Monthly Archives: June 2016

Bicycle Tire Plugs

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

Got back late last night.  The drive from Denver to Topeka seemed to take a long time for some reason, even though it was just the same old 7 + hours.  We left kind of late because Vicent and I rode a 3 hour MTB ride serpentining Golden.

We were both a little out of sync.  Me climbing, Vincent descending .  His bike is messed up.  But Vincent out of sync descending is just about perfect speed for me to follow him.

Anyway, about half way down from the top of Lookout Mtn. I felt latex spraying on my legs.  I stopped and saw a white spot on the very top of my tire.  I put the cut down, trying to get the hole clogged up with glitter and latex.  But, it kept oozing.

I remembered I had a plug in my seat bag.  We’d just used it on Saturday before the Growler in Gunnison on Vincent’s tire.  It worked great.  So I got out a plug and put it into the hole.

Vincent had some left over Co2 and it was just enough to get the tire limping home pressure.

Anyway, the plug isn’t a permanent fix, but they seem to be good enough .  I was talking to Brian Jensen on the way home and told him he should carry some on Saturday in the Dirty Kanza, 200 mile gravel race.  The Flint Hills in Central Kansas have sharp rocks and once you flat and put in a tube, the day gets long.  Tubes and the Flint Hills don’t get along very well.

I always have a piece of Gorilla tape available too, for catastrophic sidewall cuts.  That and a couple pieces of Tyvek, which is just an old race number.  Sometimes the Gorilla tape won’t stick if you can’t get all the sealant off the rubber, then I use the race number with a tube for the boot.

Anyway, if you don’t have a plug kit, I suggest you get one.  It weighs nothing and will really help you out in a bind.   It is such a hassle putting in a tube with all the sealant.  The plug will most likely help you avoid that.

The whole kit.

The whole kit.

VIcent up on the top of Lookout.

VIcent up on the top of Lookout.

Trudi playing with Nikola, with Tucker and Jack hanging out.

Trudi playing with Nikola, with Tucker and Jack hanging out.

 

No Rest for the Weary

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

No rest for the weary is an appropriate saying.  I’m kind of weary, or maybe just a little beat up. Trudi, on the other hand is just tired and jet lagged.

I am just tired from riding my MTB at altitude for 5 days.  My body wasn’t used the the jarring and it is telling me so.  My lower back hates me.

Trudi finished Tour of California, which was a sleep deprivation race for support, then flew to Winston-Salem to support Taylor and Brent from BMC.  The time trial started at 7 or 8, but the support had to get up at 4am to drive out to the course to set up.  So that was 1am California time, just about the same time that she was thinking about going to sleep a few days earlier.

She flew to Denver to hang for one day, then we drove from Denver to Topeka on Tuesday.  I then took her to the airport yesterday and she flew back to Belgium.  I just talked to her and she landed, took the train to the BMC service course, now is driving from Belgium to France to pick up some riders for the Critérium du Dauphiné, which starts on Sunday.   That is some pretty steady movement.

I have a press conference to go to this morning.  I’m getting inducted into the Shawnee County/Topeka Sports Hall of Fame in a few weeks and they are doing an announcement at the Chamber of Commerce this morning.

I’m not sure what I’m doing after that.  Tomorrow there is a NCC criterium, the Oklahoma Pro-Am in Oklahoma City.  But the race starts at 9pm and then the Tour of Kansas City is at 8 am on Saturday.  It is 5 hours from OKC to KC, so that would be hard to do.  I’ll have to mull that one over today.

Okay, just I should get cleaned up to be presentable this morning.

Trudi and Tucker walking before the flight yesterday. Tucker rolled around in a muddy puddle trying to cool off. He is pointing butterflies here.

Trudi and Tucker walking before the flight yesterday. Tucker rolled around in a muddy puddle trying to cool off. He is pointing butterflies here.

At the airport.

At the airport.

Newspaper clip about the Hall of Fame deal.

Newspaper clip about the Hall of Fame deal.

 

 

One I’d Like to Write Off

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

Yesterday was just one of those days.  One of those days that never seem to end and you really want them to badly.

It all started with not sleeping much at all.  On a tooth I have a crown, it hurts and is getting worse, not better.  I emailed my dentist in Minnesota and he said that most likely I need a root canal.  Great.  So I called all the endodontist in the city of Topeka and none of them could see me within a week.  Which didn’t even work because I am not going to be here.

So, I go over to where my AWD van is and the battery is dead.  I had ridden my bike so I figure I’ll just go get a backpack with a battery charger and charge it.  I get back there and find that someone had stolen the battery.  Worse than that they had cut the positive battery cable because they were too lazy to undo the 10mm nut.  Plus they had stolen all the relays, the gas cap and siphoned the gas.  WTF?

So I rode home and started looking for the necessary parts to repair it.  I knew I had a bunch of $20 discounts at Advanced Auto Parts, so I looked for them on my computer.  There were 3, expiring on June 2, 2016.  But when I tried to use them online, they didn’t work.  So I drove down to Advanced Auto to make sure they had the parts and ask them about the rewards.  They said I had to call to fix it.

I called and was on hold forever.  I finally got ahold of a pretty nice woman that explained they expired on June 2nd and yesterday was June 2nd.  I told her that generally when something expires on a date, it is on the end of the date, not before.  Like if something expires on December 31st, it doesn’t expire on December 30th, it is good until midnight on the 31st, or essentially, January 1st.  She told me that wasn’t the way they did it.

So I used a different tact and said that the rewards said they are good for 30 days.  And I made the purchases on May 3rd, so 30 days would be June 2.  Through June 2.  So she put me on hold for a supervisor.  They guy said they would send me one to use immediately by email and when I needed to use the other two, I had to call back to get them reissued.  What a drag.  It took over an hour.

I ordered the parts, the battery was $135, plus the relays, etc.  It was nearly $250.  I was splicing the positive battery cable back in the dark.   I got the van started and drove it home.

On the way, I stopped by to drop off a seat.  My brother needs the van to drive a tandem to Dirty Kanza tomorrow morning.  At the house I was planning to leave the seat, the sump pump had quit working and there was 12 inches of standing water in the basement.  The house is over 100 years old and it is a limestone foundation, low ceilings.  There was nothing there to ruin, just the water itself.  After I fixed it, the pump ran for nearly 15 minutes straight.

Adding misery, I had two ticks on me.  I hate ticks.  It seems this is going to be a bad year for ticks.  One was just crawling on me.  They other one was stuck where it would be, by far, the least desireable place a man could have a tick stuck on him.  I’ve been trying to put it out of my mind for the last 12 hours, so I share it here with the world, go figure.

I have about 5 hours to decide whether I’m going to drive down to Oklahoma City and race tonight at 9pm.  I wouldn’t be back home until 3 am, then have to drive to Kansas City to race tomorrow at 6 pm.  I’m going to skip the time trial at the Tour of Kansas City.  It is at 8 am and the race is just an omnium, so it really doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I’m glad yesterday is over.  Did I mention I lost my keys for a couple hours too?  Seems like the whole day was just trying to get back to square one.  It was one of those days that you’d just as well forget.

I don't understand why they had to cut the postive cable. They obviously had the tools to remove it correctly.

I don’t understand why they had to cut the positive cable. They obviously had the tools to remove it correctly.

The water level after it had been pumping for 10 minutes or so.

The water level after it had been pumping for 10 minutes or so.

Tucker must be a tick magnet.  I've been taking him out to the country to romp every day.  (I don't have a photo of the tick.)

Tucker must be a tick magnet. I’ve been taking him out to the country to romp every day. (I don’t have a photo of the tick.)

 

 

 

 

Dirty Kanza 200 / RIP Muhammad and Jocelyn

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling, Just Life on by .

The most famous of all gravel races is happening right now about an hour southwest of me, the Dirty Kanza 200.  I know a bunch of people that are doing it.  Quite of few of the local Topekans I train with are racing.  My brother Kris is riding a tandem with his friend Rita.  Then Roger, Eric and Keith are all doing it solo.

My team mate, Brian Jensen, who won the event two years ago, decided kind of last minute, to race.  He tried to talk me into starting, which is the only way I’d do it, helping  him.  But, I’m not good enough to even do that right now.  He’ll be fine.

There are lots of good riders here.  Ted King did a blog post about his DK experience, so far, yesterday.  Rebecca Rusch is back.  Man, does that girl travel and do some crazy shit.

I wish all the competitors good luck.  The DK is a race where luck plays a big part.  A thunderstorm moved through Topeka at about 2 am and I couldn’t help myself to check the radar to see if the course was getting wet.  It wasn’t.  Good luck.

Last year was a disaster with hardly half the riders finishing.  Brian flatted numerous times and finally broke off his rear derailleur about half way through.  This year it is going to be hard and fast, a new course record, by time, since it is not the same course even year.

Live tracking of the DK200 is here.

Also, sad news about Muhammad Ali and cyclist Jocelyn Lovell.  Both died yesterday after long battles.  Muhammad with Parkinson’s disease.  Jocelyn with being paralysed after being struck by a cement truck.

I never met Ali.  I would have loved that.  My friend Dennis, from Cable, spend a few hours with him alone in Illinois one stormy night.  Dennis said that Ali’s hands were so quick you couldn’t even see them move.  Ali was the most famous athlete the world has  even seen.  And he lived up to it.  He lived by his standards and never wavered.  That will be his legacy.

I had the pleasure of meeting and racing against Jocelyn.  He was the first “professional” rider I saw venturing from Kansas.  I ran into him in the shower in a dorm in Milwaukee when I was 14. Man, was he intimidating.  Legs like tree stumps, an earring, a serious bicycle racer.

I didn’t know him that well, but most riders either loved or hated Jocelyn.  I loved him.  I understood his humor, his mentality and laughed at his outbursts.

I wrote a post about him a few years ago.    Here is another one from Canadian Cycling Magazine.  It is a real article, not just a blog post by me.

Anyway, I wish all my friend’s and all the other riders, a safe race today.  Many will be out there past dark.  It’s a sad day with two sports heros pass on the same day.  But it is just part of life.  I hope they both rest in peace.  They are deserving of that.

Kris' number plate. Each one is custom, pretty cool.

Kris’ number plate. Each one is custom, pretty cool.

Keith was a little ahead of Kris. Kris was still assembling his bike while Keith was ready to race last night.

Keith was a little ahead of Kris. Kris was still assembling his bike while Keith was ready to race last night.

Here’s a video my friend, Michael Aisner made of Muhammad Ali back in 1966.  Pretty great Michael did this in high school.

Guess who got a bath after the walk yesterday?

Guess who got a bath after the walk yesterday?

 

 

Rushing Around

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

I’m in sort of a rush this morning, so I have to be short and scattered.  I’m driving down to the Kansas City airport this morning and doing an interview to get approved for a Global Entry TSA pre check thing.  I filled out the outline application and now have to go get photographed and fingerprinted.  This is the first time that I’ve been fingerprinted, so I guess I can forget my future life of crime.  After this I will officially be a “trusted traveller”.

The Dirty Kanza 200 yesterday seems to have turned out brutal.  Wet roads, wind, then heat. Ted King won the event by 40 minutes, but at nearly 12 hours.  Shit.  My team mate Brian Jensen, quit the race, while he was in 2nd.  He was feeling like heat exhaustion was setting in. One year it isn’t hot in Kansas until June, so there was no way to train for it.  I think my brother was out there for nearly 20 hours on a tandem.  I haven’t talked to him, but I’d bet the mechanicals were over a dozen.

After the TSA meeting, I’m driving to the Arts District in Kansas City and doing a criterium.  I raced yesterday, a circuit race at Cliff Drive.  I sucked.  It was a good turnout, something around 60 guys, which is great.  It was a field sprint, up a long hill.  I was somewhere between 10-15 I’d guess.

After the crit, I’m driving home, loading the van up and driving to Breckenridge Colorado.  My friend Stacie, from Louisville, has rented a house and is already out there.  Vincent is there too, but he is racing a MTB in Eagle today, so I don’t know where he is going to be tonight.  I’m not sure if anyone is going with me or not.  Bill was doing support at DK and probably was out there until 3 or 4 am.

Trudi is in France doing the Dauphiné.  It is live this morning here.   Okay, I need to get going.

Keith, Eric and Roger at the finish of 200 miles of gravel. They rode together and all finished in the top 50 in a little over 14 hours. Pretty great considering a World Tour rider only beat them by a little over 2 hours.

Keith, Eric and Roger at the finish of 200 miles of gravel. They rode together and all finished in the top 50 in a little over 14 hours. Pretty great considering a World Tour rider only beat them by a little over 2 hours.

The women's start at the Tour of KC. The house around the area are magnificent.

The women’s start at the Tour of KC. The houses around the area are magnificent.

Tucker isn't sure whether he gets to go this morning.

Tucker isn’t sure whether he gets to go this morning.

 

 

 

Waking up in Breckenridge

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .

I bit the bullet and drove home after the criterium and started driving West.  It was a little ugly around 2 am CST.  Driving up through Eisenhower tunnel, then down to Silverthorne, I got a little blurry eyed.  But it was worth it to wake up not having the drive ahead of me today.

Stacie has a rental house up above Breckenridge.  Vincent and Lisa are already here and Keith and Catherine are driving out today.  It has been a little chaos this morning already.

Stacie already rode over to Copper Mountain.  I’ll do a post on the weeknd later.    I’m looking to get some breakfast.

View from where I'd writing this.

View from where I’m writing this.

Tucker was pretty beat from hanging at the races the last two days. He found some pretty strange sleeping positions on the way out.

Tucker was pretty beat from hanging at the races the last two days. He found some pretty strange sleeping positions on the way out.

 

 

52nd Year of the Tour of Kansas City

This entry was posted in Fun Stuff on by .

I think the title of this post is correct.  I do know the race has been going on for a really long time.  The first time I raced it was in 1975, when I was a intermediate.  I did the criterium in Penn Valley Park.  I finished 2nd in the Olympic Development race in the 1/2 category when I was a last year junior.

Now the race is part of the Flyover Series.  I think it is a good fit.  The Pro 1/2 field was nearly 60 riders, which was nice.  The race consists of a short time trial, then circuit race, and a criterium on Sunday in the Arts District.

I skipped the time trial because it was too early and the race was scored as an omnium.  I knew I was in no shape to win the whole thing overall, so was sort of just doing it for the enjoyment.

I had been in this funk for the past week.  I think it is allergies, but whatever the reason, I’ve been draggin’.  Nothing changed for the weekend.

I just showed up for the circuit race on Saturday.  I was pretty stale the first few laps, but felt a little better as the race wore on.  It ended up being a field sprint up a pretty substantial hill.

I started the sprint on the best wheel, that of Brandon Krawczyk. He had won both the intermediary sprints and was going to win the race most likely.  I got about half way up, through the first corner and my team mate, Alex Hoehn was coming by.  I tried to move over to let him through and lost a bunch of momentum.  I failed the last 50 meters and ended up 12th.  I wasn’t good.

Sunday morning I drove to the KC airport and did my interview for customs to get a Global ID.  They just wanted my photo and fingerprints.  I passed with flying colors.  I hightailed it back to the Arts District to catch the start of the women’s race.

I then went out for a short ride.  The race was a nice course.  8 corners with a slight hill.  Super course, pretty technical with a long sprint into a headwind.

I kind of started worrying with about 15 laps to go that the sun was hitting the van and that Tucker was going to be getting hot.  I was looking for Catherine around the course and couldn’t see her.  With about 8 laps to go, I was thinking I needed to stop and go to the van, since the sun had moved and the van would be indirect sunlight.

The problem was I didn’t see Catherine before the start and didn’t think she knew where the van was parked.  There wasn’t much shade anywhere near, so I found the one place that had some.  I was totally removed from the race.  15 guys had slipped away and the field was dwindling.

I finally saw Catherine and yelled to her to go check on Tucker.  She yelled back the next lap that she already had.  I was relieved.  But also totally out of the race.

I was in a group of guys that seemed toasted.  A few guys tried to bridge, with no luck.  Finally with about 4 laps to go, Brian West went to the front and put in a huge effort.  He pretty much brought “the break” back, nearly.  With two to go, I jumped past a few guys to get to the back of the front group.  It was the fastest lap of the race (Strava KOM).

But I was sort of hurt.  I was 15 guys back going up the first bit of the climb.  On the descent, coming to the final corner, I got up to Shadd Smith’s wheel.  He and Benn Stover, plus Garrick were all in pretty good position.  I was trying to get up to Brandon, but couldn’t.  I kind of got between Shadd and Benn through the final corner and all of a sudden Benn started drifting super wide.  I didn’t watch, but I think he might have crashed.  He must have had a flat or something.

Anyway, the sprint started late and I had a head of steam, but I was coming up to Alex again and thought I shouldn’t pass him because of the omnium points.  I coasted for a second and I guess a couple guys went by right at the line.  Alex finished 5th and me 9th.  He was 4th overall, which was great.  Brandon won again.  He is pretty quick at the finish.

I jumped back in the van and drove home to pack and do the 9 hour drive to Breckenridge.  Kris was up by then and I heard some of his stories for the DK200 tandem experience.  It was epic, of course.  He flatted a ton.  Rear tire only.  Early on when it was muddy, he was having trouble with his drive chain.   But, they finished and seemed happy enough.

The drive got long.  I got here at about 1:30 am Colorado time.  I slept until 8, so wasn’t too hurt.

Vincent, Karl (Stacie’s husband) and I went for a couple hour MTB ride.  Man, there is no air here.  It is way different that Arvada or even Gunnison.  We didn’t even ride 25 miles, but a lot of the time we were over 10,000 feet.  Even Tucker doesn’t much like running here.  I’ve had a slight headache for the past 24 hours.

There is a bit of snow still on the trails, so there is some walking.  Keith and Catherine showed up late last night, so they will be along for the festivities today.  I suppose we’re riding trails again.  Why not?

 

Karl, me and Vincent heading out yesterday afternoon.

Karl, me and Vincent heading out yesterday afternoon.

Karl out on a pile of mining rocks.

Karl out on a pile of mining rocks.

I flatted a couple times, plugged them both. Was resealing my tire. Kind of messy.

I flatted a couple times, plugged them both. Was resealing my tire. Kind of messy.

Tucker looks like he was running fast, but he was in slow motion.  No air I'm guessing.

Tucker looks like he was running fast, but he was in slow motion. No air I’m guessing.

He was out like a rock last night.

He was out like a rock last night.