Sunday, December 30, 2007


After Thursday's ride with Cory I was really feeling like things were coming together physically. I am getting in better shape and the sit and grinding away is getting better I found out today that I am needing just a bit of time off. I think anyway.

This past Friday I got up early and went to the gym. I ran my 4 miles in 30 minutes and lifted harder than I have in moves. I was feeling it pretty good for the rest of the day. Then Saturday morning I did some core work and some squats with weights and some other calastetics. Then last night we had some of Tammy's coworkers over and I hit the hay around 2 in the morning. Getting up this morning wasn't easy (I didn't push snooze though!) and I just wasn't wanting to go riding for whatever reason. I showed up for our little group ride about 10 minutes late. I hate being late. I really didn't have much gusto and about 1.5 hours into the ride I wanted to call it quits. I think we ended up riding about 2 hours and I have no clue how many miles it ended up being.

The plus side was that I picked up Other Paul's Cyclops trainer and will give that a go. I need to get a slick tire put on as the hum of knobbies is enough to drive a person mad.

Happy training.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Okay, I will admit, I am going to make a few goals. I will purposely set a deadline for one week instead of trying to change my ways forever. I will give these two goals one week and if I can make it then I will go for two. So, here you go:

Resolution number one: Do not push snooze button for one week.

I emailed my brother Mark this past week with a link to a watch that Cory had recommended checking into that has an alarm that supposedly wakes you up within a certain time frame at the best time for you to wake up. Since I have a real problem with pushing snooze I emailed Mark to ask him about the watch and my problem with the snooze. I told him that I want to wake up at 5:00 to start working out, but often times push snooze 3-5 times each morning and then don't work out most days. My brother Mark manages two sleep clinics in Phoenix and I would consider him an expert on sleep. Here is his response (remember this is an email to his brother and not a research article!):

I've never heard about this watch, but a couple of years ago I did a
bunch of research on a device that would fit on a patient's arm and two
fingers. Basically these things just work on body movement and heart
rate, which change all the time throughout sleep and aren't necessarily
associated with between sleep/wake cycles. Without seeing brain
activity there's really nothing that can measure if you are asleep.

Most of the reason people have such a hard time waking up at 5 is that most people enter their last and longest REM period right before they wake up, which on average takes about 6 hours to get into. What’s happening is that you’re waking yourself up toward the last 3rd (30-45min) of your last REM period. Well that pisses off your brain and your body because REM is your most restorative sleep, and messing it up can cause a number of issues from simply day time tiredness to chronic injuries. And that’s why you constantly hit your snooze and have a really hard time getting out of bed.

A word about snoozing: This is a horrible habit to have when it comes to sleep. Now everyone snoozes some, but to continually do it you’re robbing yourself of uninterrupted REM sleep. Even though you go to bed with every intention to wake up at 5am, if you’re not going to get up it’s far healthier to just sleep until you REALLY need to get out of bed. You probably would tell a difference in energy level instantly after getting yourself trained not to snooze for 30 min or in your case an hour

There are ways to get yourself to enter your REM period sooner upon waking up so to maximize your REM sleep:
- Try to cut back on caffeine as best you can. Though caffeine is a wonder stimulant a lot research shows that it causes your REM latency to be increased. Best thing is to not drink any caffeine 3 hours before going to bed.

- Go to bed an hour earlier. Obvious I know

- Exercise, but you already have that down.

- Don’t use your snooze. Wake up when you want to wake up and you can slowly train your body to change its sleep cycles appropriately

- Have an orgasm. Yep that’s right!!! It helps you relax and that in turn helps you get started on your REM cycles faster. Research proves it!!

- Some meditation will work too. I have been doing this during the day and it seems to help with me. Just take ten minutes during the day and shut your eyes. This causes your brain to give off strong alpha waves, which are super good for your brain and your disposition.

Resolution number two:

Off the internet no later than 8:00 pm. This will be good for me. I usually am getting on around 10 or so when my daughter is going to bed and then I just surf away until 11 or later. Not good if I am wanting to get up at 5:00!

I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sunday morning ride

Cory, Matt, and I are planning on taking off from Ada Haden park at 10:00 on Sunday. If you would like to join in the fun meet us there. You might as well leave a comment or call me at 641 232-0027 to let me know that you are coming so we don't leave without you. We are looking at 40-60 miles.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

WOW! I love winter riding!

Picture stolen from Cory's blog!

What an incredible day! I slept in until 9:00 AM. Yes! Then I made some coffee and ate my Sugar Smacks! I knew Cory would be coming around 10:00 for our ride so I started getting ready to go. We got started around 10:30 or so. We had no clue where we were going to ride so I decided that we would just ride a loop of mostly gravel around Ames in a clockwise fashion. Click here for the route. I thought it would be around 20 miles. Opps. This is just too typical of my rides. It ended up being just a hair until 35. We took off at a comfortable pace and were having a ball. I had woke up with a NASTY cold with my head pounding. Not that I told Cory, but if he had called to call it off I would have been ok with it as I just felt like crap (of course I would have missed out on seeing Cory again which would have sucked).

Within the first couple of miles I was feeling great. Isn't that how it goes!??! We weren't setting any speed records by any means but we had great conversation catching up on how things are going now that Cory is living the good life in Salem, Oregon.

We continued to push with both of us complaining just a tad about losing our fitness and reminiscing about last year's winter rides. We did some crazy stuff last winter that is for sure.

I sure miss Cory. My friendship with him is a good one. With my day to day busyness with work and family life I can TRULY appreciate my friendship with Cory. He has this incredible attitude and it has even improved since I first met Cory around two years ago. Two years ago it was apparent to me that he wasn't the most happy person with his job. Sometimes even coming across with a bit of angst. Then... his girlfriend Jess started looking at law school and he was looking at going to UBI to learn the art of building bikes. He started the count down on his blog from nearly a year out and he became (at least from my prospective) more laid back and comfortable knowing that better things than a 9-5 job that he disliked was coming down the pipe. He then saved all kinds of cash (his job did pay well!) and paid off everything. Now, living in Salem, Oregon he has taken several months off of the day to day grind. Wouldn't we all love to do that?

So, to see him today was wonderful. He had a presence about him that was that he was living the life. And.... he is. I am so happy for him. He is a very sharp guy with tons of talent in so many things. For him to take a break like this is something we all could use. I am happy that he has done it. Once again, having the nads to pay off all debt and live off of savings is quite the accomplishment. I can't wait to see all the things he accomplishes.

So... back to the ride! We rolled into Gilbert with about 35 miles in. We walked in to the house to find that it was about 1:15! I think we rode for about 2 hours 45 minutes or so. We went inside and drank a pot of coffee and just chilled for a bit. What a wonderful day of vacation!

Cory, thanks so much for taking the time away from your family to spend a bit of time riding. It is appreciated.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Taking advantage of some vacation time!

This afternoon I rode from my parents house in Forest City to Tammy's parents house outside of Britt. Here is the route. I actually was able to ride just a tiny bit (and I mean tiny!) of the Trans Iowa V.1 route. It was fun thinking about how those guys must have been feeling at 7-8 at night after 14 hours of riding with a 30-35 mile per hour wind. More on that later...

So I rode the route into a 10-20 mile per hour wind and I will admit I was toast near the end. I was starting to cramp up just a bit, and then quite a bit in the final push on the last hill. I sure hope this single speeding deal gets me stronger, because it sure can be a lot of work! Which I am absolutely loving so far! I look forward to throwing on a 36 tooth ring just to further the punishment. Which gets me back to TI V.1. Patrick Humenny finished the race with a 44 X 16 gearing. Can you imagine? I rode 32 X 17 on a 29er today and it hurt. Paddy was the inspiration to ride single speed so thanks Paddy!

I am going to take tomorrow off and Cory and I are planning on riding on the 27th. If you want to join in on the fun leave Cory or I a comment.

Happy suffering

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pop up versus snooze

I had a strange thought go through my head when I woke up at 5:30 this morning feeling wide awake. I am currently on vacation, like much of you, and for whatever reason when I woke up this morning I popped out of bed like it was nothing. I was ready to tackle the day. What makes this so ironic is that during the week I can push the snooze button 2-3 times EASILY, and sometimes, I can literally push it for 45 minutes. In other words, 5 times! My wife, on the other hand, has the alarm go off at 5:00 am and she is usually jumping out of bed completely rested at 4:50 before the alarm even goes off! Why is it that I DREAD getting out of bed each morning? I feel horrible about it as I feel so lazy, which undoubtely, I am in the morning. What makes a person snap out of bed with ease versus pushing snooze for the upteenth time?

Any hints?

Update: After getting up and watching, yes watching Tammy do her hour long workout, I donned the clothes and headed out for an hour bike ride. It was 10 degrees with 25-40 mile per hour winds and windchills way to cold to think about. Fortunately the clothes worked out, but wind sucked. I literally had to pedal hard down a 2-3 percent grade hill just to make it down. Seriously. So, I was having so much fun I ended up riding two hours and stayed warm the whole time. This is what I wore:

Smartwool socks with Cannondale windproof socks. Northwave boots with Pearl Izumi neoprene boot covers. Feet were warm except against the wind and they were just a touch cold.

Cycling shorts under fleece running tights with Adidas running pants over them. Legs felt great.

Duofold shirt, another duofold shirt, jersey, medium weight fleece coat, wind proof coat.

Balaclova and a wool hat.

Ski gloves.

I was probably warmer, especially when riding with the wind, than I am sleeping from snooze to snooze each morning. Doesn't make sense does it!??!

Happy training!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Riding to the border!

So, would anyone be interested in riding from Minnesota to Missouri via mostly gravel roads on the weekend of March 22 and 23? We would start from Emmons, Minnesota and end at Lamoni, Iowa. The route will be roughly 270 miles (ok, probably just a bit further!) Here is a VERY TENTATIVE route.

Some pluses to this route:

Usually at this time of year there is a northwesterly wind. Hopefully we can get pushed most of the way.

We will have plenty of towns to go through. At mile 128 or so we will be going through campus town in Ames where there will be more beer and pizza than we would care to devore with another 140-150 miles to go!

The southern part of the state is full of rollers so it would be fun!

It would be a group ride and not a race!

The start and finish will be VERY close to interstate 35 so to have your family provide a bit of support it would be a piece of cake!

The negatives?

Ummmm We might have a stiff wind from the south that weekend. If so, we will run the course in reverse! Heck, we aren't riding this to kill ourselves! We just want to ride a whole heck of a lot of gravel across the state!

Spread the word and get back to me either via this blog or via email at thejacobsons at If I get 5-10 "Heck yes I am interested!" then I will start getting things organized. If not, well, then just a few of us crazies will do it. It sure would be fun to have 10-20 guys and gals to do at least half the course!

Let me know!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I took off for a ride today to brave the ice. I have never seen so much ice on the roads for this long. I swear the city and county crews have given up as the roads are still in horrible shape, even in town.

I took off for Ames as I wanted to deliver my Forerunner GPS watch to Matt so he could measure out his ski routes. It was a wonderful ride into town. I know I have only been back running and lifting for the last three or so weeks, but I could tell that I was stronger on the pedals. Time to increase the gear ratio! Cruised around Ames, even giving the ISU cross country course a try, but the snow was still a little too soft. Except the sledding hill which I had a blast riding down! I cruised around the icy trails and side streets before hitting the gravel east of Ames to get home. Just a bit over 3 hours total.

The new boots worked amazingly well in the 17 degree temps. I didn't use the neoprene shoe covers today as I wanted to see how the boots would do alone. My toes were just starting to get a bit cold near the end, but certainly not stinging cold! With my neoprene boots over the cycling boots I should be good to go to near zero I would think. Especially if I add some chemical warmers.

Matt told me that my rims are done so I am very excited about that! Now I just have to come up with $400 bucks! And before Christmas! Fortunately, I have been saving a bit for these so hopefully it doesn't hurt too badly!

Happy training!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I am sure this is the Steve McGuire that finished TI last year and competed in the GDR as well:

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A Coralville woman and her two children were pulled from their sinking car Friday by bystanders who saw the vehicle veer off an Iowa City road and into the Iowa River.

Iowa City police say Michelle Kehoe, 33, was distracted by 6-year-old Sean Kenoe, and 1-year-old Seth Kehoe, as she was driving. The car went out of control, struck a curb and plunged into the icy river at about 4:30 p.m.

Josh Shepherd and Steve McGuire, of Iowa City; Cory Rath, of Cedar Rapids; and Mark Petersen, of North Liberty, jumped into the water and pulled the Kehoe family to safety before the car sank.

Police said several other witnesses helped the Kehoe family and their rescuers after they exited the river until emergency crews arrived.

The Kehoes and Josh Shepherd were taken to University Hospital where they were treated for exposure.

The others declined medical treatment at the scene.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Work and a bit of working out!

This has been a busy week even though we did have one day off due to the weather. Yesterday was a 14 hour day and I, like you I am sure, dread those long days even though they are very productive. Thankfully, my long days are productive.

On Tuesday I just got a 30 minute run in and tonight another 30 minute run and a weight session. This is how my typical run session goes:

Start off between 8:30-9 minute pace for the first .5 to 1 mile to warm up. I always run the treadmill at random so I am always running up hill at varying degrees. After the warm up session I will push the speed up button once ever .25 miles or twice every .5 mile with no real pattern to it. One psuh of the button is about 7 seconds per mile or so. So I go 8:30 then 8:23, then 8:15, 8:08, etc. I continue this until I have maybe 5 minutes left ( I am usually at 7:30 pace or so at this point) and then I will push the speed up button once or twice for every .1 miles. So, with about 1:30-2 minutes left then I push the up button every 10 seconds so I get down somewhere around 6:30 or so. So far this is comfortable. I think it ends up that my average is around 7:50-8:00 per mile, but I hardly am ever at that pace when it comes down to it. I am going to keep this up for at least another couple of weeks. And then I will probably do something different, maybe some repeats or something with a longer run of 6-10 miles once a week. I like to call workouts like I am doing Fartleks, which I believe in French means speed play.

Hopefully, we can get a decent day to melt off these gravel roads a bit so they aren't so icy. They truly suck right now.

Happy training.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

SWEET! One to try!

Snow days are great! No school today! %^)

I was checking out some cross tires and found that Schwalbe makes the Racing Ralph in a cross tire! These tires are 35's and weigh in at 340 grams

This is very exciting news to me as I rode my last 26 X 2.1 Racing Ralphs for 4500 miles before I decided they had had a enough. I finished both Dirty Kanza's with this tire. I found them to be pretty fast, very comfy, and incredibly durable.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Enough is Enough Already!

So, here we are around over 4.5 months away from TI and I am already obsessing. I swore this was not going to happen again. Last year, I didn't even commit to riding Dirty Kanza until the week before the race and it was arguably my best race yet. Why can't I do that for TI? It just makes it that much more daunting.

I did order my rims. Hopefully they work out well!

Salsa Delgado Race 29er rims
DMR Revolver hubs
DT Swiss Super Comp

$400 built.

Would you run a cross tire, such as the Kenda Small Block 8, for TI or would you run a 2.1 tire? I need as much speed as possible.

To help keep myself somewhat accountable I hope to add just a bit about what I am doing for training thus far.
Out of the house to the gym at 5:15. Thirty minutes of stairmaster as the dreadmills were all packed! Then 30 minutes of weights.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Well, I didn't end up riding after all. Well, at least not yet. I drove some of the gravel last night and after getting nearly an inch of ice this past week they are horrible. I have ridden in some pretty nasty conditions, but these conditions just aren't the safest. Being hard core and tough is one thing, but I just don't want to risk it right now.

Well, this past week has been a good one. I have been going to the gym on a regular basis and I am beginning to get my butt back into shape. I have lifted now four times this week, ran 3.5 miles at a steadily increasing pace up to around 6:30 pace, and today did an hour of the stairmaster. I could tell just the little bit of single speeding I have done has helped with the stair master quite a bit. So, I will keep this up and see how things go.

I have been really considering getting a bigger chain ring for the Flight or turning my Ibex into a single speed. I rode the Ibex for the first time since Labor Day weekend a couple of nights ago and I was just shocked at how different it felt compared to the Flight. Not in a bad way, just different. I need to get going on some short rides in the mornings or afternoons with a tough gear so all of the workouts are pushing me instead of riding 10-15 miles with a gear that is tolerable. I need to be getting pushed so that I can get faster. One thing I learned at TI V.3 was that I needed be a faster rider so I don't have the mental side beating myself up that I am not going to make it in time.

If you have any advice on a 36 tooth chain ring that won't break the bank I will take it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saturday ride

So, I had a few people talking about riding on the TI training ride and it sounds like some of you guys are still wanting to go. Of course, I am game for anything, I just want to make sure that we aren't riding on a skating rink either. With this new snow the roads should be a bit better. Chime in if you are wanting to still go for a long ride, but maybe not a century, on Saturday morning? Let's say 50-70 miles instead of a century leaving around 7-8 AM.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride

Well, I am about 95% sure I am going to cancel the Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride for the this weekend! Sorry fellas, but the gravel is HORRIBLE. We have tons of ice and hard, deep grooves from when the tires of car dug into the soft gravel during the rain/ice storm this past Saturday and those grooves are now frozen solid. As of right I am planning on postponing the ride! I am sorry to do this, but I PROMISE I will have having many other opportunities for some long rides in the coming months.

Now, I did say 95%. I may still do some riding. Stay tuned!


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Staying warm

Tammy and I went to the gym this morning. While my wife burns 1000 calories 5-6 days a week at the gym I haven't been there for months. I actually like going to the gym and today was hopefully the first day of some serious training before TI. We will see! %^)

I ran 3.5 miles on the dreadmill on the hills setting in 30 minutes. I wanted to take it easy as I hadn't run in a month or so. It was easy so my goal was accomplished. I then took out my weight lifting sheets from last year (still in the fill with everyone elses!). I decided to try the weights that it took me two months to be able to attain last year and it went well. There was only one lift that I couldn't do the 15 reps that I used to be able to do and that was the shoulder press where you lift the bar above your head. I have always been very weak doing that.

So, we will see if I can make it back. I also picked up a sheet on the spinning classes and Tammy actually told me that she would like to do it as well! WOW! I have never gone to a spin class so we will see how tough it really is!

Happy training.

UPDATE: Well, I just bought some Northwave winter cycling boots off of Ebay. Let's hope they work out. If not, they will be back on ebay!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


On Thursday night around 7:30 I drove about 25 miles to try out the hardest hills of the Trans Iowa Training Ride coming up next weekend. It was a blast, but I can tell I haven't been riding hardly at all over the last three weeks. I did 6 of the 10% or so grade hills and cleaned them all on the 32 X 17 gearing I had set, but the last one I honestly had to stop for 10-15 seconds as I was demoralized.

Riding these hills at night has it's positives and negatives. It is great that you can't look up and see just how much further you have to go up these beasts, but that is also part of the agony. The one hill that I stopped on had two false summits. Ugh. What was crazy was that my legs were really doing ok climbing up those hills, it was my upper body that is weak. I really have to pull on those handle bars and man.... I am just a wimp. I hope to get some more riding in tomorrow if the roads clear up at all cuz I am going to need at least a little bit more riding before riding 100 cold miles!

I was surprised that the hills really weren't as bad as I thought they would be on the single speed. For the few of you that have ridden those hills with me you know how I have no shame in dropping it down to the granny gear and spinning like crazy at 3 mph to get up those hills, but I am finding that standing and cranking away with a fully rigid bike climbs a lot better, and faster.

I guess we will see how this week goes. Hopefully I will get some riding in!

Happy training.

EDIT: Check out this ride! It looks like a great time!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This sucks

This cold weather sucks big time! I can tell I have not gotten used to it yet as it really isn't that bad (20's I suppose with the wind chill), but I am a total wimp. I keep trying to talk myself into going outside, but I just can't do it!

I just might be buying myself a trainer. What a disgrace to Tom Lorntson. The guy that got me back to biking. He was a teacher at Gilbert that rode to school everyday for over 30 years. He only drove probably about 10 times over those 30 years he taught at Gilbert. He lived 5 miles away from the school so it isn't like he rode three blocks.

I have some toughening up to do!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It is about time!

Got home from a long Thanksgiving vacation and went for an hour and a half bike ride tonight. Everything felt good other than I can tell I have been sitting on my butt the last two weeks! I need to get a few good rides in before December 8's Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride which will be 100+ miles of gravely goodness with twelve 10+ percent grade climbs. This should be a good ride.

Tonight's ride was a little cool at 34 degrees, but being dressed appropriately helped. I actually was very comfortable, but my toes were hurting as they thawed out when I got home. That truly is very painful as I am sure you have experienced it as well if you are reading this blog! I didn't where my boots over my shoes so with those and some gray tape I should be good to go. I really should get some very used size 10 shoes (which would be about a size too big) so I can wear some nice thick socks without my feet feeling squished. Anyone have some size 10 cycling shoes that they have just about thrown out and would like to sell cheap?

I went over to McFarland Park and rode the single track at night. Without a great headlight it was an adventure. The lights I have worked, but I really need to get a decent light for single track. Once again, I am loving the single speed and the Flight 29er. I say that almost every post, but I just can't get over the big wheels and the extra effort it takes to climb with the ss. What fun.

As for the Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride on December 8th. Dave Nice and Chris Plesko from Colorado are considering driving the 10-11 hours to IOWA to ride our gravel so we need as many people as possible. Even if you want to ride just a bit. So far Dave Pals (co director of Trans Iowa) is for sure,Andrew Carney of Ames is a maybe, and Matt Maxwell (who is for sure!) are coming. Anyone else up for some gravelly goodness? The roads are in great shape, but the temps are getting cold! Please leave a comment here, email me at thejacobsons at or call me at 515 233 3058. The more the merrier, even if you just want to ride part of it (Emily? Alex? OP?)

If you are interested in coming you are more than welcome to stay at my house both Friday and Saturday night if you would like. On the ride we will be leaving Gilbert at 6:00 AM and we will be back, depending on conditions, in about 10 hours or so. There will be a stop at 50 miles or so, but it is in a town of just a few hundred people and they have a gas station/grocery store we will plan on stopping in. Trust me, this town (Le High) isn't much. About 15 miles later there is another town (Stratford) a mile and a half off the course with a Kum and Go so we could at least get some rolling wieners! %^)

The course will be around 107 miles or so and it will be a fun one, but certainly not an easy hundy that is for sure!

Happy training.

PS. I see that EnduroSnob is hanging up the blogosphere for a while. Last time I did that I lasted about three days! I hope he continues it as I have enjoyed reading his blog for over two years now. It almost seems like you get to know people through their blogs. It is weird.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


So, we have some snow on the ground with a pretty fierce wind, but I just had to get on the bike. So, I just went for a few blocks, but I was able to ride for the first time in a week and a half since my vasectomy.

By the way, it isn't that big of a deal. Yeah, tell that to the boys! Yikes!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride V2

A few weeks ago a few of us guys met up in Marengo, Iowa for a century loop and I had promised I would come up with my own little training ride. So, on Saturday, December 8th I will be sponsoring the 2nd ride of (hopefully) a series of Trans Iowa training rides.

I live in Gilbert, Iowa which is just a couple miles north of Ames. Anyone that would like to come is welcome to stay at my house on Friday night. We will plan on taking off around 7:00 AM on Saturday. There will be just one pass through town around half way so be prepared. The pass through town of Lehigh is very small and it only has a gas station/grocery store. The route will be roughly 107 miles and will have some major climbs. Not a ton of climbing, but the climbs we will do will be 1/4 to a 1/3 of a mile at 8-10 percent grade. Enough to feel it that is for sure!

Check out the route here. Leave me a comment if you would like to come.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Seeking Opinions

I am considering getting some wheels built. I will largely be riding gravel, some single track with few, if any drops, I need the rear hub to be able to handle gears and single speeding, I want it to be at least reasonably light and durable for the price. The Skunk River Cycles here is Ames has recommended these for around $400 built:

Salsa DelGado Race 29er Disc Rims
DMR Revolver hubs
DT Swiss SuperComp spokes

What do you think? They are recommending these hubs because it has a steel cassette body and they should be able to handle the wear and tear of a single speed cog.

Since I have such little experience on this stuff I thought I would ask you guys what you think. So what are your thoughts on this?


Monday, November 5, 2007


Is it me or is Guitar Ted an actor on the side?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Riding just a bit

Went for a forty miler to the Des Moines River and back today (20 there and back). I threw the 32 X 17 back on and wanted to see how the steep hills around the river valley would be. Surprisingly, everything went well. I made it up out of the valley just fine. It was tough, yes, but not horrible. I fought the wind for the first 20 miles and it was good for me to have to push a bit as it wasn't easy. Of course, the ride home was a breeze. On a single speed I think it is even easier to ride the wind as you can't shift to make it harder. You just have to sit and spin and do a lot of coasting. I think I might throw on a 16 tooth cog now or move up to a 34 tooth ring. We will have to see.

Happy training.

Be thinking of my recovery as I am going in for snip snip surgeries on Friday! Hopefully I will be back on the bike soon! Any advice I will take it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trans Iowa Tune Up Ride!

Yesterday, Matt and I headed down to Margengo, Iowa to meet up with other crazies to do (hopefully!) one of many Trans Iowa Tune Up Rides. I rolled out of bed at 3:00 AM and picked up Matt at 3:45. We drove to Marengo and got there around 5:40 or so. We were riding shortly after 6 as my friends Jim McGuire and Jerry Boran drove up right at six.

This ride was going to be a good one as I had just ridden 57 miles the weekend before and had not gone over that since May and I was going to be riding my first single speed century. We took off at a moderate pace and the hills started right away. These hills are of the ideal size for riding. Most of them are steep, but not so long that you are hating them. Just enough to wake you up. We were heading northwest into the wind and I actually was pretty happy to finally do a ride the right way... ride into the wind and then ride the wind back. Unfortunately, I usually ride out with the wind thinking it is easy, until I turn around! While the wind was somewhat still at 15-25 miles per hour it wasn't so horrible that we were hating it.

The course was amazing with incredible views of the rural landscape. The company was awesome. A guy from Milwaukee was there who goes by the name Squidbuzz on the mtbr forums and he had a musical bike bag that was incredible. I think I just might be picking one of those up just for my solo rides. My friends wouldn't appreciate my musical tastes!

I can't say enough how much I am loving the Redline Monocog Flight 29er. This bike rocks! I am loving single speeding and am (as of now!) finding it easier to ride single speed than I thought it would be. I was addicted to shifting whenever things got hard and now I don't have a choice. I am finding that I am climbing faster than before and even the little bit of riding I have done with the bike I think I am getting stronger as well. I can't wait to really start riding to see what happens. Hopefully I will get more comfortable with a bit tougher gear so that I can go faster and not spin out on the pavement sections of my rides.

Here are some photos of the ride.

Here is Guitar Ted and Squidbuzz at one of our early stops. What an incredible day it was for a ride.

The course was running long the Iowa River so we were following a lot of curvy roads. In Iowa there just isn't enough curvy gravel roads and when you do find them we Iowan's think they are scenic! %^)

AWWWWWW the beautiful Iowa landscape!

Jim McGuire and Jerry Boran enjoying every minute of the ride! They were hammering it today!

The faithful steed! Loving the 29er single speed!

What B roads are suppose to look like!

The end of the road. We certainly didn't set any records, but we had a ball nonetheless!

Thanks to Dave Pals and Guitar Ted for organizing a great ride!

I am organizing a ride for Dec. 8 leaving from Gilbert, Iowa. We will have a 70 mile route, a 100+ mile route and a 150 mile route to choose from! Go large! Check the blog in the coming days for more details!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What I should be doing every day.

Tonight I rode into Ames to see Matt at Skunk River Cycles to set up our plans for the weekend. I rode around Ames some and enjoyed the trails. I put in about 2 hours of riding and then headed home. I have no clue how many miles I put in, but I sure had fun riding around the city. Jumping curbs just like when I was a kid.... and on a single speed. I now understand so clearly why people ride single speeds. I have yet to ride my Flight longer than 60 miles, but I can now see how people can ride singles for long distances. I guess I will find out on Saturday if I can be one of those people. Matt and I, along with Jim McGuire and Jerry Boran, will be riding the Trans Iowa Tune Up ride that my good friends Dave Pals and Guitar Ted. I hope that we have more than the six of us!

Happy training!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Great Day for a Ride

Alex and I took off around 1:00 for a nice long ride. Here is the route. We took off going east with the 15-20 mph SSW wind. We were going about 15+ mph pretty comfortably until we had to head south. Alex is a lot stronger than me and with his skinny tire Cross Check he was on a stroll while I was pushing hard into the wind just to stay on top of the gear. After another turn going east we had a bit of a break. Another 5-6 miles south got us to Hickory Grove Park outside of Colo. I refilled my bottles and we were off again. My lunch wasn't digesting and the Ensure that I just downed was making my stomach upset so I told Alex that I had to take it easy or I just might hurl. Fortunately, within a couple of miles or so I was feeling a lot better all of a sudden, but my legs were still pretty tired. You can see on the route slip map that from mile 41-47 it was a constant climb. It wasn't steep, more like just a long incline, but going into the wind a bit was just taking my legs out from under me. I was pushing to stay on top of the gear, but it took a lot of work to do it. Being out of shape certainly doesn't help that is for sure! We rolled down a little hill around mile 47 or so and then headed north just for a bit and that gave my legs just enough of a break, until the next climb and I had to stand, but really had nothing left in the tank and was cramping up everywhere! I made it into the paved roads of Ames another 4-5 miles down the road and it was all better! Roadies have it so easy! %^)

We rolled into Gilbert just around 5:30. We ended up averaging 13.4 mph and rode 57 miles (Alex actually was closer to 70) which for me is pretty decent considering my fitness right now. All I know is that I could barely stand when I got home so I certainly know I got a work out in today.

Alex, thanks for going! I appreciated the company even though I don't talk much on rides. I can't wait to do it again!

Next weekend I am suppose to ride 107 hilly miles! Hmmmmm. I might be dropping a tooth on the single speed!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Saturday Gravel Grinder

I am planning a Saturday afternoon Gravel Grinder of about 60 miles. We will start around 1:00 give or take 10 minutes and then follow head over to McFarland Park to take the double track over to OP's house to pick him up! HINT to OP! We will then head east on 170th until near Fernald and then will follow the roads south near Indian Creek. We can stop for a water break if we need to at Hickory Grove Park outside of Colo. We will then head back west heading towards Kelley and then come into Ames from the west on Ontario. Then we can grab a drink somewhere if we want before I head back to Gilbert. Let me know if you are in! I am guessing it will take around 4:45-5 hours at my speed.

Here is a route slip map!

Matt, Alex, OP, Emily? Everyone is welcome! The more the merrier!


Morning Ride

I was itching to get out for a morning ride today so I was out the door by 5:45. It has finally stopped raining for a few hours so I had the opportunity to get out on the smooth gravel. I was riding 32 X 17 this morning which is a nice gear for the gravel. In my current horrible fitness I don't think it would be a good gear for a century ride so for the TI ride I may go back to 32 X 18 since there will be hills and some off roading. I am going to continue to ride with the 32 X 17 set up to get a bit stronger and see how it goes. I may find that it is the right gear as I get stronger.

Happy training.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

No riding

We have been having rain nearly constantly all weekend. I just didn't want to ride in it, especially with the new bike. I did throw on the new 17 tooth cog so I am excited to give it a go, but looking at the forecast that doesn't look like it will be happening anytime soon.

A hell ya out to Chris Plesko for a great job at 24 Hours of Moab!

Friday, October 12, 2007


I would like to go on a 40-50 mile gravel ride on Saturday morning leaving around 8-9 am. If you are in leave a comment. I am thinking on riding over to the Colo area and then south around Indian Creek and towards Maxwell then back to Ames.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I went out on a perfect day (50 degrees and sunny! Sorry. I love the cooler weather) and put in about 2.5 hours of riding. It was probably around 30 plus miles of gravel and single track.

I think I have found my gear for now. I am running 32 X 18 and it isn't hard. I just ordered a 17 tooth cog last night so I will throw that on to test that out. It actually should be better for the flats and the small hills around Gilbert, but not so good for the single track around here (for me anyway!). It should get me standing a bit more on some of the bigger hills in the area. Of course, I haven't gone over to the Des Moines River valley yet either! Heck, I will probably want my 20 tooth back on and that might not be enough!

Looking forward to the Trans Iowa ride coming up!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What it is all about

This morning I slept in, rolled out of bed, made a pot of coffee and watched a movie with my wife while laying on the couch together.

Both of us complained about how we miss out on a segment of life when we aren't out working out and enjoying exercise. We didn't leave the couch for 3 hours. I went out and mowed the lawn and came back in to eating french toast and fried potatoes. Only and hour earlier I had told Tammy that I really missed french toast. I am living the good life.

Now I just need to get a workout in to top it all off.

Happy training.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Loving Being Single

Single speed that is! I am absolutely loving my Monocog Flight 29er ss. I threw on a new gear last week so I am running 32 X 18 now. It is still an easy gear except for the toughest of hills, which I have not ridden yet. I am still spinning pretty good on the flats, but I can also sit through nearly all the hills around hear just fine (while fresh) and it is tough against some of the 20-25 mph winds we have been having. I took off for a gravel grinder ride on 160th west and then north on what must be V Ave to 150th and came back home. The ride ended up being around 19 miles and I averaged something like 14.3 or so. I really thought this was good for me as I am not in shape, I was spinning quite nicely (which I like) on the flats and all of the hills were very doable. With one more tooth on the back I think I would have been around the 15 mph range for the ride and would have been just fine. What I love about the single speed is that I can tell that I am not pushing a cassette. I feel like the power I am putting into the pedals are more directly connected to the wheel and that I have less drag than with my geared bike. Also, with the 29er wheels I feel that this one gear has more variety than a single speed 26er. It is hard to describe but it feels like the gear has more range than what that gear would have on a 26er. Make sense?

Well, my next long ride is going to be the Trans Iowa get together. Click the link for more info!

Do you think GT would want to come and ride 100 miles around the Des Moines River Valley for a Trans Iowa training ride in early December? Would you want to?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Got my lazy ass out of bed this morning at 5:00 AM and went for a ride. It was 48 degrees. About perfect for me. A beautiful clear, crisp sky with a full moon rising through the morning fog. Perfect. Makes me wonder why and the heck I don't do this everyday!

Happy training

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I just got my ass handed to me!

Last night Tammy and I had her coworkers over for the fire pit and it was a blast. What fun people! Of course, now that Fat Tire is in Iowa I had a couple of helpings of the 22 oz bottles. Then, I met a few of my past coworkers at a sports bar in Des Moines for lunch today. Another few glasses of the good stuff went down. Then, I met up with Cory and Alex for a couple of laps at 7 Oaks. Ouch! I just don't have the horsepower to ride out there with a single speed. I love it, but for me it is just too much work to go fast. I am nearly always grinding away when I am naturally a spinner. My lap times are seriously about 15 minutes slower for the same effort I am putting in compared to my geared bike. I think if I had another couple of cogs on the back I think that it would be better as I am just hardly ever getting over the top of the gear. Of course, I am loving the Flight and I like the work out of the single speed, but it is tough. I am nearly maxing out my heart rate if I go for broke on some of the climbs. Hopefully my horse power problem will change, but with the little riding I have been doing it isn't going to change unless my training changes.

Work is going fantastic though. %^)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Too bad!

I still believe he is innocent.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Priorities and Discipline

I have been riding about an hour a night, but still feel out of shape. I need to get my ass to bed earlier so I can get up early to start riding during the early morning. After going through some old pictures of the from 2004 when I was in the shape of my life I have found that I need to get back at it. I am only 7-8 lbs and some conditioning away, but from this vantage point it looks like a 1000 miles.

Rant off.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Not much going on.

Work and volleyball. That pretty much is my life now. Tammy and I are both busy putting in long hours and we also go to all of my freshman daughter's volleyball games. Her team is not doing well, but Paula is doing great. We are very proud of her. She is having a tough season with all of their losses, but she will make it through.

I still have been biking for at least an hour every day. I ordered an 18 tooth cog, but now wish I would have gotten a 17. I think an 18 will be too easy as well. I guess I will play with it a bit and see how it goes. I am spinning quite a bit at 12 mph on the pavement and to go 12-14 I really have been spinning. That is with a 20 tooth. That just isn't much fun.

On October 6th I am organizing another scholarship fundraiser at my school. We are having a pancake breakfast from 8-11 and there is also a 5K run at 9:00 am.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


This past week has been a good one. School has gotten off to a great start. Things are flowing well. I have made some changes in how I do a few things at work this year and all is well. This summer I took a stress management class and I learned a great deal about how I stress myself out with certain things to the point that I put them off and that just stresses me out more. What I needed to do was learn a new system of doing what I was putting off so that it was more effective. Walla. Things are much better so far. Anyway....

This past week I have been getting in a good hours worth of riding each night. I am loving the single speed Flight, but I had to order an 18 tooth cog. The 20 tooth makes me spin just too much and I can already do that. I need something that can push me a bit more. Paddy's probably wondering why I still have that 32 tooth ring up front and not a 42!. I do need my knees!

A big shout out to my alma mater University of Northern Iowa for dominating Iowa State University this weekend! I had the luxury of going to the game! Luckily I wasn't pounded out back by an angry Cyclone fan!

Tammy and I cleaned the garage and the basement this weekend! While it wasn't that much fun it was nice working with Tammy (slave driver) and having our house back to being as clean as my wife's standards! Jim and Jerry... you would be impressed that my garage actually looks like a garage should!

I am sure you know, but you should definitely be checking out Trans Iowa V.4! I am sure it will be another brutal sufferfest to be had come April. I know I will be there!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

12 hours of Iowa report

I just couldn't wait any longer. I drove down to Des Moines and picked up the Flight around 8 pm Friday night. I rode around town a bit and felt like everything was dialed in at least a bit. Jim McGuire, Jerry Boran and I met up with Matt, Cory, Emily, and Nick at the Grove Cafe for a great breakfast. Within an hour we were setting up our gear. Jim announced that he had to be in Minneapolis by 1:00 pm on Sunday so he probably save my liver from some damage as I brought far more beverages than I really needed!

We started out at noon with the goal of having fun. I wanted McGuire to come down to ride this course as he had never rode it before. You see, on our climbing adventures it was always Jim that had a nice 5.4 short cut to the 5.6 route we had planned on climbing. Of course the 5.4 short cut was always unroped. So, I wanted to give Jim a good spanking and I think he got it! %^)

My first lap was around 1:03 with about 5 minutes on the sidelines tighting up my slider bolts. The pace was nice and comfortable, but a few of the hills were a bit tough for my VERY OUT OF SHAPE body. I took a 7 minute break and was back at it. My next lap went okay, but I was feeling the heat. It was pretty warm out I thought. I then took a break with Cory and friends and ate a bit. I was in no hurry. I went out for another lap and this lap actually was feeling a bit better. Took another break and chilled. I was pretty sore and feeling the single speed. Took off for another lap and was actually feeling pretty good as the temps were going down. Took another break and this time I almost fell asleep. Finally pulled myself up cramping and grunting in pain (my back was killing me and I was cramping like crazy! Serves my lazy ass right!) Off for my 5th lap and felt pretty good. Things were really flowing. It wasn't fast at 1:07, but I was feeling better. Things were getting dark at this point and I was pooped. I decided to call it a night as Jim wasn't even feeling up for driving home. Jerry was doing great! This was his second mountain bike race ever and he did a superb job!

So, I finished 5 laps in just over 7 hours. I was probably off the bike for a hour and 20 to an hour and 30 or so. If I had actually been in shape I think I may have done 8-9 laps in the 12 hours, but that certainly doesn't mean shit.

The Monocog Flight 29er ruled. I actually felt like I was riding a real bike. I did miss the suspension at times, but over all it rolled over things very nicely. The major difference I felt with the 29er was that it just kept on moving. My 26er would have died on many of the little inclines at Seven Oaks, but the Flight just kept on rolling. It was amazing. I am SO happy I got it.

Matt and I are already working out some plans for making it a great Trans Iowa machine.

Now, if getting a new bike doesn't get my out the door in the morning nothing will!

I want to say Congrats to Squirrel for his win at the 24 Hours of Iowa. I had the luxury of meeting Squirrel last March when he came up for a ride. What a great guy. He certainly deserved the win! Congrats again brother!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Going to get it!

I am going to head down to DM to get the monocog. Enough waiting. 32 X 20 on a 29er might be a bit steep for my weak and out of shape legs, but hey, I am doing this race for fun anyway. Not that I am not going to give it my all.

Flight here I come!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

12 Hours of Seven Oaks

Well, just a few days to go and it will be my first 12 hour race! We will see if I can actually ride a bike for 12 hours!!! Seriously, I am not in any kind of shape right now so I will probably suck it up, but who cares. I am just going for the fun and experience. I will give it my best shot! My goal is to ride 7-8 laps depending on the course conditions. If I can do that I will be very happy. I was able to borrow some lights so hopefully everything will go well at night.

I am sorry to report there will be no Monocog, but I am getting closer to paying it off so I hope to have it in my hands by the end of September. Matt and I talked about some crazy things we could do to the bike for TI V.4 and I am very excited about it. We will see what happens! I can't wait for the training to begin. I just need to start working a bit less and for the nice, cool weather to come.

I hear the trails got beat up pretty badly at 7 Oaks, but that the race director is camping there all week to work on the trails. A buddy of mine went there this past weekend (Monday?) and found three huge trees down on the first hill and then the long flat section had been completely under water and was a mud bog. Let's hope that dries up a bit! I am confident the course will be in pretty good shape, but the trails can be pretty hard with even a bit muddy as the clay gets pretty slick.

My money is on Squirrel to take it all in the 24!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

First day of school

Well, I started my 14th year of school today. My 10th as a counselor. It was a wonderful day, but I have been back the last couple of weeks working like crazy again and it looks to be another very busy year. Sometimes I feel like totally giving up any chance of trying to exercise. Yesterday I was working for 15 hours. Crazy. I am also the heaviest I have ever been. Coincidence? I am not working out at all really, but I am still considering doing the 12 hour at 24 hours of Seven Oaks. It will be funny, but I am mainly going for the beer anyway. It will depend on the rain this next week. Yes, I am a wimp.

I hope to see you guys at a DRY Seven Oaks next week.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

God Made Me Do It!

That is what I will tell the wife when she finds out! %^)

Seriously, she knew that I was going to do it. Just not today.

So, I put some money down on this:

I will be paying for it in chunks so I won't have it for a while, but I finally made the move! You see. Last weekend I rode at Seven Oaks and Alex, with his Kona 29er, was flying through the trails talking about how the bike just flies through there. Just behind Alex was Cory and he was talking about how his single speed, along with the rigid fork, was maybe even better than his super tricked out Cannondale Rush. Then the next day I decided to take Cory's advice and I rode Seven Oaks in one gear. I was a little conservative as I am a spinner and not a masher so I went with 32 X 22. I think I was flying through the course faster than ever and it felt easier. Plus, Alex was riding is older Bontrager steel frame and he was going on and on about how much he loves the steel. That is it. I had to do it.

I had time today and went to Des Moines. We made a deal for $725 bucks at Scheel's (normally $899). I have four months to pay for it under their lay away program. I sure hope it doesn't take me that long!

When I was at Scheel's I took the bike out for about 30 minutes riding all over the place. I found a large rock pile from some landscaping project that was going on and I rode all over the pile. That sold me. Plus, the bike just rolled. I could definitely feel the momentum of the big wheels. It didn't slow down as fast as my 26er that is for sure.

So, I have entered the single speed, 29er world. Now I just have to be patient. I will tell you... it was hard not just charging the damn thing!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cory Heintz

Cory is heading out to Oregon to be with his girlfriend who is entering law school. I wish them both all the luck in the world. I am sure they won't be needing it. It just seems that everything is falling into place for them. That is awesome. I will be seeing Cory again at the 24 Hours of Iowa in two weeks. I look forward to that.

Matt and I will be hitting up the trails at 5:00 pm today. If you want to come leave me a message. I am driving.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I guess I am not the only one that had a good what in the mountains! Even the stars have to walk sometimes. What a relief! %^)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I am not for real!

Well, I got to see real mountain bikers this weekend while in Colorado. I actually got to ride the same trails as Tinker. Now onto the report.

Jim McGuire, Jerry Boran (a friend from Forest City that has dozens of marathons, ultra's (many 100K's), and Ironman's under his belt) and I went to Breckenridge. We got a condo for 79 bucks a night! Can't beat that in Breck! On Saturday we headed over to Leadville for the Silver Rush 50. Jim was volunteering his medical expertise for the race. We drove and then rode up to around 12,500 feet to monitor the worst section of the race. Well, we later found that this section was incredible and how someone would think this was the worst part I don't know! All I can say is that I wish I had done this race!

We only put in around 5 miles of riding on the course, but it was some of the best riding for the weekend. Later that night we headed to Eric's in Breckenridge for the Breck 100 race meeting. We thought we were taking the lazy man's way out in signing up for the B-63 which was 2 of the 3 loops of the 100 mile version of the race. The race director, Thane Wright (past winner of the Montezuma's Revenge), even said the first loop was probably too much. He said that it was very technical and he himself had to walk half a dozen times at least. We weren't deterred because we were ignorant of what we were getting into! What we didn't know that only the best of the best finish this race and there is about a 50 percent DNF rate. But, hey, we are tough right?!!? Yeah... right.

We were up and at them on Sunday morning and we were at the start quite early. Jim and I stayed together for 2/3 of the 5 mile gravel road ascent until I was just drenched in sweat from over dressing and stopped to take off some clothes.

Around the six mile mark (this was something like a 3500 foot ascent in 7 or so miles) we hit the single track. I rode for a few feet and realized real quickly that I just didn't have the skills to ride that terrain and I wanted to see my wife and daughter in a couple of days! Jerry crashed and was headed down the mountain within the first 20-30 feet. We had no business being in this race. I was now about a 1/4 of a mile ahead of Jerry and Jim had about a 1/4 of a mile on me.

So, I pushed my bike at around mile 6 to around mile 7 or so before we had about
a 1/2 of a mile descend. I rode most of this and caught up to Jim. This next section from about 7.5 up to about 12 miles I pushed my bike literally 99 percent of the time if not more. If you look at the picture you can see the riders behind us and the very faint trail coming up the side of the mountain. Now, this trail could be rideable for me in most sections, but I can not climb 7-8 percent grades (and higher) for miles on end at 11-12,500 feet! So, just to be able to keep moving it was faster for me to push my bike at 1.5 to 2 miles per hour.

Once we got here (see below) Jim and I waited approximately 30 minutes for Jerry. He had just had a hip replacement surgery the year before so we wanted to keep our eye on him. He came up with the sweeper. It was great that the race directors actually had someone on course to help out. Once Jerry got there we chatted for about 5 minutes and then I took off with another flat lander from Ohio.

We were suppose to round the edge of the mountain and have a very long descend, but found out that the trail was literally 6 inches wide and filled with 6-20 inch rocks with a guarantee of a very long fall if you wiped out. We ended up pushing our bikes down hill for two more miles. How and the heck these elite riders do this stuff is way beyond my comprehension. All I know is that riding the Iowa gravel really didn't help! Finally around mile fourteen I was now riding 95-99 percent of the trail. I asked the nice guy from Ohio if I could get by him and I took off.

After nearly 8 miles of pushing my biking I finally was able to go. And go I did. The skills I have learned at Seven Oaks helped me a lot here. I was going crazy on the down hill section. This down hill was literally about 7 miles long and was fast and pretty technical for this Iowa boy. There were some two and sometime three foot drops into lots of rocks and huge roots. This is why I came to Colorado! I was loving it and really pushing it for me.

I made it to the end of loop one in 6:12 or so. The leaders Josh Tostado, Tinker Juarez, Mike Janelle, and Travis Brown did this loop in 2:55! The only thing I could have done to have gone faster was to be acclimated to the altitude. I could have rode more of those trails instead of walking! So, when I came in there was no hope for me to go on to the second loop. The second loop was going to be around 35 miles instead of the 24 I just did. The second loop was going to be easier technically, but it would be dark by the time I would get it done and I just wasn't there to do that. I just wanted to experience the single track in Colorado and I most certainly did!

I most certainly got to see what real mountain biking and real mountain bikers are. I can't believe I even type about my biking after seeing these guys. It seems I am not even in the same planet as them!

Here is the write up about the race.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Yikes. I needed that.

So, I am in need of getting in shape! I went to Seven Oaks today to put in three laps which is about 20 miles or so of technical single track. I finished two. My lower back was screaming. My legs were fine, but my back was in pain. Too much sitting at a desk huh!??! So, I ended up with about 13.5 miles. That doesn't translate to a very good B63 next weekend does it. Sixty three miles of single track at elevation. I guess I will have my work cut out for me.

I will say this, trying to stay positive, that I did do my laps in 52:20 and 51:40. I usually do them in 60 minutes. I was pushing hard, but not 100 percent. I am sure if I hadn't been going as hard my back would have last a lot longer. I did find that my technical skills are doing better, I just can't climb to save my life! If I had that extra little power to get up the climbs I think I could pull off 45 minute laps.

Happy training.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I am back... kinda

Well, after being in northern Minnesota for a week we were back at home for a week. Then we headed towards Phoenix for a week to my brothers wedding! What a blast. I did get some running in, but it was already 90 by 6 am with highs around 115 to 120 every day we were there. Heck, if I would have brought my bike my tires would have melted for sure! %^)

Here are some pics of the family.

Mark is good friends with professional ultimate fighter Victor Vincelette. All I can say is he could put me in a very unhappy place in a hurry! The dude is as solid as a rock. He nearly ripped my arm off when I shook his hand. Believe it or not he used to be a 5th grade teacher. SCARY!

So, Jim McGuire and I are heading to Breckenridge in a little over a week to do the B63. It should be a good time. Sixty-three miles of single track at altitude should be a good kick in the junk. I just wish I was in shape!

Sorry to the local guys, I have been on another planet for a while.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Where is he.

Sorry I haven't written. I am back from vacation. I did some nice riding and put in some nice single track at a beautiful state park in north western Minnesota. I got home and the next day I went and rode some awesome single track at 7 oaks. I was really riding well and felt strong. I felt like I had a lot of laps in my legs. Ever since I haven't done a thing, but worked my butt off and try to stay caught up on my classes that I am taking. Why and the hell do I do this to myself?!!? Here I make more money than I ever have, but I keep working my ass off and do less than when I was broke?!!? I need to get some Fking things in prospective.

Give me one of those BKB kits damn it. JK.

Once again Nine mile is on my anniversary. Shucks.

Not so happy training for me.

Leaving for a week in Phoenix with no bike. Darn.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vacation time! I think!

It is Thursday and I am most of the way done with my week of vacation. It has been wonderful except for one thing! Summer classes! I am taking two online classes through Des Moines Area Community College. They are Stress Management and Understanding Mental Illnesses. They are both good classes, especially the Stress Management class, but the time investment is crazy, especially while I vacation. I have just finished my 7th hour of homework today! Time to get some exercise in!

This week I have been running every other morning and biking nearly everyday. Yesterday I did 56 miles in 4 hours. Mostly pavement with about 12-15 miles of gravel thrown in. It beautiful here in Ottertail County. They literally have over 1200 lakes in this county alone! I hope to go check out some single track tomorrow so I am excited about that!

If you haven't already take a took at . Sure sounds like fun doesn't it!

Happy training.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Tammy, Paula and I are in northwestern Minnesota this week. Ottertail Lake to be precise. This week is always a nice week. Tammy and I put in a seven mile run this morning to get the day started. Hopefully I can get off my lazy ass and keep up the exercise. I have been way to lazy since Dirty Kanza. Jim McGuire is taunting me with the idea of going to the B63 in Breckenridge, Colorado. It sure would be a blast! I sure have a lot of work to do in the next month to prepare for that thing!

Remember when I sold my kayaks to buy another bike. Well, that money is long gone (Ask Tammy and Paula where it went because I haven't seen anything from it!) and now I have spent even more money! Tammy and I had a Honda Element. I loved the thing until two weeks ago we did some figuring on how much gas we were spending with that thing every month.
Let's just say it was about $150 dollars more than the payment every month! So, we sold it the next day! We went and bought a Saturn Vue Hybrid. We should be saving roughly $150 dollars a month in gas! Now, where was that bike I was wanting?

To go along with the car I bought a Hidden Hitch from Awesome prices and 99 cent delivery. Also, you CAN put these on yourself. It isn't EASY, but they just bolt on. It is getting your fingers into the nooks and cranies that make it somewhat difficult. But, I am not much of an automotive mechanic so if you have some pretty nifting tools that will help you reach into tight areas then it will be a piece of cake. Also, after using a Walmart bike rack for the last 10 years I went all out this time with a Xport Flatbed 4 bike rack from Performance Bike. When I rode down to Dirty Kanza with Jon Billman I was able to use his two bike version of this rack. I was so impressed I had to get one. What I love about it is that it took me all of 20 minutes to put it together, it was easy to put on the car, it is very, very stable, the bikes can be put on in literally 10-20 seconds a piece, and most of all the bikes don't tough each other or the car. Also, it doesn't sway hardly at all! I am very happy with the purchase.

Speaking of Jon Billman, he is the guy I went to Dirty Kanza with. I found out that he is a writer for Outside, Mountain Bike, Bicycling, and Skiing Magazines. Well, he is riding in the Great Divide Race and I am sure he is on assignment for Outside Magazine. It should be interesting. After my daughter graduates from high school I sure would love to do that race!

Well, happy training.

Monday, June 11, 2007


What a relief! I actually rode my bike! On Saturday, Other Paul, Cory, Emily, Alex, Will and I worked on some trails at Petersen Pits. With the flooding we had just before Trans Iowa several of the trails were ruined. It was a good time and really got me motivated to get out again. Later in the afternoon I rode just short of 20 miles enjoying the bike again. Sunday morning I took off for Cory's house around 8:30 for some morning coffee and a ride to Boone for some single track. We took off south of Ames on the gravel which I knew would likely add an hour to our trip due to the fact there was not going to be a bridge crossing the Des Moines River so we ended up having to go a bit further south, but miles are miles and it was a good time.

We got to Seven Oaks and they were having a motocross race on the front side of the ski hills. It was actually pretty cool so we sat around for a half an hour before heading out on the single track. Once we got going I was getting my ass handed to me. I was able to clear one section that I had never been able to do, but I had to put in 100 percent effort to due it and I was maxed out to say the least. This trail shouldn't be that hard, but I have lost some of my conditioning since Dirty Kanza and without that extra training I just got my butt kicked. What is amazing to me is Emily running 34 X 18 (I think it was). You see, I was in my very easiest gear quite often and there were times that I was looking down at my chain rings and I thought for sure I was in my middle ring when I actually wasn't. So, running 34 X 18 on a 29er certainly would be tough. She truly is one of the toughest riders I know. I finished 1 lap... yes, 1 lap and was cooked. I was wondering about getting home quite honestly as I was very hungry. We left Seven Oaks and found some ice cream in Boone! That hit the spot. I was fresh again and off we went. I got home feeling great, yet tired. Just over 60 miles with an hour of near maximum effort thrown into the middle!

Good times that is for sure.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

I'm back.

I decided to start up another blog, but this time being a bit more anonymous. Being an educator I decided that I needed to be a little less open about my life outside of school. If you haven't worked for a school you may not quite understand, but parents create all kinds of opinions. While most people that like to train a lot will think I that I am spending a worthy amount of time training, but there are parents out there that think that we, as educator's, should be working on our school work ALL the time. That we (I) should not be "wasting" our time training for something as stupid as running a long ways or biking on gravel roads for distances people complain about having to drive on the interstate. So, this is a new beginning. Now, I am even be more of who I am. Not that you care, but keeping a journal of sorts and having the support of the readers keeps me accountable. And.... I like that.

So.... Happy Training.