How to deal with dogs while riding (and not be an asshole)

Use these tips at your own risk.  This is how I approach these situations and a way that I believe is the correct way to do so, but that is all it is.

Do not use any of these methods if you are not comfortable.

Dogs are nice.  They all have human owners, some of whom aren't always that nice.  It's not the dogs fault.  Being aggressive to a dog is stupid-  the dog will follow suit.  You will have controlled the situation and basically assured yourself of a confrontation.   You will walk away thinking-  wow that dog was super aggressive!  Good thing I acted first and scared it!  You will be wrong, you will be going down the route that results in you or someone else eventually getting bit.  Dogs are aggressive, erratic and dangerous when scared.

On back roads approach the dog with the idea that it wants to be friends.   Dogs like humans!  If you show the dog that you are a human and not a bicycle/antelope/predator/threat/prey/beast it will be happy.  Saying common "dog" words such as "puppy, sit, back, down, home" in an even tone, getting off your bike and offering the back of your hand (some dogs take a raised palm to mean aggression), keeping a neutral/calm state of mind and avoiding sudden movements are all good ideas.  Do not make direct eye contact or move directly toward the dog.  If you are uncertain get off your bike with your bike between you and the dog, but do not swing your bike at the dog (unless you are trying to cause a confrontation).  These dogs don't often see bikes-  it is on each of us to "train" them that bikes are a good, and friendly, thing.  I'd rather have you littering gu packages and pissing in lawns than acting aggressively toward a dog and turning it forever against people on bikes.

Caveat-  some dogs have had enough bad experiences or bad enough owners that they will not fully respond to kindness.  Observe the dogs behavior and do not over do things.  If the dog continues to act very aggressively after you have shown it that you are a kind human you should keep your bike between you and the dog and slowly walk it out of the dogs territory.  Aggressive action on your part even in this situation is counter-productive.  You may want to detour to the front door of the dogs owner's home and discuss it with them in as friendly a manner as possible.  If you must hit, squirt,  yell, strike, punish or threaten anyone or anything in the situation save it for them.

On paved roads approach dogs and assume that they will stay in their yard.  Most often dogs that live along major roads have been trained or have invisible fencing.  If they chase you out onto the road you must quickly assess the situation.  I know it is not often logical to come to a full stop on a road group ride.  I think it is ok to quickly outrun the dog and move on about your day.  If the dog is out in front of you and has already entered the road it is best to stop, show it that your a human and hope for the best.  You do not want to swerve and risk being hit by a car.  The worst (and seemingly very common) thing you can do in this situation is to slow, swerve, try to hit/kick/squirt etc. the dog and wind up in a battle royale with the dog as you go down the road.  You are endangering yourself and the dog.  Don't think for a minute that some texting motorist won't see the dog first and swerve right into you!  If you know there is a dog that will chase you onto pavement contact the owner or authorities.  Do it again and again. I realize that is rarely effective, but you will have done the right thing.  In the meantime I recommend crossing to the same side of the road as the dog lives on and walking your bike or riding slowly depending on what the dog will allow.  Again-  just because you can avoid the dog doesn't mean that a car won't swerve into you!   Crossing to the same side as the dog and employing the "I'm a kind human" tricks as above can also train the dog to feel less threatened, aggressive etc. toward bikes and possibly eventually solve the problem for everyone involved.


Rode a lot, fat bike progress, etc. Tommaso Diavolo derailleur hangers

Ready for final detail work/paint-

Decided to do a fork as well-  the lowers are the regular 26" version of the White Brothers carbon fork, steerer from my Look HSC5, rest is custom.  Can't appreciate the paint scheme yet but it's in progress.

Dennis Grelk hooked me up with derailleur hangers for my Tommaso Diavolo (no one seems to manufacture them!).  He did incredible work-  they fit perfectly.  Get in touch with me if you might need one in the future.

I also spent just over one full day out of the last 7 riding my bike.  I don't know the exact mileage or time, but I'm sure this has been the most time I've spent in one week on my bike since I rode 32 hrs the week I was up in Michigan last June.  This wasn't a super high "impact" week though either, really spent a lot of time riding peacefully and just enjoying the weather.

Jeremy and James riding away on the way to the Salem Glen Winery

At the winery-  no good spot to take a photo from, stupid cars.

Back at the Huddle once again in Elgin

"Table"= Bikers

This great road parellels the state trail making it useless


dances with clouds

Day off from work, why not ride 8-5?

Six hours of the Waltz.  Go left as the dark clouds go right, go straight when they are ahead (and the wind will push them past before you get there).  Circles through more counties than I care to count.  Helps to be able to ride pavement or gravel.  With Bob for the first 3.5 and for lunch in Pine Island.  Saw some of the Almanzo, some of the Ragnarok, Millville etc..

2 hours of grinding with the darkest cloud in the area.  No where to hide...  at least it was downwind, sideways rain pushing me at 25 mph.

Thirty minutes of pure sunshine as I rode though town and back home.


fatbike update etc.

Honestly, not much to see yet...  but it's actually a whole lot closer to done!

Thanks to Milltown, the Ronald, my random parts bin and the world wide web of ebay I've also acquired all the parts I'll need to build it.  Well, I don't actually have my wheels/tires or BB yet.  I think I've put together some very high end parts that will also look good together on the bike.  Drivetrain is, of course, shimano with XTR bits and DA equipped Paul's thumbies plus a race face ISIS crank in silver (to match the seat clamp, cane creek headset etc.), cockpit is Ritchey WCS plus a WTB Devo.  Wheels are still a bit of a secret, but I'll admit Ben is using regular, black Rolling Darryls, some silver hubs and silver spokes.

In other news-  I took Thursday off so that I can go for a nice long ride with Bob Gritman in the AM and then another nice long ride by myself in the afternoon.  Got the itch after reading about other's long rides the last couple weeks.

More to come.


another weekend gone- driving, racing, driving and trailwork

Iowa Spring Classic beat me down again-  this time with an untimely flat after things were looking good in the early going.  All the driving is certainly not that awesome if you're only going to race for about an hr!

Did get out of Iowa a bit faster than planned (despite a speeding ticket- weird how in Iowa you go in the cop car to get one) and that allowed me to stop at Milltown on my way home to drop off the hubs for my fatbike and zipp 303 wheelsets plus a random 5-bolt disc/tubular set up that's a longer term project.

Celebrated St. Patrick's with overpriced pizza and green beer at Broadway Pizza.  Can not recommend Broadway Pizza in any way.

Today was trailwork and ride day for me.  Away from my house for about 9 hours with roughly 5 of those being on the bike.  Really excited about this early start on mountain biking with this crazy weather.  Lots of trail left to rake and a few major trees to saw but it's overall looking great.  Rode the Caffeine again today because I knew there would be lots of sticks on the ground and didn't want to risk ripping the derailleur off the Flash.  That said-  I spent about 3 hours riding gravel and with the 20-30 mph winds the SS thing wasn't all that cool today.

Hope you had a good weekend.


Carbon Fat Pugnago fatbike

I put pictures elsewhere-  it's out of the bag... may as well put them here.

I started on it in earnest Monday, great progress so far but honestly has a TON of work left to get the cosmetics right and finish off some structural bits.

Have to thank Ben Witt and Milltown, Josh Kruck, Ron Moffit, Eric Peterson and the guys at Express Composites (who have been helping me with various crazy projects for over 10 years now) all of whom provided important insight or inspiration.


 The bottom bracket area is not yet done.  The stays are partially carbon.  The red paint is or isn't going to stick around.
 My favorite part of this...

I have since done another lay-up over all the important bits-  should really start coming together tomorrow if I have time to work or certainly by the end of the weekend.

I have all the parts for the build other than the wheels at this point and the wheels are in the works courtesy of Milltown (more to come on the wheels).

The frame weighs 2189g as shown, the mukluk fork is 1050.  I am assuming the final weight will be in the 2240-2250 range (I have very little material left to add).  My intention wasn't so much to make an uber-light fat bike as it was to make a fat bike from broken parts (all 3 frames used were destroyed previously), show what I can do carbon repair wise and have something fun.  It will also be nice to have a fat bike with the exact dimensions/angles that I wanted.  This is an 18" Pugsley with a significantly longer top tube and ???? head tube angle (more on that later).  I've had a great time working on it and can't wait to ride!

First road group ride of the year

... and it was 70 degrees, sunny with mild winds.  How does this happen in MN?  Felt like some sort of twilight zone where it was mid-summer and for some reason just hadn't been going no the rides.  After the ride started it became apparent that it was early spring though.

Felt good to ride the road bike and probably important to dial in the fit etc. a bit since I'll be racing it again this weekend.  Riding it for the first time all year in the race last weekend was less than ideal (especially since I had torn it completely down and rebuilt it).

Almost didn't go because my legs still feel shot from last weekend, but glad I did.  Sometimes riding is the best way to start feeling good again.


Iowa Spring Classic road race, Good Night Gold Dust, gravel ride with Tim

Great weekend overall.

Saturday I spent a ton of time in the Mini Cooper in order to be able to race the Iowa Spring Classic.  My first race as a Cat 3 (remember, last year that these same races were my first road races at all).  I wasn't sure what to expect.  Conditions were amazingly warm at 65 degrees or so, but the wind was blowing extrememly hard.  The course was basically 7 laps of a large rectangle.  I knew that the same guys I rode with at CIRREM were likely to do well and I hoped to sort of take their cue so far as what to do. 

Things went well for the first half of the race and I felt I solidly belonged in the group.   A couple of the gravel sections were a bit sketchy though and I didn't feel quite comfortable sitting out to the right in the softer stuff with the crosswind which I noticed some of the more experienced people doing and taking advantage of that positioning to hitch a very free ride through the wind.  The down wind "half" of the course was primarily pavement and the pace was very high thoughout it.  That said, the group collected together fairly easily on that paved section over the first few laps.  Long story short-  I didn't get enough rest in the draft down the cross wind side, pulled around the group pointlesly right before the turn onto the downwind, drifted to the rear of the group and then when the whole group really laid it down in 53x11 (literally at 40+ downwind) and the guys at the rear of the group with me got blown out the back I joined them.  I gave hard chase too late, didn't catch back on.  I was able to beat the other people who were dropped, but suffered for 20+ miles mostly solo in the heavy winds.  This wasn't the outcome I had wanted, but it also wasn't far from my honest expectations.  I feel I had ridden strong, gotten a great workout and learned something.

Saturday night Tim came down from the cities and we did some random wrenching..

Then rode downtown for a show at Kathy's.  Sadly, the band we wanted to see didn't come on until much later than expected.  They were great though for what we did catch.

This morning we were up early to ride.  I wound up with almost 70 miles on the Caffeine.  One of the big highlights was our stop for lunch at The Huddle in Elgin.  They were very friendly to us with regards to our having ridden there etc. they even let us bring our bikes inside while we ate.  They have a large banquet area and it got me thinking about how it might be a good place to start/host an event.

Here is a random/scenic spot later on our route-


new motor for C43 is en route... other projects and even training may be put on temp. hold

With the rest of my parts I'm looking at 500 hp and over 600 ft/lbs of relatively reliable power.  Plus it will still get 25+ mpg!

Will be the vehicle of choice for "weekend" race trips.


some random details of bikes/pictures cannondales are system integrated finally! Look 585 ready for spring classic gravel

This is my setup for the Iowa Spring Classics, may carry over into some longer endurance races this year.  The Cole carbon tubulars were cheaper than my "training" wheelset so this is now my "worst" road wheelset.  I'm pretty comfortable being on Tubulars for almost everything going forward.  Along the same lines, I don't have a "back-up" road bike exactly anymore (the Giant sold!) and I'm planning to ride this for everything where one is needed, I can clean it, replace parts, or even repair the frame if need be.

I know I should cut the steerer!  Will soon, damn ENVE/EDGE stuff is so expensive I'm scared!

This did involve an angle grinder

Clearance elsewhere is quite good-  remember I did run 30c Marathon racers on this same frame in last years Royal 162 and at dirty kanza.

The Flash!  Got to ride it tonight.  Still needs a larger front chainring, to be converted to tubeless and a slightly longer and much lighter stem/steer combo.  My digital bathroom scale tells me it will be comfortably under 20 lbs after those changes with bottle cages and pedals.  The weight isn't really the point though-  from what I've seen of it thus far riding wise this thing is just insanely good...  sort of "just right" feeling.  Sometimes you switch to new equipment and you realize what you've been missing kind of thing (same feeling I had when I switched from a SS Jake the Snake to a Look 585 and went on a group ride with the same people 18 months ago!).

I'm running X9 rear derailleur, XTR brakes and an XT cassette...  definitely not 'weight weenie' parts and will still be under 20 lb mark!

Awesome and cheap rotors-  Kudos to Milltown Cycles for stocking them and at the right price.

A ton of post showing!  I straddle sizes-  went small for the "race" bike.  I'm right at the minimum insertion point.

Gratuitous shot of the repair

I also had my new fork show up...  reminds me of something, seems to ride well.  <500g with steerer cut-  funny to have such a light fork on a bike with cheapo rotors and a $25 crankset.  If you look carefully at the headtube/fork junction see how it looks funny?  The headset adaptor is funky and makes it look like there is a gap, nothing easy I can do about it.  The adaptor works well otherwise, once you figure out how to install it on a carbon fork without breaking it (it requires some patience, lots of headset spacers and a large rubber mallet).  I only rode this around the neighborhood after the fork swap but I'm very very happy so far.  It seems stiff even under heavy braking and rides smoothly.  More importantly it is a couple cm shorter than the Reba I had on it for my first couple rides and suits my taste geometry wise  a lot better.  I was worried that even this fork would be too long or that the bike just had a geometry that I wouldn't enjoy, but totally over that after riding it.

More to come when I get things put together...  waiting on derailleur hangers for my other "nice" bikes.

Brother gets 2nd in Giant Slalom portion of Nationals! Utah sitting 2nd ahead of Colorado.

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Two Utes turned in podium performances in the giant slalom and four finished among the top 10 to help the University of Utah ski team improve to second place after the second day of the NCAA Championships at the Bridger Bowl.
After four Utes finished among the top 10 in today's giant slalom races, Utah stands in second place with a total of 372 points and trails Vermont by 24 heading into the final two days of competition. The Utes remain 13 points ahead of reigning national champion Colorado.
"Today featured spectacular racing by everyone," Utah Director of Skiing Kevin Sweeney said. "We charged very hard and went for the move up in the rankings, which is a tremendous accomplishment. I'm in awe of the performances today, especially when the pressure was at its high point. At the championships, our focus is on team performance, but you need to go for the podium to stay in the game. We did that today, and in the big picture, after two days of intense competition, our depth and consistency is showing through. This was an amazing day for motivation and our psyche. I really like the vibe we have right now. We are having a nice team dinner tonight and then getting ready for what should be a great day of racing for us tomorrow."
Utah accumulated a meet-high 114 points in the men's giant slalom discipline, five points ahead of runner-up Colorado.
"Today was one of the most exciting days of ski racing at the NCAA Championships that I have seen in a long time," Utah Head Alpine coach Jaka Korencan said. "The field on both the men's and women's side was deep and absolutely everyone had to push the limits. Despite a couple of mistakes today, we are extremely pleased with the team's performance. That's what the NCAA Championships are all about. I would like to congratulate the team for a fearless performance, supporting each other, and just not giving up at any point of the race. We are all looking forward to slalom on Saturday. We are skiing really well, with a lot of confidence, and I know that our women and men are more than ready to rock and roll."
Junior Ryan Wilson finished second in the men's race for his finish ever at the NCAA Championships. He finished roughly one second off the pace of Colorado's Adam Zika. Wilson was fourth after the first run and then remained consistent and climbed up the individual standings. The Red Wing, Minn., native placed third in the GS at the 2010 national championships and has been on the podium three times this year and six times over his career.
"Today was a sweet day," Wilson said. "I took the first run on a bit on the conservative side to put myself in contention and then just let it rip on the second run. A silver medal at the championships is a great result and what made it even better was looking to my side on the podium and seeing my teammate and roommate Nick Cohee, who has had a tremendous season this year and showed some serious clutch skiing today to secure another podium."
Cohee joined Wilson on the podium in third place for his first career appearance on the podium at the NCAA Championships. The Gardnerville, Nev., native turned in the second-fastest first-run time of the day. Cohee now has been third or better in six races this year and nine over his career.
Both Wilson and Cohee took home First-Team All-American honors for the second time in their respective careers.

etc. etc. from here-



Training rides

I've been insanely busy since CIRREM primarily with bike projects...  lots of plans, lots of repairs, lots of fun!

It's almost been tough to find enough time to ride rather than wrench!

I got out for about 8 hours during the week last week including a 1.5 hour jaunt in a rainstorm that actually led to a flash flood and major roads in Rochester getting closed down and commuting to work every day.

Then over the weekend I fought the wind on Saturday for a 3 hour ride by myself before yet another trip to Milltown Cycles.

Sunday I had intended to ride with Chad Sova and a few local guys.  Chad was coming over to pick up a frame I had repaired and wanted to check out our gravel roads.  However, he had food poisoning and made the drive over just to grab the frame.  I wound up riding away from the house with Franz and Bob G..  Franz missed out on most of the "good" stuff, but Bob and I got a very solid 3:40 following a route somewhat similar to "the untitled".  At times the roads were so bad that the mud was shooting forward out of our front fenders like snow blower!

Made the rounds to Bicycle Sports and two friend's places to collect more and more bike parts for current projects Monday and didn't get much riding in other than my commute.  Also, got to hang out with Ben Shockey and his son for a bit as he had come up to bring me some parts and drop off, yet another, repair.

Today I got out of work a bit early and got some USPS stuff done before meeting Trevor for a "short ride" prior to the group bar crawl Tuesday Night Ride.  Last minute I wound up on the Caffeine...  it just looked so appealing instead of the same ol', same ol' on the 720!  We wound up riding 2.5 hours or so of gravel with 80% of it just past my comfortable cadence in 34x17...  Probably really good training riding! I was happy to hang on at all with him.

And then some great Cuban sandwiches at Brother's on the way to this-

How to recover your saddle part III- carbon saddle repair selle italia slr 135

Found this for $12 or so...

Removed enough of the foam that I could get at it to repair

Devised a way to clamp it in place

Added 3-4 layers of 5 oz carbon fiber to each side with high impact resin

Removed the rest of the foam (had considered rebuilding it to original shape, but my butt likes more padding than the SLR comes with)

Added new foam and shaped to taste

Wrapped with 3 way stretch faux leather-  same stuff I've used before and had great luck with

End product is a 188g saddle with quite a bit of padding.  Rode it tonight for first time, quite happy.