Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hammer Hundred Report

A beautiful day to ride, with lots of sun, light winds and temps in the 70's.
About 10 people showed up today, 4 of which were women from Verve. After we got up past Wayzata and had fixed a flat, we got organized and started pacelining. It worked well and gave us a little advantage into the wind. Everyone took their turn up front and the rotation was pretty smooth. These were all talented and very experienced riders.
At Hanover we turned and had the wind pretty much at our backs. Not much was happening at first and I was getting a little impatient. I finally yelled, "come on let's go", and the hammer came down. There were 4 or 5 of us who were regulars up front, and we rotated in and out of position easily. Again these were well experienced riders. I was the only one who wasn't currently racing. They all knew exactly what they were doing. We were pushing it hard, and when we got to Rockford, and I was sure we were in Watertown. Once the oxygen started flowing to my brain again, I did finally realize we were on planet earth.
We stopped in Delano for Gatorade, Rice Krispie Treats, and a Baby Ruth candy bar, and then made our way to Watertown. I knew where I was now.
At Watertown some shenanigans took place. Ten of us turned into just two of us. Everyone had looked strong and it was hard to believe we had dropped them, but.... We looked back and they just weren't there. So Dan Schueller and I stayed on course and worked our way together to Mayer and then Waconia. Coming out of Waconia who do we see, but the missing eight. I think they were more surprised to see us, as we were ahead of them, and they had taken a short cut, that lopped four miles off the route Dan and I did. I developed a smug little grin on my face as I realized all I had to do was stay with them, and in reality I was finishing four miles ahead of them. Now that's SAWEEEET!
They didn't make it easy. With some of the hills we came over, I began to worry if I could hold on, but I did and it was painful. Coming out of Excelsior we got on Excelsior Blvd. Just before Hopkins Dan and I were at the front and came up to a stop light. A van was in front of us and started to pull away from the light very slowly. I got behind the van to get a draft. Dan got beside me so we were both getting the draft from the van. Dan was able to stay with the van much longer than I, but we both got quite a gap on the rest of the group. They may not have been trying, but.... So from about Baker Rd to Punch it was just Dan and I, and Dan was at least a half a mile ahead of me. I got onto the greenway before Dan did, and I lost sight of him. Then all of a sudden I see his jersey. He got stuck at a stop and the gap was smaller. I couldn't go any faster though and he was off again. It looked like he was extending the gap ever so slightly on me again. I just couldn't close the gap. I really tried. God he's strong. YES! He got stuck at another stop and I catch him. I pat him on the back, and let him know that I caught him only because of his bad luck with stops. We ride about another mile and a half to Punch and wait for everyone else to show. It took 'em awhile.
I'm very tired, but quite satisfied. 100/22.5 and a 10 mile cool down around the lakes.

The month of May's been very good to me. Five Saturdays. Five Hammer Hundreds. Five averages over 20 mph. Today's average is a PB. This season I've also had 2 solo Hammers come in at a 20 mph average or better and another 1 where I did 99% of the work, that came in over a 21 mph average. Feels Good!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rescue Ranger

Took the day off the bike. I've been riding a ton, probably over ridden, but I've been having a blast. Nevertheless I'm tired, so off the bike today. I'm so tired I even bailed on my granddaughters dance recital. I know, bad grandpa. I just planned on lazin' around and saving up energy for what appears to be a grueling hammer tomorrow.
The phone rings, or whatever phones do these days, it's a damsel and she's in distress. So, I'm off to the rescue. She claims she's on Hwy 7 right where it ends..........We finally figured out where she was.
Picked her up, got her home, and worked on improving flat fixing abilities.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Miles and Miles

Got the grocery shopping done on the bike again. Made some deliveries for work on my fixie, then took off for about 30 nice flat easy miles.
I was leaning over my bike adjusting something, before my ride, and thought to myself, I love living like this. It was a nice affirmation about cycling and how important it is in my life. Sometimes it's a little scary that it's so important, but...

408 miles for the week. That's a new weekly record for me. Today 53/17.0

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


You go out for an easy ride and what happens? You come up on some young kid that's got to go fast. Damn, I just had to light them up with him on Summit. It really was fairly tame. He took off from a stop light, and I grabbed on to his wheel. I let him pull for awhile, and then I came around close and slow so he could grab on. He did and I slowly raised the speed. He didn't come around me and fell off slightly a couple of times, but was able to get back on at stop lights. Turned on to River Rd and he came up beside me and we started talking. It's pretty cool, that you can come up on a total stranger, not say a word, ride a little and gain a respect that makes you want to talk and share some stuff about bikes. He was about half my age, and it didn't matter. 45/17.8

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An Eventful Ride

Saw a ton of people out tonight including, Laura, Karl and Eric. Lots of people heading west, when I was heading east. That's a common theme in my life.
I didn't feel too peppy when I started out, but got a little stronger as the ride progressed. Heading around Lake Harriet I got a flat, so I sat down on a bench right by the lake, and fixed it while I enjoyed the scenery. If you're going to get a flat, that's the way for it to happen. It took a little longer than usual to fix, just because I was so comfortable.
On my Sunday ride I hit a rock that was about the size of a golf ball. The rock ricocheted and came back and hit my bike. I didn't think too much about, because I stayed upright. Monday I noticed my rear wheel making noise when I applied the rear brakes. I didn't think the two things were related. Today I took a look at my rear wheel and found a divot in my rim. It wasn't on the lip, where I'd think it would be if I ran over something, but just above the lettering and still on the rim where the brake pad would hit it. It looked like a tiny meteor hit it creating a crater with a bunch of metal piled up toward one end. That pile or lump of metal was what caused the noise when I was braking. I just sanded it down and enjoyed the "Sounds of Silence" while riding tonight. I figure the divot was created on Sunday by the rock ricocheting and hitting my rim. It's pretty bizarre some of the stuff that can happen on a bike.
Nice ride tonight. 43/17.3

Monday, May 26, 2008

Talkin' Laughin' Ridin'

A couple of friends, talkin', laughin', ridin'. It doesn't get any better than this. 53/16.7

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Sunday Ride

Took off at about 9Am to put on a few extra miles before the Coffee Ride. Got there and kind of wound up leading the ride. I like to be at the front anyway. Not too many people and no women, so again, I didn't mind being at the front.

To get to the cafe I went around the lakes and along the creek to East River Rd and then came across the Mississippi on Marshall and up to the cafe. We did the usual route along the river into downtown St. Paul, back along Lilydale Rd to Hwy 13, across 494 and down through Fort Snelling, up to the Falls and back to the cafe.

I came home for a quick bite. The Waffles, eggs and bacon I'd had for breakfast only lasted about 48 miles and I was at 63. Took off again, with camera in hand and went by Cedar Lake and then up into Theodore Wirth Park. It was humid out, with the threat of tornadoes later this evening, so it's like summer with the air thick enough to cut.

Cedar Lake

I'd hate to be the parents that had to tell this kid he couldn't ride his trike.
Just a great ride...I didn't want to come home. 83/17.0

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Windy Hammer Hundred Report

Start Temp 50
Finish Temp 67
Humidity 36%
Barometric Pressure 30.08
Visibility Unlimited
Wind SUCKED SSE at 20mph gusting to 30mph
Number of Riders including me 1
This Belle Plaine route is my favorite. See it at:
Click on the elevation chart to see the climbs.
The wind made a tough ride brutal, although I had a blast when there was a tail wind. There's a descent into Belle Plaine, and I had the wind with me. I looked down at the computer and saw 42.2 mph. SAWEEEEET!
The head winds were like death marches. One of the climbs was into the wind, which wasn't too bad, because the hill blocked the wind a bit, but once it flattened out a little....that was brutal.
The wind was deafening. I could barely hear myself think, but with a tail wind, it was like I got my hearing back. I could hear everything. I love the sound of the tires on the road. It's a hum, that's got a metallic sound to it...sort of machine-like. With the tail wind I was reborn and felt like a super hero, with unlimited powers. 30 to 35 mph took only a small effort. Humility came back with a vengeance once I turned back into the wind, and I was quickly relegated to recreational rider status when only moments before I was at the head of the peleton in the Tour de France.

I saw some delightful landscapes. This route basically follows the Minnesota River, so there are lots of bluffs and some huge vistas once I'd get up to the rim of the valley. Perfectly plowed farm fields, old barns, and soft rolling hills all around me. Lots of horses out today. It looked like one mare had just had a colt. The colt was a beautiful milk chocolate brown and the mom was grey. I greeted all the cows I saw with a "good morning ladies". They were unmoved and gave no response. But I did get a couple of looks.

The old legs served me well today. I just hunkered down into the wind and took advantage whenever I'd get a tail wind. Considering the windy conditions I am very pleased with the outcome. 100/20.2 then I cooled down around the lakes for another 10 miles.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pictures and Pistons

Lake of the Isles

Lake of the Isles

Lake Harriet and Minneapolis Skyline

My Hairy Legs on my Fixie

Another great Friday fixie ride. 15/??

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Kind of a different day on the bike today, but very good. Three different bikes for three different purposes. It just goes to show you can never have too many bikes.
Hooked up the B.O.B on the cross bike this morning and took off for CUB to get the grocery shopping done. Got home with four bags of groceries and quickly got them put away. Then I needed to get over to Whole Foods for another small item or two. Hopped on the fixie for a quick short trip and picked up the necessary items. Got a little work done and then got a call from a client in downtown Minneapolis to pick up some work for tomorrow. Got back on the fixie and took off for downtown with the old messenger bag strapped on my back. And last, but definitely not least, took the Orbea out and rode with Lynne tonight. Started with a plan, but that soon got shot down and we were all over the place, from Hopkins to the Wedge, Stone Arch Bridge, and the Uof M. Nice Time!
Lots of miles this week with 379 miles of rubber off the tires. Today 49/??

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The hammers may be starting to take a toll. I'm feeling a little sluggish.
Nice ride tonight. Did my Como, Phalen, Mounds Park route. Plenty of sun, tons of people, the lakes looked inviting. Harriet Band Shell had a concert from Southwest High School, and I could smell the lilacs along the greenway. Summer! 44/17.2

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More of the Same

Started out a little later than I wanted tonight. I thought I'd get over and watch the last Opus, but I'd already got in 40 miles and it was 7 :30 so I just went home.
It really was delightful out tonight and I felt good after a slow recovery day yesterday. It was windy and coming out of the NNW so I headed over to Hopkins and then north up to Golden Valley. With a nice tail wind I went into Theodore Wirth Park, then a little farther North through the Camden neighborhood, and into downtown Minneapolis. I really enjoy this route. It runs along the Mississippi River from Camden all the way down to the Ford Bridge, then along the creek to Lake Harriet and home. It's always amazing to see so much plant and animal life right in the middle of the city. I love it! 40/18.0

Monday, May 19, 2008

Short and Tired

Cloudy, cold and wet today. I'm tired from the weekend rides, so it was one of those rides when I wanted to get home. Took it easy and kept the miles small. 34/16.3

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spontaneous Sunday

Nothing standard about the ride today. I couldn't decide what to do, who to ride with, or where. I went around the lakes and along the creek for a little bit. I saw Lynne as she was heading out for the TT. I finally decided to head up to Wayzata and then went up into Baker. I love the scenery in the preserve. I had no particular place to go, and nowhere I needed to be, so I kind of meandered.
It was a cool day, but crisp, with stark blue skies, perfectly white clouds, and newborn green leaves on the trees. Horses, pheasants, geese, birds of all sorts, and even human beings were out today.
I'd get to a place and then say, oh hey, I'll go check this out, which of course meant some great landscapes and 3 different bike shops.
Got home feeling great, with a nice spontaneous recovery ride under my belt. 74/17.4

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Green Hammer Hundred Report

Started off with 4 riders, lost 1 at about 15 miles. At 35 miles the guy who was taking all the city limit signs started fading. I waited for him at Watertown. He was about a 1/2 mile back. Before we got to Mayer (60 miles), we couldn't see him any more. The only guy left had ridden very smart. He'd stayed protected from the wind, didn't take on the sprints, and stayed close on the hills. He did fall off before we got into Waconia. I've just got to say this, he and I were the two oldest. Greg's at least 5 years my senior, and I had the other two guys by 10 years. I did 99% of the work, which is never a problem, and after Hanover I took all the city limit signs. (and I'm no fucking sprinter)

It was just a perfect day to ride. As we were leaving the cities we saw 3 or 4 other teams out. We headed north into the wind. The scenery was alive. Last time I did this route (maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago) it was beautiful, but no green on the trees yet. Today it was just all green everywhere. Out in the farm land the fields were plowed and unmistakeably fertilized. Oh that fresh country air.

It's always a good work out to put in a hundred miles, and even though I came in with a better average than last week, last weeks ride was much harder, because of the hills. Like I said though this week I did 99% of the work. Last week I may have done 70%. 100/21.4 Then I went around the lakes for another 10 miles at a cool down pace.

Just perfect out today.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Little Hide-And-Go-Seek

Delightful day! Impossible to stay in. A buddy called this morning and said he was riding around the lakes. I joined him on the greenway we checked out the new Freewheel Midtown, and went around the lakes again. I did a little work, came home and started to work on my Orbea. I discovered a crack in my rear derailleur cable housing, so I headed down to the new Freewheel Midtown. They had cake! Got home and couldn't stay in. Took off for the Tour of the Lakes again. It was perfect out, even the sun wanted to play. It really has a hard time hiding, but it was still fun to play. Three rides on the fixie today. 22/??

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Took It Easy

Just took it easy today. Rode with a friend and did some Bloomington hills at a moderate pace.
Beautiful weather, nice conversation, didn't want to come home.
Another good week of riding, with lots of miles, although my weekday rides were much slower than last week. 43/16.0 Total miles for the week 372.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


A beautiful day got the cement out of the legs. Just a nice simple ride. I did my Wheelock Parkway, Como Park, Lake Phalen route. It just felt good. 44/17.8

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not So Peppy

Man! The old legs had nothing in them tonight. I guess the weekend really took it's toll. I've been feeling great, like I've got a little extra pop in my legs...that's all gone.
Nice easy riding for the rest of the week. 39/16.6

Monday, May 12, 2008

Duck and Recover

Wind was tough today, even though I was feeling good. I turned into the wind and just said, "I'm not working this hard on a recovery day". Getting the tail wind back was nice and coming along the west side of Calhoun I passed a car.
When I rode by Nokomis there were two ducks in the road. The male got out of the way, but the female just kept on waddling into the middle of the road. When she realized I wasn't stopping, she took off and flew right at my head. Again I didn't budge so she turned slightly to her right and flew about a foot from me right at eye level. It was pretty cool to see a Duck flying so close to me. 37/17.0

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Ride

Did the Birchwood coffee ride again this Sunday. I might start looking for another Sunday ride. I really enjoy the people I ride with, but they don't always show, and the ride is always the same route. The Birchwood sponsored rides are also getting a little too restrictive. I'm not one who enjoys rules too much. I like a little less structure, especially when it comes to riding my bike. I guess like anybody else, I like doing it the way I like to do it.
After the coffee ride I met up with Lynne and we rode out to Wayzata. Stopped and got some Hot Chocolate and Tea and enjoyed the view of Lake Minnetonka. It was gorgeous out, with crisp blue skies. The trees and bushes are getting their leaves and the grass is turning green so the blue sky, green foliage, white clouds and bright sun gave the day a variety that was delightful.
Nice day, great views, good company, and nice conversation. 76/17.1

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hammer Hundred Report

Temp at Start 50
Temp at Finish 54
Humidity 88%
Wind SSE 9mph
Barometric Pressure 29.76
Visibility 2 miles
Rain at about 95 miles
Started with 5 riders ended with 3
Started out tame until we got to Bailey Rd hill (about 20 miles), and Todd Sample came around me with an incredible kick. I was lucky to hang on, but the pain from that effort stayed with me for the rest of the ride. THANKS TODD!
It seemed like there were no flats on this route. It was either up or down, and just like when I walked to school as a kid it was up hill both ways all the time.
The head wind out to Afton wasn't too bad with everyone taking turns up front, and John taking all the sprint signs. I enjoyed watching. Into Afton we got a bit of a tail wind and did some serious screaming on the descents. My computer showed 41.5 mph. Yeah Baby!
With the tail wind into Stillwater we were able to take it relatively easy and still maintain a good pace. We stopped in Stillwater and I got the usual Gatorade, Rice Krispie Treat, and Baby Ruth candy bar. John was chompin' at the bit to get going. We continued North heading to Marine on St Croix. This was a pretty difficult stretch even with the tail wind. Even the smallest hill took it's toll and split the three of us up several times.
Nasson hill is tough when you're fresh. We got there with 75 miles on our legs. I was in total agony. It wasn't just my legs everything was hurting. Nobody came around me THIS TIME, and with a few miles of relatively flat roads we all got back together.
Now that we're all back together John gets like this second wind thing. We're hanging on for dear life. He's possessed or something, and taking mammoth pulls. He finally settles down a little and the ride turns pretty uneventful. We're just trying to maintain a pace that will give us a respectable average speed to report back with. At about 95 miles it starts to rain, but it's light and is kind of refreshing. Good God Damn hard ride. With a couple of very strong riders we came in with an average at 21.1 mph for 113 miles.

Where's the Advil?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Single and Fixie

Took my ss De Rosa out for 12 miles. Got home and just couldn't stay inside. So I took my De Rosa fixie out for another 8 miles. Nice and slow just enjoying the scenery while keeping the legs in motion. 20/?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

No Bros

Rode with 4 women from Brichwood tonight, and had a blast. OK so I didn't need to hear what jerks guys can be, but what a great bunch of people to ride with. We rode the secret Birchwood women's route. Oh and just in case you were wondering, they were all within a year or two of the ages of my kids.52/18.3
Good week of riding. Got a century in at over 20mph, and put on 364 miles for the week. Also, I've been feeling pretty strong so I thought I'd compare my stats from last April to this April and see if my feelings had anything to do with reality. April of 2008 I put on 103 more miles than 2007, and rode an average of .63 mph faster. Not bad for a guy whose another year older.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Little Kids

I decided to stay off the hills tonight and rode solo over by the State Fair Grounds, Como Park, Lake Phalen and Mounds Park. I kept it simple tonight just looking for miles.
There was almost a summer feel to my ride. As I went by Lynnhurst Park I could hear the little kids playing. One girl was teasing another by saying "nana nana boo boo you can't catch me". I thought, I'm a little kid too riding my bike.
I came around Calhoun just as I was finishing up my ride, and saw the sun low in the sky and realized dusk was settling in. It's my favorite time of the day. 45/17.8

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Can't Beat The Rain

I tried to out smart the rain, but within 5 miles of starting out I was getting wet. Cold, wet and windy are always unpleasant conditions, this afternoon was no exception. The roads were clear of cyclists, but there were plenty of puddles. Long hot shower. 41/17.8

Monday, May 5, 2008


Calves caught some rays yesterday, and got the red tinge and sting. Maybe....just maybe we've turned the corner and are finally headed toward Summer.
It felt great to be out tonight. I felt very peppy for a recovery day. I had to keep telling myself to take it easy. Like every Monday after a century, I'm stiff and sore, but like I said, for a Monday I felt good.
Just rode around the city finishing up around the lakes. Lots of people out enjoying the evening.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Coffee Ride

35 people showed up. We left from the cafe where Tracy had supplied coffee and pastries for all the riders. It was great to see everyone and talk and enjoy a nice easy recovery ride. I got home and, with it being so beautiful out, immediately got on my fixie. As I was getting on the greenway, who rolls by but Lynne, so we rode out past Hopkins together. Billions of people out with lots of good old Minnesota pasty white skin. 64/16.4 and another 20 on my fixie.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

1st Hammer Report of the Season

Temp at Departure 40
Temp at Finish 52
Humidity 38%
Barometric Pressure 29.82 (steady)
Visibility Forever
Wind NNW 21mph with gusts up to 35mph
Riders including me 2 (Joel from the Hub showed. He's a friend of Matt.)

Fought the wind all the way up to Hanover, and even though there was some beautiful scenery all we got to see was the tire in front of us. The scenery definitely got better after Hanover (35 miles) as we turned south and got a well deserved tail wind. We were able to pick up the pace significantly. Got into Delano (50 miles) and stopped for the usual Gatorade, Rice Krispie Treat, and Baby Ruth Bar (king sized).
Didn't see a whole lot of Joel's wheel after Delano, but he hung on well.
We pulled into Mayer and picked up the best tail wind of the day, and were well into the 30 mph range all the way into Waconia. I saw 36 mph and my computer showed a max speed of 38.8 mph. That's Screamin'!
The old legs were feeling it as we had to head into the wind again to get to Victoria. Even the smallest hill got us down into the low teens for mph. Once in Excelsior we were heading east and maintained a nice pace back to PUNCH.
It was great to be out, especially when the weather had been predicted to be so shitty. Just beautiful, with delightful scenery. Many of the farm fields were plowed, and the trees are budding, so they had a mossy green look to them.
Just a great ride. 101/20.4

Friday, May 2, 2008


Took the day off the bike mostly because of the weather. It would've been nice to get out for a few easy miles. Went over to a bike shop to check out the Giant Bowery. It's not that bad looking, but pretty heavy for an aluminum frame. I started messing around with my 1980's Schwinn Traveller. I can't justify getting a 9th bike, so since I finished up my De Rosas, and have them available for some fun in the sun, I'm thinking I'm going to turn the Schwinn into a nice winter single speed or fixie. The frame, fork and stem are all original. If I'm going to have drops, I need to change the stem to one that's longer. Making that decision is the first step. I think I'll build up some nice wheels, with good rims and hubs. That will be a little spendy, so I'll save that for the last project and just keep using the cheapos that are on there now. I've also got to decide if I'm going to paint it, or keep the original paint job, with scratches and licenses.

Considering the crappy weather I had a pretty good week with 301 miles.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cyclists Everywhere

Who didn't I see out there tonight? I guess everybody was getting some miles in before the rain.
I stayed close to home because of the threat of rain, but stayed dry. I'm feeling a little more pop in the old legs. 39/18.2