Thursday, July 31, 2008

almost ready

11 p.m. thursday night and i'm finally done packing...almost. throw the stuff in the car, food and ice in the cooler, finish up details at work and the first half of team unicorn will be headed to nine mile. ogara and i are hoping to get out of here around noon to get up there and grab a pit area, set up camp, pre-ride, etc. also planning to meet up with the other vassago folk and get them some parts and talk plans for the weekend. the other half of the team (jesse and bill) should be heading up a few hours after us. maybe a little more riding, a few beers and a decision between sharing a tent with some of these guys or just throwing out everything in the vue and crashing in there. certainly not opposed to the vue as it has served me well at prior races and not sure i want spinner snuggling up to me in the middle of the night.

on a good note, with a little help from ogara the jabber seemed in top shape as i absolutely hammered on it last night in what turned out to be one of my best rides of the year. a solo effort aimed at pushing the limits of the bike to make sure it was as far from failure as possible. ogara may have gone a little overboard on my rear wheel but for the sake of this race i'll deal with it.

now to try to relax, get some sleep and get ready to spend a few hours ripping legs off in wisconsin.

ogara's modifications to my rear dropout...pretty sure its not going anywhere now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

lesson learned

for the hundredth time. don't fuck with your bike right before a race. if you do, leave plenty of time for a thorough beatdown on the trails to make sure nothing fails. almost ate my teeth twice last night dropping my chain climbing after switching cogs and not getting my chainline and tension dialed properly. more work on the bike this morning, more flogging of said bike tonight.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

real men riding manly trails

monday night warm-up for 24/9. this week will be pretty much dedicated to riding and dialing in the bike that's been ignored since forc side for the sake of bigger miles. mix in some "team meetings" and packing/organizing then heading up to the land of cheese on friday. also, jesse started a new blog for local riders to post about their adventures. pretty hard not to find humor in the shock top similarities.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


got a text from jesse this morning (probably from late last night)...

chameleon found. 1 dead. 2 seriously injured.

i know he's telling the truth about the chameleon cause it was locked up outside my apt when i left for work. the rest MIGHT be a joke.

Friday, July 25, 2008


spinner's chameleon got jacked outside sabor last night.

should you see a white santa cruz chameleon with a 140mm travel marzocchi fork and some serious cable rub on the head tube please proceed to beat the shit out of the person riding it and return it to either jesse or one of the local shops.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

canton, burr oak, sattre

after spending all day frustrated that i was working and not riding in this ridiculously gorgeous weather i decided to get lost tonight. i took off with the idea of finding some gravels i hadn't ridden before. i made my way up near canton, mn, then over through burr oak and past the sattre store, lower dam, upper dam, up whitetail just because and then a tour through town to cool down. gorgeous night, awesome sunset, almost 2 hours of total dark and 50+ miles. succeeded in finding new-to-me gravel. found myself a couple times really thinking about how comfortable fisty is...don't know that i see myself ever riding anything other than steel on gravels. can't wait for the public to have access to it and see what everybody else thinks.

happy birthday mom!!

best wishes from nordic country, hope you have a great day.
love ya.

check out colin

this dude is hilarious. first guy i ever met at college. got a call from him maybe a month before we moved in saying "so...i guess i'm your roommate..." and by the time all was said and done we'd spent our freshman year living together with jason and couldn't have hoped for a better 3 people to be put together at total random. colin's an awesome guy with a great sense of humor and a love for triathalons. he also happens to be living with monomelic amytrophy which has limited the strength in his left arm to being able to lift at most 6 pounds, he can no longer wear button-fly jeans and can't tie his shoes if his hand gets cold. but he can, and does bust his ass and and could probably kick your ass in a tri. clicky link on right. for what its worth, i don't think he'd be anywhere near as good at tri's if it wasn't for the 2a.m. nintendo power pad/track and field training that happened freshman year.

Monday, July 21, 2008

resting peacefully

another long sunday gravel ride. new route. straight west toward lime springs, caught a super short stretch of gravel ridden on transiowa that i've never ridden otherwise. got to the halfway point and hung out in a cemetary for a bit cause i was a little scared the heat was getting to me. caught a gentle breeze at my back on the way home and really got after it...big mistake. the heat/lack of hydration had been getting to me and by the time i got home it really got to me. felt like ass the rest of the night and fought cramps pretty hard. otherwise, the ride was pretty nice. 75 miles, perfect summer day, cool little cemetary to take a break in.
appropriately named cemetary
foreshadowing that which would be necessary to make it through the final stretch home
favorite plot in the joint


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


although we are fairly well trained using chainrings and cogs as throwing stars, and quite frankly a few of us are pretty damn lethal, the chainring pictured did not actually cause the damage shown. best guess is some sort of animal drug this into the shed at work, snacked on the head, then left the rest as a warning to other potential interlopers. enjoy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

forc side thrill ride

the race went well. pre ride at 8, smashed my fingernail between my bars and a tree which hurt like a bitch and has a pretty color to it now. ran into kent and steve as i was leaving to grab some breakfast, met back up with them when i got back. race started up a long paved climb and kent and i were gone. halfway through the first lap he passed me and i was wondering if his 16 in back was gonna be enough to take the race since i was still pushing an 18. he ended up blowing a corner which let me catch up then he got tangled up in a slightly confusing place and i got around him. i finished the first lap with the lead and never saw anyone again. caught a couple experts that started 10 minutes ahead of us. second lap felt perfect...just ripped everything. 3rd lap brought some twitching in the legs signaling the onset of cramps but they held off and i ended up winning with kent taking second. another good day in iowa for vassago. i think i had about 3 minutes on kent and 5 on third. ran into some good guys like you do at every race...the guy from the trek store that helps organize it, a couple guys from lamba i've met before, adam perkins (luther classmate rocking a jones), andy lueck (2nd expert...well done), and a couple of guys i met at sylvan island who are solid dudes. trails are defintely not the same as decorah...reminded me of the hillside area of the center trails kent took me too in des moines yesterday. all in all a very well organized race and the people running it deserve a ton of credit.

the weekend certainly didn't turn out the way i had hoped but i made the best out of what was left. pics eventually...time to spend time with junior who now understands that he is no longer supposed to say "good luck dad" but to instead say "rip some legs off dad". he rocks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

blue mounds cancelled

so much for my first attempt at 12 hour...guess 7 oaks will be my solo debut. heading to des moines to see adam's new place and have kent carlson show me around the science center in the morning. heading to the qc to pre ride sunday's race course saturday afternoon then race sunday....guess i'll be feeling a little fresher sunday than expected.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

weekend plans

7 a.m. get bikes dialed and get ready for work
9 a.m.-7 p.m. work
7 p.m. haul ass to the apt, pack last minute items and start driving
9:30 p.m. arrive at blue mounds campground, set up camp
??? p.m. sleep

6 a.m. wake and start eating/hydrating
6:30 a.m. register
8 a.m. begin first ever 12 hour solo race
???? feel like dying
8 p.m. finish first ever 12 hour solo race
9 p.m. leave for quad cities
11 p.m. arrive in the quad cities
??? p.m. sleep

7 a.m. wake and start trying to get my shit together
8:30 a.m. register and pre-ride forc side thrill ride xc race (sport/ss)
10:00 a.m. second guess decision to race day after 12 hour race
noon race
3 p.m. start drive back to decorah
6 p.m. arrive in decorah
6:15 p.m. begin 12 hour coma

Sunday, July 6, 2008

sunday gravels

took a trip up to preston, mn and back today...definitely a favorite route of mine. took off with novian and isaac (luther cc runner in town for camp). left them and their skinny tires for gravels an hour in. ended up doing about 80+ miles of mixed gravels and pavement. maybe 50/50 which is way more pavement than i prefer but the gravel closures are still messing with some routes. my computer said it was over 90 by the time i got back but i really don't believe that thing anyway so please ignore this entire statement. it was hot. especially for a ginger. there's a stretch of bridges along the bike path between harmony and preston that always make me smile and today i figured out why. although they don't necessarily look the same, they remind me of the bridges along the nature trail at scott county park near the quad cities. growing up in davenport we spent countless weekends camping at scott county and walking the nature trail. those bridges were ALWAYS the highlight of the walk. playing army, trying to make them sway, trying to manage your way across the wires without touching the water...whatever...they just remind me of some very happy times from growing up, family time i wouldn't trade for anything.

memories...why is it that playing under the bridges was always way more fun than crossing them?

gravel goodness...the point of this picture is lost a little bit in the color but the point was you know its a good gravel day when your tires turn totally white...dry and fast.

Friday, July 4, 2008


i feel strong right now but i also feel like i'm on the verge of overdoing it. haven't taken a day off since the race and the legs feel just a bit jello-y so its time for some nectar of the gods.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

wednesday night ride

stats from last night's bike show...ride.
black sheep
red mariachi
tom fisher ferrous (teesdale rebuilt gary after garage incident)
rig (waiting on his optimus ti)

0 derailleurs
0 suspension forks
0 26" wheels
2 ti forks
2 carbon forks
2 steel forks
3 sets of i9's
1 nasty crash

usual suspects missing:
green mariachi
blue mariachi
jeff jones (or a seven, or a sycip, whatever he feels like that night)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

a little bit of peace

got in 20-some miles with reyerson on gravels last night to shake off the effects of racing sunday. rode toward a beautifully colored sunset and into the semi-dark of early night. got up and hit the gravels again this morning in my only window to ride...15 miles of perfect blue skies sand green farm fields. a couple silent assassains (f-ing farm dogs) ambushed me and threatened to ruin the serenity but no bites were taken and i rolled on. a couple pics from recent gravel rides in case you don't understand why i ride them...