Sunday, May 31, 2009

Afton Avalaunch...

Jerry Engen and I rode from Afton over to Afton Alps to watch the Afton Avalanche mountain bike race. It's a really tough course. Lots of big climbs with way too many rock gardens at the top and some real hard single track. Tommy Bengel, Rob Belz, John Wyland, Stu Benson, Bill Stuber and Super Rookie were among those in the Sport Event. Anyway, Jerry and I got in some riding on the trails too. Check out the picture of Tommy B climbing to a rock garden.

Little Lori Has A Nice Bass

Saturday's ride was an easy 26 mile cruise from Lakeland north into Grant and then east to Stillwater. Jerry Engen, Lori Belz and Rob Belz joined me on the ride. We came across Jay Wenner going the other way on the Gateway Trail. When we got to Stillwater, we stopped at the Bikery. Rob bought the giant Brownie so we all ate it. Tim Power and Randy Moses were there after their Bikery ride to Scandia and back. Later in the day, I took Jerry and Lori out fishing on one of my favorite east metro lakes. I caught twelve sunfish, Jerry caught a couple of small bass and Lori landed a nice bass and a couple of other fish.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Riding With Kids Part 2

I joined Tommy Bengel and the MNJRC kids for a 31.97 mile ride on River Blvd, the Greenway and Kenilworth Trails, through Downtown Minneapolis and back to Saint Paul. Their goal for the evening was to send one person up the road and then chase the gap down. It worked pretty well... We did that about ten times. Now I need to get some more time trial training in...

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Twenty one is the legal age for drinking. I was fishing on one of my favorite east metro lakes yesterday when three young guys in a canoe were paddling around, drinking beer. I asked them how old they were and they all said twenty one. I didn't care that they were drinking. There were two bikini clad young women rollerblading down the road who stopped at the boat launch, took off their inline skates and proceeded to lay out on the dock. I told the young guys they better paddle down there to meet the girls. When I got back to the dock after fishing, the guys were standing there but the girls were gone. In fact, the guys said the girls were gone when they got there... I told them they should have paddled faster. Then, I thanked them. They said; "For what?" I said; "For helping me take my boat out of the water!" They thought that was pretty good so they helped me. Anyway, today I got out for a 21 mile ride up to Lake Owasso and back. I'm still not ready to go fast or go for a long ride. The swine/cold thing is winding down but I have a lot of crud in my nose and lungs that is draining out via projectile nose blowing...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Big Miles...

After 8 days off due to the H1N1/Bird/Swine mix and stir combo, I finally got out for a ride. My eight day old sore throat finally went away while playing golf in the Wednesday night hurricane... I think it blew the cold right out of me. I'm sure the two beers after the round helped too... Anyway, I got in 9 miles tonight. I rode east on Summit, up the High Bridge and then half-way up Smith Avenue before I had enough and headed home.

Monday, May 18, 2009

H1N1 Anyone?

I've been knocked out by this cold/H1N1 deal I have going on. No, I haven't gotten that diagnosis by a doctor but I've had the sore throat, stuffy nose, cough and headache that tell me it's something other than the common cold. It showed up last Tuesday. I was going to race the Opus Crit but the sore throat made me stick to registering racers only. On Wednesday, I did go out for an easy spin but even that didn't feel too good... I did volunteer to be a course marshall for the Synergy Time Trial. I was going to do the race but once again, the crud got in the way. It probably wasn't a good idea to be in the cold, windy weather working the corner of County 15 and County 4 on Saturday morning either. Jerry Engen and I had to deal with orange cones flying away in the wind and then we had to protect the racers from a couple of hundred motorcycles going the same way as the event... Sunday, I had to cancel the niece's college graduation party at our house scheduled later in the day. I Didn't want to give anyone this crud. I watched the Erik's Spring Cup mountain bike race too. I would have raced that event if... Well, you know... I know, complain, complain, complain... Today, I've been hacking up a bunch of stuff from my lungs and blowing a lot of crap from my nose. Also, I've been taking some Advil D since Saturday. It's one of those things you need to sign a release form to get. I had to show my drivers license and promise not to make meth out of it before they would give it to me...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cold Play

Cold Play has a few good songs. Viva La Vita isn't too bad. The cold I'm talking about though is in my throat and nose. As a result, I've altered my weekly training. I took yesterday off the bike and today, I rode an easy 18 miles on Summit and River Blvd. I didn't climb any hills either... Although, I usually avoid those anyway... There were a lot of people out riding. One guy had a Pinarello that was lime green... That just shouldn't be allowed...

Monday, May 11, 2009


It was more time on the time trial training bike after work today... I got in 17 miles doing the Timmer ladder routine. River Blvd has a few stretches where you can get time in at speed without having to stop. Minnehaha Avenue in Minnehaha Park is pretty good too.


The weekend included a 39 1/2 mile ride to Lino Lakes and back on Saturday with Bill Stuber. We hammered into the wind on the way out and had a nice tailwind on the trip back. Since it was the fishing opener, I grabbed the 10 foot john boat with my 6hp Johnson and headed for one of my favorite east metro lakes. The motor wasn't running very good the last time I used it. In fact, it was going really slow. On the way to the lake, I got some more 2 cycle motor oil and a can of Seafoam. When I got the motor started, I had the boat ripping across the water! I must have hit at least 20mph. Back to fishing, it wasn't great. I caught one bass. Sunday was pretty busy with Mother's Day but I did manage to get out on the famed and storied Highland National Golf course. It was my first time golfing for the year. I shot 49 on the front and 44 on the back for a 93. That wasn't too bad for the first round of the year... Anyway, the picture on the left is where I caught the bass.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Get Off Your Bike...

The after work ride was a 26 mile loop through the U of M, West River Road, Downtown Minneapolis (where a couple of guys told me to get off my bike, I didn't...), the Kenilwirth Trail, Greenway Trail, River Blvd and Summit Avenue. Tons of riders were out including several training groups.

The Dog Bites

The famed and storied Blackdog Time Trials returned last night. Tom Bengel and I drove over to the usual parking spot. We took the Specialized TT bikes out of the truck and checked out the course. The road keeps getting worse every year... The potholes were more numerous than ever (is that redundant) and many were over six eight inches deep. In fact, it was tough to find a good line in some places. The good news is that they are starting to patch it up with fresh asphalt. Whoever is doing the repair is using the old "dump the asphalt in the hole and let the cars run over it" routine. That makes for an uneven repair but it's better than nothing. Anyway, I finished 9th out of 18 in the M50+. Among those in front of me were the winner, Charlie Townsend, Dave Ludwigson and Steve Knowlton. Some who finished behind me included John Stamm, Mike Lyner and Tom Bengel. Dan Casper won the men's overall and Timmer placed third on a fixed gear. My time was 16:44 for the eight mile course. I got in 22 miles with the warm-up, race and cool-down.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First Race Of The Year

As usual, I worked registration at the Opus Crit. This time though, I decided to race the Cat 4 event. We did 9 laps of the course. Brian Carlson, Brian Loecken and a couple of other Loon State guys were in the field. I didn't try for any sprint points. Instead, I just rode along with the pack. Mainly, I stayed toward the back. It was easy watching everything unfold from that vantage point. I noticed a couple of close calls with guys about to go down. I made sure I had an exit strategy for any of those situations. With the warm-up, race and cool-down, I got in 20 miles.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Working For The Weekend

I got a couple of decent rides in over the weekend. On Saturday, Jerry Engen, Lori Belz, Bill Stuber, Rob Belz, John Wyland and I rode the TCBC ride from Larpentar and White Bear Avenue out to Lake Elmo, Lakeland, Stillwater and back. The ride out was fun with the wind but coming back was right into the teeth of a gale... We got in 37 miles. The Sunday ride was 18 miles and four loops of the Salem Hills mountain bike course. Erik's Spring Cup is a few weeks away on that course so it was good training. Joining me on the ride were Tom and Lee Bengel, John Wyland and Rob Belz. Rob hammered because he can... The rest of us did our best to keep up.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Getting Specific

I've been doing a lot of training lately on the time trial training bike. Not because I'm getting a lot of miles in... Actually, I've been real busy with other stuff lately like brake jobs and moving furniture... Since I'm planning on racing some time trials, I thought I'd use my limited time on that discipline. I got in a couple of days of ladder intervals which went pretty well. Today, I got out on the road bike and went 24 miles around the Owasso Loop. I talked to a guy who was pulling his 1954 Pipestone fiberglass speedboat with a 1958 Johnson 35hp motor. Check out the picture.