Sunday, November 30, 2008

A huge week on the bike...ALONE with my only real friend, THE ROAD

As the rest of you gave thanksgivings for varied and interesting lives...
The forlorn author had a huge week on his simple steel bike…and what with all the good cheer and such, it got me to thinking that…being on the road aint no good life, but itz my life…

Got me an old Waylon Jennings song stuck in my head as I broke the 20 hour mark whilst alone on the dusty, cold ROAD

Cyclists ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold. They'd rather give you a crank-set than diamonds or gold.

Gunnar steel bicycles and old faded chamois, And each night begins a new day.

If you don't understand him, an' he don't die young, He'll prob'ly just ride away.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be enduro-cycling freaks.

Don't let 'em ride mtbs or drive them old 29ers.

Let 'em be runners and swimmers and such.

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cyclists.

'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone.

Even with someone they love.

Cyclists like smokey old oatmeal stouts and clear mountain mornings, Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night.

Them that don't know him won't like him and them that do, Sometimes won't know how to take him.

He ain't wrong, he's just different but his pride won't let him, Do things to make you think he's right.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cyclists.

Don't let 'em pedal fixies or drive them old cross-bikes. Let 'em be geeky tri-athletes and skiers and such.

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cyclists.

'Cos they'll never stay home and they're always alone.

Even with someone they love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yeah...I gotz lotz to be thankful for, but...

I am most thankful for Mark, Ernest and Kurt...and of course, Bell's Expedition Stout, My Gunnar 29er, and Peace Coffee...

I am most thankful for....

I am most thankful for....the fact that the Feds are gonna save GM, Ford, and that other monolithical auto-dinosaur based out of Detroit, Michigan (the Cradle of Civilization)...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lance Andre's Race...Itz gonna be a blast!!!!

Saturday, January 10th; I have the website linked somewhere on the right side of this blog...Check it out; all the guyz that did it last year went home with their appendages intact and even better; fired-up for more...

Monday, November 24, 2008

If loving her is wrong....I don't want to be right!!!

I have so much to be thankful for...we all do. Family, friends, you know, all that stuff...But I am most thankful for BELL'S EXPEDITION STOUT.
Feeding the Rat: The trails in Duluth right now are as good as it gets...No bugs, no mud, no tourons, amazing traction, even the skinny neurotic runners are nowhere in sight...Get OUT and ride, RIDE LIKE the WIND....To be free again....The highly covert DBD #4 is scheduled for this weekend, if I don't make it back, know that I died with a smile on my face :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

“We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go.”

George Herbert Leigh Mallory
Founder of the Avenging Mallard Adventure Club & and Architect of the DBD

In response to inquiries regarding the enigmatic DBD

A special division of the Quixotic Rogues Cycling Club; the DBD is cloaked in secrecy and mysticism whose beginning stems from the Golden Age of Exploration. Certainly a more romantic time when an alpha male was measured by his propensity for ardent suffering as compared to the present-- in that it is rare in todayz world, the era of the sensitive beta male, for men to measure themselves against the forces of nature … Apparently itz specific founding stems from a chance meeting between Luigi Amedeo di Savor, the Duke of Abruzzi and George Mallory deep within the Hindu Kush at the turn of the 20th Century. Mallory was on his way to Everest while the Duke was finishing up a bold but unsuccessful bid for the virgin summit of K2. Legend has it that the Duke, in the throngs of severe exhaustion, malnourishment, and despair broke down and emotionally wept as he recounted the circumstances of his defeat (during of which he had lost several top-notch men). Mallory was, of course, steadfast, unsympathetic, and immediately called his men together to insure them that any man in his expedition caught sobbing would be shot. He then left the immediate area to allow the Duke to gather up what was left of his compromised manhood and to soldier on...

The DBD training sessions are designed to develop in our athletes a sense of indifference to feelings. It is our contention that the best endurance cyclists are numb, albeit efficient machines void of any semblance of human emotion. We are committed to simple objectivism. Approach the objective, begin the objective, finish the objective...period.

Cessation of history, a disdain for glory, even comfort; they ride not for fame or enlightenment…they ride only because they are on the bike. They stop riding only when the race is over. There is no joy, no reflection, no sense of accomplishment…there is only THE ROAD…There is only a beginning and an end. Men, having completed a long series of DBD sessions, no longer worry about divulging their inner feelings as they are devoid of emotion. A seasoned DBDer is essentially emotionless...

Involuntary sinew and muscle function replaces free will; the brain is replaced with a simplistic albeit more efficient notochord. Cognition is limited to “thinking” only of the most fundamental instinctual thoughts such as basic maintenance of caloric intake and hydration and maintaining adequate power to the pedals. Bloody chafing along ones MAN AREA, the sort that would drive a normal man insane is just something that occurs, nothing more nothing less...

Below is the musings of a robust lad; a man well on his way to achieving notoriety within the enduro-freak cycling community (and training partner of the declining author) regarding the just completed third DBD training ride of the season [Note: last Sunday, November 16, 2008, the DBD left Duluth at 4:40 a.m. and embarked on a 7.5 hours session]. As you read, please consider that the DBD is still in the early phase of training. One cannot hope to achieve the full DBD mindset until after ten or more sessions. The idea is to develop the athlete in a progressive manner with the goal being for a full peak around late April and early May of 2009 (and a minor peak for the first week of February '09):

You may be thankful that you missed this one. The idea of traversing all the trail systems that Duluth has to offer is a bit daunting when one considers that it's winter. We climbed up Lester through the mud in complete blackness with a light snow falling. We decided that Lester was just too wet and we needed to get out of it. We then crossed to Hartley via Amity and the XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX (a superb section for mountain biking I might add). Once in Hartley we completed the inner loop and the new sections that have been added. Mind you if you really think about these sections, it amounts to a great deal of climbing in soft soil. Upon completion of Hartley the light of day was upon us. We hit the pavement for the commute to Piedmont. Our sweat soaked clothes gathered the bite of the morning air like a moth to flame. Although we did not acknowledge it, we were cold and really hunkering in as we rode exposed into a west wind. Once again we climbed, as we entered my neighborhood to the P.T. parking lot. Cold and wet with sweat we hit the trails. This is the portion of the day where we soared. The trails were hard and fast. Among the deer we sketched our way through what XXXXXXX aptly referred to as "like riding in the Rockies". The new G.F. really proved its worth in this system as I was able to accurately make comparisons to my other bikes as I passed through familiar sections. After completing a large loop we exited on the trail that simply goes down as "World Class". We shook our heads as we were spit out onto skyline by the "Wall" overlook. Short two minute break to eat and re-fit in an effort to prepare for the exposed ride to Spirit. Again, the cold nipped at us and worked its way through our clothes, but we remained stoic. Upon arrival to the mountain we were beginning to realize that the morning was taking its toll. We were wasted! We pushed our bikes up the hill and again re-fit at the top of the ski lift. Entering the challenging single track we noticed that our skills were diminishing as we argued about who would lead. A time check indicated that we were 6.5 hours in and really tired. We completed the top section and had to push some of the climbs as the power was gone from our legs. We toiled in the top half of the mountain for about 30-40 more minutes before conferring about continuing. Careful to not demonstrate emotion, we agreed that if we completed the entire lap our total bike time including the commute home would put us north of 8 hours or even 8.5 hours. We decided to pull the plug and traversed via service road across the mountain and back to the parking lot. A short re-fit for the commute home and we were on our way.
I was so wasted when I got into my house I wasn't sure I would be able to get my gear off and actually considered laying down on the basement floor for awhile. However, I managed to get undressed and get everything into the washing machine. I made my way to a hot bath and promptly fell asleep in the tub in about 3 seconds flat awakening to the sound of XXX returning from a run. I lost a total of 7 pounds on that ride. I consumed massive amounts of food throughout the rest of the day including an entire pizza. In addition, I took about a 2.5 hour nap. I haven't been that worked for quite some time. The new bike was completely trashed. It looked like I had owned it for about 5 years, but man she worked well. I hope I did not display any emotion…

Saturday, November 15, 2008

True North by Elliot Merrick...Read it

Here is a novel (written in 1930) that upon reading; in many instances gave me serious pause for reflection as the lines rang true with such burning clarity and insight... Rare prose indeed and yet so fundamental to thinking about the requirements of living a purposeful and meaningful life…Bravo Elliot Merrick!!!! Below is a sampling:

“…how fine it is of the unspoiled Eskimos away North to put in the grave the precious knives and spears of his kinsmen. We sniff and say that an Eskimo who dies for lack of a knife that sleeps beside a skeleton is a fool, never supposing that his custom may be the acceptance of a challenge, a wail of grief and a battle cry defiance to life, to death, to Nature kind and Nature cruel, to the shadowy future and all the engulfing incomprehensible. He doesn’t care for his own future when he stands beside a grave. But we, we think always of the future; that is the root of civilization. In this respect primitive races are certainly finer than we; that they can ignore the certain sufferings of tomorrow. It enables them to live today, which is more than civilized men do. It is inexpedient, it costs life, but it is brave. Life is so uncertain; they know how to treat it. To a certain degree, in certain ways, they provide for the future, of course, but beyond a certain point they will not go. It is not always ignorance that stops them. Many of the Indians we have met, and even some of the trappers have a fine disdain for the future that makes our foresight, our anxiety to provide every possible comfort and safety, our desire to insure against the future and establish that unattainable ideal of society, Security, show up by contrast as ugly and greedy and small. Smart, yes; but not glorious.”

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Work-in-Progress...The Quixotic Rogues Cycling Team

A work-in-progress…

The Quixotic Rogues will be a new kind of cycling team; a team with a progressive vision that will transform the direction of USA Cycling from a third rate fringe sport on par with NSCAR, mired in rampant consumerism and gadgetry, to a thinking albeit aging man’s game that celebrates cerebral development and serene clarity through facing up to severe physical hardships while mounted upon a locally made bicycle purchased from a local bike shop. The following tenets or principals shall form the foundational basis of “The TEAM’s” structural philosophy:

· The Quixotic Rogues will hold in contempt anything and everything created by the use of carbon, shun over-engineered hydraulics in all aspects and functions, and will look down upon all but the most rudimentary forms of front suspension systems. Note: Of course any use of rear suspensions shall result in immediate expulsion from the team.

· The Quixotic Rogues will encourage young people (defined as cyclists under the age of 39) to join the ranks of the domestique, but only those young people that are willing to sign a solemn oath to always allow the senior members to win the races. The oath also commits the younger ones to “pull” the senior members on long windy training sessions. As well as retrieve victory ales for senior members once the race is done and the festivities have begun. Young members must never question a senior member when the senior member embellishes the truth or exaggerates his abilities during long periods of reminiscing about when the senior was “a hardy and more rigorous man, years ago, in my youth when I was a cycling force to be…” Certainly once a younger member proves his meddle he will be able join the ranks of the senior echelon.

· The Quixotic Rogues Team Kits of course should in most instances be made of wool with chamois of rough leather. Preferably leather that has been chewed by an Inuit women over the age of 78. We have a good solid man charged with developing a specific motif; but rest assured that the jersey will be emblazoned with our war cry, INVICTUS.” He is reviewing several beasts of dignity, all of which have extraordinary capacities for physical and loathsome toil to represent our lofty purpose including the following— The dragon for its savage intensity; The lion for its dominance and pride; the wolverine for its unmatchable fury per pound; The cougar for its stealth and beauty; and of course The tortoise for its regal perseverance…Note: other ideas pertaining to this important consideration are encouraged.

· The Quixotic Rogues will, of course, publicly frown upon the overzealous use of pharmaceuticals, yet there is a tacit undercurrent built into this discretionary policy that will not ignore the fact that as cyclists age there are various over-the-counter elixirs, ales, and empathetic apothecaries that may be deemed to be subjectively required for some of the old boyz to enable them to still “turn the crank” with the younger more robust lads. This kind of thing may be especially warranted in the shorter more “fast-twitch” types of XC races.

· More to come…

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am seriously thinking about forming a new cycling team...Any takers????

The Quixotic Rogues...A new cycling team that will refine the meaning of victory...more on this to come....I am working on a Team Mission Statement

Feeding the Rat: 17.4 hours for Week #3...It was sweet on Sunday as my camelbak froze up and my toes were going numb from the cold; great training for the Arrowhead 135

Great book I am almost finished with: True North by Elliot Merrick...A write-up in a few dayz

Monday, November 3, 2008

DBD #1: There is so so so little time to prepare for the up coming CLASSICS!!!!

D.B.D. #1: Six hours and nineteen minutes with my training buddy, Eki Hondo, on Sunday. We left our respective and comfortable abodes at 4:40 a.m. and met at the Copper-top church as the bells chimed five times. From there we crossed the Bong Bridge, rode thru a sleeping, hungover Souptown gaining access to the old gravel railroad bed that follows the Great Lake’s coastal contour across northern Wisconsin and is now frequented by weighty ATVer and soon-to-be obese snowjetters. The gravel makes for a great training ground for the Trans-Iowa and other spring gravel classics. Given our strict adherence to mandated DBD training schedules/protocols coupled with the infinite hours available to the local "Joe Six-Packs" for viewing pro football games on Sundays, we rode uninterrupted nearly all the way to Brule, WI and then turned and headed back the way we had come…The first DBD training ride of the season is in the books!!!

Feeding the Rat: 15.6 hours for Week #2 of the Winter Training Season (including DBD #1). Note: Cumulative Total: 32.5 hours...I will never be in shape for the AH 135!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Serious stuff...very serious, NO I am not kidding around, really serious...
If you are a veteran of the Trans-Iowa--send in your post card entry info to G-Ted on November 11th...This is serious stuff...Seriously, those guyz from Iowa don't mess around and you don't want to miss TRANS-IOWA V!!!!!!!!!!