Friday, December 29, 2006

Merry New Year

The New Year is almost upon us. This past year seemed to just fly right by. Heather and I take off after work today for Fargo to celebrate a late Xmas with the Abraham/Litchy/Chase family. Vontoux will not be making the trip, as he is having fun over at the Leedahl residence. I will post pics once we return.

Ever wanted to know how to say 'Happy New Year' in sign language? Here you go:
Now that the holidays are almost over, the time to take down the Festivus pole is drawing near.
Hope everyone has a good New Year's celebration. Also, a big congrats go out to Dave and Jen, who tie the knot this very evening. Go get her, Vino!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas in MI: A Pictorial Review

Hope everyone had a great Xmas! Here is a look back at our trip to MI for the weekend.

Here's Hayden showing me the correct way to play with his toys.
Why did Heather steal one of his socks?
The family.
Eric and I in his basement playing some foos. That foosball is the devil!
Can you ever have TOO much hot chocolate? The answer is yes.
Vontoux just got done shredding all the wrapping paper. Soon he will terrorize the cat in the background.
At the park, testing Vontoux with some agility challenges. Check out my hat!
A good time was had by all in MI. Lots of driving, but the roads were good so it wasn't so bad. We even visited the Johnson clan on our way back home. Why didn't anyone buy me the IF XS from my previous post?? Up next is a New Year's celebration in ND. The next time I see Simmons, he'll be a man!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody out there in blog land! Heather and I are leaving today after work, heading to MI. Should be fun. Hope everyone has a good Xmas and gets what they want!
If anyone has deep pockets, this is what I want for Xmas:

Monday, December 18, 2006

A 45mph couch potato

Hello everyone. Wow, Xmas is right around the corner now. Crazy. It will be a hectic couple of weeks for Heather and I, as we are going to MI this upcoming weekend and then to ND the following weekend. Lots of driving, but it will be a good time regardless. We got our little nephew Hayden the coolest gift ever, the Trek Trikester. The thing is bad-ass. Hopefully he isn't reading my blog, otherwise the surprise will be ruined. He probably won't be able to use it right away, but by the time next spring rolls around, he'll be flying on it.
Heather and I went to another house showing on Sat in east Madison. It was ok...all the appliances were ancient, it still had a fuse box instead of circuit breakers, all the walls would have to be repainted, the layout was weird, etc. It did already have a fenced in backyard, but it was a small yard that looked into all the neighbors back yards. We still like the Sun Prairie split level the best so far.

After our house showing, we went to AniMart (like PetCo) because they were having an "open house" for the WI greyhound adoption organization. It has long been Heather's dream to rescue a retired racing greyhound, so it was good to see them up close and pet them. They are actually really calm and friendly in person. Vontoux would love having a playmate at all times! ;) Our favorite one from the website is Dean:
Tonight I had my last league hockey game for 3 weeks because of the holidays. Team Gray continued their winning ways, beating Team Green 3-1. I scored a goal (only 40 seconds into the game) and also got an assist on our 3rd goal. A slap shot hit my skate near the end of the 1st period, and now my right foot hurts. It's not bad though. As we head into the holiday break, Team Gray is 6-2 and in 2nd place still. I have 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points in 8 games.

I have some extra vacation time at work (and if we don't use it, we lose it), so I took tomorrow off from work. Brooks and I are going to play. Should be fun. Talk with you all later!

Monday, December 11, 2006

This isn't really an emergency, but....

Hello everyone out there. Is it really only 2 more weeks until Xmas? Crazy. This past week was a fun one...Heather and I were house-sitting Mary and Brooks' house while they were in FL. I'm sure that little Vontoux and Sampson had fun playing together all day, as when we returned home on Fri, he was pooped out for 2 days straight. I was also on-call this week, which is not fun at all. My title for this post is how every call begins. But the extra money is always nice.

We also looked at 3 houses this past weekend. The first house was in downtown Sun Prairie. It was an older Victorian-style house. It had a nice big yard. That's the only good thing. Next!
The next house was a cool looking house in Cottage Grove. From the pics, this house looked really nice, and I was excited to see it. But once we got inside, it was not good. Bad floors, doors, crazy wiring, a dungeon basement, etc. Even the workshop/garage (which they hyped in the internet ad) was crappy and looking ready to fall down. Disappointing. Next!
This one is a split level house in a nice neighborhood in Sun Prairie. I didn't like the look of the outside of this one as well as I did the last one, but the inside definitely had the most potential of the houses we looked at this weekend. A nice wood-burning stove downstairs, and a huge, long backyard. Some updates would be needed (paneling, wallpaper, etc), but we will keep this house on our list.
Team Gray has now won their last 2 games. Won last week 4-2 over Team Orange (who beat us 7-1 earlier this season), and won last night 5-4 over Team White. No goals for me, but I got an assist. We are in 2nd place in the league.

Friday, December 01, 2006

2006: A Season in Review

So here it is, as promised, my 2006 season recap and goals for next season. Depending on how I look at it, it was both a very good and a somewhat disappointing season. Very good because I raced more than I ever have before with races in 3 different disciplines of bike racing and put more miles in my legs than I ever have before. Somewhat disappointing because this season lacked the big result that you're always gunning for. But all in all, I am pleased with how the year turned out, and it makes me excited to see what next year brings.

I ended up racing 18 races this past year (beating my old record from 2004 of 15 races...the year that Greg and I did all those collegiate races).
--5 road races
--6 mountain bike races
--7 cyclocross races

The road season seemed to be where I raced my best, as I was always in the thick of things at the end. I felt strong and was able to come out with some decent results. This gives me confidence heading into next year's road schedule. Watch out for that powerhouse Team Brown Bear next spring! Here is a pic of me, with a storm in the distance, leading out a guy with big legs and a little bike.

I had a fun mtb racing season, although abbreviated due to me missing many races with weddings, trips, and vacations. I was pleased with how it seemed like I was improving with every mtb race. The first WORS race I finished 7min back from the winner, and the last one I did I was only 2.5min back. Next year I hope to do more races in the WORS series. I was also very happy with my result in my first Chequamegon. Look at how blurry fast I am going on my flame bike near the end of Cheq!

I wasn't sure what to expect heading into my first full season of cross, as I am normally not very good at the short, intense races like crits and cross races. But I felt that I did alright. The season was pretty inconsistent, as I felt strong in some races and weak in others. I ended up 11th in the WCA cross standings, which is better than I expected before the season began, so I am happy with that. Next year I hope to do more intensity-based training before cross begins to hopefully do a bit better.

And then we can't forget the trip to France. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that had the best riding that I have ever done (and probably will ever do). What a great honeymoon. Here is a pic of me, stopping for a photo op on the descent of Alpe d' Huez.

My goals for next season:
Road -- 1. Be the WI Cat 4 State Road Champion
2. Finish consistently in the top 7 in all other road races
3. Earn enough points to upgrade to Cat 3
MTB -- 1. Finish top 5 age group in the WORS Comp standings
2. Finish in the top 10 at the 24Hours of 9Mile Solo
3. Finish in the top 100 at the Chequamegon 40
Cross -- 1. Finish in the top 6 of the WCA Cat 3 standings
2. Be more consistent