Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's like deja vu!

Trent and I had an awesome time riding trails in Minneapolis last weekend. We ended up doing 40miles of sweet singletrack riding, hitting up both Lebanon and Murphy-Hanrehan. Trent's technical abilities have improved substantially since the last time that we rode Lebanon to see. We even met up with Foxy for a lap at Lebanon on Saturday evening. As always, the hospitality at Aunt Alane's was fantastic...thanks for putting us up and feeding us Alane and Dick!

Trent had recently purchased a Garmin GPS unit before this trip. It was most excellent. Search for where you want to go...and you're there. It got us to a Quizno's in no time.

Foxy had asked a few blog posts ago about my old, rusted out Trek 970 bike. Well, recently the flood-damaged rear wheel had been making some weird noises, so I decided that some upgrades were in order. Here is the updated 970 singlespeed, in all its glory:
New Bontrager SS cranks and ISIS BB. Bashguard included!
New Bontrager Race SS rear wheel.
I had an Easton carbon bar sitting around, so that replaced the solid aluminum bar that was on there. Also got the Salsa Pepperjack grips, bell, and headlight for those rides at night around town.
Rusty welds = scary.
This weekend Heather and I will probably be doing some more yard work or something. She did an excellent job last weekend planting the garden and some flowers. We'll have corn this year! On Sunday I have another WORS mtb race, this one in Wausau, the same course as 24-9 later this year. I haven't had the best luck in Wausau for WORS races (in 2006 I flatted out and last year I had to DNF due to extreme chainsuck), so hopefully things go better for me this year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Road, Mountain, and Minneapolis

Well, I didn't want to disappoint Vino, so I did both the road and mtb races this past weekend. Here are some race recaps for you to enjoy.

On Saturday morning Brooks and I traveled 40 miles north to Denzer for the road race. His race was in the morning, so we got there early. I watched his road race and registered. He conquered the big climb twice and finished his race...maybe he'll blog about the details. Then we went to Culvers. Then we traveled back to Denzer for my race. There were only 20 racers in the Cat 3 field...we had to do 4 laps of the 12 mile course. We started out with a nice crosswind section that led to the big, mile-long climb. After the first ascent of the climb, I looked back and there were only 10 of us left in the leading group. We finished the first lap and circled back around to start the climb again. This time up the climb a group of 6 riders got a small gap over me and 3 other riders. After the climb, my group was taking good pulls and staying close to the leaders (about 30sec or so). We kept them in our sights for the rest of that lap (I hit 51mph on the downhill section!), and then at the end of the lap, 2 of the riders quit. So then there were only 2 of us chasing down the group of 6 at the front. Needless to say, they started pulling away a bit more. The other guy and I pretty much took it easy for the 3rd lap...we just rode side by side and talked because we knew we weren't going to catch the leaders. At the end of that lap, he pulled off the course too. I decided that I didn't feel like riding the 4th lap by myself...and possibly killing my legs with the winds and another time up that big I DNF'd. My legs felt strong (no signs of cramping), but I wanted to keep them that way for the mtb race the next day. I would have gotten a decent result had I finished, but oh well. I'm a quitter. :) Then Brooks and I went to Culvers again.

Sunday brought my first mtb race of the season, a WORS race in Lake Geneva. I hadn't done this course before, and it was pretty fun...some good climbs, fun descents, tight singletrack sections, and a rock garden that caused many a crash. The Comp riders had to do 4 laps of the 5 mile course. I lined up in my age group wave near the back, but right after the start there was a decent climb that enabled me to move all the way into the top 5. I felt really good and kept with this group for most of the first lap until we started coming up on traffic from the previous age group wave. This separated us out a bit, but I kept pushing the pace for the next 2 laps, passing riders and not getting caught by any from behind. I was surprised at how good I felt despite it only being the 2nd time I had ridden my mtb all season. Toward the end of the 3rd lap, a rider in my age group caught me and we went back and forth for pretty much the entire last lap. I would gap him on the climbs and he would gap me on the singletrack sections. He ended up finishing just a few seconds ahead of me, but I wasn't sure what place that we were in.

Me on some rocky singletrack.
Just got done clearing the rock garden section.
This guy didn't fare quite as well.
The result:
2nd place in my age group, only 16 seconds behind the winner.
10th place overall out of 108 Comp racers.
This was by far my best overall finish in the Comp category. I hope that I feel that good during the rest of the WORS races...

In other news...Trent and I are meeting up in Minneapolis this weekend to do some mtb riding. We plan on hitting up some new trails and, of course, Lebanon. Should be fun. Then it's back here on Sunday to hang out with Heather for Memorial Day (our 2yr anniversary is on Tuesday!).

Speaking of Heather, she finally updated her blog with stuff on the garden, squirrels in our window flower box, pics of the bathrooms, and an update on Carl, our lovely apple tree.

I want a motorcycle. Just a small 250cc one to commute to work on and run errands with. It gets 75mpg!! I better start saving some $.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Hey all. Last weekend was a good time with Brandon and Gillian coming to visit. We hung out in downtown Madison for a bit, went to the Great Dane and State Street, and also brought them to Waterloo for a tour of the workplace. Fun times. Now Brandon just needs to apply for a sales rep position. :)

This week is Bike To Work Week. I hope everyone has been riding in. As expected, Trek goes pretty crazy for BTWW, and offers their employees triple commuter dollars and a gift card each morning for $2.50 at the cafe. So I am getting paid $14.50 for each day that I ride in to work. Sweet.

John from Milwaukee was taking some pics at the Baraboo race a couple weekends ago and was nice enough to post them in the comments section of the TBB blog. Here they are:

This weekend there are two races once again...a road race on Saturday and a mtb race on Sunday. Both of them are pretty close, so I would like to do both. The road race has a bitch of a long climb on it, and we have to do it four times, so that might hurt a bit. Hopefully I don't kill my legs completely for the mtb race.

See you all later.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Baraboo & Bathrooms

Last Saturday I took off for Baraboo for my first road race of the season, and my first race since upgrading to a Cat 3. I've done this race the previous two years, so I knew what to expect with the course. It was a cloudy, cold day with a bit of rain that thankfully stopped before my race took off at 1pm. The weather must have kept the racers away, because there was probably only 20-25 racers starting. The course is 15mi long, with two decent at the beginning of the lap and the other at the end. The first lap was pretty tame, but I think we still lost a couple riders in the climbs. The second lap was much of the same, but with a couple riders attacking to spice things up a bit. No one got away though, and we once again lost a few riders when the road turned upward. We started the third and final lap with probably around 13 riders in the leading group and when we hit the climb at the beginning of the lap I just didn't have the legs to keep with the leaders. Six riders got clear, with me in a chase group with another 6 riders only about 30 sec behind. We got a nice paceline going and kept the leaders in our sight for the entire lap, but they maintained that small gap all the way to the finish. I ended up rolling across the line for 11th place. Not bad for my first Cat 3 race, but it would have been nice to hang with the front on the climb since it looked like they went the same pace the rest of the lap as the group I was in.

I checked the results on the WCA webpage for this race, and they don't even have me (or any of the other riders in my group) listed. When they posted the results after the race, we all had question marks by our names, like they didn't know what order we finished in or something. I guess rather than figure it out they just instead dropped us from the results completely. Weird.

I was thinking of heading to the WORS mtb race on Sunday, but decided that I didn't feel like driving over 2hr each way to race, so instead I stayed home and painted bathrooms. Both the main level bathroom and the bathroom upstairs were painted in a hideous poop brown color by the previous owner. The main level bathroom also had wallpaper on one wall and not one, but two, layers of border thrown in for good measure. After much work and many evenings spent painting, they are both now complete and look MUCH better. I decided to go with white in both, since none of the other rooms in our house have white paint, and it looks nice and clean in a bathroom. Evidently Heather will be posting pics of the finished rooms in the near future.

How many coats of white paint does it take to cover poop brown walls? Four or five.

This weekend we are getting some visitors from Minneapolis, as Brandon and Gillian are coming down to pay us a visit in Mad-town. Should be fun!