Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tomorrow the Seniors won't be Seniors anymore..they will be...? Concerned Taxpayers? Citizens? Liberals? Conservatives? Greens? PACs?

Hubert Horatio Humphrey Honed His Harmonica skills in the Hospital: 97 minutes on a very enjoyable ride on the gravel roads south of Duluth with two of my most favorite people, Scotty and SarahKylander-Johnson!!! Don't get much better than that...I am feelin' good, so the rest of the guyz better watch out at Wausau come Sunday!!!!Maybe they should just stay home...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What a Proud Moment for all Alabamians!

Feasting on Feral Fare for at least a Fortnight in Pickensville:

"It feels really good," Jamison, of Pickensville, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a good accomplishment. I probably won't ever kill anything else that big."

Who sez that this country cannot still produce top-notch youngsters capable of competing on the global stage? One can only hope that this fine, athletic, steely-nerved youngster will someday find something even bigger to kill!!!! Hopefully, he will use this special propensity for killing to do good deeds...and to fight against the "evil-doers" of the world.

Training: 122 minutes on the newly modified Kelly...the machine that will take me to VICTORY [or bust] in the barrens of Canada in just 10 days!!!!

The connection to cycling? You may ask...Well I am working on this question...more to come on this important topic. Maybe the grisly murder of the beastie pig as a metaphor for the absurdity of road racing? Maybe the weighty pig as a metaphor for my losing battle with trying to maintain my boyish figure?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I miss my seniors :(

Gargantuan Gas Guzzling Gangstas resist Going Global with Global Warming: No time riding the bike, but I spent 2 hours at the Ski Hut with top-ace mechanic Dean Geis as he built up the Kelly to full-on Red Ass 300 specifications, including Race Face carbon mtb flat bar, Paul Thumbies coupled w/ Dura Ace bar shifters, new cables, etc...could this finally be the winning combination, the holy grail of enduro racing north of the border???? Only time will tell...the RED ASS 300 is less than two weeks away...fear & loathing awaits!

30 minute powerwalk @ lunch...not too worried about training for the next two weeks...itz mostly about rest and recovery...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Helping my buddies with shingling their roof...really itz what life is all about, that and a good stout!

"And that's how it came to pass, that on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate factory roof in the spring of '49... wound up sitting in a row at ten o'clock in the morning, drinking icy cold Black Label beer courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison. The colossal jerk even managed to sound magnanimous. We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders, and felt like free men. We could'a been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the Lords of all Creation. As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer." Red [from Shawshank Redemption- a must-see Hollywood Classic]

Fate, Fossil Fuel, Folly, and Fatwas have Foiled the Founding Fathers' Formula for Freedom: 60 minutes. For the upcoming week, mostly mellow as itz full-on race season starting Sunday...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Encouraging Enormous Endomorphs to Emigrate to Europe

Encouraging Enormous Endomorphs to Emigrate to Europe: Worked all day doing good old fashioned manual labor. First at my good friend, Scotty's house doing a shingle job and then at home hauling dirt for da boss man [aka my lovely wife]. I am taking 120 minutes even though I didn't get on the bike. The justification is that I was with a bunch of biker dudes including Jesse Rients, Todd McFadden, Mike Haag, Joe Mcgraver, Sara & Scotty... [Important NOTE: Sara brought us tons of pizza; Diana, beaming and lovely but heavy w/ child, brought cookies, while to consumate the lunching experience Sara served up a ruebar krisp!]. I felt like I was at one of those Amish barn building projects, so we were working hard and yet having fun. And at home, they me got moving dirt [like in Cool Hand Luke] but still it was fun and good hard work. The kids were out playing, the robins were singing, the crab-apple trees are in full-on bloom, and I was able to take my colon/gland disorder medicine the way I like it [in the glorious optimistic presence of the natural-world in all itz spring regalia and of course Porter-style, very cold] it was all good...not as good as racin' my trusty Gunnar, but still pretty good..."I wuz livin'"

Total for the week: 13.35 hours. Two big events coming up [WORS or MNSCS on next Sunday & THE RED ASS 300 the following weekend], so itz time to just go easy and get the Kelly all dialed in ...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Itz a cold windy rain in the hills of old Duluth

Deceptive Debauchery in the Defense of Demigods: 127 minutes at a good aerobic pace w/ hard efforts on several longer hills; it was very cold, very wet, very windy, and I did not see anybody else out riding, but I know the roadies are in competition nearby for an ITT...pretty tough day for a time trial, of course they are usually relatively short affairs, but totally all-out. Kudos to LSCC for putting on these races...My neck is still too sore to consider racing a road race; as itz one thing to get hurt in a mountain bike race, but for a road race.....itz too early in the season to take the risk.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bitter-Sweet or Am I'm gettin' soft in my old age???...

Okay, then, I'll admit it...I am gonna miss those seniors, all of them, even the ones that don't deserve it...OK, like I said, I am going to miss those seniors...Don't get me wrong, I don't want ya to think that I‘m the kinda guy that goes and gets all sentimental, all like misty-eyed and such, ‘cuz that aint me, don't believe a man should cry, no way; no how, it aint right, no way…Ever see John Wayne cry? Ever see Chuck Norris shed a tear? They shot Reagan and he smiled!!! They shot Teddy Roosevelt during a speech and he finished the speech! But I’ll admit that when them young kids started sayin’ "good bye Mr. Farrow" today…yeah, okay, I aint gonna lie…well letz just say…I am going to miss those young people, each and every one of them…there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch….thatz all I gotz to say about that…I don't want ya to think that I am the kinda guy that goes and gets all sentimental, cuz I aint...I guess I just must be gettin' old...gettin' all sentimental, but that sure wuz a nice group of young people.... You lookin' for something to do with your life? Think about teaching, A guy could do worse...teaching young people keeps a guy feeling... well it keeps a guy feeling young....thatz all I got to say about it goes

A Chorus of Cautionary Carbon-loving Conservatives: 60 minutes on Thursday & 120 minutes on Friday...They made me mow today, but I aint countin' it towards my training time as it don't seem right...seeing how I love training and hate mowing. Mowing, I guess itz just part of being an American......Mowing is kinda like payin' taxes. Payin' taxes so as we can buy another aircraft carrier or the like...or get them Vikings a new stadium!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Itz raining hard in Duluth...

Brazenly Brandishing Bogus Bologna to the Barbeque: A good training session of 134 minutes at the high end on the bike mostly in heavy, sometimes seriously heavy rain...sweet...I love training in the rain cuz it means that lots of other guyz aren't training in the rain...:) One of the most motivated guys I ever met use to love to work-out really hard on Friday nights because he knew no one else would be working out on a Friday night, so he felt like he'd get the edge...pretty cool!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Folly Of Mowing...

Folly: [ME folie french-origin, means fool] lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight.

People at work think I'm crazy 'cuz I continue to race my bikes even though I am slow, getting slower, and that on occasion I do myself bodily harm. Well I think they are crazy because they spend their time and money on the folly of lawn-care [Disclaimer: like the rest of you spineless comformists, I am forced under duress to mow the lawn, but I do so in the full knowledge of itz absurdity and folly--I am a relunctant mower, mowing my lawn in quiet desperation]. Mowing is the quintessential example of folly for middle-class Americans. What could be more absurd than embarking on an infinitely reciprocal course of growing the grass, raking the grass, mowing the grass, bagging up the grass, raking up the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, raking the grass, bagging up the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, until tens of thousands of dollars later and decades, upon decades of throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass…they charge your family thousands of dollars to plant you under the grass and then--they continue throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, growing the grass, mowing the grass, bagging up the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, bagging up the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass, until hundreds of thousands of dollars later and decades upon decades of throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass…Wal Mart charges your grandchildren to plant your child under the grass and they continue throwing away the grass, watering the grass, fertilizing the grass, cutting the grass…so it goes…

Have I struck a cord?, I bet I have....So I am putting out a Call for Reason...Husbands Dig-in, Friends Revolt, Students Resist, Politicians Protest; Let us together end the FOLLY OF MOWING!!! [Please don't tell my wife about this...]

An Apostle of Ahimsa:
30 minute power-walk during lunch and an involuntary rest day due to wife working the late shift. The Sky looked threatening, so I did not MOW...even in the knowledge that the grass may grow even longer...OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

ITZ LIKE RIDING A BIKE...when ya fall off ya get back on...

A Zealous Consumer of Zabaglione: I rode three and one-half hours today, and while I was a bit sore (especially on the top of my head and the lower back)...I felt great!!! Sweet Redemption...
Cable Classic entry fee: $30.00
Replacement Cost of S-Works 2007 Mtb Helmet: $120
Ride in an Ambulance to ER: $1200

Laughing about it all two days later: PRICELESS

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cable Classic...A biased race report

The Cable Classic 2007
A slightly brain-damaged and therefore disoriented race recap…
by Charlie Farrow

The last time I took a hit like that to the head was on a sweaty summer night at the Easy Street Bar in South Saint Paul…we were all meeting there to go play a summer rugby tourney in Toronto. My brother, Tim Getchel, and I got there early, so by the time the rest of the team showed up, we had already stirred up a bunch of malcontent marines on leave from some nearby base…In any event, without revealing too much, suffice to say that the beatin' I took on that night some twenty years ago [and the subsequent head and neck aches that followed] is comparable to the one I took towards the end of the Cable Classic, I guess the point I am trying to make is that the following recap is even more suspect than the other race reports that I frequently submit.

Bill Schwalbe and I rode down together from Duluth and it was very pleasant to have such wonderful company. The weather was somewhat sketchy, but the course turned out to be in great shape. It was great to see many of the original characters of the local racing scene in force including, Dave Pramann (and his lovely wife), Greg Pattison, Scott Chapin, Ezra Taylor, Hollywood, Ron Raymond, Bart Rodberg, Tom Gaier, Dan Meyer, Jeff Schmid, Grady Larimer, Kurt Lange, Mike and Michelle Haag, Tone Coughlin, Mark Wihelmson, Kevin Ishaug [from Free Wheelin’] and scores of others…Also worthy of note are those that were not in attendance including super fast guyz, Jeff Hall, Doug Swanson, Sam&Eric, and CHRIS WHITE…

With these “classic local” races, for me anyway, the warm-up and the line up is always great fun. On this Saturday it was no different, itz a blast to ride around with all the guyz and get totally fired up. There is lots of positive energy and contagious karma omnipresent, itz why I am drawn to these races, the feel is similar to a Friday night high school football game between cross-town rivals. The only sad thing to report is that Harry Anderson totally snubbed me, it was a Class 4 snub and then when I later called him on it, he had the gall to deny it.

The start was very mellow and thus allowed me to get securely into the tail end of a nice lead group about 10 to 15 strong. Probably the best reason for the moderate pace was that there was no Doug Swanson or Jeff Hall to take it out crazy fast. Heading into the initial single track, I could see Brad Johnson, Young Jesrin Gaier, and Scotty taking it out... but the pace was manageable, so I got into a nice position in about 8th place w/ Mike Bushey, Jim Bell, Todd McFadden, Brain Narum and Tone Coughlin ahead giving chase. Early on the initial fast single-track, Tone looked strong pedaling smooth like a good roadie and then he flatted…so it goes. I don’t know if I was just having a good day, or that the pace was abnormally slow, but I was able to hang on to the first chase group well into the event. I’d estimate that about forty minutes into it, the groups splintered again with Scotty and Jesrin Giaer (19 years old!) gapping a small, albeit strong chase group of among others, Jim Bell, a very nice guy from Saint Cloud (who ain’t no spring children @ 44) and Brad Johnson. Life can be a bummer, and so just as Scotty and Jesrin were starting to build a real lead, Scotty flatted, so it goes…Giving chase at a pace that I could not hold were Mike Bushey and Todd McFadden. I backed off and rode alone, but not with the usual sense of trepidation and loathing. In fact, I felt good, feeling like I could finish strong, and maybe catch up once we got on easier faster ground. Joe McGraver [with Tim Swift in tow] then caught me up and passed. I jumped on and the three of us rode hard with Joe clearly on a mission, pulling both Tim and I. Tim fell off. I stayed on Joe’s tail and soon there after we caught Todd McFadden. Joe passed Todd. Todd, the consummate bike racer and gentleman, jumped on while I pulled in behind Todd. But alas I couldn’t hold the pace and fell back. Riding alone I always slow down, but again I felt like I was having a good effort. Swift caught me again and yet I was able to hold his wheel, but he gradually gapped me. Itz cool and informative to ride behind Swift as he is so smooth; it looks as if he is just floating along. Sadly somewhere along the way he missed a turn and was out of the race. Swift is a real nice guy and a very talented rider, back in the day, he was a pro-roadie, now he owns two bike shops in the Hayward/Cable/Spooner area, so it goes…

It was about at this point that I hit the big mound of earth and launched myself over the handlebars into space and then head-first onto unforgiving terra firma. My expensive Specialized helmet & Smith Sunglasses blew up as I bounced into a sitting position, I instinctively jumped up quickly like a sucker punched boxer, but then I felt a strange patriotic wave of stars and stripes and nationalistic pride, so I knew something was very wrong, so I sat back down and then noticed that Brian Narum was also laying there in agony. I think I asked him, “whatzup?” But I am not sure cuz I was really dazed. I also vaguely remember a race official being there and running to caution others to slow down. After a few minutes, I got up and rode the Gunnar into the finish, like Ted Kennedy drives home after a big night of drinking with Mel Gibson and Ted Mondale. Among several others, Nikolai Anikin, a very talented young cross-country skier and a top-notch young man passed me, but stopped and ask if I needed assistance. Watch for this guy as he is gonna be fast…plus he is a first-class humanitarian!

Jesrin Gaier won the race, with Brad Johnson only a minute or so behind. Jesrin is a great youth with tons of potential and yet he is always very polite. Brad is an intellectual that would rather read Keats, but will on a whim just show up and beat ya. Jim Bell pulled in third less than a minute behind Brad. Jim Bell is a senior citizen that is having a great start!!! Joe McGraver had an outstanding race finishing 4th; while Mike Bushey and Todd McFadden turned in 5th and 6th place performances respectively. Harry Anderson got ninth just ahead of Hayward’s Scott Chapin. Erza Taylor, I believe on a SS, finished an impressive 11th place. Mike Haag finished 40th but did not feel well. Kudos to Michelle, who finished in 2nd place behind Sarah. It was simple bad luck for Scotty and Tone as both were looking strong. Flatting on a short fast mtb course is a death warrant. Of special note: below are Scotty’s own words regarding the assistance he received after getting a flat tire: “Two guys helped me: Aaron Swanson (no relation to Doug or Dan) who is an extremely kind guy and a great bike racer, and another super nice single-speeder from Ashland, WI named Dan (I think...). Either way,without the help of these two upstanding individuals, I would have had to go for a 12 mile hike and I am therefore eternally grateful for their acts of kindness.” As Vonnegut would say, "so it goes..."

Sarah Kylander-Johnson won the women’s event going ahead. She is going to have a great season, she is very strong and she is having fun!!! Nikolia and Tim Ek finished 14th and 16th. Tim stated that his legs still felt a little fatigued. Also of special note, Bushey’s wife, Jody Zeleznikar placed 3rd in the women’s division in the 18 mile event—Bravo Jody!!!!

Sadly, I cannot comment as to the availability and quality of the beer at the awards ceremony as I was en-route to the Hayward ER via an ambulance. In fact my ambulance was in hot pursuit of Brian Narum’s ambulance. Narum, whose physique resembles that of Hercules,suffered a dislocated shoulder, but somehow while waiting to get it x-rayed he was able to “pop” it back into place, yet his shoulder was super swollen…so it goes…It seemed like he would be okay after a week or two of R&R…I hope he gets better fast as he is clearly one of the best racers ever to come out of the Duluth area. I aint no complainer, but I hope next year's race officials will have that barrier clearly marked...that bad boy has taking out a lot of riders in the last few years...because it is not clearly marked...I spoke with several others, including the winner of the race [who barely landed it] and all agreed that it was a miscalculation to not have that wall clearly marked.

A Ying and Yanging Youthful Yankee: Three hours on Saturday and one hour on Sunday

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Patient seems disorientated, confused..." "No! No! I'm OK, I am always worries."

Cable Classic: Several of da boyz did very well and I'll live to fight another day, but not tommorrow, not at Erik's Sring Opener, which is very sad as I already sent in my entry fee in...more to come: For Now--News Reports of my untimely demise have been greatly exaggerated :)

A full race recap in a day or two...several Ski-Hut Guyz turned in some great efforts...Joe McGraver, Mike Bushey, Scotty, Todd McFadden, Tim Ek, Sarah K-J...

I was well on my way to an upset victory [not really, but I was cruising’ for an old guy!] and then I hit the wall...not metaphorically, not meta-physically, not poetically, not philosophically, , but literally---I slammed into a $#%&$#@ Wall!!!: "Patient seems disorientated, confused, recommend immediate transport..." With most of the race behind me, I was doing well in about 6th or 7th place in hot pursuit of guyz that normally leave me early on. There I was livin‘ the dream, feeling great, poundin’ some nails, when in the flash of an eye, at “break-neck” speed, I am looking at what can best be described as an anti-terrorism hedge-row or a tank barrier that someone had plowed up using a D-3 Caterpillar. In other words, it was a four foot high pyramid-shaped mound of hardened clay and sand…I hit that bad boy going full out. The sick thing about it was that I had time to think about it…time to look old man Fate in the eyes. I came cranking around a very fast descending corner and there it was, my destiny. I remember thinking “no time to brake, try to curl up and protect head/neck.”[Note: Over the many years that I have been racing, I have learned to become a real 'professional' when it comes to 'touching the floor' at high speeds on a bike.] According to eye witness accounts I came down hard and high on the front wheel and fought the good fight for a few feet before I crumbled, taking the big hit on the left side of my head , shoulder, and back region. I crushed my helmet and took big, bruising hits to my shoulder and back, the bike come through it with just a bent rear rim. At the finish they put me in the ambulance and upon questioning me, they concluded that I was crazy. So they took me to the ER in Hayward for a Cat-Scan [that didn't see any cats in my head, for which I was thankful, and the Doc said that there was no evidence of "acute" brain damage. I asked him about "chronic" brain damage, and he quickly changed the subject....Right now I'm a hurtin' cowboy [I did end-up gettin' 'er done...but I don't remember much after the big crash, I did finish but I was riding like a drunken sailor after the impact...Brian Narum hit the same %$^#*&@ birm about a minute before I hit, but did not fair as well in that he dislocated his shoulder. I landed near was sick. The guy that was suppose to be there to warn riders of this barrier was not in place so we both went into it wide was sick...] Thanks to all the guyz that stopped and offered assistance. WOW, so it goes............takin' a ride in an ambulance ain't no good life, but itz my life :(

Friday, May 18, 2007

This Weekend's plan-of-action can be summed up with just three words: "V for Victory"

Why I am a good bet to Win the Cable Classic:

In less than 24 hours I will be afforded a real test of my racing prowess, since I went on a concerted full-on serious diet designed to mold my body into an efficient sinewy athletic machine, I am a darn good bet for winning both of the area's big mountain bike races this weekend, come rain or shine. I went on this Spartan-like diet late last night and I am holding to it as I type. This nutritional regime is just one element of the three pronged approach that I am going to rely upon to take me to victory on the single tracks that crisscross there way from Lakewood’s Resort back to Cable and the confined suburbian green-space that is Inver-Grove Heights; The Cable Classic and Erik's Spring Opener. The other two "prongs" included in my recipe for success will not be revealed for obvious reasons...

The Strategy for Victory: A Cost/Benefit Analysis--

While the majority of the serious mtb racers on Saturday and Sunday are both intellectually and athletically my superior, while the vast majority ride lighter and technically superior bikes, while 90% enjoy better weight to height ratios, while 94% of the guyz are younger, and while 99.9% exercise more restraint when it comes to the liberal use of libations; I do hold a few advantages that could potentially allow me to win these races…...Advantage #1:________ well okay, maybe not! Sorry :( I guess I won't be winning the races, unless........

Xenophobic (especially of Xanthippe): 30 minutes plus cleaned up the 29 inch Chariot of Victory...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers..."

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.”

Change a few words, and the old boy about sums it up for the experience of those that pushed the limits of endurance in Iowa a few weeks ago, including our very own Tim Ek...pretty cool quote by Shakespeare...I think that I would have enjoyed partyin' w/ da Shakester...

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that pedals his bike with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in Duluth now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that rode with us upon that April day along the lonely gravel roads of Iowa.” Sweet!!!

Wagering Willy-Nilly on Widgets: Another nice relaxing "recovery ride" of 113 minutes...Big races this weekend...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"I really sorta, kinda, well maybe in a weird way, liked that group of seniors, at least part of the time, sorta..." CPF

A Victim of Various, even Venomous Vices: Not much happening up here in da Nordland. I had a nice easy 90 minute ride on my trusty Kelly Knobby X. I am in recovery mode, plus I am planning on trying to double up this weekend with race efforts at Cable & Erik’s…

With each day drawing closer to that annual, albeit magical end-point of graduation I am confronted with a strangely bitter-sweet feeling. Perhaps, a personal recognition that the Esko Class of 2007 was really, truly an outstanding group of young people. The fact of the matter is that they are collectively a superb extraordinary conglomeration of personalities, talents, world views, and even appearances. This really was a special group…and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t gonna miss them. I cannot think of one kid that really deeply and profoundly bothered me…Gives a guy hope for the future…Upon reflection, I cannot think of single instance this school year when I totally lost it and went berserkers…WOW, now thatz an amazing fact…Actually, I spent a lot of time just talking to them and marveling at how funny and smart and clever they all were at keeping me both off balance and off topic! :) More musings on this topic in the near my buddy and soon to be boss, Greg Hexum [super fast runner dude] has afforded me the opportunity to experiment with and to subsequently review via this blog a super cool pair of Salomon trail running shoes...itz gonna be fun and informative too! So lots to stay tuned for in the very near future...

Just a Shoe? Itz much more; Itz a lifestyle choice, a world view, a dogmatc mandate which may lead to either great humanitarian progress or EVIL!

Salomon S-lab XA Pro 3 product review
The company, which published its inaugural social and environmental report in 2001 (a first for the sporting goods industry), has attracted favorable notice for its activities related to its Standards of Engagement. Wokutch notes that the company was ranked first in its industry on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2001, up from fourth a year earlier. "Much of this improvement is attributed to the compliance work the company is doing with its international suppliers." In 2001, adidas-Salomon ended relationships with 32 non-complying supplies worldwide."

People don't are about all that stuff...

"I think itz a sweet shoe. But whatz with the ankle skirt- it scares me?”
Kaleb L.

“What sport is it for?” Erik R.

“I wouldn’t date a boy that wore those shoes, unless it was Sean.” Molly M.

“The shoe is cool, but the color reminds me of that creepy Ronald McDonald dude.” Yakki

“The ankle sleeve would be good for preventing ticks. Seems well made, like it would hold up well. ” Alex Q

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kudos to da Biker Boyz for outstanding efforts @ Maplelag

Several of my Hard-Core Biker Buddies did very well last Sunday @ the Maplelag Races and therefore deserve special recognition...Special Kudos to the following Biker Dudes: Scotty K- Johnson, with another fine effort on two subsequent weekends, seems ready to have a “break-out” year!!! When he is on he is very very very fast [finishing 5th amongst the Semi-Pros]; plus he is a first-rate, top-notch, A#1 Teacher-of-Youth, Humanitarian, and Proactive Advocate for local mtb trail access. Sam&Eric were 1st&2nd in the Expert Race...Team Oftedahl is poised for greatness...These youngsters simply "reek" with talent and most importantly they are very respectful of their elders. These guyz are young and they are getting faster every year and yet they are also the kind of youth that makes an old guy think that maybe there is hope for this country, afterall--Bravo for the TOP 2 Spots... Todd “I can have my cake and eat it too” McFadden has soooo many irons in the fire itz hard to keep track, he’s a newlywed, he’s a father-to-be, he’s building a house, he’s a swell guy, and he still can beat most of the really fast guys at the bikes races [How does that work???]. McFadden finished in 4th place--Bravo for an old guy!!!!…Joel Cahalan, my personal savior from the Arrowhead 135 Mega-epic turned in a fine effort with a 7th place finish. At this year's Arrowhead, everyone was getting multiple flats from the extreme cold, yet Joel gave me his only extra tube in the middle of the night, out in the middle of nowhere, with the temperature something like 37 degrees below zero....What else can ya say about a guy like that! He is a true gentleman and a humanist/earthling of the first-order…And old man Dan Meyer took 12th. Mr. Meyer was competitively racing bicycles while most of you were still just abstract subconscious notions floating about freely in your parents' sense of duty as community members and procreating mammals ["someday, I suppose we should have a kid, you know to perpetuate the species?--nah"]…Meyer is still fighting the good fight!!!! Top Notch!!!![Note; this website is shamelessly bias in favor of old people...]

Ubiety or Ubiquity; the Underworld Unavoidable to the Unbeliever?:
Itz Recovery Week...I am very good at recovering...I am a NORBA/USMB Semi-pro, USCA Cat. 1 recoverer...116 minutes for an easy ride up Lester River Road and beyond, got wet cuz it was raining...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tacitly Turning on a Tacky Tumor-ridden Texan?: MN on the verge of completely banning cancer sticks or not?

30 minutes power walk during lunch...Itz RECOVERY WEEK....I embrace recovery!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Day of Malaise

Saturday was rather, as my student's like to say, "boring"...My wife is pulling the super hard-core crazy weekend night shifts at the Surgical INTENSIVE care unit @ SMDC all weekend...Plus all the neighborhood is out using sophisticated sonar and radar systems to harrass small fish at their lake mega-cabins, so it was just me and Sophie, and Scout [Scout, the cat, is my newest dependent-a six week old w/ a tough start to life but has now just hit the BIG TIME, in that it looks to be a permanent resident here, so it goes, life is just one big game of poker]...So training was hard to come by...If I had really wanted it bad, I could have made time to ride the tortureous trainer after I got the off-spring to bed, and while I usually am able to motivate [I did a lot of those late night torture-sessions last winter], I did not have the fight in me last night.

Kudos to my friends Sarah Kylander-Johnson and Kyia Malenkovich for doing outstanding work at the UCI Professional MTB race held at Maplelag on Saturday. Sarah took third behind two very talented big-time pros and Kyia got fifth!!! The pro men also raced on Saturday, and the mere mortals race today...

We are experiencing a big time drought up here in the Northland complete with a big forest fire in the BWCA area...But don't worry cuz itz like Bob Dylan sez--A Hard Rain is gonna fall...

Surreal Singing w/ Squirrelly Sadistic Serpents: 83 minutes on the torture machine on Sunday...Total for the WEEK:994 minutes or 16.6 hours...Got two big races coming up next weekend...therefore I plan to take it easy, especially on Thursday and Friday...Saturday itz the Cable Classic which is a true Classic; last year they had a couple of free kegs of Summit Northern Porter after the race, can't get anymore classic than that, plus itz an outstanding course that always attracts a big field, [Last year, I used Chris White's brand new Top-of-the-Line Trek Carbon bike, which retails for something like $5000+ [absurd!]--so I was scared the whole race that I was gonna crash it and mark it up or worse, so this year I am pumped to ride the steel, full on retro-indestructable Gunnar. Then on Sunday, itz Erik's Spring Opener[The first race of the MNSCS], which had always been held at Buck Hill near Lakeville up until last year's race which was held at a new course near Inver Grove Heights. Itz a very fast, but tight and twitchy, curvy, wild ride...last year I rode it on a Specialized demo-bike that I borrowed from Ski Hut, it was one of those full-on suspension jobs with lots of dials, settings, etc..., which was a little too much bike for this Luddite [I felt like I was pedaling a couch]...In any event, these are two outstanding, top-notch races...I am getting pumped!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"nature versus nurture" and the wholistic tragedy of snubbing

It seems that I have struck quite the “nerve” with many of you with regard to the pain and suffering bestowed upon the general biking community by these heartless, albeit active minority of cycling snubbers

Questions about snubbing and the "nature versus nurture" debate-A typical or frequently asked question:

“My left-leaning sister that just graduated from U of C Berkley with a degree in psychology, sez that snubbers can’t help it…that they were born that way?
Little Timmy Johnson from Waterloo, Iowa

Note from the author— Dear Little Timmy: Your liberal sister is partly correct. While itz Never Okay to snub someone. Recent federally-funded research at the University of Wisconsin @ Madison indicates that it is indeed quite possible that cyclists whose parent’s were biker-snubs and that were therefore subsequently snubbed during prenatal care and/or as young children are much more likely to snub others as adults when biking. But Timmy there is help available to these "genetically-predisposed" snubbers in the form of intensive sessions seem to work best, preferrably with the bikes present in the room.

I also received several belligerent remarks, but this one is from a concerned little brother...It tugged at my heart strings:

“Sure I snub, hey my workouts are super important to me…Itz not like I got time to wave and smile and give the thumbs-ups to every loser that I pass, my little brother sez I'm a jerk and thatz why I can't get a job and still live at home. If I keep training I’ll be a category 4 roadie before I reach 30…These are the words of my older brother, can he be helped?”
Little Arty Fletcher from Little Rock Arkansas

Note from author— Dear Little Arty: The oligopolistic pharmaceutical industry in a highly creative business arrangement with Haliburtion are currently working on getting the FDA to approve a new anti-snubbing pill. Look for it to appear on the selves at Wal-Mart in the near future. Get your brother on this new drug and he’ll be good to go…Also, Arty, Wal-Mart is looking to hire...

Below, here again we have a clear cry-out for help as this poor sole is using a chemical dependency issue to wrongly justify his snubbing of a good friend:

"What if the snubbeeee is on some strange chemical and is wearing headphones, has sweat on his glasses and has been riding for 5 plus hours in the 90 degree heat?
I did that to Don the other day.......John Doe

Rendezvous w/ repentant Romanovs: The Romanovs were first rate snubbers and look what it got them!!! Favorable tail-wind this morning, plus a wonderful 35 minute walk at lunch puts me at 2 hours so snubs on the way in!!!
Postscipt: Tough coldish head-wind on the way home...another big day with a total of 220 minutes or well over 3 and one-half hours...Saturday and Sunday will be tough as my wife is working some big hours...


According to Webster’s: snub (snuh/bah) v., snubbed, snubbing, n., adj. 1. to treat with disdain or contempt. 2. a disdainful affront or slight. 2. to obviously ignore...itz of Scandinavian origin; cf. Icelandic. In Iceland, “snubba” means to rebuke.

In any event, I am initiating a Snub-O-Meter that I will utilize from time to time in an effort to quantify my common experience of being snubbed by fellow bikers: [note, Dear fellow non-snubbers, please feel free to use this new measurement tool]

A “4” on the Snub-O-Meter translates into a full scale, in your face, “contemptuous” SNUB. Note: To earn a 4 it has to be obvious that the perpetrator is w/o ear-gear and it must involve a one-on-one encounter, like in the early a.m. on the Munger Trail where itz just two bikers passing on a narrow bike trail.

A “3” is a snub of disdain, but the circumstances are such that there is a slight chance that the snub was accidental. For example, this is a situation where perhaps the snubber is late for work, he’s had a fight with his wife and therefore this snubber is not a repeat offender.

A “2” is a snub of indifference. To qualify as a 2 the snubber must NOT make eye contact with the snubberee. This person may well be hung-over and is bitter. He may be riding the bike because he lost his truck due to five recent DUIs...This snubber has a lot going-on in his smallish brain.

A “1” is a snub of apathy and or ignorance. This snubber is uncomfortable on the bike, he is nervous; perhaps he is fleeing from the law. This is perhaps the only truly justifiable snub.

Quoting Quakers:
Rode in today to work on yet another glorious morning. On the way in I encountered one classic #4 snub by a guy on a road bike, complete with time trial handlebars and old school birdcage pedals...On the positive side I had two very nice exchanges with righteous commuters....2:1 Not bad...
90 minute ride into work, easy w/ a focus on high RPMs

Postscript: total- 4 hours and 53 minutes [293 minutes] Can you say, "Eye of the Tiger..." I am feelin' like Rocky when he took it to Apollo Creed!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today's NYTimes Lead Story: "Blast reinforces Cheney’s caution in Iraq, 'We have a Long Way to Go.'" So it goes...

Whatz with other guyz-on-bikes that will not for anything look up and say, "Hey whazup, nice day, eh" or even a "How we doing?" or even just a simple, "Dude." Itz my pet peeve of the week...Who are these guyz anyway? They are not super fast guyz...I know the super fast guyz, they beat me nearly every weekend during the racing seasons, plus up here there really aren't that many super fast guyz and like I said, I know who they are and they know me...I know most of the fastest guyz in the state and all are friendly and encouraging. Do you know what I am talking about or I am crazy? Here's a typical encounter...I am riding along, livin' the dream, feelin' great, up ahead coming towards me, I see a guy on a bike. Itz usually a guy on a fancy new road bike, a super light-weight euro-carbon job [he got "a great deal on it" off ebay], he's wearing a yellow USPS/Trek jersey that he got on sale off some internet bike store. Anyway, make no mistake about it, the dude sees me, we make eye contact...I enthusiastically yell, "HEY, howz it going?" He puts his head down and flies past, like in full-on ITT mode...Whatz with that? Howz that work? Where is that coming from? Does he think that being a jerk will make him fast? Fast like Lance...Lance is fast...Lance is a jerk, therefore if I'm a jerk, I'll be fast???

I mean I can understand the red-necks in West Duluth with the big dual-exhaust, "I support the troops" mega-trucks trying to take me out, thatz what they have been trained to do, itz their job. I never take that personally, but when a fellow biker snubs really really hurts:( I feel like Dorthy felt when that super mean, mean lady tried to take Toto. Itz just NOT FAIR...Aunty Em :(

Proactive Pandering to Parastic Pariahs : Made the commute to beautiful downtown Esko...took the long route so I was out 109 minutes in the a.m.
Legs were a bit fatigued from the hills yesterday, but it was a glorious morning. Postscipt: Great ride home, got to see and exchange pleasantries with both Doug Robinson and Mr. Bushey...Bushey and I rode together for awhile...It was dayz effort: 3 hours & 28 minutes [208 minutes]..SWEET!

Monday, May 7, 2007

When it all boils down to the essential element in one's life...The Most Important Thing there is.......

I stole this above pic from Hansi Johnson, who took it a few days ago at one of my favorite hang-outs in Duluth, Beaners. I stole it because it illustrates the most important thing in my life. It depicts my purpose in life; it illustrates what gives my life meaning; it summarizes what it all means to me; the meaning of my life; why I get up and fight the good fight each and every morning; why I went into teaching; why when I hit my knees every night before I go to bed, I give thanks; it why my life is so beautiful...

You know what I writing about don't you? Itz all about having........

A GREAT CUP OF Kick @#$% COFFEE...thatz the meaning of life!!!

Note: I'm not sure who that little kid is?

Our [the USA, that is] Overt Omnipresence is Over [or soon to be over]...153 minutes...most excellent workout involving hill repeats on and above the "Lester loop." Two efforts up the hill from the entrance of Lester Park to the top and four efforts up the long hill [a good 4 minute+ climb next to that school out there in Lakeside]...I felt great...Watch Hall and Swanson cuz I be a force to be reckoned with as soon as I find my form!!!!

Mission Accomplished...Clean Bill of Health!!!

Some of my good buddies from over the years came and sat with me in the WAITING ROOM and then after I went in for the "procedure" they even waited for the news...As you can tell from the pics above, they were as pumped as I was about the good news of my CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH!!!! I love those GUYZ!!!!

Nebulous Negotiations w/ Ner-do-wells: 37 minute brisk walk to the Saint Luke's Clinic this morning at 5:30 a.m.

Kudos to the following Team SKIHUT Cycling Mates: Scotty Johnson on 11th place at the first WORS Race...also kudos to Sarah K-J for winning the Women's Elite and to Mike Bushey, Joe Mcgraver, and Harry Anderson and Meghan Anderson...all with fine efforts @ the first big race of the season!!!

Note: Scotty Johnson recently wrote up a nicely done race recap [go to] of the first WORS race...It was held in Iola, WI. With next week's big UCI race in Maplelag...the season is NOW...These guyz, Sara, Scotty, Bushey, etc...they are the real thing when it comes to racing on real mountain bike courses, like the one @ Maplelag...I am pumped, but THE SEASON don't start for me until May 19th and 20th [Cable & Erik's]; so I got plenty of time to get serious about my weight loss!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

"Running on empty..."

Yeah...I am running on empty, but I am NOT looking for sympathy, thatz most definitely NOT COOL, but I have not eaten any food since Friday evening. While, I generally agree with the FDA that solid food is a required part of the essential food groups, I tend to build my nutritional foundation on a rather medieval concoction of dark roasted malt barley, whole hops, and yeast. If the fasting protocol required this product to be passed up, then indeed, I would seek public sympathy. In any me thinking of Jackson Browne's Classic: Running on Empty--

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In seventy-nine I was seventeen and running up one-o-one
I dont know where Im riding now, Im just biking on

Running on - biking on empty :)
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun..........

"Biking the day before one's 'medical check', it ain't no good life, but itz my life..." cpf

My Maladroit Malfeasance towards Modern Medical Maneuvers, Medicines, and Mandates is thankfully but Momentary, lasting only until shorty after Monday Morning: I only need 80 minutes today to get my goal of 20 hours for the week...and I am gonna do it...Postscript: Got 'er done w/ 83 minutes easy "woosy" spin out towards Two Harbors...Total for the week--Just over 20 hours....SWEET!

Saturday, May 5, 2007 doing our part for like the environment, DUDES!!!

Note: Photographs from today's community-service effort. The first picture is of either a raccoon or a like-minded beast or a dark angel of Lucifer, depending on your world-view...Sorry for the poor quality, again depending on your personal world-view, the poor quality is attributable to one of two rationales, one being that dark angels of Lucifer rarely photograph well or possibly that the person wielding the camera is a cretin suffering from both mild dementia and a hyperactive gland disorder. FYI, my vote is with the dark side...that hideous thing is clearly a member of Lucifer's gang!

This morning, in an effort to "model" appropriate civil-mindedness-in-action, I forced Sophie out of bed [single off-spring] to brave the rain and the wind to assist with a city wide effort to do a little "spring cleaning" along the trails and back-roads of Duluth. Sophie and I spent an hour or so cleaning part of the Munger Trail with several other members of the COGGS group [Cyclists Of the Gitchie Gumi Shores...or something like that...?]...In any event, it was fun and Sophie found this way cool skeleton of a raccoon or a oppossum, or maybe a dark angel of Lucifer. I think itz a dark angel of Lucifer, but the general consensus among the rest of the do-gooders was that it was a raccoon that has seen better days...

Laboring w/ other Luddites against Lecherous Followers of Lucifer: 3 hours and 31 minutes...oh yeah!!! Rode out to Thomson to find my friend, Hansi's House. I found Hansi's House and that was great, but I did not find Hansi...So it goes...I am on course to get over 20 hours this week, but I have to go to the Doc's office on Monday for a little "plumping work" so I am fasting today and Sunday's ride may turn into a modern day "vision quest." Especially, given the sad fact that at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow I will ingest a "purgative." I will let those will active minds conjure the rest...It ain't no good life, but itz my life.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Joe Friel, Training Guru sez: "Ya gotta rest one day per week"

Today is my rest day for this week...just gonna kick back and watch McDisney's version of Cinderella III w/ da kid and da wife. Yeah, life is good..gonna follow Friel's training advice and hydrate. Yeah, gonna hydrate with some [I really mean "a lot" of] Bell's Kalamazoo Stout to help kill the wretched pain of watching Cinderella III, and rest up for some big training dayz on Saturday and Sunday...Some of da boyz from TEAM SKIHUT are heading out on Sunday to race the first WORS Race and I am jealous as hell, but I gotz to remember that itz a long season and I'll get plenty of racing in...still I cannot get the idea out of my head that a Saturday or a Sunday NOT racing is a wasted weekend. Don't believe any of that new age stuff about picking and choosin' ones races...The fact of the matter is that: Only racing truly gets a guy ready for racing...I ain't sayin' itz a good idea, itz just my idea...and it don't mean nothin' it goes.

A Kaleidoscope of Kallikaks: I got a nice power walk in at lunch for 35 minutes...otherwise, I am taking the day off...Going for 20 hours this week w/ a rest day...thatz gotta be somekind of record, somewhere?