Archive for December, 2008

The Skimaster

A ski-and-poles fantasy about a young man’s search for fitness. Armed with supertoobed townie, the handsome hero and his animal quads wage war against marauding winter so he can wear naught but his leather skivies more often.

dar3i am not a photoshoper, does that sword even look kinda like a ski? you don’t need to answer that but check out these full custom ski poles I drew myself!dar4

So yeah Cody and I watched the Beastmaster the other day.  Why do these things sound like good ideas?  Because we got a subscription to netflix from my sister is why.  We did watch the Man With One Red Shoe which made me laugh a bunch.  This morning I went over to Ashton and skated again.  It was good, I did 90 minutes on the skis plus the hour of riding so I am feeling a bit cooked tonight.  My skate form continues to improve and I was feeling so good about it I tried to get fancy and biffed it just as I was finishing up.  Whoa is me!

Maybe Cody will take pity on me and use her mad computer skillz to help me put together some better altered Dar photos.  Or she might just laugh at me.  It was still a good idea though…


Comments (4) »


Got out for another ski at Ashton today, big surprise after the warm and raining weather of the past two days, but the last minute late night inch of snow we got made it okay I tell ya!  I took the skate skis, my second outing of the year on them and my 9th ski of this young (IhopeIhope) ski season.  I am starting to feel a good rhythm somehow.


It was a beautiful day, shining sun and good temps and all that stuff and I was all excited to get out in it.  I had experienced some rubbing and blister issues on my left foot the last time I skated so I had to bag it early but today I felt pretty good on the skis and got in an hour.  I continue to be a mediocre skate skier but it sure is fun and a nice change of pace from classic.  I only biffed it once!  There was lots of bumpy ice and drifted snow on the NE half of the field but the other half was pretty good.  I saw a woman on classic skis but I got to ruin the untouched (at noon even!) skate track all by myself.

On the ride over and back I enjoyed the usual stares of the happily motoring citizenry and a man directing traffic around the UofI arena boldly told me that I had my skis with me as I rolled by.  I was glad to hear it.

So I alluded in a previous post that we are trying to get a ski race series going on here in Iowa City at Ashton and it is all true.  We are all set to  hold 4 on Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm starting Jan 6th.  All the details are over at the iowa ski website so please read about it and pass the word and come do it!  Snow is the only obstacle to making this happen but I am sure we will get some nice groomable snow and even if it is not until March we are going to have some stuff like this!  Sort of…

Comments (2) »

What a difference a year makes

Last year.

This year I was up before six, but instead of biffing it on my front step and riding for the whole day long I enjoyed a nice morning with Cody.  Oatmeal and coffee and some killer double chocolate vegan cookies that she made for us to take out to the farm for the holiday feast but we forgot them.  Whoops…

The farmhouse where Ira did not grow up and sadly because of the snowpocalypse in Portland he could not make it back to party down with us.  Bummer.

The great room sure is great.

Dinner, alas with no Ira or vegan cookies for dessert but it was still really good.

Back to today then, I did leave a bit after 10 to ride to Ashton and get in a ski.  The big race series is coming up after all.  Conditions were poor, with temps pushing 40F, but I kept at it and got six loops done for 18 kilometers of classic goodness.  My longest ski of the year!  It felt really warm out there.  After a lap and some I stopped and took off my headband and gloves and opened all the venting zippers on my ski pants and hitched up the legs over my knees for good measure.  I still had sweat running down my face!  By the time I left for home I was feeling a good bonk and sure enough, when I got home 3+ hours after I left I was kaput.  So I had lunch.  And a shower.  Now I still have 3 hours or so left to spend not riding 100 miles on gravel!  Yipee for me, mayhap another round of coffee?

Good to be home.  Speaking of home, I did finish that shed thing, here it is proper.


A shed to be reckoned with!

Comments (4) »

Round Two

Ira sent me a new picture of the bike proper, here it be. I think it looks sharp.


Don’t worry, them aint my wheels, strictly for display purposes they are. I will be running the tri spoke in back and a disc up front. The steerer tube looks about perfect for my aerobars. Best road find ever, and they are neon yellow, too. Had the whole bike built around them honestly.


Jealous much?

Comments (8) »

Lets Get Ready To Rumble!!!!!!!!!

In this corner, weighing in at more than your carbon dream machine, my new Ira Ryan.

coffee bag inspired colors.  or was it a potato?

it’s me


There are a couple more detail shots over at Ira’s flickr page.  I am very excited to see this machine and even more excited to ride it.  Much thanks to you Ira, for your hard work.  It has been a strange journey to get here, from that waterbed explosion that flooded our old basement apartment ten years ago to a custom bike hand delivered, I am looking forward to the next ten years of good times my friend.  Thank you!

Comments (8) »

Bum Ski

Got out for another ski tonight, this time with friends! Brian and I went for an hour and the mighty mighty Eppen’s showed up so we let them beat up on us for a little bit. I took a picture with my phone!

Conditions had deteriorated since the day before, mostly we found grass and ice and iced over snow but in the depths of some of the classic tracks there was a bit of gripable snow so we skittered around and got a pretty crummy ski in but we were glad we had gone out. A bad day skiing is still better than a good day fishing as the saying goes…

Leave a comment »

Two Skis Are Better Than One

Well here we go, it is ski time in Iowa!  We have just a smidgen of snow on the ground but the Ashton CC course is very skiable and I have been out twice now for an hour each to try and get over some of the initial inescapable soreness to my hip flexors, shoulders, back, quads, etc…  before we get decent snow and grooming gets done.

My first ski was Saturday morning.  I was sad not to get out sooner but I had to find all my stuff and get the super-toober onto the bike and all that jazz so I went patient with it and my first ski was pretty stress free.  A windy morning and I was pushing into it on the way over, Cody came along for a bit and that was nice.  The snow was okay, but with the wind there were some large areas that looked more green than white but I found there was enough ice and snow down in there to ski right through.  I took three laps, which took an hour, and called it good.  I was skiing classic and I saw Eppen out there skating and he said it was unpredictable with some deep drifted areas and others that were naturally groomed by the wind that were pretty good.  He switched to classic after one lap.

So it was not the stuff of legend or anything, but it was a solid two hours of exercise and it was great to be out and I found myself smiling and enjoying myself and looking forward to (hopefully) another banner year of skiing in Iowa.

Sunday I was not able to get out because I had a little too much fun at the Lefler’s holiday party Saturday night.  When I finally got up and at em I thought maybe I could go but decided the risk of overdoing it and getting sick was too great.  So I took a day off to let my aches and pains really set in proper and then went out tonight (that be Monday) for the same deal, thirty minute ride over, one hour ski, thirty minute ride back.  Bum deal today was that not only did we get none of our forecast snow over the weekend, but it started doing that wintry mix on me as I was riding over there.  Will it destroy the snow we have?  I dunno, but the rule in Iowa is you better ski while there is snow, because it might not be around for long.  So the conditions were worse tonight, but I was happy to get in another three loops and hopefully if I can keep getting out even if the snow is dirty so that when a blizzard comes I might not be completely sore for days.

Comments (1) »