Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Bike = Happy Dad

I had a fun, but short, trip back home to ND this past weekend. Since I won't be able to be home for Father's Day in a few weeks, Tonia and I decided to give Dad his gift early. We gave him a Trek 7.2 FX hybrid. Here he is enjoying it:

We all hung out and played around Fargo on Saturday. Trent and Tonia's work on their house continues. It's looking good. I also got some new tires for REO Speedwagon while I was in town, as my stock tires were getting well worn. Vino comforted me while I was shelling out loads of money for my new tread.

Luxury ride and smooth performance. Sweetness.

I visited with Brandon and Gillian while passing thru the Cities as well. It's been a few years since I saw them last...much too long. Their new house is really nice with a kick ass master suite upstairs. On Memorial Day, Dr. Andy and Dr. Becca stopped by with Brooks and Mary. The pair of doctors are preparing to move to Ohio in a few weeks. Craziness.

Willa is an expert hunter of voles. She's caught three that we've seen. Today she killed one right in front of us. She's lightning quick when she spots one...they don't stand a chance. The other day she caught a squirrel.

Tomorrow after work Heather and I are going to a Milwaukee Brewers game with the Ascend UK bloke. Should be fun. This weekend I have a 40 mile mountain bike race and Heather has her first tri of the season. Time for her to put the Equinox thru its paces!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Charley Horse

Brooks and I went to the Denzer RR on Sat. I had never ridden the course before; it was a 12 mile lap with one tough long climb (might be the longest climb I've seen here in WI so far) and some fast descents (my computer showed 48.4 mph as the max speed after the race). It was really nice out, already around 70 degrees and sunny at 9am for our race start. We started with a group of about 40 riders, but the big climb was only a few miles after the start and that blew apart the field nicely. I was in the lead group with about 20 racers or so at the top of the climb on the first lap, and we started working well once we realized that we had a gap on the rest of the racers. On the last lap we were still all together when we hit the big climb again and it succeeded in breaking it all up again. Eight riders got off the front and I didn't have the legs to bridge back up to them. At the top of the climb I was in a group of 3 riders...there were 2 groups in front of us, the 8 leaders and another group of 4 behind them. We pushed the pace to catch up to the group of 4, and we finally caught them with about 2 miles left in the race. Our group could see the leading group in front, but we didn't have enough time to connect back up with them. As my group was starting to sprint for the line, my left leg locked up in a cramp and I rolled across the line in 15th. Kind of disappointing, but I just didn't have the legs to stay with the leaders on the big climb. That's bike racing sometimes.
I was planning on doing the WORS race on Sunday, but I woke up with my left leg as stiff as a board, so I decided against it. It ended up being 50 degrees and raining, so maybe it was for the better. :)

This upcoming weekend I will be back in GFND for a few days of fun with family and friends. Should be a fun trip, it's been awhile since I was back home.

No more races this month, but June will be packed with racing. Two WORS races, the WI State road race, and a stage race in Whitewater. Throw in a 5-day excursion to a lake cabin near Hayward, WI with Heather's family, and you have one busy month. :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Glimpse of a Ride

Hello all. We had a very productive weekend here getting stuff done in the backyard with Auntie Alane and Uncle Dick. Looks so much better. Heather will be posting pics of the "new-and-improved backyard" in a few days.

Here's some pics from a loop that I ride quite frequently. I use it as a 20 mile TT ride to gauge my progress thru the season. The change in pavement color is the start/finish.
I pass a nice little marsh along the way.
The ride features a lot of rolling hills, and two good climbs. Here is the first one, which is decently long for around here. This climb is good for hill repeats.
The best thing about riding in WI is the seemingly endless amount of backcountry roads that feature no center-line, no shoulders, and best of all, no cars.
The second climb. This one is much shorter, but also much steeper. It pitches up nicely once you get into the trees.
Turnaround at the cow farm. Halfway done!
My pasty white legs can't hide the beauty of the Merckx. :)
The worst thing about riding in WI? The humidity.
Two races coming up this weekend. A road race on Sat and a mtb race on Sun. Fun times.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Baraboo and Scandinavia

First race of the season is in the books. A road race near Baraboo, about an hour north of Madison. Fun course, a couple decent climbs and some fun rolling hills/descents. Brooks and I drove there in the rain, but by the time the race started it was just sprinkling, and it stopped completely by the midpoint of the race. The wet roads still made for some sketchy sections on the downhills in the peloton. The pace was decently high for the first lap and prevented any riders from getting away on the climbs. Brooks wasn't feeling "the sensations" in his legs and called it a race after the first of two laps. The second lap started at a slow pace, and a rider got away on the first big climb. The speed picked up a bit after that, and some riders were getting dropped from the pack. We caught the breakaway rider with a few miles to go and entered the final sprint with probably 20-25 riders. I got boxed in when I tried to start my sprint, so I swung around those riders on the other side, but a group had already gotten a gap by that time. I ended the race in 8th. My legs and lungs felt alright for the first race of the year.

On Saturday evening after the race Heather and I did some work on the house. Heather got the entire sunroom painted...she's a little go-getter! It is now a nice shade of yellow...I'm sure she will post some pics on her blog once we get all the furniture moved back in there. I installed a wireless keypad opener for our garage door and started with the installation of a new door for our master bedroom.

On Sunday we spent the entire day in Chicago with Mary and Brooks. The purpose of our visit: to buy loads of new furniture and other house goodies at Ikea. Mission accomplished. Between the four of us we filled up our rented U-Haul trailer nicely. :)
Other fun news: This upcoming weekend we are getting a visit from Auntie Alane and Uncle Dick, and maybe Trent and Tonia as well. Trent has to pick up his new bike. Next Wednesday we are getting our new roof installed. Fun times.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One season ends...another begins

Just like that, the hockey season comes to an end, and the following weekend the bike racing begins. The playoffs ended with Team Gray in the same position in which they finished the regular season...2nd place behind Team Blue. It was a good, back-and-forth championship game, but Team Gray came up on the short end, losing 2-0. It was a very fun season though, and I plan on joining the league again this fall.

This Saturday is the first bike race on my calendar for this season...a road race just north of Madison. Team Brown Bear will be there representin' (sans jerseys).