Archive for Road Prize

Good Effort

Just finished up another 2 weeks of “on” or what passes for that in my life nowadays. Mostly pretty standard stuff, got to do some group rides, did some solo rides and a couple of easy rides. But I also did back to back long rides this weekend on my Salsa 29’er, singlespeed style, fully loaded for bike camping.

B Ride Cheesehouse by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

My first group ride of the year was quite spirited, and is one of the longer loops we ever do. I was happy with how it went.

Edens Loop B Ride by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Second group ride, not quite as spirited, classic Edens Loop, also happy with how it went.

Sugar for breakfast by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Saturday morning I got out early again for another mountain bike ride. Rode a bit more of the trails than the last time out, and felt a bit better after, too.

Sunday Frytown by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Met a small group for a ride on Sunday, the basic Frytown loop, at a basic pace. Feeling pretty good at this point.

B ride Cheesehouse by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

Tuesday night another group ride. I was a bit more annoyed with some riders this night, people were rotating the wrong way, guttering the ride while looking over their shoulder for help, playing cat and mouse 2 miles away from a sprint. I won the “classic” sprint finish of the ride and then sat up before the hilly denoument, enough was enough!

For the weekend, which I got off work, and to finish up my 2 weeks “on” I took a down and back tour to Burlington to watch Snake Alley.

Loaded Salsa SS to Burlington by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

I rode my 29’er, single speed 32×16, loaded. I bought Revelate bags for the saddle and top tube, and a sling to carry a tent on the handlebars. It is pretty cool stuff, and I am very impressed with the weight of it, and how it rides. If I were going to take an overnight bike trip to a friends house I don’t think I would need anything other than the seat bag. I also had a big hydration pack on that was stuffed with the tubes and tools and sandals and toothbrush and what nots.

I was awakened early by screeching owls and thought what the hell and got up and was rolling at 4:30 in the morning. It was a nice ride down. I know the way to Columbus Jct just fine, took the Gritty Brevet course for a while. From there down I used bike there directions, which kept it mostly gravel. There were a couple of trouble spots, but mostly it went smoothly and I got to ride some cool roads every once in a while. I had thought to try and get a century in, but I wanted to watch some Snake Alley so when Burlington was close I just went in to see the action.

Loaded Salsa SS home by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

I stayed the night in Burlington and left early again Sunday morning to ride home. It was hot, 80 at 7 in the morning as I rolled out of town. There was a good south wind for me, with a bit of west to it. So mostly I had tailwind except for when jogging west. It was a tour of convenience stores as I was not in a hurry and had time to stop at every one I passed for gatorade and ice cream sandwiches. Past Riverside I turned west for 10 miles on the Gritty Brevet course to see if I could come up with 100 for the day. As I was laboring out into the wind I considered that I don’t much enjoy riding 29’ers on gravel, just because they are slow. And I don’t recommend loaded single speed touring. But here I was doing both! It all worked out okay, once I turned for home I basically had 20 miles of tailwind. I thought I might not quite get the 100, but it clicked over just a few blocks from my house. Whew! Rode out for a burrito later, so I padded it nicely. I took a bunch of pictures, will try and get them on here soon – much more interesting than the words. I did find a tool, and saw a possum, and a raccoon, and a deer or 3, and a turkey, and a wild cat, and some dogs, and a bunch of run over snakes, and got pestered by lots of red wing blackbirds.

So that is what I have been up to, rest week time for me! 2 more weeks of on, then another week off, and then – dun-Dun-DUN – the Chequamegon 100!


Leave a comment »

A One Blog Man

It is hard to keep up with things on my personal blog here.   I put too much time and energy into our bike shop blog, it is hard to find the time and energy to come over here and do it all over again.  But do not despair, the 15 of you that stop in every day to spam me and offer the best in poorly constructed sentences can rest easy – I will never stop blogging!  Unless the power runs out.  There will still be race reports and ride reports and stuff, but not very often, apparently.  Here is a picture, blogs are all about the pics you know.

The winter coat has been shed.

That felt good.  Did I mention that we found that sink on the side of the road?  Road find!  Yep, it sucks to ride with a sink and pedestal, but it can be done.  And has been done.

I can’t believe I was ever a longhair.  This is so much easier.

Last thing.  Cody has been learning about tapping trees to make Maple syrup, and she tapped our Black Walnut trees for sap.  It is pretty cool, and was remarkably easy.  This lofi setup has already produced 2.5 gallons of sap in just a week!   That is supposed to make about 1 cup of syrup

Comments (1) »


I don’t really know how it happened, but I went for a bike ride on Friday.  One hour, on the cross bike, to Hwy 1 and back.  It was so much fun I did a follow up ride on Saturday.  One hour again, Salsa big wheeler, rode around in the snow on neglected bike paths.  It was so much fun I was going to ride again today, with others, at the park at 10.  But then I decided to go skiing.  It was warm, but foggy, too, and riding sounded cold and wet to me.  So I rode over to Ashton, sooper tuber full of skate skis.  A college girl yelled at me, “Fishing, yeah!  Oh, wait.  Skiing, yeah!”, nice to have you all back, college kids.  The ride over was good, I was feeling the bike fitness I had attained over the previous 2 days kickin’ in and my tire pressure was perfect!  Skiing was really good, I skied with the Eppens for awhile, they took it easy on me.  I skated half of my 5th lap sans poles and then my 6th lap was my best of the day.  So best that I nearly bonked on the ride home.  Nice to get back on the skis, and nice to have been out on the bike, too.

Bonus to all the riding, I scored a road prize today!  So many screwdrivers out there in our streets.  Proud to be doing my part.

Leave a comment »

Ski! Ski! Ski!

Well, the Jingle X wrap up is never going to happen here.  Sorry.  Just to give you a crumb, that is to put it succinctly; Jingle X good, Dave Towle announcing bad.

Road find muck boots.  Cody and I were riding the tandem out to the boyhood home of Ira Ryan to give thanks when we found them.  We found a 20 dollar bill on the same ride!  Thanks.

Moving on, post Jiggle X I took a week off from activity other than the usual riding around town to get where I need to go.  Last weekend, with the Shop now closed Sundays for the winter season, I took in the sights and sounds and smells of an Amana ride.  My first of the year!  We had a good group, and a pleasant ride out of town until Doc H blew his tubeless tire off his 29er.  It was loud, I thought we were being shot at.  A bit of a delay as a bike swap had to be made, but at least we were only about a mile from his house.

Out on the road things stayed mostly calm, Joe punished us for a mile or two before turning for home, we got chased by a couple of dogs and a pig on the loose (true!) and the Rock suffered a couple of mechanicals.  The B roads are all dry and frozen now, so the tricky part was keeping your eyes open so you did not biff it in a rut.

Once to the Amanas it was decided that we should not drink beer there but continue on to North Liberty for the Red’s Ale House experience, which has been known to send riders to the hospital passed out – drooling drunk and with more in their shorts than just a chamois.

The ride in was much faster than the ride out, Vincent peeled out when we hit gravel and it was a fast roll all the way across the Great Northern Route.  I was happy to be able to hold the wheel and I even took a couple of pulls.  Go me.

Red’s was fun, we drank some beers, ate some food, dried our clothing, and a couple of our group (they shall be unnamed)  called for and received motorized evac.  That was about it, the typical Amana ride.

Now it looks as if that will be my last ride of the year.  The snow has flown, the temps have dropped, and yesterday morning I got out for my first ski of the season with Cody.  We did a couple of loops in the cemetery and it sure did get my parts to hurting.  Shoulders and calves and hip flexors all protest this morning, but I am going to head out again now that it has warmed up to about 0 degrees F.  Another easy ski this morning, I am hopeful that Ashton will be groomed today and I will try and get over there tomorrow.  Exciting times when the skiing starts!

Sooper Tubed!

Everyone appears to be interested in doing ski racing again so I will be putting those together again.  The blog has been updated and we are hoping to be able to hold the first race next Tuesday?  Maybe, snow must hold and details must be worked out.  See you out there shooshing!

Comments (3) »

Still More Fringe Benefits

I am still here, thanks for still stopping by.  I have been learning a lot.  Did you know you can use a length of brake housing to unclog a drain?  I don’t know if it is approved by 7 out of 9 plumbers or anything, but it is flexible enough to make some bends through pipes as you push it, but stiff enough to knock whatever vile gurgly thing is down there loose.  I learned some other stuff, but I forgot what.

Riding continues.  I once again braved the rabid circus animal jamboree that meets at College Green Park, and once again received meself a most solid of thrashings.  Being dropped, however, and thus heading for home in the virtual ride lead, it was I that spied the glint of metal in the road and stopped to collect $1.00 (exactly) in scattered change.  I didn’t win the ride, I won a dollar!


The screwdriver was a road find from earlier in the week, I went on a 4 hour ride (!) and found it along the way.  We enjoyed a nice ride and canoe trip last weekend, you can read about it and see some pictures over at the 30th Century Bicycle blog.  This week our good friend is back in town enjoying his summer break so he can be recharged for the coming school year and it has been great to spend some time.  This coming weekend my folks come to town, and that will be nice as they have not seen the shop yet.

Other than that I have been enjoying le Tour again, although I must give the new cyclingnews website a big thumbs down.  What were they thinking rolling it out right in the middle of summer?  The live race coverage is confusing and “jumpy” I will call it, and the photos are not nearly as easy to access as what they were before.  I am sad to say it, but for now I prefer velonews.  Maybe they could do like Coke and have cyclingnews and cyclingnews classic?

Until we e again!

Leave a comment »


Iowa City is a party town. Yet I was still surprised this morning, as I rode to the shop, to find a beer bong in the street.  I rode by it shaking my head and weeping for the future but then I heard a faint shouting, as if carried on the wind.  It was the voice of Tarik saying ARE YOU MAD!  GO GET THAT THING – TAKE A PICTURE OF IT – PUT IT ON THE INTERNET – JEESH, DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING?

stp82061So I swung back around and rescued BOBO II from an unknown fate.  I don’t know if I was most surprised that I had never found a beer bong before in this town, or that no one had yet picked it up as it was 8:30 and the churches were already well in session.

It is a fine funnel, and the hose clamp will surely come in handy around the shop once it has been disinfected.

Comments (2) »

On The Subject Of American Wagons, Likely As Not Made In China They Were

Slow bloggery of late…  This won’t help.

As a young boy I would watch my sister leave home with a wagon load of Advertisers every other Wednesday and I would think to myself – someday I will do that too.  Later, when my sister handed off the route to me and I had drug the red wagon around and collected my check for $4.40 every 2 weeks I would think to myself – someday I will not do this, too!

It is a leap, yes, but still on the subject of kids, siblings, and wagons – the motion picture American Flyers features a photo of the Sommers siblings with their red wagon, an American Flyer.  Go figure.  I don’t recall the brand of our long lost wagon, but it was red and I saw this film when I was in high school and I was impressed.  I immediatly started riding my Huffy road bike out into the country with my friend Brian.  My bike had black bar tape and a stock saddle and likely never saw the light of a repair stand be it Park Blue or otherwise, but this was basically it.  Huffy 626.

On our rides Brian and I would shake it and break it, just like in the movie, and sprint dogs (if they were around) and sometimes we rode 40 miles in one trip, verified by my dad’s truck odometer.  He would drive us 40 miles from home and kick us out!  Child abuse, unless you were growing up in Italy.

So recently, you may have heard, they started up these internets?  At first they were only good for sending letters to people faster than ever before but now they are good for at home banking and watching videos, too.  Tonight I missed the first group ride of the year and relaxed for a time with the aforementioned most overlooked Academy attention deserving masterpiece.  The music is ethereal, the plot sublime, and one of it’s many climaxes is oooo-la-laaaargggh!.  Go ahead and put together a playlist and watch the whole movie since I can’t figure out how to do it for you and be taken back to me in high school.

Better you than I…

Comments (2) »