Sunday, January 30, 2011

Warm weather and Worlds

 This weekend the World Cyclocross Championships were held in Germany. The USA had a pretty good crew there for the races with hopes for metals and top 10's. Cody and Zach were both in the U-23 race and did pretty good.
 Course conditions for the Juniors and U-23 races were pretty dicy at best. They shaved down the ruts but made a frozen/muddy skating rink. It was a pretty interesting race to watch and I felt for the Jr's as they all crashed over and over. I think the winner fell 3 or 4 times and still won.
I was up early both days to watch the live streaming coverage on the computer. Made for some early days as the coverage started at 4am our time. At least there is a pretty long break between the races and I got a few hours sleep. I can't wait for Cyclocross Worlds to come to the United States in 2012.  
So with the warm weather I got out for a few good rides. Saturday I hit my first group ride of the year and racked up some miles. As soon as I got home I got busy cleaning the cars. It felt pretty good to get all of the salt off both inside and out.

Of course messy bikes come with the territory this time of the year and a daily bike wash was the norm. Bill and I broke out the fenders to at least keep my butt dry. I did'nt care how wet I got, it was warm and I was only dressed in one layer for a change. Of course the weather is going to change tomorrow so everything will get all messy again. Oh well, we are slowly rolling into spring!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bike rides and Boy Scouts

Let's see first off we had the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet last night. It's a yearly ceremony that includes dinner and some type of entertainment. This year it was the Mik-o-say dancers, they do Native American dances that tell a story. Pretty interesting.

 We got a few of the Challenge Gara tires to test out this spring. So far so good. I've got quite a few miles on the road and the trainer on them and they really don't show any wear. In the Challenge tire line up they are more of a training tire but they still ride really nice. Yea!!!!! It's that time of the year when the roads are full junk that just eats tires so a tough tire is just what I need.
 Speaking of tires, I finally got most of the Reynolds/Challenge wheels in the shop. The big change over from cross to road had begun. Off go the knobbies and on go the road tires. I'll have to pull the hubs apart in all of the wheels and check everything to make sure they are a go for the Mercy Road Team.
 Did the Bonner Loop the other day when the weather was nice. Love that loop, it's a good mix of flats and climbs with a bunch of rollers in between.
Still plenty of snow on the ground today even after a few warm days. It looks like even warmer weather is on the way. If that's the case Bill's white kit won't be white for long. Funny how 40 degrees feels like a heatwave!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's been a while........

Where to start.......just not too much to report in the last week or so. To say that the last week or so has been rough on the riding front would a bit of an understatement. Cold, snow, and icy roads make it tough to get out. On top of that lot's of snow brings on snow days for the boys so it's more days stuck inside. Oh well, I guess it keeps me from over training so early in the season.

So let's see, in the last week I got in a bunch of trainer rides, watched some Supercross, and even a few days of the Tour Down Under Bicycle race.

 Getting ready for the annual running of the Pinewood Derby. This year I only have to get one car ready for a change.

 Curly and I hung out a bunch. The poor kid has lost both front teeth but the new ones are on the way. Here he's looking for the instructions to one of his DS games. Pretty amazing what little kids can do on computers these days.
 Here we are drying out the tent after last weekend's camping trip. The Boy Scouts camp no matter what and they went last weekend at 10 degrees and 7 inches of snow. Mathgeek went with JoBro just to see if she could tough it out. Happy to report that they made it through with no problems.

So today starts another week but better weather is on the horizon and I actually got out for a ride outside. It sounds like the trails are getting better so it's time to get the mtb out and ride.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Blues

Made the trip over to Lawrence Saturday to give River Trails a shot on the MTB. Scott, Bill, and I met Adam at his house and presented Bill with the framed skin suit that you see above. Just a little gift show our riders appreciation for all of the work Bill does to run the team. Cyclocross is so equipment intensive that it takes a ton of time to organize everything. Add that to the logistical nightmare of hauling 10 riders all over the country for 3 months, well, you get the idea. Just want to say thanks buddy, next year we get even better!

After we got done with our little presentation we headed off to give the trails a try. Adam said that there were a few drifts and he wasn't kidding. On the way out there were more than a few areas where the drifts were 4ft tall and we post holed our way through them. On the way back the trails were better with no drifts and once we got closer to the parking lot the trails were more packed down. Overall it was a good time and a really good workout.

That's just about how all of the rides have been lately. Slogging through the snow in below freezing temps. I like snow but I'm ready for it to go away and warm up a bit. It seems like forever since Cross Nationals and I'm ready to get back to racing bikes. Watching today's World Cup Cross race made me want to race even more! Soon enough I guess. This week I'm hoping we have a chance to tie up all of the loose ends for the road team and start finalizing some details for the cross team. It's going to be a busy year of bike racing!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow days

Got out for a bit in the snow today. I think it had warmed up to a whole 14 degrees when we went out. It really wasn't too bad out, I was dressed just right and was plenty warm and the trails were fun with 6 inches of snow on them. A much better choice than the trainer.

Might as well enjoy the trails now because when the snow melts it's going to be a muddy mess.

JoBro had a vision to create his own Lego city on his day off from school.

More snow rides are on tap for the rest of the week the temps are going to continue to be below freezing and more snow is on the way.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Daze

Today was the first snow of the year and the first snow day of the school year. After a morning spent at the shop the boys and I headed out to the hill by the house for a little sledding fun. It was a great day for sledding, pretty warm with snow falling the whole time. Overall we didn't get that much snow but it was enough to really mess up travel around town. It took Mathgeek over an hour to get to work this morning. Her usual commute is about half of that.

JoBro got some time on on the snowboard.

I went out to the last cross race of the year in the KC area on Sunday. We had 4 guys from the KCCX team racing so I went out to help out. I can tell that I'm ready to race again because I really wanted to get out and race. The course was one of the best I've seen at the venue and just a little bit of snow made it look really fun. But it wasn't to be as I've all ready stripped my cross bikes and the frames are for sale. On top of that I have a feeling that with my current fitness it may of been a bit embarrassing. It was really good to see Joe, who was just flying after his return from EuroCross Camp. Nice to Chris Wallace as well. He was back from college and decided to come out and race as well.

It was fun to watch Chris ride again. Even with a year away from bike racing he can still make a bike go fast.

Then there was this. Bama came up with these retro Oakley's for the race. I'm pretty sure those glasses may be older than he is!

Another day off from school for the boys tomorrow. I'm not sure what we will do for entertainment. There isn't any new snow in the forecast but it's supposed to be really cold so I doubt sledding is in the picture. We shall see......

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Unsafe at any speed

I'm not sure why but Mathgeek seems to think this is a bit unsafe. Not sure why, it felt pretty stable to me. Here's my dilemma, I needed to paint the top of the stairwell. Of course the ladder I have won't reach so I had to come up with something. I remembered that I had some leftover wood in the garage so I built my own scaffolding with a ladder, 2 2x4's, and a hunk of plywood. I'm too cheap to go for the real deal so I got it done and nobody was injured. Of course, once I got it done Mathgeek and the boys came home and promptly leaned against the wall and I also noticed a nice hand print!

It is construction season for me on a couple of fronts. Since it's slow at the shop this time of year we have been working on some updates to the shop. Some of it you can see when you enter the shop and some is behind the scenes. All of it will help the shop run more efficiently and will make the store better for our customers. I've been working around the house as well. We are still dealing with the project creep from the family room remodel. Some painting and a bit of trim work and that will all be wrapped up. Then it will be time to build some shelves in the garage before tackling the basement. This list never ends but at some point it will warm up and the focus will move to the yard.

I did actually get out on the bike a few days this week. I wish I had some pictures from the rides but it was too windy on the days that I rode to take my hands off the bars. At least it was reasonably warm so the wind chill wasn't too bad. Today was another sick day but maybe I'll get out tomorrow and stop by the last cross race.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Failure to Launch

JoBro strikes a pose........probably thinking about girls!

Today was the day that I was supposed to get back into the training routine. Like I said, supposed to start but that didn't happen today. Sick kids will change plans in a hurry and it didn't help that I touch of the sickness as well. I'm thinking that the boys and I both got food poisoning from some fast food we picked up on the way to the races Sunday. Oh well..... JoBro is back to normal tonight, I'm better, but Curly still has a long way to go. It's looking like another day at home with Curly. With any luck the stomach cramps will end along with the crying that goes with it.

We went to the cross race in Parkville yesterday. Funny how they look so happy in the picture and 6 hrs later they were both doubled over in pain. We spent a while down by the Missouri River checking out the sand bar and skipping stones in the river. Pretty nice day for the beginning for January.

Bama came out for both races this weekend. He had a good race Saturday and then suffered on Sunday. That's ok, it's good training for the road season.

Shadd is working the same plan as Bama. Keeping the cross season going until the end and holding on to their fitness for the road season.

Ah yes, the road season. 2011 is here and it's time to get rolling. For me it's going to be at least another day before I get started. No worries, it's a long season and I'd rather make sure I have healthy kids. Looks like a week with decent weather and it might even be pretty nice for the last cross race this weekend.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking for the sweet spot

Went out to Cross out the old Year race yesterday after working a few hours at the shop. I knew that it was going to get cold but when I got out there I was a little surprised by how cold it was. If the temp wasn't bad enough the howling wind made it even worse. Kudo's to the folks that made it out and raced! I keep thinking that I want to get out and race one of the final races of the season but I know I just need to take the time and let my body recover before the road season starts. It's tough to sit out the races but my season was planned out to end with Nationals. Next year the plan will be to race all the way to Nationals and Worlds and if that's the plan from the beginning I think it will be easy to stay motivated.

This has really got me motivated for the road season. Our KCCX wheel sponsor Reynolds is going to sponsor the road team as well. We will have super sweet carbon wheels for racing and training and they even built up Powertap wheels for us as well. That will make my coach happy as I now have no excuse to leave the PowerTap wheel on the sideline at races.

I will say that KC has some of the wildest weather changes of all the places I've lived. It was near 70 degrees on Thursday and in the 30's and dropping on Friday. At the moment the temp is near 20 and it might get to freezing today. Brrrrrr, I'm ready for spring!
So what about this, "sweet spot". A friend of mine once told me that there are points in time when your children become a little less dependent on their parents and it frees up a little time for mom and dad. I think we were there at one point when the boys were really young and it feels like we are getting near that point again. I'll have to ask Mathgeek if she feels that way as she is the Boy Scout/Cub Scout queen and does a ton of running around with that. I guess I'm really wondering how bad I want this to happen. It would be really nice to have a some time for just Mathgeek and I, but then again it, won't be that many years before it will be just the two of us. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, it's the 1st day of 2011 and they boys woke up, said hi, and went and got their own breakfast. Now they are both doing their own thing as I sit here pondering the future.
2011 is going to be interesting and I'm excited to see how things play out! Thanks for reading the blog. I enjoy posting the events that go on in my little world and it's nice to be able to connect with people. Time to go play with the boys!