Monthly Archives: December 2010

December 31st, New Year’s Eve – Back in the Saddle

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Yesterday we got in 4 hours. And it was really windy. Extremely. I felt like shit the first hour. Skiing, driving, antibiotics, whatever legs. I started feeling better after a couple hours. We stopped and got coffee in Lawrence after a couple hours. I felt better on the way home. Most of the ride was on gravel. It was super tame though. Hardly anything I even worried about flatting on. The temperature topped out around 70 yesterday after, but by 7 pm it was down in the 30’s. And, that is supposed to be the high temperatures today.

There is a cross race this afternoon in Kansas City. I don’t think it’s in my best interest to race this afternoon, but you never know. There is another race on Sunday. I’ll probably do that race if I’m still in Kansas then.

Speaking of cross. Here’s a link to Joseph’s column from yesterday. It’s a hard time to be racing over in Belgium recently.

I need to practice riding in sand. I watched a video of the Mol course and there is a ton of riding in deep sand. I wouldn’t call that my forte’. But, I’ve never ridden super deep dish rims in sand. I think that is the key. I think I’m going to go down to the Kansas River and mess around on some of the sand bars this afternoon if I don’t go to the race. I looked at the river yesterday while we were riding and it seems to be a bit high. I’m not sure if the normal sand bars will be there. Kris will know. He’s down by the river dog walking all the time.

Man, it seems like the weekend and it’s only Friday. I lose track of the days of the week all the time when I’m not racing on the weekend. Especially when Christmas and New Year’s are thrown into the situation.

Since it’s the last day of the year, it might be an appropriate time to say something about this site. Nearly 400,000 viewers came to this site this year. Only 13,000 last January and now nearly 60,000 in December. I don’t know whether that is a lot or not. I do like the way it puts me back in contact with people I haven’t heard from for a long time. But, I guess facebook would eventually do the same thing.

I don’t really have any deep insight into why I started doing this or how long I’ll stay at it. I do know I get a lot back from it. It is strange how many people are interested in stuff that seems mundane to me. Or, how little interest people have in stuff I’m super interested in.

I live sort of a “free form” lifestyle. Being able to deviate from any given direction at virtually anytime is probably the definition of that. I’ve made some choices/sacrifices throughout my life to have the opportunity/luxury for this freedom of choice. I value that a lot. But a lot of it is just plain luck. I’ve never been one to pass up something that perks up my interests. I feel pretty lucky that I found an occupation/sport/lifestyle in cycling that seems to fulfill most of the requirements to satisfy the way I’m wired.

I wish I’d given a little more attention to the written language in school. I wasn’t big on subjective subjects. I’m not big on subjective sports either. I can barely read an article written about me. And I have much less patience for rereading what I write. I’m trying to change that, but it is a bit like pulling teeth. It is mildly embarrassing having so many typos, but that seems to be the way I tick. I have worse faults.

Okay. Enough of this. Thanks for reading and participating in this. It makes it worthwhile. I hope everyone has a good New Year.

Bill climbing in the Kansas heat, December 30th.

It is always nice riding near water.

Here’s a little New Year’s Eve Cyclo-X video. Master’s World’s course from last year.

Home – Warm & Windy!

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Back in Topeka. Gotta make this short. Riding in 15 minutes. Bill is heading over here and were riding over to Lawrence on the River Road to meet up with Adam Mills. It is already nearly 65 degrees out. That’s the upside. The downside is that the wind is blowing 40 mph. The River Road is sheltered some for the South wind, so it might be okay for the first hour.

I’m kind of beat up from the drive yesterday. We got behind a wreck for over an hour, so didn’t get back until nearly 10pm. KU basketball was on the radio from 8pm on, so it was alright. I’m about ready to cough up the money for Sirus/XM Satellite Radio. I have been invested in that stock, on and off, for a while now. Now it’s my #1 investment. I guess I can afford to give them some of the profits back I’ve made recently.

Okay. Guess I’m riding my cross bike since I dismantled my road bike for Nationals. I hate doing that. But, it is always the case. Strange.

We made a 15 minute detour over to the Iowa State Football Stadium, in Ames, to see Trudi's name on the All-American Wall. She didn't know she was an All American, but heard her name was there. She ran 4 years on scholarship at Iowa State. Pretty cool.

Bromont had no idea what we were doing. Not our normal driving stop.

Reason for a 1 hour delay. I hate traffic.

I've been drinkng abunch of Kefir and eating a lot of yogurt since taking antibiotics. This is the best I've had. Almost tastes like a fruit milk shake.

Kansas Bound Once Again

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We skied for a few hours yesterday. I only fell once this whole trip. That might be a record number of “least amount of falling down on skis” for me.

I’m going to head back to Kansas today. It’s about 700 miles give or take. I’m getting antsy to get riding again. I rode the trainer again last night for awhile. I don’t think I can stress enough how much I hate that. I’d rather go into the gym and lift weights I think. Thursday is supposed to be in the mid 60’s in Topeka, so I need to get a long day on the bike then.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing after that. I need to go somewhere warm and ride for a couple weeks. I guess I’ll think about it today when I’m driving and make a decision. I have no idea where I am fitness wise riding. After tomorrow, I’ll have a better idea of course.

I can’t really feel the after effects from the antibiotics. But, I would never notice that from skiing. Or from riding indoors on a trainer I’ve never ridden before. Outdoors or on my ergometer, it would take just a couple minutes to know exactly where I’m at in that regard. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

I’m 80% sure I’m heading over to Mol Belgium, January 22nd, and ride Cyclocross World Championships for master’s. It seemed like a good idea a couple months ago, but has kind of been wearing on me since Nationals. I have some bike equipment issues to address, as usual, but mainly it is trying to avoid getting into trying to play catch up on all the stuff I need to get done this winter. I’m sure I can get more focused once I have a couple days to myself.

Anyone have any luck with these things. Got one for Christmas. Maybe it has something to do with only falling once while skiing?

We skied the new Classic trail over to the Birkie trail and over the high point. I spread some of the ashes of my friend Harold here, back when I first started skiing. I always say hi to him when I go over. It was good to go by once more this year.

This is the last pitch of the Seeley Fire Tower Climb in Chequamegon. The new Classic trail cut through it just near the top. It doesn't look so hard from this perspective.

Drew and Lynne decided to classic ski the loop today. That motion seems so unnatural. Paul's son, Sammy is skating in the background. He did the whole ski and is only 11. Pretty great.

Talking about young guys skiing. This is a photo of George Welk's son, Daniel just getting back from a 4 km outting. Daniel is 4 years old. He skied down to the road from the North End Trailhead on the walking path. Pretty nuts. Julia, Daniel's mom is on the right, Trudi on the left.

Double Birkie

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The conditions yesterday were perfect for an all day ski. The Birkie course has a ton of snow on it. They’ve been grooming it for a while and it is super flat. Good for inept skiers like me.

Driving up to the Fish Hatchery, there were way more cars than “normal”. I don’t know the total of skiers that did the whole ski, but I’d guess somewhere between 60-100. We were on Tom’s time frame, so we were a bit late. A big group had taken off by the time we got to the trail and there were over 50 guys waiting still. That isn’t counting all the people skiing South to meet up with the group.

I knew a lot of the guys. There were tons of cyclists. Guys I have never skied with. All the guys from Madison looked great. Their form makes mine look like it is, pitiful. The snow was fast and flat. Drew Holbrook waxed my skis the night before and I had about the fastest skis out there. I was coming up fast on any downhill. Not necessarily the best thing for a guy like me on skis.

We skied the 25km up to OO warming hut easy. I felt like I had hardly even skied. It was so easy. They were running a high school ski race at OO. The kids have such good form too. Everyone has good form compared to me. But, I’m improving I think. Maybe. I can at least recognize how badly some of us cyclists ski. That is a start.

Anyway, the half way turn around was at Jimmy and Syd Sokup’s cabin. Jimmy built it. It is awesome. Huge logs, radiant floor heating. Super nice. And the food there was great. Chili, soup, burgers, lasagna, plus an assortment of Christmas cookies, etc. Everyone ate too much.

I hooked up with some of the real skiers coming back to OO from Jimmy’s house. Jimmy, Bryan Fish (US National Nordic Ski Team Coach), Adam Swank and a few others. They were going pretty well. We didn’t really stop the whole way back to OO. Somewhere in the mayhem, I lost my group. We’d caught up with Lynne Cecil, who is staying at Dennis’ with me. So I hooked up with Lynne at OO and we skied the whole way back to Fish Hatchery together. The snow from OO back was great. It was pretty windy and the wind had blown the snow that was sitting on the pine branches onto the trail. It left about 1/2 an inch of power that made it so stable. But still super fast. It was great.

Lynne won the Birkie back in the 90’s, took some time off to have 3 kids and just recently got back into “full time” training. She’d raced a 10km race the day before, but didn’t seem to be showing any ill effects from that. I was skiing about the same effort as riding at 21 mph on a bike. A little quicker than comfort level. But I only have a max ski pace of 24 mph on the bike, so it wasn’t that slow. We only stopped once so Lynne could eat a gel. She said she is out of shape. Maybe from racing, but not for just skiing. She was going great considering we’d done nearly 90 km.

So we rolled back to the cars around 2:30pm. Usually we’re getting back just as it gets dark. It was super fast. It is amazing that a human can do that weird, repetitious motion for such a long period without crippling themselves. I was pretty fresh when I got back. That was until I sat in the car the 30 minutes back to Dennis’ house. Getting out of the car at the compound was an effort. I’d stiffened up pretty good. My back and legs.

We did an hour in the sauna and the jacuzzi and then headed over to the River Eatery for pizza and refreshments until late. It was nearly a perfect day. Enough said.

Trying to take a picture and stay in the fold, with my skiing ability, is an effort.

Going a little harder up a climb.

Some of the guys posing for the lunch photo.

Two of my favorite Wisconsin people. Syd and Gary Crandell. Along with Syd's kids and mom.

Lynne looking great at Jimmy's cabin.

A little tardy leaving after lunch.

Mick, Beth and the gang at the River Eatery in Cable.

T-1 hour ’til all day ski

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The double Birkie is in a little more than an hour. I hate this early morning stuff.

We rolled into Cable yesterday around 5pm. Bromont started going crazy with his nose against the air vent about an hour out. He starts shaking like nuts about 15 minutes to go. He ran around wild for a couple hours. I got on a trainer. Really. I did. I think the last time I clamped my bicycle into a trainer was maybe 5 years ago. Once. And probably that long until the time before.

I hate riding trainers. I hate sweating all over, even though I had the room temperature down to 50. I had my headphones on, so I could stomach it for a little over an hour. Showered and went down to the Sawmill to meet up with most of the other cyclists that are skiing today.

There is way too much chocolate, cookies and alcohol here at Dennis’ right now. I’m going to have to exercise more than the 9 hours I’m doing today, to keep the weight off.

Better get a couple more pancakes down before we take off. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It is nice riding a trainer in a building you built.

All the puss and infection seems to be gone out of my knee. Good thing because I finished the antibiotics yesterday. Good riddance!

Dennis making pancakes for the gang.

Driving to Ski

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It’s 450 miles from Chicago to Cable. There is a ton of after Christmas traffic. Lots of trailers full of snow mobiles. There is a ton of snow in Wisconsin, so everyone wants to get out in it.

I got out for an hour and a half ride yesterday. My hands are still jacked from Cross Nationsls, or before. The roads were clear, but wet. I can’t believe how much salt they dump on the roads in Chicago. My nostrils and lips were swollen when I got home. Weird.

The Bears game is on the radio. The Chiefs are playing too. I watched the World Cup Cross race live this morning. Lars Boom killed it, especially taking his starting position into consideration. Pretty great win for him. Man, did that course look treacherous. Super hard. The time gaps reflected that. Jonathan Paige was 19th. Seems good.

We might stop in a couple hours and meet Tom Schuler to ski by the Wisconsin Dells. Or maybe just keep going and ski under the lights at OO.
Or maybe not ski at all. Tomorrow might be near 100km. Probably don’t want to be too tired for that.