Friday, September 30, 2011

Mean Lake.

mean lake. 845am
Todays HP visit was a loud one. You would not believe how loud the lake was. Huge waves pushing 30 feet higher on the beach. Another crappy riding day. Too windy on the road and a all nite rain washed out the woods.  Today is the kind of day to try and work ahead in the store. Set up next weeks orders today to set up riding on Monday.

This weekend is the start of Wisco's cross scene with a double header weekend on tap. I will show up at some point this weekend but want to make sure I get some riding in too.
Sunday looks like the best riding day so I will shoot for that.
At this point Im not even sure our Saturday morn group is still swinging on the road.  Many have switched to MTB's with the race coming up in a week.
So Im on the fence as to what I want to ride this weekend.
Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cross Bikes Not Just For Racing.

Future home of the Sheboygan Company Classic.
You never know when one of the best rides of the summer hits. Yesterday I just jumped on the Cronus and rode 30 miles in and out of several city parks and even one State Park. (HP)
In the background of the pic above is the wide open spaces to be used in the first annual Sheboygan Bicycle Company Classic. Coming your way Oct 30th.
Bad karma.
After bombing around some city parks I did some singletrack at the local MTB course. Kinda a bit tougher to do with the Cronus as opposed to the Superfly.

I even visited the spot that I got pasted by a car last year. While the damn iPod was a factor, I still had it in my ears today but made sure I looked both ways when I hit the street.

All in all a great ride. 3+hours. 30 miles and various parks and points of interest visited. I made sure to do a few laps around every park I hit. Even a little bit of rain could not dampen my spirits. But I did notice I was not feeling as good as a few weeks ago on the bike. Its weird how fast you lose that feeling. With the Vegas week followed by my crappy week last week my bike riding was at a minimum the last two weeks but I did feel better the third hour today as opposed to the first. So as fast as the feeling leaves, it returns.

817am  Sun shining out there but not here.
Once again this morn its dark and rainy. I think the MTB ride tonite is in a bit of jeopardy due to the almost three days of rain. I know some people are riding it but I dont when its wet. Especially when our MTB race in is two weeks. Todays HP visit was a short one. Its been well over a week since I saw the otters and believe they have moved on to their winter spot, wherever that is. Bummer. I was hoping they would stay.
At least I did get one pic.

Since Im thinking of ditching the MTB ride I might just get another epic cross ride in.
Or both.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gloomy Ride

Still gloomy out. Still drizzle on and off since Sunday. Its amazing (it least to me) how lack of sun hits me like a two ton heavy thing. Im feeling a little poopy today.

Soon I will turn my frown upside down as I just put the Eastons cross wheels on the Cronus and I plan on going for a long one.

They are tubulars so I get a little nervous about getting a flat but I bring some Tufo sealant along. Its kinda like stans. You have to screw off the valve core (its got a little thinige for that) and its in a little bottle that you use to squirt it in tire. Then spin and inflate.

Today on my HP visit I noticed some trees now turning color. Its crazy how fast time passes. My Grandma used to say that when you get old days go slow and years go fast. I kinda feel that way now. Im old. But we are still on the front side of fall and its truly game on right now. Need to get out and do stuff. There's still a lot of bike riding to do. With a heavy emphasis on MTB. As soon as it drys out tho. So Im minutes away from the cross bike.......

And I just remembered I dont have any cold weather riding stuff here at the store. Bummer. All my warmers and vests are still home in my basement from spring. 
Hopefully washed before I store them. But no guarantee's on that.


Monday, September 26, 2011

USGP Weekend

Day 2. Mud.
Driveline destroyed.
These guys had it figured out.
This past weekend I had the USGP on the back of my mind but was going to try and ride at home both days instead. But it was an option I oped for both days. Saturday had some good racing going on. Sunday was a mudfest.

The course was way fast Saturday.  Sunday was another story as the rains moved in early morn and have not stopped yet as of Monday morn. I really don't like racing in mud. And Im not a big fan of watching a mud race either. Its just not real bike racing. Yes, I understand the element and for sure some riders are better in it than others.
But really, after you see a few riders slip and fall on their ass, the other 40 times it happens is kinda boring. Even in cross racing, if you gatta run with the bike just to get around it no longer looks and feels like a bike race.  And what is going to happen to that park? It is trashed. Its going to cost a lot of money to put the grass back. Im sure these big events have a game plan for such a thing.

So it was no riding this weekend for me. Just a lot of standing and watching. Almost 500 miles of driving to and from. And eating and drinking. Very expensive weekend. 
Wished it was two days of riding instead. But I'll take it as these riders are not around too often.


Today its dark and gloomy but not gloomy enough to put a dent in my HP visit.  In fact days like today Im almost guaranteed of having some alone time there. And really, thats what this time is for anyway. Today the strong east wind is making the lake very loud. I remember leaving my bedroom window open just a bit even on the coldest nite,  just to listen while I fell asleep.

With last week being kinda crappy for me, I pretty much pushed off all my duties at the store. And today I am going to pay for that. Going to be a busy few days for me. I really hope the rain stops so I can ride a bit. I really could use a few miles soon.
And with the two days of steady rain it looks like not on the MTB.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

One of Those Weeks

Its just been one of those weeks that one would like to forget.
Minimal visits to HP. Snuck in a nice Saturday visit this morn tho. Rain cancelled any riding. And am gearing up to leave for Madtown to watch the USGP.
Back in the day I would post about all my personal problems and this has been a week that I could do so but I learned ( the hard way) that that is not in any ones best interest.
I will say before I leave that theres not a lot of people in this world that get me and leave it at that. And I try to be super nice to the ones that dont to no avail.
Moving on.
Its been a long time since I have had a 2 post week. Maybe a year. With Vegas last week it seems like forever since I posted. 
So I might have been down but Im never out.
See ya Monday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Interbike\Crossvegas: Part Two

So once Crossvegas is over, on Wednesday nite, its time to get the hell out of vegas. I usually plan a road trip to do so. Last year was Zion National Park. This year it was Death Valley. My first time in Cali ever. Its less than 3 hours to the south end of the park. So Thursday morn it was in the rental car and we headed west. Its a good park to visit once. Many of the points of interest were 40+ miles apart so we put a ton of miles on the car. But its got a ton of cool history in all of it. It was hot.
Sand Dunes
The driving looked like this all day.
Walking the salt flats. 105 degrees.
The locals called it a "cool" 105 degrees that day. Thats below average. Its usually around 110 this time of year. Lots of sand dunes and salt flats. We stopped to eat in a town right in the middle called Furnace Creek. Lots of people there along with the parks headquarters. Not sure how people can live there. I surely could not. This took up all of Thursday. We got back around 10pm
Then all we needed to fill was Friday. And since we needed to get at 4am to catch our flight we unfortunately spent it in town. Man how I hate Vegas. Its awful. You cant walk 20 feet on the strip with some guy asking if you want to fly over the canyon or join some time share or want to spend some time with a hooker. They just dont leave you alone. We spent all day bumping into people on the sidewalk and in the stores. The only time you are at peace is when eating at a restaurant. I could not get out of this city fast enough. We flew home Saturday morn.
Im sure I want to go to Crossvegas next year but Im going to try and figure out a way to do it without too much vegas. Maybe just fly in one day and back the next, or stay the one nite in vegas and head out completely until we fly back. 
Or something. 
Ive got a year to work on it.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Interbike\Crossvegas: Part one

I could write a book on this but will try to condense it down to just two medium sized posts. 
We left on Tuesday nite and after checking in at the airport, checking in at the car rental and checking in at the hotel we were about 6 hours into the trip. To my advantage it was unseasonably cool with highs only in the upper 70's. Nice. First stop on Wednesday was Interbike. This year I was there almost 5 hours before I had to bolt. We did several laps. But after bumping into people trying to get around there fort that time period I almost ran out of the place screaming. I thought I did pretty good at 5 hours tho... Dont get me wrong, there were some cool things to see. And I saw, so I left. End of bike show for me at about 3pm Wednesday.

Besides, I had to get back to our room to rest up for the real reason I come out here. Crossvegas is the biggest bike race I have every attended. As far as crowd numbers the only race to come close is maybe Downer Ave crit in Milwaukee. Close.
In the past they advertised about 10 thousand fans. This year it was closer to 12k. 

under the lights

Every year we get VIP passes from the director. It lets you into a area where its all the food and drink you can handle. And while the pro races were the main event, its the "regular" guy races that are fun to watch. 175 bike mass start on a cross course is a spectacle to see. With about half really trying and the other half not. Lots of goofing around. Lots of beer hand ups.

The pro race was as expected. The usual group of 7 or 8 took off. But the pro of the day was Danny Summerhill. He was right in the group, even pulling a few times when he got taken out or just fell on his own. Not sure cuz it was the other side of the course. Then, he proceeds to start goofing off. And that brings me to another phenomenon. People started throwing dollar bills out on the course for riders to grab. Thats the first time I saw that at crossvegas. Dollar bills everywhere. Of course the front runners would not take the time. But after D Summerhill was off the group with no chance he started grabbing all the dollar bills he could. When the dollars bills were gone he started taking beer ups (is he even 21?) It was crazy to see the back markers so focused on racing, then have a Garmin\Cervelo pro stopping for the money. The crowd was going wild. And rightly so.

At the end of that day we saw some crazy stuff and great racing. Only downer is that the race was won once again by a foreigner. Some u23 kid from the Netherlands riding for Rabobank.
But when a race reaches this status you gatta expect this sort of thing.
Over all the best Crossvegas ever.
My calender is already marked. Sept 19th, 2012
At the end of the day I was wasted. With the show and the race I must have walked 20 miles and was feeling all of that. I limped back to the room and it took me about 30 seconds to sleep.
Tomorrow was going to be a big day as we planned on driving to Death Valley in Cali.
More on that next.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane....

Cross bike is close to full race mode. Had an awesome ride yesterday. About an hour on the road and an hour in the woods. Behind the bike is the river where Im watching the otters play. They did not show on this vist but thats OK as I got that pic in the morn. 
I little on this bike.
I thought my green Madone was light at 15 pounds 10 ounces.
This Cronus is at 16 pounds 1 ounce as it sits here.I will throw on a carbon bar and stem top get this bike sub 16. A cross bike sub 16! Thats nuts.
Its unbelievable when you hop a barrier and pick up the bike. You can notice the lack of weight pretty easy. I am in love with this bike. But keep in mind its going to be sold in a month. Demo pricing.

My thoughts are elsewhere today as Im leaving for Vegas this afternoon. I am pumped to able to attend Crossvegas tomorrow nite. But really, thats about it. Vegas is not my kind of place. Strangely Im kinda bummed. Just not feeling the Vegas excitement that most would. I'll go as far as to say I hate Vegas. Not a big fan of the Interbike either. Most of you might not understand that. How could you not like a huge convention hall filled with bike stuff? I dont know. Its just too big. Too many people. Your fighting for every inch in that place. Product reps pulling you here and there. Theres a booth 30 yards away you want to see and it takes you 20 minutes to get there. After some time of this I bail. You dont learn anything. Its too much in such a short period of time. Overload. So Im not as pumped as I was other years and would not have minded skipping this trip.
If it wasn't for Crossvegas. 
Whenever someone asks my about Crossvegas just watch my eyes light up. Anybody who is somebody in the cross circuit is there. Euro teams send riders. Ten thousand people watching. Pro riders from every genre are there. If not racing then watching. I sat on a grassy hill next to Willow Koerber last year.  Im kinda buddys with the directer, Brook Watts. I get VIP passes every year. Even if you are not a fan of cross you will be after attending this race.
 I hear its being broadcast live on some site (not sure where). Racing this event is high on my bucket list (yeah.... Im old enough to have one of those...). I'll post a ton of pics from my phone on facebook tomorrow nite.....
But other than that race.........
I always get a rental car and try to get out of town as much as I can.  A drive thru Red Rock. Maybe a drive to the Dam. They have a new bridge I want to see. Its huge. 
Gonna be home before noon on Saturday. Leaving the computer home so its all facebook till then.


Monday, September 12, 2011


810am and I did take this pic.....
Today I did get a pic of the visiting otters. One of the best things about my HP is that theres always something new to see or do. I'll be keeping an eye on these guys, hope they stay. Saw three today. I had to stand with the camera ready for a few minutes to get a pic. They resurface then go back under quick. One came up just 20 yards from me but I missed. Otters are awesome as they always play. Their jumping on each other and racing around without a worry in the world. Im jealous.
Some times they notice me, give me a quick look, then resume goofing off.

As it turned out I decided to hit up the WORS race Sunday. I had several fun things to do but I after the last race I was really intrigued as to how I would do on a ski hill. I dislike ski hills.  In comparison to other courses, this is one of the hardest. Lots of climbing with very tight singletrack in between.
Right from the start is what seems like 5 minutes of climbing, and that puts a 250 pound guy behind the eight ball from the get-go.

As it turned out a venue like this does scare away some of the Clydes. We had nine of us. I never seen much of the others as the massive climb at the start pretty much sets the pecking order and separates us immediately. After that, I didn't see much of anyone. Seems the only one to get away on me was our local guru and race directer Jon H. I saw him only for a few minutes, then he was gone. Jon had a great race finishing over three minutes up on me. But I did have a nice race as I completed my 3 step criteria for a good race: 
1) never unclip 2) dont finish last 3) pass somebody (anybody) on the last lap.  

On the top of several climbs I was ready to puke and if I didn't back off Im sure I would have. Also, this is a hard race to do blind. I did race this once several years ago but pretty much forgot and there are many spots that could hurt you if you were not paying attention. Many times I choose to follow another bike just so I would not blow thru an unsuspecting corner. I pretty sure I could have gone faster in the singletrack but it was not worth the consequences of a mistake.
So it was a good race for me. 2nd out of 9 
I did, in fact pass the third place guy on the last lap, while climbing. And the guys who joined me on the podium looked like Clydes. And Im sure fun was had by all.
Turns out the guy I was following at the end of the last lap took 5th in my age class (not Clyde).
Its been a long time (years) that I did two WORS races back to back.
And I really miss it. Really, its where this cycling obsession of mine started about 10 years ago.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rare Saturday Post

File foto.... 
 Ive been watching a pair of river otters in my HP for the last week. Ive seen them four times now. Very cool and almost impossible to photograph. They dive under and might not surface for several minutes...40 yards away from where they were.  I hope they stay but most likely will not. These guys travel a lot.

 Im alone in the store all day today.  Its Saturday morn and it just beautiful outside. And that means traffic will be slow as everyone is outside doing stuff. I hope to get on the bike right after the store closes. 

Most of my riding group is up in Door County for the century this weekend. Thats such a nice ride and the weather is great to boot. I would have loved to be there but its just a little pricey for me to do. So tomorrow I have two choices. One is to do the MTB race in Lake Geneva, the other is take the wife up to Peninsula Park and have a day of casual riding. I guess you will find out Monday.

Get outside. I insist.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Just Another Friday

Its just another Friday. When you dont have a real work week Fridays are just another day. And with all employees out of town this weekend (all planned) I will be covering the store alone tomorrow all day. I dont mind. Makes me feel a bit less guilty about goofing off all week.

Rode over 3 hours yesterday. One the road. Big winds. Rode 20 miles back in a head wind that held me to about 9mph. As usual I forgot to eat and I suffered the rest of the day.

Today its MTB again. Maybe 2 hours. With working on Saturday Im thinking of hitting up another WORS race. This one has climbing for real and I would not do quite as well. I almost never go to a MTB race on a ski hill. But I must be feeling better on the bike if Im even considering it. Will be a last minute thing Saturday nite.

I just got an email from one of my west coast Trek buddy's this morn that there's a Cross Clydesdale National in Bend, OR. Now thats interesting. Make me think crazy thoughts. Now that Im in the best riding shape of the summer. If they do age categories I will consider it. Need more info. More on that later.

Right after the weekend thoughts will be on Vegas. Flying out Tuesday and home Saturday. Like last year, the only thing planned it of course Crossvegas. Other than that I play it as it comes. Including Interbike. I'll go if there's nothing else better to do. 4 hours max. Then, when I return, Im thinking of another small tour. 4 to 5 days. Then.........

Ive got some time on my hands and Im not afraid to use it. Have a good weekend.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hiatus\Cross stuff.

Todays HP was a very long visit. The sun was just so strong on the beach.

I was just thinking about my planned hiatus the next few months and what can I do with it.
Today I am going for a bike ride. 

Later then I will cut my grass.

I do need to get to the store to put in a late season bike order that should last me till December, pretty much two of everything. That will be about an hour.

Last nite was the first Wednesday MTB ride that Im trying to bring back from the dead. 8 showed up and fun was had by all. The trails are really in good shape due to the Xterra tri their a week ago. Im feeling pretty good on the MTB and will maybe consider another race or two before its all said and done. Especially with the next two months open for a little training and weight loss (with the latter going pretty good but wont say to much to jinx it).

And I met with a USAC guy yesterday and went over my cross course for approval. Theres a lot of red tape with a cross race. Twice as much as a WORS race. Between getting USA cycling permits, course approval and club registration could be a bit too much. But I spent the last few days getting it done all at once and its over. Im good to go.

Ive must admit Im a little bit bummed by the lack of interest in the clinic\demo scene. But thats OK as I always think big and work down form there. really, the cross scene is pretty much south of me. In the bigger city's. Milwaukee and Madison have a ton of races to choose from.  I most likely will put the demos for sale before the WCA season starts and that contradicts what I was planning but I do need to sell the bikes. I'll pull back on the reigns in regards to that stuff but will take what I learned and apply it to next year.

I still believe in cross. I still love cross bikes. Im gonna ride one today.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Time to Shine!

Todays HP visit was a nice one. Had the heater on during the drive over. It was a bit on the cool side but was warm on the beach when in the sun. I have a lot to think about today being the day after Labor Day. With the kids in school and most vacationing done the store will see a bit of a slowdown. So that means time to cut hours and staff. The formula here is better too early than too late.
So its business stuff that fill my brain today. Both at the HP and during my ride later. 
This is my favorite time of year and you will hear me say that a thousand times in the coming months. And for several reasons. The weather cools off and thats not so much for me as I do not mind some heat but it sure is comfortable. A\C is off at the store.
But really I wait for the trees to turn and then its game on. Do as much as I can with what summer there is left. Good thing the store does slow as I will be ditching it quite a bit. My riding actually increases when the store slows. I put in a few more hours at the store in the summer and do lose out on a few rides but now its my time to shine. There will be a time where I will go back to my real job for the winter, driving a truck now and then but its now that I act on goofing off for awhile. At least two months worth of foolishness.
The store will be busy enough for me to stay but still can be handled with one employee.
So Sept and Oct is go time for me and I plan on taking full advantage.
Another short tour in three weeks, a couple century's in two weeks, Crossvegas in one week.
And rides everyday this week. Some are road trips!
Putting in 10 hours a day at the store and saving my money during the summer is coming to fruition and I totally pumped for the next two months. Pending cross season is a plus.

Join me.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Pending Long Weekend.

815am Actual HP. I was not alone. Dude on a sailboat drifted past.

Yesterdays ride took me a few miles south of my Happy Place. While my true HP is a specific stretch of beach, I do enjoy the scenery at any point. The winter rides will have us riding past this point on the frozen sand. Yeah..... that time is not so far away.
I did stop at the true HP of course. Saw a pair of otters there for the first time. I get pumped when I see a new thing at the HP. It makes my week.

My last post was a little personal and I dont do that much anymore. I found that one should not show one's true feelings on a public forum the hard way. And Im surprised that no one commented on any of my statements good or bad. 

But last nite one of my past customers stopped in and thanked me for that post. Im not sure how she even got it. She just started riding after 12 years, has a comfort bike, and like me, is overweight.
She thanked me for the post.
And if she was the only one who read it, thats OK by me. Its stuff like that that makes my day. Getting a entire familey out on a bike is just about the best feeling I can get in the store.
Really, its why I do this for a living.

Moving on, tomorrow the group is planning a near century for the Saturday ride. And I will think about joining. But 1: they are starting at 7am and I would need to roll out of bed by six, and 2: I need to be back at store not much later than noon. So if by chance I do get out of bed, I might have to skip breakfast and roll back solo.
So thats not a for sure deal.
Sunday will have me rolling with the same peeps but at a very social pace. That will be a nice ride. I'll acually be able to talk on thqt ride.
And Monday Im sure I will ride a bike at some point so the long weekend looks good.
Looking forward to it.