Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tightwad, MO

Traveled to Tightwad last weekend for some family X-Mas fun. Lucky for me the temps stayed below freezing and I was able to check out the new trail system just a few miles down the road at Warsaw. 10+ miles of flowy singletrack goodness. The trails are a little “raw and untamed” at this point, lacking a worn in grove, but with some use will be double fun. Check em out if you’re in the area.

Man Cave

I’ve always like building things. My father is an Industrial Arts teacher at my high school, and in the summers as a teenager and most of college, we would complete room additions, remodels, etc for some extra dough. My Dad used to say teaching was just a hobby, as he made more money during the summer. Anyway, along the way he taught me how to sweat a joint, mud and tape some rock, wire up a panel, and lay a straight single. Invaluable stuff every homeowner should know.

This is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I feel I can handle most issues with my house, and a curse, because I feel I should always do something myself as opposed to having it done for me (saving mucho time).

I’ve been working for a few weeks on the “Man Cave.” Progress is slow, due to Holiday commitments, but steady. With any luck, I’ll be ready for paint by 2010, and some new toys will arrive soon after that.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Catching Up

Seems I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties lately. Not much to report I guess.

Everyone likes pictures, so here you go:

This rider will try anything if you present it as a present:

Watch out for this guy, he can bust a move on ANY bike:

I’ve been working in the basement a bit. I’m in the process of finishing off my shop area for some super secret equipment to arrive shortly. I’ll get some pics of that soon enough. But THIS will hopefully arrive before X-Mass.

After a month + of off season, social rides, and too many calories consumed as a ratio to calories burned, I decided to show up for the State CX race totaly unprepaired. Stoked to see the local CX heros ride off into the muck, and busting out some two wheel drifts into the tape, I almost forgot how hard I was pushing. The decision to race was all I needed, as a little competition has got me fired up to resume some dedicated training for next season. Weight room here I come. Pics HERE.

Props, to THIS guy for breakfast, coffee, hot coco, homemade relish, brats, etc, etc… Sometimes I wonder if he prefers cooking for friends over riding. He does both very well.

Finally, my little boy turned 3 yesterday. Pictures of his birthday cake to follow. (yes he had his own peanut butter cake)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rain is good sometimes

Rainy Sun days are great for whipping up some homebrew, so that's what I did. Fowler Creek Hardcore Honey Wheat will be on tap in 4 weeks.

Some of you may have heard me talking about working with Columbia Parks and Rec on a revitalization project at Grindstone. I've got it broken down into three smaller projects which I think we can get finished by next fall. When its all said in done, 6+ miles of schweet singletrack are possible. Heavy D and I went out in the pouring rain this afternoon to flag the first section. Part One of Phase One will be to re-route a steepish hill on the North side into some "fast and flowy" get your grove on tasty goodness. This will connect back to the mound loop (Phase Two) and then back to the parking lot. It took a couple hours, but I think we have it dialed. Work days will be happening soon, I'll be a calling! This park is going to rock.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Beer at Flat Branch

The Pumpkin Beer at Flat Branch is the nectar of the Gods. No other fluid on earth is closer to heaven than the reddish gold bubbly goodness F.B. serves in early November. It sells out in 2 weeks, and I've missed it the last two years. My feeble attempt to replicate it at Flower Creek Brewing was a disgrace to its holiness.

Did some wheeling with Dr J on Sunday. Broke in the FJ a bit. Good times.

Monday, October 26, 2009

10th at the Epic

So everyone knows by now that the BT Epic this year was almost TOO EPIC! Conditions made a difficult course tougher than a piece of beef jerky on stale bread. But that brings out the best in Mt. Bike racers and everyone finished strong with miles of stories to devour over free beer and BBQ.

Enough cant be said about the quality of this race. I've done a lot of events over the years, and even in its two year infancy Scott and his crew from Springfield Bike have created the model for what endurance racing should look like. Smooth check in, prepped course with great markings, crazy swag and prize list, and of course a carnival atmosphere post race.

I never really got the mojo flowing Sun. A long season met sub-par training, and added up to a lackluster finish. The competition really stepped it up this year though, so I'm content.

Props to many BOCOMO riders:

HeavyD -- for "diggingdeep" , one word, to finish a long day
Cole - not from BOCOMO, but for coming from KS to ride and finish "real" single track
Daisy -- for beating the KS boys, and the figs
Evenslower -- for not taking this out on my EPR
Ozenpro -- for stopping to help a fallen rider
Junior -- for sticking it out in the cold rain, only to find the cabin "checked out." My hot tub is open for you anytime (man I felt bad about this one)
Green Beans -- for doing the double
BH -- for not razing me too hard after my poor showing
DoubleShot -- for drinking creekwater, and riding your brains out, to show'em how we roll in Mid MO, and of course taking the win and the $$$

Pics Here

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Training and openers...please.

Last year between the Burning and the Epic, I pretty much did nothing cycling related. I had good legs for he Epic. So I'm following my lead from '08, sort of. Lots o'eating out, long walks in the park with the wife and dog, and multiple trips to the kegerator. Add in a 3 dayer to Tulsa this week, a night out watching the Leadville Documentary, and I should be flying come Sunday.

Training is overrate, as are openers.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

2nd Again and 12 Years

Yep, 2nd again at the Burning, three years going. I'm speechless...

On the plus side, tomorrow, I get to celebrate 12 years with someone who puts up with way more than she should, lets me be a kid 24/7, and keeps me in line when its needed. She even rides with me on occasion:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Burning Domination

The Bridesmaids (formerly known as Double D and the A-Cups) are more than ready to own the top step of the podium this year. Let this post serve as a warning, that we’ll be breaking legs and crushing dreams Saturday.

Our team has an average resting heart rate of 23 bpm. Our VO2 max is off the charts. Combined we take in more air per minute than a Bugatti Veyron going full tilt.
We have been on a strict diet of PBR and bacon since 1-1-09. We are so lean and chiseled, we look like Maria Shriver after a ten day fast.

Our bikes are stupid light. Made from a proprietary blend of carbon nano-tubes and hemp fiber. They are so light, DoubleD’s asthmatic wiener dog can carry one to the trailhead. The hand sewn tubulars are made from the fur of unborn panda pelts, and are crazy sticky. We are running hydrogen in the tires for added lightness.

But what really puts us over the edge is our prototype cycling computer, which is a joint venture between the Tandy Corporation, and Fischer Price. It systematically monitors our vital signs during training rides and relays them back to our Cray supercomputer for analysis by Dr Fuentes. The Statistical Analysis Computer (or S.A.C as its know) is somewhat heavy though and attached with massive zipties, so we’ll cut off our SAC’s before the race.

We will dominate this year. Stay home if you don’t like losing.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dead Legs Today...Chain Breakers Tomrrow...

Mine are day to day. Since Leadville, I've been on again, off again, with no rime or reason. I've had days were I rip the cranks clean of the bike, and others were I cant couldnt keep up with a 4 year old on a big wheel. I think some serious rest is in order. Something about starting your season with big races in April and putting it all together for one biggy in Aug, has me reeling. Hopefully I can pull one out of my arse for four laps around Council Bluffs...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lonely Roads

This had us changing plans all weekend. First it was race Greensfielder, then it was race KC CX, then it was ride gravel in BOCOMO. In the end I rode solo all weekend. Something I haven't done much of lately, and I gota say, it was a nice change of pace. I snuck in two good loops.

All with gorgeous views,

lonely roads (I saw more horses than cars on the gravel this weekend),

and strange fungus.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

R&R and PBR

We made a last minute dash to the river this weekend, to get some much needed down time. The forecast was ify, but we were determined.

Friday night was gorgeous, with a nearly empty park, a ripping fire, a cooler full of suds, and the wife by my side.

Saturday had us riding an old school bus that was transformed into a dog pound. Around 15 women joined us for the trip up river, bringing along about as many dogs. Leo was in butt sniffing heaven.

Below, Dr J confirms Bud as the local crustacean favorite.

PBR and Tilt is a dangerous combo.

The weather turned a little wet towards the end of the float, but hey, you're already soaked, so no worries.

Sat night the skies opened just enough for us to down some BBQ and retreat to the tents for a peaceful evening of light drizzle. 11+ hours of sleep later and I'd got what I came for.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Catching Up

Seems like my life has been spinning a little too fast as of late. The constant stream of weekday bike rides, honey do's, weekend events, and that little thing called work, had me crashing to a halt Sunday eve. Nothing 10 hours of solid sleep couldn't fix though : )

Anyway, a recap of the past few weeks.

Went to the National We-Rock Championships. Watched some highly modified vehicles do
some amazing things in the hands of some very skilled drivers.

More picks here.

Went to two stages of the Tour of Missouri. Saw this guy kick some butt in the TT. He was not to be denied on this stage race.

Picks here.

And spent this past weekend riding around Mid-MO with 3500 others all for a good cause. Nothing brings back confidence faster than whooping up on some weekend warriors for 200 miles.

I think I need a vacation...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Leadville 100 Re-cap

Leadville IS an epic event. Epic in size, distance, and status. No other bike race in my humble career had ever taken as much planing, training, and logistics as this one. What follows is my account of the lead-up and race day events. Grab a beer, this one could take a while:

My cousin Doug and I set decided in the fall of '08 to do something special the following year to celebrate our coming of age (he 40 and me 35 right near New Years). We briefly toyed with the idea of climbing a mountain somewhere, but ultimately decided to grab something more in our wheelhouse, and do an epic bike race. The Leadville 100 seemed like a natural fit.

For those unfamiliar the Leadville 100, its a 100 mile mountain bike race in Colorado with 12,400 of climbing that peaks out at 12,500+ on the top of Columbine Mt. There are more brutal races on the calendar, some lasting several days, but few with the stature and allure of Leadville. Those strong willed enough to finish in under 12 hours are graced with a beautiful hand made silver belt buckle. On average only about half the riders finish this monster. If you are lucky enough to survive the ever changing elements, deal with the altitude, miss out on any major bike mechanical, and have good legs on race day, AND finish the 100 miles in under 9 hours you receive the highly coveted gold buckle. And even though the previous year only 7 riders east of the Rockies made the cut, of course, thats what we were after.

Skip ahead 10 months of training and planing to 3 days before the race. Doug scored us some schweet digs in Copper Mt, and we did our final prep by pre riding the first 30 miles of the route on the days leading up. The weather was great and we felt confidant. Race day arrives, we were still confidant, but the skies were a threatening.

Race day: 38 degrees and clouds a rolling in. We lined up with 1600 other eager racers in the biggest mess of overpriced aluminum, steel, carbon fiber, and rubber you've ever laid eyes on. Bikes on top of bikes on top of riders. We got to the line a full hour before the start but still only managed around 300th place at the gate. Bummer. No worries, its a long event we thought. At precisely 6:30 AM the shotgun fired and we were off for the race of a lifetime. The pace quickened and as we got strung out while navigating the rule city roads, a rainbow appeared near the base of our first climb. It was an unbelievable sight as the flowing mass of multi colored jerseys careened like a ribbon into the fog and 38 degree rain.

(A little back ground. The course is 50 miles out and back. Starts with the climb of St. Kevin's, then Powerline, a check at pipeline, a second check at Twin Lakes then up Columbine, turning around at the top and making the return trip through each of the previous spots.)

Our plan was to stick together as much as possible to help cheat the wind on he flatter sections by working together, however, we quickly got separated by my youthful exuberance on the first climb. I soft pedaled over the top though and regrouped with Doug. We drag raced up the rocky Powerline climb passing groups of riders as we went, frequently shaking our hands trying to keep warm. Going down Powerline the trail gets steep, and passing is difficult. I popped out at the bottom and quickly regrouped with Doug on the road section to the first check.

I had made some time sheets showing at what time we needed to be at each check to stay on our 9 hour target. The effects of the cold rain were taking their toll on Doug's legs and he was having trouble keeping up, yet we still made it to the first check right at the prescribed time. A quick bottle refill and we motored towards Twin Lakes and a meeting with our crew.

In this short 45 min section, I got ahead of Doug a bit and started to see the writing on the wall, sticking together wasnt working today. My ultimate dream was to cross the finish line together, hands in the air, comfortably under 9, but it wasnt to be this day, and I knew that I must forge on solo.

A quick stop at Twin Lakes, had me fueled, with new dry gloves, and ready to get ahead of the 9 hour pace. I motored up Columbine, catching a glimpse of Lance Armstrong as he ripped down. Columbine is a brute. 3000 feet up at 10% or more to 12,600 feet with some sections near the top virtually un-rideable. This beast threw down the gauntlet. It started with the spongy gravel at 8%, then a baby head filled Jeep trail awaits as the trail pitches up some more. If that doesn't get you down, it steepens even more, forcing you into a bike pushing crawl. And finally it tried to blow me off with 30 mph wind and sleet. Oh yeah, and there is NO air at over 11,000 feet. Remember 1600 people paid to do this...

I finally made the turn around and bombed down to Twin Lakes again to meet the crew. I was fully expecting to be 15 min ahead of schedule, as I thought my effort on Columbine was superb, but arrived right on time again. CRAP! Here is where I almost lost the day. Instead of eating the carefully measured food I had laid out and taking what provisions I needed to get to the next check, I grabbed a GU flask, 1 bottle, and a little debbie cake. Everyone reading will know whats going to happen next.

Bonk!!!!!! The short trip from Twin Lakes to Pipeline about killed me. The tank was empty, and the motor gurgling for some fuel. I knew right away what I'd done. The demons you face during a race, started coming at me full bore. The race is over, I dont know if I can even finish, much less in 9. I'm done. I'll have to sag. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I conceded to hit the Pipeline check and stop for 5 min to eat. Once there the unbelievable support staff stuffed me full of sandwiches, Coke, gu, bars, hell I dont know what I ate, I was completely out of it! From studying last years times I knew that no one left Pipeline after the 6:15 mark and made the 9 cutoff. It was now 6:20.

I stopped for a quick tinkle past the outbound check, and started on. The last 25 miles consist of 4000 feet of climbing, two passes, and a 500 foot march up to town. To say my resolve was fading was an understatement. But I plodded on. I made the top of Powerline without too much fanfare and studied my time. 7:35. Hummmmm...can I make it???

Remembering Ken C. the race directors speech from Friday, I resolved to "Commit to never quit." and aging hammered on. My bike setup was working really well and I was catching riders on the decent. I hustled down the gravel section, eating a bit, and rounded the corner at the start of the final climb. St. Kevins going back consist of a long paved section, some Jeep trail at the top and a technical decent.

A glance at the Garmin said 7:42. Now the demons in my head are tapping a keg turning up the stereo, cause its party time. "You'll never make it, your too tired, you've been riding almost non stop for 8 hours." Followed by, "you've been training all year, you've only got one shot, and "you've got to dig deep, just like the pioneers of Leadville man"!!!!!! So I again hammered on.

8:11 and I reached the top of St. Kevins. Oh now this is serious said the good demons! "You've really got a chance, but its going to take a serious effort" "Your going to come up 2 min short," said the bad. This is where the thought of failure really started to piss me off. No way was I not going to leave every last stinking shred of effort on this course. I would not QUIT!!!!

I absolutely bombed down St. Kevins. To quote Phil Ligit, "He's taking all kinds of risk." And I was. I should be a blood stain on a coniferous tree right now. But I somehow kept it straight, launching 20+ feet down the trail after each water bar and scaring the chamois of passed riders.

8:27 and I'm at the bottom. The run-in is different than the route out, and was unfamiliar to me. I put my head down and into the wind I pushed. My legs crying in pain, and my lungs gasping like a 80 year old asymmetric smoker.

8:44 and 3 miles to go. I did the math in my head. 3 miles in 15 min thats 5 miles an hour, no 20 mph, no....crap my heads a mess...just pedal damit!!!! After a rocky rise, the road turns into a false flat, straight and goes off into the distance. The demons return. "Its too far, your dead, better luck next year." NO..."this is it, time to rise up, find something extra, remember all the suffering you've endured, just 15 min and the pain will turn to glory!!!!"

8:55 pavement! That's it, the town. Oh God, I'm not going to make it. It's too far. What have I done! Go man go! A guy on the side of the road screams encouragement, "You've got the buckle man hurry!" I stand on the pedals, my speed goes down. CRAP! My lungs were wheezing, my heart jumping through my base layer, my legs throbbing as if being beat by a bat. I crest the ridge to see a 1000+ fans and crew just two blocks away surrounding the famous red carpet.

8:56 --- Two blocks, I cant cover two blocks in four minutes, its over. The wheezing continues. I was deep in the pain cave, and I'd dropped my flashlight! I cant believe I came so close only to come up short. I'm peadling squares, and cant keep a line. All the oxygen my lungs can scrub from the thin air is getting forced into my legs, and my brain was getting none! Just a bit more now, WAIT...there's the carpet...WHAT I made it....clock...clock...where is the clock...8:57.20 OH SHIT...I did it!!!! I have to stop....

....the demons disappear. The crowd screams, I hear nothing. My head on the bars, I gasp, and finally regain my senses. Its over. I did it. I can see straight again. After a bit I rise up, only to find a giant video camera in my face, as a older lady dressed in yellow adorns me with my finishing medal.

8:57.20 = Gold

My reward was bitter sweet, however. My "brother from another mother", cousin, training partner, and friend wasn't so lucky on this day. He crossed the line about a half hour back. Cold rain, doing a number his legs early, he dropped too much time on Columbine. This race takes it all from you, whether you finish in 7 hours or 12, it hurts. To come up just short of your goal, pours salt in the wounds. His result tempered my feelings of success, as we were in it together. I know he'll be back though, to get his redemption on the mountains.

I called my wife while sitting on a step just off the main drag. The emotions of the day grabbed ahold of me, and I was unable to speak as tears flowed down my face. She gave me a 1000 mile hug, and the tears dried up. I couldn't wait to get home and share my experiences with her.

Will I be back...sure. Time has a way of stripping away the pain, and floating the memories to the top. I can feel Doug mounting a comeback, and a certain Green Beans will surely try his hand again in the future. I'll be there to cheer them on from the comfort of their draft should they choose to tackle the beast again!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

8:57 = Gold

38 degrees at start, rain, sleet on Colimbine, major bonk on the
return, suffering like no other.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Epic singletrack

Rode up above Copper this morning. Sending u this pic from where I
took it. A must do if u r n the area.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pre ride

Rode the first 30 miles. Cake! Can't wait to show'em that a
flatlander can climb!

Tourqise Lake

View from home

A look out the window has me smiling today. We're out for a pre ride
of the first twenty miles of the course.

Supper ampted to race Sat. I'm ready to roooooolllll.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Just ate a Damn good burger and drank a Damn good beer at the Damn
Brewery. Life is sweet.

Look! Nothing!

Kansas is so lovely.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Nuff Said...

Bring it Lance

My little vacation overseas has come and gone, and my focus has shifted to my Leadville prep. Last weekend was spent in South MO turning some long hours on Middlefork and Council Bluffs beautiful trails. Things were a bit more overgrown than I’m used to seeing in that part of the country, but at least the GORC hero’s have been hard at work clearing the downfall from this spring’s thrashing.

I’ve been resting like crazy this week trying to get the last bit of fatigue to leave the legs before the last little tune-up this weekend and next week. Seems my recovery is taking a while though as I still feel some lingering effects of all the hard rides of the past month. I’ll be ready though, as this is one of (if not the) biggest race of my lowly career.

We head out Monday after work to KC for the night, and on to Copper Mt Tuesday for some short course recon, and altitude acclamation. I don’t know how I could have prepared any better, so whatever I get is what it is. Although I’ll be turning myself completely inside out for a sub 9 finish, and the Gold Buckle.

Check back for Copper Mt and maybe some pics of the competition.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Trip Pics

I trimmed down the 600+ photos of the trip for your viewing pleasure:


Friday, July 31, 2009

France Recap

The daily grind has began. Assimilation into society sucks. I just spent over two weeks living the simplest of lifestyles; eat, ride, eat, wine, sleep, and repeat. I can now fully realize the allure to the life of a pro cyclist. Although I’m sure the pressure and constant travel would make it a wash.

I finally got Garmin Connect to upload my data. Totals for the trip are impressive, I think. (I’ve left off two rides, one where my Garmin ran out of juice because I forgot to charge for a few days, and the ride up the Ventoux on race day.) Only one day off the whole trip.

Rides -- 11
Miles – 650
Ride Time – 40 hours
Calories – 37,000
Vertical feet climbed – 65,000

Total mileage was low, but when you figure each day had 6,000 feet of climbing, it starts to make sense how hard those rides were.

Things learned while covering the back roads of the French Alps:

--Always take TP to the toilette
--There is a total absence of soap or towels in any bathroom
--Ice is a foreign concept, be prepared to drink warm beer
--Wine is cheaper than water
--Turkish toilettes and dead cycling legs don’t mix
--When a climb is rated HC, its really, really hard…really
--The French are friendly if you try to speak their language
--We over complicate our food, simple IS better
--The Alps are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Winding Down

Last day in France. Looking at 24 hours of travel tomorrow. Did
Vontoux two different ways. All my pics on the camera not the phone.

The Alps have been speachless. Wildflowers, henious climbs, trees,
numbing decents, food o the food. I'm sad to go.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The views!!!!!!!!


Stage --I've lost track...

Monster day. The Telegraph and Gilibeia. Again I think views can't
get any better and I top out this climb to see this!!! Got passed by
2 million dollars worth of cars in 30 seconds, was almost blown off a
switchback earlier, and rode at 40+ mph for 15 miles today, awesome .

I've ridden 8 days straight now. Each day has been over 3 hours of
ride time and 4000 feet of climbing. Most are s lot more. My dogs
are tired!!! Tommorow two cols await. Better have another beer...

Stage 5 and coffee

Evenslower warned me of the superority of French coffee, he was
right . Delish. Today was another visual shocker over the Col de
I'seran. The climb up through the biggest ski resourt I've ever seen
and down through a breathtaking valley. The run in was hard with high
winds slowing us down. Totals for the week, a lot. 19,000 calories
burned means I can drink as much French wine that I want. By the way
wine is cheaper than water here, seriously!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lunch on the streets of Bourg

More market pics

The market in Bourg


Stage 3

I'm a bit behind, but having to much fun to blog. Anyway, Thursday we
rode up the Piti St Bernard through Thulie. On the top of my list of
all time most senic rides. To say the views are indescrible would be
an understatement. Friday was a rest day, so 4 of us rode up the
Rosoline, start of a tour stage next week. Another perfect beauty
with 3000 feet of climbing.

Today, rain. :( we are taking the day off and will catch up on Sun.

I don't want to come home, ever!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stage 2

Oh man. When a tour stage says it's got a HC climb, it means holy
crap, this is gona' hurt . A trip up the col de St Bernard (stage 19
of the Tour) was the main course today. Followed by a 6000 foot ( yes
6000 feet) decent toAstoa, FZ.

Here is Cathy and Windy half way down.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stage One

8000 feet of climbing in 95K. The climb up the Verbier was heaven on
a switchback. And the payoff at the top was a gorgeous Swiss Vila.

Sent from my iPhone

Morning view day one

Today the riding starts in earnest. Over to Switzerland to finish on
the Veriber climb to be used on stage 16 of this years tour. Crappy
cell phone pic attached.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Today was great!  We toured the town of Chamonix in the AM.  Picture perfect French ski town.  Then did a "warm up" ride into Switezerland.  Headedup to Emmoson dam, 3000 feet in 6.5 miles and back.  Had this ginger beer on the way here.  More tomorrow.

Sent from my iPhone

Sent from my iPhone