Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All Five

Clearing out the cobwebs through sensory overload has been working for me.
Again in the world of bike riding my rides as of late have not been the epic all day types but nonetheless once that get all my synapses firing.
Yesterday I had to convince my self to get into the super suit and ride after work.
Temps were in the low 50's and the wind was gusting, with off and on rain showers/sprinkles. 
Now riding in the rain is one thing getting motivated to ride in late October, is a whole different story.
After doing the scramble through the closet and bedroom trying to find coldish weather gear
I finally ended up with no knee warmers,, but a large gob of embro on each leg and settled for a rain style jacket for protection.  
Chilled at first, but just overwhelmed by the cool breeze and all the colors as the leaves that are left continue to float down from their homes of the last  seven months. 
The only true set back was that of a stopped train that had me having to make a decision on what route to take,, and being  I did not want to waste too much time I took the path less traveled.  
Once on the trail that heads to the top I was greeted with empty space just me, my bike, and late fall 
air. And with all the wind most of the leaves are off the tress  so now you can look through forest and see for what feels like miles. 
After popping out on top and heading down into the quarry the once warm body from climbing up the bluff was now pretty damn cold,, but the effort was not going to be too though for the pedal home,,being almost all down hill.
Darkness showed up shortly after pulling into the garage,, which again has me thinking that I need to get my light charged up,
Daylight savings time will be here this weekend, and we'll have to embrace the Darkness.. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Felt soo Gooder

After being shutout for six weeks I went three for three getting to ride
the Blackbuck Friday through Sunday.
It took me a while to get the Single Steed all back to it's once
pristine race shape but after getting the front wheel back from Velocity their was nothing really holding me back other than me and the fear of what If?

Friday afternoon I had just enough time to spin the legs and feel the bike out, and after not pedaling one single stoke all week long I was not going to let fear hold me back. 
Heading south out of the garage I noticed clouds starting to develop and not a lot of clouds just one big one.. It covered the bluffs and shrouded Minnesota, which made me change my plans for this #dontcallitacomeback ride. 

The feeling of rolling again on this mean machine along with silent pedal strokes that were only interrupted by the sound of angry bees as I coasted though the thick layer of fog, were the 
grounds for my interpretation to  push the diffraction of single track.
I wanted to avoid cars and I wanted to avoid people so knowing that the Vista Trail was a good as paved I pointed my self that way. 
A bit scared riding on the fringe of my doctors orders I started up the trail remembering that I 
still had my Shitwamagon gearing on,, I worked my way up through the fallen leaves. 
Having to ditch the glasses due to the moist air I kept my eyes open for anything that my trip me up.
But with every turn of the 36x17 I gained more and more confidence. 
Once at the top my smile was so wide my face hurt,, I knew this meant that maybe just maybe I could get back to my old self. 
From here on out I was on top of the world and ready to go shake my ass off after a nice dinner with my lovely wife. 
Bar hopping before the show we were treated to a rare sighting of The Great Gazo, and the two of us managed to put Anna to sleep talking about bikes, riding bikes, looking at bikes ETC..
The show was kick ass,, the boys just keep getting better and better the crowd....well they did not know what to do with what I call dancing, but shit,,,, kids today are not really up on good fun anyway. 

Saturday and Sunday brought more of the same.. Me out on the Buck climbing the same hill riding around in the sun getting to explore some dirt like areas on a Bike that I am coming to really enjoy. 
Only question is what now? 

More of the same for sure or at least that is how I play it out in my mind. 
They say it is just like riding a bike,, And I have to agree that it is.. Especially when 
it is Just Like Riding A Bike. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Old Number Sevn

Tomorrow will be six weeks since I ate the pavement like it was a gu shot.
This week has been a bummer of no cycling,, mainly due to the fact that I am not riding to work.
Crazy to think that my commute was such a major part of my cycling life.
The days are short and I know I said last Wednesday that I would get my lights charged up
but that has not happened quite yet. 

As the photos from the mind of the Dark Overload starting to pop up I had
to ask for one also. 

I think that it is pretty damn funny.. and with my fitness the way it is ,, I may end up racing the cross for tots race this style,, Now if I could get the sound of my hub buzzing to play on a loop.. 
it will complete the setup.. 

In other news my first born is off in North Carolina racing bikes this weekend 
for the Collegiate National Championships.
  
Last year the kids got one day of nice weather and then it snowed and made the short track
and xc race seem more like a Cross race.. 
So far so good on the weather front for all the racers,,, now it will be time to see what kind of
fitness everyone will bring to the start line. 
From all that i have seen the organizers are using every inch of the mountain there at Banner Elk.
The Pip goes off this morning at 9 eastern for the short track race, and is up against some 
heavy hitters...
Some of these schools are serious about their cycling programs and dump a lot of money in to their programs..       Good luck Ripon racers.. Go fast then go faster,,,, and if it does not hurt you are not going Hard enough..

I will leave you with the assshaking music from the north woods that 
me and the misses are going to go and party with this evening.
Yep..

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ollie North

It is already Wednesday and I have not ridden since Saturday. Days are 
short and nights are long and motivation is hard to come by when it is cold and frozen in the morning, and the afternoons disappear into night..  I keep telling my self to charge my lights and never get to doing it,, so maybe 
by typing it here I may have to do just that? I have to say that seeing 
as I am not supposed to be riding single track and am limited to where I can ride in the daylight
I'm not to sure how riding in the dark will go. 
Something needs to happen or I am going to have to start letting all of my pants out and 
but all new Tshirts this guy is getting hefty. And I am not about 
to start riding rollers yet,,, I stress yet because a day may come when this happens. 

Yesterday it was requested that we (the boy and I) go street skating. 
Now there are not a lot of great spots around the home, but I was willing to give it a shot. 
Our goal was to get to the VFW where they have the elusive yellow parking block.
He so badly wants to start doing some rail slides, but every ledge and rail at the park are a bit 
above his skill set at this time. 
So we did as we used to in the 80's we hopped on our 7 ply maple and rode some
sidewalks till we got to the spot. 
We was working it getting on and off front and backside,, not really sliding but getting some 
stalls and feeling the motion. 
From here we spent the rest of the afternoon sunlight surfing through the fallen leaves and riding every fresh section of new pavement that we could find. 
Their was even an after dinner session at the park where the Rocket was getting 

               Ollie tips from the local Pro skater kids,, The kid needs to learn this Ollie thing.
It is safe to say that it is holding him back,, the concept is there just not clicking..
So two things need to happen before we head off to the 303 in two weeks,,,
he needs to get this Ollie thing down so he can have more fun on the skate tour....
And I need to get this shoulder healed or at least feeling better so I can too have fun.
Feels like we are on  a constant search for eternal  fun,,, and glimpse have been seen but I know that more is out there,,, so until it is found I am not going to give up
my pursuit..  

Monday, October 20, 2014

THC*

Yesterday I did something that I have not done in a long long time. 
I sat on the sidelines and watched other people race bikes.
As stated last week the Red Wing race is one of my favorites for many reasons. 
Being only a hour and a half from the house it is nice not to have to spend the whole day driving. 
And as drives go this was one easy on the eyes. We get to follow the River the whole way up and leaving the house as the sun was coming up made for some great viewing. 
We had to get up by nine for the start of the Boys race, which greeted the kids with cool temps and
blustery winds.
James has a great take to bike racing.. he is just there to ride and have some fun. 
He likes to start up in the front two rows but as soon as the word go is yelled,, he drifts to the back,, not in it for fame and glory. 
As I stood by and took some picture I shuttered as I heard some of the parents instructing their kids
on race tactics,, most of which would not be good in the elite race. 
Pip's race was not until 1ish so we had a lot of time to kill, so I found a greasy spoon to feed the kids and proceeded to run in to the Woods.
As we do in all of our travels  the boy and I sniffed out the local skate park.. 
The park had a nice lay out with some neat features and good flow,, no half pipe but lots of rails and other things to slide on.   Me the gimp had to take it easy with the pain that I caused in my shoulder the day before. 

As we got back to the venue the sun started to come out and I got a chance to walk around and see old faces ones that I have not seen since before my crash. 
Lots of stories were told and great feeling of belonging to something bigger made the 
darkheart grow half a size. 
The field was a lot bigger than I thought for the elite race,,  lots of places still up for grabs with this
being the last change to gain point for the season.
The race of the day was going to be on the front with Jeff Hall and Jesse and the rest chasing them.
And know how and what these two guys like to ride I knew they were going to be fast on this 
course. 
Ali and I walked the single track getting different venues to watch and cheer. 
By the end of the day I was more tired from watching than from racing.. Lots of walking and cheering for all of our teammates. 
The Women were next and again a strong field for this time of year.
Jenna was off the front with WORS transplant Robin close behind.
Then came the train that included Pip and the other girls.
Through out the day a few of the gals had some bike issues, and Pip kept her head down and ended up having a strong third place finish. 
For the men Jeff took the win with Jesse not too far behind,, turns out that Jesse's rear tire had been leaking causing him to loose some speed through out the day.
The Brick Layer Mason followed in third to round out the Podium.
Team Hollywood Cycles showed up and in big numbers,, the all went to the line and threw down.
Very proud of every single one of them.
You all raced your faces off this year and you all put the T in THC*
Plans are already being made for next year..

Friday, October 17, 2014

I can Smell It

We have down sized here at the homestead to one car.. The truth is I still own two cars
but only one lives at the house with us any more. As a whole Anna and I are bad parents because we don't want to do the two hour drive to get Pip back and forth to school, so when it was time in August for her to head back to Higher Learning we told her to take the Mini Van.
So this means a few different things 1: at some point in time we may need to get our hands on another automobile but until the demand shows its self we will go with out. 
2: she can come home when and if she want,, like this weekend so she can race the last Minnesota Mountain Bike race. 3: There are time when getting to boy to his after school activities get to be interesting .   
Nothing in this town is far away, so a bike can get you most places. Some routes are safer and better than others and trying to motivate a ten year old can be tough. 
But I was able to get him fired up to ride his bike to Karate a easy three mile hop that at his 
pace takes close to twenty minutes. Once you get him moving and things tend to work, it is just trying to get him to want to. And for me instead of watching class it gave me time to get out and ride in the
late fall sunshine. 
Temps were in the high 60's and the sun was shining even if the angle is low it is still sun and I am lacking Vitamin D. After some six weeks of  dust were removed from the LaMere and air into the 
tires we were moving and I was on a Mountain Bike for the first time in over a month.
Now the doc said that I can ride my Mountain bikes just not on single track,,,,,, again he explained the risk of injury from crashing or hitting a tree or just my grey matter moving around too much in my skull would not be good for my recovery. 
As hard as it is for me to adhere to his rules I did..  The overall sensation of riding on a Fat Tire bike
was Just Like Heaven. It just felt
Right.. Like my body was made to be in that position, And once James was at class and I was able to 
put some power to the pedals,, all the bike wanted to do was go.   I had a round an hour to play 
and I did just this.  Up the old quarry road just to test my legs but more my lungs. Riding this old road is splitting hairs,, it  is not on the Band List of places that I can ride but it flirts with edge of
where I should not be.  It was like kissing the love of your life again for the first time.. That 
feeling of wow this is great and I want more but I know that I need to take it slow and 
not ruin a great thing. 
So that was what I did just rode taking it easy looking and listing to the wind in the changing leaves, finding little nooks of funny rocks and trees that normally not seen because of pedaling too fast to notice.  It was Two Wheeled Therapy. 
Slow and Low Let Your Self Go.
I will get to ride something again on Saturday before heading up to Red Wing to watch the kids race
and cheer on the rest of the team. I am also going to get to see
 a bunch of people that I have not seen since I got hurt... So it should be a good weekend, all 
surrounded by Wheels,, Two, Four and all Round! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Green Wing

The work week started off as quite a soaker almost three inches of rain fell over the past few days.
While I am still trying to get used to the non commuting life cold October rain has me happy to not be pedaling to work. What i need to do is find something else to get me moving through out 
the week. I may just have to charge the light system that I have and start riding the 
state trails just so I can move my fat ass. 

Speaking of moving there will be a lot of that going on this weekend,
I will be watching and cheering but if you wanted to race something with knobies on them
this would be the weekend.  Not only is the last race of the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series but also a top notch Cross event up in the Burbs of the Cities. 

The mountain race is a rain date from earlier this summer. It was a tough start to the season with 
one race Mankato that probably should have been canceled followed up by the Red Wing race
which suffered a ton of rain and was canceled. 
Mid Oct is late for a Mountain race and it falls smack dab in the middle of Cross racing season, so it should be interesting to see who show up.  As racing goes this is one of my favorites for a number of reasons,, more than anything it kick ass due to the fact that it is the closest to what riding is down here in the Drifless Region. 
I was really looking forward to racing this one as we have not had a good race there in years,, last year we had to race a shortened rain lap and the year before that in the end of the second of four laps the skies opened up and made the course almost impassable.  So this was going to be the year to put it
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all together,, But instead I will be on the side lines cheering on all my THC* teammates.

The Cross Race up in Lake Elmo is by far one of the best of the fall calender.  Green Acres is a tubing hill which throws a good bit of elevation change into each lap. I showed up two years ago on a whim racing the old Cannondale and had a blast.. Flash Forward to  last year I was the one week owner of a Brand New All/City Nature Boy,, that I had maybe 50+ miles of riding back and forth to work and I showed up ready to race.
At this point in the season this would be my first Number Pin of the fall and all that I would line up with would have been doing it for at least a month plus.  The Saturday race was cool and windy with moist ground that allowed the corners to be carved like a turn in deep snow. 
I had a blast on the new bike jumping the fly over and suffering for 45 minutes of pure sweet hell.
Sunday saw the temps drop close to 20 degrees and rain lots of rain,,, the kind of rain that is almost snow.  You got soaked and cold just warming up,, and the ground was slow,, so slow that I had to 
change the gearing on the bike to account for the drag that the mud was going to cause. 
First lap as a nightmare of just trying to stay up right through the sloppy slippery slop.

I got to the front and went backasswards for the rest of the day but continued to have fun even if my face did not show it. 
This is another one that I am going to miss,,, but not only am I in no shape to race anything still 
not cleared to go elbow to elbow with anyone. And from the sounds it should be a big weekend 
for the CX crew as some heavy hitters from out of town will be showing up. 
But non of this happens until we get to the weekend and over this Hump,, the sun is to 
come out and maybe some wheels will turn.