Monday, April 30, 2012


Saturday brought something that rarely happens for me epically as things warm up and start getting nice out. I slept in,,, nine oclock is very larte for me but it felt so good and I could have stayed in bed much longer. The weather was gloomy and as far as i could tell things were going to be too wet for bike racing on sunday. Got some stuff done around the house and decided to get my old BMX bike finally put together for the Boy. Did what I could at the house and then rolled down to the shop to finish up there. When it was all said and done bike fit the boy like a glove.. Only 30 years later and my old Stomper rides again.

   After a few emails and some more time spent in the Garage I threw my hat into the racing rig for sunday. The word from Iowa was that it was not that wet and that the trails were in good shape. So I got the bike all ready to go and loaded up the  car. It is a quick drive down to Decorah and the crowd had already started to fill in. I had meant to pre -reg back in  March but when I was in the Cities and went on the Tour of Timmer ride it just never made it to a mail box. Getting suited up I started to notice the who's who of Iowa fast guys including B. Eppen,, so now I knew it was going to be a fast lap.. One lap on a 6.2 mile course up down and all around the trail system. I was go with one minute intervals in-between riders . A straight shot of pavement then into the first climb,, this went up and up to the top...traversed the upper section where I missed a turn and had to scrambled to get back on course. A ripping descent into Death Valley then a a log climb that I was not ready for and back to death valley..that is where the party was... Finally I hit the run up section that I heard so much about.. On to the river bottom section and hammering still thinking that I could hit the time that I wanted. Another small bobble and I crossed the line.. A hair over 29 minutes and in 5th place for the day..
It was a great test with Iola coming up this weekend. I know what I need to work on and what is working.. Not knowing the trails was a disadvantage,, but not an excuse.  Felt real real good to go as hard as I could for those six miles.. Got to spend some time with a bunch of like minded Lycra clad cycling enthusiasts,, and I got to drink a beer and meet new people,,, good good day.. 

Friday, April 27, 2012


The work week has come and gone and now it is fryday night,, and chilling is in full effect. I had big plans to go and race this weekend in Iowa,, a good test of the legs before the calender kicks off on May 6th.  But the Rockies have stirred up some weather that is heading this way,, and rain and maybe a flake or two of snow is coming. If this holds true I have no desire to go and drag my self and my bike through some Northeastern Iowa mud. I have still yet to ride there in nice weather or mud free. And with the luck of the Irish when I was up in the cities with the entry all filled out and check in hand I did not find a Mail Box so I am not signed up and not feeling like I need to be there.
A week at the Office
This week was a good week on the bike and I got a lot of miles and good work in.. Flipping back and forth from road bike and mountain bike,, and staying on dirt or gravel as much as I could. Sram stepped up and helped with my read D issue and now the bike is clean and ready to go..
With a wet saturday on the way I am ready to do some more work on bikes in the garage with the music blaring and getting some much needed rest.. I may even sleep in,, or at least past seven. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Riding the Wave

New Pumped up Kicks hit the door monday night as I was in the garage doing some
bike cleaning,,tried to give the USP driver a hug but he would have non of that.. These are the Mountain version of Northwaves new Extreme line of shoe. They slid on like your favorite pair of slippers... I walked around all proud of their whiteness and smiled with comfort that they gave..Slapped some cleats on and went to bed dreaming of single track to come.
  Tuesday I grabbed the Road bike and went with the already well ridden in road version,, and headed to work up the killer quarry road hill, even bumped in to some old Grandstay guy as I dove down towards town.. Not being done their with my day of circles I came home and did the superman switch of kits and bikes and shoes and I was out the door to go ride single track with the Pip.. Going up once again the quarry hill I fell the stiffness of the shoe as no flex occurred as I laid in to the pedals. A solid blox of mid tempo was churned out in the woods and my feet were happy in their new home.
Switching things up I threw some Quartz pedals on the One X  Lemond to get some more time in the shoes.. Following my tracks back up the hill of my dismay I knew that the 53x20 was too much for the grade,, so with a quick cross move I was off the bike and running up the last section of 20+%. Even off the bike running feet were happy and the stiff sole made for a better push as I moved left right left..  Overall so far so good,,,,Lite weight and stiff and comfortable all that is wanted from a race shoe.. Sunday will be their first test. Even got them dirty as the second half of my ride in was wet and sloppy..

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Little Rocket

Riding with the boy yesterday was a treat,,, he sure had fun and enjoyed getting some where that he had not been before.. Did we have to push bikes a bit where the road goes up over 24% yea but that is expected,,,their are big people that can't ride that section of old beat up road.  He jumped on to ride the last section and was all smiles.. We spent most of our time on top of the bluff trying to communicate with birds of prey.. The boy loves wild life and believes that he can talk to them Dr. Dolittle style.

The return home was where I was worried, the hill is steep as hell and all it would take is him letting go of the breaks and I would never see him again. But he did well,, took it slow as the pitch kicked in and then let it ride towards the bottom..
Finished the ride off with a Muppet's sing along and some Ripon good cookies.. Hope the boy can follow in his sister foot steps and grow up on a the right side of a bike.

By the time it was my turn to go out and get work done my motivation was pretty low,, but anna reminded me that I had just dropped a lot of cash for my USA Cycling card and needed to get out.
So back up to the top to do some short track interval work,, which was good and I was happy with the numbers.. Then I dipped into the single track not knowing what to expect as we got almost 2" of rain the other day.,.. Trails were perfect and I got to spend some time riding tempo and enjoying more spring single track... Rear derailleur was acting up later to find that the anchor bolt is striped and needs to be tended to. That will have to bee addressed tomorrow.. Until then coffee and bike racing with more single track this afternoon.  Did I mention that the hill going to the trails was steep...
Here is proof...

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Where to start,,,not even sure. Sophia and I went to check out Ripon College yesterday,,part of their Kick Off program. Ripon is a small Liberal Arts School in the middle of the state, the birth place
of the real Republican party and home of Ripon Good Cookies. 
We found the school or should I say they found Pip looking for Mountain Bike racers who were in high school.. Some where in her freshman year she got an email from the coach of their team, and the seed was planted. 
We showed up on a cold windy day,,,only to be greeted by hot coffee and tasty baked goods. Listed to 
the Dean of Admissions and then took a tour of the Campus, which is what when I close my eyes a college campus should look like...Sorry UWSP,,,,
Back to learn about financial aid and scholarships,, before being treated to lunch in the dining hall. These kids eat well I was very impressed with what they are offered,,, now it may not be to different from what we got at Point,, but it seemed more like a food court at the mall with healthy choices and made to order items.  After lunch we listed to a cross section of students from all walks of life tell us about their experiences at school,,,why they chose Riopn and why they like it so so much.. 
Me I want to sign up now,,, I could be one of those guys that takes like some fifteen years to make it to graduate.
After all this we got to sit down with the Coach of the cycling team along with a number of
the team members.. Hearing their story's about travel and racing and how well they are supported
all I can think is I want this child to go here. She would be a great fit to their team and not only get 
a education but get to race her bike and see the country..  I walked away with smiles and wheels dancing in my head.....we have some time before she get done with high school but I know that she 
wants to already to be there.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


This week has been pretty much what I needed. After the Ragnarok and a small mtb ride with the young boy,,, I started off with the normal program.. Mondays are easy 90% of the time so simple commute still felling some pain in the right knee.. Think that I just went past the comfort zone towards the end of the 115 miles.. I think with the amount of spinning and the cramping in my legs things were just a bit out of whack. Tuesday easy day with a climb up the quarry to get to work,,why not?
Getting miles in and saddle time before work only makes the day that much better and so much easier to deal with.
Got home and swapped kits and rallied the kid to go ride some dirt.. Went went good and evil with our Black and White Twin Six kits. Good ride nice tempo spinning through the woods. Told Pip when it was all over that ,, our pace should be the baseline of her work on the bike.  She was pedaling strong and confident. Rocking my hand me down Magura brakes and fresh Geax tires, she was really felling it.

More more more on wednesday with Bike Practice being up tempo interval style work up on the short track,,,,,for me I wanted to see how I would hold up to race pace and I wanted Pip to go as hard as she could for as long as she could. 
Rain today so that made for a cold wet ride home from work.. Bad timing for the rain,,,Taking the kid to Rpion for a College tour tomorrow and we are going to meet with the coach and were supposed to 

ride the mountain bike trails there. But now it sounds like we'll just do a meet and greet with some of the team members.. My big question is how much is it going to cost for her to go to school and race bikes?? We'll see she has the goods and would make a member of the team..

Monday, April 16, 2012

4 R's

Tired but not the kind of tired where you just slip off to sleep while sitting on the couch. I do feel much better than yesterday. I think that doing over 100 miles on just two bottles of water may take a bit out of a person. My goal or my ideal hydration would have been refilling at the check points but at each one I had to be on the move.
So yesterday I ate food worked on bikes and drank a lot of water,, and a few waters that had hops and barley.  I got my brakes finally all dialed in,, Magura sent out another brake and now they are matching and stopping on a dime.  Put the keys in my hand... That is right Hell on Wheels.
 I am ready to get back after it tomorrow. I hope that the dirt will be dry enough to get some laps in and more saddle time. First fat tire race will be at the end of the month back down in Iowa,, have not ridden there since I won the race that I did not win.
I think it is the trails in green that will be the race course. Still to this day have not ridden the trails while they are dry.. First time it was stupid wet and they were covered with snow.
 Then turn around a week and it is off to the first WORS race.  Rest Race Recover Repeat !!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rok ON!

Driving up in the early morning dark to the start of the Ragnarok 105 I was not sure what I had gotten my self into,, this would become a reoccurring theme. Friday had brought off and on showers all day long and during the overnight hours I was woken up by some steady downpours.
Pulling into the venue it had some middle earth kind of feel to it with the low hanging clouds and the deep deep green that has already taken over the valley.. I stumbled to the reg table and dropped off a pile of Euro style Chamois Butr' samples so all could have a happy bum. I got my number 26 and started getting ready for the day. I went back and forth with the idea of fenders or no fenders,, settled on no fenders.. Slathered down my legs with Embro and was ready for what ever came next.

chasing back on finally getting some help
We were given the what and wheres and the typical ,,,don't pee in peoples yards and that the roads are not closed so be careful,,,yada yada yada... Then it was go time.. I did as I was told to do and sat in,,I stayed towards the front of the chase group as one rider had gone off the front..  10 or so of us riding well in formation working together with about 30 or so minutes gone... Then it happened,, the guy off the front turned around realizing that he had missed a turn. We all turned around to have to climb and descend back to a paved road some 5 miles back. At this point we went from first to DFL,,, this thing had just started their are hours and miles still to go. Back on the right track helping chase back to the back ends of race,, now passing people left and right.  So my unhitching point came when we hit the first minimum maintenance road. The road was not that tough a lot like riding up the quarry road back here at home,, my issue was the group is all on Cross Bikes with big cassettes and I am pushing a standard road bike with a 11-23 ..... Cresting the hill I watched the group pull away"Crap".. Here is where I entered a dark place I never want to see again.. Heading into a south wind 15 miles into a 105 mile race and I am chasing to save the day.. I met up with a few others that had been popped off the back and we worked together for the most part pulling in one group after another.

We rode into the first check point as the lead group was just pulling out... I grabbed my que sheet and checked my number and sprinted to get on with the lead group.. Things for the most part settled down a bit here as the 6 of us worked together along some scenic river beds and twisty climbs. I was able to get some food in and start drinking,, things were looking up. Being about 10 miles out of checkpoint two coming out of a valley and coming off a long pull three got away being able to shift and climb to the pavement. I was hanging in no-mans-land and could Brandon the eventual winner looking over his shoulder wondering if I could bridge..  I could not bring it back and knowing that Charlie and Joe were not to far behind I sat up to have someone to work with.. Charlie and were making good time when we blew a turn and had to double back.. This sucked because now the nice lead we had was gone and we had to fight to keep in the top 10.

Made it to check point 3 Lake City my self Charlie and two others,, at this point it is only 20 some miles left and two-three more tough climbs. I was cramping pretty bad on the next min maintenance  road I even had to get off and stretch and use what was very little water in my bottles to clear out some mud that was gathering between my fork and front wheel..  Some super fans were at the crest of the climb handing out mini cokes took one and started to chase down Charlie and the other two..
Contact was made and coke went down and all over me but it was good. By this point it was me and the two that were picked up going into Lake City with Charlie falling behind.  Another blown turn,, but this time we did not go as far and corrected it fast.. Bombing descents and holding for dear life we made it back on to Charlie and prepared for the final climb.  Philippe one of the two found some legs and charged and I dropped the other two just happy to see the finish line.. I crossed in 7th place 6hours 40some minutes with 10 extra miles of riding 115 total.

Very happy with what I was able to do on the bike, again no excuses but being on 28mm wheels and normal road gearing made for a tougher day than I think it would have been on a different rig.. I wanted the challenge and like to think that I conquered the ROK.  8500+feet of climbing 6 hours in the saddle 6000kals burned,, I can't stop eatting.. Got lots of bike work to do in the garage and some recovery riding with this guy,,,, Party On!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Riding the Rok

Work has been super slow which is good for getting out and getting time on the bike,, but when it comes to making money not so good. I took a vacation day knowing that I would at least get
8 hours of pay that way. I had stuff to work on today with the Ragnarok 105 tomorrow, so not going in was a good thing. Anna and I hit the Moon last night to wet our whistles and get away from the house for a bit.. Always nice when you can pedal to your favorite watering hole. Was able to have a nice slow morning with a good breakfast and good coffee. Swung through the shop to get my front wheel trued and talk bike talk..
 Weather watching all day,, not the day to see moisture in the forecast with 105 miles of gravel on the horizon. Tostin took care of my wheel and I head back to my garage to get the final prep done.
Getting new rubber on I noticed that the front wheel had a number of broken eyeless which explains the wobble to the wheel. Robbed the front Mavic wheel off the kids road bike.. again not the time to find out that equipment is not up to par. Bike is all ready with a new set of Vittoria 700x28's,, the Vittoria group has really stepped up this year and between the Northwave and Geax tires they have my bases covered.  Tomorrow is going to be a great test of fitness and of mental strength.... not sure what to expect.  Going to keep my head up and eyes open and legs turning,,and let the cards fall where they may,, Now it is just time to Execute.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Been relatively busy her at the Ride DMC headquarters, no rest for the wicked except for the full day that I had off the bike on saturday. Can't remember the last full day off may have been in march but my records are not being kept really well..... Work the token shift at the shop saturday,, nice to see all the folks excited about riding and the nice weather,. All it did was make me want to get out and ride,, but I said no..  Sunday saw the Hell of the North and a good ride with the Kid.. She is riding strong now just need to work on getting her faster.  The word from MD at Velocity is that a new set of Blunt SL hoops are in the mail for the young one.. Time to hit up Tostin for another wheel build,, sure that he will be super stoked on that. Huge thanks to the Velocity crew for hooking kid up,, Fresh tubeless wheels will be a great kick start.

New Twin Six kits showed up on monday just in time for a short track interval session up in the rock pit. I did go with the white as the kid went with black,,, this way we can be black and white all the time. 
The short track is a dream of mine something that I want to try to make happen on Wednesday nights. 30 minutes plus one lap.. something like that real real loose,, and if it takes off then stoke the flames and watch it grow.  I was hitting about 6 minute laps in some gnarly cross and head winds.. Should be a fast fun time with a few more people lined up.
I skipped the TNWC ride to do my own thing as I am getting ready for the Ragarok 105 this weekend. A cold and windy group ride did not sound like what I needed to prepare for a 6 hour day in the saddle on gravel roads. I opted to head back to the trails and do some more work on the Spot.
Trails are riding nice and I was able to really rail the corners and climbing felt effortless. Cold toes by the time I got home but the rest of me was warm epically the parts covered by Chamois Buttr Embro creme.

Things are coming along and boxes are still showing up daily.. Season is so close to being here. My hope this that when I hear the word go,,,, I can pass the test..

                                                                                    Fuel on and off the bike is key and whether it is getting whipped up in the kitchen or being consumed on the bike,, I have all my bases covered.
As of late it feels like the tape worm is in full effect,, can't stop so why try..
Go fast and Party ON!! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Four solid days on the bikes,, body and bikes are and have been responding well. Between hitting the road bike in the morning and Fat Tire love,, I have been able to pick up right where I left off in March.
Time to get my road rig ready for the Ragnarok Next Saturday.. Should be interesting and long and even hard at time,, but I am going to make sure that I mix some fun into it.

 I started off friday with taking the road bike up through the quarry and up and over the 24% grades that fight you and the hill gets acceded. The chill that was in the air was more of a kick than the hill its self.. The idea was riding on this beat up gravel road would be good practice for what it to come. Bike did what it was supposed to do,,and I was happy that I remembered gloves.  Both road and mountain bike this season are set up with Selle San Marco's Concor saddle.. I have played with all kinds of different saddles over the past few years with little success. My thoughts so far are great Butt is happy and the fell on the mountain bike on and off and throwing the bike around really impressed..

Got away from the 9 to 5 while the sun was still shining and time was on my it was back home to a bike and kit change and time to go back out on the Spot.  Goals for today was nothing more than riding and having fun,, no intervals no HRM's  just spinning and grinning. Back up the way that I got to work heading up the steep then though the quarry,, and over the section that i want to try and turn in to a wed. night short track race,,then in to the woods.
One of the new parts on the Spot that has been making me really happy aside from the Concor saddle,, are my Look Ti/Carbon pedals.. The entry and exit are spot on and the platform is one of the best that I have ever used. The float is there if you need it but not sloppy and making you feel like you have no control.
The ride it's self was a good one got to come home and head to the moon for a burger and a beer to find my family waiting for me when I was done.. Not a bad little friday.
I could not help my self and wanted to get this..
Coffee and Bike racing tomorrow... Can't Wait!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Anxious Mo-Fo

There are times when I just can't get enough... and I am having one of those moments in my
life now.  Back to back to back days on the MTB and slowly
getting my body back in to the fell of riding single track. 
I have tons of road mile under my belt for this time of the year,, so I thought that my 
body would be ready for single track. I have sure had my eyes opened.
Legs feel ok it is the other parts that are not used to the strains of twisting and turning. 
But other than the new pains today felt perfect ,, bike and body starting to move as one...
DBoon said that the wheel is an extension of the Foot. Yep just like that. 

Tomorrow will be more of the same,, going to take the road bike up through the quarry to get some
more time on loose crappy roads on the 25mm's.. Was hoping for some 28's but if they don't show 
I need to be ready for the Ragnarok on what ever I have. 
Not scared spent enough time on 25's in the gravel just never 105 miles worth.. It is all a 
test. Hope I pass.

Came around the parking lot at the HPT's this afternoon getting ready for another lap when 
I spotted the field full of guys in fatigues carrying M16's,, was pretty seen a lot up there but nothing like this.. Could not get my camera ready fast enough to catch them all but here is one
of the stragglers. 
Friday comes next then sunday,, which brings pain and suffering only to be 
the Hell of the North... Strong Men will bend cranks and work to stay up right..
Can't wait..


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

gEtTiNg SoMe

First time out today with a handful of new parts on the Dark Hearted Rig.
After spending the weekend cleaning and working with tires and brakes
I was ready to just go and rip some dirt. 
First off the Geax "AKA'S". This
tire reminds me a lot  of the smallbolx but I found it rode much faster 
and cornered like on rails. Today the ground was Hero Dirt, and the side knobs
on this fresh bit of rubber ripped and gripped. Loved them,,so fast..
Next treat was the new HX2 glove from Ergon,, it has been a while for these 
glove to finally make it on to my hands after trying them on at Frostbike two
years ago. Solid fit good articulation in the fingers and no padding in the palm to cause any pain. 
Gloves were holding on to a pair of GS2 grips,, This is the latest in the line of racing grips. 
The grip compound has been changed up a bit and the carbon barends have been extended ever so slightly.  This helps to give just a touch more leverage for when the climbs get stupid steep..
And as you can see here on the right side of the bar sits the rear MT8,, had a small issue with the front which is being taken care of as we speak. 
For today's ride I put on my Marta front, looks a bit ghetto but let me ride and get after the coroners and zip down the hills. 
                                                                                                                                                              Felt damn good to be out and riding single tack again, bike and body felt good. Yes I should have had a tool with me but instead I played the roll of tool.. A few things loosened up but nothing major. Pip rode well ,, I would like to she her push it a bit harder but kid are weird. 
I am going to ride the shit out of the single track in the weeks to come,, race season is almost here. Ready set GO!!     

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I threw a bunch of stuff in to a bag and loaded up the 
gas guzzler and head up to the cities on friday after work. 
I was the Grand Opening of Hollywood Cycles part 2. Not sure what i was getting my 
self into and this would not be the first time this weekend that I thought this. 
Easy drive two hours and change landed me at the Cross of 31st and 28st just off 
the Greenbelt in the Uptown district of Minneapolis.
Great to see the shop full of people and even better to see them buying stuff. 
This was the first of two party's these were the Silver Cycling crew the club that is sponsored by 
Hwood. New bikes and new Trophy's on display.
As the night fell this crew thinned out and the cast and crew for the second show,
started to file in. With the likes of Geneo and Hurl and 
the rest of the mlsp mafia in tact the reprise was under way. 
About 10ish or so DNF took stage an blew the roof off as most people listed from the parking lot was loud enough to hear them across the street.  Rock and Roll was had and good times were all around,.,,A great way to kick off the second generation of Hollywood Cycles. 

Morning came early for this boy who is in bed most nights by 930. Jay made breakfast and we were 
back at the shop to get ready for the Tour of Timmer. 
Again here we go not knowing what I am getting my self into. I was told by Jay to lay low and not 
to play my role as Surge.  Along for the ride were local legends Tim from Hed,, Kaveh who used to call Lacrosse home,, a hand full of new faces and the icon Steve Tilford himself.
Forecast was for 70 degree temps and sunshine.. Nope... Cold Cold 
start and glad that I threw the right layers into my bag.  Went west from down town for around 40 some miles going places that in my younger days I may have called home,,, My brain was flooded with tons of memories. At the half way point got 
my self a big ass brownie and some beef sticks... I was now ready for the march home. 
Spent most of my time up front trading pulls and stories with Tilford,, wealth of cycling in that man..
Got off the bike jumped in the car and drove home in a whirl wind.

Back after it this morning after some racing on tv and some rocket fuel ,..
Took the kid out for a mild spin and let her ride moma's bike
think she was down with the ride...but not her's will need to get her own. 
April is here hope March was good for all of you.... Me I am tired and getting ready for 
the next phase... Get out get on and go Ride!!!