Saturday, February 28, 2009

never in doubt....

I knew we were supposed to get 2-4 inches but I wasn't buying it. Even if we did, there was never any doubt that I was riding. So we got every bit of 4 inches, the above stats an hour before ride time should have made me think twice, nope! The big question...what other fools are on the same page as myself.

As I rolled up to D St. I could see a fresh set of tracks, I'm not the only fool. So at least its going to be me, someone else, & C-bread of course, he lives here. That's exactly what it ended up being, me, MW, & Cornbread. For those that didn't make it, the park was awesome! This was a fluffy snow unlike the wet 4 incher we got a few weeks ago. With the trees blocking the wind & the air temperature leaving single digits, it was perfect in there.

C-bread & I traded camera shots

An important call, he is the MW for heaven's sake.
At some point we ran into the Dark Knight (not pictured) & then KW found us.

Accident report: MW went down once, as did I. Minor incidents, I found the only patch of ice in the park. We set some new criteria for snowy crashes, if you don't touch an elbow or shoulder its not a crash just a big dab. Cornbread, not so lucky. Crash #1 was the slow tip over type when a rut grabbed his front wheel, no problem. Crash #2 was a slam dunk on his left side/knee when his front wheel washed out. That one hurt. He's going to do some body maintenance this afternoon. He has to...we're riding gravel tomorrow! Hope you're recovering man.

3+ hours ride time, 4 hours outside. Oh yeah! Tomorrow the winds are suppose to die down & gravel shall be ridden!

On another note, just got off the phone with Craigio...him & Sean Hansen have been adding more trails out at Branched Oak, Area 7. They've already added 1.6 miles, I believe, & are working on more this week. They are working with the park-boss out there & he's behind their efforts 100%. Way to go guys!

March tomorrow.



good morning...

Stocked up on supplies this week. 20 lbs of green coffee keeps us going for about 10 weeks, approximately. Pictured is 4 - 5 pounder's. Columbia, Panama, El Salvador, & a Papua NG. All FTO, well actually the Panamanian is Rain Forest Certified.

My stash comes from the amazing stock over at a local shop/roaster Cultiva, 1501 South Street. I urge people to support this local business, beware though, check when they are open, they don't keep your traditional hours. Owner Jon & his apprentice?/roaster Ian are super-passionate about what they do. About a year ago I was in there & mentioned to Jon I was a home roaster, he immediately offered to sell me green beans if I wanted. I wanted! I've made about five 15 to 20 pound purchases since. Prior to our relationship I was ordering online from a coffee guru in Oakland, CA.

Ian tossed in a small sampler of a private stock he had roasted. Columbian COE #17. Oh yeah!

It didn't disappoint.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

kick a$# wednesday...

60 degrees, 3.5 hours, 54 miles. JT & MT also skipped out & joined me for parts of the journey, good time.

Today's forecast 47, rain, sleet, snow, thunder. What the hell, I guess Spring is coming. Hey Corey...I know you've got the day off, I hope you find the open window of opportunity!

BTW - I could here the gravel under my tires instead of the crunching of my BB disintegrating like Sunday.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

way to much happened today...

By this point I already gone over the bars in some deep ruts on a frozen minimum maintenance road. Havelock road has quite a few sweet sections of unmaintained dirt, we got away with traveling these sections because at ride time it somewhere between 15 & 20 degrees. Probably 5 miles of dirt broken up into mile chunks, nice. Pictured above is a hike-a-bike section over a creek where there was once a bridge. Moments before PC dabbed his foot in the icy creek which was not going to bode well for the rest of our journey. A cold, wet shoe & foot with the temp in the lower 20's. Bummer, but he's tough & gutted it out. Hell, his foot probably wasn't much colder than DS's who was just wearing mtb shoes.
Prior to my over the bars experience I managed to break off my fender when I hit a particularly harsh washboard section of road. I guess the fender slapped my tire & shattered. Damn, I'd had that beauty for 10 years! Note the smaller piece broken off the blade, that broke off when I landed on my back in the before mentioned endo.
So we made it to Elmwood, .89 center's were flowin', RC's that is, & only stayed long enough for PC's foot to warm up a bit & track mud around the store. Sorry about the mud, this is farm country though, probably nothing they haven't see before. Actually they've probably seen a lot worse.

Heading South out of Elmwood, Cornbread & myself start hearing a crunchy sound coming from my bike. Actually he heard it earlier but I passed it off as frozen water bottles rattling in my cages. Pulled over to investigate, BB had a ton of play. Bearings were/are trashed. I knew I could make it home but new BB needed this week.

As we turn West for the final leg...we feel a cross head wind? Day was supposed to NE switching to East? Not blowing hard but hardly the push we were hoping for. Found some more dirt but its warmed enough that its getting a bit sketchy.

Painful portion of the ride to follow...about 7-8 miles outside of Lincoln, were coming in on Pioneers, lots of rollers & that slight cross-head I mentioned. C-bread moves to the front & puts the hammer down. Dude rolls it for 5+ miles at the front setting a nasty tempo. DS, PC, Coach & myself are burying ourselves to keep his wheel. I was hitting low 180's all the way in with some 184's as the icing. Thanks man, it was a real gut check. I mean it. Nasty, nasty, nas-tay.

60 miles when the day was done. All good.

Bath day, Hudson hates it.
Shilo loves it but didn't cooperate for the camera.
Soaking up the sun, post-bath.
Indian on tap for supper, oh yeah!
Homemade salted nut-roll for desert, I couldn't wait.
If that doesn't do it, how about homemade cherry mash. I got involved in this pre-dinner also.
Wednesday lower 60's. See ya out there?


Friday, February 20, 2009

LML recon

Split work at lunchtime yesterday, had some homework to do. Stopped to say hello to a curious longhorn. "Hey! you know Bones, he's one rank son of a..."Wind was supposed to be NW at 8, instead it was straight West at about 13-15. A secret corridor was explored, depends on how wet the ground still is in a few weeks. Explored some other passages, not pictured (top secret). Made it to Milford. Computer battery still dead so can't give any specs on the ride. I did get a new battery & put it in last night. BTW - check out ebay for cr2032's & cr2354's crazy cheap.

Should all else fail I scouted a place to bunk down.
Ran into Craigio on the way back to town & headed back out with him. Racked 4.5 hours of gravel on this crisp, sunny February day. Insert big smile here, all good!

Working Saturday, supposed to be pretty windy anyway.



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

it seems like just yesterday....

February 16th marked the 3rd anniversary of my Hotttop rotary drum roaster. I was planning on a celebratory post 2 days ago but on the eve of its big day the cooling arm quit working after a batch of beans ejected from the roasting chamber. The beans eject into a tray & for 6 minutes they are spun around in a perforated tray as a fan blows air from below cooling the beans. I spent Monday worrying about replacing the cooling arm motor, but after performing a dry run Monday night...its working again. Last night, business as usual. A successful batch of Columbian "Pinipay", FTO of course.
Its like a lot of things in life, just because its working now doesn't mean its not going to be a problem down the road. Take our kitchen sink drain for instance. Monday, to go along with my roaster worries, the drain backs up. Holly manages to get some flow with a plunger & some Liquid Plumber. Rather than a reoccurring headache & the need to dump gallons of chemicals down the drain, I nipped it in the bud & called a drain guy. He snaked the kitchen drain & we had him hit the laundry drain as well. Both are good to go for the foreseeable future.
I probably should order the motor, right?

As I'm writing this...Hudson just ate a kleenex. Apparently breakfast wasn't enough.

Tour of CA coverage has been painful.

HD entered our life about a month ago. I'm watching crap I never would have watched a month ago. I'll save a PBR post for another time. That Bones, he's one rank son of a...

Its Wednesday, 1/2 way there. I have to work Saturday though, doh!

That's it for my mid-week all over the place post.



Saturday, February 14, 2009

It went something like this...

Biker's vs. Skier's, the 14th St. parking area showdown...

Ok, maybe I exaggerated, it wasn't that intense. Its freakin' Valentine's Day for pete's sake!

Thursday's preparation's for Friday's snow Armageddon. 4 wet inches is all we got. We're riding!
4 degrees, no problem. KW in the mix.Mr. Rokke ready to roll.

A peaceful gathering between the 2 disciplines. Jim Craig laying down some tracks.
3 dogs, 3 bones. That'll keep them quiet for awhile.
Earning my keep. It's not all glory...
Cornbread & I hit some gravel after the park & squeezed in a little over 3.5 hours total. Computer battery died can't be more precise. Friday sitting at my desk I was bummed as the snow kept coming & coming & coming. 3:00 it stopped abruptly, never give up hope!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reality check vs. eternal optimism

Who do you want to believe?

Accuweather: "After depositing fresh snow over the mountains and passes of the central Rockies, the storm will lay a swath of 3 to 6 inches of snow from Denver to Omaha and Davenport, Ill., through Friday night. The snow will fall in a short period of time, quickly covering and making roads treacherous."

NOAA: Friday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 31. Blustery, with a east wind 10 to 13 mph becoming north northeast between 19 and 22 mph. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.

I'm going with the 3 inches. Saturday's high is 28, we're riding:)

Well if we do get 9+ I'll at least get a core workout with the shovel, my snow blower can't handle those numbers.

Historically I've used the winter months to get a few home projects completed, I haven't done crap this year except ride on the weekends. After work tonight, make sure the snow blower's ready & inventory my painting supplies.

Damn! The backyard was almost devoid of mud too! We've been dog-sitting all week, so we've had an extra set of dirty paws to deal with.

See you out there?


Monday, February 9, 2009

recovery ride?

Yesterday it was 60 & calm, Sunday it was 30's with a wierd East wind? I almost never ride gravel to the east & Southeast of Lincoln, Sunday we did. Mopac to Eagle, dropped down to Palmyra & tailwind in on Saltillo. A quick 52 miles with some throw downs mixed in. A mini-team ride blended in with some of the usual D Street cast. New teammate Trevor joined us, rode great. Ask him about the bridge incident if you see him. Group ride-starved Ryan was in town from Atlantic, IA & Aaron was present still hammering on the gravel on his road bike. Add Craigio & Matt T, that makes 6 of us. Pretty sweet. 143 mile weekend in February, are you kidding me? Can't complain!
Cornbread...thanks as always for hosting the rides. BTW - to say you're going going good is an understatement, keep it up man! Tough, tough, tough. KW, great seeing you too.



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day after friday but before sunday...

The usual suspects today. A couple new/old faces though, JT was there & this character pictured below. Possibly NE's only Cat 1, I think. If I'm wrong I don't care, no need to correct me. Ok prove me wrong, I can't think of anyone else, active Cat 1's that is. Spence maybe? Great having him along & putting the hammer down. Oh yeah, he was riding his road bike on this gravel adventure.

The group splintered along our way to Valpo, but we regrouped at the gas station once everyone got there. Beautiful day, topped out around 60 degrees I believe. Mr. Drake, pictured below, also joined our adventure. 89 cent RC's were flowing.

The group departed Valpo heading North. Cornbread & myself had Brainard on our minds, Mr. Pool was our only taker. I've never made it up there but have always talked about it. A group made it there a couple years ago & I've been jealous ever since. Below was my vision quest, whatever that means? Super Don, I wish you were along for the ride. I actually had this thought that maybe you guys would be there working. Not today, but Don...we'll be back!
Minor mechanical on the Oak Creek Trail leaving Brainard. The trail proved to be too soft for AP's skinny tires so we bailed at Loma. With a sweet tailwind we arrived back in Valpo in no time.
Back in Lincoln, out by the airport we ran into Coach headed out. A 2nd place finish at the Animal Run in Hickman was enough for him today. Nice work!
91 miles of gravel goodness. I survived much better this week than last Saturday. My goal was to work on eating & drinking more. Lets put it this way...I did better. AP's constantly eating, I need to get in that mode. After we left Coach I was actually feeling great, probably could have rolled around town to get the hundie.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009


Day started with another earlier than usual wake up, 3:45. Elite women at 4:30 on Sporza. WTF!! No CX? Australian that's a buzz kill. Ended up following it on cycling news & watched the taped version on Universal an hour later. Kupfernagel gave Vos a free ride to the World Championship. Didn't hang out for the men, hooked up at D street for the Sunday ride. Blasted out a quick 32 miles to Raymond & back, caught the men on Universal when I got back. Fast is an understatement.

Saw you guys pushed on to Ceresco, nice.

See you next weekend.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

the reserve tank...

Corey & I had Wilber on the brain, both looking for 80 miles on this gorgeous last day of January.
Group split along the way, Coach's party looking for the mythical Oregon Trail marker east of Milford & 5 of us continuing south to the Czech Capitol. Below: Not even 1/2 way there.

Czeching out the local museum.
Phone rang, Matt T & Coach are just south of Crete. We headed North & hooked up with the westward explorers, they had found their prize!

As we near Lincoln I start to realize that were going to end up quite short of our planned 80. We hit 14th & Rokeby & were about 13 short. Decision time, bail & head home, settle with about 71? or keep going. Corey & I decide to keep going & head south on 14th. This where it starts to get ugly. Apparently my body was thinking it was close to home because after we made that right turn to the south, it revolted. Heading south into the wind it only took about a quarter mile before I realized I was done for the day. Time for survival-mode. I'll leave out the gory details, but I was digging super deep to continue. Turning back was not an option, had to grind it out. I haven't mentioned, while I'm in my own personal hell, Corey is just plowing along like were on mile 30 or something. Animal.

83.6 miles, 5 hrs 33 minutes ride time. Son of a....

Meeting up again today but nothing epic...we'll see.