Monthly Archives: October 2015

Skin of my Teeth

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Yesterday was good.  And I got lucky.  At least at the end..  I have been fixing a rubber roof at my friend MIchael Fatka’s house in Iowa and had run into some unexpected issues that required time, which I am short of.

But yesterday went pretty well, right until the forecast said ran at 7 pm.  I was rushing around all day and finally got the deck covered by sunset.  It went pretty well and isn’t going to leak any there.  I even had time to do a weird corner that had pulled away from the wall.

Anyway, by this time it was after 7 and I thought they had screwed up the forecast again.  But just a tad later, it started raining and it kept raining.  I had just put on the last bit of edge caulking 15 minutes earlier and had started gathering tools to take down.

Man, is that a lucky roofing job.  Rain nearly the minute you get done.

The van is all packed and we’re heading south to Kansas in a few minutes.  The beer mile is in Topeka this afternoon.  I can’t run, but am going to watch for sure.

Then tomorrow I’m flying to LA again.  I need to pack my bike and try to get a cross bike working well enough to race next weekend in Louisville.  I’m flying back to Louisville oo Thursday.  That should be interesting.

Okay, leaving Iowa.  It rained all night and so far it is dry.  Yeah.

Laying out the sheet.

Laying out the sheet.

Seaing the seams after glueing the rubber.

Seaing the seams after glueing the rubber.

 

 

It turned out pretty flat considering I was matching it up to the existing tapered roof.

It turned out pretty flat considering I was matching it up to the existing tapered roof.

 

I had time to redo this corner too.

I had time to redo this corner too.

A cut out of the Levis team.

A cut out of the Levis team.

Running Short on time

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The title says it all.  I don’t have time to mess around today on the computer.  I think I’m on schedule, but you know how that goes.  It is supposed to rain here around sunset, so that is the deadline now I guess.

I was up on the roof close to midnight last night.  I only have rubber to adhere, but there is  a bunch of stuff to do before and after than.

I haven’t ridden for 3 days, this is going to be the fourth.  That is the most time off the bike I’ve had this season.  Not that I haven’t been doing physical stuff.  Maybe it is a good late season break?  It doesn’t really matter, it is what it is.

Okay, tomorrow is Halloween.  There is a beer mile in Topeka if you have any interest.  Plus the World Series games the next couple days.

Start.

Start.

There was pretty much no sheathing. There was one rubber roof on top of another, with fiberboard below the original.

There was pretty much no sheathing. There was one rubber roof on top of another, with fiberboard below the original.

Cleaned up.

Cleaned up.

Yes, this is fiberboard too, but going to Des Moines to get the right insulation would have taken too long. The whole roof need to be redone, so this is what it is.

Yes, this is fiberboard too, but going to Des Moines to get the right insulation would have taken too long. The whole roof need to be redone, so this is what it is.

Michael has some strange stuff around his house.

Michael has some strange stuff around his house.

Jeff Bradley's Midget National's jersey. Funny how they called young people midgets back in the 70's.

Jeff Bradley’s Midget National’s jersey. Funny how they called young people midgets back in the 70’s.

This is a display MIchael had at his shop back in the day. Jimmy Mac sent me the photo yesterday.

This is a display MIchael had at his shop back in the day. Jimmy Mac sent me the photo yesterday.

It is a Can of Worms

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Okay, it is amazing how little you can get done when you think you’re going to accomplish a ton. That was the case for me yesterday here in rural Iowa.  I thought this was going to be an easy patch the roof deal, but that is never the case in construction.  I should have known.

Now I’m thinking about doing a not so easy patch the roof project and that won’t be enough.   I’m thinking that the whole roof needs to be replaced.  I will know a ton more this morning.  I was really hesitant ripping  off the rubber and leaving the whole thing exposed through the night.  There was a small chance of rain and was sleeting some when we were driving to Ankeny to go to Menards.

I cleaned the area of the roof that needs to be repaired.  At least the area that needs the most attention.  Then I went into the house and removed the ceiling drywall.  And kept removing it and removing it.  Ouch.

There was plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier on the whole ceiling and the insulation underneath the whole area was soaked.  Plus, the sheathing of the roof is completely done and needs to be replaced.  I haven’t even looked underneath the rubber roofing.

I think I found a place that has tampered insulation for decking.  So I’m going to tear out a 10 x 10 area this morning and hopefully get to dry decking.  Or at least to an area that doesn’t need to be replaced.  I really have no idea what the depth is of the rigid insulation under the rubber, so I’m hoping it isn’t that thick.

We went over to a friend of Michael’s that used to be a general contractor and got a ton of rubber, plus some more adhesive and primer.  I brought of bunch of slicing tape and patching stuff, so I think I have everything to put the rubber on.  Right now the insulation is the only question mark I have.  I’m thinking I can probably just match the roof slant with sheathing if the insulation isn’t available.  I guess I’ll see.

I was talking to Michael and Trudi on the drive and thought I should arrange a “gathering” next year to just redo Michael’s whole house.  A lot of Michael’s best friends, guys that rode and worked for him are pretty much experts at construction.  Paul Biskup, TIm Hinz and Pete Caron are 3 of super loyal guys that have spent years in construction.  Plus I know a lot more.

Then I came back and was reading the comments on yesterday’s post, plus a few emails and realized there are a lot of guys around that would probably pitch in some labor.

I was thinking of a mid-week gathering to access the situation and gather the materials, then a long weekend to do a home makeover.  Michael lives in the country, outside of Ames on 3 acres.  We could set up a little make shift village down on the lower 40 and just campout.  Work most of the day, go for a short ride, get back to work and then hang and tell stories around a fire at night. It wouild be like an old fashion barn raising.  Just old, and new friends doing something important.  Sounds like a blast to me.  It  needs to happen.  You are all invited.  The more the better in this case.

Until then, small patches to get through the winter.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to head back up here in a couple weeks to batten down the hatches a little more.  Hopefully today isn’t going to go sideways on me.  I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Michael on a ladder after recent hip surgery. Go figure.

Michael on a ladder after recent hip surgery. Go figure.

And it was ugly and just got uglier.

And it was ugly and just got uglier.

And it ended up looking like this. The wood dried pretty well over night.

And it ended up looking like this. The wood dried pretty well over night.

Some of the other sections of roof amazingly doesn't leak.

Some of the other sections of roof amazingly doesn’t leak.

Michael had some awesome aluminum scaffolding just around. It took me awhile to assembly it, but it is going to save a ton of time. I kept working thru most of the night, checking in on the Royals game every once and a while.

Michael had some awesome aluminum scaffolding just around. It took me awhile to assembly it, but it is going to save a ton of time. I kept working thru most of the night, checking in on the Royals game every once and awhile.

Little Detour to Ames Iowa

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I made an emergency detour to drive the 300 miles up to Ames Iowa and patch the roof of Michael’s (Fatka) house.   He called and told me that his roof was leaking pretty badly, but now that I’m up here I think he was exaggerating somewhat.  Not really compared to regular people’s roofs, but it is better than what I had expected. It is raining right now and it is hardly dripping.

I haven’t been up to Ames for a while, but can only stay here a few days.  I’m heading back out to California on Sunday again, so need to get back to Kansas by Friday at the latest.  There is a lot of stuff to be done here, so it is going to be sort of a temporary bandage.

It rained all day yesterday, the whole drive, and I got up here in time to spend an hour on the roof cleaning leaves and checking out the problem.  It is bigger than a couple days of work, thus the bandage fix.

Michael is doing pretty good.  He had hip surgery five weeks ago and then had pulmonary embolism a couple weeks after that, so it hasn’t been the easiest month.  He obviously doesn’t have any business climbing ladders and carrying heavy stuff, so won’t be much use, other than entertainment.

I need to come up here more anyway, so I don’t mind just getting it water tight and then come back and do it right later.

I used to spend weeks/months up here when I started racing.  Michael was the team director of the team I rode for from 19 years old to 27.  He ran the Levis/Raleigh team, then we were sponsored later by Isuzu.   I could write weeks of posts on Michael.  Very eclectic guy.  Super interesting.

Michael lives outside of Ames about 8 miles, so hardly gets any TV channels.  But he did get Fox, which is broadcasting the World Series.  Go Royals.

Okay, today should be a long day.  Gonna be cool out and windy, like 40 mph windy.  I don’t plan to be moving big sheets of rubber around, so the wind shouldn’t  be an issue.   Hopefully I’m not opening a can of worms here.

Michael's house from the driveway.

Michael’s house from the driveway.

Pretty eclectic, right?

Pretty eclectic, right?

This is Pete.

This is Pete.

Need any pine tar? I know where you can get some.

Need any pine tar? I know where you can get some.

This is just the tip of the stuff.

This is just the tip of the stuff.

Remember Steve Bauer's Roubaix bike from the 80's.

Remember Steve Bauer’s Roubaix bike from the 80’s.

Michael has a production Bauer frame laying here. He wants to sell it. It's from 1988. NOS.

Michael has a production Bauer frame laying here. He wants to sell it. It’s from 1988. NOS.

The only problem, or maybe not, is that it is a 64-65, depending on how you measure it. If you're interested, email me an offer.

The only problem, or maybe not, is that it is a 64-65, depending on how you measure it. If you’re interested, email me an offer.

The roof was actually in better shape than I had anticipated. The insulation under the rubber is really the issue.

The roof was actually in better shape than I had anticipated. The insulation under the rubber is really the issue.

Michael with his Popeil Pocket Fisherman.

Michael with his Popeil Pocket Fisherman.  Notice the water stain on the celing?

 

 

 

 

Berryman Trail Epic MTB Race

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Now that I’ve had a day to mull over Saturday, I’m good with the race I had on Saturday. Actually, Saturday I was good with the race, but I went through a bit of what if’s on Sunday, and now I’m back to good, which is where it is going to stand.

The Berryman Epic is pretty epic.  These 2 guys, Scott and Jake, from Springfield Missouri, have this fascination with just about anything associated with endurance in athletics.  They like to ride their bikes a long time, run in the woods, adventure race, whatever.  And they like other people to do it too, so they spend their “other” extra time, promoting events that are off the charts.

I’m not sure how they found the Berryman Trail area, but they have made it their own.  I’d bet both of them know the area like the back of their hand.  It is pretty special, but I am pretty confused when I’m riding there.

The race changed since the last time I did it 2 years ago.  They removed a far loop and added a loop closer to the Bass River Resort.  I’m not sure it was an upgrade from a riders perspective, but it is super good for the race.  We come back through Bass River with 10 miles to go, so it is good for support.

I don’t really want to do a blow by blow race report, but I’m sure this will be longer than I think.

I felt okay warming up, even though we got to the start a tad late. The race is close to 50 miles and is mostly on rocky, leaf covered singletrack.  It is in the Mark Twain National Forest and is pretty hilly always.

The race starts directly up a climb.  We took the first bit easy and then Brian Jensen, my TradeWind Energy team mate took off and the action started.  Brian held a couple hundred meter lead to the singletrack, which earned him $100 prime.  I entered the singletrack 2nd, but was immediately passed by Garet Steinmetz.  But, Garet was a little too excited and slid out on virtually the next corner.  The trail is very tight and was mostly covered completely with dry leaves.

I led a bit, down the first tricky, rutted descent, but which starting the next climb I was overgeared and had to dismount.  Little did I know then that my rear derrailleur cable had slipped and I only had 3 gears in the back.

Bryan Fawley and Garet both eventually passed me and I had to dismount to do any steep climbs.  I looked back and there were too many guys close for me to get off my bike and fix the problem, so I rode the next 30 minutes with just an 11-13-15, plus two in the front, 38-28.  I had to dismount a few times, but it wasn’t that bad.  Brian was right behind me and he would ride up to me on the climbs and I would get a gap descending.

Finally when I got to a pavement section, I stopped and got out a tool to tighten up the cable.  It took a while.  The endcap came off and I was having a hard time getting ahold of the cable.  And tons, or what seemed like tons, of guys came by.  I eventually got the cable working and got moving.  I’m not sure where I was, maybe 10-15.  I passed a couple guys pretty quickly, then didn’t see anyone for awhile.  I passed some more and was starting to feel better riding, which was encouraging.

I came upon Bill who was laying a couple meters off the trail with blood pouring out of his knee. I asked him if I needed to stop and he said no, so I kept going.  In the back of my mind I was thinking I should have stopped to make sure he was alert enough to really say no, but convinced myself there were a ton of people, like over 300 more coming by and if he needed help, he would get it.  I had to stop a little later because I had left my seat bag open and everything was falling out.

I got up to the first feed at the Berryman Campground in 6th or 7th.  I was 4 minutes back.  I got a bottle from Trudi and then realized I need to get some new stuff for my seatbag in the van, so did a u-turn and went to the van.   Here I got some Co2 and then some clear glasses.  I decided to let some air out of my tires since I had pumped them up pretty hard, like 30 psi (650b) and thought I might as well enjoy the rest of the ride even if it ups my flatting chances.

I was way back by now.  But, I was riding way better.  I didn’t start that great, my legs weren’t feeling that good and had a lower back ache.  But that was all gone and I was pedalling pretty well.

I was having trouble with the dual suspension, not having ridden it this fast before.  With all the leaves and loose rocks, when it was fully suspended, it felt like my wheels were slipping out to the side.  I just wasn’t used to it, so I was playing around with the lockout lever all the time.

I eventually just climbed with it fully locked out and then descended on the trail setting.  That worked great.

By now I was up to 5th, then I see Brian way off the trail messing with his bike.  He had made a little wrong turn and had endoed into a creek bed.  He broke a spoke and it blew a hole into his rimstrip, thus Orange Seal was spraying out into his rim.  Then I caught up with 4th just a couple hundred meters later, Travis Donn.  Then I rode for a while and passed Micah Gordan while he was filling a bottle, so only Garet and Bryan were ahead.

I thought I was way back, but then Bill was on the side of the road with a bottle for me.   I had left mine at the van, so hadn’t had any water for a couple hours.  He told me Garet was about a minute ahead and Bryan a couple minutes ahead of him.

I was going pretty good by then, at least for me.  I had good power and seemed to be flowing better on the leafy singletrack.  I caught up to Garet in just 3-4 miles.  He was pretty done.  I screwed up a couple tight corners and was walking and asked Garet how far Bryan was ahead. He told me 4 minutes.  That deflated my enthusiasm.  So I just walked a bit and talked to Garet. In retrospect that wasn’t the best thing.

I rode back into the Bass Resort with about 8 miles left and Trudi told me I was 1:45 back.  I felt pretty great and thought I could just maybe make that up.  There is a mile or so road climb out of the resort, pretty steep.  I was climbing out of my saddle and towards the top, made out Bryan turning onto a gravel road.  I looked at my Garmin and he was about a minute ahead, so I’d made up 45 seconds on the climb.  I saw Scott later and he said 45 seconds.

I was riding pretty hard now, not that I wasn’t before, but I knew the last bit was mainly downhill on singletrack.  I thought the race was supposed to be 50 miles and I was only at 46, so I had 4 more miles to make up the time.   I was climbing in the woods and heard someone yelling ahead and realized it was for Bryan.  It wasn’t far.  I got up to a road and they told me 18 seconds, which was doable.  The problem was that they said it was all downhill the last mile.

I realized that there was no way I was going to make up 20 seconds on Bryan Fawley, Kodiak Tough, on a downhill.   He is a super good bike handler and by then, he knew I was coming.  So, I just kept doing what I was doing and next thing I know, I’m at the finish.

I had a little problem about 30 meters from the line, on a small rise.  Trudi was yelling to me to go right when the finish line was left and I fell over.  It didn’t really matter, there wasn’t anyone around.  I am past the point of being embarrassed falling over on my bike.

So, officially I was 40 something seconds back, but had gotten it down to under 20 before the finish.  I’ve now won this race twice, finished 2nd 3 times and 3rd once.  Not really so bad.  I’ve historically had a bunch of problems, so this year was nothing new.  Just not the problems I had anticipated, which is usually the case.  The race turned out to be 48 miles with 5000 feet of climbing, in a little under 4 hours.

I was happy to be done.  With about 20 minutes to go I started feeling a little crampy in my left leg.  But I rode through it and didn’t feel like it slowed me down much.  My thumb wasn’t working very good all day and it was pretty done too. I’ve always said I’d rather lose a race and be riding well than win and be riding bad.  So, I’ll stick with that.

After the race is super.  They have a huge fire, free beer, a food buffet, showers, it is great. People are finishing and everyone is just catching up or telling their race stories.  It is great.

The awards is just a party.  Scott and Jake go overboard.  They gave out something like 30 bikes at the raffle.  They give out age group awards and overall.  A super time.

Bill was okay, just had a quarter sized flap of skin hanging off his kneecap.  Brian put in 3 tubes, but didn’t what to destroy his carbon rim, so he stopped too.

The race took just about 4 hours and I have so many memories.  I love the concentration level it takes continuously to race MTB’s fast.  So much different than the road.

My new Eriksen was great.  It took me a while to get used to the suspension movement, but it is so much faster over serious rocks.

Trudi won a bike in the raffle.  I was over at the fire talking to a couple that was hiking the Berryman Trail.  They came to watch the race, but were doing 50 miles of hiking too.  Pretty good weekend for them.

We didn’t get out of there until after 8, so got back to Topeka after 1 am.  I like driving at night, but driving on two lane roads through the Missouri Ozarks is tricky.  More concentration.

I am still a little tweaked today.  Yesterday wasn’t so bad, but it is always two days for me.   I’m not sure what the next race I am going to do.  I think maybe the Louisville UCI cross races.  I’d better go look at my cross bikes and wheels.

(Told you it was going to be longer than I’d hoped.)

This guy rode over 5 hours in a spaceman outfit. It must of been so hot. Pretty incredible.

This guy rode over 5 hours in a spaceman outfit. It must of been so hot. Pretty incredible.

Garet was organized like a little mouse at the start.

Garet was organized like a little mouse at the start.

Scott and Jake always have a nice fire going at the finish. This year was no different.

Scott and Jake always have a nice fire going at the finish. This year was no different.

Lots of swag to be had at the awards.

Lots of swag to be had at the awards.

NIce fall post-race meal.

NIce fall post-race meal.

This is Peat Henry. He'd won the singlespeed category, only 10 minutes back. It was a good course of singlespeed. Peat had broken his femur a couple months before I did last year and we talked about that a bit. Super good bike rider.

This is Peat Henry. He’d won the singlespeed category, only 10 minutes back. It was a good course of singlespeed. Peat had broken his femur a couple months before I did last year and we talked about that a bit. Super good bike rider.

This is Leah Kleager's knee after her becoming up close and personal with the Berryman rocks. She had something like 40 stitches. She was in super good spirits and was bummed she didn't finish. Next year.

This is Leah Kleager’s knee after her becoming up close and personal with the Berryman rocks. She had something like 40 stitches. She was in super good spirits and was bummed she didn’t finish. Next year.

Scott and Jake.

Scott and Jake.

Me, Scott and Bryan right after the finish.

Me, Scott and Bryan right after the finish.

 

 

 

 

 

Post Race Sunday

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Berryman was yesterday and it was epic, at least for me.  I finished 2nd, but I’ll to get to that tomorrow. The awards go kind of late there, so we didn’t get back until after 1am.  By the time I unpacked and got clean, it was nearly 3 before I went to sleep.  To my amazement, I slept past 10, which isn’t normal anymore.

We’re meeting up for a road ride pretty soon, so I have to rush a little.

What I was reminded of this weekend is that it is super fun to race through the woods fast on a bike.  Riding singletrack fast is something that takes a while to learn.  I wasn’t doing it all that consistently, but when I was “on”, it was a blast.  There is such a huge speed difference between just riding off-road and racing.

The MTB crowd seems to have more enthusiasm than the road.  I’m not sure why that is.  But everyone seemed so into the race, the day, just the whole surroundings.  There were a bunch of happy people there.

Okay, that is about all I got this morning.  Don’t want to spend too much of a beautiful fall day on the computer.

Imagine riding 5 or 6 hours on a singlespeed, on rocks, with your seat flopping around like this? Lots of standing. Pretty ugly and amazing at the same time.

Imagine riding 5 or 6 hours on a singlespeed, on rocks, with your seat flopping around like this? Lots of standing. Pretty ugly and amazing at the same time.

Scott and Jake always have a nice fire going at the finish. This year was no different.

Scott and Jake always have a nice fire going at the finish. This year was no different.

 

Berryman Epic MTB Morning

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Okay, I hope I got all my bad luck over yesterday.  Bill, Trudi and I jumped into the van and drove to the Bass River Resort, outside of Steelville Missouri, an hour south St. Louis. It’s about 5 hours.   Bill and I are riding the Berryman Epic this morning at 8:30 am.

We got there early enough to pre-ride an hour or so.  And it got ugly for me.  We rode out the gravel climb and then got to the first singletrack section, about 4 miles in.  There is a pretty rocky descent, totally covered with leaves, early in the section.  We rode down it, but it was sketchy.  We kept riding up the next technical climb, then turned around to do the descent and climb again.

The 2nd time down the descent, I blew my rear tire off the rim.  I think what happened was that I had a couple thorns in the tire, it lost air, I burped it, then it came off.  Whatever the reason, it wasn’t good.  I put in a tube, only to find another thorn, so changed the tube again.

Then I spent the next two hours trying to mount another tire.  We got to an air compressor, but it didn’t put shit out for air.

Plus, my rim was dented in 4 or 5 places.  I straightened the rim and finally just patched the original tire and got it remounted.  Not without using two CO2 cartridges.   Plus, my best pump, a Park, started leaking air, so I don’t have any correct air pressure.

Anyway, it was stressful.  Okay, have to get going.  50 miles of mostly singletrack to ride fast today.  I think I’m going alright, so it should be fun.

The whole course is going to be deep covered in leaves.

The whole course is going to be deep covered in leaves.  This is the road we start on, then it is pure singletrack.

My rim was dented in a few places.

My rim was dented in a few places.

 

Fixin' it with a Cresent wrench and Campy BB tool.

Fixin’ it with a Cresent wrench and Campy BB tool.

 

I just straightened them with a cresent wrench on a Campy BB tool.

You have to be careful not to over bend it.

A tube after latex is a mess.

A tube after latex is a mess.