Monday, November 30, 2009

jingle cross 2009 (saturday)

i apologize in advance...

lined up for saturday's race. apparently EVERYONE else decided to wait til sunday to break out the speedos. damn.

mud skills...didn't help much. neither did wearing the speedo. i'm still pretty bad at cross racing.this is my favorite picture. dude on the left is checking out my ass. chick in the background is either diggin me or laughing at me. 2 cans of busch light on the light pole. both brothers obviously jealous of my physique. chris's father in-law whom i haven't seen in years forced to witness the debacle. 2 of chris's sons scarred for life.

austin powers inspired strategically placed bike parts.yep...just hangin out... thank you vassago for making such ridiculous clearance. side note...never seen so many derailleurs ripped off in my life.
filthy bike
absolutely love this bike...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

sunday century

last minute planning of a gravel century seemed like a good idea. with interest from decorah, iowa city, dubuque and the hopes of pulling some people from des moines, cedar falls seemed an appropriate place to start/end. 20 minutes on left me hoping my route would lead us to gravel bliss and not a lot of missed turns, pavement and road construction. adam showed from iowa city and lance from dubuque so the three of us headed out. missed our first turn less than 10 miles in but didn't affect the route much at all. other than that we had tons of gravel, a handful of b roads, i think something resembling a d road that i thankfully didn't flat on, mild temps, occasional drizzle and some pretty good wind. nice tailwind all the way to the 50 mile halfway point then turned straight into it for 7 miles which really beat me down. one pretty good bonk about 85 miles in and made it back to cedar falls without having to get the big lights out. something like 7 hours ride time and just shy of 8 hours total time. not bad coming off a 12 hour work shift, 3 hours sleep and an hour and a half drive. adam rode impressively strong and both he and lance thankfully pulled me in the last couple of hours. fantastic time with some really good riders. some of the more memorable moments involve incredible disappointment over a bridge out that wouldn't allow us to ride an awesome looking b road we could see across the river, deciding to turn right on trapper rd without a sign telling us it was trapper just to avoid the hill in front of us, "you guys are craaaazy" from the convenience store worker in dumont, lance almot ending the ride for him and i after letting go of his bars in the wind, "i kinda hope i don't get into transiowa so i don't end up like ben" from adam and "good fucking lord let this be butler" spoken from the depths of my bonk fantasizing about the jerky
and orange slices i couldn't reach in my camelbak.
adam admiring the promise of another b road
apparently not everyone shares our love of the b road...that's a lot of bullets...
lance saying "this bike will make it through this ride without falling apart"...oops.
headed out...feeling pretty good at this point
the drive down, still dark out, still thinking this is a good idea
staring at the backs of lance and pretty used to this sight

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

devil's cross and a peace offering

finally hit my first cross race of the season sunday. devil's cross in bettendorf, fun course, kinda chilly weather, good people i haven't seen in some time.
-facts: cat 3/4 race; geared 37X17; dropped chain on second lap and was passed by the entire field; went over my handlebars bunny hopping barriers on lap 7; beat one person.
-option 1 (excuses): completely focused on endurance training doesn't allow me to train for top-end ouput like this, i don't race an uber-light carbon rig with carbon rims and tubulars, my steel single speed is built for long distance gravel riding with no regard for weight or race-inspired body position, i had no support or hand-ups
-option 2 (reasons): i really do suck at cross racing. fitness and technical abilities both are lacking tremendously.
pretty sure option 2 is the more accurate explanation of my finish on sunday. regardless, it was good to see the iowa city crew and some of the locals. well run race. after dropping my chain and getting dropped by the field i decided to have fun practicing hopping the barriers rather than dismounting. first three went well, #4 caught my rear wheel and sent me over the bars providing some entertainment for the spectators which led to a slightly larger group demanding i try again on the 8th and final lap (which i had NO intentions of doing but couldn't let the mob down). cleaned them in rather ugly fashion, finished, changed into some warmer clothes and grabbed a beer. the race hurt...a lot. man i'd rather suffer an ultra than the acute pain of these races.
monday brought a trip to cedar falls to see the mastermind behind transiowa to drop off my registration and offer guitar ted some gifts as though he has some say in the weather on the last weekend of april. was good to share some war stories with him and get excited about t.i. again. given sunday's performance and monday's visit i'm thinking this sunday is gonna involve skipping the cross race and getting in a gravel century.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

colin's version

i think i'm going to reserve my moral judgment of colin's decision to one-up my 5 year-old's drawing of my recent trail ride simply because its pretty funny. or epic. or metal. or righteous(yes, my morals are subject to the whims of my entertainment). best guess is colin was listening to the original rocker knife album while working on"illustration". thanks colin.

pretty sure it happened something like how colin has it shown above

for those who don't know colin or his humor, a rocker knife is actually a untensil given to him by an als association to help him cut up his own food. he's also a self-admitted computer geek. the name "rocker knife" just happens to be about as metal as metal gets. so it became a band that now rules the underworld of death metal and i believe also eats children.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

i lied

larsson asked what happened to my arm and i told him that i got a little scratched up wrestling a bear. surprisingly he didn't believe me but the picture is his dry erase marker/bathroom mirror depiction of me wrestling the bear on my bike.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

note to self...

when chasing mythical creatures through the forest at the speed of light it is important to remember a couple of things: a) mythical creatures are in fact...mythical b) by nature mythical creatures are not held to the conventional laws of nature or physics c) mythical creatures are most likely fast d) faster than you are, were or ever will be e) attempting never-before-attempted shortcuts at the speed of light while chasing said mythical creature through a maze of pine trees is ill-advised and should probably be reconsidered.

Friday, November 6, 2009


mostly thinking out loud here so feel free to ignore this post entirely. scenario: custom bike part breaks, builder offers repair/replace/refund. i chose a replacement. i waited some months for the original build after being told build time would be 2-3 weeks. the wait on the replacement has now been pushing a few months after promises of a quick turnaround. i don't mind waiting longer than expected for a custom part but when a few weeks becomes a few months it gets a little ridiculous. and the explanations provided actually showed said bike part moving backward in the building process making it difficult to believe i was being told the truth. in the meantime a friend with another product from the same builder has huge issues with his product cracking and getting a suitable replacement product. he is put off over and over and when the replacement arrives its just plain wrong. he battles for well over a year before demanding a refund. its been quite some time and he still only has half of his refund and is still waiting for a fairly large amount of money to be returned. ignoring my issue and this other guys, the builder makes a ridiculously awesome product. the part i am waiting on is damn near the best/lightest you can buy and really no one else is making anything else comparable. morally (for lack of a better word) i have no desire to ride this guys product. i want to feel for him, want to be sympathetic but when it APPEARS to be a string of lies and putting people off and poor business practices it gets difficult to continue to give him the benefit of the doubt. i have chosen to receive a replacement and i will stick with that, but i know that if i receive it and immediately put it on ebay i could get ahold of a pretty good chunk of money that would pay for a substantial amount of new parts/gear (transiowa/arrowhead kind of parts/gear). but, again, this individual part is virtually without substitute. given this guys business practices i don't know how long he'll be in business and not sure i'm really that moral of a person to not ride his product on principle and so to give up this product and risk regretting it later is difficult as well. hhmmmm....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


i've known the day was coming for some time now. i wouldn't say i've been putting it off, just simply getting mentally prepared for the inevitable. i ran myself a little ragged this year and was a bit burnt out by the end of the season so i took some time off the bike and have since focused on riding when and where i want with no intentions of truly training. all of this has gotten me back into the right mindset of truly enjoying my riding and starting to really look forward to next year's events...especially the big one. and then a few things all sort of happened together and i knew it was time. a very long weekend of work with far too little sleep led to sleeping for a solid 11 hours monday night. waking up tuesday morning knowing i had to be extremely productive to not be disappointed in myself i also came across this blog post from charlie farrow.
so, tuesday became my first big day in a while. a couple hours of gravels in the morning to avoid the frost/thaw of the trails, followed by getting back into my workout routine, a whole lot of lasagna, and an hour and a half on the trails. considering i still had to shower and get to work i was a bit shot by the end of the night but felt good to really work hard again. point being...the "offseason" is far from what its name implies. the next six months will be a collection of "this could be our last trail ride of the season" rides, thousands of miles of snow covered and well below-freezing gravel rides, lots of riding in the dark, working out to improve lacking core and upper body strength, and regularly pushing myself to the brink of failure in an attempt to remind myself how truly difficult and painful rides like transiowa can be. having finished it last year and planning to run it with a freewheel this year has left me fearful of becoming complacent and possibly arrogant about the ease of finishing it. so the plan is to return to my training plan from the past 2 years. ride, ride, ride, ride. ride because i want to. ride because i need to. ride when its nice out, ride when it flat out sucks. ride until it hurts, then ride until i'm delirious. ride until i know i'm stronger than i was last year. wake up everyday with such an intense fear of failing again that i continue to bury myself on the bike. should be a fun offseason. and i guess its officially started.