Sunday, April 26, 2009

last stop took me by surprise

in order to check out this last school for MK we needed to ride our fixies thru a brick wall of imaginary green flames positioned discreetly, yet openly in a quaintly-high-tax-bracketted neighborhood in chicago.

it was pretty cool. with the child matching her nerdiness to that of the other young future-generation-of-those-who-are-gonna-need-to-save-our-slacker-collective-asses, i was free to engage in my ususal brand of hightly productiive contribution to society. that being riding a cool bike, drinking coffee and eating pastries, and in this particular case adding in the pleasurable pastime of steeping my sorry ass in the beauty of the Art Institute. they had a killer edvard munch exhibit going on, and i wished russell was there. paul gaugain is my fave artist, BTW.

i then managed to hole up in some medievel looking corner of the campus to spend some tme reading as if i was in a harry potter book for bit. then we beat a speedy kwik run to ND to do a last minute walk-thru before declaring the great 09 college search over. the play will be at the plate - stay tuned on that one - but enuf of that already.

tried to ride ride kettles on the way home with rick, russel, liz, and the elusive JWM. first we got there early, and managed to get lost. we regrouped, and after an impressive leadout jwm kept attacking HARD off the back, like it was the world championships. i will take some credit for his elusiveness, he is wily in the extreme. for example, he rides bike so utterly vile that your eyes instinctively look the other direction when he is on it, allowing him that ultra-kwik window to slip away behind you. when he gets that new 29er, that particular tactic will no longer work.

speaking of wily - you cannot beat russell, as everybody knows. consider, he generously buys MK a nice breakfast at a quentin tarantino-esque restaraunt - compare to poor rick W who, just the previous weekend, foolhardily employed the very same gambit with nicky. hmmmmm 15 1/2 old male vs just-18 y/o female bike racer with a prom dress to slip into that eve . . . . . . . . . . who would you rather be buying breakfast for ??? tactics, tactics.

Friday, April 17, 2009

long time comin'

the infamous stump farm opens tommorrow. or so i hear. we're goin. i dunno why, the the 'camp always seems to have some odd aura of controversy surrounding it. factions, if you will. a group that hates on the little gravel bits. a group that hates on the WORS race, rumblings and grumblings about this, that and the other. what the hell is that all about ?? no clue.

i dig the place. gretchen loves it. and while - in truth there is nothing all that crazy-hell specatucular about the place - a few of my mostest favorite moments on a mtn bike are when MK and i have been rocking the drop-bar 29er SS's in the groove, dead-dog tired, on lap 4 or 5 but not wanting to stop. i don't think i got that many laps in me for tomorrow, but this guy has got the legs on me fer shure, and i am looking for a come-to-jesus moment of some kind likely to painfully come my way. b-there-or-b-square, say i.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


gretchen and MK are off to these environs for the weekend. MK for a weekend of wacky MIT hijinks of some sort to see if she likes the place, and gretchen is all hooked up with a sweet B&B and rental fixie from some hipsters at a cool bike shop. the B&B guys keep saying they can hook her up with a ride with john kerry - if you know gretchen, don't laugh, she just might.

after the past 6 months or so, i have come to be a bit of a well-read college propaganda-literature sorta guy. i even a a friend in the bizness at the fab ripon college, and he kills it down there. but, ya gotta feel for some of those guys when yer lookin at MIT's stuff. i mean, when 1:4 of the humans who have walked on the moon since tha dawn of mankind are your alumni . . . . well you got a leg up in writing your promotional materials, if you catch my drift.

also, as we were checking out their cycling team pages, we came across an interesting entry. on the calendar page, they have all the usual stuff about upcoming races, training rides, meetings, clothing orders and so on. but, on one day they have the afternoon or whatever scheduled for . . . . . windtunnel testing ( !!!!!!!!!!! ). i guess if you have a windtunnel, you might as well bring yer bikes down there and use it, eh ?? crazy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

8 - TEEN - mile

as everybody knows, MK is a huge eminem fan. loves the guy. always going around the house with the slim-shady references, and so forth. in honour of that, we are gonna ride 8-TEEN-miles tonite, upon our 8-TEEN-speed bicycles. perhaps i will then eat an 8-TEEN-once steak afterwords. interestingly, 8-TEEN is atomic number for argon, which, if her bicycle was made of titanium instead of steel, would be needed to weld the mofo together.

anyway, today is the last day MK is 7-TEEN. big b-day tommorrow, but we're celebratin' tonite.

it seems as if 8-TEEN year celebrations may have changed a bit over the years. being as mine took place in the murky and well-forgotten 70's the details are sketchy, and certainly disjointed; but i recall a david lynch film-like quality to the occasion involving - in no particular order - such things as: a previously seaworthy half-sunken boat, a bloodily failed attempt at 50 mph on a skateboard, police searchlights amid crashing underbrush, and a young man in a yellow sundress making pancakes. a different era, those 70's.

Monday, April 13, 2009

in honour of paris roubaix

i thought i would throw this particular pave-related L/H image up concerning my ride this am. it is hard to describe riding in door cty in the springtime. mind you, we are surrounded by ice-flow covered water on 4 outta 5 sides. so, no matter where ya go, there is a 80% chance you are gonna be riding into a hateful bone-numbing soul-freezing breeze that will cause you to weep with agony and suffering. while it is nice to have a zillion pretty cool roads, with next to zero traffic on them . . . on occasion it does occur to a person that there is ALSO nobody out riding bikes on these roads, either. with very very good reason. people in the rest of the state do not get it, it's fooking C-O-L-D out there. those guys in belgium are pussies, i am here to tell you - after a ride in door cty in the spring i would stand in one of those supposedly miserable belgian spring rains you always hear them crying about and use it as a warm shower.

there is a reason i own 3 different bikes set up for various states of unridable cold.

but for some reason today, i said enuf. i broke out the actual road bike for a couple hours starting at the butt-crack-o-dawn. 15 minutes into into it, i realized my mistake. even ultra-fine new custom steel fork ( first ride, it's sweet ) could do precious little to forestall the suffering that was setting in. 45 min in, and most of the pain was gone, replaced by numbness, and a slowly spreading sensation that was by-and-large incomaptible with life. i played the percentages, and figured if i made it back with > 50% of my body mass still possessd of sufficient heat to keep my heart beating i could make it to work, and if not i would just hope for the resurrection by some cryo-technique at some time in the next century. the former proved to be the case, a 30 minute shower draining the water-heater later, and i am ready to roll.

have i mentioned door cty sucks in the spring ??

Sunday, April 12, 2009

i save "hardest" road for a bit later in the year

here is a local fave road. don't tell the hi-way dept, but they are gonna have to be making a new one of these signs one of these days, as this one will likely find itself hanging on my wall in the bike shop/studio one day soon. since my robert young Father-Knows-Best lifestyle has had me missing a few other things lately . . . not that i am bitching, i had a dream weekend at NAHMBS and that is more fun than a straight-up pipesmoking family-man has a right to have ), i decided to double down and hit the hill ride X2 today for a quite shocking 5 hrs in the saddle. redemption wasthe order ofthe day, as MK was killing me on the 2nd one, so that's either good or bad.

anyway, i hear it is a holiday of some sort, so be sure and remember no mail today, and the baks are probably closed . . . . . . . what kinda holiday is one on a sunday, anyway ?? enjoy !!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


OK not to pick on the jocks, we've all been there. circumstances arrange themselves in such a fashion that a college student suddenly finds hisself desparately in need of 3 credits from a field he has no interest in, needing to be on the transcript by yesterday. redemption for me in this regard back in the day came in the form of a gen-u-ine UW system accredited course entitled - no joke - Scenic Geology of Wisconsin State Parks. i was tipped off to this curricular gem in the student union, where i bartended nearly full-time and also where i padded my you-owe-me-one favours account with strategic free beers. as an interesting aside, none other than Hayes Brakes own Lenny feebly attempted to fill my long-haired-purple-lens-john-lennon-glasses-wearing shoes in that very same position of employment . . . only problem being after gretchen and i left the university saw fit to put in $25K worth of metered-dose beer dispensors in order to save money - sucked for lenny - sorry bout that, kid !! anyway getting back to the rock4jocks course . . . . how could i pass that one up ?? !! surprise - i learned sumthin, besides.

word of the day - as pictured above: "cuesta"

use in a sentence: "i did hills today on my shite-bike, utilizing the sharp elevation rise afforded to me locally by the geologic *cuesta* which forms the niagara escarpment."

here, take a closer look at one;

see the left hand side of door county there ?? that is where i rode. and, my old SGoWSP professor would, i am sure, be proud to know that my learning has remained life-long ( so far )- indeed i learned another thing about the cuesta just today: i need to ride there one hell of a lot more in the upcoming weeks.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

thrice X nice ( ecumenical redemption pt II )

i like things cool, and i like nippon, and i like motorcycles. i rolled those all into owning a few select sweet motorsickles over the years, of the nipponese variety. i have had a motorsickle since i was 12 - bought it myself with paper route money ( a z-50 ), and i have had one every one of the 36-37 years since. i once swore an oath to my older brother, who later died whilst riding one of his many motorsickles back in 2000, that as i settled down and entered my family-life i would "never sell the motorsickle". i remain true to that oath, still riding a superfine hawk GT which started life exactly as pictured here. had i remained single, it woulda been an RC30, but on balance i think i did alright.

it is a fooking cool motorsickle.

there are not many nipponese motorsickles which gain true cult status, but this is one of them. it is a bike that came 10 - 15 years ahead of it's time, and was not a huge commercial success. it traded speed for techincal trickness and beyond fab handling. first aluminum spar-type frame ever sold in the US. the ultra-trick singlesided swingarm. v-twin torquey engine. it is one of the few nipponese bikes that can throw down and be parked Most Righteously in the beer garden at Siebkens Resort in elkhart lake during the superbike weekend, and will draw a crowd of people at road america every minute it sits still over that weekend.

with big sister gone, nicky and i got out and rode around a bit. we stopped off at a big empty parking lot and he ripped around on it for a spell - he can ride. a year from today, the plan is he will be riding it to school - the motorsickle/auto equivalent of a hi-skooler showing up with something like an original 240-Z in the parking lot. for those that Know, a bad-ass move of the highest order indeed. for those that don't . . . . . . . . . . . well sux for them.

my bike has been ridden, not coddled. i've thrown it up the road a time or two. along the way it picked up a fooking killer paintjob done by my brother, which matches my arai adamo model helmet. we'll git a pic up when the weather gets better.

Friday, April 3, 2009


this weekend we get a chance to preview our one bird left in the nest life. notre dame decided they wanted to take a closer look at MK, and they hooked her up with air-fare from GB to south bend for 4 days of recuiting or whathaveyou. pretty sweet little gimmick. so, we're left with just little nicky in the house, as pictured here.

got a short ride in today on the 26er all-rounder fixie in the local park, with gretchen and MK before she leaves. it is the preferred springtime ride, as it's traffic free and 100 % outta the chilly 30 degree springtime wind, in a tunnel of trees. downside being three hike-a-bikes of knee deep snow remaining on the 7.5 mile loop. i could sorta ride 'em in the bashing-along-thru-knee-deep-snow-on-a-fattire-all-rounder-fixed-gear fashion. less success for this tactic for gretchen on the waterford, and MK split the difference on the ENO'd 'cross-tired surly pacer. maybe we'll shoot for some sub zero frozen dirt mtn biking instead on the weekend. dunno what to do, to be honest - that kid evidently fills up that house quite a bit, it's quiet without her around !!