Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gettin' Ready

So, I decided with the cross season almost over I might give this crazy thing a try. Surely by now all those hardcore crossers are worn down from a winter of crushing it. I started putting some time back in the saddle in hopes that I won't finish dead last. Second to last maybe, I could live with that. I also recently discovered that DK registration is the same day as the race. I had tried to talk myself out of doing it again. I finished, pretty respectably on top of that. I should be happy with that right? Of course not. I started looking at last years results and thinking of all the ways I could shave time next year, plus I should theoretically be in better shape. Dang it, I'll be signing up to have another go at it. Maybe crack the top 10 this year. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Random thoughts on the eve of Christmas Eve

If you have not seen every last episode of Arrested Development then I strongly suggest you do so. Now. Bobby, Crystal, and myself have diligently watched the entire three seasons. Now that it is over I'm not quite sure how I'll spend my time. Riding is on the back burner...for the most part. Bobby and I made a trip out to Raunchy Randy's Cyclo-X track and tore up the course in the snow on our mountain bikes. This Friday the temps are s'posed to rocket into the mid 50's. Nothing will be keeping me off my bike on Friday.

How could I have forgot about this. Bobby and I finally finished up our schooling. I think a few people have got their doctorates in the time it took me to get a bachelor's, but hey, we can't all be rocket scientist's. Big ol' thanks to my family for making me feel pretty special about it. Hmm, seems to be about all that's been going on lately. Have a Merry Christmas everybody!

Monday, December 15, 2008

CX Nationals

The warm morning temps were a mere teaser and the looming cold front was only appropriate for a cx national championship. Mike, Jim, Bobby and myself decided we needed to have a little fun, so we did a couple laps on the short track around the corner from the cross course. It was enough to convince me I might want to hit a couple of those up come next summer. Then the cold really hit. It was miserable for a bit, but then Mike, Bobby, and I found a good bit of the course that was hidden by some trees. 
Nothing like below freezing temps to bring out the crazies of the world. Gotta love it.
Look at this champ. Amidst all the stars this guy was by far my favorite. But, it was nice getting a little start struck by the likes of Todd Wells and Jeremiah Bishop. And of course a long list of 'crossers. 
Taking the barriers like a champ. 
Eventual National Champion Ryan Trebon. I was glad to see him take home the victory. It seemed to be sweet justice for what happened here last year. The man won it by a considerable margin. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bye Bye Home of the Blues...Buenas Dias Bread Basket State

I know what you're thinking and you are wrong my friend. These are not just any ol' ordinary ducks swimming in a hotel lobby. These are THE world famous Peabody ducks. Daffy ain't got nothin' on these mallards. Well, enough hype. While strolling downtown we walked by the Peabody hotel and had to stop by and see the trained birds. They really don't do much besides walk down from their 21st floor penthouse to come play in the fountain. Then they go back upstairs. It made my night.
Also made a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum. This is the Lorraine Hotel, the wreath on the balcony signifies the place where MLK Jr. was standing when he was shot. The hotel has since been converted into the Civil Rights Museum. Top notch, see it if you're rolling through Memphis.
Mmm...guitars. I had to make a stop at the Gibson factory (even though I'm a Fender man myself). The tour was pretty sweet, although guitars are nearly made entirely by machines nowadays. It was still a good time, got to pick on some high dolla' gitfiddles.

Now, I kept this a secret from my friends and family. But, I decided to quit my job in pursuit of Big Foot full-time. I thought I would take my belongings to the pacific northwest and make routine bike trips into the backcountry in search of the elusive primate. But, as it turns out he was just hanging out in downtown Memphis. Friendly fella too and always spreading holiday cheer. Not to mention he grilled up some nice burgers. 

Well, I guess this is my final Memphis post. In two days I'll be making the trip back to good ol' Kansas. Memphis has been good to me, but let's face it. The south has nothin' on the sweet tea I've got waiting for me. And BBQ...PLEASE! Gimme that sweet KC Masterpiece any day. Now the riding, that I'm gonna miss (a little further East). Yes, Kansas is beautiful in her own barren wasteland kinda way. But, I'd pick a certain group of folks over the mountains every time. It goes without saying that I'm coming back for my family and there are too many wonderful people to name. Never thought I'd be so happy to admit that only a few of 'em have escaped state boundaries. I guess what I'm trying to say is good bye Tennessee, hello Home Sweet Home.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The 'Coon

Decided to head out East this past weekend and went to Chattanooga, TN.  I was informed by the local SORBA guys that they would be doing some trail work and riding, so I gladly joined them in a little maintenance. After gently sloping a blazing fast downhill so it could get proper drainage, we moseyed over to a blistering corner that needed a little more dirt on it's berm. Following the work we were provided with some chili 'n cornbread. It was finally time to ride. Does it get any better? Rhetorical question, of course it doesn't. 


A wicked, wicked line.

Maybe not the prettiest part of the trail, but gorgeous none the less. I wasn't gonna stop every five feet for photos you know.


    Being a flat lander I was pretty amazed at this.

This was nasty. And I mean that in 
good way.

Followed that up on Sunday with another full day of riding. Raccoon mountain has some amazing trails. That's all I can say about that. I'm thinking about going Thoreau on your butts and live in the mountains. All I need is my bike. Taxes are lame anyways. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update

Here's my papa making the last turn out of the trails.
I had to bust out the Superfly for this vicious switchback. It only got gnarlier after the first turn. As always, pics will do no justice.
I heard of some deforestation back in KS. Maybe we can transplant a few of these trees.

Not much happened throughout the week. I went to work, rode my bike after work, and then repeated. This weekend I plan on going and watching the TN state CX championships. I should probably race, but it's $40 and I have no cross training in me. Besides, I haven't even got to be a spectator in a long while. I'll just hang and take some photos of the Memphis fellas riding. Next weekend I've changed the plans a bit. The Syllamos trails are a little closer and just as sweet (So I hear). So, I'll be punishing myself in Arkansas next weekend. That's it for now. Check you later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

To work, or not to work? That is the question.

Shouldn't I be working? Oh well, checking out IMBA instead. Mostly because I intend on riding my first IMBA Epic trail this weekend out past Chattanooga. Mmm...sweet singletrack. Don't care if I have to drive 5 hours to get there. Gas is cheap and I need a fix for my craving! I also happened to stumble across this little bit of info that we all may need reminded of. (Straight off IMBA's Website)

Don't just train, maintain. Help your local mountain bike club maintain trails. If there isn't a volunteer effort already in progress in your region, start one. Focus your trail work on problem areas, such as steep switchbacks or low-lying areas that have poor drainage (Does this sound like someplace we know!). Aside from doing good work for trails and assuring continued mountain bike access, your rake and shovel work is excellent cross-training! (Yes, yes it is.)

Share the joy. Introduce someone to the wonders of mountain biking. Teach the sport to a friend.

Keep off! When trails are muddy, partially frozen, or severely rutted, consider alternatives to riding them. - Huge thanks to Heartland Sports Promotions for not only maintaining the best races in the midwest, but also being trail-consciuos and protecting the places we love to ride!

Couldn't help but share that with you all. If we plan on riding, we need to do our part to maintain the trails we love. I almost forgot, my papa came down for a weekend visit. We had some delicious dry rub ribs and some beautiful riding in MS. I got to ride the ol' SS again and he conquered the climbs on the Superfly. One lap was enough to do us in. I will try and get the good pics posted on here later.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mousetail

I made my first venture further into Tennessee yesterday. And I must say, I found exactly what I was looking for. Chris Irving and I drove the couple hours to Mousetail Landing State Park. I knew I was in trouble when we first entered the park. Beautiful fall colors and ridiculous climbs. One 7 mile lap gave us 1,200 feet of climbing. Or 1,200 feet of shreddin' fast downhillin' from my point of view. But, unfortunately you have to climb up to come back down. I was quite humored by the guys when they were trying to describe a 'rocky' section. When we got to it I couldn't help but laugh. I would love to introduce them to the RIM job at Landahl! But, I do admit I have been loving the rock free, fast-flowing single track down here. There is rarely even a pebble on these trails. After the ride we managed to find this little mom and pop BBQ joint which was just fabulous. A perfect day in my book. Ridin' 'n BBQ. The weather was a perfect 75 degrees. Well, I could go on and on about how perfect it was, but that would just be rubbing it in. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What's new?

I know, once again I've let my updating slip. So, I won't make any promises that it will get better. What's new? My mama and gramma just left after spending 4 days with me. We had an excellent time and visited the Botanical Gardens and Graceland. The King had an amazing home and it was more fun then I had anticipated. However, their departure has made me quite homesick. Since the last post I made a trip to Baltimore. It was simply amazing. Beautiful sky line, amazing strolls along the harbor. My hotel was on the waterfront and I just can't explain how sweet it was. I had the most amazing shepherd's pie at an Irish pub in Fell's Point, listened to dueling piano's at Howl at the Moon, and sampled crab cakes at Phillip's. For now, I'm gonna get on the bike and explore the Tennessee country side. 



Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hang ten...or something like that.

No, I didn't go surfing. The Atlantic is too cold for that right now. I did just get back from North Carolina though. We went down to Kitty Hawk for some hang gliding. It was a blast! We were gliding in the very same dunes that the Wright bro's were perfecting their flying skills. I guess I should explain that I've been in VA Beach since Thursday if you were wondering why the heck I was in NC. I also got to try some actual seafood. Not in Kansas, or even Tennessee for that matter, but fresh out the water. Still not impressed, but now I can say I've tried it. Give me a pulled pork sammy any day. Well, I'll be getting up at 4:30 in the am to catch my flight tomorrow, so I'm gonna get some shut eye. 



We have lift off!
Stuck the landing like a pro.
Calling it a day. Well, they just wouldn't let me go anymore.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Deliverance

For only the second time since being down here did I really feel like I was in the South. Or should I say closer to the south. Even Memphians acknowledge they are only Mid-South. Yesterday I decided to make another attempt to find Shelby State Park. I had been told there was some exceptional riding out there. (Those rumors proved to be very true.) I tried to ride out there once, but got very lost. Unlike like KS, these roads do not run in perfectly straight lines. So yesterday I drove out there. Found a general store and saw a group of bikers who were taking a break to refill some bottles. After some introductions I joined in on the riding bliss. They took me down a route that contained the "Three Little Pigs." (Very, VERY big hills.) It was pretty intense. After we had finished up with 74 miles, we came back to the general store where my truck was parked. We were welcomed by some banjo pickin' out on the front porch.  Seemed like a scene straight out of Deliverance, right? Not to mention we were a group of spandex clad bikers. But, to put your mind at ease, this ain't the movies. The guy was damn good and it was a nice end to an even better ride. 

The guys I met were from a local tri team. After checking out their website I found an excellent commentary to a question I know a lot of us struggle with.

The competition, the clock, or one's self? 

Do we push ourselves as athletes to beat the clock or the competition? Or is it a combination of both? On the other hand, could it be that we just want the best from ourselves? As athletes we talk about our finish and may refer to who was in front or behind us in the race. We may also say, "I wish I would have pushed a little harder on a particular section of the race." So are we competing to beat the competition, the clock, or ourselves.

Or is it possible that the race is just within one's self? The competition and clock may come into play just because we ned a way to mark or justify our intensity to our given activity. During the race we may say, "I am not going to worry about my finish time as long as I finish." Then, the next morning regret that a fellow competitor beat us by just a few seconds. An old saying states, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." So, if the saying is true we are just competing against ourselves. But, if we are concerned with who finished in front of us, then we are racing the competition or the clock.

So, as athletes, can we agree that competition is at its finest when the competition and the clock produce the best in one's self?

Coach

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hope you have a minute...

Well, this is obviously a long time coming. In my defense, I don't have internet where I'm staying. Where to begin, I guess where I left off.

After settling in I decided to spend my first weekend by going to a race down in Oxford, MS. I hitched a ride with a local racer and we thought it would be best to go down and pre-ride and camp on Saturday. All that did was wear me out. There's a bit more climbing down there. But, I guess the fact that there was not a rock in sight made up for it. Just wide open, blazing fast singletrack. I was loving it until the bear attack. I blame him for my fourth place finish, not the fact that I was suckin' wind and frying up some lactic acid in the legs on those climbs...

Silly bear, bikes are for humans.
My beautiful bike basking in the sun.

The following week I was able to get out and explore my surroundings a bit. I rode 'Stanky Creek.' It's the most popular trail in Memphis. It's pretty good stuff, very tight. No big climbs and tons of roots. I thought I was going to be preparing for the 12 hour race there, but I quickly found out I was going to VA Beach instead. I'll take it I guess. I can ride trails any time, it's not every day I can go to VA Beach. My calendar didn't stop from there, I've since added Baltimore, MD, and Japan to the travel schedule. I'm pretty excited about that. 

Besides riding, work has been great. My co-workers are really taking care of me. Between home cooked Italian and BBQ ribs I don't have much to complain about. Hmm, this leads me to make a very important observation. I'm going to have to watch my back around here after saying this, but the BBQ is kinda weak. Some KC BBQ is where it's at! Now, let me clarify a bit. I've hit up the bbq chains and the mom and pop joints alike down here. And it's nothing you can't get at Bobby D's. It's not bad, it's just not special. It wasn't until I went to the "Smokin' by the Lake" BBQ cook off that I found the true southern BBQ. My point is, you won't find stellar BBQ in the restaurants down here. You'll have to make friends quick and get the home cookin'! 

Well, my mind is being pretty scattered right now and I'm probably forgetting fun stuff to tell you. I would also provide more pics, but frankly, I decided I wasn't going to take my camera on rides with me. I wouldn't get any riding done! Maybe I'll take it downtown with me tomorrow and share that with ya. Anywho, love you all, wish every last one of you was down here with me. I absolutely PROMISE the next post won't take as long. Maybe I'll look into getting a sprint card or something. Adios!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yes, another post.

I know, I'm really laying it on you guys. But, I thought I should inform everyone that I am safe and sound in Memphis. I crossed the mighty Mississip around 2pm and headed straight for the bike shop. The bike will be tubeless tomorrow! I did receive the news that Hurricane Hanna was en route to Jacksonville, so they called off that trip. That's okay I suppose, maybe now I can 'train' a little for the race this weekend. I suppose that seems to be it for now. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Missing the Action

Well, I heard there is some trail work under way back in Emporia. I am quite upset to not be a part of it. But, I did manage to have a great day anyways. After some early morning shopping, (had to get some big boy pants for the jobby job), and some wonderful leftovers, I hit up the trails. I needed to avenge myself in this town with some good riding. As soon as I pulled up I was fortunate enough to meet up with a few local riders. After some introductions (The two Kyle's and Nick) we got on some singletrack. And it was amazing. It's no wonder these MO boys (and gals) know how to rip it. Immediately descending right from the trailhead, a bit loose, but nice and flowy. Across a bridge or two, through a parking lot, and then the rocky climbing. I guess when it comes to bikes, what goes down must come up. We passed by the Devil's Ice box (A cave) and kept on shredding. Shortly after however, one of the Kyle's broke his rear derailleur. That kinda ended his day. We parted ways and I kept on the trail. It was a long walk back to the parking lot, so after some exploration of my own I happened to pull back in at the same time as these guys. The Kyle with the good bike hadn't had enough so we mounted up and went for round two. This time we went the opposite direction and rode all new trail. I was told there was 22 miles worth of trail in the park! Does it get much better? With about 1/2 a mile to go, Kyle bent the master link on his chain. We slapped it back together and rode easy, trying not to put any stress on it. After making it back my mind definitely wanted more, but I had already been there for 3 hours, so my body won that argument and I called it a day. I venture on to Memphis tomorrow morning, I'm not excited about the drive, but I am ready for the adventure! Tune in soon for the updates.

p.s. I know, no pics. My computer isn't wanting to pick up the pirated signal anymore, but they're coming. I promise!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happening's

Man, stuff happens too quickly to report sometimes. Let me backtrack to last Friday. We rounded up most, well maybe half of the troops, for a little night ride action to Americus. I don't feel like loading up my pics, but maybe Garret will put some up within the next century. Thanks to everyone who came out for that, it was a blast. Secondly, sorry to everyone I didn't get to see before I left. I am so thankful to have spent the morning with my fam though. I am now in Columbia hangin' with my wonderful cuz. Maybe I'll even sneak a ride in while she's working. There will definitely be pics to come. 

Friday, August 29, 2008

Concert

I thought I should mention to anyone and everyone that reads this silly blog, that High Gear Cyclery of Emporia is going to be putting on one sweet concert in Emporia. The historic Granada Theatre will be making it's grand re-opening soon and Matt and Steph have worked hard to bring some amazing bands to town. Disciple, Eowyn, and Ashes Remain will be playing in Emporia at the Granada Theatre on November 8. For more details click here. Besides the amazing music, there will be some amazing give aways. This is a night you don't want to miss.

I guess I should also give my brief farewell. This Sunday I will be trekking down south for a while. I will be in Memphis for three months and then my plans are up in the air. But, I will keep everyone up to date on my happenings and look forward to staying in touch with everyone, bloggin' style!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

R.I.M.

An ecstatic exhaustion indeed. Many Emporians made the trip up to Landahl for 12 hours of Rapture in Misery. The morning started out great. After setting up the High Gear camp we decided to get a taste of what we were going to be in for. The trail was looking amazing as usual. I was elected to be the lead man on my team of 3, which means I got to do the lemans style running start. The run went surprisingly well as I was one of the first 15 or so on my bike. I held up towards the front for about 3/4 of the lap until the rear tire went low. I had a slime tube in, so I hopped off and gave it a shot of air. That didn't hold long, so I swapped tubes. Dustin went out next and had us worrying as he was not back when we expected him. Matt Day was also taking an exceptionally long time. We had learned someone had broken their ankle and feared it was one of our guys. Turns out it was Matt and Dustin had gotten help and then returned to Matt. Matt was rushed off to the hospital only to forgo surgery and return to the race to hang out. (He'll have the surgery on Monday!) 

This kinda sombered the mood for a bit. We tend to forget the inherent danger of this sport. With a few more High Gear members taking spills everyone was being extra cautious. Being a lap down our race was pretty well over. Which made it a lot easier to just go out and have a good time. After the initial lap everyone started having a lot more fun. It was a blast going out at night on this tough course. Matt Brown, Garret, and Steph cruised to victory in the coed 12 hour race. Randy and Keegan stuck it out and finished competing in the 3 person race with only the 2 of them! Way to rock it fella's! Mike, Dustin, and I still wrapped up 2nd place. Not too hard when there were only two teams. Most importantly, it was a fun day. Plenty of time hanging out with good friends and occasionally riding a bike. What more could you ask for?

I'll get the results and pics up as soon as I see 'em.

Monday, August 4, 2008

campfire riding

Thanks to everyone who came out to the campfire ride on Saturday, it was the best weekend I've had in a while. Especially thanks to Matt and Steph, without them most of us would not even be riding. Even though we were missing a few people it was a great time.

I particularly enjoyed the triathlon lap, even though the running killed me. The night lap was fun, considering my lights were not being cooperative. Actually, it was part of my plan to blind everyone behind me. Gotta get that edge somehow. But, as always, the best part was hangin' round the fire. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Road 90

Well, I didn't do the death ride today. I wanted to support the local event, but registration was a bit steep and I have to work this afternoon. I did manage to get on my bike this morning. I didn't really want to ride alone, but sometimes it's what the soul needs. Besides, you're never really alone anyways.

            
Tryin' to be artsy fartsy.
Seriously, how often do you see dung beetles at work?        pictures do such injustice.
Plenty of time to think out here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

CX Magazine

Not much to report, but I wanted to get a link up here to the article I wrote for CX Magazine. Check it out and hope you enjoy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Raw Meat

I feel like I'm in an episode of My Name is Earl. Stupid Karma. I give Garret crap about his chapped a$$ and now my hind end looks like it went through a meat grinder. That's what Shawnee will do to you. I have ridden rocky courses and by no means shy away from a rocky challenge. But, this was just ridiculous. No big rocks to speak of, just seemingly endless amounts of bumps in the road.

Despite that, the day was great. Hotter than I anticipated, but I felt like I did a fair job of staying hydrated. I teamed up with my esteemed Business Partner, Bobby Wintle, and we crushed it for a 5th place showing. It was an all day battle royale between fellow High Gear racers Jim Cummins and Tim Mohn, but they edged us out in the end by just 1 minute. Garret and Mike also teamed up to form the punishing duo known as High BMI, but were riddled with mechanicals and wipeouts all day. Cam took the honors in the 6 hour solo class and Mark Studnicki shredded the field in the 3 hour race. Dandy Randy was feeling young and finished smack dab in the middle of the 3hr 40+ class. Way to give them youngin's a run for their money!

Also, thanks to Amber for talking me into some raffle tickets. I was pretty bummed about not winning anything at the last race. But, they had some lights that I wanted so I got $10 worth. I didn't get the lights, but walked away with a set of Easton wheels. I don't have a use for them so if anyone wants a set of Easton XC One's then let me know!

And I almost forgot Matt! Thanks for the loaner, it rode like a charm.

Bobby fixing his second flat, before the race even started!

Timzilla putting the squeeze on the Seacat.

Full Results Here

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just cuz'

I figure it's been way to long since my last post. I guess not too much has been happening. We had the MS Marble walk this past weekend, despite mother nature's unwillingness to cooperate. Thanks to everyone who came and helped out. Bobby and I just finished up three laps at Camp Alexander, they are smoking fast. (Will be due for some trimming before too long...) Sorry Mike, only 3 laps, don't be too disappointed. I'm off to Tom and Bev's final potluck dinner. Best of luck to them in their journey's! Oh, and ESU jersey's are in. This nearly 2 year project is finally at an end. If I could post pictures I would. Maybe I'll get a new USB cord so I can do that. Seems to be it for now, shouldn't be this long for future posts.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

results

Upon further review, it was discovered that the mechanical problem at the race was in fact a broken brake pad. One pad decided to just fall off and take the piston with it. Probably shouldn't have waited three years to replace them. Anyways, ended up 9th outta 18 and had a great time anyways. You can check everybody else out and the full results here. Not to mention I made the Heartland website. Check out the name drop here. No pictures yet, buta night ride is in the works for this Saturday, so I'll be sure to get some shots and get 'em up here!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back in the saddle!

Well, the final XC Heartland race was today. First and foremost these guys do a phenomenal job. Without them, there would be virtually no racing in the Midwest. So big ol' thanks to these fella's.

What to say...it was a hot one. Luckily, I don't feel the heat is a problem for me. I usually work outdoors all summer and the AC still hasn't come on this year. Don't plan on it anytime soon either. This was also my first race since the DK. Matt had me paranoid after thinking I might be over training. I haven't been sleeping well lately and apparently that's a big sign of workin' it a bit too hard. Even so, I felt good at the race. I had my business socks on and it was business time! Unfortunately, my bike was not ready for business. I still am not really sure what happened, but there were some major rear brake malfunctions on the first lap. I probably bent something, but I'll investigate that later. After stopping a couple of times to take the wheel off and see if I could get the brake to either work or stop making noise, I had dropped to last place. I decided to forget the wheel and forged on. I picked off a few people and decided to stop again after the first lap. I fiddled with the wheel one last time and thought about just quitting. But, I figured I paid the money I might as well ride. Plus, the best water girl in the world (Thanks Crystal!) told me Garret was only a couple of minutes ahead of me. That was pretty encouraging. The next two laps went pretty well, I didn't know who I was passing or what place I was in. I just kept cranking away. I caught Garret, he had some mechanical issues as well and ended the day after his second lap. I checked the scores afterwards and I think I ended up 7th. But, I could have somehow read wrong, I'll have official scores soon.

But, I do know that Bobby finished 2nd place by only 5 seconds. Jim got 2nd place, Randy finished 3rd in the Sport class! Moving on up, that sandbagger oughtta be expert by now. Brendan got third just behind Bobby. I'm not sure how Jeff finished, but I know he didn't get last. Having fun is all that matters. Enough with the rambling I hope you get the picture. Should have pictures and full results linked soon!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

DK 200

I guess I can finally give my thoughts on the most grueling bike event I've done to date. In case you don't know the scoop: It's 200 miles. It's one day. It's some of the worst gravel and minimum maintenance roads Kansas has to offer. Not to mention the hills. But, I'm not going to go into the ol' 'Kansas ain't flat' rant that all Kansas bikers are quick to proclaim. (Even though it isn't flat.) And unfortunately I can't throw the wind into the mix. Kanza means 'people of the south wind'. You should now assume that Kansas is typically windy. Not to mention the threat of tennis ball sized hail, which we were fortunate enough to miss. Hopefully the picture is shaping up in your mind that these were not the ideal conditions to be riding your bike. (Although not the absolute worst either)

The High Gear squad was out in near full force with 6 of us donning the red and black. Gotta represent the High Gear. (Located at 504 commercial, downtown Emporia!) Everyone was feeling good going into 100 miles, but unfortunately this was a 200 mile race. Matt did his best to beat the curse, but there's no arguing with the body. For the third straight year some tummy turmoil ended his ride just short of the finish. Garret attempted to fight through some early cramps and ventured out for the third leg. But, after being subdued by Mush Rush hill he decided to call it quits at mile 150.

Timzilla was not to be denied this year and despite being a homeless man, with little more than the clothes on his back and a bike, finished 3rd for the second straight year. Jim was able to stay close behind and finish a strong 4th. Mad Mike, the engine that led the charge for most of the day, churned his way to an 11th place finish. Arguably he could have finished a tad higher, but 200 miles was not enough for this man. He decided to take a scenic detour and add 15 miles to the total. Then there was myself. After three flat tires deflated my resolve (There was much waiting because being the fool I am I was very unprepared. Thanks to those that assisted!) I questioned whether or not I would finish. However, a well timed sign of encouragement got me to the third checkpoint. And since I had gone that far I didn't see why I should quit there. With water in the bottles, food in the belly, and a bit of air slowly leaking out of the rear tire, I made my final push for the finish. I would like to have said it was all down hill from there, but in reality, it was exactly the opposite. But, not to be denied and with much appreciation for all that supported me during the day, I crossed the line.

15 hours and 32 minutes will take a toll on the body. After consuming 288 ounces of water and who knows how many calories I was still 6 pounds lighter and had quite the hangover. There was nothing left to do, but go to bed. They've heard it before, but a huge thanks to the Heartland guys that make these races happen. Keep 'em comin'!

Full results

p.s. A special thanks to my fan club! You guys inspire me to always do better then my best, Love ya!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

AHH!

This can't be happening! We're only two days away from DK time and I got a cough creepin' up. In addition I'm feeling pretty fatigued. Hopefully that's just from the long day. I think Garret must have unleashed a virus on me when I was over at his place. He's very sneaky like that. Not to mention I'm on orders to not wear any contacts for a while. (Apparently wearing contacts for up to 6 months at a time is frowned upon in the optometry world) However, I can't very well ride the thing blind, so the lenses will be going in. Hopefully I don't have eye problems. This is a bad time for the ol' body to be falling apart. Maybe I can get it pulled back together by Saturday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Power of Persuasion

Apparently I have a new found power of persuasion. I was really in race mood this past weekend, but no one else from the Emporia area felt like making the drive. I decided to call Dandy Randy, knowing that barring some sort of hospital visit, he would be down for a race. With him on board it was just a matter of time before Matt and Steph would succumb to the peer pressure. I think they had a good time, even though Matt wasn't feeling it in the legs and had to drop out and Steph got herself sick racing to a 2nd place finish. Randy and I both finished 2nd also, Dusty took 4th, and Jim rounded out a 3rd place finish for the High Gear squad. Cam also placed 2nd on a geared 26er. I know, it's hard to believe. Moral of the story is that St. Jo has some amazing trails that are well worth the drive.

Also, if you're within striking distance of Camp Alexander (Emporia) then make the trip. Matt, Steph, and myself worked until the lights went out last night to get the trails in riding condition. Enjoy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Was that Neal McDonough?

If anything the trip out West was worth it just to meet a movie star. But, the racing was great also. The trails were amazing and the weather finally decided to cooperate for a race. Bobby and myself went out on Saturday to do the Hill Climb and the short track, as well as get some early camping in. I had a good day on Saturday winning both events and getting some awesome prizes. (thanks Doug!) Bobby tore up the short track and got a win in his first mtb race! Sunday didn't fare to well for the campers, but Matt, Garret, Dusty, and Randy showed up fresh and ready to go. No pictures up yet, but I know plenty were taken. I'll get the link up when I find 'em.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

No race doesn't mean no ride...

Well, not to anyone's surprise the race was canceled today. Kansas has it out for us. In hindsight, I'm rather glad because had the race gone on as planned I would have wrecked the entirely new drive train that Matt put on for me. (Thanks!)

But, just because there ain't no race, don't mean we didn't get out on our bikes. With a NW wind Matt thought it would be good to see the last 50 miles of the DK. Rather discouraging actually. But, at least I know what I'm in for after 150 miles in the saddle. (And it doesn't look good. Those of you who rode last year know what I'm talking about.)

The ride itself was entertaining though. Garret decided he needed to get a flat about 20 miles in. (Yes, it was a conscious decision that he made.) Instead of helping him out, Matt, Dusty, and myself played some carnival games. When we finally got rolling again we were freezing. I would have been fine, but Garret talked me out of taking my jacket. About 5 miles from Americus Matt initiated the city limit sprint. Of course, nobody but Matt knew where the city limit line was, so we gave chase. I'm okay with this though, because it gets Garret out of the equation. Except when Matt made his final move Garret inadvertently swerved in front of me. Otherwise...I definitely would have had Matt. At least that's what I tell myself. Once in Americus we hit up Casey's. (Who was out of pizza) We cut a few miles out of the route and started heading for Emporia since we lost some time with the flats. Matt once again started to break early for the sprint. (like 5 miles early.) I guess he looked back once and didn't think anyone was going with him, but when he looked back again I had made my way up to join him. Apparently this angered him and he took off. (I don't think he was really mad) So for 5 miles I gave chase and fell up short of course. I think that about sums it up. A great ride on some great roads.

Roads that will be very painful in about 5 weeks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

*cough* I think I've got the black lung pop...

Well, I didn't spend a day in the mines, but I did venture out into burn country.

In order to get a true test of how the cross bike would feel on the DK I took it out on some of the tougher roads we will have to traverse. On your typical gravel roads the cross bike is a no brainer. It's light and fast. However, the question was could the bike, and more importantly my body, stand up to the abuse of your not so typical gravel roads. In fact, you can't even call them gravel. Dirt and rock is more appropriate. And you may be saying, "well that's what a gravel road is, dirt and rocks." But let me be clear, there is a big distinction between gravel and the rocks that inhabit some of these roads. To top it all off I started to roll into some smoke. Just a little at first, which maybe would have been enough to deter some from continuing. But not I. Call it perseverance or stupidity (I would go with the latter), but I forged on. And yep, there was more burning. Miles and miles of it. For a true challenge come try some of these hills while holding your breath. (on second thought, I don't recommend that) Don't worry, the burning will be done (I hope) come DK time.

Back to the point of this whole story, the cross bike felt fast on the climbs and surprisingly smooth on the descents (as smooth as these roads can be). Sure, it's going to beat you up a little more then your mtb, that's a given. And you might run a higher risk of flats. But, in the end I feel the trade off is plenty worth it. Of course, I enjoy a little time in the drops. So, if you're trying to decide mtb or cross bike, (as most of us are) I would highly suggest gettin' on the cross. I'm running Ritchey speedmax's, the tires make a big difference as well. Of course, I only did 45 miles yesterday. I could have a different opinion once a get a longer ride on it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maiden Voyage

Thanks to Matt I finally got my bike put together. And with yesterday's weather being so nice I had to get it out and test it. I put 30 miles of rough pavement (Ol' 50, for those of you who know it.) and gravel. It felt great and I'm pretty certain it's what I'll be lining up for the DK with. Hopefully it will help me survive. Also, I put a videos link on the right hand side. That way you don't have to search through old posts to find it. And if you're reading this today, then get off your computer and go ride!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dirty Kanza Preview

Okay, okay, it's finally done. I didn't want to have to link it to youtube because it loses some quality, but Blogger was being difficult. I should note that hills in videos are larger then they appear. Participants can expect to do around 9,000 feet of climbing! Also keep in mind that things will be a lot greener come May. The roads will probably be just as rutted though. I would have tried to get more creative shots, but the fella's were not waiting around for me. Anyways, enjoy and let me know what you think.

DK200 Video

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mmm...Kansas wind.

I'll keep this one short, but just know that there will be a sweet DK200 preview video on the way. Jim, Matt, Mike, Garret, Bobby, and myself set out to put in some miles and see if we can survive in 6 weeks. It's questionable for Garret and I. I was having a blast for the first 60 miles. Tearing up hills. Bombing down hills. But, apparently age was wiser than youth and the older fella's got the last laugh on us youngsters. All in all, it was a good day. I'm sure Mike will have some sweet stats, but I can tell you this. There was a lot of climbing and a lot of wind. Anyways, keep an eye out for the vid.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Keep up!

Okay, I know I've been posting like a mad man lately, so try to keep up. But, I thought I would go ahead and link the pictures from the Spoke Pony for ya that way you don't have to go find them yourself.

So, here are some shots from the race. This is the group waiting for the Le Mans style start. (that means we had to run to get to our bikes) Here is a good shot of Tim and Steph running. And you can kinda see me in between those two fella's. This is a good one of Matt cranking it on the bike. He's blurry because he was going so fast! Here's one of Timzilla. This is a good shot of me climbing. I'm pretty sure this was the last lap and I was out to crush it! This is Jim also on his last lap, except he was trying to lap us. How rude. That looks like about it. Feel free to check out all the pics, these were just some of the High Gear peeps that I could find.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Feeling better and wasting time

I know you were all concerned, but I made it through the illness and am feeling much better. I rode the bike to school this afternoon, but my legs were burning! Looks like they need another day of rest. So instead I've just been hangin' on youtube, scouring for sweet videos. I thought I would put some links up here to the fun stuff I've been seeing.

Here is the link to my page, also check out my favorites. I watch quite a few mtb vids. But, here is an amazing bike that I would like to give a whirl. Although I don't think being harnessed in necessarily makes you safe. And here is a short clip on Spot Brand's belt driven bikes. I am looking forward to Josh Patterson getting his in so he can tell us how well it performs. And finally, if bikes aren't your thing and you're looking for a good laugh. Just search Japanese TV game shows. They're hilarious. Okay, now that you have waisted a couple hours of your life, GO RIDE YOUR BIKE PEOPLE!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ughh...

I don't know what happened, but I've been sick all day. I like to blame it on the children. They are always carrying who knows what! But, I love 'em anyways. I think I'm feeling better now. I haven't thrown up in a long time anyways. My papa's taking care of me though. So, hopefully tomorrow I'll be back in full swing and ready to get on the bike.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spokepony Showdown

The heartland guys put on another amazing race this past weekend. It was well worth the wait. The trail was extremely dry and supa' fast. Randy and I teamed up together to take on the 6 hour duo class. It was all I could do to match Randy's intensity and we just fell short of the podium with a strong 4th place finish. Stephanie pulled through for the High Gear team as usual with a second place finish in the women's 3hr solo race. Tim faced off against Matt for the first time and held is own in a tough crowd. Matt came in 6th and Tim rounded out the top ten in the 30-39 3hr class. Mike Wise decided to log in some time on the bike and ventured out to do 6hrs solo. He plugged away for a 6th place finish. And finally, there was Jim and Joel. The two DK200 organizers paired up and tag-teamed their way to a second place finish. For the full results click here.

There aren't too many pictures to speak of yet. But, I did find a few on the cowtown blog. You can get a glimpse of the trail here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back to the grind...

Spring Break is over. The only thing that keeps me motivated is knowing there are only 7 weeks of school left. At least I got to spend the last couple days relaxing with my mama and gramma. I got some good home cookin' and just laid around on the couch. Plus, I'm gonna get started building up my XO2 frame! Time to crank out some gravel road grinders and see if I can actually finish this 200 mile monster that is only 2 months away.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What's New?

Okay,
Here's what I've been up to lately. I've been roofing the past few days (What a way to spend Spring Break!) and even managed to squeak in a bike ride with Tim and Shawn which was great. My new XO2 frame came in which is amazing! My cousin Vivian came in town today to pay everyone a visit. Next I'm headed off to Chapman to see my Mama and my Gramma for the weekend. That's my week in a nutshell. Hopefully the Spoke Pony goes as planned next weekend and I'll have some exciting news to post.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Perfect!

Well, thanks for bailing on me everyone. Matt seems to be sick and Steph apparently didn't want to talk to me. Tim went to watch the KU game. (I can't blame ya on that one!). Shawn and Mike didn't answer their phones, Garret had to work, and Bobby had some house cleaning to do. Didn't matter though, after a morning of sleet and hail (Yes, this is officially spring Break) the sun thought he would poke his head out. Even if it was momentarily. It was enough to convince me to go ride. That and all the videos I watched this morning on youtube of mountain bike races, truly amazing. Anyways, the point of all this is that you guys missed out. The trails were PERFECT! I'm not saying they were dry, but they weren't muddy either. Sure, the ol' snot corner was still a mess and there may have been a puddle at the bottom of the open field descent, but that was just for dramatic effect. Nothing like a little mud splashin' in your face. And of course you don't want to ride the ditch. But, everything else was amazing. I think this means the freeze/thaw cycle is over. Not to mention that this is the most packed I've seen the trails in half a year. It's been a long time since the trails felt this good. I also wanted to remind you that there is an 80% chance of rain tomorrow, so at least for now it was short lived. Sure, better weather is coming, but maybe I can wait a little more patiently knowing that I got to rip up a few laps today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Race Results

Well, this is a bit overdue, but I've been busy dang it. It was a spectacular day for a race last Sunday. Besides all the mud. Anyways, Matt, Steph, Garret, Dusty, and myself each got first place in our age groups and Matt, Steph, Garret, and myself each one our overall class as well. Chuck got on the podium with a third place finish and Mike and Randy finished the day off with a pair of fourth place finishes. Not a bad day when everyone finishes top 5 and you take home 5 first places. there were also some sweet pics from the race. Click here to check them out. We will be easy to identify in our bright new team uniforms.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ready for the weekend

Well, I am definitely ready for the weekend now. We just put in 40 miles this afternoon and more importantly we did it in style. We got team uniforms for the '08 race season and they are sweet. (See pictures below) Anyways, not too much exciting to report other than Garret the destroyer beat Matt and I out by about two bike lengths on the city limit sprint. The man is a beast. Good thing a mtb race is longer than 100 yards though! (Sorry garret) Anyways, check out the pics of the new jerseys and shorts. Okay, the picture is sideways and I'm not quite figuring out how to turn it right side up. Deal with it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Morning

It's actually a song that I've been playing every chance I get today, compliments of Student Rick. (No, not Student Driver) Yes, somebody has "a case of the Monday's." (insert frowny face) However, I can't actually say that I'm having a bad day. Things are actually going quite well. The crew got out for some trail riding yesterday and we were able to pack down three good laps before the rain swept in. I guess I'll just keep venting about school. If it weren't for school I could be out on my bike all day long! Talking about bikes, looking at bikes, trying to work on bikes, and anything else you can do with a bike.

But, I did get an unexpected visit from two of my favorite people. Didn't get to chat long, but it did make me quite thirsty for some tea and I found myself missing some good company. It also made me realize that word gets out fast. So, most of the people that happen to read this already know, but I will be headed out of the USA this fall. I wasn't going to mention it yet, because I don't have all the details of where I'm going. But, I got accepted for an internship that will require some traveling. I will update when I have more details.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Canceled

Well, tomorrows race was canceled. Apparently the KC area has been hit pretty hard this winter and the trails are still in bad shape. Bobby, Brad, and myself went out and rode Camp Alexander yesterday and it was a mudfest, so I can only imagine how bad it was up there. But, there will be a race next Sunday at Clinton Lake. It should be dry by then and ready to go.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

1 week and counting...

One week from today. That's what we got till race season. And I'm glad we had a day like today to go rip it up. Matt, Garret, Mike, and I ventured out on the mountain bikes to put in some miles. Bobby wanted to join, but was feeling under the weather. We stuck to the road, because the gravel was still pretty wet from last nights snowfall. Nothing too exciting to report from the ride. Once we hit the Rapids exit on our way to Lebo on 50, we decided (or rather Mike decided) to crank it up a notch and we averaged 20mph into Lebo. There was no time to stop there as we headed south (and into the wind, which the forecast claimed would not be there) to Hartford. We hit up the gas station (I avoided the pizza) and refueled. We were able to contact Tim who worked his way out on John Deere to meet up with us. He joined us for about the last 15 miles of the ride. (And made us pay dearly) Tim and Matt made the city sprint interesting, but only because Matt nearly went over the guard rail. I guess there was plenty of handlebar bumping and eye gouging going on. I don't know what these kids are doing these days. I was told it was a photo finish (of course I was not close enough to witness it myself).

I'm pretty optimistic though as the forecast is calling for some sunshine this week!

Friday, February 22, 2008

1 up'd

Yes Tim, you have been 1 up'd. Just when I thought you were the most hardcore, Matt of all people, calls us up to go riding in 19 degree weather after an entire morning of sleeting. (usually I'm the one having to convince people to go ride in the worst of conditions)

And of course I had to document this experience. Mostly for Matt and Steph's friend Reggie, who resides down on Nevis (a Carribean Island). And a little bit because something this dumb needs to be recorded. Grandma, I know what you're thinking. And well, yes, your grandson and his friends aren't the brightest. But, this is what we gotta do just to ride in this dang state.

So click here to watch yet another amazing production of Kansas mountain biking. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

MEDIC!

We get a b-e-a-utiful day to ride and I have to go and ruin it. Tim, Matt, Bobby, and myself decided we couldn't pass up this 50 degree weather. We ventured out on some gravel roads southeast of town. about ten miles into the ride Matt decides we need to be doing some intervals. I was all for it. Well, at the beginning of the second interval I shifted up and stood up to get myself going. Apparently I was in a bigger hurry than I thought, because I ripped my left foot out of the pedal and smacked my knee on the handlebar. It hurt a little, I had to get off the bike and walk it off. Once Tim and Matt came back to see what we were doing (They continued on with there 3 minute sprint), Tim noticed that it was bleeding through my leggings. Needless to say I called it a day and Bobby accompanied me back to town as I limped home on one leg. I think I'll survive though, we won't have to amputate anyways. Just a nice gash and some swelling of the patellar tendon to show for it. It should (and better) be healed by March 2nd.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

No matter what

So, we checked the forecast this morning. High just above 30 and rainy. Perfect riding weather for Tim. He talked me into going and I in turn had to talk Bobby and Garret into coming along as well. We decided we would get a small taste of the DK action and re-ride the Freedom Ride route. It was a good reminder of what hills are out there. (The Flint Hills are not flat if that's what you were thinking.) Things were going well until about 20 miles into the ride it decided to drizzle. Now I guess that's better than some full out pouring, but it was still wet none the less. We had no choice but to hunker down and grind it out. The precipitation cut the ride a little short at 35 miles, but I guess that's no bad given the conditions. Basically, Tim means business. All the time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh so discouraging...

What's that? The trails are dry you say? Let's do it!

That was my reaction when Garret informed me the Camp Alexander trails were dry and ready to be ridden. (Who cares if the wind chill made it 10 degrees outside) When we got out there, the trails were in fact dry. Well, frozen, but now you're just splitting hairs. But, I wouldn't quite call them ready to ride. It was rough stuff. Not to mention, with very little trail time in the past three months it made me very discouraged. Our first race is less than 3 weeks away and our trails are in bad shape. Oh well, I guess the only way to get them looking good again is to ride the heck out of 'em even if mother nature doesn't want to cooperate.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

3 weeks to go.

Not too much new to report these days. Timzilla, Bobby, and myself decided to enjoy the weather today and put in some miles. Race season starts 3 weeks from tomorrow. The weather did not quite feel as nice as the forecast might have indicated, it was a pretty chilly ride. We headed out north on 99 to highway 56. We took that to Americus road and then headed back to town. The ride itself was pretty uneventful. We were to busy battling the wind to have any fun I guess. We put in a fair 53 miles, though. The hills on 56 were worth it. If you have the time you should make a trip out to council Grove.

Also, I added a list of friends on the right. Currently Cameron Chambers is the only person on it. That just shows you the amount of friends I have. But, if you're interested in reading up on Kansas' very own mountain biking superstar then click on his link. (Good luck at the OP!)

Friday, February 8, 2008

We don't care 'bout no snow!

Okay, I have another video for your viewing pleasure. I'm quite fond of this one, it was tricky getting that amazing footage. Also, it sparked me to put a poll on here. So for the five of you out there that actually read my blog, watch the video and then vote on the right. Click here for some amazing riding.

Also, I moved the pictures of my beautiful nieces to the bottom of the page. Hopefully they'll be visible now.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Commuter or Super Idiot?

Tis the question of the morning. I decided that I am low on gas and poor. Besides that, I would much rather ride my bike than drive. My bike gets better traction than my truck anyways. (S-10: rear-wheel drive + no weight = constant slippage)

The problem however, was that there was a foot of snow on the ground. Better yet, beneath that was last night's freezing rain. And in true Emporia fashion not a single road had been cleared. Way to go city. Regardless, I bundled up and drug out the Monocog. (Gears would just complicate things.) I should interject here that this is at 6 in the a.m. I gotta work early.

The worst stretch actually was the street I'm on, Neosho. I was fishtailing everywhere and was already beginning to think this was a bad idea. (yes I kept my butt on the seat and was applying even pressure, I know how to ride a bike) However, once I reached 12th things looked a little more promising. The few cars that had been out before me had packed the road down a bit. Once I got on campus (I work at the student Rec Center.) things got a little hairy again. In an effort to clear sidewalks (amazingly the clean-up crew was already out on campus) they created snow drifts that were unavoidable. These proved to be more fun than challenging though. I slid up to the front doors of the rec center got 'em unlocked and started getting the building opened up and ready for business. When to my surprise, my boss came out to inform me that school was canceled. No, I did not forget to check. ESU just does not deem it that important to post on their website that school is closed until 7:30. Well guess what, some of us work early. I suppose I could have called police and safety, but I can count on one hand the number of times ESU has actually closed doors due to weather and today did not quite seem bad enough for me to consider school might be called off.

Not a big deal though. Bundled back up, I headed up hill back to my house. (This isn't one of those "I had to walk to school uphill both ways" stories. It's downhill going to school and uphill coming home for me.) The ride home was made a bit easier by the fact that the wind was behind me and the snow was no longer blowing directly in my face. Needless to say I am going with Super Commuter, but I'll let you be the judge of that.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bud Light.....Suck one.

Can I just say that overall the commercials were a disssppointment. And then Will ferrell comes along to not only save the commercials, but to spark a Giants come back victory. Mmm, sweet irony. Go home and watch some more home made videos Bellicheck. Oh yeah, you've got to go help explain to Congress why they were destroyed.

By the way, I don't condone the consumption of alcoholic beverages. It's bad.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I'm tired...

...of a lot of things. This weather sucks. School sucks. Getting Jersey's made sucks. But, it is January what should we expect from Kansas. Some trees would be nice...TO BLOCK THE WIND! Also, it is my last semester. I just have a bad case of senioritis. I know, the semester just started. But, it is Friday and my week is basically over. Just a photo shoot (for my SWARM leaders, not me silly) stands between me and riding my bike. I don't care if it's freezing, it's the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes. So come join me if you want. I enjoy the company.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Madison Ride

The game plan is usually to head in to the wind first. That way you get the wind at your back on the way home. With the wind out of the South, taking 99 south was our only option. So off to Madison we went. We had our largest group yet with 9 people. Matt, Brad Williams, Bobby, Mike Wise, Shawn Honea, Teddy, Garret Seacappie, Dusty Sopoci, and myself. As usual Tim was absent. We miss you Tim.

The wind was pretty brutal heading south (22-25 mph) and the hills were getting bigger the closer we got to Madison. Luckily we had Seacappie to pull us through the mountains. After rehydrating in Madison we ventured a little ways East and then turned on to the promised land. A beautiful stretch of highway heading north into Hartford. (Yes, that means the wind is with us now.) I'm pretty sure we didn't drop under 25mph until we hit Hartford. We decided to chow down on some tasty and in no way nutritional gas station pizza. This will be the last time I make this mistake. For the last 7-10 miles of the ride I was having some serious bubble guts. Not good. I don't wish that upon even my worst enemies. Not like it would have mattered. Matt took home the sprint honors on his cross bike. That means he beat out those of us on our road bikes with a 46t chain ring. What a punk. Who invites that guy anyways!

Just kidding, enjoy that beautiful Caribbean sun.

Friday, January 25, 2008

No turning back

The money is down and the commitment is made. I registered for the Dirty Kanza 200. For those of you not familiar with this epic ride, it is a 200 mile race spanning the east-central flint hills. It starts and ends in Emporia, Ks. For more details check out the rider's bible and registration info at the Heartland race website. (Link on the right) Registration is only $40 for this amazing ride. However, there are no refunds. I figured if I payed now, I wouldn't be able to back out later. I can not encourage everyone enough to come experience this ride. Not many of us get out for a 200 mile ride every weekend, so this is the chance to put your will to the test. Come for the challenge, but also come for the great people and great experience. The folks at Heartland Sports Promotions put on amazing events. (Again, refer to the link at the right to check out what else is in store for this year.)

Now I need a moment on my soap box. Get down to your local bike store. (If you're anywhere within 100 miles of the Emporia area, I suggest you pay a visit to High Gear Cyclery.) Check out what they have. Yes, you will be spending a few more dollars, but you get what you pay for. (I think you'll find the bikes more reasonably priced then what you might think) If you want to commute, explore the countryside, or kill yourself on a 200 mile adventure a Wal-Mart bike just ain't gonna cut it. Do yourself a favor and save a few extra dollars to get a bike that will make the difference.

Thanks for listening and we'll see you on the trails!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another Sunday, Another Ride

Only four of us ventured out in the below freezing temperatures today. Matt Brown, Mike Wise, Brad Williams, and myself. We shortened the ride a little though and only did 40 miles today.

We headed to Hartford via John Deere road. Once we got there we decided to make a pit stop and get more of that fine nutritional food from the gas station. After filling up I was anxious to get back on the road, because I knew the wind would be behind us the rest of the way. It was smooth sailing all the way home.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Video

I made a video for your viewing pleasure.
video

Sunday Ride

Well, we got out again this past Sunday for another afternoon ride. There were 8 of us that made the trip. Myself, Matt, Timzilla (Mr. Mohn), Bobby, Mike Wise, Garret Seacat, his brother Brian, and Teddy. Quite the turnout for the middle of January.

We headed north on 99 to RD 250. From there we went East through Reading. This stretch was amazing. This particular road is some of the smoothest pavement around Emporia and more importantly the wind was at our backs. It was short-lived though as we turned back South in to Lebo. Tim and I were trying to hatch a plan to make a city limit sprint in to Lebo. But, Lebo apparently is not sure about where it begins and had no sign to sprint to. After Lebo, Garret and Brian headed for Emporia on Highway 50. The rest of the group ventured further South to Hartford. After Hartford it got cold. Something about the sun going down makes the world a little cooler. Once we hit 99 heading back in to Emporia we knew we were home free. Total trip was about 65 miles.

Some of the ladies decided to make it out as well. Stephanie, Crystal B., Jenna, and C-dub made a gravel road trip out around Olpe and back. Very nice!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Welcome to the club good sir.

I felt it my duty to announce that my good friend Bobby Wintle has just bought himself a Felt Comp 29er. It is pretty spectacular. Only the finest from the crew down at High Gear. The Emporia area is now crawling with 29ers and if you haven't yet experienced the amazingness of a 29er then you need to get your buns down to the shop and try 'em out.

Congrats Bobby, enjoy the ride!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Puttin' down some miles.

Well, sorry to say there are no pictures from yesterday's ride. But, it was an adventure. Matt Brown, Shawn Honea, Bobby Wintle, and myself set out to put in some miles before race season.

We headed out of town west on Highway 50. Making it to Strong City was a feat in itself. The shoulder is plenty wide, but you battle rumble strips and semi's the whole way there. After a quick stop to refill on water we headed north on 177 to Council Grove. This stretch of Highway is just magnificent. The view is great, (if you like that no tree's, nothing but hills and blue skies kinda look.) the hills are long, (Yes, there are elevation gains in Kansas) and the wind was surprisingly mild for Kansas. (Anything under 15mph is a welcomed surprise around here.) When we hit Council grove we made a pit stop at a gas station for some much needed nutrition. (gas station pizza and cookies.) Then it was a race against daylight to get back to Emporia. Despite averaging over 20 we had to call for a ride at Americus, ending our trip at 65 miles. Team manager Marv Brown came to chauffeur us back to Emporia. Next time we'll get an earlier start and I'll be sure to take the camera.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Toys

Well, I did it again. It seems that whenever I have money I have to go out and spend it. Yes, it was burning a hole in my pocket. But, I got some great new toys. First of which is a canon powershot digital camera. This I can justify to myself, because my old camera was just that. Outdated and so 4 years ago. I have been busy taking pictures of my beautiful nieces since I got it. (I'll get those on here eventually.) The second new gadget I probably could have survived without. But, it is amazing. If you have not yet realized the awesomeness of a Zune you should experience it. Truly amazing.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Figuring this out...

Okay, I haven't done much with this thing yet. But, I did put a link to High Gear Cyclery of Emporia, KS. Only the raddest bike store around. And I also put a picture of my bestest friend Bobby on here. I know it looks bad, but in the long run I think he got the best of that tree. Bobby and I are headed out to Council Grove this weekend and race season is just around the corner, so plenty of pictures and posts to come!