Friday, October 29, 2010

Pending Weekend

I really have nothing today but I'll show one more pic from the wind damage the other day. Look in the back ground at the one sheet that wrapped around the parking meter.

I guess it was kinda windy.
Today I have a lot to do so I skipped the happy place visit in lieu of getting some work done both at store and day job.

My motive for such a sacrifice is a nooner bike ride today. 
But my dilemma is that I could ride the Superfly over in the park, or grab the cross bike for a ride to the other park, or even SSPinkie and hit the road.

I think the Superfly is out due to time constraints and that I would have to load it and drive over to the park.
SSPinkie is fun to ride and can do it right from the store.....

Cross bike is totally tricked out and is also a blast to ride, plus I can swing thru the woods at will but also can ride from the store...

Tomorrow I will be hanging around Halloween Cross. 
You will find me near the Flaming Coffin of Death.
Gonna be having lengthy conversations with the WCA board about my cross race next year. People don't understand how early one needs to start planning this. Its around one year away and I might have started a bit late for my standards. I put a lot into it.

And am so looking forward to it.
Have a good weekend.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tornatic Activity

Had a little excitement yesterday at the shop. Its been slow the last few days with the crappy weather so really anything we can talk about is welcome.
 About 530 last nite the wind tore off a huge chunk of siding off the south side of our building. Knocking over a street lamp as it hit the ground. Good thing nobody was there. It would have hurt them real bad. One sheet flew way across the street, where you see the guy getting out of his car.
Luckily no other damage.

We did close down early as the street was closed to walking until the rest of the siding could be secured. In fact the road was still closed this morn when I got here. You can see the next piece was ready to fly. It didn't.
Just one of those sheets took 5 guys to move. Getting hit by one would not have been good.
The local radio station was there with a live report, I offered to pay the guy 20 bucks if he mentioned the store 5 times in his report, he only said it twice so I held on to my 20 spot.
Anyway, at least we got some excitement. Its been kinda slow during this 3 day wind storm.
8:35 this morn
I did hit my HP this morn but it was only a brief visit. I call these types of visits a "drive by". 
Just a quick once thru the park to make sure all is well.

And could not do so without taking at least one pic.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yes, its Windy But.....

Been there-done that.
Of course the big new here and all over the mid west is the storm.
 I have not watched a lot of TV lately and have only heard of this thing by word of mouth.

Storm of the century someone called it? 

Its sunny and windy. That's not a storm.

But not too windy to get a ride in. 
Or at least I thought.

Took SSPinkie around the block and pulled the plug quickly. It was too windy. it would not have been too bad except for the sudden gusts that threatened to knock me down. And a rider at 265 pounds, that a lot of wind.

Then I thought maybe in the woods. But by then it was too late and I had to get back to work.

I guess its over tomorrow. Or whatever.

My riding has been less than stellar of late. Soon the Tues nites will start and that will help in that respect. 
That is all for today.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Angry Lake

Waves and Wind. 745am
Just get yer ass out there dude.
Todays HP was an angry one. Winds gusting up to 50mph off the water had the waves hitting 4 feet (or more since I could not measure them). The water was running 30 to 40 feet up the shore. Coming here under strange conditions is a highlite. I could barely stand up with the high winds and that was just weird. I like weird.

On my way back into town I saw this dude with a surfboard on top his car checking out the waves.

Actually, DANOville is quite the hotspot for surfers in the mid west. Some days you can see 10 or more out on the lake. Just as others see us as crazy when we ride the beach when its near zero, the surfers ride waves here almost year round wearing very expensive wetsuits. And people think we are crazy. Those guys are in the water!
And every year they converge in huge numbers to compete. Us locals call it hippie fest as most of the surfing community seems a bit strange to us. They come from all over the country.  Thats a lot of tie dye shirts and VW buses.
So there's today's history lesson about DANOville.
Cycling and surfing.


Monday, October 25, 2010

I Had Better Weekends.

File Foto
It was just a matter of time before we get handed a weekend like last.
While I did get out for the abbreviated and rain soaked Saturday Breakfast Ride World Championships Winter Mode (SBRWCWM).
With temps in the upper 50's it was tolerable 2 hour ride.
And it was the weekend I dreaded. Constant rain and wind pretty much beat the crap out of the fall colors, at least the ones that were left.

And crazy as this may sound, I went home mid afternoon Saturday after a few hours at the store and never walked out of the house until this morn. For realsies.

Just laid on the couch and ate.
Watched football and ate.
Stared out at the rain and ate.
Did laundry and ate.

The rain did lift mid afternoon Sunday but by then it was too late for me. I was too far gone
I so do hate when this happens. All I can do is regroup and move forward.
Here's to getting in more saddle time this week than last.
That's not going to be very hard to do.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday w/Bikeride w/Coyote

Not my pic
The other day I was reminded that we have so much wildlife around us that we never get to see.

Just south of my HP I was riding on the road and saw a coyote running along a fence line. 

Its been something like 6 or 7 years since I saw one of those in these parts. I get blown away when I see stuff like this. And it sure makes my day.

With that in mind, its been since last May that I have seen the local eagles that live in my HP. Those guys are part of why my HP is my HP. Thru winter I saw them on a weekly basis.

My pic
 I hope this gap in sighting does not mean they are gone.
Eagles have huge territories so I'm assuming they hunt for food inland in summer. Then, in winter when everything else is froze over, stay near the shoreline for food and that's why we see them a lot in the park then. Or at least that's what I hope. Time will tell.

Tomorrow is another round of the Saturday Breakfast Ride World Championships (winter mode). Or SBRWCWM. Cross bike is getting prepped by my mechanic as we speak.  Hopefully I will get my ass kicked but still be able to maintain contact.
Or at least that's what I hope. Time will tell.

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Alone w\Seagull

Spent some time with this Seagull this morn. He looked kinda lonely.
Now and then when I'm here I think of the book "Jonathan Livingston Seagull".
I read this book when I was 12 years old.
But back then I just wanted to read about a cool seagull. At such a young age I didn't understand Jonathan's quest for more. Read the book, I highly suggest it but don't see the movie. Its been rated in the 50 worst movies of all time. However, the book was on the bestseller list for quite some time.
Its funny how I was so interested in this story that I could not understand at 12 years old and now at 50 can so relate to. 

Nothing going on today. At least not to the human eye. Am planning a crossbike ride this aft. And be prepared to hear a lot about next years impending cross race in DANOville. I am working very diligently on this everyday. I am very close to setting a date for the "Sheboygan Bicycle Company Classic". I am so pumped. I cant sleep. I love doing stuff like this.

Also working a lot on the stores new website. Two weeks till launch. Its gonna be pretty cool.

I did hit the woods a bit last nite with the Superfly. Rode with the guy who bought my older (June) Superfly. Was sunny in the 60's all day up to about a half hour before the ride. Got home and it was raining and 49 degrees. But was good to get out for the first time this week anyway.

Soon the nite rides will start. Tuesdays. Couple weeks yet.

Bring it on.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Morning Pic, Group Rides.

Sometimes I still amaze myself with my daily pics from HP. I love this one. 

Today will be a MTB ride around 5pm with the boys. At out local city park that we ride and race in but I am for sure getting a bit sick of those trails. By fall I have about 900 laps around that joint. I try to mix it up, maybe a backwards lap or something.

 That's OK I guess but this late in the season that's not helping much anymore. Just a couple more times and hopefully we will be skiing there in a month or so. Wishful thinking.

Todays thoughts had me thinking about the Saturday group ride now in winter mode. I kinda ditched on the summer rides and the next thought was why? 

Why did I not do more of them? I for sure could have rearranged the store's schedule to do so. Then I remembered.
I remembered my altercation with a car back in early June. That incident changed my entire summer. I was off the bike for a month and never caught up to my weight gain or fitness. Had plans to do the entire MTB series and up to that point had three races in with pretty good results. Those were the only three I did. Had plans to race the track bike and never even threw a leg over it this summer. 
Very sad.
Then.... I got to thinking about both issues. The newly winterized group ride that I can ride once again and the car accident. I thought about the friend we just lost in the Milwaukee area a few weeks ago.
Very much sadder. 
And I thought about how everyone jumped on the driver when I first posted about my deal.

And then I thought about how crappy we really ride when in a group. Three (or more) abreast when cars pass, rolling stop signs and lights. That for sure was not the case in the latest tragedy but I cant help thinking that its just a matter of time......
But its tough. When you get twenty bikes rolling together you really cant control the way the group is rolling. It really takes on its own identity based on who is riding where in the group. Couple of fast guys up front and we are strung out with the slower riders suffering. Couple of slower riders in front and the group widens out and rolls three abreast or more.
I guess my thought is that you need to look out for yourself, make sure you are riding safe and if we all do that at the same time things will work out. Common sense rules the group rides.

And so do cross bikes!

And that's all I have to say about that.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Never Too Old To Learn....

Todays HP stop was a good one. Temps in the upper 30's have me sharing this time and place with no one. And I really do like brisk mornings.

Yesterdays ride had my wife join me for a ride in the woods. She does pretty good for only being on a MTB about 5 times total in her life. Cleared 2 log piles that I have seen grown men not. Go's to show your never too old to learn a new hobby. Not that I would ever (49) post her age or anything.

 And on the prior mentioned $329 dollar bike.

 Kinda makes me feel weird riding my Superfly. Makes me ask myself if I really need a 6K bike to ride. And after I thought about it I can to the conclusion that yes, yes I do need a 6K bike to ride. Could I ride the $329 dollar bike and have fun? I think so. But I think I do have more fun on the 6K bike. Those who dont understand never will. I assume everyone who reads this would.

I enjoy riding the latest and greatest. Since I don't pay myself at the store its really the only compensation I get for my time and effort there. I know what your thinking and yes, I will get her a higher end bike when she can use it. But for now Trek's tried and true 820 will do fine.

Besides, I don't think she knows about carbon yet and Im not gonna tell her for awhile.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend and Contrast

Today while I was having coffee at my happy place I was looking at my roof. Bike on left retails for $6400.00. Bike on right retails for $329.00
I rode one, my wife rode the other.
We both had fun. Both rode the same trails. Both peddled up hill, both coasted down.
Obviously we did not ride fast but kept things moving pretty good.
We started together and finished together.
Makes one think about what could be done with the $6071.00 difference.

Saturdays group ride went well. I suffered in the woods a little bit on a very rooty section and took it easy on the Eastons wheels but once we ditched the woods for road I had no problems. About 15 riders with the MTB/Cross bike ratio at about 50\50.

These rides are very good for me as they force me to ride hard. With 80% of my riding this summer being solo I was lacking a ton on the hard efforts and that hurt me.
The 2 hour 45 min ride was the longest since July for me. I need to do this every Saturday.
For real.
I'll keep rockin' the cross bike until we hit the frozen beach later this winter.

The trees are past peak here and temps are cooling as we speak. Again the clock is ticking faster everyday.  I will try to stay outside and hang onto fall as long as I can.
 And I can hang on to things that are over for quite a long time.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Prep and Update

I know some of you might be getting bored of my infatuation with my happy place. It sure does not make my blog very diverse. While some or maybe most of you might get bored with the constant pics and words of this place the fact is that I do not feel the same way. I never get tired of it. I feel extremely comfortable here. Kinda like sitting on your couch in your living room. I do try to keep it at a minimum as I could type a ton on what I see and feel here everyday. 
Most likely once my store blog and my personal blog become one I might be concentrating more on bike stuff and not weird personal stuff (although I won't ditch that entirely).

Which brings us to my cross bike. Yesterday I mentioned that Saturday was the first of our Saturday group rides on the winter route. All the roadies hang up their pretty road bikes and grab their only MTB that was sitting in the back of the garage or basement with last years mud on it. Tonite those guys will be lubing and adjusting. Also as I mentioned cross bikes rule this ride for awhile and I am pulling out the stops. I always need to bring my "A" game to these rides just to keep up so today I'm slapping on as much carbon fibre as I can on my cross.
Starting with handlebar and stem.
And seat post.
Being a bike shop owner you have an image to maintain. Finished product.
Game on.

All kidding aside this is a pretty fun ride and I enjoy it much more than the summer rides. Woods, beach,road and food. It does not get any better.
I invite anyone who reads this to join and be prepared to "bring it".
And maybe bring some for me too......


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just Like That.....

And just that fast the trees are past peak in DANOville. Must have happened when I was in Chicago. Many bare trees with tons of leaves on the ground. MTBing is pretty much white knuckle as one never knows what lurks under the leaves. I don't mind, I just slow down a bit.

This Saturday marks the first Saturday group ride in winter mode. From road bikes to MTB's. We ride a little bit of woods and then hit the road to eat. Come cold weather the woods gets dumped for the frozen beach. I enjoy this ride better than the summer one. Its fun to watch the roadies in the woods. Until the beach is ridable the bike of choice is cross. Only 40 minutes of woods, then 2 plus hours of road.

This weekend will be the last shot at riding with fall colors. I'm sure by the weekend after it will be all over with. Take advantage. In fact I'm goona have me some singletrak for lunch today.

The low calorie kind. I'm on a diet.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chicago Revisited

Crushed limestone king!
As promised I donned the Easton tubulars to partake in the festivities of the Prairie Path World Championships. I suited up about an hour early to compensate for the early sun loss and left Naperville around 430pm. I decided to not take my usual 17 mile loop to Aurora and Batavia and headed to new ground. Headed to a town called Geneva. And that was a mistake.

While I for sure was the top dog on my old route, the new one brought me into enemy territory.

Since Geneva,IL is a high falooten' tourist town all the paths were paved and that brought out all the roadies. The level of competition here was up two notches and sadly, I got put into my place several times.

The last straw was the guy riding a hybrid bike with double panneirs. I swear he was holding 18 to 20 mph for miles. I then gave up and headed back to my old stopin' grounds. The land of crushed limestone where I finished strong with the local crowd. I can see why the crowds are down on my side of the trail. Its kinda creepy between Naperville and Batavia. As you ride along you notice all the cutest girls jogging have the biggest dogs. Sometimes several.

Down in Geneva you see none of that as you roll past restaurants and wine bars along the river. Its all upper class there. Also not my kind of crowd. I must fall in between the two somewhere as Im not comfortable anywhere down here.
In fact, again this morn it took me 30 minutes to drive one mile to the office. How can people do this day after day. I talk to locals who say its not that bad but I think its just that they do not know any different. I hate it and am going to lobby very hard at work to limit my time here. I thought bringing the bike would help and to an extent it does but for every good minute on the bike is several sitting in traffic or in line or in some crappy hotel.
Lets talk about something good.
Got an email last nite from the promoters of Interbike. Its back on in Vegas! They must have gotten so much crap from retailers, me included, saying they would not attend if its in Anaheim that they reversed their decision to move. So that means one thing to me....

Training for Cross Vegas 2011 starts tomorrow! (not today as I already had a few donuts) I would be pumped to just be able to do that race. Goal: do not finish last and have fun.
I am happy the promoters came to their senses and look forward to Nevada next September.

I was a bit worried about riding the tubulars on the trail last nite and prayed I did not flat 20 miles from my hotel. That would have sucked. I did have a bottle of Tufo tire seal with me tho. It was not needed.
Until this morn, I went to load the bike on the car and the rear tire was down.
Thats a $150.00 (retail) tire.
Son of a.........


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Peak Colors

Posted a bit late today as I spent a good portion of the morning driving to the Chicago office of my day job. Even tho that takes up the morning it does not stop me from a visit to the Happy Place. An extended stay cuz its gatta last for two days.
Once in Chicago I'll get a little work done, then hit the bike paths of the western suburbs.
I put the Easton EC90's on the cross bike. Its game time for the bike path warriors.
Will report the results tomorrow.
Yesterday late afternoon I hit the trails with a few buds but once again got reminded of how slow I am. Not their fault. It all me. I got a bit discouraged and started to feel a little sorry for myself riding solo back to the car. But it was for the best as I was zoning 5 and blasting rock infested , leaf covered corners blindly. Was just a matter of time before I hit the deck.  But I managed to pull a nice ride out of it was was glad I did. The leaves are peak here all its gonna take is a steady rain and windy day to turn the woods into winter mode.
 Take advantage.
Do it for real.
Later is now.


Monday, October 11, 2010

WORS MTB Race Weekend

Another race weekend in the books. Had the tents out both Saturday and Sunday. Was happy with the sales. Lots of t shirts, tubes and even a bike! I have a good time when I can get outside and out of the store with such awesome weather. Thanks for all that stopped by.  But......

I used to be the directer of this race for five years and know what it takes to pull off. Now that I have the store I'm not able to put in the time needed to help out. I miss working the race and being part of the show. So I try to help out as much as I can but thats not enough in my book. And say thanks to Jon H and all the others who pick up my slack.  But at least Im still out there. Doing my own thing.

Since we are on the subject, I have made headway in bringing a cross race to town in 2011. While things could always change it seems that it will be a stand alone event. Thats means I start completely from scratch. With the cross season relatively short and many weekends filled with WCA and even the Chi series, will make it tough to set a date. I set some time aside every week to keep the ball rolling with this subject. Have commitments from several sponsors. Would like to have the largest cash purse in WI cross history. I pulled that off once before and think I can do it again. Anyway.... its ongoing. And moving forward.

Later today I hope to spend some time in the wonderful Northern Kettles of Greenbush. Kinda wind down from the weekend.
Then in the morn its off to Chicago for the day job. Gonna bring the cross bike and take on all on the Prairie Path. Gonna slap on my Easton tubulars. Will be two days of total bike path domination. Cant wait.


Friday, October 8, 2010

2 Fav's

This morn was a good one. Took a slow ride to my HP on my cross bike. Took my time, stopped to look at stuff. Worshiped the sun. Spent some quality time in the woods. Not blasting thru it like most of us usually do. I could say 3 fav,s here. HP, cross bike, riding slow.

I didn't really have a choice. Seems I have come down with a little bug of sorts and feel like crap. Slight fever with body aches. Just before a very busy weekend. Nice.

But Im glad I got in a very cool ride before the weekend. Cleared my head and calmed me down as Im a little amped up leading into the weekend. I love this specific ride. South from the store to our local State Park. Thru the woods that I once lived in for a year. Lots of memories on the trails that I used ride in every morn. I still luv'em.

An hour and a half of heaven.

See ya at the races......


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Calm Before The Storm

When you play hooky from work ya gatta be prepared to ride alone as all my riding buddys were working for the man and could not just stop what they are doing to ride. 

Got in another hour and a half with me, myself and iPod. 
This completely empty parking lot will soon be filled for several days with MTB'er from 3 states as the races come to town.

For me it starts Friday. Deciding what merchandise to bring to the show, packing it. What bikes to bring. Load the trailer.

Saturdays setup will be a bit earlier than last year as I am partnering with Trek Stores of Madtown to help with the WORS Woman's MTB Clinic from 3 to 5pm Saturday. If your a girl, and want a few pointers from some pretty damn good girl riders, stop over. Its free.

With all the store stuff going on I do want to take time to help out with the race too. That means long days for the next three. No riding. Its work but fun work. My family will be there helping with the store tent. They work cheap. 
I can attest that the weather is going to be spectacular for this time of year and the trails are in prime condition. Dry and fast. Just the way I like it. This aft will be three days in a row on them. 

However, its no racing for me. Just sell stuff, hang out and talk stupid. Stop by the tent and say hi!

See ya there.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Facebook, Blogging, etc...

While I do use most forms of personal media (except Twitter) I pretty much am not a fan of it. The more cell phones do... the more we are forced to pay attention to it.
Today my HP thoughts were back to the days when you could get away from work and day to day issues. Not anymore. Now these devices make us work 24\7 and I hate them.

"And now enough is too much".

I remember doing business before fax machines. I was a teenager then. Before email and cell phones. Before Facebook and blogging. Rotary dial phones. I remember all that and Im only 50 years old.(only)
Facebook is too much. 
Like most things its good in moderation. I do like reading about stuff my friends do. But as of last week I am starting to delete people on my friends list. No offence. But if I dont have the slightest idea who you are you are off my list. If I know you or even just know of you, you are good. I just dont see the need to have a person who I dont know or ever met tell me they are eating lunch or something. Too much info.....

Blogs are more independent. You dont get force fed a blog unless you ask. I have fun with it and really dont care who reads it as long as they never take it seriously. I have had problems with that in the past and I know its tough to figure out when Im kidding or not. But most of the time I am.
In the past I have always said that I would not put much in here about the store but thats gonna change in the next few months. Soon the store will have a full blown commercial site and the blog format will be gone. I am going to try and kinda combine the two blogs for simplicity's sake and try to not make it sound to much like a commercial. Since mostly I write about bike stuff anyway that might work out.
Yesterday was a two hour ride in the woods. Today will be the same.
Gatta keep it up cuz in a few days I will be in full race prep mode both for the bike club and the store. Its goona be a busy time for me and means no riding for a few days....


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday HP

Spooked seagulls.
As I rolled into my HP this morn I wondered what I would do if  and when I would go thru some life change that would stop me from doing this almost every morn. I have been doing this stress relief exercise several times a week since 1998. And it started being my daily routine around 2005.
Today the seagulls were on the move and that led me to believe the eagles were near. I have not seen any of them since last spring although I talked to people that have.  Im sure their territory's are huge in the summer and narrow in the winter as they stay along the lakefront when its below freezing. 

We have a huge block of crazy nice weather the next 8 to 10 days. Its going to be tough to balance all my impending riding with my day job. 
Day job loses. I have priority's. Even as I type I am prepping for a ride on the Superfly over in the Northern Kettles of a town we call Greenbush.

As I expected, I am bailing on Iceman while I still can sell and transfer my registration. (Its already spoken for).  My weight, drive time and cost are the factors. Maybe some other time.

As mentioned prior, the nite rides will start soon. Tuesday nites around here. I still have not decided on a light system. I better soon. Most likely Minewts on both bar and helmet. 

Gatta run.... time to ride.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Its Fall. Game on.

Lets go!
Had a pretty good weekend. Rode a bit both days. Both times it was MTB on our local race course. Our race is this Sunday.
With the race just a week away the woods are full with out of towners gearing up. 

Its fun to ride these trails with 50 or so friends but once the race is over and done I pretty much do not show up in those woods anymore.
 900 times around is enough for one summer. Time to expand on the riding venues.

So that means its time to travel a bit and take in the fall colors. I tried to get a contingency to head up to Door County for a ride in the woods Sunday but could not find any takers. The clock is ticking here. What are you all waiting for? 

My fav time of year is short. Soon the leaves will fall, covering the trails a ton. Daylites savings will cut the sun short and temps will plummet. (Which reminds me I need to get some lites)

With cross season in full swing I must say Im going to miss out this year. I should be able to spectate one or two tho.....

Yesterday I hit the basement to take inventory on my cold riding gear. Funny how you lose a little bit of it every summer.

My day job is gonna suffer a bit this week. Hooky is the word of the week.
Cross bike this afternoon.

Do it for real.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Revelations.

Today at 745am
I really need to stop taking pics from the same spot everyday. I have about 20 keepers taken within 20 feet of the exact same spot and everyone looks a little different. Changes of seasons. Kinda cool.

Yesterday I had one of those days where I needed to be alone. I have a lot to think about lately with the store in transition between summer and winter things are slowing. And that's tough to manage. All employees wanting more hours but need to cut. Slowly but gently pulling back on inventory. 
It keeps me up at nite sometimes.

So what I cant figure out when Im at my HP I think about when on a bike ride.
For the most part this summer has been full of solo rides. More than any summer before for various reasons. While a good solo ride is just fine now and then I have started to resent those ride so I have started to put the iPod back in my ears. I have not done that since I got hit (I hit) the car back in early June. Not sure why I went back to it but I did. You only live once I guess. Yes, I know its bad.
But it really helps me when solo. And besides its been mostly woods now anyway. Maybe a little road.....Hope to get in several rides in this weekend. Should be no problem.

Trees are well over 50% turned and my fav time of year is in full swing. Trying to play hooky from both jobs as much as I can. Now is the time to get into the woods. Warm sun and cool breeze. Just the way I like it.
Seems to be about a million squirrels running around and doing their gathering thing. I don't notice them too much because when I'm riding I'm thinking about stuff and blasting Iron Maiden.

Off in my own world...
You should go find yours....