Saturday, February 28, 2009

spring cleaning

tried to make the most out of an ice-ruined day by swinging down to travis's place and giving the jabber a little bit of love after a long winter of neglect broken only by the occasional day of abuse. got everything shined up and virtually race ready for the trip to arkansas. i realize that's a month away but i really don't expect this bike to see much ride time before then unfortunately. everytime i really take the time to go through this bike and clean it up/adjust brakes/new chain/scrub drivetrain/etc. it just reminds me how much i love it and why i was so particular about the build in the first place. a couple pieces have been changed but not many. its light enough and with the nano rear/weirwolf front i just set up for ouachita it will be fast enough that the only thing holding it back will be me and the months that have passed with no technical riding to speak of.


this is an explanation of the impetus behind the previous post. travis had this parked out back for just a few hours before all this ice built up.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

if it wasn't for the weather...

then what would i bitch about? so it is.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

5 years

somedays it seems like you've been around forever and somedays it seems like its passed in the blink of an eye. a lot has happened and a lot has changed in 5 years but i'm still amazed by the power your laughter possesses. happy birthday little man.

Monday, February 23, 2009

back at it...finally

first ride today after taking a surprising amount of time off the bike (about a week). didn't really intend that much but life/weather/training/work sort of dictated a break. still got a fair amount of core work in but it was nice to get back out on the gravels. got out with ogara for a couple hours and just cruised at a good pace. legs had been feeling a bit beat was good to feel fresh. yesterday brought larsson's birthday party and tomorrow he turns 5. had a great time rollerskating with some of his buddies from school and had some extended family in town. should have some good pics from yesterday up sometime.

Friday, February 20, 2009


a little bloody and still far from done but here's yesterday's improvements...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

chronology of the sleeve

since i'm headed in today to get some more work done, i thought i'd get caught up on the timeline of how the leg got to where we're at.
step 1...tribal piece on the calf
this was done by a guy just finishing his apprenticeship at valhalla. did a pretty good job and he's somewhere further down in iowa now (mt. pleasant?) and i hear he just keeps getting better. best guess is this piece was done about 4 1/2 years ago.
step 2. larsson's initials (w/crooked crown)

this one was done by a guy named al at a place in rochester. he was good, and pretty fast. pretty sure he's moved on as well, i believe back up to the cities. this was a father's day gift in '06. 3 months later i was dropping like 3 feet off an elliptical box out back of the shop, slipped a pedal and tore a scar right through the crown. the doctor did a good job of putting the puzzle back together but there's still some ink missing.

step 3. the ship's outline (sorry, no pics)

this was the first piece done by brock at valhalla and i can't imagine going anywhere else right now. i'd been wanting to find someone i trusted enough to just walk in with an idea and say "have at it" and he's finally the guy. no good pics of just the outline but that part took a few hours in itself.

step 4. filling the ship and water

sorry about the crappy pics, i'm far from a professional. two things really grabbed me after this sitting...the detail in the wood grain on the boat and the colors in the face of the dragon head. brock is awesome with colors and we spent a lot of time getting exactly what we wanted out of this.

step 5. filling the sail
the goal from the start was to orient the ship/sail so that the original tribal piece on my calf sat as a symbol inside the sail. unfortunately this wasn't the plan when the tribal piece was done so the perspective isn't quite right but brock's done a good job working around that. the colors in the sail are awesome once again. lots of purples and magentas with almost a tie-dye look to them. there's a ton of detail in what seemed like it could have been just a quick fill job.
step 6. the sun and clouds
the goal for either side of larsson's initials is to fill the space with a day and a night sky. ultimately the way you see the two will depend on your perspective. it will look both like a ship sailing out of a sunset into night as well as a ship sailing through the night toward a sunrise. so far brock was able to get the sun and the outline for the clouds done. he tried a new-to-him technique filling the sun so he has some touch-up to do on that which will be part of what he does today. the main focus of today will be to fill the clouds thereby completing this side of my leg. all that should remain is probably two more sittings to do the night scene on the other side then a whole lot of touch-up over the whole leg. at the rate i get my work done i'm guessing this should be completed in only like two more years. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

birthday claus

got to take adam a couple new toys when i headed down to des moines earlier this week. first off was a present from his wife...

adam's new jabber...we'll get some better pics once its covered in mud
next gift was really just a loaner from me cause he gets to take a trip out to ray's (insane jealousy boiling in my veins)...

my trusty steelhead...this thing has been beaten, crushed, welded, neglected, dropped, thrown, abused, ground, modified, torn down and rebuilt and just comes back smiling and begging for more.

had a great time with family while i was down there and looking forward to trail weather to really start riding with adam. the enthusiasm of new riders is so can't help but remember why you fell in love with riding in the first place. kent even joined later in the night for some highly important philosophizing and world problem solving. looking forward to my seemingly regularly scheduled monthly trips down to the area...especially since the next few times i'm down there i get to put a number on my bike and try to ride it really fast.

one more picture of it just cuase i really like this one. seems i've gotten even with it for what it did to my leg a couple years ago.

Monday, February 16, 2009

happy birthday bro

larsson and i are heading down to des moines later today to celebrate adam's birthday with the help of heather, amy and kent. the visit was supposed to be a surprise but that never seems to work out so we'll see if i can come up with another surprise or two just to keep him guessing. no heads up here though even though i'm sure he's working way too hard to check today...anyway there'll probably be a recap of it eventually. other than that just resting up a bit after saturday night's after bar raged until 7 a.m. had to take a few days off the bike due to this weekends parties at the bar. the owner hosts a 50-team volleyball tournament that brings in teams from all over the country. its hands down the biggest party i've ever seen in decorah outside of nordic mess. so, i'm just a bit rundown from the weekend. lots going on coming up with adam's birthday, probably a day or two missed with the new ink going into the leg, larsson's birthday next week and recently signed up to coach larsson's biddy basketball team. there'll still be plenty of time to ride, just need to get a bit more organized and start getting caught up on sleep.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


stopped and talked with brock today. i'll be heading in for some more ink next thursday. 3-4 more hours of work on my leg. he told me they've got a new site up with some pics of my leg here after a couple different sittings.

Monday, February 9, 2009

awesome weekend

scotty got to town friday night so i ducked out of the bar early and we spent some time getting caught up at t-bock's. the rest of the weekend looked something like this...

larsson getting ready to start his second year of the barnelopet kids ski race/walk

check out the form...the concentration...

there was a bit of this but his stubborness kicked in and after a few falls he wouldn't let me help him up as he was determined to figure out how to stand up on his own

obligatory medal ceremony...followed by a second lap and a trip around the "big kids" loop

scotty and i took off from larsson's ski think and met up with kent, bill and jesse for a bluffton ride. the warm temps had melted everything and it turned into one of the sloppiest rides i've been on in a long time.

the bluffton bar, jesse, bill, kent, scotty

headed home

mmmm...sloppy...but we try not too think about how much manure is mixed into the slop on the gravels

wild bill

after a late night at work and meeting up with some yahoos at t'bocks saturday night, scott and i headed out for a metric on sunday. awesomely warm temps and a lack of wind made for a beautiful ride. 64ish miles through bluffton, locust, sattre and a jaunt over into allamakee before heading home.

elk farm just east of bluffton


countless number of donkeys, burrows and asses seen this weekend. surprisingly only one of them let loose a hee-haw directed at scott. we thought we were going to lose him to the donkey for a bit but an epic amount of will power kept his eyes on the road and we got him home safely.

in other news...apparently the birth certificate says today makes 31. so it goes.

Friday, February 6, 2009

friday's ride

same as the first half of thursday night's ride, then turned around and rode it back the other way.
had to climb up thisto get to see this

"the hounds of hell...

were nipping at my heels and my friends were nowhere to be found!" so sayeth the unicorn upon its return from the depths of the snow covered abyss. last night's ride was an absolute riot. wes joined myself, spinner and ogara as we headed out for some snowmobile trails on the advice from a guy who just knows. the trails started out absolutely perfect. the closest i've come to true mountain biking in the winter. crazy hard climbs, super fast decents, squirrely stuff, drops, small jumps, lots of bike handling skills required. eventually we got into some stuff that really kinda sucked though. a fair amount of walking and then we had to make a decision...we knew it was time to be heading back to town and we had a general idea where we were so we thought we'd be smart and NOT follow the snowmobile trail signs and rather follow some tracks that we thought would prove to be a short cut. and this is the point in the story when we first meet the hounds of hell. the opening quote of this post was copied word for word after one of our companions ventured down a path that apparently we weren't meant to go down. more wandering, more wondering...when are the dogs coming, when will the shotguns come out, should we turn out the lights and sneak through this christmas tree farm, how do i keep from crashing every ten feet and falling down through three feet of powder, why didn't i top off my flask before the ride, how can we be lost when we can actually see town from here? anyway, hoping to get back out on the same trail again today if i have time before work. looks like scotty's gonna be here all weekend and kent will be up tomorrow so plenty of gravel this weekend and its likely to be sloppy if the weather does what they say its going to. and lastly...yes, jeff's new bike is stupid light. almost under 16 lbs. here's a picture of jesse proving just how happy he is for jeff...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

about this weather...

seriously. sunday i put on 60-some miles. i headed straight west and i think i stood for the first 25 miles (damnedtootallfixedgear)...BUT...on the way home i took my balaclava off for the first time in god knows how long. i rode in sunglasses (no goggles) and swore i was getting a sunburn. took monday off then rode tuesday in a nasty wind and cold and swore i was getting frostbite. today jeff and i sprinted to bluffton and back and it was cold but the wind was damn near non-existent. tomorrow its supposed to hover around freezing then something like a week of near 40's with some shitty rain/snow mix. you know the gravels are going to thaw/melt/freeze/melt/freeze/thaw/get sloppy/etc. not that i'm complaining about the warmth, this winter's been cold enough. its just this erratic weather and the unpredictability of the gravel conditions that's getting annoying. excuse the rant. it was that or bitch about a-hole drunks that always want to fight like the d-bag that took a swing at me saturday night when i tried to kick him out of the bar. rednecks, meatheads, thugs...whatever you are or whoever you think you are...most of us party to have a good time. why drink to fight? go be an asshole on your own time. one post, two rants. guess i feel better now.