Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kids & Bikes

Todays pic
Was nice to roll a normal HP ride this morn. The sun is kicking ass today. I was only around Monday and then was two days in Chicago. So still busy trying to catch up with store stuff, wanted to post this morn during my usual time I set aside to do so but I just have so much to do......

This morn while taking said ride and having some coffee I came across a large group of kids riding. I could tell they were from a local school and most likely out for Phy Ed. Must have been at least 30 of them all wearing orange vests. They looked about 14 or so years old.
Then... one of them took a huge digger right in front of me as I drove past (on the other side of the street as I was going the other way). Hit the pavement hard. He was in a group of about 10 bikes or so but looked like he was not riding close to another bike but I only assume he rubbed a back wheel of the bike in front of him.

As the group passed me in waves I could not notice how terrible riders they all were. Weaving back and forth, they seemed to all have a tough time even balancing. Nobody was looking where they were going. No hands on brakes. No wonder that boy hit the road. I cant believe how bad these kids were at bike riding. Its so sad that they just do not ride enough to develop those basic skills.
Very sad.
At that age I was riding a wheelie a block long and clearing 10 foot gaps. And back then they had no riding in school Phy Ed. We learned this on our own.

It just shows how thing change over generations. Cell phones, Xbox and Facebook are the things that  kids use to take up time now and that is getting sadder by the minute.

So if you have a young'en in the family. Get outside and show them how to ride a bike before they are forced to do it in school. But then, if your reading this blog you already do that.

Tell someone else.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegas Part Three (Other Stuff)

Zion National Park

I do not like Vegas. I don't gamble, drink or swear. I spend as little time as possible on the strip. We take a walk at nite to see the lights, and a walk during the day for some shopping. Other than that we might hit a nice restaurant once on the strip. All other activities are out of town.
As last year we took a ride thru Red Rock Canyon. Thats good for a couple of hours. I had a ton of pics of this place last year so I did not take any to speak of. Besides, I knew where we were going the very next day.
Two guys climbing (center of pic)

This year we decided to take the 2.5 hour drive over to Zion National Park in lower Utah. And glad we did. The park is also set in a Canyon and you take a bus (no cars allowed) 6 miles down stream. Several stops include a Lodge and many trail heads. Rock climbing and hiking are the two main activities. The amount of rock climbing here is second only to Yosemite. The hiking here is also big time.

 We saw a lot of hard core hikers coming out of the canyon hills. Huge packs on their backs and looking pretty ratty. Some had some pretty good scraps all over their legs. You could tell they have been out for awhile.

Huge vistas had tons of photographers camping out in spots all over the Park. Waiting for the sun to be just right and get that perfect pic. A lot of famous pictures have been taken here. I took about a zillion.
So another Vegas vacation in the books. 
It was fun. And I needed some rest when I got home.
Still catching up on work and domestic stuff.
Now its back to my bike riding and HP.
And thats all I have to say about that.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vegas Part Two (Cross Vegas)

Now this is what I come to Vegas for. As far as Im concerned there just happens to be a bike show during Cross Vegas. This is by far the coolest bike race I attend all summer hands down. Everything is here. Cross bikes, 100 degree heat, bike celebs, fast pro riders from the US and abroad, many factory teams, beer and Mexican food.
And its share of weirdos walking around.
If the fast riders are not racing, their walking around.
Saw Willow Korber, in what I believe was her third wardrobe change of the day, riding around on some sort of xtracycle.
And amidst the hoopla a bike race breaks out. And the level of competition did not disappoint. The races were awesome. The kind of stuff we watch on TV. Cross races are just so awesome to watch. You can see them racing most of the course as opposed to once in a while with a crit or even worse, a MTB race when you see then once every twenty minutes. This form of racing is growing 100 percent per year here in the States. I love it.

Of course being celebs in the bike community we had VIP passes and that gave us all the beer and food we can drink and eat, let us sit on a hill that gave us a view of about 70% of the course, and kept us entertained by this huge Praying Mantis. If I had one complaint it would be the announcers who did a good job of pumping up the crowd but fell a little short of calling the play by play. There was a lot going on that they missed.
But I didn't miss it.
Now with the move of Interbike to L.A. next year puts this race in jeopardy. Also moving it a month sooner sucks too.  I for one will continue to attend if it chooses to stay in Vegas. I would ditch Interbike to watch this race.
However, it just might be that I will be attending "Cross Angeles" next year.
I hope not. More to come.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Vegas Part One (Interbike)

Sure am glad to be home. My trip to my HP was special today as I get home sick easy and miss my everyday things. Im going to document my Vegas vacation in three posts. Interbike, Cross Vegas and then Other Stuff. First up is Interbike.

First off, for years I always wondered what went on at this thing. Always reading about it in all the mags and papers I subscribed to. And let me be the first to say, and keep in mind I'm as much a bike geek as anyone, that this show is not what its seems to be.

Don't get me wrong, there are some very cool things here. Like meeting Jens Voigt. Pretty much the toughest guy in the TdF peloton. By his expression you can see he was pretty pumped to meet me too.

But for the most part the cool stuff you can see in just a couple hours if you know where they are on the floor. I was in the show for 4 hours all week. Wednesday from noon to 4pm. 

That's it. An example of what you get here is some huge 20 by 30 foot display complete with huge video screen and several podium girls..... for some company that makes red spoke nipples. Granted Im sure those are really cool spoke nipples but how pumped can you get about spoke nipples. I cant believe how many times I just typed the word "nipples".

So that is about 85 percent of what the show is about. Since this is my second show I knew where to go and who to see. The best booth in the show????

That would go to Sram. Last year too. Its a big booth that is full of a lot of stuff and some cool people. Its because of this booth(that they must have spent 6 figures on) that I am equipping all of my 2011 demo bikes with nothing but Sram driveline (not really, I decided that weeks ago).

This years hot item? Electric assist bikes. There must have been 30 different kinds of them. Big ones... little ones... folding ones. I have one in my store right now. I guess people think they are going to be the future of commuting. I hope so.
So that's it. That's the show. One huge building of some cool stuff but mostly  normal stuff. Every once in a while I see something I would not mind putting in the store and try to take some info with me. 

For the most part its just overload. And way too many people for my liking. On Wednesday you are constantly bumping shoulders all day and that drives me a little nuts. So four hours was plenty for me. I saw what I came to see.

And then I was out. Sorry to burst your Interbike bubble. Some people like it. 

Its just not for me. More to come.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quickie From Airport

Just a quickie from LasVegas airport. And since its Saturday most of you wont read this till Monday anyway.
Had a great time but am a little homesick and want to go home.
More on my Interbike week on Monday.
Have a good weekend.
I'll leave you with a pic from Zion National Park.
We were there most of the day Friday.
Very awesome.
Talk Monday.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gonna Be a Long Day....

Today was the first day I hit my HP alone since spring. Busy during the summer, not so much in fall and winter. Speaking of... leaves are starting to turn here so its pretty much game on to do as much outside stuff as possible. 
Cool temps.
Orange and red trees.
Cross bikes.
Exept that is all on hold as Im heading to the land of sun and heat.
Vegas is 100 degrees and sunny and that's where Im going in about 6 hours.
Not sure what my internet options will be there so it will be mostly Facebook off the Blackberry. Have a full itinerary.
Cross Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon.
Area 51.
This years visit will include a day trip to Zion National Park.
And a quick stop to the bike show.

Bring it on.


Monday, September 20, 2010


Had a pretty good weekend. Todays HP visit was a short one. So much to do. So little time.

Did not do the Maywood century as planned Saturday. Woke up at 6am to rain, thunder and lighting and went back to bed. Woke up again and went into the store to get some stuff done due to the short (Interbike) week for me. Starting to get pumped as Im flying out after work tomorrow. Trying to do  a weeks worth of work for both the day job and the store. Its gonna be a marathon. 

Sunday had us working on our local trails as the MTB race is just three weeks away. Got some stuff done and rode a while. This is the time of year that we ride these trails, just prior to race weekend. Otherwise I stay out due to the fact that Ive been around those woods about 800 times and prefer other locations. But its 3 miles from my house and very convenient so I hit them when time is a factor.

Other than that its all work and no play until 9pm tomorrow.

See you at Cross Vegas (or not)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Bike Ridin'

Back from Chicago and been hittin' the trails quite a bit. Early ride today. Maybe late afternoon too. I never leave home without at least 2 fresh kits in the car.
My MTB skilz are coming back with all the time in the woods. Even thinking of maybe laying out a race yet this summer. Maybe.
Iceman is still a go.
Thats the local supported century in DANOville that happens every middle Sept.
I'll be there and it looks like tomorrow will be my last ride on my 2010 Madone.
It has done me well this summer and am looking forward to its replacement.

So anyway, from this point on its all cross and MTB.
Have been putting in a lot of time on the new Superfly and I must say I like the improvements. It still is basically the same bike but its got full XO 2 by 10. I love that driveline. Your in the "big" ring almost 99% of the time and with 10 gears attached to your rear wheel you have quite an assortment of ratios to choose from. Even a big guy like me can climb most hills without dropping the ring. Wheels are a bit better. I just thru some Stans in them and tossed out the tubes. Doing that to a 26 inch wheel makes a big difference, imagine how much difference on a 29 inch wheel! Tons!

Most of my MTB buddys are on their way to Chequamegon Fat Tire 40. Those people must be afraid of me cuz they have always sent me my money back and was told to stay home. So most of you wont read this till Monday. But.... good luck to all anyway

Talk Monday.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicago Today

Just a quick post without a pic.
Back in Chicago but just for the day.
Some thoughts....

  • Just heard today that Interbike will be moved to Anaheim,CA starting next year. And in August.  WTF? This will make me strongly consider not attending. I have no intentions of spending 4 days in Anaheim,CA. And whats going to happen to CrossVegas? My fav race of the year now ruined. I, for one, will still fly out to Vegas if they choose to continue.
  • Had a great day of MTBing yesterday. Started at noon in the northern kettles of Greenbush and ending on the WORS course of Evergreen Park. The new Trek\Fisher is awesome. Will expand on why later...
  • Getting my skilz back on the MTB. And have the Madone sold. Saturday will be my last ride on it. Who needs a road bike in Oct when you have a perfectly good cross bike? Not me.
That is all for now.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Pic #6 with new camera
A couple of posts ago I was boasting about all the cool bikes I was going to ride in 2011. I received a comment stating I should start focusing on the store and not myself. Its still there if you want to go back and read it. I blasted a wild response, deleted it and posted a bit tamer one. On a side note, I can see who was on at that time, what city they live in, what link they used to get to my blog and what IP and operating system they use. So I have a good idea.

I try not to put a lot of store stuff on my personal blog. But it gets tough when it comes to riding. You see.... I'm still a bike rider first and a store owner second.
So I cant help but get pumped to be able to ride the latest and greatest. And when I receive a bike that I personally will ride, it will be on my personal blog.
So as I sat at my HP this morn, I thought for a long time and asked myself, why did I invest in a bike store. Then I took this pic and left.

I'm not really sure why I did it. Maybe just because I could. Definitely not for the money. I put in 20 to 30 hours per week here over and above my day job without any compensation.  I don't see my family a whole lot. I leave the house around 7am, not to return till 7pm.  Its not that I can ride bikes more... my riding time has been cut down considerably. I do stress out over issues. Managing employees and money. The store has complicated my life when I was trying to go the other way with that. So why??

Just so I can ride cool bikes? Yes, thats a perk I take advantage of. But if you add all the hours I put in here, pay me a bit over minimum wage I could outright buy the bikes I am riding. So really that's a wash. As I sat at my HP today, listening to the waves come in, it took me quite a long time to really find the answer to why I invest so much money and time in the store. I was almost afraid I would not be able to find a good reason. That all my energy has been wasted. But it was not.
I really like cycling.
I really like riding nice bikes.
I really like people who like cycling as much as I do.
I really like getting people started in cycling and selling then the stuff needed to do so.

This store guarantees that I will be exposed to those issues for the rest of my life.
And if thats only focusing on myself?
So be it.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Door County Weekend (day)

Another Door County weekend gone by. For me it was a bit dissapointing to make it a day trip. Dont get me wrong, we had a great day in the sun, but it just fell a little short of past DC weekends. But the bar was raised pretty high in that respect.

Since I only had one day to cram this fun into I got up at 5am and hit the road. About a 2 and a half hour ride. It took me to Green Bay to wake up.

I arrived at Peninsula Park around 730 and all the riders who were doing the century already left. Rider count left was 7 including me.

After the usual lallygagging that go's on before a ride we shammy'd up and started the trek to Washington Island.

Its about 20 miles to the ferry to cross to the island. While I do love to visit the island we did not take into account the time needed to load the boat, cross and do the same thing on the way back. So our underestimated down time with that put a dent in the miles. And our ambition.

That and a bit of slow service at lunch made it a ride of almost 8 hours with less than 4 in the saddle. Thats a lot of downtime wearing a shammy!

So I'm definitely glad I went but trying to cram the Door County experience in one day is tiring. After we got back to the park 3 hours later than we thought (430) most everyone just sat around or showered, killing all chances to get a MTB ride in. And at that point was OK by me. 
So I just sat around another hour and and went home. I was wasted after the long drive home.

So like I said, the ride itself was not like other years but any ride is a good ride when the sun is out and your with good friends.

But for me, the most disappointing aspect was the little time spent in the park. I just drove in, parked, rode my bike, returned and drove home. A very disappointing visit to my favorite park in the world.

No riding in the park, or hiking or anything. I almost feel like I diss'ed the park a little.

I did stop and take one pic before I left.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Blustery Saturday

Its crappy outside. Riders are suffering up in Door County. Huddling under tarps. Riders preriding Lake Geneva will be getting wet\muddy.
I'm warm and dry manning the store by myself as all others are at those places.
I'm such a nice boss and hate to deny anyone a ride or race.
But, if its gonna be crappy out thats just fine by me today.
Store will be slow and that means I get a lot of my stuff done.
Such as...

Putting together the first of my 2011 personal demo bikes. Here is my Trek "Gary Fisher Collection" Superfly 100 Elite.

This is what I'll be riding\racing next summer. Its got a few upgrades from last years (which is for sale right now) and I cant wait to ride it. Im bringing it up to Door County tomorrow to maybe get in an hour after the group road ride.

Next for my 2011 personal stable will be the Madone. I have not spec'ed it out yet but it will for sure be a 6 series.

Dont forget a new cross bike too.

I'm not racing this fall so I might wait and get this one.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Door County Weekend.

My forth pic with my new camera.

Had a little bit to think about today at the HP. Technically today is leading into what was my favorite weekend of the year. Door County Century weekend. A group of about 20 from DANOville head out to Peninsula Park for 4 days of camping, MTBing and century riding. This weekend pretty much has all my fav's...

But alas time changes everything. I missed last year and this year the weekend will be less than half of past years.
First off, I didn't register for the ride and was going to do so day of. Until I found out day of is now 65 bucks. What??? No way am I paying 65 bucks for donut holes and gatorade.
And I gatta work the store Saturday (my Saturday help is already up there) so my Door County weekend is cut to one day (Sunday). So to make the best of it almost all of the riders out of the 20 or so that did not register for the century yet, including me, will skip the organized ride and be doing a ride from the park up to Washington Island on our own. A ride up to, ferry over, and ride around the Island will be about 60 miles. Couple of little side trips can bump that up to 75 no problem. With lunch thrown in will make a decent ride.
I'll have to leave the house early and make the 2 hour drive up to the park Sunday morn.

Looking forward to it.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Its fun to again have a camera. Today's HP visit was a good one. Sun out and air was crisp. Just how I like it. Here is the second and third pic I took with my new camera. Great way to start the day.

So last nite I attended the Wednesday Nite Worlds Social Group Ride (WNWSGR) and I was expecting the worst. I have not done this ride since I got hit (I hit) the car back in early June. I was totally ready to get wasted the second they blew the whistle to go.
But I was pleasantly surprised. Its not like I on fire but it was a bit tamer and with a little help on the hills and a couple of wait ups I managed to roll in just a few minutes behind along with a couple of others (a pair of Steve's). 
I was preparing for a blow out but ended up having a good time. This was by far the hardest effort I put in on a bike since June and I felt it last nite and this morning. 
I almost reached for the Ibuprofen but didn't. I need more of this stuff. Definitely the good kind of sore.
Its really hard for me to ride hard when I'm alone. Im always looking at stuff.
And thinking of other stuff besides riding hard.
So if I need to put in some kind of effort I need to ride with the fast guys more.
Last nite I heard them talking about switching Wednesday Worlds to MTB's.
And thats fine by me.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I am Glad That.....

First pic w\ new camera!

  • I have a new camera. Been using my Blackberry for the last couple weeks. I have always taken pride in the fact that all my pics were taken with a 99 dollar Walmart camera. So after I conveniently lost that old 8 megapixel piece for crap I was set on actually buying something good to see what I could do with it. A SLR for sure. But I bailed. So instead of a 99 dollar camera I now have a 139 dollar Walmart camera. 12 pixels! So Im pumped to be able to once again start the HP pics. Which I have way to many of already.
  • Its exactly two weeks and counting to CROSSVEGAS. This is my fav race of the year. Everyone who is anyone is there. If not racing, then watching. Bike racin' celebs everywhere. You will hear me rant on this several times in the next 14 days. And to top things off I am invited to attend the Sierra Nevada VIP area (they know who I am) where the beer flows and the authentic Mexican food never runs out (until 11pm). I cant wait.
  • Cooler weather prevailing. Nice. Good sleeping weather.
  • On that note; I was told the trees are starting to turn up in northern Wisco. Im pumped!
  • I am planning my day for a nice two hour ride. Soon to be. Madone. 
  • Like a kid in a candy store I am ordering my demo bikes for 2011. This is the reason I invested in a bike store. Today I will order my road, MTB and cross that I will be personally riding next year. Its a strange feeling that most people have not felt. 
I will post the results tomorrow.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Special Holiday Edition

With all the mobile technology these days one never should miss a ride. Today's on and off rain had most ditching the day. I, on the other hand, stared at my Blackberry. Waiting. Just as the road would dry another downpour. The rain had me ditching a fun MTB ride in the planning.  But the radar in my hand told me there was a window coming. Around 2pm.

And when the window hit I was ready. I chammied up a full hour before the sun came out. I was not going to miss this window no way.
Sadly, as I was rolling out on dry roads I witnessed several rolling in that called it a bit too early. Wet and full of road grime. One needs to be patient when it comes to dodging the clouds. I waited. And when the time was right I rode like the wind. And was 100% dry.

Not quite as long a ride as Sunday. Then I rolled out a 52 mile solo ride that had about 3 hour point 52 min. in the saddle. Rolling thru several townships had knocked down my average a bit. I was hoping for some longer rides to prep me for the next two upcoming weekends and the century's they provide. Noticed the million or so Monarch butterflies that were on the move. More than one ran into my face. Reminds me of when I was young, maybe 10, woke up to a couple of trees in our yard just covered in Monarchs. To a kid it seemed like a zillion of them. 40 years later I still have never seen that again.

But I'd like to.

So heading into the short work week I'm glad I had an extra day to get in a couple of bonus miles. I need all the miles I can get.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Its Friday. So what.

All pics the last few days taken via Blackberry.

Its Friday and its fall weather. Went from sleeveless jersey to arm warmers in 15 hours. Bring it on. Yeah, I love the cooler cross racin' weather. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?
Woke up to huge sunshine which always puts me in a good mood off the bat. Blasted down to my H.P. but clouds rolled in just as I got there erasing the sun from my view so my morning pick me up was short lived.
Such is life.
I'll try to get some work done this morn in hope that the sun comes out again later.
Right now I'm getting my Vegas Interbike plans firmed up. Rented me an airplane and a car. Found a place to sleep. Also got my tic's for Crossvegas. I'm good to go.
I might even spend a little time at the show.
Less than 3 weeks away.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rainee Wednesday

Things to do on my agenda today:

  • Locate and clean all my "demo" bikes for sale.
  • Order all my "demo" bikes for next year. Along with a late summer\Christmas bike order for the store.
  • Stare out the window and watch it rain.
And I'm also thinking about the impending cross season which, in my opinion, is starting way too early. But then, you remember it is somewhat of a "roadie" sport. And roadies do not care about any remaining MTB races. They just want to get this cross stuff over with before it gets too cold. I say start mid Oct and end early Dec. Like God intended.

I will not be racing cross this year. And thats too bad cuz I have pretty cool cross stuff to hang on some lucky bike this fall. That's OK tho. It wont go to waste as I will still build  up the bike and take it to Chicago to further my Bike Path Warrior Domination! Not only will I make them suffer like dogs, I will look good doing it. Not too sure what I'm going to do if I flat on the tubulars tho....  
Here's some news since Im thinking about it. Next summer I have two big plans in the works. So big that I have to start planning this month. One has to do with WORS. Can't say quite yet cuz its far from official.

But the second is kinda cool in that I am working on bringing a cross race to DANOville next year. I have not approached any sanctioning body yet but a stand alone race is my first choice. On the lines of Jingle Cross... etc. Those who know me know I have over 5 years experience doing the DANOville WORS race and know I am very capable of pulling this off.  I already have permission to use Evergreen Park, the same venue that the WORS race is on. And am already working on sponsor's. You have to start early to land a big sponsor cuz most of the big fish set their 2011 budget in fall. 

I can guarantee you the race is not going to be in August. Or September for that matter.

Wish me luck.