Out the door at 5:30 with the Moon at my back and the rising Sun to the front.

Beautiful early morning roads as I quickly got out of Rochester.

Not alone in enjoying the early sunshine (and the still sub-90 degree temperatures)

A few hrs had passed and "sand hill road" had been conquered, this was along a great road winding it's way toward the Rushford area.

More from between I90 and Rushford. Great bluff region with many gravel roads- sort of like the new Almanzo course but amplified on every level. Couldn't resist the shot of the bike itself.

The Root River Trail. I had gone 25 or 30 miles out of my way in order to ride this and I was not at all disappointed.

Bicycle art and Segway rentals marked the end of the Root River Trail for me. The temperature was now approaching 90 and I was around 80 miles. I had left home intending to be in LaCrosse by mile 76, but still had at least 15 miles left to cross the mighty mississippi.

I was stuck on pavement for much too much of the ride from there down to Hokah. The views were great, but the roads here had no issues with going right up and over far too many of the bluffs for my tastes. I was beginning to feel like I might bonk and new that I needed more food and water, but decided to push it hard and fight through it instead. My plan had been to make LaCrosse and I would do that- come the Trans-Wisconsin race I likely wouldn't have so many 'convenient' gas stations along my route. I thought things were going well, but then I realized I was hallucinating...

Or was I? Usually when I'm riding I start to imagine food, air conditioning, beer and coca-cola. Seeing something else as a mirage probably should have tipped me off that it was real. Regardless, the picture proves it. Now try to picture how this looked from half a mile away across the shimmering heat of the valley.

I was at mile 88 or so now and the temperature seemed to be rising faster than my odometer. For some reason my butt was starting to hurt from my saddle and I was spending more time thinking about that/coasting than I was actually pedalling.

The low-point of my entire weekend came near here. It was another hallucination. There was another attractive girl (weird huh?), this time riding in front of me. She was on a Raleigh mountain bike with running shoes, jean shorts and a tank top. I wasn't gaining on her. We rode like this for at least a mile before my pride got the better of me and I decided I would turn it up and pass her because I just had to. I did slow up beside her in order to ask if she knew how to connect to the 'great river trail' as it left the other side of LaCrosse. Her response was roughly what I would have expected if I had pulled up in a 1983 fullsize van and asked if she needed a ride. God knows what I probably looked like at that point- 7 hrs into my day, near bonk, what kind of a creeper has panniers on their bike anyways? That encounter left me thinking about Hunter S Thompson and his classic coverage of the Kentucky Derby. In short, he goes looking for a certain kind of person in order to see what the thing is all about... in so doing he becomes what he was looking for to the fullest. I'm not sure what I was looking for or what I'd become. Regardless, those thoughts had gotten me a bit down the road and thankfully I'd outpaced my buxom competition (I double checked that she was still back there- still just barely in sight).

Wisconsin! Nice to be there. Felt good to be over the River. Decided to press on to the far end of town before I ate. Knew I wouldn't be making it all the way to Barneveld as had been one of my original plans/options. I was already 30 miles over my planned distance and I knew I needed a legitimate break. Decided on Applebees, was seated, was ignored for 10 minutes, very angry, left for McDonalds. Emerged feeling great and began to try to find my way to the beginning of the trail. My GPS was showing a location, but I couldn't get to it. I decided to leave town on roads that I knew would eventually cross the trail.

7 miles later I crossed the trail...

down this

across that

too bad those were the two most exciting things that happened for the next 15 miles- a spot of shade and a train! It was hot and it was boring.

There's some proof I was getting bored. That trail was no place to be 120+ miles into the day in 90+ degree weather.

Then I hit Sparta and the beginning of the 32 mile Elroy-Sparta trail. The majority of that trail is shaded, it has some ups and downs and three awesome tunnels. My day was looking up.

Sorry that I didn't take more pictures along the trail. It was scenic the whole time, but rarely anything cool enough to actually trigger pulling the camera out.

I pulled into Elroy with about 170 miles on the odometer, found a nice place to sleep and a wonderful Prime Rib dinner.

Was back on the road at 6 Sunday morning. I had orinally planned to continue on to Barneveld whether I got there on Saturday or Sunday morning. However, I spoke to Laura Saturday night and we would be bringing the remaining foster dog, Diesel, to the East side of Madison to meet his new family. It wouldn't make any sense for me to stray so far away from I90, just for her to then have to come pick me up. The new plan for Sunday morning was to explore the Winsonsin Dells area. This was good new to me! I was ready to get off the rail trail and up into the hills a bit. Nothing wrong with the rail trails, but I'd had enough!

Those are all the pictures I took. Saw a lot of cool stuff, but it's harder to take a photo while moving on a road and the camera stayed in the bag most of the way. About an hr into my ride I realized my butt hurt pretty bad once again... for some reason at that time it was blatantly clear to me that it was probably the fox DH shorts I was wearing over my bibs that was causing the pain. I removed them and the pain went away. Wish I would have realized that about 12 hrs or riding earlier and the day before.

Wound up meeting Laura at 10:30 or so in the Dells after an almost 70 mile ride on mostly pavement.

The Vaya was a good partner through everything (except for the DH short issues). I could try to say more, but doubt it's necessary or would be interesting.


thanks to ben witt, salsa cycles particularly joe and tim, and discover card!

I will have a new mamasita and vaya to ride this weekend! cheq 100 did in the '08 mamasita and the vaya seems like a good enough fit to replace the never completed custom. I shall ride the vaya to barneveld saturday/sunday am maybe (not sure where I will spend the night yet), meet laura there and then break in the new mamasita on the sharp rocks and technical climbs that are blue mounds! very grateful to hae both frames for a palatable sum of $$.

It's now about time for bed. I got everything done so far as converting the Kona to single speed. Swapped the carbon cranks to the Ultegra 9 speed cranks with a 52t ring, swapped the selle italia saddle for a devo, installed singlator, surly 20t cog and new chain, removed all the unneeded stuff. Just waiting on cane creek brake levers and it will be fully good to go. Took it for a quick spin around the neighborhood with no brakes... and I can see that it is going to have some awesome potential! It's going to take the "back-burner" here for a bit when the Vaya and the new Mamasita show up, but I certainly expect it to get used a lot. I would bet it gets as many miles on it the remainder of the year as either of those other bikes. I'm curious to see if I will wind up racing something like the Heck of the North on the Vaya or the Kona? I know the Vaya will be great for Dirty Kanza and Trans Wisconsin and a few long weekend trips too, but I am not sure what a Vaya with all my light/racy type cx parts will really be like. The only ones I've ridden have admittedly been a bit sluggish, but they've also had the stock salsa build on them and have not been set up for my tastes so far as the seating position etc. at all. I suppose I'll have a better idea soon.



well, some crazy epic awesome stuff went on this weekend. In the end my race was a disqualification as I simply got too lost too many times. Anything else would have been a lie. Didn't matter too much though- did everything (and more) that I had wanted to. Thanks to everyone involved in making the Chequamagon 100 happen and to all the other riders who showed up and gave it their all!

managed to squeeze 80+ miles of singletrack, quite a bit of nasty gravel road and ski trail and 36 holes of golf into the last two days.

Friday- Huge thanks to Ben Witt and Milltown Cycles for hooking me up with a quick overnight order from QBP. They were more than willing to help me when I was in a bind and went far above and beyond what was necessary. The order hadn't gone through in time he sent an employee all the way to Bloomington to pick it up in order to help me out, simply amazing service. Installed my new brake adaptor (post mount fork to is mount disc), 185mm front rotor and thus was able to run the new to me xtr m-975 brakes I just got on my reba. Which was huge because my other options were either Juicy 7s that need the rear lever rebuilt or run rigid for 100+ miles Saturday. It was nice to talk to him and cool to see his shop too. I may be ordering a new frame from him at some point soon, but no time for details on that. Next I went to Red Wing and picked up my mom and we continued on to Hayward. Met my father up there and we all had a great dinner and a couple of beers at the Angry Minnow. Ended the night with some River Monsters and a lot of sleeplessness.

Saturday- Race on! 5:30 wake-up. Left parking lot of Hotel at 6, weird noise, huge chunk of metal in tire, no air in tire... thanking Mini for the run flats. Back to the hotel, ride from Dad to the race, everything was a blur, barely even talked to or saw anyone, sooo early for me and I was trying to focus.

The race started incredibly- tried to pace myself right. Settled into 2nd or 3rd "group" on the long ski trail/gravel style prologue prior to any sustained singletrack. Figured I'd be happy to stay there, was with a some strong people, worried I'd drop back further, didn't know what would happen later. We hit singletrack and I kept up and felt pretty good. The bike was flowing under me and things were smooth. Realized the xtr brakes are amazing. More singletrack and the group split a bit. Was near the front- felt I could ride faster than the group pace without really working harder on the singletrack if I got out front. Came out of the singletrack and caught a glimpse of the group in front of me- split second decision to go for it. Made it across gap, Death Rider came with me as well. Was able to settle in and hang on with that group. More singletrack and I took the lead into it, so much fun, awesome flowy trail. Things were just 'working' at this point. Bike functioned right, I felt good, trail was beautiful and it was just an amazing combination. This 12 or 14 miles goes down in the all-time great memories. That 50 or 60 minutes alone would have made all the 'work' I've been doing worth it. Things got confused, no one was sure where to go, people from behind caught up and still no one was sure about route. Lots of stopping and reading maps. Burped some air and became a group of 1. Missed a turn, got frustrated, pressed on. Found myself almost 8 miles over the expected distance as I rolled into the checkpoint and refreshed my water/food. Found new life there because the other 'chasers' hadn't yet left (made me feel better about the getting lost stuff anyways). Pressed on and felt great about it. Confusion, confusion, confusion... lost. Sorted things out and pressed on, realized I'd skipped a section or two. Pressed on. Disqualified myself. Feel great about all of it.

Quick stretch and a shower and off to the golf course with my parents. Felt surprisingly good, hit some solid shots. Nice to hang out with parents.

Original Famous Dave's for dinner

After the race party at the Angry Minnow. Great to talk to people and hear their experiences. Everyone was happy- this race will be on my calendar for as long as I can get in it and ride a bike... pretty sure most others feel the same way! Huge props to the organizers and to those who built those great trails.

Sunday- Rock Lake at 10am! Made a 2 hr or so lap out of the trail. Two laps of Hildebrand Lake loop, rest of Rock Lake once. Felt pretty good and kept the speed up. Rock Lake is a great opportunity for me to work on my technical skills and can't miss out on that. Sure was easier for me than last spring when I rode the same trails, good to keep some perspective.

Lunch in Hayward at the fisherman's grille? or something close to that. Nice place to sit outside and decent food.

18 more holes of golf! This time at White Eagle north of Hudson. Great weather, beautiful course (albeit a bit 'tight' for my tastes). Hit it a bit better. Didn't score any better. Definitely had a great time.

Looks like tomorrow will be a day of rest as much as possible. Big training week is in the works- xc type rides Tuesday/Wednesday, long road ride Thursday and a whole lot of Blue Mounds over the weekend looks like the plan.


cheq 100

quick (as in short) spin at eastwood today with all the 'stuff' on my bike that I wil be carrying this weekend- 150 oz of water, 10 oz of hammer gel, assorted salted nut rolls and rice krispy bars, chain tool!, 2 extra quick links, pump, two tubes, patch kit, lezyne multi-tool, large/small zip ties, extra perpetuem powder for refilling, derailleur hanger, cash, cell phone, 2 oz stans sealant, small suntan lotion, wet wipes, spare aa batteries and duct tape. strangely that all comes out to being barely noticeable on the bike. weather reports are looking very warm though so im stuck with camelbak to get the amount of water I think I need, otherwise I don't need it for storage... sort of a dilemma whether to carry it or not- maybe throw bottle in jersey pocket? will be game-time decision. looking forward to this so much. no nerves, don't have expectations. want to finish well and become rich and famous, but what would that mean? plan is to catch some amnesia and ride each trail and each section as if it were the only one. Its an opportunity just to get to ride such awesome trails and with a couple hundred other riders of like mind!



That's the only shot I took all day- no time for pictures, sorry. I will try to steal some from someone else here soon. Someone took a couple of Charlie Farrow and I leading the Peloton at about mile 30 and I'd love to get one of that!

Chris went above and beyond. Everything from the check-in gathering at Kathy's to the hand-shakes, cokes, cookies and place to hang out at the finish was just about perfect. It was cool to see the huge number of entrants show up and amazing that they were all there to ride 100 miles of gravel.

I rested most of the week other than some commuting, but still was feeling a bit tired Thursday and Friday. I was worried that I'd partied too much at the concert and had caught the same bug that Laura had (she hasn't worked since last Monday or so due to being sick). I was careful to rest as much as possible and eat "good" meals Thursday and Friday and it all turned out to be nothing but worries. Saturday AM dawned beautiful and I was feeling well-rested and healthy. Finally, a race day where I felt ready. I felt calm, healthy, organized, ready, whatever.

Enjoyed seeing some friends prior to the race start, but tried to keep focused on how I wanted to ride. My plan for this race was to ride aggressively- no better way to put it. I've spent much of the last 6 months preparing to be able to ride 100+ miles of gravel, and yesterday was a chance to at least "act as if" I was ready to do it. I would climb hard, ride at the front of groups, take risks and let the consequences be what they would. I put aside the doubts that had crept in after my relative failures at the Ragnarok and the Sandwich 50.

The start was relatively calm and it was nice to get going. Worked enough to stay in touch with front, went all the way to front prior to the big downhill... may have saved my day. Joe Meiser almost went down in front of me (with me right behind him), but pulled it out. However, some number of riders behind us did fall in the same spot. At least a couple of them were hurt bad enough to end their days. At the time I had no idea though, as I was busy fighting up the first small climb and into another fast downhill near the front.

About 10 miles in we had the first long climb (which I believe to be the largest of the day too) and I took the lead going in. It was a hill I had ridden a few times in training and I knew how hard I could go within my safety zone. I crested the hill near enough the front, but didn't have enough left for the next little one and I wound up off the back a bit. However, I/we were quickly able to re-organize and a few of us took turns at the front reeling in other stragglers and eventually the main group. Rode with the main group at a comfortable pace for the next hr or hr and a half or so and then the group split. The few people who got "away" at this point were straight up FLYING. I wound up in a chase group with some strong riders and we collected more. I should have just sat where I was and worked with that group for as long as possible. However, I had to pee and thought I could ride faster than that group anyways (stupidly). I tried to jump out ahead of them and quickly jump off and pee- but couldn't. Took me literally 90-100 seconds to pee. Group was 60-70 seconds ahead of me and they stayed there for a long time. They eventually pulled ahead. I was kicking myself for stopping and also kicking myself for not trying harder to close the gap RIGHT AWAY rather than waiting and giving half-assed chase for a while. I should have been less sure of myself.

Meanwhile I was still making great time. Didn't catch any riders before it, but I pulled into the 64? mile checkpoint at about 3:34 e.t., swapped water bottles and was on the road by 3:35. I was in a good rhythm at this point and kept pushing my pace. Rode with another fellow for a while, but really only helped him catch 3 riders in front of us while hurting myself too much to seal the deal. Had a rough time of it from mile 80-92 or so- lots of doubts, thoughts of walking the final climbs. Two guys caught me from behind (who had been ahead but had gotten off course a bit) and a strange thing happened... The second they caught me I felt rejuvenated. It was nice to have someone to talk to and something to take my mind off of the way my legs and lower back felt. I rode the two remaining climbs reasonably strongly and we all rode hard across the flats back into town. Those guys sort of saved my day, without them I might have limped in 5 or 10 minutes slower than I did- thanks!

In the end I had my finish time at about 5:45 and I don't know or really care what place I got (although I believe it was in the teens). I feel great about that time even with the beautiful, easy, low wind conditions. I had ridden a time that represented the best of my training rides and done so mostly without "draft" type help from others. It felt great to get that handshake from Chris, lay down by the cooler of coke and talk to my competitors.

On the way home I couldn't help but ask myself if it was worth it? Last years Almanzo had been the 2nd time I'd ever ridden 100 miles and the first time I'd done it offroad. In some ways much of the last 12 months had been working towards going faster this year. There had been a lot of early mornings, late nights, cold days, "no I can't have another drinks", "i need to head home and get to sleeps" and suffering. When I first started thinking about it the answer was "no", it wasn't worth it. What's going 2:20 faster over 100 miles of gravel? What does that even mean and who does it mean anything to? Then I started driving home. I drove by the spot where I stopped and ate rolos back on January 1st, the farm with the huge black mutt, the road that I found late in the spring which allowed me to ride just the "best parts" of a few of my routes, the road down to stagecoach and the little bit of gravel that is closest to my house. I thought about all the times I'd ridden those roads and I remembered how much fun I'd had.


survived the concert

Left work at 5 so that Laura and I could do some eating/drinking prior to the show. We wound up at Dooley's (nice newer bar/restaurant in town) for a few beers and I had a great chicken philly. Next stop was Pescara's bar, where I'm sure we were way too rowdy for the atmosphere- but we enjoyed having a couple more drinks and speaking to some surgeon in town for the week. I was feeling pretty blitzed by the time we moved on from there, but the adrenaline kicked in soon enough.

We got inside soon after Alice had begun his set and things were already pretty crazy down on the floor. We left the floor a couple times for beers/drinks and also bought some t-shirts. I, without thinking, purchased a shirt that said something along the lines of "corpse eating, zombie fucking, god damn, something or another" on the back... Laura took one look at it and attacked it with her teeth in order to remove the word god. Little did it matter, I figured that only made it better.

Not long after that the set was over and it was time for the mayhem to begin. We pushed our way to center stage, roughly 80' from the stage and in the epicenter of approximately 2500-3000 crazed, drunken, zombie lovin' Rochesterites? Zombie played a really heavy/hard mix if his tunes- none of the more artsy or folksy stuff and the crowd absolutely rocked with him the entire time. The accoustics were great up front and everything was just frenzied. "Thunder kiss '65" was absolutely fucking nuts. We made it through the entire set without relinquishing our positions or missing any of the show. Impressed with Laura for pushing through. Shocked how much energy I burned out there. Slept until about 1 pm yesterday, still feeling tired and sore. Wish I'd been able to drive over to Mankato last night for Seether!

Was in no shape for riding yesterday so I did some work on my bikes- installed a Nashbar carbon fork on my Kona (remember that my winwood muddy cx was too short steerer wise... and also after having these both in my hand at the same time I'm absolutely convinced they are identical), fixed the brakes on the Mamasita and weighed the bikes. I don't really care that much how much my bikes weigh- hence not weighing them until now, but I was beginning to get curious. I left them as they were with the computers, two bottle cages, pedals, spare tube etc. all on as that's how I race them anyways and got about 23 lbs for the Mamasita (this was with the Reba), 19.5 for the Kona, just under 25 for the Marin (with the heavy 29" p35 up front and rhynolite rear), and.... drumroll...... 36 lbs for the Rio Cruz exactly how it was raced at the Sandwich! Not sure what any of that means- I'll be super happy if I just never break anything on my bike again, and I think I've been buying appropriate parts to that end as well... some of them just happen to be pretty light too.

I did order 4 xtr level shimano chains- this last chain issue was truly my fault, why should I have expected a chain that had seen everything from the Halloween race at Hillside to triple D to multiple attempts at 100 miles of winter gravel in January to CIRREM to still be functional??? However, I just decided that if I needed to swap them out more often that the $25 price I was able to get on the xtr for 9 speed and $35 for 10 speed was worth the savings vs. the KMCs I'd been running. I've also still always been happy with all my Shimano bits that I've owned. Certainly still plan to run quick-links with these for what thats worth.

Now to work 5 hrs today and 5 more tomorrow while I rest and ready myself for the Almanzo. I've already been losing sleep daydreaming about breakaways and the like. I know they are only fantastical dreams, but at least I'm not dreaming about breaking crap or bonking eh?


new commuter, post race write-up etc.

I've been half-assed searching craigslist and garage sales the last few weeks for an uber cheap commuter bike. I intend to use my Kona set up single speed after my custom frame gets done for most commuting, but that date is looking a bit murky yet and it's always fun to look at bikes. I found this (actually, "these" as I got the matching women's one as well).

I'd already swapped the bars out at that point and have since changed seatposts and added my old brooks. Tomorrow should be my first actual commute on it (but I do already have about 12 miles of singletrack on the "rio cruz"... more on this later). Tomorrow should also be a great day. A few hrs of work and then-


I rode hard on Tuesday/Wednesday and then more or less took the rest of the week off in order to recover a bit and get ready for the Sandwich 50. Which itself was going to be all about getting ready for the Cheq 100.

Tim was also riding in the 50 and made the trip over from Mankato Saturday evening. We spent a few hrs talking and preparing our food/drink for the race and I turned in as early as I could.

Race day turned out to be beautiful weather wise (no small surprise after the SNOW not so long ago) and the race was impressively organized and overall had a great atmosphere right from the beginning. I had a plan and I wanted to stick to it. The key details were that I thought I could make consistent 38-40 minute laps without getting too tired early on, that I would hope to turn it up a bit with 2 laps to go and then really turn it on after cardiac on the 2nd to last lap (if possible), and that I would follow a reasonably strict schedule of perpetuem and accelerade bottle drinking (trying to test the viability of not taking in any "food" calories). My main goals were to have a showing I could be proud of and that would show improvement from what I've done in the past, to follow my "plan" and to get a better feel for how to ride the cheq 100 race.

The race started poorly- I was uncomfortable with the moisture in the trail with my racing ralphs and burned more energy in the first lap than I wanted to because I had to pedal harder out of corners to keep the spot I wanted. It also simply caused me stress because I felt technically deficient compared to the people around me whom I wanted to beat. However, things dried out fairly quickly and I was able to settle into a rhythm of making laps reasonably close to what I had wanted to do. I stopped to pee on lap 3 and went just over 40 minutes, but the others were right in there with what I wanted. I definitely felt like I was pushing it as hard as I wanted to for the first 4 laps and I was watching a few of my competitors put a lot of distance on me, but I tried to stay calm and wait it out. I told myself that pushing it harder would lead to slowing down later. By lap 5 I could tell I was regaining on some and actually making a pass or two with the potential for more to come if i could maintain my pace. I started lap 6 feeling pretty strong and was about a minute ahead of my earlier pace through the 15 minute mark (when I first hit the field). However, I broke my chain and quickly found out that the spare quick-link I had on me was for a 10-speed. All the way around this was unexcusable- I knew the chain was a bit old, I knew I'd also broken it once at Ragnarok, I remembered my past mechanicals (particularly the chain related ones), I didn't prioritize this race quite high enough to change it and now I deeply regret it. Putting the new one on before this rather than after it would have saved me $5 of wear and tear on the new chain???? MAYBE. Never again. At least my crankarm didn't fall off.

What I had learned-

I still felt strong and cramp/sore spot free after the 40 miles on the salsa. Maybe I should have pushed harder, but regardless this bodes will for the future races. This one is pretty short compared to my next 3.

My nutrition/hydration was working great- will try similar system for the Almanzo.

I shouldn't be afraid to swap to the mud tires- or did I learn that I shouldn't be afraid to go slower early before things dry out???

I hate watching people I want to beat get ahead of me, but I can stick to my plan and hopefully reel them in later. Probably a good thing.

I need new pedals for the rio cruz... ones not made of smooth plastic designed to be used barefoot.

I asked a few riders if they had a quick link as they came by. I fixed my chain by just pushing a pin through, but it broke again soon thereafter. I knew I wouldn't be able to hammer out the last 10 miles like I wanted to. Ron Moffit was incredibly awesome all day and was handing out beer and bacon less than 200 yards away in the woods... I partook. I then walked the rest of the way back to the gazebo with my bike and grabbed another beer and the rio cruz and finished the lap (59 minute total!). I stopped 3 times to "reload" and 2 or 3 other times to go over the bars when I forgot I couldn't pedal backwards to "level" my pedals before going over a log or other obstacle. The last lap took 1:15, but it was a great time. Sadly, I don't think anyone got any pictures of me riding the cruiser. Here are a couple from the race-

That was on the first lap and the gap got bigger, but I spent much of the day very aware of how far behind Mark C. I was, he was the guy directly in front of my 95% of the time. I was hoping to be able to catch him late- but in the end he's the one who caught a bunch of people late. Strong rider, and he made a running lap after the race (which mostly just made me really jealous that he can run and I can't, but I'll give him props for being a badass).

Tim, looking awesome. Makes Eastwood look good there too. His day went about like mine and he too ended on a bike other than what he started with (but his was a borrowed fs). I'm pretty sure he still had a great time. I'm hoping to get him out for a few more long things like this this year- maybe WEMS at LaCrosse and Blue Mounds???

After the race, and Tim collected his prize (not sure what he won? but he is really cool and he certainly deserved a vhs sopranos box set! even if he did leave it in my Tahoe and not take it with him when he went home) we hit up Whistle Binkies, cleaned/fixed our bikes as much as possible and then rode downtown to hit up the bars etc.. I was thinking I'd show him what was good in Rochester- bike trail, outdoor beers by the river at Gilligans (ok, maybe that isn't that good anyways- but I thought it would be relaxed and nice on a Sunday), Kathy's rooftop. Of course they didn't have the outside open at Gilligans or the rooftop open at Kathy's... heh. We still had a good time.

Early morning today, alarm at 9! Meeting at 10. Got to work and found it had been cancelled. Crap. Headed home and Tim, his friend Luke, and I took off for Stagecoach. Luke brought his DH bike so we spent some time running the DH and also made an almost complete lap of the xc. Luke was impressive and hit everything I showed him, which is definitely some of the gnarliest dh in the midwest. Tim and I stayed off the big stuff, but I had some fun with the smaller drops and kickers. The p35s tubeless and the 80mm of plush reba travel were working together to feel mega-plush to me. It's amazing what riding rigid for a while will do to your perception. I may post pictures or videos if I get them from Tim, but it wouldn't be a 'secret' trail if I posted too much either... of course. I believe it's ALL going to be on state land here very soon and the DH may be completely going away. I wonder if it might be possible to work together with a larger group of people and really get the area opened up for use. I'm sort of scared to mess with the status-quo and after other recent trail related disappointments here in the Rochester area I'm afraid to call extra attention to it for fear that it will have the opposite effect from what I'd want. I will ask around a bit though for sure.

For now- need to sleep. Work will come early tomorrow. Plan is to get in by 10:30 at the latest. The rest of my week is all crazy schedule wise too, but the good news is that it should let me get out and ride a bit Wednesday and then rest Thursday and Friday before the Almanzo. The plan for the Almanzo will be a bit different- I will do everything in my power not to let anyone get ahead of me there until the last couple miles even if it means I wind up laying beside the road somewhere. In it to win it, so to speak... (although I won't need to actually win "win" to feel like I won)


sense of foreboding

Had a pretty good Eastwood Tuesday race yesterday- could have been better, but overall very happy.

Worked a true "split-shift" today such that I got a 5 hr lunch in the middle... and thus was able to attend the Wednesday night bicycle sports group ride on my Kona. Felt the strongest yet- but still burned myself up by attacking just about every climb. It was pretty cool that there was a group to push on me all the time (who also weren't way faster than me, heh).

Had to grab a quick dinner and got a stomache ache prior to returning to work. Then security came and yelled at me for bringing my bike into the building- "don't you know there are bike racks?"... "sorry sir, I normally use them. In fact I did just this morning, but I had this thing tonight and rode a bike I'm scared of having stolen". In the end he let me keep it here until my shift is over for the night. This was about an hr ago and I still have this nasty feeling that's not going away... was feeling pretty great about my riding and progress and now just feel "off" about everything.



paws and claws dog walk, rode around town a while, made a lap at Eastwood on the cx bike (fricking fun- would have been even better with better "mud" tires than my dry plus 32s after yesterdays rain), rode with Chris, rode Mamasita at Eastwood with Mike... now I will drink.