Saturday, September 30, 2006

Top Secret Cross Training.

Pause your life for updates on mine.

Well, cross racing is a different beast. You don't know if you are riding a bike, running, or just got left out in the cold. It is a very different style of racing then anything else.

Should you train your body by running?
Should you train your body by biking?
Some hybred of the 2?

Many riders will use these methodologies. What they don't realize is your not going to acheive your full potential by doing this!! The only way you can acheive maxium speed in cross is by working on a deck and landscaping! That is what I plan on doing to prep myself for tommorrow's big day.

You also need a "look" to psych out the competition. This will be my look tommorrow. I hope I can tie in all of the training to make for a sweet race. I have been extremely tired lately, but not tired enough to go hard for 45 minutes (in more ways than one).

Anyone is welcome in on my training today. It will do more for you then reading this thing.

O.K., you can resume your life again.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I bet Donald Trump doesn't do this.

Is it time for your lunch break? Ok good, then read on.

So we are buying a duplex (our third) and the current owner is cool with letting us change some things before the tenant moves in. I just got done finishing the ugly, smoke stained wallpaper from the kitchen and hall, Becky called it quits at 10:30 pm.

I got to thinking about the cross race this Sunday and how I plan come at the other riders like a Spider Monkey! Stripping walls is the PERFECT training!!

Wallpaper being shown who the boss is.

Proper wallpaper removal requires 1 part stripper and 3 parts coffee.

Picture of the chaos in the kitchen from the webcam. Looks like it caught me sleeping!

The teddy bear says it is time to go home.

So, I worked from 10 am to 1 in the morning between the shop and the property and you can't even work a full 8 hours without checking out my blog? That is truly sad.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Are you running 2 screens on your computer right now so when the boss comes by you can click to the other one and make it look like you are not screwing around? Yeah, that's what I thought.

It is an odd feeling when you wake up in the morning and you feel drunk. I am having a hard time this morning. Maybe it was from scrapping wallpaper last night? Maybe I am dehydrated? Maybe it was from drinking gin and juice with Snoop Dog all last night?

Becky and I are set to close on our 3rd rental property with a friend of mine from the shop (yes, yes, we are slumlords. No, we did not read Carlton Sheet's books or Trump's). He has let us almost assume ownership even before closing (chose the tenets, make small improvements, but he is still getting the rent). Well, the wallpaper in the kitchen and hallway of the 2 bedroom unit was ugly and stained heavily with smoke (which we do not allow). We are taking it all off and painting instead. It will make the place much more attractive for when we try to rent it out next (we have a tenet moving in Friday).

I am hoping to make it out to practice run ups on Friday, and then maybe hit a cross race on Sun, but I don't know if the pieces will fall like that. I got the itch for pain!! I am also trying to figure out the bike situation for next year's enduro season!

Like I said yesterday, I ran across a link to a home movie from my past. It show me as a little kid with my dad and the rest of my family. I am the smiley one.

Click and enjoy. There is audio as well, so watch out for the boss!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It hurts down there.

Alright, I'm giving up on getting you to work instead of reading this daily update on my ramblings.

Last night was cross practice. I have not done cross for 10 years*(See below) despite owning a cross bike for the last 3. What I remember of cross was that I was fine until the run ups, and then I would get my a$$ whupped on. We decided on 8 laps. The laps had pavement , grass, dirt, sand, 3 sets of barriers and 2 run ups (NOOOOO!).

I wanted to test myself so I took off at the start, just like I whupped up in the 1st lap at the cable crit (see archive). Sugar Daddy (Cat 2, Expert coach, purveyor of odd music) was on my tail, with Mario (Cat 3, Local rider and future father), and Gary Gross (you can't keep this guy down, he's close to 60 and still whupping it up) chasing. Well, after 2 laps I was now in the hurt hut and Mark came by. We officially had a gap on the HUGE field. This is how it ended. Mark put a little time on me in laps 3-5 as I tried to recover some, I held him lap 6, and made a little time back on 7 and 8. I always kept him within sight and was proud of how I did. I actually did all the run ups and suprised myself immensly. I did sprain my ankle on one of the barrier sections, so I am nursing that today.

*I just want to mention that 10 years ago I was the 1996 MN junior state CX Champ!! Both of the kids I raced against there couldn't touch my skills.

I gotta tell you that I love my Salsa cross bike.

This thing has taken me around the area on gravel roads, helped me win numerous town signs on group rides, satisfied my wife, won crits, thrashed in road races, improv my IQ, upgrade to Cat 3 , and find a cure for the summer time blues (and you thought that there ain't no cure!). It is running 2 years strong now and hopefully will carry me to a good placing in a cross race or 2 this year. I won't mind getting a 6th victory this year.

There is one bike that I wouldn't mind getting to replace it though. I'd just have to wear a ski mask to get the money as I don't have any...

I found a link to a home movie from my childhood. You'll have to wait until tommorrow, but ohhhhhhh, it will be worth it.

Now go back to work (assuming you have read every last word on my blog).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Background Part 4 and counting

Alright, this is part 4. When you boss isn't looking scoll back for parts 1-3.

First, it has been brought to my attention that my spelling is not always 100%, or theat grammtically that I am not as perfect as a 7th grade English teacher (thanks Becky). This next section is devoted to my caring about it
i want to apalagise too everi1 abowt howe eye spel+ sumtymes it no good\
ei em sury ei em sury ei em sury
There, caring off.

So, the last several years have been lackluster because of work and lack of motivation. However, in that time I discovered results (and a blogs) of people I used to race against and frequently beat. They were doing well, so why couldn't I? This last winter I finally sat down and read the "Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joe Friel. It helped me lay down a road map for my winter and spring. I susbsequently dropped 20 pounds and was riding much stronger. When I lived in La Crosse I had become a respectable climber, but had last it all since then. This spring I was climbing well again, and I had good power. My results this year have also improved dramtically. I will be blogging my races here from this year so you can see how I did, but off the top of my head I can count 5 races that I outright won. Heck, that ain't bad.

Next year, I hope to improve on that. I maybe signing on with "Off the Front" coaching. Mark Consugar is the only coach that I met here in MN that is worth it for me to work with. We are in discussion phase right now, but in the mean time you can check out his blog I got to tell you his blog on what music was in his I-pod was riveting. I still go back to read that twice a day.

So Becky and I went rowing after her marathon. She understood that I may have been tired from relentlessly giving her water and food, so she took over the work. This picture was taken by a one legged albino that we keep in the trunk of our car.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I don't run, but my wife does.

Think of all the work you could get done if you would not fool around on the internet and look at this blog. Oh well.

So, we headed down to Omaha so Becky could do her marathon. On the way down in Iowa we stopped at a Kum & Go convenience store (now is where I would insert a joke, but it would just too easy). This guy comes out of the store with a HUGE cup of soda. We get inside to see how big that sucker was...64 freaking ounces! There is 67 ounces in a 2 liter bottle of pop. That is ridiculous and sad. So, after Becky got her 64 oz filled with Pepsi and me with Mountain Dew, we were off again.

We can scratch Omaha as one our places we would live, but anywho. The race started at 7:00am on Sunday. I dropped Becky off at the start and then went back to the hotel to get the mountian bike so I could ride support. The first 12 miles of this course were nothing but 200 ft climbs. That is exceedingly difficult for a marathon runner. Half way in Becky was in the hurt hut and was getting stomach pains. I was trying my best to encorage her and motivate her. It was at mile 20 that she started choking back tears because of the pain. This would be her 4th marathon and I never saw her like this. Well, she would finish without walking any of the hills, and she would get a personnal record as well, 4 hours 10 minutes. This is very impresssive considering how hard the course was. Overall she finished in the top 1/4 of the women, and 4th in her age group. That is her best result ever, so we were pumped.

This is Becky in the red shirt at about mile 10. After this picture I pushed the dinosaur over. You should have heard that 15 year old boy inside crying for help! I suppose someone finally helped him up...

This guy was Crazy Leanord. He has Cerebal Palsy and his dad would run with him in marathons. Well, since his dad died others have been running with him. This was his 98th marathon. I thought of pushing him over too, but it somehow did not seem as funny. Maybe because he wasn't wearing a dinosaur costume.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hey go spend time with your family, don't waste time here. No? Alright, read on.

I'm in a hurry to leave Rochester so you'll have to suffer. Becky is doing her 4th marathon this Sunday in Omaha and we are in a hurry to get there today.

Remember when I said I was watching my tummy grow at my previous occupation. Well, entertain yourself with someone is is blogging that same phenomenon.

Also, I have free cats for those that are interested, here is a pic. As you can see I only have one left and he is not very lively. It is great for people who may be older and not have a lot of energy to entertain a cat. It doesn't eat much. I can't figure out where it goes to the bathroom, but it hasn't been using the litter box in a long time. I can ship it anywhere in the US if you want.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Background Part 3

Seriously, your boss is gonna get pissed if you don't get back to work, so read this quickly.

Hmmm, where did I leave off? Yes, college. Well, my last year or 2 in college I trained a lot and rode up the bluffs many times. This was one of my fasted years on the bike. The summer after college I also proposed to my baby's momma. I actually got down on one knee pretending I was hurt during a mtb. race at in Winona and proposed. The next year we got married, and finally lived in the same city after 1 1/2 years. I was selling copiers (which I hated) then after 2 years switched to being a finacial advisor (which is VERY tough, but I did not mind too much). During these years of sitting at a desk I played a game called "watch the tummy grow" . I was very good at that game and practiced often. My riding was very little.

In the mean time Becky and I had purchased a twinplex (side-by-side) and then a couple of years later another one. We live in the second one now, and we are anxious to close on a duplex on Oct. 15th.

Last spring I told Becky I wanted to quit my job as a financial advisor. The hours, pay, and affect on my health were killing me. That is when we decided to do more with our real estate and I started back up at the bike shop. I had never lost my ties with the shop so it was an easy transition. The bike shop equals fun.

That brings us to this year...but you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

I have to go make a salad for lunch now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Background Part 2

Did ya read part 1. Well, scroll down and read it. It is obvious you have nothing better to do at work. Let's see...

After "Honest Bike Shop" I made the switch to Rochester Cycling and Fitness across town. The environment there was much more what I was looking for. I did that in 1996 and then went to college that fall. College was awesome. UW-LaCrosse was a great school, the town was a blast, and the riding is amazing. The freshman year I discovered the joys of intoxication many times over. I also gained 20 pds. I would return that summer to Rochester to work at the shop, but after that I was in LaCrosse until I graduated in 2000. While in LaCrosse I got a job at Smith's Cycling and Fitness. Those guys are a blast.

During my sophmore year I also met my "soulmate", although it would take awhile for us to relax in a hottub together. We hit it off right away, and despite the restraining orders, we have been at each others side. Except, she lived in AZ during my last semester. Long distance relationships are very hard, but they can work.

I'll answer the rest of those questions from part 1 later, but I have to go work on my deck.

Here is a picture of my wife and I last year for Halloween.
I'm on the right.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

So Sunday was the Cable Crit. My stomach was in a world of hurt, but I had already paid my entry fee. During preriding on the course I relieved stomach contents twice. Off the course, but still before the race I let stuff out another 2-3 times. Still, I had paid my entry fee, so I had to race. I pulled up to the line with knowing that 4 laps on there short course was going to be way to much for me in my condition. However, I new I could give an all out 1 lap attack. Well, I pull up to the line between Doug and Dan Sawnson (Pros), near Paul Hanson (Pro), near Brendan Moore (Semi-pro), and near Chris Fisher (Should be semi-pro). This line up only confirmed that my ass would hurt after the oncoming whooping in the race. At the start I could not help talk smack while I still could and kid about how my "light" tires were going to fly up the steep hill. Doug and Dan knew I was a little odd from racing way back, but I think they were weirded out. Well, at the gun I took off hard. I flew up the first steep hill in first and came down the other side while yelling at the others to catch me. Then I gave an all out sprint to the end off the first lap were I zipped up my jersey and raised my hands. I had won the 1st lap, which means absolutely nothing. Doug caught me shortly after, then Brendan, then everyone else. I finished last in my heat, but not before I left some more stomach contents on the course. Good times, good times. Had I felt good I would have been racing much differently. The rest of the day REALLY hurt.

I don't have a picture of the race, but it was kinda like this at the start (me on the left, Doug Swanson on the right). Yeah, he was scared. I think I saw him trembling in the race as well.

My wife Becky, runs marathons, but enjoys mountian biking as well. She did the 40 miler on Saturday with the 2 goals of finishing and having fun. After starting in the back, she ran across Ben Moore's mechanical at the first checkpoint and gave him the multi-tool I packed in her camelback to see if that would help him. It did not, so she went on. She would spend the day passing chumps up hill and then watching them fly past her on the downhill. Coming down Firetower she would crash hard. After getting up her hand hurt really bad and she was worried she may have broken it. She waived off the medics, worried they would make her stop the race. The last ten miles was ridden 1 1/2 handed, but she finished. The good news was there were no broken bones. Here she is.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Chequamegon. This was my first attempt depite years of racing. With lackluster results last year, my attempt into the preferred start got laughed at. You can see me here in the picture. Can't see me? Look at the white/blue helmet towards the right in preferred start. That guy with his back to the camera, number 1700 with a white helmet and red/blue'white jersey, is me. Squint hard and you can totally see my bulging muscles getting ready to try for a top 100 placing (my goal).

That morning I woke to bad stomach pains. Judging by the feelings I had and what my body was producing I was sure I got food poising of some sort. It seemed to subside enough for the start. The road start was not as bad as I thought it would be. Not as fast, but almost as sketchy. When we went off pavement and hit the grass I was well positioned in the top 30-50 riders. I was in the top ten in the line I took into the grass. That is the exact time my chain popped off and got lodged in the crank. After 1-2 minutes I got going again, but not before many, many, many people passed me. Between there and the end of Rosies field I would guess I passed close to 80-100 riders. I had to go through the thick grass, so it took a lot out of me. I spent the rest or the time picking off riders (all in the harder lines). I had started with my teammate "Sugardaddy" and was wishing I could have ridden with him through much of the race, but my mechanical stopped that. Well, at about mile 24ish I caught him and we did just that. He got hung up on firetower climb while I did not and I did not see him again until the finish. My legs had started to feel better then after some early cramps had been trying to find there place in my legs. I spent the last ten miles plugging away and catching more riders. I caught my friend Josh Shivley just before the finish and I nipped him (he was riding a single speed though) at the line for 80th place. I completed my goal, but only wondered what could have happened had my chain been more cooperative.

Here is a picture of Gary Crandell when he heard I finally was going to do his big race.

And a picture of Chris "my other bike is old" Fisher at the start. He has got his "I'm gonna get 14th place" face on.

A picture of Mark "man Charly is fast" Consugar. He's on firetower, amazed I can get up despite the fact I am "heavy".

Oh, and race winner Jeremy "thank God Charly and Doug got mechanicals" Horgan-Kobolski. He attacked as soon as he saw my mechanical. He was racing for keeps I guess.

Tomorrow I'll let you now about how I killed in the Cable Crit.

I'd like to give a shout out to those I know that could not cross the finsh line due to many reasons. Please, a moment of silence for:

Tiffany and Mark Walter

Richard Bennet

The Moore Brothers

Trevor Olsen

Dave Dahlen

My Mom

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you in your time of sorrow.

Friday, September 15, 2006

You'll have to wait.

No time. Gotta get ready to do Cheq up in Hayward for the 1st time. My goal is top 100. We'll see about that.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Background Part 1

Alright a little background on me. I have been racing mountain bikes since 1993. I started on a Fuji Thrill in Milville, MN. The race was held in the woods adjacent to the motocross track. I screamed to a huge 18th place out of 30 junior beginner riders. The next 2 years I upgraded to sport. At age 18, my last as a junior, I went into expert. There I finished 2nd out of 6 in the MN series. There are a few races that are no longer around that were a blast. Milville was one of them.

At age 15 I also started to work at the "Honest Bike Shop". The owner "Honest" Paul was and still is a very colorfull guy. The shop was not exactly the best place for those who enjoyed quiet and clean language, but I did learn a lot on how to work on bikes. I stayed there for about 3 years.

Stay tuned for tommorrow where you will find out amazing things such as;

Where did I work next?
Where am I now?
Why I have the nickname of Jo Mama?
Do I have a life?
Who is that masked man?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just getting started...

So, you decided to waste time at this site? Alright.

You can catch my going on's here. Stuff with my riding, stuff with my life, and just stuff. Think of it as a good way to kill time until you have something important to do.

Here is a summary and picture I did of a race earlier this year. I enjoy many types of racing, but mainly MTB, road and crit. I'll be posting recaps of races for awhile, with pictures as I can get them.

With the ultimate intention of racing the 24 hours of 9 mile forest ( I set out to compete in my first 12 hour mountian bike race for practice. Becky (my woman) and I got to the race 30 minutes to the start. Just enough time to get my bike ready, change, register, and get a sweet 2 minute warm up in. I knew from prvious year's results I would probably do many laps on the 4.5 mile course, so preriding could be done on the first lap. We all piled our bikes 50 yards away and prepared to make the mad dash to retrieve them and start our first lap. It seemed that no one was going too hard at the word go as I easily got to my bike and headed off in the first spot. I was riding fairly conservatively that first lap, and within 5 minutes I had 2 riders charge by me. One was Lee who I had pegged as a favorite, the other a rider on a 2 person team. Well, the duo rider and I rode that first lap together while I saw Lee charging like he was determined to set a big gap. Lap after lap I went, setting lap times in the low 20's. I figured I would see Lee again, and sure enough he could be seen 3 hours into it. I rode with him for most of a lap, where he informed me that we had lapped the entire solo field already. Cool! I passed Lee there and just spent the rest of the time trying to be consistant, take in nutritional needs, and counting off the hours. I developed a fan club in the start area because at that time I was not only beating the solo division, but the duo and all but one of the 4 person teams. After 11 hours and 13 minutes (7:13pm) I called it a day. I had a 2 1/2 lap lead and that was good enough to win it. In that time span I stopped once for 30 seconds, and once for 3-4 minutes. My lovely wife handed bottle after bottle the rest of the time. We then drove back to the in-laws house, 1 hour away, but not before I hit up the Arby' drive thru and then later the Taco Bell Drive thru. Hell yeah, I deserved it. Oh, just to let you Velo punks know, with that win I qualified for the 24 hour world solo championship. Soon, we'll be putting out results on a global stage. The race and results can be found on

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This is an experiment.

If you are reading this now, my question is this. Why are you not working? Get back to work you slacker! Otherwise, stay tuned for possible updates.

Peace out.