Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another good week of Bicycle Riding..................

Was up early today. No real reason except maybe cuz I was in bed by 9pm. I don't mind hitting the sheets sooner than later cuz all I miss is some stupid TV and in exchange, get up early and hit my HP with a lot more time on my hands.
A fair trade.
I did get informed of the Pugfest that went on here in my HP last weekend. I really had no idea. I hear it was on FB but I must not be friends with anyone involved. I got nothing.
Just a few hours earlier we had 12 bikes pelotoning down that beach at 20mph.
On much skinnier cross and MTB tires.
Moving on....
As I type this I now have 9.5 hours on the bike this week. My 10 hour goal will be smashed on my ride today. My legs are feeling so much better with every ride. Next week my goal is a bit lower due to the fact we are participating in Treks spring sale. Its gonna be all hands on deck next week but Im sure I can slip away for a few hours on the bike. I have road tires on the cross bike now but that will change when the woods are dry enuf to ride in, and by then the Madone will be on the road I hope. Roads look fairly clean and looks like rain in the forecast for Friday to wash them up a bit.

Its all going down according to plan........


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back to HP \ Wildlife

Sunning on the dunes.
Todays morning HP visit had a lot in store. Saw these two guys warming on a sand dune. They are all over the place. 15 years ago we did not see a lot of them but as in the now resident eagles, have made a comeback to the area. I would say that is a good trend. About 10 are in the park now.

But those revelations pale in the sighting I had there this morn. I appears I have found the footprint of the elusive Pugsley. I know of no one who owns one locally. So this must me a migration of some sorts. Quite a rare find. I spent some time and looked for other signs of this rare appearance but to no avail.  It appears the rare Pugsley was here and gone.

This is the first sign of a Pugsley in this area and that only means they are venturing further south, as in the eagles.
I can remember to the day the first time a saw the eagles here. Now I cant wait until I see my first Pug.

Bring it on!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Christmas in Spring.......

For me?
To run a successful bike shop in winter you need to bring the inventory down. Way down. Even a slight miss calculation can be a disaster. I start this process in late July. I did pretty good this winter.

Our truck driver did not want his pic taken. We like him cuz he delivers the bikes!
Then... you hold off as long as you can to stock up.... and when its time you open the flood gates and let the cool bike stuff pour in. Thats whats been going on in the store of late. Everyday is Christmas this time of year.
And like all bike geeks I run to greet the UPS guy and hurry to open the boxes like a 5 year old. Then I run around the store yelling stuff to the others like "you see this?" or "look how much nicer this is this year" or "Im getting one of these". Truly like a kid in a candy store. For real.
The others just look on and laugh.

Although there is a lot I want one has to show resistance. I fully understand I have to sell this stuff to pay my wages.
So I try to keep my pilfering of product to a minimum.

But as in any shop owning bike geek the budget does include the gathering of a few products.
Like these Bonty RXL road shoes.
White and gold.
They are now mine.
Got in another hour and a half on the bike yesterday. Feeling better with every ride.
Im up to 4.5 hours this week already and the temps are going to rise a little everyday.
While the weight is not coming off I am not too concerned as it should as soon as I get a few good weeks in and keep it rolling.

Will try to keep attitude positive.


Monday, March 28, 2011

The Bright Side......

Perfect beach!
Saturdays group seized the opportunity this cold snap has provided us and we pretty much had the best winter mode ride of the year. Last time we got in a beach ride was late November.

End of the line. Water too deep. Not sure what else was going on.

We rode the completely frozen beach for almost 15 miles before a huge water crossing stopped us. So we looked on the bright side of this cold weather on Saturday. You could not slap the smile off my face. Just strange how our best winter beach ride came just a few days before April.

Seems we had our resident Kenda pro Wall-E along today. He hit the ground twice. Carbon wheels and all.

So I gatta say Im glad its so damn cold out. At least on Saturday.
Now.... it can leave anytime.

Today its going to be about 35 degrees later this aft and thats good enuf for me to get on the bike. Its funny how I will ride in single digits with the group but that's just too cold to do myself. Looks like every day is going to get a little bit warmer and that's good new to me.
Two weeks ago I had a 10 hour week, then last week was zero. With the three I put in Saturday I hope to get close to that 10 hour mark again and ongoing.
It snowed a little too.
After all, I am a bike shop bum now.

Bring it on.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday w\Noises

One brave soul. 845am

Its sunny over there. 828am
It appears at least one person embraced the winter weather. Good for them. They are way more tolerant than I am. 

Its not so much the snow anymore. Roads seem to be clear enough to put some miles in.
Now its the cold. About 15 degrees predicted at rides start tomorrow morn. I put my amfibs in the basement and thats where they are staying. Looks like its not suppose to leave this cold weather pattern till next Tuesday and that will put things exactly one week back. Gonna skip the cold ride tomorrow and Im sure many will follow suit. Maybe will wait till noon or so and let the temp creep up a little. I do need to ride or the 10 hours I put in last week will be for nought. Would not want to get a comment from mean guy.

The other day I looked into the noises I hear upstairs. Seems the only way to get up there is thru the sign shop 3 doors down. There are three business in this building. Me, a church and a sign shop. I asked about it and they told me nothing and nobody has gone up there since last summer.

I need to get up there.

More thumps this morn.......

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not Very Pretty Right Now

HP bike route. Under water.
March in Wisconsin always has me wondering why I live here. The weather takes a turn and puts us at least a week behind again.
Summer here is awesome.
Winter here is awesome. 
Spring just is so not.
This morn its sunny, as if to apologize for Tues\Weds. Still cold tho.

 We received about 3 or 4 more inches after this pic was taken yesterday morn.
Its a mess.

And all the salt was washed off the roads, only to dump another shit ton again.
Along with the riding (training) now in a holding pattern, this also puts the store back another week.

In hindsight, I might have been better off waiting for April 1st to hit the store as I originally planned. But once it hits 50 degrees (like last week) its on like donkey kong. Sales go up and I think its go time. Only to be fooled by springs false alarm.

Ive lived here my entire life so you think I would know better, right?

So now the store is back into temporary hibernation and I will wait for for the roads to dry off to once again be able to suspend me on skinny tires (34c).
This down time is not entirely wasted...... I have 26 bikes in the basement to build.

Bring it on.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pre Store\Storm

815am. Before the magic happens
Well, not a storm per say but we are under a winter weather advisory.
Sitting in the store early in the day. About 2 hours before we open. All lights off except a small desk lamp next to my computer. The building we are in has a huge empty upstairs. Its mostly storage for the building owners now. Completely in ruins and unable to rent out. It used to be offices for Wallgreens back in the 60's.
But when its dark and Im alone I hear huge thumping up there every once in a while. Right over my head. Just heard one now. Like something big fell over.

Some crappy weather coming in. Good thing I got about an hour and a half in yesterday. Saddle time might be slim between now and the weekend.

I was thinking yesterday on how predicable and might I say boring my blog as been of late. Same ol' stuff everyday. Rode my bike..... saw an eagle..... sat for 30 minutes in my HP.
Same old.
I could post my views on politics and religion but that would be a mistake. But Im sure I would get a lot more comments.
Most likely not the good kind.
For the most part, I try to keep the store out of this blog, trying not to make it sound like a commercial.  But lately its all I do.
I could document my ride back to fitness (which is going OK) and weight loss but if it turns out to be lack off then I just sound like Im complaining. And get more comments.
Most likely not the good kind.
Since I do post everyday its hard to find new content. So I'm going to try and post more about the store. Try to lean on the behind the scenes stuff. Although I will get pumped about a certain product I may be using and might rant about it a little. So bear with me there.
You might just find out that owning a bike store is not as glamorous as one may think.
But I will try to dwell on the perks. There are many.
More to come.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Update

The weekend, for the most part was fairly uneventful. I did get an hour or so ride in Saturday morn with the group but had to turn back as my weekend help at the store was out of town.
I was prepped Sunday to ride but the ensuing snow made it just too wet and cold. I spent most of the day in the store getting things done without the phone ringing. Mostly cleaning.

Today as I hit the store this morn its still wet outside but warmer. Maybe I'll get to see a dry road later. I hope so cuz there is a winter weather advisory out for Tues-Weds. Bummer.
Im not so upset about cuz I did get in almost 10 hours in the saddle last week and Im feeling much better about it. I wont hit any races until the middle of May so there's time to improve.

I didn't hit the HP today but was there yesterday. The Sandhill cranes have returned, I must have seen a million (12) of them and I saw the imature bald eagle. In fact I now think theres two now, which would be awesome having another yearling around. 

So today I will be playing catch up in the store. It was busy Saturday and when alone you put things off till Monday. Like pending paperwork and such. And I just found out that I brewed an entire pot of coffee without putting any coffee in it. Its gonna be one of those days......  But Ive been feeling pretty good of late so I think I can take it........


Friday, March 18, 2011


840am Calm lake.
Its Friday. My HP visit was short today as I had to deliver a few bikes to customers. Since I take a ride out to the park in the morn anyway, I have offered to deliver some bikes now and then. 
I like doing it.
Getting preped for a ride. Forth ride in six days. After today I will have around 9 hours in this week. Thats more than all of Feb and the first week of March.
With tomorrows ride it will put me on the bike 6 out of 8 days.
Its weird what 15 more degrees in temp will do.
Feeling better every day.
Weight is going down.
Will keep this trend going.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

My New Trainer

New riding buddy
Got myself a new riding partner for the spring. Cross bikes just make me smile. Especially good ones.
This is the bike I will ride for the next month mostly on the road. In full training mode. Stem up for comfort (that will come down sometime in late April) and the bigger cross tires to soak up the crappy spring roads. Goona take it for her maiden voyage in about an hour.

Had to personalize it a little.
The frame is a bit big for me (in cross bike terms) but thats OK as I have to sell it at some point. (Demo deal!)

Im pretty sure I had more time on my cross bike last summer than my Madone. 

This year the store is going big on cross bikes. As we speak I am putting together a 5 bike demo trailer to be hauled to a race near you. Both Blue and Trek\Fisher will be represented. More on that on a later date.
My favorite ride from the store is on a cross bike. Road, woods and trail.
Whatever reason you ride a cross bike its all good.

I have always said a cross bike is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

Bring it on.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Right Now.

As spring creeps in. Took my first of about a million sun off the lake pics today. Had a great walk along the beach. Thinking. But usually when Im here thinking its because of some crisis Im in. Or some big decision to make. My happy place helps me with that stuff.
But today I have no crisis. Nothing to decide. 
So I just think.
About how my life has changed again and again. 
Who could have guessed I would end up owning a bike store. Not me.
I think of other people I know who have been doing the same thing every day for 20 or more years. Same job. Same hobby. Same everything.
While that might be comfortable to some people, its out of the question to me.
Most of my current friends know me as the "bike Dan" but this is really the third version of myself since birth (version three point 0).
But I am happy to be here and hope to stay awhile. 
But in the back of my mind I sometimes wonder what 4.0 will be. It would be naive of me to think that this is how I will spend the rest of my life.

But I have a ton of time to think about that later. For now Im going to enjoy where I am right now. On the beach, looking for eagles and getting blasted by the sun.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Its so nice to be able to hit my HP again. Snow piles melted down just enough to get past. Seeing the sunlite bounce off the lake once again like a long lost friend. Its an incredible feeling to see the change of winter to spring. The increased (usable) sunlite is huge. 
To top it off one of the eagles flew by while I was down here. I first saw them in 2008. I guess I can stop wishing they would stay cuz that wish has come true. I still stop and watch them with amazement and stare until I can no longer see them. It really makes my day.

All my panic about bike fitness is slowly subsiding with every peddle stroke. I week ago it was snowing 5 to 6 inches at this time. Today is 45 and sunny, tomorrow is 50 and sunny.
And Thursday is close to 60 and maybe some rain. You could not slap the smile off my face today. 

Check out the trees that still have snow on them from last week. Shows how windy and wet the snow was. 

This week will be full of riding. I have about 5 hours in since Saturday. With more to come. Maybe Iola in early May is a possibility. Maybe hitting the track in Kenosha will happen before June. Just maybe.

See ya out on the road......


Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Update

Had a pretty good weekend on the bike. Saturday had the breakfast ride in spring mode. No more beach, woods too wet.
So for the guys who do not have a beater road bike they are destined to ride full on road with their MTB's. Nobody really cares too much.
So its a mix of road, MTB and cross for the next few weeks. Dry roads. 40 degrees at start and 36 degrees at finish. (?) 
I needed this. This is what I was bitching about missing the last few weeks. I got a good ol' ass whoopin'. Huge wind gusts at times. I had to work hard just to keep up with the skinny guys on MTB's. And I knew that going in. But being a tough ride for me was just the ticket I needed and Im not in so much of a panic mode anymore. I was sore all the way until Sunday morn. A good kind of sore. I feel better now that I know I can ride on a regular basis and start getting in some miles.
Its really not to late.
2.75 hours on Sat, 1.5 hours Sunday.
Weather dudes predicting almost 50's by the end of the week!
And sun!
Will take today off but its game on!


Friday, March 11, 2011


The sun is shining today. The roads are clear. Its gonna be 40 degrees. And you know what?
Im going for a bike ride. Road ride to be exact. Got skinny tires on Pinkie.

Today was the first time in awhile that I got to spend some me time in my HP. 
It was awesome. Its weird how my moods swing with the amount of sun shine I receive.
Mean guy update:
If you look you notice I deleted his rebuttal to my rebuttal. He spoke very personal and not appropriate for this blog. With what he said, and using Googles tool for pin pointing location of blog sign in leads to believe I know who that was. Shame. If you have something to say to me call me or email me.
The only thing on my mind as I open the store today is the news from Japan. Very bad stuff.
I called a few friends I know on the west coast and woke them up to hit the beach and watch the tide roll in. At least I hope that's all it is.

I also need to mention my favorite day of the year is this Sunday. The start of daylites savings. I am pumped along with all the others who suffer with seasonal depression.
The extra hour of sunlite at the end of the day is a gamechanger for me.
I am shooting for 5 hours in the saddle before Sunday nite. Which is half of what I did in Feb.

Bring it on.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Check out the Mean Guy...

Check out the comment under yesterdays post. That guy really does not like me. When you have a public post such as mine, that a bunch of people read, you going to have this once in a while. I don't let it bother me unless its a well thought out post with very good points. I have had some of those and actually take them to thought. But this guys post is a real dandy. I don't delete posts like that. I point them out so we all can have a good laugh. 
He hates when I comment about crappy weather. And I do. If we have a lot of crappy weather I have a lot of posts about it. When we have a ton of good weather it makes my blog also
So that offsets.
Then he go's on to tell me how to run a bike store. Apparently my staff sucks, as do I, and I'm doing it all wrong. Apparently he has seen the stores numbers from my accountant and the store is in fact, failing. Sorry buddy, it is not. In fact I am now a full time employee as there is now financial room for me to do so. Just received 35 bikes yesterday in prep for warmer weather. Summer accessories will be ordered on the 15th. We are good to go and I'm pumped!

Usually, I don't use this blog to sell store stuff, the store has its own website for that. This is, again, a very personal blog that I use to type out my thoughts and maybe on what I have been doing of late.
That's all. No other reason.

So if your going to call me names, and give me advise on how to run my life or have some thoughts on how I can make my store better at least you can sign your name and we can chat about it. 

If not..... then I will use it for entertainment.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Inside Looking Out.

I was wishing for rain. We got snow. The dude on the radio just said up to 3 inches possible. We have 5 already. Going for 6.
All I can do is just watch as the outside riding gets pushed off another 4 to 5 days.

The Nokians are in the basement. And staying there.

Pretty soon I just might break down and hit the trainer..... if I had one. Yup, a bike shop owner who does not own a trainer. Take one off the floor? Nope. Sold all of them. Order another?
Just so I can use it once or twice and then look at it all summer? Nope.

I guess my life changing, goal achieving, race prepping, weight losing training regiment will have to wait a few more days.
Whats a few more days anyway?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I have never really set any goals per say. I just had thoughts to where I wanted to be at any particular time. I have always been a guy with a huge imagination. So my goals then tend to be a bit on the unreachable side. 
And I never achieve them.
So... I stopped setting goals.

I could always find an excuse for not hitting any goals. The one of late is....  the weather sucks so I cant ride. With impending snow again, up to 5 inches tomorrow, I am thinking of this goal thing. Should I do it, should I just wing it? Or just do the best I can and be happy with it.

Im still speaking of course of my fitness. It, or lack of it looms larger every day. Warmer weather is coming (so Im told) sooner than later and now is the time to react.
Isn't it weird how all us cyclist think the same thing in March? Only on different levels. Some just want to shed that last 4 pounds. Some, like me, are in panic mode hoping for some kind of results just to be able to hang in the social group, let alone racing.

I have seen people turn things around dramatically. Lose a ton of weight and gain some awesome fitness, posting nice results when racing. Having fun.
But I am not sure I want to commit myself the way they had to. It takes a lot of effort.  It takes away from work, family and more. I did it once. Lost 40 pounds in 2008.
I was miserable doing it. Really.
So I have to decide if I want to be miserable again.
And that's just not fair.


Saturday, March 5, 2011


Ice rink.
Its just not fair. The only day I can ride is a bust. Light drizzle\snow turned the streets into an ice rink this morn. No way would you ride today and not take a digger at some point.

And I just put road tires on Pinkie cuz I had to put my only used cross set on the sold  bike yesterday. So I was preying for at least dry roads today.

I keep telling myself I will start riding more very soon. That the weather will turn and I'll cut back on work hours. But its not coming soon enough. 

Very soon I will once again be in panic mode as far as weight\fitness goes. Like spring last year, and the one before that and the one before that.

I believe that I am in the worst cycling shape in 5 years. I had about 5 hours in the saddle in Feb. The same in Jan. Its really approaching critical. Right now I would not even be able to hang in our group social rides. And if I cant do that, then whats the sense of even riding for me. Im not the kind of guy that can just ride solo all the time. Im (at times) a social butterfly and like the aspect of riding with my friends. So I really have a decision to make. Buckle down and get back in the game.... or change my lifestyle to one of less riding.

That said.... I know its not hard to get back in the swing of things. Its just a matter of time. Once I can put some time aside to ride it will come back quickly and I know that. Last spring I was just getting into it and feeling stronger every ride when I got hit by the car. That was early June and put the brakes on everything last summer. I struggled after.

Hopefully that wont happen again this year. So my main focus right now is not to panic. Concentrate on the task at hand and put some "me" time aside to get back in the peloton.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Say Goodbye

Say goodbye to the only bike I actually owned (I own Pinkie but that was pre-store).
I rode this bike more that my Madone. Got in a few races. Quite a few winter group rides (not on the beach) and many nooner rides last summer. I  paid for this bike personally. I got a good deal....
But its out the door. (I kept the wheels of course)
Now, its in with the new.
Actually, I have several of these on their way to the store.
More on that later.

Its raining and that means no ride for me. Looks like maybe rain or snow tonite so the ride in the morn might suck too. Wonderful.
Thinking more and more about a long weekend in warmer weather.
I really need to start riding more. Time is short.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Favorite Time of Day

My favorite time of the day is early morn in the store. Hours before its open. All alone with all lights off except a desk lamp and my computer.

Very quiet. Very calm. Relaxing. Not quite as relaxing as my Happy Place but a close second.

I do my best work during this time. I open up my point of sale software and I look at every sale that went down while I was gone. Every one. No exceptions. Its my sound tedious but with the system I have its not.

At this point, Thursday morn, I have about 60 hours of work in already between the store and my job. Thats gatta stop. I have to start cutting back on my driving (day job) very soon as the store is getting very busy and I need to be here more. Its just hard to pull the plug on the day job. But I need to get over that.

Lets talk bikes. For years I have debated with many people about rolling resistance of tires. We all think that a smaller, lighter tire with a ton of air rolls the best. And I am talking a 23c tire. Smaller foot print right? I have now seen enough real data to make the switch to 25c tires. Im not an engineer but reading report after report changes my mind. Maybe its not a big deal for the skinny guys but for me I think its a good thing. Im ordering a set for my Madone today.

Speaking of Madone. Ive been starring at my 6.5 hanging in the window since last November. And I really want to ride it soon. I have to lose a littler weight to feel better on it but Im hopeful I can. 
Im thinking (as I do every spring) about a short journey south. Maybe when it hits a steady 40 around here I can take a shorter drive to hit the 60's. Any suggestions? Has to be a 10 hour or less drive. MO,KY or TN? A nice area for 2 days of riding would be cool..... Really want to do it for real.

Who's with me?
Cross bike ride for me today.....