Archive for January, 2009

Gone Fishin’

First, I am feeling much better.  The sickness never became debilitating or anything, just a mighty scratchy throat and the usual accompanying snotty nose / pleasant to be around demeanor.  I kept on working and did no skiing.  So I am still stuck at 16 days for this season, I hope to get some more in now that I am feeling better and we still have snow.  The fledgling ski race series is doing pretty well, I think.  We have held two now and had 20 skiers for the first night and 23 for the second.  Not bad for Iowa City, methinks!  If you are very interested there is more info and pictures and results and such over at the blog.

While I am feeling better, I did experience a personal loss today.  My bike lock of more than 5 years saw fit to go off on its own as if it were a seven foot padlocked Ring of Power or something.

No amount of searching has brought it back to me.  I have a new perspective on the road prizes and finds I have enjoyed over the years.  My loss is now someone else’s prize, just as others losses have been mine.  It kinda sucks.

stp81755In other news, I journeyed over to Des Moines on Saturday past to attend the IBC Bike Summit and Bike Night dinner.  The Landscape Architect from PDX was informative, and I liked the balance of his message.  Trails are not enough, he said it.  We need to have balance and equity between modes of travel in a good transportation system.  Provide users with choices.  Right on!  I remain unconvinced that it is a good idea for police officers to chase down kids wearing helmets while they ride and giving them happy fun time tickets that get them free ice cream at Wendy’s.  And the guy who spoke before lunch droned on about 28E agreements and I almost passed out.  Ah yes, the food!  I don’t get too worked up about food politics but come on people!  Iceberg lettuce with a vegetable per cubic yard is not a salad, even if you put ranch dressing on it.  Vegetarians were an afterthought (I love a good cheese sandwich!) and Vegans were disregarded altogether, unless they could eat a whole lotta pickles.  Dinner was similarly uninspired, why can’t we have a tasty sauce to help hide the flavors of the overcooked veggies and the undercooked tofu?

stp81768Bike Night was quite the sordid affair, dinner not withstanding.  The guest speaker this year was Gary Fisher.  You know who he is I suppose.  I had taken in one of his free form “speeches” after Chequamegon 2007 and the general consesus in the room after that one was that he was still high.  My latest encounter did nothing to change my mind on that count.  To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement.  His jingoistic ranting made me cringe at times, laugh aloud more than twice and yell at him once.  What a blowhard.  What a burnout.  At a time when we need to be putting our best foot forward to move a meaningful law through the legislature to protect cyclists in Iowa Gary Fisher was far from the best we could have done.

I missed you out loud, Tarik!


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Poor Afflicted Me

So I am sick. It is a sad time to be a me. I enjoyed a great weekend of skiing, but perhaps I did too much. I skated on Saturday at McBride for almost 2 hours, then did a classic style whoop-ass ski on Sunday with Brian for 2 hours 30 minutes also at McBride and then rode over to Ashton on Monday for another skate, about 2 hours of total movement that day. Just an hour or so after returning home I started to feel like so much poop.

And I still do. We still had our first ski race on Tuesday and it went pretty well, 20 people showed up! The results and photos and such are at the official Race HQ if you want to see what went on. It was fun and great to see everyone come together to make it happen, I was glad to be part of it.

Not much else to report, just trying to get feeling better, you all do the same out there, ya here?

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24 Below

When I woke up this morning the thremometer outside told me it was less than -20f outside!  I checked the weather online and they reported it was -24f!  Not quite Joe Price but Holy Cold!  We got a monster dumping of snow earlier in the week which has made it quite the winter wonderland out there, for those of us into that sort of thing.  Sadly, the first ski race had to be postponed due to the cold temps, but we are looking good for next week.  I am okay with that because the trophies I made are all here so for anyone stopping by that might check the mantle I look like quite the accomplished ski racer!

stp81752I did have some great skis earlier in the week before the bottom dropped out of the thermometer.  A good skate with Brian at Ashton followed up by two nights of classic striding in Hickory Hill, which was in great shape!  14 days on skis this season!  Whoop!  Hollah!  Whoop!  I took a day off then so as not to get to the whipped dog stage of fitness building and yesterday, with that hard working thermometer reading -10f at high noon while the sun blazed right on it, I took off into Hickory Hill for my first snowshoe adventure of the year.  I love snowshoeing and it was a great day for it.  We have lots of deep snow and it was fun to tromp deep into it through the woods.


I almost felt like I was living back in Vermont and was out on Mt Mansfield or Hunger, just me verses the elements, miles from shelter or an SUV!  So long as I did not turn my head it worked pretty well.


I love to make new tracks every time I go out so as long as the nice snow and uber cold temps continue this hillside will be getting trampled.

Don’t believe the weather warners!  Stay safe, of course, but get out and enjoy the season!

stp81751Unless you are a kitty, then you are excused.

stp817352Poor bored boys…

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Remain Calm, All Is Well

1animalhouse5081It snowed!  It is still not the thick blanket we need for elegant skiing, but it will work.  I was beginning to despair that I might actually have to don booties and saddle up but no worries, when I woke this morning I was delighted to see that we had indeed gotten some snow, and it was still falling.  I strapped the sooper-tuber back onto the Fuji and went to Ashton to see what was up.  My 11th ski of the season!  It was a good ride over, slippy roads and little car traffic make things fun.  I saw lots of people out striding & smiling, Brian and Robin were there and I skied with Brian for a bit.  I did three loops and was happy, it has been about 10 days since I last went out so I did not want to overdo it as I can get a good one in tomorrow for sure.  We may get to have our first race this week if the grooming works.

chipdillerALL IS WELL!!!!!

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Next Year

A favorite mantra of mine.  Next year I am going to be fast again.  Next year I am going to learn Spanish.  Next year I am going to have a huge garden.  Next year I am going to get my whole Appalachian Trail journal onto the web.  Next year I am going to run for public office.  Next year I am going to etc…  etc

Last year Cody and I rang in the next year right, with honky hornery!

stp81716stp817141We had thought to ride the tandem around downtown and honk that horn but when it got to be 11:45 and our bluff was called we were happy enough to be home and warm so we just settled for some shed-side revelry.  Next year!

As to that whole AT journal thing, I finally torpedoed the pathetic journal I had started here and I have started uploading all of my pictures and as time allows I will caption them and that will have to be as good as it gets.  Honestly, I can barely stand to read all my written ramblings from that trip so why would anyone else want to!  Just look at the pretty pictures and if you want more information ask me in person.  I can talk about that trip for hours it seems, just ask me!

I also changed the header photo, obviously, that last one was getting beyond stale.  The new is my old pal D Bax and I riding out to the Ragbee back in the day.

Happy Next Year!

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