Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chasing The Sun

There isn't a lot of daylight left after work these days. I did manage to get another day on the Greenway, Cedar and Kenilworth Trails. This time, I brought a red tail light for the ride back. Lots of other riders out including a guy on a nice steel Merckx. I got in 31 miles.

Monday, October 26, 2009

World's Greatest Bike Race Announcer

I'm proclaiming myself the World's Greatest Bike Race Announcer after my excellent performance at the Green Acres Cyclocross Race Sunday in Lake Elmo. Thanks to Bob Sumada at Now Bikes (the race sponsor) for handing me the microphone. It was a blast! My competition for World's Greatest comes from Matt Anderson, Hollywood and Dave Towle. Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin don't count 'cause they're from another planet... Thanks to Robbie Halvorson for the picture on the left. Anyway, today, Tommy Bengel joined me for part of my ride on the Greenway, Cedar and Kenilworth Trails. I got in 31 miles. Could be getting a cold though...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Marine Life

I got a few rides in the last few days including the Bikery Cyclocross Race today. The rain and mud splattered all over my cross bike on Tuesday as Rob Belz and I rode around the trails at Lake Elmo Park Reserve for 10 miles. It was cold too... On Thursday, I took the Gitane out for a 10 mile ride on the Summit, River Blvd, West River Road, return to Summit loop. I rode slow enough to talk to Todd Johnson while he was rollerskiing. The Bikery Cyclocross Race today in Marine on Saint Croix was excellent. What a course! Maybe I should say, what a course for me... Firm ski trail after all the recent rain plus a nice long asphalt section where I time trialed my way back to the ski trail. The course was long with three barriers including a hill run-up after one of the barriers. There was one other short, but steep hill that I rode up all six laps. Anyway, I placed 14th out of 27 in the M45+ race. Among those finishing in front of me were the usual suspects including Greg Goblirsch 1st, Paul McKinney 2nd, Mark Engen, Dave Ludwigson, Paul Schoening and Dave Herbert. I sprinted against Jeff Colbeth for 14th and got it. He was getting tired because he did the 4 lap race earlier. Some of the riders placing behind me and Jeff were John Stamm, Rob Belz, Rob Ogren, Mike Lyner, Todd Trembley, Tom Bengel and Tim Power. Other peeps raced too including Jerry Engen, Lori Belz, Tina Olson and Stu Benson in the 4 lap event. Three Loon State Teammates did the Cat 3 race including Tom Manderfeld, Shane Kullman and Dan Cleary. Thanks to the Bikery for the great race and thanks to them for the picture at the left.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Day On The Road

With nice weather yesterday, the road bike beckoned. I've been riding the cyclocross bike and the classic Gitane lately. The rain has kept the riding days down for October so I've only had a few road rides this month. Anyway, I took out the white Specialized Allez and rode the Greenway where I ran into Dan Kueffer. We rode together on the Greenway, Cedar and Kenilworth Trails. After negotiating Downtown Minneapolis, we took the path next to the light rail back to the Greenway and Saint Paul. As usual, I got in 31 miles.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cross Nutrition

I found out today that it is a bad idea to have a chocolate covered doughnut, two Hersheys with almonds and a Coke one hour before a cyclocross race... I was doing okay for a while until the big bonk hit. I have to re-think the pre-race meal... Anyway, I sucked but some of the other Loons did well including Rob Belz, Mike Lyner and John Stamm. Andy Frye looked pretty good in the Cat 3 event. I got in 10 1/2 miles with the warm-up, race and cool-down. Props and thanks to Dave Meyer for finding the thorn in my tire and fixing the flat before the race.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Road And Trail

The weather hasn't been great lately but I did get a couple more rides in since my last post on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I took the cyclocross bike out for some training on the dirt trails around Como Park. The front tire had a slow leak but by the time I was done with the 14 mile ride, the tire was almost flat. Today, I got back on the road bike. Tom Bengel and I planned to do a 20 mile ride on the Greenway, Cedar and Kenilworth Trails. However, I got a flat when a thorn went through my rear tire as we were about to reach Hennepin Avenue. I fixed the flat and then we rode back to the Freewheel shop on the trail where I put some more air into the tire. We rode back to Saint Paul from there and got in 16 miles.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Day On The Gitane

Riding the Gitane is pretty fun. It's your basic late 60s early 70s Euro, steel, lugged bike. The ones shipped to the U S were set up for 27 inch tires. With the long fork rake, wide tires and steel frame, it's a very comfortable ride. Anyway, I took it out for a 7 mile spin after work today on Summit Avenue.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


It was the first cyclocross race of the season for me today. The event was held at Theo Wirth and it was a tough course. About a mile and a half long, there was a log jump, a tricky downhill, a monster stair climb and several other U-turns including one at the bottom of a hill. There was only one set of man-made barriers. The race went pretty well for me. At the start, Rob Belz got around me but I was ahead of Mark Kowali, John Stamm, Dan Meyer, Todd Trembley and a bunch of other guys. Things were going well until I dropped my chain on about the third of seven laps. Kowali had already passed me becuase he's a tough racer. While I was trying to get my chain back on, Gary Friedell, Stamm, Trembley and a few others passed me. I was able to catch and pass about three or four of those riders but Friedell, Stamm and Trembley stayed in front. All in all it was a good effort even though I got lapped by the top three guys in 45+ including Paul McKinney, Greg Goblirsch and Dag Selander. The total miles including warm-up, race and cool-down were 16. Lori Belz did the women's Cat 4 race and did pretty well. Rob Belz had a decent race finishing fairly high in the standings. Other Loons racing included Dan Cleary and Don Schmeicel in the Cat 3 and Chad Macy and Kent Throlson in the 1 - 2. Framebuilders Curt Goodrich and Erik Noreen were at the race as was newly hired Team Radio Schack rider Bjorn Selander. Thanks to Tommy Bengel for the hand-ups. I grabbed the water bottle on every lap.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Freedom Of The Road

Freedom of the road began for me when I was fourteen years old in 1972. Before that, I had a typical kids bike with clunker tires and a heavy frame. We used those to get around the neighborhood. When I was in eighth grade though, my oldest brother, Mike, got a brand new Fuji Finest with tubular tires. He had a white twenty four inch Peugeot U08 that he gave to my brother Tom. Tom then gave me his blue twenty three inch Peugeot U08. It was the typical Euro import of the 1970s. Ten speeds, twenty seven inch tires and drop handlebars. They were all the rage at the time. My buddy Dan Schroepfer had a Gitane and my buddy John Osen had a Batavus. Those bikes were the ones that started Schwinn's downhill slide. Instead of buying heavy Schwinn cruisers, Collegiates and Varsitys, people started buying the much lighter Euro bikes. They had Simplex, Sachs and Mavic components. France, Belgium, Holland and Italy were where all the hot bikes came from. Peugeot and Gitane were French and Batavus a Dutch brand. Well, the three of us did a lot of cruising around on those bikes. We went all over the place and rode for miles at a time. The fun lasted through eighth and ninth grade and on into tenth before we all got our drivers licenses. Fast forward to today, I bought an early 1970s Gitane twenty three inch off a guy for $75. The Gitane, Peugeot and Batavus bikes are going for over $300 on eBay now. I'm not planning on selling this one though unless someone offers me a lot of cash... After I picked up the bike, I started to clean it up and bought a leather saddle from Ambrose at Now Bikes. When I got it home, I took it for a 3 mile ride wearing jeans with a rubberband around my pant leg to keep the grease away. That was exactly the way we rode them back in the day. Check out the picture.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another 31

Another dry day and I couldn't resist 31 more miles on the Greenway, Cedar and Kenilworth Trails after work. It was cold though. I wore shorts, tights, a base T, long sleeve jersey and windbreaker. The way out was into the wind and I was starting to get a little warm with the sun out. I planned to take the windbreaker off on the way back with the wind but the sun was setting and it was blocked by some clouds. My toes got cold on the way back which is something I usually don't have a problem with. Maybe regular bike socks were a little too thin at 46 degrees. During lunch, I stopped into a couple of bike shops. I always stop at Erik's Bike Shop to check out the Specialized stuff. Then, I go over to the Bicycle Chain to buy or order any of the Specialized stuff I thought was cool over at Erik's. It's just window shopping now though... My straight commission sales job isn't the best in this economy...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waiting For Better Weather

I got back on the bike today for the first time in a week. The rain keeps me off the bike but next time, I'll have to check out some parking ramps. The only day I would have rode was Sunday. Spending the day moving a friend's mother kept me from doing that. Anyway, Tom Bengel and I rode the Greenway, Cedar and Kenilworth Trails for 31 miles. I did a couple of speed pick-ups.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Crossing 3000

I crossed over 3,000 miles for the year yesterday by doing my first cyclocross training ride of the year. The course was the usual place on the other side of the river. Anyway, I got in 12 miles with two climbs each of of big stair sections and three climbs of a short hill.