Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Love this pic. Shows grass 20 yards from me and a ship one mile from me. I love contrasts in my pics.
Todays visit was short. If you run a business, today is tax day. Today is our equivalent to April 15th. You need to mail in all your forms with all the payments. Mostly all going to Cincinnati. So I always mail this stuff priority. Peace of mind. So I stood in line at the post office with all the other business owners instead of a bike ride.
I also found my camera and it didnt go thru the wash. Nice!

Saturday. OTB
So also attached today is the pic I took Saturday. Showing how the group looked to me all day. I had planned on a ride this morn but got side tracked with the tax stuff. Tomorrow for sure. However today would have been better due to the fact its noon and near 50 degrees.
With the ten day forecast in the upper 30's everyday I am officially ditching winter. On January 31st. I didn't wear a coat today. A million people are out and about this morn.
Last year we had worse weather in May. For real.
Ive come to the conclusion that whatever is up with this warm winter, is not going away so either you embrace it or walk around all bummed out for the lack of winter sports.
If ya cant beat'em then join'em. And that what Im going to do.
I'm officially ditching winter. 
And I think thats a dangerous statement.
Reverse physiology?
I'll never tell.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Saturday.  (Jeff P foto)

Just not a weekend for the books.
I did have a nice pic for today's post, but I left my camera in my riding jacket pocket while running it thru the wash. Its dead. So I will thank Jeff P for lifting this foto of Saturday off of his Facebook.

Saturdays ride was fun but it was one of those rides that echoed a wake up call. I struggled. And the group was not that fast. In fact very tame. Yet I was OTB (off the back) for a majority of the time. They waited. But I was rudely reminder of how much weight I gained. And how out of bike shape I am. I have some work to do. This was only my second ride of January (outside).
The warmer temps should help me out here. Its really go time. Like now. Not next week.

Sunday hurt even worse. It was one of those days I did not get out of the house. Woke up at 7, went to bed at 10. Was outside less than 5 minutes all day.  My A.D.D. almost never lets me watch an entire movie on TV. I watched three. I was in more pain then than on the bike the day before (which I felt thru out my body). Just not a productive weekend. Grand kids came over so that helped.

So this weekend I was reminded on what happens if you ride less. Or not at all.
But still time to get on the right track. No where near the panic stage.
That will come sometime in March.


Friday, January 27, 2012

As this winter transpires I am preparing my mindset to ditch it. At some point, in the near future, I will wish winter (whats left of it) away. This morning the temps are already 30 at HP visit time. And you know, Im getting used to it. The beach was very comfortable for walking. The blazing sun made it feel way warmer. It felt good on my face.
No eagle but a good way to start the day.
Yesterday I received a bunch of spring\summer clothing. Remember in retail you always work way ahead of the seasons. All the new jerseys and shorts.

Then throw in my summers Madone is ready to roll. 6.5 Project One with Ultegra Di. I will have both a new set of Easton EC90aeros AND a set of Bontys new D3's. I plan on switching off so look for a comparison on them from me.
And of course I have my summers Superfly 100 elite since last fall. I already rode it a few times. So Im set for demo bikes. Cant wait to ride them. Especially that Madone.

So here it is, late Feb. Warm temps. No snow. No snow in the 10day. Above average temps all 10 days. Do I ditch and go into summer mode? Do I hold out for enough winter to groom the trails yet?
If you add up the warm temps, store getting in summer mode, summer bikes ready to roll it adds up to ditching and calling this winter a bust. Im not sure Im quite there yet but it would not take a lot to push me over the edge.
Tomorrow is the Saturday group ride and Im in. Long Haul Trucker is bike of choice. At some point Im going to hang all the rackage back on the LHT and put it back into tour mode.
Im headed for some time on the spin bike this morn. 
Have a great weekend.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yelling At Myself.

 Today was just one of those nice drives to the HP. Saw the eagle. Took a pic. Drove to the store to hit up a bike ride.
 Today I had planed a ride. Its pretty warm out (near 40 later) and had the Long Haul Trucker ready to go. I picked the LHT over the Pug. I just wanted to lay down some road miles. Its been like forever since I did that. But on the way to the store from the park all motivation was lost. 
And then you end up arguing with yourself. More like yelling.
Whats is wrong with you? You have only one outside ride in like three weeks! Its warmer out. Sun coming out in a bit. And you ditch? Shame. Shame on you! I don't even know you anymore!

And then I feel bad for yelling at myself. I feel sorry for myself. Wait! Theres still time where I  could go... if I hurry, and get back to the store.  That time elapses and Im past the point of no return before the store opens. Huge guilt. How could you let that window of opportunity go? When will you get another chance to ride outside with temps above freezing (everyday the way this winter is going).

So, I punished myself. One hour on the spin bike. I did it for real. First time this winter. Its kinda like getting ready for an outside ride. You struggle with all the prep but once in the saddle you wonder what the struggle was all about. An hour on the spin bike was not as bad as I thought. Greenday blasting in my ears helped a ton. Loud. Very loud. Good music always helps when you ride the devil.

The devil.
I think I could do this again. 
And so spring training starts today.
Bring it on.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DANO's Modern Life!

Its hard to believe that a guy my size was a certified spin instructor. From 2004 until I opened the store in 2009 I did classes from Oct to May. Several a week. I got paid 13 bucks a class to do it. Back in 2008 I did 78 classes that winter. The pic above is the studio from 2008. Im sure its changed now.

I miss doing spin classes. You dont get quite the workout while teaching cuz you gatta talk but still. Over the winter that was quite a few calories burned that I dont burn anymore.

Its kinda weird that I did this because Im basically a shy person in crowds. In fact I avoid large crowds altogether. Thats why I dont spend a lot of time at Interbike. Too many people crammed in. No sir, I don't like it.

But I felt comfortable in front of a spin group. All 250 pounds of me. I would like to think that it was my bigger size that maybe put some at ease as opposed to some skinny tri person trying to rip their legs off. But my forte' was the music. I always matched cadence to the song. That made it a little more fun I think. And I was very good at putting a mix together. And I used everything I had. From Avril Lavigne to GunsNRoses and everything in between.

I hope to start up again someday. I always have toyed with doing something like this in the store but it would be tough to do financially. Maybe someday when Im independently wealthy.

But again, I really miss it.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

These guys thought I didn't see them. 910am
Still a little upset over the snow loss. But getting over it. Nothing one can do about these things but move on. Looking at the 10 day: No snow. That puts us one week into Feb so this entire winter might be a bust. 4 weeks from now the sun is higher in the sky and on average the temps start to rise. Snow comes and melts the next day. Thoughts turn to bikes, dry woods and clear roads.

Speaking of... I have been on a bike once in the last 3 weeks. Its ether been below zero or warm and raining. Once again, I have the spin bike set up right behind me in the office for going on three weeks now and have not touched it. Im experiencing a bit of a weight gain with the lack of movement. And of course the lack of sunlite.

I find it extremely hard to ride a trainer. I know it will do worlds of good for me right now. But I just cant. To me its mentally painful. To the point that it ruins my day. Several years ago I was a spin instructor at a local gym but that was different. It was social. Spinning in a corner of my office is different. Its brutal.
With the warmer temps and sunshine called out this week I will get out. On the pug. And plan on riding the group ride Saturday. 
I will try to throw in one hour on the spin bike.
Wish me luck with that.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Sad.   845am
Depressing. Thats all I have to say.
Saturday spent 5 hours grooming the trails in my Happy Place. Laying down a good base now that we had sufficient snow. The trails were in pretty good condition after that groom. All skiable.

Sunday I grabbed some ski's and got out for the first time this year. Sad to say that on January 22nd. But had a good time. Trails were in good shape.

Woke up around 3am to let the dog (Gizmo) out to pee and saw that it was not just "misting" but downright pouring out. Raining hard.

 The visit this morn to my HP was not so H. Trails are gone. The ones I spent 5 hours on just a day and a half before.  Brown grass and water puddles. I really dont know what to think. Do I ditch winter altogether at this point? Turn my thoughts to warm weather, road bikes and short sleeves?
Im just so frustrated. 


Friday, January 20, 2012

Young Bald. 845am

Nice visit. Immature eagle. Bald eagles do get bald until around 5 years old. Still -2 this morn. We seem to be stuck on that temp for the last 3 days. Its going to get warmer everyday for the next 3 to 4 days. Temps getting above freezing on Monday. Hope not too much above.
Snow coming. Looks like about 3 inches here. And with that I will ditch the group ride in the morning to go groom the ski trails in my HP. I hope to get on some ski's this weekend at some point.

Yesterdays rainbow deal had many people emailing me. And I did some research.
It looked almost exactly like this. Wiki foto.

This was the first time I have ever seen this or even heard if it. But Im pumped to at least get a crappy camera pic of it. It must be very uncommon. I was told its more common at sun down than sun up. Anyway, its something I assume I will never see again.

Today is going to be a busy day in the store. Skiing is getting better and better with each small 2 or 3 inch snow. We seem to be creeping up on good skiing conditions. Better late than never I guess.
The snow is here just in time to put all the ski stuff on sale. Which is whats going to happen next week. As for the weekend, Saturday will be grooming and skiing, Sunday should be a Pug ride.
That sounds like a good weekend to me.
Bring it on.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

815am  Neg 2 for temp.
Today was a good visit to the HP. Its been a few days and it was really cold so I had the place all to myself. Both yesterday and today have been below zero in the morn. That just makes the morning coffee seem all the hotter. And yes, I do walk on the beach wearing shorts in any temp. Wearing shorts every day year round for 10 years ongoing has my legs oblivious to the temp. I dont even feel it anymore. No eagle today.  But there was something this morn.....
Camera pic does not do it justice.
 I wish I had my real camera cuz that is a ice crystal rainbow. There was another side to it on the other side of the sun.  That is not the sun there, the sun is far to the right of the pic. The phone camera does not do it justice. Its was awesome! This was the first time I have ever seen this. Its got something to do with the cold dry air over the lake pulling up moisture. Behind it is blue sky. In fact there was not a cloud in the sky besides those clouds that form on the lake when its cold. You can see the steam rising off the lake. Again, it was a full rainbow with two sides. So you can imagine this guy on the beach, in shorts, running around taking pics with my camera. Almost in a panic. That was me.

The crappy pic to the left kinda shows the rainbow on left, sun on right.

Again, I wish I had my real camera. Could have maybe got both sides in one pic.
Anyway,this is just another reason to fall in love with my happy place. I feel very fortunate to live next to this lake. Its like a friend thats always happy so see me. And I have been visiting its beach's ongoing for about 40 years now ( Im 51). In my early teens I used to walk the mile to the shore with a buddy and camp for the nite. My parents would always leave the door unlocked just in case. My dad had some real cool lightweight camping stuff (light for 1973). That was my first real memory of the lake and me.
Wish I could turn the clock back to that time in my life for many reasons.

Living next to one of the Great Lakes never gets old.
But I think I would trade it for some mountains.......

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Its snowing again!

That means I'll be on the groomer in the morn. I have yet to strap a ski on myself but that will come most likely this weekend.
Also tomorrow comes the yearly thing in the retail world we call "inventory".
Yup, gatta count everything in the store. All part of year end reporting.
That sounds worse than it really is as we have a handheld scanner that costs a million dollars to walk around the store with. Modern technology. I have it.

Not sure what bike Im going to ride ongoing now that the roads are snow covered and salted. I think that takes out the Long Haul Trucker. Need to keep that one nice and will be turning it back into super tour mode. But with a new drive line. Im thinking Sram Apex. I would be going full 105 but I cant stand the 105 shifters. They are just too big for my small hands. I have them on Pinky now but will most likely be selling them off.
While Im glad to finally get snow I cant stop thinking that its going to switch into full riding mode in less than two months. In retail you think way ahead which makes it sometimes hard to enjoy the day when you have to work so far ahead..... 

I try to do so as little as possible.


Monday, January 16, 2012

A strange weekend of sorts. With Fridays snow and grooming the trails were minimal at best but that didn't stop a run of rentals skis at the store. Bout time. Just shows that people were ichin' to get out on it. I still need to.....
Saturdays ride was non existent. Just me and Gene H. We did manage a few miles of icy beach.
I decided to ride Pinky at the last minute since she had the studded tires. But I did not take the time to set the bike up properly for me and I paid for it. Strange seat and bar placement made for a very uncomfortable ride for me. Strange how you ride one bike so much that when you grab another thats not the same how bad you feel on it. And I felt bad. I should have put more thought into the bike switch.

After the ride it was back to the store to help out. Was good to see more people walk in Saturday than all of last week. Im glad the snow is here and this week is maybe a little more... Bring it.
Sunday was the football game. I wont talk a lot about it cuz Im not that upset over it. How could one not see this coming. Even if they did win the Packers would not have gotten much farther with the worst defense in the league. Nuff said.

A spot of snow has been called out for this Tuesday. Hope to be back on the groomer and will try to get the trails in just a little better shape.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Today is the big day. First groomable snow. Im pretty pumped about it!

Was out grooming by 9am. Is not the best snow for skiing but beggars cant be choosers.

Very dry snow had it hard to pack. But it was groomable so now the base is set. We need one more day like yesterday and it going to be perfect.

I only laid one set of tracks and spent the majority of time on the snowmobile making the base as wide as I could. Next time it will be good to go!

Im glad winter is here. The time we can spend on snow is so short in a normal winter let alone a bad one like this year.  I was happy the snowmobile fired right up. The last time it ran was back in November when I prepped it. So game on. As for the bike....

Just not sure of the route for the group ride tomorrow. A ton of guys are going down to the swap meet in Madison to buy stuff they don't need for real cheep. I considered a table but did not have the time to organize. Maybe next year. So the ride tomorrow is the first real cold and snow winter ride. Beach should be ridable. But who knows...bike count will be down.

In any event, have a great weekend.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

This is how I roll. (when we have snow)
I hope to be on this thing in the not so distant future. I groom the trails at my HP every winter. I enjoy it. Its fun. I get to bomb around on a snowmobile.
This has been a bad winter for snowsports. At least since I can remember. But there were many years I didn't keep track. I really have only been skiing for about 5 years at most. I guess before that I would call this a good winter. 

For me skiing is just another way to get in the woods.... Im not very good at it, I don't skate. But I love it. I wish I could do more with it but I don't really put much in it due to the limited time you can do it. Unlike cycling, when I go out I just grab a pair of rental ski's. Sure, I could get a great set of carbon classics but really it would be wasted on me. I don't ski fast. Nor do I try to. Or even want to.
So its January 12th, and the first real snow is pending. It just started.
Please..... keep going.

On another subject I officially turned down the Yellowstone summer job this morning. I was going to wait till the last minute to do so just in case. But thought it would be better not to. So.... kinda bummed.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Almost everyday sighting. 845am
Im feeling better. Last nite I ate for the first time since Sunday. And while I am not even close to 100 percent I can at least function. I cant believe I went to work Monday. I was so out of it I cant remember it. Yesterday was a wash too. Today, I got to take a HP tour so things at least felt back to normal. I still cant believe how sick I was Sunday nite.
I went to the store early today because I knew it was a mess. Bikes and ski's that came in just got thrown in a corner. Quite a mess this morn and Im going to get right on it.
I spent a majority of store time in my office with my head on the desk the last two days.
Back to work.
On the weather front, 4 out of the last 5 days have been over 40 degrees. Several closer to 50. The grass here is still green. Or worse, turning back to green. Alas, winter will return finally as 7 inches of snow is being called out tomorrow and Friday. And looking at the 10 day shows no temps above the freezing mark. Thats good news.

As I always say... bring it!
But this time I will say please......


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Down and Out

Sunday I had a great Pug ride with Steve D and Brian W. All beach for two and a half hours. No sign of the eagle from the day before.
After I returned I just hit the couch and watched some football.
Apparently, I caught some kind of stomach virus as I then proceeded to puke every hour and a half for the next 12 hours. Im not sure if this is strange or not.... but I haven't puked in well over 20 years. For real.
I guess I just made up for time lost. That was all Sunday nite. Not being very smart I went to the store Monday. And was there by myself. I knew I was not going to make it all day and only closed an hour early, went home and collapsed in bed, not to get up until 10am today. 
Today I feel a little better, but still cannot eat. I always wanted to lose weight, right?
Another long day here in the store.
Will post when things get back to normal.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

He was not happy with me at this time....
Saturday's group ride was highlighted by this guy. 
We rolled out in the morning not even expecting to ride the beach as it was about 35 degrees at ride time. But as I mentioned before you cant predict the beach. Its got more to do with than just the air temp. Moisture in the sand plays a big part. Anyway, the beach was hard as a rock and we had no problem pelotoning at 15+ mph.
Until we came upon this dude.
Sat in a tree and waited for us to leave.

I got unbelievably close to him, not wanting to give up the good meal. Which was a fresh Northern Pike. Just a few moments sooner and we could have watched him pull it out of the lake.
This is the best sighting I have ever had in my HP (actually about 5 miles south of my HP).

Today I should be going to the Cross Nats just 100 or so miles away today and I just dont feel up to it. Im still a bit bummed or maybe the term is shaken up, about the Yellowstone thing. If there's one thing I learned in my life its that opportunity does not knock twice.
This event will consume me for for awhile.

Im getting ready for a Pug ride today. Just a few hours. The sun is out so that should cheer me up.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Yellowstone called.....

Two pretty awesome things to talk about today. First...
Had a  very nice Pug ride over to HP this morn. 45 degrees at 9am. Of course I over dressed.
But it was a good two hours of road, beach, woods and other..... No eagle today.

Second, I got a phone call yesterday that one would not expect.
Back in 2008 I applied for a summer job in Yellowstone Park. I didnt get it but every winter they send me a email to update my resume with them. I did so about a week ago.
Yesterday they called and asked me if I would be interested in managing their bike rental shops thru out the park. From May 15th into September. What an opportunity!

While I have not said no yet there is no way I can. What would I do with the store? And no way could I pay my bills on that wage all summer. Its just not feasible....

I would have to lease the store to someone else...at least for the summer. Which is the busiest time of the year. At minimum, hire a manager that will work for profit sharing only.....
 I would have to take an extension and not pay my mortgage this summer...
Most likely run up a credit card.....

Its about 10 bucks an hour. 40 hour weeks. Room and board in the park would be cheap. About 250 per month. And lots of perks. And just about the best backyard one could ask for.

Im trying not to think about it a lot. This is going to be one of those "life" things that one will regret not doing. 
I know I cant do this, and its not any one's fault that I cant. But I will always wonder "what if". Right down to my last thoughts of my life.

Again, I have not said no, and have time before I officially turn them down. Which I will do.
But man...... think about it. What an awesome summer that would be!
Im not going to sleep well for awhile..... 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

file foto
Its crazy warm out. Sun blazing. Its amazing how cold the air can be and yet out in the sun it could be tshirt weather. Feels like that this morn at the HP.
Right now all the buzz is Cross Nationals in Madison this week. I can remember being amazed at the thought of a race in Madtown the first week of January. Crazy.
Right now, now so crazy. Today and tomorrow will be in the 40's for temps. With the ground freezing every nite will make it just about as close to Belgium as you can get in the States. Mud.

I pictured wearing a snomobile suit to spectate. But I will most likley be wearing shorts.
In a crazy, last ditch attemp to facilitate the arrival of winter I put the stud's on Pinky yesterday.      Maybe winter will take a hint and acually show its face.
Just looked at the 10 day forecast.
No snow.
Today I get some help here at the store at 3pm and will not hesitate to grab the Long Haul Trucker for about a 20 mile spin. Tomorrow, it will be Pug in the morn before the store opens.
Warm temps. Take advantage.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

945am (vintage)
 Happy Place visit: check. Bald Eagle sighting: check. Take today's pic: check.

Every winter, at some point, I think of going somewhere warm to ride a few days. I know a lot of people who do. Just a long 4 day weekend. Someday I hope I can do that. I "fake" plan a trip just to see what it feels like. Really, the only time I get out of town is Vegas for Interbike in Sept. I think Interbike should be in February. That would be nicer for riding. 
Yes. I know I should not have these.
Above is mementos from my two favorite canyons for riding. Only problem is that I never turned a wheel in any of them. Either walked or drove. And both are basically accessible from Vegas. At Interbike.
I had toyed with the idea of going to San Luis Obispo this winter. That was short in thought. Money was a factor. 
I did come close once.
I actually had tickets to fly to Cali to watch some of the TOC a few years back. It was still in Feb then. Personal issues had me give those tics up at the last minute.

And the winter we are now having also makes me reconsider. Next few days back in the 40's. That means that I only have to drive 8 hours south to get the 50's (or more).

Or not have to leave at all. The riding is good here in Wisco. Come on up and join us!

Pray for snow instead.........


Monday, January 2, 2012

915am Strange effect from phone camera. Its called "Vintage".
 Nice HP visit this morn. Huge ship on the lake and caught a brief glimpse of one of the eagles. Even tho it was a quarter mile away. Good way to start the day. 8 degrees this morn. I was alone.

Am thinking how lucky the Cross Nats are going to be in Madison.  Temps in the 30's all week. Maybe 40. Things could have been a lot worse and todays frigid temps are testament to that.

Like I mentioned prior. I dont have a new years resolution. But I am doing something different. Trying a different approach to weight loss and it may sound resolution-ish,but its not. I did wait till after the holidays to start tho.
Ive tried to lose weight many times but really, the attempts were weak at best. "Just eating less" does not cut it. Just keeping track of what I eat does not help me in the slightest. My problem is more mental than anything. I eat when Im stressed. I eat when Im depressed. I eat when Im angry. I eat when Im bored.

I need to learn to eat only when I need to. Which brings me to my poor eating on the bike. I dont eat before a ride. Im not stressed, depressed or angry. So I dont eat anything. Thats a recipe for disaster.Then, I blow up nuclear on the bike, get dropped, get depressed and stressed and go home and eat the rest of the day.

Ive been a big guy my entire life. So to weigh less is a huge difference that my body fights tooth and nail. I used to post a lot about my weight, even had a blog specifically for it. Its a life struggle that most cyclists do not have to mess with. Im not talking the "I gatta lose five pounds before nationals" deal. This is more like "I gatta lose 40 pounds to continue riding" stuff.
The group I ride with is almost all skinny. Several cat one's. Several who could be cat one's. Several retired cat one's.
Right behind my desk. Bring it on.
My problem has nothing to do with exorcise. Im probably the fittest fat guy you will ever meet. Heart rate levels and intensity are good. Its just I gatta carry a bigger load. I now have a spin bike 3 feet from my desk at the store. An hour a day.
So I hope for my sake this new approach works.
Bring it on.


Back To Work.

Since Im the only one working the store these days Im trying to not get here too early since we first open at 11am. Getting here early means a long day until 7pm.
So I try to goof off a little more than usual in the morning.

While the store is slow.... Im now busy with the books of 2011.
Doing the accounting myself saves a ton of money but its way boring to do. I'll have about 30 hours of work to close 2011. Produce all the reports. Make changes for 2012.
I had some help today. Granddaughter is not only testing PI gloves and Bontrager helmet, but also reconciling last months checkbook.
And it all starts today. And its not like I dont have the time. Lack of snow has all the skiing still on hold. With no white stuff in the 10 day forecast. Bummer.
I guess that will make all the account stuff get done all the faster.
I better get to it. Can you tell how exited I am to get at it?