preparations have been made

Time to head off and meet Laura and the others to ring in the new year. Have all my gear laid out, my custom cue cards organized, my bike ready to go, my back-up plans ready to be initiated. Plan to set the alarm for 6:30 am tomorrow and head out down the 2009 Almanzo course regardless of what the day brings. Wallow not in sorrow shall I, the untimely demise of the North Shore Winter Ultra only provided this new and more worthy opportunity. What better way to truly ring in the new year than to ride a bike from day break to dusk (or possibly much longer), alone, with single digit temperatures at best.

I told Laura not to tell anyone I was doing this and certainly didn't tell many others. You know how I feel about the "normal" people and their "wind chill", their "it's too cold for snowboarding", their "there is nothing to do in Rochester"... THEIR WHINING ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS TO SINGLESPEED...

fret for your latte my small minded friends- the floods they are a comin'


my "own" rescue

rather than continuing the riveting story below (it's really over at that point anyways) I figured I'd mention my new friend "Balls". I'm not only thinking of him because he is sitting here helping me type, but also because he is pretty much awesome. He was also the first addition who was initiated by me...
I found him at Eastwood after one of the mini-cx practice races, he watched from the parking lot. He was so eager to see people and get attention that I was sure he was someones cat, but he seemed too far from any houses for me to feel comfortable leaving him. Decided to bring him home for the night and then deal with hopefully finding his owner or whatever in the AM. Long story short was unable to find anyone who would claim him. Over the next couple of weeks he hung out in the house and we tried to find friends who wanted a kitty and still looked for his "owner". His ability to be outgoing and sociable while quickly adapting to life in our house, with 5 (7?) other animals was impressive. This was particularly true when it was becoming more and more obvious that he was "just a stray". I particularly grew fond of the way he would always come see me when I got home from work and join me on the couch. Long story short my (our) efforts to find him a new home sort of tailed off after I realized how awesome he was. Laura and I couldn't agree on a name for him for quite a while... then Laura started calling him Balls and it caught on. He did, at that point, have his balls intact. It's a bit odd having a Balls and a Dickie in one household, but I suppose it was the inevitable result of having a Dickie at all (although, and this is an aside... Dickie happens to be one of my favorite names of all time and was in no way meant to be a joke nor reference the obvious Dick 'n' Balls combo such as we now have. I just wanted to give him a proper "English" name because his original name was Basil and he just looked "proper). Eventually, I had my mind made up that we needed to keep the little guy. I kept that to myself for a little while, not wanting to appear weak to Laura... but after a while it sort of became apparent I'm sure. Last week we had him neutered and brought up to speed with vaccinations.


ended up in some farmer's driveway

Entered the freezing windstorm of the morning at around 8:45 today hoping to get a "legitimate" ride in before work. Needed it after taking an unplanned rest day Sunday after just not feeling like I should ride (in the legs).

Had planned to drive to the gravel and begin there, but once I got outside and organized decided to ride from home. There was fresh snow on the road which hadn't been plowed and the going was a bit slippery, but left the neighborhood at a good clip. Cut through the back way and out to 48th. 23 minutes after leaving my door I was at the doorway to all of the gravel that is SW of Rochester and beyond. Literally flew the first few miles, relishing the fact that the packed snow/gravel of the road actually felt faster under the Nokians than the snow crusted pavement had. Around 4 miles out I realized I was going much faster than I should have been able to... the 38x18 gearing of the Monocog didn't seem to be enough? At mile 7 I reached the airport and another stretch of pavement, skirting the airfield itself. As soon as I turned to the right the wind hit me... Two minutes later my beard was frozen solid, my chest was frozen to my long underwear and my ears were freezing. This was going to be like sailing. Two hrs later I was still "tacking" back and forth across the hills trying to get my miles without ever feeling the full brunt of the wind for too long when I crossed the Almanzo course to the North. I decided to try crXX or whatever it was prior to looping back to the course and heading home. Two miles of gravel later (complete with normal road signs) I turned a corner and found myself in someones front yard with no discernable road continuing elsewhere. Additionally, the owner himself was bearing down on me with a tractor.


slacking on posting- but not much else

Pictures don't nearly say it all, but they are worth a lot of words eh?
Bike stuff-
marin as above! 42/20 is magic gear, also ordered salsa cromoto fork for winter and singleator for when I need different gearing. decided I had to thrash it this winter once I realized the swamp things fit so well.
el santo (first off- if you don't know what it means wikipedia it)- I swapped to a manitou minute 3 with travel adjust and about a 1.2 lb savings. Still hoping to swap to shimano shifters/rear derailleur at least before next spring.
winter is here, obviously. Was amazing how long it held off though. Had some great late fall rides in shorts that now seem so distant.
I had been dreading the beginning of winter for months, fall was such good riding I didn't want it to end. Now that it's here I'm nothing but excited. I've gotten excited about winter riding and decided to enter the north shore winter ultra... haven't decided which length yet though.
Huge props to Chris S. for his continued efforts to organize and create a community here in Rochester! The micro cross races are awesome and I've already met people and gotten to do things I never expected because of your efforts.
Last Sunday I went for a long solo ride on gravel/pavement. It was the first "winter" road riding I've done and probably means a lot about how serious I'm trying to be. It was pretty brutal riding that heavy ass monocog with the studs 65 miles, but I had "the joy" for the last 20-30 minutes of the ride in a way I haven't felt it since the last few minutes at maplelag (when I knew I was having a "breakthrough" race.
Another great ride was heading out from Cannon Falls with a group and riding gravel/cvt out to Welch and back. Had a great time ripping up Dud's Dream on the Monocog... if you know what I mean.
Other than that it's been a lot of medium but longish training rides and riding with Eric. Very little time on the trainer thus far. I did get to almost 17 hrs last week though...
More soon, hopefully.


no more Jamis

Well, not exactly sad to see it go... My Komodo FX was a fun bike and served me well for the purpose and style of riding for which I built it. However, circumstances conspired in such a manner that I was able to upgrade and go in a different direction at basically no additional cost.

I picked up the El Santo as above, but with a rock shox psylo fork, xt v brakes/xtr levers, mavic crossride wheelset and a few other things PLUS the wheelset in the pictures there for $480 yesterday... Seeing as how the wheelset is worth about that, I'm obviously pretty stoked. Stoked enough that I woke up at 8 on Thanksgiving to get to work on putting it together. I basically stripped both frames bare (El Santo and Komodo II) and put all the best parts on the El Santo then cleaned everything else and listed it on ebay.
I will post a review of the El Santo after I ride it tomorrow. For now, let's just say it is light and quick, even with that monster fork on it (it IS adjusted down to 115mm of travel though).


more summer in november!

Weather has simply continued to be amazing!

I will come back to this and post my recent training (for my own purposes) later.

Marin build-

What can I say? Got excited about having a 26" xc bike again, of course that meant going all-in. Had my friend Eric weld a rear disc tab onto the bike and remove all the unwanted braze-ons etc. etc.. I was a bit nervous initially when I let him take the frame, but things absolutely couldn't hav turned out any better. Excellent quality of work and attention to detail too. Then I spent some time of my own creating a cool custom finish for the aluminum crankarms, brake levers and bashguard. Lastly, I sold some stuff I didn't need and financed some tasty new Ritchey parts, a race quality disc wheelset and a titanium velo saddle. Things were coming together fast... Then, as the clearcoat was drying I got a call from an old friend. I hadn't heard from Lin in a couple of years, and the serendipity of randomly hearing from a custom airbrush artist on that evening was just too much to ignore. Expect big things- I'll save the pictures for later.

I've also made a few other equipment changes here recently on the other bikes- continuing to lighten things up and sell what I no longer need. The salsa got some new Easton Monkeylite sl bars among other little upgrades. The Jamis got a 70mm raceface stem and a kmc chain. The Monocog got some real SS cogs and a new chain as well. I also picked up 4 Yakima racks for the Tahoe, so we're up to being able to carry 8 bikes when necessary. It should be helpful as it will make it easier to carpool and hopefully save some gas next summer.


Went and rode there once again last Thursday and just feel that I have to mention how freaking awesome that trail system is. The main loop there is the best in the midwest that I have yet been to and by a wide margin. Nothing in the Cable or Duluth area even comes close to the absolute quality of trail. HPT is full of little technical spots and tricks and legitimate climbs in a way that is mostly unmatched in this part of the world. If you haven't been, go!


amazing weather this week

Don't even know where to start with this week- multiple great rides, creepy occurances, things to rant about, more broken bike parts and another new resurrection of the Marin.

Huge thanks to Chris for putting on the cx race today. I'm glad I didn't make the trip over to the "real" race in Northfield. The course was top-notch and it was a perfect laid-back atmosphere. Almost a full hr of "all out" was a great workout too (especially at this point in my week). Where else could I have sat down after a big effort and been handed a Hamms and a railroad tie? It was also nice to meet a few more local people. I will be in for the next local race on the 28th.

26" cross country resurrection!

After all my recent breakages I was down to basically zero working mountain bikes during the early part of the week this week. Decided to take the Marin off the trainer and take it out for a spin. I'm hooked! Quickly convinced myself that I needed to build it up with some race-ready parts and that the 26" ss hardtail certainly has a place in my 'arsenal' of regularly used bikes. I don't remember ever having so much fun riding it. I think all this riding this year has really improved my skills and am glad to see that they transfer back down from the 29er.

I will be building it up with some lighter/modern wheels, a slightly newer manitou air fork, disc brakes and single speed (of course).

You may be saying- why not rigid? What kind of a wanker builds up such a 'hardcore rig' as a mid 90s steel hardtail for xc racing 15 years later and puts a suspension fork on it? Well- I'm not trying to build an excuse. I want a build that I can choose to race on and that I can feel comfortable on. If you think your more hardcore than me- so be it. If you use your bike as an excuse- "well I was on the SS", "I was fully rigid for that race", "I was on the 26" rigid", etc. etc. then I have no patience for you. It's even worse if you are a racer making those kinds of excuses. If you are going to spend the money to travel to MNSCS races and then rock a bike that you think is an excuse rather than fast something isn't quite adding up. So that's why I won't be rigid with the 26". I WILL, or course, continue to race the 29er rigid where applicable.

I will post pictures as soon as anything actually happens with this new build.

What is up with the Mercedes "AMG" SLS? As an AMG owner I am embarassed that they have stooped to bastardizing the legend that is the 300sl. Beyond that, they are about 5 years late into the retro styling game. I don't even care about the performance numbers of the car (which is roughly fast as mine if I had decent traction from launch or if we raced on the freeway and costs about exactly 10x what I've spent). What a bunch of sellouts.

What is up with the old dudes who hang out at Eastwood park? I don't approve of what they are doing out there in general (obviously) but this Friday took it to a whole 'nother level. In the past we've had to call the cops about things out there on two different occasions (one of which involved me 'catching' someone with their pants completely down at 5:30pm on a Friday 10' from an oft traveled trail and 500' from a playground) but this was just beyond creepy for me personally. I showed up out there alone at 6:30 packing my 10lb battery and light set-up hoping to make a couple laps. In no way was I expecting to have any company from weirdos in the woods. I noticed that the "green car guy" was there (when is he not?) and was sitting in his car with the parking lights on reading a paper (again- when is he not? Seriously if I've been to Eastwood 100x he has been there 85 of them). I took off on my lap and got into it a little bit, soon becoming comfortable in the dark. After 1 lap his car was still there, but now with the lights off. Any feelings of comfort vanished. As I rode by I had to glance toward it. My headlamp illuminated the front seat. I saw nothing but saturn interior... For a minute I fell into the normal training dialogue, "be tough, don't quit now" but it quickly turned to "let's just go ride on the road and get out of here". I won't be going back to Eastwood alone after dark, not sure I ever should have thought it was a good idea regardless of who else might be out there. I'm mostly worried that if I infringe on their "space" that they'll mess with the trail in some way that might become dangerous. It could also be quite scarring to accidentally illuminate certain things with 25w of light.

mon- 90m x 7.5 at eastwood on the Jamis. Jamis around downtown 'after' work. no commute.

tues- jamis commute and ride after work (90m total)

wed- rest- marin commute

thurs- stagecoach with tim 100m at 6- fun riding marin out there. 30m at 9.5 of cyclocross at Eastwood. crankarm fell off before finish- pretty dumb. no commute (late shift).

friday- no commute. took marin for about 35 total miles including some gravel, the eastwood incident above, and almost all the bike trails in town. 150m at 8.

saturday- 3 laps plus at eastwood on marin (two with mike) approx. 20 miles 120m at 7

sunday- cx behind beer bellyz. 60 at 9.5- won! riding down there and back approx 15 miles 60m at 4.

kept things "short" due to a little knee pain. things seem to be better overall- felt pretty strong and knee feels that it's continuing to get "better". Am a bit concerned that SS riding will make things worse- but no actual evidence of that yet.


Halloween is over

Fun weekend- spent a ton of time on the couch watching football or baseball. Vikings v. Packers, USC v. Oregon were both worth sitting through. Nice to see the Gophers do something right too...

Raced Saturday up at Hillside in a very "low key" event. A couple of the fast guys showed up and I was excited to try to hang with them a little bit and get a feel for what I'm in for next year. Start was pretty good and I got into a comfortable rhythm before breaking the chain about 25 minutes in. This one was very frustrating, would have loved to sneak in there with a finish amongst the expert folks even in a super low priority race like this. Regardless, I'll be significantly faster the next time I race than I would have been had everything gone perfect Saturday and it's ok.

Probably spent too much time/effort trying to figure out what chain to switch to (heck- if I could have made up my mind two weeks ago I'd have had it for Hillside). I ended up taking the advice of one of my competitors fathers and going with the KMC x9sl. I picked one up for the Monocog as well- their $20ish SS chain in gold. Looking forward to not having to worry about chains for a while.

I appreciate all the advice I get from everyone, but the chain issues have got me thinking about how much of a 'crapshoot' my first year of racing has been equipment wise (and probably training as well). It's hard to know who knows what they are talking about when it comes to equipment- it seems some, particularly the bike shop guys, don't use their stuff as hard or as much as I want to be able to. The $$$ that's poured into little upgrades and replacement parts has really added up, but I've quickly realized I'd much rather pay even $100 more to not have an equipment problem. The costs of entry fees, traveling, being away from home add up to the point that almost ANY added expense in componentry would be worth it.

Halloween was fun- I'll post some pictures later. I raced in my german beer girl costume and went out later in the evening as myself. I figured I didn't really need a costume and would rather just wear whatever I wanted to- what other day can you get away with wearing a flannel, jeans, CLOGS, a ridiculous mustache, and can bring a flask into a bar, can't waste that opportunity by wearing a costume. That reminds me- I'm doing the movember.com thing for the next month. I already have a 2.5 week headstart, the mustache is going to be nuts.


more shimano... less everything else, knee update

I don't like to be a comformist, but the more I ride the more I realize Shimano has it right. SRAM might shift better- but the chains break and the cassettes wear too fast. Crank Brothers pedals may be easier to clip into and better for mud but they eat the soles of your shoes, accidentally eject you when you least want them to, and only last 1500 miles or so before the "wings" themselves wear out and they are garbage. Etc. Etc. Plus they know when NOT to offer a product- seems they just stay away from foisting any crap they don't have DOWN to the point of BULLETPROOF onto us. I never knew how good I had it on my 14 year old Marin's stock build until I rode most of this year with SRAM and crank brothers in place of Shimano. Along the same lines, how can crank brothers expect anyone to want to run their $$$ wheelsets, headsets etc. when they can't even make reliable pedals that retail for $140... hell, even the crankbrothers pump that I have broke.

Huge thanks to Dr. Thorson for giving me a second? opinion on my knee. He was able to find a few muscular imbalances and 'core' issues that should be able to be addressed in order to greatly help me out. I also now have a proper referral for as many physical therapy sessions as will be needed. I feel good about having more 'work' to do in order to attack this problem, rather than the crap plan that Mayo foisted on me.

I get that we are in a financial crisis. I get that healthcare costs are soaring out of control. I get that a lot of people who shouldn't be are completely incompetent (I realize this more and more each day I go to work). All that said- the Mayo Clinic's sports medecine "clinic" can't just can't be as bad as it has seemed to me. I'd almost feel better overall if I thought the crap care I've received was just because I am an employee- but I don't think they had any way of knowing. How can anyone just send someone to ONE PT appointment for a condition that could lead to (well, let's just say it could lead to pretty bad things).

I also get that I'm not a professional athlete and they don't really care if I can do what I want to do. Seems most doctors just think it isn't natural to ride a bike or run- doesn't make a lot of sense to me unless it's just because they are so used to seeing the endless parade of overweight, alcoholic, smokers that make up the general population (even of clinic employees). In a way this just motivates me more to get strong enough that the next time I have to deal with them they'll "believe" that I'm serious about this stuff... I (misguidedly I'm sure) feel like if I looked like Lance at the end of the tour that they'd have taken me more seriously.

I'll stop ranting and return to normal thought processes and grammar, NOW

wrapped the bar ends and over the grips on the monocog with bar tape- hoping the larger size diameter and added insulation keeps me warmer through the cold weather and also insulates me from some of the chatter. This has been working great since my ride Sunday. The new, comfortable, location with my hands on the bar ends is reminiscent of my favorite position on the hoods with drop bars.

mon- 120 at 8- extended commute in both directions (35 miles) monocog. Cold riding from 1:30-2:30, saw some weird stuff (blond on the lap of some guy driving a 15 year old lexus down highway 14 at about 15 mph)... got to love having a 50w headlamp that "looks" wherever you do in THAT situation, "umm, hi".

tues- 90m at 5.5 at eastwood- took it easy. Huge thanks to Charly Tri for the new trail sections! Obstacles I/we put in are still in good shape and look solid. Made log ride and rock pile to skinny first tries. Tried to get comfortable on bike salsa- race saturday.

wed- 49m full lap of leb at 8.5ish. Wanted 'race' pace but it was a bit greasy. Fell, hit knee on wood section leading up to the new, easy skinny and took it easy from there out. Racing Ralph's not ideal tires today.

120m at average of 8- rode to douglas trailhead and out to a total of 15 miles very hard, averaged 19 mph on monocog. was trying to attend a group ride that may or may not have happened (never saw anyone). rode last 45-50m of ride at a comfortable/easy pace back through town in the dark.


ooh- forgot the most important one

of course- I also have the bike that got me started. It's not my first bike, but it is definitely the first adult sized bike I ever had and it was my only mountain bike for the first 12 years I had it. Thanks mom and dad! I'll be keeping it forever-

'96 Marin Pine Mountain

well, it's set-up for being used on the trainer right now. It's a SICK build featuring a random mixture of stock parts and things I've taken off of other bikes. It's currently sort of SS (but has a derailleur mounted that can be adjusted with an allen key to switch from 13t-21t cogs to compliment the 42t chainring up front. The 42-13 gearing is necessary to get enough resistance on my ghetto trainer. The white industries crankset is sort of cool and the frame is wonderful. I'll be getting out onto the trails next summer for sure. If I enter any SS races this will probably be the ticket.


There's a couple pictures of each of them. Salsa is right before heading to the blufflands epic race so that's the "endurance" look there with the suspension fork and the manual pump etc.
current builds-
'08 Salsa Mamasita (Medium)
hope pro II/salsa delgado wheelset w. racing ralphs
reba sl at 80mm or exotic carbon fork
160mm juicy 7s
raceface deus xc crankset with 24/36
xt trigger shifters
xt rear derailleur
xtr front derailleur
xtr cables with bontrager housings (gold)
sram 990 cassette and 991 hollowpin chain
fsa stem (titanium hardware) and headset
ritchey pro aluminum flatbars (130 grams)
easton ec70 seatpost
wtb devo saddle
'04 Jamis Komodo FX (large)
azonic outlaw wheelset w. holy rollers/swamp things
marzocchi all-mountain sl fork ('06)- was cheap used because it's quick release
203mm/160mm juicy 5s
raceface atlas crankset 24/36t
e13 chainguide
x5 level sram drivetrain
bontrager 50mm stem
easton ea50 riser bars (the bars and stem are not pictured)
titec pluto seatpost
wtb saddle
'07 Monocog (medium)
mostly stock for now
the bars/stems were upgraded to specialized take-offs be previous owner
front brake is now a hayes mechanical disc with 203mm rotor
saddle is 1960s Brooks
ghetto install of the rack
32/15t gearing- needs bigger chainring bad
I have quite a few different sets of tires that I can fit to this beast (or the salsa when needed) but generally plan to run my hutchinson piranha 700x35cs or nokian studs on here. I don't think it will get a lot of actual offroad mountain biking use, but we will see.

something positive

Been icing both knees after each ride and doing my pt exercises etc. which has allowed me to get quite a bit of training in the last few days. Right knee (the not really injured one) seems to be responded well to that and isn't getting as painful.

Have appointment Wednesday for a 2nd opinion and more information about the chondromalacia (the proper term for my actual injury). Will post details after that.

I know enough at this point about it that I know I can start training and that I will more or less be "ok". I've been going at it relatively hard now the last few days. Feeling fresh and motivated...

last week-

mon- rested and rode Jamis for extended commute

Tues- left work early after bad news with the knee. 2 hrs on the trainer. fairly even effort with a few run ups to harder effort and back down. 120min at 6.5 effort.

wed- had pt appointment. mowed lawn etc.. monocog commute.

thurs- 90m at 7 on trainer. picked laura up at airport. 75m at 7 on trainer after work. no commute (went in late)

friday- 60m at 4 on trainer (just spin and then ice knee- cycle seems to help the rt one). 60m at 7 on trainer after work

sat- 60m at 5 (salsa needed tuning- went home and worked it out), 120m at 6 on trainer watching gophers- commercials=sprints, 60m at 8 on monocog just before dark. lots of stretching and pt stuff

sun- 55 miles in 195m at 7.5ish on monocog. rode end section of Almanzo course. Felt very strong.



Nothing concrete yet- will post some goals, plans and the like after I get the knee issue sorted out. In a bit of a frustrating holding pattern for now. Have been hitting the trainer though at least.



knee got me down

as the time ticks down to 4pm tomorrow the hrs are going slower and slower. I no longer care about the extent of the injuries or if I need surgey... I just want to know so that I can make a plan to move forward with appropriate goals for next year. frustrated.


it's 4:36 and I'm at home

Made 5 nice laps at a reasonable pace, broke chain, couldn't fix without going back to "pit", realized knee was killing me, drove home with left foot so I could keep leg up, not as disappointed as I might be.


blufflands epic enduro race

well- This is the 2nd time around after the original date was rained out. I've gone through 3 potential partners who have had to back out for various reasons between the two dates. I have spent too much time on two Friday nights preparing food and drink for the race. At this point I'm going and I'm going no matter what. If it's cancelled due to rain or armeggedon or whatever else I will be riding 8 hrs or so of gravel. I will not be stopped from riding until I can't ride anymore on 10/17/09.

I also snapped a couple pictures of the Homegrown I just built up for for mom-

Mom's bike-

2000 Homegrown

Tange rigid steel fork (for now)

XT hubs/mavic wheels/blue nips

Tiagra STIs

Deore LX crankset (1x9 with 32t)

Deore XT rear derailleur

she will be adding her own pedals (105s?), saddle and center pull brakes

another day of rain-

some say the end is near
some say we'll see armageddon soon
i certainly hope we will
i sure could use a vacation from this

bullshit three ring circus

...learn to swim

aenima has been getting a lot of play recently- to be honest dating all the way back to the "heck" (where I just about went through the whole catalog). It seems even more fitting after dealing with the circus, that is the clinic, during regular business hrs the last two days. I can't say I feel like I have anything in common with 99% of the people you run into downtown Rochester.

It's been 9 weeks now since I walked off the field at soccer with knee issues and self-diagnosed as having a cartilage problem. I finally received an MRI today and will truly find out what's going on next Tuesday. In the meantime, I've been told by a general practitioner and two different physical therapists that I didn't need an MRI and that I had a chronic use (from running) problem. I'll stay away from further judgement until Tuesday, but I have not been in any way impressed with the care I've received thus far.

I'm fretting that the WEMS race this weekend will be cancelled due to the rain. Bike is ready- got the 24/36t double installed with the Shimano shifting now and everything seems good.


First winter riding!

Woke up excited about the prospect of snow and riding in the snow. Turns out I was a bit ahead of myself as it was really much more like rain, but my mind was already turning and I wanted to ride. Off down my 20 mile TT "loop" I went with plans to ride the first 14 miles or so and then head into the city for lunch before work. It felt great to be riding in such crappy conditions and I ended up riding a bit more than planned. The ride home was even better- the temperatures had dropped and the road had dried, sure is desolate out there at 2 am and more so the "worse" the weather gets.

Had another idea today about why I like riding so much... the freedom. When you are a kid you love your bike but in the back of your mind is turning 16 and getting a car. It's sort of the american dream to get the car and the freedom that goes with it (I remember a rhetoric class I took where we listed all the things "the car" allows you the freedom to do--- from skip school to a place of your own for sex). However, the car never really provides that freedom. With cars you are hassled by the cops when you do anything fun and you have to feed them gas. The combination means that driving becomes a chore and just one more reason you are bound to stay plugged in to the matrix. This is a sad realization for me- I really love fun cars and driving and I'm sure I always will, but I think this is true. There is so much more legal (mostly) fun to be had on a bike and all you have to do is eat, something I already do a lot of, to fuel it. Not only that, but the more you ride the more freedom you get. Your motor gets bigger and bigger and all the sudden you can ride to the cities if you want to and truly be free. You can leave Rochester in a rain with a 30 mph headwind at noon and cross the river into St. Paul at sunset with a 4 pack of Surly's on your rack and a tear in your eye.


why, again?

so now that I got bored enough to actually start this thing (I've been thinking about it all year) I'm not sure who I want reading it... Therefore, I've basically told two people of it's existence and obviously no one is reading it. Of course, no one is likely to read it a whole lot anyways. I think I'll add the link to my signature on morcmtb.org as well for now.

Pictures of the "family" and my backyard. No images of Sunny the recluse cat (she hides in cardboard boxes all day and they make for poor images). Lucky the GSD, Sam the beagle and Dickie the crazy bastard.
Will try to get pictures of my bike stable soon as well. Go Vikings btw!


Wish www.ride424.com had 2010 stuff posted- Farrow not mentioning me in the heck of the north recap (and more so my tactical/directional error) are making me search.


I ride on purpose

to inspire others to do the same

to have fun

to get faster

as therapy

to see the world differently

to remember (and forget)

because I can

to prove I can

not because I don't have a car

I've been commuting by bike for a few years now. Going back for years and years I had always enjoyed riding, but mostly had only rode offroad and only for crosstraining for other sports. 20 months ago I purchased a nice road bike used (2003 s-works) and told myself I was going to use it. 14 months ago nothing had happened- I was out of shape, 190 lbs and feeling unsure of who I was. I had always identified as an "athlete" but it had been years since I had actually been competitive in anything. I was unhappy and trying to compensate by partying etc.. I felt stuck in Rochester because of my job and the economy and couldn't think of anything worthwhile to do here. Last August a mutual friend introduced me to some guys who said they had a mountain bike trail locally... I went the next weekend and got my ass kicked, had fun and realized that I had found something I could do in Rochester.

"Ride on purpose" to me means that I'm riding because it's my way "out". I am purposely doing it because it's a way to make Rochester seem more hospitable. We may lack mountains, real rivers, much wildlife (other than geese), "cool" people, a soul, good restaurants and so on- but through riding my bike I can make the most of what is here. If I ride my bike hard enough (on purpose) it can not only take me away from here, both literally for races/rides and figuratively, but it can also change what's here. Through riding I have realized there are more great people here and more fun things going on than I ever knew- huge thanks to all of you. I have also come to see the beauty that does exist in the area.