Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aurora by Bike.

Considered a boat by law.

Today's Chicago ride was once again on the IL Prairie Path. However not entirely on the path. I found out today that a majority of my 20 mile loop is in fact on the Fox River Trail.

I few miles farther west and I found myself in Aurora. Home of Wayne and Garth.

Followed the river up to what I believe is one of those fake gambling boats that are not really a boat but more like a building that just happens to float.

We do not have things like this is Wisconsin. Most of our buildings are on ground.

Once again it was 20 miles without hitting a street. A little rain kept the trails open.
I had no takers for this weeks Bike Path Domination Challenge.
Bummer. I had a perfect 30 min warmup that got wasted.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Daydreaming in the Morn...

Pic not today.

As I type this morn Im in Wisco, but loading the cross bike on the car to head back to the office in Chi-town. This morn's stop to my HP was a longer one. And Im never sure when those will happen. 
Today my mind drifted towards the impending change of season. My fav time of year is fall. With Sept just a few days away I cant stop thinking about it. Cooler temps and beautiful vistas await. Every year I try and cram a years worth of activities into a month and a half. For me, its time for some bike touring.
Every fall I take off my racin' shoes (easy to do this summer) and put on my touring shoes. In Sept there is my two most favorite century rides. 
First up, in just a couple weeks is the Door County Century.
People who know me best know I love Door County, Wisco.

Then a week later is DANOvilles own Earth Ride.

For me, these two events mark the start of Fall and I cant wait. The Door County ride incorporates a weekend camping trip with the group however I wont be able to make that this year. Its going to be a day ride for me.

When these type of rides are impending I do a little modifying to the Madone. Gone are the low racy million dollar bar and stem. During the summer its all about performance.

 But in fall its all about the century's. In its place I put on a wider bar and the stem has a facelift and as I get older that get a bit higher. This time of year is all about the four hour rides. No need to be in time trial position. Time to get comfy on the bike and enjoy the scenery.

So that's what Im thinking about today as I sat on the beach for about an hour.

The tractor was gone.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Draw the Line.

With the busy season still on I always have a little tolerance at my HP when its busy. I can share it with others but will not share it with a tractor.
My stop today was short lived.

Really nothing planned this weekend as far as riding. Gatta work tomorrow so I'll get out early for a quick 20 miles. Have a family function on Sunday so I'll get out early then also for another quickie.

Good luck to all racing Sunday.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fair Exchange

Today I traded my HP for a nice MTB ride in the Northern Kettles. Greenbush they call it. 

Bike riding is at a all summer high for me right now. But that's because I'm ditching all other life's responsibilities.

Also a fair exchange in my book.

Gonna get another cross ride in later afternoon.

Nothing else to report.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Today is one of those days I do not mind sharing my Happy Place with a couple. They seemed to be enjoying it just as much as I do. 

Perfect weather, 63 degrees, no humidity and totally sunny. This is a perfect day to play a little hooky from work.

And since Im back in Wisco that's what I will do today. Soon a cross ride will happen. In fact, right back to my HP. I'm going to take it a little slow tho...  Just want to see whats all out there today. I woke up on the good side of the bed this morn and you could not slap the smile off my face. Just one of those days........

The cross bike is calling.... I gatta go.... you know how impatient a cross bike can be.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ride Last Nite

My second ride down in Chi-town last nite.
20 miles of total bike path warrior.
Some punk kid with an over sized road bike tried to lay down so I elbowed his mom as I past her and put down a Boonen like sprint to lay waste the youngster. He had nothing for me.
NOTE: I did not say Cavendish like sprint cuz I planned on staying upright.

One thing I like is the bridges over the 4 lane roads. Not having to participate in a death march across these roads keeps my nerves at bay and lets me concentrate on the task at hand. And that would be......
Total bike path domination.

Tonite I saw all kinds on the path. Carbon frames with 23c tires on the limestone. Some people riding with hand me down bikes and looked like they were biking with everything they owned strapped on. And have not bathed.  You try not to make eye contact but I always offer a smile and a nod.  About 80% did not have a helmet including that crazy pre teen who called me out in front of his mother.
Silly pre teen. I really didn't want to make him cry cuz his mom was hot.
But I gatta do it cuz its what we do.


Monday, August 23, 2010

100 Mile Weekend.

Even tho I had to make the crappy drive to the Chicago office this morn I still managed a stop, although way to early, at my happy place. Was a pleasant mental surprise. 

I'm supposed to be here(in Chicago) till late Wednesday but I will pull a day out of that schedule for sure. I'm supposed to be coming down here less and less but its really been more and more.

So.... yeah. I didn't race Sunday. Talked myself out of it late Saturday. I referenced reasons that I will not go into detail here. I was actually looking forward to it as its my last chance to race a MTB this summer due to schedule conflicts but I'm not as sad as I thought I would be. First off I got to sleep in, which is hard when your old.

 And I also got a chance to hit up that other ride I spoke of Friday. Was a great 50 mile ride in the sun.( I got sunburned!) About 10 of us rode to Port Washington, a town about 25 miles from DANOville. Turns out there was a tall ship thingie going down and the lakefront was packed with people. 

The tall ships were cool. One was out in the harbour shooting its cannon!  Its always nice to participate in a ride that actually go's somewhere as opposed to just riding for miles. While a good MTB race is way fun, if I had to skip it for something it would be for something like this. Props to Mike and Kathy J. for the food and drink afterwards. I had two glasses of wine and was on the verge of acting silly. I cant hold my wine.

That ride was a great complement to Saturdays group ride. True, as soon as we hit the hills I got dropped but it was a good time just trying. And not a big deal as I was going to cut out early anyway. So it was 50 miles on Saturday and another 50 on Sunday. 

My first 100 miles weekend of the summer. Better late than never.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Revelations.

Since it was a blustery morning I knew I would have my happy place all to myself this morn. Its been quite a while since that happened. Soon the kids will be back to school, the park will slow (along with the store) and I can enjoy my HP timeout a bit more.

Today's thoughts.

Had a great MTB ride last nite around 6pm. About 12 hours later from when I really wanted to ride but its all good. Most of my madd MTB skillz are coming back little by little and of course could not help putting in some good efforts. It was a good hour and 15 min. Need to do this more. And by more I mean today.

Sunday I have a choice to make. Two rides.
1) A nice slower group ride with couples. 50 miles at a comfortable pace. 3 plus hours riding with good friends and good conversation. Beverages and food after. Or....
2) Drive an hour in my car by myself.  Pay thirty bucks to ride my MTB as hard as I can for less than an hour, in pain pretty much from the start. Only to get my ass kicked by everyone in my age group. Check my crappy results and drive another hour home. (BONUS: get to listen to the new DEVO CD in car)

After careful consideration it has been decided that I will go with door number two. I need to start getting my ass kicked. Its in my new training plan remember? I used to get my ass kicked on a daily basis. Now its been several months so Im due for real. Everyone feel free to at anytime.
DISCLAIMER: I cant race if its muddy cuz Im riding a demo bike that I need to sell in a few weeks so I gatta take it easy on it.

Here's another revelation. Last week when I attended the bike fit seminar we had a yoga session both days. We did specific stretches on specific muscles so we could feel what muscles stretched when you ride a poorly fit bike. But also, we did a round of just basic yoga stuff. I never did this before in my life but I liked it. It was hard but really peaceful. Lights turned down low. Very quiet. Very soothing. I need way more soothing in my hectic lifestyle and this just might be the ticket. I'm gonna look into this a bit more.

And its flippin Friday already. Weeks go so fast when Im in Chicago for a portion. Im way behind in store stuff. 

But what else is new. Have a great weekend.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Options and Group Rides.

One needs to travel prepared. Today I have two ways to go. Some days I go both ways.

However, this morn I have some concerns about myself. This morn was one of those day I planned to get up and ride in the morn. I had a good time with that yesterday in Chicago (I'm back in Wisco) and thought I turned the corner. But I just could not get the ambition to suit up even tho I knew that once I did I would like it.

So as I was pumped to ride quite a bit yesterday it seems that its short lived. This summer has been worse for my riding than last summer. And last summer was bad. I have pretty much been solo this year on about 90% of my rides. For several reasons but I'll roll with the obvious one. The weight factor. 

I realize how much I have been bitching about my weight these days. And I realize its up to me to change. When Im complaining its not that I'm looking for some encouragement, save your breath because I take encouragement badly. No... I'm just complaining.

So the tough part of this is that its hard to group ride when you get dropped quite a bit. A couple times a ride is manageable but consistently every twenty minutes is tough on the psychological aspect. You get beat down. I get beat down and feel even worse. 

So then its solo for me which is not so bad some of the time but I'm a pretty social guy and like a good group or one on one now and then. But now this summer, since its solo for me I have pretty much neglected any intervals or anything that resembles intervals. The last real interval on the bike for me was early June. Its so hard for me when I'm alone to just pick up the pace and go wide open. I dont like it cuz it hurts. In a good way of course.

However, if I would ride the groups I would have no choise but to go and try to hang on when needed. So I'm in a catch 22 here. Ride group and get beat down, but with intervals, or ride solo and feel good with no intervals. I need to suck it up and struggle in the group if I want to get my bike fitness back.

Another aspect is that in order to lose weight I pretty much need to ride with a calorie deficit. So that makes the group thing all the harder. Not only am I pulling my weight around I need to do so without bringing my "A" game. Consistently running on empty.  Bummer.

So of late I am trying to hit the woods with the Superfly, cuz then I have no choice but to do intervals on the climbs. And also to combat that issue I am pretty much making myself race the MTB race Sunday. I need to get back to the racing mindset. I will do horribly but hope to jumpstart the mindset that I need to ride harder. 

Just the fact that this scenario is on my mind just means that I must be riding more. And thats a good thing.

I skipped on this morn's ride but this aft will be MTB in the woods for a couple hours. Solo.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chicago got a little bit more tolerable.

The Chicago office just got a little easier to take. Just one mile away from our hotel is the Prairie Path. A huge trail system west of Chicago.
I finally found some time down here to grab the cross bike and I was glad I did. From the hotel in Naperville I headed west.

The trail is a 50\50 mix of limestone and pavement. Perfect for a cross bike such as mine. 
Mostly running along powerlines and the Fox River. Many cool bridges like this one.

I had to partake in conversation with the locals to pick my route. Lots of off shoots that could screw me up and easily get me lost. I hooked up with a guy riding home from work and spent about 20 minutes along side him as he explained the system. He rides 20 miles one way on the path to work. Nice.

He put together a nice 17 mile loop for me from my hotel. Absolutely no road involved. And I can easily add 10 more to the loop if needed. Another day.

So now I feel better about coming down here. In fact I'm up at 6am this morn getting ready to do another lap. I'm pumped.

Time to ride.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Stint Down South

Back down to Chi-town for two days. (insert bitching here). Im sure you know by now I'm not too fond of this but instead of bitching about it will try to make the best of a bad situation. 
And for the most part that means riding.
Brought the cross bike with me and will be riding in traffic after work today. 

I have finally picked up the riding program. For two reasons. One is that the temps are back to tolerable. I can take higher temps but when the intense humidity hits I fold. And then theres my weight. Its skyrocketed. Trek fed me pretty good last week. I am afraid to say but will anyway. I now have hit 270. That's just a couple pounds away from my all time record before I started riding. My all time low was 215 Oct 08.
That is quite the eye opener and I am in the process of changing my priorities.

As I mentioned earlier, all racing is pretty much off. In fact, I can no longer hang with any of the group rides around. I'm on my own. And very slow.

However, a good week of riding might convince me to show up at Sundays MTB race. This race is flat for the most part and wide open some of the time. Both in my favor. And its  less than an hour away. So.....  yeah, might just show.

As far as my weight go's its been a tough summer and I have to say I admit to having thoughts of ditching the bike thing altogether. Twice in my life I have stopped and changed directions. 

I for sure could do it again. But only last resort.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Back to Normal

Most of the time I like different but my last week was a little to.  Its been a entire week since I have hit my HP and this morning I sure could feel my heart grow fonder with its absence. With the sun out and finally some comfortable temps I stayed quite a bit longer than usual. The whirlwind that was last week and weekend melted away and my heart rate dropped a few beats (finally).

Not that it was a hard week, just a busy one with Trek World and then the bike fit seminar which turned out to be 20 hours of classroom in two days. I was never one for book schooling and did my best to absorb all that was shown me in those two days. Really, it was 18 hours on anatomy and two hours on the bike. Like I said prior...

Then, there was this golf tournament thing. What they call a PGA Championship. Going down at a place called Whistling Straits. This course is about a mile from my house. I was happy to be out of town most of last week but I got a taste of it this weekend. 100 thousand people and 10 thousand cars.

My road was so jammed up with cars and State cops it pretty much was unridable Sunday. Had to grab the Superfly and hit the woods instead. Once it slowed around noon took a ride with my wife to my fave coffee shop just to get away from my house. Glad its over.

So now its on to the week at hand. This week will contain another stint in Chicago and hopefully some riding. My riding program is once again non exsistant. I had such high hopes a month ago. Still, I will work on my personal schedule to once again have a satisfactory riding schedule. Its an ongoing battle that I seem to struggle with. 


Friday, August 13, 2010

Bike Fit Friday

If there was one reason to not be heading toward the U.P. to do battle at Ore to Shore, it would be to be completing a two day bike fit seminar by Michal Sylvester. Pretty much the best bike fitter around.                                                                  This guy is the bike fitter to the stars. Doing work with Radio Shack and other huge teams. He knows his stuff and I am amazed on how we have been riding a bike without this.
Its a very intense seminar. With about 80% of it medical training. You need to learn how the muscles work and where they attach. Tendons and nerves. Hamstrings. 
We spent over 3 hours studying the pelvic bone and glute muscles.  Cuz when you ride a bike thats where all the magic happens. Thursday it was 830 to 6pm pretty much straight thru. I'm so pumped about this stuff I have signed up for level 2 in fall!
Today its gonna be the same. A long day but well worth it.

Bring it on.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

On Blogging

As this posts I am on route back to Madtown to learn why the bike you ride is so damn uncomfortable. I'll let you know when I know.

I just notice that blogs I list have several that are weeks in arrears and wonder.

Blogs really are hobbies, should never be taken seriously and are mostly a product of someone (like me) having way too much time on my hands. I always think that when a blog Im following has no post in three weeks that means the person actually has a life. And I say to myself "good for them".

There are good blogs tho. Mostly done by people who have journalistic qualities. Even people who have great insights but cant type them have a hard time with this crap. I think I'm the opposite of that. I try to type out things that have no value to others.

I have thought about ditching this blog several times and I'm sure it will happen someday. But for now I have a good time with it so its gonna be game on for awhile anyway. 

I always think that when I do stop it will be for good. I will delete it so you all do not have to come back a million times to see whats going on. I would not want to waste you time like that. So if you click and find a link not found someday that means its time to move on.
But I promise that when I end it that means its for real. Not like last time where I thought it was over but changed my mind. 

And for those who have scraped posting on their blog, you also have the right to change your mind.

Like me.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Two Days of Trek World.

Monday and Tuesday was spent in Madison, Wisco at Trek World. This is a three day convention that Trek puts on for dealers only. They spend a billion dollars on this instead of Interbike. I think its a good move.

The put you up in a hotel and feed you.

You get to hobnob with hundreds of other dealers from all over the world. You cant help coming home without learning something. Besides all the other fun stuff they have many informative seminars on product and business practices. I do as many of them as I can. I'm still relatively new at this

One of the things you get to do is tour the Waterloo factory and watch them glue together carbon frames (they call it "bonding", I call it gluing). 
Its still cool that the high end bikes are built here and everything is done by hand.
They can do up to 250 frames per day and I saw a posting in the lunch room that Saturdays are mandatory thru September. 
They are busy.
And they roll out the 2011 lineup. They let everyone ride them around.

Its a fun couple of days that I consider a perk of this biz.

I'm home today but am packing up to head back to Madison for a two day fit seminar tomorrow. I'm looking forward to learn the science of bike fit. And I wont be afraid to use it.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Catch Up ( TrekWorld)

We arrived to Madtown Sunday nite and grabbed the bikes for a ride before we checked in. We rode the trail\path around Lake Monona since our hotel was on said path. It was very busy on the city side of the lake. Lots of bikes.
However, this wasn't really a true path as it was about 80% city streets. A little nerve racking on the streets of Madison but its was mostly side streets. But I'm still a little skittish since hitting the car this summer.  We did get to stop and watch a waterski team do fancy stuff. A nice bonus.  The 12 mile route was fun tho. Was a nice was to start the thing we call TrekWorld. Its started the very next morn. We never did get to ride again. It was just too damn hot.

More to come.


Friday, August 6, 2010


Was a blessing to wake up in DANOville this morn. The temps were down, humidity gone and the sun was out. Perfect riding weather. I will later this aft, I promise.

But now my mind is directed to the store since I have been gone from it a few days. Last week I pretty much made my final 2010 bike order of the summer. We should be set till the weather cools. Next week Trek will roll out the 2011's. But when you work in retail you need to forget whats happening today.

In a  week I will start ordering winter. During the best part of summer. In retail you need to work up to 6 months ahead and sometimes that's not easy. First, you need to "forecast" (which is a fancy word for guessing) what your inventory needs will be. Then set a budget for inventory needs that you always go over and then stress about it. 

So while your mindset is in the best part of summer, I'm thinking winter and that's feels wrong to me. Moving on.....

A few weeks ago I reported that I sold my cross bike, its now come back to me after said party decided it was a bit too big and I could not be happier. Sure, I will sell it eventually but right now its replacement was a month away so Im glad its back home. I like to ride it.

Its Friday and I scheduled myself in the store tomorrow, other than that my next post just might come from Madison, Wisco from some event called "Trekworld". Again, gonna be in Madtown all week.
 Will bring bike.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Miss Wisco

As I finish up in the Chi-town office and ready for a trip back north I cant help thinking how much I dislike it here.
Maybe its just this particular trip cuz its been pretty hot out. Too hot to ride. Not that I had the time. These quick two day overnite stays just do not leave enough time to plan a ride. I'll try it  a few more times before I decide to pull the plug on these trips.

So the cross bike did not move out of the car.

The traffic around the office here is unbearable for a Wisconsin country boy. 

Lets talk about something fun. I mentioned in an earlier post that next week is a fun week with Treks's dealer show Monday and Tues, then the fit seminar Thur-Fri. 

So on that note I booked an airplane, hotel and car in Las Vegas for Interbike in late September. While I do a quick walk thru the show its mostly a company paid vacation for me. 

And now with one under my belt I have a better idea of what I want to do and see. As far as goofing off we mostly jump in the rental car and leave town. My time on the strip is minimal. 

One thing I absolutely cannot miss is Cross Vegas. Everybody who is anybody is there. If not racing, then just walking around. This isn't just an event, its a spectacle and the highlite of my visit. So.... there's something I have to look forward to.

I can use stuff to look forward to. Bring it on.

See ya back in DANOville.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


After a extremely long and rainy drive to Chicago this morn I sit in our office in Warrenville, staring out the window just like I do in my home town office. Except Im just farther away.
I came prepared for this round of Chi-town work as I did bring my cross bike.

However, its gatta stop raining.

Will head downtown for some inner city sales calls. That should be fun.

Just gatta get in, get my work done and head back home tomorrow as soon as possible.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Looking ahead

Todays HP pic
Another successful HP visit this morn. Goona hit it one more time on the cross bike in a few hours.
Cant wait.
Just looking ahead a bit, here's what I have going.

Tomorrow I leave for Chicago for three days of wonderful day job stuff.
Back Friday.
Next week Monday and Tuesday I'm in Madison for Trekworld. Its a dealer convention that Trek puts on for its dealers. Seminars and all 2011 bikes on display. And all the subs you can eat.

Im back Wednesday to man the store to allow any employees to hit the show.

Then on Thursday and Friday I'm back in Madtown to partake in a two day bike fit workshop.
Its a hands on fit seminar that I'm really looking forward to. I hope to learn a lot.
Im also taking a separate seminar on "tri" bike fit.

So thats pretty much the next two weeks for me. Not sure when and were I will be riding but I will have several bikes and multiple fresh kits in the car at all times. Look for me bombing Madtown several times next week.


Monday, August 2, 2010


This blog might start to get a bit boring. I wish I had more time but it seems just when I think I can relax I get hit with another round, when Im still trying to catch up with the last round.

I once again am heading to Chicago to work a few days. Trying to tie up loose ends today before I leave. My time in the store has been minimal to say the least. Not good.

Gonna bring the cross bike with me this time. I gatta get used to this Chicago thing as its going to happen quite a bit for a while.

The weekend riding was not so bad as I rolled 30 miles on the Madone Saturday and Sunday got invited to roll with the Peddle Moraine team. Including Mark, the owner. We talk shop. We rode the New Fane trails near Kewaskum. Very nice trails but the loop is kinda short. I rolled it 3 times in less than an hour and a half. But very fun.

Went home, took a nap and then rolled 20 more miles on the Madone.

Not a bad weekend. Next post from Chi-town.