Thursday, May 31, 2012


Another cold morning. Another cold HP visit. One of the issues with living next to the lake is the lack of temp. The cool body of water keep us in a fridge for well into June. At some point in the day the wind shifts to the west, off the lake and the temps plummet over 10 degrees. The wind usually shifts when the sun is at the highest around noon. It could be 60 here at noon, and I'll take my nooner ride only to return with temps in the high 40's. Happens everyday here and I'll never get used to it. You either dress in layers that you will need to take off in 30 minutes or just freeze for the first and last 30 minutes of a ride. I usually take the later.

I got the Accent lettered up yesterday. Im really happy with the car.  The loss of size just makes me pack stuff better and the stores checkbook is loving the fuel mileage. I get almost 40 on the hiway, 35 in the city. I'll get in the high 30's with two bikes on the roof. Nice for travelling to the races.

I never got out yesterday, the blast of cold air just turned me off and I stayed and got some work done. Today I plan on the first ride on the Surly Moonlander. I rode it around the block last nite and it sure is different than the Pug. Tires and wheels make the Pug now look small. Its going to be a long 6 mile road ride to the beach with this one. I could hold 15mph on the road with the Pug. No way on this beast.
Looking forward to a little beach time.
I know I said that yesterday but today Im doing it for real.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coffee and a strawberry muffin.

While I will always defend my HP visits everyday, I would have to admit that some days I get kinda bored of the same routine. But only on colder, cloudier mornings like today. 
When I talk to some about losing weight, its been brought up that I should start a food log. Just write down all my intake. Thats a good idea for sure cuz if you dont pay attention you eat way more than you think.
I do that.
My blog here is kinda the equivalent of that. I never realize how so very routine my life is until I read my one blog and it seems to read the same everyday. First HP, the store, then bike ride or complain about lack of, then maybe some other crap.

I almost never read my blog. And really, dont read a lot of others. Some, maybe if Im bored at the store at the time. I really dont write this for others but more for me. Its more like a diary that I cant say too much in. I learned early on that their are many thoughts you just dont publicly post. Of course.

So just this morn I was scrolling back on my blog and realized that I need to add something. Change something up. Ive been working too much. I need to throw a curve ball now and then. While I do consider myself lucky to be able to do what I do, I wish that I could sometimes do it differently.
Do the same things but do them another way.
Im kinda bummed that Im not racing MTB yet but the reasons for not being able to are valid. And there's plenty of summer left. And it seems most of my racing might happen in the fall anyway with this and this.
So by no means am I panicking or complaining. Its more like biding my time. Lose a few more pounds, get some more rides in. Then, later, its game on.
As far as mixing it up.... Im ditching the Domane for the Pug today and will throw down a nooner beach ride. I'll throw a pic on Facebook when I get there.  Hows that for different.
Thats what Im talking about.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


1230pm Saturday

Always a busy day at the biker store a day after a holiday so I cut the HP visit pretty short. Just a lot to do today.
This weekends riding was pretty good with about 6 hours in the seat. Saturday morn was a washout then worked the rest of the day. However got out for two 3 hour rides both Sunday and Monday. Both rides on the Domane as pretty good sized storms were rolling thru on and off both days. So I did not hit the woods. Its windy today so maybe will hit some single track for lunch. Its been too long since I did so.
As I put in more saddle time again this weekend I am starting to feel better once more. All I need is to drop some weight, and not a ton of weight, just some, and I will be back in the ballgame. I hope to do that soon.

On Monday, the parade marched past the store. I watched for a little while. Then rode my bike. The weather was a bit windy on Monday. But we had 7 of us to work the pace line. Was not that bad.
Better get to work if a wanna ride in a couple hours.....


Friday, May 25, 2012


How fast thing turn.
Yesterdays ride did not happen. No real reason, just got busy. So I threw the Superfly on the roof of the car and planned on a quick ride in the woods this morn. Last nites rain made me cancel that. Today Im the store alone most of the day so no ride today either. So as fast as I get in some great rides a gap shows its ugly head. No biggie
 I will get in a ride tomorrow morn but I have to work all day so its going to be a shorter one. But as far as ride time go's I think Im in good shape this weekend. Bring it.

Another blow was finding out that my daughters high school grad ceremony is a week from Sunday, the day I planed to hit up my first race this summer. So that's out. In fact, looking at my schedule, seems I have a few weddings and such to go to and they all fall on MTB race weekends. My first race then, if I choose to do it, will be late July. Thats nuts.

So Im kinda screwed for bike racing for a while. 
I pull out the track bike. Its been two years since I did so. I have kinda another new one that I have yet to even ride. But will consider it after some practice of course.

Track racing isn't something you just show up and do. You really need to know whats going on or you could hurt somebody. This might be my only option until August. Need to lose a few more pounds tho, unlike MTB racing, then you getting your ass kicked on a velodrome there's no where to hide. But its a option as its Tuesday nites and not on the weekend.

Another Friday tidbit is the arrival of my Moonlander. My second fat tire bike. Now I have fat and fatter.
Im considering putting the Pugsly in the rental fleet. Soon I will be attaching all kinds of carbon stuff on the ML.

Among all my rides this holiday weekend I hope to put in a pretty good MTB ride. At some far away exotic land.
Would like that.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Bonty D3. 25c tires. Thats how I roll. Smooth.
You ever have one of those mornings when you wake up and just can't wait to ride? For me that is today. No spesific reason. Just really want to. Maybe its because I have the new Bonty D3's mounted up on the Domane. But its way more than that. Suns out again. Its been like 5 days in a row now. Every day I get a little more pumped.

Todays HP visit was short. I was there, but never got out of the car. Drive thru only.

I think the reason Im (more) pumped to ride is that Im starting to feel better on the bike with each ride. I guess Im training, kinda.
For me, training is riding as much as I can, fast and slow, and limiting my food intake considerably. It hard for me to get motivated to do so.... until I start seeing results. Then its game on.
So... I wanna ride cuz I feel it improving. Weight going down.

For me, training is easy to plan, harder to do. Mentally, it hard to push myself into pain when alone. That's why group rides are so good for me. I have no choice but to chase hard. And I use the group rides to gauge my progress. And to hone my tactics. I planned on doing our local Wednesday Nite Worlds tonite but have a bike fitting at 6pm. Damn.
But once I start losing weight my ambition increases and I ride harder alone. And it hurts a ton. My training is way different than most. I train to lose weight. That means riding on a empty stomach. So not only do my legs get a workout, I feel like crap doing it. It hurts. I ride in the morning before I eat anything. Only coffee.
Now all you trainers out there, calm down, Im not starving myself. Just riding with a constant calorie deficit. And that's a fine line. A fine line that I have struggled with for a decade. 
Take in too many calories and you feel great on the bike, but negate some of the weight loss.
Take in too little and you hurting on the bike. And some time after. There were some rides I dont even remember how I got back.
Really, I train for weight loss only. Bike fitness just will come along with it without giving it any thought. Most athletes train for fitness. They also deal with the calorie issue but its opposite of what I have to do. I would hate to have to stick to training plan.
Ride cuz you have to. It does not  sound hard but when its cold and raining you still have to do it. Also, having a rest day on a day like today would be also tough for me to do. I'm glad I don't follow a plan. I sure if I did I would get fitter. But really, for me, weight loss has way more impact on my performance than fitness. 

So its game on. Gonna jump in the saddle as soon as help gets to the store this morn. Two hours. I will ride on a empty stomach and I will do a few intervals. And it will hurt. And I will lose a little more weight.
Rinse and repeat.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I cant help talking bout all these glorious mornings. Ton of sun. Warm temps. I know this all seems like one day running into another but I don't care. Every morning that I hit my HP I see something new. Or newer. Or just out of the ordinary. I think most people would not. I think most people just don't know where to look, or how to look. Being able to look correctly a gift I think we are born with.


Like these lilacs. These things are all over the park but you don't notice them but for a few weeks per year. And since most people don't see them, don't look for them or just don't notice them. They weren't there last week so wont notice them this week. So next time just don't look.... really look.
You would be surprised as to what you find right under your nose.

As I mentioned before I'm going to try and race in a few weeks. So I'm kinda trying to lay out some saddle time. The weather could not be cooperating any more than it is. Warm temps and sun (burn) for the 10 day out look.
Its game on and I'm doing it for real.
Today and tomorrow is road miles.
Thursday I'm in the woods.
I'm not sure about after Thursday cuz I'm incapable of planning my life more than 3 day ahead. But I'm sure I will think of something.

For all you carbon wheel haters, I'm getting my second set of Bonty D3's today and they will go on the Domane before the UPS truck pulls out of the ally. Today is my last ride on the Easton EC90's as they are going to a good home as soon as I yank them off the road bike.
The Eastons are awesome wheels and I will use them again someday on my road bike. But I want more time on the fat wheels to confirm my first impression. However, my Easton MTB wheels are so good they are not coming off the Superfly for nuthin'. Not no way not no how.
But you can have them in October.

Its ride time. Im out.


Monday, May 21, 2012


815am. Jet pilot having a fun morning?
845 Morning view.
Nice weekend. Great weather. Almost 100 miles on the Domane. But first another seller Monday morn in the HP. Today's visit included a crazy X in the sky. Not sure if this was man made or not but I would like to think it was some jacked up pilot having a good time.

The weekend riding was good. Saturday had me rolling out with the group and I played my cards as best I could. But in the end it was the inclines that did me in. I fell off about 17 miles in and just as the group was going to disappear out of sight someone flatted. And I rolled back in. In fact, I knew there was a hilly section coming up so I continued on and went up those hills slowly and easy. I cleared that tough section solo and it was only a few minutes after the group rolled up. That kept me in the game almost all the way till breakfast. The group shattered once more during a 30mph run and I was off the back again but this time I was not alone and they waited up after a while.
After we ate it was game on and I was once again spit off the back but with less than 10 miles to go there is no more waiting and I rolled into the lot about 5 or so minutes behind.
While I struggled, I need to do these rides more to get faster. And hope to do so. I was absolutely devastated for the rest of the day. Limping after about 50 very hard miles.
After the ride I took the Domane home and so I did not need to hit the store to ride. That was nice and took advantage and got back on the bike Sunday. I was still a bit stiff from the "race" the day before but after a bit felt better as the ride continued. I had a great 35+ solo miles ride. I felt good so I jumped on a hill to open up a little and for sure had nothing. So I backed off and had a great soft peddle ride.
Got my first sunburn. One that hurt when I hit the sheets. So there go's trying to avoid the bike tan. I guess that was inevitable. 
Im pegging my first race in Wausau in two weeks. Shooting to have two great weeks in riding since the weather is great. I guess I should start riding the Superfly more. At least in the next few weeks.

Looking forward. Here's to a good summer..


Friday, May 18, 2012



By rights I should have taken a bike ride with a morning like this. But I do have a pretty good riding weekend on tap so I opted for an extended stay in my HP this morn. Its almost as good as a bike ride.

I spent almost an hour here with stops at several fav spots. And coffee.

Fridays have been busy at the shop so I get here early. Mostly bikes to tune up and get out by the weekend. And its a race weekend too. Which I will not be going. Still not 100% health wise yet. Lingering congestion. I hear of so many people with the same thing. I can ride fine, just would not race yet. In the past I have always done well at this weeks race and always enjoyed making a weekend of it. Next year.

Here is a nice mix of tour bikes in the store. Not all mine. And not really a mix. Three Truckers and a Waterford. Last year it was cross bikes. This year tour bikes.
Since I mentioned cross, I still do not have one. Still waiting to see what Trek does with discs, if anything. I'm a little gun shy due to the way they released the Domane. I would love to be riding a new Cronus but dont want to see the disc version come out a week after I get mine. Cross bikes are so hard to order due to the season really starting in late Sept, and the new bike year turns over in Aug.
So I will wait. I really doubt if Trek will do some crazy thing with cross bikes because they still tale a back seat to the Madone\Domane\TopFuel.

So I better get to work. Plus I have to cut my grass today if I want to ride more tomorrow. Hope you all get out and ride this weekend.
Good luck to those racing.
And to those who are not I guess.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Disc Trucker. 945am

Got in about 3 hours on the disc trucker in the last two days. The Brooks saddle sits just fine. Many have told me about the long break in process these saddles have. I have no experience with Brooks until now. I can say that after a two hour ride today it felt fine. Good even.
I think I can spend seven or so hours on it right out of the box.

I love riding the Trucker. Smooth. And really, I can ride fast enough for a bike that weighs 37 pounds and has 26in wheels.
After three hours of peddle time I will go thru it one more time with a wrench and call it good to go.
Then, I will have to find a weekend (or a few days anytime) where I can do a small tour. Camp out.
Then, my plan for circling Lake Michigan in August is still on. But there's a lot of time between then and now to change things. Either way I will use this bike several times this year. Not just ride it, but use it for what its meant to do.
And that is to carry my ass with about 70 pounds of stuff to where ever I wanna ride to.

Will be doing it for real.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Another great start to the day. Its sunny but almost 40 degrees colder than yesterday. But still going to hit somewhere in the 60's so its all good.
Over an hour in the HP this morn.

Lets talk about the comments on this blog. Seems I have some people who religiously read this blog that do not like me. That's OK.

Mean guy has chimed in a few times. I now moderate my comments due to that. However, I have no problem posting a comment if you disagree with me. I do not post comments that are just a personal attack with no merit.
Mean guy calls me out on some stuff. And sometimes I need calling out. I don't mind if he complains about my whining and would have no problem posting it if there is no swearing.
Here is an example of a attack with no merit. This came this morning on yesterdays post. From some guy with the name Anonymous: "The only thing I hate more then carbon wheels is hearing a roadie with no skills cry about screwing them up on some great trail!! .

This could coming from a guy (or gal) who is just out for some fun but I bet its from someone who does not have a clue as to who I am. If you are going to blast me for something do it for real stuff. Like mean guy. So let me break this down.
  • Nobody "hates" carbon wheels. Hate is a strong word. Unless you immediate family perished in a carbon wheel factory explosion I bet you actually like carbon wheels. If you hate plastic wheels, why would you care if I screwed them up?
  • Me a roadie? Dude, I have way more time on a MTB that a road bike. I am currently the president of our local MTB club and have directed many a MTB race. I do 5 or 6 MTB races myself. I have not done a road race since 2007. Your way off.
  • No skills? See next bullet.
  • I screwed up my carbon wheels? Nope. They are as true as an arrow and going strong. In fact I have been blasting those rocks for years on carbon and have never had to put a spoke wrench to any of them. Not once. And being a 250 pound rider. That's not by accident. Im picking the best lines and ride my bike like a rider 100 pounds lighter.(just not on the climbs). Im not the best rider my any means. Im just sayin' I have a lot of time in the woods.
And I'll stand by my comment that there are way too many rocks out in Greenbush. That's my opinion. Feel free to disagree. Just dont call me a roadie when doing it. You lose all cred.

Feel free to dis me, but if you do please put some thought into it and make it valid.
I usually don't make a big deal of stuff like this but I need something different to write about now and then. Plus its kinda fun.

Im taking mean guys advise and getting out for 2 hours around noon. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

945am Checking weight limits.
Another warm and sunny morn. Today was one of many upcoming morning trips to the HP via bike. Tunes rockin' in my ears. Only thing missing was my morning coffee and thats waiting for me at the store when I get back. ride time over two hours, gone almost three. Great way to start the day.

When summertime hits this part of Wisco it is awesome. I would not want to be anywhere else. The country roads here are great and I can get to them in 20 minutes. Or less depending on how I feel. Today I was still not 100% but sure as hell good enuf to get out on the sun. What a difference in riding  between getting pummeled by rocks on Sunday to smooth road riding on the Domane. Love that bike. Its kinda funny how I used to be 70/30 on the MTB side and now Im the same split but on the road side. I say that now. After a couple MTB races I might just flip that scenario. Maybe I could just call it 50/50 and be done.
But really, my favorite bike(s) is the one(s) Im riding that day.

Had another smart ass comment from mean guy yesterday. Had a few of late but they have been pretty weak. Too weak to publish. He needs to pick his game up if he want this stuff public (and no swearing) for all to see.
For mean guy. Stop in and maybe I will let you touch one of them.
Since he made fun of my plastic wheels this pic is for him. I forgot to include my MTB wheels in this pic. Including those wheels, I have about $13k (retail) in carbon wheels here. But they are not all mine. So calm down. But I am getting another set of Bonty D3's in a few weeks. So dont calm down too much.

So game on in the weather dept. I hope to ride everyday. I hope you do to. I just love the feeling of the beginning of summer. Hopes and dreams are high. So much to do, so little time.
Its go time!
Im already gone.


Monday, May 14, 2012



Another awesome warm morning. As I sit and watch the lake I get mesmerized by the light twinkling off the water. I could stare at it for hours. Its hypnotizing to me. And still the bestest way to start a day (along with coffee of course).

I am still not up to 100% or "full gas" as Fabian says. My issues last week that kept me off the bike now just went into my chest. But I did attend several rides this weekend.

Not sure what the hell I was doing with these fast guys.

Sunday had me in Greenbush, riding the Northern Kettles trails. I knew the guys would be faster, being a slower guy and throwing being under the weather to boot but I did get to hang on for about 45 minutes before I told them to go. I gatta say, I am no longer a fan of these trails. And that may sound a bit sacrilegious but its true. Im glad I have these trails about 15 miles from my house and its not like Im never going to ride them. But its just too many rocks. Rocks everywhere. I understand rocks are part of MTBing but after about 45 minutes of nothing but rocks it gets old. And being a heavier guy I struggle after a while. Im hanging on to the bars so hard I get arm pump. While the trails do flow once in a while, its mostly dancing over rocks, wheels sliding off to the left and right. Sometimes both wheels at the same time. You need to be on your toes at all times. I cant believe I dont screw up my carbon wheels out here.
I cant imagine doing a 12 hour race there as some did just a day earlier. I struggled with just one lap. Let alone 10. That was my MTBing for the weekend.
Saturday had me rolling with the road group. I had to work at the store so I could not do the entire ride but maybe the first hour or so. I did not last that long. I miscalculated. As I mentioned a million times before, I gatta treat the social rides like races. Tactics come into play all the time and this ride was a good example of that. As we rolled north we were into a direct headwind. The kind were a little off to the left or right of the wheel in front of you was no good. Directly behind. I was tucked into the top 20% of the peloton and was riding comfortably. After several miles the next turn was a left, or west. Rolling up to the turn I was day dreaming and was rolling on the right side of the group. So once we turned left, has a direct sidewind from the right and I was stuck on the right side of what was now a echelon. I had no way to get out of the wind, slipped back to try and work the left side and fell off the back, not to return. Had I positioned myself on the left side of the group before we got to the turn I would have been fine. One small mistake and its curtains for me.
I always thought I was kinda a good tactician when it came to cycling. And thats because I lived it everyday for the last 10 years. The stronger riders never had to worry about being out of place now and then cuz they could just drag themselves right back in. I needed to pay more attention cuz I could not. And missing out Saturday was due to a rookie mistake. Not a big deal cuz I had to flippit and head back anyway so my heart was not in a chase. Who knows, under normal (not being sick) circumstances I maybe could have bridged.
So that was my weekend. Hope Im up to full gas by next weekend. I'll call it early and say Im not going to the WORS race. Just does not make sense to plan when Im down a bit. The weather is summerlike and I hope to ride, but it will be a bit of soft peddle until I feel closer to 100%.  And thats fine by me as long as I get outside.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Its a better day.

Today's post will be quite a bit more positive than the last few.  An absolutely beautiful day. Warm and sun. Spent 45 min in my Happy Place sipping coffee and watching the seagulls nosedive into the lake. It was very entertaining.

What a way to start the day. Can you tell Im feeling  better?
Yesterday I did get a 17 mile ride in. Was no where close to 100 percent but had a good soft peddle with a blistering average of 13mph. On the Domane.

This morning, while I think Im producing enough snot to fill a 5 gallon bucket per day, am feeling much better. I have some help scheduled in today so Im able to hit another ride some time around noon. Cant wait.

The 5 day weather forecast is awesome. Sun and warm. And I for sure will be taking advantage of that. I be on Saturdays group ride but I gatta flippit and get back to the store by 10am. Then might just run out to this race and watch the finish. Then I have a wedding to attend Sat nite.  And I have big plans in my head for Sunday. Plans that finally include the MTB. 

The Sickness had me down for almost a week and Im going to do my best to make up.

That sounds like fun. Have a great weekend.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Again another day with high potential for riding and Im still down for the count. Sun and warm temps already at 8am. I have not been on a bike since Saturday, and only twice in the last 14 days.

All momentum is lost.

One month ago I was up to 14 hours per week and two rides over 3 hours per week. You just feel better on the bike with each ride.

Throw in a busy work week, along with a washed out weekend backed up with getting sick and you lose all momentum pretty quickly. At least I do. Today as I sit here, Im still running a small fever and feel like my head weighs 50 pounds. Im going to try a small ride this aft. But really all I can hope for is to ride by the weekend. And hope to be able to ride well enough to start the process over again.
I may complain about it now but I might be pleasantly surprised to see how fast I regain where I left off.
At least its nice to think so....

One would think by the way I talk I ride for a living. I kinda do. But I don't need to ride fast for a living. Well, kinda fast if I want to keep up with the group.
A week from this Saturday there is a special longer Saturday group ride that they do a few times a year. Its close to 90 miles. And I have never attended. The most I have done this spring is 60 something twice and I was pretty sure I was on par to tackle 90. Now Im not so sure. I guess I'll make another last minute call based on what happens between now and May26th.

As far as store stuff go's, I used this time off the bike to do an office makeover. Just kinda rearranged the furniture so to speak. I now have both computers on one desk so I can multi task better. So now thats done I was considering cutting my grass at home.
I'll think about it.... at least I will be out in the fresh air.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

845am Coffee and muffin.

What a awesome morning in the HP. Warm and sunny. Usually my thoughts would be planning my ride but that will not happen today. Felt kinda crappy Sunday nite and when I woke up Monday I had a full blown flu\cold thing going on. This morn I am 102 for temp and have been pounding Ibuprofen to function. Was in bed 12 hours last nite.
So I did get out this morn to at least take in a little sun and fresh air.
I will have to lay low a few days. If history serves I will be down until at least Thursday.
Its kinda tough mentally with the nice weather the next few days.
Kinda a bummer.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Rain. Priority's.

file foto. 2008 Lots o' rain
Can it get any wetter?
When it rains on and off for 4 days (and counting) I need to prioritize my time. 

Here's how it go's:
First comes work
Second comes sleep (yup)
Third comes family
Forth comes riding.
Fifth comes most other things. Cutting the grass is about 14th. Sometimes I can integrate the forth into the first.  And do that quite often.
You can always tell when my schedule get tight as the blog suffers. Missing a day or two is no big deal but feels weird since I do it almost every day. But... something has to go if I want to retain my ride time.
On Saturday I got in almost 3 hours between the rain drops. On the Domane. Its funny how when I started riding it I felt the dampening. Now, Im used to it and don't feel it anymore. Kinda got used to it after 200 miles. 

I had the Superfly prepped to do the MTB race Sunday and pulled the plug only at the last minute. Glad I did. I would have never put a demo bike thru that mud. I saw pictures of drivelines that made me cringe. Why someone would put their $2k driveline thru that I don't know. This is the first time in a few years I have missed the opener but was happy to save the equipment to ride another day.. There's plenty of summer to go. 

I would assume that the MTB trails are washed out for awhile. My time on a MTB has been less in April than March. Its been awhile since. And that's OK for now as my focus on the MTB will be later summer and fall. Right now, Im just happy to grab a couple hours now and then.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

First Rides

Disc Trucker for the long haul.
In the past Ive complained about always riding a bike that's not mine. I get a demo bike to ride but its really a rental. I have to get rid of it in time. I guess I don't have to but the next latest and greatest is always right around the corner. So as a store owner the bike rotation continues. From Madone to Domane. And now from Long Haul Trucker to Disc Trucker.

Several years ago I dreamed about such a situation. All the bikes you can ride and more.  But deep down I sometimes do not like it. I never get to ride a bike that I call my own. I cant do all the little knick knack things people do to their own bikes. I even leave on all those pesky warning stickers all over the bike. I miss the feeling of ownership. Really, Pinky (my old cross bike) is the only bike that is mine and mine alone. I rode it a few times a couple weeks ago but now its in the basement is some state of disassemble.
So yeah, I ride bikes that cost 10k, but I have to give them back. Im not complaining, just sayin' its not the same as owning it.

So another first ride today. This time on my new Disc Trucker. That's right, its mine. I own it. Its not for sale. I can get you one just like it, but just not this one. Full Sram Apex. 26in disc wheels carry the load. Every piece is new. First ride went great. I am in love with the smooth ride this bike produces. Carbon over steel. It rides like a Cadillac. Only change is going to be a Brooks saddle. And did I mention its mine?

Last years bike. Non disc and for sale.
I put together a Long Haul Trucker last year but opted for this years disc brakes and for me, was a worthy upgrade. Add 70 pound of stuff to the bike plus with me being a bigger guy had me bombing down the big hills with my eyes wide open and rim pads just a smokin'. Stopping or even slowing was a major project doing that. Not anymore. On a touring bike discs are the only way to go.
I am currently planning several trips. My big trip is around Lake Michigan. Spending time circling my ol' wet friend sounds like a good time to me. But that one is iffy as Im not sure how much time I will have. Its easy enough to plan. Its been done a million times as routes are well documented. But I have a few smaller trips in my pocket if this does not plan out.
I love touring. Its fun, laid back and exciting at the same time. Push off in the morning not knowing where you will be sleeping that nite is cool.  I'm looking forward to it.

And the salesmen in me would not let me close this post without saying that I'll sell last years bike for $450.00 less racks. 56cm. That's less than the cost of the frame alone.

It just seems that I have the most fun on cheaper (less expensive) bikes.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mr. Michigan

1980..... and  now they complain about bikes on the beach?

As I sat and had my coffee this morn, staring out on to the lake, in my HP I thought about how I could do this almost everyday of my life. Most days twice.
I've always lived within a mile of this thing and came to visit it since I was allowed beyond my yard. Maybe a bit sooner......

In the pic Im 20 years old. My family owned quite a bit of property that reached the shoreline. As a early teen I would grab all my dad's expensive backpacking gear and spend the nite on the beach. He was not too exited about that but let me do it anyway. He understood. Falling asleep with the waves was near religious to me.

Living a full mile from the sandy beach was actually cool. It was nothing but woods and a little farmland in between and it was not long before I had a set path thru the woods to get there. Getting there was half the fun. Crossing a creek twice. Fun stuff for a 13 year old. I guess that stretch of land was my HP then, and maybe its why I have a HP today.

I think everyone needs a Happy Place.

As I got older I started to bring friends down there. That's another story but a very good time in my life. Then I got older, married, kids, etc. That limited my time there and that's where ATV's came in. First 3 wheelers as in the foto, the 4 wheelers.

With these machines I now could get to my then happy place in 5 minutes. And opened up another chapter.
Now, while working on the family farm I could zip down on my lunch. Hang for a while before I got back to work. As in today, most of the time it was twice a day. Near the end, I took my kids down there on the 4 wheeler. That continued another 10 or so years until about 1998, until the old clan of my family past, and slowly the land was sold and now gone. I still to this day live on the same plot of land that is a mile from the beach. But today, I cant use it to get to the beach.

Today, my happy place is still next to Mr. Michigan, just about 12 miles south. I still reach it twice almost every day both by bike and car.

And as I have my coffee, I stare out across the water exactly the same way I did 35 years ago.
And here's to many years more.....
Things in my life come and go but Mr. Michigan will always be there. And I will always stay by his side until the end.