Sunday, March 29, 2009

insert your name here

today, whilst relaxin in the quiet house waiting for the criterium internationale to get going, i was jolted awake by bob roll opening the show with a mention of Cole House ! ! ! ! ! he went right to it, in the opening commentary of how this week has been fabulous for americans in the EU, what with " the young Cole House winning the prestigious whatever-it-was-race in belgium, and levi L winning etc etc.

we have known cole, and his family for many years. always had fun with them - it was cole's mom who hilariously called gretchen "Mrs Haney" for lugging a suitcase full of mittens for sale at WORS races a few years back. MK raced his sister jasmine as fiercely friendly rivals for years, i used to enjoy racing doug his dad, and gretchen and toni used to gab their way thru the sport Fe field all the time. whenever i think of cole, i usually recall an image of him chasing a bunch of screaming cit youths around a campfire at 9-mile on a tiny bike, the night before he won the elite race.

i know that some folks have seen the young fellow as sometimes less than . . . . i dunno. but, he's always been supercool to and around me and my family. and, i think he sometimes ( oftentimes ) got a bad shake, or was misunderstood. enuf on that. anyway, whenever we see him nowadays, he is still that goofy fun kid he always was, only now he has better stories to tell and he goes out of his way to give MK encouragement. we enjoyed gabbing with him for an hour sitting in the telemark lobby floor and making light-hearted fun of his little entourage up at chequamegon this year. we sat by the muddy cup and teased him mercilessly about being a worthless slacker with his mom and dad at the shawano race. etc etc. i dig the kid and i always did.

and now in addition to the bobke shout-out on versus today, he's getting mentioned in the same sentences as LA and levi .

pretty sweet deal. go, cole.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

damn, that's harder than it looks !!

OK, so i am sucking at the whole "take-yer-own-picture-whilst-ridin'" thing. i'll work on it. anyway, feeling close to 100% better, and busted out upon the frozen tundra of peninsula state park. or, in the event the trails are not open yet - i did no such thing and this is a file photo from last july and i have a need for warmth.

it was kick ass, either way.

word from the roadtrip is that we are gonna have to move to cleveland. nicky is thinking he has died and gone to heaven, and gretchen is scoring huge points for being the 51 y/o mom showing up from the frozen north and ripping ( ahem ) around the park on the rental bike, and then rocking the local bike shop with her ultra-swank reynolds 753 campy/suntour/ibis/paul equipped pink rivendell all-rounder bringing down the house. nice.

Friday, March 27, 2009

MK ruling over all this weekend

dropped MK off at 0545 for the trip down to these environs for the weekend. she and a bunch of kids are taking over the capitol, with MK ruling on the bench. she has been throwing down hard instead-o-slacking as her hi-skool career winds down. valedictorian, National Merit Scholar, a two-peat of her hat trick in the music competition with goin-on-to-State bids in solo piano, instrumental, and voice. i dunno what else. and, she is rounding third like a chew-spitting spike-churning freight-train-a-comin' bad-ass on her plan for next year - and is not even bothering to check the third base coaches sign whether to hold up or not. i would not want to be the catcher when the throw comes to the plate in a month's time on that deal.

with all that, payback time is gonna come hard once the bike season gets here for her. still not sure when that is gonna be, april is pretty much booked solid for that insane kid and i dunno when she is gonna ride. iola is gonna hurt like a mofo. or maybe not - when yer 17 Form can come fast - she better hope so. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ecumenical redemption

here is nicky's axe for the weekend. he is on sabbatical from the racin' scene for a spell ( apart from the occasional guest-star appearance on his mom's SS ), but he loves this whateverthehellyacallit style-o-ridin ya do on a bike like this h'yar. he, a buddy, and gretchen are off to Ray's Bike Park for a little spring break action. i gotta work, and after a winter full of chaparoning other people's kids snowboarding, and a week of 24/7 action sports summer camp nursing ( again taking care of other people's kids . . . people suck . . ) coming up in a couple months - i just didn't have it in me. nicky and i have done a lot of sk8 park road trips over the years, so this will be cool for them all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

since lance is busy resting . . .

i was able to get ahold of dr. ferrari to advise me on how to proceed with my waylaid march-hero plan of action. he suggested stopping by his clinic for some vitamin shots of some sort, but i decided this was a more inviting course of action - this has been about it over the past few days.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

X-ray image

here is an x-ray image of my very inner being. i have been waylaid with a horrid virus of some kind. i had mono as an adult a few years ago - it feels like that. i have nothing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

i don't own a green bike

maybe that is the problem. but you are not gonna see me eating this stuff - no matter that gretchen can crank out a purportedly excellent rendition of it:

in fact, it has become a bit of a tradition for me to kick a ( usually ultimately failed ) springtime weight-loss program with the generalized aversion to eating that this meal induces in me. even more disturbingly, the other emerging family tradition for st pat's day is watching a particular movie - which i deemed the worst film ever made, certainly the worst to ever come out of the disney studios fot TV ( which is saying something !! ) it actually causes physical pain to watch this thing, but that is what family traditions are for, i suppose . . . . . .

Sunday, March 15, 2009

well honestly, what would YOU do ??

if yer trails lookeded like this on mar 15, at 8:00 in the morning - sun shining - temps so that all ya need to ski is a long sleeve jersey and a zephyrr vest ??

yeah, it's supposed to get up around the hi 40's later . . . . . . but ya know, hi -40's and road biking is alright. but that stuff you see right there is the shite, let me tell you. it skiis as good as it looks, and glides even faster. MK, gretchen, and i went for it for a couple hours - we got all summer to ride bikes !!

nicky slept in a bit. his rag-tag team took 5th at the big contest, he was stoking with that seein' as they had no idea what they were doing and all. gotta love the snowboarders, tho. 20 buck entry fee, and everybody brought home a huge bag of swag with sweet skullcandy earphones, wax, little tool thingies, and other stuff including a tee with this supercool pic of obama rockin it. want more juniors to race bikes ?? that is how ya do it. duh.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

don't let go

if ya went out on the east side of milwaukee in the 80's, you saw robin pleur and the R&B cadets do this old song:

Hear that whistle, it's six o'clock
(Don't let go, don't let go)
Come on baby, it's time to rock
(Don't let go, don't let go)
I'm so happy to have you here
(Don't let go, don't let go)
Keeps me grinnin' from ear to ear
(Don't let go, don't let go)

Ooh wee
This feeling's killing me
Oh shucks
I wouldn't stop for a million bucks
I love you so
Just hold me tight and don't let go
(Don't let go, don't let go)
Hold me tight and don't let go
(Don't let go, don't let go)

or maybe these guys, ya mighta heard their version:

anyway, i ain't lettin winter go quite yet. very very nice day at granite peak with another school chaparone trip on some super-fast and smooth power-tilled corn snow. i rode with MK all day, and that was fabulous - she has been riding since she was 7. no young girls rode then, and while you do see some girls out there nowadays, very few to none throw down with an old-school high speed power-and-flow style like she has. so long as the boards stay on the snow in general she will keep up with anybody and - look better doing it. it is funny to go on these school trips with her because in her school-life she is the nerdy smart-kid. then, as she rips by railing truns and ripping over ice or whatever is there as fast and strong and stylee as anybody on the hill, male or female, her classmates have no idea what to make of it. :) she had $6K waitin for her in an envelope to add to the scholarship fundage when we got home, so that's a pretty sweet day right there.

nicky got an offer to stay into the weekend with some other shredders for a big contest there today, and when we last saw him he had a pocket full of 20's, a free lift ticket, and a spot on the floor at a nearby waterpark resort so there is no telling where he is today.

i stayed on theme by leaving the bike at home today, and skiing some prime conditions at cherry hills instead. some guys were calling it the best of the year. . . . i dunno about that but it was pretty nice, and now they are grooming all over nearby fields and orchards just going wild wherever they feel like over 120 acres cross-country so it is actually pretty freaking cool.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

i am evidently the dan quayle of singlespeeders

let me make this clear: i know cat 1's, i have ridden with cat 1's, some cat 1's are friends of mine.

I am no cat 1.

yet, according to my spiffy new WORS handbook, somehow in order to race the newly renamed comp SS class i am going to first convince usa cycling to issue my beyond sorry ass a cat 1 license. uhhhhhhhh, yeah. i have long thought usa cycling to be composed of largely incompetent yayhoo's ( don E excepted, naturally . . . ), but giving me a cat 1 license has got to be beyond even their level of ridiculousness. it is admittedly an odd habit i enjoy - rolling around at the tail end of the comp SS field, getting slaughtered like a goat at a low-rent devil-worship service in some abandoned stone quarry every race - but it works for me. what am i supposed to put on my race/license resume ???

" well, uhhh, most of the time . . . . . . OK some of the time . . . i can keep from getting lapped by jesse till the last lap or so" ????

somehow i think that's just not gonna cut it. dang.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

elbow room

right then, that'll work. saturday afternoon, on a pretty dang nice day by dismal door cty springtime standards . . . . . . the biggest hill in the county is now a 4 lane wide traffic free bike path. pretty sweet !!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

semi-classic trainin'

here we see the proper surroundings for spring training rides. bleak. grey. wet. mostly likely smelling of manure more often than not. that perfect temperature where comfort is not physically attainable - either you are sweating too much or are chilled to the bone - and ideally are both at once in various parts of your body.

MK and i introduced russell and jerry D to the fabulously miserable luxemburg-brussels-luxemburg ride in southern door last year. maybe we'll get em up here to do it again, who knows ?? it's kinda early for a full on classic like that, so MK and i are heading out on the semiclassic, camp monT-brussels-camp monT ride instead. southern door county is dotted by all kinds of towns with bleak euro names, and populated by belgians. wherever you are in WI in the springtime, southern door is bleaker, colder, more grey, and generally more miserable. door county tourism literature never once mentions the word "Springtime", with very good reason. of course, there is no better way/place to ride a bike, in mar/april, if you ask me.

as a bonus this year, they built the new hi-way around the famed "Brussels Hill" a monolithic climb that many old-timers in door county have never seen the other side of. so, this virtual mt ventoux now sits there, four lanes of perfect cement up one side and down the other and nary a car in sight. MK has been basking in glory lately, scoring prestigious academic accolades right and left. this week at school they didn't even have her go to class, instead she TAUGHT calculus and chemistry so the students could get something outta the classes while the subs chilled. pshaw. ain't nothing smart about riding repeats on the Brussels Hill in the wet cold bleakness for no good reason. it might even define the word Stupid, in fact. so, guess where we're going ??

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

which way to break ??

it's the time of year were XC skiing becomes like surfing. if you have a spot with good grooming ( at cherry hills it is one of the top two in WI ) in spring conditions can be beyond perfect. transitioned snow lending speed, and mild temps letting you dress like yer on a 50 degree bike ride. but, ya gotta drop everything and go just when it's right. wait too long, and it's mush and you wreck the trail with ruts like an idiot, go too soon and it's too hard and no fun.

today i was like a surf bum hitting the waves just as they blew in.

even so, after that video by the folks at rapha/embrocation-cycling-journal i watched with some of the best comapany imaginable at the "secret" post NAHMBS party at the hyatt i was longing for the road. fook skiing, i wanna ride.

Monday, March 2, 2009

you went to the NAHMBS and you WHAT ???

proving my staus as lamest bogger on earth, Mk and i forgot our camera are NAHMBS. so, just a few kwik hitters:

1. if you are a dad, it sux for you. my daughter not only accompanied me, and a raggedy ass band of pirates to the show, she rocked it so hard that the guys from reynolds tubing - the very people who INVENTED the stuff that made sweet handmade bicycles possible were so impressed with her knowledge and appreciation of their product they reached into their display of ultrafine tubings and gave her some. can your little girl do that ?? didn't think so.

2. downtown crits on loose pave in the heart of the surprisingly vibrant downtown indy was too fun to describe.

3. nipponese guys like my rivendell.

4. ellis cycles is the up&comer of the handmade industry, period.

5. do not spend more $ for a production bike than these guys charge for what they do, and had on display. hell on earth, indeed. this show rocked.

6. rapha cycling clothing and/or embrocation magazine showed a video of a half-dozen guys guys suffering thru the ToC route a few days before the event that was so beautiful it made you want to to ride yourself into the ground. watch for that magazine, out soon.

7. what a show.

8. OK, i stole a pic of MK and me from amy D, who is a person it is always nice to bump into at bike stuff for nigh on 25 years or so:

oddly, rick, the-other-tim, russell, me and the girl never did ask anybody to snap a pic of all of us - that was stupid.