"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."

Sunday, January 31, 2010

2 oops in 1 ride!

  I wish Charlie, Jason and Jeremy the best in this week's Arrowhead 135.  Good on ya boys!

  Apparently in our delirium, Tim and I became confused and tried to enter the wrong event . . .

  We were willing, but the dogs just wouldn't have us (perhaps because of my orange bike?)

  Further homeward bound adventure . . . actual unretouched photo of bike detritus . . .

  Yes boys and girls, my bike actually ended up this way.  Fortunately for me, I was not on it.  (Tim said later I was going a little too fast for that corner . . .) We'll probably laugh about that one for a while.

  Yesterday was also drama.  Seems I let my water freeze.  195 minutes, at full gas is too long to go without water.

  Today when I got home:  serious cramps.  Thanks to Claire who made me drink pickle juice.  It really does work. 

  From now on, on all long rides, pickle juice will be my constant companion.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No Illusions

First and foremost, I got into the Trans Iowa this week. I have no illusions (insert laugh track here) about this epic event. My goal is quite simply to have a great time with the instigators . . . and help one of them win. Simple as that . . .

I know most people have no idea what I do when I'm not on my bike.

For those who care (maybe one person somewhere?) ... a quick video of this week's project:

This was a demonstration project for a customer wanting to crush rock on pipeline projects.

We have worked tirelessly for nearly two years to introduce this equipment to North America.

Now it is time to fly home . . . and get back on Orange.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off to Dallas . . .

Well boys and girls there will be no ridin' this week.  I'm off to Texas until Thursday. 

I'm meeting my friend Thomas from Austria tonight, and we'll be doing a PTH stone crusher demo sometime Tuesday with the boys from ConFab.  Demo area somewhere around Joshua , TX Hopefully the CAT MT665 will show on time.

"Austria, not Texas"

I'll also be makin' a trip down to Kerrville and Rocksprings. Now I know most of you have no idea where these towns are:  About seven hours South of Dallas, and about 1.5 hours West of Austin.  This is the Texas hill country, an area I had barely heard of until two years ago.  Having spent a couple of weeks there last year, I can tell you . . . it is really beautiful!  Don't know if it is part of the "Lance effect," but there is a strong cycling culture.

All this is OK since on Thursday's ride I toasted my rear shifter;  none to be had in Duluth, had to order one.  It will be back on the bike by Friday morning . . . and I'll be back on the trail in time to support Charlie, Jason and Jeremy at the Arrowhead 135.  I look forward to watchin' and doin' whatever they need done.

I'm happy to learn my friends Jim Joynes and Tim Sieh are out riding and enjoying the trails.  I hope to get them hooked up with the "instigators . . ."

See you guys next week.

Cheers . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Equal Opportunity and NOT Della Street!

Who would have thought a little trail grooming would have made that much difference?

Lester River trail groomed Tuesday night resulted in a 25% overall speed reduction, and a 50% increase in effort.

For the first time since Christmas I was reduced to walking several hills.

Oh well . . . suck it up and get over it.   done . . .

Equal Opportunity!

It's been really great seeing others on the trail.  Of special note, the women! I know of one gal who has been on that trail a number of times, including yesterday.  I dare say, yesterday's ride was one of the toughest of the last 12 months, plain and simple.

Not Della Street

A snap of my daughter Claire before her first mock trial meet on 19 Jan. 

As an attorney for the defense, perhaps she should represent her sister in that Dartmouth flare fashion case of early January . . .

You be the judge

(for those younger or less informed readers:  Della Street was Perry Mason's secretary)


Monday, January 18, 2010


Gee Whiz . . . for all the warm weather over the weekend, riding was a bit tough.  Funny, uphill easier than downhill . . . bike wants to scoot all over the trail.

It was nice to see and ride with 3 others on Sunday.

O2 on the other hand was apparently in a surly mood.  At about 1.5 hours, the chain came off . . . that has not happened since I installed the chain catcher and bash guard.  I found it odd that 1) it came off and 2) I could put it back on.  Started riding, looked down, the chain ring appeared bent, how could that be I mused . . . no worries, just get home and straighten it.  Nah . . . that can't be the problem, hop off the bike . . . sure enough, the bottom bracket is loose.

I can only imagine 3 possible explanations;

1) It is envious of CPF's Merlin, and wants a new titanium bb shell installed (not going to happen).

2) She is tired and wants a rest (get over it).

- or -

3) She somehow heard I spent 1.5 hrs on Saturday with Brian at ExcelCycle in Excelsior (likely the problem . . . pure jealousy, likely explanation). 

Yes, I am indeed looking at new bikes.  Brian could not have been more kind and helpful.  Started out a bit funny, Claire and I walked in . . . and found about 100 beer drinkin' bikers.  Turned out it was the awards ceremony for an ice bike race on the lake.

Brian showed me 3 bikes: 1) Ridley 2) Stevens 3) BH  All 3 he says have distinctly different personalities.  I must go back soon and ride 'em and decide.  I can not say enough good stuff about Brian.  I actually think he was listening to me, not just trying to sell me something.  Good on 'ya Brian.

I am fearful my Duluth riding buddies may delist, disown and in general dis me . . . all 3 are full carbon.  I say . .  "get over it!"  In the words of some immortal, somewhere:  TOLIET PAPER:  If the voyageurs would have had it, they would have used it.

I can't wait to get back down there . . .just have to find time.

Claire says "the BH,"  Me, I am fully undecided . . .

Funny, this bike has no impact on O2, or O1 for that matter ... It is just another bike . . .

Thursday, January 14, 2010


After reading recent posts by 1) Kershaw 2) Buffington and 3) C"Pugsley"Farrow, I realize I have it all wrong . . . I rarely bother to reflect, review or remember (I'm too old for that).

With that said, a brief litany of 2009:

1) Riding after earning that yellow wrist band the hard way in late 2008.  (I hope none of you earn one.)

2) Riding with many, many individuals and groups over the course of the year.

3) Ah yes . . . time at the Mocha Moose.

4) Not the finish . . . but the start of the Heck of the North.  I had not been to any start line since 1985.  What a gas . . . a big Thank You to Mr Jeremy Kershaw!

5) Those epic rides during October and December with the aptly named "Instigators"

6) How many miles?  I won't answer this one.  However for those few who know, and were paying attention:  Yup, I got there.

7) Realizing you really "only need one" (road = 46X16, even while climbing)

8) The biggest "yeeha of 2009"  On 21 November, then again on 29 November, at the culmination of rides exceeding 100 miles (170km), going toe to toe, nose to nose, face to   face . . . yes mano y mano with a well known local rider whose surname gets longer when abbreviated, locked in a full on, full out effort from the Lake to the top of Hawk Ridge . . . to be pipped at the end!  

Why you may ask is my biggest moment of 2009 a surrender  . .  . a defeat . . . dishonor.  Because in some perverse way, I know it is the only time I am at 100%.

2010 shall bring:

1) AGRS . . . can't wait to start.  Thanks Chris, Jeremy and others.

2) More time on the mtn bike.  Gotta learn how to do that better, humbling at best.

3) I have asked Whitey to find me a bike (with more than one gear, can I handle that?)

4) More of 2009, and never . . . ever looking back.

5) Another finger of rum for all . . . 

The post I was going to write:

Endomorph II

  Ran into Gus riding a Pugsley on Saturday.  First time I've really followed and watched one! What a joy to behold . . . dancing graciously across the snow. (At this juncture, many authors would indite something about "a saline solution welling from the corners of my eyes."  I will resist the temptation)

  Thanks to Gus for pointing out the mysterious brick structure across the Lester River.  I wonder what it was?

  It was great to see three other riders out on the trail!                                       



Thursday, January 7, 2010


  OK . . . I exited the trails at Lester River around 5:00 PM Tuesday night, no other tracks to be seen (other than snowmobile, dogs and walkers).

  When I returned on Wednesday afternoon, around 1:00 . . . I found myself following a strange set of tracks . . . fat, slow and dancing from side to side like a drunken sailor (perhaps scurrying, like a white rabbit?).

  What could these tracks be I asked myself?

  Only two possibilities come to mind:

1: The wiley FARROW training in secret, under the cover of darkness

2: SASQUATCH (on skis?)

  My guess:  FARROW

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Way I Thought it Would Be! ('ceptin' Jackson)

Just as I envisioned:  Yesterday cold . . . bluebird . . . hard and fast!  In a word, a happy perfect ride, 2hrs 45min.

  Rode laps on the forlorn NS Ultra course, too darn bad it had to be cancelled . . . oh well, maybe next year?

  For once I listened to an experienced friend who told me to "ride cold."  Yes, this is the first time I was not overdressed.

  Another important first:  My first winter snow ride where my bike did not go left as I went right!  Not a single fall.  Only had to walk one hill (the steep hill near the hockey rink), I even had a difficult time getting up it on foot, glaze shiney ice.

  I do need to learn what gear to be in while climbing a steep hill after a steep descent.  Seems a bit tricky, spun out a couple of times . . . did not let that stop me, just turned my bike around, rode downhill . . . and back up from the bottom.  I even learned how to start from a dead stop halfway up.  Of course I am not quite sure why I am working on these skills, since after all:  I am a roadie . . . 

  The day's only drama:  While peacefully riding along, minding my own business (it is always going to be drama when I am "minding my own business") . . . I hear a noise and sense a presence behind me. Of course I assume it is one or more of my ne'er-do-well friends sneaking up . . .  Suddenly a big brown apparition appears to my right: JACKSON das weimaraner . . . pulling a brown coated skijorer.  Her constant commands of "on by" duly ignored by Jackson . . . Jackson running and pulling from left to right / right to left, out of control . . . then the lunge . . . and the feeling of Jackson against my right bicep (these are big dogs!) . . . the best acceleration I can muster to escape . . . all quite for one minute, then . . .  teeth clamping around my elbow . . . how can this be?

  Again, a brief acceleration, then a moment of lucidity as I realize I must stop and explain to this skijorer that this is not acceptable dog behavior.

  If I even suspected the Arrowhead 135 would be this nice . . .  who knows, perhaps I would give it a go . . . even with Jackson.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Note to Self

NOTE TO SELF (or how to extend riding time by one hour): Next time you ask your riding buddies if this trail connects to (insert name here), and they reply with a brief pause, "yes . . ." be sure to get additional details.

I think this photo clearly shows they know I am about to begin a long, cold, unplanned adventure home.

Their trickery did however allow me to see this:

Yes, those actually are oranges hanging from a tree.  I am told it attracts orioles.  It also attracts orange bicycles.  There were also a couple of hanging bagels.   What do they attract?

My oldest daughter Lauren has become a fabulous rider of the rollers.  Her fashion sense is however somewhat suspect:

The boyz better hope she never starts racing . . . she will wup us all . . .