Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Gwen Jorgensen / NYC Marathan – No Rest for Her

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I was out riding trails yesterday evening and got a call from Pat Lemieux, a good friend, and Gwen Jorgensen’s husband. Since she won a gold medal in Rio last Saturday,  I assumed they would be back here in the US right about now.  I was hoping he was going to say that they were done for the year and that he was going to do Chequamegon again next month.

Instead he said that Gwen was running the New York City marathon, November 6th.  Between that time they are going down to Florida for a training camp before the ITU WTS finals in Mexico and also doing another triathlon in the Bahamas.  Pretty jam-packed scheduled for a triathlete.

I think she has ran one marathon before, but I’m not sure about that.  Nothing like this though. I assume she’s do fine.  I have no idea whether she will be competitive.  She can run a low 32 minute 10000 meters, so she is fast enough, for sure.  But putting over 4 of those together back to back is a different deal.  But I applaud venturing out.

Why not do some bucket list stuff when you have the form to do it?  She eventually might turn exclusively to running, so it is a good idea seeing if that is a realistic possibility.

She definitely has a runner's body.

She definitely has a runner’s body.

I wouldn't bet against Tucker in a one-on-one competition, though.

I wouldn’t bet against Tucker in a one-on-one competition, though.

 

 

 

This Weekend’s Olympics

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The next couple days are going to be my favorite days of the Olympics.  (Not that the road cycling wasn’t great.) Tomorrow is the day for women’s racing.  It is the day for MTB and also Triathlon.  Both are tomorrow morning.  Then on Sunday, men’s MTB.

The MTB is just going to be interesting.  I have no prediction for the women’s race tomorrow morning.  It is really wide open.  On Sunday, I’m going with Nino.  It is the only medal the guy is missing and he has been on a roll this year.  Like I said before, I’m picking Sagan to finish somewhere between 5-10.  I don’t think he has the speed, plus his MTB skills have to be rusty compared to the guys that have been doing this for years, even though he has been training exclusively off-road since the Tour.

The women’s triathlon is hopefully going to be a continuation of same-old by Gwen Jorgensen. She is pretty much undefeated for the past 3 years.  She had a couple blips, but those blips were nothing.  I follow Gwen pretty closely and  she had been focused on this one event for years.  Funny how the Olympics dwarf other events.   You can win every race for years, but if you don’t win the Olympics, your career is missing something.  Doesn’t seem right, but that is the way of sport.

I’m hopefully going to ride some this weekend too.  My knee is still super swollen.  I know inflammation causes more inflammation, so I’ve been pretty cautious about bending it much. The stitches are healing pretty good and no infection so far, which is mildly surprising.  I have been cleaning it a couple times a day, which isn’t in my personality normally.  I was thinking about taking some oral antibiotics and now am glad I skipped them.

I picked my brother up yesterday at KU Med in Kansas CIty.  They pulled the chest tube out, which he says was the size of a quarter.  He seems to be getting around pretty good, at least walking around, but that is probably the pain killers.  They sent him home with a backpack full of Schedule 2 pills, which I told him he should take sparingly.  He was on oxycotin, oxycodone and fentanyl at the hospital.  Bet he sleeps a lot the next few days.  He final score was broken collarbone, broken scapula, 6 broken ribs and a collapsed lung that was filling full of liquid.  Hopefully the lung has been taken care of.  Now the bone healing starts.

Okay, supposed to really storm this afternoon.  70+ mph winds.  I like storms, but winds that high sometimes play havoc on infrastructure.  No tornadoes predicted though.  It is August and that would be pretty unusual.

I rode with Pat and Gwen up to Bayfield County to get their marriage license.

I rode with Pat and Gwen up to Bayfield County to get their marriage license.

The trispoke that Kris was riding when he fell. I've never seen one explode so badly.

The trispoke that Kris was riding when he fell. I’ve never seen one explode so badly.

This is Tucker on the drive back from Colorado. He was beat. He hasn't been himself and quit eating yesterday, so he is at the vet today. He had a fever of 103.8, so he doesn't feel good. Hopefully it is just doggie flu or something.

This is Tucker on the drive back from Colorado. He was beat. He hasn’t been himself and quit eating yesterday, so he is at the vet today. He had a fever of 103.8, so he doesn’t feel good. Hopefully it is just doggie flu or something.

Tucker's blood work.

Tucker’s blood work.

 

 

Fix’in Stuff

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I am a tinkerer.  Not always, but I have an interest in how some things go together.  Not all things, but some things.

It started out as a necessity.  At least with cycling.   When I first started, if you didn’t know how to work on your bike, you didn’t race bikes.  I didn’t know a cyclist that didn’t work on their own equipment.  That isn’t the case anymore.

I bought my first car when I was 17.  It was a 1964 Volkswagen pickup truck.  I still own it.  I drove it just a few months before the engine blew.  We borrowed the Idiot’s manual for VW’s from MIke Hudson and dug in.

We did most of the work at night, down in the basement.  When my grandmother would go to bed, we’d sometimes bring the engine up to the kitchen for better light.  She would have died if she had walked in when we were working on the engine on our kitchen table.  Back then we could rebuild the complete engine for next to nothing,  Even the machining was affordable to poor cyclists.

I still do virtually all my own auto work.  I’ve rebuilt a few engines and can do just about anything.  I’m not too big on working on the engines in my diesel vans.  Those engines are very difficult to get to and when they have issues, it takes a lot of time and energy.

The past couple days I replaced the AC clutch on my AWD van.  I drove Trudi to the airport yesterday and the AC is too cold now.  I also put an exhaust gasket on my Honda InSight.  I had to buy the parts at the dealer.  Two bolts and an exhaust gasket was nearly $60.  That seemed insanely expensive compared to other auto part costs.  I’d replaced the AC clutch in December, so it was under warranty, so it was free.  And it didn’t take any time at all.

Repairing things is pretty rewarding in this throwaway world we live in.  I’ve garbage picked lawn mowers that were left at the curb because the pull cord broke.  It is like a 10 minute job putting a new pull cord on a mower.  What a waste.

Anyway, I’m sitting here watching the Tour and was thinking I don’t really have a small fix-it job to do today.  Most the stuff I have to do are big job.  When it is so stickin’ hot out, long rides aren’t really an option.  We’re meeting at 11 am, after the Tour, before the heat index gets crazy, but still late enough to be stifling hot.

Trudi at the Kansas City airport. She flew out to Santa Rosa to get a team car to drive to Tour of Utah.

Trudi at the Kansas City airport. She flew out to Santa Rosa to get a team car to drive to Tour of Utah.

I'm not sure what happened to this AC clutch, but it melted.

I’m not sure what happened to this AC clutch, but it melted.

I'm not big on working on exhaust. The Insight is in super good shape, no rust anywhere, except the exhaust bolts. Both broke and needed to be cut off.

I’m not big on working on exhaust. The Insight is in super good shape, no rust anywhere, except the exhaust bolts. Both broke and needed to be cut off.

The replacement bolts should have been made out of stainless steel in my opinion.

The replacement bolts should have been made out of stainless steel in my opinion.

Tucker collapses every night.  He is not into heat.

Tucker collapses every night. He is not into heat.

 

Northwoods is a Dog’s Paradise

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I had no doubt that Tucker would think that up at Dennis’ would be super.  How could he not? Hundreds  of square miles of woods where he can run freely.

Tucker loves it.  I took him on the Lollipop Loop yesterday with Hawkeye.  Tucker seems really fast compared to Hawk, but Hawkeye likes to pace himself since he doesn’t know how far he might be going.

We ended up down at the Lake.  Hawkeye swam and it drove Tucker crazy.   Tucker got in once, totally freaked out, dog paddling like crazy, but went back to shore immediately.  I think he’ll be fine and eventually take the plunge.

At the Rivers Eatery last night, Tucker got to meet Tessie, Mick and Beth’s Chocolate Lab.  Tessie is a hoot.  She plays tether ball by herself.  I’ve never heard of a dog doing that.  I guess Tessie doesn’t/didn’t play with other dogs.  That was until she met Tucker.

By the end of the night, out behind the eatery, Tucker and Tessie were chasing each other around like crazy.  Tucker likes to play.

It is supposed to be in the 80’s today, so I’m going to try to coax Tucker into the lake.  He is super interested in water, he is just a little scared of it just now.

Tessie playing tetherball with Beth.  Tucker didn't know what to make of it.

Tessie playing tether ball with Beth. Tucker didn’t know what to make of it.

Jesse LaLonde rolled into Cable after 10 last night with a couple of his buddies.  They are riding from MSP to Copper Harbor at the tip of the UP of Michigan.  It is over 400 miles that they are doing in two days.  Did I mention most of it is on gravel and trails.   Pretty great adventure.

Jesse LaLonde rolled into Cable after 10 last night with a couple of his buddies. They are riding from MSP to Copper Harbor at the tip of the UP of Michigan.They had something like 217 miles in for the day.  It is over 400 miles that they are doing in two days. Did I mention most of it is on gravel and trails. Pretty great adventure.

Tucker and Tessie sharing some water after playing.

Tucker and Tessie sharing some water after playing.

I was eating outside with Gary Crandall after the Mamas ride.

I was eating outside with Gary Crandall after the Mamas ride.

Tucker running on the Popsicle Loop.

Tucker running on the Popsicle Loop.

52nd Year of the Tour of Kansas City

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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.

 

Near Mountain Lion Encounter

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I was just forwarded this short Youtube video from the Lake Wilson MTB race I did a couple days ago.  I guess a mountain lion was hanging out by the trail and when Kalan went by, he scared it before I got there.  The video shows it running away through the grass.  It also shows how badly I was riding, dabbing, one of lots of times, during the race.  I remember that spot.  A wind gust came, blew me a little sideways and my wheel slipped.  It is weird how the mind works.  It was super windy.   Anyway, here it is.