Monthly Archives: June 2014

DK 200 Race – Results

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Yesterday was the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel road epic, in Emporia, 50 miles from where I live. The race has really blossomed the last couple years, with nearly 1500 riders registered to compete this year. I’m not sure what the deal is with these epic races getting so many more participates, but it is nice having so many out-of-staters, come to Kansas to enjoy the Flint Hills.

I hadn’t planned to do the race. If I hadn’t broken my hip I would have most likely raced in Oklahoma this weekend. My TradeWind Energy/Eriksen teammate, Brian Jensen had been training pretty good for the event. At least as well as you can, trying to prepare for a 10+ hour race. A couple weeks ago, we went out and he had 150 miles, so I know that he was comfortable in his mind about the duration. That would have been my biggest concern as well.

Bill was doing support for Brian, along with Nick Coil and Michelle, Brian’s wife. The stayed in Emporia on Friday night because the race starts at 6 am. It has been taking around 12 hours recently, but I knew that was going to fall. We averaged close to 19 mph on our long ride and I didn’t see any reason that it would be much slower.

I heard that there were about 20 riders at the first check point at 50 miles. Brian was the most worried about Neil Shirley. I’d told him about Neil and that he was a rider to be reckoned with. Neil works for Jimmy Mac’s High Torque and has bee doing these one-up, Grand Fondo, gravel type events for a while now. He won the Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego about a month ago. It was 138 miles and he did it in 6:40 or so. That is pretty fast considering the climbing. Anyway, Bill texted me and said that Neil had ripped off his rear derailleur before the first check point, so on paper, for me, Brian was a ringer.

I guess somewhere around 80 miles in, there were no many guys together and Brian decided to have a go on his own. He rode the last 120 miles on his own. I had advised him to ride easy until everyone was on similar footing, then it was fine to do his thing, which is ride super hard forever.

He came into the final checkpoint 50 miles out with a 16 minute lead. That is when Trudi and I got into the car and did the hour drive over. I didn’t feel much like getting out, but I know the event was super important to Brian and didn’t want to miss the end. He ended up winning by 22 minutes over the Kona rider, Barry Wicks. Barry told me that he flatted early and had to chance back on. He said he went super hard and was only by himself for 30 minutes or so. That is still a big effort if you’re going to be on your bike 11 hours.

I guess it was a new course record. I don’t really believe in course records for MTB races and events such as these. There are way too many variables to be comparing one year to the new. I believe the course switches up, which is a good reason it can’t be a new course record, plus, there is new gravel, rain, heat, etc. that makes it very unfair to compare. But, that being said, Brian did ride the 200 miles a lot faster than has ever been done historically.

Barry Wicks finished 2nd. Jon Schottler, from Missouri, but flew in from Germany was 3rd. Jon won the Berryman Epic a couple times I rode it and now works for Cannondale in Europe. Next was Bob Cummings, who finished 4th. I guess Josh Johnson was up in the front for a long time, but blew big time and limped in. It is nice having all the guys I locally race with finish in the top 5. Shows that Midwest racing is very competitive.

I congratulated all of them. It was fun listening to Barry talk to Jon, or Jon talk to Bob, etc. about their experiences out on the course. None of the three knew each other before, so they didn’t have any knowledge about their capabilities. I liked to listen and envision the thought process they were going through trying to figure out the other riders. Barry said that he stopped with 20 miles to go and filled his bottle (bottom for Rod) from a hose at a farmhouse. Bob said that is when he rode back up to him. Barry was saying something about Bob, “the big guy with the aero bars”. It must of blown Barry away having to deal with Bob out there after 9 + hours of racing. Pretty fun stuff.

Brian seemed pretty happy with the result. He has been working really a lot this season and I know he was a little worried about his form. I didn’t think he was going to have much trouble. One thing that Brian said, plus Barry and Jon was that they all had a hard time the last 5 miles. It must of been headwind and they must of just been mentally destroyed. I’ve never ridden that far, so don’t have any personal experience to draw upon. Brian is heading back to Denmark to finish his family on Tuesday. A little rest, and then back at it. He’s going to try to improve on his 12th place finish from last year. (It was prettying his first MTB race of his life.)

So, I hung out at the finish for a couple hours, but finally had to go. I was pretty done. Standing too much puts a lot of pressure on my hip. Plus, getting up and down out of chairs, multiple times, is exhausting. I went to bed around 9 and slept pretty soundly to 5 am. That was a post operation record. My leg feels pretty good today, not much pain. I’m still beat, but it has only been 6 days. It is getting better on a daily basis, so I’m pretty optimistic still.

I might have to sign up for the Dirty Kanza next year. I had ridden enough miles I think I would have been okay this year, but you never know. It looks like a race that you want on your bucket list. 200 miles of gravel through the Kansas Flint Hills. Pretty good stuff.

Overall Results. Rebecca Rusch won the women's race and finished 19th overall.  Pretty incredible.

Overall Results. Rebecca Rusch won the women’s race and finished 19th overall. Pretty incredible.

Brian talking to the race director, Jim Cummings, after he won.

Brian talking to the race director, Jim Cummings, after he won.

Jim and I before Brian rolled in.

Jim and I before Brian rolled in.

This is Josh Johnson, on the left, with 3rd place finisher, Jonathan Schottler.  They rode the race a few years ago and Josh flatted a ton and Jon waited for him while he changed his flats.  I think they were off their bikes over an hour that year.

This is Josh Johnson, on the left, with 3rd place finisher, Jonathan Schottler. They rode the race a few years ago and Josh flatted a ton and Jon waited for him while he changed his flats. I think they were off their bikes over an hour that year.

Brian, after the race, with 4 time winner, Dan Hughes.  I think Dan had won the previous 3 years.  He flatted early on and had some issues, but still finished in 7th.  Pretty tenacious.  At least the winner's trophy stays in Lawrence Kansas and didn't travel out of state.

Brian, after the race, with 4 time winner, Dan Hughes. I think Dan had won the previous 3 years. He flatted early on and had some issues, but still finished in 7th. Pretty tenacious. At least the winner’s trophy stays in Lawrence Kansas and didn’t travel out of state.

Talking to BIll and Brian after Brian got cleaned up.  Bill was pretty wasted, having gotten up at 4 am and being on his feet all day.  He said that he would have rather ridden the race than work it, after the fact.

Talking to BIll and Brian after Brian got cleaned up. Bill was pretty wasted, having gotten up at 4 am and being on his feet all day. He said that he would have rather ridden the race than work it, after the fact.

Jon Schottler and Barry Wicks.  They only finished a couple minutes apart.

Jon Schottler and Barry Wicks. They only finished a couple minutes apart.

Barry seemed pretty good with the whole experience.  He was unlucky, flatting early, but said that Brian was a level above everyone else, which is true.

Barry seemed pretty good with the whole experience. He was unlucky, flatting early, but said that Brian was a level above everyone else, which is true.

Time Out Today

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

I got up at my usual 4 am and tried to write something, but felt sort of down and out. Stomach issues, plus a pounding headache. So, I went back to bed and slept a few more hours. My head feels a tad better, but not my stomach. I’m done with pain pills. My stomach felt weird last night and I think it is because of the Perocet. I was only taking 1 every 6 hours or so, so it isn’t really a big deal. I think I have the flu or something. I’d been feeling too good up until this point, so it is probably just fair. But, what’s fair in this situation? It just is.

So, I’m taking a time out today on the website. I can’t think straight enough to concentrate. I loved the Ryder article at Velonews this morning. Some piece of journalism there. Plus mostly fabrication, so that just adds to the whole beauty of the article. Guess I’ll write about it, again, when I feel better. I did a little post last fall when the news on Ryder came out. Wish these guys would just STFU.

Okay, back to horizontal.

Bromont has been pretty clingy the last week.  He's been a very good friend.

Bromont has been pretty clingy the last week. He’s been a very good friend.

Butt still looks terrible, but seems to be healing up alright.

Butt still looks terrible, but seems to be healing up alright.

Time Out Day Two

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I don’t like not really posting something, but my mind is a blob right now. I’m better today though. I’m not as sick in my stomach as I was yesterday. And my leg hurts less. So progress is always good. My routine is jacked. Maybe not jacked, but really different than before the broken hip. I’m sleeping from 10 to 4 ish now, then awake until 6 or so, and then back to sleep on the couch, usually, for an hour, before hobbling back to bed somewhere after 7. If I’m lucky I can sleep another hour or so then.

I’m usually waking up at 4 because of a stomach ache. Cinnamon Raisin toast and hot tea seems to make it feel better. I like both those a lot, so maybe that is why. I haven’t drank any coffee at all this week. I had some the day I got out of the hospital, last Wednesday, but not since then. Maybe that was the splitting headache I had a couple mornings ago, I don’t know. I don’t feel a craving for it for sure. Same with wine. I haven’t had any wine since last Wednesday and don’t miss it at all. Guess your body knows what to consume when things go awry.

I’ve been listening to the BBC on NPR from 4 on. Then Morning Edition. Morning Edition gets repeated at 8, so I’ve already heard it by then. The BBC is way more interesting to me than our NPR news. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it is just more worldly.

I’ve been sitting some on the back porch, before the sun comes up and listening. It seems like the birds all wake up in the same order every morning. It always seems way too early for them to start, but then the sun starts to rise. They always sound so chipper, so happy to be alive, it makes me feel better. I really enjoy it, so there are always these small, ancillary upsides to what seems bad. You just have to look for them.

Okay, that’s pretty much my morning schedule. The rest of the day is way less constant. Sleeping on and off, a little TV, yesterday morning I watched the live feed from the Apple World Wide Developers Conference. I realized how little I use the functions of the Apple products I own. I doubt many of us do much.

Maybe today I can get out a little. It is supposed to thunderstorm tonight. That is always good. Funny how little of things you look forward to when your down and out. That’s about it for now.

Trudi is always in non-stop mode.  She got some straw to cover the garden with yesterday.  Saves on pulling weeds, plus seems to hold the water in better.

Trudi is always in non-stop mode. She got some straw to cover the garden with yesterday. Saves on pulling weeds, plus seems to hold the water in better.

She also got a couple strings of solar lights for the backyard.  A couple of the cats are always around interested.

She also got a couple strings of solar lights for the backyard. A couple of the cats are always around interested.

Pleasant Surprise

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I was sitting out on my front porch a few minutes ago, kind of moping around. I’ve been moving around super slowly today. Actually, it started around 2am this morning. I woke up in a cold sweat and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I just got up and started my mopey day. I didn’t stay away all night. I went back to sleep around 6 and slept again for another hour or so. So, today was never going to be stellar. I tried to post something earlier, but didn’t have the patience or the mental capacity to do it.

Anyway, I’m sick. My hip feels way better, but I’ve got a constant stomach/back ache and a on and off again headache. Plus some other symptoms. I’ve been trying to go outside a few times a day and just sit. The front porch has a good view of squirrels collecting acorns so I picked it.

I’d only been on the porch for 15 minutes, or so, and here ride up two fixtures in the city of Topeka, Ken Hackathorn and Brian Hammondtree. They have been riding their bikes around Topeka for years/decades. I think every city has a couple guys like Ken and Brian, guys that make the rounds through town and always make sure to check in at the bike shop often. Ken and Brian have probably had 50 different bikes between them over the years. They buy, upgrade, then sell bikes constantly. I don’t think either has a driver’s license, so their bikes are their only mode of transportation. Kenny has some issues and his balance isn’t good enough for a two wheel bike anymore, so he got a tricycle.

So, they see me on the porch and come on up. Kenny had brought a bag of bike parts for my brother, Kris. Ken’s trik was making a ton of noise, so I hobbled out to check it out. He has cable disc brakes and were easy to adjust. Kris got a 5 mm and it was done in a few minutes.

Anyway, Brian wanted me to autograph his new Specialized 29’r. He was saying it was an honor having someone from the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame’s signature on his bike. So, Kris went in and got a Sharpie and I signed both Brian’s bike and Ken’s.

I was pretty much done after standing in the driveway for 15 minutes, so I went in. But not before Ken told me a few jokes. He always has a constant supply of jokes. I’d tell you a few, but most, nearly all, are rated X, or at least crude. Crude, but sometimes funny.

Anyway, it was nice having those two stop by. They ride by fairly often, but I’m usually pretty busy, or just not around. It temporarily got me out of my doldrums and was a pleasant break from moping. It will probably be a highlight of the day.

Brian on the left, then Ken or the right.

Brian on the left, then Ken or the right.

Brian showing me where he wants me to sign his new Specialized.

Brian showing me where he wants me to sign his new Specialized.

Autograph.

Autograph.

So Fortunate

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Like I wrote yesterday, I’ve sort of been just moping around, feeling pretty under the weather. It’s given me a lot of time to think, and just reaffirm, how fortunate I am that I was born into the chosen few. By that I mean, I am one of the minority of the people on this planet that has access to the luxuries, that most of the other people on the planet just dream of, or don’t even know exist.

I’d say being sick and broken has put me into a sort of funky mental frame. Either/or is okay, but both broken and sick is just down right crummy. Saying that, I would still take my situation of the last week, here, to nearly any other place on the planet for it to occur.

If I were one of the other 5 billion people that don’t have the ability to have their hips screwed back together after an accident doing an athletic event, then I would just be SOL. I’m mending up slowly. Actually, that isn’t true, I’m mending up pretty quickly, even on my scale. But, I would not be close to good if I were one of the 85% of the people on the planet that don’t have the access or the financial means to be involved with “modern” medicine.

If I were Joe Blow in many places in Africa, South American, or lots of other places on this planet, I’d just be broken and I would be left to whatever my body could do to heal itself up.

Instead, I had access to a surgeon that had done 100’s of these operations before. To modern day anesthesia, antibiotics, pain killers, etc. Now I’m sitting in an air conditioned house, laying around on my nice bed, or comfy couch and am in a gloomy state of mind because, poor me, I’m sick. I don’t mind so much being hurt, that is part of the bike racing deal, but the sickness thing is bumming me out. Man, what a wuss.

I know I’m going to feel better soon and that I’m going to improve, healthwise, quickly. It would be so easy to be in a situation where that isn’t a given.

I’ve written this before and I’ll state it again, anyone that is reading this has already won the worldwide lottery. You don’t have to wish yourself anymore luck, because you are one of the few that were born lucky. We all are so fortunate to have a phone, to call someone when we are in a bad situation. Or someone else will just dial three numbers, 911, and someone will come and help. We shouldn’t take this for granted. It is part of the deal of being blessed by the lottery of life.

So, I’m gonna try to get through these next few days without being so gloomy. I don’t have any reason to complain. If anything the opposite.

My friend, Jeff Unruh brought me over some of his home grown honey today.  Couldn't have asked for anything else.

My friend, Jeff Unruh brought me over some of his home grown honey today. Couldn’t have asked for anything else.


I did manage to ride the erogometer for 20 minutes. Only have a cycling shoe on my right foot. I can’t twist my left leg at all. Plus, it is just going around, no pressure much on the upstroke or downstroke.

Wiggins Just Watching the 2014 Tour that Starts in England

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A few articles came out this morning on Bradley Wiggins, 2012 Tour de France winner, won’t be racing the Tour this year with Team Sky. I haven’t been shy with my opinion of Bradley. I’ve written a couple posts on the guy in the past. I’ve never much liked his public persona. And I’ve found if a person is unlikeable in public, then they tend to be complete utterly terrible, privately.

I guess Chris Froome, plus the powers at Team Sky, realize this and have decided that even though Bradley is one of the top 5 stage racers in the World, and maybe even has the form and ability to win this year’s race, they don’t want him around. Man, that is making a pretty definite statement.

He has said some pretty weird statements over the years. Talking about Paul Kimmage being a hypocrite because he was a bad doper. Saying that he never intended to win the Tour more than once. Feeling ashamed of winning the Tour because of the previous winners. Saying that he would like to focus on winning a gold medal at the Olympics in 2016, on the track. Etc, etc.

I’ve never heard any one of Bradley’s team mates say much nice about him. And the guy has a complete potty mouth. But that isn’t enough to leave him out of the Tour, that starts in him home country, England. He obviously has made some very serious enemies on his team. His quote of “The team wants to win the Tour, that’s how it is, and they cannot have even a small issue, because that would be disastrous.” says a lot.

But, Bradley, as usual, is wrong again. He is a big issue. I think he needs to start looking for a new jersey to wear next year because his current team already knows him.

PS. If you want to read a good write-up from a “real” biker and not just this post about a multi-millionaire robot, then click here to read Dan Hugh’s personal observations of his Dirty Kanza 200 race last weekend. Dan is a 4 time winner of the DK200, so he has the most race miles on those beautiful gravel roads, through the Kansas Flints hills, than about anyone else.

Bradley's bike change form.  Remove the bottles, then toss the 10K $$ bike into the ditch so his mechanics have more work to do later.

Bradley’s bike change form. Remove the bottles, then toss the 10K $$ bike into the ditch so his mechanics have more work to do later.

Celebrating after doubling up winning the Tour and the Olympic Games in 2012.  Great role model.

Celebrating after doubling up winning the Tour and the Olympic Games in 2012. Great role model.

Waking up in Colorado

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Yesterday I decided to drive out to Colorado and hang at Vincent’s house in Arvada Colorado for a few days. I was getting into a valueless rut, sitting around at home, plus my friends, Stacie and Karl from Louisville, were going to be out there, so I thought, sure. Trudi was just getting into a flow back in Topeka, so she was a little hesitant about breaking her rhythm, but I can’t drive yet, so she volunteered to drive me out.

I had only slept about 3 hours the previous two nights, so I was hoping to sleep most of the 7 hour drive out to Denver. But, nada. Karl was already out in Colorado, riding his bike and motorcycle around Salida, so Trudi and I drove by DIA and picked Stacie and their kid, Adam. It was really right on the way, at a pretty convenient time, so that was easy.

Vincent is at home alone, with his kid, Pascal. His wife, Lisa, is out in Seattle for a doctor’s conference and is having dinner tonight with Catherine and Keith Walberg, so everyone is a little inbred somewhat this weekend.

I stayed up until after 11, Colorado time, and then slept pretty good for 6 hours, which matched the previous two nights, so that is pretty good.

One of the real reason I came out here is that Vincent has a way to turn slides and media content digital, so Trudi loaded up nearly all the old slides and most of the old articles and hauled them out. If I have a few loaded up this morning, I’ll post a few. I have a million photos too, but those are going to have to wait to make their way to the 21st century.

Okay, I thought I got up pretty early, but within 5 minutes, Vincent rolled down, then Stacie and Karl. They are all morning people, which I am definitely not. So, it is going full gas here. Trudi is still playing catch up from her last BMC stint, plus playing nurse maid to me, so she is sleeping in with Bromont. Maybe this will turn out as a better rest for her than for me.

Not a bad view to wake up to.

Not a bad view to wake up to.

The back of the car loaded up with old articles and slides.

The back of the car loaded up with old articles and slides.

My next door neighbor is in her mid 80's and still mows her lawn twice a week with a manual push mower.  This is great exercise.

My next door neighbor is in her mid 80’s and still mows her lawn twice a week with a manual push mower. This is great exercise.

Yesterday was National Donut Day.  It just happened at the cell phone lot at Denver, there is a Dunkin Donuts, so we bought a couple just because.  I really like donuts.

Yesterday was National Donut Day. It just happened at the cell phone lot at Denver, there is a Dunkin Donuts, so we bought a couple just because. I really like donuts.