Hard to be patient...anxious to see/build/ride the BadgerCX. Been spinning the 29er some but mostly on the pavement these days. With rain, high river and these unseasonably warm temps not much local trail riding.

Holiday food has been dangerous.


Wild Weather

Just over a week ago, same evening: near sunset there's a rainbow. Later the same night? Northern Lights. Very cool. Road trip between.

Warmer than crazy this week. Not to loose out on the great opportunity it was a nice long road ride Sunday. Another three hour trek. Sweet. Don't get low 40s and some sun this time of year.

Given the weekend schedule I may end up doing some epic trainer rides this weekend.

The other night, the trainer episode was broken up by watching Offroad to Athens. If you haven't seen it, good soundtrack makes it even better.


I've needed to take care of my 'tag' for a couple weeks.
Here goes:
1. Three other majors along the way: Engineering, Landscape Architecture, & Industrial Design. Attended three colleges/universities while at those majors
2. Cycling is my first 'real' sport
3. Debeaked chickens (long before college)
4. Pale & Amber Ale's are a real favorite
5. In a seeming minority who like black jelly beans and ginger (not together)
6. Tooled leather for over a decade

I'll be reaching out to tag a half dozen.


Good weekend of riding

Almost temp extremes this weekend. Yesterday was a high of about 25 and 15mph winds. Making it low teens for wind chill. The route: flat and windy. Open fields. Good long ride.

Today the temps were up to 40, sun made a repeat visit. Winds too. Took a route that was more sheltered. It certainly was nice out riding today. Got in six hours between the two days. Legs are a bit tired. LJ came up for a ride today, my tired legs slowed her but it was a nice day to be out.


2007 Started this week

That's right, you don't need to go look at your calendar, I know it is still 2006 on there. But as far as how this past year went for me...I'm putting it behind me. Did the State CX final race last weekend. Why? Not because I was all trained for it (let alone in shape for an hour of hard riding). It had a whole lot more to do with finishing up a pretty rough year AND giving me a fitness check / motivation to start working on 2007.

It would give me a way to look ahead, a physical marking point. What better way then to go to a cross race? Lots of people there I hadn't seen in a long time, people cheering for you and encouraging you no matter how you're doing. Plus, when you're riding that hard you aren't able to think about anything else. Sweet!


Big weekend for raptors around the house.

This cool fella spent 45 minutes hanging out here. Normally he'll make quick visits but this day maybe he thought the song birds would forget he was there and come to the feeders anyway. Sharp shinned hawk. Neat.

Here's one that isn't so neat. While I was off to the CX race, D-man was riding his mtb at the local trail. Thought he heard the chain slapping the stay...seems it was the ti giving way. He came out of it really lucky since he was going pretty slow up a grade. Sure shook up his riding companion, a friend of ours who was out on just his second mtb ride.


!2 Days of Christmas Remade

LJ has been doing a big renovation on the bathroom in her new digs. Started out simple enough when she found a couple of bad boards in the bathroom floor. It turned into a full-fleged reno when she picked up a whirlpool tub at the discount shop. She recently sent this over and it seems appropriate in this season to share it.

12--Runs of Romex
11--Feet of plastic
10--Marble tiles
9--Feet of ducting
8--sheets of plywood
7--Screwdrivers laying
6--sheets of drywall
5--Sq ft of mosaic tile
4--feet of heating mat
2--Lighting fixtures
And a giant bathtub out the living room at last in the bathroom!!!


Thinking about a move

Looking at taking the blog to Wordpress
Any of you used it?

Also thinking about stopping the blog.

Time will tell. Have a couple of reviews I've been going to post.
Just seem short on time to do it up right.

Biked this past Sunday. Took a break from things and as LJ said, put down a bout of anger-gy! Working through a few grief and loss issues.


Take a trip on over to this site and see what you think.


Training Tunes?

What is the favorite play list for some of you? It's about that time of year where more of the training happens inside than out. Looking for some suggested tunes to load up.


Road with the SpeedyChix

Time for some "off season"easy rides right? Hooked up with LJ and Alicia for a fun ride. T1 was doing some home improvement assistance for LJ so he came out too on his little wheel SS (complete with SRM).

We consume coffee, laugh and finally get around to prepare for the ride. Another fine overcast uniformly 38deg day. Ahh, the shoulder of winter. Hey...little wind and no rain? It's great to be out there.

Start is a bit brisk for my CX tired legs. I'm lagging with Alicia (who's already been out once this day). So she made me feel really good by letting me give her a tiny push on a couple of bumps in the road. Lots of laughter, a couple of deer hanging out in the road, and just a hint of sun as we finished up the day.

Oh...and LJ did NOT dissapoint on the route selection. A bit of gravel + a hike a bike section. My kinda ride!


Playing in the mud again!

What a fabulous weekend. Decided it was time to give it a try. Kisscross racing was at Manhattan Park. True to form, it rained heavily in the days leading up to this race. The result? MUD and lots of it.

I really didn't know what to expect from myself having not done any intensity for months. So I lined up at the back of the field. Geez, didn't take long to see the folly of that. Oh well, I was really happy to be there and had a smile all the way across my face for the entire time. I've missed this a bunch!

Here's a shot of Founders team member Nate during the A race. One of my favorite spots on the course.

And what might have been the cleanest part of me...

Enjoyed this so much I'm going riding again tomorrow. A road ride with some friends over in Ann Arbor. Should be a good time again.


Riding the big 29er wheels!

Been getting out pretty regular now. Working on getting comfortable riding slick stuff. Wet leaves, roots and stuff out on the trail. Just not in any hurry to end up with another concussion.

Being outside and in the woods is among the category of really good things in life. Lately the boyz at mtbr 29er forum have been after postings of 'dirty' bikes...ones that have actually been ridden. Here's mine.

I still am amazed at how this bike rides. Rob nailed the fit and handling. Great mix of tubes. All the best things of steel and it is still light too. Sweet riding bike. Makes me smile.


Riding and Running Again

Back to the fun stuff. Took the Badger out this week with some skinnies on it. That bike shines. Playing in the leaves on the trail.

This weekend was a stupid-fun run. Mid-30s and not too far out it started to rain...high winds and then some snow in there too. Came in shivering.

Today? It looked nice and sunny and warm out there. Me? Trapped in the office all day. Sure hope we get one more of those stellar days before the temps stay cold for months.

Ride often....smile more



Been thinking a lot lately. Have to say that's a lot easier to do when you're not in a concussion-induced fog. Much of the thinking has surrounded deciding what to make of the tail end of "the bike season". I'm usually full on for CX now. Couple of races under the tires. Not this year. I'd really worked to get back the lost fitness from the broken ribs earlier this year. This last 'incident' put the brakes on in a slightly different way.


A single word. The ramifications of mutilple head impacts to the ground...not good.
This last 'crash' wasn't really even a crash. Nothing fast, simple stuff really. The easy kind that happen when you just bobble on a trail. But the result from this impact was worse, quite possibly due to the frequency with which my head has met the ground over the past 20 months. As i've said to a number of you, it is like all the possible injuries I've avoided or been fortunate to avoid over the past 15 years of cycling have all caught up with me.

After living through a couple of fairly scary weeks and sleeping more than I ever knew I could things started to head back to normal. A hint of the usual energy, a bit less tired, things got me kinda excited again. Wanted to get back on the bike, get training, barrier practice for CX. Then another simple bump let me know my head wasn't ready for any jarring.

This past weekend was my first real ride, a nice LONG road ride. I hurt like crazy the next day. But what a great day! The sun was out, the wind was still a summer's wind. Soon enough it will stay cold. Thanks to a small group of you for the company mid-ride too.

I started this post out writing I'd been thinking a lot. Much of centered about biking. What really is most important to me about biking? The freedom that comes from doing it. The clarity of mind, the rush of the ride. It is the experience of riding. Focus. Stress relief. Life balance. The racing is a nice plus but it isn't the reason I ride. So it'll just be a couple of cross races toward the end of the season this year. For now....I'm VERY happy that I can get back to riding. And even more happy my head has cleared up and things seem to be 'heading' back on track.

Thanks for reading.

Laugh often!


CX on delay

Yes, I've been neglecting the blog. Funny how life can intervene and mess with things. I suspect I'm getting close to finding a bit of time to be able to post up a few of the recent musings.

Getting real geeked about CX season, had a bit of a setback though, seems this last time off the bike resulted in a significant concussion. So a slight delay of game.

Anxious to see the new Badger CX frame! The 29er will soon have a stablemate.

For now though...sleep reigns supreme.


Whoooo Hooooo

Ribs are officially healing. Not all the way yet but enough that I can finally ride off road again.

Getting really wound up for CX season. Celbrated by hitting the trail with the CX rig tonight. Almost got taken out by two deer. Then a couple kids riding the wrong way. Wrapped up the night just missing a skunk. I'll need to get out there earlier next time.

Very cool news: Rob is building up a CX frame for me. This should be one VERY comfortable ride. After some discussion it will be all steel (no carbon rear end). Stay tuned, I might have some pics up here late September.

Getting ready for a nice two week push on the road bike. Looking forward to a super season.

Laugh often!


Fine Badger Indeed!

The Mighty Orange Badger 29er

Those of you that have followed along know that Rob Pennell of Badger Cycles built up a super sweet 29er frame for me. I’m a shorter rider (as 29ers go) and had asked him to consider S-bend seatstays which he did put on it. In the end the tire clearance we were after just couldn’t achieved on a frame as small as I needed. Knowing that I was anxious to get this frame and have it for Ouachita in March, Rob pressed on and finished it up.

After that race he took the frame back to rework the rear end. It now sports some sick seat stays and talk about clearance! Yowza. Loads of room there now.

Since I broke that batch of ribs late May I didn’t get much of a chance to ride it after it came back. Well, I’ve been on it a few times now and just have to say this bike sings! What a ride. It doesn’t take long to forget I’m riding a hard tail.

The handling is superb. Steering input from the saddle is the best I’ve ever had. The custom fit means I’ve been able to ride this bike for hours and not end up with a sore neck or back. Rob has the rider mass/weight distribution dialed.

Life, Spirit, a batch of custom selected light tubing make up this frame. The filet construction is a look I’ve always been partial to. This bike is rolling art. It is as much fun to look at as it is to ride. Makes for a very nice combination.

Some of Rob’s newest work is even sweeter looking. They seem to just keep getting better and better.

How’s it look? Take a peek. Final build was under 24#. The Industry Nine wheels are sub 1500g and spin up FAST. The whole package is incredibly responsive, especially with the CX 42s on there.

Has the heat wave finally moved on?

Whew, is this what it would be like to live in Phoenix in the summer? Burning my hand on the car shift knob?

Check out the storm front that cruised in here on Sunday, it's the same one that ended the 24 Nationals early.

The temps dropped about 15 degrees and the clouds were almost spiralling like a horizontal corkscrew. Wall of wind blasting them along. Glad I got in from my ride about 15 minutes before this thing blew in.


No Ride on this bike!

Putting a fresh chain on the bike today before I was going to go for an epic. Well instead I found that my seatstay was cracked!

I'll be sending this bad boy out to Merlin. Sure hope they want to fix it. I've NEVER broken a frame, let along a ti one!

So a change in plans and a different ride.
No cracks on this sweet ride:


Viva Le Tour!

What a great three weeks of racing. Lots of surprises this year.

I spent a lot of time on the road bike today. Had to wait for some deer to cross the road. Four hours with the efforts in the last hour. Sunny and a nice breeze. This is all build up to regain what I lost during my 'time off' the bike. Ramping up for a few solid weeks of training in preparation for CX season!

Check out this great article by Daniel Coyle (Outside Online)


How to look like an Armadillo

Today after watching the Tour (what a great one, eh?) headed out on the mountain bike. Okay, before you get all wound up...I spent most of my time on the road. But for the little bit of time I was on the EASY trails at Burchfield I had on my super rib vest. Not that I expect to go down out there but right now if I showed up at the docs with my ribs injured again....it would be all over. Certainly will make one work on heat acclimatization. Add a hydropak and we're talking layers of stuff to hold in the heat and block the wind. But it was all worth it!


Riding, riding, riding

Gotta love it. After a rough ride on Thursday, today was a great stretch. Met up with Leslie. She's just a week back from Master's Nats (where she took 3rd)and getting her legs back into shape after the mountains. I was ready to ride steady so a recovery ride for her and a workout for me. Made for a good match on the road. We ended up rolling almost three hours. Great day.


Riding the road

Saw my 'rib' doc today. Seems that the cough I'd had for months and the fact that the four broken ribs are all togehter things are taking the long end of the healing time. Last visit he thought he'd give me the okay to return to mountain biking end of this month (with protective gear). Negatory.

Move pavement in my immediate future. But I'm just REAL happy to be riding.

Here's a pic from a recent ride. Given the time of day it's titled "Rush Hour"
I love finding new gravel roads. This one was better than a lot of the pavement and of course the lack of cars was nice too. Lots of options to ride with LOW traffic.

Been grooving the heat of late. Heat index a bit nasty this past weekend but I sure am enjoying being warm!

Badger's Back!!!!!!

Those of you that have followed along know that Rob Pennell of Badger Cycles built up a super sweet 29er frame for me. I’m a shorter rider (as 29ers go) and had asked him to consider S-bend seatstays which he did put on it. In the end the tire clearance we were after just couldn’t achieved on a frame as small as I needed. Knowing that I was anxious to get this frame and have it for Ouachita in March, Rob pressed on and finished it up.

After that race he took the frame back to rework the rear end. It now sports some sick seat stays and talk about clearance! Yowza. Loads of room there now.

Since I broke a batch of ribs late May I didn’t get much of a chance to ride it after it came back. Well, I’ve been on it a few times now and just have to say this bike sings! What a ride. It doesn’t take long to forget I’m riding a hardtail.

The handling is superb. Steering input from the saddle is the best I’ve ever had. The custom fit means I’ve been able to ride this bike for hours and not end up with a sore neck or back. Rob has the rider mass/weight distribution dialed.

Life, Spirit, a batch of custom selected light tubing make up this frame. The filet construction is a look I’ve always been partial to. This bike is rolling art. It is as much fun to look at as it is to ride. Makes for a very nice combination.

Some of Rob’s newest work is even sweeter looking. They seem to just keep getting better and better. Learn more at www.badgercycles.com

How’s it look? Take a peek. Final build was under 24#. The Industry Nine wheels are sub 1500g and spin up FAST. The whole package is incredibly responsive, especially with the CX 42s on there. Photo essay follows.


What a crazy heat storm

One massive localized strom blew through here tonight. Check out this radar pic. 1.5" of rain too!


Injury and Time

Almost a month already since that last post? Time is going way too fast. Well in some regards it is. When you're counting the days until you can go back to the doc and see if you can ride the bike again each week can SEEM long.

Remember that skill clinic I wrote about? Seems that the last day I mistimed one of the new things I'd learned and ended up leaving the bike. It wasn't until five days later that it was confirmed that I'd broken four ribs.

Of course since I'd made this trip planning to do more riding after the clinic I still headed that way and hooked up with Hunter near Bedford. Knew I didn't want to show up at home hurting this bad and riding often hurts less than the time off the bike. Hunter took me out to ride some of the most incredible trails/routes there. Nice looooong climbs, multi-hour rides, lots of heat and humidity too. It was epic and a blast. Much of the time is a bit of a blur due to pain. But wow! I want to go ride there again when I'm 'whole'. Thanks for the tour Hunter!

Once back in Michigan I got things checked out and finally 12 days post impact got to see my favorite sports med doc. He helped out with better pain management options but ruled out biking until he saw me again. Something about the risk of puncturing a lung if I fell. It's one thing to loose a few weeks of a season, another to take that kind of a risk.

So once again...I was going to miss the Lumberjack 100. Glad to see it taking off, I might finally get to ride it next year!

Back to today: ribs are making good progress and I can ride (only on the road) and have to have company. That is exciting news for me!


More concrete critters

Remember those pink elephants from March...
These aren't quite as large but what is it with stuff like this?

Went for an epic mtb ride today. All up or down. Sure not what riding in Michigan is like.


Gene Hamilton's Mountain Bike Skills Clinic

So here I am back in Virgina, real close to D.C.
Made the 10+ hour drive yesterday along with hundreds of very loud Harleys. Did I know it was Rolling Thunder weekend? When the Harley crew descends on D.C. for Memorial Day weekend? I do now.

Lack of sleep haunts me yet today but the clinic has been great so far.
Lots of skill drills and I finally learned to do both coaster and pedal wheelies. The first pedal wheelie I surprised myself by getting three pedal rotations in before the front end came down. The second one didn't go as well so I apparently overcompensated on my third effort and promptly pulled the bike all the way over (Did I manage to hit the rear brake??? No.) So I hit the pavement real hard, backside. Ouch.

Clinic is very cool and fun. Learning sure makes one tired. Could be the sudden summer heat too! Later.


Badger Badger Badger

Badger v2 has made it! Sleek-n-slender seatstays with LOADS of clearance are the order of the day with this frame. Sneak peak here. Final build pic and ride impressions to come later.


What can I say?

Other than I'm lame? Reality is just too busy. You all know how it goes. So things like this go to the end of the list and languish. Have some fun stuff to post up but just haven't gotten it here. Like the pics and the whole experience of the Peaks Coaching Group Training Camp almost two months ago.

Or how Midland Forest and Cone races went (or didn't)

Or how I've trashed two der. hangers in less than a month after 20+ years of not having done it once.


Training Crit

Well, seems that the epic on Saturday just wasn't enough. I headed to A2 for the last of the spring training series crits. Plus I had a box full of new SpeedyChix (AAVC/SalonXL) team kit to deliver.

I felt surprisingly good after Saturday's ride. I warmed up mostly off the back of the B race. I'm hoping that for 2007 they flip the order of these races so we do the women's race first and then can burn up any remaining energy in the B race. In any case I had to make sure I kept a bit in the tank for our short race.

They split our field so we were small groups. Most of us were all on the same team making for limited dynamics. Threw down some attacks, got a pair off the front, soon we got another teammate away solo. That left us in a 3 on 1 quartet. This is where I was having trouble behaving. I kept wanting to attack but knew I shouldn't. The individual racer made a couple of really solid efforts and woke us from our slumber as we entered the final two laps. I made one last jump to draw her out and hoped to leaver her a bit tired so LJ and Wendy could sprint by for the finish. Mission accomplished.

Then to make the weekend complete once I was back home I started to work on that new pile o' mulch. Oh, the deal here...last Saturday I took care of a 10 yard pile. At least this one is smaller.


Sweet Ride Today

Okay, so maybe I'll get back in and post a few things from our Virginia bike camp to this blog...but for now I'm moving forward. Work and general life stuff conspired to keep me off the bike all week. Well, I did get out Tuesday for 90 minutes. So by today I was wanting to ride BAD. My legs had been hurting (I think my muscles were saying good bye). The ribs have been cranky all week. Might was well put it to them today!

Hooked up with some long distance mtn bikers. We spun out 70 miles and the Polar claims over 4000' of climbing. Sure would like to see a power file from today.

Mix of Island Lake, pavement, gravel, random singletrack and the Poto. Return to Island Lake. Just have to say Jim put together a great route. To all the guys I rode with today...you put me in the hurt locker and kept me there a LOT of the ride today. Super great ride. Somehow I think that crit tomorrow is going to take a lot of effort.

Sunny day with a solid east wind. Certainly provided major incentive to NOT loose a wheel when we were on the road. Perfect weather today for riding. Trails were in great shape too.


Still here

Just in case you've been checking in for updates...they are still in the works. Life sort of intervened with this side project. Photos and tales from riding in Virginia to come. Um, how about another week?

Danielle is off to Cohutta 100 this weekend. I'm heading out for some long days. Got in a super good ride today. A nice change from all the yard work and landscaping that has been going on here. Although I enjoy that, but sure got sore digging holes. Past weekend we replaced the plants we'd taken out a few weeks earlier. Clay...rocks...roots all in a single hole rather than out on the mtn bike trail.



Virginia Bound!!!

Ahhh, we're off. LJ and I headed south to Virginia today. Time for our annual trek to a great bike camp. The drive went really quick and we got over the Blue Ridge mountains in the daylight! Only one deer delay.
Here we are with the peaks behind us.


Ouachita Challenge Weekend

Wow, am I behind. Take a few days out of the normal workweek and head out on a four day, 2000 mile road trip and suddenly I'm behind.

Oh...after being along the Mississippi River...I'll never complain about how flat it is here (or try not to).

Danielle has my favorite shot from the weekend on her blog. On the drive down we found not one, but TWO pink elephants! What is not visible in that pic is the SECOND pink elephant with horn rims on.

After a stop to eat some great Mexican we continued the drive.

Saturday we knew we were getting close when we came by this stop.The trees were just starting to bud. The rocks are just a hint of what was to come later in the weekend.

We had a super nice pre-ride, did the main gravel hill to the single track. Stopped for a couple of photos along the way. Here are my travelmates, I'm stylin' the new Founders jersey.

The town that this race starts from has a population of just over 200. The graduating classes number about a dozen. The race that these folks put on though is incredible.
Here's the landmark at the final turn just before the finish.

Race day: just below freezing, a hint of frost. Got in a chilly warmup and then we lined up. Rob Pennell (Badger Cycles) stoped by to wish us well. Fun to meet a number of people who I'd only talked to by phone or read their posts on the mtbr 29er forum.

The sun was out and warmed the day nicely. It eventually hit 60. A very fast neutral roll out got us to the gravel road, folks jockeying for position. After a brief wait we were off. Sprinting on the gravel two track. This road climbed for quite awhile and eventually we got to the singletrack. The trail was sweet. I was feeling really good. The density of the monster rocks increased until at some points I was almost bouncing my way through them. Occassionaly they would bring me to a complete stop. On and off the bike a bit doing some running too.

There was a gal from Texas that I was trading places with, she finished fourth. Danielle had a stellar race and had a solid finish for second.

I’ve been racing a lot of years. Finished races with a separated shoulder, cracked ribs, etc. but I’ve never had a DNF. I now have my first one. I’m still not clear what happened to my rear der. but after fishing that woody vine out of a cage that was pointing toward the sky, it wouldn’t shift right. I'd also knocked my wheel out of true. The rubbing rear wheel I could deal with but the inability to get out of the four largest cogs was a problem. The chain skipped gears when in the 4th or 5th cog. I could use 6-7-8...nice tall gears for the more LEVEL portions of the course but certainly not what I needed to get up the remaining mountains.

Repeated dismounts to physically move my chain from the larger cogs back to the middle got old quick. There didn’t seem to be a reasonable or realistic way to continue that for another 35 miles. I stopped and disassembled things, looked them over. Put it all back together. Continued on the trail. Same problems.

Well...it was a good race while it lasted. So with a heavy heart I abandoned the Ouachita Challenge. I’d already gotten through the worst of the rock gardens and was looking forward to the Womble trail. It will have to wait for another time.

Trying to remember to only use a limited set of gears in the rear and the middle or large front ring I found my way to the cut off to start my return to the school in Oden. I got my head back on straight, thought about all the good things from this trip and put in a few climbing efforts on the return ride. I soaked up the views of the mountains, the greening under story of the woods and the sunshine.

By the time I had to sprint from an unchained dog I was back ‘on game’ Was focused on the positive. Disappointed I couldn’t finish? For sure. Angry? No. Guess those years of experience helped me refocus and make the best of things. We had a great pre-ride on Saturday, I got to do part of the trail. Had a good time.

The riding there is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. The rocks of the Michaux State Forest are probably the closest but the density, size and sharp edges of the Ozark rocks is something.

The climbing was epic and the Badger was an awesome bike to ride at OC. The big wheels: awesome! I just may have to make a return trip.

You can read a bit more at the Founder's team site


Riding Trails

YES! The weather has been super and Yankee was in shape to ride Sunday. Met Danielle and Toni (read recipe for suffering) to do a few laps. It was great to be out there. Sunny but it stayed right around 32-33 with windchill tossed in.
Rode the Badger. Wow. Four hours and my hands/wrists/back did NOT hurt. This is a first. Great fit on this bike. Its making the trip to Ouachita. The bike rides and handles superbly.

Here's a pic of Danielle doing a trackstand during our ride. It was the only time all day I was ahead of her. Okay, so it was after she had stopped and then soon after she came off the bike too. I think Toni had already blown by.


Cross Training

Today was going to be a nice long road ride. I got sidetracked early this morning. We'd had some serious wind a few weeks back and a tree had come down on our fence. So we went out to repair that. Next thing I know we're tackling a bunch of tree removal, trimming, pruning, hauling. Six hours later I limped into the house, barely able to grasp the door knob. It was great to have this all done but not quite the planned training for today.

The pick axe got pretty heavy before I finished. A small sampling of today's effort is shown here for your entertainment.

Hope I get recovered for a mtn. bike epic Sunday...a real trail ride! Yup! Going to actually ride on a trail before Ouachita. I can't believe that is a week from now.


Epic Outing

After another fast work-filled week I got out on the 29er for a nice ride yesterday. Sunny and warm with a fierce headwind. Still, great to be riding outside and the sun was a treat.

Today I met up with Danielle and then we later hooked up with Scott and Toni (this kid is an amazing rider, it's like she isn't working hard at all). Epic ride for me for sure, hardest/longest ride of the year. The sun shone again today and the temps were even in the 50s. The rain kindly blew through during the night leaving us sunny and dry.

Had to laugh, the first hour was a gasping near speechless outing. Turns out Danielle thought I was setting the pace and I thought she was. So we ending up riding real steady that first hour. Glad it was on the flat White Pine trail. From there it was out to the rolling back roads of Ada.

This is how things looked a lot today. Most likely Danielle had likely dropped back with me, quite kind. She's good about that (thanks). It certainly kept me motivated to ride hard to hang on as well as the need to catch up after many of the endless succession of hills. Loved it. At one point I was sucking in so much air that Danielle thought a dog was barking. Nope, just me trying to breath. But all in all it was a great ride and we did pretty much hang together.

One of the downhills had us working like we were on the flats, cross tires and a bit of wind can do that. It all was just great today, the sun and biking outside can make a great day.

Weather forecast has winter returning after a Monday of super high winds. The soaked ground and those winds will probably have me doing some cross training cleaning up downed trees before the week is out.

Two weeks till Ouachita!


Sweet Sun

Hike today. Scenery is awesome. 45 degrees quickly becomes 70-80. Loving life, it is great to be outside in the sun. Sleeping nine hours every night is a new thing too. Sweet.

Lots of great eating. All in all a great way to spend the week.


Riding with Susan

Got together with a friend who lives out here for a ride. Great day, great time.

Susan is a Brevet rider. This was her rest day....I still got in a nice long ride.


Climbing into the cold

Wednesday I decided to ride up Mt. Lemmon. The weather forecast seemed reasonable enough. In the end I turned back at the ranger station around 8,000 feet. The temps were below 50, it was windy and the rain seemed determined to stay. I put on everything I had packed and headed down. After five minutes around 25mph I could no longer feel my fingers and the toes were heading the same way...numb. Hard to brake when you can't feel the levers. The roads, having been dry for 191 rainless days, were getting slick. I continued down for a few more minutes, my shivers caused the bike to shimmy. A quick calculation left me with the realization it was going to be another hour of this to reach the bottom. Hypothermia was within reach. I decided to see if I could hitch a ride to the canyon floor. Hard to pass up a 20 mile descent but better to ride another day. A super nice couple on vacation from NJ gave me a lift down.

The pic is from the way up just as the first sprinkles started.


SpeedyChix spotted in sunny AZ

8o Degrees and Sunny.
Need I say more?
Given how long this is taking to upload don't plan on more news until I get to a fast connection.

But is SURE is good to be where the sun shines, arm warmers take the chill off, riding is sweet and the eating every bit as good.


Still Alive

Hi, Not much going on besides lots of work. Trying to hold on to some fitness with short rides on the trainer. Getting close to having four or five days to do some solid base miles.

Racing CX into mid-December finds me wanting to be off the bike in January or having a funk in February. Maybe next winter I'll try something a bit different once CX season ends.

The Badger is bugging me for a ride. Maybe a night ride this week if I can caught up a bit!


Badger Cycles 29er!

WoooHooo, it's built. So even if I'm lame and didn't ride outside I DID finish building up this filet brazed beauty.

Frame is custom with a short top tube (bit of a challenge for smaller 29 frames), a wheelbase that is as snug as the 26 full sus, light steel tubeset that should have a nice snap to it and some sparkling paint.

I've wanted a painted steel bike again for a time and what better way to do it up.

The balance of the bike is designed around a women's build and to have quick xc trail manners.

Just as I finish building it we get a day of cold rain and another day of wet snow. A real ride report will be coming...when the weather decides to freeze things or clear up.


Shizzling Drizzle Mist

What's with this weather? It's foggy making road riding a deathwish and the wet around here means the trail is total mud. Trainer time.....


Winding Up

For a good weekend of riding. Looking forward to getting in some long rides in. Work has decimated my training the past couple of weeks. Sleep will be good too.

Been working on a cool new bike project. Might be ready to roll this weekend.

Last weekend I did get in a fun run in the rain. Best part of it was I was done before it got light out so I couldn't really tell how dreary the day was!



Woke up with my legs talking to me. Once I was up and moving around though they came around. Guess they don't hate me for yesterday's hilly ride.

Hilly is all relative, we'll see how they feel in about two months.


Great Day to Ride

Today I went on a super ride with Danielle and Toni. The terrain is much better west of home. Roads were good and it was great to have company for that many hours.

Check out Danielle's blog for photos and more.

The sun again made an appearance for part of the day and kept temps just above freezing.


Busy Week

What a week….mostly work, a little bit of sleep and even less training. Not a good thing.

Here's the closest I got to a bike most of this past week:
Visit Everti Bikes and you’ll see me on a nicer day with my Epic CX rig.

I need to get some time in on the bike. Riding long with Danielle Sunday...


Versluis Cross Race, er Mud Race

Racing yesterday was like churning through peanut butter...the temps were just below freezing but the sun was full on. It got nice and slick. Then the snow/mud would freeze back up on the bike. Today I was rather wasted from that little orchard epic. But it might be best hour of power I've done. Time to spin out the legs.


Ouachita Challenge and other events

The notion that I'm going to be on my bike and racing at the end of March instills a certain degree of motivation and one healthy dose of fear. This isn't just some mid-winter entertainment...this is the Ouachita Challenge. Pronounce it 'Wash it aw', accent on the first syllable. Living where it is pretty flat, I might be dubbing this the "Ouch"it-all Challenge It's 60 miles through the mountains of Arkansas, approx. 4500' of climbing, about 65% singletrack. The 200 rider limit for the race has been met. Looks like there will be five Michigan riders in that 200.

Other upcoming races on the short list:
Lumberjack 100 (www.kisscross.com)
Iron Cross: America's longest cross race
Ice Man: which is already full and it isn't until November!
More to be added but it is tough to narrow them down. I'm looking forward to more mtn. bike events this year and doing more of the endurance stuff. This might be where my 'years of life' could be an advantage.



Been on the go but took time for a super ride on Sunday. The sun came out after missing for days. It felt really good to be outside on the bike. I kinda lost my mind and rode for multiple hours and came home a bit muddy. Another half hour to hose the bike off and two extra rinse cycles in the washer. Guess who forgot their fender...



Great night for a run. A bit misty. Weather sure has been pleasant if gray. Sun has hidden for days. But come on, 40 degrees in early January? Rivertrail was clear too. The hard week of running December paid off tonight. Felt great. Danielle "I can ride all day and all night" was getting in a ride today with her speedy sidekick...I better keep working. Time to start weights. Racing cyclocross tends to put my 'winter' training a bit behind a lot of riders.


Good day to ride

Biking in the snow. Biking any day is a great day. Saturday I wrapped up 2005 with a couple of my AAVC riding buddies. Folks thought we were crazy but we had a blast. For once I remembered my fender so I didn't end up with dreaded 'mud butt' (as in cold-n-wet) .