Turns out it was a setting issue associated with a blogger update that randomly coincided with the barely covered girls butt posting. I have unchecked that box, please still proceed with some caution when on work computers etc..
I'm going to ride both of these Sundays, either from my house or from the A&W in Spring Valley. I expect both days to be between 100 and 162 miles- likely about 100 this week and more like 130 the next. I know the area well and you are welcome to join up if you are interested. I'm thinking start time for this week will be 8 am and depending on how things go (and if anyone else wants to come with) I may start as early as 6:30 on the 24th in order to try to get as many miles in as possible. I can print maps if you are interested in riding at your own pace- they won't be detailed and will no reflect anything other than my own favorite gravels in the area between my house, st. charles and harmony.
My initial reaction that my postcard was not drawn from the bag was pretty ugly. I got over it and decided the best thing to do would be to do what I could to help support the race. Chris and I got to talking and made a tentative plan to head over there on bikes, get some solid miles in, have some fun and also support the race.
Three of us left Rochester at 5:30 Friday afternoon on what turned out to be an awesome ride. I was pleased to see that all my Almanzo kit had shown up earlier in the day- very happy with the fit/finish of this years stuff and absolutely love the light jacket. Weather was as good as it gets (even a slight tail wind) and the pace seemed to work for all of us. We started down highway 63, but with each subsequent turn we got further and further into the beautiful back road county and away from heavy traffic. 50 miles and 2.5 hrs later we rolled into Red Wing and headed straight to Fiesta Mexicana for some refueling, then caribou and finally a bit of a tour of downtown. Then the group retired to my parent's place to watch Leno and Craig Ferguson with a bottle of Darkness. It was as good a ride as I've ever been on.
About four hours later my alarm was going off and it was time to head down to Bev's for a breakfast of Biscuits and Gravy or Chorizo with eggs and potatos. The chorizo would stay with me for at least the next 4 hrs, but I did my best not to let it hold me back (my failing rear wheel would do enough of that). We were able to watch the start of the race, follow the racers over Lehrbach "pass" and then we took off for some Hills Dr., some rogue offroading in Frontenac State Park, town line sprints to both signs in Lake City and then a huge elevation gain back to the top of the bluff to the location from which we would set up shop to watch the race.
Photos (thanks Jony- I forgot my camera)-
We spent about 7 hours there beside the road cheering people on and offering our style of support- "beer, wine, coke, salami, brie, water, cigarettes"???. I hope we made some of the racer's days a little bit easier. I have a feeling we had the most fun of anyone involved. Maybe even more fun than if I'd been able to race.
I made it home around 8 pm with hopes of still getting out for the Revengeance ride to Millville Sunday am. I knew I'd have to rebuild my bike in order to do so. By the end of the ride Saturday I felt like I was dragging a sled and the rim was wobbling at least 2" from center. I unbolted the axle, pulled the wheel out of the dropouts and the guts of the hub slid right out to the drive side. I was still pretty buzzed. I took about a 10 second look at it and put it out of sight and out of mind. I did wind up getting the bike converted over to regular gears (attack gripshift with xtr/ultegra derailleurs similar to my 29er) but missed the group ride anyways, I was just too tired. I'm pretty scared to look into the situation with the nexus hub at this point- but would love to be able to use it for next winter as well.
Got in my first dirt singletrack ride of the year today! Eastwood is in surprisingly great shape. Thinking maybe I'll try to make it to Decorah on Sunday (racing Durand Sunday).
I've been getting my rides in over the last week, but the focus has definitely been on house and car stuff. I figured I'd share what I've been up to.
We decided that my old Tahoe was just that. It was time to replace it with something nicer and more likely to be reliable for the longterm. We also wanted a little bit better gas mileage. I wound up purchasing a Toyota Sequoia limited. Went with one on the cheaper end of what they sell for used and right away had to put a little bit of money into making it nice. Added 20" Toyota chrome wheels with summer tires (I'll paint the stock rims for winter use). The factory cd player was broken so added a Pioneer avh-2300dvd source unit which gives me a little more control equalizer wise and allows dvd/ipod/pandora etc. to play and has a 5.8" touch screen. I will be adding a small subwoofer and installing a back-up camera sometime in the next few months to finish that up. It also had a "tick" from a cracked exhaust manifold so we added JBA Cat4ward headers. Obviously the headers also meant that the rest of the exhaust system had to be replaced... so rounded that out with a stainless magnaflow muffler that I had laying around and dual pipes- Can't do that without a new high-flow air filer, so did that too. It's actually still real quiet, but you can defitely feel the power improvement. Feels the same as if you cut 300 or 400 lbs of weight from the vehicle. Those changes should also increase the mpg a bit due to increased efficiency.
Here is a picture-
If you are interested in the Tahoe I'm looking for offers over $3000. It has 215k miles and drives very well. Likely has hundreds of thousands of miles left in it, these things last forever.
Continuing on the car things- I have more or less been neglecting my "fun" car and just letting it sit in the garage. The C43 needed a new battery and a couple other small things done in order to be driveable. Sadly, the front brake rotors alone are $500 a piece... small things can add up fast on that thing! Anyways, I figured if I was going to "hold" it and have it take space in the garage I may as well use it. Changed the oil, battery, drained the gas etc. and got her running. Wow is it ever fun to drive too! Got to thinking a bit and decided I may as well combine my two favorite hobbies. Luckily I was able to find this stock Mercedes roof rack and Bicycle Sports helped to round it out with matching wheel holders and wind fairing. For those who haven't seen it before (I haven't mentioned it much in this space) this car is a 1999 C43 AMG. I've added a custom side-mount Eaton mp90 supercharger, air-water intercooler system, tons of gauges, some custom tuning software that lets me do some stuff with it via laptop and a ton of nice stereo equipment. It makes somewhere between 400-420hp and a bit more tq. Doesn't have a lot of traction, but will still do 0-100 in about 10 seconds. Next step is to isntall the massive 14" drilled rotors that showed up last week- before then I had better stay away from the 175 mph gearing limited top speed.
We are working on making our house nice too. Plan is for laminate flooring upstairs and new carpet down below. While we are making those changes we will also throw new paint on many of the walls, clean/redo/seal the grout on our ceramic tile, redo the floor in one of our bathrooms. Thankfully, my parent's came down yesterday and helped. We were able to tear out the upstairs carpet, install new dog control gates, clean the upstairs grout, tear down the old dog enclosure that we don't use, etc. etc., and of course make a whole bunch of plans for more things. Now I just need to figure out how to get all the junk out of my garage so the C43 can go back in.
Along with the house work I've also been trying to simplify my life and get rid of some extra posessions (this is not mean to be ironic with respect to the "extra" car as mentioned above). I've sold my large air compressor, car dollies, lawnmower, extra bike racks etc. on craigslist and still have many other items awaiting a buyer.
Perhaps you are in need of a 10 year old wakeboard, some air tools, 26" rim brake wheels, a flat bar Kona Jake the Snake or a 1988 Shasta Travel Trailer?
seriously, Jake the Snake is set up 2x9 and I'd sell for less than $400... you know you want it!
You can add this sweet trailer for another $3500, it's perfect for a 4 man team at a 24 hr race, and it weighs just 4500 lbs.