Sunday, December 27, 2009

Extreme Ride Club

Farrow has the DBD rides, I realized J-No and I have always called ours Extreme Ride Club. There is a story, but I can't talk about it, right Maury? This would be ride #5 or so this year.

As alluded to before in the comments area, J-No and I had plans Christmas Eve. I was up at 4am, out the door at 4:30 on the Rig. We proceeded to set tracks in the 3 inches of wet snow left the night before. Up the snowmobile portion of the Douglas trail was slow going. The temp was high which led to squishy snow with rutted out slightly harder snow underneath. My front wheel got kicked around while J-No was able to keep his Puglsey a little more straight. We both would end up tipping over at least once (I forgot the camera).

Gears finally adorned the bike but 1/4 the way through the combination of the worn middle chain ring from last year and packed snow suddenly made chain engagement impossible. The rest of the way would be big ringed. You would expect nothing less, no?

I finished up with 7 hours bike time for the day. A quick nap and it was party time at the folks. Presents, food, and freestyle rapping are all part of the tradition.

Christmas day was presents at our house. Santa had a high opinion of me this year. Let's just say that I am now too good to ride alloy rims on my mountain bike. Blingy. Pictures to come soon.

Hope all is Merry and bright, blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Remember when I used to talk about actually riding my bike? Well, the riding has been spotty as "situations" arise. It seems it is full on now as I hope not to completely embarrass myself at the Arrowhead 135. The Gary Risher Rig and I took the monster wheels for some snow riding.

Heading out for a 4 hour tour this weekend. Yes, I use the clock on the seatpost as a watch. Other than that my "zones" I stayed in could be accurately described as J.F.R.

Mayowood, Mayowood always up to no good. A beaten path made things easier, but lowering the tire pressure did the trick. Took a lap on the recently held microcross course. Was able to ride it without dismounting once. I must be amazing.

Woke up too flipping early so I could be out the door at 4:30am yesterday and be back by 7am. Recent snowfall of 2-3 inches made things more fun. The local road crews heard about my ride and brought out a plow for me to motorpace.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but looks like I only wrote fourteen.

I am not sure if I will be in optimum shape for Arrowhead, but things are looking positive. This has to be the best shape I have ever been in for the time of year that I normally am making belly jelly.

I am hoping to finally get some gears on this thing tonight as I am bogged down in anything harder than smooth flat pavement. Good training though, eh?

Christmas is almost here, get some work done before your day off, o.k.?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seasonal Singing

Merry Christmas!!


Don't be that guy.

So this one time in college I went to use the bathroom. There were 4 urinals, one was lower than the others, similar to this picture. The 3 high urinals were being used and the 4th lower one was not. As I prepared to make my way to the vertically challenged depository, I realized someone was in the bathroom before me. He was just standing, waiting. What was he waiting for? One of the high urinals. I gave a guy a look and then went about doing what I came to do.

Don't be the guy that is too good to use the kiddie urinal.


Monday, December 14, 2009

So it starts.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We got a butt load of snow. Finally got to test out the snow wheels on the snowmobile trails. Met up with J-No at 5am Sat for 3 hours of Douglas trail riding. Snow was not ideal, but we did well. One thing I found is that his 26X3.7" tires on 70 mm rims have better float than my 29X2.5 tires on 47mm rims, but not a lot better. It was 7 degrees with a -10 windchill at the start and 9 degrees with a -3 windchill when done. Only taking in 350 calories caught up to me in the last 1/2 hour as I knew it would. I think I do stuff like that to see what my body will tolerate.

Oh, the bike still does not have gears on it so I was pushing some very low rpm's on the trails with my gearing. Legs were begging for lower gears to spin in the last hour.


Friday, December 04, 2009


We are in trouble...

population of this country is 300 million.

million are retired.

That leaves 140 million to do the

There are 85 million in school.

Which leaves 55 million to do the work.

Of this there are 35 million employed by the federal

Leaving 20 million to do the work.

2.8 million are in the armed forces preoccupied
with killing Osama

Which leaves 17.2
million to do the work.

Take from that total the 15.8
million people who work for state and city
Governments. And that
leaves 1.4 million to do the work.

At any given
time there are 188,000 people in hospitals.

1,212,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 1,211,998 people
in prisons.

That leaves just two people to do the

You and me.

And there
you are,

Sitting on your ***,

At your computer, reading jokes..

Nice. Real nice.

Time for you to get back to work.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Help me out here.

I am looking for suggestions for a charity that is most worthy. I have several in mind, but I am partial to helping children who have been dealt a bad card (illness, abused, etc.). This is just the start of a bigger plan I have been thinking of for a long while, so please help me with suggestions.

And since everything needs a funny picture,


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sorry Joe.

Mr. Friel,

.....I appreciate you helping my riding structure again this year. Just like the previous years I am upping my "yearly hours". In accordance to your ways, a plan has been set out to not embarrass myself at the Arrowhead 135. Yesterday marks the start of my second week in the base period.
.....This is where I owe you an apology. You see, you want base to be primarily long slow miles following your guideline for hours in a week. Well, I did ride or workout the required number of hours, but they were not all slow. Saturday there was a local "micro" cross race. It sounded fun so I lined up with about 10 other guys to take part in the free race that was only a mile from my house. I figured it would be fun as I was on my Rig all single speeded out and with the big monster snow wheels.
.....The start was relaxed, and I was not there to try to crush people as it was all in fun. There was a whole smattering of people on single speeds, mountain bikes, and such. One local made it out on his Belgium cross bike and skinsuit. A far cry from my bike and 15 year old jersey and tights. We all started out together, but 3 of use pulled away with me in third. My gearing was limited, so most of the course I was just spinning it, enjoying it. Eventually, I pulled into the front and built a gap. I was never attacking, it just seemed that I continued at my same pace while others slowed during the 45 minutes of racing.
.....I know, I know Joe. There should not have been a race according to you, but it was fun. I attached my award above for you to look at. Not being a beer drinker, I let the Wookie take over the duty of polishing this off. I still don't understand the fascination with such things, but I am just one person in this world. A fire was made and a hotdog consumed before riding another 3 hours. Yes, they were slow and steady.

I look forward to working with you more this year. Have a Merry Christmas.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Clean up.

So I added 2 blog links and took 2 away. I figure if you haven't updated in the last 6 months then it is too bad for you. Tom, you're on the edge.

It is Obama's fault.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Less like the Doughboy

So in the past I would pull the plug on consistent workouts in September or so. I just lost motivation. A lot of that has to do with the fact if I have nothing to be fit for I am not. Well, here it is November still and I have not gone too hog wild on cookies and kept a fair amount of my fitness. I am not in shape to go toe to toe with Ivan Drago, but the Pillsbury Doughboy and I have a lot less in common then we normally do this time of year. I have been hitting the weights a little and my strength is there, no relearning, no post lifting soreness.

Now with Arrowhead in Feb, I start my official "training" earlier then ever, as in today. So, I am starting earlier and the pinch test results are reading record results for November. Neato.

On another note, watched Napoleon Dynamite again with the wife last night. Too many funny lines in that movie. Too many.

My monster bike seems to be going well. I have to throw gears on it here soon and rock out with my derailleur out.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Arrow through my head.

You ever get something in your head and you can't stop thinking about it. Researching, planning, replanning? That happens to me too often, and now I am thinking about the Arrowhead to which I am on the roster. I really don't feel like losing digits or dying.

I had a friend ask me if I expected to be in the same shape as I was early this year. It could have been phrased differently as, "Are you going for the win?". Uh, no. The veterans of this race have a huge advantage mentally. They know what to expect. I don't care how good of shape anyone is in, this is not all pedal pedal.

Just trying to get all the gear is a battle in itself. Then it is what to bring for food/water. How to carry all of it. Where to carry it. Gotta make sure it does not freeze. Gotta make sure you don't freeze.

Order this, borrow that. Trying to do it on the cheap because the money tree in the back yard has yet to blossom.

Will my "plump" bike be a poor choice compared to the "fat" bikes?

Well, at least I managed to clean out the gutters. BTW.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I do dumb things.

Not many people consider things I enjoy as smart. For instance, I categorized the 3 races I registered for just this weekend.

Raganrok 105. Gravel, 105 miles worth. Self supported.

Transiowa. Gravel, 320 miles worth. Self supported.

This race. To date, the hardest event I will have every tried to do.

I have a lot of planning to do, like how to keep all my body parts.

You have a lot of planning to do. Like how to goof off on the internet until lunch without the boss noticing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Other Bad Boys.

Just finished up the new monster truck wheels. Kris Holm 47mm wide rims, WTB 2.55 weirwolf's (not really that wide unfortunately), and XT hubs. Split tubed ghetto tubeless (homemade stan's strip from a 24" tube) and held air great all night.

Not a ton of clearance on the back (plenty on the front), but oh so much more float for those "secret" winter trails.

Now I need to really think about registering for some of those crazy endurance races held at stupid low temps.

No, your coworkers probably would not be impressed. What would impress them? You pitching in more around the office.

The Bad Boys

Witness the athleticism. The coordination, the strength. I am going to incorporate this into my cross training this winter. Well, maybe not the exercise move at 1:10. I love the robot moves btw.

Your boss is wondering why your tapping your foot while staring at the computer. Better act busy....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So I have this thing.

Anyone know what this bad boy is worth? Seems to work great, but I have no use for it.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Checking in.

Hope things are going well for all you blog readers. I feel like it is going well for me. Just got back from "the cabin" where my Pa and I installed new kitchen cabinets and moved the fridge to a more appropriate spot. Looks really nice.

Went out on the Makwa trail in the single speed, rigid. That bike is fun, but I will not be a "less gears more beers" kinda guy anytime soon. Met some nice people, Dee from Duluth, John from the cities, and Kevin from Freewheel. Does anybody from WI ride the CAMBA trails? Simply amazing trails and it sounds like by the end of next summer the Makwa will be connected to the Ojibwe. What does that mean? Well, I will be able to ride from the cabin to Hayward on singletrack (probably about 20 miles worth). Maybe grab a bite to eat, and then back to Cable.

I have some secret BIG wheels assembled, but not tensioned. I'll get those on here soon and you can awe in their bigness.

And a super cute picture of my daughter at the Zoo. This is right after the tiger came by and sprayed her. Well, he sprayed the window, but she was the target.

Sorry to waste more of your work day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Buy a piece of my soul

Well, time to sell stuff. You want? charly tri at yahoo dot com. Stuff has been removed as it has been sold.

2009 Gary Fisher Hi Fi Pro 29er, not at all stock, all high end stuff. This is the BEST bike I have ever ridden. Crazy fast, super light, tough. 24.5 lbs as you see here, yes 24.5 lbs. $2,500.

Size 17.5" (MD)
Frame6066 hydroformed butted aluminum mainframe & chainstays, co-molded carbon seatstays, cold-forged dropouts, G2 29" Geometry
ForkCustom Fox F100RLC 29, 100mm travel, custom G2 Geometry 51mm offset crown, air spring, 4-position external platform adjustment, external rebound adjustment
Rear ShockCustom Tuned Fox Float RP23 w/air pressure, 3-Position Pro Pedal, external Rebound adjust 7.5x 2"
ShiftersSram X9 trigger
Front DerailleurShimano Ultegra
Rear DerailleurSram XO
CassetteShimano XT
WheelsBontrager Rhythm Pro 29, 28mm wide tubeless ready* rims
TiresBontrager XR-1 expert
Crank SetShimano XTR, 36/24, Hollowtech II arms, integrated BB spindle
SaddleBontrager Race Lite, superlight hollow cromoly rails
SeatpostEaston EC-70 Carbon
HandlebarBontrager Race Lite Big Sweep, 640mm width, 12d sweep, 31.8mm
StemBontrager Race X Lite OS, 7d rise, 31.8mm
HeadsetCane Creek ZS3, semi-integrated, cartridge bearings, short top cap
BrakesetAvid Juicy Ultimate, Carbon levers, Ti bolts, 160 mm Ashima rotors

Time Atac XS. Used for several years, but bearings and bushings have been replaced. Everything spins great, no excessive play. Come with cleats. I have 1 pair. Retail is $175. Yours for $60.

charly tri at yahoo dot com


Something Strange...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Alright, so I have gotten a few "what happened?". I am home now and here is a write up.

Wednesday Chris Strout picked me up and we headed arrived in Moab Thursday. After a preride I found the course to be many things. Tough, fun, tough, rocky, sandy, a blast, and tough. Although the elevation profile is not horrible, the course makes you work hard for almost every foot of up OR down. Choosing the right line was critical in being efficient out there. It was demanding and I was looking forward to it despite the fact I could tell the last 6 weeks effected my fitness.

We met up with the rest of the World Bicycle Relief guys on Friday and hit another preride. My knee was tight, but not painful.

The days leading up to the race I was not feeling 100%, but still fully committed to seeing what I could do. The morning of the race my body felt more like going back to sleep than riding, but my head was ready to go. The leman's start was grueling. Thick sand to run through and a poor choice of bike placement saw me WAAAAY back. Working my way through I got in a groove and ended finished out the first lap well despite not feeling that great. The second lap the right knee was bothering me so the pace lowered. At this point my leg/neck/back/arm muscles just felt worked over already. My body was definitely not firing on all cylinders. The left thigh was hurting from compensating for the bad right knee. Coming in after the 2nd lap I got some Aleve.

The start of the third lap my body temp went sky rocketing. I guess the sun was very intense at this point. I layed down in the shade on the course for a little bit as I didn't need to blow up on lap 3 of the flipping race, made it throught lap 3 and the right knee felt a little better. My motto was that I was going to "keep on keeping on".

Somewhere in lap 2 the stomach went south as well. The rest of the race was spent fighting the need to release the contents. This included backing off the pace many times and actually sitting up quite a bit to relieve pressure. I would force food down though to keep on keeping on.

The night laps were hard. The lines seemed to fade some and that made the riding much harder. It was a very cool experiance looking at other parts of the fairly open course and seeing lines of lights slink there way through the night, very cool. The temps dropped, and the stomach never got better. Before the 8th lap I sat and had some warm food. I was trying to make sure that I was still getting calories as they weren't going down so easy on the course.

So off for the 8th lap, and I felt a little weak. No problem, I'll feel better. Hit the first climb and felt weaker. Not wanting to stop I got off the bike and shoveled food down my gullet while walking, figured this was a momentary lapse and I'd get going soon. Well, unfortuanately it got worse. I was pushing the bike up sections I had been "middle ringing" it. Out of breath and would have to stop and rest my head on the bars. This got worse and I was laying on the side of the trail; at 40 degrees, in the middle of the night. I would get going again, but the medics came out and drove me to an aid station where I hallicinated some and eventually slept. I would make it off the course hours later and proceeded to have lingering issues that made going out again not possible.

I went into this race with the mentality that I would have to be dragged off the course before I would stop, guess it came to that. I fought hard against a body not working right at the start, bad knee pain, heat, and stomach issues. I was happy with the pace I had set, problems or no problems. No regrets.

Chris would end up banging up his knee and retiring early. Brad and Todd soldiered on together during the race and finish 13th and fourteenth. The support was awesome and I want to thank Kim and Kate (Chris's wife and daughter), Bonnie and Fin (Todd's wife and son), Todd (Brad's bro in-law), and Sean (Team friend) for all the help. Also want to thank Chris for making the drive out there and back fun and interesting.

Just a note, the Hi-Fi was perfect out there. I was riding lines that others could not because of that bike and I want to thank Fisher bikes for the support.

Another note. I think my 24 hour "attempts" are done, at least for a long while. I love riding my bike for 100 milers and 12 hours, but I am not built well to take the abuse for 24 hours on a mountain bike. Key word, mountain bike. I'll still see my fellow riders in Iowa to pound out gravel next spring. I have never gone into the off season with as much motivation. Game on.


Friday, October 09, 2009

here in moab

got here yesterday morn. rode the course. daddy likey! ready to rumble.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I am going through Iowa now. Loaded van. Chris @ the wheel. Taking hits off a bottle of Jagermeister. Chris added that we are only wearing socks.

Moab or bust

I leave in a few hours here.  I am mostly packed thanks to some help.  Chris should swoop in and together we'll conquer MN, IA, NE, and CO on our way to Utah for the "big" race.  Wish me luck.  You can check out real time results here (  Just do it on your personal time, alright?

Abi took her first few steps on her birthday, September 24th.  It was not until last night she replicated that feat, over and over.  I am guessing she'll be up to a full run by the time I get back.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Commence Whining

Abi's birthday was last week and we got a nice picture.

So I have not posted in awhile.  I am trying to pull things together lately just so I can ride.  Oct 2 marked the one month anniversary since the flood at our place and it was also when everything settled down.  I have ridden a little in that time, but nowhere near what I wanted.

Now I whine.  I am sitting here with an ice bag on my knee, loaded up with ibuprofen and Zicom.  I have tendinitis in my knee, my back muscles have been flaring up, and I am keeping back the worse of the cold symptoms that Becky and Abi both have been going through.  I can't ride with this knee pain.  Argggghhhhh, I will swim tonight.

Moab is this coming weekend.  I head out with Chris Strout on Wednesday.  I may have an ice bag and massage ball working overtime while we drive.  It may not be pretty, but I am lining up at Moab's 24 hour race.  Everything is being done to make sure it goes well.

Oh, and I raced the Cheq fat tire a few weeks ago.  I am planning on a write up, but since I had no expectations, 26th overall exceeded what I had hoped for.


Friday, September 18, 2009

WI worlds approaches.

I've been busy, leave me alone. 

Well, our basement is coming along since the "flood".  Sheetrock is done and carpet goes in Monday.  At the same time I found out about a ton of water damage at a rental of ours from a leaking toilet.  Needless to say this last weekend was the first time I did 2 consecutive days of riding in the last 3 weeks.  I have been a very busy boy.

Now I am getting ready for the WI mountain bike worlds, also known as the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival.  I love everything about this weekend except the race.  The WI blogs are all a flutter about their blessed gravel road race.  Should be a fun time up at the cabin.

I have my tandem for sale for real now.  Craigslist ad is here,  Buy it or die.

I am just trying to get out a lot now and get ready for a big week next week on the bike.  Moab is getting closer and closer.

FYI, I am not sure how this entry will look.  I am sending this through e-mail, which is much faster. 

I should stop now, don't want to take up too much of your work day.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Frazzled, Wet

I have not been on the bike since Tuesday, maybe today I will get out. Woke up Wednesday morning at 5am to use the bathroom. When my feet were wet I turned on the lights to find my basement flooded. Now we have a completely torn up basement, lots of carpet and sheet rock missing. Lots of headaches. Big mess. All this because a faulty clothes washer kept running all night (over and over) next door and the drain was slightly clogged(we own a twinplex and occupy one side). Farmer's Insurance has been awesome through the whole process though! The had Service Master at our house in 30 minutes from our call.

Looks like I am riding out to Moab with some guy who's mind is always in the gutter. Should be fun. Need to start riding again to prep...

Legs felt great on Tuesday as I rocked the single speed for the first time this year. Rode our little race series here in town and just kept getting faster during the 30 minute ordeal.

Oh, and the future of women's US cycling has started training camp this week. More to come.

But for now, you should get back to work, back to your family, or just go for a freaking ride already!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Afton Recap, lessons learned, call for help.

Alright, so I had support at the race thanks to a coworker. He shall go nameless until I have a pic to post as well.

Dan Dittmer would prove that he deserved the title this weekend. Like we have before, we shared a pit. This makes it a little bit more entertaining for those crewing for us and it just seems to work. Here is how it shook out.

The start was a Le man's start up a hill, around a barrel, and back to our bikes. I completely underestimated how hard the course would be. Before the race I swapped my 26 tooth small ring for a 24. I should have bolted on a 22. Up or down, you choose. There is at best 1/2 mile of flat on this course. Most of the climbs are STEEP.

The first lap I just rode. I was not setting out to blow doors off, but I found humor in what appeared one solo's rider determination to stay with me. His face spoke of pain. I could see Dan a ways back there, but not falling back for sure.

Dan and I would stay within sight of each other pretty much for the first 6 hours while we lead the race. I was feeling strong and consistent. I was very pleased that despite the steep hills I was riding everything and staying strong. Over the next couple of laps I got a gap of about 15 minutes. Now granted, this is getting to be about midnight now. The temp has dropped considerably. You can see your breath and the dew appears frozen on the tall grass. I would spend my time on these laps hot and sweating going up the long steep climbs and freezing coming down. The constant temp change had my stomach uneasy so I got behind on calories. Lap 11 I stopped to try to get some food, but I was slowing hard. Lap 12 I would realize that if I did not eat I would bonk.

So at about 2:30ish in the morning I stopped to eat. Dan would stop as well as he had caught back up. This is where I made a mistake. I huddled under a sleeping bag and ate, Dan would head back out. This became nice and cozy enough, so I headed next to the fire. Well, the sleep deprivation, freezing cold, hunger, and drowsiness got the best of me and I took a break. Then a longer break. Then I was taking a nap.

That was all good I figured. My thought process was Dan would take a break like he did the year before. We had a 2 lap lead on third. Well, I woke up to a 4 lap deficit to Dan and tied for 2nd. Out I headed out to finish up the race and try to reel some of Dan's lead back.

I was riding strong and the body felt good; except for one thing. I was getting bad stomach cramps and the need to use the bathroom NOW despite going before I left. I would roll into the start/finish and head straight to the Porto potty. I came out, grabbed some food, and went out again. By the bridge loop I was getting the same pains and need for a bathroom. The bike got turned back and I spent the rest of the day with bad stomach cramps and frequent bathroom trips. In fact, as I type this, I still have those cramps. Besides just a tad of leg soreness, this is the only way I can tell I raced this weekend.

I would end the day in 8th out of 54. Not the result I was hoping for. I made the mistake of stopping and that cost me dearly. Also, I did not learn from past experiences. You see, I have had these cramps and bathroom trips before; the day after my endurance races. Considering the only constant with all of these was my EFS shot and sportlegs it had to be one of these. In training I do long rides on EFS without problem, but only used sportlegs in races. Some internet searching found that I am not the only one that has had this reaction to sportlegs. It only seems to happen though from several doses, like in my endurance races.

So my fitness was good, I rode strong, but made mistakes that cost dearly. I'll live to fight another day. My disappointment has turned to motivation for Moab. I'll get some good training in and try to make up for it there.


Thanks for looking. BTW.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Locked and loaded.

I am heading out to compete in the Salsa 24 fest ( Start at 5pm tonight, end 24 hours later. Solo.

Real time results here;

And a pic, why bring 2 Gary Fisher 29er's when I can bring 3? The single speed has got the mud tires ready to go just in case.

And always, btw.

Monday, August 24, 2009

So Pro.

Many things are attributed to being "so pro". As in shaving your legs is "so pro", or your name on your bike is "so pro".

So which of these is more "so pro"? (Note, both are wearing Velorochester gear)

Getting your face on as you line up behind Geoff Kabush like Ben "Brendan's Brother" Moore,


getting a blurry shot of you lined up behind Lance Armstrong at Leadville like Dan "Afton King" Dittmer on's video?

You decide....when you get off of work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Add this to your do not do list:

Put bit in drill.
Hold up new shelf support with right hand (back of hand to the wall).
Use drill to turn in a screw.
Lean in hard on the screw.
Have the bit slip off, penetrate, hit bone, and chew up the end of your index finger.

No Dan, this will not stop me from battling at Afton this weekend. Looking forward to 24 (25?) hours of fun:=)


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Review: Hi Fi Pro

So I thought I would post some reviews. I preface everything I say with the understanding that I am supported by Fisher bikes and I like the company because they are awesome, so no bias.

The Gary Fisher Hi Fi Pro-
100mm front and rear travel. G2 geometry. Superlight frame. Big wheels. Blingy.

Set up. I messed with most of the parts on this bike when I got this bike. Most things were swapped out, not because of quality, just my preference. Needless to say, I have it loaded with Bontrager goodies. For gearing I run a 11-34 cassette and a 26/36 tooth set up on the front. I find this perfect for my needs. The bike weighs in at 25.75 pounds as set up in this picture with "heavy" tires. Close to 25lbs with racey tires. Fox supplies the suspension on both ends with the optional propedal settings to increase efficiency. Sag was set up at 25% of travel.

The ride. Gary Fisher likes to hype the G2 geometry on their 29'ers. It is designed to make the bike ride like a 26'er in the tight stuff. I got to say there is something to this. I found the bike rides best when the Fox shocks are set up on their propedal setting of "1". With propedal on front and rear this bike becomes a singletrack guru, slicing up the tight stuff. No fork dive, no pedal feedback, but still fantastic at schooling any bumps along the way. Small drops are handled with aplomb.

Climbing is great. Traction is great like any 29'er. The weight is very light, especially for a dually. The propedal settings make sure the power hits the rear wheel like Bill Clinton hits on interns, while the shocks still work well at keeping rocks from wrecking my fun. The Lord did not bless me with innate climbing abilities, but this year I have done much better in this department, and I like to think it is partly due to this bike.

With the lightweight Bontrager XR-1 tires this bike amazes me. Superfast, light, nimble, but still bump gobbling goodness. This is the fastest set up I have EVER ridden. Me likey. I throw on bigger meat when the need arises, but in a XC this is the bees knees.

As mentioned before, I love this bike (or did I forget to mention this?). Know that the purchase of the bike will leave you happy.

Now, stop reading about bikes on work time (or maybe free time) and get busy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

24 Hours of Afton

So at the moment I have no real support for Afton (known as Salsa 24). The Baby's Momma will be out of town. Dad will be recovering from surgery. I have some people that I might be able to lean on during the race, but anyone want to help out?? I would be looking for someone that is willing to stay up much of the night, fill my flasks, maybe take some pics, fill bottles, get lights ready, and let me know how I am doing; basically be a set of hands and eyes in the pit for when I roll through.

Rewards are that you would get a blog mention/pic and a heart felt thank you. Yeah, so both of the people that read this site would know who you are.

There is a whole bunch of other stuff going on during the race that I wouldn't care if you frolicked in as well.


charlytri at yahoo dot com

Oh, and got lots of riding in last week. A bunch up in Cable. You should see the new epic singletrack going in from Hayward to Cable. It is off the chain, yo!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well, I spent 75 minutes of my life racing 6 laps at Buck Hill as part of the MN series. That averages to about 12.5 minutes a lap. A little ridiculous, but that is the end of my rant. The race was fun, people where cool (on course and off) except for one of my fellow competitors that got too heated when passing some of the comp riders, and the course was fun (albeit short). I let off the gas a little on the start as I was expecting a bad day. My body was not revving well in warm up and the heat was not to my liking. First lap I was towards 8th or so with several guys around me (that's what she said). By the end of the last lap I was able to shed all but Dave Oachs. I would roll in to take 4th overall, 1st in Cat 1 (my best MN series finish ever, oh, and cash money!!). Dave would finish about 10 seconds back. Sure, the field was thinner than normal and I wish there were more riders, but 4th is 4th and the cash already went into the "Moab trip fund". I am especially stoked because the course was not good for me (passing primarily on the climb), the heat was not good for me, and the race was short/intense not long/arduous. Brendan "KC" Moore took top honors again (I think they should name part of the trail after him and all of his wins there), and Chris "My wife won the chick catagory" Fisher rolled in for 8th.

Here is a video from MNSCS, I can be seen at 2:40:

That is all for now. I have had very little time to get this out.
Now I am off to Cable for 4 days of riding while you surf the net at work. Have fun without me.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I've been thinking.

This is how I look when pondering. Yes, I put on the jersey to think.
So, Abi and I have been talking about how I want to handle my 2nd part of the season (while I was changing a loaded diaper). The plan was to race the 12 hour race in LaCrosse this weekend and than prepare for Moab on October 10th. Well, Abi is full of insight and she reminded me that I always was disappointed I didn't race the 24 Hour race at Afton. So, now that is on the schedule. Well, I was hoping to get in 2 three week blocks of hard training (plus rest). La Crosse would throw a hiccup in that plan. Without it, I would be missing out on a fantastic race (course/people/atmosphere). I was heavily considering it when Abi took a break from eating Cheerios and pulled up the weather for that day. Having suffered heat exhaustion there last year and then having a hard time recovering from it I have decided to not race this Saturday. Can't say I am not a little disappointed.

So I am in my first week of the first block. Long hours, big gears are on the agenda. I will now be making an appearance at Buck Hill this Sunday to see what I can do in the Elite class. Afterwards, Abi's Mom and I will tear up Lebanon or Murphy.

Next weekend, 4 days at the cabin. I wonder if there is any good mountain biking in Cable?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Remember me?

Huh, life gets busy and the blog suffers. I have been busy with work, life, and just having fun. Found a couple of minutes just to let you know I am alive.

Things I have been up to.

-Working at the shop Mon-Thur., and then leaving for the weekend. This weekend will be the first at home in like 2 months.

-Raced the WORS race. Legs were not snappy at all from the Levis 100 the weekend before, mechanical cost me a few minutes, and I literally started behind every single racer in the Elite class. It is hard to move up and the depth of talent in WI is better than MN. I was not a fan of the course. A large series like WORS should have better courses that don't consider mowing a path through tall weeds a proper way to set the bulk of a race course.

-Hanging with the daughter and wife. Both are super cool.

-I have been riding, but nothing hardcore. Planning on a couple of long butt kickers this weekend. I plan on racing for 12 hours in La Crosse here soon.

-Spent a lot of time up at the cabin with the family. From our 1 acre we have seen bears, a bobcat, wolf, turkeys, deer, loons, bald eagles, and fox. I almost ran into a bear out on the trail as well, and almost smacked one with my car. The riding within a 10 mile radius of there is amazing and plentiful. I can go out on a 4 hour loop just riding super fun trails and never overlapping...amazing.

-I need a hair cut.

-You can rent out the cabin (site needs updating) for your own trips as well. Maybe free lodging in trade? We are looking at building a deck, could use some different kitchen cabinets, or maybe you have another idea. We also have a barn that can be used for boat storage for rent. There is also great deer hunting in the area.

-I love my Fisher Hi-Fi, but I have a Superfly 100 on backorder. Look for me to sell off the Hi-Fi and Paragon later this summer.

-My training this summer has been fairly consistent, but not aggressive. I need to figure out a program to lead up to Moab which is in a few months. Should I change the blog name for the lead up to the race? Mission to Moab for a title? How about Maddash to Moab? Maybe, Singletrack to Slickrock? How about Saddle up to Slickrock? I could talk about my training and such, but in all reality I probably would just put up stupid pictures and talk nonsense.

-You and I need to get back to the grindstone.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Well, I sit here in the land of cheese. We are here for my Baby's Momma's Brother's Daughter's baptism. We brought the bikes and rode the southern kettles this morning. Now, I guess, I'll be racing the cheese heads at WORS this weekend. Just realized tonight that there is a race near here. Should be interesting to see how the legs feel. I barely have the gear to race. Funny how things go.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I am the wiener!!! (spelling?), Levis 100 Miler

For those 2 people that actually read my blog I am sorry for not posting in a long while. I am sure you have found something else to pass the time at work. Posting has lacked because free time has lacked.

This weekend was the Levis 100 Mile mountain bike race. If I can win one local endurance event in a year, this would be it. Levis is true mountain biking. I was able to pull out the big "W" last year after fighting sleepiness and a hard charging Dan Dittmer. This year's competition was more competitive than ever. I counted at least 3 other previous 12 hour winners (Chris Schotz, Tim Ek, and Lee Unwin), as well as a WI Pro dipping his toes in the endurance world (Chris Peariso). We were signed up to race 8 laps at 13.5 miles, 1400 vertical feet, and 95% singletrack per lap. The hills were steep and hard. The singletrack plentiful, rooty, and fun.

First 2 laps.
I took off like a crazed monkey at the start so that I could hit the singletrack first. After putting in a hard effort for the first mile it worked. Soon Chris P. and Lee were on my tail and came around to take the first 2 spots. My legs were not hitting on all cylinders for which I was blaming on not being warmed up yet. Chris P. finished the first lap way off the front as I came in at 1:04 with Chis S., Dan, and Tim. The second lap I was still not riding well. My legs had NO snap what so ever and I even stopped at one point to try to figure out if it was me or the bike. My hands and feet hurt. It felt as though I had ridden a 100 miles already. The legs were already starting to cramp. The bumps hurt more than they should, so I let out air. I would roll in a very distant 5th place after that lap. I resigned to riding out the race with hopes of something changing.

Laps 3 and 4.
My Baby's Momma and I woke up at 3:30 am to make the race. The thought was I may be tired after the second lap so a "vial" of Monster energy drink got shotgunned . Basically, it is a small bottle with 200mg of caffeine and a bunch of vitamins. After that I was rock solid. My legs had pep and I was on a tear. Lap 3 I was feeling great. I would catch Tim and then Chris S and soon would be out of their sight to sit in 3 place on the course. At the end of the 4th lap I would find Dan in the pits still.

Lap 5.
Dan would leave the pits only 20 seconds before me to start his 5th lap and the time check was that Chris P. was "very close". I was pumped, thinking that Dan and I were pulling back 1st and we were going good. I got in front of Dan and slowly started to pull away. About 4 miles in saw Chris P. trying to figure out why his rear wheel had no tension. This would move me in first and Dan in second. It looked like we were going to duke it out like the year before. I would finish the lap completely out of site of Dan, but was gearing up for a showdown once again.
Lap 6,7, and 8.
Lap 6 was ridden conservatively expecting a hard effort to complete the last 25 miles. Coming into the pits the time check was Dan was cramping about 10 minutes back.
Lap 7 is were the first place team on the course caught up to me. The end of the 7th lap I would find out he dropped out due to heat exhaustion. Having suffered from that twice last year I felt for him. The second place team would also pass me while I pitted. The 8th lap was ridden steady to take the win for a second year. Chris S. would take 2nd and Tim would roll in for 3rd.

-I ended up with 108 miles, 11,200 feet of climbing, in 9 1/2 hours. An hour faster than last year on a slightly longer course.
-I finished only 10 minutes behind the first place 4 man team (although they were only running 3 guys).
-A loose rock gave me trouble on the hardest hill on the last lap that forced me to walk 5 feet to get going again. That was the only time I had to walk part of a hill.
-I wish Chris and Dan did not have troubles. It would have been fun to battle it out the last couple of laps.
-The diet consisted of water, EFS shot, bananas, sport legs, and the Monster vial.
-I passed the Whizinator 3 times. I first saw him the day after the Cable Classic riding at Rock Lake. If you weren't in Cable with me then you don't know.
-Except the first 2 laps I felt strong, like bull.
-I pulled out a victory salute. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2 as he drove his motorcycle with his left hand while firing a 12 gauge, reloading, all with the other.
-Becky was not only da bomb in my support, but she got in 13 miles of running while I was on the course as well.
-Abi hung with the Grandparents while we were out.
-My Gary Fisher Hi-Fi was PERFECT! The only thing I can imagine better would be something in OCLV carbon, with ABP, E2, molded BB cups. You know, something "super fly".

Out on the course, trying to get my Hasselhoff look going on.

Dan close behind.

Swapping out gel, bottles. Check out the salt stains on the jersey and shorts.

All done. It was a team effort.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where in the world is Charly?

No 12 hour last weekend (not too disappointed considering the rain they had). Hardly any bike time in last couple of weeks. Why? New tenant moved in Monday and I found out just before that that the walls around the current tub/shower where literally falling off from moisture damage. So I am back at work for the summer, and what time I did not spend there was spent ripping out walls, installing a tub surround, and then patching everything back up. My life as a landlord is not all caviar and laying out at the mansion.

In the big news front, Tri Guy has his own blog. Can be found here. Oh, it is amazing how much people want to be like me.

I have been a busy boy. Now I am off to work and Chicago for a wedding this weekend. Looking to get the legs shredded by showing up to the group road ride tonight on the Paragon. They need pain (the legs, not the other riders, although people say I am a pain to be around).

Later, and of course, BTW.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bucked again

Headed up to Buckhill again, this time with Tri Guy.

I got a much better warm up and the severe breathing problems that emerged Tuesday held off last night. Heading up the climb I lead out for awhile and settled in to about 5th place in the loose sandy single track. I struggled a little there and still was not hitting on all cylinders. The next couple laps I would try to chase down the trio of Barry Tungseth, Heath Weisbrod, and Tom Miller. At the start of the forth lap I bridged the gap and across the ridge Heath let me by as he had pedal problems. Right after that I ended up clipping 2 stumps in a row with each pedal, knocking me off the bike and burping the front tire. Back on the bike I chased down the Penn Cycle duo. At the top of the starting hill I came by Barry, and then I was able to put in an effort to get across the "finish line" a half wheel ahead of Tom for fifth. Results here.

Just a note, it has me listed as 6th place over a second down from Tom. The finish has cones that lead up to a painted line. I came across that painted line just ahead of Tom. They don't run timing chips there, so I can only assume they punched in our numbers to the computer as we approached the finish, not at the actual finish. Oh well, I say I got 5th, not going to argue it. I don't know if Tom has a different take on the finish.

I was 2 1/2 minutes faster this week and moved up 6 (or 5 depending on who is counting) spots. Looks like next time I'll have to move up the next 5 spots and knock out Brendan "lay the meat" Moore.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Marathon Mom

As requested, a post about the comeback.

Shown up by a senior citizen.

Remember the videos from this post? You can see Kuske demonstrating the wrong way to take this new section on the Rock Lake trail system. Well, here is another video of how to do it properly on the same section of trail. For the record, I was told this rider is 65 years old...ouch. I am sure I'll get a video of an 8 year old girl clearing it soon. Seems everyone can clear this section of trail, well almost everyone.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Burley Intervals.

Well, Abi got some wheels on now she is rolling on 20's.

Seemed like everyone was getting primed and ready for Afton, but I have another race that I want to fly at. I have been slacking on the training, but that has changed, and the Burley is sure coming in handy. Saturday I was out for 4 hours, starting with hill intervals, rolling around at Eastwood, and then calling the police to take care of unlawful man on man action at Eastwood (resulting in tickets, yeah!!).

Sunday the Burley latched on the back of the Hi Fi and I headed out with the wife on her road bike to have our first family day in 2 months. Low psi, full suspension fully open, tired legs, hauling baby and gear, and low RPM's = almost 4 hours worth of hard tempo intervals. We crushed the Cannon Valley Trail and then some.

Loving these Burley intervals.

back to work, hugs and kisses,

Friday, May 29, 2009


Well it had been about 5 years since I layed rubber to dirt at Buck Hill and about 10 years since I raced their Thursday night race. Times have changed!!

First, I spent most of my day towing Abi's new Burley around, waiting for 3 different people that were no shows to look at apartments, and mowing lawns at our properties. I actually took a shower before the race because I was dripping in sweat from the hot day.

That race is a strange beast. Four short laps had Brendan "Baby Head Calves" Moore winning in about 51 minutes. The start is a long climb to which you duck into singletrack that was not there last time I rode it. Everything was super dry and loose and about the only place to pass was on the climb. And passing I did!!

Well kind of, the first 2 laps I watched as people passed me left and right. My legs did not want to work. Nothing. Finally, halfway through my body decided to show up and now I became the passor instead of the passee. The second half of my race was 1 1/2 minutes faster than the first half. I ended up 11th with about 57 minutes or so, but I am definitely looking to improve on that next week. I think it helps a lot to have some experience there and hopefully I can race the whole thing. I'll be bringing friends.

The whole atmosphere there is really cool. People hanging out afterwards, kids thrashing in their own races, and grilling out. Fun stuff.

Can't wait till Abi is old enough to get her own bike and start her training for the kids race!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

12 Hours of the Northern Kettles.

Not sure, but I think may race recaps are wordy, so I'll try to shorten this up. Just thought I'd say "hey" to the new people I met this weekend as well. Thanks for reading.

I showed to the race plenty early and there was not a sign of rain. Weather report said 30% chance until 9am and then 0% after that, so the mud tires were left to rest back in MN. Chatted with the main competition; the Chris's. Chris Strout was fresh off his first 12 hour win 2 weeks before and was sporting the latest SRAM goodies, complete with electrical tape. Chris Schotz was running self supported like myself.

The Start
The race course was described as 6-7 miles of single track with no passing. With that I put in a big effort to get to the trail first so that there was no chance of me being held up. Looking back I could see C. Strout about 10 seconds back. The course was incredibly rough and his 69'er Siren softail could not have been as smooth as my Gary Fisher Hi-Fi, so I figured I was buying my time until the bumps and rocks started to get to him. Sure enough towards the end of lap 3 I lost sight of him and continued on my way. I rode for awhile, lapping riders, and finishing off laps in the mid to high 30 minute range. I saw C. Schotz when the course almost overlapped on itself and knew he was about 4-5 minutes back.

Crash and Burn.
Soon the course roughness seemed to numb the body and the bumps felt smaller. Now the course is really rough, new, rocky, and constantly changing pitch. You could never stay in a gear long or settle into any sort of groove. Three hours in, on a longer downhill towards the end of the lap, a bug flew into my "good" eye, causing me to go off trail enough to hit a stump and fly over the handlebars at a high rate of speed (Think Matt's video below, only the speed was higher). I heard an explosion and thought that such a hard impact was a race ender. I got up, checked the bike, and got going. Sometimes the body feels better if you start riding right away. Well, my left shoulder and hip were in a lot of pain, as well as my head, and my stomach was now nausueas and I was light headed. With the dripping down my leg I figured the Camelback exploded. I took a timeout at the pits to refill the Camelbacks and make sure that I was safe to go out again. Turns the explosion and dripping were my exploded gel flask. Soon, C. Schotz came by and I was sure that C. Strout would be there too. So I headed out, covered in gel, hoping not to lose too much time. The injuries were bothering me and I was still light headed, so I pulled over and sat on a log to keep from crashing again. Then I went back to the pits to sit as well ans see if I could get myself back in the race. A time out, new shorts, and sleeveless jersey had me going again, but I was definitely beat up.

Sometime before the crash and rainfall. Note the race number.

The Comeback? (not sure what is up with the text size)
I put in 3 or 4 good fast laps when it started to rain. The prospect of rain made me happy as I thought I would do even better with a muddy course. I got in a half lap and it was getting slick already. I went out for another lap and all rear tire traction was gone. The Bontrager XR-1 (my rear tire choice) was amazing in the dry, but possibly the worst tire for the mud. Every corner had my rear wheel slide out. Most climbs I had to walk, and everything else was a chore. I had person after person passing me and the temps went down. My sleeveless jersey was now a liability as I was freezing as well. That and the fact I was nursing my body from the crash had me convinced that if I ever finished the lap I would be done. I was having no fun that day. My last lap out there would take my 1 hour 20 minutes, 2 1/2 times longer then my other laps. I managed 8 hours out there full of frustrations on the day.

I ended the day in 7th, thanks to the fact half of the other solo field dropped as well. Could have gone better. The next day my hip was alright, but the shoulder was hurting.

Looks like I was wordy, saw about that. Hope your boss understands.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Velorochester Training Camp and Race, Long

Time for some math. I have a cabin in Cable, WI. There is a super fun race the weekend of May 16/17th and sweet trails to ride after. There is also a fairly lame MN series race course that weekend. Add it up and you get much of the Velo team headed up to Cable for the weekend for racing, riding, and smack talking.

There were definitely 2 mini teams at camp this year. The young 'n dumb crowd (Myself, Matt Kurke, Mark Carey, Jason Wenk, and Chris Fisher), and the old 'n wise crowd (Gary Gross, Mark Barlow, and Chuck Sorenson).

The Race-CORC (Cable Off-Road Classic)
Friday night most of us got a ride in. Saturday morning was chilly. With temps not even hitting 40 degrees, the youth of the team rolled out for the 5 mile warm up to Lakewoods lodge. Once there I separated myself and did everything I could do to warm up the body. My legs were telling me that it was not to be a good day. The cold I have been fighting the last week was making it's presence known as well.

The national anthem ends and Gary Crandel calls out 3 seconds to start. We assumed he meant 30 seconds until the gun fired right after. I was standing next to my bike so I hopped on and played catch up. Through the rock lake single track and back out on the road I found myself right near or at the front. TJ Woodruff took off hard and shortly later a guy that I would find out is Dan Schuetz took off as well with no one chasing. There was a group of 15 or so, but I could only pick out a few riders while we rolled along at high speed; Matt Kurke (VR teammate), Chris Fisher (VR teammate), Sam Oftedahl (Super nice guy), and Hollywood (Party On!). Matt, Hollywood, and I were doing the bulk of the work, with me coughing a lot from my cold. I started to get annoyed that after awhile I found myself on the front more and more without help, so I tried little surges, not attacks, to break up the group and soften others for later in the race. I figured I would fade at some point and Matt and Chris could take advantage of my work.

The speeds were very fast, the temp still wasn't above 40, and we were rolling straight through the abundant amount of puddles. Needless to say there were some very cold and wet feet out there!

Luckily I had ridden the 4 wheeler trail we were on at the time and knew we were about to turn on to the Esker's single track. I rolled into the corner first and kept the pace up. Hollywood was behind me and I knew his fully rigid 29'er couldn't motor through the rough stuff like my Hi Fi, so I layed on the gas. Out of the Esker I found myself off the front of the group with Matt and Sam. Some chain suck on a hill and they had a small gap on me. I was now rolling in 5th and pleased as punch with my standing on the course.

The Ojibwe trail was next, tight and twisty single track. Right before that I could see Matt catch and pass Dan who had been away for awhile. For several miles I rode with the mindset of keeping Sam, the 2008 MN state series champ, in my sights. Shortly before the end of the trail Sam got by Dan as well and Matt was getting harder to see. I too got behind Dan and I think he was really suffering on the trail with his small wheeled hardtail. I lost some time getting around him, and I thought Sam and Matt were gone for good.

The last 5 miles are wide open and when I popped out I saw Sam was not far up. Now Sam has amazing power to weight, but I have not seen his numbers on the bathroom scale since I was 12. On the flats I can look like the tough guy. I caught him quickly and he let me know that he was content sitting on for a long while. Now Sam could be holding a large Labrador Retriever and I would still throw up bigger numbers when weighed, so I was not worried about him for the sprint. That, and I know a guy like Sam is way to nice to let me do the bulk of the work only to come by at the end.

I layed on the gas in hopes of catching Matt (who I only assumed could also out kick Sam in the sprint), and holding off Dan. No disrespect to Sam, because on a course like Afton he could be eating a sub, texting his Dad, and still pull away from me easily on the climbs. We all have our strengths. I could see TJ a ways up on Matt as well. Matt's gap started to come down and it looked possible, until he saw me back there and dug deep to open it up again. The last little bit I slowed down knowing that my Matt was gone for good and Dan was not catching us. Sam impressed me a lot by offering to lead me out and I came by him for 3rd place. I forgot to thank him afterwards so hopefully he reads this. Truly a classy guy.

This is the best placing I have ever done in a larger race so I was stoked! Third place and just in the money! I also beat some very strong guys and was only 90 seconds back of a well seasoned pro. Full results here.

Saturday Night Ride
The young'ns got out that night for a fun night ride on the Ojibwe. Super fun singletrack is only made better in the dark.


On our way to singletrack bliss.

Sunday was spent riding for close to 4 hours in the Rock Lake system. We ran into the old guys and got a picture.

There is a new section of singletrack being built at Rock Lake that we rode by accident on Sunday. We hit again Sunday and stopped a wild rock chute. This is a good sized chute with some small drops and all rock. It is intimidating.

We decided to do a quick instructional video. This is Matt Kurke demonstrating how not to ride this section. Don't worry, Matt was wearing a helmet so there was no chance of injury. Sorry, but you'll have to tilt your head as I can't figure out how to turn the video.

And this is Jason Wenk showing proper form. (May want to watch the volume if watching in public.)

Then we came home. Lots of riding on our legs and big smiles.