Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
There's a haunted hayride in Mankato that I've attempted to go to no less than 5 times, and I've never actually gotten to go on it. Generally it's because I've been busy pre-partying and got there too late, but this year was going to be different. We stopped by the liqor store to pick up some 40's. I, being a man of good taste, opted for a bottle of Boone's Farm.
We drove all the way to Mankato, only to learn that the hayride has been closed for 2 years. Son of a bitch! We stopped at a gas station and found out that there was a haunted house not too far away, so we decided to head over there. We sat in the parking lot drinking our booze, then got in line. After waiting for over half an hour just to get to the ticket booth, it started freakin' raining. Since it appeared that there was at least another hour of wait time, we decided to leave. I called Dave, and he was at the bar, so we went to meet him.
There's an old mall in Mankato that has basically been converted to Party Central, with bars everywhere. It was bad ass. First time I've ever parked in a ramp to go to the bar.
It was awesome to see Dave, who I haven't hung out with in way too long. We had a few drinks, then headed out, resigned to the fact that I will never, ever, ever get to go on that fucking hayride.
Yes, one of these pictures does not fit the theme of this post.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Many people may be surprised to learn that I'm obsessed with hunting shows. I can generally get my fix on www.myoutdoortv.com, but I would like to be able to record Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives as well. Woah, I think I just divulged too much info. Moving on...
As far as I can tell, all I need is a TV card and Yahoo's free Go For TV software. Most of the TV tuner cards even come with their own DVR software as well, but want you to pay for subscriptions to listing services.
More news as it develops.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
That picture is not the result of me blowing my load, rather the result of a crappy tubeless tire repair product. This was required because Mike busted his shit up when he had to take evasive action to avoid being run over on his way to the trail.
At the start of the 2nd lap I didn't notice that everyone had left without me, so I rode the trail backwards till I met up with them again. I don't know what the hell I was doing...I just looked up and they were gone. Riding in the woods at night by yourself is a bit creepy. Way too quiet. Once I found the group again, I was able to hang better than on the first lap. Most of the guys know the trail really well, and I...um...don't. I was pleased to be hanging with the "fast guys" on the last lap, until one of them started whistling while I was suffering like a dog. Dick.
Overall, it was a lot of fun. The new grips I put on the bike are way pimp. I think it was my first mountain bike ride EVER where my hands didn't fall asleep. The stem/bars/seatpost/saddle are all set up correctly, too, so I actually didn't feel too beat up after the ride.
Based on my complete lack of fitness, I think I may be fooling myself that the VeloCX race is going to be "fun". At this rate, I'll be lucky to beat T3.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
- Do A Flip. I get completely disoriented when I go upside-down, and I usually land on my head.
- Dance. OK, maybe this one goes without saying.
- Snowboard. I'm OK, but I can't cross into the 'good' realm, no matter what I try. I just can't do anything frontside.
- Track Stand. I've tried and tried. And tried. And tried some more. I just can't do it. I have no balance.
- Jog. My best mile ever is 5:41. I used to be skinny, so you'd think I could have done better at some point in my life.
- Bike Maintenance. It's like I'm retarded.
- Bench Press. I can squat a lot. I can deadlift a lot. I can't bench for shit. It's shameful. Shameful, I say!
- Add The Bass Drum. I'm stuck on 'Easy' in Rock Band because I can't seem to add the bass drum and still hit all the other notes.
- Touch My Toes. I am the most unflexible person ever.
- Hit A Baseball. I can throw. I can catch. I can't hit.
- Mountain Bike. I really do suck. I'm like suckajawea. I'm working on that, though, and actually getting better.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Over the past five games since Frerotte became the Vikings starter in Week 3, he ranks third in passing yards in the NFL with 1,286. New Orleans’ Drew Brees is first with 1,665 yards and Chicago’s Kyle Orton is second with 1,370. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is fourth with 1,162.
Childress has to go. You can't blame the quarterback anymore.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
When I first starting biking, I was a pure mountain biker. Spandex was for pussies, road bikes were for squares.
My favorite place to ride was always Camp Manitou in Monticello. It's where I really learned how to ride, where I won my first race, and it was probably my favorite trail in all of MN. I always, without exception, got lost there.
Then they opened it up to motocrossers, and the whole thing went to shit. The trails were torn up, rutted, muddy, and wide. Even the group that put on races there abandoned the venue. That was about 4 years ago, and I assumed the trail was done for.
But now there's been a big effort by some of the St. Cloud riders to rebuild Camp Manitou. The dirt bikes have been banned and the trail work has been substantial. There are currently almost 20 miles of trail! Nice work to all involved. I'd name names, but I'd likely forget someone.
I'd encourage everyone to get out to Monti and check it out.
5. Mario. Taking heat for switching teams. Seems like it was just this time last year I was in the same boat. Oh wait, it was...
4. Jason, for issuing the challenge. Although I'm wholeheartedly against veganism and other hippy shit I don't understand, I appreciate that he took the time to lay out his feelings, and that he's walking the walk, instead of just talking about it.
3. Meow. Her writing style amuses me. She's, like, all whimsical and shit.
2. Steve in a Speedo. I dig his writing and photos, and it looks like he hopped on the mountain bike the same time I did. I am also enamored with the 'bowl full of sunshine'. But not in a gay way.
1. Doom. I'm glad you're blogging again. Rock on, brotha. Let's go get a sasparilla sometime.
Honorable Mention goes to Smithers, but I'm neither a raging liberal nor a cyclocross racer, so it hasn't really been hitting home for me lately.
Now go forth and amuse me.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
If anyone has a cyclocross bike they're willing to loan me, I'll race the NSC VeloCX race on November 8th. I need a 54 or 56, and you can't be all anal about me adjusting the saddle height. I promise I'll do my best not to break anything. I'll likely be going too slow for anything bad to happen anyway.
I assume I'll have to race with the Cat 4 men, since my license says I'm a Cat 4 in cyclocross.
I'd like to remind everyone that The DGC is also an excellent CX racer:
EDIT: It just occurred to me that my 29er mountain bike would probably work very well for cyclocross. Maybe I don't need a cx bike.
I'm returning my fork for a warranty replacement because there's a loose chunk of something floating around inside one of the fork legs. Nice.
The customer service guy who approved the return was a dick, so hopefully the rest of the process goes smoothly. I was fighting with him about why I should have to pay shipping both ways to get a new fork when they're the ones who fucked up. He wasn't smart enough to grasp the concept of my argument so I hung up on him.
It goes without saying that this is what I deserve for buying cheap shit. Trust me, I've learned my lesson. I'll probably sell the whole bike once the new fork comes.
I'll post updates as they're available.
I thought this was pretty bizarre.
OK, awesome post. Whoo!
Monday, October 20, 2008
So I is wearing a mask.
Capping off the weekend of my dreams, I spent all day Sunday tearing Pete's basement apart. It was awesome.
There was pounding, drilling, screwing, laying pipe, filling the dumpster, and...uh...cleaning out the moldy corner. In a totally non-gay way.
One of my wife's co-workers got married on Saturday, and I was informed that this would be "the fanciest wedding we've ever been to", and that I was expected to wear a suit. Of course, we show up and I'm the only tool wearing a fucking suit.
I nearly fell asleep during the Catholic wedding ceremony. The priest was droning on and on about Hershey's Kisses or some shit...whatever, it was the absolute worst wedding speech (Homily? Whatever it's called) I've ever heard. The bride and groom had only met the priest that morning. How special!
Now we get into the logistics of a wedding reception. If you get married at 2:00, it is a bad idea to have dinner at 6:00. People get bored. Really, really bored. Also, the bar should be open during and immediately following dinner. People do not want to stand around drinking for 3 hours prior to dinner, only to have the bar close. They sober up, get headaches, get tired, and go home.
And when did the trend of grooms giving 30-minutes speeches during dinner start? Shut up! At least the bridesmaids kept their speeches short. Then the microphone battery died, sparing us any more suffering.
By the time the dance finally started...6 hours after the wedding...more than half the guests had already gone home and everyone else was complaining about paying $7.00 for a domestic beer.
I just wanted to get out of my fuckin' suit. I had brought other clothes - YAY! But the pants were too small - BOO. Awesome. What's more uncomfortable than a suit? Tight pants.
All told, we were out of there by 9:30, and the only reason we stayed that late was because we wanted the kids to be asleep when we got home.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
I went out for a mountain bike ride with Jim Bell today for almost two hours, which is about as long as I've continuously pedaled in a LOOOOOOONG time. My back is sore, my hands kept falling asleep, and I racked my choad on the top tube. Hard.
Here's Jim pissing in the woods.
I cut my bars down to about 25" and they feel a lot better. I also adjusted my saddle a bit and that seems to have helped some. I just don't know what to do about my hands falling asleep. It gets really bad, to the point that I can't grip the bars or feel the brake levers. I'm going to order up some of those Ergon grips and see if that helps.
I lowered my tire pressure (OK, Jim lowered it) to 30-32psi, and the ride was a lot smoother. I'd love to go tubeless and go even lower.
We started out at my house and rode over to the North Loop, where we met up with Slick. Then we hit up Riverside. We rode through the frizbee golf course, which resulted in riding through a huge cloud of weed smoke. Unfortunately, it was not enough to dull the pain! On the trail, some kids were trying to convince us to look in a hole. "Look in the hole! Look in the hole!" Why the hell would I look in the hole? Especially when the kids look like little pipe-bombers.
We rode back to my house, and I'm spent. My fitness is not cut out for rides like this, but my body seems to be adapting OK. We'll see how the rest of the fall plays out. My technical abilities are improving, so that will help make up for some of my physical traits (read: fat ass).
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I haven't owned a mountain bike for almost 2 years, and it's probably been about 3 years since I've actually ridden one on a trail.
With that in mind, I did the only logical thing I could do with my new bike. I went for a night ride. I'm not a particularly good mountain biker to begin with so I was mildly concerned about riding a brand new bike through the woods in the dark. I did my best to clear the forest of trees, but came away relatively unscathed. Except my elbow, which hurts like a bitch.
Riding in the dark was a blast. I've had a nice set of lights for a couple years now, but haven't really gotten to use them till last night. It really adds a whole new dimension to riding. I may want to supplement with a helmet-mounted light. We'll see how much night riding I do. Ted was leading most of the ride, so it helps to have another light to follow.
I couldn't be more pleased with the bike itself. I am absolutely smitten with the 29-inch wheels. They roll over everything effortlessly. Combined with the steel frame, they provide a relatively smooth ride for a rigid bike, although I think I need to reduce the air pressure in my tires. I was running right around 40psi, and I think I should probably go lower. Ben? Anyone?
This was also my first experience with disc brakes. I really like them, but they'll take some getting used to. I kept locking them up in corners, instead of modulating them so scrub off speed.
Since I had very little time to set the bike up properly, I'll definitely need to make some ergonomic changes. The bars are REALLY wide and I kept clipping trees with them, so I'll have to cut 'em down. I also need a longer stem and the saddle height needs some work.
Aside from that, I'm very happy, and the ride was awesome. I had forgotten what it's like to do something besides ride in circles!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
First and foremost, getting sick 2 weeks out and taking 5 days completely off the bike absolutely killed my fitness. I still felt strong, but I think I may have peaked about 10 days early. I felt like I was on the downswing in LA. I was fading at the end of races, where normally I would have still been on the gas. My recovery between races also sucked.
Speaking of races, I did too many. I had at least one race every day for 5 days. At Nationals, a race isn't just a race. There's the process of loading up the car and heading to the track. Then getting dressed, warmed up, and staying warm though the other races on the schedule. The grand total generally ended up being in the range of 3-4 hours. I should have skipped the 250, because it wasn't an event I cared about, and I should have scratched out of the keirin and saved my energy for the next day, since I knew I had nothing in the tank.
I also felt sick for much of the time I was in LA. I didn't feel "right" until the final day of competition. Maybe arriving a few days earlier, instead of showing up 5 hours before my first race, would have alleviated that.
Throughout 2008, the best I ever felt was at the State Match Sprints. I need to examine my training and determine what I did in the lead-up to that event, because whatever it was worked perfectly.
I'm also reevaluating my position on the bike. After seeing videos of myself, I think there's quite a bit of room for improvement there.
I learned this year that in order to be competitive at the Elite level, sprinters now need to have sub-11 200m speed, as well as 1:05 kilo speed. A sprint isn't a sprint anymore...it's a 2-lap drag race, and I wasn't prepared for that.
I also hate the fact that Nats is held in October. I have trouble keeping my motivation high that late into the season.
I'm currently in the process of reevaluating my goals for 2009, which may or may not include another run at Nationals. Maybe I'll just come out and race for FUN.
Here's the rep round. I let the guy into 2nd position because I remembered him from round 1 as someone who attacked right away, so I figured he'd take me to the front. He tried to attack, but died almost immediately, and I got boxed in and had to come all the way over the top. Stupid keirins.
In both heats, I was one spot out of qualifying for the finals.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
We finished with a time og 49.6, less than .4 seconds out of second, and roughly an hour out of 1st.
We changed up the order a bit and had Ferris start, with me 2nd wheel and Mathieson 3rd.
Our first lap was 20.1, I rode 14.5, and Mathieson crushed the 3rd lap at 14.9.
Now I'm sitting at the airport, ready to come home and chill.
In my first round there was a near crash (caused by someone riding like a retard) just before the motor pulled off and after the shuffle I ended up in 7th position. At this point my only option was to jump the motor, and I had to come all the way over the top. I pulled a good gap but couldn't hold it for 2 full laps and ended up 3rd behind Justin Williams and Dean Tracy.
In the rep I was pretty cooked and my game plan was to just sit in and wait for a hole
to open up on the last lap. It never happened, and I had to back off a bit, then try to come over the top and I ended up in 2nd.
Done for the day.
There was a solo crash in Ferris's heat, which he narrowly avoided to end up 2nd and advance to the 2nd round. There, he drew the motor and rode a good race, just barely missing the 1-6 finals. He rode well in the 7-12 finals and ended up getting 9th. Nice work!
Somehow Fraley was able to work his way all the way up through the reps and get himself on the podium in 5th. Unfortunately, things like dates and times are too much for him to handle, and he screwed up his plane tickets and has to fly back tonight, leaving us without a starter for our Team Sprint. We were able to recruit TJ Mathieson (the guy who beat me in the first sprint round). He's wicked fast. I'll be starting, with Ferris 2nd and TJ 3rd. We're shooting for the top of the podium!
Kruse missed qualifying for the finals in the points race by about 6 inches. He took 4th in the final sprint, getting 1 point, and he needed 2 points to qualify.
Dubay is still a bit ill and his heat blew to smithereens. That sucks.
So far the Blaine crew has 4 top-10 finishes at Nationals, so I'd say we're having a damn good showing! Team sprint and Madison tomorrow...
The internet is acting up in our cheap-ass hotel, so I can't upload photos right now. I'll try later.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I had a hard time getting warmed up today, but once I did I felt pretty damn good. I knew I was entering the race against 3 kilo guys, and I was the only pure sprinter in the bunch. I knew it would go long, and I was prepared. The first jump came with almost 2 laps to go. I covered it pretty easily and was holding 2nd coming into the bell lap, feeling pretty good. I had one guy boxed in underneath me, but I started to hit the wall coming into the final turn. The guy who beat me in the first sprint round was trying to move up on the outside, so I gave him a little flick to protect my position, and that was enough for David Espinoza (Collegiate Sprint and Kilo National Champion) to get un-boxed and take the win. I held on for 3rd, ending up 7th in the overall standings.
I retrospect, I think I raced pretty smart. I saw the video, and there really wasn't much more that I could have done. At the end of the day, I'm currently the 7th best sprinter in America. Life could be worse!
Jimmy Watkins won the sprints after a bad crash by Steve Hill in the finals. He looked like he got his bell rung pretty damn hard. Hill was trying to flick Watkins, but Watkins didn't move, and Hill bounced right off him and went down.
Michael Blatchford is dealing with some back spasms, so he scratched today and ended up 4th.
Kruse rolled a 4:59.1
Here's the pics.
Ready to race
At the finish
Wish I was there!
They forgot our sliverware, so Linsey ate her potatoes with steak a knife
Friday, October 03, 2008
As I said earlier, I qualified in 5th place with an 11.188, which put me up against the number 8 seed. Unfortunately for me, the guy is significantly faster than his qualifying time of 11.3 and I underestimated him. I wasn't able to come around him, and I lost by a wheel. I then swore really loudly and threw some shit around.
Next I went into a Rep round with two guys who qualified with 11.5's. One jumped REALLY early and I let the other guy chase him down, then came around at the end to win and get back into the sprint tournament.
I didn't necessarily agree with the re-seeding, but I ended up facing the #1 seed, Jimmy Watkins, who had qualified with a 10.7 (I thought I should have been matched against the #2 seed).
In our first race I was still totally lit up from the uber-long sprint in my rep round, and he had no problem beating me. In the second race I gave him a run for his money, but ultimately came up a half wheel short. Again.
Afterwards we went out to eat at PF Chang's for my birthday. I was delicious.
Tomorrow I will be riding the 5-8 finals, so I've got a chance to be on the podium.
Now, here's the photos:
By a wheel. FUUUUCCCKKKK!!!!
The Ninja in his flying 200
Dubie is sick
Linsey enjoyed the scratch race so much that she wants to be an enduro!
These are two ladies on Bubba Gump Segways. Yeah.
Letting Fraley be Fraley
There's a lighthouse in there somewhere. I'm all pro and shit at photography.