Monday, September 30, 2013


This was a weekend of firsts for me.
This morning I rode my bike for the sixth day in a row.

And thats a first for this summer.

And since I worked all weekend, Saturday I commuted home, then Sunday morn commuted to work by bike.
And that is also a first for this summer. Sadly.

Things are getting real for the MTB race coming up. Its pretty much the only thing on my mind.
I'll be spending a lot of time on the course every day now. And thats not a bad thing. With all the riding of late Im feeling much better in the saddle.

And as I planed it, Tuesdays Im having someone open the store for me. Its going to be my day to ride long.
With the store slowing, pretty much everyone is laid off. Except I will have someone open one day for four hours, and close one day. That closing day will be Friday. So Tuesday morn and Friday afternoon is my time now.
And I will use it to my advantage.

So no post tomorrow. I see a 3 hour cross ride in my future.


Friday, September 27, 2013


My God the mornings have been pretty much glorious and I have rode two hours before the store opens three days in a row now.

Another cross ride today. Pretty sure Im going to park the MTB for the most part. I will ride it a few times yet but really the cross bike is singing to me now.

Today I had three others join in. All cross bikes.

For the most part I am knee deep in our WORS race. Its really just a week away and I am now in the time where I get scared cuz I have nothing to do. I think everything is covered. So all I do is sit around and wonder if I missed something. And thats kinda a awful feeling.

But thing seem to be all on the up and up and I should relax.

I have scheduled myself all weekend alone in the store. Its kinda my turn anyway. And this will be the last Sunday open. Will be on full winter hours starting next week. Which means more time to ride.
I cant remember the last time I rode three days in a row. Its been months.

Even with working all weekend I'll get something in both days. Saturday before work, Sunday after.

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, September 26, 2013


Both yesterday and today I got out for rides before the store opened. Both days in perfect weather. Yesterday on the MTB. Today on the cross.

Im amazed on how better I feel after riding just two days in a row. As opposed to two days a week.

My cross ride is about the best ride I can do from the store. I for sure do enjoy riding the MTB but its always a drive to destination. And thats fine and all. But riding a cross bike right from the store is just so convenient since  I dont open till 11am now. And when Im done Im right at the store, ready to work so I can ride way longer.
A two hour morning cross ride consists of about an hour on the road and a hour in the woods. And as a bonus I end up down by my Happy Place so I stop and sit a spell. If Im not smiling when I start I sure am when Im done.
I am going to do this a lot this fall.

As I mentioned many posts ago I am in the middle of the busiest Fall I have ever had. With my cross race and Interbike down, I have just two items left and they are the biggest. In a little more that a week we have out MTB race weekend. Thats super busy. And kinda looking forward to it being over.... But its fun to do at the same time. After that I am marrying off one of my daughters the third week of Oct. Thats taking quite some time. Its going to be a big wedding. And expensive.
So I have my work cut out for me in the next 3 weeks. But the store is slow enough now to make it all a bit easier. This week is our last Sunday open.

Then...after the dust settles its time to ride. A lot.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The temps got to me.
How much do I dislike Vegas?
A lot.

Every year that I attend the show I have to mentally prep myself. I realize that the strip is not the only way it is here. People get the perception that the awful two miles or so that is the strip is Vegas and I guess for visits like this one it is. If the tons of people don't get me the temps will. Both make me very uncomfortable.

But I always get a rental car, even tho its such a pain to drive here. We use it to get out.

Every year we find a destination to go to. One year it was Zion National Park. One year it was Death Valley. We did not have the time to do a full day so we just drove to the dam.
Last time we were there was 2009 and the bridge was not even done yet. The view from the bridge is pretty cool.

Pic from bridge

But that was pretty much only half a day. So we drove around the city. Not the strip but in the city. And even if you pull the strip out no way could I live here. Way too much brown. Brown houses, sheds, rocks and hills. Everything brown. No green. I need green.

Again, if it were not for the cross race I would not go. Or if I did I would hit the show for a morning, then get out and only come back when my flight leaves. There is a few nice things to see 4 hours or less drive away.

Anyway, Vegas is not my cup of tea and Im very uncomfortable during the visit. Today, in Wisco, its a nice temp out, the sun is shining and Im glad I live in Wisconsin.


Monday, September 23, 2013


The show.

Sure, the show is the headliner of the trip. Supposedly.
I go to it. For about 4 hours. Actually, 3 and a half this year.

I have my three or four booths I want to see. Felt had a great one this year. But really, I get that done in about 2 hours. Then I try to walk around awhile.
I stay until I cant stand it anymore. A million people, bumping shoulders. Its quite a task to move around the place. Hard to do.
I do look at stuff and I think the coolest new thing a saw was all the new roof racks that used big suction cups. Fit on any car. And their were some pretty cool ones. But I would be a little hesitant to put my $10k bike on that. But they must work fine. There were several manufacturers doing it. Thule included. So the must be safe. I wonder how to lock the bike tho?

I guess we will know soon enough.
Other than that it was the same old. Except with newer stuff.

"I must break you"

With Crossvegas Wednesday, there was a street crit on Thursday in the Mandalay Bay parking lot, adjacent to the show. Back in 2009, the first year I went, they had this and it was lame. This year it was on the National Crit Series calender and it was not lame. Many teams there. The course just tooled around the parking lot lined with temp fencing and seemed dangerous. Many riders dropped either by crashing or just saying screw this. Anyway, United Healthcare pretty much assembled with a few laps to go and took the win. It was actually a nice race and I hope they build on this and make the race stick like the cross race.

So that was the extent of the show for me. Another year in the books. And while Im not a fan of Vegas (will write about that next) and dont soend a lot of time at the show, there is still enough here to bring me back again. Someday.


Friday, September 20, 2013


Huge wood berm.

So. The reason I come out here. CrossVegas.

The energy here is umatched at any cycling event I have ever attended. I missed last year but the additions to the race was off the hook. 2 flyovers. This wooden berm. 4 sets of barriers which 3 were easily hoppable. 2 huge screens so you can watch whats going on all over.

Sven Nys pretty much schooled everyone. Several other riders had the fitness but none could match his skills. He was hopping stuff wide open in the big ring.
It was a spectacle to see.

Besides Sven there were a few other Belgium's there. They ran around 5th or so.
Powers was a distant second. Kabush third.

As much as I hate Vegas I would put up with this crap every time to see this event.
Besides the main events. They have category's where dealers and vender's can race.  Before the pro's run. Its always fun to watch all the schenenigans and the issues that a 160 bike mass start possess.
Lots of beer and bacon.

I had poor Internet reception at the hotel. Im typing this Friday at 6pm. Waiting for my flight home.
I can wait to get out of this damn heat. I need Wisconsin.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


1030pm Fremont St

We landed at 6pm in Vegas. I hate flying. Stuck in a tin can for almost 4 hours. I struggle with sitting for that long. I try to sleep or just rest but to no avail.

We did make good time after we landed with getting our rental car and checking into the Excalibur. We then settled in and since we have a pretty busy schedule I decided to head over to Fremont St. The old strip.
This is where you find a majority of the weirdos. There are two types of people there. The weirdos and the ones looking at the weirdos. This area is not quite as polished as the new strip. Lots of homeless show up there. Lots of street performers. Most of them pretty bad. To me its a completely different culture. Too many people. Im usually pretty uncomfortable down there.

After two hours we drove back to the hotel. And dont get me started on the driving here. Actually Im pretty good at it as you need to drive pretty aggressive. I can do that.

This morn we are prepping to hit the show in a few hours. Then out for some lunch, back to the show. Then back to the room for a bit and then CrossVegas.
My reason for putting up with all this shit.
I cant wait.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Just a quickie before I fly to Vegas in a few hours. This is my fourth trip to Interbike. Im not a big fan of the show. In fact I will spend less than 4 hours total there. Im not a big fan of the city.
Most of my time is spent out of town.

I'll hit the show a bit Wednesday, then its CrossVegas Wednesday nite. I get there early. I dont want to miss on wheel on the course. 

CrossVegas is really the highlite of of trip and my main reason for going. Then Thursday I think a ride over to the Dam. I have not seen the bridge there yet. Thursday nite is some national crit on the hotel grounds. I saw a crit there my first year to the show. It sucked and never came back. Until now. Will see I guess. Friday I fly back but dont leave until 6pm so that day we will spend on the strip. Shopping or whatever. Im borrowing a Chromebook to stay online during. Maybe even a post or two. I will for sure post a few pics from my phone at Crossvegas.  Its going to be a fast four days. And starts in two hours.


Monday, September 16, 2013



Nice morning in my happy place. Cool temps. Sun out.

Had a big day on the bike Saturday but really over did it a bit (now when have I been know to overdo anything?) and got a bit blown out.

Nice 2 hour ride Saturday morn to breakfast. Cross bikes. Woods and road. That pretty much how its going to be from now on. Took a few hours off and then drove to the WEMS race as planned.

I went onto this race with a laid back attitude and its showed immediately  Very not prepared. And it all went bad from the get go as we had to Lemans start and run to our bikes 50 years away. That 50 yards pretty much doubled my running mileage from the last two years. So... it started bad and continued. I floundered for two laps and wanted to hang it up but decided to soft peddle one more lap for fun. It was not.
About half way thru the lap it turned into a death march. I was blown out. I fell pretty hard. And got lapped by most of the field. I finished truly DFL.

Pretty sure I mentioned before I have a meager 3 point criteria to a good race.
1) Do not finish DFL
2) Pass someone, anyone in the last lap.
3) Do not fall down.
I did not hit even one of those. Limping to the car I changed clothes and left. Tired and sore.
Good thing it was raining on Sunday norn cuz no way could I even get out of bed.

I need to pick my battles better. I need to stick to a 50 min WORS citizen race. Next to last years Chequamegon this was the second longest race I did at 2 hours 15 min. I cant do that anymore. I need to be smarter next time I come out of retirement (cuz Im back in for now).

With that out of the way I turn my thoughts to Interbike.

I fly out in the morn. Back really late Firday. Right now the stress level is once again up as Im trying to get all the ordering done here at the store, tie up all loose ends. I most likely will not relax until Im on the plane winging west. I love heading west.

I cant believe CrossVegas is in two days. Im pretty exited!

As usual, Im taking a notebook out with me for maybe a post or two. And I'll try to post a quickie in the morning but Im planning a small morning ride so that might not be possible. I also need to work on our MTB race thats up in three short weeks. Will be most likely doing some of that from Vegas.

So not sure when the next post comes.....


Friday, September 13, 2013

HAYWARD (with links)

Hayward 2012
As everyone leaves for the Chequamegon 40 up in Hayward this weekend I pretty much wish like hell I was going back up. I had a great time there last year. The cabin was awesome.
Got to ride and race. And then chill.

Sitting on the deck of the cabin at nite with a beer. Listening to the coyotes.

I would have loved to do that again. Ive only been to Hayward,WI twice and its already a top two destination for me (just behind Marquette,MI) and I will for sure get there again. The FatBike Birke was once again announced for March 8th 2014. And I wont let that one slip away.
Although the chances of staying at Telemark are slim.  With it most likely to die a slow death. Sad.

However, in just three short days I will be jetting to Vegas. It would have been tough to do both Hayward and Vegas. Just home from one and leave the next. So I'll And thats whats on my mind today. That, and my big riding plans this weekend. Smallish cross ride in morn. 20 miles and coffee. Then this WEMS race at 3pm.
I know Ive said I have retired from racing but I'll pull a Brett Favre on this to race this one. More like ride. Its put on by a great bunch of people. I'll have fun.
So thats my weekend. 


Thursday, September 12, 2013


file foto
It was not raining today so I grabbed the MTB and headed to the New Fane trails.
Cuz there is a WEMS race there Saturday I was thinking of doing.

Thinking is about all right now. Not sure if I want to ride my bike for 3 hours but what the hell. Its not like I would be going fast or anything.
Besides, I year ago I rode my MTB for 3 hours 39 minutes.

Im worse than a woman in the respect that I cant make up my mind. I could do a nice 3 hour cross bike ride in the morning with a stop for coffee, or race the trails for 3 hours, no coffee. What to do. Both? Maybe??

I really need to ride my MTB more and I must have said that a million times in my life. But its true. Im off it for so long, then when I hit up the trails I wonder what the hell was I thinking?

Well, Fall is fast approaching and Fall means MTB'ing.

Tomorrow is a cross ride in the morn. Talk to ya after that.
I cant believe I have not mentions Vegas. I leave for Interbike in four days....

Crazy how time passes. So fast.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Had to wait until he\she walked off the trail. Sunday.

My ride windows are small. And few. I set aside some time this morn with my new found hour in the morning. Woke up to rain. Bummer.
Will try again in the morn. Most likely MTB.

Im pretty well done with the road stuff. Cross bike and MTB from now on. And thats why I love this time of year.
We are now less than a month away from the MTB race and that takes my focus right now.
Right after I get back from Interbike....


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Post with no bikes. No bike races.

The mornings in my happy place are nothing short of spectacular these days. Today was coffee and a blueberry muffin. Its warm out. Might get up to 90 today.

The kids are in school so the park slows now during the week. As if on cue, my work (I didn't mention what I do) also slows. I now start at 11 after Labor Day so I have an extra hour in the morning to do what I love to do ( what would that be?).

Some trees have a hint of color in them. The best time of the year is close. Soon Fall will be here and for me its the best time of the year to get outside (and do whatever). 
This time of year is the first wave of when my business slows. And thats kinda bittersweet and in a way welcomed. In the next two months I will do what I love to do outside the most out of any time of year. Several weekends out of town hopefully. Many mornings spent outside with that extra hour I granted myself. I owe me.

My ship spotting hobby has been non existent as it is every summer. The big ships run down the middle of Michigan during the easy months. I still track them. By November they will be running closer to shore and I will start seeing them again. Maybe I'll see one doing what I like to do in the winter on the frozen beaches of Lake Michigan.

But I wont get ahead of the seasons.
Bring on Fall! And all that it represents.


Monday, September 9, 2013


Sunday @ 515pm

I could write a ton here. Sometimes finding enough to write about is a problem. But sometimes you have too much to say. Its hard to condense it all down to a few paragraphs. I'll try.

The cross race went well. Thanks to all for coming  Thanks to all for helping. We were up 40 bikes from last year and thats a success.
There, hows that for condensing.
But really it was a long day and tons of fun. The weather held off. At the end of the day I was physically and mentally drained but still smiling.

The pic here is from my recovery ride on Sunday. Race directing is strenuous  I needed some recovery. Im resting my bike on a old raft that was in the local swimming hole I went to as a teenager. The cross race has the riders running over it. I pushed a lot of girls off that raft back in my childhood. The race is held in that same park. Being able to make it part of my race was just cool. The bike? The Crockett is up and running. Sram Red 22 Hydro brakes and driveline. Its light. But hard to tune as in any high end road Sram stuff.
The bike is racing fast. Turns fast. A little too fast for me.
Really, I love a good cross bike. I ride them a lot. But I dont race. I just tool around on them. This is the first cross bike I have rode (and I have rode many) that I can notice the aggressive race geometry. It lets you turn tight. And fast. Its a pure race geometry frame.
And if a fat,old,bald guy like me can notice it then its really there.

But since I dont race I'll just tool it around. Like I always do. Its still does that well also.

Now, that race is out of the way and I set my sights on Interbike in 8 days. Im looking forward to a little R and R. And Crossvegas.
More on that later.


Friday, September 6, 2013


Its already Friday. Got a million things to do for the race tomorrow. And just confirmed its a 50% chance for rain.
Now Im officially freaking out. If in fact it is raining in the morn would be a catastrophe for the race.

As far as finances, its been on the bubble for two years now. If it does rain and bike attendance takes a hit I will for sure lose money and that could be the end of this deal.

Most of the attendance comes from the south. Milwaukee Madison. Its a long drive up here from where all the other races in the series are. Im kinda the red headed step child in the series.

So if it rains Im done for. Just another element to add to the stress level.

To leave on a better note, the mornings on the beach this week have been spectacular. Cool breeze, warm sun. Hope this continues.

I guess looking forward, right past the weekend, next up is Interbike 10 days after my race Saturday. So thats something to look forward to.

But not until this weekend is over. I better get back to my huge list of stuff to do. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013



What a absolutely beautiful day. And Im in the store alone till close. Bummer. When things in the store start to slow one has to cut payroll a bit and that means I run solo.
Today is one of those days where I would call in if I were not the boss. Even tho the end of summer means slow business, its bt far the best time of year for me. Best riding weather. Best everything. And its just starting and is all ahead of us still.

Just let me get thru this weekend, with the cross race. Nerves are rising. Fear of forgetting something sets in.

Heres the flyer.

Im consumed right now. With the race and the weather.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013


845am Beautiful morning.

I'll start by saying I had 6 hours in the saddle this weekend. Saturday was a solo ride before work. And was interrupted by a bee or wasp (I did not really see it) flying into my mouth. before I could spit it out it stung me both on the gum and lip. I have never felt so much pain from a sting as that one on my gum. I teared up. It hurt.
Then, I started to feel the swelling. Like when you went to the dentist. I was about 30 minutes from the store so I put my head down and peddled not knowing how bad this was going to get. After about 15 minutes the pain started to subside but I could feel my skin getting tighter around my lower lip. To make a long store short I had a fat lip for about two hours.

Sunday was a rare group ride(for me). I joined a group that rode the 27 miles to Port Washington for lunch. Round trip was 54 miles. And sadly was the second longest ride of the summer for me. Very good conversation and good times. Thanks to all for inviting me.

Sunday I once again headed out with Steve D for another two hours. Decent pace. At least for riding the 20 pound cross bike on the road.

Today I stand just days away from my cross race and that will consume me until that day. On paper everything looks like a go. Just need to coordinate a set up crew and I think Im good. I hope so.

Park visit was nice this morn. Kids are in school and its much quieter. I get my bench back in the mornings now. Soon the park will be a ghost town.
And thats when I move back in...