been a while- now I'm tired out and having nothing better to do but to catch ya'll up

Am continuing with the day shift work thing through the end of October! This has been working out well and has allowed me to continue to hit some group road rides and the White Tail Ridge Thursday night rides.

Group rides have been fun. Particularly two Sundays ago when we made a loop all the way to the Mississippi and back at about 20.5 mph (117 miles for me that day). I've been riding my Kona as of yet with 52x18 gearing- and as well as that's been going I've also decided that I would prefer a real road bike and have been pursuing that.

The White Tail Ridge races have been awesome and, I'm sure, very beneficial to my xc style race fitness. I've been finishing 2nd or 3rd the last few weeks with relatively strong fields. Trevor has come over the last two weeks with me and he has taken the win. I've been able to take early leads (due to the jeep climb) and ride the singletrack at a fast enough pace to hold them for about the first two laps (of 3), but have run out of juice or had technical mistakes before the end. I say it every time I mention WTR, but what an awesome place to race!

My friend, and Almanzo organizer, Chris recently rode to Northern Minnesota. I joined him for day one. We wound our way down beautiful gravel roads through Douglas, Pine Island, Zumbrota, Welch, Hastings, Afton and on into Stillwater. I snapped some pictures, but haven't uploaded them yet. Now that we have a new computer I should be able to stay on top of that a bit more. We had a snack at the Stillwater Bikery and then I parted ways, crossed the River and road pavement down to Hudson and finally back to Hastings (thanks for giving me a ride home from there Dad!). In the end this was a 145 or so mile ride on a day with temperatures well into the upper 90s, and on a day when I had to work the next morning! This wound up being my last ride on the Vaya as I have since sold it. More on my gravel grinding plans later.

I also participated in the Wausau 24 on a four-man team with David, Tim and Frank. It was a great time! A wonderful course and a good training opportunity for me. I got to ride a few laps "all-out" and experience the atmosphere of riding through the middle of the night. In the end I made 7 laps with 3 of them being TT style, 3 of them consecutively from 1-4am, and the other just being plain slow in the late afternoon. In the end though that weekend was mostly about hanging out with friends, talking about and wrenching on bikes and having a few beers... all things we did a ton of. It was also nice to see a lot of friends I've made on various other rides out there in various capacities.

I was really looking forward to the White Tail Ridge "Border Battle" this weekend, but now I have a bit of a cold and am feeling a little run-down. It looks like I'll be taking a few days off now.

As I look forward from here I'm planning to pick one 8 or 12 hr mtb race later in the month, continue to hit the White Tail Ridge races and prep to do my best up in Duluth and also at St. Cloud in MN series races. I'm also currently planning on the Maplelag weekend, but have allowed thoughts of the Dakota 5-0 to enter in as well. We will see how I feel. I'm definitely looking forward to the Heck of the North and Night Nonsense as well...

So far as that gravel stuff goes (and with no Vaya as mentioned above) I've decided to go back to the Kona exclusively. I will be riding it single speed for the remaining gravel races and for the cx season. The decision to sell the Vaya came down to my deciding that I just didn't need it... What ride do I ever go on that I wouldn't go on if I didn't have it? I'm plenty comfortable on the Kona for long rides and for something like the trans-wisconsin in the future (next year???) I'm thinking I'd prefer to ride my Mamasita with some custom bags. Selling it off will also allow me to have a road bike. Should have pictures soon.

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