Monday, July 29, 2013


Having the youngest excited and wanting to race is good fun.. It just means that if we are not camping it is going to be a early morning to get to the venue. 
I was up yesterday like it was a work day,, loading bikes on the car and making sure that the cooler was packed with bottles and food for the day. 
Waking the little man and getting him dressed while he was still sawing logs made me wish 
that I was a young buck with out a care in the world. 
Out the door on time and up the river to Afton my old winter time stomping grounds from my youth. 
Kids race at 9AM and with the july cold snap that were are having I had 
the Rocket bundled up with arm warmers on his legs and positive vibrations in his head.
Clean start and out of sight.,,,, As a parent there are a few nerves that race through you while 
you child is out on course,, hoping and hoping that all is well. After around 30 mins or so for the 3+ mile race the sight of the happy red helmet charged to the finishing line with his signature bunny hop across the line. All smiles and proclaiming that it was an awesome race.. 
That makes this old man smile. 
Now I have time to kill,, I don't race until after 1PM.
Some rest in the back of the Rav and some time reading my book I waited until it was time 
to get up to the line. 
Lining up I could see we had some fast and very strong guys ready to tackle the hill 
climbing fest that was going to be our race. 
I was able to get off the line clean and through the lead out getting to the single track third or forth wheel.
By the start of the second climb some moves were made and Jesse L and Erik T moved to the front with Dom chasing. I was content to sit in and hold on,,, First time up the manhandler I stood and 
pushed a bigger gear and worked on forming some gaps.
I think that it was lap two could have been three not sure,, but had Jeff Hall Finally catch up to me as he started in the last row,, he sat on my wheel through the bridge climb and came around on the flat jeep road, I could not stay with him  and just pushed on. 
Again all alone and watching out of the corner of my eye as I could see a hard charging Mason and holding tight to his wheel Kevin Seconds. 
Mason came around on the last lap and was happy to let him go I could not match his push as Kevin came around we rode together push it through the climbs and floating the descents. 
A small gap opened but was able to shut it down the last time up the Manhandler and thought that I had him where I needed to have him for the finish. 
I had already stated that at this point in time I was not out for any glory just to finish and collect point for the overall,,,,,,, The last hill was down right stupid,, a grassy ski hill with a 90 degree bend at the bottom some 40 yards wide,, I pinned it down the hill get well over 40mph,, coming in the corner I could hear Kevin taking the inside line at which point I did not contest,, was not willing to get hurt for a few extra points and a few extra dollars. 
All in all a good day on the bike felt good was able to make the bike move fast would have like it to have gone faster,, but it is what it is.. 
One more next weekend then that is it for racing with the PIP as she will be off to Ripon and the next Race of her Life.. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Keeping the lines Blurred between daybreak and Night..... Trying to pile it on while taking it off. The right amount of Volume may make too much noise to hear the hissing. 
Getting to spend some time away is good but more is the answer. 
Last weeks heat spell had me 
working less and spending more time just moving. Active recovery or just
not loosing 10lbs of water weight every time I go to the out of doors. 
The approach of less is more seems to be working and the hope is the second half of the season will 
continue like the first half. 
I am not one in July to start thinking of Cross racing but this season 
I have my eyes set on trying to do more. 
First things first and that is getting another CX bike as mine was 
trashed by getting hit and or hitting a Mini Van back in May. 
I am really not sure what is going to happen with the whole process and fell the game of David and Goliath has started as I am going to have to up against the Mighty State Of Wisco to get my 
just deserts. And in my minds eye,,, with the next President of the USA running this state I don't see them paying out for anything. 
So right now no bike sitting in my stable to race on and that is a huge huge shame. 
Lester  park was almost two weeks ago and I am ready for the Test this weekend that is Afton. 
Lots of climbing and more there after,, and after the misfortune of loosing a grip going in to the finial lap I am ready to prove my worth. 
 This second photo here is a good one,, if you look at my left hand you can see the absence of a grip and bar end,, I even had to stop real quick and grab the ender and then put the grip in my pocket,, again just wasting time.  As Todd took this photo he is yelling at me to go faster,, which I replied "trying to just hang on to the bar"
Todd  not only is a Team Hollywood Cycles {THC*} teammate but takes some great pictures,, with the much on my pasty chest it almost looks like I have puberty and have some hair on there. 
So there it is the Long and Sort of it not sure what it all means or where it will all end up... I do know as I am reminded may times in a day that things are not made as they used to be and 
that as far as I see it it is all about duct tape and Bailing wire. 
 am happy that my Ergon Grips and carbon bar ends are still in one piece and will be on and ready to go this weekend. 

The hamster wheel keeps on turning and my minions always seem to be under foot. 
Be cool people remember it could always be so much worse than it is right now. 
Stop smell the flowers and go with the flow.,.,., Ramblings sure but it is true. 
I leave you with this 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rubber mEEts the RoAd

Yep I know it is hot but not the same stifling heat as last summer. 
I have been using the heat as a good reason to take it easy this week.. No real reason other than an easy week of riding is not a bad idea.
Still kicking my self for some of the little glitches that forced me back from my top five placing in last sunday's race. But in my hind site I am happy with with all that went wrong things were still salvaged. 
I did get a FB message from SKJ saying that he is sore but moving and thanked me for stopping and making sure that he was ok after his crash.
I told him it was one of the nastiest crashes that I had seen and  was impressed no how he got him self back up and moving.
Dry and hot or hot and dry,, such the opposite of  what life was like up on the Shores of Lake Superior... Our camp site was once again one of the best camping on the shoulder of Spirit Mountain. 

My easy week of riding includes the normal route to work up the big old burnt out paved climb of the Quarry hill then into the washed out service/jeep road that takes one to the top. 
The past two day the road bike has lost traction in the super loose stuff,, causing me to have to put a foot down.. I then make the Charlie Brown noise after Lucy pulls the ball away and get back after it. 

No racing this weekend and nothing to do but hang out and ride and enjoy some cooler temps and lower dew points. 
Hard to believe that we are half way through summer and that in less that a month the kid is off to College.  I can't wait to get to watch her travel and race here bike all over the central parts of the country.  Until then the day she leaves it is all about riding single track and work on learning how to drive a car..
I told her if you can Drive it You can Clean It..

Monday, July 15, 2013

Shut Up and Justpush It

Our second weekend of camping this summer saw the Clan head to the North woods of Duluth Minnesota for some family time and some bike racing. 
We spent saturday exploring the town and doing the tourist thing and then in the evening riding and shredding the trails located on and around Spirit Mt. 
Saturday night after some good team bonding around the campfire we were sure thanks to the weather reports that we would wake up to heavy rain and that the race had a chance of being canceled. 
That never happened. 
After a good breakfast it was off to the Races. 
The Bavers and I got the 1-2 call up and we stood on the line with some heavy hitters and a lot of locals who always push it hard. 
At the Gun Nate L jumped on the pace and I onto his wheel as it was a long up hill double track climb, he popped pushing a big gear and as that happened Jesse L of BKB fame came around and I
knew that was the move. Latching on Jesse had the hammer down and we were able to get some separation. Dominic and Eric Tolkin came along as we hit the first section of single track, Dom went down in front of me on a bridge section causing a bit of a disruption in moving,, SKJ was able to get into our group and him being a Local and super fast descender I let him around to follow his line. Glued to his back wheel, and flying the next thing I know he was wrapped around a tree bike clogging up the 1track.
He did get back up and get moving but it seemed like we stood there for ever. 
I was able to hold on to forth place through the 2nd and 3rd lap charging hard on the climbs and railing the descents,  all until the end of the third when I looked over my shoulder to see a train  of three coming,, I bounced my shoulder into a tree and ripped my left barend off making my grip worthless. stopping to gather my barend and remove my grip I tried to get my self comfortable holding on to nothing but a thin bit of carbon. 
Back to the bottom and the start of lap four,, only having the ability to get after the right side of my Handlebars climbing became interesting,, and my left hand going numb from the death grip that I had to use
I licked my wounds and kept keeping on. I was able to salvage the rest of the race crossing the line in ninth after riding most of the race on the front end. 
Important to me I was able to get some good team points and hold onto for at least another race my overall lead. 
Now time to get ready for work and to get the PIP's Birthday Celebrations on and Rolling.. 
Monday is Party On Day!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Circles of Glory

Operation go chill out and ride a bike was a huge success. 
I have been looking forward to the time that this family finally got to go and live out of our camper. 
It has been a juggle to get all things ready to go....
It started with the Demise of the Envoy,, too many issues all at once and on such a big 
rig. Lucky for me I was able to sell it to someone who had the time and knowledge of what needed to be done. 
With this all in the rear view I was able to purchase and tweak this kick ass Pearly White Rav4.
Getting the right hookups and rack system took some doing but with the help 
of Hwood I got the Buggie all ready to Fly,,,

We got to base camp on Thursday the forth and only two miles away from the Mountain Mecca of the Midwest... Levis Mound....
Getting the family all loaded in and ready to ride after setting up camp was a Go.. 
This was going to be the first all family ride of the season. 
Things that I learned... James the Rocket needs new shoes as he has grown out of his Northwaves,, and let me know that almost every mile and a half. 
Two,,, when your daughter picks the trail to show off to her mom who is riding MTB's for the first time for realz in some 10+ years. 
And Three getting the whole fam dam out to ride in the woods is the best thing that a man in my stage in life can do..  Even with  a few bumps in the trail we all had a blast and kicked
some ass.

Friday some some more riding and new trails for the newcommers and again yes the Rockets shoes were too small but we all were riding and having fun,,, until the boy on a mellow bridge rode his back wheel off and went down.. 
The Rock hit the ground and when I got him untangled he complained about his arm..
About three hours went by and Momma ended up taking him to get an X ray which showed nothing but as we have now learned it could be a few days before a break shows. 
While that was all going down me and the Pip headed back to Levis for some afternoon riding with the Woods.. And it was good.

We killed a great dinner and ravaged some more beers as we sat by the fire and started dreaming of more riding the very next day.........
              Saturday we added the Bauer's and their friend Dan..,. For some good old Fashion THC riding.  This time we had a good size group and covered more of the trail system, diving and ducking in and out of the bright hot sun.
  With a quick lunch break we headed back out to ride a few sections that were either missed or that were so much that we had to do them again.
    Saturday for me was going to be a Three-pete of riding,, Hwood and I headed out after dinner hoping to ride in the sunset then in the dark.,..,. Only problem was were good to fast for the darkness to set upon

But we did find some Killer Views and one unreal sunset. 
 Goal of the trip was accomplished..
Not go to work
Not fix broken Apliances
Not sleep in a house
Eat well
Ride with the family
Drink Beer
Sit By a Fire. 
Ride Bikes With Friends
Ride Bikes with Teammates
Kick Ass

Monday, July 1, 2013


I said that yesterday was going to be a fistfight and I pretty sure that I am walking away with a bloody nose. 
But more important is the performance of the young man we call the Rocket. 
Got to the cities and Buck Hill on mid saturday afternoon to do a 
pre ride. At first James was not sure of what he was riding not a big fan of change or something new.
Picking and choosing when he could ride and do as he calls Weenie-Walk, we finished the lap in close to 35 minutes.  
After a long afternoon of Lego's Basketball and a team dinner I was a bit worried how the boy would ride being a nice o'clock race and we did not make it to bed until after eleven. 
Got some breakfast in him and he was ready to go all dressed in his Black and Whites,,
including his new shorts... first ever new chamois in the past always had hand-me-downs. 
Off the line he was climbing hard and before the single track rubbed a wheel and tipped over,, I had to help him back up and he took off like a ROCKET.. Up the climb and across into the back side single track... every time we saw him crossing the ski hill he was all smiles and riding strong. 
He finished with a sprint and came in sixth place,, and said that he had fun... That all makes one happy dad..  

When it was my turn I was as ready as I thought that I could be, Called up #1 with the Bavers next,,,standing on the line looking up at the sand pit that was going to be our start.  Things started well I took the hole shot as Brendan came around before the single followed by Hwood and Bavers. Top of the climb Owen came around flying and I could not match and then again before hitting the backside single passed again.  At this point I have all but completely blown up and was just holding on by a thread. Going into lap 2
and 3 I would continue to go backwards till I finally got some legs.. But by now it was too late trapped in no mans land and deep thick lap traffic. At this point I just needed to ride and finish  Crossed the line in 11th which seems to be my place for Buck,, the one hour kick in the nutz is tough for me as the majority of the guys race here every thursday night all summer. 
Lessons learned and only a minute to one and a half out of where I wanted to be. 
Now I have some time to get my self right and ready for the climbing session that will be up in Duluth at Lester Park.. 
Again I can be more Proud of Young James Rocky!! Way to be Black and White.