Monthly Archives: October 2013

Our Government?

This entry was posted in Racing on by .

I usually want to try to stay away from political issues here, but I just can’t today. I’ve been listening to NPR quite a bit the last few days, driving 30 hours, and I can’t believe that the guys in Washington DC, have let today come. Today, at midnight, the government won’t be funded and only essential workers will stay on the job.

This isn’t about political affiliation. It doesn’t matter if you are a republican or democratic. It’s about people we elect not doing the jobs that they promised to do when they were elected. When you get to the level of being elected to the House of Representatives or Senate in Washington, you are well aware of the compensation that you receive for being there. You are being compensated incredibly well to guide our country and keep it healthy.

These guys aren’t doing their jobs. When things like this happen, the people of our country, plus the rest of the world, have doubts in the government. Much of the reason that we enjoy the best living style in the world is because of the perception that the US government has its shit together better than other governments. When our elected officials let these deadlines come time and time again, it shows that we don’t have the ability to do just that. And that is what these people are elected for, governing us. They know the system, we don’t.

There are a million article and stories out there about the winners and the losers of this tact by the politicians to try to get “their” way. They talk about what political party will benefit the most from the shutdown. The biggest loser is us, the American people.

We should be ashamed that we don’t have the ability to govern ourselves. It is what is the difference between a civilized government and anarchy. There is no excuse. These guys should all be fired.


I Really Like Just Riding my Bike

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

Yesterday I had a pretty stressful day. I’m not really sure why, but I seemed to be running constantly behind and nothing was going quite right. Now that I look back upon it, everything was solvable and the stress was only adding stress.

Then I suited up and went for a bike ride with Bill. I can’t tell you how much better I felt. Pretty instantly. I am so lucky that I have an outlet like cycling to give my mind and body that ability to change direction immediately. I never take it for granted.

I’ve been riding kind of hard the last 4 or 5 days. On paper, it really doesn’t seem that hard, but riding, it is. We’ll been riding pretty fast and it’s that time of the year where I seem to be at the front of the ride the whole ride. I don’t mind it. One of the best aspects of the sport is that people of diverse different ability levels can all go out and train together, as a group, and everyone gets a pretty good workout. The drafting aspect of the sport is pretty unique to cycling. Anyway, my legs have only been feeling good when I’m riding. And when my legs feel good going around in circles, it seems like the thoughts in my head that were playing havoc on my body tend to get pushed to the side.

Bill and I were only riding an hour and a half. We didn’t get out until 5:30 and the sun sets alittle after 7 now. Tuesdays have sort of switched into the rest day Mondays for all here in Topeka. I like that. I sort of like to ride hard the day after weekend races or just hard weekend training. So, on Tuesday, most of the guys here just ride the bike path and then end up down at PT’s/The Flying Monkey, to hang and talk. We ended up riding by there and pretty soon I was sucked into the vortex. I was lucky that Trudi was there and felt badly for not feeding Bromont, so took off a little after 9, or I’d probably been feeling worse that I already do this morning.

Fall is my favorite time of the year to ride. I like the changing of the season. Plus, for some reason, it seems like the sun angle makes the shadows much longer and interesting. We were riding by a soybean field yesterday that was casting shadows on itself. It looked so much like fall I had to comment to Bill.

Anyway, I got home and felt much better, a little tipsy, but much better. I was looking at the comments from yesterdays post and this one stuck out, I knew exactly how he felt –

Mike October 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm


Thanks for the unbiased comments you provided here. I, unfortunately am one of those govt employees that is being affected by what is as you rightfully describe, people not getting their job done.

You are correct, both sides of the aisle need to all be sent home. Every last one of them. The American people are truly the losers today.

Yes, it will be difficult for me to pay my bills if this lasts long; remember, we were already furloughed earlier this year due to sequestration.

The only thing that keeps me going, is love of country, family and my bicycle.

Yes, I did a hard 65mi in the wind on lonely roads. Saved my soul for the day.

Yeah, Mike gets it. I think that most of us know precisely what Mike means in his last sentence. We all have that in common. We should never take it for granted, it is so special.


Keith and Catherine are Moving to Seattle

This entry was posted in Important Life Stories on by .

Two of my best friends, Keith and Catherine Walberg, are moving to Seattle. Catherine starts a new job early next week and Keith is going to stay around Topeka for a little while clearing up loose ends. I’ve known these two for close to a quarter century. They started riding bikes with me in the very early 90’s. The first time I saw them at a MTB race, they were wearing hiking boots, riding with toe clips. Since then, we’ve done some pretty incredible things together.

A lot of you know Catherine from racing. She started touring in college, then got into road riding, switched over to MTB racing in the 90’s, took up cyclocross for the Nationals in Kansas City in 2000, now does it all still. Keith mainly rides on the road in the summer and does cross in the winter. He’s also been testing the waters of long (200 mile) gravel road races. Plus, he travels around with us and makes pretty great videos of some of the more major races around the Midwest.

I’m flying out to Seattle this morning with Catherine to help her get sent up. I packed her road bike, plus a Ritchey Breakaway cross bike that she is going to use to commute to work. (I need to get some fenders to put on it.) If anyone has a good suggestions on where they should end up living permanently in the Seattle area, feel free to comment. She is working pretty much right at the Pike Street Market and is looking for a stress free commute to work, along with good places to train.

We had a going away party last Saturday night at our house. Mainly of our friends, that have known them for just as long me, came. It was nice. I’m sure that they’ll be back here in Topeka pretty often, so it really isn’t goodbye. But, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be missed. They are part of the tribe.

Here is a slide show of few photos from the last few years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A group shot from the party on Saturday night.

A group shot from the party on Saturday night.

Amy Dombroski Killed in Accident

This entry was posted in Racing on by .

I just heard that Amy Dombroski was killed in an accident in Belgium while out training today. Very, very sad news. I didn’t know her very well personally, but watched her race the last couple years and witnessed her improvement in the sport. She took the big step last season and spent the majority of the cyclocross season fully immersed in Belgium, the hub of the sport. She was following her dreams. She will be missed greatly by many. Velonews article.


Froome follows Wiggins Path ?

This entry was posted in Racing on by .

I saw an article at that said that Chris Froome would be targeting fewer races in 2014 than he did in 2013. It was nearly the exact same article content I saw in late 2012 about Bradley Wiggins and how he wanted to change up a few things.

These guys are nuts. Chris Froome won 13 races in 2013, including the Tour de France, the Tour of Oman, Critérium International, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné. He was also second in Tirreno–Adriatico and finished third in the world team time trial championships. He is currently leading the UCI World Tour Individual Points ranking. Why would he change a thing?

Part of the beauty of sport is being able to recognize the changes you make and how they affect your performance. Changing for the sake of change makes no sense in sport. Look how well the 2013 season went for Bradley Wiggins. He won nearly every race he did in 2012, then struggled the whole season, in comparison, in 2013. He decided to change it up because, why?

If you look over the last 3 or 4 years of Chris Frrome results, he won more in 2013 than he’d won his whole career racing bikes combined. If I were him, I would mimic my training and racing of the 2013 season to a t. Exactly the same mileage, same races, same everything. I would have to assume that he would be extremely happy having the same season next year as he had this one. How could he not?


Exploring Seattle/Bainbridge Island

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I’ve been lucky enough to ride my bicycle in many of the most beautiful places on this continent. I’ve been at this so long that is just a bi-product of the lifestyle. A very positive bi-product. Yesterday, we rode down to downtown Seattle, which is just a couple miles away, went by the Pike Street Market and then headed to the ferry to go over to Bainbridge Island. Catherine is thinking about maybe living over there, since her work is just a short walk from the ferry landing.

I’d received a comment from Paul, the owner of Classic Cycle on Bainbridge, about how nice it is over there. We got off the ferry, went to an awesome local bakery and then went over to the shop. Man, was I surprised. It was an amazing bike shop. You know it is strange, but right now I can’t tell you what lines of current bicycles they sell there. I was so taken with all the old bicycles. He truly has a museum quality collection of bicycles in a small shop. Not only bicycles, but components too.

Paul and his wife, Jamie, both were at the shop and it was nice getting introduced. Turns out Gavin O’Grady, a guy I used to race with way back is normally there working too. Then Jamie said that Zach McDonald was the local shop rat when he was a kid and still stops by all the time. Pretty small world this sport is. Paul showed me a lap of the island to do, so off we went.

The riding on Bainbridge is great. We did a perimeter lap of the island and it is pretty hilly. Like 3000 feet of climbing in 30 miles. Lots of 1/2 mile climbs that get up to 20%. It is way more laid back on Bainbridge compared to Seattle. Nearly a quaint countryside atmosphere compared to a trendy urban lifestyle in Seattle. I liked it a lot.

We got back to the ferry terminal and just missed one, so we had to wait until 5:30, which was 45 more minutes. During that time I froze. I never really got warm the rest of the night. It wasn’t all that cold, but it must of been damp or something. We ran into some commuters that were going to escort us back North up to Queen Anne. Man, do these guys start fast from the lights. It was like a micro bike race. We were missing the lights and as soon as it turns green, you better be ready to clip in or some big fat guy with flat pedals will jump you and take the best line.

Today were thinking about riding over to Issaquah. My friend, Josh Crow, who “put together” my current road team years ago moved there. He said the riding is great, but the commute is probably longer than Catherine wants. One of the guys on the ferry says that it’s an hour and 45 minute ride for 17 miles. That sounds kind of frustrating to me. We’ll see if it is true. They are having the Issqauah Salmon Days this weekend. Probably not the best time to go over there, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some spawning salmon if that is what is going on right now. I’ve never witnessed that in person.

It’s nice out and Catherine needs some orientation to figure out the lay of the land, so why not spend the day on bikes?

Some commuters coming off the ferry onto Bainbridge.

Some commuters coming off the ferry onto Bainbridge.

The original Starbucks at the Pike Market.

The original Starbucks at the Pike Market.

Paul, Jamie and I at the Classic Cycle shop.

Paul, Jamie and I at the Classic Cycle shop.

Catherine on Bainbridge.  Notice Mt. Rainer in the background.

Catherine on Bainbridge. Notice Mt. Rainer in the background.

Flying in, the local volcanoes are completely buried in snow already.

Flying in, the local volcanoes are completely buried in snow already.

This was a nice looking house on Bainbridge.  Being victorian, it is unusual.  Most the houses seem like they should be in Maine, not Seattle.

This was a nice looking house on Bainbridge. Being victorian, it is unusual. Most the houses seem like they should be in Maine, not Seattle.

On the bike path heading back.  Catherine's temporary housing is in the building just ahead.

On the bike path heading back. Catherine’s temporary housing is in the building just ahead.

Dave Zabriskie’s Done

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I saw this article on this morning that Dave Zabriskie is done racing. He was being a little bet stealthy about it, keeping it to himself pretty much. Then later today I read that he started Lombardi, he then quietly quit the race, “stepped off his bike” and he career was finished. I am not sure what to think.

I’m wondering if he really just wanted to stop or it was some deal he made with someone concerning the USADA/Lance deal. He is only 34 years old. It’s not like he doesn’t have the ability to race at the Pro level. He finished 2nd in the Tour of California in 2012. I’d like to sit down and have a beer with him sometime to get some feeling on whether he is happy with his career and how it went. He does have two children he wants to spend more time with, so it’s not like he is going to be sitting around twiddling his thumbs. I wish him the best.

He’s saying that he is going to be doing something in the sport. I’m thinking that would be a better choice that stand up poetry. Here is an example of his.