Saturday, May 29, 2010

Extended Weekend.

Had a great ride this morn. Every morn I like to hit my happy place but when I can ride my cross bike on a sunny day to my happy place its a trifecta for real and the rest of the day pretty much does not matter.
I decided to work the store today and got a bonus as my Superfly 100 showed up.
I put it together today and am planning on racing it tomorrow in Wausau.
Not 100% sure Im going but I hope to.
Other than that I plan on  riding at least 3 different bikes totalling over 10 hours this weekend. I already rode the Madone two yesterday and the cross two this morn so Im good to go.
Have a great 3 day weekend.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Blackberry Blog

Just thought I would give this a shot. Blackberrys newer operating system rocks. I'm laying out these thoughts as I sit on the beach this morn. How coll this technology is and what it let's us do. Some people blame this tech for increasing the pace of their lives. I say your not using it correctly. I just noticed it will not let me upload a pic. Bummer.

Big riding weekend for me. Looking for at least 10 hour by Mon nite. Starting with a road ride this aft. Wausau WORS is up in the air as I have no one else going and I'm not driving it alone. Time will tell.

That's all for now. The sun is big and bright. Get outside!


Thursday, May 27, 2010


(pic not me)
Had a great group ride last nite. The fast guys waited up and had a few newbies that did pretty good.
However this ride will go in the books as the hardest rain I have ever rode my bike in.
As we were rolling back home, maybe about 4 or 5 miles to go (out of 40) we saw the the storm rolling in and had thought we might miss it. Huge lightning strikes straight ahead of us. Very, very dark for 7pm.
We almost made it.
With about 3 miles to go the storm hit. Huge winds that grabbed my 65mm wheels and tried to throw me into the ditch.
Rain so hard you could not breath. My contacts were washed out of my eyes. Visibility was several feet but did not matter cuz you had to ride with your head down, looking at your front wheel.
I later heard it rained about 1.25 inches in 40 minutes. We rode in about 30 minutes of that. In hindsight, its stuff like this that makes rides memorable. I will remember this one for a long time.

I like it when I do stuff that I can remember.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dog Days of Spring

The weather here has been crazy with August like temps. Its 75 degrees at 7am. No humidity. Not only did I head down to my happy place I stayed for a spell and did some work. What a wonderful way to start the day.

Tonite is the Wednesday Nite Worlds Group social ride and I am debating what to do. The sun is totally out and I wanna ride like, right now. So my dilemma is have a great ride sooner than later, or wait until the group ride tonite and suffer while getting dropped. You would think thats a easy choice but with all the solo riding I have been doing (see prior post) I really need to get my ass kicked now and then.

Right now Im thinkin' I'll do both. As long as I get my work done. I'm thinkin' a couple of hours down by the beach should get that done. Then its time for a ride.

Or two.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Me,Myself and iPod

Sometimes my Blackberry's low resolution camera takes weird pictures. Like this one from my visit to the beach this morn. Notice the ship off in the distance. A seagull a bit closer.

Yesterdays ride was again my favorite. Cross bike on 12 miles of road and about an hour in the woods. I just feel so comfortable on a cross bike. Maybe cuz my cycling roots start on a MTB and its a subconscious thing. Whatev' the reason, I will rant about this ride everytime I do it. So just get used to it.

 And, as usual lately, it was solo.

I have been doing a ton more solo rides this spring due to working too much and other personal issues. While I still get out on a group ride now and then its the solo ride that takes about 80 percent of my saddle time. And thats OK.
In fact, with all thats going on in my life I think I will welcome as much "me" time as I can get. I just throw a pair of earphones on the Blackberry and off I go. As much as I love good conversation on a ride I love listening to music even a bit more. It seems to enhance the stress relief I get from a bike ride. I smile a lot more when listening to music. To me, music and cycling is like peanut butter and chocolate. They both go together real well.
So as my life seems to not get any slower, its the solo ride that helps me keep it together.

When ever you ride with a partner its sometimes tough to keep talking 'bout stuff. And then its awkward when you ride side by side for like 10 minutes without saying anything. It just feels weird. I hate that weird feeling sometimes.

So even tho my hectic lifestyle makes my riding a "me, myself and iPod" thing, I dont mind one bit. I embrace it and use it to my advantage. ( I believe I coined that iPod phrase last year).


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catching up.

WEDNESDAY: Did the Wednesday Nite Worlds Social Ride. Had a good time as things stayed fairly civil until we swung back and headed toward home. Then it was a 30mph paceline with a unfamiliar faces and after several massive brake checks I bailed and solo'd home. But felt good on the bike.
THURSDAY: Rained all day. Did nothing.
FRIDAY: Worked all day. Did nothing.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Things I Cant Live Without (part two)

1: THE SUN:  I cant operate correctly without it. All of my poor life decisions were made on a cloudy or rainy day. I remember a few years back when there was a 17 day string of cloudy days ( I was counting) and I almost needed hospitalization. I guess that's partly due to me being considered a "emo". When the sun is out (like today and yesterday) I have problems concentrating. I have a strong urge to head west. I hate being indoors. When I'm working on days like today I wanna ride my bike to the point of tears.

2: CROSS BIKES: If I had one bike to ride it will be the cross bike. In fact, I have a $5k MTB, a $7K road bike but I park both of them to ride my $1k cross bike. Their not just for fall. Its every other day for me when possible. I am the happiest on this bike. Its a great bike for solo rides. No boundaries. No limitations. Just ride. Its the bike to throw some racks and bags on and tour. (something I plan on this summer). The only bike I own personally is my trusty Pinkie. A 5 year old cross bike that I will never part with. Ever.

3: BLACKBERRY CURVE: This device controls my entire life. It takes the pictures you see here on this blog. I use it to talk to friends. It tells me when to wake up. Tells me how much to tip my waiter. The email is invaluable to me with working two jobs. It tells me when someone posts a comment on this blog and how many have looked at it today. Its my music when I ride. It tells me where I am and where Im going. If this device is more than 20 feet away from me I panic. While some would call this a curse, I call it a necessity in my life.

More to come later.....someday.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Its a beautiful day... so now what?

When the morning is as gorgeous as this I so look forward to my happy place. Ive done this over a hundred times and it never gets old. And I think about how cool it is to start each day with a trip to a sunny beach. But this timeout in my life serves several functions. As in today. Its just so nice out that of course I am going to ride my bike. But which bike? I have a Madone for the road, then theres the cross bike that I love and the Top Fuel for a faster ride in the woods. And my track bike is done also (pics soon).
Its during this time that my mind sorts out the factors needed to make a decision as to what hardware I sit on. I take in all outside issues first. Temp, wind and sun. Then I scan my brain to see what mood I'm in. Sad, happy, exited or mellow.
But to really decide I need to clear my mind of all distractions. Just let it go blank and in time it will come to me. Let my sub conscious speak its mind. I stare at the water and wait. It takes a while but never more than 10 minutes. I consume most of my coffee during this time period. 
And then it hits me like a two ton heavy thing.

Time to hit the road.


Monday, May 17, 2010


I would call the weekend a success. Up to Rhinelander,WI for the WORS race with a side trip up to my favorite state park. First off for the wife and I was Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek. I love it in Door County. The riding is awesome. We rode Friday afternoon and again Saturday morn before we left to head further north to race. But before we left we attended a fish boil on Friday nite. This is more an event than a dinner. I believe it needs no explanation besides the pic. You watch'em cook it. Then eat it. This go's on every weekend up here. Then it was up nort' to race on Sunday. I had a good race. I decided to ditch the Clydesdale class and race in my age group straight up. Thinkin' that racing with the skinny guys would give me some incentive. So I took 6 out of 9. Right about where I thought I would be. So....starting near the bottom hopefully will help me motivate. I need help in that respect.
So fun was had by all. Its nice to escape a while and recharge.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Outta here

Headed for the Great White North of Wisco.
To those headed up to race, see ya there, the rest of you try and stay out of trouble until I get back.
Next post is Tuesday.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Rain? What?

Saw these guys as I got to the store today. For real.

Once again its gloomy and rain has been steady for several days. Its been well over a week since I saw the sun. But then again the weather is old news.
However, as if on cue, the clouds lifted around mid afternoon yesterday and the roads dried. That timing was perfect for the Wednesday Nite Worlds Social Ride which I attended but really was not there.
My fitness, what little I manged to build, is completely gone.
Whats worse than getting dropped twice on a social group ride? Getting dropped three times and getting butt pushed up two hills.
How degrading.

But its early still and Im sure with a few hours on the bike I will be able to hang much better soon. I hate not being able to hang but I dont hate it enough to ride in the rain and cold for days straight. 
I wait that stuff out.
So, thats what Im doing now. Waiting for the sun to shine once again.
I hear by the weekend. And thats a good thing as I'll be riding and racing in Northern Wisco from Friday to Monday. Team car is packed.
I am so outta here...


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I so do not like spring in Wisco. 
Summers are easy here, fall is spectacular, winter is a boat load of fun.
But spring here is the worst. Still raining since I cant remember when. Two weeks ago it was 65 degrees and sunny. 
So many leave this State in winter, only to return to this crap. If I could, I would leave in April\May and come back in June.
The lack of riding for me in the last week and a half is nuts. Last Wednesday Nite Worlds social ride was winded out, today will be rain and colded out. I cant remember the last time I rode my Madone. Last time I was on my MTB was Iola almost 2 weeks ago. No way will the woods be rideable before the weekend. 

Every day when I leave the house I pack a riding bag chocked full of riding clothes. Sometimes two changes. Since I have no idea on what weather we may have that bag is huge. Two full kits, arm warmers, knee warmers, 2 pair of cold temp gloves, one pair of warn temp gloves, tights, two types of windbreakers, a vest, one long sleeve jersey and one long sleeve layer. Winter boots, summer shoes and two pair of socks. Hats, dew rags, head band and ear warmers.
When I actually do get to ride I take it all home, exchange clean for dirty, take complete inventory, re pack and put back in my car. As it gets warmer the bag gets smaller.

I can't wait till my bag gets small.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainee Tuesday

Another wonderful spring day in Wisco. Todays ride to the park was so dark I had to turn on the lights (at 9am).
Not sure how much rain we are going to get but it seems like enough to keep me out of the woods for awhile.

Another so called training day wiped out. I did get a hour or so in yesterday on the cross bike. My fav ride thru town and into the woods.

Making my plans to get my ass out of town this weekend. Leaving Thursday with no destination in mind. Was thinking maybe the Apostle Islands.

Other than that it all quiet today. The dreary weather made me sleep in a bit. Store will be slow so its a good day to do all the things I never have time for.

The trainer actually crossed my mind but then I regained consciousness.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday After....

Todays pic was taken with my Blackberry. Kinda cool......
Pretty much a wasted weekend. No riding.
In fact I have rode a bike less than 2 hours since the MTB race on the 2nd. And I feel poopy.
I keep telling myself the program will start soon. That I'll get time on the bike any day now.
That is not and has not happened.
I'll blame the weather a bit. Its hard to get in a early morning ride when its 37 degrees in May. And its tough to do once I leave for work. Not a lot of downtime for me between my job and the store. I leave the house around 7am and don't get back till about 6pm. Once Im home I need at least a little bit of family time. Right now Im really struggling with my personal schedule and it needs to change very quickly. There is hope on the horizon tho.....   Soon school is out and that gets me my summer help back at the store, freeing up some time there. Especially Saturdays. Ive been working the store way to much for a guy not on the payroll. But the less I pay in payroll means the more the store makes so me being there over and above my usual duties does help out a bit. But I gatta stop that before I explode.
This week I am going to ride everyday no matter what. Dont care if a gatta mount a lite on the bike. With the next MTB race this Sunday in Rhinelander, I will be leaving town late Thursday and will bring my wife and several bikes with me for a long weekend. 
I am so looking forward to that......
More later...


Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday and Forgotten Race Report

First off I forgot to report on the Wednesday nite Worlds social group ride. If you remember last week we had Radio Shack\Mello Johnnys show up with a few riders to take it all. Last Wednesday it was Garmin\Transitions thats showed and indeed they sent Zabriskie because they heard from Lance some guy rides a full blown TT bike in the peloton and DZ does that all the time.

In fact DZ rides a full blown TT bike when he go's to the grocery store, runs for the paper and takes his dog for a walk(run). It was an easy choice for the G\T managers.

However, the sustained 30 mph winds with gusts in excess of 45 mph put the kabosh on "briskies" TT bike as it had a full rear dish and 90cm fairings on the front wheel.
So the bus did show in Danoville, only to stop at the Hardee's over by the interstate for about an hour, and then left town. No showdown with the locals will take place today.
I have yet to receive any correspondence from any team planning on next Wednesday but its early. I suspect a flurry of Pro teams in the near future as they all are hitting the States for the TOC. 
No doubt a stop at the Wednesday nite Worlds social ride is on there minds.....

Its a pretty gloomy Friday here. Incredibly, I skipped my early morning ride to my happy place. Just did not want to do it in the rain although I have a million times. Just not today. The weekend weather looks like crap and its such a downer to sit here on a Friday morn and not be pumped about the weekend. But I'm not. When the weather looks crappy I schedule myself in the store. I work rainy Saturdays only. Hopefully Sunday will take a turn for the better. Time will tell.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Things I Cant Live Without. (part one)

LAKE MICHIGAN: Lived on or near the shores my entire life.Its a morning vista a lot of people in Danoville take for granted. You see it everyday since birth and it disappears. Not to me. As most of you know I start out each day with a visit and when its warn and the sun is bouncing off the water I still stop and stare after living here for 50 years. 

DISC BRAKES: In my early years of MTB racing I packed up the motorhome and made a weekend out of each race. Always there on Saturday to preride the course. I would study it (meaning I would pick the hills that I would need to walk up) so I knew what was always coming up. Now that my life has gotten a bit busy, I can mostly only do a one day scenarios and that means racing without any preride. Back in the old days this would be unconscionable. But today racing an unknown course is mainstay for me. You try to look as far ahead as you can or try to follow the wheel in front of you but when your zone 5 and racing hard panic stops are in the double digits per lap. And being the big sturdy sprinter type of rider I sure am glad to have a great set of working disc brakes. They give me just a little bit more courage.

COFFEE: Strangely I did not drink coffee until I started riding bikes. Whats up with that? And late in life too. I waited about 42 years to start drinking the stuff. It was peer pressure. Everyone would drink it before group rides or race mornings. I hated the stuff. But as time went on I thought it was just one of things we (as cyclists) do, like shaving our legs, so I wanted to fit in. I started drinking it with about 50% cream. Just to wash down the awful taste. But as time (years) passed, the cream went away and now its black only. About four cups a day. Like any drug addiction its almost needed. If I miss a day I know it. If I miss two days I get huge headaches. I cant say what happens if I miss three days. Its never happened. But I think I explode or something.

I'll think of some more later.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Tonite is another stage of Wednesday Nite Worlds. Last week I held on for 52 minutes of the 1.5 hour ride. I plan on hitting on all cylinders tonite.

I have the prep nailed. Oatmeal for breakfast, couple bananas with PB&J in the afternoon. 

Soft spin this morn and getting off work early enough for proper warmup.

Bike is on the stand as we speak getting prepped. 

Our mechanic, Tyler, will be following in the team car with support and hand ups. He will also have the laptop fired up as to calculate the time gaps. My goal is over an hour in the peloton with maybe one break.

Just got word the Garmin-Transitions bus is in town. Hope they brought Zabriskie. He owes me one.

Bring it on!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekend Update

Just winding down from the weekend. Todays ride to my happy place was a good one as it is sunny and warm. I could spend hours upon hours here on days like this. Alas I had to leave and go to work but I left with a smile on my face. Not before taking another beach\coffee pic. That makes about 100 now.
So..... yeah, I raced Sunday. Its been at least four years since I did Iola and I was quickly reminded why. I totally forgot about the huge amount of climbing (for a fat guy) the course has. And all in the first half of the lap. My race for the podium was over about one minute in. After that it was just survival. After all the climbing I would do my best to recover and start picking off the bikes one by one in the single and double track. Only to have the 10 or so bikes I just passed climb right past me so I could do it again. If it was not for the awesome single in the woods I would not have had as much fun but after the hills I just love the rest of the course. I had to walk a climb twice during the race due to just running out of steam. I hate that and usually pick races that I can ride without unclipping. 
I'm glad I went and will be at the next for sure as that course fits me way better.

The warm weather has followed us into the work week and even tho I was off the bike yesterday, spending some down time getting yard work done, I plan on getting a road ride in today. Nice easy spin.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

And So it Begins....

Getting ready for the upcoming MTB race. Still not sure if Im going but I plan to. Totally not ready.

Been riding everyday but time on the MTB has been minimal.

Weekend looks good. Warmer weather.

That is all.