Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Its been a long time since I had the track bike on the car rack. Two years. I have not documented my track bike much but I have had it for almost two years. I really should have sold it but just like to keep it around just in case.

I was a bit disappointed with the track last nite. As I mentioned before its been two years since I hung out there every other Tuesday or so.

What I saw last nite was less bikes and less spectators. Very sad. Spectator count was around 20 or so. The money I spent there last nite (around 600.00) was not wasted tho. Its going to the track association and I hope they use it for good. I truly hope that things get better there. I really do have fun riding is circles.

Right now I hope to do a few nites there late July or early Aug. I did lay down about 50 laps and got to pace with a bunch of riders just before race time and I am not ready. The peddling started to come back to me toward the end. Once I can get my body mass moving Im good. But forget about sprinting. Thats was not going to happen for me. Hopefully I can lose a few more pounds and join in soon.

Weight loss is going well now that its summer. Sunshine and riding always have a positive impact on me. I have a lunch date with the Madone today.
Next comes the Superfly. Its time to spend more time in the woods.

So many bikes. so little time. Good weather is upon us.
Ditch work and go outside.
Do it for real.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Long Haul Trucker/Track

One aspect of early Julys Secret Training Camp (STC) is a small but self supported bike tour of northern Wisco. Once again I will spend a few days bummin' round the north woods on a bike.

And that means I gatta get going on my Long Haul Trucker. I picked this bike cuz it a 26in wheel and I had my old Fuel downstairs with pretty good stuff on it doing nothing. So I raped the Fuel for its wheels, BB and crank, brakes, rear derailer and headset and seat. The rest will be new. Using Kenda 100psi 1.5's for tires.
Getting Surley front and rear racks. That means Im not using the Burley trailer this time and going full panniers. Im waiting on a few trinkets and parts to arrive but think it will be done by the weekend.

Today was a glorious sunny visit to the HP. But the stay was not long as I have a ton of stuff to do. Including a hour and a half drive down to the Kenosha track tonite. Its SBC nite and Im gonna be giving stuff away. Its all fun. I might leave a bit early and lay down a few laps but am not racing. Not ready for that. 

Here I am back in 2009. Finishing in the money. One of the highlites of my meager racing career. You could not slap the smile off my face.
Maybe end of July to make my triumphant return?

We'll see about that.


Monday, June 27, 2011

The Right Decisions

Very rarely do I make right decisions but the decision to ditch the MTB Nationals was the right one for me last weekend. Between Saturday and Sunday I nearly hit 100 miles on the Madone. My biggest weekend this summer to date. Saturdays breakfast ride had me chasing over half of the ride. Sure, I needed to get pulled back in the group several times but I didn't pull the plug until about 6 miles to go in a 50 miler. And that was just after finishing a 30mph run that I was clinging onto the back of.
Sunday was a 45 mile "recovery" ride. I got sunburned. It was glorious.

This last week was hectic with all the races and Im glad I didn't try to hit all the ones I had planed to. I would have been way overextended. (see prior post about scheduling).

I do have one more thing to do.....

Tuesday the store is sponsoring a nite at the Kenosha track. I love\hate track racing. I love it cuz its tons of fun and sometimes the smartest guy wins, not the fastest.
I hate it cuz it really hurts. I remember crossing the line in the most pain I have every felt on a bike. Completely wasted, seeing stars and almost puking. How could you not have fun!
I had planned in racing a few nites by now but the crappy spring has put me behind a bit but do plan on hitting a couple in about 4 weeks. Just after my Secret Training Camp.
In two weeks I leave for Northern Wisco for 7 days of secret training. I already have my itinerary from my coach and will start prepping next week. More on that later.

Today is rest day. Get stuff done in the store day. Also on my plate today: Car repair. Seems the tranny might have puked on the SBCmobile. Seems fitting as its only got 2 months to go before its paid off. Its almost like it knows.......


Friday, June 24, 2011

Schedule (bad at)

Happy Place visit was welcomed today. Its been a few days plus needed to wind down from yesterdays race. Its a busy day for me. Setting up chairs and tents and getting things together. Helping with race setup in the morn.  Corner volunteer check in was in the store, and I had a raffle to give away a bike. Things like that add up during the day. Im running around all day long. I was wasted at 8pm. Still feel it this morn.
The day went well in most respects.  All day rain kept the crowds down. Not a monetary good day for the store. A lot of people walking thru. No buying. Store employees spend a ton of time watching races. Productivity at a all time low. But its expected so I look past it for one day.
As I crawl back in the store this morn the real work begins. The bathroom is trashed. About zillion people used the bathroom yesterday. And since nobody else will the store owner gets the glamorous job of  bathroom maintenance. I consider it one of the perks of owning.

Yesterdays race was going to be the start of a whirlwind for me. Get the road race done and start packing for The Subaru Cup at Mt Morris. Long story short I am not going to the MTB race. There was just no way I can be able to do so. So Im ditching the entire MTB weekend and just want to relax and ride this weekend. Its been a week since I saw then sun and its supposed to show its stubborn self the next few days so Im going to take advantage and get a little recharge going this weekend. I am extremely relived to have decided not to go to the MTB race today.
Another thing I considered was Saturdays Downer Ave race. I have not missed this race in 8 years now. I will be there. Fo Sho.

Have a good weekend, hope you (and I) get a bit sunburned.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Rode a Bike Today!

Today started day three of non stop fog. But after 7 days off the bike I decided to look this weather square in the eye and I sure told it who's boss.

Grabbed the Madone and headed out for three hours of fog and rain. Not just rain. Downpours. The kind of rain when you just ride thru all the huge puddles cuz you could not get any wetter anyway.
And it was awesome. I felt great. Cold, wet but happy to be on a bike. Its really Wednesday at 630pm but I will not have time for the blog tomorrow as the Dairyland Tour runs right past the front of the store. It will be a busy day. Really, its a bad day for sales as the downtown area is shut down to cars but its a fun day. And I sure can use a fews more fun days.

Its funny how I was having a hard time getting on the bike the last week but now that I forced myself onto my Madone it seems not so hard. You just get in this riding funk and its just so hard to get off the couch. Let alone on a bike. 

But all it takes is one ride to get me going again. And if its wet and cold and foggy no problem. 

Just do it. See ya Friday.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


845am Fog.
My Seasonal Depression Disorder is worse in June than it was in Feb. Have not seen much sun in a week.

Have not rode a bike in 8 days.

This is getting serious. This sure sounds like me right now.

Calling in for backup.

The quiet now is not so bad tho, thinking of the next 4 to 5 days.

If anything its road, woods way too wet.

Thoughts of Madone. Will do my best to get out in the fog.
But dont count on it.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Update

Very uneventful weekend. No riding for me. The kind of weekend you would think of having mid March. With most employees out of town this weekend I had to work Saturday. Working Saturdays is the one thing I do not like about the store. But was needed. And we did pull down the second biggest day of the year so far. So it was a good day.
I had plans to ride later and took the Madone home but had no ambition after work.
Sunday brought rain all day till 4pm or so. Again, the Madone was home but just no ambition to suit up for a solo ride. Some days I can do solo, even look forward to it, some days its like a two ton heavy thing on me and I cant move.

Busy days ahead for me. As mentioned prior, the road races have begun and are in full swing. Hitting our street on Thursday. Then, Im scheduled to vend at the MTB Nationals Fri, Sat and Sunday. Most likely will try to cut Friday out. Just too much.

I hope for a ride today but it does not look good. Mondays is catch up from the weekend.
Time will tell.

Friday, June 17, 2011


 Yesterday I mentioned on how I was working hard on not being in the store as much. To keep my sanity. One of the things Im trying to do is detachment. Thats the art of leaving all behind. Im doing this more as I ride. In the past, I would just use my phone (now called devices) to listen to music on my ride. Then I have a phone, music player and a camera in one unit. pretty cool. Now.... I leave the phone behind. I use my old iPod shuffle for tunes and carry an actual camera. Nothing will ring to bother me. Nothing will make me get off my bike. Its just more me time.

The Devil?
Its quite refreshing to be unavailable. And good for you. In 2008 some of you remember my tour of Wisconsin. Almost 1000 miles in 18 days. Its too bad the blog that I wrote those days is long deleted . That was dumb of me.

 I spoke a lot of detachment then. I had no TV, did not know what was going on in the world. Just what was going on around me. Thats an unbelievable feeling that almost none of you will experience. And it sure was refreshing. Stress level way down. Just having way less stuff going on in your life.

There is just something about a 3 hour ride when no one knows where you are. It adds to the experience.
Last nite I attended the first of many road races here in Wisco. And after reading Steve Tilfords blog about limiting team riders I must say I agree. Theres a team doing this series that must have 15+ riders in it. As Steve would say, very predictable. No surprises. Kinda boring. I left before it was over.

Speaking of racing, Im actually getting pumped about the Tour. No real favorites except Contador. Its so much fun to watch when anyone could win. Almost anyone. I guess we will see.

The weekend will be filled with bike selling and bike riding for me. Not sure which one will be more than the other. Both are good in my book.
Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hump Day

Some HP visits are uneventful. I drive (or ride) in, hang for a bit and leave. I have a camera at all times but if the sun's not out I don't use it. 
But my Happy Place never ceases to amaze me. Today its cold and blustery so I was a little bummed to the start of today. Spent my time there, drank some coffee and headed to the store.
Then all of sudden these two showed up. Its as almost that place knows I was having a less than par visit and throws something at me on the way out. That place knows me better than most people do.

I have designated Wednesday and Saturday morns as ride time. I schedule extra help those days to accommodate at least a 3 hour ride. But today I just do not have the ambition to once again dress warm to do a solo ride. I might just wait a few hours, let it warm up and then take the MTB somewhere. Either a 10 minute drive to the local trails or a 30 minute drive to the Kettles. Not sure. Will decide in a few hours. I have until 2pm today so no hurry.

In fact, if I dont ride at all I will still try to stay out of the store. Trying to cut down the 70 or so hours I spend there per week. 
But that's easier said than done.
Looks like rain coming.... better ride sooner than later.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looking Ahead\Cross Bikes

2pm yesterday
I seem to take a lot of pic's for a guy without a good camera. Lately all the pic's have been courtesy of my phone.

This pic of yesterdays lunchtime cross ride shows the amount of downed trees on the trail system. This is the same woods that the Thursday Cross Rides are in. Hence no need for barriers. 

I was riding the Blue Norcross SL for a month, then I switched to the Trisher Cronus for another month, now back to the Blue.
I think its safe to say that if you are thinking about getting any of these bikes that Im the guy to talk to. I'll spend another month on the Blue before jumping back on the Cronus. Its a tough job but someone has to do it.
People ask which one is my fav? I say the one Im riding that day. Their pretty close really.

Today my thoughts are on the upcoming frenzy the local cycling scene is about to jump on.  The Tour of Americas Dairyland (TOAD) starts this week. With the Sheboygan race on the 23rd. That one runs right past the front of the store. Its like the circus coming to town for us. However as much fun as we have with it its a poor sales day in the store with the streets shut down. But I consider it an even trade. Its a fun day for sure.....
As soon as TOAD ends, Superweek  starts down in the Chicago area and works its way up to Wisco. This has been the long standing Pro series in the area. That runs a couple of weeks for sure, little more. Then throw in the WORS Mt Morris MTB Nationals and its bike race overload. Im scheduled to vend at the MTB race again. Its gonna be a busy several weeks for me.

So I think its going to be some quiet times down in the ol' HP for the next few days. Cuz I have a busy 3 weeks ahead of me. I do have something to look forward to tho... the annual week long secret training camp starts July 9th. More on that later but I can see it off in the horizon for sure!

Bring it on.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Busy Weekend

The extended HP time I took this morn was needed for a couple of reasons. First off, its just beautiful outside. Crazy nice. Warm breeze on the beach is a cure all in my book. Second, it was needed as Sunday was a busy one for me. Really, I worked 12 hours yesterday. Fun work, but work none the less.

Saturday morning had me unexpectedly getting in a 3.5 hour road ride. Nice. I need more of those. I almost bailed due to the fact that I had to turn up the heat in the car on the way to the store. It was cold. Leg and arm warmers. Vest. And I was still cold. But settled in and peddled. 

After an uneventful rest of the day I waited for the store to close and started packing for Wausau in the morn. I was planning on bringing help and get the race in but my help backed out and as I mentioned before, and knew I could not going in. Bummer. However I was committed and had to go regardless. 
Up at 5am, 3 hour drive, 7 hours in tent selling stuff with one potty break, then 3 hours home. 
Long day. Fun work. Good sales. But long day. I was in bed before it was dark. 
It was hard to be 30 yards from the starting line all day and be unable to race.

I brought my bike with me and was thinking of getting in a ride after all was said and done but I was just too wiped out and wanted to get the drive home out of the way sooner than later.

Today is very nice out and I have scheduled hired help to let me out for a cross ride around noon. I am so looking forward to that. Definitely a recovery ride even tho I didn't compete.

Get outside. I insist. 


Friday, June 10, 2011

Bad Day to Blog...

Its a cold rainy morning. 46 degrees. Two days of this weather will slow thing up just fine for the  store's weekend. In the past I always posted my thoughts as they hit me, then, as a store owner I tried to contain my negative thoughts on things. Kinda like a politician. And I dislike politicians.  But even then I still typed what I was thinking at the time and I did get me in trouble now and then. But this is a personal blog and I didn't care. Sometimes.
When I was bummed about my weight I said so. When my riding sucked or lack of ride time bummed be out I said so.  I also complained about the crappy spring. A lot. Now do I complain about the crappy summer? Is it even summer yet?

So I will refrain from making derogatory comments like  "why are you driving a Suburban  ". But then if I do stop saying what I think what is the sense of a blog? Then I might as well just use it for advertising the store. And Im sure you would not want to read that everyday. Nor would I want to type it everyday. No.... this blog is about me. And really, I do it for my enjoyment. No other reason. If nobody read it, I would not care. I never check how many hits I get. 

So as I try to keep this thing personal, I still need to realize some things are better left unsaid.

Lets  just say.... Im in a crappy mood today and move on.
Hopefully I will get out on the bike tomorrow.
And see you Sunday at the MTB race.
I should be in a better mood.
Better mood for real.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Not My Birthday.

Last nite I left the store at 7pm and had to run the AC in the car or suffer. This morn, I had to have the heat on or suffer. Thats Wisco.

The HP visit was nice today. It was by car. Didn't see much today but the markings in the sand from the wind blowing the tall grass back and forth. I thought it was worthy of a pic.

Today is the first Thursday Cross Bike Ride out of the store. Im looking forward to it. It sounds like the first ride will have an acceptable bike count. Ive said this many times before, a cross bike is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. My demo bikes will see some action tonite. Very cool. If you want to ride one just call the store.....  soon the Traveling Cross Bike Demo Tour will start. 10 stops this summer!
Also, I am prepping to hit the Wausau WORS race as a vender. I have teamed up with Ryders Eyewear, who is a product sponsor of WORS, to vend at the races. The Ryders dude cant make it this weekend so its my turn. Stop at the Ryders tent and say hi. I did have plans of racing but cant if Im there alone. Its all good tho. I'll bring the Superfly just in case. If nothing else I might grab a few miles after the day is done. Join me if you like.

Other than that its biz as usual today. Have a 20 bike shipment hitting the store in an hour. I love ordering bike in early summer. You can deviate from the bestsellers and grab a few cool bike without worry of looking at them all winter. Today Im getting a few PDX's. Very cool bike.

I get all giddy when a new bike comes in to the store. Get it built up, ride it around.

Its like its my birthday.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Pathetically, I have peddled this bike only four times since the snow melted. Now five times.
Ride time has been better now that spring is here. 3 hours on the Madone yesterday.
Ironically, when the store gets busy I can work less.
The gain in revenue allows me to afford more  "luxury wages " and lets me hire a replacement for me, and out the door I go. Almost always with bike in tow these days.
I hit the trails today at around 90 degrees of almost an hour and a half. And my lack of MTBing showed well. I was not doing well on the bike to start. Pretty much hitting every rock on the trail. Once in frustration I actually missed a big rock and turned around to make sure I nailed it.
My climbing was horrendous. Im reminded of my weight constantly.

Its kinda like this: Im suffering up a hill. I see a big rock on the left. My brain says to keep right. Again, tells me to lean right. One more time, just move over to the right. And sure as I am suffering, I hit the damn rock. After looking at it for over 30 seconds.
But after an hour I started to smooth out and am sure in time will get back my madd skilzz in the woods. Just need to get on this bike more.

I will do it for real.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Group ride

Saturday morn group. Almost 30 strong.
Saturday had me rolling with the group. Its seems like forever since I did so. With temps in the 50's at around 730am the last few days just imagine my surprise to walk out the door and get hit by 80 degrees with humidity. So I walked back in the house to take off my arm warmers and such.
But it was still like getting hit by a truck when I walked out and was not prepared for such a warm ride. Still at 260 pounds this ride is hard for me. I need to prep for this ride like its a race. 
Not that the ride is overly fast. Its pretty normal. 
Its me , not them.

So...long story short I failed to drink and eat enough before and during. I got dropped once and pulled back in around minute 35. Then we got to the hills and back I go again. Once again got pulled back in and suffered hanging on to the back of the group until minute 54. And while I could have stayed and suffered someone pulled off and I made the decision to go with him. At that point I did not feel the best and knew that if I continued I would have suffered badly. I in fact barely made it back to the car.

I maybe hit the water bottle once since I started riding. I really am bad at drinking on the bike. But when your in zone 5 all the time its hard to eat and drink between breaths.
I going to wear my HR monitor on one of these rides. I would be interested seeing what my average is. or better yet a powertap. I wonder what wattage Im putting out while Im next to the skinny guys uphill. I think they would be surprised to see what I need to be at to ride along with them.
Anyway, I would not call the ride a bad one. Just a unprepared one.
I believe I was a bit dehydrated as I was pretty much sick the rest of the day. 
I just need to be a bit smarter with that stuff. Again, I am most likely the worst person I know at eating and drinking on the bike. I need to work on that.

Or a lot more of my rides will end up this way.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Madone Weekend.

Ive got in a few long rides on my Madone. I think out of all my bikes, this is the one that I take for granted. Im a MTB'er at heart. Thats where my cycling roots lie. Thats where it all began just 10 years ago. Thats right.
I have only been an avid cyclist for not quite 10 years. I remember my first bike back then. Not my first bike ever but the first bike I bought as an adult. I forgot where I bought it but it was a $89.00 bike (back in 2001). I pretty much destroyed that bike post haste. I then went to the local Trek dealer (the store I replaced with mine) and bought a Trek 7000. The dude (who works at a local bike store still today) sold me a 16in frame that was way too small for me. His bad.
I still have that bike today. Its home in my garage.
I switched to full suspension quickly. Buying a 2001 Trek Fuel. Jumping in to the WORS series before I had shorts and a jersey. I was that guy. I purchased my first entry level road bike two years later. $600 bucks for  Giant OCR3
Im getting off point here. But the truth of this is that I am not a roadie by any means of the imagination.
Anyway. So now I have this Madone 6.5 Project One.
Fact is I would rather be riding my Superfly. I give the MTB much more attention.
But lately I have stopped and smelled the lilacs and have noticed that that Madone is an awesome bike. For a road bike. I guess.
But really, where else can you pick color, design and every component the way Trek lets you do with Project One. Just think of it. Every bike built one at a time. Hand painted. Carbon frame laid up by hand. Completely assembled by one person. Not a assembly line. And all this done in Wisconsin. 
Very cool and I have been in Waterloo several times to watch it. If you seen the way these guys build these bike you would understand why they get behind at times.
Just did a two hour ride this morn and plan on the Saturday group ride tomorrow. All Madone.

Its true I do not even know how cool this bike is. But Im beginning to understand more everyday.
I wish Trek would bring the Project back to MTB's.

I would be all over that.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Best Laid Plans.

It always amazes me how well my phone (Samsung Mesmerize) takes pics. Not quite as good as my camera but good enough for a blog. 

Yesterday I set up this morn for a long ride. Got the equipment ready (Madone) and scheduled in an extra employee to cover my absence.

But I woke up, headed for the HP and about a half an hour ago lost all ambition to do so. I am finding it harder and harder to suit up for a long solo ride. Last year was the worst for me as far as riding. The car altercation put me almost a month off. But its my schedule that dictates my rides now. Back when I had a day job I could pretty much ride anytime, adjusting my workload to my riding time. But now that the store is busy I just cant ditch it anytime and have to plan my rides.

Im not complaining cuz thats the way most everybody has to do it. But when my time was way more adjustable I could hit rides with others very quickly. Now my window of opportunity is usually when others are working so that means solo.
There are many times a solo ride helps me. Clears my mind from the stress of work and other issues. Sometimes my playlist hits a bunch of great songs in a row and I love the ride. Yes, I realize the Ipod is now frowned upon when riding. The main cause of my car altercation last year (I seem to be mentioning that a lot of late) but for me its a necessity. And a evil one I know. But I was always the kind to take chances. However sometimes not even the Ipod will get me out solo. And no way for 3 plus hours.

Im still gonna get out this morn, but my planned 3 to 4 hours is down to a cross bike for less that 2. Still acceptable in my book tho. I would have been riding as I type this but Im letting it warm up a bit outside.

I really could have used a long ride today but not to the point that I would not be having any fun. They call that training. And I never train.

So off I go for a ride with me, myself and Ipod.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cant Believe

Swans. 815am


Cant believe its Wednesday already. Cant believe I have not posted since last Friday. Cant believe I saw these Trumpeter Swans at the HP this morn. In my million visits I have never before. Most likely resting during a long trip. Kinda using the HP as a wayside. The diversity of that place still amazes me.

Cant believe that summer is here. 80 degrees and sunny since Monday. We seemed to skip past spring and go right from winter to summer. A week ago it was 43 degrees and raining. Its seems 80% of the people in DANOville are sunburned. Me included.

Cant belive the spring push is on in the store. About time. Yesterday was nuts here. Had the biggest day of the year. And with that spike in biz pushed May 2011 past May 2010 in sales. About time. Finally its game on.....

Cant believe I rode my bike 11 hours since Saturday. Longest ride of the year this weekend with 3 hours 45 min. Rode both the Madone and Cronus cross. My Superfly needs some attention still and hope to get that taken care of before the end of the week. On Monday I rode the cross bike on pretty much the same route as I did about a year ago when I got hit (I hit) by the car. That was the first week of June last year. I remember I was just starting to feel good on the bike then, as in now. I can feel the riding coming along well. I do need some longer rides tho...   I hope to get those in soon. Putting in 10 hours a week consisting of hour and a half rides only takes you so far for fitness but its gonna be game on for weight loss! I expect to weight less a week from now. Again, need some 4 hour rides...

Its more of a timing thing that anything else. That and I have to schedule an extra employee when Im out. For me that hard to justify the extra payroll but I must learn to get away when needed.
And Im getting better at that everyday. A busy store helps in that respect.

Hope you got sunburned too this weekend.