Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mr. and Mrs. Abraham

Hello everyone! It's now official! Heather and I are husband and wife. We have no pictures at this time of the wedding 'festivities', but I will post a link in a few days with all of them once the relatives get them uploaded. Everything went great, it was a hot and humid day, but the outdoor setting was beautiful. The rain held off until literally just after we said our "I do's". Perfect timing. It was great getting all of our families together for the special occasion. Here are some pictures from the wedding weekend:

Here is little Trent Litchy, doing his ape impression while we were at the Henry Vilas Zoo in downtown Madison.

I guess I lied. Here is a pic that Heather and I took of each other right after we got back from the wedding meal.

Here is a shot of my X0-1 with my new Reynolds carbon fork and longer, lower-rise stem. PIMPY!

Unfortunately, we lost a member of our family on our wedding day. I fed Cat Stevens, our little goldfish, right before we left for the ceremony. We came home to find him no longer with us. We held a burial at sea funeral for him. Many tears were shed, but we have since moved on and purchased a replacement for him. He is also a goldfish, but he is orange and white instead of all orange. His name is Gordon Lightfoot. We welcome him to the family!

Vontoux hadn't been to the dog park in nearly a week. So needless to say, he was quite excited to go when we went earlier today. He is wearing his stylish white wedding bandanna. One of the dog parks near us has a little marsh for the dogs to swim in. Here is Vontoux swimming with one of his friends.

He's so freakin cute, even when soaking wet.

Speaking of freakin cute, here is Heather Josef Abraham. We went on a nice little bike ride all over town earlier this evening (once the humidity went down to a decent level).

Here's the groom.
Here is Heather and I at the Wildlife Refuge right outside of town. There are some little hiking paths there that could be turned into biking trails with a little bit of work. They probably wouldn't like that though...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Don Rickles: "Close the door"

The countdown is on. It is now just 5 days until Heather and I get married! Crazy. We are both looking forward to it, and excited to get our families together.

This past weekend I had another road race on the same course as a few weeks ago. It was obvious from the beginning that it wasn't going to come down to a big sprint like last race. One of the teams with the most riders went to the front and drove the pace from the gun. Upon reaching the first big climb, they started 3 or 4 attacks to split the field. It worked. It cut the group in half within the first 5 miles of the race. Ironically, it also only left one of their riders in the lead group. Haha. The group of 20 or so stayed together until that same climb on the next lap. I was feeling good, so I launched an attack and crossed the top with 3 other riders. Shortly after, about 7 more riders bridged up to us. We all worked well together to keep the chase groups from catching back on to us. Entering the last couple miles, I could feel my legs starting to cramp. I hate that feeling. I held on until the others started their sprint, and despite my legs locking up, I still managed to beat a few other riders in the group and get 8th overall.

I had originally planned to do the WORS mtb race the next day, but my legs were still sore from the cramping, so I decided to skip it -- there are 10 more WORS races this year :) . Instead, Heather and I hung out, took Vontoux to the dog park, and went to The DaVinci Code. We enjoyed the movie, but I liked the book better. That's usually the case with those movies-made-from-books. I also washed and waxed REO Speedwagon:
He's all clean now, ready to sit in the garage, as I am planning to start riding to work alot more now that the weather has taken a turn for the better. Sun! Warmth! Hooray!

Today I received my new fork for my X0-1, the Reynolds Ouzo Pro Carbon Cross fork:

It's an all-carbon beauty that should take almost a full pound off the front end of my cross bike. I will post pics once I install it. loved it when they reviewed it. In other bike news, I still have yet to receive my Fox fork for the 9.9, so the IFicator is still the mtb of choice.

That's about all I know. Hope everyone has a good week.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Family, Friends, Hub, and TRSP

Hello all. Made it back from my weekend in GF. It was a good time. Left Fri after work and made it to Tonia and Trent's a little after midnight. Hung out with them until Sat afternoon, and then made the journey to Grand Forks. Went to the shop to visit everyone. It was good to see that it was busy in there...sounds like they are having a good spring.

After that, Simmons and I went disc-golfing (aka Dinky-Doo). The course was in decent shape, some wetness on a couple tee-offs, but not bad at all. Neither of us had played in a long time, but we both played pretty well. The Gazelle's flew far and long.

Then I went home to visit my dad for awhile. He was outside doing yardwork. He was doing fine, and his knees look to be doing better. It was weird around the house without little Mugsey running around. There is talk of them getting another puppy though. :)

Nathan and Simmons/Vino biked over later that night, and we took off for the Hub after picking up Sears at his place. The Hub was a great time...good friends and good food. Then, of course, we went to Gravity Race. Fast corners, wipeouts, drunken high school kids, and videos ensued. Dr. Andy raced in his first GGFGRPS event. There is a video of the carnage on Vino's blog, as well as a pic of the delicious Hub special.

Sun I went bumming around town with my dad. The construction on the Super Wal-Mart is progressing, and the beams are in place for the UND parking ramp (a possible future gravity race event location?). Otherwise not too much new in GF. Sun at 4pm Vino, Andy, and I took off for TRSP to do some biking. The weather was good (a little windy, but perfect temp) and the trail was awesome (nice and tacky). We checked out the new trail down in the horse trail section, and it is nice. Just needs to be cleaned off and broken in a little. Look for multiple videos to be posted soon on Vino's blog, as we took a lot of cool ones. Hopefully they turn out well. Andy hadn't been out to TR in many moons, and it looked like he enjoyed himself on his Surly Cross-Check.

And now I am back at work in WI. The weekend and my time back home flew by too quickly. The weather is still crappy and rainy here, hopefully that improves soon (at least by the time our wedding rolls around!!). Heather and Vontoux had a fun weekend at home alone. They did some cleaning around the house.

This upcoming weekend I have back-to-back races once again. Hopefully the rain will hold off and I can get in some riding this week to prepare. Should be fun! Talk to you all later.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Found: Racing Legs and Stomach Problems

This weekend it was just Vontoux and I at the house (I don't count Birdie), as Heather went home to MI for her bridal shower. She had a surprise visitor as well, as Mary Leedahl flew in from CA to join her in the shower festivities. I'm sure Heather liked that. :) Vontoux and I had a busy weekend planned as well, with 2 races and a muddy trip to the dog park on the agenda.

I wasn't sure how well I would do this weekend, as I have been suffering from stomach/bowel 'problems' since Tues. I must have eaten something that decided to wage war against my stomach. Not fun. I was hoping it would go away by the weekend, but I realized that it didn't when I was awoken at 5:30am on Sat with 'issues'. I was thinking about not even going to the race, but I decided to go anyway since it was only a 45 min drive. So, without further ado, here are race reports:

Sat - Sauk Center RR #1
This was just a short road race on a pretty cool course. It was on rural roads, with a few good climbs, some 40+mph descents, and some nice views. We had to do 2 loops around a 15mi course. The first lap I was regretting going, as my stomach was not feeling too hot. But as the first lap ended (with everyone still together), it started to feel better. On the first big climb on the second lap, there were some attacks, and it trimmed the field nicely, to probably about 30 riders. That group stayed together all the way to the finish, where they opened up the whole road for the sprint. I entered the sprint too far back in the pack, but still ended up 11th overall. The legs felt good, so I was happy with the result.

Sun - WORS MTB #1
Good times. First mtb race of the season. The WORS series is one of the most popular mtb series in the nation, sometimes getting close to 1000 racers at one event. Crazy. The course at Iola was nice, it was a fast 5 mile loop with some tight singletrack with good flow. Not many tough climbs or crazy technical stuff. We had to do 4 laps. The beginning was insanely dusty with all those racers taking off at once. Amazingly, there weren't many bottlenecks with all those racers on the course at the same time. My legs felt really good, no problems with cramping like I normally get toward the end of a mtb race. I was feeling very good for the first 3 laps, but at the beginning of the 4th lap, my stomach started acting up again. I think it was a mixture of the 'problems' combined with starting to get hungry. I had to slow down, but I didn't get passed by too many people, so it wasn't too bad. I ended up 35th overall and 9th in my age group out of 129 racers in the Comp division. I was only a little over 7 min back from the winner, so that is encouraging for the rest of the WORS races.

All in all, it was a good weekend of racing, and it felt good to have the racing legs start to come back...and now I just got off the phone with Heather. She is making her way back from MI, with a car full of bridal shower goodies. And she made it through Chicago in one piece, which is hard to do usually.

And since I don't have any pics from the races since Heather wasn't here, here is a pic of Vontoux. If he could talk, right here he would be saying: "Stop taking stupid pics of me and take me to the freaking dog park."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Unexpected bike purchase

I went into work last Fri, fully expecting to purchase a custom-painted Gary Fisher Ziggurat frame. Unfortunately, after emailing the warranty lady, she tells me that the 06 Zigg frames only come with disc brake tabs - no v brake studs. So I am SOL it would seem. A few hours later, one of the Project One guys comes over to tell us that he has a 17.5" 9.9 that was just returned to Trek by a dealer in FL. Seems that this particular 9.9 was actually built up and painted specifically for the P1 website as a 'model' bike, then shipped off to this dealer, where it proceeded to sit in a box for 3 months. The dealer then shipped it back to Trek without telling the P1 guys. So they were kind of upset, and they wanted to unload it for cheaper than the cost of a normal 9.9. It came spec'd very differently than a normal 9.9 or 9.8. XT Rapidfire instead of Dual Control, Hayes HFX 9 Carbon brakes instead of Shimano, etc. So I decided to take it off their hands for them. :) Here is the picture of it that was taken from the Project One website.

And here is a closeup of the headtube flames. They start at the front with a kind of goldish/yellow flame, then darken into a red flame.
I am already planning some modifications to it, taking some parts from the IF, some new parts, etc. Taking the Flite, Salsa Scandium stem, EC90 hbar, 959 pedals, King headset, and Mythos from the IF. Already ordered a new Fox F80RLT fork for it (the 06 are already out of stock, so I am getting an 07 in a few weeks with the new white color). Wheels are being ordered from the SBS; King ISO disc hubs with 717 disc rims. I will pick them up when I am home in a few weeks. Other than that, lots of parts will be sold from both this bike and the IF. So, if you need anything from either bike, give me a holler and we can work something out. :)

I will be racing/riding the IF until I get the fork and wheels for the 9.9 and can then swap out all the other parts. I'm looking forward to riding it! I hadn't really planned on getting another P1 bike, but the deal was just too good to pass up. It will also be interesting to ride disc brakes for the first time on my race bike. We'll see how that goes.

In other, non-bike-related news, I saw today that Gordon Lightfoot tickets are now officially on sale for his Sept 21st concert at the Overture Center. I am planning on going to buy tickets this Sat. If anyone wants to go with, I will buy tickets now so that we can all sit together. Just email me or let me know here. I was thinking of first row of the upper deck, or lower level.

In more bike-related news, congrats to Vino on surviving Trans-Iowa in monsoon-like weather conditions.