I'm alive

Broke my home computer and have been incredibly busy.

Basics are that I "quit" the trans wisconsin while in good standing due to some combination of a angry atv riders, sand and my own lack of fortitude. However, still put the miles in (and then some) during my time away from work. Had a wonderful time riding the first 300ish miles of the tw course, some random roads, all over Ironwood, minocqua etc. and also up at copper harbor. Rode a lot with my brother and it was great to see him doing so well! He is strong and riding well so soon after his ACL surgery!

Took about 160 images- would have been a lot more, but was low on batteries in the camera after about day 1 and had to conserve.

Would like to extend congratulations to all who took part in trans wisconsin.

A big part of the miles in put in last week were shorter "xc" style rides and I will be racing this weekend at "home" in Red Wing! As well as helping with timing for the earlier races as a volunteer. Should be an awesome weekend. Expect to see me at more xc races here for a while as well as at one 8-12 hr race per month or so (this month I'm doing levis-trow 100 and am on a team at wausau).

I'm also switching to a day shift for July and so will be able to hit up the weekly group rides and Thursday night races at will.

Will come back to and try to hit on the highlights of my "choose you're own adventure" style trans wisconsin and the rest of what turned out to be an incredible 10 day trip. Expect lots of pictures.



A vision quest is a rite of passage, similiar to an initiation, in some cultures. It is a turning point in life taken to find oneself and the intended spiritual and life direction. When an older child is ready, he or she will go on a personal, spiritual quest alone in the wilderness, often in conjunction with a period of fasting. This usually lasts for a number of days while the child is tuned into the spirit world. Usually, a Guardian animal will come in a vision or dream, and the child's life direction will appear at some point. The child returns to the tribe, and once the child has grown, will pursue that direction in life or in their cycling career. After a vision quest, the child may apprentice an adult in the tribe of the shown direction.

The vision quest may be a part of shamanism, more exactly, the learning and initiation process of the apprentice for achieving the ability for shamanizing, mostly under the guidance of an older shaman.

A vision quest may include long walks or rides in uninhabited, monotonous areas (tundra, inland, mountain); fasting; sleep deprivation; being closed in a small room (e.g. igloo). The technique may be similar to sensory deprivation to a rite of cleansing and purification. One objective is to commune with the other side.

In traditional Lakota culture the Hanblecheyapi (vision quest, literally "crying for a vision") is one of seven main rites. Vision quest preparations involve a time of fasting, the guidance of a tribal Medicine Man and sometimes ingestion of natural entheogens; this quest is undertaken for the first time in the early teenage years. The quest itself is usually a journey alone into the wilderness seeking personal growth and spiritual guidance from the spirit, sometimes Wakan Tanka. Traditionally, the seeker finds a place that they feel is special, and sits in a 10 foot circle and brings nothing in from society with the exception of water. A normal Vision Quest within this circle, in which time the seeker is forced to look into his soul.
usually lasts two to four days
It is said that a strong urge to leave the quest area will come to the seeker and a feeling of insanity may set in. However, the seeker normally overcomes this by reminding him or herself of the overall outcome of the quest, causing the mind to stop wandering on random thoughts. The individual can generally find solace in the fact that he or she will not die in just two to four days.

Some have claimed grand visions on their first Vision Quest while others have not. It is an individual experience and often subject to the emotional, spiritual, and physical make-up of the person.

Native American totems are said to be capable of speaking through all things, including messages or instructions in the form of an animal or bird. Generally a physical representation of the vision or message such as a feather, fur or a rock is collected and placed in the seeker's medicine bag to ensure the power of the vision will stay with the individual to remind, protect or guide him.

Since the beginning of this cycle of time, humanity has returned to nature to connect with spirit and to seek answers to problems of the physical realms, especially in this timeline when the messages of prophecy reveal themselves to the seeker.

There is something about being alone in the wilderness that brings us closer and more aware of the 4 elements and our connection to a creational source. We go to seek truths and divine realization, just as many of the ancient prophets did in their time.

In its own way, the vision quest is an Initiation not unlike the days of the ancient mystery school teachings where one learns about themselves and the mysteries of the universe are often revealed to them. It is a time of internal transformation and renewal. Physical surroundings allow the soul to move into the grid Who am I? Why am I here? or the collective unconsciousness.

Though the Vision Quest is associated with Native Americans traditions - it is practiced all over the world. As an expression of the archetypical "Heroic Journey," the vision quest has been enacted in religious pilgrimages, mythological tales (including the story of the search for the Holy Grail), and our own daily pursuit of truth and purpose. Today, there are companies such as salsa bicycles that sponsor these journeys. They provide a wilderness area in which it is to occur, and they give instructions and guidance before and after the event. It might take a day, a week, a month - whatever is necessary to complete the transformation and get the answer one seeks.


- able to ride fast

- able to camp out for long periods of time

- able to ride all day, day after day

- ability to get in and out of kwik trips in 10 minutes or less

- knowledge of first aid

- prepare sleeping equipment - or sleep on the ground.

- knowledge of spiritual things like meditation

- bring a spiritual instrument or bicycle so you can play or chant

- be comfortable with the solitude

- if the weather permits you may wish to remove all clothing or cover yourself in a blanket

- create a sacred stone circle on the ground in which the person sits

- a journal to record your experiences

Now you are ready to go out alone in nature to spend the time seeking greater truths through dreams, meditations or hallucinations. This transformational experience has been sometimes been done with the use of hallucinogens such as peyote, mescaline, and the South American Iawaska plant during sacred initiation rites. These plants were held as sacred teachers from the plant kingdom. The insights during the sacred space allowed the veils between this world and the next to be pulled back and for the individual voyager to transcend himself and this dimension. You may, or may not, understand the messages received. It may take time for you to process affecting dreams, synchronicities and more in your life.

The benefits of a vision quest

Curing emotional, physical, spiritual illnesses
Discover your mission here

Commune with nature, spirit, your spirit guides or deceased ancestors

Move beyond outmoded paradigms

Find truth, balance and peace

mostly stolen from-




Well, nothing more I can do training wise. Feel about as ready as I could hope to... this equates to feeling like I'm already road kill.

Lots of maps to make and ideas to ponder. I'm sure none of it will matter once I start. Will I ride 9 mph or 16? Will it rain? Will I ride 9 or 16 hrs a day? It's out of my control in a way. Will my maps/gps/resources be adequate enough for me to ride as close to the edge as I want to? Will I figure out why they call 'Deathrider' Deathrider? Will Mr. Farrow leave me for dead? Will he be so far ahead early that he won't even know I'm dead? I heard he only intends to stop for lightning and trains and not even for lightning if the 'boom' is more than 2 seconds coming.

Only thing I know is that I'm not going over there to go slow or wimp out. I don't prioritize my races so to speak, but my thoughts/actions do anyways. The Almanzo and Cheq 100 were things I took very seriously (and I certainly wanted to do well in the Ragnarok, Dirty Kanza, Sandwich 50 et. al), but this is a whole additional level.

If all else fails-





Laura and I picked out a camper today! 1988 Shasta 23.5' travel trailer. Pictures to come after we actually get it- hopefully in the next few days. I've never seen myself as a camper type person as I'm pretty comfortable in a tent. However, this should mean that Laura and the dogs can travel with me to more events in the future, which is always a good thing.

On a related note- I'm sleeping in the yard right now. Time to dial in what is comfortable for me sleeping bag/clothing wise etc. in my new Eureka Spitfire. Going to feel a bit weird to get up off the couch, walk across the yard in the rain and zip myself into a tent.

Lastly, my route is made to get me from here to Milltown cycles. Looking like a 110 mile round trip with plenty of gravel.

beach cruiser commuting

It's been a few weeks and I think I have to mention that this freaking rocks!

Moving through the city during the night is always an experience (for lack of better words) that shifts ones perspectives. It's also universally a ton of fun. On a good night my commute home becomes like a good freeskiing run- something you would never feel like during the day.

On top of that, the cruiser is just cool to me.


dirty kanza

Another great ride!

Long ride down to Emporia, but it was well worth it for a race of this caliber.

I was DNF city around mile 130- can't fully blame it on the weather or my conditioning as I also compounded the lack of those with significant fueling mistakes. Also, probably went out too hard for the conditions (but apparently wasn't exactly alone in that one).

Started out near front of field and wanted to stay there until the selection took place. I know I'm not as strong as the top guys, but figured if I hung on for 20 or 30 miles that they'd probably slow down to a pace I could keep up with and didn't think I could miss out on the opportunity to work with them. Was keeping up as planned for the first hr or so. There was a crash at mile 20??? and I stopped for a minute there and then flatted soon thereafter which spelled the end of being truly at the front for me. Little did I know that the 'main group' never existed. From talking to others it was apparently every man for themselves by mile 35 or so with most in groups of 1 or 2. Regardless, as I fixed my flat (for about 7 minutes- yeah, I suck) I was passed by literally 40 or 50 people. I spent the remaining 23 miles to the 1st checkpoint passing most of them back. Got a very large group about 2 miles before the checkpoint as if they were barely moving and had another racer jump from that group to ride with me. It was clear that we would ride together some and we discussed how much time we would take at the cp. Came in and was told I crossed somewhere in the low 20s place wise in 3:50??? (really don't know). Swapped bottles, drank a slimfast and threw the 'real' pump on my tire. Was surprised to find out that I only had 16-18 psi! Pumped her back up to 55 and got on the road.

Leaving cp1 quickly ran into Ryan H. and Ben D. so we had a group of 4. However, my legs didn't like the pace that Ben was putting down in the paceline so I had to let them go. Settled in and drank some more perpetuem and then some carbo rocket and had a spell of nausea and felt dizzy (this would become a theme). Stupidly decided that meant I needed to drink more and forced a bunch more down which quickly made it worse. I had probably greatly over estimated the number of liquid calories I could absorb per hr in such hot temperatures and should have been drinking more pure water + maybe eating solid foods that absorbed slower... regardless at this point I now felt like hell and only 5 hrs into my ride and before the temperatures had really started to soar. I was also stupidly thinking that what I needed was more liquid and more calories. Regardless of all those issues I just kept riding. At some point here I stopped in the shade and urinated. After another hr or so I began to feel pretty good and rode strong into cp2. I was feeling great and had no ridden about 103 miles in 6:30. Made a fast turnaround there at cp2 and got on the road after drinking another 20 oz/300 calories or so. At that point there were still roughly 15 people ahead of me and they were showing no signs of slowing. I thought that I would have to keep up a pretty solid pace and was hoping to finish in another 8-8.5 hrs tops. That also felt very possible at that point in time- I felt very strong. Certainly better than I had expected to over 100 miles and certainly better than I had felt the week before at mile 100 (in Lacrosse).

25 minutes after cp2 I got dizzy/sick once again (probably from the calories I pounded back that the cp, doh!). This time jumped off my bike and walked a bit, but quickly overcame the bad feelings and got back on the bike. Focused on drinking more. The next 2 hrs just went to hell. It was ridiculously hot and the roads were hard, but I couldn't figure out why I felt so bad. I felt tho the worst I've ever felt on my bike. It was very frustrating because I thought I was prepared for the situation. I was gagging on everything I tried to drink, but thought I needed to force myself to drink more (both energy drink and water). At some point here people started passing me like I wasn't moving. I could only ride 9 or 10 miles per hr. I called my dad. I walked a while and rode a little more. I was weaving back and forth across the road. I was still trying to force myself to drink more. I called my dad again and told him I was done. Still felt good enough that I told him I would ride down the paved road toward him. Got back on my bike and fell.

I found a nice place to sit and wait. Well, as nice a place as you can find beside a road in the middle of no where in 99? degree heat with no shade. I was at mile 130 and the clock was now somewhere around 10 hrs. Saw that Ryan H. had also quit and spoke to him briefly as he was being 'sagged' away (remember nothing else from that conversation). Finally my dad showed up and helped me find a cold/wet towel. At this point I physically couldn't drink anymore without becoming extremely sick and so I just stopped trying. Had to have him stop the car 2 or 3 times on the way back to the hotel so that I could fight through waves of nausea. Made it back to the hotel, up the stairs and into the bed (still in full kit). Didn't move for about an hr because any movement made me nauseous. By 2 hrs of laying there watching tv I felt almost normal, I drank a few sips of soda and didn't get sick. I urinated again. After 2.5 hrs I was ready to go find some dinner (Applebees) and then hit up the awards ceremony plus watch the finish. No clue why I recovered so fast if the 'problem' hadn't been just too many calories for what I could handle- it doesn't seem to have been a pure heat response. Not very happy that I screwed myself up the way I did and wasn't smart enough to recognize what was going on after my 'recovery' (which occured over an hr after I stopped forcing myself to drink/eat) after my first bout between cp1 and cp2. Perhaps that what I get for doing things differently at the race than in training... last week I drank 40 oz perpetuem, 120 oz water, 70 oz gas station brand gatorade, 60 oz of diet coke at mcdonalds and 12 oz regular coke in 14 hrs. This week I drank 130+ oz of perpetuem, 60 oz carborocket, 100 oz water and 24 oz slimfast in 10 hrs. The temperaures were just a touch hotter this weekend, but not by all that much. I do not know what I was thinking. I do hope that this experience didn't ruin the flavor of perpetuem for me forever.

Leaving that aside- virtually everyone in the race slowed down drastically at some point over the 70 miles of the course that I had not made. It's shocking the effect the day's temperature must have had on a lot of guys that I have a ton of respect for. You'll have to check the main dirty kanza website for results, but if you consider that there were 15 or so people who completed 100 miles in less than 6:30 (some of them well ahead of that too) and only 3 finishers under 15 hrs you can get an idea of the suffering that must have taken place out there. Suffering that I don't think I was truly ready to endure.

I hope to be back next year and to be able to apply what I learned in an intelligent manner. Congratulations to all the finishers!

Next up for me is going to be a getting out for some mountain bike rides on my new 2010 Mamasita!!! Plus a nice 110-120 mile loop up to Faribault later in the week on the vaya to pick up my brake levers. Then it will be 8 days of pure r&r.


saving the planet with Quiznos

.99 cent bag from Quiznos means free drinks and a re-usable bag to carry my lunches in.

too bad the bag is such a hideous man purse abomination

I decided I had to draw on mine to spruce it up