Thursday, December 6, 2012
It drives me insane.
The most direct (but not necessarily effective) solutions involve regulation of nonpoint source pollution, but this approach will just mean that food will become more expensive and the environmental impact marginal. Regulations are a good fit for point sources of pollution, but have historically had a extremely low success rate with non-point sources of pollution like sediment, excess nutrients, and the off-site movement of crop protection products.
It is a very complex problem. The one thing that I am sure of is that there are a ton of ignorant people touting simple solutions to complex problems. I happen to believe that education (perhaps mandatory?) will improve our quality of life in rural areas and for those that live downstream, but its a shame that it takes disasters like the dust bowl to draw attention to problems.
My wife took this picture sometime after I slumped over........at least she did not give me a permanent marker mustache.
I have also been on the trai1of how to use cranberries in recipes since I can buy them for about 50 cents/lb. So I edited this recipe from Taste of Home.
3 cups4 large chopped peeled tart apples
2 cups12oz bag fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 and 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and flour. Pour into a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. In a bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over apple mixture. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until fruit is tender. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
|Jasper has been tuning my suspension|
|Big Al got Mums, so you know that it is fall|
|My knee hurts just looking at this|
|all kinds of radness going on here|
|We went to Iowa to visit the Kochs, and so Jasper could wear his pimp Hawkeye getup|
|The only member of the Hollywood Army that took a Busch hand-up.|
|Barry had a good race.|
|Jay Richards even showed up|
|With his oh so pro carbon tubular mtb wheels|
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The swelling has gone down, but there is still so much fluid in the joint that its painful to bend my knee past 95 degrees. I had a MRI a week ago, but no one from the doctors office or the hospital has called me. The sucking sound from this healthcare provider is starting to become audible.If rafal brought me a bunch of his cherry infused moonshine I might just aspirate it myself.
So today I said screw it, and rode my new bike anyway. Now for some cold therapy. It was so worth it.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
|Laying down the rules of the gravel road. Photo cred: deathrider|
|Lisa Keeps all the boys in line|
|It was about 50 degrees and rainy, and while everyone else was donning jackets, Eddie just pulled on his snowmobile gloves|
|Ted Loosen choking down what could be the worlds worst breakfast sandwich|
|The Ely police setup across the street from our bike house. Lots of shady Characters|
|Tara, our other lady, was all smiles even when things were awry|
|Lisa mocks the driving rain|
|The big pot of boiling water for hot chocolate at a the aid station was a huge hit|
|Frank Lundeen rides like Landgraf|
|Two very different people with a common interest, adventure.|
|Novak: Unhurried and In control|
|Drew drove the pace all weekend long and took the GC. His worst stage finish was 2nd (due to my crappy directions)|
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Ok, I have learned quite a bit about navigation using GPS in the last few months. I am not a expert but I will try to relay some useful info.
First, Garmin Edge units are expensive. Garmin Etrex units are not. Unless you need the powertap or HRM functions of the Edge units, save yourself about 300 dollars and look at a etrex 20 unit. The eTrex 20 or 30 units also use AA batteries. This is a huge advantage if you are going out for multiple days and do not have the capacity to recharge your Edge. They are not as slim and trim as a Edge 800 or 705, but serve the same function.
Namely they allow you to load a base map and to navigate preconceived routes.
- Base Map- this is the primary functionality for most riders that like to explore on their bike. Garmin offers North america street maps for about $70 or you can get free maps through the Open Street Map Project (OSM). Here are the instructions for using OSM on your Garmin. You can download recently updated OSM Map for North America here. You may have to save the maps to a microSD card depending on how much memory your Garmin has.
- You can use OSM on your iPhone GPS when there is no cell signal, however I would be too concerned about the battery life to solely rely on a iPhone to navigate the gravel conspiracy course. There will be no cell service once we get away from the north shore.
- Creating routes: I have found the most useful free program for creating routes to be Bike Route Toaster All of the routes for the Gravel Conspiracy were created with BRT. I also love that it allows you to create cue sheets. Remember that routes created for Garmin Edge units should be saved as .tcx files, all other gps units will use .gpx files. Once you have a .gpx or .tcx file that you want to load on your GPS, you plug your GPS into the computer. Under "My Computer" Click on the name of your device and open a folder called "new files". Drag and drop your .tcx or .gpx files into the "new files" folder. Thats it. The next time you power up the device your route should appear on the GPS. Then you just follow the line.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
I also have been using Skratch labs SDM, and I really have to admit that I feel much more "fresh" at the end of the ride when I am not ingesting tons of calories with my liquids. I also read the "Feedzone" Cookbook, and the approach that Lim takes is in no way revolutionary. However, Lim has the "street cred" to make people believe that his ideas function and taste good. I am in no way going to eschew gluten, but I had a long talk with a doctor (over expensive scotch) about non-imflamatory foods. Rice was at the top of her list for foods that fight inflammation. Not saying that I understand the nutrition issues, but it gives me lots of things to think about.
Anyway, we busted out about a 55 mile loop before 10:30. It was super calm. so calm that if a car passed, the dust would hang over the road for like 3 minutes. If you stopped the mosquitos would quickly descend. Made for a quick tempo (maybe quicker than Butch liked). It was a good morning.
I am really starting to dig this Garmin. It makes planning my ride so much easier. I have a Drawer that is literally filled with hundreds of google map print outs and tyvek race #'s with cues written on them in sharpie. I may take them out back and burn them. It has taken me some time to figure out all the little GPS navigation nuances, but I have been pleased.
Leaving for Idaho on Tuesday. Going to see the Newest Stamper and hopefully catch up with professional and unprofessional cyclists at XC Nationals in Sun Valley.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Herein lies the problem. I have no top end power, and do not train for top end power or speed. I can ride tempo for hours, but sprinting? Not so much. This usually leads to me cramping in races as I get out of my comfort zone early and my golgi receptors start pitching fit about 2 hours later.
Well, to combat this lack of top end training I have taken to the road, and to be real honest it has not sucked as back as I thought it would.
I have had to go through a couple of of differnet groups to find one that I am comfortable with, and it never ceases to make me chuckle when I watch the dynamics of some of these groups. One of the things that really bothered me though was the complete disregard that cyclists here in the Twin Cities have for stop signs, and traffic laws in general. Don't get me wrong, I have been guilty of the ol' rolling stop every once in a while, but this is ridiculous.
I got yelled at by one group (of old people.... that I had been pulling) when I did not just blow through a stop sign. The ironic thing was that before the ride the group leader talked about how another group had gotten pulled over by a sheriffs deputy for running stop signs the week before. I rolled my eyes and bailed on them the first chance I got.
This morning I did a shop ride out of the Omnium Bike shop. The route was pretty tame, but they have a circuit set up at the furthest point on the route, so we had 3 different race simulations......and it was kind of fun. There was only about a dozen of us so everybody was jumping at every move. And it was Fast!
I don't have a ton of road experience to compare it to, but there were several times that 46:11 was just not enough to hang on. Road races in KS were just not that exciting (hey lets ride in a big, flat square for 30 miles!). I can now see why folks might like road racing. I still think that it's lame, but less than I did before.
Maybe I will purge some other stuff to help fund my next bike.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
|Rolling the road section back to our campground|
|Adam Lipinski was slangin pies all evening from his homemade camp pizza oven. He was turnin out a thin crust every 5 minutes with this oven that was at about 700 degrees F. Faces got rocked.|
|Taylor Patterson rocks out the generator powered pinball machine. The brake levers operated the flippers.|
|JPatt, Alex and I cruising back from Rays to Lake.|
|Cliff Jumping on the cruise|
|Matt and Mary (center) took us on a tour of the trails on the other side of the lake|
|Then I saw this spectacle of east coast ingenuity. Single Speed and Full suspension.|
Thursday, May 24, 2012
|Patterson concedes the position of Capt to Matt, instead relishing his role as Rear Admiral.|
|TPatt and Graham counting cans|
|Harlan Price advises riders during a skills drill.|
|4 people and 3 tents|
|No shortage of good reading material in the ol' blue box|
|Patterson lets no demo bike stem go unslammed|
Saturday, May 5, 2012
The line length is perfect.
I just saved 40 bucks.
I think that deserves a special treat!
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Start putting in tubes.
Get mocked by the two dudes on the tandem.
Reflect on the irony of that.
Clean up my yardsale.
Chase down the tandem and shout at them.
I managed to move backup through the group, and eventually got in with a group, but the pounding on my hands was pretty demoralizing. This course had everything. We rode through singletrack, pavement, ski trails, ATV trails, Dams, through a strip mine, and across lots of sand. It was obvious that the organizers did a ton of work to place all the signage which made it easy to navigate. There were even some freshly cut ST sections.
Lots of rolling terrain. I was a hurting unit when I finished. It was so rolling that I could never get on top of my 42:18 gearing. I think I only managed a avg speed of 14 mph, which is way too slow (contributing to my demoralization).
Many thanks to the Organizers.
Don't show up without a geared 4 inch FS bike with 1.9's. I now understand why Trek sells so many Top Fuels in WI.
Monday, April 23, 2012
I would never live in California. I don't know that this is California so I will just rely on preconceived stereotypes to guide my judgement.
Never once did it occur to her that maybe she should not have slammed on her brakes in the middle of the trail. Its not like she wasn't wearing enough equipment to drown Michael Phelps. I felt bad for the guy that ran into her. He just kept taking her verbal abuse. I would have loved to see John Waller deal with this situation.
I am gonna go hunt some morels with Brutus and the little man. If some little ol' Chinese lady starts creeping on my mushroom territory I will scream and throw my bike at her.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
When I rolled into the Cyclova XC shop in downtown Saint Croix Falls, I immediately saw several friendly faces as we got signed in, picked up Gandy Dancer Trail Passes, and shot the bull with Frank and Ben, the proprietors of Cyclova XC. Got to visit with Wooly Race Organizer Matt Fisk, who was leading us out of town in a Chevy Volt. Thought that was a nice touch.
Once we we hit River Road it was all business as a ton of people surged to the front, and the group was really zipping along at 22 mph. Saw multiple Tandems, including the Salsa Prototype Tandem that was captained by Joe Meiser and powered by Jason Gaikowski. I was really impressed with how Salsa spec'ed it. I also was please to see that instead of using a tandem specific crankset, they ran the timing chain on the drive side on the granny rings. I saw a tandem at NAHMB that was set up the same way, and thought it was a great idea as there are so few decent, modern tandem cranks.
Once we hit Wolf Creek it was time to move up as the soft sand was making things pretty sketch. Managed to stay in the top 30 until we hit 310th Ave when the blow sand really started to pull the group apart. I managed to stay clear and found myself in the top 5 with Jesse Rients trying to chase down the couple of mountain bikers that got away. After a couple minutes of watching Jesse ride away, I heard Chad Sova and Barry Tungseth roll up behind me, and we started to give chase. At the 25 mile mark I stopped for a PBR at the aid station that they so graciously provided. That meant that Chad and Barry got away, but I had a PBR to keep me company.
Being on the SS leaves me under no illusions about my place in the world.....or at least the peleton.
I managed to catch back up to Barry a mile or two later. Sova was gone. Barry and I traded pulls on County Rd O until we got overtaken by the train that Ted Loosen was driving. Barry and I tagged along for about 7 miles before I popped. We had just made contact with Sova, but I just was not able to keep up the mad spinning that it took to compensate for the surging as guys were pulling through. Barry was kind enough to fall of the back with me, and we pretty much occupied no mans land for the rest of the ride.
My thighs we starting to cramp pretty bad by the time we started to hit the climbs right before Luck. I tried to walk up one of the climbs, but that did not really help. I was able to spin it out once we hit the Gandy Dancer. We rode with Jesse for a little while on the Gandy, as he was the only one from the lead group to stop for coffee at Cafe Wren, but we fell back about 6 miles from the finish. With about 3 miles to go I whipped out the PBR that I picked up about 40 miles earlier, and split it with Barry. Was a good way to finish the ride.
Was great route that was well marked, and I thought that it was a excellent way for Cyclova XC to highlight the great routes around that area. Many thanks to all the people that put in the time and effort to make this awesome event happen.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Made Cookies though.
The right woman would throw herself at you if you have a bucket of these and a half gallon of 2%.
You cant see it below but butch is eating a donut the size of his head.....while riding with a 25 mph tailwind, on a perfect MN day. Happy Easter.
We should have donut hunts on Easter. (Filched from Butches twitter Acct)
God knows about these donuts, he can see them from space.
Katie told Butch she wanted a new back door. We made it happen.
Prepping the new base for the sill plate.
It took us a few hours, mostly due to my OCD and over analysis, but we got it hung.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Ray was feeling pretty bushed once we got to St Croix Falls, WI, so we stopped into Cyclova XC shop so I could pickup a new multi tool and Ray got some goodies. They were also kind enough to let us leave our bikes in the shop while we ate lunch.
On the ride Back to the cities we went south on 240th for like 20 miles. Its a sweet road that has several climbs but nothing steep. It was also a bluebird afternoon. sunny and 70. Ray could easily keep up with my normal pace on the ride home, so we were going two wide since there was no traffic on that road. In Somerset, we stopped for a gallon of water and delectable gas station fare. I got a apple fritter and kettle chips.
I almost died. I had the worst gas pains within 20 minutes. I think Jeremy Powers refers to this as cross gut. Whatever, it sucked. We took Rustic Road into Hudson, WI, and then crossed the River on the I-94 bridge. Then it was 14 miles back to the house for some Grainbelt and front stoop sitting. Now granted this whole time I am in pretty severe discomfort, feeling bloated and irritable, but considering how fast and how far we went my legs felt great. The second I walked into the house I took some Simethecone and felt better in 5 minutes. I am gonna have to start carrying a few packets in my saddle bag.
I think Ray had a good time, and it a pretty rewarding experience sharing a sport that you are passionate about with folks that are new to it.
Headed up the North Shore over Easter weekend to pre-ride the Gravel Conspiracy course. That will be a 300 mile weekend. Singletrack was dry today, so I took the SS over to River Falls, WI. Definitely took some time to get back on the mountain bike rhythm, and 34:17 was not kind to my knees after yesterdays shenanigans.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I remember my first summer in KS, it started to drive me mad because we had a string of 12 cloudless days. I just was not prepared for that sort of crap. That much sunshine will drive you crazy.
In western NC we get about 55 inches of rain per year, and it is spread out evenly throught the entire year. so you can count on at least 1 day a week is going to be cloudy and rainy. There is a lot of comfort in knowing that.
But you never know what is going to happen out here. Which leads me into another rickety segue, I had a dream (nightmare) last night that I was trying to outrun a tornado and ended up having to share a tornado shelter with Lady Gaga. If only Gwar had made a cameo appearance, could that dream been any creepier.
So bottomline, I feel that I have matured as a person since learning to live on the plains, just don't let lady Gaga near me.
Monday, March 5, 2012
This past November, I made it to the Appalachian Mountain Bike Clubs fall get together. I got to ride new trails, meet fun people, and ride bikes. It got me to thinking.
I should try to get to events that showcase trails, so when I was up late one night I saw that Dirt Rag was hosting a long weekend of trails at their annual DirtFest, I knew that I needed to go.
I have also been trying to capitalize on the fact that Southwest Airlines has a major hub here in the Twin cities.
So I got a roundtrip flight to Pittsburgh for $220.
I am looking forward to this immensely.
Ask me about the 33rd annual Eelpout Festival. It was all the culture I could stand.
Friday, March 2, 2012
There is a new Gravel Conspiracy race in the works.
Its a stage race....up north.
3 days, 330 miles. It will be free, but entry will be limited to 75.
The website will go live later this month.
In the mean time, I have created routes, and would like to take the .gpx files that I created from gmaps pedometer and turn them into cue sheets. I then intend to laminate the cue sheets onto the back of the number plate (think Psycowpath plates) that you would mount to your handlebar. This would eliminate the soggy cue sheet phenomenon, and would allow the riders to flip the plate up to navigate or leave it down for ID purposes.
Bikely software is being wonky, and the googlemap cuesheet hack will not read my .gpx files (and its pissing me off).
I would also like to have the .gpx file openly available for riders that would like to navigate to course with a GPS, but there is something I am missing.
You help me iron it out the cue sheets and formatting, and I will guarantee your entry, and cover your lodging costs. I will even pick you up at the MPLS airport if you want to fly in for the race.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Last week got away from me, in many ways. It seems like since the start of the new year I have just been treading water. Not in a bad way, but I have definitely been busier with work and home stuff, which is the way I would have it in the winter doldrums. That said being prepared is a dicey subject when you don't really have a ton of free time to plot, plan and connive.
So I missed the start of last weeks Cold Bear Challenge Snow Bike Race. By a lot. Like I started 10 minutes after the unicyclists (yes. Unicycles in the snow. You will just have to believe me. (edit I found footage)). I actually asked someone that looked like they had some authority if I could just jump in, and they acquiesced. So I started chasing.
Given the relatively mild winter that we have had this year I have not really taken the fat bike thing very seriously. Apathy would best describe my feelings towards fat bikes. The conditions have got to be pretty bad to make me want to ride a 35 lb bike with 10lbs of weight in the wheel-set. But I really haven't tried it so I will not knock it.
Anyway, I started late which meant that I had to ride through most of the intermediate field. The LCR crew had us riding the Hillside trails backwards, which was actually a lot of fun. After a half lap I really started moving through the field. I was SS'ing and was pushing a pretty good gear ratio, so I found myself really powering out of the corners and on the inclines. By the end of the first lap I was passing people pretty steady, and then it really thinned out, as the intermediate class only turned one lap. The second lap was pretty solitary. I could tell that I was getting tired as it became harder and harder to hold the lines in the snow and I found myself struggling to keep my front wheel out of the chunder. I managed to catch Eddie Karow, a fellow Battle Creek-er, about a mile from the finish. The result was not what I wanted, but given the fact that I started so late, I was pleased with the ride time. Its fun to ride when you have no where to go in the field but up. Plus a nice lady was offering pulls from a bottle of Jameson at the top of a run up. It was 15 degrees remember, gotta keep the blood thin. Once I finished I handed one of the timers a $10, and thanked them for letting me jump in. They even scored me
Here is some of the Footage that Todd Trembley captured from the Cold Bear Challenge (there is snow Municycling.....brace yourself).
So this weekend I decided to keep it close to home, instead of driving down to Rochester for the unnamed Almanzo ride. I actually made that decision at about 0630. Drive 3 hours and ride for 4 hours on icy roads, or sleep in, Watch the CX World Championships, then ride to Carver Lake for the first installment of the Cold Catfish Cup TT series.
So I decided to stick close to home for some Carver Lake singletrack racing. I really felt like this was the first time this year where there was a well defined advantage to being on a fat bike. I say that not because there was any real advantage as far as being able to go fast, but because the wide tires let you be less judicious about where you put your wheel. I was on my SS with Maxxis 2.1's inflated to about 22 psi. I was able to ride just about everything, but had to be so tense and focused about where I put the front wheel. Since Carver Lake is relatively new singletrack it still has a lot of slightly off-camber trail surface, and if my skinny front wheel got even the tiniest bit off the hard pack snow, a washout was imminent.
Reed and the Angry Catfish Crew sent us off in 30 second intervals, based on how we registered. I went off about 10th and caught my 30 second man about a mile in. Even though the ST is pretty tight and twisty, all of my passing events were smooth and I tried to be courteous.
I managed to not seriously pile it up, and did not get passed but on the last lap I could tell that there was a dude the was putting some serious time into me.
I was pleased with that result, but I came to a conclusion. Riding a fat bike in the snow is like being on a 5 inch travel bike on XC singletrack. You just don't have to worry about anything. Its not a big deal if your line is not perfect, as opposed to when you are on a skinny bike you are trying to stay on a route that is 10 inches wide. I felt like I was having to go sooooo slow to make sure that I kept my front end out of the chunder. It was also a little annoying on the 2nd lap as everything got chewed up. it takes a ton of composure to stay seated and grind up the climbs on the SS without the rear end breaking loose, and I could definitely feel my composure starting to wain as fatigue set in.
I just now found some footage that Heath Weisbrod took on his way to winning yesterday.
It made me think of the conversation I had with Dennis Grelk one time about how doing 10 mph on a snow bike felt like you were on a rocketship. Heath is going so fast in this video, its really kind of scary. I hope that DG is staying warm at the Arrowhead
This almost makes me want a snow bike........
Monday, January 16, 2012
I counted 16 non North American CX Competitors at Masters Worlds in Louisville this weekend, and based on the teams, I think only about 5 or 6 actually traveled here. The rest appear to be expats that now abide in the US.
Last year, the state of Kansas sent more riders to Mol, Belgium for masters worlds than the entire continent of Europe sent to the US this year.
I just don't know what to think about this. It kind of makes me wonder if just 10 Europeans will show up for next years Elite UCI race.
Monday, January 2, 2012
This and more nausea can be found here
Remember every time you pay retail at a bike shop a hipster get struck by lightning. A responsible bike shop would never allowed something like this to happen.
What reeally made me sick to my stomach was ramming my bike into my garage this evening, destroying a perfectly good Yakima rack. The mountain bike was fine. For the sake of irony I should add, that I did have it set up as a fixie.