Friday, May 30, 2008


To my lovely wife, Cindy! She and my kiddos (3) have graciously given me time to train, allowed me the budget to buy my bike, and all the stuff that goes with it, and they are even going to crew for me this weekend! My family is long-suffering and generous beyond measure.

To Steve Fuller, Joe Fox and Ari for their comments. I'll look forward to meeting Steve and Joe at the DK.

Thanks also to the Trek Bicycle Store in Omaha (on 84th) - with the deal they cut me on Accel Gel, they are as close to a sponsor as I'll ever get. Miah - one of the managers there - has been awesome keeping me going with occasional maintenance, and other support. There is good bike zen in that shop.

Onward! We are just about to load the van to go to Emporia now. We'll stop at the High Gear bike shop. They've been great about returning phone calls and answering questions about this event. I need a little tweaking on the rear derailleur before tomorrow and they are going to work me in.

I'm jazzed. I'm giddy, and nervous, but mostly this just feels like it is going to happen and happen well. I'll give a progress note Sunday.


Monday, May 26, 2008

A Question....

So, the DK200 is 5 days away. I have a great many thoughts on the topic and a few important questions.

I am fairly certain, barring a big mechanical, I'm going to finish. Here's my stragegy:

In strong winds: Keep pedaling.
Deep mud: Keep pedaling.
Rough road: Keep pedaling.
Flat tires: Fix 'em, keep pedaling.
Dark: Keep pedaling. Turn on the lights.
Tornado/storm: Pedal until something dry shows up. When it blows over, keep pedaling.

It is pretty simple, but I can't find a problem with any of it.

The big question: DO I SHAVE MY LEGS?????
Lance says he does it so that when he wrecks he won't have to pick the hair out of the road rash. I've done that, and it did hurt. Not sure it is worth the itch when stuff grows back, though.

The family is coming along to crew - which is awesome.

I'll have a couple of short rides over the next few days to keep the legs fresh. More as events warrant!


Friday, May 23, 2008

New tires!

Got some Ritchey Speedmax Pro's on the Fuji today. Felt good. Was more comfortable on the looser stuff, and was descending at one point over 28 mph on today's ride.

Also gave the Fuji a bath today, did some nuttin' and boltin'.

The DK is only 8 days!


Friday, May 16, 2008

The taper.

Will start a little earlier than I'd like. Got big family stuff this weekend that just is really more important than what I'm doing on the bike. I'm lucky that way.

Went 68+ today, on gravel, all over Brown County. It was terrific. Lots of farmers are out planting right now. Most of them waved at me before I had the chance to wave at them. Nice folk. Passed lots of tractors and spraying rigs - beautiful day to be out. The roads are in good shape right now.

Had 3 flats today. Time for new tires anyway. Each was a distinct puncture in a different place. I only had one tube, so I had to patch two of them. Really slowed me down, but was good experience. Rumor has it the DK is guaranteed to puncture most tires a few times.

Good to be riding in the heat again. Got close to 80 degrees today. It'll be good training for the wide range of temps we'll likely experience on May 31st.

More soon.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Friend or Foe?

I passed this thing on the way into town today. Following these really isn't bad as they tend to scrape at least a few inches of flat, dry fast hard pack, but being behind the gravel trucks Sucks. I've been advised to run 35 mm wide tires at the least during the DK. The gravel trucks have about got me convinced.
What a beautiful day for a ride! Winds less than 15mph, sunshine and mostly dry roads. It was an awesome time. The goal for the day was to stay between 15-17 mph on average, which was very easy to do. I'll still do some speedwork and a couple of longer rides, but to go 200 I'll need to keep my head on, stay aerobic, keep the adrenaline to a minimum, and plan for miles and miles ahead.
I keep thinking about whether or not I'll hook up with comparable riders, and stay with them for a short while, or a big section of the route. I've accomplished every single mile of training alone, and haven't done a lot of riding in groups. Doing so on gravel likely poses a significant challenge for experienced group riders. I'm hopeful that I'll get the occasional draft, and be able to take my turn at the front. With a starting pack of 75 I expect there'll be a wide range of speed, and perhaps a few people that I'll be able to work with.
Get out and ride! When this is over, all my local riding friends need to hook up for regular rides of reasonable distances!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another break.

Was going to ride long this weekend, but just couldn't make it happen. I've had some call time, wierd diet days. Went to get on the bike, and just couldn't. I didn't have any physical symptoms that I'd overtrained, but with other stuff, maybe I had. I've lost about 10 pounds in the last 3 months, intentionally, but maybe I'm hitting the protein too hard. Don't know. I've been off the bike for 4 days, and still feel the need to get a century in this week - on gravel.

My legs are aching to get back, and I think I'm ready to get going again. Will look to peak, of course, on or about the 31st.

Looking for crew, if you know anyone available!



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Check this out...

A friend, who likely wishes to remain nameless, just had this thing custom designed and built. It's very light for its size, feels like you are sitting in a recliner, and has disc brakes bigger than the front axle of my Mazda. He's off to a great start with it, too - working to reclaim the fitness he had as a cyclist a few years back. He's a little out of practice, but working hard. We rode on a trail in Nebraska last weekend where this picture was taken - had a blast. I like the trike idea. No numb hands, no raw 'taint, no need to lean into the wind, and it would take some doing to tip the thing.
Cool, huh?

Some places I've been today.....

That hill in the distance is less daunting up close, but was part of an awesome workout. The gravel you see was a much bigger problem. It is loose, and coarse, and brand spanking new. Great for bike handling experience, and for considering a suspension seat post.

Was on at least 4 of these today. Got the knobbies on the 'cross bike, otherwise, I'd still be out there. These are the best places in the world to ride. No traffic, almost no trash or pollution, precious few dogs, and hills that no else has ridden in a long, long time.
The Zen was terrific. If you'd ever like to get out and explore, just let me know.