Monday, January 31, 2011

It Really Was a Nice Ride....

I'd like to think my call to arms helped a little.
We had 8 bikes show up on a snowy Saturday group ride.
Thats about an 120% increase from last week.
And yes, it was slushy.
And yes, we got sprayed with salted snow as the cars zoomed past.
But it really was a nice ride.
For real.
It was my first 2+ hour ride of the year and I can feel it.
The additional riders brought up the speed quite a bit.
We tried the beach twice. No go.
I was dropped a few times.
Its been several months that I have been dropped due to the small groups.
I guess I better be careful, or I will get what I wish for as far as the rider count.
More bikes = faster rides.
Faster rides = suffering.
More suffering = faster Dano
Faster Dano = less suffering
I need a good kick in the ass on the bike more often.
Abuse me.
Bring it on.

DLD



Friday, January 28, 2011

Driving Me Nuts....

Its that time of year in any business. The time to take care of the business of business. I hate that. Its the worst part of owning a business. 
EOY.
End of year.
End of year stuff is when you find out what you did right and what you did wrong. Its when you report everything to the government and hope it flies.

For the past 48 hours I have been doing nothing but staring at a computer screen and sleeping.

Sure, I could hire an accountant to do this in half the time but at $125.00 bucks an hour is a little pricey. Years past you needed these accountants to produce all your reports needed for the bank and assorted government agency's but with the fancy accounting software nowadays all you need to do is make sure all the entry's are where they as supposed to be and hit enter. Done.

Then you see how things are going. Of course I look at that stuff as the year progresses but its not the same as looking at final numbers. And use those numbers to project the next year.

If you think reading about it here is boring just think how I feel right about now.

Actually, I'm daydreaming about the Saturday morn breakfast ride right now.....

Bring it on. Have a good weekend.

DLD

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Time to Ride!



Several years ago there was a time where I was living alone and was very bored. With all the downtime I had back then (sometimes I miss it, sometimes I dont) I made these stupid videos instead of just taking pics. I was not very good at it so it took me a long time to do. 

Here is one of those videos. Having deleted most of them I have 4 left. This one really shows our Saturday morn breakfast ride at its best. Lots of bikes, friends,fun.

Of late, this ride has been at its worst. The beach has been unridable since late December. Big snowfall, then rain, then below zero temps have made it bad. No open sand to ride on. All covered in ice formations.
That, along with the Holidays falling on Saturdays among other bike related things has put a dent in this ride. Last week and I think the week before it was single digits for temps. The ride is now less than a handfull of bikes. 3 or 4 per week.
This Saturday the temps are going to be in the 20's come ride time. Its time for the group to come back. Its time for you guys and gals to renew your commitment to this 15 years and counting ride. Its time you get back on that bike you love and ride.

What? Your going skiing? You have 6.5 other days to ski. Saturday mornings are reserved for the bike and you know it.

Yeah.... Im talking to you. 

See you Saturday morn.

DLD

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fri\Sat\Sun

Friday morn  10am


My visits to my HP have slowed now that I dont have a company car. Its about 12 miles from my house. That, and the fact I cant stand my beater car I bought. Many times I try to talk my wife into using the car so I can have her Escape.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Check out the steam coming off the water in the pic. It was about -3 degrees.
Saturday had three of us brave the 5 degree heat to ride about an hour and forty minutes. Seems as I get older, the group gets older and they are thinking the same thing I am and our tolerance to extreme weather riding is going down. But at least Im still good to go......
Several times I was thinking about pulling my camera out for a pic but it was too damn cold. I would have to pull a glove off to do it so that was out.
Saturday 945am

I did take a pic as we left the restaurant just for proof. It was 5 degrees when we left and 7 degrees when we returned to the store.

Im pretty sure I would not do another -8 ride again but at least Im still man enough to ride single digits. Which is more than I can say for most of the group.

Sunday 1030am
Sunday morn had us out on the ski trails of my HP. We had to start earlier than I wanted due to the football game. Kinda a big thing around here theses days. Some starting the party 3 hours before kickoff.

But not before I spent some time outside. My employee Ben and his lovely wife Liz (to whom I sold my first Project Madone) joined me. It was the first chance for me to ski my best groom yet. With the heat wave hitting close to 13 degrees when we were done only added to the experience. A good time was had by all.
As I type its noon on Sunday and I gatta get home to prep the couch for the game. 
Packers\bears in the NFC Championship is way bigger game than whatever the Superbowl will be.

If in fact the Packers make it to the Superbowl, Win or lose doesn't matter cuz they beat the Bears to get there. But Im not the kind of guy to let a loss ruin my weekend. Win or lose they had a great season. And that statement coming from a stockholder.


But I hope for a Packers\Steelers Superbowl. 
Cuz that would be a great win for the Pack.
Go Packers.....
Kinda weird cuz by the time you read this it will be all over.....


DLD

Friday, January 21, 2011

C\O\L\D

File foto
The first real cold spell has hit. 9 below this morn. High of 3 today.
Makes me want to ditch the group ride in the morn as Im sure many will with a projected low of negative 3 in the morn.
Its to the point now that I wont ride in the cold unless I break my cold weather record. As you see here in 2008 we still ride when its kinda cold.
Technically we rode at -9 but could not get to take the pic for about an hour later so we called it -8. Thats the record.
So tomorrow morn it will only be -3. Just another bike ride.
But I am still planning on being out there. Most likely be a shorter than usual breakfast ride but a breakfast ride non the less.

And right now I need all the miles I can get.
DLD

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grooming my HP

Layin' it down.
Double trak!!
Im sure most of you know I do the grooming at our local State park. The one I call my HP (happy place) but its real name is Kohler\Andre State Park.  I am grateful to be able to do this as its a way for my to "give back" to my HP. Its where I ride my bike (summer and winter), of course ski, visit with the Bald Eagles, and just hang out on the beach to do some alone time thinkin'.

Monday we had a good snowfall to complement the snow we had Friday nite and Tuesday I laid down my best groom of my life. Its nice to actually have some snow to work with.  I spent a lot of time packing the base as this is the base that will last us the rest of the winter.
I even got to double track about half the trail. Thats never been done there before. Ive never been so proud. Heading into the weekend I was assuming the trails would be hit hard but now the temps are dipping into the negative with tonites forecast calling for -8 for a low and a high tomorrow of 3 degrees. Thats gonna keep the traffic low. I was hoping for a big  rental weekend for the skis\snoshoes.

Just dress warmer........

DLD

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend with Snow.


Battling snowplows

Saturday had us waking up to almost 4 inches of new snow. That means a busy day for me. My bike of choice was winterpinkie w/studs. And she did not disappoint. I navigated the slippery road with gusto. The Nokians just make these slippery roads a snap. No white knuckle. No worries.
Just winter riding fun.
So after a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast we headed home and I busted away when we rode past my happy place cuz I had some trail grooming to do.
The park crew just shook their heads as I rode up on my bike in 4 inches of snow to grab the snowmobile. And I must have looked kinda weird grooming for two hours wearing a Bell Volt on my head. But I got the trails groomed, parked the groomer and jumped on my bike for the ride home.
It was a 2 hour 15 minute ride split by an hour for breakfast and two plus hours for grooming.
The trails are in fair shape at best, but I am glad we can at least get out and ski again.
And the rental ski's are once again leaving the store daily and that at least lets me keep the lights on in January.
Sunday woke early for no reason and headed down to my favorite coffee shop to hang with the hipsters and drink expensive coffee. One of my fav things to do. Rest of the day was couch and football.
Doing a bit of freelancing so I found some work for Monday and Tuesday.
Next post Wednesday.

Hope your weekend was as good as mine.

DLD

Friday, January 14, 2011

Archives:Sledgehammer



Back in the day I was obsessed with Napoleon Dynamite (still am). Its still a top 10 all time for me. 
So much so that I had to have a Sledgehammer. So I built one.
Its really a 2001 Fuel 98.
But back in 2006-2007 it was a Sledgehammer. Here I am on a winter beach ride in 07.
You would not believe the attention I got when I drove by a bunch of kids with it on the roof rack. I lot of people did not get it. But the ones who did really did appreciate the bike as much as I did.
Its was a fun bike to race. All the cool people wanted to take it off some sweet jumps (if I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me).
Still with me in spirit.

Sadly, I was riding solo out in Greenbush one morning when I heard a big crack and looked down to see the seat tube broke clean off just above the BB. I was devastated. I was nearly in tears as I walked out of the woods.

The frame now hangs in the store, in the back hall, on the alarm system thingie.
I still reach up and touch it as I walk past now and then and have thought about doing another one but I wont. Some things you just leave alone.

I miss riding the sledgehammer but am happy for time we did have together....
The weekend looks good from here. Bikes, ski's and Packers.

DLD

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Skate?

822am
Pretty big gap in posts this week. At least for me. Still trying to settle down to my new life schedule. Just got some bugs to work out in that respect. Today was a good  visit to my HP. Its been a while and I stayed and goofed off a little. Took a walk, took a few extra pics today. 
Frickin skate hiway.

Sunday I took a drive up to Green Bay and skied the well groomed trails at the Reforestation Camp. While I was and will forever be classic, there must have been 100 skaters there. And with skate highways like this pic I could see why. Made we want to. A few guys must have been going 30mph when they past us.

We did get a little snow here in DANOville, and I did groom the park yesterday, but the skiing is still marginal at best. I was pleasantly surprised to see these conditions just an hour away while we could still see our lawns back home.  Got in about 10k which is the longest I have skied in my life. I was pretty wiped when done but I still didn't want to stop.  

Store's inventory is finally done, with no real surprises. Just a lot of cleanup from sloppy data entry. 
Today feels like a quick bike ride as I have no other plans to speak of.  

Winterpinkie for sure.


DLD

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weekend Update (Saturday Edition)

Windy day at the HP
A very rare posting from Saturday morn. I bailed on the group ride today with most going to the swap meet. And its kinda cold. And I have not finished the store inventory. All the counting is done but now its sit in front of the computer to adjust the inventory line by line.
Happy to report no big discrepancies. 

However I did get a bit of bad news last week that I have not mentioned.

We have had our first theft. We had a bike stolen. In hindsight it was our fault. We have a hallway that you walk into before you enter the store and keep two or three bikes out there. Not locked. Im sure someone came in to keep us near the back of the store and another just grabbed it and wheeled it out the door. Lesson learned and bikes are cabled. I had a Madone out there last summer. If you see this bike rolling around DANOville tackle him(or her) for me.

I hope to get in a ride tomorrow. Solo if I have to. During the Packer game if I have to. Its that important to me.

DLD


Friday, January 7, 2011

New Toy

Merry Christmas to me.
Well looky here. A 2011 6.5 Project One w\ Sram red showed up. I think I will have to ride this one myself. Really its been here a while but I just never mentioned it yet. This will be my road steed for 2011. Store color green in argyle. Will post more pics soon. This bike is crazy light, built in Wisconsin and is my first plunge into Sram road stuff. Note the 6.5 carbon wheels behind. 
I might not be fast but I will look good.
Prepping for store inventory today. Bring it on.

As I look over my blog I find it hard to link a decent female blogger. I try to link blogs that are at least updated once a week. I need more girls here so if you know anyone pass it on......
My unemployment has not gone well to date. My 600.00 beater car has already dropped its muffler on the road and I have to stick another 300.00 in it. Bummer. I wish I did not need a car. And as cool as that sounds I really do. Bummer.
So off I go with my MC1000 in hand. This device is crazy unbelievable what it can do.
Gonna count stuff.

DLD

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And So it Begins.....

855am
Today is kinda a down day. Nothing to do. Sure, I can catch up at the store but I dont need to today.
I stayed in bed till 815. 
These are the days that I fear the most about being unemployed. Im so used to being busy that I dont know what to do with my self when Im not. I always have the feeling I should be somewhere or doing something.
Those feelings should pass in time ( Im told) and soon I will be living the life of a bike bum. At least that is my hope.

I am in the store and getting things done to an extent. But really I wont get going until tomorrow. Tomorrow is the beginning of a month long trek (no pun intended) into all the things that are not fun in a bike store. And so it begins.

Tomorrow is end of year inventory day. My brave and willing Trek rep will be here all day tomorrow helping me count every bike, spoke and cable end. Then its to the computer to reconcile the whole deal and see how far off the floor count is. Its not really that bad tho as I have a state of the art computer system here. Hand held scanners and such. My problem is I dont know how to use it as I did not do this last year. I just watched. So Im kinda looking forward to using the stuff I paid thousands of dollars for. 

Then after inventory the fun starts. Accounting reports, product and bank reconciliation, then study the P&L's to re do the stores 2011 budget. All fun stuff. I will do a lot of it before the store opens in the morn.

Also, tomorrow marks my first bike commute to the store. Winterpinkie is set and ready to go. On days I plan on doing store work only I will not touch a gas peddle. And will document the crazy 8 mile (one way) commute as much as I can. The ride home will be the craziest as it will be at 7pm. Im goona make sure I am lite up like a Xmas tree. I will be riding on some 55mph county roads. Kinda scary cuz at 7 at nite, when its 15 degrees and snowy the last thing a car would expect to see is a bike. However, this will limit my HP morning visits. I guess I will just have to go for a bike ride during the day sometime to get there....  not a problem.


I am looking forward to my commutes.


DLD

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Transition

Same route. Faster bike. Nicer day.
The last couple of days have been filled with transition. Return the company car. Bought a 600 dollar beater. Try to make heads or tails from the unknown. Adjusting my budget both personal and the stores. I just put many hours with the stores 2011 budget and now its garbage and has to be completely redone to include me. Bummer.
Personal budget gets a makeover. Transition time is touph as I can only speculate on how much money will be coming into the household. Good thing my wife carries the insurance.

I do most of my best thinking and planning on the bike and thats where I have been for the last few days. With last weeks thaw done and over the streets are completely clear of ice and snow so I park winterpinkie to ride a much faster bike. Same route but I was back to the store about 15 minutes sooner with the lighter bike. Felt good to ride the cross bike. Feeling better on the bike with every hour that passes in the saddle. I skipped Tuesday cuz I heard the weather dudes say Wednesday was to be close to 30 degrees. However the 6 degrees this morn says they are wrong. Wont ride today unless it hits 20+. Week one in training 2011 was a success as I have stopped gaining weight and can feel the tip in the other direction and I feel better on the bike.  Baby steps.

 Store does not open till 11am but here I am at 8am, sitting in my office, getting things done (including this blog). The heat is programed to kick in an hour before we open so its flippin cold here right now. Like 52. Fingers so cold its hard to type. But heat should kick in any time now...
Having more time here right now is a blessing. All the end of year stuff like inventory, accounting, taxes and now re doing the budget will take me about 30+ hours. And I mean an uninterrupted 30 hours. So I guess I better get going on real stuff.

Cuz it might hit 20 degrees today.
DLD

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dano 3.0

Winterpinkie rules!
Nokians kick ass!
Quite a bit has happened since my last post. First off, I have made a commitment to riding more. 2 hours on Friday and two hours on Saturday. Its incredible how much better I feel on the bike already. A week go I had problems getting in one hour. Even after a minimal effort ride. I truly never felt worse on a bike than I did a few weeks ago. Fitness gone, weight up. My shoulders and neck hurt so bad after just a hour ride I had to stop and turn home. I truly am starting from the bottom.

But after my fourth hour on Saturday I felt way better. Its weird how fast that comes back. I am planning another 2 hours today and its day three of training 2011. Its game on. On January's agenda is just base riding and weight loss. Most likely that February's too. Just get out an ride. I gatta get the spin bike out of the store and in my basement. I am a total outside guy but just in case. Spin bike will be last resort but its nice that I at least have the option. 

Im kinda pumped about the riding. And thats cuz I now have the time to do so. I no longer have a day job. My last day was Thursday. I wont go into a lot of detail but it done. Big weight off my shoulders as I was always on edge about what was going to happen there. Just way too stress full. Glad I can move on. I do have things I can do on the side. I will not have to entirely rely on the store for income but starting today will be the first time I pull a paycheck out of the store. Kinda exiting and scary at the same time. Wrong time of year for it but it has to start sometime so I guess now is as good as any. The worst is giving up the company car. I had a full boat ride there, gas, insurance, the whole deal. Today I bought a 600 dollar beater car that I plan on not driving so much. Its bike commuting time.

So off I go into a new chapter of my life. One that should be filled with lots of bike riding and making a lot less money. 

I find that very trade very acceptable. Gatta run to the bank and than its 2 hours in the saddle.

Bring it on.

DLD