Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A pretty steller morn. Sun is out. Huge lightning last nite. I think they call it "heat lightning" and Im not sure why. We always heard that phrase growing up. Its something you say to little kids that are scared. No worries, it just heat lightning.


This is my riding stuff bag. It goes everywhere I go. Always at the store or in the car. I need to be prepared to ride at anytime of day. I put more thought in this bag than most issues in my life. It is orginized and near perfect. 

In this bag every Monday morn is...
  • 4 complete kits
  • 2 pairs of  gloves (long and short finger)
  • Armwarmers
  • 6 headsweats
  • 4 pairs of socks
  • 2 towels
  • 1 tube of DZ Nuts
  • 2 waterbottles
  • 2 sandwich baggies for cell phone
  • Garmin (full charged)
  • Sunscreen
  • iPod (full charged)
  • Assortment of Honey Stinger bars and chews
  • Small tub of Cytomax (citrus)
Every Sunday nite I go thru, make sure all the proper garments are washed and packed. I take invintory to make sure I have at least a weeks worth of stuff. If 4 kits are not enough I do have a couple old backups at the store just in case Im having a good week.
A really good week has me restocking on Thursday.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Another pretty good riding weekend in the books. Saturday had me rolling with the group ride at least until I had to "flippit" and get back to the store for work.

While the saddle time was good this weekend, I made up for an almost perfect summer. Up until Friday I was pitching a no hitter this summer in regards to flats. I had none.

Actually it was during a two hour ride Thursday my rear tire went down. First time. And it was no biggie as I was just 15 minute from home so one CO2 filled it and I made it back no prob. While I did lose air I did not count that as I did not have to change the tube on the street. In fact, I did not change it till Friday. And when I did I had a gunshot explosion. Another tube in the garbage. Good thing I dont pay retail.  And noticed I had a huge cut on the tire that I could not really see unless it was aired up. Bummer. Tire in the garbage. 
So I looked around the store for a replacement but since I was running a 25c I did not have one in my personal bike stuff pile. So I did something I almost never do.
I walked out on the floor and grabbed a set of Conti 4000s's. I never grab stuff off the floor for myself. If I like something I might order it later but never off the floor.
But I had a lot of time in the saddle planned this weekend, and I can replace them later so I did it. I prefer 25's but these were of course 23's. Whatever. I just wanted to ride.
So I make the change and am having a great group ride Saturday, I was in the game. The whole time. Even pulling. Then, to my dismay. Another flat. On a tire thats got 30 miles on it. I am just imagining another cut. Thinking that Im out over a hundred bucks of tires and tubes in two days. So I change it and cant find anything wrong. Nothing.
After I got back to the store I took it apart and looked again. Nothing. 
Those flats are the worst as you never know what the hell happened. And you expect it to happen again anytime. It didnt. 
Sunday was an awesome (with no tire issues). It was one of those rides where you stop a lot to look at stuff. Sun was out. Heat was down. iPod was on.
About 7 hours total this weekend. Everything is on schedule.
If I had a schedule. Which I dont. But if I did.


Friday, July 27, 2012



Got a late start today. Not sure why I overslept. I guess I don't need a reason to do that. I just can. HP was in prime form today. Here's your token pic.
Since the store does not open till 10am one would think that I would have a plethora of activities done by then. Heck, I don't even need to be here by 10. When the store is staffed anytime before noon would work. So one would think it would be game on.
Im almost ashamed to say its not. Here we are the end of July and I maybe rode my bike three times before work this summer. That's nuts!
I am disappointed in myself.

Its not too late. I can easily get 8 hours a week in before the store opens. Easy.
And starting next week will make a conscious effort to do so. Before I head home I will prep the bike of choice. In fact prep two in case I change my mind. In fact, I should make it a thing to have the guys prep ALL my bikes before they leave to minimise my excuse list.
I will ditch the drive over to my HP and make it a ride. Coffee will have to wait till I get back. (is that even possible?)

I remember when I lost a bunch a weight 4 years ago one of the main things that caused that was the fact that I rode early in the morn. Right after I woke. And I rode pretty hard. And did so before I ate anything. On an empty stomach
Thats the plan for the next month. Lets see where that takes me.

My fitness is returning. Step two is weight loss.
Im looking at about 6 to 8 hours in the saddle this weekend.

Have a good weekend. Weather look pretty good.


Thursday, July 26, 2012


My buddy. Got too close with the camera. Rookie mistake.

So I made the Wednesday Nite Worlds Social Group Ride (WNWSGR) for the first time in quite a while. I believe this is only the third of the summer. Had an unexpected rider on one of the bikes. By the size I guess its a female and she held on for about 5 miles before she decided that it was time to go.
I only lasted a few more miles than her.
27 minutes to be exact. But that was my decision, not the groups. The group was great waiting for me after the first climb but it was after that effort that I decided to pull the plug early. I had, what they would call in the tour as a "stomach ailment".
I really did not feel well after the first hard effort and decided if I were to continue would be just putting off the solo inevitable. So I pulled and solo'ed 20 miles.
I really had no idea it was that hot. Almost 100 at ride time. Some days I get to the store at 830am and dont even peek outside till I leave at 7pm.
So as I prepped for the ride around 4pm I was not aware. Until I walked out of the store and as usual running late.
I did not get to eat or drink all day. And knew in the back of my mind this was going to be a short group ride for me. I need to be at 110% to be in this game and no way at 100 degrees was I going to get there. Maybe I did the smart thing by backing off my effort. Live to fight another day. I was not bummed. I had a nice ride. Just over an hour.

I have decided to not get a new cross bike. That means that Pinky will once again get the call. It was in the basement in 1 by 9 mode from winter configuration a last year. I will stick some money into her and its starting with full SRAM Apex. Then it will be deciding what wheels to run. I do have a pair of Easton EC 90 tubeies to run. I dont like running tubular for goofing off riding. But Ive done it before. Its crazy how fast cross gets on peoples minds after the Tour.

Mine included.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


File foto

Its weird how I have this morning routine. But Im not the only one. During said routine I see the same people doing the same thing while Im doing the same thing. Some people walking their dog, running or whatever. Im sure they think the same thing when they see me every morning.  Doing the same thing.

So when you think of my HP you for sure think of the lake cuz thats all I usually show. But there is much more about this place to see. Huge sand dunes cover the lake front from one side of the park to the other and is really the main attraction here. There is only a few spots along the Wisconsin shoreline that have this. Kinda cool. Fun to walk barefoot in. You get a good workout in.

Speaking of good workout, I once again am planning to attend the Wednesday Nite Worlds Social Group Ride tonite. Was looking for a morning ride today but its actually raining. Which, to me, means that I have to cut my grass sometime before the end of July.
Anyway, tonites ride is what some would call a "beat down" or the "gun show". Its the fastest and fittest riders in the county getting together to show off their stuff. Its about 20 riders or so, depending on the weather and you could take the current value of all the bikes and buy a pretty nice house with it.
I go into it knowing its going to hurt. I expect to be dropped. On a good day I might get pulled back in once, maybe twice but that's about it. And I know that going in. But what does not kill you makes you stronger.
In the past, I have lasted on this ride less than 30 minutes. For real. I know Im riding solo at some point but I would sure like to get at least an hour, or about halfway. Once the group turns and is heading back to the lot its just a matter of minutes before its game on and every rider for themselves.
Again, Im not complaining. I might a little after a terrible showing. Maybe feel sorry for myself a bit. But also, like having a good race, feel a bit of accomplishment if I can hang on longer than expected. Really, I treat this ride as I do any race.

I guess I'll leave ya with a pic from today since the one above was from the "file".

I would feel right if I didn't. My new phone takes great pics.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Sunday. Nice solo ride.

With all the solo riding I do its hard to tell if Im feeling better on the bike. I do not have a powertap or even wear a HR monitor. I do not measure my performance in any way shape or form. Really, the only gauge I have is riding with others. Group rides and the such.

Sunday I waited to see if anybody called something out. No call outs so solo it is. Once again its road bike. Once again neglecting the Superly. I need to stop that. Soon it will be the bike of choice. Soon.
I had a great 50 mile ride with me, myself and iPod. I thank Steve Jobs everyday for that music player. No way could I do this without it. However I did not use it once when touring up north. 20 plus hours of riding and it stayed in the handlebar bag. One kinda has to concentrate a bit when your on a state hiway and semi's are blasting 60mph about four feet from you. That definitely gets your attention.
But not today. It was a nice ride along the shores of Lake Michigan. Its a route we dont do till later in the summer when its hot. Early spring has us trying to get away from the cold lake. Warm days has us riding next to it and thats what I did. Its one of my fav summer routes. Quiet roads for the most part. Again, the legs felt good due to the effort of the day before. I even threw in a couple intervels. Nothing fancy tho. Heart rate up.

Change that tube... at some point today? Saturday.
Saturday had me on the group breakfast ride. I was hoping to be able to make this one as I was a bit curious as to my fitness gain with all the touring and Secret Training Camp and all. And the initial reports are good. I felt pretty good all day and only got dropped once and that was on a pretty long hill and was to be expected.

Several times a month we get a flat in the group. And its been tradition to watch the person change out their tube while the rest of the group heckles them. Complaining of their lack of efficiency and asking them if they need to call their wife to help them, etc. You know the drill. Today the dude only had half the group there. He was lucky. This time. Usually I take this time to get a head start on some hills. Not today. My increased fitness allowed me to stay and join in the fun.

Other than that I was in the game pretty much more than usual and thats promising to me. I hope to keep things rolling in that respect. While my weight will always hold me back I can feel the legs working better under strain.

Nowadays Im looking for 10 hours during the week and 6 on the weekend. The weekend is not a problem. Its during the week that I need to take advantage of every opportunity.

And Im going to do that for real. Once you get this type of thing rolling you cant lose it.


Monday, July 23, 2012


Such a shame.

Yesterday I attended the Superweek race in Whitefish Bay.  What a disappointment.
This series, the International Cycling classic, was a big deal in its day. Its over 40 years running now and I just cant see how it can continue. At least not in Wisco.

The Pro 1\2 field was 28 bikes. We went home about mid race when about 10 bikes dropped.

This is the series that blew thru my hometown for many, many years before we picked up the Dairyland tour instead. For sure the newer series has grabbed about 99% of the local racers.

So what happened? Whats going on? I cant say for sure but I do know this.
The series changed hands a few years back and that always throws a "glitch" into the operations. Even tho the previous owner was still around to help with the transition it did not go well. I heard riders complain about payout checks bouncing. All in all it was not run well. At that time.
This I do know.
Several years back I was involved in the committee to organise the Super week race here in town. I just helped. And at the time I was the president of the MTB club here also. While every year the series charged the committee a fee to bring the circus to town. This fee was getting out of hand and was growing by thousands per year. I remember trying to raise 3 or 4 thousand to do this. All of a sudden the fee was 12K. There was no way we could meet that bill. We scrambled and came up with about 8k with our MTB club donating a thousand dollars alone. We offered the 8 and they took it. They had no choice I guess.
This just to get Superweek to show up.
Many other towns and race venues where in the same boat as us. We simply could not afford the International Cycling Classic anymore.
Thats when the Dairyland series was born. And it was a very cost effective alternative to Superweek. Dairyland took over several venues including ours and is doing a great job. For all practical purposes, Superweek could well be running well as far as operations go. But it just too late. At least for Wisconsin.
They have a ton of Chicago area races now and hopefully do better down there.
To me, this is like the IRL vs Indycar fight several years ago. And as a fan we lose.  I think Superweek had the best racing, at least it did years ago. I miss the 6 bike breaks where nobody spoke English. Lance was here running the series in 96'. Cadel Evans ran Superweek when he was making the transition from MTB's. With Dairyland we will never see the likes of that again. While the racing is affordable, its dummy'ed down a bit from what it was. The Dairyland series most likely will not sport a future TdF winner. But it is what it is. A very well run domestic series that sports the best local riders with a few other thrown in. And to the regular non cycling spectator, is all the same to them.

But its not all the same to me. I will not attend another Superweek race.
RIP International Cycling Classic. I for one will miss you.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Great start to the day. Nice visit to the HP. Once I hit the bench I thought how nice it was that the humidity is gone and thought a bike ride would be good. So off to the store to grab the Domane and I ran off 30 miles in about two hours. Felt great.
Pics are with my new phone and I think they look great. But I could have used a bit more zoom for the crane pic.

The bike is already on the car to hit up the group ride Saturday morn.
And I think I might attend one of the Superweek races this weekend.

And I wanna ride my bike some more on Sunday too.

So there. Short and sweet.
Have a good weekend.


Thursday, July 19, 2012


Today is a bit of a gloomy morning. But sometimes the HP visit just helps get me going during dull times.

I did not make the Wednesday Nite Worlds group ride. As soon as I started to kit up the floor got swamped and I spent the next 20 min selling stuff (in my kit) thus rendering me too late to make the ride. Shit like that happens. Im order to assure my presence at the group ride I would need to over staff the store to negate stuff like that but its just not cost effective.
I still did get in an hour and a half ride in.
It was the least I could do since I was already in lycra for 45 minutes...

Also yesterday I got the new Samsung Galaxy three phone. Really, its the only competition to the iPhone.
So as any man would do, I locked myself in my office and played with it for a couple hours. And I wondered why I got so far behind yesterday.... Todays pic is the first I took with it. To say its nice is an understatement. Hope to be able to use it a lot.

The lemon muffin was awesome.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Crap. I woke too late to get in a ride before work. I hate when that happens. Too late to wait for coffee so I had to buy on the go this morn.
On my way to the HP I noticed about 15 riders touring. They must have just left the park.
I would not like that. Touring alone has its advantages. You go as fast as you want and as slow as you want. For sure, touring with another would slow things down.
I not saying I would not do it with someone else, but no way 15 people. One would have to lead like a drill Sargent to keep things all together. Not fun.

I'm a loner Dotty, a rebel.

As mentioned prior, Im on the group ride tonite. Will see how that go's.
The heat is gone for now and I hope to ride everyday. Will see how that go's.

Might catch one of the last races for Superweek before its gone completely. And I mean completely. News of small fields in that race series have me thinking it wont be around too long. And that's a shame. I have more thoughts on that later.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


keepin cool

Its been a hot summer so far. Saw these guys doing there best to cool off. Took this pic on the hot Thursday that I was touring. At the time the Garmin said 104 degrees.

As far as touring go's I had planned to go around Lake Michigan in August. That has been shelved as I just cant be away another 10+ days this summer. So the plan is to tour Door County again. Its a great stand by with good roads, places to go and my second HP. Nice riding up the Michigan shoreline. Nice easy 70 miles (with sight seeing) per day for 4 days. Tent camping. Rent kayaks for an afternoon. Its a good time.

So Im looking at another 4 to 5 days for touring about a month away.

Im almost caught up here at the store. I come in expecting the worst and get pleasantly surprised when its not that bad. Catching up on bills today. Always a fun time.

The heat should be gone by tomorrow morn and I plan on a morning ride to open up the legs to attend the Wednesday Nite Worlds Group Ride. Funny how I gatta prep like a race to do the local social ride. But thats how things are in these parts.

Its all about performance.


Monday, July 16, 2012



Home after gone 11 days. Many after thoughts. Tons. Too many to write about. I think it was a bit too long for my liking. Today was my first HP visit in 15 days. Actually the second as I rode thru it yesterday on the Domane.  A million people there. Rangers were turning cars away as the park had no empty parking spots left anywhere.
But this morn it was fairly empty. It was not a long visit as I had yet to get to the store. I can only imagine what my desk looked like having been gone so long.
It was not that bad.

So, Im back to my old routine and thats fine by me. I was getting a bit homesick.
Couple thoughts on the tour up there.
1) The Disc Trucker performed. The disk brakes worked great and dont know how I did it without them before. For the price you cannot beat Surly's Truckers for touring. You can buy an expensive tour bike, but its not going to be that much better. Just a little.
For the record, I put on an entire Sram Apex group on it. Not the first choice for touring and you want to go simple but the ratio's of a compact chain ring and 32 tooth cassette worked out great. I could climb anything with that 100 pound rig. Slow... but no walking. Some climbs were pretty long. In granny gear I was going so slow that it was hard to balance the bike. But I never had to get off. I think I will not sell that bike. Its a keeper.

2) My secret training camp went well. Overall I always try to get at least 15 hours in the saddle during that week and I might have fell a little short during that time period but the 20 some hours riding up there hurt the camp effort a bit. Still, for the 5 days I was at the cabin I did get in over 10 hours easy. So that put my 10 day total over 30 hours. Like 34 or 35.
3) Im definitely in better shape on the bike than before I left. I can feel it. Now, I just gatta hold on to it. With Shuammy and Iceman this fall I need to keep this rolling and will try hard to do so. Weight? Did not lose a pound. For real. My eating habits at the cabin is what you would expect when on vacation. I expected that.

4) One thing I did learn riding up north thru the heat is that the sports drinks really do make a difference. I dont know how far I would have gotten on just water. I drank eight 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade on hot Thursday alone. I didn't eat that day until I was done. 8 hours in the saddle. No food. Just the Gatorade. It really kept me going.
Im a big fan now.

So all in all it was a great tour\training camp\vacation.
I'll do it again someday.


Thursday, July 12, 2012


Its Thursday today and Im double posting having just finished day two's post and now am on real time with day three and four. Read day two below if you like. Just posted it also. Sitting at the coffee shop in St Germaine. Its tough to get here on a regular basis to post and that fine by me. After being gone all day riding the last thing I want to do is jump in the car and drive to the coffee shop.

But today (Thurs) Im not going to ride a whole lot. Just maybe a little road ride. Yesterday had me on the longest ride to date (at the cabin) with a little over four hours and about 60 miles of pretty goof effort. Every year when I show up here for this I try to get about 15 hours on the bike but with the ride up here I just stop counting. Im feeling it now towards the end of the week. 
And plan on cutting back a bit for the last two days here. I come back home Saturday aft. Thats a full 10 days since I left town on my bike. Feels like a year ago. I kinda wanna go home.
Yesterday ride was a nice one as I found a new route to Eagle River and back. Going to from the south and coming back from the north. Again, a 60 miles loop that I will be doing again next year for sure. Today, I had planned a MTB ride back to the Raven trails but I woke to a flat on the Superfly and just dont want to mess with it today since its tubeless. So back on the Domane for a nice 25 miles sight see recovery ride. I'll deal with that tire tomorrow.

This is most likely my last post from up here as its a pain to get to some Internet. Theres no doubt I will return home Saturday with a bit more fitness. And thats all I can hope for.

I will spend the next couple days with small rides and hammock testing. I noticed the amount of eagles around the cabin has doubled. I found three active nests without even looking. One less than 100 years from the cabin and I can hear the young'uns call for mom all the time.

While this time off work and increased riding is what I need, I do miss coffee in the HP in the morn.

Talk to ya when Im home.


STC Day Two

I could have done this. I just chose not to.
STC day two had me at the Raven trails just outside of Minocqua,WI.
These trails have been CC ski trail forever and is State owned. Recently there has been a ton of single track being build here along with a ton of wooden structures like these rails and teeter todders.

Besides all the cool wood stuff there is a ton of new single cut in and around the ski trail. This single track is slow and technical. Really gives you sense of balance a run for its money. Very slow twisty turny stuff.
I didnt mind the lack of flow as my skills need a shot in the arm anyway but I can say that its not a place for a 29'er for sure.

But when you get tired if the slow going or are tired of falling down, unlike our state system back home you can still ride the ski trails and actually need them to get back to the lot as you never really know where the hell you are unless you hit up the ski trail until you find a map.

The single is marked but unmapped. So getting lost is half the fun. I was glad to hit up the MTB as I felt the skills returning after an hour or so.

I did not try my luck on any wooden stuff. And there is a ton of it. Saw a bunch of kids on BMX bikes nailing them.

Two hours in the woods for day two.


Monday, July 9, 2012

STC (day one)

Sayner, WI.  1230pm. And a smudge on my lens.

Northern Wisco roads rule! 230pm
Day one of Secret Training Camp in the books. 
After a day of rest on Sunday from the tour I grabbed the Domane for some scenic riding in the north woods. The road bike felt so strange to me after riding a 100 pound bike over 20 hours over the last four days.

On a tour bike you ride different. No accelerations. No intervals. You just set your cadence and peddle. It took me at least a half an hour to change that up on the road bike.
Todays ride was about three hours and 45 miles in some of the prettiest roads in Wisco. Todays route is one I do every time Im here. Usually first thing. 

Tomorrow for day two I will finally ditch the road for the Superfly. I need to get things going with that bike as I have some racing to do soon with it. So I'll have to start riding it more and thats not a problem at all.
Tomorrow I will hit up the Raven trails near Minaqua.

I usually come home from Secret Training Camp (STC) with a little more bike fitness than when I left and with the tour up here Im already feeling it. That 45 miles today felt like a ride around the block compared to the last week.

When not riding, Im usually hanging with the Fam with my feet up. Having morning coffee on the deck looking out on the lake. 

Its all part of the experience of secret Training camp. And I like it.


Saturday, July 7, 2012


Starting out Wednesday. About 210 miles to go.

The cockpit.

Water on a 104 degree day.

Just a couple of pics. More to come later. Today, Saturday morn, I can be a little lazy as I dont need to be at the cabin until about 2pm to meet the Fam. Thats only about 25 miles away but I have decided to take the long way and ride about 10 extra miles to use a scenic route.

The pic above was a wayside I stopped at on what I could call Black Thursday. It was like a oasis in the dessert. A natural spring feed the water and I spent quite some time here. Maybe too long. While I told the story about going 80+ miles in the heat, I forgot to mention that my average MPH was under 10. So that day I pedaled over 8 hours to do it. Thats more than some weeks for me! I wonder what my weight is today. i really have not been eating a  lot. With all the drinking I never really felt very hungry. Couple time I just grabbed a Honey Stinger bar on the fly.

Right now Im relaxing in a nice hotel in Eagle River, watching the tour and taking my time.
Looking forward to riding the 15 pound Domane as opposed to the fully loading 100 pound Disc Trucker.
I think I will notice the difference.
Looking forward to riding Monday.


Friday, July 6, 2012


I love riding in the northwoods.

Today was a much better. But first a little more about yesterday.

As I thought more about that day, I was supreised on how well I took the heat. Really, I handled that very well. It was poor planning, due to the weather, that was my mistake. I knew I needed a room.

But I rode in that heat about as best as I could. As I pulled into Eagle River, I counted 21 bottles of Gaterade G4. The 32 once bottles. You can do the math. I only used 2 bottles the first day. The rest in the last two. Im kinda pumped that I rode during, and beat the hottest heat wave since 1995.

Made it. 238 miles and three days.

Back to today. Very nice 72 miles. Cooler temps. And I reserved a room BEFORE I left the crappy hotel this morn. So no mental breakdowns.  I rode to Eagle River knowing I was covered. Stress free miles.

Funny story: I was riding north of Laona, WI on Hwy32 and noticed a girl jogging tword me on the same side of the road. As I passed, she stopped running and cheered me on like a WORS race. If she had a cowbell she would have been ringing it! I noticed I increased my speed from 12 to 18mph without thinking about it. Made my day.

Kind of a bummer that I left the camping gear behind. Tonite would have been a nice nite to tent it. And it would have saved me a hundred bucks due to weekend rates in Eagle River. But Im in a nice room and will consider it a well deserved rest. Might hit the pool later. It is, after all my vacation.

As I mentioned before, I love riding up in the north. Once you cross north of Hwy 8 the senery changes to lakes and woods. My head was on a swivel for the last 30 miles.

 For all practical purpose, my tour is done. Tomorrow I will ride the 25 miles over to out cabin and wait for the rest of the family to show up later in the afternoon.
Then, I put away the tour bike and spend another week up here riding the Domane and Superfly that will arrive with the Fam. So the tour portion is over but my "Secret Training Camp" starts. I have another week of riding up here to go!

So this was not the longest or the farthest tour I have ever done but I will not forget it. I toured the historic heat wave of 2012!

Im off the bike Sunday and plan on a lot of hammock time. I will start riding again on Monday as that will be training day one. So Im resting up till then. And just want to say thanks to all the positive comments the last few days. I read every one twice. Hope you all have as good as weekend as I will.



Thursday, July 5, 2012


Text only post today. Im in the middle of no where (Lakewood,Wi) and the Internet service here is tethering my phone to the computer. So no pics. Maybe tomorrow. Today was the hardest day on two wheels for me. I cant remember suffering more.
So I decided not to abandon by thinking WWJD. (what would Jens do). What I did do is dump all the camping gear and due to the heat decided it was going to be all hotels so I can recoup better at nite.  No way was I going to sleep in a 90+ degree tent and sweat while a slept. And thats a bummer to me as I love to tent on a bike tour. Ive got some pretty expensive stuff and love to use it.
Things started good as I left Depere. Mom packed me some sammies so I was good to go. I knew it was going to be slow going and I planned two routes. One 50 miles and one 70. After a few hours and 25 miles I decided it was the short route. I did not need to be a hero in this heat. Once I stopped at a wayside and the garmin said 104 degrees. So I set my sights on the short route for sure. However, my plans were about to not work out.
Got to my short stop. Suring, WI. No rooms. Crap. Next town is Mountain,WI. About 10 more miles so 60 miles is not too bad. Got to Mountain, no rooms. Then, the nice girl at the hotel called places for me. I think she could see I was suffering. Many calls. All full. Here it is, 4pm and Im wiped, its 100 plus degrees and I cant find a room. Then, she found one. Just a few miles past Lakewood,WI. And that was another 22 miles. No way. But I have no choice.
Off I go. Already 60 sunburned miles in. I hydrated for the 5th time in an hour.  The start of my hardest ride of my life. Touring is dangerous if you push hard. My body asked me nicely to shut down. You can deny that only so long before your body shuts down for you. Im pretty sure I came dangerously close to that today. I was in pain. Everywhere. The last 3 miles I was down to 5mph and was swerving like a paperboy. Not good going down State Hyway 32.
The mental aspect is maybe worse. You look at the garmin constantly only to see its only one mile more than the last time. You hope to see the town line over the next hill. Only over the next hill is another hill. You swear out loud. You feel beaten down. You talk your self up and continue. Only to have this happen several times. I can only take this mental punishment so long and was close to tears several times. After swearing out loud.
After 82 miles in 100+ heat I have a room. Its a crappy room but a room. Air conditioner is working overtime and is not keeping up but I hope it will overnight. Tomorrow I will start making calls before noon for a room.  I believe I will be able to hit Eagle River in stage three. Lot of hotels there. Goona be a pinch cooler. Hopefully some clouds. Its the sun that has hit me hard. My face is quite sunburned. On the road there is no hiding from the sun and its been out every minute that I have been riding.
So as hard as it was today, it was mostly due to poor planning on my part. I will do better tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Made it. 145pm
Today I left home around 8am with Steve D and Alex P in tow. I was hoping to get pulled a little and I did get some relief a few miles into this stage. It was hot but not terrible hot as some cloud cover helped in that regard. The guys pulled me to about miles 17 and that was when I found myself solo.

Then that's when all the thoughts start. Did I pack too much? Is the bike too heavy? Is it weighted correctly front to back? It felt way too heavy but really all I could do is lose maybe three pounds total. The first 20 miles of a tour is the worst. You here all the small noises the bike makes. I always seem a bit stressed.

After 30 or so miles I settled in to a nice pace and just peddled. Around mile 40 the heat got turned up and the sun came out and beat me down. Mile 45 I pulled into a mini mart for a much needed break. The second I stopped moving the sweat poured out of me. I tossed back a Gaterade and took another along as both my bottles were empty. I took my gloves off to ride cooler.  I did feel a bit better after the 15 min break and ran some steady miles. By mile 60 the heat was way up, garmin said 97 degrees, and I was starting to feel it. By mile 65 I ran out of liquid and a small panic started to rise but I did this route before and I knew I was not far off. Ten miles or a bit more. I just put my head down and nailed those final miles out

I rolled into my moms at mile 77, about the time i expected and proceeded to take a nap. At least I was trying to as a million cramps hit me over the next two hours. I was sore and wiped out but felt better when the cramps stopped around 5pm

As I type here Im watching the news up here in Green Bay and its calling for near 100 degrees west, the direction Im headed. I am considering pulling the plug on this. Not sure if I can continue without hurting myself.
If I do continue, I for sure will be getting a room the next few nites to get some relief and rest. I will leave all my backpacking and camping stuff here by my mom and get it on the way back in 10 days (in a car). So if I continue I will have half the stuff I had today. Im kinda bummed that this heat's timing is bad for me. I was looking so forward to a successful tour.

Still, Im sure continuing is not the best idea I have had but if Im careful maybe not the worst. Im setting two routes for stage two, one at 50 miles and one for 70. Both final destinations will have ample rooms available. I believe I could do the 70 if I stop every 25 miles or so. But 100 degrees? Well, it was 97 today for my last 30 miles.
I will make the call in the morn.
See how I feel then.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Just rained a ton. 825am

So today is D day for me. Very short HP visit right after a big rain came thru. All thoughts are on three things. 1) Pack my bike 2) Pack my stuff for Secret Training Camp. 3) Pack the store with at least 10 days of stuff.

So here is the Trucker. Almost fully loaded. Tent and sleeping garb is in. Just need to add clothing and some personal stuff. I leave tomorrow morn. I am a bit nervous about the heat. I might have to ride as early as I can and Im not opposed to getting a room if I have to. I have yet to set my route to end up in Eagle River\St Germain, WI.  First nite will be at my Moms in Depere. Thats a 71 mile ride for day one. Day two might be about the same mileage. Not sure. Depends on how hot it gets. I will just slow down if I have to.
At first I was not going to bring a computer. The android phone is really all one would need but I changed my mind and grabbed the netbook. I can tether it to my phone for online fun. So for the next few days posts will be at night. After Im settled in to where ever I am settling in to.
For clothes I have four kits w\socks. Then a pair of sandals and one pair of shorts and tshirt for when Im not riding. Two tubes. Minimal tools. Just a Park multitool. I will carry four bottles. Two in the insulated cages and two in the rear bag. I wont pass a mini mart without filling up. Always some sports drink with electrolites. I will have two iPods along. Bar bag full of snacks. Chargers for everything including my Garmin.

Its not like I have not done this before but I do get a little nervous before I leave. Once on the road Im fine. As far as tours go this is not a long one. 240 miles. This is a bit of a practice as I want to keep my touring skills sharp as I have a tour around Lake Michigan in the back of my mind late Aug. That one will be 1000 miles! First things first. Worry bout that one later.
My knee is doing fine. Its incredible but I don't even think about it anymore. Knock on wood.

So I better get to it. Lot to do today. I should be able to post about day one tomorrow nite.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Prints of a million feet. 815am
Still lovin the Accent.
Just winding down from a pretty good weekend. Rode my bike thru the HP Sunday to see about a million people there. The dog days of summer have me there, but hiding in other spots in the park. And thats just fine by me. This morns visit was short as I had to get back to the store to get a jump on things as I am there two more days, then gone for ten.

Saturday morn I joined the group ride and worked my ass off. I got pulled back in at least three times and they waited for me at least three more. And I thanked them. These rides are hard for me and thats a good thing. I wish I could do all of them. Its hard for me to ride till I puke when Im alone. When done I was sore. But in a good way. 
Sunday I had a double day as I rode with my wife for about two hours in the morn, then another two in the late afternoon solo. I noticed that my legs were feeling pretty good in the afternoon. I was solo'ing 22mph for quite some time on the Domane. For some reason I felt great on the bike. Wish I could feel that good more. Must have been a combo of the hard effort the day before and the easy spin in the morn. 

Today starts my whirlwind two days prepping everything for my bike trip. Or Tour as its called. Plans are coming together quickly. Bike is ready, starting to pack it. Collecting all my stuff. Then, I have to pack all my regular stuff for the Fam to bring up on Saturday. Including my bikes of choice which will be the Domane and Superfly. No cross bike this year.
After I ride up north and meet the Fam on Saturday will start my week that I call "Secret Training Camp". Its a week long vacation that we have been dong for over 20 years. I just turned it into a ride camp for me. In the past, I always looked for at least 15 hours up there during that week but I will have way more than that just riding up there ( I mean touring up there). Once up in northern Wisco the road riding is superb. Beautiful roads with small lakes around every corner. Low traffic. I cant wait. MTB'ing is good to with several trail systems just a short drive away. The cabin we stay at is between Sayner and St Germiane. Pretty much the center of all the best riding. I always hoped that after this week my fitness will be back for the rest of the summer and thats a possibility this your...

So today I will be in the store for at least 10 hours. Trying to work ahead a bit. Im stressed out a little but as all my tasks are completed one by one I will start feeling better. Originally I wanted to leave tomorrow but its going to be Wednesday morn. That way I might be able to find a buddy to ride the first 20 or so miles with me. So I leave around 8am Wednesday, July 4th.. And it will be about a 240 miles peddle to the cabin. Tomorrow I will feature the tour bike a bit. Its a Surly Disc Trucker and I just love it. But if you read this blog a lot you already knew that.

Id better get ordering bike stuff.
Time to work.