Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday Time Trial Training

Like I've done the past couple of weeks, I rode the Specialized Allez time trial training bike out to Opus and back. This week's guest rider was Tom Bengel. Tommy rode out with me and then helped out the MNJRC riders in their race. As usual, I worked the registration table for the famed and storied Tuesday Night Worlds. We had another great turn-out even though it was a cold evening. I got in 33 1/2 miles. Notice the world famous Twin Bins 'O Bike Parts behind the Specialized Allez time trial training bike...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saint Paul - West Saint Paul - Saint Paul

In tribute to the oldest classic, Liege - Bastogne - Liege, I rode my own version today. Saint Paul - West Saint Paul - Saint Paul... Like the big climbs of the col Saint Nicholas and the La Rouche du Faucons, I rode up the High Bridge/Smith Avenue and the big Marie climb under I35E. Unlike LBL, I didn't have El Imbatiddo, the Schleck brothers or Davide Rebellin pushing me... I got in 19 miles on the Roubaix as I rode home through Fort Snelling, Minnehaha Park and back across the river to Saint Paul.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Riding On The Loon Express

It was a great day for the Loon State Stone Arch Wednesday ride. I met Mike Delaney, Randall and Jens there. The four of us took off and were joined by Tim Lewis on East River Road. Jens and Lewis absolutely hammered the whole ride. I took my turns pulling like everyone else but when those two were on the front... My thighs were screaming! After blasting down Shepard Road, I didn't think I'd have anything left for the High Bridge, Marie Avenue and Ohio climbs. I was right... I was off the back ahead of only Delaney on the High Bridge/Smith Avenue summit. On Marie and Ohio, I was dead last... Brian Loecken joined us at the intersection of Cherokee and Smith. We headed down the hill and went up Ramsey. Once again, I was off the back... Here's the equation/formula I've come up with; Age plus weight. My total number is 50 + 180 for 230. My ideal number would be 215. That means I need to drop 15 pounds... Anyway, since I rode down to the Stone Arch, I peeled off at Summit and Albert and rode a few blocks home. We got in 36 miles.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday Night Worlds Rock On

It was another fabulous night for the Tuesday Night Worlds crit races at the famed and storied Opus office park. Just like last week, I took the Specialized Allez time trial training bike and rode from Saint Paul to Opus. Jay Wenner, a new Loon State member, was the guest tag-a-long rider this week. We battled a headwind all the way out but made good time anyway. Once there, I did my usual job of collecting money, forms and handing out race numbers while Shane Kullman worked the computer. Skibby was there as always and this week Mike Delaney showed up. What a crew! Loons Bernie K. Mark K, A Squared, Jens, Red Lantern, Painman and Hitman were all there for the racing. Tons of others were there from the various teams in the area and beyond. After the registration for all classes was complete, I jumped back on the time trial training bike and rode for home. I got in 33 miles.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Rage...

Cathartic release will come later in this post... First things first... I got in a whopping 12.91 miles on Sunday. Work around the house and an afternoon tee time cut the ride short. Yeah, I should put biking ahead of golf and I will... Today, I transfered my rage into the pedals. I rode one of my fastest times for the Lake Owasso loop of a little over 23 miles. Even at age 50, I still have rage from the beatings suffered at the hands of my older brother thirty some years ago. I've never had a decent relationship with him. Part of me wants to forgive him but a larger part of me never will. He always picked on me but the real beatings started when I was 15 and lasted a few years until I got big enough to strike back. He's seven years older than me and should have known better. He transfered his rage from his rotten life into me by way of his fists. At 17, I finally used my wrestling skills to stop the abuse. Like a typical bully, he stopped the attacks when confronted. Maybe that's why I'm quick to confront jerks. In the words of Pete Townsend as sung by Roger Daltrey; "If my fist clenches, crack it open, before I use it and lose my cool..." I've been working things out lately and realized today that rage can be a driving force in life. If rage is used properly... However, in the big scheme of things, it doesn't really matter. I wonder if Merckx had rage when he stomped on the pedals?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Errands and Training...

Usually when the weather gets nice and warm, I try to go out for Saturday morning ride. Since I didn't go to Durand for the race (I'll concentrate on time trials and the track), wet roads and cold temps made my decision to go to Mills Fleet Farm pretty easy. I went there to get some downspout extensions for the house. Ten foot long sections is how they make them so it was a good idea that I brought the pick-up. First things first, I went to the automotive section to get some sponges, car wash soap, drying towels, rubber gloves and a big bucket. Next, since I bought a torque wrench yesterday, I went to get some allen heads for it. The only metric ones they had were 6, 8 and 10. I bought a 6 and 8 and then got a standard set of allen bits. From there, I walked over to sporting goods to check out a rifle for coyote shootin'. My mentor, Big Jerry Engen is in California for a few days so I have to wait to consult with him... While in sporting goods, I grabbed a couple of fishing pliers and two packets of lures for the opener. Finally, I made my way to building supplies where I got the downspout extensions. After that, I drove over to the Bicycle Chain to check on my Hed track disc. It hasn't come in yet... When I got home, I turned on the TV for a while. My wife is sick and was resting so I relaxed in front of the tube. The roads were dry so I took out the Roubaix, rode east on Summit, up the High Bridge, stopped at Bike Swap Alex's bike/variety store on Smith Avenue and then continued on to Fort Snelling and then home for 18 1/2 miles...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cracked Fork...

The carbon steer tube on my Specialized Roubaix's fork is cracked and I didn't even ride any cobbles... Did I attach possession to a bike? Yes, I did... Anyway, I've got an extra carbon fork with an aluminum steer tube. I'll put that one the bike. I rode through the north end of Saint Paul and stopped at the Bicycle Chain for a few track parts. I only got in 12.99 miles...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday Night Worlds

I rode out with Tommy Bengel to the Tuesday Night Worlds criterium races in Minnetonka. Sponsored as usual by my Loon State Club, I worked the registration table with Shane Kullman, Mark Kermish and Skibby. Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, it was good to see all of the racers return after a long, cold winter. Anyway, I rode the Specialized Allez time trial training bike. The strong side wind out of the south made the ride difficult in a few places on the Midtown Greenway which takes you all the way there. Tommy B left for home before I did so I rode back to Saint Paul by myself. The total miles were 32.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Setting Up The Time Trial Training Bike

The Specialized Allez has now become the new time trial training bike. All I had to do was attach the clip-on aero bars. Then I went for an 18 mile cruise of the Summit, River Boulevard loop to test it out. The only problem I had was the saddle which has been bothering me for a while. When I got back, I swapped it out for a Specialized gel model. If any one wants a Selle San Marco SKN saddle, let me know.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Biathlon

Big Jerry Engen and I did a biathlon today. We went to the Hudson Rod and Gun Club and shot the rifles and then shot some trap with the shotguns. After that, we got together with Lori Belz and my fellow Loon State Teammates Rob Belz and Bill Stuber. We rode 30 miles in the famed and storied Afton Hills. Jerry got chased by two dogs. They always go after the oldest rider... He hasn't sprinted that fast in twenty years. In fact, he would have given Boonen a run for his money today in the Roubaix Velodrome. Speaking of which, I rode my Specialized Roubaix. The route did include a 200 meter gravel section...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Big Wednesday

Loon teammate Rob Belz and I joined Tom and Lee Bengel and a couple of MNJRC kids on a ride across the river today. We rode through the U of M, worked our way around the Minneapolis skyline and hit the Kenilworth Trail. The Midtown Greenway took us back to Saint Paul. We got in a little under 31 miles. Anyway, we came across the Loon State Stone Arch 4:30 group and tons of other riders from Grumpys, Peace, Birchwood, Flanders and Grandstay. It was a great day to be out on the roads.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Loon State Alternate Spring Camp Day 3

Rain! Unlike the real Loon State Spring Camp where the peeps ride in the rain, our Loon State Alternate Spring Camp made an executive decision to cancel the day's training ride...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Alternate Loon State Spring Camp Day 2

The Alternate Loon State Spring Camp resumed Saturday with a 36 mile ride over every one of the famed and storied Afton hills. Jay Wenner and Bill Stuber joined me along with guest rider Lori Belz (sister of Loon State rider Rob Belz). We left from Lake Elmo and rode down Indian Trail. The first big climb was 15th. We followed that by going up Trading Post and the Coulee. From there, we rode back down the Coulee and then went up the back side hill of the Coulee. Then, it was on to the big climb on Stagecoach right before Afton State Park. We also hit the Odell climb and then finished off the ride with the big Indian Trail climb heading back to Lakeland and Lake Elmo. We saw a few other teams in the area including SPBRC, Peace Coffee, Birchwood and one guy from Silver.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Alternate Loon State Spring Camp Day 1

The Friday Alternate Loon State Camp was planned for 2 hours in the Afton Hills. However, two rounds of rain kept John Wyland, Bill Stuber and me in my truck at the Oakland Hills Middle School parking lot for 48 minutes. When the rain stopped, we waited another ten minutes for the roads to dry up. We decided to take off on the wet roads and got in 18 miles of hills north of I94. I marked the Neal climb at 120 feet, 3oth Street at 154 and Overlook Road at 88. We battled a stiff headwind on the way back.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Alternate Loon State Spring Camp Prologue

Some of the new Loons I recruited and I are having an Alternative Loon State Spring Camp this weekend. We had stuff going on and could not attend the official team camp. Today was the after work Prologue. In fact, I didn't tell anyone but Tom Bengel who rides for GP since it was a local ride. I wanted to make sure I got in a ride today because my Loon State teammates were riding at the official camp. Anyway, Tommy and I went for a ride from Saint Paul out to Lake Owasso and back. Before the ride, I went to take the Garmin Forerunner 205 off the charger and it was dead! What a bummer! I have to take it in and get it checked out. The unit will not take a charge or turn on... The picture to the left is the pool at the official Loon State Spring Camp.