Monday, June 30, 2008

No Ride

Felt terrible all day. Got home from work at 2:30 and climbed in bed. I woke up at 5pm, ate a little dinner and have moved about 10 feet since then. This is very rare for me, but it has happened before. I think it happens because I've been eating badly, riding too much, and sleeping poorly. I'll eat better, sleep more, and keep my miles closer to 300 a week for awhile. 0/0

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Riding On A Sunday

Met up with the Coffee Ride and cavorted with them for awhile, although all rules were followed. Got a flat, so once it was repaired I took off on my own. No reason to have everyone wait around and watch me fix it. Stopped at a bike shop or two (tires are $70 now). A little on the hum drum side, but....I was on my bike and with friends. 70/16.6

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Windy Solo Century

I rode into uncharted territory today, at least for me. About 25 miles of this route I've never been on before. With the wind out of the west I headed straight into it. The sun was relegated to more of a strobe light by the clouds, and I did see some llamas again. There were 4 of them. They were each on a leash in a farmers front yard. I got a pretty close look at them since they were maybe 10 feet off the road. They're big! Nevertheless, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what I saw today.
There were no flying monkeys, but I did fight with the wicked wind out of the west.
Sled dogs are trained by tying them to a pole with a very short leash. I got a feel of what that might be like today. Out of my first 50 miles maybe 10 weren't head on into a 15-25 mph wind. More than once the thought crossed my mind, what the fuck are you doing this for? I was uncomfortable, not because I was working so hard, but I just wasn't going fast, and my leg speed was achingly slow.
Finally, finally I got to the western most point of the ride. I turned south and despite a tough cross wind, started feeling some freedom. I was off the short leash. At 50 miles my average speed was 17.7 mph. I stopped and got a Gatorade, and then started feeling the freedom. I don't think my computer knew what to do with speeds now registering over 20 mph. Another turn, and this time to the leash...not even a collar. My bike even twitched with excitement. This is what we'd both been waiting for. 24, 25, 27, 30...Yes, this is what we were made for...speed and power.
The little towns came up so fast, first it was Lester Prairie, then New Germany already? It seemed like just a few minutes passed and I was in Mayer.
It's hard to know how much effort to put into the wind. It's easy to burn up all the energy you have, leaving nothing left for the wind aided finale.
The hard work was worth it, as the last half of the ride felt effortless considering the speeds being displayed in the middle of my handle bars.
At about 80 miles I started feeling my earlier effort, and 90 miles got me worried about even coming in with a 19 mph average. On Excelsior Blvd I got a little extra kick from somewhere, and was able to carry that onto the greenway and home.
The question, what the fuck are you doing this for? is now answered. I beat the wicked wind of the west. 105/19.6
Got to admit 20 would've been nice, but solo? with this kind of wind? I'm very pleased.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Knows

Ran errands on my fixie. 15?/??

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just Pedaling

My day was made up of going to the grocery store on my bike, running a few errands on my bike, and a short 30 mile ride this evening. I did kill a wasp, and destroyed two wasp nests. The wasps and nests make the blog, because they were in a storage bin on my balcony, where I keep my old wheels and tires. No chemicals were used just a 2x2.
Not a whole lot of passion pushing the pedals today. Just wanted to get some miles in. It was a good week with a total of 383 miles. Today 42/15.4

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Second Hill Ride In Two Weeks

Played hard with the big kids tonight at the Birchwood hill ride. 44/17.1

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nostalgic And Slow

I rode along the river and down into Fort Snelling. Came back up along the trail to 54th Street.
Then I turned west moving between 54th and 60th street all the way to Xerxes. I was born on 58th Street. I went by my old elementary school, the house I was born in, and my junior high school all of which are on 58th Street. I saw homes of childhood friends, remembered names, relived first kisses, losing fights, playing baseball and riding my old Schwinn. I've done this many times over the years, it always brings a warm, fond, happy feeling.
After terrorizing my old neighborhood one more time on my bike, I stopped by my daughter's home and spent time with her and my grandson. He's 5 and showed me his hermit crabs, and told me that he likes silvered back gorillas, at the same time showing me how they stand. He pointed out that animals with round shaped eyes hunt during the day, and those with slivered shaped eyes hunt at night. I asked him when he hunted. He thought for only a second or two and said, "in the day". He showed me how to cheat at darts, and had a T shirt on with a picture of the Incredible Hulk. I asked him if he saw the movie and he excitedly shook his head yes. His mom wasn't as excited about it, because it was rated PG-13. Dads!
He walked me out the door, because he wanted to watch me ride my bike.
There is nothing...nothing...nothing like having kids. The joy of them as adults, with kids of their own, is just icing on the cake. 33/16.4 plus 12 miles for work

Monday, June 23, 2008

Just A Little Bit Farther

I usually feel pretty lousy on Mondays, but the winds were light and the pedals moved easily tonight. It was my typical Monday ride, flat and slow, but I did add the Stone Arch Bridge, and went onto the UofM campus, then down along the river. Once I got to the lakes I just went home instead of a full circling of Harriet. It was just another gorgeous summer night out. 38/16.8

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Solitude

Ventured out on a favorite old route today into Wayzata, Baker Preserve, and Excelsior. I rode solo, but had great conversations with people from my past. In today's discussions old girlfriends didn't get the last word, and past clients saw just how right I was. We all deserve a little fantasy in our lives, and where better to get it than from a top an aluminum two wheeled green machine.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rubber Mallet Into a Hammer

Had a blast on another 100 miler. I've done ten centuries since April.
Today six started and three finished. One gal just wasn't feeling good, and another only planned on riding with us for about 20 miles.
I was planning on taking it pretty easy today and ride at about a 19mph pace, but....
We had a tail wind for the first part of the ride and that got us use to the idea of going fast. One of the guys said, "I could do this forever", as we cruised along at 28 mph, and enjoyed green fields, blue skies and our tailwind tainted performance. Unfortunately he said that about a mile before we turned into the wind. That was a hard wall to hit.
We hunkered down and the pulling progressively got shared less and less. We had a descent back into the Minnesota River valley, and from the top our view seemed endless. Speculation arose that we might be able to see the cities. Only our view was to the northwest and we were southwest of what we hoped to see. Despite the descent there was still plenty of work, because the path we had to pedal was straight into the wind.
I don't know what it is, but I sure enjoy farmscapes, with the soft rolling hills and the abrupt starts and stops of trees, prairies and fields. Old homesteads and barns beaten and bruised by the weather seem oddly in place, as the masters of the perfectly plowed patterns. The animals grazing undisturbed (something I enjoy doing myself), and the birds flying as if they own the sky bring an unrealistic feeling that this is the easy life, the simple life.
One hawk got me worried for a little bit. He or she seemed pretty confident flying just above us. It was about lunch time. Apparently there was a more tempting morsel hiding in the grasses just off the road.
The new green of Spring is starting to take on a mature look. The grasses are showing off their seeds to their only recently emerged cultivated relatives.
I think the farm animals are getting use to me riding by. They've quit looking up.
100/20.3 and an additional 10 mile cool down

Friday, June 20, 2008

Shadow Rider

The first day of summer was perfect.

It started to rain as I was going to head out, so I waited. The roads and trails dried off, in about a half hour and I was out on the De Rosa fixie.
I had offered to fix up a friend's bike and needed the parts, so first I took off for the bike shops to spend someone else's money. By the time I was done, I had a saddle, a frame pump, a tube, a floor pump, brake pads, my lock and tube in my pack (actually the floor pump was hanging on the outside of the pack). I wrapped the gatorskins over my shoulder and was back on the greenway heading home.

Still sunny and warm, I was not interested at all in staying in, so I unloaded the goodies, and took off for some lake circling. 24/??

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Time

Have I mentioned how nice the weather has been lately?
Rode south into Bloomington and checked out a couple of hills. It's great to be riding at 8pm, with the sun out and the temps in the upper 70's. 33/17.3 and an additional 8 miles this morning doing my grocery shopping.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hill Ride

Wasn't planning on it, but found myself at the Cafe right around 6pm, with a group of birchies starting to gather, for the hill ride. I was going to head out to Mendota Heights and come back through the Fort, but the hills started to call. And you know what, it's always nice to ride with friends. Good people, perfect weather, and hills...very nice! 42/17.9

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just Nice

It has just been perfect weather lately.
I rode over to the crit at the Fairgrounds again. It's a fun race to watch. GP totally dominated the 1/2/3's in the series. Birchwood women did damn good. I'm pretty sure Laura won the series for the 3's, it may have been overall.
I took off from the crit a little early tonight, and rode along the river and creek to get home. 38/16.5

Monday, June 16, 2008


Just kept it simple tonight. Nice, flat route with an easy pace. Rode along the greenway, Mississippi, creek and lakes. Tomorrow's the last State Fair crit, so I'm sure I'll ride over there and watch for a bit. 37/17.0

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Off To The Races

Took off with about 12 from the team for Stillwater to watch the NVGP. It was all bike. Riding, racing, friends. I shot home from Stillwater early so I could spend sometime with my daughters on Father's Day. Nothing is better, not even biking. 72/17.1

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Llamas and Horses and Cows, Oh My!

The contrast between sky and land was never more evident than today. They sky looked as if the blue paint hadn't quite dried yet, and the green of the Emerald City looked flat compared to the velvet green of the farms, grasses and trees I saw on my ride. The barns, houses even the roads were like a 4 year old wanting attention, but much more appealing. They were impossible to miss. Everything wanted and succeeded at being noticed.

It was a hard ride with the wind 15-20 mph sustained out of the west. I either had a straight on head wind, or a cross wind for the first 65 miles. I tried to conserve my energy. I even bridged up to an alfalfa hauler that was doing about 20mph and got a draft for a mile or two. I'm still picking alfalfa out of my teeth, and found some in my helmet.

Just north of New Germany I finally turned east and enjoyed the sound of my wheels and tires on the road. It's a beautiful sound, sort of like a chant or the hum you might hear from a priest or monk.

I was pretty shot when I turned east, but was able to get up to 32mph and sustain 25-27mph until I got into Watertown. After that I was consistently in the 21-24mph range into Wayzata and home.

I saw elk, red winged black birds, egrets, cows, horses, and yes, llamas. The llamas were sporting their summertime hair cuts, and a calf was having a hard time keeping up with it's mom as they headed for the barn. The elk were playing it cool pretending not to notice me.

This was an Oh God! ride. As I came around a curve trying to be straight, a lake appeared, and to no one, I said out loud, Oh God!

I don't know about foxholes, but sometimes there are things seen so beautiful, that worship seems the only appropriate response. Amazing for a non-beleiver.

The contrast of the sky and land was as stark as the contrast between what I saw and how I looked when I got home. 105/19.7

Friday, June 13, 2008


Did errands and rode to the race tonight. What a blast! Saw tons of friends, and hung out with Birchies at Brits Pub. Saw Ron and his wife. They were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. Man does he know how to show a gal a good time. Walked around with Lynne to get different looks at the race. She wasn't as interested in the women's race as I was, but she sure liked the guys race.

And how did Amy get in this picture? She's everywhere.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Perfect Summer Night

Billions of people out. Just a perfect ride. Nice, easy, fun, nothing serious, with delightful company. 37/17.0 plus an additional 12 miles for work. Good week 332 miles.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Trees Shrink When They Get Wet

Lots of water on the ride tonight, so I took the CX out with the full fenders. It's always hard to get started when it's raining, but always worth it. Just did my winter route along the greenway, down Minnehaha to the falls, and on the path along the creek to the lakes and home. Got hit (lightly) by a tree branch along the greenway. It took me a couple of minutes to figure out the branches were hanging lower because they were heavy with water. I paid a little more attention after that and ducked.
Not very many cyclists out, but I saw two separate soccer games underway, a softball game, and at least 5 sail boats out on Lake Harriet. Apparently there was a professional bike race in St. Paul tonight. I'm a little bummed I missed it, but decided to play it safe and stay close to home because of threatening weather.
Minnesota is a pretty cool place. Weather doesn't get in our way. 33/15.4

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crit Ride

Rode to the State Fair Crit again tonight. Saw tons of friends and had a blast watching the races and talking with everyone. Got home at 9:30, but it was still light enough to ride without a light. Nice! Wanted to get a few more miles on so I circled a couple of the lakes before I landed at home. The lakes were still and reflected the end of day light perfectly. 35/16.3

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Typical Monday Ride

Good lookin' day, but uneventful ride, although I did see Amy on her commute home. I didn't even get a flat. The river lakes and creek are all still there. I found myself thinking about riding this coming weekend, and hoping for good weather. 37/16.9

Sunday, June 8, 2008

No "Coffee Ride" Ride

Started out at about 10, it felt good to sleep in, and headed up into Theodore Wirth with Lynne. She was beside herself when I got a flat right along the Mississippi River, with a beautiful view and a bench. She wondered if all my flats find me in such fortuitous surroundings.
We took it slow, and stopped at a bike shop. Not enough pockets in my old three pocket jersey to get everything home, but Lynne was kind enough to let me use one of her pockets. At about 25 miles the two cookies Lynne had for breakfast were no longer providing the energy she needed so we stopped in at Birchwood and refuled. Just about then the Coffee riders show up and we get to chat a little.
With the tanks full we head out along the river again down to Fort Snelling and enjoy riding through a tunel of trees.
I came home and dropped off all my stuff from the bike shop. Lynne went home and I took off for an additional 15-20 miles.
I'm on the greenway and a feel a rhytmic bump in my rear tire. I get off the bike quick and take a look at it. Sure enough the bead had seperated from the rim, and the tube was bulging out ready to explode. I'd already ridden 50 miles. I don't understand why the bead came off at this time, but I was glad I caught it. I let the air out and inspected the tire, rim, and tube to make sure they were all correctly in place. I reinflated the tire and was on my way.
I have not been having a lot of luck with tires lately. If I count the bead problem, I've had 4 flats in about a week. Maybe I've gotten them out of the way for the season now.
Good ride, good company, good conversation always make for a nice time. 67/16.2

Saturday, June 7, 2008


1 Rider
1 Bug in the mouth
1 Flat
1 Close call with a motorist (he didn't signal)
1 Gatorade
1 Rice Krispie Treat
1 Baby Ruth Candy Bar
1 Hundred and 1 miles
1 Perfect summer day
1 Happy little boy
101/19.0 plus an additional 10 mile cool down around the lakes.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Took the day off the bike, but tinkered with my Schwinn Traveller a bit.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rest and Recovery

I've been tired all week, and still can't decide if I'll do a hammer this weekend. I'll do a hundred, but may keep the pace down in the 18-19 mph range.
Today was a really nice ride. Slow and wet don't usually add up to nice, but I had no objective other than getting out. It was raining pretty good when I started, so I donned the rain jacket, mounted the "B" bike with a rear fender, placed a cap with visor on the old noggin under the hell mutt and ventured out. Stayed on the paths and did my winter route. I think I saw two cyclists, maybe 4 joggers and about 200 ducks. Apparently they like water.
Things look cool when they are wet...kind of clean and full...refreshed. Sort of like I feel after a cold drink of water on a hot humid day.
Tired week, but still managed 317 slow, slow miles. Today 21/14.7

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Too Fast For Perspective

I rode across the Hwy 55 and 494 bridges tonight. They cross the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. I was struck by how beautiful those river valleys are, and how easy it is to miss the trees, lakes, rivers, and water fowl, from the perspective of a car traveling at 60 miles an hour. I dipped down into Fort Snelling State Park and absorbed the tranquillity. I got lost in the soft stillness and silence with no desire to rise out of the valley and be found. The path was persistent though, and led me up and back to the city. As I was heading west on the greenway, at the end of my ride, I saw two police officers running toward me, with guns drawn. They were looking up and to the south away from me, as if I wasn't there, but still .... disturbing. It's nice to be able to escape on my bike.
37/16.8 and an additional 12 miles on my bike earlier for work.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rode to the Crit

Rode out to the State Fair grounds to watch the Crit. I got there in time to see the 1/2/3 men. God they're fast. Work provided another late start tonight, and since I'm complaining, isn't it June now? I've had to wear a jacket, while riding, two days in a row. Come on!
This is a fun crit to watch, and a very nice location. They've just got to open the cheese curd stand.
It was nice to see everyone and I got to ride home with Lynne. 35/16.1

Monday, June 2, 2008

Flat Wet Rhythm

It was raining when I left, so I broke out the "b" bike. I got a late start because of work. I'm suppose to be semi-retired! I was surprised to see as many cyclists out as I did. I even got a "hi Tom" or two.
At about 7 miles I got a flat. It sounded like a shot gun which is never good. About a 1/2 inch cut in the tire. I glued a patch on the tube, and just to be safe, put a boot on inside the tire at the cut. After I filled it up with compressed air, I got to enjoy a little syncopation for the duration of the ride. I double checked the tire when I came back around to my place, and it looked fine so I finished my figure 8 route without incident.
I was tired, had a hectic day at work, got wet, had a flat and still wound up having a pretty nice ride. I kept it short and easy. 30/16.2

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Slow Sunday

It was great to see friends and enjoy a perfect Summer day.
Got up late, but still had time to make it to the coffee ride. I peeled off a little early at the falls and came home along the creek and lakes for about 50 miles. Then took the bike out for some errands and went to the Edina Art Fair. I'm just being lazy today. I guess the technical term for it is recovery. I plan on recovering all week long. May was great and has already made my season the best I've had. I'll give myself a couple of weeks of slow rides to get some fast and power back in my legs. I've used a lot up this last month.