Wednesday, June 30, 2010

tuesday unwind...

I had planned on making crit practice, didn't happen. I'm not making plans anymore...

video

Later,

TK

Saturday, June 26, 2010

ignorant gravel...

Opted out of the 5 am ride & rolled out at 7:18 am. At 14th & the Jamaica I happened on this guy & his owner, they apparently were out for a long one because they were both loaded up with extra supplies. A long run that is, I said have a good day & he responded with the same in a British accent?
No plan today, just ride & see where I ended up. After a very quick pit stop in Cortland I decided to head for the trinity of dirt that I had visited last summer about this time...
video

120th & Cherry the road ended, arrows said left or right. I chose straight, I'm not passing up on that grassy double track disappearing over the horizon...

ok, still good...
Then not so good, ended up grinding through some tall grass until I found a ride-able corridor through the corn. This corn appeared to have had the tops cut off? Hail damage followed by some sort of damage control? Stamper...what do you think?

Looking back...
Disclaimer: if some of these photos look hazy it may be due to my lens being sweaty from my pocket. Actually, as hot & humid as it was it just adds some special effects.

The corner. I hadn't planned this but I ended up all the way down at the Gage & Johnson Co. line. Hell, all I had to do was roll North & I'd end up in Otoe Co. & would have an unplanned 4 county jam in the works, sweet...

606th Ave & 729th Rd., Johnson County baby...

I did head North but took a long look east into Johnson Co., another day...

This is where the gravel ignorance kicks in. I sort of had an idea where I was but underestimated how far it was to Bennet which I believed to be my next refuel. Bennet ended up being about 24 miles & I arrived there way out of water & on the dehydration side of things. Here's the real kicker...when I rode by 176th & Birch Rd. I was only 1 freaking mile from Adams! Due to my lack of knowledge of the area & a thick tree line I couldn't see the town. I didn't realize this until way up the road as I started to process my surroundings. If I could have stopped there I wouldn't have rolled into Bennet in need of mass hydration. Dumb-ass.

That kind of took the wind out of my sails & I decided to take the quickest route back to Lincoln to cut my losses as I have another adventure planned for tomorrow. Where? I have no idea.

Anyway...left @ 7:18 am & was home by 12:40 pm, 83 miles, 4 counties, & a better understanding of the gravel SE of Lincoln.

Later,

TK

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

melting butter, literally...

Since DK I've ridden, not counting the commute, just a handful of times & its been a few tempo gravel rides, 40 milers. Partly because work has been ridiculously busy & partly because I needed a break to heal up.

Not sure why, but last night I decided since it was the hottest evening of the year (heat index at a hundee) & since I haven't done any speed work all year that I would bust out the Cronus & head to crit practice. To say I didn't have top end, leg speed, or a fast twitch going would be an understatement...but I went all the same.

heading for the Bison...
Parts of the trail were under water as recently as Monday so had to roll through some muddy sections & then this, hmmm?
I'd say we have a problem here, trail may be closed for awhile. Looked like they were going to redo the bridge on the East end anyway...



Eventually made it & it went off as I expected. Had nothing to really offer. I'd hang in for a couple laps of the 20 lap effort, drop off & then jump back in. Like I said, it went pretty much like I expected...
This bike is bad ass, going to have to spend some more time on it...
Coach & Ghast also out enjoying their Cronus's...
An attempt to get the money shot of the three Cronus's, didn't happen...
in the house...
So got some work to do to get back. I wouldn't call it a surprise or an eye opener or anything, pretty much how I thought it would go. Oh yeah...it was fun, I'll be back.

Later,

TK

Monday, June 21, 2010

6 mph...

Yesterday, on paper at least, my plan was to get some bigger miles in. Ride early 2-3 hours then meet C-bread & whomever @ 10:30 for more miles. Woke up to rain & lightening so adjusted my plan to focus around the 10:30 meet up. Got to the coffee shop & cue more rain, hard rain at that. I don't think we rolled out of there until nearly noon. Streets were wet, bike paths had big puddles, but we were optimistic.

Made it to 84th & Old Cheney, both C-bread & myself were bonking already from too much coffee & dip in blood sugar. As we rolled in he's got a flat. The surrounding skies are not looking good but its just spitting a bit. Fix one flat, roll out & his tire goes down again, big piece-o-glass he hadn't spotted before, damn. S-big lives up the road so we decide to push on to his house for the a proper fix...
If ya can't ride, run...
shouldering skillz...
still running...
and running...

video
almost there...
Spent about 30 minutes at S-big's chatting with his family & then pushed on. We decided on a bike path ride not wanting to get to far from town with ominous clouds in all directions.

We ended up in North Lincoln on the Dietrich as lightening started to pop all around us. We hauled ass for cover, this time at Cycle Works. As we rolled in the skies opened & it poured for quite awhile, probably holed up there for nearly an hour.

To wrap this up I finally made it home about 5 hours after I had left. 30 miles, 6 mph. It was fun though, thanks guys.

Later,

TK

Saturday, June 19, 2010

hot steamer...

Ahhh work...a double-edged sword. Pays the bills but can challenge your regular routine when it gets in the way. We lost a couple folks at the job recently (to put it nicely) & in a fairly small company like I work at the trickle down is huge. With the economy still weak...rehire or just pick up the slack? Right now it's the bury yourself to stay ahead approach, we're going to rehire but that doesn't happen overnight.

Anyway...I've been riding later in the evenings & by myself. I wish I could say it cooled off as the sun went down last night but not much. As usual I headed out only with a loose plan. Eventually I decided to head for the Denton wall. Don't want to tell you exactly where it is because it'll probably be on the GLGA course this year, some of you already know it.

I approach from the North, crest a small rise & there it is...
About a 1/2 mile up the road, doesn't look like much from back here...
Building up speed, you can try to gain momentum but the approach is white rock & loose gravel...
closer...
At this point the approach has killed your attack, just settle in & grind it to the top. My 42 x 25 & a slight tail just wasn't enough & I was out of the saddle working it...
It's not long just steep, probably as steep as we've got around here. Mix in 50+ or so climbs like this or similar & the GLGA won't disappoint on the historic scale. Over the top I stopped & made some new friends. They agreed, a hot steamer...
2 weeks removed, all good...
Temp was probably only 80 something but damn the humidity was sick...
New road, Yankee Hill & 110th-ish...
stumbled on this...
and this guy...
in the house...
Gotta work today, whatever...

Later,

TK

Thursday, June 17, 2010

the shit sandwich...

So I told you I had wandered down to the Elkhorn early last Saturday morning. Met up with an old guy coming up from the river bank, his house is/was located 100 yards or so from the river. He told me the river had come up two feet overnight but would need to come up another ten to cause him any grief. He'd been there going on 40 years & the river had been in his house before, didn't say when though. Well Monday the river came up 14 feet & I'd have to say his home was completely submerged. My wife's Aunt & Grandmother live 1/4 mile from the river & the water came & came but spared the house with only some water in the basement. I picture the house as a little island surrounded by water. Below: Saturday morning the river was just a few feet below the bridge...
Now imagine it 14 feet higher, over my head with me standing on the bridge. Son-of-a...take a big bite. TP & family took a big bite earlier this week, I can only imagine how frustrating & helpless it can make one feel. Out of your control. Hope you guys are getting back to some degree of normalcy...
on a happier thread, last night...
and then...
rucio...
represent...
Later,

TK


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

down time...

I'm still here. More or less took the week off, well I rode to work everyday. Slow rode to work to be more exact. I walked away from numerous issues at the j.o.b. prior to leaving for DK & paid for it all week trying to get caught up. Head's still not quite above water. Post historic event depression has come & gone, probably good work was off the hook to distract me. Everyday has been a new adventure with the healing process from last weekend's gravel slide. Getting better but still can only sleep on my left side & chunks are peeling & dropping off daily, pleasant. My hip wound is the most uncomfortable.

We're up in flooded Madison County this weekend for my sister in law's wedding, which I was a groomsman. My gravel rash has been a constant topic of awe & repulsion. Hiked down the road to the Elkhorn yesterday to see how high it had swollen with around 6 inches of rain over the last 4 days, took some pictures but forgot my camera cord. Brought a bike but was to busy to ride yesterday with wedding detail & today it's raining again intermittently. The plan is to be back in the saddle this week, that's the plan at least.

So what's next on the race schedule? Don't know. When the bar has been raised so high with an event like DK it's hard to get amped for anything else. The plan...ride my bike & have fun, simple enough.

Later,

TK

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dirty Kanza 2010....

Have to start out this post with thank you's. In no particular order & if I forget someone don't think I don't appreciate anything/everything you did! The Gammel family, Debbie Sue, & Tyler for their support at the checkpoints. To everyone (Lincolnites that is) who stopped during their race to assist in first aid/bike repair, I'll elaborate in a bit. To Jim, Joel, & crew for putting on, pulling off, & being so passionate about an event. To all the people I rode with, spoke with, suffered with during this event...thank you. A shout out to Andy from Manhattan, we rode together from about mile 70 to Little Egypt, his previous long ride was 88 & he finished later that night. I enjoyed your company.

Thank you to my travel partner's Cornbread & James, this was a great trip. It's never a bad trip when one of your travel companions wins the event! That's right, C-bread is the 2010 champion of the Dirty Kanza 200!!! No one deserves it more, one of the strongest gravel rider's out there. In his 4th attempt he found the perfect blend of fitness, nutrition, hydration, & guts to pull out a commanding win. An awesome achievement to say the least. Temperatures hovered around 90 as the day wore on with humidity above 70%...nasty. C-bread completed this tough course in around 13 hours 30 minutes, an hour up on 2nd place. Congratulations man!
The story behind the story. Friday night pasta dinner & pre-race meeting. PCL is always there...
The masterminds - Jim & Joel...
Our support crew, how sweet is this...
5:15 am Saturday morning we rolled the 3 miles to the start, already 73 degrees & the air was thick...
Emporia welcomed us with open arms, this year's event started in front of the Granada Theater in the heart of downtown...
The race started promptly at 6:00 with a surprisingly gentle tempo over the first 20 miles. It wasn't long before we were joined by cattle running along side of our group, some on the safe side of the fence but many on the same road as ourselves...
Just past mile 20 we start to head East with a downhill & good tailwind, the group ramps it up with speeds in the mid 20's. About 20 or so are in this lead group & I found myself sort of in the middle of the pack, not ideal positioning. Someone in front of me starts to struggle against a deep rut, there front wheel fighting the lip of the rut. Cue slow motion, I can see it coming. I've got no where to go & my front wheel starts chattering against the edge of the rut. I didn't have to fight it long because I went down hard & fast at 25mph. This isn't a road crash, this a rutted out B Rd. crash. No sliding to a stop with the accompanying pavement abrasions but a hard smash & short slide to a quick stop. I've got the most extensive series of abrasions I have experienced in my cycling career. The G-man is right behind me & he goes down opening a big gash in his chin.

Over the next few minutes the rest of the Lincoln crew caught up with this accident scene & stopped to help. Butchie, m-dub, Nathan, Bruce K, Fred, & even my vet Mark Falloon all stopped to offer assistance. Thanks to everyone of you!

My handle bars were sideways, no problem got out the multi & fixed that. My chain keeper was jacked up but no problem used the multi on that as well. The major problem was my front wheel was terribly out of true, like really bad. Not taco'd but heading that direction. I got out the spoke wrench & got it some what better, eventually m-dub started banging it on the ground which got it "rideable", that's a broad term. I disconnected my front brake & I was ready to roll. Less than 40 miles to the first checkpoint & I could get first-aid & do some more repairs.

m-dub working on my front while Butchie performs first-aid on Dennis's chin. He eventually made it to the 1/2 way point but had to pull out & got stitches in his chin & elbow area...
crash scene...
the least of my worries, it's everything above what's pictured that is hamburger...
Is this my blood or Dennis's?
this might be mine, unsure...
Off I go racing to the checkpoint for repairs, both body & bike. As I approached, my back was hurting & I considered abandoning...briefly. When I rolled in to the checkpoint I was surrounded by people wanting to help & asking me what I needed. I immediately knew I would continue. A few more hard bangs on the ground & some twists of the spoke wrench were performed while others tended to my open wounds & I was back on the road with front brakes & all.

Weird, but even with all the carnage on my right side & my PCL kit torn open at the hip & shoulder...I was in really good spirits. Only 40 or so miles to the 1/2 way point. I can do this!
Along the way I met up with FOB & we spent some time together, he was riding great.
The support crew was at the 1/2 way when I got there, Dan Hughes told me Cornbread was off the front. Oh yeah!! That's what I'm talking about.

Next stop Alma at mile 140. Here's my refuel pile...
Healing nicely...
From Alma to Eskridge is painful, it was painful last year & it was worse this year. The wind died completely & this 25 mile leg was calm, still, dead air. A cooker. We had some cloud cover earlier but the sun was out & blazing hot, doing its best to force a rider's submission. Not today my friend.

Rolled in to Eskridge to find nearly the the whole lead group. Right on! Some looked ok & other's were in a deep, dark place. My travel partner James was on the hurtin' side of the fence, 165 miles would be the end of his day, a new PR. I know you would have wanted to finish but hold your head high, you rode great! These conditions were brutal.

How brutal? The guy sitting next to me threw up on the table, I'm not kidding...
From just after Alma to Eskridge I hooked up with Bicycle Shack rider Eric Finks. A great partner to suffer with. We were in roughly the same condition & worked well together. We rolled out of Eskridge with just 40 miles to go to the finish. I was also glad to have him with me because he had a "real" light and I estimated we would finish after dark. All I had was a little blinky light because I always plan to finish in the daylight. I cut it close last year but this year it would definitely be after dark.

We ended up getting some help from the wind and crushed it all the way to the finish. We passed one more rider about 3 miles from the finish & we were 2 minutes behind the two guys in front us. Eric took 7th & I rolled in right next to him in 8th. Couldn't have asked for a better partner to suffer with, weird how that works out. We finished in approximately 15 hours & 23 minutes, I think. Other Lincoln finisher's were Scott Bigelow, Aaron Gammel, Matt Wills, & Butch Johnson. Well done & well done to everyone that gave it their best shot. I know you'll all be back.

this morning:

a mixture of dust & sticky drinks...
the cotton candy bar tape took a beating...
parking lot sighting this morning...
wow, what a weekend...

Later,

TK