Sunday, March 30, 2008


Rifle and trap shooting in the morning with Big Jerry Engen followed by my dad's 88th birthday party didn't leave much time for riding. I did manage to get in 16 miles on Summit and River Blvd while riding the Specialized Allez for the second time. The bike needs a little more work. Actually, the only thing I need to do is adjust the front derailleur postion.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

On To Roubaix

Today was the day for the annual Twin Cities Bicycle Club Swap. It seems like they hold it in a different location every year... The swap was at the Hopkins VFW and seemed to have one of the best turnouts in years. Many of my peeps were there including Tom and Lee Bengel, Bill Stuber, his brother Joe, Jerry Engen and Barry Torgerson. Others were there too including Bob Williams from the track and Mark Wagner. The only things I bought were a set of Ultegra brakes for $15 which I turned around and sold for $25, a Truvativ Touro track crank and matching ISIS bottom bracket and a Wrench Force cable cutter and pedal wrench. Otherwise, I sold a lot of stuff including my Giant OCR C1 carbon road bike purchased by Joe Stuber. Plus a set of Bontrager Racelite wheels, a set of Mavic Crossland wheels and a Mavic Crossmax XL front wheel. Also sold were some derailleurs, seatposts, a tractor ass saddle, Garmin GPS unit, and a stem. After the swap, Tom and Lee Bengel, Bill Stuber and I went for a road ride with Rob Belz. Since I sold the Giant OCR C1, I rode my Specialized Roubaix. We rode from Saint Paul out to Lake Elmo and back. I got in 28 miles.

Riding Giants

'Riding Giants', that was the title of a great surf movie a few years ago. It ranks up there with 'Big Wednesday' among surf flicks. In fact, it's way better than 'Ride the Wild Surf' from the early 60s starring Fabian Forte as the surf king. Man, the surf scenes in that one looked really fake. Forte stood on a board with pictures of waves in the background... No special effects Oscars for that one... Besides Fabian Forte, another surfer in the film named the "Eskimo", was Robert Mitchum's son. After that movie, I don't think anyone heard from those bad actors again... Speaking of Giants, I tuned up the Giant OCR C1 carbon road bike and rode it for 8 miles on Summit and River Blvd. The bike is for sale this weekend at the TCBC bike swap.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Training Between Storms...

With snow in the forecast, I made sure I got out for a good after work ride. Today, I made a big circle as I rode north along the river and then worked my way over to the U of M Ag campus. Next, I went north on Cleveland to County B and then east to Rice Street where I headed south for home. Along the way I ran into Loon State teammate Bill Stuber who was heading home form work on his new Surly Crosscheck. I got in 20 1/2 miles on the Redline.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weather To Ride...

It's amazing how good 40F feels when you've been going through the worst global warming stretch since Al Gore invented it... Just kidding... No need for retribution... Anyway I couldn't decide whether to ride yesterday because of the weather. I opted out yesterday... Today, I rode half the ride with Tommy Bengel. He had to leave early to pick up his daughter from tennis lessons. We rode east on Summit and then went up the High Bridge. After that, we dropped down to Lillydale Road along the river. I checked the height of the hill by the Yacht Club off Lillydale Road and got 71 feet on the Garmin GPS. We crossed on the I35 Bridge where Tommy headed home and I continued on to Summit. I went west on Summit and then south on River Blvd past the Ford Plant. I took River Blvd and Summit back home. BTW, stay off Lillydale Road. There is a ton of water on the asphalt in the usual places. I got in 22 miles.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Big Drive

The company I work for is a little different from most. While many companies close down for Columbus Day, Presidents Day and Martin Luther King Day, ours doesn't. We do get Good Friday off though. Anyway, the plan was to go for a decent bike ride and maybe do a little coyote hunting. Since I don't have a Pugsley, the snow canceled my ride plans. That left coyote hunting with Jerry Engen as the activity of choice. We didn't want to go out while the snow was falling because the guns get too wet. I arrived at Jerry's house in the field and forest country of the east metro at 6pm. Jerry's grandson Zack joined us for the hunt. The first stop was a large tract of woods, fields and swamps. We made a drive through the woods and swamps trying to get the coyotes to move. It was tough going as the snow was pretty deep in places and the woods were thick. No coyotes after working the area for 45 minutes but I did flush a beautiful rooster pheasant... We had enough of that place... Next up, a large section of woods and fields further east. Another tough drive covering lots of ground. We started out in daylight and finished after dark. More tough snow made the drive a lot of work. I thought I spotted coyote tracks but they were deer. As I walked along the edge of a field next to a wood-line, I flushed a cottontail rabbit. I don't shoot rabbits but it would really be bad to shoot one Easter Weekend... After that drive we decided on one more. It didn't work out too well as we got separated due to circumstances... Zack and I walked back to the truck. I fired the shotgun to let Jerry know where we were. He arrived back at the truck and we took off. I think I'm 0 for 4 on the coyote expeditions... What a workout walking through swamps, deep snow and thick woods though...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Going Garmin

I'm tossing out the bike computers... I've been running my Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS unit side by side with my bike computers on a couple of bikes. I've decided the Garmin GPS is the way to go. The set-up I'm using shows time, pace (speed) and distance. You can configure the unit with max speed, average speed and other options. With the GPS unit, there is no need to select a wheel size and there are no wires. You don't use a magnet or anything on your wheel for that matter. Just put the GPS on a handlebar bike mount and your set to go. I like the elevation and GPS waypoint position marking options also. I've already marked the elevation on the Ohio, Highwood and Ramsey Hill climbs.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Getting In Shape...

I went for an 18 mile ride with Tom Bengel today that included two times up the steep 55 foot Mount Airy Climb. We rode over to Lake Phalen and came back to Mac-Groveland via Phalen Parkway. My bike fitness is starting to come around but I've got a long way to go.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No Podium, No Problem...

Without the Diamondback Podium, I used the Redline Conquest Pro on my 23 mile Lake Owasso loop, ride today. The route takes me east on summit to the Capitol. I take a few roads behind the Capitol over to north on Jackson. From there, the route goes to Roselawn where I hang a right towards McMenemy. At McMenemy, I go east to Edgerton north. Edgerton takes me past Lake Gervais. I turn left on Little Canada Road, cross 35E and then turn right along the frontage road which curves around to Rice Street. Crossing Rice puts me on the north end of Owasso. I go west to Victoria and then head south down the west side of the lake. Victoria takes me south to Front where I take a right and then a left on Lexington which takes me back to Summit.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

As Of Now, I'll Pass On This One...

Here's the new Shimano electronic, wireless shifting system. The battery pack and wireless unit, attached to the front derailleur, seem kind of big and heavy...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Last Time On the Podium

The Diamondback Podium has been sold! I had to adjust the gears before selling it to Mike Lyner's neighbors' kid. In his 20s but I say kid because, well, I'm older than that... Anyway, I rode the bike for 1.93 miles while adjusting the gears... Earlier, I had to clean the historic Kansas City mud off the bike. I gave it a good cleaning and used Pedros Dry Lube on the chain and gears. The picture is me pushing the Podium up the dirt hill at Boom Island last year.

Jimmer And Jordan

I was out riding the hills of Afton with Loon State teammates Bill Stuber and Rob Belz, plus Rob's sister Lori and GP's Tommy Bengel when we ran into Jimmer and Jordan Cullen. Those two were on their way back to Hudson from a likely 50+ miler. We rode the big climbs on Indian Trail and the steep east side of the famed Afton Coulee. One of the other big climbs on the route was the monster on 21 past the Coulee heading south to Afton State Park. The ride was the shakedown cruise for the Specialized Allez I put together last week. Jimmer thought I was using too good of a bike for the conditions but I had to try it out. The Cullen's were riding their cross bikes... Anyway, the other plan for the ride was to mark the vertical climbs on the big Afton hills. However, my GPS unit ran out of juice after a couple of miles because I left it on overnight without recharging... The charge lasts for 15 hours.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Searching For The High Road

I didn't have a lot of time for a ride yesterday so I rode the usual Summit, River Boulevard loop for 14 miles. Along the way, there were several car eating water holes right on the road... It pays to pick the right road engineers which Saint Paul obviously didn't do. There are plenty of roads that drain to the sides perfectly in our state. Not River Boulevard in Saint Paul though... Water drains into the road, collects and stays there. That's why riding in the Stillwater, Lake Elmo area is so much better.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Higher And Higher (Props To Sammy Haggar)

I loved Van Halen during the David Lee Roth era. The guy had pipes and Eddy's song writing skills and guitar were fantastic. When Ed booted DLR out of the band, I thought they were done. Lo and behold, Sammy Haggar joined the band. He actually played a guitar too... They had a ton of hits with Sam. One of them contained the refrain; "higher and higher". Anyway, that's what i did the last two days, I climbed higher and higher on the bike. Monday, I climbed Mount Airy Street in Saint Paul along with Ramsey Hill. I didn't have a lot of time (coyote hunting) so I only got in 10 1/2 miles. Today, I went out for 28 miles and climbed Ohio, Highwood and Ramsey Hill. I should have used my Garmin GPS yesterday but I did bring it along today. The Ohio climb starts at 701 feet and finishes at 993 for a total vertical climb of 292 feet. If you take a right on Dodd and go up the hill to Smith, you get 1037 feet for a total vertical of 336 feet. Highwood, by Highway 61, starts in Saint Paul at 744 feet and finishes in Maplewood at 1049 for a vertical climb of 305 feet. After those two big climbs I didn't think I was ready to take on Ramsey again. I took on the challenge though. Ramsey Hill starts at 789 feet and climbs to 938 feet for a total vertical of 149. The picture is from the top of Mount Airy with Metro State and the 3M Maplewood headquarters in the distance.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Additions To Jay's Bike Page

I updated Jay's Bike Page yesterday. Check out the Specialized Allez and the Masi Coltello track frame. Someone should buy my Giant OCR C1 and my Diamondback Podium so I can move them to the 'Bikes I Used To Own' section... Jay's Bike Page is listed in the Links Section or;

50+ Cat 4 Season Preview

It should be a great year in the 50+ Cat 4 Category... Most of the 50+ guys are Cat 3 so it's too bad there aren't any 50+ Cat 4 races. Of the three or four riders who qualify for 50+ Cat 4, expect to find me, Tom Bengel and my Loon State teammates Chris Paidosh and Bill Stuber battling it out several miles behind the lead pack...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tracks On The Saint Croix

Jerry Engen and Loon State Teammate Bill Stuber joined me for a morning of skate skiing on the Saint Croix River. We put in at the Boomsite north of Stillwater and cruised to the old railroad bridge 3 miles up-river. Along the way we came across a lot of fox, coyote and otter tracks. The weather was cold in the morning with a south wind. That helped on the trip up-river but hurt us on the way back. Among the live wildlife were a bunch of trumpeter swans, some Canadian geese and a big hawk. The picture is me and Jerry taken by Stubes.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Package Deal...

Here's the deal... I'm selling three things as a package. I'll start from least expensive. The package includes a Garmin Forerunner 101 GPS Wristwatch with Bike Mount, the famed and storied Diamondback Podium 54cm cyclocross bike with Shimano 105 components and Bontrager Select wheels plus a Giant OCR C1 top of the line Full Carbon Road Bike Size Medium with Dura Ace Front and Rear Derailleurs, Ultegra/105 STI Shifter/Levers, Xero XR1 1520 gram wheels, FSA Aluminum Wing Bar, Bontrager Carbon Seat Post and an FSA Carbon Crankest size 172.5 with 53/39 Rings. The total package price: $1700 email me at; or call me at 612-554-6081.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

On The Podium

That's on the Diamondback (No) Podium cyclocross bike by the way... I got in 19 miles on Summit, River Boulevard, East River Road, West River Road, Plymouth Avenue and through the U of M with Tommy Bengel. The hills were a little tough to get up today... Anyway, I don't need two cyclocross bikes so you can have my 54cm Podium for $400.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Putting It All Together

The Specialized Allez frame arrived on Friday. I started putting the bike together on Saturday by digging into the Twin Cabinets 'O Bike Parts. I managed to find a complete Ultegra 9 speed groupo and added a few items picked up at swaps this year like the Hed Jet 50s I got at Cronometro and FSA handlebars purchased at the National Sports Center MCF parts garage sale. Among other parts I added were a Ritchey WCS stem, Thomson seat post, Sram chain, Dura Ace casette, FSA carbon crankset, Hutchinson tires, Salsa tubes and Cinelli bar tape. I got the bike part way done on Saturday as I worked around biking and coyote hunting... Anyway, I finished it today.

Wile E Coyote

The ride of the day was 31 3/4 miles through Stillwater and Lake Elmo with fellow Loon State riders John Stamm and Rob Belz. John and Rob met me in Lakeland after riding up from Afton. They got in about 45 miles. We all rode our cross bike. The roads were dry and the shoulders were pretty decent. There were a few places where melting snow made the roads wet but all in all, it was a great day for a ride. The highlight of the day was later in the evening. Jerry Engen and I went coyote hunting in Lakeland. Jerry knows just about every farmer in the east metro. The farm we hunted is pretty big. We hiked about a 1 1/2 miles across open land including corn stubble from last year. I pulled a sled with a couple of guns and two recorders and a rabbit decoy. Jerry carried a couple of other guns. We set up on the edge of the woods with an open draw for the coyotes to wander in. Instead of using my 22, I grabbed Jerry's double barrel shot gun and climbed into a tree stand. Jerry set up a woodpecker recorder by me and then he went over to a tent about 75 yards away. Jerry had a 17 and a 223 rifle ready to go. He set up a coyote recorder and then put out the rabbit which moves around and makes noise when turned on. It was a great evening to be out. The temps were warm and the white snow made it easier to check out the action at night. I sat in the tree stand for about an hour and 15 minutes. I'd watch the planes flying in from Wisconsin while they made their way to Minneapolis/Saint Paul Airport. The sky was clear too so the stars were out. Orion the Hunter was over my left shoulder. Every minute or two, I'd turn on the recorder for 10 seconds. I'd hear Jerry turn on the coyote call and the rabbit. Why Jerry gave me a woodpecker recorder, I don't know... Woodpeckers aren't out flying around at night... I thought an owl or two might fly in but I didn't even hear a hoot. Anyway, no coyotes showed up. Jerry came over since he was done sitting around. We packed up the sled and headed for the truck. The hunting wasn't successful but it was still a great night to be out in the woods and fields.