Friday, April 24, 2009

Ahead Of The Front

I got out for a 29 miler today ahead of the approaching cold front. Yeah, it was still nice and warm as I finished the after work ride. The route was a tour of Saint Paul area lakes. I rode past Phalen, Gearvis, Vadnais, Owasso, Emily, Bennett and Como. The brisk wind out of the northwest was tough on the way out but was a blast (no pun intended) on the way back... The good news is I wasn't mugged when I rode past Phalen... Still some glass on the roads. It's time for Saint Paul to get the street sweepers out.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Give Me Twenty

I got in 20 miles after work before I had some other stuff to do. I rode east on Summit, up the High Bridge and then south on Dodd to Marie. From there, I crossed the Mendota Bridge to Fort Snelling where I rode on the west side of the Fort over to Minnehaha Park. There was a monster tailwind out of the south so I kicked it into high gear and avgeraged 28mph all the way through the park. I followed River Blvd and Summit back home. Tons of people were out on the roads.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Big Numbers

Wow! What a night at the famed and storied Opus Crits. We had overflow numbers for all of the races. Loon State will be able to build there own velodrome if we keep getting numbers like that... Anyway, I time-trialed my way out and back for a total of a little over 32 miles.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ready For Battle

The Saturday morning ride was a bunch of loops at Battle Creek with Bill Stuber, Stu Benson, John Wyland, Jerry Engen, Lori Belz, Rob Belz and me. It was my first mountain bike ride of the year. We did the new trail along Highway 61 plus the usual routes there. Everyone rode their geared bikes except for me. I rode the Teginator Specialized single speed with a 36 x 18 gear. We got in a little over 12 miles. Friday after work, I got in a quick 14 miles before Kathleen and I met friends for dinner. In other news, check out the picture of the new boat, motor and trailer. I'll be able to battle the big fish with this rig. It's a 1960 Hiawatha 14 foot aluminum speed-boat with a 50 horse 1972 Evinrude motor and a nice trailer. I got the whole thing from a customer of mine for $350. Now, I just need a classic early 60's Chevy pick-up truck to haul it... That would be sweet! The old school stuff doesn't end there. I got a 1973 Ski Doo 340 TNT snowmobile for $200. I'll do a little fiberglass work on that one but it runs good. Back to the outboard motors... Kathleen and I helped one of her friends clean out her father's old house which got sold. Her father had a 1951 Scott-Atwater 7 1/2 hp outboard motor. No one wanted it so I grabbed it. A little steel wool, polishing and a little paint and the thing will be a beauty.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Time Trial Training

I got in another time trial training session on the Greenway Trail in Minneapolis. I did the Timmer ladder sequence 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, two minutes, 1 minute. Man it was tough! The first minute was at 27mph. I got the average to 25mph for the 2 minute segment. Then, things fell apart... I did get back to 25mph on the last 1 minute segment though... The total miles were 24.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back To Opus

The Big Opus Crits started up again tonight. Rob Belz and I rode out there and back from my house for a total of 36 miles. I worked registration and Rob worked one of the corners. The bike I used was the time trial training bike. I spent a lot of time in the time trial position and at time trial speed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Achilles Part Two And Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone! I went out for a bike ride today and only made it 6 miles. My left Achilles tendon is still really stiff from all of the riding I've been doing lately. Climbing some of those big hills probably hasn't helped either. I think I need to give it a rest...

Last One To The Top...

John Stamm organized a big Loon State ride from Afton down and over to Prescott and back through Hudson on Saturday. We got in over 63 1/2 miles that included a very fast pace and some monster climbs. If it hadn't been for the guy with the busted bottom bracket that sounded worse than a dying rabbit, I would have been the last one up the big climbs... I was fine once we got up the hills though... Only to get into oxygen debt up the next one... Among the many riders were Dan Meyer, Shane Kullman, Big Russ, Mike Lyner, Bob Rolle, Troy, Barry Tungseth, Tim Lewis, John Fitzgerald, Dave Ludwigson, Rob Belz and me.

Frame Master

One of the other things I did on Good Friday besides fishing, was a visit to Curt Goodrich's bicycle works. He's got a cool location in Northeast Minneapolis where he builds custom frames. Curt makes great frames. He is the guy who built the Tim Isaac, Match Cycles Schwinn Paramount frames in the late '90s. His brazing on lugged frames is spectacular. There's a cadre of frame builders in the USA who are known as the "Keepers of the Flame." Goodrich's cyclocross frame-set won the top prize in the category at the North American Hand Built Bicycle Association awards this year. In fact, he's sponsoring a cyclocross team this year that will compete in the local races. The picture is of one of the frames he's currently building.

What A Fight!

I had Good Friday off from work so I decided it was time to get the big 10 foot john boat and 6hp Johnson Outboard on the water. As usual, I went to one of my favorite east metro lakes. First, I did some drift fishing casting twister jigs with a spinner. That part of the lake didn't work so I went to another hot spot. After a few casts there I had a big fight with a nice three pound bass. He had a lot of energy. I tired to get him into the boat quick so I could release him fast. Check out the picture...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Achilles Heel

Everyone has an "Achilles Heel" which is a metaphor for something that gives you problems. For some cyclists it might be climbing hills. Others might have problems riding a pace line. Time Trials can be tough for some riders. My "Achilles Heel" is actually my Achilles Heel... It's been really stiff since last Friday. All those miles at the Loon State Camp aggravated it. I've had problems with a stiff Achilles for years. I should really stretch it once in a while... Anyway, tonight I rode down to downtown Saint Paul and then went across the Wabasha Street Bridge to Plato. I turned left on to Ohio and went up the steep climb, turned right to the climb up Cherokee and then went left and up the big Smith Avenue Hill. On the way back I rode up Ramsey Hill. I got in 14 miles.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Along For The Ride

Rob Belz and I rode down to the Loon State Stone Arch Bridge Ride from my house in Saint Paul. Among the others were Jay Wenner, The Red Lantern, Tim Lewis, Kent Throlson and John Stamm. No Cobra. No Jens. No Delaney. No Frye... Anyway, The Red Lantern and Lewis hammered the pace. The rest of the us were along for the ride. Yeah, I was the last one up the hills but I wasn't too far back... We got in 34 1/2 miles.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Loss Of A Legend

Steve Cannon, one of the greatest radio show hosts the Twin Cities has ever known, died yesterday at age 81. This guy transcended generations. His 3 to 6pm time slot on 830AM ran from the late 1970s to 1997. He's the guy who, when asked why he doesn't take phone calls, said; "If you want to be on the radio, get your own show!" We'll do a short feature on Steve Cannon on Sunday's Bike Radio program at 5pm 91.7fm or Anyway, the after work ride was 14 miles on the time trial training course. I did some good time trial pace work. My legs were still pretty stiff from last weekend's Loon State Camp though.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Deep Section

One of the things I've learned the last couple of years is the value of deep section carbon wheels. I first started using them on the time trial bike and then I bought a pair of Hed Jet 60s last year from the Bicycle Chain through a deal with the Loon State Team and Hed. They came in handy over the weekend at the Loon State Spring Camp. While they didn't help on the big climbs, they were really fast on the downhills and the flats. I race time trials but I'd recommend all road racers get a set for their events. The closing speed with the wheels is tremendous. If you slip off the back of the pack for whatever reason, you can chase back on much easier than with conventional wheels. They say that deep section carbon wheels are faster than conventional wheels at speeds over twenty miles per hour. I would agree. The picture is a set of Flashpoint wheels.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Big Climbs Big Air

The Loon State Spring Camp lasted until today but I left for home after yesterday's big ride. Once again, we climbed massive and steep hills Saturday as part of our 76 mile route through southeastern Minnesota. Some of those climbs had to be 600 vertical feet or more and lasted longer than two miles! I wasn't the last one up the big switchbacks but I was far from the first. Bill Stuber and a few other guys showed up to join the rest of us. The rain stayed away and we had perfect weather for two days. Anyway, my legs were pretty tired today. Yeah, I could have gone for a ride but my left Achilles is really stiff so a day off the bike felt pretty good. The picture to the left is of me at the mic during today's Bike Radio Show on 91.7fm or from 5 to 6pm. My sidekick, Ambrose Riegel took the shot. We talked about the Tour of Flanders, Pari Roubaix, the book; "Paris Roubaix, A Journey Through Hell" and some of the various bicycling magazines available.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What Hills?

I rode with Johnny Wyland, Rob Belz, the Red Lantern, Painman, Skibby, Shane Kullman, Mike Delaney, Andy Frye, Jens and a ton of other Loon State guys today at the big spring camp. There aren't any hills on the route, THEY'RE MOUNTAINS! Wyland and I got in 70 miles, Rob got 93 and some of the guys went over 100.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Three Days Of De Off

With the Three Days of De Pan bike race ending today in Belgium, I thought it would be a good time to get back on the bike after Three Days Of De Off... I only rode 14 miles because I had to get to work on some bike stuff. I did climb one hill though...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Each Journey Begins With A Single Step Or Twelve

To all my friends and fans, I'll be entering a rehab facility and beginning a 12-Step Program for alcohol, gambling, anger and shame issues in the next week. Through therapy, I realize all of my problems started when I became a salesman in my mid-twenties... Yes, I should have chosen a different career path. Everything would be different then... Hindsight is 20/20 though. No use crying over spilled milk. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Don't look back, someone might be gaining on you. It is what it is. It depends on what the definition of is is... Hey! I just realized it's April 1st...