Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I rode the weekly TCBC Acapulco Tuesday night ride out of Stillwater. The long course is 36 miles but Rob Belz and I started early and got in 43. It was really hot but as soon as we got into the Afton valleys and the shade, the temp dropped. Of course, we had to ride out of Afton on the way back and got blasted by the heat again. Lori Belz, Jerry Engen, Barb and Pete Thurmes, Big Kim, LSC teammate Dave Herhly and ride leader Bob Hoffman were among the many others.
Monday, July 28, 2008
The Garmin GPS Forerunner 205 is a piece of crap... Go under a tree and the thing drops 5mph and you lose distance. I'm going back to computers on all of my bikes. Who wants a Garmin? Anyway, I got in 23 miles after work today. I rode Summit to the Capitol. Next, I went through downtown and over to the West Side. From there I rode to Fort Snelling, through Minnehaha Park and back home via River Blvd and Summit.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Capitol Classic State Criterium Championships was held today at the famed and storied Minnesota Capitol grounds. Like the last two years, I had the privilege of announcing the event. It was a long day as usual but the races went well with great weather.
I left Saint Paul and headed east to Hudson on Saturday, July 26th. The route was Minnehaha/10th all the way to Stagecoach Trail. I got to Stagecoach and 94 but instead of continuing on to Hudson, I thought I should get in some of the Afton Hills instead... I rode down to Afton and went up the big Trading Post climb. Then, I went down old 95 into Afton and rode up the Coulee I made my back to Saint Paul via 30th where I got a flat halfway up a steep climb. I changed that out and continued on through Woodbury and back home to Saint Paul. I got over 52 miles.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I don't speak French but I finally got around to putting teflon tape on the bottom bracket cups of my Specialized Allez. All I had between the cups and the frame was some Phil Wood grease. The squeaking was really loud. With the teflon tape in place, the problem stopped. It might take a few days to determine if I stopped the problem for good. Anyway, after the repair, I got in 23 miles on my loop around Lake Owasso.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
It was another TCBC weekly ride starting at the Mexican themed Acapulco restaurant in Stillwater. Led by former CAT 2 rider Bob Hoffman, the ride goes south into the Afton Hills and back. I stayed with the lead four man pack through most of the Afton hills but I struggled on the climbs. After we left Afton, we had one more climb on Indian Trail. I decided to drop back to the second pack because I thought chasing those guys up Indian Trail might put me into a bonk. Anyway, I got in 46 miles. Jerry Engen and Barry Torgerson did the 29 mile ride.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I made a big mistake on my ride today. Fresh off the plane from Saratoga Springs, New York, I rode down Summit and headed for the High Bridge. My legs were tired from a lack of miles the last week and also from the 2,000 foot mountain climb I did on Saturday. Anyway, a block before the High Bridge, there was Andy Frye, on a ride, stopped trying to fix his brake. He got it working and I rode up the High Bridge with him. He dropped me at the 2nd to last stop light on Smith Avenue... I was hurting carrying 180 up the climb (I know, my own fault). We continued on and he buried me on the next climb... It was like he was a rocket shot out of a cannon! He's in shape. We rode back down the High Bridge and went up the Irvine climb together. About 3/4ths of the way up, he took off again! Thankfully, he waited up for me. We rode west on Summit and down to River Blvd. From there, we went south to Ford Parkway. He crossed the bridge for home while I made a U-turn and did the same thing. I ran into an old ski and mountain bike buddy, Bill Quinn, who was out riding a three speed. I got in 21 1/2 miles.
After watching the TDF and British Open on TV on Saturday, July 19th, I spent the last full day of vacation in Saratoga Springs, New York by climbing Prospect Mountian. First, on a hunch, I stopped by the OTB (off track betting parlor) thinking my father-in-law might be there. He was... I tried to buy him lunch but he insisted on buying me lunch instead. I had the BLT. They have great food at the OTB... Back to Prospect Mountain... I started out climbing the 2,000 foot vertical ascent next to Lake George with thunder rumbling in the distance. About a fifth of the way up, the clouds broke loose and heavy rain started to fall. I stood under a big pine tree for ten minutes while the storm passed... After the rain stopped, I blasted up the mountain. The climb to the top of Prospect is much steeper and shorter than the climb up Buck Mountain. The trail was slippery and there was a lot of fog and mist from the high humidity and 90F+ temps. While Buck Mountain is on the south east side of the lake, Prospect sits on the southwest flank. The hike back down the mountain is really hard because of the steep rock faces and numerous rocks and roots lining the trail. Check out the view from the top.
Like I said, vacationing with the wife's relatives consisted of golf, beer, ice cream and cheeseburgers... After the Buck Mountain climb on Wednesday, I rode the CoBro's (common-law-brother-in law... He's only lived with my sister-in-law for ten years...) beater GT mountain bike on Thursday the 17th of July. It creaks with every turn of the crank but it isn't worth putting any money into it. I made a circle of Saratoga Springs with a stop at the Blue Sky bike shop. They sell Trek, Specialized and Giant. That's a pretty good line-up. They also carry Serotta and Independent Fabrication. After that, I rode over to the Saratoga Spa State Park golf course and found a bunch of golf balls scattered in the poison ivy... Well, I grabbed the ones that weren't in the ivy... From there, I rode past the Serotta factory which is right in Saratoga where Ben S set up shop years ago. I've stopped in there a few times over the last two decades but skipped the visit this time... I rode on into Balston Spa and then headed back to Saratoga and the sister-in-law's house. I got in 16 miles.
I was out in Saratoga Springs on vacation all last week visiting my wife's relatives. On the agenda was golf, beer, ice cream and cheeseburgers... I did manage to climb Buck Mountain with former Reliable Racing Nordic Manager Dave Matthews on Wednesday the 16th. The Buck Mountain climb starts at Lake George at 320 feet above sea level and climbs to 2,346 feet in 3 miles. I don't know why I can't climb on the bike (could be the extra pounds) but I can hike up a mountain faster than just about anyone. Notice I said hike. Running hurts my flat feet too much but hiking isn't so bad. I waited up for Dave a few times but we still blasted up the climb in one continuous push. Check out the picture from the top at over 2,000 feet above the lake. If only we had mountains like that here...
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Today was the third straight day of rides with hill climbs. Yesterday's TCBC hammer-fest had my legs pretty stiff. I managed to climb a few hills and push some big gears on my 16 mile cruise through parts of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. One of the hills I climbed was Ramsey. I was in my 39 x 25 and really had to hang on... A big SPBRC group ride was out on Summit.
I joined Rob and Lori Belz and Barry Torgerson on the TCBC Acapulco ride out of Stillwater. The route goes down to Afton and back and includes some of the big hills there. Rob and I rode with the first pack. A couple of the guys hammered... I barely made it up the hills and was always the last one in line... Toward the end of the ride though, I dropped most of them on the flat sections... We got in 39 miles.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
We had the big and annual Fourth of July Party on Friday, July 4th! Bike peeps having a good time were Jerry Engen, Lori Belz, Tom and Lee Bengel, Rob Belz, John Wyland and Bill Stuber. Malted beverages were served as were the usual 4th fares. I got in 19 miles earlier in the day on the Summit, River Blvd loop. Saturday, I saved myself for Sunday's Firecracker MTB Race in Eau Claire. So, I got in 9 holes of golf at the famed and storied Phalen track in Saint Paul. Today, I drove over to Eau Claire with Bill Stuber for the said Firecracker MTB Race. I got 7th in the Sport 50-54 Category. I thought the race was three laps so I saved a little for the last lap only to find out with a 1/4 mile to go that it was only two laps... I was glad to be done anyway... Tom Bengel caught and passed me before the last hill so I stayed right on his wheel. Until the hill that is... He pulled away. Tommy, Jerry Engen, Rob Belz and Lori Belz all placed in their categories and got hardware. Lee Bengel, Stubes and I did not... Shane Kullman and Dave Hoagland did the Expert event. I got in 17 1/2 miles.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
The first day of July got me out for a spin around the lakes. The route was my Owasso loop which took me past Gervais Lake, Lakes Owasso and Wabasso and lastly, Como Lake. You were probably expecting the Minneapolis lakes but why fight the traffic and the lousy road surface (especially around Lake of the Isles (thanks RT Rybak...)) when you can ride the less congested roads of Ramsey County... I got in 24 miles.