Thursday, February 28, 2008

We All Know The Routine

It snowed today... We all know the routine. Get on the bike that's set up on the trainer and spin away. I got in 40 minutes followed by some weight training. Knowing the routine is similar to Tommy Bengel's saying; "We all know the history..." That is one of the best sayings you can use. Say you want to end a conversation... Someone is telling you a boring story like; "Did you hear which team ASO didn't invite to the Tour?" Just say; "We all know the history..." That should end it... Thanks to Tommy Bengel for that one...

Monday, February 25, 2008

On The Bike On Summit And River Boulevard

Today was my first outside ride since January. I got in 18 miles on Summit and River Boulevard here in Saint Paul. The legs were pretty stiff the first 8 miles from the Birkie on Saturday. After that, I warmed up and picked up the pace. I saw a couple of U of M guys riding their road bikes, a few more guys training plus the usual commuters. I rode the Diamondback Podium cyclocross bike.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I've Got The Parts So Why Not Buy A Frame?

The Twin Cabinets 'O Bike Parts is full so I decided to build another bike up. I bought a Specialized Allez frame with carbon stays and a carbon fork on the Bay. The component group I'll add will be 9 speed Ultegra and assorted other parts is parts. I don't know why the seller had the fork turned around in the picture...

Ski Season's Over

I got back today from four days in Hayward, Wisconsin for the American Birkebeiner. My training plan worked to perfection... I started tapering in December by adding 10 pounds (15 over) and only averaging 1.5 days of skiing per week... Peeps Tommy Bengel, Barry Torgerson and Bill Stuber pounded on me in my first two races of the year. At the Birkie though, I turned the tables... At the start of wave one, Tommy B took off and I couldn't stay with him. The first half of the race is full of big hills like the highpoint and the two big left handers leading to County Highway OO. Dale Thompson was another guy who trashed me there. Thompson and Bengel were gone. I struggled through those big climbs and felt pretty good by the time I crossed OO. All of a sudden, there was Tommy B, about 50 meters in front of me. I caught up to him and gave him the look like he did to me at Balsam Branch this year. Anyway, I pulled away on the downhills (much of the second half of the race is downhill) and left him behind. After Mosquito Brook, I spotted Dale Thompson. There is another big climb there so I waited until the top ( I wasn't going to beat anyone up the hills). Once I crested the hill, I caught Thompson and passed him. A slight downhill left him further behind as my skis were rockets. From there, I cruised into the Main Street finish with a fast Lake Hayward helping my effort. I kept passing numerous skiers from the last half of the race all the way to the end. Most of them had left me in their wake during the first half of the event. Don't get me wrong, I didn't have a great race, but I did okay for the ski condition I'm in. My time was 3:01.29 and I placed 706th. It was the first time I've been over three hours in many years... Among my Loon State teammates, I finished fourth out of seven. New Loon State Cyclist, Jay Wenner was 80th and John Stamm and Dan Meyer also finished ahead of me. Mike Lyner, new Loon State Cyclist Bill Stuber and Tim Power were behind me. Another new Loon State rider, John Wyland, skied the Korteloppet. He had to do the shorter race because of a bum shoulder. The weekend got off to a bang when Jerry Engen and I went target shooting in Barnes (we stayed there with Barry Torgerson) on Friday. I shot my 22 while Jerry shot his new 223 (?). His rifle was like a cannon! Man was it loud! He dialed in his scope and hit the bullseye from 200 yards. Back to the race, other bikers skied including Lennard Zinn, mountain biker Steve Eberly and time trial/triathlete, Dave Dow. Lastly, it's tough to beat the North Woods of Wisconsin when the weather is good. Oh yeah, it's bike season...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tapering For The Birkie

I've been tapering for the Birkie lately. Actually, I've been tapering for the Birkie all season by skiing one to two times per week. The last two days I hit the trainer. Forty five minutes and weights on Monday and 40 minutes today. In the feel good news section, I hit 181lbs today... I put O G on a piece of paper and taped it to my steering wheel. It stands for; "Operation Gut". I do all the food damage while driving around in my truck. I eat a healthy breakfast and dinner but it all falls apart at lunch or in the morning when I'm picking up donuts for customers. Junk food has a habit of jumping out at me when I'm walking down the aisles... Plus, my truck always seems to veer toward Taco Johns, Culvers or Arbys... The O G sticker will force me to think before my hand reaches for the soda, candy and fast food...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Trainer 500 At Riviera

Today would have been perfect for an outdoor ride. I was busy (more on that later) in the morning and then had a birthday brunch to go to at 12pm. I got home in time to hop on the trainer and catch the start and first 80 laps of the Daytona 500. The next 1 1/2 hours were spent spinning away switching over to the golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles during the commercials... You need something good on TV or a good bike race video to stay on the trainer that long... I was done at 4pm, just in time to catch the Tour of California on the Versus. Anyway, I worked on the Masi Coltello track bike in the morning. The fork has been cut to size with plenty of room for different bar height. The RavX, Speed X saddle and RavX, Aerolite aero carbon seat post fit the bike very well. I need a crankset, chain and wheels. I've got a Hed Track Disc for the back and a Hed Jet for the front on the way. Check out the progress so far...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hanging With Dow

The workout of the day was skate skiing at the historical Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Those joining me were Jerry Engen, Lori Belz, Bill Stuber and John Wyland. We got in a couple of hours while the sun was out, the temps were rising and the wind was blowing. Lake Elmo is a great place to ski with a mixture of woods, fields and swamps. Among those out on the trails, former Olympic skier Kevin Brochman was giving ski lessons to a couple of women. When we got back to the parking lot, world class time trialist, triathlete, former bike swap organizer and man about town, Dave Dow, was heading out on his classic skis.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Big Time Workouts...

Yesterday's workout consisted of 45 minutes on the trainer followed by weights. Today, I got in a whopping 30 minutes! I would have done more but my wife got home from work and you married guys know that means time to talk... I got off the bike...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More Ski Season

The ski season should last another week and a half and then it's bike time... I got in three laps after work on the fabulous Highland 9 Hole Golf Course trails. Tom Bengel was there before me and skied one lap with me. The SPA kids were on the trails too. No sign of Dave Dow though...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Full Frontal?

I Set the New Record! This morning, I got on the scale and topped out at my all time high of 178lbs. Since I was so close to 180, I decided I had to go for it... I had two Hershey's with Almonds Bars before lunch. Then, I went to Taco John's and had a taco, combo burrito, medium Potato Oles and a Pepsi. On the way back from work, I grabbed a 32oz Coke and two M&Ms Almond packages. When I walked in the house, I took off all my clothes and jumped on the scale... 180 1/2 pounds!!! I began my diet immediately as 5 minutes later out of the can I weighed 179lbs... Then, I jumped on the trainer for 40 minutes and lifted some weights. Tonight, Kathleen made salmon, wild rice and broccoli... Anyway, check out the frontal shot...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Swapping Stories...

The BIG Bike Swap supporting the NSC Velodrome was held today at the National Sports Center in Blaine. What a turn-out! It was a veritable (like that word?) who's who of Twin Cities cycling. Many of my Loon State peeps showed including Kevin Schaefer, Dan Cleary, Andy Frye, Bill Kuster, Barry and Ali Tungseth and Shane Kullman. I had a table of my own and shared half a table with Tom and Lee Bengel. Jerry Engen, Lori Belz, John Wyland and Rob Belz showed were there too. Others included Dave Peterson, Bob Williams, Andy Kruse, Sean Peotter, Dag Selander, Paul Schoening, Paul McKinney and many more. Anyway, I sold a bunch of stuff and bought some things too. Among the stuff I picked up, five boxes of Cinelli bar tape, two sets of Look pedals and pictured to the left, a Garneau time trial helmet and three handle bars including an FSA aluminum K Wing, a Specialized carbon wing and a Salsa. The other picture is the outer section of the swap from my table. By the way, check out the latest Dirt Rag. There's a picture of me and Tom Bengel walking away from the action at Cross Nationals in Kansas City last December. I'm in the red coat and Tommy is wearing black.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Training and Labeling

The last post concerning training was on Tuesday. To catch up, I skied for 1 hour 45 minutes at the Comenkollen on Wednesday and then for an hour on Friday with Tommy Bengel at the Highland 9 Hole. By the way, the Highland 9 Hole is a better golf course... Today, I labeled up a bunch of parts for the swap and took the components off my 29er. I'm selling the Jamis Dakota 29er 18" frame and Rock Shox Tora suspension fork.

60th Anniversary Schwinn Paramount

The Schwinn Paramount has had a long and storied history dating back to 1938. The originals were built in the Schwinn Factory in Chicago. Today, those Paramounts are worth a lot of money. In the 1980's, Schwinn moved the Paramount production to Richard Schwinn's Waterford plant in Wisconsin. The quality of the Waterford Paramounts was superb. For whatever reason, maybe cost and declining sales at Schwinn, the beginning of the 1990s saw the Paramount program head to Japan. The Waterford Paramounts were still built in Wisconsin but the alternative foreign bikes were made of Tange Prestige and were no longer equiped with Dura Ace components. The Japanese Paramounts used the same Tange frame but came with different components. There was an RSX (like Tiagra now), 105 and 600 (today's Ultegra) model. The frames were in different paint schemes depending on the component package. While the Tange Prestige Paramounts offered a beautiful ride, the bastardization of the Paramount line had begun. Soon, there was an aluminum Paramount. Also, Kestrel made a carbon Paramount frame for Schwinn. The complete destruction of the name came with the aluminum Paramount mountain bike... Around 1992, Waterford stopped making Paramounts and began to focus on their own line of bikes. Would the altered Paramount program end up on the slag heap of history? Thanks to Tim Isaac of Match Cycles, that didn't happen. Isaac built the 60th Anniversary Paramount in 1998 for Schwinn. The Isaac Paramounts were fantastic Reynolds 853 frames with Dura Ace back on board. The Isaac Paramount program lasted until 2000. Among the names who worked at Isaac were Steve Hampsten (Andy's brother), Kirk Pacenti (who now sells some of the finest bike lugs available to frame builders) and Curt Goodrich, who was the Master Frame Builder for Issac. Goodrich was the guy who put the flame to metal and brought Isaac's Paramounts to life. While Issac was building the 60th Anniversary bikes. Schwinn had one more card to play. They had Ben Serotta build titanium Paramounts with the smae color scheme as the 60th Anniversary bikes. Today, the Isaac Paramounts are worth much more than the Japanese bikes. The Serotta bikes are worth even more as less of them were made. Tim Isaac moved on to head Pacific Bicycle. Pacific holds the Schwinn name and imports bikes from Taiwan labeled as Schwinns. They brought back the Peloton name from the past for their carbon bikes. So far, they haven't done anything with the Paramount name. Hopefully, if they do, it will be a U.S. made steel frame like the legendary bikes of the past. As a side note, probably the most valuable Paramounts are the chrome plated track models from the 1960s and 1970s. Of course the Paramounts from the late 1930s through the 1950s are very expensive too. We are very fortunate, here in the Twin Cities, to have the Isaac Paramount Frame Builder, Curt Goodrich, in town. He's still bending steel and producing fabulous bikes. By the way, the red Paramount pictured is an Isaac bike from 1998. The blue one is a 1992 Japanese Paramount.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Calling The Perfect Race

As the self proclaimed World's Greatest Bicycle Race Announcer, I had the honor to call the Perfect Bike Race at the Capitol Criterium, Minnesota State Criterium Championships last summer. The said event was the Masters 50 Plus. The strongest rider in the race that day was Silver Cycling's Dave Pramann. He had another strong rider helping him out in Dave Herbert. The only other team with strength that day was Grand Performance SPBRC. Among their strongest were Mark Kowaliw, Charlie Townsend (Pete's brother), Steve Hunter and Bob Mairs. The GP guys worked over Pramann and Herbert to perfection. I think the first one off the front was Kowaliw. He went on a flyer forcing Pramann and Herbert to chase it down. Once back in the pack, Hunter took off, forcing Pramann and Herbert to chase again. Back together again, Mairs had a go. Was this the decisive move? Pramann had to chase. Back together again, Townsend took over. This pattern kept repeating until Mairs went the second time. Pramann and Herbert were toast after chasing down the various GP boys. Mairs was the benefactor as he got out front for good and cruised in for the win and the State Championship. Most people don't understand bike racing tactics. That race was like a year's worth of classroom training...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sacking Rome

Let's face it, we're not that many generations removed from Barbarians. Those of us with northern European ancestry can blame our barbaric relatives for sacking Rome and pillaging and plundering the known world. Whether Vikings, Vandals, Goths, Lombards, whatever, the formula was the same; find a village, wait for the right time and attack. The pillaged loot was usually weapons, metal artifacts and young women... A good substitute over the last century has been bike racing. Substitute Loon State, Birchwood, Flanders, Gopher Wheelmen and all the other local clubs for the Barbarians... The loot is the cash prizes and trophies offered up by our race promoters... Racing satisfies you inner Barbarian...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Secret V1 Double Kick

The trails of the famed and storied Comenkollen were calling all skiers... Well, they would if they could... The trail was in great shape after a 1 1/2 inch snowfall. I skated since I need the conditioning work. I can tell the form is coming around. The uphills weren't too bad and the speed work didn't hurt too much. I worked on the secret V1 double kick technique that gets the speed way up. I think only a couple of skiers besides me know how to do it. Since I'm not skiing all that fast this season, I need all the extra speed I can get. One of the skiers is an old Norwegian. He only used the technique on the uphills. I adapted it to the flats. The other guy is younger than me but basically hung up skiing when his kids were born. He's an excellent bike mechanic though...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Spinning Some More

I got another 40 minutes on the trainer today followed by my weight routine. Anyway, the big swap is coming up and I've got a ton of stuff for the tables. The swap supports a good cause with proceeds going to the track.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Getting Faster...

There's a possibility I skied the City of Lakes Loppet today. If I did, my time was 1:44 plus 30 seconds or so for the 35K skate race. Someone who signed up might not have been able to do it so I might have stepped-in. Anyway, if I did ski the race, I was much closer to to some other skiers than I was last week. Once again, if I raced it, the uphills didn't seem as bad as last week...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mega Ski Training

The intense ski training program I've been following is starting to pay dividends. Today, I skied for the first time in a week... Once a week should be enough to get me through the ski season. Right? What else did I do this week? I rode 27 miles outside on Sunday, rode the trainer for 45 minutes on Tuesday and played hockey for 1 1/2 hours on Thursday. Excellent ski training... Anyway, I was beat after skiing for 1 hour 10 minutes with Jerry Engen. I had a cheeseburger with Jerry and Lori Belz at a local restaurant afterwards and then went to Gander Mountain for some shot-shells for my 22 rifle and a frog colored Jitterbug fishing lure. What a sportsman!