Monday, July 28, 2008

Let Carlos Ride...

Just my personal feeling, but I don't think he's legit. Call me jaded, but I can't even watch some of these pro races anymore. I blame Lance for my scepticism. Call me two-faced too, because I loved the Pantani years like no other. Just when I thought Ricco was going to be cool:( Richard Virenque looked great while cheating, but needed a cape or something to really work it. Put together a WWF-type league for cycling and just be above the board about cheating. No teams, directors, etc. Just character names, sequined kit, knee-high boots, maybe a couple guys in masks? I want to see Robbie Ventura interviewing Hushovdt and get knocked out of the frame by a rampaging "Thor" who charges the camera and rips into a 3 minute tirade about his shot at the belt being undermined by "The Crusher"Cavendish, and Ventura comes back into frame with his hair all messed up and throws it to commercial, "...we'll be right back!" Then, predictably, they play that SAAB commercial again!!! Hell, you could get Bob Roll back into good enough shape for some of that action. Now that would be worth seeing! Later! Travel Gravel!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A2W Bridge Pic

Here is one conceptual image of the bridge for the trail from Ankeny to Woodward, or vice versa. It's going to be so cool! I want to try to ride a wheelie across this badboy! Oh yes, it will be done! Later!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


After talking myself down to one day of riding I eventually had a great time. I also figured out the best way of riding it all on gravel. The best way is to have all of your gear hauled for you and ride only with the bike, a camelback, and some cash. That's all you would need for an easily ridden week of gravel. So next year I will try to get a REAL RAGBRAI pass, have them haul a tent, etc. for me, and try to ride the route about a mile off!

I rode over to Jefferson via 230th (gravel) and was happy to have only taken about 2 hours exactly to get there. I put on a Bob Marley/Men at Work/Jack Johnson playlist and zoned out in the fog and dew. Just enough tack to the gravel to kick up some grit.

I rode out of Jefferson with my big brother Theron and a couple of his buddies. Since Theron was wearing Crocs and camo shorts I knew this was the slow crowd, so I just hung out. I rode no-handed to Grand Junction in an attempt to stay with them, but even that was too fast. So I waited at Ferg's for a stinkin' beer, and that took too long, so I bolted to Casey's, grabbed a couple of Powerades, a Coke, and some granola bars and split. A couple of people were looking at my Diamond Back poor man's 9er, trying to figure out what the hell it was. "How did you get the brakes to reach the rims?" one guy asked(thinking that it was a 26" frame with 29er wheels;) Makes some people scratch their heads to see it, and freaks people out when they hear it coming from behind them on pavement. A good choice of bikes for the trip.

Continuing North out of GJ I rode about a mile or so on pavement before peeling off and hitting some gravel for the rest of the trip to Ogden. Along the way I ran into Jason Parkin from KCCI Weather. I remembered seeing him at the 24 hour race last year (he was walking through the pits at about midnight with his camcorder) so I stopped to chat with him. He was telling me how cool he thought Banner Lakes is, and said he was weirded out at the 24 and didn't know how people do that kind of race. I said that beer helps and he should give it a try. I don't think he is interested. Jason, if you are reading, put up a 2 person co-ed team with Matinka! That could work!

I had a good ride, got in about 60 miles of gravel, 15 or so of pavement, and got home in time to go to a movie with my wife and kids. Next year I hope I can do more, even if it means a day or two of road bikes. Crazy huh? I have to admit, it would be fun to pass people all day. Later!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Do These Things Happen?

It has to be a far out cosmic alignment for some things to happen the way they do. And it happened on Saturday, in Woodward Iowa. I had originally taken Saturday off to have travel time to the start of Ragbrai. I talked myself into bailing on Ragbrai until Tuesday's ride into Boone, but kept the Saturday off, thinking maybe I would do the Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational. Nope, bailed on that too. Nobody I know was going, it was too far to drive alone, I really should have been working, etc. etc. So I had talked to Troy Tellinghuisen on Wednesday and he wanted to get a look at some of the shirt design ideas I had worked up for this year's 24. It was agreed that I could leave them in the mailbox at his house down by Woodward and he would pick them up on Sunday, then forward them to Kyle Sedore and Ron DeGeest for their input. Since I had snatched Saturday from the jaws of work I decided that I would ride to Troy's, drop off the hard copies of the artwork, and ride home, working in a stop in Woodward for some rest and relaxation. So there I am, having an apple and a Diet Rite in front of AJ's Grocery Store, in Woodward, on a rare and almost not a Saturday off, minding my own business, when Kyle and Ron drive right down main street! Luckily they looked over as I waved so they swung around and stopped. I explained that I was on a mission to deliver the artwork, "We'll just take that!" and they were off to do even more trailwork at Seven Oaks. Those guys deserve huge thanks from anybody who ever puts a tread on those trails. Like 'em or not (the trails that is;) Also on board was a very sasquatchian Taylor Webb and dog. Good work I'm sure. Thanks guys!

So I had time to check out the newest bike trail in Iowa. It will connect Woodward and Ankeny via an old rail corridor. From the looks of it this thing will be AWESOME! The concept drawing for the bridge over the Des Moines River is enough to get me chomping at the bit!

It will span this set of pillars on a 10 foot wide deck, and feature spiraling square I-beam boxes over the top. I will try to get an image of it and post it. Those are Purple Martins swarming around the hiway bridge in front of me. Cool to watch, and none of them crapped on me!

This is a section coming out of/going into Woodward. As I rode down this mile or so stretch there were two crows chasing an owl from tree to tree. They would fly 40 yards at a time, diving down on the owl. A puff of feathers would waft gently down after each volly. Again, cool to watch, and they didn't crap on me!

Coming back into Boone I took the hill that RAGBRAI riders will be cussing on Tuesday, only I rode the shoulder (to keep it a gravel affair.) At the top was none other than my DAD! working on repainting a sign that he maintains for the Lincoln Hiway Association. He's been plugging away at this damn thing for two weeks, working only in the cool part of the day and between re-hab and naps. Ahh, retirement. Someday! Later! Travel Gravel!

Me and my Pops!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seven Oaks Sunday

Anybody want to ride down to the trail repair day on Sunday? I'm thinking of going up to 155th, through Fraser, then south to S.O. Reply if interested. Later!

Monday, July 7, 2008

29ers Roll Over Things Better

Things like Border Collies. I was riding Sunday and took a route I have only ridden a couple of times before. As I was riding down 170th I came to a place where there were two farms directly across from each other. I didn't remember there being any chasing dogs there from prior passings, but there he was...waiting for me. As I rolled along at about 17 mph or so I could tell from his tone that he would come out to at least chase beside me for a few hundred feet. Most dogs will take a shortcut through the ditch and pop up where they meet you at a pretty shallow angle, but not this guy. He came right out of the drive at a 90 degree angle and ran full speed at me! I didn't know if he would stop, so I maintained speed and cadence, and he just flat ran into me! I managed a lunge-wheelie and turned the bars to the right just enough to miss him with the front wheel, catch him mid-back with the chainrings (I was in my middle, so he probably got some 46 tooth sharkbite) and up over him with my back wheel. It sounded like this, "ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF YIIIIIPE...ROOF!" Luckily I didn't lay it down or I would probably have been dead meat! From the dog or the "owner" either way. I'll have to go back and give him another chance to make friends some day. Good barrier-hopping training?Maybe. Later! Travel Gravel!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Need Feedback

I need people to input their ideas and willingness to participate in something I dreamt up the other day. I rode on the protest ride last Tuesday from the statehouse to Adel. The ride was organized to give a voice to cyclists who are facing the potential loss of our rights to ride on county roads. Crawford County is against RAGBRAI in particular, and now Dallas county is trying to put their collective foot down on "organized rides" to limit the number of riders in a "group." You know, and I know, that this is B.S.!!!!! and I wanted to ride mostly in support of cyclists rights. This piece of legislation is written so poorly, and leaves the county in a postion to be sued anyways, that it can't possibly be written into law the way it stands. This is, however, the way our rights begin to slip away. Dallas County has their target number at 20 for a "group," and they have plenty of people riding their county roads and trails. But what about a less bike oriented county like Boone County. What if my county supervisors say, "We need to ban bicyclists from riding on our county roads because we know we don't maintain them well enough, but banning bikes is easier than fixing roads, so no more. All in favor...done!" Thank goodness enough people had the drive to stand up in Adel and say, "Excuse me...." Though I did not address the county cronies myself, many people did. Their passion for cycling was awesome, and inspiring too. So I wanted to find a way for myself to say, "Bikes Belong on Iowa Roads!" and came up with this idea. Every year there is a celebration in Boone called Pufferbilly Days. We have a huge parade, which anyone can enter free! I thought if I could get enough people to commit to riding their bikes in the parade, with signs or banners, etc. stating the simple message, "Bikes Belong On Iowa Roads" that we could raise the profile of cycling and have a few thousand people see that bikes are ridden by all kinds of people, on all types of road surfaces (not just pavement.) I'm sure that if we tossed out candy, or those Bike Iowa reflective key fobs, or even hand out the maps that show bike paths in the state, that we could do some good. If it isn't too weird we could even have memorials to people who have been hit and/or killed on our roadways. Hell, Boone county has had two in the last year or so, and one was a hit and run! F that! So what do you think? I would like to know who might be interested, what other ideas some of you might have, who can pull strings to get handout stuff, etc. I will base my next moves on the responses. My kids are super stoked on the idea, and I just think it is do-able. Please respond. Later! Travel Gravel!