Friday, June 30, 2006

The Busy Time

Hello everyone! Long time no blog...sorry about that. It's been a pretty busy week here. Last weekend was our trip to Bismarck/Grand Forks. Andy's wedding was a great time. You can check out some pictures from the event here. There was even a Big Gay Pete sighting! Crazy. Then it was back to GF for some time with family/friends. Picked up my wheels from the Ski and Bike Shop (thanks Terry!) and found out that they might be installing Ascend this fall, so I could be spending some time back in GF putting that in for them. That would be cool.

Andy and Becca are now living in Rochester. Simmons has moved to Fargo. Brooks and Mary are literally moving to Madison as I type this. Craziness all over the place.

This week was pretty hectic with work and me scrambling to get my 9.9 built in time for this weekend. It turned out very well:

I rode it tonight and liked it. I will take it to Jim's Trails sometime tomorrow to test it off road and get everything broken in as much as possible. Then Sunday I am off to Eau Claire for a WORS mtb race. We'll see how it goes. :)

The Tour de France starts tomorrow. That's exciting. This whole doping scandal is insane. We'll see what comes of that in the the meantime the race should be even more wide open, so let's hope that brings more excitement.

So this weekend I have my mtb race, then next weekend Heather and I are heading back home to play at Union Lake all weekend with the whole family. Then the following week after that (July 17-21), I will be in Southern California to visit Ascend dealers. Should be fun. I have a bike lined up for some fun riding while I am there (since my nights will be free).

So it looks to be yet another busy next few weeks. Hope everyone has a good 4th of July weekend.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My new Fox (the fork, not Foxy)

Hello everyone. Slow week here for me, but I am sure that others are having a much more exciting week, as Andy gets married on Fri (!!!), Brooks is currently moving to Madison (as I type this), and Greg adds yet another Klein to his bike fleet.

Some fun news for me is that I finally got my new Fox F80 fork for my Trek 9.9, so I can build it up now. I had originally ordered a 06, but they ran out, so I got a 07 model. It's pretty pimpy, with its creamy white color and improved features.

Here is a crappy closeup of the newly-designed upper adjustment knob. It is actually 3 knobs in one. The top red knob is the rebound adjustment, the blue lever is the lockout, and the lower blue knob is the compression adjustment. Very cool. Can't wait to play around with it on the bike.
I will post more pics of the complete bike when I have it done. I will be picking up the wheels for it (King hubs on 717 rims) from the Bike Shop this weekend when we are back in GF. I'm looking forward to riding the 9.9 finally, as it has been disassembled in the basement for a few months now.

That's about all I know for now I guess. I am looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend, either at Andy's wedding or back in GF. Anyone up for a Hub night on Sat night? ;)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

State road champs and Jim's Trails

Another guys weekend for Vontoux and I this weekend, as Heather went back home for her friend Heather's bridal shower. She flew out of Madison on Fri and will be returning later tonight. Just a quick little trip for her.

On Sat was the WI State Road Race championships in Burlington, WI (about 1.5 hours south). The course was pretty cool. It was a 7 mile loop with some nice rolling hills, some fast descents, and a big climb right before the start/finish line. The climb was decently steep, but not nearly as long as the huge one in the MN State RR course. We had to do 6 laps. The original field limit for this race was supposed to be 75 riders, but so many racers showed up that they had to split the race into 2 groups; one field of 75 riders from just WI, and another field of around 60 from IL and MN. So it was a pretty large group... The pace was pretty low for the first couple laps, and then people started attacking on the climb to spread out the field. Each lap we would get a gap over the field on the climb, but then everyone would sit up and the field would catch back on. It was destined to come down to a sprint with that kind of racing. Regardless, we were still dropping some riders on each lap, so by the time the final lap came around, there was only about 25 riders in the lead group. They picked up the pace toward the end of the lap, and everyone went crazy on the climb. I entered the climb toward the back of the pack, but passed alot of riders before sprinting for the finish line. I ended up 8th out of 75. I was hoping for a top 5 at least because my legs were feeling very good, but I am happy with that result because there were so many racers. And that concludes the road races for this season...the rest are mountain and cross races.

Sun was a very nice day out, a little cool, but nice and sunny. Vontoux and I took advantage by heading to the dog park so that he could visit his friends. He, of course, loved it as usual. I was feeling like riding the mountain bike, so I took the IF and went to Jim's Trails near the Trek factory. My legs were still feeling good, so I decided to ride to the trail instead of driving. The trail was much better than the first time I rode it (probably because Heather and I rode it backwards the time that we rode there), and they added some new singletrack. I like it. So it ended up being almost a 40 mile mountain bike ride from riding there, doing two laps, then riding home. Nice.

Sorry I don't have pics from the race or Jim's Trails...Heather took the camera home with her. So instead, I will post the link to the pics that my Auntie Alane took at our wedding. They can be viewed here. Enjoy. Here is a teaser shot:

Monday, June 05, 2006


Hello everyone out there. Hope all is well. Well, the first week of marriage has officially come and gone, and it feels....exactly the same. I think because of how small the ceremony was, how little wedding 'planning' was needed, and because we had to be back at work just a few days later makes it seem like it hasn't completely set in yet. I'm sure it will one day. ;)

With our Target gift cards, Heather and I purchased a propane grill, so we tested it out on Sat evening. Here I am preparing some delicious burgers. They weren't quite Hub-quality yet, but they will be soon!

Sun was a very busy day for us. We were on the road at 5:30am to go to Lake Mills (about 20min away) so that Heather could do a sprint triathlon. It was her first triathlon of the season, and she said that she felt good. They haven't posted results online yet, but her time was pretty good, so I think that she did quite well. She put up around a 1:27 for a 1/4mile swim, 15mile bike, and 5km run. Nice job Heather! Here she is exiting the swim section.
Once we got home from Heather's tri, we promptly re-packed the car to head off to a WORS mtb race in Wausau (the infamous Nine Mile course, same course as the 24hr National Champs later on this year). Here is a picture of Vontoux enjoying the ride.

This is the start of the Comp race. Look at all those freakin racers! There were about a 160 Comp racers, in addition to the 90 Elite men and 20 Elite women on the course at the same time.
Here is a pic of me (in the big ring, which got quite the workout in this race).
This course was by far the weirdest course that I have ever done. I am glad that I went to this race though (despite the outcome), as at least now I know what to expect for 24/9 in a little over a month (24/9 team roster is now set as well!! Woo-hoo!!). There are no climbs on this course. None. Sure, there are the little rolling hills and stuff like that, but nothing big at all. There is probably as much elevation change in a Nine Mile lap than in a Turtle River lap. Seriously. This course is a mixture of two things: 1. Fast as heck, big ring doubletrack. 2. Technical, rocky, rooty singletrack.

The start was insanely fast. I started too far back and was trying to make some ground, but it was hard when we were averaging about 23mph for the first 3 miles of the course. Then we hit the first patch of singletrack, and it was a standstill. I'm sure the leaders were already minutes in front as we were just barely moving through that stuff because of all the traffic. So that sucked. But my legs were feeling good, and I was picking people off in the doubletrack sections between the singletrack. It was toward the end of the 2nd lap (we had to do 3 of the 8mile laps) when I heard the noise that all racers dread. Flat rear tire. Race over. I can't remember the last time I got a flat, let alone one in a race. I don't carry an extra tube, because with this many racers, I would lose about 30-40 places in a matter of minutes (and they only give out points to the top 60). The rocks took their toll, and not just on me (I somehow got a pinch flat despite my tendency to run uber-high PSI). There were racers all over the course that suffered the same fate. I remembered the number of one of the riders that passed me soon after I started my hike-a-bike back to the finish area, and it looks like I was in about 30-40th place or so. Not bad for being trapped behind so many riders right after the start.

I learned a few things: 1. For future WORS races, I plan to end my warm-up sooner to get a much better start position. That seems to be the key at these races with so many racers. 2. We are bringing a BUTTLOAD of spare tubes to 24/9. 3. Heather used to be the coolest girlfriend ever. Now she's the coolest wife ever. :)