Monday, August 31, 2009

It's All Good

Same ol' but I like it. Nice weather, the bike feels good, saw a friend or two...yeah, that's what it's all about. 33/16.8

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Solo Threesome

Me, my camera and Orbea rode the SSR. 48/17.1

Just some pictures from last night's sunset and today's ride.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It May Explain A Little

I don't think we'd even gone 5 miles and Amy's rear tire found a thumb tack. First we heard this rhythmic click coming from her bike, so we stopped to try and discover the cause. She saw the tack, pulled it out and then we heard the tsssssss.
Wind, wind and more wind...that was tough. Our route kept the wind from hitting us head on most of the time, but it was like riding into a wall when the course took us directly into it.
It's really beautiful out. You can tell that things are changing. Steve pointed out a Maple that had leaves with red tips.
Finally we made that long awaited turn, and our speed rose as our heart rates dropped. That's a fun scenario.
We'd worked hard and had a couple of miss steps through some road construction in Delano, so the thrill of the ride was diminishing some. Shana needed to get home so she went solo from Delano, leaving just the three of us. It was time to make a decision eighty or ninety. Eighty would've have kept the wind mostly at our backs for the remainder of the ride. Ninety would mean riding into that wall again, with the added enjoyment of rollers at the same time for a good 8 miles. The choice seems so obvious, doesn't it. Yep, at the last second I turned right instead of left, and we enjoyed speeds in the high 20's and low 30's through drop-dead gorgeous farm land all the way into Mayer. I was sure that this part of the route would make the extra 10 worth it, but we would have to pay for it. From Mayer to Waconia we still had the wind at our backs, but it was more of a cross wind now, and that made the effort a little more intense. As we slowed to come into Waconia Steve said, so that was the payment for the extra 10. Oh no, 'fraid not.
Trying not to be negative, let me just say that with 70 miles on the legs, going up several small but noticeable hills in rapid succession is never really all that fun. Add some ain't a barrel of monkeys, it's more like a barrel of s&%t.
I did wind up questioning the wisdom of the extra 10 decision. We did it, worked hard, pulled it off, and just kept my chin on my stem.
Once again the wind came at our backs... a little bit of a cross wind, but a far improvement from the wall we'd just endured, and soon the extra 10 was more than worth it. 92/20.1

This has been a tough cycling year for me. Since I started keeping records, today's average speed was the fastest I've generated in August, except for racing. April was a very good month as well, with early year average speeds that I've never seen in my records, except for racing. That helps to explain a little why my speeds and miles have been down this year.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Night On The Town

Rode over to Wakame ( and had dinner with my brother. Pretty good food. I'd go there again. I had the Tempura Shrimp for an appetizer and the Pad Thai for the entree. Home by 7:30. I'm a party animal. Maybe 4 miles.

Earlier in the day, I was working along the Mississippi River on Lilydale Rd.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


These are beautiful days, with perfect temps, a few clouds to decorate the sky, and a lower- angled sun through the trees. 33/17.3

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There's A Change Starting

Sumac along the greenway is already turning.
A little later from my balcony

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Start Of The Week

Mondays are always tough coming after all the miles of the weekend. And, then it's just not the weekend any more either. And it will be awhile before the weekend is here again.
Just did my usual route today. The wind kept it exciting helping to max out the heart rate a few times, with a surprise gust from the side while on the bridge over the Mississippi.
Sunny and warm, and even a little haze in the air to help delay the realization of the waining summer days. 33/16.6

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Ideal World

Couple of great rides in a row. Yesterday was fantastic, but sore-muscle inducing. Today was a just right recovery ride with lots of friends....just doesn't get any better.
Started out at 10AM with ideal weather. We simply rode, talked and laughed. The world is a much less complex place from the saddle of a bike moving at 18mph. 41/18.1

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Perfection Hurts

Just a great ride. Not a cloud in the sky, winds were light and the Orbea rode like it was happy too.
At 8:30 I met Amy and Steve at the Cafe, and we crossed the Mississippi heading for White Bear Lake. Lots of people out, as everyone is starting to realize that Summer's end is close. By Vadnais Lake we rode by a mile or two of people walking for a breast cancer cure. They were cheering us on...good folks.
Arrived at White Bear Lake and just kept on northward toward Marine On St Croix. After enjoying the scenery of the rolling hills and farmscapes we started to prepare for Nasson Hill. The approach was tougher than we thought, but this time we had a strategy that was sure to break a record, and it worked. We went down Nasson and hit 40.7 mph...just about wore out our brake pads coming to the stop sign at Highway 95.
Steve turned off at Marine and Amy and I got up out of the valley and turned our bikes south for miles of slightly wind aided riding to Stillwater and Lake Elmo.
When we got to Stillwater we were really feeling it in our legs, and knew that we'd be paying for this effort in the next day or two, but figured what the heck. I'm already feeling the consequences of that devil-may-care attitude.
This wound up being a good late-in-the-season ride. Amy and I did this same route earlier in the year and came in with an 18.8 average speed. Today 94/19.5

Friday, August 21, 2009

Feels So Good

Like Christmas, it's been hard waiting to get my parts so I can repair the Orbea. The mail box had a package in it today. I ripped it open and shouted YES! as the blue-grey Shimano box appeared from inside the brown paper packaging.
I had those parts on the Orbea and working in just minutes, then was out around the lakes testing them out. It's amazing how good the "A" bike feels. All my bikes are important, they each have their job, but the Orbea is my number one. It fits perfect. 11/??

Lake Harriet Band Shell, Skyline And Sail Boats

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Still Wet

My shoes were still wet from yesterday's ride when I put them on today. Good amount of rain coming down as I started out, but like yesterday, about 10 miles into the ride, the clouds broke up a little and there were even some glimpses of the sun.
A friend posted on Facebook today; an hour ride in the rain is better than a half hour on the trainer. And may I add to that pearl of wisdom; a day without a bike ride is like.... who the hell would go a whole day without riding? 33/16.4

Over by the Rose Gardens
Look Mom No Lines

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

After The Sirens

Little excitement in the weather department here in the cities. Several tornado touch downs right in the metro. Lots of damage along Portland Ave. Here's a picture of what I saw while out riding after the storms. This was taken at about 50th and Portland just a block south of the creek. Much more damage occurred further north of this site.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Urban Jungle

Today's safari takes us into the urban jungle, on the look out for the elusive and rare albino squirrel. They live high up in the canopy of this dangerous tangle of roadways and stop signs. Other dangers include cars the size of rhinos roaring and charging from red lights with no warning.

Ahead is a more peaceful part of the jungle. Humans live there in neatly organized colonies they call neighborhoods. I am in this colony for only moments when.... it possible? Is that it? YES! A rare sight indeed, years of preparation and planning for this safari have paid off. I have encountered what few others have seen.

Tom, safari guide and wildlife photographer.

The B bike served me well again on today's jungle excursion. 33/17.2

Monday, August 17, 2009

B Bike

It looks like the Orbea is on the sidelines for a few days while I wait for parts to repair it. Nobody has Shimano 7800 or 7801 dual shifters in stock, and I need a new right one. The cable head that broke off messed up some of the gears in the shifter itself.
The 2nd string bike maneuvered the SWR adequately once the saddle height was slightly adjusted lower. Nice day to ride. 33/16.6

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nice Day

Legs still full of cement, but got out after the rain and did a shortened version of my SSR. Rear derailleur cable broke with about 5 miles left in the ride, which shoots the rear derailleur on to the 11. Good thing it was flat the rest of the way home. Been working on repairing it tonight. The cable head is stuck in the shifting mechanism. It's touch and go. I've already been in surgery for a couple of hours. I'll keep updating the progress. 47/17.0

My Grandson and I spent the evening together.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I actually got to go south today. It’s been a long time, at least it seems like a long time, since I’ve seen heard and smelled good old Scott and Carver counties from a bike.
Despite the lack of rain this summer the farms present robust, ripe fields that seemed anxious to be harvested. For all my efforts to go forward the wind was pushing back hard today, and the air....mighty thick.

I survived the pummeling from the wind for 35 miles and finally arrived in Jordan, which meant it would now be a cross wind for about 10 miles, until I'd finally be heading north and get a little help.
In Prior Lake I was waiting at a stop sign to turn, and a motorist pulled up and asked if I knew where the Farmers Market was. I told him no and asked what city it was in. He said, my girl friend gave me directions... Enough said, all I could do was wish him luck.
There are three things you've got to have for a good hard ride; legs that laugh at hills and like to show off on the flats, heart and lungs that ravenously burn the oxygen they take in, and a mind-set that welcomes any lack of comfort as proof that not everyone can do this.
These three elements of a good ride apparently stayed in bed this morning, because all I could think about was when will this be over. Beautiful ride today, just delightful to be out, and the bike felt great, but my performance was more akin to November rides than mid August. I don't know, it's been a tough year for me. First year in about 10 where I haven't noticeably improved some aspect of my cycling skills.
My crash last September took a lot out of me. I remember laying in the ER thinking, this is not worth it. I'd never thought like that before. I figured I'd eventually get the intensity back that I was so used to, and I'd be setting PBs again in 2009. Didn't happen. The intensity that accompanies youth may have finally fled from my aging legs, lungs and brain to aide a less seasoned cyclist.
Don't worry, I'll never stop riding, but if this season has been an accurate indication, I may be slowing down and riding a bit less in 2010. 78/18.2

Friday, August 14, 2009


I loved this bike. I can't believe I'm this sad about losing it. It was taken from a locked storage unit inside my complex by someone who is not a tenant. It is a very unique piece of equipment.

Off the bike today.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No New Adventures

I'm getting old. One new adventure a month is about all I can take, so back to the SWR. It was a triple "H" day (hazy, hot and humid), but a very enjoyable ride. Saw Lynne commuting home, just as I was getting started. Over by the cafe Taylor was heading up West River Rd to the hill ride. And, when I was finishing up by Lake Calhoun, Cam pulls up to a stop light I'm waiting at, so we rode for a few miles together.
It's nice. There sure is a great community of cyclists here. 33/16.8

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Something New

Wanted to try out the new Luce Line trail, so found it's beginnings in Theo Wirth Park and followed the dotted yellow line west. I like bike trails, don't get me wrong. I think we need more, and the more we have the better for everybody. The Luce Line is a little toooooo....dysfunctional though. Lots of turns that you can't see around, street crossings that are diagonal so you have to wait for two stop lights at one intersection, because it's against the law to cross an intersection diagonally. It was my first time on it, and I'm a seasoned cyclist, but I made wrong turns because there were no signs indicating which was the path and which led to private property.

I endured to Medicine Lake and then rode north on East Medicine Lake Rd. This was a delightful area and I will definitely be out there again. Came south along West Medicine Lake Rd and then picked up the Luce Line again heading east. Got off at Plymouth Rd and took that to Winnetka, Texas, Virginia and picked up Cedar Lake Trail.

Again a nice easy ride. I don't think I'll be on the new Luce Line Trail much, except that part on the south shore is nice, but like I said, I'll be up around Medicine Lake often.

On The Northwest Side of Medicine Lake

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Banner day today for Tom. I rode for over 60 miles without a flat!

Rode by some of the damage caused by last night's storms. People are great. I noticed 7 or 8 cars parked out in front of this home. I assumed neighbors had come to help clean up.

A spectacular summer day. I did a loop up through Wayzata, Medina, and Baker all the way over to Lake Independence, then down back to Baker and around Lake Minnetonka. It is easily my favorite area to ride in, with rolling hills and very few cars. I did see a lot of cyclists out. In Wayzata I saw Meg and Doug from the team. Stopped and talked for awhile. Saw some Tonka boys up by Lake Independence and then saw a turtle trying to cross the road. Stopped picked him up and got him to the other side. No less than 3 minutes later a big milk tanker came roaring by. I just may have saved that little guys life.
Just before I get to Lake Minnetonka, who do I see, but Charles, so we rode home together for about 25 miles. Just a great day.
Haven't taken a picture of a barn lately, and thought this was a good one.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Personal Bests

Sometimes things just don't work out like you planned.
Waited for the roads to dry until about 9:30. About 10 miles into the ride it was raining. I'd even thought about taking the "B" bike, but noooooo it was going to get hot, humid, and sunny. Even with the rain I was plenty warm.
Had to keep it slow though. Just wasn't in the mood to go down on slick roads or paint.
I put on about 25 miles and was back by my place, and the sun was coming out. The ride was getting a little bouncy, yep another flat. Oh well, I'll stop at home, change the flat, re-apply the rain-washed-off sunscreen, and be on my way to salvage maybe another 50 miles out of the day.
Sunscreen on and tube repaired I was....F&%K about two miles later two more flats (two separate cuts in the tire, two repairs). I decided to walk it home. Numerous cyclists asked if I was OK, if I had the tools I needed. One guy got off his bike and said, "I can change a flat faster than anyone". I had to wrestle my bike back out of his hands. Almost too good of a Samaritan.

Got home and figured I needed a change. The day was a total loss, but I figured I could take out my De Rosa fixie and get some miles on it. Five miles later another flat. Trust me here, I'm leaving out a lot. There was a ton more bad stuff going on. For some reason, I couldn't get the fixie tube to hold air.

UNBELIEVABLE, but who shows up on his bike. RON! Can he help? No. We were about 6 blocks from Erik's Bike Shop, so we walked over there, borrowed some tools and got the tube to finally hold air. It was a major pain in the ass, but it was so good to see Ron we almost had fun.

We rode back to my place certain that fate would have one last laugh at my expense, but pity was taken. Ron and I rode the lakes well below conversational pace and enjoyed the mid-summer scenery....lots of cassettes.

Pre-flats pictures from the morning ride.

Minnehaha Creek has looked like a bike trail, up until yesterday.
Roads were turning into rivers
The weather front had gone through earlier this morning, but decided to re-visit during my ride.
Gold Medal Flour Mill From The Mississippi
Train Bridge Trusses Over The Mississippi

Personal Bests you ask?
I achieved my highest number of flats ever in one day, and on top of that, never have more expletives passed my lips in 4 hours before. Something to be proud of.
I estimate 43 miles today.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Art Season

Rode over to the Uptown Art Fair, and met Lynne. Nice time walking around eating food that's bad for me and enjoying art that's good for me. Maybe 3 miles.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Guy's Gotta Work Too

Doing a little work this morning by The Basilica of St Mary.

Clouds rolled in this evening just in time for my ride. 33/17.6

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Addiction Grows

Last week when I did the Tuff Ride, I met a few cyclists for the first time. Saw one of them today and we rode for about 10 miles together. Andy, he rides with Grandstay. Nice conversation. 33/17.1

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

She's A Beaut

Stopped at the Hub to pick up the last item for my fixie. She rides fine! I took her out for a maiden run of 3 miles after my SWR. 33/17.3 + 3 fixed.
Canal Between Isles and Cedar
Crab Apples at Isles

Monday, August 3, 2009

Never Gets Old

Almost like Summer had the warmth, hazy sky and humidity. I love the views of the city, lakes, rivers and creek...I never get tired of them. 33/17.1

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Set out solo on the standard Sunday route, visiting the usual sites in Wayzata, Medina, Baker and around Lake Minnetonka. Sun was everywhere, even these cattails couldn't hide from it. 50/17.6

I'm Not Always On My Bike

St. Anthony Falls Last Night

Now off for a ride!