. It was cool. I followed the Mississippi River from Lake Street all the way through St. Paul out to Woodbury. I headed East on Military Rd and that took me to the St. Croix River out by Afton Alps. Then I just pointed the Orbea North went down some screamin' descents, and maxing out my speed at 40mph. Got into Stillwater with about 50 miles of rubber off my tires. I stopped at a gas station and got some Gatorade, a Rice Krispie Treat, and a Baby Ruth candy bar. Some lady had locked her keys in her son-in-laws truck, and she was waiting for her daughter to bring another set of keys, so we talked for awhile.

I continued to head North out of Stillwater into some nice rural areas. It's was very scenic with lots of pine trees, rolling hills, and lots and lots of birds to listen to. It was almost noisy. I guess now that it's Spring those birds have got one thing on their minds, and they're letting everybody know. It was delightful. I saw rivers, lakes, egrets, hawks, and wild turkeys.

One of my goals this year was to do a solo century at a 20 mph average speed or better. I figured I'd do it some time in June. Well, when I went through my cycling computer readings at the end of my ride today I had ridden 100 miles at exactly a 20 mph average speed. A cool surprise!

I really wasn't trying. Like I said, I was just trying to learn the route out to Afton, for myself. I was hoping to come in with a 19+ mph average. As the ride progressed I obviously got more tired, so I wasn't even feeling like I'd get in a 19 mph average.

So you want to know my secret weapon? I guess there are two. Don't shave your legs (think Sampson), and I will swear by Gatorade, Rice Krispie Treats, and Baby Ruth bars. 100/20.0

Friday, April 4, 2008


Monday we get 8 inches of snow. Four days later I get caught in a rain, thunder, and lightning storm. What kind of place do I live in?

Took the white De Rosa ss out today for a quick easy spin. I'm really enjoying that bike. I've got the gear ratio perfect, where I can handle small hills, and still get it up to 25mph without my legs going invisible.

Got parts in for the blue De Rosa today. I think I'll spend my Friday night getting dirty doing some frame fondling. I'll put pics up in a day or two. I still don't have a saddle so, it may be several days before the bike is ready for it's debut.

Nice Friday ride today, even though I got wet. At least I could see, and keep my eyes open. 25/14.1

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First 300 Mile Week - Actually 303

What a nice end to my first 300 mile week of the season. With a six inch snow storm on Monday, I was a little worried about getting in 300 miles, but 92 miles on Saturday helped out a lot. Rode with a couple of my favorite teammates this evening, and enjoyed every minute of it. We rode the Birchwood Women's route. Don't tell anyone, it's suppose to be a secret, from the guys. Temps in the 50's, light winds, and nice riding companions sure made this an enjoyable evening ride. 45/18.3

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Faster And Farther For Less

Did my usual Bloomington hill ride tonight, but solo. Added some miles on to the end, and went up on Cedar Lake Trail. Lots of people on the trails. I feel strong, but am at my limit. All my rides the last couple of weeks have been tough, which is typical for this time of year. It's been at least 4 months since I rode this much, or this fast. I am getting stronger and losing weight. I was at 177.4 last Friday, which is down a pound from the week before. I'm sure I'll be down another pound or two this Friday. 40/17.0

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Can See Again

No snow in the eyes or on the glasses today. I was actually surprised that the roads and trails were in such good shape. I went out on my cx, but would have been just fine on a road bike.
Just did a nice easy 40 on the greenway around the lakes and over along the Mississippi. 39/16.0

It's official, I HATE SNOW!