Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Occasionally you hear people talk about being shocked, and I sort of never really knew what was truly meant by being shocked, like totally incapacitated, not knowing what happened, and why there is is white goo all over my body kind of shock................................................................................
If you wish to experience this sensation for yourself you should inflate a bike tire via my ghetto tubeless method using a industrial air compressor (like what I use to seat the bead on tractor tires).
I did not realize that the bead was set as I continued to, unwittingly, overinflated the bomb in my hand. I was holding the wheel at the hub, sort of bent over it and the next thing I know the wheels is skittering across the shop floor, I am temporarily deaf, there is a huge welt forming on my arm, and the area immediately surrounding me looks like the stage after a Gwar concert.
There was definitely a good second and half where I really could not comprehend what had happened. Shock.
Also ruined the bead on a old maxxis. Poop!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Mountain Tandem

A couple years ago I was at a Tsali race weekend trying to convince Alison that I was marriage material, anyhow they had a tandem division at the race, and I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. Then we came to KS and met the Arnolds, who have done the Leadville 100 multiple times on their tandem. This got me to thinking.
What if we got a tandem Mtn bike?
Al gave me the nod, and over the period of a few months I began buying a frame, then the components.
The really odd stuff like the fork and the Stoker stoker stem I had to pick up from random retailers, but most of the other parts came from either Big Poppi's or I had loafing in my parts bin.

I asked Al if she would be my Rear Admiral, and her responce was, "only if there is some cush for my tush"

Drive train

The alternative to buying a $400 tandem hub, a 600 level shimano hub with a threaded thru axle so I could space it out to 145mm. Big P's own, Angry Dutchman Rico Van Buskirk), custom cut the spokes for me on their new Phil Wood Spoke machine. Tyler Whetstone lace the rear wheel for me. This is the 2nd wheel that T-Daddy has laced for me, and I must say he does a great job.

I never imagined how stiff and diesel a fork could be. Yes, that is a 2.6 Ardent

I still need to fine tune a few things, like synching the cranks, re-doing to brake housing, and installing the stoker stem. However I did ride it to work today and it shifted perfectly (not bad for someone that only rides a SS!)
I hope to race it at cruise the blues this year under the BGR/Big Poppi flag, assuming Doug will give me permission.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why farms get larger and what can be done

Occasionally I listen to people lament the decline of small farms in America, and I try to explain economies of scale and the litany of other reasons that push small farms into big farms.
Usually I get blank looks and occasionally I get the "I think everyone should farm organically" rant.
Carolynn Orr addresses a lot of this in her testimony before the Pew/Hopkins Commission.
I have known Carolynn since I was 18, and while I can't really say that I liked her then, she is brutally honest and cares about the future of rural America. She was, and is, in my mind one of the greatest educators I have been around, and taught me a tremendous amount about animal science (and life).

Don't read this unless you can devote 10 minutes to it.
Then stop and think about your job.
Would you give up a salary, health insurance, a 401K, and retirement to eek out a living on a "small" farm?
Remember that what you pay at the store for a raw food product (apples, eggs, milk, produce, rice, nuts) is roughly 100-500% more than the farm gate price.
Something to think about

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunflower State Games

We had a glorious time at this years Sunflower State Games Mountain bike race. We saw a better turn out this year than last and had a great time on the singletrack.
Patterson weaves a wonderful tale of treachery, deceit and barnyard deviance in his BGR Recap. I had a good day, was able to reel in a 2nd place in the u-29 expert category (after I got a bunch of crap at registration from the USAC official about racing expert on a one day license).
This year they actually age grouped the experts, which is something that they have not done before. Not that it really made a difference. John Waller was chasing Damian from Cowtown (who was absolutely killing it), I was chasing John. Turned out that they did not even do a overall, and age grouped the results.
The fact that SSG does not pay out probably hurts the registration numbers, but it was really awesome to see alot of juniors and beginners out there mixing it up in friendly competition.
Also got to see some friendly faces like that that of Dennis Grelk from Iowa who was out after racing the adventure race yesterday.
Chad Lamer did a great job putting this event on, and was talking about using this venue for a race in the fall.
Good times!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I make no qualms about the fact that I love and hate USAC They are the recognized organization that sanctions US cycling. I am torn between buying a year license or just sticking with using one day licenses.
For me its not so much about the money.
I had a bad head injury a couple years ago and the USAC insurance picked up a large portion of a $32,000 hospital bill that my health insurance company denied since I was playing a "sport". Hence my great distrust of health insurance companies, and my great distress over the concept of mandatory health insurance as dictated by government. But that's another story.
My most recent disgust with USAC is over the fact that if you are chosen to represent the USA in world championships (Not this world championship) they provide no financial assistance for travel and make you buy your own USA jersey (that does not carry your current sponsors).
I am not amused by this.
It just seems unfair to athletes that lead a monk-like existence, to travel and race every weekend and climb to the top of the heap get sent off to Europe with, but a pat on the back, as I understand it.
In my mind USAC is selling insurance, not representing cyclists.
Sort of like how Farm Bureau's primary function is as insurance Co. anyone that knows anything about Agriculture knows that Farm bureau stopped primarily representing farmers a long time ago. Yes, they are a lobbying group, but have a separate agenda that is underwritten by the insurance business.

I would like to say that I would limit the number of USAC events that I do, but all CX events are USAC sanctioned. This whole business make me appreciate people that put on grassroots cycling events like CtB, PCL, heck of the north, FH Classic, and TMHTE.

That does not mean I will not participate in nationally recognized events like NUE or CX Nats, cuz I have and will continue to participate. Rather, I want to support small events where its about fellowship and good times, not about cat-ing up, sandbagging, 1,800 dollar wheel sets, and feed zone antics. Yeah, lets go fast and race, but lets put growing the sport as a primary objective.

So I will stick to one day licenses for events like tomorrows sunflower games.

I also kicked around the idea with another grass roots promoter over over a bottle of wine and brisket of a big "organized" "fun" running event. It would be in this type of format in Manhattan. Asumming I can get the aggieville mob on board. Sweet victory will be guaranteed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farmhouse Classic

Ok I lied last time we spoke. I totally left my camera sitting on my desk, so all pictures were jacked from Cornbreads blog. I suck, I know.
Errrrrm. back to the matter at hand.

Joe Fox is awesome. He puts on a awesome race. He has awesome food at said race. He has awesome temperatures for said race.

We had about 30 folks show up, and rolled out around 0915. within 5 miles the pack was split up as Troy, Corey, Matt (from NE), Peter, Waller, Jim Fobben, Joe, MG and a few others pulled off the front. Big Al was busting out the metric with a few other folks and was out for a good time on her first ever Gravel event. GO AL!

We were lightly dusted by a crop duster as he was putting on a late application of fungicide. It was kind of funny, a few folks were kind of worried, asking "what is that acrid smell?"
I explained that smell was the aviation fuel emissions, not anything to worry about.
Myself, Jim, and a Mtn biker from KC fell off the pace around mile 18, and took a more leisurely pace, enjoying the weather and shooting the bull, until we rolled into the first aid station.
After some refreshments, Jim and I continued rolling north. We had a few navigational errors, but thanks to Jims stellar abilty to think about north south east and west, in terms of left and rights, we made or way back south.
If you have ever driven through MO on the interstate you will realize that their road surfaces suck. Well all that money that should resurface the Interstate goes to putting gravel on their country roads. Hands down the deepest gravel I have ever ridden in....or slogged through.

And some sick nasty MMR!

Jim was definitely wonderful company and a great guy to ride with. I enjoyed his encouragement and conversation immensely.

The speed demons (Corey Godfrey, Matt, Peter K, Troy, and John Waller) all rolled in about a hour and a half ahead of Jim and I. They all appeared well fed and watered by the time we got in.

Cody, Randy, Mike, and a few others that I did not get to make acquintances with rolled in not long after us, and were all smiles.
The Food.......oh the food. Derek was working the smoker all morning to turn out some phenomenal vittles. The table fare included pork BBQ, wings, pasta salad, sweet corn (fresh from Manhattan, KS), berry cobblers, cake and cookies.
Big shout out to the Fox family for making this happen, it was a wonderful time. Many thanks!

It was good times all around , even Brutus made some new friends (MG, I am sorry if he ate anything off your plate or drank your beer)
For more pics check out Cornbreads blog and if that ne'er-do-well John Waller gets me some pics we will get those up on the BGR site.
On a side note: fellow Bad Goat Aaron Apel finished 5th out at Breck this weekend!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

River trail TT

Had a good turn out and everyone went home with some bills or a belly full of burrito thanks to Chipotle Also wanted to say thanks to Tom Park for rounding up our sponsors, and to Clint and Ryan for all the work that they did implementing the new sections of trail.
Heres how they finished.
  1. Tanner marshall 14.37
  2. Aaron Apel 15.07
  3. John "i am not a role model" Waller 15.13
  4. Tyler Whetstone 15.20 (fixie)
  5. Josh Patterson 15.21
  6. Josh Stamper 15.26
  7. Clint Mcallister 16.05
  8. Jay Schmitz 16.12
  9. Rich Shurtz 16.25
  10. Ryan Logan 18.28
  11. Will Breitkreutz 18.31
  12. Dustan Ridder 23.45
  13. Gillian Armstrong 24.08
Also wanted to express my profound thanks to our lovely time keepers and photographers, Claire, Mina, Zach D. (not so lovely) and Jaime.
We were able to meet some new folks, discuss the future of the river trails, and Clint announced the development of a new section "The Bum Thicket" that will begin in November.
I will get some pics up as soon as I get them.
We will probably have another event like this in the future. Stay on the up and up to all the latest dirt bag racing events at the gravel conspiracy


Friday, July 10, 2009


Lots of things make me sad, but nothing more so than when folks talk about things, with an air of authority, that they do not know anything about. MTBR, wikipedia, and blogs more recently and op ed's in the past have been a venue for people to express their opinions about subjects. But all of this is subjective and based off of user input and inherently biased. And lets face there is a lot of crap out there. A few things to bear in mind when you hear people about current events, science, and pop culture.
  • Rush Limbaugh is a entertainer, not a valid source of news. I agree with him sometimes but I still think he is a idiot. I feel the same way about Anderson Cooper, Connie Chung, Daniel Zwerdling, and some other purveyors of media.
  • Anytime a scientist is on the news or in print talking about the importance of his work, what he is really doing is begging for more research money.
  • Anytime someone tells you that there is a simple solution to a complex social or scientific problem, you can safetly assume that the person is A) ignorant B) lazy C) a stupid hippy or D) they want money or it could be any combination of the above.
  • Never trust anyone that relys on "buzz words" to carry on a conversation about a controversial topic. Be specific!
  • Buzz words include chemicals, liberals, evangelicals, subsidies, poisoning,welfare, corporate ethics, social media, organic, credit default swaps, evolution, sustainablilty, accused, WMD, epic, and the list goes on forever. Its not that they are bad, but people have gotten so used to using a one or two word description for a subject that is often complex and diverse.
  • If you can't express yourself or your feelings without swearing you probably should not be talking.
  • If your source is anonamous I think that you are lying. PERIOD.
  • If you can't explain something mathematically, you do not yet fully understand it.
  • People are on TV because they look and or sound good, not because they are smart.
Sorry about that rant, I am just constantly amazed at how people that are so ignorant can be so influential. I promise that my next post will be about recreation, fun and floppy eared dogs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

photo dump and other shenanigans

Lets face it. Brutus love to run. However his ability to party on long runs in the heat of the summer is pretty limited. So when Tyler let me borrow his trailer for the Gentlemens Race I thought I would see how B-Nasty liked mooching rides yesterday evening. Its hard to teach a concept to animals that do not have the ability to reason. I felt like a moron trying to get him to stay on the trailer so I finally just clipped him in so he could get the idea. after a couple of miles I unclipped him and he would ride on the trailer surf board style.

We got all of our wheat cut last week. My dad wanted to see what we used to harvest our small plots. Duh, a small combine.

Some perspective on size

Western KS wheat harvest

You never know what you will find in a wheat field. There were 7 rattles on the non-business end of this little fella, and you should have seen Ward getting the heck out of its way.

Its hot now. Dicky is getting pummeled out west.
The Kenda kids are on the way to Solivista in the USS Lamberson. Its also pretty funny read the stuff on their site because Jesus is on their team (not that Jesus)
We are racing for money here in Manhappenin on Saturday evening.
Thats all the news from camp Woah-is-me, where the wheat is short, the women are good looking, and the bird dogs are all above average.