Category Archives: Totally Irrelevant

Pie time!

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OK.  I’m supposed to be writing about Labor Day Weekend in St. Louis.  I’ll get to that later.  That was the last 4 days.  But, it’s the time of year for apple pie.  I’ve scoped out most of the apple trees in the county on our rides.  It’s amazing how many people have apple trees and let the fruit  drop on the ground.  Kansas probably isn’t the best climate in the world for apples, but the trees that are established seem to produce good fruit most years.  So, today after 4 days of racing, we did a rest ride and picked apples from a couple different trees.  I’m not an expert on identifying types of apples, but most  pies seem to taste better with a good mixture.   Anyway, I love pie.  Pretty much any fruit- cherry, apples, peach, pumpkin, whatever.  I can eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Snack too.   I don’t cook too much, but I do bake some.  Bread, pizza, pies, etc.  I bought a new oven last winter specifically for baking.  It’s a double convection wall oven with a ton of bells and whistles.  Probably too complicated for me.  But it bakes great.  OK.  Photo exposé of pie making below. (Click to enlarge).  St. Louis writeup tomorrow.

January 1-2, 2009

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I was waffling about driving the 700 miles up to Cable Wisconsin for just 5 days. I feel pretty cruddy from the surgery generally. That might be an under exaggeration. It is. But, I knew a bunch of friends were relying on me, so I made a last minute decision and hoped it wasn’t going to go South on me. The drive up is not that bad. 700 miles. Two good coffee shop stops. I usually drive the whole way. But, I’ve been taking more than my share of percacet, so I relinquished the driving to Bill. I ended up in the back with two dogs on me. We had 6 people and 5 dogs, plus all the ski stuff in the van. I bought a 2004 Ford Diesel Van a couple months ago, mainly for cyclocross. With everyone having 2 bikes, it is nearly impossible to travel to a race with more than one other person without an super big vehicle. The van gets around 20 mpg on the highway, driving fast, so it is somewhat economical when you fill it up. Anyway, below are a bunch of pictures from the last two days. It’s nearly impossible to convey in words how nice it is up here. Pictures don’t do it justice either. Personal experience is the only way to fully appreciate it. We’ve skiied a bunch. I’ve sat nearly 4 hours in an 190 degree sauna the last 3 days and drank and ate alot of good food. OK. Check out the expose’.

Tour of Lawrence

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Click the link here for Tour of Lawrence over the July 4th holiday. The race is held in downtown Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday for the criterium and then a super cool venue on Sunday, racing on the KU Campus on Mt. Oread. Click on the race flyer and check out the prize list for all catagories. It’s great.

If you’ve never been to Lawrence it is a great town. The old main street is original with super good shopping and dinning. There is a fireworks display on July 4th, obviously. So, it’s going to be a good weekend for the family if that’s a concern.

Just Stuff

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Nothing much new has happened since yesterday. I was trying to get ready for this weekend. I changed the cables on my bike, checked my wheels/tires and changed the cleats on my shoes. I still feel pretty energyless off the bike, but don’t feel that bad riding. I’ve been watching as much Olympics as I can. Why not? I think it is strange that many of the snowboarders put on music before they do their runs. And how many of the women half pipe participates can’t make it down without falling. It’s pretty cool that the Danish Curling women speak better English than I do. Their coach is Canadian and obviously doesn’t speak Danish as well as her players. I took Maureen’s car for a spin to check her tire pressure. And, I nearly got picked up at Starbucks by two women on the patio. It is a very nice car. Gonna rest tomorrow and suffer like crazy this weekend.

I was going down this hill yesterday at 60 something mph, but by the time I could get my phone out and ready to take the photo, I was down to 53mph.

I kind of fell apart at the end of the ride yesterday and then-The note says something like, please eat these chocolate covered strawberries and cookies. Why can't every ride end like this?

The cables on the new Madones are kind of hard to thread through the frame.

But, the end result looks super clean.

BMW hardtop....

Transforming to....

A BMW convertible. Super fun.

I always put new cleats on at the start of the season. Remember to grease the bolts.

Long Day so far….

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Today hasn’t gone so well. I have a huge hole in my leg. The lidocaine wore off too quick. I went by Walgreens to fill a couple prescriptions and left my cell phone at the pharmacy. I didn’t realize this until we were through the tunnel heading to Denver. So, we backtracked West and got stuck in ski traffic.

It’s better now. Just left Colby, KS. 300 miles left. On Vicodine. Could be worse.


Another beautiful Western Kansas sunset outside Colby, KS.

Creating Memories

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Yesterday I wasn’t too enthused about riding. It was so windy. And I felt wasted. Plus, it was threatening to rain all afternoon. But, late afternoon, I got so antsy that I decided to just put on some casual clothes and ride my MTB around town. I do this every once in a while just to keep connected to the city. But, I do it in a lot of different cities.

There isn’t a better way to actually see a city than to do it on a bicycle. Riding the alleys, going places that you wouldn’t normally go, for sure not walking. I’m not sure why it seems so much safer on a bicycle, but riding a bicycle in a bad neighborhood of a big city, doesn’t seem dangerous at all.

I passed a couple guys on the bike path, below an underpass. I had been thinking about not being out at Sea Otter like I had planned. I like Monterrey and Carmel. Plus, I haven’t ridden those races for too long. I was thinking about the ride over to Carmel through Pebble Beach scenic drive and having coffee. It is wonderful. I was thinking how money allows people to have great memories.

But, after thinking about it for a little while, I don’t think money enables people to have better memories. Just different memories. I was remembering sitting out on a deck, in La Jolla, high above the cove, drinking wine. It was a very nice place and a great view. But, then there were those two guys sitting below the underpass in Topeka, drinking wine. They have memories too. Just different. Who am I to decide whose memories or what memories are important to other people. No one. My memories are just my memories. Not more or less important than anyone elses. Different for sure, but not better.

As we all get older, we all experience different stuff. I think that what we should all be striving for is to be doing things that make the best memories for each of us personally. It can be something that might approach mundane. You never know when that mundane activity will transform itself into a life memory.

I sure could use some personal bike racing memories soon.

This guy made a little shrine out of his boat in his backyard. That boat must of held some good memories for him.

The kitten, Fritz, isn't such a kitten anymore.


These guys, The Westboro Baptist Church people, create mainly bad memories. Fred Phelps is their spiritual leader. He bought 10 pianos, at one time, for my dad way back.

The Jawhawk Tower.  Full of memories.

Mail/FedEx/UPS

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I don’t really hardly ever open mail any more. I rarely get a letter that I’m surprised to get. And when I do, I’m pretty surprised. When the subject of eliminating Saturday mail delivery, most of the people I talk with are against it. I couldn’t care less. They are losing billions of dollars a year and if it is going to save a bunch of money, then I think they should consider it. I guess most people are against it because no one likes to lose a service, even if that service isn’t being used. I guess the internet has really hurt the mail big time. It is sort of sad, but I guess that is progress.

FedEx and UPS are different. I get packages all the time. And I always look forward to the packages. I look more forward to the packages when I’m not expecting a package, when the doorbell rings and I can see the FedEx truck out front. The internet is just making these companies more and more busy. Shipping has increased dramatically the last decade.

Yesterday was a prime example. Doorbell first thing in the morning. Small package for Trudi. She had no idea what it was, then she saw it was shipped from Europe. Inside, a Tour de France yellow jersey from Cadel. Pretty nice.

Today, was my turn. It wasn’t a surprise. I knew last night. UPS has a new RockShox 29’r fork for me. But, no, when I went to UPS website this morning and put in the tracking number, it says the plane has a mechanical. That’s all. I need to leave for Berryman tomorrow morning, so I hope that plane gets fixed.

I’ve always respected UPS and FedEx. They seem to have their shit together. They seem to work like a finely tuned clock. At nearly every bikeshop I’ve been associated with, the UPS guy is a standard fixture. Usually the UPS man will hang there a bit when he’s ahead of schedule. I’m not sure why that is, but it is common. Maybe they just like bikes.

It does seem sort of strange that we have 3 companies doing are essentially the same thing. I don’t know why the post office never got the package delivery service down. They tried about 10 years ago with the 2 pound, 2 day, $2 thing. But, that didn’t work. Probably because they never delivered it within two days. And there was no tracking. It seems to me, if some guy is coming to my house, everyday, bringing something, they should be able to leave a letter or package. But, that isn’t the case with the USPS.

I’m so racked from riding rocky singletrack two days in a row that I might not even ride today. Yesterday I was better than the day before. Hopefully I’ll be back up to snuff by Saturday. And that UPS does their magic and gets that fork to me sometime soon, like today.