Friday, January 29, 2010


too much computery crap today but the 2010 race schedule seems complete-ish. and some race registrations done. and odds and ends caught up on. race schedule is over there somewhere ----->. computer's getting put away for a few days.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 race schedule

finally getting around to setting my schedule for 2010. some races were assumed and been kinda waiting for series schedules to be posted (anybody see anything from mnscs yet?!?!?) to finalize things. interesting the way the economy (broke as shit budget constraints) have affected my race planning. unfortunately, no return trip to pennsylvania with its $100+ price tag and 4-5 day trip. definitely planning to head back to the dakota 5-0...what an awesome trip that was and easy to do on the cheap if you're smart about it. of course transiowa. gonna try to hit up lincoln for the gravel worlds and get up to charlie's neighborhood for heck of the north. throw in some iowa series stuff, decorah based events and a couple of wems races this year as well. hopefully make it back to jingle cross just cause i look THAT good in a speedo and gonna keep an eye on tuscobia seeing as how i'll have a pugsley this year....oh, and i suppose a few cross races just cause i like pain.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

thought cloud

from last night's ride: cold, dark, snow, ice, gravel, wind, solo, sketchy, sketchy, sketchy. i'm not normally one to complain about the weather. i enjoy the winter, the snow and for the most part the cold is bearable. but 4 days of rain and slop followed by a temperature drop accompanied by snow and high winds has made riding outdoors damn near impossible especially since my lazy ass hasn't put studded tires on. more snow or more sun...either cover the ice or melt it but right now its just treacherous.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

best group ride ever

this one competed with new year's day. gravels, jam band in a shed out in the country with a wood burning stove, sled/luge racing at high speed in total darkness, beers and more general jackassery. not too high on miles but tons of fun which suited my post-metric recovery just fine.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

today's plan

pre-ride the std's friday metric route. eat a lot. group ride. maybe some mix of snowmobile trails, gravels and bars. looks like tuesdays are gonna become the new group ride night and as long as we're gonna be riding under lights anyway we'll probably be starting at 8p.m. so those of us with kids can stick around til bedtime. not sure where we're leaving from tonight but i'm sure you can figure out a way to get ahold of one of us. if nothing else call a bike shop.

Friday, January 15, 2010


got an update on some questions about my STD. still considering joining us for some gravelly goodness in early march check it out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

i had a talk with god...

and he assured me that the man driving the snowmobile trail grooming machine along the heritage trail saturday will be going directly to hell and will be forced to walk a bike along freshly groomed trail for all eternity. seriously, that guy ruined my day. yep, triple d race recap here.

emotions heading into the race went from excited about the conditions to deathly afraid just a day or two before as it seemed a death march would be on tap again. then lance started talking reroute which was intriguing, then conditions improved and the original route was back on. the start of the race after getting through town sucked as it normally did. a stretch of trail not used for snowmobiles was unrideable for anyone of my ability and bike setup. couple pugsleys had mediocre success and somehow cory just killed that section, very impressive to watch. hit the heritage trail around 7th or something like that and it was instant excitement and overflowing optimism. we were FLYING! found myself as high as third after passing drew taking care of something. he quickly caught back up to me, chatted briefly, shifted and dropped me. soon after that lance and i were riding near each other and i was thinking to myself there is no way a pugsley is gonna finish in the top 10. the speeds were just too fast for them to keep up over the 60+ miles. not sure that's entirely true considering the effort dennis and lance were putting in but "skinny" bikes were most certainly gonna hold their own.

and then came the groomer and life as we knew it ceased to exist. lance was nearby and dropped me instantly as painful memories of last year's death march began to bury my early and foolish optimism. a total of 3 pugsleys passed me within 15 minutes of the groomer coming by and i walked and walked and walked. the cold certainly wasn't as bad as 2 years ago but it was still cold. the incredibly frustrating walk/ride cycle continued in total isolation for me all the way into dyersville. sanity was kept by repeatedly doing the math to figure out what place i was in (8th as best i could figure) and making a plan for what i needed to accomplish at the gas station.

a few miles outside of dyersville i met dennis and lance on their return trip and holy god they were crushing it. i was absolutely blown away by the effort they were putting in. also saw cory and nick in dyersville but on their bikes heading back. so that was 4 people and i met up with adam at the gas station. i was confused and he confirmed my confusion when he told me he was 5th and i was 6th. i knew for sure i was missing drew and i thought one other guy. apparently drew's crank arm had fallen off and i didn't catch why the other guy had dropped but i was left in 6th. adam was gone fairly soon after i arrived and i continued my efforts at staying very deliberate and focused on what was necessary. then scott showed up. he was only 5 or so minutes behind me and trevor showed up shortly after him. i was impressed and instantly forced back into race mode. so i got packed back up after some pizza and pepsi and headed for dubuque with renewed optimism that all the riders had created a faster line headed back.

the first few miles out of dyersville were very fast again and after that open section i found what i'd been looking for in a super hard pack line left from all the riders heading out to dubuque. after meeting 5 sleds the line deteriorated. it was a little hit and miss but mostly rideable until the one thing that hadn't occurred to me happened...that f-ing groomer came back. strangely this time i was able to find some rideable lines but if there was any doubt about the epic nature of this year's race before, those doubts were immediately gone. i was able to ride more than i'd been able to after the first time i met the groomer but it was very, very slow going and still a lot of walking. eventually the sun went down and the demons started their attacks. cold and hunger fueled them as i began to doubt myself and my possible finish. durango became my sole focus. i knew it wasn't the end but i knew i could stop there, get off the bike and take care of some necessities to prepare for the final push. holy god durango was a long way away. it just never came and never came and never came. the trail was again fairly rideable but the sections that had been so fast on the way out were notw totally ruined by the groomer and sled traffic.

finally reached the bar in durango and saw some friendly faces as jesse had pulled the plug in dyersville and had met up with burky to assume his expected role of putting a huge dent in the bar tab. i got situated in durango and headed for the finish. leaving durango was hands down the coldest i was the whole ride. i'd started to lose feeling in my toes and they were now beginning to hurt and my decision not to change to dry gloves under my moose mitts proved to be frustraingly naive. i've done this enough to know the importance of dry gloves but skipped it in haste. so my only choice was putting on my big goretex/fleece mittens. downside of more eating or drinking for the rest of the trip. i held out okay until i hit city limits. i got onto the paved trail and city streets in the full depths of a massive bonk. even on pavement i doubt i was moving even 7mph. finally made it back to the hotel/finish line some nine and half hours after i'd started. that was a damn long time. i was 6th, having been bested by 4 pugsleys (one of them ss...well done nick) and one geared skinny bike as cory rode very strong. very impressed by everybody's effort out there. super happy for scott who came in also on a single speed jabber in 7th some 15-20 minutes behind me. i think 2 more guys came in after scott for a total of 9 finishers. a lot of guys slayed some dragons that day. i'm pretty sure lance, cory, adam and scott have done all three years and finished this year for the first time.

eventually we ended up at the busted lift in full celebratory mode then got to spend sunday playing in the water park with the little man. i am absolutely crushed. very frustrated too because i was lazy about getting around to registering for dirty kanza and missed out as it filled up before i could get online to register. was really looking forward to that one...guess i'll be rethinking my summer race plans.

starting line


recovery day sunday

Thursday, January 7, 2010


you know you've been wanting an excuse to spend 3 days riding 200 miles of gravels around decorah and now you finally have it and you don't even have to find a place to crash! the first annual Spring Training in Decorah is going to happen march 11-13 and is guaranteed to be your favorite STD ever. check out the site for more information. email with questions and registration. honestly, like you have anything better to do. huge thanks to colin for the art and a ton of help with the web stuff. if you need really smart computery artsy designy kinda stuff...he's your dude.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

cross training

got out riding snowmobile trails with ogara for a couple hours yesterday then headed down to the bike shop and picked up a couple pairs of xc skis. i'm not a huge fan of skiing but don't mind it and larsson was super excited about it. so after picking him up from school we headed out and had a little fun in the snow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

looking back at 2009

this post will be noticeably lacking any sort of top ten list cause i just don't feel like getting that organized. its mostly a random collection of memories from the last year of riding bicycles. funny also that most of the memories will involve rides that included finish lines despite the fact that such a limited number of rides actually include stopwatches and trophies. whatever, i'm overly competitive and masochistic and have no plans to stop racing anytime soon. so, in absolutely no order whatsoever here are some highs and lows from 2009:

-first of all, its necessary to understand that i (with absolutely no doubt in my mind) accomplished more on a bike in 2009 than i ever thought i would in my entire life. that simple fact helps put a lot of things in perspective for me.

-highlight of the year was finishing transiowa. i have chronicled what this meant to me and the time and effort thrown at it and don't plan to do it again here, but becoming the second person to ever finish this monster fixed was the single biggest physical accomplishment of my life. included in this should be the fact that transiowa 2008 is what started my riding relationship with vassago cycles. following their support of my failed effort in 2008, they offered me a spot as a team rider in 2009. i've never thought myself a pro or anyone with enough talent to deserve a spot riding for a company like this. finishing in 2009 after a year and a half of support from such an awesome company, i finally felt like i had justified their continued support of my riding. huge thank you to vassago and the people that run it.

-winning the single speed division of the 60-mile ouachita challenge was as much of a surprise to me as anything else. with no concept of where i was sitting during the race i was amazed at the end when they told me i'd won. fun race, good result, hard to complain.

-made the move to the expert class in cross country racing. felt like the right move racing in iowa. felt like a massive blow to the ego in minnesota. still was finishing roughly mid-pack in the 50-60 rider expert fields in minnesota. 2 years ago i never thought i'd race above sport class. perspective.

-triple d was the epitome of a death march. at least we partied well.

-wilderness trail 101 sucked. nope. i sucked. i've never hurt so bad in my life and never wanted to quit something so bad in my life. 10 hours of riding, the last 6.5 of which were spent suffering from paralyzing cramps. possibly the most beautiful place i've ever been. definitely some of the coolest trails i've ever ridden. full blown gut check.

-top 3 decorah time trials finish. this race will always hold a special place. hometown trails, cool people, grassroots feel despite how long its been going and how smoothly its if it just wouldn't be the same weekend as transiowa...

-dakota 5-0. the whole trip. the people we hung out with, the ride went well, the scenery, the broken mirror, the cliff jumping, the big rock with peoples faces on it.

-breaking my steer tube and surviving.

-all the people i've gotten to meet, ride and race with this year. and the great people i've renewed friendships with. its really difficult to explain to people what its like to have such a sense of shared suffering during some of these events and the bonds that it can form. i feel very lucky that something i love to do has allowed me to meet such incredible people.

-making charlie farrow's list. this is both flattering and humbling. charlie is nothing short of a legend in midwest endurance events, but more importantly he is obviously just a truly good guy.

-that's all i got for now...i'm sure i've missed some stuff and i'll probably post an updated "shit i forgot to mention" list. might even do a list of my favorite products of 2009. suppose i'll probably put together a list of expected races for 2010 too. but the temps are pushing double digits so i think i'm gonna go ride. triple d is like 5 days away. transiowa is less than 4 months away. yeah, it probably is time to go ride.

Monday, January 4, 2010

new year's eve is overrated

for those of you who spent the first of the year recovering, here's what you missed (as best as i can remember):
-30ish miles
-0 degree/-12 windchill start
-15ish riders
-1st ride i've ever seen leave on time (pretty sure this was temperature related)
-spinner flats before we're out of town
-1st beer a quarter mile onto the gravel
-pork fritter
-massive bucket of fries
-high life
-mich golden
-coors lt
-blackberry brandy
-creme de cacao
-creme de menthe
-cherry doctor
-5hr energy (x2)
-taco'd front wheel from a 4-person pile up and the sov-monster landing on my wheel
-broken blood vessel in my eye
-very sore neck (although i tapped out due to boredom/stalemate not because jeff actually had the choke deep enough)
-locked myself out of my apartment
-i did make one mistake and that was not charging the camera battery. didn't even get one picture out of it.
-always a bit of a downer that the best ride of the year happens to fall on the first day of the year. thinking we need to do a new year's day ride in july.