Wednesday, September 30, 2009

St. Cloud Race Weekend

St. Cloud races last weekend, I decided to volunteer all weekend and not race. On Saturday was Revolution's Singletrack Escape. I was on timing chip duty, I handled all the sweaty, muddy and bloody velco straps that came through the finish chute. Not very glamorous work, but I had plenty of company all day. Gopherwheelmen crew were exceptionally generous with sharing New Glarus beers, imported across state lines from WI. After being so road-orientated last few years, it's funny to notice little differences between the two disciplines. I like the fact that there are so many category breakdowns in mtb races and they go 3 deep with medals.

Sunday was the Porkchop Challenge CX. Good seeing everyone. I drank too much and took too many photos, including some video. We had a lot of beer!
Big thanks for all the St. Cloud people coming out and pulling off another great weekend of racing. Nice job us.

So I moved again this week. I was living with Jeff & Lyssa in Waite Park until I found a place that I liked that was closer to school. I found a small place not too from campus. No more commuting down 2nd street north at 7am through the corridor of cheering and jeering elementary school kids waiting for the bus.
I think this guy is one of my neighbors. I don't think he knew I got a photo of him, I can be sneaky. He was asking me about the grey house across the street. Who knows, maybe we'll exchange blueberry muffin recipes??

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Last Starfighter

I did something very bad today. I rode my bike without my helmet. I got a ride home from a friend last night and I forgot my helmet at school...what a dumbass. What makes matters worse is I left my spare helmet up in Duluth, go figure, even my auxiliary plan is bust. So I rode to school with no helmet. People do it all the time, and I don't know how. I felt so naked. I had my snowboard helmet, but I really didn't want to look like this guy:

Races up in St.Cloud this weekend, please join us! I'll be around, don't know what I'm racing yet, if at all, I just might volunteer all day and drink beers.
MTB on Saturday, CX on Sunday.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Commuter Bike

Last weekend I picked up a Miyata steel frame, 12speed, at a garage sale for super cheap, and it's super fast. I bought it from a woman who was selling it for her daughter. I hope it wasn't stolen at some point before it came to me. After my old commuter bike was stolen this past summer I find myself peering through bikes in bike racks thinking that someday I will find it again and what I would do if I did find it, steal it back? Get angry and render it useless like bashing in the rear wheel? Which would be a stupid thing to do because after it was stolen, it was probably sold off to some dude who got a good deal on a sweet old steel commuter, like me.

I put on some new bartape, and I've already been criticized for the wrap job, so don't worry wrap-snobs I'll re-wrap them later. I want to put on some platform pedals next time I make to the bikeshop. At some point I will put on fenders, too. I love this bike!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Powder Monkey owned me

Raced last Sunday at Spirit Mtn, COGGS hosted the Powder Monkey mtb race. Big thanks to Kyia for letting me borrow her GaryFisher. She won Chequamegon on it back in the day. I was hoping it still had some fast left in it for me, however, I sure know how to pick races when this is the first time I've even touched a mtb in a year+. Effing Brilliant! It was fun anyway, into my 2nd lap my skills started to come back around somewhat but my chain fell off 3 times during the race. The climbing and any open sections I felt fast, but any time I hit the singletrack I totally sucked. I can't believe I used to only mtb race, it's funny to recall all the differences between mtb racing and road racing. The mtb climbing is slow and the air was all sticky so I just felt like my whole racing kit was soaked, when I finished I was so uncomfortable writhing in a fine film of dust sticking to my skin. Ish. It was great to see everyone, some people going 10yrs back when I first got into COGGS. I rode home back to my Mom's place after the race. It's ~9miles almost all offroad except for a section where I have to cross Becks Rd and then the last half mile into my Mom's neighborhood. The first part leaving Spirit Mtn is and old railroad grade, then the last couple of miles is 7 Bridges trail, that runs parallel to Mission Creek (say 'crick' not 'creek' in our 'hood, fool.).

View from Spirit Mtn.

Ride through old railroad tunnel.

Gorgeous view.

Ride over really high railroad bridge and looking over St.Louis River.

Hitting up some trails on my way home from race.

Last Saturday I worked at Twin Ports Cyclery, one of my customers is getting back into cycling. In the 80s he used to have a similar setup. He used to ride with a regular radio/double cassette player, ham radio, and a cb radio in his rear rack. Rockin' 3 antennas and one time he almost got hit by lightening. At the shop we're getting him all set up again. He already has his stereo on his bars.

I really hoped my nieces Emily (11yrs) and Riley (8yrs) were going to come out and mtb race at the Powder Monkey, but they wanted to do the Duluth Mile instead. They went 3,4 in the Girl's division, and finished together. What I liked best was the fact that Riley (in green shorts) ran the mile in her black/pink DC skate shoes. She is an absolute riot, and I absolutely love those kids.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

F U Dandelion

I was trying to be good and get a good night's sleep before Sunday's race, didn't happen. Terra and I went to a metal show the night before the MN State RR Champs. We were supporting her co-worker's band. We thought he was going to play around 10,10:30pm but they didn't go on till almost 11:30. The lead singer of the band was great at dropping the F-bomb, it wore off on me and I was pumped up when I left the show, had a hard time falling asleep and was still amped when I woke up the next morning, 5:45am and I hopped out of bed. I was so motivated from the previous night's performance I was inspired to dropping my own F-bombs during my race warm-up, apologies for all who had to endure, "all right all you motherfuckers out there, let's do this fucking race, I got my goddam janky-ass bike ready to rock this motherfuckin house, and while I'm getting my fucking warm-up on I'm going to swear at all these fuckin flowers on the side of the goddam road, Fuck you Dandelion!" Geez, so unlady-like!
Well, hearing the crash behind me after the turn at the bottom of the downhill was sobering. My teammate Lisa and Megan L(LGR/BehindBars) and a few others went down and fortunately no broken bones, just lots of nasty roadrash and bruises. At the end of the race it was me, Terra (speedfix) and Tiff (UND) pulling some fast rotations, but in the end Tiff took the W. Nice work everyone!

Last couple of weeks has been a complete blur, trying to see everyone before I leave Minneapolis and made my move back to St. Cloud for another school year. This year's transition has been kind of difficult, I wasn't ready to leave Minneapolis and had so much fun there. Unfortunately at SCSU they have the program I want(Hydrology) and tuition's relatively cheap, makes perfect sense since I'm paying for my own tuition, and I'm working on my 2nd bachelors...for reals.

Had another great summer at the lab, learned how to do tracer injections, and take stream velocity measurements among other things. On two separate occasions I took two visiting researchers out for their first Premos at Tuggs(of course), I even let them order it like an idiot, "Can I get a Grain Belt Premium, please?". I don't know if I'm going back next summer. I could end up in Seattle, or Belgium where I can finally marry Tom Boonen, it's exciting to think about, to do research somewhere completely new. It's a long way off.

Last Saturday I went to the StateFair with my cousin Marcus and a couple of his friends. I rode my bike there and it took me 20min on my 3speed Raleigh Ranger that's a size too small for me. StateFair, always an interesting people-watching place. I know I'm weird, too, the temperature dropped and I had to stuff a newspaper in between my two t-shirts for the chilly ride home. What a cycling weirdo. Wouldn't mind going again since I didn't get to see everything, perhaps if there's time.

Riding down the transitway on my way to the StateFair .

Just before I go down the big slide, I screamed the whole way.

Testing out the toilet, hope I win it!

Check out all the people!

Stearns Cty can't wait for me and visits me at the State Fair. It's not Arctic Cat cladded couple, but Castle X...close enough to scare me.