Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wow. Killer weather!!

Went out for 3o on the Fuji Cross yesterday - things were PERFECT! Had a nice headwind first half, sustained killer pace on the way home. Felt like I never had really been that out of shape. Got 'er done at avg. pace of 15+ mph. Loved every gravel hilly minute. Considering my next 'cross race. Got some speedwork in today hoping to beef up a little, and maybe not get lapped next time. We'll see.

I'm remiss with photos, eh? I'll get some going soon. Did get a couple cool shots out on the gravel yesterday.

Sean, Steve and I ride tomorrow at Banner Creek at 0800. We're taking the mountain rigs, and plan to get very muddy and hopefully very tired. Need the work!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

TI v.6

If I can get my postcard in before the 75th is otherwise received by G-Ted, I'm going to do it!
This ride is on the bucket list, and there is no time like the present. If I wait until the time is right, my prostate will be big enough to replace the seat on my bike.

I'll be Fed-Ex-ing the postcard on the 20th!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Who knew I'd enjoy it? I did my first event at the encouragement of a friend, at the last minute, this weekend. Hadn't ridden for the better part of 3 weeks, and even then, not intently. Sucked wind, swore to myself, felt like dropping out of the race, and finished after being lapped by 3-4 riders. Had a BLAST!

It was great to get thrown in again. I'm motivated and riding again, too. Went 16 on gravel during lunch break yesterday - really hammered it, and it flowed, felt great. Averaged something like 17 mph the whole way, even in crummy shape. Digging it again - hope it sticks.

So - the dream lives. Hoodoo 500 in Aug. 2010??????? If I can get the bucks together, the legs will take me there!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Amy's Ride.

Amy is Earl Johnston's daughter, and she'll be riding in honor of her father at an event in the near future in Kansas City. The event is actually held as a fundraiser for the Kansas City AIDS Service Foundation, and Amy will also be riding in honor of her uncle who passed away in 2003 from complications related to AIDS.

As a former memeber of the Topeka AIDS Foundation, I can't tell you how much just putting your name on a donation means to those who've been affected by this disease, and it'll be just that much more meaningful to support Amy - who has her whole family in mind.

I'm certain that any and all would be welcome to raise funds and join the festivities as well.

Ride smart and ride a long, long way.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Getting back in shape.

The hip is feeling much more stable. I've started riding (a little) and running again. I'm feeling bulky and awkward, but the flow is coming back more quickly than I'd thought it would.

Not sure yet about any events. The Warrior Challenge is coming up, and some friends (WHO AREN'T TRAINING YET) want to do it. We'll see. Wouldn't mind trying this but my wife has me committed to putting in a new bathroom that very weekend. Fair enough. The project has been waiting for a long time. Anyway, I'll be back on the Fuji Cross soon.

Hope you are all enjoying the long weekend, and remembering what a great country we're in.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beautiful Morning!

We've had some intense heat here lately, so to have a morning be 75 degrees with a northerly breeze was a great thing. A good friend and I rode out Kestrel road this am to State Line Rd., then came south the 1/2 mile or so to the site. Wasn't a ceremonious event really, we placed the memorial, spent a few quiet minutes listening to the breeze and birds. We enjoyed our kinship with cyclists all over, and thought about Earl and his family. We got back on the bikes, and enjoyed our earned tailwind for a flowing hilly ride home.

Ride on!


This is taken from the shoulder of the road at mile marker 105 on Highway 73.
I'm eager to see how it looks when the trimmed grass greens up again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I visited the site tonight - to see where the memorial will go. It is almost exactly at mile marker 105. Sunday, I'll plan on leaving Hiawatha, heading north at about 8:15 am, plan to be there easily by 9:00. Probably won't stay long. Anyone is welcome to come along. The round trip will be about 23 miles, and we'll go at an easy pace. If you'd like to meet us there, that'd be fine, but please park well into the shoulder.

Earl's obituary and some wonderful tributes can be found here:


Monday, June 22, 2009

Earl Johnston

Earl is the gentleman who was mentioned in the previous post. Seems a little tougher now that I know his name.

Friends who have posted comments here have wonderful things to say in his honor - I'm not a bit surprised. I've not yet met an unhappy cyclist on a long tour. They get sore, disheartened, dirty, sweaty and stinky, but they are all happy. That he has a powerful faith is awesome, too. I know any number of cyclists who are as close to their God riding their bikes as they are at the altar for communion.

If anyone has contact info for the family, please let me know. I'd very much like to send a card from Kansans who are glad that people come so far to ride our gorgeous countryside.

For anyone interested, I am planning on going out to the site of the accident next Sunday morning, June 28th, probably around 9:00 am. I'll ride out on my bike, and would encourage you to do the same. I have a very nice front wheel from a touring bike that I hope to place on the side of the road in honor of Earl, and hopefully as a reminder to drivers to keep eyes open.

This is the latest from our local newspaper. If I am privy to any other information, I'll post it here.



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cycling fatality, not far from home.

This is a huge bummer.

A cyclist from Arizona was on highway 73, not far from Hiawatha this am, when a vehicle who was reportedly swerving to miss a deer, struck and killed him. I don't know much more about it, and I don't know anything first-hand.

I've spent a lot of time on 73, there have been some scary times out there, I've been fortunate to this point. I'm so grateful. This has really gotten me down. I didn't know this rider, didn't know he was around, but I'm so sad.

Like most cyclists, I'm sure he had a family, friends, and had made a substantial sacrifice to come this far, to ride with great people, and to see and enjoy new landscape. I hate that his loved ones got the phone call from so far away, and that they can't say good-bye.

If you are a motorist out there, please keep your eyes open, make good choices, and we'll all get home safe.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm out.

This completely sucks. About 10 days ago I reinjured my left hip - had a labral tear last year. I'm having trouble even walking up steps, and haven't ridden for 10 days. This is absolutely the wrong time of year for this - the DK is in a month. My long ride this year has been 76, which just isn't long enough to be ready.

I've given up my spot on the roster. Ugh.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

No Crap.

50 yesterday, into a sustained 30 mph wind. I was working, at times, downhill, to get to 15 mph. And the first 9 miles were in rain. Couldn't believe it, though, 2 miles after it stopped, my gear - ALL of it - was completely dry. The wind was that strong.
'Course, getting home felt like I had caught a taxi.
Next Saturday I am going to be in Emporia for the Randy Ride. Not that we're ALL Randy, just two of us. But others of us might feel Randy. Whatever. The jokes could go forever..... I'm calling it that because two of the ride organizers have the same first name, that being a common shortened name from the Chistian name, Randall.
Come and join us.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Haven't heard yet...

About the PooBike. I sent an e-mail this week, and am going to wait and see. I'll keep things up-to-date here.

This weekend am going 50. Or will die trying. Still gunning for a 14 1/2 hour finish at the DK.

Need more sleep again.

Have a good rest of the week.


Monday, March 30, 2009

On the importance of sleep....

When I don't sleep well, I don't feel like riding. So, I don't ride well. Went to Omaha with friends, stayed out late, was up early to jet home for other obligations. Tried to ride on Sun. (didn't get the chance on Sat.), it was chilly and windy, and I couldn't motivate. I just wanted a nap, only got 25 on my road bike. I'm not a fair weather rider. I'll go out in a monsoon, when motivated to do so.

Rest is the key. I will say, that I worked those hills, and it felt good to get muscles tightened on those things.

More soon. Longer rides forthcoming.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The pasture...

Just some idea of where I ride on really windy days (like today), or days when I need a rest day with just a little oomph (like today). Not all of the trail is this cut - but there are a couple of us doing enough laps that it will be soon.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

I almost believe it!

Spring might just be here to stay! Got 40+ on gravel. I did the first 7 in my big chain ring, because I have read, yet another article, about some rider with steroid-induced quads who rode across the Rockies in his big chainring. What a load. This is like bragging that you rode 70 miles without taking fluids. Sure, I guess it means that you've suffered unduly to achieve a goal you could have knocked out faster and more comfortably, with less risk and chance for injury, and I guess that means it is "cool".

After 7 hilly miles, I started using my god-given gears and had a much better day. Not sure where I stand with the whole single-speed thing. Doesn't matter. See other articles for my own experiments with cycling. Oh, check out the latest, here too, on the Sh*tbike.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Short rides.

Great night for one last night. Loving this weather. Took my old Specialized out and rode some singletrack carved into a pasture close to town, spent about an hour out there before spending the rest of the evening with friends.

I am almost starting to believe that I'll be in shape for the DK. Supposed to rain this weekend, but it'll be something like 60 degrees, so I'll get my "breathable"* rain gear and get out. Way the heck out - just realized I've got about 10 weeks to ramp up, so it'll be all about saddle time. Come on along for part or all of the fun!

*whatever that means. H20 is actually a smaller molecule than CO2, how does gas exchage occur? And how does the water in my sweat get out without water from the rain getting in? I honestly think a trashbag has the same properties as my pricey boutique jacket.

Ride often, long, and hard.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ahhhhh, Spring.

Beats weed-wackin'. Lots of fields were going up today, had that campfire scent walking in the house after the ride today.

Went GREAT. Ran 2 to warm up. 35+ miles of hills. Really worked those. Kept the muscle tension high, used my smallest 5 sprockets on the 39 up front, and worked all downhills in the big chainring. Still had gas at the end, was back on gravel with a new chain on the 'cross. Terrific weather today - had a headwind for the first half, did have a minimal headwind tangentially on about half the return, but really felt great pulling in with the wind at my back.

Few more rides at this length or a little longer, then will start going really long.


Monday, March 9, 2009

50 and 35

It was a good weekend. Saturday, the family was heading to Omaha for in-law stuff. Took off a couple of hours ahead of the minivan and got 50 before they caught me. It was cold, and wet and windy, and I was going into it most of the way. It was killer training, albeit not very comfortable. Averaged about 14.7 mph, which wasn't so hot, but the wind and I got reacquainted.

Yesterday, my family dropped me off about 35 miles from home, and it was killer. Had a tailwind the first half, and sunshine the last. Just flowed - got to really work, and feel fast. Still had plenty of power and energy into the homestretch, which bodes well for training in weeks to come. Averaged 19.7 mph. Much speedwork to do.

And hey - the middle of this week is supposed to get cold again, but the evenings are going to be well-lit now! Call if you want to ride or run - I am increasingly eager to bump the intensity.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Return of Winter.

Went about 9. Was awesome. Went to a large field/open area with good ditches and hills. Snow was about 3 inches, with drifts just below the axles. I was out there for almost an hour and was having a blast, but didn't have my chamois on. Carhartt's have seams. Big, big seams. Not sure WHAT I was thinking.
Still, for all the money I've spent on high-end lycra-rayon-polyester-goretex-breathable-lightweight-hightech-namebrand clothing, farmer-wear beats it all. I wore tractor gloves and the reliable tan jumpsuit today, and stayed comfortable (until I got a little raw). Ran a couple of miles just to say I got a workout in.
I note that my seat is pointed in the wrong direction. I broke the last one off the bike last ride (snapped the bolt with my ____ of steel), and need to adjust this one some. No small part of my chafing issue today, eh?
Stay warm. Spring is certainly on its way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've had a couple of great days trying to get back to summer shape in winter weather. Spent a couple of hours riding laps in a friend's pasture last weekend, and did about 20 laps/worked on flip-turns in the pool a couple of days ago. I've been running some, and in general, am being less of a slug. I am thinking about the XTerra event in Lincoln in August, which involves 1000 m open water swim/mtb/trail run. I'm really not a tri-guy, but I'll have to work and hurt to get it to go, so why not?

Eager to get some sunny miles in soon. Today is beautiful! The weekend is going to get cold again, but more and more we're getting to spring. Cold is requisite. Cold sucks, and slows you down, but man does it get you ready for the year.

My rides are going to get long, soon. Can't wait. Come along.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hypothermia. Broken chain. What a day.

Went for a killer ride today. Felt great. The first 18, or so were fast, fun, into the wind. I was wearing a tech T, LS jersey, shorts, socks, shoes, helmet. Had sweat under the helmet. Was hydrating very well, taking gel/calories as I ought. Thought that would about do it on such a pretty day. Turns out, NO.

I broke my chain on a steep, long hill. My chain tool, made by Giant, broke (I'll vent about that later). So, I called my sweeheart, who came to get me. On the drive home, I had just the hint of a chill. I was getting ready to take my MTB out to finish the day, when I suddenly LOCKED UP in the most uncomfortable rigors (shivering) I've ever had. Picture the worst fever/chill thing you can remember, then make it 10 times worse. I couldn't walk. I couldn't move my jaw, or really even use my voice. I actually felt the tiny muscles in my skin making the most remarkable goose-bumps I have ever seen. Cripes.

Made it into the shower. Was there 45 minutes, finally started to relax, pulled back the curtain to towel off, and immediately got those terrible shivers. I dove under a down blanket and my sweetie kept the hot gel-packs tucked around me. I was out of it. Couldn't think straight, actually had some fairly clouded thought, and every time I moved, those chills just kicked my ass. Finally, after about 2 1/2 hours, I got dressed in super-warm clothes, took some Tylenol, hydrated, got major calories. As I type, if I move too much I still get some fairly impressive chills. And I'm still not quite right. Man. Even as I sit here, 5 hours later, my pulse is 110, and I get winded walking up the basement steps. (pulmonary edema???).

So, moral of the story, 1) wear more than you think you need, 2) not every mechanical is a bad thing. My broken chain may have kept me out of the E.R.

My concern now, is how badly I might be injured. Hopefully my hypothalamus will reset and I'll be groovin' tomorrow. I really need some training miles.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Got some!

Did some gravel today. The first four or five made me nervous - the legs hurt, the lungs burned and I was nervous that my time off had torched my legs. Then the heartrate settled down, the rhythm came back, the pace picked up and it got fun.

Initially I thought I was going to be laying down some base miles, and I'd have to take it easy, but I was able to really work some hills and push into the wind. It was awesome to be out - and good to feel confident about my starting point.

The DK is going to rock this year. I'll be starting early am mountain bike rides, which will be short and cold, once or twice a week, starting this week. If you'd like details let me know.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Theme song.

If you have ever ridden a bike, been a little uptight and ready to blow off some steam, or just feel good about not caring a whole lot, this song seems to fit. It is odd, in a smirkish way. It is in my Ipod and will be with me on gravel for the forseeable future.

Dracula From Houston by the B**thole Surfers

Enjoy. Going to get some gravel this weekend. Going to jam hard for at least 30. Just can't wait to get some dust in my - everywhere.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back at it.

After a fairly lengthy hiatus, I'm getting started again. It's been an interesting piece of time, and I'm glad it is behind me. I've had to sort-out some priorities, and am still struggling with where cycling will end up.

I have officially entered the DK 200. As of today. If you'd like to join me, you'd better hurry up - it is going to fill soon.

I've also started getting my muscles moving again, albeit in a limited way. I'll keep you posted.