Friday, April 30, 2010

Day Off

Tomorrow's Ride:
Sat May 1
Punch 9AM (no car parking)
100 miles about 5 hrs saddle time.
We'll ride through beautiful Jordan and Belle Plaine averaging a very unruly pace of 20mph. There are 3-4 pretty tough climbs (one with a sprint sign), so bring your hill climbing wheels. The wind from Jordan to Belle Plaine will be brutal, so you'll be able to practice the fine art of holding the wheel in front of you. If I like you we'll regroup. Sitting in is never a problem, but if you can't maintain the pace you are on your own. Know where you are and how to get home.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Good Day

Wind was at it again today. They keep on saying a storm is coming. I hope it's over before Saturday. Great ride today. Felt really good. 33/17.7

A Year Ago Today My Mom Died.

I miss both my parents very much, but am so grateful to them for what they gave me. Below is my experience the day my mom died. I wrote it that night.

I wanted to write down some of my thoughts and experiences from today April 29, 2009, the day my mom died.

I was at the Ramsey County courthouse doing my research work, when I got a call from mom’s next door neighbor Jeanne Cummings. Jeanne said, there was a police car and ambulance outside of mom’s house. I was in my truck and heading home (mom’s house) in no more than two minutes. As I drove I thought I hope I can get there before they take her to the hospital, so I can tell her everything will be ok, and that I will be there to take care of her. My phone rang. It was Bishop Hicken. Jeanne Cummings had called him, and told him what she had told me. Bishop Hicken told me that he had called Gabrielle, and she had given him my phone number. I was driving by the airport as I was talking to him. I’d wished Gabrielle hadn’t been told. I called her immediately and she was sobbing. I told her I was on my way, that I would take care of everything, that I was about 10 minutes from grandma’s house. She wasn’t at mom’s house yet.
I came up Cornelia Dr., by the elementary school, and could already see the flashing lights of emergency vehicles, there were 3 or 4 police cars, an ambulance and a large fire truck. Things got heavier in my stomach. As I crossed the 70th street intersection I could see people on the front lawn. Two of them were my daughters, holding each other and Jeanne Cummings with her arms around both of them.
All I could think about were my daughters, I got out of my truck and ran to them, and an embrace that I will never forget followed. I comforted hugged, kissed, and they did the same for me.
The police were very respectful, but wanted to talk to me. Before they could say anything I said, “I’m her son can I see her?” They said no. I knew this was not a good sign. I was asked questions, and was told what had transpired.
They had received a 911 call at about 10am. Mom complained of chest pains, I don’t think she was even able to give them an address. She began to mumble and they weren’t able to get any more communication from her over the phone.
The paramedics arrived and no one answered the door. They went around the house looking in the windows, and saw mom lying on the floor by the study door. They broke down the back door, got to her and immediately proceeded to do CPR. She was not conscious at any time that the EMT’s were there.
“They are still working on her”. I said, thank you, and turned my attention back to my daughters. We hugged. Britty left to go get Elijah.
The police came to me a second time and said, “we’re still working on her, and have been in touch with the emergency room Dr. at the hospital”. I interrupted and asked, “is she dead”? I was told yes. “Can I see her?” “We need you to wait, until we clean things up a little”.
Gabrielle and I hugged. Britney had been sobbing uncontrollably, but was now on her way to get Elijah. I called her and told her that Grandma was dead. It was almost a scream I heard in response. She dropped off Elijah and came back to be with me and Gabrielle.
I moved away from the front of the house to get some privacy and called Marlene in Egypt. There have been some very hard things I’ve had to do in my life; this is high on that list. How do you tell someone their mom is dead, especially when it’s your mom and you are telling your sister? I was shaking. “Mom died of a heart attack this morning”. I had to repeat it a couple of times. Then I simply said, “She’s dead”. The sorrow was overwhelming, and we both cried. It was impossible to understand what Marlene was saying through the sobs and tears. I told her what I knew, about what had happened and that I loved her.
I called Rob and then Dave next, explaining to them what had happened. Then I called Ethan. He wanted to come, but had the kids, which just wouldn’t have worked, so we kept in touch by phone.
Rob and Josh came over in about 30 minutes.
We were able to see mom. They had moved her into the living room so they had more room to work. Her cane and one slipper remained in the hallway, were she had collapsed. When I saw her she was lying on her back, her arms at her side, and she was close to her piano. Her feet were facing the hallway. She was covered by a white sheet, with her face showing. She had a calm peaceful look.
The conversations started to turn towards, what needed to be done. Her body needed to be turned over to the funeral home. We looked for mom’s written wishes which were to be in the study, but couldn’t find them. Rob and I had to start making decisions. After we decided which home we’d use, it took a little more than an hour for them to come and get her body. A police man had to be with the body until it was “transferred” to the funeral home.
Rob, Josh, Britney, Gabrielle and I all sat in the study and talked while we waited, the police man standing at the front door entrance. The mood started to lighten as we talked, and spoke of how it all happened. It became obvious that mom’s suffering only covered a short period of time, before she fell unconscious. It appeared she had made herself some breakfast, and had put those dishes in the sink. It seems that it all happened very quickly.

I left the house about 4PM, came home and went out for a bike ride. It was raining and I was crying.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Beauty

The wind kicked up out of the east today. Guess a storm's comin'. I was just finishing up as the Birchwood Team was setting out on its hill ride. The blue was lookin' good. For me 34/17.5

Here's a few more images from yesterday afternoon's trip to the Lake Harriet Rose Garden.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just Plain Nice

Beautiful...just beautiful out there tonight. I got out for my ride later, because I played so long with my camera this afternoon. That left me looking at a low sun casting long shadows of leafy trees. 33/17.3

A Forest Of Color

Took over 200 images today at the Lake Harriet Rose Garden. It was hard to narrow it down, but these are a few of my favorites.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More Recovery Needed?

Surprisingly tired today. With the rain reduced mileage and intensity over the weekend, I figured I'd be rarin' to go today. Such was not the case.
I mean there wasn't even any violence after Christmas Lake hill this Sunday, so who'd of thought I'd have this sluggish feeling. 33/16.3

Saw this on a website I visit periodically and thought it was worth sharing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Got another rain abridged ride in today. After the sky stopped leaking we took off, trying to find as many rollers as we could. Amy was sportin' the new Birchwood kit...pretty snazzy. Neither one of us has put in a ton of miles the last day or two, so the 15-20 mph wind out of the north wasn't too much of a menace. When we got that wind at our backs we were flying at 30mph over the rollers on the west side of Lake Independence. That helped us make fairly quick work of today's 65 miles. Like always, lots of talk, lots of fun and great company. 65/18.8

Elijah and I hung out tonight. I introduced him to the first Star Wars movie. The one that came out the summer after I graduated from high school. The one where we didn't know Darth Vader was Luke's father. The one I went to, for the first time, with a girl named Bobette. I didn't tell him any of that stuff, but we did eat pizza, drink root beer and acted silly. I still have the maturity level of a 7 year old. I figure that's why we get along together so well.

It's the simple stuff. I've just described a perfect weekend. Family, grandson, bike riding, great friend.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Got up at 7 to be ready to ride at 8:30. Greeted by some thunder and lightning. Postponed my departure time until 9:30.
For breakfast, I made these cinnamon muffins from scratch, with a little buttermilk, sugar and, of course, tons of cinnamon... Yes, they do look delicious. Actually, they tasted even better than they look. They were warm and oooohhhh the smell. Cold butter melting on the cut warm muffin. HEY! Watch it! You're drooling on the keyboard.

Now to the cold wet ride ahead. Decided to get the webbed feet out. Staying comfortable is what it's about. A pair of rubbers with cut-out soles works pretty nice. Obviously, I've quit worrying about looking dorky.

After I got all the rain gear on, I hoped on the Axis (Evil One), with it's full fenders and was off.

Riding in the rain really is nice. All expectations are gone. The fact that you're out at all is a huge success.
As I've mentioned before, the rain brings a freshness. Everything looks like it just got a bath and a large cool glass of water, after a hot hard work out.

Mississippi River From High Bridge In St. Paul Downtown Minneapolis From the Stone Arch Bridge Over The Mississippi
Clouds were low until I got home and then things started to lift and dry out. I bet I'll be out again later this evening.

An easy effort this morning. Will probably play a little harder tomorrow. 50/16.7

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Night Ride Pics

Storm's comin'. Strong ESE wind ahead of it. I wanted to get a few extra miles in, because it looks to be a long wet weekend. Got out on The Evil One (it has a 12-32 in back and a 46 up front) for some easy spinning, even in the wind. Just took it nice and easy with numerous stops for some pictures. Took the big camera with me. If it's raining tomorrow, I'll be getting wet, cause I'll be out there in it. Tonight 22/12.9

Cloudy But Lots Of Colors Blooming Out There

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Little Political

The lakes were choppy compared to yesterday's glass surfaces, and the air temp was about 15 degrees colder. Yeah, I noticed it! Still, great riding. 37/16.9

Watched Food, Inc. tonight.
Tomorrow is Earth Day. Find something to do to replenish our planet and preserve this paradise.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beyond Pleasant

Another beautiful evening to ride. 37/17.8

Monday, April 19, 2010

So Nice

Another perfect day for a ride. 33/16.5

The lakes were crammed tonight with people getting in a walk, jog or ride. Last night I saw this little girl at Lake Of The Isles

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Another Sunday where I met up with a few friends from the team and headed west to Wayzata. It's always so much fun, riding, talking and laughing. Sun everywhere and the wind was much more tame than yesterday. A total delight. 50/18.6

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Am In Love

You know that wind wound up being a lot tougher than those weather guys said it would be. None of this 5-10 mph stuff, it was 15-20 mph and I was out there solo! I left early, for me, this morning and rode up to Scandia, came back through Marine, up Nason hill, into Stillwater, then down to Lake Elmo, over to St Paul and home. Man! it's beautiful up there. Lots of trees close to the road, some were old knotted up pines. Very cool lookin', and it seems like there was another lake every mile or so. I took my camera, but only got off my bike once at Marine on St. Croix. That's the problem, I see all this cool stuff that I'd like to shoot, but I don't want to stop and get off my bike. I'll be up there for work one of these times and take some photos then, with the big camera (the one that doesn't fit in my left jersey pocket).
I was feelin' it, in both the quads and the lungs today. It was a hard effort, but such a gorgeous area to ride through.
First century for the Fast Bike, and I am so in love with that bike. I've been in numerous relationships with women since my divorce 10 years ago. Emily and I broke it off...really the 1st of March, but took our time making it official. Every relationship has ended with comments about how much I ride, and how much it means to me. It is my one true love. Except for sleeping, there is nothing I spend more time doing. Not even my business. 103/19.1

Friday, April 16, 2010


Put a new rear derailleur on my Axis tonight, so took it out to see how it works. Smmmooooooth!
Got 7 miles in. Was kind of cold and windy, and I'm tired. Kinda whiny too, huh?
I'll be taking it a little easier on my ride tomorrow. The old body needs some recuperation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kind Of A Busy Day

Trying to finish up a project for a client. I think it's ready to be turned in tomorrow. Needed to get my ride in a little early. Windy, but beautiful. Lots of green showing with all the rain at night and sun during the day. Another 300 mile week. This afternoon 33/17.8

Like I said, I needed to get my ride in early. That was so I could get over to Elijah's 1st grade Spring Concert this evening.
Five Ants Marching
A Little Dancing
Some Xylophone Work
Happy To See His Family All There
On my way home I stopped off at Lake Calhoun. It was about 7:30. Lots happening on such a gorgeous evening.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

After The Rain Ride

Washed, fresh, calm, bird's songs, humidity, clean, green, and, of course, that smell that always follows the rain. 33/17.3

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Green And Sun

Kept on talking about rain, but it never happened. Lots of sun actually. Leaves are opening it's all turning green. Nice recovery ride tonight. 37/16.5

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nothing Better

Took the fast bike out with the team on another perfectly beautiful day. Great ride, lots of chatter, laughing and fun. Pick up Elijah in an hour, then out to dinner with the birthday girl this evening. Great day. Perfect weekend. 51/18.0

My Youngest Was Born 22 Years Ago Today


Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Little Camera Time After The Ride

Spring Sure Is Nice

More Hard Work

Started out lookin' like it might rain, but within an hour there wasn't even a trace of the clouds left. I'd bundled up pretty good, so by the end of the ride I was lookin' a little silly. Well, silly-er than I usually do. I think my nose got sunburned. Yeah, like I need more attention drawn to it.

I appreciate cops and am glad they're out there, and am glad they try to keep us cyclists in line too. Came to an intersection, that is off the beaten path, and was surprised to see an unmarked cop car. I can safely say I've never stopped at that sign before, and it's unusual to have to wait for a car. Because I saw the cop, I needed to stop. But, I'd been surprised. I called out "stopping" while at the same time I was stopping. Amy caught my rear wheel and went down. A little dust, no bike issues, no blood...I felt really bad. We quickly made sure everything was working and safe and got back on our bikes. All of us were laughing and talking again in just minutes. I still feel bad. She's gonna have a couple good sized bruises.

Just really a drop-dead gorgeous day, light winds, tons of sun, birds singing and signs of spring everywhere. One of the riders needed to be done a little early, and at 25 miles turned for home, so it was just BK, Amy and me now. Hanover, Rockford, Delano we were knocking off the cities at a pretty good clip. In Delano, we came up on Mike and Paula with some of their riding buddies, and joined forces through Mayer and Waconia.

I started feelin' the ride after Waconia, and we had some nasty little rollers and a bit of a head wind to deal with. Mike and BK were on a tear and I was hangin' on for dear life. Amy dropped off a little so I fell back, with the idea that I'd bring her back up. Yeah, that was gonna happen. Fortunately they are good guys, AND I'm the only one who knows the route (this stupid look is just a disguise). Yep! they waited at a turn, for us. We really weren't that far behind.

Mike turned back to rejoin his group so it was just BK, Amy and me to take on those nasty little rollers. They hurt! They hurt a lot! Amy didn't let go this time. I looked at her and said, man! you need to crash more often. She said something back, but I couldn't understand it, her mouth was full of a protein bar or somethin'. Seems like I was lookin' at my cassette a lot in disbelief that I was out of gears.

One particular hill got us all pretty good, and I was just about out of matches. BK did the lion's share of the work after that. We had about 25 miles to get home.

Good, good hard ride today! At Delano (45 miles) we were averaging 20.0. At Mayer (70 miles) we were averaging 20.3. I like it when nobody gives up. We rolled in to the finish with 98/20.6
Where's the Advil?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Night Ride Pics

Got a quickie in on a beautiful Friday afternoon, maybe about 12 miles around Isles, Calhoun and Harriet on my blue De Rosa fixie.
Later I did a little work on a friend's bike. I took my usual long time. Got some delicious pizza out of it and great company.

Spring is making its move.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Two days in a row with a cold north wind. Got spoiled by March. Who'd of figured? 300 miles for the week. I like that! Today 35/16.9

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Once Again

Back to sunny and dry got me out on the fast bike. Don't think just 'cause I'm on the fast bike means that I'm going fast. 33/17.5

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

That Was Unpleasant

Watched a water droplet dance dangle then fall, after forming, from the bill of my cap over and over again. That was about all I saw on tonight's ride. I had my hat low to keep the rain out of my eyes and off my glasses. The Evil One's full fenders kept the skunk stripe off my back and my legs dry. A waterproof jacket kept my torso sheltered, but with temps in the upper 40's, and winds at 15-20mph out of the NE wet and cold had no problem sneaking in. Almost called it quits a couple of times, but figured a hot shower and a warm bowl of split pea soup afterwards, would be even better the more miles I cranked out.

Socks and gloves stored some of that 48 degree rain. After the ride I was able to ring out about a half cup. Go stick your hands and feet in 48 degree water, and leave them in there for two hours. Can't call that pleasant. 33/15.2