Archive for March, 2010

Kent Park Ptooey

The 30¢ Race Squad of me was in action today at the Kent Park Classic!  I was one of two brave riders who registered for the always competitive 30+ category, which started with the 40+.  I was disappointed that we started after the category 4 field, and further disappointed that the gap between category starts was big this year.  Disappointment at Kent Park is pretty silly, though, and I quickly got over it.  If I wanted to start up front so badly I could have just raced my category rather than my age.

Photos Nick Martin

They said go, and we went.  The prospect of leapfrogging to the front of the race looked bleak.  I was frisky on the first lap, pulled a bit, and was very curious as to why we were not drilling it to catch the cat 4 field.  Near the end of our first lap Deuthman attacked while I was hanging back a bit and he got away.  I was mildly bummed, so I thought things over until the next hill and attacked to chase him down.  I caught him, we caught the 4’s, and that was about it for excitement.

Nick Martin again

Nick photo again

Greg and I rode on the front a fair bit, trying to be sure no one from our category would sneak up on us.  I checked ahead from time to time and saw no sign of the 3’s field up there.  We picked up lots of dropped and lapped riders.  I felt like I was riding very comfortably.  As we started our last lap I decided to give one more good effort so I pulled for a loooong time.  Coming into the finish the 4’s were doing the stuff to sort their race out so I hung back so as not to be a bother and rolled in 33rd overall, 1st outta 2 in the 30+ field, 2nd out of 15 in the 30/40+ combined field.

This photo from T Pierce

It was a fun day.  Eight of us met at College Green Park before and rode out to the race, which took about 45 minutes.   It was really cool to race the Ira Ryan with wood fenders.  I won a gift certificate to my old place of employment, ATLAS, as well as a 6 pack of homebrew.  30th Century gave a $25 gift certificate as a prize.  The ride in was less fun than the ride out, with a 6 pack in my backpack and tired legs to boot, but I am glad I did it.

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Licensed To Race

Now I went and did it.  Bought a USCF license to race.  At least now it is a business expense…  What’s the occasion, you ask?  Well, tomorrow morning is the Kent Park Classic, a 6 lap, 24 mile mass start race with a few largish hills in it.  Because it is lap format, it winds up being quite a few largish hills.  I have been trying to organize a ride from Iowa City to the race, but rain is threatening that plan.  Not much point in riding 13 miles in 40 degree rain for a warm up.  More of a cool down activity…  This is always one of my favorite races, despite the fact that it always hurts a lot.

Race report to follow!

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Rock and Roll

First the rocking.  Here is some of the live music I have seen over the years.  I still have ticket stubs for most of these, but some are from memory, some have been forgotten, I wish still others could be…

Van Halen, 1988, Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, IL

The World Series of Rock (Poison, Tesla, Bulletboys, Winger, etc) 1989 , Alpine Valley, WI

The Who, 1989, Alpine Valley, WI

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Tour, 1989, Alpine Valley, WI

The Rolling Stones with Living Color, 1989, Alpine Valley, WI

Jethro Tull, 1989, Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL

RUSH, 1990, Alpine Valley, WI

Aerosmith with The Black Crows, 1990, Alpine Valley, WI

ZZ Top, 1990, Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA

Leningrad Philharmonic, 1990, CY Stephens, Ames, IA

The Red Hot Chili Peppers with Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins, 1991, CY Stevens, Ames, IA

The Pixies with Pere Ubu, 1991, Riviera, Chicago, IL

Fleshdig with Voodoo Gearshift, 1992, Maintenance Shop, Ames, IA

Lollapalooza (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Ice Cube, Soundgarden, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Pearl Jam, Lush), 1992, World Music Theatre, some Chicago Suburb, IL

U2, 1992, Cyclone Stadium, Ames, IA

SUGAR, 1992, Riviera, Chicago, IL

Bob Mould, 1993, The Maintenance Shop, Ames, IA

Lollapalooza (Primus, Alice In Chains, Dinosaur Jr, Fishbone, Tool, Front 242, Babes In Toyland, Rage Against The Machine), 1993, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, IA

Smashing Pumpkins with Shudder to Think, 1993, IMU, Iowa City, IA

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, 1993, Riviera, Chicago, IL

House Of Large Sizes, twice in 1993, The Maintenance Shop, Ames, IA

Violent Femmes, 1993, Knapp Center, DesMoines, IA

House of Large Sizes with Billygoat, 1994, Peoples Bar and Grill, Ames, IA

The Dead Milkmen with Possum Dixon, 1994 (?), Hairy Mary’s, Des Moines, IA

311, 1994, Peoples Bar & Grill, Ames, IA

Tori Amos, 1994, CY Stephens, Ames, IA

The Kings Singers, 1994, CY Stephens, Ames, IA

House of Large Sizes, four times in 1995, Peoples Bar and Grill (3), Maintenance Shop (1), Ames, IA

FUGAZI with Lungfish and Chisel, 1995 (?), Hunky Dory’s, Ames, IA

House of Large Sizes, 1995, Hairy Mary’s, Des Moines, IA

Big Head Todd and the Monsters with Robert Bradleys Blackwater Surprise, 1996 (?), IMU Lounge, Iowa City, IA

Big Head Todd and the Monsters with the Ugly Americans, 1996 (?), First Ave Club, Minneapolis, MN

Dogs Eye View with the Wallflowers, 1996, Peoples Bar and Grill, Ames, IA

House of Large Sizes, twice in 1996, Peoples Bar and Grill, Maintenance Shop, Ames, IA

Guitar Summit (Stanley Jordan, Kenny Burrell, others), 1996, CY Stephens, Ames, IA

Todd Snider with Greg Brown, 1996, Marriot, Des Moines, IA

The Allman Brothers Band with ZZ top, 1996 (?), outside some casino, Omaha, NE

Social Distortion, 1996, First Ave Club, Minneapolis, MN

Johnny Socko, 1996 (?), Gunnars, Iowa City, IA

DOT Fest (House of Large Sizes, Reel Big Fish, Jill Sobule, Billygoat, SlipKnot, Frogpond, Bloodhound Gang, etc), 1997, Ankeny Airfield, Ankeny, IA

Des Moines Symphony with Navah Perlman on piano or something, 1997, Civic Center, Des Moines, IA

George Clinton & the P-funk Allstars, 1997, Knapp Center, DesMoines, IA

L7 with Sweet 75, 1997, Gabes, Iowa City, IA

House of Large Sizes, 1997, Gabes, Iowa City, IA

Impotent Sea Snakes, 1997, Gabes, Iowa City, IA

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 1997, IMU Lounge, Iowa City, IA

Ani Difranco, 1997, IMU Lounge, Iowa City, IA

Allman Brothers Band, 1998, The Mark, Quad Cities, IL

Sonia Dada, 1999, Val Air Ballroom, DesMoines, IA

Cake, 2001 or 2, Some bar in Quebec, Canadia

The Derek Trucks Band, 2003, Green Room, Iowa City, IA

Def Leppard, 2003, Steamboat Days, Burlington, IA

Ani Difranco with Noe Venable, 2004, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, IA

Leo Kottke, 2005, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA

Devotchka with the Dresden Dolls, 2005, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, IA

House of Large Sizes, 2009, The Mill, Iowa City, IA

Now to the rolling.  Great week of riding just ended.  The College Green rides are back on, I did Tuesday on the crossbike and did not get dropped!  Thursday I rode the Ira, which is finally done with the arrival of the Nitto parts, it looks stunningly good, if I do say so myself…

The position was not quite dialed for the group ride, but I think I got it on the Friday morning easy spin.  Just need to cut off the steerer now.

Back on the cross bike today for a long grind and I felt really good.  More group riding this week and Kent Park next Sunday, as long as it does not snow.

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More Like It

Rest week is over.  It was fun.  I took a day off.  Rode my townie.  Did a couple of longish road rides at the easy pace.  Today it was back to the group rides.  We met at la casa Hopson.  I put his bike on the roof of his garage.  Jim helped a little bit.  We got it up there, but Rick came out and saw us at it which mostly ruined the effect…

We drank coffee, more and more people showed up, Rick got his bike off the roof, and we left.  We rode some serpentine route out of town.  I was confused.  We rolled South, with a big wind from the North pushing us right along.  Hit the gravel, it was nice in places, wet in others, soupy in others.

all photos courtesy of the Eppens

We lost many members of our group as we went, they had stuff to do.  They were the lucky ones…  Made it to Columbus Jct, stopped for Caseys love and turned back into the wind.  The ride down had been mostly uneventful what with the tailwind and generally flat terrain.  That was about to be a pleasant memory.  Right out of town the rollers began, and the wind in the face was just a bonus.  Matias announced a flat tire.  We stopped and watched him change the tube, offered advice and tips, and I found out that nobody I ride with cares about the environmental costs of using CO2 inflators.

Back on our merry way we got to enjoy a bit of pavement as the Eppens and their mighty single speed tandem drug us ever closer to home.  We rode down a big hill, got back on gravel and were soon confronted with a ROAD CLOSED sign.  We blew right by it (of course) to find a super soupy road with chunks of melting ice that looked like glaciers all over the place.  Hopson found something to once again destroy his drivetrain.

Dan and Jim and I were having such a good time riding through without putting feet down we pressed on to see if we could conquer the road that had conquered Hopson’s drivetrain.  Did I mention his derailler got ripped off?  So we made it!  At the far side we stopped to take stock, and did not see anyone coming (we did not actually know that there had been drivetrain carnage at this point, we thought Rick had stopped to pick up an arrowhead or something) so we did what we thought was right and kept on going.  We rode and rode, up a couple of big hills, past some Bison, and to a stop sign.

We stopped, and while Dan and I were accosted by big friendly dogs Jim went to the farmhouse to see if he could look for arrowheads on their land.  He did not want Rick getting all the arrowheads.  So we waited and waited, the sun came out, we turned around to ride back to the top of the big hill and see what we could see.  We could see nothing.  We tried calling, no reception in the hole they were in.  Then, as we were about to call it a ride because we saw vultures moving in, they were coming!

Almost.

As Rick was climbing the big hill his new single speed chain broke.  So we all stood around while single speed v.2 was constructed.  Then we rode.  There was little time left on the gravel, and getting the legs turning after the long break felt funky like it always does.  I do not know where the ride might have been headed under normal circumstance, but with one limping bike we just went for the comfort of the Eden’s loop and rode pavement in.

It was very headwindy!  We rode pretty fast, the Eppen tandem beating the drums for us.  I took pulls for a while.  My drivetrain was hosed at this point.  I had been getting chainsuck while in the little ring, so I opted for the big which helped with the suck, but still sounded terrible and there seemed to be a lot of drag in the system so I was cautious.  Don’t ever want to break a derailler on a group ride, heh heh…

Once we were over Hwy 22 and on the long straight shot home I took a couple of more pulls with the Eppen tandem and Nick before deciding between my crusty chain and first ride after a rest week I should just be sitting in.  So I did.  Rick soldiered through a few times to lend the Eppens a hand.  As I was hiding from the wind and marvelling as I always do at the Eppens I thought about how this was no fun.  I could not hear much over the roaring of the wind and I had no idea what was going on behind me, I just wanted someone to talk to.  But there was to be none of that.  So I just sat in there, knowing that it would be considerably less fun to be battling the headwind home alone.  I noticed Eppen flick his elbow a mile or so from town so I pulled through to help, and they came right back around me, but Brian said I saved him from blowing up.

In town we finally let up and looked around.  Rick was again missing, I guess his chain had fallen off again.  No Matias, either, but we supposed he stopped to help Rick because he is the new guy on their team and that is how it goes.  Jim said the ride stats were 78 miles in 4:45, not including the stops.

I rode to the shop to hang out with Otis.  I don’t think he was very impressed as I just laid on the floor.

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Recoverating Actively

My training has progressed well enough that I am calling in for a rest week.  It has been a good winter for me.  I skied, snowshoed, rode the bike.  I did them nasty trainer workouts once a week – six in all!  I got in some long rides.  Not like in the old days, but I feel good about it all.  About where I am.  I think.  That is the game, no?  Did I do enough?  Too much?  Time will tell, but lucky for me I don’t need a lot, if I am slow I can just turn on the glory days stories and coast until fall…

I did the weekend version of the Rabid Circus Animal Jamboree on Sunday.  That was the very last of my three weeks “on” and it felt pretty good, actually.  We rode hard, fast, sloppy, easy, sideways, and occasionally stopped to regroup.  Next week begins the RCAJ in earnest at College Green Park twice a week, and I have a real road bike this year so that will be nice.

Today I rode down to Hills and back.  It was a nice day, very warm and a nice breeze blowing.  I was glad to see that the Jingle Cross course is still visible where the snow has melted.  Twas a nice recovery ride, looking forward to a slightly longer, but just as easy, ride tomorrow.

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Chop Chop

Before & Now

It is good to be back!

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Return of the FUJI

Long ago, in a bike factory far, far away…

Plans were made to construct the most devastating townie ever concieved.

It was so simple!  Make a bike for the experienced cylist on a tight budget.  Have that cyclist buy it, then donate it to the Bike Library after they quit riding it and left it hanging in their garage for 10 years.  I hope it was the guy on the left.

A new hope!  A young volunteer will find the bike, stripped of its former glory lying in a pile of other bike frames destined for scrap.  He will build it up into the 1 Speed it was always destined to be!  Oh the places they will go.  Then, (those blue coats made quite a plan on that chalkboard of theirs) toss in a bit of strife to give the story poignancy…

A quick wheel build with a CR18 rim and the bike is back together and ready for more.

Thank you FUJI, now let’s blow some shit up!!

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