Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Switch

Well thats it 2008, we had a pretty decent time together.We started strong with hopes of granduer and ideas a plenty.
We cruised through the spring banishing books for baked goods and pedal power.

I remember an awakening occured while on the 29er Trifecta ride in March. Something about getting a group of guys and gals together and riding the streets that I deliver on and know, oh so well. The route was a thing of beauty orchestrated by Mr. Savery, linking Omaha's historic neighborhoods and boulevards.That ride started many things for me, one being a strong desire to be a part of Omaha's community of riders. I no longer wanted to be the recluse I once was, pushing big gears and riding like a skeleton in the night.

I learned of strength in numbers and the joy you can recieve from new friends and beers at the end of it all. Summer came and friendships were lost and found. It wasn't always Hunky Dory,but I kept my head up through some tough times and came out alright.I really wanted results in 2008, but those don't just fall into your lap. It requires alot. And in all honesty it was my first taste of the race scene.

See, Its been my dream to race since I received my first bike, a Kona Blast. I rode dirt trying to hang with local legends like Ben Cleveland and James Hermsen. These guys were my Supermen.They shaped the rider and individual that I am today.
Soon later the Spoke-Daddy and I found an old Cannondale
with downtube shifting and Shimano 600 groupo.This aluminum wonder was found at a South Omaha rummage sale and was my first commuter bike,and first taste of singlespeed riding.

Here and there I would show my little 19-year-old face at Wednesday Kaos rides. I recall thinking I was the Shit, and tried to race everyone up hills on my single as they warmed up for a 50 mile ride. Yeah I was that guy keeled over in the sub-division dressed in black twenty minutes later.

I would pedal hard but with just little ol me. And I started getting this ego and belief that I could win any race, only because I commuted on a really stupid gear ratio (53:16) which made me pedal like an angry pirate and have terrible form to boot. Anyway I thought I was so radically different because I did this, and then to make matters worse my ego was notched a bit higher after picking up a delivery gig.

So I guess the point of this bedtime story is this- I've enjoyed the people I have met as the result of choosing community versus seclusion. And am looking forward to road rides that leave me breathless on Wednesday evenings chasing some of the best on the rollers of the Omaha Trace, Crazy Gravel Adventures with the Lincoln Crew, and Luke and I killing each other anytime we happen to ride side by side.

Here's to 2009

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lunch Hour

Monday, December 29, 2008

Triple Threat

Today's lunchtime delivery from 11 to 2 will make it three straight. Some folks make three pointers,some score hat-tricks and some have triplets. I deliver.

Sometimes it's just for the hilarity of responses I get from those hungry folk. Sometimes its for wanting to stalk around at night like a cat burglar when your lights run out of juice.Sometimes it's to clear your head when tough times linger. Sometimes its to eat endless amounts of Jimmy cookies.

But really, nothing beats getting out on the bike.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Over and Done With

My last fall semester is in the books,
that means more coffee consumption,
more rides to Grandmas house and beyond,
more midnight donuts,
more economic stimulation,
and perhaps a trip West.
We will just have to wait and see.

Sure hope snow begins to fly,
I wanna go X-Country Ski.
Then sit by the fire
sip hot beverages
while watching this.

Photographic Slander by this f#@k

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Well, Well where did the adventure leave us? Ah I remember now, 10 minutes until the start of Cyclocross Nationals (which by dumb luck was the first and only CX race of 08)and I'm still getting dressed and warmed up.

I sprint to the porta-pottie while Lucas rode the Breed back to the car in hopes of finding some pins to attach those pesky race numbers. You're all probably wondering, "Why didn't the man with the USA cycling windbreaker just give them to you like everyone else?" Well they apparently ran out and I was out of luck.

Lucas and I met back near the start line, I touched my toes while he attached the numbers to my back with the pins he dug up in his Malibu.
Then the Big Whigs through the speakers asked for all those singlespeeders to come on down- IT WAS TIME.

Everyone was already lined up as if they had been camping there the night before for prime start position. Knowing nothing of CX etiquette I place myself smack dab in the middle of the front row.Moments later they explain start position is by race bib number and I was in the wrong place.

I lined up next to the eventual winner, James LaLonde. The youngest of three brothers who could quite possibly be the best one-speeders around.You can see him in the photo below, with little old me primping myself before the 45min of speed and deep breaths begins.

The race begins and I start out fairly conservative in around 15th position. We started on a paved road, then dipped into the dirt. Upon entering I decided to drop the hammer and try to pass some folks up, (Because that's why you race,to win, and to have Fun) Anyway, I really started to crank it on my freshly changed 44:21 gear.

The legs responded with the pedals turning, and I gotta admit I felt pretty darn good and things were all Hunky Dory.But FYI I made a late swap from my 16 tooth surly cog with this 21 tooth cog.It being some aluminum jobber off a crap road cluster that some rent-a-mechanic from BikeSource in KC gave me. It had me worried when they threw it on, but test rides prior to the race led me to believe it would do its job.

I was dead wrong. After an attempted surge the chain popped off. I leaned over threw it on, and tried to push once again. Chain wasn't having it. I continued to ride and just tried to deal with it. There was really no way to pedal the thing so I just picked it up and decided to run with it. At the end of my second lap, The entire field had passed so my race was complete.

One of these days issues like these won't come up.I unfortunately have had my fair share of problems with bikes and registration this year,But 2009 is on the horizon.Making it no better time to look back and see how things went wrong and how they won't bother me in 09.

I'm already locked in for Trans Iowa v5, and Dirty Kanza. Sprinkle in some road races and perhaps the 24 hr series and the plate is pretty full.
My time will come though, gotta stay positive and just chuckle about the past.

Iv'e already ordered my very own chain whip and set of Surly cogs.
After all its tough maintaining seven bikes.
Photos taken from here and here

Monday, December 15, 2008


Went to KC for Cross Natties....Forgot USAC liscense.... Barely made it to start line
....What do you think happened next? (I suck at prepared-ness, seems to be a trend this year)
More to come after finals....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Busy Beaver

I woke up at random this morning around 6 am to white stuff littered outside my windows. Fun Fun. Its really odd, some mornings are just like that- you pop out of bed with this sense of purpose.

On pretty much each and every Saturday I eat quite a hearty breakfast followed by a glorious amount of coffee. After that its typically some good R&R or a jaunt down to Film Streams. But yesterday, I apparently was a bit more motivated.

Before bfast I hit the rollers for a good 45 min and knew my time was up when puddles of sweat formed on the wood floor, that and my stomach crushing up against my spine needing some nutrition.
Following some eats, I whipped out some homework then pedaled to the grocery store. While at the store certain items always call out to me and beg to be bought, on this particular day it was the hostess powdered doughnuts. And I answered that call.

After putting my bounty of food away, I cruised down to the bike Co-op with hopes of swapping tires on the LaCruz. Time kept ticking and conversations were too plenty, so no swap for the 700x 38's. After all that I buzzed off to see Creighton handle Uconn an overtime loss down at Morrison Stadium.

I got home at 4:15 having to deliver at 5. I changed into a full wool ensemble complete with down booties, then went for the stove and heated up lentil soup with, ahh yes fresh cilantro. Luckily I had set out much of my gear the night before and didn't have much to do before my shift.

It was overall a fantastic evening complete with near ice sliding and red rosy cheeks.

A kid answered the door on a delivery to North 33rd St. and proclaimed with the swing of the front door," What the heck do ya want" Mind you this kid could not have been older than seven. I respond "Jimmy John's Delivery for Ira" Moments later a parent lurks down the stairs and signs the credit receipt. As I'm about to leave the young boy says," What do you have that thing on your head for?" "Safety", I said.
He then responds, "Why don't you just drive a car" and on top of that, he murmurs, "How come they let you have a job without a car" Yep you can definitely think of all the ultra violence I wanted to bring upon this squirrely looking boy. But I bit my lip and said nothing but have a good night, then slammed the door and hopped on the bike.

Round 2 tonight at 5.
Looks to be a goody with snow on top of all that slippery stuff.
Might have to bust out the studs.

Why does this crap have to happen by bicycle?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Potential Sidekick

Ahh, Delivery last weekend was as always a killer time. One of these days I'll take my camera along and do a little snappy snappy. Speaking of snappy,these look pretty sweet,ear flaps are good!

Saturday night the weather obeyed, and hovered above freezing for the duration of my shift. I delivered to a guy south of Leavenworth, who had this lil' pup beagle named Cooper. Upon leaving Cooper began to follow me, ignoring his owners calls and stalking me at a distance. I turned on my little friends that flash, as Cooper stood on the top of the stairs just gazing at my bike and I in the cold dark night. It was at this point that I thought of placing Cooper in the Chrome bag and taking him for a little joy ride. Instead I rode up to him picked him up with a nice clean scoop and pedaled him back to his owner.I still think how great it would have been to just have a pup with his head hanging out barking at autos while I roamed the streets.

Is anyone in the Omaha metro area planning to do Jingle Cross?
I could use a lift-

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cranksgiving B-Fast

Anyone wanting to have some eats before Cranksgiving can meet at my house (114 N. 35th St.)
Probably eggs,pcakes,coffee,maybe even bacon?
B-fast starts at 9 a.m., then pedal out to the shop for the main event.
Comment below or email me if you plan to attend

Monday, November 10, 2008

TI 5

-It's in the Mail

Wanna see if you can go the distance? Go here

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Times they are a Changin

After an early rise I had high hopes of hitting the books, Instead I placed stickers on bottles for 45 min,
did laundry,wrote a few checks, ate some steel-cut oats, drank a pint of coffee, stopped by the Bicycle Co-OP, ran out of coffee cycled for more, cycled round town while getting bullied by the wind until I decided to wear this bad boy.
Then about 4 p.m. I realize huh, I've gotta deliver in an hour, I'll just get that school stuff done tomorrow. Yep that's a typical weekend round here, procrastination station.

Delivery as always was pretty great, Temps hovering right below freezing at the dawn of my shift. I wore some knickers with these underneath,

Yep thats right wool, made by the boys and girls at Defeet. Everyone talks about it, lucky folk ride bikes in it,I prance round the house in nothing but them. Anyway for a brief review, buy them, they are quite a bit warmer than any pearl knee warmer out there, plus they make you think you're dressing drag.

There were many favorite moments from the evening, folks glancing from their autos wondering what a maniac would be doing outside when its so cold. Ha I thought it was nice, really nice. I can't wait for the looks when the single digits appear.

A car full of girls yelled in my direction at a stoplight, "What are you doing on a bike" I reply, " I'm working" then turned the cranks forward.
Another delivery had me rushing off to the 49'er with 12 sandies strapped to my back using this old friend. I blew past a few autos on the initial turn from the shop at 40th and Dodge heading west, then continued to push when I looked to my left and found two females, yelling out their windows in scantily clad jagermeister gear. They continued to drive right beside me until I had enough of them. I blew them a kiss goodbye and charged up the hill to 49th St. When I hopped off the bike the girls pull up and get out shortly after, I realized they too were going to the niner, so like a nice gentleman that I am, I held the door open for them. I think they appreciated it.

Round 2 tonight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise

Typically I'll have class on Thursday evenings until 9 p.m.But yesterday had a different song and dance.Chris Burbach from the OWH came to speak with our class, What he spoke of was great but i was more stoked by the fact he came to the class with a blue giro helmet in tow complete with panniers and a soft-shell jacket. Damn it's good to see people getting out on bikes for transportation's sake. Job well done Mr. Burbach.
Anyhow, due to the guest speaker class was let out at 7p.m.( which got me feeling all hunky dory) And thanks to that early exit I was able to start the Kubrick series at Film Streams with 2001: A Space Odyssey.

That flik is outstanding on the big screen though, it really takes you to this complete different world that by its end you almost feel as if you had dreamt the entire time.

On another note, I'm liking the fact that cold weather is finally upon us. Coffee tastes better, school seems to pass with ease, and yeah its swell being on a bike. Yes, Yes, soon it will be the time for lobster gloves, ninja garb, and face freezing for miles and miles. These are exciting times my friends.

Friday, October 24, 2008

City Council by Bike

Yestersday evening my News Writing & Reporting class had to cover a Bellevue City Council Meeting. The meeting started promptly at 7p.m. with our anticipated arrival quarter past six. I was not only stoked at the idea of a field trip,but also the ride and route that would take me there. It went like this...
Downtown to 13th St. headed South on the pearl white Soulcraft, then hooked up with Bellevue Blvd. (which is spectacular by the way) The Blvd. is lined with brick for the first half which was quite a delight in the dark and steady rain conditions, I pounded up hills and raced cars like I was on the streets of Belgium dodging other fellows clad in multi-color spandex.It was especially great when I rolled up to the City Council Mtg. on Mission Ave. and "parked" a foot from the door while my classmates scoured Old Towne Bellevue for the closest availiable spot.
The meeting covered three topics- annexes,beautification of Bellevue building and design and the use of temporary signs. The meeting lasted over three hours and was a freaking riot. Can't wait to write my story! (sarcastic tone)
Would have much rather been hitting gravel in Iowa our racing a death-crit against autos on the B.B.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Aches and Cake

About a month ago I acquired a toothache that came and went as it pleased, it wasn't too much of bother at the time, I mean nothing some good Ol' whiskey couldn't fix.
Now I'm suddenly having sleepless night after sleepless night,bouncing round the bed in agony from this freakin toothache, if I take a sip of water it fills the gaping hole and pain ensues, Eating isn't fun anymore as I'm left chewing everything on the left side of my mouth like a squirrel packing acorns.
Having a little break from school I had time to visit the dentist in hopes to regain my sheep counting regimen and chewing food evenly in the left and right halves of my mouth.
After 15 minutes of my time an x-ray is taken, I'm then informed about a root canal complete with a crown that is needed to save tooth #4. Prescription of antibiotic and vicadine should make life interesting in the meantime.

As for tonight I'll be dodging thundershowers with bags beneath my eyes,hopping to and fro with sandwiches nestled against my back.
Just another night of delivery eh?
Last weekend was full of its own tales,(VA nurses telling me I'm nuts, cops giving props, and your run of the mill guy asking me why I don't use an automobile for delivery)
I'm sure folks won't disappoint tonight.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm listening LaCruz

The maiden voyage was just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Race Day at Manawa

The last chance for Cross-Country glory took place yesterday at Lake Manawa. I was for the first time licensed and ready, ready was perhaps not the correct word choice going into my first ever expert race. Optimistic might describe it better.Either way it was clear from the get-go that I wouldn't be experiencing any of that aforementioned glory.

The race began on a paved road, guys with gears rode like they had gears and proceeded to fly past my itsy bitsy 36:17 gear.I tried to keep pace for a bit then it was well I'll just try and keep them in my sights type of thing. I could still see the lead group and was chasing with a few other guys when a branch became lodged in between my frame and chain, I tried to ride on and just force it out, but the momentum just caused the chain to pop off like magic. Five minutes later I rode for 10 - 15 feet and it falls off once again. A half lap later it decides to really piss me off and yes, pop off.
After that I see a man yell from beside the trail that the race had stopped, I thought that's great but I'm gonna keep rolling. That lasted for about ten seconds when I was greeted by a caravan of riders coming towards me. I didn't really know what had happened at the time, I just knew it wasn't any good. But during the restart I was able to re-tension the chain and had hopes of a comeback swirling through that head of mine. The race resumed and I felt good for awhile,I mean for the first time in the race I was screaming through corners,hitting sections with a fury instead of braking and riding like a scared puppy playing catch up.

In the midst of my chain issue fix I spaced re-filling the bottles, And ended up with legs tightening up and twitching with each pedal stroke. Damn Cramps! Yeah so there were some forces against me today,Perhaps the biggest was my inability to start a race fast.My body is so used to those long miles in the saddle, not a gut -wrenching push right from the start.
Oh well, it will happen.

Its time to deliver sandwiches to the masses-

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cross Steed # 2

One is never enough-

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cross Steed

Changes to be implemented-
*White Industries Crank (Black 42 tooth)
*Salsa Bell Lap Bar
*Record Levers
*Salsa S.U.L. stem
*New Wheelset of some sort, Any Suggestions?

A formal warning to all Cross SingleSpeeders, I'm coming for ya.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Saturday Night Special

Some people go to parties Saturday nights, some have a date with that special someone and some folks just go out with one goal in mind, to get wasted. I get out as well, out on my bike.
The deliveries kept coming all night as the weather couldn't make up its mind. It would rain enough to soak the roads, making me question each turn I made until I finally set in and got comfortable. Drinks seemed to pop up on each delivery ticket, each with their own specific instructions of ez ice, extra ice or no ice at all. People can get quite particular with their fountain drink orders.

At one point in the night I took a delivery to an old man who opened the door and just laughed, when I mentioned that he owed me 17.50$, his laughter grew louder. The man still laughing while he handed me the money, then called for his wife, saying " hey this guy rode a bike" hahahahaha he continued. I apparently didn't get the joke, and wasn't laughing. I bit my lip and rode off, wanting to stuff his italian night club sandwhich and pickle down his wrinkly old throat. But I rode off, and had many other thoughts of things I could have done to the pathetic old soul.

All of a sudden the rain had made up its mind to downpour. This didn't make things go well, as the brakes on my dale crumbled in the rain, right in the middle of traffic on a Dodge St. descent. I had to do something quick, so I unclipped my right foot and skidded to a stop at 30th St. After the delivery to Walgreen's I cruised back to my house nearby on 35th St. I quickly made a bike swap and was out the door with the Karate Monkey in hand. As I began to pedal away I was reminded of the 36:22 gear which caused me to spin a higher cadence than my street legs were used to. (ahem like polar opposite of the 50:16 dale setup)
The good thing however was the Avid bb7 brakes which made stopping somewhat of a breeze, as well as the monstrous WTB NanoRaptor's plowing through alley's and backyards. Which gave a new, unforseen aspect to delivering which I had never felt... The Fat-Tired Bike.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sitting One Out

The State Championship road race will take place tomorrow,without me. September sixth was a date I had circled on the calendar since the woes of the poor result at the Omaha Cycling Weekend. I was motivated after that, waking up in those early morning hours and riding that bike of mine with gears. Trying to do all the necessary things in my life like.... eating right, stretching,rides with fast guys,personal time,rides in little chainring, hill repeats,keeping a journal of rides and long rides that make legs all jell-o like... in hopes that the race would be one to remember.

Then life suddenly comes at ya fast, school is in full swing with deadlines to meet and people to please. I feel as if I'm behind in so many things, and it's not a great feeling. So mentally I'm just not were I need to be. I need a simple weekend to myself were I get back to the basics. Basics of delivering sandwiches to the good people of midtown Omaha perhaps. Which has the habit of putting a smile on my face.

Have a killer race tomorrow and Don't fret fellow road racers, I'll be back.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Five-O

Another great weekend in the books at the Dakota-Five-O in Spearfish S.D. I rolled out of town in the space capsule Sprinter van courtesy of Midwest Cycling Community, with Mark, Anne, Rox and a few other folks. We arrived Friday evening greeted by WarAxeSam, and some of the Lincoln crew. The gathering was just beginning however, as people trickled in most the night giving the Omaha/Lincoln Wrecking crew over 20 members.
The following day found us waking early for a ride into Common Grounds for some espresso, and their tasty bagel sandies with egg and bacon. Shortly after that we donned our spandex racing suits and piled back into the sprinter vans with race map in hand headed for singletrack and a little pre-race ride. I was completly over-geared for the ride with a 36:17, straining up hills and pedaling out of the saddle.
Following the ride Sam helped me out by putting on the big boy 22 tooth freewheel,(which seemed ridiculous to put that big of a freewheel on), but these were freaking huge hills. They call these sections hike a bike, I thought going into the race that these would be no big deal and I could just grit my teeth and power up em. But that was clearly wishful thinking as the pre ride proved.
The race began Sunday morning around 7:30, I had a nice frontline start with the rest of the crew, initially the stomach was in splish-splash mode causing me to get a slower start than I had wanted in the gravel grind to the singletrack. I entered the dirt with the second group from the lead then found myself with MOD, Nate and Jesse as we steamrolled through and started to reel in riders left and right. The course was sneaky technical at times with a few creek crossings and descents that made my bones rattle. I stayed with Nate and Jesse up until the second checkpoint, when my biggest fear going into the race had begun to creep up on me,how the body would handle riding rigid?
My hands now had blisters popping up beneath the knuckles and on my palms, my grip was suddenly not as strong causing me to ride differently and cautiously for the next 10 or 12 miles. It also killed the rhythm I had been in, resulting in getting passed instead of the once great feeling I felt of passing others. After stretching and relaxing the muscles in my hands while pushing the Surly up those hike-a-bike sections, My hands seemed to rejuvenate enough to ride more aggressive and try to pull in those pesky riders now ahead of me.
After The grueling climb up to HoboCamp at mile 38 I began to pick things back, through sections of red clay, and back down to the final section of singletrack where I passed up one... then another and another. Suddenly the dirt spewed back onto gravel and I knew the race was just about complete. I rolled in with a time of 4:38, good enough for a ninth place finish in the singlespeed category.

Could I have gone faster? yeah I think so.
Does it really matter? Nah
Was it fun? Oh yeah

I had a great time, riding with the crew and meeting other folks who enjoy much of the same things, like getting hopped up on coffee, camping with large fires, gorging on food and racing bikes.

photos ripped from MOD

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A film for folks who like bikes

Just read in the good ol' World Herald that Death of a Cyclist will be playing at Film Streams, starting tomorrow. Which comes at a total surprise to me, as it was not on the streams newsletter. Check it out, it looks pretty dang good!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School Blues

Ah, school has begun. And yet again I find myself at a struggle to change the pace of life, from riding everyday with a sort of reckless abandon to sitting in classes and observing the new crop of freshman text freely and talk of things that typically annoy a guy like me. Here I am at the ripe age of 24, still in this game called college.
I have 2 teachers that are my age or younger who really enjoy talking about their academic accomplishments and what their freaking thesis topic is, They just really really love talking about themselves. How they are proficient in this or that, have gotten shit published in numerous prestigious magazines or newspapers. Oh but what really takes the cake is when they get personal and speak of their engagement, and go on and on about their wedding plans as if I freaking cared. Hearing all of that garbage made me want to get the hell out of class, and start pouring gasoline all over the cars in the parking lot.I just sat and dreamt of seeing them all burn as I pedaled off into the sunset.

Other than daydreaming of burning cars and stabbing gaudy teachers with their own high-heels, life has been great!

Can't wait for the five-o this weekend!
Is their anything better than a weekend away from it all, (yes actually there is)
a weekend away from it all with bicycles.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tranquility Thoughts

Checking the final results and lap times

It was a morning that I had rehearsed in my mind for quite a while. Waking early, hearing the soothing sounds of coffee brewing and oats on the stove. There is nothing better than having that time in the morning to just sit in silence, and prepare for the day. At 7:45 I hopped on the bike and pedaled to Tranquility. Many thoughts passed through me on the ride, thoughts of how the race will unfold, who will be there, and what I would eat afterward. Every know and then fear will creep into these thoughts, trying to disrupt your confidence. You've just gotta stay positive and remember who you are and what you can do. It also helps to remind yourself that hey, this is going to be a lot of fun.

After signing up I rode to my parents house to relax a lil bit until the race started at 10 am. When inside I saw my nephew Alex, plopped down directly in front of the TV cross legged watching cartoons. Moments later I'm seated beside him stretching and finding myself locked to the cartoon as if a tractor beam had fixated my eyes on the tube. At 9:35 after the water bottles were filled and the goodbyes were exchanged, I rode back to Tranquility. Under the shade of a tree I got my tire pressure dialed and ready to rock,then carefully assembled my food & drinks at the edge of a picnic table.

The race started after a roll call of each participant,I took off with no one able to match on the gravel road leading up to the dirt. I glanced back on the first climb to check if anyone was closing, I saw no-one. So I continued to hammer the first lap on my single speed Karate Monkey, never hearing the brakes of other competitors behind me just the daylight and open trail in front of me. The laps started to click by...2...3.....4... at the culmination of each lap there was first my parents, then Lucas, then Tim & Jen. Each lap I would look up and see a different face. It was quite a surprise. Thanks for the support!

Still feeling strong going into the fifth lap, I tried to match the pace of the other sport and singlespeed riders who had just begun their xc race. I managed to lead some of them until my arms were caught daydreaming on a descent that left me covered in dirt on the ground. I had some good ol' scrapes on my left leg, but adrenaline made me quickly forget it as I continued to plug away.

To start the sixth lap I went into auto-pilot until I heard someone squeal from behind me on the trail, as I looked back I saw the skeleton on a bike named Lucas. I rode the next few switchbacks of trail with him behind as we yelled random things at eachother. Moments later he overtook me and I just sat on his wheel, the whole lap as we pushed towards the end of the lap. Knowing that I had to get in before 1 pm, I yelled at the photographer on the descent for the time, it was gonna be close as he said it was 12:57. We made it back a minute later, Lucas rode on determined to catch 2nd place as I prepared for a 7th and final lap.

This final lap I finally began to let the killer instict rest and just kind of roll to the finish. When there I was greeted by my family and repeated alerts that hot dogs were available. Looking back on this race it's a breath of fresh air to finally get a result that I knew I was capable of, Hopefully I can keep it going with the Dakota Five 0 up next followed by the Branched Oak Road Race.

Legs finally at rest

(Photo's courtesy of Lucas)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tranquility Victory

Boy oh boy it was a goody, 7 laps and 3+hrs. of bone chilling fun.
Gotta go Deliver!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just another day

Pre-rode Tranquility yesterday for the race upcoming tomorrow morning. The trail is in excellent shape, Kudos to Dale and the THOR crew for making it all nice n pretty.The laps clicked by and I rekindled my love for the dirt, it had been far too long.The race should be a dandy with a 3 hour starting at 10, and the xc at noon. I'm not sure yet which one I'll pursue,it will most likely be a game-time descision.

And here are some random photos:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chrome Hip- Bone

Recently I purchased yet another Chrome product their hip-bone.I was inspired to buy after repeatedly pulling sweaty dollar bills from my pockets when delivering. The hip-bone hangs off your belt and is made to hold a hipster mini u-lock,a tasty snack, pens, a tube and lever,and really anything else you can think of that you desire at your hip. I'm quite pleased with how it rides, and it makes all the sense in the world when delivering. With all Chrome's products the hip-bone is waterproof, and could double as a hip-pad if you ever decide to take a tumble on the pavement.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hits and Misses

Tonight in the midst of another night of delivery,In which the weather was epic and the legs were ready and willing. My night unfortunately ended early when a woman decided to hit me with her automobile. I had just begun the climb back to JJ's on 38th and Dodge when she slammed into my back wheel, causing me to spill sideways near the curb. After assesing myself and seeing that I was alright, I quickly looked the bike over and found that she didn't quite make it.
My Sugino 75 track crank was missing a crankarm along with it's counterpart xtr pedal. It completley ripped off, I was livid! The back wheel has a nice wibble-wobble to it now and some flimsy spokes as well. The woman did stop, as well as a few kind others who witnessed the accident. She was very apolegetic,and claimed she didn't see me.
When the police officer arrived and saw the damage to the bike he told the woman," Oh it's not too bad, less than a hundred bucks" I quickly remind them both that this is no ordinary bicycle, and it's gonna cost her well over $500 dollars to replace the parts.
Walking back to the shop with the steamroller over the shoulder, I thought of all the great rides we've shared together and the pain we had endured. My head hung low realizing that we would be apart for the first time since our relationship began in early January.It's a tough pill to swallow, But I'm alive and well looking forward to getting back on the bike tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sunny Side Up

I think for the first time in quite a while, I did about all I wanted to do in a given week. I ate well, played with the pup, and was on the bike a bit. A bit meaning every single day. I just can't get enough of it. With Wednesday night road rides chock-full of gear chatter and electrolyte banter, It's always essential to get out on a good soul searching ride.(on a Soulcraft mind you).

So Friday I pedaled to Lincoln and back for a 115 mile death march, and I loved every moment of it. I intended to leave in the wee hours of the morning ahem intended is the key word here. After waking at nine thirty, bummed that I missed out on the golden hours of summer bike riding, I proceeded to pedal on up to Sweet Magnolia's for a delicious pastry,a multi-berry scone to be exact. Perhaps it was the scone's flaky buttery crust; or the soft, yet steaming berries oozing from it's core that lifted me from an overslept slumber.I departed at eleven thirty, well aware of the heat I would now face.

But I didn't care,ya know. Some days it could be pouring down rain or winds that make you shake in their shimano's, you just crave to get on the bike and pound until you can't see straight.Nothing seems to matter, and nothing can deter your desire to get out.

After that glorious day in the saddle,Lucas treated me to a lovely dinner at the cafe, some nice conversation but no goodnight kiss.

Sat and Sun were a delight as well, delivery was in full effect with evening humidity skirmishes that left me with a soggy bottom and calloused hands. Some instances made me pant like a Doberman in the silly heat of the night,as hills brought on new obstacles that the heat seemed to orchestrate.Overall a good test for the weekend. One that will creep back into the mind when all seems lost, and remind you that you can overcome.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Beat the Heat

Lately I have been hitting the road when the morning temps are cool and crisp for long miles with gears.But boy oh boy do I miss the conditions like I saw in the pic above. It was quite odd at first, looking beneath me and seeing a cluster of fun between my legs.I have just been pretty determined for the first time in my life to truly train for road racing. So yeah, intervals, intervals, and ah yes intervals. I've been killing myself on Belvedere Blvd. nearly every morning in hopes that I can hang with the road race big boyz.Some days I welcome the pain others it defeats me as I crumble and feel as if the legs were made of silly putty.

In other news, Delivering offered a mixed back of tricks over the weekend. Saturday night Emmerick and I pretty much owned the streets from 4 to 10 pm. Sling shooting ourselves to and fro while making the masses happy with their large Mr. Pibbs with extra ice and sandies with mayo pasted on so thick it seeped through the wrapping.
My top memory of the night was definitely delivering to an apartment complex where the man had me meet him on the roof of the building. Yep just another day at the office.

At the end of the night I pedaled over to O'Leavers to check out the Community Bicycle Shop Benefit concert. It was a whale of a good time, catching up with Nate and Hoss from Lincoln as well as listening to the sounds of the Ideal Cleaners. I am not sure of how much money the shop made, but it certainly looked like there was quite a number of folks there.

This week in order to keep sane:
I'll continue my morning death rides and
probably mix in some evening ones as well.
Visit Blue Line Frequently
Listen to Beck's Modern Guilt
And perhaps a flik or two

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What would you do if ...

As a result of a storm three weeks ago a tree still stood on top of your house?
Resulting in a kitchen pool party when the rain comes down.
With repeated attempts to contact the landlord and real estate service, only to hear them say each time, "wer'e on top of it" Which is hard to believe for my roomates and I to hear when other tree service crews around the metro area are pruning and shaping trees that are fully rooted, while we live in a tree house.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Brief Race Weekend Recap

Looking back at a dissapointing race weekend I have plenty of things I need to work on, yet I still need to keep my head up and welcome the pain train these upcoming weeks. It was tough to take at first, when I know I'm just as strong as all the other riders, there was just a few things that held me back. Most notably the fit on the soulcraft was not right, causing my cadence to suffer as well as my hamstrings.It also prompted me to continually tinker to get the "right" fit, which wasn't found throughout the three races. But excuses are like assholes, everyone has them. Time to toughen up.

But it was great to meet some new folks that ride bikes, and get reintroduced with others that I already knew. Super-Sweet to watch this dude sprint for all the preams, while pissing off the pack.It was freaking great. He rode like an unstoppable rebel force. Nice weekend bro!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Due to the fact that workers either quit or get fired each and every week,I had another solo Saturday night.Filled with losers telling me again and again something about a sidewalk and how i should be on it... never! Just as their were suspects and fools yelling nonsense from their gas-guzzling machines, But things like a suttle head nod when you least expect it,can make your night instantly better.
I was pedaling east on Dodge when a red vehicle runs along side you to a woman letting me know,"Your'e going 40 miles an hour" I replied, "Right On, with a smile".
On another delivery,I was walking the steps up to 3557 Davenport, when the neighbor realized I was with Jimmy Johns, he kind of went nuts- Saying,"Holy Cow, you guys are on bikes, Oh man thats great, get to work out, and Don't need to fill the tank now do ya son" He continued sputtering off like this the entire time, It surprised me quite a bit, I'll think of him as my number one fan.

Til next time...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Trans Iowa

Oh Memories
I remember this point in the race, someone asked me what I was going to listen to on that ipod of mine. Little did I know they were snapping a pic.Taken at the first checkpoint 109 miles in, I needed a little musical stimulation. 30 miles later I threw in the towel and layed in a ditch.
Oh Memories

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh Ponca

I couldn't sleep last night in anticipation of this event. It was my first cross-country race in about two years. And I was ready,or so I thought.

Dale and I set sail from Omaha at 9 am. The plan was to be there by 11 or so and have time to fill the bottles get your gear on, warm up a bit, listen to some tunes and oh yeah, there is that registering thing.

Nearly there, we stop in Ponca at some gas station so I can use the atm. Because racing isn't free people. Problem was that the atm wasn't giving me what I wanted and the race started in just 40 minutes.

I inform Dale of my dilemma, and without batting an eye he hands me a twenty and says now all ya need is ten.

As we roll in into the park I quickly unpack the chrome bag and snagged the Surly and went out to try and find some folks to be my sugardaddy. The time is now 11:40.

I run into the bushes and change into the lycra (superman style), and then almost forget that whoa I still need ten dollars, and havent registered yet.

I then pedal to the lodge to check if they had an atm or some nice old couple to throw some cash my way. As I am pedaling back towards the other racers I see MOD, And at this point I was stressed like you wouldnt believe; so instead of saying hello mark, or have a nice race, I say, hey can I have ten dollars. And MOD came through through like the champ he is and got me that last ten.

It was freaking ridiculous, and the race was now 9 min from starting.I took a deep breath and tried to refocus with what little time I had, Then before i knew it riders are rolling down to the start. It was time.

We started 30 ticks after the experts and it felt like the longest 30 of my life.I closed my eyes as Joy Division songs rang in my head until the whistle blew.

I started quick with MOD next to me, then realizing I didn't even know where I was going,I let Josh pass and followed his wheel closely into the dirt .It was a quick descent filled with tight switchbacks, I was having a ball, feeling great, legs all loosey goosey, then josh and I miss a turn and are suddenly in third and fourth.Next my perpetuem filled bottle falls to the ground, moments later I whip through a turn and hear a pop, I kept pushing until my rim was grinding on the dirt. I look back to find that my tire had peeled off the rim and tangled itself within my chain and seat stays in a web of disapointment.

3 minutes in and my race was over.I didn't have time to pack my spare with all the registration madness, and it came back to bite me, quite hard.Carrying my bike up the paved road to the start was like a walk of shame,I sat for a while and thought about what happened, shed a few tears in the shade then tried to track down some tools and get back to it.

Eventually I fixed the problem after Biker Bob came through with the lock jaws for my stripped dropout bolt.He was a ray of light in my dark day. Thanks again man.

Even though my race had ended, I needed to get out and hammer,I hit the dirt for 2 and a half laps with a vengence and hope for next time.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

All aboard the Pain Train

That's what delivering went like last night.A whole lotta pain.

The pace started quick at 5 pm and the humidity caused my pores to burst.Typically it takes an hour or so until you get in that phase of delivery where you are truly feeling it, zipping up and down the hills and getting in your groove. All was wellto begin the night though, I delivered to a large black man north of Dundee. And upon counting out his change of nine dollars, he asks, "Yo, who ya like in da championship" He probably thought i had no clue what he was speaking of, but I do enjoy a little baskettball here and there, and knew exactly what he was talking about. I reply,"Boston man, C's all the way",He says," "cool brotha, just give me eight back then".

It was a little after seven and the evening had a great pace to it thus far,but something was lurking behind the corner,and I was in for one hell of a battle.

I arrive back at JJ's, and my good ol boss Deacon informs me that Britni's car broke down and was unable to deliver tonight. The other driver Joe was off in twenty minutes at eight. That left just me to deliver until midnight. Iv'e done things like this before, but for only an hour or two, this was four hours. And I knew things would be crazy with all the CWS madness and Saturday night bar hoppers.

When I heard the great news I went to the back of the store, ate my face off, downed water and mentally prepared for the oncoming pain that awaited me.
My first fleet of deliveries were all over the place,I could no longer think about routing my deliveries, just had to endure it.

I pedaled to Autozone on 50th and Center to a fella named Jeff, and he was a real piece of work.He ordered a large coke with the food and upon giving it to him he glances inside the cup and squeals,"I asked for extra ice, Can you just bring this back and get me more ice." I was speechless, this loser with a bad haircut and glasses wanted me to pedal all the way back just for more freaking ice, no way in hell. I reply," Look i'm sorry, but there is ice in there and I'm not riding back one-handed just so you can have a little extra. He then exclaimed that he would call my manager and complain, as i'm walking out the door i say, "go for it."

After that I whip out 6 more deliveries totaling 16 in one hour,It was only 9:30 and I was starting to feel the legs stiffen up from slogging through neighborhoods South of Leavenworth littered with hills that can crush your soul.

I get back to find another round of deliveries that will take me south, north, east and west all over our the delivery area. It was time to either kill or be killed, I snag the ipod in hopes that some tunes will rejuvenate the body and mind. It worked as I took my mind away from the numbing hands and the legs that twitched and burned with each climb.

The time was now 10:45, hauling back on 40th St. I was feeling good and strong well aware that dozens of sandwhiches would be waiting for me. This next round was much like the one that preceded it as I went everywhere.

A woman I delivered to at CU med center says to me after i give her the order,"be safe driving out there" i said, "I'm not driving anything, I'm pedaling." She say's "oh I know you're on a bike, but have a good drive back" Silly people, someday they will get it.
Outside a patient and here friend saw me go inside earlier to make the drop off and asked me how do you do it, (puzzled) "how are you not tired"? I tell them,"I'ts what I love and yeah I'm beat. They then said "Go get em" as I pedal down the emergency ramp back to 30th St.

I get back once more, for another couple of deliveries at 11:34. I storm out of JJ's on a mission to get these out fast, and erase past memories of failure and moments on the bike and in life where i have fallen short.Thoughts about not finishing Trans Iowa, and not racing in the DK200, thoughts of past road races where I had been dropped by the group and didn't finish. All of these memories burn inside me for that next chance to overcome and put it all together at one of these races.

I get back, breathless, aching and somewhat delerious.The night was complete after taking 55 deliveries which resulted in over 500 dollars in sales. The battle was won, and the demons of my past had been exercised.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Blame it on the Rain

I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I for one am just loving this wet-n-windy weather.
No more humid sweat fest, instead the precipitation is cool and calming.It slows life down and gives things new perspective.

Picked up a delivery shift last night, it seems whenever the weather is at its foulest folks want their Jimmy Johns pretty bad.For the first three hours the phones didn't stop,neither did I as i continually swept in and out of the shop with bags of sandies on my back.
Favorite responses of the evening include...
"Wow, did you run here" As I am standing in front of them in a helmet with my Steamroller to the right. "
Oh thats smart, driving a bike instead of the car tonight, save on gas" I reply, "Nope I pedal a bicycle, I don't drive it"

Greeting from a man with a business polo on his enclosed porch, who laughs as if its a joke that his sandwich was delivered by bike, he said,"Thats cool little fella"

Delivered to a salon next to the Dundee theater, I walk in the doors to stares, comments whispered between scissors clipping as i slosh in my soaked Sidi's leaving puddles with each step. The tattooed woman I delivered to was pretty stoked to get her sandwich delivered in the most environmentally friendly way possible though.

All in all, the night had everything I desired. A strenuous battle with the elements, a slight skirmish with a blue volvo, and a Celtics victory at the end of it all.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What the Crap?

Feeling terrible most of last week prompted my descision to cancel the Kanza. It was not easy to let go of, I'd been looking forward to and training for it quite a while. But hey, there will be more.

Congrats to the Lincoln crew, for another dominating performance. Much respect goes to MG, Corey, and Skip.You guys are the real deal. And Mr. Chambers the overall winner, is a machine.

I still craved to get out on the bike,wanting to erase the bad taste from kanza, and decided to deliver. It was a good time, with everyone believing I was pedaling due to the gas prices.It all went according to form, except for a crank busting in half and smacking my ankle.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A New Hope

Weeks roll by these days and i am powerless to try and stop the progression that is time.But yet what i do with my time has changed since the completion of another semester of school.The photo above- in NYC for the first time last summer working as a messenger, and boy do i hope it happens again.

Miles in the saddle have increased by the school curtains now closed, which gives me positive vibes going into the flint hills of Kansas next weekend. Look out Travis Brown and CChambers, there will be some new kids on the block to challenge the favorites.This race seems to be shaping up quite well; my head is clear,thoughts are positive and focused, the body follows in the example set forth by the mind as the days draw closer to Kanza.

Twas a good week though, much time spent reading all of your blogs, supporting the economy with my stimulus check and stuffing my face with baked goods.

I noticed a few things on this weeks commute that seemed to put things in perspective for me. There has been plenty of chatter about Omaha, and its efforts to make are streets bike friendly and pushes for commuting and so on...

But what i witnessed this week was more bikes have been out, which is great, but when i pass them by on the streets they are scared, their movements are dictated by the traffic around them , which is no way to ride. And 70 percent of the time these are the folks who crowd the sidwalks battling the cracks and curbs, all the while being invisible to cars. So if this is you I recommend giving the streets a try its not all that bad, yeah some people are assholes, but there are other people who give three feet when passing or will repect your descision to be a human powered machine by cheering or even yelling "Go Lance"repeatedly. Keep at it Omaha. I'm pullin for ya-

Other reasons for a good week in no apparent order:

-Justin in town from Jersey
-new threads
-hung with pup
-turned 24
-bought saddle waterbottle mount for Kanzaa (kudos to cornbread for the smashing idea)
-vinyls with a magical card enabling them to be downloaded for us non-luddites
-dinner with Liz and the folks at Dario's
-afternoon fliks at filmstreams
-your's truly in HTATBL (I'm thinking sponsorship)
-snappy cap on the way
- new coffeemaker at work
-people on bikes
-pay raise
-Lizzie Rex

Eager for tonight's shift delivering. rain. wind. crazy homeless folks and thugs who want my money, bring it on.