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.