I’m kind of into yard work type stuff and gardening. It seems like there are a bunch of vegetables that I won’t eat much of unless I grow them myself. Anyway, I’ve been messing around with the backyard on and off the last few years. I’ve rototilled the whole thing at least twice and reseeded. It is so cool when the new, fresh green grass sprouts and looks so perfect. Then, the moles that hang out on the lower level and garden have a hay day. But, eventually it comes to an equilibrium and seems pretty nice. Then in the winter, after meals, the dogs go outside and play. Bromont and Marti have trampled a huge bare spot. I was watching them this morning for quite a while. It is so entertaining. I didn’t even notice the bare dirt until afterwards. I figure, backyards are there for dogs to play if they want. It’s not a beauty contest for me. It applies to most things in life. Materialistic stuff gets nicked and beat up when you use it. My favorite clothing are things that I’ve worn until it is nearly threadless. So, don’t be anal about your stuff. There is too much fun to be had using it.
Kansas is in full blown winter now. It’s nothing like Cable Wisconsin, but it is cold for around here. I have to continue my theme from the last entry. I went MTB riding a couple days ago and felt like I’d never been on a mountain bike before. Not sure if it is that the last couple weeks have caught up with me or what, but it seems like I need to hibernate for a little while. Or go somewhere warmer. It is funny how warm 15 degrees feels when you are skiing and how cold it is when you are riding your bike. Below are photos from my car outside temperature gauge. It’s a 142 degree temperature swing. Only one is from Kansas though. But, both where I was at. No exercise would work at either of those temperatures very well.
So, being so cold here, it seemed right to attend a Tiki party at the Walberg’s. My buddy Jimmy Mac (Mr. Mt. Bike Action) has a full room in his house dedicated to Tiki. He even has an original Shag. I’ve never mixed drinks. I have never even “shaken, not stirred” in one of those shaker things. They are pretty cool. I played bartender for awhile and it was good. Figuring out the volume in the measuring thingy didn’t ever happen. Sorry guys.
After the Tiki party, I was pretty lucky losing my phone for the weekend. A local junior, Chris Wallace is going to Cyclocross Worlds next week. His coach, and a friend of mine, Chris Yankey, called me last week and asked me to train with him on the weekends. Take him out and get him up to race speed. I was up in Wisconsin cross country skiing, but told him I’d be happy to ride with him this weekend. Anyway, somehow I misplaced my new iPhone for longer than I was comfortable with. In the mean time, Chris left a few messages about riding in KC with Chris Wallace. It was in the lower 20’s both Saturday and Sunday. Not super cold, but cold enough that I didn’t really feel like driving an hour to get spanked by a junior going to the World Championships in a few days. Good Luck Chris at worlds!
A reporter, Carolyn Szczepanski, from the Pitch KC, came to Keith Walberg’s Cyclocross Film, Zero Traction, debut in Lawrence before Nationals. She followed me around for the weekend and did an article for the magazine. I was lucky getting such a good journalist. She is very good and really observant. The Pitch is owned by the Village Voice and is an independent alternative newspaper that is published locally throughout large metropolitan areas. Here’s link to the article-Pitch Steve’s Article. It took me a couple days to get through it. I’m not big on reading stuff on myself much. Not sure why that is, but it is. Anyway, it’s aways a good thing for cycling/bicycle racing to get media attention. Especially in media that appeals to younger urbanites. I’m not sure that is the correct description of the Pitch audience, but you know what I mean.
OK. Time to put in some base miles. I’m not sure what that is really. I hope to never get unfit enough to need to do base miles to allow myself to race. At least not more than a couple weeks of “just riding” before I’m able to go fast enough to race-to go faster to race.
I’ve been trying to recoup some fitness since sinus surgery after Christmas. I spent 4 or 5 days South riding my bike around 300 miles. I then drove back up to Cable, Wisconsin to ski and snow shoe. Dennis Kruse promotes the Seeley Classic, a classic 42 km race. I don’t classic ski, so I just skated some. One thing that I’ve noticed is that it seems that it is very easy to lose form and nearly impossible to gain it back quickly. I don’t feel fit for anything. It seems like I am working harder doing everything. If you’ve never been snow shoeing, then you should. It is one sport like cycling. It is very hard to lead and it gets progressively easier the further back in line you get. It amazes me how much easier it is just to follow a dog that is breaking trail. It is also amazing how much fitter dogs are than humans. They can run through deep snow for hours. Up here it is the couple times a day exercise program. At the warming hut at OO they have a few kilometers of lit ski trails, so it’s no problem skiing up until 10 or 11 at night. I haven’t been doing my normal skiing from Cable to Hayward one-way trip yet. Gonna ski a 100km in the next two days. That’s the way to get fit?
Bill bonked after 50 km of slow snow in 95 degree heat.
Warm temperature last week.
I have always appreciated/loved most every aspect of the sport of bicycling racing. I think that racing bicycles full time is the equivalent of having a dog’s life. If there is an after life, I want to come back as a dog. My dog if there is some kind of choice. He is fitter than me, by miles, and gets to just lay around, chase squirrels and eat until the next “workout” session. Below is a photo collection of his best mode-sleeping (and a few photos of some of his friends). He sleeps way better than me too. (If only I could keep up with him in that respect.)
I was waffling about driving the 700 miles up to Cable Wisconsin for just 5 days. I feel pretty cruddy from the surgery generally. That might be an under exaggeration. It is. But, I knew a bunch of friends were relying on me, so I made a last minute decision and hoped it wasn’t going to go South on me. The drive up is not that bad. 700 miles. Two good coffee shop stops. I usually drive the whole way. But, I’ve been taking more than my share of percacet, so I relinquished the driving to Bill. I ended up in the back with two dogs on me. We had 6 people and 5 dogs, plus all the ski stuff in the van. I bought a 2004 Ford Diesel Van a couple months ago, mainly for cyclocross. With everyone having 2 bikes, it is nearly impossible to travel to a race with more than one other person without an super big vehicle. The van gets around 20 mpg on the highway, driving fast, so it is somewhat economical when you fill it up. Anyway, below are a bunch of pictures from the last two days. It’s nearly impossible to convey in words how nice it is up here. Pictures don’t do it justice either. Personal experience is the only way to fully appreciate it. We’ve skiied a bunch. I’ve sat nearly 4 hours in an 190 degree sauna the last 3 days and drank and ate alot of good food. OK. Check out the expose’.